Anticipated Arrival: The Bride Bet by Tessa Dare

Anticpated arrivals

Ten years ago, Nicola and the duke wanted nothing to do with each other… and that’s exactly why they got engaged.

What is it?!

The Bride Bet is the fourth book in the Girl Meets Duke series by Tessa Dare. The book, if it goes by the usual ‘side-character who gets their own book’ formula, is potentially the last book in this series.

When is it coming out?!

August 15, 2020.

I know, I know, there is a long time to wait until we get to read the book. Probably even longer if I want to continue how I’ve previously engaged with the books, and listen to it as an audiobook. But still, I am looking forward to reading The Bride Bet.

Why do you want it?!

I really want this book because the character, Nicola, has always intrigued me and left me wanting to know more about this pretty closed off character.

The snippets of story that we got in the third book, The Wallflower Wager, about Nicola seemed really interesting – the revelation that all this time, Nicola had been engaged and her desperate attempts not to be seen by him made me want to know more!

Why does everyone else need it?!

So far Tessa Dare has been a very entertaining and humours read – it is sometimes hard to find the right mix of romance and humour in historical romance books and the third book The Wallflower Wager aside, I have really enjoyed all the characters and their romances.

So not only do I recommend you pick up one of Tessa Dare’s books but I think you should also get excited about the fourth and potentially last book of this great series!


Anticipated arrival comment

Girl Meets Duke Series by Tessa Dare

The Girl Meets Duke series by Tessa Dare has been my introduction to all things Tessa Dare. The historical romance series is also the first time that I have managed to finish and enjoy a fictional audiobook.

I’m really happy to have found this new historical romance author (well new to me 😋) and after listening to the first book in the series, quickly devoured all that I could. So the below quick little reviews are just my comments on the books that make up the Girl Meets Duke series. Enjoy 💌


The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Girl Meets Duke: Book 1

The Duchess Deal was my first ever audiobook that I finished and that I loved. The narrator of the audiobook was amazing and really brought the characters to life.

I absolutely loved the story and characters of this romance novel, the romantic lead Ashbury is such a gruff bastard but he was one that I fell in love with – he had the incredibly endearing and humourous trait of only swearing in Shakespearean quotes. Also Emma was such a strong and beautiful character – I was honestly rooting for the pairs happy ending.


The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

Girl Meets Duke: Book 2

Once again I fell in love with the characters of this novel. I listened to the audiobook narrated by the amazing, Mary Jane Wells, and once again the whole cast were brought to life through not only this narration but storytelling.

The multiple doll funerals really made me fall in love with, not only the two girls, but Chase himself. The resigned patience and punny eulogies really made the novel and made me see past the libertine archetype that I usually dislike. Also Alexandra was a true treasure as she helped the girls explore and learn as pirates, not to mention her inner strength and Filipino representation!


The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

Girl Meets Duke: Book 3

I loved this story – Penny had always been a character from the previous books that had stood out to me and I really enjoyed seeing her story with her romantic lead Gabriel.

Be warned – spoilers ahead

I really loved this story until about three quarters of the way through – the book takes a serious turn with a revelation of childhood sexual assault. This revelation really did sour the book for me – I am not saying that historical romances shouldn’t tackle hard issues but the previous books had been quite lighthearted so this was not what I was expecting.

I’m not saying I hated the book because I didn’t, I’m just saying that I was quite shocked that this content was included. Also the way that the characters in the novel decided to deal with it was, in my opinion, quite hodgepodged and really detracted from the end of the story.


I am really enjoying the Girl Meets Duke series and despite the one hiccup with the third book, I am looking forward to reading about Nicola in the fourth book, The Bride Bet.

Have you read the series? Do you love them or hate them? Do you agree with me about the third book? Leave a comment and let me know 😊

SLRG: Misadventures with a Professor by Sierra Simone

Misadventures with a Professor

by Sierra Simone.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.


Blurb: Zandy Lynch never planned on going to grad school a virgin. So when her professor father finds her a job abroad as a research assistant the summer before she starts her master’s program, she sees her chance. She’s got one night in London to lose her V-card to a Mr. Darcy lookalike before she has to join some ancient professor in the country.

Oliver Graeme is not looking forward to having some American co-ed hovering around while he’s trying to work, but he owes her father the favor, and besides, his office is an untidy mess of uncatalogued research. He needs the help. Still, he decides to take the edge off his frustration while visiting a colleague in London, and winds up having the sexiest, sweetest night of his life with a stranger, who vanishes in the morning without a trace…

To Zandy’s shock when she arrives at Professor Graeme’s house a day later, the door isn’t opened by a fussy old scholar, but by the wild, passionate man she met in London. Cold and reserved by day, Oliver is ferociously greedy with her at night, and it’s not long before Zandy finds herself falling for both versions of him—the aloof professor and the generous, rough lover. The trouble is that summer only lasts so long, and Zandy already has a plane ticket waiting to take her home…

****
Misadventures is a romantic series of spicy standalone novels, each written or co-written by some of the best names in romance. The stories are scandalous, refreshing, and, of course, incredibly sexy. They’re the perfect bedside read, a ‘quick blush’ for the reader who loves a page-turning romance.I

Blurb taken from Goodreads.

Length: 208 pages.

Series: Misadventures #15

Genre: Romance. Erotica. M/F Romance.

Read as an: Paperback.


My Thoughts

As I mentioned previously in my TBR Pile post, I have seen the Misadventure books around for a while now but decided to give one a read after reading the blurb of Sierra Simone’s new book, A Lesson in Thorns. Misadventures with a Professor was a great and fun read. The story follows Amanda who is an American visiting England to sort out the library and research materials of her Fathers Professor friend. Enter Oliver, who at the start of the book (spoiler alert) helps Amanda lose her virginity.

The rest of the novel is of how Amanda (or Zandy) and Oliver navigate their relationship and admit to what each other want – not just their kinks but each other. I absolutely loved the little moments where you had the two cultures clash. The absolute horror Oliver had when Amanda made a cup of tea in the microwave was one I loved.


Smut Level

Misadventures with a Professor was very kink friendly. The pair played up the whole Student/Professor role play and the novel also featured a lot of spanking. While there was a backstory of Oliver being kink shamed in a previous relationship, the book is very open with the twos wants and desires.

I enjoyed the book so much, I’ve tracked down the first book of the Misadventure series and if I enjoy that, may give the whole series a read ❤


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SLRG: Waiting for You by Megan Derr

Waiting for You

by Megan Derr.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.


Shanna has spent her whole life waiting—waiting to be old enough, waiting for the day she must pick a consort, waiting for a chance to finally overcome her despicable stepfather… and waiting for someone to finally banish the loneliness that comes with being a queen-in-waiting one step away from being murdered.

On the eve of the two-week event during which she must pick a consort from a bevy of suitors, two strangers arrive claiming to have been invited—though she knows full well they did not receive any such invitation. But the handsome, mischievous Prince Kallaar is too intriguing to resist, and his quiet bodyguard too compelling to ignore…

But she’s learned the hard way never to let anyone get too close, and on the verge of gaining true independence her stepfather will stop at nothing to see she never gets it.

Blurb taken from Goodreads.

Length: 111 pages.

Series: Lifesworn #1

Genre: Romance. Fantasy. M/M/F Romance. Polyamorous Romance.

Read as an: eBook.


My Thoughts

If you’ve been paying attention to my previous posts, I am a big Megan Derr fan. I am also a big fan of the publisher Nine Star Press , so when I saw both combined I knew immediately that I had to read this book.

I was lucky enough that when I requested that my library purchase an eBook copy, I was promptly able to read this wonderful book. (I am currently waiting for approval for the rest of the series to be purchased!) So hopefully it won’t take too long because I am love with the world of Waiting for You!

As always Derr is a master of effortless world building with the politically charged environment surrounding Shanna being presented to us in a quick and easy to grasp manner. In no time at all I was rooting for all three of the characters and found myself so thoroughly engaged in the emotional story between Shanna, Kallaar, and Ahmla.

Also honestly, who could read Waiting for You and not fall in love with Kallaar?


Smut Level

As you can tell from my above thoughts on the book and the fact that the book is a polyamorous romance novel, Waiting for You does indeed feature scenes between all three characters. While not the smuttiest book out there, the action between the three characters is not only incredibly sexually charged but it is emotional.

The scenes do play out at moments of emotional revelations and there is no sexual shame felt between the three as they explore themselves and their new relationship. Shanna is quite open in her imaginings and desire for more than one partner throughout the novel.

So pretty much loved the book everything about this book ❤❤❤


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Cover Reveal: Shots on Goal by Amy Aislin

Shots on Goal

by Amy Aislin

Recently traded to the newly formed Vermont Trailblazers, professional hockey player Roman Kinsey needs to focus on helping the team win games and filling the stands, not on the blond, bespectacled part-timer who works at the library he volunteers at. He knows all too well that outing himself equals heartache and ridicule…or worse.

Cody Evans, psych major and grad school hopeful, notices everything and thinks too much. But he doesn’t know what to think when he sees Roman reading to kids. The rugged hockey player just doesn’t look like the type. But it stirs something in him, something he’s never felt before.

When the library is threatened with closure, Cody enlists Roman’s help. As they get to know each other better…much, much better…they realize that they have more in common than books. But Roman’s keeping a big part of himself from his team, and giving in to his feelings for Cody might be more than he’s willing to risk.

Book Blurb

Series: Stick Side #3

Release Date: January 7, 2020

Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance


Excerpt

Getting to know Roman Kinsey was going to be all kinds of interesting.

“Mr. Kinsey, this is Cody Evans,” Eileen said. “Cody’s one of our part-timers and he’ll be running Tiny Tot Storytime on the Tuesdays you’re unable to make it.”

Roman nodded once. “Thanks.” It was so grudging that Cody’s smile widened.

Roman’s lips pinched.

Holding out a hand, Cody said, “It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Kinsey.”

“It’s just Kinsey. Or Roman. Whatever.” His voice was pitched low, almost rough from thirty minutes of reading aloud.

“Which do you prefer?”

Something flickered across his face, and his hand jerked in Cody’s before he pulled back. “Roman’s fine.”

“Let me grab your things from the staff lounge, Mr. Kinsey,” Eileen said with a pat on his arm.

“Oh no, I can . . .”

But Eileen was already walking away, her old lady loafers with the buckle on the side silent on the carpet. Leaving Cody alone with Roman Kinsey. He bit the inside of his lip to conceal a grin.

Roman parked his butt against the hip-high bookshelf and crossed his arms. Silent. So, not one to fill awkward silence with inane chatter then. Cool. Except Cody, for some reason he couldn’t name, itched to get him talking.

“Good game last night,” he said.

That startled Roman, surprise crossing his features before he schooled them again. “We lost.”

“Only by one point, and you guys put up a hell of a fight. And Mr. Hannigan was right, you know.” Cody jerked his chin toward Mr. Hannigan, trailing his twin boys out the door. “Ritz is a left shooting center.” Meaning that on rushes down the ice, he tended to pass to his right winger more often than his left winger. “And you’re now the strongest right winger on the team. You really would be well-matched. Oh, and Mr. Mulligan’s right too—you guys really do need more shots on goal.”

Surprise crossed Roman’s face again, and this time it stayed there. “You know hockey?”

Cody shrugged. “Some.”


Author Bio

Amy Aislin’s lived with her head in the clouds since she first picked up a book as a child, and being fluent in two languages means she’s read a lot of books! She first picked up a pen on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class had to stay inside for recess. Tales of treasure hunts with her classmates eventually morphed into love stories between men, and she’s been writing ever since. She writes evenings and weekends—or whenever she isn’t at her full-time day job saving the planet at Canada’s largest environmental non-profit.

An unapologetic introvert, Amy reads too much and socializes too little, with no regrets. She loves connecting with readers. Join her Facebook Group to stay up-to-date on upcoming releases and for access to early teasers, find her on Instagram and Twitter, or sign up for her infrequent newsletter here.


Giveaway

Amy Aislin will be giving away an e-ARC of Shots on Goal to celebrate this cover reveal!

Follow this link to enter.

Blog Tour: The King’s Dragon by W.M. Fawkes & Sam Burns

The King’s Dragon

by W.M. Fawkes & Sam Burns

Lord Tristram Radcliffe has a secret—he is the only dragon at the king’s court in Llangard. It’s a secret he’s kept from the knights he’s fought beside, from the ladies who bat their lashes at him, and from his closest companion, Prince Reynold. If it were to get out, he’d be banished to the Mawrcraig Mountains along with the rest of his kind, but the kingdom of men is the only one he’s ever known, and his heart lives in the stone halls of those who’d count him an enemy.

When the old king dies and Prince Reynold takes the throne, two visitors from the north throw Tristram into the middle of the ancient conflict between dragons and men. They put him on a collision course with the king’s shadow, Bet Kyston, a dangerous assassin who may want him dead or may want more of Tristram that he’d ever thought to give.

With the eyes of dragons upon him and a threat from the north creeping toward the home he loves, Tristram must weigh his allegiances before his dual legacies tear him apart.

Taken from Book Blurb

Series: Fire and Valor #1

Release Date: September 26, 2019

Genre: QUILTBAG, High Fantasy, Romance.


Excerpt

When he glanced up to meet Bet’s eyes, they were wide, the whites showing all around them. He wondered, for a moment, if he’d earned a stabbing, but then those eyes dropped to his lips, and Bet’s own parted a fraction.

As was his most unfortunate habit, Tris dove in head first.

Their mouths crashed together, a clash of tongues and teeth that started out anything but good. Tris tasted blood in his mouth, and he wasn’t sure whose it was.

In a flash, Bet turned them so that Tristram was the one with his back to the wall. He wrapped a hand around the side of Tristram’s neck, thumb coming up to hold his jaw in place in a grip that felt downright dangerous. Then he turned his head a fraction, opening up a little space between their noses and allowing himself full access.

Not to stab anyone, thankfully, though he pushed his way into Tris’s mouth as though convinced he’d be rebuffed and wanted to taste his fill before that. Tris just tilted his head up to meet the onslaught, eyes sliding shut and fingers scrabbling against the tapestry on the wall.

Bet kissed like he fought: hard, fast, and with no intention of taking prisoners. His free hand fell to Tristram’s trousers, as though he would strip them off right there in the hall, and slowed to press against his growing arousal. It seemed he appreciated what he found there, because he let out a growl that reminded Tristram of his own nearly inhuman one.

What he’d have done, Tris would never know, because a giggle echoed down the hallway, and Bet pulled back as though he’d been slapped. He turned to see a couple of ladies’ maids enter the hall, and before Tristram could so much as say his name, Bet turned and melted into the shadows.


Author Bios

W.M. Fawkes is an author of LGBTQ+ urban fantasy and paranormal romance. She lives with her partner in a house owned by three halloween-hued felines that dabble regularly in shadow walking.

Sam lives in the Midwest with husband and cat, which is even less exciting than it sounds, so she’s not sure why you’re still reading this.

She specializes in LGBTQIA+ fiction, usually with a romantic element. There’s sometimes intrigue and violence, usually a little sex, and almost always some swearing in her work. Her writing is light and happy, though, so if you’re looking for a dark gritty reality, you’ve come to the wrong author.


Giveaway

Win one of 2 e-copies of any book from the Lords of the Underworld series by Sam Burns & W.M. Fawkes!

Follow this link to enter.

SLRG: Luck is No Lady by Amy Sandas

luckisnolady
Luck is No Lady

by Amy Sandas.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.


Blurb: Gently bred Emma Chadwick always assumed she’d live and die the daughter of a gentleman. But when her father’s death reveals a world of staggering debt and dangerous moneylenders, she must risk her good name and put her talent for mathematics to use, taking a position as bookkeeper at London’s most notorious gambling hell. Surrounded by vice and corruption on all sides, it is imperative no one discovers Emma’s shameful secret or her reputation-and her life-will be ruined.

But Roderick Bentley, the hell’s sinfully wealthy owner, awakens a hunger Emma cannot deny. Drawn deep into an underworld of high stakes gambling and reckless overindulgence, she soon discovers that in order to win the love of a ruthless scoundrel, she will have to play the game…and give in to the pleasure of falling from grace.

Length: 382 pages.

Series: Fallen Ladies #1.

Genre: Romance. Historical.

Read as an: Paperback.


My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book. The main character, Emma, is quite intelligent and was allowed to demonstrate this in an easy and respectful way. The romantic lead, Roderick, had a very accepting and almost nonchalant attitude towards Emma and her ‘scandalous’ behaviour.

The book is part of a trilogy that follows Emma’s two sisters, however I don’t think I will read these as the blurbs and characters didn’t grab my attention. Luck is No Lady was a sweet and smile inducing novel, I would really recommend this book for anyone looking for a good regency read.


Smut Level

Decent. I really liked the back and forth between these characters and the physical scenes were very focused on Emma.


Are there any romance novels that you love to read? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you 🙂

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Long Lost Review: Snakes Among Sweet Flowers by Jason Huffman-Black

Long Lost Reviews Icon

Snakes Among Sweet Flowers

Jason Huffman-Black.

Two-time ex-con Camden Sanders has decided that Hog Mountain—an isolated community on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia—is the perfect place to continue running small scams without the threat of more prison time. But there are a few problems with this plan. One is the neighbourly citizens of Hog Mountain thwarting his dirty dealings at every turn with their kindness. Another is Jackson Rhodes, a closeted Hog Mountain police officer who can see right through Cam’s good ol’ boy act and plans to catch him red-handed despite the attraction they both can feel. But the biggest problem of all is that Cam’s past is threatening to catch up with him, and it could mean trouble for more than just himself.

Taken from book blurb

Okay so I had always intended to review this book because I loved it. When I first read Snakes Among Sweet Flowers, it was a highlight of the year and I gave it a re-read last year and it stood the test of time because I still loved it.

I am a big sucker for stories that feature down trodden, poor, or struggling characters. I do not know why I love them so much but I really enjoy seeing characters suffer (omg I am terrible) but still manage to fall in love. I especially love the stories where the problems of a character aren’t magically fixed by falling in love, they just have someone else to share the struggles.

Continue reading “Long Lost Review: Snakes Among Sweet Flowers by Jason Huffman-Black”

Lord of the Last Heartbeat by May Peterson

Lord of the Last Heartbeat

by May Peterson.

|| Publisher || Goodreads || || Amazon || Kobo ||

Stop me. Please.

Three words scrawled in bloodred wine. A note furtively passed into the hand of a handsome stranger. Only death can free Mio from his mother’s political schemes. He’s put his trust in the enigmatic Rhodry—an immortal moon soul with the power of the bear spirit—to put an end to it all.

But Rhodry cannot bring himself to kill Mio, whose spellbinding voice has the power to expose secrets from the darkest recesses of the heart and mind. Nor can he deny his attraction to the fair young sorcerer. So he spirits Mio away to his home, the only place he can keep him safe—if the curse that besieges the estate doesn’t destroy them both first.

In a world teeming with mages, ghosts and dark secrets, love blooms between the unlikely pair. But if they are to be strong enough to overcome the evil that draws ever nearer, Mio and Rhodry must first accept a happiness neither ever expected to find.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Taken from book blurb.

Release Date: 2 September, 2019.

Length: 351 pages.

Series: The Sacred Dark #1.

Genre: Fantasy. Romance. QUILTBAG.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

Lord of the Last Heartbeat is a detailed fantasy story focused around Mio, a sorcerer whose power lies in his voice. When pushed to his limits by his power hungry mother, Mio escapes to the first place they would look, but the one he would be safest – the house of Rhodry, a cursed Moon Soul.

Focusing on Mio and Rhodry the story follows of the pair as they fight their attraction to each other and the mysterious force at work within the house. Expect twists and turns as the intricately weaved love story of Lord of the Last Heartbeat takes you on a journey filled with mystery and magic.


Continue reading “Lord of the Last Heartbeat by May Peterson”

SLRG: A Strange and Mystifying Story Series by Tsuta Suzuki

A Strange and Mystifying Story Series

by Tsuta Suzuki.

Publisher: link.

Original Japanese title: Konoyo Ibun.

Goodreads: link.

Genre: Manga. Romance. M/M Romance.


Volumes 1&2:
In the immediate family of the story’s protagonist everyone seems to die early, and other relatives talk about a curse. When soon after his grandfather’s death he comes down with an incurable disease, and is overwhelmed by grief and loneliness, in desperation he remembers his grandfather’s last words — that somebody was watching over them. He can only find an odd fossil tooth where his grandfather had pointed, but when he picks it up and accidentally gets some of his blood on it, that summons a guardian spirit, who promises to cure him. Maybe he should be pleased, but said guardian has some strange methods for healing.

Volumes 3-7:
Tsumugi Shirota is your typical high school student. He’s handsome, kind, and for some strange reason, surprisingly adept at household chores. On his 16th birthday, a rather unusual but special guest comes to meet him—Master Kurayori, the guardian deity of the Shirota household. Imagine Tsumugi’s surprise when he finds out this deity is also his fiancé!

Blurb taken from Baka-Updates .

My Thoughts

I often hesitate to write about yaoi as it has so many problematic issues surrounding it. Just to name a few there are often issues with non-consent, the books often present unrealistic relationships and there is a distinct lack of understanding on how the human body works. To be fair, the same could be said for a large number of m/m romance novels.

Continue reading “SLRG: A Strange and Mystifying Story Series by Tsuta Suzuki”