Netgalley Reviews

February 2017 Reviews

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4 star review

Requiring a quick replacement chaperone for his twin sisters, The Duke of Griffin, happens upon Miss Esmeralda Swift and immediately knows he has found the one for the job. She took a lot of convincing but Griffin would not back down. Esmeralda moves in with sister and dog in tow and now the only problem is the chaperone and The Duke fighting off their attraction to each other.

This was a good start to The Rakes of St. James series. I liked that Griffin fell for a woman with a strong personality and that he brought out the fun in her. I was heartbroken when she realized how she had never received comfort in the form of hugs and kisses. Griffin was ready to change that!

The comical elements were good but some things fell flat. Other than the reason to need a replacement chaperone, the Aunt’s storyline never went anywhere. The issue of the threat to the girls was anticlimactic unless it is being saved for another book in the series.

Overall I enjoyed it and look forward to more.

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1 1/2 star rating

After tragically looking his grandfather and turned away by his mother, Elijah Watson, Marquis of Ridgefeld, heads to a house party to discuss his grandfather’s collection of artifacts. Before making it to the estate he meets Miss Samantha Pengarden traveling on the road in the cold. They form an immediate bond but things change drastically when Elijah is asked to leave the house party.

They meet again in London with Elijah set on courting Sam, and Sam hurt and angry at Elijah for leaving.

I enjoyed the story while it took place at the house party. As soon as the setting moved to London, Elijah was too sappy and Sam was too childish. If their banter could have gone back to what it was the story would have recovered. Lastly, the epilogue had things wrap up a bit too syrupy sweet.

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2 rating

On his way to interview as an Estate Manager for the Wilde family, Adrian Crosby stumbles across a mud covered Lady Caroline Wilde trying to rescue her nephew. Adrian brings the boy to safety and is embraced by the family until Adrian and Caro get to close for their stations in life.

I love Ashlyn Macnamara but for me there was too many storylines going on. I couldn’t pinpoint the main conflict which made the romance hard to follow. Was it about horses, class, the Duke, Adrian’s parentage? Simply too many to keep track of.

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3.5 rating

Lady Penelope Tidemore is determined to avoid the scandals that have plagued her family.  It took one night to ruin that plan when, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, led to a compromising situation with gaming hell owner, Ryker Black.  Having anything to do with Society is unacceptable to Ryker, so he is upset over the position he is caught in. It will take a lot out of Penelope to change his long standing feelings but if anyone can do it, she can.

A nice follow up in this series. I love when a flawed hero is written so well. Ryker’s anxiety in social situations made perfect sense with his upbringing and it really went along with the walls he had built up around himself.  His insecurity in another area (avoiding spoilers) was also masked by his rough demeanor.

Penelope was a perfect match being she had an adventurous spirit and was full of compassion for all people. The courage she showed with Naill was a perfect example of this and I loved what that brought out in Ryker. Oh, how I would have enjoyed an epilogue with this story though.

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There is a dark element to the books in this series and Kerrigan Byrne writes it to perfection.
The story begins with Imogen (Ginny) Pritchard, working as a serving maid to pay off her late father’s debt. She hopes to work off her debt quickly and continue her other job in a hospital.
Cole, The Duke of Trewyth, meets Ginny in her role as the barmaid. The night before he leaves for a secret mission, the two have a one night tryst that leaves them pining for one another years later.

After being tortured in war, Cole recuperates at the hospital Imogene works in. Cole does not recognize her as ‘his’ Ginny. He turns Imogene away and soon begins a search for the barmaid he loved. Now, a weathy widow, Imogene crosses paths with Cole once more and reluctantly Cole starts to develop feelings for her.
I loved the strength of Imogene Prichard and wanted to applaud with her beautiful description to Cole of who she had become after surviving as Ginny for so long. I was highly disappointed in Cole and his hostile treatment toward Imogene. His character is what led me to drop the rating slightly as I felt Imogene deserved much better. The mystery was good and the ending was satisfying although an epilogue would have been a nice wrap up.

3.75 rating

Trying to keep her family afloat after losing her parents and discovering she and her brothers were destitute, Angelique Archer uses her math prowess to win money at a vingt-et-un table. Club owner, Alexander Lavoie, is immediately onto Angelique’s ploy but is so intrigued he offers her a job instead of throwing her out. The new job becomes even more of a necessity when her witless and degenerate of a older brother gets into hot water and needs to be rescued, badly. Working so closely together, Alex and Angelique have just as hard of a battle on their hands trying to fight off their quickly growing feelings for one another.

It was refreshing to have a couple so quick to trust and rely on one another. This duo formed a true partnership from their first meeting all the way through to the end. They had no pretenses and were honest with each other. Alex was protective of Angelique and I liked that she let him offer her support. More than by her beauty, Alex was compelled and drawn in by Angelique’s intelligence which evident in many of their encounters with his business associates. The mystery was well written and kept me reading to find out how it would unravel. As always, an epilogue would have been the icing on the cake to an engaging story.


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2 1/2 rating

A Duke seeking an agreeable union with a pretty society darling and one opinionated widow seeking to live her life quietly on her own terms, come together in this novel by Elizabeth Keysian.
I truly liked Clara Tinniswood who was hoping her ward would catch the eye of the Duke of Ulvercombe but happens to fall hard for said Duke herself. Clara suffered horribly during her first marriage and understandably has her guard up with Marcus. The Duke’ s story could have been more compelling but his harsh upbringing was only slightly alluded to. With not having enough details of his background, his wobbling back and forth between Clara and her ward was infuriating at times.
While I liked the story enough, I had to take it down to 3 stars because of a major annoyance which was the two main characters finding out about each other’s background from other people. This happened throughout the book and never once did Marcus or Clara think of being open and honest making their romance more believable. I questioned their communication and trust levels, without which doesn’t bode well for a strong and committed relationship.
Good story but slightly flawed.

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