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Friday, September 17, 2021

Veronica Reviews - ANY ROGUE WILL DO by Bethany Bennett


 

Any Rogue Will Do

 

(Misfits of Mayfair #1)


by


Bethany Bennett








★★★★★

5 Stars

Historical Romance








“I love you…I’m so sorry I hurt you…go ahead and be angry with me.  I deserve it…I’ll still love you when you’re done with the mad.”


 Lady Charlotte “Lottie” Wentworth was dubbed the “Paper Doll Princess” during her first Season.  Fleeing the gossips of London, she finds solace in taking over the running of her father’s estate.  But when circumstances change, and Lottie is faced with an ultimatum to keep her independence, she enlists the aid of her Godmother to seek a husband that will allow her to keep her freedom.  Never would she dream the very man that ruined her all those years ago with the nickname “Paper Doll Princess” would become the very savior she needed…


Ethan Ridley, Lord Amesbury and known as “Mac” to his friends, can’t believe his good fortune, or mayhap it is a curse, but he finds himself once again in the company of the beautiful Lady Charlotte.  Years ago, in a drunken stupor he unintentionally hurts Lady Charlotte by calling her a “Paper Doll Princess”, and it was just too good for the gossip rags not to publish and completely ruin her.  With hat in hand, Ethan apologizes, and while not overwhelmingly accepted, Lady Charlotte and Ethan come to a truce…which blossoms into a budding friendship…and friends do tend to make the best of lovers…


Lottie and Ethan’s story is a wonderfully written second chance romance I could not put down!  There is so much happening within these pages, and I don’t want to give away too much in a review!  


Dear Reader, be ready to add this smexxy Scot to your boyfriend list!  Highly recommend and look forward to the next installment to the Misfits of Mayfair!



Sharing what I love, 



Veronica




**I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own. **



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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Death Stalks Door County by Patricia Skalka

 Door County is a peaceful and beautiful peninsula.  Why would anyone commit suicide at the county park with comforting nature all around?  

When the list of deaths gets longer, Dave Cubiak can't help but check on his suspicions.  Cubiak left Chicago after burnout as a homicide detective and the death of his family, hoping to regroup and find himself.  Being a detective is the way he thinks.  Multiple unexplainable deaths isn't normal.

Cubiak is  accepted and pulled into a small group of locals.


  There's the motherly ones, fatherly, and friendly residents.  And those that hide their thoughts versus share them.  He's seeking the hiders and meets several capable of committing murder.  

Cate Wagner, a photographer, approaches Cubiak at a party he attends.  He's looking for clues and finds a little more.  Eventually they realize their backgrounds are what they have in common, at least the part on how to deal with themselves.  A mutual interest develops in short interludes. 

I like the fact that many suspects are studied, and it's not easy to figure out who did it.  Also, the romance isn't a for sure thing. I'm going to have to read the series and see how far Cubiak and Cate get together or apart.

Happy reading,

Dawn  


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Labor Day Weekend Time Off

 


          
Hello, gentle reader! Hope you are well and staying safe.
So, I took a couple days PTO from the day job over the Labor Day weekend and I have to say, it was wonderful! I had several goals in mind for those days off and I’m happy report, that I have completed them (most of them).
What was number one on my list? I wanted to sleep in. I know, that doesn’t sound like much of a goal, but when you wake at 4:30 every morning (and have been for over twenty years), whether you’re going to the day job or if it’s the weekend, it’s a challenge. I will admit that I love the early morning hours. It’s so quiet and peaceful when the day is just beginning, but still, I’d like to rise, every now and then, when the sun is already up. In some respects, I succeeded and failed at this goal. I managed to sleep until 5:30 one morning, but didn’t fare as well on the other days.
I cooked, making another huge batch of spaghetti sauce (the DH and I are visiting our son over Thanksgiving…he’s expecting me to bring some meatballs, sausage, and sauce with me…I would not be forgiven if I did not). I realized as I was bagging it up (I use Ziplock freezer bags) that the list of people I give my sauce to is growing. And it’s all good. If I can provide a quick and easy dinner for friends, I’m happy.
I cleaned, too (hmmm, seems like I'm always cleaning! *sigh*)
I wanted to relax and read as well, which I did. I have started a wonderful story by Michelle McLean called Hitched to the Gunslinger. Ms. McLean writes so well and there’s a lot of humor, which I’m loving (such a balm for everything that’s happening in the world right now…we all need to laugh).
I wanted to put some stuff out for bulk garbage pick up (we have this here in
Saw this cartoon by Chris Shane and had to share (does he 
know my DH?)
 Phoenix and it’s wonderful for the bigger items you can’t put in your regular trash receptacle). The biggest part of this endeavor is convincing the DH that some things need to go (he has a tendency to be a pack rat, something I am not thrilled with). Not sure why he wants to hang on to things that don’t work anymore. We both know he’s not going to fix it…he just can’t seem to let go. Really? Do we need to keep the old recliner? The springs are broken and we already bought a replacement. Do we need to keep the speakers that have been in my living room for years that only spit static instead of music? I don’t think so (but…but…I can repair them or so he says). I’m pleased to say I was finally able to get rid of all of it. Yay!
Mostly, I wanted to write, which I did as well. Whatever log jam I had in my brain regarding the manuscript I’m working on finally let go (and seriously, I owe a lot of that to my critique partner. Thank you for your support and enthusiasm and for walking me off the ledge once again…I appreciate you more than you know!)
All in all, the perfect way to spend a couple days off!
Stay well! Stay safe! And remember to spread kindness wherever you go!

Marie

Saturday, September 4, 2021

A POCKET IN TIME by Lexi Post only 99¢ for a limited time!

A POCKET IN TIME (Time Weavers #2) just went up for sale for only 99¢. This will be a short sale, so if you haven't picked this up, now would be a great time. That is if you like time travel, Regency, and paranormal romance, with strong heroines, kind-hearted heroes, unique secondary characters, and surprise resolutions 😊

Amazon  AppleBooks   Kobo   B&N

Amazon UK  Amazon AU 

Amazon CA  Amazon DE

Katz Almira’s mission is clear—travel to the past, steal the note that ruins the world, travel back to the present. Easy. She’s the best pickpocket Time Weavers, Inc. has ever had. Posing as a poor widow in Regency London, she convinces her target, Lord John Byron, a man as sexy as he is wealthy, to take her in off the streets. But at her request to keep her hidden, instead of his cushy manor, he allows her to stay in a warehouse full of orphan boys he cares for there.

It’s the perfect place to hide, and bonus, her new roommates can help her find the mysterious note. With John as their pseudo-father, they know what he does every day, and with who. Katz can’t afford any distractions, but she soon finds herself getting attached to the orphans—and John—even helping him plan for their futures.

Each day she spends in the past is another day closer to her deadline, another day closer to returning to her own time, and another day John and this makeshift family get dangerously closer to her heart. But Katz staying in the past would have dire consequences for them all…  


About Lexi:

Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of romance inspired by the classics. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the classical literature she loved. From Edgar Allan Poe's short story “The Masque of the Red Death” to Tolstoy’s War and Peace, she's read, studied, and taught wonderful classics.

But Lexi's first love is romance novels so she married her two first loves, romance and the classics. From hot paranormals to sizzling cowboys to hunks from out of this world, Lexi provides a sensuous experience with a “whole lotta story.”

Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her two cats in Florida. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat.

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Friday, September 3, 2021

Veronica Reviews - A DUKE WORTH FIGHTING FOR by Christina Britton

 




A Duke Worth Fighting For

 

(Isle of Synne #3)


by


Christina Britton






★★★★

4.5 Stars


Historical Romance






 “…what else was she to him but the sun, lighting everything that had, up until then, been dreary and dark and hopeless…”


Returning from war broken and disfigured from his wounds, Daniel Hayle’s trauma doesn’t end there.  His older brother has tragically died in an accident, and now Daniel finds himself the new Duke of Carlisle.  Wanting to help his mother find peace, he agrees to accompany her to visit her dear friend Lady Tesh on the Isle of Synne.  Thinking the fresh sea air and the visit will help lighten her mood, he’s shocked to discover that Lady Tesh has volunteered her granddaughter to be his guide into polite society.  One look into Mrs. Kitteridge’s eyes, and Daniel knows he’s lost…or maybe he’s finally found someone who looks beyond his battered body…someone who he can call his own…


Margery Kitteridge lost her husband at the battle of Waterloo.  Vowing to never love again, Margery has accepted her lot to be alone.  But after meeting the Duke of Carlisle, Margery begins having second thoughts…perhaps there is room in her heart to love another…


Margery and Daniel’s second chance at love is a swoon worthy romance I thoroughly enjoyed!  I’m a sucker for any hint of a beauty and the beast theme, and Christina Britton did not disappoint in her third installment to the Isle of Synne series.  Highly recommend to fans of this genre!



Sharing what I love, 



Veronica




**I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own. **




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Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Spellbreaker by Charlie N. Holmberg

 Orphaned as a little girl, Elsie Camden now does her best to survive the 1880's Victorian London, England as an assistant to a stonemason, Ogden.  

I've always felt London such a magical location.  Now I have my chance to experience a London truly full of magic!  In Elsie's world, there are spellmakers and spellbreakers, and it's well known that magic is used especially among the rich males. 

Elsie keeps her spellbreaking ability undercover and only uses it when called on by the team that can hopefully give her a license to be legit.


At this time, London has a bunch of murders to Masters of magic.  Bacchus, a knight near his Master title, requests Elsie to help him break spells.  Not only does she astound him with her ability, they both secretly have love building a connection.  Under the unwritten rules, a romance is out of the question.  

That's until the mystery of the murders is connected to Elsie's spellbreaking and Bacchus wants to protect her, whether he should or not.  

Quite a white-knuckle story as Elsie is in constant danger, her housemates are involved, good and bad, and Bacchus is the only one left to tie up the loose strings.  And can they solve the murders, stay alive, and reveal their feelings in this era of class distinction?  I sure hope they find a way because they are perfect for each other!

Happy reading,

Dawn

 

Friday, August 27, 2021

A Sneak Peek of BOUND BY EDEN by Lexi Post

Releasing September 15th!

A sneak peek just for you:

Chapter One

By the Crius, what had they done?

Takoda rubbed the sleep from his eyes with his free hand, the other pinned beneath the woman sleeping next to him. He stared at her. She was not his chosen one, not the woman he thought he would spend the rest of his life with. His chest tightened.

No, instead he’d visited a Pleasure Dome to bury his sorrow in the willing body of a meekwee. Looking over her, he found Awan, his arm and one leg thrown over her.

He tried to remember last night, but his brain was cloudy from the Tolban ale and whatever the woman had given them. Some drink from Earth that he blamed for the pain in his head.

“Awan.” He kept his voice to a whisper, not wanting to wake the woman up. That he couldn’t remember her name proved how much her drink had affected him. He always remembered a woman’s name.

Awan didn’t respond, his breathing continued in that blissful state of sleep.

An uneasy feeling about their night to escape their heartbreak caused Takoda’s gut to tense. Everyone knew it was poor judgement for two men to enjoy one woman in the Pleasure Domes. It could be done, but only if the men were well in control to avoid bonding. Unfortunately, he had grave concerns about his control throughout the night. He had to know what Awan remembered.

Slowly, he pulled his arm out and slid from the bed. He only hoped she slept as soundly as Awan. He leaned over the bed, but quickly stood straight again, his head feeling as if a feroon sat upon it. He whispered again. “Awan. Awan, wake.”

The brother of his heart didn’t move. As much as Takoda wanted to slip out and pretend he hadn’t been there, it wouldn’t avoid the ramifications of what they might have done. He had to know.

Did they bond with a woman they’d just met?

Walking around to the other side of the bed, he could see why they’d both been happy to spend the night with the red-haired beauty. Her body was full and curvy and her legs long. A woman a man could embrace without fear of hurting her. Her face, even in sleep was exquisite with high cheekbones, a slender nose, and full lips that even now stirred his desire.  But she wasn’t Xavia - the woman they were supposed to have bonded with.

  His stomach rolled, the not-knowing making him sick. It was either that or the Earth drink she called teekeela. Carefully, he lifted Awan’s arm off their bedmate and tugged. His blonde-haired friend rolled his head toward him and his eyes opened slightly. “What?”

Takoda crouched down, careful to keep his head perpendicular to the floor. “Shh, we need to leave. Now.” He gestured toward their companion. “While she sleeps.”

Awan frowned and jerked his hand away to rub his temple. Lifting his leg from the woman, he sat up on the edge of the bed, holding his hand over his eyes, despite the muted light coming in from the high windows of the domed bedroom. “I need a healer.”

“So do I. Come.” He locked onto Awan’s arm and pulled him to a standing position.

Awan tilted.

Tugging his friend toward him, Takoda almost lost his own balance and let go, the pain in his head intensifying. By the Crius, what had been in that bottle? He glanced back toward the bed, concerned that she might be in pain as well. Should they bring a healer back or were Earth women immune to teekeela?

The sound of Awan bumping into the archway that connected the bedroom to the meekwee’s living quarters had him quickly moving out of the room. She must have been familiar with the properties of the drink. They could come back later and see how she fared…once he knew what happened last night.

It took all of his concentration between the pounding in his head and an unusual lack of balance to maneuver them both out of the Pleasure Dome and into the thoroughfare still empty in the predawn hour. He was thankful both for the quiet and the gray start to the day that portended rain. Thankful too that there were no cold drops hitting his still warm bare body. He focused on simply putting one foot in front of the other in a semi straight line.

“Which way?” Awan’s voice seemed as loud as the screech of a gokokhoko flying down for the kill. From the way he grabbed his head, he thought so too.

Takoda kept his voice to a whisper. “East.” He pointed toward the lightening sky. They had wandered out of their hatchoc last night, their pain over losing both their beloved and the brother of their heart too much to bear. They’d walked and talked until one of the new patrols had spotted them in the pink light of the Bendis moon.

Once the patrol determined neither of them were Kindred of Eden, Awan had pulled him into the Pleasure Dome, presumably because he’d threatened to levitate the patrol higher than the top of the dome and drop them to the ground. He remembered that much.

“She felt so good.” Awan’s whispered words held a sense of awe.

“Do you remember what happened?”

Awan’s grin turned to a cringe when he started to nod. “I remember how good it was to be inside her. And she smelled of sweet fruit. So beautiful.”

At the mention of the sweet fruit scent, the vision of the meekwee in the throes of her ecstasy flashed through his mind, spiking the pain in his head while at the same time causing his body to react.

Awan must have noticed. “I see you remember, too.”

He sighed. “Just a little. What I can’t remember is if we bonded with her.”

“Bonded?” Awan halted. “Why would we bond with her? We just met her.”

Since it had taken him a moment to react to Awan’s sudden stop, he turned back to face him. “I know that, but I don’t remember if we were careful last night. You remember being inside her. I can’t remember if I was, too.”

If they had both reached fulfillment with her one right after the other, they could be bonded. While it chilled him to think that had occurred, his body continued to react to the idea in a positive way. Walking the pathways with an erection was not considered normal for adult Edenists.

If he could just remember! But the harder he tried, the more pain filled his head.

“So what if we did? It just means we no longer need to look for a beloved.” Awan smiled crookedly, the teekeela obviously still coursing through his body. “We must have liked her enough to enjoy her, so why not bond with her?” He lifted both hands, palms up. “I would not mind returning to her dome and continuing our evening.” He turned around, lost his balance and abruptly sat on the packed dirt of the pathway.

Takoda’s head started to pound like a rockslide but he couldn’t calm himself. “Why?” He stepped in front of Awan. “Why? I’ll tell you why. Because we love Xavia!” His voice rose of its own accord and he grabbed at his head.

Awan’s face paled before he leaned over and vomited.

At the sight, Takoda closed his eyes trying to calm his own stomach. Don’t think about Awan being sick. Think of something pleasant. Something calming. His brain filled with the vision of a woman’s neck and his nostrils filled with the scent of sweet fruit. The pounding in his head eased and his stomach began to settle.

“Help me up.”

At the sound of Awan’s defeated voice, Takoda opened his eyes. The brother of his heart sat with shoulders slumped looking up at him, all the heartache they had tried to drown out in the past night stark upon his face.

“Here.” He held his hand out.

Awan grasped his forearm and pulled himself up, but he continued to hold on until his equilibrium returned. His amber eyes appeared unusually bright in the muted light. “Thank you.”

Takoda didn’t dare nod. Instead, he let go and ignored the obvious pain in his friend’s gaze. “Let’s go home.” He began to walk again, slowly.

Awan fell into step beside him, but didn’t say a word.

They continued on in silence as they made their way east toward their lonely home. What had been a warm and inviting place with the four of them now held no appeal. Their filoz was broken and their beloved bonded to another. Xavia.

They finally came to their hatchoc and took the path to the left. As they made the turn, Awan halted again.

Takoda stopped to look at him. “What is it?”

Awan pointed ahead. “Bendis.” The word came out on an awed breath.

He moved his gaze from Awan to find the giant pink moon slowly sinking below the horizon, its proximity making it appear as big as Eden itself. He was rarely awake so early and never in a position to see such an awe-inspiring sight.

“It’s a sign.” Awan’s voice remained reverent.

A sign? “What kind of sign?”

Awan kept his gaze on the quickly sinking orb. “It’s meant to be.”

Takoda ground his teeth in exasperation. Clearly, Awan had not yet emptied enough of the contents of his stomach. “Everything is meant to be. Bendis does not make it so.”

“No.” Awan finally looked at him. “But it’s a sign that what occurred in the dark of night beneath its light was meant to be. We must wait and see.”

Now his gut was back to feeling as if it were burning from the inside out. “What do you see?” He fisted his hands as Awan closed his eyes for a moment then opened them.

“I see four scenarios where we bonded, seven in which we didn’t with two in which we each had a different woman.”

No sooner were the words spoken than images of all eleven possibilities filled his head as Awan sent them to him. Another woman? He found the odd images in his mind and frowned. He’d forgotten her. Then again, he’d forgotten most of last night. Still, the odds were in their favor that they hadn’t bonded. Awan would know which was correct. He always knew when he was involved. Takoda opened his mouth to voice his thought, but found Awan watching Bendis.

Takoda moved his gaze to catch the final sliver of the moon dipping below the horizon. A bright purple flash almost blinded him before the moon was no more. Something about that odd light had him fisting his hands again. If the odds were in their favor that they didn’t bond, then why did he feel like his life was about to change…drastically?

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