Review: Nora Roberts Land (Dare Valley #1) by Ava Miles

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NORA ROBERTS LAND
Dare Valley, Book 1
by Ava Miles
Narrated by Em Eldridge
11 Hours & 22 Minutes
Audible Audiobook
April 31, 2015 | Book published June 24, 2013

 

Journalist Meredith Hale’s ex-husband claimed her Nora Roberts addiction gave her unrealistic expectations about marriage, and she believed him. All dreams of happily ever after—or Nora Roberts Land as her mother calls it—went up in smoke. But when her family asks her to temporarily help their Dare Valley, Colorado newspaper, she decides it’s time to change her life and prove her ex wrong. She’s determined to find her own small-town Nora Roberts hero, prove that true love exists, and publish a story about her quest.

War correspondent Tanner McBride has just returned stateside to work for a major newspaper, and the last thing he expects is blackmail. Yet, before he can even unpack, he’s headed to Colorado. His assignment? Make his boss’s ex-wife fall for him and then break her heart. Her article about discovering love à la Nora might air dirty laundry about her marriage to the media mogul, threatening his senate run. The mogul wants Meredith stopped, and he makes sure Tanner has no choice in the matter.

When the two meet, the sparks between them are undeniable. Meredith, who vowed never to date another journalist, begins to succumb. Could Tanner be her Nora Roberts hero? As they work together to uncover the truth behind a suspicious death, the depth of their feelings unfolds and both realize they’ve kept their secrets for far too long. But before the truth can be revealed, their investigation takes a deadly turn, one that might make Meredith’s personal Nora Roberts Land go up in flames.

**Nora Roberts gave her blessing for the use of her name in both the title and the premise in this suspenseful and emotional contemporary romance.**

 

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I have had ‘Nora Roberts Land’ by Ava Miles on my TBR pile for a while now, and finally got the chance to read it.  I also downloaded the audible audiobook to alternate between listening and reading.  I mostly listened.  

I liked the story, the town, the characters, and the plot.Meredith Hale is a recently divorced woman set on empowering herself, and NEVER letting another man get too close to her.  So she invented an alter ego for herself, Divorcee Woman, and went out and bought herself a slew of La Perla under garments.  Armed with silk and lace, Wonder Woman has nothing on her.

Meredith is an investigative journalist, and goes back to her home town, Dare Valley, to watch over her grandfather, and help with the family paper.  She also plans on proving her ex-husband wrong by finding her own, Nora Roberts, hero.  Rick blames Nora Roberts for their divorce.  Claiming Nora’s books give women unrealistic expectations about love and marriages.  Ha, right!

Tanner McBride is a War Correspondent, and his new boss (Rick) has given him a new assignment, seduce his ex-wife.  He is supposed to make Meredith fall in love with him, and keep her from writing a story, and airing all his dirty laundry to the world. He didn’t plan on falling in love with her.

I liked Meredith, and she said some really funny things throughout the book that made me laugh out loud.  I liked the fact that she was moving on after her divorce, and not crying in a corner somewhere.   She was a funny, smart, and strong heroine.  I also liked the fact that this story was full of more than just romance.  There is suspense, and crime solving in this book too.  The first half of the book moved a little slow, but after that the plot moved along nicely.  The action in the book is not ‘edge of your set, biting your nails’ kind, but it did the job nicely.

I liked Tanner as the hero.  Meredith compares Tanner to ‘Roarke’ (the hero in J.D. Robb’s novels) throughout the book, and he measures up nicely.  Jill, Meredith’s sister was likeable, and I can’t wait to see what happens with her in the next book.  I enjoy stories that are set in small towns, and Dare Valley fit that bill.

The author did a good job of showing what was going on throughout the story, and not just telling.  There are a few hot sexual encounters in this book between the H & H, but they are not vulgar or nasty in any way.

There were a few things that did drive me a little crazy about this book.  Meredith and Jill kept referring to her ex-husband as ‘Rick the D*ck’.  He was a d*ck, but it was said many, many times in the first half of the book.  Too many times in fact.  In the first half of the book there was also quite a bit of breast tightening when Meredith looked at Tanner.  It was just said way too many times.   With those things aside I enjoyed Nora Roberts Land by Ava Miles, and will be giving book 2 in the ‘Dare Valley’ series a try.

The narrator of the Audible audibook did a wonderful job narrating this story.  I could tell the differences between each character .  She gave them each their own voice.  She narrated with expression in her voice, and not a flat, monotone.  I would definitely listen to other books she narrates in the future if the occasion should arise.

Cursing:  Yes, but it is mild.
Sex:  Yes, and it is on the steamy side.
 
Happy Reading!
 
 
pnk sig trans backgnd*I was given a free eCopy of this book by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.  All thoughts and opinions in this review are my own.

 
 

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USA Today Bestselling Author Ava Miles joined the ranks of beloved storytellers after receiving Nora Roberts’ blessing for her use of Ms. Roberts’ name in her debut novel, the #1 National Bestseller NORA ROBERTS LAND, which kicked off her contemporary family series, Dare Valley. A mere six months after her debut in 2013, she’d hit the USA Today Bestseller list.

Ava’s stories have been likened to those of Nicholas Sparks–a fellow University of Notre Dame graduate–with powerful messages of healing, mystery, and magic. While fiction is her primary love, she’s also released a companion cookbook (she’s a former chef), a children’s book, and a nonfiction memoir about happiness, something she writes about on The Happiness Corner blog on her website. Ava has also released a connected series called Dare River about the power of love and family. THE CHOCOLATE GARDEN, one of the books in the series, topped the USA Today Bestseller list and has been widely acclaimed.

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Scandalous Redemption (Ladies and Scoundrels, Book 2) by Amanda Mariel – Tour & Excerpt

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SCANDALOUS REDEMPTION
Ladies & Scoundrels, Book 2
by Amanda Mariel
May 31, 2016
147 Pages
 

She never wanted him…

Ruined by scandal, Claudia Akford survived years of marriage to a cruel brute. Widowed, she is determined to regain her standing in society, but Lord Shillington personifies temptation. Kind and gentle, yet masculine and sinfully handsome, he would make the perfect lover, but he wants more than she is willing to give.

He needed her…

While Henry Shillington knows a little of the beautiful but notorious Lady Claudia Akford, he is struck by her kindhearted, accomplished, and witty demeanor. The more time he spends in her company, the more he dreams of a future with her. But the lady resists his honorable overtures, and a mistress will never do for him.

Can two wary people overcome past hurts, an old scandal, and social strictures to embrace true love?

 
 

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Lord Henry Shillington strode across the music room of Lord and Lady Morse’s country estate intent on locating his sister. The force of someone bumping into him sent him stumbling backward. He whirled around, auburn curls catching his gaze as he reached out to steady her. “Excuse me.” He offered a slight bow but did not release his hold on her.

The lady peered at him through narrowed, fierce green eyes the color of emeralds. “You should watch your step. Kindly unhand me.”

Henry met her icy glare. She radiated the sweet scent of champagne. It clung to the air around her filling his senses as if she had used it for perfume. “Good God, you’re foxed.”

Her earbobs danced and sparkled as she leaned in close, the fire in her eyes growing more intense. “My state is not your concern.” She jerked free of his hold and took a step back. Her blue jewel-toned gown swooshed with the sudden movement.

He grabbed her arm, halting her. His pulse pounded through his veins. “You cannot stay here in your condition. You will cause a scandal for yourself and our hosts.”

“What concern is it of yours?” She rounded on him.

He had to prevent her from causing a scene. “Allow me to escort you outside. We can stroll through the garden.” Part of him worried for their hosts, Lord and Lady Wexil were dear friends, but, if he were being honest, he would have to admit he wished to know more about this beauty. Something about her captivated him. Perhaps her unusual eyes or the misery he saw in them.

A slow smile spread across her full lips. “Very well.”

She swayed and clung to his arm as he led her out through the veranda doors and into the country air. What would compel a lady to become foxed so early in the evening? The sun had yet to give way to the moon’s glow. And who was she? Surely, they had never met before.

He turned her down a path lined with flowers and green foliage. The details of who she was and why she’d overindulged did not signify. She was clearly in distress, and he intended to help if he could. He studied the profile of her delicate face.

“Might we sit…what is your name?” Her exhilarating laughter floated through the empty space.
He had never heard a sweeter sound. “Lord Shillington. And yours?” He stopped in front of a cast iron bench. He couldn’t look away as she lowered herself onto the seat in a flutter of skirts. She was a mystery he wished to solve.

“Do sit with me, Lord Shillington.” She patted the bench next to her.

Henry positioned himself near her, but not too close. Being out here with an unchaperoned lady was scandalous enough. It was not his desire to compromise her–or himself. Given her state, he had no choice but to remove her from the gathering. However, he also had a responsibility to control the propriety of his own behavior.

A cool breeze ruffled her elegant skirts, drawing his attention to her body. Heat fanned through him as he studied her. She was tall and lithe, yet she possessed curves in all the right places. He offered a polite smile. “Your name, my lady?”

She looked at him through hooded lashes. “Lady Claudia Akford.”

His heart skipped a beat as his throat tightened. The notorious Lady Claudia Akford.

 

 
 
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About Amanda Mariel
 

Bestselling, Amazon All Star author Amanda Mariel dreams of days gone by when life moved at a slower pace. She enjoys taking pen to paper and exploring historical time periods through her imagination and the written word. When she is not writing she can be found reading, crocheting, traveling, practicing her photography skills, or spending time with her family.

Amanda lives along the Lake Huron shoreline in northern Michigan with her husband and two kids. She holds a Master of Liberal Arts Degree with a concentration in literature and has a long-standing love affair with sugary junk food.

 
 


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Review: Finding Fraser by K.C. Dyer

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FINDING FRASER
by K.C Dyer
Re-released February 26, 2016
by Berkley
388 Pages
Kindle Edition

“Jamie Fraser would be Deeply Gratified at having inspired such a charmingly funny, poignant story—and so am I.”—Diana Gabaldon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Outlander series

Escape to Scotland with the delightful new novel that readers have fallen in love with—inspired by Diana Gabaldon’s #1 New York Times bestselling Outlander series.

I met Jamie Fraser when I was nineteen years old. He was tall, red-headed, and at our first meeting at least, a virgin. He was, in fact, the perfect man.

That he was fictional hardly entered into it…

On the cusp of thirty, Emma Sheridan is desperately in need of a change. After a string of failed relationships, she can admit that no man has ever lived up to her idea of perfection: the Scottish fictional star of romantic fantasies the world over—James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser.

Her ideal man might be ripped from the pages of a book, but Emma hopes that by making one life-altering decision she might be able to turn fiction into fact. After selling all her worldly possessions, Emma takes off for Scotland with nothing but her burgeoning travel blog to confide in.

But as she scours the country’s rolling green hills and crumbling castles, Emma discovers that in searching for her own Jamie Fraser, she just might find herself.

 
 

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Finding Fraser is the first book I have read by K.C. Dyer.  I looked at it many times last year, but wasn’t sure about it.  I finally decided to give it a try.  I loved the idea of this book.  I am a huge Outlander fan of the books, and the Starz series.  While I feel that parts of this story was cute, and entertaining, parts of it seemed to drag a bit.  I really wanted to love this book, but I couldn’t.  I liked it.

 

Emma Sheridan is approaching her 29th birthday.  She has an unsatisfying job, and ex cheating boyfriend.  She is looking for something more in her life.  So what is a girl to do?  She sells everything she owns, minus her clothes, and her laptop, and buys a ticket to Scotland to find her own Jamie Fraser.  Makes sense, right?

 

“I haven’t told you the whole truth.  I’m not just a normal tourist.  I’m here– well, I’m chasing a fugitive… A fugitive from the past.  A ghost.  A person who has never existed, but is so real that I believe he must be here somewhere.  Here for me.”

 

I was cheering Emma on when the story started.  I am sure there have been many woman (yes, grown women) at some point in their lives that just wanted to sell everything they own, and run off to Scotland to find their our own Fraser.  As Emma’s journey gets started, she starts a blog to document her travels in Scotland.  Before she even gets on the plan to fly to Scotland there are a few mishaps, which were entertaining, and fun.

 

“You can’t start ticking things off your bucket list when you don’t  even own a bucket.”

 

Once arriving in Scotland it’s her plan to travel the route that Claire traveled  in Outlander.  There are a few references in the book to ‘what would Claire do.’  She would not have done any of the things that Emma did.  Along the way Emma meets a few shady characters, and some great people.  I like that the author described the places that Emma was visiting in Scotland (Inverness, Fort William, and the Wallace Monument).  I also enjoyed the descriptions of each standing stone sites that she explored.

 

I did not like Hamish, Emma’s newly found Fraser.  Hamish just didn’t do it for me.  He was childish, shallow, and only concerned with ‘getting to California’.  I felt that this part of the story dragged a little bit.   I did however like the secondary characters that Emma met along the way, Jack, Morag, and Gerald.  I wish that the author had added more interaction between Emma and her ‘happily ever after.’

 

“Ye have to love yersel’ first, Emma.  My greatest regret is that I walked away from Willie without chasin’ him down and showin’ him what he’d lost.  I’d hate tae see ye make the same mistake, lassie”

 

Through parts of the story I felt like I was reading about an 18 year old girl on her first Spring Break away from her parents.  Emma’s actions, and the some of the things she said just were not those of a grown woman.  All in all this was an light and entertaining read, and was written very well.  It was a story of self discovery, finding love where you least expect, and of course lots of talk about James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser.
If you like Jamie Fraser, Scotland, and reading about about self discovery then this book is for you.

 

I received a free eCopy of this book from the Publisher through NetGalley.com in exchange for my honest review.  You can read my Disclosure Policy here.

 

Happy Reading!

 
 

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K.C. Dyer resides in the wilds of British Columbia in the company of an assortment of mammals, some of them human. She likes to walk in the woods and write books.

Her most recent novel—an Amazon #1 Bestseller in romantic comedy for grown-ups—is FINDING FRASER, first published in 2015, with a new Berkley edition slated for release in May, 2016 . For teens, kc’s most recent work is FACING FIRE, a sequel to the acclaimed novel, A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW, published by Doubleday/Random House. kc is represented by Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency.

 
 

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The Master of Stathburn by Amy Rose Bennett

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The Master of Stathburn
by Amy Rose Bennett
May 15, 2016
Escape Publishing
260 Pages
Scottish Historical Romance
Format: eBook
 

A sweeping, sexy Highland romance about a wanted Jacobite with a wounded soul, and a spirited Scottish lass on the run.
 
Robert Grant has returned home to Lochrose Castle in the Highlands to reconcile with his long-estranged father, the Earl of Strathburn. But there is a price on Robert’s head, and his avaricious younger half-brother, Simon, doesn’t want him reclaiming his birthright. And it’s not only Simon and the redcoats that threaten to destroy Robert’s plans after a flame-haired complication of the feminine kind enters the scene…

Jessie Munroe is forced to flee Lochrose Castle after the dissolute Simon Grant tries to coerce her into becoming his mistress. After a fateful encounter with a mysterious and handsome hunter, Robert, in a remote Highland glen, she throws her lot in with the stranger—even though she suspects he is a fugitive. She soon realises that this man is dangerous in an entirely different way to Simon…

Despite their searing attraction, Robert and Jessie struggle to trust each other as they both seek a place to call home. The stakes are high and only one thing is certain: Simon Grant is in pursuit of them both…

 

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The Master of Strathburn is the first book I have read by Amy Rose Bennett.  I chose to read this book because of the subject matter, former Viscount, Jacobite fugitive meets lovely lass that gives him assistance.  The cover of the book is lovely too.  

 

Jessie Munroe and Robert Grants (Lord Lochrose) first meeting left much to be desired, but he showed her compassion and was nothing at all like the man from whom she was running from.  Although Jessie is unaware of Roberts true identity when they first meet, she is a smart lass and figures it out soon enough.

 

‘I shot her. In the arm.’
‘Ye truly have been away from the Highlands too long when ye mistake a lass for a hind. I’m astounded Miss Munroe would even speak to ye, let alone wed ye!’

 

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this story, but it wasn’t what I got.  I enjoyed this book!  It had everything you could possibly be looking for in a Scottish, Historical Romance.  A strong, loyal, roguish/gentleman Scotsman.  (I loved the character of, Robert Grant!)A sweet, loyal Highland lass, with a gentle nature, but not afraid to stand up for the man she loves, or what she believes in.  There was a time or two that I would have liked Jessie to have not been afraid, but I got over it.  I liked her character.

 

‘When Jessie chanced a fleeting glance back at Lady Strathburn, the undisguised look of hatred that the woman shot her filled her heart with foreboding. She feared that when the viper struck again, it would be much worse than a barbed comment.’

 

I feel the author did an excellent job of giving us background information on Jessie and Grants characters, and fleshing them out.  This was a story about relationships, trust, and redemption.  It was not just about sex, as some historical romances may be these day.  Yes, there were some pretty steamy sex scenes, but those happened later in the story, and didn’t take up residence in our H&H’s minds every scene in the book.  I adore that the author gave me a story with some meat on it’s bones.

 

‘No mater that they had only spent a few days together. She knew she was in love with him as surely as night follows day. She decided then and there to do whatever was within her power to save Robert from a traitor’s death, even if that meant pleading with the Lord Advocate himself.’

 

I liked Robert’s father, he was a gentleman, and loved his son very much.  There were a few ‘nasty’ characters in this book, and I am glad that the author did not leave any loose ends where they were concerned.  While the plot moved along at an exciting and steady pace, it was predictable.  But in this case I didn’t mind a bit.  This was a truly heartwarming story.  The author even adds a few ‘real’ characters from history in this story.  It is all believable.  I just can’t believe that I haven’t read anything else from the author, and will have to fix that very soon.

 

I recommend this book to anyone that loves Scottish, Historical Romance, Scotland in general.  Wonderful Read! *I received an eCopy of this book from NetGalley on behalf of the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

 

Happy Reading!

 

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Amy Rose Bennett has always wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. An avid reader with a particular love for historical romance, it seemed only natural to write stories in her favorite genre. She has a passion for creating emotion-packed—and sometimes a little racy—stories set in the Georgian and Regency periods. Of course, her strong-willed heroines and rakish heroes always find their happily ever after.

Amy is happily married to her own Alpha male hero, has two beautiful daughters, and a rather loopy Rhodesian Ridgeback. She has been a speech pathologist for many years but is currently devoting her time to her one other true calling—writing romance.

 

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Review: The Girl From Summer Hill (A Summer Hill Novel) by Jude Deveraux

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The Girl From Summer Hill
by Jude Deveraux
(A Summer Hill Novel)
May 3rd 2016 by Ballantine Books
384 Pages
ARC Copy (Net Galley)
 
 
THE GIRL FROM SUMMER HILL, the first novel of New York Times bestselling author Jude Deveraux’s new series, is set against the backdrop of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. 
 
Enter Elizabeth Bennet. Chef Casey Reddick has had it up to here with men. When she arrives in the charming town of Summer Hill, Virginia, she leaves behind a demanding boss at a famous D.C. restaurant and a breakup with a boyfriend jealous of her success. Some peace and quiet on the picturesque Tattwell plantation is just what she needs to start fresh. But the tranquility is broken one misty morning when she sees a gorgeous naked man on the porch of her cottage.
 
Enter Mr. Darcy. What Tate Landers, Hollywood heartthrob and owner of Tattwell, doesn’t need on a bittersweet trip to his ancestral home is a woman spying on him from his guest cottage. Mistaking Casey for a reporter, Tate tries to run her out of her own house. His anger, which looks so good on the screen, makes a very bad first impression on Casey. Hollywood he may be, but he’s no sweetheart to Casey—and she lets him know it!

With more than sixty million copies of her books in print, Deveraux has captivated readers worldwide with her spirited characters, sizzling chemistry, and page turning storylines. In this new series, Deveraux outdoes herself by once again delivering yet another trademark spellbinding-love story.THE GIRL FROM SUMMER HILL (Ballantine Hardcover; On Sale 5/3) is guaranteed to win the hearts of old fans and new readers alike.

 
 

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There was a naked man on Casey’s back porch.  She would have called the police or, at the very least, screamed if he hadn’t been so damned beautiful.
*~*~*~*
Maybe it was pride, but all sense of fear vanished.  She put her shoulders back.  “i don’t know who you are but I want out of my house.  Now!”  She grabbed her phone.  “I think the sheriff would like to hear about a man stripping on my porch and tearing out my screen to get inside my house and threatening me.  Unless you want to be in handcuffs, I suggest you leave immediately.”
*~*~*~*
“Cook for Jack and me and when Nina and Emmie get here, add them to the list.  And play Elizabeth.  But only if you swear that you won’t look at me like I’m some chocolate statue you want to devour.”
*~*~*~*
He held out his hand, but before Casey could take it, he drew back.  “Better not risk it.  With our mutual thoughts, if we touch we might start a forest fire.  How would we explain that areson to the fire marshal?”

 

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I have been a fan of Jude Deveraux’s historical romances for a long time now.  A Knight in Shining Armor is my favorites of all time.  Besides her Nantucket Brides Series, The Girl From Summer Hill is the only contemporary romances I have read of hers.  With The Girl From Summer Hill, Jude takes a literary classic, and puts her on spin on it.  I don’t usually read books or watch movies that are a contemporary  version of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, but I decided to give Mrs Devereux’s a try.  

 

Casey Riddick is a chef, and a pretty good one too.  She came to Tattwell to relax, and get away from a failed relationship to man that couldn’t handle her success.  Instead of relaxing she ends up getting roped into helping Kit write a play for Jane Austen’s, Pride & Prejudice, then play the part of Elizabeth Bennett.  All the while cooking for the whole cast, crew, and it seems half of the town.

 

Tate Landers comes to Summer Hill to visit Tattwell, his mother’s childhood home.  The home that he finally was able to buy for her, but she passed away before she seen that happened.  He is also here to play Mr. Darcy in the fundraiser play for Summer Hill.  Tate Landers is a successful actor, and has made many a hearts flutter, with his dark good looks, and swoon worthy roles as a historical romance movies.  He is a little confused when Casey is not taken in with his charms., and he set out to prove to her that she has him all wrong.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘The Girl From Summer Hill’.  I liked Casey’s character, she was a delight to read, even though she was a little naive to Devlin Haines’ (Wickham in the play) tactics.  Tate Landers was the perfect gentlemen, uncle and friend.  I feel that Jude did a wonderful job in capturing the personality of ‘Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy’ in Casey and Tate.   In this story we get to see Kit again (he was in the Nantucket Brides series), and find out more about him.  There were a lot of characters introduced in this story, but there were many characters in Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.   The author did a great job in fleshing out Devlin Haines (Wickham), and making me dislike him.  He was a snake!

 

There was a lot going on in this book with the secondary characters, but I enjoyed that.  Without all of those other back stories going on this book would not have been as enjoyable.  I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Pride and Prejudice modern retellings.  If enjoyed Jude Deveraux’s, Nantucket Brides trilogy, you are sure to enjoy this one too.   I received an eARC copy of this book from NetGalley on behalf of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

Happy Reading!

 
 

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Praise for Jude Deveraux

“Jude Deveraux is an amazing author and her Nantucket Brides series will sweep you away. A beautiful island, a sexy man and plenty of secrets—this is a wonderful writer at her best.”—Susan Mallery, New York Times bestselling author of Three Sisters

“A new Jude Deveraux novel means a very late night turning the pages straight through to the delicious end.” —Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times bestselling author of The Great Escape

“Best-selling romance author Deveraux is at her spellbinding romantic finest.”
—Booklist

“Destined to be an instant romance classic . . . will haunt you long after you read it.”
—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, on True Love
 
 

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About Jude Deveraux
Jude Deveraux is the author of forty-three New York Times bestsellers, including For All Time, Moonlight in the Morning,and A Knight in Shining Armor. She was honored with a Romantic Times Pioneer Award in 2013 for her distinguished career. To date, there are more than sixty million copies of her books in print worldwide.

 
 

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