Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Review: What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell

April 18th, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publication date: March 27, 2018

Publisher: Avon Books

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

Wanted: Governess for duke’s unruly children

Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford, is one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in England, but when it comes to raising twins alone, he knows he needs help. The only problem is the children have chased away half the governesses in London. Until the clever, bold, and far-too-enticing Miss Mari Perkins arrives.

Lost: One heart to an arrogant duke

Mari knows how to wrap even the most rebellious children around her finger. But their demanding, wickedly handsome father? He won’t be quite so easy to control. And there’s something else she can’t seem to command. Her heart. The foolish thing beats so wildly every time the duke is near.

Found: A forbidden passion neither can deny

As his employee, Mari is strictly off-limits. But what if she’s the one breaking all his rules? In the game of governess versus duke, how can Edgar maintain his defenses when the only thing he wants to do is let the tempting beauty win?

My Thoughts

Mary Poppins was one of my favorite movies growing up and this romance definitely brought Mary Poppins to mind. Edgar’s children may have scared off one nanny after another but when we meet them they really aren’t bad children. They’ve been through a lot – they’ve lost their mother, been uprooted from the only home they really knew and left with a father who doesn’t seem to want them. It’s understandable that they are out of sorts and causing all sorts of mischief.

Fortunately for the children, Mari steps in as a nanny who understands what they’re going through and works her magic to not only help heal the childrens’ hurts but also helps bring them closer to their father. Mari isn’t afraid to stick up for what she believes is right and doesn’t cave when faced with a glowering Edgar. I loved her character and watching the children blossom under her care.

I liked Edgar’s character but I didn’t fall in love with him. Yes, I felt bad for him because he obviously cared about the children but didn’t know how to show it and it was heart warming to see him take Mari’s suggestions on how to make the children less homesick to heart but there’s was no extra oomph to his character that made me swoon. I did enjoy Mari’s character enough that I was rooting for their romance throughout the story though. All in all this was an enjoyable read that I would recommend to historical romance lovers.

Find it online

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Historical Fiction, Romance | No Comments »

Review: The Duke Who Ravaged Me by Diana Quincy

April 17th, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publication date: April 17, 2018

Publisher: Loveswept

Series: Rebellious Brides #4

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

Adam Fairfax, the Duke of Sunderford, happily enjoys a different woman (or two) every night—or he did, until his wards landed on his doorstep. Ever since Sunny took in the seven-year-old twin girls and their prim and proper governess, Isabel Finch, his love life has been a shambles. But, as time goes by, Sunny catches himself getting lost in Isabel’s haughty blue eyes, or following the curves beneath her unbecoming dress. An unexpected kiss ignites a passion that shocks him into realizing how thin the line between love and hate can be.

If Isabel’s hidden past were revealed, she could lose everything. Oddly enough, only when “Sinful Sunny” is near does she feel safe—or safe enough to speak up in defense of the girls. The duke’s decadent lifestyle is a disgrace, and clearly he considers Isabel a nuisance. Still, she can’t help admiring his sculpted cheekbones, strong-cut jaw, and tousled chestnut hair. When their lips meet, it’s almost as if he could kiss the secrets right out of her. Worse, she’s tempted to let him. . . .

My Thoughts

This was my first book from Diana Quincy and it definitely won’t be my last! I have to admit I had my doubts if I would enjoy this book because Sunny was so unlikeable at the beginning but hands down to Ms. Quincy for writing such an amazing character. It was actually really nice to see such a manwhore make a turnaround that came about gradually and wasn’t instantaneous just because he fell for a pretty face. He really was such a jerk when his two wards show up and I swear he really needed a swift kick in the rear. Not to mention the comments he makes to Finch and even when he wasn’t trying to be rude he still managed to stick his foot in his mouth. So believe me once he started to change and his two wards worked their way into his heart it really tugged at my heart strings. It was just so sweet to watch and I liked seeing how his relationship develops with his wards, Prudence and Patience, that is separate from his relationship with Finch.

Sunny’s relationship with Finch evolved very nicely and I loved that it wasn’t instalove and we get to see Sunny and Finch go from genuinely despising each other to understanding each other and eventually falling in love. The twist at the end was unexpected but entirely satisfying. This was such a wonderful romance that I highly suggest!

Find it online

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

About Diana Quincy

Diana Quincy is an award-winning former television journalist who decided she’d rather make up stories where a happy ending is always guaranteed.

Fans of Madeline Hunter, Lisa Kleypas and Sabrina Jeffries will love Diana’s Regency world of dashing dukes, irresistible rogues and the headstrong, determined women who capture their hearts. New York Times bestselling author Grace Burrowes says SEDUCING CHARLOTTE is “Sweet, steamy, and thoroughly enjoyable…Equal parts action, passion and fun.”

Growing up as a foreign service brat, Diana lived in many countries and is now settled in Virginia with her husband and two sons. When not bent over her laptop or trying to keep up with laundry, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family and dreams of traveling much more than her current schedule (and budget) allows.

Diana loves to hear from readers. You can follow her on Twitter @Diana_Quincy or visit her website at dianaquincy.com

Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Historical Fiction, Romance | No Comments »

Review: The Ladies of Mandrigyn by Barbara Hambly

April 13th, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Purchased

Publication date: March 29, 2011

Publisher: Open Road Media SciFi & Fantasy

Rating: ★★★½☆

About the book

Gifted with courage, strength, and the intelligence to know when to fight, Sun Wolf is the greatest mercenary in a land overrun by war. With his first lieutenant, Starhawk—a woman more deadly than any man—at his side, he has laid waste to countless cities, taking the best of their treasures for himself, and distributing the rest among his bloodthirsty crew.
Then a woman comes to him, an emissary from the town of Mandrigyn, a lush port city recently sacked by a powerful, mad wizard of unmatched abilities. She offers Sun Wolf untold riches for the use of his army, but the captain is not fool enough to wage war against a magician. He refuses her offer, but that is not the end of it. The women of Mandrigyn can be very persuasive.

My Thoughts

I have to say I normally would not have picked up this book just based off of the cover or the blurb BUT one of my favorite authors, Maria V. Snyder, mentioned that she loved Barbara Hambly and she was inspired by her writing I had to give it a go.

While I can’t say I loved it as much as I did Maria V. Snyder’s books it was quite enjoyable. What makes it such an interesting read is that none of the characters are perfect. They’re all flawed in some way that actually makes them more relatable and initially I had mixed feelings towards them. I wasn’t sure if I liked them or felt distaste towards them but in the end most of them managed to win me over. Sun Wolf is crude, participated in some questionable activities but by the end of the book you can’t help but like him. Starhawk inspired similar feelings in me. Initially I found her hard to relate to but as we see her travel with Fawn, have to face her own feelings towards Sun Wolf and then deal with her insecurities of being a woman and having to deal with “womenly feelings” I came to sympathize with her.

Though the story mainly deals with Sun Wolf having to train the women of Mandrigyn for war I can’t say I felt like I truly developed any strong feelings one way or another for any of the women. I think they served more as a foil to show off Sun Wolf’s transformation in attitudes towards both women in general and his own feelings about others.

The ending came as a bit of a surprise and did leave me wanting to read the next book. So glad I gave this book a try!

Find it online

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Posted in 3 Star Books, 4 Star Books, Books, Fantasy | No Comments »

Review: Fast Burn by Lori Foster

April 10th, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publication date: March 20, 2018

Publisher: HQN

Series: Body Armor#4

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

For the woman who’s his perfect match, he’s willing to break the rules…

The moment Brand Berry meets beautiful, driven Sahara Silver, the connection between them is electric. It’s also something he can’t pursue. Sahara wants him, sure—to join Body Armor, where his MMA skills, size and cocky attitude make him perfect for her elite crew of bodyguards. For Sahara, the agency always comes first, and Brand needs more. Yet when she’s kidnapped by men searching for her missing brother, he doesn’t hesitate.

Somewhere along the way, flirting with Brand for the sake of business turned very personal. Despite his refusal to join Body Armor, it’s Brand who steps up when Sahara needs him most. Now there’s no more time for games, and no point denying the hunger they both feel. They’ll escape together or not at all. But if they survive, can Sahara finally surrender control to claim this blazing passion?

My Thoughts

I’ve loved this series and have been waiting for Sahara to get her story and while it didn’t hit it out of the park for me it was still an addicting read.

The main reason it’s not a 5 star for me was that in all the previous books Sahara was a total kick ass character. She’s strong, she’s smart, she knows how to manage all these alpha male former MMA fighters and does it all while maintaining the respect of her entire team. In this one I felt she lost a little of that in control, cool thinking woman who’s ready for just about everything. Yes, she does make a pretty nifty make shift weapon when she gets kidnapped at one point but then at other times she makes what’s obviously bad choices despite the rest of her guys pointing out their bad choices. Granted she’s much more emotional in this book because her brother is involved but I felt she tipped a bit too far to the little lady that doesn’t think clearly and needs to be rescued from her own bad decisions by Brand. This wouldn’t have bothered me so much if we didn’t see through out the entire series just how capable she is and how she is able to think through most issues and make the smart, rational choices. Still giving her slack because of her emotional involvement with the hints of what happened to her brother I’d give this book a solid 4 stars.

I loved Brand and seeing the sparks fly between he and Sahara was great. While we saw some of her not so smart decision making in parts of the book we also get to see some of her softer sides when she interacts with his aunt and uncle as well as the wives of the rest of the former MMA fighters. Not to mention I also loved seeing the other guys and where they are at in their relationships with their wives/girlfriends.

The story line itself was pretty predictable but still really engaging. I read it in pretty much one sitting and can’t wait for more from Lori Foster. She is an amazing author and is an auto-buy for me for sure!

Find it online

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Other books in the series

Under Pressure

Hard Justice

Close Contact

Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Contemporary, Romance | No Comments »

Release Day Fast Burn by Lori Foster

March 20th, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

 

 

From New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster, comes FAST BURN —the fourth standalone novel in her Body Armor Series!

For the men of the Body Armor agency, the only thing more dangerous than the job they do is the risk of losing their hearts. FAST BURN is now available! Don’t miss Brand and Sahara’s epic story. Grab your copy today!

 

 

FAST BURN Synopsis:

For the woman who’s his perfect match, he’s willing to break the rules…

The moment Brand Berry meets beautiful, driven Sahara Silver, the connection between them is electric. It’s also something he can’t pursue. Sahara wants him, sure—to join Body Armor, where his MMA skills, size, and cocky attitude make him perfect for her elite crew of bodyguards. For Sahara, the agency always comes first, and Brand needs more. Yet when she’s kidnapped by men searching for her missing brother, he doesn’t hesitate.

Somewhere along the way, flirting with Brand for the sake of business turned very personal. Despite his refusal to join Body Armor, it’s Brand who steps up when she needs him most. Now there’s no more time for games, and no point denying the hunger they both feel. They’ll escape together or not at all. But if they survive, can Sahara finally surrender control to claim this blazing passion?

 

Order your copy of FAST BURN here!

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | B-A-M | IndieBound

Google Play | iBooks | Kobo | Audible | Goodreads

 

 

 

 

And don’t miss the first standalone novels in the Body Armor Series!

UNDER PRESSURE
HARD JUSTICE
CLOSE CONTACT

EXCERPT:

“Brand Berry is here to see you.”

Surprised, Sahara glanced at Enoch, her right-hand man and very good friend. “Brand is here?” She imme­diately felt flustered. Absurd. “I wasn’t expecting him. Did I miss a meeting?”

“No.” Enoch lowered his voice in a conspiratorial way. “He said he only needed a minute of your time when you were free, and since you’re free right now—”

“Yes, of course. Show him in.” Even as she said it, a tiny unfamiliar thrill ran through her.

She’d made a point of surrounding herself with some of the finest male specimens on the planet—professional fighters that she’d turned into prime bodyguards, each of them in high demand. It was her vision for Body Armor, to get rid of the stuffy Men in Black clones and offer in­stead real men, with real muscles, certifiable machismo and lethal ability with or without a weapon.

No, she didn’t fire the previously established body­guards; that would have been disloyal to her brother, who’d hired them. She simply reassigned them to the more boring cases, and overall they were happy with that.

Anything to do with a celebrity, a dignitary or a poli­tician her elite team now covered.

She desperately wanted to add Brand to that team.

Thinking she’d have a minute, she was just circling out from behind her desk when Brand stepped in around Enoch. Instead of waiting in the guest area, as a client would do, he must have been hovering right outside her door.

Her toes curled in her high heels.

Enoch was on the small side, five-two, slight of build, with average brown hair and eyes. It was his keen in­telligence and attention to detail that made him so per­fect at his job.

But his size didn’t really matter when he stood next to a man who made most everyone seem small, her in­cluded. Brand was a big and badass professional MMA fighter with a solid steel frame of muscle all wrapped up in a cocky attitude.

Faded jeans molded to his thick thighs, going well with his running shoes and an ancient Aerosmith T-shirt that stretched over his chest and broad shoulders. Re­flective sunglasses pushed to the top of his head made his golden‑brown hair messy. Darker brown eyes held her captive as he murmured, “Sahara.”

Leaning a hip against her desk, she drank in the rug­ged, virile sight of him. “Be still my heart.”

Wary exasperation rooted him to the spot.

Yes, she always spoke her mind. Why not? She was the boss and her employees knew her interest in them wasn’t personal. Of course, Brand wasn’t yet an em­ployee.

Putting her hands together, her fingers extended to frame him in a square, she remarked, “A photo of you looking just like that could launch my new line of ad­vertisement.”

He crossed his arms. “Advertisement for what?”

“Bodyguards with ability and sex appeal.” He’d look great on a billboard, maybe with a gun in his hand. She could already see it. Maybe she should ask Enoch to keep a camera at his desk for occasions like this?

When Brand just stood there, his expression amused, she smiled. “Tell me you’ve come to give me good news.” She’d been after him for a few months now to join the agency, constantly throwing out bait, trying to reel him in. He’d nibbled, but he wasn’t caught. Not yet.

“I came to talk about that, yes.”

Elation conflicted with disappointment. There were times when she hoped they could take a different path from employer and employee, one more personal, in­timate.

Even…sexually satisfying.

But in the end, the business came first. Always.

She hadn’t given up hope for her brother, and when he finally returned, he deserved to find the company thriving.

She’d put her heart and soul into making that happen. There was no time for anything else.

 

 

 

 

About Lori Foster:

Since first publishing in January 1996, Lori Foster has become a USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and New York Times bestselling author. Lori has published through a variety of houses, including Kensington, St. Martin’s, Harlequin, Silhouette, Samhain, and Berkley/Jove. She is currently published with HQN. Visit her online at LoriFoster.com.

 

 

 

 

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | PINTEREST | YOUTUBE

 

 

 

Posted in Blog Tour, Books, Romance | No Comments »

Review: To Love and Cherish by Lauren Layne

March 18th, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

Publication date: October 18, 2016

Publisher: Pocket Books

Series: The Wedding Belles #3

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book

Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles, a contemporary and witty romance series about three high-powered New York City women who can plan any wedding—but their own.

Alexis Morgan has spent the past six years devoted to turning her tiny start-up into Manhattan’s premiere wedding planning company, The Wedding Belles. Now that her business is thriving, it’s time to turn towards her much neglected personal life, and Alexis approaches her relationships like she does everything else: with a plan. Not a part of that plan is Logan Harris, the silent partner in the Belles, and the one person who’s been there for her since the very beginning. But Alexis needs someone fun, and Logan’s all business, all the time—except when a late night at the office ends with an unexpected kiss that leaves the usually cool and together Alexis reeling.

Logan has lusted after Alexis since the day he walked into the tiny Harlem apartment that used to double as her office. But the ambitious wedding planner has always been untouchable…until now. Alexis has made it clear that she’s on the dating market—and equally clear that he’s not in the running. But when Alexis finds herself in need of a date for her sister’s last minute wedding in Florida, Logan knows it’s the perfect time to show Alexis that there’s more to him than numbers and spreadsheets—and beneath the pinstripes and glasses lies a hot-blooded heartthrob. As Florida’s sultry days turn into even hotter nights, Logan’s out to convince Alexis that the fling of a lifetime could just maybe turn into forever…

My Thoughts

I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf for a couple years now and had never quite made it to reading it. However, after reading several other Lauren Layne books and loving each and every one when I was browsing my to read books and saw it I jumped right on it.

I have to say Lauren Layne never ceases to amaze me. I have loved each of her books that I have read despite them all being very different from each other and this one didn’t disappoint either. It seems like no matter if the book falls more on the humor side, the heart tugging end or just the sizzling hot end of the spectrum Lauren Layne is the master of them all. Alexis and Logan immediately sucked me into their story and I fell in love with Logan especially. I wanted to tell Alexis to wake up to what was right in front of her and yet I can also see why she was hesitant to risk the friendship she already had with Logan. I hadn’t read the first two books in this series so all I had to go off of was what we see in this book and still Logan stole my heart. I definitely want to go back and read the first two books in this series and highly suggest this one to anyone who loves a great heartfelt romance.

Find it online

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Other books in the series

To Have and To Hold

For Better or Worse

Posted in 5 Star Books, Books, Romance | No Comments »

Review: Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost

March 5th, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Purchased

Publication date: July 15, 2009

Publisher: Avon

Series: Night Huntress #4

Rating: ★★★☆☆

About the book

Her deadly dreams leave her in grave danger

Since half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her undead lover Bones met six years ago, they’ve fought against the rogue undead, battled a vengeful Master vampire, and pledged their devotion with a blood bond. Now it’s time for a vacation. But their hopes for a perfect Paris holiday are dashed when Cat awakes one night in terror. She’s having visions of a vampire named Gregor who’s more powerful than Bones and has ties to her past that even Cat herself didn’t know about.

Gregor believes Cat is his and he won’t stop until he has her. As the battle begins between the vamp who haunts her nightmares and the one who holds her heart, only Cat can break Gregor’s hold over her. She’ll need all the power she can summon in order to bring down the baddest bloodsucker she’s ever faced . . . even if getting that power will result in an early grave.

My Thoughts

I’m so torn about this series. I love Bones, Spade, Vlad and everyone so much but I honestly have a hard time stomaching Cat’s character. I get she’s had a hard life but her whining, self pity and constant jumping to the worse conclusions about Bone who she’s supposed to be so in love with is getting old. I love Bones so much and wish he had fallen in love with someone else.

That said I love the world building of this series and like I mentioned above all of the supporting characters so this still gets 3.5 stars. If I mentally muted Cat the story was more bearable though the knock down, mean fights between Cat and Bones also kind of grated on me. I know Cat blames a lot of her issues on pills but all that angst and ridiculousness was stemming from somewhere inside her. Yes Bones can be overbearing but I felt like his actions stemmed from love vs Cat’s which stemmed from mule headedness. So yeah, I still side with Bones in this book for sure.

Who really made the book for me though was Vlad. He’s snarky yet despite his gloom and scary doom reputation he has an amazing heart and I can’t wait to read his story! So while this book didn’t have the same hold on me that book 3 did I am still looking forward to the other books in the series.

Find it online

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Paranormal, Romance | No Comments »

Review: At Grave’s End by Jeaniene Frost

March 1st, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received as a gift

Publication date: December 20, 2008

Publisher: Avon

Series: Night Huntress #3

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book

Some things won’t stay buried . . . at grave’s end

Half-vampire Cat Crawfield and vampire lover Bones are caught by Patra, the wife of his sire Menchares, skilled in black magic and thousands of years old. Her name honors her mother Cleopatra. Patra unleashes a storm against their allies and families, ghouls and vampires. But Menchares still loves her.

My Thoughts

I thought book 1 was meh, book 2 was really good but this book had me captured from beginning to end. There is a lot going on and it felt a tad darker and more violent than the first two books but I still loved it and really had a hard time putting this book down to do other things. I love all the supporting characters and enjoyed seeing all the parts they played except for Tate. I really wish he would just get killed already. His infatuation was kind of cute at the start and I felt bad for him but at this point I’m just like Bones, please just kill him and put me out of my misery of listening to his numb-skullness. Other than that though I’ve become hooked on this series and can’t wait to get the stories of some of the other characters as well.

Find it online

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Posted in 5 Star Books, Books, Paranormal, Romance | No Comments »

« Previous Entries