A Father for Daisy by Jennifer Wenn

A Father for Daisy by Jennifer Wenn
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (218 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Thirteen years ago, at her senior prom, Gillian Crane did the unthinkable – she became drunk for the first time and lost her virginity to an unknown man. Later, when she found out she was pregnant, her unloving, unyielding mother threw her out and told her never to return.

Gillian succeeds in building a new life for herself in New York City, vowing never to see her childhood home again. But when she learns her mother is dying, she drags her twelve-year-old daughter back to hell on earth, also known as Barnesville. Once again caught in small town life amongst old friends and enemies, her past comes back to haunt her, turning her world upside down as the question still remains. Who is the father of her child?

For a small town, Barnesville seems to have its share of small town chaos. Gillian Crane is summoned to her home town due to her mother’s illness. Will this visit allow Gillian to be able to reconcile relationships from her past along with discover who’s her daughter’s father?

I have mixed feelings about this book. Barnesville is a nice small town and the story was believable in that aspect. The small town people and closeness of such. Everyone knows everyone, the gossip mill and the picture of the legendary Main Street; the location for the family restaurant and church. I found it puzzling that Gillian came back to town because her mother was sick, but Gillian’s purpose seemed more about who was her daughter’s father. What mother wouldn’t want a father for her daughter? Gillian’s prom night left her inebriated and pregnant. Now Gillian has found the courage to find out what happened that night.

Gillian’s mother is sick and the story really didn’t touch much on why the relationship between Gillian and her mother Rachel was dysfunctional. For Rachel to be on her death bed I would have expected her to be more compassionate and wanting to leave with her daughter’s relationship in a better place. There was no resolution or feelings to the mother-daughter relationship. Since this is such a touchy matter, as a reader I would have liked to have been given more about why there was such a strain on this relationship.

Gillian wasn’t aware of the feelings Andrew had for her. She has always had her eyes set on Lucas. For some reason Gillian’s mom decides now is the time to reveal family secrets and this leads Gillian’s pursuit to turn towards Andrew. This made her seem desperate and in urgent need of a man. Once Gillian and Andrew start their relationship it moves so fast it was very difficult to believe. The story was set in length to possibly keep the reader in suspense, but to me it was pretty predictable.

The writing is good and told in a easy to read format. The plot is interesting and one that had my attention to know why Gillian didn’t know who was the father of her child. There’s something about stories that take place in small towns that I find very likable. The plot was one that had a few holes in it to me but overall this is an enjoyable quick read with a resolution for Gillian. If you enjoy a book with a happy ending of love this is a book you will want to add to your reading list.

The Wedding Audition by Joanne Rock & Catherine Mann

The Wedding Audition by Joanne Rock & Catherine Mann
Runaway Brides Book 2
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (153 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

The tabloids call her the Hit and Run Bride after reality show star Annamae Jessup walked out on Atlanta’s favorite baseball player on cable television. Eager to escape her notoriety, Annamae takes a road trip to find the grandmother she’s never met and winds up discovering a whole lot more than a band of back woods relatives. There’s no escape from reality TV, even in Beulah, Alabama, population 3000.

The last thing Wynn Rafferty needs in his new life is a spoiled television princess who can’t even know his real name. He’s in temporary witness protection as an apple farmer after his undercover work put his life in danger. He needs to lay low until the heat dies down from his last case— even if he sucks at growing apples as badly as he sucks at relationships. But Annamae turns his new town into a media circus, unwittingly threatening the lives of him, her and most of Beulah. Wynn is an expert at keeping the world at arm’s length, but when it comes to Annamae, the only way he can keep her safe is to keep her very, very close.

The Wedding Audition was a quick, fun, easy, and enjoyable read. All the characters were believable and likable. They often made me laugh out loud especially the conversation between Annamae’s mother and grandmother outside the hoedown dance. The relationship between the main characters, Annamae and Wynn, progressed nicely with little conflict and made me feel all warm and fuzzy. I wouldn’t mind getting involved with a man like that. I particularly enjoyed their easy banter with each other.

I thought the plot was a bit predictable and a tad unrealistic but the characters made me look past all that. The suspense of Annamae and Wynn hiding out for different reasons kept me turning pages. The happy ending left me feeling overall satisfied. It was nice to read a romance book that didn’t stir any anguished feelings or over the top drama.

There were two external conflicts that haunted Annamae and Wynn individually that for the most part, worked. The final confrontation from Wynn’s plot arc was a bit anticlimactic because it didn’t deliver what the story led me to believe would happen. Even though It didn’t meet my expectations, it was no less entertaining.

On the whole, The Wedding Audition was delightfully cheesy, really funny and was well written. It’s a nice, simple, perhaps cookie cutter type plot, but it’s an enjoyable story to escape into. I was delighted by the chemistry between Annamae and Wynn and was happy with the conclusion of their romance.

Heidi by Jennifer Labelle

Heidi by Jennifer Labelle
I Dare You book 1
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (52 pages)
Other: M/F, M/M , M/M/F, Multiple Partners, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

A blonde, a brunette, and a redhead walk into a bar…

After an embarrassing encounter with her roommate Nathan, Heidi Taylor is in major need of a drink and a place to hide. She calls in her two closest friends, Zoey and Meagan to help rescue her. After they meet at a bar and the liquid courage sets in, she comes up with an unusual plan in the form of a dare for each one of them.

Heidi fell in love with a man who’s off limits and she’s afraid to tell him how she really feels—until a bet is made and her friends challenge her to make a move. But Nathan De Costa makes it easy on her when he suggests she needs a little spice in her love life, and designates himself as her something spicy.

Heidi, Zoey and Meagan are best friends. Half drunk at a girl’s night out, the three agree to complete a dare made by the others within a certain timeframe. Heidi has been lusting after her roommate, Nathan, forever. So when Zoey and Meagan dare her to tell Nathan of her feelings she’s nervous but knows it’s well beyond time she tell him. Can they move from friends to more without ruining the relationship?

This is a fun short story filled with plenty of sizzle. I was really interested in how different Nathan’s character was. Far from the usual hero material, Nathan had – from my perspective at least – multiple anti-hero style characteristics. He was cocky and full of self-assurance, plus he was a bit of a man-whore. Despite all this Heidi is deeply in love with him and from the first few pages I was eager to see how the author would get these two together, but more importantly how Nathan would stack up being the hero. I felt deeply intrigued at all the conflicting parts of the scenario – the hero who wasn’t a hero, the heroine who was shy but still owned her sexuality. It was refreshing and a very different outlook.

I ended up a little confused about Nathan’s sexuality – it was never fully explained whether he was bi or just loved people and sex of all flavours. I also was a little disappointed in that I didn’t really end up buying that Nathan genuinely loved Heidi when they finally got together. They’d been living platonically for three years and while the chemistry was there, he hadn’t felt strongly enough about her to act on it. Additionally, he’d had plenty of “love em and leave em” relationships – and tons of M/M flings as little as a week before declaring his love for Heidi. The change was just too drastic for me to find it believable. Additionally, the moment things stop going his way, Nathan reverted back to what he knew (carefree flings) so this made me seriously question the strength of his feelings. Both Nathan and Heidi were too caught up in their passion and the newness of it all for me to feel this new loving relationship between them was properly explained.

A part of me really wishes this book had been full length. I’d have loved a bit more time and background into both Zoey’s and Meagan’s dares being set up. I fully understand why a bit more time and a slower pace is impossible with such a short word length – but I really felt there was so much left unexplored it just felt a shame the pace moved so quickly and there wasn’t more time devoted to fleshing out the details. The conflict between Nathan and Heidi really felt like it appeared almost out of nowhere. In this scene especially I feel more time and explanation would have changed this from making me feel a bit confused into having the scene help build the solid relationship between Nathan and Heidi and make it far more believable for me. I still fully enjoyed the quick, sharp ride the author took us on – but a part of me would have found the story more satisfying if we’d been able to relax and enjoy some of the key scenes more thoroughly.

When Nathan and Heidi finally get together properly – the heat level is scorching and the pace really ramps up. It’s a wild ride and I fully intend to look out for Zoey and Meagan’s story too.

I’m Nothing by Sam Crescent

I’m Nothing by Sam Crescent
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (144 Pages)
Other: M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

There is an uprising within The Family. They do not like young men taking over, and it’s up to Tonio, Donnie, Luiz, and Jake to take out the problems. But Tonio can’t pay proper attention to his new duties because his memories haunt him. He grew up in The Family with a secret he hasn’t even told his friends. His father would beat and torture him if he didn’t go down to the basement, and what Tonio had to do there turned him into a monster.

Zara is trapped. Her father died and left her with a debt she can’t pay, and she hates her life. When Tonio saves her from being raped and killed, Zara knows she has to help him. No matter how hard he tries, Tonio can’t keep the infuriating little virgin from getting under his skin—but he won’t give in to his feelings for her. Tonio thought he loved a woman once, but it turned out to be a lie, and he’ll never trust himself again.

However, what will happen when he does fall for her? Will Zara stay with the man who saved her, or will she run when she sees the monster lurking within?

I usually enjoy all of Sam Crescent’s books and this dark, gritty mafia romance was everything that I had anticipated. This one packed a lot of emotions so that I was in tears within the first few pages and totally hooked on the story until the end.

Sam Crescent created characters and situations that grabbed my interest and engaged me in their story. I felt so bad for Tonio. He suffered terrible abuse and felt conflicted about himself. The author had me sobbing in the first chapter, and I thought Tonio would grow up to be a psychopath because of what his father made him do, but he was actually very sweet and caring, except to those who threatened his family, of course. Then he stumbled across Zara and rekindled their connection, saved her from her own mess and uncovered a plot against his brotherhood of friends.

Sam Crescent has written a dark, suspenseful and scorching hot romance with this second book in The Family series. I hadn’t read the previous book yet, but I loved this one so much that I’ll be revisiting this series quite soon. As usual, the author did a fantastic job in giving the characters plenty of problems to overcome and she made it sweet which should be contradictory to a dark romance, and yet she was able to pull it off with ease. I was completely engrossed in this short story and what a sweet epilogue for Tonio. I need books that have epilogues and actually hate it when an author doesn’t bother so this part also was special to me. There was even a teaser for Luiz that has me eager for his book, as well. That is another great aspect about Sam Crescent’s books is that she always delivers an entertaining story that will be special to the readers. This one was about hope, brotherhood and family.

I was very happy with this book and look forward to the next one.

Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare

Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare
Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (226 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library.
•Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan?
•Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall?
•Perhaps the butler did it.

All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn’t her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers’ true identity, she’ll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville—the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she’s ever had the misfortune to embrace. When it comes to emotion, the man hasn’t got a clue.

But as they set about finding the mystery lovers, Piers reveals a few secrets of his own. The oh-so-proper marquess can pick locks, land punches, tease with sly wit … and melt a woman’s knees with a single kiss. The only thing he guards more fiercely than Charlotte’s safety is the truth about his dark past.

Their passion is intense. The danger is real. Soon Charlotte’s feeling torn. Will she risk all to prove her innocence? Or surrender it to a man who’s sworn to never love?

Talk about a story that twists like a pretzel. Do You Want to Start a Scandal has to be one of the most surprising of stories because it’s not all like I was led to believe. This novel is full of red herrings and goose chases and I was perplexed for most of it because it’s a mystery. However, the means of sleuthing and the reasons for it are unlike any I have ever read and I found it kind of funny.

I don’t think it’s set up as a true mystery; the book is a romance through and through, and a good one. However, the intrepid heroine, Charlotte, is determined to solve the mystery of the garter because in doing so, she’ll be able to clear her reputation. However, as the story goes on, I’m not convinced that she’s convinced that it’s really her goal at all.

I liked Charlotte and her way with words. One of my favorite lines comes her speaking with the hero. She’s not supposed to like him, but what is a reader to think when she accuses the hero of having a “masculine lip elixir”? I totally snorted when I read that.

Another belly laugh came from the part when Charlotte’s mother tried to explain marital bedroom activities using vegetables and fruits. I had a fit of the giggles when the heroine turned the tables on her mom with a bit of creative questioning. I also liked that the heroine was not afraid to show the hero what it’s like to simply have fun, like when she started playing with his hair – the descriptions inspired more giggles. It’s Charlotte’s zest for life, optimism and sense of adventure that is her charm. She’s straightforward, vocal and amazingly sharp-witted. She’s an excellent foil for a serious minded, proper stick in the mud peer who just happens to live a daring and dangerous double life.

Charlotte is oil, Piers is vinegar, and when they mix, they create a spicy blend that flavors the salad of life so well that they simply can’t go back to being who they were before they met. Granted, Piers makes some spectacular blunders and makes me question his judgment, and Charlotte inadvertently gives the wrong impression to another lady of the ton, much to her consternation, and that makes her fallible too. They are not perfect characters but they are perfect together.

I think the only thing that was slightly over the top was Piers’ ability to find a missing bit of cloth that Charlotte desperately wanted found. The where and how of it seemed like an impossibility. Also, I really wished someone would have taken Edmund in hand. The kid was a menace. That child should have been in bed, sleeping.

When the mystery is finally solved, it’s done in a spectacular style with an eye-popping revelation. Somehow, I don’t think anyone in the vicinity of the great revelation will ever forget that night. Certainly I won’t. That scenario was a first for me and I credit Ms. Dare on providing me with a most unique and singular reading experience.

There is no doubt that Do You Want to Start a Scandal is an entertaining, engaging and romantic read. It can boast two strong characters, an interesting mystery twist and a seduction of the senses. There’s humor and clever use of quips and dialogue not to mention delightful descriptions to bring the romance alive for readers. It’s truly a story well worth reading.

Visible Through Darkness by Auden Johnson

Visible Through Darkness by Auden Johnson
Publisher: Aubey LLC
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (67 pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

What if you were the only one? How strong would you be?

Jade Greer’s parents taught her the old, moral, ways. She still clings to their teachings ten years after their deaths. Because of this, she became an outcast. The vulgar world rejects her, abuses her. She has suffered. But, her storm is over. Or, is it? An unusual call leads her to Serin, a prisoner trapped in darkness for twenty years. Saving him leads Jade to a world for beings with power. A world that may hold the acceptance she has never known. A world her parents were once a part of. Jura is dying. Jade and Serin have no homes to go back to.They move forward with hope because they’re no longer alone.

Danger surrounds Jade at every turn. Will she be able to escape it?

The dialogue was well done. The characters had a unique way of speaking. They only seemed to talk when their body language wasn’t nuanced enough to share what they wanted to communicate. This made their conversations shorter than I’d normally expect to find in a tale of this length, but it also made every single word valuable. Once I adjusted to this, I ended up really liking this style of communication. It fit both the characters and the unusual society they lived in quite nicely.

This story would have benefited from having more details in general. I had trouble imagining the places Jade visited because of how little time was spent describing what they were like. There were also times when I struggled to keep track of the different characters because I didn’t know quite enough about their physical appearances or personalities. It would have been helpful to have a clearer picture in my mind of what these people were like so that I could remember all of them more easily.

What I appreciated the most about the world building in this book was how quickly it was put together. It only took a few pages for me to understand why Jade had such a pessimistic understanding of life. While there is definitely plenty of room to expand on this universe in upcoming sequels, the information I was given about how it all worked was enough to spark my interest in the meantime.

I’d recommend Visible Through Darkness to anyone who enjoys dark fantasy.

Late Shift by Alexa Sinclaire

Late Shift by Alexa Sinclaire
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (41 pgs)
Other: M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

She knew his name. He was always on the late shift at the construction site she walked past every night on the way home from work. Beyond that, he was a mystery. None of that stopped her from inviting him up to her apartment every night and letting him give her the best orgasms she’d ever had. She couldn’t trust herself to give him anything else. And he never asked for more.

He knew it wasn’t right—night after night he walked her home during his break and she always let him have her, anyway he wanted. She never said no, never turned him away, and she brought him apple pie to top it all off. He knew she deserved more but he wasn’t sure he could give it to her.

When disaster hits, can they confess that they both wanted more?

Tilda works in a diner on the night shift, and while the tips were good the walk home at 2am wasn’t her favourite aspect of the job. When a construction site opens along her route home though, Tilda meets Ryan. Suddenly the night shift and her late walk home gets a whole lot more interesting.

This is a sexy, hot short story and one I enjoyed. Ryan is a rough, working class man and so I found his dirty language believable and not as off-putting as I might have under other circumstances. I was a little surprised that Tilda reacted really well to the hard talk – especially when she was portrayed in many ways as a young, not very experienced woman. Once Tilda and Ryan got into bed though, Tilda really came into her own. While I can’t quite say I felt she owned her sexuality there was a delightful lack of worry and self-questioning which I found modern and refreshing – though not necessarily believable from the character I was initially introduced to. Tilda enjoyed their hard sex and although she worried about the stability and long-term-ness of their relationship I loved how she didn’t fall into most of the usual “I’m sexually active” traps like some heroines do.

I was jolted a little by an editing mistake (Ryan’s age fluctuated from thirty two to thirty one) but for the most part the editing, pace and style of the story kept me interested and reading quickly. Overall, I enjoyed Tilda and found her a sensible heroine. She lost her mind a little during the conflict – believing a clear lie from a character who had already proven himself untrustworthy – but aside from that short bout of “silliness” Tilda seemed a sensible, practical woman with her head screwed on properly. Ryan – for all his roughness – was the classic hero in that once he admitted the depth of his feelings was willing to commit and this helped me really enjoy the happy ending. He showed his care with his actions – not one for soft or sweet words.

This is a fun short story with some hard sex and dirty talk. I enjoyed the pace and characters and was satisfied with the happy – almost romantic – ending.

Hazardous by Ruby Stiff

Hazardous by Ruby Stiff
Publisher: Rogue Phoenix Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (150 pgs)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

One priceless diamond. A team of ruthlessly efficient thieves. A punk rock band and the ride of your life.

Mysterious Erika Ward has been on Brisbane’s most wanted list since she was a teenager. Detached and efficient, she and her team who call themselves The Black Letter E evade the police time and time again with ease. Their most recent heist at the Gallery of Modern Art should be a cinch but they never counted on Patrick Marquis and his mob princess girlfriend Ilesha O’Brien. From here on everything begins to unravel in a series of events that leads to the final moments on the roof top of the Treasury Casino.

Emma (Ringleader), Elle (Disco), Em (Rookie) and Erika (Phantom) all belong to a very special club. While they might call it a book club, BLE – Black Letter E – was a far different group than they outwardly appear. While they all know their actions are hazardous, it’s not until one of their heists go wrong that they’re really put to the test.

I really loved the concept that four women – almost strangers in their “real life” met together through a series of coincidences and ended up forming a group to carry out heists. A stay at home mother, a check-out chick, a law student and an architect. Four seemingly regular women with a completely irregular sideline. I loved it.

There were a few grammatical errors (cue instead of queue, and Circular Key instead of Circular Quay) but generally speaking, the editing was decent. During one of their heists the four ladies are beaten to the punch, and suddenly Phantom is caught up with a man from her past. Readers should be aware that there are character deaths in this story – important characters. While I found overall the plotline of thieving to be dealt with in a fun and lighthearted manner, there were darker, far more serious aspects to the storyline that weren’t shied away from. This book isn’t horror – the deaths weren’t particularly graphic, but I can’t help but feel that readers wanting a light, fluffy mystery might find some parts of this story too dark for them. Also more regular romance readers who dabble in mysteries might be put off by the major character deaths. This doesn’t have a traditional style happy ending.

I found the pacing of this story fast and effective. While the four women are introduced separately once the action starts it keeps on coming at a fast clip. I was a little lost a few times in the beginning – each of the women have both a “real life” name and a moniker they take on when they do jobs, so I got mixed up quite a few times between the characters. While I found this was a little annoying – it didn’t really detract too much from the pleasure of the action based, fast moving plot. And I really enjoyed the characters and their dual natures – normal women doing extraordinary heists. I have a soft spot for fiction involving thieves.

I found this to be a great story with an interesting and complex plot. Interesting and vibrant characters make this a lovely read.

Dark Solus: An Assassin’s Tale by David Andrew Crawford

Dark Solus: An Assassin’s Tale by David Andrew Crawford
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (111 pages)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

This dark fantasy novel is set in a world ruled by magic, in a time before solid boundaries formed between the mystical kingdoms of Faerie and the mortal world of man. Mythological creatures and deadly assassins armed with magical lethal devices abound in this dark tale where one lone man will exact his revenge for the merciless execution of his parents when he was just a boy. Trained in the black arts by Mephisto, an ancient silver dragon and by the shadow assassin that guards the very gates to Hell, Dark prepares for his lone mission and has set himself only one goal…to kill them all!

The Demon Raider, otherwise known as Dark Solus, sets out to avenge the death of his parents. His mother was a half-elf and daughter of the Witch Queen and Mephisto the ancient wizard. His father was the demon lord who was also an assassin. They were betrayed by one they trusted. The thirteen year-old boy destroys his immediate enemy, but knows he must ultimately kill those truly responsible for the deaths of those he loved.

This book starts slowly and at times it’s difficult to really empathize with the characters or get into the story. It required perseverance for me to continue reading but eventually I was rewarded. Dark emerges from a thirteen year-old boy to a man in his twenties who is a fully trained assassin ready and willing to take revenge. As he seeks out the magical items he needs to attack the Shadow Lord he is helped by his grandfather Mephisto.

Dark is a deep character who really got into my mind, while Mephisto provided the hint of humor needed to keep this from becoming a truly dark story.

The author has written a gripping novel of magic and ferocious creatures, not least of which is Dark. By the end of the book I felt exhausted, as if I had travelled with Dark on all his many quests to reach his aim of collecting all the magical items for the next stage of his revenge.

The Devilish Mr. Danvers by Vivienne Lorret

The Devilish Mr. Danvers by Vivienne Lorret
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (199 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

For the first time in her life, Hedley Sinclair holds the keys to her own future. She’s inherited the crumbling Greyson Park, but the disrepair does nothing to dissuade her. No one will ever lock her up again or attempt to take away what’s hers. No one except Rafe Danvers—the charming, fiendish man from Fallow Hall. He’s determined to claim Greyson Park, but if Hedley isn’t careful, he’ll claim her heart as well.

Rafe has every intention of ridding Greyson Park of the conniving Sinclairs once and for all. The last thing he expects is to find the beguiling Hedley—the younger sister of his former fiancée—standing in his way. With drastic measures called for, he plans to marry her off in order to regain control of the estate. The only trouble is, he can’t seem to stop seducing her. Even worse, he can’t help falling in love with her.

Stubborn, courageous and full of spit and vinegar, that describes my initial impression of the heroine, Hedley. She has an unusual name which had the unfortunate side effect of triggering a Blazing Saddles memory. But once I got to know her, all those silly thoughts disappeared as the cleverness and fortitude she exhibited in dealing with her predicament took center stage. She’s a worthy heroine. She’s also no match for a determined matchmaking canine.

Poor Rafe, the hero; he has such a thorn in his side, a chip on his shoulder, all from his treatment by the Sinclair family. It’s rightly earned, so imagine his surprise, and my delight, that the woman who makes his libido go out of control is a dreaded Sinclair. He is so determined to resist her, except, he can’t. The more time he spends with her, the more shocked he becomes, both from what he learns about her and his own reactions. Ms. Lorret truly has written a story that embraces all the most wonderful aspects of romance with Rafe and Hedley as a couple.

This is the second book in the Rakes of Fallow Hall series yet this is a solid standalone read. The overall story arc is the wager between three men. I haven’t read the first book in the series and never once did I feel the lack. This is a fun and entertaining novel all on its own.

There’s humor, witty and fascinating dialogue, and just the right amount of emotional drama to keep a reader engaged page after page. The seduction scenes between Rafe and Hedley are spicy enough to keep a fan nearby just in case. My absolute favorite extravagant and romantic gesture comes from Rafe, he creates something that is so beautiful and unique that the heroine can’t help but believe with all her heart that he truly loves her. It’s actually quite swoon-worthy.

The villains of the piece, the external conflict, actually come from Hedley’s own family. Wow, did Ms. Lorret create some effective despicable characters! I would have turned into a harridan/banshee on Hedley’s behalf. In no way could I have resisted wanting to throttle them for the very act of speaking. Hear me growl.

The Devilish Mr. Danvers should not be missed by readers who enjoy Cinderella themed stories. This one does it justice because this time, the heroine has an active champion to woo and care for her, and through him, others of power who have her back. There are plenty of occasions to cheer for Hedley and Rafe and I encourage historical romance fans to not miss out. Grab a copy and enjoy the ride.