Too Damn Nice by Kathryn Freeman

Too Damn Nice by Kathryn Freeman
Publisher: Choc Lit
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (288)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Quince

Do nice guys stand a chance?
Lizzie Donavue went from being the sister of his best friend to the girl Nick Templeton most wants to kiss. On her birthday, he finally summons up the courage to make his move. But it looks like Nick’s missed his chance when he discovers that Lizzie has been offered a modelling contract, which will take her away to the glamorous fashion scenes of New York and Los Angeles.

Nick is forced to watch from the sidelines as the gawky teenager he knew is transformed into Elizabeth Donavue: top model and ultimate English rose pin-up, forever caught in a whirlwind of celebrity parties with the next up-and-coming Hollywood bad boy by her side.

But then Lizzie’s star-studded life comes crashing down around her, and a guy like Nick could be just what she needs. Will she take a chance on him? Or is he just too damn nice?

I have to admit that the “friends to lovers” plotline is not my favorite, but there was something fascinating in the synopsis of Too Damn Nice so I decided to give this story a try. Furthermore, the blurb seemed more like a good chick-lit than a romance novel and I wanted to read a chick-lit. I am glad that I decided to read this story even though it’s far, far away from being chick-lit. I can say that I got way more than I expected.

Too Damn Nice is story about how two friends, who loved one another for a long time, finally get together. That is just a part of it. After they got together they broke up, only to find another way to true happiness. This is not a funny or a cheerful story but it’s truly not depressing either. On top of that are all the misunderstandings between Lizzie Donavue and Nick Templeton which push the story into sad territory.

Lizzie and Nick are complex characters. They both have their own deep insecurities. Nick thinks that because he is a boring accountant, Lizzie does not care about him. While Lizzie thinks that because she did something wrong in the past, she does not deserve Nick. Sometimes they are so rude to one another. But, there are times when Nick does not act like such a darn nice guy, and Lizzie is not full of guilt. That’s really good because if the characters had stayed in their predefined roles the whole time, the story would not be so darned good. I refer especially to Nick’s character. If he’d been nice all the time it would have been just too much.

I applaud the author. Kathryn Freeman did a wonderful job of keeping the story interesting and on a high emotional level the whole time. In the first part of the book she balances very well the subtle balance in Nick and Lizzie’s relationship. It’s a relationship in which both of them wanted to cross that line of friendship and enter the lover’s territory, but they just didn’t dare. Each time when they were on the verge of becoming a lovers another unexpected twist happened. Later on when the line is finally crossed, the author again did great work in focusing on their doubts and fears. By resolving them the path to their HEA was finally open. There are so many places in the story where the author could have fallen in the trap of cliche, but she successfully avoided it. So once again, I applaud the author.

Too Damn Nice was my first hidden gem this year. This highly sensual and deeply emotional story was a great read. I am definitely putting Kathryn Freeman on my ‘to read list’. If you like contemporary romance featuring friends to lovers and opposite attracts, I highly recommend this story.

Tempest by Beverly Jenkins

Tempest by Beverly Jenkins
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical
Length: Full length (346 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

What kind of mail-order bride greets her intended with a bullet instead of a kiss? One like Regan Carmichael—an independent spirit equally at home in denims and dresses. Shooting Dr. Colton Lee in the shoulder is an honest error, but soon Regan wonders if her entire plan to marry a man she’s never met is a mistake. Colton, who buried his heart along with his first wife, insists he only wants someone to care for his daughter. Yet Regan is drawn to the unmistakable desire in his gaze.

Regan’s far from the docile bride Colton was expecting. Still, few women would brave the wilds of Wyoming Territory for an uncertain future with a widower and his child. The thought of having a bold, forthright woman like Regan in his life—and in his arms—begins to inspire a new dream. And despite his family’s disapproval and an unseen enemy, he’ll risk all to make this match a real union of body and soul.

Regan is a mail order bride. She and the doctor have written several letters to each other. He’s looking for a mother for his child. She’s looking for adventure and figures Wyoming will provide it. But their first meeting didn’t go well. After the stage was set upon by robbers, she got out her rifle and took care of them. When she sees more riders coming she shoots at them, too. Unfortunately, the man she hit was her intended…

Ms. Jenkins always writes a good story and this one is no exception. Her words flow well and she creates conflict as well as love in her stories.

The doctor was expecting a lady from back east. She was hoping for a love match. No one lied in their letters but meeting each other changes expectations. He has no interest in love. She wears denims and can do much more than household duties. Even worse, she has her own money.

Her husband’s mother-in-law hates her and has browbeat the young daughter. Another woman in town wanted him for herself and she’s very critical of Regan. But Regan can hold her own.

One of my favorite lines was when the girl asks her new momma if she and daddy were going to jump around on the bed like her friend’s parents did. Sure, that’s what they were doing…

With lots of odd relatives and friends, the two grow closer together. It’s great fun to watch how they respond to the challenges.

This was a very good read.

Forbidden Song by Brooklyn Ann

Forbidden Song by Brooklyn Ann
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (236 pgs)
Heat: Spicy
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Rose

After having one of the worst experiences a young teenager could endure at the hands of cruel musicians, Christine Mayne’s rock star brother Quinn tried to lock her away from the world. She had to fight to live her life, go to college, get her master’s and enter her PhD program. Now, she’s determined to complete her research on group dynamics by touring with Bleeding Vengeance, even it means deceiving her brother and lying to the band’s fabulous lead singer, Cliff Tracey.

Cliff Tracey hates being manipulated, lied to and deceived. He’d know, having gone through a string of exes who had done just that. When he thinks he’s found a kindred spirit, and a beautiful babe to boot, imagine his surprise – and disappointment – when he learns she played him so she can tour with his band to complete her PhD. When he finds out why, he knows he’s in double trouble because Quinn Mayne will kill anyone who touches his sister, and Cliff Tracey has all sorts of plans for Christine Mayne that involves more than either of them ever expected.

This is the fifth book in the series, but it can definitely be read as a standalone. I’ve not read the earlier books, but never felt lost or confused. And, after this, I’m going to be picking up Brooklyn Ann’s earlier books.

I’m not a huge metal lover either, so don’t let that hold you back. This isn’t a book about metal music so much as it is about people. It was interesting getting a glimpse into the music scene itself and, if you like getting to know characters in a book, I think you’ll like this one. Because the author does a wonderful job in letting you feel what the characters are feeling.

Christine is smart and believes in going after what she wants…and what she wants right now is a way to break away from her brother’s overprotectiveness and work on the research for her dissertation. This really conflicts with her other want… Cliff.

Cliff is the womanizer of the band.. unabashed and unashamed. In fact, another character called him “slutty.” But when he’s around Christine and really gets to know her, he finds that other women in his bed does not appeal to him as much.

The romance between the two is slow moving, which adds to the pleasure for me. It grows as they get to know each other … which is something I love. Not a huge fan of the “love at first sight” trope. But this is a sweet and tender growth between two people who have been looking for something.

The other characters are just as well drawn as Christine and Cliff, but it is very much their story. Kudos, Brooklyn Ann…you’ve won yourself a fan.

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First Crush, Last Love by Elizabeth McKenna

First Crush, Last Love by Elizabeth McKenna
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (314 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

Back in high school, Lee Archer had the power to make Jessie Baxter’s cheeks flush and her heart race. But the popular athlete never wanted to be more than just friends. Ten years later, after a failed marriage and with her journalism career on shaky ground, Jessie’s come home for her high school reunion–and Lee still has the power to make her knees weak and her pulse pound.

Lee’s teenage years were filled with more trauma and drama than anyone guessed. Though his damaged past has helped make him a successful police detective, it’s hurt every relationship he’s tried. But seeing the grown-up, stunning Jessie might just change his commitment-phobic mind.

Jessie’s psycho ex-husband had her convinced no one would ever love her, but Lee is ready to step out of the friend zone and into her heart. Can she learn to trust again before she loses her chance to turn her first crush into her last love?

Elizabeth McKenna’s novel will have you remembering the angst of high school, the grief of a failed relationship, and the joy of finding true love at last.

He was her First Crush and they were each other’s Last Love.

Jessie and Lee are both characters who are realistic and down to earth. The plot engaged me and I was invested in the characters and their story.

The book started in their teenage years and showed the crush, as well as the love they have for each other as ‘just friends’. Their romance or relationship does not start right away as much as I would have wanted it to. They part ways after graduation.

For me the hardest part to read was the story afterwards. Not because I did not like it but because Jessie’s relationship with her ex was not all sunshine. Ten years after high school, both Jessie and Lee came out of these times with a whole lot of pain, lessons and friends, but they matured as well. The author did a great job in engaging me with her characters.

The plot was not an overly complicated one, but it’s one that flowed smoothly to the end.

I have to mention the best friends of these two. I have questions about them and their own relationship. They sound so great together, I want to know if they ended up together!?

First Crush, Last Love transported me back to my teenage years! It was a roller coaster ride of emotions for me and is an easy recommend to other readers.

Seize the Day by Curtis Bunn

Seize the Day by Curtis Bunn
Publisher: Strebor Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (289 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

When a terminally ill man is at a crossroads, one choice will make him feel more alive than ever.

Calvin Jones has finally gotten his life on the right course. At forty-five, he has escaped a toxic long-term relationship with the mother of his only child, and he loves his job as a high school English teacher in Washington, DC. Life is good. But then life turns horribly bad. A routine checkup reveals a cancerous spot on his pancreas. The oncologist offers him chemotherapy in the hope that it will extend his life, but Calvin declines…and decides to live the best he can while he can.

Seize the Day is more than the story of Calvin Jones’s decision to pass on cancer treatment. It is the inspiring story of a man choosing not to wait on death and, instead, to live out his life with courage, hope, and resilience. What happens next is extraordinary.

“I keep living because I could be dying.” Calvin Jones wasn’t a bad guy. In fact he is a wonderful father, a committed high school English teacher and a great friend. After receiving a horrible diagnosis of stomach cancer, 45 year old Calvin seems to see life differently. After being given a short life sentence how should a person act? Would they give up, shut out the world and blame everyone for their medical condition? No not Calvin. He decides to live the best life he can. He starts to see life differently and do things he normally wouldn’t do. I like that this story is told from a man’s point of view and to see that he has feelings and he is not afraid to show emotions. It is obvious that Calvin is hurting but he still wants to make a positive impact on those that he meet.

This is a touching read where I found myself stopping several times to soak in the words of wisdom, pondering the feelings and emotions that Calvin must have been feeling.

Calvin is so transparent in his feelings. He admits the confusion that he had at a young age for the woman that he loved. He appreciated those that brought subtle influences into his life and he in turn tried to be of servitude to others. The balance between Calvin’s hurt and dealing with his hurt was so heart warming. I enjoyed that the book gives life lessons. Life is a daily gift and this book is an example to everyone on living life with meaning and substance. We shouldn’t hold on to grudges, that family is important and with life being so short we shouldn’t stay where we aren’t wanted. Everyday that we have is a day of strength of not giving up. Calvin is a strong character that took his diagnosis and held on to hope and didn’t allow his cancer to turn him into a bitter person but more so made him more open and loving.

At first I was confused by the ending but as I gave it more thought I appreciated how the author decided to give Calvin closure. From reading the book we know the outcome for Calvin so the book didn’t really have to spell out his ending. I took it as him in his element of happiness and being around those whose life he has touched. This is highly recommended especially for those who are having a hard time seeing the brighter side during life’s storms.

No Earls Allowed by Shana Galen

No Earls Allowed by Shana Galen
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (384 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

It is a truth universally acknowledged
that a lady can do anything a man can do:
and in high-heeled dancing slippers.

Lady Juliana, daughter of the Earl of St. Maur, needs all the help she can get. She’s running a ramshackle orphanage, London’s worst slumlord has illicit designs on her, and her father has suddenly become determined to marry her off.

Enter Major Neil Wraxall, bastard son of the Marquess of Kensington, sent to assist Lady Juliana in any way he can. Lucky for her, he’s handy with repairs, knows how to keep her and the orphans safe, and is a natural leader of men.

Unfortunately for both of them, the scandal that ensues from their mutual attraction is going to lead them a merry dance…

Three and a half hours was all it took to read this book from cover to cover. Ms. Galen provided hours of entertainment in the process of sharing Lady Juliana and Major Neil Wraxall’s story of falling in love and finding out true love can even include rats. Rodents play a very unique sort of role as a catalyst and I am pretty impressed with the author’s skill. Why? Because by the end of the book, the author had me feeling fond of them too, and anyone who knows me knows I don’t like rats.

I liked Juliana’s spunk, determination and was charmed by her great capacity to love. She was at times innocent, ferocious and silly, and when push came to shove, courageous. She wears the mantle of heroine quite well and I liked her.

Neil is the one with a huge chip on his shoulder, and with good reason. It’s a good thing the hero has some solid friends to back him up. In fact, I liked meeting two of them and I hope to meet them again because they sound like they have some VERY interesting stories to tell. In any event, they sure played important roles in keeping Juliana and Neil safe. Something that wasn’t always easy to do.

The only thing that bothered me about this whole novel was Neil’s ability to solve just about anything – stairs, rats or boys. He seems to know what to do and when to do it. The author credits his success with his ability to lead and survive from being in the military, but when it comes to kids and their reaction to him, Neil seemed to always know just what to do and the kids, mostly, all fell in line. For some reason the children never offered that same respect to Juliana no matter what she did for them, and then, in walks a man and Poof! Within 24 hours he has them doing chores and burning toast. Too easy. I still liked Neil though.

The bit of drama and well written suspense is due to a dastardly villain that has deviant designs on the heroine. It’s a classic villainous trope but Ms. Galen brought Mr. Slag to evil glory with his actions and dialogue and his ultimate comeuppance. The fight scenes, though few, were well presented – not gory or gratuitous but effective and exciting.

Juliana does provide an emotional tension when she reveals why saving the boys in the orphanage is so incredibly important to her. The HEA is not just about the heroine and hero but the children too. I had happy feelings when all was said and done.

Yes, the title is amusing, but No Earls Allowed is packed with solid storytelling prowess that is a testimony to Ms. Galen’s writing talent.

I was never bored with any chapter, I couldn’t stop reading and many times I did laugh out loud. I was thoroughly enchanted with this novel and believe fans are going to gobble this one up. It’s an awesome romance. I absolutely recommend this book.

Engaged to Her Ravensdale Enemy by Melanie Melbourne

Engaged to Her Ravensdale Enemy by Melanie Melbourne
Publisher: Harlequin Presents
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (186 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

In bed with her nemesis…

When Jasmine Connolly’s third engagement is broken off, she decides to make her man jealous by enlisting the help of her enemy, playboy Jake Ravensdale! Jasmine may never have forgiven him for his rejection years ago, but the heartless lothario is the perfect candidate for her plan.

As tensions build, the line between love and hate increasingly blurs, teetering on the brink of explosion! Jasmine might be wearing Jake’s ring, but she can’t let go of the hurt he once caused her. Because if she does, what’s to stop her from falling prey to the Ravensdale playboy’s charms…?

Some books make you feel more emotions than others. This one hit them all. I laughed, got angry, felt sad, compassion and then felt all mushy, but now I’m all bubbly. It’s a mild case of book glow for sure. Engaged to Her Ravensdale Enemy by Melanie Milburne is part of her series ‘The Ravensdale Scandals.’ I didn’t know that until after I finished the book – not that it matters because it can be read as a standalone.

I fell for the hero, Jake Ravensdale. I really didn’t want to. I know he was gorgeous and rich but his rejection to the heroine, Jaz, was cruel. I was quite angry with him. Even though it was seven years ago, I could feel the sting of it as I read about it. I totally sympathized with Jaz. I felt sad when I read about Jaz’s history with her parents but it helped me to understand her life choices. I was able to feel compassion towards her and I respected how she dealt with the side character, Emma. I couldn’t help but to laugh when Jake and Jaz bickered back and forth. They were so quick-witted and snarky with comebacks that I only wish I could be quick-witted like that. The synopsis was spot on when it mentions how the author wrote a delicious balance between love and hate that “teetered on the brink of explosion”; I ate it all up.

Was the plot believable with three broken engagements? Was the plot thread with Emma realistic? Does it matter when we’re talking about the charming Jack Ravensdale? The author’s writing style made it all work. I was entertained and isn’t that why we read books? Sometimes I find it nice to sit back and relax with a mushy romance that makes me feel all goofy even if it might be a bit unrealistic. It could have happened to somebody somewhere. Who am I to say if it’s realistic or not. This was an easy, fun and enjoyable book from beginning to end that I was able to read in a few hours.

I would consider reading the other two books in this series based on how satisfied I was with this one.

What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell

What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Historical
Length: Full length (384 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Mistflower

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 . . .?

“What a difference a good book makes” should be the subtitle of this book! Actually it was better than good, it was amazing. Can I just sing that? A MaaaZingg!

I absolutely love when a book makes me laugh. I can recall three separate times that I cracked up. I had to re-read it a few times until I got the giggles out. I just love connecting with a book like that.

As a retired preschool teacher I really related to the heroine, “Mari with an i—it rhymes with starry.” I respected how she developed a trusting relationship with the hero’s children, Michel and Adele. For nine year old twins they were a handful. Mari demonstrated developmentally appropriate, hands-on, child process oriented art and engaged open-ended interaction. It’s no wonder the children responded to her the way they did. She treated them with respect yet held them accountable for their actions. She set boundaries and expectations with appropriate consequences and was consistent and gave love with positive reinforcement. Yes, I noticed and applaud all that accurate child development detail in a romance book! If I was looking for a governess for my children then I’d consider myself lucky to have her in my employment. Mari wasn’t the only well-developed character is this story.

I had the opportunity to bond with the hero as well. Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford was a man in need of being rescued and it obviously had to be Mari or myself but unfortunately I can’t be transported into the plot. Life is so unfair. At least I got to live it through Mari. Edgar was intelligent, kind and just made me smile. He was a tad stubborn but what hero isn’t? It’s part of their charm. It makes the reading much more pleasurable when they realize they are being stubborn and give in.

Who doesn’t grow fond of children? Okay, not everyone, but I do. Michel and Adele were adorable. After all they went through, it was heartwarming to see them in a thriving home thanks to Mari, Edgar and his entire staff. I can’t leave out Edgar’s sister, India when mentioning well developed characters. She was hilarious. I was happy to see that she is going to have a book of her own.

Of course there were a couple of characters that made me clench my fists such as Edgar’s mother and Mrs. Trilby. Ooooh, if I could get my hands on them. I’d teach them a thing or two about being nice. However, you’ll have to read how they turned out.

The plot was brilliant and honestly, refreshing. It flowed smoothly with unexpected thread plots. There is more to this story than what the synopsis says. There’s a plot twist involving Mari that is quite captivating.

The writing style as well as the plot and cast of characters is really what made the book amazing. I thought it was a unique writing style to incorporate proverbs within Mari’s conversations. It was truly entertaining. I am compelled to share with other readers that this is the first time when I’ve finished a novel that I Googled something that was mentioned in the story. I was intrigued with the plot regarding fire brigades and how they chose which fire to put out based on which insurance that property had. I didn’t know about that history nor about the steam fire engine that was invented. If you don’t know about both subjects then I’d Google those two things prior to reading this book, but it certainly isn’t necessary. The author did an exceptional job explaining it. I was more curious if it was factual.

The icing on the cake for me was the epilogue. I LOVED it. This was my first Lenora Bell novel and it won’t be my last. I’ll be looking for India’s story, For the Duke’s Eyes Only” coming out in October 2018! Until then I definitely recommend reading What a difference a Duke Makes! It’s captivating, sexy and a heartstring tugger.

Sanctity of Life by Jennifer E. Whalen

Sanctity of Life by Jennifer E. Whalen
An Enemy Loved Novel

Publisher: Lilac Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Action/Adventure, Historical
Length: Full Length (156 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Deep in the Black Forest of Germany, dark experiments have been taking place since WWII. Now the secrets are in danger of being exposed. Who will live? Who will die? Can it be contained?

Sometimes science causes more problems than it solves.

The dialogue was well done. This was a fast-paced story, so there wasn’t a lot of room for lengthy descriptions or discussions. I liked the fact that the characters’ conversations were kept as short as possible. That was exactly how I’d expect members of the military and government to behave when they were trying to contain a threat to the security of their nation.

There were so many characters in this story that I found it really difficult to remember who was who. I kept mixing everyone up, and it only became tougher to remember who everyone was once the pacing picked up and the characters began to find themselves in dangerous situations.

One of the things I always like discovering is a character who makes intelligent decisions regardless of what’s happening around him. There were several characters in this book who had good heads on their shoulders. No matter how other people reacted around them, they always paid close attention to their surroundings and thought logically about what they should do next. I appreciated that.

The time jumps were confusing to me. Some of the scenes were set in 1945 while others happened in 1918. Since I was struggling so much to remember who all of the characters were, it was strange to suddenly meet new people or to see someone in a different part of his or her life than they’d been a few scenes earlier.

My favorite sections of this story were the ones that explained what was going on with the dark experiments in full detail. I’m a big fan of science fiction about medical advancements that don’t turn out the way their creators intended them to. The author did a good job at explaining why these attempts were having such poor results and hinting at what would happen if the scientists continue to push the boundaries of what the human body is capable of.

Sanctity of Life should be read by anyone who loves the idea of science experiments gone terribly wrong.

The Pleasures of Passion by Sabrina Jeffries

The Pleasures of Passion: The Sinful Suitors Series by Sabrina Jeffries
Publisher: Pocket Books
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (387 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

When Niall Lindsey, the Earl of Margrave, is forced to flee after killing a man in a duel, he expects his secret love, Brilliana Trevor, to go with him, or at the very least wait for him. To his shock, she does neither and sends him off with no promise for the future. Seven years and one pardon later, Niall returns to England disillusioned and cynical. And being blackmailed by the government into working with his former love to help catch a counterfeiter connected to her father doesn’t improve his mood any. But as his role as Brilliana’s fake fiancé brings his long-buried feelings to the surface once again, he wonders who is more dangerous—the counterfeiter or the woman rapidly stealing his heart.

Forced to marry another man after Niall was exiled, the now widowed Brilliana wants nothing to do with the reckless rogue who she believes abandoned her to a dreary, loveless life. So having to rely on him to save her father is the last thing she wants, much less trusts him with….But as their scheme strips away the lies and secrets of their shared past, can she let go of the old hurt and put her pride aside? Or will the pleasures of their renewed passion finally enable them both to rediscover love?

True love can withstand exile by choice, heartache born of misunderstandings, deception from necessity and a daring scheme meant draw out the bad guys as it draws two hearts back together forever.

Sound epic enough? This is classic Sabrina Jeffries and why this author draws me back time and again. Having said that, I’ve missed this delightful new series, The Sinful Suitors. With one book, she has me hooked and searching out the beginnings and anxiously waiting for the next installment.

Bree and Niall might be considered star crossed in the beginning but in truth, they wouldn’t have been ready to start a life together even had circumstances been different. The ups and downs, regrets and moments of joy in Bree’s life taught her to guard her heart. I loved that Niall was persistent to remind her that theirs was a soul deep connection that could heal her heart.

One of the reasons that I love a good Regency romance is all the social conventions of the time period, the absurd rules and class warfare. I know not the normal reasons but a good romance author knows how to work through or, when necessary, work around those issues and give the hero and his lady an opportunity to earn the love of lifetime. Ms. Jeffries does that very thing with Bree and Niall’s story.

Bree has learned that if she’s going to have a life for herself and her son, she’ll have to take control of their destiny and not depend of hapless, faithless men who constantly fail to see a woman’s strengths beyond her looks. She’s sometimes a little too stubborn but I was happy to see that Niall was patient and perceptive. He didn’t just tell her he thought she was smart and capable he demonstrated that he believed it, too. Smart man.

Readers who loved The School For Heiresses, The Duke’s Men, The Hellions of Hallstead Hall and all of Sabrina Jeffries other fantastic series will be thrilled to drawn into a new “family”. That’s one of the hallmarks of her series books. She creates families that aren’t always blood related but they have even deeper connections that matter and last long after the final page.

This is another fine example of the cleverness that is Sabrina Jeffries. Perfect read for any time of the year.