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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Legends of Persia by Jennifer Macaire

Legends of Persia by Jennifer Macaire
Book Two – Time for Alexander series

Publisher: Accent Press Ltd.
Genre: Historical, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full length (280 pages)
Heat level: Hot
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

When Ashley Riveraine jumped at the chance to travel back in time to meet her hero Alexander the Great, she never thought she would end up staying there…

Following Alexander the Great’s army on its journey across Persia, Ashley is walking the knife edge of history. As a presumed goddess, Ashley is expected to bless crops, make sure battles are won and somehow keep herself out of the history books.

Can Ashley avoid the wrath of the Time Institute while keeping the man she loves alive?

A major road trip adventure, this story does a fine job displaying quirky people and the problems they encounter in their epic quest across an ancient land. Modern-day Ashley goes back in time and is married to her hero, Alexander the Great. What could possibly happen here?

Legends of Persia is the second in this series, continuing the story of Alexander expanding his kingdom while searching for his and Ashley’s kidnapped son. What a man won’t go through to save his boy. Because there are many battles to go through over the years, Alexander gets seriously hurt, more than once. His recovery, and Ashley’s responses, are one of many good ways a reader gets to know them better. However, serious injuries are only one way we get to know them and their friends and enemies. The human relationships between exotic characters bring interesting scenarios to light. Ashley has to face her husband taking yet another wife because history says he married this other woman and fathered her children—to interfere could get Ashley eliminated from time as a punishment. What does she think as she stands and watches this wedding? What does Alexander think? The unrolling of episodes such as this is woven skillfully through the story.

This is not technically a romance. True, Ashley and Alexander are married and in love, and they act like it, but they are not alone in the relationship. He has other wives, and she has another lover. There is jealousy but not enough to destroy the main relationship. This novel is also very spicy, with unconventional and very hot love scenes. If one is offended by non-traditional “love scenes”, this would not be the book to read. If a reader doesn’t mind this or can get past it, then it becomes obvious that the scenes either develop the plot or the characters or simply just show life as it was thousands of years ago, with different human values.

Customs and values change, but human emotions are the same, and this comes out. Though, those human emotions go through the filter of a different culture and time and can inspire eye-opening revelations.

At first, I found myself wondering at times if what happened in the book was good for the characters, but the way these types of scenes are written, it becomes clear that they are appropriate for the setting and the characters. Put in this context, our concepts of feelings such a love may widen upon reading about these complex love relationships.

Mundane details like meals are delightful for putting us in average scenes, making them more realistic. There are good details about different types of festivals with one memorable and spicy festival in particular—not for the squeamish. Other scenes, like a rape, are offensive in themselves, but how do the characters handle them? A reader will keep turning pages to find out.

Deep ponderings come up. Alexander talks about descendants and ancestors—food for thought. Even though this is a road trip, with battles and big things happening around the interesting details of everyday life, in the background there is a sense of urgency behind this story. Ashley knows that Alexander dies young, and she knows when. As each passing year happens, she feels fate pushing down upon them.

This story will have a reader reconsidering conceptions of several things. It ends on a calm note with the promise of great adventure ahead. I would recommend this story to anyone who would enjoy unconventional but deep love with some violence mixed in, with a story that does a good job with character development and world-building.

Her Bodyguard by Sam Crescent

Her Bodyguard by Sam Crescent
Curvy Women Wanted #8

Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short story (56 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

Lucas Evans is a personal bodyguard, and he’s been called in when a world-famous pop star was stabbed on live television. No one knows who did it, and it’s up to him to protect the beautiful young woman. He’s a professional, but when it comes to Kate Swanson, all he wants to be is unprofessional.

Kate had been receiving death threats long before she was attacked, but Kate doesn’t have a clue who’d want to hurt her. The only person she feels safe with is Lucas. He’ll protect her, but it’s not just safety that he makes her feel. The attraction between them is undeniable. Kate has never allowed a person into her heart or her bed. She’s seen how ugly breakups go, and she doesn’t want that. But Lucas is different, and Kate craves his touch more than she does performing on stage. He gives her a chance to be herself, and there’s a freedom with being with him that she’s not had since she rose to stardom.

With the threat looming over her head, is there any way that Lucas can forget that he’s her bodyguard, and finally give her what she’s been craving? Can Lucas bring himself to love the starlet? Can he protect her from someone who is intent on hurting her?

Kate Swanson is a singer with a stalker on her tail and Lucas Evans is the bodyguard who is going to protect his employer with everything he has. Only one complication: Lucas finds the luscious pop star at the center of his growing desire and when the stakes get high, so does the heat between them.

Curvy and full of life, Kate wants to sing and please her fans. When a stalker corners her and she is wounded, she takes the much needed step of hiring a bodyguard. Lucas Evans is everything she could want. The older man is attentive, seeing to her safety and even holds her at night when the terrors become more than she can bear. But when their mutual attraction sparks into something deeper, she might lose more than her heart.

The tension between the two characters is a driving force of the story, as is the mystery of who could be stalking Kate. As the flame burns brighter between the two characters, so does the risk to her well-being.

Overall I enjoyed the quick read, but wanted to have more character depth with Kate. The interplay between the older man and younger woman was scintillating as was the threat of unknown violence with Lucas as her protector. The book was a fun, adventurous spin on my e-reader that fans of American Idol and The Voice will particularly enjoy.

Keeping Her Forever by Winter Sloane

Keeping Her Forever by Winter Sloane
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (70 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play, Spanking
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

The first time Jax saw Lia, barefoot and bloody, he knew she would be his to keep and protect.

Most of the world doesn’t consider Jax a good man. An ex-con who’s spent ten years behind bars, Jax has trouble adapting to normal society. He chose to drive big trucks for a living to avoid human interaction. When an injured and curvy beauty runs in the middle of the road, begging for his help, Jax knows he doesn’t need Lia’s kind of trouble but he lets her in his truck anyway.

Eager to leave her small town to see the world, Lia’s made the mistake of trusting one dangerous man who turned out to be a monster. Now she has no choice but to trust a muscled, scarred and inked stranger—but Jax isn’t what she expected. Encased beneath a rock-hard body is an unexpectedly protective and fierce heart. If Lia isn’t careful, she might just wind up begging him to keep her.

Opposites attract.

Lia is a shy woman with curves all over while Jax is a hit first, ask questions later kind of guy. Lia trusted a man that gave her the attention and time as well as had the ability to get her out of town. However, when she ends up on the wrong end of the stick, and encounters the bad side of humanity her mom always tells her of to be aware of, she runs.

She meets Jax when she tries, and succeeds, in getting away from her abuser.

Lia and Jax were two very different people but the things that bound them together were their attraction and chemistry. This was a dark romance. The attraction Jax had towards Lia morphed into a sense of ownership that for some may be a little too much. However, their relationship had soft sides that more than made up for that. There were instances where it felt as if she was trying to convince herself that Jax had a good side instead of actually believing that.

The plot was a simple one, however, I do think that a little bit more backstory would have enhanced and made connecting with Jax easier.

Keeping Her Forever is a short erotic romance but one that allows a reader to follow in the footsteps of these incredible characters: a hero and heroine who found love that healed their wounds one bit at a time. I recommend this book.

Bred By The Bushmen by Sam Crescent and Stacey Espino

Bred By The Bushmen by Sam Crescent and Stacey Espino
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (116 pgs)
Other: M/F/M, Menage, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

After nearly ending her own life, Opal books a soul-searching Alaskan wilderness tour. She’s used to loneliness and rejection, but needs to learn how to love herself. When things go horribly wrong on the tour, she finds herself cold, alone, and facing certain death.

Caleb and Damon have the perfect life. They live off the grid, far from society and its destructive influences. But it doesn’t take long for the White brothers to realize what’s missing. They need a woman, and crave a family of their own. When their dog leads them to a lost hiker in the woods, they swear she was dropped straight from heaven.

It will take a lot of hard convincing for the bushmen to prove life at their cabin is better than what Opal left behind in the city. And they won’t take no for an answer. They plan on keeping Opal, loving her, and filling her with their baby. ​

Caleb and Damon are brothers who live together in a small cabin way out in the woods. Happy without the trappings of civilization or the craziness of other people they have a quiet but comfortable life. The only thing missing is a woman – but the brothers are looking for a very specific type of woman. Someone who is willing to live permanently with them off the grid, someone willing to be shared by the two men, someone who can love them both and the life they live. Someone who they can adore and cherish. Lost, alone and questioning her entire existence, Opal is close to reaching rock bottom. When she meets the two brothers can she finally find everything that her life has been missing?

I found this to be a fun and sexy story. I was surprised but pleased that Caleb and Damon approached a relationship with Opal from pretty much opposite ends of the spectrum. Damon was ready to jump right in, all but picturing babies with Opal when they had barely exchanged even six words. Yet Caleb was far more reticent. He was worried about Damon getting his heart broken, about the realities of trying to forge a relationship with a modern woman when for all intents and purposes the two brothers lived a very different, alternative lifestyle. In this respect I felt myself understanding and sympathizing strongly with Caleb. His character could have easily become a negative or bitter man, but that wasn’t the case and I felt his character was far stronger because of it. While I enjoyed both men’s personalities I was particularly connected to Caleb.

I also really enjoyed Opal’s character. A larger woman she is quite young (twenty two), innocent and in many ways – emotionally in particular – a young character. I found Opal to be full of self-doubt and somewhat malleable which usually annoys me in a heroine. While I didn’t connect as well with her as I could have I certainly found myself rooting for her and I enjoyed her quirks and foibles. She wasn’t a silly character or an annoying heroine which I was grateful for. The pacing of the story was lovely – between Damon wanting to rush right in and Caleb determined to slow things down and let them unfold in their own time I felt the story did a great job of balancing between too fast and too slow. It helped a lot that Opal was injured and so the brothers couldn’t simply jump her bones the moment they allowed her into the cabin and their life.

The sex was hot and I found it to be sensual but not over the top. There was a small but interesting plot in the middle of the story that while I found it a little superficial it did round out the story nicely and keep it from being merely all about the threesome relationship and sex. In most ways I feel this book really delivered – with interesting and layered characters and some smoking hot threesome sex it was a great read and one I’d happily recommend to friends.

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.

The Devil’s Cum In His Eye by James Cox

The Devil’s Cum In His Eye by James Cox
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Short Story (83 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed byFern

Cop by day, erotic writer by night, stripper on the weekends, and Tomkin Coburn just found a dead body in his bedroom. But which occupation lead to murder?

Coburn has his teenage son in tow and a detective that seems to be interested in his butt as well as his innocence. He’ll do anything to protect his kid and the intense feelings he has for Detective Luke Early. The evidence quickly mounts against Coburn—murder weapon, body fluids, and oh yeah, no one in the world seems to know who the dead guy is.

Together, Coburn and Luke find themselves in the path of a killer, but can they unravel the mystery before it’s too late?

Tomkin was a police officer by day, an erotic romance author by night and a stripper over the weekend. Despite the busyness of his life, he enjoys every moment – until he wakes up next to a dead lover. Luke might be the detective in charge of solving the case, but that doesn’t mean he’s not attracted to the handsome Tomkin. Can they work out who is trying to frame Tomkin?

I have to admit, I really wasn’t keen on the title of this story. But after it had caught my eye numerous times I figured I just *had* to give it a try and I’m very glad I did. The mystery around the dead body was really well written and I thoroughly enjoyed the slightly noir feel to the writing style. This story could have turned all dark and angsty, but I was pleased that the author managed to inject just enough humor into it to keep the plot developments light and breezy. I thought the balance between noir detective story and comedy-of-errors was perfect and this really helped sell the story as a whole to me.

Luke and Tomkin’s characters were fun, smart and understandable and I enjoyed how even though they were clearly attracted to each other from their first meeting they didn’t simply hop right into bed. Luke was meant to be investigating Tomkin – for murder no less – and while they didn’t hide their attraction they were both sensible enough to not act on it until they had a number of other (non-Tomkin) suspects for the crime and they could both start a relationship without the treat of the investigation hanging over their heads.

While the mystery of who murdered Tomkin’s lover definitely is front and centre of this story there are a few deliciously hot sex scenes that left the romance reader in me very satisfied. This is a very strongly plotted story though – so readers looking for a sex-laded, erotic-heavy story mightn’t feel as happy as I did with the strong mystery plotline. Personally though, I loved it, an interesting mystery with a few good suspects – and although I guessed the ending – overall I liked that the plot took dominance over the sex. The fact Luke and Tomkin ended with an excellent start to their relationship was definitely a happy bonus for me.

A great and surprising story I will enjoy re-reading.

My Daring Duchess by Julie Johnstone

My Daring Duchess by Julie Johnstone
Publisher: DBA Darbyshire Publishing LLC
Genre: Historical
Length: Full length (190 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

When a lady bent on ruining rogues and a duke set on revenge attempt to derail each other’s plans, passion erupts into a love for the ages.

After being left brokenhearted by a duplicitous rake, Anne Adair no longer desires a husband—she wants justice. She’s traded in her foolish dream of happily-ever-after for the much more sensible one of thwarting the blackhearted lords who prey on innocent debutantes. But her first mission proves rather complicated when the dashing, devilish Duke of Kilmartin comes to the aid of her target.

Simon Sedgewick, the newly titled Duke of Kilmartin, never thought he would return to England, let alone attend a ball full of simpering lords. But when his oldest friend’s reputation is being smeared and Simon discovers that the perpetrator is none other than his enemy’s granddaughter, his long-festering desire for vengeance flares to life.

The moment Simon spies Miss Anne Adair across the glittering ballroom, he knows that the ravishing beauty is the perfect instrument for the retribution he thought lost to him. He does not know, however, that Anne has devised a scheme of her own. And soon, these two wary hearts will discover that the best laid plans are no match for love.

This is a lovely regency book with a daring heroine and a revengeful hero. Anne sets out to get revenge or reform a rogue who has ruined her friend. As she plans her attack she meets Simon who also has a reputation as a rogue. The plan falls into place, but she begins to have doubts. Is all as it seems or has someone been lying to get their revenge?

This is one of the better books that steps outside the bounds of Regency propriety. Well written, although there are a few typos, but these are easily overlooked in the flow of the story. Anne’s quest brings the past into the Regency present which will hopefully solve a lot of bitter heartache.

Although this book didn’t grab me and make me sorry to put it down, it was still a very pleasant read with lots of intrigue and excitement.