Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Hating Game: A Novel by Sally Thorne


Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

When Nancy, a friend from the Avon Addicts Group, couldn't stop raving about The Hating Game, I knew I had to give it a try, even though the angst-ridden, bitter rival stories seldom work for me because...well...they're angst-ridden. And bitter. I know a lot of people love this in their romance reading, but I'm not one of them. That said, The Hating Game definitely was all kinds of angsty, but in a fun, snicker-out-loud sort of way.

Josh and Lucy are both amazing characters, each flawed in a way that makes them the perfect match. And rather than choosing sides, I found myself happily cheering them both on in their quest to annoy each other. Their conniving and plotting and their many versions of "The Game" made this a story I couldn't put down. They bring one-upmanship to a whole new level, a level that had me smiling my way through their story. And the romance? Charming! Steamy, funny, unhurried... I loved it!

What a fantastic debut novel!!

An ARC was provided by Avon Books/William Morrow. In appreciation I'm giving them an honest review.

Purchase The Hating Game: A Novel by Sally Thorne on Amazon

Monday, October 3, 2016

Dukes Prefer Blondes (Dressmakers #4) by Loretta Chase


Just this time, can the beast tame the beauty?

Biweekly marriage proposals from men who can't see beyond her (admittedly breathtaking) looks are starting to get on Lady Clara Fairfax's nerves. Desperate to be something more than ornamental, she escapes to her favorite charity. When a child is in trouble, she turns to tall, dark, and annoying barrister Oliver Radford.

Though he's unexpectedly found himself in line to inherit a dukedom, Radford's never been part of fashionable society, and the blonde beauty, though not entirely bereft of brains, isn't part of his plans. But Clara overwhelms even his infallible logic, and when wedlock looms, all he can do is try not to lose his head over her.

It's an inconvenient marriage by ordinary standards, but these two are far from ordinary. Can the ton's most adored heiress and London's most difficult bachelor fall victim to their own unruly desires?

See, it's books like this that made me fall in love with Loretta Chase's stories years ago when I read Lord of Scoundrels and was swept off my feet. She knows how to write characters so wonderfully that they become living, breathing people who I want to know better. And the story plots are intriguing, compelling, and always leave me wanting more. She is, without a doubt, one of the very best historical romance authors out there.

Clara Fairfax is a force to be reckoned with which is one of the things I love most about this book. She's strong, intelligent, clever, and witty, and kept me on my toes because I never know what she might do next!

Oliver Radford, also known as Raven... what a great man. I really fell hard for him and enjoyed watching him come to terms with his feelings for Clara - and what those feelings would mean for his future. He, too, is strong, intelligent, clever, and witty, but he's also sexy, and passionate.

The bottom line: Even though it did start a bit slow, I really enjoyed this story, so much so I'm going to go back and read the first books in the series because I'm not ready to leave The Dressmakers world.

An ARC was provided by AvonBooks via Edelweiss. In appreciation I'm giving them an honest review.

Purchase Dukes Prefer Blondes (The Dressmakers Series) by Loretta Chase on Amazon

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Perks of Loving a Scoundrel (Seduction Diaries #3) by Jennifer McQuiston


Every girl dreams of a hero . . .

No one loves books more than Miss Mary Channing. Perhaps that’s why she’s reached the ripe old age of six-and-twenty without ever being kissed. Her future may be as bland as milk toast, but Mary is content to simply dream about the heroes and adventures she reads about in her books. That way she won’t end up with a villain instead.

But sometimes only a scoundrel will do.

When she unexpectedly finds herself in the arms of Geoffrey Westmore, London’s most notorious scoundrel, it feels a bit like a plot from one of her favorite novels. Suddenly, Mary understands why even the smartest heroines can fall prey to a handsome face. And Westmore is more handsome than most. But far worse than the damage to her reputation, the moment’s indiscretion uncovers an assassination plot that reaches to the highest levels of society and threatens the course of the entire country.

When a tight-laced miss and a scoundrel of epic proportions put their minds together, nothing can stand in their way. But unless they put their hearts together as well, a happy ending is anything but assured.

It’s no surprise that Ms. McQuiston has a loyal following of readers, and it’s the way she brings her characters to life and draws us into their world that keeps us coming back for more – and what a world it is! The tales she tells are not your run-of-the-mill historical romances, they are unique, compelling, exciting, and sure to entertain, first page to the last.

The entire supporting cast is a delight, but Mary and West are wonderful! Each has a strong, independent determination (AKA stubbornness) about them that had me not only laughing and sighing, but also falling in love with them and cheering them onto their happily ever after!

Note: If you love historical romance but haven’t yet tried this author’s writing, you’re missing out and need to take the plunge. Even though The Perks of Loving a Scoundrel is the 3rd in the Seduction Diaries series, I can assure you it can easily be read as a standalone.

An ARC was provided by Avon Books. In appreciation I’m giving them an honest review.