Thursday, August 17, 2017

ARC Review: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

The Duchess Deal

Author: Tessa Dare
Publisher: Avon
Series: Girl Meets Duke #1
Pages: Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date:& August 22nd 2017


hen girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
- They will be husband and wife by night only.
- No lights, no kissing.
- No questions about his battle scars.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
- They will have dinner together every evening.
- With conversation.
- And unlimited teasing.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…


And this ladies and gentleman. This right here is why I read historical romances.
So if you wanna try the genre. Read it. If you like the genre. Read it.
Well, basically just READ IT.


okay, just kidding. About the end of the review. Not about the reading part. Because The Duchess Deal is .. well nothing short of amazing.
Right from the beginning I got sucked in and I barely could put my kindle down in between. I wasn't really planning to just read for most of my Saturday afternoon. No, I was going to start this because I felt like some Tessa Dare. Something swoony and well written, and adult. (I've been reading YA for the week). My plans were to read a little, finish some work and do some social stuff... and well I read. The fact that I was expected to have supper in between and talk to my husband was a tad exasperating, because hello? how disruptive is that? I was right in the middle of .. of.. well, swooning for Ash.
Let me stop fangirling and get to the crux of the matter.
As I said this is really well crafted.
The writing style is classic Dare. So it has beautiful descriptions and fun banter, hot smut scenes and amazing quirky characters. On top of that, it feels authentic. It feels like it could have happened.

The storyline felt a bit like a mash-up of Beauty & the Beast, Notting Hill and Love Actually. Well, basically if their parents had a love child. Or is it their grandparents? Who knows And actually it doesn't matter. It has the best parts of all three but it feel less fairytale or make believe than any of them. It also seems to have more depth. It definitely is more adult ('cause there is smut, very hot & sensual smut) I didn't want it to end, at all. And I hope there will be a book for each and everyone of the fabulous quirky girlfriends Emma made on the way. And maybe a book for a grownup Menace? Well, I just want more!

The character building is what makes this such an amazing read however. I adored each and every character. I felt for Ash, adore his weird little hobbies and his Robin-Hood streak (or is it more Batman and Robin?) I love how Dare shows how calculating he thinks he is, his insecurities and yet how wonderful he truly is, despite being lost somewhat and grumpy.
Emma is your big hearted do-gooder at first glance. But she is also brave and yet very insecure and lonely. Just like Ash the more I read the more I got her and I rooted for her. I feel like I got to know them both and I understand them. More than that... I could identify with both of them. And let's face it, I have no big ugly scars nor do I have a terrible father. Yet I saw bits of myself in both of them.
The support cast is quite extensive and each character is unique and well written. They don't feel like support but rather like full parts. As I said I hope Dare will write books about them, because not only did I get to know them quite well, I adore them and I want to revisit them all.

I think in the end we all read novels, because we do live through the characters. We discover new worlds through them, explore new settings.. but in only the best books to we identify with the characters, we see pieces of ourselves in them. This is one of those books for me.
Which is why I can only recommend for you to go read it.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Review: Taming the Rebel by Dawn Klehr

Taming the Rebel

Author: Dawn Klehr
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (Crush)
Pages: Kindle Edition, 198 pages
Genre: YA
Release Date: August 14th 2017


Rebel Hart should be at home taking care of her father after his breakup with his boyfriend, not tromping through the woods at summer camp. He’s had his heart broken beyond repair, and the way she sees it, there’s only one person to blame—the boyfriend’s son. So when that infuriatingly gorgeous quarterback turns up at the same camp, she plans to make him pay.
Justice Brody isn't happy about trading training camp for actual summer camp. But if he wants to stay on the football team, he has to show that he can be drama-free. He welcomes the anonymity that comes with summer camp…until he realizes the one girl who knows him better than anyone is there, too. Rebel is off-limits, impossibly beautiful…and trouble with a capital T. Still, he can’t stay away. And even as Rebel exacts her revenge, in several very embarrassing and painful ways, neither can she.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains pranks, adult language, and kisses that will make you wish for a summer romance of your own.


This took me forever to read, simply because I found barely time to read. I was traveling on my own in Europe and Taming the Rebel was my traveling companion.
In those moments when I found time to read, I savored my time with this cute & fluffy.
And let me tell you, it's a great travel companion and a fab summer read. It was my companion in the city of love- aka Paris, I felt it was super appropriate to read about their budding romances their little adventures..I wouldn't have wanted to read anything else but something super cute.
Taming the Rebel is just that. Cute. Lighthearted. Swoony.

It's well written with a good dose of humor and alot of insight. To be honest, at first I felt a bit like Klehr is doing the let be open-minded kind of thing, when I found out about Rebel's family. I didn't mind but I didn't care for it either. But as the story went on, I actually liked how she handled the situation and how she showed Justice's struggles with it. She managed to show the difficulties he faced without being judgmental or opinionated. It was just stated. And in fact this is what endeared me to the book even more at the end. Because while, this theme is often picked up these days, I think it is seldom dealt with so elegantly and without putting the authors opinion into it. Really well done.

I adored Justice from the get go. His POV is awesome, I could connect with him instantly. Rebel, not so much. I found her extremely opinionated, though she is a stickler for being open minded, which is exactly what annoyed me. I found her hypocritical in many ways and though she claims to be open, she did only see her point of view, in my opinion.
But as the story went on, she grew on me, alot. I ended up loving them both and was invested in their story.

The story line is probably the usual usual- well except for the family situation- enemies to lovers being one themes, there are a few more popular YA themes in here. But the romance was cute and there were some super cute moments, so I didn't care that it wasn't the most inventive story out there. I might have even sighed a few times....

Tested and proved to be a great travel companion and perfect summer romance. A must read for lovers of the genre.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Review: Changes in Latitudes by Jen Malone

Changes in Latitudes

Author: Jen Malone
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Genre: YA
Release Date: July 25th 2017


A "road" trip romance that takes place at sea!

All Cassie wants is to get some solid ground under her feet following the shock of her parents' divorce. So when she learns of her mom's plans to take Cassie and her brother, Drew, on a four-month sailing trip from Oregon to Mexico, she's stunned. There is absolutely nothing solid about the Pacific Ocean.

Cassie is furious. And nervous. It's been hard enough keeping Drew sheltered from what Cassie knows about her mother's role in breaking their family apart, but living in such close quarters threatens to push her anger past its tipping point. Enter Jonah, a whip-smart deckhand who's as gorgeous as he is flirtatious. Cassie tries to keep him at a distance, but the more time they spend together--wandering San Francisco, riding beachside roller coasters, and exploring the California coastline--the harder it is to fight the attraction.

​Cassie wants to let herself go, but her parents' split has left her feeling adrift in a sea of questions she can't even begin to answer. Can she forgive her mom? Will home ever feel the same? Should she take a chance on Jonah? With life's unpredictable tides working against her, Cassie must decide whether to swim against them... or dive right in.

How to rate this?

Well the first half is around 3 stars for me because well frankly I found Cassie extremely annoying. I get anger I get being lost but she was too self-centred and had no empathy for anyone else, nor did she consider anyone else's situation or POV.
But then Jonah came along. And me like Jonah. A lot. I really got caught up in the romance. Let me warn you it's not your slambang insta forever. But it's fancy and attraction that slowly becomes more. Super cute and very slow burn. I loved the near kiss scene though it was utterly frustrating. In the best possible way. Then as things happen, Cassie does not quite change but she starts considering things a bit more and she starts realising that just sulking about crap isn't going to help anyone and with that she grew on me. The last 20% were awesome! So I would in fact give the second half 4.5Stars... which makes 3.75Stars, and while I am happy to have half stars, not going to do quarter ones. So 4 Stars it is.

Retrospectively I really enjoyed the journey Cassie went through. While she didn't actually change that much, she decided to take a leap and more importantly started considering others. I love how much she learnt and how she got through her turmoil through traveling.
Jonah is sigh-worthy, wise and cute. Total book boyfriend material or as Cassie puts it Pirate Sexypants.
Drew is such a wonderful support cast, he is an old soul and I love how Cassie actually gets to know different sides of him during their journey.
The rest of the support cast is equally interesting, even the one's we don't get to see/hear much.
In the end this is about Cassie and her inward and outward journey.

Traveling has been an important part in my life as long as I can think. I am one that is all for sailing in... While traveling I always learn a lot about myself, it reminds me of how insignificant and small my problems are but mostly traveling always opens up one's perspective. Malone did a fantastic job on conveying that. The descriptions of the journey, the places, the elations and the downsides are fabulous. It's clear Malone has done quite a bit of traveling herself but her prose is simply perfect for this book. It's easy to read, yet descriptive and very insightful.

The storyline is well paced, has some cool twists that were totally unexpected. As I mentioned I totally adore the romance. I also love the end. It's not a HEA, but rather there is closure while there is hope and an opening. The end of a chapter rather than THE end. Just like life. I totally love it

So basically my issue was that I found the MC in the beginning to egotistical and sulky. But there are so much beauty and thought provoking moments in this I ended up loving it. And there is a cute romance in it as well.
Wonderful novel for all who are wanderer at heart!



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