Rules for the Reckless series by Meredith Duran

I’ve been reading my way through this series over the past week-plus. I had read Fool Me Twice three years ago but not picked up any of the others, for some reason. This time I started at the beginning, with Michael and Elizabeth’s story in That Scandalous Summer. It really added depth to Fool Me Twice (though that book works as a standalone too!) to see its characters through others’ eyes.

Moving on to Lady Be Good – I really liked this one, though I found it a little uneven. I think that having more detail about Christian’s background with his Russian nemesis would have strengthened the occasionally-outlandish revenge plot. Christian and Lilah were a lovely pairing, and I enjoyed Lilah’s resourcefulness. Bonus points for her being a self-rescuing heroine!

In the next, Luck Be A Lady, we get Lilah’s uncle Nick – who was really quite a negative character in Lady Be Good – paired with Catherine Everleigh, the Ice Queen. Nick is one of my favorite types of characters – the bad boy with a heart of gold – but I had a hard time reconciling some of his actions in the previous book with the wonderful man he was portrayed as here. Catherine’s character verged on caricature – a little too far into the shy/fearful/cold and with not enough real motivation. All that said I really loved the story and in the second half, the characters did a wonderful job of pushing each other through their fears and into growth.

Now I’m reading A Lady’s Code of Misconduct. I’ll let you know soon what I think!

Passion Favors the Bold by Theresa Romain

4.5 stars and a wish for more!

This book had everything I love: a road trip, a curmudgeonly hero, a bit of a swindle, a heroine determined to make her own way in the world….

Theresa Romain’s writing is a delight because of the way she builds up layers and layers of fine detail until suddenly you’ve arrived at the plot’s climax, and everything makes perfect sense. Her characters manage to have conflict without being horrible to each other, and the secondary characters are generally a delight.  I’m already eagerly anticipating the next book in this series.

-Disclaimer – I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

The Devil’s Submission by Nicola Davidson

The Devil’s Submission on GoodReads

2.5 stars.
I think my expectations/hopes for this book were too high and it suffered accordingly. It was light on plot – really, really light on plot – and started with most of the interesting part of the H/h relationship already in the past. It read more like a brief couple of chapters from a longer book.

There was a lot of sex, of course, and it was as steamy as advertised. a lot of the characterizations just didn’t ring true for me, though, and as someone who reads a lot of BDSM romance as well as nonfic on the subject, certain aspects were slightly off to me (for example – I sincerely doubt Charlie would have sent Eliza off to use a cane in her very first scene with Grayson! Yowch!) Your mileage, as they say, may vary.
I also had some difficulty suspending belief when it came to how all the characters in the book were like “oh, you operate/live at a kinky Regency era sex club? NBD.”

Things I loved: It was great to have the H as the submissive for once. The writing itself was great, cheeky and fun.

I think it’s a good read for someone looking for a hot, fast, fun romp. Nice way to spend a rainy Sunday night! I would also be happy to read more by this author as her writing style itself was light and fun.

*Disclaimer: I received a free advance copy from NetGalley in return for an unbiased review.*

If I Only Had a Duke by Lenora Bell

4 Give-Me-MORE stars!

Oh, how I loved Thea! A lady who knows what she wants, and isn’t going to let some meddling duke get in the way. Or the meddling duke’s meddling servant, who cooks up plan after plan to get them in bed together! I especially loved the “surprise” the duke’s valet had waiting for them in the carriage.

This was a five-star H/h pairing and I loved them together!

Dalton’s mysterious mission and “dark past” was a little harder to believe, and the plot did tumble into predictable toward the end with a too-easy resolution, knocking this down a star. Even so, it’s on my keeper shelf and I’ll be looking for more by Lenora Bell!

Baron by Joanna Shupe

3.5 not-into-rich-politicians stars

This was maybe not the best-timed read for me, coming as it did just before the events of November 2016. I was not inclined to kindness toward a rich politician, and really never warmed to the hero of the story as I might have in, say, 2015. I also wasn’t sold on just what the attraction was between the two of them – he seemed to dislike her so much but just had to have her anyways?
For all that, it was still a good read, and I hope to re-read it in a year or two when (if) all this has settled.

**I received this as a free NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review**