Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Murder at Beechwood by Alyssa Maxwell

Murder at BeechwoodI read the first book in this series but not the second so I can only assume that it was in that book that our heroine, Emma Cross, picked up the reputation as being someone who helps wayward souls, including a (former?) prostitute (which does NOT endear her to the upper crust family of one of Emma's (former?) admirers). It's this reputation that is probably the reason that Emma wakes up one morning to find a baby on her front porch, apparently abandoned. Does the death of a man dressed in groom's clothing have anything to do with the baby? Does the apparent murder of one of the upper crust, one of the people that Emma suspects might have been connected to the baby have an any significance? 
The historical notes and the way that Maxwell works her information into the stories is so seamless, I didn't even think that it might be based on fact.

A wonderful addition to the series and I can't wait to start Maxwell's new series as well, the snippet in this book starting out so well.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

50 Ways to Ruin a Rake by Jade Lee

50 Ways to Ruin a Rake (Rakes and Rogues, #1)Trevor Anaedsley, the heir of a duke, is in the country avoiding creditors and his grandfather who is determined that Trevor should marry. While there, he is annoying the heck out of his old tutor's daughter, Mellie Smithson. Mellie thinks that her scientific father might actually pay attention to her and her scientific designs if only that -- former pupil -- would leave. Not to mention the fact that he keeps getting embroiled in her family's plan to marry her off to her cousin, the hulking poet, Ronnie.
So Trevor comes up with the idea that they should pretend to be engaged. That way they can each further their own plans without ever having to do the actual deed. Does this ever work in romance novels? Nope. No it doesn't.
Mellie was an interesting heroine. Definitely an example of plopping down a character with modern ideas but I think that Lee made it work. The rest of the story was a bit uneven for me (especially the ending which was WAY overdone) but mostly a good book that won't deter me from reading more by this author.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Lady Hellion by Joanna Shupe

Sophia and Quint have both been damaged, yet are moving on with their lives. Well, Sophia is anyway. She's been running around London, often dressed as a man, helping the poor women of the city, the ones who no one else seems to notice.
Quint, on the other hand, has locked himself away in his house suffering with acute agoraphobia and a few other mental issues that make him fear going mad like his father. Yet, the problems with Lady Sophia are driving him mad.
Compounding the issues is the fact that the two are wildly attracted to each other but Quint is just as wildly against marriage and branching out his damaged family tree.
Add to that the problem of several "ladies of the night" who have been disappearing and then ending up dead in the Thames with their right hands cut off....
A thoroughly enjoyable book. I loved that Quint's problems weren't solved just because of Sophie's magic vajayjay, that he actually had to work and hadn't overcome them, even at the end of the book.
It felt like a book with bits and pieces of other things I had read before, but put together in a new and delightful story. Definitely three and a half stars.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison

The book picks up pretty much where Murder at Honeychurch Hall leaves off. The HS3 (train) looks like it's going to come right through Honeychurch Hall and Little Dipperton, meaning everyone that we met in the last book is going to be put out of their homes. And, of course, the government is not going to be compensating most of them. Including Patty and Joyce Gully who help open the book with a literal bang when they start shooting at government agent Valentine Price-Avery. But soon after, Joyce is found dead. Accident or murder? Then another body is found and... well, you'll have to read the book.

This book still made my head spin with all of the "who knows what" information but it was slightly better than the last book (maybe I'm getting into the groove of the writing?) and I will definitely be looking forward to the next one in the series. And I'm still not sure when this is supposed to be set. I'm thinking maybe early 2000s? People, even in a teeny town in England, would have internet and cell phones. Maybe not at "the hall" but certainly the majority of the town would.
I do have to mention that I like the fact that Kat isn't your typical amateur detective. She's not into investigating the crimes and going around the police. Rather, she just questions things she's interested in (usually before there's a body) and happens to be in the line of the story.

Followed by A Killer Ball at Honeychurch Hall

Monday, May 4, 2015

Summer on Lovers' Island by Donna Alward

I read this book and Kiss Me by Susan Mallery in close succession and quite enjoyed both. It made for a nice streak of contemporary enjoyment.

We've met the hero, Josh Collins in previous books. He is still recovering from his marriage. Though a widower, it wasn't his wife's death that caused the demise of his union. Rather, it was the fact that she was (and always had been) in love with Josh's cousin (who found his own HEA in Treasure on Lilac Lane). Now that there's a new doctor in town, he doesn't have any emotions left for a "forever," kind of relationship. But maybe some right now...?
Lizzie Howard has her own issues. Her mother is rapidly descending into Alzheimer's, her father just passed away, and Lizzie worked so hard she (may have? It seems unclear whether it was actually a mistake or just one of those things. But she feels like) killed a patient. So, while on forced leave from her ER, she agrees to cover her friend's maternity leave as a GP on a picturesque island.
Though neither one wants more than a physical relationship, they are drawn to each other and may just find their HEA anyway.
This series is starting to suffer a little bit from overuse of previous characters. I also thought the birthing scene was a bit overdramatic. But overall it was a good book that gave me some happy feels and I look forward to the next book in the series.