Monday, 27 September 2021

Carole's Monday: Wicked Angel by Julia LOndon

Author: Julia London
Narrator: Anne Flosnik
Title: Wicked Angel (The Rogues of Regent Street #2)
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Audiobook
Published: 1999
Where I got It: Audible

Forbidden love is always a scandalous choice....

She raced across the pasture, vaulted a fence, and landed, stunned and breathless, on top of the most handsome man she had ever seen. The bemused stranger stayed to capture the fancy of the brood of orphaned children in her charge, then stole Lauren Hill's heart with a searing kiss as he left. Lauren couldn't tell him she was a widowed countess fallen on hard times. She tried to forget him-until she saw him again at a London ball. The man who haunted her dreams was a duke, out of her class...and he was pledged to another woman.

The ton is ablaze with talk of the ravishing Bavarian countess. Stunned, Alexander Christian, Duke of Sutherland, recognizes Lauren as the country girl who's captured his heart. Duty has forced him to pledge himself to another, to take his proper place in society and in Parliament. He wants one night with his blue-eyed enchantress, but will he be able to walk away from her again, or will he risk it all to be with the woman who fires his blood and makes him think of a . . . Wicked Angel

This is technically book 2, but you can for sure read this out of order or as as standalone. The previous couple is briefly mentioned here and there and pop up. It has no real impact on the story.

Lauren Hill is now widowed, so she returns back to England to care for her family land and the orphans under her protection. After a certain event with being chased by a hog, she lands on the most handsome man she has ever seen. The man is none other than Alexander who is a Duke. However, they keep their real titles to themselves. He a duke and she a widowed Bavarian countess. After spending some time together they becomes friends and maybe something more after sharing a goodbye kiss. The two meet again in London. He is already betrothed and Lauren needs to find a rich husband to save her land and the orphans. The two realize, though, they are madly in love with each other but they have responsibilities.

I was absolutely hooked from page one. I adored these two together. They seemed so perfect. They had a rare chance to fall for each other without the weight of their titles and their responsibilities. They also didn't kiss or have smexy time until he had to leave and all they shared was a heated kiss. I liked this meeting and getting to know each other. 

However...things - for me - began to corrode when both parties got to London.

Yes. Alexander was engaged already to a really nice girl. Maybe if she was a beyotch or rude or dumb or they were JUST newly engaged or something....I wouldn't have felt bad. However, she was sweet and innocent and they were engaged for like 2 years. She had previously been engaged to his older brother, but the brother died so when he became duke he decided to take her on. Poor girl. I felt SO bad for her. I want her to find love darnit. Yes - it was obvious her and Alexander were NOT right for each other, but she was so sweet. 

And Magnus. OMG. He wanted to help Lauren and I really feel like he liked her. AND SHE JUST RIPS HIS HEART OUT! WAH! Honestly?????? I feel like him and Lauren would've been perfect together. Sighs. He was an angel and he deserves love too. I did some research and he never got a book. GAH! The author did mention in passing in the epilogue he saved a girl? So maybe they fell in love too. Sighs. I'll have to use my own imagination I guess.

Okay...two great people hurt two great people. It happens....but was Alexander great? He was sort of a jerk to his fiancé, to Lauren, to his brother, to his everyone. Plus.....what was special about him? Okay - he was nice to the orphans and didn't point out Lauren's brother's disability. Sure. Points there. However, all Lauren ever thought about was how hawt he was, how big his hands are, how nice his legs are, and he's a Duke. What truly had her in LOVE with him? He understood her quotes she would randomly say? He was a decent politician and wanted to lower taxes for businesses? I mean...he owns a business so it is self serving for sure. IDK. It all seemed rather shallow when it came to him. Lauren was a nice, pretty, smart, and charitable gal. Too good for Alexander methinks.

I am kinda bummed. I felt like Lauren should've ended up with Magnus in the end. He was a grumpy fella, but he seemed like he had a personality outside of his looks and he was willing to wait for Lauren and even marry her and take the orphans along. Good egg there. 

The narrator was good. I liked her. No issues there. 

In the end, I wish I had liked this more. It started out awesome, but Alexander lost too many points with me. I wanted Lauren to be with someone else. Maybe he will redeem himself if we see him around town in the next one. 2 stars from me. 


- #64 for Audiobook challenge

Friday, 24 September 2021

Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley

Format; 342 pages, Hardcover

Published: January 5, 2016 by HarperCollins Canada

YA Historical fiction


The Bronte kids juvenilia did feel juvenile. It was a good read for the moment, fast and easy, but at the same time I was not impressed.

The Bronte siblings writes stories, and then actually visit that world.

And fall in love with characters, and mourn lost siblings, and well we never really see anything except their one room and their world that is not fleshed out.

But hey, fast read, I like that. Good for the moment. Though not something I would recommend. I know, weirdly conflicting

Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne. The Brontë siblings have always been inseparable. After all, nothing can bond four siblings quite like life in an isolated parsonage out on the moors. Their vivid imaginations lend them escape from their strict upbringing, actually transporting them into their created worlds: the glittering Verdopolis and the romantic and melancholy Gondal. But at what price? As Branwell begins to slip into madness and the sisters feel their real lives slipping away, they must weigh the cost of their powerful imaginations, even as their characters—the brooding Rogue and dashing Duke of Zamorna—refuse to let them go.

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Audio: The Devil's own Duke by Lenora Bell

Narrated by: Beverley A. Crick

Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins

Release date: 09-28-21

Publisher: HarperAudio

Historical romance

To review

Henrietta loves her vineyard, she wants to show everyone how good English wine can be. She is 24, on the shelf (who needs a man when you have wine!)

Ash is a gambler, and he has the biggest con of his life played. Become a Duke!

They fancy each other at once. What, he is to become her father's heir? Heck no! Enemies! So she tries to take him down, but oh how they fancy each other.

I liked Henrietta, cos she was just so wine crazy. Ash on the other hand, well he does play that con, and yes he does start to fall for her (but he still thinks nobility is evil), and it he does have memories so maybe he really is a distant distant distant relation (nothing creepy). But he grew on me, everyone can change.

Nice one, they both knew what they wanted.

A good narrator. Distinct female and male voices. She keeps the banter and emotions going.

Lady Henrietta Prince is far too busy for romance. She’s dedicated her life to turning her family vineyards into a profitable wine venture. But when she shares a kiss at midnight with a handsome stranger, she’s captivated…until he claims to be the distant heir to her father’s earldom.

Ash Ellis is a gambler who lives life on the edge. Now he’s locked his sights on a glittering prize and nothing will stand in his way.

When Henrietta is forced to marry the wickedly seductive scoundrel to keep her beloved vineyards, she vows that Ash will never have her trust, or her love. Even if his kisses are more intoxicating than the finest of wines.

His new bride is certainly beautiful, but biddable? Not so much. Ash will settle for nothing less than Henrietta’s total surrender…but is he the one in danger of losing his heart?

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Audio: A lot like Adios by Alexis Daria


Narrated by: Seraphine Valentine

Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins

Release date: 09-14-21

Publisher: HarperAudio

Contemporary romance

To review

Two former besties who never fully got to explore if they could have been more meet again. And they are both idiots.

Gabriel left and never talked again. Internet people! You can be friends while living far away, especially considering how close they were. But then he ditched his family after a fight too.But I get that, his father had been really hard on him,I thought he forgave too easily.

Michelle then, well she was an idiot too. She got mad at him cos he wanted to leave. He has to follow his own dreams! Not just stay cos you are best friends, and maybe more. But they had been best friends since they were 6, I wish I had friends like that, I would not dump them then.

They meet again, they realise they have the hots for each other. Better scratch that itch. But his life is in LA, and she,well why couldn't she leave? Cos of family? I guess the book teaches, never leave family, they are more important than love. I over analyze. But yes, Michelle does seem rooted in place.

It was a fun one, they deserved their second chance, but they had to work for it.

The narrator was really good. I could feel I was there with them. She was excellent at voices and feeling.

After burning out in her corporate marketing career, Michelle Amato has built a thriving freelance business as a graphic designer. So what if her love life is nonexistent? She’s perfectly fine being the black sheep of her marriage-obsessed Puerto Rican-Italian family. Besides, the only guy who ever made her want happily-ever-after disappeared thirteen years ago.

Gabriel Aguilar left the Bronx at eighteen to escape his parents’ demanding expectations, but it also meant saying goodbye to Michelle, his best friend and longtime crush. Now, he’s the successful co-owner of LA’s hottest celebrity gym, with an investor who insists on opening a New York City location. It’s the last place in the world Gabe wants to go, but when Michelle is unexpectedly brought on board to spearhead the new branding campaign, everything Gabe’s been running from catches up with him.

Michelle is torn between holding Gabe at arm’s length or picking up right where they left off—in her bed. As old feelings resurface while they work to make the new gym location a reality, their reunion takes a sexy turn. Facing mounting pressure from their families—who think they’re dating—and growing uncertainty about their futures, can they resolve their past mistakes, or is it only a matter of time before Gabe says adios again?


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