Tuesday, 13 August 2019

[Giveaway] Winners of the Madeline Hunter Bookmarks' Giveaway

Hi everyone! We have the winners of Romancing Romances' first international giveaway!

First of all, thank you to Madeline Hunter, for sending these amazing bookmarks. I hope you like them as much as I did.

As mentioned in the original post, each winner will receive three (3) bookmarks!

Here are the winners:

I've sent emails to the winners, and you have 48h to answer!

Thank you so much to everyone to entered this giveaway. I hope to do another one soon, so don't forget to follow the blog, to learn all the news first hand 😉

Thursday, 8 August 2019

[Review] The Wallflower Wager, by Tessa Dare

Title The Wallflower Wager
Series: Girl Meets Duke #3
Author: Tessa Dare
Publisher: Avon
Number of pages: 368
Publication date: August 13th 2019

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
They call him the Duke of Ruin. To an undaunted wallflower, he's just the beast next door.

Wealthy and ruthless, Gabriel Duke clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society—and now he wants to get even.

Loyal and passionate, Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart. When her imposing—and attractive—new neighbor demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes.

Done, Gabriel says. How hard can it be to find homes for a few kittens?

And a two-legged dog.

And a foul-mouthed parrot.

And a goat, an otter, a hedgehog . . .

Easier said than done, for a cold-blooded bastard who wouldn’t know a loving home from a workhouse. Soon he’s covered in cat hair, knee-deep in adorable, and bewitched by a shyly pretty spinster who defies his every attempt to resist. Now she’s set her mind and heart on saving him. Not if he ruins her first.

I received an eARC at no cost from the author, and I am leaving a voluntary and honest review. Thank you.

Reading a book by Tessa Dare is always a pleasure. There are always funny, romantic moments with her books.

Penny is one of the most adorable characters ever. She’s an animal lover, and a vegetarian – in the 1800’s! She takes care of animals that were hurt, or that no one wanted. She’s one of the most lovable people, she’s caring, and sweet, and a great friend. She’s someone we would all love to have in our lives.

Gabe (Gabriel Duke) is fantastic. He’s ruthless, but, to be honest, it’s one of the things I like about him. Let’s face it, people take advantage of other people, and he just collects what they thought they could always owe. And the ton doesn’t like it. Too bad, if you ask me. Not his problem. Don’t like what he does? Then don’t give him the chance to do so, by not having debts everywhere!

Anyway. Penny lives next door to this handsome Duke of Ruin. And their first meeting is hilarious! Penny has a parrot, the parrot flies away to Gabe’s house, and she follows, and his… pretty much naked. And what a scene! Tessa Dare is one of the best writers for sexy scenes – mind, not necessarily sex scenes, but everything before, after and the sex scene itself. It makes us readers feel as good as the characters.

They strike an unusual friendship with attraction at first sight – not love, attraction. Loves comes later.

Penny has the best of friends, but lately they have their own families, and their free time is limited. And Gabriel decides to help her with her new predicament. Penny’s brother wanted her to leave London, and go back to her family’s estate in Cumberland, and Gabriel doesn’t want her to go, because her presence as a neighbour would help him sell his new house. And Penny doesn’t want to leave her house, and she has a past that she doesn’t want to re-live, which might have happened if she left for Cumberland.

Gabe helps Penny, and he’s ambitious, relentless, and he gets things done. Penny is so assertive about what she wants, she doesn’t leave things to chance. And when she wants Gabriel, and he wants her, things heat up! And wow! They have such sweet, romantic, sexy moments.

Like I mentioned before, there’s something in Penny’s past that could have made her a scared, sad person, but no. She’s such a happy, tender, devoted person. It’s handled beautifully, with the hero feeling angry about what she had to go through, but I really liked that the women got together, and Penny handled it on her own – she’s fierce!

So, read this book! You won’t regret it.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

[Review] Lord of Sin, by Heather Boyd

Title Lord of Sin
Series: Distinguished Rogues #10
Author: Heather Boyd
Publisher: Independently Published by Heather Boyd
Number of pages: 250
Publication date: August 6th 2019

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
In the battle between love and duty, the heart has the most to lose…

Despite his previous irksomeness, Lord Julian Wade has become a dear confidant to Portia Hayes. He’s proven attentive, honorable, clever, and would make many a lady a fine catch. Not herself, alas. Wade has naught but lint in his pockets, and Portia is expected to make an advantageous match. Her recent betrothal to the Duke of Montrose thrills her parents, but as she learns of his unfavorable reputation—and equally untenable behavior—Portia’s happiness is less assured. As is her chance of being loved.

Julian Wade may have lost the battle for Portia’s hand, but her heart has yet to be won. Certainly his old enemy Montrose is unworthy of her affections, and indeed, it seems the dastardly duke is up to his usual unsavory tricks. But Julian has a few tricks of his own, as well as the support of dear friends. Penniless though he may be, should he win Portia’s love once and for all, Julian may yet prove to be the richest gentleman about Town.

I received an eARC at no cost from the author, and I am leaving a voluntary and honest review. Thank you.

This was the first book I’ve read by Heather Boyd. And it was a great surprise, especially since this book has a “friends to lovers”, which is one of my favourites.

But I feel like I must point out that we don’t actually have a lot of moments when we can actually see Portia Hayes and Julian Wade as friends, because that seemed to mostly happen in the previous books – which I have not read.

Portia is a bit arrogant and is used to getting everything her way. She’s flirty, a good friend, and independent. And she wants to fulfil her family’s wish, which is for her to marry a high ranking gentleman, so that her family – especially her younger sister – have a better position in the ton. But she wishes to marry for love – or at least to have a happy marriage. And then the duke of Montrose proposes. And she can’t say no.

At first, she thinks it might be a dream, that even though they don’t know each other, he can’t be as bad as everyone else says. And then the invitations start to thin up, and she realizes that the dream life her family wanted wasn’t real. And she decides things have to change.

Julian Wade has been in love with Portia for several years. He thinks that after so long, she will realize that he’s in love with her, and she will fall in love with him as well. Things didn’t work out as he had initially planned but, of course, this is a historical romance, so the HEA is guaranteed.

There are several funny moments during the book, and the romance heats up a bit towards the end. And Portia finally takes control of her life, and she sets everything so that the mean, controlling Montrose gets what he deserves, and she gets her happy ending with Julian.

A great start with this author.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

[Giveaway] Madeline Hunter's Bookmarks

Hi everyone! Welcome to Romancing Romances' first international giveaway!

First of all, thank you to Madeline Hunter, for sending these amazing bookmarks. I hope you like them as much as I did.

I'll be giving away 3 bookmarks (for yourself, and for you to share with your friends, or your library, for example) to 3 winners! Three people will win this giveaway!

Here are the rules:

1) This giveaway is open between August 1st 15h (GMT time) and August 12th 23:59(GMT).

2) All participations that do not fill the requisites and/or do not follow these rules, will be considered void.

3) It is Mandatory to either follow the blog or follow the Facebook page of Romancing Romances.
If you follow Romancing Romances both through the blog and facebook, you'll get an extra entry.

4) It's MANDATORY to do a public share of this giveaway in a social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc).

5) The winners will be chosen via random.org.

6) The winners will have their name published in the blog, and will be contacted by email.

7) Only one participation for person. International. Void where prohibited.

8) Must be 18 or older, or have parental permission to enter this giveaway.

8) Romancing Romances is not responsible for any lost/misplaced orders.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

[Review] The Irish Heiress, by Kaitlin O'Riley

Title The Irish Heiress
Series: Hamilton Cousins #2
Author: Kaitlin O'Riley
Publisher: Zebra
Number of pages: 352
Publication date: July 30th 2019

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
The Hamilton sisters have found true love to rival any novels sold in their famous London bookshops. And the story continues, as each of their offspring discovers the perfect partner...

Quiet and intuitive, Lady Mara Reeves has always felt more at home amid the green hills of her native Ireland than in London's stifling ballrooms. Determined to remain single, she's adept at gently rebuffing any suitor who comes her way. So why is she so drawn to Foster Sheridan, Earl of Sterling? It's a connection unlike anything she's ever known, yet complicated by one scandalous fact: the man she believes to be her destiny is already married.

Trapped in a loveless union with a woman who refuses to divorce him, Foster is resigned to loneliness until he meets the exquisite Mara. Her wants her as a wife, not a mistress, but he can't resist her unconventional offer. Their passion is intense, as is the risk. For even as Foster follows Mara home to Ireland, their pasts will lead them toward danger that only the deepest love can overcome.

I received an eARC at no cost from the author, and I am leaving a voluntary and honest review. Thank you.

This book just wasn’t right for me. I wanted to try this author but this book wasn’t a good idea.

It says clearly in the synopsis that this book deals with the hero and heroine cheating the hero’s wife. She was a broken person, for sure, but I still don’t like the idea of Mara and Foster cheating.

To be honest, I wasn’t even a fan of Mara and Foster. I loved Mara’s family, but Mara herself spent most of the time crying, and she was a bit annoying. Foster was… he didn’t act. He only acted when it was convenient for him, and then told himself that it wasn’t just for him, it was for his wife, Rose, too. Well, it might have been true, but it didn’t feel like it.

To be completely honest, I liked Rose – aka the “villain” – more than our heroes. She was broken hearted, which made her cruel. I am in no way excusing her actions – she was a horrible woman, but life made her that way. She could have been happier – not happy, happier – if she had chosen too, but she walled in her sadness, and everything and everyone she missed. She was miserable. And yet, she was so much more interesting than the main characters.

The writing didn’t captivate me, and the story, which sounded quite interesting, just didn’t live up to the expectation.

Sunday, 30 June 2019

[Review] A Study in Scandal, by Caroline Linden

Title A Study in Scandal
Series: Scandalous #3.5
Author: Caroline Linden
Publisher: Caroline Linden
Number of pages: 130
Publication date: February 16 2016

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After a youthful infatuation went terribly wrong, Lady Samantha Lennox gave up all thought of suitors and happily-ever-after. But when she angers her strict and demanding father, the Earl of Stratford, he retaliates by arranging a marriage for her to a man she could never admire, much less love. In a panic, Samantha flees, only to find herself lost, alone, and nearly kidnapped--until an unlikely hero saves her.

George Churchill-Gray is an artist, not a knight in shining armor, but he doesn't hesitate to rescue Samantha from disaster and offer her sanctuary. He wouldn't mind if she repaid him by modeling for his latest painting. He's enchanted by her face...her smile...all of her, really. But with every study he sketches, he falls a little more in love with her, and Samantha begins to suspect her scandalous actions might lead to the sort of love she never thought to find...

I received an eARC at no cost from the author, and I am leaving a voluntary and honest review. Thank you.

Although not a fan of novellas, it’s always a pleasure to read one written by Caroline Linden.

The hero, Lord George, is an artist, and the way the author describes his works, and his portraits of Lady Samantha, is so good you can visualize them perfectly when reading.

I liked the chemistry and spark you could feel between the main characters. And how easy it was to hate/really dislike Samantha’s father, and therefore support Samantha and George in their love. A forced proximity kind of trope, I would say.

A short review for a delightful, yet short book.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

[Review] More Than a Rogue, by Sophie Barnes

Title: More Than a Rogue
Series: The Crawfords #2
Author: Sophie Barnes
Publisher: Independently Published
Number of pages: 280
Publication date: June 25th 2019

All she wanted was a kiss…

What she got, was fiery passion…

Emily Howard knows she is destined to be a spinster. She has accepted this fate, but that doesn't stop her from wanting to experience kissing. What she doesn't expect, is for Griffin Crawford, the handsomest man in the world, to do the honors. Or for all her female relations to discover her in his embrace. Naturally, marriage is instantly mentioned, but since Emily knows this is not what Griffin wants, she tries to escape him, her family and the ensuing scandal.

When Emily flees the Camberly ball in the wake of their kiss, Griffin goes in pursuit. He will not allow his sister-in-law's determined friend to risk her safety for any reason. And risk it she will if she means to return to her countryside home by herself. But the longer he remains in her company, the more he is tempted to kiss her again. If only he could risk falling in love and remain in England forever.

I received an eARC at no cost from the author, and I am leaving a voluntary and honest review. Thank you.

This is the second book I’ve read written by Sophie Barnes and… I think her books just aren’t for me.

It took me forever to read the book and, honestly, having finished it yesterday, I barely remember anything from it.

I didn’t connect with the characters, I wasn’t a fan of either Emily or Griffin. The book just didn’t do it for me. It was all about miscommunication, and jealousy, and insecurities.

Instead of being invested in the characters, I found myself wanting to slap them.

The writing was good, the problem for me was the plot and characters.

Sadly, it didn’t do it for me.

[Review] Project Duchess, by Sabrina Jeffreis

Title: Project Duchess
Series: Duke Dynasty #1
Author: Sabrina Jeffreis
Publisher: Zebra
Number of pages: 352
Publication date: June 25th 2019

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
A series of stepfathers and a difficult childhood have left Fletcher "Grey" Pryde, 5th Duke of Greycourt, with a guarded heart, enviable wealth, and the undeserved reputation of a rogue. Grey's focus on expanding his dukedom allows him little time to find a wife. But when his mother is widowed yet again and he meets the charmingly unconventional woman managing his stepfather's funeral, he's shocked to discover how much they have in common. Still, Grey isn't interested in love, no matter how pretty, or delightfully outspoken, the lady...

Beatrice Wolfe gave up on romance long ago, and the arrogant Duke of Greycourt with his rakish reputation isn't exactly changing her mind. Then Grey agrees to assist his grief-stricken mother with her latest "project" schooling spirited, unfashionable Beatrice for her debut. Now that Beatrice is seeing through Grey's charms to his wounded heart, she's having trouble keeping him at arm's length. But once Grey starts digging into her family's secrets, she must decide whether her loyalties lie with her family...or with the man whose lessons capture her heart...

I received an ARC through a giveaway, and I am leaving a voluntary and honest review. Thank you.

This is the first book in a brand new series about... Dukes!

Grey was a great character, I liked how fierce he was, how he grows throughout the book, how he deals with some things that are problematic (although here I do think some things could have been different, but I’ll expand on that next).

I wasn’t a fan of Beatrice… I didn’t connect with her. I understood some of her reactions, I think she had to go through a lot, and she handled herself the best she could, that’s not the point. I just… didn’t like her.

I liked the middle part of the book the best. The beginning felt a bit slow, and the end was rushed without actually having much happen… It did leave me with enough interest to read the next book in the series, especially since I liked the secondary characters more than the main ones. Joshua and Gwyn have a great chemistry, and I can’t wait to read their story.

Now, this is important. This book handles forms of abuse. Abuse from men towards women. Not rape, but still sexual abuse. Unwanted touching, blackmailing, disgusting comments… Beatrice did have to endure a lot from someone she should have been able trust: her uncle.

Grey is super concerned if the heroine was raped – spoiler alert – she wasn’t. And, of course, he is relieved but, at the same time, it ends up being a bit of a dismissal of the other things Beatrice had to go through. Heroes, especially in (today’s) historical romance, seem always ready to go and defend the heroine’s honour (“let’s go and punch/hurt/kill the aggressor” kind of thing) and, even if it’s something protective, in a way it almost diminishes Beatrice’s role in standing up to herself – which she does.

Apart from that, I did enjoy the book enough to want to keep reading the series.

[Review] Rogue Most Wanted, by Janna MacGregor

Title: Rogue Most Wanted
Series: The Cavensham Heiresses #5
Author: Janna MacGregor
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Number of pages: 384
Publication date: June 25th 2019

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There’s one creed all Cavensham men subscribe to: they fall in love completely and decidedly. But what happens when the woman you fall in love with swears she'll only marry you as a last resort? Rogue Most Wanted is the next book in the sparkling, romantic Cavensham Heiress series by Janna MacGregor.

She needs to marry someone.

Lady Theodora Worth needs to marry fast in order to keep her estate. It’s been her heart and home for years, and she’ll not lose it to anyone. There’s just one problem—as a woman who was raised in isolation by her grandfather, she’s completely incapable of pouring a cup of tea, never mind wooing a man. She’ll need a little matchmaking help from her sprightly next-door neighbor in order to find a convenient husband…

It's just not going to be him.

Lord William Cavensham’s heart was broken years ago, and since that day he vowed to never love again. But his spirited Great Aunt Stella is determined he’ll marry or not inherit a single penny from her. And she’s got just the woman in mind—her beautiful and completely hapless next-door neighbor, Thea…

Thea and Will agree there’s no sense in marrying each other. Will wholeheartedly believes he’s incapable of love, and Thea refuses to marry the first man she’s practically met. But Will may be the rogue Thea wants the most after all…

I received an eARC at no cost from the author, and I am leaving a voluntary and honest review. Thank you.

When you choose a book by Janna MacGregor, you’re choosing well.

Rogue Most Wanted is funny, and romantic, and makes you feels good in all the right places.

I loved the characters, and identified very easily with them. Will had been hurt before, and Thea is willing to do almost anything to save and help those that depend on her – even if it means she’ll be unhappy.

They start as friends and end up in a fake engagement at the end to heat things up.

There’s no insta-love in this book. Will and Thea get to know each other, and fall in love slowly, and completely. I love their relationship, and how they become friends and then lovers.

The secondary characters are great! Will’s great-aunt, Stella, is the mastermind behind Will and Thea’s relationship, with the help of her best friend. These two older ladies provide a fun element to the book, with their conversations and tricks to help the lovebirds understand they belong together.

And it’s always a pleasure to re-visit characters we met in previous books. The Cavensham’s are a great family, they stick together, are very loyal, very friendly, and they not afraid to tell each other harsh truths when needed.

Theodora is alone in the world, and all she ever wanted was a family, friends, people she could rely on – and she found it with Will and his family. She fights for her title, her land, and her people, and the Cavensham’s are there to support her – by helping her enter London’s society. Thea has to prove she’s a countess, but due to being away from society – and everyone actually! – for almost all of her life, she doesn’t even know the basics of how to behave herself in society.

The book goes around her learning, and her connection with Will, and his family. As a reader, you feel so happy for Thea, she deserves to be happy, and have friends, and family. And Will, who was dumped when he believed to be in love, also deserves to have his life turned around. He evolves, and opens up, and finally learns to love again.

In short, you can’t go wrong with this book.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

[Book Quotes] Some Like It Scandalous, by Maya Rodale

Today I'm sharing a favourite book quote!

This new type of post is something I had been thinking about doing for some time,
and while reading Some Like It Scandalous, by Maya Rodale, I found the perfect quote, that I just had to share:

"It’s the suggestion of pride in one’s appearance. 
It’s a suggestion that a woman believes she is worthy of adornment and feeling beautiful and put-together.
It’s the suggestion of money of her own, probably that she earned. 
It’s not just lip paint. 
It is a declaration that a woman is not content with what God gave her and she believes that she can do better. 
It’s a command to look at her mouth and listen to what she has to say. 
And that is why it’s so shocking."

[From Some Like It Scandalous, Copyright Maya Rodale (June 2019)]

I loved this quote so much because it's so strong, so inspiring! What do you think about this quote? Does it make you want to read the book?

Do you have any favourite quotes you'd like to share? 😊