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Lost Pleasures Found by Vikki Vaught

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Book & Audio Review: The Redemption of Julian Price by Victoria Vane

The Redemption of Julian Price

by Victoria Vane

The Redemption of Julian Price 

Publisher & Release: Vane Publishing, April 11, 2016

Time and setting: 1815, England

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Length: 197 pages

Heat Level: 3 Flames

Rating: 5 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

She gave him a chance to bury his past… but the price would be his heart

Burdened by the past…Orphaned at a young age and left to run wild, at eighteen Julian Price joins the fight against Napoleon in the hope of attaining honor. Devastated when his best friend, Thomas, is killed in battle, Julian returns home burdened with guilt, only to find his wastrel uncle has squandered his inheritance.

Desperate to live her own life… Facing a bleak future caring for her aging mother and raising her brother’s children, Henrietta Houghton believes her chance at a real life died with Thomas, the only man who ever wanted her. But Henrietta is still full of dreams. When her wealthy aunt offers her a gift of ten thousand pounds, Henrietta finally has the chance to choose her own destiny.

Everything has a price…With a fortune at her command, Henrietta offers Julian a marriage of convenience, unaware that she really offers Julian a means of salvation—not just his fortune, but his very soul.

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Vikki’s Musings

I just love Victoria Vane’s historical romances. I can always expect to be entertained and given a chance to become enmeshed in the glittering Regency world. The Redemption of Julian Price did just that!

Henrietta Houghton believes she will never find a husband. Not wanting to live with her brother once she marries, she decides to visit her great-aunt in London. The day before she is set to leave, Julian Price shows up and offers to give her a ride her to London with him. This gives them a chance to catch up on each other’s lives.

Julian has returned from the war to find out his uncle has mortgaged his property and he is facing foreclosure. The last thing he wants is to become a mercenary soldier, an occupation that is sure to take the rest of his soul, but what choice does he have?

When Henrietta learns that her elderly aunt is giving her a substantial dowry, she asks Julian to marry her, thus saving him from losing everything and giving her a chance to be free. Can the alliance between them lead to heartache, or will it give them the love they both desperately long for?

This is a fast-paced story and grabbed my attention from the first page and held me in its thrall until the end. Ms. Vane has definitely penned another wonderful Regency romance. I found the story very realistic and enjoyed it tremendously. This is a great friends to lovers story, one that I will want to read again.

I fell in love with Henrietta’s character from the very beginning. She is truly endearing and has a great sense of humor while still being grounded in reality. I loved her loyalty to Julian and her desire to help him.

Wow! Julian is just the kind of hero I love, and there is a lot to love about him. He endured a tragic childhood living with his reprobate uncle. Then he goes to war at the tender age of eighteen and loses one of his best friends in battle. He comes back to find his estate on the verge of foreclosure and is faced with the awful decision that will destroy what is left of his soul. Yet, he still has tender feelings toward Henrietta. I truly love a hero who does not let the horrors of his past turn him into a cynic.

I listened to the audio version performed by the talented Stevie Zimmerman. I always know I’m in for a treat when she is the narrator. She does such a good job on the male characters. She truly brings the story to life. Although she reads with passion, she does not become overly dramatic. She does it just right.

If you enjoy a book that will sweep you back to the Regency period with entrancing character and a believable plot, then you will love The Redemption of Julian Price as much as I did. Happy reading!

Book Review: Duke of sin by Elizabeth Hoyt

Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt

(Maiden Lane series)

  Duke of Sin

Publisher & Release: Grand Central Publishing, May 31, 2016

Time and setting: 1741, London

Genre: Historical Romance/Georgian

Length: 360 pages

Heat Level: 2 Flames

Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 


Devastatingly handsome. Vain. Unscrupulous. Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery, is the man London whispers about in boudoirs and back alleys. A notorious rake and blackmailer, Montgomery has returned from exile, intent on seeking revenge on those who have wronged him. But what he finds in his own bedroom may lay waste to all his plans.


 Born a bastard, housekeeper Bridget Crumb is clever, bold, and fiercely loyal. When her aristocratic mother becomes the target of extortion, Bridget joins the Duke of Montgomery’s household to search for the incriminating evidence-and uncovers something far more dangerous.


Astonished by the deceptively prim-and surprisingly witty-domestic spy in his chambers, Montgomery is intrigued. And try as she might, Bridget can’t resist the slyly charming duke. Now as the two begin their treacherous game of cat and mouse, they soon realize that they both have secrets-and neither may be as nefarious-or as innocent-as they appear . . .

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Vikki’s Musings

I have been a fan of Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series ever since the first one was published. When I found Duke of Sin on Net-Galley, I immediately requested it in exchange for an honest review. I thoroughly enjoy this book!

Bastard daughter of a lady, Bridget Crumb is the housekeeper to the notorious Duke of Montgomery. He’s amoral, a blackmailer, a man without a heart. Determined to foil his plan to blackmail her mother, she searches his chamber for the evidence he holds against her.

Valentine Napier is a troubled man, scarred by his childhood. He is determined to never fall in love. After all, then he would have to kill her because love kills. That was the message he learned at an early age, one he will never forget.

Their secrets should forever keep them apart, but the passion they feel for one another burns brighter than any secret. Can Bridget overlook Val’s many sins or will they drive her away?

I fell in love with Bridget’s character from the first page. She is fierce and loyal when she has very little reason to be so. I loved her passionate nature which she tries very hard to deny. She fights furiously to push away her desire for the evil duke, but her soft heart interferes when she learns what drives his atrocious behavior.

Val’s character is definitely a tortured soul, my favorite kind of hero. He is deliciously gorgeous, and Ms. Hoyt does an astonishing job of painting a clear picture for me. While he is indeed very wicked, he does have vulnerabilities. Hoyt has given me a truly flawed character, one that could be too much for some. I really worried there was no way she could ever redeem him, but she worked her magic. I became so emotionally involved and began to overlook his terrible behavior. Val is truly a villain, one that a reader will either love of hate.

Ms. Hoyt is a true master at pulling me into her story, even when I fought it. I already mentioned that Val is not an easy character to like, let alone love, but she managed it with me. Duke of Sin is fast-paced with plenty of suspense woven into the vivid Georgian setting. From the description of the costumes to the manner in which her characters speak, I felt as if I were living in this period of history. It would be easy to overlook her brilliance in this area with her incredibly compelling characters driving the story.

If you’re looking for a truly emotionally-charged story with unforgettable characters, then you will love Duke of Sin as much as I did. This entire series is a true pleasure to read and this book definitely lived up to my high expectations. Happy reading!


Book Review: La Vie en Rose by Lydia Michaels

La Vie en Rose (Life in Pink) by Lydia Michaels

La Vie en Rose

Publisher & Release: Self-Published, April 12, 2016

Time and setting: Present day, NYC

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length:  380 pages

Heat Level: 2 Flames

Rating: 5 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

Emma Sanders has always dreamt of being a bride, wearing fancy gowns, pretty pearls, and—of course—falling madly in love. Then life happened. Finding herself one fiancé short of her happily ever after, she leaves the fairy tales behind. Some days are simply too perilous for pink gowns and pearls.

 Riley Lockhart is the sort of man who can make a woman lower her gaze with only a smile. That he doesn’t realize his charm makes him all the more enchanting. Determined to save Emma the pain of her breakup, he steps in as a friend but soon finds himself wanting more.

 She was just a girl, but she somehow winds up being the strongest woman he’s ever known. Losing her is not an option and when life can’t be tied neatly in a pretty little bow, he holds tight to all that he loves most in this world—his Emma. His hero.

 Sometimes the greatest scars are worn on the inside.

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Vikki’s Musings

 When I received a request from Ms. Michaels to read La Vie en Rose in exchange for an honest review, at first, I was not sure it would be a book I would enjoy since women’s fiction is not my first choice, but am I thrilled I accepted. This book resonated with me on a deeper level than I usually experience. I truly believe this is a story that all women need to read.

The book is fast-paced and enthralling. This story is much more than a romance, even though, love is the central theme in this book. It’s much more a story of friendship, loyalty, and true affection. Not just between Emma and Riley, but between a brother and sister and true friendship between Emma and Riley’s sister, Rarity. It’s a story of triumphing over extreme adversity and coming out an even stronger person than Emma was before her horrifying, life-threatening experience.

I’m being vague on purpose because I do not want to give anything away. La Vie en Rose is a book you will not want to miss, and you need to have the full benefit of the twists and turns of this amazing book.

Emma starts out as a bit of an air-head, even somewhat shallow, but when she is faced with a devastating situation, she finds out that she is made of steel under all her girlish ways. She’s a character that will have you laughing so hard, tears will roll down your face, but then when the unimaginable happens, she will have you crying just hard. I felt the full gambit of emotions with this unforgettable character.

Riley Lockhart has it all. He’s hilarious, endearing, loyal and determined. His character is a true delight. When he is faced with Emma’s situation, he swiftly changes gears and gives Emma all the support and love she needs to get through her ordeal. Riley loves Emma the way every woman wants to be loved!

I am truly grateful I had a chance to read this incredible book. If you enjoy a story with deep emotion that will pull at your heartstrings, yet one that has too many humorous moments to count, along with a multitude of issues presented with supreme tact and compassion, then you will absolutely want to read this book. If I could give it more than 5 Gold Crowns I would give it 10! This story may very well be the best book I read this year. It is definitely one I will read again and again. Happy reading!





Book & Audio Review: The Doctor Wears a Stetson by Anne Marie Novak

The Doctor Wears  a Stetson

Book Blitz: Lord Bachelor by Tammy L. Bailey

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Excerpt Tour: Road to Winterhill by Gloria Gay

The Road to Winterhill - Tour Banner

Book & Audio Book Review: Someone Like Her by Sandra Owens

Someone Like Her by Sandra Owens

 Someone Like Her

Publisher & Release Montlake Romance, January 6, 2015

Time and setting: Present day, Pensacola, Florida

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length:  305 pages

Heat Level: 2 Flames

Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

Known to the K2 Special Services team as Romeo, ex-Navy SEAL Jake Buchanan may spend his downtime living up to his nickname, but there’s one woman who sets his heart racing like no one else can: Maria Kincaid. Unfortunately, his boss—her brother—has made it crystal clear that she’s off-limits. Jake doesn’t do commitment, while Maria is the type of woman who deserves a promise of forever. Yet Maria finds herself drawn to Jake, the man who stares at her with a desire she wishes he’d act on.

 Still haunted by her horrific childhood, Maria goes searching for the father she’s never met—and stumbles into a nightmarish experience. With her life in grave danger, she reaches out to Jake, her brother’s second-in-command. Jake figures he can help Maria without giving in to temptation. But some things are easier said than done.

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Vikki’s Musings

 I am so glad I decided to revisit the K2 Special Forces series by Sandra Owens. They are available through the Kindle-Unlimited program, and the audio version is only $1.99. I just loved Maria and Jake’s story!

This story is fast-paced and pulled me in from the first page and kept my interest through the entire book. I thoroughly enjoyed the tidbits about Pensacola. I actually lived there for seven years, and Ms. Owens descriptions brought back many fond memories for me.

Maria Kincaid is a wonderful heroine. She definitely did not have an easy time growing up with a prostitute for a mother. Thank goodness she had her brother Logan to protect her. She has a lot of misconceptions because of her mother when it comes to sexual matters and no wonder. While she struggles with self-esteem in that area, she excels in matters of business. She is graduating from law school and ready to join her brother at K2. I liked her fearless attitude a lot, and her determination to protect the young girl Ashley.

Jake is your typical bad boy when it comes to women, but underneath, he is a loyal friend and would never intentionally hurt a woman. He was always careful to make sure his women knew the score. With Maria, he realizes something is different. Besides, she’s off limits since his boss is her brother. I would have liked a bit more backstory on why he was such a player.

The chemistry between Maria and Jake threatened to set my ears on fire! They are fantastic together and I really wanted them to have their happy ending. Both of them have been fighting the attraction between them for several years, and when Maria calls him for help, the spark ignites.

I listened to the narrative by Amy McFadden and Mikael Naramore and enjoyed it tremendously. Ms. McFadden reads with just the right amount of emotion without going too far. I also enjoyed Mr. Naramore’s performance in this one more than I did in Lost in Her.

I enjoyed Someone Like Her a great deal. If you are looking for a book with an engaging love story, plenty of action and interesting characters, then you will definitely want to read this book. Happy reading!


Release Day! Hunted by Shalini Boland


Hunted by Shalini Boland

Series: Marchwood Vampire Series, Book 3

Genre: Paranormal

Tour Dates: March 8, 2016

ParanormalRomance #Paranormal #ShaliniBoland #SizzlingPR #BookBlitz #NewRelease

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Book Description

A dark and suspenseful vampire adventure that spans the centuries from modern-day England to the wilds of ancient Scythia.

Maddy and Alex are running scared. The Cappadocian vampires are closing in. But Alex is so busy worrying about the vampires, he can’t see the terrible threat right under his nose…

Something else is hunting Alexandre. Something ancient and powerful.

Be swept away in this heart-pounding tale of ancient legend, star-crossed love and nail-biting supernatural adventure. This is the climatic finale of The Marchwood Vampire Series.


Author pic - Shalini Boland

Shalini Boland lives in Dorset, England with her husband and two noisy boys. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer/songwriter, but now she spends her days writing dark adventures (in between doing the school run and hanging out endless baskets of laundry).

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Book Review: The Groom Wore Plaid by Gayle Callen

The Groom Wore Plaid by Gayle Callen

 The Groom Wore PlaidPublisher & Release Date: HarperCollins Publishers, February 23, 2016

Time and setting: 1717 – 1727, Scotland

Genre: Historical Romance

Length:  389 pages

Heat Level: 2 Flames

Rating: 4 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

Falling in love means tempting fate in this passionate new novel in USA Today bestselling author Gayle Callen’s Highland Weddings series

 Maggie McCallum’s dreams about her new fiancé aren’t the romantic sort. It’s not just that she was bartered to Owen Duff like a piece of property to end a clan feud. She’s also haunted by premonitions of his death on their upcoming wedding day. Yet the exasperating Highlander won’t let her call it off, even though his life and his clan are both in jeopardy.

 Owen has wanted Maggie in his bed since he first glimpsed her years ago. If their union restores peace between their clans, so much the better. But while lusting after another chief’s sister had its risks, growing to trust Maggie is far more dangerous. Owen is falling deeply in love with the one woman he cannot hope to claim . . . and survive.

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 Vikki’s Musings

 It has been quite some time since I have read a book by Gayle Callen, but I am certainly pleased I had the opportunity to read The Groom Wore Plaid in exchange for an honest review. Now I remember why I love her books!

The Groom Wore Plaid is an emotionally-charged romance with engaging characters and an intriguing plot. The pacing is excellent and made it an easy and quick read. The prologue pulled me in, and it smoothly transitioned to the first chapter, which is ten years after the couple first met.

Margaret McCallum is the sacrificial lamb. By marrying Owen Duff, the Earl of Aberfoyle, it will end the long feud between their clans. There is a problem. Maggie has dreams that foretell the future. She has had a dream showing Owen dying in her arms on their wedding day. How can she place him in harm’s way by marrying him?

Owen Duff remembers Maggie and the desire he felt for her. He wronged her ten years ago and she has not forgiven him, even though she has agreed to the contract between the clans. His desire for Maggie has not lessened. In fact, it is stronger than ever. Although, he has to overcome his future bride’s determination to find another way to fulfill the contract. Can Owen convince Maggie to marry him, or will her desire to protect him from his possible death prove too strong to circumvent?

I truly enjoyed Maggie’s character. She is sincere, loyal to her family and determined to protect the man she has always desired, even though he wronged her in the past. She has good depth to her character, and I was able to figure out what made her so afraid to form friendships. I could feel her terror over putting Owen in a situation that could mean his death.

Owen Duff’s character has every reason to avoid attachments. He also has a lot to prove to his clan. His father was an uncaring chief, milking the clan and ruling from a distance. He was more concerned about his ties to England and spent most of his time there. I loved Owen’s determination to prove he will be a good chief for the clan. Even though he has trust issues, he truly wants Maggie to become his bride. It just takes almost losing her for him to realize the depth of his feelings for her.

The Groom Wore Plaid is very well-written, and Ms. Callen does an excellent job with the suspenseful scenes. My only problem with this story is the lack of a strong sense of Scotland. Her dialogue did not give me what I love about a Scottish tale. Other than the use of ye and lass, it could have been set in England. However, I did enjoy the romance between the hero and heroine a great deal.

If you enjoy a moving story with a bit of suspense and great characters, then you will enjoy The Groom Wore Plaid. I understand this is part of a series so I want to read the other books in this series. Now that I recall why I enjoy Ms. Callen’s books, I will be looking for others by her. Happy reading!

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