Book Review: Kiss Me at Christmas

About the book:37638149

 

Title: Kiss Me at Christmas (Playful Brides #10)

Author: Valerie Bowman

Published: October 30th 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

Source: received from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review

Format: e-copy

Blurb:

A spirited lady facing spinsterhood. A common man with a noble mission. And a surprise that just might be waiting for them under the mistletoe. . .

Bow Street Runner Daffin Oakleaf abhors Christmas. Carol singing and holiday cheer only remind him of a dark time. When a close friend calls on him for help, Daffin is happy to capitalize on the distraction. But when he learns the lovely Lady Regina is the one in danger, he’s to become bodyguard to the captivating woman…

Regina has one mission: to find a night of passion in the arms of a gentleman. Considered firmly on the shelf, Regina has given up on marriage—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be denied the pleasure married ladies experience. Daffin has long captured her attention…and when a threat calls him to her side, the sparks between them ignite. But how can a hired bodyguard find his way into Regina’s noble heart?

Check it on: Amazon  & Goodreads

My Review:

Looks like this Christmas I did read books with a theme. It is a great feeling, I liked that! Some were great, others were just good for the time. Unfortunately, “Kiss Me at Christmas” falls under the latter category. I liked the premises so much, but sadly the plot was not at all what I had expected.

This is Regina and Daffin’s story. She is a lady of the ton, he is a Bow street Runner. Their interaction starts before the action in “Kiss Me at Christmas” and those flirtatious moments are what brings Regina at his office, to strike a deal. She needs someone who can offer her a night of true passion before her official engagement with a man only interested in developing his fortune, by acquiring the lands promised as dowry for Regina. As tempting as it may be, Daffin cannot even imagine accepting such a scandalous proposal. Not only is she promised to another, but she is also his best friend’s cousin. With her dignity offended, by her own actions and his refusal, Regina returns to her cousin’s estate, hoping to avoid any further encounters with the Bow Street Runner.

When danger appears, Regina’s cousin knows just the perfect person who can best protect her and his wife and also investigate who is behind. From here on, the romance and mystery go in parallel, though one falls second to the other in terms of development.

I admired Regina’s courage to face the enemy and her determination to raise Daffin’s interest. He is a professional in how he does his job, but he is also a man, so cannot stay indifferent to the charms of a beautiful woman. I did not like the action at all. The negative characters were more like silly actors and very poor participants. The threats against Regina and Nicole (her cousin’s wife) felt superficial and not well developed.

Everything in regards to the romance was good, even if I may have my complaints in that regard as well (especially in the end). What starts as more of a necessity, more like a desperate need of passion before submitting to a loveless marriage, becomes more for Regina. It is up to our Bow Street Runner to see if his desires are physical or if they can amount to something else.

So as much as it pains me, I’ll give “Kiss Me at Christmas” 3 stars, just because of the ok romance and our main characters. The adventurous side of the story disappointed me. With all these in mind, I still liked it. It is a nice book to read, especially around Christmas. Happy Reading!

About the Author5414544

 

Valerie Bowman is an award-winning author who writes Regency-set historical romance novels aka Racy Regency Romps!

Valerie’s debut novel was published in 2012. Since then, her books have received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus. She’s been an RT Reviewers’ Choice nominee for Best First Historical Romance and Best Historical Romance Love and Laughter. Two of her books have been nominated for the Kirkus Prize for fiction.

Valerie grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English Language and Literature with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her rascally dogs. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS.

Website                      Twitter

 

Book Review:  Should’ve Been You

About the book:should've been you

 

Title: Should’ve Been You (Man Enough #3)

Author: Nicole McLaughlin

Published: Published January 30th 2018 by Swerve

Source: Received from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review

Format: e-copy

Blurb:

Childhood neighbors get a chance at love in Should’ve Been You, an achingly romantic novella in Nicole McLaughlin’s Man Enough series!

National Guardsman Jase Beckford wants to live a quiet life raising cattle and taking care of his mother. His childhood friend and neighbor Hannah is still his best friend, but when he walks into the Walters house one morning and sees her twin sister Becca for the first time in five years, he wonders if he missed out on something special.

Becca Walters has nursed a secret crush on Jase since childhood, but he always preferred Hannah, so she buried her feelings assuming her sister and Jase would one day turn their flirtation into a real relationship. And this Christmas, she is anticipating a proposal of her own, so Jase’s reappearance in her life doesn’t mean anything. Much. Okay, maybe more than Becca would like to admit.

However, when Becca’s sister gets engaged to someone who’s not Jase, Becca and Jase find themselves spending more together. And when secrets are revealed, suddenly those dormant feelings come back to life; but is the possibility of something between them worth risking the happiness of everyone they love?

Check it on: Amazon & Goodreads

My Review:

Ok, here we have yet another quick and funny read. I loved the book and the characters as well, even if I would have really wanted a little bit more development in that area.

Becca and Jase have always had a thing for each other. However, their relationship has not developed because of a “misunderstanding” from childhood. Hannah, Becca’s twin sister had wanted Jase’s attention so… she worked a little bit of evil magic let’s say.  So he has become Hannah’s best friend and even developed some kind of crush on her. When Becca returns to town, their feelings reenact. Will they be able to overcome the things that kept them apart? Will they make the right choice? That remains to be seen.

I liked the interactions between Becca and Jase and how the romance between them was developed. The author has put a lot of accent on it, but I feel that their relationship with Hannah could have been better explored, as this is the thing that kept them apart. Because the story is told from Jase and Becca’s perspective, we don’t get much of Hannah’s input. I have a feeling we’ll have it in the next book though.

Nicole McLaughlin has a writing style that is easy to follow and her books are perfect for a relaxing evening. I have nothing to complain from this point of view. The ending was a little rushed, in my opinion, I wanted to know more about the internal struggle the main characters had for being apart. I wanted to feel their determination.

All in all, I think this was a lovely book and my rating is 3.5 stars, with my congratulations to the author! I can’t wait to read Hannah’s story as it promises some very interesting angles. Happy reading 

 

 

 

Release Blitz: The Crown Prince’s Bride

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Summary:

A Crown Prince gets a second chance at love with the woman who’s always been there – in Crown Prince's Bride coverthe next book in the prince duology from Donna Alward!

The Crown Prince of Marazur is suffering from a broken heart. After losing his wife and future queen, he knows he’ll never find love again with a partner as wonderful as her. He’s thrown himself into his duties and is trying to be a better father to his two children, but he’s lonely. Even though falling in love seems impossible, so does spending the rest of his life alone.

Stephani has been Raoul’s assistant for years. Smart, loyal, and discreet, Stephani is fantastic at her job. Except for the fact that she’s been in love with her boss since her first week of employment, not that she would ever act on it. Besides, Raoul is first in line to the throne and she’s his assistant. If Raoul ever marries again, it’ll be with someone who can be a future queen. Not someone like Stephani.

When Raoul’s date for a state dinner is unable to attend, he invites Stephani. She’s well-versed on the issues and castle protocol, and Raoul’s always been comfortable with her. But when Stephani arrives, Raoul hardly recognizes her. Is this stunning woman the same one who’s run his office for years?

The Crown Prince’s Bride is the ultimate fairytale for readers looking for Cinderella to get her prince—and be able to keep him past midnight.

Copy of Crown Prince Whim 3 (2) (1)

Buy Links

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My Review

Although I have not read the first book in the series (and I’ve heard it’s even better than this second one), I did enjoy Raoul and Stephani’s love story and quite a lot actually. As the blurb describes, this is close to Cinderella, which is one of my favorite fairytales.

She is smart, a great assistant, has charm and has that spark that helps her handle any though situation. The book opens with her at a party she organized in order to lift Raoul’s mood, after losing his wife in a car accident. Her attributes are well put in light, not only by her actions, but as well from the eyes of our future king. But Stephani knows very well her place and wants to escape this crush she has on him.

Copy of Crown Prince Whim 4 (2) (1)

Raoul is not willing to give her up. Excuse me, I mean this from a professional point of view. I appreciated a lot how the author tried not to make him the sort of guy who, quite soon after becoming a widower, starts looking for a replacement. In fact, Raoul is comparing Stephani with his late wife, even involuntary. He has this struggle inside, which is very well described, through his actions and feelings.

The story has both Stephani’s point of view and Raoul’s. It helped a lot knowing what each of them was thinking or feeling in a particular moment. These perspectives are quite well balanced. We don’t see more from her and less of him or the other way around. The glamour of palace life is also detailed nicely. Even if we speak about a royal dinner or a super party, we have the etiquette that needs to be respected.

To keep it short, I liked this second book, might as well read the first one. This is my first read by Donna Alward and to me she is an amazing author. I’ll go ahead and check more of her books now. I hope you give the series a shot and that you will come back for comments. My rating is 4 stars Enjoy J

Author Bio

Marti Corn Photography donna alward H-R 1600A busy wife and mother of three (two daughters plus the family dog), Donna Alward believes hers is the best job in the world: a combination of stay-at-home mom and romance novelist. Donna loves being back on the East Coast of Canada after nearly twelve years in Alberta where her romance career began, writing about cowboys and the west. She is the author of Somebody Like You, Somebody’s Baby, and Someone to Love.

Social Links:

Twitter: @DonnaAlward

Author Website: http://www.donnaalward.com/

Facebook: @DonnaAlwardAuthor