It’s time for another round of Rapid Reviews, where I give quick-hit reviews to some of the books I’ve recently read. Let’s get right into it!
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Published by Berkley Books on October 30, 2018
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The author of The Wedding Date serves up a novel about what happens when a public proposal doesn't turn into a happy ending, thanks to a woman who knows exactly how to make one on her own...
When someone asks you to spend your life with him, it shouldn't come as a surprise--or happen in front of 45,000 people.
When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn't the hard part--they've only been dating for five months, and he can't even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans...
At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik's rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He's even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik's social media blows up--in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can't be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes...
REVIEW: This was my November Book of the Month pick. And for once, I actually read my pick in the month it was selected… I haven’t read The Wedding Date (yet), the book that precedes The Proposal, so I was worried I may be lost. However, other than some quick and relatively minor references, you definitely can enjoy The Proposal without having read The Wedding Date. I enjoyed The Proposal, but wasn’t overly enamored with it. I liked both of the main characters, and they had fantastic chemistry. However, towards the end, I felt like things got a wee bit melodramatic. I am not really a fan of melodramatic, and it often results in a lower rating despite being a small portion of the story.
The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4) by Janna MacGregor
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on November 27, 2018
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A lady with a noble mission. A duke looking for redemption. A forbidden love that cannot be denied…
Lady Daphne Hallworth is ready to celebrate the holidays with her family. But when they accidentally leave her home alone, Daphne uses the time to work on her dream—opening a home for unwed mothers. But her quest isn’t problem-free: She’s in a battle to win the property for the home against her brother’s best friend-turned-enemy, Paul Barstowe, Duke of Southart. And that’s not all: someone has stolen her personal diary, which holds secrets that could devastate her family. Daphne has always harbored private feelings for the man her family scorns…though perhaps striking a bargain with the handsome Duke will solve both their problems?
Paul, long considered good for nothing, aims to open a hospital to honor his brother and restore his reputation. So when a conflict over the land brings him straight into Daphne’s life, they make a deal: He will help her find her diary if Daphne can change her family’s opinion of him. But before he can win her family’s affection, he has to win hers first. Maybe love was the answer to their family feud all along?
REVIEW: This book reminds me a bit of Home Alone, in the sense that a chaotic departure for the countryside results in Lady Daphne being left behind by her family at Christmas. Throw in a Duke who had to help her find a stolen diary to protect her family’s reputation, and you have a delightful Christmas romance. I flew through this novel on a cold, rainy evening in DC. I likely will not read it again (otherwise it would have a higher rating), but it’s worth the time to read it once.
Promise Me You (The Eastons #2) by Marina Adair
on October 23, 2018
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A heartening romance of friendship, second chances, and the healing power of love…
Mackenzie Hart has made a career out of writing about eternal love, so when she finds her perfect match in Hunter Kane, she decides to put it all on the line. Irresistibly charming and drenched in alpha-male swagger, Hunter isn’t just the catch of the town—he’s Mackenzie’s best friend. Only someone beats her to the altar. After a fresh start and three years to recover, the last thing Mackenzie expects is for her old life to come knocking…
Recently divorced, musician Hunter Kane wants to reconnect with the woman he left behind. Admitting his biggest mistake comes first. What comes next is up to Mackenzie. He hopes she’ll give him a second chance. He may have been the one to break her heart, but he knows he can also be the one to mend it.
As a tenuous friendship turns into something more, Hunter’s life on the road beckons once again. Will love be enough to keep them together, or will their wildly different worlds be too much for them to overcome?
REVIEW: Any book that has a service dog in it as a winner for me. Unfortunately, that seems to be the main thing I remember from this story(further proof I really need to write my notes immediately upon finishing a book…), aside from the initially unrequited love aspect, and that the main heroine is blind (which, shout out for giving us a romance where the heroine has a major disability and isn’t treated as an invalid or with tons of pity).
A Christmas Miracle for the Doctor (Shadow Creek, Montana, #6) by Victoria James
Published by Entangled Publishing LLC (Bliss) on November 12, 2018
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Fall in love this holiday season with this heartwarming story about finding romance, the magic of Christmas, and the importance of family...
Children's bookstore owner Addie Mayberry believes in the magic of Christmas. Or at least, she used to. So when a young customer needs some seasonal optimism, Addie sets out to give the vulnerable, heartbroken little girl the best Christmas ever. Which means helping the hottest man in Shadow Creek, Bella's surgeon father, find his holiday spirit. Addie's up to the challenge, but between tree decorating and late night talks, she realizes she's starting to fall hard for the one man she definitely shouldn't.
Drew Barrett drastically changed his fast-paced life when he moved back to Shadow Creek, but it was all worth it to give his daughter a better life. He wasn't exactly winning dad-of-the-year awards before, so he's determined to make it up to Bella. And with Addie's help, he's slowly repairing his relationship with his daughter. The last thing he wants is to fall in love, since that road only leads to pain, but he can't stop thinking about Addie. Not only is she gorgeous, sweet, and great with Bella, she fills something in him he never knew was missing. But Addie wants forever, which is more than Drew can offer...
REVIEW: This is a cute story, with a lovely heroine, an adorably precocious child, and a hot doctor. It’s well written, has a sweet plot, and great secondary characters. BUT THERE IS ZERO SEXY TIMES IN THIS STORY. Both in actual sex scenes, as well as chemistry between the hot doc and our lovely heroine. Tons of potential, but it just fell far short for me.
The Duke of Kisses (The Untouchables, #11) by Darcy Burke
Published by Darcy Burke Publishing on November 27, 2018
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Frances Snowden can hardly believe her good fortune when she’s whisked away from her boring life by her sister who is now a duchess. Instead of becoming the third wife of her parents’ stuffy neighbor, she can be anything she wants: a doting aunt to her newborn niece, a debutante in London, or even an independent spinster. But when she meets and kisses a mysterious man on a walk in the countryside, she knows exactly what she desires—him.
David Langley, Earl of St. Ives, is resigned to marrying the dull woman his parents chose when he was a child. His future is suddenly, and happily, diverted when he encounters a captivating young woman who shows him everything he’s been missing. Ready to embark on a blissful life together, a long-buried feud between their families makes their marriage impossible. Nothing is more important than duty and family, but can he turn his back on love?
REVIEW: I really, really, really enjoyed The Duke of Kisses. Even though the heroine’s nickname is Fanny. I adored our hero, David, who while momentarily conflicted eventually figures out who and what he wants, and goes after it. It’s also nice to encounter a hero who is sensitive and considerate and kind from the get-go. Frances was lovely, and I was very much entertained by her conversations with her friends. I can’t believe this is my first Darcy Burke book, but I’m probably going to be adding the other ten books from the Untouchables series to my TBR for the new year.
My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
Published by Gallery Books on December 4, 2018
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By the New York Times bestselling author who “hilariously depicts modern dating” (Us Weekly), My Favorite Half-Night Stand is a laugh-out-loud romp through online dating and its many, many fails.
Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.
So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.
But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship...but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.
Perfect for fans of Roxanne and She’s the Man, Christina Lauren’s latest romantic comedy is full of mistaken identities, hijinks, and a classic love story with a modern twist. Funny and fresh, you’ll want to swipe right on My Favorite Half-Night Stand.
REVIEW: I love Christina Lauren, so I was particularly excited to be provided an egalley of My Favorite Half-Night Stand. It did not disappoint! Millie and Reid are Best Best Friends within a group of Best Friends that all work at a California college. They have a half-night stand one night, and then have to navigate online dating while also sort of Friends With Benefitsing with each other. The banter and sexy scenes between Reid and Millie are wonderful, but I was LOLing on public transportation at the conversations between the group of friends. I think this is a decent depiction of adult friendship – where you give each other a hard time, and pick on each other, but you’re also there when you need each other. I truly hope we get the stories for the others in the group.
Snowlicious: A Friends-to-Lovers Holiday Novella (Yoga in the City Book 3) by Leigh LaValle
on October 28, 2018
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❄️ A fun, flirty friends-to-lovers holiday romance. ❄️
Snow's falling, carolers are singing, and holiday lights are twinkling. It's the most wonderful time of the year to get out of the friend zone...
At least that's what Mike is hoping. But his best friend, Thea, is seriously lacking in holiday spirit. In fact, she's hot-and-bothered in the wrong way when her ex steals her entry in the Festival of Trees competition. Now, she needs to find the Best Tree Ever so she can win the competition before her florist shop loses business.
The catch? Thea's using this opportunity to exert her independence and stand up for herself, but Mike can't pass up the chance to play Secret Santa and lend her a helping hand.
Such an expression of holiday giving couldn't possibly backfire, right?
REVIEW: I generally am not a fan of novellas, especially for characters that I am not familiar with. However, I enjoyed both of the full-length novels in the Yoga in the City series, and am slightly familiar with Thea’s character. Snowlicious is a quick, enjoyable read, with the friends-to-lovers trope that we know and love.
Captivating the Earl by Callie Hutton
Published by Entangled Publishing LLC (Scandalous) on November 12, 2018
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Lady Elizabeth is hiding in the country as governess, Miss Lizzie Moore. When handsome Lord Hawkins arrives at her employer’s house, she wants nothing to do with the roguish earl, even though her heart says otherwise.
Lord Hawkins is a rake of the highest order but when he is drawn to his cousin’s beautiful governess he must rein in his impulses. She can’t be his, though Hawk can’t stop thinking about her.
After an attempt on Lizzie’s life, Hawk learns who she really is. In defiance of orders from the Home Office to bring her in, he vows to protect her. Even though he’s not entirely sure she’s innocent, she is his responsibility. Lizzie doesn’t trust him but has grown to love him. When Hawk offers her the ultimate safeguard against nefarious scoundrels—his name—she refuses. She loves him, but fears she’s merely another one of his ’duties.’
REVIEW: Captivating the Earl was a thoroughly enjoyable read. There is intrigue, and treason, and flirting, and spies! Who doesn’t love a regency romance spy novel? Weird people, that’s who. Callie Hutton is another new-to-me author who I am ready to her entire back list to my TBR.
The past few weeks have clearly been very romance-centered, again, as I have been working on my Netgalley backlog. As I read fast, and tend to knockout romance novels in an evening, I’ve been using those to a make a dent in said backlog.
I’ve linked up with Modern Mrs. Darcy’s December Quick Lit. Head on over and see what fellow readers have loved lately.
What books have you read lately?