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rendezvouswitharomance

Rendezvous With A Romance

I love paranormal and historical romance novels. I love talking about books and finding out about new authors and books to read. I also love supporting and promoting my favorite authors.

 

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Currently reading

The Hero Within
Bec McMaster
Night
Marion Wiesel, Elie Wiesel
Moon Thrall - Donna Grant

The second book in the LaRue series brings us a reporter on a mission to inform everyone she can of what lurks in the shadows of New Orleans, and the youngest LaRue brother who takes on the mission to stop her from reporting any more of the truth. Their story was quick but didn’t feel rushed. It had action and adventure and the characters really do pop off the page. I always enjoy a DG book and this one doesn’t disappoint. I liked how things developed between Court and Skye. It felt real and believable even with the story being around 200 pages. The curse of the novella doesn’t visit this story, which always make it stronger. I look forward to reading more about the LaRue brothers.

The Luck of the Bride - Janna MacGregor

The story had strong characters and an entertaining plot. It had tense moments when he accuses her of embezzling more money and their fights after that were rough to witness, but it did make for a page turner.  I do think she forgave him a bit too quickly, especially with all of the things he accused her of, but other than that, the conclusion was enjoyable. I’m glad she got a happily ever after being she was the most selfless person in the story who never thought about her wants or needs; she deserved some happiness.  I really liked the role the Duke and Duchess played in getting them back together in the end; it reminded me a lot of Grace Burrowes’ Duke and Duchess from the Windham series, but in a more subtle way.  Their story was entertaining and well developed.  The cousin was a horridly perfect antagonist and the scene at the ball was terribly dramatic and added to the overall great story line. Overall, an enjoyable historical romance with characters you come to love and an entertaining story from start to finish.

A Devil of a Duke - Madeline Hunter

I enjoyed the adventure of the two main characters. The thief took the duke to task and I enjoyed how she turned his world upside down.  He was so stubborn and a great fit for her.  Their banter back and forth made for an entertaining story. It had the highs and lows and emotional tension that makes for good romance.  At times you truly think he is going to put her on a ship for America once they get the stolen items back, which built up the tension and sadness when she truly felt she was slowly losing him as the time drew near to end things. I also think this walk on the criminal side was exactly what he needed to break his rakish ways and force him to see the value of friendship and freshness that she brought to his life.  I don’t think a woman of his ilk would ever have satisfied him or caught him. It truly took someone like her to get him out of blind rut and show him how to truly live.  Their adventure and plot were great and I like that she kept him on his toes and continuously kept surprising him with her reactions and responses to things.  They were perfect together and the story was great.

A Duke Like No Other - Valerie Bowman

Their story was enjoyable, some of the flashbacks were great, others seemed to slow the rhythm of the plot down a bit. I liked seeing glimpses of their past, especially of the fight that led to their break, but I wanted more interaction between them once they were back together and trying to solve the murder. I wanted to see more of them opening up, confiding, and kind of getting to know each other again. I think they both were so stubborn that their characters got in the way of rebuilding the relationship on the page. They were so stubborn it worked against the character development. I liked it overall, just needed a bit more soul-searching and clearing the air kind of conversations so that the ending became more believable rather than one second they aren’t saying what they need to say and the next he is 'I’m an idiot please stay.' I really wanted to see them have that kind of conversation, prior to the conclusion at the docks, in order for me to believe that the reconciliation was real.  It was almost like nothing was really resolved. Yes, he finally opened up to her and told her what he wanted and felt, but what about his doubts about her supposedly knowing all along about his family.  We at least had him express why he was upset with her working with the Bow Street Runners, but not the rest of issues they had ten years ago.  I needed him to realize that she hadn’t known and the reason she never confronted him was because she was waiting for him to trust her, which is very similar to his reasons for not confronting her about already knowing about the Bow Street Runners. I wanted Oakleaf to come out and tell him he was the one who told her and why and how it all came about. But that is a very small part of the story and overall I did enjoy their reconciliation and the working together to solve a murder. I am looking forward to Regina and Oakleaf's story next.

A Crown of Bitter Orange (La Vie en Roses Book 3) - Laura Florand

Tristan is the youngest of the Rosiers and he is known as the fun loving guy, always ready with a smile and to brighten people's day. Malorie is from a rival perfume family that is almost extinct and she has come back to France to handle her recently deceased grandmother's property. Malorie and Tristan have known each other since they were in grade school together. Tristan has had feelings for her his whole life but when she up and disappeared after graduation he wasn’t sure he would ever see her again. She has made something of her life and has tried to put her family’s shame behind her but now being home is bringing back dreams she didn’t realize she had - to resurrect her family’s legacy in the perfume world. When Tristan walks back into her life things are a bit rocky but Tristan sees it as the opportunity to finally win her. She finds it hard to believe Tristan’s sincerity because of her family’s history, but he is persistent and works his way back into her heart. The problem lies with the fact that he is keeping a pretty big secret from her and when she finds out she can’t help but think of how her father treated her mother. I enjoyed their story a lot, it was sweet and romantic, steady, and well-developed.  Tristan is such an easy kind of guy to like; his personality really jumps off the page. The cousins are such fun male-leads and the setting is romance personified. Great books, easy to get engrossed in, and I like that there are more in the series. So delicious.

Can't Get Enough - Gena Showalter

Brock is a one and done kind of man with demons in his past that he is always trying to run from by drinking too much and sleeping with a new girl every night. Lyndie is a woman with an abusive past who can’t handle any sort of violence and doesn’t like being around men who drink.  Brock is good friends with Jude and Daniel. Lyndie is good friends with Dorothea and Ryanne. So the two are always seeing each other. She has seen him at the Scratching Post and know all about his conquests. He knows about her violent past and the fact that she seems to fear him. They both desire each other but have not acted on it because of all of their baggage and the fact they don’t want to ruin their friends relationships.  When Brock is told his father has died, he heads back to New York and finds out that his father's will requires him to get married in order to inherit the family business. He hates his mother and his mother hates him so he sees this as the opportunity to get a little revenge and decides that if he has to get married, very temporarily, in order to get that vengeance there is only one woman he can see himself married to - Lyndie.  It also helps that he has had the hots for her ever since seeing her at the Scratching Post, so it is a win-win if he can convince her to trust him.  Lyndie swore never to get imprisoned again in a marriage, but when Brock proposes a 1-month marriage she sees it as the opportunity to get something she has longed for - a baby. A deal is struck and they are married, but Brock is keeping one very big secret even while he tries to win her trust and her secrets.  Lyndie cares deeply for Brock and what he has survived and the longer she stays married to him, the harder it becomes to say goodbye, but when his secrets are revealed, will she be able to forgive him in order for both of them to finally have happily-forever-after or will she find herself alone once more?

Can't Let Go - Gena Showalter
  • Jude Laurant is a surly, broken man who has loved and lost so much. Two and a half years ago he lost part of his leg in combat, and his wife and twin daughters to a car accident caused by a drunk driver. Ever since then, he has been a walking talking shell of a man who prefers to go on in a numb state. He had only one problem with that, Ryanne Wade, the owner of the Scratching Post bar and a good friend to his best friend Daniel’s fiancé, Dorothea (Can't Hardly Breathe).  Ryanne is feisty, witty, flirty, spunky, and vivacious. Where he walks around feeling dead inside she is full of life and loves to tease him mercilessly. But he hates all thinks alcohol and bar related so he “hates” her, but he finds himself at her bar playing bouncer more and more because she means too much to his friends to let anything happen to her, which causes him to feel torn in two different directions. He doesn’t want to want her, he wants to remain faithful to his dead wife’s memory, but the more he is around Ryanne the harder it is to resist the temptation to live again.

    Ryanne loves to tease and flirt with Jude, and she decides that he would be the perfect candidate to break her of her two and a half year dry, no romance, spell. She only has one problem, he hates all things her and isn’t afraid to say so.  But she is one stubborn woman and sets out to seduce him, but when she succeeds the aftermath isn’t what she expected.  One moment he is pushing her away, another minute he is pulling her towards him and her heart just can’t take much more of his back and forth. When her life is threatened by a gang leader who is trying to buy her out, Jude is the only one she can trust to keep her, and her livelihood, safe, but can she also trust him with her heart?

    I love this series and I love coming back to the characters.  The men are so broken, and the women have so many scars as well, but when they get together wonderful things happen and a lot of healing takes place.  I loved their story, her personality made for a great back and forth between her and Jude, and I am really happy he got a second chance at happiness.  Showalter does an amazing job of painting him as such a broken and ravaged man that you can’t help but feel for him and his loss and his internal struggle to let Ryanne in. Loved it and I am super excited for Lyndie and Broke next. Woohoo!

     

Kiss Me That Way: A Cottonbloom Novel - Laura Trentham Book one in the Cottonbloom series starts off with Cade Fournette and Monroe Kirby, two people who grew up together but on different sides of the state line. Cade is a “swamp rat” from the poor side, and Monroe is a “‘Sip” from the rich side. Cade has been gone from Cottonbloom for ten years, and once he left he never thought he would return, but a accident climbing El Captain has brought him home to rehabilitate. Cade met Monroe when he found her hidding in his boat one night while he was out poaching food for his two younger siblings. It was clear to him she was scared and that something had happened. Monroe ran from her home when her mother’s latest boyfriend came into her room one night and tried to molest her. From the moment the 18-year-old (or so) met the 13-year-old, they became friends of a kind. They met every full moon at the tree they originally met and talked into the night and did that until she was ready to head off to college. She was heading off to school and he was leaving town for good. While away, he made something of himself and is no longer the poor swamp rat but rather a very wealthy inventor of several patents for boat engines. When he goes to a PT for his injuries, he never expected it to be Monroe, the girl he always looked at as a little sister until one day she was no longer a kid but a woman, though he refused to explore anything with the 'Sip. Monroe has had a crush on Cade ever since he came to her rescue and now that he is back for a short time she can’t help but remember their times together or her attraction to him. Things slowly heat up and Cade becomes a bit territorial when a slimy lawyer, that he grew up around, starts sniffing around Monroe. What he doesn’t expect is for her to make a public declaration that she wants him and is perfectly fine being seen with a swamp rat. Their relationship builds slowly and they have several highs and lows before he inevitably leaves to go back to Seattle (that is right, he actually leaves her behind a second time). Three days after leaving he realizes the life he built in Seattle isn’t the life he wants anymore and he goes home in hopes that Monroe will accept him back. Their story was great. Well developed. The conflicts were real and weren’t overly done. The plot was steady and not rushed and I really enjoyed watching them learn to be more than the occasional friends they were ten years ago. I picked this book up because I got When the Stars Come Out, book 5,  from the publisher to try and fell in love with the small town home grown romances. The characters are great and I enjoyed it enough to go back and start at the beginning. If you like Hallmark-esq style romances but still need the passion that can be missing from typical Hallmark style romance stories, this is a perfect fit. It had the passion and tension but it was also sweet and romantic.
A Wish Upon Jasmine (La Vie en Roses) (Volume 2) - Laura Florand

The second book in the La Vie en Rose series focuses on the business savvy Damien. The one known for being cold and ruthless when it comes to protecting his family’s business interests. Six months ago he met a woman that didn’t treat him like the wealthy, connection-rich business man he is known as around the world. They met at a perfume launch party and he thought they hit it off, but the next morning she was gone before he awoke. He discovered she was part owner of a new perfume business that he just took over, and anytime he reached out to her she treated him like she couldn’t care less about him. Six months later she is in Grasse, France and just inherited his family's original perfume shoppe thanks to his Tante Collete, the same woman who gave away part of Matt’s valley in book one. He is resentful and cold and angry with her from the moment he walks into the shop.

Six months ago, Jasmine was a well sought after perfumer who attempted to start her own company, fell in love with a man she met at a party not realizing who he truly was until the next morning, and was dealing with her father slowly dying, all at the same time. To say she didn’t handle Damien well is an understatement. Now she is in Grasse and suddenly finds him coming into her shop and challenging her to come up with his own personal sent, and if she can, she can keep the shop otherwise he will take her to court to get it back. Along the way, his anger with how things played out plays a pivotal role in how their relationship develops this time around. I think his anger was a bit extreme, especially once he finds out what she was dealing with at the time and how she saw him buying her company. I think he held onto that resentment a bit too long and let’s face it, they had one night together in New York and for both of them it was more than a one night stand, but neither communicated well and she really should have heard him out, so they were both in the wrong with how things were handled. I’m not sure his anger was truly justified. Not when he discovers everything about her and who she is as a person and how she handles tough situations, which is poorly.

With that said, I loved how much he loved her and I loved how she tried to tell him she loved him without actually saying the words. It was romantic, passionate, sweet, and overall a feel good romance story. I’m so happy they ended up together and they learned how to communicate with each other when words weren’t always easy for either of them. A beautiful story.

The Duke Who Ravished Me - Diana Quincy

Adam, the Duke of Sunderford, also known as Sinful Sunny, enjoys his life of debauchery and has embraced it fully. When he is told that he is now ward to two twin 7 year old girls and a governess who is prudish and dull, he refuses to give up his vices. Isabel is living with a lot of secrets and has gone through a lot of heartache, so when the two girls end up in Adam’s care she doesn’t hide her displeasure or judgment of Adam’s chosen life style. Isabel and Adam butt heads from the very beginning and Adam thinks she is the least attractive and most dull woman he has ever met but he starts to see glimpses of a different side to her when she doesn’t think he is looking that starts to make Adam question who is the real Isabel. The twins also start to burrow under Adam’s skin and before he realizes it his old lifestyle no longer appeals. When Isabel and the girls rush back to Cornwall after his annual ball where things heated up, he comes to realize how much the girls and Isabel have come to mean to him. When they return, he promises Isabel to never again disrespect her, but when she finds out all of the changes he has made in his life to make the girls feel at home she can’t keep her distance any longer. But when Adam thinks that she betrayed him and means to steal the girls away from him he over reacts and fears that he might just have lost her for good. Lots of secrets have to be revealed for the two main characters to have their happily ever after and the way everything comes together in the end was great. It did have some slow parts and I would have liked a bit more added to the conclusion, but overall I enjoyed the story and the character interactions.

The Hellion - Christi Caldwell

Hate is a powerful emotion. So can love, but to get to the later hate has to die first. Adair Thorne has hated those that came from the Diggory Gang since he was a boy tortured by that notorious gang leader and that includes the Kiloran siblings. Now the Blacks have to keep to the end of a bargain they reached with one Cleopatra Kiloran, which is to help one of her sisters snag a lofty lord for a husband. But when their gaming hell is burned down they believe the Kilorans are to blame and the little spitfire that comes to his friend's home to talk about the fire and bargain, sparks both his ire and his blood.

Cleopatra hates all things Black and she enjoys teasing Adair the most, but when she decides that it should be her sacrificed to the betterment of her family’s ambitions and finds herself living in the Black residence, she finds it next to impossible to avoid Adair. Their slow build to a friendship and then love was steady and entertaining to watch. Both characters were strong and well developed and both were very headstrong that the back and forth between the two kept the story going. The conflicts developed were both intense and hard to overcome, but when they are, the happy ever after is that much more wonderful to see. I enjoyed their story and want to go back and read about the other members of the Black gang because going into this first book in this spin-off series made it quite clear that it wasn’t the start for the characters and all of them are fascinating and interesting that I want more from them. I loved Adair and Cleopatra.

Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon - Kerrelyn Sparks

This was such a fun and entertaining story. The banter between Gwennore and Silas was fun to watch. He was such a jokester with depth. Gwen didn’t know what to think of his teasing and so she couldn’t take him seriously; she much preferred the dragon she named Puff to the General, which irked Silas something fierce. There are so many secrets in the land of Norveshka that Gwen finds it hard to trust anyone there and it doesn’t help that Silas’ method of keeping their working relationship a secret is by letting the courtiers think that she is his mistress. She has never been accepted by people other than her adopted sisters, so the snide comments and cruel rumors about her makes her desperate to go home. Silas knows he wants her, but he also knows that she doesn’t want to stay, but when spies are discovered and then murdered, and the truth about the Ancient Ones true curse comes to light, he knows that there is no one else he wants by his side through it all then Gwen. He just has to convince her to trust in him and not a dragon and he has to do it without revealing the best kept secret of his people-the true origin of the dragons. Too bad Gwen is too smart for her own good.

The Secret of Flirting - Sabrina Jeffries The next book in the Sinful Suitors series brings us the very serious and often times rigid rule follower, Gregory Fulkham. He is the spymaster for the British government and he has been placed in charge of a conference to select a king or queen for the newly independent country of Belgium. What he never expected to see was the French actress that captivated him three years ago walk into the ballroom and be called the Princess Aurore of Chanay. He knows it is her but she insists on the farce and will not come clean. When her life is threatened, he whisks her off to his country estate where their chemistry heats up the page and their confrontation with the truth peaks. The story was great. The interactions between the two main characters was dynamic, explosive, humorous, and sweet. Loved every minute of Monique winning the rigidly standoffish Gregory and help him break many of his own rules. I loved it and it is another great Sabrina Jeffries story.
Lost to a Spy - Sharon Cullen Book three in the All the Queen's Spies brings us the murder of Darnley, the King of Scotland, which was hinted at in book two, Bound to a Spy. Lady Emma is walking home when she witnesses the murder right before a massive explosion lands her in the care of Tristan, an English spy turned printer. Tristan isn’t sure why he brought Emma to his home, he just knew he couldn’t leave her in the streets. It doesn’t take him long to see it as the opportunity it is when he discovers she witnessed the murder of the king. She is very reluctant to believe Queen Mary knew of the plot or that Bothwell, a close adviser to Mary, was in on it. But she can’t refute what Tristan says or what she hears on the streets. The people don’t trust Bothwell and she comes to realize the Queen, she loves isn’t woman she is now. Tristan and Emma get to know each other during the week she spends in his home and she comes to trust him, the first man ever since her abusive husband’s death several years ago. So she puts into Tristan’s hand her full trust, and what comes out of that is beautiful and passionate. However, the morning after she comes to discover evidence that paints Tristan as not so honest or innocent and she fleas back to Holyrood palace where she speaks with the Queen and overhears Bothwell speak of rounding up printers for questioning. She rushes to warn Tristan and the resulting adventure adds drama, suspense, hope, and determination to an already successful plot. I loved how everything unfolded. I liked the escape from Scotland and the scene with Tristan, Emma, and Queen Elizabeth shortly after arriving in England.  I hope LaGrange gets his own book and I want to find out what happens next in the intrigue and drama at the Scottish court.
A Rogue of Her Own (Windham Brides) - Grace Burrowes

 Charlotte Windham is a fierce protector of women who have found themselves in a delicate situation. She has no interest in getting married and she is the very last Windham cousin not married. However, she does need to be ruined so the men stop proposing and cornering her at various social functions. She wants to be left alone to pursue her goals of continuing her work. Lucas is the wealthy commoner who is the neighbor to the Duke of Haverford (Elizabeth Windham’s book, No Other Duke Will Do).  In that book, we met Lucas and for a good portion of the book he came across as the villain when in truth he wasn’t. He is a successful businessman who has a colliery in the process of being built. He is in town to find a business partner when he rescues Charlotte from an aggressive suitor. It doesn’t take them long before he proposes marriage, though both of them only see it as a business transaction. She is attracted to him but is worried he will try and stop her work, so initially she refuses him, but is later caught kissing him by none other than the Duke and Duchess of Windham, the scheming and matchmaking masterminds of the Windham family. Lucas and Charlotte find themselves married and on the way to Wales shortly after that. They don’t know each other and don’t know how to start. Their marriage reminded me of what marriages were actually like back then, which is sad, though theirs had a happily ever after. They grow close very slowly, but when it comes out that Lucas’ business partner is the same man who ruined Charlotte's best friend a rift arises. It seems hopeless for a few weeks but Charlotte has come to realize she really loves her husband and misses him, and he comes to realize how he wants his marriage to be and they both come to a very tentative understanding. He sets off to seek justice for Charlotte’s dead friend and the son she left behind, and in doing so, discovers he has friends in high places and not all aristocracy is evil and spoiled. I loved Charlotte’s confrontation at the end with her friend’s lover and I love that Lucas overheard it all. Priceless. Perfect. Romantic. And sweet.

The Rogue Not Taken - Sarah MacLean Man, did King act like an ass more times than not throughout the whole story. The things he said to her was sometimes intense, I certainly was pulled into the story and felt for her so many times.  It was emotionally intense and I had a lot of times where I had to stop reading to have a mental argument, saying exactly what I wanted her to say to him anytime he said something harsh. There was only one love scene; which usually disappoints me, but in this case the plot line and conflicts the two had to face to get to the one time made it make sense. I think if there had been more full-on love scenes it would have actually taken something away from the story and the relationship between Sophie and King. Sophie's roller coaster of an adventure had a lot of emotional strife all perpetrated by King the idiot ass. But he does finally take his foot out of his mouth and makes things right and they both get their happy ending. I enjoyed this story. I felt so much for Sophie and I look forward to book 2. :-)