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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 Pleasures of Passion
Sabrina Jeffries
Lord of Lies - Amy Sandas

Book 3 in Amy Sandas' Fallen Ladies series was just wonderful.  Passionate, adventurous, emotionally gripping, and a just plain wonderful story.   I loved it.  I think book 3 is my favorite in the series so far. The chemistry between Portia and Dell was fantastic.  She was such a strong female character who was well-developed.  The plot was strong and the conflicts fit the story line.  It coincides with the same timelines as book one (Emma's story, Luck is No Lady) and book two (Lily's story, The Untouchable Earl), so you revisit their stories a bit but with a different perspective.  The author doesn't lose clarity, and details from all three plots are not lost. They merge and play out well side-by-side. This was a great story and I highly recommend the series. This was a Netgalley read.

Wed to a Spy: An All the Queen's Spies Novel - Sharon Cullen

The first book in a new series by Sharon Cullen takes us into the Scottish court of Queen Mary. Queen Elizabeth has sent three of her spies to Mary's court in order to keep tabs on her. One such spy is Simon, a man who dedicated his life to Queen Elizabeth and now just wants to retire to his country estate with his younger sister. But Elizabeth forces him into yet another mission. While in Queen May's court, he meets Aimee, a French woman who was sent to spy on Mary for her Aunt in France. She hates that she is forced to leave her home and the man she loves but she does it with the hope of returning to France to marry her love. What she wasn't expecting was for another meddling monarch, Queen Mary, to force her and Simon into a marriage, one that neither wants. Once married their adventure truly begins and it takes them into hiding during a coup, on the run to England from an angry Queen Mary, and then into Queen Elizabeth's court to fight for the right to their happy ending. Their story was enjoyable, passionate, exciting, and emotionally stimulating. I liked it a lot and enjoyed watching them grow to first trust then love each other deeply. They were well matched and I look forward to seeing what the series has in store for the other two English spies. This was a Netgalley read.

Enchantment of a Highlander - Madeline Martin I received this copy as part of the NERFA contest put on by First Coast Romantic Writers. This one was difficult to get into. It starts off with Alec asking Celia to be his mistress within 5 minutes of knowing her. Their second meeting has Celia, a virgin, walking up to him and they have sex even though they still do not know each other. It moved too fast in the beginning. It didn't make sense as to why they jumped right into it, especially with her leery of strangers due to her past. And he took her virginity and it wasn't until he was seated all the way in that he stopped and asked her again to be his mistress. That was a bit late for asking her. So the beginning made it difficult to get into at first. Things could have developed slower and it would have made for a stronger beginning. The plot does pick up the pace and the emotional tension between the two spikes once she believes he has died and gives into her desires for him. Once that happens things move along and the story became more engrossing. I liked their journey and the fact that both were willing to sacrifice their own happiness to keep the other safe. I liked the character development even if it started out rough. The characters do become stronger and the conflict was strong. Overall, the story as a whole was good.
A Duchess in Name (The Grantham Girls) - Amanda  Weaver

I received this book from the NERFA contest put on by First Coast Romantic Writers. The book starts off slow and I had a bit of difficulty getting into it, but it quickly picks up in the tension between our two main characters and the plot develops well. Andrew believes his new wife had an active hand in trapping him into marriage in order to become a duchess. He goes through with the wedding to protect his sisters, but then immediately leaves for Italy after he drops Victoria off at the ruin of his family seat. Their wedding night was a bit difficult to watch and the fact that he leaves without saying goodbye just adds to the conflict and difficulties they need to work through in order to have a happy ending. Instead of falling apart, Victoria picks up the pieces and starts to put the ruin back together into a home. She decides that the house represents the independence she so desired. She does write her husband in hopes that they can somehow make a real go of their marriage but he stands fast in his hatred of her, and she doesn't find out why till near the very end of the story. As secrets become revealed and the few encounters between the two in the beginning just adds to the emotional tension. It definitely draws you into the story and when they do have their happy ending it was just so sweet and romantic. I enjoyed the story and was definitely engrossed in their relationship as it developed, fell apart, and at the end come back together stronger than ever. Loved it.

Burn: Elemental Hearts Book 1 (Volume 1) - Jayelle Morgan

I was provided this book through the 2016 NERFA Contest put on by the First Coast Romance Writers. I have not read or heard of this author until I was provided a copy, so I went in not expecting much. I was wonderfully surprised. I loved it. The characters are strong, the plot is well developed, the conflict is strong, and the passion was perfectly hot (pun intended). Brooke is a strong heroine and Levi is a passionate hero. The story had highs and lows, some humor, action and adventure, and some emotional turmoil that kept me turning the pages. I very much enjoyed this book and will definitely be keeping an eye out for a book 2.

The Bad Luck Bride (The Cavensham Heiresses) - Janna MacGregor

The story starts off a bit slow but the conflict and plot are well developed, and the reader is pulled into Claire and Alex's complicated relationship. The emotional turmoil and struggles the couple has to face to have their happy ending draws the reader in and you can't help but feel for Claire. Alex definitely digs himself a big hole and he has a lot to atone for in order to win Claire's trust back once all of his secrets are revealed. I very much enjoyed their story. The characters were strong, the plot was compelling, and the development of the relationship with its highs and lows kept me turning the page. I very much enjoyed the book and recommend to any who loves a great historical romance.

Axion: Red Rock Alien Mail Order Brides 2 (Intergalactic Dating Agency) - Erin Kellison

Book 2 focuses on Leif and Nina it is quick and entertaining if a bit rushed. Leif is on a mission to find an Earth bride for his employer. He doesn't want outspoken and sometimes silly Nina, but he doesn't quite know why. At least not until he meets a future self who pretty much tells him she is his mate and that he watches her leave Earth to be another man's bride. She finds Leif annoying and always moody. When the future Leif shows up and he is nothing like the other one, she can't help but be drawn in. Well, they both set out to find out the future Leif's purpose and when it is revealed they come up with their own version of the plan. I liked book 1 better. I wanted a bit more development in Leif and Nina's plot to save the world and stay together. This one didn't have the emotional tension book 1 had, though I still enjoyed the story.  I liked their banter and when passion flares, it flares hot and fast (a bit too fast for me but still good).

***I voluntarily received this ARC book for a clear and honest review from the author***

All That Glitters: Sol Series 1 - Erin Kellison

The story starts off well.  They have not seen each other in 5 years, not since she left him to go explore uncharted planets, which was her dream.  He almost hates her for leaving him.  Since she has been gone, his life has gone downhill fast and now he is a criminal.  He shoots her ship out of the sky (he doesn't realize it is her spacecraft) and so when they meet things are strained, obviously.  Things start to get rushed once they arrive at the city.  First, she is his captive and she is angry about it and then in the next moment she is helping him and his crew to not get arrested.  When she finds out some of his past, she jumps to his defense and suddenly he is her consort.  He goes from wanting to complete his mission to get off the planet to seducing her and playing the role of consort.  It happened way too fast.  This story could have been developed more, the conflict developed into something that could have made for more than a 91-page story. The wedding event and consequently the attack and heroics of Simon did add to the plot. How they came together afterward and won the chance to be together was romantic. I really did like that sequence of events.  The middle of the story between them leaving the woods to the hatched plan to take place while everyone was at the wedding was the part that was rushed. I would have liked to see more development, to have their reunion prolonged a bit more.  I enjoyed it, but it is a novella, so it has the rushed feel of a novella.

Guardian's Mate -  Jennifer Ashley

There has never been a female Guardian, until now.  Zander is the eccentric healer that everyone thinks is crazy and he has retreated back to his Alaskan home to find solitude and peace.  What he wasn't expecting was for a favor to be called in and for him to have to take on the very first female Guardian and train her.  Rae is really out of her comfort zone and doesn't like being left by her foster father with Zander, the crazy polar bear shifter.  Well, adventure follows Zander and it doesn't take long until they are going into the environs of Alaska to release a dead shifter's soul, end up in a bar fight, get chased out of Alaska by bounty hunters, and end up back home in Montana with a broken sword on the hunt for feral shifters.  It was fun and their banter back and forth was enjoyable to watch.  I liked watching them try and resist each other because they really couldn't afford to let into their mating frenzy while dealing with everything they dealt with. Zander, I think is one of my favorite characters; you really don't know what to expect to come out of his mouth, how he will react to things, or the fact that he seemed less guarded than the other shifters.  Part of it I think is because he was never collared and seems to be able to make friends anywhere he goes. I liked their story a lot.  A lot happens in such a short amount of pages, only 336 pages.  The size of the book is deceiving, it is jam packed with adventure, humor, passion, friendships, and experiences.  I loved it.

 

Bound Together (A Sea Haven Novel) - Christine Feehan

The final chapter of the Sisters of the Heart series was everything I wanted in Blythe and Viktor's story and more. I loved it. It was passionate. The plot was strong. The conflict perfect. It was an emotional rollercoaster of an adventure. Blythe hasn't seen Viktor in five years. Not since the night he shot her stepfather and walked out on his wife without a backward glance, or so she thought. Viktor has been deep undercover trying to eliminate a major human trafficking leader and he is close to succeeding. He has never forgotten his wife, the one woman who saved him from his past and proved that he could love and find someone genuine who could love him in return. He looks forward to reuniting with her, but he does worry about his reception. Without giving anything away, the couple has a lot to work through, from trust to tragedy. His mission takes him to Sea Haven and while there on his mission he works to win back the only woman who can save him and this brothers and sisters from their very dark pasts. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. Christine Feehan has left it open for another spin-off series, YAY, and so I hope she will be taking us back to Sea Haven in the future.  So good. I  recommend this one.  If you haven't read any of the series, or stopped because some were slow, I recommend reading this one for sure.  You will be missing some background, but Feehan does give some of that background during this story so it does make it readable alone.  Just heads up, all characters from the Sea Haven series and the Sisters of the Heart make appearances in this one.  The whole cast is back and working together.

Never Trust a Pirate (Playful Brides) - Valerie Bowman

This was a fun and entertaining adventure.  Both have secrets they cannot share. She is sent into the home of Cade Cavendish's brother in order to spy on Cade. Cade is in London on a mission of revenge and he plays up the "black sheep of the family" persona so that no one figures out his true purpose, not even his brother knows his mission.  Danielle mistakes Cade for Lord Cavendish when she sees him, drunk and heading into the wrong room.  She goes to help him and ends up on his lap just as the real Lord Cavendish and Lady Cavendish come to the door.  From then on, the attraction builds between the two.  Cade loves her open and independent nature and how she speaks her mind and flirts with him.  Danielle enjoys their interactions and talks and she finds herself falling for her mark.  Their attraction builds up to the point that she leaves him after they share a very romantic dance in her room.  She has a new mission, to hunt down the man who killed her father.  Cade gets word about the man who tortured his brother is leaving London and he races to catch him.  I don't want to spoil anything but when they reunite, man it was wonderful to watch.  I enjoyed their adventure and the characters are strong and the plot is entertaining.  This was the first book that I have read 

This was the first book that I have read by this author and I think I will definitely go back and read books 1-6 in the series. 

Encounters With a Rogue (Half Moon House ) - Deb Marlowe

This is a two-part book. Part 1, An Unexpected Encounter, focuses on a strong independent woman who has taken her future into her own hands on a gamble and appears to have lost. He is a bit of a cantankerous older gentleman who hated society and has to chase his new ward to the museum too many times to count. On one fateful trip to the museum, he comes across Lisbeth and is surprised at her protectiveness of his ward who she just met. She ends up coming home to become the girl's new governess and while there airs out more than his home and infuses new life into a bitter gentleman. Their story was sweet, there was one instance of budding passion but then it didn't go far. I would have liked to have seen their passion unfold further. In the end, it was a sweet, almost innocent love story.

The second story, A Waltz in the Park, follows James Vickers, the friend who abandoned Lisbeth in her time of need. He is an infamous rake and at the point where the story picks up, he has evolved his quest for vengeance against his father into one where he is no longer drunk all of the time, but rather being more subtle and thought out in his schemes. Along the way, he meets the "Celestial", an innocent that everyone is talking about as being a great beauty who is very innocent and angelic. She ends up striking a bargain with him; he will help her meet Hestia Wright, the famous courtesan, and she will help him speak with her cousin who he needs information from to use against his father. As they meet up in secret to exchange information passions flair. They have several stolen kisses, but he continues to keep his distance because he cannot be connected to an innocent, one his father would love to see him with. Tensions flare, harsh words are spoken, all seems lost, and then all ends well. The conclusion was sweet; I really liked how she set the scene in the park and won him in the end. Overall, it was an enjoyable story, but again no passion beyond several stolen kisses. Out of the two in the bundle, I did like this one a lot more. I do expect certain behaviors from a man known for his rakish ways and James did come across a bit too tame in that department, but in the grand scheme of the story, it didn't hinder the enjoyment of reading it.

Dark Alpha's Lover - Donna Grant

Fintan is the focus of the next Reaper book and he is the Reaper with snow white hair and white eyes rimmed in red. We find out his backstory as a dark Fae before he is betrayed and killed and why he is the only dark Fae with pure white hair and eyes that are almost all white. He doesn't feel. He doesn't let emotions out, not since his death, until he sets eyes on Cat. Catriona Hayes comes from a family thrice blessed by Fae visits, except, unlike her family members she has no magic. Tragedy has also befallen her too many times to count and she expects her death will be next. When she spies Fintan killing a dark Fae, instead of fearing him she is drawn to him and him to her. She is full of courage and agrees to help Fintan trap Bran when he sheds light on the fact that it was Bran who murdered her siblings. They partner up but what they don't expect is the well-formed plan Bran has set for Cat and how he plans to get her to agree to help him. When Fintan believes she has betrayed him she faces Bran alone but Bran's ultimate plan continues to have surprises that neither see coming. I love the Reaper series. It is definitely unfolding and the plot is developing well. I like Fintan and his back story and Cat was a perfect match for what he needed in a partner. Overall, very entertaining adventure and love story.  

Beauty of the Beast - Rachel L. Demeter

This retelling of one of my absolute favorite fairy tales was exactly how I envisioned an adult version to go.  Adam and his back story are quite tragic and explain his character perfectly. The events that lead Isabelle to leave home with her ill father were horrible, no spoilers, promise. The moment she knocks on Adam's door and demands entry during the storm pretty much set the tone for how she was going to be the one to pull Adam out of the past and into living life. I very much liked the small adult changes to the plot, it took it from a Disney fairy tale to a full blown passion filled love story centered around two people who find love and happiness out of the ashes that were their pasts. My only negative was that it started off slowly and at times the descriptions seemed a bit drawn out. It took some time for things to pick up and for the plot to become engrossing. The moment that the plot does pick up was when Isabelle had stayed at the "Beast's" castle for a few weeks and their friendship began to grow into something more. Once that happens, it was hard to put the book down. I enjoyed it, it was a fun read.

Legacy Lost - Jillian David

Book two in the Hell's Valley focuses on Shelby and Eric. They have both secretly had a thing for the other for years, and after she put herself in harms way to save Sara and Zach and Eric learned the truth about her psychic abilities, well tensions have run high. He has become far more protective and in her eyes overbearing. She has a stubborn self-sacrificing attitude that he has run out of patience with. On a rescue mission she uses her abilities again causing her to go blind for several hours. He is coming to his breaking point and fears her hurting herself permanently. Well the tension snaps and the proverbial cat is let out of the bag and neither truly knows what to do now. While they figure out how to take a lifelong friendship to the next level, evil is building up power and using the Brand family once more to carry out its evil deeds. Will Shelby and Eric come to terms with their feelings and her growing abilities or throw in the towel before things really heat up? Once together will they stick it out or push each other away?  In the end the adventure and love story were great (though I think I have to say I liked book 1, Legacy of Lies, a bit more. There was just something about Garrison and Sara that just heated up the page). Book two was fun, fast paced, tense in the emotional category, and full of passionate moments. Never pegged Eric for the take-charge-and-be-in-control-in-the-bedroom kind of guy but it worked for him.  I'm glad both of them found their happily ever after and that in the end they knew what they had and fought to keep it. Great book and the series is getting better and better.

The Seven Sins of Ruby Love (The Beyond Series Book 3) - Erin Quinn

John Cassian wants vengeance and when Ruby Love runs straight into his arms, literally, he sees her as his possible ticket to that vengeance, all he has to do is keep his hands and his heart out of it. Ruby is tormented by ghosts; she sees the dead and when her dead brother shows up on the train with her and asks for her help, she is determined to accomplish that, even if it means doing it without the aid of her family.  The chemistry between Ruby and John was hot and explosive. They burned up the pages and their intense emotional journey to trusting, and loving, each other made the story progress smoothly and quickly.  I loved watching their adventure unfold and when the truth comes out about who John really is and his motives, Ruby has to decide if she can stay with a man that has done heinous crimes to survive. John fears she will walk out the door and never return, but that doesn't stop him from helping her reach her dead brother.  When Ruby is in danger John rushes to her aid and the conclusion of their story was awesome!  This one didn't need an epilog, like The Three Fates of Ryan Love; how this one ends was perfect and complete.  When you through in ghosts, angels that aren't that heavenly, a reaper, a half-breed, and a lot of action you end up with a thrilling and entertaining story.