Review: The Viscount Made Me Do It by Diana Quincy

The Viscount Made Me Do It by Diana Quincy
Series: Clandestine Affairs #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 27th 2021
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Diana Quincy returns with the second novel in her Clandestine Affairs series featuring a steamy romance between a working class London bonesetter who is dangerously attracted to her mysterious noble client.

A seduction that could ruin everything . . .

Hanna Zaydan has fought to become London’s finest bonesetter, but her appealing new patient threatens to destroy everything she’s worked so hard for. With each appointment, the daughter of foreign merchants is slowly seduced by the mysterious former soldier. She’s smart enough to know Griff is after more than he’ll reveal, but whatever it is, the bonesetter’s growing desire for the man just might tempt her to give it to him.

An attraction that cannot be denied . . .

Rumors that he killed his own parents have followed Thomas Ellis, Viscount Griffin, practically since he was a boy. More than a decade after the tragedy, Griff receives a tip about his parents’ killer . . . one that takes him straight to a beautiful bonesetter. Griff is convinced Hanna is a fraud, but she stirs genuine feelings in him that he thought had perished along with his family.

Hanna has a gift for fixing fractured people, but can she also mend a broken heart? More importantly, will Griff let her?

I became a big fan of Diana Quincy’s after reading the first book in the Clandestine Affairs series. I was looking forward to reading this sequel because I was intrigued by Griff’s character in book one, but the heroine ended up being my favorite thing about The Viscount Made Me Do It! I sadly didn’t love this sequel quite as much as the first book, but if you’re looking for a diverse historical romance with a slight mystery plot, this would be one to try.

Hanna is our bonesetter heroine whose Arabic background makes it hard for her business, but she does her best and doesn’t let any kind of discrimination stop her from helping those in physical pain. Her newest client is Griff, a Viscount with a war injury who has ulterior motives. He’s searching for his parents’ murderer and a clue has led him to Hanna. He never expects to fall for the intelligent, strong, capable woman after she helps heal his injuries.

I loved the beginning and setup of this book. I thought it was SO cool that Hanna is a bonesetter, which I’ve never read before. The romance started in a sweet way and had me invested… up to a point. Sadly, even though I liked Griff in book one, he didn’t really do much for me in his own book. His plot surrounding his parents’ murder was dragged out until the end when everything gets figured out and wrapped up too neatly in a bow. I was also disappointed when Griff decides to be honorable and offers to marry his childhood friend, who is NOT the heroine. Griff is “engaged” until almost the end of the book even as he’s falling in love with Hanna and it just left a sour taste while I was reading.

As much as I wanted to love this, I did have some hangups about the story. I still enjoyed the writing though and am definitely looking forward to more from Diana Quincy.


lacey


Reading Order: Clandestine Affairs series

#1 ~ Her Night with the Duke: My ReviewEbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Viscount Made Me Do It: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ The Marquess Makes His Move: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads (March 29, 2022)


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Review: The Mixtape by Brittainy Cherry

The Mixtape by Brittainy Cherry
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: July 1st 2021
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Since the death of his twin brother, Oliver’s caught between pleasing his fans and finding himself. Emery finds him first.

Emery has never felt more alone. Raising her daughter is both her pleasure and her pain as she struggles to hold on to her job as a bartender and keep a roof over their heads. With no one to help them—no support system—any unexpected expense or late bill could turn their whole world upside down.

Reeling from the death of his twin brother and bandmate, rock star Oliver Smith is trying to drink his problems away. Apparently he isn’t very good at it; they follow him wherever he goes. Also in hot pursuit are the paparazzi, who catch Oliver at his lowest low.

He could have walked into any bar in California, but he walked into hers. Emery helps Oliver lose the crowd, and they find themselves alone: two people whose paths are marked with loss and pain. However, they hold an unshakable hope for healing. They find solace together, but can their love withstand the world?

The Mixtape is a down-to-earth rock star romance between a single mother and one of her rock star idols. It’s emotional and heartbreaking, as with most Brittainy C. Cherry books. I’ve been enjoying her books a lot lately and this one was fantastic in audio. If you’re a fan of rock star romances and books with a ton of feels, you need to read this book!

Oliver is a part of a rock star duo with his twin brother, and when twin dies in an accident, Oliver is left reeling and devastated. Being in the public eye doesn’t help matters either. Everyone and their mother seems to have a negative opinion on Oliver and he can’t deal with his grief and public scrutiny on top of it. He finds himself drunk in the middle of a bar when he meets Emery, a single mom who helps him during this painful time. They form a connection over their trauma and loss and they help each other heal all while falling for each other.

Oliver and Emery’s stories are heart-wrenching. I hurt for both of them, from the loss of the most important person in Oliver’s life to Emery’s hurtful and toxic family. Their romance is sweet and all about healing two broken people. I adored Emery’s daughter Reese, who adds a brightness to the story that’s much needed. The Mixtape took me on an emotional journey and I enjoyed it so much.


lacey


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Review: Hang the Moon by Alexandria Bellefleur

Hang the Moon by Alexandria Bellefleur
Series: Written in the Stars #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 25th 2021
Links: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

​In a delightful follow-up to Written in the Stars, Alexandria Bellefleur delivers another #ownvoices queer rom-com about a hopeless romantic who vows to show his childhood crush that romance isn’t dead by recreating iconic dates from his favorite films…

Brendon Lowell loves love. It’s why he created a dating app to help people find their one true pairing and why he’s convinced “the one” is out there, even if he hasn’t met her yet. Or… has he? When his sister’s best friend turns up in Seattle unexpectedly, Brendon jumps at the chance to hang out with her. He’s crushed on Annie since they were kids, and the stars have finally aligned, putting them in the same city at the same time.

Annie booked a spur-of-the-moment trip to Seattle to spend time with friends before moving across the globe. She’s not looking for love, especially with her best friend’s brother. Annie remembers Brendon as a sweet, dorky kid. Except, the 6-foot-4 man who shows up at her door is a certified Hot Nerd and Annie… wants him? Oh yes.

Getting involved would be a terrible idea—her stay is temporary and he wants forever—but when Brendon learns Annie has given up on dating, he’s determined to prove that romance is real. Taking cues from his favorite rom-coms, Brendon plans to woo her with elaborate dates straight out of Nora Ephron’s playbook. The clock is ticking on Annie’s time in Seattle, and Brendon’s starting to realize romance isn’t just flowers and chocolate. But maybe real love doesn’t need to be as perfect as the movies… as long as you think your partner hung the moon.

I finally had the chance to read Alexandria Bellefleur this year and what a delight her books have been. I enjoyed her debut, Written in the Stars, and was so looking forward to the sequel, Hang the Moon. Brendon was a total sweetheart of a guy in book one and I couldn’t wait for him to finally fall in love! He’s they type of hero who’s lovely and nice, and wears his heart on his sleeve. His romance with Annie is pure sweetness!

Annie is best friends with Brendon’s older sister, Darcy, and shows up in Seattle out of the blue to hang out with Darcy one last time before she moves across the world for a new job. Unfortunately for Annie, Darcy is out of town, but luckily her brother isn’t. When Annie sees Brendon for the first time in years, she’s shocked by how this dorky kid turned into someone… hot. But nothing can happen between them, mostly because of how opposite these two are. Annie doesn’t want love or a long term relationship at the moment, and Brendon wants to find the love of his life.

Did I mention how sweet Brendon is? Pretty much as soon as he sees Annie again, he knows she’s it for him. He had a crush on her when he was younger but now he has the chance to show her they can have something real. He’s determined to break Annie out of her cynical shell by taking her on all these little dates around the city rom-com/Nora Ephron style. But as they slowly start to fall for each other, the countdown to Annie leaving the country grows closer.

My heart was so happy when I read this book. Brendon and Annie made for an adorable couple and the dates they went on were too cute. Brendon had me swooning! If you love a hero who loves love, he’s perfect for you. What he did in the epilogue? I DIED. It was so freaking cute. I highly recommend this read if you’re looking for something sweet and heartwarming!


Reading Order: Written in the Stars series

#1 ~ Written in the Stars: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Hang the Moon: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Count Your Lucky Stars: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads


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Release Day Review: Devil in Disguise by Lisa Kleypas

Devil in Disguise by Lisa Kleypas
Series: Ravenels #7 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 27th 2021
Links: EbookPaperbackHardcoverAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

New York Times bestseller Lisa Kleypas returns with an enthralling and steaming romance between a Scot with a mysterious past and strong-willed lady looking for adventure—and love.

“The devil never tries to make people do the wrong thing by scaring them. He does it by tempting them.”

Lady Merritt Sterling, a strong-willed young widow who’s running her late husband’s shipping company, knows London society is dying to catch her in a scandal. So far, she’s been too smart to provide them with one. But then she meets Keir MacRae, a rough-and-rugged Scottish whisky distiller, and all her sensible plans vanish like smoke. They couldn’t be more different, but their attraction is powerful, raw and irresistible.

From the moment Keir MacRae arrives in London, he has two goals. One: don’t fall in love with the dazzling Lady Merritt Sterling. Two: avoid being killed.

So far, neither of those is going well.

Keir doesn’t know why someone wants him dead until fate reveals the secret of his mysterious past. His world is thrown into upheaval, and the only one he trusts is Merritt.

Their passion blazes with an intensity Merritt has never known before, making her long for the one thing she can’t have from Keir MacRae: forever. As danger draws closer, she’ll do whatever it takes to save the man she loves . . . even knowing he might be the devil in disguise.

I am dying over how wonderful this book was. It was everything I wanted and more from a Lisa Kleypas romance. I loved Merritt and Keir so much. The passion and love between them stole my heart. Devil in Disguise is now one of my new favorite Lisa Kleypas historicals!

Devil in Disguise is book 7 in the Ravenels series but I’m not sure why that is. You might be able to read it fine as a standalone but I would recommend reading the Wallflowers series first, because this book is the second generation of that series. Not a lot of Ravenels actually show up. Merritt, our widowed heroine, is Lillian and Marcus’ oldest daughter and is in charge of her late husband’s shipping company. Her newest business partner is Keir, our very first Scottish Lisa Kleypas hero. The connection between them is instantaneous and fantastic to read!

Keir and Merritt killed me in the best of ways. I was swooning over their romance, which does happen quickly, but then a wrench is thrown in that slows things down and evens out the pacing. I adored how gone both of them were over each other. Keir is a total grumpy sweetheart and it was too easy to love him. There’s a bit of suspense in this with someone going after Keir, so in between the romance, mystery, and family drama, there’s never a dull moment in this read.

If you loved Sebastian from Devil in Winter, I am happy to say you’ll get to see a lot of him here! We even get a few chapters in his POV. I won’t spoil anything, but I had no problem with the connection between Sebastian and Keir. Honestly, it was just a delight seeing the Wallflowers cast (well, half of them) again and I can only hope we get more second generation books in the future!

Merritt and Keir are perfection together. There’s a reason why Lisa Kleypas is so beloved and why she’s my favorite historical romance author. I fall so hard for every one of her stories – and heroes – and cannot wait to read more!


Reading Order: Ravenel series


#1 ~ Cold-Hearted Rake: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Marrying Winterborne: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Devil in Spring: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Hello Stranger: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ Devil’s Daughter: My ReviewEbook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#6 ~ Chasing Cassandra: My ReviewEbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#7 ~ Devil in Disguise: EbookPaperbackHardcoverAudibleGoodreads


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Review: Last Guard by Nalini Singh

Last Guard by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling Trinity #5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 20th 2021
Links: EbookHardcover • AudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to a world devastated by change in her award-winning Psy-Changeling Trinity series, where two people defined by their aloneness hold the fate of the Psy in their hands. . . .

Termed merciless by some, and a robotic sociopath by others, Payal Rao is the perfect Psy: cardinal telekinetic, CEO of a major conglomerate, beautiful—and emotionless.

For Canto Mercant, family and loyalty are everything. A cardinal telepath deemed “imperfect” by his race due to a spinal injury, Canto cares for the opinions of very few—and ruthlessly protects those he claims as his own. Head of intel for the influential Mercant family, he prefers to remain a shadow in the Net, unknown and unseen. But Canto is also an anchor, part of a secretive designation whose task it is to stabilize the PsyNet. Now that critical psychic network is dying, threatening to collapse and kill the entire Psy race with it.

To save those he loves, Canto needs the help of a woman bound to him by a dark past neither has been able to forget. A woman who is the most powerful anchor of them all: Payal Rao. Neither is ready for the violent inferno about to ignite in the PsyNet . . . or the passionate madness that threatens to destroy them both.

We’ve got a Psy-Psy romance for this 5th Trinity book! Even though this isn’t my favorite kind of pairing (I say this even though my all time favorite PC book is Psy-Psy lol), Payal and Canto’s romance is lovely and heartwarming. They are a part of Designation A, who are essentially the foundation and backbone of the Psy race, and unfortunately, they’re dying.

Canto, a Mercant, brings the formerly unknown A’s together and finds Payal, the girl who saved his life when he was a boy. There were lots of Heart of Obsidian vibes here, which made me happy. Payal reminded me of Kaleb, Silent and ice cold to prevent herself from the chaos inside of her learning out. Canto was the perfect hero to bring love and passion in her life and break down her walls. There’s also disability rep here, with Canto in a wheelchair.

I really enjoyed Last Guard! It’s always a joy to be back in this world. All the bear cameos made me smile. I’m crossing my fingers we’ll get another bear changeling romance because I can never get enough of them. And I’m still looking forward to a Nikita/Anthony book, if we ever get one!


lacey


Reading Order: Psy-Changeling Trinity series

 

#1 ~ Silver Silence: My ReviewEbookPaperbackHardcoverAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Ocean Light: EbookPaperbackHardcoverAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Wolf Rain: EbookPaperbackHardcoverAudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Alpha Night: EbookPaperbackHardcoverAudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ Last Guard: EbookHardcover • AudibleGoodreads


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