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: 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: Scoundrel of My Heart by Lorraine Heath

Scoundrel of My Heart by Lorraine Heath
Series: Once Upon a Dukedom #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: March 30th 2021
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Lorraine Heath begins an exciting new series with a breathtaking romance about a young woman who must marry a titled gentleman to obtain her inheritance and the unsuitable man she begins to fall madly in love with

She is desperate to wed a duke…

Lady Kathryn Lambert must marry a titled gentleman to claim her inheritance and has finally gained the attention of a duke. Yet she is unable to forget the scandalous second son who aided in her achievement—or his betrayal.

He wants what he can never possess…

Lord Griffith Stanwick is tormented by the bitter truth that as a “spare,” he will never be able to give Kathryn what she yearns to possess. But when his father is found guilty of treason, Griff detours into the dark and dangerous corners of London, haunted by memories of the woman lost to him forever.

Love not to be denied…

As the duke’s courtship intensifies, Kathryn discovers Griff has become a man to be reckoned with. When old passions flare and new desires ignite, she must decide if sacrificing her legacy is worth a lifetime shared with the scoundrel of her heart.

I have heard such fantastic things about Lorraine Heath and her historical romances, and I finally got the chance to read her for the first time, starting with the first book in her newest Once Upon a Dukedom series, Scoundrel of My Heart. It apparently is a spinoff of a book from her previous series, but even though I didn’t read Beauty Tempts the Beast, I had no problem starting with this spinoff. But I do want to go back and read the original series now!

Kathryn is a lady who must marry a titled gentleman in order to inherit her grandmother’s beloved cottage. Her best friend’s brother Griffith is unfortunately untitled and a second son. She asks him for help on how to woo a certain Duke into offering her marriage, and this is how she and Griff get close and start to develop feelings for each other. But having read the blurb, I was pretty much waiting on the edge of my seat for the other shoe to drop for these two. And it certainly does. Griff’s family has been ruined and stripped of all their titles. This happens right when the two of them are on the cusp of something more too, which adds so much excitement and intensity.

One year later, Griff has made a comeback in terms of money and reputation (sort of). He’s now the owner of a popular, exclusive club that caters to the “unwanted” or “undesirables” in London high society. And Griff and Kathryn still want each other, even knowing they can’t be together. Griff decides to continue playing matchmaker for Kathryn against his own jealous wishes. And now Kathryn is torn between her duty and her heart.

This was a solid historical romance read that was equal parts passionate and endearing. These characters go through so many ups and downs, so many emotions, and I was rooting for them every step of the way. If you love lots of longing in your romances, there is plenty of it here. I also loved the idea of Griff’s club being open exclusively to untitled men, wallflowers, spinsters, and the like. I would love if we get even more of this club in future Once Upon a Dukedom books. Speaking of which, I am now dying for the Duke’s book and Griff’s brother Marcus’ book! I enjoyed Lorraine Heath’s writing so much here and can’t wait to devour her backlist.


lacey


Reading Order: Once Upon a Dukedom series

#1 ~ Scoundrel of My Heart: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ The Duchess Hunt: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads (Sept. 28, 2021)


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Review: The Heiress Hunt by Joanna Shupe

The Heiress Hunt by Joanna Shupe
Series: Fifth Avenue Rebels #1
Publication Date: March 9th 2021
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

High society reprobate.
An unconventional heiress.
Childhood friends.

Is it too late…
Knickerbocker scoundrel Harrison Archer returns to New York to discover that his deceased father has bankrupted his estranged family. To save them from ruin, he’s forced to quickly find and marry an heiress. For a matchmaker, Harrison turns to the one woman he wishes he could marry: his childhood friend and true love, Maddie, who once broke his heart and is now engaged to a duke.

For true love?
When her best friend Harrison left for Paris without a word, Maddie Webster took refuge in her infatuation with tennis. Now Harrison is back and needs her help in finding a bride. Begrudgingly, Maddie arranges a house party in Newport with a guest list of eligible heiresses. But watching Harrison flirt with potential brides is more than she can bear.

When Harrison and Maddie reunite, the passion between them ignites. But with their marriages to others looming, time is running out. Is their fate inescapable . . .or can love set them free?

I am such a big Joanna Shupe fan so when I heard she would be releasing a brand new series called the Fifth Avenue Rebels series, I knew I had to read it! And then the gorgeous cover was revealed and I needed the book even more. I sadly didn’t love this one as much as my favorite series of hers, the Uptown Girls series, but I was enjoyable for the most part.

I love the friends to lovers trope and was incredibly excited about the matchmaking plot in The Heiress Hunt. Harrison and Maddie were childhood best friends, and Harrison was in unrequited love with Maddie. He left her and left for Paris without another word to live a life of debauchery. But now he’s back and needs an heiress to marry to save his family from ruin.

I was engaged with this book at the beginning. I loved the setup and I always enjoy Joanna Shupe’s writing. But the more I read, the more I wished… more from it. The story wasn’t fleshed out enough, I wasn’t a big fan of Harrison or Maddie, and I was disappointed we didn’t get to see more of the tennis aspect of Maddie’s character. There’s a mystery I didn’t care enough about and the ending just wrapped up too easily and neatly for me.

As sad as I am that I didn’t love this new Joanna Shupe more, I’m still looking forward to what she has in store for us next. She’s my go-to for steamy historical romances, and in that department, The Heiress Hunt definitely didn’t disappoint.


lacey


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