Review: The Lady Gets Lucky by Joanna Shupe

The Lady Gets Lucky by Joanna Shupe
Series: Fifth Avenue Rebels #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: October 26th 2021
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

USA Today Bestselling Author Joanna Shupe continues her new Fifth Avenue Rebels series with a scandalous romance about a good girl desperate to rebel and the rebel desperate to corrupt her.

A first-rate scoundrel.
A desperate wallflower.
Lessons in seduction.

The woman no one notices . . .

Shy heiress Alice Lusk is tired of being overlooked by every bachelor. Something has to change, else she’ll be forced to marry a man whose only desire is her fortune. She needs to become a siren, a woman who causes a man’s blood to run hot . . .and she’s just met the perfect rogue to help teach her.

He’s the life of every party . . .

Christopher “Kit” Ward plans to open a not-so-reputable supper club in New York City, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to hire the best chef in the city to guarantee its success. Even if it requires giving carnal lessons to a serious-minded spinster who has an in with the chef.

Their bedroom instruction grows passionate, and Alice is a much better pupil than Kit had ever anticipated. When the Society gentlemen start to take notice, Kit has to try to win Alice in other ways . . . but is he too late to win her heart?

Joanna Shupe is my go-to historical romance author when I want steam and something different than the typical regency romance. I love her Gilded Age romances, and The Lady Gets Lucky is another fantastic read! I enjoyed Kit and Alice so much. It’s book two in her new Fifth Avenue Rebels series but reads perfectly fine as a standalone.

The most amazing thing for me about this book is that it’s a foodie historical romance with a chef heroine! I rarely ever come across chefs in historical romances so this was a treat to read. In addition to being an American heiress and wallflower, Alice is secretly learning how to be a chef through her family’s hotel chef. But because she’s an heiress, she has to find someone to marry, and she enlists the help of Kit to teach her the ways of seduction to land herself a husband.

Kit is your classic rake hero and he wants to open up a supper club. He’s trying to hire the same chef Alice is learning from, so they make a deal with each other. Kit will teach Alice all the ways of seduction and in return, she’ll give him her chef’s recipes. Obviously, neither expect to fall in love but they do… and the pining between them is so good. Their chemistry and banter are great – I was hooked onto their every moment, in and out of the bedroom. Even though the whole plot with the hero teaching the heroine about sex is pretty common in historicals, I loved the twist with the food and recipes here. If you enjoy the classic pairing of a rake and wallflower in historical romances, you definitely need to read this. It’s another solid read from Joanna Shupe!


lacey


Reading Order: Fifth Avenue Rebels series

#1 ~ The Heiress Hunt: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ The Lady Gets Lucky: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ The Bride Goes Rogue: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads


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Review: Bombshell by Sarah MacLean

Bombshell by Sarah MacLean
Series: Hell’s Belles #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 24th 2021
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean returns with a blazingly sexy, unapologetically feminist new series, Hell’s Belles, beginning with a bold, bombshell of a heroine, able to dispose of a scoundrel—or seduce one—in a single night.

After years of living as London’s brightest scandal, Lady Sesily Talbot has embraced the reputation and the freedom that comes with the title. No one looks twice when she lures a gentleman into the dark gardens beyond a Mayfair ballroom…and no one realizes those trysts are not what they seem.

No one, that is, but Caleb Calhoun, who has spent years trying not to notice his best friend’s beautiful, brash, brilliant sister. If you ask him, he’s been a saint about it, considering the way she looks at him…and the way she talks to him…and the way she’d felt in his arms during their one ill-advised kiss.

Except someone has to keep Sesily from tumbling into trouble during her dangerous late-night escapades, and maybe close proximity is exactly what Caleb needs to get this infuriating, outrageous woman out of his system. But now Caleb is the one in trouble, because he’s fast realizing that Sesily isn’t for forgetting…she’s forever. And forever isn’t something he can risk.

I have been waiting for this book – for Sesily and Caleb – for SO long! I fell in love with them years ago when The Day of the Duchess released and now their book is finally here. Bombshell is the first in a brand new series all about Hell’s Belles: four badass women who’ve taken it upon themselves to save the ladies of London. Sesily is the first Belle to get her story, and I enjoyed it for the most part. I will say I expected a bit more because of how much I loved the book these main characters first showed up in, but I still had fun reading Bombshell.

If you’re looking for a classic regency historical romance, this isn’t it. It’s got a very modern feel to it and it reminded me a lot of Daring and the Duke. If you loved that book from Sarah MacLean, you’ll most likely enjoy Bombshell too. But we don’t have a shy wallflower here – Sesily is the complete opposite. She’s embraced her ruined reputation and is doing things that would make the people of the ton faint.

Sesily and her group of friends were the highlight of this story for me. I enjoyed them all and am so looking forward to the rest of their books. The romance though, was a bit of a letdown. I was so excited to read about a best friend’s sister romance but all of their history wasn’t fleshed out enough for me. I wanted more of them and their romance.

Overall, Bombshell is a good start to this new Sarah MacLean series. It’s not a new favorite of mine, but I’m still looking forward to reading more.


lacey


Reading Order: Hell’s Belles series

#1 ~ Bombshell: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Heartbreaker: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads


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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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