Saturday, November 26, 2016

Blind Date Collection (A Timeless Romance Anthology Book 18)Blind Date Collection by Annette Lyon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blind Date Collection is an anthology of books by different authors telling the story of blind dates or finding unexpected love where it was least expected. I received a free copy from eBooks for Review in exchange for an honest review. I have to be honest. I typically do not read anthologies as I am not a big fan of short stories. I typically find that they build the reader up and end so quickly when there is so much more I want to know. This is why I never read first chapters released by authors or publishers. I cannot stand getting into the first chapter and having to wait weeks or months for the rest of the story. I was willing to give this anthology a shot because the synopsis provided some good bait for drawing me in and giving it a try. The stories varied locations and times in history. They appeared to have gone in a bit of chronological order from historical to current stories. There was not one that I did not like. Each had something interesting and offered the reader a chance to sit back and enjoy the couples meeting, finding each other and realizing who they found. They were all clean romances with interesting storylines that have the reader hoping that the couples find each other and give each other a chance. It was a great time to give anthologies a chance.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Royal Scandal (Royals in Exile, #1)Royal Scandal by Marquita Valentine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Royal Scandal was a great read. I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Colin and his family are in exile from their home where his family is the ruling royal family. He, his brother Theo, twin sisters Charlotte and Imogen and two baby brothers, Aiden and Pierce are living in the U.S. where they are running their family's company after being exiled after a tragedy occurred in their family. When they arrive at their property in the U.S. Colin butts heads with the current caretaker family's daughter Della, who is outspoken and totally angry at Colin for evicting her family from the property so that he can have privacy with his family. This confrontation leads to a 10-year friendship.

After 10 years, have passed and the Sinclair's are still in exile, their government wants its royal family back and as in the past they are willing to bully and lie to get them back, especially since the Sinclair family business followed them off the island to the U.S. and their homeland needs the jobs back. The prime minister is still up to his machinations and wants to force Colin to wed who they think he should marry and force him to be king when Imogen is next in line. Colin and his siblings are tired of being bullied and are homesick and they plan to take the necessary steps gain to take back their rightful home and roles in their home country. But, Colin wants to marry the woman he has loved for 10 years and knows it is just the thing to keep the prime minister from getting his way and choosing who he loves will help preserve the heritage of the country and just might force them into accepting Imogen as Queen as it was always intended in a country that is a matriarchy for the line of succession. What follows is a lovely story where the secrets in the Sinclair family and in Della's family rip at Della and Collin's relationship and both of their families. It is a great start to what I think will be an entertaining series.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Her Fateful DebutHer Fateful Debut by G.G. Vandagriff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Her Fateful Debut was a fun, clean romance. I received a free e-Arc from Ebooks For Review in exchange for an honest review. Although I have been reading romances for a couple of years now, I am much newer to the historical romance sub-genre. I do enjoy books in locations outside of the U.S., especially if they give me a good sense of being there. I can honestly say that although I enjoy reading about this era in British history, I most certainly wouldn't want to live there. The entire concept of a woman not inheriting from her own father because she is a woman is completely horrible. I have no clue when this atrocious rule stopped, but, I do know that there are still some people out there that leave things only to the first-born son. I wonder how that works when the first-born son is an idiot who wastes and gambles things away.

Her Fateful Debut introduces Penelope who apparently is a great beauty, an excellent artist, a bit of a tom-boy, smart and someone who speaks her mind. She has been sent to London to stay with her aunt who is introducing her to society so that she can find a husband. It seems to be going extremely well until she happens upon Deveraux, a French spy, at a park where she is sketching what she sees in the park and that someone does not want to be drawn. He is in the middle of doing something extremely dangerous and he has no problems taking his anger out on a woman. Penelope's life is in danger and Viscount Beau Wellingham is present in the park and witnesses the French man's verbal abuse of Penelope. He is so concerned for her safety that he thinks he needs to keep an eye on her to ensure that Devereaux does not attack Penelope again. He is right to be concerned because at Penelope's very first ball she is attacked and Beau comes to her aid. What follows is the story of a gentleman of the ton is supposed to do when caught alone with an unmarried woman, he protects her honor by becoming engaged to Penelope. A sweet romance develops between Beau and Penelope, but, it is not an easy trip down the aisle. There is more intrigue, and even the dreaded love triangle in Regency times. Although that is not my "trope" this one was not too painful. I would imagine this would occur quite a bit in Regency times when a woman is put on the market for all eligible bachelors to come 'acallin and she has several viable suitors. In Penelope's case she has to choose between a childhood friend and this exciting man. It is a fun read that I enjoyed very much.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Return to Umbria (Rick Montoya Italian Mystery, #4)Return to Umbria by David P. Wagner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Return to Umbria is the fourth installment in the Rick Montoya series. I just love this series more and more. I received an early released copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This time, we find Rick and his new girlfriend, Betta, in Orvieto where Rick has been sent by his family to talk his cousin into coming home and stopping his current extracurricular activities. Along the way, Rick falls into a murder mystery. Three women are on the funicular that Rick and Betta take up to Orvieto. They get a first-hand look at the victim, who is not quite the nicest person anyone has met. It turns out that not only are her traveling companions possible suspects but, the victim has history in Orvieto which means there are several more possible suspects from her past.

The victim attended school in Orvieto many years ago and she appears to know several people that are still in Orvieto or the surrounding areas. Most importantly, she was involved in something that has put her life at risk once she steps foot in Orvieto. As these things go in any good Rick Montoya mystery there is another murder and Rick works with someone from his past to determine who is committing the murders before Rick becomes a victim. This is a story that looks back to multiple shady characters, one of which is from Rick and Betta's past. Rick has his hands full putting his Uncle the commisario off who wants Rick to become a police detective, investigating two murders, handling Betta's history, not to mention his original purpose in traveling to Orvieto. He still has to work on getting his cousin Fabrizio to go home. None of these tasks turns out to be easy.

The reader is treated to a wonderful armchair trip to a different part of Italy, Umbria. One of the great things about this series is that Rick moves across Italy a lot. The reader is treated to a new area of Italy in each book along with a great mystery and Return to Umbria no exception. It has the reader ready for the next book and trip to Italy.

Royally Roma by Teri Wilson My rating: 5 of 5 stars Royally Roma takes place in one of my most favorite cities in the world, Rome. How ca...