Blog Tour: No Other Duke But You Release Day!

Blog Tour: No Other Duke But You Release Day!

No Other Duke But You by Valerie Bowman

Today is the release day for the final book in the Playful Brides series. Finally, we get Delilah’s story!

Our review is here.

We have an excerpt to share with you here.


A lady with a love potion. A Duke who takes it by mistake. Romance and mischief ensues when plans go awry in No Other Duke But You by Valerie Bowman.


Lady Delilah Montebank has her marital sights set on the Duke of Branville. There’s just one problem: he barely knows she exists. But no matter, she’s got a plan to win him over with her charm, her wit—and perhaps the love potion she has in her possession wouldn’t hurt her cause…

Lord Thomas Hobbs, Duke of Huntley, thinks his best friend Delilah’s quest to become a duchess is ridiculous. He’s always said he’d rather give up all the brandy in London than commit to one person for life. Besides, he knows that Delilah’s love potion can’t possibly win over Branville…since she accidentally gave it to him instead. But perhaps this is the excuse he needs to show her he’s always loved her…

Delilah can’t believe she gave the potion to the wrong duke. Then again, Delilah could do a lot worse than win the hand of her handsome best friend. Could it be that the right duke has been before her eyes all along?

Buy-Book Links:

Author Bio:

Valerie Bowman grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her mini-schnauzers, Huckleberry and Violet. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS.

Review: Never Deny a Duke

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Never Deny a DukeNever Deny a Duke (Decadent Dukes Society, #3) by Madeline Hunter
Series: Decadent Dukes Society #3
Published by Zebra on April 30, 2019
Genres: Historical


FINAL DECISION: I loved the restrained hero who hides some secrets and the independent woman who fascinates him. I especially enjoyed that these two become friends and there is great respect between them before passion wins out.

THE STORY: Eric Marshall, the Duke of Brentworth is incensed when he learns that a Scottish woman, Davina MacCallum, seeks to gain control of one of his family’s properties claiming that her family are the rightful heirs and it should not have been added to the ducal estate. Brentworth is determined to turn away the fraud, but his anger is in direct proportion to his intense attraction to Miss MacCallum. Davina wants to reclaim her family legacy in order to build a life for herself and establish a medical facility on the property — honoring her father’s work and her own interests in the medical field. But first she has to wrest the property from the duke.

OPINION: While I admittedly tend to enjoy the outwardly passionate stories, I really did like this book even with its restraint. In the beginning of this book the hero is really buttoned up (but fear not, we learn some of his secrets later). The relationship between the hero and heroine begin in polite (and not so polite) arguments. Some might not be interested in the details of the land inheritance, but I found the investigation quite interesting.

Eric is such a restrained man but he has an essential kindness and respect of Davina that I really liked. He is a man living with his mistakes but he is a good person. Davina is an independent a woman who is unconventional for her time. Yet, what is especially enjoyable in this book is that it feels like this book stays within the constraints of its time. So often these days, historicals have characters who sound like they fell from the streets of modern America into a time machine. These characters are progressive for their time, but the way they interact with one another and even in the constraints of their time felt more realistic.

This romance is quieter and the relationship takes time to progress, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. It reminded me of the type of book that Mary Balogh — a restrained slow burn.

I especially liked seeing the other couples from the series who have important supporting roles here as well.

WORTH MENTIONING: There is a nice little epilogue to reward readers of the series.

CONNECTED BOOKS: NEVER DENY A DUKE is the third book in the Decadent Dukes Society series. While the romance here is self-contained and thus the story can be read as a standalone, the overlapping characters makes this book richer by being familiar with their stories.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.


Review: No Other Duke But You

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: No Other Duke But YouNo Other Duke But You (Playful Brides, #11) by Valerie Bowman
Series: Playful Brides #11
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on April 30, 2019
Genres: Historical
Pages: 320


FINAL DECISION: A fun, madcap comedy romance with an essential sweetness between two longtime friends who are perfect for one another. The balance between the comedy, romance and sweetness was just wonderful here, and although I generally prefer angst to light and comedic, this might be my favorite book in the series.

THE STORY: Delilah Montebank has spent five seasons matchmaking with her friends, but now her mother has had enough. Delilah has until the end of the season to find a match better than the one her mother has arranged for her with an earl. Delilah has set her sights on the most eligible bachelor of the year although Delilah doesn’t even know him. Thomas Hobb, Duke of Huntley, is Delilah’s best friend, and despite his repeated claims that he doesn’t intend to marry, he has actually been in love with Delilah for years. Now with Delilah’s determination to catch a different duke, Thomas has to find a way to make Delilah see him as the duke she should want.

OPINION: I loved the tone of this book which is lighthearted and funny and really has a craziness in the plots and misunderstandings between the characters. It is a crazy comedy with such a sweet romance.

Delilah is a good person who has been treated badly by her mother. But her desire to love and have her mother love her leads her to try and please her mother in ways that are destructive to her. One of the character stories for Delilah is for her to recognize how destructive her mother is to her and stop trying to please her. Delilah has to learn to find her own self-worth. On the other hand, Delilah is very exuberant and full of life. She is loyal and kind. She just made me smile and she really needs a special man who can appreciate her.

Thomas is the perfect match for Delilah. He has loved Delilah for years and finds her wonderful as she is. But what Thomas fears is losing her from his life. He would rather remain friends than declare himself and make things awkward for them. He is adorable in his own way. He makes Delilah laugh and he is her biggest supporter.

I loved how these two are so close. The plots and plans upset the balance in their relationship, but their friendship needs to be upset in order for both of them to grab onto the happiness and love the other provides.

This is a mapcap comedy with plenty of misunderstandings and mistaken love pairings. But it is spirited and fun and I enjoyed it tremendously. I’m generally not as attracted to the lighter comedic romances, but I’ve always enjoyed this series and this book manages to complete the series in a fun way. I also really like Delilah and Thomas and their emotional connection.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book has strong overtones of Midsummer Night’s Dream so it is purposefully funny and crazy with lots of misunderstandings and machinations with everyone seemingly in love with the wrong person.

CONNECTED BOOKS: NO OTHER DUKE BUT YOU is the eleventh book in the Playful Brides series. While the story here is a standalone, there are so many recurring characters that I recommend reading this book after the others in the series in order to get all the updates and cameos.

STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.



Review: American Witch

Review: American WitchAmerican Witch by Thea Harrison
Series: American Witch Trilogy #1
on April 29, 2019
Genres: Paranormal

FINAL DECISION: The book grabbed me and I couldn’t put it down. I had thought I would read it in parts as I did something else, but I ended up being pulled back into the story. This is Molly’s story as she emerges from a bad marriage, finds her power and a new place for herself and a man who will sacrifice for her.

THE STORY: Molly Sullivan’s “perfect” world falls apart when she is confronted with evidence of her husband’s infidelity. For months she has been struggling with strange occurrences and that night she also meets a man who tells her that she is an actual witch. Molly recovers her life, finds her own strength, discovers her new powers, and finds herself involved in a battle of witches that threatens her life.

OPINION: This is a book about Molly’s transformation both in discovering her powers as a witch and also as a woman. This book did a great job with the balance between what might be women’s fiction (about Molly’s empowerment) and romance. I happened to love both aspects of this book. I found her journey compelling in this story as she moves from a woman who was barely existing in her life subsumed by her husband’s career to a woman who forges her own path and makes her own demands for respect and what she wants.

Molly’s world is blown up and she finds herself having to build a new and different life. What I really enjoyed is that even when she is feeling her way through this new world, she isn’t going to allow herself to make the same mistakes again. When she meets Josiah Mason, she isn’t going to allow his knowledge to become a way to dominate her. She demands what she wants from him. At the same time, she finds herself interested in Josiah. But she is not going to give up herself ever again.

Josiah is fascinated by Molly from the moment that they meet. She challenges him to change and if he wants her, he has no choice but to make the choices that will fit him into her life.

I found Molly’s story compelling. There is enough action and romance to keep the story going at a good clip. In fact, I was so interested that I couldn’t put the book down even when I wanted to. I loved the connection between Molly and Josiah.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book is complete in its story, but there is a “big bad” who is still on the loose at the end of this book and thus the overarching story continues past this book. However, this book does not have a cliffhanger.

CONNECTED BOOKS: AMERICAN WITCH is the first in a planned trilogy. However, it exists in the world of the Elder Races. It is not necessary to have read any of the Elder Races books to read this one.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE: I received an eARC of this book from the author.  I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own. I have purchased my own copy of this book apart from the ARC I received.



Review: Long Lost

Review: Long LostLong Lost (Kate Burkholder, #4.5) by Linda Castillo
Series: Kate Burkholder #4.5
Published by Minotaur Books on May 7, 2013
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 58

A Short Novella Better for Romance Than Mystery

FINAL DECISION: This was a nice little novella. There was a mystery, but it was a simple one without much drama or thrill. For me, the best part was the relationship between Kate and John and their inability to relax.

THE STORY: Kate Burkholder, a police chief and her lover John Tomasetti are taking a well deserved vacation at a bed and breakfast when a 20 year old mystery of a missing woman tempts them away from their relaxation into investigating what happened.

OPINION: Part of my favorite parts of this series is the interactions between Kate and John. Their dark pasts have made their relationship a rocky one. Here, Kate and John have a chance to relax, but their relationship remains tricky for them so they slide into an investigation rather than dealing with their relationship. For me, that was more interesting than the mystery here.

WORTH MENTIONING: This novella is very short. In my Kindle version, 25% was a preview for another book.

CONNECTED BOOKS: LONG LOST is book 4.5 in the Kate Burkholder series. It can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.


Review: Demon from the Dark

Review: Demon from the DarkDemon from the Dark (Immortals After Dark, #10) by Kresley Cole
Series: Immortals After Dark #10
Published by Pocket Books on August 24, 2010
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 384

Dark, Rich and Super Sexy

“Those who betray me do it only once.”

FINAL DECISION: I love stories with tortured men and Malkom has been tortured throughout his life. He meets Carrow and his sweetness and innocence — even while he is offering her ghoul heads as courtship tokens — is lovely.

THE STORY: Carrow Graie aka Carrow the Incarcerated is a witch and a party girl whose magic originates from the good feelings of others. Her joy, however, hides a pained heart. Rejected by her parents, Carrow desperately wants to gain their attention. In the midst of her personal strife, Carrow is captured by a human group experimenting on members of the Lore. Carrow is offered freedom if she agrees to help capture a vemon (vampire demon) named Malkom Slaine. Malkom is a demon outcast who was unwillingly poisoned by vampire blood. He now lives alone desiring revenge. When Carrow appears, he realizes that he has finally found his mate. Malkom has killed everyone who has betrayed him. What will he do when he realizes that Carrow has as well?

OPINION: Both Carrow and Malkom have sad pasts. The tension and drama where Carrow betrays Malkom ripped my heart out. Malkom is immediately such a good and sweet man who hasn’t had a life that has allowed him to show that side of himself. As he accepts Carrow as his own and courts her in his awkward and often mistaken way, he charms the reader and ultimately Carrow herself. These two seem likely doomed from the moment they meet. I also liked the caveman/city girl relationship these two have at first where they do not communicate well.

Cole once again perfectly melds the relationship between Carrow and Malkom with a plot that advances the overarching storyline of the series. While big things happen here, both old and new characters appear, the story never loses focus on the relationship of Carrow and Malkom and the question of whether a man who has been betrayed by everyone can love the woman who also betrays him.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book sets up the next round of books.

CONNECTED BOOKS: DEMON FROM THE DARK is the tenth book in the Immortals After Dark series. This book can be read as a standalone although new readersr should be aware that there is an overarching story of the series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.


Review: Gone Missing

Review: Gone MissingGone Missing (Kate Burkholder, #4) by Linda Castillo
Series: Kate Burkholder #4
Published by Minotaur Books on June 19, 2012
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 276

Scary Heart Pounding Thriller Set in Amish Country

FINAL DECISION: This is one scary book with a ultimate reveal being quite surprising. Having Kate and John be able to spend more time together in a different location helps develop their relationship and shows a different side to Kate.

THE STORY: Something is happening to Amish teens, there have been some mysterious disappearances in Ohio. Kate, with her experience of having been Amish and also being police chief of a town with a significant Amish population is asked to consult on the cases. She will be working with her friend and lover John Tomasetti at his request. When one of the disappearances becomes a murder investigation, Kate fears for a missing teen in her own town.

OPINION: This was a thrilling book. Puzzling and then frightening with a mystery with many layers so that the ultimate solution was not predictable, this book was one that kept me switching between suspects until the end. I really liked that Kate is out of her element here. It allows her to have a different role that doesn’t get bogged down in the practicalities of her normal police work. It also allows her to have a different experience working with John. I am a big fan of the relationship between these two damaged people and I like to see how they are making halting moves towards one another.

The climax of this story was really scary and even though I knew that things would turn out okay (there are more books in the series after all), I still felt the danger that Kate was in.

WORTH MENTIONING: The personal relationship between Kate and John takes a new turn in this book.

CONNECTED BOOKS: GONE MISSING is the fourth book in the Kate Burkholder series. The book is a mystery crime thriller and can read as a standalone. It does, however, contain a continuing personal story about Kate’s reaction to her job and also her relationship with John Tomasetti that continues through the series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.


Review: Pleasure of a Dark Prince

Review: Pleasure of a Dark PrincePleasure of a Dark Prince (Immortals After Dark, #9) by Kresley Cole
Series: Immortals After Dark #9
Published by Pocket Books on February 16, 2010
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 431

Darker Story Than Others In the Series

FINAL DECISION: This story is a darker than others in the series. I also thought that there were dark secrets that Lucia was keeping that ended up putting both her and Garreth at risk at the end of the book. I was disappointed that the drama of this book turned so much on Lucia keeping a secret that she should have revealed.

THE STORY: Lucia the Huntress (a Valkyrie) is an amazing archer and has a dark and secretive past. When the Lykae (werewolf) Garreth MacRieve scents Lucia, he recognizes her as his mate. Lucia has sworn an oath of celibacy and tries to avoid the determined Garreth. Garreth spends his time watching and protecting Lucia from a distance until she goes on a journey to confront her past and save the future.

OPINION: There was so much that I liked about this book but I did not like it as much as others in the series. My biggest complaint is that it depended so much on Lucia keeping the secret of her past. She doesn’t disclose it until it is too late and Lucia and Garreth almost die because of it. I slowly became annoyed by her continued determination to keep her secrets even when it obviously was necessary to disclose.

Despite this, I really liked these characters. I thought that Lucia was an intriguing character because she funneled her powerlessness into being powerful and yet fair and thoughtful. I felt for her painful past and the fact that she has to confront her pain again and again. Garreth is a sweetheart. I’m a fan of these “wolfy” characters. Affectionate, determined to bring joy and pleasure to their mates in all ways. I loved how he cares for Lucia even in the face of her determination to reject him.

This was a good book but not one of my favorites of the series.

WORTH MENTIONING: By the time this book ends, there are big things afoot.

CONNECTED BOOKS: PLEASURE OF A DARK PRINCE is the ninth book in the Immortals After Dark series. It can be read as a standalone but readers should be aware that these books build upon one another regarding an overarching storyline. I think the books are better read in order.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

UPDATE: (4/17/19) Re-read:  I’ve updated my rating to 4.5 stars. While on the original read, I was seriously annoyed by Lucia’s decision not to reveal her secrets to Garrick, on my re-read, I saw this issue as more nuanced. Lucia fears that Garrick will make decisions that are wrong and upset Lucia’s mission. And even Garrick admits that she is right. I still think that Lucia’s decision to be so secretive causes more problems, but I liked this couple much more on the re-read.



Review: Repeat

Review: RepeatRepeat by Kylie Scott
Published by Independently Published on January 17, 2019
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 302

FINAL DECISION: This is a fresh, sexy and emotionally compelling story of a woman who has to find out who she wants to be in the face of a past she can’t remember but surrounded by people who can’t forget. Everything about this story feels different and new.

THE STORY: Clementine Jones wakes from an attack with no memory of herself. Starting again and trying to discover who she was leads her to Ed Larsen, the man she broke up with a month before. Now Clem has to build a new life for herself and finds herself attracted to the man where the past that stands firmly between them and yet is hidden from her.

OPINION: I really enjoyed this book. The brain injury/amnesia story seemed too far fetched when I read the blurb, but this book really takes the storyline seriously and it works really well. The story is told solely from Clem’s point of view which means that the reader is kept in the dark about much of the past and that works really well too. It keeps the reader as uncertain and questioning as Clem is.

This book ends up an interesting combination of a second chance book and a woman dealing with a man’s past as Ed was hurt by Clem in the past. This combination makes the journey these two take compelling and different. Clem is getting a clean slate in her own mind but can’t escape the past that it all around her. I loved seeing her navigate all the relationships from her prior life.

Ed is adorable. Although he has been hurt, his caring nature is clear every step of this book. I really loved how these two build a different and better relationship. One based on communication and understanding.

Sexy and fresh. This is a quick read that I really enjoyed and will certainly read again.

WORTH MENTIONING: I think I want to read more about the supporting characters in this book specifically Ed’s brothers.

CONNECTED BOOKS: REPEAT is a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.


Review: At the Pleasure of the President

Review: At the Pleasure of the PresidentAt the Pleasure of the President (The Perfect Gentlemen #5) by Lexi Blake, Shayla Black
Series: The Perfect Gentlemen #5
Published by Black Oak Books on April 9, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 450

FINAL DECISION: Entirely satisfying conclusion of this series with plenty of appearances by everyone important in the series. Wraps up everything nicely including all the romances you expect and need.

THE STORY: This book picks up immediately after the conclusion of SMOKE AND SIN. The dangers are surrounding the Perfect Gentlemen and their women as the conspiracy around the President Zach Hayes becomes more open. Zach is also torn as the woman he has wanted for years, his Press Secretary Elizabeth Matthews. Liz has been operating as Zach’s de facto First Lady after the murder of his wife on the eve of the election. Just when it seemed like Zach and Liz might give in to the passion between them, Zach has taken steps to protect Liz from those who threaten him. And now it seems like Liz might be involved in the conspiracy against Zach and the United States. Yet Zach can’t stop wanting Liz.

OPINION: This review is difficult to write. Not because this is not a wonderful book — it is — but because almost everything about it could be a spoiler. The fifth and final book in the Perfect Gentlemen series finally exposes everything that has been going on. Therefore, almost everything about it gives away plot lines.

The best thing about this book is that it answers all the questions. After it was done, I felt that I finally understood the entirely of the events of the series. The only negative of the book is that the construction of it means that you have to have read the prior books in the series to enjoy this one. AT THE PLEASURE OF THE PRESIDENT is packed full and it could be overwhelming for someone who isn’t familiar with the characters, events and plots of what has been happening in the series. The positive is that it richly rewards those who have read the series with a satisfying conclusion.

There is a lot in this book and yes — what you want and expect will be included (even if I don’t want to give anything away here).

Zach and Liz have been circling around one another throughout the series. Zach was born and bred to be president and thus has by circumstances lived a more restrained life than his “brothers in arms”. What I really enjoyed in this book is that Zach begins to break through his lifetime of restraint and really reach out for what he wants in this book. Liz breaks through all his discipline and he can’t be the intellectual and objective person that has been working to fulfill his ambitions. She kinda breaks him in important ways. I loved that Liz, who has been on the side for much of the series, refuses to be sidelined any longer. She insists on being in the forefront along with the other women of the series.

The plot of this book is big and crazy and so much fun. I especially loved that we get to see all the Perfect Gentlemen and their ladies together. This series really has energy when the characters interact. The relationships — both romantic and essentially a family built of friendship are essential here and really make this series worth reading.

This felt like this book was written for the fans because just about everyone and everything I could have wanted was included. I loved this book and really didn’t want it or the series to end, but now I am satisfied that everything ended on a high note.

WORTH MENTIONING: Epilogue my friends!

CONNECTED BOOKS: AT THE PLEASURE OF THE PRESIDENT is the fifth and final book in the Perfect Gentlemen series. This series must be read in order and it is necessary to read the prior books in the series to enjoy this book.

STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book from the author. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.