Release Day for the Newest Victorian Rebels Book – The Scot Beds His Wife

Release Day for the Newest Victorian Rebels Book – The Scot Beds His Wife

Genres: Historical

October is a good month this year. Two of my all-time favorite series get new additions. First up is The Scot Beds His Wife, the newest book in the fabulous Victorian Rebels series. The newest book doesn’t disappoint and you can read my review here.

I also have some special extras for readers including a excerpt and a Rafflecopter giveaway. Follow the instructions below to enter for a chance to win a paperback copy of The Scot Beds His Wife. (U.S. Addresses only).

The Scot Beds His Wife is the next lush, captivating Victorian romance in the Victorian Rebels series by Kerrigan Byrne.

They’re rebels, scoundrels, and blackguards—dark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the women who love them, a hint of danger only makes the heart beat faster.

Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne, is a notorious Highlander and an unrelenting Lothario who uses his slightly menacing charm to get what he wants—including too many women married to other men. But now, Gavin wants to put his shady past behind him…more or less. When a fiery lass who is the heiress to the land he wishes to possess drops into his lap, he sees a perfectly delicious opportunity…

A marriage most convenient

Samantha Masters has come back to Scotland, in a pair of trousers, and with a whole world of dangerous secrets from her time spent in the Wild West trailing behind her. Her only hope of protection is to marry—and to do so quickly. Gavin is only too willing to provide that service for someone he finds so disturbingly irresistible. But even as danger approaches, what begins as a scandalous proposition slowly turns into an all-consuming passion. And Gavin discovers that he will do whatever is necessary to keep the woman he has claimed as his own…

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books a Million

Indie Bound

Powells

Author Bio:

Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter – @kerrigan_byrne

Facebook – @Kerriganbyrneauthor

Pinterest

Instagram – @kerriganbyrne

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Review: The Scot Beds His Wife

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

Review: The Scot Beds His WifeThe Scot Beds His Wife (Victorian Rebels, #5) by Kerrigan Byrne
Series: Victorian Rebels #5
Published by St. Martin's Press on October 3rd 2017
Genres: Historical
Pages: 394
Goodreads
four-half-stars

“He was no barbarian. And certainly no gentleman. He had to be a Celtic god.”

FINAL DECISION: Kerrigan Byrne, who is a master at depicting broken and flawed people gives an unflinching story of two people who think themselves too broken for love but who find that the broken jagged parts of each fit together.

THE STORY: The Highlander Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne, has a plan. He intends to buy the Ross cattle ranch and finally separate himself from the Mackenzies who have never brought anything but pain to him and his mother. The son of the evil and depraved former Laird of the Mackenzies, Gavin will do anything to get control of the Ross property even if it means engaging with the most difficult woman he has ever met. Samantha Masters has come to the Scotland running from her past filled with dangerous secrets. The passionate arguments between Gavin and Samantha turn into another kind of passion and when her past threatens her once again, Sam agrees to marry. But the secrets she is keeping might destroy everything she is building.

OPINION: This book is a good example to me of why I should stay away from spoilers. I happened to read one of the central secrets in this book and really wish I hadn’t. It happens to be one of my least favorite tropes in romance novels and it made me delay reading this book because I love this series so much and I didn’t want to hate this book.

Despite this fact, I ended up loving this book and I think I might have enjoyed it even more if I didn’t create a negative expectation for myself. (As a review style point, that is why I try so hard not to give away secrets in books without really good reasons and certainly not without warnings).

Throughout this series, Kerrigan Bryne has taken characters with painful destructive pasts and given them their happy endings. Characters that in less skillful hands would be irredeemable and unsympathetic become understandable and shown to be worthy of their own redemption through love. The beauty of this book is that the jagged lives of Sam and Gavin manage to make them fit together in a way that completes each of them and soothes their wounded souls.

Gavin is a man who, like his brothers, is haunted by the monstrous actions of his father. Rather than the physical violence which follows his brother Liam (hero of THE HIGHLANDER), Gavin has been been tilted towards the sexual excesses (certainly not the rape and sexual violence of his father). A charming “ladies man” Gavin is known for seducing his own brother’s wife and plenty of other women. Gavin’s charming handsome facade hides the same darkness that follows the other men in his family. (Readers of the series will recall that he is not only Liam’s younger half brother but also the half brother of Dorian). I especially enjoyed how his softer qualities do not negate his darker ones. The balance works here.

Samantha is brash and bold and foul mouthed and insecure. An American from the west, she is a survivor. Used to taking care of herself, she does what is necessary to get through the next crisis on her life on her own terms. Even worse, she has trusted unwisely before and thus is gun shy for trying again. She challenges Gavin and doesn’t back down from him.

The combination of the richly combative exchanges and the sweet understanding between Samantha and Gavin made this a gentler story than I expected in some ways. There are quite a few secrets and deceptions and violence and darkness in this story, but as is true with every book in this series there is also hope and redemption. For readers who have read the prior books in this series, this book is not as dark as the prior book, but for me, the heroine’s actions were more difficult to understand. But understand I did.

There is a lot going on in this book. Various characters and motives are interwoven in the story. Some side romance, some ongoing stories, some appearances by prior characters. This book covers a lot of territory.

One of my favorite things about this book is that it makes me look at and question my own assumptions and prejudices. Irredeemable people and actions might be understandable and capable of being forgiven.

Now that I’ve read it and enjoyed it, I look forward to reading it again without my preconceived fears and prejudices. It will give me something to do until the next book in the series.

WORTH MENTIONING: The Rook.

CONNECTED BOOKS: THE SCOT BEDS HIS WIFE is the fifth book in the Victorian Rebels series. While the romance in this book is self-contained, there are complicated relationships that only make sense within the context of the whole series. If you want to start here to try out the series, go ahead, but you will want to go back and start from the beginning.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

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

four-half-stars

Review: Hello Again

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

Review: Hello AgainHello Again (The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles, #2) by Brenda Novak
Series: The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles #2
Published by Headline on November 2nd 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 352
Goodreads
five-stars

FINAL DECISION: This is the best of the series so far. Mixing the romance, Evelyn’s personal demons, creepy serial killer mysteries, danger and some serious suspense, this book is satisfying in so many ways, but definitely left me desperately wanting the next book.

THE STORY:  Dr. Evelyn Talbot is continuing her work with serial killers at Hanover House in Alaska determined to uncover a way to identify the people who become serial killer. Her newest inmate is known as the Zombie Maker who defies many of the standard expectations of serial killers — but he also reminds her of her ex-boyfriend Jasper who killed her friends and almost herself and has been on the loose for two decades. When another friend of Evelyn is killed with the Zombie Maker’s signature the question arises: was the wrong man convicted of the Zombie Maker’s crimes or is Jasper hunting Evelyn again.

OPINION: I’ve been a fan of this series since I read the prequel a couple of years ago. The story was just creepy enough and had enough romance to keep me interested, but this book explodes the story. Everything feels bigger and more urgent here. The series has really hit its stride now that the setup portion has been completed. This book is the best so far.

This book takes place about a year after the events in the previous book. Evelyn is still running Hanover House and more serial killers are coming all the time. Not to give anything away, but this book deals with the question of the Zombie Maker serial killer and whether he is guilty or not and the similar murders which might indicate either that the man incarcerated at Hanover House might be innocent or that Evelyn’s personal demon is making a move on her again.

This story seamlessly blends and uses to good suspense purposes the questions of the newest killings and three possible suspects. Some is revealed here but other parts of left to the ongoing and overarching storylines. Frankly, I was frightened and creeped out by much of the last third of the book — which was exactly what I was expecting.

This book is really a suspense book with some romance — and I really liked the balance here. This is Evelyn’s personal story and the book never forgets it in service to some suspense storyline. Everything is personal and is all seen from the lens of Evelyn’s life. I like the suspense in this book but I probably wouldn’t have continued to read without the romance between Evelyn and her Alaskan trooper boyfriend Amarok. The two have been seeing one another for a year, but Evelyn still has trust issues and doubts and there are new challenges and hurdles for the two. Despite their serious difficulties, these two are so wonderful together that it manages to balance out all the darkness of the plotline. If I didn’t have the hope of their relationship really working out to a HEA in the end, I think the darkness of the story would have overwhelmed me.

This series has definitely found its footing here and I look forward to the next installment because things are getting really interesting and scary.

WORTH MENTIONING: Oh when will the next book be out!

CONNECTED BOOKS:  HELLO AGAIN is the second novel in the Evelyn Talbot Chronicles. This book has an independent story, but there are overarching storylines in the series. I think this book is better read after the prequel and first book in the series because the relationships between the characters is more clearly defined.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 5 stars.

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

five-stars

Review: The Indigo Girl

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

Review: The Indigo GirlThe Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd
Published by Blackstone Audiobooks on October 3rd 2017
Genres: Historical
Pages: 346
Goodreads
three-stars

FINAL DECISION: I almost gave up on this story because the beginning is tremendously slow, but the true events upon which it was based were interesting enough to keep me going and I ended up enjoying this book.

THE STORY: At the age of sixteen, Eliza Lucas is left in charge of her family’s plantations in South Carolina when her father travels to pursue his advancement in the military. Strong willed and independent, Eliza is determined to use the knowledge she has gained from her relationships with her family’s slaves to grow Indigo and make the fortunes of her family. Working with the slaves and making an agreement to teach them to read (in violation of the law) if they will help her with her endeavors, Eliza blazes a new trail in the early 1700s.

OPINION: Told in first person, this book was really hard for me to get into.  Until Eliza gets busy with her Indigo business, it feels like the story is a little rudderless. I think that if I had read the real life story before I started, I would have focused more and felt like the story was going somewhere. When I got tired about 25 percent of the way through, I read the real life story information at the end of the book and that was interesting enough to push me through. Once I got far enough in the book, I was intrigued by the relationships depicted in the book and with Eliza’s business sense and determination.

I want to make it clear that this book is historical fiction and not really a romance. By the end, there is a little romance, but this book is really a fictional account of Eliza’s life. She was really an amazing woman who make inventive and dangerous decisions in order to advance her business. The historical events in this book are so fascinating that the story could have been told as non-fiction as this young woman with the help of slaves create the foundation of one of fundamental crops of South Carolina. (It should be noted that she is against the idea of slavery and especially the despicable treatment of slaves, but is limited in what she can do by her father’s instructions).

This book is for those who are looking for an interesting glimpse at a little known historical figure and don’t mind giving the story a chance to breathe before the action picks up.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This historical fiction is based on the true life of a real woman named Eliza Lucas.

CONNECTED BOOKS: THE INDIGO GIRL is a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.

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

three-stars

Review: Deck the Halls

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

Review: Deck the HallsDeck the Halls (Darling, VT) by Donna Alward
Series: Darling VT #3.5
Published by Swerve on October 3rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads
four-half-stars

FINAL DECISION: I loved this story. It was sweet and mature and full of heart. There is still more for George and Amy and I hope we see more of them or I will be mad that we didn’t get an epilogue!

THE STORY: George Reilly has spent a year rebuilding his life after years of homelessness. Just when he has a job he values and friends in the town of Darling, VT, someone from his past reemerges. Amy Merck has come to George because the death of her brother has left her with questions and she wants George’s help. During the Christmas season George and Amy rediscover hope and begin mending hearts that have been bruised and damaged.

OPINION: I made the mistake of starting this novella late at night. I usually can read a little of these stories and then pick them up the next day. Not this one. Despite the fact that this story isn’t a suspense or a mystery or a great angsty drama, I was compelled to read every page before I slept.

The characters had such heart and depth for such a short story. I loved everything about it except for one minor quibble.

I thought this novella was incredibly brave for having a hero with PTSD who was also homeless for a long period of time. The story doesn’t flinch from these aspects of George’s reality. The shame, the fear, the daily struggles and the small successes. I loved the depth to this character who feels real and someone I would be happy to know.

Amy is a good match for George as she demonstrates that life and pain happens to everyone. She has different problems from George, but they have left scars on her as well.

The interactions between George and Amy are sweet, but not the sugary kind. These two are gentle and kind and good people. The entire story has great heart and I just felt so good about how things developed.

My only complaint is that the length of this novella means that the story is left going in the right direction, but not a complete happy ending. I hope that we see more of Amy and George in the future or I might grow more annoyed that we didn’t get an epilogue or glimpse at the future outcome.

The heat of this novella is definitely on the sweet side.

WORTH MENTIONING: Kissing Bridge.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  DECK THE HALLS is book 3.5 in the Darling, VT series. This is a novella about a secondary character and can be read totally on its own, but fans of the series will be pleased with this revisit to Darling.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.

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

four-half-stars

Review: Misadventures of a Good Wife

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

Review: Misadventures of a Good WifeMisadventures of a Good Wife (Misadventures, #2) by Helen Hardt, Meredith Wild
Series: Misadventures #2
Published by Waterhouse Press on October 3rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Goodreads
two-half-stars

FINAL DECISION: This story had promise, but I got tired of the secrecy of this story and just when things seemed to be moving story wise, the characters would engage in sex and stall the story. Not as exciting as I would have liked.

THE STORY: A year ago, Kate was devastated when the love of her life died in a plane crash. On a beach, a man approaches her and Kate is shocked to see her dead husband Price. Price tells Kate that he has been in hiding for a year and she has a choice, come with him without questions or they will part forever.

OPINION:  I thought this book was uneven. Parts of it I really enjoyed, but parts were difficult for me to get through because I got bored and distracted. I thought the book had a good premise and I was intrigued by how these two married people would find one another again.

My first problem with the story was that there was too much sex that interrupted the story. I don’t have a problem with an erotica story where the characters develop their relationship through their sexual encounters, but I kept thinking as the story went on that just when the story seemed to be moving, there was a sex scene.

The other problem was that there was never really any issue with Kate and Price being together emotionally. That made the relationship part flat for me. As a result, the first problem was even more glaring.

Despite that, I enjoyed parts of this book. I wanted to know what would happen and I like the characters as people and I wanted to see them have a happy ending. That was satisfied.

WORTH MENTIONING: This story is an attempt at an erotic romantic suspense, but isn’t entirely successful.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  This book is the second in the Misadventures series. This series, however, is a series of standalone books where there is no crossover or connections other than the hot and spicy nature of the stories.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 2.5 stars.

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

two-half-stars

Review: A Talent for Temptation

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

Review: A Talent for TemptationA Talent for Temptation (Sinful Suitors, #4.5) by Sabrina Jeffries
Series: Sinful Suitors #4.5
Published by Pocket Star on October 2nd 2017
Genres: Historical
Pages: 100
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION: This is a very short story so nothing is deep or complicated about it, but I enjoyed the plot and the romance between two people who want one another but need to reveal their secrets to move forward.

THE STORY: An attempted abduction threatens widow Meriel Vyse, but she accidentally stabs her secret beau Quinn Raines as Quinn tries to save her. What Meriel doesn’t know is that Quinn orchestrated the attempted kidnapping in order to play the hero because he worries that Meriel sees him as the staid businessman and not exciting. Both holding secrets that keep them apart, Meriel and Quinn want closeness but have to learn to trust one another.

OPINION: This is a very short story, but I enjoyed the quick and dirty romance between Meriel and Quinn. The focus here is really on Meriel and her freeing herself from her past. (It also gives a view into Fulkham’s psyche). We meet Meriel and Quinn mid romance so the only question is whether they can work out the secrets each is keeping in order to find a way forward. I thought the story was amusing at times.  The short nature meant that there wasn’t a tremendous amount of depth or action, but I thought a lot was packed in for so few pages and I thought it was a good addition to the series.

WORTH MENTIONING: I can’t wait to read Fulkham’s book.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  A TASTE FOR TEMPTATION is book 4.5 of the Sinful Suitors series. It can be read as a standalone although there are overlapping characters. This book is somewhat of a prequel for THE SECRET OF FLIRTING which is about the spymaster brother-in-law of this book’s heroine.

STAR RATING: I give this novella 4 stars.

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

four-stars

Review: Deryk

Review: DerykDeryk (Dragon Hearts #2) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Dragon Hearts #2
Published by Carole Mortimer on September 29th 2017
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 185
Goodreads
three-half-stars

FINAL DECISION: Enjoyable continuation of Mortimer’s series about men who turn into dragons searching for their mates. Not a deep story, but fun.

THE STORY: Deryk Pendragon is the closest of the brothers of being in danger of “going dragon” and having to be executed unless he finds his mate. Now that one of his brothers has found his mate, Deryk is determined to find his own. Traveling to Russia to visit with another dragon family, Deryk immediately senses his own mate. Determined to claim her immediately, Deryk has no patience for Izabella Mikhailova wanting a normal life — or really just not wanting to be his mate.

OPINION: I enjoyed this book although it wasn’t particularly deep. There is instant lust because of the “mating” aspect to the story. I don’t mind that because I knew what I was getting. I really did like that each brother’s story is a little different as they have their own problems and hang ups. I had hoped that we would delve a little more into Deryk being close to losing control of his dragon, but that storyline seemed to be resolved very quickly. This book is a little fun and I like how Izabella quickly takes control of the domineering Deryk.

WORTH MENTIONING: We get to see a little more of Bryn who is next up in the series.

CONNECTED BOOKS: DERYK is the second book in the Dragon Hearts series. This book doesn’t require reading the first book, but that book sets up the storyline for the whole series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.

three-half-stars

Review: Theirs to Take

Review: Theirs to TakeTheirs to Take (Blasphemy, #3) by Laura Kaye
Series: Blasphemy #3
on September 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 170
Goodreads
three-stars

FINAL DECISION: I generally liked the book, but the instant love/lust with Hartley wasn’t as good as the relationship between Jonathan and Cruz which I wish we had more exploration of. The story is hot, but I missed the centrality of Blasphemy.

THE STORY: Hartley Farren is in desperate need of some help when a hurricane damages her boat. She happens to meet Jonathan Allen who with his partner Cruz Ramos offer to do the repairs. Jonathan and Cruz are two of the co-owner of the sex club Blasphemy and they enjoy engaging in menage relationships. The two try to figure out if Hartley might be a good third, but are also struggling with changes in their relationship as the attraction between them grows.

OPINION: The story was enjoyable but not particularly deep as the length of the book, the complication of the menage and the introduction of a character in a crossover story all took up space.

The story is really hot and I enjoyed how the erotic relationship between these three develops. My complaint is that I wish there were more pages to delve into the complications of Cruz and Jonathan’s relationship and some differentiation between Hartley’s relationship with Cruz and Jonathan. What does each offer to her?

That being said, I thought the highlight of this book was the relationship between Cruz and Jonathan. (So many menage books ignore the m/m part of the relationship). I also liked how these three navigate their new relationship. The sex was hot and emotional as the three figure out what works for them.

This is a good addition to the Blasphemy series (even though the club itself is only a side location in this book).

WORTH MENTIONING: This book has a crossover with REVEAL ME by Jennifer Probst.

CONNECTED BOOKS: THEIRS TO TAKE is the third book in the Blasphemy series. This book can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.

three-stars

Review: Smoke and Sin

Review: Smoke and SinSmoke and Sin (The Perfect Gentlemen Book 4) by Lexi Blake, Shayla Black
Series: The Perfect Gentlemen #4
Published by Black Oak Books on September 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 452
Goodreads
five-stars

DO NOT SPOIL THIS BOOK FOR YOURSELF. Avoid spoilers and this book will not disappoint.

“Dealing with any of the Perfect Gentlemen was always an intricate game of chess. Thankfully, she’d had a lifetime to become a master.”

FINAL DECISION: Hot, angst filled, dramatic and full of surprises. This second chance at love story kept me up until 3am and then all I wanted to do was re-read it.

THE STORY: Years ago Roman Calder and Gus Spencer had a hot affair. Things blew up because the passion and intensity of the relationship was something that scared Roman. Yet the two cannot completely avoid one another because Gus is the sister of one of Roman’s best friends. And perhaps they don’t actually want to avoid one another as Gus took a job at the White House where Roman is chief of staff. As the Perfect Gentlemen’s investigation takes them to London, their proximity heats up the lingering passion between them. The question is whether they have a better chance the second time around.

OPINION: This is a difficult book for me to review. Not because I didn’t love it, I certainly did. Not because I’m confused, I’m not. The problem is that almost anything gives away too much in this series now. This book was so good that I started reading it immediately upon it downloading to my Kindle and then just kept reading, without stopping, until I finished at 3am. When I got up in the morning (after only 3 hours sleep), I just kept thinking “I need to re-read _________”. And that is why I give this book 5 stars. The romance, the story, everything worked for me in this book. For me, the only part I hated is that the next book of the series won’t be out until October 2018.

On the plot, readers of the series will be familiar with the Perfect Gentlemen’s quest. Beginning with the death of the sixth of their group, Maddox, in the first book of the series, the conspiracy has expanded to include the deaths of a number of people and a connection to the Russian mafia. As book 3 ended, a number of the PG were on their way to London to investigate another suspicious death. That is the setup for this book which begins just as the prior book ended.

As I warn at the beginning of this review, this is a book that is meant to be experienced as the story unfolds. I encourage you to not read spoilers because this book is packed with secrets and reveals.

I won’t give anything away, but I assure you that the investigation continues, there is more danger and suspense and the plot continues to unfold. AND I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED how the story line continues to be interwoven and reexplained and unraveled. I generally find the plot in romance books to merely be vehicles for the romance, but here the plot is so exciting and well done that I continue to puzzle over the details between books. That continues to be true here as I keep wondering about the details and what they mean. That’s all I’m giving away on the plot. You’ll have to read the rest yourself.

Even as the plot was thrilling, what I really love about these books are the relationships: between the PG, between the heroes and heroines, and the developing friendships between the women. In the prior books, Roman and Gus were the most difficult characters for me. There was something unclear about who they were. That explodes here as the story between these character covers a lot of ground.

Gus is a strong, vibrant woman. She is brash and unapologetic, openly a sexual being, intelligent. She’s put the PGs in their place for years. What I didn’t expect was how I would fall in love with Gus because of all those qualities that I knew but also the softer side of her character that is revealed here. Both Roman and Gus present themselves as impervious and yet there are depths to them that are shown here and which I would never have expected.

Roman was also a surprise for me because he is more unsure of himself than I expected. This book tackles head on the idea that he was threatened by Gus in ways that romance books rarely address. I thought their story was thoughtful and difficult. Lots of angst and pain between these two (but totally different vibe than between Dax and Holland in book 3). By the end of this book, Roman has had to ask himself some fundamental questions about himself and I liked the journey so much.

This book is hot and exciting, but I really felt the pain and desire for connection between these characters. And perhaps that is why I felt the most satisfied with the conclusion of their story — because they had to travel so far and overcome so much to be together and yet they managed to make that journey.

WORTH MENTIONING: Readers of the series won’t be surprised that much of the overarching story isn’t resolved here. In fact, the story goes in a whole new direction.

CONNECTED BOOKS: SMOKE AND SIN is the fourth book in the Perfect Gentlemen series. This series is meant to be read in order and the book really doesn’t stand alone because it depends upon information in the prior books (although the romance is self-contained).

STAR RATING:  I give this book 5 stars.

five-stars