Review: Tamed by the Earl

Review: Tamed by the EarlTamed by the Earl (Regency Unlaced 9) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Unlaced #9
Published by Carole Mortimer on February 24th 2017
Genres: Historical
Pages: 99
Goodreads
three-stars

FINAL DECISION:  This is a nice story that wraps up the series in a satisfactory fashion, but it is not among the best of the series.  The length of the novella made the relationship too quick and the sexual relationship felt rushed.  Good one time read.

THE STORY:  Lord Daniel Somersby, Earl of Latham survived a miserable marriage.  Since he has an heir, he has no intention of marrying again.  Returning home, Daniel runs into a fight among his stable boys.  The newest boy is causing trouble and something about his intrigues Daniel.  Disguised as a boy, Lady Josephine Kendall is running from her cousin who has tried to sexually abuse her and marry her off to settle his gambling debts.  Temporarily residing as a stablehand, Jo is fascinated by Daniel but trying desperately to maintain her disguise.

OPINION:  This novella fits right into the rest of the series.  The emphasis in the book is on the relationship between the characters and the plot does nothing more than serve that end.  I appreciate books that focus on characters because that is the reason I love romances.  This story is short so the character development is not too deep, but the story plays on some classic tropes that I enjoy.  The woman disguised as a boy is always a fun one.  Here Jo is a thorn to Daniel because he can’t seem to get her out of his mind despite believing her to be a boy.  The story is straightforward and a quick read.

If you have read the others in the series, you should finish out with this one.  There is a small payoff in the end.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book is the last in the series and gives a little peek at the other characters at the end.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  TAMED BY THE EARL is the ninth book in the Regency Unlaced series.  It can be read as a standalone although there is information about other characters.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3 stars.

three-stars

Review: Tempting Zander

Review: Tempting ZanderTempting Zander (Knight Security, #4) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Knight Security #4
Published by Smashwords Edition on January 27th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads
three-stars

FINAL DECISION: A good story but nothing overly special.  I enjoyed this as a one time read.

THE STORY:  Zander Buchanan is brought in as head of security for Kate Stewart, a superstar singer. Kate has an ex-boyfriend who is stalking her and she has hired Knight Security to supplement her normal security.  Zander has wanted Kate desperately even as he is exasperated by her. He knows he has to keep his distance to do his job.  She’s hot for him, too.

OPINION:  This is a perfectly adequate story if a bit predictable.  Zander and Kate are fighting their attraction, there is danger from the ex and the ultimate resolution and happy ending.  The characters were nice enough but a bit forgettable.  The best part of the book for me was a scene between Zander and Kate in a store dressing room which was completely memorable. The book was in the category for me of a book that I enjoyed while reading but won’t be one that I think of returning to…except for maybe that dressing room scene.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This is a short novella.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  TEMPTING ZANDER is the fourth book in the Knight Security series.  Although there are some overlapping characters, this book can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3 stars.

three-stars

Review: Seduced by a Marquis

Review: Seduced by a MarquisSeduced by a Marquis (Regency Unlaced 8) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Unlaced #8
Published by Smashwords Edition on December 20th 2016
Genres: Historical
Pages: 118
Goodreads
four-half-stars

FINAL DECISION:  A sexy novella that has interesting characters and which I found to be a fun little read.  One of the better stories in this series, this novella manages to pack in a whole bunch of story and a developing relationship between Bella and Lysander in its few pages.

THE STORY:  Bella Reynolds is under the thumb of her older brother who uses her younger sister to compel Bella to give in to his wishes. Bella ends up engaged to Lord Lysander Falkner, Marquis of Trent who is jaded by all the women who have tried to get him to marry them.  Unwillingly betrothed, Bella knows that Lysander has no reason to trust her and yet forces are conspiring against them.

OPINION:  I found this story very appealing.  Perhaps it is the idea that Bella and Lysander are such good people who end up agreeing to a marriage of convenience that quickly becomes a passionate love match.

This is a novella so I’m judging it on that basis.  The character development is not as deep as I would expect in a full length novel and the story is not as well fleshed out.  But there is something fun and compelling about this story.  I loved these two people who are both hurt by their past.

Lysander is an illegitimate son turned heir to a duke (yes, improbable) — a common man raised to the heights of title.  Bella is a woman who has been used by her brother to advance his own agenda. She knows that she cannot hope for a happy marriage with children because of her past.

As is true with all the Regency Unlaced series, the focus with these characters is on their sexual attraction at first. This book manages to be hot while also making it clear that these two go have emotional possibilities with one another.

The plot is enough to keep the book moving but not so much as to take away from the focus on Bella and Lysander’s relationship.

This was a good read.  I found it enjoyable, I liked the characters and there was enough heat to make the story interesting.

WORTH MENTIONING:  If you want total historical accuracy in your historicals, you can pass on this one.  But if you value characters and an interesting story over details, you might give this one a try.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  SEDUCED BY A MARQUIS is the eighth book in the Regency Unlaced series.  This book stands on its own although there are overlapping characters.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.

four-half-stars

Review: Capturing Caleb

Review: Capturing CalebCapturing Caleb (Knight Security 3) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Knight Security #3
on November 30th 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 139
Goodreads
three-half-stars

FINAL DECISION:  This novella had a great premise and beginning which ended up resolving too quickly in the end.  For the length, however, I really enjoyed this story.

THE STORY:  Caleb Knight has become obsessed with rescuing Magdelena “Lena” Roig who was kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery.  Caleb has been looking for Lena for three months and he is determined to find her because of his own time held as a prisoner in Afghanistan. He knows what being held hostage feels like and will not allow her to be forgotten.  When he gets a lead on her location, Caleb comes in disguised as a Russian gangster who is offered Lena’s services for the night.

OPINION:  This was a good story. A reader has to accept that the two characters would have sex with one another upon first meeting one another and somehow that would work even though the two are under surveillance.  I liked the story because it was tense and tending toward romantic suspense.

Caleb and Lena have a hot connection from the start. The tension when their lives are in danger had this book totally engrossing and interesting.  Because of the length, however, the story was resolved too quickly and these two never really get to know one another.

Therefore, I really enjoyed the beginning of the book and because of the length I thought that it was resolved too quickly.  I accept that, however, in a novella.  I would read the story again especially as an add on to the previous book in the series.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This is a short novella with an emphasis on the heated sexual events between the characters.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  CAPTURING CALEB is the third book in the Knight Security series. It can be read as a standalone although it continues the story from the previous book in the series.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3.5 stars.

three-half-stars

Review: Pleasured by a Duke

Review: Pleasured by a DukePleasured by a Duke (Regency Unlaced 7) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Unlaced #7
Published by Smashwords Edition on October 28th 2016
Genres: Historical
Pages: 122
Goodreads
three-half-stars

FINAL DECISION:  Enjoyable little novella that is hot.  The short nature of the story doesn’t allow for much characters development but the characters of Sebastian and Tia are fun in their interaction with one another.

THE STORY:  Sebastian Falkner, Duke of Stowmont, is a rake who ironically keeps getting unwanted wards.  Having just gotten rid of one, he finds himself guardian to a seven year old boy.  And this child comes with his adult step-sister.  Horatia “Tia” Chelford is a self-described mousy woman whose betrothed was killed in Waterloo.  Believing that she has lost her chance for love and marriage, Tia has dedicated herself to her step-brother.  While the duke intends to rid himself of the opinionated and mouthy Tia as quickly as possible, Tia intends on finding a way to stay.  At the same time, Tia and her stepbrother are in danger from the person who murdered Tia’s stepmother.

OPINION:  I’ve come to enjoy Mortimer’s Regency Unlaced series which are generally short novellas with an emphasis on the hot sex.  The stories focus on the sexual relationships and the characters tend to be in situations which heightens the tension in that relationship.

This book follows in that formula.  The characters are set in the beginning.  Sebastian is a man who never expected to be a duke but has taken on the role with a disdain for society.  He cares deeply for his family, including his illegitimate half-brother who acts as his secretary.  When he is given the guardianship of a young boy, he intends to fulfill his duty but doesn’t want anything to do with the older sharp-tongued step-sister — until he can’t resist her.

Tia is a woman who has lost everything except her younger step-brother and is willing to do anything to stay with him.  She has loved and lost and she accepts her limitations.  When she has the opportunity to find some happiness, she is willing to take it — even if society would not approve.

I liked this book.  My one complaint is that everything is wrapped up too quickly and too neatly.  I wanted a bigger confrontation on Sebastian and Tia’s relationship or a bigger part for the villain in the story.  Instead, things are just resolved too quickly (in a couple of pages) and that left me wanting in the story.

WORTH MENTIONING:  The duke’s illegitimate half brother looks to be getting his story next.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  PLEASURED BY A DUKE is the seventh book in the Regency Unlaced series.  It can be read as a standalone.  The only connection to the prior books are the mention of other characters in the epilogue.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3.5 stars.

three-half-stars

Review: Challenging Gabriel

Review: Challenging GabrielChallenging Gabriel (Knight Security 2) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Knight Security #2
Published by Smashwords Edition on September 23rd 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 151
Goodreads
three-half-stars

FINAL DECISION:  Nice story that was a good one time read.  I liked the characters and their story although the short format meant that it was a bit rushed.

THE STORY:  Eight years ago, Gabriel Knight fell for a young beauty Angel.  The two only had weeks together before he had to go to Afghanistan to save his brother.  By the time he had returned, Angel was gone.  Now she walks back into his life, married and with a seven year old son.  She desperately wants Gabriel’s help in locating and rescuing her son who is being held by her estranged husband.

OPINION:  This story was good.  There was nothing terrible original about the story, but I enjoyed the characters and their interactions.  For a short story, I thought that the character’s journey was handled well and I liked and was interested in them.  Yes, things were resolved too quickly and too easily, but this is a novella and that is almost always the case with such a short story.

I thought that the romance between Gabriel and Angel was good.  The two had chemistry and were able to handle the love lost, secrets revealed story with an interesting twist.  I liked these two.  When my biggest complaint is that I wish there story was longer, I give it a win.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This is a short novella.  It also sets up the next book in the series.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  CHALLENGING GABRIEL is book 2 in the Knight Security series.  It can be read as a standalone as you don’t need to know anything about

STAR RATING:  I give this novella 3.5 stars.

three-half-stars

Review: Captured by a Gentleman

Review: Captured by a GentlemanCaptured by a Gentleman (Regency Unlaced 6) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Unlaced #6
Published by Smashwords Edition on August 30th 2016
Genres: Historical
Pages: 117
Goodreads
four-half-stars

FINAL DECISION:  This is one of the better stories in a somewhat uneven series.  The story between Darcy and Ranulf is hot and well constructed for its novella length.  I liked the characters, the conflicts and the romance between the main characters.

THE STORY: Ranulf Montgomery will never be vulnerable to a woman again after his experience with his adulterous wife. Now a widower, Ranulf does not intend to fall victim again.  Then Ranulf discovers his deceased wife’s cousin hiding in his traveling coach.  Darcy Ambridge desperately needs Ranulf’s help to avoid the lecherous advances of her uncle. While Ranulf does not want to help, he cannot consider allowing Darcy to be abused.  As they travel, the passion between them flares out of control at the same time someone seems determined to murder Ranulf.

OPINION:  This is a fast read novella.  The story doesn’t feel particularly historical in many ways, but I liked the characters and the connection between them was hot and intense.  Ranulf is a damaged man who has remade himself after his wife’s deception.  I like how he treats Darcy with respect almost from the beginning despite his concerns and fears.  While the connection goes too quick for a full-length novel, in this shorter version, the pacing went well, the characters were sufficient for the length.  I enjoyed this book and think that it pairs well with the book which introduced Ranulf.

I recommend those who are willing to accept a quick read book that doesn’t always feel historically accurate but contains a fun story with likeable characters.

WORTH MENTIONING: This is a novella length story.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  CAPTURED BY THE GENTLEMAN is book 6 in the Regency Unlaced series. It can be read as a standalone although it is can be read as a sequel to TAKEN BY THE EARL (book 3).

STAR RATING:  I give this novella 4.5 stars.

four-half-stars

Review: Desired by a Lord

Review: Desired by a LordDesired by a Lord (Regency Unlaced 5) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Unlaced #5
Published by Smashwords Edition on July 22nd 2016
Genres: Historical
two-stars

FINAL DECISION:  This one was barely okay for me.  The characters had too much insta love and lust and the personal obstacles were no real obstacles at all once the external threat was resolved.

THE STORY:  Mrs. Emily Marsden comes to take her deceased husband’s place cataloging the library of Lord Alexander Whitney. Xander certainly didn’t expect a woman, especially not one so young and attractive.  Emily is hiding from her family’s scandal and also blackmail. The two are attracted to one another as the blackmailer follows Emily.

OPINION:  This novella didn’t do anything for me.  The characters were okay but not that memorable.  Their relationship seemed based primarily on sexual attraction and although interesting characteristics were introduced, they were quickly resolved without any real conflict. This was a story that I won’t even be able to recall in a couple of days.  The most memorable parts were the villain and the butler.  There was nothing wrong with the characters, they just were bland.

WORTH MENTIONING: Although there are highly sexual situations in this book, there is no actual intercourse.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  DESIRED BY A LORD is the fifth book in the Regency Unlaced series. It can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 2 stars.

two-stars

Review: Royals & Rogues Anthology

Review: Royals & Rogues AnthologyRoyals & Rogues by Heather Long, Carole Mortimer, Shelli Stevens, Susan Stephens, J.C. Makk
Series: Knight Security #0.5
on March 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 500
Goodreads
four-stars

This is an anthology of 5 novellas from five different authors:

HER MARINE PRINCE by Heather Long

Princess Francesca Grace wants to join the military like her father.  Her father does not want her to and arranges her to attend an exercise hosted by the Royal Marines.  He gets retired Marine Hugh Dillon to agree to make Frankie’s life miserable to convince her to abandon her desires.  I did not expect much of this story, but ended up enjoying it very much.  The highlight was the great amount of respect that Hugh show Frankie as she demonstrates how determined and competent she is.  Made me interested in reading more of the series. Rating: 4 stars.

ALEXANDRE by Carole Mortimer

Prince Alexandre of Androcco comes to England.  Staying at an English hotel, he is determined to get Anastazia Carmichael who he took one look at and wanted.  Stazzi doesn’t want anything to do with the annoying playboy especially because she is almost engaged to another man.  Yet she can’t deny the intense attraction between Alexandre and herself.  I enjoyed this story primarily because of Stazzi’s spunky personality and her interaction with Alexandre.  There is also a mystery regarding Alexandre that I quickly figured out but which I thought moved the story forward very well. These two are hot together.  Rating: 4 stars.

SEDUCING THE PRINCESS by Susan Stephens

Princess Angelika needs an heir. When she first met Gideon Black as a teenager, she hated him. And she had an immense crush on him.  Now she needs protection and an heir to secure her throne.  Gideon can provide both.  This premise had much promise, but I never felt any real connection between the hero and heroine.  The conflict felt forced and I was disappointed.  Rating: 1.5 stars.

CORRUPTED BY THE PRINCE by Shelli Stevens

Prince Kostas of Mykorini is hiding out in the Hamptons after another scandal.  When he sees a woman on the beach that interests him, he is intrigued as she argues with him and doesn’t fall for his practiced lines.  Evelynn Fairchild is the sister who avoids scandal and that is why she is surprised to find herself attracted to the notorious bad boy.  This is my favorite in the collection because I liked the relationship between Kostas and Eva best.  They are funny and sweet and such a mismatch.  I think the story tries to put in just one too many complications to their relationship for the length of the story, but the connection between the couple makes this worth reading.  Rating: 4 stars.

HIS ROYAL REDEMPTION by J.C. Make

Sir Anthony Richarden and Princess Estelle of Dirksbee are competitors in the King’s Favor, a competition where the winner gets five million dollars.  The two also happen to have been engaged to be married a year ago before Anthony left Estelle almost at the altar.  This was my least favorite of the anthology. I didn’t buy into the reasons that the two were apart and the lack of communication between them just annoyed me.  Rating: 1 star.

four-stars

Review: Defying Asher

Review: Defying AsherDefying Asher (Knight Security 1) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Knight Security #1
Published by Smashwords Edition on June 30th 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 159
Goodreads
three-stars

FINAL DECISION:  A straightforward contemporary category-type romance, this book was enjoyable because of the push and pull between the hero and heroine.  I enjoyed this as a one time read.

THE STORY:  A year ago Lissa Forsythe and Asher Knight had a one night stand.  The two meet again when Lissa is in danger.  A year hasn’t diminished the chemistry between them but it also hasn’t decreased Lissa’s hurt at what she saw as a betrayal by Asher. Despite his best intentions, Asher hasn’t been able to forget the prickly woman. Now he has to protect her with his life but he risks his heart in doing so.

OPINION:  This story has two main parts: who is trying to kill Lissa’s mother and those around her and the relationship between Lissa and Asher.  The connection between Lissa and Asher is evident from the beginning and the conflict in the relationship comes from their one night stand a year ago. Lissa believes that Asher was cheating on another woman when the two of them ended up in bed together.  Lissa’s lack of trust in others dominates the story.  Of course, once the truth is revealed, the two quickly resolve their relationship.

The story is good and the characters fun to read.  For a one time read, this is pretty good.  And just to clarify, I don’t mind reading books that I can get through and enjoy even if they aren’t ones I will want to re-read again and again.

WORTH MENTIONING:  The Knight Security series is connected to the ALPHA series and the Knight sister gets her story in SAVAGE ALPHA.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  DEFYING ASHER is book one of the Knight Security series. There is a prequel but this book can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3 stars.

three-stars