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: Wicked Scandal

Review: Wicked ScandalWicked Scandal (Regency Sinners, #3) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Sinners #3
Published by Carole Mortimer on August 31st 2017
Genres: Historical
Goodreads
three-stars

FINAL DECISION: This is really just a little erotic romance rather than focusing on any particular plot. I enjoyed this quick and dirty little story. It is not a deep read, but certainly enjoyable.

THE STORY: Sebastian Trentham, Marquis of Deveril aka Devil, is investigating Alys Newcomb to see if she is a spy. The two have a complicated history as Alys believes that Devil murdered her father as she found him holding a gun and standing over his dead body. Alys says she doesn’t want anything to do with Devil but when her brother invites him to his houseparty, she is forced into close proximity and the intense passion between Alys and Devil explodes.

OPINION: This is really focused on the sexual relationship between Sebastian and Alys. There is a story, but the details are put aside in service to the sexual antics of the hero and heroine. That doesn’t bother me, but a reader should know that this isn’t a historical focused on accurate details and the minutia of social conventions. Instead, the plot, time and place are a stepping off point for the relationship between Sebastian and Alys.

So while there is a story about the murder of Alys’s father and the search for the female spy, the relationship between the characters is the real focus. So don’t be surprised if Alys quickly puts aside her suspicions about Sebastian to engage in various sexual encounters. And don’t look to historical accuracy when the two are running around engaging in erotic adventurers seemingly without any concern about social reputations or mores.

But I did enjoy this story. I know the limitation for these stories and they are shallow, fun reads rather than intense dark ones. The story is hot and these two manage to work through their problems in an efficient manner.

WORTH MENTIONING: I also think we have likely been introduced to the next hero, the Earl of Carlton.

CONNECTED BOOKS: WICKED SCANDAL is the third book in the Regency Sinners series. Each story stands on its own with a loose overarching storyline of each man being sent to investigate one woman in order to discover which of them is the spy the men are looking for.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.

three-stars

Review: Nathaniel

Review: NathanielNathaniel (Dragon Hearts #1) by Carole Mortimer
Published by Carole Mortimer on July 28th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION: A fun and very hot short novella about a dragon shifter and the woman who might be his mate.

THE STORY:  On a trip to Wales, journalist Chloe Evans discovers a mysterious castle that she suspects is a hub for illegal activities. Determined to investigate, Chloe ends up meeting Nathaniel who is an alpha alpha and who tempts Chloe in ways she never expected. The mystery of Pendragon castle involves centuries of secrets and, as one might expect from the title of the series, dragons.

OPINION: I enjoyed this novella which sets up the series which will be about a bunch of alpha dragon male shifters trying to find their mates before they become feral dragons.

This is a quick and dirty story meaning that there isn’t a tremendous amount of depth to these characters. Lots of insta-love/lust and not a lot of world building for the paranormal genre. That being said, I really liked the characters which are quirky and fun and I especially liked Chloe who is a smart mouthed woman who gives her alpha more grief that respect.

There is a lot to cover in this story as it sets up the mythology of the series, introduces a number of characters, reveals some of the past of the “brothers” and also has to squeeze a romance in for good measure.

A lingering, well constructed paranormal this isn’t, but an enjoyable short novella for those who would like a taste of the paranormal fantasy world without pages of mythology this is a good fun read.

WORTH MENTIONING: This is a rawer, sexier book than many of Mortimer’s books.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  NATHANIEL is the first book in the Dragon Hearts series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars

Review: Wicked Surrender

Review: Wicked SurrenderWicked Surrender (Regency Sinners 2) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Sinners #2
Published by Carole Mortimer on June 30th 2017
Genres: Historical
Goodreads
three-half-stars

FINAL DECISION:  Enjoyable and quick read. Very sexy historical that is a second chance at love as well.  This one has a lot of drama and tension as two people who have a history try to work through their past while the hero is trying to see if the heroine is a traitor.

THE STORY:  Dante St. Just, Duke of Huntley has the woman assigned for him to investigate…but he doesn’t want to.  Lady Isabella Aston is the step-daughter of his cousin and the two have a history.  When Bella was seventeen, she declared her love for Dante, who rejected her sending her into the arms of and marriage to another man.  Now a widow, Bella doesn’t anything to do with Dante…but he has never forgotten her.

OPINION: Light and enjoyable story…not funny or sweet, but the story is not taxing and can be enjoyed quickly.  This book continues the series about these men who are investigating women who might be a traitor helping Napoleon.

There is more angst in this story because Dante and Bella have a history.  I liked their interaction and the drama and pain between them.  I also really liked that Bella had a happy marriage that Dante now has to compete with.

The two have a very contentious beginning but I really liked how the two battled and debated and ultimately resolved their problems.  The story isn’t particularly deep, but this is not trying to be War and Peace.

My one complaint about this book is that there is a whole side story about the reasons that Dante’s aunt was such a witch. I’m not sure that the resolution was needed and thought that it brought up a plot point that was not really necessary.

WORTH MENTIONING:  We are introduced to Devil in this book…the hero of the next book.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  WICKED SURRENDER is the second book in the Regency Sinners series.  There is an overarching story as each of the book involves a man investigating a woman as possible spy, but each book is independent and can be read on its own as the overarching storyline is thin.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3.5 stars.

 

three-half-stars

Review: Wicked Torment

Review: Wicked TormentWicked Torment (Regency Sinners, #1) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Sinners #1
Published by Carole Mortimer on April 28th 2017
Genres: Historical
Pages: 180
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION:  Very sexy and sex filled novella introduction to a new series.  Although the relationship develops really quickly, I enjoyed the interaction between these two characters.

THE STORY:  Darius Strong, Duke of Wolferton, has come to investigate Lady Beatrix Hanwell as a possible French spy.  He was unhappy to have chosen her from the hat of names because he knows that he will likely have to seduce her and Beatrix is plain and ordinary.  Bea has no illusions about her attributes and that is why she is shocked when Darius invites himself to her house party.  She is even more shocked when he announces his intention to seduce her.  An unhappy marriage left Bea determined to be alone, but Darius tempts the widow.

OPINION:  This series has an intriguing premise.  Eight men matched by drawing names from a hat with eight women — one of whom is a traitor.  Each of the men must do whatever it takes to determine the guilt or innocence of the woman he is charged with investigating.

In this novella, we are introduced to Darius and Bea.  These two have no history and Darius is incredibly dismissive of Bea because of her looks.  Of course, his pretense of being interested in Bea quickly turns to intense desire.  They also end up having past abuse in common.  I really enjoyed their interactions as Bea struggles with her intense attraction to Darius but wants to maintain her independence after her miserable marriage.

Bea is opinionated and unwilling to submit to Darius’s demands.  She meets him as an equal.  This book is packed with sexual exploits but I enjoyed the banter between Bea and Darius the most.  Bea is no shrinking violet and although Darius is a dominant alpha male, Bea makes sure that she meets his as an equal.

I enjoyed this novella and look forward to the rest of the series.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book is hot, hot, hot and edges toward erotica.  It is short novella with many sexual encounters between the hero and heroine.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  WICKED TORMENT is the first book in the Regency Sinners series.  The overarching story is about 8 men investigating 8 women one of whom is a spy for Napoleon.  So the stories are independent of one another with one overarching story.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars

Review: Enticing Ian

Review: Enticing IanEnticing Ian (Knight Security 5) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Knight Security #5
Published by Carole Mortimer on March 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION:  I enjoyed this book a great deal.  There was a lot of mystery about what happened between Eve and Ian three years ago.  This was matched with a good plot about Eve wanting to help her brother.  This is more novella length, but felt complete and well paced.

THE STORY:  Three years ago, Ian Knight met, had a relationship with and left a woman he has never forgotten.  When Eve Bishop walks into the casino nightclub where he is acting head of security, he knows that the librarian should not be there.  Eve has come looking for Gregori Markovic, the head of the Russian mafia in London, in order to help her twin brother who has gotten deep into debt with Markovic.  Ian is determined to keep Eve from venturing into dangerous territory while looking for her brother, even if it means confronting what send him running from her three years ago.

OPINION:  I really enjoyed this one.  I thought the pacing of the book was wonderful.  Even with the shorter length, the story did not feel rushed and I felt there was a good balance between the romance and the plot.

The characters in this book were better developed than I expect in a shorter story.  The characters already had a history which helped tremendously with the quick turnaround until these characters got serious.  It was much easier to believe that these characters could be so comfortable with one another immediately.

This story just hit the right spot with me.  It was very sexy and had some drama over the end of the couple’s relationship three years ago.  The way that answer is slowly revealed to the readers worked really well to build tension in the story.  I especially liked that the real focus of this story was the couple — even though the brother’s fate gives some motivation for the characters to interact with one another.

I also really liked Ian and Eve as characters and as a couple.  They were just the right balance between really attracted to one another and fighting that attraction.

WORTH MENTIONING:  Some significant appearances from characters from the ALPHA series were a nice addition.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  ENTICING IAN is the fifth book in the Knight Security series but can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars

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