Nathaniel (Dragon Hearts #1) by Carole Mortimer
Published by Carole Mortimer on July 28th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
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.
Wicked Surrender (Regency Sinners 2) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Sinners #2
Published by Carole Mortimer on June 30th 2017
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.
Wicked Torment (Regency Sinners, #1) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Sinners #1
Published by Carole Mortimer on April 28th 2017
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.
Enticing Ian (Knight Security 5) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Knight Security #5
Published by Carole Mortimer on March 31st 2017
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.
Tamed by the Earl (Regency Unlaced 9) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Unlaced #9
Published by Carole Mortimer on February 24th 2017
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.