Review: Wicked Sinner

Review: Wicked SinnerWicked Sinner (Regency Sinners, #7) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Sinners #7
Published by Carole Mortimer on July 19, 2018
Genres: Historical
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION: My favorite of the series, this one works because of the existing relationship between the characters and the development of the heroine, which I enjoyed very much.

THE STORY: Dominik Sinclair, Duke of Stonewell and spymaster, has run out of suspects. In searching for the traitor, there is only one woman left — his wife. Now he has returned to his estate to accuse his wife and find out her secrets. Angelique has known something is wrong as Nik has become distant in recent months. Now he demands her surrender to his passions and his suspicions.

OPINION: I really enjoyed this one. Nothing is too deep, but because the characters have a pre-existing relationship, things are more focused emotionally. The two have an adventurous sexual relationship. While the important moments in their relationship are explored through their sexual moments, this works better between the married couple.

Nik’s suspicion of Angelique is in conflict of his feelings for her. (I do have to wonder about a spymaster who has so much that is happening without his knowledge). Angelique won’t allow Nik to get away easy with his distrust. The power dynamic between these two was interesting in this book.

While short in length of the story, this couple worked the best for me. I liked their interactions and how the storyline helps develop their relationship.  The story isn’t a particularly deep one, but for someone who spent much of my early romance reading days devouring category romances, this one fits right in (if a lot more explicit in its sex scenes).

WORTH MENTIONING: There is going to be another wrap up book with all the characters from the series. Since we don’t get to see the characters together enough, I’m happy for this.

CONNECTED BOOKS: WICKED SINNER is the seventh book in the Regency Sinner series. This romance is self-contained but there is an overarching storyline that runs through the series about a traitor. This book resolves that storyline.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars

Review: A Regency Duo

Review: A Regency DuoA Regency Duo by Angelique Armae, Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Lovers #1,
Published by Angelique Armae on June 22, 2018
Genres: Historical
Goodreads
three-stars

This book contains two separate short novellas that are the first book in their series.

INDECENT by Carole Mortimer: Miss Emma Harris rejects the idea of marriage to the Adam Stirling, Duke of Harkwood. He proposed to her and then flaunts his affair with another woman on the same day.  When Emma discovers she was mistaken, she is contrite, but Adam intends to teach Emma a lesson about jumping to conclusions — a very erotic lesson.

I enjoyed this story. It is short and easy to read. The characters are not complex and the facts of the story feel completely unrealistic. But this is a good easy read that is really focused on the sexual exploits of these characters. Fans of Carole Mortimer’s more sexy series will instantly recognize this situation and this story is one of the better stories.

This is the first book in the Regency Lovers series.  Rating: 3.5 stars.

PRINCE OF SCANDAL by Angelique Armae: Lady Elizabeth Littlefield must figure out how to save her work on her orphanage in face of her brother’s insistence that she wed a man she has no desire to be associated with. When an old friendship with the youngest prince Freddie is renewed, Lizzie and Freddie end up in a compromising situation that threatens to ruin Lizzie and put her in danger from the secret work that Freddie is doing.

This story had promise, but there is too much plot for such a short book to be combined with an actual romance. The story might have been better as a longer book. But because there is so much plot to explain, the relationship suffers. Even worse, the plot has a lot of inconsistencies which cause more problems. One example is that Lizzie won’t disobey her brother in order to protect her orphanage, but yet she still has to send all the children away because the man she will marry won’t approve of the orphanage. If the focus had been on the relationship, I might overlook these plot problems, but when the plot is the focus, I tend to concentrate on these types of problems.

This is the first in the Seduced by Scandal series. Rating: 2 stars.

three-stars

Review: Grigor

Review: GrigorGrigor (Dragon Hearts #5) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Dragon Hearts #5
Published by Carole Mortimer on May 25, 2018
Genres: Paranormal
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION: Fun and fast read. Nothing deep here, but I loved the sexy dragons and the trouble that the stuffiest one of them gets with the independent and original woman who is destined to be his mate. Like eating cotton candy.

THE STORY: Grigor Pendragon is close to turning into a feral dragon who will have to be killed by his brothers when he scents his mate. But the woman he finds is nothing like the sophisticated woman he expected to find as his mate. Instead, Grigor finds Gayle Wilson, computer geek, mouthy and independent. Gayle is being kept a virtual prisoner in the castle as a way of her sister and her dragon mate to protect Gayle. But Gayle doesn’t want to be protected, but when she is threatened, she might have no choice but to turn to Grigor even though she doesn’t believe the crazy man who believes he is a dragon shifter and she is his mate.

OPINION: Enjoyable fun read. The opposites attract story between Grigor and Gayle with the banter and arguments between them was what I really enjoyed. The story is pretty standard and for those who have read the rest of the series, follows the template of the others. The amusing pairing of these two, however, was something that I particularly enjoyed.

The series has gotten better in the last couple of books. While the stories are formulaic, they are something that I enjoyed as light reading. The humor and heat in the stories make these a nice diversion. Two people who wouldn’t otherwise pick one another are stuck and have to find a way to deal with one another and even come to like and eventually love each other.

WORTH MENTIONING: We get an update on Dylan and Holly from the previous book.

CONNECTED BOOKS: GRIGOR is the fifth book in the Dragon Hearts series. The romance is a standalone although the characters appear in prior books.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

 

four-stars

Review: Dylan

Review: DylanDylan (Dragon Hearts #4) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Dragon Hearts #4
Published by Carole Mortimer on March 16, 2018
Genres: Paranormal
Goodreads
three-half-stars

FINAL DECISION: This was a light and fun story. There is nothing deep or thought provoking here, but I enjoyed the diversion of the story. Dylan and Holly have an amusing relationship that I enjoyed in this short read.

THE STORY: Dylan, one of the Pendragon brothers, awakens in a hospital and finds this elusive mate in Doctor Holly Barnes. But Dylan needs to find out why he blacked out and ended up in the hospital and thus isn’t ready to claim his mate. But when Holly seeks Dylan out, he finds himself having to deal with a human woman who is pretty sure Dylan’s stories of dragon shifters and King Arthur means the sexy man is crazy. But Holly needs Dylan’s help and Dylan is determined to keep his mate by his side.

OPINION: This series has a definite formula but the characters and the situation can make the books fun. I can enjoy a book for what it is and not every book has to be an intense emotional journey. This book was fun and I liked the characters and how they deal with the situation.

The book was a quick and easy read (but I have to admit I like these books much better if I don’t read them one after another because the similarities are too glaring).

It was nice seeing the characters from previous books. My real disappointment is that we didn’t get more with the dragon.

WORTH MENTIONING: We get an appearance from two characters from another series which was fun.

CONNECTED BOOKS: DYLAN is the fourth book in the Dragon Hearts series. The romance in this book is separate from others in the series, but the characters overlap.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.

three-half-stars

Review: Wicked Temptation

Wicked Temptation (Regency Sinners 6) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Sinners #6
Published by Carole Mortimer on April 27, 2018
Genres: Historical
Goodreads
two-half-stars

FINAL DECISION: Completely unrealistic but hot romance. I wanted more character development rather than sexual escapades.

THE STORY: Lord Titus Covington, Viscount Romney and his friend were assigned the job of investigating the Germaine twins to determine if one of them is the traitor that the “Sinners” are seeking. When the traitor orchestrates a carriage accident killing Titus’s friend and Lady Prudence Germaine’s twin sister, Prudence blames Titus. But Titus needs to clear Lady Prudence so he is insistent on getting closer to her — of course, he also is attracted to her as well.

OPINION: This book follows the formulas of the prior books in the series. This book, however, didn’t have a strong couple at its center. I never really got the connection between Titus and Prudence since their beginning happens before this book begins. The pace of their relationship is really quick as they fall into serious sexual escapades without any prelude. I also didn’t buy that this innocent would be traipsing around London alone allowing her to meet with Titus.

For me, there was too much sex and not enough character development. The book is hot but I think that was a substitute for the characters having any real depth.

The overarching story also doesn’t move very much here as this book is really just setting up the final book in the series.

WORTH MENTIONING: I am totally on board for the final book in the series. I didn’t see the setup coming.

CONNECTED BOOKS: WICKED TEMPTATION is the sixth book in the Regency Sinners series. This book can be read as a standalone as it summarizes everything a reader needs to know. Readers should be aware, however, that there is an overarching storyline this is not resolved in this book.

STAR RATING: I give this book 2.5 stars.

two-half-stars

Review: Wicked Captive

Review: Wicked CaptiveWicked Captive (Regency Sinners, #5) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Sinners #5
Published by Carole Mortimer on February 14th 2018
Genres: Historical
Goodreads
two-half-stars

FINAL DECISION: Okay but not extraordinary. It added to the storyline in the entire series, but the relationship part didn’t work for me as well. The connection wasn’t as strong.

THE STORY: Jericho Black, Marquis of Wessex, is up for his investigation of a potential traitor. His target is his ward Lady Jocelyn Forbes. Jocey has just returned from France (which is one reason she is a suspect) and is pleased that Jericho is taking more of an interest in her because she had been attracted to him since Jericho took over her guardianship when she was eighteen.  Jericho’s problem is that his first sight of Jocey in months has him staggered to realize what a beautiful woman she has become.

OPINION: I wanted to like this one more than I did. The guardian/ward story had interesting possibilities. I also liked the characters: Jericho with his world weary attitude that is taken by Jocey’s light and joy; Jocey with her determination and caring for others.

The execution of the story, however, had elements that bothered me. The strongest one was that Jericho knew Jocey. If we had picked up the story when Jericho hadn’t spent time with Jocey, his mistrust and anger towards her might have worked. But here it seems clear that he knows her enough that he shouldn’t be so distrustful.

My other complaint is that while the two engage in various sexual activities, I wanted there to be some culmination to their relationship. It appears that happens totally off screen at the end which was disappointing.

WORTH MENTIONING: Now I really want to know about the woman that Stonewall is going to investigate.

CONNECTED BOOKS: WICKED CAPTIVE is the fifth book in the Regency Sinners series. The book is a standalone although there is a continuing story line about a woman who is a traitor and the men trying to find her.

STAR RATING: I give this book 2.5 stars.

two-half-stars

Review: Bryn

Review: BrynBryn (Dragon Hearts #3) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Dragon Hearts #3
Published by Carole Mortimer on December 22nd 2017
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 205
Goodreads
three-stars

FINAL DECISION: Enjoyable simple book that is an easy read with an uncomplicated plot, fun characters. A book that doesn’t take much mind energy but can be used to pass the time.

THE STORY: Bryn Pendragon reluctantly agrees to pose as the boyfriend of, and secretly serve as the bodyguard of, his future sister-in-law’s best friend Tegan. Tegan has a creepy secret admirer who she believes is an ex. What Tegan doesn’t know is that Bryn is a shapeshifting dragon and when he first sees her, he realizes she is his fated mate. The one he is determined never to claim.

OPINION: This book typifies what I might call a one off read. A book that is enjoyable for what it is — a simple book with a fun storyline that doesn’t really stand up over time, but makes for a fun couple of hours.

I enjoyed this book about Bryn and Tegan although it pretty much follows the exact storyline of the prior two books in the series. The highlight of the story was the characters which don’t really have much depth but nonetheless are an interesting match. I enjoyed seeing how these two manage the same ground that the other characters have traveled. Bryn is a real sweetheart even if he is gruff and solitary.

These books are superficial, but sometimes that is exactly what i want to read…something that I can enjoy without being dragged too deeply into an emotional storyline.

WORTH MENTIONING: The eldest dragon brother appears to be up next.

CONNECTED BOOKS: BRYN is the third book in the Dragon Hearts series. This book can be read as a standalone although it doesn’t clearly set up the world and history of the dragon brothers as well as reading the books in order will.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.

three-stars

Review: Wicked Deception

Review: Wicked DeceptionWicked Deception (Regency Sinners, #4) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Sinners #4
Published by Carole Mortimer on November 22nd 2017
Genres: Historical
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION: I didn’t think much of the story as it started, but the relationship between the hero and heroine as the story progressed made me enjoy the story quite a bit. This is a simple easy story and certainly not a complex drama, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.

THE STORY: Maximillian Smythe, Earl of Carlton is taking his turn searching for the traitor that the eight Sinners are searching for. The woman he is to investigate is his own stepmother Heather. The young and beautiful second wife to his father. Six years ago Maxim and Heather had a whirlwind romance before Maxim left to spy for the Crown and returned to find Heather married to his father. Now Maxim must determine what Heather is hiding.

OPINION: The story line here is not surprising and almost everything is quickly disclosed to the reader (if not to the characters). A second chance at love for these two characters complicated by deceptions and lies and misunderstandings.

The story and the characters are not particularly deep, but sometimes an uncomplicated story makes a nice easy read. The characters were not stupid despite their misunderstandings and I liked that they quickly were able to unravel the secrets between them.

I liked Maxim as a character and thought that his darkness was actually what made the story interesting. This book reminds me of the category romances in the past (although more erotic and explicit) because of the simplicity of the story.

WORTH MENTIONING: This is a novella.

CONNECTED BOOKS: WICKED DECEPTION is the fourth book in the Regency Sinners series. This is a series of books with the overarching storyline of the search for a woman traitor. While there is some connection between the books, this book can certainly be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars

Review: Seducing Ethan

Review: Seducing EthanSeducing Ethan (Knight Security, #6) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Knight Security #6
Published by Carole Mortimer on May 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 302
Goodreads
three-half-stars

FINAL DECISION: Enjoyable end to the series, characters that I enjoyed reading about and enough sex and action to keep it interesting.

THE STORY: Ethan is hiding out from a murderous criminal father when a woman steps from the shadows. Talia and Ethan knew one another three years ago when his family’s business was hired to protect Talia. It was revealed, however, that Talia’s father was a corrupt Russian and the two went into hiding. Now Talia has returned seeking Ethan’s help. The two join forces as danger surrounds them.

OPINION: This is a short novella, but I enjoyed the interaction between Ethan and Talia. I was quite surprised how much story was packed into this little novel. The book has more dramatic action than I expected, but the story is hot as well. The book isn’t particularly deep and the relationship between the hero and heroine happens really quickly (picking up on their interactions three years ago). Therefore, reading it like a quick novella worked really well.

WORTH MENTIONING: I loved that there is a character reunion and updates for those of us who have followed the series.

CONNECTED BOOKS: SEDUCING ETHAN is the sixth and final book in the Knight Security series. This book can be read as a standalone although there are overlapping characters with the other books in the series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.

three-half-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