The Highlander’s Enchantress by Violetta Rand


The Highlander’s Enchantress is the first book in the House Of Bane series by Violetta Rand.  This was a solid start to a new series.  Kali Bane is sent to the McKay’s for punishment by her horrid father.  Laird McKay banishes Kali to a tower.  Adam McKay, the heir to clan McKay, knows his tyrannical father needs to be stopped.  Romance blossoms, and plans come to fruition as Adam and Kali learn to navigate clan politics and burgeoning love.

I loved the way the relationship between Adam and Kali unfolded.  The couple took their time getting to know each other.  I enjoyed the orphans and Raini; they were great secondary characters.  I did feel the plot started and stopped a lot; it seemed too choppy to me at times.  Most of the action happens near the end of the book.

All in all, I enjoyed The Highlander’s Enchantress.  I feel a few issues need to be ironed out in the pace and depth of the plot.  However, I feel this was an enjoyable beginning to an intriguing new series.

Publication Date: May 29, 2023

A Mistaken Identity by Lana Williams


A Mistaken Identity is the third book in The Mayfair Literary League series by Lana Williams.  I have enjoyed each of these Literary League books, and A Mistaken Identity is another excellent addition to the series.  These intrepid book club ladies decide to take fate into their own hands and take a chance on love with clueless gentlemen.

Lady Harriet Persimmons secretly admired Joseph Harris, Viscount Garland.  To Harriet’s dismay, Joseph doesn’t recognize her until a house party.  Also, to Harriet’s dismay, her friend, Frances, is interested in Joseph.  Harriet must navigate her feelings for Joseph, her friendship with Frances, and her visible and mental scars.  I sometimes got aggravated with Frances; I felt Harriet was a much better friend than she was.  Harriet was such a realistic, organic character.  She had emotional depth, and I emphasized her situation.  Her allegiance to her friend is admirable, but I loved when Harriet took hold of her future and fought for what her heart desired.

Joseph has his emotional scars and has sworn off love.  He goes to the house party looking for investors, but he is instantly drawn to Harriet.  I loved how Joseph fought for Harriet and was her champion.  His love made Harriet see past her scars.  Together the couple developed a sweetly romantic passion that was heartwarming.

I don’t read a lot of mistaken identity plots, but this one was excellent.  My heart and imagination were caught from the start.  I rooted for Joseph and Harriet’s happily ever after.  I loved the premise of this whole series, and each book brings more depth and richness.  I highly recommend this book and series.  Lana Williams does an excellent job creating female characters we can relate to and cheer for! 

Publication Date: May 25, 2023

Four Weddings And A Duke by Michelle McLean


Four Weddings And A Duke is a novel by Michelle McLean.  Michelle McLean switches back to regency romances from her humorous, addictive Western romances.  Alex Reddington, the Duke of Beaubrooke, has to pick a bride from three sisters.  Lavinia Wynnburn is the middle sister and the least prepared to become a duchess.  Alex picks Lavinia for these qualities and hopes she can keep him from all the social events he abhors.  Alex would much instead be holed up in his greenhouses doing research.

I had a difficult time with the concept of pitting three sisters at a duke.  It made the romance between Alex and Lavinia seem forced at times.  Alex is singular-minded and often hurts Lavinia with his neglect.  I did enjoy it when Alex realized how blind he has been to Lavinia and her indomitable spirit.  I loved Lavinia – she has always felt the odd sister out, never the first choice.  With marriage, Lavinia finds her voice and her footing; I loved watching her bloom and grow as a character.  

The plot went in circles at times, coming back to the same predicament between the couple often.  What I missed most in this book is the humor the author expertly weaves with her Western romances and her other Regency romance.  That being said, I enjoyed the character development, and the journey of Alex and Lavinia was passionately romantic.  I love Michelle McLean and her romances; this is not my favorite, but it is still worth reading.  I wanted more sparkle, but this is a solid, fun, romantic read.  I am anxiously waiting on Michelle McLean’s next book!

Publication Date: May 23, 2023

Tempt Me by Tara Wyatt


Tempt Me is the first book in the Kings Of Hell’s Kitchen series by Tara Wyatt.  Tara Wyatt is a new to me author, and wow!  I am hooked!  To clarify, there is a prequel novella called Tease Me at the beginning of this book.  Also, side characters Lucian and Olivia’s story is in the book, Bad Intentions.  This is a mafia story with a twist.  These hardened mafia men form a group that regulates the criminal element.  I wouldn’t go so far as to call them “good guys” since they still operate outside the law, but they are so complicated, sexy, and irresistible! 

Killian!  He’s dark and broody, has blood on his hands, and embraces the violence he creates.  Killian is twelve years older than Whitney; I loved the age difference; it works really well.  When we first meet Killian, he is beaten down by his inner demons and obsessed with Whitney.  Killian fights the attraction, not wanting to smother something so innately good.  However, Whitney shows Killian that he can be loved unconditionally, demons and all.  Whitney is such a fun character.  She is a writer and optimist.  What I love most about Whitney is how she loves Killian.  She gives a man whose whole world is violent peace and tranquility.

This book is combustible when Killian and Whitney are on page together.  Full of incredible, steamy passion, it is the soft, sweetly romantic moments between the couple when Killian drops his shields and bares his soul that catapults this romance into greatness.  I loved the premise of these Robin-hood type mafia men.  The story moves well; it is somewhat of a slow burn with the prequel novella included.  Even then, I was turning pages as fast as I could!  Tara Wyatt, where have you been?  I’ve needed characters like Killian and Whitney in my life!  I can’t wait for more of the Kings, and as I impatiently wait, I am going back to read the Prescott’s series!  I am one hundred percent a die-hard fan of these books!

Publication Date: May 30, 2023

Lady In The Grove by Jane Charles


Lady In The Grove is the first book in the Magic And Mystery series by Jane Charles.  This series continues the stories of the Drakos family at their home, Nightshade Manor.  Orion Drakos is shocked when he discovers a young lady living in the sacred grove.  Nina Jourdin has lived in the sacred grove for twenty years without detection.  Shrouded in mystery, Nina can only glimpse the real world through the orchard between the sacred grove and Nightshade Manor.  

Orion and Nina must uncover mysteries and battle intervening relatives and dryads while getting to know each other.  I felt sorry for Nina; she seemed forgotten and lonely.  Orion can be slow on the uptake, and he had to uncover many hidden truths.  I enjoyed both Orion and Nina’s characters.  The plot was easy to read and flowed well.  This was a quick, fun read full of magic, sparkle, and romance!

Publication Date: May 23, 2023

A Wildflower For A Duke by Laura Linn


A Wildflower For A Duke is the debut novel by Laura Linn.  Rarely have I been rendered speechless with my emotions all over the place as they were while reading this romance.  Laura Linn’s first novel is breathtaking and astonishing.  I felt as if I have been reading her magnificent stories for years.

Boiled down, this book is about love in all its forms.  It is about young love that turns into something eternal, forbidden love, platonic love, unrequited love, love that blooms from friendship, and most importantly – love that heals a heart and becomes infinite.  This book embraces grief in the most gut-wrenching, organic way.  This story is about Gabriel, the Duke of Northam, learning to thrive from barely existing.  It is also about Violet Evan, a goat farmer who has always been on the sidelines of affection and hides her lonely heart behind intelligence, inquisitiveness, tenacity, and humor.

This is a slow-burn, friends-to-lovers romance.  The plot takes us on Gabriel’s journey of grief and Violet’s journey of experiencing and receiving emotions she thought she’d never have.  It is a tear-jerker yet has moments of levity so well-placed I laughed out loud.  Each secondary character, including Nora, Zach, Keene, Hamish, and the dowager duchess, was so carefully created and lovingly written. Each one helps to make this wonderful romance.  Each character was three-dimensional and vibrant.  Zach, Nora’s son who views the world differently but is a brilliant artist, is the perfect balm for Nora, Gabriel’s untethered, grieving daughter.  Keene’s unorthodox relationship with Gabriel added to Hamish’s unorthodox relationship with Violet, giving us warmth and laughter in the most desolate of passages.  

Laura Linn took me on a roller-coaster ride of genuine, heartfelt emotion.  Gabriel and Violet’s journey was one of the most visceral, heart-wrenching, unforgettable romances I have ever read.  There was one situation in the epilogue that stressed me out –I’m not too fond of the unknown.  I hope the next novel brings a happy conclusion to some unanswered questions.  I am eager to read what comes next from this amazing author – right now!  But I also understand that the book concluded as it was written, realistically, with both trepidation and hope.  Wow!  What more can I say?  Laura Linn has spellbound me!  I’ll finish with a quote from the book that struck an emotional cord with me.  “Sometimes we just have to love and have faith in the endurance of that love.”

Publication Date: May 22, 2023

Sinfully Wed by Kathleen Ayers


Sinfully Wed is the first novel in the new The Five Deadly Sins series by Kathleen Ayers.  Kathleen Ayers is one of my all-time favorite authors.  I am so excited about The Five Deadly Sins series!  Kathleen Ayers has the remarkable talent of writing family sagas where each beloved member shines in their individual books while strengthening the series as a whole.

Jordan Sinclair, the new Earl of Emerson, finds himself engaged to Odessa Whitehall because Odessa’s father owns all of Jordan’s late half-brother’s debts.  Jordan and Odessa vehemently object to this marriage.  Jordan is being forced to sell himself and his title to a vicious, unscrupulous man.  Odessa, who is shunned by polite society just like Jordan, wants nothing to do with Lords and wants to pick her own non-titled husband.  Odessa uses all her tricks to get Jordan to beg off, but the two are drawn to each other.  

Jordan is an amazing character!  He has fought for his family’s survival his whole life.  Jordan is angry.  Jordan learns to slowly release the anger and bitterness through getting to know Odessa.  Odessa is utterly unique!  Obsessed with macabre stories, she uses everything in her arsenal to disgust Jordan.  Odessa’s temerity hides a beautiful vulnerability.  Bonded by the actions of their parents, Jordan and Odessa forge a bond and slowly develop fiery, passionate feelings.

I was amazed at how carefully and lovingly each character was written.  One of Kathleen Ayer’s greatest strengths is creating unforgettable plots that are still character driven.  Each sibling’s description makes me so eager to read their books!  Odessa’s aunt was a favorite character.  Even the horrible relatives of Jordans were three-dimensional and intriguing.  Odessa’s plot to putting off Jordan had me laughing out loud!  However, under the enchanting banter and struggles for independence, Jordan and Odessa are two drifting, lost souls looking for connection and genuine affection.

This book raced by, and I couldn’t turn the page fast enough!  I didn’t think the author could build upon the greatness of the Barrington series, but The Sinclair family is just as formidable!  These books cannot come out fast enough!  I wish I had more than five stars for this humorous, passionate, unforgettable romance!  I am unsure whose story is next, but I can’t wait to read it!

Publication Date: May 19, 2023

Enraptured By The Marquess by Daphne Quinn


Enraptured By The Marquess is the third novel in the When The Wallflowers Were Wicked series by Daphne Quinn.  The books in this delightful series keep getting better!  Jeremy, the Marquess of Yeovil, returns from war broken in body and heart.  Jeremy builds a fortress around his heart and swears off matrimony and love.  Lady Eliza’s first season started swimmingly until it didn’t.  Eliza is disenchanted and insecure.  Jeremy and Eliza, two strangers, are forced to marry after a stolen kiss.  Eliza must tear down every wall Jeremy has erected around his heart, and Jeremy must discover what truly makes him happy.

Oh!  There were times when I wanted to kick Jeremy for his inconsiderate and destructive behavior!  I couldn’t dislike him, though!  Jeremy has been badly hurt physically and emotionally.  It was enthralling watching Jeremy find peace and solace in Eliza’s arms.  Eliza might be insecure, but this little mouse could roar!  It was entertaining watching these two damaged strangers find love in unexpected places.

The books in this series are so much fun to read!  The characters were lovable if infuriating at times!  The story moved and flowed well.  I loved the time spent when the couple got to know one another.  Daphne Quinn has created a delectable, engrossing novel that I couldn’t read fast enough yet never wanted to end!  I love this entire series!

Publication Date: May 18, 2023

The Duke I Wished For by Maggie Dallen and Katherine Ann Madison


The Duke I Wished For is the fifth book in the A Maypole In Mayfair series by Maggie Dallen and Katherine Ann Madison.  This is a sweetly romantic novel full of lovable, entertaining characters!  Daffodil is dodging the odious men her mother is trying to get her to marry.  Blake, the Duke of Hathshire, is looking for an impeccable wife to be the mother of his little girl, Clarissa.  The two starts rocky, but their journey to love is enchanting.

I loved how Blake was with Clarissa.  The tea scene was precious!  Daffodil was caught in her mother’s ambitions yet still had an iron will and imaginative soul.  Every moment the couple was together was magic, and Clarissa stole every scene!  The plot was engaging, and it was so much fun reading how Blake and Daffodil fell in love!  Both authors have a gift for writing touching, heartfelt romances!

Publication Date: May 15, 2023

Brilliance by Sydney Jane Baily


Brilliance is the fifth book in the Diamonds Of The First Water series by Sydney Jane Baily.  Brilliance tells the romantic journey of the youngest Diamond sibling.  Brilliance is one of the most unique female main characters I have read.  Brilliance is kind yet tends to get into trouble when she almost always says what she thinks.  Brilliance interprets the world with a literal, optimistic, hopeful viewpoint.  The outside world underestimates Brilliance by viewing her as silly or unintelligent, but her family and true friends see Brilliance’s charm and pure heart make her shine.

Lord Vincent Hewitt is a genius composer and pianist.  After suffering betrayal by those he trusted most, Vincent guards his heart and music with a hard heart. When Vincent meets the unusual, intriguing Brilliance, his world gets turned upside down.  Vincent learns to appreciate Brilliance’s outlook on life.  However, Vincent must trust the loyal Brilliance, or he could lose the one remarkable woman he could ever love.

I enjoyed both main characters.  It took me a minute to get into Brilliance’s head space, but her charm, wit, and empathy won me over.  Vincent has been hurt badly, and his journey with Brilliance is complicated and rocky, but I loved how he saw Brilliance as a free-spirited, vulnerable, loving woman.  The plot was entertaining and was unique compared to the other novels in this series.  I have enjoyed each Diamond sibling’s romantic journey, and I am sad to see it end.  Brilliance was a creative, imaginative way to complete an engaging series.  I can’t wait to see what Sydney Jane Baily does next!

Publication Date: April 27, 2023