Adam by Sydney Jane Baily

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Reading a Diamonds Of The First Water novel is like visiting old family friends.  The Diamonds are all vivid, engaging, passionate men and women.  This is Adam’s story.

Adam is a darling of the ton.  From a perfect pedigree and popular family, Adam Diamond has everything.  Alice is in hiding, scared, and trusts no one.  When Adam sees Alice, he knows he has to have her but also knows she could only be his mistress due to the distance between their stations.

The plot is well thought out, clever, and romantic.  Both Adam and Alice are multifaceted, complex characters.  There were times I got aggravated by the couple.  Adam’s skewed outlook on society and Alice’s trust issues and penchant for running away had me yelling at them at times.  However, all these faults made Adam and Alice approachable.  Their flaws and mistakes gave an organic feel to the passionate relationship.

Adam is the third book in the Diamonds Of The First Water series.  This could be read as a stand alone book, however I recommend starting with the first book as each book is about a sibling.  Sydney Jane Baily has again created a eye-catching, swoon-worthy, thoughtful romance.  Don’t miss this newest book in a remarkable series.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book through the publisher.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Release Date: September 22, 2022

The Viscount’s Reluctant Bride by Ava Bond

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This is my first Ava Bond book, and I loved it!  I can’t believe it has taken me this long to find this fantastic author.  The Viscount’s Reluctant Bride is an intriguing, clever, action-packed romance.  This book has elements of grumpy/sunshine main characters, Beauty And The Beast, and a marriage of convenience.  All these beautiful elements perfectly blend to create a passionate romance I couldn’t put down!

English spy and Viscount Gregory Silverton has battled his murderous, treacherous, treasonous twin for years.  Upon finding out he is dying, Gregory decides to quickly find a wife to give him an heir so that his brother won’t inherit.  Intelligent, sweet, and kind, Maeve Walsh chooses to be that woman in exchange for financial help for her family.

My blog readers know I love a jerk hero, and Gregory fits that description perfectly.  I loved watching Gregory’s metamorphosis, from this recalcitrant, broody, irritated man to falling deeply in love with his wife.  None of Gregory’s changes could have occurred without Maeve’s kindness, nurturing, and sweet spirit.  Maeve is a shining, vibrant woman whose journey I adored.  Both Gregory and Maeve stole my heart.  The couple’s complex dynamic and the push and pull between fear and desire created beautiful scenes.

There is also plenty of intrigue, action, and passion.  I will warn you there are some violent scenes, but nothing that bothered me.  This book was an entertaining page-turner.  The Viscount’s Reluctant Bride is the fourth book in the Oxford Set series.  I am going back to read the previous books since I loved this one so much.  Ava Bond has just been added to my auto-read list!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book through BookSirens.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Release Date: September 21, 2022

A Season For Spies by Golden Angel

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Wow!  What a spectacular way to end a fantastic series!  I have been eagerly awaiting Anthony and Evie’s story.  This book cleverly wraps up the ongoing intrigue while simultaneously creating off-the-charts, fiery, intense passion.

There has been a spy conspiracy throughout this entire series.  Evie is the niece of England’s spymaster.  Evie has an unconventional background and is more comfortable as a spy than a debutante.  Captain Anthony Browne works for Evie’s uncle.  Anthony and Evie have a steamy past that can be found in the novella Spy Season.  The couple is thrown together to find the traitor, and the sparks don’t fly; they incinerate!

Evie is fierce!  She is one of her uncle’s best spies but is cosseted and ignored.  I love how this doesn’t deter Evie. She goes her way and gets more accomplished than the men in her uncle’s employ.  I love how Anthony “sees” Evie when no one else does.  He allows Evie to be herself, he assists rather than dictates, excepts when it comes to misbehavior, and he has all kinds of solutions for that!  The connection and sensuality of the couple are staggering.

I have read all three of Golden Angel’s Discipline series and loved them.  The Deception and Discipline have been an exemplary series, and I think Anthony and Evie are my favorite couple.   I loved the intrigue and action of the plot.  I hate to see the ending of this tremendous series, but the finish was perfect!  I am excited that some “loose ends” will be addressed in upcoming short stories, although I hope we get more beautiful characters and stories in the form of a new Discipline series.  Golden Angel has created a world of sensually aware, passionate couples who delve into danger and intrigue that results in exciting, heart-pounding stories.  This book was a joy to read; I can’t wait for whatever is next!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book through the author.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Release Date: September 20, 2022

Seducing The Knave By Amy Sandas

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When I think the Wright Bastards books can’t get any better, Amy Sandas proves me wrong!  Beynon and Anne from Enticing The Devil will always have a special place in my heart. However, I am carving out a new spot for Max and Elle!

Max Owen is a crime lord in London’s dangerous underworld.  Elle is an heiress desperately fleeing her horrible guardian, who plans on marrying her to get her dowry.  Max becomes Elle’s ticket to London with some encouragement of jewels for Max.  Neither expected the fiery connection they would create along the way.  Elle keeps showing up needing to be rescued as Max tries his best to forget the intriguing young lady.

The two are opposites.  Max has fought and clawed his way to the top of London’s seedy underworld.  Max has grown up in the worse possible situation, yet he still can see beauty in the desperation that surrounds him.  That was the trait that most endeared me to Max.  Max has become comfortable living in the grey between the black and white lines society draws.  Elle has been sheltered and pampered her entire life.  When life cruelly lands her in trouble over her head, she learns with Max’s help that most of us survive in the grey areas.  What I love most is how Elle learns to see the beauty in the in-between of life struggles.  She witnesses stolen moments of happiness in the middle of joy and grief, contentment and loneliness, hunger and abundance, and violence and love.  Max teaches Elle that genuine connection and fulfillment come in those stolen moments where the lines blur.  I thought this was a beautiful and accurate statement.  I also loved how Max allowed Elle the space to make her own choices in a life where she never had a voice.  

The sensual connection between Max and Elle is the sexiest and steamiest yet.  Max and Elle ignite the page.  I loved Max’s fierce protection over Elle.  The dynamic between Max and Elle was sublime.  Elle stood her ground; she was no pushover.  

The story moved.  There are many scenes with only the couple. Still, these scenes are written so sensually and are so captivating that I couldn’t read this book fast enough while at the same time wanting to slow down so I could relish every word.  Seducing The Knave is the third book in the Wright Bastards series.  There are several series in this “universe,” and I have read them all.  Each new book proves Amy Sandas’ ability to write striking and poignant romance.  Seducing The Knave is an exquisite love story that captured my heart from the beginning.  Max and Elle’s journey is one you will not want to miss!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book through the author.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Release Date: September 20, 2022

The Clue Of The Brilliant Bastard by Ellie St. Clair

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The Remington family is so much fun to read about, and The Clue Of The Brilliant Bastard is another fantastic addition to the series.  Lady Maria marries a cruel, violent man and flees, ending up injured on the doorstep of Dr. Hudson Lewis.  Hudson and Maria have admired one another from afar.  The couple is now in an untenable situation.  Maria is married to a monster yet falls irrevocably in love with Hudson.  The two must face impossible odds and danger around every corner to fight for their happily ever after.

The forbidden love between Hudson and Maria is written in a way that I was drawn to the couple and wanted nothing less than their happily ever after.  Hudson is the illegitimate son of a duke; he has carved out a good, if lonely, life for himself until he sees Maria and realizes too late what all he could have had.  Maria has continuously allowed others to make her choices; this places her in the bed of a monster.  I love how even though it is an impossible situation and it is too late, Maira finds the courage to fight for her future.  Maria has incredible courage.

Hudson and Maria’s romantic journey is dangerous and heart-wrenching at times.  The couple’s passionate connection is lovely to witness.  The Clue Of The Brilliant Bastard is the third book in The Remingtons Of The Regency series.  These books are best read in order due to an ongoing mystery that develops throughout.  This forbidden love story captured my heart and attention from the very beginning.  This is an exciting page-turner.  I love Ellie St. Clair’s writing; it grabs the reader’s attention from page one, and we are on a passionate journey fraught with peril but ending in love.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book through the author.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Release Date: September 16, 2022

The Holiday Of A Marquess by Linda Rae Sande

This is a review of The Holiday Of A Marquess by Linda Rae Sande

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I always look forward to Linda Rae Sande’s novellas when I read an anthology.  It was a novella in a Christmas anthology where I discovered her excellent books.  Edward and Elaine’s romance captured my heart.  This is a more mature, widowed couple, which I found refreshing.  I love the backdrop of the Soho Club.  The story developed perfectly for such a short novella.  My attention was caught on the first page.  Both Edward and Elaine were lovely, vivid characters.  The couple’s romance stole my heart, and their happily-ever-after was endearing and swoon-worthy.  I enjoyed the lightening fast attraction and the journey the couple took.  Linda Rae Sande has written another deeply romantic, vividly passionate love story.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this novella from the author.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Review Date: September 15, 2022

August BOM And Coming Soon!

Happy September, fellow romance lovers!  Reading Rebel Reviews has been updated and has a new look!  This past month I have changed and updated my site with a new logo and content.  The most significant change is I am broadening the scope of my reviews to include paranormal romance and contemporary romance along with historical romance. I am super excited!  I have my first paranormal romance review in October!  In other news, my office/library is coming together beautifully!  Stay tuned for pictures in the coming months!  I have had an extremely busy August.  I reviewed twenty-two books this past month.  They include eight five-star reviews, nine four-star reviews, four three and one-half-star reviews, and one three-star review.  Below is a recap of those reviews.

Book Review Recap

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

Book Of The Month – August

I had quite the inner battle trying to decide on the book of the month.  I have two excellent candidates that I kept wavering back and forth.  The runner-up is To Catch A Raven by Beverly Jenkins; I adored this amazing book.  However, Kellan and Gwen won out!  I loved everything about this story!  Kellan and Gwen are perfection!  I fell under Kellan’s spell, and Gwen’s struggles endeared me.  The Scoundrel Falls Hard is a bright, shining star.  Sophie Jordan has created romance magic in the form of a female blacksmith and a con man’s marriage of convenience.  I cannot talk enough about this book!

My Review

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I loved The Scoundrel Falls Hard for many reasons, firstly because of its uniqueness.  There are no balls, debutantes, or even a rake to be found!  This is a story of what happens when a female blacksmith ends up in a fake engagement with a lifelong con man.  The plot grabbed my attention from the first chapter.  The first few chapters of this book had me laughing.  The situation Kellan and Gwen find themselves stuck is so ludicrous that it is hilarious.  Even though the story is humorous at times, it still delivers an unusual romance, quirky characters, and a super entertaining plot!

Kellan is a criminal, a lifelong thief with a conscience.  Kellan is dragged from con to con by his worthless, conniving, very charming father.  The kind of life Kellan lives is transitory, lonely, and almost gets him killed.  I liked how Kellan was a thief, but he still had rules he followed, lines he wouldn’t cross.  He preys on the gullible but tries not to harm anyone truly, and yet he does.  I loved Kellan’s inner battle between being a better man or staying the untrustworthy, charming villain.  This desire sneaks up when he meets a beautiful, unconventional woman.

Gwen Cully is an unforgettable character.  Gwen is six feet tall, physically strong, and fiercely independent.  Gwen has carried on her father’s and uncle’s occupation as the town’s blacksmith.  Without any help and a shady competitor, Gwen is on the verge of poverty.  Although Gwen is capable and intelligent, her insecurities about her physical appearance have erased her self-esteem. Gwen sees herself as the oddity her town has called her.  

From the first scene, this couple’s antics entertain.  I loved Kellan and Gwen’s dynamic.  Both barely hang on in their occupations, yet they find strength and belonging in one another’s arms.  The romance and passionate connection the couple creates is a joy to watch unfold.

The Scoundrel Falls Hard is the third book in The Duke Hunt series.  This outstanding and entertaining romance stole my heart!  Sophie Jordan has outdone herself, creating characters that catch your eye with a plot that is as endearing as it is eye-catching.  I loved every second of this book.  Do not pass up this sparkling, witty, unforgettable romance!

Upcoming book reviews for September

Blog Feature Date: August 29, 2022
Blog Feature Date: August 30, 2022
Blog Feature Date: September 1, 2022
Blog Feature Date: September 5, 2022
Blog Feature Date: September 7, 2022
Blog Feature Date: September 8, 2022
Blog Feature Date: September 9, 2022
Blog Feature Date: September 10, 2022
Blog Feature Date: September 12, 2022
Blog Feature Date: September 13, 2022
Blog Feature Date: September 14, 2022
Blog Feature Date: September 16, 2022
Blog Feature Date: September 17, 2022
Blog Feature Date: September 18, 2022
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

Until Next Month!

Well, that is a wrap for August!  I am so happy we are going into fall; it is my favorite time of year.  I am a baker, and fall is an excellent time for cookies and cakes!  I hope everyone starting school has a safe, fun year.  Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog; this is a passion project hobby for me.  If you’re an author or publisher, I would love to hear from you; I always look for new authors and books to review and promote.  Until next time…

Lost: The Love Of A Lord by Tammy Andresen

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Lost:  The Love Of A Lord has become my favorite book in this beautiful series.  Ralph gets the opportunity for an earldom if he agrees to investigate whether foul play was involved in a murder.  Clara believes herself in love with the murdered man’s son, who also is the primary suspect.   Clara rushes to the side of this man during this time of need; all she discovers is selfishness in the man she thought she knew.

When Ralph meets Clara, all his preconceived ideas of the spoiled, heartless aristocracy go out the window.  Ralph discovers Clara is kind and intelligent and carries inner strength and warmth.  Clara is drawn to Ralph due to his power, selflessness, and character.  I loved how the romance unfolded; it was seamless in a way that allowed the characters to breathe and grow naturally.

Lost:  The Love Of A Lord is the fifth book in the Calling All Rakes series.  Tammy Andresen can weave a captivating love story with intriguing characters and undeniable passion.  I enjoy all of Tammy Andresen’s series, and Lost: The Love Of A Lord is an exceptional addition.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book through the author.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Release Date: September 6, 2022

Mistress MacKintosh And The Shaw Wretch by Rose Prendeville

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Mistress MacKintosh And The Shaw Wretch is a fun, quick, romantic journey that left me smiling.  Finley Shaw, the disgraced heir to his older brother, is tasked with escorting Jury to a convent.  Jury has dedicated her life to healing and has no intention of being a wife or a nun.  Finn and Jurys set out on a road trip to the convent fraught with danger, passion, and runaways.

Both Finn and Jury are lovable, warm, sparkling characters.  Both are atoning for past decisions.  I loved the journey of Finn and Jury finding kindred spirits and a passionate connection.  The story unfolded in a way that developed the characters well and was easy to read.  There were a few times the flow of the story wavered.  However, the plot was entertaining and kept my interest.  I loved the dialogue between Finn and Jury; their verbal battles were fun to read.  Mistress MacKintosh And The Shaw Wretch is the first book in the Brides Of Chattan series.  Rose Prendeville has done an amazing job creating characters I cared about and a story I couldn’t put down.  This is an excellent start to a promising series.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book through Netgalley and the publisher.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Release Date: September 10, 2022