Review: Damage Control by Lisa Renee Jones & Giveaway!

Review:  Damage Control by Lisa Renee Jones & Giveaway!Damage Control by Lisa Renee Jones
Published by St. Martin's Griffin February 21, 2017
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 304
Format: ARC, Audio
Source: Copy for Honest Review, Purchased
Narrator: Grace Grant, Jeremy York
Also by this author: Hard Rules
Amazon US
Goodreads

Wall Street meets the Sons of Anarchy in Damage Control, the smoldering, scorching next novel in the explosively sexy Dirty Money series.

The only thing more dangerous than a dark secret is a damaged heart…

Shane Brandon has been pushed to the brink, torn between his corrupt family and his explosive, all-consuming desire for Emily Stevens, who he now knows is not who, and what, she seems. Has he trusted the wrong person? Will she, not his brother Derek, be the ultimate destruction of his family Empire?

Emily tries to run from Shane, but he will stop her, confront her, force her to reveal all — one hot touch and kiss at a time, under every intimate detail of who this woman is, and what she wants, is exposed. But as he tears away the dangers of the unknowns with the woman in his bed, and in his heart, The Martina Cartel has set their sights on his company, his family, and the one piece of leverage they believe he won’t gamble with: Emily.

The blurb is what got me to read book one, Hard Rules, in this series by Lisa Renee Jones:

“When Wall Street meets the Sons of Anarchy…”

There really isn’t a better way to describe these books.  Picture the chaotic, crazy mess and ever-constant web spinning of the Sons of Anarchy cast… but instead of dirty (but sexy) bikers, picture filthy rich (and equally as sexy) bajillionaires.

I absolutely loved book 1 (you can read my review here) and was so excited to get my hands on book 2, Damage Control.  But with my entire family dropping like flies with the flu, my life got a bit hectic and I was late starting my ARC and ended up buying the audiobook and switching back and forth from e-book to audio (I highly recommend the audiobook, I think the narrators are fabulous, by the way!)

Damage Control starts exactly where book one leaves off, with a giant freaking mess, more secrets than you can remember, and pretty much zero answers as well.  I seriously haven’t read a book with so many intricate details, and lies, and side plots going on at once… it’s incredible the web that Lisa Renee Jones spins in these books.  You never really know who is good, who is bad, what side someone is on, who is going down next, who is plotting what…  seriously!   I am good at figuring things out but good lord I leave each book wondering how the flaming fig newton someone can get out of these disasters unscathed.

Emily and Shane both have secrets and terrible families that are desperately trying to drag them down.  There’s international hacking groups, murder, a cartel, a billion dollar family business changing control, cancer… you name it.  It is all in there tearing everybody apart at every angle.

I felt like this story was a lot of figuring out Shane and Emily’s pasts and how they would conquer their future… if they even have one together.  A lot of the plots are intense and action-packed, but Shane and Emily handle it separate from each other.  Unlike book one where they are busy trying to handle their feelings, and the hiding of their relationship from co-workers and family members, in book 2 they’re together in the open.  The plot is more focused on the suspense, the mystery, the scandal.  The parts where Shane and Emily are actually together are when they’re home from work or bustin’ cartel booty… and naked.

I loved that their relationship was there in the very steamy background, and the story instead took on a very strong voice more based on plot than relationship, if that makes sense.  It’s such an amazing, mind-boggling storyline that I loved immersing myself in the wtf is happening, how can they fix this, omg what now?!    

Yes, they are still figuring out what “us” even means, and let me tell you…  *fans face*   Their “us” is sexy AF.  *fans face harder.*   Shane is the epitome of alpha male.  And Emily is just as strong, no matter how lost she is in life, that chick is one bad ass mamba-jamba!

I can’t recommend this series enough, and if you enjoy romantic suspense that’ll get your heart pounding (for multiple reasons) this series is a must click!


***Giveaway!***
Enter to win (2) $25 Amazon gift cards, (3) signed books of Hard Rules and (3) Dirty Money totes!!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e837c2b0294/

 

 

About Lisa Renee Jones

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series.

In addition to the success of Lisa’s INSIDE OUT series, she has published many successful titles. The TALL, DARK AND DEADLY series and THE SECRET LIFE OF AMY BENSEN series, both spent several months on a combination of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling lists. Lisa is presently working on a dark, edgy new series, Dirty Money, for St. Martin’s Press.


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Review: Anti Stepbrother by Tijan

Review: Anti Stepbrother by TijanAnti Stepbrother by Tijan
August 21, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 321
Format: Audio, eBook
Source: Purchased
Length: 10 hours 26 minutes

He told me to settle.
He asked what was wrong with me.
He called me an easy target.
That was within minutes when I first met Caden Banks.
I labeled him an *sshole, but he was more than that. Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.

He was also to-die-for gorgeous, and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother.

Okay, yes I was a little naive, a tad bit socially awkward, and the smallest amount of stalker-ish, but if Caden Banks thought he could tell me what to do, he had another thing coming.

I came to college with daydreams about being with my stepbrother, but what if I fell for the anti-stepbrother instead?

*Stand-alone novel

Where has CADEN BANKS been my entire life?!

Or more importantly why have I waited so long to read a title from TIJAN?!

I picked up AS shortly after its release in August for my reading preparation for the Mile High Author Event last year and I seriously FELL IN LOVE, madly in love with this book.  I’ve learned after quite a bit of trial and error that I love brooding heroes, quirky heroines, college romances, and somewhat realistic situations… Well this book had it all!  And I can’t go without mentioning that there was a Gilmore Girls’ reference which basically sealed the deal for me.

So with my growing obsession of audiobooks I seriously was on pins and needles waiting for the audio to release and it did not disappoint.  November 15th was marked on my calendar and as soon as the day came I listened all day and fell even more in love with Summer and Caden then I even thought possible.

Bailey Carr and Vikas Adam performed this story perfectly!

Summer Stoltz has this festering crush on her stepbrother Kevin and now that they are in college together she finally thinks its her chance… until she meets Caden Banks the big asshole.  But as time passes and her what begins as an accidental run in with Caden, who also happens to be Kevins fraternity brother, turns into a friendship that no one expected it becomes harder to see him as the  asshole she initially judged him as.

Summer and Caden develop this easy routine where they fall in line with one another and it felt like watching two magnets connect without any fuss.  I adored that so much of the book was spent exploring their friendship and adjusting to each others needs and then wanting to insert themselves into one anothers lives.

And once feelings are recognized is it only one sided?  What if the want for more than a friendship isn’t reciprocated?  All the unknowns surely can drive a person crazy.

Then the plot turned a bit more serious than I expected and for me this either goes one of two ways: it crashes and burns or it is the greatest thing to ever happen.  Since I want to give this book a million stars I am sure you can guess which direction it went.

Perfection, I don’t know what else to say about this book other than it was perfectly timed and executed.  In fear of ruining it with spoilers I will say whether you read the ebook, paperback, or listen to the audio the book translates well in any case!  One more thing, CHAPTER 35, chapter fucking 35.  Seriously I don’t want to admit how many times I’ve listened/read that specific chapter but I will say that it is in the double digits. 

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Review: Honor by Jay Crownover

Review: Honor by Jay CrownoverHonor by Jay Crownover
October 18, 2016
Genres: Romance
Pages: 368
Format: Audio
Source: Purchased
Length: 10 hours 15 minutes
Also by this author: Better When He's Bold
Amazon US
Goodreads

Don't be fooled.

Don't make excuses for me.

I am not a good man.

I've seen things no one should, done things no one should talk about. Honor and conscience have no place in my life. But I've fought and I've survived. I've had to.

The first time I saw her dancing on that seedy stage in that second rate club, I felt my heart pulse for the first time. Keelyn Foster was too young, too vibrant for this place, and I knew in an instant that I would make her mine. But first I had to climb my way to the top. I had to have something more to offer her.

I'm here now, money is no object and I have no equal. Except for her. She's disappeared. But don't worry, I will find her and claim her. She will be mine.

Like I said, don't be fooled. I am not the devil in disguise… I'm the one front and center.

Let’s start with a bit of a disclaimer. If you are a fan of the Marked Men series by Crownover, you may not like this book. Reversely, if you are NOT much of a fan of the Marked Men series, you may really enjoy this one. I know some of her long term fan base struggles with Crownover’s more suspenseful bad guys. I, however, do not. I enjoy the baddies. I enjoy the danger, the rough and tough world of The Point and characters it breeds.

Nassir is nothing like any character I have ever read. The prologue tells his past, in all its chilling and tragic glory. Nassir is an ex-terrorist, born and sold into some horrific situations, raised in hate.  He isn’t that anymore, but he’s still not good, he’s just a different sort of bad now and only one thing even remotely tames him.  Keelyn.  The only woman he’s ever loved and never had.

If you’ve read the Welcome to the Point series, you are already aware of these characters. While those titles will give you a bit of a back story on Nassir and Keelyn, you don’t have to read them first to pick up on Honor’s story. Keelyn has left The Point, Nassir stayed behind – building his empire – and is now determined to entice Keelyn back. Back to his city, back to his side and finally into his heart.

It’s clear from the beginning that both want the same thing, ultimately, they want to be together. Yet they are both such strong personalities, they continually butt heads on how to get there. Nassir is controlling by nature, Keelyn is determined to stand on her own.

The romantic struggle between these two isn’t the guts of the story, though. The real story lies in all the outside forces determined to drag Nassir, and everything he cares about, back to Hell. And also, what he and Keelyn learn about life and themselves, in the course of fighting those forces.

Crownover balances the scales of good and evil beautifully with Honor. Finding something worth holding onto in a world of bad things, some light in the dark, some hope in the midst of so much despair.

It’s no great hidden secret that I consider Jay a friend of mine, so you can take this with a grain of salt, if you so wish. But I do truly mean it when I say that her writing has grown so much over the past few years and this book proves it.

About Jay Crownover

I’m supposed to share interesting details about myself so that my readers get to know me so here we go in no particular order: I’m an natural redhead even though I haven’t seen my real hair color in years, I’m a big fan of tattoos and have a half sleeve on either arm and various other pieces all over the place, I’ve been in the bar industry since I was in college and it has always offered interesting insight into how men and women interact with each other, I have 3 dogs that are all crazy, I live in Colorado and love the snow, I love music and in all reality wish I could be a rock star not a writer or a bartender but I have zero talent so there is that.
I love to write, love to read and all I’m interested in is a good story with interesting characters that make the reader feel something.
Thanks for taking the time to check my stuff out….


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Audiobook Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Audiobook Review:  Ugly Love by Colleen HooverUgly Love by Colleen Hoover
Published by Atria Books August 5th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 337
Format: Audio
Source: Purchased
Narrator: Deacon Lee, Grace Grant
Amazon US
Goodreads

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

This book.

Eff me, this book.

It’s been days, maybe even weeks, since I finished and my stomach still hurts when I think about it.  

I’m not sure why I started it.  I’m a huge fan of Colleen Hoover as a person (I mean, come on.  She’s hilarious.  Freakishly giving.  Her family is adorkable.  She’s just…the best.)   And then with her books I’m hit or miss.  Half of them are 5+ stars and destroy me, or I DNF them.  There’s no in between.  I didn’t plan to read this book, but somehow it was on my audiobook purchased list (no idea how) so I just said, “fuck it,” and started it.

The narrators kind of bothered me at first.  I wasn’t diggin’ the male voice at the beginning, and the chick sounded like a less annoying Miley Cyrus.  I almost switched to ebook version at one point… but before I knew it, the story had sucked me in and the voices just seemed right.

Anyway, Ugly Love follows two main characters.  Tate, the female, is in present tense.  Miles, the male character, in the past.   While we listen to Tate’s life in the now, her story with Miles in the now, we hear about Miles’ past from him.  So while their relationship seems like a disastrous hot mess, we’re given these little pieces of Mile’s past and it all starts to make sense why he is the way he is.

I connected to Miles on such a personal level.  What he goes through, what he felt…I’ve been there.  I’ve felt that.  I won’t say what, because it’s a huge spoiler, but Miles is… perfection.  Yes, he’s a fucking asshole as an adult.  But Miles as a teenage is EVERYTHING.  Everything.  Seriously.  Young Miles is the epitome of perfection, and I loved him.  I rooted for him, all while I knew it wasn’t going to end well because I could see what he was like as an adult.  An asshole.  Jaded.  Mean.  Stand-offish.  Broken.  Miles as an adult is fucking broken in so many pieces you can’t even imagine all those jagged edges finding their match and him being whole again.

And that killed me.  To know he was that fucked up.  And that adorable, perfect, hopeful young Miles was going to be destroyed in a terrible, awful way.

Miles and Tate are pretty much fuck buddies.  All sex, no feelings.  Don’t ask about each other’s pasts, don’t expect a future, just enjoy the now when it happens.

That’s obviously a disaster waiting to happen.

Anyway, I don’t know how else to describe this book without giving things away. But I can tell you it made me feel everything. I felt a ton of joy.  And I felt even more heartbreak.  My black, evil little heart fucking broke so hard at one point I was a sobbing, snotty mess.  Seriously, I cried my fucking eyes out.  The pain I felt was visceral and it destroyed me.

Colleen Hoover is a fucking genius, and this book is 5+ stars on my scale.  I loved it.  I loved all the ugly parts and all the beautiful ones.  

 

 


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Audiobook Review: Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern

Audiobook Review:  Love, Rosie by Cecelia AhernLove, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern
Published by Hachette Books November 1st, 2004
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 512
Format: Audio
Source: Purchased
Amazon US
Goodreads

From the bestselling author of PS, I Love You comes a delightfully enchanting novel about what happens when two people who are meant to be together just can't seem to get it right.

Rosie and Alex are destined for one another, and everyone seems to know it but them. Best friends since childhood, their relationship gets closer by the day, until Alex gets the news that his family is leaving Dublin and moving to Boston. At 17, Rosie and Alex have just started to see each other in a more romantic light. Devastated, the two make plans for Rosie to apply to colleges in the U.S.

She gets into Boston University, Alex gets into Harvard, and everything is falling into place, when on the eve of her departure, Rosie gets news that will change their lives forever: She's pregnant by a boy she'd gone out with while on the rebound from Alex.

Her dreams for college, Alex, and a glamorous career dashed, Rosie stays in Dublin to become a single mother, while Alex pursues a medical career and a new love in Boston. But destiny is a funny thing, and in this novel, structured as a series of clever e-mails, letters, notes, and a trail of missed opportunities, Alex and Rosie find out that fate isn't done with them yet.

I’m going to start by saying I am definitely torn with how I feel about this book.  I listened to it, which was a total pleasure since it’s narrated by an Irish lassie and her accent is absolutely delectable.  The main characters are Irish and the book setting is mainly in Ireland and Boston.  So, listening to the verbiage in an Irish accent made my stomach all happy and content.

The book focuses on two main characters, Rosie and Alex.  It’s told entirely in letters, instant messages, emails, etc…. which is kind of fun and refreshing.   Alex and Rosie are BFFs since toddler age, and the story starts with them as wee bairns, talking about birthday parties and such.  It follows them through middle school, first girlfriends/boyfriends, first kisses, high school, college… then twenties.  Thirties.  Fourties.  FIFTIES.  Like… sweet Jesus.  Talk about a life story.

There are a TON of side characters.  Lots of side stories.  I loved it all.  All the characters are quirky and weird and interesting, and its really fun to see what happens through different eyes and opinions.

Anywho – Rosie and Alex.  Definitely destined to be together, eh?  And I would totally label this as a second-chance romance.  But let me tell you something important… it’s a fekkin’ journey to get to the HEA.  Yes, there is one, and at times you’re going to be SO FREAKING frustrated with the story and what happens that you’ll want to DNF.  Multiple times.  It’s a long damn story and it’s not all hearts and rainbows.  It’s actually kind of exhausting.

BUT, if you stick with it… if you decide to tough it out, enjoy the quirky little characters and what happens to them, you’ll finish the book in satisfactory condition.  Kind of.

Gah, I know this is the hottest mess of a review – but I can’t help it.  I loved the story.  But I kinda hated it, too.

I guess it’s been published under different titles, and it’s a movie, too – so I’m definitely going to check out the movie.  The guy that plays Alex is the dude who’s in Me Before You, plus this author wrote P.S. I Love You.   So….  watching the movie is sooo happening.  I’m interested to see how the book translates to film, because this plot would be hard to execute.

Anyway, cute story.  At times it was a five star listen, and at times I wanted to throw my phone out the car window… so I’m averaging this bad boy at 3 happy little Irish stars.   🙂


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Audiobook Review: The Coincidence Of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert

Audiobook Review:  The Coincidence Of Coconut Cake by Amy ReichertThe Coincidence Of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert
Published by Simon & Schuster July 21, 2015
Genres: Women's Fiction, Romance
Pages: 318
Format: Audio
Source: Purchased
Length: 7 hours and 32 minutes
Amazon US
Goodreads

YOU'VE GOT MAIL meets HOW TO EAT A CUPCAKE in this delightful novel about a talented chef and the food critic who brings down her restaurant—whose chance meeting turns into a delectable romance of mistaken identities.

In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella’s, into a success. She cheerfully balances her demanding business and even more demanding fiancé…until the morning she discovers him in the buff—with an intern.

Witty yet gruff British transplant Al is keeping himself employed and entertained by writing scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. When an anonymous tip sends him to Luella’s, little does he know he’s arrived on the worst day of the chef’s life. The review practically writes itself: underdone fish, scorched sauce, distracted service—he unleashes his worst.

The day that Al’s mean-spirited review of Luella’s runs, the two cross paths in a pub: Lou drowning her sorrows, and Al celebrating his latest publication. As they chat, Al playfully challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee and she’s game—but only if they never discuss work, which Al readily agrees to. As they explore the city’s local delicacies and their mutual attraction, Lou’s restaurant faces closure, while Al’s column gains popularity. It’s only a matter of time before the two fall in love…but when the truth comes out, can Lou overlook the past to chase her future?

Set in the lovely, quirky heart of Wisconsin, THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE is a charming love story of misunderstandings, mistaken identity, and the power of food to bring two people together.

Awwww, this story!  I’m not even sure how I found it, to be honest.  It could have been some random recommended read by Amazon, or maybe I noticed it scrolling through Goodreads and saw a cake on the cover and automatically clicked, because…  well, cake.   But I am SO glad I did.

The Coincidence Of Coconut Cake is a quirky, adorable and delicious story told in third person narrative (which I’m weirdly picky about, and it’s done brilliantly, FYI.)  And while I might say “read” a few times in this review, really…I listened to it.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say don’t buy this book, well…that’s not right.  Buy it, but please, please, download the audio version, too.  The narrator is phenomenal, so much so, I spent a while going through all of her other books and after scrolling through a ton of weird self-help and Amish books, found she did some Elle Kennedy books too and promptly downloaded those.  I’m totally in love with her voice, her pronunciations, her story-telling skills.  Seriously.  The book goes back and forth with American, English, and some European accents and she did so good.  (Plus hearing the accents is a total bonus rather than reading them in your head.)

Okay, the story.  The story is focused on Lou, a chef.  And Al, a British food critic who recently moved to Milwaukee.  Al writes under a fake name and is notorious for amazingly harsh reviews that pretty much end up destroying one’s business if he hates them.

So, of course, when Lou finds her fiance wrapped in the arms of another woman, she had a terrible, horrible night at her restaurant fucking all sorts of food up…. which gets served to Al.   Womp, womp, wompppp.  Sucks to be Lou, right?

Lou and Al meet a couple times randomly, and after seeing each other at the pub, they agree to go out so Lou and show Al how amazing her city is (Al wants to get the fuck out of the cold, snowy, cow-town and find greener pastures to explore, pun intended.)  They both agree to not talk about their jobs, since Al wants to stay anonymous and Lou doesn’t want to tell a stranger about her dying restaurant and failed dreams.

Their relationship is adorable.  They both love food and all their dates are deliciously described.  And OMG, I was hungry this entire story and probably gained five pounds in three days from the munchies it caused.  Plus…  who knew Milwaukee could be so cool?  It was never on the List-Of-Places-For-Leah-To-Explore, but now?  Now I want to wear my fancy Romeos and fly over and eat a lot of cheese curds.

The side characters of this story are half the enjoyment.  The friends, the customers, the co-workers… all of them quirky in their own way, playing perfect roles to make the main characters that much more interesting, yet casting their own bright light of awesomeness.

This book was like watching an adorable romcom.  You pretty much know what’s going to happen and how it’ll end, but it doesn’t matter.  You love every second of it, you giggle, you snack, you smile the entire time.   I will definitely listen to this book again, and think of these characters often.

 

 


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Review: My American Duchess by Eloisa James

Review: My American Duchess by Eloisa JamesMy American Duchess by Eloisa James
Published by Avon January 26, 2016
Genres: Romance, Historical Romance
Pages: 432
Format: Audio
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Narrator: Kate Reading
Length: 12 hours 13 minutes
Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N
Goodreads

The arrogant Duke of Trent intends to marry a well-bred Englishwoman. The last woman he would ever consider marrying is the adventuresome Merry Pelford - an American heiress who has infamously jilted two fiancés.

But after one provocative encounter with the captivating Merry, Trent desires her more than any woman he has ever met. He is determined to have her as his wife, no matter what it takes. And Trent is a man who always gets what he wants.

The problem is, Merry is already betrothed, and the former runaway bride has vowed to make it all the way to the altar. As honor clashes with irresistible passion, Trent realizes the stakes are higher than anyone could have imagined. In his battle to save Merry and win her heart, one thing becomes clear: All is fair in love and war.

Last year, at RT, Debbie and I sat in on a panel that featured Eloisa James. Neither of us had read her but we were both quite impressed with her. She was poised and charming and funny. After the panel we both decided we liked her being on our radar. While I didn’t get a chance to read anything by her that year, I happily accepted an ARC from Avon for My American Duchess when it became available.  However, I suck at keeping a reading schedule and only just recently was able to get to this January release. I decided to download the audio and go between that and the ebook.

Best decision I’ve made in quite some time.

Let’s start with the narrator Kate Reading. She was simply great. There is a reason she narrates for the likes of Anne Rice, Brandon Sanderson, Patricia Cornwall and Robert Jordan. She does a wonderful job.

Now let’s talk about the story.

Merry is an American with a healthy fortune who is spending the season in London, looking for a husband. She’s found one in the attractive, polished package of a Duke’s second son. Right off the bat, I loved Merry. She’s a bit brash for London society, she speaks her mind, is smart and witty, but also a bit of a hopeless romantic. As evident by the fact that she’s run away from two previous fiances.

Trent is instantly enamored with Merry and after his first short encounter with her, decides he wants her as his wife. Not for romantic love, something he adamantly does not believe in, but for the mere fact that Merry is a woman who he can respect, who can challenge him and who he could see helping him run home and life. The problem is, Trent is the current Duke and Merry is engaged to his very slightly younger twin brother.

I adored Trent and the steps he took to save Merry from his fortune hunting brother, though they were quite extreme for this day and age. But getting the woman is only half the battle. Merry, being a romantic, will eventually want the storybook love and Trent will struggle with that greatly.

What I loved most about My American Duchess was that the story is almost two stories in one. You have the struggle with Merry being engaged to someone she doesn’t truly love and the resolution to that before you actually get to the real love story between her and Trent.  It was a fun and refreshing plot line.

Outside of the actual plot was James’ wonderful writing style. She showed all of the same things in her story as she did to me in person. Poise, charm and humor. The pacing was spot on and the balance between romance, humor and emotion was – in a word – perfect.

I’ll absolutely be back for more of her titles!

About Eloisa James

New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James writes historical romances for HarperCollins Publishers. Her novels have been published to great acclaim. A reviewer from USA Today wrote of Eloisa’s very first book that she “found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar”; later People Magazine raved that “romance writing does not get much better than this.” Her novels have repeatedly received starred reviews from Publishers’ Weekly and Library Journal and regularly appear on the best-seller lists.

After graduating from Harvard University, Eloisa got an M.Phil. from Oxford University, a Ph.D. from Yale and eventually became a Shakespeare professor, publishing an academic book with Oxford University Press. Currently she is an associate professor and head of the Creative Writing program at Fordham University in New York City. Her “double life” is a source of fascination to the media and her readers. In her professorial guise, she’s written a New York Times op-ed defending romance, as well as articles published everywhere from women’s magazines such as More to writers’ journals such as the Romance Writers’ Report.

Eloisa…on her double life:

When I’m not writing novels, I’m a Shakespeare professor. It’s rather like having two lives. The other day I bought a delicious pink suit to tape a television segment on romance; I’ll never wear that suit to teach in, nor even to give a paper at the Shakespeare Association of America conference. It’s like being Superman, with power suits for both lives. Yet the literature professor in me certainly plays into my romances. The Taming of the Duke (April 2006) has obvious Shakespearean resonances, as do many of my novels. I often weave early modern poetry into my work; the same novel might contain bits of Catullus, Shakespeare and anonymous bawdy ballads from the 16th century.

When I rip off my power suit, whether it’s academic or romantic, underneath is the rather tired, chocolate-stained sweatshirt of a mom. Just as I use Shakespeare in my romances, I almost always employ my experiences as a mother. When I wrote about a miscarriage in Midnight Pleasures, I used my own fears of premature birth; when the little girl in Fool For Love threw up and threw up, I described my own daughter, who had that unsavory habit for well over her first year of life.

So I’m a writer, a professor, a mother – and a wife. My husband Alessandro is Italian, born in Florence. We spend the lazy summer months with his mother and sister in Italy. It always strikes me as a huge irony that as a romance writer I find myself married to a knight, a cavaliere, as you say in Italian.

One more thing…I’m a friend. I have girlfriends who are writers and girlfriends who are Shakespeare professors. And I have girlfriends who are romance readers. In fact, we have something of a community going on my website. Please stop by and join the conversation on my readers’ pages.


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