Friday, September 29

Audiobook Review: Rogues Rush In

Author: Tessa Dare & Christi Caldwell
Justine Eyre
Rogues Rush In
Genre: Historical Romance, Anthology, Novella, Short Stories
Published: May 22, 2018
Where I Got It: Audible

Two scandalous brides...
Two rogues who won’t be denied...

His Bride for the Taking by Tessa Dare
It’s the first rule of friendship among gentlemen: Don’t even think about touching your best friend’s sister. But Sebastian, Lord Byrne, has never been one for rules. He’s thought about touching Mary Clayton—a lot—and struggled to resist temptation. But when Mary’s bridegroom leaves her waiting the altar, only Sebastian can save her from ruin. By marrying her himself.

In eleven years, he’s never laid a finger on his best friend’s sister. Now he’s going to take her with both hands. To have, to hold...and to love.

His Duchess for a Day by Christi Caldwell
It was never meant to be…
That’s what Elizabeth Terry has told herself while trying to forget the man she married--her once best friend. Passing herself off as a widow, Elizabeth has since built a life for herself as an instructor at a finishing school, far away from that greatest of mistakes. But the past has a way of finding you, and now that her husband has found her, Elizabeth must face the man she’s tried to forget.

It was time to right a wrong…
Crispin Ferguson, the Duke of Huntington, has spent the past years living with regret. The young woman he married left without a by-your-leave, and his hasty elopement had devastating repercussions. Despite everything, Crispin never stopped thinking about Elizabeth. Now that he’s found her, he has one request—be his duchess, publicly, just for a day.

Can spending time together as husband and wife rekindle the bond they once shared? Or will a shocking discovery tear them apart...this time, forever?

2-in-1! Always fun. 

His Bride for the Taking by Tessa Dare

Sebastian, Mary, and Mary's brother have been friends for years. After Mary's brother died tragically in the war and Mary's father gone too, Sebastian stepped in to be Mary's rock. And that involves fixing what has happened after Mary is left at the alter. In order to save Mary's reputation, he decides to marry Mary himself. 

This one was good. Friends to lovers. Always a blast. 

That twist, though, I didn't like. I won't spoil anything, but I'm glad that last-minute drama didn't ruin everything. I'm glad they could move one decently quick. Still annoyed me though. Kinda unnecessary story-wise....and to be seemed odd for the character who did it. 

Awwwwwww that epilogue made me giggle. So freakin' sweet!!!!!

The narrator is fantastic as per normal. 

Still a nice fun one overall. 3 stars though. 

His Duchess for a Day by Christi Caldwell

Second chances!!! Another fun trope IF done well. 

Elizabeth and Crispin have been friends since they were kids. They got married very very young. Elizabeth ran off after hearing a certain conversation and a misunderstanding took place...for 10 years. Crispin needs his wife back in order to keep away the match-making mamas and desperate young ladies. He happens to find her making a living as a teacher. After striking a deal for her to come back for one ball, they two find themselves finally getting the talk they need. And of course, love will flood back in. 

I liked this one. However, I was annoyed at the 10 years of separation (10??????? too many years) and how Crispin was acting like a rogue, but he really wasn't a rogue (what?). And then the end twist? Eh. Not needed. Glad it was a quick fix, but still......

But I liked Elizabeth and Crispin. They are so fit for each other and they def should've waited to marry. They were young and dumb. I think the 10 years apart did them well overall. They were able to find themselves and grow up so they COULD talk. 

Fun narrator. She is always awesome. Good pick to read both of these. 

In the end, it was still fun and lovely to see these two TALK and find love again. Somethings seemed messy and not needed, but thus is life, eh? 3 stars.

I enjoyed both. These authors are always a blast. Some minor complaints, but I loved the stories. One was a friends-to-lover trope which has a key to my heart. The second is a second chance and it worked (second chances are always rocky for me). Great narration. Def recommend it if you like this genre or any of these authors. 3 stars overall. 


- #40 for Audiobook challenge

Thursday, September 28

Audiobook Review: Beard Science by Penny Reid

Author: Penny Reid
Joy Nash, Chris Brinkley
Beard Science
Series: Winston Brothers #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: October 11, 2016
Where I Got It: Audible

Make a deal with the devil and you might get what you want, but will it be what you need?

Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate.

And desperate times call for Cletus Winston.

Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So... what’s a maniacal mastermind to do?

Likely, the last thing you expect.

Been meaning to continue with the series. I enjoyed the first two, but you know how it and book lists get busy. 

Here we follow the next sibling of the Winstons. Cletus has always been a mystery. Always been the smartest and weirdest. Enter Jennifer who is much more than her costume and social media personality called the Banana Cake Queen. She is buckling under the pressure her parents' are putting on her. She just wants to find love and be happy. Desperate times call for Cletus. She will extort him to help her. Little do they know that extortion will lead to true love.

Please note; I suggest reading the first two before this one. There are loads of references and some of the events here are because of the events of the other two. 

I was a little nervous, tbh, with this one especially when I first started. I didn't see how these two people could find chemistry and lust and love. Yes, yes, opposites attract, but I was worried. Good thing Jennifer decided to blackmail him into helping her out because their orbits are so far apart that I do not think they would've ever had a meet-cute. They knew of each other but he wouldn't have given her the time of day. 

I felt SO bad for Jennifer. Her parents suck. Her mom has built this image of the Banana Cake Queen and won't let it go. Her father is just plain mean and controlling. Poor girl is in her 20s and she doesn't have a thing that is her own. No wonder Jennifer is buckling under the weight and needs to find freedom. 

Then there is Cletus. I'll be honest...I struggled to like him at first. He is vengeful and rude. I do love that he'd do anything for his family. But the games he plays? The secrets he finds and if he needs to.... use it against that person? Eeeee. 

He DOES get a taste of his own medicine when Jennifer comes knocking on his door. Good. I think Jennifer really opens his eyes and he becomes a better man because of her. Good!!!!! By the end, I did end up really liking him. Sure he did a bone-headed thing but I get WHY. I'm glad Jennifer didn't hold it against him for too long. Just enough to make him sweat and show him the error of his ways. Nodders.

The ending had me cheering. It was a wonderful way to end things. I won't spoil anything, but a character does end up getting what they deserve..........

The narration was flawless again. I love their voices. Perfect for their own character and then the rest of the characters. I hope they continue with the series. 

In the end, this had a shaky start for me, but eventually, these two characters warmed my heart and made me love them. This was fun. You will def need to read book 1 and 2 before this one. Onto the next! I'll give this one 4 stars. 


- #39 for Audiobook challenge

Wednesday, September 27

Book Review: Alice the Dagger by Ashley Mcleo

Author: Ashley Mcleo
Title: Alice the Dagger
Series: The Wonderland Court #1
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling, Romance 
Format: ebook
Pages: 420
Published: September 1, 2022
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

They call me the dagger.
I’m a famed assassin.

It's all I've ever known.

All that I can remember.

So when a white rabbit tells me that loved ones are waiting for me in the Wonderland Court of Faerie, it's surprising. And then, I learn something even more shocking.

The Red Queen stole the crown from my mother—who she murdered. The queen singlehandedly created my reality of death and blood and murder.

While that's devastating, I can handle it. As long as I get revenge.

What I don't know how to handle is Henri Hatter.

He’s a rebel leader loved by everyone. A man who sings in the streets because people ask for aether’s sake. A faerie who knows more about my past than anyone—including me.

A good man who could crush my heart if I let him in. Which I can't do.

Not if I want vengeance against the queen who ruined my life. Despite my claims that I work alone, Hatter and two nosey little pixies insist on sticking with me.

Only one thing is for sure, with them by my side assassinating the Red Queen will be unlike any other job I’ve ever tackled.

Randomly picked this up when going freebie crazy in Amazon. Wasn't even sure what this was about. The title and the cover drew me in and I threw it with the rest of the freebies. I didn't even read the summary when I started reading this. To my absolute surprise, it is a retelling of 'Alice in Wonderland'!

Here we follow Alice who was raised to be an assassin and a killer. She is only a few days shy of her 18th birthday and her contract is over so she can be free! That is until a white rabbit storms into her life. This white rabbit tells her that she has a family waiting for her in Wonderland, a land of Faes, and she is the only one who can save everyone from the Red Queen.

This was a lot of fun!! I was pleasantly surprised (as I mentioned earlier) that this is a retelling of the classic tale. When the white rabbit appeared...I was all WHAT? So I went and read the summary and realized the truth! How fun!

There is a sprinkle of romance *cough* lust *cough* but it doesn't take over the story. They have enough to deal with. I do hope they explore more in the next book but I'm glad we just saw glimmers here while they get the rebels and Alice ready to take on the Red Queen.

My only issue with this is the pace. The pace of the story felt super rushed in some areas and dragging in others. It was a little jarring. Moments that were building up would just happen and be done.

Other than that, I really did have fun with this. I love the world and the references, but this story is pretty fresh. 

In the end, I'll give this 4 stars. 

Tuesday, September 26

TMST: Electronic Freebies...Yes or Nah?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog. Feel free to leave your links in the comments if you are participating.

9/26/23: Do you download freebies? read free preview chapters?

I love freebies!!!! I love Amazon for that fact. I have discovered some hidden gems because of freebies. To be completely honest....there are some meh freebies out there. But the gems are worth the piles of meh books to find. preview chapters? Nah. I'll do snip bits that people share on their blogs, but I don't like reading ahead of the next book. I'll wait.