The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke #1) by Tessa Dare

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source: purchased
title: The Duchess Deal: Girl Meets Duke 1
author: Tessa Dare
genre: regency romance
pages: 368
published: 2017
first line: Emma Gladstone had learned a few hard lessons by the age of two-and-twenty.
rated: 5 out of 5
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blurb:
When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
– They will be husband and wife by night only.
– No lights, no kissing.
– No questions about his battle scars.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And unlimited teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

my thoughts:
My first read of 2018 was a good one. The Duchess Deal: Girl Meets Duke 1 nicely kicks off Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series. It is regency romance with a beauty and the beast vibe to it.

The Duke of Ashbury has been badly scarred at war and lives his life in solitude with his servants as company. He was engaged but it was broken off after he returned from the war. Emma Gladstone is the seamstress that was working on the Duke’s bride to be’s wedding dress and now that the wedding is off, she finally shows up at the Duke’s doorstep hoping to collect the money they owe her for the dress. The Duke has been thinking that he needs an heir to leave his wealth to and he wants to find a wife. When Emma Gladstone comes knocking at his front door the timing can’t be more perfect. He makes her the offer. Marry him and she will be set for life with his wealth, all that he asks for is she provide him an heir. He believes himself unlovable due to the scarring.

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No-one Ever Has Sex on Christmas Day by Tracy Bloom

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source: NetGalley/Bookouture
title: No-one Ever Has Sex on Christmas Day
author: Tracy Bloom
genre: fiction/holiday humor/romance
published: October 24th 2017
pages: 298
first line: “Tell me there isn’t an enormous inflatable reindeer on the front lawn,” said Katy as she walked into the kitchen and dumped her laptop on the floor.
rated: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
Don’t you always plan the perfect Christmas?
Don’t you always think it will be the best one ever?
And doesn’t something always come along and screw it up?

Katy’s been stuck in the office away from her family so she wants it all: snow (fake or real), the Michael Bublé Christmas album, whatever it takes.

There’s only one thing missing as far as her husband Ben is concerned: another baby to complete their family. But Katy isn’t so sure she’s ready yet…

Ben may be playing the role of Master Elf in the pre-school nativity but he is struggling to master his own family life. With romantically-challenged friends, an ex who refuses to go away and Katy’s mum’s 64-year-old toy boy thrown into the mix, Christmas looks like it could be going off the rails… Never mind family planning, can Katy and Ben even plan to make it to the end of Christmas Day?

From the no. 1 bestselling author of No-one Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday, this book will make you cry with laughter, and then book your flights abroad for the festive season.

my thoughts:
I have two words today. Snow. Day. With the snow storm in full effect outside, high winds and freezing temps thankfully work and schools are closed. It will be another comfy pj day with some inevitable snow shoveling later on. Don’t mind me and my gifs lately, I feel like I’ve been including them in each post. I like to add them to reviews, I find they give it a little something extra to express my thoughts. And forewarning, I found a few Gene Kelly gifs, so he will be making an appearance in future posts…lol. I *heart* Gene Kelly.

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Anyway, I thought I’d finally get my review up for No-one Ever Has Sex on Christmas Day. This was my last read of 2017 and I couldn’t have timed it more perfectly. I finished it on Christmas Eve Eve. This one is part of as series of books which include No-One Ever Has Sex On A Tuesday and No-One Ever Has Sex in the Suburbs. However, it reads perfectly fine as a stand alone since the author gives you enough background so that you know these characters a little more.

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The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

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source: purchased
title: The Silver Linings Playbook
author: Matthew Quick {Twitter}
pages: 289
published: 2012
genre: fiction
first line:  I don’t have to look up now to know mom is making another surprise visit.
rated: 5 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
Meet Pat Peoples. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure him a happy ending―the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent several years in a mental health facility.) The problem is, Pat’s now home, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; he’s being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, he’s being haunted by Kenny G!

David O. Russell’s adaptation of The Silver Linings Playbook features Bradley Cooper (People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive) in the role of Pat, alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Julia Stiles, Chris Tucker, and Jacki Weaver. As the award-winning novelist Justin Cronin put it: “Tender, soulful, hilarious, and true, The Silver Linings Playbook is a wonderful debut.”-quoted from amazon.com

my thoughts:
Matthew Quick tugged at my heartstrings with The Silver Linings Playbook. We get the story through the eyes of thirty-something Patrick Peoples who as the story begins is finally going home after a few years stay in a mental hospital. Pat’s mom fought hard to get him out and as part of his release agreement he has to continue seeing a therapist and continue taking medications. When Pat gets home to New Jersey you see the dysfunction in his family. His father, his brother and himself are all die-hard Eagles fans. Football is a constant in Pat’s life and it is one of the few things that makes him happy and feel normal again. It is also the main thing that allows bonding time with him and his Dad.

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Gulp By Mary Roach

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I am an Amazon affiliate.
source: Purchased
title: Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
author: Mary Roach (Twitter)
genre: non-fiction/science
pages: 348
published: 2013
first line: In 1968, on the Berkeley campus of the University of California, six young men undertook an irregular and unprecedented act.
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
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Blurb:
The alimentary canal — the much-maligned tube from mouth to rear — is as taboo, in its way, as the cadavers in Stiff, and as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. In Gulp we meet the scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks —or has the courage —to ask. How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? Can wine tasters really tell a $10 bottle from a $100 bottle? Why is crunchy food so appealing? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? We go on location to a pet food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. Like all of Roach’s books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.

My thoughts:
Mary Roach one of those authors I discovered through book blogging years ago. I have been meaning to read Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers for a while, but I had a copy of Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal on my shelves and finally dove into it. I have zero recollection of purchasing this book, but I know I bought it at some point a few years back.

This was an interesting reading experience. The author has a knack for infusing humor into her writing, she grossed me out a little but also made me laugh.

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A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare

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source: purchased
title: A Week to Be Wicked Book 2 of 5 in the Spindle Cove Series
author: Tessa Dare
genre: regency romance
pages: 322
published: March 27, 2012
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
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first line: When a girl trudged through the rain at midnight to knock at the Devil’s door, the Devil should at least have the depravity-if not the decency-to answer.

Blurb:
When a devilish lord and a bluestocking set off on the road to ruin…
Time is not on their side.
Minerva Highwood, one of Spindle Cove’s confirmed spinsters, needs to be in Scotland.
Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, a rake of the first order, needs to be… anywhere but Spindle Cove.

These unlikely partners have one week
to fake an elopement
to convince family and friends they’re in “love”
to outrun armed robbers
to survive their worst nightmares
to travel four hundred miles without killing each other
All while sharing a very small carriage by day and an even smaller bed by night.

What they don’t have time for is their growing attraction. Much less wild passion. And heaven forbid they spend precious hours baring their hearts and souls.

Suddenly one week seems like exactly enough time to find a world of trouble.
And maybe…just maybe…love.

My thoughts:
A Week to Be Wicked is book two in Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series. Having read and enjoyed book three, A Lady by Midnight a few years ago, I happily dove into this one when I was in the mood for a nice regency romance. I know I’ve been reading this series backwards but they are standalone reads so it hasn’t made much difference.

In this installment we have Minerva Highwood from Spindle Cove who wants to stop  Colin Sandhurst aka Lord Payne from marrying her sister. Minerva thinks the notorious ladies man Payne is not the right match for her sister. She thinks that Payne is looking to marry so that he can get his inheritance so Minerva makes him an offer he cannot refuse.

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