Earl Interrupted (The Daring Marriages #2) by Amanda Forester

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source: free ARC via NetGalley
title: Earl Interrupted (The Daring Marriages)
author: Amanda Forester
pages: 384
published: Published January 2018 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
genre: Historical Romance
first line: High Seas, 1810.
rated: 3 1/2 out of 5
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blurb:
Captain Robert Ashton, Earl of Darington, knows finding a bride in London will not be easy—not since he has been notoriously dubbed as the “Pirate Earl”. What he didn’t expect was to get abducted—and to have his escape go horribly awry when an innocent lady gets caught in the crossfire.

Amateur physician Emma St. James is on her way to meet her betrothed when she is rescued by an injured gentleman. Despite her shock after discovering he is the Pirate Earl, Emma feels drawn to the man who saved her life. Duty forces them apart, but when they meet again on the high seas, Darington will risk all—his fortune, his name, and even his life to keep her safe.

my thoughts:

Earl Interrupted is second in Amanda Forester ‘s The Daring Marriages series but reads perfectly as a stand-alone. The Earl aka Dare is a privateer, not be confused with a pirate. He does this line of work because he and his twin sister Lady Katherine became orphaned at a young age and someone stole their family’s wealth. Dare has become wealthy through privateering and now wants to find a wife.

“Life as a privateer was dangerous, but stepping into London society to find a wife? That was far more treacherous.”-Earl Interrupted (The Daring Marriages #2) by Amanda Forester

Enter Emma St. James, who learned medicine through her father who was a physician. Now that Emma is about to turn 18, the wealth her dad left her will become her own.

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In Places Hidden by Tracie Peterson

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source: free ARC via Bethany House (Twitter)
title: In Places Hidden
author: Tracie Peterson
published: Bethany House Publishers (March 6, 2018)
pages: 316
genre: Christian fiction/historical mystery/romance
first line: San…Fran…cisco!
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
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blurb:

The search for her missing brother leads to the most dangerous part of the city . . .

Camrianne Coulter’s brother Caleb is a successful San Francisco attorney. But when three months go by without a word from the usually communicative Caleb, Camri boards a train to the booming West Coast city to find out for herself why he hasn’t written. When she arrives at his home, nobody seems to know where he is, or what has become of him.

Camri’s search for her brother leads her deep into the political corruption of the city–and into the acquaintance of Patrick Murdock, who Caleb successfully defended from a false murder charge. Getting to know this handsome Irish contractor challenges all of Camri’s privileged beliefs, but Patrick is unshakably loyal to her brother, and he seems to know more about what happened to Caleb than anyone else. As the two edge closer to the truth behind Caleb’s disappearance, they risk angering the powerful forces that control the city. Can Camri trust Patrick to protect her from the dangers that lie hidden in San Francisco’s backstreets?

my thoughts:
As In Places Hidden (Golden Gate Secrets) starts off Camrianne Coulter is on her way to her brother’s home in San Fransisco. Caleb Coulter has been missing for months and Camri is trying to see if she can find out what happened to him. She is fearing the worst since her brother always keeps some form of contact. On the train ride to San Fran, she meets Judith and Kenzie and the three ladies quickly become friends. Camri invites them to stay with her at Caleb’s house while they get their own affairs in order. The three ladies find work at a local candy factory as Camri continues the search for Caleb.

Camri is well-educated and she is a suffragette and as soon as she meets Judith and Kenzie on the train she wants to help them if she can. Once in San Fransisco she also meets Patrick Murdock and his sister Ophelia who are friends of her brother’s.

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Thirsty: An Eastside Brewery Novel by Mia Hopkins

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source: free ARC via NetGalley/Randomhouse/LoveSwept
title: Thirsty: An Eastside Brewery Novel
author: Mia Hopkins/ Twitter
published: March 13, 2018
pages: 254
genre: contemporary steamy romance
first lines: You want a hero. Before we start, you should know-I’m not him. I’m not your hero.
rated: 3 out of 5  1heartred1heartred1heartred

blurb:
My name is Salvador Rosas. Back in the barrio, my past is written on the walls: ESHB. Short for East Side Hollenbeck, my father’s gang—my gang. Hell, it’s a family tradition, one that sent both my brothers away. They used to call me “Ghost” because I haunted people’s dreams. Now I’ve got nothing going for me except a hipster gringo mentoring me in a new career. An ex-con making craft beer? No mames.

Still, people in this neighborhood look out for one another. That’s how I became Vanessa Velasco’s unwelcome tenant. Chiquita pero picosa. She’s little, but with curves so sweet they’re dangerous. I remember Vanessa from the old days, the straight-A student with big plans. Plans that were derailed by another kid stupid enough to think he was bulletproof. Now Vanessa knows better than to believe in empty promises. There’s fire in her . . . and if I touch her, I might get burned.

I’m trying everything I can to go straight. But when East Side Hollenbeck comes calling, I might have to risk it all to find out if there’s a future for Vanessa and me. Because she’s the only one who can quench my thirst for something real.

my thoughts:
You know how sometimes you don’t realize something right away? I’m trying to think of an example to elaborate further but it eludes me right now.

I have to say right off the bat that Mia Hopkins is a great writer, I enjoyed her writing style and Thirsty: An Eastside Brewery Novel drew me in from page one. This is one of those books you can read in one sitting, I read it in two. The story is told first person POV by Salvador Rosas a.k.a. Ghost. I requested this one from NetGalley because I saw it revolved around Latinos. Being Puerto Rican myself this book intrigued me straight away because the main characters are Latin and I enjoy good romance. I haven’t read a full on romance novel featuring Hispanics before. Like ever. I’ve never really come across any. And I read alot of romance, it is a favorite genre but the couples are usually white. So guess what happened when I finally found a romance novel centering on a Latino couple? Guess.

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The hero is a gang-banger. Ghost is Mexican, he has recently finished serving a five-year prison stint for car theft. He’s a janitor now. And duh, this is all in the blurb I know. It didn’t dawn on me until I started reading. I decided to keep reading because like I said the writing was very good. I didn’t like the stereotypes here though and they did bother me. I think the author wrote a good book but it is just that for my first time reading a Latin centered romance, I didn’t like that the hero was a gang-banger. So, I read on and I actually enjoyed the story. I will say, it is a story about getting your life together so the plot was full of hope and redemption.

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Lord of Scoundrels (Scoundrels #3) by Loretta Chase

lord3source: purchased
title: Lord of Scoundrels
author: Loretta Chase
published: Avon (March 30, 1995)
pages: 384
genre: historical romance/classic romance
rated: 5 out of 5 A must read for fans of the genre.
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blurb:
DETERMINED LADY

Tough-minded Jessica Trent’s sole intention is to free her nitwit brother from the destructive influence of Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain. She never expects to desire the arrogant, amoral cad. And when Dain’s reciprocal passion places them in a scandalously compromising, and public, position, Jessica is left with no choice but to seek satisfaction…

LORD OF SCOUNDRELS

Damn the minx for tempting him, kissing him… and then forcing him to salvage her reputation! Lord Dain can’t wait to put the infuriating bluestocking in her place—and in some amorous position, And if that means marriage, so be it!—Though Sebastian is less than certain he can continue to remain aloof… and steel his heart to the sensuous, headstrong lady’s considerable charms.

my thoughts:
I have had Lord of Scoundrels sitting in my Nook for many years and I finally got around to reading it. This one is a popular classic in the genre and I had heard nothing but good things about it so I finally dove in. Google “best historical romance novels” and you will probably see this book pop up. This is book 3 in Chase’s Scoundrels Series but can be read as a stand alone. I’ve read Loretta Chase before but this one is my favorite by far.

Look at the original 1995 cover, a tad bit orangey looking for my taste, but so dramatic.
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Well, can I say “Oh my gosh, this book!” That about sums it up. It was so good, so entertaining and very swoon-worthy. Books like this are why I love reading romance. Great sexual tension between the hero and the heroine. Check. Alpha male who is gruff and rugged with unconventional good looks, and is often referred to as Beelzebub. Check. I love a hero/anti-hero with a dark-side like that. A heroine who can take care of herself. Check. Nice descriptive backdrop. Check. Plenty of plot twists to keep the story moving. Check.

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Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks

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source: purchased
title: Nights in Rodanthe
author: Nicholas Sparks
genre: contemporary romance
pages: 212
published: 2002
first line: Three years earlier, on a warm November morning in 1999, Adrienne Willis had returned to the Inn and at first glance had thought it unchanged, as if the small Inn were impervious to sun and sand and salted mist.  
rated: 5 out of 5
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blurb:
Adrienne Willis is 45 and has been divorced for three years, abandoned by her husband for a younger woman. The trials of raising her teenage children and caring for her sick father have worn her down, but at the request of a friend and in hopes of respite, she’s gone to the coastal village of Rodanthe in North Carolina to tend the local inn for the weekend. With a major storm brewing, the time away doesn’t look promising…until a guest named Paul Flanner arrives. At 54, Paul is a successful surgeon, but in the previous six months his life has unraveled into something he doesn’t recognize. Estranged from his son and recently divorced, he’s sold his practice and his home and has journeyed to this isolated town in hopes of closing a painful chapter in his past. Adrienne and Paul come together as the storm brews over Rodanthe, but what begins between them over the weekend will resonate throughout the rest of their lives, intertwining past and future, love and loss.

my thoughts:
Nights in Rodanthe is a re-read for me. After hitting a mini reading slump with the mystery book I was reading, I decided to grab something I knew I would enjoy to try to get back on my reading track.

There is something about a Nicholas Sparks book, they are definitely comfort reads for when I am in the mood for romance with heart. They are the literary equivalent of a cozy cup of hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies. According to Goodreads, I first read Nights in Rodanthe in 2010. I really enjoyed it the second time around.

“Despite all that had happened in the years that had passed since then, Adrienne still held tight to the belief that love was the essence of a full and wonderful life.”
– Nicholas Sparks, Nights in Rodanthe

My favorite Sparks novels center around middle-aged couples like Adrienne and Paul. In this one these two are both at a crossroads in their lives. Adrienne’s husband left her a few years ago for a younger co-worker. She is raising three teenagers on her own and works part-time at the library after being a housewife and stay at home mom all her married life. She still grieves the loss of her marriage and throws herself into working and being a caretaker leaving no time for herself.

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