Louisiana Catch by Sweta Vikram

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source: free ARC courtesy of Poetic Book Tours
title: Louisiana Catch
author: Sweta Srivastava Vikram 
published: April 10, 2018
pages: 254
genre: fiction

about the book:
Ahana, a wealthy thirty-three-year-old New Delhi woman, flees the pain of her mother’s death and her dark past by accepting a huge project in New Orleans, where she’ll coordinate the Annual Women’s Conference to raise awareness around violence against women. Her half-Indian, half-Irish colleague and public relations guru, Rohan Brady, who helps Ahana develop her online presence, offends her prim sensibilities with his raunchy humor. She is convinced that he’s a womanizer. Meanwhile, she seeks relief from her pain in an online support group, where she makes a good friend: the mercurial Jay Dubois, who is also grieving the loss of his mother. Her work in the U.S. and the online medium brings the two men into her life, and Ahana learns that neither is what he seems. With their differing sensibilities on a collision course, Ahana finds herself in a dangerous situation—and she discovers a side of herself that she never realized she had.

Louisiana Catch is an emotionally immersive novel about trust and who we project ourselves to be in the world. It’s a book about Ahana’s unreliable instincts and her ongoing battle to determine whom to place her faith in as she, Rohan, and Jay shed layers of their identities.

As Ahana matures from a victim of domestic sexual abuse into a global feminist leader, she must confront her issues: both with the men in her life and, ultimately, with her own instincts. Whom can she rely on to have her best interests at heart?

My thoughts:

In Louisiana Catch Ahana is in her early thirties, lives in New Delhi and is very close to her mom who is a successful doctor. Her life changes drastically after she finally divorces her abusive husband Dev and when not long after, her beloved mother passes away. As the story flows Ahana deals with the loss of her mother and she tries to find her inner strength being that she was sheltered for much of her life. She finds a support group online where she meets a man named Jay. She cannot shake the feeling that Jay isn’t what he makes himself out to be as he has a bad habit of manipulating her through his texts and emails yet she can’t fully break off the online connection. She also meets Rohan Brady at work. Ahana initially doesn’t trust Rohan but the two eventually become friends. Also in the mix are Ahana’s family and close friends like Naina and her work as a women’s advocate for a non-profit. She works in public relations for “Freedom Movement”. Her work lets her travel to different parts of the country like Louisiana and NYC.

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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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The Duchess War by Courtney Milan

duchess
source: purchased
title: The Duchess War (The Brothers Sinister)
author: Courtney Milan
published: September 10, 2013
pages: 283
genre: historical romance
first line: Robert Blaisdell, the ninth Duke of Clermont was not hiding.
rated: totally worth it
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blurb:
Miss Minerva Lane is a quiet, bespectacled wallflower, and she wants to keep it that way. After all, the last time she was the center of attention, it ended badly—so badly that she changed her name to escape her scandalous past. Wallflowers may not be the prettiest of blooms, but at least they don’t get trampled. So when a handsome duke comes to town, the last thing she wants is his attention. But that is precisely what she gets. Because Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont, is not fooled. When Minnie figures out what he’s up to, he realizes there is more to her than her spectacles and her quiet ways. And he’s determined to lay her every secret bare before she can discover his. But this time, one shy miss may prove to be more than his match…

my thoughts:
I have had The Duchess War sitting in my Nook for a little while now after purchasing it on recommendation from SBTB. They are fans of Courtney Milan over there and it is one of my “go to” blogs for romance recommendations and great reviews.

The Duchess War is my first time reading this author and this is book 1 in The Brothers Sinister series.
For some reason, it took me forever to get through this book. I refused to give up on it and read it over the course of a few weeks in between other reads. I can’t pinpoint why it took me that long, I may just have not been in the mood for it.It is actually a good historical romance, nicely written too. It is smart and sexy. Smexy. Some of these characters are having discussions about science and Darwinism.

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The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman

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source: free review copy via AmazonVine
title: The Marriage of Opposites
auhtor: Alice Hoffman
genre: Magical Realism
pages: 365
published: Simon and Schuster (August 4, 2015)
first line: I always left my window open at night, despite the warnings I’d been given.
rated: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
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Blurb:
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things: a forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro—the Father of Impressionism.

Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel’s mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel’s salvation is their maid Adelle’s belief in her strengths, and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle’s daughter. But Rachel’s life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father’s business. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Frédérick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France.

Building on the triumphs of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things, set in a world of almost unimaginable beauty, The Marriage of Opposites showcases the beloved, bestselling Alice Hoffman at the height of her considerable powers. Once forgotten to history, the marriage of Rachel and Frédérick is a story that is as unforgettable as it is remarkable.

My thoughts:
After having read several of her books, I am a fan of Alice Hoffman’s. She has penned gems like Practical Magic and The Ice Queen, that became instant favorites when I read them. Then again, I wasn’t too crazy about Incantation and while Here on Earth had an engrossing storyline and was inspired by Brone’s Wuthering Heights but I really disliked the main characters.
I was curious to see what I would find upon reading The Marriage of Opposites.

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The Siren (The Original Sinners) by Tiffany Reisz and thoughts on the rest of this series

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source: purchased
title: The Siren (The Original Sinners)
author: Tiffany Reisz
published: Harlequin MIRA; Original edition (July 31, 2012)
pages: 425
first line: There was no such thing as London fog-never had been.
rated: 5 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
Notorious Nora Sutherlin is famous for her delicious works of erotica, each one more popular with readers than the last. But her latest manuscript is different—more serious, more personal—and she’s sure it’ll be her breakout book…if it ever sees the light of day.

Zachary Easton holds Nora’s fate in his well-manicured hands. The demanding British editor agrees to handle the book on one condition: he wants complete control. Nora must rewrite the entire novel to his exacting standards—in six weeks—or it’s no deal.

Nora’s grueling writing sessions with Zach are draining…and shockingly arousing. And a dangerous former lover has her wondering which is more torturous—staying away from him…or returning to his bed?

Nora thought she knew everything about being pushed to your limits. But in a world where passion is pain, nothing is ever that simple.

 

I suppose doom and destiny are just two sides of the same coin.
p. 156 The Siren by Tiffany Reisz

My thoughts:
I have debated on how to post about my love of the Tiffany Reisz books because I’ve read four of the eight books in this series so far but series books can be difficult to review. I figured I would start with my review of the The Siren which is the first book in the series, then I’ll add a few thoughts on the other three books I’ve read. I will try my best not to rave on and on, but I cannot make any promises.

These books are sexy, edgy, well written and push all boundaries.

I devoured The Siren (The Original Sinners) one weekend, leaving my housework undone as I eagerly turned the pages, needing to know what came next, yet wishing the book would not end. Tiffany Reisz’s style of storytelling is fantastic and clever. How does she do that? I just do not know.

The Siren kicks the series off with a story about an erotic fiction writer and the men in her life, a dose of BDSM is added for good measure. As far as the BDSM aspect of this series, it is apparent the author knows what she is writing about. It is never sugar coated or romanticized, there are uncomfortable aspects of it, it’s not light and sweet. Reisz lays it all out on the table and explains it to the reader.

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