Book Review: Lady Danger by Glynnis Campbell

19038544Genre: Historical

Page Count: 368 pages

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.88/5 stars

My rating: 3.5/5 stars

When the Norman king gives Pagan the Rivenloch keep and a daughter of the current laird for a wife, he knows it’s too good to be true. Not only is Rivenloch’s laird suffering from dementia, but the two oldest daughters are not content to take on house-making duties like most women. Instead they are skilled fighters who command Rivenloch’s army. It isn’t long before Pagan realizes why the king chose him for Rivenloch. Only the strongest, most hardened men could conquer the Warrior Maids of Rivenloch. 

Deidre isn’t about to give up her power to some Norman, even if he is supposed to be their ally. She’ll marry him to spare her sisters, but that doesn’t mean she’ll make it easy for him. She’ll conquer the Norman before he realizes it. 

This book took awhile to get good, but I have to admit, both Pagan and Deidre have very realistic reactions and feelings considering the situation. Pagan comes from a very misogynistic society, so female warriors are unnatural to him. And Deidre sees Pagan as another enemy invading her territory and taking control. But their irrationality them makes them unlikeable at times.

I liked them, then I didn’t. Then I liked them again. Pagan’s devout honor and chivalry is admirable. Although he thinks in terms like “taming” and “conquering” Deidre, he would never actually force her or hurt her in any way. Nor does he want women to fear him. Seeing Miriel, the youngest sister, scared of him made him feel sick. Despite his flawed yet historically accurate upbringing, he does see the value in Deidre and Helena knowing how to fight after learning about the dangers they faced. But there’s so much misogyny in him. He actually thought Deidre would prefer having a man protect her than protecting herself, and he forbid her from sparring.

Of course, Deidre resents all the changes Pagan makes to Rivenloch, even though they were changes that desperately needed to be made. She also has deeply misguided views about sex and men. She planned to control Pagan through his lust by withholding sex, even denying her own desires. During this time, she considered him beating her and forcing her, but the idea that he would commit adultery never occurred to her, even though she repeatedly told him that she would never want him. However, I did enjoy watching Pagan’s massive ego get checked.

They drove me crazy, even though their emotions were realistic. However, after they put their absurdities aside and started working together, the story immediately improved. I loved them  working in harmony and the fight scenes at the end were fantastic. Lady Danger is lame at first, but is worth the wait. Medieval romance fans will enjoy this book. Read it for free on Smashwords.

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Smashwords Browsing Drinking Game

sw_vertical_colorTime for a drinking game! Because what goes better than internet shopping and booze, right? But hey, at least with this game you’ll just have some new books, and not necessarily a home gym. For this game turn off the Adult Content Filter but leave the covers on the book. And of course, please drink responsibly.

Browse through the home page on Smashwords.

Take a sip every time:

  • The book cover is a copied and pasted wreck that belongs on Lousy Book Covers
  • You find a Taboo erotica
  • A title makes your skin crawl

Take a shot every time:

  • The author expects you to pay $2.99 for a story less than 5,000 words
  • You check to see if the same book is also on Amazon
  • Every time you wish you kept the adult content filters on

 

Find any books worth sharing, either because they look bad or because they look good? Leave in the comments below.

Her Wicked Ways

51wuzpp2b40lGenre: Historical

Word Count: 101, 790

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.62/ 5 stars

My rating: 4/ 5 stars

This book has a slightly shaky start, like most romance novels do, but it pulls me in pretty quickly. It starts off with Montgomery “Fox” Foxcroft committing highway robbery to save an orphanage. Yeah, starts off like your run-of-the-mill soap opera.

The job is supposed to be simple for Fox. Rob a corrupt MP to support the orphanage he runs. Unbeknownst to him, this MP is carrying something even more precious than money. He’s transporting a disgraced heiress named Miranda Sinclair. Miranda’s a beautiful woman who distracts Fox so much that he forgets he’s committing a crime to save some kids and ends up making out with her. Not his finest moment. But it does give him an idea. To seduce Miranda and marry her for her money. But when she starts volunteering at his orphanage, he realizes that she’s not just a spoiled heiress, but also likeable, capable, and someone that he might even grown to love.

This story is fantastic! I re-read it when I realized I hadn’t written a review for it, and it was good even the second time around. Both Miranda and Fox are excellent and the chemistry between them is spot-on.

Miranda comes off as entitled at first, and she is, but she grows out of that pretty quickly. In truth, she’s a very strong person who regularly rebels against the restricting rules of London Society, because come on, why would anyone want to live by those rules? Despite everyone calling her incompetent and useless, she’s smart and very capable. She steals a kiss out of Fox the first time she meets him, and she raises more money for the orphanage in one night than Fox managed to raise in an entire year.

Where I shall stay when we get there. Is this Stratham’s house adequate?” (Her brother asked)

“Yes, more than. You’ll be quite comfortable. Are you sure you’re allowed to stay there?”

“Ah, sweet sister, when will you realize the rules are not the same for you and me?”

But Miranda knew all too well. Perhaps that was why she always broke them.

The only irritating thing about Miranda is that she bends easily to her parents’ will. And while I get that they are her parents, it frustrates me to no end that she complied so quickly, even when it hurt Fox and she didn’t agree with them to begin with. I also hate that she didn’t figure out that Fox was the highwayman. Sure, she might not associate a random, masked stranger with the impoverished owner of an orphanage right away. But then she meets the highwayman again… and then sees Fox again…. she knows she feels the same lust with both of them, and she still doesn’t figure it out? Oh please, she’s smarter than that.

Fox is incredibly lovable, despite his ridiculous jealousy over just about every man that Miranda comes in contact with. He gets jealous over Miranda’s former lover who’s so unimportant he doesn’t even turn up, and he gets jealous over Stratham. He even gets jealous over one of his charges when Miranda compliments the boy’s new haircut. Possessive much?

However, I do like how wonderfully insecure Fox is. Despite being confident in most areas of his life, and refusing to think people in higher class were better than him,  Fox is constantly unsure around Miranda. He thinks she’s totally out of his league, even at the end.

 “That you would give yourself to me is incredibly humbling.”

A twinge of embarrassment heated her face. “Why?”

He smiled. “Because you’re Miranda. A goddess to my mere mortality. I am a beast beside you.”

Damn. Montgomery Foxcroft sure knows how to woo a woman.

And he is so hopelessly in love with her. Even when he was desperate for money, he wasn’t willing to force Miranda to marry him by compromising her because he didn’t want her to hate him. And even though his original intention in courting her was to get her money, he started appreciating her for much more. Unlike her parents, he saw her for the brilliant woman she was and was quick to defend her to anyone who said otherwise.

Love.

The word drove a knife clean through his heart. Did he love her? He didn’t know, but he wanted her for more than money. More than desire. He wanted her here. With him. With all of them. He’d never seen the children so happy. So light. He’d never felt so happy or light—and that said a lot given his cursed financial woes.

He also doesn’t ever want her change. Unlike everyone else in this story, including her brother, the only immediate family member she has who is remotely nice to her, Fox doesn’t think she has to change, and doesn’t even want her to.

“You’re staring at me like I’m food again.” His words heightened her arousal and further emboldened her.

She feasted on his male beauty. “I’ve never seen anything as delicious as you.”

“Christ, Miranda. Ladies don’t talk like that.”

She traced her fingers around his nipples and watched them tighten. Her own hardened in response. “You don’t like it?”

He swallowed audibly. “I like it fine.”

Her Wicked Ways has an excellent story that I could read again and again. And I probably will. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes historical romance novels and even those who don’t. You can read it for free on Smashwords.

If you do decide to read it, let me know in the comments. I’d love to know what you thought about it.

Second Time Around by H.A. Caine

second-time-around-coverGenre: Contemporary, LGBTQ

Word Count: 8,140

Average Goodreads Rating: 2.67/5 stars

My Rating: 3/5 stars

Second Time Around is a story about mistaken identities. Jamie meets the man of his dreams, Matthew, at a party celebrating the opening of his new bakery. Better yet, Matthew seems to be into him. There’s just one problem: there’s a good chance Matthew is heterosexual and thinks Jamie is a girl.

You can read this book for free on Smashwords

Continue reading “Second Time Around by H.A. Caine”

Book Review: Claiming Her Highwayman by Michelle Grotewohl

claimingherhighwaymanGenre: Historical

Words: 17,970

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.8/5 stars

My rating: 2/5 stars

Cass runs one of the greatest band of highwaymen around. Despite being a woman, she’s respected by her crew, and every night they return to camp richer than they were and she can enjoy being in the arms of her second-in-command, Will Carpenter. But that all changes when Will accepts a position in the King’s Guard. Cass knows Will wants more than what she can give him. He wants marriage and kids, as well as honest work instead of thieving. But Cass doesn’t know if she can ever give him up.

Claiming Her Highwayman is free on Smashwords.

I found myself underwhelmed by this story. When it starts, Will and Cass are already a couple, and the chemistry between them already feels forced, as well as the heist they’re about to go on. It’s like a bad first draft that hasn’t developed into something greater yet. Cass and Will feel more like paper dolls than people and unfortunately, I never get that attached to them. They just don’t have the chemistry.

It doesn’t help that my suspension of disbelief took a huge beating when Will’s offered a job with the King’s Guard, as the princess’s personal guard. He’s a highwayman! Since when do they let criminals guard princesses? Um, never. Not only that, but he’s still in contact with his old gang, and he’s not even in training to be a soldier! He just is. Apparently the standards for becoming a member of the King’s Guard is really low.

It would make a hell of a lot more sense to me if there was a scarcity of guards for some reason, like the country was at war, and that’s why they’re turning to criminals to keep up with the demand of soldiers. That would flesh out the plot, too. But nope. Apparently we’re supposed to accept that a robber can become a princess’s bodyguard easily after mugging her with his gang of bandits. Oh, and he almost becomes her husband. Because every king wants his little girl to marry a common criminal.

Despite everything wrong with the story, I like Will’s and Cass’s characters. Even though Will only exists to be Cass’s lover, he’s got some pretty charming lines in the story. His need to protect her is incredibly sexy.

Cass’s character is a little more complex. She’s strong and independent, and she knows what she wants in life. She’s the type of girl who would be bored to death in most respectable professions for a woman, instead enjoying being a bandit. But I hated her when Bryce, one of her men, attacked her in her tent. All she did to defend herself was bide her time until she could scream for help

What. The. Fuck.

She’s a damn gang leader and she doesn’t know how to defend herself against one man who gets too handsy? Please. That’s fucking ludicrous, and all of my respect for her is just gone because of that one scene. How the hell did she become a leader in the first place if she needs to scream like a damn damsel whenever she gets attacked? Not cool.

This book really didn’t do much for me. While it’s all right, it’s not that good. The characters aren’t good, and neither is the writing. I suggest you look elsewhere for your historical romance bad boy.

If you liked this review and want more, then please like Lover’s Quarrel on Facebook, for more reviews, giveaways, and more.

Book Review: Same Time Next Year by Jenna Bennett

5162bhuo6pvlGenre: Contemporary

Word Count: 4,560

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.27/5 stars

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

It’s not often a book can surprise me. But Same Time Next Year totally took me off guard.

Every year, for the past either years, Regina White and Tyler Harrison meet at the same hotel, in two connecting rooms for one night.

The receptionist, Elizabeth, thinks she has the whole situation figured out. But she doesn’t know what this night means to the mysterious couple. And somehow she can’t stop thinking about them anyway. 

You can read Same Time Next Year for free on Smashwords.

At first I thought I wasn’t going to like this story. I thought it was about two people leaving their depressing and dull lives to have one night of infidelity and debauchery a year, like some sort of modern day fairy tale. On top of that, the “good” character, Elizabeth, is kind of a bitch who is quick to condemn and judge Regina, but smile and admire Tyler.

It’s one thing to disapprove of adultery, it’s another thing to have double standards about it.

But despite my misgivings at first, I got sucked into the very hot sex scene quickly.

“No, I don’t want champagne. I want you. Naked. And wet. And begging.”

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Gotta love good dirty talk. Unfortunately the scene ends abruptly and before the couple gets to the really good part, if you know what I mean. 😉

For such a short story there is actually a lot of character development. We learn that Tyler and Regina met at a conference years ago, when they had those two hotel rooms by coincidence. Tyler loves how Regina’s strong and confident in public, but a little submissive in the bedroom. Regina loves how Tyler still wants her, and how he’s always willing to please her. They have great chemistry together and I love how they’re still attracted to each other after all those years, and always come back to the same hotel.

My only complaint, aside from the abrupt end to the sex scene, is Elizabeth. I get why she’s necessary to the story, but she’s undeveloped and unlikeable, and I wish she was gone.

You can read Same Time Next Year for free on Smashwords and I highly recommend that you do.

Book Review: Note to Self by Belinda LaPage

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Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQ

Goodreads rating: 3.73 out of 5 stars

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Anna never considered herself bisexual or a lesbian. She’s totally in love with her husband and happy with her life as a wife, mother, and cop. But that all changes when she meets Susan, a pretty, feminine doctor, who turns Anna’s world upside down. Confused and full of guilt from thinking erotic thoughts about Susan while married to Nick, Anna turns to her journal to sort it all out. 

Okay, once this story gets going, it’s great. But in the beginning it is so damn boring. Journal or not, Anna does not get to the frigging point for like four or five pages! I was tempted to go wash the dishes at least twice in the beginning of the book. When the dishes are pulling me away from a book, and not the other way around, something is very wrong.

However, it does read like a real diary, so kudos on that.

Continue reading “Book Review: Note to Self by Belinda LaPage”