Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Review: Yours in Scandal by Lauren Layne

March 10th, 2020 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Netgalley

Publisher: Montlake

Publication date: March 10, 2020

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book

Fresh off being named Citizen magazine’s Man of the Year, New York City’s youngest mayor, Robert Davenport, decides it’s time to strategize. Next move: a bid for the governor’s seat. In his way: an incumbent with a flawless reputation. He also has an Achilles’ heel: an estranged wild-child daughter with a past so scandalous it could be Robert’s ticket to victory. And a charm so irresistible it could be Robert’s downfall.

Rebellion is a thing of the past for Adeline Blake. As New York’s premier event planner, she’s all about reform and respectability. Then she’s approached by Robert to organize the party of the season. Curious, considering he’s her father’s most formidable opponent. And alarming, too. Because Addie can’t help but fall for the righteously popular candidate with the movie-star smile.

Now it’s Robert’s choice. Does he pursue a future that holds his legacy? Or the woman who holds his heart?

My Thoughts

I almost forgot I had this book sitting on my Kindle. I’ve been in a reading rut lately and have been re-reading some of my favorite series. As I was scrolling through my library I knew this was the perfect book to get me out of my rut and I was right. It was an amazing book that made me laugh, sigh and wish I had a Robert of my own.

I won’t lie when reading it I was picturing Robert looking a little like Justin Trudeau but Robert’s character made me instantly fall in love with him. Despite being a politician he wasn’t smarmy and wanted to do what was right for the people he served. I loved how he didn’t give in to the pressures that came with his role and I positively swooned watching him with Addie.

I swear I could picture this as a romance movie that would leave me sighing a happy sigh at the end. A definite must read!

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Review: Scot Under the Covers by Suzanne Enoch

January 26th, 2020 by Debbie's World of Books

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publication date: January 28, 2020

Source: Received for review

Rating: ★★★☆☆

About the Book

Miranda Harris is known for her charm, wit, and ability to solve any problem she encounters. But when her brother lands neck-deep in gambling debt to a crafty villain and Miranda is subsequently blackmailed into marrying him, she must enlist the help of the devil himself to save the family honor―and herself.

Devilishly handsome Highlander Aden MacTaggert knows next to nothing about the ways of the ton, but he most certainly knows his way around gaming halls and womens’ hearts. Still, Aden is not sure how he’ll manage to find a Sassenach bride in time to save his family’s inheritance. When his almost sister-in-law Miranda comes to him for assistance, he proposes a partnership: She will help him navigate London society and he’ll teach her everything about wagering…and winning back her freedom. The beautiful, clever lass intrigues Aden―but is she playing her own game, or are the sparks between them real? He is accustomed to risking his pocket. But betting on Miranda’s love is a game he can’t afford to lose. . .

My Thoughts

I really have mixed feelings about this book because I did love Aden’s character and loved seeing his interactions with his brothers. I also can’t wait to finally see him find peace with his mother. That relationship more than anything tugged at my heartstrings.

I had a much harder time liking Miranda. She was so prejudiced against gamblers and so rude to Aden just based on hearsay that I couldn’t stand her. I get she has a bad taste for gambling because of what happened with her family but, she was so judgemental without. Then to make it worse she absolves the people who lose their money of practically any blame. I agree, there are the villains out there that fleece folks but, her brother and her uncle made their own choices to keep gambling. If she had been more even-handed with acknowledging her uncle and brother made poor choices and needed to take responsibility for their choices then I would have been more willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.

Her brother was another character I had a hard time liking. It wasn’t even the gambling, it was that he was so willing to sell his own sister to a man he knows is a villain. He protests at times that he tried to come up with another solution but as a reader we see none of that. We only see him pandering to Captain Vale and making sure his sister ended up with him. It really didn’t sit well with me that he ends up scot-free plus still gets to marry Aden’s sister and suffered practically no consequences for his own actions.

I do still want to read the next book since I really enjoyed the MacTaggert family, I just hope the heroine is more likeable than in this book.

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Review: All Fired Up by Lori Foster

November 19th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Recived for review

Publication date: November 19, 2019

Publisher: HQN Books

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book

Charlotte Parrish has always wanted a certain kind of man: someone responsible, settled, boring. Bad boys need not apply. But when her car leaves her stranded and a mysterious stranger with brooding eyes and a protective streak comes to her rescue, she can’t deny how drawn she is to him. In town searching for family he’s never met, Mitch is everything she never thought she wanted—and suddenly everything she craves.

Finding his half brothers after all these years is more than Mitch Crews has allowed himself to wish for. Finding love never even crossed his mind…until he meets Charlotte. She’s sweet, warmhearted, sexier than she knows—and too damn good for an ex-con like him. But when his past comes back to haunt him, putting Charlotte—and the family he’s come to care for—in danger, Mitch isn’t playing by the rules. He’s already surrendered his heart, but now he’ll risk his life.

My Thoughts

I love Lori Foster but somehow fell behind on reading this series from her. I am so glad I picked this one up and loved it! I definitely need to go back and read the first two books because I loved both Brodie and Jack in this one. Honestly, I have to say I loved all the characters in this book. Mitch stole my heart, Charlotte was charming and you just have to love Jack and Brodie’s mom.

It was a pleasure watching Charlotte’s and Mitch’s relationship develop as he learns to adjust to having a new family and how to trust others to have his back. There are great moments of tenderness, laughter and sizzling chemistry. Not to mention some utterly adorable dogs that I wish I could meet in person.

This book will totally suck you in and keep you glued to the pages until the very end.

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Review: Rage by Jonathan Maberry

November 4th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publication date: November 5, 2019

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

A small island off the coast of Japan is torn apart by a bioweapon that drives everyone—men, women, and children—insane with murderous rage. The people behind that attack want Korea united or destroyed. No middle ground. No mercy. And they are willing to punish any country that stands in the way—the United States, China, and Japan could all be consumed by a plague of pure destructive slaughter.

Joe Ledger leads his newly formed band of international troubleshooters in their first mission to stop the terror cell, fighting alongside agents from North and South Korea. With the lives of billions at stake, Ledger is willing to bring his own brand of terror to this frightening new war.

Rage is the first of the new adventures of Joe Ledger and Rogue Team International.

My Thoughts

This is a new series name but it really is another Joe Ledger book and we see favorite characters from the previous series along with some new faces. I did initially find the storyline hard to follow as it jumps around between the past and present A LOT and trying to figure out when certain scenes were taking place vs other scenes was initially quite difficult for me. However, as the story progressed and we learn more and more about each character it all came together to make another fascinating Joe Ledger adventure. The action is pretty much non-stop and as per past Ledger books it takes you on an adventure roller coaster as he and his team race to stop by the bad guys. One of my favorite things about the Ledger books is his quips and sarcastic thoughts about whatever he is going through. I did wish there was a little more of characters like his dog Ghost and Violin but was happy to see Toys make a great cameo. If you were a fan of the past Ledger books this is definitely another great read to add to the collection. If you haven’t read the previous Joe Ledger series, I highly suggest it!

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Review: Wrapped Up in You by Jill Shalvis

September 24th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publication date: Sept 24, 2019

Publisher: Avon

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

After a lifetime on the move, Ivy Snow is an expert in all things temporary—schools, friends, and way too many Mr. Wrongs. Now that she owns a successful taco truck in San Francisco and an apartment to call home, Ivy’s reinvented life is on solid ground. And she’s guarded against anything that can rock it. Like the realities of a past she’s worked hard to cover up. And especially Kel O’Donnell. Too hot not to set off alarms, he screams temporary. If only his whispers weren’t so delightfully naughty and irresistible.

Kel, an Idaho sheriff and ranch owner, is on vacay, but Ivy’s a spicy reason to give his short-terms plans a second thought. Best of all, she’s a tonic for his untrusting heart, burned once and still in repair. But when Ivy’s past intrudes on a perfect romance, Kel fears that everything she’s told him has been a perfect lie. Now, if only Ivy’s willing to share, Kel will fight for a true love story.

My Thoughts

The Heartbreaker Bay gang won my heart from the very start. I loved reading each character’s story and always eagerly await the next book in the series.

Ivy was a bit of a mystery character for me as I only recalled her character from the previous books but other than running the food truck and being a friend of Sadie’s I didn’t recall much about her character. Watching her character unfold was like watching a flower bloom. She is such a complex character and my heart went out to her as you could see her wanting to reach out to the rest of the Heartbreaker Bay group to form deeper relationships but is also afraid of doing so. The chemistry between Ivy and Kel is so thick you could cut it with a knife. Both have their flaws and trust issues but as a reader I kept rooting for them to overcome it all and find their happily ever after.

As in the other books in the series we get to see the past couples and how they are doing which thrilled me as I really loved Caleb and wanted more of him. I can’t wait to see what comes next for this group!

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ABOUT JILL SHALVIS

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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Review: Tempting by Susan Mallery

September 22nd, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Library

Publication date: July 1, 2007

Publisher: HQN

Series: Buchanans #4

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the Book

After three romantic flameouts in a year and a restaurant career going nowhere, Dani Buchanan needs a fresh start. She goes looking for her biological father, but never expects to find a senator running for president. As his long-lost “love child,” Dani could seriously derail the election—something his handsome campaign manager Alex Canfield isn’t going to stand for.

Dani isn’t about to let Alex run her life, no matter how tempting she finds him—and Alex isn’t going to allow Dani to melt his cynicism, no matter how close he has to get. The last thing either of them wants is love, especially with scandals brewing and family trouble on the way.

But Dani and Alex are forced to trust each other, and when trust turns to passion, the potential for disaster is only a tabloid scandal away.

My Thoughts

Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold series is one of my all time favorite series so I’m not sure why I’ve never gone back to read her other books. However, I can across this one at the library and have been in a reading slump so gave it a try and while a slightly different feel to it compared to Fool’s Gold I really enjoyed it.

I haven’t read the first 3 books so I missed a lot of the drama between Dani and Gloria but I still really enjoyed watching their relationship grow throughout the story. My heart went out to Dani as well as Alex’s mother as they both have to deal with the fall out of Dani wanting to find and get to know her real father. I loved Alex and admire the calm he mostly kept throughout the journey and dealing with Dani’s insecurities. Yes, he jumps to a few conclusions that were a little far fetched but he kept a relatively cool head as Dani’s emotions went all over the place.

I really enjoyed most of the supporting characters as well. I want to go back and read the first three books to get to know Dani’s brothers more, as well as Gloria. The one character I never truly came to appreciate was Dani’s dad. We see a lot of how much of a politician he is and Dani talks about not ever feeling connected to him which is fine but then we see a complete 180 in his character that seemed to come from out of the blue. I would have liked to see his character fleshed out a bit more and ease into the change we see at the end. Other than that though, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Definitely another great series from Susan Mallery!

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Review: The Prenup by Lauren Layne

August 14th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publication date: July 9, 2019

Publisher: LL Book Co

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

My name is Charlotte Spencer and, ten years ago, I married my brother’s best friend. I haven’t seen him since.

Charlotte Spencer grew up on the blue-blooded Upper East Side of Manhattan but she never wanted the sit-still-look-pretty future her parents dictated for her. Enter Colin Walsh, her brother’s quiet, brooding, man-bun-sporting best friend, and with him a chance to escape.

He’s far from Charlotte’s dream guy but they need each other for one thing: marriage. One courthouse wedding later, Charlotte’s inheritance is hers to start a business in San Francisco and Irish-born Colin has a Green Card.

Ten years later, Colin drops a bombshell: the terms of their prenup state that before either can file for divorce, they have to live under the same roof for three months.

Suddenly this match made in practicality is about to take on whole new meaning…

My Thoughts

Lauren Layne is one of my go to authors but I have to admit the last book I read from her, Passion on Park Avenue, was a bit of a dud so I was slightly leery reading this one. I’m glad to say The Prenup had the banter and sassiness I loved in the other books I’ve read from Lauren Layne and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved Charlotte’s character. I had expected her to be one of those flighty, immature characters who are initially unlikeable but I actually really enjoyed getting to know her. She has her flighty moments but she has a good heart and is doing her best to make the most of an awkward situation. What kept this from being a 5 star read was I wasn’t as much of a fan of Colin’s. While on the surface he seems like he’s supposed to be the upstanding guy who has dinner with the parents Charlotte abandoned I thought he was a bit of a jerk. He plays at being the nice guy but I thought the way he treated Charlotte was horrible. I’m not sure if the end really makes up for all of his previous behaviors but the rest of the story itself was an enjoyable read.

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Review: Ransom by Julie Garwood

August 10th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Purchased

Publication date: Nov. 1, 1999

Publisher: Pocketbooks

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book

Overflowing with all of the majesty and intrigue of medieval glory days, this magnificent New York Times bestseller is a page-turner of passion and loyalty, justice and honor. Beloved storyteller Julie Garwood steps back to the silver-shrouded Highlands of her classic tale The Secret–and hails the return of two unforgettable warriors: Ramsey Sinclair and Brodick Buchanan. In the dark days after the death of Richard the Lionhearted, lives and lands would fall into upheaval at the hands of a power-hungry British ruler and his violent minions. One victim of the scourge is innocent Gillian, who is a mere child when the cruel and ambitious Baron Alford slaughters her father and tears her family apart. Alford, determined to recover a jeweled box for the despotic King John, is furious when the precious treasure slips through his fingers–only to be lost for more than a decade.

Now a beautiful young woman, Gillian finds the key to resolving her past in handsome Scottish chieftains Ramsey Sinclair and Brodick Buchanan. With the cunning and courage of the daring Scotsmen, and with the friendship of a new ally, Bridgid KirkConnell, Gillian at last fights the unscrupulous Baron Alford, laying claim to her home, her family, and her father’s reputation. But in the presence of the mighty warriors, Gillian and Bridgid discover that desire can be a weapon of conquest…betrayal can slay trust in a heartbeat…and the greatest risk of all is surrender–to the deep emotions of unexpected love.

My Thoughts

Julie Garwood was one of the first romance authors I have ever read and I fell in love with her historical romances. Ransom is one of my favorites from Julie Garwood and is a fabulous follow up to The Secret. Both The Secret and Ransom made me laugh which is one of my favorite things about Garwood’s writing style. I loved both Broderick and Ramsey’s characters from the moment we met them in The Secret and both Gillian and Brigid were wonderful heroinces. Gillian’s spirit and her relationship with Alex warmed my heart. All of the supporting characters played their parts perfectly to keep the story line moving along at the perfect pace and it made me immensely happy to see Ian and Judith also make an appearance. If you love a good Highlander romance you definitely should pick up this series!

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