Tuesday, November 24, 2015

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Thanksgiving Freebie--Fictional Families I'd Like to Celebrate With

Hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

I love reading about family relationships in literature.  For this particular topic, I am focusing on families that I think would be fun to hang out with like on Thanksgiving.  The book covers belong to the first book in each series featuring the designated family.

The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1)
1. The Bridgertons -- Julia Quinn
Violet, Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, Hyacinth

Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1)
2. The Hathaways -- Lisa Kleypas
Leo, Amelia, Win, Poppy, Beatrix

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)
3. The Weasleys -- JK Rowling
Arthur, Molly, Bill, Charlie, Percy, Fred, George, Ron, Ginny

Much Ado About You (Essex Sisters, #1)
4. The Essex Sisters -- Eloisa James
Tess, Annabel, Imogen, Josie

Slightly Married (Bedwyn Saga, #1)
5. The Bedwyns -- Mary Balogh
Wulfric, Aidan, Rannulf, Freyja, Alleyne, Morgan

Pleasure Unbound (Demonica #1)
6. Seminus Family -- Larissa Ione
Eidolon, Shade, Wraith, Lore, Sin

Obsidian (Lux, #1)
7. The Blacks -- Jennifer L. Armentrout
Daemon, Dawson, Dee

In Bed with a Highlander (McCabe Trilogy, #1)
8. The McCabe Brothers -- Maya Banks
Ewan, Alaric, Caelan

A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, #2)
9. The MacRieves -- Kresley Cole
Lachlain, Bowen, Garreth, Uilleam, Munro

Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane, #1)
10. The Makepeaces -- Elizabeth Hoyt
Verity, Concord, Asa, Temperance, Winter, Silence

Monday, November 23, 2015

REVIEW: "Sweetest Scoundrel" by Elizabeth Hoyt

Sweetest Scoundrel (Maiden Lane, #9)
(Maiden Lane #9)

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality, Violence)
Historical Romance -- Georgian England

Grand Central Publishing -- Published on November 24, 2015
eARC, 352 pages
Read in November 2015
Received from Netgalley


Artist Heroine, Tormented Heroine, Animals, Enemies to Lovers


Prim, proper, and thrifty, Eve Dinwoody is all business when it comes to protecting her brother's investment. But when she agrees to control the purse strings of London's premier pleasure garden, Harte's Folly, she finds herself butting heads with an infuriating scoundrel who can't be controlled.


Bawdy and bold, Asa Makepeace doesn't have time for a penny-pinching prude like Eve. As the garden's larger-than-life owner, he's already dealing with self-centered sopranos and temperamental tenors. He's not about to let an aristocratic woman boss him around . . . no matter how enticing she is.


In spite of her lack of theatrical experience—and her fiery clashes with Asa—Eve is determined to turn Harte's Folly into a smashing success. But the harder she tries to manage the stubborn rake, the harder it is to ignore his seductive charm and raw magnetism. There's no denying the smoldering fire between them—and trying to put it out would be the greatest folly of all.

"It took an extreme provocation to rouse Eve Dinwoody."

I received a free copy of this book from Grand Central Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sweetest Scoundrel is another successful romance in Hoyt's super popular Maiden Lane series.  I have been devouring these books since the beginning and I am happy that they continue to be of the highest quality.  I am also left wanting more which is always a good sign.

Eve Dinwoody is the illegitimate half-sister of the notorious Duke of Montgomery and she helps him by protecting his business interests in London including the renovation of the Harte's Folly pleasure garden.  Things get complicated when Eve meets Asa Makepeace, the grumpy, but sexy owner of the garden.  Now, she is forced to deal with a man that both enrages and intrigues her while trying to make sure the garden is a success for her brother.

Both Eve and Asa were complex, well-developed characters that I enjoyed reading about.  Eve has major trauma in her past which has caused her to become terrified of men and also avoid social situations if possible.  But, despite her issues, she is very strong emotionally and much braver than she ever gave herself credit for.  Asa comes from a lower class background and is supremely proud of the work he was able to do after being disinherited by his very conservative father.  He is crass and powerful, but he hides a gentle heart that wakes up when he is around Eve.  I just loved the way that the inner workings of their personalities were revealed throughout the story.

I love the "enemies to lovers" trope, mostly due to the high probability of entertaining banter in those types of stories.  And I was not disappointed with repartee in Sweetest Scoundrel.  Eve and Asa begin battling from the moment that they meet and their interactions slowly turn into something much more sensual than any of them thought would happen.  There was a nice balance of drama and humor in their romance that I thought worked well for their character arcs.  And, since this is an Elizabeth Hoyt novel, there is plenty of sexy moments with my personal favorite being the one in the carriage. ;)

I was able to engross myself in Sweetest Scoundrel from beginning to end.  All the characters were strong from the main couple to the theatre workers to the recurring Maiden Lane inhabitants that pop in and out.  The subplot of figuring out who was sabotaging the folly's renovations was interesting and suspenseful yet didn't take away from the romance.  I also thoroughly enjoyed the scenes with the housekeeper Bridget Crumb who, I believe, will have some type of connection with the Duke of Montgomery in the next book.

I highly recommend this book...well, this entire series.  The 1730s England setting is fascinating as Hoyt explores both the lives of all classes, wealthy and impoverished.  The characters are always a bit unorthodox, but their stories never fail to make me swoon with happiness.  Can't wait to read Duke of Sin next year!

1. Wicked Intentions
2. Notorious Pleasures
3. Scandalous Desires
4. Thief of Shadows
5. Lord of Darkness
6. Duke of Midnight
7. Darling Beast
8. Dearest Rogue
9.  Sweetest Scoundrel
10. Duke of Sin (Coming 2016)
11. Duke of Pleasure (Coming 2016)
12. Duke of Desire (Coming 2017)

Goodreads -- Author Website

Amazon -- B&N -- BAM -- Book Depository -- Kobo -- Google Play -- All Romance -- Audible

Saturday, November 21, 2015


This year, instead of a separate historical or erotic challenge, Herding Cats & Burning Soup is doing something a little different.  Everyone can pick their own genre to focus on in the challenge! Any genre is welcome even if not listed. You can tackle more than one genre too!  Check out the sign-up post here.

  • Challenge Dates: Jan 1, 2016 and ends Dec 31, 2016
  • Once you've read it...review it then link it up! 
  • What Counts...
    • Any book over 80ish pages counts (please no short stories)
    • Books MUST be read in 2016
    • All book formats count!
    • Re-reads & challenge cross overs count!
  • Anyone can join! If you don't blog you can use a dedicated shelf on Goodreads or similar.
  • There's an event giveaway! Each review (one per book) left on a major platform--Goodreads, Amazon, etc--and linked in the review widget will be an entry for the end of the year.
  • Quarterly Update posts will be done so we can see how everyone's doing and cheer each other along :) They'll count for the year end giveaway too!
  • There's a FB group for the challenge--join to get book suggestions, socialize and get event news!
**you can join at any level and move it around during the challenge
  • Level 1 (Sunbathing): 6 books
  • Level 2 (Dipping the Toes): 12 books
  • Level 3 (Wading In): 25 books
  • Level 4 (Going for a Swim): 50 books
  • Level 5 (Diving In): 75 books
  • Level 6 (Cannon ball! ALL in!): 75+ books

  • Historical Romance -- Level 5 (Diving In): 75 books
  • Contemporary Romance -- Level 2 (Dipping the Toes): 12 books
  • M/M Romance -- Level 3 (Wading In): 25 books
  • Paranormal Romance -- Level 2 (Dipping the Toes): 12 books
For my reading challenges, I always like to create a preliminary list of books that I want to complete.  I usually like to look back at the end of the year and see how accurate my predictions were.

Historical Romance Predictions
  • The Duke and Duchess Trap by Valerie Bowman
  • Seven Minutes in Heaven by Eloisa James
  • After the Wedding by Courtney Milan
  • Lady Bridget's Diary by Maya Rodale
  • Duke of My Heart by Kelly Bowen
  • The Hunter by Kerrigan Byrne
  • A Gentleman's Game by Theresa Romain
  • Along Came a Rogue by Anna Harrington
  • The Study of Seduction by Sabrina Jeffries
  • Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
  • The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath
  • Temptations of a Wallflower by Eva Leigh
  • The Untamed Earl by Valerie Bowman
  • Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt
  • Marrying Winterbourne by Lisa Kleypas
  • Forevermore by Kristen Callihan
  • The Highlander by Kerrigan Byrne
Contemporary Romance Predictions
  • The Score by Elle Kennedy
  • On Dublin Street by Samantha Young
  • Coming in from the Cold by Sarina Bowen
  • Killer Queen by L.H. Cosway
  • Still Life with Strings by L.H. Cosway
  • Once and Always by Julia Harper
  • Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne
  • Stealing Second by Alison Packard
  • Body Check by Elle Kennedy
  • Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Laurens
  • The Other Side of Us by Sarah Mayberry
  • Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid
M/M Romance Predictions
  • A Clean Break by Keira Andrews
  • A Way Home by Keira Andrews
  • Beguiled by Joanna Chambers
  • Special Delivery by Heidi Cullinan
  • Focus on Me by Megan Erickson
  • The Bells of Times Square by Amy Lane
  • Crash & Burn by Abigail Roux
  • Cross & Crown by Abigail Roux
  • A Fashionable Indulgence by K.J. Charles
  • Mending Him by Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon
  • The Gentleman and the Lamplighter by Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon
  • Prosperity by Alexis Hall
  • According to Hoyle by Abigail Roux
  • Convincing the Secretary by Ava March
  • Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat
Paranormal Romance Predictions
  • Big Vamp on Campus by Molly Harper
  • Z by Larissa Ione
  • Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh
  • Where the Wild Things Bite by Molly Harper
  • Bound by Flames by Jeaniene Frost
  • Into the Fire by Jeaniene Frost