Thursday, August 25, 2016

TAKE MY MONEY: September 2016

Where I feature new releases that grabbed my attention in the upcoming month.  As always, release dates are subject to change.  All titles link back to Goodreads.

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9)
Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) by Ilona Andrews (urban fantasy) -- September 20th
I finally got caught up on this series and I am dying for this installment.  Kate and Curran are the best!!

Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Spindle Cove, #5)
Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare (historical romance) -- September 27th
Love that Tessa Dare is returning to Spindle Cove!

A Change of Heart
A Change of Heart by Sonali Dev (contemporary romance) -- September 27th
Both of Dev's other contemporaries have been winners to me so I expect nothing less from this book.  Plus that is a gorgeous cover!

Apprentice in Death (In Death, #43)
Apprentice in Death (In Death #43) by JD Robb (romantic suspense) -- September 6th
I feel like I will never catch up with this series, but I love it too much to give up.

Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame
Where Am I Now: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame by Mara Wilson (nonfiction) -- September 13th
Mara Wilson was one of my childhood idols especially with her depiction of Matilda.  Now she is one of my favorite celebrities to follow on Twitter.

Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)
Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers #1) by Sarina Bowen (NA contemporary) -- September 6th
I love Bowen's writing and am happy to see more of her hockey romances in the hopper.

Blood Red Kiss (Immortals After Dark, #1; MoonBound Clan Vampires, #2.5; Otherworld Assassin, #2.5)
Blood Red Kiss by Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, Gena Showalter (paranormal romance) -- September 20th
I need more Immortals After Dark and Moonbound Clan Vampires in my life!

Say It Right (All Saints, #2)
Say It Right (All Saints #2) by A.M. Arthur (M/M contemporary romance) -- September 12th
One of my favorite M/M romance writers who really knows how to bring out the emotions.

Destined for a King (The Bastard Brotherhood, #1)
Destined for a King (The Bastard Brotherhood #1) by Ashlyn Macnamara (fantasy romance) -- September 6th
After falling in love with Amanda Bouchet's A Promise of Fire, I am desperate for more fantasy romance and this seems like a good follow-up.

Miss Goodhue Lives for a Night (Winner Takes All, #2.5)
Miss Goodhue Lives for a Night (Winner Takes It All #2.5) by Kate Noble (historical romance) -- September 19th
I liked the one Kate Noble historical and the premise of this novella with a quiet schoolteacher who meets up with the man who broke her heart years ago hits all my buttons.

Overexposed (In Focus, #4)
Overexposed (In Focus #4) by Megan Erickson (M/M contemporary) -- September 20th
I am really liking this series and interested to see more of the reality show theme from the last book.

The Goal (Off-Campus, #4)
The Goal (Off-Campus #4) by Elle Kennedy (NA contemporary) -- September 26th
Yeah, we finally get Tucker and Sabrina's story!

Highland Chieftain (Murray Family, #21)
Highland Chieftain (Murray Family #21) by Hannah Howell (historical romance) -- September 27th
This series is one of my favorites with its sexy heroes, sassy heroines, and tons of action.

The Perks of Loving a Scoundrel (Seduction Diaries, #3)
The Perks of Loving a Scoundrel (Seduction Diaries #3) by Jennifer McQuiston (historical romance) -- September 30th
I can never get enough shy, bookish heroines in historical romance so I am, of course, excited to read this.

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas, #1)
Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) by Zoraida Cordova (YA paranormal) -- September 6th
The first thing that grabbed my attention about this book is that intensely gorgeous cover.  I am also intrigued by the premise of the heroine being a one in a generation super-powered witch who hates magic.

Not Your Sidekick
Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee (YA science fiction) -- September 8th
I always need more superhero novels in my life.

The Governess Was Wicked (Governess, #1)
The Governess Was Wicked (Governess #1) by Julia Kelly (historical romance) -- September 12th
A governess and a doctor who has to make a frequent amount of house calls?  I'm sold!

The Bookshop on the Corner
The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan (literary fiction) -- September 20th
I can't resist a book about a heroine who runs a mobile bookshop.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

REVIEW: "Marrying Winterborne" by Lisa Kleypas

Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels, #2)
TITLE: Marrying Winterborne
AUTHOR(S): Lisa Kleypas
SERIES: Ravenels #2

GENRE: Historical Romance -- Victorian England
FORMAT: Mass Market Paperback
SOURCE: Library
LENGTH: 416 pages
DATE READ: July 2016

READING CHALLENGES: Pick Your Genre Reading Challenge

THEMES/TROPES: Alpha Hero, Class Differences, Big Secret

RATING: 4.25 Stars

A ruthless tycoon...
Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better…
A sheltered beauty...
Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable… the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss. And it all begins with…Marrying Mr. Winterborne.

While the first Ravenel book didn't complete grab me, the secondary plot of Helen and Rhys's courtship was one of my favorite aspects.  So I got a copy of Marrying Winterborne as fast as I could and I am happy to say that this is what I expect from Lisa Kleypas's historical romances.  It was not perfect, but I was engrossed in the story from page one and finished it in one day.

While Rhys Winterborne was recovering from a train accident in the first book, Helen became the only person who could sooth him and eventually found themselves betrothed.  Their future of their relationship was left hanging at the end of Cold-Hearted Rake and this book opens with Helen arriving at Rhys's department store, determined to get him to see reason.

Helen is the quietest and sweetest of the Ravenel sisters.  She also a stubborn streak a mile wide.  I love it when authors provide heroines who are so much more than they first appear.  I admired how secretly strong Helen is and that makes her the perfect woman to upend Rhys's life.  Lisa Kleypas excels at self-made heroes and Rhys is another example of this talent.  He is ambitious and arrogant, but also secretly insecure and very sweet around Helen.  I always enjoy reading about heroes who think they have life figured out until someone special walks in and shows them what they are missing.

The romance between Helen and Rhys was surprisingly sweet and beautiful.  They are great for one another and help each other grow as people.  Helen learns to take chances while Rhys learns to trust others.  I did feel like there were times (especially towards the end) where the love story got shafted due to the secondary plot of Helen's Big Secret which she refused to divulge until the last minute.  I am not a fan of this type of conflict and felt like the romance was compelling enough without it.

The use of Winterborne's as a historical setting was another highlight.  I am fascinated by how different one-stop shopping was to people of the time and what changes it brought to society.  I felt like Kleypas really brought the store to life and it gave the book that something special to make it stand out even more.

Marrying Winterborne was a beautifully written story with two stubborn people who were perfect for each other.  They had some obstacles to overcome to get their happy ending, but it was definitely worth it.  I cannot wait for the next Ravenel book, Devil in Spring, which features the unorthodox Pandora Ravenel and...Gabriel St. Vincent, son of Sebastian and Evie from my all-time favorite Kleypas historical, Devil in Winter.


“My heart only beats as an echo of yours.”

Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1) Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels, #2) Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3)