My Fab Reads – August

For the past few months I have really struggled to keep up my blog. I think I just lost my mojo trying to keep up with reading and then blogging. Whilst I love reflecting on my thoughts on each book, at the moment it’s just too hard and it’s been months since I published any reviews, so I’m trying a new approach.

This is what I have loved in August.

The Ravenhood Duet (Flock and Exodus) by Kate Stewart

You will suffer big time with this one. I had the worst book hangover I’ve ever had. It will kill you.

I won’t tell you another thing about it, the less you know the more you will love it.

The Girl in the Love Song by Emma Scott (Lost Boys #1)

What an unexpected treat. Yep it’s a rockstar romance but not the story I expected. At every stage as it challenged what I thought would happen next I fell a little bit more in love. It’s complicated and with a good bit of angst but overall it’s got the feels and it’s so uplifting. I felt wonderful when I finished it.

Oh and what a gorgeous cover!

The Silent Treatment by Abbie Greaves

A debut?! That’s actually quite extraordinary.

This is the retelling of a 40 year relationship, it’s sweet and tragic. It’s beautifully set and written. The pacing is just perfect, it will have you engrossed but comfortable to put down and come back to it. I loved both characters, it’s told in such a gentle familiar way that I felt I knew them.

Hands Down by Mariana Zapata

I read a bunch of sports romance this month it is my fave after all but this was the best. MZ is the Queen of slow burn and unveiling real romance to the reader. No one manages the build up quite like her. She’s in her element with this one, if you’ve read MZ’s Winnipeg, you have a few treats in store!

A Secret Surrender by Darcy Burke (The Pretenders #1)

Ms Burke always delivers, of late her books have had a greater depth to them. They actually have a little sprinkle of contemporary themes. And thank God for that. I’ve realised that I’ve moved away from historical romance in the last year or so, as I’ve not found enough originality, too much gender stereotyping and/or complete historical inaccuracies. None of that here. This story is so original with outstanding use of research.

A Festive Trio

Joy to the Duke (Love is All Around #3) by Darcy Burke

Christmas beckons, under a month to go now. If you are looking to ignite your Christmas spirit, this cracking series is perfect for you.

Calder Stafford is a gloriously moody and cranky Duke. He does his best to thwart his sisters’ festive plans and ensure the locals are denied any kind of joy. Yep, meet Ebeneezer Scrooge! Ms Burke weaves a great tale to explore the grumpiness of our Duke. It’s easy to see how ‘Chill’ lives upto his nickname. But how can he be defrosted?

Enter old flame Felicity. It wasn’t only the Duke’s heart that sung, so did mine. It was romantic and feisty, and well joyful. Throw in a whole load of Christmas spirit and this is a festive read you’ll return to every December.

This is book three in this festive series, for me it’s the best. Whilst each book is stand alone I recommend you start with The Red Hot Earl, which gets the Rudolph treatment. It will make you feel good all over. Second up is The Gift of the Marquess, Ms Burke takes an already established couple and weaves us some Christmas magic.

Spitfires and Dukes

Never Have I Ever with a Duke by Darcy Burke (Spitfire Society #1)

Yet again, Ms Burke demonstrates why she’s everyone’s favourite historical romance author.

As I’ve come to expect Ms Burke delivers an historically accurate and detailed story. The story itself is just that bit different.

We are reacquainted with Graham, who was the Duke of Ives secretary, managing all the betting and games. Now, however he has inherited a Dukedom. Sadly, it’s not an easy transition from Duke’s secretary to being a Duke.

To be the Duke he wants to be, Graham needs to make some tough choices. Along the way he meets Arabella who also faces some tough choices. It’s clear that under different circumstances they would both opt to choose each other, but it won’t solve their issues.

I thought the issue of debt contrasted alongside the marriage mart was well handled and interesting. It just shows us how far society has come, of course there’s so far to go but what progress we’ve made.

I especially appreciated that there wasn’t an easy resolution, in fact it seems that only half the work is done. Wrapping everything up simply at the end, grates on me, sometimes it’s so hard to believe.

As for the Spitfire Society – oh my! This is going to be a fascinating series. Spirited and interesting ladies who aren’t hanging off the Duke’s every word! Along with their heroes there’s going to be some baggage and some great stories to tell! Can’t wait!

Thank you to the author for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

PS I’ve been off colour for a while, I’m only now organised enough to draft blogs for my summer reading. Please bear with me whilst I catch up. Thank you.

Duelling Romance

The Duke of Danger Darcy Burke (#6 The Untouchables)

I love this fun, cheeky and quirky series, it’s just terrific.  Everything you’d expect from Darcy Burke – great characterisation, cracking pace and historical understanding.

The premise of this story is that the hero has killed someone in a duel.  I have to admit I struggled with this aspect, I can’t find guns and duelling honourable.  And even more so the flimsy excuses for such deplorable actions.

Having said that once I got into the story, I really loved it. Axminster was a flawed but quite gorgeous hero, and Emmaline was complex but ultimately likeable.  I really liked how she focussed on making herself independent. This really gave him a chance to shine.  So sweet and believable.

And then the romance – yummy!  The cover kind of says it all. Hot and bothered!!!

I loved all the glimpses of characters from the other books in the series only I kept forgetting who was who. So, I really wish the author would add in a who’s who at the end of the book.

Thank you netgalley for an ARC in return for an honest review