Review: Forgotten & Remembered: The Duke’s Late Wife by Bree Wolf

Forgotten & Remembered: The Duke's Late Wife (Love's Second Chance, #1)

Forgotten & Remembered: The Duke’s Late Wife
(Love’s Second Chance #1)
Author: Bree Wolf
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Published: November 22, 2015
Genre: Romance, Historical Romance
My Rating:

three point five

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Synopsis new

One night, they find themselves under some mistletoe.
Now, he owes her a kiss. And she is determined to claim it.

HIS HEART TORN in two, Graham Astor, Duke of Kensington, mourns his wife. As he distances himself from everything that reminds him of happier days lost forever, he comes to realize that there is one thing he cannot run from.

Graham needs a new wife, if only for the sake of his daughter.

DISILLUSIONED WITH LOVE , Rosabel only wishes to not remain a burden to her uncle’s family much longer. After seeing her parents’ love turn against them, Rosabel dreams of an independent life as a governess.

But then a stranger asks for her hand in marriage, and to her utter shock her uncle instantly agrees.

Will Rosabel find love after all? Or will the memory of Graham’s late wife keep him from finding happiness?

my thoughts new

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It’s been a while since I’ve read Historical romance and I’m so glad to have read this book. It makes me miss my very early reading days when all I’ve ever devoured were romance books where dukes and duchesses were being highlighted as characters. I enjoyed most parts of Forgotten & Remembered: The Duke’s Late Wife. It has a very original and emotionally-driven storyline that absolutely pulled my heartstrings!

This story is set in the 18th century in England and it talks about Graham Astor, Duke of Kensington, who became devastated when his wife Leonora died, leaving him and their little daughter Georgina behind. He could not find it in his heart to move on and fall in love with any other woman because his love for Leonora was deep. When he met Rosabel at a party a year later, he saw her as a ‘potential’ to become a good mother to Georgina, which forced him to propose a marriage to her despite the fact that it wasn’t because of love. Rosabel, a young and beautiful woman with a kind heart, has always been a woman who follows her uncle’s orders without a question that’s why when her uncle told her to accept the Duke’s proposal, she willingly accepted it, not knowing for sure what life awaited her once she become the Duchess of Kensington.

The book started out so good it basically drew me in. There was something about the author’s writing style that captivated me. Perhaps it’s the vibrancy of her words and the wonderfully described settings and characters that made me immediately embrace it. I loved how Graham was described as someone grumpy and a man of very few words as well as of how Rosabel came out to be a shy and a soft-hearted woman who has a way with kids. I also loved that the story remarkably ran in a good pacing.

However, I wished Rosabel’s character was well-developed here. All throughout the story, I found her lacking when it comes to confidence. She was always so insecure and unsure of herself, always being bothered by how Leonora had been a good wife, a mother, and a duchess. There were also some scenes here that were kind of redundant.

As for the romance, it was developed naturally. The main characters did not fall in love instantly which was so good! I loved how Graham and Rosabel’s attraction towards each other slowly grew and how Graham wasn’t able to discover Rosabel’s inner and outer beauty right away.

“Because the moment he laid eyes on her, he knew her to be the one woman who could make his life complete.”

The side characters were all amazing and with unique traits, especially Edmond Dunsworth (Graham’s brother-in-law), Helen (Leonora’s mother), and Georgina. There were scenes shared by Rosabel and Georgina that made me teary-eyed because they were just simply touching and adorable.

The ending left a wonderful feeling to my heart. It was sweet! It also brought a promising story for Edmond. I’m looking forward to reading his story in the future, as well! Overall, it’s a wonderfully written historical romance book. If you love this genre like I do, then I recommend you to check out this book!

(A copy of this book was provided by the author, Bree Wolf, in exchange for a honest review.)

Rating:

three point five

Buy this book at:

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

xo pearl

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Review: The Royal Conquest by Stacy Reid

The Royal Conquest (Scandalous House of Calydon, #4)

The Royal Conquest
(Scandalous House of Calydon #4)
Author: Stacy Reid
Publisher: Entangled Publishing LLC
Publication: November 30, 2015
Genre: Romance, Historical Romance
My Rating:

description

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Synopsis new

His dark seduction will be her undoing…

After being cruelly jilted by a lord who claimed to adore her, Miss Payton Peppiwell swore her future husband would be as ordinary as she. Now if only her family would listen to her. Then she meets Mikhail Konstantinovich, an untitled horse breeder, in a highly improper and scandalous encounter. Never had Payton expected to be so attracted to the dark, intriguing man, who seduces her to recklessness with a mere stare.

Mikhail abhors anything to do with intimacy. Yet Miss Peppiwell stirs hunger and a need long forgotten in him. But Mikhail has a dark past—one that means his lust must be sated in a way entirely unsuitable for a lady. But his biggest secret will be the hardest for Payton to overcome: Mikhail is not only titled, he’s a prince…

my thoughts new

Before anything else, allow me to fangirl first and ask Stacy Reid a question through this review. Were you Lisa Kleypas‘s apprentice? Because her writing and yours have the same impact to my heart. You are a historical romance genius!

Alright, on to my review. 🙂

The Royal Conquest seriously made me miss reading historical romance because I consider this genre my first love. In this book, I experienced such overwhelming feelings and love because Stacy Reid’s way of writing offers flawless romance and emotional depth.

This book is the fourth book of the Scandalous House of Calydon series. This time we get to know more about Payton Peppiwell, the younger sister of Phillipa Peppiwell fromThe Irresistible Miss Peppiwell. Payton, who was jilted by her fiancé Lord Jensen because of her previous family scandal, has already moved on and decided that the social circle is not for her. But when her visitation to Sherring Cross led her to meeting the alluring and devilishly handsome Mikhail Konstantinovich, her world tumbled upside down because of the inevitable attraction they both felt towards each other. However, Mikhail had some secrets that he was not willing to divulge to Payton and all of a sudden, Lord Jensen came into the scene once again to win her back and propose a marriage for the second time.

This book certainly has a lot of elements that attract a romance reader like me. One of these is the sexual tension which was very discernible and powerful that I was most definitely swooning the entire time and rooting for the two to end up together. The main characters are strong and very attractive and they definitely burst with amazing qualities. Payton especially enthralled me because of her love for books and writing.

Here’s one of my favorite conversations shared by Payton and Mikhail that made me laugh:

(Mikhail) “Do not be embarrassed. I possess a similar need to know all of your secrets. I hunger to know your passion, what you dream of, the food you love, what makes you angry, what makes you throw back your head and laugh without a care in the world, what makes your golden eyes darken with need, and what makes you moan in abandonment.”

(Payton) “Books.”

(Mikhail) “What?”

(Payton) “When I smell a new book and clasp the leather binding in my arms. I moan… in pure pleasure.”

The two of them have undeniable chemistry and it was endearing and a pleasure to read. The overall romantic plot is also raw and very enticing. It’s basically a book that makes it all difficult to tear your eyes away from it. As a whole, this book is an exquisite addition to the series. It was written with passion and it’s one with a great conflict delivery and remarkable resolve.

I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for her readers on the next books. Man, the series continues to get better in each book!

(ARC was given freely by the Publisher in exchange for an honest review)

Rating:

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Buy this book at:

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xo pearl

REVIEW: The Duke’s Shotgun Wedding by Stacy Reid

The Duke's Shotgun Wedding

The Duke’s Shotgun Wedding
(Scandalous House of Calydon #1)
Author: Stacy Reid
Publisher: Entangled: Scandalous
Published: April 14, 2014
Genre: Romance, Historical Romance
My Rating:

five-stars

Victorian Era England…
As far as rash decisions go, it was formidable. But Lady Jocelyn Rathbourne’s will remains strong. If the only way to save her family’s estate and reputation is by aiming a small pistol at the Duke of Calydon, then so be it. For Lady Jocelyn demands satisfaction – and she will have it at any cost. Even if it means demanding the hand of the intense and foreboding Duke himself… But she’s made the first move against a very dangerous opponent… For Sebastian Thornton is no stripling to be trifled with. The lady has played her hand. Now it’s his turn. For Sebastian is in need of a wife. And to find a wife with spirit and fire – even if she means to only marry for his money – would be a great prize indeed. And he intends to thoroughly take his pleasure with her… and demands his own satisfaction in return.

MY THOUGHTS…

“You came into my life and completely turned it upside down, when all I wanted was a biddable wife to give me an heir.”

I’ve read The Irresistible Miss Peppiwell by Stacy Reid and it really fascinated me in a heartbeat so I didn’t hesitate to grab The Duke’s Shotgun Wedding and have it a go. And again, Stacy Reid did not fail. I absolutely love this novella!

It’s fast-paced and really compelling. I love how the main characters interact especially how their connection became deeper every second. I thought Sebastian and Jocelyn’s love story is worth extending, I just wished Stacy made it a bit longer because I so want to read mooooore of them together! I think their romantic quest is too short-lived and it leaves me craving for more, more, and more.

However, I rated it 5 stars because the plot is absolutely perfect. I could not find any flaws in this book. It’s romantic, and not in a boring and cliche way. The characters also did not annoy me at all. And the ending is brilliant! *sigh*

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Review: The Irresistible Miss Peppiwell by Stacy Reid

The Irresistible Miss Peppiwell

The Irresistible Miss Peppiwell
(Scandalous House of Calydon #2)
Author: Stacy Reid
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Expected Publication: August 11, 2014
Genre: Historical Romance, Romance, Erotica
My Rating:

five-stars

With a longing for adventure, the last thing Phillipa Pippiwell wants is to marry. After a painful betrayal by a man she trusted, she is wary when she unwittingly catches the attention of roguishly handsome – and sinfully tempting – Lord Anthony Thornton. Forbidden desires she secretly yearns for threaten to crumble her icy facade and reveal a past scandal best kept buried.

Dissatisfied with his empty life, Lord Anthony seeks a deep and lasting connection… and finds himself intrigued by the Ice Maiden of the haute monde. Undaunted by Phillipa’s aloof nature and her distaste for the idea of matrimony, he sets out to thaw the bewitching beauty by enticing her with adventures of the most sensual type. But he, too, hides a scandalous secret… and if it’s discovered it could rip them apart.

MY THOUGHTS…

I received an ARC of this book free from the author and netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Oh my… It’s been a while since I’ve read historical romance. This one’s a real treat, so thank you Miss Stacy Reid for the ARC!

First of all, I’d like to say that this book has a beautiful cover! Whoa, look at that. The girl is so lovely. She’s exactly what I’ve imagined of Phillipa. 🙂

This book, by the way, comes in a very passionate tale… and it’s one with a scorching hot romantic plot! The story is all about two characters who developed a beyond-ordinary love right after their fateful encounter in London. Anthony Thornton, a deliciously hot member of the ton, instantly fell for the irresistible Miss Phillipa Peppiwell in a certain ball. Phillipa, on the other hand, is an American lady who doesn’t agree with London’s social viewpoints. She has a very intriguing scandalous past which made her feel hesitant to accept Anthony’s proposal to her. From the very beginning, the attraction and the sexual tension between these two characters are already apparent so it’s not that hard for me to connect well with these characters.

By all rights, he should be concentrating on the stunning widow Lady Galveston, who had been throwing him sultry looks since his arrival, but he had to admit the slender redhead with her cold, golden eyes interested him far more.

What I love about this novel is the undeniable chemistry between Anthony and Phillipa. I love their match and I knew right then that they’re perfect for each other! Although they first thought that their feelings for each other is mainly a lust, the way they interact and spend time together is evidently more than that.

I love Anthony Thornton, I already consider him as one of my favorite historical book characters! He’s bold enough to express his feelings and he doesn’t even hesitate to accept the fact that he’s in love. He doesn’t annoy me at all.

Phillipa, on the other hand, is a bit annoying especially during the first few chapters, but thankfully her character eventually improved so my annoyance with her didn’t really grow that much. 🙂

The scenes are unpredictable, and that’s how I admire the author. It’s also well-written. It basically paints a picture of the earlier London scene– how London society reacts to gossips, scandals, and anything unusual. It also speaks about the importance of politics over love when it comes to choosing someone you marry. Well, I’m glad I wasn’t born in this era. Lol. :’D

One thing I noticed about this book, though. It reminds me of Lisa Kleypas’ novels. There are a lot of similarities when it comes to the plot. And I’m glad however because I love Lisa Kleypas and I want to read historical novels that are similar with her writings and plots. And this one really satisfies me. 🙂

Also, I love the dual POVs here. All stories should be like this! 🙂

Kudos for a very beautiful story, Miss Stacy Reid!

My Rating for this Book: 5 Stars 🙂 (For those of you who loves historical romance with a taste of sexy and passionate scenes and with a satisfying ending, consider reading this. 🙂 It’s worth a read!)

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Friday’s Feisty, Fabulous, and Fierce Female (#2) – July 18, 2014

Friday’s Feisty, Fabulous, and Fierce Female is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Kristin of Romance Bound. Anyone can participate! To play along:

  • Grab any of your favorite books.
  • Choose a female character whom you think is a feisty, fabulous, and fierce woman.
  • Describe the reason why you think she is feisty, fabulous, and fierce.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
    (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists.
    • Share a link to your own Friday’s Feisty, Fabulous, and Fierce Female in the Comments and I’ll be checking it out!

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    This week’s Feisty, Fabulous, and Fierce Female is Lillian Bowman of It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers #2) by Lisa Kleypas

    It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2)

    Most of the historical romance female characters possess these qualities but Lilian Bowman, I guess, has it all. She’s not that beautiful according to the author but she has the fierceness that will make every royal man in London bow on her. In the book, Ms. Lisa described her as a woman with stubbornness. A daughter of a rich businessman in America, she was expected to behave in a womanly way. That means, she has to stay modest, shy, sweet, and with good manners to the ton. But what she did in the book were the opposite. Instead, she was seen doing horseback riding, playing boyish sports, and even joining men’s conversations at balls– which at first, didn’t please her love interest Marcus, Lord Westcliff. But don’t you know that being feisty, fabulous, and fierce in her own way eventually took the heart of Marcus? That’s the perfect thing about this heroine. 🙂

    Now share your thoughts and bring out your favorite favorite Feisty, Fabulous, and Fierce Female character! 🙂

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REVIEW: Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin

Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire, #1)Queen of Someday

fourstars

ONE GIRL WILL BRING AN EMPIRE TO ITS KNEES…

Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?

MY THOUGHTS…

I received an ARC of this book free from the author and netgalley in exchange for an honest review. First, I was really smitten by the book’s cover. Isn’t it so stunning?

I was even surprised to find out that the book does not only tell a typical, plain story but it outlines the life of the Russian leader Catherine the Great. Honestly my knowledge about history is so poor so I paused reading it for a while and review the background of Catherine the Great so as to have a better idea about the main character. Then I returned to reading and found it even more interesting.

I have to admit that the book is utterly brilliant. Ms. Sherry D. Ficklin has the wit to write down solid descriptions of the characters and put extra charm to them.

I love Sophia (Catherine the Great). This woman is true to her name. She’s great in every sense of a word. I admire her courage and intelligence. She’s a headstrong character who makes striking and great decisions and she has the inner power that will make women really proud. I also love her selflessness and the way she prioritizes her family rather than her own happiness. I just felt awed by the fact that she craves the feeling of being loved.

“Is it so wrong to dream of romance and tenderness? Of love?”

I also admire Alexander. I am so thankful for his existence in this book. He’s the character that’s too perfect to describe.

“There are many beautiful and wonderful things to see at court.”

“Like what?” I ask playfully.

He looks right into my eye and smiles. “Well, there’s you for one.”

“Are you flirting with me?”

Sergei. I can’t decide if he’s better than Alexander or the other way around. All I know is, he’s equally admirable.

“Be careful Princess. When waging a war of the heart, you must only fight if you are absolutely sure you can win.”

The plot is also impressive. I was honestly taken aback especially in the last remaining chapters. Goodness, that was such a twist!

As a whole, I didn’t regret reading this book. I enjoyed it and learned a lot about history, too so it’s like killing two birds with one stone. The greatest thing I also liked about this book is the profound messages of the story beyond what are written. It teaches you something about life and it simply gives you the encouragement to live and accept life’s challenges with bravery. One thing I also learned after reading it is to never trust anyone so easily.

And yes, the essence of love above all things. This book very well accentuates the true meaning of love.

No matter how many romantic poems you recite, no matter how many glorious tales of love you read, how can you really understand the condition if you’ve never found yourself in it?

My Rating for the Book: 4 Stars (For those who love historical fiction with a touch of drama, romance, and intrigue, this story will not disappoint you.) 🙂

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REVIEW: Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught

Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3)

almost

five-stars

In this classic novel of two willful lovers caught in a breathless adventure of deception and betrayal, #1 New York Times bestselling author Judith McNaught has created a powerful and unforgettable masterpiece.

ELIZABETH CAMERON

The Countess of Havenhurst possessed a rare gentleness and fierce courage to match her exquisite beauty. But her reputation is shattered when she is discovered in the arms of Ian Thornton, a notorious gambler and social outcast.

IAN THORNTON

A dangerously handsome man of secret wealth and mysterious lineage, his voyage to Elizabeth’s heart is fraught with intrigue, scandal, and a venomous revenge.

Destined for each other, yet wary of each other’s motives, Elizabeth and Ian engage in a dance of suspicion and passion that tests the very soul of their star-crossed love. As a twisting path of secrets takes them from London’s drawing rooms to the mysterious Scottish Highlands, Elizabeth must learn the truth: is Ian merely a ruthless fortune hunter at heart?

MY THOUGHTS…

Okay, I know it’s a bit late to write a review for this book, but since this is one of my favorite books up to date, I thought I’d share how I felt about this wonderful tale and how it made me think about a perfect, true love.

For me, this book is McNaught’s ultimate masterpiece next to Whitney, My Love. I’m glad it’s the first historical romance book that I’ve read since I found it really unforgettable. This book has everything. It has an A-factor storyline. It’s classy. It’s bewitching and truly a book that historical romance lovers can’t dare to put down.

“Look, Elizabeth, isn’t he divine in a sort of mysterious, wicked way?”

The characters here are remarkable. Ian Thornton, the unacknowledged son of a Duke, met Lady Elizabeth Cameron few years ago at a London ball. Their first meeting was a whirlwind romance. Unfortunately, it didn’t end well but instead, their ‘affair’ turned into a memory both of them didn’t want to remember at all. After few years, fate led them back together but this time, Elizabeth needed him for marriage. And so their romantic past was eventually rekindled in some sort of wicked way.

I know it’s a typical romance plot, but how can I ever explain how wonderful their dialogues were? The witty banter, the undeniable chemistry both characters exude, and the romantic twist Judith is famous for. And of course, the way McNaught makes you feel as though she’s taking you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. All of these are what everyone will expect from this book.

The Book Is…

Pros

Extremely romantic. A fascinating and compelling read, with beautiful settings that are well-defined.

Con

It has events that will make you feel anxious and heart-broken at the same time.

What I Think about the Characters

Elizabeth Cameron

I love this character. She possesses a rare gentleness which Ian fell in love with. I also love how McNaught defined her physical features. I can imagine that she’s really beautiful inside and out.

Ian Thornton

He appears to be a dangerously handsome man. I also admire how he became wealthy not because he is the son of a Duke but because he attained it on his own. He’s also a guy every woman dreams of.

My Rating for this book: 5 Stars (It’s worth re-reading!)

Favorite Quote from this Book

“Why did happy memories fade and blur until one could scarcely recall them at all, while horrible memories seemed to retain their blinding clarity and painful sharpness?”

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