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Friday, December 26, 2014

Review of NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER by Sarah MacLean

The Fourth Rule of Scoundrels Series Book Four
Sarah MacLean
Avon Publishing
ISBN# 978-0-06-206851-4
December 2014
Historical Romance

In her last installment of this series, we finally learn about the fourth scoundrel, Chase, who is actually Lady Georgiana Pearson.  The daughter of a Duke, her future was bright and exciting until that changed when she was ruined before her first season.  Now, suffering the ton's cruelty by day, at night, she became Chase, the cloaked owner of London't infamous gaming hall, The Fallen Angel.  A cut-throat and shrewd business man, Chase is able to keep the ton's elite men under his thumb by learning their secrets.  Everything is fine until Georgiana needs an advantageous marriage in order to pave the way for her daughter to marry well.

Duncan West has secrets, and as a newspaper tycoon, he's been dealing with Chase for years through correspondence.  Being blackmailed, he decides to use Chase's influence into gaining his blackmailer's secrets as well.  Then he meets Georgiana at a ball, and he finds her fascinating.  When he follows her, he discovers that she is also Anna, a woman who has connections with The Fallen Angel.  He decides to see if she can help him gain access to Chase.

Working together, Duncan uses his influence in the newspaper and Scandal Sheet, in order to help bring about a marriage for Georgiana, and Georgiana helps him with Chase.  However, it soon becomes apparent that their feelings go beyond business.  Georgiana's deception and Duncan's past both threaten any future they could have together, and even if they could get beyond that, there is the question of the dangerous blackmailer who doesn't want Duncan to have a future at all.

This is a wonderful conclusion to this series, focusing in on Georgiana, who is actually Chase.  We get to see all the other scoundrels as they have each married now.  We learn the background story as to what happened to Georgiana years ago, what drives her, and how she is able to maintain the facade of Chase.  Duncan is a striking compatible hero, strong and powerful in his own right, yet he has a weak link that is exploited by someone from his past.  Duncan and Georgiana fall in love, and yet the reader is held in suspense as to how they will actually work it out to be together.  Sexy without being over-written, intriguing, and her interactions with Bourne, Cross and Temple, she is shown to be a strong and independent woman with her actions, not just words.  This book is a must read for fans of the previous titles.  While this is the conclusion, it's not wholly necessary to read the others first, even though there will be references to previous characters.  A new series coming soon that will have a connecting character from this book.

Reviewed by:  Jennifer Jones
Rating: 4.5

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Virgin River Book 20
Robyn Carr
Harlqeuin MIRA
ISBN:  978-0778313854
November 2012
Contemporary Romance

In one of my all time favorite Christmas novels, published a two years ago, 
Robyn Carr gives us the story of Patrick Riordan.  Patrick is on an extended 
leave from his duties as a Navy pilot.  His best friend has been shot down and 
he is trying to recover.  He comes to Virgin River to get some peace and quiet, 
staying in a brother’s small cabin.  He begins getting dinner in Jack’s bar and 
one day, while there, he spots Angie LeCroix.

Angie, a brilliant over-achiever, is in Virgin River getting some space from her 
very bossy and opinionated mother, who is also Jack’s older sister.  Angie is on 
leave from her medical school studies after being in a very serious auto 
accident that almost killed her.  Now she is rethinking her life plan, much to 
her mother’s distress.  

This novel has some interesting side plots, including Angie’s efforts to obtain 
plastic surgery for a disfigured girl in the town, the town Christmas tree with 
a military theme, and Patrick’s commitment to his best friend’s widow and son.  
Honestly, I have read every one of these Virgin River books and I was thrilled 
to read about all these characters from past books, integrated into Patrick and 
Angie’s very fine romance.  

Can two people fall madly in love in a short period of time and have it be real?  
Is it possible for two very geographically different lives to merge and succeed?  
Readers will certainly hope that the answers are yes to these questions!  I 
loved this book, the romance, the passion, the character development of these 
two charming people.  I also love that Patrick’s insecurities and worries are 
just as prominent as Angie’s.  Awesome book and can be read over and over!

Reviewed by  Jeri Neal
Rating:  4 1/2

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Sons of Chance
Vicki Lewis Thompson
Harlequin Blaze #823
ISBN:  978-037398278
December 2014
Contemporary Romance

Ben Radcliffe is making a “secret” birthday delivery of a hand-crafted saddle to 
the Last Chance Ranch, for matriarch Sarah’s seventieth birthday.  Commissioned 
by her son Jack, Ben is acting as a potential horse buyer to keep the secret 
until the big birthday party a few days hence.  Molly Gallagher is an academic 
genealogist taking a holiday with her relatives as she continues to pursue the 
family history.  

These two are powerfully attracted to each other and have several somewhat 
awkward early moments before they become romantically entangled.  Ben is very 
skittish about the whole concept of family, given his own problematic 
background.  He finds Molly completely caught up in family and all it entails.  
Will he give her a chance and take a risk on his own heart?  

I have not read all of the previous books in this series and I think this was a 
detriment to fully understanding the history around these various and complex 
characters.  While the passion between Molly and Ben is palpable, some of their 
intimate encounters don’t completely jive with being guests at this ranch.  
Still, the positives far outweigh any negatives in this story.  Christmas at the 
Last Chance Ranch, with a snowstorm thrown in, is magical and fits right in with 
the holiday season.  

Reviewed by  Jeri Neal
Rating:  3 

Christine Feehan
Pocket Star
ISBN # 9781476784564
November 2014
Paranormal Romance

Cole Steele was born and bred in roughness and he has a difficult time being gentle with people. After the death of his father, he learns he has a half-brother and has been named his guardian. His brother is experiencing nightmares, the same nightmares that have plagued Cole every time he closes his eyes. Cole's father was a cruel and abusive man, who took pleasure in hurting his sons and his wives. According to town rumors, Cole killed his father and plans to kill his stepbrother Jase so he wouldn't have to share the inheritance money. When a series of accidents plague their ranch, it makes the brothers doubt each other. The two need to have faith in each other and Cole wants to provide Jase with all the love he can. He just has to figure out how and perhaps Maia Armstrong can help him find a way.

Maia Armstrong is a veterinarian and a woman of many talents, including a unique ability to understand animals. Maia has never taken a permanent veterinary position in town. She often fills in for other vets in order to save enough money so she can buy out the elderly vet and take over his business. Some say she possesses magic and strange things seems to happen when she is around. It is said she can cast spells on animals and men. Maia has noticed Cole, he seems to be obsessed with her and if truth were told, she is just as intrigued with him. When there is an emergency at the Steele ranch, Maia agrees to go. She feels a strong need to help Cole and Jase deal with their past and wants to help them look forward to being a family in the future. She can't help falling in love with Cole, but will he return her love?

ROCKY MOUNTAIN MIRACLE is an outstanding paranormal romance. Ms. Feehan delivers on so many levels especially in revealing a dysfunctional family trying to learn to have faith in each other. There is love, faith, forgiveness and the miracle of the Christmas Season. There is also intrigue, suspense, and interesting animals that all add to the story line. Although this book is re-released, this is my favorite Christmas story.

Reviewed by Gloria Gehres
Rated 4 1/2