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Night-time is when you…..

One Night of Surrender Book Cover One Night of Surrender
(Wicked Dukes Club Book 2)
Darcy Burke
historical romance, Regency
Darcy Burke Publishing
30 Apr 2019

After one passionate night a decade ago, Valentine Fairfax, Duke of Eastleigh, never forgot Isabelle, the intelligent, witty and forbidden daughter of a head of college at Oxford. However, since suffering a disastrous marriage to an unfaithful wife, the duke has vowed never to succumb to temptation again. Until the day he discovers his friend’s governess is the one woman who still haunts his dreams.

Once penniless, Isabelle Cortland has finally saved enough money to finance a school for impoverished girls. But when a chance encounter rekindles buried desires, Isabelle knows she can’t be a duke’s mistress and a headmistress at the same time. No longer a naïve girl, Isabelle won’t repeat the past. Not even for one night of surrender...

A series in conjunction with Erica Ridley (an author I have read extensively, and thus was comparing) about certain ‘Wicked’ Dukes, their friends, and their romances.

An enjoyable tale, written competently but I found it too short for me. It could easily have been several pages longer in my opinion and then a more complex story could have been told. Whilst following the usual trope of ups and downs of a romance that we expect I was not sure that this book has quite the story-telling sophistication that for me is needed when re-telling Regency romances for the modern day. However, I’m more than happy to try another novel by this author. It is often awkward when joining in a series written by another author.

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Chilly waters to swim in

A Summer to Remember Book Cover A Summer to Remember
Sue Moorcroft
General Fiction (Adult) , Women's Fiction
Avon
Pub Date 02 May 2019

Katie Fforde COME AND SPEND SUMMER BY THE SEA!

WANTED! A caretaker for Roundhouse Row holiday cottages.

WHERE? Nelson’s Bar is the perfect little village. Nestled away on the Norfolk coast we can offer you no signal, no Wi-Fi and – most importantly – no problems!

WHO? The ideal candidate will be looking for an escape from their cheating scumbag ex-fiancé, a diversion from their entitled cousin, and a break from their traitorous friends.

WHAT YOU’LL GET! Accommodation in a chocolate-box cottage, plus a summer filled with blue skies and beachside walks. Oh, and a reunion with the man of your dreams.

PLEASE NOTE: We take no responsibility for any of the above scumbags, passengers and/or traitors walking back into your life…

Swimming in Norfolk waters – distinctly chilly as I recall. The Norfolk coast is notorious for its winds and chill and marshes and birds and seals too.

So what would you do when your fiancée makes his attraction for another woman quite so obvious? I guess I would do the same as the lead character here, and run off somewhere very remote. Personally, I’ve always thought the wilds of Scotland would be a good place, but a hamlet on the Norfolk coast with no internet or mobile signal I guess does as well.

This hamlet does not like ‘in-comers’ at all. Is very conservative in behaviour and lifestyle.  And is very good at holding grudges it seems. So it is a bit of shock when it gets disturbed by cousins and ex-fiancées and gays. Not what it is expected.

Overall, a pleasant story if not one that will strain your memory or your emotions. And please get the proof-reading done completely.

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Who should she go out with?

Mom's Perfect Boyfriend Book Cover Mom's Perfect Boyfriend
Crystal Hemmingway
Romance , Women's Fiction, contemporary, sci-fi
Galbadia Press Independent Book Publishers Association
16 Jul 2019
hardcover

Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Maria Semple, a smart romantic comedy about mothers and daughters, told in an addicting, fast-paced style.

Crystal has trouble saying no to her lonely, single mother. For 25 years, it wasn't a problem. But when one small mistake leaves Crystal jilted, homeless, and unemployed, she has to move back in with the person who caused it all: her mother.

Soon Crystal is sucked into her mother's vortex, partying with boomers and hawking homemade marshmallows. Desperate for some independence, she hatches a foolproof plan: get an experimental android to play her mom's "perfect" boyfriend. It's only a matter of time before her mom finds out, and Crystal will never live down the hilarious and disastrous consequences.

A story told through emails, texts, and journal entries, Mom's Perfect Boyfriend is a humorous yet deeply honest portrayal of the complicated friendship between mothers and daughters. Sometimes the people we want to rely upon the least are those who can help us the most.

I thought that this was an interesting story idea and enjoyed the format and way that the story was told. It was light, it was humorous, and you could follow what happened and the anticipated fall-out easily. You could feel empathy for all the characters – yes, all of of them.

Seriously though, at what point does an AI become a human? When does life come into being? There is a set of questions that supposedly, according to our AI friends would tell when an android has reached full understanding and thus can be classed as human. And this book illustrates this conundrum fully – because the religious philosophers would argue that still the android does not have a soul and thus cannot be considered human, even if it has a set of morals and morality and rationality. And emotions.

The concept of an android – or robot – falling in love with a human and vice versa is a trope that sci-fi writers have often used to try and discover a definition of human. Turing famously said that in a conversation between a computer and a human if you cannot tell the difference then both are human. And it is this idea that is taken up in this book.

So a good enjoyable read with a serious philosophical question hidden, if you want to think about it.

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Ooh flames!

Playing with Fire
A Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) #1
RJ Blaine
urban fantasy, comedy, romance,
Pen & Page Publishing
(30 Jan. 2017)

What do you get when you mix gorgons, an incubus, and the Calamity Queen? Trouble, and lots of it. 

For Bailey, catering to the magical is a tough gig on a good day, but she has few other options. She can either keep spiking drinks with pixie dust to keep the locals happy, or spend the rest of her life cleaning up some of the world’s nastiest magical substances. 

Years after helping Police Chief Samuel Quinn escape an unhappy marriage, Bailey is once again entangled in his personal affairs. To make matters worse, Quinn’s ex-wife is angling for revenge, tossing Bailey into the deep end along with her sexiest enemy.

Warning: This novel contains excessive humor, action, excitement, adventure, magic, romance, and bodies. Proceed with caution.

A 5 star read.

There are just so many mythological creatures turning up in this novel – and each and every one of them has attitudes.

Especially when they encounter our heroine – a vanilla human – or is she? Who is a kick-ass snarky virgin. And it is this latter descriptor that brings her to the attention of the gorgon community.

We learn a great deal about the gorgon society in this novel and their mating habits, and also just who finds a use for succubus and incubus in their love life – and what happens when you get a incubus drunk in a bar.

And then there is also the Quinn family – I found the court room scene hilarious – don’t stop reading before you get there!

Lots of fun and hilarity in a nicely crafted mystery story, well written with an easy style – and no grammar or proofing mistakes obvious. Some Americanism in the verbs but I can accept that.

Enjoying this series very much.

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Be a painter… have some debt!

Mrs Whistler Book Cover Mrs Whistler
Matthew Plampin
Historical Fiction , Literary Fiction
HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction
03 May 2018

Chelsea, 1876

Struggling artist Jimmy Whistler is at war with his patron. Denied full payment, he and muse Maud Franklin face ruin.

As Jimmy’s enemies mount, he resolves to sue a famous critic for libel, in a last-ditch attempt to ward off the bailiffs. Although she has no position in society, Maud is expected to do her part. But Maud has a secret that forces her to choose between art and love.

Mrs Whistler is a dazzling glimpse inside a world of passion, art and power.

A nice blend of reality plus imagination – as the author himself admits, the exact circumstances cannot be known as there were no diaries, and ‘Mrs’ Whistler herself and her actions and feelings were never documented at the time.

It seems clear that Whistler was not only a braggart but also naive and always thought that either people were his friends or his enemies and never considered that some may have had dubious reasons for being his friend – see Howell. And were so many of his paintings really destroyed? If so, it was a real shame. But his classic painting of his mother is still to be viewed.

Personally though I cannot agree with his reaction to Burne-Jones having seen a recent exhibition of his work where it demonstrates just how good he was, and how multi-talented, despite his later somewhat fanciful works of angels etc.

I am great fan of Whistler’s moody paintings where the items are barely distinguishable – the low light and almost monochromatic effect are wonderful.

I surprised myself by enjoying the book, but then I like (almost) all the Pre-Raphaelite painting/painters and found this an interesting exposition of just how they lived – so many debts – yet so much entertaining, and the fostering of children was heart-rending to read about.

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