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Let’s travel the world!

Lady Traveller's Guide To Happily Ever After Book Cover Lady Traveller's Guide To Happily Ever After
(Lady Travelers Society, Book 4)
Victoria Alexander
Fiction, victorian, Historical
HarperCollins UK, Mills and Boon Historicals
August 27, 2019
384

Can she find her Happily Ever After... #1 New York Times bestselling author

For the past seven years, Viola Branham has enjoyed the luxury of traveling the world as an independent woman, and confining her awkward past to a distant, if painful, memory. But now she has been summoned home to England over a stipulation in the will of her late uncle, the Earl of Ellsworth, one that decrees she lose everything unless she reconciles with the man who broke her heart and ruined her life—her husband.

This was a lovely book, well written and Victorian times, were not missish about sex nor innocent – as was said – women share, even their most intimate moments….

We have independent women who are not afraid to go off and find out about the world with no men in tow or to ‘protect’ them, but are happy to take trains, ferries and other forms of transport to go to, what were then considered, tricky places to reach such as Egypt. To learn languages and to make friends – even risqué friends.

It is a romance and we do have the normal ups and downs of the genre but it is written in such a way as to make it believable that the characters would act that way.

I liked Violet from the start and gradually fell for James – the winks did it for me… I could just visualise them.. which is the sign of a good story-teller. I look forward to reading more from Victoria Alexander.

Ps – the book cover shows Regency dress, Violet wears a bustle! We are in Victorian times in this book.

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And your friend is?

Friends With Benefits Book Cover Friends With Benefits
by Margot Radcliffe
Romance , Women's Fiction
Mills & Boon
Pub Date 3 Oct 2019

‘You made the rules… But you forgot I’m really good at games.’ Casino mogul Alexa Lawson always keeps the lines between her and drop-dead gorgeous bestie Carter Hayes firmly drawn. That is, until Alexa's solution to all her problems is to make Carter her super-hot, fake fiancé! Now Carter's changing the game—into one that's white-hot and deliciously dirty. But what happens on one wild night in Vegas might just cost them their friendship… and their hearts.

This is a very adult novel due to the explicit sex scenes, which felt forced to me. It was as though the author had to insert them but they didn’t really fit the storyline

Overall the storyline and writing style was OK but somehow lacked a real spark or empathy for the characters.

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Weddings and Animals

Meant To Be Yours Book Cover Meant To Be Yours
Susan Mallery
Fiction, romance
HarperCollins UK, Mills and Boon
October 22, 2019
464

Renee can plan the perfect wedding, but does love always go to plan? Wedding coordinator Renee Grothen isn’t meant for marriage. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, plan. But she never could have planned on gorgeous, talented thriller writer Jasper Dembenski proposing—a fling, that is. Fun without a future. And the attraction between them is too strong for Renee to resist. Now she can have her no-wedding cake…and eat it, too. After years in the military, Jasper is convinced he’s too damaged for relationships. So a flirtation—and more—with fiery, determined Renee is way too good to pass up…until his flame becomes his muse. Renee is an expert at averting every crisis. But is she finally ready to leap into the one thing that can never be controlled: love?

Here we have an author and PTSD and Dog meets a Wedding Planner with a Mum who can… (spoiler not included).

It is this Mum who gave her daughter serious issues with her won relationships – the daughter loses boyfriend after boyfriend… Absolutely love the Mum here!  And what she discovers.

Now Happily inc, a wedding themed town, I can believe in but could never live there… Overall a nicely written story with an unusual setting and wacky ideas – for weddings! I just had to assume that people had actually done this, and sure enough there were several Pinterest pictures of a Zebra theme but no actual zebras in these pics…

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Contracts are tricky things

Claiming My Hidden Son Book Cover Claiming My Hidden Son
Maya Blake
Fiction, romance
HarperCollins UK, Mills and Boon
October 17, 2019
192

My contract bride’s secret… …is about to turn my world upside down! My marriage to Calypso was simply business. Until our unexpectedly passionate wedding night shook us both! Unwilling to muddy our convenient arrangement with such inconvenient emotions, I reluctantly left. Now discovering the baby in my estranged wife’s arms is mine, it’s about securing my legacy. I will claim my son and again enjoy the one thing Calypso cannot hide—the chemistry that still sizzles between us…

An interesting take on why the story line goes up and down but for me, it was still a case of macho men and lust but not love.

Love takes time, trust and truth. All 3 of which were largely missing in the characters and storyline even though they admitted they were required.

Also, why would a 7 month pregnant woman travel to Kenya to volunteer when she had a potential life altering illness? That would have been better dealt with back in Switzerland? And which could have made her delivery problematic? Just didn’t add up. So (just) a 3 star.

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Who is to inherit?

Daring To Love The Duke's Heir Book Cover Daring To Love The Duke's Heir
The Beauchamp Heirs
by Janice Preston
Women's Fiction, Historical
Mills & Boon
Pub Date 27 Jun 2019

She’s totally unsuitable…

…to be his Duchess!

Part of The Beauchamp Heirs: Dominic Beauchamp, Lord Avon, is a powerful duke’s heir and it’s his duty to marry well. His bride must have impeccable breeding, manners and grace. But can anyone meet his exacting standards? Certainly not the irrepressible Liberty Lovejoy, who’s been thrust into society after years of being a provincial nobody. She’s too bold, too bubbly…so why is she the only lady he’s thinking about?

Oh the ‘Ton’ and their ideas that women should be seen and not heard – unless they agree with men of course – in  very simpering way.

A time it seems of true misogyny, at least in the ranks of the privileged few. Bearing in mind that very few women had any control over property, children or money. Let alone voting and politics. Not even the ability to pay bills it seems.

What therefore is a woman with a mind, a voice, and emotions going to do when her twin brother seems determined to fritter away their newly acquired fortune and she can’t control him or the money or…

Clearly she was not going to marry a Duke. Except that this is a love story and…

Nicely written and one feels for both the hero and heroine. The hero because he has been brought up in a world of expectations and the heroine because she has so little control over her life and yet is passionate and meddling..!

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