October 17, 2021 12:24 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I completed four novels and two short stories in September, but once again, only one received the necessary five stars from me to feature here. It’s the third in a favorite series by a favorite author who I featured once before. Luke and Sydney were teenage sweethearts who were madly in love, but at nineteen, Sydney left their Gansett Island summer paradise for college without ever saying goodbye to Luke. She completely moved on with her life, marrying another man and having two great kids, but an unthinkable tragedy brings her back to the island to heal both her body and mind. About a year later, Sydney and Luke finally reconnect and quickly discover that the old spark is still there. Luke has never stopped loving Sydney, so he’s all in pretty much from the start. However, Sydney is a little more gun-shy, loving their time together, but wanting to take things slow when it comes to making major decisions about their future. She also feels some guilt about having such strong feelings for Luke with her husband only gone a year. Then there’s the possibility of her parents, who’ve always disapproved of Luke, getting in the way of their budding reunion romance, while Luke is playing a few things close to the vest for fear of getting hurt again, which stirs up a little trouble in paradise, too.
Tags: Marie Force
September 25, 2021 04:23 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
In case you missed by note from last month, my new job has been keeping me very busy lately, so in the interest of saving time, I’ll be shortening my Book of the Month blog posts moving forward. If you’d like additional info or analysis on the book I’m offering each month, you can scroll down and click on the “Read My Complete Review” link.
I didn’t get a lot of reading accomplished in August and out of what I did read, there was only one romance that made it to the five-star level. It’s a very spicy, contemporary, BDSM romance that’s the second in a pretty popular series and the second I’ve read by this author. Master Dan is still mourning the loss of his wife in a car accident. Bearing a lot of guilt and blaming himself for her being where she was at the time, he hasn’t been able to move past her death for the three years since. Although he’s a regular dungeon master at Club Shadowlands, he’s not looking to take on a permanent sub again, which is why he never spends more than one night with any of the subs who frequent the club even though he’s one of their most experienced and sought-after doms. He’s helping Master Z, the owner of the club, teach a beginner’s class when Kari comes in for the class with a date. However, her date behaves like a caveman, making her want to leave, until Master Z gives her the option of staying in the company of an experienced dom, namely Master Dan. Kari was brought up in a sexually repressive family, but she suspects she may have some submissive tendencies and wants to explore that possibility. Since she’s very attracted to Master Dan, she can’t resist the offer. After one delicious night together, Kari wants to continue her explorations, but she doesn’t really want any other dom besides Master Dan. While Kari has gotten under Master Dan’s skin, he doesn’t think he has anything to offer a sub other than a single night of pleasure, but with a little help from his matchmaking friends, she just might prove him wrong.
Tags: Cherise Sinclair
August 21, 2021 03:39 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
My new job has been keeping me very busy lately, so in the interest of saving time, I’ll be shortening my Book of the Month blog posts moving forward. If you’d like additional info or analysis on the book I’m offering each month, you can scroll down and click on the “Read My Complete Review” link. With that small order of business out of the way, let’s move on to the naming of my Book of the Month for July.
I completed a fair bit of reading during the month, but only one romance hit the five-star mark for me. It’s a historical by a new-to-me author that I’d heard good things about but had never read or featured before. It’s a fun, witty, pirate-y story about Sara, who is the stepdaughter of an earl and a passionate reformer. As such, she goes undercover on a ship that’s transporting convict women to Australia, hoping to document the deplorable conditions these women face, both on the ship and upon arriving in New South Wales, so that she and her Ladies Committee can perhaps enact reform. About two weeks into their journey, the ship is accosted by pirates led by none other than Captain Gideon Horn aka The Pirate Lord. He and his men have decided to retire from the pirate life and have found a lovely deserted island where he wants to build a utopia, and the only thing they lack to make it perfect are wives. He figures a ship full of convict women would be happy to be “rescued” from their fate, but he didn’t count on a stubborn bluestocking who plagues him with her demands. Gradually they come to a compromise on rules and length of time for courting. Although Gideon insists that Sara also choose a husband once their allotted time is up, she still hopes for eventual rescue, but she didn’t expect to be seduced and actually fall for The Pirate Lord himself. For his part, Gideon has no desire to tie himself to an exasperating woman like Sara, but at the same time, she stirs his protective and possessive instincts and he can’t bear the thought of anyone else touching her. But when Sara’s expected rescue party finally shows up, it could spell the end of their budding romance.
Tags: Sabrina Jeffries
July 18, 2021 04:07 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I didn’t get a ton of reading done in June, only completing four full-length novels. Out of those, two made it to five stars, but only one was a romance. It’s a historical by one of my favorite authors and it’s also a favorite book from a favorite series of hers that I’ve been rereading. Nursing a broken heart, Lizzie retreated to the country estate of the Dowager Viscountess Strathmore to work as her paid companion. She’s all but written off men and thinks that she can be content to live out her days as a spinster, working for her keep, until she earns enough money to open a bookshop. The wealthy Dowager has been paying all the bills for her favored nephew Devlin. When Lizzie see his extravagant expenditures and his seeming lack of attention to his aunt, she thinks that Devlin is a dissolute rake, so she hatches a scheme to get him to come for a visit by sending him a note implying that his aunt is dying. When Devlin arrives and Lizzie sees how much he actually does care for his aunt, she feels remorse for her deception, which is only compounded when she discovers his heartbreaking history. As Devlin and Lizzie get to know one another, they develop a surprisingly intimate bond in the short time they spend together, which the Dowager can also see. Wanting to make sure that Devlin has someone to look after him and love him after she's gone, Augusta makes a shocking stipulation in her will in order for Devlin to receive his inheritance. When she passes on and Dev discovers her scheme, at first he’s angry but later reluctantly agrees to go along with it to get the money he desperately needs to continue his quest for revenge against the men he’s certain killed his family. However, despite his best efforts not to love Lizzie, he finds himself falling for her anyway, but will he be able to give up his thirst for revenge before she becomes the next target?
Tags: Gaelen Foley
June 22, 2021 12:52 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
During the month of May, I read four full-length romances and one children’s book. All but one of the romances were by pretty well-established favorite authors of mine, but surprisingly none of them quite made it to the five-star mark for me to feature in this column. Instead it was a romance by a new-to-me author that ended up getting the honor of being named my Book of the Month this time. It’s a historical romance about Ian Mackenzie, who spent years in an asylum until his oldest brother, a duke, finally released him. He chances to meet Beth, a woman from the opposite side of the tracks, who unexpectedly became an heiress and who is engaged to a man Ian knows is not on the up and up, so he informs Beth of this fact and then offers to marry her himself. She politely refuses, but they meet up again in Paris, where Beth can no longer resist Ian’s charms. However, they’ve also been followed to France by a Detective Inspector from Scotland Yard who’s convinced that Ian has committed two murders. He believes that Ian got off the first time because of his powerful brother, but now that there’s a fresh corpse that’s linked to Ian, he’s not about to let it happen again and wants Beth to be his informant. With the threat of prison or worse yet, execution, hanging over their heads, it’s all but impossible for Ian and Beth to truly find their happy ending until the mystery is solved, and Beth won’t stop until she figures it all out and clears her new husband’s name.
Tags: Jennifer Ashley
May 16, 2021 04:25 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
During the month of April, I read four full-length books and one novella, and out of those, there was only one romance that received five stars from me. It’s a historical by a favorite author that’s part of a favorite series. However, the fact that I gave it five stars is surprising even to me. The reason for this is that I first read it over a decade ago, and at that time, I only gave it four stars. I recently started re-reading the series and toyed with the idea of skipping this book since it hadn’t been a favorite the first time around, but I’m soooo glad that I didn’t. I didn’t recall the story very well, and as I was reading it, I was waiting for something to happen that would make my previous dropping of a star off the rating make sense, but it never did. I got all the way to the end and realized I’d thoroughly enjoyed it, so I went back to re-read my old review for it and ended up feeling like it had been written by another person. It was definitely a strange moment for me to say the least, because I can’t recall something like this ever happening to me before. My opinion of books from one reading to the next don’t typically change all that much. I’m not sure what happened between then and now, but in any case, I obviously had a totally new outlook on it that now gives me a “newfound” great reading recommendation to pass along.
Tags: Gaelen Foley
March 14, 2021 04:06 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I read half a dozen books during the month of February, but out of those, only one romance rose to the five-star level for me to feature it here. It was written by an author who’s been on my favorites list for over two decades, but who, oddly enough, I have not featured before. It’s a pirate-y, historical, Regency-era romantic comedy about Nathan and Sara, who were married as children, a command that was handed down by the king, himself, as a way to bring peace between their families who’ve been at odds since the medieval era. Nathan was only fourteen at the time, and Sara a mere four years old. Their wedding is shown in the prologue and their first meeting is adorably sweet with little Sara placing her full trust in Nathan even then. Since then, they’ve lived separate lives, but Sara has dreamed of the day that Nathan will come to whisk her away. Needing the money that fulfilling the marriage contract will eventually bring him, Nathan finally shows up fourteen years later, intending to collect his bride and do just that, but with no designs on falling in love. However, Sara confounds him at every turn with her sweet, generous spirit and annoys the hell out of him when she brings one calamity after another upon his ship. But soon, he can no longer imagine his life without her, even though the word “love” isn’t exactly in his vocabulary.
Tags: Julie Garwood
February 14, 2021 05:26 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I kicked off my 2021 reading with four novels, a novella, and a short story in January. They ended up being kind of a mixed bag, mostly good, but a couple so-so. Only one book rose to the five-star level to become my Book of the Month. It’s a paranormal romance that’s part of a long-running series by a favorite author I’ve featured before. Her books seemingly never fail to entertain me and keep me on the edge of my seat, eager to find out what happens next. Such was the case with this book. It’s the story of Thanatos, Horseman of Death, and Regan, an Aegis Guardian. The pair experienced an inauspicious beginning to their relationship in the previous book of the series when Regan was sent to seduce Thanatos, with the intention of getting pregnant with his child, who the Aegis believes will bring an end to the Apocalypse that is already in full tilt. However, unbeknownst to her, Thanantos was still a virgin, believing that to lose his virginity would result in the breaking of his Seal. Even with this lack of knowledge, Regan was about to think better of the idea, when the whole thing went sideways. Both of them unintentionally consumed an aphrodisiac wine that rendered them senseless with lust and Regan lost control of her powers, pinning Thanatos down in a rape-like manner during the whole affair. Needless to say, though, her mission ended up being a success, and this book fast-forwards to eight months later, when the birth of their child is imminent.
Tags: Larissa Ione
January 17, 2021 05:01 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
I normally read several holiday-themed stories during the month of December, but I think this may be the first time I've spent the whole month reading nothing but. Nearly all of them were enjoyable, but only one rose to the five-star level to be named as my Book of the Month. It’s a paranormal romance that’s the latest release by a huge favorite author of mine who I’ve highlighted a number of times before. It features a fan-favorite couple who’ve been a part of this long-running series since nearly the beginning. They’ve recognized each other as mates, but they’ve never gone through an official mating ceremony. Then after a blizzard hits their home, they have to deal with an unexpected tragedy that brings a great deal of sadness and guilt. But in the end, they come to the realization that their love can conquer this challenge, too, and it’s finally time to make their union official.
Tags: J. R. Ward
December 19, 2020 03:59 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
November was a very busy reading month for me. I actually read the most individual stories I believe I’ve ever read in a single month, which was ten total. Of course, they were split evenly between full-length books and short stories. Otherwise, this slow reader never could have managed it.:-) Nearly all of them were enjoyable reads, though, and two even made it to five-star status. I loved both of them and thought they were equally as good, which made my choice on which to feature as my Book of the Month a difficult one. After much consideration, though, I finally decided that one just barely edged out the other, because of its strong emotional connection both between the hero and heroine and with me as the reader. It’s a steamy contemporary romance by an author I’m featuring for the first time and that’s not unlike my own Loving Hearts stories in that it features a vet tech heroine who wants to become a full-fledged veterinarian and a menagerie of cute animals, so hopefully you’ll enjoy my selection.
Tags: Marie Force