“She intended to be the mistress of her own fate. And there was one thing she knew with absolute certainty from observing the ways of the world: one did not get that kind of power by marrying it.”
THE DUKE I TEMPTED by Scarlett Peckham is out this July!
About THE DUKE I TEMPTED
Having overcome financial ruin and redeemed his family name to become the most legendary investor in London, the Duke of Westmead needs to secure his holdings by producing an heir. Which means he must find a wife who won’t discover his secret craving to spend his nights on his knees—or make demands on his long scarred-over heart.
Poppy Cavendish is not that type of woman. An ambitious self-taught botanist designing the garden ballroom in which Westmead plans to woo a bride, Poppy has struggled against convention all her life to secure her hard-won independence. She wants the capital to expand her exotic nursery business—not a husband.
But there is something so compelling about Westmead, with his starchy bearing and impossibly kind eyes—that when an accidental scandal makes marriage to the duke the only means to save her nursery, Poppy worries she wants more than the title he is offering. The arrangement is meant to be just business. A greenhouse for an heir. But Poppy yearns to unravel her husband’s secrets—and to tempt the duke to risk his heart.
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On a Wednesday afternoon, I ask Trevor Bentley to marry me. He might be the most arrogant, obnoxious man I know, but I need him to be my husband for a year.
There are reasons.
He’s not going to be a real husband. Just part-time. Yes, I have to live with him. And, okay, I also have to share his bed. And, sure, he’s the hottest and most exciting thing to ever happen to my controlled, organized life.
But still… It’s only a part-time marriage. I’m not going to give him my heart. I know what I’m doing, and I’m too smart to fall for my husband.
Divorce lawyer Vanessa Hill was content with always being the bridesmaid to her sister or her “insane” friends. She never wanted to be the bride. Marriage wasn’t for her.
Fallon needs help with her grandmother’s expenses, and her pretending to be my fake wife is a way we can make that happen. She’s not my biggest fan, but we can help each other and then go our separate ways. That she’s beautiful and I enjoy spending time with her–doesn’t matter. When all of this is done, she’s heading home to America, and I’ve got a company to run.
I really liked Fallon and I even liked Conor, but for me Straight Up Irish was just an okay read. It wasn’t so much that it was in first person, it was just that I felt it took a really long time before things really started to happen in the story. It’s clear they like each other from the start, but all the back and forth is annoying and when a book is written in first person it is doubly annoying because there’s no reprieve!
But Conor is cheeky and Fallon is sassy, and they both have good reasons for committing to a fake marriage. I liked that they both knew what the deal was going in and had to fight what was clearly happening between them. But I just wish this had been…more.
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Is it a marriage of convenience or something more?
Oil heiress Madeline Quinn needs a husband by the time she turns twenty-five in order to claim her full inheritance. Mad Maddie, as the tabloids christened her, has learned the hard way that men only see dollar signs when they look at her.
Maddie decides a marriage of convenience is the only answer. She turns to the one man in the world she can trust, her housekeeper’s son who always treated her like a little sister when they were kids growing up together.
Jake Becker hasn’t seen Maddie since the night she tried to seduce him. Why should he help the woman who changed the course of his life? Simple. Revenge.
Or is it something else? Something that sizzles like steam heat between Maddie and Jake that neither can resist!?
April Fool Bride was a fast, fun read. What appealed to me about this story is that it is—technically—a second chance romance and a marriage of convenience, two of my favorite tropes. Years ago oil heiress Maddie had a huge crush on the housekeeper’s son, Jake. One night she decided to act on that teenage crush and let’s just say that it didn’t end all that great for him. Or her, really.
Fast forward to the future and Maddie needs a man she can trust and there’s only one man she’s ever met who fits the bill. Jake.
One of the things I enjoyed most about this story is the deft way Joan Reeves was able to flesh out the characters by using the other character’s perspective. When we first learn about Maddie, it’s through Jake and it ain’t pretty. He makes her seem almost irredeemable, which did color my opinion of her. But we learned more about the new grownup Maddie through Jake’s perspective, which also made it clear why he fell for her.
This is a fast read, only about 120+ pages, but it reads like a full length story in that there are no elements missing. The mom and the stepmom were fun, meddlesome, characters who added a few layers of depth to tell us who our hero and heroine really are. It was hot, fun and fast, but most of all it was a good time!
April Fool Bride is book 1 in the All Brides Are Beautiful romance series.
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One minute, pregnant Leah Andrews is throwing up over the side of a yacht and the next, she’s married to party boy Brooks. It’s an arrangement born of sheer desperation to save her job, but now the tabloids are all over them, their friends are running a pool betting on whether they’ll actually stay married until Baby Day, and worst of all, she and her new husband might just be falling for one another. But they belong in opposite worlds. It’ll never work.
Billionaire app developer Brooks Larson lives his life on the light side. Until he tries to play hero and claims to be Leah’s husband. Now he’s up to his ears in Lamaze classes, baby powder…and unexpected marital bliss. But he’d make a rotten husband and horrible father. Leah and the baby deserve so much better. Add in major baby daddy drama and the whole situation is the worst idea EVER. But sometimes those bad ideas might just be the best ones.
After reading 69 Million Things I Hate About You, I was excited to read this story about Leah and Brooks. Leah is the girl you know as the ‘good girl’. She toes the line, reeks of responsibility and rarely does anything shocking. So imagine her surprise when she ends up pregnant after a totally out of character one night stand. Unable to contact her partner for a night, Leah accepts her friend Kiersten’s invitation to celebrate the christening of her first baby…on Brooks’ yacht.
And Brooks is…well yummy is the first word that comes to mind. Insecure, is the second. But being handsome and rich, he oozes confidence and only those who know him can see below the surface. But when he meets Leah he’s smitten, even though she’s pregnant, which right away gives him a few extra points in my book.
After an incredible kiss under the stars though, Leah hears no more from Brooks and though she’s sad, it doesn’t matter. Until the Catholic school where she teaches has a problem with a single mother-to-be. So that sets up our marriage of convenience plot nicely. And this is where The Billionaire’s Unexpected Baby really gets going. Mostly.
Unlike the first book in this series, I didn’t connect to this one and I didn’t find it as fun. Kira Archer, of course, knows romance so it is still a good read but it was missing that something that made 69 Million Things such a pleasure to read. For instance, I never really understood why Brooks felt so unworthy. I mean it was a pretty big part of the plot but it never really explained it. I think that would have made the great guy Brooks turned out to be even more satisfying, but it didn’t take away from the plot.
There’s a twist, there’s heat and there is romance. This book has everything and it’s done beautifully so I can’t really complain, but the first book simply blew me away, hence the 3.75 star review.
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This marriage is strictly business . . . until the temptation gets way too real.
Corbin: I loved my grandma, but I don’t need her money. All I care about is keeping the house—the only place that’s ever felt like home. That, and screwing over my dad, who wants to turn the property into a mall. There’s only one catch: To receive my inheritance, I have to get married within six months. Me, the guy who’s never dated a girl for more than six minutes. Now I need to find a woman I can trust. So when I’m rear-ended by a Prius, I figure it’s a sign that I’m supposed to meet gorgeous, down-to-earth Teagan Monroe.
Teagan: First I lose my job. Then I come home and find out—in the most graphic way possible . . . yeah, that way—that my boyfriend is a cheating jerk. And then I speed off and nearly kill Portland’s sexiest bachelor. Corbin Lane should be pissed. Instead, he offers me more money than I’ve ever seen in my life to marry him and live together in a mansion for two years. No sex. No feelings. Just cash—enough to make all my dreams come true. Then we go and break all our rules . . . and I realize I’m falling in love with my fake fiancé.
I have to say that marriage of convenience is one of my favorite tropes. I don’t care that it’s predictable because what I love most is how the hero and heroine try to fight a losing battles because it is a blast to watch!
Corbin and Teagan have both had their run of bad crap lately. The only family member who mattered to him died and put a huge caveat on his inheritance, which at first had me thinking, “oh, poor little rich boy.” But the more I learned about Corbin—and the sperm donor he called ‘dad’—the more I understood his reason for going through with the charade. And Teagan, well she just had one of those bad days that usually ended with all of your closest girlfriends and copious amounts of junk food and booze. Since she has no girlfriends, she gets to add more crap to her life…in the form of an auto accident.
Don’t get me wrong, Stacey Lynn didn’t reinvent the genre by any means, but Fake Wife was a fun read that kept me smiling (nearly) the whole way. I really enjoyed the insta-love where I normally loathe it, because neither Corbin nor Teagan acted on it. In fact, they fought it so hard that at times I wanted to clunk their heads together.
Fake Wife was honestly just a damn good time. There was the greedy villainous relative who wanted to take the inheritance and make even more money on it—but I’ll say it again Stacey Lynn changed it up by giving us even more reasons to hate the villain. There was the expected miscommunication, but it was resolved quick enough that it didn’t ruin the ending.
In general, I’ve been hit or miss with this author since her Fireside series ended, but Fake Wife has given me a very convenient case of reader’s amnesia because I truly enjoyed it.
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Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.
For months Holland Bakker has invented excuses to descend into the subway station near her apartment, drawn to the captivating music performed by her street musician crush. Lacking the nerve to actually talk to the gorgeous stranger, fate steps in one night in the form of a drunken attacker. Calvin Mcloughlin rescues her, but quickly disappears when the police start asking questions.
Using the only resource she has to pay the brilliant musician back, Holland gets Calvin an audition with her uncle, Broadway’s hottest musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until his reason for disappearing earlier becomes clear: he’s in the country illegally, his student visa having expired years ago.
Seeing that her uncle needs Calvin as much as Calvin needs him, a wild idea takes hold of her. Impulsively, she marries the Irishman, her infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves and Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway—in the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting—will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?
Roomies was a fun read and it would have been a great one if not for its first person telling. But despite all that, I loved the story of Holland and Calvin.
Holland is a glorified gofer for her uncle’s wildly successful musical productions but she secretly longs to be something more. A novelist. But her own lack of self-confidence is getting in the way so she’s content-ish to keep working for her uncle.
Until she hears the voice of an angel in the subway, screws up her courage to go talk to him and then falls prey to a random attacker and her sweet singer steps in to protect her. What’s a girl to do? Honestly the only thing she can do is return the favor, in the form of her brilliant musically successful uncle. But this is a romance novel which means there is some sort of problem, which in this case, is Calvin’s citizenship status. Or lack of.
And that’s where things really get interesting!
His story is so inspiring and brave that Holland offers to help him with his problem because he’s talented and because it’s the right thing to do. One of the things I loved that Christina Lauren did with this story was, she made Holland honorable. Sure she was harboring a serious crush on Calvin, but it didn’t feel like that’s why she decided to help him. The chemistry was apparent from the moment she gave him an adorable mini-lecture about Holland. In the Netherlands.
And my goodness but unrequited love is the worst and I felt her pain. Down deep. But I loved how Calvin didn’t just take from her. Nope, Roomies is a tale about two good people who form a bond and help each other achieve their dreams. And that is what a really good romance is all about.
So I’m giving this story 4.5, it didn’t bother me that it was written in first person stars!