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The Other Miss Bridgerton

The Other Miss Bridgerton

The Other Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys #3) By: Julia Quinn

Plot:

She was in the wrong place…

Fiercely independent and adventurous, Poppy Bridgerton will only wed a suitor whose keen intellect and interests match her own. Sadly, none of the fools from her London season qualify. While visiting a friend on the Dorset coast, Poppy is pleasantly surprised to discover a smugglers’ hideaway tucked inside a cave. But her delight turns to dismay when two pirates kidnap her and take her aboard a ship, leaving her bound and gagged on the captain’s bed…

He found her at the wrong time…

Known to society as a rascal and reckless privateer, Captain Andrew James Rokesby actually transports essential goods and documents for the British government. Setting sail on a time-sensitive voyage to Portugal, he’s stunned to find a woman waiting for him in his cabin. Surely, his imagination is getting the better of him. But no, she is very real—and his duty to the Crown means he’s stuck with her.

Can two wrongs make the most perfect right?

When Andrew learns that she is a Bridgerton, he knows he will likely have to wed her to avert a scandal—though Poppy has no idea that he is the son of an earl and neighbor to her aristocratic cousins in Kent. On the high seas, their war of words soon gives way to an intoxicating passion. But when Andrew’s secret is revealed, will his declaration of love be enough to capture her heart…?

Review:

Poppy was very curious and smart, for a woman of her time, but she was definitely a damsel in distress. She had no power, ever. Twice she was abducted and she just waited until men told her what to do. I realize that probably makes the book more realistic, but I don’t read Julia Quinn for realism. At the beginning we were also told frequently that she was smart, but it wasn’t until much later in the book that you really saw her intelligence, and one of my pet peeves is being told a character is smart and never actually seeing it.

Andrew was fine, mostly boring, male lead. He was a capable ship’s captain, but not a swashbuckling hero.

Another pet peeve of mine is when the hero and heroine are captured and have sex while they’re being held. I seriously do not get that trope. While, Poppy and Andrew didn’t have sex they were definitely intimate and it just caused me to roll my eyes.

Honestly, I was not a fan of this book. I love the series and Quinn, but this book did nothing for me.

3/5

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A Duke by Default

A Duke By Default

A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals #2) By: Alyssa Cole

Plot:

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice—and his attraction to her—but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.  

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?

Review:

I really enjoyed this book. I don’t believe it’s as good as the first, but it was still a solid follow up and has me looking forward to the next.

Portia was flawed, anxious, and filled with self-doubt then super confident. I could understand how and why she felt that way, but it was sometimes confusing, especially since the chapters alternated point of view.

Tavish was holy hell hot. I have a thing for the Scottish accent so boy howdy I appreciated all that was going on with him. He often put his foot in his mouth but didn’t realize until later that he’d bungled things.

There isn’t much sword making in the story, but there’s a fair amount of swordplay. The romance builds for a while, and then feels a little rushed at the end because of it. Still, I really enjoyed the story and the characters that have been created.

4/5

Dark in Death

Dark in Death

Dark in Death (In Death #46) By: J.D. Robb

Plot:

It was a stab in the dark.

On a chilly February night, during a screening of Psycho in midtown, someone sunk an ice pick into the back of Chanel Rylan’s neck, then disappeared quietly into the crowds of drunks and tourists in Times Square. To Chanel’s best friend, who had just slipped out of the theater for a moment to take a call, it felt as unreal as the ancient black-and-white movie up on the screen. But Chanel’s blood ran red, and her death was anything but fictional.

Then, as Eve Dallas puzzles over a homicide that seems carefully planned and yet oddly personal, she receives a tip from an unexpected source: an author of police thrillers who recognizes the crime—from the pages of her own book. Dallas doesn’t think it’s coincidence, since a recent strangulation of a sex worker resembles a scene from her writing as well. Cops look for patterns of behavior: similar weapons, similar MOs. But this killer seems to find inspiration in someone else’s imagination, and if the theory holds, this may be only the second of a long-running series.

The good news is that Eve and her billionaire husband Roarke have an excuse to curl up in front of the fireplace with their cat, Galahad, reading mystery stories for research. The bad news is that time is running out before the next victim plays an unwitting role in a murderer’s deranged private drama—and only Eve can put a stop to a creative impulse gone horribly, destructively wrong.

Review:

I did not like the first half of this book, at all. Because one of the side characters, that until then I’d only had positive thoughts of, said a word that Trans people find offensive, I was immediately on my guard. There were hints that the deranged serial killer was going to be Trans or non-binary and it kept me on edge in a bad way. Based on what there was I did not trust Robb to write about the subject in a well-researched and thoughtful way.

Making matters worse a female novelist was a main character in the story. I have not had good experiences with that, especially when it feels like there is some tongue in cheek things said to the reader through that character. Which was the case here.

Like I said the first half of this book was not for me in any way. The second half had us back in familiar territory, though, and I preferred that. We had a fair amount of Peabody, which I loved. Roarke was great. Sadly, the first half ruined the book for me.

2/5

Leah on the Offbeat

Leah on the Offbeat

Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood #2) By: Becky Albertalli

Plot:

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

Review:

I was excited to read this for personal reasons and it definitely ended up coloring my opinion of the book. I cannot stand angsty teenage drama. This book was basically angsty teenage drama in book form. I wouldn’t have normally even been able to finish, but I ended up really liking it.

Leah is a perfectionist that isn’t willing to do anything in public unless she knows she’s going to be great at it. She’s hyper critical of herself and ends up coming off as a super bitch. Honestly, Leah was not very likeable. She spends a lot of time not thinking about stuff she should think about. There’s a fair amount of social anxiety there, but she does try and push herself by the end.

The ending was what really sold the book for me. At one point I laughed so hard I cried and I can’t remember the last time that happened. I also, actually, cried for emotional reasons too. It was a really good ending and even though I didn’t like or dislike the rest of the book the ending pushed it up a star rating.

The kids are mostly all in college now so I don’t know if Albertalli is going to do another book. She could probably do one with Simon’s sister as the protagonist, but I don’t really see myself reading further. I got what I wanted to from the series and I’m incredibly grateful for that.

4/5

 

A Princess in Theory

A Princess in Theory

A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals #1) By: Alyssa Cole

Plot:

Between grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly e-mail won’t convince her otherwise.

Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life—and love—without the burden of his crown.

The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?

Review:

While voting for the 2018 Goodreads Choice awards I stumbled across A Princess in Theory. The cover grabbed me, the blurb sold me, and then holy cow I freaking loved the story.

It had the much loved prince pretending to be a commoner trope, something that usually ends up grating on my nerves and has me screaming at the character to just stop lying, but Cole revealed the lie halfway in. I really appreciated that because we got to see the aftermath of discovering someone you have feelings for has been lying to you.

Naledi was awesome. Strong, smart, vulnerable, but very much capable. She had character growth and an intriguing and sad past. I loved that the issues women in STEM careers have to face was brought up.

Prince Thabiso was the perfect prince. Seriously, the man was perfection. He loved his country and just wanted what was best for them. He had a reputation as a playboy, but the only time you really saw that was in his abilities in bed. Time well spent.

This story was so much fun. Entertaining, ridiculously romantic, I really loved it. I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series.

5/5