Historical

Destiny’s Captive (Destiny #3)

Destinys Captive

Destiny’s Captive (Destiny #3)

By: Beverly Jenkins

Blurb:

Noah Yates fully believes in the joys of a happy family and a good wife. But that’s not the life for him. No, he would much rather sail the wild seas in search of adventure, not tied down. But then the unthinkable happens . . . he finds himself literally tied down. To a bed. By a woman.

And Pilar isn’t just an ordinary woman. She’s descended from pirates. And after giving him one of the worst nights of his life, she steals his ship! Now Noah is on the hunt, and he’ll stop at nothing to find this extraordinary woman . . . and make her his.

Review:

Destiny’s Captive is the last book in the Destiny series and follows the final Yates brother. Pirates, rebels, PTSD, and Cuban history are all included, and it’s, of course, very well done.

Trigger Warning

Noah was shanghaied on his eighteenth birthday and ended up living through hell. He was starved, given a scar on his face, beaten, and raped. He’s never talked about what happened to him and is an entirely different person than who he was growing up. Dark and brooding and never having fun, then he meets Pilar.

Pilar is part of a group of rebels fighting against the Spanish rule of Cuba. She’s a thief and smuggler. She steals Noah’s boat, and naturally, he tracks her down. She immediately intrigues him, and he proposes almost on the spot.

I’m glad Jenkins included the segregation on the train. It was a reminder of what people had to live with at that time. A lot of the book you feel like you’re in a bubble with the characters, so the dash of realism made Destiny’s Captive better.

I could relate to Pilar’s homesickness. I did think that she got over being a rebel very quickly. It had been her life for a decade, more if you count the fact that her father was one as well. She basically grew up in that world. Then she was told she was being hunted and it would be best if she disappeared, so she did. There was no fight. It was the smart thing to do, but she never even struggled with it, which I found odd for her.

This was an excellent climax to the series. We got to see all of the storylines wrapped up. Seeing Alanza get married was perfect. I do wish we could have seen little novellas of a couple of the minor characters, like Naomi and Pilar’s sister, but it doesn’t seem like those were written. I’m am really looking forward to reading more Beverly Jenkins.

4/5

Destiny’s Surrender (Destiny #2)

Destinys Surrender

Destiny’s Surrender (Destiny #2)

By: Beverly Jenkins

Blurb:

The child he didn’t know he had . . .

Andrew Yates has come to a decision: it’s time to stop sowing those oats and start a family. But searching for a bride isn’t as simple as he’d hoped, and many of the respectable women of his acquaintance feel . . . lacking. Then beautiful, feisty Wilhelmina “Billie” Wells arrives at the family ranch with a toddler in her arms, claiming Drew is the father!

The woman he didn’t know he loved . . .

Billie had no choice but to show up at Destiny in search of Drew. For the sake of their child, she’s willing to leave him with his father so the boy can have a better life, but then, before she can blink, she’s saying “I do” in front of a preacher in a marriage of convenience. All Billie and Drew have in common is the heat that brought them together, but can their sizzling passion lead to an everlasting love?

Review:

Billie and Drew were a different couple. Billie was a whore, and Drew was her customer. At the end of Destiny’s Embrace, we saw her have a baby, which turns out to be Drew’s. Before that though, they were both a bit in love with each other, but because of her job, neither acknowledged it. Things, of course, change.

Billie was an interesting character to read. She was a prostitute. In westerns, there’s the trope of a hooker with a heart of gold. They may be good, but they never have a happy ending. It was nice to see that trope changed.

Drew was a lawyer that was starting to have issues practicing law due to racism. Then when he finds out he’s a father, things get worse for him. He’s not really my favorite hero, he came off as a pretty rich boy, but he could have been worse.

Like the Destiny’s Embrace, their romance was pretty quick. They did have years of buildup prior to the book, but once they were forced together, things went super-fast.

One of my favorite parts of the series is seeing their mother’s romance blossom. The conversation she had with Billie about sex was amusing. I’m looking forward to reading the next book.

3/5

Her Every Wish (The Worth Saga #1.5)

Her Every Wish

Her Every Wish (The Worth Saga #1.5)

By: Courtney Milan

Blurb:

Crash has never let the circumstances of his birth, or his lack of a last name, bother him. His associations may be unsavory, but money, friends, and infamy open far more interesting doors than respect ever could. His sole regret? Once lovely, sweet Daisy Whitlaw learned the truth about how he made his fortune, she cut him off.

Daisy’s father is dead, her mother is in ill health, and her available funds have dwindled to a memory. When the local parish announces a charity bequest to help young people start a trade, it’s her last chance. So what if the grants are intended for men? If she’s good enough, she might bluff her way into a future.

When Crash offers to show her how to swagger with confidence, she knows he is up to no good. But with her life in the balance, she’s desperate enough to risk the one thing she hasn’t yet lost: her heart.

Her Every Wish is a companion novella in the Worth Saga. It stands on its own, but those who wish to read in order might want to read the first book in the series, Once Upon a Marquess, before this one.

Review:

I didn’t realize that I had not read the first in this series or that this wasn’t a boxset when I started it. Basically, I saw Courtney Milan’s name and started reading. Since I’ve already read book 2.75 in the series as well, no harm done. Oh well.

The dress on the cover is a bit misleading because she is working class. She struggles to take care of her mother, who is ill, as well as herself. That doesn’t stop her from having big dreams. She’s smart and driven to succeed because if she doesn’t, her only option is to hope she can find a man able to take care of them both.

Crash is mixed race and has been raised by a loving family. He’s learned coping mechanisms to handle all the bad that society piles on him, and hide the hurt behind a larger than life personality. He has learned how to make society work for him and has ambitious plans for his future.

Things were said in the heat of the moment that they have to work through and forgive. It’s a cute story. If I didn’t already want to read the rest of the series I would after reading Her Every Wish.

4/5

The Carhart Series by Courtney Milan

The Carhart Series

The Carhart Series by Courtney Milan

Blurb:

This Wicked Gift: Lavinia Spencer is too poor to be anything but practical. But when her younger brother lands himself in trouble, she has no choice but to do the unthinkable. She accepts the help of the dishonorable man that she’s always wanted, even knowing that it might mean her ruination…

Proof by Seduction: When Gareth Carhart discovers that his vulnerable young cousin is seeing a fortune teller, he vows to prove her a fraud. But he soon discovers that Jenny Keeble is far more than she appears to be, and before he knows it, he’s caught in her spell…

Trial by Desire: Lady Kate Carhart has no use for the husband who left her years ago. But when he returns, disrupting her carefully-laid plans, she has no choice but to distract him…any way she can.

Review:

I hate to say it but this is easily my least favorite Courtney Milan series. Two full length books and a novella, they each had a strong heroine very accepting of their flawed men, and they each had men I couldn’t really stand.

The Wicked Gift had the “hero” pressuring the heroine into sex and while you learn later that he didn’t actually, it still didn’t sit well with me. It ended up being the story I liked the most.

Proof by Seduction once again had a strong heroine, that knew her mind, and was completely capable of taking care of herself. This time the hero was an ass that knew that he was better than everyone and made it very obvious. He didn’t listen to the heroine and ended up annoying the shit out of me.

Trial by Desire was the book I was looking forward to the most. The hero had been in the previous book and he seemed lovable and the fact that he had depression just endeared him to me further. Unfortunately, this book takes place three years after the last which was apparently enough time for the hero to become his own unique ass. I liked that the couple were already married and learning to live with each other, and once again the heroine was great, but I couldn’t get over how much I disliked the hero.

3/5

While the Duke Was Sleeping

While the Duke Was Sleeping

While the Duke Was Sleeping (The Rogue Files#1) By: Sophie Jordan

Plot:

Sometimes the man of your dreams . . .

Shop girl Poppy Fairchurch knows it’s pointless fantasizing about the Duke of Autenberry. Still, dreams can’t hurt anyone . . . unlike the carriage Poppy spies bearing down upon the unsuspecting duke. After she pulls him to safety, the duke lapses into a coma and Poppy is mistaken for his fiancée. But one person isn’t fooled: his arrogant and much too handsome half-brother, Struan Mackenzie. Soon Poppy isn’t sure what she wants more . . . the fantasy of her duke or the reality of one smoldering Scot who challenges her at every turn.

. . . is not who you think.

An illegitimate second son, Struan may have built an empire and established himself as one of the wealthiest men in Britain, but he knows he will always be an outsider among the
ton. Just like he knows the infuriating Poppy is a liar. There’s no way the haughty Duke of Autenberry would deign to wed a working class girl. It doesn’t matter how charming she is. Or tempting. Or how much Struan wants her for himself.

Review:

I’ve never really had a desire to read While You Were Sleeping fanfic and in fact didn’t really want to read this book, but I was interested in the sequel, and I’m weird and like to read series in order. So I read this book and it was exactly what I was expecting. It was basically a novelization of While You Were Sleeping with a few changes and the period twist.

It was a fine book. I liked the character of Poppy and I always love a Scottish hero. I wasn’t a fan of her sister or the Duke, but then I don’t believe I was supposed to be. The other characters were mildly interesting but didn’t put forth enough presence to make me care about them.

I’m not sure what year this was supposed to take place. If it was Regency then there were several inaccuracies. There were horses and buggies, though, so I’m not sure. It’s a romance, so historical accuracy is not necessarily necessary, but it’s something that I appreciate an attempt to be made.

Honestly, I’m not sure if I’m going to continue with the series. I didn’t hate While the Duke Was Sleeping, but it didn’t really spurn me on too experience more in this world.

3/5