Friday, 20 July 2018

Review: Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah Maclean

Wicked and the Wallflower (The Bareknuckle Bastards Book 1) by Sarah Maclean 

Publishing Date: June 19, 2018
Publisher: Avon Books / HarperCollins
Pages: 416
Historical Romance

The Premise from the Publisher: "When Wicked Comes Calling . . . When a mysterious stranger finds his way into her bedchamber and offers his help in landing a duke, Lady Felicity Faircloth agrees—on one condition. She’s seen enough of the world to believe in passion, and won’t accept a marriage without it. The Wallflower Makes a Dangerous Bargain . . . Bastard son of a duke and king of London’s dark streets, Devil has spent a lifetime wielding power and seizing opportunity, and the spinster wallflower is everything he needs to exact a revenge years in the making. All he must do is turn the plain little mouse into an irresistible temptress, set his trap, and destroy his enemy. For the Promise of Passion . . .But there’s nothing plain about Felicity Faircloth, who quickly decides she’d rather have Devil than another. Soon, Devil’s carefully laid plans are in chaos and he must choose between everything he's ever wanted . . . and the only thing he's ever desired" (Avon).

My overall thoughts and review: So I have to admit something. This book was my first ever historical romance. :O I legit don't know why I waited so long to read historical romance. I think it's honestly feeling overwhelmed by where to start and who to read. I'm so glad that I decided to start with this one by Sarah Maclean, because 1) it's the start of a new series and 2) my good friend, Eden, recommended this and loved it. Since finishing this, I've been absolutely tearing through historical romance reads and I'm hooked! To begin with, I absolutely loved the premise of the book and how it takes place in a much darker part of London, and before Covent Garden is what it is today. We follow Felicity, who is witty, quick, strong, and brave. She agrees to make a bargain with the Devil, who promises to help her land the guy she wants, but she finds herself falling for him the process. They have an undeniable attraction and I just loved what they brought out in each other. They both saw more in each other and I loved that they were able to show the other why they loved one another.  Other things besides a beautiful and sexy relationship between the two leads that I really enjoyed about the story, was the secondary characters. I immediately liked Grace and Whit, and I just loved learning about their family and what led them to where they are today. I'm falling in love with historical romance reads because yes, it does take the reader to another time and place in history, but it deals with a lot of things that are relate-able to contemporary times. Felicity was once part of a popular friend group, and then she was an outcast. It looks at how others shape our identity, and what happens when that changes. I will say that Maclean also writes dialogue between characters really well. I feel immediately immersed into the conversation and I just love some of her quick-witted lines. All in all, I loved this book. I legit hugged it when I finished it. I've already went back to read some her backlist, but I totally see myself rereading this for years to come. Already counting down the days until the next book in the series! ;)

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
Indigo, Kobo, Amazon, Kindle, and Book Depository

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Review: Dirty Exes by Rachel Van Dyken

Dirty Exes by Rachel Van Dyken

Publishing Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Pages: 304
Contemporary Romance

The Premise from the Publisher: "Blaire has never quite gotten over Jessie Beckett, the ex–NFL star whose kisses were hot enough to ignite the entire Eastern Seaboard. When he chose work over her, Blaire was left brokenhearted. Why else would she have married a skeezy two-timer, just to divorce him less than a year later? Now Blaire is getting even by becoming one half of Dirty Exes, a PI firm fully committed to humiliating cheating jerks. If only the new jerk she’s been hired to uncover wasn’t Jessie Beckett himself. Exposing Jessie isn’t going to be easy, especially when she still daydreams about his sexy smile. Further complicating matters is Colin, Jessie’s best friend. He’s gorgeous, a little bit cunning, and willing to help Blaire get the inside scoop on Jessie—for a price. Now caught between two men—one totally right and the other totally wrong—Blaire will need to decide just how much she’s willing to risk…and whom she’s willing to risk it for" (Amazon).

My overall thoughts and review: So I do this thing, when I finish a book and I love it so much, I sit there for a few moments afterwards just hugging it. This was definitely one of those books. I've been a fan of RVD's writing for a while now, and when I heard she was coming out with a new series, I was all for it. In many ways, this reminded me of her Fraternize book, because the lead is torn between two guys, and honestly, it could go either way. This book constantly surprised me and honestly had me smiling from ear to ear. To begin with, you follow Blaire, who has been dealt a horrible hand. She caught her husband Jason, cheating on her with her ex-bestfriend. From there, she forms a type of PI firm with her new friend, Isla. Their job is essentially to catch people cheating and expose them. Unfortunately one day, her new case involves the one that got away, Jessie Beckett. They both find themselves drawn to one another again, but also add Jessie's bestfriend, Colin to the mix (who also happens to have an interest in Blaire). The reader can easily see that Blaire never fully came to terms with what happened, and she didn't really process all her anger from before with Jason, and with Jessie. I was honestly so impressed with how much growth Blaire demonstrated in the book and how she was willing to take a chance on love again. I don't want to spoil it and mention which guy she ends up picking, but let me say, I was like half-way through and I was so torn. I really liked both the guys. It's also hard because RVD gave us their perspectives as well, along with Blaire's. I will say that the ending does set it up nicely for the next book in the series, Dangerous Exes, so I'm already counting down the days for that release so I can see Blaire/The-Guy-She-Chose again, but also because Isla's HEA!! The guy Blaire does choose though, might seriously be my favorite book boyfriend yet. Overall this was a super fun and sexy book with lots of adorable and laugh out loud moments. If you love RVD, you will love this one! Before, I end the review.. I want to share a passage from the book when I decided I was definitely Team-??? (I refuse to spoil it) - I just loved how comfortable Blaire felt with this person, and that's whats really important in a relationship, finding your equal, your partner <3
"Want some cereal?"
My heart almost leaped out of my chest. "What kinds do you have?"
"Amateur." He smirked. "At least fifteen, pick your poison, then we can talk trash about your ex the rest of the night while I contemplate the positions I'm going to get you in later this week--I'm thinking we could really make a great team in the shower...naked."
"Naturally." I bit down on my lip and went with it even though I was already looking forward to the adventure. "But it all rests on this one question."
He braced his body against the kitchen table, looking so sexy I wanted to throw something at him. "Do you have Cocoa Puffs?"
My answer was a box flying at my face and a question about spoon preference.
I smiled.
A real smile.
And when we clinked our empty bowls together fifteen minutes later, I genuinely felt...happy.
(Page 179-180)  
My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
Chapters/Indigo, Amazon, Kindle, and Book Depository

Disclaimer: I received an advanced readers copy of this book from Thomas Allen & Son in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.