Cover and Description for Madeline Hunter

The third book in Madeline Hunter‘s Decadent Dukes series is due out in April next year.

Here’s what it’s about:

He is the last duke standing

. . . the sole remaining bachelor of the three self-proclaimed Decadent Dukes. Yet Davina MacCallum’s reasons for searching out the handsome Duke of Brentworth have nothing to do with marriage. Scottish lands were unfairly confiscated from her family by the Crown and given to his. A reasonable man with vast holdings can surely part with one trivial estate, especially when Davina intends to put it to good use. Brentworth, however, is as difficult to persuade as he is to resist.
 
The Duke of Brentworth’s discretion and steely control make him an enigma even to his best friends. Women especially find him inscrutable and unapproachable—but also compellingly magnetic. So when Davina MacCallum shows no signs of being even mildly impressed by him, he is intrigued. Until he learns that her mission in London involves claims against his estate. Soon the two of them are engaged in a contest that allows no compromise. When duty and desire collide, the best laid plans are about to take a scandalous turn—into the very heart of passion . . .

And here’s the cover:

Never Deny a Duke (2019) (The third book in the Decadent Dukes Society #3 series) A novel by Madeline Hunter

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Out Now: The Story of Us by Lana Kortchik

The Story of Us by Lana Kortchik

I can’t wait to read this one. Ukraine suffered more death and destruction in the 1930s and 1940s than any other country in the world, and I’m so glad to see some mainstream publishers picking up books (also this one) with these themes.

The Story of Us by Lana Kortchik

Love can’t be defined by war. Watching the Red Army withdraw from Ukraine in the face of Hitler’s relentless advance, Natasha Smirnova realises her life is about to change forever.

As Kiev is cast under the dark cloud of occupation, Natasha falls in love with Mark, a Hungarian soldier, enlisted against all his principles on the side of the Nazis.

But as Natasha fights to protect the friends and family she holds dear she must face up to the dark horrors of war and the pain of betrayal. Will the love she and Mark share be strong enough to overcome the forces which threaten to tear them apart?

Recommended Christmas Read

I didn’t discover the existence of this novella until after Christmas last year. So I am now recommending it as a Christmas read for this year!

Joanna Shupe’s books set in New York’s late-19th century Gilded Age are special because it’s such an underused theme in historical romance.

My review is here.

Miracle on Ladies' Mile (A Gilded Age Holiday Novella) by Joanna Shupe

Miracle on Ladies’ Mile (A Gilded Age Holiday Novella) by Joanna Shupe

After losing his beloved wife, department store owner Alexander Armstrong seems incapable of anything other than work, despite his ache to be a better father to his daughter.

When he encounters Grace, a charming shop girl designing the store’s holiday window displays, he struggles to accept that perhaps miracles do happen in the most unlikely of places…

The Week: 26th November – 2nd December

This has been a dramatic week both personally and for the world, and so I’ve run out of time to even take a picture of my Christmas decorations! Maybe next week…

Darth Putin is a parody account the Russians periodically try to get banned.

This week Russia’s war in Ukraine finally made it back into the news.

Tomi Adeyemi apologises to Nora Roberts

Tomi-AdeyemiTomi Adeyemi apologises to Nora Roberts

My review of The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4) by Janna MacGregor

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4) by Janna MacGregor

Release Day for Mary Balogh

Someone to Trust (Westcott Book #5) by Mary Balogh

Helene Young: ‘I chose a career as a pilot over motherhood. I don’t regret a thing’

Shattered-Sky-Front-Cover1-190x300

Behind the Scenes of a Harlequin Cover Shoot

Go Behind the Scenes of a Harlequin Cover Shoot Falling for the Wrong Brother,

Release Day for Mary Balogh

Someone to Trust, the fifth book in Mary Balogh’s Westcott family series, is out now.

Someone to Trust (Westcott Book #5) by Mary Balogh

During a rare white Christmas at Brambledean Court, the widow Elizabeth, Lady Overfield, defies convention by falling in love with a younger man in the latest novel in the Westcott series.

After her husband’s passing, Elizabeth Overfield decides that she must enter into another suitable marriage. That, however, is the last thing on her mind when she meets Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges, at the Westcott Christmas house party. She simply enjoys his company as they listen to carolers on Christmas Eve, walk home from church together on Christmas morning, and engage in a spirited snowball fight in the afternoon. Both are surprised when their sled topples them into a snow bank and they end up sharing an unexpected kiss. They know there is no question of any relationship between them for she is nine years older than he.

They return to London the following season, both committed to finding other, more suitable matches. Still they agree to share one waltz at each ball they attend. This innocuous agreement proves to be one that will topple their worlds, as each dance steadily ensnares them in a romance that forces the two to question what they are willing to sacrifice for love…

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4) by Janna MacGregor

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4) by Janna MacGregor

A lady with a noble mission. A duke looking for redemption. A forbidden love that cannot be denied…

Lady Daphne Hallworth is ready to celebrate the holidays with her family. But when they accidentally leave her home alone, Daphne uses the time to work on her dream—opening a home for unwed mothers. But her quest isn’t problem-free: She’s in a battle to win the property for the home against her brother’s best friend-turned-enemy, Paul Barstowe, Duke of Southart. And that’s not all: someone has stolen her personal diary, which holds secrets that could devastate her family. Daphne has always harboured private feelings for the man her family scorns…though perhaps striking a bargain with the handsome Duke will solve both their problems?

Paul, long considered good for nothing, aims to open a hospital to honor his brother and restore his reputation. So when a conflict over the land brings him straight into Daphne’s life, they make a deal: He will help her find her diary if Daphne can change her family’s opinion of him. But before he can win her family’s affection, he has to win hers first. Maybe love was the answer to their family feud all along?

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4) by Janna MacGregor

I read Janna MacGregor’s debut novel last year, and commented that the author had talent, that the opening of the book was brilliant, but that it was a little confusing when it came to all the characters.

Because I liked the description of this one, and wanted to give MacGregor’s work another try, I picked up a review copy of this, the fourth book in the series. Again, I found the author’s writing to be solid, but I also had some issues with the overall structure of the book.

For me, it’s always problematic when an author provides no date for the setting of their book. Even if I’m to assume The Good, the Bad, and the Duke is set in the nineteenth century – when? Is there a George on the throne, or Victoria? Are the characters’ portraits painted, or photographed? Can they travel by train or automobile, or is the carriage still their only option? Must they write to each other, or are telegrams and telephone calls available now? Has Napoleon been disposed of? Is there a war in Crimea?

As we were given no date, I have no idea.

Again, the prologue was very well-written. However, the heroine is nine in that scene, but came across as twenty-nine. Even so, it was a sweet little scene.

We then jump forwards about a decade and a half to pick up the main body of the story, and that’s where I started getting confused. This definitely isn’t a book that can be read as a standalone. There are characters I was unfamiliar with everywhere – and their offspring. Right from the first few pages there are references to things that happened in past books that I had no idea about. If they had to be mentioned, I don’t think it should have been so early on.

After several chapters, I realised my mind was wandering. Fans of past books in this series are probably going to really enjoy this one, too.

For me, however, it couldn’t hold my attention.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.