The Greek’s Pregnant Cinderella (Cinderella Seductions #2) by Michelle Smart

The Greek's Pregnant Cinderella (Cinderella Seductions #2) by Michelle SmartThe Greek's Pregnant Cinderella (Cinderella Seductions #2) by Michelle Smart Mills and Boon Modern

“You will go to the ball.”

And be seduced by a billionaire…

Hotel maid Tabitha is stunned to be gifted a ticket to an elite ball hosted by Greek tycoon Giannis Basinas. It’s meant to be a night of pure luxury. But this untouched Cinderella ends up in Giannis’s bed—utterly pleasured! Making a hasty morning exit out the window, Tabitha expects to return to her ordinary life. Until she discovers her midnight mischief had nine-month consequences!

Lose yourself in this enchanting Cinderella story…

The Greek’s Pregnant Cinderella (Cinderella Seductions #2) by Michelle Smart

“Fairy tales for adults” is what this Harlequin/Mills and Boon line is all about, and The Greek’s Pregnant Cinderella goes one step further by actually making this a (steamy) Cinderella retelling.

I won’t lie: I’m not the biggest fan of pregnancy storylines, but the gorgeous blue dress on the cover won me over. I read this book on a trip to and from Sydney, and it was exactly the entertainment I wanted to break up the journey.

Packed full of popular tropes, and with all the elements a fairy tale retelling should have, I’m glad I picked it up.

Naturally, with the Cinderella storyline featuring some over-the-top nasty female characters, you are also going to get that here. However, because of the precedent, I – someone who hates negative stereotyping of women more than any other trope – was willing to forgive it. I also appreciated that the “bad” women were balanced out with plenty of nice women.

I liked the way everything came together, and while the alpha male characters in this line can be a bit too cruel, I do think the issues between hero and heroine resolved themselves well here.

Also appreciated was that the downtrodden heroine really came into her own at the end.

Finally, I loved that the hero’s Santorini house. I stayed in something similar (but much, much smaller!) when I was there, and the whole feel of the place was well-described.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

The Week: 6th – 12th May

Busy week this week. I have edits to do on my book (which has a new title, but I won’t share it until everything is confirmed), and I was editing a book for someone else. Plus something weird happened to my email and I lost some important things, while other important emails (i.e. from my publisher, HarperCollins!) started going to my junk folder and I missed them!

Storm Cursed Out Now

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Recently Reread: Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen’s most famous novel, Pride and Prejudice, was published on the 28th of January 1813. Here is the front page from a first edition copy of the book.

This Cover

Unleashed by Caitlin Crews

This Cover…

Unleashed by Caitlin Crews

Harlequin’s new(ish) Dare line is trying something really different with their covers. I can’t stop looking at this one. Unlike so many other category romance covers, the people look so real.

Along with Entangled Publishing’s Autumn line, it’s good to see some characters who don’t look like they’ve just graduated from their teens!

The Week: 29th April – 5th May

Autumn Colours Autumn Leaves Canberra Australia Sonya Oksana Heaney 29th April 2019 Warm Sunny Day Blue Sky Garden Nature

Autumn colours in Canberra.

Argh! It’s May. What is going on?!

I voted on Wednesday. The Australian election is not for another fortnight, but I’m going to be at the ballet in Sydney on that day (voting is compulsory here). I also met my candidate at the polling station. Now, could I please be spared all the trashy political ads for the next two weeks?!

I’m on HarperCollins.com!

hc-logo HarperCollins Publisher

New Book from Madeline Hunter

and

My review of Never Deny a Duke (Decadent Dukes #3) by Madeline Hunter

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

Coming up for Joanna Shupe

The Rogue of Fifth Avenue (2019) (The first book in the Uptown Girls series #1) A novel by Joanna Shupe

My review of The Pursuits of Lord Kit Cavanaugh (The Cavanaughs #2) by Stephanie Laurens

The Pursuits of Lord Kit Cavanaugh (The Cavanaughs #2) by Stephanie Laurens

The Pursuits of Lord Kit Cavanaugh (The Cavanaughs #2) by Stephanie Laurens

The Pursuits of Lord Kit Cavanaugh (The Cavanaughs #2) by Stephanie Laurens

A Gentleman of Means

One of the most eligible bachelors in London, Lord Christopher “Kit” Cavanaugh has discovered his true path and it doesn’t include the expected society marriage. Kit is all business and has chosen the bustling port of Bristol to launch his passion—Cavanaugh Yachts.

A Woman of Character

Miss Sylvia Buckleberry’s passion is her school for impoverished children. When a new business venture forces the school out of its building, she must act quickly. But confronting Kit Cavanaugh is a daunting task made even more difficult by their first and only previous meeting, when, believing she’d never see him again, she’d treated him dismissively. Still, Sylvia is determined to be persuasive.

An Unstoppable Duo

But it quickly becomes clear there are others who want the school—and Cavanaugh Yachts—closed. Working side by side, Kit and Sylvia fight to secure her school and to expose the blackguard trying to sabotage his business. Yet an even more dastardly villain lurks, one who threatens the future both discover they now hold dear.

The Pursuits of Lord Kit Cavanaugh (The Cavanaughs #2) by Stephanie Laurens

I really appreciate a well-researched Victorian era book, and there’s no doubt Stephanie Laurens knows her stuff. I did find that The Pursuits of Lord Kit Cavanaugh took a while to get going, and the pacing (slow at the start) is something I’ve noticed in a lot of Harlequin historicals, which leads me to believe it’s the style the publisher prefers.

This is the second book in a series – a series I’ve not read the first book of. I get the impression both hero and heroine were featured in the earlier book, and I think I might have enjoyed watching the evolution of their relationship over both instalments.

My issue with the beginning of this one is that the first quarter is about only one incident. For the first 25%(ish) of the story, all we see are hero and heroine moving a boys’ school from one building to another. We see every step of the boys moving chalk, and desks, and books, and… It was beautifully written, and SO well-researched, but it was still 20 000+ words of people moving furniture.

I also get the historically accurate situation of only boys getting an education, but I wasn’t that enamoured reading about male privilege in a romance novel…

On the other hand, the author seems to be well familiar with her setting, and it made a big difference to have all the personal, realistic touches, and that’s what kept me reading.

Laurens is a prominent author in the genre, and you know you’re going to get a quality story. In the case of THIS book, I’d recommend persisting beyond the slowish start.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

 

On a side note: Kavanaugh/Cavanaugh is a pretty unfortunate surname for this moment, considering the news!

The Week 22nd – 28th April

Happy Easter – again! (I know – those aren’t pysanky in the bowl, but at least the embroidery is from Ukraine!)

The way the calendar works this year, it’s all too much in one go. Four days of Easter a week ago, and then Anzac Day here in Australia on Thursday, and now four more days of old-calendar/Ukrainian Easter – and then it’s Mother’s Day here a few days after that!

Winter just refuses to arrive in Canberra. Nearly two-thirds of the way through autumn, and the temperatures are still in the mid-twenties. No rain, either – which I’d be really happy to see at the moment…

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cof

^^^^

At the Australian War Memorial (which is here in Canberra), after the national Anzac Day service. That’s my Vietnam veteran father, and in the second picture you can see me looking at a Vietnam War display inside the museum with him. (I need to brush up on this stuff; I’m currently editing another veteran’s book!)

It was shocking this year to see all extra security and all the concrete barricades along the length of Anzac Parade (the giant boulevard that connects the War Memorial to the rest of the city, and the place the service happens). Terrorism is changing the world very fast.

Autumn Colours Autumn Leaves in the Garden Tuggeranong Canberra Australia April 2019 Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney 3

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Some autumn colours in Canberra.

New Book for Mary Balogh

and

Another Cover for Mary Balogh

Mary Balogh's next book Someone to Honour the sixth book in the Westcott family series UKAustralian Cover.

Nora Roberts sues Brazilian author, cites ‘multi-plagiarism’.

Cristiane Serruya has plagiarism scandal 1

Anzac Day Reads: Karina Bliss

A Prior Engagement by Karina Bliss

Anzac Day Reads: Helene Young

Wings of Fear (Border Watch #1) by Helene Young

Anzac Day Reads: Brynn Kelly

Edge of Truth by Brynn Kelly

Out Now: A Modest Independence by Mimi Matthews

A Modest Independence (Parish Orphans of Devon #2) by Mimi Matthews

The Week: 1st – 7th April

Happy Canberra Wine Week! The – erm – week goes from the 5th to the 14th, which isn’t exactly a week as much as it is an excuse to have two weekends of drinking wine!

I have a big announcement to make in a few days…

My review of Need Me, Cowboy (Copper Ridge #6) by Maisey Yates

need me, cowboy (copper ridge #6) by maisey yates

Romance.com.au

and

Harlequin’s Free Reads

Harlequin Publishing Logo

“Plagiarism, ‘book-stuffing’, clickfarms… the rotten side of self-publishing.”

Amazon kindle Ebooks

April Fools’ Day

800px-Elephant_side-view_Kruger april fool's day prank lioness cub kruger national park south africa 2017

Need Me, Cowboy (Copper Ridge #6) by Maisey Yates

need me, cowboy (copper ridge #6) by maisey yates

He’s not a man to be played with.

Not without consequences.

For five years, Levi Tucker had no control over his life, locked up for a crime he didn’t commit. Never again would any woman—any desire—overtake this cowboy’s common sense. Now Faith Grayson, the sexy, brilliant architect he’s hired to design his grand new house, is sorely testing his resolve. Faith is too young. Too innocent. Maybe just too tempting.

Need Me, Cowboy (Copper Ridge #6) by Maisey Yates

If you’re looking for a solid, well-written contemporary romance, Maisey Yates is a good bet. I was a bit alarmed that after I downloaded this review book I discovered it was number six in a series, but – apart from some obvious “past couples” factoring into the plot – it works as a standalone read just fine.

For me, and I assume many other readers, the reason Need Me, Cowboy appealed was because it has a hero who is fresh out of prison (he was wrongly convicted of his wife’s murder). I know themes like this fascinate many readers.

(Unlawful Contact by Pamela Clare, A Not-So-Perfect Past by Beth Andrews, and young adult book Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles come to mind, if you want books with similar themes.)

In truth, the cowboy aspect of the story is minimal, which was fine with me. I was more interested in the characters dealing with the “hero out of prison” conflict. He has a lot of anger to deal with, and no idea what to do about it.

I haven’t read a book in this Harlequin line for ages, and had forgotten the heat level – it’s fairly steamy, but doesn’t rule the story.

The hardened, jaded hero-meets-innocent, hardworking heroine trope is popular, and can be done really badly or be really well. In this case, I think it worked. Yates is good enough at her characterisation that she gives everyone unique personalities and quirks.

I especially loved that the heroine was very inexperienced in some aspects of life, but that it worked in a modern context. I didn’t, however, like the stereotyped promiscuous blonde woman named Mindy (of course) who was with the hero at the bar. On the other hand, I did appreciate that she wasn’t made out to be nasty.

These books are quick reads, which means a tight focus on the main two characters and a relationship that has to move rather fast. In this case, I was convinced by the pairing.

Recommended for anyone who finds these tropes appealing in their romance reads.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.