Book Review: Tangled in Sin by Lavinia Kent

Publication Date: April 18, 2017Tangled in Sin

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewer: Andrea

The Summary:

An innocent young woman flirts with scandal and becomes the mistress of her own forbidden desires in this stimulating Regency romance from the author of Mastering the Marquess.

Lady Cynthia Westhope can’t believe the shocking rumor is true. Her childhood friend, the daughter of a duke no less, has become the madam of London’s most exclusive and notorious brothel. Though she’s known as “Sin,” Cynthia is scandalized—and surprisingly curious. Just picturing the whips, the chains, the uncontrollable urges men gratify behind closed doors sends a jolt of electricity through her body. Still, Sin can’t imagine taking part in such games—until she’s snatched off the street during a raging storm and swept away to a remote cottage.

When James Winters encounters the comely virgin, he assumes she’s one of Madame Blanche’s fresh new beauties, especially after Sin pulses in ecstasy as he ravishes her. Then he discovers that she’s Lord Westhope’s virgin daughter . . . or was. Now they will both be compromised, unless James devises a plan to save Sin from disgrace. Before long, they’re entangled in a web of tempting propositions, family secrets, and sensual intrigue—and bound together so tightly that James never wants to let go.

The Review:

This is the second Bound and Determined novel that I have read, and true to form, it is both traditional and not. The plot was a little tired. Girl gets trapped with boy in a secluded locale. Boy feels honor-bound to marry girl, girl resists, until they both realize they can’t live without each other. The typical historical romance storyline, but where these novels differ the ordinary is in their handling of mature content. This series will make you wonder what all those starched, stiff Victorians were really doing behind closed doors.

The more interesting story to me was that of James’s sister, Jasmine, a fallen woman from a good family who ends up with a baby and a brothel. That’s really the story I wanted to hear. Cynthia and James were both a little too goodie, goodie for me, too perfect. I like my protagonists to have more angst–just a touch. It was a quick read but lacked a real storyline for me. It was just okay, nothing new.

A little disappointed with this one.

3 stars

 

Book Review: The Angel Alejandro by Alistair Cross

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.The Angel Alejandro

 

Reviewer: Andrea

The Summary:

Angel or Demon?

Naive and heart-stoppingly handsome, he calls himself Alejandro, and Madison O’Riley has no clue what to do with him. As they set out to recover his lost identity, Madison realizes the mysterious man who saved her life harbors deep, otherworldly secrets that will put her in grave danger.

The Devil is in the Details

Gremory Jones has something for everyone, and for a price, he’s willing to make a deal. Walking the streets in top hat and trench coat, he tempts the citizens with nefarious wares from his shiny black briefcase. But buyer beware: All sales are final – and fatal.

A Scorching New Terror Has Come to Town

The townspeople are changing in appalling ways and it’s up to Madison – with the help of a psychic, a local priest, and the new chief of police – to help Alejandro unlock his forgotten powers before an unspeakable evil tears apart the fabric of existence … and costs them their very souls …

The Review:

This book is so far out of my comfort zone that I couldn’t fin
d it with binoculars! When I was approached about reviewing it, I thought it would be an interesting change of pace from my norm. Was I right? Yes and no.

The novel itself is well-written and complex. The plot is a winding journey into depravity. With tons of characters and at least ten changes in POV, the reader will need to pay close attention. Seeing the story from so many angles made the story more developed. BUT that’s where I began to have a problem.

At over 500 pages, this one is a serious time investment, and many, many scenes could have been shortened or even deleted. I was overwhelmed by all of the stomach-churning deviancy. When the devil comes to town, people lose their minds–I get it. The perverted actions quickly made me uncomfortable and disgusted. “Fade to black” would have worked after the first, or tenth, scene, and I really wish the banishing of evil could have had as much emphasis as the perversion.

The portrayal of angels was unique. If you are thinking of those sweet little cherubs or even those white-winged creatures in long robes, think again. Alistair Cross’s angels prefer nudity and smell like whatever you love most. (And I have been racking my brain trying to decide what very own Alejandro would smell more like, buttercream frosting or Fabreze.) Alejandro was kind and naive, to the point I wanted to shake him at times, but his sweetness kept me reading. His Snow White effect on animals was weird, but hey, if he smelled that great, I’d chase him down the street, too.

3.5 Stars

 

Book Review: The Duke by Kerrigan Byrne

Publication date: February 7, 201729875921

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewer: Andrea

The Summary:

He’s noble. notorious. And takes no prisoners…

Strong as a Viking. Handsome as Adonis. Rich as Midas. Collin “Cole” Talmage, Duke of Trewyth, is the stuff that legends are made of. He’s the English Empire’s golden son–until fate has its way with him. Cole’s family is killed and his closest comrade betrays him on the battlefield, leaving him gravely injured. But Cole is not one to dwell on misfortune. He is a man of duty, honor–and desire. And now he’s ready for the fight of his lifetime…

Imogen Pritchard is a beautiful lass who works in a hospital by day and as a serving maid at night. Years ago, when she was young and penniless, she ended up spending a scandalous night with Cole, whose tormented soul was matched only by his earth-shattering passion. Imogen entered a marriage of convenience—one that left her a wealthy widow—but she never forgot Cole. Now that her long-lost lover has turned up in her hospital, injured and with no memory of her, Imogen is torn: Is it a blessing or a curse that their past remains a secret to Cole, even as his new passion for her leaves him wanting to protect and possess her…at all costs, in The Duke, the next Victorian Rebels novel by Kerrigan Byrne.

The Review:

Normally when I read a review book, I write the review immediately while the ideas are fresh on my mind. However, this one was different. I devoured this novel, but I fear it may not have been for the usual reasons I read a novel quickly. I think anxiety is the true cause for my speed. The Duke isn’t the typical historical romance, and I think my need to find the traditional formula caused me to read it faster than normal. Kerrigan Byrne dared to break the mold with this one.

The premise of this novel was interesting. Imogen is not the normal rich heroine forced into the arms of the scandalous hero. She’s working-class, a nurse, who is trying to support her mother and sister after their father’s death as well as pay off her father’s debts. She’s also not the raving beauty so prevalent in the genre. In the beginning, she’s malnourished and sickly because of her impoverished state. She hasn’t the etiquette or breeding to be considered acceptable by the handsome Collin Talmage. Definitely puts the tried-and-true romance fan out of her natural element.

Cole also breaks the mold. I really didn’t like him. He had the promise of the hunky bad boy but turned into a surly, damaged man–too much so for my taste. Yes, he goes through a terrible ordeal in the beginning of the novel, but I just didn’t like his attitude. And I ended up skimming a lot of his continual mental montage of anguish. That probably sounds heartless, but there is only so much self-torment a reader can stand.

That being said, the writing was wonderful, a little flowery at times, but well-written. And the timeline technique was interesting though frustrating. Once the flashforward”ing” was over and the time remained stationary, I enjoyed the novel much more.

4 Stars