Book Review: Never Trust a Pirate by Valerie Bowman

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

Reviewer: Andrea

The Summary:

The rules of engagement were never so scandalous. . .

A rumored pirate and the scurrilous black sheep of his well-to- do family, Cade Cavendish relishes his world of rebellion, deception, and seduction. Nothing and no one can hold him to be the duty-bound, honorable man he is expected to be. But when an unexpected run-in at his twin brother’s estate with a ravishing, raven-haired maid leads her to believe he’s actually a viscount, Cade’s renegade life is thrown wildly off-kilter. And even though a case of mistaken identity can be quickly set to rights, matters of the heart are quite different…

Miss Danielle LaCrosse is startled to learn that the handsome gentleman who radiates sin and has the devil in his eyes is not her employer the Viscount, but rather his infamous brother. A former heiress, orphaned and left penniless, Danielle has more than a few secrets of her own. Cade may be skilled at coaxing even the most hidden desires out of Danielle but can he earn her trust—and win her heart—as they embark on an adventure to confront a dangerous enemy from both of their pasts . . . and uncover the identity of the so-called Black Fox along the way?

Never Trust a Pirate is part of the Regency-set Playful Brides series by Valerie Bowman.

The Review:

I loved this novel! This is my third Valerie Bowman novel, and it is by far my favorite. I do love a historical romance with a real plot, and this one has it in spades. It’s complex but fun, intriguing and interesting.

The “pirate” aspect may be a bit of a stretch, but that doesn’t deter from the plot. It’s spy against spy against spy in this one. More layers than Grandma’s coconut cake! The proverbial cat-and-mouse game takes from and center since Danielle has been ordered to spy on Cade, the brother of Rafe, a spy for the British government, and Cade, well, his “job” has more machinations than a Bond movie.

The most tantalizing part of the plot comes with the identity of the the Black Fox. You’ll never see this one coming, but you’ll have to read to find the answer!

There were some things that caused me to reread, parts that needed a bit more explanation, like not knowing till late in the novel that Cade was after the nefarious Lafayette Baptiste; however, it won’t detract from enjoying the story. I also was skeptical that Danielle would pass as a boy, especially since she has long hair that she has to shove under a cap. And I couldn’t decide, at first, if I loved or abhorred Cade’s cockiness, but gradually, he definitely grew on me.

Don’t miss out on this one!

5 Stars

 

#BookReview: Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey

slightly south of simpleSummary:

From the next “major voice in Southern fiction” (New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand) comes the first in an all-new series chronicling the journeys of three sisters and their mother—and a secret from their past that has the potential to tear them apart and reshape their very definition of what it means to be a family.

Caroline Murphy swore she’d never set foot back in the small Southern town of Peachtree Bluff; she was a New York girl born and bred and the worst day of her life was when, in the wake of her father’s death, her mother selfishly forced her to move—during her senior year of high school, no less—back to that hick-infested rat trap where she’d spent her childhood summers. But now that her marriage to a New York high society heir has fallen apart in a very public, very embarrassing fashion, a pregnant Caroline decides to escape the gossipmongers with her nine-year-old daughter and head home to her mother, Ansley.

Ansley has always put her three daughters first, especially when she found out that her late husband, despite what he had always promised, left her with next to nothing. Now the proud owner of a charming waterfront design business and finally standing on her own two feet, Ansley welcomes Caroline and her brood back with open arms. But when her second daughter Sloane, whose military husband is overseas, and youngest daughter and successful actress Emerson join the fray, Ansley begins to feel like the piece of herself she had finally found might be slipping from her grasp. Even more discomfiting, when someone from her past reappears in Ansley’s life, the secret she’s harbored from her daughters their entire lives might finally be forced into the open.

Exploring the powerful bonds between sisters and mothers and daughters, this engaging novel is filled with Southern charm, emotional drama, and plenty of heart.

Summary:

What a read. I love that we got a POV from Ansley and then her daughter, Caroline. While there was two other daughters that at first I expected their POV to pop in, I think we got just enough from Caroline and it wasn’t overwhelming or too cluttered at all. The setting of Peachtree Bluff is a wonderful fictional town and the descriptions made me feel like I’ve been there as well. The plot is incredibly intriguing and thought-provoking. Ansley’s back story had me raising my eyebrows, Caroline’s marital situation gave me all kinds of feelings, and both Emerson and Sloane had interesting lives and sub plots as well. I really hope we get a follow up story from perhaps Sloane’s POV next time. Everything was going swimmingly for me and this novel… until the end. I felt like it ended so abruptly but I did see this is the first book in the Peachtree Bluff series so…then it redeemed itself again! I can’t tell you how relieved I was to find that out! I will eagerly be awaiting book 2, and highly recommend you check this one out!

5 stars

#BookReview: The Big Weekend by Libby Kirsch

the big weekendSummary:

You can run. You can hide. Or you can get highlights.

Columbus police make a quick arrest in a murder, but when a tip comes in from someone who knows more about the case than detectives, it’s clear to TV reporter Stella Reynolds that the woman behind bars didn’t pull the trigger.

With lowlifes stealing the headlines, why is Stella’s boss only concerned with her hair? He insists a makeover will help her career, but she knows that a visit to the salon will only get in the way of solving the murder. Or will it? With the real suspect determined to stay hidden, maybe a makeover contest is the perfect cover for catching a killer.

Vicious lies. Unyielding deadlines. And a killer makeover.

Review:

Yes! This series is one of my favorite, and I eagerly dove right into the next installment. I absolutely love Stella Reynolds and the mysteries she finds herself in the middle of are so captivating! Fast-paced, full of intrigue, and an all-around fantastic light-hearted mystery, this was another that I must recommend from Libby Kirsch! And I was thrilled to see we are getting a series on Stella’s friend Janet coming soon – that will definitely be going on my TBR! I highly recommend all the books in this series!

5 stars