Bite Sized Books #1

16 April 2015

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I’m not always the best at writing reviews, and I am definitely not the best at being concise with them, but there are so many books which I read which never even get a mention on my blog, and that is a shame. I’ve decided a sporadic feature on my blog will be Bite Sized Books, where I do quick reviews about some of the books I’ve been reading. Sometimes there may be a theme, other times it will just be a random collection of books.

For the first post I will be focusing on romance, as I have recently been on a bit of a romance binge read. This was a binge following the reading of two really good fantasy novels, I needed a break with some lighter easier reads, which romance always is.

My Rating:
Callie Jacobsen isn't about to open her heart to just anyone. Not so very long ago, trusting someone changed her life forever—and not in a fun way. Now she's better off focusing on her career, her friends, and her dog. So when former Marine Everett Silverton takes an interest in her, Callie's more than a little wary. No matter how charming he is, men are a bad idea. In fact, she's got the scars to prove it.

But Everett isn't convinced Callie should shut everyone out—especially not him. He may be a hero to the people of Rock Canyon, but he's got his own demons, and he bets they're not that different from Callie's. Still, he knows it's going to take more than chemistry to get her to let her guard down. Everett will do whatever it takes to show her she's safe with him. All she has to do is take a chance, take a step … and take his hand.
I've been reading the Rock Canyon series for a while and instantly put the next on my to buy list because I know it'll be a fun read. I wasn't sure what to make of this one, though. I read the teaser chapter at the end of the last book and instantly wanted it but it was a bit different from some of the other books in the series. This one was a bit more serious than some of the other books, and I think it was a slightly different take on the normal romance formula. Not too different, but definitely different from the series in general, which was refreshing.
My Rating:
What a scoundrel wants, a scoundrel gets...

A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London’s most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance—including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury.

A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage, and a longing for something more. How lucky that her new husband has access to such unexplored pleasures.

Bourne may be a prince of London’s underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness—a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything for them... even her heart.
I can’t believe her series are linked! That was a surprising turn of events. I wanted to like Penelope as well after that moment in the ladies salon, so when I started reading this and realised I knew her and her family I was thrilled. It did take me a moment to figure our where we were in the story, though. I wasn’t sure how long after Eleven Ways to Start to Win a Duke's Heart this was set, but I have to say I enjoyed reading this. Penelope was fun both trying to please herself and her family and others, you could tell she was being pulled over the place. Then there was Bourne, I hated and loved him in equal measure. I loved him for how far he had come and how strong he was as a person, but I loathed how he treated Penelope to begin with, I wanted to shake him with some of his actions.

MacLean always satisfies with her historical romance reads, she has it down to an art form.

My Rating:
The second in the incredible new Rules of Scoundrels series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean.

Lady Philippa Marbury is odd. The bespectacled, brilliant fourth daughter of the Marquess of Needham and Dolby cares more for books than balls, flora than fashion and science than the season. Nearly engaged to Lord Castleton, Pippa wants to explore the scandalous parts of London she's never seen before marriage. And she knows just who to ask: the tall, charming, quick-witted bookkeeper of The Fallen Angel, London's most notorious and coveted gaming hell, known only as Cross.

Like any good scientist, Pippa's done her research and Cross's reputation makes him perfect for her scheme. She wants science without emotion—the experience of ruination without the repercussions of ruination. And who better to provide her with the experience than this legendary man? But when this odd, unexpected female propositions Cross, it's more than tempting . . . and it will take everything he has to resist following his instincts—and giving the lady precisely what she wants.
This book was a quick read for me because I was hooked by the end and needed to know what was happening to Pippa and Cross and the messed up weddings that were meant to be happening. It was another typical example of MacLean’s excellent writing ability. Sure, I found it harder to relate to Pippa’s story simply because she was so logical compared to what I experienced with Penelope, but somehow it worked, even if it did make the writing a bit more difficult to read. I definitely enjoyed this book, and this helped solidify my love for MacLean because these characters were some who wasn’t expecting to read about so it was good.

My Rating:
Welcome to Spindle Cove, where the ladies with delicate constitutions come for the sea air, and men in their prime are... nowhere to be found. Or are they?

Spindle Cove is the destination of choice for certain types of well-bred young ladies: the painfully shy, young wives disenchanted with matrimony, and young girls too enchanted with the wrong men; it is a haven for those who live there.

Victor Bramwell, the new Earl of Rycliff, knows he doesn't belong here. So far as he can tell, there's nothing in this place but spinsters... and sheep. But he has no choice, he has orders to gather a militia. It's a simple mission, made complicated by the spirited, exquisite Susanna Finch—a woman who is determined to save her personal utopia from the invasion of Bram's makeshift army.

Susanna has no use for aggravating men; Bram has sworn off interfering women. The scene is set for an epic battle... but who can be named the winner when both have so much to lose?
I do believe Spindle Cove may become one of my favourite historical romance series, but the Dare is one of my favourite historical romance authors due to her ability to write with humour in a genre a lot don’t take seriously. Historical romance is a genre I never thought to venture into, and now the more books I read the more I've come to appreciate the genre. It is not what I thought it would be, it is so much better. The writing is funny, it is not just about the romance, these characters are not the ridiculous drips I thought they would be, instead they are strong characters with humour and flaws and they are just the thing I need when I'm stuck in a reading rut. This could be a bit predictable if it weren’t for the characters and Dare’s writing, which is awesome.

A Week to be Wicked – Tessa Dare
My Rating:
When a devilish lord and a bluestocking set off on the road to ruin...time is not on their side.

Minerva Highwood, one of Spindle Cove's confirmed spinsters, needs to be in Scotland.

Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, a rake of the first order, needs to be...anywhere but Spindle Cove.

These unlikely partners have one week to
• fake an elopement
• convince family and friends they're in "love"
• outrun armed robbers
• survive their worst nightmares
• travel four hundred miles without killing each other
All while sharing a very small carriage by day and an even smaller bed by night.

What they don't have time for is their growing attraction. Much less wild passion. And heaven forbid they spend precious hours baring their hearts and souls.
I’m a sucker for a good old fake relationship, so I knew I wanted to read this book from the summary. I was surprised, then, when I was reading and found that there wasn’t a fake relationship as such. It was more two people travelling together and needing to plant the seeds before they left that they are eloping and then trying not to kill each other whilst they travel. I was not a huge fan of Colin in the first book of the series, but as you learn more about him in this book and the reasoning behind his flirtatious behaviour it became a lot easier to like him. He also had a wicked sense of humour with those ridiculous tales he spun for others. His insecurities were a bit tedious because it was the same as every other romance book ever, but Minerva helped make something of that sameness less tedious because she was ridiculous and fun at the same time.

And those are the first Bite Sized Books for your viewing pleasure. I know I haven’t said anything profound, but that was not really the idea. I just wanted to show what I’ve been reading and whether or not I enjoyed it. Please let me know your thoughts, and any suggestions based on what I’ve read because there is no such thing as too many romance books… as long as I space out my reading of them.
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