Last night in Las Vegas. One-night stand. Broken condom. Sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas as Darcy Penn and Jake Norton discover in Mira Lyn Kelly’s new book WAKING UP PREGNANT.
After an incredible night, Darcy leaves Jeff’s suite before he can tell her about their contraception’s failure. Three months later, a pregnant Darcy shows up at his L.A. office to tell him the news… after she finishes throwing up in his wastepaper basket.
Kelly is able to infuse a lot of good-natured humor and caring in WAKING UP PREGNANT. Letting the readers sympathize with Darcy’s terrible morning sickness and Jake’s fears about his baby, its mama and their unsteady alliance with each other. Add in a current girlfriend, long distance and two fiercely independent people and the reader will get a fun story that shows us that sometimes we can fall in love with a stranger after one night. The happily ever after though, requires a little more work.
After being blinded in battle Vincent Hunt, Viscount Darleigh evades his well-meaning, albeit smothering female relatives bent on matchmaking by escaping to the country. But when his neighbors try to entrap him into marrying their daughter, Vincent is saved by plain-looking companion Sophia Fry. Feeling that the only thing women find attractive is his title and income, Vincent wants a marriage of convenience with a woman of his choosing who will let him be.
When he proposes to Sophie, she cannot understand why such a handsome man would want to marry such an unlovable person as she. With no option she agrees to his plan: After living one year together they will separate. Sophie will get her own little cottage to draw her little cartoons and live a quiet life, while Vincent will get to be independent and free from matchmakers and debutantes.
As they learn to live together, they begin to discover common interests and maybe their marriage of convenience can become a real one after all.
THE ARRANGEMENT is interesting and well-written with a delightfully engaging couple. The main desire of the couple is a life of freedom, but soon they find that freedom with loneliness can be a more daunting than the metaphorical cages that once trapped them.
Lily Dawson is the only unwed lady left of the famous courtesans dubbed the Three Diamonds by the prince regent. Called the Countess of Charm, Lily uses her social skills and dubious position to ferret out information as a spy for the Foreign Office. Her next mission has her cozying up to the Duke of Ravenscroft and find evidence of any treasonous activities. Unfortunately, the duke’s son may be more of an impediment than Lily anticipated.
Andrew, Earl of Darlington hates that the Countess of Charm has taken up with his father so soon after his mother’s death. He even wants to hate Lily, but there is something about her that sparks his interests. When he discovers that there is more going on than what is visible on the surface, Andrew offers to help Lily uncover the traitor, even if that traitor is his own father.
“Sapphires are an Earl’s Best Friend” is the final installment of Shana Galen’s Jewels of the Ton trilogy. In previous books, Darlington was the persistent suitor of Juliette, the Duchess of Dalliance and the heroine of “If you Give a Duke a Diamond.” Then he seemed like a loveable, but shallow dandy, a man who had still not matured to adulthood. In this story the readers get see Andrew grow up, shed his rakish persona and show Lily and others his true self, a man who is ready for the mantle of Duke and responsibilities he will have one day. He isn’t perfect, but he sees that and tries to achieve better.
It was really satisfying to learn more about Lily. Her past–like those of the other Diamonds–is tragic and difficult. To see what she has become despite the heartbreak and horrors, gives her character dimension and strength without beating the reader over the head with the events. Instead the readers are treated to a look into the longing, heartache and despair some decisions create that feels genuine and sympathetic.
With these two characters you see a spectrum of emotions and with each passing page hope that–after they find the assassin–they get the satisfying ending that they and the series deserve.
“Sapphires are an Earl’s Best Friend” will be released March 4th online and at local booksellers nationwide.
Wealthy heiress Lady Sarah Osbourne is about to be sacrificed on the marriage altar to none other than the royal Duke of Kent. Though the thought of raising the next English monarch holds great appeal, Sarah cannot help but feel like she will be missing out on all life has to offer, so she makes a list of forbidden pleasures she has yet to experience.
Sir Jonah Sharpe has a dark past and is used to unsavory missions. Now he is being blackmailed to prevent Lady Sarah’s marriage to the royal duke by any means necessary. When he learns of her list, Jonah knows the best way to seduce her is to help her complete it, but with every item they cross off the list their mutual attraction blossoms. And soon Sir Jonah does not only want to prevent Sarah’s marriage to the duke, but marry her himself.
BETWEEN A RAKE AND A HARD PLACE is an enjoyable romance about duty to one’s family, friends and country versus the duty we all have to ourselves and our own happiness.
Jonah is a good parallel to modern-day soldiers coming home from war, haunted by the things he’d done and let happen. Whereas Sarah is a woman who wants to push boundaries and not let society dictate what she can and cannot do (even though she usually prefers the usual ways). Both Sarah and Jonah are very likable with commitments not entirely of their choosing, but obligated to fulfill due to obligations and personal integrity. The duality of their mutual dilemma is sometimes frustrating for a reader, but then again, more so for the characters.
Mason and Marlowe have penned a satisfying and well-rounded capstone to their Regency Rakes trilogy.