For Services Rendered by Patricia Kay Cinderella story . . .

Claire Kendrick didn't know what to think when she was summoned to the 50th floor to meet the president of Callahan, International. As handsome, blue-eyed Nick Callahan explained her special assignment --- writing an article about him for CEO Magazine --- Claire's apprehensions grew. There was something he wasn't telling her, something odd that she couldn't put her finger on. What did he really want from her?

Her green eyes, golden hair, and striking beauty were the first things that had caught Nick's attention. Then he had her background checked out, and he was doubly impressed. Claire Kendrick was a smart, hard-working, loyal employee. She was also supporting her mother, who needed expensive full-time medical care. All in all, Claire was the perfect candidate for the position Nick needed to fill.

While researching the article on Nick, Claire found herself awed by the success story of the man who'd made his first million before he was thirty. His brilliant blue eyes were mesmerizing, his sexy smile distracting, his hidden, kind nature surprising and admirable. And then, out of the blue, Nick offered her a startling proposition. He would support Claire and her mother in exchange for services rendered --- as a wife and mother to his children!
It would have been a fantasy, a dream come true, a Cinderella story --- except for one oversight. Could Claire exist in a marriage of convenience? What kind of marriage would it be . . . without love? 


Although not billed as such, this book reads very much like a Modern Mills and Boon romance. It follows many of the traditional formulae - down on her luck female, strong, successful man and a relationship that starts off as one thing and turns into something more.

I liked the premise of the story and both Claire and Nick were characters that I could root for. Claire was strong despite her situation and I did like that Nick didn't walk all over her. Nick was strong, silent and arrogant but I still liked him as he wasn't too alpha male. The pair didn't have much depth but I could still enjoy them and their interactions.

Despite having a publication date of 2012, this book was clearly written many years ago (1993 as I've just found out). For the most part this doesn't matter although I was quite taken aback and amused by the reference to listening to cassette tapes in the car!

As another reviewer mentioned, there are numerous mentions of fur coats in the book which I really didn't like. Even though this book is a reprint, I would have thought the author would have removed these before publishing it in this day and age.

Despite that, the writing was good and, at one point in particular, quite emotional. I had no problems finishing it although I would have liked to see an epilogue to find out what happened to Nick and Claire after their happily ever after.

If you like the Mills & Boon Modern line or a quick romance then I think you would like this book. It's quick, enjoyable and worth a look at such a low price. 3 stars.


202 pages

Valentine Surprise by Jennifer Conner
For Cecilia, Valentine’s Day stands as a glaring remind of what she is-alone and in love with her best friend’s brother, Lee.

When Lee asks Cecilia for computer help with signing up for an on-line dating service, will this be her chance to get him out of her head and her heart for good?

But, does Cupid have his own Valentine surprise in store for this couple?


This is a very short story (at about 23 pages) so it doesn't take you long to read it through. Because of its short length there isn't much character development or depth to either Cecilia or Lee.

Even with it's very short length I would have liked a little more decisiveness from Lee - or at least a little more personal insight into his own feelings for Cecilia - but it's a sweet tale none the less.

There are a few minor typos and it's over in the blink of an eye but it's a well-written and enjoyable tale that's a nice little read while it's free! 3 stars.


23 pages

Sugar Rush by Donna Kauffman baker extraordinaire Leilani Trusdale left the bustle of New York City for Georgia's sleepy Sugarberry Island, she didn't expect her past to follow. 

Yet suddenly, her former boss, Baxter Dunne, aka Chef Hot Cakes, the man who taught her everything pastry, wants to film his hit cooking show in her tiny cupcakery. The same Chef Hot Cakes whose molten chocolate brown eyes and sexy British accent made Lani's mouth water and her cheeks blush the colour of raspberry filling - stirring all kinds of kitchen gossip, much of which Lani wished was true. 

Lani's friends are convinced that this time around, Baxter is the missing ingredient in her recipe for happiness. But convincing Lani will be a job for Baxter himself. And he'll need more then black velvet frosting to sweeten the deal...


This is the first book in The Cupcake Club series which combines the two wonderful worlds of cupcakes and romance which are the two reasons I felt drawn to this book.

I've not had much luck with romance books that have a backdrop of food or restaurants but this one does manage to work that well into the storyline. The descriptions of the cakes sounded amazing and I like the fact that you get a couple of recipes (with frostings) at the back of the book to try yourself.

Apart from that, unfortunately I wasn't overly keen on the characters. I could identify with, and didn't dislike, Leilani but she didn't have enough sparkle to really make me root for her. Baxter wasn't my cup of tea for two reasons: 1) because he was 'British' which paved the way for embarrassing attempts at Brit speak and accents, although thankfully not so often as to make the book unreadable. The second reason is that right at the beginning it was mentioned that Baxter was younger than Leilani. Although it probably doesn't bother most people, and it was only by three years, I just don't like that dynamic and it made me disappointed from the start. It turned out to never be mentioned again which made me wonder why it was mentioned in the first place. There were some supporting characters but a little too many to really care for them and none that stood out except for crazy Alva.

The plot also fell a little flat for me as I just didn't feel that much happened. If Leilani and Baxter weren't discussing one thing, they were talking about something else. Sometimes Leilani would discuss things with her father or her best friend and then sometimes other people would discuss other things that were happening. I'm all for conversation and banter between characters but not at the expense of moving the story forward or having something interesting happen.

My last point - which didn't affect my rating of the book but still has to be mentioned - was the cover. The cupcakes on the front are to die for and I enjoyed staring at them and wishing I could eat them right up. On the back, however, is a photo of a couple and I swear that if they are a day over 18 I'll eat my hat. Perhaps that's just me getting older but they made me cringe.

Anyway - I wasn't much of a fan of this book so sadly can't recommend it. It wasn't terrible, the writing was okay but it just didn't capture my attention despite the delicious cupcakes. 2 stars.


336 pages

Season for Temptation by Theresa Romain Sisters. . .
Julia Herington is overjoyed when her stepsister, Louisa, becomes engaged--to a viscount, no less. Louisa's only hesitation is living a life under the ton's critical gaze. But with his wry wit and unconventional ideas, Julia feels James is perfect for Louisa. She can only hope to find a man like him for herself. Exactly like him, in fact. . .

One Choice. . .
As the new Viscount Matheson, James wished to marry quickly and secure his title. Kind, intelligent Louisa seemed a suitable bride. . .until he met her stepsister. Julia is impetuous--and irresistible. Pledged to one sister, yet captivated by another, what is he to do? As Christmas and the whirl of the London season approach, James may be caught in a most scandalous conundrum, one that only true love, a bit of spiritous punch--and a twist of fate--will solve. . .


From the start this book sets itself out as light and frothy. Julia is portrayed as a quirky and unconventional heroine while James is an honorable and likeable hero. Neither are offensive in any way but neither do they really stand out from the crowd. Their interactions are sweet but again not particularly memorable or overly romantic.

The same is true of the story. It plods along quite nicely with nothing startling or offensive happening. I couldn't understand the motivations of the characters for behaving as they did (especially Louisa) and couldn't help but want things to be wrapped up a little quicker than they ultimately were. As it was, it took almost two thirds of the story before James and Julia even kissed and there wasn't even any sexual tension to tide things over before it got to that point.

There were an alarming amount of modern language and Americanisms throughout the whole story which is irritating in any period book and pulls you completely out of the story. I also spent an unusual amount of time trying to figure out how the main family were related. It didn't matter to the story but I just couldn't understand it all until it was explained about 20 pages from the end.

All in all this was a sweet story that I read through quite happily. I'll probably not remember about it in a couple of days as, unfortunately, inoffensive and unassuming also means forgettable. 3 stars which is probably quite generous and not really a story I would go out of my way to recommend.


369 pages

Too Wicked To Wed by Cara Elliott
Outspoken and independent, Lady Alexa Bingham enjoys the heady freedom of making all her own decisions, even though the challenges of overseeing her family's country estate are daunting. But when a chance encounter with London's most notorious rake awakens a secret longing for adventure, she accepts her aunt's invitation for a Season in Town . . . only to find that breaking the rules of the ton has serious consequences.

The Earl of Killingworth uses his rakehell reputation to hide the fact that poverty has forced him to work for a living. As the owner of a gambling den and brothel, Connor has no time for glittering ballrooms or innocent young ladies. But after a reckless wager leaves him with a new business partner, he is forced to take a risky gamble . . . Will the cards fall in their favor? Alexa and Connor begin to play a dangerous game of intrigue and deception as they seek to outwit a cunning adversary who wants to put them permanently out of business. But if they are not careful, it is the flames of their own fiery attraction that may destroy them.


This story shot off at a quick pace with the action of Alexa and Connor's first meeting happening almost instantly and their first kiss not much later than that. That then set the standard for the story as for a long while that was as much as the plot amounted to - meeting and kissing, meeting and kissing, with different settings thrown in each time.

That aside, both Alexa and Connor were likeable enough characters although neither really stood out or really inspired me to care for them individually or as a couple. There were some secondary characters, Gryffin and Cameron - "The Hellhounds" whose books make up the second and third in The Lords of Midnight Trilogy - but they weren't particularly inspiring either. I had assumed that the other couples mentioned in the book were from previous stories by Elliott but can find no mention of their stories anywhere. This confuses me as it felt like I was expected to know these stories and these characters while reading this book.

Despite what I said earlier regarding the plot, I had absolutely no trouble finishing this book and did so quickly enough. The writing was fine, if a little pretentious and flowery for my tastes on rather too many occasions. There were also Americanisms and incorrect usage of British English which were annoying but luckily didn't happen too often to actually spoil the book. I didn't find the love scenes overly sexy or sensual - only a day later I can barely remember them which says something.

Overall, this was a nice story but nothing more than that. It won't be a story that I will remember but it's not offensive and it's worth a read if it's on your shelf or in your Kindle. 3 stars.


384 pages

Lords of Midnight Trilogy:


About That Night by Julie James

Though Rylann Pierce tried to fight the sparks she felt for billionaire heir Kyle Rhodes the night they met, their sizzling chemistry was undeniable. But after being stood up on their first date, Rylann never expected to see him again. So when she finds herself face to face with Kyle in a courthouse nine years later, she’s stunned. More troubling to the beautiful Assistant U.S. Attorney is that she’s still wildly attracted to him.


Just released from prison, Kyle Rhodes isn’t thrilled to be the star witness in a high-profile criminal case—but when Rylann comes knocking at his door, he finds she may be the one lawyer he can’t say no to. Still as gorgeous and sharp-tongued as ever, she lays down the law: she doesn’t mix business with pleasure. But Kyle won’t give up on something he wants—and what he wants is the one woman he’s never forgotten. . .


I have been a huge fan of Julie James since reading her first book and this one just cements her as an exceptional contemporary writer and one of my all time favourites.

Kyle first appeared in James' previous book, A Lot Like Love, which featured his twin sister's story. You don't have to have read that book or any of the others to understand and like this book although if you have read it then Jordan and Nick (as well as some of the supporting cast and Cameron and Jack from Something about You) make brief appearances which is always fun.

I'm always looking for a heroine that I can both like and root for and Rylann fits the bill. She's sassy, fiesty, fun and sarcastic yet retains a vulnerability that makes her extremely likeable. She's also smart and works hard which I like a lot. Kyle is a hard working, sexy and passionate man and one that I couldn't help but fall for. He may be an ex-con but don't let this put you off! Together the pair have such spark, chemistry and the banter was genius and had me laughing out loud on occasion.

Once again this book is set in the world of lawyers, the FBI and everything that entails. The storyline is realistic yet never getting bogged down in detail and makes for a book that I just couldn't put down. The storyline flows nicely and there's always something new to keep your interest. This is the kind of book that makes you want to live the characters lives and I finished it feeling rejuvenated while also feeling very sad that I couldn't keep reading.

If you like smart romances with sparkle and wit then I can't recommend this book highly enough. It's a real page turner and one which I enjoyed immensely. A very well deserved 5 stars.


305 pages

Marry Me, Maddie by Rita Herron
One sassy southern girl looking for the right man…

Two sexy men after her heart:

Bachelor # 1 – the long term boyfriend she just dumped

Bachelor # 2 – her overprotective brothers’ best friend

When the competition heats up, who will win her heart and her hand? 


I was so excited to read this story as I adore the storyline where a woman falls in love with her brother's best friend. It didn't take me long to realise that my anticipation was misplaced.

Maddie is a young and supposedly smart woman yet she is constantly bullied and undermined by her older brothers who apparently have her best interests at heart. They waited for her when she went on a night out, told her what she could and couldn't do and decided that she shouldn't have a career as she wasn't smart enough. I don't mind strong men but these guys were unbelievable.

I quite liked, or at least didn't actively dislike, Chase although he was a little bit weak when it came to his reasons for not being with Maddie. If he didn't like her then that would have been fine but it was all just a bit pointless as conflict, to be honest.

The book was the length of a regular novel at about 350 pages and I felt every single one of them. Each chapter seemed to be each character going over the same emotions, same problems and same dramas but in a different setting each time - I hate to say that I was genuinely bored. To add to that, we kept hearing about the unlikeable brothers and some 'mystery' regarding their parents. When it all came to a conclusion the result was farcical and far from funny which I'm assuming was the intention.

The inclusion of secondary characters was obviously to set up their own, future stories. I for one will not be purchasing them and definitely can't recommend this book, I'm sorry to say. 1 star.


349 pages

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean a scoundrel wants, a scoundrel get...

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. 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.


Sarah MacLean has been an auto buy for me ever since I read the wonderful Nine Rules... This story doesn't quite reach the same heights but I still loved it and definitely feel it's deserving of 5 stars.

Michael is my favourite kind of hero - tortured, full of angst and feels undeserving of, while really in need of, the love of a good woman. I also just adored Penelope. She appeared briefly in Eleven Scandals... but this book starts a new series (the Rules of Scoundrels Quartet) so there's no need to have read any books to understand and enjoy this one. Penelope was feisty and fun while also being quite vulnerable and naive at times. She was someone that I really rooted for from beginning to end.

The relationship between Michael and Penelope was filled with chemistry and passion. The letters that started off each chapter were a lovely addition and really built on the pair's past relationship. It was also easy to see the pair growing and falling in love which was a treat to read and kept me turning the pages at all hours.

I'm looking forward to the other stories in the series and would recommend this book to you if you like a fun and interesting romance with great characters and good storytelling. 5 stars.


399 pages

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