A Little Bit Sinful by Adrienne Basso

A Little Bit Unexpected. . .

Eleanor Collins knows that her beautiful younger sister will have wealthy, powerful men falling at her feet in her first London season. But Eleanor is surprised to discover that one man's attentions are utterly focused on her.

A Little Bit Forbidden. . .

As delicious as Sebastian Dodd, Viscount Benton, finds the eldest Collins daughter, his true motive is darker than mere seduction. Until he has avenged his mother's death, he will be unable to think of anything else. Or so he believes, until he takes his first taste of Eleanor's inviting lips, and finds his mind--and his body--utterly consumed. . .


This is a stand alone book but it appears that it is linked in with many other of Adrienne Basso's books. I would imagine that Sebastian appeared in the book that featured his best friend which is the one before this one (How to Seduce a Sinner). I haven't read that book and although this one seemed to stand alone I think I would have had a better grip on the characters, especially the secondary characters, if I had read the previous one first.

The book itself was a good read. I was interested and at no time did I get bored or not want to continue with the story. Both Eleanor and Sebastian were likeable characters and I liked their story and interactions. However, neither they nor the story were particularly memorable and they also didn't have much depth which left the whole story seriously lacking in emotion. This really made it difficult to invest in the characters and I didn't fall in love with them or really believe that they fell in love with each other.

This book did hold my interest so it's a little disappointing that I feel I can only give it 3 stars. I'll give Adrienne Basso another read because I liked her writing style but this book did little for me, I'm afraid.


His Little Black Book by Heather MacAllister

1 wrong text message + 1 impending hurricane = 1 sexy surprise for 3 couples!

Text and the Single Girl

Sophie Callahan is angling to move up the corporate ladder...and attending a client party is her ticket. But she doesn't count on being trapped by the hurricane with sexy entrepreneur Adrian Dean. Suddenly, "riding out the storm" sounds like a very good idea...

Text Appeal

When Mia Weiss skids off the road en route to the party, hottie Kevin Powell comes to her rescue. Only he's not her ideal savior. He's abrupt, a little grouchy...and, oh yeah, the best lover Mia's ever had!

Safe Text

Being the assistant to a demanding boss is running Cammy Phillips ragged. But Gil Shaughnessy, Cammy's former partner, has the perfect cure in mind...and it involves getting Cammy more deliciously worked up than the hurricane raging outside!


Text and the Single Girl
Junior copywriter Sophie Callahan is determined to move on up the corporate ladder so when she gets a text to attend a private party with the creative director of the ad agency she sees it as her great chance. But when she gets to the beach house she finds the party only consists of client Adrian Dean - what will they do to pass time when a hurricane strikes?

Neither Sophie or Adrian were particularly likeable characters - Sophie because she was too grasping and Adrian because he felt too weak. With that the story fell flat and I didn't believe that the pair would ever have a happy ever after.


Text Appeal
On her way to the beach house party, Mia Weiss skids off the road in the hurricane only to be rescued by hottie, Kevin Powell. Mia has always been smart in love but Kevin makes her want to throw all her resolutions out the window and just wait out the storm in his bed.

This was a fair enough story but it wasn't particularly exciting and it was obvious that Kevin and Mia's attraction was purely physical for the vast majority of the story which is not great when you're reading a romance.


Safe Text
Being assistant to a demanding boss is running Cammy ragged especially since she's infatuated with him. But Gil, Cammy's former partner has the perfect cure in mind and it involved changing her mind about the right man for her while the storm rages outside.

While being the best of the three stories, this one was let down as Cammy had given up three years of her life and a promising career due to her 'love' of her boss. Gil deserved a better woman.


For all the stories I didn't like the fact that all the women were so hung up on or obsessed with Jonathon - the boss of the agency and the man who sent the original text. I know that without that fact the stories wouldn't make sense but who can root for women who are so pathetic and delusional? Unfortunately this anthology is only worth 3 stars and even then I think I'm being quite generous.


How to Marry a Duke by Vicky Dreiling

Tristan James Gatewick, the Duke of Shelbourne, is the most sought after bachelor in all of England. It's an enviable position for any man of marriageable age - after all, it's time for him to settle down and have the heir and the spare his family so desperately needs. 

The problem: he can't bring himself to marry any of the ninnies he's met courtesy of the ton. Only one woman interests him, a honey-haired beauty with a sharp tongue. She's unlike any of the vain, spoiled, clumsy chits he's met up to now. The only problem? He's hired her to find him a wife. 

Tessa Mansfield can't believe her luck. Ever since she was deemed a spinster a few seasons ago, she's been a professional matchmaker, finding ugly ducklings and penniless chits all over London matches in the highest echelons of society. But she's just landed the Duke of Shelbourne as a client and her entire career rests on finding him a suitable match. So she concocts an elaborate way to ensure a happy match: the Duke will court 25 women simultaneously, eliminating them as he sees fit until he finds the perfect one. Unfortunately she never expected to desire him herself and fantasize about his touch...


This is Vicky Dreiling's debut novel and overall it was a fairly enjoyable read. However it really didn't present anything new or different from other romance books and I'm not sure I'll actually remember much about it in a couple of weeks.

Tessa was an enjoyable character - independent and strong without being a cliché. Unfortunately all the other female characters were insipid dimwits that I couldn't take to at all. I also liked Tristan - your typical rakish duke brought down by love but if I'm honest the pair had little chemistry and not enough heat or emotion to give you that 'butterflies in your stomach' feeling that you want when reading romance.

The story was a little disjointed and didn't always flow. Towards the middle I wondered whether anything exciting was actually going to happen and by contrast the ending was so drawn out that I could have screamed! I felt that all the characters were ridiculously proper on occasion - probably correct to the time period but a little dull none the less. And the hugely devastating secret of Tessa's turned out to be fairly tepid compared to other books I've read which was a little anticlimactic.

I actually enjoyed reading this book and it was never a chore to pick it up. It wasn't overly exciting but if you've got it on your bookshelf then it's still worth a read. 3 stars.


Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLean

She lives for passion.

Bold, impulsive, and a magnet for trouble, Juliana Fiori is no simpering English miss. She refuses to play by society's rules: she speaks her mind, cares nothing for the approval of the ton, and can throw a punch with remarkable accuracy. Her scandalous nature makes her a favorite subject of London's most practiced gossips . . . and precisely the kind of woman The Duke of Leighton wants far far away from him.

He swears by reputation.

Scandal is the last thing Simon Pearson has room for in his well-ordered world. The Duke of Disdain is too focused on keeping his title untainted and his secrets unknown. But when he discovers Juliana hiding in his carriage late one evening--risking everything he holds dear--he swears to teach the reckless beauty a lesson in propriety. She has other plans, however; she wants two weeks to prove that even an unflappable duke is not above passion.


This is the third and final book in MacLean's Love By Numbers trilogy and one that I've been very much looking forward to. I don't suppose it needs to be read in order but I think you would understand more of the back story (and be aware of Juliana and Simon's history) if you've read the first two books - Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake and Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord.

From the first page I was hooked by this book. I loved Simon and Juliana from MacLean's first two books and couldn't wait for them to get their own story. Juliana was the feisty Italian that I came to expect and Simon was even more of the disdainful, arrogant duke than he first appeared. The pair had good chemistry and interacted well.

The story kept me interested and I couldn't put the book down. Until about the middle. Then, for some reason, I became a little disenchanted. Simon and Juliana seemed to be on a neverending cycle of her doing something scandalous, him being disdainful and neither of them ever bending, learning or changing. It picked up again towards the end and I liked the ending although, if I'm honest, I didn't feel that I ever got to completely understand the characters, their love or their motivations.

I've still given this book 4 stars because I'll admit that since I was so looking forward to this book it probably could never have lived up to my expectations. Add to that the fact that it could never beat the exceptional Nine Rules to Break... and I've probably given worse books more stars.

Overall I still really liked this book and would recommend it to someone who enjoys a good ol' Regency romance. It's well written, engaging and I'm sure you will enjoy it. I'll also eagerly be waiting for MacLean's next book and the start of The Fallen Angel's series, A Rogue by Any Other Name. 4 stars from me!


385 pages

Love by Numbers series:


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