The Christmas Knight by Michele Sinclair Only Hope For The Season

With their father gone this Christmastide, Bronwyn de Breton and her two younger sisters are utterly vulnerable at unprotected Hunswick Castle. And their troubles are compounded when a fearsome knight arrives on the king's orders to take Hunswick as his own--and the youngest de Breton daughter as his wife.

Is A Man She's Never Met

Bronwyn would never let her little sister be forced to marry a man as rough and wild as the new lord is whispered to be. Yet someone must form an alliance with him, or all of Hunswick will be at risk. So she steps forward, pretending to be her own sister.

And A Love She Never Expected

But the new lord is not so easily fooled. He knows Bronwyn is not the woman he has promised to marry. And yet, no matter how duty-bound he may be, there is no resisting the golden-haired beauty who so fearlessly gives herself to him. . . and awakens a passion unlike any he's ever known... 


I have never read Michele Sinclair before but I can't resist a Christmas tale and this one seemed right up my street with a scarred man made whole by the love of a good woman. I'm glad to say that I wasn't disappointed.

Ranulf was, for me, the perfect kind of hero - brooding and angry but underneath so vulnerable; I just wanted to hug him! Bronwyn was also an exceptional character and was a spirited and likeable female that still felt right for the medieval time period. They worked fantastically together and I liked their chemistry and how together they were stronger - once they got over their insecurities, that is.

The book mainly covered the relationship between Bronwyn and Ranulf although there was a little bit of intrigue and danger. Some might find this makes the book a little slow but I was gripped from start to finish. There were also lovely little snippets about Christmas and festivities in the medieval period which were a nice touch and really fascinating. There were a few too many modern Americanisms for my liking but I'll admit that this is a personal peeve of mine in any historical book.

I see that there are books planned for Bronwyn's sisters and I very much look forward to reading them and hope that I enjoy them as much as I did this one. Overall, this was an entertaining book that I couldn't wait to continue reading and one that I would very much recommend. A high 4 stars from me.


481 pages

A Lady Never Surrenders by Sabrina Jeffries
Lady Celia Sharpe hopes that if she can garner offers of marriage from several eligible gentlemen and show her grandmother she is capable of gaining a husband, she can convince Gran to rescind the marriage ultimatum for her. And if that plan doesn't work, at least she'll have a husband lined up. 

But Bow Street Runner Jackson Pinter seems determined to ruin her plans by disapproving of every suitor she asks him to investigate. It's only when she and Jackson work together to solve her parents' murders, plunging them both into danger, that she realizes why--because the only man he wants her to marry is himself!


This is the final book in the Hellions of Halstead Hall series following The Truth About Lord Stoneville, A Hellion in Her Bed, How to Woo A Reluctant Lady and To Wed a Wild Lord. It's probably not essential that you read the books in order but I would strongly suggest that you do simply to get the back story and to get to know the characters.

I've been looking forward to Celia and Pinter's story since the first book as I do love a couple that start off with an antagonistic relationship that turns to love. The book didn't disappoint and the pair still had that passion and spark with each other even once the relationship progressed.

We really got to know Jackson and I felt both his desire for Celia and his anxiety over the barriers to their happily ever after. Celia, too, was a fine character that I liked and rooted for. She was impulsive, feisty but still had sense and intelligence.

I liked the fact that the other characters from the previous books appeared although I would have liked a bit more interactions between the couples. Gran was also on fine form with her meddling although if I'm honest she really irritated me with her unwillingness to unbend when Celia was so obviously unhappy.

As the last book in the series we finally find out the answer to the mystery of the parents' death. This could easily have overwhelmed the romance but I'm happy to say that it sat alongside it nicely. I was slightly underwhelmed by the solving of the mystery but that's probably just because it's been built up over the course of five books. It couldn't have gone any other way and I was still satisfied.

Despite the couple of niggles I'm still giving this book 5 stars as the writing is superb, the characters come to life and it's a fantastic end to a series that I have really enjoyed. I'm glad to see that some of the secondary characters are to get their own stories so although the series ends, hopefully the characters that I've grown to love will appear again.


420 pages

The Hellions of Halstead Hall series:   

The Accidental Mistress by Kate Harper
Sophie believes that desperate measures are required to save her cousin from ruin, which is why she takes Alice's place in the Marquis of Roxburghe's planned seduction. Instead of the easy retreat she was anticipating, however, Sophie finds herself at the mercy of a man who shows no mercy when it comes to his desires. And she quickly discovers that Roxburghe is not a man who takes deception well...


I bought this at the same time as the disappointing His Wayward Ward by the same author. Had I not, I would definitely not have downloaded this one but I had so I felt I should at least give it a go. Unfortunately, I wish that I hadn't bothered.

Within the first few paragraphs I had taken a huge dislike to our 'hero', Devereux. I normally like a dissolute rake that is redeemed by the love of the heroine but in this case it was his character and morals that were flawed and not just his behaviour. At one point he choked Sophie and bruised her but, don't worry, he was sorry - he has a temper and it would never happen again!! Shocking that such a leading man could be in a romance novel.

Sophie was a fair enough character but she lacked any excitement or strength and you felt it was only lust that the two characters felt for each other. I also couldn't forgive her for putting up with Dev's behaviour towards her.

The plot was staid and clichéd but nothing truly offensive. There was also nothing particularly sexy about the story despite it being billed as a risqué Regency romance.

Overall this isn't worth buying and I can't recommend it even if it was free. Sorry.


55 pages

Scrumptious by Amanda Usen Rafferty is just as mouthwatering as the food he cooks. But if he thinks he's going to waltz in and take over her kitchen, he's denser than a thick slice of chocolate ripple cheesecake. 

Marly has invested too much of her life in Chameleon to hand off the restaurant to someone else—especially a cocky–as–all–get–out superstar chef. But there's no denying the man knows how to light her fire. 

Question is: Can she have the sizzle without feeling the burn?


As someone who loves both romance novels and food - I've been keen to read stories that combine the two. Unfortunately I haven't found any that do justice to my expectations and this book was no exception.

My first, and main, complaint was about Marly. I just didn't like her. She was over-confident, happy (and proud) to sleep around, quite juvenile in her reactions and not someone I could either relate to or aspire to be like. I'm all for strong, confident women in stories but Marly's casual attitude turned me off.

Joe was a likeable character who was doing his best to make changes in his life although to be fair he wasn't particularly discerning either when it came to his relationships. His character was fairly well developed and I liked him but he certainly wasn't a hero that I would swoon over. Regardless, his relationship with Marly was, for me, clouded by the fact that I wanted him to find someone better!

The story was okay but towards the end it all went a little bit ridiculous and I was a little confused as to why it had changed for no apparent reason. I also couldn't really understand much of the tension or conflict in the book. Surely a conversation between best friends, Marly and Olivia (another unsympathetic character and owner of the restaurant) would have made much of the point of the book disappear.

Overall this wasn't my thing at all. The writing wasn't terrible which is why I've given the book 2 stars rather than 1, but it was really hard to finish and I can't recommend it, unfortunately.


321 pages

Storming the Castle by Eloisa James every fairy tale begins with a prince or a princess...

When Miss Philippa Damson runs away from home to Pomeroy Castle, she is far from a princess...she's an extraordinary beauty with ordinary dreams - to live a quiet life as a nursemaid.

Jonas Berwick, rakish son of a grand duke, has vowed never to wed.

He offers Philippa everything - except his hand in marriage.

Philippa has stormed the castle, but now she faces an impossible challenge: to win the love of a prince, she may have to risk everything that makes her a lady.

Will the sacrifice of her honour be too high a price to pay?


This short story is a sequel from James' A Kiss At Midnight which is the first in the Fairy Tales series. The series is set in Fairytale time with a dusting of the Regency so they aren't as strict when it comes to historical detail and accuracy. You probably want to have read A Kiss... before reading this one but I don't suppose it's 100% necessary.

I'm really glad that Wick got his own story and from the start I thought Phillipa a great match for him. She's that perfect blend of smart and strong but with a vulnerability in her that makes her likeable and relatable. Wick was also a good hero being proud and strong but truly in need of the love of a good woman. The pair had good chemistry and I was rooting for them throughout.

I debated between giving this 3 or 4 stars but decided in the end to be generous. My reason for this indecision was that due to its short nature the declarations of love came a little too abruptly for me. The conflict was also surrounding whether Wick and Phillipa could be together due to their different statuses but when the book concluded this was apparently a forgotten problem.

Overall this is a fun, quick read with characters I'm glad got their happily ever after. It's not the best I've ever read but it's a good read to pass an hour or so.



Virgin Unwrapped by Christine Merrill thought of Robert Breton's touch fills Anne Clairemont with a delicious, scandalous heat—but her family's happiness depends on her going through with her planned marriage to his wealthy, cold business partner.

Then Robert gives her a searing kiss beneath the mistletoe that changes everything. Soon he's showing Anne the intimate pleasures they could share, determined to fan the flame of their desire and convince her to call off her engagement.
But can she disappoint her parents to be with Robert, or will she break her own heart first?


This short and sweet romance is the sequel to Christine Merrill's A Regency Christmas Carol. I've never read the first book and this one still made perfect sense so I don't suppose you need to read them in order.

Having said that, it is obvious that Anne and Robert's story had to fit around things that occurred in the other story - things that didn't really make sense if you hadn't read it beforehand. I also get the impression that these two characters, or at the very least Anne, weren't painted in a flattering light in the first book which meant that some character traits were attempted to be explained away in this one. It made for some disjointed reading at times.

I also wasn't overly fond of Robert if I'm honest. He was a little bit harsh and unfeeling of Anne and even towards the very end he expected the worst of her. I also felt that he took advantage of Anne's innocence which made the sex scenes a little flat for me.

This was a short story that was a quick and ultimately satisfying read. I didn't feel much emotional attachment to the characters but the story is worth a read at the price. 3 stars.


52 pages

Too Hot to Touch by Louisa Edwards's Got The Sizzle

When it comes to competitive cooking, Max Lunden is no stranger to winning...though he's never been great at working with a team. A master chef - and major hunk - he's travelled the world, picking up new cooking techniques as well as beautiful women. But when the prodigal chef returns home to his family's Greenwich Village restaurant, he discovers one too many cooks in the kitchen - and she's every bit as passionate as he is...

She's Got The Fire

Juliet Cavanaugh used to have a crush on Max when she was just a teenager, hanging out at Lunden & Sons Tavern, hoping to catch a glimpse of the owner's oldest, and hottest, son. Now a chef herself - competing in the biggest culinary contest in the country - Juliet will be cooking side by side with the one man she's always admired...and desired. But despite their simmering attraction, Juliet is determined to keep her cool - no matter how hot it gets...


Too hot to handle? More like too boring to read. I started reading this book and after three nights of reading before bed I realised I hadn't moved past page 45. It really should tell you something when sleep sounds like more fun than continuing a book. To put it bluntly - I was bored.

The characters were one dimensional, boring and yet still managed to irritate and annoy me. Well, to be fair, Juliet was so bland that I barely even remembered her from one page to the next. I know this is down to personal preference of what you like in a hero but I just couldn't like Max either, I'm afraid. He was cocky, smarmy and far too self absorbed for my tastes.

I've never really watched any of those American chef competitions like the one described in this book but if I had liked the other elements then I'm sure that wouldn't have mattered one jot. I just couldn't get into the competition and the passion and excitement was missing. The author just didn't sell it to me, I'm afraid.

I know I've been pretty harsh about this book but that's simply because the writing style, story and characters just really weren't to my taste. I will now put the other side of the argument forward and say that I have read of many, many people who not only liked but adored this book and all the things that I wasn't keen on. I really do hope that you like it if you've bought it but unfortunately I just can't bring myself to recommend it. Not my cup of tea. 1 star.


352 pages

Kidnapped for Christmas by Evangeline Anderson
Plus-sized and practical Jillian Marks is the responsible one in her family. She got all the common sense and her little sister Sabrina got all the skinny genes. When Sabrina plans a custom kinky kidnapping as a Christmas present for herself, Jillian tries to talk her out of it but her ditzy sister won’t listen. Muscular and intense Kyle Stephens is a Dom who is looking for a permanent sub—a curvy woman who can submit in the bedroom but still think for herself. He takes Sabrina’s file but mistakenly ’naps the wrong sister, grabbing Jillian instead of Sabrina. Now Jillian is bound and gagged in a dungeon, learning to submit to the man of her dreams who has her kidnapped for Christmas.


I liked the idea of this kinky Christmas tale despite being not particularly into BDSM and I'm glad to say that I actually really enjoyed it.

Despite having a slightly odd premise the author did a fantastic job of never making what was going on seem seedy or disturbing. Similarly, the fact that Jillian was essentially kept against her will was handled well and her change of heart and subsequent submission felt believable and erotic.

Jillian and Kyle were both likeable characters and I thought the pair had fantastic chemistry and were clearly made for each other. This was a fantasy erotic tale so we do have lots of sex and naughty words which may not be to everyone's taste but there's nothing particularly risqué, just a little kinky. Similarly there was some anal play but not too much of it so it's easily skipped over if, like me, that's not your thing.

This is essentially a short story that doesn't take too long to finish. I really liked the author's writing style and for being an erotic tale about domination and submission I found the story surprisingly cute and sweet! Jillian's realisation of herself as well as finding a man to accept her the way she is was fun to read. Overall if you're looking for a hot and sexy Christmas tale then you can't go wrong with this one.


119 pages

A Lot Like Love by Julie James
The FBI wants her cooperation

As the daughter of a billionaire and the owner of the city s top wine store, Jordan Rhodes is invited to the most exclusive parties in Chicago. But there s only one party the FBI wants to crash: the charity fund-raiser of a famous restaurateur, who also happens to launder money for the mob. In exchange for her brother s release from prison, Jordan is going to be there with a date supplied by the Bureau.

Agent McCall just wants her.

As the top undercover agent in Chicago, Nick McCall has one rule: never get personal. This date with Jordan Rhodes is merely an assignment one they re both determined to pull off even if they can t be together for five minutes before the sarcasm and sparks begin to fly. But when Nick s investigation is compromised, he and Jordan have no choice but to pretend they're a couple, and what starts out as a simple assignment begins to feel a lot like something more 


This is another winner from Julie James and it is chock full of her trademark wit, humour and smart and sharp banter. It stands completely alone but we did get little cameo appearances from Cameron and Jack from her previous book, Something about You.

My favourite thing about Julie James' writing is always the way that her main characters spark off each other. Despite this being a constant in her books the plot and characters are always so fresh and new and a joy to read from start to finish.

Jordan was a great character - strong and confident yet still likeable and relatable. But it was Nick who stole the show and my heart. I just love brooding, dark and mysterious men who fall hook, line and sinker for the girl of their dreams. Nick and Jordan together had great chemistry and some sexy scenes that greatly complemented the story.

I was also very happy to hear that Julie James' next book (About That Night) will be Jordan's brother, Kyle's story.

The more I read of Julie James the more I love her writing style and her stories. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking out for a sexy, sassy romantic story. 5 stars.


304 pages

FBI/US Attorney Series:

Something About You by Julie James
Fate has thrown two sworn enemies...

Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308, where some hot-and-heavy lovemaking ends with a death. And of all the FBI agents in Illinois, it had to be Special Agent Jack Pallas who gets assigned to this high-profile homicide. The same Jack Pallas who still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago - and for nearly ruining his career...

...into each other's arms

Work with Cameron Lynde? Are they kidding? Maybe, Jack thinks, this is some kind of welcome-back prank after his stint away from Chicago. But it's no joke; the pair is going to have to put their rocky past behind them and focus on the case at hand. That is, if they can cut back on the razor-sharp jibes - and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension.


This is another great contemporary romance that I couldn't put down from start to finish. I loved the sassy, intelligent characters and the great chemistry between the pair. Cameron was a strong woman but far from a stereotype and someone I admired, rooted for and wanted to be! Jack was the perfect foil for Cameron as well as being a first class hero. Glowering, broody and a man's man - he is the kind of guy any woman would wish for.

The story was interesting, exciting and didn't rely on the obvious conflicts or dramas to move the story on. While involving a little bit of suspense over the killer, the book wasn't in the least bit scary and I'm a complete wuss when it comes to things like this! This is definitely the kind of story that you just have to keep reading and that you really invest in both the characters and the book as a whole.

Julie James is truly becoming one of my favourite contemporary authors. Her characters are smart and witty with great chemistry and banter and the story has the right balance of romance and action/suspense. Furthermore she always leaves me wanting more and with that happy glow when I'm finished a book. Now a definite auto buy for me and something I'd recommend for everyone especially fans of Susan Andersen. 5 stars.


323 pages

FBI/US Attorney Series:

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