#BookReview Once Upon a Duke by Erica Ridley

Once Upon a Duke by Erica Ridley is a darling, historical, holiday-themed romance that is perfect to add to your TBR shelf!

This book is just a sweet delight. I was seeking something fast, light-hearted, comedic, romantic and simple and this book fit the bill.

Benjamin, the Duke of Silkridge has returned to his old town when his Grandfather died for the will reading. He stumbles upon his first crush and lost love, Noelle, who worked for his Grandfather. The feelings are very much mutual for Noelle as well. Ben, our resident Scrooge, must complete a Christmas-themed task to be able to get what his Grandfather left him in the will, but it brings him closer to Noelle in the process… Sparks fly and drama ensues, all in a town called Christmas and during the holiday season.

This is one of those books you curl up under a good blanket with some hot tea and just sink into it. Relaxation and simplicity works super well for titles like these, and I mean that in a good way. It’s fun and lovely, exactly what a romance and historical romance reader loves! It’s also PG, so it’s a lovely book to get started into the historical romance genre.

I am definitely going to continue with this series if I can find it. I’d like to see all 12 of the Dukes find love since this series is just so lovely! Good job Erica Ridley, you’ve crafted a historical romance masterpiece.

Four out of five stars.

I found this book via Bookbub!

 

Check out this wonderful book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

Find more books and information about Erica Ridley on:
Goodreads – Author Page
http://www.ericaridley.com/
Twitter – @EricaRidley

If you liked this book (or even just the review!) here’s some other books you’ll also enjoy:
#BookReview Christmas in Silver Bells Falls by Samantha Chase
#BookReview Miss Kane’s Christmas by Caroline Mickelson
#BookReview The Gaucho’s Lady by Genevieve Turner

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Alone Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19 by Jennifer Haupt et al

This collection is marvellous, let me tell ya. COVID is driving me (and everyone else, it seems) insane. Being stuck inside, being forced to work to pay bills, being scared and anxious and worried… We’re all in the same boat, even when we’re not. We’re all in this together. And this book reminds readers of this.

Faith Adiele’s The New Old Vocabulary showed me COVID from a very different angle. I’m up in Canada, just chilling at home, doing full time school and reading my little heart out. I’m picking up new hobbies and trying my best, but her comments… It put life into a perspective. I complained about being alone, but having the opportunity to be semi-safe, but not everyone in the U.S.A. is. The stats about African American men being arrested when they’re just trying to help homeless people… It hurts. It makes my soul ache. Really ache.

Andre Dubus the Third’s story made my eyes well up, reading about his mother-in-law’s thoughts on COVID. It hurt. It hurt real bad. But at the same time, it made me not feel alone. I’m not the only one questioning why this is here. It made humanity feel so much better than the crazies in my town screaming and threatening each other if they get 10 feet near them.

Laura Stanfill’s story about Priya… It makes me weep. It’s so close to home, yet so beautifully written. Grace Talusan’s also made my heart feel so sad. Jean Kowk’s gave me hope, and made my heart sing because I related to it in so many ways.

Then there’s more poems, and essays, and interviews, and short stories throughout. Some will bring tears, some will open your eyes and some will give you hope. There is no doubt in my mind that there is a piece of work in this for everyone. It’ll make you feel connected to a community you didn’t know was there. It made me feel more at home then I have in months, which is a feat all in itself. It’s nice knowing that we’re not alone in this big battle.

There’s love, hate, fear and hope throughout. This is one absolutely incredible collection that I am so happy and proud of picking up. We need books to remind us of our humanity sometimes, and this book did it.

Also, the reminders of George Floyd, and the racism and hate that still lingers… It’s as bad as COVID, if not worse. Because racism is avoidable if people could be kind, COVID and super viruses, not as much.

We need justice.

Five out of five stars.

Thank you to NetGalley and Jennifer Haupt for giving me access to a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo
B&N

 

If you enjoyed Alone Together, or want some more books that’ll make you feel, then check out some of these reviews to fill the void:
#BookReview The Boy on the Beach by Tima Kurdi
#BookReview Another Five Days by Matt Micros
To Wendy’s With Love: the 22-year Lunch by Diane Keyes- BOOK REVIEW

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Michael James by Lisa Andrew

If you’re looking for a hot erotica that will leave you steaming up your house, pick this book up!

Michael James is a purely hot erotica following the Queen and her husband Michael James. The Queen is a CEO and she just got back with her husband, another prominent business figure with intriguing tastes. They have a Dom-Sub relationship, and tend to get into very naughty scenarios. This relationship isn’t easy, especially with Michael spying on his wife and her escapades. Michael is having some issues in the sex department (erectile dysfunction) which is causing problems in their open relationship.

This book is about domination and control in a celebrity like marriage. The couple explore various kinks and constantly tease each other. Michael crosses some lines, which the Queen is none to happy about, but they eventually get back to getting hot and heavy with each other. Boundaries are pushed and pulled and rubbed and everything in between. But there are secrets in this relationship too, which slowly unfold over the course of the book.

There’s lots of aggression in this book, and thankfully Lisa Andrew put a little disclaimer at the beginning of the book about consensual sex. People need to realize this is a work of fiction and for people’s fantasies, and it is not recommending being mean to your spouse and flogging them because you had a bad day. To add to the realness, there is sex therapy and the two deal with their problems.

This book is going to be in a niche market – you need to like erotica and BDSM relationships in books to enjoy it. I’m not the biggest fan of BDSM anymore, but I can totally appreciate it for what it is and shout to the hills that you need to read this book if you love erotica. It’s a lot more sex than plot, but that’s what some readers desire.

Overall, this book is a pure fantasy for erotical overs. I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking to add another erotica to your TBR shelf. Lisa Andrew has crafted a wickedly wild book!

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free from the author, Lisa Andrew, in exchange of an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

 

Find out more about the author, Lisa Andrew, on:
Goodreads Author Page
http://www.lisaandrewerotica.wordpress.com/
Twitter – @thewife101

 

If you love erotica, you might enjoy these books too:
#BookReview At Mother’s Command by Kay Brandt
#BookReview For Her Own Good by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview Safe Landings by Kay Brandt

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Donut Disturb by Melissa Williams

Donut Disturb is an absolutely delightful romantic comedy by Melissa Williams!

This book is sugary sweet, absolutely adorable and utterly cute! I always love a good romantic comedy, but this one just hits the spot.

We follow Cassidy Daniels, a Torontonian baker at Bake, Rattle and Roll. She owns the place with her brother and works mighty hard to make donuts there, while her brother specializes in cupcakes. She runs into Baxter DeCavhalo at the grocery store and then finds out he is her next door neighbour. How did she find this out? He basically broke in while she was blasting her music and baking donuts. The following budding friendship and romance is fun, thrilling and romantic! There’s Tangled frying pan to the face vibes, MMA fighting, a thrilling side plot and some hot sex scenes littered throughout this book.

I can relate to Cassidy. She’s a hard working woman who would die for her craft. She’s stubborn, intelligent and knows it’s hard to find a good guy sometimes.

But… be warned… this book will 100% make you hungry. The donuts sound AMAZING. It’s super not fair that Melissa would torture us with such marvellous descriptions of food. It’s truly cruel.

I love this book! It was a fun yet quick read that made me remember why I love romantic comedies so much. Melissa Williams has created a wonderful book and I can’t wait to grab more by her! I would highly recommend picking this book up if you want a fun and light read, love romantic comedies, or want to expand your TBR to include some more indie authors.

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Melissa Williams, in exchange of an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
B&N

You can find Melissa on:
Goodreads Author Page
Twitter – @ReadMel6

If you’re looking for more romance to add to your TBR, here are some other books recently featured on my blog that you’ll love:
#BookReview After the Sack by Savannah Adams
#BookReview The Perfect Fit by Mary Jayne Baker
#BookReview Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Love Comes for the Army Ranger by Savannah Adams

Yet again, Savannah Adams has crafted a beautiful, little, love story that will set your heart on fire.

This series is totally in my obsession list. I can’t get enough of the characters and the sweet relationships that are built among them. Not only are we introduced to new characters, but we get to see our faves from the last book as well! Tyler and Brianna make an appearance as Chase and Lori steal the show!

Chase is a veteran who lost his leg in Afghanistan. Him and his dog Bear are back in town, and lucky him gets to see his sister Brianna marry Tyler. Little did he know that his dog would bring him back with the girl of his dreams… Lori the veterinarian. Lori is still hurting from the loss of her husband, and has a piece of her past that haunts her. Meanwhile, Chase is dealing with PTSD due to his incident in Afghanistan. These two are made for each other, but will they end up with each other?

This book is under 200 pages and it just flies by. It’s super sweet and totally addicting, to the point I binged it in one sitting and wanted to continue on with the series (but I held back, because I want to savour the taste of these delicious books).

Also, Bear the dog is super cute. Seriously, animals are so sweet. Bonus points for the pups! And kitties!

I really like the dynamic between these two characters. They have difficulties and their own pasts but they come together and learn to accept each other. Over the course of this book, we get to watch the characters develop and change, and it’s really miraculous. To top it off, the romance is super, duper sweet and totally PG. This is almost the perfect New Adult romance that wants a little more adult relationship but not R rated content.

Overall, this second chance, HEA romance is exactly what I needed in my life right now. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a sweet romance, wants a quick and addicting read, and doesn’t want to jump into erotica.

Five out of five stars!

Thank you to the author, Savannah Adams, for giving me a copy of this book to review in exchange of an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Goodreads

Find out more about Savannah Adams:
https://www.savannahadams.com/
Twitter @HEA_Romance
Goodreads

Here’s a review I did for the first book in this lovely, little series!!
#BookReview Love Comes for the Bodyguard by Savannah Adams

 

If you love romance books, here’s some other reviews and books featured on my blog that you might enjoy:
#BookReview The Perfect Fit by Mary Jayne Baker
#BookReview Prisoner of the Highlander by Kate Robbins
#BookReview Chain Reaction by Tara Wyatt

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview The Cinderella Princess by Melissa McClone

The Cinderella Princess by Melissa McClone is an absolutely cute adaption of the “Cinderella” tale.

Oh gosh – a prince falling for a marketing genius/television producer?! I am in! Seriously, I love marketing and love seeing a story that I relate to. I just… uh… need to find the prince now, right guys? Emily loves her job and wants to move towards being a partner, but that darn glass ceiling keeps hitting her in the face. But now, she has created a Bachelor styled show to find Prince Luc a wife! It reminded me of that fake Prince Harry Bachelor styled show to be honest!

Throw in that handsome prince who has a heart of gold (despite being a supposed “bad boy”) and has his own foundation to help kids! Seriously, Melissa knows how to play to my heart! Luc is the dream prince every girl has dreamed of! He seems to lack some real big flaws, but he does let his family throw some dirt on his name.

To literally quote the book: “Sweet. Tender. Oh my.” That was what I felt about this book – it is seriously the perfect quote. It’s a romantic love story that makes your toes curl AND it’s only about PG/PG-13. There’s no erotica, no sex scenes – just some sweet kisses that will make your heart sing.

My biggest complaint about this book was that it was too short. I would have loved a couple of more chapters to flesh out some of the scenes we didn’t see, but it was still good! Melissa McClone is a remarkable romance author and I definitely want to read more by her ASAP!

Side note: BEAUTIFUL cover. Ugh. She looks like a princess!

This book is apart of a series but each book is by a different author. So in my mind, while it is a series… this book totally stands on it’s own. I hope Melissa carries this book out as her own series too, though!

Overall, I think this is a lovely book! It is soft, sweet and all around lovely! If you’re looking for a contemporary read with the right amount of romance then I’d recommend this book.

Four out of five stars!

I found this book for free through Bookbub or iBooks. I can’t quite remember which one I saw it on, but it was a freebie!

 

You can find this book on:
Goodreads
Indigo
Amazon.ca
Kobo

 

If you love romance, fill out your TBR with some of these books:
#BookReview Back on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber
#BookReview Tiny House, Big Love by Olivia Dade
#BookReview Jeep Tour by Gail Ward Olmsted

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis

Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis is a fabulous romance novel.

When three sisters come back to Lucky Harbor to take over their deceased Mother’s former Inn, things go awry. The Inn is in shambles (both physically and financially) and the girls just can’t get along. We follow Maddie, a former L.A. resident who is running far away from her old job and ex, who seriously wants this Inn to get back on it’s feet. When she’s there, she almost runs over one sexy motorcycle rider who turns out to be more than what he says he is…

I really liked Maddie’s arc. She starts out as “The Mouse” and slowly works her way up to being a total bad a**. She has an attitude, knows what she wants and is working on making herself a stronger person. She absolutely deserves it after a trash of an ex. And lucky for her, Jax might be the man to help her realize love isn’t all that bad. Jax is sexy, a former lawyer and good with his hands (I mean carpentry… right?). He’s a character with lots of back story and isn’t the “perfect” man, which is why I loved him.

Oh boy! There is SO much going on in this book and I am SO frustrated it left on a cliffhanger. I need the next books in this series as soon as possible! I need to know what happens with Maddie, Chloe, Jax, Ford and every other kooky character from this series! Will Ford end up with Tara? I feel something heating up there. Will Chloe ever find romance during her asthmatic state (oh man, can I relate. I NEED HER STORY!)? Will Jax and Maddie end up happily ever after?! There’s so much going on and Jill has left me speechless!

If you like romance and drama, then this book is perfect for you! There’s a pinch of Christmas and comedy as well. Honestly, I wasn’t disappointed. I was expecting a boring, old, romance novel but I was left with an addicting, quick read that is making me absolutely desperate for more of Jill’s work. Seriously, it’s worth the read. The title is Simply Irresistible, and that’s just what this book is – irresistible.

Five out of five stars.

P.S. This book is TOTALLY R rated. It has some super sexy scenes that are not suitable for your PG-13 audience. Just an FYI for anyone looking for something totally contemporary – it’s not! This book gets hot and heavy!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo
Kobo

 

Check out some other romance novels you might enjoy:
#BookReview Tiny House, Big Love by Olivia Dade
#BookReview Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
#BookReview The Inside Track by Tamsen Parker

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Christmas on Mistletoe Lane by Annie Rains

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Christmas on Mistletoe Lane was an absolute GEM!

I was craving some Christmas-y goodness during the back to school blues, and this book hit the spot! Annie Rains has written one super cute novel that is a definite must read for romance lovers! Especially if you love those Hallmark Christmas movies like I do!

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane is a soft, sweet novel that moves at a fast enough pace to leave the reader breathless. It’s a PG-13 novel (suggestive sex, no sexy scenes) that is packed full of romance, angst and Christmas delights! There’s also some lovely side plots that give it the Christmas magic we all need (ex. Helping out an ill woman so her family can have a Christmas).

The kooky cast of characters were chalked full of hilarity – The Krespos, Paris (a biker Santa), Kaitlyn and Mitch are just some of the wonderful characters I fell in love with. Annie made them all lovable AND realistic. Each character had their own flaws, but they weren’t depressing. The fact that I could easily read this book and see it totally happening in real life was awesome! It felt real enough and left me hooked to every page.

Let’s get down to business here: Kaitlyn used to live in New York and be a fabulous Interior Designer. When a famous man ruins her career and shatters her, she returns to Mistletoe Lane to her Grandmother’s old bed and breakfast. Her Grandmother recently passed away and left the ownership to her and a former marine, Mitch Hargrove. They work together to get the business back up and running, and slowly fall in love… Obviously, her Grandmother had more in mind for her than she realized!

This matchmaker side of the story was actually really cute! Sure, it’s a trope that is used often but Annie used it well! There were so many little hints along the way that pushed these two lovebirds together, and I’m so glad this book ended WITHOUT a cliffhanger. The story felt finished, but I’m sure Annie will be able to continue their story in part in the sequels.

I really enjoyed this book. Mitch was a “broken” man who slowly finds his way back to his home town (and into a new job, post-Marines). On the other hand, Kaitlyn was a strong-willed woman who’s working on getting stronger. Having these two together, bumping heads a bit, was a fun story! I definitely want to read more by Annie Rains in the future, especially this series! She makes a story full of ups and downs, but still utterly positive!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check this book out on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Indigo
Kobo

 

Looking for some more romance books? Check out some of my other reviews:
#BookReview Tiny House, Big Love by Olivia Dade
#BookReview The Gaucho’s Lady by Genevieve Turner
#TopBooksList Briar’s Top Romance Novels

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Kissing Coffins by Ellen Schreiber

Ah, yes. Another throwback from my teen years – Kissing Coffins, the second book in the marvelous Vampire Kisses series.

Just a gentle reminder, these books are Young Adult novels with young, lovely characters who act like immature kids (because, they are YOUNG). If you’re looking for a True Blood or Game of Thrones level of maturity, you’ve come to the wrong place.

As a teen, these books were my LIFE. They were a big part of my high school years and I was madly in love with them. I wanted to find my own Alexander and live in a big, spooky house. I idolized Raven and her style (because, let’s be honest, she was my inner self). At the time, these books made so much sense – young mistakes, young love, lots of young fun! Reading them as my older self, obviously I wouldn’t make the same decisions as Raven because I have life experience. But I believe Ellen did a really good job of making Raven feel like a real teen. Well, a real teen from my timeline.

That being said, this book is a lot of fun, full of goofiness and full of adorable romance. Alexander and Raven are a really cute couple and they really deserved the many books they got in this series. I found this series was a lot more fun to binge read then read alone. I wanted the story to keep going because I was so addicted. Not every reader has found this to be true, but I sure did! I love escaping into a YA like this series, and sinking into a fun, not totally realistic book. Did anyone really expect a vampire romance to be realistic? This series is like a vampire, soap opera for teens! It’s excellent.

My biggest con for this series was at the time of my initial reading, I had to actually WAIT for the next series in the book. Oh man, was it frustrating. I’m glad I can jump back into this series as an adult and read it all in a row like I dreamed of back in the day. Other than that, I found this book to be fun and flawless! I love Ellen and her books!

Five out of five stars!

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Indigo (Canadian Retailer)

 

If you enjoyed this book, check out another book or review you might enjoy!
#BookReview The Coffin Club by Ellen Schreiber
#BookReview Peter Green and the Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop
#BookReview The Water War by Kevin Miller

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

 

#BookReview Rogue Ever After Anthology Collection by Tamsen Parker, Hudson Lin, et al.

This final collection in the Rogue series has proven to be another lovely addition!

This LGBTQ+ book is full of sweet (and sometimes sexy!) stories. F/F, M/M, poly and more, with each having a different focus. Some of the stories center around politics, Hollywood and even just good, old-fashioned relationships.

I can’t get enough of these short stories, because they are so easy to slip into. They aren’t difficult to follow, they make me smile, and I just love these authors. Since every story is different, you get a really good mix of romance and erotica.

I focused on three stories from the collection, but all of them were marvelous.

Hudson Lin’s Ipso Facto ILU follows Jonny and Brandon, who are OMG levels of cuteness. Brandon is a political science PhD candidate and Jonny is a famous podcaster. Following their super sweet love story was such a treat! Brandon’s shyness and adorable nature made me love this couple oh so much! Throw in some funny lines about Zest body soap and Canadian references and you’ve got me totally engaged in this story. Honestly, it felt like a fan girl’s heaven. This story was definitely a 5 out of 5 stars for me!

Ainsley Booth’s Love Your Love was a lovely poly romance which following Win and Penny (and Tanya, you can’t forget about Tanya). Cute crushes, spooning and fun quotes about beaming and blooming flowers fill this little story up. I like Ainsley’s way with words – it somehow felt so elegant yet so natural! This story moved very quickly and felt a little shorter to me, but it was still super sweet. 5 out of 5 stars!

And to top it off, Tamsen Parker’s Starlet Struck shed some light on causes AND included some super sexy F/F romance. Archer and Hadley make one wild pair – an activist and a Hollywood actress. The characters bring up causes dear to their heart, like the Rivera House which helps homeless LGBTQ teens, and I have to say that made me respect this book even more! At the end, we get the hottest ending that will rock most erotica fan’s socks off. The tension that built up to that part made it even better than I expected! Five out of five stars!

Overall, this is a great anthology for romance and erotica lovers. It’s definitely an R rated book, but it’s worth the read if you love some sexy scenes.

Five out of five stars.

Thank you to Tamsen Parker for providing me a copy of this book to review.

 

Check out this anthology on:
Goodreads
Kobo
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Indigo / Chapters / Coles – Canadian Retailer

 

Check out my other reviews from this series:
#BookReview Rogue Hearts (Anthology) by Tamsen Parker, Amy Jo Cousins, and more
#BookReview Rogue Affair by Adriana Anders, Tamsen Parker and more!
#BookReview Rogue Desires by Tamsen Parker, Adriana Anders, Amy Jo Cousins and more!

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads