ONE FINE DUKE by Lenora Bell

July 23, 2019

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School for Dukes, Book 3

From the publisher:

USA Today bestselling author Lenora Bell returns with her third book in the sexy School for Dukes series.


Raised in the countryside by her overprotective uncle, Miss Mina Penny’s dream of a triumphant London season is finally here. She determined her perfect match long ago: Rafe Bentley, the wickedest rake of them all. There’s only one very large, very unyielding obstacle: Rafe’s brother Drew, the reclusive Duke of Thorndon.


This was supposed to be simple. Duke goes to London. Duke selects suitable bride. Love match? Not a chance. But when Drew meets Mina, she complicates everything. How can a lady armed with such beauty and brains fall for his irresponsible degenerate of a brother? Drew vows to save her from heartbreak and ruin, no matter the cost.


But Mina is no damsel in distress. She’s daring, intuitive, passionate…and halfway to melting Drew’s cold heart. And although Mina thought she knew exactly what she wanted, one breathtakingly seductive kiss from Drew changes everything. Now Mina must decide between long-held dreams and dangerous new desires. Could her true destiny lie in the arms of a duke?

I read the second book in this series but somehow missed the first (what else is new!) I have it loaded on my Kindle and ready to go because I really liked the books in this series (and her other series) that I’ve read. So the first book is What a Difference a Duke Makes and is followed by For the Duke’s Eyes Only and then this one. In case you want to read in order.

Mina is a twenty-first century feminist stuck in the 18th century but not really letting that stop her. She is determined to follow in her mother’s footsteps as a spy, even though both her parents were killed while engaged in their work. But she is not exactly like the mother she idolizes, only it takes a Duke to show her the error of her ways.

There is a lot of sex in this book and it is well done. I guess there is just too much twenty-first century in here to be truly believable as historical fiction, but really who cares when the story is funny, sexy and moves quickly. You can’t help but root for the damaged hero and heroine to find their way to one another. And for once, you can really judge this book by its cover as it is perfect – and that is not something I think happens very often.

If you like humor, sex, and adventure in your romance, you will love this book as much as I did. I will read the first book soonest and review.

7/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

ONE FINE DUKE by Lenora Bell. Avon (July 23, 2019).  ISBN 978-0062913074. 304p.




July 16, 2019

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From the publisher:

Marshall Dyson wants one thing and one thing only: to raze his grandfather’s island to the ground. Everything is ready to go—except for the freakin’ bunnies! Hundreds of the furry critters hopping about and multiplying before his eyes. And then there’s the American Bunny League, along with one distractingly beautiful veterinarian, taking him to court to save them…

Dr. Augusta “Gus” North can’t believe the grumpy—and annoyingly hot—builder she’s facing in court cares more about demo-ing some cabin than the lives of 200 bunnies. But when the judge orders Marshall to stay on the island and help her rehome the rabbits—the entire month—she knows they’re going to need to lay some ground rules.

Like, for example, absolutely no kissing. Might as well go ahead and get that in writing. Sure it’s on a napkin, but that still counts.

How hard could it be to keep their hands off each other amidst all the fighting? Surprisingly, harder than wrangling 200 bunnies…

This was a really fun and sexy read! The bunnies were just an added bonus. The characters were interesting people, and the way they get together is more complicated than you might think. The sexual tension builds on every page, although at times it just seemed redundant. I liked the characters, the plot line and the setting and recommend this read.

About Amy Andrews:

Amy is an award-winning, USA Today best-selling Aussie author who has written seventy contemporary romances in both the traditional and digital markets. Her books bring all the feels from sass and quirk and laughter to emotional grit to panty-melting heat. She loves frequent travel, good books and great booze although she’ll take mediocre booze if there’s nothing else. For many, many years she was a registered nurse. Which means she knows things. Anatomical things. And she’s not afraid to use them! She’s just moved back to her central Queensland roots taking a sea change in the pretty little coastal town of Yeppoon where she gets to stare at the ocean all day.






7/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE KISSING CONTRACT by Amy Andrews. Entangled: Amara (July 15, 2019). ASIN: B07PF632Q2. 277p.

ONCE UPON A BAD BOY by Melonie Johnson

July 11, 2019

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Sometimes in Love, Book 3

From the publisher:


Sadie Gold is ready to take her career to the next level with the role of a lifetime. Finally, she can shake her reputation as a pretty face with more wealth and connections than talent. But Sadie is not prepared for the wild turn her own life is about to take. The man in charge of training Sadie for her most demanding role yet is none other than her first real boyfriend―the one who took her heart and ran away.


Bo Ibarra is as good-looking and irresistible as ever. Maybe even more so, now that everything once worked against them―Sadie’s pampered and privileged upbringing and Bo’s childhood in a family struggling to make ends meet―is in the past. But the future is still unwritten…and getting there, together, means coming clean about painful secrets and slashing through nasty tabloid rumors while trying to control the attraction that crackles between them. Maybe it’s finally time for them to walk off into the sunset and into a true and lasting love?

This is the third book of the series and I’m quite proud of myself for reading them all in order. That said, this was my least favorite of the series so far. Not that it’s bad or anything, it just wasn’t as good as the first two, which I loved.

The characters are well developed and there is a bit of a twist near the end. I just had some trouble with this couple and the way they interacted, it didn’t feel real to me. A lot of the tension between them seemed contrary to what else was going on, like the sex. It seemed very high school to me, I just didn’t buy it. Despite that, I raced through this book and did enjoy it. I really like these women and I’m looking forward to seeing whose story is next. It is hinted at but it really could go a different way and I wouldn’t be surprised.

While this was not my favorite entry in the series, I still recommend it!

5/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

ONCE UPON A BAD BOY by Melonie Johnson. St. Martin’s Paperbacks (May 28, 2019). ISBN 978-1250193056. 384p.


THE ME I USED TO BE by Jennifer Ryan

July 7, 2019

7/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE ME I USED TO BE by Jennifer Ryan. William Morrow Paperbacks (July 2, 2019). ISBN  978-0062883919. 384p.



HOW TO LOSE A FIANCÉ by Stefanie London

July 3, 2019

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From the publisher:

Sophia Andreou has always been the “good daughter” who tried to keep her domineering father happy. She followed the rules and did everything that was asked of her. But this time, her father is asking too much. The family company is crumbling, and her father has arranged a marriage to a Greek billionaire who can save their property business. What?! Umm no thank you. If Cinderella can dress up to win a prince, surely Sophia can do the opposite and ditch hers…

Dion Kourakis has come a long way from being an orphan with only a single friend to his name. Now he runs a billion-dollar investment company and has the respect of everyone in Europe. His charming personality covers a lot of emotional scars, including his desire to make his mentor proud.

Dion doesn’t exactly want a bride to go along with his next business deal, and he plans on letting the lass down gently when they meet…

Only, his future bride has turned out to be nothing like what he thought she’d be. She’s quirky and has a habit of turning up to social events in strange outfits. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what she’s up to, but the harder she tries to convince him she’d be an awful wife, the more he wants to convince her they’d be perfect together.

This is a very fast read, it’s just over 200 pages. But London does a really good job of character development of the main protagonists in a very tight story, my usual pet peeve with books this short. That said, it would have been better with more of Sophia’s mother’s backstory. That character was integral to the plot yet barely developed. Actually, her father, too, should have been more developed. And I didn’t understand the relationship between Sophia’s father and Dion’s father; the plot had some holes in it for sure. But this book is all about the romance, and there was good development there plus some really funny, laugh out loud scenes mixed in with some hot sex. If you want a short, entertaining, fun, sexy read, this is your book. I enjoyed it.

7/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

HOW TO LOSE A FIANCÉ by Stefanie London. Entangled: Indulgence (June 17, 2019). ASIN: B07R1PJD93. 207p.


THE PLUS ONE by Sarah Archer

July 2, 2019

©Library Journal, 2019

7/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE PLUS ONE by Sarah Archer. Gallery Books (April 23, 2019). ISBN 978-1501197581. 320p.



June 26, 2019

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Uptown Girls, Book 1

From the publisher:

Silver-tongued lawyer.
Keeper of secrets.
Breaker of hearts.

He can solve any problem . . .

In serving the wealthy power brokers of New York society, Frank Tripp has finally gained the respectability and security his own upbringing lacked. There’s no issue he cannot fix . . . except for one: the beautiful and reckless daughter of an important client who doesn’t seem to understand the word danger.

She’s not looking for a hero . . .

Excitement lies just below Forty-Second Street and Mamie Greene is determined to explore all of it—while playing a modern-day Robin Hood along the way. What she doesn’t need is her father’s lawyer dogging her every step and threatening her efforts to help struggling families in the tenements.

However, she doesn’t count on Frank’s persistence . . . or the sparks that fly between them. When fate upends all her plans, Mamie must decide if she’s willing to risk it all on a rogue . . .

Shupe kicks off a new series in historical New York City, which is very reminiscent of London in the same time period. The wealthy live in a small enclave and the rest of the city is in dire need around them, yet completely invisible to the elites. Except for Greene girls. They are very much aware of the poverty and turmoil below 42nd Street and strive to help the families that the church turns away. They make money by gambling in places women are not allowed and that brings Frank Tripp into the picture.

Tripp is the family attorney and he is trying to help his client, the girls’s father, by protecting the daughters. But there is no stopping Mamie Greene, and Tripp greatly admires her – both her feistiness and her looks. These two are constantly verbally sparring, which adds friction to the chemistry between them. When one of Mamie’s families gets into trouble, she looks to Tripp to help them.

Tripp is hiding some secrets of his own but he agrees to help Mamie, he simply can’t say no to her. And anything that will get them to spend more time together works for both of them. So he agrees to defend a woman accused of murdering her husband. She did it, but it was self defense, but the cops don’t care about that. The victim was related to a police detective. The NYC police department is rife with corruption that goes all the way to the top. I laughed when Teddy Roosevelt comes riding in towards the end. This intrigued me so much that I looked into Teddy Roosevelt and the NYC police department and found this terrific piece from NPR.

While this is an engrossing tale, it’s the little touches of reality that really make the story shine. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

6/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE ROGUE OF FIFTH AVENUE by Joanna Shupe. Avon (May 28, 2019).  ISBN 978-0062906816. 400p.



FIX HER UP by Tessa Bailey

June 22, 2019

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From the publisher:

A steamy, hilarious new romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey, perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne!

Georgette Castle’s family runs the best home renovation business in town, but she picked balloons instead of blueprints and they haven’t taken her seriously since.  Frankly, she’s over it. Georgie loves planning children’s birthday parties and making people laugh, just not at her own expense. She’s determined to fix herself up into a Woman of the World… whatever that means.

Phase one: new framework for her business (a website from this decade, perhaps?)

Phase two: a gut-reno on her wardrobe (fyi, leggings are pants.)

Phase three: updates to her exterior (do people still wax?)

Phase four: put herself on the market (and stop crushing on Travis Ford!)

Living her best life means facing the truth: Georgie hasn’t been on a date since, well, ever. Nobody’s asking the town clown out for a night of hot sex, that’s for sure. Maybe if people think she’s having a steamy love affair, they’ll acknowledge she’s not just the “little sister” who paints faces for a living. And who better to help demolish that image than the resident sports star and tabloid favorite?

Travis Ford was major league baseball’s hottest rookie when an injury ended his career. Now he’s flipping houses to keep busy and trying to forget his glory days. But he can’t even cross the street without someone recapping his greatest hits. Or making a joke about his… bat. And then there’s Georgie, his best friend’s sister, who is not a kid anymore. When she proposes a wild scheme—that they pretend to date, to shock her family and help him land a new job—he agrees. What’s the harm? It’s not like it’s real. But the girl Travis used to tease is now a funny, full-of-life woman and there’s nothing fake about how much he wants her…

This is a fast, fun read with lots of humor, pathos, and steamy sex – what more could you want? I couldn’t help but get emotionally involved with both Travis and Georgie. Retiring from professional baseball with an injury in his twenties really messed with his head. He found solace by hiding and drinking alone. Until Georgie comes by, throws some old lo mein at his head and forces him out of bed. And to clean. His best friend’s little sister is showing him something he’s never had before; someone who cares about him

A difficult childhood left Travis alone and aloof but Georgie is breaking down those walls. And she can’t stand how her family still treats her like the baby they think she is. She may be all grown up but her work as a clown for children’s birthday parties isn’t convincing anyone to treat her as an adult – except Travis.

Suspend your disbelief and enjoy this funny, sexy book. I sure did.

6/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

FIX HER UP by Tessa Bailey. HQN Books; Original edition (June 11, 2019).  ISBN  978-1335659972. 368p.




June 18, 2019

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Cupid, Texas Series, Book 7

From the publisher:

What would it take to tame a wild cowboy?

One minute, Rhett Lockhart is a love ‘em and leave ‘em bull rider with a slow, sexy smile, a swagger, and not a care in the world. The next, he learns his free-wheeling days are over: a baby has been abandoned in the hospital, and there’s no question: he’s the father. But from the first moment he gazes into his daughter’s eyes, he knows the moment has come to say ‘no’ to no-strings. It’s time to grow up.

Standing in his way is the baby’s foster mother, Tara Alzate, who doesn’t quite believe Rhett is ready to change his ways. Still, she’s not not immune to his considerable charms. So when he proposes a marriage of convenience and shared custody, against her better judgement, she says “I do.” Can Tara tame this wild cowboy and make her own, long-buried dreams come true?

This was a great read – made me wish I had read the six previous books in the series! Guess I’ll be hunting them down.

These characters were really brought to life and I couldn’t help but get caught up in their stories. Tara is a neonatal nurse who has taken this abandoned baby home with her. When she finds out who the father is, she knows there may be some issues as they have history. And Rhett suffers from Peter Pan syndrome. Having a baby forces him to grow up in a hurry, especially a baby with all the problems of an early premie.

If you like these contemporary cowboy romances, then pick this one up. If you haven’t read any, this is a terrific place to start!

6/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

TO TAME A WILD COWBOY by Lori Wilde. Forever (May 28, 2019). ISBN 978-1538748718.  400p.



THE GIRL HE USED TO KNOW by Tracey Garvis Graves

June 16, 2019

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From the publisher:

New York Times bestselling author of On the Island, Tracey Garvis Graves, presents the compelling, hopelessly romantic novel of unconditional love.

Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.

Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game―and his heart―to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.

Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.

I had heard about this book a while back, and I’m sorry to say it got lost on my overstuffed Kindle bookshelves. Luckily, a friend read it and told me to, and I’m so happy she did.

When I started reading, my first thought was is autism in romance a new trend? Helen Hoang owns it (The Kiss Quotient, The Bride Test), but Graves does an admirable job with it here. Especially as the word autism isn’t mentioned until almost the end of the book. As I recently learned (at the Florida Library Association Annual conference,) many people who are on the ASD spectrum do not self-identify that way. Therefore they do not get the help they need and that is very much the case here.

While Annika is certainly high functioning, I think it is apparent to the reader that she is on the spectrum. On the other hand, she just thinks of herself as weird. But Jonathan makes her feel special and safe.

The story moves back and forth between both characters and two different timelines, ten years apart; when they first met in college, then ten years later. It is easy to follow and easy to differentiate between all that, and the story moves quickly and dramatically. I loved these characters, all of them, even the secondary characters, because they are all so well drawn and feel like people I could run into tomorrow. That says a lot about the mad writing skills Graves displays here. But I especially loved the story of how these people move through life and toward one another.

My only complaint about this book was the ending; it was rather abrupt. I needed another page or two with a more defined resolution. I usually hate it when books tie up every loose end in a bow, it never seems real that way but this ending was too far in the other direction for me. But that is a minor quibble. I loved this book and I truly hope it finds a lot of readers.

6/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE GIRL HE USED TO KNOW by Tracey Garvis Graves. St. Martin’s Press (April 2, 2019).  ISBN  978-1250200358. 304p.