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Keeping secrets makes for lonely times

Nicholas: Lord of Secrets ♥♥♥

After reading Darius, I was interested in the story of Nicholas (Nick) and Leah.

Nick has the obligation to do his duty to marry as an earl’s legitimate heir. His father is ailing and he promised to wed soon. Meanwhile, Leah is suffering the wrath of her father who intends to sell her to any depraved lecher with funds.

Knowing of her plight, Nick sets in plan motions to extricate Leah from her father’s control. Leah is grateful but wary of Nick’s assistance. He makes it very clear that he could not have any type of physical relationship with her. He was attracted to Leah but I was confused as to why he was so adamant not to do the deed with her.

The story was interesting enough to keep my attention. I liked Leah because she was a strong resilient character with common sense. She was forthright and asked questions. On the other hand, Nick’s decisions at times left much to be desired. He withheld a lot of information in hopes of evading rejection. His efforts had less than the desired effect because his actions came across as confusing.

Overall, I liked the story. It shined because of all the great supporting characters that helped Nick to see how ridiculous he was being. In the end, revealing his well kept secrets cleared up a lot of the confusion. I begrudgingly admit that I understand why Nick did what he did, although I do not agree that was the best way to go about it. Fortunately for him, Leah was a very understanding wife.

I recommend reading Nicholas: Lord of Secrets. It is long, so be prepared to spend the entire afternoon reading. The story stands well on its own, but read Darius: Lord of Pleasures first to get a better picture of the people involved.


Gigolos get lonely too

Darius: Lord of Pleasures (Lonely Lords) ♥♥♥

Darius is, for lack of a better term, a gigolo/male prostitute. As the impoverished second son, he cannot afford to have many morals, especially since the bills will not pay themselves. Vivian’s husband goes to Darius with a proposition: get his wife pregnant so there is an heir to carry on his life when he dies. Darius thought about turning down the offer, but the amount of money was too much to resist. Prepared not to like Vivian, he was in for a surprise. Suddenly his job as a stud got a lot more interesting.

Vivian’s marriage was one of convenience after her husband’s first wife died. He only married her as a protection for her. As her husband is old enough to be her grandfather, he is trying to look out for her the best way he knows how.

I was prepared not to like this book because the hero was a gigolo and his love interest was married. Prostitution as a story is not usually my preferred plot line. I kept an open mind, and actually, the story was not too bad. In time when heirs were required and there were no sperm banks, the women had to get impregnated the old fashioned way when their husbands were unable to perform the task.

Unlike other authors who have a formula so the reader knows what to expect, Grace Burrowes’ plots are so unpredictable that every book is like a different author’s work. In this book, she explores how the predicament affects each character. The reader has empathy for their seemingly impossible situation. I will not say how it ended, but I was satisfied with the turn of events.

I recommend reading Darius: Lord of Pleasures (Lonely Lords). It is long, so be prepared to spend the entire afternoon reading.

Another fine Westmoreland romance!

Canyon (The Westmorelands) – another Westmoreland romance!!! ♥♥♥♥

Canyon is an attorney that is determined to plead his case with his ex-girlfriend Keisha. She caught him in a compromising (very damning) situation with her best friend and was convinced that he was cheating on her. Canyon knows he was not cheating and he wants her to see reason.

Keisha knows what she saw and accepted her friend’s tearful apology. However, she will not tolerate being in love with a man who has been unfaithful. Her distrustful attitude towards men has a lot to do with the grudge she hold against her father for not acknowledging her when her mother told him about the pregnancy with Keisha. To her, it seems that men in her life continue to disappoint her.

Although Canyon would like to try to hate Keisha for not believing him, he cannot. He loved her then and still loves her. If only he could convince her to take him at his word. At some point in the story, I got the impression that he would probably still accept her even if she had those doubts about him. That is not the optimum way he wants the relationship to go, but he was borderline desperate to have her in his life. The attorney in him could not give up on the relationship without a giving closing arguments to wrap up his case.

All the while, Keisha is struggling with her own questions “What is truth?” “Could he be telling the truth?” “If he is, did she overreact?” “Could they have a future together anyway?”

I loved Canyon and tolerated Keisha. Canyon was an overall good guy. Keisha had so many trust issues that she was a little bitter. She is holding so many grudges that it colors her judgment. She made some bad decisions because of that but I am glad that she acknowledged her faults in the end.

Seriousness aside, there is also a lot of funny moments and conversation that add depth to the characters’ personality. The funniest part of this book to me was part where Canyon was trying to explain why following Keisha was not stalking. I was laughing out loud because he was bordering on creeper and trying to justify why it was a good idea. His brothers/cousins/friends were sure he was going to end up in jail. The only reason why I did not get annoyed (because I do not think any guy should force himself on a woman for the sake of a relationship) was that he prevented a crime from being committed and probably saved her life. But he was walking a fine line for a minute there.

I am not usually one to read so many books from the same series. Nevertheless, I have read many of the Westmoreland, Madaris, and Steele series books (15 so far) because Brenda Jackson rarely disappoints with the storyline. My favorite series is Westmoreland. The plots are variations on the same type of scenario but each has its own special twists that keep me entertained. I enjoy all of the books in this series, but I especially like it when the couple has history. The love-at-first-sight scenario can get played out. As in the case with Canyon (The Westmorelands), when the couple has history, one or both of the main characters have trust issues. Good thing there are enough Westmoreland family members around to talk logic and reason into them.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Special K Vanilla Crisp Bars – you need to try it!

In the past, I was not one to eat health food, low cal bars. But in the past, there was not much of a selection available. There were granola bars and protein bars. I do not mind eating granola bars, but a lot of them taste like cardboard to me.

That is why Special K Bars, Vanilla Crisp, 6 – .8 oz Bars , (Pack of 12) are my favorite snack food right now. They fill the need for something sweet without being too many calories. Most importantly, they are super delicious.

Special K has done a good job of creating snack flavors that are not a chore to eat. It can be discouraging when you are trying to watch your calorie intake, but all the “diet foods” are tasteless and bland. When you are discouraged, you can lose your resolve to continue.

I put one in my exercise bag to have when I am working up a sweat exercising. It boosts my energy levels and allows me to keep on moving.

On occasion, I also eat one as my dessert after dinner. I do not feel as though I am denying myself, but I am still making good dietary decisions that keep my calorie intake at a manageable level.

Knocked up – Westmoreland Style

The Durango Affair (Silhouette Desire) – Brenda Jackson

Scale of 1 – 5: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Durango Westmoreland, a park ranger, and Savannah, sister to Jessica (from The Chase Is On (Silhouette Desire)), meet at Jessica and Chase’s wedding. The instant attraction turned into a one night stand that would have been all said and done, but we know that would be too easy. The one night turns into a life commitment when Savannah ends up pregnant.

Her plan was to go to Durango’s house, tell him in person about the baby and be on the next plane out of there. She was not even considering a relationship with him since he has such an aversion to city girls. The only reason she went to see him was because she thought enough of him to think that he deserved the consideration of having the news delivered in person instead of over the telephone.

In true Westmoreland fashion, when she told him, his response was that they needed to get married for the baby’s sake (if only all real men were that noble, there would be no deadbeat dads- but I digress). In true independent, common sense woman fashion **insert my “You Go Girl” high-five here**, Savannah rejects that idea because of her commitment issues. You have to read The Chase Is On (Silhouette Desire) to get the full story of how Savannah and Jessica’s father messed them up emotionally.

Conveniently, there is a snow storm that keeps Savannah at Durango’s house instead of leaving as she planned.  Considering that Durango is a confirmed bachelor with the mentality that he will never get married, it is humorous to read him trying to convince Savannah why they should get married. Throw in a dose of her morning sickness, and his protective instincts go into overdrive. Despite what they initially think about each other, close proximity with one another will ensure that their true feelings come out.

The Durango Affair (Silhouette Desire) is everything that most romances are: a little conflict, entertaining characters, and a huge dose of predictability. This is a fun, short book for a quick afternoon read.

Click The Durango Affair (Silhouette Desire) to buy on Amazon

And if you want to double your pleasure reading, you can buy Promises of Seduction: The Durango Affair\Ian’s Ultimate Gamble (Arabesque) which has another one of Brenda Jackson’s Westmoreland novels.