Welcome to Punya Reviews... Please stay and enjoy! Read My Blog Policies for clarification of my ratings/disclaimer. If the goodreads widgets don't show properly, it's not my fault. ;) All of my reviews contain spoilers. If you don't like spoiler-ish reviews, please don't proceed.

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Recommended Read Update:
Lover for Ransom by Debra Glass
As usual Spoiler Alert applies!!

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The Art of Sinning by Sabrina Jeffries

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Art of Sinning
The Sinful Suitors #1

Sabrina Jeffries
Historical Romance
Pub date: June 21, 2015 (ARC review)

H/h - Jeremy Keane/Lady Yvette Barlow
Setting: London, 1829.

Read in July, 2015.
My rating:

                                                   [spoiler alert]

3.25 stars. I wish I could rate it higher but the beginning of The Sinful Suitors series wasn't as good as I hoped it'd be. I liked Jeremy in the previous series when he was introduced as Zoe's cousin. But he was a rather minor character so didn't think he'd be the hero of his own book; but I was glad to find that he was!

The story started out well but it fall flat pretty soon. Yvette was alright as a heroine but since she was new character, I had no idea what to expect of her. I found her a bit wishy-washy on occasion. Also didn't like that at first, she was being really nosy about Jeremy's past when he didn't want to talk about it. They were virtually strangers, yet she expected he'd open up about his personal life. Just like that?

Overall, what bothered me most was the lack of anything exciting happening throughout. It was all Yvette and Jeremy dancing around 'should we or should we not' regarding their budding relationship. Both were stubborn and wanted to have everything their own way, which caused more than one problem. After a while, honestly, it got old.

Because this is the first in a new series, I'm gonna overlook this. Ms. Jeffries is one of my favorite Historical Romance authors so I'll be awaiting the next in the series in hopes that it'd be much better. Fingers crossed!

Full review to coming in a few...

The Midnight Rake by Anabelle Bryant

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Midnight Rake
Three Regency Rogues #3

Anabelle Bryant
Historical Romance
Published in 2015

H/h - Phineas Betcham, Viscount Fenhurst/Penelope Rosebery
Setting: Regency England.

Read in July, 2015.
My rating:

3 stars, no full review for this either. This could've been a much better read. It had some hilarious moments involving a macaw and it's equally hilarious lines (very unsubtle attempt from the H's mother, the owner of the dratted bird, to get him to marry ASAP :p). However:

1. The h, Penelope, was a bit of a TSTL. She'd be perfectly fine, then do something that'd set my eyes rolling. She had a suitor that jilted her at the altar and rob her family off of money and valuable stuff, on the same day. When her father dies after the shock of being ruined (mother passed away long ago), she and her younger sister, Aubrey, are forced to come to London since they were in dire financial trouble. Her plan was to seek out that guy and confront him about the money and valuables. I understood she was desperate, so I didn't mind it at first even though she had no idea of what to do, no plans to speak of. I didn't mind it when Phineas's generous and kind mother, The Countess of Fenhurst, took them in but Penelope decides not to divulge everything to veritable strangers. I knew she was ashamed as she held herself responsible for their ruin, so I thought it was fine. Then, she and Phineas finally acknowledge their feelings, with him knowing everything and trying to avenge her. He knew that man to be dangerous and made sure Penelope knew as well. She knew she isn't supposed to be going out, alone, and anywhere near him. Yet, in the end, why would she willingly step into that guy's trap just because he send her a letter stating she meet him urgently... alone? That was so..... *SMH* It didn't work that the author made it look like it was Phineas's fault somehow.

2. This reminds me of something that I forgot to add earlier; Phineas's butler calling the Countess 'Her Grace' in one scene in the beginning... er, isn't that something saved only for Dukes and Duchesses (Her/His/Your Grace)?

3. Why is this story titled The Midnight Rake? Phineas was an adorable H TBH; kind, honest and a veritable gentleman. Not even a womanizer from whatever I saw in this book and the previous installments; so far from what a 'rake' by definition is. The only woman I saw him panting after the whole story was Penelope, which is how it should be, so I don't see the point.

Now I need to know if poor Julia, Phineas's younger sister, has a story or not. After being ignored by her crush Devlin in book 2 and dropped by her spineless suitor in this one, she deserves her HEA! She may come off a bit strong sometimes but I don't think she has harmed anyone to have to suffer so. *sigh*

Promo Spotlight and Giveaway: Corrupted by Sapphire Knight

Sunday, July 26, 2015

I'm hosting a promo spotlight on Sapphire Knight's MC Romance, Corrupted (Russkaya Mafiya #4), today, as the part of the ongoing VBT. Also find teasers and excerpt for your enjoyment. The giveaway includes a $10 Amazon GC, so don't forget to enter via rafflecopter below.
Sapphire Knight
(Russkaya Mafiya/Oath Keepers MC #4)
Published: June 28, 2015

I was bred for this. For Mafiya.
Instead, I relinquished my crown to my younger brother.
I’m the dirty side of the Mafiya.
I clean up the messes. The bodies. The problems.
Here in America, I’m the Russian King.
I never expected to want my mark. To crave her, to need her.
One thing about being the leader of the Bratva, I always get what I want.
I’m corrupted, I never promised to play fair.

Unwanted and unloved.
I lay in that hospital bed, broken.
One bad decision and I almost killed someone,
myself included.
The dark shadow coming to finish the job,
turns out to be my bright light.
I try to hold back, fighting temptation.
Who would want someone so damaged?
He doesn’t know it, but I’m good at keeping secrets.
You have to be, when you have so many.

Buy Links:
Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | KOBO | iTunes

Duke of Darkness by Anabelle Bryant

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Duke of Darkness
Three Regency Rogues #2

Anabelle Bryant
Historical Romance
Published in 2014

H/h - Devlin Ravensdale, the Duke of Wharncliffe/Alexandra Grantchester
Setting: Regency England.

Read in July, 2015.
My rating:

3.5 stars because even after all the things that bugged me throughout, it was an entertaining read. No full review so I'm just gonna try to summarize a bit of what bugged me.

The plot was predictable, characters melodramatic (I did quite a bit of eye-rolling). It wasn't as dark as I thought it'd be, not even by half. I also agree with one review that says Dukes were the highest ranking peer, right after the Royalty, so Devlin being shunned by the Ton for whatever reasons was unbelievable. He was young, handsome with an air of mystery about him. He was as rich as, if not more, than Croesus. Any mama with a marriageable daughter would feel grateful if she could make him her son-in-law. No one cared about a Duke's private life or family drama. They wanted the social status that went with the marriage.

Even Lexi's father's (who is not a peer) dismissive attitude towards him was unbelievable.

Lexi was so 'perfect' in everything (from looks to deportment) that I found nothing special about her. And it felt like Devlin basically fell for her because of her beauty, since that's what he'd been waxing poetics about throughout, over and over again. A case of insta-lust, definitely. Love, maybe... don't know.

Last, but not the least, all the while Devlin stated that he was used to living his life the way he wanted to, society can go take a hike seeing how they treated him due to his family's scandalous past. He wanted Lexi more than anything in the world too. Then why, even knowing Lexi returns his affection, he'd balk several times citing reasons like she's his ward, that the society will shun her too etc. etc? Even when she said she didn't care about any of that? I mean, he lived by his own rules, nothing should've stand in his way to marry Lexi and make her his own! Very contradictory IMO. *SMH*

Good writing and had potentials but, as a whole, wasn't executed well enough.

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