Elena Greene

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Lady Dearing’s Masquerade

Finally free after a desperately unhappy marriage, widowed Lady Dearing goes to a masquerade. She thinks it’s just a lark, but matters turn serious when she kisses a costumed stranger who protected her from a drunken lout. Word leaks out, scandal escalates and she becomes the ton’s most infamous widow. Shunned by society, she retreats to her country estate. Having no children of her own, she finds joy in caring for children she’s taken in from London’s Foundling Hospital. But every night, she is haunted by the memory of the gallant stranger, whose seductive voice and gentle touch awakened desires she’d thought long dead.

Two years later, Sir Jeremy Fairhill still hungers for the lady from the masquerade. She felt like his match, more than his saintly deceased wife, more than any of the respectable ladies his friends urge him to marry. Failing to find her, he throws his energies into the cause of the Foundling Hospital, where he serves on the Board of Governors. Hearing that a notorious woman has some of the foundlings in her charge, he is impelled to investigate. He has no idea that she is the lady he seeks, but soon his sense of honor is at odds with his dangerous passion for the elusive, alluring Lady Dearing.

Livvy Dearing is 31.

Lady Dearing’s Masquerade

Kristen Ashley

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Creed (Unfinished Heroes)

Way too young, eleven year old Tucker Creed and his six year old neighbor, Sylvie Bissenette, find they have something awful in common. Creed then decides he’s going to do everything in his limited power to shield his Sylvie from her ordeal. So he does and Creed and Sylvie form a bond that grows and blossoms with their ages.

They plot to leave their lives behind, the town they live in that will hold them down and the histories they share that, unless they break free, will bury them. Sylvie goes to their special place, Creed never shows and she doesn’t see him again until it’s too late.

With Creed gone, Sylvie is forced to endure a nightmare and do the unspeakable to end it. To deal, she develops a hard shell with sharp edges that very few can break through. So when Creed again finds his Sylvie, he discovers the girl he loved is locked away and he has to find his way back into her heart without getting shredded in the process.

WARNING: ADULT EROTIC

Sylvie is 34, Creed is 39

Creed (Unfinished Heroes)

 

Jennifer Collin

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Set me free

Disastrous love life aside, Charlotte Evans is rather content with her life. Her quaint little art gallery is plodding along nicely, and her sister Emily’s artistic career is about to take off, thanks to her tireless promotion. She even gets to see her best friend every day and drink his delicious coffee in the café next door.
 But when dastardly property developer Craig Carmichael comes along, threatening to demolish her gallery and take everything away, Charlotte has an unexpected fight on her hands. Not only is she battling to stop Craig’s development, she’s also struggling against the mysterious magnetic pull that has her on a collision course with Craig himself.
 Craig Carmichael is fighting the Battle for Boundary Street on more than one front. The tenants of the building he wants to knock down are mounting a strong case against him and in a hot-headed moment he put his career on the line for a project that is threatening to fail. If the project doesn’t succeed he will lose everything, but for some reason he’s having trouble maintaining his focus.
 As their worlds begin to unravel around them, anyone could win. It’s what they might lose that has Charlotte and Craig wondering what it is they really want.

After weeks of mediocre reads and me desperately searching for a story that will hold my interest, I stumbled upon this little gem. The cover art appealed to me and after reading what the story was about I decided that a light-hearted romance was just what I needed to get me out of my reading depression.

Review

Barely a chapter in and I found out that this wasn’t just a light-hearted, fluffy romance. It offered much more. There was a sizzling secondary romance to get high on, complicated relationships between friends, family ties were put to the test, there was war on the work floor and while one marriage slow-cooked it’s way to demise, another crumpled as fast as a card house kissed by a slight breeze. The author touched on everyday (inner) struggles very well but she didn’t forget to add humour because this story had me laughing out loud, often.

While coming to terms with the fact that she had fallen for ‘the enemy’, Charlotte also had to deal with questions like; what will I do with my life now that I have reached this cross road, how do I comfort a loved one whose world has just been torn to pieces, how do I handle an idiot named cassette?

The setting of the story added to my reading pleasure. There is just something about romance down under that awakens my happy gene. I enjoyed the vintage elements the author tastefully threw in the mix, from fashion, to music, to dance to…..a crumpling house.

While browsing through reviews I read one (just one) that insisted this was not a romance. I strongly disagree. There is definitely romance, two at that. Both were well done, with a natural and believable feel to them. The secondary romance is one of unrequited love that erupts in this book and hopefully will continue in a next. I would love to read how that particular romance evolves.

I believe this is the first book in a series to come, one that I will definitely be reading. I would like to thank the author for helping me out of my funk. A charming read that has me looking forward to book two.

Purchase Set me free