Lacy Literacy

Book Reviews, Discussions, Listicles, More

The Governess Game is my favorite Governess Romance of all time. Tessa Dare took a trope I don’t normally gravitate towards and made it golden.

The second installment of Girl Meets Duke is Tessa Dare at her best with charming supporting characters, an easy to root for couple, and multiple funerals for someone’s doll ― which is much more fun that it sounds, trust me.


❈ Huge thanks to Avon for providing me with an ARC for Reviewing Purposes ❈

Book Cver - The Governess Game by Tessa Dare.jpgTitle: The Governess Game (Girl Meets Duke #2)
Author: Tessa Dare
Release Date: August 28th 2018
Category: Adult
Genre: Historical Romance

Content Warning: on page Panic Attack

He’s been a bad, bad rake—and it takes a governess to teach him a lesson.

The accidental governess.

After her livelihood slips through her fingers, Alexandra Mountbatten takes on an impossible post: transforming a pair of wild orphans into proper young ladies. However, the girls don’t need discipline. They need a loving home. Try telling that to their guardian, Chase Reynaud: duke’s heir in the streets and devil in the sheets. The ladies of London have tried—and failed—to make him settle down. Somehow, Alexandra must reach his heart . . . without risking her own.

The infamous rake.

Like any self-respecting libertine, Chase lives by one rule: no attachments. When a stubborn little governess tries to reform him, he decides to give her an education—in pleasure. That should prove he can’t be tamed. But Alexandra is more than he bargained for: clever, perceptive, passionate. She refuses to see him as a lost cause. Soon the walls around Chase’s heart are crumbling . . . and he’s in danger of falling, hard.

Amazon ⋆ Avon Romance Barnes & Noble ⋆ Google Play ⋆ iBooks


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A few weeks ago, I was drafting a post about my favorite heroines of 2018 (so far). Then, I come to a startling conclusion: the book covers were all blue. A conspiracy? Perhaps. Something that will forever make me think of the Halsey song Colors? Yes. The perfect post idea? Most definitely.

Today, I’m sharing my favorite books of 2018 (so far) that all have blue covers.

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A Duke by Default will undoubtably remain the Romance that hit me the hardest of the year. My love for A Princess in Theory, the Reluctant Royals series opener, is no secret. But, A Duke by Default forever cemented a place in my heart on a more personal level because of the heroine, Portia Hobbs.

If you like meet-cutes involving accidental pepper sprayings, grumpy silver foxes, and unlikeable~ heroines in male dominated fields, then A Duke by Default is your next favorite read.


❈ Huge thanks to Avon for providing me with an ARC for Reviewing Purposes ❈

Book Cover - A Duke By Default by Alyssa Cole.JPGTitle: A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals #2)
Author: Alyssa Cole
Release Date: July 31st 2018
Category: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Content Warning: Racism, Xenophobia, Emotionally Abusive Parents

Award-winning author Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series continues with a woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way…

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice—and his attraction to her—but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.  

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?

Amazon ⋆ Avon Romance Barnes & Noble ⋆ Google Play ⋆ iBooks

 

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Breathe in. Breathe out. Okay.

Let’s fucking talk about Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean aka the first installment of The Bareknuckle Bastards aka the series I’m going to be thinking about long after it’s over.

I can’t ever recall being as pumped about a Historical Romance series as I am for The Bareknuckle Bastards. Sarah MacLean did basically everything on my wishlist and more. And, oh boy, she does NOT hold back on the drama. Wicked in the Wallflower is a superb opener. I am quite happy to have shared a birthday with this book. If you want to belatedly celebrate, get on the Wicked and the Wallflower bandwagon with me.

Tour Banner - Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean


❈ Huge thanks to Avon for providing me with an ARC for Reviewing Purposes ❈

Screen Shot 2018-06-24 at 6.07.45 PM.pngTitle: Wicked and the Wallflower (The Bareknuckle Bastards #1)
Author: Sarah MacLean
Release Date: June 19th 2018
Category: Adult
Genre: Historical Romance

Content Warning: Past Abusive Parent

When a man known only as Devil finds his way into her bedchamber and offers her his help in landing a duke, Lady Felicity Faircloth agrees. She might be a spinster, but she’s seen love in action and is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that her future husband will love her beyond reason—even if it means she must make a deal with a man more dangerous than she could imagine.

Bastard son of a duke, and king of London’s darkest corners, Devil has made a lifetime of wielding power and seizing opportunity, and Felicity Faircloth is everything he needs to exact a perfect revenge. All he has to do is turn the plain little mouse into an irresistible temptress, set his trap, and destroy his enemy. If the girl is ruined in the process, so be it.  

Except there’s nothing plain about Felicity Faircloth, and soon it’s Devil who is trapped…along with his heart.

Amazon ⋆ Avon Romance Barnes & Noble ⋆ Google Play ⋆ iBooks

 

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Earlier this month, Eri & I made the trip down to Santa Monica High School to attend YALLWEST, which is a Young Adult Book Festival!! For both of us, it was our second year attending the festival. Somehow it gets better and better each year.

We took all the photobooth pictures, broke our backs carrying books, and got to meet a couple very special people.

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❈ Huge thanks to Penguin for providing me with an ARC for Reviewing & Fanmixing Purposes ❈

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Title: Always Never Yours
Author: Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Release Date: May 22nd 2018
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance

A contemporary Shakespeare-inspired YA from a fantastic new author couple! What’s it like to play the understudy in your own love story?

Megan Harper is the girl before . . . just like Rosaline from Romeo and Juliet. Every one of Megan’s relationships has ended the same way–her ex replaces her with someone perfect. But instead of crying over every breakup, Megan spends her time on her two passions: pursuing her next fling and directing theater. She hates the spotlight, and she’s hoping to fulfill her college program’s acting requirement in the smallest role possible.

But then Megan’s theater teacher casts her to play none other than Juliet in her school’s production of Romeo and Juliet–and she meets Owen Okita, an aspiring playwright. In exchange for Megan’s help writing a play, Owen agrees to help Megan catch the eye of a hot hipster stagehand. Between rehearsing and contending with her dad’s plans to move with Megan’s pregnant stepmom to New York, Megan begins to realize Owen– thoughtful, unconventional, and utterly unlike her exes–might be the Romeo she never expected. Better yet, with him, she might finally be a Juliet.

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TroubleNeverSleeps_BlogBanner

Hello friends! I’m a part of the blog tour for the last book in the Trouble series, which you should definitely add to the TBR if you like snarky detective stories with a dose of romance, ridiculous shenanigans, and of course, banter. I’m here with moodboards for the two protagonists Zoe and Digby, and how I may or may not have a crush on Digby…

CoverHappily Ever After gets a serious makeover in this swoony, non-stop, thrill-ride of a conclusion to the Trouble Is a Friend of Mine trilogy

Digby and Zoe have been skirting around each other for so long that you might think they’d lose their magic if they ever actually hooked up. But never fear–there’s all the acerbic wit, steamy chemistry, and sarcastic banter you could possibly hope for.

Now that Digby’s back in town he’s plunged Zoe (and their Scooby Gang of wealthy frenemy Sloane, nerd-tastic genius Felix, and aw-shucks-handsome Henry) back into the deep end on the hunt for his kidnapped sister. He’s got a lead, but it involves breaking into a secret government research facility, paying a drug dealer off with a Bentley, and possibly committing treason. The schemes might be over-the-top but this Breakfast Club cast is irresistibly real as they cope with regular high school stuff from social media shaming to dating your best friend, all with a twist no one will see coming.

You can pre-order Trouble Never Sleeps at the following links:

Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound

 

First there’s Zoe, the heroine of the Trouble series who not-so-reluctantly tags along as Digby’s partner in crime whenever he pops up in her life. She might protest and say she’s too busy studying for her SATs, but why study when you could be solving crime with an attractive irritating boy and maybe make out with him too? Not to mention, someone needs to be there to tell the boys to shut up when they’re being idiots because who can trust just the boys to get the job done.

trouble moodboard 2

 

Then there is fan-favorite detective Digby, who is too damn snarky and clever for his own good. He may be aggravating but he also has some baggage that he hides with his charming wit and is there to stir up trouble with his lovable band of misfits Felix, Henry, Zoe, and sometimes Sloane. He also may or may not be kinda swoony. I’m totally not jealous of Zoe for being able to make out with him or anything

trouble moodboard 1

Thanks for tuning in everyone and please pick this series up if you get the chance! Also if you have any recommendations for snarky banter books, I’m all ears ❤

StephanieTromly

 

Stephanie Tromly was born in Manila, grew up in Hong Kong, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and worked as a screenwriter in Los Angeles. She is currently on leave from her PhD program in English literature at the University of Toronto and lives in Winnipeg with her husband and young son. Stephanie is the author of the Trouble Is a Friend of Mine trilogy.

❈ Huge thanks to Simon & Schuster for providing me with an ARC in exchange for a fair review ❈

Screen Shot 2018-04-07 at 6.28.53 PM.pngTitle: Starry Eyes
Author: Jenn Bennett
Release Date: April 4th 2018
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Content Warning: Suicide reference, D-slur, Lesbophobia

Synopsis:

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?

 

Starry Eyes was like drinking ice-cold water during my Young Adult reading drought. Jenn Bennett gave depth, quality (yet elusive) best friends to enemies to lovers, and a ton of swoon-worthy moments under the stars. And maybe I cried. Don’t tell anyone.

Despite that all those things, I took issue major issue with one part of the book― the handling of the “challenged” Lesbophobia. I can’t talk about my love of Starry Eyes without addressing it. I’m a reviewer. It’s my job to address the thing that put a major taint on how I feel about Starry Eyes. And I’ll be talking about it first.

UPDATE: Jenn Bennett said that the D-slur will be removed from future editions of Starry Eyes, so that’s great news!!  I will still be leaving my discussion about the Lesbophobia below for documentation.

 

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gideonsriders3Title: Ivan
Author: Kit Rocha
Release Date: March 28th 2018
Category: Adult
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance

Content Warning: Depression

Synopsis:

As the sheltered princess of Sector One, Maricela’s life is defined by duty: to her people and to her family. Her wealth and influence have allowed her to build a better world, but they come with a price—the responsibility to secure political stability with a practical marriage. Maricela cherishes the idea of marrying for love, but there’s not much romance in the endless line of suitors interested only in prestige and power.

And her handsome, brooding new bodyguard isn’t helping the situation.

Ivan is the perfect, deadly warrior, a man trained from childhood to be the ultimate protector to the Rios family. His focus on keeping her safe is intense–and a little intoxicating. When the threat of danger cracks his icy control, Maricela realizes she’s not the only one fighting against temptation.

Ivan knows that the blood on his hands makes him unworthy of the pure-hearted princess. But from the first kiss, their forbidden affair feels inevitable. He can give her a glimpse of life outside her gilded cage and a lover who wants the woman instead of the crown. The only thing he can never do is promise her forever.

Because spurning her noble suitors to marry her bodyguard wouldn’t just be a scandal. It could set off a political firestorm that would tear Sector One apart.

If you recall, we did a cover reveal for the rebranded covers for one of the books in the Beyond series, where I gushed about how much I enjoyed reading Kit Rocha’s books. The Gideon’s Riders series is actually my favorite series that the two co-authors have written, and it’s an incredibly immersive experience getting to know the cast of characters and found family is one of my favorite tropes to read.

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