Review: Scandalous Summer Nights (anthology) by Grace Callaway, Sabrina Darby, et al.
Scandalous Summer Nights by Grace Callaway, Sabrina Darby, Jennifer Haymore, Sue London, Kate McKinley, Sandy Raven, Vivienne Westlake Publication date: June 30, 2014 Publisher: Jennifer Haymore Amazon| B&N |Goodreads
~~Reviewed by Lisa~~
Overall this was a good book- the size was a bit daunting. You open the book in your Kindle and it tells you in 13 hours 47 minutes you will be done. The rational side of my minds says, “There are seven novellas here; that is about two hours per story.” The reader side says, “One book 13+ hours.” I did enjoy the read, some stories setup the coming series very nicely, while others seemed more stand alone and I am looking forward to seeing how they go.
A Highlander’s Heart (The Highland Knights, Book 1) by Jennifer Haymore 4.5 Stars
This story was delightful and in the end you know who the series players are. Claire has always been a bit of a hoyden. She travels to the Continent to find her husband, Rob, during Wellington’s campaign. Rob and Claire’s HEA comes after a shared great tragedy, having to set aside pride and a willingness to put their hearts on the line again. Although this is a novella, typical of other stories by Ms. Haymore, she uses her humor, deep characters and detailed relationships, and pulls in profound emotions to tell the story and bring it to life. I am anxiously awaiting the “rest of the story.” What adventures does Ms. Haymore have in store for these Highlander’s?
The Widow Vanishes (Prequel to the Heart of Enquiry Series) by Grace Callaway 3.5 Stars
Annabel is forced by circumstances not of her making to take a position no woman would willingly take to pay off debts. She meets William and decides she is not cut out for the job and runs away. William is charged with the task of finding her for a horrible man of “business.” The road to their HEA is rocky and each of them puts the other’s wellbeing ahead of their own. This was my first introduction to Ms Callaway and I was not prepared for the level of sex in such a short amount of time. The depth of the characters was wonderful I was immediately cheering for both of them. We are introduced to the coming series after the HEA and it sounds intriguing.
Scandal Before Sunrise (The Weekly Scandal, Book 1) by Sabrina Darby 3.5 Stars
Elliot Jones is a second son that is shallow, spoiled and in need of an occupation besides gossip. Then he discovers Abby, who his entire group of friends seems to know, and his world is thrown for a loop. She is not the girl those friends remember and she is looking for a match. The play between them is fun and you see Elliot redeem himself and step up and prove to have integrity. I am not totally sure at the end which of the other characters will be coming up in the rest of the series, but I have a couple I am hoping for. We shall see.
Lord Lucifer’s Disciple (Haberdasher’s Nights, Book 1) by Sue London 4 stars
We have John Howards who is very shy and does not like to participate in society and Elisa Jarvis who only knows she must marry in the next fortnight or she will have marry someone of her guardians choosing! She is disenchanted with the possible suitors because they all seem shallow and do not really take the time to get to know her for her, but have no trouble looking at her inheritance. They meet at a masque ball, only he is pretending to be someone else so he is not as shy. Their road to HEA is charming. I love the humor, the endearing characters and the pace of the conversations. This is a good story and the series should be great. This is another where you finish and have a pretty clear idea of where it is going.
How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days (What Happens in Scotland, Book 1) by Kate McKinley 4 Stars
How can he want to marry her, he all but ignored her at their first introduction! But he has spoken to her father who has given his permission and he has INFORMED her, not asked her. She refuses him and throws his nicely ordered life off balance. Pippa is not intimidated by him and questions him at every turn and this is something that frustrates and intrigues him. He has ulterior motives for marrying her, does not share his reasons and she discovers it on her own. She wants to be valued and treasured for herself, not her dowry. The interactions between the two are fast paced and had me smiling; I love when the heroine keeps the hero in tilt mode! It was brilliant to see how Ms McKinley brought Lucas around. This novella starts a series and it ends with a good cliffhanger calling Lucas’s word in the family into doubt.
Miss Amelia Lands a Duke (A Prequel to the Caversham Chronicles) by Sandy Raven 3.5 Stars
Amelia is the supposedly paid companion of her aunt, who is grasping, shallow and a user. They are attending a house party so her aunt can wrangler the Duke into marriage. Amelia has no real options available to her, her brother was kidnapped and forced into the navy so she is along, but she does have her pride and will not be someone’s pity project. Marcus Renfield Halden, the eighth Duke of Caversham has offered for her and has to work pretty hard to convince her it is not a pity offer. He is older, wants to feel needed and finds he is protective of Amelia. She has never had anyone stand up for her, until Marcus. This story would have been better if Marcus did not spend so much of the time thinking about his former wife. I imagine it is difficult to get past a lifelong relationship, but it was too much. Marcus helps Amelia discover she is not alone in the world. The coming series sounds interesting.
Lady Northam’s Wicked Surrender (Wicked Liaisons, Book 1) by Vivienne Westlake 3.5 Stars
Rowena, Countess of Northam, is a widow and has always had a tendre for Simon but was lead to believe he was not interested in her when she married the now dead Earl. Simon has been out of the country to avoid Rowena and her husband because he also has longed for Rowena. They come together again and find that their attraction has not died. They have spent the past six years apart because of manipulations, lies and betrayals. The journey to their HEA uncovers these and restores their love. Ms Westlake has created charming and in-depth characters that have you rooting for them. I liked the sassy and strong woman that Rowena grew into as the story progressed. There was no real hint, that I could see as to who or where the series was going to lead, but I am interested to find out.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.