The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

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The Wallflower Wager is the third book in Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series of Regency-era historical romance novels. I read this book immediately after listening to the Audible edition of the second book in the series (The Governess Game), and I was looking forward to finding out what was going to happen next in the series.

Lady Penelope Campion is quite devoted to her small group of friends- two of whom have appeared as heroines in the previous books in the series- but for the most part, she avoids Proper Society. She is content to live with her sizeable menagerie of abandoned animals, but her family has told her that she needs to put an end to her eccentric ways and return to the family’s country house.

Gabriel Duke has crawled his way from the (literal) gutter to the top through sheer grit and determination. They call him the “Duke of Ruin” because of his ruthlessly methodical approach to achieving his goals. His newest project is renovating the house next door to Penny. He intends to sell the house to social climbers who will pay top dollar for the cachet of living next door to a Real Lady. So, against his better judgement, he agrees to help Penny find homes for all the animals so that she can remain in London. This is purely a business arrangement, nothing more- full stop. Read more

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The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

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My TBR queue has been in utter disarray for far too long, and I’m taking steps to remedy it. As I prepared for the release of Tessa Dare’s newest book, I realized that I never read the second book in the series. Luckily, I already owned it- and even luckier, I had the Audible edition as well. So, I popped on my headphones, and listened to the book while cleaning my middle schooler’s room while she’s away at camp.

But enough about me.

The Governess Game is the second book in Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series of Regency-era historical romance novels. As the title suggests, it features the governess trope, which is one of my absolute favorites.

Chase Reynaud is not a duke, although he is next in line for a ducal title. He has, however, already inherited the guardianship of two young girls- and all the responsibility that goes along with that. Read more

Spellbound by Allie Therin

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Spellbound is the first book in Allie Therin’s Magic in Manhattan series of m/m historical romance novels. As soon as I heard about this book on Twitter, I made a request on Netgalley, and was thrilled to pieces when it was approved.

First of all, most of the m/m historicals I’ve read have been either Regency-era or Victorian. I don’t think I’ve read anything else set in the 1920s, so my interest was already piqued based on setting alone… but then Therin is throwing MAGIC into the mix?

Sign me up!

Rory and Arthur come from completely different worlds. Rory is a scruffy orphan who works in his aunt’s antique shop, and Arthur is the wealthy son of a congressman. There’s also a bit of an age difference- Rory is 20 and Arthur is 28. Their paths cross when Arthur discovers that Rory has the ability to “scry”; he can touch an object and see its provenance. They don’t get along very well, but they are going to have to work together if they are going to defeat the magical threat before it destroys the city. Read more

Top Secret by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

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Top Secret is a contemporary m/m romance novel by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. I was looking forward to reading this book because I enjoyed reading their previous collaboration, the m/m hockey duology Him and Us. I was even more excited when I found out that this book was a new release; it hadn’t been on my radar, so finding it as a new release was an awesome surprise!

Keaton is a junior at a prestigious college. He comes from a wealthy family, and he has his whole life mapped out for him. Well, his father has his whole life mapped out for him, but Keaton has other ambitions he’d rather follow. Keaton has been dating the same girl for years, and she’s asked him to plan a threesome with another guy for her birthday. So, Keaton logs onto a hookup app.

Luke is a student at the same university. He’s also in the same fraternity as Keaton, but that’s where their similarities end. Luke is a “townie” going to school on scholarship, and he works at a strip club to pay for the expenses that his scholarship doesn’t cover. When he sees the couple’s profile on the app looking for a third person, he’s more than happy to oblige. Read more

A Rogue by Night by Kelly Bowen

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A Rogue by Night is the third book in Kelly Bowen’s Devils of Dover series of Regency-era historical romance novels. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book via Netgalley because I enjoyed reading the previous two books in the series. Harland (the hero) played a minor role in those earlier books, and I was looking forward to reading his story.

Katherine Wright meets Harland Hayward when he arrives at her house when she is trying to patch up her smuggler brother after he is shot by soldiers. At first, she’s annoyed; he might be a doctor, but she is a skilled surgeon and what she’s doing. When soldiers arrive shortly thereafter looking for Katherine’s brother, Harland helps convince them that nothing is amiss.

Even though he just saved her family, Katherine still doesn’t know if she can trust Hayward. After all, he is a baron, and her experience with members of the aristocracy has led her to believe that they are arrogant and callous.  Read more

Hold My Hand by Michael Barakiva

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I came across Hold My Hand by Michael Barakiva when I was browsing Netgalley, and the blurb piqued my interest. My request was accepted, and so I added the book to my reading queue.

Alek is an Armenian-American high school student. He has been dating Ethan for almost six months. Things are getting pretty serious, but Alek has reservations. He loves kissing Ethan, but he’s not sure if he’s ready for things to go further physically. Alek measures his life in terms of Before Ethan and After Ethan; he’s changed so much for the better because of this relationship, and he can’t imagine what would happen if it ended. Read more

American Fairytale by Adriana Herrera

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When I saw American Fairytale by Adriana Herrera on Netgalley, I sent a request right away. I was very excited when I was approved, and I decided to start with American Dreamer, the first book in the Dreamers series. It was already in my TBR queue, but I bumped it to the top. After reading American Dreamer, I was even MORE excited to read American Fairytale.

Camilo is a social worker, and as the story begins, he has just received an invitation to attend a posh benefit/fundraiser. Camilo is a hard worker, but he’s looking forward to having a good time. He does not intend to hook up with a handsome stranger, but such things aren’t usually planned in advance. He doesn’t think he’ll ever see the guy again, and that’s okay, because Milo isn’t really looking for a relationship because he’s too busy with work and taking care of his mother.

So, imagine his surprise when the handsome hookup is the major donor for the domestic violence shelter that Milo has been hoping to build for years. Read more

American Dreamer by Adriana Herrera

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I bought American Dreamer by Adriana Herrera on its release day because all my friends were talking about it. I didn’t get a chance to read it right away, but then I received the opportunity to read an advanced copy of the second book, so I bumped American Dreamer to the top of my reading queue.

Nesto Vasquez has lived in NYC for his whole life, but he’s leaving the city to move upstate with his food truck. He doesn’t know how Ithaca is going to respond to his Caribbean fusion cuisine, but he’s got to shoot his shot. He’s here to focus on building his business, so he certainly not looking for romance.

And then Nesto meets Jude Fuller, a shy librarian. Jude’s not looking for romance either, because it hasn’t worked out so well in the past. Nesto and Jude hit it off right away, and everything seems to be going well, but can their happiness last? Read more

Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal

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I was excited when I found Unmarriageable at my town library. Adaptations of Pride and Prejudice are one of my favorite tropes, and Soniah Kamal’s offering was already on my radar.

But then real life interfered, and even after renewing the book, I wasn’t able to read it before the due date.   Not returning the book wasn’t an option because I didn’t want to rack up library fines- nor did I want to hoard the book and keep other people from reading it.

So I bought the Kindle edition- and I added the Audible edition as well.

In Unmarriageable, Kamal brings Pride and Prejudice to Pakistan at the turn of the 21st century. Alys Binat lives with her family in Dilipabad, a small town in Pakistan. She and her older sister Jena teach English at the British School, and their three younger sisters are still students at the school. While Mrs. Binat has Big Plans for all five of her daughters, Alys is perfectly content with her life, and does not intend to get married just for the sake of getting married. Read more

The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg

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I found The Music of What Happens at my town library. I’ve read some of Bill Konigsberg’s other books, so finding this on the new release shelf was a nice surprise.

When Max steps up to a food truck to place an order, he doesn’t expect to see Jordan, a kid from his school. Max certainly doesn’t expect to walk away with a job offer, but there you have it.

Jordan’s dad died a few years ago, and Jordan and his mom have been living off of the life insurance money. They’ve exhausted their savings, and they’re now a few months behind with the mortgage. Revitalizing the food truck that Jordan’s dad used to run is their final hope; if they don’t earn enough money to pay off the accumulated debt, they’ll lose the house.

Max and Jordan might go to the same school, but they aren’t friends. Things are awkward at first, but they quickly realize that they are going to need to communicate with each other if they want their endeavors to be successful. Read more