Nocturne by Elizabeth Ellen Carter

First let me start off by saying I love sexy steamy romance novels, the steamier the better. This book was not one of them. Nocturne is a gentle love story about two lonely people who find each other through their passion for music.

Young governess Ella Montgomery is still grieving the death of her beloved father when she is hired at Blackheath Manor. The earl and his countess are not very welcoming, but their five year old twin daughters are adorable, making the job bearable. Ella is utterly alone since she is unable to befriend any servants–and the housekeeper seems to despise her.

When Ella discovers a mystery man playing piano late one night she befriends him. He turns out to be the earl’s brother Thomas who has been kept hidden away due to his crippling wounds from the war. Their love of music bring them together, while finding a friend each so desperately needs. Their falling in love was believable and not rushed at all, despite this being a novella.

This was a sweet story with a happy ending full of hope and new beginnings.

At Any Price by Brenna Aubrey

Hallelujah! I’m doing a happy dance!

For months I had been trudging through book after book, unable to get through the third chapter. I started to think I was depressed until I found this little gem! At Any Price by Brenna Aubrey would probably be classified as “New Adult”, not something I usually go for. But Aubrey’s quirky style grabbed me from the very beginning! The story premise might turn some people off, but just go with it.

A 22-year old woman decides to auction off her virginity and announces it on her popular gaming blog. People are shocked, offended, curious and she even gets publicity over it. All she really wants is to get the deed done so she doesn’t have to worry about it anymore…and possibly make enough money to pay for medical school.

The writing is quick and fun. The characters are believable and lovable. I had my suspicions very early on about who her highest bidder might be and was thrilled and dismayed at the same time when he finally revealed himself. FYI, do NOT read the prequels before reading this book or you will spoil the surprise.

I love that this book (and I suppose all of Aubrey’s books) delve into geek culture. I actually had been wanting to add those elements to my own stories. I’m a bit of a “geek girl” myself. If you love online gaming, Dr. Who, D&D, Comic-Con and Star Wars, you will love this book. Even if you don’t I bet it will be fascinating for you to enter a new world.

Taken by the Duke by Jess Michaels

Romeo and Juliet meets Beauty and the Beast.

In Taken by the Duke we first learn there is an age old feud between two families.The story starts off with a heartbreaking fatal accident. (I was crying over the prologue!)

To avenge his sister’s death, Christian Rothcastle kidnaps Lady Ava Windbury, the sister of his enemy. A simple abduction turns into a sinful bargain. Ava agrees to stay with Christian for three weeks as his mistress if he promises not to hurt her brother. The only problem is once they start, neither wants it to end.

This is a highly erotic historical romance. There are a lot of graphic sex scenes, but they are exquisitely written and emotionally charged.

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