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Wit and Sin

My name is Kimberly and I'm the reader/reviewer behind Wit and Sin. Wit and Sin is a website that provides honest reviews and publicity. I primarily read and review Romance titles, but I also review Urban Fantasy, New Adult, Young Adult, Mystery, and Non-Fiction titles. In addition to Wit and Sin, I am a reviewer for Joyfully Reviewed (pen name: Shayna) and Romance Junkies (pen name: Lily).

Review: Murder in the East End by Jennifer Ashley

Murder in the East End -  Jennifer Ashley

3.75 stars - Reviewed for Wit and Sin


I always love entering Kat Holloway’s world. In Murder in the East End my favorite no-nonsense cook and amateur sleuth is on the hunt to find out what happened to children who have gone missing from London’s Foundling Hospital. She’s brought into this case by Daniel McAdam and his foster brother, a vicar who is more than he seems. As the trio and their unlikely band of allies (the bold and kindhearted Cynthia, adorable and brilliant Thanos, and mysterious newcomer Judith) delve deeper into the Foundling Hospital’s practices they’ll find themselves in the slums, where danger and heartbreak await.

Kat is the heart of the Below Stairs mysteries and she continues to be a fantastic heroine. She’s got a way of getting people to open up and I like watching her put the puzzle pieces together. And as you might guess from the introduction of a man from Daniel’s past, we do finally learn a bit more about the mysterious Mr. McAdam. I practically gobbled up these crumbs of information alongside Kat, though of course I still wanted more. I cannot wait until the day Daniel’s full history is revealed. As for the supporting cast, author Jennifer Ashley continues to flesh out these wonderful characters. Everyone’s voice is unique and their trials and tribulations make the world of the story feel rich.

I thoroughly enjoyed Murder in the East End but I struggled with rating it because the mystery itself fell a bit short for me. Even though they’re hunting for missing children who are in terrible danger, there’s an almost meandering quality to this story that didn’t quite go with the dire situation. The mystery lacked intensity and wasn’t as well defined as I’m used to. And though I won’t spoil the plot, I will say I didn’t feel quite satisfied by the revelations that occurred. Of course, part of the reason for that is due to an overarching plotline that will continue in future books so I’ll be content to wait and see what happens there. Even with these issues, I love spending time with Kat, Daniel, and their friends and I am always sucked into their world and their developing relationships. I cannot wait to see where Ms. Ashley takes these characters next!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/07/review-murder-in-east-end-by-jennifer.html

Review: Hometown Hero by Liza Kendall

Hometown Hero - Liza Kendall

Reviewed for Wit and Sin


A baseball star with a reckless streak meets his match with a nurse who can’t be swayed by his charm in Hometown Hero. Mia Adams cannot catch a break. She’s working multiple jobs to try to pay off the debt her scumbag ex left in her name before skipping town. She’s a nurse, takes care of so many with compassion and kindness, and has a side business she’s trying to expand on top of it all. She doesn’t have time for Ace’s attitude, but she definitely could use the money his team is paying her to be his babysitter. Andrew “Easy Ace” Braddock works hard and plays harder. But his luck and bad boy charm can’t get him out of the latest pickle he finds himself in. Injured and laying low in Silverlake while he heals, Ace basks in being the hometown hero at first, which makes him a bit hard to like. He’s overly impressed with himself and doesn’t see past his own nose more often than not, which is frustrating, especially when you see how hard his actions have been on Mia and his brother Declan. Fortunately, around the halfway point Ace has a breakthrough. I enjoyed watching him become a better man. He screws up – a lot – but when he does it in the second half of the book it comes from a good (if misguided) place. Ace has a lot of lessons to learn in Hometown Hero but once he starts to grow his journey is one worth reading.

Attraction sparks immediately between Mia and Ace, but that doesn’t mean the romance is an easy one. Mia is at the end of her rope and I wanted her to not only find love but find someone she can depend on, can lean on in the hard times. I liked that she didn’t just fall all over herself with Ace. Part of that is due to her own issues with him stemming from her father ignoring her and focusing on Ace, the son he never had, when they were growing up. Mia takes a lot of hits in this book that just tug on your heartstrings. But watching her find support and love with Ace just warmed my heart.

Hometown Hero is the third book in the Silverlake Ranch series, but it can be read as a standalone. I loved Mia’s friendship with the Braddock siblings and I enjoyed watching the strained relationship between Ace and his brother Declan start to heal. And speaking of the eldest Braddock… Man, I hope author duo Liza Kendall have a book in store for Declan. The often stoic rancher grabbed my heart in the first Silverlake Ranch book and hasn’t let go since. So while I finished Mia and Ace’s book a satisfied reader, I am seriously on the edge of my seat, hoping Declan gets a book.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/06/review-hometown-hero-by-liza-kendall.html

Review: About a Rogue by Caroline Linden

About a Rogue - Caroline Linden

4.25 stars - Reviewed for Wit and Sin


Bianca Tate loves two things: her family and Perusia, her family’s ceramics business. When her father agrees to let a rogue with some paper-thin connection to a duke marry Bianca’s sister, Cathy, and have a quarter share in Perusia, Bianca is furious. Not only is Cathy in love with another, how dare her father give away a piece of her inheritance to a stranger known for his gambling? In a fury, Bianca helps Cathy elope with her beloved…only to find that she herself has to take Cathy’s place at the altar. She may have to marry Maximilian St. James, but she’s determined he won’t interfere in her life or her family’s business. Only Max turns out to be quite different than she imagined. Slowly Bianca finds herself thawing to the stranger she married as she learns that perhaps there may be more to the charming rogue than she first thought.

About a Rogue is so much fun to read! Max and Bianca have excellent chemistry and I loved watching Bianca in particular go from loathing her husband and all she believes him to be to falling for the real man beneath the rogue.

Max grabbed my heart from the first. He’s got a good heart, sharp business sense, and has had a difficult life. Learning that he’s possibly in line for a dukedom is the first stroke of luck he’s had in a long time. It’s not the possibility of a title, but rather the money promised if he becomes respectable that gives Max the leg up he needs to find the security he so craves. Perusia isn’t just a means to an end for him and I loved watching Max’s business acumen at work as he comes up with new ideas. He’s the perfect addition to the Tate family, whether Bianca wants to admit it or not. As for Bianca, there are a few Taming of the Shrew elements in the beginning of About a Rogue as she resists her father’s plans and Max’s charms. I understood why she was so angry, though because I had more insight to Max than she, I felt sorry for him. However, Max stays one step ahead of Bianca in often funny ways and I loved the sparks that flew between them. Bianca is fiercely loving in addition to incredibly talented and once she begins to see the true Max the story really takes flight. They are a dynamite pair and I loved watching their relationship develop.

About a Rogue is the first book in the Desperately Seeking Duke series and I cannot wait to see what Caroline Linden has in store for the other Carlyle heirs. Each story promises to be quite different and in this one I loved the backdrop of the ceramics business. From the artistry of it to Max’s ideas for expanding the business to Bianca’s gift for glazes and knowledge of chemistry, the Perusia part of the story not only added depth to the world and story, it was fascinating in its own right. I truly adored About a Rogue and will happily revisit Max and Bianca again and again.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/06/review-about-rogue-by-caroline-linden.html

Review: Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory

Party of Two - Jasmine Guillory

Reviewed for Wit and Sin


Jasmine Guillory delivers some of the best meet-cutes and Olivia and Max’s in Party of Two is no exception. Olivia has just moved from New York to L.A. to start her own law firm when she meets a handsome stranger in a hotel bar. After a night of cocktails, cookies, and flirting/dessert debates, she’s surprised to discover that the vaguely familiar-looking hottie is none other than Senator Max Powell. And when they run into each other again a few weeks later and he sends her a cake… Well, despite not wanting to get involved with a politician, how can she resist?

Olivia is an intelligent, hardworking, and driven heroine who is easy to like. She doesn’t like to jump into things, which makes her the polar opposite of the impetuous Max. Max is a sweetheart who is thoughtful and kind, and is also mostly aware of his privileged status as a wealthy, white, male senator. Max’s heart is always in the right place, but he does screw up. He can sometimes be selfish without realizing it and he jumps headfirst into things over and over. For that reason alone, he and Olivia shouldn’t work. And yet they balance one another and they’re not complete opposites. Both want to make the world a better place in their own way and they’re willing to fight for it.

The question of whether or not love is enough when you’re involved with someone in the public eye in the current political climate is a logical one. I loved watching Olivia and Max work through things in between numerous scenes featuring cakes and pies. Sometimes it’s a rocky road for them, especially once their relationship goes public and the press gets involved. As a Black woman, Olivia deals with enough racism and sexism in her normal field of work without adding on the media violating her privacy and digging into her past, shading what they find with more racism and blasting it out to the world. My heart broke for her, and as much as I wanted to see her and Max together I liked that the internal and external problems they faced as a couple weren’t easily brushed aside.

Party of Two is the fifth book in the Wedding Date series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. Fans of the first book in the series will be happy they get to visit Olivia’s sister, Alexa. And if you’re familiar with Ms. Guillory’s work then you know to expect copious amounts of food. It’s a bit over the top and can get repetitive, but after five books I’ve grown used to it so whether this will be a positive or a negative is really up to personal preference. And it would be remiss of me to talk about Party of Two and not mention some of my favorite things about the book: that both Olivia and Max are in their later thirties, are in high-pressure careers that demand long hours, and both unequivocally support one another. Neither even thinks of asking the other to slow down or cut back, which I really appreciated. This is just as much a signature of Ms. Guillory’s work as the enormous amounts of food and I absolutely love it. I finished Party of Two a happily satisfied reader and I’m looking forward to seeing what Ms. Guillory comes up with next.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/06/review-party-of-two-by-jasmine-guillory.html

Review: Two Rogues Make a Right by Cat Sebastian

Two Rogues Make a Right - Cat Sebastian

Reviewed for Wit and Sin


Two Rogues Make a Right is a tender, emotionally honest romance. Cat Sebastian doesn’t deliver sweeping drama, but rather quiet moments that have a hefty emotional impact.

Friends-to-lovers is a trope I adore when done well and Ms. Sebastian does it exceptionally well. Will and Martin are lifelong best friends and neither will hesitate to drop everything to come to the other’s aid. At the beginning of this story it’s Martin, who suffers from chronic illness made worse by the poor London air, who is nearly on death’s door. Will sweeps him off to the country to heal and close quarters becomes the catalyst for them to take a chance on becoming something more than friends.

Martin is a grumpy hero with a hidden soft side. His father was a monster whose actions have had a strong impact on Martin. After his father’s death, Martin lost everything and when combined with his chronic illness he often feels helpless and it’s understandably frustrating. He doesn’t want to be dependent on others but the life he was raised in left him ill-equipped to survive. I loved watching Martin evolve over the course of the story, to learn what he can do and to accept that it’s ok to ask for help. He carries deep guilt that drags him down and I loved to watch him learn, heal, and grow. Most of all, I wanted him to get his happily ever after with Will.

And oh, Will. The middle Sedgwick is sweetness to the core and wears his heart on his sleeve. He cares deeply, especially when it comes to Martin. Will was raised by a neglectful father and suffers PTSD from his time in the navy. Will is a recovering addict with issues of his own but he’s finding his way. The obstacles in the way of the romance are mostly internal, but nevertheless I was sucked into Will and Martin’s story. Every bump in the road to happily ever after felt organic to these heroes and their histories. I also love that this story features a bisexual (Will) and demisexual (Martin) hero and that consent and dialogue were key parts to the love scenes. Every aspect of this romance worked for me and thinking about the book a day after I finished it, I realized how much the small gestures in this story – a touch here, fixing an article of clothing there – made such a big impact and really make Two Rogues Make a Right stand out from the crowd.

Two Rogues Make a Right is the third book in the Seducing the Sedgwicks series. Since I haven’t yet read the first two books I did feel like I was missing a bit of background information, but not so much that the story was impacted. All in all, I loved Martin and Will’s story. It’s a romance with heart featuring well-drawn characters whose needs and desires are complex and interesting. I cannot wait to catch up on the Seducing the Sedgwicks series as well as Ms. Sebastian’s other works.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/06/review-two-rogues-make-right-by-cat.html

Review: The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton

The Last Train to Key West - Chanel Cleeton

Reviewed for Wit and Sin


Chanel Cleeton blends beauty and tragedy with The Last Train to Key West. I fell in love with Ms. Cleeton’s writing a few years ago but there’s something gorgeously romantic about her historical fiction writing in particular that never fails to captivate me.

The Last Train to Key West is the journey of three very different women set against the backdrop of one of the most powerful hurricanes in history. Elizabeth Preston is a former society girl who has been abandoned after her family lost everything in the stock market crash. She flirts as easily as breathing, but what most men miss is the spine of steel and bravery beneath the beauty. She flees an engagement she doesn’t want in New York and is headed to Key West to look for someone she hopes can save her among the veteran camps in the outlying areas. Mirta Perez’s family is in a precarious position after the Cuban Revolution of 1933. She finds herself in Key West on her honeymoon with a near-stranger who saved her family. Mirta has wealth and grace on her side, but when her husband’s dangerous business comes to light and threatens her life Mirta’s true strength comes out. And finally there’s Helen Berner, a pregnant Key West native trapped in an abusive marriage. The kindhearted waitress is in a desperate situation and has every reason to be fearful of her husband. Like Elizabeth and Mirta, Helen’s true strength comes out when she’s backed to a wall. I loved watching all three women come into their own over the course of the story.

Each woman is strong in their own way, possessing an inner fire that most don’t see. I loved each of their journeys and the men who wind up capturing their hearts. The powerful and dangerous Anthony, the steady and true John, the quick and reliable Sam… Like the women, each man has a distinctive voice and personality. However, to say too much about them would spoil the journey of discovery. I loved watching the three different storylines weave in and out of each other in the days leading up to and after the hurricane. Ms. Cleeton brings her characters’ worlds to life, blending fact and fiction beautifully. Each character’s background is well-drawn, the events of the hurricane are woven into the story perfectly, and added to that we learn about the veterans of the Great War who were sent down to the Keys and the horrible conditions of the camps. It sounds like a lot, but somehow Ms. Cleeton brings everything together perfectly and makes it all feel organic.

The Last Train to Key West is an utterly addictive read. The story is fast-paced and builds in intensity so much that by the climax I was glued to my Kindle. It takes a talented writer to deliver believable romances set against tragedy and Ms. Cleeton is more than up to the task. The Last Train to Key West is a gorgeous tale that is by turns hopeful and heartbreaking; it’s a story of love and survival that I enjoyed from beginning to end.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/06/review-last-train-to-key-west-by-chanel.html

Review: Wrong Bed, Right Brother by Rebecca Brooks

Wrong Bed, Right Brother - Rebecca Brooks

Reviewed for Wit and Sin


Amanda has been crushing on her coworker, Luke, for quite some time. But in six weeks Luke is going to move from New York to LA with his twin. If Amanda wants a shot with him, she’ll have to take it while on a weekend getaway with Luke and some others. But when Amanda sneaks into what she thinks is Luke’s room she finds herself in bed with Luke’s twin, Noah. Noah couldn’t be more different from his charming brother; he and Amanda are like oil and water. But Amanda’s mistake cracks something open in their antagonistic relationship and suddenly neither Amanda nor Noah can resist the pull between them. But Noah is leaving in six weeks and the two of them don’t even like each other, so nothing can happen…right?

Wrong Bed, Right Brother is a sexy and fun good time. Enemies-to-lovers isn’t my favorite trope but in this case it works oh-so-well. Amanda and Noah have seriously hot chemistry and I loved watching the sparks fly as their mutual attraction opened the door to something much deeper.

One of my favorite things about this story was watching Amanda realize how what she thought she wanted wasn’t what she really needed. Luke is a delightful fantasy: a charmer and a flirt who has a natural ease about him. He gets away with being self-centered because he’s hot and personable. Noah, by contrast, is quieter, organized, and has a more rigid personality. But there’s so much more beneath the surface. He and Amanda click from the start and the sparks that fly are fantastic to watch. But what made me really fall for Wrong Bed, Right Brother were the quieter moments, the conversations where Amanda and Noah realize that even though they’re so different they complement each other perfectly.

But just because they’re well suited doesn’t mean things are easy for Amanda and Noah. Amanda has had bad luck with men and her mother has pounded it into her head that she can’t trust them. And Noah fears that he’s Amanda’s second choice. There’s also added tension from Luke and the fact that Noah is scheduled to move across the country. A happily ever after requires risk in this story: risking your heart, risking trusting someone, depending on them. I was here for it from beginning to end. All the ups and downs were worth it because the romance just worked for me. In Wrong Bed, Right Brother Rebecca Brooks has delivered a fast-paced, wonderfully addictive, sexy as hell romance that I can’t wait to revisit.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/06/review-wrong-bed-right-brother-by.html

Review: Alpha Night by Nalini Singh

Alpha Night - Nalini Singh

Reviewed for Wit and Sin



There is simply no series like Psy-Changeling/Psy-Changeling Trinity. Nalini Singh has created such a vast, complex, unique, wholly addictive world filled with memorable, endearing characters that every time I start one of the books I know I’m in for a treat. Alpha Night is no exception. I was so hooked by Selenka and Ethan’s story that I stayed up until I couldn’t keep my eyes open, only to finish the book once I woke up in the morning.

Selenka Durev is the alpha of the BlackEdge wolf pack. She’s strong, disciplined, and deeply caring in a way only an alpha can be. She was raised by loving grandparents, but carries emotional wounds from her parents’ actions. Ethan Night is an Arrow raised in darkness. Ethan was held captive by a ruthless Psy Councilor since childhood and even though he has been freed and joined the Arrow squad, he still lives in a grey fog, detached and unfeeling. That is, until he runs into Selenka and the mating bond crashes through them both almost instantly.

Mating at first sight is the stuff of fairytales and soap operas. Yet somehow it happened and Selenka is fascinated by the sexy, remote Psy who calls to her like no one else ever has. And Ethan is equally taken with the stunning and strong alpha who awakens something in him he’s been searching for. I wasn’t sure when I began the book how I’d like the concept of mating at first sight, but I never should have doubted Ms. Singh. Ethan and Selenka’s connection is electric – bold and jagged and beautiful from the start. I loved how they came together, how the instant mating played out and the reasons behind it. Selenka and Ethan were so perfectly suited and had such fantastic chemistry that I was swept away by their love story – it’s both sexy and heartwarming. Their bond helps Ethan’s true nature come out: the protector, the giver, the deeply wounded man with a kind heart. He and Selenka are lethal predators, but the balance with how warm and loving they are endeared them to me.

However, just because it’s clear Ethan and Selenka are perfect together doesn’t mean it’s smooth sailing for them. Ethan is convinced he’s damaged and there’s a surging power in him he’s holding back, a howling madness he’s sure will turn him into a destructive force of nature. I loved watching the layers of Ethan’s character and powers be revealed throughout the course of the story. The proverbial ticking time bomb in his head added intensity, as did the danger from outside BlackEdge he and Selenka faced. BlackEdge is facing a threat, but there’s another, far more deadly threat on the PsyNet. I can’t say much about either of these plotlines for fear of spoiling the story. The damage to the PsyNet is an ongoing storyline and watching beloved characters exhaust themselves and make hard choices to save the Psy both breaks my heart and has me hooked. And though Alpha Night doesn’t end on a cliffhanger in terms of the romance, the ending definitely had me on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what happens to the Psy.

Alpha Night is the fourth book in the Psy-Changeling Trinity series and fans of both this series and the original Psy-Changeling books will be delighted to revisit some of their favorite characters as well as learn more about the wonderful BlackEdge pack. Selenka and Ethan’s romance stands alone, but to fully enjoy the book I highly recommend being familiar with the world and having read the previous Psy-Changeling Trinity book, Wolf Rain, before starting this one. I loved every bit of Alpha Night. Nalini Singh continues to deliver strong, well-drawn, endearing characters and expands her world in fascinating ways. I cannot wait to see what she does next!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/06/review-alpha-night-by-nalini-singh.html

Review: Bait N' Witch by Abigail Owen

Bait N' Witch - Abigail Owen

Reviewed for Wit and Sin


Every story in the Brimstone Inc. series has been wholly addictive and Bait N' Witch is no exception. The third magical outing features Rowan, a witch of incredible power who has been taught not to trust her own kind. Rowan also possesses a strong vulnerability, one that a powerful werewolf used to force her to do something horrible. Now Rowan has to hide from the judgment of the Covens Syndicate. And what better place to hide than right under the nose of the hunter sent to bring her in?

Greyson Masters may be the Syndicate’s best hunter, but he’s also a widowed father of preteen triplets who have a power no one can quite figure out. The triplets need a new nanny and Brimstone, Inc. has sent over Rowan, a witch of supposedly little power. Rowan is the first person who has been able to bring peace to Greyson’s household, but there’s something about her that makes him restless. The pull between them is strong, but what will happen when Rowan’s secrets are revealed?

As individuals, Rowan and Greyson are wonderful characters. Rowan is a powerful witch who has survived more than most could deal with and she’s retained her strength and kindness through it all. I loved watching her bond with Greyson’s daughters from the first. Preteens can be scary enough but add in magic? Yikes. Rowan is more than up to the challenge, though. She slides easily into the Masters household and into the hearts of the family itself. Greyson is the best at his job but he’s slightly in over his head in his household. He’s a loving father who is doing his best and it’s easy to adore him. As a couple, he and Rowan click from the start. I loved watching how they seamlessly became a couple, almost without realizing it. But Rowan can’t hide who she is and how powerful her magic is for forever, not from Greyson and not from the werewolves that are hunting her.

Bait N' Witch is just plain fun to read. It has romance, magic, action, and even a small mystery featuring the triplets’ abilities. I was hooked from the beginning and didn’t want to put the book down. I love how author Abigail Owen weaves together all different magical and mythical beings to create a fascinating world. If you don’t mind spoilers for the first book in the series, The Demigod Complex, then you can read Rowan and Greyson’s story as a standalone. I enjoyed everything about Bait N' Witch and I cannot wait to see what happens next in the Brimstone Inc. series.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I also purchased a copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/05/review-bait-n-witch-by-abigail-owen.html

Review: The Summer Deal by Jill Shalvis

The Summer Deal - Jill Shalvis

Reviewed for Wit and Sin


The Summer Deal is a love note to messy, wonderful families, both the ones we make and the ones we’re born into. Jill Shalvis’s fifth Wildstone novel features the imperfect characters and bumpy roads to a heartwarming happily ever after that I’ve come to expect and enjoy from this series.

Brynn has come home to Wildstone with a bruised heart and a lack of trust in her own instincts. Brynn is kind, quirky, and somewhat of a mess at the beginning but I loved watching her learn to stand up for herself over the course of the story. The person who pushes her to do that isn’t a love interest, but rather her old summer camp frenemy (and secret half-sister), Kinsey. Kinsey claims to have a black heart but really what she is is fearful. She’s been sick most of her life and has been battling kidney transplant rejection for years. Kinsey feels like she has an expiration date and she doesn’t want to hurt others by letting them in, so she pushes them away first. She and Brynn don’t have the best history, but Ms. Shalvis shows why each of them acted the way they did as children and it makes sense. These are flawed heroines, but they’re relatable because of it and it’s easy to root for both of them.

Brynn and Kinsey’s relationship is central to The Summer Deal, but that doesn’t mean Ms. Shalvis skimped on the romance. Kinsey is clearly in love with her non-boyfriend Deck, a caring, incredibly patient nurse and father. It’s obvious from the start that Deck wants more with Kinsey, but her fear may cost them a shot at happiness. And the main love story is between Brynn and Kinsey’s lifelong best friend, Eli. Eli might just be one of my favorite Jill Shalvis heroes. He’s a sexy-as-sin marine biologist with a marshmallow heart. Eli has been rejected more than once by people who should have loved him and he’s afraid of getting hurt (a theme in this story). But Brynn has always captured his interest so she slides quite easily into his heart. Eli cares for people deeply and it shows every time he’s on the page. He’s pretty much the perfect hero and I can’t count how often he made me melt. It was easy for me to fall into his and Brynn’s romance and even though I could see the obstacles that would inevitably come their way, I was rooting for them every step of the way.

The Summer Deal is a heartwarming story of healing, family, and love. I enjoyed everything about this book and I look forward to revisiting Brynn, Kinsey, Eli, and Deck again soon.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/05/review-summer-deal-by-jill-shalvis.html

Review: When You Wish Upon a Rogue by Anna Bennett

When You Wish Upon a Rogue - Anna Bennett

4.25 stars - Reviewed for Wit and Sin


When You Wish Upon a Rogue is incredibly sweet without ever becoming saccharine. Anna Bennett’s third Debutante Diaries installment has a gorgeous setting with some fairytale elements that easily captured my interest, so when you add in such likeable characters as Sophie and Reese it’s easy to see why I fell into this story with such ease.

By all outward appearances, Sophie Kendall is the proper society miss. She says and does what she should and without question she will protect her family’s wellbeing by marrying a marquess she doesn’t love. Underneath that, however, is a much more interesting woman. Sophie chairs a weekly meeting of women from all different classes who discuss The Debutante’s Revenge, a column Sophie secretly works on with her two best friends. Sophie has more spirit than most people would give her credit for and she’s a nurturer at heart. Her love of plants and gardening is something even a person with a black thumb like myself can enjoy reading about.

Chance brings Sophie into contact with Henry Reese, Earl of Warshire. The new earl is grieving and unable to sleep when they first meet, but something about her soothes him to the point where he’s able to rest for the first time in forever. Reese is a hero with a good heart and a troubled soul. When he and Sophie strike a bargain – she can use a property he owns to hold her meetings if she secretly meets with him once a week to help him sleep – it gives them time outside what they would ever be able to traditionally have to come to know each other. I loved their secret meetings and the almost fairytale-like setting of the manor garden Sophie and Reese bring back to life. The two of them are free to be themselves and open up in ways they never would normally, making their swift slide into love work for me.

However, sometimes love isn’t enough and that’s the case in When You Wish Upon a Rogue. The earldom Reese inherited needs a lot of help and there’s no way he can rush in and be the wealthy white knight her family requires at the moment. How things work out, I won’t spoil. I will say that the route the characters take is a bit predictable, but that didn’t bother me.

Sophie’s book is the third in the Debutante Diaries, but having not yet read First Earl I See Tonight or The Duke Is But a Dream I can safely say it reads well as a standalone. I did enjoy Sophie’s friendship with Fiona and Lily and the themes of women supporting other women were strong in this book, which I loved. With its lush background and endearing characters When You Wish Upon a Rogue is the perfect historical romance to escape with.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.



Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/05/review-when-you-wish-upon-rogue-by-anna.html

Review: Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner

Something to Talk About - Meryl Wilsner

Reviewed for Wit and Sin


There are some books that make you smile just thinking about them and that’s exactly what Something to Talk About does for me. Meryl Wilsner’s debut won me over with their endearing characters and a lovely slow-burn romance that made me sigh.

Jo is one of my favorite kinds of heroines: the secret softie. Jo is a Hollywood powerhouse with brains, skill, and savvy you have to admire. But even after three decades in Hollywood and a number of Emmys to her name, as a Chinese-American woman Jo still faces racism and sexism constantly, especially now that she’s been announced as the new writer/producer for a James Bond-type franchise. Jo knows how to navigate Hollywood, but she’s had to build high walls to protect herself. Underneath those walls is a marshmallow heart and a spine of steel. Jo shows her caring in actions rather than words and she made me melt more than once. As for Emma… A bisexual Jewish cinnamon roll? Yes, please! Emma is so kind and caring, an emotionally demonstrative heroine who frequently made me smile. She’s got a strong work ethic and is a quick study, but she is unsure of herself when it comes to what direction she wants to move professionally.

As individuals, Jo and Emma are fantastic characters, well-drawn and an endearing mix of strength and vulnerability. Together their chemistry is fabulous and makes the pages of Something to Talk About fly by. The romance between Emma and Jo is extremely slow-burn. Both Jo and Emma are wary of risking their hearts by revealing their feelings. Jo is also very conscious of her position as Emma’s employer and the power disparity that results from that. Added to that she’s aware of the age gap between them and the racist and ageist blowback from some corners of Hollywood that she may face. Emma also faces comments, innuendo, and outright sexual harassment because some people think she slept her way to the top. Given the characters’ histories and the events of the story, the fact that the romance takes so much of the story to build worked for me. Jo and Emma’s love story felt solid by the end of the book, which may sound staid and boring but it’s not; I loved these two together.

Emma and Jo are the heart and soul of the book but the supporting cast rounds out the story and helps bring it to life. I loved Jo’s friendships that were depicted, both with her lifelong best friend, Evelyn, and with Emma’s sister, Avery. And Emma’s relationship with her family – complete with their teasing – warmed my heart. All in all, Something to Talk About is a book that can lift your spirits and make you smile. Jo and Emma are both strong, intelligent heroines with kind hearts that make them easy to root for. Their love story builds piece by piece in an organic way and the result is a lovely, fulfilling romance I cannot wait to enjoy again and again.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/05/review-something-to-talk-about-by-meryl.html

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Beach Read - Emily Henry

DNF @53%

I really expected to love Beach Read . Granted, I go into every book I read for pleasure expecting to enjoy it and sometimes it just doesn’t pan out. However, the blurb lead me to expect a bright, fluffy, and fun beach romance with bickering and interesting characters. That’s not what this book is, so if the blurb and the cover are what make you want to read this, you might want to reconsider.

Taking Beach Read (do they ever even get to the beach?) for what it is – a story of a woman recovering from the death of a parent and having her worldview shattered by secrets that have been revealed – it still wasn’t a book I could get through. It’s not horrible and Emily Henry’s writing itself is fine, but it’s something much more annoying to me: aggressively bland. I couldn’t get into the story, never grew attached to January, and didn’t feel any chemistry between January and Gus. I liked Gus, thought he was an interesting character who I’d like to learn more about. But Beach Read is January’s book and she’s…annoying. I like a flawed heroine but was kind of expecting January to grow from the purse wine-loving, self-pity champ she started out to be. By the halfway point she was slightly better, but I grew irritated with her inner dialogue, her immaturity, and how self-centered her viewpoint had become. She’s not a horrible person, but I simply didn’t care about her and dear heaven this book dragged because of that. I finally had to give up because I simply didn’t care. Not about January, not about her father’s secret, not about the cult she and Gus were investigating, and not about the love story. I felt like the book would never end and when I hit the halfway point I was so depressed about having to continue slogging through it that I finally quit.

I do want to highlight the parts of the book that really stood out in a good way, which were the times when January and Gus were discussing writing. Those all-too-brief moments were what kept me going through the first half of the book and Ms. Henry’s writing shines in those passages.

Beach Read just wasn’t the book for me. However, I’m in a very small minority at this point so take that for what it’s worth.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson

Real Men Knit - Kwana Jackson

Reviewed for Wit and Sin


Real Men Knit is a love note to family and community that would be perfect for a movie. It was oh-so-easy to fall for Kerry and the Strong family; so much so that I didn’t want to put the book down.

In the wake of his adoptive mother’s death Jesse Strong finds himself at loose ends. He’s always been seen as the brother who didn’t live up to his potential and now that Mama Joy is gone he doesn’t seem to know what to do. But when his brothers start to talk about selling their mother’s shop, Strong Knits, Jesse finds his focus. Strong Knits isn’t just important to their family – it’s a piece of the heart of their Harlem neighborhood. I loved watching Jesse find his passion, seeing him carry on his mother’s legacy but also making it his own. Jesse finds himself over the course of the story and he’s so loveable that you can’t help but be sucked into his journey.

But Jesse can’t reopen the knitting shop on his own. He needs the help of Kerry Fuller, his mother’s part-time employee and the woman who knows Strong Knits best. Kerry has just finished her degree in children’s counseling and art therapy and should be looking for a full-time job in her field, but she can’t resist helping Jesse. Kerry has always been the typical “girl next door” to the Strong brothers and sometimes that frustrates her…especially when it comes to her longtime crush, Jesse. Kerry has always been in the shadows and I enjoyed her journey over the course of Real Men Knit as she takes her place in the sun. She’s an incredibly giving person (sometimes to her own detriment) and her heart of gold plus the way she cares for everyone around her makes her a heroine you can root for.

Real Men Knit is Jesse and Kerry’s story, but author Kwana Jackson brings the world of Strong Knits alive with an endearing supporting cast. Jesse’s sometimes troubled relationship with his brothers was one of my favorite parts of the book. I desperately hope each brother gets a book of his own (especially my favorite, the sensitive Noah). All four men are so different but Mama Joy brought them together and made them a family. Mama Joy may have passed before the beginning of the book, but her presence and the impact she had on her boys’ lives and her community is felt throughout. The only downside to this is that she sounded like such a generous, strong, loving, downright incredible woman that I wish I could have “met” her.

The romance is where Real Men Knit falls short. It had the potential to be a good slow-burn love story, but it never quite hit the mark. At one point, one of Jesse’s brothers indicates that he doesn’t know if Jesse sees Kerry as a mother figure, sister, or lover and that’s part of the problem. The romance plotline doesn’t really take hold until near the end of the book and I never felt any growth or true change in their relationship, aside from giving into mutual attraction. Jesse and Kerry aren’t a bad couple – they’re far too likeable for that. Rather, there was something missing that made the romance fall flat. If this book were general fiction instead of a romance, my overall enjoyment of the book wouldn’t have really changed if they hadn’t ended up together. Ms. Jackson definitely showed that Kerry and Jesse love each other, but even by the end it didn’t feel like they were in love. That one plot issue aside, I adored Real Men Knit and I’m eager to read more about the Strong family.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/05/review-real-men-knit-by-kwana-jackson.html

Review: The Trouble with Hating You by Sajni Patel

The Trouble With Hating You - Sajni Patel

Reviewed for Wit and Sin


Enemies-to-lovers is never so entertaining as when you have strong, intelligent protagonists who don’t back down. The Trouble with Hating You is an engaging romance with well-drawn characters who bring the story to life.

Liya is a heroine with a spine of steel and a marshmallow heart – I loved her. She’s prickly when it comes to Jay and is constantly pushing him away. But when you’ve been betrayed in the worst way, sexually assaulted, constantly have gossiping aunties giving you the side-eye, and are practically shunned by your community…well, you have more than enough reason to put up walls. Liya comes from a traditional Hindu community and she’s a black sheep both by choice and because she was once made a victim by those who should have protected her. Nevertheless, she’s a brilliant, hardworking, successful biochemical engineer with a heart of gold. She’ll do anything for those she loves and I absolutely adored watching her with her three best friends, Reema, Sana, and Preeti (who I desperately hope gets a book of her own).

Jay is an equally successful lawyer, one who is tasked with trying to rescue Liya’s company. The two of them don’t hit it off at the start. Liya is ambushed by her parents trying to set her up with Jay and he has no idea why she took off at their first meeting. It isn’t exactly the meet-cute most people dream of. But Jay is made of sterner stuff. He’s a sexy, loving, caring hero who is devoted to his family. He also doesn’t put stock in gossip but gets to know people for themselves and is intrigued rather than afraid of a woman who speaks her mind and doesn’t conform to tradition for tradition’s sake. He’s a perfect match for Liya, but he’ll have to get past her walls first. Mutual attraction helps with that and I adored not only the sizzling chemistry he and Liya had, but the way Jay also stood up for what he wanted, which was not just a meaningless fling. There’s a lot of push-pull in The Trouble with Hating You and that’s normally something I tire of, but in this case it worked. Jay and Liya have to work for their happily ever after and I was rooting for them every step of the way.

Both Liya and Jay come from a more traditional background and author Sajni Patel does a great job of depicting both the positive and negative sides of this. Ms. Patel brought depth to the world she created this way and also with the depth and unique voices she gave her supporting cast (I absolutely adore Jay’s mother). The only downsides to this book for me was a side plotline that could have been fleshed out better or eliminated (Jay’s guilt over the death of his father) and that Liya was a bit too harsh in the beginning (though I love imperfect characters and her words were understandable to a point, I felt she crossed over into mean territory a few times). But overall I thoroughly enjoyed The Trouble with Hating You; it’s a strong debut and I cannot wait to see what Ms. Patel writes next!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/05/review-trouble-with-hating-you-by-sajni.html

Review: A Duke by Any Other Name by Grace Burrowes

A Duke by Any Other Name - Grace Burrowes

Reviewed for Wit and Sin


Two lonely souls find love among the Yorkshire moors in A Duke by Any Other Name. Every Rogues to Riches book I’ve read I’ve enjoyed more than the last and Althea and Nathaniel’s romance is my favorite to date.

Nathaniel is the kind of hero I adore. To all the world he’s a fierce, terrifying figure, but in reality he’s a total cinnamon roll. Nathaniel has a reason for his seclusion, for not allowing anyone near his home and frightening off anyone who would dare trespass, but to reveal why would be a spoiler. Suffice it to say he’s not doing it for kicks and giggles. But Althea isn’t one to be cowed by a fearsome reputation. Althea may be the sister of a duke, but she grew up in extreme poverty and has faced true evil, selfishness, and greed. She can see Nathaniel isn’t the horrible man he pretends to be and besides, she needs his help. Althea just about broke my heart. She survived a hellish (to put it mildly) childhood and grew up to be a strong, caring woman who does what she can to help others. All she wants is to find love and have a family but society resents her family’s wealth and title. Since they cannot take it out on her brother and sister-in-law because they are a duke and duchess, they target Althea. She’s been bullied to the point where she cannot bring herself to face another season and she hopes that as a duke and her neighbor Nathaniel can give her some tips to make her more successful on her quest to find happiness.

Althea and Nathaniel have fantastic chemistry from the start. She’s unfazed by his growling and blustering and he finds himself intrigued by her against his will. Both of them are unique, well-drawn characters who will grab your heart and not let go. Althea has a quiet dignity and an inner strength that makes her a heroine to cheer for. Nathaniel has a good heart and the mistakes he makes are because he loves so deeply. Individually, they’re fantastic characters. As a couple? They’re dynamite. I didn’t want to put A Duke by Any Other Name down because I so wanted Nathaniel and Althea to find their happily ever after. Getting there isn’t easy; the problems they face aren’t simply Yorkshire mean girls (though those are present and worthy of your loathing) but true obstacles I won’t spoil that cannot be overcome easily. But Althea and Nathaniel’s love is worth fighting for and I was captivated watching their romance unfold.

A Duke by Any Other Name is the fourth book in Grace Burrowes’s Rogues to Riches series but it can be read as a standalone. That being said, I feel that having read the first book, My One and Only Duke, gave me a better sense of the Wentworth family dynamic and made me enjoy this story even more. Althea’s siblings – in particular her intriguing, interfering younger brother – play supporting roles and add warmth and support to Althea’s journey. I love the uniqueness of this series, how harsh realities are woven into the fantasy. None of the main characters have been cardboard heroes or heroines in history, attitude, or behavior and that makes this series memorable. I loved A Duke by Any Other Name from beginning to end and I cannot wait to see what Ms. Burrowes has in store for Constance Wentworth!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/04/review-duke-by-any-other-name-by-grace.html