Once Upon a Tower – Fairy Tales #5 by Eloisa James

Lady Edith Gilchrist, Edie as she preferred to be called, had one passion – music.  Above all else she loved playing her cello and would practice for hours but eventually the time had come for her to make her debut into society.  Struck down by a fever on the night of the ball, Edie didn’t know how she made it through the evening.  Remaining silent and plastering a smile on her face seemed to work.

Gowan Stoughton, the Duke of Kinross, had only one purpose for obtaining a bride and that was to become a mother for his five year old step-sister. However, when his eyes fix on the beauty of Edith Gilchrist his priorities change.  He wanted this woman for his bride, to share his most intimate pleasures, but Gowan had worked hard since the day he took over the estates in Scotland, scheduling time for his wife did not come easy.

Nobody said married life was easy but when all hope seems lost and words fail, climbing a tower may be the only way back.

 

REVIEW

This is the last in the Fairy Tale series and I really enjoyed it, but then I have enjoyed all of them and think this is a great series.  Based very loosely on Rapunzel, this story tells the tale of Edith Gilchrist, an English-born lady, who after one ball finds herself married to Gowen Stoughton, a Scottish Duke.  Both of them are inexperienced in the ways of intimate pleasure and with some bad advice from her step-mother/friend, Edie makes the best of a bad situation.  Mistakes are made along the way on both sides but it takes true love to overcome these mistakes and the ability to forgive.  Edie tries to conform with what she believes is the correct way for a lady to behave, all the while having wild and passionate thoughts about her husband.  At the same time Gowen is doing the same. Neither letting go of control and both ending up unhappy.

There is one point in the book where I did actually say “No, Gowen. Don’t do it!”  When you get to that point you will know. As with all these books there is a Happy Ever After and I am pleased to say that this is true for this one as well.

I will be reading more of Eloisa James books in the future. The next series on my list is the ‘Pleasures’ series.

Advertisements

The Ugly Duchess – Fairy Tales #4 by Eloisa James

Theodora Saxby grew up loving James Ryburn, future Duke of Ashbrook, like the brother she never had. That is until the day he proposed, in front of the Prince Regent himself.

Finding out that his father has lost nearly everything making bad financial decisions, including some of Theo’s inheritance, has put James in the position that he now finds himself. But when he finally allows his true feelings for Theo to emerge, an overheard conversation could be the end of it all.

Knowing that she is far from pretty Theodora is shocked that the most handsome man she knows wants to marry her, that is until she finds out the truth.  With her life in tatters and her husband missing, Theo must overcome all embarrassment and become the women she needs to be.

Can James ever become the man that Theo deserves or will his piratical ways be his final undoing?

 

REVIEW

What a great story.  Finding out that her husband has married her for less than love, despite the fact that we know he does love her, sends all Theo’s insecurities brimming over. Banishing her new husband from the house, she does not expect for him never to come back, well for seven years anyway.  But when he does re-emerge, what a comeback he makes.  Big, burly and brawny. Complete with tattoo. James Ryburn is no longer the young Earl he was when he left, but one look at his wife he knows that he will never leave again.

One ‘arrggghhh’ moment that I have, which is also reflected in the following novella Seduced by a Pirate, is the completely hypocritical way that the men think it is ok for them to sleep with women even though they are married, but the thought that their wife’s might have been in unfaithful sends them into fits of jealousy and possessive outrage. MEN!

The Duke of Ashbrook needs a good slap, James needs a kick up the backside, and Theo just needs someone to love her for her.

Wonderful characters, brilliant story line, and fitting forth fairy-tale in the series.   The accompanying  novella, based on James’ cousin Sir Griffin Barry, is equally enjoyable. Having met Griffin in The Ugly Duchess it is great to find out how his own home coming is received and the interesting moment when he finds out that Poppy doesn’t exactly having the meaning he thought it did. If you get the book ‘As you wish’ it also has the extended novella, With this Kiss, which continues the story with the children of the  Ryburn’s and Barry’s.

The Duke Is Mine – Fairy Tales #3 by Eloisa James

Miss Olivia Lytton was betrothed before she was even born. Promised to the Duke of Canterwick’s son, Rupert, may not be all that she desires but she will do what needs to be done.  With her betrothal opening the door to better prospects for her twin sister, Georgiana, who finds herself in the running to be the next wife of the duke of Sconce, if she can pass the tests set by the Dowager Duchess.

Whilst Georgiana spends time impressing the Dowager, Olivia is left in the capable care of Tarquin, Duke of Sconce, who finds himself in the grip of an unwanted emotion…lust. The trouble is this lust and attraction is for Olivia.

Can Olivia stay loyal to her fiance, her sister and most of all herself, or will she succumb to the vibrant heat that floods her veins every time Quin is near?

 

REVIEW

I think that this is my favourite of the series.  I love Olivia. She does and says what she thinks but her loyalty to those she cares about makes her almost perfect.  The fact that she is on the larger side is also an added bonus.  One thing that can be said about this series is that all the duchesses/princesses/ladies come in various shapes, sizes and looks, but they are all perfect for the Duke/Prince who falls in love with them.

Tarquin, or Quin as he is known (much prefer Quin) has definitely had his fair share of heartache.  His first wife did not deserve him and as the story progresses it becomes clear why he is content to let his mother find him a suitable bride. Who needs love? Well, he does!

This story is filled with emotion.  There are many sad parts which I will admit to shedding a tear or two.  The contrast between the very emotional Olivia and the unemotional Quin is great and the two just fit together so well.  Olivia’s understanding of Rupert and Quin makes her such a lovely person that it would hard not to fall in love with her.

Fantastic alternative to the Princess and the Pea.

When Beauty Tamed the Beast – Fairy Tales #2 by Eloisa James

Miss Linnet Thrynne is renowned for her beauty and the talk of the Ton, currently that talk is not so complimentary.  With her reputation ruined her betrothal options are suddenly very limited.

Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant, has a reputation for being a genius as a doctor with a beastly bed-side manner.  It is rumoured that due to an accident as a child he can no longer continue the family line.

When his future child-bearing bride arrives, Piers shows her just what a beast he can be.

Can beauty shine through the dark shards of the beast’s heart?

 

Review

Piers’ attitude is fantastic. Not sure I would want it directed at me but the wit that rolls of his tongue is hilarious.  He needs a strong woman to stand up to him, and likewise, Linnet needs a man who doesn’t bow down at her feet.

All her life Linnet has been told how beautiful she is,  allowing her looks and her smile to come before her intelligence. With the reputation of her mother close at her heels, Linnet has had to be extra careful around men but with Piers’ reported problem, Linnet finds that she is able to be herself. This, more than her beauty (although I think it helped), is what draws Piers to her, but it does make me wonder if Linnet had not been as beautiful as she is would Piers have wanted to get to know her?

It does seem as though Piers is destined to spend his life unhappy. After the pain and suffering of his childhood, then the struggle to save Linnet, and finally the fight not to lose her again, I really was cheering for him.  But as we all know this is a Happily Ever After tale and Beauty will win her Beast in the end!

Storming the Castle – Fairy Tales #1.5 by Eloisa James

Miss Phillipa Damson always dreamed of being rescued by a knight in shining armour. But as everyone knows dreams don’t always come true.  So in order to save herself from an unwanted betrothal, Phillipa runs away…straight to Pomeroy Castle.

Jonas Berwick is certainly no knight, he is not even a gentleman.  What he is though is the kind, caring majordomo of Prince Gabriel, also his half-brother. With the unexpected arrival of the new nursemaid, Jonas is soon to find that he is more of a gentleman than he thought.

 

REVIEW

This is a short novella based around the half-brother butler of our esteemed prince from A Kiss at Midnight. Jonas Berwick has always known what his station in life would be despite sharing a bloodline with Royalty.  It is nice to have this sequel to give us a little insight into what happens to him, and to finally know that he has found love and a life of his own.

I’m not sure what to make of Phillipa. I think because it is quite short I don’t feel the same connection and sympathies for her as I probably would if it had been a full length version, but then saying that, I don’t think she has much of a background to feel sympathetic about.  The important thing is, is that she does right by Jonas and treats him well.

Great to hear a bit more about Gabriel and Kate in this book too, and to meet the young Prince Jonas. Gabriel once again shows his caring and brotherly nature in this book.   Loved the ending where Wick confesses his grabbing practices.  Enjoyable albeit short story of love with a Happy Ever After.

A Kiss at Midnight – Fairy Tales #1 by Eloisa James

Miss Katherine Daltry, Kate as she is less formerly known, has spent the past seven years taking over the roles of the dwindling staff on her father’s estate, an estate now left in the dubious care of her step-mother, Mariana. When Kate is summoned to attend a ball for the handsome yet arrogant Prince Gabriel’s betrothal, she finds that his charm and clever wit could compromise her in more ways than one.

Gabriel needs to marry.  The castle he has taken over to care for his family and people requires income. With a Princess on her way, with a hefty dowry, his problems could soon be over.  That is until he sets eyes on Miss Daltry.

Can Gabriel chose between what his heart wants and what his head decides? Can Kate keep her heart and her head separate when the power of love takes a hold?

Will there ever be a Happy Ever After?

 

REVIEW

This is a fantastic take on the original Cinderella story.  Kate has become the servant in her own household when her father married her step-mother and then passed away.  She cares for the people on the estate and the remaining servants will always look at her as the lady of the house.  Gabriel is a Prince from a foreign land, leaving his home to care for the people  evicted by his eldest brother, The Grand Duke. Like Kate, Gabriel has a sense of loyalty to his people that dictates he puts others health and happiness above his own.

Kate and Gabriel make a wonderful couple.  She has the backbone to stand up to him and he has the fiery temperament to keep her blood boiling, in more ways than one!  The connection between the pair is undeniable and the passion that flows both in the bedroom and out of it is definitely something dreams are made of. Kate’s ability to understand Gabriels position and his need to protect his people, forsaking his love for her to enter into a marriage of convenience, is nothing short of inspiring, which makes her decisions all the more harder.

Alongside the main characters are some truly colourful and enlightening characters in the form of Berwick (Gabriel’s half-brother, who has his own novella), Henry (the Godmother) and Victoria (the not-so-evil step-sister). With a Ball, fireworks, kisses and glass slippers this is a fairy tale of dreams.

The Billionaire Shifter’s Virgin Mate – Billionaire Shifters Club #2 by Diana Seere

Derry Stanton is nothing like his brother, Gavin.  For one thing he is a bear shifter.  He is also a playboy who has slept with most of the women in the city, sometimes several at once. But when he sets his eyes on his future sister-in law his discerning tastes take on a different scent…hers.

Jessica Murphy has no time or desire to change her current status, that of a twenty-one year old virgin.  She has plans for her life, to work her way through med school and become a doctor. To help with her plans she is currently waitressing at the infamous Platinum Club.  Unfortunately Derry is also a member of this prestigious establishment and seems to have his sights set on her.

When they both start hearing each others thoughts can they believe in ‘the One’, like their siblings, or is fate destined to play her part?

 

REVIEW

Derry is great! A Bear Shifter, man-whore with a big, soft heart for those he loves and a firm right hook (also for those he loves, sometimes).  Jess is a girl of principles and has stuck rigidly to them through all her young adult life, right until the beat gets hold of her and she can no longer resist the one man who she should.   Trying to stay away proves very difficult especially when they are both attending Lilah and Gavin’s wedding.

There are some fantastically funny moments throughout this book, also some heart-wrenching one as well.  Hot, steamy sex and ice-cold Gatorade dunking go hand-in-hand to create a wonderful second book in the series.

Lilah and Gavin make a very welcome return alongside all the other Stanton siblings. Asher is up to his usual tricks, time for him to find his own love (not convinced his wife was his first ‘one’). Edward is as reserved as always and Sophia shows her promiscuous side – like brother, like sister!

Laugh, cry, love and love some more…the Stanton Shifters are a family you will never get bored of.