09 July 2019

Show Us Your Books {June Reads}

Hey y'all,

It was an impressive reading month with finishing 9 books this month (really 6 and 3 novellas). I did not finish my book club's book before our meeting on the 30th but finished it July 1st so you will have to wait until that post goes live. Here's what I finished in June.

The Huntress - audiobook

In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted…
Bold, reckless Nina Markova grows up on the icy edge of Soviet Russia, dreaming of flight and fearing nothing. When the tide of war sweeps over her homeland, she gambles everything to join the infamous Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on Hitler’s eastern front. But when she is downed behind enemy lines and thrown across the path of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, Nina must use all her wits to survive.
British war correspondent Ian Graham has witnessed the horrors of war from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials. He abandons journalism after the war to become a Nazi hunter, yet one target eludes him: the Huntress. Fierce, disciplined Ian must join forces with brazen, cocksure Nina, the only witness to escape the Huntress alive. But a shared secret could derail their mission, unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.
Seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride grows up in post WWII Boston, determined despite family opposition to become a photographer. At first delighted when her long-widowed father brings home a fiancée, Jordan grows increasingly disquieted by the soft-spoken German widow who seems to be hiding something. Armed only with her camera and her wits, Jordan delves into her new stepmother’s past and slowly realizes there are mysteries buried deep in her family. But Jordan’s search for the truth may threaten all she holds dear.

If you enjoy a WWII novel, go pick up The Huntress. Predominantly set following the war, The Huntress is told in three perspectives. Jordan, a young woman in Boston; Ian, a British journalist who now seeks out and arrests individuals for war crimes; and Nina a Russian woman who was part of a flying regiment during the war. The book involves looking for a war criminal know as the huntress that ties all three together. Also, it’s on the Modern Mrs. Darcy's Summer Reading Guide so it should already be on your library holds list. I also loved Kate Quinn's The Alice Network I read last April.4/5 stars.

Meet Cute

Talk about an embarrassing introduction. On her first day of law school, Kailyn ran - quite literally - into the actor she crushed on as a teenager, ending with him sprawled on top of her. Mortified to discover the Daxton Hughes was also a student in her class, her embarrassment over their meet-cute quickly turned into a friendship she never expected. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming either...
Now, eight years later, Dax is in her office asking for legal advice. Despite her anger, Kailyn can't help feeling sorry for the devastated man who just became sole guardian to his thirteen-year-old sister. But when her boss gets wind of Kailyn's new celebrity client, there's even more at stake than Dax's custody issues: if she gets Dax to work at their firm, she'll be promoted to partner.
The more time Kailyn spends with Dax and his sister, the more she starts to feel like a family, and the more she realizes the chemistry they had all those years ago is as fresh as ever. But will they be able to forgive the mistakes of the past, or will one betrayal lead to another?

What happens when you walk into a Frisbee game on your first day of law school and come face to face with your teenage crush? Well, Kailyn and Dax in Meet Cute find out what happens when you meet again 8 years later from the perfect meet cute under very different circumstances. This is the perfect summer beach/pool rom com book as it is a romance with some realistic struggles. 4/5 stars.

Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane #10)

Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane, #10)Devastatingly handsome. Vain. Unscrupulous. Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery, is the man London whispers about in boudoirs and back alleys. A notorious rake and blackmailer, Montgomery has returned from exile, intent on seeking revenge on those who have wronged him. But what he finds in his own bedroom may lay waste to all his plans.
Born a bastard, housekeeper Bridget Crumb is clever, bold, and fiercely loyal. When her aristocratic mother becomes the target of extortion, Bridget joins the Duke of Montgomery's household to search for the incriminating evidence-and uncovers something far more dangerous.
Astonished by the deceptively prim-and surprisingly witty-domestic spy in his chambers, Montgomery is intrigued. And try as she might, Bridget can't resist the slyly charming duke. Now as the two begin their treacherous game of cat and mouse, they soon realize that they both have secrets—and neither may be as nefarious—or as innocent—as they appear.

Valentine is the "bad" guy in the later half of the Maiden Lane series. Yes, he has all the power and blackmail to boot but when his housekeeper ends up holding a secret, will Montgomery use it against her? I liked the connection Bridget had with the other Maiden Lane characters and finding out a bit more about Montgomery and the Lords of Chaos. While not my favorite of the series, I did enjoy the change in the books away from the Makepeace family and the Foundling home. 3/5 stars.

Once Upon a Moonlit Night (Maiden Lane #10.5)

Once Upon a Moonlit Night (Maiden Lane, #10.5)Hippolyta Royle is running for her life. Pursued by hounds on a cold rainy night, the heiress flags down a passing carriage and throws herself at the mercy of the coach's occupant. Whoever this handsome traveler may be, he is her only hope to escape a terrible fate. But should he agree to escort her to safety, he's in for much more than he bargained for.
At first Matthew Mortimer doesn't believe Hippolyta's story, that she's a fabulously wealthy heiress who's been kidnapped. He assumes she's a beggar, an actress, or worse. But once his new travel companion washes the mud from her surprisingly lovely face, and they share a breathtaking kiss, there is no turning back.

Hippolyta is kidnapped by the Duke of Montgomery in the Duke of Sin novel. This story picks up with her release when she is met with Matthew Mortimer on the road. It is a very quick novella and you finally get to know a bit more about Hippolyta who appears in other Maiden Lane novels as the talk of the season. 3/5 stars.

Once Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane #10.7)

Once Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane, #10.7)Adam Rutledge, Viscount d'Arque, really rather loathes Christmas. The banal cheerfulness. The asinine party games. And, worst of all, the obligatory trip to the countryside. His grandmother, however, loves the holiday - and Adam loves his grandmother, so he'll brave the fiercest snowstorm to please her. But when their carriage wheel snaps, they're forced to seek shelter at the home of the most maddening, infuriating, and utterly beguiling woman he's ever met....
Sarah St. John really rather loathes rakes. The self-satisfied smirks. The sly predatory gazes. Oh, and the constant witty banter rife with double meaning. But in the spirit of the season, she'll welcome this admittedly handsome viscount into her home. But as the snowstorm rages, the Yule log crackles, and the tension rises, Sarah and Adam find themselves locked in a fiery, passionate kiss. If love is the true meaning of Christmas, it's the one gift this mismatched pair can't wait to unwrap. 

Not my favorite in the series, this quick novella is based around a Christmas gathering in the country. You briefly have met Viscount d'Arque in Lord of Darkness (Maiden Lane #5) but he otherwise is a side character until this story. I'm not the biggest fan of novellas since the characters don't have a lot of time to develop and I felt that this one was pretty flat overall.  2/5 stars.

Duke of Pleasure (Maiden Lane #11)

Duke of Pleasure (Maiden Lane, #11)Bold. Brave. Brutally handsome. Hugh Fitzroy, the Duke of Kyle, is the king's secret weapon. Sent to defeat the notorious Lords of Chaos, he is ambushed in a London alley—and rescued by an unlikely ally: a masked stranger with the unmistakable curves of a woman.
Cocky. Clever. Courageously independent. Alf has survived on the perilous streets of St. Giles by disguising her sex. By day she is a boy, dealing in information and secrets. By night she's the notorious Ghost of St. Giles, a masked vigilante. But as she saves Hugh from assassins, she finds herself succumbing to temptation.
When Hugh hires Alf to investigate the Lords of Chaos, her worlds collide. Once Hugh realizes that the boy and the Ghost are the same, will Alf find the courage to become the woman she needs to be—before the Lords of Chaos destroy them both?

The last of the Ghost of St. Giles stories involves, Alf, the young woman who masquerades as an errand boy to survive and was taken to the Foundling Home in an early novel. The Duke of Kyle needs information and Alf is notorious in London for retrieving information all across the town. However, when the Duke of Kyle is attacked in St. Giles, he discovers that the famous Ghost is a woman. Kyle eventually discovers that Alf and the Ghost are one and the same. Will they be able to bring down the Lords of Chaos once and for all? 3/5 stars.

Duke of Desire (Maiden Lane #12)

Duke of Desire (Maiden Lane, #12)Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping. Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos. When one of the masked-and nude!-Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him . . . only to find she may have been a trifle hasty.
Cynical, scarred, and brooding, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them. Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans. But now with the Lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice: marry the lady in order to keep her safe.
Much to Raphael's irritation, Iris insists on being the sort of duchess who involves herself in his life-and bed. Soon he's drawn both to her quick wit and her fiery passion. But when Iris discovers that Raphael's past may be even more dangerous than the present, she falters. Is their love strong enough to withstand not only the Lords of Chaos but also Raphael's own demons?

This novel finally takes you into the Lords of Chaos when Lady Jordan is kidnapped from the wedding of the Duke of Kyle and Alf. Dryemore rescues and marries Lady Jordan to protect her from the Lords wrath. This was an interesting way to end the series that begins with a Foundling Home and the Ghost of St. Giles and ends with the cult like group known as the Lords of Chaos. I did figure out the main leader of the Lords quiet early on in the novel so I was not very surprised at the ending.  3/4 stars.

Once Upon a Maiden Lane (Maiden Lane #12.5)

Once Upon a Maiden Lane (Maiden Lane, #12.5)Miss Mary Whitsun is far too intelligent to fall for the rakish charms of a handsome aristocrat. But when the gentleman in question approaches her in a bookshop, mistaking her for his fiancée, Lady Johanna Albright, the flirtatious encounter only raises more questions. Could Mary, a servant raised in a St Giles orphanage, actually be Lady Joanna's long-lost twin sister? If so, Mary has been betrothed since birth - to the rakishly handsome aristocrat himself....
Henry Collins, Viscount Blackwell, is far too intrigued by Mary to let her go so easily. He's drawn to her sharp mind, her indomitable spirit, and the fiery way in which she dismisses him - ladies simply don't dismiss Lord Blackwell. But as Mary makes her first hesitant steps into society, she can't help but wonder if she truly has a place in Henry's world - or in his heart.

Another disappointing novella. I am glad that we finally get to see what happens with one of the children of the Foundling Home. Mary Whitsun has been around the Maiden Lane series since the first novel. While I am glad we get to she her personality more and learn her backstory, I really hoped to get more from the book. It also doesn't help that I had figured out the mystery pretty early on in the novella. 2/5 stars.

The Unhoneymooners

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.
Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.
Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of... lucky.

Another perfect beach read from C. Lauren, The Unhoneymooners, starts with Olive and Ethan, the MOH and best-man at their siblings wedding. They have never got along, but when the whole wedding gets food poisoning from the reception buffet, Olive’s seafood allergy and Ethan’s caution of buffets leave them the only ones standing. When offered the all expense paid 10 day honeymoon in Hawaii, they both say yes to the trip even if they have to pretend to be married. 4/5 stars.

Linking up with Jana and Steph.

What have you been reading?


  1. Hmm, I am usually not a big WWII fan (just because it feels like there has been a LOT of those stories lately) but that one sounds pretty good.

  2. Meet Cute sounds ... Cute. Definitely adding that to my list. I have had the Huntress on my list for forever and I really need to read it! I've heard nothing but good things!

  3. I am curious about The Unhonymooners! Glad you enjoyed it -and most of your other reads.


  4. I only post the ones I *actually* read in the month too! I always loved the idea of a meet cute, and that novel sounds like a great pool read. I already had The Unhoneymooners on my TBR, but this review makes me want to read it even more!

  5. ooh good to know about the huntress! i am currently reading it, about 30% in. it's a bit slow going for me but i'm sure it'll pick up soon. i really enjoyed the unhoneymooners but was a wee bit let down by meet cute. i keep meaning to pick up the maiden lane series!

  6. Meet Cute sounds cute to me! I have The Unhoneymooners on my library wait list!

  7. These are not my kinds of books but I did read one Christina Lauren a few months ago and enjoyed it a whole lot. I think it was the right book at the right time.

  8. I'm very, very picky about the WW2 books I read but The Huntress has intrigued me, adding it to my TBR. Valentine Napier might be the very best character name I have seen in this month's link-up!

  9. I really enjoyed the Unhoneymooners also. Such a good read!

  10. I'm on a holds list for The Unhoneymooners. I don't think anyone has complained about it!

  11. I loved Nina in The Huntress. What a great character.

  12. Still havent read the unhoneymooners.

    I really want to read nina and the huntress also


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