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Friday Mini-Reviews #18: Courtney Milan, Madelynne Ellis and J.L. Merrow


A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan (Brothers Sinister #1.5)

kindle freebie

Synopsis from Goodreads
Miss Lydia Charingford is always cheerful, and never more so than at Christmas time. But no matter how hard she smiles, she can't forget the youthful mistake that could have ruined her reputation. Even though the worst of her indiscretion was kept secret, one other person knows the truth of those dark days: the sarcastic Doctor Jonas Grantham. She wants nothing to do with him...or the butterflies that take flight in her stomach every time he looks her way.

Jonas Grantham has a secret, too: He's been in love with Lydia for more than a year. This winter, he's determined to conquer her dislike and win her for his own. It all starts with a wager and a kiss...

A Kiss for Midwinter is a novella (38,000 words) in the Brothers Sinister series. It follows The Duchess War. Each book stands on its own, but those who prefer to read in order might want to read that book first.
Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US($0.99)/UK(£0.49)
8.5/10
 Lovely little novella, and very, very raw and sincere as always with Courtney's writing. The bonus here is that it's very romantic and would be a perfect Christmas or Valentine's read. Jonas is an amazing hero who is skillfully and patiently coaxing Lydia from her shell. I especially loved his quirky father. A must read for any fan of the series.
* * *
Ну как я могу пройти мимо очередной Куртни Милан, несмотря на то, что это малюсенькая новелла? А никак. Как обычно, пронзительно, искренне и просто прекрасно написано. Замечательная история на Рождество или День Святого Валентина. Джонас - харизматичный, добрый и порядочный герой, настоящий джентельмен, который терпеливо ухаживает за Лидией и залечивает её душевные раны. Очень рекомендую любому фанату этой серии.

Her Husband's Lover by Madelynne Ellis (Georgian Rakehells #5)

kindle freebie

Synopsis from Goodreads

Darleston was beautiful. Not in a dandified fashionable sort of way, but in a beastly way… Any woman with a modicum of sense would be a fool to fall for him.

Emma Langley abhors physical contact, consequential she’s shocked when she realizes she’s attracted to one of her father’s guests. Robert, Lord Darleston is like no other man she’s ever met. He’s flamboyant, charming and terrifies her as much as he arouses her. Nor is Emma the only person caught under his spell…

Lord Robert Darleston has a reputation as a rakehell and a voluptuary. When his wife’s scheming drives him from London into the heart of the English countryside, he is unexpectedly reunited with his first lover, Lyle Langley. Torn apart by the intervention of their families nine years earlier, the primary barrier to their reunion is now Emma, Lyle’s wife, a woman Darleston is fascinated by and has no wish to disrespect. All seems hopeless, that is, until Lyle admits that Emma is frigid and their marriage unconsummated.

Darleston proposes a plan… If he can win Emma over, then maybe they can find happiness together. Old ghosts, a jealous wife, and an outraged father stand in his way.
Amazon kindle US/UK(£0.49)
8/10
 This is my third book by Madelynne Ellis, and so far I'm really impressed with her writing. She writes lovely, likeable characters and she does her research. She is also a British erotic romance writer, which is particularly appealing to me. I've enjoyed the sassiness of this book, and the M/F/M interactions were pretty hot. Recommended. It was a freebie on Amazon(not anymore) which you can grab along with Anything But Vanilla (another freebie)!
* * *
Это уже моя третья книга Маделинн Эллис, и далеко не последняя. Умно, мило и по-доброму. Очаровательные главные герои, прекрасно выписанный секс, и британский автор, то есть одни плюсы в моей книге. Рекомендую.

Muscling Through by J.L. Merrow

bought

Synopsis from Goodreads

The bigger they come, the harder they fall... in love.

Cambridge art professor Larry Morton takes one, alcohol-glazed look at the huge, tattooed man looming in a dark alley, and assumes he’s done for. Moments later he finds himself disarmed—literally and figuratively. And, the next morning, he can’t rest until he offers an apology to the man who turned out to be more gentle than giant.

Larry's intrigued to find there's more to Al Fletcher than meets the eye; he possesses a natural artistic talent that shines through untutored technique. Unfortunately, no one else seems to see the sensitive soul beneath Al’s imposing, scarred, undeniably sexy exterior. Least of all Larry's class-conscious family, who would like nothing better than to split up this mismatched pair.

Is it physical? Oh, yes, it’s deliciously physical, and so much more—which makes Larry’s next task so daunting. Not just convincing his colleagues, friends and family that their relationship is more than skin deep. It’s convincing Al.

Contains comic misunderstandings, misuse of art materials, and unexpected poignancy.

Amazon kindle US/UK(£1.54)
7.5/10

 What this synopsis doesn't say is that the story is told from Al's point of view, not Larry's. And Al is a bit simple. He is childishly direct and very, very likeable. I don't read M/M romance as a rule, but this book made a splash throughout the blogosphere in a very good way when it came out, and it's definitely a very sweet contemporary romance. Recommended.
* * *
Я не читаю М/М романы как правило, но я хорошо помню, что когда эта книга вышла, она наделала шума в романтических блогах, и совершенно не зря.  История Ларри и Ала написана от лица Ала, и он немного простоват. По-ребячески прямолинеен и очень добр, несмотря на свою внешность громилы. И именно его простая натура постоянно ставит и Ларри и окружающих его людей на место. Иногда смешно, иногда мило. Мне понравилось.
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