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Book Review

One Wedding and an Earl
by Tracy Sumner

Release Date: Available Now

My review:

“One Wedding and an Earl” is an emotional, beautifully written historical romance by Tracy Sumner. It’s the fourth book in ‘The Duchess Society’ series but can be read and enjoyed as a standalone story. I do think you may understand some of the subtext more quickly if you’re familiar with other books in the series, but the author provides enough information that it’s really not necessary.

Oliver is the Earl of Stanford, an old and noble title that brings him no joy. From an unhappy childhood to the nightmare of war and the aftermath that nearly destroyed him, the physical scar he bears is just an outward sign of his tormented inner self. His illegitimate half-brother and the wild friend group Oliver has gained through him are loyal, but his life is still empty.

Necessity is her name, but creating magnificent gardens is her passion. She grew up in the slums, on her own since she was 12, but she nurtured her dreams despite it all. As a young adult, Necessity was working as a gardener in a home where Oliver was recuperating from an injury. She used her extensive knowledge of plants and herbs to help him physically heal. In the years since, she’s built a name for herself as a landscape designer. Now, she’s been sent by somebody close to him to get the extensive landscape surrounding Oliver’s ancestral estate in order again after decades of neglect.

Neither Oliver nor Necessity want a relationship, and yet the chemistry that consistently sparks between them is impossible to ignore. This is a romance novel, so you know where it’s going to ultimately end up, but the emotional journey of these two characters is simultaneously heart-wrenching and exhilarating. They each must overcome so much personal pain, plus the massive social divide between them in a time and place when a lofty aristocrat and a girl from the slums could never be together. There are moments when you might want to reach into the book and shake either or both of them, and other times you’d like to hug them. If you’re familiar with the series, you’ll recognize many of the secondary characters. It’s okay if you don’t know them yet because you’ll get to know them somewhat in the story, and they provide wonderful lighthearted moments to balance out the emotional struggles of Oliver and Necessity. This has been such a great series! I’m looking forward to the next book, the story of which has already been strongly hinted at within this one and sounds fantastic.

Grinder
by Colleen Charles

Release Date: Available Now

My review:

“Grinder” is the third book in the ‘Vegas Venom’ series of sports (NHL hockey) romances. It’s an enemies-to-lovers story filled with great characters, some intense emotions, and some truly funny scenes.

Latham Newberry is a professional hockey player who puts his heart and soul into his game, something his teammates and the fans appreciate. But popular sports podcaster Scarlett Stone can never find a nice thing to say about him. In fact, she never hides her animosity toward him. It makes him crazy that he can’t figure out why she loathes him so much. I don’t want to give away the plot, but I will tell you that you’ll find out the reason for that in the very beginning of the book. Latham wins an award nobody on the team has ever received, and the team’s owner flies him into the cold Midwest to receive it – along with his nemesis, who’ll be covering him at the awards for her podcast. The stressful situation goes in some wild directions with wildly entertaining results.

The plot kept me interested from beginning to end. The dialogue and chemistry between Latham and Scarlett are top-notch. Both characters are a good balance between entertaining and exasperating.  If you’re familiar with the series at all, you’ll recognize the previous main characters appearing again in supportive roles. There are some new and fantastic secondary characters, including Latham’s sister, Scarlett’s best friend, the adorable owner of a B&B, quirky guests at the B&B, and a very sensitive Uber driver. As the main characters find their way to a happily ever after, we all get to enjoy the ride – way more than Latham and Scarlett get to enjoy their ride to the airport when they’re heading back to Vegas! I enjoyed the ending of the story and loved the epilogue. I’m looking forward to the next book in this wonderful series.

My Weekly Playlist

Happy
by Pharrell Williams

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Shut Up and Dance
by Walk the Moon

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My Way
by Elvis Presley

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Poetry Corner

About the Author:

(Excerpt is taken from; https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/dorothy-chan)

Dorothy Chan is the author of Revenge of the Asian Woman (Diode Editions, 2019) and Attack of the Fifty-Foot Centerfold (Spork Press, 2018). She is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire.

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