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Ratings and Book Reviews (5 12 star ratings
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4.8 out of 5
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    Historical Romance

    A Counterfeit Courtesan by Jess Michaels The Shelley Sisters #3 Three women with the same face. Nobody can tell them apart. They are the same but also very different. The series tells their stories one by one and This one is Juliana’s And the conclusion of the tale of the Shelley Sisters... Unless...there is a spin-off that takes us to the “underground” other perhaps to the next generation. In book one Juliana and Harcourt found one another In book two we heard how Anne, who ran away, found her HEA with Rook In book three we find out how Juliana found strength, purpose and her HEA with Ellis What I liked: * Juliana: dealing with changes but willing to at least find some happiness and pleasure before she settled down into spinsterhood. She went after what she wanted and didn’t take no for an answer. * Ellis: dealing with guilt and wanting to protect those he cares about is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to keep them safe – and – he really really likes Juliana. * The fact that the couples from the previous books made appearances * The bad guy got his comeuppance * The steamy scenes were HOT * The introduction of characters I hope will show up in a new series (Marcus, Golden, Reginald, Gabriel and perhaps others?) What I did not like: * Winston Leonard: a truly evil character that deserved rabid dog justice * The triplets father: a waste of space and very selfish * Having to say goodbye to this set of characters Did I enjoy this book? Yes Would I read more books by this author? Without a doubt! Thank you to NetGalley and The Passionate Pen for the ARC – This is my honest review. 4-5 Stars
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    The Third Triplet

    And then there was one Shelley triplet left unmarried... Juliana and this is her journey to hopefully a happy ever after. But how to achieve that with her scarred face and emotions? Spinster secretary to her father? Well if that was in store, she was determined to find that "something" her sisters were so happy about. The wicked Donville Masquerade would be the perfect place because nobody would know who she is and she can maybe have one wicked night. Oh yes and she does find him in the form of one Ellis Maitland who sparks an inferno of desire! Ellis is a wounded soul. But he is determined to keep Juliana safe and kill the villian that is still out there and who caused her injuries in the first place. A wonderful dance of passion, suspense, mystery, a treasure that needs to be found and these wonderful characters that bring the story to life at the nib of Jess Michael's talented pen! Great epilogue and although I am a little sad to see this series end, I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next! I read this through NetGallery
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    Juliana and Ellis have quite a mess to fix!

    Juliana, the fixer, is uniquely qualified to save Ellis from the mess he's in. The story that started in Book 1 with Harcourt's brother and his friendship with the evasive conman, Ellis, concludes in this final book that reveals all the heartbreaking history and fierce determination necessary to redeem a truly irredeemable man. Both of Juliana's sisters have had their lives upended by Ellis and his quest to protect what family he has left. Juliana's story starts with a chance encounter with Ellis that leads to them both helping the other with their particular problems. Along the way, these two find strength in each other, even as Ellis is convinced he won't survive the necessary confrontation he's orchestrating. Juliana really comes into her own in this story, stepping out of her expected family role to grab what she wants out of life. Meanwhile, Ellis is becoming a better man as he faces the consequences of his earlier libertine lifestyle and finds the courage to move beyond his checkered past. Like the first two books, our focus couple gets their HEA by the end. Despite being standalone romances, however, the story arc connecting the three books is so intricately woven throughout each of the books that I would not recommend starting anywhere but with the first story, A Reluctant Bride. That said, this is a story that is well worth investing in all three books. It's one of the best series I've read, full of heroes and rogues, triumph and joy, passion and suspense. The final epilogue in this book gives us an extended HEA for the entire family. I loved every bit, and I can't recommend it enough. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
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    The redeeming of the villain

    While this book can be read as a standalone, to better appreciate the background plot, I would recommend to read the two previous books in this trilogy. From the beginning, I have been intrigued by Ellis, while there is no doubt he is no angel, some of his actions and thoughts show a different man, one hiding behind his hardened mask. And now he is reaching his goal, seing no escape from the course he has set in motion, he rethinks some of his past deeds and wishes he could have done things an other way. He bears the weight of his choices and mistakes, which leaded to Juliana being hurt and his friend killed. Now, that those he tried to hide he cares about are threatened, he sees only one outcome. So when Juliana comes crashing in his life, refusing to take no as an answer, he finds himself unbalanced and his goal compromised. He appears to everyone as a devilish seducer, extracting with his charms and wits informations and coins. Yet it is a facade thoroughly practiced to protect the little boy who had to run away to save himself. So much it became a second nature and he rarely drops the mask. And Juliana with her demand of trust and faith endangers everything he has come to expect, even his own demise. Juliana is sure like a fish out of water when she puts feet in Ellis’ universe , it might be the shining facade, it is still a very different world of the one she was brought up. But now she is left on the edge of society, she wants to explore what has always been marked as forbidden. She needs to find a way for herself to still exist as her life has been forever altered and she has lost her own purpose. By looking for her new self, she steps in Ellis’ place and while he is behind the whole scheme that changed her life for good, he also showed commiseration when she was abducted and wounded. She is attracted to him like Eve to the forbidden fruit, and feels there is more to Handsome Ellis than he is willing to show but drawn to another they are and both can’t fight permanently their chemistry. When she wants to surrender, he pushes her away but like a magnet, they road cross again and again. Both are moved by one another and when she pursues him, as he stirs new sensations from her; he wants to avoid her, afraid to cause her more pain than she has already endured. Even when they agree to collaborate to find the true culprit and villain, both has a different view of the result. By deciding to sacrifice himself to free those he cares for from the threat posed by the evil man whose aim is only to hurt more and more, Ellis redeems himself and shows he is not the bad guy he was portrayed at first. 4.5 stars for this lovely conclusion to this trilogy, now I do wonder if we will see again some of the side characters like Marcus, the owner of the Sex club. I was granted an advance copy by the author and preordered my own. Here is my true and unbiased opinion.
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    Great end to a good series

    There are a number of kinds of villains in this world and we have several of them in this book and series. We have the really, really nasty, unredeemable villain, the villain who is a villain simply because of his lack of care and concern for anyone other than himself – a real user, and the villain who isn’t of sterling character but is in his current situation because someone else put him in a corner and he’s behaving desperately and rashly. One gets his just punishment, one just goes on with his life without suffering any consequences, and the other finds his salvation in the love of a good woman. Two of the stunningly beautiful, identical, Shelley triplets are married. Thomasina (A Reluctant Bride), and Anne (A Reckless Runaway), have found their HEA’s and now it is Juliana’s turn. They have shared a face and form all of their lives, they’ve been inseparable and nobody could tell them apart until they met their husbands – who inexplicably always knew which one was their love. That inseparability is at an end and so is the three sharing the same face. With Thomasina and Anne married, they have formed that strong bond with their husbands and Juliana feels as if she is on the outside looking in – and she also now has a scarred face thanks to the knife of the vile Winston Leonard. Things are tense for the Shelley sisters and their mates because Winston Leonard has gone to ground. They know he is waiting and planning his next attack on them – but when? Ellis Maitland knows he’s put everyone he cares about in danger and he intends to put that to rights – even though he knows he won’t survive. It is better a worthless, black-hearted man like him pay the price than his loved ones. All he needs to do is find the hidden diamond and flush Winston out from hiding. This is the story of Ellis’ redemption and it is lovely. Ellis had a horrid childhood and survived on the streets as best he could. He is known as “Handsome” on the streets and it is for good reason – he looks like a Greek god. He is accustomed to playing “love games” to make his way in the world – until he got tangled up with Winston Leonard. Ellis isn’t nearly as bad as he thinks he is – but nobody can convince him of that. Well, almost nobody. As he was holding the beautiful Juliana after Winston Leonard had sliced her face, he knew he’d do anything to keep her from more harm. Juliana needs a bit of redemption of sorts herself. Well, maybe not redemption – but she is restless and unhappy with her new status and she has to do something about it. Since she is now destined to be a spinster and live with her father for the rest of her life, she wants to have one exciting thing to remember. The Donville Masquerade is just what she needs – it is totally anonymous – nobody will know who she is. But the handsome stranger she encounters isn’t anonymous at all. Juliana and Ellis are at odds. Each is attracted to the other, but he wants her to stay away from the Donville Masquerade and stay home where she’ll be safe. They are thrown together and get to know each other better – and they come to love each other. That just makes Ellis more and more convinced that he has to follow through with his plan to defeat Winston Leonard. I enjoyed this lovely, steamy tale of love and redemption. There is a nice epilogue that shows them all five years in the future and it was sweet to know how Ellis was coming along. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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