Recent Release Review-How The Scoundrel Seduces by Sabrina Jefferies

Title:  How The Scoundrel Seduces (The Dukes Men, book#3)

How The Scoundrel Seduces

 Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Sabrina Jefferies

Publisher: Pocket Books, August 19,2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Investigator Tristan Bonnaud has one aim in life—to make sure that his half-brother George can’t ever ruin his life again. So when the pesky Lady Zoe Keane, the daughter of the Earl of Olivier, shows up demanding that the Duke’s Men find a mysterious gypsy woman, he seizes the opportunity to also hunt for a gypsy friend who knows secrets about George. Tristan doesn’t expect to uncover Lady Zoe’s family secrets, as well…or end up falling for the woman who will risk all to discover the truth.

**

This was action packed and it brought a conclusion to the problems of Dominick and Tristan as well as Zoe. Zoe was a bit headstrong and Tristan seemed incapable of saying “no” and meaning it.  But if all works out then we have to be happy for her stubbornness.  There were some surprises that added to the enjoyment of the story.  Side characters from the previous books made cameo appearances and tied the series together.  While this is book#3, it is a standalone novel. There were hints that Dom might find love in a future book.

Ms. Jefferies brought her usual lusciously romantic, well constructed plot along with characters that speak realistic dialog.  Always true to the time period, she brings it alive with her prose.

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Deet’s Life- Sexy Men, Italian Hand Gestures

Let’s all learn Italian hand gestures via some sexy models from Dolce & Gabbana.  This YouTube vid was introduced to me by those “Two Nerdy History Girls”, Loretta Chase and Isabella Bradford, http://twonerdyhistorygirls.blogspot.com

Now off you go to practice your Italian.

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Regency Era Modes of Transportation

Regency Era Transportation

I read quite a few Regency Era romance novels.  There is always a mention of a horse drawn coach or carriage in every book, since these were the typical mode of transportation for the gentry and aristocracy.  The poor folks had to rely on walking.  Instead of wondering about what these vehicles looked like, I did a little research and thought perhaps you would like to see what they looked like also.  I got these pictures from Google Images and Bing Images, any errors I’m dumping at their feet. :-)

Phaeton- This one was very popular with the rakish fellas because it was so high, a ladder was often needed to get onto the seat,  and it got them noticed.  It also was dangerous, it could easily tip over, that made it attractive to the daredevils.  There was no side protection so mud splatters were to be expected. carriage phaeton

Curricle- Another fashionable carriage for the gentleman.  It was light weight and speedy.carriage curricle

Barouche- A popular summer carriage for the wealthy. It had a hood over one of the seats.carriage barouche

Landau- This one came in at the end of the Regency Era.  It was expensive and very showy, perfect for being seen in the park. (although to my mind not as elegant as the Barouche)Carriage CLassicLandau1

 

Town Coach- Similar to a Landau but with a hard roof.  It was also called a ‘Closed Carriage”.  The nobility often put their coat of arms on the door.carriage Town coach

Mail Coach- this needs little explanation.  It traveled the roads delivering the mail across England and those who wished to travel  from one place to another could purchase a seat.carriage mail coach

 Dog Cart- It was not a cart pulled by dogs.  It was a carriage used on estates that could hold the hunting dogs being transported to a hunt.carriage dog cart

Hackney Coach- The taxi cab of London in the 1800’s.carriage Hackney-coach,_about_1800

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Kindle Book Review- A Passionate Affair With A Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson

Title:  A Passionate Love Affair With a Total Stranger

A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger

 Genre: Contemporary Romance/Chick-Lit

Author:  Lucy Robinson

Publisher: Notting Hill Press

Source: Purchase, Kindle $3.99

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

Charley Lambert has worked hard at creating a perfect life. She has an aspirational flat, a job of international significance and a very good pair of legs, thanks to a rigorous health and fitness regime. Best of all, her boss has asked her out after seven years’ hard flirting and a covert fumble in a cleaning cupboard. 
Then she breaks her leg in three places, watches her boss propose to someone else and – horror – is forced to hand over her job to her nasty deputy. Charley, a certified workaholic, fears that she will go mad. 
Dangerously bored, she starts helping people who are talentless at internet dating. Then William arrives in her inbox and rocks her world. Helpless, she watches herself fall in love with him and discovers she’s not who she thought she was. 
 But can she turn her back on her old life – all for a total stranger?

**

This is Chick-Lit the way it should always be written; funny, sweet, angst-ridden, character driven and full of romance.  I read this over 400 page book in one day.  I could not put it down.  I became so entwined in the lives of Charley, John, Sam, Hailey and the Lambert family that I had to stay up all night to see them safely to the end of the book.  All but one made it that far.  Take this one along on your August vacation for an entertaining beach read.

It is set in England, written by a British author, so there is a plethora of British Slang, or as my Oxford English Dictionary calls most of it “vulgar British slang”.  So you don’t have to run to the dictionary here is a brief list:

Slapper- A promiscuous woman

Muff- A woman’s genitals

Fitties-( I couldn’t find a definition of this anywhere.)

Slag- A Promiscuous woman

Wanker- A contemptible person

Buggered- Extremely tired

Skive- Avoid work or duty by staying away or leaving early.

Pash- A brief infatuation.

(Let’s not hold it against the author for that truly awful book cover.  Inside is what really counts.)

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Recent Release Review- The Traitor by Grace Burrowes

Title:  The Traitor (Bk #2, Captive Hearts)

The Traitor

 Genre:  Historical Romance

Author: Grace Burrowes

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, Aug 5, 2014

Source:  Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

The past will overtake him… Abandoned in France since boyhood, despite being heir to an English barony, Sebastian St. Clair makes impossible choices to survive a tour of duty in the French Army. He returns to England hoping for the peaceful life of a country gentleman, though old enemies insist on challenging him on the field of honor, one after another.

But this time, he will not fight alone… Millicent Danforth desperately needs her position as companion to the Traitor Baron’s aunt, but grieves to learn that Sebastian must continually fight a war long over. As Sebastian and Milly explore their growing passion, they uncover a plot that will cost Sebastian his life and his honor, unless he does battle once more-this time in the name of love.

**

In this Ms. Burrowes second offering in her Captive Hearts Series she examines the toll that war takes on those forced into doing unspeakable tasks. Sebastian, is English born but was raised in France where he is conscripted into the French army. He is not totally unsympathetic to his English upbringing and although he is tasked with interrogating captured English officers he devises ways to get some information from them while keeping them alive. But his methods are still torture for the officers. At wars end they are, one after another, challenging him to duels.

There is an evil villain behind the duels. He wants to see Sebastian dead, fearing Sebastian will tell about his criminal dealings during the war.

Millicent, has issues to deal with, but is in love with Sebastian and works diligently for his survival.

Once again Grace Burrowes delivers a mesmerizing story filled with romance, danger and action. She takes a character that we perhaps should loathe and with wisdom and finesse makes us cheer for his good outcome. His valet/bodyguard Michael Brodie is somewhat mysterious and there are some surprises offered concerning him. He is also the subject of the third book in this series, coming in September. We are introduced to Sebastian in the first book of the series (THE CAPTIVE) but this is a standalone novel. However, this is one of the best series of the year so I encourage you to start with The Captive.

Captive Hearts Series

  1. The CaptiveDeet’s Review of THE CAPTIVE
  2. The Traitor
  3. The Laird (Sept. 2014)

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Review- Bound By Night by Larrisa Ione

Title:  Bound By Night

boundbynight_200

 Genre: Paranormal Romance

Author: Larrisa Ione

Publisher: Pocket Books, Sept. 2013

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from the author’s website:

A WOMAN OUT FOR BLOOD Nicole Martin was only eight years old when the vampire slaves rose up in rebellion and killed her family. Now she devotes her life to finding a vaccine against vampirism, hoping to wipe out her memories—along with every bloodsucker on the planet. But there’s one thing she cannot destroy: her searing, undeniable attraction for the one man she should hate and fear the most . . .

A VAMPIRE OUT FOR REVENGE A member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clan, Riker is haunted by demons of his own. When he recognizes Nicole and remembers how her family enslaved his loved ones, his heart burns for vengeance. But when he kidnaps Nicole and holds her in a secret lair, his mortal enemy becomes his soul obsession, his greatest temptation, and, perhaps, his only salvation—a hot-blooded lover who could heal him with her touch . . . or bury him forever.

**

Riker is an 89 year old vampire who looks 29. He is second in command at his clan Moonbound.  He is tormented by the loss 20 years ago of his mate, Terese, and her unborn child.  So when he kidnaps Nicole because she is a member of the family who destroyed his family, and she can gain his clan leverage with another clan, he has no understanding of why he is so attracted to her.  Nicole is also attracted to Riker and she questions if she has Stockholm Syndrome.  There is plenty of action that comes into play as Nicole tries to escape and predators abound.

Larissa Ione has written a novel of action, violence and romance set in what appears to be our world populated by humans and vampires. This new world is one where humans have enslaved vampires but renegade clans of vampires hide in the deep woods.  Some of these clans are modern with all the trappings of modern society except that they live underground in caves and caverns. Other clans are nearly primitive, also living in caves but in filth and lacking a social conscience. This diversity creates animosity, and wars often break out between the vampire clans. Still, the biggest threat to vampires is the humans.

Having practically devoured Larissa Ione’s Demonica Series, I don’t know how I missed the release of this the first book in her Moonbound Clan Series.  But even though I’ve come to it half a year late(3/4 to be more precise), I enjoyed every minute of these non-sparkly vampires and the human who joins them.  Now I don’t have forever to wait for the next book in the series CHAINED BY NIGHT, coming in September.

**

I have to give Ms. Ione credit for using this cover model god, Coby Lefebvre.  (He does add a little spice to this review, Hm-m?)

sexy man Coby Lefebvre

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Recent Release Review-Truly by Ruthie Knox

Title: Truly

Truly

 Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Ruthie Knox

Publisher: Loveswept, August 5, 2014, e-reader

Source:  Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

May Fredericks hates New York. Which is fair enough, since New York seems to hate her back. After relocating to Manhattan from the Midwest to be with her long-distance boyfriend, NFL quarterback Thor Einarsson, May receives the world’s worst marriage proposal, stabs the jerk with a shrimp fork, and storms off alone—only to get mugged. Now she’s got no phone, no cash, and no friends. How’s a nice girl supposed to get back to safe, sensible Wisconsin?

Frankly, Ben Hausman couldn’t care less. Sure, it’s not every day he meets a genuine, down-to-earth woman like May—especially in a dive in the Village—but he’s recovering from an ugly divorce that cost him his restaurant. He wants to be left alone to start over and become a better man. Then again, playing the white knight to May’s sexy damsel in distress would be an excellent place to start—if only he can give her one very good reason to love New York.

**

Ruthie Knox has a way of making her characters so real that you swear she is telling a true story.  Her dialog is spot on and the personalities of her hero and heroine (as well as all the side characters) are, original, unique and authentic throughout the book.  This story rivals her fabulous novel ABOUT LAST NIGHT, which I felt was a 5-star read.  There is a slow, believable build to the romance even though it takes place in a one week time period.  May is in a situation where she is dependent on Ben and Ben is stepping up to be the white knight not because he is, but because he needs to assuage his quilt over his angry persona.  It is always a treat to read a well written book and with Ruthie Knox there is never a doubt.

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Release Day Review- Crave the Night by Lara Adrian

Title:  Crave The Night

Crave the Night

 Genre: Paranormal Romance

Author:  Lara Adrian

Publisher:Bantam Dell,  Aug 5, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Born and raised to be an emotionless killing machine, Nathan is one of the most lethal Breed vampires in existence. A key member of the Order—an elite group of warriors charged with protecting both mortals and vampires—Nathan executes each mission with flawless precision and a total lack of mercy. Now he must pursue a powerful, hidden enemy. But Nathan’s hard discipline and training are no match for the fierce pull he feels toward a young woman he has no right to desire—a woman of wealth and high social standing who has long been promised to another Breed male, and who may also prove to be the key to rooting out Nathan’s elusive quarry.   Jordana lives a life of glittering privilege as a member of a prominent Breed family in Boston. Surrounded by fine things and fawning admirers, Jordana wants for nothing—until she crosses paths with a dark, intense warrior from the Order and finds herself swept into an impulsive, sizzling kiss that neither of them will forget. As much as she tries to deny her deep feelings for Nathan, Jordana cannot resist the craving to be near him, to break through his forbidding walls and see the man he truly is. But getting close to Nathan will thrust Jordana into a treacherous new world, forcing her to risk all she has and all she knows about herself and her past. And loving this seductive man could be the most dangerous temptation of all.

**

Yes, this is number twelve in this series and Lara Adrian is not afraid to give us new directions with each new addition and the smoking hot sexual tension once again rocks this series.

The setting is Boston where Breed Vampires live semi-amicably with humans.  The Order are Breed Warriors who protect both the Breed and humans.  Nathan is a key cog in the Boston Order, he has a tragic past that makes him feel he can’t have a relationship with Jordana.  Jordana is a high profile Breedmate who is undeniably attracted to Nathan.  From eyes across a crowded room to unplanned encounters they both fight their attraction.  Along with this smoldering tension, Nathan is locked into an investigation of utmost importance to the breed as well as mankind.  There is a new threat that is looking to take over the world and the order is charged with finding all of the terrorists.

I have followed this series from the beginning, it never fails to give me hours of reading enjoyment but this book was even harder to put down.  I was turning pages way into the wee hours to find out if Jordana was going to be safe.  There are surprises along the  way. The romance is truly the best written in this genre.

You will not be sorry if you read this entire series; well written, excellent story line, lots of sizzling sex, what more could a PNR fan ask for?

The Midnight Breed Series reading order:

Book 0.5: A Touch of Midnight (prequel novella – FREE ebook!)

Book 1: Kiss of Midnight

Book 2: Kiss of Crimson

Book 3: Midnight Awakening

Book 4: Midnight Rising

Book 5: Veil of Midnight

Book 6: Ashes of Midnight

Book 7: Shades of Midnight

Book 8: Taken by Midnight

Book 9: Deeper Than Midnight

Book 9.5: A Taste of Midnight (ebook novella)

Book 10: Darker After Midnight The Midnight Breed Series Companion

Book 11: Edge of Dawn

Book 12: Crave the Night (on sale Aug 5, 2014)

Book 12.5: Tempted by Midnight (on sale Oct 14, 2014)

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Deet’s Reviews of 2014 RITA Nominees

rwa bannerlogo

On July 26, 2014 The Romance Writers of America held their annual awards program handing out “RITA” and “Golden Heart” awards for the best 2013 romances in several categories.  If you go to their website and nose around you can find all those who were nominated and a list of the winners.  I decided to see how many of the nominees I actually read last year and reviewed.  Here is my list:

Historical Romance

I’ve read and reviewed 8 out of the 17 novels nominated in this category.

1. The Rogue’s Proposal by Jennifer Haymore, 4-stars

2. The Luckiest Lady In London by Sherry Thomas, 5-stars

3.  Love and Other Scandals by Caroline Linden, 4-stars

4.  Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt, 4.5-stars

5.  Darius by Grace Burrowes, 3-stars

6.  The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan, 4.5-stars

7.  Any Dutchess Will Do by Tessa Dare, 5-stars

8.  The Winner of the RITA for Historical Romance novel: No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean, 4-stars No Good Duke goes unpunished

Contemporary Romance

I actually read two out of the 18 nominated but so far have only reviewed one.  I’m saving the Sarah Morgan book for my December Christmas reviews:

1. Along Came Trouble by Ruthie Knox, 4-stars

Paranormal Romance

I only read 1 out of 13 nominations, shame on me!!! But the one that I read took home the award:

1. The winner of the RITA for Paranormal Romance novel: The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley, 5+-starsFirebird

Novella

Again I only read 1 out of the 9 nominated:

1. How to Misbehave by Ruthie Knox, 4-stars

Romantic Suspense

Now I’m sounding like a broken record, only 1 read but it was really good and it won in the category:

1. The Winner of the RITA for Romantic Suspense novel: Off The Edge by Carolyn Crane, 5-starsOff The Edge

To see what I had to say about any of these good books, just go to my search box on the left and plug in the authors name.

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Recent Release Review- Why Lords Lose Their Hearts by Manda Collins

Title:  Why Lords Lose Their Hearts(Wicked Widows, book #3)

Why-Lords-Lose-Their-Hearts

 Genre:  Historical Romance/Mystery

Author: Manda Collins

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, July 29, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

THE TRUTH COULD RUIN HER

In Manda Collins’s Why Lords Lose Their Hearts, Perdita, the widowed Duchess of Ormonde, keeps a dangerous secret—the truth of how her brutish husband died. But a mysterious avenger seems to know it, too, and when anonymous threats turn into public attacks, there’s only one friend she can turn to for help—her husband’s former secretary, Lord Archer Lisle. The man who witnessed her every heartache. The kind of man whose love she can only dream of …

WILL HIS LOVE SAVE HER?

The youngest of the Duke of Pemberton’s five sons, Lord Archer Lisle is used to waiting his turn. For years, he could only stand by, seething, as Perdita suffered at the hands of her husband, but now she’s under threat from another source—one who will stop at nothing to make her pay for the late duke’s death. But the good-natured Archer can be dangerous when crossed—and he’ll do anything to keep the woman he’s adored for so long safe in his arms…

**

Archer has been in love with Perdita for several years. Perdita, now a widow, is recovering from an abusive marriage and although she contemplates remarrying she does not want a man who is in anyway controlling. Thus she holds our hero at arms length and makes some stubborn decisions not in her best interest. Archer and Perdita’s friends try to persuade her to think of her own safety when threats are made against her from an unkown source.

This was a good romance and mystery and, unlike in the first two books of the trilogy, the mystery is solved. Unfortunately for me I came in to the series on this the third book. I have to admit that although there was quite a bit of background given, I still felt that I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read the first two books of the trilogy.

Wicked Widows Trilogy

  1. Why Dukes Say I Do
  2. Why Earls Fall in Love
  3. Why Lords Lose Their Hearts

P.S.- For the entire time I was reading this novel the heroine’s name, Perdita, kept me envisioning Pongo and Perdita of One Hundred and One Dalmations. It did make me slightly distracted. Authors should be very careful how they name their characters. Another pet peeve of mine is when several main characters all have similar sounding or confusing names; such as David Stevenson and Steven Donaldson or Lord Tomlin, Tomasina and Tomasina’s best friend, Tammy. Well you get my drift.

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