Recent Release Review- Seduced by Jess Michaels

Title: Seduced (The Wicked Woodleys, Book #5)

Seduced

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Jess Michaels

Publisher: The Passionate Pen, May 17, 2016

Pages: 233

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

Criminal Jack Blackwood has plenty of problems, from his complicated relationship with his brother to the plethora of men coming to dethrone him as king of the underground. What he doesn’t need is a rich, bored gentleman showing up to try to join his gang. Worse, he doesn’t need that gentleman’s sister, Lady Letitia Seagate, chasing after him demanding he keep her brother safe. If only the lady weren’t so damned intriguing. Widowed Letty is desperate to protect her younger brother, even if it means matching wits with the notorious, charismatic Captain Jack. Only the man has far more to him than she ever expected, and his tempting kisses and smoldering promises leave her wanting more than she has ever dared before. Can Jack uncover the truth behind Letty’s darkest lies? And will they both survive the storm about to strike at the very heart of their passion? Length: Full-length novel Sensuality level: Hot and steamy This book can be read as a stand-alone novel, but is part of a series (The Wicked Woodleys).

**

Jack is handsome, a criminal king in London.  Letty is widowed who has secrets to keep and a brother to keep out of the grip of Jack.  But the attraction between them is too much to deny.

This is a quick read, containing some very sizzling passages.  It doesn’t take a deep concentration to figure out where this tale is going.  Letty was well drawn and we understand her concern for her brother but her stupid actions are really unforgivable.  Jack is proclaimed the head of a criminal empire but I wanted more of his corruption and activities. He seemed a bit too main-stream for such a wicked fellow.

This is a standalone novel with side characters from previous books in the series.

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Advance Review- Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt

Title: Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane Series, book #10)

Duke of Sin

Genre: Historical Romance/ Georgian

Author: Elizabeth Hoyt

Publisher: Grand Central, May 31, 2016

Pages: 368

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

A MAN OF SIN

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.

A WOMAN OF HONOR

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.

A SECRET THAT THREATENS TO DESTROY THEM BOTH

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 . . .

**

This is book #10 in the Maiden Lane Series and it is a standalone novel and you could start here but for an especially satisfying treat why not start with the beginning of the series.  Still, if you are so inclined this book will get your blood pumping for whatever Ms. Hoyt can bring to life and you will not be lost if you read this one first.

Bridget Crumb is the bastard daughter of an aristocratic lady.  She is aware of her station in life and she owes whatever success she has received to her birth mother who has helped her to find a suitable position.  Therefore she is anxious to help her birth mother by retrieving evidence from Val’s house that he is using to blackmail the lady. But in her efforts she also discovers other evidence of his blackmailing and she is also determined to help that person also. But she sees in Val what she considers hints of humanity and is attracted to him

Valentine Napier is a criminal.  He is a blackmailer, murderer and thoroughly dissolute example of a human being.  Hoyt does a remarkable job of delving into the whys and wherefores of his psyche, what has led him to be this devastation of a man.  He is also handsome and can be charming and these are some of the reasons Bridget finds him so compelling.

I didn’t find Val totally redeemed in this book.  That is the usual outcome in Historical Romances.  There is no great epiphany on his part even though Bridget falls in love with him and tries to become his conscience. For this Hoyt is to be lauded.  She has given us a truly unlikable character who has some soft spots, he is not ALL bad and evil.  It is harder to understand Bridget who is the moral compass in this story and yet she persists when indicators show she should step out of the picture.

That this story arouses emotion, is full of desperate moments and superbly developed characters is reason to read and enjoy.  That it is also unique to the genre is reason enough to give it 5 stars.  To miss out on this book, or even this series is to truly be missing a milestone in Historical Romance.

For more on the Maiden Lane Series:

http://www.elizabethhoyt.com/maidenlane

 

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London Library Bars- Yeah!

Bar library london

Found on BuzzFeed  16 Library Bars in London

Now this is my idea of a fun way to drink my wine.  Usually I favor Pinot Grigio but in these settings I may have to go with a Pinot Noir or Merlot or even two fingers of a single malt. completely ensconced in my book I may not even notice the famous author sitting by the fire.

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Big E-Book HR Sale May 22-May 28, 2016

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https://historicalromancesale.wordpress.com/

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Releasing Tomorrow-Review- For 100 Days by Lara Adrian

Title: For 100 Days: A 100 Series Novel

For 100 Days

Genre: Erotic Romance

Author: Lara Adrian

Publisher: Lara Adrian, LLC, May 24, 2016

Pages: 272

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5++ (some mild restraining not heavy BDSM)

Description from Amazon.com:

Struggling artist Avery Ross is barely scraping by. Bartending at a trendy New York City restaurant for an overbearing boss and two weeks away from losing her apartment to a condo developer, she’s desperate for a break. So when she’s offered a temporary housesitting job, she takes it. Living at one of the poshest addresses in Manhattan is like entering a new world–one that catapults her into the orbit of billionaire Dominic Baine, the darkly handsome, arrogantly alpha resident of the building’s penthouse. What begins as a powerful attraction soon explodes into a white-hot passion neither can deny. Yet as scorching as their need for each other is, Avery doesn’t expect Nick’s interest in her to last. Nor does she dare to dream that the desire she feels for this scarred, emotionally remote man could deepen into something real. For Avery has secrets of her own–and a past that could destroy her . . . and shatter everything she and Nick share.

FOR 100 DAYS is the first novel in a passionate new contemporary romance trilogy from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Lara Adrian. Coming later in 2016: FOR 100 NIGHTS and FOR 100 REASONS.

**

Whew! If you want a lusty novel, then here you go.  Lara Adrian has given us a young woman, Avery, damaged by a past she holds secret and a early 30ish billionaire, Nick, who falls instantly in lust with Avery. The sizzle is mutual. We slowly learn about Avery’s background but by the end of the book Nick is still somewhat a mystery.  We may learn what that is in the next book of this trilogy. Side Character Tasha is Avery’s best friend and co-worker.  I enjoyed the counterpoint of Tasha’s normal family life as opposed to Avery’s passionate affair.

I have always been a huge fan of Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed Series of Paranormal romance novels so it was a no brainer for me that I would enjoy reading this book although it is far from the vampire genre.  She brings her shrewd ability to tell a story that is both compelling and hot-as-hell. These characters are likable and flawed.  Nick is everything a girl could want and Avery is every guys dream but I was still more drawn to Tasha.  I’m hoping for more of her in the series as it unfolds.

Yes, a recommendation from me but be aware that the amount of sex is over the top.

I received this book free for review from the publisher.

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Advance Review-A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams

Title: A Certain Age

A Certain Age

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Mystery

Author: Beatriz  Williams

Publisher: William Morrow, June 28, 2016, pre-order available

Pages: 336

Source: Free for review from the Amazon vine Program

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue and Southampton, Long Island, has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young paramour, Captain Octavian Rofrano, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. An intense and deeply honorable man, Octavian is devoted to the beautiful socialite of a certain age and wants to marry her. While times are changing and she does adore the Boy, divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing is out of the question, and there is no need; she has an understanding with Sylvo, her generous and well-respected philanderer husband.

But their relationship subtly shifts when her bachelor brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with the sweet younger daughter of a newly wealthy inventor. Engaging a longstanding family tradition, Theresa enlists the Boy to act as her brother’s cavalier, presenting the family’s diamond rose ring to Ox’s intended, Miss Sophie Fortescue—and to check into the background of the little-known Fortescue family. When Octavian meets Sophie, he falls under the spell of the pretty ingénue, even as he uncovers a shocking family secret. As the love triangle of Theresa, Octavian, and Sophie progresses, it transforms into a saga of divided loyalties, dangerous revelations, and surprising twists that will lead to a shocking transgression . . . and eventually force Theresa to make a bittersweet choice.

Full of the glamour, wit and delicious twists that are the hallmarks of Beatriz Williams’ fiction and alternating between Sophie’s spirited voice and Theresa’s vibrant timbre, A Certain Age is a beguiling reinterpretation of Richard Strauss’s comic opera Der Rosenkavalier, set against the sweeping decadence of Gatsby’s New York.

**

This is a wonderful book. It has romance, mystery, a philandering husband and a cheating wife, an innocent young woman, a flapper, a hunky ex war pilot, a murderer, a scandal along with the flavor of society in the 1920’s.  The chapters are Alternating between the voices of Theresa, the society wife who has taken a lover and Sophie, the innocent young woman engaged to Theresa’s brother.

There are multiple surprises and twists throughout the book that keep you turning pages.  Most questions are resolved in the end but I was left wanting to know more about Sophie’s sister and Theresa’s brother. How did all of the characters fare in the aftermath of all the choices that were made. I didn’t want the book to end.

I can highly recommend this book to fans of mystery and Historical Romance.

 

 

 

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Historical Romance Review- A Pledge of Passion by Victoria Vane

Title: A Pledge of Passion (The Rules of Engagement, book #2)

A Pledge of Passion

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Victoria Vane

Publisher: Vane Publishing LLC, May 16, 2016 E-book (also available in Paperback)

Pages: 199

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Only a madman makes a promise in the heat of passion… During a midnight tryst in a moonlit garden, Nicolas Needham fell in love—only to walk away. As a younger son with few connections, his pride demanded that he better his circumstances before paying his suit to Lady Mariah. When Nicolas is finally given the opportunity he needs to advance—by negotiating a contract of matrimony on his employer’s behalf—he is shocked to learn that the intended bride is the same woman to whom he once pledged himself. And only a fool believes him…. Mariah Morehaven has lived a quiet, almost reclusive life in the country. While she accepts that marriage is her unavoidable destiny, as a baroness in her own right, and heir to one of the oldest and land-rich estates in England, she fears becoming the target of fortune hunters. After entrusting her cousin, Lydia, to help her find a suitable match, Mariah is devastated to discover that the man sent to negotiate for her hand is the very same who broke her heart.

**

What’s a woman to do when she pledges to wait for a man and then he backs out at the last minute?  Well, Mariah plans to marry an eligible gentleman, that is if her heart ever spots breaking over Nick. Nick has caused Mariah no end of heartbreak and that alone made me not very fond of him. He was putting his career above his love for Mariah, and although well intentioned, I couldn’t help thinking he was making a mistake.

Victoria Vane has given us another well written, steamy book.  This is a quick read, only 199 pages so it can be finished in one day which I’m sure you may put all calls on voicemail so you can keep reading.  It is predictable and I did want for some greater tension but it is still a good story.  I’m a fan of this author since she can write interesting Historical Romances as well as Contemporary.  This one I can recommend for a quick, light read that will take you back to the glorious 1800’s where men thought of being honorable and ladies wanted honorable men.

Deet’s note: Ladies still want honorable men but I’m not so sure the men hold this value as highly as the women. Just my personal observation. Maybe I’m wrong.  What do you think?

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Free Today- The Black Madonna by Stella Riley

The Black Madonna

This book is a free  E-Book now through May20th.  I have recently reviewed Stella Riley audiobooks from her “Rockliffe” series and gave each 5-stars.  This book is set in the 1600’s and is the first in another series.  I’m looking forward to reading this one.

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E-Book Review- One Pink Rose by Julie Garwood

Title: One Pink Rose (Clayborne Brides, Book #1)

One Pink rose

Genre: Historical romance/Western/novella

Author: Julie Garwood

Publisher: Pocket Books Star, May 2016, E-Book

Pages: 123

Source: Free for review from the publisher.

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

THE CLAYBORNES ARE BACK, AND LOVE IS IN BLOOM! First introduced in Julie Garwood’s magnificent New York Times bestseller For the Roses, the Clayborne brothers of Blue Belle, Montana, have been embraced by millions worldwide. Their story begins in One Pink Rose.

Travis Clayborne may be the youngest of the Clayborne brothers, but he’s most definitely his own man—unless it means saying no to his beloved Mama Rose. And that’s why Travis is escorting young Bostonian Emily Finnegan to Golden Crest, Montana to her new home as a mail-order bride. Emily has made it perfectly clear that she’s taken charge of her destiny and nothing is going to interfere, not even falling in love with a perfect stranger. But they don’t call it the wild west for nothing…

**

Here we have another feel-good book that is definitely in my comfort zone.  To tell the truth I didn’t think I would like a romance based in the wild west of America but this one has totally changed my perspective. First we have Travis, a hot hunk of a man who loves his Mother.  Then there is Emily who is suffering from the humiliation of being jilted at the altar and has become a mail order bride.  Emily has been raised in Boston as a fine lady and knows little of the wild west but she is a quick learner and intelligent to boost.  As Travis agrees to escort Emily to her betrothed all manner of adventures transpire.

This is a laugh out loud book that will leave you with a smile on your face for days.  But don’t think for a minute that it is a silly book.  There is much drama and plenty of wild west action that causes our protagonists no end of trouble.

This is a reissue of a novella originally published in 1998. I highly recommend this quick read.  I’m looking forward to reading the stories of Travis’ brothers Adam, Douglas & Cole, as well as sister Mary and her husband Harrison.

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Audiobook Review- The Player by Stella Riley

Title: The Player ( Rockliffe, book #3) (Audiobook)

The Player

Also available as E-Book and Paperback

Genre: Historical Romance/Georgian

Author: Stella Riley

Narrator: Alex Wyndham

Publisher: Stella Palmer, April 2016

Pages/ Listening Time: 323/10 hours 13 minutes

Source: Free from the Author

Rating: 5+

Sexy Rating: 5 not explicit

Description from Audible.com:

Tragedy drove him into unwilling exile. Death demands his reluctant return. In the decade between, he has answered to many names and amassed a variety of secrets. Now the actor known to Paris as L’Inconnu must resume his real identity and become Francis Adrian Sinclair Devereux, Earl of Sarre…a man he no longer knows how to be and whose name, thanks to the malice of a friend turned enemy, remains tarnished by an old scandal. Revenge, so long avoided, slithers temptingly from the shadows.

Granddaughter of a wealthy wool-merchant, Caroline Maitland is not finding her society debut either easy of enjoyable…but, to Marcus Sheringham, she is the perfect solution to his crushing mountain of debt. Knowing she will be married for her money, Caroline never believed she would find love; but neither did she bargain for a certain charming French highwayman…and a surprising turn of events. The stage is set, the cast assembled, and the Duke of Rockliffe waits for the curtain to rise. In the wings, Lord Sarre prepares to make his entrance. He doesn’t expect to be greeted with applause.

**

I’m such a fangirl of Stella Riley’s Rockliffe series that it is difficult for me not to jump up and down at my computer and beg you all to read/listen to this series.  I wasn’t even sure I liked the Georgian period (being totally enamored with the Regency Era) but Ms. Riley has not only made me a fan but keeps me hoping for more of this series. You know a book or series is good when you never want it to end. She has the ability to give us description of the era so that we can actually visualize the time period.  Her characters are fleshed out so that we can picture there features and personality. The book is well plotted and the pace is never too slow or too rushed.

In The Player we get to know Adrian Devereux, The recent Earl of Sarre.  Because of a tragedy he was exiled by his father to France for ten years. In an earlier book he was mentioned by the Duke of Rockliffe who thought he recognized Adrian acting on the stage in Paris. Now Adrian has returned to England to take charge of his title and estates and is hell-bent on seeking revenge on the man who caused his father to exile him so many years before.

Caroline Maitland is young, not aristocratic but holds a huge dowry that is making her the target of fortune hunter Marcus Sheringham, Adrian’s nemesis. Adrian uses his acting skills to woo Caroline and tricks her into an elopement.  But his well prepared plan starts to unravel when Caroline discovers the hoax.

I hope that much information is not a spoiler because there is so much more to this story and like me I’m sure you will hang on to every word out of the mouth of the sexy voiced narrator, Alex Wyndham.  He is my audiobook boyfriend, he can speak English with a French accent in several different character voices in a conversation.  He not only brings the characters and the book to life he infuses it with drama and heartfelt emotion. He can speak female voices as well as the male characters.

Well by now you know that I’m not just encouraging you to get this audiobook, I’m practically insisting that you do because I know you will love it.  There is nothing on TV anyway so sit back and listen to this wonderful story told by a superb narrator.

(FYI: I listen on my Kindle Fire HDX. Amazon also has Whispersync where you can get the print book and audio and read along as you are listening. I personally get so caught up in Wyndham’s narration that I don’t read along.)

The Rockliffe Series:

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