From Deet’s TBR Pile- Seven Years To Sin by Sylvia Day

Title:  Seven Years To Sin

Seven years to sin

Genre: Erotic Historical Romance

Author: Sylvia Day

Publisher: Kensington, Oct. 2013

Pages: 340

Source: purchase (available on e-reader now for $2.99)

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5++

Description from Amazon.com:

Seven years ago, on the eve of her wedding, Lady Jessica Sheffield witnessed a scene so scandalous she could not erase it from her memory. Shocked, yet strangely titillated, she nevertheless walked down the aisle into a life serene yet unremarkable. But what she kept hidden fueled wildly imaginative and very illicit dreams. . . Alistair Caulfield ran far from the temptation of the prim debutante–all the way to the West Indies. As a successful merchant, he has little in common with the rakehell youth Jessica once knew. But when newly widowed Jessica steps aboard his ship for a transatlantic passage, seven years’ worth of denied pleasures are held in check by nothing more than a few layers of silk–and the certainty that surrender will consume them both. . .

**

First off, I’m a huge fan of this author.  I can’t believe I’ve left this sit on my TBR pile for over two years. Sylvia Day is well known for her Crossfire Erotic Series but this book has so much more than erotica.  It delves deeply into the aftermath of child abuse and also marital physical abuse.  It is very romantic and is one of those books where you want to underline and commit passages to memory. Alistair is very flawed but very heroic.  Jessica is damaged by childhood abuse but very loving and adventurous.  Hester, Jessica’s sister is married to an abusive husband and this side story is very moving.  Yes, there is an abundance of sex in this story, but it is all relevant to the story. Accomplished writers can write good sex scenes and if you want to read a master then this is the book for you.

I really can’t rate this book high enough. I would give it a 10 if I had the chance.

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Recent Release Review- Will’s True Wish by Grace Burrowes

Title:  Will’s True Wish (True Gentlemen book #3)

Will's true Wish

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Grace Burrowes

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, Feb 2, 2016

Pages: 384

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

It’s  a dog’s life…  Will Dorning, as an earl’s spare, has accepted the thankless duty of managing his rambunctious younger siblings, though Will’s only true companions are the dogs he’s treasured since boyhood. When aristocratic London is plagued with a series of dognappings, Will’s brothers are convinced that he’s the only person who can save the stolen canines from an awful fate.

But the lady’s choice…  Shy, bookish Lady Susannah Haddonfield has no patience with loud, smelly beasts of any species, but must appear to like dogs so as not to offend her sister’s only marital prospect. Susannah turns to Will, an acquaintance from her most awkward adolescent years, to teach her how to impersonate a dog fancier. Will has long admired Susannah, though he lacks the means to offer for her, and yet as they work together to rescue the purloined pets, it’s loyal, dashing Will who steals Susannah’s heart.

True Gentlemen series:

Tremaine’s True Love (Book 1)

Daniels’ True Desire (Book 2)

Will’s True Wish (Book 3)

**

I loved this book!! Even though, like our heroine Susannah, I’m not a dog lover.  (Yes, I’m a cat person at heart.) The story revolves around dog training which I found fascinating and I’m always excited when I learn something in a book that also keeps me turning pages until dawn’s early light.

Will, is our hero and his name is short for Willow.  He has brothers named Sycamore and Ash so some one of his parents must have been fond of trees. Being the second son, Will must make his own way in an aristocratic world that frowned on aristocrats in trade.  Will gets around that by being the breeder/supplier of dogs to aristocrats and then helping the new owners to train the dogs.  Will’s brothers are also “true gentlemen” and his interaction with them adds so much depth to the story. Another very important side character is Georgette, Will’s dog. Will falls in love with Susannah who is in London to chaperone her sister Della’s come-out in society.  Susannah, had thought her life would be that of a spinster after her own debut was maligned by bullying mean girls.  But Will had come to her rescue back then and here he was again coming to her sister’s recue when more bullying and gossip threatens Della’s chances on the marriage mart.

There are some surprise twists, a very evil villain and a heroine determined to seduce our hero.  The romance here is heartfelt and slow building. The villainy is truly evil and the surprise really deserves another novel from the very talented Grace Burrowes.  I fell in love with Sycamore, also known as Cam, and would love to see him as a book Hero. Yes this book gave us so many characters to love and I would love to have more of each of them.

Do yourself a treat and don’t pass up this wonderful read.

 

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Recent Release Review- The Case of the Missing Morris Dancer

Title:  The Case of the Missing Morris Dancer

The Case of the missing Morris

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Author: Cathy Ace

Publisher: Severn House digital, Feb. 1,2016

Pages: 224

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating:0

Description from Amazon.com:         

The WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries, featuring a quartet of female PIs, working from a Welsh stately home. The Anwen Morris Dancers are to play a pivotal role in the imminent nuptials of Henry, eighteenth Duke of Chellingworth. But it looks as though the wedding plans might go awry unless Mavis, Annie, Carol and Christine can help Althea, the Dowager Duchess, by finding a missing Morris man and a set of ancient and valuable artefacts in time for her son’s wedding. Anwen-by-Wye might look like an idyllic Welsh village where family values reign and traditions still mean something in a modern world, but what will the WISE women find when they peer behind the respectable net curtains?

**

My first question upon reading this book was, what are Morris Dancers? So I looked it up and found this video.  It is a type of folk dance in Great Britain.

Video of Morris Dancers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZjLATAUwao

Now that you have been treated to that little snippet, let me explain about what a “cozy mystery” actually is, just in case you were unaware of the genre.  Cozy Mysteries are whodunnits without the gory details.  There can be murders or other dastardly deals but the reader is spared the grisly and gruesome.  Some famous Cozy authors are Agatha Christie, one of my favorites, Alan Bradley who writes the Flavia De Luce mysteries that I’ve previously reviewed and Charlaine Harris who writes the Aurora Teagarden mysteries.

This is a very British mystery set in present day Wales.  I say it is very British because it is chock-a-block full of British slang and references to items that are not generally known in the USA.  So because of those two things, the non-British reader is immersed in anglophilia and for this reader that is a delight.  The ladies of the WISE agency are all distinctive personalities which adds to the enjoyment of the story as do the personalities of the other characters.  There are several small mysteries to be solved within the pages along with discovering the whereabouts of the missing Morris dancer. There is some romance brewing and a baby on the way for some of the WISE women.

I really was surprised that the agency ladies were able to access the Morris dancer’s home and rifle through his computer.  They did justify this somewhat but it still seemed a bit illegal to me.  I will not say too much because I don’t want to give away any spoilers but it was not difficult to figure out who the bad guy was and I might have enjoyed the story even more if he had been introduced earlier.

In this read I was once again introduced to something I knew very little about, Morris Dancing. I look forward to reading more adventures of the WISE women from Cathy Ace and learning more about the Brits..

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Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Title:  The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

The Readers of broken Wheel

Genre: Literary Fiction/Romantic elements

Author: Katarina Bivald

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark, Jan 19, 2016

Pages: 386

Source: Free for review from the Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:         

Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her book-loving pen pal. When she arrives, however, she finds Amy’s funeral guests just leaving. The residents of Broken Wheel are happy to look after their bewildered visitor — not much else to do in a small town that’s almost beyond repair. They just never imagined that she’d start a bookstore. Or that books could bring them together – and change everything.

There’s a book for every person … and a person for every book.

**

This is a book about Sara, yes.  It also has another protagonist, the town of Broken Wheel, Iowa.  It is the personification of small towns everywhere, especially small dying towns.  Many of the residents have left for better opportunities but there are those who hang on, and they are devoted to helping one another. They somewhat adopt Sara and when she wants to set up a bookstore with Amy’s room full of books they are skeptical but lend her a hand. No one thinks this endeavor will work since there are no other readers in Broken Wheel.

A story of friendship, personalities, secrets, and love.  The romance is realistic and slow developing on many levels.  Almost totally character driven with a gentle story arc. I felt like I too was a resident of Broken Wheel, that is how well Ms. Bivald brought this town to life.

Truly a wonderful, feel good, book and perfect for book clubs.

 

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Recent Release Review- Enraptured by Candace Camp

Title:  Enraptured (Secrets of the Loch book #3)

Enraptured

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Candace Camp

Publisher: Pocket Books, Jan 19, 2016

Pages: 384

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

When Coll Munro finds himself supervising an archaeological dig on the sprawling Highlands estate of Duncally, the handsome Scot’s only worry is his former crofter friends, who seem to delight in making his job as hard as possible. Little does he know his biggest problem comes in a much smaller package. Gorgeous Violet Thornhill is an exasperating, meddling bluestocking who came to the site to examine the ruins and instead finds herself studying Coll. The unyielding Highlander and the headstrong English beauty clash at every turn. But when a midnight intruder threatens Violet and the excavation itself, these polar opposites must work together to solve a decades-old mystery. As Coll and Violet race to decipher long-buried clues, will they discover riches hidden years ago…or an unbridled passion more precious than gold?

**

In this the third book in the Secrets of The Loch Series, adventure and mystery are entwined with romance and longing.  Violet is not about to give up her freedom as an intellectual to even consider marriage.  Coll Munro is falling hard for Violet.  They must work together to discover who is thieving and attacking on the Duncally estate and they just might solve a centuries old mystery.

This is a delight of a standalone novel which makes me wish I had read the two that went before.  Ms. Camp has written an exciting adventure/romance that reminds me of Indiana Jones without the snakes and Nazi component. There is some tomb raiding and decidedly evil villains. There is some really hot sex scenes with the hero trying to call a halt instead of the usual virgin being reluctant.

I highly recommend this book to all HR fans who like a bit of adventure along with their sensual romance.

Secrets of the Loch Series

  1. Treasured
  2. Pleasured
  3. Enraptured

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Recent Release Review- The Art of Taming A Rake by Nicole Jordan

Title:  The Art of Taming A Rake (A Legendary Lovers Book #4)

The art of taming a rake

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Nicole Jordan

Publisher: Ballantine, Jan. 26, 2016

Pages: 416

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Sparks abound in this sizzling new Legendary Lovers tale from New York Times bestselling author Nicole Jordan, in which a seductive rakehell must woo his spirited but love-shy bride while unmasking a mysterious assailant.   Despite his notorious reputation, Quinn Wilde, Earl of Traherne, has mostly honorable intentions. So when beautiful Venetia Stratham boldly enters a gentlemen’s club, demanding that Quinn stop courting her sister, he does what any bachelor would do: He kisses her. With her sharp wit, intoxicating passion, and surprising vulnerability, Venetia is irresistible—except for all this nonsense about threatening to shoot Quinn. But when clandestine enemies make an actual attempt on the earl’s life, Venetia is implicated. To save her good name, Quinn does what any true gentleman must do: He proposes.   Thus Venetia finds herself wed to arrogant, wickedly sensual Quinn, whose devilish ways are as legendary as his rumored skills as a lover. Yet vexingly, her body rebels against her vow to remain immune to his many charms. If only she could reform the infuriating nobleman—without diminishing his undeniable allure. As Venetia discovers that a true rake is hard to tame, Quinn faces an even greater challenge: winning his wife’s fragile trust . . . while defending both their lives.

**

Venetia only wants to live an unfettered life.  All she wants is to go to France with her dear friend Cleo and pursue her sculpting where women are not scorned for pursuing the arts. Quinn has agreed that whatever she wants after the marriage is okay with him.  However Venetia did not expect that she would find her husband so alluring and we are treated to over half a book of will-she-or won’t-she succumb to his charm.

This is a book filled with light banter and lustful looks.  A happily predictable story about stubbornness and true love.  I recommend it to HR readers who want a light read that is also sexy after awhile.

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Bad Boys in Historical Romances, Why we love them

( this is a repost from 2011)

Rakes Regency Fashion googleThese Regency Rakes don’t look so “Bad” they actually look like a bunch of Dandys.

What makes us love Bad Boys in Historical Romance novels or any Romance novel?  Well here is my totally biased take on the subject:

Confidence with a capital “C”

The thing is, bad boys are uber confident, they know what they want and tell it to their women truthfully. They are totally “take charge” and rarely, if ever, seek approval for their actions. That’s an attractive trait.

Brawn and Brains, yummy!

Bad Boys are never cowardly in any situation.  They never run from a confrontation. They have superior strength and intelligence.

Absolutely Hunky

Bad Boys in novels are always, always drool worthy.  Thank you authors!!  Unless they are the evil reincarnations of Voldemort, but then I’m not talking about them.

Thrill Seekers

There is never a dull moment with a Bad Boy.  There is always adventure and passion or the promise of passion.  They infuse us with the feeling of being adventurous even if our lives are rather 9 to 5.

Consummate Lovers, oh yeah!

Those Bad Boys know all the techniques for seduction and how to put them to good use.

Bad Boys can make us “Bad Girls” (yes they can)

Those of us who read romance novels, like the idea that we can fantasize about those bad boys and maybe fantasize about being a bad girl, then we can go back to being the “good” women we are day to day.  Those novels can also spice up that “good” woman to act in adventurous ways.  Take note men.

Here is a video that shows us some very bad boys from those Historical Romance novels.  If you missed some of these movies you should really give yourself a treat and check them out of the library: (E-mail followers please go to my blog site to view the video.)

Movies:
Persuasion
Mansfeild Park
Emma
Sense & Sensibility (1995 & 2008)
Northanger Abbey
Pride and Prejudice (1995 & 2005)
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Becoming Jane
The Inheritance

Music:
Let It Rock – Kevin Rudolf

*************************
No Copyright infringement is intended or implied. For personal entertainment purposes only.

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Recent Release Review- Hell On Heels by Victoria Vane

Title:  Hell On Heels

Hell on Heels

Genre: Contemporary Romance Serial (book #1)

Author: Victoria Vane

Publisher: Lyrical shine, Jan 19, 2016, e-book

Pages: 147

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

Place Your Bet The Hotel Rodeo in Las Vegas has seen better days, but managing partner Ty Morgan has come up with a way to return it to its former glory. His plan looks promising until the unthinkable happens. Suddenly Ty is working for the boss’s daughter. And Miss Monica Brandt, hot as she may be, doesn’t share his vision… Roll The Dice She left a fabulous career and a frustrated fiancé in New York to move to Vegas and save her father’s investment. But now Monica is locking horns with a sexy cowboy-turned-businessman. What does Ty think he can do that she can’t? All Monica knows is that she doesn’t dare trust him—or is it herself she doesn’t trust?… And Win The battle lines are drawn. The stakes are high. And the attraction can’t be denied—especially the more closely Ty and Monica have to work together. Some odds are just meant to be played, and with chemistry this electric, it may be time to grab life by the horns…

**

I do love Victoria Vane’s romance books, both contemporary and historical.  She can delve into a time period or setting and bring it to life as she has brought the hotel real estate world to life in this book.  She sets a scene and we are immediately transported to Las Vegas.  Her characters, in this case Ty and Monica are well developed and their backgrounds fleshed out so that we are always aware of their motivation.  This is not my favorite of Ms. Vane’s books.  Monica was angry or grumpy and Ty also.  They had angry sex most of the time.  This also ends on a cliffhanger.  There was no HEA in this book.

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Deet’s Eats Revisited- Easy Cinnamon Buns

(This is a recipe that I posted in 2012 but it deserves a re-post.  I make these often and they are very well received.)

I like to cook, not so much do I like to bake.  So I take short cuts when I bake.  I doctor up cake mixes and brownie mixes, I buy the refrigerated chocolate chip cookies and press walnuts on top, and for this recipe, frozen bread dough.  These buns are so yummy no one will ever guess that they started out as a loaf of frozen bread dough…..I promise!  This makes two pans of buns and I suggest you make the recipe as written.  You can always freeze the second pan or better still become the favorite neighbor by giving away a pan.

Deet’s Glazed Cinnamon Raisin Buns

(makes 24 small buns)

2- 14 oz. loaves frozen bread dough, thawed*(Bridgeford and Rhodes are brands I’ve used)

3-4 Tablespoons soft butter

1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

½ cup brown sugar

Raisins

Walnuts or Pecans chopped

Glaze:   1 cup Confectioners sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

add enough milk to  the sugar and vanilla to make a drizzly glaze

  1. Grease two 9” round cake pans.
  2. Roll out each thawed bread dough to a rectangle of 12”x8”
  3. Spread 2 tablespoons of the butter on each rectangle of dough.
  4. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle on sugar mixture, raisins and nuts (as many as you like) dividing between rectangles
  5. Roll up each from the long side and pinch dough to seal
  6. Cut into 1” sections with a sharp knife and place cut side down in the pans.  Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes.  Turn out immediately onto plates.
  8. Drizzle glaze over top of buns while they are warm.
  • To thaw bread dough: grease a pan and place the loaves in the pan and cover with plastic wrap.  Place in the refrigerator overnight. 

     

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Recent Release Review- Sutherland’s Secret by Sharon Cullen

Title:  Sutherland’s Secret (A Highland Pride Novel, book#1)

Sutherland's Secret

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Sharon Cullen

Publisher: Loveswept, Jan 19, 2016

Pages: 279

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Sutherland’s Secret kicks off a series that’s overflowing with mouthwatering Scottish warriors, captivating history, and forbidden desire.   Terror reigns in the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden. As British troops obliterate the last traces of the Jacobite cause, Brice Sutherland, the Earl of Dornach, risks everything to arrange a covert escape route to Canada for his fellow Scots. But when he encounters a dying Englishwoman, hauntingly beautiful though scarred by manacles and unable to speak, Brice’s true courage is put to the test. Nothing but ruin could result from helping her, or worse: falling in love.   The pampered daughter of a marquess, Eleanor Hirst was the talk of the London season when she wed the Earl of Glendale. Little did she know that his posting as an officer in Scotland would be their undoing. Now her husband is dead and Eleanor is a fugitive in a hostile country. Desperate for help, she throws herself on the mercy of Brice Sutherland, a handsome Scottish warrior who should be her enemy. Instead, he cares for her tenderly, reviving her shattered spirit—and awakening urges unlike any she’s ever known.

**

Eleanor has survived her abuse by the strength of her character and she falls in love with her rescuer, Brice.  There are many reasons that Eleanor and Brice should not be together.  She is English aristocracy and he is Scottish in troubled times between the countries.  There is also the villainous officer Blackwood who is searching for her and who can bring chaos to Brice’s castle Dornach if Eleanor is discovered there.

Ms. Cullen has given us a beautiful story of an honorable man and the woman he comes to love. It is packed with action and adventure as well as romance and sensuality. Eleanor is a woman to be admired for her strength and courage and Brice for his altruistic endeavors on behalf of his displaced countrymen.  I recommend this book to those who like their romances filled with action and hot Highlanders.

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