Recent Release Review- The Duke of Andelot by Delilah Marvelle

Title: The Duke of Andelot (The School of Gallantry Series, book #7)

The Duke of Andelot

 

Genre: Historical Romance, E-Book

Author: Delilah Marvelle

Publisher: Delilah Marvelle Productions, April 10, 2015

Source: Free for review from the author

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

History just got sexy as hell…

Long before becoming the flamboyant courtesan known to men as Madame de Maitenon, Thérèse Angelique Bouchard, dreamed of becoming an actress capable of commanding not only the stage but all of Paris. Until she meets an extraordinary aristocratic gentleman who sweeps her into his arms and the danger of his life, while offering her the sort of wealth she never imagined. What starts off as a seductive alliance, ends in her giving him the one thing she, as a mere bourgeoisie, cannot afford to give: her love. After the murder of his older brothers, Gérard Antoine Tolbert, becomes the last heir to the powerful dukedom of Andelot, leaving him to fight for not only his life, but the allegiance he holds for the crown. During the final rise of the French Revolution that whispers of the violent change about to shake the entire country, Gérard meets an aspiring actress who introduces him into wanting more out of himself and life. In trying to protect her from their overly passionate alliance and those that want him dead, he must decide what matters most: his life or his heart. Sensuality level: Will scorch your kindle. Strong language and graphic sex scenes.

Setting: France, 1792 and London, 1830

**

This is the most dramatic of the books in this outstanding series. With her superbly constructed plot, Ms. Marvelle has given us a book rife with powerful emotional conflict, vivid atmosphere and a sizzling romance. There is danger, betrayal and heartrending results from the violence of the French revolution. This book gives a nod to the often unheard voice of the aristocrats of the revolution. Showing us another side to the “Les Miserable” story.

Number 7 in the School of Gallantry Series, we get the story of Therese, Madame Maitenon, head of the school that has been in each of the books. It is a welcome and fitting end to a fine series.

**

This historical romance can be read as a stand-alone, but is part of a series.

SCHOOL OF GALLANTRY SERIES:

Book 1, Mistress of Pleasure

Book 2, Lord of Pleasure

Book 3, Lady of Pleasure

Book 4, Night of Pleasure

Book 5, Master of Pleasure

Book 6, Romancing Lady Stone

The FINALE, The Duke of Andelot

 

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Filed under Book review, Books, E-Book, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Recent Release

Kindle Deal today- Mariana by Susanna Kearsley $1.99

Mariana

This $1.99 sale may only be for today so jump on this one.

 

Description from amazon.com:

The first time Julia Beckett saw Greywethers she was only five, but she knew at once that it was her house. Now, twenty-five years later, by some strange chance, she has just become the new owner of the sixteenth-century Wilshire farmhouse. But Julia soon begins to suspect that more than coincidence has brought her there. As if Greywethers were a porthal between worlds, she finds herself abruptly transported back in time. Stepping into seventeenth-century England, Julia becomes Mariana, a beautiful young woman struggling against danger and treachery, and battling a forbidden love for Richard de Mornay, handsome forebear of the present squire of Crofton Hall. Each time Julia travels back, she becomes more enthralled with the past, falling ever deeper in love with Richard…until one day she realizes Mariana’s life threatens to eclipse her own–and that she must find a way to lay the past to rest, or risk losing a chance for love in her own time.

Deet’s Review previously posted on this blog:

Rating: 5 glorious stars

sexy rating: 3

Here we have a ghost, reincarnation, time travel a heartrending love story of soulmates all wrapped up in exquisite prose. I could not put this book down, I had to read until the last page no matter the late hour. There is an element of subtle danger that culminates in heart pounding action and suspense. The ending is satisfying and romantic.

Romantic quote: “Ordinarily,” he went on, evenly, “I’m a patient man. But I think I’ve waited long enough.”……”Time we both stopped waiting, and began to live.”…. “These are your beautiful days, Julia Beckett.” He promised me softly.

I recommend this book to all romantics who like their stories well written and totally engrossing.

She is my new favorite author. I thought her book THE ROSE GARDEN was my favorite until I read this one although I have loved each of her novels.

 

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Recent Release Review- The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg

Title: The Dream Lover

The Dream Lover

Genre: Historical Fiction

Author: Elizabeth Berg

Publisher: Random House, April 2015

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

At the beginning of this powerful novel, we meet Aurore Dupin as she is leaving her estranged husband, a loveless marriage, and her family’s estate in the French countryside to start a new life in Paris. There, she gives herself a new name—George Sand—and pursues her dream of becoming a writer, embracing an unconventional and even scandalous lifestyle.   Paris in the nineteenth century comes vividly alive, illuminated by the story of the loves, passions, and fierce struggles of a woman who defied the confines of society. Sand’s many lovers and friends include Frédéric Chopin, Gustave Flaubert, Franz Liszt, Eugène Delacroix, Victor Hugo, Marie Dorval, and Alfred de Musset. As Sand welcomes fame and friendship, she fights to overcome heartbreak and prejudice, failure and loss. Though considered the most gifted genius of her time, she works to reconcile the pain of her childhood, of disturbing relationships with her mother and daughter, and of her intimacies with women and men. Will the life she longs for always be just out of reach—a dream?   **

I have a love/annoyed relationship with this novel. I loved the prose that brought to life this complex woman who we know as George Sand, born Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin. I found this genius-woman to be fascinating in her ability to accept society’s censure of her behavior. She was able to do this by keeping herself to a wide circle of likeminded friends and lovers. I loved the way George could throw herself into love affairs and care deeply about the lover even after the affair ended. She was addicted to being in love and always searching for the forever-love. Of course, I have no idea if this is actually how George felt because this is a novelization of her life.

What annoyed me about the book was the time jumps from George’s adult life to her childhood. I think I would have enjoyed this novel even more if it had been written in a linear fashion. With every other chapter jumping back and forth it was at times confusing and took me out of the story. I also wanted to know more about her first husband Casimir and because this book was written in the first person from George’s point of view we are left to wonder about him.

As an introduction to the life of George Sand this is a good book. I was compelled to read page after page trying to understand the mind of this famous woman. Since it is a novel I think biographies would add even more to my understanding.

**

This is a painting of George Sand and her lover, Frederic Chopin by Delecroix. (All mentioned in this novel)

ChopinSandDelacroix

 

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Deet’s Binge Worthy Romance Series

 

A few weeks ago Amazon listed, on their blog, the most binge worthy romance series. You can see their picks here:

http://www.omnivoracious.com/2015/04/unstoppable-love-the-five-best-binge-read-romance-series.html

Now I have to put my two-cents worth in. Here are Deet’s recommendations of the most binge worthy romance reads.  Go Ahead and start your binge. :-)

Paranormal Romance-Vampire In America Series by D.B. Reynolds

Book#1 Raphael and book# 2 Jabril (9 books and several novellas available)

RAPHAELJabril

 

Historical Romance– Pennyroyal Green series by Julie Anne Long

Book#1 The Perils of Pleasure and book#2 Like No Other Lover (10 books available)

The Perils of pleasure JA LONG bkLike No Other Lover JA Long bk

 

Contemporary Romance– Blue Heron Series by Kristan Higgins

Book#1 The Best Man and Book#2 The perfect Match (4 books available)

The Best ManThe Perfect Match

 

Historical Romance– The Wallflower Series by Lisa Kleypas

Book#1 Secrets of A Summer Night and book#2 It Happened One Autumn (4 novels and one novella available)

Secrets of a Summer NightIt Happened One Autumn

 

Historical Romance– The Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn

Book#1 The Duke and I and book#2 The Viscount Who Loved Me (9 novels available and 2 novellas)

The Duke and IThe Viscount Who Loved Me

 

Paranormal Romance– the Midnight Breed Series by Lara Adrian

Book#1 Kiss of Midnight and book#2 Kiss of Crimson (16 novels and 3 novellas available)

KissOfMidnightKissOfCrimson

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Filed under Books, Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romance

“Romantic Times” Award Winner Review- The Viscount Who Lived Down The Lane by Elizabeth Boyle

Title: The Viscount Who Liveed Down The Lane: Rhymes with Love

The Viscount who lives Down the lane

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Elizabeth Boyle

Publisher: Avon, 2014

Source: Purchase

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

She has no desire for love . . .

As she arrives in Mayfair, Louisa Tempest is horrified when her incorrigible cat bolts from the carriage and dashes into a neighbor’s house, where she comes face-to-face with the reclusive Viscount Wakefield. But even more dismaying than his foul temper is the disarray in which she finds his home. Convinced his demeanor would improve if his household were in order, Louisa resolves to put everything to rights.

. . . until she meets the viscount who lives down the lane

Much to his chagrin, Wakefield finds it impossible to keep the meddling Louisa out of his home, invading his daily life with her “improvements,” and his nights with the tempting desires she sparks inside him. Wounded in the war, he’s scorned society ever since his return . . . until Louisa opens the door to his heart and convinces him to give love a second chance.

**

This is a book chock-a-block full of wit, humor and splendid writing. We are treated to Louisa’s indomitable spirit for she is a young woman who knows her own mind and certainly thinks she knows what ought to be done when she sees an aristocratic mess. Pierson, Viscount Wakefield was perfectly content to wallow in his depression and drink until Louisa invaded his home with her good intentions. Louisa is the whirlwind that cannot be stopped no matter how much bluster and foot stomping is done by the Viscount.

This is the fourth book in the RHYMES WITH LOVE series. It is a standalone novel so feel free to pick it up and not be lost. There are kisses and more so keep your fan at the ready for things can get steamy hot. Winner of the Romantic Times 2014 Love and Laughter award. If you are looking for a lighthearted read dripping with romance than this is the one.

 

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Filed under Award Winners, Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance, Historical Romance

Deet’s Eats- Quickie Ground Beef Stroganoff

Well you know how it is, you have had a busy day at work or doing laundry or volunteering or playing 18 holes of golf or in my case, reading a romance novel…anyway you want to get dinner on the table but you don’t want to take forever doing it.  This is my go-to recipe for super busy days.  It just takes a few minutes to throw together and it tastes really good, like you actually did some serious cooking. Just have the ingredients in your pantry and freezer and you are good to go.

Deet’s Quickie Ground Beef Stroganoff

3/4-1 lb. ground beef2015-04-14 04.27.30

1 T olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

4 oz. can of sliced mushrooms (drained)

S&P to taste

Garlic powder to taste

1 T Ketchup (the ketchup was camera shy)

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1 12oz jar beef gravy (I use Heinz)

1/2 cup sour cream

8 oz. dried egg noodles

1. First empty the grapes in the fridge out of the colander into a bowl and wash the colander. You will need this colander  for draining the egg noodles. If your colander is already clean and free of fridge grapes then skip this step. :-)

2015-04-14 05.28.242. Start a pot of water to boil for the egg noodles.  Don’t cook them yet.

3. Place the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and crumble in the beef. Saute until brown, add onions and mushrooms and cook for a few minutes. add S&P, garlic powder, Worcestershire and Ketchup.  Now stir in the jar of gravy.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover the pan and cook until the egg noodles are done.

4.The water should be boiling so cook you egg noodles.(usually about 7-8 min.).

2015-04-14 05.19.54

2015-04-14 05.22.09

2015-04-14 05.34.06

At this point hubby brought in a beautiful gardenia from our back yard. Yes, we live in the South where it is warm.

5. When the noodles are almost ready stir the sour cream into the meat mixture and just heat through. Drain the noodles and top with the meat mixture.  Voila! Done!

When I took this photo at our table I told hubby “show us your six-pack”.  He replied “I only have a one-pack”. This is why I love him.

2015-04-14 05.43.53

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News-Romantic Times 2014 Award Winners

2014rtawardswinner

http://www.rtbookreviews.com/blog/82892/announcing-2014-rt-reviewers-choice-and-career-achievement-awards-winners

For the complete list of winners go to the website above.  Here is a taste:

Historical Romance of the Year: Once More My Darling Rogue by Lorraine Heath

First Historical Romance Novel: A Gentleman at Midnight by Alison DeLaine

Love & Laughter: The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane by Elizabeth Boyle

Digital Historical Romance: The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan

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Recent Release Review- A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley

Title: A Desperate Fortune

A Desperate Fortune

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

Author: Susanna Kearsley

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark, April 7, 2015

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 5+

Sexy Rating: 3

Description from Amazon.com:

For nearly three hundred years, the cryptic journal of Mary Dundas has kept its secrets. Now, amateur codebreaker Sara Thomas travels to Paris to crack the cipher.

Jacobite exile Mary Dundas is filled with longing-for freedom, for adventure, for the family she lost. When fate opens the door, Mary dares to set her foot on a path far more surprising and dangerous than she ever could have dreamed.

As Mary’s gripping tale of rebellion and betrayal is revealed to her, Sara faces events in her own life that require letting go of everything she thought she knew-about herself, about loyalty, and especially about love. Though divided by centuries, these two women are united in a quest to discover the limits of trust and the unlikely coincidences of fate.

**

Mary Dundas starts out on this 1732, adventurous journey an innocent, sheltered, naive young woman.  She is not a stranger to heartbreak having her father and brothers leave her with family when she was young. When she accepts the challenge to help the Jacobite King she does so with a touch of anxiety but feeling also she will be of service.  Her brother Nicholas does not really give her a choice. On this assignment she meets Thomson who is on the run from the English Parliament for fraud, MacPherson who is a body guard and Effie who is to be her chaperone. Some characters that Ms. Kearsley explains in an afterward are historically accurate. Adventure and danger are around every corner but MacPherson manages to protect the small group through the journey.

Sara Thomas, who is decoding Mary’s diary in the present day, has Asperger’s Syndrome and is fully aware that she does not have the ability to read others’ feelings accurately. So she has difficulty understanding her own feelings toward a new friend. But Sara’s budding romance also confounds her since she has become very friendly with “his” ex-wife.  Sara cannot understand how they can remain good friends.

I could say so much more about the story but truly it is all exquisite! There is no other way to describe this book.  Oh, yes, I could say that the narrative is well paced, the romance slow building, the plot riveting, the characterization well developed but that all evolves into “exquisite”.  This book contains the most romantic declaration of love I’ve yet to read in any novel. I’ll say no more about that so I don’t spoil it for you. Because I do expect that you will move mountains if necessary to read this one.

Susanna Kearsley has written other novels centering on the Jacobites or this late 17th and early 18th century time period.  They are all well written page turners, as are her Time Travel novels. I highly recommend them.

  1. The Winter Sea
  2. The Rose Garden
  3. The Shadowy Horses
  4. Mariana
  5. The Firebird

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Filed under Book review, Books, Favorites, Historical Fiction, Romance

Recent Release Review- Kiss The Earl by Gina Lamm

Title: Kiss The Earl (Geek Girls, Book #3)

Kiss The Earl

Genre: Time Travel Romance/Regency

Author: Gina Lamm

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, April 7, 2015

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

When Ella Briley asked her lucky-in-love friends to set her up for an office party, she was expecting a blind date. Instead, she’s pulled through a magic mirror and into the past…straight into the arms of her very own Mr. Darcy.

Patrick Meadowfair, earl of Fairhaven, is too noble for his own good. To save a female friend from what is sure to be a loveless marriage, he’s agreed to whisk her off to wed the man she truly wants. But all goes awry when Patrick mistakes Ella for the would-be bride and kidnaps her instead.

Centuries away from everything she knows, Ella’s finally found a man who heats her blood and leaves her breathless. Too bad he’s such a perfect gentleman. Yet the reluctant rake may just find this modern girl far too tempting for even the noblest of men to resist…

**

This author has no problem telling a story. We are treated to lots of action. She also has no problem with characterization, all are well developed.

But this reader had a problem with the lack of common sense that the heroine exhibits. She knows she must walk two miles to shelter on an unpaved roadway. She breaks one of her stiletto heels and instead of breaking off the other heel and struggling along the best she can she throws away her shoes and goes ahead in her tights/pantyhose. Well naturally two miles later she has cuts on her feet and then she gets an infection that nearly kills her. But she laments that everything “happens” to her as if her own stupidity is not to blame.

Patrick is not much smarter since he could have solved most of his problems early on by telling the truth to the Baron.

This Time Travel novel struck me as Regency chick-Lit. Obviously not my favorite genre. However if that is what you like then this book does offer a rousing good adventure. this is a standalone novel with some reference to the first two books.

P.S.- If that guy on the cover is our hero, then the book is worth the read just to fuel the imagination.

Geek Girls series:

The Geek Girl and the Scandalous Earl (Book 1)

Geek Girls Don’t Date Dukes (Book 2)

Kiss the Earl (Book 3)

 

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Filed under Book review, Books, Chick Lit, Historical Romance, Romance, Time Travel Novel

Recent Release Review + Giveaway- When A Rake Falls by Sally Orr

Title: When a Rake Falls (The Rakes Handbook, book #2)

When a Rake Falls

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Sally Orr

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, April 7, 2015

Source: Free for Review from the publisher

Rating: 2

Sexy Rating: ? some kissing

Description from Amazon.com:

He’s racing to win back his reputation Having hired a balloon to get him to Paris in a daring race, Lord Boyce Parker is simultaneously exhilarated and unnerved by the wonders and dangers of flight, and most of all by the beautiful, stubborn, intelligent lady operating the balloon.

She’s curious about the science of love Eve Mountfloy is in the process of conducting weather experiments when she finds herself spirited away to France by a notorious rake. She’s only slightly dismayed-the rake seems to respect her work-but she is frequently distracted by his windblown physical magnificence and buoyant spirits.

What happens when they descend from the clouds? As risky as aeronautics may be, once their feet touch the ground, Eve and Boyce learn the real danger of a very different type of falling…

**

This is the second book in The Rakes Handbook series.  I enjoyed book one, the first written by this author.  However this book really did not set well with me at all.  The hero was silly beyond my endurance.  He broke into song if he was happy and even if it was an inappropriate time.  The writing was choppy with the sort of writing that involved he-did this-then-they-did-that-then-she-did-this. I felt the author was trying for humor but it was silly instead of funny.  I gave this book a good try to the 70% mark on my Kindle and then just gave up.

I’m not recommending this book but if you want to read the first book there is a rafflecopter giveaway for that one.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/54ca7af785/

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