Monthly Archives: January 2015

Review (Novella)- Viscount of Vice by Shana Galen

Title:  Viscount of Vice (Covent Garden Cubs Book #0)

The Viscount of Vice

Genre: Historical Romance/Novella

Author: Shana Galan

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, January 6, 2015(E-Book)

Source: free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Whispers and secrets are no match for love… Henry Flynn, the new Lord Chesham, still blames himself for the disappearance of his younger brother when they were children. That incident destroyed his family, and now he’s on a path of self-destruction that no one can interrupt…

Lady Emma Talbot can’t stand watching the man she secretly loves destroy himself little by little. She’s determined to show him that no one holds him culpable, before it’s too late. But Emma doesn’t know what really happened to Flynn on that fateful day long ago, so what chance does she have of saving him from himself?

**

Emma and Flynn are starcrossed, wanna-be lovers. Emma has been in love with Flynn for several years and Flynn has been denying his attraction for as long. Now they are thrown together under difficult circumstances and they can no longer deny their feelings.

For a short story/novella we are treated to lots of action and adventure. There is the discovery of a missing relative, an abduction and some steamy romance. Shana Galen has crafted a delightful introduction to her new Covent Garden Cubs series.

 

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Recent Release review- The Devil Takes A Bride by Julia London

Title: The Devil Takes A Bride (book #2, The Cabot Sisters Series)

The Devil Takes A Bride

Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Julia London

Publisher: Harlequin HQN, July 29, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5+

Description from Amazon.com:

A plan born of desperation…

Once the toast of society, Grace Cabot and her sisters now await the shame of losing high status and fine luxuries upon the death of the Earl of Beckington. The dire circumstances are inevitable unless, of course, Grace’s wicked plot to seduce a wealthy viscount into marriage goes off without a single hitch. But once a stolen embrace with the wrong man leads her to be discovered in the arms of Jeffrey, the Earl of Merryton, her plan takes a most unexpected—and scorching—twist.

…and altered by passion.

Governed by routine and ruled by duty, Jeffrey had no desire for a wife before he succumbed to Grace’s temptation. Though his golden-haired, in-name-only bride is the definition of disorder, he can’t resist wanting her in every way. But once her secrets meet his, society might consider their lives to be ruined beyond repair…while Jeffrey might just see it as a new beginning

**

( I reviewed this book on the blog on July 28,2014 when the publisher had the title THE FALL OF LADY GRACE.  Since that time the publishing date was changed and also the title but the book content remains the same.)

Oh the delight in starting a book that grabs you from page one and doesn’t let go until the end. Jeffrey suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder and some out-of-the-ordinary sexual proclivities. He thinks he is insane and tries to cover up his problems to avoid a scandal in society. Grace, after their forced marriage, thinks something is wrong but is determined to help Jeffrey.

This is one scorching and kinky romance. Julia London has penned an engrossing tale that will leave you breathless. This is definitely a delightful read and wonderful addition to the Cabot Sisters Series that started with THE TROUBLE WITH HONOR.

 

 

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Release Day Review- Surrender by Violetta Rand

Title: Surrender

Surrender

Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Erotic

Author: Violetta Rand

Publisher: Loveswept, Jan 27, 2015

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Fans of Abbi Glines will adore Violetta Rand’s novels about strong-willed women who must fight to survive—and the men who love them. Welcome to the Devil’s Den, a Texas strip club where the air is heavy with desire . . . and sometimes dreams come true.   Ever since her mother kicked her out, twenty-year-old Robyn Gonzalez has been working the poles at the Devil’s Den, saving up to finish college and travel the world. With only her wits and her gorgeous body to rely on, Robyn has learned to be independent—fiercely independent. She’s never been tempted to let a man distract her from her dreams . . . until she meets the dead-sexy Garrick Dempsey.   The club’s new head of security, Garrick had walked away from a career as a mechanical engineer to return to his roots in Corpus Christi. He hadn’t planned on getting to know someone like Robyn, with her sinfully sweet combination of vulnerability and strength, at the Devil’s Den. She acts tough, but only because she’s been hurt. Soon Garrick knows he will do anything to win Robyn’s trust. And if that means surrendering to the red-hot chemistry between them, all the better.

**

Oh so many mixed feelings about this book. That means it is a good read since it evokes all kinds of feelings. First off we have the gorgeous Robyn who comes from a seriously dysfunctional family which partly explains her choice in working as a stripper in a strip club. Then we have gorgeous Garrick who has abandoned his job as an engineer on an oil rig to become head of security at the club. They don’t meet there, at the club, they meet when one midnight she is being chased down a beach, he is fishing and saves her from the bad guy who, by the way, keeps turning up like a bad penny.

The story line in this one is good, can a “bad” girl, stripper find happiness with a main-stream kind of guy while all manner of violence and mayhem seems to surround her. Violetta Rand portrays Robyn as a “good” girl at heart; she is a virgin, she does not do drugs like so many of her co-strippers, she is working her way through college (okay that last part was a bit cliché but it helps define our heroine). She is also under twenty-one and technically too young to be doing her job. Now Garrick is one Alpha good-guy, a mechanical engineer tired of working the oil rig and taking a job that, seems to me, is beneath him. He is wealthy and throws his money around but really doesn’t seem to do it to impress just to get what he wants. Both of these characters are sympathetic even if at times Robyn seems a bit misguided and needs a reality check.

Ms Rand kept me reading and turning pages, always a mark of a good read. But I was frustrated by the first person narrative of both protagonists that went back and forth so that I, very often, did not know who was speaking. I really wish that there had been Chapter and section titles naming the speaker.

I recommend this book with the reservations that I have mentioned.

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Recent Release Review- Trade Me by Courtney Milan

Title: Trade Me (Cyclone Series, Book #1)

Trade Me

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Young Adult

Author: Courtney Milan

Publisher: Courtney Milan

Source: Free for review from the author

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Tina Chen just wants a degree and a job, so her parents never have to worry about making rent again. She has no time for Blake Reynolds, the sexy billionaire who stands to inherit Cyclone Systems. But when he makes an offhand comment about what it means to be poor, she loses her cool and tells him he couldn’t last a month living her life. To her shock, Blake offers her a trade: She’ll get his income, his house, his car. In exchange, he’ll work her hours and send money home to her family. No expectations; no future obligations. But before long, they’re trading not just lives, but secrets, kisses, and heated nights together. No expectations might break Tina’s heart…but Blake’s secrets could ruin her life. Trade Me is the first book in the Cyclone series.

**

When you have such an accomplished author like Courtney Milan it is expected that there will be a very good story that is well written. This offering is no exception. Her characterization is so spot-on that you will think this is a real story about real people. The Chinese background of Tina and the corporate culture background of Blake is so well developed and presented that it is what makes these characters so real. (Courtney goes so far as to thoroughly explain that these are not real living people in an afterword.) There is a strong initial attraction between Tina and Blake but since they have a business agreement and both are full of their own insecurities, they try to set aside (unsuccessfully) the attraction. The romance is slow building and sensual. There are side characters that play important roles in the lives of both Tina and Blake. There is even a shocking surprise or two.

 

I can highly recommend this book to Contemporary romance fans as well as fans of the Young Adult genre.

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Recent Release Review- The Other Duke by Jess Michaels

Title: The Other Duke (The Notorious Flynns, book #1)

The Other Duke

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Jess Michaels

Publisher: The Passionate Pen, Jan. 2015

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

For years Serafina McPhee has been engaged to marry the heir to the Duke of Hartholm and for almost as long, she has been struggling to find a way out of that engagement. When he suddenly dies, she does not mourn but thrills at the idea that she will be free. Unfortunately, best laid plans go awry when the next in line for the title, her intended’s cousin, Raphael “Rafe” Flynn is forced to take over the engagement. But Serafina knows Rafe’s reputation as a libertine and wants nothing to do with him, either, even if he is devastatingly handsome. She proposes an arrangement: she will agree to the marriage and provide Rafe with his heir and spare. Once she has done her duty, he will let her go. Rafe is intrigued both by her beauty and by her utter disgust with the idea of being his bride. Women normally fall at his feet, not cringe away from him. However, since their arranged marriage is not something he can escape, he agrees to her terms. But when he finds out on their wedding night the truth about her torture at the hands of his predecessor, he finds himself driven not just to fulfill his bargain with his new bride, but to introduce her to desire. While they move closer together, surrendering to wicked pleasures, dangerous emotions may violate every agreement they’ve made.

**

Did you read that description? Yes, this is a very sensuous and sexy book. It is also well written by and accomplished author. Rafe is perhaps too good to be true but we will certainly forgive him for that. Serafina is perhaps a bit too stubborn but then again we need that trait to balance out Rafe. Together they are tinder and match. We read and turn pages to find out what will change Sera’s mind about a life with Rafe.

This is a fun and easy read and the start of a series. Next will be Rafe’s sister Annabelle’s story. You really can’t go wrong with a Jess Michael’s book, especially if you like your historical romances very sexy.

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Extra, Extra, Read all about it- Terrific Infographic showing great authors works

Book infograficThis is a really terrific info graphic showing great authors work, at what age they wrote their breakthrough book, how many they wrote before the breakthrough, when they died (if they are dead) and books written posthumously.  If any of these authors interest you, you can get a list of all their books right there.  Go ahead, take a look, I think you will be as fascinated as I am.

https://blog.blinkboxbooks.com/what-age-did-the-greatest-authors-publish-their-most-famous-works

Thanks go out to Robert over at 101 Books blog for steering me in this direction: http://101books.net/

 

 

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Recent Release Review- Perdita by Hilary Scharper

Title: Perdita

Perdita

Genre: Eco-Gothic

Author: Hilary Scharper

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark. Jan. 20 2015

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 3

Description from Amazon.com:

Marged Brice is 134 years old. She’d be ready to go, if it wasn’t for Perdita . . .

The Georgian Bay lighthouse’s single eye keeps watch over storm and calm, and Marged grew up in its shadow, learning the language of the wind and the trees. There’s blustery beauty there, where sea and sky incite each other to mischief… or worse…

Garth Hellyer of the Longevity Project doesn’t believe Marged was a girl coming of age in the 1890s, but reading her diaries in the same wild and unpredictable location where she wrote them might be enough to cast doubt on his common sense.

Everyone knows about death. It’s life that’s much more mysterious…

**

This is a novel about love, mythology, nature and beliefs. This novel is set in the present but also takes us into the past through Marged’s diaries. Marged claims to be 134 years old but Garth, Professor and interviewer for The Longevity Project, can’t believe she could be that old. Marged gives him her diaries to try and convince him. Through the fascinating diaries we are introduced to mythology that seems to manifest itself, the romantic yearnings of a young woman and a sincere appreciation of the nature and power of the waters, trees on the shore and winds of the Georgian Bay.

This is a novel of enigmatic and intelligent prose that will sweep you and the protagonist into the swirling cocophony of emotions. Marged is in tune with nature to the point of conjuring mythological beings but is down to earth enough to fall in love with a man who thinks he should love elsewhere. I kept turning pages to discover all the secrets and solve the mysteries and find out if Miss Marged Brice ever found love.

 

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Recent Release Review- As Chimney Sweepers Come To Dust by Alan Bradley

 

 

Title: As Chimney Sweepers Come To Dust (A Flavia de Luce mystery)

As Chimney Sweepers Come To dust

Genre: Mystery

Author: Alan Bradley

Publisher: Bantam, Janury 6, 2015

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

Flavia de Luce—“part Harriet the Spy, part Violet Baudelaire from Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” (The New York Times Book Review)—takes her remarkable sleuthing prowess to the unexpectedly unsavory world of Canadian boarding schools in the captivating new mystery from New York Times bestselling author Alan Bradley. Banished! is how twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce laments her predicament, when her father and Aunt Felicity ship her off to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy, the boarding school that her mother, Harriet, once attended across the sea in Canada. The sun has not yet risen on Flavia’s first day in captivity when a gift lands at her feet. Flavia being Flavia, a budding chemist and sleuth, that gift is a charred and mummified body, which tumbles out of a bedroom chimney. Now, while attending classes, making friends (and enemies), and assessing the school’s stern headmistress and faculty (one of whom is an acquitted murderess), Flavia is on the hunt for the victim’s identity and time of death, as well as suspects, motives, and means. Rumors swirl that Miss Bodycote’s is haunted, and that several girls have disappeared without a trace. When it comes to solving multiple mysteries, Flavia is up to the task—but her true destiny has yet to be revealed.

**

This is my third Flavia de Luce mystery and I have to say Flavia is just a delight. She is precocious, borderline genius, fears nothing and is the bane of all adults.   A dead body greets her first night arrival at Miss Bodycote’s Academy, and the body falls out of the fireplace in her room. The event has traumatized another student who was in the room also but it has only fueled Flavia’s desire to solve the mystery.

I thought this offering in the Flavia de Luce series was a bit slower then the others I have read although I still enjoyed every moment of Flavia’s shenanigans. As with most mysteries there are red herrings and just when we think we have outsmarted our twelve-year-old heroine she outsmarts us once again. An enjoyable page turning read. I’m sure you will love Flavia like I do.

The Flavia de Luce novels in order (Although each is a standalone):

THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE

THE WEED THAT STRINGS THE HANGMAN’S BAG

A RED HERRING WITHOUT MUSTARD

I AM HALF-SICK OF SHADOWS*

SPEAKING FROM AMONG THE BONES*

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches.    

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Recent Release Review- An Affair Downstairs by Sherri Browning

Title: An Affair Downstairs (A Thornbrook Park Romance, book #2)

An Affair Downstairs

Genre: Historical Romance/Edwardian

Author: Sherri Browning

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, Jan. 6, 2015

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

The attraction of the forbidden cannot be suppressed…

Lady Alice Emerson is entirely unsatisfied with the endless stream of boring suitors her family finds appropriate. She wants something more. Something daring. Something real. Each tiresome new suitor only serves to further inflame Lady Alice’s combustible attraction to Thornbrook Park’s rugged, manly estate manager, Logan Winthrop. Despite Logan’s stubborn attempts to avoid her, Lady Alice is irresistible, and so is the forbidden desire exploding between them…

**

Lady Alice is the daughter of an Earl. Logan Winthrop is the second son of a Baron. Alice’s sister, Sophia, thinks that Alice can and should make an effort to marry someone more aristocratic than her estate manager, Logan. However, Lady Alice doesn’t want to marry at all. She just wants to have an affair with Logan. All manner of trouble ensues as Sophia pushes forth her agenda, Alice refuses to submit to Sophia but attempts to seduce Logan and Logan finds himself falling in love. Toss in The Earl of Ralston, who refuses to take no for an answer and you have this absolutely absorbing read.

I could not put this book down. Two nights in a row I burned the midnight oil well into the wee hours. Every time I thought I had come to a stopping point Ms. Browning upped the ante with another surprise or twist.

This is the second book in Ms. Browning’s A Thornbrook Park Series. It is a standalone novel featuring characters from the first book. I was so impressed with this author’s writing that I’m definitely going to read the first book and any future books in this series. But you will not be lost if you start with this well written entry.

I was put off a bit by the marketing of this book as akin to “Downton Abby” and by the title. No place in this book could I find an “affair downstairs”. Logan, although working as an estate manager for an Earl, was the brother of a Baron and therefore a member of the aristocracy, albeit on the fringe. The only allusion to the Edwardian era was train and auto use and travel. The manners and mores of the era, as portrayed, could have been from any year in the 19th or early 20th century. Normally I would have deducted points on my review for these annoyances but this was such a well written story that I am staying with my 5 star opinion.

 

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Review- Master of Pleasure by Delilah Marvelle

Title: Master of Pleasure (The School of Gallantry, book #5)

Master of Pleasure

Genre: Historical Romance/Erotic Romance

Author: Delilah Marvelle

Publisher: Delilah Marvelle Productions, Nov. 2014

Source: purchase for e-reader

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5+

Description from Amazon.com:

WARNING: This historical romance is cotton candy with a razor on top. If you are easily offended by dirty humor and graphic sex, this book is not for you.

After Miss Leona Olivia Webster had allowed herself to fall in love with a dashing childhood friend who had left her scorned and pregnant, she is done chasing her happily-ever-after. Shunned by society, she dedicates herself to raising her young son and putting money in their pockets. She doesn’t expect to be drawn to her latest master, a brooding man of hulking presence who carves random messages into walls with his Persian blade as a means of starting a flirtation. Malcolm Gregory Thayer, the earl of Brayton, may have dedicated himself to a life of religious virtue after leaving the monastery due to dark tendencies, but after meeting Leona, he begins to yearn for the life that had never been his. When he meets a retired French courtesan who invites him to embrace what he has long feared, he seizes the opportunity to become the man he always wanted to be. His new mission is clear. He intends to finally serve the one thing he never had: his heart.

**

Right off you have to know that this book is not only sexy but it is kinky and gritty. The faint of heart will not like it. Thankfully I’m not of the faint type. It explores Malcolm’s predilection for pleasure produced by pain. His guilt and his coming to grips with his “affliction”. Leona falls in love with Malcolm and struggles to understand this brooding, often gruff man with a kind heart.

This series has been often surprising and at times disturbing but always, always entertaining. Ms. Marvelle writes intriguing stories with superbly sensual nuances as well as characters with fiery, passionate, and sometimes shameful secrets. In this story Malcolm tries to cope with powerful emotional conflict. He is not always admirable but we do sympathize with his emotional pain.

It is not necessary to read the series from the beginning to enjoy this book but you will derive a better understanding of the School of Gallantry if you do start from the beginning.

THE SCHOOL OF GALLANTRY BOOKS:

Book 1, Mistress of Pleasure

Book 2, Lord of Pleasure

Book 3, Lady of Pleasure

Book 3.5, Romancing Lady Stone

Book 4, Night of Pleasure

Book 5, Master of Pleasure

THE FINALE, Book 6, The Duke of Andelot

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