Monthly Archives: July 2015

Advance Review- The Earl Claims A Bride by Amelia Grey

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

The Earl Claims a bride

Author: Amelia Grey

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Aug 4, 2015 (available for preorder)

Pages: 354

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

CAN A HASTILY ARRANGED MATCH Harrison Thornwick is the Heirs’ Club’s newest member. His carefree days as a reckless rogue carousing around London are suddenly behind him after the tragic death of his brother leaves him in charge of the family estate. What’s more, the Prince himself has offered to secure his marital prospects. Now Harrison has no choice but to grin and bear his noble fate-and the woman who’s been chosen for him.

BECOME A LOVE FOR ALL TIME?

Miss Angelina Rule is a spectacular beauty, a dream match for any man. But she is fiercely independent-and full of passion-and is all set to rebel against her royal order of marriage…until she meets the devilishly charming Harrison. With him by her side, Angelina devises a scheme that will teach her meddlesome relatives a lesson, once and for all. But little did she and Harrison expect to fall into a tempestuous attraction-and a powerful desire that neither of them can deny…

**

I’m presented with a “description” (blurb) that is not quite accurate to the book. Who writes these and don’t they read the book? The part I object to: “Angelina devises a scheme that will teach her meddlesome relatives a lesson” Yes Angelina devises a scheme but she is not trying to teach anyone a lesson, she is trying to save her father from prison.

This has a plot based on a love triangle. Angelina fell in love with a dashing Army officer at the age of 16 and has not seen him for three years. She believes that when they reunite they will marry. But her father has made a deal with the Prince Regent to marry her off to, Harrison, the Earl of Thornwick. Angelina balks at the betrothal but gradually falls for Harrison. Meanwhile, her long lost officer returns, wounded and wanting to woo her. What compounds her problems is the fact that she is trying to keep her father out of prison.

This is a terrific book! The writing is superb and the romance sublimely sensual. There is sizzling chemistry between Angelina and Harrison. The Army officer, Captain Maxwell, is perfectly nuanced in his PTSD and insecuities. The characters are all so believable and their actions and responses so human. All are not easily redeemed, but some are. Amelia Grey is an accomplished storyteller. I look forward to reading more of her novels.

This is the second book in the trilogy but can easily be read as a standalone novel. However, I intend to pick up the first book in the trilogy because I want to know all about Bray, the Duke of Drakestone ( The Duke in My Bed).

(I love the cover!!!)

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NPR (National Public Radio) List of top 100 Romance Novels and Series

romance_SIGN

National Public Radio has published a monumental list of 100 Romance books. Undeniably they are the best of the best. Go to their sight and you can have a printable list to take to the bookstore or the library. I’ve been busy checking off the ones I’ve read and staring the ones I want to read.

http://www.npr.org/2015/07/29/427477293/100-swoon-worthy-romances-the-printable-list

After you swoon over the list then go to this page where they tell you how and why.

http://www.npr.org/2015/07/29/427126789/heartbreakers-why-some-books-didnt-make-the-final-romance-list

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Advance Review- Miss Radley’s Third Dare by Heather Boyd

Title: Miss Radley’s Third Dare (Miss Mayhem, book #3)

Miss Radley's Third Dare

Genre: Historical Romance Novella

Author: Heather Boyd

Publisher: LLD Press, Aug. 4, 2015 for Kindle, preorder available

Pages: 123

Source: Free for review from the author

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

What a woman wants… The only person who ever understood what Julia Radley wanted most in life was the man who ruined her reputation and secured her victory in a bold swimming race. She does not hold Valentine Merton accountable for the harsh criticisms made against her character until he suggests the only way to smooth over the scandal of his defeat is to wed as soon as possible. … the gentleman must dare. After picking himself up after proposing, Valentine Merton is even more determined to tame the wild girl next door. The future he wants within the clockmaker’s guild depends on their speedy marriage. A few sweet words or, as a last resort, another brazen dare is sure to persuade her to take a chance on him… and his family. A sizzling regency historical romance. ~ * ~ Miss Radley’s Third Dare is the third novella in the Miss Mayhem Series. Other titles are: Book 1: Miss Watson’s First Scandal Book 2: Miss George’s Second Chance Book 3: Miss Radley’s Third Dare Book 4: Miss Merton’s Last Hope

*******************

This is a well written novella but I have not read the first two books in this series and I was a bit lost with the side characters. I know that if I had read Miss Watson’s and Miss George’s story I would not have been as confused and I would have enjoyed Julia and Valentine’s story even more. Julia is a tomboy and is out to prove that she can do whatever a man can do. Valentine rather likes her feisty behavior even though society is considering her scandalous. But since Valentine contributed to one of her scandalous behaviors he is also in trouble. Ms. Boyd brings these two characters to life with heated encounters and sizzling chemistry.

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Review – Christmas At Twilight by Lori Wilde

Author: Lori Wilde

christmas at twilight

Publisher: Avon, Oct. 2014

Pages: 406

Source: Free for review from the Amazon vine Program

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

It’s Christmas in Twilight, Texas. The Cookie Club is baking, the town is decorated, and Delta Force Operator “Hutch” Hutchinson has finally, reluctantly, returned home . . .

. . . only to get pepper sprayed by the delicious- looking stranger who’s taken over his house. She says her name is Jane, and she immediately sets down ground rules. Top priority: no touching. For Hutch that isn’t easy—he was wounded in action, but one part is still working very well.

Then Hutch learns the truth. Jane harbors a frightening secret—she’s really Meredith Sommers, on the run from a dangerous ex-husband and desperately in need of the safety Hutch can provide. In that moment, he vows he’d do anything in his power to protect her. And as Christmas approaches, they discover that their love can conquer the past and overcome any obstacle—but what price will they pay?

**

If you are looking for lots of Christmasy warm-fuzzies you will have to wade through almost 400 pages of melodramatic angst. Now I’m all in favor of some troubled protagonists but this is a bit over the top for me. If you like a hero who, granted, is a hunky, retired Delta Force soldier with an inability to talk and PTSD. As well as our heroine who is anxiety ridden because of being on the run with her son from her ex. Then this is your cup of tea. Did I mention the hunky soldier’s sister who has run off and left her daughter in the care of these two less than mentally sound people? Just too much drama for me when you throw in the psycho ex-husband.   It gets a 3 star rating because once our hero talks the dialog is good. But this book has a 4.5 rating on Amazon so Lori Wilde fans seem to like it…a lot.

 

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Today’s Fab Kindle Deal- The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley (7/26/15)

 

 

The Rose Garden

Today’s Kindle Deal only $1.99 until midnight Sunday 7/26/2015. This is a goodie don’t miss out.

Rose Garden Synopsis:

Eva Ward returns to the only place she truly belongs, the old house on the Cornish coast, seeking happiness in memories of childhood summers. There she finds mysterious voices and hidden pathways that sweep her not only into the past, but also into the arms of a man who is not of her time.

But Eva must confront her own ghosts, as well as those of long ago. As she begins to question her place in the present, she comes to realize that she too must decide where she really belongs.

 

 

 

Deet’s Review from August 29, 2012:

“Whatever time we have,” he said, “it will be time enough.” (This line is to die for.  How utterly romantic.)

The romance here is slow to develop and there is a question of will she or won’t she.  The fact that Eva had no control over her time travel until late in the book added to the excitement.  There are surprises that are hinted at and unfold to satisfy our guesses.  There is action, pathos, friendship and love.  This is the kind of book that doesn’t leave you when the last page is read.  It raises the “what if” questions and we really want to know what happens next and does it happen to anyone else. Absolutely delightful and this will go on my this year’s “top reads” list.

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Classic Romance Review- A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas

Title: A Wallflower Christmas

A Wallflower Christmas

Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Author: Lisa Kleypas

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, 2008

Pages: 210

Source: purchase

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

The Wallflowers are four young ladies in London who banded together in their wild and wickedly wonderful searches for true love. Now happily married, they join together once again to help one of the world’s most notorious rogues realize that happiness might be right under the mistletoe.…

It’s Christmastime in London and Rafe Bowman has arrived from America for his arranged meeting with Natalie Blandford, the very proper and beautiful daughter of Lady and Lord Blandford. His chiseled good looks and imposing physique are sure to impress the lady in waiting and, if it weren’t for his shocking American ways and wild reputation, her hand would already be guaranteed. Before the courtship can begin, Rafe realizes he must learn the rules of London society. But when four former Wallflowers try their hand at matchmaking, no one knows what will happen. And winning a bride turns out to be more complicated than Rafe Bowman anticipated, especially for a man accustomed to getting anything he wants. However, Christmas works in the most unexpected ways, changing a cynic to a romantic and inspiring passion in the most timid of hearts.

**

Many other reviewers have alluded to the fact that this addition to The Wallflowers Series is a bit of an afterthought. That it is not long enough or filled with enough of the characters from the preceding books in the series. I tend to agree with the former assertion but found that the characters from the preceding books were everywhere in this story and gave the book the exquisite flavor of the series that I have loved. That we get to meet Rafe Bowman and Lillian Bowman Westcliffe’s father in more depth was a welcome addition. Hannah was a heroine to cheer for since she was thoughtful, kind and perhaps worried more about her cousin, Rafe’s intended, then her own happiness. There were moments of humor and such a warm family feeling at the Christmas festivities. This book can be thoroughly enjoyed by anyone who has read the preceding books in the series but I hesitate to recommend it to those who have not.

The Wallflower Series:

Again The Magic- full length prequel (Reviewed by Deet on July 9, 2015)

  1. Secrets of A Summer Night- Annabelle and Simon (Review on Monday, July 13, 2015)
  2. It Happened One Autumn- Lillian and Marcus (Review on Tuesday July 14, 2015)
  3. The Devil In Winter- Evie and Sebastian (Review on Thursday, July 16, 2015)
  4. Scandal In Spring- Daisy and Matthew (Review on Monday July 20 2015)
  5. A Wallflower Christmas

 

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Release Day Review- The Art of Sinning by Sabrina Jeffries (plus a note on the Regency Era)

Title: The Art of Sinning (Sinful Suitors, book #1)

The Art of Sinning 3

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Sabrina Jeffries

Publisher: Pocket Books, July 21, 2015

Pages: 400

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

The first novel in the Sinful Suitors series by New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries! At St. George’s Club, guardians conspire to keep their unattached sisters and wards out of the clutches of sinful suitors. Which works fine…except when the sinful suitors are members! American artist Jeremy Keane refuses to return home and take over his father’s business. He’d much rather sample bevvies of beauties abroad, in search of a model for the provocative masterpiece he’s driven to paint. When he meets Lady Yvette Barlow at a London wedding, he realizes she’s perfect for his work—and determines to capture the young heiress’s defiant spirit and breathtaking sensuality on canvas. No stranger to scandal, Yvette agrees to be Keane’s subject—in exchange for his help gaining entry to the city’s brothels he knows intimately, so she can track a missing woman and solve a family mystery. But when their practical partnership leads to lessons in the art of sinning, can they find a bold and lasting love?

**

This is a grand start to a new series. The synopsis gives you the pertinent details so I will not elaborate. Jeremy Keane is a character we have met in a previous book by Sabrina Jeffries and it is good to see him get his own love story. Yevette Barlow’s brother the Earl was jilted in the last book of Jeffries’ The Duke’s Men Series. He has no hard feelings and thus attends the wedding of his former fiancé where he meets Jeremy and hires him to paint his sister’s portrait. The book slows down a bit in the beginning but not for long. This is a romance with some surprises and secrets that long to be uncovered. The Close proximity of the H/h while the paintings are being painted leads to lust and love. An easy, comfortable read even if it is a bit long at 400 pages.

(This book takes place in the 1820’s, technically not the Regency period as pointed out by fellow blogger Sonya at Sonya’s Stuff.  The period after 1820 is when The Regent, George IV, became king following his father’s death.  George IV only reigned for the next 10 years when at his death his younger brother William became king.  When William died without a legitimate heir the crown went to his niece, Victoria. For purposes of ease of qualifying the timeline, the Regency period is often referred to as being through George IV’s reign as king and his brother William’s short reign when the next era is referred to as the Victorian Era. So that although not technically Regency Period  the time from 1810-1837 is referred to as “Regency”, especially in works of Historical Romance.  After that is the Victorian Era.)

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Classic Romance Review- Scandal In Spring by Lisa Kleypas

Title: Scandal In Spring (Wallflowers, book#4)

Scandal In Spring

Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Author: Lisa Kleypas

Publisher: Avon, Dec. 2012

Pages: 384

Source: purchase

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

“I want you to do everything you’ve ever imagined doing with me…” With those scandalous words, Daisy Bowman, the sole “Wallflower” yet to be married, seals her fate with the last man she ever expected to tempt her.

After spending three London seasons searching for a husband, Daisy Bowman’s father has told her in no uncertain terms that she must find a husband. Now. And if Daisy can’t snare an appropriate suitor, she will marry the man he chooses—the ruthless and aloof Matthew Swift.

Daisy is horrified. A Bowman never admits defeat, and she decides to do whatever it takes to marry someone . . . anyone . . . other than Matthew. But she doesn’t count on Matthew’s unexpected charm . . . or the blazing sensuality that soon flares beyond both their control. And Daisy discovers that the man she has always hated just might turn out to be the man of her dreams.

But right at the moment of sweet surrender, a scandalous secret is uncovered . . . one that could destroy both Matthew and a love more passionate and irresistible than Daisy’s wildest fantasies.

**

Daisy never ever expected to fall for Matthew. She has known him for ten years as her father’s right hand man and has never thought of him as even interesting, that is until she hasn’t seen him in two years and he appears at Marcus’ estate for a house party. Then she can’t keep her eyes off of him for he has changed over those two years into a handsome and altogether interesting man. Or has Daisy just grown up? Daisy’s sister Lillian doesn’t trust him and tries to persuade her sister to look at other men. The other “wallflowers”, Evie and Annabelle think Matthew is just right for Daisy. But there is a scandal in Matthew’s past and it could ruin everything.

This is the last of the wallflower romances. Lisa Kleypas has done a bang up job of getting the reader deeply involved with these wonderful characters. We cheer for the happiness of Lillian, Annabelle and Evie but we long for Daisy to be happy also and there is a chance that her romance may be doomed. That Ms. Kleypas brings about a HEA is almost miraculous. This is a stand alone book but there are so many characters from previous books in the series that I encourage you to start at the beginning of the series (Secrets of A Summer night) or even at the unofficial prequel (Again The Magic). Lucky you! All of these books are available so you can sail from one to the next.

There is one more related book, A Wallflower Christmas, which features Lillian and Daisy’s brother. That review is coming up on Thursday, July 23, 2015.

The Wallflower Series:

Again The Magic- full length prequel (Reviewed by Deet on July 9, 2015)

  1. Secrets of A Summer Night- Annabelle and Simon (Review on Monday, July 13, 2015)
  2. It Happened One Autumn- Lillian and Marcus (Review on Tuesday July 14, 2015)
  3. The Devil In Winter- Evie and Sebastian (Review on Thursday, July 16, 2015)
  4. Scandal In Spring- Daisy and Matthew (Review on Monday, July 20, 2015)
  5. A Wallflower Christmas (Review on Thursday, July 23, 2015)

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Free on Kindle and NOOK- Gabriel: Lord of Regrets by Grace Burrowes

Free now through July 31, 2015.  You all know by now that I’m a huge Grace Burrowes fan and here is your chance to try one of her goodies for free.  Snap it up!!  (I know this is free in the USA and UK)

Gabriel Lord of Regrets (lonely Lords 5)

Here is the blurb from Amazon:

A man with a dangerous future
After two years in hiding to protect his family, Gabriel Wendover, Marquess of Hesketh, leaves behind the woman he loves and returns home to untangle the plots against him. When the lady turns up on his doorstep to paint portraits of Gabriel’s brother and sister-in-law, he’s not sure whether it’s by accident or by design. And now she could be in harm’s way too…

A lady with a dangerous past
Polonaise Hunt is an accomplished artist who is determined to paint the prestigious Wendover family portraits, but coming upon Gabriel in his new situation changes everything. Despite their mutual passion, trusting Gabriel could cost Polly everything she holds dear…

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Classic Romance Review- The Devil In Winter by Lisa Kleypas

Title: The Devil In Winter (The Wallflowers, book #3)

The devil in Winter

 

Genre: Historical Romance, Early Victorian

Author: Lisa Kleypas

Publisher: Avon, 2006

Pages: 384

Source: purchase

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

A devil’s bargain

Easily the shyest Wallflower, Evangeline Jenner stands to become the wealthiest, once her inheritance comes due. Because she must first escape the clutches of her unscrupulous relatives, Evie has approached the rake Viscount St. Vincent with a most outrageous proposition: marriage!

Sebastian’s reputation is so dangerous that thirty seconds alone with him will ruin any maiden’s good name. Still, this bewitching chit appeared, unchaperoned, on his doorstep to offer her hand. Certainly an aristocrat with a fine eye for beauty could do far worse.

But Evie’s proposal comes with a condition: no lovemaking after their wedding night. She will never become just another of the dashing libertine’s callously discarded broken hearts — which means Sebastian will simply have to work harder at his seductions…or perhaps surrender his own heart for the very first time in the name of true love.

**

This the third book in The Wallflower Series is Evie’s story, one of the four young women who were wallflowers during their husband-hunting seasons in London. She is the shy one, with a self-conscious stutter who tries to fade into the background at most society functions. She is also abused by her extended family and kept from visiting her dying father, a prominent gambling hall owner. Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent, is an unrepentant rake who is in dire need of money. Evie is also desperate to get away from her abusive family andcomes to him with a proposition he can’t refuse. “Marry me.” And he does.

For many readers this book in the series is their favorite. I tend to like all of the books with over the top fan-girl squees. Yes, I did just say that. This book like the others has a supremely sensuous romance, beautifully crafted love scenes and characters that the reader falls in love with. That Ms. Kleypas can redeem this rogue of an aristocrat is nothing short of a miracle. This entire series is splendidly entertaining and I do suggest that the reader start at the beginning with SECRETS OF A SUMMER NIGHT (or the unofficial prequel AGAIN THE MAGIC). However, this is a standalone novel but so much will be added to the readers enjoyment if the entire series is read in order.

Coming next week reviews of Scandal In Spring and A Wallflowers Christmas

The Wallflower Series:

Again The Magic- full length prequel (Reviewed by Deet on July 9, 2015)

  1. Secrets of A Summer Night- Annabelle and Simon (Review on Monday, July 13, 2015)
  2. It Happened One Autumn- Lillian and Marcus (Review on Tuesday July 14, 2015)
  3. The Devil In Winter- Evie and Sebastian
  4. Scandal In Spring- Daisy and Matthew
  5. A Wallflowers Christmas- Rafe and Hannah

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