Monthly Archives: September 2015

Advance Review- First Time With A Highlander by Gwyn Cready

Title:  First Time With A Highlander (Sirens of The Scottish Borderlands, book #2)

First Time with a highlander

Genre: Time Travel Romance

Author: Gwyn Cready

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, Oct. 6, 2015

Pages: 417

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

She needs a man-but only for a night What do you get when you imbibe centuries-old whiskey-besides a hangover the size of the Highlands? If you’re twenty-first century ad exec Gerard Innes, you get swept back to 18th-century Edinburgh and into the bed of a gorgeous, fiery redhead. Gerard has only a foggy idea what he and the lady have been up to…but what he does remember draws him into the most dangerous and exhilarating campaign of his life.

Be careful what you wish for… Serafina Seonag Fallon’s scoundrel of a fiancé has left her with nothing, and she’s determined to turn the tables. If she can come up with a ringer, she can claim the cargo he stole from her. But the dashing man she summons from the future demands more than a night, and Serafina finds it easier to command the seas under her feet than the crashing waves he unleashes in her heart.

**

Gwyn Cready’s Time Travel romances are full of action, adventure, sex and laugh out loud moments and this one does not disappoint.  Serafina asks her fortune teller friend Undine for help in claiming her stolen fortune.  The help she gets is Gerard Innes from NYC in the twenty-first century. Gerard wakes up in Scotland in the 18th century and is hard pressed to figure out what is going on.  Serafina whisks him away from danger almost immediately and the chase is on.  It is she and Gerard running from the bad guys and then she and Gerard running to claim her fortune.  The question seems to be if they will be successful before Gerard is taken back to his own time or even if they will survive in Serafina’s time. Peppered throughout the adventure is Gerard being the typical advertising executive even helping the tavern owner to increase his business.  As Serafina and Gerard rely on each other their romance flourishes.  Will Gerard choose to stay in Scotland with Serafina? Will it be possible? Will Serafina want to go with Gerard to The 21st century?

This is a light, fun time travel romance.  It is very sexy and very funny.  The side characters were introduced in Cready’s first book in this series, Just In Time For a Highlander. They are integral to this story but this is a standalone novel.

 

 

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Look! Landing on my nightstand on October 26!-Shifter Planet by D.B. Reynolds

Coming October 26, 2015 (e-book preorder available)

Shifter Planet DB Reynolda

Shifter Planet Blurb:

Specialist Amanda Sumner is one of the first to make contact on the Earth-like planet Harp and discovers she’s the only Earthling, who can hear the trees sing in the strange forest. Determined to remain and learn more of the planet’s secrets, Amanda sets out to become part of the elite Guild there…

But there is a secret involving some Guild members-one that could get her killed.

Shifter Rhodry de Mendoza wants the Earthlings off his planet before they destroy it–even if that means denying what he feels for the fierce and lovely Amanda. The pair is thrown together in what becomes a fight for their lives. And they might just lose everything-including each other-in their battle for the right to live in peace.

Is that some hot cover or what??

D.B. says that a print edition will be available later on.

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Advance Review- Good Earl Gone Bad by Manda Collins

Title:  Good Earl Gone Bad (Lords of Anarchy, book #2)

Good Earl Gone Bad

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Manda Collins

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, Oct. 6, 2015 (Preorder available)

Pages: 300

Source: free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Marriage? To a gambler? You must be joking! Yet Lady Hermione Upperton has never backed down from a challenge. When her spendthrift father offers her at the gaming tables, she is given a difficult choice–wed the Earl of Mainwaring, an infamous gamester with no respect for her skills with the reins, or face charges for the murder of a member of the infamous Lords of Anarchy. Either way she’ll have to clear her name. Can she count on her husband’s help the way she has begun to count on his kisses? All Jasper Fawley, the Earl of Mainwaring, wanted was a night of cards. But by the end of the evening he’s walked away with a fortune–and a bride who’s suspected of murder. Jasper knows Hermione is passionate about her unorthodox membership in the Lords of Anarchy, but he’s certain she would never kill to keep it. Can he protect his headstrong wife from prosecution and a ruthless killer without endangering both their hearts in the process?

**

I do like my romance with some suspense and mystery and this book delivers on all three.  Jasper is the hunky Earl that is also intelligent, fearless and kind.  The combination that all romance readers love.  Hermione is a bit of a tom-boy for her time and likes to drive her phaeton with her beautiful matched grey horses.  That is until her father loses the horses in a card game.  There is something amiss when the winner of the horses is found….well, I will let you find out for yourselves.

Manda Collins has given us a well-constructed mystery with some delicious sensuality and perfectly nuanced characters.  I turned pages anxiously to find out who was behind the mystery.  I was rewarded by a I-never-saw-that-coming surprise which was most satisfying and made sense. Hermione and Jasper had a friends to lovers romance, even though Jasper used his personal skill to ensure that he won her hand.

This is the second book in The Lords of Anarchy series, but it is a standalone novel with side characters from book #1, A Good Rake is Hard to Find, playing important roles in this story.

 

 

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Advance Review- The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev

Title:  The Bollywood Bride

The bollywood bride

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Sonali Dev

Publisher: Kensington, Sept. 29, 2015 (pre-order available)

Pages: 352

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Ria Parkar is Bollywood’s favorite Ice Princess–beautiful, poised, and scandal-proof–until one impulsive act threatens to expose her destructive past. Traveling home to Chicago for her cousin’s wedding offers a chance to diffuse the coming media storm and find solace in family, food, and outsized celebrations that are like one of her vibrant movies come to life. But it also means confronting Vikram Jathar. Ria and Vikram spent childhood summers together, a world away from Ria’s exclusive boarding school in Mumbai. Their friendship grew seamlessly into love–until Ria made a shattering decision. As far as Vikram is concerned, Ria sold her soul for stardom and it’s taken him years to rebuild his life. But beneath his pent-up anger, their bond remains unchanged. And now, among those who know her best, Ria may find the courage to face the secrets she’s been guarding for everyone else’s benefit–and a chance to stop acting and start living. Rich with details of modern Indian-American life, here is a warm, sexy, and witty story of love, family, and the difficult choices that arise in the name of both.

**

That description from Amazon is so well done that I won’t repeat it here. As you may recall I reviewed Sonali Dev’s A Bollywood Affair on Sept. 11, 2015.  I am blown away that this book is even better than that wonderful read.  This is a very emotional book.  The chaotic past of Ria is slowly unfolded for the reader throughout the book.  I felt it impossible to put this book down.  After every bit of information from the past I wanted to know more.  Ria was such a tortured soul and Vikram was so full of hurt, I needed to know how these two became so damaged.  Even though I knew this was a romance with an inevitable HEA I worried that Ria would not survive.  Sonali Dev gives us wonderful word pictures of Indian culture and celebrations.  We are treated to the delightful family life of Ria’s Aunt, Uncle and cousin, but we also see that not all families are the same.  I cannot praise this book enough.  It is beautiful and very moving as well as romantic.

 

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Advance Review- A Bad Boy For Christmas by Jessica Lemmon

Title:  A Bad Boy For Christmas (Second Chances, book #4)

A Bad Boy for Christmas

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Jessica Lemmon

Publisher: Forever, Sept. 29, 2015 (pre-order available)

Pages: 416

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

‘Tis the Season to Be Naughty Connor McClain knows what he wants. And after four harrowing years in Afghanistan, that’s a quiet life in the lakeside town of Evergreen Cove. But coming home has land mines of its own-the most dangerous of them being long-legged bombshell Faith Garrett. Now getting her into his arms this holiday is going to require more than mistletoe . . . With a cheating ex behind her, all Faith wants is a relaxing holiday free from man drama. And even though every moment with gorgeous Connor is a sweet temptation, Faith is determined not to give in. But Jack Frost has other plans, and soon Faith and Connor are snowbound in a winter wonderland with only the sparks flying between them to keep them warm. As one hot kiss leads to another, they’ll have to decide if they’re ready to give each other the best gift of all-love.

**

This is a very sexy book with sparks flying from the get-go.  In the beginning Connor and Faith have a teasing, bantering relationship that, because of some scary circumstances that throw them together, becomes hotter and hotter until they cannot deny the attraction any longer.  All this before the snowbound encounter. These two both have troubled pasts but Faith is more recent in her heartbreak and is being very cautious with her heart.  Connor knows what he wants and it is Faith forever.

There is really nothing new in this story but the characterization is done so well it is as if these are people we know and we are rooting for their HEA.  Connor is An Alpha male,  Faith tries her best to adjust to his demanding nature.  Faith is so anxious about falling for Connor that she often puts up stumbling blocks. This is the fourth book in the series and characters appear from previous books, but this is a standalone novel.  I had not read the previous books and had no trouble following this one.

The setting is the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays and it plays a part in the attitudes of both the H and h.  This is a very comfortable holiday book with a bit of angst and lots of sex.  If that is your bag you can’t go wrong.

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Advance Review- Some Like It Scot by Susanne Enoch

Title:  Some Like it Scot (Scandalous Highlanders, book #4)

Some Like it Scot

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Susanne Enoch

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, October 6, 2015 (preorder available)

Pages: 368

Source: free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

CAN A CLASH OF WILLS

Nineteenth-century, Scotland:

When a mad lass in trousers shoots at him, Munro “Bear” MacLawry isn’t sure what impresses him more-the girl’s sure aim or her irresistibly tempting curves. Catriona MacColl has fled to the Highlands with her half-sister to escape an unwanted wedding, and wants no part of him, nor any man. But he can’t abandon the flame-haired, sharp-tongued wildcat now that he’s discovered her-not when she fits so perfectly in his arms…

LEAD TO A LOVE FOR ALL TIME?

Munro has more than earned his nickname-he’s a well-muscled, well-favored mountain of a man with an engaging bad-boy grin and a string of well-satisfied lasses behind him. Bringing Catriona food, blankets, candles, everything she needs to survive a winter in an abandoned abbey, Munro is an unexpected gift in her reckless bid for freedom-and an unexpected complication. Clan MacDonald has plans for her, and they don’t include her falling for a MacLawry. But this man makes her feel like a woman-and he may be her one chance to live a life about which she’s only dared dream…

**

If you have read the previous books in this series then, like me, you have been anxiously waiting for “Bears” story. He has been the big oaf in the other books where the family relies on his brawn but they don’t give him much credit in the reasonable thinking department. However this is how Bear wants it with the family but he shows his intelligent nature to Catriona and his ability to solve family problems where no one expects it of him. You certainly don’t need to have read the previous books to enjoy this one. Ms. Enoch peppers this book with all of the MaArrcLawry family and their children (bairns) and does a good job of bringing the reader up to speed.

I loved this addition to the series. I stayed up until 4am to finish reading it I was so entranced with the story. The writing is top-notch from an accomplished storyteller. The protagonists are so well suited for each other and so sublimely sensual with those heated encounters. The bad guy isn’t quite as bad as I usually like him to be, but he holds his own and is integral to the story. The side characters carry through their personalities into this book which makes it a delight for series readers.

If you want a can’t-put-down novel then this is your book. Read the series it is a winner.

Scandalous Highlanders Series

  1. The Devil Wears Kilts (Ranulf MacLawry & Charlotte Hanover)
  2. Rogue With A Brogue (Arran MacLawry & Mary Campbell)
  3. Mad, Bad and Dangerous In Plaid ( Rowena MacLawry & Lachlan Mac Tier)
  4. Some Like It Scot (Munro “Bear” MacLawry & Catriona MacDonald)

 

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Advance Review- The Last Chance Christmas Ball by Mary Jo Putney, et.al.

Title:  The Last Chance Christmas BallThe Last Chance Christmas Ball

Genre: Historical Romance Anthology/Regency

Author: Mary Jo Putney , Jo Beverley , Joanna Bourne , Patricia Rice , Nicola Cornick, Cara Elliott, Anne Grace, Susan King

Publisher: Kensington, Sept. 29, 2015 (preorder available)

Pages: 320

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 3 some kisses

Description from Amazon.com:

Christmas 1815. Upstairs and downstairs, Holbourne Hall is abuzz with preparations for a grand ball to celebrate the year’s most festive—and romantic—holiday. For at the top of each guest’s wish list is a last chance to find true love before the New Year…   A chance meeting beneath the mistletoe, a stolen glance across the dance floor—amid the sumptuous delicacies, glittering decorations, and swell of the orchestra, every duchess and debutante, lord and lackey has a hopeful heart. There’s the headstrong heiress who must win back her beloved by midnight—or be wed to another….the spinster whose fateful choice to relinquish love may hold one more surprise for her…a widow yearning to glimpse her long-lost love for even one sweet, fleeting interlude …a charming rake who finds far more than he bargained for. And many other dazzling, romantic tales in this star-studded collection that will fill your heart and spice up your holidays…

**

We start off with Jo Beverly’s Prologue telling us that a Christmas house party is being planned by the Dowager Countess of Holbourne (known as Lady Holly) and her companion Clio Finch. We are privy to those who will be invited; Sarah Langsdale, Edward Stretton (Lady Holly’s son), Roxanne Heyward, Mary Gower and her father, Lord Gabriel Quinfroy, Allie Fenton, Clary Douglas.  We also know of some trouble in Lady Holly’s own family with Kim Stratton, Caro and her husband Camden. Ms. Beverly sets the scene.

  • My True Love Hath My Heart by Joanna Bourne

 

Nick Lafford is a younger son of a younger son.  Enough in the ton to be invited to house parties.  But that is not why he is here.  He is here to see Claire who has infiltrated the party as an upstairs maid, she is really an accomplished jeweler.  She seems to be a thief looking for jewels.  She broke off an affair with Nick several months earlier and he does not know what she is up to but he will find out and perhaps help her or win her back or both.

There is romance, mystery and suspense in this short story by Ms. Bourne who is a master of those genres.  There is an evil villain and a sweet innocent in need of protection. The addition of this side story was a bit of distraction since I really wanted more of Nick and Claire in this short story.  I wished this story had been a full length book as so often happens to me when I read an accomplished author’s short story. Rating: 4.5-stars, Sexy rating: 4, Christmasy Feeling: 5

  • A Scottish Carol by Susan King

 

Henry Seton and Clarinda Hay have a history but they were torn apart by the Napoleonic War and now in a blinding Christmas Eve blizzard are stranded together at Henry’s estate.  Will they renew their once thwarted love affair?

I liked this short story of two souls who are destined to be together and who complement each other.  Rating: 4-stars, Sexy Rating: 3, Christmasy Feeling: 5

 

  • Christmas Larks by Patricia Rice

 

Ivo Whitney-Harris was wounded in the war. After 5 years, on his way home he is attacked by highwayman and suffers a serious head wound. Sarah Jane Langsdale, at 17 years old, watched her childhood friend, Ivo, become betrothed to another, breaking her heart. When she discovers him, ill and suffering, in a house destined to be an orphanage she attempts to nurse him back to health.

Another story of a reunion during the holiday season.  I liked the plot but thought it was slim on holiday feeling. A cold abandoned house does not give off a warm Christmas vibe.  Rating: 4, Sexy Rating: 3, Christmasy Feeling: 1

 

  • In The Bleak Midwinter by Mary Jo Putney

 

Kim Stratton has been sequestering himself in the tower attached to the family home since he arrived home from the war all scared and broken.  He has refused to see anyone except his loyal batman Jamie who has helped him recover.  Before the war he had an understanding and was in love with neighbor Roxie.  But now he has refused to see or speak with her for the past 6 months.  Roxie is running out of patience and will see what she can do to end this nightmare.

War leaves its mark not only on the soldier but also on those left behind.  This story is a tribute to those who serve and those who pick up the pieces.  It is a lovely story but with little holiday feeling.  It could have been any time of the year. Rating: 4.5, Sexy Rating: 5 not explicit, Christmasy feeling: 2

 

  • Old Flames Dance by Cara Elliot

 

In this story we are treated to two romances.  Brothers Kim and Edward and Lily and Roxie.  Now Roxie loves Kim but Kim has been wounded in the war and has not allowed any family or his betrothed, Roxie, to see him.  Edward asks Roxie if the two of them could announce their betrothal and have a marriage of convenience if Kim still refuses to see her.  Meanwhile Lily, who once loved Edward and since has married twice and been widowed twice, comes to the Christmas ball.  Yes you guessed it.  She loves Edward and wants to marry him.  How will this work out?  Rating:4 ,Sexy rating: 3, Christmasy Feeling: 1

  • A Season for Marriage by Nicola Cornick

 

Caroline Camden is married to Piers Camden for 6 months and they have been struggling.  She loves him but he is afraid to love her because he saw his parents totally neglect everyone and everything because of their obsessive love for each other.  Will the Christmas Ball bring them together?

Rating: 4, sexy rating: 4, Christmasy feeling: 1

 

  • Miss Finch and the Angel by Jo Beverley

 

Lord Gabriel comes at the summons from his Godmother, Lady Holly.  She wants him to dance with all the “Last Chance” single ladies at the ball so that other gentleman will want to do likewise. (Yeah, right, Lady Holly.  We’re not falling for that ploy.)  Gabriel falls for it but he seems intriqued by Clio Finch, so much so that there is a chance he will forget his mission from Lady Holly.

Gabriel is my favorite character in the entire book; Clio not so much. Clio’s character and background was not developed as well as Gabriel’s. However, this was a sweet story and proved that the Last chance Ball was working its magic. Rating: 4, Sexy rating: 2, Christmasy Feeling: 2

 

  • Mistletoe Kisses by Anne Gracie

 

In this story a spinster is forced to leave her home to become a teacher but she is looking forward to one last Christmas alone in her childhood home.  A raging snowstorm has caused an accident on the road and a gentleman and his sister are stranded at the only home until the storm passes. Will love bloom for John and Allie? This story has the most Christmasy feeling. Rating: 4.5, Sexy rating: 3, Christmasy feeling: 5+

Deet’s summary:  I enjoyed each of these sweet stories.  Only three had the feeling of the Christmas season but each story was full of romance and warmth.  Lady Holly was a fairy godmother and matchmaker extrodinere and I found her no nonsense demeanor to be delightful.  Each of the stories are related to the theme of the Christmas Ball as the last chance for spinsters to land a husband.   The stories are short and will be a delightful addition to your holiday reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Downton Abbey Funny Video for all Fans

Downton Abbey starts this Fall in the U.K. we in the staes have a bit longer wait.  I think this funny little video will entertain you all while we wait.  For more go to YouTube for part 2.

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Review- Midnight Kiss by Nancy Gideon

Title:  Midnight Kiss (Touched by Midnight, book #1)

Midnight Kiss

 

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance/Gothic

Author: Nancy Gideon

Publisher: ImaJinn (July 2015)

Pages: 262

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

A DARK CURSE Miss Arabella Howland is content to forgo the London marriage mill to assist her father in his research, especially when it comes to his intriguing patient, Louis Radman. But it’s not long before Bella’s curiosity alerts her to the danger of her father’s work . . . and to the fact that Louis is not who or what he seems. A BRIGHT PROMISE After centuries struggling with his vile existence, Louis Radman will soon be free of his affliction, thanks to his very capable physician. Unfortunately, his heart is less secure around the man’s tempting daughter. His yearning to walk in the light once more is complicated by his desire for the delightful Bella, who is as intelligent as she is fearless. But if history has taught him anything, it’s not to tempt fate. AN UNFORGIVING PAST Still, happiness has a price and Louis is soon reminded that mortality comes with unfortunate limitations. To protect his new bride, he must face the demons from his past who wish to pull him back into their vampiric fold. Yet, if he’s forced to return to his midnight world, will he lose his beloved Bella forever?

**

Louis has had enough of being a vampire and wants noted London physician, Dr. Howland, to “cure” him.  But the cure is always very temporary and requires blood and medications frequently.  Arabella is fascinated with Louis before she knows that he is a vampire and falls for him.  She is in love and swears to stand by him once she finds out. There are dangers surrounding their alliance and nothing is simple or easy.

This is a compelling romance between a vampire and a human.  It is in the vein of Dracula or perhaps an Anne Rice novel.  It is dark, violent and not all that much romantic unless you like your romance bloody and quite dangerous.  Personally this is not in my wheel-house.  However this book is well written and is sure to appeal to those who do like Gothic Vampire stories.

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Recent Rerelease Review- Not Always A Saint by Mary Jo Putney

Title:  Not Always A Saint (The Lost Lords, book #7)

Not always a Saint

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Mary Jo Putney

Publisher: Zebra, reprint, Aug. 25, 2015

Pages: 352

Source: Free for review from the Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

After the death of his sweetheart when he was at university, Daniel Herbert buried his grief in medical studies and his passion for healing. Viewed as a saint by those who know him, in his own mind he never quite manages to live up to his own high standards.

Most men would be thrilled to learn they’ve inherited a title and estate from a distant relative, but Daniel is appalled because the burden of wealth will interfere with his medical calling.  Warily he accepts that he must enter society and seek a wife—a sensible woman who can oversee his properties, leaving him free to continue his work. He does not expect to become intoxicated by a woman called the Black Widow, who is as mysterious as she is shockingly beautiful…

Jessie Kelham’s looks have always been a curse. Now alone with a young daughter and a perilous secret, she is in need of protection. But dangerously attractive Daniel Herbert is not the kind of husband she has in mind. If he recognizes her, the demons of her past will surely erupt. Yet they cannot keep apart—and soon they are drawn into a union that may bring joy—or shattering danger…

**

This was love at first sight for Daniel and since Jessie was looking for an older man to marry, Daniel did not fit the bill.  Daniel was persistent and Jessie succumbed to his charm. Jessie did have secrets in her past and eventually she disclosed them to Daniel.  He vowed to protect her and he would love her.  But Jessie’s past was soon to catch up with her.

There is certainly enough dialog between Jessie and Daniel to give us a clear understanding of each character but for me I just did not connect with either.  I could never really care about them and found myself frequently putting the book aside.  There was some danger and action toward the end that seemed too easily resolved and part of the past transgressions were not resolved. I only thought this book to be “okay”.  Not one of my favorites from Ms. Putney.

 

 

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