Monthly Archives: March 2016

Recent Release Review- The Study of Seduction by Sabrina Jeffries

Title: The Study of Seduction (Sinful Suitors, book #2)

The Study of Seduction

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Sabrina Jeffries

Publisher: Pocket Books, March 22,2016

Pages: 384

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

When Edwin Barlow, the Earl of Blakeborough, agrees to help his best friend’s impetuous ward, Lady Clarissa Lindsey, in her time of need, he knows he’s in for trouble. He’s been hunting for someone to wed, and she’ll just get in the way. Although captivated by the witty, free-spirited beauty, he fears she’d be all wrong as a wife…if she would even take such a gruff cynic for her husband. Yet he wants nothing more than to have her for his own. Clarissa has no intention of marrying anyone—not Edwin, whom she’s sure would be an overbearing husband, and certainly not the powerful French diplomat stalking her. But when matters escalate with the diplomat, she chooses Edwin’s gallant offer of a marriage between friends in hopes that it will deter her stalker. She expects nothing more than an amiable union, but their increasingly tempestuous kisses prove more than she bargained for. When her stalker’s vow to expose the lovers’ deepest secrets threatens to destroy their blossoming attraction, will their tenuous bond withstand public ruin, or will Edwin lose all that’s important to him to protect his bride?

**

This is a Frenemy to Lovers story.  Clarissa doesn’t like Edwin because he is too stiff, strident and stuffy although she has known hi most of her life.  Edwin is attracted to Clarissa but she is far too argumentative and unruly for his taste. Edwin’s best friend, and Clarissa’s cousin, wants Edwin to escort Clarissa through the season in London because he thinks that her stalker is up to no good.  Edwin reluctantly agrees but both he and Clarissa find evading Count Durant more difficult than they ever imagined.  When the Count threatens blackmail they feel they have no option but to marry for convenience.

This is a delight of a book in a delight of a series.  There is slow developing romance and lots of suspense and action scenes.  If on occasion there are times of incredulous happenings then we just roll with it because the whole of the book is such a pleasure. This one will keep your interest and turning pages.

P.S.- Another cover with a very compelling Rake.

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2016 Romance Writers of America RITA Award Nominees

RITA Award Nominees in Historical Romance

( I have indicated my rating for the ones I have reviewed.  You can find the review by using the search function in the left column of this blog.)

Historical Romance: Long

Bella and the Beast by Olivia Drake St. Martin’s Press Jennifer Enderlin, editor

Earls Just Want to Have Fun by Shana Galen (Deet’s score 4.5 stars) Sourcebook Casablanca Deb Werksman, editor

Earls Just Want to Have Fun

If the Viscount Falls by Sabrina Jeffries Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books Micki Nuding, editor

Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist Simon & Schuster, Howard Books Beth Adams, editor

Tremaine’s True Love by Grace Burrowes (Deet’s score 5-stars) Sourcebooks, Casablanca Deb Werksman, editor (This is the one I would choose to win in this category.)

Tremaine's True Love

 

 

 

Historical Romance: Short

Falling into Bed with a Duke by Lorraine Heath HarperCollins, Avon Books May Chen, editor

It Started with a Scandal by Julie Anne Long (Deet’s score 5+ stars) HarperCollins, Avon Books May Chen, editor (This is the one I would choose to win the RITA in this category.)

It Started With a Scandal

Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare (Deet’s score 2-stars) HarperCollins, Avon Books Tessa Woodward, editor

Say Yes To the Marquess

Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress by Theresa Romain (Deet’s score 4.5-stars) Sourcebooks, Casablanca Deb Werksman, editor

Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn HarperCollins, Avon Books Lyssa Keusch, editor

Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt (Deet’s score 5-stars) Grand Central Publishing Amy Pierpont, editor (I would also be very happy if this one won the RITA.)

Sweetest Scoundrel

For all the nominees in all categories go to the RWA website.

https://www.rwa.org/p/bl/et/blogid=20&blogaid=1465

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Recent Release Review- The Infamous Heir by Elizabeth Michaels

Title: The Infamous Heir (Spare Heirs, book #1)

the infamous heir

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Elizabeth Michaels

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, March 2016

Pages: 448

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 2.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

The Spare Heirs Society Cordially Invites You to Meet Ethan Moore: The Scoundrel

Lady Roselyn Grey’s debut has finally arrived, and of course, she has every flounce and flutter planned. She’ll wear the perfect gowns and marry the perfect gentleman…that is, if the formerly disinherited brother of the man she intends to marry doesn’t ruin everything first.

Ethan Moore is a prize-fighting second son and proud founding member of the Spare Heirs Society-and that’s all he ever should have been. But, in an instant, his brother’s noble title is his, the eyes of the ton are upon him, and the lady he’s loved for years would rather meet him in the boxing ring than the ballroom.

He’s faced worse. With the help of his Spare Heirs brotherhood, Ethan’s certain he can get to the bottom of his brother’s unexpected demise and win the impossible lady who has haunted his dreams for as long as he can remember…

Spare Heirs:

The Infamous Heir

The Rebel Heir

The Wicked Heir

The Unsuitable Heir

**

This is a mystery along with romance. The villain is revealed fairly early and I would have liked a bit more mystery about him. Roselyn is under a huge misunderstanding about the events of a crucial day that nearly destroys her relationship with Ethan but then that is resolved almost too quickly. For days and perhaps weeks she is in a rage with Ethan then suddenly all is well between them. They are the target of murderous intent by the villain’s henchmen and it seems that the bad guys keep getting away no matter how much they are beaten.

I personally did not find this book to my liking. That does not mean that the writing was poor, only that it didn’t meet my expectations. Ethan was a boxer and this profession pushes some of my dislike buttons so perhaps it is for this reason I did not especially like him and Roselyn was so hither and yon with her feelings I could not get behind her either.

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Recent Release Review-A Reckless Desire by Isabella Bradford

Title: A Reckless Desire (The Breconridge Brothers, book #3)

A Reckless Desire

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Isabella Bradford

Publisher: Ballantine, March 2016

Pages: 386

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Lord Rivers Fitzroy is as charming and sought-after as his rakish elder brothers, though he immerses himself more in dusty books and scholarly pursuits than in bawdy houses. Yet, Hell-bent on making the most of his remaining bachelorhood now that his father insists he marry, Rivers becomes the favorite of a troupe of Italian dancers. One night, after a performance, the handsome lord is challenged with a most provocative wager: Turn the players’ meek and mousy cousin into the first lady of the London stage.   But Lucia di Rossi is not what she seems. Scorned by the rest of her family, Lucia longs for the respect and stardom of a great actress. Rivers’ wager could be the answer to all her hopes—so long as he understands that she wants to be an actress, not his mistress. The two commence her metamorphosis in earnest—even as passion begins to take center stage. As Lucia’s dreams come true, she fears that it may be Rivers, not she, who is the master performer. Is he only making her believe he cares? Has she found the spotlight only to lose her heart—or will the final curtain reveal a love strong enough to last?

**

This is a retelling of the Pygmalion story or if you are not familiar with that, “My Fair Lady”.  It follows so closely to that story line that I almost started to sing “The rain In Spain, stays mainly in the plain”.  Lucia is a woman who is scorned by her family for not living up to the family expertise in ballet.  She becomes a servant drudge to them…wait perhaps this is “Cinderella”.  Lord Fitzroy makes a wager with his friend that he could take the cockney out of the girl and make her an actress of renown on the London stage.  Rivers then scoots her away to the country in his carriage where she enthralls him with a made up story…shades of “Scheherazade”.  Once in the country they start to fall in love but he is an aristocrat and she a lowly actress.  How they find their way to a HEA is the meat of the story.

Being overly familiar with this story line put a bit of a damper on it for me.  But that’s just me.  The writing is well done by Ms. Bradford and the romance is slow blooming.  Lucia was a woman to be reckoned with and Rivers was her hero.

I received this book free for review from the publisher.

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Audiobook Review- The Mesalliance by Stella Riley

Title: The Mesalliance

The Mesalliance

Genre: Historical Romance/Georgian

Author: Stella Riley

Narrator: Alex Wyndham

Publisher: Stella Riley for Audible, March 2016

Pages: 310 Kindle/ 9 hours 59 min. audiobook

Source: Free for review from the author

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Reluctantly, the Duke of Rockliffe is in the market for a wife. His requirements are simple; a lady who will occupy her position with well-bred grace and chaperone his sister, Nell – but who will not bore him to distraction. Whilst accompanying Nell to what he speedily comes to regard as the house-party from hell, he meets Adeline Kendrick – acid-tongued and by no means beautiful, yet somehow alluring. Worse still, her relatives are quite deplorable – from Cousin Diana, a spoiled and ill-natured beauty, to manipulative and sadistic Uncle Richard. As a prospective bride, therefore, Adeline is out of the question. Until, that is, a bizarre turn of events cause the Duke to do the unthinkable and make what the Polite World will call a mésalliance.

**

Stella Riley has made me a huge fan of Georgian Historical romance.  I “read” this book on digital audio with the seductive, baritone voice of Alex Wyndham narrating the story of our favorite duke from THE PARFIT KNIGHT, Tracy Winstanton, The Duke of Rockliffe.  This starts as a marriage of convenience, convenient for Adeline since it helps her escape from the home of relatives who take advantage of her and convenient for Tracy since he needs a wife and he is drawn to Adeline.

This is a recent release of this wonderful book on digital audio.  Alex Wyndham does not just read the words of Ms Riley, he performs this story.  He gives each character their unique voice until the listener is seduced into the story as if it was a movie playing before the eyes and ears.

Stella Riley is the author behind the lusciously romantic and sublimely sensual love story.  Adeline falls in love with her husband but there are secrets she is keeping. Secrets that she believes will threaten her marriage.  Tracy is trying to give his new wife time to get to know him, but he becomes frustrated with her inability to trust him.  Adeline is on the road to ruining her marriage with her secrets.

This reader loved Rockliffe in THE PARFIT KNIGHT and since he is the familiar one to me I naturally took his side in the rift between him and Adeline.  Adeline and her subterfuge was at times annoying but I longed for her to confess all to her loyal, loving husband before it was too late.  Rockliffe’s sister Nell also had her own romance although she nearly destroyed her own chances at happiness.  There are Adeline’s infuriating, evil relatives, cousin Diane and an Uncle, whose interference causes even more disruption. There are surprises and the secrets revealed, some that nearly destroy our hero and heroine.

I highly recommend this enthralling audiobook.

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Recent Release Review- Wedding Night With The Earl by Amelia Grey

Title: Wedding Night With The Earl (The Heir’s Club of Scoundrels, book#3)

Wedding Night With the Earl

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Amelia Grey

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, March 2016

Pages: 320

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

HE THINKS LOVE IS MUCH ADO. Adam Greyhawke is through with marriage. After losing his wife at a young age, he’s more interested in carousing and gambling at the Heirs’ Club than taking another trip to the altar. When his obligations as the Earl of Greyhawke thrust him into the heart of Society, he dreads the boredom that only a ballroom can inspire in a roguish scoundrel. That is, until he meets a bewitching young woman who captures his curiosity―and reminds him just how delicious desire can be.

IS SHE READY TO SAY I DO? Miss Katherine Wright is accustomed to men interested only in her generous dowry. Adam’s attraction is far more powerful―he tests her wits and her courage at every turn, until she finds herself longing to fulfill an everlasting passion she never imagined was possible. But the breathtakingly handsome nobleman is as stubborn as he is scandalous, and Katharine must be the one to convince him that real love is worth any risk.

**

Amelia Grey has fast become one of my favorite authors.  I read a lot of romance novels and few can bring that feel of instant attraction and romantic longing like this author.  Both protagonists are damaged; Adam by the death of his wife and child and Katherine by a childhood accident and the loss of her family. He is determined never to marry and have children and her goal in life is to be a wife and mother. This presents with two opposing views of a life plan and the reader waits to see if love can conquer all.

This is the third book in the series.  It is a standalone novel with cameos by characters from the previous books.  I highly recommend this book for its simmering, sizzling romance and wickedly fun banter along with first rate story arc and luscious prose. Yes, you get it all right here.

The Heir’s Club of Scoundrels Series:

  1. The Duke In My Bed
  2. The Earl Claims a Bride
  3. Wedding Night With The Earl

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Recent Release Review- I Kissed A Rogue by Shana Galen

Title:  I Kissed A Rogue (Coventry Cubs, book #3)

I kissed a Rogue

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Shana Galen

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, March 2016

Pages: 352

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Once she spurned the man… When the Duke of Lennox hires Sir Brook Derring, England’s best investigator, to find his daughter, Brook intends only to rescue the lady and return to his solitary life. He deals with London’s roughest criminals every day of the week; surely he should be able to endure seeing his first love again-the perfect girl who broke his heart…

Now her life depends on him Lady Lillian-Anne Lennox has always done her best to live up to her father’s standards of perfection-at the cost of following her heart. When she’s kidnapped and her perfect life is shattered, Lila has another chance. Together, Lila and Brook navigate not only the dark and deadly side of London, but the chasm of pride and prejudice that divides them.

**

Brook had his heart broken and was humiliated by Lila (Lady Lillian-Anne) eight years prior.  But since he is known for finding the kidnapped and lost, and returning them to family, Lila’s aristocratic father asks for his help to find Lila even though he refused Brook’s petition to marry Lila those eight years ago. While kidnapped Lila views a crime and once she is recued she is still in danger.

This is a very good read.  It is full of wonderful character development, a grumpy hero and a not so demure heroine.  Shana Galan knows how to write breathtaking suspense and heart pounding action into a very romantic plot. This is my favorite of the Covent Garden Cubs series.  This is a standalone novel with cameos by some characters in previous books.

 

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Recent Release review- Along Came A Rogue by Anna Harrington

Title:  Along Came A Rogue (The Secret Life of Scoundrels, book #2)

Along Came A rogue

Genre: Historical romance

Author: Anna Harrington

Publisher: Forever, Feb. 2016

Pages: 352

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

THE WICKEDEST SECRET . . .

Major Nathaniel Grey is free to bed whomever he wants, whenever he chooses, and that’s exactly how he likes it. His only loyalties are to country and the two friends he served with-brothers he’d do anything for. So when one of them is gravely injured and asking for his little sister, Grey will move heaven and earth to bring her home. He’s greeted not by the gangly girl he remembers, but a stunningly beautiful woman holding a loaded musket. And he’s utterly captivated by her . . .

IS A SECRET SEDUCTION

Once upon a time, Emily would have loved nothing more than a stolen hour with her brother’s best friend, the dashing officer who captured her heart and soul. But things are different now-and so is she. Gone is the eager young woman who believed in love. In her place is a widow weighed down with secrets who desperately needs to disappear before they’re revealed. But Grey’s sinfully sexy smile offers protection unlike anything she’s ever known, tempting her to risk everything . . . even her heart.

**

The wait for Nathaniel Grey’s story is over! He is the spy introduced in Ms. Harrington’s first book DUKES ARE FOREVER ( Deet’s review here: https://ladeetdareads.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/recent-release-review-dukes-are-forever-by-anna-harrington/ ).  I am enjoying this new author and she didn’t disappoint with this the second entry in her, THE SECRET LIFE OF SCOUNDRELS SERIES .  This is a standalone novel but we are treated to glimpses of Kate and Edward from the first book.

This is a story of two lovers from different social classes who feel they have no hope of finding their Happily Ever After.  Emily feels that if she encourages Nathaniel to give up his dreams of adventure then he will eventually resent her.  Nathaniel comes to realize that his dreams mean nothing if they don’t include Emily.  But how to convince her? That is what keeps us turning pages along with the suspense of who is out to harm Emily.

We are fortunate in that the third book in the series, HOW I MARRIED A MARQUESS, is available for preorder and to be published April 26, 2016.  It is the story of Emily’s brother, Thomas, who is also Nathaniel’s best friend.

I received this book free for review from the publisher.

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Advance Review- Three Weeks To Wed by Ella Quinn

Title:  Three weeks To Wed (The Worthingtons book #1)

Three weeks To wed

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Ella Quinn

Publisher: Kensington/Zebra, March 29, 2016

pre-order available

Pages: 338

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 2.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Ella Quinn introduces the soon-to-be Earl and Countess of Worthington–lovers who have more in common than they yet know. The future promises to be far from boring… Lady Grace Carpenter is ready to seize the day–or rather, the night–with the most compelling man she’s ever known. Marriage would mean losing guardianship of her beloved siblings, and surely no sane gentleman will take on seven children not his own. But if she can have one anonymous tryst with Mattheus, Earl of Worthington, Grace will be content to live out the rest of her life as a spinster. Matt had almost given up hope of finding a wife who could engage his mind as well as his body. And now this sensual, intelligent woman is offering herself to him. What could be more perfect? Except that after one wanton night, the mysterious Grace refuses to have anything to do with him. Amid the distractions of the Season he must convince her, one delicious encounter at a time, that no obstacle–or family–is too much for a man who’s discovered his heart’s desire…

**

This book failed to engage me even though I read the whole thing.  It was a bit like that old movie “Yours, Mine and Ours” since the heroine, Grace, was guardian of 7 brothers and sisters and the hero, Matt, was guardian to his 4 sisters.  This sets up this new series with lots of potential future heroes and heroines but I’m not of a mind to read about them.

Every time there was a potential crisis it was resolved in one or just a few pages so it never really felt like a crisis or even a problem.  The heroine was a bit of a fainting, anxious, weak person so I found it difficult to like her.  The hero was a bit too much “there, there, all will be well.” Goodness, why did he think 11 children was going to be a piece of cake? The bad guy was quickly in and out of the narrative negating another crisis.

I’m afraid I can’t recommend this book.

 

 

 

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Special sale- Julie anne Long’s Pennyroyal Green series

I rate this series as 5+ stars.  Every book is a treasure. Start with book one and fall in love with the Eversea and Redmond families. This is a great sale.

Julie Anne Long sale

 

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