Tag Archives: Christi Caldwell

Advance Review- In The Dark With The Duke by Christi Caldwell

In the Dark with the Duke

Title: In The Dark with The duke (Lost Lords of London, book #2)

Genre: Historical romance Regency

Author: Christi Caldwell

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Montlake, June 9, 2020

Pages: 365

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Eight years ago, Lady Lila March retreated to the safe shadows of her family’s estate after a devastating tragedy. Weary of being a whisper of her former self, she is determined to brave the dangers of the outside world again. No man is better equipped to train her in the art of defense than the Savage Gentleman, East London’s undefeated street fighter.
Hugh Savage reigns as king—of the underworld. Physically invulnerable, emotionally battered, he has his reasons for bare-knuckle brawling. Though Hugh longs to break free of the ring and leave behind the brutal world of violence, he’s intrigued by the challenge Lady Lila poses. A mysterious lady of the peerage willfully descending into the dangerous rookeries? That bespeaks a woman with secrets of her own.
As their unconventional pact progresses, Hugh comes to admire the resolve in Lila’s heart. And beneath his hard surface, she sees a tenderness that touches her to the quick. They’ll soon discover how much they need each other—to face their pasts together, and to fight for a future they deserve.

**
Oh I do love the way Christi Caldwell brings characters to such vibrant life that they jump off the page right into your heart. Lila has suffered a devastating trauma and Hugh’s life is no different. She needs to feel she can help to protect her loved ones from the savages she knows exist in the world. Hugh thinks of himself as one of those savages. We long for each of them to be healed and to learn to live free and love. Somehow Ms. Caldwell makes this magic happen and we once again have a beautifully wrought Regency Romance.

My only negative is that I thought making Hugh the Lost Lord was done quickly and not enough paid attention to his transition. This in no way made the book less readable.

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Recent Release- In Bed With The Earl by Christi Caldwell

In bed with the Earl

Title: In Bed With The Earl (Lost Lords of London, book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Christi Caldwell

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Montlake, March 2020

Pages: 383

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

To solve a mystery that’s become the talk of the ton, no clues run too deep for willful reporter Verity Lovelace. Not even in the sewers of London. That’s precisely where she finds happily self-sufficient scavenger Malcolm North, lost heir to the Earl of Maxwell. Now that Verity’s made him front-page news, what will he make of her?
Kidnapped as a child, with no memories of his well-heeled past, Malcom prefers the grimy spoils of the culverts to the gilded riches of society. Damn the feisty beauty who exposed the contented tosher to a parade of fortune-hunting matchmakers. How to keep them at bay? Verity must pretend to be his wife. She owes him.
The intimacy of this necessary arrangement—Verity and Malcom thrust together in close quarters—soon sparks an irresistible heat. But when the charade ends, the danger begins. Will love be enough to protect them from a treacherous plot devised to ruin them?

**
Christi Caldwell never gives us a “bad” book. This enemies to lovers trope doesn’t disappoint. Although Ms. Caldwell has done the seedy side of London in past books, this time we really find the deep dark and very dirty sewers of London and the criminals that inhabit them for profit and power.

Verity is not a typical woman of her time. She is desperately trying to become a news reporter and meeting all kinds of male imposed obstacles. But she needs the job to support her teen sister and her childhood nursemaid. Finding the Lost Heir would be her door to a job at the newspaper.

Malcolm has no memory of his early childhood when he was kidnapped. He has fought his way to become the king of the sewers attaining a fortune in the process. He has no desire to enter polite society as the Earl, but it is being forced upon him. He doesn’t want to be found by any reporter including Verity.

I enjoyed the way the author brings to life the grittier side of London in the Regency time period. As usual with Ms. Caldwell we get superbly nuanced characters that leap off the page. Although not one of my favorites of this author it certainly was a unique, entertaining read.

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Recent Release review- The Spitfire by Christi Caldwell

Spitfire

Title: The Spitfire (Wicked Wallflowers, book #5)

Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Christi Caldwell

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Montlake , Sept. 17, 2019

Pages: 327

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Her dream is to open a music hall. Only one thing stands in her way—the man she loves. The final Wicked Wallflowers novel from USA Today bestselling author Christi Caldwell.
Leaving behind her life as a courtesan and madam, Clara Winters is moving far from the sinful life to which she was accustomed in the gaming hell the Devil’s Den. Her more reputable and fulfilling endeavor is a music hall for the masses. One night, when she sees a man injured on the streets of East London, she rushes to his aid and brings him home. It’s then that she discovers he’s Henry March, Earl of Waterson, and a member of Parliament. No good can come from playing nursemaid to a nobleman.
When Henry rouses to meet his savior in blonde curls, he is dazzled. This smart and loving spitfire challenges his every notion of the lower classes—and every moment together is a thrill. But after Henry returns to his well-ordered existence, he strikes a political compromise that has unintended consequences. Will his vision for London mean dashing the dreams of his lovely guardian angel?

**
Another winner from Christi Caldwell, a standalone but it is enhanced by the beginning novels in the series.
I love how Ms. Caldwell brings secondary characters to life in their own novel. Clara is an obscure character who gradually makes her presence known in succeeding novels. And now we get her own HEA.

Clara and her dear friend, Regina Killoran, have joined together to open a music hall in a very dicey neighborhood. Henry’s life is saved by Clara in the streets of London and they are thrown together again when Henry’s parliamentary work threatens Clara’s music hall. There is plenty of action and suspense as well as a slow burn romance.

I love to read these books as well as listen to Tim Campbell narrate them on audio. I highly recommend this novel as well as the entire Wicked Wallflowers Series.

 

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Audio Book Review- To Tempt A Scoundrel by Christi Caldwell

To Tempt A Scoundrel

Title: To Tempt A Scoundrel (The Heart of A Duke, Book #15)
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Author: Christi Caldwell
Narrator: Tim Campbell
Source: Purchase Kindle/Audible
Publisher: Christi Caldwell
Pages: 211
Rating Book: 5
Rating Narration: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating:0
Description from Amazon:

Never trust a gentleman…
Once before, Lady Alice Winterbourne trusted her heart to an honorable, respectable man… only to be jilted in the scandal of the Season. Longing for an escape from all the whispers and humiliation, Alice eagerly accepts an invitation to her friend’s house party. In the country, she hopes to find some peace from the embarrassment left in London… Unfortunately, she finds her former betrothed and his new bride in attendance.

Never love a lady…
Lord Rhys Brookfield has no interest in marriage. Ever. He’s worked quite hard at building both his fortune and his reputation as a rogue—and intends to enjoy all that they can offer him. That is if his match-making mother will stop pairing him with prospective brides. When Rhys and Alice meet, sparks flare. But with every new encounter, their first impressions of one another are challenged and an unlikely friendship is forged.

Desperate, Rhys proposes a pretend courtship, one meant to spite Alice’s former betrothed and prevent any matchmaking attempts toward Rhys. What neither expects is that a pretense can become so much more. Or that a burning passion can heal… and hurt.

**

If you have never listened to romance on audio books then have I got a treat for you. All of Christi Caldwell’s books in this series are swoon worthy when read but when narrator/performer, Tim Campbell reads them in his molasses and honey baritone you are transported. Each book is a standalone in the series with some cameos from characters in previous books. These are also some of the most affordable audio books. (At this writing I bought the Kindle e-book for $2.99 and the audio book was offered for $7.49 .)

In this elegantly written and superbly sensual story, Rhys is being nagged to marry by his mother who has already picked out his bride. Rhys has no intention of marrying anyone, but especially his mother’s pick, Aria Cunning.  Alice was jilted by her betrothed just a year ago and finds herself at a Christmas house party surprised that her former betrothed is attending with his new wife. She and Rhys go from bickering to friends to trying to help each other through the party. Well on the way to an HEA.

I very highly recommend this book and audio book, and also this entire series.

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Recent Release Review-The Vixen by Christi Caldwell

The Vixen

Title: The Vixen (Wicked Wallflowers book #2)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Christi Caldwell
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Montlake, Aug. 7, 2018
Pages: 366
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 5

**

This is another page turner from Ms. Caldwell dealing with the underbelly of Regency London. Ophelia Killoran is a sister to a gaming hell proprietor who wants her to marry into the aristocracy to further his own agenda. Ophelia comes from an abused childhood and feels her mission is to save  many orphans from the streets. Connor Steele saved Ophelia once when he was younger before he was adopted by an aristocrat. Now years later they are thrown together when Connor investigates a missing heir and Ophelia might have the clues to finding him.

I enjoyed this book and like how the author keeps the same feeling of time and place throughout this series and the previous series. This is a standalone but you will enjoy it even more if you read the first book in the series, The Hellion.  The romance is slow simmering but so satisfying. I eagerly await the next book in this series.

 

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Advance Review- The Hellion by Christi Caldwell

The Hellion

Title: The Hellion (Wicked Wallflowers, book #1)
Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency
Author: Christi Caldwell
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Montlake, April 3, 2018
Pages: 295
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:

 

Christi Caldwell’s Wicked Wallflowers series burns hot as two rivals meet in the flesh and feel the heat…
Adair Thorne has just watched his gaming-hell dream disappear into a blaze of fire and ash, and he’s certain that his competitors, the Killorans, are behind it. His fury and passion burn even hotter when he meets Cleopatra Killoran, a tart-mouthed vixen who mocks him at every turn. If she were anyone else but the enemy, she’d ignite a desire in him that would be impossible to control.
No one can make Cleopatra do anything. That said, she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her siblings―even if that means being sponsored by their rivals for a season in order to land a noble husband. But she will not allow her head to be turned by the infuriating and darkly handsome Adair Thorne.
There’s only one thing that threatens the rules of the game: Cleopatra’s secret. It could unravel the families’ tenuous truce and shatter the unpredictably sinful romance mounting between the hellion…and a scoundrel who could pass for the devil himself.

**
What happens when a wild-child is thrown together with a hard-as-nails alpha? Sparks fly, venom is spit and the vitriol of hatred is unleashed. That is until the two protagonists get together and turn all of that into lust . We have met Cleopatra Killoran and Adair Thorne in THE SINFUL BRIDES series, previous to this one. They are both products of the London slums, raised by the evil Diggory until they made an escape. Cleo is the sister of Adair’s rival gambling hell owner and there is only mistrust and antipathy between the H/h and also between the gaming hells. It seems that a love match is insurmountable Until the thrilling climax.

I enjoyed this look at Cleopatra, her sisters (heroines of the next books in the series), the seamier side of London and Adair Thorne partner in the Hell and Sin gaming hell. As usual Christi Caldwell has created characters we care about and who jump off the page. The book is infused with adventure, dialog that evokes Cleo and Adair’s cockney origins and sizzling sexual tension. My only dislike is that the antipathy between the H/h went on too long for my taste. I highly recommend this standalone book but encourage you to read the SINFUL BRIDES series to get even a more in depth feel for the St.Giles, London and the world of the gaming hells.

The Vixen (Wicked Wallflowers, book #2) coming in August.

The Vixen

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Review- The Heiress’s Deception by Christi Caldwell

The Heiress's Deception

Title: The Heiress’s Deception (Sinful Brides Series, #4)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: ChristiCaldwell
Source: Free, I won this books on a Goodreads Giveaway
Publisher: Montlake Romance, Dec. 2017
Pages: 284
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:
In the final installment of USA Today bestselling author Christi Caldwell’s Sinful Brides series, a runaway heiress entrusts her fate to the man she betrayed.
Lady Eve Pruitt has never forgotten her childhood friend, the young pickpocket Calum, who she feared had been condemned to the gallows. Now, years later, Eve is the one in danger. Her brother, made desperate by gambling debts, threatens to steal her inheritance, and Eve has no choice but to run.
Under an assumed name, she takes a job as a bookkeeper at the notorious Hell and Sin Club. Nothing in this bawdy den shocks her more than discovering that her employer is none other than Calum. Keeping her identity a secret is one thing—but hiding her feelings for him is another.
As Calum becomes increasingly taken with the strangely haunting beauty, he looks forward to exposing her mysteries. But when her masquerade is revealed, it’s left to Eve to prove that her desire for him is no deception.

**

Yes, this was another good book by Christi Caldwell, not my favorite of the series. Callum was just too Alpha-unlikable for me and I tend to get disgusted with heroines, Eve, who find it necessary to keep “the” secret for pages on end. These two had a history of a childhood friendship that lasted a year when he was a teen and she was younger, yet he didn’t recognize her or even wonder if they had met. The idea that because she ran for help when he was wounded made her responsible for his imprisonment is just ludicrous. She was a child!

Okay, after all those objections how can I say it was “a good book” and give it 4-stars? Easy, Ms Caldwell can write a story that sucks you in and makes you believe the impossible. I was totally enthralled. I wanted to know Callum’s story because I’ve been mesmerized by the entire series. We didn’t get Adair’s romance but I know for a fact that his story will lead off the next series and I can’t wait.

I highly recommend this series and if you can, listen to the books on Audio with the wonderful performance/narration by Tim Campbell.

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Recent Release Review- Twas The Night Before Scandal by Christi Caldwell and Eva Devon

twas-the-night-before-scandal

 

Title: Twas The Night Before Scandal (Two Novellas)

Genre: Historical Romance/Holiday/E-Reader

Author: Christi Caldwell and Eva Devon

Publisher: Christi Caldwell Inc., Nov. 2016

Source: won in a contest

Pages: 168/E-Reader

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Descriptions from Amazon.com:       

“Only For Their Love” by Christi Caldwell Miss Carol Cresswall bore witness to her parents’ loveless union and is determined to avoid that same miserable fate. Her mother has altogether different plans—plans that include a match between Carol and Lord Gregory Renshaw. Despite his wealth and power, Carol has no interest in marrying a pompous man who goes out of his way to ignore her. Now, with their families coming together for the Christmastide season it’s her mother’s last-ditch effort to get them together. And Carol plans to avoid Gregory at all costs. Lord Gregory Renshaw has no intentions of falling prey to his mother’s schemes to marry him off to a proper debutante she’s picked out. Over the years, he has carefully sidestepped all endeavors to be matched with any of the grasping ladies. But a sudden Christmastide Scandal has the potential show Carol and Gregory that they’ve spent years running from the one thing they’ve always needed.

***

The more I read from Christi Caldwell the more I like.  This novella is just packed with romance, Christmas feeling and even a surly Dowager Duchess and unrelenting matchmaking mother.  It is an enemies to sweethearts trope that is well developed considering the brevity of the format of the novella. Carol and Gregory are not exactly enemies they just have avoided each other for the past four years because of their mother’s matchmaking. Having never actually been thrown together where they could develop a relationship they are quite overcome with liking each other when they do get to know each other. But, of course,  there is a serious problem that arises.

Deet’s Rating: 5-stars    Christmasy Feeling: 5-stars

“A Kiss From a Rogue” by Eva Devon Bah and a hum bug: Sebatian Rutherford, the new Earl of Gray, has no desire to settle down. Ever. The only thing he dislikes more than the idea of taking over his recently inherited earldom, and all it’s responsibilities, is Christmas. So, when he agrees to an arranged marriage to the former earl’s daughter, he plans on a quick wedding and a quicker return to his adventures abroad. Surely, even a hint of Christmas cheer won’t need to be shared? But when his clever new wife, Lady Marabelle begins to thaw his heart, he finds that not only is family a joy, but Christmas may be the best season to lose one’s heart. Deck the Halls: Lady Marabelle loves Christmas. She loves everything about it. So, when she faces her first Christmas since the death of her beloved father, married to a man she’s never met, she decides to make sure that the Christmas hating new Earl must be taught the spirit of the season. But with each day toward Christmas that comes her way, she begins to find that perhaps a marriage of convenience can be a marriage of the heart and a veritable Christmas miracle.

**

Oh this is truly a yummy romance.  A handsome, adventurous, troubled man is about to marry a very astute, lovely woman whom he has never met.  They speak only a few words before they become man and wife.  Through the magic of her sweet personality she transforms this “Grinch” into a most enjoyable, loving person. All it takes is love.

Deet’s rating: 5-stars   Christmasy Feeling: 5-stars

Uh huh, another shirtless elf snuck in here.

santa-elf-2

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Recent Release Review- The Rogue’s Wager by Christi Caldwell

the-rogues-wager

Title: The Rogue’s Wager (Sinful Brides book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Christi Caldwell

Publisher: Montlake Romance and Brilliance Audio, Oct. 2016

Source: Purchase

Pages: 338

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

London, 1821

Lord Robert Dennington, the Marquess of Westfield, has long reveled in the freedom afforded him as the ducal heir. He knows he must someday do right by the Somerset line, but he’s in no hurry to give up his carefree existence.

Helena Banbury is a bookkeeper in a gentleman’s gambling club, adept at analyzing numbers and accounts but helpless for lack of influence. She’s never belonged among the nobility on the gaming hell floors, but neither does she feel completely herself among the men who run the Hell and Sin Club, despite the fact that they are family. The once-illiterate girl from the streets wants more than the gilded walls her protective cage can offer.

When Robert mistakenly enters her chambers one night, Helena is forced out of her predictable life and thrust into the glittering world of Society. Will the charms of the marquess prove more perilous than any danger she ever knew on the streets?

**

Helena and Robert fall in love while pretending, for the sake of Helena’s return to her bookkeeping, to be courting.  This is the predictable part of the novel.  What is especially refreshing is that during some of the action scenes the characters are actually acting like they have intelligence.  They are not doing foolish acts and even if there are some consequences they remain with their wits about them. This book has some very lush romantic scenes and equally nail-biting scary scenes.  There is a villain or two to ratchet up the angst.

I truly enjoyed this book. It is the first in the “Sinful Brides Series” and I look forward to the rest of the series featuring  Helena’s brothers in the gaming hell. It is a highly emotional read/listen.  I did listen to the audio version (it is also available on e-reader) and once again enjoyed Tim Campbell’s narration.  His ability to evoke both male and female character voices is top notch. He can pull you into a story to make you feel part of the environment.

 

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Audiobook Review- A Marquess For Christmas by Christi Caldwell

Title: A Marquess For Christmas (Scandalous Seasons book #5)

a-marquess-for-christmas

Genre: Historical Romance/Novella

Author: Christi Caldwell

Publisher: Christi Caldwell, Nov. 2014

Source: purchase, Audible $1.99, Kindle $3.99

Pages: 149

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 4

Violence Rating:0

Description from Amazon.com:         

Lady Patrina Tidemore gave up on the ridiculous notion of true love after having her heart shattered and her trust destroyed by a black-hearted cad. Used as a pawn in a game of revenge against her brother, Patrina returns to London from a failed elopement with a tattered reputation and little hope for a respectable match. The only peace she finds is in her solitude on the cold winter days at Hyde Park. And even that is yanked from her by two little hellions who just happen to have a devastatingly handsome, but coldly aloof father, the Marquess of Beaufort. Something about the lord stirs the dreams she’d once carried for an honorable gentleman’s love. Weston Aldridge, the 4th Marquess of Beaufort was deceived and betrayed by his late wife. In her faithlessness, he’s come to view women as self-serving, indulgent creatures. Except, after a series of chance encounters with Patrina, he comes to appreciate how uniquely different she is than all women he’s ever known. At the Christmastide season, a time of hope and new beginnings, Patrina and Weston, unexpectedly learn true love in one another. However, as Patrina’s scandalous past threatens their future and the happiness of his children, they are both left to determine if love is enough.

**

This is a standalone novel with characters appearing from the previous book in the series. Although it can be followed quite easily I believe the readier will realize more enjoyment if they have read AWAYS A ROGUE, FOREVER HER LOVE book #4 in the series.

Because of Patrina’s scandalous recent past she is convinced that she will never wed.  She is also extremely contrite over the effect of her scandal on her sisters’ future.  Weston is a widower who also thinks he will never remarry because his marriage was unhappy.  Christi Caldwell tugs at our emotions in this wonderful story of two lost souls finding each other.  This is only incidentally related to the holiday season. It could have been placed in any winter setting.

Note: this book is also found in the box set of SCANDALOUS SEASONS BKs 4, 5 &6 on Kindle for $5.99 and individually on Audible for $1.99.

scandelous-seasons-box-456

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