Tag Archives: Julia London

Release Day Review-Hard-Hearted Highlander by Julia London

Hard-Hearted Highlander

Title: Hard-Hearted Highlander (The Highland Grooms, book #3)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Julia London

Publisher: HQN Books, April 25, 2017

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 384

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:         

An indomitable governess…a brooding Highlander…a forbidden affair… 

An ill-fated elopement cost English-born governess Bernadette Holly her reputation, her unsuitable lover and any chance of a future match. She has nothing left to fear—not even the bitter, dangerously handsome Scot due to marry her young charge. Naïve wallflower Avaline is terrified to wed Rabbie Mackenzie, but if he sends her home, she will be ruined. Bernadette’s solution: convince Rabbie to get Avaline to cry off…while ignoring her own traitorous attraction to him.

A forced engagement to an Englishwoman is a hard pill for any Scot to swallow. It’s even worse when the fiancée in question is a delicate, foolish young miss—unlike her spirited, quick-witted governess. Sparring with Bernadette brings passion and light back to Rabbie’s life after the failed Jacobite uprising. His clan’s future depends upon his match to another, but how can any Highlander forsake a love that stirs his heart and soul?

**

For all highlander lovers this is a terrific story.  We have a naïve teenager, a worldly governess and a handsome highlander.  The makings of a really satisfying read.  Rabbie is still mourning his first love and is fighting a severe depression when he agrees to help his family and clan by marrying an English debutante who lives on the adjoining land. Avaline wants no part of the brooding, unlikable Rabbie but is being forced to marry.  Bernadette at first dislikes Rabbie but eventually understands his despondency and falls madly in love with him.  This is a triangle that seems totally without a happy outcome.  That the author, Julia “fantastic” London, pulls off a HEA is because of her superb storytelling skill.

I guarantee you will like this one and come back for more from this author. All books in the series are connected by cameos of previous characters but can definitely standalone. Read them all, you’ll thank me.

The Highland Grooms Series:(Deet has reviewed all of these, search in the search box on the left column for the review)

  1. Wild wicked Scot
  2. Sinful Scottish Laird
  3. Hard-Hearted Highlander

 

 

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Advance Review- Sinful Scottish Laird by Julia London

sinful-scottish-laird

Title: Sinful Scottish Laird: A Historical Romance Novel (The Highland Grooms, book #2)

Genre: Historical Romance/Highlands

Author: Julia London

Publisher: HQN, Feb. 28, 2017 (preorder available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 384

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

Widowed and forced to remarry in three years’ time or forfeit her son’s inheritance, Daisy Bristol, Lady Chatwick, has plenty of suitors vying for her hand…and her fortune. But a letter from a long-lost love sends Daisy and her young son to her Scottish Highland estate to buy time for his return. Along the way she encounters the powerful Cailean Mackenzie, laird of Arrandale and a notorious smuggler, and she is utterly—though unwillingly—bewitched.

Cailean has no use for any Sassenach in his glen. But Daisy’s brazen, flirtatious nature and alluring beauty intrigue him. When her first love appears unexpectedly at her estate, Cailean knows that a passionate woman like Daisy cannot marry this man. And to prevent the union, Cailean must put his own life at risk to win her heart.

**

In the first book of this series, Wild Wicked Scot, we are introduced to Arren and Margot.  In this the second book of the series some years have passed and this is the story of their oldest son, Cailean and his falling in love with Sassenach, Daisy. Cailean has fought against his attraction to the flirty Daisy because he knows she must marry an Englishman to protect her son’s inheritance. There are reasons he feels he could never reside in England and he determines to encourage her to marry someone else.  Daisy knows that she must marry by year’s end.  She thinks that Robert her love of her teen years will suit, but she can’t reconcile her attraction to Cailean.

Once again I have enjoyed the well-developed characters in this series.  The story is page-turning interesting. I liked both Daisy, who knew what she wanted but also knew her duty to her son, and Cailean who knew he had to let her go.  The problems were tied up a bit too conveniently but the addition of a character from book one was welcome at the end. I hope Knox gets his own book.

This is a standalone novel with cameos by characters from the first book in the series.  You can pick up this one without having read the first and you will not be lost although I encourage you to enjoy the first book.

The Higland Grooms Series by Julia London:

  1. Wild Wicked Scot (Arren and Margot)
  2. Sinful Scottish Laird (Cailean and Daisy)
  3. Hard-Hearted Highlander (Robbie and ?)April 2017

 

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Advance Review-Wild Wicked Scot by Julia London

wild-wicked-scot

Title: Wild Wicked Scot (Highland Grooms, book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance/Highlanders

Author: Julia London

Publisher: Harlequin Digital, Dec. 27, 2016 (pre-order available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 384

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

Wicked intrigue unfolds as an unlikely marriage leads to a path of risky desire in the lush, green Scottish Highlands 

Born into riches and groomed in English luxury, Margot Armstrong didn’t belong in a Scottish chieftain’s devil-may-care world. Three years ago she fled their marriage of convenience and hasn’t looked back—except to relive the moments spent in wild, rugged Arran McKenzie’s passionate embrace. But as their respective countries’ fragile unity threatens to unravel, Margot must return to her husband to uncover his role in the treachery before her family can be accused of it.

Red-haired, green-eyed Margot was Arran’s beautiful bride. Her loss has haunted him, but her return threatens everything he has gained. As the Highland mists carry whispers of an English plot to seize McKenzie territory, he must outmaneuver her in games of espionage…and seduction. But even as their secrets tangle together, there’s nothing to prevent love from capturing them both and leading them straight into danger.

***

Margot was a spoiled daughter of an Earl, she was naïve but beautiful.  When her father saw a chance to make a profitable alliance with a “barbaric” Scot he didn’t even consider Margot’s wishes. Married, this teenager was thrust into a culture she couldn’t comprehend, a society that disapproved of her being English and a husband who wasn’t prepared to cater to her insecurities or whims.  After four months and yet another row with Arran, her husband, she left for her father’s home where she stayed for 4 years. That is until her father insisted she return to her husband and find evidence of his treason.

This is the first book in Julia London’s “Highland Grooms” series.  A terrific start! The characterizations of all the characters is spot on and well developed.  The story is filled with sizzling chemistry between Arran and Margot.  There is a well-developed arc of Margot going from naïve teenager to a take charge strong woman. This book is elegantly written and very entertaining.  It is a long book and it does slow down a bit in the middle but otherwise it is action packed and a hang on for the ride book.  The sexual tension is what holds these two protagonists together until they learn to fall in love.

                                                                         

 

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Recent Release Review- The Perfect Bargain by Jessa McAdams (Julia London)

Title: The Perfect Bargain

The Perfect Bargain

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Jessa McAdams (Julia London)

Publisher: Entangled, Lovestruck, June 2015

Pages: 179

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

American lass seeks brawny Scot…

As if being newly single isn’t brutal enough, Sloane Chatfield’s friends are getting obnoxious about setting her up. When Sloane insists she’s waiting for a certain sexy fictional Highlander to come along, her friends surprise her with a trip to Scotland to find her a new boyfriend. She’d rather have a root canal. But if she can find a Highland hunk to “break her heart” before her friends arrive…

In a remote Highland village, Galen Buchanan is struggling to keep the family pub afloat. Everything is falling apart, he’s running out of money, and now there’s an opinionated American lass parked at his best table, driving him mad. But then Sloane asks Galen to be her pretend Highland boyfriend…and offers him enough money to save the pub. It’s only for a few days, he figures. What’s the worst that could happen?

**

Sloane is getting over being dumped by her fiancé by becoming a workaholic. Her friends want her to snap out of it so they are delighted with the idea that she is going to vacation in Scotland to find her “Jamie Frasier”. Of course Sloane has no intentions of finding anyone but with her friends arriving in Scotland in a few days she needs someone to pretend to be her found boyfriend. Galen is the hunky Scot behind the bar at the Black Thistle and Sloane propositions him to be her “boyfriend” by offering a hefty sum that he needs to upgrade his bar. The pretend part works well for a while until feelings start to surface.

There is lots to like about this novel. There is a hunky Scot and a determined American. The writing is full of the humorous banter that always puts a smile on my face. The bickering between the H & h is just fun especially with the Scottish burr that the author can almost make you hear.

The story progresses well and we think early on that there will be a happily-ever-after but then our H/h start to over think the relationship and others try to come between them.

I liked this book! I did think the ending was a bit abrupt especially with all the angst that just went before. I recommend this book to all fans of romance but especially if you like the Highlanders.

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Recent Release Review- The Scoundrel and The Debutante by Julia London

Title: The Scoundrel and The Debutante (The Cabot Sisters Trilogy, book#3)

The Scoundrel and the Debutant

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Julia London

Publisher: HQN Books, May 2015

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

The dust of the Cabot sisters’ shocking plans to rescue their family from certain ruin may have settled, but Prudence Cabot is left standing in the rubble of scandal. Now regarded as an unsuitable bride, she’s tainted among the ton. Yet this unwilling wallflower is ripe for her own adventure. And when an irresistibly sexy American stranger on a desperate mission enlists her help, she simply can’t deny the temptation.

The fate of Roan Matheson’s family depends on how quickly he can find his runaway sister and persuade her to return to her betrothed. Scouring the rustic English countryside with the sensually wicked Prudence at his side—and in his bed—he’s out of his element. But once Roan has a taste of the sizzling passion that can lead to forever, he must choose between his heart’s obligations and its forbidden desires.

**

Prudence is supposed to be the practical one of the Cabot sisters. But she is so depressed over her lack of suitors that she decides that since she is to be a spinster she will have a great adventure before she is shuttered away. So she does something reckless and tosses caution to the wind. Not without some anxiety producing consequences and trouble all around.

Roan can’t figure out how he got himself entangled with Pru but he adapts quickly and it isn’t long before attraction turns to lust turns to love.

This is a fun addition to the Cabot Sisters Series. Ms. London says that we won’t be seeing the last Cabot sister, Mercy, get her own book but perhaps she will be in a novella or in another series.

This story starts as a road trip through the English countryside. First on a Royal Mail coach, then on foot, then on an old nag of a horse, then an Earl’s coach and back again to a mail coach. Whew! No wonder they were dusty, and dirty and in need of a bath….together. Ms. London can write a sublimely satisfying romance in a sexy heart rending way. She can bring us to tears and give us scenes to cheer for.

Historical Romance lovers will like this one.

 

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

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

The Devil Takes A Bride

Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Julia London

Publisher: Harlequin HQN, July 29, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5+

Description from Amazon.com:

A plan born of desperation…

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

…and altered by passion.

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

**

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

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

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

 

 

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Advance review- The Fall of Lady Grace by Julia London

Title:  The Fall of Lady Grace (book #2, The Cabot Sisters Series)

The Fall of Grace

 Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Julia London

Publisher:  Harlequin HQN, July 29, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5+

Description from Amazon.com:

A plan born of desperation…

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

…and altered by passion.

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

**

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

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

 

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Review, Anthology- Talk of The Ton by James, London, Hagen-Lee & Navin

Title: Talk of the Ton

Talk of the Ton

 Genre: Historical Romance/Anthology

Author: Eloisa James, Julia London, Rebecca Hagen-Lee, Jacqueline Navin

Publisher: Berkley Sensation, 2009

Source: purchase

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from authors:

A Proper English Woman by Eloisa James

It’s the story of a reluctant bridegroom (engaged since childhood, and hasn’t seen his fiancée in years), a bride who’s losing her patience, and a wild night in which the said bridegroom meets a wicked, delicious Frenchwoman…or is she?

**Eloisa James does not disappoint in this delightful novella involving misinterpreted comments, scandalous gossip and a masquerade.   This story is well plotted and sensuous. Rating:5-stars

The Vicar’s Widow by Julia London

In 1816 Darien wildly kisses Kate, the Vicar’s wife at a holiday party.   Three years later, he is the toast of the Ton and she is a widow that he still desires. However,(debutante) Emily wants Darien to offer for her, so she spreads rumors to eliminate her rival by turning the Vicar’s Widow into the TALK OF THE TON.

**Emily is young, naïve and has her sights set on Darien, Lord Montgomery but she notices his interest in Kate, the vicar’s widow, and sets about to create scandalous gossip so that she can be successful in her pursuit.  This is another delight of a novella and romance at its best from a genius of the genre. Rating: 5-stars

Clearly a Couple by Rebecca Hagen Lee

Lady India Burton has just returned from years of captivity in a sultan’s harem, her reputation is in ruins.  But she proves a seductive challenge to a staunchly single member of the Free Fellows League.

**Darker than the previous two novellas, Ms Hagen-Lee’s offering concerns a woman who had been kidnapped and forced into slavery and her unlikely return and acceptance into the Regency society.  Not my favorite although well written.  Rating: 4-stars

Miss Jenny Alt’s First Kiss by Jacqueline Navin

Companion to her aunt and cousin, Jenny does not see marriage in her future.  With many believing that she is a man-hater and bluestocking, Jenny’s dance card remains quite empty…until a handsome earl comes to London in search of a wife.

**Rather predictable but still a light and lovely novella. Once again we have a young naïve woman spreading rumors that she hopes will give her an advantage with the handsome lord.  Of course this tactic fails and the hero and heroine manage to get together. Rating 4-stars

Overview: It seems that in anthologies there are always some exceptional offerings and some not so exceptional offerings.  In this anthology we are treated to four novellas that will keep the reader engrossed from the first until the last.

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New Release Review- The Trouble With Honor by Julia London

Title: The Trouble With Honor (Book #1, The Cabot Sisters series)

The Trouble With Honor

 Genre:  Historical Romance

Author: Julia London

Publisher: Harlequin HQN, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Book #1 of author Julia London’s brand-new series about four sisters determined to rescue themselves from ruin…

Desperate times call for daring measures as Honor Cabot, the eldest stepdaughter of the wealthy Earl of Beckington, awaits her family’s ruin. Upon the earl’s death she and her sisters stand to lose the luxury of their grand home—and their place on the pedestal of society—to their stepbrother and his social-climbing fiancée. Forced to act quickly, Honor makes a devil’s bargain with the only rogue in London who can seduce her stepbrother’s fiancée out of the Cabots’ lives for good.

An illegitimate son of a duke, George Easton was born of scandal and grows his fortune through dangerous risks. But now he and Honor are dabbling in a perilous dance of seduction that puts her reputation and his jaded heart on the line. And as unexpected desire threatens to change the rules of their secret game, the stakes may become too high even for a notorious gambler and a determined, free-spirited debutante to handle.

**

Oh Yum! This book sizzles with sexual tension and romance.  It is a page turner from the beginning.  The wonderfully nuanced characters are spot on.  We have the feisty, slightly spoiled, head strong debutante and the penultimate rake.  She is trying to save herself and her sisters from ruin and he is on a downward spiral of losing his entire fortune.  They have an instant chemistry that neither can deny although they do their best.  He can’t keep his hands off of her and she can’t seem to refuse him. The side characters of the slightly vacant stepbrother, the social climbing fiancé, the serious sister, the wise beyond her years sister and the young attention grabbing sister make this a fun, believable read.

I highly recommend this book to all Historical Romance lovers.

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3 Fridays ‘Til Christmas Review- Snowy Night With A Stranger by Feather, Jeffries & London

Title:  Snowy Night With A Stranger

snowy night with a stranger

Genre:  Historical Romance Anthology

Author: Jane Feather, Sabrina Jeffries, Julia London

Publisher: Pocket Star Books, 2010

Source:  Purchase

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 4

Descriptions  from amazon.com:

Jane Feather leads an unwitting Yuletide traveler down a twisting path. . . .

Edward Vasey, Viscount Allenton, is journeying precariously through a snowstorm when his coach is overtaken by highwaymen! Robbed of his money, Ned takes refuge at Selby Hall, where a spirited beauty with a shocking secret may steal something more—his heart.

Deet’s thoughts:  Jane feather made me feel the bitter cold of the blizzard that stranded Ned.  The romance is heightened by the fact that the heroine is in dire need of saving.  The bad guys are really quite abhorrent and again the author makes us shiver with dislike. The heroine is no retiring miss, she is quite capable of defending herself but it is indicated that she may be very much at risk.  Characters are brought to life in a well plotted story.

Deet’ Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy feeling: 3

Sabrina Jeffries unlocks the heart of an embittered lord. . . .

When a coach accident strands heiress Elinor Bancroft at the home of the notorious Black Baron, she discovers the Christmas Day heartache that darkened his soul years ago—and her generous heart brings a festive air to his home and reawakens his spirit to love.

Deet’s thoughts:  Martin, Baron Thorncliff, aka the Black Baron, is a grumbling curmudgeon of a young man.  He is reclusive and does not appreciate Elinor and her Aunt and cousins descending upon his home.  However, his delightful butler is more than happy that some life has been brought into the mansion. This is a well written story of a tortured man redeemed at the holidays by a kind hearted heroine.  There is an instance, or maybe two, of some purple prose which brought me out of the sensuous scene but it was still a very well written story.

Deet’s rating: 4

Sexy rating: 5

 Christmasy feeling: 5

 

Julia London sends a debutante into the wintry Scottish wilds. . . .

Searching for her rakehell brother, an earl lying low in the wake of a scandalous affair, Fiona Haines is led by a rugged Highlander who obscures his scarred face. As they journey on, Fiona draws closer to her brave, enigmatic protector—but will fury or passion ignite when he reveals his identity?

Deet’s thoughts: This was my favorite story in this anthology.  Again there is a tortured hero and again he is saved by the kindness of the heroine.  The romance is very well done and the chemistry between the protagonists is very hot. The hero is redeemed and the heroine finds love. Just a delightful story. This is one story I didn’t want to end.

Deet’s rating: 5

Sexy rating: 5

 Christmasy feeling: 5

I like anthologies at this time of year because I can read a story/novella quickly and still have time to bake some cookies or wrap some gifts.  Also because of the holiday hub-bub I can steal some time for a cup of tea and a cozy break that doesn’t pull me in for a day and a half.  I give this anthology high marks for a holiday feel to each story, enough to put you, and me, in a holiday mood.

(Although the stories in this anthology are not newly written this book is still available on Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle.)

sexy_santa_4-257x400

Coming next Friday: The Heart of Christmas

The Heart of Christmas

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