Tag Archives: Stella Riley

What Turns me on…

What turns me on….

Vincent Eduardo Verastegui

No, no, not him…well…maybe him, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.  (BTW his name is Edwardo Verestiqui) Here I’m talking about what I swoon about with my fave authors

I know there are a ton of books that have been released over the years that I haven’t read and I assume you might have missed them also. That’s why I review some older books from time to time along with current ones.
It seems, when I find a new-to-me author, which I like, I want to read their entire back catalog. Linda Howard was one of those for me, also Lisa Kleypas and Stella Riley, Lucinda Brandt, Harlan Cobin, Julia Quinn, Courtney Milan, Sarah MacLean and Sherry Thomas. All have a way with prose that bespeaks an inventive intelligence and I’m surely (if nothing else) an intellectual snob. There you have it, another confession. I’m not proud of being that kind of a snob, or any kind actually. It’s just that I don’t tolerate idiots well at all. I’m a bottom-line, drama-free, give-me-some-common-sense kinda woman. Come to me crying that you just bought a Prada purse but now don’t know how you will buy groceries and I about go ballistic at your stupidity. (my husband considers this a gross personality flaw, the ballistic thing, not the practical thing) I’m just practical beyond reason. I’m certainly not the academic-intellectual type of snob but all of this is off topic….
I simply love “smart” writing.
1. When characters are brought to life and I can feel them breathing I am delighted.
2. When plotting is intricate and a novel has twists that I never saw coming, I will probably give it an automatic five.
3. When romance is slow built and I can see the protagonists falling in love even before they do, I’m swooning.
4. Make me laugh with wit and intelligence and you are on my all time fave list.
5. Give me action and adventure that is heart pounding and page turning, well let’s just say you had me at the first run through the forest to escape the baddies.

And, if you give me all of those wrapped in one paperback cover…. I’m gonna bake you a pie and read your entire back list.

P.S. Click on a mentioned author’s name in “tags” to see my reviews.

(portions of this post have been edited from an earlier post.)

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Filed under Authors, Book review, Books, Opinion, Reading, sexy man

Free Today- The Black Madonna by Stella Riley

The Black Madonna

This book is a free  E-Book now through May20th.  I have recently reviewed Stella Riley audiobooks from her “Rockliffe” series and gave each 5-stars.  This book is set in the 1600’s and is the first in another series.  I’m looking forward to reading this one.

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Filed under Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance

Audiobook Review- The Player by Stella Riley

Title: The Player ( Rockliffe, book #3) (Audiobook)

The Player

Also available as E-Book and Paperback

Genre: Historical Romance/Georgian

Author: Stella Riley

Narrator: Alex Wyndham

Publisher: Stella Palmer, April 2016

Pages/ Listening Time: 323/10 hours 13 minutes

Source: Free from the Author

Rating: 5+

Sexy Rating: 5 not explicit

Description from Audible.com:

Tragedy drove him into unwilling exile. Death demands his reluctant return. In the decade between, he has answered to many names and amassed a variety of secrets. Now the actor known to Paris as L’Inconnu must resume his real identity and become Francis Adrian Sinclair Devereux, Earl of Sarre…a man he no longer knows how to be and whose name, thanks to the malice of a friend turned enemy, remains tarnished by an old scandal. Revenge, so long avoided, slithers temptingly from the shadows.

Granddaughter of a wealthy wool-merchant, Caroline Maitland is not finding her society debut either easy of enjoyable…but, to Marcus Sheringham, she is the perfect solution to his crushing mountain of debt. Knowing she will be married for her money, Caroline never believed she would find love; but neither did she bargain for a certain charming French highwayman…and a surprising turn of events. The stage is set, the cast assembled, and the Duke of Rockliffe waits for the curtain to rise. In the wings, Lord Sarre prepares to make his entrance. He doesn’t expect to be greeted with applause.

**

I’m such a fangirl of Stella Riley’s Rockliffe series that it is difficult for me not to jump up and down at my computer and beg you all to read/listen to this series.  I wasn’t even sure I liked the Georgian period (being totally enamored with the Regency Era) but Ms. Riley has not only made me a fan but keeps me hoping for more of this series. You know a book or series is good when you never want it to end. She has the ability to give us description of the era so that we can actually visualize the time period.  Her characters are fleshed out so that we can picture there features and personality. The book is well plotted and the pace is never too slow or too rushed.

In The Player we get to know Adrian Devereux, The recent Earl of Sarre.  Because of a tragedy he was exiled by his father to France for ten years. In an earlier book he was mentioned by the Duke of Rockliffe who thought he recognized Adrian acting on the stage in Paris. Now Adrian has returned to England to take charge of his title and estates and is hell-bent on seeking revenge on the man who caused his father to exile him so many years before.

Caroline Maitland is young, not aristocratic but holds a huge dowry that is making her the target of fortune hunter Marcus Sheringham, Adrian’s nemesis. Adrian uses his acting skills to woo Caroline and tricks her into an elopement.  But his well prepared plan starts to unravel when Caroline discovers the hoax.

I hope that much information is not a spoiler because there is so much more to this story and like me I’m sure you will hang on to every word out of the mouth of the sexy voiced narrator, Alex Wyndham.  He is my audiobook boyfriend, he can speak English with a French accent in several different character voices in a conversation.  He not only brings the characters and the book to life he infuses it with drama and heartfelt emotion. He can speak female voices as well as the male characters.

Well by now you know that I’m not just encouraging you to get this audiobook, I’m practically insisting that you do because I know you will love it.  There is nothing on TV anyway so sit back and listen to this wonderful story told by a superb narrator.

(FYI: I listen on my Kindle Fire HDX. Amazon also has Whispersync where you can get the print book and audio and read along as you are listening. I personally get so caught up in Wyndham’s narration that I don’t read along.)

The Rockliffe Series:

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Filed under Audio books, Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance, Favorites, Historical Fiction

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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Filed under Audio books, Book review, Books Historical Romance

Audiobook Review- The Parfit Knight by Stella Riley

Title:  The Parfit Knight (Rockliffe Book #1)

The Parfit Knight

Genre: Historical Romance / Georgian

Author: Stella Riley

Publisher: Riley

Pages: Audio available from Audible.com (Also available as a paperback and for e-reader)

Source: Free For review from the author

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 2

Description from Amazon.com:

When the Marquis of Amberley’s coach is waylaid by highwaymen and his coachman shot, he is forced to take shelter at the first house he finds and is subsequently trapped there for a week by a severe snow storm. Oakleigh Manor is the home of Rosalind Vernon who lives alone but for her devoted servants and an ill-natured parrot, cut off from the outside world by the tragic result of a childhood accident. But Rosalind is brave and bright and totally devoid of self-pity – and it is these qualities which, as the days pass and the snow continues to fall, touch Amberley’s heart. On his return to London, the Marquis persuades Rosalind’s brother, Philip, to bring her to town for a taste of society, despite her handicap. But the course of Amberley’s courtship is far from smooth. Philip Vernon actively dislikes him; Rosalind appears to be falling under the spell of the suavely elegant Duke of Rockliffe; and worse still, Amberley is haunted by a dark and terrible secret that, if revealed, may cause him to lose Rosalind forever.

**

This is only the second or third time I’ve listened to an audio book and I was blown away by the narrator/reader, Alex Wyndham.  He read the book with all the various characters with different voices, I’m not sure if he voiced the Parrot but if he did I’ll give him additional Kudos. There were several male characters and several female characters and they all had distinct voices which certainly added to the enjoyment of the audio book.

This is such a lovely romantic story about a blind young woman and a slightly older gentleman who falls in love with her.  The description truly gives all the details that I won’t repeat here.  The characters were superbly developed and this gave an absolute feeling of reality to the story. The description of the fashions of the time also helped to place the story in the Georgian period. The varied characters and their personalities also brought the book to life; the bully, Robert; The Duke, Rockliffe; Phillip, Rosalind’s brother & Isabel his fiancée, just to name a few of the interesting side characters.  The parrot ads a dose of comic relief. It was such a pleasure to read/listen about a hero who sought out his mother for advice and then followed it.  I highly recommend this audio book and I look forward to the release of Rockliffe’s book on audio, THE MESALLIANCE.

P.S.- I just bought The Mesalliance on e-book because I can’t wait for Rockliffe’s story. Yes, I am impatient and in need of instant gratification.

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Filed under Audio books, Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance