Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Elizabeth the Enchantress by Lavinia Kent

Episode 4: How to Succeed in Marriage without Really Trying

In the last installment of The Real Duchesses of London, Elizabeth, Countess of Westhampton, is rattled when her husband, William, finally returns home after deserting her days after their marriage by just appearing at a ball out of the blue.  Elizabeth has had to deal with backlash that one would receive after such a public desertion and has developed a very thick, tough skin.  The ton of London has assumed that she could not satisfy her husband in bed and that is why he left.  In truth, William had his trip to America planned before he even married Elizabeth and it did not even occur to him what his quick fleeing would look like to society.  William had thought he saved Elizabeth from a wretched life with her uncle when she was nineteen and he thought of her as a young girl who needed some space to finally be allowed to grow into herself before he was with her.  With Elizabeth thinking that her husband is not attracted to her and William unsure how to handle this new, bold, confident woman in front of him, how can they ever come together and be happy?  And with two cartoons out this time, one showing William groveling to her and one with Elizabeth groveling to him, will the true artist finally be found out?

This is yet another fun, sexy novella from Lavinia Kent and it has prompted me to purchase all her full length novels as a result.  If she can draw me into a good story in a novella, I can't wait to see what she does with a full length book!  William and Elizabeth, though they had a quick courtship and a long separation, overcome their past misconceptions to find a strong future together.  And phew...when they do consummate the marriage, another hot scene that may or may not involve a glass prop ;)  I love the steamy scenes Ms Kent writes, they often involve some steamy props or locations to add a fresh twist.  The ending of this one, while it did finally reveal who the cruel cartoonist was, did leave a few threads dangling so I am hoping we get to revisit these ladies again soon!  Overall, another great story of love, the mending of friendships and how important those friendships can be with a few giggles thrown in!  A great way to spend a couple hours!  4 stars

I received the ebook from the publisher via 

The Real Duchesses of London
Kathryn, The Kitten (The Real Duchesses of London)Linnette, The Lioness (Real Duchesses of London)Annabelle, The American: The Real Duchesses of London

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a a weekly blog hop hosted by Breaking the Spine where we all mention one upcoming book release we are waiting for.

My choice this week is His Mistress by Christmas by Victoria Alexander, releasing on October 1st.  Here is the summary:

For three years, Lady Veronica Smithson has been a happy, independent widow. Still, the right gentleman could provide the benefits of marriage without the tedious restrictions. And in Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater, renowned explorer and rogue, Veronica is sure she has found him.

Sebastian will inherit his fortune in a matter of weeks—if his family deems him responsible enough. There’s no better way to prove his maturity than with a home and a wife. But though the lovely Veronica will share his bed, she refuses to marry.

An intimate sojourn at his new country house will surely change her mind. For Sebastian never takes no for an answer. And even in the midst of mischief-making relatives and unexpected complications, he intends to persuade his Christmas mistress that they belong together—in this and every season to come…

Yes it sounds like a plot that has been used many times before (but one that is usually fun and spicy and I enjoy!) however one of my friends on goodreads that had a chance to read an arc said it was a wonderful story and that she had not smiled so much in awhile and that makes it something I can not wait to read!  I love to read Christmas stories to help me get in the spirit of Christmas and this sounds like a good one to kick off the short, four (!) months until Christmas.  I probably won't read it at the beginning of October, unless it suddenly gets really cold, I might save it for November as I like to read Christmas type stories when its a bit chillier out.  What about you?  Do you read Christmas stories year round or just around Christmas time?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Annabelle, the American by Lavinia Kent

Episode 3: Annabelle and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad rumor

And oh, what a rumor it is!  Annabelle,  Marchioness of Tattingstong, is stunned to see the newest cartoon and the picture it shows.  It is a cruel drawing of her and her husband, with her husband and another woman, who is shown with two children, all while sneaking away Annabelles large fortune.  Naturally, Annabelle is beyond hurt as she believes her husband, Thomas, has had a mistress the entire time of their short marriage and already had a child with her.  She knows they did not marry for love but the thought of Thomas already having a child is more that she can bear.  

When Thomas sees the drawing he is also stunned, but for a very different reason as he knows the truth.  And the truth.  Huh.  I thought I had it figured out at one point but nope, I was wrong and it went a way I did not expect and I really enjoyed that!  As with the previous two stories, Kathryn, The Kitten (The Real Duchesses of London) and Linnette, The Lioness (Real Duchesses of London), the ladies all reunite in an effort to stop this lie from spreading.  There is not as much cattiness in this story but the truth about Linnette and Elizabeth is told and hopefully that friendship is on the mend.  Overall, a delightful way to spend a couple hours.  The story is full of steamy goodness, heartbreak, hope and love.  My only complaint was I just didn't feel the connection between Thomas and Annabelle as much as I would have liked.  They have a huge hurdle to overcome and based on Annabelles opinions at the beginning, I thought she accepted the outcomes a little easily.  But even with my opinion on that, still a solid addition to what is turning into a delightful series!  4 stars

The Real Duchesses of London
While not necessary to read the previous novellas, I would as a couple scenes will make more sense
Kathryn, The Kitten (The Real Duchesses of London)Linnette, The Lioness (Real Duchesses of London) Both out now and excellent!
Elizabeth, The Enchantress Releases 9/13/2011

Unclaimed by Courtney Milan

Another stellar performance from Courtney Milan!

Jessica Farleighs life changed forever when she was just fourteen and now years later she is desperate to leave her courtesan life behind her and she seizes an opportunity from her former protector to seduce the seemingly chaste Sir Mark Turner and ruin his good name.  Mark is know for a book he wrote that exploded with popularity and has gained him all sorts of unwanted attention.  His book?  A book on chastity which leads everyone to assume his nature is chaste (after all, he is still a virgin) but underneath that virtuous layer is a a very passionate one just waiting to explode and when he lays eyes on the lovely, supposedly widowed Mrs Farleigh, he believes he has found the one he has been waiting for.

Jessica starts on her course to seduce Mark with a couple of cliches and he sees right through them and into her true self, the person she has worked so hard to hide all these years.  The two begin a sort of give and take relationship where they share some passionate kisses and heated embraces but never completely sealing the deal so to say.  As their relationship grows, so does Jessicas conscious and she finally breaks down and tells Mark the truth and in the process, shatters his heart...and hers for they have developed strong feelings for each other.  Mark leaves the countryside and returns to London and tries to forget Jessica but what Jessica does makes it impossible for him to forget.  What does she do that makes him confront her again?  Ah, I won't share that with you ;)  You will need to grab this fabulous book and see for yourself!

Overall, I really loved this strong, sweet, heart breaking, passionate, lovely, soul searching book!  It seemed to take me through many emotions, happy and sad, and that is a hard thing to accomplish.  Mark is almost too good to be true but it worked...he is the perfect balance for Jessica to help her heal from her past and withstand her passionate nature.  Both Mark and Jessica had traumatic moments from their pasts but how they overcame them, so totally different...she lost her family, he always had his two brothers, shaped how their futures came to be.  Really the only flaw with this story was the ending.  I understand we needed that last hurdle thrown in but I thought a few things with Jessica wrapped up a little to neatly for my taste.  Overall, again, a stellar book and I can. not. wait. for Smites book and many, many more books from Ms Milan!!  5 stars

I received this ebook from the publisher via

Turner series (not necessary to read previous ones first but you should as they are both awesome!!)
Unveiled (Hqn)Unlocked

Book 3: Unraveled  Sometime by years end I think I read! :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Just One Season in London by Leigh Michaels

This was a very interesting, good book.  It focuses on three couples, not just one, and while you would think it would be confusing or wouldn't work, Leigh Michaels somehow made it work!  The story centers around the Ryecroft family and their need for money to keep the estate afloat.  Viscount Ryecroft knows it is his duty to find a wealthy heiress so that he may provide for his mother and give his sister a season in London.  When an unexpected opportunity falls into his lap, he is able to travel to London with his mother and his sister, Sophie, each with their own hope that this one season in London will provide them with the chance to provide for the family and the future.

Sophie is the belle of the ton and seems to have her pick of suitors.  But will she choose for money or will she follow her heart?  Rye know his duty but when circumstances force him to choose between protecting his family or protecting a woman, what will he do?  And Ryes mother, Miranda, will do anything to provide for her children but when her offer is tossed back in her face, how will she overcome this obstacle and keep her heart intact?

Each of our three couples get the time they need to develop together though I did feel a bit confused at times as to who the end couples would be.  Especially with Sophie.  I did feel like her pairing was the most confusing because it was not totally clarified until right at the end and I would have liked to have seen a bit more of her with her man together.  But overall, this is a wonderful story of family and love and passion all wove together in a way that keeps you flipping the pages to see what turn will happen next.  I am looking forward to more novels from Ms Michaels who seems to have a knack for weaving together three happily-ever-afters into one.  4 solid stars!

Waiting on Wednesday is a a weekly blog hop hosted by Breaking the Spine where we all mention one upcoming book release we are waiting for.  (And yes, I know its has been keeping me off schedule as of late).

My pick for this week is for a book that won't be out but the cover was released this week and it is gorgeous!

Lovely, isn't it?  Here is the summary from

What a scoundrel wants, a scoundrel gets . . .

A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London’s most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance—including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury.

A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage, and a longing for something more. How lucky that her new husband has access to such unexplored pleasures.

Bourne may be a prince of London’s underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness—a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything to for them . . . even her heart.

This is the start of a brand new quartet from the author that got me started on historical romance with Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake.  I am sooo bummed that the release has been pushed back from the end of Dec to Feb 28, 2012 but sigh...oh well.  I have loved all of Sarah MacLeans books and eagerly look forward to this one in will be just the thing as I'm sure there will be at least a foot of snow around...shudder.  But A Rogue By Any Other Name sounds like a great, wicked start to a quartet! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Sinner Who Seduced Me by Stefanie Sloane

This is just a quick review as real life is quite busy at the moment!

This is book three of Stefanie Sloanes debut trilogy this year and while I liked it, I didn't really love it either but I think that was because I personally don't like to read a lot of the 'secret spy' type stories so maybe if I had waited a bit after reading The Angel in My Arms: A Regency Rogues Novel I might have enjoyed it a bit more.  That being said, if you have not read The Angel in My Arms: A Regency Rogues Novel yet, I suggest that you do first as something quite shocking in there leads to the events that happen in this book.

James Marlowe is undercover on a dangerous mission and it is thrown into more upheaval when his first love, Lady Clarissa Collins is forced to portray her male painter teacher in order to protect her mother.  Clarissa is furious to be in the care of the man who broke her heart but James had his reasons for saying what he did at the time and neither has really recovered from it.  There is quite a bit of back and forth on this subject and I wish it had been cleared up a bit sooner but James and Clarissa obviously still have strong feelings for each other that leads to some funny and hot encounters.  Will James come clean about his past, not to just Clarissa and her mother, but to his friends as well?  And will James and Clarissa be able to move on from their past to find happiness together for the future?  If you have enjoyed Stefanie Sloanes previous books, this is another solid addition to the series and I look forward to more books next year.  3 1/2 stars

The Devil in Disguise: A Regency Rogues NovelThe Angel in My Arms: A Regency Rogues Novel

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Wicked in Your Arms by Sophie Jordan

This is just a quick review of a great book! 

Prince Sevastian Maksimi knows that following a long, grueling war that leaves his elder brother dead, he must quickly take a wealthy bride and produce an heir to help bolster his counties spirits.  He travels to London where a cousin of his lives and sets out to find a nice, docile wealthy bride.  Unfortunately for him, he is overheard saying some very rude things about Grier Hadley and in her bold, confident manner, she dumps her lemon water on him!  And so starts a sparking relationship that neither of them truly want and know can not end well but can not ignore. 

Grier needs to wed as well but her reason is her father wants a title in the family as he is the owner of a gaming hell and barely tolerated by society, only because of his wealth and he wants all the prestige as well.  Grier is instantly captivated by the dashing prince but can not forget his presumptuous comments before they even met but Sev is not easily deterred from what he wants.  When they are caught in a most scandalous position, will Sev take responsibility for it and forgo what his grandfather wants from him or will he just brush Grier aside?  Pick up this delightful, sexy romance filled with sassy dialogue and good supporting characters to find out! 4 stars

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a a weekly blog hop hosted by Breaking the Spine where we all mention one upcoming book release we are waiting for.  (And yes, I know its Thursday...real life got in the way yesterday).

This week I am anxiously awaiting is Romancing the Countess (Signet Eclipse) by Ashley March.  Here is the back cover blurb:

Sebastian Madinger, the Earl of Wriothesly, thought he'd married the perfect woman-until a fatal accident revealed her betrayal with his best friend. After their deaths, Sebastian is determined to avoid a scandal for the sake of his son. But his best friend's widow is just as determined to cast her mourning veil aside by hosting a party that will surely destroy both their reputations and expose all of his carefully kept secrets...

Leah George has carried the painful knowledge of her husband's affair for almost a year. All she wants now is to enjoy her independence and make a new life for herself-even if that means being ostracized by the Society whose rules she was raised to obey. Now that the rumors are flying, there's only one thing left for Sebastian to do: silence the scandal by enticing the improper widow into becoming a proper wife. But when it comes to matters of the heart, neither Sebastian nor Leah is prepared for the passion they discover in each other's arms....

Stories about adultery work for me sometimes and sometimes they don't, it seems to be a touchy subject for readers.  After reading Ashley Marchs debut novel, Seducing the Duchess, and not totally loving the storyline she sold me on her writing ability so I just can't wait until Sept 6th when Romancing the Countess (Signet Eclipse) releases!  I am looking forward to a richly, emotional story filled with sexual tension!  And oh yes, having the beyond awesome Elizabeth Hoyt say this about it doesn't hurt either!
"Ashley March is a glorious new voice in romance. From the first page, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS captivated me with a smart heroine, a sexy, brooding hero, and a sophisticated romance that vibrates with sexual tension." -New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Hoyt

Like I said...awesome.  Can't wait :)  Oh, and check out her newly redesigned website, lots of goodies and info on it!    

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Seduction of Scandal by Cathy Maxwell

Lady Corrine has realized that her father, the duke of Banfield, is not going to allow her to cry off her wedding to the despicable Lord Freddie Sherwin, son of the earl of Bossley, as their marriage would be a great combination of power between the two fathers.  So she decides to take matters into her own hands and takes the drastic step of stowing herself in the boot under a carriage bound for London.  What she is exactly going to do there, she is not quite sure but she knows she needs to stay hidden for the next couple of months until her wedding day passes.  She encounters a slight mishap along the way though when the carriage is stopped by the mysterious blackguard, Thorn.  She quickly tries to flee the scene but ends up accidentally getting shot in the shoulder and the major who shot her flees. leaving her to the mercy of the mysterious Thorn and she promptly passes out.

Reverend Will Norwich, foster brother to Freddie, is stunned when he sees his childhood crush get shot.  He reluctantly gathers her up and takes her to his, err Thorns, hideout.  He is faced with quite a dilemma though as Corrine pulled off his mask before passing out and she now knows his secret identity.  Corrine pleads with him to allow her to stay hidden in the rustic cottage, away from prying and searching eyes so she can jilt Freddie.  Seeing as he really has no choice in the matter, he reluctantly agrees but lays do the law about her having to stay hidden.  Naturally, strong willed and spirited Corrine does not listen and instead follows him to his real parsonage home and starts causing all sorts of problems for him there.  After all, this is the girl that turned her nose up at him years ago when he had a crush on her and he has harbored bitterness towards her for it but his feelings are still the same and continue to mature as they spend more and more time together.

Overall, this was a good book.  I did feel as if Corrine fell into love with Will a bit quickly, after all, their living circumstances are quite different.  He lives in his parsonage tending to his church and she is the daughter of a duke and is thrown into this situation of a much more simple life and she took to it quite easily I thought.  Will was quite a dashing hero.  Reverend by day, a type of Robin Hood by night, trying to correct his foster fathers greedy mistakes of his people.  And oh his father, what a greedy, nasty, calculating man!  Will tries to stay away from Corrine but he eventually just can't resist her and they certainly burn up the sheets when they come together!  I found the mystery in the book to be interesting and the ending of it was excellent, even if I thought something along those veins would happen.  What I thought didn't exactly happen so that is always a bonus when an author can throw that curveball in at the end.  I just wished we would have seen more of Will and Corrine falling in love.  Like I said, I thought it happened a bit quickly but other than that, a good solid book.  If you are looking for a Robin Hood type hero, a rebellious bold heroine and some great supporting characters in a small village who look out for each other alongwith a dash of mystery, try this one!  3 1/2 stars

(And even though this is book five of Cathy Maxwell's Scandals and Seductions series, I did not feel like I missed anything from not reading the previous books first.  I believe Corrine was mentioned in a previous book though)

I received this ebook arc from the publisher via

Please check out to see more about how Avon is helping to spread awareness about ovarian cancer by donating from the sale of this book and certain other books.

Scandals and Seduction series:

A Seduction at ChristmasThe Earl Claims His WifeThe Marriage RingHis Christmas Pleasure (Avon)The Seduction of Scandal (Scandals and Seductions)