Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pride & Passion by Charlotte Featherstone

Lucy Ashton has basically brought herself up after her mildly selfish parents only paid her some attention when it was beneficial to them.  Now with her mother gone and having been all but ignored by her father, she is loathe to accept his decision that she marry Adrian, the stuffy Duke of Sussex.  Lucy has been brought up to know her duty but she just can not bear it to be to Sussex.  After basically telling her he would curb her impulsive, bold nature she dislikes him even more.  But the final straw comes when Sussex hands Lucy a handkerchief, a handkerchief that came from the man Lucy loves and is part of her shameful secret, a man that killed another in front of Sussex and is an enemy of the Brethren Guardians.  Lucy refuses to believe that Thomas would kill anyone and be an enemy to Sussex and his two friends, who are the Brethren Guardians and trusted with keeping an evil from surfacing.

Adrian is at a bit of a crossroads.  He knows and believes what he saw but convincing Lucy of that is proving to be difficult and dangerous.  Plus his past comes back to haunt and devastate him as well.  Adrian has quite a secret that he is uncertain that he wants anyone, especially Lucy, to find out.  But when circumstances force Lucy and Adrian to spend time together, feelings explode and secrets slowly tumble out.  

Overall, this is another beautifully written book by the obviously very talented Charlotte Featherstone!.  She has quite a way of writing a beautiful, haunting story that will grab you from the start and keep you enthralled until the end.  Adrian is portrayed as a stuffy Duke but he is a very passionate, even a bit sensitive, man that loves with his whole heart and will stop at nothing to guard what he loves the most.  Lucy took a bit of warming up too for me.  She comes off a bit childish and spoiled because of her childhood but once the walls around her are broken down, she becomes a fascinating woman who holds on to her sharp, smart tongue while giving with her whole heart.  The secondary characters are excellent as well.  We get to see a bit more of Lord and Lady Black (from Seduction & Scandal) but the ones that almost stole this book was Adrians blind sister, Elizabeth and the third member of the Brethren Guardian, the rakish Marquis of Alynwick.  Fair warning, this book ends with a cliffhanger that will leave you clamoring for their story, Temptation & Twilight, right now!  The only thing that sort of bothered me about this book was the ending.  I know it is to lead you up to the next book but it seemed a little much for this book, but I still enjoyed it.  If you are looking for a mysterious, sexy hero who wants what he wants and won't bend until her gets it paired with a feisty but scared heroine with some heart-pounding action, this one will fill that request!  4 stars

The Brethren Guardians series

Seduction & Scandal (The Brethren Guardians, #1)Temptation  & Twilight (The Brethren Guardians, #3)
     Out now                  Out July 2012

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Early November releases

Wow, can you believe it is almost November already??  Here are some of the upcoming historical romance books you can look for at the beginning of the month, enjoy!

November 1st
If You Give A Girl A Viscount (Impossible Bachelors, #4)Virtuoso
The Pleasure of Bedding a BaronessEngaged in Sin

The Pleasure of Bedding a Baroness is a new to me author and I love the cover so I will be trying her out :) I can not wait to get my hands on The Virtuoso! I feel like the previous two books have had a lot of momentum for Vals story! And since If You Give A Girl A Viscount seems to loosely be based on Cinderella, well, I'm all for that :) And finally, Engaged in Sin sounds like an excellent, spicy romance with a tortured hero left blind from the war that is always right up my alley!

Also releasing November 1st are two interesting sounding historicals that are a bit out of my normal range but I am looking forward to, nevertheless :)

Fortune's SonThe Black Hawk

Wednesday, October 26, 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.

This week my pick is Unraveled which is book three in the Turner series by Courtney Milan.  I have loved the previous two and a half books, Unveiled, Unlocked and Unclaimed, and I can not wait for Smites story!  Here is the summary:

Smite Turner is renowned for his single-minded devotion to his duty as a magistrate. But behind his relentless focus lies not only a determination to do what is right, but the haunting secrets of his past—secrets that he is determined to hide, even if it means keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Until the day an irresistible woman shows up as a witness in his courtroom…

Miranda Darling isn’t in trouble…yet. But she’s close enough that when Turner threatens her with imprisonment if she puts one foot wrong, she knows she should run in the other direction. And yet no matter how forbidding the man seems on the outside, she can’t bring herself to leave. Instead, when he tries to push her away, she pushes right back—straight through his famous self-control, and into the heart of the passion that he has long hidden away…

Courtney Milan is self publishing this story and I know that has caused a bit of a uproar but authors need to do what is best for them (Ashley March is also going this route in the future).  As I have a Kindle its all good to me but I know its frustrating for some fans.  Anyways, Ms Milan says we can hopefully look for Unraveled by the end of November!  
What about you?  Have you read the very talented Courtney Milan and plan to follow her into self publishing?  Or are you on the fence about authors taking the self publish route?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Work is kicking my butt lately (two required extra hours of work the past two weeks...each day!) so my time to actually review is getting shorter at the moment.  I have been assured that this will hopefully clear up soon....what soon means, though, is anyones guess!!  Grrr...  But here are a few of the books I have coming up to read and will be writing reviews for. Here is what I have slated to read by the end of November (but will all be read and reviewed by mid-Nov):

A Midsummer Night's Sin (Blackthorn Brothers #2)Pride & Passion (The Brethren Guardians, #2)Brazen

And here is what I have to read by the end of December, lots of great ones coming out on the 27th!!

The Price of TemptationMy Ruthless Prince (Inferno Club, #4)How the Marquess  was Won (Pennyroyal Green, #6)The Duke Is Mine (Happily Ever Afters #3)Trouble at the Wedding (Abandoned at the Altar, #3)

See!!  Lots of good ones from Avon in Dec :) :)

And I have one more lined up but since it comes out the end of January it will be a bit before I can get to it, plus I need to read the previous two novels in the series but really looking forward to this one!  I loved Shana Galens Lord and Lady Spy :)

Rogue Pirate's Bride

Any one in particular that you are looking forward to?  I'm very eager to start the Eloisa James one!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt

Silence and Mickey.  If you have read the previous two books in Elizabeth Hoyts Maiden Lane series (Wicked Intentions and Notorious Pleasures) I need not say more as fans have been waiting for this story since our couples first life changing meeting in Wicked Intentions.  Now there is always that lingering question...can a book with so much anticipation live up to the hope readers have been clamoring for?  Oh, yes.  Yes, yes, yes.  Ms Hoyt knocked it out of the park with this one.

Mickey O'Connor, notorious river pirate, caused Silence Hollingbrook to question her love for her late husband after Mickey forced Silence to leave his palace in a state of disarray after she came to bargain back her late husbands goods from his ship that Mickey stole.  After she returns home, untouched, her husband refuses to believe her and he later dies at sea leaving a huge sense of loss upon Silence.  When a baby girl is left on her doorstep, she throws all her love into caring for little Mary Darling and when she awakens one day to find her gone she panics until she receives a note from Mickey stating that he has something she wants.  All the little pieces click into place as to who Mary Darling truly is but this is her daughter now and she knows she will do everything in her power to get him back...even if it means going back to Mickey and sacrificing her fragile reputation again.

Mickey truthfully could care less about his little daughter...her mother was just a whore and of no importance but Mickey has many enemies and his number one enemy wants the little baby to hold over Mickey's head.  And to get to Mary means the evil Vicar needs to go through Silence and that is just unthinkable to Mickey.  No women has ever gotten under his skin like Silence has from there one meeting nine months ago and he knows he must protect her at all costs and the only way to get her to stay with him, is through Mary Darling.

The transformation of Mickey O'Connor, river pirate, into a man that cares more about life than just money and power is excellent.  It didn't happen overnight, it was a gradual, very believable process.  I loved Mickey.  His demons from his past will break your heart and make you understand how and why he grew up into the man he did.  I was a bit surprised at the little twist in the middle of the threw me off for a bit but it was a perfect solution that played out in the end.  And even with all the pirate jargon talk (I did have to read a bit of it out loud to make sure I was reading it right), I really fell for Mickey, pirate and all.

Silence.  I really wasn't sure how she was going to be able to handle this strong, bossy, snarly man but she surprised me.  Her 'mama bear' instincts kicked in and she stood her ground with Mickey and refused to bend to her rules.  It lead to quite a few humorous situations with Mickey roaring at her and Silence just smiling and saying no, thank you.  It sort of reminded me of  Beauty and the Beast when Belle first arrives at the Beasts castle so of course that made me smile.  But watching Silence fall in love with Mickey was delightful.  She knows it just isn't right but she again surprised me when she followed her heart instead of doing what her family asked of her at one point but then standing her ground in the end.

Overall, definitely one of my favorite historicals I have read this year.  It will grab you from the beginning and keep you flipping the pages all the way through the heart pounding ending.  And the epilogue will have you clamoring for the next book, Thief of Shadows, right away again.  Thank you Ms Hoyt for stepping up and delivering a absolutely wonderful story that will leave many smiling faces and sighing hearts in its wake and be enjoyed for years to come! 5 stars

Maiden Lane Series
Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane, #1)Notorious Pleasures
Thief of Shadows Expected release July 2012
Lord of Darkness Expected release December 2012

Wednesday, October 19, 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.

This week by WoW title is A Lady Awakened, the debut novel from Cecilia Grant releasing Dec 27th.  Here is the summary:

Newly widowed and desperate to protect her estate and beloved servants from her malevolent brother-in-law, Martha Russell conceives a daring plan. Or rather, a daring plan to conceive. After all, if she has an heir on the way, her future will be secured. Forsaking all she knows of propriety, Martha approaches her neighbor, a London exile with a wicked reputation, and offers a strictly business proposition: a month of illicit interludes . . . for a fee.

Theophilus Mirkwood ought to be insulted. Should be appalled. But how can he resist this siren in widow’s weeds, whose offer is simply too outrageously tempting to decline? Determined she’ll get her money’s worth, Theo endeavors to awaken this shamefully neglected beauty to the pleasures of the flesh—only to find her dead set against taking any enjoyment in the scandalous bargain. Surely she can’t resist him forever. But could a lady’s sweet surrender open their hearts to the most unexpected arrival of all . . . love?

This book has quite a lot going for has a beautiful cover and quite a bit of high praise from high profile authors such as Eloisa James and Mary Balogh so that makes me very eager to read it!  It has a very interesting premise and I am very anxious to see if Ms Grant can deliver a wonderful HEA!  Lots of awesome books coming out on Dec 27th but this is one at the top of my list! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Covers

Since I have had very little time to read this past week, I thought I would post some of the fabulous covers that some authors posted (mostly on Facebook) this past week or so.  First up is Shana Galens The Making of a Rogue which is now being titled The Rogue Pirates Bride.  I have yet to read the previous two books in this series but based on how much I loved Lord and Lady Spy, I will get on that before her newest is released in February 2012.  I really like this cover...the blue really pops and I love a female with a sword!  They just need to button up her shirt a bit :)

Next up is the upcoming April 2012 release from Stefanie Sloane, The Saint Who Stole My Heart: A Regency Rogues Novel. This is book four in her Regency Rogues series and is another bluish cover with some pretty yellow. 

Here is the cover for Kate Nobles If I Fall coming in April 2012 as well.  Very pretty again and different to see a full face shot head on...they always seem to be more profile like or headless.

Now this one I'm sort of on the fence about, Meredith Durans March 2012 release, At Your Pleasure. Again, nice to see a full face shot and its very sexy but it's just ok I guess to me.  Maybe it looks better in person...

Katherine Ashe and Tessa Dare both revealed upcoming covers for there books on there fun blog, The Ballroom Blog. When a Scot Loves a Lady is by Katharine Ashe and is set for release in March and is very pretty in red while Tessa Dare is set to release Once Upon a Winters Eve on Nov 15th as a holiday novella for her new Spindles Cove series.  The green seems to be a perfect choice for the holidays.

Overall, a nice variety of colors that will be sure to grab your attention next spring!  Have you seen any covers that you just love lately?  Do you enjoy all of the above covers as well?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Beginners Guide to Rakes by Suzanne Enoch

Back cover summary:

 All of London is abuzz with the return of the utterly alluring, recently widowed Diane Benchley. Will she remarry? What will she do with her late husband’s fortune? Sociey is shocked by her announcement—at the Grand Ball, of all places!—that she plans to open an exclusive gentleman’s gaming club in the family mansion. But no one is more stunned than the Marquis of Haybury, Oliver Warren.

Years ago, Oliver and Diane shared a private indiscretion. Now Diane threatens to reveal Oliver’s most ungentlemanly secrets…unless he agrees to help her. A notorious gambler—and rake—Oliver is overqualified to educate Diane in the ways and means of running her establishment. But striking a deal with Diane might just be the biggest risk Oliver has ever taken. This time, the only thing he has to lose is his heart…

This is a delightful book set within an interesting setting.  I enjoyed Diane and her bold attitude and her cleverness for opening a gaming club with all female members (besides a few burly footman) where the females are treated just as females and not expected to be anything else unless they choose too.  There were so little choices for woman born on the wrong side of the blanket or in other unfortunate circumstances, not all of them want to be companions or governesses, that Diane sort of becomes a refuge of sorts for these ladies.  And since Diane clearly states all the rules up front for treatment of the women within the club, the gentleman behave as such.  But before she can even start up her club, she needs funds as her late husband was a heavy gambler and left her badly in debt.  When circumstances force her to turn to Oliver, she reluctantly does so and the sparks from their past fan back alive.

Oliver ran off after their passionate affair shortly after Dianes husbands death and it devastated Diane but at the same time, made her stronger.  Though Diane thinks Oliver left so abruptly to go home to claim his new title, Oliver left for an all together deeper reason that he refuses to acknowledge and leaves these two spitting fire at each other!  Oliver is forced to help Diane open her club and together they gradually see how much they can help each other to make a grand success.  They do have an issue with Dianes former brother-in-law as the home she is using for the club was to be his and he sets about to prove that Diane forged documents to secure the house.  But did she truly forge signatures and if she did, how will they stop it from becoming public knowledge?  Together, Oliver and Diane begin to reacquaint themselves and try to find the brief love they once shared all those years ago.  If you enjoy stories about past lovers forced back together and the heat is still there all set within a unique setting, grab this one! 4 stars

Side note:  I truly hope Suzanne Enoch updates her website soon as it is very out of date.  There is no mention of this book that just came out and no info on the upcoming books in the series.  I like to go to an authors website to see what is upcoming in a series so its a bit of a disappointment when there is nothing on the site.  Real life could be getting in the way but I still feel like it is important to have a semi up to date website.  And the just does not match this book at all, and really, neither does the title.  Diane has black hair and wears black dresses for most of the book...never white.  She is bold and passionate and mysterious and this cover just doesn't match her in my opinion.  It is very pretty but just a bit wrong for this book.

The Scandalous Brides (taken from cover of book)
Number of books...uncertain?

Seducing an Impossible Rogue  March 27, 2012

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Always a Temptress by Eileen Dreyer

Lady Kate Seaton has put on a happy face for years.  She is the daughter of a duke, the sister of a duke and the wife of a late duke which has made her bold, admired and envied by all...all that is except her brother and his wife, who are trying to commit her into an asylum to gain control of a home Kate owns.  When her brothers latest attempt happens in the presence of Major Sir Harry Lidge, Harry steps in and says they are married so Kates brother has no control of her anymore.  Harry is shocked by what he says as he and Kate have a past in which they were happily in love and Harry was lead to believe that Kate tricked him and it sent Harry into the army for ten years.  Upon his return, he learns that Kate holds a vital clue needed for the Drakes Rakes and he knows he can not let her go into an asylum, hence the announcement of marriage.  Even though neither one of them want to marry, especially to each other, they agree that it must happen to protect Kate and Harry temporarily puts his dreams of travel on hold to help solve the mystery of who is after Kate, if Kate has this mysterious verse and if he can ever trust Kate again.

There is so much depth and emotion in this story that it will just keep you so engrossed you won't even notice the time!  Kate.  Wow, her secrets and her past are just truly heartbreaking and the more we learn, the more you feel for Kate.  And Harry.  Wow again.  His understanding and caring for Kate, whom he thinks betrayed him, is just so wonderful.  It is really hard to say much without spoiling anything but you will fall in love with these two as a couple!  They are just perfect for each other.  They need each other to be complete and you can just feel that.  Truly, they need each other and the road to that is filled with bumps but when they find each other finally, you will be sighing with happiness!  And yes, I did sort of guess some of the reason as to why Kate was treated the was she was, I was still a bit surprised in the end so that is always a plus for me.  Also, the culprit behind Kates attacks was not quite who I thought either.  Overall, a truly heartbreaking, sigh-worthy, happy 5 stars!

This was my first Eileen Dreyer book and is book three in The Drake Rakes series and I really did not feel out of place ready it as such but she has a new fan in me!  I plan on going and grabbing Barely a Lady and Never a Gentleman to read their stories and it looks like there is going to be more in the future for this series that I know I will be picking up! 

Barely a Lady (The Drake's Rakes, #1)Never a Gentleman (The Drake's Rakes, #2)

Wednesday, October 5, 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.
This week my can't wait for title is by the one and only Julie James, one of my favorite contemporary author!  She just released the upcoming cover for About That Night on her website so it seems a fitting choice for me this week.  Only April is a long, long time away!!  Here is the summary from her website:

He’s playing games.
Though Rylann Pierce tried to fight the sparks she felt for billionaire heir Kyle Rhodes the night they met, their sizzling chemistry was undeniable. But after being stood up on their first date, Rylann never expected to see him again. So when she finds herself face-to-face with Kyle in a courthouse nine years later, she’s stunned. More troubling to the beautiful assistant U.S. attorney is that she’s still wildly attracted to him.
But she’s making the rules.

Just released from prison, Kyle Rhodes isn’t thrilled to be the star witness in a high-profile criminal case—but when Rylann comes knocking at his door, he finds she may be the one lawyer he can’t say no to. Still as gorgeous and sharp-tongued as ever, she lays down the law: she doesn’t mix business with pleasure. But Kyle won’t give up on something he wants—and what he wants is the one woman he’s never forgotten. . 

If you have not read Julie James I urge you to try her!!  She is one of the highlights in contemporary romance and I am so looking forward to Kyles story (who is a Sawyer look alike!).  

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Holly Lane by Toni Blake

As a huge fan on Toni Blakes Destiny series, I was a bit surprised as to whom this story was centered.  After all, Sue Ann Simpkins seemed to have a perfectly happy marriage with Jeff.  But perhaps of the standard of perfection put on these high school sweethearts, Jeff does an about face and divorces Sue Ann and quickly marries another woman, and to add a bit of insult, the new woman isn't even younger or prettier...she is just average so Sue Ann knows that it is true love.  Sue Ann is blindsided by all of this and decides to take a weekend away at a small cabin to help clear her mind and get ready for the hustle and bustle of the upcoming holiday season.  She knows she needs to make sure her daughter, Sophie, has a wonderful Christmas. 

Adam Becker is in a bit of a Scroogish mood.  His twin boys are spending a month away at a ski resort with his ex and he is naturally quite bummed out.  He heads to a cabin in the mountains that he rents every year on the same weekend and is faced with an unpleasant surprise.  His best friends (up to Jeffs divorce) ex-wife is there, Sue Ann.  There was a bit of confusion during registration and it has started to snow quite heavily and there are no other cabins available so the two agree to share the bunks.  But even though Adam and Sue Ann have know each other for most of their lives, they both see each other in a new light and this leads to one verrry steamy night in the cabin!  Phew!  But just as Sue Ann is letting down her guard a tiny bit, Adam reveals one of the reasons behind his divorce and her walls go right back up.  Oh, but that magical snow that always seemed to be falling helps keep Adam and Sue Ann in contact (physically and emotionally) with each other and Adam deepens his relationship with Sophie, who is his goddaughter, but the drama with Jeff and his requests to stop spousal support and his calling Adam as a character witness keep these two battling wills.  But will the holiday season filled with reindeer and snow and a special kitty help Sue Ann let down her guard to trust her heart to another?

Toni Blake has quickly become one of my favorite contemporary authors and I love her Destiny series and Holly Lane is the perfect holiday companion to an already fabulous series.  She took a topic seen all too often in todays world and showed how true love can blossom from a very unexpected turn of events.  I felt that Sue Anns feelings and her wall she had built up around herself was very true to how any woman would feel in the same circumstances and her love of her daughter and desire to do what was right for Sophie was spot on.  When Adam (as Santa) tells Sophie he will try to bring a real reindeer for her, Sue Ann is quite upset and even though it was the best thing to say at the time, Sue Ann is heartbroken at the thought of disappointing her daughter on Christmas morning.  And even though I saw the happy result coming, I still had happy tears in my eyes.  Actually, I sniffled quite a bit throughout this book.  Toni Blake has a knack for writing emotional, sexy stories that will pull your heart strings and leave a big happy smile on your face and I know I can not wait for more. (Amy, I'm talking about you!)  And fans on this series will be happy to know that Mick and Jenny have a wonderful, emotional side story that I thought played out perfectly!  Overall, this is a perfect Christmas story, based loosely on A Christmas Carol, that will truly put you in the mood for the upcoming holidays!  5 stars

I received this book from the publisher via

Destiny series
Can be read as stand alones but best enjoyed in order

One Reckless Summer (Destiny, #1)Sugar Creek (Destiny, #2)Whisper Falls (Destiny, #3)

Willow Springs, A Destiny Novel #5   July 2012

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Upcoming October historical releases

Here are some upcoming historicals being released in October! 

Oct 4th
Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (Windham Sisters, #1)Season for TemptationA Beginner's Guide to RakesA Bride Unveiled (The Bridal Pleasures #2)The Accidental CourtesanTis the Season to Be Sinful

Phew, lots of good ones being released on Oct 4th!  I know I have said it before, but grab Theresa Roamins debut, Season for Temptation,if you are a fan of fun romances (sort of like Julia Quinn).  I know I will be buying Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish as it continues her series with a great family (though it is the start of a trilogy just about the sisters, I think the brothers are separated into their own series).  I have not seen alot about Suzanne Enochs upcoming release, A Beginner's Guide to Rakes, but the little I have seen has been very positive so I am looking forward to it as well :) A Bride Unveiled is book two in a series that I have not yet tried but is on my huge mountain to read. The Accidental Courtesan is also book two in a series and while some didn't love the first one, I enjoyed it so I will be picking this one up.  And I just saw a mini review from a goodreads friend for Tis the Season to Be Sinful that has me looking forward to a delightful story in this one.  Yeah, looks like I am going for broke in about a week with all these titles!

Oct 18th

Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane)

Sigh...I don't think I need to say much about this book as I have said numerous times I am dying to read this one...right now!

Oct 25th

Never Love a Highlander (McCabe Trilogy, #3)Engaged in SinToo Wicked to Wed (Lords of Midnight, #1)
All About SeductionTo Pleasure a Duke (The Husband Hunters Club, #3)

Another book I am just dying to read right now is the last of Maya Banks Highlander series, Never Love a Highlander! Loved the last one so very eager for this one as well :) Engaged in Sin sounds like a promising book from a new to me author and a very pretty cover as well. Too Wicked to Wed is the start of a new series from Cara Elliot and as I enjoyed her past trilogy, featuring strong woman with male-dominated professions, I have high hopes for the new series.  And finally, only two historicals from Avon this month (though they do have a contemporary from one of my favorite authors, Toni Blake coming out, Holly Lane).  One being All About Seduction which is another new to me author and the premise for this one is quite interesting and I hope to get to it as I have it from Netgalley.  The last one for the month is book three in a trilogy from Sara Bennett, To Pleasure a Duke and I hope to read this one early as well as I read the first in the trilogy and enjoyed it.

So overall, another good month for historical romance fans.  What about you?  Which books are you looking forward to in October?