Monday, April 30, 2012

To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone by Bronwen Evans

Sabine thought her life was going to end up like a fairy tale.  She was in love with Marcus Danvers, the Marquis of Wolverstone, and had high hopes she was going to marry him, which would be a huge jump in station for her.  But they both loved each other and nothing else mattered.  So when Sabine suddenly elopes with a Comte, Marcus is stunned and it quickly turns into anger.  Anger that has simmered for ten years and he has done whatever he can to extract the blond beauty from him mind.  When the lovely widowed Sabine turns back up in London, he is determined to prove to her and himself that they are through.  But when Sabine asks for his help to help avenge her fathers death by winning a card game, he finds himself unable to resist and tosses out his own wager into the mix.  If he succeeds in the card game, Sabine will become his mistress.  As much as Sabine wants to refuse, she has to agree as nothing is more important to her than guarding the secret she holds closest to her heart.  What follows is delightful romance that proves that true love will conquer anything.

Bronwen Evans is quickly become a favorite author of mine.  She seems to have a talent for mixing heated romance with topics that are hard to experience.  As the secret Sabine is hiding is what she believes to be shameful, I thought I had it figured out as the clues were dropped but it still had a bit of a twist to it that I always appreciate.  Sabine has grown into a strong woman that will stop at nothing to protect what is most dear to her and if that means keeping the truth from Marcus, than she will no matter the cost.  Marcus thought he had distanced himself enough from his young love but that is all quickly thrown away when he actually starts spending time with her again.  He tries to uncover the truth about her elopement and it isn't until he is almost hit on the head with the answer before he can see the truth and it just might be too late to save Sabine.  This was another enjoyable longer novella that is filled with passion and heat but also shows how revenge can be sweeter when happiness is achieved instead of a hurtful end.  We get to see a bit of the previous couple from To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield and we get just enough of a glimpse of what is too come in book three, one that I am anxious to read!  If you are looking for a revenge romance that is based on true love and the true love conquers over the revenge with plenty of steam, this is a great novella for you!  4 stars

Thanks so much to Bronwen Evans for providing me a copy with this ebook!

Wicked Wagers series
Not necessary to read in order but you do see the previous couple
To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield (Wicked Wagers, #1)
One more book to come!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Her Wicked Ways by Darcy Burke

Lady Miranda Sinclair is on her way to the most dreadful place for her...the country.  Her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Holborn, are tired of her reckless behavior and after almost compromising herself on the Dark Walk at Vauxhall, its the last straw for them.  So Miranda is sent to the country to stay with her cousin with no money or frills from London.  While on they way there, they are held up by a highwayman and Miranda, in her brazen way, attempts to trade a kiss for the money (that they don't have).  She boldly kisses the highwayman and is left reeling from the steaminess of it but it is also one more mark against her character and her parents forbid her from even socializing or going into town while in the country.  Miranda's only time out of the dreary house is when she may go to the even drearier orphanage to help out.  Miranda just doesn't quite understand how the orphanage is in such disrepair.  Surely if one needs to fix the roof, they do it!  And the lice!  Shudder.  What is a gently bred young woman like herself supposed to do?

Montgomery Foxcroft, or Fox, is desperate to repair the damage his father did to his childhood home and his childhood legacy, the orphanage.  He knows he can not turn out the children but he is in desperate need of funds and leads a double life as a highwayman occasionally.  When the beautiful, but extremely out of place, wealthy Miranda arrives he starts to think maybe his prayers have been answered.  All he simply most do is get caught compromising the young beauty and he will have plenty of wealth to save his orphanage.  But as Miranda does not know that Fox is the highwayman, she finds herself attracted to Fox but all her thoughts are for the highwayman.  When her parents arrive to whisk her back to London for a 'proper' marriage, neither Fox nor Miranda know what to do.  How this couple finally arrive at their happily ever after is a treat to read!

This is Darcy Burke's debut novel and I really enjoyed it!!  I liked watching Miranda struggle to find herself and become a better person because she starts off very self-centered (due in large part to her overbearing, rude father who seems to want nothing at all do to with her), confident, arrogant and unaware of how truly difficult life can be without the comfort of money.  She learns, slowly, that money isn't always necessary to bring true happiness and that something as simple as a hug can go a long way to improving ones day.  I enjoyed watching her develop strong connections with the children from the orphanage and getting a bit closer with her cousin and seeing the sparks fly between her and Fox.  Fox was a wonderful balance to Miranda with his pride and generous heart.  There is an interesting development in the storyline when Miranda holds a benefit for the orphanage that adds a bit of suspense that I also enjoyed.  As I am an epilogue kind of girl, I really missed not having one with this story as I felt like there were a few loose ends left open and I am hoping they are addressed in the next book which features Miranda's brother, Jasper.  Overall, this was a delightful romance mixed with humor, tenderness and love (you might need a cool glass of water!) that left a happy smile on my face.  I can't wait for more books from Ms Burke!  4 solid stars

ETA:  Yay!  She added an epilogue and it is the icing on the cake :)  It wrapped up the little threads I felt were dangling.  

Thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of this ebook!

Upcoming books
His Wicked Heart  Summer 2012  Jasper's story
To Seduce a Scoundrel  Summer 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Wild Night's Bride by Victoria Vane

I have read a stretch of really good novellas lately and Victoria Vane's start to her new series, The Devil DeVere, is another winner!  (Recommended for readers 18 and older!)

Phoebe Scott dreams of being an actress and when one night she is finally given some lines, she is pleased.  She knows it can be the start but wishes it was something different than the tart Kitty Willis.  She acts the part perfectly and attracts the attention of some men and somehow finds herself attending a bawdy party in hopes of securing a protector.  While there she is drawn to Ned and is stunned to find herself drawn into an outrageous bet that involves her, Viscount Ludovic DeVere, the prince and the King of England's bed.  This all to the chagrin of Sir Edward Chambers who is most attracted to her as well, especially after three years of celibacy following his wife's death.  Ned is determined to protect her and hijinks ensure!  What follows is a delightfully fun romp that will have you laughing and then cranking up the fan at a few places!

I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a well written novella that features two 'common' people that have sparks to spare!  The writing was excellent and made me feel like I was immersed in the Georgian time period.  It is fun, sexy and has heart to it.  We get a few glimpses into the upcoming books in this series and I am so eager to read them!  A very delightful, smoldering, delicious 4 1/2 stars

Thanks to Victoria Vane for providing me with an eARC of this book!

The Devil DeVere series
The Virgin Huntress (The Devil DeVere #2)The Devil You Know (The Devil DeVere #3)
     June 29th                July 27th
The Devil's Match  I'm not sure but I'm guessing end of Aug or Sept.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Happy Release Day!!

Here are some of the books releasing today that I am looking forward too. . .

Invitation to ScandalRules of Engagement: The Reasons for Marriage\The Wedding Party\UnlacedLyon's Bride: The Chattan Curse

The Saint Who Stole My Heart (Regency Rogues, #4)Too Tempting to ResistBe My Prince (The Royal Trilogy, #1)No Longer a Gentleman (Lost Lords, #4)

And here are some ebooks released recently that I would recommend:

The Duchess of Love (Duchess of Love, #.5)Scotsmen Prefer Blondes (Muses of Mayfair #2)The Governess Affair (Brothers Sinister, #0.5)Undone (Fiery Tales, #4)

And next week sees new books from Mary Balogh, Grace Burrowes and Sherry Thomas!  Any in particular that you are anxious for?  I'm dying to read Be My Prince and I hope it is good as it will be my first taste of Julianne MacLean!  But I will be picking up all these books in some form or another :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan

I'm not quite sure how to write up a review for this novella without giving away some spoilers so I am just going to say--as I started reading this and seeing how the plot was to unfold, I can this end happily without damaging Serena further than she has already been hurt?  Have no fear, there is no reason to doubt Courtney Milan (not that I really did).  This story is going to make you sigh, smile, laugh and make you fall hard for the Wolf of Clermont, Hugo.  How Hugo handles the delicate situation that Serena finds herself in following an encounter with his boss, a duke, is one of the sweetest, sexiest scenes I have read in some time.  I loved it.
Overall, not much to say except this is yet another winner from the ever-talented Ms Milan.  Novellas always leave me wanting more, and yes, I wanted more from this one too, but it also tied everything up and made me happy.  It gives you just enough of a glimpse into the start of the new series and has made me even more anxious for the full-lengths!  This is a wonderful story of two stubborn people who fall in love under unfortunate circumstances but finally prevail to find the happiness they have both been missing!  4 1/2 stars

Upcoming Brothers Sinister's series
The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister, #1)The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister, #2)The Countess Conspiracy (Brothers Sinister, #3)
   Summer 2012        Late 2012             2012/2013

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Invitation to Scandal by Bronwen Evans

Rheda Kerrich thinks her days of smuggling are going to come to an end when she is trapped against a tree from her latest smuggle, a barrel of wine.  She is sure one of the men on patrol will find her and question her and then a magnificent horse appears with a mysterious man on his back.  Rufus Knight, Viscount Strathmore, is on the hunt for the elusive smuggling ring leader, Dark Shadow and knows he has stumbled upon a woman who must be in the ring and will surely lead him to the answers he desires to clear his late fathers name.  Being a master of seduction, he attempts to seduce the surely un-innocent woman and is roundly put in his place and Rheda manages to escape without revealing her true identity.  She tries to put the man out of her mind but she finds it hard to do but has a harder time putting the magnificent stallion as he is the last piece of the puzzle she needs to get her horse breeding business going.  Rheda cleverly thinks up a plan to 'borrow' the stallion but is unfortunately caught and forced to agree to a bargain with Rufus, otherwise her latest scandal will be told to her brother.  As Rheda tries to protect all her secrest, Rufus is intent on uncovering them all and at the same time, these two attempt to deny the smoldering attraction between them.  Who is the elusive Dark Shadow and will Rufus and Rheda be able to let go of the past to find a future together?

I really enjoyed this book!  I wasn't sure if I was going to like the whole smuggling aspect of it as that really isn't my preference, but there was so much more to this story!  I loved that Rheda wanted to start a horse breeding business and we got to see a bit of what it takes to do that...and at the same time see the attraction bloom between our couple during a lesson.  Rheda is determined to never be controlled by a man, like her mother was, determined not to fall in love with a man who does not return her love and it has made her bold, impulsive and fiercely protective of her heart.  When Rufus arrives, determined to prove that his father did not betray his country and give his sister and mother back the social standing they lost, she is intrigued and drawn to this dark, protective man but knows that once he knows the full truth of her past, Rufus will want nothing to do with her and her heart will be lost.  There is also a secondary, smaller, storyline that involves the disappearance of young boys that leads to a villain written so vile, it adds another layer to this wonderfully layered story.

Overall, this was a well-written, smoldering, sexy story that was a pleasure to read!  Rufus and Rheda were perfect for each other and overcame the obstacles to their hearts in a true manner, all without jumping into bed together at the first opportunity.  There is humor, heart and plenty of hot action that will leave you flipping the pages long into the night.  The added twist of the vile villain adds a bit of unease but was also unexpected and leaves a bit of an opening for a follow up book that I am eager to read!  Recommended for fans of stubborn heroes and heroines who fall hard for each other, but it takes a life or death situation to bring all the feelings to the surface, mixed with supporting characters that add wonderfully to the storyline with a good dose of passion and some humor.  4 solid stars.

Thanks to Kensington Books, Brava, for providing me with this ARC!

Related book
Not necessary to read beforehand but a few characters make appearances in Invitation to Scandal Invitation to Ruin  

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Ravishing Redhead by Jillian Eaton

Margaret knew that she didn't marry for love, she married the Duke because he needed funds and she had a generous dowry.  But does that really give him leave to be drunk on their wedding day and then take off with all the funds and leave her in a crumbling manor in the country?  Surely not.  And as eight months have passed without a word or any funds sent her way to live, she has worked herself into quite a tither.  When her husband, Henry Winter, Duke of Heathridge finally shows up and she is mistaken for a stable lad, she lets it go and has a bit of fun with the duke, but her temper gets the best of her and the laughs come to an end and fury on both parties ensures.  After all, Henry thought he married a nice, calm lady--not a ravishing, bossy vixen.  Together they must overcome a few hurdles and start a true courtship to hopefully find true happiness together.

This is book two in Jillian Eaton's Wedded Women Quartet and was another delightful, fun, sexy novella!  I loved watching the sparks between the couple grow but how they didn't jump into bed to solve all their problems right away.  I thought Henry was going to be a jerk of a hero, because who ditches their new wife with no funds, but as the truth was quickly revealed,  I was happy with how decent, caring and protective Henry became.  Margaret is one of my favorite types of heroines--bossy, quick tempered and compassionate all rolled into a lovely character.  Together, they blended well and I was happy with the pace of the storyline.  As always with novellas, I would have liked a bit more--especially seeing more of Henry and Margarets courtship but overall, I enjoyed this and it was a happy distraction from everyday life!  I look forward to the other two friends stories as we get just enough a glimpse into whats next!  Perfect for the romance fan who loves a sweet, sexy, fun novella.  4 stars

Thanks to Jillian Eaton for providing me a copy of this ebook!

The Wedded Women Quartet
(Could be read as stand-alones so far but we do get glimpses of previous characters)
A Brooding Beauty (Wedded Women Quartet, #1)
A Lascivious Lady (Wedded Women Quartet, #3)
        Expected publication September 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

New Covers

This weeks new covers that I have seen, also know as the white dress edition :)

First up is Season for Surrender by Theresa Romain.  This is the follow up to her debut book and I love the little touch of holiday and as the author said herself, it looks like Louisa is up to no good :)  This one will be released October 2nd.

Blackstone's Bride is a new book from Kate Moore and I don't see much information about the story line yet.  I have not read anything by this author but I do like the cover so I guess I will wait for more info on it.  Look for it August 7th.

Oh, look what Julianne MacLean shared this week!  I love it and I love the super sexy stepback as well :)  I am so excited to read this new series and this will be book two and Princess in Love is set for a November release.

I know I have shared the cover of The Bride Wore Pearls previously but Liz Carlye shared the stepback this week and as I love stepbacks, I thought I would share it with you in case you did not see it.  This one will be out July 31st.

Having really enjoyed the first book in Lorraine Heath's new trilogy, Lord of Temptation is on top of my list to read in October.  I like how the author name is bigger than the title :)  I wonder if there will be a stepback for this one because I can imagine it would be nice and sexy...

I don't have much information about this newest title from Stephanie Laurens as I see no info on her website yet and for some reason it is on Amazon and not goodreads yet.  It looks to be a new title as it says 'first time in print' and the release date is set for Sept 25th.  And it has yet another lovely white cover.

Look--a non white cover! :)  I'm really liking this cover!  The shade of blue is lovely and I like the fact the heroine looks like she is about to -- ahem get 'ruined by the moonlight.'  Ruined By Moonlight: A Whispers of Scandal Novel will be out Sept 4th.

And one last one to add quickly-- A Most Naked Solution is a novella by Anna Randol that is set for release June 26th and the cover sure is pretty and gold!  Doesn't necessarily scream 'historical' to me but definitely alludes to the naked part of the title.  This will feature the sister of the hero from her debut book and I'm eager to read it.

So, which covers are your favorites of this batch?  What do you think of the white trend?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Quick recap

So I read quite a few books lately but don't feel like writing up full reviews but I thought I would just share a few thoughts about them instead :)

First up, I thought Julie James' About That Night was an awesome, sexy, fun book!  If you have not read anything by Julie James, you are missing out on one of the best contemporary writers out there (and as you know, I don't read hardly any contemporaries anymore but I plunk down full price for the ebook version of anything by Julie James!  I sure do wish she wrote faster though...)
Another wonderful book I read was The Duke's Perfect Wife by Jennifer Ashley.  Hart and Eleanor were a superb couple and I loved seeing more of Ian.  It was fun, smart and sexy and I can't wait for more in this delicious series!  Both of these books were 4 1/2 star reads for me.

This next batch were all solid four star reads for me and I look forward to more books from all of them!  The debut from Sara Ramsey, Heiress Without a Cause, was very well written and had just enough steaminess for me and I soaked it all in rather quickly.  I am already starting on the next in the series and am very anxious for book three!
Heidi Betts is also another contemporary author that I look forward too and since I was waiting on a new book to be released and saw her newest Desire title out, On the Verge of I Do, I grabbed it and settled in for what I knew would be a well-written, engaging, smart and sexy story that I knew I would enjoy.  And I was right :)  It was the perfect length for a quick read that left me with a smile on my face.
Invitation to Ruin has a beginning that I know might turn off some readers but I let it roll of my back and really enjoyed this one as well.  It has a higher level of steaminess and I liked watching the attraction develop and mature between the couple.
And finally, if you are on the look out for well written historical erotica, I believe Natasha Blackthorne is an author that will fit the bill.  Grey's Lady is a novella but very steamy but still had a story to it.  I would have liked more but there is a follow up full length book that I am eager to dive into and see more of this passionate couple.

And finally, this last batch is a group of books I really looked forward to but was a tad disappointed in.  They all ended up being 3 1/2 star reads for me.  I think one of my biggest problems with The Princess and the Peer was that the heroine was sooo young.  She was eighteen, and while I know that is perfectly acceptable, I really don't like it much in my stories.  Then we have the classic misunderstanding about identity, the 'I just want to be normal' storyline and while it was well written and such it just didn't have that extra sparkle for me.  But still, I am looking forward to the other two friends stories, especially book three.  
I know many of my friends have really enjoyed Suzanne Enoch's newest series but for some reason they are just not clicking with me.  Taming an Impossible Rogue wasn't bad, it just never really grabbed my attention.  It had an interesting storyline but I found myself skimming parts of it.  Oh well.  I will try again with the next book :)
I was really looking forward to Vicky Dreiling's How to Ravish a Rake and I felt like it fell a little short for me compared to her previous two books.   I loved the aspect of Amy designing dresses and I am all for forced marriages but I guess I never really felt the click of this couple as much as I would have liked.  It has wonderful supporting characters and is funny and sexy but again, it was just missing that extra specialness for me.  But Vicky Dreiling is still on my auto buy list :)
The last book that was just ok for me is Wedded in Scandal.  I'm sure you all know I was looking forward to this one because of the dress making aspect of it and I loved that part of the book!  Lots of fun details and I felt like I was in the shop.  I was a bit slow to warm up to the hero though and I think that made me not enjoy the book as much as I wanted too.  There are some great supporting characters that I think will be the next stories and I am looking forward to them.

Well, theres a small recap of some of what I read this past month.  Overall, a good month and nothing I felt like I wasted time reading :) 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Duchess of Love by Sally MacKenzie

This was a short, fun, sweet novella that I really enjoyed.  Venus Collingswood decides to go for a dip in her neighbors lake one last time before the new owners arrive in a few days.  Besides, her dog is having fun in the water and it is blasted hot out.  Just as she is about to dive in, she slips and is grabbed up by some very strong arms....male arms of a man just as unclothed as she is.  Quite a fun interaction occurs and even though the man identifies himself as the new duke, Venus thinks he is jesting as he seems much to young and decides he must be the cousin instead.  As Andrew Valentine, Duke of Greycliffe, is hoping to just be himself, not his title, he sees no harm in letting her think this for the time being.  Naturally, problems arise as to him hiding his true identity and it puts the happiness of not just Venus in jeopardy, but that also of her sister.

This is a quick prequel novella to a new series that will feature Venus as an adult matchmaking for her sons and I found it delightful!  It is a wonderful mix of humor, sassiness, love, and warmth with just a touch of heat at the end.  This was my first read of Sally MacKenzie and if she can make a few hours fly by as fast as she did with this novella, I think I am in for a treat for her full length novels!  This is a perfect afternoon treat for a spring day that is sure to leave a smile on your face and I am anxious to see more of Venus and Drew!

I received this ARC from Kensington Books.  It is actually printed in the back of the upcoming book, Bedding Lord Ned but will be available as an ebook first and then will be printed in its entirety when Bedding Lord Ned releases on June 5th.

Duchess of Love
Bedding Lord Ned (Duchess of Love, #1)
     June 5th
Two more titles to come!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Covers

Another week, another batch of lovely covers!  I mean seriously, how do they keep coming up with all these great covers?

I'm really looking forward to this one as I enjoyed Sophie Barnes debut.  The title isn't my favorite but I am expecting another warm, sexy, funny story.  This will be out through Avon's ebook imprint (Avon Impulse) first on May 22nd and paperback shortly after that I think.

This cover fits in very nicely with Suzanne Enoch's Scandalous Brides series and is a title I am looking forward too. Rules to Catch a Devilish Duke is set to release Sept 25th.

A Lady Never Lies is the debut from Juliana Gray and Elizabeth Hoyt has given it a very positive review on goodreads and the summary sounds great so I am very anxious to read it!  It releases Aug 7th.

Thankfully, no long wait for the sequel, A Gentleman Never Tells. It will be out November 6th.  Both books have good covers!

Well, thats all for now!  You should start seeing more reviews slowing popping back up as my little vacation is about over :)  Have a wonderful week!