Friday, June 29, 2012

To Seduce a Scoundrel by Darcy Burke

When Lady Philippa Latham sees her mother attending a ball with a man that is not her father, she takes it upon herself to follow and save her mother, and by association, herself, from certain ruin.  Little does Philippa know that it is one of those parties, the kind no respectable young lady attends.  She is stunned to see so many people in masks and quickly realizes how out of place she is.  When the notorious scoundrel, Lord Ambrose Sevrin recognizes her, she thinks she will finally have to marry but she is surprised at how decent Sevrin is.  He tries to help her escape unnoticed and with her reputation intact but to his disappointment, someone catches a glimpse of them and uses it as blackmail.  

Sevrin has avoided notorious parties for years following his ruin of a young lady and the one time he decides to finally attend, he tries to do the honorable thing and help Philippa but he captures the attention of Jagger, a man who wants him to prizefight.  As Sevrin loves to fight and is quite accomplished, this comes at no surprise but Sevrin has given up prizefighting as he does not enjoy the attention.  With the threat of Philippa's reputation at stake, he has to agree to one more fight.  However, with the mystery surrounding the identity of Sevrin's lady from the party, Sevrin keeps thinking of Philippa and is drawn to her as she is drawn to him.  Sevrin has a deep secret in his past and refuses to ruin another woman but how can he refuse what Philippa offers?  

It seems to me, with each book I read by Darcy Burke, I enjoy them more and more.  I loved watching the instant attraction between Sevrin and Philippa grow into a deep, true love.  Sevrin was a delicious, complex man that was raised by a father that expected the best out of him and got it, even though he was the second son.  When a terrible accident befalls his elder brother, it sheds some light on his own behavior and he closes into himself, taking all the blame.  He believes himself to be unfaithful, selfish and arrogant and it will take a lot to change his mind.  He also has a very strong vow that he adheres to now and I admire his restraint with Philippa in order to keep this vow to himself.  He finds release in fighting and I even enjoyed the fights in the story, even though that is something I do not enjoy in real life.  They were such a part of the story and they help transform Sevrin.  Philippa was the perfect balance to his dark, protective nature.  She is attempting to save her self-absorbed family from ruin, and when the whole truth comes out about her parents she is devastated and knows she must finally marry quickly but all she wants to do is marry for love.  She is bold and is not afraid to go after what she wants and I adored her for that!  She slowly tears downs Sevrins walls and helps heal his heart and forgive himself and together, they just fit.  The scoundrel who is honorable and the lady who is a bit wicked.  This was my favorite book so far from Darcy Burke and it is one I can not wait to reread!   This romance was a delicious blend of love and acceptance, humor and angst, action and heat and a book I would recommend for any historical romance fan!  4 very solid stars

Review copy provided by author, thank you!

Secrets and Scandals Series
Her Wicked WaysHis Wicked Heart
(I would recommend reading at least His Wicked Heart beforehand, as Sevrin is introduced there and then Jasper is also in To Seduce a Scoundrel.)

Two more books to come in Winter 2013! Yay!
Never Love a Scoundrel
Scoundrel Ever After

Thursday, June 28, 2012

New Covers

A few new covers this week. . .

This is one book I can not wait for and Jennifer Ashely officially shared the cover this week!  I like it but it doesn't really fit with the other covers in this series...I think it is the sunset color or something that is throwing me a bit.  I will have to wait and see this one in person :)  Look for The Seduction of Elliot McBride on December 31st.  Sigh...

Next is The Arrangement by Mary Balogh.  I love the softness and prettiness of this one!  I have not yet read the previous book in this series but I hope to soon.  This one looks to be out March 2013.

A Lady of Expectations and Other Stories features three stories and I know that Stephanie Laurens is a reprint.  I am not positive yet on the other two... As the cover is mostly purple I am drawn to it and I love the attention to detail on the dress.  This one will be out October 23rd.

Mia Marlowe shared that she wrote a prequel to her Touch of Seduction series and this is the lovely cover!  She had an interesting post on her blog about how the cover came to be here.  I love seeing behind the scenes on how these gorgeous covers are made :)  I really appreciate how she made sure that this cover matched the tone of her traditionally published books!   Look for Touch of a Lady soon.

Well, thats all for this week!  Are any of these titles on your to be read list?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happy Release Day!!

Quite a few books out today that are on my must-buy list!!

How to Be a Proper Lady (Falcon Club, #2)Scandal Wears Satin (The Dressmakers, #2)A Scandalous ScotA Most Naked Solution
Thief of Shadows (Maiden Lane, #4)A Duchess to Remember (Ministry of Marriage, #3)Starlight (The Christies, #2)

My most anticipated release is Thief of Shadows!  I adore Elizabeth Hoyt and having read an ARC of this one early, I know it is going on my keeper shelf.  Also really looking forward to How to Be a Proper Lady and A Duchess to Remember.  I have both on preorder.  I also read Scandal Wears Satin early and enjoyed it but not as much as the previous one in this series.  A Most Naked Solution was a wonderful taste of Anna Randol if you have not tried her yet.  I keep meaning to try Karen Ranney and she has a new release out with A Scandalous Scot and I am also behind on Carrie Lofty's series, which Starlight is book two.

So, which ones are you excited about?  I feel like I am missing some this week but I can't think of them right now... One of my favorite contemporary authors, Toni Blake, also has a new one out--Willow Springs--but I know there are more wonderful reads out too!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Virgin Huntress by Victoria Vane

Lady Vesta Chambers has had everything and anything she could every want and is floored when her father returns from London, where he was preparing for her coming out, with a young bride.  It brings her spoiledness to the for front and she is even more anxious to get to London and debut and be a young woman in society.  So when her Aunt Diana volunteers to take Vesta in her fathers place, Vesta is relieved.  After all, her godfather, Viscount DeVere, will be available to help her in any matter, should that need arise.  Upon riding early one morning, Vesta spots the man of her dreams and falls head over heels.  When it becomes know that this is her godfathers brother, she is ecstatic....only to become jealous of the attention he is paying her aunt!  Calling upon her godfather to help pull off a lavish undertaking to secure the heart of the dashing Captain Hewett DeVere, Hew does not stand a chance against Vesta.

The novella was pure fun!  Vesta was spoiled and childish at times but when she set her heart on something, she did whatever it took to secure it--even if it meant taking a drastic measure that will leave you going 'she didn't!'  And Hew turned out to be a delicious man with a surprise that made me love him all the more.  Falling for Vesta was not in his plans but when he does, he falls hard and gives her his whole heart in the most beautiful way!  Sigh.  As two polar opposites, Hew with his strength and steadfastness and Vesta with her petulant and impulsive nature, these two were sure to combust together and they certainly did!  Victoria Vane once again drew me into the Georgian time period with wonderful details to dialect, mannerism and surroundings.  Being a novella, I always want more and in this case I did as well.  I would have loved seeing Vesta and Hew butt heads longer but it still worked well with the length.  This novella made me laugh, sigh and spend a couple delicious hours away from reality to end with a smile on my face!  Highly recommended for fans of enjoyable, sexy, emotional, feel good stories!  I can not wait for more in this series!  4 1/2 stars

Thanks so much to Victoria Vane for providing me with a copy of this ebook!

A Wild Night's Bride is on sale now through June 29th for just $.99!!  An awesome price to try out Victoria Vane!

The Devil DeVere series
Also, A Wild Night's Bride and The Virgin Huntress are now combined into one book in print format August 3rd!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Scandal Wears Satin by Loretta Chase

When Lady Clara, the Maison Noirot best and most wealthy customer, finds herself engaged to the broke Lord Adderly, Sophia Noirot and her sisters find themselves at odds.  Without Clara's patronage, there is a strong chance there shop will not survive.  Especially with Clara's mother boycotting the shop since Sophy's eldest sister married Clara's almost betrothed.  The situation goes into more upheaval when Clara runs away and it is up to her brother, Harry, the Earl of Longmore to fetch her quietly.  And while he is attracted to the blue eyed beauty of Sophy he is uncertain as to why she cares to much about his sister.  As Sophy is quite an accomplished master of disguise, she knows she can safely and quickly find Clara and also find a creative solution to keeping her as their star customer and saving the shop.  Naturally, traveling together allows for this mutual attraction to grow and deepen but it takes awhile for it to truly heat up.  As more of Sophy's plans unravel to help Clara escape her betrothal, will Sophy be able to save her beloved dressmaker shop and in the process, find some true happiness for herself?  How will Harry react when the truth of her background is fully known?

I absolutely adored the first book in this series, Silk is for Seduction, so I was very eager to read this book and while I enjoyed this one, I didn't love it either and I can not quite put my finger on why.  I loved all the fun quips between Sophy and Harry:
"You admire her," he said.
"Yes," she said. "She was brave."
"Reckless is more like it.  Stupidly reckless."
"Like her brother."
Another pause.
"You have a point," he said.
I loved watching Harry and is high strung family come together and put Clara first and Sophy slowly maker her own place in the family as well.  I think, for me, I just didn't feel the connection right away between Harry and Sophy.  Still, it was enjoyable watching them fall in love and then bumble about trying to find a way to make it work to everyones satisfaction.   I also felt like Clara almost stole this book as she is featured so prominently again and I am really hoping this poor girl finds a man who is worthy of her.  I loved all the attention to the details of the gorgeous gowns and the warm friendship between the sisters.  Sophy was a delight to read with her bold and decisive nature and her passion for protecting what is hers.  Harry did not really seem to have much to do except escort his sister to the dressmakers so I would have liked to have seen him have more of a purpose for his life but I think is fun loving attitude is a wonderful balance for Sophy.  I breezed though this expertly written romance and I am looking forward to the last sister getting her story.  Not much was hinted at for it so I can't wait to see who she might be paired up with!  Loretta Chase is an auto buy author for me for her gorgeous storytelling balanced between love, heat and humor so even though I did not love this one, it was a wonderful story to immerse myself in after a long days work.  4 stars

I received this eARC from Avon via  Quote subject to change in final version.

The Dressmakers series
Could be read as standalone but best enjoyed in order
Silk Is for Seduction (The Dressmakers, #1)
At least one more to come plus a surprise according to her website!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Release Day!!

Just a couple books out today to have on your radar. . .

Temptation  & Twilight (The Brethren Guardians, #3)An Introduction to Pleasure (Mistress Matchmaker, #1)

I'm not 100 percent certain on Temptation & Twilight as on Amazon it says paperback is out today but the kindle isn't available until July 1st?  That seems a bit odd...but I recommend this title.  I am anxious to read An Introduction to Pleasure as it will be my first taste of Jess Michaels (I have read her under her Jenna Petersen name and enjoyed her) and it is the start of a new series so yay!  Lots of great books out next week!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Undone by Lila DiPasqua

Well, I devoured this book within days of its release and I see I never wrote a review for it!  So, this won't be overly long as, unfortunately, the story is not as fresh as when I should have written this review (and that just makes me anxious to reread it soon!).  I knew what to expect from this romance--a hot, sexy retelling of the fairy tale Rapunzel but the way it was wove together was pure magic.  I really liked the fact that the heroine didn't have a hair the length of a tower--because really, how was that going to work? :) But our heroine, Angelica, has grown up basically in seclusion in order to hide from her evil stepfather and is rescued by our handsome hero, Simon.  Angelica really did not want to be rescued and has to tell Simon the truth of her life and as she does, it becomes clear that the man Simon is hoping to uncover as a liar and a thief is also the man that most wants to harm Angelica.  Will Simon, a commoner, be able to prove to himself and Angelica that he is good enough for a noble lady or will he just let it all go?

Sigh.  I really adored this book.  I absolutely love retellings of fairy tales and I know I can count on Lila DiPasqua to deliver a winner with plenty of heat!  Simon and Angelique really know how to burn the fire!  Have something cool to drink handy :)  Angelique is strong and will do whatever she can to protect those around her and Simon has had to overcome a brutal childhood and it has molded him into the strong and commanding man is is today.  When the past is revealed to the full extent, have some tissues handy as you are sure to tear up!  If you like your historicals burning but filled with angst, love, passion and a bit of humor, please, grab Undone today and settle in for a treat!  I know I look forward to more from this auto-buy author!  4 1/2 stars

Fiery Tales
Can be read out of order...Simon was in A Midnight Dance...
Awakened by a Kiss  (Fiery Tales, #1)The Princess in His Bed  (Fiery Tales, #2)A Midnight Dance (Fiery Tales, #3)
Three Reckless Wishes
Exp Sept release -- So, so, so excited for this book! Read A Midnight Dance first

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Covers

Maya Banks shared this delicious cover this week.  I really enjoyed her first Highlander series and I very excited for her new series!  And the covers...wowza. Highlander Most Wanted isn't out until Feb 26th though...sigh.  

I don't see much about this title yet, but it looks to be the start of a new series from Celeste Bradley.  I love the softness of the cover and the heroine looks to be up to no good :)  Hopefully more info will be coming soon.  Look for When She Said I Do in January 2013.

Wow, purple is usually my favorite color for covers but I am thinking gold might take over that soon!  This is one seriously sexy cover!  Usually there is some semblance of clothes but not for this one, lol! Seducing Mr. Knightly is book four in the Writing Girls series and one that I have been looking forward to for awhile.  It will be out October 30th.

Sin With a Scoundrel is book four in Sara Bennett's Husband Hunter Club series and I enjoyed the previous books so I will be picking this one up.  Love the pop of green!  This one is also out Oct 30th.

Cathy Maxwell's next title, The Scottish Witch: The Chattan Curse, will be out Oct 30th and I really like the nod to the Scottish theme.  This is book two in this series.

Another very anticipated release for me is A Notorious Countess Confesses. Book seven in the Pennroyal Green series, one I'm still not fully caught up on yet, but has had some wonderful books so I have high hopes for the new one.  The cover is very pretty and romantic.  This is also an Oct 30th release.

One last one that was shared this week. The Bridegroom Wore Plaid is the start of a new trilogy from the delightful Grace Burrowes.  Love the plaid and the softness this one.  It will be set in the Victorian era.  Look for this one in December.

Not a bad bunch of covers, huh? :)  Some really great titles coming!!  Which ones are you most excited about?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt

Winter Makepeace is pleased to finally have a new building for his Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children but he is still a bit restless so when he hears of a 'lassie snatcher' he sets about to find out all he can and stop them.  As his alter ego, the Ghost of St. Giles, he learns what he can about the orphaned girls being forced to work in horrible conditions with no fresh air and rotten food.  As he tries to save these girls, his day job starts to give him a distraction in the form of one Lady Isabel Beckinhill.  Some members of her Ladies' Syndicate for the Benefit of the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children feel that Mr. Makepeace is not an appropriate headmaster for the foundling children now that they have wealthy matrons supporting them and Isabel is chosen to teach Winter the refining points of being a gentleman.  However, as these two do not always see eye to eye, passions rise between heated banter and Winter tries to keep a rein on his inner demons and protect all the innocents of St. Giles without giving in to his desires. 

Isabel Beckinhill shocks herself when she suddenly rescues the mysterious, supposedly deadly, Ghost of St. Giles.  But just as quick as they can sew him up he is gone, leaving a lasting impression behind.  When her instructional meetings with Winter start awakening her passions, she starts to question how Winter seems to be missing when he should be present and the Ghost is around instead.   A daring escape finally forces her to confront the Ghost and together they answer questions and give into the blazing passion between them.  But with Isabel having a sad secret and Winter unable to give up being the Ghost, how will this unlikely couple find happiness?

Sigh, what a book.  Winter.  He seemed so uptight in the previous books but trust Elizabeth Hoyt to turn that all around and make a delicious, sexy, strong, loyal, protective hero.  And to top it all off... ***minor spoiler--he's a virgin!***  Swoon.  And Isabel, again I wasn't too sure about her in the previous books, but she turns out to be the perfect woman (slightly older!) woman for Winter.  I loved watching Winter wrestle with himself as he tries to protect all those that can not protect themselves in St. Giles.  As he believes that this is his life work, he knows he has no time for a wife and family but then there is Isabel at every turn, tempting him, making him question if it is right for one person to uphold all this by himself.  When he finally lets Isabel in, it is forever and he will stop at nothing to convince Isabel of that fact.  Elizabeth Hoyt has one again proven why she is on my auto buy list--she can take a woman not well liked, who seems cold and bitter (there is a side story with a young boy that is so well done) and shape her into a warm, caring, lovable heroine who will do whatever it takes to be with the man she loves.  And while Ms Hoyt is crafting this heroine, she delivers a hero who is the perfect balance, who brings the love and passion and even some daring stubbornness to meld together beautifully all while set amongst the dirty side of London, away from the balls and glitter, make you feel like you are there with them.  This is another passionate winner from the obviously talented, top of her game, Elizabeth Hoyt and I am so happy there is more to come in this Maiden Lane series!   4 1/2 stars

I received this eARC from Grand Central Publishing via 

Maiden Lane series
Should be read in order to avoid major spoilers
Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane, #1)Notorious PleasuresScandalous Desires (Maiden Lane, #3)
Lord of Darkness (Do not read description of book until you read Thief of Shadows!!)
Expected Jan 29th, 2013 
Duke of Midnight
Later 2013

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Temptation & Twilight by Charlotte Featherstone

The third book in the Brethren Guardian series had a lot to live up to in my mind and for the most part, it delivers in spades!  The only thing that kept this from possibly being an even better story was how it starts.  At the end of the previous book, Pride & Passion, it ends on such a cliffhanger with our couple, Iain Sinclair, Marquis of Alynwick and laird to the clan Sinclair and Lady Elizabeth York.  Yet this book starts off back a couple weeks which threw me off for a bit.  Granted it is seen through Lizzie and Iain's eyes but still, it took about 80 percent of the book to finally get to the cliffhanger.  While I appreciate seeing the story through a new way and getting more in depth with our couple, I personally wanted the story to start where the previous one ended.

Elizabeth York was one of my favorite heroines I have read recently.   I enjoyed seeing the world through her blindness and thought it was done in a way that was realistic and believable.  She is strong and independent and has no qualms speaking her mind as she is on the shelf but is flattered when a handsome earl starts to pay her attention and genuinely seems interested in her for her.  However, her heart may not fully be in the relationship as Iain makes his presence known in her life again after the hurtful way they broke things off years ago.  Iain took a bit of warming up too as he is a major womanizer and actually is seducing another woman in order to gain information for his secret society, the Brethren Guardians.  Thankfully, when he realizes the extent of his feelings for Beth that he thought were buried, he is faithful to Beth.  Together, they have a lot to overcome from their past and, again, it takes quite a bit of time until the truth comes out.  When Iain finally breaks down and tells Beth his (selfish) reason for leaving her, its very is Beth's response.

Overall, this is another heartbreaking, haunting love story from Charlotte Featherstone.  She seems to have quick a knack for weaving a sensual romance that will leave your heart pounding one moment and tearing up the next.  The end of this  Just wow.  The twists and turns were just wonderful and give a very satisfying conclusion to the mystery surrounding the Brethren Guardians.  So even though this book overlaps so much with the previous, but from a different perspective (and done to show the relationship regrow between our couple) it is a definite must read for fans of sensual love stories.  4 stars

I received this eARC from HQN via

The Brethren Guardian series
Best to be read in order, but I would recommend taking a break between books two and three to fully appreciate book three.
Seduction & Scandal (The Brethren Guardians, #1)Pride & Passion (The Brethren Guardians, #2)
I think this is the end of the series but I hope there is at least one more story. . .

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Most Naked Solution by Anna Randol

When some new information comes up regarding the mysterious death of a local viscount, Lord Camden Grey reluctantly looks into it, as he is the justice of peace for his village.  Camden truly does not want to pursue much into the matter as the late viscount's wife was someone he knew when he was younger and had a crush on her so he does not want to turn her in if necessary.  Now, Lady Sophia Harding is back in his life, denying any wrong doing in her husbands death and denying she knows what truly happened.  But as Camden can see Sophia is lying, he attempts to find the truth any way he can.

Sophia is glad her husband is dead but is fearful that her father and brother had something to do with it.  As she refuses to see them suffer for her horrible marriage, she tries to do what she can to protect them--even if it makes her look guilty.  But when a mysterious gunshot almost hits her, it becomes clear that someone is now after her.  Being around her childhood crush brings back feelings that she thought were long buried.  Together, Sophia and Camden attempt to find out who would want to harm Sophia and also to prove the truth.  But as the truth of Sophia's marriage slowly comes out, can Camden forgive himself for ignoring her all those years ago and will Sophia finally be able to find herself and stand strong for herself and she that she is worth protecting?

First, I love this cover.  It is so simple and sexy at the same time and alludes well to the title :)  I really enjoyed this novella.  Sophia is such a strong woman but she has been beaten down both mentally and physically and we get to watch her try and find herself again, see that she is special.  She stands up and protects all those around her she cares for, even if it causes her harm.  The attraction that she felt for mathematician Camden as a girl, stills grows strong but learning to trust again takes time.  Camden was also a very enjoyable character.  He went to war and gained his cursory title but his true passion is math, much to the disappointment of his father.  I so enjoyed the scene where Sophia and Camden come together and work on Camden's math showed how normal and happy this couple could be out in the country.  Overall, an excellent novella that I didn't want to end!  If you missed Anna Randol's debut, A Secret in Her Kiss, this is a great taste of an author to watch.  A Most Naked Solution is sure to have something to please any historical romance fan--an intriguing mystery that does not overwhelm and a romance that will curl your toes all written in a delectable manor.  4 stars

I received this eARC from Avon Impulse via

Related books
Not necessary to read beforehand (Sophia is Bennett's sister)
A Secret in Her KissSins of a Virgin
The hero was introduced in this novella for Sins of a Virgin, out Aug 28th

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New Covers

Some lovely new covers shared this week--

The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe is a new title from Sabrina Darby.  She has one previous book of novellas out and I'm not sure yet where this one falls on length.  Not much info about it yet but she shared the cover this week and I love the boldness and simplicity of it!  It works well for the long title.  This will be out July 31st.

Oh...I really like this cover!!  I can't quite decide if that is purple or pink but either way I like it :)  The hero looks very dashing and I like the gloves on the heroine.  It fits in well with her debut which I always appreciate.  Look for A Taste for Scandal in December.

Katharine Ashe finally shared her new cover and I have to say I am really loving all the gold lately!  I think this might be my favorite cover of hers so far! How a Lady Weds a Rogue will be out Sept 25th.

Oh, so pretty! Not Proper Enough is book two in Carolyn Jewel's Reforming the Scoundrels series and one I have pre-ordered for its September 4th release.

That's all for now! :)  I really like them all, how about you?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Happy Release Day!!

Here are some of the historical romances releasing today. . .

More Than a Stranger (Sealed With a Kiss, #1)The Scarlet Bride (School for Brides, #3)The Casanova Code (The Rake Patrol, #1)
Lady Amelia's Mess and a Half (Beau Monde, #2)The Most Improper Miss Sophie ValentineBedding Lord Ned (Duchess of Love, #1)

First up is a debut that I have been waiting for from Erin Knightley, More Than a Stranger.  I love that they are pen pals :)  The Scarlet Bride is book three in Cheryl Ann Smith's School of Bride series and one I plan to pick up as well as The Casanova Code by Donna MacMeans, who is a new to me author and start of a new series.  It's my birthday tomorrow so I put these three on my list for my hubby to get so we will see. . . :)  The next three are all ones I had the pleasure of reading early.  I highly recommend Samantha Grace's Lady Amelia's Mess and a Half, it hit all the right notes with me and I will be picking up my own keeper copy.  And while I did not love the last two, they were both light hearted and fun and have me anxious for the next books!

So any titles on your must read now list?  At the end of the month we see new releases from Elizabeth Hoyt, Loretta Chase, Katharine Ashe, Christina Brooke and Carrie Lofty!