Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happy Release Day!!

I apologize in advance for your wallets. . .big release day!

Forever a Lady (The Rumor, #2)Once Upon a BallroomAn Unsuitable Bride (Blackwater Brides, #3)
All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess (Lords of Vice, #5)Almost a Scandal (The Reckless Brides, #1)How to Romance a Rake (Ugly Ducklings #2)When You Wish Upon a Duke
The Bride Wore PearlsLessons from a Scandalous Bride (Forgotten Princesses #2)Return of the Viscount
Pleasures of a Tempted Lady (Donovan Sisters, #3)Touch of a Scoundrel (Touch of Seduction, #3)A Scandalous Affair

 Wowza!  Quite a good load of books out today! :)  The first three, Forever a Lady, Once Upon a Ballroom (all new e-shorts) and An Unsuitable Bride were all released on July 24th but I didn't have time to write up a post.  I can't wait for Delilah Marvelles since she is wonderful about sexy and unique stories and I'm excited to read four new short stories from some of my favorite authors.  Jane Feather is an author I have yet to try and this book is book three in the series so I will need to catch up soon!

I have had the pleasure of reading some of these titles early and I would recommend them all:  Almost a Scandal (sexy times on the sea), How to Romance a Rake (delightful), When You Wish Upon a Duke (start of a new series) and Lesson from a Scandalous Bride (enjoyable fun).  The ones that are on top of my must buy list today are All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess (part of a series) and Pleasures of a Tempted Lady (also part of a series).  Both are authors I have enjoyed and I can't wait for more!  Return of the Viscount, Touch of a Scoundrel, The Bride Wore Pearls and A Scandalous Affair (ebook) are all titles I hope to get to sooner rather than later! 

Does anyone else need a vacation from life to read all these books?!?  Wouldn't that be grand :)  If there is nothing here to tempt you--I find that hard to believe, lol--next week we see new titles from Juliana Gray (a debut I'm excited to read), Michele Sinclair and Jade Lee.  So again, I apologize for your empty wallets! :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Devil You Know by Victoria Vane

Lady Diana has resigned herself to her loveless, unhappy marriage with her gamble happy husband but even she is unaware how deep the debt has gotten and is shocked to learn they are about to be ruined.  It becomes worse when she becomes aware who has bought up the vowels--the man that makes her blood race in the most inappropriate ways, the devilish Viscount Ludovic DeVere.  Upon their first meeting the attraction just zings but Diana is a proper lady and refuses to break her marriage vows.  But with DeVere sending her smoldering glances and whisper soft touches, it does not take long for her defenses to crumble.  But they truly break down when one last shocking act of betrayal from husband sets her free.  Just as this passionate couple find a moment of bliss together, life throws a most damaging curveball that forces Diana and DeVere to part on bad terms with no hopes for a reconciliation in the future. . .

 Oh, my!  If you have read the previous novellas (A Wild Night's Bride and The Virgin Huntress) you have just sensed the tension boiling between Diana and DeVere and I loved how this novella goes back a few years and shows the whole history and what happened to have such apparent loathing, especially on Diana's part.  All Diana longed for was happiness and she got the short end of the stick with her husband and his unappreciated actions in the bedroom.  Diana has never known true desire and DeVere awakens that in her and she thinks she can finally be happy--even if it means being on the outskirts of the ton.  But Diana is unaware of the turmoil that DeVere also faces in his personal life and he does what he thinks is best to protect her, even if it costs him the first true peace he has felt.  DeVere is wickedly charming, dashing and sexy and certainly knows how to make Diana appreciate the finer acts in the bedroom and is the perfect man to awaken all her senses.  Even though I didn't like seeing him with his mistress, it added to his nature he portrays and it also made me appreciate him a bit more for his sacrifice for Diana's happiness.  With this delicious yet sad background story having been told now, I am so eager to see how Victoria Vane delivers a happily-ever-after for this couple!  Once again, the Georgian writing and attention to detail is fabulous and the humor and heat is high but I enjoyed the added bit on angst this story brought.  This novella is guaranteed to make your toes curl and your heart sigh with romance and sadness and I am eager to see how this fabulous series finish's out!  4 1/2 stars

Review copy provided by author, thank you!!

The Devil DeVere series
A Wild Night's Bride (The Devil DeVere #1)The Virgin Huntress (The Devil DeVere #2)The Devil's Match (The Devil DeVere #4)
                                                                    Aug 24th
 The Devil DeVere Volume I
Print volume of first two novellas coming Aug 4th

The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe

Hmm, I read this short tale about a week ago and it just has not stuck with me.  I liked it but it just didn't have that bit of extra shine I needed.  In a bit of a reading funk as well, so that may explain it too.  The writing was good, the romance enjoyable and we get a complete story even though it is short.  It, naturally, has excerpts at the end and I got sucked into Sabrina Darby's excerpt for her previous book (On These Silken Sheets) that I bought it--so mission accomplished, even though I didn't love this particular story.  But for 99 cents I have to say this is a great bargain and a tale, with a slight Beauty and the Beast feel and with just 'normal' (non-titled) people, that I feel many historical romance fans will enjoy. Angelina is a former mistress in need of some money but truly wanting love and this makes her very easy to connect with and John is a war hero dealing with the aftermath in an aloof manor that is enduring to read.  Overall, 3 stars for a quick read that will leave many readers satisfied and looking for more work from this author.

Review copy provided by Avon Impulse via edelweiss.com

Back cover blurb:


A beautiful young woman—preferably one with no connections, who won't ask too many questions—to spend two weeks in the North of England with an obstinate, aloof, and utterly handsome man.

Must love dogs, fixing up crumbling castles, and gorgeous and complicated war heroes who may or may not be hiding hearts of gold under their gruff exteriors.

Must not, under any circumstances, fall in love . . .

Simpering misses need not apply.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Woman Made for Pleasure by Michele Sinclair

Lady Millie Aldon made a pact with her two best friends never to marry, to instead seek fun and adventure and only allowing one clause to break the pact when they were teenagers.  Years have passed and now that the Daring Three, as they are nicknamed, are out among society they seem to stick to their pact.  But when one of Millie's best friends older brother finally returns back home to London, Millie finds her heart in trouble.  Charles, the Marquess of Chaselton, has returned home to continue his work to find out the truth about his fathers death but one look at the young, adventurous girl from his childhood, his protective and passionate instincts kick in.  However, Charles feels his undercover work is too dangerous and does not want to put Millie at risk but as Millie has loves to people watch, she quickly cues in to Charles' spy history and sets about to help him, even if it means putting her own life in danger.  With encouragement from friends and family alike to find their happiness together, will Charles and Millie be able to overcome the roadblocks of a deepening mystery and some stubborn jealously?

This was my first Michele Sinclair novel and I will admit I was drawn in by the gorgeous cover!  But what kept me reading was the storytelling.  It was fun, exciting, romantic and a pleasure to read.  I love storylines that feature close bonds between friends and we get to see alot of that within A Woman Made for Pleasure.  Millie's two friends are wonderful supporting characters, as was the mother in charge of all three.  I admired Millie's free spirit attitude but how she stood by those who needed her the most.  Watching the jealously flair between Millie and Charles adds a nice dose of humor but what I really enjoyed about this romance was the falling in love process.  It happened at a pace I liked and I really appreciated that the 'I love yous' were not at the very end of the story, after the dramatics.  The mystery aspect was nice, but I feel like it was a bit of an add on at the end.  I would recommend this story for fans of stubborn yet loyal heroines who falls hard for a childhood friend--a childhood friend that knows her for who she truly is inside and accepts all her adventurousness and loves her madly for it surrounded by wonderful friends and family mixed with some intrigue and a steamy dose of heat.  I look forward to the next two books in this series!  4 stars

ARC provided by Kensington Books

Promises Trilogy
Two more books to come???

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

When You Wish Upon a Duke by Isabella Bradford

Lady Charlotte Wylder thinks her life is fine--she lives in the country with her mother and two younger sisters and a tree climbing cat.  So when a solicitor arrives one night to talk to her, and not her mother, she knows it must be something life altering.  Charlotte does not think it is going to be a summons from her fiancee... the one she never knew she had but has been engaged to since she was a baby.  Still, she dutifully goes with her family to London to meet and wed the Duke of Marchbourne.  Except their first meeting goes a bit awry...see March, as he goes by, is so anxious to finally meet his bride he 'accidentally' bumps into their carriage and more tree climbing ensures.  This is actually quite a fun first interaction between the confident and impulsive Charlotte and the solid, steadfast March and sets up the course for their upcoming relationship--fun and impulsive yet serious  But as the first attraction fades, will this couple find the happiness they long for without breaking all of society's' rules?

This is the start of a new series from Isabella Bradford and I enjoyed it.  Charlotte was a delight to read, though she is only eighteen which is always an annoyance to me even though I know it was perfectly acceptable during those times to wed and such.  Still, she is portrayed as eager to please her new duke but at the same time, do what is best for her and her heart.  There is quite a bit of back and forthness between our couple that I did find to be a bit tedious.  March grew up being very proper and knew that he was betrothed to a daughter of an earl to help boost his family standing.  Even though he is related to the kind his mother was just a mistress and if feels the taint still.  So March would let down his guard and be passionate and enjoy his new wife but then would immediately regret the way he treated Charlotte which naturally leads to Charlotte thinking she displeased him in some way.  And even though the talk about it, there is a deeper issue with March that takes some time to be revealed and helps explain his issues.  The attention to the details of the fashion during this time period was also great to read.  Not many books have heroines always in hoops and hair powder so it is always a nice treat to be immersed in something different.  Overall, a very delightful book full of wit and charm and passion that will leave you hoping this couple can overcome their trust issues and find the happiness they were blessed to have.  And oh, the epilogue is just going to make you sigh and smile.  So perfect.  4 stars

I received this eARC from Ballantine Books via edelweiss.com

Wylder Sisters
When the Duchess Says Yes (Wylder Sisters, #2)When the Duke Fell in Love (Wylder Sisters, #3)
     Sept 25th               Nov 27th

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Almost a Scandal by Elizabeth Essex

When her youngest brother refuses to do his duty and join the navy, Sally Kent does what she thinks is best--she goes in his place to keep the family honor intact.  After all, the sea is in her blood having grown up on the ship with her captain father and brothers.  She loves the adventure, the air, everything about the sea but as a female she is regulated to the land.  When she sees her childhood crush, Lieutenant David Colyear also on board she thinks her disguise is at risk.  But as time passes and no one seems the wiser, she relaxes.  Circumstances force her to reveal her true identity to Col and she is at his mercy for him not to report her and damage the Kent name.  With a war happening and a mean shipmate, how will this pair find time to discover if their feelings are true or just a moment of fancy?

Hmm, I'm a bit torn about this book.  The writing and descriptions of life on a ship were lush and really made you feel like you were there but at the same time it was a bit much for me.  It took almost half of the book for the romance to start to bloom and I would have liked that to happen much sooner, even though Col and Sally had meet years ago.  I have no problem suspending reality a bit when I read but I did have a hard time believing no one on the ship noticed Sally was female.  I feel like more would have noticed something...her voice, her hands...something.  But then again, if you are not looking for a female, you probably will not notice one.  

Anyways, back to Col and Sally and the supporting characters.  I really liked Sally, or Kent as she is referred to most of the time!  She is bold and brash and has no fear and you could just feel her love and passion for what she was doing.  She was also compassionate to all those on board from making sure they had the best food they could to helping the new lads overcome fears.  Sally was even a gem to the resident villain on board, a man who could not make lieutenant and she found a clever way to deal with him and in the process, help him.  Col was a bit arrogant but confident of his work and responsibilities.  Every man on that ship needs him and he makes sure to do everything he can to uphold that.  I found his reaction to being on land a bit humorous and was glad our couple finally could be on land and progress with their romance angle.  We get to enjoy a few battles and take downs of ships which was very grand and adventurous, but I personally would have liked a bit more romance and a bit less adventure.   The ending was sweet and and me sniffling a bit and ended in a way very appropriate for this sea loving couple.  So while I didn't love this book, I enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone looking for a very adventurous story!  Elizabeth Essex has quite a way of describing the world she is writing about and I look forward to more from her!  3 1/2 stars

I received this eARC from St. Martins Press via netgalley.com, thanks!

Reckless Brides series
 A Breath of Scandal (The Reckless Brides, #2)
      Dec 26th

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New Covers

New covers from this week. . .

First up is the lovely cover for an author I really enjoy, Vicky Dreiling.  A Season for Sin is going to be a prequel novella setting the stage for her new series but it does feature a hero from her previous books, Bell!  Yay!  This one will be out Sept 4th but I can't find any info when the new full length will be out so I guessing next year so it looks to be a little bit of a wait yet so I may wait to read this one since I personally don't love prequel novellas out months before the next story.  Hmm, we will see, lol :)

Liana LeFey is a new author I believe and I adore her cover for her upcoming release, Countess So Shameless!  I love the title too!  No official blurb yet but she shared her gorgeous cover on Facebook this week and I know I have it preordered for its November 6th release! 

The second title in Tracy Anne Warren's The Princess Brides series and has a very lovely cover!  I didn't love the first title (I have a hard time with eighteen year old heroines even though it was perfectly acceptable at that time!) but am I eager for this book!  Look for it Nov 26th.

Megan Frampton is also a new to me author and she shared her lovely new cover for her upcoming April 2013 title, Hero of My Heart.  I read the blurb on her site here and it sounds really good!  Since this is being published under the LoveSwept line under Random House I am guessing it will be an ebook so I will keep my eye out on this one since the lovely cover has caught my attention :)

And lastly Juliana Gray shared her cover for her third book, A Duke Never Yields.  Her debut is out next month and I'm looking forward to it as it got a great review in RT Magazine.  I really like the simplicity and prettiness of this cover.  Look for it February 5th.

Well, that is all for now!  Hope you added a few to your pile, I know I did :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Mad Lord's Daughter by Jane Goodger

Melissa Atwell spent the last eighteen years of her life never leaving her suite of rooms due to her fathers belief that she would contract a disease and die, leaving him all alone in the world.  When her beloved father suddenly passes, she is left in the care of her uncle and brought to London to begin her first foray into society.  No one, including her uncles son, John, and her chaperone, Lady Diane, expected the deep fear that Melissa would have to step out into the real world.  She has never touched anyone or been touched without the barrier of gloves, never seen a baby, felt a snowfall....everything that most people take for granted.  They alter their plans and retire to the country estate to gradually build up Melissa's tolerance and fine tune her wonderful education but with the threat about the true nature of her birth just waiting to be exposed, it becomes imperative that Melissa get settled with a husband to protect her.

John knows his duty is to protect Melissa and help her in any way he can but as they spend more and more time together, he can't help but be drawn to this unique beauty.  As he knows the truth about her birth, he strives to protect her while his heart quickly becomes lost to her.  However, as society believes them to be first cousins, he knows his feelings can not be acted upon so he sets about to find her the perfect suitor amongst his friends.  As his close friend quickly falls for Melissa as well, this makes John see red at every opportunity and just when he finally decides to stand up for what he wants, it looks like he might be too late.  It will take a bold act of courage for John and Melissa to stand up for what they truly want and hope to find happiness in their love.

This book was like reading a breath of fresh air and I enjoyed it!  I loved the circumstances surrounding Melissa's upbringing as you never really think how much people take for granted in life.  Can you imagine watching it snow from your window but never feeling it against your cheeks?  And all the times a gentleman helps a woman by offering his arm...all the touching that she was so scared to do had to be overcome gradually.  Melissa was warm, bright, affectionate and fun and a wonderful character to read.  When she was around John, she just shined and I adored how John was always there to help her though all of society's rules and demands.  I was a bit hesitant at first about the first cousins situation but it is quickly sorted out and I could breathe a bit easier!  I loved the secondary characters that were introduced in this book and I hope they all receive their own stories because what we glimpsed here was great.  There is also a secondary romance between Melissa's uncle and chaperone that added a bit of fun and sass.  So while the storyline basis of illegitimacy is nothing new in historical romance land, the way this one was told and all the circumstances made this a unique read for me.   If you enjoy delightful romances filled with wonderful characters that you grow to care for mixed with just a dash of intrigue and a bit of heat, Jane Goodger has a book for you and I know I can't wait for more!  4 stars

Review copy provided by Kensington Books, thanks!

Other books by Jane Goodger
Marry ChristmasA Christmas ScandalA Christmas Waltz (Christmas, #3)When a Duke Says I Do

Friday, July 13, 2012

How to Romance a Rake by Manda Collins

Miss Juliet Shelby has always made sure to blend into the background in society following an accident that now has her in need of the assistance of a walking cane.  Her mother has made it quite clear that no respectable man is going to want a disfigured young lady for a wife and does not allow her to call any attention to herself.  But when Juliet is being mocked yet again by some of the tons notorious bullies, she receives an unexpected offer of help from Lord Alec Deveril.  He comes to her defense and then offers to teach her to dance to help her feel more comfortable.  Juliet can not believe that one of the tons most eligible bachelors is paying her any attention but she sees no way to gracefully refuse.  Dancing in his arms is a dream and when Alec comes across Juliet in distress again, this time for a more personal matter involving her missing music teacher, the pair start a quest to find out the truth and along the way, discover some truths about each other that they both have tried to keep hidden.

Lord Alec Deveril has his own secrets to hide.  He has a great fear of ending up like his father, the Devil Deveril, and harming any woman he may come to marry.  He is adored and liked by all of the ton and knows he must marry but the quiet, unassuming Juliet unexpectedly captures his attention.  When he witnesses one to many acts of cruelty at the hands of her mother against Juliet, he steps in and takes matters into his own hands.  He has no tolerance for abuse and knows he must protect her, but at what cost to himself?

Manda Collins is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!  I adored this book!  Juliet was a true delight to read--she was strong, kind, compassionate and lovely.  And Alec, sigh.  He sees everything and forgets nothing in his bold, caring way and was the perfect person to help Juliet discover that her handicap was no handicap at all.  And wow, we usually see fathers doing low and dirty business involving their daughters but this time we had Juliet's mother, Lady Shelby.  This is a mother I would not wish upon anyone with her cold and heartless nature.  I believe she loved her daughter in a small way but her own happiness and importance in society was valued much higher.  I also liked the mystery aspect of this story involving Juliet's missing music teacher and the possible connection to some disturbing paintings.  I was pleasantly surprised that I was wrong as to the nature of the villain and I thought the entire situation played out nicely.  It didn't overwhelm the story for me, the romance was still front and center, but it added some nice weight to the storyline.  If you are looking for a romance filled with warmth and wit (I was laughing quite a bit!) mixed with a bit of mystery to keep you on your toes, Manda Collins delivers!  4 stars

Review copy provided by author through netgalley.com

Ugly Ducklings series
Can be read as standalones, best enjoyed in order
How to Dance with a Duke (Ugly Ducklings, #1)How to Entice an Earl (Ugly Ducklings, #3)
                                 Jan 29th 2013

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New Covers

Some new covers for you this week. . .

I really enjoy Cara Elliott for her super sexy fact paced books and I love the cover for her newest title, Too Dangerous to Desire.  This is book three in her Lords of Midnight series and should hit shelves November 20th.

Oh, another pretty red cover!  Cecilia Grant writes some beautiful love stores and we can expect A Woman Entangled January 29th.  It fits in beautifully with her previous covers!

Elizabeth Hoyt is always on top of my must buy list and can't wait for list and Lord of Darkness is no exception!  I like how the cover is soft but the title implies darkness...and it has a nice sexy stepback as well!  I love stepbacks :)  This one won't be out until February 26th, sob!

Miranda Neville also shared a picture of her upcoming book, The Importance of Being Wicked.  How can you not be excited about a book with that title?  She did say the cover is not yet final so that is why it is just a picture and I can't wait to see a more detailed view of it as it looks delicious :)  This one will be out November 27th.

Well, a somewhat quiet week but all books that I am eager to read!  It seems we are now on a trend for red...gold and white have made strong showings with some earlier titles.  What about you?  Looking forward to any of these titles?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lessons from a Scandalous Bride by Sophie Jordan

Miss Cleopatra Hadley grew up impoverished with her mother and stepfather and has just delivered yet another stillborn babe to be buried when she vows to never be at the mercy of a man, never let her body betray her.  When her birth father suddenly appears in her life, she goes with him in exchange for enough money to keep her mother and all her siblings in a decent life.  A bit of time passes and Cleo has begun a campaign to wed a doddering old earl, in part to please her father with the English title he so wants in his family but more since she knows her marriage will unlikely be consummated.  Her plans go awry though when a Scottish man appears and tempts her body and her heart.  With the threat of harm coming to her siblings if she does not marry and pay more money quickly and a jealous nephew also at her neck, how can Cleo let go of the past to embrace a happy future?

Lord Logan McKinney needs to marry an heiress quickly to help his family and his falling down castle.  He had decided on a lady, and while she will do, she does not stir his blood like the delightful Cleo.  Once he meets Cleo, he knows she is the one for him.  Convincing Cleo that the attraction that burns between them proves to be very difficult but Logan uncovers the clues surrounding Cleo's instance of a loveless marriage and takes steps to protect her and her family.  But when circumstances force the couple together before Cleo is ready to let Logan in, can Logan find a way to show Cleo that love is possible as well respect or will Cleo's fear override her heart until it is too late?

Oh, what a delightful, witty, sexy book!  The attraction between Cleo and Logan just leaps off the pages!  But I admired Cleo for standing firm with her beliefs and also with her knowledge that she was soon to be engaged to another man.  She refuses to let herself fall for a man, just to be used physically and emotionally as she can not stand the toll it has taken on her poor mother and wants to do whatever she can to provide for them, even if it means sacrificing her happiness.  The beginning of this story is very sad and sets up Cleo wonderfully.  Her dedication to her family and to herself was a delight to read and I loved when Logan arrived and upended all her careful plans.  Cleo continues to push Logan away and that got a bit tiring at times but Logan was persistent and was the perfect man to break down her defenses.  I loved the epilogue, it brought happy tears to my eyes, but I would have liked to have seen more resolved with Cleo family situation and I also thought her change of heart was just a tad abrupt.  The ending is fast paced and exciting and I breezed through this book and was disappointed that I had to let go of these characters already!  Overall, a wonderful romance that is sure to make you smile, laugh, sigh and cheer.  4 stars

Review copy provided by Avon through edelweiss.com

Forgotten Princesses series
Can be read as stand alones so far
Wicked in Your Arms (Forgotten Princesses, #1)
At least one more to come I think!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Release Day!

Here are some historical romances out this week that I am looking forward too. . .

It Begins with a Kiss (The Drake's Rakes, #3.5)Ravishing the Heiress (Fitzhugh Trilogy, #2)In the Barrister's Bed (Regency Barrister, #2)

His Contract BrideDefiant (MacKinnon's Rangers, #3)
Kind of a quiet day for me!  I feel like I am missing some. . .anyways, lots of good buzz surrounding Ravishing the Heiress and I can't wait to dive into that one when I am in the mood for something angsty!  Still need to read the first one!  I had the pleasure to read It Begins With a Kiss early and loved the premise but it left me wanting the full length now, not next year!  In the Barrister's Bed sounds good and is an author I want to try soon.  Rose Gordon also self-pubbed the start of a new series, though loosely connected to her previous books, with His Contract Bride and I am determined to find time to read it this month as well!  And finally is a title I know Pamela Clare fans have been waiting for, Defiant.  I have heard wonderful things about this author and I must read some of her books before the end of the year!

Well, even though its a bit quiet, my wallet is still a bit lighter!  At the end of the month we see new titles from Sophie Jordan, Delilah Marvelle, Alexandra Hawkins, Jennifer Haymore, Manda Collins and Isabella Bradford.  Phew!  Any caught your eye for the early July releases?