Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Loving Lady Marcia by Kieran Kramer

Lady Marcia has grand dreams of love at the tender age of fifteen and falls hard for a dashing scoundrel and on her sixteenth birthday, he convinces her that they will run away together.  When she awakes in the morning, alone, she is confused but that quickly turns to anger as she learns her love has been shipped off to America but his older brother, Lord Chadwick to prevent them from marrying.  Knowing she is ruined and can not be among the ton she goes to a boarding school and quickly becomes the headmistress.  Marcia finds joy in being with the girls of the school and it becomes her passion to do what she can for them so when her circumstances force a drastic change, she will do whatever it takes to get her life back in control....even if it means help from an unlikely source.

Lord Chadwick, Duncan Lattimore, takes his duties as earl seriously but also faces the shun of society for taking responsibility for his son who was born on the wrong side of the blanket.  When he sees the beautiful Marcia one day, he approaches her but is quickly rebuffed coolly, much to his surprise.  Upon returning home him, he also sees that his brother has returned back to London hopefully wiser and more grown up.  A few talks show that he is still as immature and irresponsible as ever and Duncan also gets the truth about Marcia out of him.  Determined to do the honorable thing, he sets out to woo Marcia, never imaging how hard he would fall.  Now, he must help Marcia see the truth of her heart while helping her get her old life back, even though it would send her away.  It will take a desperate act for these two stubborn people to find the happiness that is within their grasp if they just would accept it.

This is the start of Kieran Kramer's new series, The House of Brady and it was a delight!  I love stories about large families that get along and this seems to be the start of another winner!  It is obviously loosely based on the tv show with the names being similar and I even noticed a few scenes that were loosely based on beloved memories from the tv show and is sure to bring a smile to many people.  Marcia was a wonderful character to read.  I loved that she was a headmistress and loved her job (gasp! A member of the ton...working?).  She is compassionate, kind, strong and bold and a wonderful foil for the yummy Duncan.  Sigh.  He is almost too perfect.  He is beyond kind and caring for his servants and I really enjoyed that.  I admired him for his dedication to his son and also how he was able to finally resolve the situation with his scoundrel brother.  The brother, who you are a bit torn about for a bit, ends up being quite a villain but he also forces Marcia to do a drastic choice that alters her life forever.  Overall, a very sweet (on the lower end of heat level), touching, romantic story that is sure to make you smile and sigh.  I can't wait to dive back into this delightful family!  (I think that is one of only quibbles...I would have liked a bit more back story on how they came to be the blended family of Brady).  4 stars

Review copy provided by St. Martins Press via

House of Brady series
Unsure of when the next books are coming out.  I think all six children will have a story so yay!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Happy Release Day!

Here are just a few lovely books out today- - -

Forbidden (The Scandalous Women of the Ton, #6)A Study in Seduction (Daring Hearts, #1)A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis (The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard, #2)Loving Lady Marcia (House of Brady, #1)
A Lady by Midnight (Spindle Cove, #3)The Way to a Duke's Heart (The Truth About the Duke, #3)Sins of a Virgin (The Sinners Trio, #1)The Ugly Duchess (Fairy Tales, #4)

This has been a very good month for me for reading books early and out of this great batch I have only not read two yet.  First, Nicola Cornick continues her Scandalous Women of the Ton with Forbidden (out last week on the 21st) and I can't wait to dive into it!  Such a pretty cover!  The other book on preorder for me is the newest from Jillian Stone, A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis. I enjoyed book one in this series and look forward to reading more.  A Study in Seduction by Nina Rowan is one of my favorite debuts this year and I am already anxious for her next book!  Highly recommended.  Kieran Kramer kicks of her House of Brady series with Loving Lady Marcia and it was a delight!

Avon is once again joining forces to help bring awareness to ovarian cancer with this months books through their KISS and Teal program.  Please get more info here.  And once again they put together a great bunch of books and I enjoyed them all.  A Lady by Midnight just solidified why Tessa Dare is on my auto buy list. If you can only get one book, grab this one!  Eloisa James continues her fairy tale series with The Ugly Duchess.  I enjoyed this one but didn't love it like I wanted too.  I thought the heroine forgave the hero much to easily!  Caroline Linden wraps up The Truth About the Duke with The Way to a Duke's Heart and it was a very satisfying conclusion.  And finally, Anna Randol is back with the start of a new series in Sins of a Virgin.  It doesn't have the exotic locale of her debut but is still a good read!

Well, another excellent end of the month for historical romance books!  Which books are you most looking forward too?  And next week we see new titles from Shana Galen (yay!), Caroline Jewel and Emma Wildes.

Midnight Scandals

One more to add quick:  Midnight Scandals which is an anthology by Courtney Milan, Sherry Thomas and Carolyn Jewel!!  Wow!  I know Courtney's story is a stand alone but the other two are connected to each of their current series.  This is on top of my list to read today!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

When You Give a Duke a Diamond by Shana Galen

Juliette is one of London's most dazzling courtesans.  With the nickname Duchess of Dalliance, given to her by the Prince Regent himself, and her ice blue eyes and pale blond hair she is a vision of beauty and also of mystery.  Her protector, nicknamed the Earl of Sin, also has two more courtesans--the Marchioness of Mystery and the Countess of Charm--and together they are a force to be reckoned with.  But when Juliette witnesses a shocking murder, her life gets turned upside down when she must tell the fiance of the women murdered, the Duke of Pelham, a man she has no desire to get entangled with.  However, when circumstances force this couple to search out the truth of the murder in order to protect Juliette's life, Juliette quickly finds herself falling for Pelham.  With her own secrets to tell regarding her life, Juliette must find the strength to tell Pelham and hope that he will stand up for himself and her.

William, Duke of Pelham, goes about his life in a perfectly precise manor.  He eats at the same time every day and expects his guests to do so as well.  His pocket watch is his constant companion and he believes strongly in the structure of his life.  He has found the perfect woman to marry, not for love but because he fits his requirements, so when a courtesan tells him of her death, he knows his life is slowly falling apart.  First, this Juliette refuses to give him a last name.  Calling her by her first name is just not acceptable!  Then she disregards his set time tables and talks back to him.  It allows for some fun interactions!  But Juliette slowly uncovers the real Will underneath the Duke and starts to bring him back to life.  Having been under the control of a overbearing father, Will needs reminding that he is in charge of himself and he makes his own rules.  Even with the budding romance blooming between Will and Juliette, can Will push himself past all of his rules to make her truly his forever?

Shana Galen is one of my favorite, go-to authors for books filled with adventure, humor and passion and When You Give a Duke a Diamond fits the bill nicely!  I loved that Juliette was not what society thought her to be--she is not some silly frivolous courtesan but a woman yearning for love, family and happiness and she finds it in the most unexpected place.  The little tidbits about her past were delivered very cleverly and had me engrossed in the book to find out what would next be revealed.  I loved how she saw right through Pelham and to his heart, to Will as she, and only she, called him.  Will is your classic straight-laced, proper, by the books gentleman and Juliette comes in and turns his life right side up with hardly any trouble and it was a delight to read all their fun and later, steamy, encounters!   Will grew up with three things drilled into from his father--routine, punctuality, and dignity and the consequences were dire if they were not meet at all times.  Juliette is the perfect person to allow Will to make his life his own and one worth loving.  I would highly recommend this book for fans of romances that are a wonderful mix of passion, danger, humor, good supporting characters that will leave you anxious for their own stories and even a bit of darkness that is balanced by some wonderful love and passion.  4 1/2 stars.

Fun Quote (subject to change in final version):
Not that she wanted him for herself.  They would never suit--her being human and he a complete ass.
ARC provided by Sourcebooks via

The Fallen Ladies series
If You Give a Rake a Ruby   March 2013
One more book, hopefully late 2013

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Devil's Match by Victoria Vane

This final, delicious novella picks right up after The Virgin Huntress with Lady Diana confronting her former lover, the devil himself, Lord DeVere.  With her goddaughter missing she knows that DeVere, her goddaughter godfather, surely had something to do with it and she walks into his den of pleasure and all the buried feelings between them, fire right back up.  However as DeVere broke Diana's heart, she has no interest in letting him back into her life or her matter how she yearns to.  Diana wants more from him and DeVere has a checkered past that he refuses to let continue on with him and refuses to marry and have an heir, so they seem to come to an impasse... until a wager gives Diana the idea to show DeVere some sensual tricks she has recently learned.  Hoping to finally bring him to his knees, will he turn the tables on her and leave her shattered again or can this couple find long awaited happiness together?

Victoria Vane has written and delivered a delightful series and The Devil's Match is the perfect conclusion to this group (she did announce there is more to come next year!).  There has been build up in the previous stories for what will happen between Diana and DeVere and I am so happy it ended so wonderfully!   I wasn't sure about Diana in the beginning of the series but as she was revealed I really grew to like her and want her to have the happy ending she so deserved after a loveless marriage.  As for the DeVere, underneath his rakish, devil may care attitude, is a strong heart that loves very deeply within a protective nature.  He didn't have the best childhood and he wants to stay away from repeating the same mistakes.  But when he realizes the truth of his heart, his promise to his brother holds his steadfast and almost costs him everything.  I so loved seeing more real depth to DeVere and made his love for Diana all the more real for me.  The added return of all the previous characters from the previous stories add a wonderful balance.  If you have not read this series yet--what are you waiting for?  It is filled with sizzling passion, heartbreak, humor and triumph and is a must read for all romance fans.  A Devil's Match has all that written within the scrumptious Georgian setting and with Ms Vane's trademark eye for detail that make her stories come alive. I devoured this latest installment and am so excited she announced she is writing more in this series!  4 1/2 stars

Thanks so much to Ms Vane for providing me with this ebook early!!

The Devil DeVere series
Should be read in order for best enjoyment!!
A Wild Night's Bride (The Devil DeVere #1)The Virgin Huntress (The Devil DeVere #2)The Devil You Know (The Devil DeVere #3)
And coming next year!!
A Devil in the Making A prequel
A Devil By Another Name
A Devil in Diamonds 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New Covers

New covers this week!

First up is a reissue by Sabrina Jeffries but the cover was so lovely I wanted to share it!  By Love Unveiled, written as Deborah Martin, will be out February 26th.  

Victoria Alexander returns with The Importance of Being Wicked and it also has a very lovely, bold blue cover.  I think this will be part of her latest series, Sinful Family Secrets, but I see nothing online yet to confirm that.  Look for this February 5th.

Samantha Grace is quickly turning into one of my favorite authors and she shared her newest cover for Lady Vivian Defies a Duke.  It features a hot guy, purple and a lovely backdrop--whats not to like?  This will be out in May.

I have not yet read anything by Renee Bernard but she certainly has catchy titles and beautiful covers for her Jaded Gentleman series.  Obsession Wears Opals is book five and should be out Dec 4th.

Meredith Duran is an author I also have yet to read and know I must soon!  That Scandalous Summer looks to be the start of a new series, Rules of the Reckless, so I plan to remedy that when this is released January 29th.  I like the simplicity of this cover and it will be a pop of color in the cold of winter!

I love stepbacks so I am always happy to seem them!  The Handbook to Handling His Lordship is book will be book four in Suzanne Enoch's Scandalous Brides series, one that I am enjoying.  Look for this book with its soft, pretty purple cover March 26th.

Well, another week and another batch of great covers!  Don't you think it would be a blast to help create them?  Too bad I am not creative in the least :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare

Kate Taylor has finally found a place for herself in Spindle Cove but she has always wondered who she truly was and who she belonged to.  Growing up at Margate School for Girls, Kate does not even know her true birthday and when one last failed attempt at answers with the former schoolmistress leads to even more questions, she is devastated.  Running into the snarly Corporal Samuel Thorne just adds insult to injury as he saves her from a viscous attack.  Upon returning to Spindle Cove however, Kate's life is thrown into question when some mysterious family comes forward to claim her.  When Thorne steps forward and claims they are engaged, she allows the farce as too many unanswered questions need to be answered before she can truly accept she might actually belong somewhere.  But a few smoldering kisses with Thorne turn up a whole new batch of questions...does she stay with Thorne and make the engagement real and head of to America or does she let this new, slightly crazy family, accept her and finally find some answers to her past?  Little does she know that Thorne could be hiding the key to answering more than he will let on.

Samuel is determined to protect Kate from this 'family' that has suddenly shown up after twenty three years.  He feels that there must me a more ulterior motive for this marquess to step forward with two of his sisters and aunt.  Having shared part of Kate's past, he knows from where Kate comes and wants to know why now?  Why not back when she needed them as a girl?  As clues and answers slowly unravel, so does the barrier around his heart.  Samuel knows he is not good enough for Kate and refuses to let her in, but Kate is persistent and together they seem to reach an agreement...until the final piece of the puzzle is laid out and their happiness seems impossible.

I have been dying to read this book since A Week to Be Wicked as I loved watching the dislike that Bourne and Kate had for each other pop up from time to time.  I just knew that their love story was going to be special and it was.  I loved unwrapping the mystery of Kate's past piece by piece and the introduction of the eccentric Gramercy family adds a creative layer.  Are you supposed to enjoy and like them or are they the enemy?  Kate herself is full of life and spirit and humor and is a perfect counterpart to the stoic, commanding Bourne.  As Bourne has quite the checkered past, he is quite reluctant to give Kate the love and tenderness she wants and deserves.  As time passes and they are thrown together again and again, walls slowly crumble and we get to see a whole new side to Bourne.  And if you don't fall in love with him after he irons, there might be something wrong :)  Watching Bourne and Kate overcome so many obstacles from outside sources and each other was a delight to read and I wanted to just keep going!  This is another wonderful, sigh worthy, heart tripping romance from one of my new favorite authors!  I loved the romance, the passion, the mystery and the humor.  It had it all for me and I can not wait to see who is next in the delightful Spindle Cove family!  4 1/2 stars

So many funny quotes and so many sweet quotes but this is on of my favorites of Bourne quoting Aristotle:
" 'Love is composed of a single soul, inhabiting two bodies' "

I received this eARC from Avon via

Spindle Cove series
Not necessary to read in order by characters are recurring
A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1)Once Upon a Winter's Eve (Spindle Cove, #1.5)A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2)
Any Duchess Will Do May 28th, 2013 (How are we supposed to wait until May?!?)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Not Proper Enough by Carolyn Jewel

Lady Eugenia has come to London to continue on with her life after the death of her beloved husband by sponsoring a young lady.  What she does not expect is to run into the man that caused her so much pain when she married her husband.   The Marquess of Fenris was her husbands best friend and did not think Eugenia was good enough for his friend.  It also didn't help that he was immensely attracted to her himself but he stood aside and it cost him his friendship for some rude comments he made about Eugenia.  Seeing Eugenia again at a ball, he knows that he can not let her slip away again.  Fenris sets about to seduce Eugenia in any way possible.  Eugenia absolutely can not stand Fenris though and is frustrated by her attraction, both body and mind, to the man that seemed to despise her so long ago.  With Fenris' wicked touches and words whispered to her, she soon finds herself sharing part of herself with him.  However, can Fenris break down all the shell that Eugenia has surrounded herself in and show her that true love can happen twice, that one does not need to be proper at all times?

This was another delicious, detailed, smoldering romance from Carolyn Jewel.  Just like the previous book, Not Wicked Enough, I loved the attention to the fashion detail and surroundings.  I loved the snappy, almost bitter banter between our couple in the beginning and how that quickly turned into a smoldering, passionate affair that led to a whole new slew of emotions.  Eugenia loved her husband deeply and finds it hard to bear that she is moving on, and with a man that hurt her years ago.  She finds Fenris hard to resist though as he is always showing up, taunting her with promises of what they could share together.  Eugenia is always proper and then Fenris shows up, teaching her to smoke, sharing her first whiskey...tempting her to loosen up and let in a bit of un-properness.  The love they share is blazing hot yet tender and romantic all at the same.  There is a bit of a side story featuring Eugenia's charge and Fenris' father that adds in a dose of humor as the pair of them are enamored with botany.  I quickly saw where that relationship was headed and I would have liked to have seen a bit more of that, odd as it was.  Overall, a very strong battle of wills romance that is deeply sensual and breathtakingly enduring.  A satisfying treat for all romance readers!  4 stars

Review copy won from the author, thank you!

Reforming the Scoundrels series
Best enjoyed in order but could be read as stand alones
Not Wicked Enough (Seducing the Scoundrels, #1)
At least one more to come I think!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Lascivious Lady by Jillian Eaton

**This review has some plot spoilers**

First, this story features a cheating heroine but that ugliness is balanced by the fact we have a virgin hero so while it does not forgive the cheating, it adds a new wrinkle to the story.  We have the stunning Josephine, married to the Earl of Traverson-a man devoted to studying bugs.  He is so far different from the bold, fiery Josephine when her father accepts his offer of marriage she is beyond furious.  It does not help matters that she was to be engaged to a duke soon, who wants a lowly, shy, nerdy earl instead?  Especially one that compares her eyes to dragonfly wings and gives her beetle pins as a gift?  Her heart hardened beyond measure, she strikes out at Traverson in the most hurtful of ways--having affairs and not making any secrets about it among the ton.  When confronted face to face with one of Josephines lovers, it goes off with a bang and the couple eventually find themselves thrown together by well meaning friends.  When they share a passionate kiss, the truth about Traverson's lack of experience comes to light and it helps Josephine finally see the light about her actions.  As Josephine is attempting to start fresh, it seems Traverson has finally had enough of her actions and he shoves her away.  But with the help of their friends, can this couple attempt to find happiness and move on from the past?  Or has Josephine damaged her relationship beyond repair?

For a novella featuring a storyline I dislike-cheating, and blatant cheating at that-I was surprised how much I ended up enjoying this romance.  Josephine is a tough woman to warm up too.  She is stubborn, dramatic, bold and bossy and how the sweet, shy Traverson fell for her was a bit of a stretch but opposites do attract, as is the case here.  I do feel like I needed a bit more of their backstory, though.  Parts are just alluded too and I would have liked to have seen something about how Traverson decided that Josephine was the woman of his dreams beyond just her looks.  They barely spoke before their marriage and I felt like it just needed...something more there I guess.  I enjoyed how Traverson stood up to Josephine in the end and didn't just welcome her back into his life when she realized the truth of her heart.  Overall, another wonderful novella from Jillian Eaton and I feel she did a good job tackling a sticky storyline.  It is a story of flaws and forgiveness, heartbreak and hope and most of all, a opposites attract love story.  We get just a teaser for the final novella in this quartet and it looks to be just as good as well!  Grab your ereader and settle in for a treat!  4 stars

Review copy provided by author, thank you!

The Wedded Women Quartet
Best enjoyed in order but can be read as stand alones
 A Brooding Beauty (Wedded Women Quartet, #1)A Ravishing Redhead (Wedded Women Quartet, #2)
A Gentle Grace--exp pub in December

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Covers

New covers from out and about this week. . .

Having read and enjoyed the first books in Jess Michaels' Mistress Matchmaker series, I am anxious for book two--For Desire Alone.  She shared the upcoming cover and it is rather lovely but I do like the green pop from the previous cover a bit more.  Look for this one November 6th as an ebook.

Delilah Marvelle sure seems to have gotten some pretty sexy covers for her Rumor series!  Book three, Forever a Lord, is no exception.  I still have not read the first two books (hanging head in shame) but I am determined to be caught up by the release of this one, December 18th.

Wendy Vella is a debut author with Loveswept and she has grabbed my attention with this lovely cover!  The Reluctant Countess will be an ebook set for release January 14th and is a "Cinderella story of whirlwind passion between a dashing earl and a beautiful countess—and the secret that threatens to tear them apart."  You know how I love Cinderella stories :)

Lecia Cornwall has a new book this November (27th) and it features a woman who takes her sisters place at the altar to save her family.  I really enjoy those storylines!  I'm not quite sure about the cover but it fits in nicely with a mysterious bride theme.  Anyways, I can't wait for How to Deceive a Duke!  Looks like lots of hijinks :)

Well, I hope I padded your wishlist a bit more :)  I know I will be picking up all these titles either on my own or maybe as a holiday gift.  Time to start working on that list. . . :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Lady Never Lies by Juliana Gray

Lady Alexandra Morley, along with her sister and cousin, travel to a remote castle in Tuscany in an attempt to find a solution to her new found money problems.   They are all a bit startled when three gentleman also seem to have let the same castle but since it is large enough to be in separate wings, they agree to carry on.  What especially captures Alexandra's attention is one ginger-haired man, Phineas Burke along with his dedication to finding a way to run a horseless carriage.  Since her money is now tied up in a similar business, she hopes to gain some knowledge that she can pass on and earn her money back and get back to her life as she knows it.  What she does not expect is the growing attraction blooming between herself and Finn.  With a nosy duke and his lovestruck brother, along with her too-smart sister and too-quiet cousin, this group is sure to have lots of fun, heartbreak and hopefully triumph.

This was another wonderful debut I have read this year!  The writing is smooth and flawless and peppered with lots of British words that I love--rubbish, jolly, sodding and bloody hell.  I loved that this book is set in 1890 and we get a fresh perspective on the rise of the automobile.  I feel like there are not enough books set in this time period so I am so happy to have found another author setting her stories here!  Finn is a delightful scientist.  First, he is ginger haired--love, but he is also intelligent with a dash of nerdiness, passionate and thorough (in more areas than one).  Alexandra comes off a bit bossy at first and I wasn't sure about her but as time passes her true nature emerges.  She is still a bit bossy but she is also fun and adventurous, bold and stubborn and wary of tying herself to another man after the death of her husband.  Together, Finn and Alexandra explode but also bond over Finn's work with his battery for the automobile.  But Alexandra is still holding out her secret and it may end up costing her in the end...and if that doesn't, her stubbornness will.  Overall, I really adored this book.  The setting, the characters, the dialogue, passion, intrigue--all of it was done so well, it is hard to believe this is a historical debut.  The next two books will take place at the same time as this one and while that is usually not a favorite of mine, there were just enough snippets of the other couples that I think it is going to work out well.  Plus, there is not major mystery linking the stories so I don't think there will be much rehashing.  Juliana Gray has made it onto my auto-buy list with this debut and is an author all historical romance readers should read!  4 1/2 stars

Affairs by Moonlight series
A Gentleman Never Tells (Affairs by Moonlight, #2)A Duke Never Yields (Affairs by Moonlight, #3)
   Nov 6th                         Feb 5th

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sins of a Virgin by Anna Randol

When Madeline Valdan is no longer needed by her country, she is given a paltry sum of money for her years of work.  Knowing this will not be able to sustain her, she creates a daring plan...hold an auction for her virginity.  As Madeline is one of the most notorious courtesans, the question quickly becomes is she truly a virgin?  Men fall all over themselves to discover the truth.  Madeline is quite smart, though, and hires a Bow Street runner by the name of Gabriel Huntford to investigate all the men bidding on her.  After all, the men must be able to pay the price they bid and have no sickness in their backgrounds.  Gabriel is hesitant to accept such a job as his true goal in life is finding the murderer of his sister but he quickly sees that Madeline's job will prove helpful as some of the men bidding on her are also on Gabriel's suspect list and he will be able to investigate them more closely.  But this supposedly simply job slowly becomes much more as it becomes clear that someone is out to kill Madeline.  With Madeline so used to hiding everything about herself under her seductress persona, it is hard to find the truth and she has a hard time finally trusting someone and letting them in.  Can she find a way to tell Gabriel the truth and still hang on to her heart or will she finally gamble with her heart, just to have it broken?

This was another winner from the talents of Anna Randol for me!  While it does not have the exotic setting of her debut novel, it does feature a couple who is not titled which is always a nice change of pace and still has the fast paced storyline.  Madeline is quite a character--she has been undercover with the government for years and her ruse was that of a seductress and now that she can put that behind her, she finds that she can't.  As she finds herself falling for Gabriel, he makes her question he every sultry move.  He wants the real Madeline, not the showy one and we get to see Madeline slowly find her true self again.  She is also bold, sassy and confident while being a strong, capable spy that is intent on protecting herself without help from some man.  She has hesitations about marrying after the awful treatment of her mother by her father and it has shaped her into the woman she is today.  Gabriel is a wonderful balance to her, with his devoutness to finding his sister's murderer and sharpness for details.  He is the only one that can help Madeline peel away her persona and together they find that they work well together while chasing after suspects.  Overall, a delightful mix of mystery, intrigue, and romance with wit and passion that will leave you happily satisfied.  4 stars

I received this eARC from Avon via edelweiss

The Sinners Trio series
Sins of a Former Lover Exp pub March 26th, 2013
Sins of a Wicked Princess Exp pub Oct 1st, 2013

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Study in Seduction by Nina Rowan

Lydia Kellaway knows her family finances are in dire straights but she is still shocked that her grandmother pawned her beloved mothers locket.  With her quick wit, she finds out who bought it and arrives at his house to offer some sort of trade in hopes of getting it back.  When she meets the dashing Alexander Hall, Viscount Northwood, though she is quickly drawn to him but is also perplexed at his refusal to trade back for the locket.  Her pride doesn't allow her to just accept it back, so a playful wager is finally struck instead.  Surely Lydia, a brilliant mathematician, can stump Alexander and have the locket back.  But Alexander proves smarter than she first thought and the two strike up a friendship all while placing wagers with each other.  But the more time they spend together, the greater the sparks grow and also Alexander's concern as to why Lydia is shying away from public spotlight due to her brilliance with numbers.  Passion clouds their minds and hearts and Lydia slowly allows herself to think that finally, finally, she can have some true happiness in her life again but then her past comes back in a big way and it threatens everyone she loves.  Knowing Alexander's desire to be as far away from scandal as possible, Lydia tries to distance herself from him and his family but their love is too strong.  Can this couple face the scandal that is exploding around them and find a way to be together after all the pieces have fallen?

A Study in Seduction is one of my favorite debuts so far this year!  I really enjoyed everything about this book.  Lydia is one of my favorite types of heroines--sharp, opinionated and unique with her brilliance but encouraged to explore that love of numbers by her family.  (I loved that when she is nervous she recites math facts in her mind!)  She was never shut out because she is female and had all the best tutors.  Everything was looking up for Lydia until one summer at boarding school and her life changed forever and she chose to continue her work, but in a much smaller, quieter fashion to avoid drawing attention to herself.  And she had been doing a fine job until she meets Alexander.  Alexander with his Russian heritage and gruff father and flirtatious brother and lovely sister.  His polite, compelling manor that tempts her like she has never been tempted before.  Matching wits with him becomes a joy and watching the love blossom between them was wonderful.  During their first encounter, Lydia explains that she is trying to find the mathematical basis for relationships and this just intrigues Alexander so much and adds a small dose of humor and instantly sets the stage for the sparks that are to come later.  I liked seeing Alexander struggle with his feelings for Lydia, after all, she is not a member of a prominent family and not quite the match society would pick for him, but he listens to his heart first and I really liked that.  I guessed the mystery aspect a bit early but I still liked watching it all unfold and I also appreciated how it didn't all get tied up with a bow right away.  There is a bit of drama at the end that involves possibly a murder, an abduction or a riot or some combination.  Nina Rowan has delivered a wonderful debut and I am so anxious for more books in this series!   This book had everything--romance, sparks, passion, strong family connections, mystery, drama, intrigue, and a lovely happily ever after and I would recommend to historical romance fans easily.  Overall, a strong debut filled a wonderfully written story and a love so hot and strong you will believe that one plus one can equal one.  4 1/2 stars

Oh, and the math problems?  I will bow to Nina Rowan's research and believe they are correct :)  They do not overwhelm the story at all but I did find myself wanting to stop and try to figure out the riddles...but I just kept reading instead and thankfully the answers are revealed in the story!

Review copy provided by Grand Central Publishing via

Daring Hearts series
A Passion for Pleasure   ???

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Happy Release Day!!

Here are a few historicals out today that I am looking forward too. . .

A Woman Made for Pleasure (Promises Trilogy, #1)The Mad Lord's DaughterSweet Deception (Veiled Seduction, #2)
A Lady Never Lies (Affairs by Moonlight, #1)Wedded in Sin (Bridal Favors #2)Blackstone's Bride

A bit quieter than last week but still lots of great books!  I had the pleasure of reading A Woman Made for Pleasure and The Mad Lord's Daughter early and I would recommend them both!  I still have not read Heather Snow's debut from a few months ago but that won't stop me from picking up the next title in her series, Sweet Deception, because I know they are going to be good!  Perhaps the book I am most looking forward to is the debut from Juliana Gray, A Lady Never Lies.  It is getting fab reviews so I am anxious to read it :)  Book two in Jane Lee's Bridal Favors series, Wedded in Sin is also out and on my list to buy.  And lastly is a new title from Kate Moore, an author I have yet to read.  I'm not sure why the cover is not up on goodreads but hopefully it will be soon but for now you can head to Amazon to see the cover and blurb of Blackstone's Bride, which has also grabbed my attention!

Well, my wallet is going to be a bit lighter as usual but release day looks great today!  At the end of the month look for new titles from Tessa Dare, Caroline Linden, Eloisa James and Kieran Kramer just to name a few!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James

When James Ryburn, heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook, learns what his father has done to his best friends money, he is furious.  He is even more furious once his father tells him he must marry the girl to keep the scandal at bay.  James can not fathom marring Theodora Saxby, and not because of her unusual features, but because she is his best friend, a friend that grew up with him like a sister under his father's guardianship.  But duty abounds and he makes Daisy, as James calls her, his wife and together them seem to find a mutual passion and hope for their future.  Theo is stunned when James suddenly proposes but she believes his heartfelt declaration and goes into the marriage with her heart.  Her heart is quickly broken when the truth of the whole ordeal is revealed and she tosses James out and tries to find solace in mending the estate.  Seven years go by with no word from James and she makes the decision to have him declared dead so she can move on with her life.  To her utter shock, James returns and so do a host of feelings that had been left unresolved for so long.  Leaning the truth about James infidelity almost becomes the last straw.  How can James save this marriage that started off so wrong but feels so absolutely right now?

I am so torn about this book!  It started off wonderfully with love, passion and angst but then James left and took the seas and cheated even though he swore he never would.  Yes, he truly believed his marriage was over and he planned to stay away forever and let Theo move on with her life but....still....sigh.  When James is almost killed it finally puts his life into perspective and he returns home, in a dramatic manner, and we get more angst as Theo and James come to terms with this new relationship.  But for me, the ending was a bit rushed.  I felt like Theo had grown into herself when James was away into a strong, confident woman who grew to rise about the ton's nasty nickname of The Ugly Duchess.  She forgave James just a bit to easily for me and I would have liked a bit more groveling I guess.  I liked how Theo decides to re-enter a swan which brings in the bit of the fairy tale.  I'm not quite sure why Theo was considered ugly as I believe she just had strong features but I did enjoy how James always thought she was beautiful and he is able to make her realize that again even after all their years apart.  As for James, I had a hard time warming up to him in the second half but his life at sea changed him forever and I liked seeing those changes...I just wanted a bit more.  Overall, not my favorite Eloisa James but it still has her trademark wit, passion and beautiful writing.  3 1/2 stars

I received this eARC from Avon via edelweiss books.

Fairy Tales series
Can be read as standalones
A Kiss at Midnight (Fairy Tales, #1)Storming the CastleWhen Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy Tales, #2)Winning the Wallflower: A Novella (Fairy Tales, #2.5)The Duke Is Mine (Fairy Tales, #3)