Sunday, September 30, 2012

Season for Surrender by Theresa Romain

Alexander, Lord Xavier, makes yet another bet with his cousin Lord Longwood.  Its pretty basic--get the proper Lady Louisa to attend his holiday house party and stay the entire two weeks.  No seduction is necessary and is strictly off limits (can't ruin the young lady's reputation and get leg shackled!).  As Xavier always wins his bets, in fact, he is quite known about the ton for his wagering and his wickedness, he sees this as an easy win.  Yet when a simple game of cards needs to be paid out in the format of time, he finds himself spending more time with Louisa than he thought he would....and also opening up to her in a whole new way.  Louisa sees right through his facade he has built up.  She sees past all his 'Numbered Expressions' (Expression Number One: Veiled Disdain, etc).  As Louisa has a keen sense of observation, she notices all sort of little things that no one else ever has and it starts to affect him.  Their meetings in the library that Louisa adores, leads to heartfelt confessions and daring kisses.  However, when Lord Longwood uncovers a secret in a coded book, he threatens to harm Louisa if Xavier does not finally lose a bet to him.  As Xavier wants to do everything he can to protect Louisa, he hurts her in a way that cuts deep with her without giving her a proper explanation.  Will Louisa find a way to set Xavier free or will the betrayal be too much to overcome?

This book is a delight, plain and simple.  It was like eating a delicious cupcake, one you savor, then being a bit disappointed once its gone but yet it leaves you happy and fulfilled.  I enjoyed watching the proper, quiet bluestocking Louisa develop into a confident, lovely woman who will stand up for whats right while surrendering her body and heart.  I loved the fun wit between Louisa and Xavier and how the library becomes their 'spot' (and yes, it gets a bit heated).  I loved watching Louisa slowly uncover Xavier and discover the man he thought he never could be...Alex.  She opens his eyes to so much of what he was missing beneath his rakish facade, with his need to have the regard of the world.  Having been orphaned as a baby, Xavier has always craved the seemingly unattainable affection of others.  Xavier turns out to be quite a delicious hero, even when he hurts Louisa while trying to protect her.  I will admit, I am not a fan of books that feature a bet prominently but Ms Romain tackled it well with a nice twist from Louisa that made the book flow much easier for me.  The holiday elements are nicely done without overwhelming the story while the secondary characters for the house party add a dose of humor, excitement and tension (and are ones I hope to see again in the future!).  Overall, a perfectly delightful holiday romance filled with cheer, strong characters with real flaws, love and laughter.  I am truly sad I read it so quickly and I am anxiously awaiting Theresa Romain's next book!  4 cheery stars

eARC provided by Kensington Books via

Related books
Could be read as standalones but best enjoyed in order
Season for Temptation

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Three Schemes and a Scandal by Maya Rodale

Lady Charlotte Brandon had the best intentions when she told Lucy that feathered bonnet was lovely but then it all went haywire and Lucy is now known as Swan Lucy and Charlotte knows she must fix this!  Her scheme is simple, lock Lucy and her old fried, James in the new folly and poof, all will be better because surely they will fall in love.  But the blasted wind blows her scheme apart and suddenly Charlotte is trapped with James.  James who was her dear friend as a twelve-year-old girl but has not spoken to her in eight years after the...incident.  The horribly tragic, yet amusing, incident.  Confronting ensures and an attraction blooms but the thought most prevalent is to get out of the folly undetected so they are not forced into marriage.  Unfortunately, this leads to a new problem that Charlotte is sure she can mend with a new scheme and this one too goes awry.  James, however, sees that this pretty, too clever, devious woman is just right for him and he decides to give Charlotte a bit of her own medicine.  Can James pull of the scheme of the year and show Charlotte his true heart?

This was a quick, fun read and I really enjoyed it!  It is short, about half the file with the rest being excerpts from Maya Rodale's previous and upcoming books, but it worked for me.  We have met Charlotte in the previous books but if you have not yet read anything by Maya Rodale, this is a wonderful place to start to give her writing a try!  Charlotte is a delight-bold, loving, courageous, impulsive and daring...all very unladylike yet hoping for the romantic love she sees her brother has.  She, along with her pet fox, cause havoc all over town yet once James spends a bit of time with her after all these years, he knows she is just perfect the way she is for him.  Even though this is short, we get enough of their shared past to move forward but I would have liked a bit more, as always.  I read this in one night and I eagerly awaiting the next book in this series!  If you need a quick pick me up with a feisty heroine and dashing hero, a runaway fox, and a scheme so romantic it will make your heart melt, this is the perfect novella for you!  4 stars

eARC provided by Avon via edelweiss

The Writing Girls series
Can be read out of order but best enjoyed in order
A Groom of One's Own (The Writing Girls, #1)A Tale of Two Lovers (The Writing Girls, #2)The Tattooed Duke (The Writing Girls, #3)Seducing Mr. Knightly (The Writing Girls, #4) Oct 30th

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

When the Duchess Said Yes by Isabella Bradford

Lady Elizabeth Wylder is anxiously waiting to meet her betrothed, the Duke of Hawkesworth and is a bit humiliated when he fails repeatedly to show up for their appointed meetings.  Taking a few moments to herself after one such letdown, she wanders in a garden only to be approached by the most devilishly handsome man.  One shocking kiss and even more shocking proposition later, she flees to the safety of her sister and his husband, all the while berating herself for slipping up and kissing a man she doesn't even know while she is betrothed to another!  It just reenforces her reputation as the wildest sister and she makes sure to keep the scandal to herself.  But when Hawke finally shows himself for a meeting, she grows furious when she recognizes him as the man from the garden!  How dare he be out seducing other women and not spare the time to meet his finace?  However, they quickly realize that they have a fiery passion together that can not be denied and they eagerly look forward to their wedding day.  But after the passion cools, will true love last?  Or will Hawke run off and leave his dear Lizzie to deal with society by herself?

This was a very enjoyable light-hearted romance that was fun and quick to read!  Lizzie was a treat to read--bold, feisty, warm, fun, adventurous and very passionate.   Once she gets over her initial frustration with Hawke and his lack of communication for years, she opens up to him easily and lets him see all aspects of her heart.  I did have a bit of trouble warming to Hawke as he seemed to shrink his duties as duke.  Even upon meeting Lizzie and falling for her instantly, he stilled planned to leave her alone once an heir was born and return to his 'true' home in Naples.  Also, he knows he can never live up to his fathers grand shadow and frankly has no desire to try to.  I did really enjoy his appreciation for art and I loved seeing how happy it made him and how thrilled he was when he realized Lizzie shared the same appreciation.  Really the only major tension comes when Lizzie learns of Hawke's plans to leave in a most unfortunate way and the stubborn couple have a happy ending that suited them well.  It is well written and has lovely attention to fashion details, which I always enjoy.  The passion is hot and it gradually shifts to a deep love.  I liked how Hawke kept doing special little things for his new wife and each little moment lead to an adventure, proper or not for a duke and duchess.  If you are in the mood for something light that will make you smile and fan yourself, When the Duchess Said Yes is a treat indeed.  4 stars

Review copy provided by Ballantine Books (Random House) via 

Wylder sisters series
Best enjoyed in order as the sisters are quite close but can be read as stand alones so far
When You Wish Upon a Duke (Wylder Sisters, #1)When the Duke Found Love (Wylder Sisters, #3)
                                  Nov 27th

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Happy Release Day!!

Break out the checkbook and enjoy some fabulous reads that are out today!!

How a Lady Weds a Rogue (Falcon Club, #3)Lord of Temptation (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #2)My Scandalous Viscount (The Inferno Club, #5)The Lady Risks All
Rules to Catch a Devilish Duke (Scandalous Brides, #3)Secrets of a Wedding Night (Secret Brides, #1)Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed (Sons of Sin, #1)
Never Seduce a Scot (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs, #1)When the Duchess Said Yes (Wylder Sisters, #2)Mischief and MistletoeHow to Capture a Countess (The Duchess Diaries, #1)

 Broke yet, lol? :)  I had hoped to be caught up with Katharine Ashe's trilogy in time to read How a Lady Weds a Rogue but I'm not, boo.  Still, I will be buying this one just so I can stare at the lovely cover in person.  I love it!  Lord of Temptation was a winner for me and book two in a trilogy.  I also will be picking up the latest installment in Gaelen Foley's Inferno Club series, My Scandalous Viscount.  Stephanie Laruens fans will be pleased with her newest release, The Lady Risks All, which features a recurring character from her Black Cobra series I believe. 
Suzanne Enoch returns to her Scandalous Brides series with Rules to Catch a Devilish Duke...a series which I am enjoying.  The book I am most excited about today is the debut from Valerie Bowman--Secrets of a Wedding Night.  I have had this book pre-ordered forever it seems like and I can't wait to dive into it!  Anna Campbell, a favorite author of mine, kicks off a new series with Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed.  I highly recommend this one!
Maya Banks is also back in highlander mode with a new series with Never Seduce a Scot.  Another winner and I can not wait for more books from her in her historical settings.  Loving them!  When the Duchess Said Yes is book two of the Wylder series and enjoyable.  Mischief and Mistletoe is an anthology from all the authors on the Word Wenches blog and a great holiday treat.  And lastly is the kickoff to a new series from Karen Hawkins with How to Capture a Countess (actually out last Tues the 18th).  I have yet to read anything by Karen but picked this one up and am looking forward to diving into her world (and it has nothing to do with her being a Packer fan :)

Next week sees new releases from Theresa Romain, Vanessa Kelly, Samantha Grace and Sherry Thomas! 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

How to Capture a Countess by Karen Hawkins

This was my first time reading Karen Hawkins and it will not be my last!  This was a fun, sexy battle of wills between Rose and Lord Sinclair, aptly nicknamed Sin.  Six years ago, the alluring Rose seduced Sin with her plain appearance but sparkling eyes and just as they are enjoying a very heated kiss, she pushes him into the fountain and the whole party quickly sees everything.  And instead of properly apologizing, Rose's nerves get the best of her and she laughs....and everyone else quickly follows leading Sin to be the bearer of many 'Lord Fin' jokes in the years to follow and it does not help matters that Rose just up and disappeared and he has been unable to locate her all these years.  Yet, he suddenly becomes aware of her identity by his aunt...who just happens to be Rose's godmother and the Duchess of Roxburghe knows it is time for this couple to re-meet and overcome their past.  What follows is a delightful series of one-upmanships between Rose and Sin, as neither as the ability to back down from a challenge.  But when one bet goes to far and forces Rose to flee again, will Sin see the truth of his heart, that is so obvious to everyone else?

It was so much fun watching the plain, awkward Rose bloom into herself, full of confidence, independence, laughter, curiosity and a bit of stubbornness.  She is the perfect foil to Sin with his roguish, controlled reputation and his need to be the best of everything.  Together, their battle of wills, from archery to horse racing, leads to quite a few fun moments!  I loved their first meeting after the incident...lets just say, library ladders will never be the same :)  The secondary characters, including a pack of pugs, also add their own humor and prove to be worthy opponents in Sin's battle to get Rose alone and seduce her.  I was a bit hesitant in the beginning as I do not really like when the hero sets out to seduce the heroine and that is it but Rose proves to be smarter than Sin anticipates and their relationship develops at a pace I really enjoyed as a result.  Overall, a fun, feisty battle of wills!  I can't wait for the next two stories featuring Rose's sisters!  4 stars

Never Secude a Scot by Maya Banks

When Graeme Montgomery receives word from the king that he is to marry the daughter of the clan that murdered his father, he is furious. How could the king ask this of him? Especially as the girl is rumored to be daft and unable to have a normal marriage. With the prospect of passing on his heritage through his own blood gone, he still reluctantly accepts his duty as to refuse would be treason and would end up in his death. Graeme gathers his two brothers and his men and heads off to his rival Armstrongs clan, prepared for the worst and willing to accept his duty. When he lays eyes on the lovely Eveline he is blown away by her beauty and also her easy acceptance of him. He makes a vow to himself that he will protect her at all costs but is stunned when his clam refuses to accept her and treats her badly. How can he help his clam understand that they can not punish the daughter for the sins of the father when in his own mind he still wants to destroy the Armstongs?

Eveline Armstrong is very secure and protected in her clan, especially after a terrible fall from a horse made her lose her hearing, though no one is aware of this.  Circumstances prevented her from speaking as well and to protect herself, she let the charade of her being daft keep going.  When she sees Graeme for the first time she actually feels his voice vibrations and she is instantly taken with him and knows he will protect her.  But upon arriving at his home and experiencing the hatred and ridicule towards her, she is distraught and wants to leave even though her feelings for Graeme have deepened.  The time comes when she must face her past and in the process, she just may lose more than her heart to the rival laird.

Sigh....such a romantic, sexy, heart warming, tear inducing story!!  I loved it!  Eveline was so strong and courageous and faced her demons with a spunk I wish I had.  She taught herself to read lips, even though she can not read or write, and was able to hide the fact she could not hear for three years.  I loved watching her and Graeme interact, with her trying to explain herself without talking.  I admire her courage and what it took to admit the truth about her voice and I admired her even more when an accident occurs and she tells the truth as to what she saw.  And Graeme, swoon.  I really enjoyed the fact that he was not a womanizer, that he was going to stay true to his wife even if the marriage was not going to be everything he hoped for.  Thankfully, our couple is able to express their passion for each other and Graeme's tenderness with Eveline was lovely.  We get to meet the extended families of both, each with two brothers and Graeme with a sister as well.  I adored Graeme for his understanding of taking away a father and mothers only daughter and I thought the resolution near the end for the rival clans was done very well.  There was not much that bothered me about this book expect the fact that Eveline was able to hide the fact she could speak but not hear for so long and one small part that involved Graeme's sister and the women of the clan.  Overall, an absolutely wonderful romance book that any romance fan will not want to miss!  It made me smile, sigh, laugh, cheer and get angry and had me tearing up.  I am so eager for more books from the lovely Maya Banks in this delicious series!  4 1/2 stars

Thank you so much to Random House for providing me with this eARC!!

The Montgomerys and Armstrongs
Highlander Most Wanted (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs, #2)
Feb 26th 2013 (sob!)
Not sure how many more will come after this one...lots of great characters were introduced!!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Racing with the Wind by Regan Walker

Lady Mary Campbell has no desire to have a coming out but knows she must finally do so after delaying it for a few years to please her mother.  At the ball, no one really captures her attention, as her attention is drawn to more un-ladylike pursuits, riding astride, helping her uncle with spy work and the like.  She has no interest in marrying and having a chance at losing the one she loves, as she lost her father so many years ago.  Yet one man manages to grab her attention with his dashing good looks and they share a smoldering kiss.  Hugh Redgrave, Marquess of Ormond, knows his mother wants him to settle down and marry but he has no desire to do that after suffering a traumatic loss as a child.  Once he sees the lovely Mary flying on her beloved black stallion, he thoughts adjust and as they spend more and more time together, he starts to think that Mary could be the one to finally make him want to settle down.  However, her love for adventure, and in the process-danger, sets him on edge especially with his work work as an undercover agent.  Can this headstrong, bold woman and this dashing rogue bent on protection find a way to compromise their interests to discover a deep, lasting love?

I have read quite a few debuts this year and each one has been a hit for me and I can add Racing with the Wind to that list now as well!  I always enjoy stories where the heroine is a bit unique and in this case Mary is headstrong, outspoken, intelligent and determined with her desires to wear mens clothing to ride astride and desire to aid her uncle and country with undercover work.  When Mary unknowingly stumbles into a dangerous mission in Paris, Hugh knows he must get her safely back to London.  Convincing Mary to abandon her desires to aid her country almost prove deadly and she agrees to his plan.  They travel from safe house to safe house and in the process, lose themselves in their passion.  I really liked how Mary spoke her feelings, positive and negative, to Hugh as she felt them but Hugh was a bit closed off.  It takes a dramatic ending for him to reveal his love and I wished he would have said them sooner, before the twists at the end.  Hugh was strong, sensual and once he realized the depth of his feelings for Mary, nothing...and no one, including a vicomte or his own past, would stand in his way.  Political intrigue is always hard for me as it just doesn't really interest me on a personal level but I did not feel overwhelmed at all in this story.  There were wonderful tidbits of history sprinkled throughout and even some real life heros from the past make appearances and added to the story.  I really enjoyed the attention to the fashion and felt like they were described in such a lovely manner, I could picture them in my mind.  The attraction between Hugh and Mary is quick and the build up, with their sharp, quick dialogue and their hot kisses lead up to a beautiful, passionate relationship.  This will surely please fans of action packed romances with a strong, determined couple not looking for love but when it finds them, they get swept off their feet.  4 stars

Review copy provided by the author, thank you!

Agents of the Crown series
???  To be announced....I can't wait to see who is next as some great secondary characters were introduced in this book and I wonder if they will have their own stories to tell. . .

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed by Anna Campbell

Sidonie Forsythe has agreed to help her sister pay off her gambling debts by taking her place as the woman promised to the holder of her debts, Jonas Merrick.  All that is known of the recluse is that it is sister's husbands cousin and that there is extremely bad blood between the two and it has cast a shadowed opinion of Jonas.  He was scarred on his face as a boy and also stripped off his title for being illegitimate and it has shaped him into the reserved man he is today.  He knows immediately that Sidonie is not the woman that was promised to him--after all, what better way to spite your cousin than to sleep with his wife for a week?--but he can not help but be drawn to the strong woman.  He makes it clear to Sidonie that he will not take her by force but it will be by her choice alone.  Sidonie believes she can outwit this man in the game of seduction and return home just as she left.  But her feelings quickly shift and she wonders if she can hold off on Jonas' seduction but Sidonie also has a bigger secret that she is hiding that she knows will destroy this happiness she is finding.  When the full truth comes to light, will Jonas be able to forgive and trust Sidonie again or is their fate sealed in unhappiness?

Oh my goodness...what a book!  I have been waiting patiently *ahem* for a new book from Anna Campbell and Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed did not disappoint!  I was a bit nervous about Sidonies secret and how that was all going to play out as it is not a favorite storyline of mine, but it worked so wonderfully with this couple!  I adored watching the attraction simmer bright from Jonas and Sidonies first meeting and then the feelings slowly grow as the week went on.  Jonas has quite a wall around his emotions and just as Sidonie would break a piece down, it would shift right back into place until it finally all comes crashing down.  Sidonie did take a bit of time for be to warm up to with her secret keeping and her refusal to marry based on her sister and mothers lousy marriages.  Again, not my favorite troupes but it worked for this story.  Jonas...sigh...I loved him.  He is stern and gruff on the outside but underneath he is generous, clever and affectionate and Sidonie brings that back for him.  When she betrays his trust again, he refuses to let her back in and goes back into his lonely shell but she persists and the ending is definitely a tear jerker.  Overall, a delicious treat that was worth the wait!  This is a romance filled with love, passion, tenderness, forgiveness and trust all mixed together in a way that will make you forget about the real world and have you cheering for Jonas and Sidonie to find the happiness they so deserve together!  And we get just a glimpse of the other two men that will have stories and I know I am back to anxiously awaiting them!  4 1/2 stars

Quote that stuck with me (subject to change in final version):
"Forget what you look like.  The total of what you are is so much greater than what you see reflected in all these mirrors."

Review copy provided by Grand Central Publishing via

Sons of Sins series
I'm not positive, but at least two more books hopefully sometime in 2013!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tallie's Hero by Sara Luck

Lady Tallas Sommerset is a new bride anticipating her wedding night when her groom offers her a stunning choice-stay celibate or take a lover as his interests lie elsewhere.  Still holding out hope for love, Tallie pours her emotions into a novel and becomes one of society's most talked about authors and with a scandal about to blow up about her husband, they divorce and she heads to Wyoming with a friend to escape the glare and criticism.  Tallie is delighted that a man, Jeb Tuhill, who captured her attention on a money collection venture to England, is also making the trip to Wyoming, his home.  The rugged cattleman is just the sort of man she could fall in love with but he thinks of her as a lady and treats her as such since Tallie can not seem to find the words to tell him about her divorce.  She is afraid he will look down on her as a result.  Tallie finds herself drawn to the beauty of Wyoming and happily settling into the new lifestyle.  She even helps as a cook for a cattle drive!  But with Tallie refusing to tell Jeb the truth about her marriage, they just steal a few heated kisses and Jeb always turns her away because he will not cheat with a married woman.  Can Tallie find the strength to tell him the truth, not just about her heart but also her scandalous novel?

This story was a wonderful weave of romance, proper life and rugged life with a dash of history (Charles Darwin, Buffalo Bill and Mrs. Churchill (mother of Winston) make appearances).  As I normally read books set more in the 'proper lifestyle' genre I was really happy to have those bits in here but I also really liked the experience of the ruggedness.  Tallie was a strong, vibrant woman who takes the fall for her husband and finds hope and happiness in Wyoming.  I do wish she would have told Jeb the truth about her marriage sooner so the romance could have moved a bit faster as I felt it took quite some time for the romance to heat up.  Jeb is the cowboy, or cattleman as he prefers, of dreams.  Rugged, sexy, strong, not afraid of hard work yet bossy and protective.  Seeing the woman he had hoped to ask to marry him with his brother, sends him off to Wyoming to set some distance and it also makes him resist Tallie as he wants no part in having an affair with a married woman.  I admired his restraint in that area as many men would just overlook it.  I loved all the wonderful attention to details, from the riding of the railroad and the special separate cars, to the description of the English manors and the beautiful scenery, I easily felt like I was transported to a time that seems so long ago.  My only real hiccup with the story is Tallie's refusal to tell Jeb the truth about her marriage, it just did not seem like that big of a concern and then as a result, the ending felt a bit rushed.  The epilogue was nice and sweet though and left a big smile on my face.  Also, as the story travels from England to New York to Chicago to Texas and to Wyoming there are a lot of characters and at times it felt a bit overwhelming.  The main characters are central but there were a lot of secondary ones.  Overall, a adventure packed story that blends the English lifestyle beautifully with the cowboy lifestyle filled with vivid descriptions sure to make you wish for your very own cattleman!  4 stars

Review copy provided by the author, thanks so much!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Promise by Kate Worth

When Jane Gray spots a young woman alone in a rough spot of town, she takes her under her wing and ends up sharing her home with her.  When the baby girl arrives a few months later, it becomes clear why the young woman was hiding but her death leaves Jane alone with the baby girl, Pip.  Jane raises Pip as her own as there is no clue as to the real identity of her birth mother. Five years pass and Jane knows she much provide for Pip's future as life can change in the blink of an eye.  Needing to set aside a large sum of money, she decides to sell the only valuable thing she has--a locket from Pip's birth mother.  Little does she know that when she attempts to sell the locket, she will be branded a thief as the owner of the locket is a duke!  Jane decides her best course of action is to try to explain how she came to own the locket straight to the duke and hopefully avoid the noose.  When the truth comes out about Pip's mother, Jane is afraid she is going to lose her forever.  After all, how can Jane, a baker, raise a duke's niece in the life necessary?  And why can't she stop thinking about the duke's brother, Finn?

Lord Fionnlagh Wallace, Finn, has never stopped looking for his missing sister, Maura, all these years that she has been gone.  Fearing the worst, he immediately takes a dislike to this plain woman who has Maura's locket.  How dare she come into his home and try to pass off a child as his niece?  It quickly becomes clear how wrong he is and together with his family, they try to come up with a plan to envelope Pip into her new family without excluding the woman who raised her.  Nevertheless, society always sticks their nose in where it doesn't belong and soon a scandal is threatening to erupt and Finn comes up with a solution that should please everyone. As Jane can not bear to lose Pip, she agrees and hopes for happy marriage with the man that has captured her attention.  Finn also has hopes for uncovering the passion he knows is hiding underneath the quiet face of Jane but it seems they will never find the time to be together alone.  With the revelations about Janes past also coming to light, it soon becomes clear that all their lives are in danger.  Will Jane and Finn be able to survive and confess the true nature of their hearts?

For a debut novel I was impressed.  I loved how the story starts off well with Maura's encounter and never lets go.  I enjoyed Jane's take charge attitude and her deep love and devotion to Pip. The hints about Jane's past are dropped at a pace that you just keep reading because you can't wait to see what will happen next.  The details are tragic and life changing and sure to have your heart racing at the end.  The villain is just nasty and a person that has no heart.  Finn is a charming rake, used to having woman fall all over him so he finds it a bit of a puzzle as to why he can't stop thinking about Jane and her gentle, loving different from the woman he usually enjoys.  I would have liked to have seen a bit more romance bloom earlier on for this couple, I think it was about half way through the book before they shared their first kiss and longer for them to share their hot love scene.  But even though the romance is a bit quieter than I usually prefer, the story just captivated me.  Right from the beginning where you will be going 'no!' to each new twist and turn and delicious revelation, you will be held within the lovely world Kate Worth has created.  The accepting, loving family, the charming Pip, the vile villain, the charming Finn and the strength of Jane, along with an eye for detail, all blend together beautifully.  Like she states on the cover, this is a love story and for me it was emphasis on the story with the love woven in and I know I am eager for her next novel to see what new delights she comes up with!  Recommended for fans of reunion stories with a strong family base, fleshed out secondary characters, great details and a romance that takes its time to bloom but it is perfect when it does.  4 stars

Review copy provided by the author, thank you because I may have overlooked this one and it deserves to be looked at!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Miss Lavigne's Little White Lie by Samantha Grace

Lisette Lavigne is desperate to save her younger brother from being sent to an asylum for being a bit different once she marries her fiance...a man who has two sides apparently. The one that swept her off her feet while in mourning for her father and the real one, the one that is cruel and unfeeling.  With the aid of her late fathers dearest friend, she is able to find a captain bound for England, where she hopes to find Rafe's, her brother, guardian- who seems to be missing.  However, once Lisette talks to Captain Daniel Hillary, she finds herself denied passage on his ship.  Daniel refuses to travel with women aboard his ship following an ill fated trip with another woman close to him.  Lisette pleads her case and it touches a spot within Daniel for he allows Lisette, Rafe and her cousin, Serafina, passage.  It may have been Lisette's plead or it may have been her unique beauty that struck a cord with him and he intends to follow through with his desires at the first chance he can.  After all, he believes Lisette is a widow since she was wearing widow weeds. . .  Slowly bits and pieces of the truth reveal themselves and before long Lisette and Daniel find themselves deeply attracted to each other, physically and mentally.  When Lisette's past finally catches up with her, Daniel makes a drastic offer to spare her life and Rafe's.  But at what price does it come to himself and Lisette's heart?

This was a fun romantic tale that starts with a shipboard attraction that grows to so much more.  Daniel is a determined, sometimes cold captain who can be overbearing and arrogant yet he quickly sees that Rafe is an intelligent lad and shows him yards of kindness.  When Lisette bustles in with her courageous, stubborn nature bound and determined to save her family, he can not help but find that attractive and she finds his caring for Rafe very attractive. Seeing her a bit skittish around his romance interlude attempts, he sets about a slow seduction and takes his time to win her over never expecting to be the one won over by her.  I was a bit surprised that Daniel didn't get more upset as the truth about Lisette's situation was unraveled but I guess that was because he was already developing strong feelings for Lisette.  I enjoyed that we enjoy life on the sea for a bit but we also get life back on dry land.  I liked watching Lisette discover that underneath Daniels hard exterior he has a kind heart and generous nature for those he loves.  As a good portion of this story does take place on his ship, we do not see as much of his family as I would have liked.  Even though his brother is on board I missed some of that fun family interactions of the previous novels.  The secondary characters added a warm blend and there is also a side story for Serafina that adds a bit of drama near the end.  Also, I was a bit surprised with the villain reveal near the end and I always appreciate not being able to figure out the mystery beforehand! Overall, a delightful, witty romance with a dashing sea captain and a stubborn woman bent on protecting her family against all odds that will leave you cheering and sighing with delight.  4 stars

eARC provided by Sourcebooks via netgalley

Beau Monde series
Can be read as stand alones but family members are recurring
Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel (Beau Monde, #1)Lady Amelia's Mess and a Half (Beau Monde, #2)
Lady Vivian Defies a Duke May 1st 2013

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New Covers

Some new covers shared recently. . .

Squee!!!  A new book from Sarah MacLean!!  Super excited for it!  Don't you just love this cover?!?  The royal blue is fantastic and I love the addition of her spectacles on the desk :)  One Good Earl Deserves a Lover will be out January not too much longer... sigh

Erin Knightley has a novella out that looks perfect for the holiday season.  I really enjoyed her debut (even if it was PG :-) so I pre-ordered Miss Mistletoe.  I like how Penguin made a cover instead of not doing one as they have in the past with novellas.  This is simple and lovely.  Look for it Nov 6th.

I'm really excited about this debut from Maire Claremont!  The blurb can be found here on goodreads.  It sounds dark, gritty and fantastic!  The cover for The Dark Lady is simply stunning and I have this one on pre-order as well and it is going to be a long wait until Feb 5th.

And lastly a very sweet, lovely cover for Cheryl Ann Smith's A Convenient Bride.  This will be book four (plus a novella) in the School for Bride series and I have yet to read the latest release but I will be caught up by Dec 31st when the newest releases.  I love the attention to detail for the background and the all white dress really pops.

Well, a pretty good week of covers for me!  All books I am looking forward usual :)  Which ones stand out to you?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Lord of Temptation by Lorraine Heath

When Lady Anne Hayworth blows into a bar one night and asks for his help to sail to visit her fiance, Lord Tristan Easton rejects her offer of monetary payment and alludes to a different sort of payment.  Shocked, Anne dismisses him and tries to secure another captain only to find them all her.  Her emotions high, she confronts Captain Jack, as Tristan is know in his shipping life now, to be told her payment will be just a kiss at his time of choosing.  Thinking that she can ignore the burning attraction between them-and as she really has no other options, she agrees.  They leave in the dark of night to avoid confrontation with her father and brothers and arrive at their destination quickly...with still no payment being given.  Matters are attended to and they start the voyage back home and their flirtation continues but Anne has withdrawn back into herself and Tristan does all he can to have her back.  Having finally broken down the last barrier of grief, they find passion and happiness together.  But Tristan's heart belongs to the sea and Anne wants a life on land with her husband home to be with her and their children.  And with Tristan's rough background also factoring in, how will this couple find a way to bridge their life differences and find happiness together?

 I really enjoyed this second installment in Lorraine Heath's The Lost Lords of Pembrook!  First, I was surprised that it takes place a couple years after the first book, She Tempts the Duke.  We get to see more of Mary and Sebastian and how the three brothers still have not forged a strong relationship with themselves or society.  When Tristan was a boy, he was placed on a ship after almost being killed by his uncle and the resulting circumstances shaped him into the strong yet a bit bitter man he is today.  No woman has tempted him to give up his mistress of the sea like Anne.  Anne with her generous nature and pale, stunning looks.  She quickly captures his heart but Anne is holding on to a lot of grief due to her goodbye to her fiance.  And all the feelings she develops for Tristan just reenforce how cruel she thought she had been.  Even though this book has no major side plot, it really is just about the growing relationship between Tristan and Anne and how to overcome the love of the sea aspect, I found myself always wanting to settle back into the story and I was disappointed when it was over!  I wanted it to keep going as I was enjoying watching everything unfold so much!  This is a strong romance about a couple that has had a lot of hurt and loss in their past, coming together in a way perfectly suited for them with the help of family.  I am really looking forward to the youngest brothers story next as he seems to have quite a dark past to overcome.  Lorraine Heath is in her element with this series and I look forward to each new book she writes with anticipation!  4 stars

eARC provided by Avon via edelweiss

The Lost Lords of Pembrook
Could be read as standalones but work much better together
She Tempts the Duke (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #1)
 Lord of Wicked Intentions April 2013

Friday, September 7, 2012

His Mistletoe Bride by Vanessa Kelly

Phoebe Linville is delighted to finally be going to England to meet her long estranged grandfather.  It caused much pain for her mother and she died without resolving the conflict from her marrying a Quaker and moving to America.  Now Phoebe has the chance to put the past behind her and find some happiness with her English relatives.  However, much to her disappointment, she is met with the news that her grandfather passed away during her voyage over and her grandfather left a very unusual request for her--marry the new earl, Major Lucas Stanton.  With her options dwindling (she thinks she should return to her Quaker roots in America with her half brothers family), Phoebe is persuaded to stay with her new English relatives and finds herself falling for the dashing new earl and succumbing to his wicked kisses.  One compromising position later, Lucas and Phoebe are forced to wed....but at what cost?  Lucas has no faith in love having been badly burned in the past and it has shaped him to the man he is today.  With the threat of a smuggling ring at their new home, Mistletoe Manor, it divides Lucas and Phoebe.  Will the holiday spirit of friends and family lead this couple to see the joys of love?

This was my first time reading Vanessa Kelly and it won't be my last!  I loved the mix of family, steam, intriguing main characters and holiday cheer.  Phoebe was a delight to read--I loved how when she was upset (and she gets upset with Lucas often for his hard headed ways) she reverts back into her Quaker plain speak.  It becomes an enduring quality to her but she is also bold, smart, loyal, sassy and loves with her whole heart.  When she learns more about the smuggling ring, she does all she can to help end it without getting anyone hurt.  Phoebe also sees how the town is struggling and takes it upon herself to revive the holiday traditions of years past and as she grew up without all these traditions, she learns them all along the way.  Lucas was a bit harder to warm up to.  A former major, he has seen the horrors of war and takes his new, unexpected, responsibilities seriously...perhaps a bit too seriously at times.  One moment he is warm and caring with Phoebe and the next, in his attempt to protect her, he comes off hard and standoffish.  With his failed relationship in the past, he thinks will never love again but Phoebe just settles herself into his heart but it takes awhile for him to finally admit that.  There are also so many wonderful secondary characters (all from previous books that I can't wait to read now) and they add some great fun banter but also some tension.  Overall, a delightful holiday read filled with heart, hope, humor, family, trust and happiness that will be sure to warm the cold winter days.  A perfect holiday treat!  4 solid stars

Review copy provided by the author, thanks so much!

No series per se but these books are all couples featured in His Mistletoe Bride
Can be read as standalones but will make you anxious to go back and dive into their stories as well!
Mastering the MarquessSex and the Single EarlMy Favorite Countess

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New Covers

New covers shared this week. . .

Does this cover say romance or what?  Pretty, pretty, pretty! I'm usually more focused on the gorgeous gowns on these covers but I love how the background stands out so much for this one! This will be book two in Valerie Bowman's Secret Bride series and I am so excited for the debut title at the end of Sept!  However, Secrets of a Runaway Bride will not be out until March 26th.

Three Schemes and a Scandal is a novella from Maya Rodale set for release either Sept 25 or Oct 2nd.  On her website she says Sept 25th and on Amazon it says Oct 2nd.  Either way I have it pre-ordered :)  Looks like this will be book 3.5 in her Writing Girls story and looks to also be a complete story.  I like the simplicity and sassiness of this cover.

Sophie Barnes returns to her Summersby series with two back to back releases!  First up is There's Something About Lady Mary and I love the bold blue!  She looks sassy :)  This will be out Nov 13th.

And then just a week later (seriously, she must write in her sleep!) on Nov 20th we get The Secret Life of Lady Lucinda.  Gold is quickly becoming one of my favorite colors for covers!  I really enjoyed Sophie's previous books so I am anxiously awaiting two new ones!

Special Sale Alert!

Last year Vicky Dreiling burst onto the historical romance front with her debut of How to Marry a Duke and I just loved it (see my review here)!!  So I am so excited that the ebook version is now on sale for just $2.99 until Oct 1st!!  If you have not yet read this fun, sexy book or tried anything from Vicky, this is a great price and place to start!


Tristan, the Duke of Shelbourne is a man with a mission: find a wife he can tolerate as long as they both shall live. No love is necessary—nor desired. But how to choose amid a dizzying array of wealthy-yet-witless candidates? Hire London’s infamously prim and proper matchmaker. Then pretend she’s not the most captivating woman he’s ever met . . .

Helping a devilish Duke create a contest to pick his perfect mate is the kind of challenge Tessa Mansfield relishes. Her methods may be scandalous, but she’s determined to find the notorious bachelor more than a wife—she’ll bring him true love. Yet when Tessa watches the women vie for the Duke’s affections, she longs to win his heart herself. And after a stolen kiss confirms Tristan’s desire, Tessa knows she has broken a matchmaker’s number one rule: never fall in love with the groom.

Discounted eBook Links ($2.99 at the following retailers):

**Also, don't forget about Vicky's brand new release of A Season for Sin at just $.99!  This is a prequel novella to kick of her new series due next year!**


Introducing the Sinful Scoundrels...
The Earl of Bellingham is nothing is not a creature of habit: money, meals, and mistresses must be strictly managed if a man is to have a moment's peace. It's a system that works splendidly for him--until now. With his oldest and dearest friends succumbing, one by one, to wedded bliss, Bell is now restless and a trifle lonely. Enter the Sinful Scoundrels--Colin Brockhurst, Earl of Ravenshire, and Harry Norcliffe, Viscount Evermore--who drag him back into society and draw his rakish eye to the ton's new beautiful young widow. Bell isn't after a wife, but a challenge. And Laura Davenport should fit the bill quite nicely...

Buy Links:

I hope you snap up this great deal and let me know what you think!  I think I just might settle in for a re-read :)


Triple Rita®-finalist Vick Dreiling is a confirmed historical romance junkie and Anglophile. Frequent business trips to the UK allowed her to indulge her passion for all things Regency England. Bath, Stonehenge, and Spencer House are among her favorite places. She is, however, truly sorry for accidentally setting off a security alarm in Windsor Castle. That unfortunate incident led her British colleagues to nickname her “Trouble”.  A native Texan, she holds degrees in English literature and marketing.

Book Extras: