Saturday, December 29, 2012

End of December releases

Here are some mid to end of December (plus three January 1st) historical romances headed your way!  Quite a few I'm excited for!!

Ripe for Seduction (The League of Second Sons, #3)Forever a Lord (The Rumor, #3)A Breath of Scandal (The Reckless Brides, #2)The Lady Most Willing...: A Novel in Three Parts
The Seduction of Elliot McBride (Highland Pleasures, #5)A Convenient Bride (School for Brides, #4)
The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne (Sydney Dovedale, #2)Waking Up with a Rake (The Royal Rakes, #1)The Scoundrel Takes a Bride (Regency Rogues, #5)

Ending the year good I would say! And just wait for the end of January as we see new releases from Manda Collins, Sarah MacLean (!!!), Meredith Duran, and a debut from Anne Barton!  Woot!

Thanks to everyone for stopping by, I so appreciate it!  Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!!  2013 already?  Seems like it was just 2000. . .

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hint of Desire by Lavinia Kent

An Enigmatic Duke . . .

Arthur Alexander DeWolf, the eighth Duke of Westlake, lacks for nothing in life . . . except a woman who will stir his blood for longer than one night. Until fate steps in on his morning ride and he stumbles across Lily St. Aubin, Countess of Worthington.

A Desperate Young Woman . . .

It is on the worst day of her life that Lily meets the imperious duke. Helpless and unable to resist, she has no choice but to trust that this dangerously handsome man will protect her and newborn son. But, as trust begins to grow between them, danger lurks ever closer . . . danger that could destroy Lily. And their newfound love.

I was so excited to see that Lavinia Kent had a new book out and I had to grab it and I'm sure glad I did!  This was a lovely story of a young woman, Lily is only eighteen but she seems much older due to horrible first marriage, finding it within herself to truly love and trust in another man.  The abuse she suffered from her first husband makes this very hard and Arthur is cold and haughty who knows his duty and he feels it is his job to protect Lily and her newborn son and once he makes up his mind to do something, it is done.  But even as his feelings grow for Lily (and he shows more of his softer side), her tentative nature proves to be troublesome and as she reveals more of her past, he struggles with how to show her his true desires without scarring her more.  Also thrown into the mix is a serious of accidents that soon prove to be attempts on her life and Arthur must find a way to protect her, as he will not lose her now.  This was a very moving tale of love and forgiveness, heartbreak and hope.  Watching Lily and Arthur fall in love was a slow ride that could have moved a bit faster if they just would have talked with each other openly but based on Lily's past, I felt it worked for this story.  I admired Arthur and his devotion to this slip of a lady that stumbled into his life and his acceptance of her son as his own.  Lily had so much to overcome and I thought it was handled well.  When she finally told Arthur the whole truth, it was the right time.  A well written (though it has some missing punctuation at times, not that it deterred for the story for me) lovely, heartbreaking romance that will make you smile, laugh and tear up.  Looks to be the start of a grand new series!  4 stars

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

New Covers

Some lovely new covers to share. . .

Lover Be Mine is the second in Nicole Jordan's Legendary Lovers series and based on Romeo and Juliet.  Since we all know how that ends, I am anxious so see how this story ends, as it will have to have a happily ever after!  Look for it May 28th.

Oh my.  I love, love, love this cover!  The attention to the background detail is fabulous and I adore the parasol and the green just pops!  I have yet to read anything by Kate Noble and goodreads shows this to be book five in a series so I will have to see if it will work as a standalone because I want to read it based on the cover alone!  Let It Be Me will hit shelves April 2nd.

Having just read the first book in this series, I know I will be picking up One Night with a Rake June 4th.  Purple, check!  Sexy dude, check!  Looking to share a drink, ok!  Shaping up to be another good read!

Who doesn't adore Lorraine Heath?  She shared the cover for the conclusion of her current trilogy, Lord of Wicked Intentions this week. lovely.  Dying for this one.  Hurry up April 30th!

This is a bit of a different pose than we normally see and I really like it!  With the cover reveal, it stated that this will be a city miss meets country duke story...ooh, definitely have my attention (as if the red did not already!).  I'm not sure if this will be the start of a new series or a stand alone.  Look for more details about Why Dukes Say I Do closer to its July 30th release.

Another lovely batch of covers and all are books on my wishlist for this coming year!  Hard to believe we are about to say goodbye to 2012!  Which of these books have caught your eye?

Have a wonderful holidays!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Naughty & Nice

I had wanted to read this anthology because I have been wanting to read some good contemporaries lately and I have heard good things about Ruthie Knox and Molly O'Keefe and have enjoyed Stefanie Sloane's historicals so I was very happy to win a print copy from Goodreads First Reads program!  It gave me a great taste of each authors writing and I will be on the lookout for their full lengths now for sure!

Room at the Inn by Ruthie Knox
Carson and Julie have a past and every time Carson returns home, he ends up in Julie's bed...and then leaves her.  Well, Julie has had enough of her heart being battered and tries to take a stand against Carson but as he spends time helping her fix up her inn, the mutual feelings become far to evident again.  Will Carson chose his job or Julie?  This was the longest of all the stories so there was more time to explore the feelings and I really enjoyed it.  Yes, it is a story told many times over but if this is a taste of Ruthie Knox's writing, I know I am in for a treat!  Heartwarming, sexy and a delight.  4 stars

All I Want for Christmas is You by Molly O'Keefe
Maddy is about to turn eighteen and marry her hockey player boyfriend, Billy.  All she needs to do is tell her parents, who want her to go to college and follow her dreams, not set them aside for Billy.  Will Maddy follow her heart and defy her parents wishes or take a new path?  This was a prequel of sorts for Maddy and Billys full length story, Crazy Thing Called Love (out Jan 29th) and I will definitely be picking it up now to see how this couple grows and finds each other again.  It is short but sexy and has good writing and a nice sense of family.  Looking forward to more.  3 1/2 stars

One Perfect Christmas by Stefanie Sloane
I did think it was odd having two contemps and then a historical romance but as Stefanie Sloane was the only author I was familiar with beforehand, I was looking forward to it.  Lucas and Jane are friends but when Jane gets jilted she drinks a bit too much and confesses her true feelings for Lucas...whose feelings just happen to be the same.  Yet Jane bolts early in the morning and refuses to talk to him.  What becomes clear to all around them is the feelings between Lucas and Jane and they do what they can to push them together.  A sweet, delightful Regency Christmas tale that could definitely have benefited from being a bit longer and having more of their backstory told.  Still, I liked it!  3 1/2 stars

Overall, a nice blend of Christmas romances and samples of these talented authors writing.  I know I will be picking up more from each one of them

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne by Jayne Fresina

By night Ellie Vyne fleeces unsuspecting aristocrats as the dashing Count de Bonneville. By day she avoids her sisters' matchmaking attempts and dreams up inventive insults to hurl at her childhood nemesis, the arrogant, far-too-handsome-for-his-own-good, James Hartley.

James finally has a lead on the villainous, thieving Count, tracking him to a shady inn. He bursts in on none other than "that Vyne woman" . . . in a shocking state of dishabille. Convinced she is the Count's mistress, James decides it's best to keep your enemies close. Very close. In fact, seducing Ellie will be the perfect bait . . .

This book was an absolute delight to read!  It is cute, fun, sassy and sexy and I loved smiling so much when reading itI adored the fact that both Ellie and James are older, twenty seven and thirty seven respectively.  Now, they both acted like the were younger than that in the beginning but they grew up throughout the story.  I loved all the banter that flew between them and with the fact that it had been going on for almost seventeen years, you can see how they have formed a deep bond over knowing the worst in each other.  Ellie is brazen and unapologetic with her argumentative nature and loves to laugh.  James is a bit more serious yet a dashing rake and decides that it is time to take this woman in hand...and that naturally does not go over well.  James decides he will marry Ellie, Ellie flatly refuses and comes up with a counter offer that leads them discovering all the passion they have together.  Yet underneath all the fun and trickery, James is dealing with a hardship from his randy, carefree youth days and coming face to face with the past helps push him to the more steadfast man he becomes.  There were a few things that could have used a bit more history explained such as why Ellie was so eager to please her step-family when all the did was tell her how to change and I also would have liked a bit more depth to James' past explained. The next book should be interesting as it features a young lady, twelve I believe, who is so in love with James she sneaks away in his carriage and is quite petulant so I am anxious to she how she grows and develops.  Like I said, even though it lacked a bit of depth, it is a delightfully fun, sexy romance and was just what I needed after a long week of hard work!  4 stars

eARC provided by Sourcebooks Casablanca via netgalley

Sydney Dovedale series
Characters are recurring, probably best enjoyed in order
The Most Improper Miss Sophie Valentine (Sydney Dovedale, #1)Lady Mercy Danforthe Flirts with Scandal (Sydney Dovedale, #3)
                                 June 4th 2013

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan

Dr. Jonas Grantham decided that he is ready to marry and makes a mental list of all the beautiful ladies in town and Miss Lydia Charingford wavers between number ten and eleven.  He remembers Lydia from his training days as a young man and knows her secret that she guards closely and has no real interest in pursuing her...until she speaks to him and then everything changes for him.  Jonas finds himself trying to talk to her and falling in love with her for over a year but each time they speak together, it comes out blunt and seems sarcastic.  Naturally, Lydia is on guard to men, especially to a man that knows her past, and thinks his advances are more carnal in nature.  Jonas sets a bet with Lydia, who is always cheerful and finds the good in everything, to accompany him on some rounds and see some of the less than pleasant aspects of his life.  Her goal, to never have Jonas speak to her again.  His goal, to get a proper kiss from Lydia.  What happens in the process is magical.

I'm always amazed how Courtney Milan can pack so much punch in a novella.  This is a story of two flawed, hurting individuals finding the love that seems just out of their reach.  And while we are watching the relationship develop, we get to see family relationships and how they shaped them to who they are today.  Jonas is dealing with his proud, hoarder father and how to communicate to him to leave his house and live in a more clean environment.  Lydia has a unique relationship with her father following her youthful indiscretion and I really enjoyed seeing a father love his daughter, no matter what.  Jonas is deliciously sarcastic, straight-forward, has an ill-timed sense of humor, blunt opinions and follows the new fad of washing your hands to prevent diseases spreading.  His devotion to Lydia and helping her see the hurt she has had buried, and needing to let it go, is lovely.  Lydia is a bit harder to warm up too as she just can't see past the wall she has built but once she finally truly listens to what Jonas is saying, she comes up with the most unique way to show Jonas her love.  I just adored this.  It is a heart warming story of love about two normal, non-titled flawed people, that will make you smile, hope and sigh with happiness.  4 1/2 stars

Love this line:
"Once you speak," he said, "you have no equal."
Review copy provided by author

The Brothers Sinister
(This could be read out of order, but the couple are mentioned in The Duchess War)
The Governess Affair (Brothers Sinister, #0.5)The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister, #1)The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister, #2)The Countess Conspiracy (Brothers Sinister, #3)
                                                                          Coming 2013

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Waking Up with a Rake by Connie Mason and Mia Marlowe

Miss Olivia Symon has the chance to be queen by marrying a duke who could be the heir to the throne.  Problem is, she has no interest in this but her mother is positively thrilled by the idea and tries to insure Olivia impresses the dukes man, Rhys Warrick, who is there to see if Olivia would be a good match for the duke.  Rhys is there with his own agenda seduce the lovely Olivia so she is no longer able to marry the duke in exchange for some information to clear his tarnished name.  What Rhys doesn't expect is to feel something for Olivia and he promises never to lie to her, and since she never doubts his reason for being there, he never needs to reveal the truth of the matter.  But their situation takes a turn when it becomes clear someone is out to harm Olivia and Rhys vows to protect her and if that means staying in her bedroom at night...and maybe instructing her in some finer arts, that works out well for his plan.  Rhys guilty conscience prevents him from doing any final seduction but it still alters the course of his life forever.  When Olivia finds out the truth behind Rhys place in her life, can she forgive him and believe any truth to the lovely words he has told her?

This was a smoldering, fun romance and I really enjoyed it!  I liked watching Olivia spar with Rhys as she is quiet in public but in private she is feisty and bold and she finds her attraction to Rhys disconcerting.  She has a strong love of horticulture and is a strong horsewomen but is still a lady.  Rhys was a good pairing to her as he has a tortured memory he is keeping to himself from his days at war and it is eating him up and Olivia is the perfect balm to helping him heal, both for himself and to help bridge the gap that has divided him from his family for years.  I thought the resolution with his family was handled well and not just glossed over which I liked.  The mystery aspect adds some drama and when the villain is exposed at the end, it was nothing that I had thought of.  Olivia did seem to forgive Rhys a little to easily but given the circumstances they found themselves in, it is understandable.  Overall, a wickedly fun, hot, sexy heart pounding romance that will curl your toes!  4 stars

eARC provided by Sourcebooks Casablanca via Netgalley

The Royal Rakes
One Night with a Rake June 4th 2013
Between a Rake and a Hard Place January 2014

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Lady Most Willing. . .

What do you get when you have a blustering laird with no heirs who has two unmarried nephews?  A crazy plot gets hatched to bring some brides to them to choose from!  Going to a party and throwing three ladies over their shoulders, the lairds men bring them to his castle only to find another female stowaway plus one unexpected duke as well.  So we now have three titled, unmarried gentleman sequestered away in a snow buried castle with four unmarried ladies.  What happens is the magic of love for these couples in the most unusual of circumstances. 

Yes they all fall in love quickly but it was done so well it was a joy to read.  I am amazed how three authors can weave a story together, yet give each couple their own time without it being three separate novellas.  This is one complete story with three, well actually four, love stories.  Each couple is given time to explore feelings and confront unwillingness all with wonderful attention to detail.  So while I would have liked each couple to have had a bit more time to explore their feelings, the quick pace makes this book work and I found myself reading it in a day and feeling happy afterwards with a smile on my face.  A wonderful treat from three top authors that is guaranteed to make you laugh, smile and sigh with happiness.  4 stars

eARC provided by Avon Books via edelweiss

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

All I Want for Christmas is a Duke

Merry Christmas, Mrs. Robinson by Delilah Marvelle
I really enjoyed this one!  Lady Jane defied her father and became an opera singer and in the process, started receiving letters from the mysterious Mister X.  Thinking she found the writer, she marries him only to be deceived.  Now, widowed and living close to poverty, she guards her heart and when her childhood friend, Martin Pierce, Duke of Somerset, appears and reveals the truth she is hurt to be deceived all over again.  I loved that shy Martin grew up in the years apart and was determined not to let his love slip away again.  Jane realizes that the younger Martin has turned into a dashing man and is no longer a young boy.  Watching them re-connect was a joy.  This was a enjoyable, fresh (we do not get to see many older woman falling for younger men) holiday novella from the talents of Delilah Marvelle filled with heat, tenderness, humor, heart, forgiveness and a dash of holiday cheer.  4 stars

The Twelve Days of Seduction by Maire Claremont
This is a classic story of a governess falling for her employer and vice versa.  What makes it different is all the details that Maire Claremont adds.  The history of the governess, Adriana Flint is sad and heart breaking but it has shaped her into the woman she is today and she refuses to lose her job to the most wonderful little girl just because the Duke of Berresford has found out her past.  When Alexander proposes a plan for her to stay, she agrees as long as he tries to seduce her...and in the process they both lose their hearts. Adriana helps Alexander see that the lower class are people too and he in turn helps her see that it is ok to let the wall down around her heart and let someone in.  Strong writing, unique details and the hope of the holidays with a nice dash of heat add up to a winner.  Looking forward to her debut full length to see more of her writing!  4 stars

Overall, a lovely holiday treat that will leave you wishing for your own Duke for Christmas with holiday cheer, heat and love.

Deck the Halls with Love by Lorraine Heath

This was an absolutely lovely holiday novella!  It features a secondary character from the previous book in the series (Lord of Temptation), Alistair Wakefield, the Marquess of Chetwyn.  After letting his fiance choose her own path to happiness, Alistair is determined to get back the love he lost as a result, the lovely Lady Meredith Hargreaves...who is unfortunately engaged to another.  Sneakily cutting into a dance with her, he expresses his desire to be with her and it causes just enough confusion for Merry to start to reconsider her choices.  Throw in some billiard lessons, ice skating and a snowstorm and you get a magical rekindled romance!  Alistair is such a wonderful hero...kind, generous, passionate and considerate of Merry and her choice for her own path.  Merry is determined to not let the man who broke her heart have it again but being stuck in an abandoned home forces them to talk and she sees the truth of Alistair and how far he is willing to go to protect her and let her lead the life she wishes.  Overall, a delight and a perfect holiday treat!  4 stars

eARC provided by Avon via edelweiss

Lost Lords of Pembrook series
(not necessary to read previous books to enjoy this one!)
    She Tempts the Duke (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #1)Lord of Temptation (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #2)
Lord of Wicked Intentions   April 30th, 2013

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Trouble with Being Wicked by Emma Locke

Celeste Gray is ready for a fresh start after eighteen years of being a courtesan.  She is the most desired woman in London but she is ready to be done and settle down in the quiet country with her friend and find some peace.  When she meets the dashing viscount next door, she is stunned by the first true stirrings of attraction that she has felt.  But Ashlin Lancester is as proper as they come and she knows that if he were to learn the truth of her background he would never spare her another glance.  Ash has been the guardian to his two younger sisters for the past seven years, determined to shield them from the scandal that rocked his family when his determined to have pleasure, no matter the cost, father ends up dying in a most shocking way.  He wants a nice proper young lady to be his wife...certainly not the flame haired beauty that just showed up and with two younger sisters always trying to scheme, he can sense that Celeste is hiding something.  Her past is revealed and it causes Ash to rethink his plan for his life...could he actually be happy with a former courtesan?   But when Celeste hides yet another scandal from him, this time involving his sister, can he forgive her and see what is in his heart?

Emma Locke is a debut author and I was initially drawn to her lovely covers and then her blurbs intrigued me as I really enjoy a courtesan falling in love story and this one really delivered.  Celeste grew up with a mother who did not care for her, she was the result of a scheme by her mother to keep her protector, and as a result, had no love growing up...and really no place else to turn when her mother died.  When you grow up in the business, it can be your only choice of business.  Still, Celeste has achieved top status and wealth among the courtesans but at thirty three she still longs to find hope and love, things she has long sense given up the ability to feel.  So when she starts to actually feel for Ash, it leaves her devastated because she knows that their relationship can never be more.  Ash is determined to be nothing like his father, consumed by desire for a woman, and he has spent the past seven years making sure that does not happen.  He portrays himself as indifferent, critical and controlling yet underneath he is a passionate man who just wants the best for his family.  I loved the inclusion of his sisters and Celeste's friend as their stories were set up very well and I am very eager to read them!  For a debut, the writing was smooth and enjoyable but overall the story felt a little long.  I can not pin point it exactly, but it just seemed that way to me.  I really enjoyed watching this couple find the love they were both longing for together.  It is a fun, heated, romantic story about hope, family and love and is a wonderful set up to what looks to be a very promising series from an author to keep an eye one!  I know from the preview for the next book, I can't wait!  4 stars

eARC provided by author in exchange for honest review, thanks!!  Look for it Dec 18th

The Naughty Girl Series
The Courtesans
(the author says that these will be tightly woven together, so read in order)
                                                              January and February 2013

The Hoydens
The Danger in Daring a Lady Fall 2013
The Importance of Being a Scoundrel 2014
The Hazards of Loving a Rogue 2014

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Duchess War by Courtney Milan

Miss Minerva Lane lives her life quietly and recedes to the shadows, keeping the attention away from her.  When she was a child being the center of attention ended very badly for her and it has scarred her for life, physically and emotionally.  Now the Duke of Clermont catches her hiding from a would be suitor and Robert is instantly intrigued by this woman who is quiet yet leaves a mark with her clever remarks.  As Minnie starts to piece together Robert's involvement in a possible workers movement she finds new layers of him and in turn, he starts to peel back the shell that Minnie has so carefully constructed around herself.  But when Robert's brother suddenly becomes accountable for all of Robert's actions, how can Robert help him while protecting Minnie and not revealing all her secrets?

Now, I will start off by saying I am a total Courtney Milan fangirl and I (im)patiently await each new release of hers and the wait for The Duchess War was worth it!  It is so well crafted and written in a way that you just savor each word and you are sad when it is over.  Minnie is determined to keep her scandalous past in the past and she portrays herself as a quiet, mousy type woman but Robert makes her start to hope again, to want to be her true clever, interesting self.  Robert is a refreshing duke.  He refuses to be like his father, cold and expecting everything handed to him just because he is a duke but in the process, his father pushed his mother away (since she controlled the purse strings) so Robert currently has a very strained relationship with her and all he wants is a family to love him.  In the process to prove he is nothing like his father, he tries to right all his wrongs and if that means treating the workers in the factories more fairly and letting them know through handbills, than so be it.  He expects so little for himself that he can not believe that Minnie could ever forgive him for his actions after her previous betrayal.  Together they make a complex yet beautifully simple couple that fit together perfectly.  The ending is sure to tug on your heart strings and I just loved it.  And even though I don't like a lot of history in my romance books, the workers movement information was threaded in in a way that did not overwhelm the story for me and it provided a nice backdrop.  Overall a beautiful, heart breaking romance with humor, love and forgiveness written by one of the finest historical romance authors.  Just lovely.  5 stars

eARC provided by the author, thank you!

The Brothers Sinister series
 The Governess Affair (Brothers Sinister, #0.5)A Kiss For Midwinter (Brothers Sinister, #1.5)The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister, #2)The Countess Conspiracy (Brothers Sinister, #3)
                                     Dec 2012                                2013

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New Covers

Some new covers shared recently. . .

I love Lila DiPasqua's super steamy fairy tale retellings so I am very excited she has a novella hopefully out this month!  She shared the cover for The Duke's Match Girl on her website and I can't wait to read it!

What a perfectly festive cover for a holiday novella!  Deck the Halls with Love is part of Lorraine Heath's current series, Lost Lords of Pembrook and will be out Dec 18th.

Well, this cover is certainly different from Christina Brooke's previous covers (which I loved)!  I'm a bit on the fence about it...I like the pretty dresses better I guess but since these upcoming books focus on the men I guess it makes sense.  Oh well I have London's Last True Scoundrel preordered for its June 25th release as I loved the previous books!

For all you Stephanie Laurens fans she shared her newest cover in her newsletter this week.  I have not read a lot of her writing but what I have, I have enjoyed.  Look for And Then She Fell March 26th.

Maggie Robinson also shared her newest cover via her newsletter this past week and its another good one!  I enjoyed the previous book in this series so I look forward to Captain Durant's Countess and will pick it up on its Feb 21st release.  Bonus the ebook is only $5.94 instead of tenish for a trade paperback!  This makes me really happy and I hope to see it happening more in the future!

And lastly Delilah Marvelle is continuing her School of Gallantry series with three new books she will be self publishing!  The first is Lady of Pleasure which she shared this week.  I have not yet read the previous two books in this series but they are on top of my list for the new year as I have come to really enjoy her wicked sensual unique stories!  Look for this around March.

Well, thats all for now!  Which of these covers caught your eye?

Happy Release Day!

Here are a few historicals out in early December!  Enjoy!

A Taste for Scandal (Sealed With a Kiss, #2)Waltz with a StrangerThe Bridegroom Wore Plaid (MacGregor Trilogy, #1)Obsession Wears Opals (Jaded Gentleman, #5)
The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. WrightBewitching the DukeCompromising the Marquess

Any of these titles you are picking up? I have read them all except Renee Bernard and she is an author I have yet to read.  I also have not yet read Grace Burrowes newest but I picked it up as I have liked her previous books.  She has so many new ones a year that I have gotten a bit behind :(