Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Never Love a Scoundrel by Darcy Burke

Lord Jason Lockwood has his life turned upside down in the past when his father favored his half brother, who was illegitimate.  After an altercation with him leaves him physically scarred, the worst gossip in town spreads vicious lies and it makes his mother seem mad and him as well.  Now shunned by society, he delights in his debauchery by throwing vice parties and seemingly fitting in in his new role in the ton.  Then he meets the lovely Lady Lydia Prewitt and just when he thinks he might be willing to change, he finds out she is the niece of said worst gossip in town.  Trying to believe that Lydia is different takes some time and with their growing love being forbidden by Lydia's aunt, it seems like a long and bumpy road to their happiness especially as Jason is trying to mend fences with his half brother who has a very rocky past.

The latest addition to Darcy Burke's Secrets & Scandals series is another winner for me.  Full of the healing power of love, a forbidden love and overcoming the past to grasp the future.  This story fits very true with the present day and how gossip can really upset a person's life.  I thought the whole subject was handled very well and I also liked that Jason did not immediately fall for Lydia after he found out about her gossiping aunt.  Lydia proves her loyalty to Jason and she has her own problems to overcome with her bitter aunt and her need for friends, a home, a family.  She is aware of her presence as an air-headed gossip but Jason learns the truth about her and in return, she helps set him free from his demons of his past.  Jason's transformation for dissolute rake to upstanding charmer was also very well done and I was glad it was not a complete one-eighty so quickly.  It took time and patience and in the end everything played out as it should.  His relationship with his half brother added some depth and set up the next book very well and I can't wait to finally have Ethan (Jagger) story!  Darcy Burke is an author to watch and each book I read of hers gets better and better and I feel she is an excellent storyteller and her romances are ones I would read again and again.  4 sigh worthy stars

Secrets & Scandals
This would work well as a standalone but previous characters to appear
Her Wicked Ways (Secrets & Scandals #1)His Wicked Heart (Secrets & Scandals #2)To Seduce A Scoundrel (Secrets & Scandals #3)To Love A Thief (Secrets & Scandals, #4)

Scoundrel Ever After  Fall 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

It Happened One Midnight by Julie Anne Long

What I liked:
Jonathan Redmond:  He was strong, sexy and much deeper and smarter than most people, including his own family, give him credit for.  When his father gives him an ultimatum-marry or lose the family money-he scoffs it off until the lovely Tommy captures his attention. When he learns the true nature of what Tommy is dealing with, he can not help but be drawn in and help her, protect her...fall in love with her.
Thomsina de Ballesteros:  Tommy holds many secrets close to her and has built up a persona that London believes.  Is she a courtesan? Does she have Spanish princess blood in her?  Beneath all that is the scars from her past and running into Jonathan one midnight changes her life forever.
The romance:  Tommy and Jonathan just connect right away and it was such a delight to watch it grow into a deep, permanent love.  Jonathan handles his arrogant father in a good way and it really showed his depth of feelings for Tommy.
The mystery aspect:  I'm a little bit vague here since Tommy's secrets come out in their own time and they add a deeper undertone to this story.  I loved how the mysterious gypsy reading Jonathan receives in the beginning comes true in a most unexpected way!
Family:  I loved Jonathan and his expecting sister Violet together.  It added humor and heart which I enjoyed.

What I did not like;
Not much really but I did feel like the romance almost moved a bit too slow.  Nitpicky I know, but I felt my attention shifting a little too easily.

Overall, another solid winner from Julie Anne Long in a very strong historical romance series.  This story could easily be read on its own but it will make you anxious to read previous ones and new ones yet to come.  Wit, charm, true love, heat, family with a deeper undertone that is sure to touch your heart, It Happened One Midnight is sure to please historical romance fans!

eARC provided by Avon Book via edelweiss

Pennroyal Green series
Can be read out of order but best enjoyed in order as it focuses on two families
The Perils of Pleasure (Pennyroyal Green, #1)Like No Other Lover (Pennyroyal Green, #2)Since the Surrender (Pennyroyal Green #3)I Kissed an Earl (Pennyroyal Green, #4)
                  What I Did For a Duke (Pennyroyal Green, #5)How the Marquess Was Won (Pennyroyal Green, #6)A Notorious Countess Confesses (Pennyroyal Green, #7)
Between the Devil and Ian Eversea March 2014

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Perks of Being a Beauty by Manda Collins

Miss Amelia Snow, noted mean-spirited beauty of the ton, has had a turn of fate. After her mother dies and she is left with no money, she takes on a job as a companion where she tries to blend in and help her charge find a good match. When a childhood friend arrives at a country house party, she remembers how she broke his heart and how he has always had a piece of hers. However, Amelia turned into a different woman after she went to London with her mother, who always told Amelia that all other girls were her competition, and Lord Quetin Fortescue is unaware of the pain and humiliation she caused in the ton. Even though Amelia has made amends with the woman she hurt, she still has not forgiven herself and is a bit hard about life. A rainstorm forces this couple to seek shelter together and this, of course, leads to a good heart to heart and some heated moments. Can Quetion show Ameila she is not the woman of her past and ready to move forward, together? With the humor, depth and a dash of heat I have come to expect from Manda Collins, The Perks of Being a Beauty is a story of forgiveness, healing and heart. 4 stars 

eARC provided by St Martins Press via Netgalley

Ugly Ducklings series
Not necessary to read the series before this one, but you really get more of a sense of Amelia in the past before she grows in this novella
How to Dance with a Duke (Ugly Ducklings, #1)How to Romance a Rake (Ugly Ducklings #2)How to Entice an Earl (Ugly Ducklings, #3)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Mad Earl's Bride by Loretta Chase

When Gwendolyn Adams is asked to marry a man considered mad and soon to die, she takes it in stride and accepts the offer. By marrying the Earl of Rawnsley she will gain his name and position which will make it easier for her to accomplish her dream of opening a hospital. What she does not expect is to be drawn to this 'mad' earl. She researches his condition, and that of his late mother, and attempts to help him find ways to cure him. During there discussions together, this couple find a type of love they never thought possible. But with Dorian certain he is going to die, he tries to distance himself from Gwen while at the same time, encouraging her to discover as much as she can about medincine. He learned at a young age to keep his feelings to himself so these emotions he feels for the steady, level headed Gwen are new and a bit terrifying. The truth of Dorian's disease is revealed and watching this couple come to the new terms was enjoyable. Well written, emotional (the storyline is a bit dark) and sexy with a bit of humor, this novella was a treat to read! 4 stars

eARC provided by Avon Books via edelweiss