Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Governess Club: Claire by Ellie Macdonald

This was a very refreshing debut from Ellie Macdonald.  Our couple, Claire Bannister, a governess who is trying to make ends meet following the death of her father so she can get her childhood back and Jacob Knightly, an Earl posing as a tutor to show his family he can be respectable and not just wild, find a deep attraction to each other for who they truly are.  When they are caught out by her charges (the children were so well done in this story!) her life alters drastically and the truth about Jacob's identity throws it even more so.  How can she love, marry and fit in in an Earl's lifestyle?  As this is a novella, the resolution is quick but very satisfying and we get just enough teases of Claire's three other governess friends to make you anxious for their stories.  Well written with a dose of steam, enjoyable humor and realistic characters, I know I will be keeping an eye on Ellie Macdonald in the future!

eARC provided by Avon via edelweiss


Claire Bannister just wants to be a good teacher so that she and the other ladies of the Governess Club can make enough money to leave their jobs and start their own school in the country. But when the new sinfully handsome and utterly distracting tutor arrives, Claire finds herself caught up in a whirlwind romance that could change the course of her future.

Jacob Knightly has a secret. He is actually the notorious Earl of Rimmel. He's just posing as a tutor to escape his reputation in the city. He never expected to fall in love with the kind and beautiful governess. She is the first person to love him for himself and not his title.

But when Jacob's true identity is revealed, Claire realizes she has risked her reputation and her heart on a man she doesn't truly know. Will Jacob be able to convince her that the Wild Earl has been tamed and that she is the true countess of his heart?

Governess Club series
The Governess Club: Bonnie (The Governess Club, #2)
     Sept 17th
Governess Club: Sara
Governess Club: Louisa  (release dates to be announced)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

After the Kiss by Lauren Layne

I decided to give this debut effort from Lauren Layne a go because the summary reminded me a bit of one of my favorite movies, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and I am happy to say, I enjoyed this book just as much as the movie!

Julie Greene is part of a trio of women who write articles about love in the leading women's magazine and when her boss throws her a curveball...write about a relationship...what happens after the first kiss, Julie knows some drastic measures are going to have to be taken!  Enter the nerdy looking Wall Street guy Mitchell Forbes.  A man upon appearances is just what a steady kind of girl would want in solid relationship.  Too bad Mitchell has just ended a long relationship and his friends think he can not just have a fling.  Surely Julie, a known flingster, is the perfect choice?  They are exactly what they think they want until the heart takes over and a vicious co-worked threatens everything they have found together.

This was a quick, fun read and I am so ready for more from Lauren Layne!  I loved watching this opposites-attract couple find each other and how they completed each other.  Julie is not subtle, she is too bright, too intense...everything that Mitchell steers clear of but he soon learns to realize that a little disruption in your life can be refreshing.  And the same philosophy works for Julie.  Mitchell makes her explore things she tended to ignore (running on a Sunday morning?) and she loves how he accepts her for who she is, flaws and all.  Mitchell can finally just be himself without being 'on' like he has in the past.  The friendship between Julie and her two co-workers adds a nice sense of warmth and makes me very anxious for their stories!  I really adored this fun, flirty, sexy, and emotional romance and recommend it to any romance fan looking to smile with happiness!  4 stars

eARC provided by Random House (LoveSwept) via netgalley

Sex, Love & Stiletto series
Look to be closely related but as this is the first book, this remains to be confirmed
Love the One You're With: Sex, Love & Stiletto Series
         Dec 9th
Just One Night  March 10th 2014

Thursday, August 22, 2013

It Takes Two to Tangle by Theresa Romain

Henry Middlebrook returns from war weary and wounded and he knows he needs to go back into society expect he feels the pity of the ton with his injury.  Deciding that having the right wife will soothe the pathway, he sets his sights on a lovely widow and asks her companion for some help in securing her hand.  Frances Whittier agrees to help Henry even though Henry has captured her attention in way she has never felt before.  Attempting to draw his attention through a letter, he concludes the wrong lady wrote it and Frances is forced to put up a charade to keep her feelings hidden.  As time passes though, it becomes clear to Henry that Frances is the woman he is looking for but when he finds out the truth about the letters, will forgiveness be found especially as Frances is holding out a secret about her first marriage that she feels makes her entirely unsuitable for Henry?

This is the start of Theresa Romain's new Matchmaker trilogy and I enjoyed it just as much as her other works.  Frances was such a refreshing heroine with her quiet strength and decisive talk.  I really wished she had just told Henry the truth about the letters much sooner than she did though and I thought her secrets were also refreshing from what I have read before and thought the resolution to them was handled well (in fact, how Henry deals with it made me tear up a bit!).  Henry is dealing with his own after effects of war and finds his well meaning, forgiving family a bit off putting.  Frances challenges him to move past the past and strive towards new beginnings and shows him that he still has all the respect he had before the war.  Overall I really enjoyed this book however it was a bit slow in places and heavy on details in parts for my taste but the characters with their vibrant. well written natures brought the book to a solid conclusion.  Subtle humor, passionate encounters and heartfelt letters made this a very lovely read!

eARC provided by Sourcebooks via netgalley

The Matchbreaker Trilogy
Two more titles to come

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cover Reveal: Romancing Lady Stone by Delilah Marvelle

Meet Delilah:
Delilah Marvelle is the winner of the Reviewer's Choice for Best Sensual Historical Romance of the Year and had Booklist name her historical romance 'Forever and a Day' one of the TOP 10 Romance of 2012. When she isn't writing, she's digging through research books. You can visit her at her website at

Connect with Delilah:  Website | Facebook | Twitter

About the novella:
He believes in destiny. She just wants to survive it... 

At forty, Lady Cecilia Evangeline Stone thinks she has everything a woman could ever want. A title, a fortune, and four children who make her proud. After a marriage of convenience that was anything but convenient, she has no desire to complicate her life by including a man in it again. When her eldest son announces his engagement to a Russian actress in Saint Petersburg, Cecilia sets out to do what any good mother would do: stop the wedding. Unfortunately, destiny has other plans.

Konstantin Alexie Levin never considered himself to be a villain. In fact, he considers himself to be a Russian gentleman. Having grown up in a refined and well-educated family that embraced criminal life to avoid debtor’s prison, the only thing preventing him from knowing happiness is the rest of the world. Everything changes, however, when Konstantin is given a chance to start life anew and travel to London to collect an unexpected reward for saving a man’s life. To his surprise, he is about to become a hero at midnight to a beautiful aristocrat who desperately needs his help. The problem is…he wants to do more than save Lady Stone. He wants to make the woman his, all his.

WARNING: This book is Rated Double S (Sweaty & Sinful) and contains strong language and sexual content which may cause respectable people to swoon.

Buy from: Smashwords | Kobo | Barnes and Noble | Amazon
                                                        Currently only 99 cents!!

Giveaway: Delilah is giving away five (5) ebook copies of LADY OF PLEASURE (Kindle, Nook or Kobo, winner’s choice). Giveaway ends August 25.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

School of Gallantry series
  Mistress of Pleasure (School of Gallantry #1)Lord of Pleasure (School of Gallantry #2)Lady of Pleasure (School of Gallantry #3)Night of Pleasure (School of Gallantry, #4)
                                                                                             Winter 2013

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Rake's Midnight Kiss by Anna Campbell

I thoroughly enjoyed this smoldering romance by one of my favorite authors!  Genevieve Barrett is tired of living in her father's shadow and is ready to break free and show the world who really writes up his academic articles by publishing her research on the mysterious Harmsworth Jewel.  Unfortunately, the jewel was left to her by an aunt and Sir Richard Harmsworth wants it back for himself and will go to any means to obtain it back...even steal.  When the break in goes awry, he is drawn to the prickly Genevieve and devises a new plan that involves going undercover to seduce the lady and get the jewel back.  What he does not expect is to have Genevieve help him find himself and fall hard for her.  When a vile threat poses too great of a risk to Genevieve's life, Richard knows he must tell her the truth before it is too late.  Will Genevieve be able to forgive the deceit and hurt that Richard has caused?

Reading an Anna Campbell romance is always guaranteed to make me smile, blush and devour the book to fast and wish I had not!  This book accomplished all of that and more!  I adored Genevieve with her appealing, clever, prickly demeanor she is just the right woman to help Richard see past the views of society to the man he truly is.  She can see that his heart is heavily guarded due to his mothers indiscretion that lead to his birth and it has shaped him into the man he is today.  Richard has grown up with being sneered at in society as all of society knows he is not the true heir, even if he was accepted by his father.  She finds herself misjudging him just as everyone else has done but she gradually sees him for the kind, brave, perceptive handsome man he is.  The only thing that really bothered my about the wonderful story was the deception.  I understand why Richard did what he did but it is always a touchy subject for me, especially when he choose to finally reveal his true identity to Genevieve.  I thought the villain aspect was well done and worked well within this story.  Anna Campbell writes with her usual lush descriptions and smoldering passion and I got swept away by the delicious romance of Richard and Genevieve!  4 stars

eARC provided by Grand Central Publishing via netgalley

Sons of Sins series
Work well as standalones but richer in order
Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed (Sons of Sin, #1)Days of Rakes and Roses (Sons of Sin, #1.5)
 Book Three: To be announced

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

True Spies by Shana Galen

When her husband, Baron Winslow Keating, fails to show up to take her to a ball yet again, Elinor has had enough.  She dons her most daring gown and goes to the ball alone and in the process, turns a new leaf.  She is ready for some adventure, some passion to be brought back into her life.  Elinor wants to feel needed more than planning balls and taking care of her daughters and if her husband fails to realize that, then maybe she should consider the attention of a new gentleman.  Winn is flabbergasted by the new changes in Elinor.  When he sees her in her daring gown he can hardly believe this is the same meek woman he married years ago.  And she talks back to him!  He finds himself jealous of the fact she seems to be turning to another man and he knows it is finally time to quit his secret double life as a spy.  Unfortunately, a master criminal is closer than ever and when he grabs onto Elinor, Winn knows he will do whatever it takes to get her back and prove how much she means to him.

I know whenever I settle in with a Shana Galen romance I will be swept away by the adventure and romance and True Spies is no exception!  I really loved the fact that this is a romance about rekindling the magic of a marriage.  I also really enjoyed watching Elinor blossom from a biddable wife into a vocal, passionate woman.  Her thirst for adventure takes her much father than she ever thought she would go but it brings her back to Winn.  I also admired how the truth was handled when Winn finally told her his reasons for all his absences throughout the years.  I thought the struggles between Winn and Elinor were believable and not quickly resolved and I thoroughly enjoyed watching this couple rediscover each other!  The ending is a continuous stream of heart-pounding action and chases and I felt a bit sad when it was all over.  I also loved seeing more of Lord and Lady Smythe from Lord and Lady Spy and I am so anxious for the next book to see what happens next!!  This was another rollicking, laugh-out-loud, sexy and adventurous romance from one of my favorite go-to authors for smart and sexy adventures in the romance world!  4 solid stars

eARC provided by Sourcebooks via netgalley

Lord and Lady Spy series
Can be read as standalones but richer in order I think
Lord and Lady Spy (Lord and Lady Spy, #1)The Spy Wore Blue (Lord and Lady Spy, #1.5)
 Book Three (I think!) 2014

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Trouble with Being a Duke by Sophie Barnes

Isabella Chilcott has dreamed of going to the Kingsborough Ball since she was a girl watching the fireworks from her bedroom and with the passing of the duke, the ball has been on hold for a few years.  With the announcement that it will resume, Isabella knows she must attend before she is married to the stuffy man her parents have picked for her.  She dons a beautiful gown stuffed away in the attic and sneaks in and captures the attention of the new duke, Anthony.  Even knowing that Isabella snuck in he finds himself captivated by this vibrant, cheerful woman and when she slips away his only clue in finding her whereabouts is a drawing they had done together and also the fact that someone recognized her gown as one that has been missing.  Taking these pieces he attempts to find the woman that has captured his heart in a glance but when he finds out the truth, will he be able to overcome all the objections, especially when a jealous lady spreads vicious lies?

The start of Sophie Barnes newest series is a feel-good, happy romance and I was very charmed by it.  This was a delightful spin on one of my favorite fairy tales, Cinderella and I loved how all the pieces fit together but were a bit fresh from what I have read before.  Isabella adores reading and finding her own happily-ever-after but the man her parents have chosen for her will help the family financially (as they are struggling) but he does not inspire her or treat her with the respect she deserves.  Meeting Anthony changes everything but she knows he is well above her class station and that they can not have a future, no matter how much Anthony says that they can.  Her mother has very strong feelings against the aristocracy and this adds some weight to the story.  I did feel like her parents refusal to even consider the duke as a suitor was overdone but as the story unfolded, it made sense.  Anthony had been feeling the weight of all his responsibilities following his beloved fathers death and meeting Isabella makes him feel happy again, the desire to have fun resurfaces and his load feels lifted with Isabellas sense of humor and forgiving nature.  Stolen kisses, vengeful peers and a strong family bond complete this romance and one scene in the book will leave you very anxious to read the next book in this series and find out what else happens at the Kingsborough Ball.  This book made me smile, laugh and sigh which is what all of Sophie Barnes charming romances make me do!  4 stars

Review copy provided by author

At the Kingborough Ball
The Scandal in Kissing an Heir (At the Kingsborough Ball, #2)
    Dec 31st
Untitled book 3 August 2014

Sunday, August 4, 2013

What the Bride Wore by Jade Lee

Grant Benton, Earl of Crowle, has spent the past five years working at his mill earning enough money to buy back the land his father so foolishly sold.  He has told no one what he is doing, not his mother or his brother as he is a bit ashamed of what he is doing...laboring.  Yet when he goes to by back the land, the improvements on the land prove to be to great and force the price out of his reach.  Despondent, he crawls back into himself with the only bright spot being the woman he met earlier, a purchaser for a dress shop of his fabrics, Lady Irene Knopp.  Widowed years ago, she has found happiness in working and having a purpose for each day and she sees that Grant needs to find this same solace.  Together they find happiness but Grant is reluctant to let go of his fears.  When someone attempts to kill them, he must push past them to find who this person is and why they want to harm Irene or himself.  Will Grant be able to let go of his past indiscretions and find peace with Irene and will Irene be able to trust her heart again to someone as reckless as Grant?

This is book three in Jade Lee's Bridal Favors series but it worked well as a standalone though I do recommend reading the novella, Winning a Bride as it shows more of the depth of anger between Grant and his brother and how much needs to be repaired between them.  This was a very lovely story of finding oneself and growing into a true, deep love.  Irene was the perfect woman to show Grant how to be focused and move past the sadness in life.  She found a way, by becoming a purchaser and she helps him find his own way past all the mistakes of his youth.  However, Irene feels she can never be a countess as she wants to continue her work so she has her own reservations of becoming to involved with Grant.  The suspense portion of this book was well done and not overly dramatic which I appreciated with more of the focus on the romance and rebuilding of Grant's family.   Irene and Grant's mutual attraction leads to some very steamy bedroom scenes that added a nice dose of spice to a somewhat slow moving storyline for me.  Other than the slowness, it was quite enjoyable and is set up perfectly for the final book in this series and I can't wait to dive into it!  Jade Lee always delivers a satisfying romance with the perfect dose of steam.  3 1/2 stars

eARC provided by Sourcebooks via netgalley

Bridal Favors series
Can be read as standalones but richer in order
Wedded in Scandal (Bridal Favors, #1)Wedded in Sin (Bridal Favors, #2)Winning a Bride (Bridal Favors, #2.5)What the Groom Wants (Bridal Favors, #4)
                                                                                          Feb 4th 2014