Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Review of The Earl's Encounter by Wendy Vella

I discovered Wendy's books last year and I have read all of her Historical Romances and loved every one of them.  Wendy is a truly talented writer with a rare gift of telling beautiful love stories that are filled with humor, adventure, and mystery.

Joseph, Viscount Haddon had no idea when he met his betrothed on a cold morning in a cemetery that she would break their engagement and disappear from his life.  Now four years later while riding through the country on his way home he encounters a lone woman walking in the cold night accompanied only by a small ugly dog.  He is shocked to learn that this woman is his ex-fiancee who left him for another man.  He sees through her disguise. Why is she walking in freezing weather all alone?  Where is the man that she left him for? He insists on escorting her to where ever she is going and not let on that he sees through her disguise.  He is determined to get some answers.

Lady Millicent Lawrence has been on the run for four years.  She has gone from being Society's darling and the fiancee of a wonderful nobleman to barely making it alone in a world that has made her into a survivor.  She has lived hand to mouth and is now on her way to her new post as a Governess when she encounters a Gentleman who she thought to never see again.   Joseph doesn't recognize her and she just wants him to go away.  She is not the same woman that he was engaged to.  She has done things to survive that she wants no one to know about, especially Joseph.

Milly is not the young romantic naive girl she used to be and Joseph is not the trusting starry-eyed young man he used to be.  Joeseph is determined to find out what happened and Milly doesn't want him to dig deeper.  She was protecting him four years ago from a dangerous situation and still believes she did the right thing.  When he finds out why she disappeared he is hurt and angry that she didn't come to him for help.  Will Milly tell him the truth?  Can Joseph forgive her?  They loved each other once, can they find love again?

I absolutely loved Milly and Joseph.  They are both strong characters who have lost their faith in love and their own judgment. There also is heart-stopping peril that they must face to be together again.  Do not miss this book, it is wonderful.❤

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Review of How a Scot Surrenders to a Lady by Julie Johnstone

Write a story about a sizzling hot Scottish Highlander and a beautiful Scottish Lass and you have a page-turner that will keep you reading late into the night.  This is the 2nd book I have read from Julie Johnstone and I adored it.  Her writing is powerful and lyrical and her characters are so vivid that they practically jump right off the pages.  This book takes place in the Middle Ages before Christianity where there were all kinds of superstitions.  You had Beltane, Samhain and Seers were highly regarded and feared by most Scots.  

Cameron Macleod is a Highland Warrior who has been given the privilege of escorting the King's Mistress to the King.  He is glad to have something to occupy his mind because of what a Seer in his Clan revealed about his future.  She said he will betray everything he holds dear, his Clan, his family and his King for a woman. He scoffs at the Seer but deep down he is uneasy and is determined to prove the Seer wrong.

Sorcha Stewart hears of a plot to kill the King's Mistress and rides out to try to warn her, but she gets caught up in the fight between the assassins and the soldiers of the King.  She falls from her horse and is found by Cameron who now has to tell the King that his mistress is dead.  He knows this will mean his death and he decides to bring the girl he found in the woods to the King.   Maybe she can help find the traitors that killed the King's Mistress.  

Sorcha has no memory of the attack or anything of her life.  Cameron feels familiar to her and doesn't know why.  There is an instant attraction between them that scares them both.  The interactions between them are intense and they can't seem to help themselves.  Is Sorcha the woman the Seer warned him about?  He finds himself protecting Sorcha against his brothers and his king.  He is determined to find the traitors and prove that Sorcha did not have anything to do with it. Can Sorcha and Cameron have a HAE? 

I highly recommend this book.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Review of A Counterfeit Heart by K.C. Bateman

This is my first K.C. Bateman Book and I really enjoyed this story.  She had me hooked from the beginning.  Her writing is so seamless, intelligent and stimulating that I was half way through the book before I even looked up.  Great character development with an intricate exciting plot.  

Richard is a Gentleman who has everything, money, a title, any woman he wants.  He is also a spy who has been trying to catch a Frenchman, Phillippe Lacorte, a counterfeiter.  He never expected that he would show up at his front door and that he was a she.

Sabine de la Tour is an artist who has used her artistic talent to become a counterfeiter to survive in war torn France.  Napolean is exiled and Sabine wants to leave her old life behind and start over.  She has a plan and Richard's cooperation is crucial.  

From the first meeting, they challenged each other.  I loved the witty back and forth. Richard and Sabine were perfect for each other.  Once Richard realizes that he doesn't want to live a life without Sabine he has to convince her that they could have their HAE.

This is the 3rd book in The Secret and Spies Series and is also a great stand alone story.  I will be going to Amazon to buy the first two in the Series.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Review of Secret Lessons with the Rake by Julia Justiss (Book 4 in The Hadley Hellions Series)

The fourth book in the Hadley Hellions Series is wonderful.  We finally have all the Hellions with their HAE.  Christopher Lattimar is the Rake of the group.  He enjoys the ladies and they enjoy him.
He is now the only Hellion not married and feeling a little left out.  He knows that if he decides to get married it will have to be a lady who has a sterling reputation and will be able to become adept at hosting political dinners and hold her own in intellectual conversations.

Ellie Parmenter is a lady who at 18 was sold to a man thirty years older as his mistress by her father to get out of debt.  Now that her protector is dead she is determined to make a difference in the lives of the young woman who have no resources or anyone to help them.  She opens a school to help indigent woman a place to live and learn a trade.  Ellie will never become another man's mistress again.

Christopher always had a secret crush on Ellie when he saw her out in Society when he was younger. He knew that she was terribly unhappy but could do nothing to help her while she was under another man's protection.  Now that she is free he cannot seem to stay away from her.  He sees it as his responsibility to protect her from other Gentleman who would insult or press their attentions on her. She is adamant that she will never be another man's mistress again and he cannot marry her.  There is such a powerful attraction between them, the chemistry sizzles and makes it impossible for them to keep their hands off each other.

The crux of their dilemma is that Christopher needs a wife who can help him politically, but he knows that only one woman can make him happy.  Can they overcome the obstacles to their happiness and follow their hearts?

Julia has concluded the Hellions Series is a spellbinding, heartwarming, beautiful story of two people who will have to examine their hearts.  The journey that Julia takes us on is worth every second of reading their story.  I loved this book!!!

And now I would like to introduce the Author of this Amazing book!

Welcome, Julia Justiss to The Reading Wench. 

Julia, can you tell your readers how you came up with The Hadley's Hellions?


It’s breathtaking to realize that it’s been almost twenty years since my first story, THE WEDDING GAMBLE, went into print.  Sarah Wellingford, the heroine, had a large family, but at the time, the editors for Harlequin Historicals weren’t keen on having a series of books that featured other family members or friends.  Bringing connected books out back-to-back was considered the best way to market a series, and with so many writers doing stories for the brand, it was difficult to schedule a single author several months in a row.

So after GAMBLE, I wrote other books, returning now and then to do another Wellingford family or friend.  (There are now five novels, THE WEDDING GAMBLE, THE PROPER WIFE, A MOST UNCONVENTIONAL MATCH, FROM WAIF TO GENTLEMAN’S WIFE, SOCIETY’S MOST DISREPUTABLE GENTLEMAN, and a novella, .)  When I wrote WAIF, Davie, a plucky farmer’s orphan who helps rescue the heroine from the villain, so impressed the hero that he decided to become the boy’s sponsor.  I knew Davie would grow up with ambitions to enter Parliament and help change the nation, and that one day I’d have to write his story.
Over the years, the thinking about publishing a series of books changed (because readers love them, don’t we?) and the editors encouraged us to write linked books.  I worked first on my Ransleigh Rogues, and then decided it was time to tell Davie’s story.
Although technically, his book links back to the Wellingford books (his heroine, Faith, is Sarah’s youngest sister) I also wanted him to have a series of his own.  But Regency Romanceland is populated by dukes and marquesses and duchesses and earls, not by humble farmer’s orphans.  I knew Davie would need to be part of a group whose leader was an aristocrat, albeit a disenchanted one.  
So Giles Hadley, estranged son of an earl came to life, the leader who gives his name to the whole group.  All the rest would need to be of aristocratic stock, too, but have some reason not to have fallen in with the comfortable complacency of their peers, oblivious to the needs and problems of anyone not born to their rank. So came Ben, bastard son of an earl and a governess, and Christopher, technically legitimate but suffering all his growing up from the taunts of his schoolmates about his immoral mother.
Wanting to insure his children never suffer the same fate, when Christopher (reluctantly) decides it’s time to look for a wife, he knows one of his chief requirements is a woman of impeccable reputation.  Unfortunately, the woman he finds most compelling, a young friend of his mother’s who was formerly a courtesan, is neither wealthy nor considered virtuous.  In fact, she would be nothing but a detriment to a man aiming for an illustrious career in Parliament.

But convincing his heart to abide by what his head tells him turns out to be far more difficult than Christopher imagined.  I hope you’ll enjoy Ellie and Christopher’s story!

Thank you, Julia!!!!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Review of A Rake's Guide To Seduction by Caroline Linden

I read this book when it was first published and it was a pleasure to read it again.  Anthony is a great character, a man who has the reputation as a rake and believes that he is not worthy of the love of his life.  Celia is a widow who has known Anthony a long time and knows that he is a good man but she has lost confidence in herself in the years that she was married.  They have a second chance at their own HAE. Will they have the courage to try?

Caroline characters have depth, intelligence, and a solid moral core.  Anthony is honorable and Celia is strong, and they are better together than apart.  That is what I loved about this story.  Everyone deserves happiness and Caroline knows how to feed your craving for an absolutely wonderful love story.
Received a Complimentary Copy for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Release Day Blitz for When A Scoundrel Sins by Anna Harrington

Six years ago, a childish prank perpetrated by the reckless Quinton Carlisle ruined Annabelle Greene's reputation and any chance she had at securing a successful marriage.  Incensed, she moved to her beloved estate on the Scottish border and has reveled in the solitude...until now when the contents of a family will are revealed.  Suddenly, Belle's single status may cost her the only home she's ever known.  Now, with her only marital prospect a horribly greedy and completely undesirable man, Belle knows just the person to rescue her-the one person who owes her for his bad behavior...

There's nothing Quinn Carlisle wants more than to get out from his older brother's shadow and make a name for himself abroad. So when a mysterious letter arrives, promising adventure, he rushes to the Scottish border...only to find that Belle laid a trap for him.  The awkward, shy bluestocking whom he so enjoyed tormenting is gone, replaced by a graceful, elegant woman who ignites a desire in him he can't resist.  Can Quinn help her save her home-and win her heart in the process? 

“You look much more like your father now,” she commented, nervously licking her suddenly dry lips but only serving to draw his attention to her mouth. Which made her even more nervous, so nervous that she couldn’t stop the trembling of her fingertips as they wrapped into the skirt of her night rail. “But you’re still a troublemaker.”
A faint smile played at his mouth. “And you’re still a bluestocking,” he countered. Unintentionally simmering a slow heat low in her belly, he reached up to tuck a stray curl behind her ear. “Still retreating to the sanctuary of your library.”
“Because books are usually more pleasant than most people,” she answered, swallowing hard when he trailed his fingers down the side of her neck. She forced out, not at all as firmly as she’d hoped beneath the soft touch of his fingers,
“And more trustworthy.”
Ignoring that jab, he slid his hand lower to let his fingers play at the edge of her shawl. “Yet there are things that people can do that books can’t.” His fingers tugged gently at the shawl and pulled it down her shoulder to reveal the scooped neck of the nightdress beneath. His gaze flicked to the small patch of revealed skin at the base of her throat, then back to her eyes. “All kinds of interesting things.”
She should stop him, swat his hand away, shove him back—but she couldn’t bring herself to do it. Just as she couldn’t hold back the hot shiver that swept through her or the gooseflesh that formed on her skin. His touch was proving to be as equally intoxicating now as that night six years ago.
“Then I have no interest in learning them,” she countered, although from the way her blood hummed, her body was very interested.
Madness—that after what he’d done to her, she could ever want to be in his arms again. Yet she desired just that, although that could never happen. Kissing him once had ruined her reputation. Kissing him again might destroy her entire future.
She thrust her chin into the air. “I know of your reputation.”
“Thank you,” he half purred.
His finger hooked beneath the wide shoulder strap of her sleeveless nightgown and slid it slowly down her arm. But this time, with a stretch of bare shoulder revealed to his eyes, he didn’t bother feigning propriety by looking away and instead flamed a prickling heat beneath her skin everywhere he gazed.
She pulled in a deep breath to steady herself. Oh, why did she always go light-headed when she was alone with him?
“That was not meant as a compliment.”
“Wasn’t it?”
Anna Harrington fell in love with historical romances--and all those dashing Regency heroes--while living in London, where she studied literature and theatre. She loves to travel, fly airplanes, and hike, and when she isn't busy writing her next novel, she loves fussing over her roses in her garden.


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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Review of Once A Rebel by Mary Jo Putney

Mary Jo Putney is one of the Historical Romance Authors that got me addicted to Historical Romance years ago.  I have learned more about World and American History reading Historical Romance Novels than I ever did in school.  This story takes place during The War of 1812.  From England to the new United States of America and back to England. 

Lord Richard Audley and Callie Brooke grew up as neighbors and are best friends.  Fate has plans for them that will separate them as young adults and reunite them years later in America during a war.

Callie is in Washington when the British attack.  She sends her family away and stays to protect her home.  Just when she thought her life was over a hero emerges and saves her.  Only her savior is not a stranger, it's the boy grown into a man and he isn't dead like she was told.  

Richard is in America to rescue a British Widow and bring her back to her family in England.  Only this is no ordinary woman, it's Callie, the only person he has ever loved.

This book is non-stop action from the very beginning.  This story is about friendship, redemption, and a love that grows through life threatening acts of bravery and heart stopping danger.  Mary Jo writes with a unique style that has made her one of the best in the Historical Romance Genre.  Strong intelligent characters with honor ingrained are her hallmark.  This is the 2nd book in the Rogues Redeemed Series and I cannot wait for the next one.  I highly recommend this book.