Sunday, April 21, 2019

Review of Never Deny a Duke by Madeline Hunter


Book three of The Decadent Duke Trilogy is sadly the last of the Series.  A great end to a truly lovely series.  I absolutely love Madeline's writing, her stories are original and character driven.  I discovered Madeline's writing in 2000 with her first Historical Romance "By Arrangement" and I have read and kept every one since then. 

Eric Marshall, the Duke of Brentworth is the last of the Decadent Dukes that is single.  He is a very private man, even his closest friends don't really know him.  This doesn't stop the woman of the Ton from trying to gain his attention and the title of Duchess.  When he is summoned to the Royal Palace by the King he is irritated.  The King is an idiot and he doesn't have time for his foolishness.  Until he finds out that there is a dispute involving one of his estates.  He has no intention of giving up his land to an imposter and is determined to expose the fraud.

Miss Davina MacCallum has come all the way from Scotland to make the King of England make good on his promise to help her recover land that was stolen from her family in her Grandfather's time.  She knows that the Duke of Brentworth won't just give up the land and is counting on the Crown to help.  Unfortunately, she cannot get an audience with the current King and will have to convince the Duke of her claim and hope he will cooperate.  Neither she or Eric count on the attraction that flares up between them.  Davina is determined to resist Eric.  Eric has other ideas.  He is intrigued by Davina and he has never backed down from a challenge. 

How will Davina convince Eric to return her family's land?  Will their attraction to each other offer another solution? You will have to read this book to find out. I highly recommend that you do!!  I loved Davina, she is a strong determined woman who is not afraid to go toe to toe with a Duke.  Eric loves her spirit and courage and admires her determination, but can they come to some kind of solution.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Review of Cadenza by Stella Riley Performed by Alex Wyndham


I have read and listened to every book in the Rockliffe Series, this is the sixth and sadly the last.  This is another stunning work of art by Stella and brilliantly performed by Alex. Julian Langham is arguably the best hero in this series, with the exclusion of Rockliffe of course.  A music genius and protege all Julian wants is to play the harpsichord and compose music.  When he is not playing his music he is thinking about it and he appears to be absentminded and distracted.  He forgets to eat and sleep.  He wants nothing to do with anything outside his purpose for being alive.  Then one day everything changes and his life will never be the same.  He has inherited a title with an estate that is nearly bankrupt.  He wants nothing to do with any of it but is tricked into returning to England by a lying lawyer and now he is stuck in a hell, not of his making and finds himself trapped and sees no way out. There are three orphaned children, bastards of the previous lord that are literally living on their own with no proper food, clothing or reliable shelter.  Julian has no idea how to take care of children, he barely can take care of himself.  He is determined to find a way to help the children without having to sacrifice what makes him sane and fulfilled, his music.

Arabella Brandon has just been jilted. Her fiancee of three years has just married someone else, which isn't that big of a tragedy except for the fact that she allowed him the ultimate liberty with her body, knowing that it didn't matter too much because they were going to get married.  Now her family wants her to go to London for another Season to find a husband.  She is adamantly opposed to the idea.  It will be awful and embarrassing that her betrothed married someone else and she will be the object of malicious gossip which she wants to avoid at all costs.  When she comes up with a wild idea that will save her from going to London and giving her best friend and cousin the season that her father refuses to give her.  They will trade places, Arabella will be the governess that her cousin Lizzie applied for and was accepted and Lizzie will go to London and have her season.  They both know that he won't be forever but Arabella needs to get away for a while and this is the perfect plan,
what could go wrong?  The biggest obstacle to the whole plan is Rockcliffe himself, Arabella's distant cousin who will be presenting her to Society.  Being who he is Rockcliffe is far too intelligent to fall for the charade for long.

When Arabella arrives at Lizzie's new post she meets the most beautiful man she has ever seen.  The chemistry between them is instantaneous, which will cause all kinds of dilemmas for both of them. 
With the addition of the three precious children, things start to get complicated.  

I really don't like to spoil a book that I really enjoyed by giving away the whole story.  A HAE is a certainty in Historical Romance and this story is no different.  The difference in this book is the amazing talent of Stella's writing, this is an intelligent love story that is historically accurate in all aspects.  I loved all the facets of Julian's idiosyncrasies that made him such a wonderful lovely man who anyone could imagine as the love of their life.  Arabella is feisty, stubborn, intuitive with a generous spirit and the courage to protect what she considers hers.  Stella has definitely hit this one out of the park.  She has stepped over the line and surpassed all my expectations.  This story has everything a beautiful love story needs, wonderful characters that will live on your memory.  Add Ale x Wyndham's beautiful performance and this is an incredible swan song for The Rockliffe Series.


Thursday, March 28, 2019

Review of The Infamous Duchess by Sophie Barnes


Book four in The Diamonds in the Rough is another wonderfully stunning love story from Sophie Barnes. I have to say that I loved the first three books in the Series but this is my favorite!  

Henry Lowell is a perfect gentleman with a mischievous sparkle in his eyes, handsome as sin with a smile that can make a lady weak in the knees.  Henry has a reputation as a libertine who has as the story opens participated in a duel that has landed him in his brother Florian's (Hero in The Illegitimate Duke, Book 3) operating room at the hospital he helps fund with the woman who built and runs the hospital, Viola Cartwright, Duchess of Tremaine.

Viola Cartwright is not your typical Society Duchess.  She doesn't attend balls or dresses like a lady of Quality.  She is the daughter of a doctor who taught her everything she knows about medicine.  When her father passed away she was taken in by a patient of her father's, an elderly Duke.  He gave her a home and protection and he married her so she could inherit his money to continue her father's work and build a hospital to help the poor.  

Now the Duke's son is back in the country and intends to take Viola to court to get his hands on her hospital.  Viola would never give him the satisfaction of showing how frightened she is that he could take away her life's work.  Enter Henry Lowell, who is immediately attracted to her and will do anything to help her defeat the man who is threatening all she holds dear.  

Henry is perfect for Viola.  He wants to court her.  He knows how incredible she is and wants her to feel the same about him. He won't push her, he is a patient man and knows that she is worth the wait.
Viola has been betrayed once by a man and is slow to trust.  Can Henry convince her that he is sincere?  

What I love about Sophie's writing is that you can literally feel the emotions that Henry and Viola are feeling.  Sophie is a master at crafting what her characters are feeling which makes her love stories exceptional.  I love her sense of humor and her witty repartee.  "Viola flattened her lips. "Then I shall have Dead from unnecessary cause and too stubborn to listen to reason engraved upon your headstone."

I also appreciate the research that goes into Sophie's stories.  I always learn something when I read her books.  Do not miss this one!!  I highly recommend it.  

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Review of Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Anne Long with a Giveaway



Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Anne Long
ISBN 9780062867469
Avon Books; $7.99

A mistress. A mountain of debt. A mysterious wreck of a building.

Delilah Swanpoole, Countess of Derring, learns the hard way that her husband, “Dear Dull Derring,” is a lot more interesting—and perfidious—dead than alive. It’s a devil of an inheritance, but in the grand ruins of the one building Derring left her, are the seeds of her liberation. And she vows never again to place herself at the mercy of a man.

But battle-hardened Captain Tristan Hardy is nothing if not merciless. When the charismatic naval hero tracks a notorious smuggler to a London boarding house known as the Rogue’s Palace, seducing the beautiful, blue-blooded proprietress to get his man seems like a small sacrifice.

They both believe love is a myth. But a desire beyond reason threatens to destroy the armor around their hearts. Now a shattering decision looms: Will Tristan betray his own code of honor…or choose a love that might be the truest thing he’s ever known?
EXCERPT


She’d taken two steps when he said, his voice raised only a little, “Lady Derring . . . something
puzzles me.”
She halted.
Closed her eyes.
Took a shuddering breath for courage.
Turned back to him. From the relatively safe distance of three feet, she said, “Surely not. We’ve established you know everything.”
His smile was small and patient. “You seem to excel at so very much here at The Grand Palace on the Thames. Yet you can’t seem to disguise how much you want me.”

USA Today bestselling author Julie Anne Long originally set out to be a rock star when she grew up (and she has the guitars and fringed clothing stuffed in the back of her closet to prove it), but writing was always her first love. Since hanging up her guitar for the computer keyboard, her books frequently top reader and critic polls and have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Rita, Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, and The Quills, and reviewers have been known to use words like “dazzling,” “brilliant,” and “impossible to put down” when describing them. Julie lives in Northern California.

JULIE ANNE LONG SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES

MY REVIEW

Jumping up and down with joy!!  Julie Anne Long has started a new Historical Romance Series.

Lady Delilah Swanpoole, Countess of Derring is now a widow.  Her selfish dull husband is dead and she is destitute.  Her husband left only a pile of debts.  She has no idea how she will survive.  After all, she is a lady and was never expected to earn her own living.

From the family solicitor, she finds out that her husband owned a building near the Thames.
She thinks she has hit on the perfect way to use the property and finally to be able to live a life free of men and their self-centered disgusting habits.  When she finds out that her idiot husband also left a mistress destitute she comes up with an outrageous idea.

Captain Tristan Hardy is a soldier in his Majesty's service.  His main goal is ridding the shores of England from Illegal smuggling.  He is determined and ruthless when needed and he never quits.  He is a patriot who loves his Country and King and will defend both with his life.

His current investigation has taken him to the docks and The Palace on the Thames. Delilah has never met a man like Tristan and is instantly attracted and wary of him.  He has never met a woman like Delilah and even though he wants her desperately he will not behave dishonorably. They are both from different worlds and know that if they cross a line they both might lose everything they have worked for. 
Tristan and Delilah are perfect for each other in almost all respects.  Can they overcome the obstacles to an HAE?

Do not miss this one! I know this Series will be as popular as The Pennyroyal Green Series.  I recommend this book highly.

GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment to win a print copy.


Monday, February 25, 2019

Review of The Earl's Inconvenient Wife by Julia Justiss


Book two of the Sisters of Scandal is the story of Temperance Lattimar who refuses to let her families numerous scandals decide her future.  She is going to travel the world and see all the places that she has read about.  She definitely doesn't want to get married and be tied down in marriage and motherhood.  She is independent and stubborn and is determined to get her father to release her dowry to her to finance her travels. Now another scandal involving her infamous mother has broken and her brother expects her to turn tail and run to Bath with her sister until the furor dies down.  She refuses and plans to placate her father by pretending to enjoy a Season without marrying anyone and convince him to release her dowry to her. Prudence is hiding a secret that precludes her from ever marrying.

Gifford Newell is a member of the House of Commons and is looking forward to having a rewarding political career.  He is also best friends with Prudence's brother.  He has known Prudence since she was 6 years old.  Even though he sympathizes with Prudence's situation he doesn't think her father will give her the money she needs to travel.  When he comes with a plan to have his god-mother sponsor her for the Season to placate her father he doesn't realize what he is getting into.  He is roped into escorting her around Society.  As they spend more time together they both realize that the feelings they have for each other have changed.  He has never thought of Pru as a desirable woman and is having trouble hiding his feelings for her.  Pru is confused and scared that Giff has become more than just a friend.  She knows that if finds out her secret he will not want to have anything to do with her.

They both continue to deny the feelings that are growing between them until a scandal erupts engineered by a spiteful debutante who had her sights on Giff for herself.  Giff is an honorable man and insists that they get married.  Prudence doesn't want to marry Giff even though she suspects that she is already in love with him.  They agree on a marriage of convenience that will eventually lead to her being able to travel while he stays in England and concentrates on his Political career.  Neither one can imagine how their lives and dreams will change when love gets in the way.

This is a lovely story with marvelous characters that will keep you up reading late into the night.  I really enjoyed this book and I think anyone who enjoys Historical Romance will enjoy it too!

Review of A Most Unsuitable Match by Julia Justiss


The first book in The Sisters of Scandal Duet is a marvelous read.

PrudenceLattimar is a young lady who only wants to live quietly in the country with a nice husband and have children.  Unfortunately, her mother's behavior as a married woman who takes numerous lovers has made her the victim of malicious and never-ending mean spirited gossip.  The only choice she has is to go Bath with her Aunt and try to find a respectable man to give her what she desperately wants, or so she thought when a disruptable adventurer captures her attention.

Lieutenant Johnnie Trethwell is back in England.  Wounded in India trying to save his best friend he plans to leave the Army to travel the world. He is the youngest of a large family without adequate resources to fund his travels.  He is an adventurer and rake, or so the gossip says.  He needs to raise money and head back out of England to make his fortune. He is currently recovering in Bath with his wealthy Aunt.  The rumour is he is trying to charm money out of her.  He has no plans to settle down in England and absolutely no desire to marry a proper young lady of breeding with a large dowry.

What follows is the journey that Pru and Johnnie take that neither one thought they wanted.  I love the way Julia leads them to their HAE. Hidden desires are exposed and both are afraid, to be honest with their feelings.  I liked how they watched out for each other even though they both convinced themselves that their paths would lead them to completely different directions.  Until a scandal threatens to ruin Prudence's plan. Will Johnnie give up his dream to travel the world to protect Prudence?

I enjoy Julia's writing.  Her characters are wonderful and her stories entertaining.  I recommend this book to all the readers who love Historical Romance.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Satyr's Son by Lucinda Brant Performed by Alex Wyndham


Book 5 in The Roxton Family Saga is just as beautiful as the other four.  I am officially addicted to the Georgian Era and Lucinda Brant.  I love this Series.  All the great characters from the previous books make appearances and are intricate to the story of Henri-Antoine Hesham and Miss Lisa Crisp. Two people that live in entirely different worlds that should never meet.  Lisa was where she should not have been and is just in time to assist Henri-Antoine in his moment of need.  Henry-Antoine has never met anyone like Lisa and is intrigued by a woman who does what must be done and keeps his secret. Lisa has never seen a more beautiful man in her entire life though not as important as keeping him from injury as he suffers from a seizure.  Harry has managed to hide his illness as an adult from his friends and family, or so he thinks. 

Lisa is an orphan who lives with her cousin and her husband, a doctor.  Lisa has no friends, usually eats alone and only goes out on errands for her cousin.  She is a strong-willed young lady who has a heart of gold and wants only to help and show her gratitude to her cousin and her husband.  She considers herself lucky and grateful to have enough to eat and a roof over her head. She helps out in the Dispensary that Dr. Warner runs by being an amanuensis to the sick poor who cannot read or write.  Lisa is astounded when Henri-Antoine arrives at the Dispensary to thank her for helping him and not telling anyone about the illness that he has lived with all his life.  She assures him that she and Dr. Warner are not of the opinion that people who suffer from the falling sickness should be locked away in an asylum for the insane.  She will keep his secret.  For Henri-Antoine he is dazzled by Lisa and knows that he wants to see her again.  

Henri-Antoine is a known ladies man who woman do not say no to.  He is the brother of a Duke but now is not in line for the Dukedom because his brother has sons, for which he is grateful.  He has no plans to marry ever.  Lisa is also not likely to marry and have a family of her own.  Neither one of them could have imagined that they would meet again in Henri-Antoine's world.  

The tale of this love story is that family comes first to the Roxton's.  The family structure is the foundation of the entire series.  Rich and one of the most elite family's in England and France the trials, losses, and victories make this series exceptional.  Henri-Antoine and Lisa start and finish their journey of love with the approval of the whole Roxton family.  Showing everyone that Love and Family are what drives this family forward.  Not only the living but the dead are also part of the decision that will allow Henri-Antoine to follow his heart to the woman that he loves with all his heart, Miss Lisa Crisp.

Lucinda writes a truly beautiful love story with exceptional characters that you will love and visit over and over again.  For those readers who love this series do not despair, I have a feeling we haven't heard the last of the Roxton's. The cherry on top of this wonderful treat is the performance of Alex Wyndham who takes Lucinda's words and pulls you into his performance and the lovely story that unfolds in his smokey and sexy voice. I highly recommend this series to everyone who loves beautiful Historical Romance.