Friday, November 15, 2019

Review of The Highlander's Defiant Captive by Anna Campbell


Book four in The Lairds Most Likely is just as captivating as the rest of the Series.  Anna knows how to catch and hold the reader's attention.  This is Callum's story.  Callum is Laird of the Mackinnon Clan and master at Achnasheen, his stronghold in the Highlands.  Just like the previous three books in this series you get a rugged handsome Highlander with an unbreakable code of honor and chivalry who will be tested to his limits by the women they fall in love with.  Callum has the odds stacked against him.  Kidnapping the daughter of his clans enemy and convincing her to marry him will take all his patience.  Matching wits with this female is both heady and frustrating when all he wants to do is take her to his bed and keep her there forever. 

Mhairi Drummond is a beautiful highland lass who had her father wrapped around her little finger.  When she and her maid are someplace they should be alone, the worst happens.  She is kidnapped by Black Callum, the Laird of the Mackinnon Clan.  He has the crazy idea that she is going to marry him and end the feud that has cost many lives on both sides.  He takes her back to Achnasheen and declares they will be man and wife soon and she just has to accept it.  Fat chance that she is going to submit to her father's arch-enemy.   The strange thing is that he a complete gentleman and has not forced her to his bed.  Everyone seems happy and content.  There is just an atmosphere of happiness that was completely opposite of how her father's clan is.  The woman are treated with respect instead of the back of a man's hand.  Slowly she comes to realize that Callum is telling the truth, he will never force her.  She swore she would never submit but now it is not about the feud between the clans but the feelings that she is realizing are love not hate.

I loved Callum's integrity and his sworn honor to not hurt Mhairi.  Anna knows her way around the Highlands of Scotland and her heroes and heroines.  I fully enjoy her books because of her ability to tell a story that is both lovely and exactly what her readers enjoy.  I just wish she would give her heroines easier names to pronounce!!  LOL...I recommend Anna's love stories highly!!!!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Review of The Awakening of Miss Henley by Julia Justiss


A fantastic start to a new series, The Cinderella Spinsters by Julia.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish.  Julia knows exactly what her readers enjoy and delivers every time! In this story, you have two characters who see the world where they live completely different.  

Lord Theo Collington is a younger son who has the world at his feet, a carefree rogue who loves the ladies as much as they love him.  He is handsome, witty and can always be depended on to be entertaining.  No one knows the real Theo, even Theo.  He has camouflaged himself so thoroughly that he doesn't even think about what will become of him, he has no purpose except to be a rogue and behave as his father dictates.  Deep down Theo is a talented artist that is dying to come out, but his father has forbidden him to indulge in a female past time.  So he goes on his merry way until he meets Miss Henly, who has no compunction about telling him how worthless he is! 

Miss Emma Henley is a plain spinster who has plans for her life that do not include men, marriage, and children. She and her two best friends plan to move in together and make the world better for all women.  They write letters to MPs, donate their time at charity schools and raise money to help women learn a trade and get the positions that will help them become independent and not have to sell their bodies to survive.  

Every time they meet she scolds or insults him and he laughs and always comes back for more. At first, he is amused by Emma and then he finds that he cannot help seeking her out.  Emma looks forward to their conversations even though she cannot understand why a handsome popular rake would find her amusing.  When Emma proposes a plan that could change both their lives forever things get intense and both find their futures are changing in ways that they never imagined. 

I loved this story because of the way Julia lets her characters evolve, grow and discover what is truly important in their lives.  This is a story that will make you laugh and cry.  I am a big fan of Julia's books and know you will be too! 

Friday, October 11, 2019

Review of Seduction on a Snowy Night (A collection of Novella's) by Madeline Hunter, Sabrina Jeffries, Mary Jo Putney



These stories and their authors are a wonderful way to start your Holiday Season.  Three best selling authors offer up the opportunity to indulge in cozy evenings by the fire in your favorite chair with a hot cup of cocoa.  

A Christmas Abduction, by Madeline Hunter, is the tale of an older sister trying to put right the seduction of her younger sister by a scoundrel. Her plan to kidnap the Gentleman on his way to his cousins for the Christmas Holidays goes awry when they find that they are attracted to each other. An enjoyable adventure with great characters, witty dialogue, with a love story that will warm your spirit and touch your heart.

A Perfect Match by Sabrina Jeffries, a hero appears at a ball to rescue a young lady who is in danger of being abducted by a fortune hunter.  He is under the impression that the young lady is the author of a plethora of amusing letters sent to her brother who is in the military with this gentleman.  He needs an heiress to restore his estate, only he discovers that the lady who actually wrote the letters is the poor cousin.  Will he do the right thing or follow his heart and marry the poor lady who has won his heart. I also loved the way the author inserted lines from Christmas Carols into the witty dialogue

One Wicked Winter Night by Mary Jo Putney, an independent intelligent woman who has traveled the world has decided to go home to England.  Seven years earlier she was separated from the man she loved and now here he is again, pursuing her.  She will not succumb to his seduction and have her heartbroken again. He decides that they deserve a second chance and kidnaps her beloved cat to get her alone and convince her that they belong together. This is classic Mary Jo Putney, I have always loved her writing and this novella is no different.  A beautiful story with wit, passion, and love.

All there of these stories are must-reads.  Do not miss them.

Friday, September 13, 2019

My Review of Once A Spy by Mary Jo Putney


Once a Spy is the fourth book in The Rogues Redeemed Series.  An experienced soldier who is tired of war and a woman who spent years as a slave in a harem.  Suzanne Duval is a woman of extraordinary strength who has lived at best would be called an eventful life so far.  Simon Duval is a Gentleman in every sense of the word.  His integrity is unassailable. He is also weary and lonely.  When they meet again years after he attended her wedding to his cousin, she is a poor widow struggling to get by.  Simon remembers her as a beautiful vivacious young woman who was in love and happy.  He has a proposal for her that could change both their lives if she is brave enough to take it.
A beautiful story of two people who need each other and find that the road to happiness is paved with obstacles,  emperors and war.  Can they heal each other and find the peace they are striving for.  This is quintessential Mary Jo Putney.  She knows how to touch your heart with characters that have complicated lives and find that the simple pleasures in life are the best.  I have all of her books and was lucky enough to meet her once at a book signing. She is a wonderful person and an amazing writer.  This is an exciting lovely series that is a must-read.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Blog Tour and Giveaway Kerrigan Byrne's How to Love a Duke in Ten Days


These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees.

Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for to herself. 
But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past—one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors. Even if he does have the reputation of a devil.

LOVE TAKES NO PRISONERS

Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is seeking revenge and the first step is securing a bride. Winning a lady’s hand is not so easy, however, for a man known as the Terror of Torcliff. Then,
Alexandra enters his life like a bolt of lightning. When she proposes marriage, Piers knows that, like him, trouble haunts her footsteps. But her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens every fierce desire within him. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe in his arms.

Chapter One

Maynemouth, Devonshire, 1890 Ten years later

Alexander,
Accept the invitation to Castle Redmayne. I’m in danger. I need you.
—Frank

Alexandra Lane had spent the entire train ride from London to Devonshire meticulously pondering those fourteen words for two separate reasons.
   The first, she had been unable to stop fretting for Francesca, who tended to give more than the appropriate amount of context. The terse, vague note Alexandra now held was more of a warning than the message contained therein. 
   The second, she could no longer afford a first-class, private railcar, and had, for the last several tense hours, been forced to share her vestibule face-to-face with a rough- featured, stocky man with shoulders made for labor.
   Alone.
   He’d attempted polite conversation at first, which she’d rebuffed with equal civility by feigning interest in her correspondence. By now, however, they were both painfully aware she needn’t take four stops to read two letters.
   It was terribly rude, she knew. Her carpetbag remained clutched in her fist the entire time, except when her hand would wander into its depths to palm the tiny pistol she always carried. The sounds of the other passengers in adjoining vestibules didn’t make her feel safer, per se.
   But she knew they would hear her scream, and that provided some relief.
   For a woman who’d spent a great deal of the last ten years in the company of men, she’d thought these painful moments would have relented by now.
   Alas, she’d become a mistress of manipulating a situation so, even if she had to endure the company of men without a female companion, there would be more than one man. In the circles she tended to frequent, people behaved when in company.
   It had worked thus far.
   Alexandra braced herself against the slowing of the train, breathing a silent prayer of relief that they’d finally arrived. She’d been terrified that if she’d glanced up once, she’d be forced into conversation with her unwanted companion.
   Rain wept against the coach window, and the shadows of the tears painted macabre little serpents on the conflicting documents in her hands. One, a wedding invitation. The other, Francesca’s alarming note.
   A month past, she’d have wagered her entire inheritance against Francesca Cavendish’s being the first of the Red Rogues to capitulate to the bonds of matrimony.
   A month past, she’d assumed she’d had an inheritance to wager.
   Their little society had seemed destined to live up to the promise they’d once made as young, disenchanted girls to never marry.
   Until the invitation to an engagement masquerade— given by the Duke of Redmayne—had arrived the same day of her friend’s cryptic and startling note.
   The invitation had been equally as ambiguous, stating that the future duchess of Redmayne would be unveiled, as it were, at the ball. Included in Alexandra’s particular envelope was a request for her to attend as a bridesmaid.
   The subsequent plea for help from Francesca—Frank— had arrived in a tiny envelope with the Red Rogue seal they’d commissioned some years prior.
   Alexandra hadn’t even known Francesca had returned from her romps about the Continent. Last she’d heard, the countess had been in Morocco, doing reconnaissance of some sort. Nothing in her letters had mentioned a suitor. Not a serious one, in any case. Certainly not a duke.
   Francesca had a talent for mischief and a tendency to interpret danger as mere adventure.
   So, what could possibly frighten her fearless friend?
Marriage, obviously, Alexandra thought with a smirk.
   A risky venture, to be sure.
     *          *          *          *          *           *          *          *          *           *          *          *          *
Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, USA
Today bestseller Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic
ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with
her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her
Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.



How to Love a Duke in Ten Days Blog Tour Q&A

Q: What inspired you to write How to Love a Duke in Ten Days?
A: I’ve always been one of those women who have enjoyed fierce female friendships. I think
that soulmates, even for heterosexual women, can be just as necessary with other women as
with men, and a real hero must not just love and respect you, but also your tribe. I wanted to
write a series where historical heroines could truly have it all, education, dreams, businesses,
wealth, genius, revenge, hot sex, AND true love. Where the sacrifices were made on their
behalf instead by them, and where their heroes learn to lift them up in all ways, heal their
pains, calm their fears, become their best friends, and protect them with what I hope is a great
balance between alpha hotness and progressive sensitivity.

Q: Is there one thing you would like readers to take away from this story?
A: That’s tough because I packed a lot in there! I would say the one thing from this book,
specifically, is that happiness is attainable against the odds, even when overcoming the worst
that people can do to one another. Even though I’m a grown up and a cynic, I still like to
write books that remind me that true love conquers all, because that love can come from so
many people.

Q: Can you describe your typical day writing this book?
A: This book was especially difficult for me to write, so I spent a great deal of time in my
bathrobe. I would get up, my fantastic husband would make me coffee, I’d call my critique
partner and we’d do a bit of brainstorming, and I’d write and rewrite for hours, stress, cry,
throw things, walk the dog, eat, snack, eat some more, facebook way too much, and then
finish under word count, binge a tv show or a book until I stared at the ceiling into the wee
hours. Oh, and there was drinking in there at regular intervals.
Glamorous, I know!

Q: Describe the hero and heroine of How to Love a Duke in Ten Days in three words each.
A: The Duke of Redmayne: Wary. Wounded. Wicked.
Lady Alexandra Lane: Brave. Brilliant. Beautiful.

Q: What is the one thing that the heroine, Alexandra, can’t live without?
A: She cannot live without her two dearest friends in the entire world, Miss Cecelia Teague,
and Lady Francesca Cavendish. They literally buried a body for her, and would defend her to
the death.

Q: What was your hardest scene to write in How to Love a Duke in Ten Days? Your favorite?
A: As with many (most) of my novels, the prologues are the hardest to write, and read, I
suspect. Usually I take the characters to the very edge of their breaking point, often times

pushing them over so they have what seems like insurmountable conflicts to overcome both
internally and externally. So, for this book, Alexandra’s assault was the most difficult thing
to get through, and boy did I enjoy being able to help Piers put her back together, because he
was just the perfect hero for her. Tender, empathetic, a good sense of humor, and a large dose
of protective alphaness.

Q: Why do you write historical romance?
A: I’ve always romanticized the past. I can’t help it. I love the pace and the aesthetic, the
gowns and the suits and the manners and the manors. I love to do historical research and it’s
so fun to see how much we are influenced by the past and how, even though so much has
changed through the centuries, people really haven’t. Also, it’s fun to play with language,
mystery, and sex in a time when a scandal was still possible. *wink.

Q: Is there another particular author that inspires you or that you enjoy reading?
A: There is a LIST! I would say in historical romance, though, it’s always always Lisa
Kleypas. She has a grasp on the characterization of historical folks that I can never hope to
attain. I’m just in awe of her every word.

Q: Where do you go or what resources do you use to make sure your novels are historically
correct?
A: I love to find books about a time period at B&N or my local bookshops. I go to Harper’s
Bazaar for fashion, and a slew of Victorian references for the time period. I do read blogs and
sometimes consult with historians and experts.

Q: Did you learn anything surprising while researching for this novel?
A: Many things! I learned how truly difficult it was to attain an education as a woman as
little as a hundred years ago. It’s really incredible how far we’ve come in a century.
M
Q: What do you do when faced with writer’s block, if you ever are?
A: Oh man. I often am. I usually try to shake it loose with a brainstorming conversation with
a few friends I have who always seem to be able to unstick me. I rely heavily on the
creativity of others as well as my own.

Q: How did you feel the first time you realized one of your books was a big success?
A: I didn’t believe it. It seems surreal every time I truly realize that a story I wrote
entertained another human. Let alone more than one. I’m like… they paid to read it? WHAT?

Q: What’s next for the Devil You Know series?

A: I’m especially excited for the next book ALL SCOT AND BOTHERED because it’s
about Alexandra’s best friend the curvy vicar’s daughter, Cecelia Teague. She inherits
London’s most infamous and successful brothel, and one imposing, surly Scottish enemy
along with it. She and Lord Ramsay, the Lord Chief Justice with an axe to grind against her
establishment, can’t be in a room together without the sparks flying. I can’t think about this
book without smiling.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A: I hope you enjoy this trio of roguish redheads as much as I enjoyed writing them!

MY REVIEW

Having read all of Kerrigan's Historical Romance novels I expect an excellent experience when I read her books.  They are always powerful and enthralling stories of unforgettable characters who through their extraordinary courage and perseverance survive unspeakable tragedies and come out at the end with a love for a lifetime. 

The graphic description of a sexual assault that the heroine endures at the beginning of the story shapes her life in ways even she can never imagine.  In the past, historical romance novels had rapes and non-consensual sex, which were not unusual and were seen as typical of the genre.  Now in our new enlightened era, you can dive into the psychosocial consequences to the characters and how it affects the course of the story.  No one has done it as well as Kerrigan has in this book.  Both characters have had experiences that make them vulnerable in ways that they cannot foresee. 

Another reason to love this book is that it really does take place in Ten Days!  Kerrigan's writing pulls you into and doesn't let go until you have finished the book and leaves you wanting the next book in the series.  She delves deep into Alexander's and Pier's hearts and souls and you feel what they feel, it is an amazing experience that is not to be missed.  There is mystery, suspense, mind-numbing terror and a surprise that will leave you gasping!!

I cannot say enough about Kerrigan's writing!  She is a force to be reckoned with in this Genre. I love everything about her writing.  She hangs her characters out there and lets them loose to discover what they are capable of, which is stunning because you get to take the ride with them.  I have every book she has written in the Historical Romance Genre and they are keepers that I will have to read over and over again.  This is a must-read!!  Do not miss it!!!

GIVEAWAY

Comment with your name and email to win a print copy (us only)  Will be selected at random. 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Review of A Kiss from a Rogue by Elisa Braden


A stunning and beautiful story that will be the last in one of the best series in recent Historical Romance.  This is book ten in The Rescued from Ruin Series. I have read and enjoyed all ten books.  These are also wonderful stand-alone love stories.

This story is about a young lady who has endured ten years of physical and emotional torture.  A man who has spent most of his life at war.  They are brought together in a perilous journey that will test both their spirit and their hearts.  Can they overcome the past and build a future together.  Hannah and Jonas are unforgettable characters that will capture your heart. 

You also get to catch up with the characters from all the previous books. This story is full of tear-inducing moments, along with witty banter that makes this story a must-read.

Elisa's writing is incredible, right up there with some of the best in this genre.  The depth of the emotions that she brings out in her characters and stories is the reason I will always read her novels.

Review of Brazen and the Beast by Sarah Maclean


The Bareknuckle Bastards Book II

What do you get when you mix a headstrong Lady who is determined and ambitious and a ruthless Bastard who rules the most dangerous neighborhood in London along with his siblings?  The answer, a tale of adventure, intrigue, heart-stopping danger and a love that will last a lifetime.

Meet Miss Henrietta Sedley, daughter of a self-made shipping magnate that has been granted the Title of Earl by the King.  Henrietta is more comfortable on her father's ships and docks than she is in any Ton event. Her dream is to own and run the business after her father.  She just has to convince her father that she is smarter than her brother and deserves to run the business.  Of course, she has no idea that her brother has run afoul of the underworld criminal called Beast and it will be up to her to save him and the business that she has dedicated her whole life to.

Savior Whittington known as Beast finds himself waking up in a carriage occupied by two ladies and all he can remember is being knocked on the head while escorting smuggled goods that would make their way to fancy homes in Mayfair, one enterprise that makes up the Bareknuckled Bastards many sources of their wealth.  Abandoned and raised with his siblings by his adopted mother in the poorest section of London.  They have become the protectors and providers of the downtrodden and those forgotten and left to struggle for survival in the environs of the slums.  Vowing revenge on the person who has stolen at least three of his shipments he will do whatever it takes to protect his family and the people who depend on him.

When Henrietta finds out that his stupid inept brother has stolen from Beast she makes a deal with him.  If he helps her with the plans she has for her life she will pay him back for the lost shipments.  Neither one of them counts on the unexpected attraction and the deadly game that is being played out with an enemy that could destroy everything that their hearts desire.  Beast will try to push Henrietta away to save her life.  Henrietta will do anything to save Beast him and their love.

I love Sarah's books.  They are full of stunning characters, fast-paced plots with surprises and beautiful rich prose that will leave you breathless and endings that will satisfy the romantic in readers who crave Happily Ever Afters.  I recommend this book and Series to all who love Historical Romance.

Received a complimentary copy for an honest review.