Saturday, May 23, 2015

Review of The Lady Plays Her Ace by Wendy Vella

This book is the story of a self made man and a Duke's daughter.  Ace Dillinger is an ex-prizefighter who has risen above his humble beginnings, investing his money wisely and forming business deals and lasting friendships with men like him from high society who know that to survive and thrive you have to invest in new industries and ideas.  Lady Althea Ryder is a stubborn, feisty, good hearted young lady who won't take no for an answer when she wants something.

They meet when Lady Althea talks her footman into taking her to a bare knuckle fight, where no lady should ever be.  Ace spots her and is furious that she has put herself in danger and knows he has to get her out of there before someone sees her and a full blown scandal occurs.

Lady Althea is fascinated by Ace, they have met before.  He is in business with friends of her brothers. She is determined to spend more time with him no matter the cost.  He know he is not good enough for her but cannot seem to stay away.  What follows is a journey of discovery for both of them.  Through scandals, life threatening perils and a love that could last a lifetime.  Wendy's writing is beautiful, lyrical, sensual and so addicting.  I loved this book and would recommend to everyone who loves a Historical Romance.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Virtual Book Tour for Lady Sarah's Sinful Desires by Sophie Barnes

Welcome to Thorncliff Manor, where London's elite mix, mingle, and may even find their heart's desire...

There are thousands of things Christopher, Viscount Spencer, would rather do than hunt for a bride, especially since experience has taught him that women are not to be trusted. Then he finds the intriguing Lady Sarah scrambling around in Thorncliff's conservatory and he is instantly charmed by her passionate nature. But why is she so intent on avoiding him?

Lady Sarah would make the perfect bride for a peer—if not for a tarnished past that she's hiding from the ton. A stay at Thorncliff Manor was meant to help her plan for her future, not fall in love. Yet Christopher's kisses are irresistible, his gallantry enticing. When her secret stands to be revealed, will the truth ruin their dreams of happiness?

In a carriage on the way to Thorncliff Manor
“Do you suppose we’ll be arriving soon?” Rachel asked with an edge of impatience. “Before leaving the last posting inn, Mama assured me that it would only be another two hours, but according to my pocket watch it has already been one hundred and twenty- seven minutes. To be exact.”
Christopher gazed across at his younger sister. “I don’t believe Mama has ever visited Thorncliff before,” he said, referring to the Countess of Dun- caster’s large estate, which she had turned into a guesthouse. He and his family would be spending the summer there. “This makes her estimate regarding the duration of this journey exactly that—an estimate.”
Rachel didn’t look pleased. “I wish everyone would appreciate the importance of precision as much as I do.” “Cook does,” Laura said sweetly, directing Christopher’s attention to another sister. He had five in total. “I’m sure she would acknowledge the importance of accuracy. After all, there’s nothing worse than a cake with too much flour in it.”
“Do you have to encourage her?” Fiona asked. As the youngest of the Heartly siblings, she had never developed the sort of patience the rest of the brood possessed.
Christopher frowned, while Rachel’s face beamed with newfound pleasure as she latched onto Laura’s comment. “Life as we know it would be impossible without adhering to mathematical and scientific principles. Buildings would fall to the ground, dough would refuse to rise, your clothing would be ill- fitting . . . why, I could go on forever about the effect a lack of structure would have on us all.”
“Must you?” Fiona asked with an underlying note of dread.
“Why not distract yourself by contemplating the splendor of our destination?” Christopher suggested. As much as he loved Rachel, he had little desire to endure a prolonged lecture on Euclidean geometry or, God
forbid, her recent study on the movement of slugs. “I’ve heard that Thorncliff is magnificent. Apparently the third Earl of Duncaster wasted no expense when he expanded it,” Laura said before Rachel could comment. “My friend Lady Harriet visited last year with her family, and she has assured me that the estate can easily amuse us all for the duration of our three-month stay.”
“I’ve no doubt about that,” Fiona said promptly, her eyes lighting, “especially since I’ve every intention of putting my own time there to good use. I mean to find that jewelry box Grandmamma spoke of when we were little.”
Christopher stared at her. “What are you talking about?”
“Don’t you remember? She always said her family in France sent heirlooms to England during the revolution to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. It was all she would have had left of her family after they all perished at the guillotine, but for un- known reasons, the box of heirlooms never arrived. I’m convinced they must be hidden away at Thorn- cliff. Considering Grandpapa’s close friendship with Lord Duncaster, I—”
“Now that you mention it, I do recall her saying something to that effect, but I never really put much weight in it,” Laura said. “You know how badly Grandmamma suffered the loss of her family. I always believed her talk of the jewelry box was her way of hoping a part of them had been left behind and would eventually come to her.”
“But she specifically mentioned receiving a letter from her sister, the Duchess of Marveille, in France, encouraging her to wait for it—that the duchess had sent it to England and that arrangements had been made for it to be delivered to her.”
“Your memory is certainly to be admired,” Rachel said, “but I think we must accept that the heirlooms never left France, as unfortunate as that is.”
“But in her diary,” Fiona insisted, “Grandmamma wrote of a visit Grandpapa made to Thorncliff shortly before his death. She wrote that she prayed her husband would soon return home with the box.” “And yet she never received it,” Christopher pointed out
Fiona sighed. “No, she didn’t. Grandpapa set sail for France, perishing with the third Earl of Duncaster when the ship went down.” She sighed, her expression somber, though her eyes remained sharp with determination. “It’s possible the jewelry box is still at Thorncliff, in which case, I’ve every intention of locating it. You can count on that.”

Book Trailer:

Born in Denmark, Sophie Barnes spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She's lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish and Romanian. She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor's degree from Parsons. But, most impressive of all, she's been married to the same man three times—in three different countries and in three different dresses.
While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion: writing. When she's not busy dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading. She currently lives on the East Coast.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

ARC of The Likelihood of Lucy by Jenny Holiday

Another lovely story by Jenny Holiday. This isn't a traditional romance novel where the hero and heroine are from the upper classes. Both Lucy and Trevor grew up on the streets of St. Giles. Trevor protected Lucy until he could figure out a way to get her out of St. Giles. Years later Lucy appears on Trevor's doorstep asking for his help. Trevor is a self made man who through investments is now well off. He is building a hotel in London that he hopes will be a success and talks Lucy into being his manager. She accepts the position for six months. This book has everything you would want in a HAE romance, action, suspense, great secondary characters that you know if you read the previous book in the series "The Miss Mirren Mission". I really enjoy her writing and know that you will too. This is another great book by Jenny. Received ARC for honest review.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Book Tour for 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake by Jade Lee

Mellie Smithson has a plan…
Mellie Smithson is trapped in the country with no suitors and no prospects on the horizon except, perhaps, the exasperating—although admittedly handsome—guest of her father. Unwilling to settle, Mellie will do anything to escape to London...
Trevor Anaedsley has a problem…
Trevor Anaedsley’s grandfather has cut off his funds until he gets engaged. Beset by creditors, Trevor escapes to the country—ostensibly to visit his old tutor Mr. Smithson—where he meets Smithson’s lovely daughter Mellie. The obvious solution is suddenly before him—but will this fake engagement go as Trevor and Mellie plan? Or will they find that even the best laid plans often go awry?

USA Today bestselling author Jade Lee has been scripting love stories since she first picked up a set of paper dolls. Ball gowns and rakish lords caught her attention early (thank you, Georgette Heyer), and her fascination with the Regency began. An author of more than thirty romance novels and winner of dozens of industry awards, Lee lives in Champaign, Illinois.

Today we excited to welcome Jade Lee to the blog! Jade’s latest title, 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake, is out May 5th and is the first in her hilarious new Rakes & Rogues series. To celebrate her new release, Jade is here to share a quiz about the book. See if you can guess correctly!

Question: I'm often asked how I work. For 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake, I wrote almost half the book at a writing retreat in Pigeon Forge, TN in a beautiful cabin while my best friends Cindy Dees, Elizabeth Hoyt, and Winter Page tapped out their works on different floors. So guess how that went for me.

A. I woke up early, mainlined some coffee, then got right to work, tapping away until dinner.
B. I woke late but still earlier than everyone else, did the Starbucks run because we all needed
caffeine, then I gabbed and gabbed with everyone. Eventually, about 3 pm, I started writing and didn't look up until midnight.
C. I woke late, wrote in bedroom until someone said, "Starbucks," then emerged to drink, eat, and gab until after everyone else had gone to bed.
D. I woke at my usual time, got coffee for everyone, then haltingly began to write. About once an hour, I would wander to talk to someone, get some help, and then go back and write some more. There was chocolate, pizza, and a wonderful hottub too, but mostly, I wrote in 45 minute spurts that ended up being highly productive.

Answer: D. I'm a steady as she goes writer, but even on the best days, it's about a 45 minute sprint. The question is how many sprints do I get in a day. With the help of my friends, I managed to do a LOT of them and really love the funny, joyful result.

An Excerpt:

Trevor was down. Ronnie was going to finish the fight. But he hadn’t reckoned on Melinda. She’d been an unwilling participant in this whole disgusting display. Well, if her cousin wanted a Cheltenham tragedy, she would bloody well give him one.
She surged forward, having no need to fake the desperation in her voice. “Stop it! Ronnie, stop it now!” And when he didn’t hear her, she said the words she’d never thought she’d utter in her entire life. “My love!”
That got his attention. His fist was raised, but he looked to her, his eyes alight with excitement. Mellie!”
She flung herself forward. Dropping to her knees, she slid in the mud, coming to a stop just where she’d intended—right beside Trevor’s head. Ronnie reached for her, but she pushed him away as she wrapped herself around the fallen lord.
“Stay away, you brute!” she practically spit at her cousin. Then she used her cloak to dab at the blood on Trevor’s face. “My love, my love, are you alive? Oh God, someone fetch a doctor! Please, someone!”
Her words were ten times more dramatic than were needed, but she’d learned that the best way to deliver a message to her cousin was in the most theatrical tone possible. So she cradled Trevor in her arms and crooned like any heroine in the most lurid gothic romance.
Trevor’s face was indeed a battered mess, but not so unrecognizable that she didn’t see the gleam of appreciation in his eyes or the mischievous smile that pulled at his swollen lip.
“Are you an angel?” he asked. “Have I died?”
The man was lying in the mud, his ankle nearly snapped in half. His face oozed from a myriad of cuts, and yet he still had the wherewithal to give the crowd a good show. It was enough to make
her contemplate dropping him in the mud. She didn’t, of course, but she hoped her glare would suffice.
Meanwhile, Ronnie just stood there poised, his fist still raised as he gaped. Mellie?”
She looked up, shooting a venomous look at his bloodied fist. “Do you mean to trounce me as well? Lay me out in the mud and the shite like last week’s garbage?”
“What?” Ronnie took a moment to understand while she gestured with her chin toward his fist. Then he abruptly gasped and shook out his hand, dropping it helplessly to his side. “But I won. This was an affaire d’honor.”
“Congratulations,” she mocked. “You beat a man half your weight.”
“Hey!” muttered Trevor. “I’m not that small.”
“Oh shut up. I’m making a point.” Then she turned her attention to her cousin. Best make the situation absolutely clear. “You were right, Ronnie. You have made everything so clear to me. I could never love a brute like you. It’s him I want. A man of elegance, not violence.”
She watched her cousin absorb her words, his mind obviously working slowly, and no wonder. Certainly, Ronnie was an accomplished fighter, but he’d never in his life been called a brute. He was a poet, for God’s sake. And his father was wont to call him a useless fribble with no starch whatsoever. Of course, both appellations were completely wrong, but truth didn’t matter here. Not when he’d wanted drama. And so she stretched the truth—she outright broke it—and she felt no remorse.
“I love Trevor,” she said loudly enough for everyone to hear.
“Since when?” her cousin demanded.
Since never. She had a thorough disgust of them both. Especially as Trevor began to speak in a quavering voice.
“Oh, to finally hear those words, now in the moments before I expire. My life is complete.”
“You’re not dying,” she hissed. Unless he was hurt more than he appeared. The thought shot her with alarm until he started speaking again.
“I am dying!” he cried. “Kiss me, my love. Kiss me, and mayhap your love will keep me tethered to this mortal coil.”
“I will not,” she said between clenched teeth.
He pitched his voice to a plaintive wail. “Then I shall die for sure!”
Damnation on all bloody, arrogant, ridiculous men! One glance about her showed that the crowd was hanging on his every word. She didn’t really care until she looked at Ronnie’s face. He wasn’t stupid. He could see that Trevor wasn’t really hurt. It wouldn’t take him long to remember that
she’d never spoken of Trevor with anything but disdain. And from there it was a small step to realizing that this entire display was a sham. So she had to do something quickly. Something that he’d never forget, even if he did suspect the lie.So she did it. She kissed Trevor.

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