Friday, June 26, 2015

Review of Lord Gallant by Wendy Vella



A great beginning to a new series by Wendy Vella.  Lord Gallant is Nick, Earl of Attwood, one of the members of The Lords of Night, a group of noblemen who dedicate their lives to helping those most in need.  They keep their identities secret so there are no interference to what they need to accomplish. 

The night of the Holland Ball Nick is involved in a scandal with Grace, a young lady who doesn't go about in Society much and because of situation they are forced to marry.  Grace does not want to marry the Earl and tells him so.  Nick doesn't believe her, he thinks he was the victim of  a trap, but as a gentleman he has no choice.  He thinks his wife is a quiet spinster who has no idea how to act in Society, no idea how to dress and is just a plain, uninteresting young lady.  Little does he know that he all wrong about his new bride.  Grace is awkward and has no idea how to be married and what she is supposed to do.  All she wants is to go back to her cousin's house and help him with his work.  She will surprise Nick and herself as she comes into her own.

I really enjoyed this novella and wish it was longer.  Wendy knows how to tug on your heart strings.
Her books have beautiful love stores, plots that keep you guessing, and characters that you can love and understand what and how they feel.  This is the first of the series and I cannot wait for the next book.

Received this book in return for an honest review.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Virtual Book Tour for A Good Rogue is Hard to FInd by Kelly Bowen



HE THOUGHT HE'D SEEN IT ALL . . .

The rogue's life has been good to William Somerhall: He has his fortune, his racehorses, and his freedom. Then he moves in with his mother. It seems the eccentric Dowager Duchess of Worth has been barely skirting social disaster-assisted by one Miss Jenna Hughes, who is far too bright and beautiful to be wasting her youth as a paid companion. Now home to keep his mother from ruin, William intends to learn what's afoot by keeping his friends close - and the tempting Miss Hughes closer still. . . .

UNTIL HE MEETS HER

He's tall, dark, and damnably intelligent - unfortunately for Jenna. She and the duchess are in the "redistribution business," taking from the rich and giving to the poor, and it's going great - until he shows up. But even as William plots to make an honest woman out of her, Jenna will use all her wiles to reveal just how bad a rogue he can be . . .

EXCERPT
For a moment, Worth looked stunned.  “What the hell did you drop down the front of your dress?” he snarled.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Jenna replied placidly.  She had gotten herself out of stickier situations than this.  Distract and deflect. She dropped her hands again.
“I demand to know what you took.”
“Nothing, Your Grace.”
“You have something in the front of your dress,” he snapped.
“I have since I was twelve years old.”
Worth started in shock before he swiped his hands through his hair angrily.  “You think this is funny?”
“A little.”  She was forcing a sangfroid she didn’t feel.
The duke let out a string of expletives better suited to the London docks.  “You have five seconds to produce whatever you have in the front of your dress, or I swear by all that is holy, I will rip your bodice in half and retrieve it for you.”
“Ah.  Is this your area of expertise?”
That stopped him short. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
Jenna smirked at him and cocked a brow.  “I thought bodice ripping might be part of your overwhelming charm.”
Worth’s eyes darkened even further.  “Very well, Miss Hughes, have it your way.”
God’s teeth, he was calling her bluff, and in truth, he had every right to do so.  Though she’d be damned if she conceded.  “Do your worst then,” she dared.
She watched as the duke’s hands went first to her shoulders, then to the edges of her bodice.  She felt the backs of his fingers brush against her bare skin as he curled them under the seam at the top of her breasts.  Jenna remained perfectly still, her breath caught in her chest and her heart thundering against her ribs.
He had long fingers.  Beautiful fingers, actually, covered in small nicks and scars and calluses that attested to the fact this duke understood physical exertion.  And they were tracing the neckline of her dress in slow, sure movements.  Her stays were suddenly suffocating.  The air around her had thickened.  Every muscle in her body had clenched, and it wasn’t in fear.  It was in anticipation.




Buy Links:  Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo | Publisher







Kelly Bowen grew up in Manitoba, Canada. She worked her way through her teenage years as a back country trail guide and ranch hand. She attended the University of Manitoba and earned a Master of Science degree in veterinary physiology and endocrinology.
But it was Kelly's infatuation with history and a weakness for a good love story that led her down the path of historical romance. When she is not writing, she seizes every opportunity to explore ruins and battlefields.
Currently, Kelly lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two boys, all of whom are wonderfully patient with the writing process. Except, that is, when they need a goalie for street hockey.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Virtual Book Tour for Hotel Moscow by Talia Carner





From the author of Jerusalem Maiden comes a mesmerizing, thought-provoking novel that tells the riveting story of an American woman—the daughter of Holocaust survivors—who travels to Russia shortly after the fall of communism, and finds herself embroiled in a perilous mafia conspiracy that could irrevocably destroy her life.

Brooke Fielding, a thirty-eight year old New York investment manager and daughter of Jewish Holocaust survivors, finds her life suddenly upended in late September 1993 when her job is unexpectedly put in jeopardy. Brooke accepts an invitation to join a friend on a mission to Moscow to teach entrepreneurial skills to Russian business women, which will also give her a chance to gain expertise in the new, vast emerging Russian market. Though excited by the opportunity to save her job and be one of the first Americans to visit Russia after the fall of communism, she also wonders what awaits her in the country that persecuted her mother just a generation ago.

Inspired by the women she meets, Brooke becomes committed to helping them investigate the crime that threatens their businesses. But as the uprising of the Russian parliament against President Boris Yeltsin turns Moscow into a volatile war zone, Brooke will find that her involvement comes at a high cost. For in a city where “capitalism” is still a dirty word, where neighbors spy on neighbors and the new economy is in the hands of a few dangerous men, nothing Brooke does goes unnoticed—and a mistake in her past may now compromise her future.

A moving, poignant, and rich novel, Hotel Moscow is an eye-opening portrait of post-communist Russia and a profound exploration of faith, family, and heritage.





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Traveling around the world has brought Talia Carner, former publisher of Savvy Woman magazine, a business consultant to Fortune 500 companies, and a speaker at international women’s economic forums, to find the stories right within herself. In her new novel, Hotel Moscow, she continues her mission to save and empower women. Carner hit the ground running with her first novel, Puppet Child (The Top 10 Favorite First Novels 2002,) followed by China Doll, (her platform for 2007 U.N. presentation against infanticide,) and Jerusalem Maiden (winner of Forward National Literature Award,) and now shares her passion for social justice and human rights domestically and globally. She explores the individual’s spirit as it clashes with the power of religion, social conformity, or political upheaval. She lives in New York with her husband. Please visit her at www.taliacarner.com.

Excerpt
PART 1: Thursday, September 30, 1993
CHAPTER ONE
The plane had emptied by the time Brooke Fielding strode down the ramp tube of the Moscow airport, her Burberry raincoat and overnight case strapped with an elastic cord to a wheeled carrier. In the narrow, windowless Jetway, the two last passengers followed right behind her, men lugging clear plastic bags that sported the Duty Free Shop logo and were stuffed with cigarettes, whiskey, perfumes, and a variety of cheese and sausages. 
The significance of the moment billowed in Brooke’s chest: she, an American, was arriving in Russia a mere twenty-one months after the collapse of Communism. Like a pioneer, she’d get a taste of the sights, sounds and flavors of a country few Americans had visited since the days of the Czars. Even though she’d had a sense of “there” through her parents’ Eastern European upbringing, she expected the experience awaiting her in Moscow would be unlike anything she’d ever had before. On Monday, when her company’s new management had ordered her to take her unused vacation days, she’d called her friend Amanda Cheng to let her know that she had become available to join Amanda’s women’s mission. She would use her business skills to help Russian women vault over decades of stagnation.
At the sound of swooshing behind her, Brooke glanced back to see that the far end of the skyway had detached from the airplane and was closing with a soft whine. Brooke hurriedalong, pushed to a faster pace by the two men at her heels, when a small, triumphant voice inside her burst out. Russia, I’m returning on behalf of all my millions of nameless fellow Jews lost on your soil. You didn’t destroy us, after all. She lifted her head. I’m here. 
This was a new Russia, Brooke reminded herself, different from the Russia that had experimented with its people’s lives and minds. This new Russia was fighting for liberty, placing the individual’s right for happiness over the collective’s good, and as it struggled to free itself from bigotry, so should she. The negative, judgmental attitudes merely reflected her mother’s prejudices.
Brooke was nearing the door separating the Jetway from the main terminal when a guard approached it from inside. His eyes hooded with boredom, a machine gun dangling from the strap across his chest, he unfastened a door stopper and swung the door shut, locking it, then turned to leave.
“Hey!” Brooke waved, rushing forward. “Wait!” 
But the guard just tossed her a blank look through the glass, and walked away. 
“I’m still here!” she called to his retreating back. She banged on the door.
“They have orders.” The younger of the two men at her heels spoke in heavily accented English. He wore a rumpled blue suit with a wrinkled open-collar shirt. The older man shook his head of dandelion-fuzz hair and rested his shopping bags on the floor. 
From outside rose the hum of a forklift and the thuds of luggage falling onto a conveyor belt. “Welcome to Russia,” Brooke muttered. She adjusted her watch for the time zone. Seven o’clock in the morning was midnight yesterday in New York. She banged again on the glass door, but could see the empty corridor beyond. Amanda and the other ten women executives recruited for this “Citizen Diplomats” mission must have reached passport control. They would be worried. 
The hair falling on Brooke’s cheeks smelled of microwaved airplane food and re-circulated air. She tucked a strand behind her ear and took a deep breath. Eventually, someone would let her out; no one got stuck at an airport terminal forever. She glanced at her companions. The two Russian men stood motionless, as if forbidden to even lean against the wall for support. 
Brooke hated losing control, which had been happening all week. Last Friday afternoon she was called to an unscheduled staff meeting at which her investment firm’s CEO cheerfully reported that they had been taken over. His faux optimism only made Brooke wonder how big a golden parachute the new owners must have opened for him. He was no doubt making a soft landing into a pile of several million dollars. She left the meeting in a daze and ran off to the synagogue for the start of Yom Kippur. In observance of the day her parents had never honored, she absented herself from her colleagues’ frantic phone calls until Sunday night. 
The uncertainties she and her colleagues pondered on Sunday were sealed Monday when The Wall Street Journal speculated that the takeover would probably result in a bloodbath for the current employees. That afternoon, Brooke and other executives were told to take off two full weeks, a gambit to flush out fraud by keeping the staff away from their accounts so they could be examined unhampered. 
Not even allowed to visit the office, Brooke would be absent when she most needed to impress the new management, when her clients would be introduced to new teams she had never met, leaving her out of the loop. Never before had she experienced the insecurity of a job suddenlyn jeopardy. Her CEO, her mentor, had betrayed her.
But adding expertise on Russia’s new economy would help her keep her hard-won executive position. Not only did Brooke have the opportunity to help Russian women on this trip, but she could poke her nose into business ventures of this nation untangling itself from a seventy-year time warp. She would return to New York brimming with new ideas and investment opportunities. She might even refresh the Russian language that must be lying dormant in her grey cells; she had heard it often enough in her childhood when her mother and her mother’s friends still spoke it among themselves.
This trip would be a win-win situation, she had decided that Monday night.
On Tuesday, the mission’s Russian host had arranged for Brooke’s visa while she splurged for gifts the group could provide the women they would be counseling. On Wednesday she had boarded the flight, and now, Thursday morning, here she was, stuck in Moscow airport.


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Review of Three Proposals and a Scandal by Anna Campbell




First I would like to say to whoever came up with the idea of a Novella is not very nice.  I could read Anna Campbell all day and all night and never get tired of her writing.  The depth of feeling that instills in her characters is second to none.  Marianne and Elias are wonderfully complex and at the same time very simple in what they want out of life.  Elias wants Marianne because he cannot be happy without her.  Marianne has just been jilted and is very vulnerable.  Her father wants her to marry a man much older than herself and she is a dutiful daughter, or so she thought.  Her father also plants doubt in her mind and heart about Elias's motives, saying that he is only after her dowry, so she doesn't believe him when he says that he loves her and wants to marry her.  Elias is a man who is not afraid to show his feelings and he will not give up on trying to win Marianne.  This book is special from the first word to the last.   Anna knows how to a write beautiful and poignant love story combined with adventure, peril and very carnal and hot love scenes.  Anna can make me laugh and cry when I am reading her books and I am so truly immersed in the book that when I finish and have to return to the real world I wish I hadn't read the book so quickly.  Do not miss this book!!!


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

ARC Review of All The Ways To Ruin A Rogue by Sophie Jordan


Another lovely book by Sophie Jordan.  Book Two in The Debutante Files is a a story about Max and Aurelia.  Aurelia is the younger sister of Will who is the hero in the novella An Heiress for All Seasons and Max is Will's best friend.  Max and Aurelia have known each other forever and they do not seem to like each other or is all their sniping and insulting each other something else entirely.  Max has lived his life with the mantra never to love or get married.  He lost his family in a carriage accident and will not let himself get close to any woman because of his fear of losing her.  Aurelia has not found anyone that she wants to marry even though she has been out for awhile.  She and her mother live with her brother Will who is trying to recover from his father's disastrous financial legacy.  Her mother decides to move to Scotland to live with a relative and Aurelia either has to go with her or find someone she wants to marry.  I don't do spoilers in my reviews so you will have to read this book to find out what happens next.  

I love Sophie Jordan's writing.  The back and forth between Max and Aurelia is amusing, witty and smart.  The love scenes are sensual and captivating with lots of heat!!!  Her love stories are beautiful and I await every one of her books with anticipation.  Her plots move at a great pace, her characters are amazing, complex and easy to love.  Do not miss this book.

Received ARC for honest Review.