Saturday, October 31, 2015

ARC Review of Bella and the Beast by Olivia Drake



Another wonderful book in the Cinderella Seires.  Olivia takes  fairy tales and puts  her own style and imagination to them.  This one is Beauty and the Beast.  One of my favorites.  You have a reclusive Duke who wants nothing to do with anything or anyone.  He just wants to be left alone with his Egyptian artifacts. He has no plans to ever marry and the only female company he tolerates is the kind he pays for.  Just like the Beast his outer shell is hard and rude, but on the inside he is hidiing secret pain.  Then you have a young lady who has spent all of her 29 years traveling the world with her father through Persia and Asia taking care of her younger siblings.  She knows nothing about proper behavior or how to act like a well born lady, but when her father dies he leaves her with a mystery that might lead to financial security for her and her siblings. But she must beard the Beast in his lair.  Add a pair of magic red slippers,  a villian and you have an enchanting love story for the ages.  I have read the other three books in this series and have loved all of them.  This is a lovely and magical  love story that will have you believing in Happily Ever Afters.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Review of What Happens Under the Mistletoe by Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, Meredith Duran and Candace Camp


The Heiress and the Hothead by Sabrina Jeffries

This novella is book 1.2 of Sabrina’s new series The Sinful Suitors.  It was a pleasure to read and you get to catch up with the characters from the first full novel “The Art of Sinning”.  This story is about the younger sister, Amanda Keane,  who comes to England from America to try to talk her brother into coming home.  Since he is now married and staying in England she and her mother are going home so she can resume running her cotton mill that was left to her by her father.   Lord Stephen Corry is a younger son who has made it his mission in life to improve the conditions in England’s cotton mills.  He investigates and writes newspaper articles to try and get help for the workers and make the owners improve the working conditions.  He wants to interview Amanda to find out how the mills in America are run.  When they meet the sparks fly and the adventure begins.  Sabrina writes a wonderful story that captures your heart, characters that you will never forget and a HAE.  I loved it!!!

Sweetest Regret by Meredith Duran

An emotionally charged story that highlights the prevalent prejudice of the well born and those who were not.  Georgie and Lucas fell in love and were separated by her father who lied to both of them.  Two years later Lucas shows up at Georgie’s Christmas house party and they immediately start sniping and insulting each other, neither one knowing that they were tricked and that their feelings for each other have not changed.  Now they have to work to find their way to forgive each other and start again. Meredith writes an intense, intelligent, witty story that has a everything we love about a historical romance novel. .

Twelve Kisses to Midnight by Karen Hawkins

Karen has brought us back to our beloved Scotland where her characters echo in our hearts.  This story has ties to her Oxenburg Series.  Two people who have a past are brought back together by a house party for Christmas.  Kenna and Marcus were engaged and deeply in love but their first big argument breaks their engagement and Marcus leaves for the Continent and Kenna marries an older man.  Ten years later they are in the same house and old feelings begin to surface for both of them.

You can feel the depth of emotion that the characters are experiencing, her plots are intricate and intelligent.  Kenna and Marcus are smart, flawed, vulnerable, brave and a joy to read.  Love the snap of their verbal exchanges and their witty dialogue.  Great Novella.  As always Karen writes a wonderful story that you will love just like all of her other great Historical Romances.

By Any Other Name by Candace Camp

A story about a daring young lady and a gentleman to the rescue.  Rylla is looking for her brother who hasn’t been home since he had an argument with his father about his gambling.   So Rylla decides to dress up like a man and try to find her brother.  Gregory notices something different about the young man at the card table and decides to follow him out of the hell to make sure he was sober enough to make his way home.  He arrives just in time to rescue the young man from a foot pad.  Gregory discovers the young man is really a woman, he is fascinated by her, but she gets away before he can find out who she is.  Gregory will do anything to find her and make her his.  

Candace writes a lovely story with hot love scenes, smart characters and true love, which makes this a great story.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Launch Day Blitz of One WIld WInter's Eve by Anne Barton







About ONE WILD WINTER’S EVE
ONCE YOU'VE HAD A TASTE OF SCANDAL . . .

As the Duke of Huntford's sister, Lady Rose Sherbourne follows the rules of well-bred society. Always chaperoned. Never engaging in unseemly behavior. Well, except for that one summer, years ago. And yet she's never been able to forget that handsome stable master or the stolen moments they shared. She's always wondered what might have happened if he hadn't disappeared without a word . . . Now she's about to find out.

YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK

Charles Holland never expected to see Lady Rose again. And yet the years haven't lessened his devotion-or his desire-in any way. Despite their differences in class, Charles cannot stop himself from wanting to possess her. But as they uncover one intimate secret after another about her family, they realize that, this time, their love may come at a very dear price . . .

EXCERPT


“What are you doing?”
The voice was authoritative, rich, and deep. And hauntingly familiar.
She turned, hiding the letter behind her. She made a clumsy attempt to shove the drawer shut with her bottom but only succeeded in bumping the desk, which rocked on spindly legs. The man must be a servant. If she could manage a haughty tone, she could probably talk her way out of the situation. But she’d never been particularly good at haughty. Her face burned.
“I was looking for something.” She looked at the man, hoping he wasn’t half as intimidating as he sounded, and froze.
Dear God. It couldn’t be.
“Rose?” He blinked, clearly as stunned as she, then quickly corrected himself. “Lady Rose?”
“Charles.” The sound of his name on her lips was surreal. She’d thought that her feelings for him had withered, dried, and blown away like dead leaves.
She’d been wrong.
He was the same as she remembered—confident, solid, and steady. But he was different too. His hair had turned a darker shade of gold, and he seemed to have grown all over. His neck was thicker, his jaw stronger. He’d traded the patched trousers and threadbare shirt that he’d worn in the stables for buckskin breeches and a nicely tailored jacket, both of which showed his strong physique to advantage. But the biggest change in him was the way he looked at her.
And it nearly broke her heart.
For instead of looking happy to see her, like he was anticipating a few stolen moments of summertime bliss, he looked suspicious. The laughing amber eyes that had always welcomed her to the stable glowered, chilly and remote.
She choked out the obvious question. “What are you doing at Lady Yardley’s?”
“I could ask the same of you.” The words, formal and clipped, didn’t fit with the Charles she knew.
She raised her chin and matched her tone to his. “I’m acting as a companion to Lady Bonneville, and we’re guests of the countess.”
“You’re a companion?” He raised a brow, skeptical.
“Yes.”
“Why?”
Once, she would have willingly explained everything to him. For even before she’d regained her voice, she’d shared her whole being with him—she’d been as honest and open as it was possible for her to be. But now, his question irritated her. It presumed too much—a connection, a trust, a bond.
“I don’t see where it’s any concern of yours.”
“Forgive me.” But the look he leveled at her belied his apology. It said, Fine. We can play it that way if you’d like.
Fighting the urge to shiver, she folded the letter behind her back. She felt for the drawer, slipped the note through the crack, and slid the drawer shut. “You’re no longer a stable master.” It was an idiotic thing to say, but she had to say something—anything—to fill the vast and unnatural gulf between them.
“No.” His stiff smile didn’t reach his eyes.
“And I think it’s safe to presume,” she stated saucily, “that you’re not Lady Yardley’s companion.”
“I am not.” This time, his smile was genuine.
Dangerous, that. She gripped the edge of the desk behind her to keep her knees from wobbling.
He took one step toward her. “I’m her steward.”
Ah, he’d been too busy moving up in the world to reply to her letters. She couldn’t blame him for wanting to better his station in life—that had always been his dream. Perhaps he wanted no reminders of the days he’d spent mucking out stables. But those days happened to be the ones she most treasured.
“Congratulations are in order then.”
“I’m grateful to Lady Yardley for giving me the opportunity.” He took another step toward Rose. “And I am in her debt.”
The show of loyalty to his employer stung—especially since he seemed to have forgotten the sultry summer days and the confidences they’d shared. “I’ve no doubt you’ve proven yourself worthy.”
He strode closer, till only an arm’s length separated them. His clothes might have been more refined, but the man beneath them was not. He looked like he’d be more at ease chopping wood and hammering nails outdoors than reviewing ledgers and attending to correspondence in a study. The merest shadow of a beard covered the lower half of his masculine face, but his lips, soft and full, captured her attention. She’d imagined kissing him so many times that she could almost convince herself she had.






About Anne Barton
Anne Barton began swiping romance novels off her mom's bookshelf as a teenager, so when she had the chance to spend a semester in London-home to her favorite heroes-she packed her bags and promptly fell in love with the city, its history, and its pubs. She dreamed of writing romance, but somehow ended up a software analyst instead.

Fortunately, a few years and a few careers later, Anne found her way back to writing the stories she loves and in 2011 won the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart® for Regency Historical Romance. She lives in Maryland with her husband (who, sadly, is not a peer of the realm-but a great guy nonetheless) and her three children, who try valiantly not to roll their eyes whenever she quotes Jane Austen. Her weaknesses include reality TV, cute-but-impractical shoes, and caffeinated beverages of all kinds.




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