Thursday, April 28, 2016

Review of How To Manage A Marquess by Sally MacKenzie

Another great book that was a true joy to read.  Sally knows how to keep you reading far into the night and give you  a great ending that leaves you with a smile on your face.

T:he competition is on again for The Spinster House and Anne is going to do anything she has to win.  Nate is determined to save his cousin Marcus from marrying the new Spinster.  Nate has protected Marcus all his life and made a vow to his mother that he would not let Marcus taken by the curse that has plagued all the Dukes of Hart for 200 years.  If the Duke marries he will die before his heir is born.  Now Marcus is getting married Nate feels he has let his family down.  Mix in Anne who wants the Duke to get married so that she can have the Spinster House even though she thinks she may be in love with Nate.  Then they are caught in a scandal and everything will change.  Will Nate be able to let Marcus live his own life and how Anne will fit in.

This story is very original , the characters lovely and interesting  and I liked that we saw Nate's side of the story of the curse and how it effected his life and the decisions he had to make..  Do not mss this book!

Received a complimentary copy for an honest review.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Pre Release Blitz for His Scandalous Kiss by Sophie Barnes

Thorncliff Manor is the perfect setting for a masquerade ball . . . where the heart’s secret desires are about to be uncovered in this scintillating Regency romance from Sophie Barnes

Richard Heartly has exiled himself from society since the war, plotting his revenge for a terrible betrayal. A masked ball at Thorncliff Manor is intended to be a brief diversion. Instead, he encounters a fascinating young woman as entranced by the music as he is. He can’t reveal his identity to Lady Mary. But her siren song keeps drawing him back, and their clandestine meetings could be hazardous to his plan—and to her virtue . . .

Avoiding an unwanted marriage was easy when Lady Mary was ignored by the ton. Thanks to her dazzling appearance at the masquerade, she’s a wallflower no longer. Eligible suitors abound, yet the only man she wants is the brooding, seductive companion who keeps his face hidden. A man who tempts her to disclose her own shocking secret, one that could divide them forever . . .

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Chapter 1

Thorncliff Manor, 1820
A gentle breeze stirred the air, carrying with it the smooth murmur of violins as Richard gazed out over the terrace of Thorncliff Manor. The grand estate and guesthouse where his parents and siblings had chosen to spend the summer while their own home was being renovated, sat solidly at his back—a welcome retreat for those who were wealthy enough to afford it. Standing to one side, Richard watched the guests, their gemstones scattering the torchlight while feathers bowed and swayed.
Although they wore masks, he was able to recognize a few of those present. Certainly, he had seen many of them from his bedroom window since arriving at Thorncliff a few weeks earlier. But there were those whose acquaintance he’d never had the pleasure of, like the young ladies who’d made their debuts since 1815—a year he would not soon forget. In any event, it was a long time since he’d spoken to any of these people. Some, he reflected, had been friends once . . . His heart beat slowly, dulled by the lead that now flowed through his veins.
It was briefly forgotten when a gentle voice spoke at his shoulder. “Your company is much appreciated this evening, Mr. Heartly.”
Turning his head, Richard glanced down at his hostess, the incomparable Lady Duncaster. “After all . . .” His words faltered—no doubt from lack of usage. Inhaling deeply, he took a moment to compose himself before trying again, more slowly this time. “After all the effort you have gone to on my behalf, it would have been rude of me to stay away.” Rigidly, he glanced in her direction, his nails digging against the palms of his hands as he clenched his fists. There was more to be said. “I . . .”
“Yes?” she queried.
“Please don’t use my real name, Countess. Tonight I am Signor Antonio.”
“Of course.” Her eyes gleamed with the mystery of a shared secret. “As to all the effort you mentioned, your presence here after so many years of absence has made it all worthwhile.” A wry smile appeared beneath the edge of her over-embellished mask. “Besides, I have always wondered what it might be like to restore the masquerade ball to its former glory.”

Dipping his head, Richard acknowledged her comment, the gesture encouraging her to continue.

“In my youth, my husband and I experienced a traditional one in Venice—before the Venetian Republic fell. . . . Masquerades have since become popular in other parts of Europe, though they generally lack the flamboyance that I initially fell in love with.” She shook her head somewhat wistfully, then straightened herself and earnestly asked, “What do you think, Signor? Is it grand enough?”
In Richard’s opinion the extravagance was overwhelming, but since he knew this was probably the effect Lady Duncaster was aiming for, he said, “I think you have outdone all other masquerades, my lady. I am certainly impressed.”
Chuckling, Lady Duncaster slapped his arm playfully with her fan. “You are quite the charmer. Do you know that?”
“It is accidental, I can assure you,” he told her dryly, belatedly realizing that he probably should have thanked her for the compliment.
She tsked in response. “I sincerely doubt that.” Taking him by the arm, she guided him slowly along the periphery of the terrace while the orchestra on the opposite side struck up a new tune. In no time at all, the center of the terrace had been occupied by guests who wished to participate in a country dance, their theatrical garments a testament to originality rather than taste. “I know your parents, Signor, and I very much doubt that your mother would have raised a son capable of being anything but a perfect gentleman.”

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.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

ARC Review of How the Duke Was Won by Lenora Bell

A cup of hot chocolate, smooth, rich, decadent and irresistible.  

That is what you experience when you read Lenora's debut Historical Romance Novel. 

Charlene is the illegitimate daughter of an Earl and a Courtesan.  She is strong, stubborn, and determined to rescue her mother and younger sister from the life that has brought nothing but pain and sorrow.  She is also a radical who wants to open a Boarding House to help all the poor young girls who turn to selling their bodies to survive.  She has promised herself that she will never become a whore and will protect her young naive sister who sees life through her painting.

James the Duke of Harland has come back to England for one purpose.  To find a bride to be his Duchess and raise his illegitimate daughter who's mother was an actress in Trinidad.  He wants a young lady who is proper in every way and will teach his daughter to control her emotions and make her strong to protect herself.  James was the second son who lost his beloved mother when he was 14.  He father was a tyrant who abused him and banished him to a sugar plantation in Trinidad.  He has traveled the world and found his passion, cocoa.  He became very wealthy and dedicated himself to eliminating slave labor and bring cocoa to the masses.  This can only be accomplished by returning to England, finding a pure debutante bride who has an influential father who can help him eliminate the high taxes on imports and stop using slave labor on plantations.  Then he can leave and return to Trinidad and only return to England to sire another child on his perfect Duchess.

Charlene agrees to a deception that will help her mother get well and give her sister a chance to live in the country and have a mentor to help her with her art.  The scheme goes wrong from the start.  Instead of pretending to a proper young lady that is supposed to catch a Duke she and James are instantly attracted to each other.  Neither want the feelings that are instantly apparent.

Will Charlene be able to go through with the charade without her heart breaking?  Will James be able to ignore Charlene and choose the proper bride he came back to England to find and get the hell out England?

I really, really enjoyed this book.  Lenora's writing flows effortlessly throughout the story.  Her characters are amazingly real and the story catches you from the start and never lets go.  Sensual love scenes, witty banter and captivating descriptions make this debut author someone to watch.  Do not Miss it!!!  

Cannot wait for the next book in the series!!

Received a complimentary copy from the publisher for an honest review.