Saturday, December 30, 2017

Review of The Heiress's Deception by Christi Caldwell

It seems I have been waiting an eternity for Calum's story in The Sinful Brides Series.  I devoured this book in less than a day.  The fourth book in the series is just as wonderful as the first three.  

Calum is the proprietor of a gaming hell whose only interest is taking care of his family by making his club the best in London.  He needs a bookkeeper.  When a woman shows up five days late for an interview he is about to kick her out but he desperately needs a bookkeeper, he decides to give her a chance.  He does not recognize her, but they knew each other when he was a pickpocket on the streets of St. Giles and she was a Duke's daughter who used to feed him and talked to him like he was someone.  She also was almost the death of him.

Lady Eve Pruitt is in mind-numbing terror fleeing from her evil brother who will do anything to get her dowry of 20,000 pounds.  He has even encouraged one of his cronies to rape her so she would have to marry the scoundrel and split the dowry with him.  She becomes the bookkeeper at The Hell and Sin Club until she reaches her majority in three months time and donates her dowry to the foundling hospital where she volunteers.  She knows if she gives up her dowry her brother will leave her alone.  Only she doesn't expect to meet her childhood friend who was supposed to be dead.  Her brother told her that he was dead and it was all her fault.

This is the story of two vastly different people from opposite backgrounds who find common ground in the pain and horror that they each experienced.  Christi writes a tale of horrendous betrayal, heartbreaking emotional pain and the realization that it doesn't matter where you come from. love doesn't discriminate, and redemption and forgiveness can bring a happily ever after.  I absolutely loved this book and am not ashamed to admit I cried while reading this book. Christi is an amazing talent and we can only hope that she will keep writing wonderful stories for us to devour.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Review of Christmas at Thorncliff Manor, Secrets of Thorncliff Manor, the Series

This is the last story from Sophie's wonderful Thorncliff Series.  The chance of finding a hidden treasure and the love of your life brings the ladies of the Heartly Family to Thorncliff Manor.  The four remaining sisters and their parents have arrived at Thorncliff for a Christmas House Party.  No one suspects that Lady Duncaster is playing matchmaker for the holidays.  She invites four bachelor Lords who she thinks will make perfect husbands for the sisters.  Include the possibility of finding a lost treasure and you have a wonderful holiday novella that will satisfy your craving for splendid Historical Romance.  I love Sophie's writing and am sad that this is the end of the Thorncliff Series but she is one of my must reads authors and I will always be a fan. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Once Upon a Christmas Eve; A Maiden Lane Novella by Elizabeth Hoyt

Another great addition to The Maiden Lane Series with the added perk of another wonderful Fairy Tale at the beginning of each chapter.  This story is about  Adam Rutledge, Viscount d'Arque who appears in three of The Maiden Lane Series.  He comes across as a cynical bored aristocrat that barely tolerates anyone or anything.  He especially hates Christmas and all its pretensions of cheer.  Every year his Grandmother goes to the country for Christmas and Adam loves her so he accompanies her. 

Unfortunately, the carriage breaks down and they must seek refuge at the home of Godric St. John, the hero of Lord of Darkness.  To top off what was turning out to be the Christmas from Hell, Sarah St. John the only woman he knew that disliked him on site and exercised her sarcastic wit on him the first and only time they met..  The true joke was that he wanted her from the first and was truly baffled by his attraction to her.

Sarah hated rakes and their games and double meanings in everything they said.  She had a bad experience with a scoundrel and wants nothing to do with his type, even if he is the epitome of handsomeness and physical fitness. 

Neither one of them expect to like each other, they both are in for a surprise. The more they snipe at each other with their thinly veiled insults and sly innuendos, the more they realize that they want each other with a lust that turns their lives upside down.   How can she be falling for a rake?  He cannot want an average looking spinster!

This is witty, laugh out loud story of two stubborn people and a plot has everything you want in a love story.  Elizabeth's Maiden Lane Series is one of the best in Historical Romance and she keeps adding more outstanding stories to the Series.  I loved seeing Adam get his comeuppance at the hands of Sarah.  This one is worth the price as is all of Elizabeth's books.

Review of The Lady in Red by Kelly Bowen

A lovely tale by Kelly of an aristocratic young lady, Charlotte Beaumont who has been ignored all her life by her family.  They have no idea that she is a talented painter and when she applies for an artistic commission she knows that if Society and her family find out there will be a scandal that she would never come back from.  She will be working and living with an artist that is remarkably talented and of low birth, someone she would never be allowed to even talk to him. She is so determined to get this commission that she even disguising herself as a young man to hide her true identity.

Flynn Rutledge is a talented painter who thinks that this commission will bring him the recognition he deserves from the Art community and he will finally leave behind his common background.  When he finds out that he is sharing the commission with a young nobody he is furious.  When he sees how talented the boy is he is impressed.  When he finally sees through her disguise he is shocked to his core that a she is a lady

Kelly writes a beautiful story that has loneliness, determination, redemption, and love.  Two people that are so different in every conceivable way find that they also want the same things in life.  Flynn wants  Charlotte but he will not force her into a life of hardship and deprivation.  Charlotte doesn't care how she and Flynn will live, she has had all the advantages of a privileged upbringing and she was lonely and miserable, she knows what she wants and will have to convince Flynn that they should be together.

I loved this Holiday novella by Kelly.  She is an amazing talent that really digs deep into her characters, her plots and the historical accuracy that makes her a phenomenal writer of Historical Romance.  She is one of my go-to authors and cannot wait for her next book.

Review of The Christmas Stranger: A Regency Novella by Anna Campbell

This is my favorite time of year, all my favorite authors write amazing Christmas stories, and I always look forward to Anna's Holiday Novellas.  This year The Christmas Stranger is a lovely tale of a lady who is spending Christmas alone and a Gentleman who will change her life forever.  Little do they both know that a Matchmaking plot is afoot.  

Josiah Hale is a ladies man who never has given his heart to any woman and is perfectly happy with his life the way it is.  He is also a talented architect. When he receives a letter with a request to travel to a remote manor house in Yorkshire to make improvements he jumps at the chance.  He loves his family, but he knows that his mother will invite young ladies for Christmas and be subjected to her attempts to find him a wife.  

He arrives in the middle of the night in a snowstorm.

Maggie Carr is working as a housekeeper at Thorncroft Hall for a distant cousin after she lost her mother.  She is alone for Christmas because the two other servants that help her went home to their families for the Holidays.  

Maggie doesn't even realize that she is lonely until Josiah Hale shows up and makes her see how alone she really is.  As the days pass their feelings deepen and Josiah doesn't want to leave her behind.  Maggie feels she is not good enough for Josiah, but he disagrees and will do anything to make her see that they are made for each other.

This is a perfect Holiday love story that will fill you with Holiday cheer.  Anna is a fabulously talented author who brings her characters to life, you will fall in love with her stories and wish that they never end. I love everything she writes and all her books are keepers to read over and over again.  As I have said about all her novellas, it will be the best 99 cents you spend this Christmas.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Review of A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase

What kind of Romance do you get when you combine a tipsy runaway bride and one of the Dukes known as the Dis-Graces?  A wonderfully witty, laugh out loud, tear-jerking love story that is classic amazing Loretta Chase.  This is book one in a new series by Loretta that I did not want to put down and was sad when it ended.  

Hugh, Duke of Ripley is one of three Dukes that Society calls the Dis-graces.  They are unruly scandal causing Gentleman that cause trouble wherever they go.  Now one is getting married and it is Ripley's job to get him to the wedding on time and preferably sober.  Ironically the Duke is on time but the bride has bolted.  Now Ripley must track her down and get her back.  Sounds pretty simple, but in the span of four days, things get out of control and hysterical.

Lady Olympia is getting married, to a Duke no less.  For seven years she has been voted the most Boring Girl of the Season.  Pretty, not beautiful and shapely, she uses her brain and her passion is books.  Not what the Gentleman of the Ton wants in a wife.  Unfortunately for the Groom, Olympia gets a hold of a flask of brandy and decides that she doesn't want to marry this particular Duke.  In her Brandy induced state, she decides to run away and enlists the help of the groom's best friend.

Mayhem ensues when Hugh and Olympia go on a journey that will change their whole lives.  I loved Ripley and Olympia, they are strong, intelligent and compliment each other perfectly.  Loretta writes amazing stories that take you away to another world that you will never want to leave.  This is a keeper and I will be buying a paperback addition to add to my Loretta Chase collection so I may read it over and over again.

Received a complimentary copy for an honest review.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Review of The Duke Who Came To Town by Sophie Barnes

The third book in the Honorable Scoundrels Series is as wonderful as the previous two.  This novella features the oldest Potter sister Josephine.  She is a splendid heroine, an example of a woman who is determined to make a better life for herself and her sisters.  The men in her family have not been the best at providing for the future.  She is passionate, intelligent and fiercely independent. 

Devon, the Duke of Snowden is doing a favor for a friend. Checking on the Potter sisters to let them know their new guardian is going to support them and help ease their way back into Society. Being a Duke all his adult life he doesn't understand what he said that made her angry and rude.  He just wants to give her money and a new place to live.  

Josephine is livid, how dare he come into her home and demand she accept his money and sponsorship into Society.  She doesn't need any help, especially from an arrogant,  overbearing man, even if he is a Duke.  

Sophie has done it again.  The story of the last Potter sister is a perfect example of why I read Historical Romance.  Witty, Fiesty, Intelligent characters that you will love.  Sizzling romance with hot sexual tension and a love for a lifetime.  I really, really enjoyed this Series and highly recommend Sophie's books.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Review of Once upon a Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt

Once again we are transported back to Maiden Lane and into the lives of the characters that we have come to love.  This Novella tells the story of Mary Whitsun, an orphan who was left on the steps of the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children in St. Giles.  Mary grew up there and is now a nanny for Lord and Lady Caire's two young children.

One day Mary is in her favorite bookstore when she is pestered by a Gentleman that seems to know her by a different name.  She wants nothing to do with him and leaves as quickly as she can.  Henry was sure that the young lady was his fiancee, she was the exact image of Lady Joanna.  It turns out that Lady Joanna was born a twin and both girls were kidnapped when they were babies, and only one of the little girls were ever found.

Mary cannot believe that she is the long-lost daughter of a lord.  She has lived her life as a servant and considers herself lucky to have a position with a family whom she loves.  She is thrown into the position of a Lady, and she engaged to be married to the man from the bookstore.  As she becomes more sure of herself and spends more time with Henry, she finds that she can be happy if Henry is by her side.

As Henry and Mary get to know each other and spend a lot of time together, they find themselves falling in love. Just as everything is coming together for their HAE someone is trying to kill Mary, she has been shot at twice, the second time her maid was hit in the arm.  Henry is determined to find the culprit who is trying to take Mary away from him. 

As always Elizabeth writes a wonderful story that will pull you into her world that is filled with stunning characters, a plot that is surprising as it is mysterious with a surprising ending.  This novella can be read as a stand-alone.  If you have never read the Maiden Lane Series by Elizabeth I recommend that you start at the beginning.  You will love this Series.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Review of The Earl Who Loved Her by Sophie Barnes

The second book in The Honorable Scoundrels Series is another must read by Sophie.  This story tells the tale of the youngest Potter sister.  Eve Potter has been invited to her friend's house for the Christmas Holiday.  She doesn't want to leave her sister home alone, but Josephine insists that she go.  The Potter girls are living on the income that Josephine brings in, also Louise, the heroine in the first book has left home for a Governess position.  Both sisters are determined to give Eve the Season to that she deserves and will do whatever has to be done it see Eve take her place in Society and find her a husband.

Arriving early and not seeing the carriage that is supposed to take her to Havisham , Eve decides to walk and arrives at the wrong house.  Bryce Harlow the Earl of Ravenworth has no choice but to let Eve spend the night and have her taken to her friends home in the morning.  Eve and Bryce are instantly attracted to each other.  Inclement weather strands Eve at Bryce's house.  Bryce is determined to resist Eve even though his feelings are growing stronger.  Bryce knows that as soon as she finds out about his reputation and why he has been ostracized from his family and society she will leave him alone and with a broken heart.  What he doesn't count on is Eve's belief in his honor and her love for him.

This is a beautiful love story that highlights the strength of the human heart and how fate can change your life.  Eve and Bryce are truly honest and noble characters that you will love.  This is more than just a Christmas Season Novella, it is redemption and life-changing for Eve and Bryce.  Sophie has written a superb novella and I cannot wait for Josephine's story.  I highly recommend this book.

Received a complimentary copy for an honest review.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Review of The Right Kind of Rogue by Valerie Bowman

This is Book 8 in The Playful Brides Series.  I absolutely loved Meg.  She is my kind of Heroine!  She starts out a Wallflower and turns into a Woman who knows what she wants and goes after it.  She has been in love with Hart since she was 16.  Now she is told that he is finally going to start looking for a wife.  She is heartbroken because she knows that they can never be together.  Her parents and Hart's actually hate each other due to something that happened in the past.  Her parents are also broke, there is no money for a dowry.  So Meg has resigned herself to being a Wallflower and watching the man she loves courting some other woman.

Hart has decided that it is the time that he married.  He is his father's heir and the title must not die out with him.  So he decides to check out the crop of Debutantes on the market.  Hart has no idea that Meg is in love with him, he thinks of her his sisters best friend and has never seen her as wife material.  All he knows is that he does not want a marriage like his parent's bitterly unhappy union.

When Meg finds out that he does not have a woman picked out she decides that she has nothing to lose and is throwing herself into the ring.  Not knowing how to go about attracting a man she enlists the help of Lucy Hunt, the Duchess of Claringdon, who has a reputation of meddling, she calls it matchmaking.

Hart is the typical male, doesn't know what he wants until he almost loses it.  Meg knows what she wants, but Hart is being stubborn and won't admit his feelings.

What follows is a really lovely story that has laugh out loud moments along with emotional turmoil that will bring tears to your eyes.  This is a fast-paced story that will have you turning the pages long into the night.  I love that about Valerie's writing.  She knows what her readers like and she delivers with style, flair and a special talent for having wonderful characters that you will love. 

Received a complimentary copy for an honest review.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Review of Third Son's a Charm by Shana Galen

I liked this start to a new series by Shana Galen.   Ewan Mostyn is one of the Survivors of Draven's special unit, the third son of an Earl who could care less about him.  Ewan is the Protector of the Survivors.  When he is approached by a Duke to protect his daughter from a fortune hunter he agrees.  The man pursuing the Duke's daughter is Ewan's despicable cousin who tormented Ewan when they were growing up.

Lady Lorraine Caldwell is in love with Francis Mostyn and is determined to marry him. Her father will not relent from his opposition to the match after an attempted elopement.  He goes so far as to hire a bodyguard to keep her away from Francis.  She believes all the lies that Francis has told her about how his cousin Ewan tormented him when he was a child.  Not only is Ewan keeping Francis away from her, she is developing feelings for Ewan that confuses her.  Ewan wants her for himself but he feels that he is not worthy.

This book was a pleasure to read.  I really like Shana's writing.  Her characters are wonderfully complex, and the plot has adventure, peril, and a beautiful love story.  I recommend this book to readers who love Historical Romance.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Review of Someone to Wed By Mary Balogh

Someone to Wed

By Mary Balogh

Miss Wren Heyden has never been seen outside her home without her veil.  After the death of her beloved Aunt and Uncle who rescued her at 10 years old from a cruel mother who kept her locked in a room so no one would see her deformity.  Now she is all alone after their deaths.  She has no friends, just her faithful maid. The inheritance that her Uncle left her is a glass factory that continues to thrive under her leadership.  She is lonely and wants a family, so she comes up with an idea to interview men in the area who are financially strapped and who would agree to her terms for marriage.  Which will be that he would get access to her fortune and she would have his respect and children.  The one condition that she will never show her face outside of their house.  The first two candidates are unacceptable and she is beginning to think that she would be better off alone.

The Earl of Riverdale is a Gentleman who has unexpectedly inherited an Earldom and with it an estate that is a crumbling money pit.  Alex had just finished bringing his home back from the brink due to his Father's mismanagement and now he has to turn his attention to his new inheritance that he did not even want.  If you read the first book in The Wescott Series you have met Alex, if not, this book is an amazing novel that will stand on its own. When Alex receives an invitation for tea from a neighbor, he accepts thinking that there will be other people from the area that he would like to get to know, since he will be spending all his time at his new estate.  When he arrives he is shown into a parlor occupied by a lone female hidden in the shadows of the room. 

Wren comes out of the shadows for the first time letting someone see her face after Alex insists if he is going to entertain her offer.  What he sees is a tall lady who holds herself rigid and a purple birthmark that covers one whole side of her face.

If you have read my reviews you know that I only give an outline into the plot, no spoilers.  Wih that said, my favorite Mary Balogh book has always been "Slightly Dangerous", I have an autographed copy.  It is now my second favorite.  Wren is the bravest woman Historical Romance lady that I have come across in a long time.  What she has to overcome will make you cry and cheer.  The way Mary lets us witness the struggle she goes through is a totally humbling experience.  Alex is honorable and he sees the pain and suffering that Wren has gone through her whole life.  The respect he gives her helps her reclaim her life and finally come out of the shadows.  Do not miss this one.  I always feel that I can do anything I set my mind too after reading one of Mary's books.

Received a complimentary copy for an honest review.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Review of The Governess Who Captured His Heart by Sophie Barnes

The first novella in her new series “The Honorable Scoundrels Series” is a wonderful read.  Sophie is excellent at making a novella read like a full-length Romance Novel.  Louise Potter and her two sisters are in financial straits.  Their father died and left them with all his debt.  Louise must find a position as a Governess so that she can help fund her younger sister’s come out.  She has accepted a position and is waiting for the escort of the uncle of the Lady who has offered her the position.  The journey to her new position will take at least 7 days.

Lord Alistair is traveling to his niece’s house in the Country and has been asked to escort the new Governess.  He receives the surprise of his life when the Governess appears at his door.  She is like no Governess he has ever seen.  She is young and beautiful and he cannot imagine spending the next seven days alone in a coach with her.  He has to scramble to provide a chaperone for the journey.

Louise is shocked that the Uncle that she will be sharing a coach with is not a middle-aged portly Gentleman, but a young, virile good looking man.

What could happen in the seven days that they are forced into each other’s company?  Sophie’s writing is witty, passionate and her characters jump right off the page and into your heart.  I really enjoyed this novella and cannot wait for the next one in the series.  I highly recommend this title.

Review of The Bride Who Got Lucky Janna MacGregor

Nicholas St. Mauer is the heir to a Dukedom that he wants nothing to do with.  He hasn't seen his father since he was 15 and was told by his father that he never wanted anything to do with him from then on.
From that point in his life, he vowed that he would never ask his father for anything ever and will make a fortune larger than his father. His friendship with Alex the Marquess of Pembrooke (The hero from the first book in the Series, "The Bad Luck Bride') is the only bright spot in his life, besides his businesses that have made him a very rich man.

Lady Emma Cavensham is a young lady on a mission.  She is determined to help young woman who has no one to turn to when they are at the mercy of an unscrupulous abusive man or in financial straits because of the laws of the land that do not allow a woman to control their own lives and money. She is mourning the death of a friend who was killed by her husband and is getting away with it because he is a Lord.  She will stop at nothing to bring him to justice. Emma decides to travel to her friend's town to find evidence to convict the murderer.

Nick finds out about what Emma is up to and follows her to keep her from getting hurt and being caught in a scandal.  Emma has no intention of ever getting married and putting herself under any man's control.  She wants to be an independent woman who will help other women by opening a bank just for woman so they will have the option to take control of their own lives.

This is a lovely emotional charged story of two people who believe that they are better single and concentrating on their individual goals for their lives.  Nick doesn't let anyone in.  He has always kept his feelings locked up so no one can hurt him.  Emma is afraid to lose her independence and her goal to help other women.

Janna writes a deeply touching tale of a love that will test Emma's and Nick's convictions that have made them who they are.  They are both stubborn and convinced that they are right.  Only when they are in danger of losing each other will they realize that they will only be truly happy together.

This book is a wonderful journey of discovery that will make you laugh and cry.  Janna is a truly gifted author whose writing is addictive.  Her characters are compelling, complex, and lovable.  This is a book that you will love.  I cannot wait for the next one in the Series.

Review of The Scandalous Flirt by Olivia Drake

Another great addition to the Cinderella Sisterhood Novel.  Lady Milford is at it again.  Loaning her magical slippers to a young lady who deserves the love of a good man.

Aurora Paxton has been in exile in Norfolk for the mistake of believing she was in love. She was caught with her presumed lover prone on a settee in her father's library.  It turns out he is married and she banished to live with her father's sister and never sees her father again.  He passed away and her step-mother did not inform her he was ill, so she never had a chance to make amends to him.  Aurora is stunned to see Lady Milford at the door of her Aunt's cottage.  It has been 8 years since she has seen anyone from Society.

Lady Milford tells Aurora that her step-mother is being blackmailed and she needs Aurora's help.  Aurora wants nothing to do with that woman but she would love to see her younger sister.  She agrees to go to London to help find the blackmailer.  On one condition, her step-mother must give her a reward for her help. Aurora wants to make improvements to her Aunt;s house and secure her future.

When she arrives in London her step-mother is positive that the blackmailer is Lucas Vale, the son of the man she had an affair with.  The blackmailer is in possession of love letters that she wrote to the late Lord Dashell.  Aurora remembers Lucas as a judgmental prig.

Lucas Vale needs to marry money.  His late father gambled and whored away his families fortune. Lucas is a very private person who keeps his thoughts and feelings hidden beneath a proper Gentleman's facade.  He wants no one privy to his personal life.  He is constantly trying to live down his father's reputation as a wastrel.  He has picked an acceptable young lady who will never cause a scandal and brings 50,000 GBP to the marriage. 

The only problem is his attraction to Aurora Paxton.  He has never been able to forget her.  Seeing her again after just one dance eight years ago has brought his feelings for her back, but he must resist she is not the woman he needs to restore his family's reputation.  Besides being a walking scandal she has no dowry.

Aurora and Lucas team up to find the blackmailer and what follows is a truly splendid journey of redemption and love. 

This was a fun book to read, full of adventure, mystery, and witty dialogue.  Olivia Drake writes wonderful, lovable characters who will steal your heart.  I have four of the six books in this series and will be going to Amazon to buy the other two.

Review of Wilde in Love by Eloisa James

This is the first book in the new "Wilde Series" by Eloisa James.  I discovered Eloisa's writing years ago when I was at my local library and found a book in the fiction section titled "Potent Pleasures".  I was hooked and have read all of her books.  She has always had a unique style that makes her characters extraordinarily memorable.  The affectations, flaws, and quirks make her heroes irresistible and her heroines admirable.

Alaric Wilde is a gentleman that doesn't realize his appeal to the opposite sex and has never felt the need to limit himself to one woman.  He has traveled the world and written books about his adventures.  He has no idea of the popularity of his writing nor the leagues of women who adore his image of an adventurer who they love and will do truly ridiculous things to capture his heart.

Willa Everett Ffynche is a young lady who enjoys learning.  She is a voracious reader, not fiction of course.  She prefers hard facts instead of hyperbole and doesn't understand why young ladies love reading sensational novels.  She is a lovely lady who is honestly warm and compassionate, which has resulted in 14 marriage proposals in her first season.  She has not been moved sufficiently to accept any of them.  Willa has very personal reasons for not throwing caution to the winds and become impulsive and reckless and would never be attracted to someone like Lord Wilde, or so she thinks.

A beautiful love story with witty banter between two characters that look at the world in different ways with distinct values that could separate or bring them together.  Willa fights the attraction because she does not want to be married to a man who is in the spotlight and Alaric is frustrated that the situation he finds himself in is out of his control.  Can they find a way to be together and still have the life they deserve?

This is the first book in the new series by Eloisa and now we have to wait impatienly for the next one.  I recommend this book to all who love Historical Romance.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Review of The Highlander's Princess Bride by Vanessa Kelly

This is book three in The Improper Princesses Series but can be read as a stand-alone story that will delight and enchant you.  I am a big fan of Vanessa's books and have all of her Historical Romances.  Another great bonus of her books are they are full-length novels, this one is 423 pages long.

Victoria Knight is the illegitimate daughter of the Prince Regent and an Innkeeper.  She is determined to earn her own way and make a life for herself.  As a Governess, she can indulge her love of teaching. When she accidentally kills her employer's son while defending herself from his sexual advances she must make herself scarce, so that her cousin and his friends can ensure that she will not be charged with murder.   Now she is on her way to Scottish Highlands to teach a pack of young wild highlander males.
When she arrives and sees what she will have to deal with she will not be just a governess but will be trying to teach manners and etiquette to the aforementioned men.  The only saving grace of the job is that she will be mentoring a 14yr old prodigy in music.  Oh, and she will have to fight her attraction to the head of the family, Nick the Earl of Arnprior, a big beautiful Highlander.

Nick, the Earl of Arnprior can't believe his eyes, this beautiful young lady will never last a week in this house with his family.  He needs someone who can whip his brothers into shape and also teach his sensitive younger brother.  His household has been in a state of chaos for so long.

They both have secrets they want to keep and Nick is still grieving for the son he lost.  There is a banished brother and a grandfather who wants nothing to do with Sassenachs.  Nick cannot seem to help himself, she is an amazing woman and he wants her with a passion that he has never experienced before.   Can they overcome all the problems and obstacles that will try to pull them apart?

I enjoyed this book immensely. I love the originality and intelligence that makes Vanessa's stories a must read.  I love her characters too.  They are not perfect but they complete each other.  You also have lots of adventures and a really bad villain. I highly recommend this book and cannot wait for the next one in the series.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Review of Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

The Twelfth book in The Maiden Lane Series is the last full-length novel in the Series.  I can honestly say that this is one of my top five Historical Romance Series that I have read, and I have read hundreds of Historical Romances so far.  

It is fitting that the last one should be about Raphael de Chartres, The Duke of Dyemore, the darkest of the heroes in this Series.  A man tormented by the abuse he suffered as a child at the hands of his own father.  He has returned and will do what he should have done years ago, destroy the Lords of Chaos even if it means he must die to accomplish his mission.  He knows that the same evil that made his father a monster runs through his blood and is determined that his line dies with him.  

Iris, Lady Jordan is kidnapped and is convinced she is about to die at the hands of men wearing masks and nothing else.  When one of the men grabs her and whisks her away to his carriage she finds a gun under the seat and shoots him, injuring him in the shoulder, only to find out he was rescuing her from certain rape and death. He is a Duke and he insists that they must marry so he can protect her from the Lords who will do whatever it takes to feed their perverted desires and keep their group a secret.

Iris's first marriage was an arranged and her husband was older, cold-hearted and treated her like a piece of property.  Now she finds herself married again to another man who doesn't want a true marriage.  Only this time she sees something in Raphael that calls to her and she will stop at nothing to make him see that he is not a monster and he can allow himself to be happy.

Raphael is doing all he can to keep Iris at a distance and finish his mission to destroy the Lords of Chaos.  But he is finding it hard to push Iris away, she wants a real husband and a family and he believes that he can never have that kind of happiness.

There are truly evil monsters in the world, but Raphael is not one of them.  Can Iris convince Raphael that he deserves to be loved?

Elizabeth is an exceptional storyteller that will keep you enthralled from the first paragraph to the last.
Her plots are intricate, addictive, full of action and mystery.  Her characters are wonderfully flawed, complicated and honorable.  I am very sad to see The Maiden Lane Series end, but I do own all twelve of the books and can go back and read them whenever I wish.  There are two novellas coming that will put this Series to bed forever, but all the memorable characters and wonderful stories will be with me forever.

I really, really recommend that you read this book and if you have not read the other books in The Maiden Lane Series now is the time!! 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Review of Mistletoe and the Major by Anna Campbell

Another Christmas Novella from Anna. Edmund and Flick spent only two weeks into their new marriage before Edmund went to war.  Now he is home after 8 years in the Army and they have to start anew.  They are older and wiser.  Can they be honest with each other about their feelings?  This is truly a beautiful love story that will make you smile.  

Anna Campbell is just one of the best at writing a full-blown love story in a novella.  She does not disappoint.  I have said this before about her books, this is the best 99 cents you will ever spend!!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Review of The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Bryne

Every time I read a Kerrigan Byrne book I think that she can't get any better and I am always wrong!
This book is everything a Historical Romance Novel and so much more.  This is a story of two people who are traumatized by the life that they have lived.  Kerrigan lets you inside their hearts and souls to their insecurities and the consequences of their life experiences.

Gavin Thorne is a Highlander who was brutalized by his monster of a father.  Samantha Masters is an orphan who married the man she loved or so she thought, it turns out that he is an outlaw and to save another she must kill him.  They are both strong characters that overcome so many obstacles to get to their HAE.

I don't want to give away any more of this story away.  Their sexual attraction sizzles like you won't believe.  They are perfectly matched but fight it until mortal danger enters their lives.

I loved this book and this author.  I will read anything she writes and all her books are keepers that I can read over and over again.  This is the fifth book in The Victorian Rebels Series and I hope there are more on the way. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Review of With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins

I absolutely adore Christmas love stories and this novella by Manda is amazing.  A second chance at love is one of my favorite tropes and this one was perfect from beginning to end.  Manda knows how to keep her readers captivated with her wonderful characters. and her wonderful stories.

Merry Parks hasn't seen Alex Ponsonby, Viscount Wrotham since she abruptly ended their engagement. Now she is on his doorstep with an infant looking for his cousin, who is apparently the father of the infant.  All the feelings that she had buried five years ago came rushing back as soon as she saw Alex.  Alex is absolutely dumbfounded to see Merry in his house and realizes that he never really got over her rejection of him.

They will join forces to help William, his cousin, and the infant.  Alex decides that he hasn't been really happy for five years and is determined to find out why Merry broke their engagement and win her back.  Merry feels the same but she knows that if she tells him why she broke off the wedding it could hurt his relationship with a certain member of his family.  Alex convinces her to let him court her again. Will the secret that she is keeping from him ruin their chance of a HAE?

I absolutely recommend this Christmas novella by Manda.Collins.  A perfect read for a cozy seat and a cup of hot chocolate or a great glass of wine.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Review of A Talent for Temptation by Sabrina Jeffries

A very enjoyable read!  Short and sweet.  I loved Quinn and Meriel.  Secrets and misunderstandings occur when you are thinking with your heart instead of your head.  Meriel is reluctant to give up Quinn but doesn't want to lie to him.  Quinn knows Meriel has feelings for him but doesn't understand why they can't be together.  A botched abduction and a knife wound will bring them to the truth and they can have their HAE.  Sabrina told a complete and lovely story in just four chapters.  Loved it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Review of The Duke (Devil's Duke #3) by Katharine Ashe

A stunning beautiful journey of love, loss, heartbreak and danger by two courageous people that will grab your heart and not let go.  Oh and did I mention that they are both stubborn and hard-headed?
This is the story of a Scottish Duke and the daughter of The Earl of Vale.  

When they first meet, he is not a Duke, just Gabriel Hume, Officer in the Royal Navy and Lady Amarantha Vale has sailed all the way from England to Kingston Jamaica to marry a Missionary and be his wife and helpmate in his mission to save souls.

They meet in a cellar in Kingston taking shelter from a Hurricane.  The first words he hears her say is
"Damn and blast it to Hades!". They are stuck with each other until the worst of the Hurricane passes. Because of the tremendous damage done by the storm, her fiancee is busy trying to rebuild his church and she decides to help out the injured.  It seems every where she turns Captain Hume seems to be there.  He is a bad influence on her because she is beginning to want to see him and not her fiancee. She is falling in love with him but she doesn't trust him.  He begs her not to marry her Missionary and wait for him to come back from an assignment that will take him far away from her.  She tells him she will wait and not marry the Missionary.  When Gabriel's cousin brings word that he has died she is heartbroken and marries the missionary.

This story takes place over 5 1/2 years.  He inherits the Dukedom, Amarantha's husband dies and the journey to the rest of their lives begin.  Their is lots of secrets and mystery to this adventure.  They will cross paths a couple of times, and he will try to convince her to marry him.  She doesn't trust him or her feelings for him.  They are both protecting others and the only way for their HAE is to tell all their secrets and what is in their hearts.

I don't know any other way to describe Katharine's writing but to say it poetically beautiful and stirring.
I laughed and cried while reading this book.  All the secondary characters are wonderful and really make this book a must read.  Every time I read one of Katharine's books I think she cannot get any better and then she does.  You have to read this book!!!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Review of Caught by the Scot by Karen Hawkins

The beginning of a new series is always exciting, meeting new characters and being swept along into their adventures.  Karen has written a wonderful start to this new series "The Made to Marry Series".
I am a big fan of "Love and Laughter" and that is what you will always get when you read Karen's books.  Also, who doesn't love a handsome, brawny Scot in a kilt?

Connor Douglas is grieving the loss of his only sister, who died in childbirth when he is told that he must marry in three months time or lose his inheritance to his clan's enemies, the Campbells.  Since he doesn't really want to get married or take the time to court a woman he comes up with a plan that will get him a wife who will agree to a marriage of convenience.  He knows just the woman who will fit the bill.  The younger sister of his best friend is a perfect choice,  They have been friends for years and he knows that she is responsible and sensible and she is the only woman who won't demand love and fidelity.  Only when he arrives at her home to propose he finds out she has eloped with another man.
He sets out after her in the hope he can stop the marriage.

Theodora Cumberbatch-Snowe is a young lady who is tired of being sensible and responsible.  She wants a home of her own, a husband and children.   On a whim, she elopes with a man that she has only known for weeks,  She is having second thoughts about the man but she doesn't want to turn around and go home.  Then Connor shows up and proposes to her while she is eloping with another man.  She has secretly been in love with Connor for years and now he wants to marry her to secure his inheritance.   This is where the fun starts.  Connor makes friends with the man Thea eloped with to find out how he can sabotage their elopement.  As their journey continues to Gretna Green Thea is regretting her decision, but she will not give Connor the satisfaction of knowing that she no longer wants to marry the Squire.

Thea fights the attraction because she knows that if she marries Connor he will sail away on one of his ships and leave her alone for months at a time.  She realizes she still loves him but cannot marry him if doesn't give up the sea.  Connor wants Thea with a passion that he never expected but he is afraid to love and he doesn't know if he can give up his wandering ways for her.

This is vintage Karen Hawkins. Characters who know each other and assume that they know how each other thinks. Witty dialogue back and forth, and a sexual attraction which is new to both of them.   I love Karen's books because her stories are unique and her characters amazing. She makes me laugh out loud when I am reading her books.   I highly recommend this book and cannot wait for the next book in the series.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Review of The Earl's Encounter by Wendy Vella

I discovered Wendy's books last year and I have read all of her Historical Romances and loved every one of them.  Wendy is a truly talented writer with a rare gift of telling beautiful love stories that are filled with humor, adventure, and mystery.

Joseph, Viscount Haddon had no idea when he met his betrothed on a cold morning in a cemetery that she would break their engagement and disappear from his life.  Now four years later while riding through the country on his way home he encounters a lone woman walking in the cold night accompanied only by a small ugly dog.  He is shocked to learn that this woman is his ex-fiancee who left him for another man.  He sees through her disguise. Why is she walking in freezing weather all alone?  Where is the man that she left him for? He insists on escorting her to where ever she is going and not let on that he sees through her disguise.  He is determined to get some answers.

Lady Millicent Lawrence has been on the run for four years.  She has gone from being Society's darling and the fiancee of a wonderful nobleman to barely making it alone in a world that has made her into a survivor.  She has lived hand to mouth and is now on her way to her new post as a Governess when she encounters a Gentleman who she thought to never see again.   Joseph doesn't recognize her and she just wants him to go away.  She is not the same woman that he was engaged to.  She has done things to survive that she wants no one to know about, especially Joseph.

Milly is not the young romantic naive girl she used to be and Joseph is not the trusting starry-eyed young man he used to be.  Joeseph is determined to find out what happened and Milly doesn't want him to dig deeper.  She was protecting him four years ago from a dangerous situation and still believes she did the right thing.  When he finds out why she disappeared he is hurt and angry that she didn't come to him for help.  Will Milly tell him the truth?  Can Joseph forgive her?  They loved each other once, can they find love again?

I absolutely loved Milly and Joseph.  They are both strong characters who have lost their faith in love and their own judgment. There also is heart-stopping peril that they must face to be together again.  Do not miss this book, it is wonderful.❤

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Review of How a Scot Surrenders to a Lady by Julie Johnstone

Write a story about a sizzling hot Scottish Highlander and a beautiful Scottish Lass and you have a page-turner that will keep you reading late into the night.  This is the 2nd book I have read from Julie Johnstone and I adored it.  Her writing is powerful and lyrical and her characters are so vivid that they practically jump right off the pages.  This book takes place in the Middle Ages before Christianity where there were all kinds of superstitions.  You had Beltane, Samhain and Seers were highly regarded and feared by most Scots.  

Cameron Macleod is a Highland Warrior who has been given the privilege of escorting the King's Mistress to the King.  He is glad to have something to occupy his mind because of what a Seer in his Clan revealed about his future.  She said he will betray everything he holds dear, his Clan, his family and his King for a woman. He scoffs at the Seer but deep down he is uneasy and is determined to prove the Seer wrong.

Sorcha Stewart hears of a plot to kill the King's Mistress and rides out to try to warn her, but she gets caught up in the fight between the assassins and the soldiers of the King.  She falls from her horse and is found by Cameron who now has to tell the King that his mistress is dead.  He knows this will mean his death and he decides to bring the girl he found in the woods to the King.   Maybe she can help find the traitors that killed the King's Mistress.  

Sorcha has no memory of the attack or anything of her life.  Cameron feels familiar to her and doesn't know why.  There is an instant attraction between them that scares them both.  The interactions between them are intense and they can't seem to help themselves.  Is Sorcha the woman the Seer warned him about?  He finds himself protecting Sorcha against his brothers and his king.  He is determined to find the traitors and prove that Sorcha did not have anything to do with it. Can Sorcha and Cameron have a HAE? 

I highly recommend this book.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Review of A Counterfeit Heart by K.C. Bateman

This is my first K.C. Bateman Book and I really enjoyed this story.  She had me hooked from the beginning.  Her writing is so seamless, intelligent and stimulating that I was half way through the book before I even looked up.  Great character development with an intricate exciting plot.  

Richard is a Gentleman who has everything, money, a title, any woman he wants.  He is also a spy who has been trying to catch a Frenchman, Phillippe Lacorte, a counterfeiter.  He never expected that he would show up at his front door and that he was a she.

Sabine de la Tour is an artist who has used her artistic talent to become a counterfeiter to survive in war torn France.  Napolean is exiled and Sabine wants to leave her old life behind and start over.  She has a plan and Richard's cooperation is crucial.  

From the first meeting, they challenged each other.  I loved the witty back and forth. Richard and Sabine were perfect for each other.  Once Richard realizes that he doesn't want to live a life without Sabine he has to convince her that they could have their HAE.

This is the 3rd book in The Secret and Spies Series and is also a great stand alone story.  I will be going to Amazon to buy the first two in the Series.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Review of Secret Lessons with the Rake by Julia Justiss (Book 4 in The Hadley Hellions Series)

The fourth book in the Hadley Hellions Series is wonderful.  We finally have all the Hellions with their HAE.  Christopher Lattimar is the Rake of the group.  He enjoys the ladies and they enjoy him.
He is now the only Hellion not married and feeling a little left out.  He knows that if he decides to get married it will have to be a lady who has a sterling reputation and will be able to become adept at hosting political dinners and hold her own in intellectual conversations.

Ellie Parmenter is a lady who at 18 was sold to a man thirty years older as his mistress by her father to get out of debt.  Now that her protector is dead she is determined to make a difference in the lives of the young woman who have no resources or anyone to help them.  She opens a school to help indigent woman a place to live and learn a trade.  Ellie will never become another man's mistress again.

Christopher always had a secret crush on Ellie when he saw her out in Society when he was younger. He knew that she was terribly unhappy but could do nothing to help her while she was under another man's protection.  Now that she is free he cannot seem to stay away from her.  He sees it as his responsibility to protect her from other Gentleman who would insult or press their attentions on her. She is adamant that she will never be another man's mistress again and he cannot marry her.  There is such a powerful attraction between them, the chemistry sizzles and makes it impossible for them to keep their hands off each other.

The crux of their dilemma is that Christopher needs a wife who can help him politically, but he knows that only one woman can make him happy.  Can they overcome the obstacles to their happiness and follow their hearts?

Julia has concluded the Hellions Series is a spellbinding, heartwarming, beautiful story of two people who will have to examine their hearts.  The journey that Julia takes us on is worth every second of reading their story.  I loved this book!!!

And now I would like to introduce the Author of this Amazing book!

Welcome, Julia Justiss to The Reading Wench. 

Julia, can you tell your readers how you came up with The Hadley's Hellions?


It’s breathtaking to realize that it’s been almost twenty years since my first story, THE WEDDING GAMBLE, went into print.  Sarah Wellingford, the heroine, had a large family, but at the time, the editors for Harlequin Historicals weren’t keen on having a series of books that featured other family members or friends.  Bringing connected books out back-to-back was considered the best way to market a series, and with so many writers doing stories for the brand, it was difficult to schedule a single author several months in a row.

So after GAMBLE, I wrote other books, returning now and then to do another Wellingford family or friend.  (There are now five novels, THE WEDDING GAMBLE, THE PROPER WIFE, A MOST UNCONVENTIONAL MATCH, FROM WAIF TO GENTLEMAN’S WIFE, SOCIETY’S MOST DISREPUTABLE GENTLEMAN, and a novella, .)  When I wrote WAIF, Davie, a plucky farmer’s orphan who helps rescue the heroine from the villain, so impressed the hero that he decided to become the boy’s sponsor.  I knew Davie would grow up with ambitions to enter Parliament and help change the nation, and that one day I’d have to write his story.
Over the years, the thinking about publishing a series of books changed (because readers love them, don’t we?) and the editors encouraged us to write linked books.  I worked first on my Ransleigh Rogues, and then decided it was time to tell Davie’s story.
Although technically, his book links back to the Wellingford books (his heroine, Faith, is Sarah’s youngest sister) I also wanted him to have a series of his own.  But Regency Romanceland is populated by dukes and marquesses and duchesses and earls, not by humble farmer’s orphans.  I knew Davie would need to be part of a group whose leader was an aristocrat, albeit a disenchanted one.  
So Giles Hadley, estranged son of an earl came to life, the leader who gives his name to the whole group.  All the rest would need to be of aristocratic stock, too, but have some reason not to have fallen in with the comfortable complacency of their peers, oblivious to the needs and problems of anyone not born to their rank. So came Ben, bastard son of an earl and a governess, and Christopher, technically legitimate but suffering all his growing up from the taunts of his schoolmates about his immoral mother.
Wanting to insure his children never suffer the same fate, when Christopher (reluctantly) decides it’s time to look for a wife, he knows one of his chief requirements is a woman of impeccable reputation.  Unfortunately, the woman he finds most compelling, a young friend of his mother’s who was formerly a courtesan, is neither wealthy nor considered virtuous.  In fact, she would be nothing but a detriment to a man aiming for an illustrious career in Parliament.

But convincing his heart to abide by what his head tells him turns out to be far more difficult than Christopher imagined.  I hope you’ll enjoy Ellie and Christopher’s story!

Thank you, Julia!!!!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Review of A Rake's Guide To Seduction by Caroline Linden

I read this book when it was first published and it was a pleasure to read it again.  Anthony is a great character, a man who has the reputation as a rake and believes that he is not worthy of the love of his life.  Celia is a widow who has known Anthony a long time and knows that he is a good man but she has lost confidence in herself in the years that she was married.  They have a second chance at their own HAE. Will they have the courage to try?

Caroline characters have depth, intelligence, and a solid moral core.  Anthony is honorable and Celia is strong, and they are better together than apart.  That is what I loved about this story.  Everyone deserves happiness and Caroline knows how to feed your craving for an absolutely wonderful love story.
Received a Complimentary Copy for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Release Day Blitz for When A Scoundrel Sins by Anna Harrington

Six years ago, a childish prank perpetrated by the reckless Quinton Carlisle ruined Annabelle Greene's reputation and any chance she had at securing a successful marriage.  Incensed, she moved to her beloved estate on the Scottish border and has reveled in the solitude...until now when the contents of a family will are revealed.  Suddenly, Belle's single status may cost her the only home she's ever known.  Now, with her only marital prospect a horribly greedy and completely undesirable man, Belle knows just the person to rescue her-the one person who owes her for his bad behavior...

There's nothing Quinn Carlisle wants more than to get out from his older brother's shadow and make a name for himself abroad. So when a mysterious letter arrives, promising adventure, he rushes to the Scottish border...only to find that Belle laid a trap for him.  The awkward, shy bluestocking whom he so enjoyed tormenting is gone, replaced by a graceful, elegant woman who ignites a desire in him he can't resist.  Can Quinn help her save her home-and win her heart in the process? 

“You look much more like your father now,” she commented, nervously licking her suddenly dry lips but only serving to draw his attention to her mouth. Which made her even more nervous, so nervous that she couldn’t stop the trembling of her fingertips as they wrapped into the skirt of her night rail. “But you’re still a troublemaker.”
A faint smile played at his mouth. “And you’re still a bluestocking,” he countered. Unintentionally simmering a slow heat low in her belly, he reached up to tuck a stray curl behind her ear. “Still retreating to the sanctuary of your library.”
“Because books are usually more pleasant than most people,” she answered, swallowing hard when he trailed his fingers down the side of her neck. She forced out, not at all as firmly as she’d hoped beneath the soft touch of his fingers,
“And more trustworthy.”
Ignoring that jab, he slid his hand lower to let his fingers play at the edge of her shawl. “Yet there are things that people can do that books can’t.” His fingers tugged gently at the shawl and pulled it down her shoulder to reveal the scooped neck of the nightdress beneath. His gaze flicked to the small patch of revealed skin at the base of her throat, then back to her eyes. “All kinds of interesting things.”
She should stop him, swat his hand away, shove him back—but she couldn’t bring herself to do it. Just as she couldn’t hold back the hot shiver that swept through her or the gooseflesh that formed on her skin. His touch was proving to be as equally intoxicating now as that night six years ago.
“Then I have no interest in learning them,” she countered, although from the way her blood hummed, her body was very interested.
Madness—that after what he’d done to her, she could ever want to be in his arms again. Yet she desired just that, although that could never happen. Kissing him once had ruined her reputation. Kissing him again might destroy her entire future.
She thrust her chin into the air. “I know of your reputation.”
“Thank you,” he half purred.
His finger hooked beneath the wide shoulder strap of her sleeveless nightgown and slid it slowly down her arm. But this time, with a stretch of bare shoulder revealed to his eyes, he didn’t bother feigning propriety by looking away and instead flamed a prickling heat beneath her skin everywhere he gazed.
She pulled in a deep breath to steady herself. Oh, why did she always go light-headed when she was alone with him?
“That was not meant as a compliment.”
“Wasn’t it?”
Anna Harrington fell in love with historical romances--and all those dashing Regency heroes--while living in London, where she studied literature and theatre. She loves to travel, fly airplanes, and hike, and when she isn't busy writing her next novel, she loves fussing over her roses in her garden.


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