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Genre: Historical Romance (WWI 1914-1918)

Cover Blurb:

AS WAR BLAZES ACROSS EUROPE, THREE COUPLES FIND A LOVE THAT IS POWERFUL ENOUGH TO OVERCOME ALL THE ODDS…

A KISS GOODBYE
1914

As war looms, genteel Flora yearns to be more than just an observer. She finds a revolutionary kindred spirit in soldier Geraint—but will their fragile love be crushed before it can start to bloom?

DEAREST SYLVIE
1916

Soldier Robbie cannot forget his one hedonistic night in Paris with beautiful waitress Sylvie. But as Europe burns, can these two star-crossed lovers ever be reunited?

FOREVER WITH ME
1918

Nurse Sheila is horrified to discover her new boss is the French surgeon she woke beside after Armistice Day! Fighting for their love will be the bravest thing she’s ever had to do…

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I have to say thank you to my dear friend, Wendy Loveridge, for recommending not only this book but also talented author Marguerite Kaye. I now look forward to reading more of her books.

The book contains three emotive and evocative love stories, each set against the backdrop of World War 1. The link to all them is the Carmichael family…Lord and Lady Carmichael, daughter Flora, sons Robbie and Alex …and their ancestral home, Glen Massan in Argyle, Scotland. The war will have far-reaching effects on everyone at Glen Massan.

A Kiss Goodbye – 1914

Like many other ancestral homes, Glen Massan has been requisitioned for army use and Corporal Geraint Cassell has arrived to supervise the requisitioning. A former Welsh miner and socialist, he has a deep-seated dislike of the rich and privileged. Despite the spark of attraction that flares when he meets Flora, he regards her as nothing more than “an empty-headed social butterfly”. However, as they work together overseeing the handover, Geraint realises that Flora is not at all what he expected. He finds her quick-witted and practical with a real talent for organisation. Flora is confused by Geraint’s initial animosity but, the more she gets to know him, the more she realises how much they are alike despite their social differences. He makes her take a good look at her life and gives her the self-confidence to take control of her own life and not conform to the expectations of her family. Even as they fall in love, will Geraint’s shameful secret and his personal fears destroy any chance of happiness they might have?

Dearest Sylvie – 1916

Robbie Carmichael, the eldest son and heir, has seen action in France for the past two years. However, he receives a serious head injury and is hospitalised. Battle hardened, scarred and totally disillusioned by the war, he is just a shell of a man, shunning any form of human contact. During his period of convalescence in Paris, he is drinking in a nightclub, trying to numb the constant nagging headache when his attention is drawn to a beautiful woman at the bar. Robbie is surprised to find himself aroused by the sight of her. Fixed by the intensity of his gaze, Sylvie Renaud is drawn to the stranger at the bar. The war has deprived Sylvie of everything… her family, her home, her job… leaving a deep-rooted sorrow and anger in her soul. One dance leads to a night of uninhibited passion leaving them both embarrassed the following morning. Robbie returns to the front but cannot forget Sylvie and pours out his feelings in letters…you made me want things that I cannot have, feel things I am afraid to feel, think things I can’t bear to think about…hoping she feels the same. Falling in love is inevitable but are they willing to take the biggest risk of all?

Forever With Me – 1918

Sheila Fraser, Flora’s friend and a former maid at Glen Massan, has been working as a volunteer field nurse in France since the beginning of the war. She fell in love with one of the doctors only to find she was just another notch on his bedpost. Her reputation compromised, she had learned a hard lesson and dedicates herself to restoring her reputation and achieving a level of nursing worthy of any fully-trained nurse. She’s determined never don a maid’s uniform again. The Armistice Day celebrations are in full swing in Boulogne and Sheila is sharing all the excitement of the day when she sees a French officer watching her intently. Before she can say no, Luc Durand has swept her into his arms. For four years, Luc has devoted his life to his work but Sheila’s zest for life draws him like a magnet. Soon they are kissing and making love with total abandon. Next morning, shocked by her wild behaviour, Sheila flees. Returning to Glen Massan, she finds the house being converted into a hospital dedicated to treating ex-servicemen. Despite her wartime nursing experience, she is not a qualified nurse and all her job applications have been rejected. Flora has persuaded the hospital trustees to fund a nursing position for Sheila but the new chief surgeon, whose arrival is imminent, has to approve her appointment. Sheila is shocked to discover that the chief surgeon is Luc. Real passion still smoulders between them but is Sheila brave enough to follow her heart and can Luc put the past behind him and embrace the future.

Each of the stories is beautifully written and, through her characters, Ms Kaye explores the effects of the war on both soldiers and civilians and on the very fabric of society. Lord and Lady Carmichael exemplify the privileged class whose way of life would disappear forever while Geraint represents the voice of socialism.

For me, Dearest Sylvie, because it is set in 1916, captures all the horror, disillusionment and tragedy of the war. Ms Kaye does this in subtle but effective ways such as Robbie’s thoughts when he sees Sylvie…

She would smell of summer, of flowers, of that delightful sweet spiciness that was so peculiarly female. She would not smell of mud and despair.

or in the moving letters Robbie has to write to the next of kin of his fallen comrades. These encapsulate the real human tragedy of war.

Sheila symbolises the determination of women to break free of the traditional roles imposed on them.

The love scenes have a raw intensity which seems so realistic given the circumstances. I’m sure there were many lonely and disillusioned people who sought a moment’s forgetfulness of the horror of war in someone’s arms and feel that they were still alive.

Some Memorable Moments

A Kiss Goodbye

“I have never met a socialist before. Are they all as outspoken as you?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never met a laird’s daughter before. Are they all as feisty as you?”
“Oh, I should think so. Centuries of trampling over serfs and turning crofters out of their homes into the winter snows leave their mark, you know.”

Dearest Sylvie

She liked the soft burr of his accent, which made her think of misty Scottish glens and rugged Highland scenery. She liked the combination of auburn hair and grey-blue eyes the latent strength she could feel in that lean, hard body. She liked the hint of sensuality in his unsmiling mouth. For once, she saw not the soldier but the man. A vulnerable man who gazed out at the world from behind his attractive carapace like a hermit crab living in an abandoned shell.

Forever With Me

From wild elation, his spirits plummeted. Luc swore under his breath. Etiquette! Sacre bleu, he had just made love to a complete stranger, and he was worrying about etiquette. What was he thinking? How could he have allowed himself to become so carried away? He should have stayed at the hospital. He should not have danced with her. He should not have kissed her. He certainly should not have brought her back here.

With its sensual love stories, memorable characters, real sense of time and place, and eloquent writing, I can highly recommend NEVER FORGET ME.

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read August 2014

(Lords of Anarchy, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

A DANGEROUS GAME

Heartbroken by the loss of her brother, Miss Leonora Craven vows to uncover the truth about his “accident,” which seems to have been anything but. Jonathan Craven was involved with the Lords of Anarchy, a notorious driving club, and Leonora can’t help but suspect foul play. But the only way she can infiltrate their reckless inner circle is to enlist the help of Jonny’s closest ally, Lord Frederick Lisle. If only he didn’t also happen to be the man who broke Leonora’s heart…

AN UNDENIABLE DESIRE

Frederick isn’t surprised to find gorgeous, headstrong Leonora playing detective, but he knows that the Lords of Anarchy mean business—and he has no choice but to protect her. A sham engagement to Leonora will allow Frederick to bring her into the club and along for the ride. But it isn’t long before pretending to be lovers leads to very real passion. With everything to lose, is their tempestuous affair worth the risk?

Expected publication date: 31 March 2015

GLENDA MARTILLOTTI

Congratulations Glenda! I have passed you email details to Renee so that she can arrange for your copy of Devil To Pay to be sent.

Happy reading!

MY FAVOURITE QUOTES

“I… What are you saying, Zsadist?” she stammered, even though she’d heard every word.

He glanced back down at the pencil in his hand and then turned to the table. Flipping the spiral notebook to a new page, he bent way over and labored on top of the paper for quite a while. Then he ripped the sheet free.

His hand was shaking as he held it out. “It’s messy.”

Bella took the paper. In a child’s uneven block letters there were three words: I LOVE YOU

Her lips flattened tight as her eyes stung. The handwriting got wavy and then disappeared.
 
“Maybe you can’t read it,” he said in a small voice. “I can do it over.”
 
She shook her head. “I can read it just fine. It’s… beautiful.”

“I don’t expect anything back. I mean… I know that you don’t… feel that for me anymore. But I wanted you to know. It’s important that you knew.” 

(Zsadist and Bella)

About DEVIL TO PAY :


(Eternity Gambit, #1)

Genre: Romantic Comedy with Paranormal Elements

Cover Blurb

Being the Devil is a job no one wants. The hours are terrible, the workload unbelievable and frankly, customer service is a nightmare. You’re blamed for everything and liability is no joke when you’re the Lord of Darkness. As a result, turnover for the position is fairly high. The current Lucifer is the seventh lucky one to lose the ultimate lottery and land the title.

Truthfully, there’s very little evil to be instigated. Free will and a bad history of twisted mythology takes care of all of it–so the guy behind the black onyx desk is generally just the unhappy Archangel left filling out paperwork and doing his best to keep the Big Boss happy. And for Lucifer, forget about dating. It’s a long, dry run, unless you’re into the women that might be into you–and frankly, the current Lucifer isn’t too turned on by ladies wearing spider web stockings and red Jell-O in their hair. Not that he blames a few of his predecessors with embracing the Goth hooker thing, but–an Angel has to be true to himself.

So when Lucifer accidentally bumps into a mortal woman who makes him rethink the wisdom of not applying for that maintenance position in Purgatory, it’s a roller coaster ride. Love can make anyone crazy. And Lucifer is determined to see if he can make it snow in Hell if it will polish up his wings enough to win the girl and get himself fired.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

Smashwords
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EXCERPT:

She nodded her head slowly, not trusting her voice. It’s official. I’m the worst sales professional walking. Unprepared. I let my nerves do the talking and now I’m crushing on the man and have forgotten how to talk. Yeesh!

“I don’t usually partake in the middle of the afternoon,” he went on as if there was nothing out of the ordinary going on. “But I think today is going to be an exception.”

“May I ask, what is your business, Luke?” Jayne followed him to the bar where two black leather half couches faced each other across from a low stone cube table. She perched in the middle of one of them as he took the seat across from her.

“It’s…a little of everything,” he answered, looking down at his hands, then stood to cross over to the shelves, opening up one of the dark glass cabinets to survey the bottles. “Or a lot of everything depending on your viewpoint.”

“Well, if I had to guess, I’d say you were into weapons manufacturing or some kind of high end military technologies, am I right?”

“Why would you say that?” His expression was pure curiosity as he pulled out a bottle of port.

“Well. Black isn’t exactly the color of a toy company and no one would be this hush-hush unless they really didn’t want the public to even notice they were there.”

“Good point.”

“Not that the “Men in Black” thing doesn’t have a certain appeal,” she added shyly.

“So, is it weapons or something…scary?”

He filled two crystal glasses with tawny port and came back to join her. “I don’t make weapons, Jayne.” He held out one glass to her. “As for scary, that’s a little trickier.”

“Okay, no more guessing games.” Jayne took the delicate glass from him. “Let’s have it.”

“I’m not sure where to begin,” he admitted then took a sip from his glass.

“How about telling me what H.E. stands for?”

“Hades Enterprises.”

She blinked twice, waiting to see if he was joking. “Seriously? What do you manufacture? Brimstone?”

He smiled; that potent bone melting smile that made her hips shiver with a wicked thrill. “No. I’m afraid we don’t manufacture anything.”

“Well, before I even hear what you do, I’m telling you that you need a name change. Luke, there’s nothing positive associated with Hades. Do you have a parent corporation that’s Greek or something? Maybe they didn’t understand the cultural implications when they shifted to the States?” Jayne took a sip from her glass and was momentarily distracted by how good it was. But she set it down to do her best to hold her own.

Let’s not add alcohol to the mix of weird and wonderment I’ve got cooking.

“Jayne,” he took a deep breath and mirrored her choice by setting down his drink. “I didn’t mean to invite you back under false pretences. We’ve never worked with a public relations firm. Ever.”

“Clearly.” She nodded. “But Luke, you can’t be a corporation with that name. And the abbreviation—it’s worse. You know this, right?”

“I know, but it was a challenge to come up with anything better, Jayne. Gehenna, Inc. was taken believe it or not and there’s actually a software company that designs games called Satanic Ventures. It’s not like I can just throw a dart at a board. I thought it was fairly clever, H.E. LLc.”

Jayne leaned back against the leather cushion and tried to take in what he was saying but her brain refused to keep up. “Luke. It’s not like you’re… You are not actually…”

“Lucifer?” he prompted gently
.
She nodded.

“But I am.”

Game on.
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ABOUT RENEE:

Renee Bernard is an award winning and USA Today bestselling author of historical romance and recently, contemporary romantic comedy. She won RT’s Reviewer’s Choice award for “Best Debut Historical” in 2006 and never slowed down (she missed the memo). By the end of 2014, she will have fifteen books out there in the world. She has published with Simon & Schuster and Berkley as well as branching out into independent publishing, audio books and comic books. For over four years she has been the host of “The Romance Bookmark” (formerly “Canned Laughter and Coffee”), a weekly internet radio show with between 80-100K registered listeners via Readers Entertainment. From wine wrangling to stand-up comedy and public speaking, there’s nothing off the table. (No really. Nothing. Except anything involving a pole. She’s past that now.)

Renee lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains with her husband and daughters, and an adequate number of cats to qualify as a romance writer.

Where to find Renee:

Renee’s FB Fan Page

Renee’s Website

Renee’s Twitter

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Renee is kindly giving away an ebook copy of DEVIL TO PAY. To be eligible for the Giveaway just leave a comment together with your name and email address.

The Giveaway will close at midnight (GMT) on August 19th and the winner will be announced on August 20th.


(Eternity Gambit, #1)

Genre: Romantic Comedy with Paranormal Elements

Cover Blurb

Being the Devil is a job no one wants. The hours are terrible, the workload unbelievable and frankly, customer service is a nightmare. You’re blamed for everything and liability is no joke when you’re the Lord of Darkness. As a result, turnover for the position is fairly high. The current Lucifer is the seventh lucky one to lose the ultimate lottery and land the title.

Truthfully, there’s very little evil to be instigated. Free will and a bad history of twisted mythology takes care of all of it–so the guy behind the black onyx desk is generally just the unhappy Archangel left filling out paperwork and doing his best to keep the Big Boss happy. And for Lucifer, forget about dating. It’s a long, dry run, unless you’re into the women that might be into you–and frankly, the current Lucifer isn’t too turned on by ladies wearing spider web stockings and red Jell-O in their hair. Not that he blames a few of his predecessors with embracing the Goth hooker thing, but–an Angel has to be true to himself.

So when Lucifer accidentally bumps into a mortal woman who makes him rethink the wisdom of not applying for that maintenance position in Purgatory, it’s a roller coaster ride. Love can make anyone crazy. And Lucifer is determined to see if he can make it snow in Hell if it will polish up his wings enough to win the girl and get himself fired.

MY REVIEW

 

 

This is the 5th book in Ella Quinn’s charming The Marriage Game series.

(The Marriage Game, #5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Ella Quinn’s intriguing and irresistible bachelors are masters in the game of seduction. But nothing has the power to change a single man’s mind like a captivating woman…

William, Viscount Wivenly, plans to remain the most eligible of bachelors. He refuses to surrender to the schemes of husband-hunting ladies and matchmaking mamas. Fleeing the pressure of the ton, he’s bent on finding refuge in the West Indies. What he finds instead is a fascinating stranger, a woman so unlike those of his society that he can’t resist such a beguiling distraction…

Determined to let nothing complicate her mission to protect her family’s livelihood while covertly rescuing orphaned slave children, Miss Eugénie Villaret does her best to evade suitors. But when dashing William lures her down a path of forbidden adventure and delicious danger, she may be convinced that business can indeed be mixed with pleasure—and persuaded to add passion to her priorities…

Buy Links:

Buy for the KindleBuy for the NookBuy from Kensington

Also available from:

Amazon Canada

Amazon UK

Amazon DE

Amazon FR

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