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(Lonely Lords, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Nicholas Haddonfield has something to hide…

After a wild youth, Nicholas Haddonfield, Viscount Reston, has promised his ailing father he’ll finally take a bride, though doing so will force Nick to make impossible choices and face old, painful wounds.

Leah Lindsey is glad to find refuge from her own desperate situation in a marriage of convenience with the gallant viscount. But soon convenience is not enough, and Leah can’t understand why Nick remains so distant. What is he hiding, and will he ever allow her into his heart?

An extraordinary and passionate tale of courage tested and fears overcome. Once you enter the lush Regency world of award-winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes, you’ll never want to leave.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This is the second book I have read in the Lonely Lords series and, once again, Grace Burrowes has written an engaging story full of heartfelt emotion and richly drawn characters.

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The Snowdrop is for hope.”

Nicholas is a big man with an even bigger heart…so devoted to his family and willing to allay all Leah’s fears and do whatever it takes to protect her from harm –

I will see to your welfare, and without bringing you further misery. You are out of the habit of hoping and trusting, and you grow frantic at the thought of fate pressing upon you. Trust me, and I will win you free of it.”

I did want to bang his big, stubborn head against the nearest wall for keeping secrets from Leah for far too long and causing so much pain and heartache. But the scene where finally gives up all his secrets was so moving, that I couldn’t help but want to throw my arms around that great big bear of a man and hug him tightly.

Hope, he thought with a flash of insight. Hoe that set teats seeping from his closed eyes, and joy sang through him in the very coursing of his life’s blood.

Other things endeared him to me; his charm and humour and when he sends flowers to Leah with a special meaning and the fact that he likes making birdhouses.

I had so much sympathy for Leah; her life marred by a youthful scandal and feeling alone and unloved.

She’d felt cast out, judged, unclean, and unforgivably stupid as a younger woman, and Society had done its cruel best to reinforce her opinion.

She is barely tolerated by cruel, unfeeling father, who is only too happy to see her off his hands and married to an old lecher of a man. All she has ever wanted is to be accepted, loved and cherished. I love her courage, her honesty and her wit. Despite Nicholas’s insistence on a ‘White Marriage’,  Leah’s love and loyalty remains steadfast. She is there to support him when he most needs her.

The story also introduces Nicholas’s older, illegitimate half-brother, Ethan Grey. He is still living with the legacy of his father’s betrayal when he was a boy. which also caused a rift between himself and Nicholas. It was heart-warming to see these two starting to rebuild the close relationship they once shared and I was also moved by the poignant scene between Ethan and his dying father.

Favourite romantic quotes

When Nick Haddonfield held her, she felt protected, cherished, understood, and…treasured. When he kissed her, she felt all that, and so much more.

Sitting on the stone bench in the moonlight, his backside going numb, his wife in his arms, Nicholas Haddonfield knew he was absolutely and unshakeably, unequivocally and eternally loved.

Nicholas: Lord of Secrets is another wonderful addition to this delightful series.

REVIEW RATING: 4.5 /5 Stars

SENSUALITY RATING:  HOT

Read April 2014

 

The Lonely Lords series to date (click on cover for more details):

Darius  Lord of Pleasures (Lonely Lords, #1) Nicholas  Lord of Secrets (Lonely Lords, #2) Ethan  Lord of Scandals (Lonely Lords, #3) Beckman  Lord of Sins (Lonely Lords, #4) Gabriel  Lord of Regrets (Lonely Lords, #5) Gareth  Lord of Rakes (Lonely Lords, #6) Andrew  Lord of Despair (Lonely Lords, #7) Douglas  Lord of Heartache (Lonely Lords, #8) David  Lord of Honor (Lonely Lords, #9) Trenton  Lord of Loss (Lonely Lords, #10)

MY FAVOURITE QUOTES

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‘I …’ Her voice wobbled sharply as she forced herself to continue. ‘1 don’t think I could live without you now.’

 Sebastian’s large hand passed gently over the back of her head, pulling her to his shoulder, and he buried his face in her hair for a moment. ‘Ah, Evie,’ she heard him say softly, ‘I must have a heart, after all … because right now it aches like the devil.’

(Evie and Sebastian)

 

 

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(Marlow Intrigues, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Trapped under the reign of a cruel keeper, Ellen Harding longs to be free. Under his oppression, her soul and conscience have died while her body lives on, fulfilling his dissolute desires. She is empty—a vessel—deaf to the voice of morality and blind to shame.

When her eyes are drawn to a beautiful man for no other reason than his looks, she imagines what it would be like to escape her chains for a night by giving her body to him.

But Edward Marlow is kind and gentle when he touches her, and her subconscious whispers, this man could be her salvation. Yet how can he help her when she has secrets which prevent her freedom?

Edward is restless, lonely, and a little angry with his lot in life—it is his only excuse for being drawn to another man’s mistress. The woman’s dark hair and pale eyes are striking, and he cannot take his gaze off her while she watches him over the top of a fan with an illicit intent in her eyes.

Once he’s known her, he cannot forget her, and once he’s seen the evidence of her supposed benefactor’s brutality, he wants to help her. But how can he when she will not run any more than she will speak of her past?

When a desperate Ellen finally relents and shocks Edward from his sleep, he doesn’t hesitate, he helps her flee. He just doesn’t know he’s running headlong into the secrets of her past.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

I loved this passionate, intense and engrossing romance. Jane Lark brings such emotional depth to the story and a gift for breathing life into her characters.

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… if God judged a woman with such a pure, good heart as hers, for deeds that were forced upon her, then in his opinion, God was an ass.

I feel so much sympathy for Ellen, trapped in a sordid existence with an abusive and manipulative protector with no way out. Sometimes, I would catch a glimpse of the vulnerable woman beneath the hard, protective shell…a woman who still dreams of a happy-ever-after although she knows it can never be.

…no matter what Edward said or what she thought, he could not rescue her from this life and nor could he take back the intervening years of pain.

It was so satisfying to watch Ellen slowly regain her self-esteem and, through Edward’s steadfast love, have the courage to face her father and take back the life which should have been hers. Seeing her overwhelming love for her son, John, was so touching.

 

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She loved him, his patience, his kindness—his determination.

Edward is a true hero. His love for Ellen never falters and he will do anything to protect her and restore her to the life she deserves.

He’d vowed to give it back to her—that time—the life she’d lost.

I adore him for making Ellen challenge all the assumptions she has accepted about her own worth and see the woman she truly is.

Ellen and Edward’s romance is full of ups and downs and Ms Lark captures all the charming, heartrending, poignant, passionate and joyous moments so beautifully.  What really shines through is the unshakeable love that they share.

I admit to being intrigued by Edward’s brother, Robert. He is downright unpleasant at first, insulting Ellen and baiting Edward so much that they almost come to blows. But I got the sense that there is something in Robert’s past that has made him who is.He does redeem himself when he comes to Ellen’s defense when she is threatened by Gainsborough. Luckily, the next book in the series, The Passionate Love of a Rake, tells Robert’s story.

The reunion between Ellen and her sisters is heart-warming and I love how the sisters and their husbands all rally round to support Ellen in any way possible. Gainsborough may be a loathsome toad but the Duke of Pembroke, Ellen’s father, is an outright bastard. It was bad enough that he spurned his daughter and made her mother and sisters believe she was dead, but when the full extent of his betrayal is revealed, I would gladly have seen him horsewhipped.

With its passionate and sensual love story, memorable characters, compelling plot and great writing, I can highly recommend THE ILLICIT LOVE OF A COURTESAN to lovers of Historical Romance.

REVIEW RATING:  5/5 Stars

SENSUALITY RATING:  HOT

Read April 2014

The Marlow Intrigues series (click on cover for more details):

The Illicit Love of a Courtesan (Marlow Intrigues, #1) The Passionate Love of a Rake (Marlow Intrigues, #2) The Scandalous Love of a Duke (Marlow Intrigues, #3)

CARNALLY EVER AFTER BY JACKIE BARBOSA

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

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(Ever After Novellas, #1)

Genre: Erotic Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

This ebook includes CARNALLY EVER AFTER, a short story (15,000 words/50 pages), EPIPHANY, a bonus epilogue (3,400 words/11 pages) and an excerpt from Jackie’s upcoming release, THE LESSON PLAN (6400 words/21 pages).

DESCRIPTION

Jilted at the altar, Lady Louisa Bennett seeks the solace of a quiet, empty chapel and instead finds Alistair de Roche, her fiancé’s best man and the subject of her fantasies from the moment she met him. Alistair knows bedding his best friend’s betrothed is well beyond the pale, but Louisa has haunted his dreams for months. Soon, Louisa and Alistair are caught up in a consuming love affair that threatens their families’ plans and their own hearts. Can they find a way to live happily, and carnally, ever after?

CARNALLY EVER AFTER was previously released under the same title by Cobblestone Press. The bonus epilogue, EPIPHANY, is available for free in the anthology TWELFTH NIGHT.

As you are probably aware Jackie Barbosa’s son was tragically killed in a car accident a few weeks ago. Buying this book was my way of showing support for her at such a distressing time.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

THE KING BY J. R. WARD

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

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(Black Dagger Brotherhood, #12)

Genre: Contemporary Paranormal Romance

Cover Blurb

J.R. Ward’s # 1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood continues as a royal bloodline is compromised by a grave threat to the throne.

Long live the King…

After turning his back on the throne for centuries, Wrath, son of Wrath, finally assumed his father’s mantle–with the help of his beloved mate. But the crown sets heavily on his head. As the war with the Lessening Society rages on, and the threat from the Band of Bastards truly hits home, he is forced to make choices that put everything–and everyone–at risk.

Beth Randall thought she knew what she was getting into when she mated the last pure blooded vampire on the planet: An easy ride was not it. But when she decides she wants a child, she’s unprepared for Wrath’s response–or the distance it creates between them.

The question is, will true love win out… or tortured legacy take over?

I don’t read Paranormal Romance but, some years ago, I heard so much about this series that I thought I would read the first book Dark Lover to find out what all the fuss was about. Well, eleven books later and I’m still reading. I’m totally addicted to this series. Normally, I start reading each new book as soon as it downloads onto my Kindle. This year, I’ve resisted the temptation because I am determined to stick to my selected books for April. That doesn’t mean that it won’t be among my selection for May!!

♥♥♥♥♥♥

THE SCANDALOUS LOVE OF A DUKE BY JANE LARK

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

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(Marlow Intrigues, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Isolated by life and choice, John Harding, the Duke of Pembroke, sees an angel in a pale mauve dress across a room and is drawn closer as lust grips firm and hard in his stomach.  The wheat-blonde hair escaping her dull dove-grey bonnet and caressing her neck lures his eyes to a spot he’d like to kiss.  She speaks with animation her hands moving. Then as if she senses his gaze the stranger turns and looks at him.

A rush of pain and longing spilled from Katherine’s heart into her limbs. It was so long since she’d seen John but her reaction was the same as it had been more than half-a-dozen years before. She loved him, secretly, without hope, but a chasm of years and status stood between them.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

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                  JoannaM

 

Congratulations, Joanna . I have passed your email address to Delilah that she can send you the $5 Amazon Gift Card.

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(Comanche, #4)

Genre: Historical Romance (Western)

Cover Blurb:

Handsome, strong, and just a little bit dangerous, half-Comanche Chase Wolf is used to getting what he wants. So when he sees Franny — a golden-haired angel with deep green eyes, delicate features, and the sweetest smile — he sets out to make her his. But far from the innocent she seems, Franny is the local “unfortunate,” who services men above the Lucky Nugget salon. The shocking truth sends Chase reeling.

Long ago, circumstance forced Franny to make a terrible choice in order to provide for those she holds dearest. Now she lives a secret double life — respectable in one world, shunned in another — always fearful of discovery, forever marked by shame.

But Chase’s love for Franny is persistent and patient and knows no bounds. He offers her a life she longs to claim but believes she can’t possibly deserve. Franny tries to resist Chase, but he won’t listen to reason, and he won’t stop trying until her defenses have fallen, her heart is healed, and their love has triumphed

♥♥♥♥♥♥

I loved this book! Catherine Anderson really tugged at my heart strings with this beautiful and deeply moving story of sorrow and heartache but also compassion, understanding, love and redemption. Ms Anderson always impresses me with the emotional depth of her writing and her ability to draw me into the lives of her characters and make me care deeply about them.

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What struck Chase was how sweet and innocent she looked, the kind who made a man want to fight mountain lions for her and win.

A prostitute as a heroine shouldn’t work on many levels but Ms Anderson made Franny such a unique and sympathetic character that my heart ached for her.  I didn’t see her as she sees herself – a lost soul and soiled – I saw a lovely, sweet, innocent, warm person who had selflessly sacrificed so much for those she loved. She needed someone who could love her and prove to her that she was worthy of being loved. Chase was just that person.

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She had known lots of men, but none had made her feel like this, as if she had been waiting all her life to set eyes on him.

I lost my heart to Chase.  His hero status is a bit shaky at first…

“Stay away from my sister and her kids. The last thing she needs is a tarnished little whore playing on her sympathy and messing up her life.”

but, with a little wisdom from his father, he soon becomes a wonderful hero who is kind, patient and compassionate, willing to love Franny unconditionally. I sighed when he told her:

“You are one in a million. Beautiful, sweet, desirable. Being with you makes me feel ten feet tall.”

I was so proud when he confronts Franny’s  self-centred family with some hard home truths.

The romance is handled with sensitivity and the scene where Chase finally makes love to Franny is both beautiful and sensual.

I love Chase’s wonderful parents; his full-blooded Comanche father, Hunter – purer of heart and noble to his bone - and his mother, Loretta – with a heart the size of Texas. Hunter follows the old ways and he imparts so many pearls of wisdom.

“The standards you set—only a saint could live by them, and I’m no saint. Not anything close.”

“They are a map I drew for you, Chase, nothing more. I tried to mark the way clearly, but as with all maps, there is more than one route. You must choose the way you will go.” (Hunter to Chase)

“Around here, no one will trip you, so you need not watch your feet. If you stumble, one of us will catch you from falling. So look up, yes? The best things in life are ahead of you, daughter. If you hang your head, you may miss them.” (Hunter to Franny)

I love how the whole Wolf family are willing to embrace Franny and accept her without hesitation.

The Epilogue left me with a deep sigh of satisfaction and a few tears.

This is the final book in Ms Anderson’s outstanding Comanche series and a story that really touches the heart. This is a series not to be missed.

REVIEW RATING:  5/5 Stars

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

Read March 2014

Comanche series (click on book covers for more details):

Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1) Comanche Heart (Comanche #2) Indigo Blue (Comanche, #3) Comanche Magic (Comanche, #4)

 

 

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(Secret Brides, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

How to Stop a Wedding

Young, widowed, and penniless, Lily Andrews, the Countess of Merrill,has strong opinions on marriage. When she spots a certain engagement announcement in The Times, she decides to take action. She will not allow another hapless girl to fall prey to a man—particularly the scoundrel who broke her heart five years ago. Anonymously she writes and distributes a pamphlet entitled “Secrets of a Wedding Night,” knowing it will find its way into his intended’s innocent hands…

How to Seduce a Widow

Devon Morgan, the Marquis of Colton, desires a good wife and mother to his son—someone completely unlike Lily Andrews, the heartless beauty who led him on a merry chase five years ago only to reject him. When Devon’s new fiancée cries off after reading a certain scandalous pamphlet, he vows to track down the author and make her pay. But when he learns it’s his former fiancée Lily, he issues a challenge: write a retraction or prepare to be seduced—to find out how wonderful a wedding night can be…
♥♥♥♥♥♥

SECRETS OF A WEDDING NIGHT, the first book in Valerie Bowman’s Secret Brides series, is a delightful tale of secrets, seduction and second chances, written with warmth, wit and style.

The things I love about this book:

Sexy, confident, strong, compassionate but stubborn hero ~

Society sees Devon as a gambler, a drinker and a rake. The reality is very different. Using his skill with numbers, Devon has accumulated a large fortune at the gaming tables and invested it wisely. Now he gambles in the squalor of the Rookery for one reason only…. to restore a family heirloom which was a symbol of his ancestry. Having once been deserted by the woman he loved in favour of an older, richer man, Devon now hides his true financial situation. The woman he marries must love him for himself and not his money. His love for his illegitimate son, Justin, and his rescue of an adorable puppy reveal a kinder and softer side to Devon. When Lily needs a knight in shining armour, he comes to her aid.

Resilient, protective, loyal and equally stubborn heroine ~

Left in financial straits after her father dies, Lily is determined to keep her “ragtag little household” together. Nothing is more important than her sister’s happiness and I can understand why Lily is overprotective. She wants Anne to have the freedom she didn’t enjoy whilst under the control of firstly her father and then her elderly husband. I can also understand her reluctance to trust Devon with her heart. To all appearances, he is a carbon copy of her father who drank and then gambled away everything. I love the fact that she is scared of spiders…something so many of us ladies share. It gives her a very human edge.

Delicious sexual tension and steamy passion ~

I enjoyed all the varied nuances of Devon and Lily’s romance.

The feelings of hurt and anger reflected in their barbed remarks to each other…

“I see in addition to your renowned gambling and rakishness, you’ve also turned to the bottle. Are you trying for all the seven sins?”
His voice was calm. “And I see in addition to your renowned flirtations and fickleness, your skills as a hostess leave much to be desired.”

The strong attraction that still simmers below the surface…

He was a drug. That’s what he was. Like opium. A maddening, unhealthy pleasure that left her senses reeling.

Blast it. He was already plagued with indecent thoughts. This entire seduction plot would be much easier if he weren’t driven half mad just looking at her.

The seduction …

She moaned when his warm lips finally touched hers. The contact was almost unbearable. It was the softest, smoothest, least aggressive kiss he’d ever given her. It demanded nothing from her and made her feel more than all the other kisses combined.

The lies…

“Damn it, Lily. Will you listen you me? I never intended to profit from it. You must belive me.”
She clenched her fists at her sides. “Believe you? A liar? A gambler? A man who prizes money above all else? What sort of fool do you take me for?.”

A lasting love

Tears flowed down Lily’s cheek. She smiled through them. “I love you, Devon. I always have.”

An engaging cast of secondary characters ~

I adore Lily’s loyal servants – Evans, the butler who had the habit of falling asleep at the most inopportune moments and Mary, the lady’s maid with an unfortunate memory problem. I love the way in which Lily’s sister, Anne matures during the course of the story:

Oh, Anne, when did you become so wise?”
Anne smiled a knowing smile. “When you weren’t looking, dear sister.”

I also enjoyed the interactions between Devon and his friend, Jordan Holloway, Earl of Ashbourne and Devon’s jealousy of Lily’s friend, Viscount Medford.

Overall, this was a charming fast-paced story filled with humour and passion and a very impressive debut novel from Ms Bowman. I will definitely be reading the other books I have in this series.

REVIEW RATING: 4.5/5 Stars

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read March 2014

The Secret Brides series (click on cover for more details):

Secrets of a Wedding Night (Secret Brides, #1) A Secret Proposal (Secret Brides, #1.5) Secrets of a Runaway Bride (Secret Brides, #2) A Secret Affair (Secret Brides #2.5) Secrets of a Scandalous Marriage (Secret Brides, #3) It Happened Under The Mistletoe (Secret Brides, #3.5)

 

 

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