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Today sees the release of the second book in Renee Bernard’s Black Rose Trilogy


(Black Rose Trilogy, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

LADY RISES serves up the next relentless installment in the Black Rose Trilogy and leaves no doubt that Hell hath no fury like a woman wronged but when that woman is Raven Wells—the Devil himself would rather keep out of her way.

From the ashes of LADY FALLS, Raven Wells is transformed into Lady Serena Wellcott. Now with wealth and power all her own, she is the founder of the Black Rose—a secret society dedicated to securing justice for women who have been abused or wronged in the private corridors of Victorian society. She has dedicated her life to revenge, honing her skills at the bequest of others but biding her time until she has the two men she loathes most in this world in her sights.

Sir Phillip Warrick has scars of his own from their fateful encounter years before and his heart has never healed from the loss of his beautiful Raven and the irrevocable mistake of brutally ending their affair. But when he found no trace of her, he let himself believe that she was dead. Except Phillip isn’t that lucky. When he is introduced to Lady Serena Wellcott at his cousin’s country home, his world begins to implode. Because once again he has a tigress by the tail, except this time, it’s a dangerous mix of passion and poison when it becomes clear that what the lady wants most is his head on a platter. If only he didn’t still love her with every fiber of his being…

In a dance of desire, Serena has her own struggles reconciling the man she once loved with the irresistible rake she has vowed to hate. Vengeance is its own mistress and it’s a race to the finish as the Black Rose takes on a quest to carve out justice and find mercy even where it’s been forgotten. Love may rule but Lady Serena Wellcott doesn’t believe in playing fairly and she also doesn’t believe in surrender.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

From acclaimed USA Today bestselling author, Renee Bernard, comes a new trilogy of gothic power and twisted sensuality. Here’s a slice of historical romance not generally found in the mainstream—so pull up a chair, settle in for a good read and hang on!

“Marvelously daring, welcome to a sensual world that will test not only your mind but your heart.” – Delilah Marvelle, Award Winning Author

“Delicious! A fabulous story that draws you in from the very first word and stays with you long after the finish. -”Máire Claremont, Award Winning Author

 

Buy Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

Smashwords

This is the prequel to THE ILLICIT LOVE OF A COURTESAN (Marlow Intrigues, #1) and should be read first.

(Marlow Intrigues, #4)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Young, naïve and innocent, Lady Ellen Pembroke falls for a young army officer. Paul has such an easy enchanting smile and his blue eyes glow, vibrancy and warmth emanating from him. She is in love.

Captain Paul Harding, the sixth son of an earl, finds his attention captured by the beautiful young daughter of the Duke of Pembroke at a house party in the summer. Finding Ellen is like finding treasure on a battle torn field. His sanity clings to her; something beautiful to remind him that all in the world is not ugly. She’s someone to fight for. Someone to survive for, when he is called to arms in the battle of Waterloo…


Buy Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

(Wicked Widows, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

IS IT A REASON FOR ROMANCE?

In Why Earls Fall in Love by Manda Collins, young widowed Georgina Mowbray is settling into her role as Lady Russell’s companion quite well—until the lady’s nephew Dominic, the Earl of Coniston, arrives in Bath for a visit. Georgie’s always found him shallow and too smooth, and trusts him as much as she trusts most men…which is to say, not at all. But Con turns out to be more intriguing than she remembers—and completely irresistible…

OR A PROMISE OF PASSION?

Pretty, practical Georgie is nothing like the women Con usually woos—especially since she seems blind to his charms. But his elderly aunt is so fond of her that Con is determined at least to be sociable…with the occasional flirtation thrown in just for fun. But things take a serious turn when a dangerous figure from Georgie’s unhappy past appears and threatens to bring her harm. Con will do whatever it takes to keep Georgie safe. And if he can show her that all men are not menaces, he might be able to keep her in his arms and never let go…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This is the second book in the Wicked Widows series from Manda Collins.

The series centres on sisters, Isabella and Perdita, and their friend, Georgina… all widows of abusive husbands. They share a terrible secret concerning the death of Perdita’s husband, the Duke of Ormonde, but find themselves threatened by someone who obviously knows that secret and is out for revenge. The first book, Why Dukes Say I Do, told Isabella’s story and this is Georgina’s (Georgie’s) story.

 “…he has nothing more to concern himself with than the betting book or which opera dancer he’s going to bed.”

This is how Georgie sees Con at the beginning of the story. Not very flattering to a potential hero but, of course, Con gradually reveals those qualities that make a good romance hero. It’s clear that he adores his aunt, Lady Russell, and that he had helped her through a very painful time in her life. I love how protective he is towards Georgie when he learns of the potential danger she may be in; how fiercely he defends her honour when Mr. Gilloway, the investigator makes disparaging remarks about her. After hearing how Georgie suffered during her abusive marriage, he comes to fully appreciate how difficult it is for a woman, forced to obey a father or a husband without redress. He had wanted to put a stop to the abuse that Perdita had suffered but, as a duke, her husband was far too powerful for a mere earl. I liked that Con’s thoughts weren’t solely occupied with lustful thoughts of Georgie but he also ‘found her quick wit and kind heart just as alluring as her pretty face’.

Georgie had long ago mastered the art of keeping her emotions in check. It gave her the inner strength to survive the years of her abusive marriage. She also appreciated the well-ordered army life which helped form a welcome counterbalance to the volatile relationship with her husband. Understandably, she has a deep distrust of men and deters any unwelcome attention with her serious demeanour, drab clothes and severe hair styles. I like how she refuses to be intimidated by Con but eventually comes to trust him and recognises his innate sense of decency and goodness. Her fears about remarrying again are very real. She made a terrible mistake in her choice of her first husband and no longer trusts her own judgement as regards men. I love Con for understanding her fears rather than sweeping them aside.

“No one who has endured what you went through could emerge without some sense of scepticism about people around them. It would be impossible not to.”

The romance between them is witty, tender and passionate and Ms Collins manages to convey all the emotion and passion quite beautifully and without being overly explicit. I’m sharing two of my favourite moments:

And with each beat of her heart she felt the threads of their souls knitting knitting together in a fabric no amount of strife could unravel.

It was a kiss of reverence, as if she were as precious to him as a fragile treasure. And Georgie felt her eyes prick with unshed tears. How did he know that what she always wanted deep down in her innermost soul, was to feel valued like that.

I love their conversation in Lady Russell’s breakfast room the morning after they have made love. It sounds perfectly innocent but is full of naughty innuendo.

There is well-drawn supporting cast including Con’s friendLord Archer Lisle who is in love with Perdita but unwilling to tell her. There is some delightfully witty banter between Archer and Con. I also liked Lady Russell who treats Georgie more as a friend than an employee.

”I am an eccentric old woman who has more money than is good for her, who wishes to see her dear friend , who is also her companion, enjoy herself for a change”.

The scene where she gives Georgie a sapphire necklace to wear and reveals her tragic past is both poignant and heartrending. Later in the story, I did find it hard to believe that, given their close relationship, Lady Russell would readily accept, without any question, that Georgie would steal her jewellery.

In the theatre scene, I love how Ms Collins makes reference to her characters in the Ugly Ducklings series, when Con is pointing out some of the more notorious members of the ton to Georgie. Isabella, Trevor and Perdita also make a welcome appearance to offer their help in tracking down the person threatening Georgie.

One reviewer says that Ms Collins’s dialogue is stilted but I totally disagree and found it natural and not at all stilted. I also like how she emphasises the reality of being a wife trapped in an abusive marriage and the limitations on women in general.

There are enough red herrings so that I didn’t guess the identity of the person threatening Georgie until right before the climax. It’s evident there is a master villain at work, who has been using others in pursuit of his or her revenge. At the moment, I have no idea who this mysterious person might be and can only wait for all to be revealed in the final book.

This is a delightful, entertaining romance and I’m really looking forward to reading Perdita and Archer’s story in Why Lords Lose Their Hearts (29th July)

 

REVIEW RATING: 4.5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read July 2014

 

The Wicked Widows series (click on covers for more details):

Why Dukes Say I Do (Wicked Widows, #1) by Manda Collins Why Earls Fall in Love (Wicked Widows, #2) by Manda Collins Why Lords Lose Their Hearts (Wicked Widows, #3) by Manda Collins

 

A special thank you to Manda Collins for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review. 

 

I have some catching up to do with this series as I still have THE HEIRESS EFFECT and THE COUNTESS CONSPIRACY to read.

(Brothers Sinister, #4)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

An idealistic suffragette…

Miss Frederica “Free” Marshall has put her heart and soul into her newspaper, known for its outspoken support of women’s rights. Naturally, her enemies are intent on destroying her business and silencing her for good. Free refuses to be at the end of her rope…but she needs more rope, and she needs it now.

…a jaded scoundrel…

Edward Clark’s aristocratic family abandoned him to die in a war-torn land, so he survived the only way he could: by becoming a rogue and a first-class forger. When the same family that left him for dead vows to ruin Miss Marshall, he offers his help. So what if he has to lie to her? She’s only a pawn to use in his revenge.

…and a scandal seven years in the making.

But the irrepressible Miss Marshall soon enchants Edward. By the time he realizes that his cynical heart is hers, it’s too late. The only way to thwart her enemies is to reveal his scandalous past…and once the woman he loves realizes how much he’s lied to her, he’ll lose her forever.

(Title changed from The Mistress Rebellion, pre-publication)

 

Buy Links:

ebook:
amazon | amazon uk | nook | iBooks | kobo | google play | all romance |smashwords

 

I’m thrilled to reveal the gorgeous cover for HIS WICKED SEDUCTION, the second book in Lauren’s delightful The League of Rogues series….

Image
(The League of Rogues, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Can the League’s most wicked rakehell be tamed? Or has this Rogue fallen too far?

Horatia Sheridan has been hopelessly in love with Lucien, her brother’s best friend, ever since he rescued her from the broken remains of her parents’ wrecked carriage. His reputation as London’s most notorious rakehell doesn’t frighten her, for under his veneer of cool authority she has glimpsed a man whose wicked desires inspire her own.

Lucien, Marquess of Rochester, has deliberately nurtured a reputation for debauchery that makes every matchmaking mother of the ton quake with fear. His one secret: he is torn between soul-ripping lust for Horatia, and the loyalty he owes her brother.

That loyalty is put to the test when an old enemy of the League threatens Horatia’s life. With Christmas drawing near, he sweeps her away to his country estate, where he can’t resist granting her one wish—to share his bed and his heart.

But sinister forces are lurking, awaiting the perfect moment to exact their revenge by destroying not only whatever happiness Lucien might find in Horatia’s arms, but the lives of those they love.

Warning: This book contains an intelligent lady who is determined to seduce her brother’s friend, a brooding rake whose toy of choice in bed is a little bit of bondage with a piece of red silk, a loyal band of merry rogues and a Christmas love so scorching you’ll need fresh snow to extinguish it

(Release date: 11th November 2014 – Samhain Publishing Ltd)

MY FAVOURITE QUOTES

A book had always been a door to another world… a world much more interesting and fantastical than reality. But she had finally discovered that life could be even more wonderful than fantasy.

And that love could fill the real world with magic. 

(Daisy Bowman)

(Duke’s Club, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance

Cover Blurb

What a Widow Wants:

Everything is going swimmingly for Kathryn Darrell. She’s got an annuity of a hundred thousand a year, her lecherous-heart breaking husband has had the good graces to pop off, and best of all, she has her freedom– Something she has every intention of reveling in to the fullest. And who better to revel with than Ryder Blake, the infamous Duke of Darkwell?

A Duke’s Desire:

Ryder Blake, Duke of Darkwell, known as the Duke of Debauchery, is certain he will never love again. His heart lies buried with his wife and he has vowed to never give more than his body to a woman. But when Kathryn shows up on his doorstep, quite literally, demanding he show her the ways of London, he finds that his heart longs to love once again.

Expected publication date: July 7th 2014 by Bard Publications

♥♥♥♥♥

ONCE UPON A DUKE

Eva Devon gives us a wickedly delicious and sparkling cocktail, with just a hint of bitters.

 

Method

Add a large measure of Ryder Blake, the eleventh Duke of Darkwell…

a man with a reputation as the Duke of Debauchery and a tendency to act irrationally at times; a widower who has sworn never to let another woman into his heart.

Add an equal measure of Kathryn Darrell…

an independent-minded widow determined to experience true passion and pleasure for the first time.

Stir well then add

a dash of Jack Eversley, Duke of Hunt, Ryder’s incorrigible best friend…

always ready with a mocking quip and a saucy innuendo; has been known to sing My Wild Irish Rose while waving a peacock feather fan.

and

a dash of Imogen Cavendish , Kathryn’s rather scandalous best friend…

always ready with some juicy gossip and rather fond of handsome footmen and dark closets.

mix in

a soupçon of Grieves, Ryders’ rickety, bushy eye-browed butler

a large splash of scandalous goings on at risqué parties and heaven forbid…even at the Opera House!

copious amounts of witty dialogue and hilarious situations

a generous amount of smouldering love scenes

and finally add

a splash of angst

shake well


FOR A SIGH-WORTHY HAPPY ENDING

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: SCORCHING HOT!

Read June 2014

 

A special thank you to Eva Devon for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review. I loved every page.

 

NOTE: EVA BROWN ALSO WRITES AS MÁIRE CLAREMONT

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