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Source: Purchased from Amazon Marketplace

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

Stuart Aysgarth, the new Viscount Mount Villiars, doesn’t know he’s playing with fire when he inadvertently runs afoul of Emma Hotchkiss. True, the exquisite Yorkshire lady is a mere sheep farmer, but she also guards a most colorful past that makes her only more appealing to the handsome, haunted lord. Emma has come to him seeking justice — and Stuart is determined that she will not leave until she has shared her secrets … and his bed. Her clever revenge scheme must fail in the face of his soft words and tender caress — and then he turns the tables on his bewitching adversary, seducing her into a daring deception of his own …

I recently read and loved Judith Ivory’s THE PROPOSITION (My Review) and a friend recommended that I should read this book which is even better.

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Source: FREE from Amazon Kindle

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

The London rookeries are slums, rife with criminals, and shunned by the upper crust. But someone there intends to murder one of England’s greatest leaders, and Marcus Kane, Lord Chadwick, will follow every clue, even into the bowels of London’s underground. But he can’t find his way alone. A partner is required.

Fantine (Fanny) Delarive is perfect. She knows the slums better than any, has survived its labyrinth alone for years, and knows every criminal lurking in every dark corner. Then, the investigation detours the pair into the bright ballrooms of the ton. And Fantine fits in here, too. Which changes everything.

Lord Chadwick knows a woman of Fantine’s ilk is entirely unsuitable for him. But she’s infinitely more exciting than any well-born lady he’s ever met. Now much more than an acquaintance with the independent, self-reliant Fantine is required… and it must end with nothing less than marriage.

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Source: Gifted to me by the author

(A Lady Forsaken, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

A lady forgotten by all…

Ruby St. Augustin must find the truth of her past to determine what her future holds. She only has a short time in London to uncover the identity of her real father and the secrets behind her birth. If anyone learns of her mission, she will disgrace everyone she holds dear. What she doesn’t expect is to draw the attention of a man who doesn’t care about his reputation or her past.

A man mesmerized by one…

Harold Jakeston is a man without wealth or title. Resigned to a life he loathes, Harold has the chance at a few weeks of freedom before being trapped in a future he wants no part of. When he’s drawn into the mysterious quest of a woman from his past, he embraces the opportunity to forget the life that awaits him. What he never anticipated is falling in love with a woman who ignites his desire to create a new future for himself and for her.

A love neither can abandon…

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(Scandalous Seasons, #4)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Miss Juliet Marshville is spitting mad. With one guardian missing, and the other singularly uninterested in her fate, she is at the mercy of her wastrel brother who loses her beloved childhood home to a man known as Sin. Determined to reclaim control of Rosecliff Cottage and her own fate, Juliet arranges a meeting with the notorious rogue and demands the return of her property.

Jonathan Tidemore, 5th Earl of Sinclair, known to the ton as Sin, is exceptionally lucky in life and at the gaming tables. He has just one problem. Well…four, really. His incorrigible sisters have driven off yet another governess. This time, however, his mother demands he find an appropriate replacement.

When Miss Juliet Marshville boldly demands the return of her precious cottage, he takes advantage of his sudden good fortune and puts an offer to her; turn his sisters into proper English ladies, and he’ll return Rosecliff Cottage to Juliet’s possession.

Jonathan comes to appreciate Juliet’s spirit, courage, and clever wit, and decides to claim the fiery beauty as his mistress. Juliet, however, will be mistress for no man. Nor could she ever love a man who callously stole her home in a game of cards. As Jonathan begins to see Juliet as more than a spirited beauty to warm his bed, he realizes she could be a lady he could love the rest of his life, if only he can convince the proud Juliet that he’s worthy of her hand and heart.

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I am so glad I discovered Christi Caldwell last year and she is fast becoming one of my favourite authors with her charming, tender love stories. Always a Rogue, Forever Her Love is easily read as a standalone but I can definitely recommend the first three books in this series.

Despite his roguish reputation, it is obvious how much Jonathan loves his mother and four sisters regardless of the trials and tribulations they present. His mother bemoans the fact that he will not “do right by the Sinclair line and wed a proper English miss” but he has no intention of curtailing his life of pleasure by taking a wife. His three youngest sisters are “outrageously ill-behaved and highly improper” and their latest governess (the fifth) has resigned. His mother is at her wit’s end and gives Jonathan the task of finding a new governess.

Juliet Marshville has been lame since she was thirteen when her leg was shattered in a fall. It was then that she discovered just how much her brother, Albert, hated her. He is a selfish wastrel who has denied Juliet a Season with the cruellest of words.

“It would be an utter waste of funds to launch a faulty ship like you off into a sea made of diamonds of the first water.”

Juliet is furious when she discovers that Albert has gambled away her beloved Rosecliff Cottage to the Earl of Sinclair. Not only that but he is pushing her to marry the loathsome Lord Williams…only he has something far less respectable in mind. She approaches the Earl of Sinclair determined to demand her cottage back. The earl agrees on condition she take up the position of governess to his sisters and shape them into “models of proper, English gentility.” As the cottage represents freedom from both her brother and the unwelcome advances of Lord Williams and a place to call her own, she accepts.

Despite everything that life has thrown at her, I loved Juliet’s indomitable spirit and loathed her cruel, heartless brother with a vengeance. It’s a shock to discover the true level of his hatred for his sister.

I enjoyed the battle of wills between Juliet and Jonathan’s sisters, Poppy, Penelope and Prudence. The three hoydens think to terrorize Juliet in the same way they did the other governesses, only to find she is made of sterner stuff.

Fortunately, she’d learned how to handle her wicked brother and his childish outbursts through the years. In fact, she’d wager her three charges combined could not even come close to Albert’s nastiness.

I enjoyed watching Juliet win over Poppy and Penelope with her kindness and patience.

From the moment they meet, I could feel the strong attraction between Jonathan and Juliet and, whenever they are together, sexual tension simmers just beneath the surface.

He lowered his brow to hers, his sapphire blue stare pierced her with its intensity. “Jonathan,” he demanded with all the authority of one accustomed to having his every desire met. “Say my name.”
“Jonathan,” she whispered, loving the feel of his name upon her lips, so utterly masculine and yet all the same, smooth as warmed chocolate.
He cupped her cheek. “Now tell me you still do not desire my kiss, Juliet?”

Jonathan’s admiration for Juliet’s courage in the face of adversity humbles him in a way that makes him take a good look at his own life. He sees a “smug, self-serving bastard” who could never be worthy of a woman of honour and integrity like Juliet. He doesn’t see his own worth as Juliet does; a loyal and loving brother, a dedicated son, a fair employer and a man who made her feel protected and cherished.

Of course the path of true love never runs smoothly and they have to overcome some stumbling blocks to attain their HEA, not least Jonathan’s misplaced honour. It takes some sage words from his little sister, Poppy, to make him see sense.

Poppy sighed and flung herself into a nearby leather-winged back chair. “I don’t like Jonathan. I preferred Sin. Why, Sin who would simply go and take back his Miss Marshville because he loved her and couldn’t live without her and didn’t care…”

Everyone who reads my reviews knows how much I love Epilogues and Ms Caldwell’s Epilogue is the delicious topping on an already scrumptious cake. I leave you with one final quote and its significance will become clear when you read the book.


“Under the stars, she whispered.”

MY VERDICT: Another captivating addition to this delightful series. Definitely recommended.

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 Stars

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

Read May 2015

Scandalous Seasons series (click on the covers for more details):

Forever Betrothed, Never the Bride (Scandalous Seasons, #1) by Christi Caldwell Never Courted, Suddenly Wed (Scandalous Seasons, #2) by Christi Caldwell Always Proper, Suddenly Scandalous (Scandalous Seasons, #3) by Christi Caldwell Always a Rogue, Forever Her Love (Scandalous Seasons, #4) by Christi Caldwell A Marquess for Christmas (Scandalous Seasons Book 5) by Christi Caldwell Once a Wallflower, At Last His Love (Scandalous Seasons, # 6) by Christi Caldwell

MY FAVOURITE QUOTES

She wanted to pick him up and dunk him, headfirst, in English upper-class manners and vocabulary and sounds. While he sat there, his mind heavily entrenched in his own ways; rough, uncouth, unmovable.

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Oh, he liked her like this: waltzing in the byways of one of life’s finer moments, in one of its little contentments.

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…hell, if a man’s hot thoughts and stares counted for anything, her skirts should’ve bloody well been on fire by now.

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She could send other little boats out upon the sea of English high society. She could teach them to sail, to skim along the water with style and grace. While her own sails only luffed in the wind.

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“And perhaps I might mention”—he mocked himself—“it ain’t a widge, loov. Not now.” When she knit her brow, he explained, “It’s a widge when it’s quiet. Or when it’s nosing around just a bit. At some point, though, Win, it becomes a cock: mine especially.”

♥♥♥♥

 

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(Prequel to the Agents of the Crown trilogy)

Genre: Historical Romance (Georgian-1792)

Cover Blurb:

Paris 1782… AN INNOCENT IS TAKEN

All Claire Donet knew was the world inside the convent walls in Saint-Denis. She had no idea her beloved papa was a pirate. But when he seized Simon Powell’s schooner, the English privateer decided to take the one thing his enemy held most dear… her.

A BATTLE IS JOINED

The waters between France and England roil with the clashes of Claire’s father and her captor as the last year of the American Revolution rages on the sea, spies lurk in Paris and Claire’s passion for the English captain rises.

This is the prequel to the Agents of the Crown trilogy but can be read as a stand alone.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Source: Free from Amazon Kindle

(Rakes and Rebels, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (The American Revolutionary War-1781)

Cover Blurb:

A Raveneau Novel
Originally published by Ballantine Books

Set in 1781, during the Revolutionary War, SILVER STORM is the passionate tale of Andre Raveneau and Devon Lindsay who are thrown together when she stows away on his privateer after the British burn her home in New London, CT. The irresistible Captain Raveneau agrees to take her to Virginia to find her childhood sweetheart, but fate has other plans. Through intrigue, misunderstandings, and swashbuckling sea battles, Devon and Andre are swept away by a love that won’t be denied.

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Source: Prize in a Giveaway

(Secrets at Thorncliff Manor, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Welcome to Thorncliff Manor, where London’s elite mix, mingle, and may even find their heart’s desire…

There are thousands of things Christopher, Viscount Spencer, would rather do than hunt for a bride, especially since experience has taught him that women are not to be trusted. Then he finds the intriguing Lady Sarah scrambling around in Thorncliff’s conservatory and he is instantly charmed by her passionate nature. But why is she so intent on avoiding him?

Lady Sarah would make the perfect bride for a peer—if not for a tarnished past that she’s hiding from the ton. A stay at Thorncliff Manor was meant to help her plan for her future, not fall in love. Yet Christopher’s kisses are irresistible, his gallantry enticing. When her secret stands to be revealed, will the truth ruin their dreams of happiness?

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Fellow blogger, Catherine Curzon, has Historical Romance author JULIA JUSTISS on her A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide To Life Blog today. Julia is talking about the fascinating research she undertook for her latest book, THE RAKE TO REVEAL HER. There is also an excerpt and one lucky commentator will win a copy of Julia’s book.


(The Ranesleigh Rogues, #4)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

The soldier next door…

Dominic Ransleigh lost more than his arm in battle—he lost his reason for living. Returning to his family seat, he shuns all society. If only his beautiful, plainspoken tenant, Theodora Branwell, wasn’t so hard to ignore…

Since her fiancé’s death on the battlefield, Theo’s devoted herself to caring for soldiers’ orphans. She’s powerfully attracted to Dom, but knows all too well the consequences of temptation. Is Theo, who’s survived so much, brave enough to reveal her secret to her handsome, wounded neighbor?

JUST FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE POST AND DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE A COMMENT.

http://www.madamegilflurt.com/2015/05/a-salon-guest-thunder-of-hoof-beats.html

VICTORIAN FASHIONS


Half-Mourning Dress for that period when not in full mourning, ca. 1889-1892

 


A marvelous brown feather adorned Victorian hat from 1885

 

Worth evening dress, 1881

 


Embroidered slippers, ca. 1855

 


Riding Habit Jacket by John Redfern & Sons, ca. 1885-86.

 

All images are via the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

After reading the excellent review on kiltsandswords Blog, I had to go and download this book straightaway. Here’s a link to that review: 

http://kiltsandswords.com/2015/05/07/taming-the-rake/

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

They are known as the Rake Slayers… Tired of the different standards applied to the men who flout society’s rules, three young ladies seek a little primitive justice and hatch a plan to bring a few of London’s most notorious rakes up to snuff before refusing them. But they soon learn exactly what it is that makes rakes so dangerous.

Tasked with bringing down the most notorious rake of all, the always capable and efficient Lady Georgina “Gina” Beauclerk is determined to show the wicked Earl of Coventry just what she has to offer… by promptly turning his dissolute world on its ear. Instead she finds her own world spinning out of control. Because even after she has organized his household, rid his home of alcohol, and paid off his mistress, she can’t help but see that there is more to the handsome earl than first she realized.

Forced into respectable society to escort his debuting sister, Coventry intends to find her a husband post-haste so he can return to the freedom and debauchery of his clubs. After the death of his unfaithful wife, the disillusioned Coventry has no intention of ever marrying again—especially not to an interfering busybody who won’t take “no” for an answer. No matter how much she tempts him.

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