Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Elisabeth Hobbes Interview - author photo

I’m delighted to welcome Harlequin Historical Romance Author ELISABETH HOBBES to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Thank you for inviting me onto the blog.  It’s great to be here.

~~~~~~~


R&R:

Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

Elisabeth:
I was born and grew up in York.  It was such an interesting place to live and my love of history definitely comes from being surrounded by medieval walls, Roman remains, Viking archaeological sites, Regency crescents and ghost stories.  York is also famous for having over 360 pubs and a lively music scene so as an older teen it was a fun place to hang out with friends and see which of us looked old enough to get served (better not show this to my mum)!

As well as being close to the town we were lucky enough to be within distance of the North York Moors (which I featured in The Blacksmith’s Wife) and the coast including Whitby, famous for Dracula and the best fish and chips in the country.  My mum took my sister and I on lots of day trips to castles and stately homes, so it was inevitable I was going to end up doing something related to History.

Elisabeth Hobbes Interview - Medieval walls of York where I grew up
Medieval walls of York where I grew up


R&R
:
How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?

Elisabeth:
Definitely temperamental.  I have two children on the Autistic Spectrum and am trying to combine a writing career with 4 days a week teaching Primary Year 1 and running the house so I’m continually frazzled.  I always promise myself I’m going to spend some time each week relaxing with a face mask on and listening to something calming but I never seem to find the time.  I suffered very badly with postnatal depression after both children and one thing that is guaranteed to get me ranting is the appalling lack of funding and provision for mental health care in the UK, especially in young people.

 

R&R:
When it comes to food do you like sweet or savoury or both?

Elisabeth:
Definitely a savoury person.  I’ll always go for a starter rather than a pudding and can eat my own bodyweight in spicy chicken wings.  When I was pregnant I used to get the train into Manchester to get hot & sour soup.  I do like chocolate but I can take or leave it.  Crisps on the other hand…


R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Elisabeth:
I don’t think I can call my children possessions, though they are my most treasured thing, so I’ll say my laptop.  It’s the first thing I would rescue in a fire (after my children are safe of course) because as well as all my manuscripts, lesson plans and resources, it is where all of my photos of my children are stored and I’m aware how much I would lose if it ever dies.  I always mean to print them and put them in albums but as I said before, time gets away from me.

 

R&R:
If you could afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

Elisabeth:
I’d have a chalet in Monetier les Bains in the French Alps.  The medieval village is beautiful, the skiing is great and there are some amazing restaurants.  My husband and I have visited the same resort for years and know it really well now and have recently started to take our children with us when we go skiing (they’d stayed with grandparents up till now).   I could ski all winter and go cycling or walking in summer and look at the view when I get writer’s block.  Maybe I’d answer your earlier question differently if I lived somewhere so relaxing!
Elisabeth Hobbes Interview - Where I would love to live
Relaxing in Monetier les Bains in the French Alps.


R&R:
Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Elisabeth:
I have a very high embarrassment threshold (much to my daughter’s horror).  I’m always the mum who dresses up for Halloween and gets on stage to do karaoke first. I can’t think of anything major but given that I spend most of my week standing in front of thirty children putting on silly voices, arguing with hand puppets and pretending to be unable to understand why my sums are wrong, I hate speaking in front of adults and go bright red and speak too fast whenever I have to.

 

~~~~~~~

Thank you for taking time out to be here today and sharing these interesting facts about yourself, Elisabeth.

It’s been a pleasure.  Thank you for inviting me and asking such interesting questions.


If you would like to find out more about Elisabeth and her books, here are the links:

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

Advertisements

Mistletoe and the Major

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency, 1815)

Cover Blurb:

 Previously published in the anthology Under the Kissing Bough. 

The Major is home from the wars at last… 

Edmund Sherritt, Major Lord Canforth, has devoted eight tumultuous years to fighting Napoleon. Finally, Europe is at peace, and he can retire to his estates and the lovely wife he hasn’t seen since their brief, unhappy honeymoon. The innocent girl he loved from the first moment he saw her, but who shied away from him on their wedding night.

The beautiful woman who greets him at Otway Hall on Christmas Eve is no longer the sweet ingénue he remembers. This new and exciting version of his beloved countess is strong, outspoken, and independent, and she’s willing to stand up for what she wants. The question is—does she want the husband who returns to her arms more as a stranger than a spouse?

Now the real battle begins. 

Felicity, Lady Canforth, has had eight long years to regret that she sent her husband from a cold marriage bed to face brutal combat, danger and hardship. The only child of elderly parents, Felicity came to marriage innocent and ignorant, and unable to conceal her shock at the sensual power of the earl’s caresses. Before she found the nerve to offer Canforth a more generous welcome, he was called away to war. The Major left behind a countess who was a bride, not a wife; a woman unsure of her husband’s feelings, and too timid to confess how fervently she desires the man she wed.

Fate has granted an older, wiser Felicity a second chance to win her husband’s heart. Now nothing will stop her from claiming victory over the famous war hero. This Christmas, she’ll deploy every ounce of courage, purpose and passion to seize the life and love she’s longed for, ever since Canforth left to serve his country. Whatever it costs, whatever it takes, she’ll lure the dashing Major back into her bed, where she means to show him he’s the only man she wants as her lover—and her love.

After years of yearning and separation, will a Christmas miracle heal the wounds of the past and offer the earl and his bride a future bright with love? 

❄❄❄❄❄


I started my Christmas reading early this year with a lovely, heart-warming second-chance short story from Anna Campbell.

It was love at first sight for Edmund and Felicity (Flick), but they had only been married for two weeks when Edmund received orders to join his regiment. In their short, awkward time together, they had never felt at ease enough with each other to openly discuss their true feelings and were still little more than strangers when Edmund left. After eight long years, Edmund is finally able to return home and is determined to build a real marriage.

Even within the constraints of a short story, Ms. Campbell can still pack a real emotional punch. She made me feel Edmund and Flick’s initial feelings of uncertainty, regret and fear after their long separation. The years running the estate have given Flick a degree of confidence lacking in her younger self. The only child of elderly parents, she was shy and inexperienced when she married and regrets not having been braver and more responsive to her husband’s lovemaking. I like how she is determined to seize this second chance.

Edmund has his own fears. War has changed him, and he is uncertain of the welcome he will receive from Flick, but she sees that he is still the same kind, considerate man she remembers. I like the scene involving the ‘burnt letters’, when Flick’s misunderstanding of the situation leads them to finally talk openly about their feelings for each other and confess their love.

MY VERDICT: A delightful start to my Christmas reading.


REVIEW RATING: 4/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

 

**I received a complimentary copy from the author for the purposes of an honest review. **

 

 

 

Heather Snow Interview - author picture

I’m delighted to welcome Award-Winning Historical Romance Author HEATHER SNOW to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Thank you so much for having me! I’m delighted to be here.

~~~~~~~


R&R:

Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

Heather:
I was born in Kansas City, Missouri. For most of my childhood we lived just a few houses down from my grandparent’s house, so I could walk to Nana’s anytime I wanted, which was lovely. She made the best shortbread cookies! I was also blessed to have my great-grandparents in my life until my mid-teens.

Though I grew up in the city, my great-grandfather owned a small cabin on a lake a couple of hours out of the city. Many fall and spring weekends, and the majority of my summers, were spent there with the three generations of our family. It was, and is, a magical place with lots of woods and shoreline to traipse through, pretending you are a great explorer or a mermaid princess. To this day, the lake is one of my favourite places to be and I’m so grateful that my children get to experience it as part of their childhood, too.

Here are some pictures of me and my great-grandfather and his dog, Cleo, as well as of my own boys kayaking across the lake.

Heather Snow Interview - Heather and Bampse
Me with Bampse

Heather Snow Interview - Heather and Cleo
Me with Cleo

Heather Snow Interview - Lake boys
My Lake boys


R&R
:
How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?

Heather:
I’m quite easy-going, thank goodness, because I am the lone female in a house full of boys who are, shall we say, not. I’m practical and even-keeled, which comes in handy when trying to keep them all in line!


R&R
:
When it comes to food do you like sweet or savoury or both?

Heather:
I like sweets as much as the next girl, but if I had to choose, savoury. The problem is that the savouries I adore most are the yummy carbohydrate filled ones, which are just as bad for me as the sugary ones! Sigh.

 

R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Heather:
I thought long and hard about this and I have to say I don’t have one. Certainly there are things I would regret losing in a disaster—mainly photos/paintings of loved ones past and videos of my sons when they were little—but if I came away with my family, all would be well.

 

R&R:
If you could afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

Heather:
I’ve been bitten too hard by the travel bug to choose one place. The world is so amazing and diverse, and I want to see it all! Two years ago, we bought an RV, and we’ve spent several weeks traveling around the US with the boys, visiting our national parks, seeing mountains and lakes and deserts. We even spent time in Canada this year, which was breath-taking.

Heather Snow Interview - Travel-Yosemite
Yosemite

Heather Snow Interview -Travel-Lake June
Lake June

Heather Snow Interview -Travel Canada
Canada

I’d love to have the money to rent an apartment/home in several places for a minimum of three months at a time. I’d like to experience what it would be like to live in different cities and countries—not just vacation there. That would be my dream—three to six months in London, New York, Budapest, San Francisco, Portland, Prague, and on and on and on! While I’d only really get the flavour of the area in such a short time, it would be such an interesting life!

 

R&R:
Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Heather:
There are many I’m afraid, but the first that comes to mind is when I was 16 or 17. I wanted to go out on a date with a boy who was a bit older than me. It was summer, and my younger cousins were visiting. My mother said I could go—if I took my little brother and two cousins with us. To his credit, my date wanted to go out with me badly enough that he said yes…and spent his evening entertaining an 11, 12 and 13-year-old, too.

A few dates later (we eventually were allowed out on our own), he brought me home and walked me to my porch, where he leaned in to give me a kiss. Little did we know my entire family was lying in wait in the living room. They proceeded to yell “Ooooooh” at us when he kissed me. Ah, family. Gotta love ‘em.

~~~~~~~

Thank you for taking time out to be here today and sharing these interesting facts about yourself, Heather.

It was a pleasure.

 

If you would like to find out more about Heather and her books, here are the links:

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Facebook Friend Page
Twitter

Satyr's Son

(Roxton Family Saga, #5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Georgian, 1786)

Cover Blurb:

Roxton Family Saga Book 5: Henri-Antoine and Lisa’s Happily Ever After 

London, 1786. Lord Henri-Antoine has returned from the Grand Tour to a life of privilege and excess. A vast inheritance allows him every indulgence, free from responsibility. Yet, Henri-Antoine maintains a well-ordered existence, going to great lengths to conceal an affliction few understand, and many fear.

Miss Lisa Crisp is a penniless orphan who relies on the charity of relatives to keep her from the poorhouse. Intelligent and unflappable, Lisa will not allow poverty to define her. She leads a useful life working among the sick poor.

Under startling circumstances, Henri-Antoine and Lisa meet. There is instant attraction. When they find themselves attending the same wedding in the country, Henri-Antoine offers Lisa a scandalous proposition, one she should refuse but yearns to accept. Following her heart could ruin them both.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This is final book in Ms Brant’s outstanding Roxton Family Saga and, although all the other books in the series are fabulous, there is just something special about this one that captured my heart and I totally fell in love with Henri-Antoine and Lisa’s story.

Lord Henri-Antoine (Harry) Hesham is the second son of the late Renard, fifth Duke of Roxton, and his much younger, beloved wife Antonia. Handsome, arrogantly self-assured and rich, Harry can have any woman he fancies, and his licentious behaviour with actresses and other men’s mistresses suggest that he is following in the footsteps of his late father whose scandalous exploits, before marrying Antonia, were legendary. However, Harry has suffered from the ‘falling sickness’ (epilepsy) since birth, something which is a closely guarded secret known only to his immediate family and his best friend Sir John (Jack) Cavendish. At the age of 25, Harry still suffers seizures, although they are less frequent, and he has tried to convince his family that he is cured. To maintain this deception, he employs a group of loyal and trusted servants – “the lads” – to look after him in the event of a seizure and ensure that he is safe and well away from public view. Although Harry professes not to be the marrying kind, Jack genuinely believes that he will one day find his soul mate.

“I believe there is someone out there for you, and that she will be the great love of your life because that is what you need, Harry. And it is what you deserve. And because you are a romantic I know that when you fall in love you’ll well and truly fall, as if off a cliff. And when that happens, don’t fight it; embrace it.”

Since being orphaned at the age of nine, Lisa Crisp has lived with Dr Warner, an eminent physician, and his wife, Minette, Lisa’s cousin, but is largely ignored.

To the Warners, Lisa was simply there, like a piece of furniture, or a scullery maid, and thus rarely thought of at all.

Intelligent and capable, Lisa assists in Dr Warner’s dispensary, which provides services for the sickly poor, giving aid and comfort to the patients and writing letters for those who can read but not write. She has earned a reputation for being trustworthy and calm in a crisis. Lisa’s ability to remain cool in an emergency plays an important part in her unconventional, first meeting with Harry. Lisa knows from experience that he is having a seizure and, although Harry is a total stranger, she cares for him ensuring that no-one sees him in such a vulnerable state until help arrives in the form of “the lads”.

Having heard what happened from Jack, Harry is intrigued by the young woman who remained so calm and capable and totally unfazed by his condition and wants to see her himself. Lisa is surprised when he arrives at Dr Warner’s to thank her in person and a definite spark of mutual attraction flares between them. When Harry returns to present Lisa with a beautiful writing box as a ‘token’ of his gratitude for all she did for him, the discovery that they are both attending a friend’s wedding has them both wondering if they might be attending the same wedding.  In fact, Lisa’s aunt had been chief lady in waiting to Harry’s mother, Antonia, who had sponsored Lisa ‘s attendance at Blacklands, an exclusive boarding school. Whilst there, Lisa developed a close friendship with Miss Theodora Charlotte (Teddy) Cavendish but, when Lisa was expelled from school for scandalous behaviour, the two girls lost touch with each other. Lisa is therefore surprised but thrilled to receive an invitation to Teddy’s wedding to Sir John Cavendish.

Their romance blossoms against the background of Teddy and Jack’s wedding celebrations, but can a duke’s son and a penniless orphan, with ink-stained fingers, have a fairy tale happy ending?

I think Harry is the most complex of all the heroes in this series. At face value, it would be easy to dislike him because, at times, his behaviour is reprehensible, but dig deeper and beneath that arrogant, overbearing veneer, there is a vulnerable man beset by fears and insecurities. In the poignant scene where he talks to Lisa about his father, there is a sense of the deep loving bond between father and son and how devastated the twelve-year-old Harry felt when he died. He has never fully recovered from that loss and, when he thinks that he is losing Lisa, it is anger, frustration and fear that makes him lash out and say cruel and hurtful things to the two people he loves the most. It also makes him feel insecure about himself.

…if he’d not had position and wealth, what was he, and how wanted would he be?

Harry has the added burden that he knows the falling sickness carries a great social stigma, not only for the sufferers but their families too, and has always been determined that his family would not be subjected to scandal and ridicule.

Like Lisa, I discovered that Harry is kind, generous, caring and loving. With the large inheritance he received from his father, he set up the Fournier Foundation to fund dispensaries providing free medical help for the poor, medical research and scholarships for students from poor backgrounds who showed great potential. I like how loyal and generous he is to Jack and truly wants to see him happy.

Lisa’s calmness and capability are definite advantages when dealing with Harry and I like her confidence and directness which he finds so disconcerting. She actually has the nerve to rebuke him at one point:

She had rebuked him, then dismissed him as a lackey. A girl in a plain gown and scuffed shoes, whose fingers were ink stained, thenails short, the skin rough from work, and whose family were possibly one step up from the gutter, had dared to reproach him, the son of a duke, the brother of the most powerful duke in the kingdom.

and later shocks him by kissing him first!

She also sees the real man behind the arrogant mask and comes to understand him in a way that others have failed to, and I like how she realises the significance of his walking stick. I can understand her willingness to become his mistress because she loves him deeply and if this is the only way she can be with him, then so be it. I also admire her unselfish reasons for not accepting Harry’s proposal of marriage. She does not want to bring scandal to his family or drive a wedge between him and his brother, Julian.

As with all Ms. Brant’s books, the romance is beautifully written; sweet, tender, romantic and sensual, without being overtly explicit. I particularly love the scene in the Neptune’s Grotto where Harry and Lisa finally consummate their love which reflects all these qualities. Although he would never admit it in a hundred years, Harry is a romantic at heart and I love the notes he leaves in the secret compartments of Lisa’s writing box.

I loved Teddy in Proud Mary and was hoping she would get her Happy Ever After with Jack. They are a delightful couple and Jack’s calm affability is the perfect foil for Teddy’s exuberant nature.

The rest of the extended Roxton family play an important role in the story especially.

  • Antonia, the matriarch of the family, always wise and loving, but still able to reduce her 40 year-old-son to a whining four-year-old!
  • the female members of the family who show genuine warmth and kindness to Lisa, something that had been sadly lacking in her life.
  • Antonia’s husband Jonathon who is always a tower of strength and there when Lisa needs him the most and offering some sound advice.
  • Elsie, Antonia and Jonathan’s adorable daughter, who strikes up a friendship with Lisa and whose interactions with her brother Harry, reveal how much he loves his little sister.

I admire Michel Gillet, Harry’s major domo, for realising that Lisa has a rare inner beauty and is willing to risk the formidable Duke of Roxton’s wrath by telling him so. I also like Dr Warner who shows how much he cares for Lisa and appreciates all the work she has done for him.

How I Imagine Harry

Satyr's Son - Harry

How I Imagine Lisa

Satyr's Son - Lisa

I am sad to say goodbye to all these wonderful characters whose stories I have loved so much but I hope that perhaps, one day, Ms. Brant might decide to revisit them.

MY VERDICT: A wonderful ending to this superb series. HIGHLY RECOMMMENDED.


REVIEW RATING: STELLAR 5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: SUBTLE

 

Roxton Family Saga (click on the book covers for more details):

 Noble Satyr Midnight Marriage Autumn Duchess Dair Devil Proud Mary Satyr's Son

**I received a complimentary copy from the author for the purposes of an honest review. **

 

 

 

Julia Justiss Interview - author picture

I’m delighted to welcome Award-Winning Author JULIA JUSTISS to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Thanks, Carol!  I enjoy your blog posts—I’ve discovered some great books—and the Featured Author interviews have been such fun!  I’m delighted to have a chance to participate.

~~~~~~~

 

R&R:
Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

Julia:
I was born in Severna Park, a small town between Annapolis and Baltimore, Maryland.  Annapolis is one of the US’s perfect-gem colonial towns.  Originally the main port on the Chesapeake Bay as well as the state capital, its early prosperity allowed the building of beautiful homes and public buildings in the late 1700’s-early 1800’s.  After Baltimore eclipsed it as a port, there wasn’t enough money to tear down the English Georgian brick houses and rebuild in the Victorian style.  I grew up around the city, became a junior guide for Historic Annapolis as a teenager, and thus began my love for history.

Julia Justiss Interview - me Five
Me at age five with my brother, with the braids
I wore all through grade school

Julia Justiss Interview - Me HS Grd
My “glam” high school graduation picture

 

R&R:
How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?

Julia:
I think I’m easy-going!  Organized, industrious, as a writer, definitely a plotter rather than a pantser.

 

R&R:
When it comes to food do you like sweet or savoury or both?

Julia:
I’m more a fan of savory—meats and vegetables—than sweet, except for my favourite dark chocolate.  But my real addiction is salty things, like chips and crackers.



R&R:

What is your most treasured possession?

Julia:
It would be hard to pick one.  I’m not a big jewelry person, so usually wear the wedding and college rings that have the most meaning for me.  I have some lovely books and some rugs and ceramics that we picked up when we lived overseas.  I like pretty things and flowers!

 

R&R:
If you could afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

Julia:
Probably a house at a beach in a warm-weather area.  I love the sound of the waves and walking on the sand and like to do it all year long.

 

R&R:
Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Julia:
Gosh, hard to pick just one!   Maybe when I was teaching French and thankfully had students who liked me and were very nice, because one day I came to school wearing light tan cotton slacks.  Two of the girls pulled me aside and told me my patterned panties showed through!  Yikes!  I went to the ladies’ room and removed them—and taught the rest of the day “commando!”

~~~~~~~

Thank you for taking time out to be here today and sharing these interesting facts about yourself, Julia.

Thanks so much for inviting me, Carol!

 

 

If you would like to find out more about Julia and her books, here are the links:

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

 

 

Angel Comes to Devil's Keep

(Twins’ Trilogy, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency, 1819)

Cover Blurb:

Huntington McLaughlin, the Marquess of Malvern, wakes in a farmhouse, after a head injury, being tended by an ethereal “angel,” who claims to be his wife. However, reality is often deceptive, and Angelica Lovelace is far from innocent in Hunt’s difficulties. Yet, there is something about the woman that calls to him as no other ever has. When she attends his mother’s annual summer house party, their lives are intertwined in a series of mistaken identities, assaults, kidnappings, overlapping relations, and murders, which will either bring them together forever or tear them irretrievably apart. As Hunt attempts to right his world from problems caused by the head injury that has robbed him of parts of his memory, his best friend, the Earl of Remmington, makes it clear that he intends to claim Angelica as his wife. Hunt must decide whether to permit her to align herself with the earldom or claim the only woman who stirs his heart—and if he does the latter, can he still serve the dukedom with a hoydenish American heiress at his side?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

I have regularly followed her blog with its fascinating and informative posts but ANGEL COMES TO THE DEVIL’S KEEP is the first book I have read by Regina Jeffers and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I like Hunt for wanting to do more than just being the heir apparent to the Duke of Devilfoard. He takes real pride in the secretive work he does for the Home Office which gives him an additional purpose in life and an element of independence too.

It was not much, this bit of public duty he performed, but Hunt took a certain pride in doing more than being the Duke of Devilfoard’s heir apparent–more than being the Devil’s cub.

His father is pushing him to marry Lord Sandahl’s daughter, Lady Mathild, but while fully aware of his responsibilities to the dukedom, Hunt refuses to marry some green girl straight from the schoolroom; he wants a woman who will love him wholeheartedly and share his passion for life, learning and adventure.

I like Angel who is intelligent, independent, outspoken and with a real zest for life – a perfect match for Hunt. She doesn’t suffer fools lightly, as gentlemen of the ton, intent on pursuing her for her beauty and large dowry alone, soon discover.  Despite her distaste for ‘a bland lifestyle wrapped in formality’, her determination to succeed in society for her father’s sake shows her love and concern for him.

The image of her father’s worried brow and the knowledge of his declining health drove her response. She must succeed in London’s Society for her father to know peace. 

I was rather cautious about the amnesia plot line, but Ms. Jeffers uses it effectively. Hunt’s memory loss and Angel’s ignorance of his true identity allows their attraction to flourish, unfettered by any preconceptions or prejudices, as they spend time with the Wendts while Hunt recovers. It also reveals Angel’s caring and compassionate nature. She risks her own life to rescue a stranger and refuses to desert him, and believing him to be either a gentleman farmer or a man of business, she even considers asking her father to offer him a position.

When Hunt’s brother, Harry, and his friend, Lord Remmington, find him and he discovers his real identity, it’s natural that he feels angry, hurt and disappointed, believing that the woman who had stolen his heart connived to take advantage of  him. I was pleased that Ms. Jeffers did not prolong this misunderstanding and Harry and Lord Remmington soon convince Hunt that he is wrong about Angel and she only had his interests at heart.

Despite Hunt’s marriage proposal, Angel is practical enough to know that she could never be the sort of duchess his position requires. My heart ached for them when they are forced to accept that they can never be together.

He wanted to be this woman’s everything–to turn the sun back four and twenty hours and reclaim the anticipation of knowing her intimately. To be her first. Her last. It was a lovely fantasy, one upon which reality would too soon intrude.

“There will be more than enough time to relive each moment of the past few days. A whole lifetime to know your ideal match does exist. He will simply belong to another.”

There are many trials and tribulations before their Happy Ever After seems assured, including poisoning, murder, intrigue, long-hidden family secrets and a rival for Angel’s affections in the form of Hunt’s best friend, Lord Remmington. I like how it is Hunt’s father who gives him a ‘good kick up the backside’, figuratively speaking.

I thought Ms. Jeffers portrayed Hunt’s reactions to his amnesia in a realistic way. I sensed his fears and uncertainties and how vulnerable he feels.

…he had yet to recognize one servant or family portrait or even the house’s furnishings. He remained a first time guest in his childhood home. The tightness in his chest had nothing to do with his injury and everything to do with his vulnerability.

I also liked how she doesn’t have Hunt miraculously regaining his complete memory, but certain things trigger a particular memory.

The plotline called for a large number of secondary characters and, at times, I found it difficult to keep a track of everyone and the various family relationships. I was intrigued by Lord Remmington whose story is told in book 2, The Earl Claims His Comfort. I liked Angel’s father, a congenial man, but not when it comes to protecting his family.

Ms. Jeffers’s tightly woven mystery certainly kept me guessing, with plenty of red herrings, some unexpected twists and turns and the revelation of long-hidden family secrets. The unmasking of the true villain certainly came as a big surprise.

MY VERDICT: An extremely enjoyable story with appealing characters, suspense, intrigue and a heart-warming romance.


REVIEW RATING: 4/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

 

Twins’ Trilogy so far (click on the book cover for more details):

Angel Comes to the Devil's Keep by Regina Jeffers The Earl Claims His Comfort by Regina Jeffers

 

**I received a complimentary copy from the author for the purposes of an honest review. **

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Janice Preston Interview - author picture

I’m delighted to welcome Harlequin Mills & Boon Author JANICE PRESTON to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

It’s wonderful to be here, Carol. Thank you so much for inviting me.

~~~~~~~


R&R:

Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

Janice:
I was born in North London and spent most of my childhood in Wembley. We moved there when I was 4, and it was a great place to grow up. Our house overlooked fields to the back (see photo) and a vivid memory from childhood was of dairy cows grazing those fields. Not what you might expect in a London suburb! The cows belonged to Harrow School Farm – Harrow School was nearby, on Harrow on the Hill, which you can see in the photo (taken from my bedroom window) with its church steeple. Later, the farm’s grazing agreement on our side of the main road wasn’t renewed by the council but, as is the way with councils, it took its time in developing the fields into the intended sports facilities. That left us local children with a wonderful, natural playground complete with wildlife, streams, a swamp, trees and overgrown hedgerows. I developed my love of the countryside from those hours of playing in those fields and I ended up at the age of 18 driving down to Devon to complete six months’ experience on a dairy farm before taking a place at agricultural college. But that’s another story.

Janice Preston Interview - View of back garden in Wembley
View of the back garden

Janice Preston Interview - View of Harrow on the Hill
View of Harrow on the Hill

 

R&R:
How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?

Janice:
Most of the time, I would say I’m easy-going but I do get on my high horse (as my husband likes to put it) at times. I hate injustice, so I can easily get wound up by things on the news. But in day to day life I tend to go with the flow.

 

R&R:
When it comes to food do you like sweet or savoury or both?

Janice:
I enjoy both, but I lean more towards sweet. I enjoy chocolate far more than is good for me!



R&R:

What is your most treasured possession?

Janice:
This initially seemed a tough question to answer but when I thought about what I would regret most if I lost everything in a fire, it became easy – my photo albums, from the days before digital cameras. I have photos of my parents and of me and my sister as children (see photo) plus my own children growing up. Absolutely irreplaceable, I would be heartbroken if I lost them.

 

R&R:
If you could afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

Janice:
Oh gosh, what a huge question! How on earth (pardon the pun!) can I narrow that down? I’m certain of one thing, though – it would have to be near the sea! There are so many places I would love to have a second home, including places in the UK (Cornwall, Northumberland, West Wales) which would be more practical in terms of travelling (unless I can afford a private jet, of course!)

I think though I would choose Italy. I love the history, the architecture, the weather, the food, the wine, the people and the culture and it would spur me into learning the language, which is beautifully lyrical.  Yes, an Italian villa overlooking the sea, somewhere near Sorrento or along the Amalfi coast.


R&R:
Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Janice:

Aargh! I don’t even want to think about it! I was about 14.

At my secondary school there was a ‘house’ system in place and every year there was great rivalry in various sports. Now, I was okay at sports. Not great, but I got by. They asked for swimmers to represent our house in the annual gala and someone asked me if I could swim. I said yes, and the next thing I knew my name was down to swim in the relay. Let me just say I didn’t realise how excruciatingly slow I was until I was swimming my length – in full view of the entire school.

In a running race, I would have dropped out. In the pool, I had no choice but to keep struggling on until I reached the side where the team mates I’d let down so badly were waiting, with a mixture of fury and disgust on their faces. I get the shivers just thinking about it! The funny thing is – I have no doubt I am the only person in the entire world who remembers that incident. Realising that helps to put any subsequent embarrassing moments into perspective!

~~~~~~~

 

Thank you for taking time out to be here today and sharing these interesting facts about yourself, Janice.

It was my pleasure, Carol. Thank you for such thought-provoking questions.

 

If you would like to find out more about Janice and her books, here are the links:

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

kraftireader

sharing my love of reading, crafting, recipes, music and shopping bargains

Flippin' Pages

Reviews from ladies who love to read

Coffee & Wine Book Blog

"Coffee and wine bookend my days..."

The Review Sisters

Five Women Who Share A Love Of Reading

Boonies123

Historical Romance Reviews

Delilah Marvelle Loves Her Readers

Sign up for the New Release Alert

Caz's Reading Room

Fiction of a historical nature and anything else that takes my fancy

The Reading Wench

Historical Romance Reviews

Sonya's Stuff

Mostly Books

Chicks,Rogues and Scandals

We Love, We Live and We Read. . . .

The Mighty Quill

Historical Romance Reviews

doingsomereading

Now, what to read next...???

La Deetda Reads

Book Reviews, Thoughts and Recipes

And Then She Kissed Him

Regency romance redrawn with Author Cora Lee

Romantic Historical Reviews

Where History Meets Passion

The Write Thought

Historical Romance Reviews

%d bloggers like this: