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Archive for September, 2012

LORD OF DARKNESS
MAIDEN LANE SERIES BOOK 5
Publication Date: 26 February 2013

If you are completely hooked on this series like me, don’t miss the second scene excerpt from Lord of Darkness which Elizabeth has posted on her website.

http://www.elizabethhoyt.com/books/da…

Why not subscribe to Elizabeth’s newsletter and be the first to hear about her upcoming books and projects as well as be eligible for a monthly prize drawing.

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My Favourite Quotes

She smiled at him, though her hazel-green eyes were wary beneath the brim of a so0dden hat. Right at that moment, staring at her across the hall, Gideon Shaw, cynic, hedonist, drunkard, libertine, fell hopelessly in love.

From Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas

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My Favourite Quotes

“I was dead until you found me, though I breathed. I was sightless, though I could see. And then you came…and I was awakened.”

From Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward

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THE BRETHREN GUARDIAN SERIES BOOK 3

Iain Sinclair, Marquis of Alynwick, is certain there is a special hell for him. An unrepentant rake, he holds nothing sacred – except for beautiful Elizabeth York. For years, Alynwick has tried to forget the woman he loved so well, and treated so badly. A woman who could hold nothing in her heart for him except hatred.

All of society believes Elizabeth, blind daughter of a duke, to be a proper young lady. But no one knows of her wanton affair with Alynwick. When Lizzy learns of her ancestor’s ancient diary – filled with exotic tales – she longs to uncover the identity of the unnamed lover within and hesitantly allows Alynwick, who claims to have knowledge of the “veiled lady,” to help her solve the mystery.

Eager to be Lizzy’s eyes, Alynwick brings the seductive text to life, and each night it takes greater effort for her to forget his betrayal. With each whispered word, her resolve gives way, without her knowing that a centuries-old secret will lead them to a present-day danger.

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After reading Pride & Passion with the revelation that Iain and Elizabeth had been lovers twelve years ago but it all ended badly, I couldn’t wait to read Temptation & Twilight. It promised to be a compelling and emotionally intense read. I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

In the previous two books, Iain was always the wild card among the Brethren Guardians but he is the one who intrigued me the most. He is an arrogant, heartless, reckless, womanising, hard-drinking rogue. But there is one chink in his armour and her name is Elizabeth York. His Beth

I love Iain’s sheer determination to make Elizabeth see that he has truly changed from the foolish young man who had caused her so much pain and heartbreak; a man worthy of her trust and love. No matter how many times Elizabeth rejects him, he never gives up. Admittedly, at times, he does act like a complete jackass, like trying to throttle the poor Earl of Sheldon, but somehow I love that show of possessiveness and protectiveness towards Elizabeth. He is, after all, a fierce, hot-headed highlander at heart and what woman can resist that?

I adore Elizabeth. She is a wonderful mixture of strength and vulnerability. Although she doesn’t let her blindness define who she is, there are moments when she gives vent to her anxieties and frustrations. I really feel Ms Featherstone portrays Elizabeth’s blindness in a realistic way including the practicalities of being blind.

I understand why Elizabeth doesn’t want Iain and does everything to push him away. The emotional scars of his betrayal run deep, just how deep we only learn later. She can neither forgive him nor ever trust him again. It was easy to feel the fear and emotional turmoil she goes through as the unwanted feelings for Iain, which she thought had been buried forever, begin to resurface.

Their journey to finding each other again is such an emotional roller-coaster but the scene that touched me the most is when Iain tells Elizabeth the truth of why he left her, knowing that he would lose her forever. His heartfelt words brought tears to my eyes. I truly wanted them to let go of the past and find true happiness.

After the cliff-hanger at the end of Pride & Passion, I wanted to know Orpheus’s identity and why he sought revenge on the Brethren Guardians but I was really disappointed in the mystery element in this book. It seemed to be dragged out and didn’t hold my interest as it had in the previous books. So when Orpheus’s identity is finally revealed, it was rather an anti-climax. But it is Iain’s and Elizabeth’s haunting love story that really carries this book.

Casting ideas


Iain Sinclair, Marquis of Alynwick – Christian Bale


Lady Elizabeth York – Penelope Cruz

VERDICT: COMPELLING AND EMOTIONALLY INTENSE

RATING: ★★★★½

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THE BRETHREN GUARDIAN SERIES BOOK 2

Lucy Ashton had long ago given up her quest for true love. In the rarified society of Victorian England, Lucy plays the game; flirting, dancing and dabbling in the newly fashionable spiritualism. Even marrying when and who she’s supposed to. If the stuffy Duke of Sussex cannot spark the passion she craves, he can at least give her a family, a home of her own, and a place to belong. But when her polite marriage reveals a caring and sensual man, Lucy begins to wonder if she can indeed have it all.

But Lord Sussex is not the man the London ton has come to admire. And Lucy has some ghosts of her own, as well. Thus, when a blackmail scheme turns to threats of danger, the newfound peace of the Sussex marriage is cast upon the rocks. Passion has a price, Lucy learns. And not all ghosts stay buried.

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Pride & Passion is the second book in the Brethren Guardian series and, although I found the first book Seduction & Scandal quite disappointing, I really enjoyed this one. Ms Featherstone has penned a richly textured romance full of mysticism, secrets, conflict, passion, mystery and suspense.

”I’m not who you think I am.”

I have a fascination with tormented heroes. That’s why I loved Adrian, with his deep, dark secrets, his unrequited love for Lucy and those red hot passions simmering just under his staid exterior.

Wow! Was he determined and single-minded in his pursuit of Lucy; so crazy about her that she never really stood a chance. I liked that he was open and honest about his feelings. But what woman could resist such a strong, intense, sexy, protective man when he tells you:

”I would die for you.”

His obvious love for his sister, Elizabeth, and his work with those less fortunate than himself made me love him even more.

Lucy was a heroine I found difficult to warm to. Perhaps, if I had learnt earlier in the book just how much Lucy’s lonely childhood, so devoid of parental love and affection, had shaped the person she had become, I think it would have been possible to understand her. I might then have regarded her as a more sympathetic character. Instead, for three quarters of the book, her seemingly unreasonable attitude towards Adrian really drove me crazy. I wanted to shake some sense into her and make her see the real Adrian beyond his stuffy façade. It was only in the last quarter of the book that I started to like her and came to understand her. What she had so desperately wanted from life and finally found with Adrian.

“I wanted that sense of belonging, of warmth and acceptance.

”You thought me passionless,” he growled, “but you’re wrong. I’m full of it. Bursting with it. My gut has ached with it, and it’s all for you.”

The sexual tension Ms Featherstone creates between Adrian and Lucy was palpable and I loved how Adrian seduces her with his deliciously erotic words.

”Damn, you’re hotter than hell itself like this, “he murmured over her breast. “Come for me, little Lucy, show me the fire that burns in you.”

The loves scenes are intense and passionate, positively toe-curling.

And the Brethren Guardians…well, they were wrapping themselves into the delicate silken weaves, just as he he had planned. Soon, they would be cocooned, and their little group and the ancient artifacts they hid from the world would be his.

There are some shocking twists and turns in the plot as Orpheus manipulates everyone in his plans for revenge and ultimate power. We are left on quite a cliff-hanger and I can’t wait to read Temptation & Twilight. Not only do we get Lizzy’s and Alynwick’s angsty story but also Orpheus’s identity will finally be revealed.

VERDICT: WORTH READING FOR THE HERO ALONE

RATING: ★★★★½

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THE BRETHREN GUARDIANS SERIES BOOK 1

With the scandalous nature of her birth to live down, Isabella Fairmont dreams of a proper marriage, even if a passionless one. She saves her deepest desires for the novel she dares to pen, wherein a handsome lord with dark powers seduces her. But then her courtship with an appropriate suitor is threatened by the sudden attentions of the reclusive Earl of Black, whose pale blue eyes and brooding sensuality are exactlyas she described in her book.

Isabella tries to resist the mysterious Earl of Black.

Yet as he pursues her, with inexplicable knowledge of her past and kisses that consume her, Isabella fears she will succumb.

If only the earl could tell Isabella the truth. With very real, and treacherous, thieves endangering her life, Black will need to protect Isabella from the very people she trusts the most.

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Having read and loved Addicted by Charlotte Featherstone, I couldn’t wait to read the first book in her Brethren Guardians series, Seduction & Scandal. Full of passion, suspense, mystery and intrigue, it promised to be a compelling read.

Having read some of the rave reviews, I know I am definitely in the minority but I found this book really disappointing. I’m not fond of Gothic novels and so I think my main problem with the book is the strong Gothic tone especially in the scenes between Black and Isabella. For me, the over-dramatic declarations somehow seem to diminish the sensual chemistry between them and the scenes feel stilted:

Looking deep into his eyes, Isabella licked her lips, her mouth suddenly dry, her breathing harsh behind her tight corset and the cuirass bodice of her gown. “My lord, this is reckless”.

“Reckless, dangerous, irresponsible, yes,” he murmured as he pressed against her, his chest slowly, inexorably pushing her backward till she was lying on the carriage bench and he was looming over her. “It is all those things, but it is also unavoidable, inevitable, inescapable.”

I couldn’t help but compare this to a similar situation in Addicted by the same author:

His eyes darkened and he rose from the settee, stalking her so that she stepped back from him. Towering above her, he stared down at her with his penetrating gaze.

No words are actually spoken but, to me, this scene is full of sexual tension.

The romantic element in their relationship seems sadly lacking. It always seems to be more about lust and need than love such as when Black says:

“I want you to close your eyes, and remember this, this moment between us right now, where our desire and need is so palpable neither of us can resist – where we will just fall into each others’ arms without thought or guilt, or fear of repercussions.”

This seems totally inconsistent with Black’s professed love for Isabella and his wish to protect her.

I must confess that I found the secondary characters more intriguing than the main love story. Lucy was very irritating at times but had fire unlike Isabella and when the reason for her obsession with the supernatural was explained, her actions became more understandable. Following the revelation at the end of the book involving Lucy and the impact it has on the Duke of Sussex who is suffering from unrequited love for her, I certainly want to read the second book in the series, Pride & Passion. There is also an obvious tension between Elizabeth, the Duke of Sussex’s blind sister and the Marquis of Alynwick, and I’m anxious to find out the reason in the third book of the series.

The subplot involving the role of the Brethren Guardians, the artifacts with their potential supernatural powers and the mystery surrounding the identity of Orpheus really held my interest and I will be keen to see the direction the plot takes in the following books.

VERDICT: RECOMMENDED TO ANYONE ENJOYS THEIR ROMANCES WITH A GOTHIC VIBE

RATING: ★★★

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My son and I went to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff Bay today. Had a fantastic time!

Photos and more to follow shortly for any Doctor Who fans out there!

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