Archive for March, 2013


You know women when they get talking. They don’t stop for anything but unconsciousness.”

– from The Duke’s Perfect Wife by Jennifer Ashley

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“You say my name like a lover, so soft, so sweet. I want to lick the word from your lips, sip the exhaled breath from your mouth. I want to possess you utterly. Right now. Right here.”

– from Notorious Pleasures by Elizabeth Hoyt

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This was how God had intended it to be. A precious gift. A sacred oneness.
I love you. He said the words in the way he held her, his rock hard arms so gentle they felt like air around her. I love you. His hands told her-not merely touching her, but worshiping her.

– from Comanche Heart by Catherine Anderson

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Find out what books are on my auto-buy list for April


A new review of UNDONE BY HIS TOUCH a contemporary romance by Australian author Annie West


More of my favourite quotes


More interesting facts about Wales


Plus lots besides!

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*Book 2 of the SCHOOL OF GALLANTRY series*

Setting: London, England, 1830

Official Blurb


It’s been months since Lady Charlotte Chartwell’s philandering husband met his untimely end at the hands of an angry mistress. But as miserable as he made Charlotte in life, his death proves to be an even harsher blow. For not a farthing of his fortune or estate have passed on to her, and as a ruined widow, she is destitute, penniless and utterly without hope.


Then, as Charlotte is considering the worst, a man steps into her carriage. His intentions are quite indecent at first, but the more he learns about her, the more an unfamiliar—and undesirable—emotion creeps over him. Could it be compassion? Never! For this is Alexander Baxendale, third Earl of Hawksford. He is known throughout the ton as the Lord of Pleasure, dedicated to passion, ruthless in his pursuit of sensual gratification. Yet never in all his exploits has he met a woman who could intrigue him as Charlotte does. Can this mysterious beauty make him hang up his title and see to her pleasure alone?



It’s original, funny, touching and sensual, with a delightful array of quirky, larger-than-life characters who stole my heart.

How I imagine Alex…

A woman could learn to fall in love with a man who not only saw to his family but also offered a struggling woman assistance without making it feel as such.

I know I fell for Alexander (Alex). I love his charm, his wit, his honesty and his protectiveness towards his family and Charlotte. The fact that he is drop-dead gorgeous and just oozes sex appeal, doesn’t hurt either!

How I imagine Charlotte …

Strong-willed. Intelligent. Tough. Yet still made of enough fine porcelain to make her fragile.

I like Charlotte. She’s strong and independent but with a core of vulnerability which makes her all the more endearing. She’s completely alone in the world, after her scoundrel of a husband dies under scandalous circumstances, leaving her penniless. She’s realist enough to believe that her dream of finding the sort of genuine love her parents had shared and a family of her own will never be more than a dream now.

Whilst I love the simmering sexual tension and steamy love scenes between Alex and Charlotte, I also look for moments of deep emotional connection between them. It makes their feelings for each other seem real. There’s one particular scene where they really open up to each other and the emotional connection is so strong.

“You came.” He said it as if she had bestowed him with the greatest of gifts.


Seeing the compassion and tenderness in his eyes made her feel as if a new beginning was possible. And it was a wonderful, warm feeling, to say the least.

There are so many uproariously funny scenes in this book that I’m hard-pressed to pick my favourite. But I do love the scene where Charlotte interviews Alex for entry into the School of Gallantry with its racy, quick witted exchanges and tantalizing sexual tension simmering just beneath the surface. Here’s a snippet from one of their exchanges…

“Do you sheath yourself during your escapades, My Lord? Or is there a chance you could be unclean?”
Alexander genuinely laughed in response. “A man of my experience would never engage in any escapade without sheathing himself. I always come prepared. Rest assured, love, I am clean. Very clean.”
He stood and gestured toward the buttons on his trousers, trying to remain serious, though he felt anything but. “Does the school require proof?”

Of course, there’s much more to this scene but I won’t spoil the fun!

I love the secondary characters; Alex’s outrageous family, otherwise known as the ‘Hawksford Misfits’, his friend Lord Caldwell, with the mysterious ‘secret’ and, my favourite, Madame de Maintenon.

How I imagine Madame de Maintenon…

Ah, what can I say about the notorious Madame de Maintenon… she’s sexually liberated, delights in flaunting the stuffy rules of society at every turn and, ah yes, such a colourful life she’s led!

“…I once had the honor—and I do mean that—of pleasuring his father.” She eyed her. “And his mother. Though I ask that you keep that to yourself and not tell Maybelle or anyone else.” She winked mischievously and lowered her voice. “I was supposed to be in retirement, but the money was simply too good.”

I’ll let Alex have the final word….

Then she, he, and all of his sisters—and, yes, even his blasted mother—would all live excessively and happily ever after. The way a Hawksford damn well should.

Just as it should be!

If you want a richly entertaining slice of escapism, then LORD OF PLEASURE is just perfect!


MY RATING:  5/5 Stars


Read March 2013

The School of Gallantry series (click the book covers for more details) :

Mistress of Pleasure (School of Gallantry #1) Lord of Pleasure (School of Gallantry #2) Lady of Pleasure (School of Gallantry #3) Night of Pleasure (School of Gallantry, #4)


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Imagine the Scene…

A couple share an intimate dinner for two in an exotic location with soft music playing in the background. The man leans over and takes the woman’s hands in his and presses kisses to her fingertips. He looks into her eyes and she sees the love shining there. He caresses her cheek and, in a voice husky with emotion, says:

“Darling will you marry me?”

I’m sure everyone dreams of a similar romantic proposal but the reality often turns out to be very different. Take my case for instance. My husband proposed over a glass of wine in a pub! Hardly the most romantic of locations! But, never fear, because my favourite fictional heroes will come to the rescue. When they finally utter the words ‘Marry Me’, I know the scene will leave me sighing happily into my cup of tea.

Just to prove it, here are four of my favourite Historical Romance marriage proposals.

The Awe-Inspiring Proposal

This scene in Gaelen Foley’s The Duke, when Robert Knight proposes to Bel Hamilton, definitely tops my list as the most heart-melting proposal ever!

With a slight, devilish smile, Robert guided the tall white horse back to a vantage point just below Bel’s theater box. With a sweeping gesture, he produced a gorgeous red rose and lifted it, holding it out to her. The courtly gesture won him cheers, whistles, applause. Even Mr. Kean laughed.
The roguish smile Robert sent her made her heart somersault with crazed, incredulous joy.
Her heart beating wildly, Bel reached over the railing and accepted the rose, abashed to be brought to the public’s attention, because everybody knew who she was – “The Magdalen,” the papers now called her – the penitent whore.
“Come away, my lady,” he said softly.
“Have you gone completely mad?”
“I was mad ever to let you go. Take me back. You won’t be sorry, I swear,” he said. “Marry me, lovely.”

This reminds me so much of the final scene in the movie Pretty Woman when Richard Gere arrives at Julia Roberts’s apartment. Just substitute a white limousine for a white horse; it’s still great romance!

The Crazy Proposal

Leo Hathaway, Lord Ramsey’s proposal to Catherine Marks in Lisa Kleypas’s Married By Morning must surely rank as the most unconventional one ever but his words….just sigh-worthy!

Leo leaned farther out of the window. “I love you,” he said shortly. As he stared at Catherine’s small, shivering figure, he felt his color run high, and his soul open with an emotion deeper than he had ever imagined could reside in him. “I love you Marks. My heart is completely and utterly yours. And unfortunately for you, the rest of me comes with it.” Leo paused, struggling for words, when they had always come so easily to him. But these had to be the right words. They meant too much. “I know I’m a bad bargain. But I’m begging you to have me anyway. Because I want to build a life with you.” He fought to steady his voice. “Please come to me, Cat, because there’s no surviving you. You don’t have to love me back. You don’t have to be mine. Just let me be yours.”

I love the wonderful blend of drama, humour and, of course, romance!

The Risky Proposal

In Judith McNaught’s Until You, Stephen Westmoreland’s previous actions require more than just sweet talking a very angry Sheridan Bromleigh into accepting his proposal. I do so love a hero who is willing to lay his heart on the line, even at the risk of having it trampled on!

“Look at me,” Stephen said, tipping her chin up again, and this time her glorious eyes looked into his. “I have several reasons for asking you to walk into that chapel, where there is a vicar waiting for us, but guilt is not among them. I also have several things to ask of you before you agree to go in there with me.”
“What sort of things?”
“I would like you to give me daughters with your hair and your spirit,” he said, beginning to enumerate his reasons and requests. “I would like my sons to have your eyes and your courage. Now, if that’s not what you want, then give me any combination you like, and I will humbly thank you for giving me any child we make.”
Happiness began to spread through Sheridan until it was so intense she ached from it. “I want to change your name,” he said with a tender smile, “so there’s no doubt who you are ever again, or that you belong to me.” He slid his hands up and down her arms, looking directly into her eyes. “I want the right to share your bed tonight and every other night from this day forward. I want to make you moan in my arms, and I want to wake up wrapped in yours.” He shifted his hands and cradled her cheeks, his thumbs brushing away two tears at the edges of her shimmering eyes. “Last of all, I want to hear you say “I love you” every day of my life. If you aren’t ready to agree to that last request right now, I would be willing to wait until tonight, when I believe you will. In return for all these concessions, I will grant you every wish that is within my power to grant you.”

Could you resist such a proposal?

The Practical Proposal

I love this delightfully understated scene between Lisle and Olivia in Loretta Chase’s friends-to-lovers story, Last Night’s Scandal.

He swallowed. After a moment’s vibrating silence, he said, “You must marry me.”
She stared for a time at her collection of secrets. “I think I must,” she said. “I’ve wanted to be self-sacrificing and brave but it doesn’t agree with me.”
He stared at her. She put the trinkets back, and the letters.
“Really?” he said.
“Yes,” she said. “I thought I couldn’t endure it but you’ve begun to grow on me. Like mold.”
“Very funny.” But the relief was physical. He hadn’t realized how heavy and disheartening a weight had pressed on him until now, when it lightened.
“We balance,” she said. “We love each other. We’re friends. And lovemaking is quite good.”
“Quite good?”
“Much better than Lady Cooper’s first experience,” she said. She repeated the ladies’ descriptions of their first marriages.
He laughed. “I’ve outperformed Lady Cooper’s first husband – and I’ve got the ring and everything,” he said.
“The one from the chest,” she said.” Oh, that settles it.”
He pulled her into his arms and kissed her. “If we go wake up two witnesses, we can declare ourselves married and we will be – and then you can spend the night,” he said. “Marriage is simpler in Scotland.”

Alas, if you want to discover all about Lady Cooper’s ‘first experience’, I’m afraid you’ll have to read the book!

Do you have any favourite proposal scenes?

This was originally posted as a Guest Blog on the Romantic Historical Lovers blog in November 2012.

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