Archive for August, 2013

Genre: Georgian Historical Romance

Official Blurb 

Set during the chaotic beginnings of Napoleon’s rule, this saga tells the story of Gabriel St. Croix, a street survivor searching for a place to belong. Abandoned as a child and raised in a brothel, he has never known friendship or affection. Hiding physical and emotional scars behind an icy facade, his only relationship is with a young boy he has spent the last five years protecting from the brutal reality of their environment. But all that is about to change. The boy’s family has found him, and they are coming to take him home.

Sarah Munroe blames herself for her brother’s disappearance. When he’s located, safe and unharmed despite where he has been living, Sarah vows to help the man who rescued and protected him in any way she can. With loving patience she helps Gabriel face his demons and teaches him to trust in friendship and love. But when the past catches up with him, Gabriel must face it on his own. Becoming a mercenary, pirate, and professional gambler, he travels to London, France, and the Barbary Coast in a desperate attempt to find Sarah again. On the way, however, he will discover the most dangerous journey and the greatest gamble of all is within the darkest reaches of his own heart.


Genre: Paranormal Erotic Short Story

Official Blurb 

Psychic Alyssa DeAngelo travels to a castle-turned-resort in the Italian countryside to assist its owner with his ghostly problem. There, she encounters Dominicus Romano, a tormented soul who has dwelt within the castle walls for six centuries. Can she help him find peace?



(Pennyroyal Green #8)

Genre: Historical Romance

Official Blurb 

More than one beautiful woman’s hopes have been dashed on the rocky shoals of Jonathan Redmond’s heart. With his riveting good looks and Redmond wealth and power, the world is his oyster—until an ultimatum from his father and a chilling gypsy prophesy send him hurtling headlong toward a fate he’ll do anything to avoid: matrimony.

Intoxicating, elusive Thomasina de Ballesteros has the bloods of London at her feet. But none of them knows the real Tommy—the one with a shocking pedigree, a few too many secrets, and a healthy scorn for rakes like Jonathan.

She is everything Jonathan never wanted. But on one fateful midnight, he’s drawn into Tommy’s world of risk, danger…and a desire he’d never dreamed possible. And suddenly he’s re-thinking everything…including the possibility that succumbing to prophesy might just mean surrendering to love.


(Lord and Lady Spy #1)

Genre: Regency Historical Romance

Official Blurb 

Let the games begin…

No Man Can Outsmart Him…

Lord Adrian Smythe may appear a perfectly boring gentleman, but he leads a thrilling life as one of England’s most preeminent spies, an identity so clandestine even his wife is unaware of it. But he isn’t the only one with secrets…

She’s Been Outsmarting Him For Years…

Now that the Napoleonic wars have come to an end, daring secret agent Lady Sophia Smythe can hardly bear the thought of returning home to her tedious husband. Until she discovers in the dark of night that he’s not who she thinks he is after all.




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


Check out the new books added to my bookshelves during the month


Review of THE SHEIK RETOLD by Victoria Vane (a retelling of the classic The Sheik by E. M. Hull)


Review of THE SHEIK by E. M. Hull


More favourite quotes


More interesting facts about Wales


Great English Country Houses – Renishaw Hall, Derbyshire


Plus lots more!

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(Ugly Ducklings #3.5)

Genre: Regency Historical Romance

Official Blurb 

The beautiful Miss Amelia Snow is not accustomed to being snubbed by the gentlemen of the ton. But when her mother dies unexpectedly, forcing Amelia to take employment as companion to a wealthy cit’s daughter, she quickly learns to play down her looks or risk losing her position. When her employers, the Smithsons, decide to throw a country house party, she is determined to fade into the background. But how can she when the Smithson’s guest of honor is Lord Quentin Fortescue, the childhood friend who stole her heart?

Younger son, Lord Quentin Fortescue, is far more interested in his host’s cotton mills in the north than he is in courting the man’s dim-witted daughter. But it’s the girl’s companion who makes him look twice. Years ago, Miss Amelia Snowe rejected his proposal without a backward glance. Quentin has molded himself into just the sort of man she’d have wanted back then, but is Amelia still the smug beauty who broke his heart? And can either of them risk their newfound positions to indulge the fiery attraction that burns between them?


THE PERKS OF BEING A BEAUTY is a sweet and heartwarming story of redemption, forgiveness and second chances.

When I finished reading How to Entice an Earl, I was surprised that Manda Collins obviously intended to redeem the Ugly Ducklings’ arch nemesis, Amelia Snow. Amelia had been so despicable, I doubted Ms Collins could make me see her as a sympathetic heroine. Well, not only did I like and sympathise with Amelia but I truly wanted her to have her Happy Ever After!

All Amelia’s actions reveal a very different person…someone who has the courage to openly admit to Quentin the extent of her cruel, conniving behaviour. I could see her determination to be a better person in the way she cares about and guides Harriet and champions the cause of the mistreated maid, Mary.

I adore Quentin! I thought his initial reaction to seeing Amelia humbled was a very human one. Amelia had refused his proposal of marriage in favour of someone more important than a second son and so he enjoyed seeing her brought down a peg or two. Then he begins to see just how much effort she had made to atone for her sins and can’t help but admire her. He also comes to understand how much her behaviour was the result of her mother’s ambitions and why Amelia was so desperate to please her mother even at the expense of her own happiness. These revelations only serve to make Amelia more sympathetic and likeable.

Thrown together for the scavenger hunt, I enjoyed watching Amelia and Quentin regain that easy friendship they had once shared and the rekindling of their love seems such a natural progression.

I love the waltz scene where everyone thinks Quentin and Amelia are talking about horticulture but Quentin is talking about something quite different altogether!!

I also like the inclusion of two characters from Ms Collins’ new Wicked Widows series but blink and you might miss them!

This novella is a such a charming ending to the Ugly Ducklings series. I’m certainly looking forward to Manda Collins’ new series and already have WHY DUKES SAY I DO downloaded on my Kindle.



Read August 2013

Ugly Ducklings series (click on book covers for more details):

How to Dance with a Duke (Ugly Ducklings, #1)How to Romance a Rake (Ugly Ducklings #2)How to Entice an Earl (Ugly Ducklings, #3)The Perks of Being a Beauty (Ugly Ducklings, #3.5)

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Did you know? 

(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)

Poet and writer Dylan Thomas was born in Uplands, Swansea, South Wales. He became popular in his lifetime and remained so after his premature death. In his later life he acquired a reputation, which he encouraged, as “a roistering, drunken and doomed poet”. His best remembered work is probably Under Milk Wood famously narrated by Richard Burton in the 1954 BBC radio adaptation.

Glamorgan sausage is a traditional Welsh vegetarian sausage for which the main ingredients are cheese (usually Caerphilly), leeks and breadcrumbs.

High and low tides on the Bristol Channel, which separates South Wales from Devon and Somerset in South West England, has the 2nd highest tide in the world.

Llyn Gwynant

Alexandra Slate quarry

North Wales was the backdrop for scenes from the second Tomb Raider movie starring Angelina Jolie. The two main locations were Llyn Gwynant in Snowdonia, where a Chinese village was specially built, and the disused Alexandra Slate quarry in the Nantlle Valley, Caernarfonshire, where a 100ft drop down a cliff was filmed.

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(A School of Gallantry Novella)

Genre: Victorian Historical Romance

Official Blurb 

He believes in destiny. She just wants to survive it…

At forty, Lady Cecilia Evangeline Stone thinks she has everything a woman could ever want. A title, a fortune, and four children who make her proud. After a marriage of convenience that was anything but convenient, she has no desire to complicate her life by including a man in it again. When her eldest son announces his engagement to a Russian actress in Saint Petersburg, Cecilia sets out to do what any good mother would do: stop the wedding. Unfortunately, destiny has other plans.

Konstantin Alexie Levin never considered himself to be a villain. In fact, he considers himself to be a Russian gentleman. Having grown up in a refined and well-educated family that embraced criminal life to avoid debtor’s prison, the only thing preventing him from knowing happiness is the rest of the world. Everything changes, however, when Konstantin is given a chance to start life anew and travel to London to collect an unexpected reward for saving a man’s life. To his surprise, he is about to become a hero at midnight to a beautiful aristocrat who desperately needs his help. The problem is…he wants to do more than save Lady Stone. He wants to make the woman his, all his.

WARNING: This book is Rated Double S (Sweaty & Sinful) and contains strong language and sexual content which may cause respectable people to swoon.


ROMANCING LADY STONE is unashamedly romantic and I loved every moment of it! This novella has everything I love about Delilah’s books in a small, neat package…emotive and evocative writing, an innovative story, richly drawn characters, wonderful chemistry, sizzling love scenes and lovely touches of humour.

In the distance, she heard a hall clock chime twelve times.
It was destiny.

I totally fell in love with Konstantin and Cecilia…so perfect for each other. Through their love, Konstantin shrugs off the shackles of his criminal past to become the man he was meant to be…respectable and honourable; Cecilia becomes the woman she has always longed to be…daring and passionate. The idea of destiny, the watch and the magical hour of midnight being central to the plot has great appeal. I love that this is simply the story of two people falling in love…their uncertainties…their hopes…their dreams.

Delilah’s stories aren’t just a series of steamy love scenes but a beautiful blending of poignancy, tenderness and sensuality. I love how the romance plays out…they talk …they laugh…they make love… they even dance naked together. Everything seems so real and natural. It feels they are truly meant to be together.

Delilah is known for her scorching hot love scenes but just wait until you read the BATH SCENE! This is one of the funniest and sexiest scenes I’ve read in a long time!

I am so happy that the enigmatic, scarred Duc de Andelot and Madam de Maintenon, owner of the School of Gallantry, will be getting their own full length book. From the teasers in this novella, it promises to be a heartrending second-chance love story.

I adore Cecilia’s overly romantic, starry-eyed daughters. I cheered them when they encouraged their mother to call on Konstantin and find the happiness she deserves. The scene where Konstantin asks the girls for permission to marry their mother is such a delightful touch and the charming Epilogue left me with a big smile on my face.

If you have never read any of Delilah’s books, then ROMANCING LADY STONE is the perfect introduction. I’ll be surprised if don’t want to rush out and grab the rest of the School of Gallantry series!



Read August 2013

My thanks to Delilah Marvelle for kindly sending a copy of this novella in return for an honest review. The pleasure was all mine.

School of Gallantry series to date (click on the 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) Romancing Lady Stone (School of Gallantry #3.5) Night of Pleasure (School of Gallantry, #4)

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Yes, Victoria has just sent me an ARC of THE SHEIK RETOLD! So excited and can’t wait to start reading it. I have two reviews to finish but then it will be…

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