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Archive for May, 2014

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I’m very pleased with my progress this month. I not only read my selected books but three additional books as well.

These are the books I’m planning to read in June.

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(Jaded Gentlemen, #4)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

After the darkness of a dungeon in India, artist Josiah Hastings dreamt of returning to a world lush with color—only to discover that years of imprisonment left his eyesight weak and failing. So when the fiery beauty of Miss Eleanor Beckett appears in his vision amidst the bleak grays of a London winter, he knows he’s found his muse and one last chance at a masterpiece.

Once a spoiled and exultant girl, Eleanor is struggling to survive in a city where men prey upon her. Saving her from assault and ruin, Josiah will pay her a fortune to sit for a painting. To restore her life, Eleanor must risk her reputation modeling for an artist without a chaperone—and try not to lose her heart to a man with dark secrets and unseen enemies…

 

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(Dangerous Rogues, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb 

In this dazzling Dangerous Rogues novel, a daring and dangerously handsome duke will do anything for the woman he loves—even if it sparks a scandal.

FRIENDS AND LOVERS…

As a wealthy young widow, Lady Jessica Heyer must endure the closest of scrutiny and most wicked of rumors from society gossips. Their whispers would be utterly unbearable if it weren’t for her oldest friend, the Duke of Alsborough. Jessica knows she can always count on Hayden. What she never could have expected, however, is that he is deeply, madly in love with her…

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD

For years, Hayden has kept his longing for his beautiful friend Jessica a secret. But now that she’s finally free to remarry, will she be willing to take their relationship to a more intimate level? He’ll get his answer soon—at a glittering masquerade, where identities are hidden, hearts are open, and true love is unmasked…in a single, shameless act of passion.

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(The Westruthers #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Passion to last a lifetime…

The Sweetest Scandal

Beautiful, exuberant, and stubborn Georgiana Black has more spirit than sense—which she learns when an ultimatum to the Earl of Beckenham ends their engagement. Six years later, Georgie is less concerned with impending spinsterhood than with making sure her young sister doesn’t make the same mistakes she did. But soon Georgie stumbles into a scandalous encounter with none other than her former fiancé. Beckenham is still breathtakingly desirable.

The Truest Temptation

Beckenham’s brief engagement to Georgie taught him one thing: when it comes to a wife, he wants a woman who will do her duty and cause no trouble. When the fiery Georgie falls unexpectedly into his arms, Beckenham remembers just how lushly delectable she is. Suddenly, the idea of actually marrying Georgie is irresistible. In a battle of wills, can passion conquer pride?

 

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(Lost Lords of Pembrook, #3)

Genre:  Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

Only one woman can break through his heart of stone…

Three young heirs, imprisoned by an unscrupulous uncle, escaped—to the sea, to the streets, to faraway battle—awaiting the day when they would return to reclaim their birthright…

Lord Rafe Easton may be of noble blood, but survival taught him to rely only on himself and to love no one. Yet when he sets his eyes on Miss Evelyn Chambers, and earl’s illegitimate daughter, he is determined to have her, if only as his mistress.

After her father’s death, Evelyn Chambers never imagined she would be sold to the highest bidder, yet circumstances give her little choice except to accept the lord’s indecent proposal. Rafe is wealthy, as well as ruthless. Yet his coldness belies deep passion and deeper secrets. If she must be his, Evelyn intends to lay bare everything the Lord of Pembrook is hiding. But dark discoveries threaten to destroy them both until unexpected love guides the last lost lord home.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Lorraine Heath brings her Lost Lords of Pembrook series to a satisfying conclusion with this emotive, romantic and passionate story.

How I imagine Lord Rafe Easton….
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Nothing touched him, nothing bothered him. Nothing mattered.

I have been waiting for Rafe’s story and I knew it would be angsty. He was only ten years old, the youngest and most vulnerable of the three brothers who escaped that night and the one with the deepest emotional scars. His experiences have left him reclusive, cold and cynical; a man who cares for nothing or no one; a man with dark secrets he has never shared with anyone.

He’d been unable to stop thinking about her since he’d first seen her. She invaded his dreams, inhabited his thoughts, occupied his mind.

I loved watching Rafe trying so hard to deny his feelings for Eve when everything he does reveals just how much he really cares. He takes steps to return the sapphire necklace that her father bought her  nineteenth birthday to her and her father’s portrait for her. He always refuses to use his title but refers to himself as Lord Rafe Easton to get the respect Eve deserves from Madame Charmaine, the dressmaker. He never attends balls but is willing to take Eve to his brother’s ball simply because she wants to dance. Hardly the actions of a man who doesn’t care!

How I imagine Evelyn (Eve) Chambers…
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She possessed a determination, a strength of will that would have had her finding a way to avoid the rookeries.

Eve was so naïve and vulnerable at first having been protected from the harsher realities of life by her father. After her initial distress, I admired her for coming to terms with the reality of her situation and it was satisfying to watch her grow in strength, confidence and determination.

“Mistresses are supposed to take what they’re given and not question it.”
“Is that the law? Is there a law of mistresses somewhere, a book that solicitors study?”

I smiled everytime she stood up to Rafe and particularly when she flaunted his rules for being a mistress.

I loved her determination to make Geoffrey pay for what he did to her and I positively cheered when she confronted him with her head held high. Better still was the scene where she ploughed her fist into his face!

Ms Heath built the sexual tension so well. When Rafe agreed to allow Eve time to adjust to him, it created a delicious sense of anticipation, particularly as Rafe has difficulty keeping his hands off her. My favourite scene is where Rafe finally allows Eve to touch him. There is something so beautiful and sensual about it.

He held her, just held her, while she held him.
Marveled at the wonder of it. So much skin against skin. Silk to satin. Velvety warmth.

Couple kissing

Rafe has always struggled with feelings of anger and resentment towards his brothers for abandoning him. It was satisfying to finally see the seeds of reconciliation between Rafe, Sebastian and Tristan and, when Rafe is in danger, his brothers are prepared to do anything to find him. There is a lovely moment in the Epilogue when I knew that Rafe had finally come home.

Lord of Wicked Temptations delivered everything I look for in historical romance emotional, sensual and romantic; the perfect end to this wonderful series.  Highly recommended!


REVIEW RATING:   5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read May 2014

The Lost Lords of Pembrook series(click on the covers for more details):

She Tempts the Duke (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #1) by Lorraine Heath Lord of Temptation (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #2) by Lorraine Heath Deck the Halls With Love (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #2.5) by Lorraine Heath Lord of Wicked Intentions (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #3) by Lorraine Heath 

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We have two winners because Erin kindly agreed to giveaway 2 copies of her book.

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VIOLETTA RAND AND GLENDA

 

Congratulations to you both!  I have passed your email addresses to Erin so that she can arrange for your copy of Odin’s Shadow to be sent.

Happy reading, ladies!

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(Lost Lords of Pembrook, #2.5)

Genre:  Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

A Lost Lords of Pembrook Novella

Christmas is a time for miracles … and second chances at love.

In her dazzling first Season, Lady Meredith Hargreaves gave her heart to Alistair Wakefield, the Marquess of Chetwyn, only to have it shattered when he proposed to another. And now that he’s free to pursue her? It matters little, because she’s on her way to the altar, heartbreak be damned.

Chetwyn once set aside his dreams in favor of duty and honor. But as Christmas approaches, he is determined to put his own desires first and lure Lady Meredith back into his arms, where she’s always belonged.

First he steals a dance; then he steals a kiss. But when they find themselves alone in an abandoned castle during a snowstorm, reignited passion consumes them both. And Chetwyn will have one last chance to steal back Meredith’s heart, once and for all.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This novella is the third book in Lorraine Heath’s excellent Lost Lords of Pembrook series. Whether it is a full length novel or a novella, Ms Heath never fails to captivate me with her stories.

Alistair was a secondary character in Lord of Temptation and I really liked him and hoped he would have his own HEA. He had such a strong sense of honour and duty. He blamed himself for his brother, Walter’s death in the Crimea and felt a deep obligation to fulfil Walter’s last request, to ensure the happiness of his fiancée, Lady Anne Hayworth. Alistair believed that marrying Anne was the best way of ensuring her happiness even though it meant giving up the woman he truly loved, Lady Meredith Hargreaves. Then, when he realised that Anne truly loved Tristan, he was willing to set her free and bear all the humiliation of being jilted. Now he is determined to do everything in his power to win Meredith back.
Hers were the only eyes into which he longed to gaze, hers the only fragrance he yearned to inhale, hers the only voice he wanted whispering near his ear as passion smoldered.

It is not going to be easy persuading the lady of his sincerity and there is one major impediment…she is betrothed to another man.

Meredith (Merry) had almost made the mistake of losing her heart to Alistair until his attentions moved onto someone else. She was deeply hurt but now she has moved on with her life and is engaged to Lord Litton who is without a doubt the man for her. She is determined never to fall under Alistair’s spell again.

…she refused to succumb to his charms once again. She could be distant, pretend indifference, give the impression that he had never been more than a dance partner.

Alistair is resolute in his pursuit of Merry and I love the ruse he uses so that he can dance with her. Merry’s defences begin to crumble when things get rather heated in the billiard room. Who would have thought that Alistair could be so sexy!

It is not until a snow storm forces them to spend the night in the ruined Pembrook castle that they are finally able to admit their true feelings. This leads to a sweet and tender love scene. Once again, Alistair’s actions show what a perfect hero he is. It would be easy for him to be found with Merry, forcing her to marry him, but instead he protects her reputation, giving her the freedom to choose her own course.

To have her, he would have to ruin her, and he loved her far too much for that.

I thought Ms Heath disposed of Litton, the only obstacle remaining to their happiness, in a rather clever and believable way, leaving Merry to follow her heart. As always, Ms Heath left me with a sigh and a happy smile on my face.

You don’t have to wait until Christmas to read this enchanting rekindled love story. Like me read it any time of the year as part of this wonderful series.

REVIEW RATING:  4/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

Read May 2014

 

The Lost Lords of Pembrook series (click on the covers for more details):

She Tempts the Duke (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #1) by Lorraine Heath Lord of Temptation (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #2) by Lorraine Heath Deck the Halls With Love (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #2.5) by Lorraine Heath Lord of Wicked Intentions (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #3) by Lorraine Heath 

 

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Check out Shana Galen’s five ways to tell whether your boyfriend or husband may be a pirate!

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COVER BLURB

This is the third of my Heartlands series. The first two are ‘Her Man with Iceberg Eyes’ and ‘Christmas Holiday Husband’.

Exiled from his family for half his life, hard-living cowboy Rory Morrissey finally quits Texas and embarks on a desperate and delicate mission: to return to New Zealand, convince shy Kiwi heiress Alfrieda Hamlin to marry him, and earn a fresh start, respectability, and one hell of a farm. 

Alfie might be shy but she’s no pushover. When she learns about the succession deal being hatched between her autocratic grandfather and the handsome Texan stud, she rebels. There’s no way she’ll stand by and have her expected inheritance and freedom stolen away, so with only one month to outwit the scheming duo, she throws caution to the wind and snuggles up to the man she’s been ordered to marry. After all, she needs to know her enemy if she expects to beat him at his own game.

Warning: Contains one hunky cowboy determined to ride down his heiress, hog-tie her, and bundle her into his bed.

Publication date: 9th June 2014

 

AUTHOR BIO

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If it’s fine, Kris gardens. If it’s wet, she writes. And if the writing’s going well, the garden can look after itself…

Her two latest books are the start of her Heartlands Heroines series – the girls who live deep in the New Zealand countryside. First there’s ‘Her Man with Iceberg Eyes’ – a novel set in the alpine resort of Queenstown, way in the south. Then there’s ‘Christmas Holiday Husband’ – which takes you to a sprawling back-country farm with its lovely old homestead and long family heritage.

Kris writes sizzling contemporary romances, and is the current membership secretary for Romance Writers of New Zealand. Six of her books are set at least partly in the capital city of Wellington so she can make use of the beautiful harbor in the plots. She’s called them her Wicked in Wellington series.

Kris has written all her life – from her autobiography at twelve, to her own special wedding service, to short stories published in mass-circulation magazines and broadcast on National Radio in New Zealand. She has a background as an advertising copywriter and a decor specialist.

During the past eight years she’s produced a selection of racy romantic novels, and publishing them on Amazon.com has been the ideal answer to share them with the world.

Here’s what Romantic Times said about ‘The Wrong Sister’

‘Pearson’s latest sizzles with passions and misconceptions as two souls struggle past social conventions to the love on the other side. Readers will relish the characters and will be praying that love will in fact triumph over convention. As Fiona and Christian struggle against it, their passion spills over, burning both of them in the process.’

4 Stars HOT.

Sabrina Cooper, RT Reviews

 

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(Lost Lords of Pembrook, #2)

Genre:  Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

Three young heirs, imprisoned by an unscrupulous uncle, escaped—to the sea, to the streets, to faraway battle—awaiting the day when they would return to reclaim their birthright.

Once upon a time, he was Lord Tristan Easton—now he is Crimson Jack, a notorious privateer beholden to none, whose only mistress is the sea. But all that will change when exquisite Lady Anne Hayworth hires his protection on a trip into danger and seduction. . .

Desperation brought Anne to the bronzed, blue-eyed buccaneer. But after the Captain demands a kiss as his payment, desire will keep her at his side. She has never known temptation like this—but to protect her heart, she knows she must leave him behind. Yet Tristan cannot easily forget the beauty—and when they meet again in a London ballroom, he vows he won’t lose her a second time, as fiery passion reignited takes them into uncharted waters that could lead the second lost lord home. . .

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Lorraine Heath is a consummate story teller and I love this beautifully written
and totally captivating love story

How I imagine Lord Tristan Easton/Captain Crimson Jack…
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Once Lord Tristan Easton, he is now the roguish, sexy, witty, adventure-loving Captain Crimson Jack but he still bears the emotional scars of leaving Pembrook all those years ago.

From the moment he’d galloped away from Pembrook, he’d sworn that he would never complain, whine, or cry about the unfairness of life. He’d buried deeply anything that could hurt him, because it had very nearly destroyed him to leave all that he loved.

He has built a wall around his heart so nothing could ever hurt him again; he had become his own man, strong and independent. Having tried to return to his former life as a lord, he knew he could never embrace society and would always return to his first love, the sea.

…he couldn’t imagine giving up his roving life, his ship, his unencumbered existence.

Tristan gives the impression that he doesn’t care about anything but rescuing the young boy ‘Mouse’ from being eaten by sharks shows just how deeply he cares about others.

How I imagine Lady Anne Hayworth…

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She loved Walter, but during their last night together before he left, she’d hurt him with words and deeds. Perhaps if she hadn’t, he would have come home. She needed to apologise, to ask forgiveness.

For the past two years, Anne has been in mourning for her fiancé, Walter, who fought and died in the Crimea but now her father and brothers are urging her to return to society and find a husband. She feels so much guilt and regret about the argument she and Walter had before he left and desperately needs to go to Scutari to say a final farewell to him. I appreciated that Anne genuinely loved Walter and he wasn’t portrayed as unworthy of her which happens in so many romances.

Anne loves her father and brothers but feels smothered by them because of their belief that, as a woman, she needs looking after. I thought it was a nice touch that she considers her brothers the worst gossips.

Their initial meeting in the tavern is so entertaining. I had this vivid mental picture of the disreputable looking Tristan, sprawled in his chair, insolently eyeing the very proper Anne up and down and responding to her request for help with a mocking smile:

“Depends on what sort of help you’re needing,” he said. “If it’s an adventure between the sheets—”

“Definitely not!” she snapped at the arrogant cad.
 “Pity.”

I love how Anne stands up to him and thinks of him as a ‘mannerless jackanapes’.

I enjoyed watching their romance gradually unfold and love the scene where Tristan comforts Anne as she stands by Walter’s unmarked grave. It is so poignant and shows just how kind and caring Tristan is.

“I would take your pain if I could,” he said in a low rough voice.
When she thought her heart could ache no more, he bent his head and tenderly brushed his lips over hers, before gathering her into his arms and holding her near.

I like that Anne is willing to break all the rules of propriety to experience what it is like to be Tristan’s lover but she realistic enough to know that he will never marry her. They come from different worlds and Tristan’s first love will always be the sea.

I love how Ms Heath describes that first kiss:

Long. Slow. Leisurely. It was all there, and yet in spite of that, the kiss was wild, untamed, unyielding. It commanded, it tempted, it seduced. Thoroughly, irrevocably.

It’s impossible for Tristan to keep away from Anne even after they get back to London, but she wants something he can’t give her…a husband she sees every day, children and a home on dry land. So she accepts a marriage proposal from Walter’s brother, Lord Chetwyn. I love how she compares Chetwyn to Tristan as comparing an unfolding blossom to a raging storm.

I am so pleased that Chetwyn will be getting a Happy Ever After in the next book because he truly deserves it. He is prepared to face the humiliation of being jilted so that Anne can marry the man she truly loves

The scene when Tristan returns to the ruined tower, where he and his brothers were imprisoned, is such a powerful image and so heart-breaking that it just reduced me to tears.

“I’m not lost anymore, Anne,” he said quietly . “After fourteen years of wandering, I’ve finally found home. You are my safe harbor.”

If this perfect ending wasn’t enough, there is a lovely, heart-warming Epilogue too.

This is such a beautifully crafted and emotionally satisfying love story and only confirms why Lorraine Heath remains one of my all-time favourite authors..


REVIEW RATING:   5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read May 2014

 

The Lost Lords of Pembrook series(click on the covers for more details):
She Tempts the Duke (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #1) by Lorraine Heath Lord of Temptation (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #2) by Lorraine Heath Deck the Halls With Love (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #2.5) by Lorraine Heath Lord of Wicked Intentions (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #3) by Lorraine Heath

 

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