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Archive for August, 2014

Wonderful interview with talented author, Jane Lark.

bookworm2bookworm's Blog

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b2bMelanie: I’m so happy to welcome this author! Just love her books! Without further adieu, here she is! Jane Lark! Jane, before I start with the questions, how about you tell us a bit about yourself and your writing career?

Jane Lark: Well so far my writing ‘career’ has been very brief… my first book was published in May 2013, and then republished by Harper Collins in October 2015 as The Illicit Love of a Courtesan, but I have been writing since 2006 so since October 2015 Harper Collins have been pouring out my backlog, and I now have seven books released and three more are due out in the autumn. But I have always loved writing and wanted to write novels for as long as I can remember.

b2b: Can you tell us more about ‘The Lost Love of a Soldier’ and why you chose to write this prequel…

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This is the third book in Maggie Andersen’s entertaining The Spies of Mayfair series.


ABOUT THE BOOK

(The Spies of Mayfair #3)

Genre :Historical Romance

Cover Blurb:

King George sends his private investigator, an Irishman, Kieran Flynn, Lord Montsimon, on a mission, the reason for which is unclear. Is it a plot against the Crown? Or something entirely unrelated? Flynn’s inquiries lead him to the widow, Lady Althea Brookwood. Known amongst the ton as a rake, Flynn is rarely turned down by a lady, and when Althea refuses not just him but many other men, he becomes intrigued.

After her neighbor, Sir Harold Crowthorne informs Althea that he means to take her country property, Owltree Cottage, by fair means or foul, she must search for help. The first man she turns to is promptly murdered and the second lies to her. That leaves Flynn, Lord Montsimon, a man she has been studiously avoiding. But Montsimon is decidedly unhelpful, and more than a little mysterious. Her only option is to seduce him. Althea has little confidence that she will succeed, especially as before her husband was killed in a duel, he often told her she was quite hopeless at intimacy.

When a spy is murdered, Flynn wonders just what Althea knows and what her involvement might be with the man the king wants Flynn to investigate.

Buy Links:

Amazon.com
Amazon.au
Amazon.co.uk
Waterstones
Barnes&Noble

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EXCERPT

With a swish of her ice-blue net gown worn over white satin, Althea hurried away, leaving Mrs. Pinkerton peering after her through her lorgnette. It was an appalling lack of decorum, and Althea was sure her ears were burning. A moment later, she had forgotten the ladies entirely, for Montsimon, a determined expression in his grey eyes, made his way steadily through the guests in her direction. She could not talk to him now. Heart thudding, she searched around her for anyone free to engage in conversation, but those close by were so deep in discussion it would be rude to interrupt.

“Lady Brookwood.” Montsimon bowed before her.

There was nothing for it. “Lord Montsimon.” She curtsied. It was extraordinary. Simply because she’d considered a possible affair with him, it had become difficult to meet his eyes, made bluer tonight by the coat he wore.

“I didn’t expect to find you in London,” he said in his pleasant tenor voice. “I believe your intention was to remain in the country until spring.”

“That was my aim,” she said, “but important matters have brought me back to town.”

A waiter approached. Montsimon took two glasses of wine from his tray and offered her one. Althea accepted it with a nod of thanks. She sipped the cold fruity wine, glad to find it lubricated her tight throat.

“Dreadfully crowded,” Montsimon said, bending his head closer to hers.

“The Gossards’ affairs are always a great success. Does your dog wait for you at home tonight?”

“No, he’s guarding my carriage,” Montsimon said with a glint of humor.

“Is he a good guard dog?” Her gaze swept the room again, searching for Lord Churton without success.

“Spot is very thorough. Even my friends are barred from the vehicle.” Montsimon frowned. “But something disturbs you this evening, Lady Brookwood. May I help?”

“You must pardon me, my lord.” She took a step away. “There’s someone I must speak to, but I can’t seem to locate them in this crowd.”

He followed, bringing them close again. “Who might that be?”

“It’s Lord Churton. Have you seen him?”

The expression in Montsimon’s eyes sharpened. Without explanation, he removed her wine glass, which was still half-full from her nerveless fingers. Conscious of those around them, she murmured a surprised protest. He placed her glass with his on a console table against the wall.

“Shall we take a stroll on the terrace?” He slipped her arm through his.

“I beg your pardon?” Althea shook free, but he firmly tucked her gloved fingers back into the crook of his arm and moved forward, propelling her along, while apologizing right and left. One man had the effrontery to wink at him! She gasped. He was manhandling her right before the gaze of the ton.

“I must speak to you where I can make myself heard without getting a crick in my neck,” he said in a low voice.

Hardly a satisfactory explanation! Astonished, Althea huffed out a breath while helplessly caught up in the momentum caused by his long stride. “I must say I’m surprised, my lord,” she muttered, afraid of creating a scene. “You can’t just drag me off….” A footman opened the French doors, and Montsimon swept her through them.

At a click of the door behind them, silence fell. The brazier’s glow did nothing to warm the frigid air. The terrace was deserted, for no other guest braved the outdoors at night in winter. Not without many layers of warm clothing, which she lacked. Goose pimples sprung up along her arms, and she shivered violently. Montsimon drew her farther away into the shadows as the cold breeze slapped like a hand across her face and décolleté. She mourned the absence of her fur-lined cloak. Her teeth chattered. “This had better be important, my lord,” she stuttered through cold lips.

With a muffled curse, Montsimon shrugged out of his tight coat, not without difficulty she was pleased to see. He placed it around her shoulders and did up the buttons. She almost sighed, the heat of his body made it wonderfully warm. As his fingers swept outrageously across her bosom, Althea averted her gaze and ignored his proximity the best she could. She did not intend to ask him to remove it again. Needs must. Her instinct was to stalk indignantly inside again, but her curiosity was roused. And at least her trembling had eased.

“You have only a few minutes to explain before I—”

“What is your business with Lord Churton?” His voice sounded strangely steely, his normally mellow Irish accent gone.

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ABOUT MAGGI

Maggi Andersen fell in love with the Georgian and Regency worlds after reading the books of Georgette Heyer. Victoria Holt’s Gothic Victorian novels were also great favorites. She has raised three children and gained a BA and an MA in Creative Writing. After husband David retired from the law, they moved to the beautiful Southern Highlands of Australia.

Maggi’s free time is spent enjoying her garden and the local wildlife, reading, movies and the theatre. She keeps fit swimming and visiting the gym.

Maggi is a multi-published author, and writes mysteries and young adult novels as well as her Georgian, Regency and Victorian romances.

Connect with Maggi:

Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
Google Plus
 Goodreads

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(Sons of Sin, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

A REPUTATION AT RISK

What woman in her right mind would say no to marrying the dashing Duke of Sedgemoor? Miss Penelope Thorne, that’s who. She’s known Camden Rothermere since they were children-and she also knows she’d bring nothing but scandal to his name.

Cam can hardly believe Penelope turned down his proposal. But if she wants to run off to the Continent and set the rumor mill ablaze, he can’t stop her. Then her brother’s dying request sends him to bring home the one woman he thought he’d finally gotten over.

The only way they’ll both get back to London without their reputations in tatters is to pretend they’re married during the journey. That means kissing like they mean it and even sharing a bed-until it becomes hard to tell where the game ends and true desire begins . . .

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THIS IS HISTORICAL ROMANCE AT ITS BEST!

WHAT A DUKE DARES is the third book in the marvellous ‘Sons of Sin’ series and, once again, Anna Campbell delivers an emotive, romantic and passionate love story.

How I imagine Cam….

When Camden (Cam) Rothermere, heir to a dukedom, proposes to his childhood friend, Penelope Thorne, he can’t believe his ears when she turns him down. Even his declaration that he esteems and admires her and enjoys her company does nothing to persuade her to change her mind. She refuses to marry for anything but love. Cam has seen first-hand the devastating effect love had on his parents:

“As a result of love, my father descended into cruelty and obsession and my mother became a byword for promiscuity.”

and it has no place in his life now or ever.

How I imagine Pen

Penelope (Pen) Thorne has loved her childhood friend, Camden Rothermere for as long as she can remember and, when he proposes, it should be the happiest day of her life…a girlish fantasy come true. The reality is very different because she knows that Cam can never give her the one thing she desires…his heart. If he truly loved her, she’d even be willing to curb her impulsive and headstrong ways to become the wife he needs…someone dignified and above reproach…someone to help him restore respectability to the scandal-ridden Rothermere name.

So they go their separate ways.

In the intervening nine years, Cam is now the powerful Duke of Sedgemoor, renowned for his cold demeanour, self-assurance and his iron control, devoting his life to restoring the family’s good name. Pen had fled England to travel the continent with her eccentric aunt and Cam was well aware of all her amorous intrigues over the years.

When he receives an urgent summons from his friend, Pen’s brother, Peter, Cam travels to Calais to find his friend with very little time to live and fearful for his sister’s safety. Cam is honour bound to fulfil the dying Peter’s request that Cam find her and bring her home to England.

Ms Campbell took me on an enthralling and emotional roller-coaster of a journey before Cam and Pen finally attain their hard-earned Happy Ever After. I enjoyed every moment…the antagonism and the simmering sexual tension; the temptation and the heady passion; the stark danger and the anguish; the scandal and the poignant emotions, the betrayal and the heartbreak; the tenderness and the enduring love.

I enjoyed the secondary romance between Pen’s brother, Harry and Sophie, the sister of Cam’s enemy, James Fairbrother, Marquess of Leath. Their sweet, tender romance forms a contrast to the hot, passionate one between Cam and Pen. It also precipitates events that cause Cam to finally admit his love for Pen.

The Marquess of Leath obviously loves his sister very much which was a point in his favour and, once he and Cam had settled their differences, I liked him even more. I look forward to reading his story in the next book in the series.

Jonas and Sidonie (Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed) and Richard and Genevieve (A Rake’s Midnight Kiss) all make an appearance and I love the banter between Cam, Richard and Jonas.

Call me a sentimental old fool but I love a good Epilogue and Ms Campbell made me go all misty-eyed when Cam gives Pen her special Christmas present.

Some Memorable Moments

“What in heaven’s name brought you to choose this hovel?”

One slender hand brushed her tumble of hair back from her face. To his dismay, he saw she was shaking.

“Try the weather.” Her tone was sharper than his sword. “I know you could barge through an avalanche without creasing your neckcloth, but we lesser mortals must seek shelter when snow blocks the roads.”

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For a second that extended into eternity, they regarded one another. He should leave. He had no right to absorb every glorious, forbidden detail and imprint it on his mind to remember forever.

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He’d burned to wrench his wife from her chair and muss her neat perfection. Then fling her across the polished table and do things likely to make the butler resign.

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“ Anyway, you know that even if you were off your head with opium or inclined to slobber into your dinner, chits would still line up for the duchess’s coronet.”

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THIS IS CLASSIC ANNA CAMPBELL – COMPELLING, EMOTIVE, ROMANTIC AND SENSUAL!

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT!

 

My sincere thanks to Anna Campbell for sending me a complimentary copy of this book  in return for an honest review.

The Sons of Sin series so far (click the covers for more details):

Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed (Sons of Sin, #1) by Anna Campbell A Rake's Midnight Kiss (Sons of Sin, #2) by Anna Campbell What a Duke Dares (Sons of Sin, #3) by Anna Campbell

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(Black Rose Trilogy, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

LADY TRIUMPHS is the third book and grand finale in the unforgettable Black Rose Trilogy and does not disappoint for chills and thrills as Lady Serena Wellcott (formerly known as Raven Wells) at last turns her attention to settling an old score with the Earl of Trent, Geoffrey Parke.

With Phillip Warrick at her back and the lovers reconciled, it will still take every resource and wicked skill she has acquired to destroy the man who was once her trusted guardian. Lord Trent is no ordinary foe but Lady Wellcott has never shied away from a challenge and what’s a bit of revenge between old friends?

From the glittering ballrooms of London to the shadowed servants’ passages of the ton’s grand homes, the Black Rose will weave a seductive spell until no one is safe. Phillip’s loyalty is tested to its limits as he is forced to stand aside and watch the woman he loves assume her role and identity as a Villainess with no equal. Their shared hatred of Trent is eclipsed by Phillip’s need to protect her even if the greatest danger comes from Raven herself. Their passion for each other has only grown and each sensual encounter cements the bonds that tether her dark soul to his—even when rivals appear and their world starts to unravel.

The stakes are impossibly high but Serena is a fearless gambler. Every element of her upbringing and every tragic misstep come into play. Raised for vengeance, she will return to the earl as his creation and serve him a slice of his own poisonous fruit with a smile on her beautiful lips. The Lady has planned the perfect murder. The only problem is, it will likely be her own.

 

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(Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

They are England’s most eligible bachelors, with the most scandalous reputations. But for the right woman, even an unrepentant rogue may mend his ways…

Born to the street but raised within the aristocracy, Drake Darling can’t escape his sordid beginnings. Not when Lady Ophelia Lyttleton snubs him at every turn, a constant reminder he’s not truly one of them. But after rescuing her from a mysterious drowning he realizes she doesn’t remember who she is. With plans to bring her to heel, he insists she’s his housekeeper—never expecting to fall for the charming beauty.

While Ophelia might not recall her life before Drake, she has little doubt she belongs with him. The desire she feels for her dark, brooding employer can’t be denied, regardless of consequences. So when her memory returns, she is devastated by the depth of his betrayal. Now Drake must risk everything to prove she can trust this rogue with her heart once more.

Buy Links:

Amazon.com  Amazon.co.uk  HarperCollins

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I’m thrilled to welcome the fabulous Anna Campbell to Rakes and Rascals today to delight readers with 5 Fun Facts about her new release WHAT A DUKE DARES, the third book in the Sons of Sin series.

 

Hi Carol! Thanks so much for having me as your guest today on Rakes and Rascals to talk about my new release WHAT A DUKE DARES which is out in Australia and North America today and in the U.K. in late October.

I loved writing this story – Cam and Pen are characters who lived with me for a long time so I was extremely happy to give them their happy ending. And there’s something fun about writing a duke, given his role as the historical king of the beasts!

So I thought today, I’d give you five fun facts about my latest release.

Fun Fact 1

This is book three in my Sons of Sin series (the other two are SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED and A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS). My duke in the title is Camden Rothermere, the Duke of Sedgemoor. If you’ve read the other books, you know that Cam is Mr. Cool, the guy who always knows exactly what to do, the man who observes his friends love affairs with a slightly sardonic amusement. For me as both reader and writer, it’s so enjoyable to pull the rug out from under the man who thinks he’s got life sorted out and send him on a wild trip to chaos when he falls in love. For this particular author, seeing Cam battle with the unexpected power of his emotions was great fun.

Fun Fact 2

If any of you are regulars on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/AnnaCampbellFans?ref=br_rs), you’ll notice people referring to my very dignified – well, at least he is at the start – duke as the DUDE! This stems from a horrible typo I discovered on one of my rounds of edits and which I shared because it cracked me up. Lord Hillbrook’s very haughty butler announces Cam as the Dude of Sedgemoor. I’m sure there’s a sequel on the way where Cam hangs 10 and says cowabunga every time he opens his mouth!

Fun Fact 3

Penelope Thorne, the heroine and Cam’s childhood bugbear, has spent the last nine years wandering around Europe in the company of an independent-minded aunt. Intrepid female travelers weren’t unknown in the Georgian era and the Regency so Pen’s scandalous adventures are based in fact. Women like Mary Wollstonecraft and Lady Mary Wortley Montague ranged far and wide, often through war zones. Mary Wollstonecraft, the mother of feminism, got as far as Sweden after living through the worst of the French Revolution, and Lady Mary Wortley Montague spent years in Turkey and wrote some terrifically entertaining reminiscences of her travels. A really enjoyable book about these brave, interesting women is LADIES OF THE GRAND TOUR by Brian Dolan.


Mary Wollstonecraft

Fun Fact 4

I’ve always loved the poem TARANTELLA by Hilaire Belloc (you can find it in full here: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/tarantella/). WHAT A DUKE DARES starts out as a road trip romance (most of it is set in London high society but it begins with a trip over the Italian Alps).

When I was writing the flea-bitten hostelries where our hero and heroine are forced to find shelter, I kept remembering these lines.

Do you remember an Inn,
Miranda?
Do you remember an Inn?
Of the straw for the bedding,
And fleas that tease in the High Pyrenees,
And the wine that tasted of tar?

As you can imagine, Cam is used to much better accommodations! The ratty inns gave me plenty of opportunities to write snappy dialogue between my hero and heroine. Always a fun bonus!

Fun Fact 5

Sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s WHO you know! There’s a very eventful boat trip that results in scandal and a marriage of convenience. The problem is I’m not a sailor. Luckily, I have a very good friend, Australian author Helene Young (www.heleneyoung.com) who lives on a yacht. I set Helene the task of plotting the journey from Genoa to England and she came up trumps!

 

So let’s talk boat trips. Are you a sailor? Have you been on a long ocean voyage? If not, would you like to go on one? If so, where? I’ve got a signed print copy of WHAT A DUKE DARES for one commentor (open internationally) today so good luck!

 

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About WHAT A DUKE DARES

(Sons of Sin #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

A REPUTATION AT RISK

What woman in her right mind would say no to marrying the dashing Duke of Sedgemoor? Miss Penelope Thorne, that’s who. She’s known Camden Rothermere since they were children-and she also knows she’d bring nothing but scandal to his name.

Cam can hardly believe Penelope turned down his proposal. But if she wants to run off to the Continent and set the rumor mill ablaze, he can’t stop her. Then her brother’s dying request sends him to bring home the one woman he thought he’d finally gotten over.

The only way they’ll both get back to London without their reputations in tatters is to pretend they’re married during the journey. That means kissing like they mean it and even sharing a bed-until it becomes hard to tell where the game ends and true desire begins . . .

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/What-Duke-Dares-Anna-Campbell/dp/1455557900/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1387328558&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=what+a+duke+dares

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-a-duke-dares-anna-campbell/1117543455?ean=9781455557905

The Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/What-Duke-Dares-Anna-Campbell/9781455557905

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Meet ANNA CAMPBELL

ANNA CAMPBELL has written nine multi award-winning historical romances for Grand Central Publishing and Avon HarperCollins and her work is published in sixteen languages. Anna has won numerous awards for her Regency-set stories including Romantic Times Reviewers Choice, the Booksellers Best, the Golden Quill (three times), the Heart of Excellence (twice), the Aspen Gold (twice) and the Australian Romance Readers Association’s favorite historical romance (five times). Anna is currently engaged in writing the “Sons of Sin” series, which started in 2012 with SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED and now continues with book 3, WHAT A DUKE DARES. Anna lives on the beautiful east coast of Australia where she writes full-time.

You can find Anna online at:

Website: www.annacampbell.info

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnaCampbellFans?ref=br_rs

Twitter: @AnnaCampbellOz

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/296477.Anna_Campbell

 

Anna,  thank you so much for taking the time out to be my guest on Rakes and Rascals and brightening our day with your fun facts about WHAT A DUKE DARES.

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THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

DON’T FORGET TO ANSWER ANNA’S QUESTION FOR THE CHANCE TO WIN A SIGNED COPY OF WHAT A DUKE DARES.

THE GIVEAWAY WILL RUN FROM 26th AUGUST UNTIL  MIDNIGHT (GMT) ON 2nd SEPTEMBER AND THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON THE 3rd SEPTEMBER.

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Genre: Historical Romance (WWI 1914-1918)

Cover Blurb:

AS WAR BLAZES ACROSS EUROPE, THREE COUPLES FIND A LOVE THAT IS POWERFUL ENOUGH TO OVERCOME ALL THE ODDS…

A KISS GOODBYE
1914

As war looms, genteel Flora yearns to be more than just an observer. She finds a revolutionary kindred spirit in soldier Geraint—but will their fragile love be crushed before it can start to bloom?

DEAREST SYLVIE
1916

Soldier Robbie cannot forget his one hedonistic night in Paris with beautiful waitress Sylvie. But as Europe burns, can these two star-crossed lovers ever be reunited?

FOREVER WITH ME
1918

Nurse Sheila is horrified to discover her new boss is the French surgeon she woke beside after Armistice Day! Fighting for their love will be the bravest thing she’s ever had to do…

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I have to say thank you to my dear friend, Wendy Loveridge, for recommending not only this book but also talented author Marguerite Kaye. I now look forward to reading more of her books.

The book contains three emotive and evocative love stories, each set against the backdrop of World War 1. The link to all them is the Carmichael family…Lord and Lady Carmichael, daughter Flora, sons Robbie and Alex …and their ancestral home, Glen Massan in Argyle, Scotland. The war will have far-reaching effects on everyone at Glen Massan.

A Kiss Goodbye – 1914

Like many other ancestral homes, Glen Massan has been requisitioned for army use and Corporal Geraint Cassell has arrived to supervise the requisitioning. A former Welsh miner and socialist, he has a deep-seated dislike of the rich and privileged. Despite the spark of attraction that flares when he meets Flora, he regards her as nothing more than “an empty-headed social butterfly”. However, as they work together overseeing the handover, Geraint realises that Flora is not at all what he expected. He finds her quick-witted and practical with a real talent for organisation. Flora is confused by Geraint’s initial animosity but, the more she gets to know him, the more she realises how much they are alike despite their social differences. He makes her take a good look at her life and gives her the self-confidence to take control of her own life and not conform to the expectations of her family. Even as they fall in love, will Geraint’s shameful secret and his personal fears destroy any chance of happiness they might have?

Dearest Sylvie – 1916

Robbie Carmichael, the eldest son and heir, has seen action in France for the past two years. However, he receives a serious head injury and is hospitalised. Battle hardened, scarred and totally disillusioned by the war, he is just a shell of a man, shunning any form of human contact. During his period of convalescence in Paris, he is drinking in a nightclub, trying to numb the constant nagging headache when his attention is drawn to a beautiful woman at the bar. Robbie is surprised to find himself aroused by the sight of her. Fixed by the intensity of his gaze, Sylvie Renaud is drawn to the stranger at the bar. The war has deprived Sylvie of everything… her family, her home, her job… leaving a deep-rooted sorrow and anger in her soul. One dance leads to a night of uninhibited passion leaving them both embarrassed the following morning. Robbie returns to the front but cannot forget Sylvie and pours out his feelings in letters…you made me want things that I cannot have, feel things I am afraid to feel, think things I can’t bear to think about…hoping she feels the same. Falling in love is inevitable but are they willing to take the biggest risk of all?

Forever With Me – 1918

Sheila Fraser, Flora’s friend and a former maid at Glen Massan, has been working as a volunteer field nurse in France since the beginning of the war. She fell in love with one of the doctors only to find she was just another notch on his bedpost. Her reputation compromised, she had learned a hard lesson and dedicates herself to restoring her reputation and achieving a level of nursing worthy of any fully-trained nurse. She’s determined never don a maid’s uniform again. The Armistice Day celebrations are in full swing in Boulogne and Sheila is sharing all the excitement of the day when she sees a French officer watching her intently. Before she can say no, Luc Durand has swept her into his arms. For four years, Luc has devoted his life to his work but Sheila’s zest for life draws him like a magnet. Soon they are kissing and making love with total abandon. Next morning, shocked by her wild behaviour, Sheila flees. Returning to Glen Massan, she finds the house being converted into a hospital dedicated to treating ex-servicemen. Despite her wartime nursing experience, she is not a qualified nurse and all her job applications have been rejected. Flora has persuaded the hospital trustees to fund a nursing position for Sheila but the new chief surgeon, whose arrival is imminent, has to approve her appointment. Sheila is shocked to discover that the chief surgeon is Luc. Real passion still smoulders between them but is Sheila brave enough to follow her heart and can Luc put the past behind him and embrace the future.

Each of the stories is beautifully written and, through her characters, Ms Kaye explores the effects of the war on both soldiers and civilians and on the very fabric of society. Lord and Lady Carmichael exemplify the privileged class whose way of life would disappear forever while Geraint represents the voice of socialism.

For me, Dearest Sylvie, because it is set in 1916, captures all the horror, disillusionment and tragedy of the war. Ms Kaye does this in subtle but effective ways such as Robbie’s thoughts when he sees Sylvie…

She would smell of summer, of flowers, of that delightful sweet spiciness that was so peculiarly female. She would not smell of mud and despair.

or in the moving letters Robbie has to write to the next of kin of his fallen comrades. These encapsulate the real human tragedy of war.

Sheila symbolises the determination of women to break free of the traditional roles imposed on them.

The love scenes have a raw intensity which seems so realistic given the circumstances. I’m sure there were many lonely and disillusioned people who sought a moment’s forgetfulness of the horror of war in someone’s arms…to feel that they were still alive.

Some Memorable Moments

A Kiss Goodbye

“I have never met a socialist before. Are they all as outspoken as you?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never met a laird’s daughter before. Are they all as feisty as you?”
“Oh, I should think so. Centuries of trampling over serfs and turning crofters out of their homes into the winter snows leave their mark, you know.”

Dearest Sylvie

She liked the soft burr of his accent, which made her think of misty Scottish glens and rugged Highland scenery. She liked the combination of auburn hair and grey-blue eyes, the latent strength she could feel in that lean, hard body. She liked the hint of sensuality in his unsmiling mouth. For once, she saw not the soldier but the man. A vulnerable man who gazed out at the world from behind his attractive carapace like a hermit crab living in an abandoned shell.

Forever With Me

From wild elation, his spirits plummeted. Luc swore under his breath. Etiquette! Sacre bleu, he had just made love to a complete stranger, and he was worrying about etiquette. What was he thinking? How could he have allowed himself to become so carried away? He should have stayed at the hospital. He should not have danced with her. He should not have kissed her. He certainly should not have brought her back here.

With its sensual love stories, memorable characters, real sense of time and place, and eloquent writing, I can highly recommend NEVER FORGET ME.

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read August 2014

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