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Archive for June, 2015

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Bluestockings and wallflowers seek happily-ever-afters. Only handsome, respectable and deeply romantic persons need apply. Dukes and marquesses will be given special consideration. Apply within.

This anthology contains nine fun, heart-tugging, and wholesomely romantic Regency novellas that are as sigh-worthy as they are sweet, brought to you by USA Today and national bestselling, award-winning authors.

Deceived by a Duke by Erin Knightley, USA Today bestselling author

When strangers meet during a summer sojourn to the continent, love soon blossoms under the Spanish sun. But things aren’t all what they seem. When Libby discovers her English gentleman isn’t at all who she thought he was, can their new relationship survive the shock of being . . . Deceived by a Duke?
(Originally published May 2014)

Captivated by the Wallflower by Aileen Fish, USA Today bestselling author

Finding the perfect husband for wallflower Lady Susan is a means to an end for Viscount Knightwick. Falling in love is not part of his plan. Can he keep his heart safe while making hers happy?

A Most Suitable Match by Lily George, national bestselling author

Can confirmed bluestocking and matchmaker Louisa Bradbury compose her own happily ever after with Thomas, the wallflower of the rich and powerful Wright family?

Stealing the Duchess by Marie Higgins, national bestselling author

When Julian Stratford seeks out to steal the duchess as an act of revenge, he mistakenly steals the wrong sister–a wallflower, no less. As they work together to try and solve the mystery, they soon discover that not only are their lives in danger, but so are their hearts.

First Impressions by Elizabeth Johns, national bestselling author

A widower earl, still in need of an heir, reluctantly sets off for London in search of a wife. He infinitely prefers the role of recluse to that of dashing beau. The Season’s Incomparable prefers books to balls, and cannot wait until the Season is over. Their initial prejudices prevent them from feeling they would suit, but an unlikely source may give them another chance…

Treasure Beyond Words by Heather King

Having trusted the wrong man, bluestocking Amelia Burcott is forced to seek employment as a governess in order to support herself. Little does she realize, when she joins the household of the Earl of Raftesbury, that he has a secret as great as her own and needs the right woman to help him conquer his past.

The Earl’s Beloved Match by Bess McBride, national bestselling author

Bluestocking Cora Prentice has no intention of marrying…ever. Tobias, the Earl of Momford, has no intention of marrying…ever. But Aunt Mimi has other plans for them as she sets out to make a match between her goddaughter and her adopted nephew!

Save the Last Dance for Me by Cora Lee, award winning author

When Lady Honoria Maitland reunites with her old friend Benedict Grey, she proposes an arrangement: a faux courtship that will smooth wallflower Benedict’s re-entry into society and appease her dying father. But Honoria’s clever plan failed to account for Benedict’s heart…or her own.

The Third MacPherson Sister by Susana Ellis

Rebecca’s older sisters took the ton by storm while she herself has failed to attact a suitor in four Seasons. Miles is pondering his urgent need for a wife when Rebecca lands in his lap in the nave of Bath Abbey. A match between them seems ordained by the heavens… except for the little matter of his past history with her sisters.

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I’m delighted to welcome award-winning romance novelist VICTORIA VANE for an exclusive interview.

Thank you so much for having me here, Carol!

~~~~~

R&R:
Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

Victoria:
I was born in Bangor, Maine and grew up in a town called Pittsfield about thirty minute away and lived in that area for most of my childhood. At the age of sixteen I became an exchange student in Finland and then later moved to South Florida. The thing I liked most about growing up in a small town (approximately 3,000 people) was the security of knowing everyone. The thing I disliked was everyone knowing everyone’s business! Also, in my experience people in the north are not as friendly as people in the south, especially toward outsiders and new comers.
As an adult I have gravitated toward a happy medium and have lived in an average sized town in South Carolina for many years which feels like the best of both worlds to me. The climate is more tolerable (Maine was too cold and Florida was too hot) and the people are friendly.

R&R:
How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?

Victoria:
Neither! I think I would best describe myself as quirky!
I’m not temperamental as I think I maintain an even keel most of the time, but I’m also not easy going as I like to be the one in charge (which has never made me a good team player). I also hate schedules and routines, but structure is very important to me. I have to have my own space and my own stuff. Writing has been a wonderful fit for me as I get to be my own boss and do things my way most of the time.

R&R:
When it comes to food do you like sweet or savoury or both?

Victoria:
I LOVE sweets and spicy foods but also enjoy a combination of sweet and savoury- like Crackerjacks or white chocolate pretzels.

R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Victoria:
One of my most treasured possessions is a clay statue my son Sean made for me one Christmas of my favorite horse.

Victoria Vane - interview.JPG
The statue is on the top shelf to the left of my head!

R&R:
If you were able to afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

Victoria:
My first choice would be Tuscany. The pictures of it are so lush and beautiful, the history and culture are fascinating and I love Italian food!

R&R:
Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Victoria:
Perhaps getting introduced to a famous NYT Bestselling author and not even knowing who she was. Oops!  Very bad moment!

~~~~~

Victoria, thank you so much for taking time out to be here today and sharing these fascinating facts about yourself.

Thank you so much for the invitation, Carol. I love your blog and have followed it from its inception!

If you would like to find out more about Victoria and her books, here are the links:

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter: @authorvictoriav

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“Here’s what I think. You’ve been reading too many of those knights-and-ladies stories in the Gentleman’s Review. People have lived and loved and died everywhere. And for every crusading knight who won a tournament for his lady in this castle, I promise you— there were a hundred men who spent a solid decade scratching themselves and having pissing contests from the ramparts.”

(Rafe Brandon to Clio Whitmore)

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Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(Renegade Royals, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Only one woman is worthy of his secrets…

They are the Renegade Royals, illegitimate sons of the Royal Princes, each finding his rightful place in society—and the woman destined to be his perfect match…

Some men are born into scandal. Others pursue it with a passion. Griffin Steele, secret son of the Duke of Cumberland, is guilty on both counts. Yet somehow London’s most notorious scoundrel has been saddled with an abandoned baby boy—and with the unflappable, intriguing spinster summoned to nurse him…

Justine Brightmore may be a viscount’s niece, but she’s also a spy’s daughter, determined to safeguard the infant when his suspected royal parentage makes him a target. Yet how to protect herself from the rakish Griffin? Marriage might shield her reputation, but it can only imperil her heart, especially with a groom intent on delicious seduction…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(Ladies and Scoundrels, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

Lady Amelia has only known the comfort of life in mid-eighteenth century English aristocracy. But when first her mother and then her father die, she finds herself alone, grief stricken and….. not of age. Her appointed guardian, an American uncle, has ordered her travel to his plantation where she must remain for at least two years when she will come of age.

With the help of Lady Grace and Lady Sarah, Lady Amelia gets her uncle to agree to give her four weeks to settle her affairs and unbeknownst to him…find an English lord to marry so she can remain in her beloved England. Despite her mourning period she endeavors to trap one of London’s eligible bachelors in matrimony.

Lord Goldstone, Lady Grace’s nephew is devilishly handsome, but a Scottish Duke and so entirely unacceptable as a possible husband. After all Scotland is not her beloved London and environs. He also has a nasty habit of showing up at all the wrong moments and thwarting her carefully laid plans to ensnare a suitable husband. Sparks fly as the pair find themselves at odds with each other and drawn to each other at the same time. Can they find a way to stop arguing long enough to explore their growing passion? Is it strong enough to make Lady Amelia give up her English home after all? Or will Lady Amelia find a suitable English lord and avoid social exile in America? Time is running out.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Source: FREE from Amazon Kindle

(The Haberdashers, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Loving Lord Lucifer…

An independent bluestocking sneaks into a library to read rare Greek texts and ends up with a husband instead.

Jacqueline “Jack” Walters loves archery and Greek military history. In her third season she has failed to inspire so much as one marriage proposal and is planning to settle into the quiet life of a spinster.

Gideon Wolfe, Earl of Harrington, has been avoiding marriage but a case of mistaken identity in the library has left him saddled with an argumentative and unwilling fiancée.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Source: Complimentary copy received from the publisher in return for an honest review

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover Blurb:

American lass seeks brawny Scot…
As if being newly single isn’t brutal enough, Sloane Chatfield’s friends are getting obnoxious about setting her up. When Sloane insists she’s waiting for a certain sexy fictional Highlander to come along, her friends surprise her with a trip to Scotland to find her a new boyfriend. She’d rather have a root canal. But if she can find a Highland hunk to “break her heart” before her friends arrive…

In a remote Highland village, Galen Buchanan is struggling to keep the family pub afloat. Everything is falling apart, he’s running out of money, and now there’s an opinionated American lass parked at his best table, driving him mad. But then Sloane asks Galen to be her pretend Highland boyfriend…and offers him enough money to save the pub. It’s only for a few days, he figures. What’s the worst that could happen?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Source: Prize in a Giveaway

(The Marriage Game, #6)

Genre: Historic Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Ella Quinn’s bachelors do as they like and take what they want. But when the objects of their desire are bold, beautiful women, the rules of the game always seem to change…

Handsome, charming, and heir to a powerful Viscount, Christopher “Kit” Featherton is everything a woman could want—except interested in marriage. So when he hears that someone on his estate near the Scottish border is claiming to be his wife, Kit sets off to investigate.

Since her parents’ death, Lady Mary Tolliver has been hounded by her cousin, a fortune-hunting fool after her inheritance. Refusing to settle for anything less than love, Mary escapes to the isolated estate of rakish bachelor, Kit Featherton. Knowing he prefers Court to the country, she believes she will be safe. But when Kit unexpectedly returns, her pretend marriage begins to feel seductively real…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

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Sharp Shootin Cowboy

(Hot Cowboy Nights, #3)

Genre: Contemporary Western Romance

Cover Blurb:

TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT, COWBOY…

A Weary warrior… After eight years as a Marine sniper, war-scarred Reid Everett is back in his native Wyoming. He knows and loves this rugged land, so working for wildlife services to reduce the booming wolf population suits him to a T.

A Caring crusader… Wildlife biologist Haley Cooper is desperate to make a difference. Leaving the world of academia behind, she accepts a position as a wolf advocate to protect the animals she loves.

Raw attraction… Their jobs set them on a collision course, but chemistry sparks like wildfire between Reid and Haley. They’ll have to brave some rough territory if they hope to reconcile their polarizing views with a passion that won’t be denied.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Whether she is writing Historical Romances or Contemporary Romances, I know that Victoria Vane will never disappoint. As with all her stories, SHARP SHOOTIN’ COWBOY is compelling, emotionally charged, sensual and well-researched.

Reid –

Ms Vane creates irresistible heroes and Reid Everett is no exception. He’s honourable, patriotic, handsome, smart, and positively oozes sex-appeal. Although a man of strong beliefs, I like that he was willing to listen to others’ opinions. I found it refreshing to find a hero who wants responsibility, commitment, marriage and a family. Reid is tender, sensitive and passionate but never controlling. He doesn’t want to change Haley….he just wants her to meet him halfway. I don’t agree with hunting animals but I respected Reid’s arguments concerning wolf management and understood the concerns of the ranchers whose livelihood is threatened.

Haley –

Haley’s painful past has helped shape the person she is. Her Marine father deserted her mother when he discovered she was pregnant with Haley and I can understand her initial dislike of Reid when she discovers he is a Marine. Haley was dealt a double blow when her mother up and left her in the care of her grandparents. She has never fully recovered from her mother’s abandonment and it has left her with real trust issues and a guarded heart. She also has strong beliefs which I respected but, unlike Reid, she rigidly refuses to consider any opinions other than her own. It was this intransigence that I found really frustrating for a good proportion of the book.

The romance spans seven years and, each time their paths cross, their mutual attraction is as strong as ever but there are always obstacles that push them apart again. I loved Reid’s determination to win Haley and my attitude definitely softened towards Haley when she reveals the reasons why she could never be a vegan…“I was seduced to the dark side by a four cheese pizza and a pint of Moose Tracks”.

I saw real growth in Haley’s character when she admits to being naive and foolish she has been and realises how much she has been controlled and manipulated by Jeffrey. Her willingness to consider views other than her own was also a giant leap forward.

I think Ms Vane does a brilliant job in creating a well thought out and believable ending in which Reid and Haley can have their HEA but still remain true to themselves. Of course, the Epilogue topped off everything perfectly.

I enjoyed the thought-provoking issues Ms Vane brings to this book and the way she presents the issues surrounding the reintroduction of the wolves in an unbiased way. As with all Ms Vane’s books, her extensive research is impeccable.

My Verdict: If you enjoy Contemporary Western Romance with a compelling story, complex characters and steamy passion, then I can definitely recommend this book.

REVIEW RATING: 4.5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read June 2015

Hot Cowboy Nights series so far (click on cover for more details):

Slow Hand (Hot Cowboy Nights, #1) by Victoria Vane Rough Rider (Hot Cowboy Nights, #2) by Victoria Vane Sharp Shooter (Hot Cowboy Nights, #3) by Victoria Vane

** This review is based on an eARC I received from the author via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. **

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“I was ripe ten years ago. Now I’m merely preserved, and before long I’ll be buried back in the orchard with the other pits.”

(Amanda Briars to Jack Devlin)

“It has to be now,” he insisted, a flick of amusement in his voice. He nudged his burgeoning loins against her. “After all, you can’t allow me to go around like this all day.”

“From what I’ve learned so far, this is your natural condition,” came her pert reply.

(Amanda Briars and Jack Devlin)

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(The Eternity Gambit, #2)

Genre: Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy with Paranormal Elements

Cover Blurb:

Working in the Temptations Department in H.E.LLc isn’t about stock tips and sugar plums. It’s more like hands-on demolition and no one can implode a wicked man’s life with sexier flair than demonic agent, Lillith Fields.

Except her newest target is providing way too many challenges and for a girl who’s used to toppling men with the slightest glance, Jackson Kent is not giving in—at least, not without a fight. He is a sports legend and a rising celebrity flagged by Upper Management for a lesson in humility or what Hades Enterprises likes to call a “take down”, but Lilly sees him as very delicious low-hanging fruit.

Jackson Kent never jumps without looking and instead of turning to putty in her hands, he is making a demon rethink her tactics. It’s Lilly who’s melting when Jackson turns sincere eyes her direction and no matter how hard she tries, the seduction isn’t going how she’d planned. It turns out that Jackson Kent might just be the very first Good Guy she’s ever met. It’s the Temptress who’s tempted to forfeit the game and bare all.

But how will a truly good guy feel when the woman of his dreams isn’t a good girl by anyone’s reckoning? It’s a tough call and for Lilly, it’s life and death. Love is a dangerous move for a demon and she could lose more than the game if Jackson sends her packing.

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LOVED IT!

I couldn’t wait to revisit the world of H.E. LLc. and DEVIL MAY CARE combines all the imaginative, fun-packed elements and quirky characters I loved so much in DEVIL TO PAY.

From the moment she gets stuck in the revolving doors, Lillith (Lilly) completely stole the show for me. A Temptress of the First Plane, confident in her demonic abilities, it was delightful to watch her plans to seduce Jackson fail at every turn. I loved her bewilderment when she finds herself succumbing to human frailties and emotions.

There he was. The man she was about to seduce and destroy with her delectable feminine powers and she had…. the hiccups?

No wonder Jackson puts Lilly in a tail spin. He is a genuinely caring and sincere but sexy with it. It did make me wonder why the Upper Management were so determined he should be “taken down”. I also love how he is willing to face the top brass at H.E. LLc to fight for the woman he loves.

He wasn’t thinking about his odds of survival. He wasn’t thinking at all.
He was going to save the woman he loved.

Although there is only one kiss (albeit a pretty hot one), the potent chemistry and brilliant dialogue between Lilly and Jackson create a deliciously sexy romance.

The secondary characters – Lilly’s boss, Asmodeus, the demonic Prince of Lust; crisp and business-like Laurel Marsh, Jackson’s coordinator; Malcolm, the acting Regent of Hell – all add to the fun. I loved Malcolm in Devil to Pay with his demonic humour and I do hope he gets his own book. One of my favourite quotes comes from him.

“Start a new office pool.”
Jessia brightened and pulled out her tablet to take notes. “On what subject?”
“On whether or not I end up doing the chicken dance with the mother of the groom, of course.”

How I imagine Jackson…

How I imagine Lilly…

My Verdict: If you are looking for an entertaining, romantic and fun read, then I can definitely recommend DEVIL MAY CARE.

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: SUBTLE

Read May 2015

The Eternity Gambit series so far (click on the book cover for more details):

Devil to Pay (Eternity Gambit, #1) by Renee Bernard Devil May Care (The Eternity Gambit Book 2) by Renee Bernard

 

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