Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for March, 2017

Virginia Heath Interview - author picture

I’m delighted to welcome Harlequin Historical Author VIRGINIA HEATH to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Thank you for inviting me. I’ve been reading this blog for years, seeing all those big names in historical romance and being awed by them, so being asked to be on it is very exciting. So much so I might need to lie down…

~~~~~~~~


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

Virginia:
I was born just outside of London in a place called Hayes. I suppose it’s biggest claim to fame is it is right next to Heathrow Airport, so I grew up directly under one of the busiest flight paths in the world. Every morning at 11am, the ground would vibrate as Concorde took off. I know this was a great source of consternation for the locals, but I used to imagine it was an earthquake or a space ship coming to land. Even then I had a vivid imagination. Hayes was a nice place to grow up. Just around the corner from me was a quiet road called Pump Lane with the smoothest pavement you’ve ever seen. I have happy memories of roller-skating up and down that road. I probably wasted a quarter of my childhood doing that while making up stories in my head. It’s funny what you remember.

 

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

Virginia:
Most of the time, I’m very easy going. I have a very long fuse and years of teaching teenagers has made it even longer. But when my temper goes, it goes!


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

Virginia:
When I was younger, I used to have an enormous sweet tooth but as I’ve got older I prefer savoury. I’m a spice fiend. Curry, chillies, anything with a bit of a kick and I’m in food Heaven. I’ve never grown out of my love of cake though. Can’t beat a nice slice of cake and a cup of tea.

 

R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Virginia:
That’s a really difficult question because the older I’ve got, the more I see possessions as simply stuff because people and memories matter more. However, I have always been a bit of a history nerd, and love nothing more than touching things from the past. Simple stuff, like coins or broaches, things people used in their day to day lives. I have a Queen Elizabeth penny, a roman broach, a Civil War musket ball- nothing of huge monetary value but things which evoke a sense of the past and get me wondering about the people who used them. I suppose my most treasured piece of the past is my mammoth’s tooth. It’s only half of a back molar, but the fact it once lived inside the mouth of an animal roaming Britain 20,000 years ago makes it really special. I often ponder that mammoth and the world he lived in.

Virginia Heath Interview -mammoth tooth pg


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

Virginia:
The Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean. I love the Caribbean in general, but Turks and Caicos are the most beautiful, so green and unspoiled, and Grace Bay is far and away the best beach in the world. The sand is like golden talcum powder and the sea is so clear you can see everything. My husband and I got married there, and he lost his wedding ring in the water. We hunted around for half an hour searching for it frantically then saw it glinting in the sun on the sea bed ten feet below. Fortunately, my daughter swims like a dolphin and was able to dive down and fetch it. I can definitely see myself staring out onto that beautiful beach while tapping away on my keyboard.

Virginia Heath Interview - Me on Grace Bay beachVirginia Heath Interview -Grace Bay in the Turks and Caicos Islands

 

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

Virginia:
Oh dear, so many I’m not sure which to choose. However, this one still makes me cringe a quarter of a century on so…

In my early twenties I used to work for the BBC at the iconic Television Centre in London. It was a maze of a building, shaped like a donut, and I was forever getting lost. It was also a place where you regularly saw very famous celebrities, and it was not the done thing to acknowledge they were famous or approach them. As BBC staff, we were expected to maintain our professionalism at all times, and as I’m not usually a fan girl type, I found this remarkably easy. One day I had just done a huge pile of photocopying and was carrying it back to my office when Mel Gibson suddenly appeared around the corner. It was at the time of the Lethal Weapon films when he was a HUGE star and I was hopelessly in love with him. I was so surprised I squeaked then dropped all the paper all over the floor and immediately blushed to the roots of my hair at having been so stupidly and obviously overwhelmed.

I tried to style it out, by pretending I hadn’t seen him, being irritated at my own clumsiness, and went about gathering them up, but he came up alongside me and said, “Let me help you with that.” Of course, I said no, resolutely stared at the papers and wished the floor would open up, but Mel bent down and helped me anyway. And boy did he smell good. Being so close to the man of my dreams made me a bit wobbly- and I was definitely having a bit of a swoon although desperately trying to appear unaffected.

After the last piece of paper was back in my arms, I had to look at him to say thank you and he was grinning smugly from ear to ear. He knew I’d dropped them because of him. And he winked at me! I had no words. Nothing. So I just scurried away like an idiot with my face on fire. I still feel queasy at the complete and utter humiliation.

~~~~~~~

 

Thank you for taking time out to be here today and share these interesting facts about yourself, Virginia.

It was a pleasure, aside from recalling my Mortifying Mel Moment. I’m sat here cringing now…

 

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

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

Read Full Post »

When the Marquess Falls

(The Hellions of Havisham, #3.5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

The long-anticipated and utterly extraordinary tale of the Mad Marquess that proves love truly does last forever

The Marquess of Marsden always follows the rules. Expected from birth to adhere to decades of tradition, he plans to marry a proper young woman from a good family. But when a beautiful, and completely unsuitable, woman snags his heart, he begins to realize that to get what you want, sometimes you have to break the rules.

Linnie Connor dreams of the independence of running her very own bakery. And while she may be allowed to be a marquess’ childhood companion, the baker’s daughter never ends up with the handsome nobleman. Determined to achieve at least one of her dreams, Linnie makes plans to leave her sleepy village for London, intent on purging him from her heart. And yet, when an invitation to the Marsden annual ball arrives, she can’t refuse her one chance to waltz in his arms.

It will be a night that stirs the flames of forbidden desires and changes their lives forever.

 

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This novella tells the beautiful but bittersweet love story of George, Marquess of Marsden and his beloved Linnie and, having read The Viscount and the Vixen, I knew it was going to be an emotional rollercoaster of a journey. 

George and Linnie are childhood friends who fell in love and, despite their very different social positions in life, it is obvious they are meant to be together. I admire how George respects and protects Linnie and I can see why he falls in love with her. She is such a lovely person – optimistic, courageous, caring, kind and just plain fun. It wasn’t hard to believe that, in time, she would have won over the Ton.

Throughout the series, George has always been considered mad, but often his actions are far from those of a madman, especially in his relationships with his charges and his son. He has not only raised them but helped each one in various ways.

Seeing the depth of his love for Linnie, and his intense feelings of grief and despair when he lost her, made me think that perhaps he wasn’t mad at all but suffering from bouts of depression. I like to believe that Linnie did watch over him through the years as she promised, and it was heart-warming to see a kinder, gentler, happier George in The Viscount and the Vixen.

The story is so emotionally moving and, even now, thinking about certain scenes brings tears to my eyes. I think it is a testament to Ms. Heath’s writing that she can evoke such strong feelings.

I love how she made me believe in an everlasting love that transcends even death and gave me a Happy Ever After which, although unconventional, left me with a tearful smile on my face.

Note:  I do recommend that you read The Viscount and the Vixen before reading his novella.

MY VERDICT: Such a beautiful, emotional story that will tug at your heartstrings.


REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

 

Hellions of Havisham series (click on the book covers for more details):

Falling Into Bed with a Duke (The Hellions of Havisham, #1) by Lorraine Heath The Earl Takes All (The Hellions of Havisham, #2) by Lorraine Heath The Viscount and the Vixen (Hellions of Havisham, #3) by Lorraine Heath When the Marquess Falls (Hellions of Havisham, #3.5) by Lorraine Heath

 

 

Read Full Post »

Tracy Anne Warren interview - author photo

I’m delighted to welcome New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author TRACY ANNE WARREN to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Thank you so much for inviting me to do the interview with you at Rakes and Rascals. The questions were a lot of fun.

~~~~~~~

 

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

Tracy:
I was born in Columbus, Ohio about 30 miles from Granville, the town in which I was raised. My family and I lived away from the town center, “in the country” as we called it. There were corn fields that stretched out for acres during the hot summers and blankets of white snow in the winters. My childhood was good but quiet with lots of time to read and think up stories. It wasn’t until high school, however, that I started writing some of them down and many years later before I was published.

Tracy Anne Warren interview - 2 months old
A baby picture of me with my mother (I think I was  
about two months old in this.

Tracy Anne Warren interview - aged 17
One taken of me when I was seventeen. I’m on the left, my sister, Leslie, is on the right and an unnamed monkey, of all things, is in the middle. The photo was taken at the Wittlich Pig Fest in Wittlich, Germany. I visited my sister that summer while she was stationed in Germany with the US Air Force.

 

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

Tracy:
I don’t really consider myself to be either temperamental or easy-going, maybe somewhere in between. As an introvert, I enjoy getting together with close friends, reading and watching television shows and movies–when I’m not writing, of course.

 

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

Tracy:
While I definitely have a sweet tooth, for chocolate in particular, I also enjoy well prepared savory dishes. As a foodie, I love trying new restaurants and exploring a variety of cuisines.

 

R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Tracy:
I have a beautiful wall mirror that one of my sisters gave me as special birthday present. It’s very whimsical and has painted birds, chipmunks and strawberries on it. The mirror is a work of art and seeing it always makes me smile.

Tracy Anne Warren interview - mirror
The mirror 

Tracy Anne Warren interview - mirror detail
A detail of one of the decorative chipmunks. 

 

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

Tracy:
I’m torn between saying Hawaii or England. I’d choose Hawaii for the islands’ breath-taking natural beauty, fabulous weather and tranquillity. I’d love to live in England and be surrounded by all that glorious history and old-world charm. Plus, I’m kind of an Anglophile, in case you haven’t noticed, so there’s that as well. Ideally, I’d have enough money to afford a home in both places, so I wouldn’t have to pick one over the other.


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

Tracy:
Embarrassing moment, hmm? I’ve had a few over the years but one that comes to mind is the time I met actor Adrian Paul of Highlander fame. He was so incredibly gorgeous and I was so star-struck that I literally could not speak. Try as I might I couldn’t get so much as a syllable past my lips. All I could do was stand there blushing while he signed an autograph for me. Luckily, I’m sure I’m the only one of us who remembers.

~~~~~~~


Thank you for taking time out to be here today and share these interesting facts about yourself, Tracy.

Thank you for inviting me to share some facts about myself that readers will hopefully find enjoyable and informative.

 


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

Website
Goodreads
Facebook

Read Full Post »

Publication date: 30th March 2017

Proud Mary

(Roxton Family Saga, #5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Georgian, 1777)

Cover Blurb:

The Roxtons are back! Romance. Drama. Intrigue. Family secrets. There’s never a dull moment for the 18th Century’s first family…

Widowed and destitute, Lady Mary Cavendish is left with only her pride. Daughter of an earl and great-granddaughter to a Stuart King, family expectation and obligation demands she remarry. But not just any man will do; her husband must rank among the nobility. Falling in love with her handsome and enigmatic neighbor is out of the question. As always, Mary will do her duty and ignore her heart.

Country squire Christopher Bryce has secretly loved his neighbor Mary for many years. Yet, he is resigned to the cruel reality they are not social equals and thus can never share a future together. Never mind that his scandalous past and a heartbreaking secret make him thoroughly unworthy of such a proud beauty.

Then into their lives steps a ghost from Mary’s past, whose outrageous behavior has Mary questioning her worldview, and Christopher acting upon his feelings, and for all to see. The mismatched couple begin to wonder if in fact love can prevail—that a happily ever after might just be possible if only they dare to follow their hearts.

 

♥♥♥♥♥

This is the 5th book in Lucinda Brant’s superb Roxton Family Saga series and, once again, I was totally captivated by Christopher and Mary’s tender and beautiful love story. I know reading the previous books in the series will not only enhance your enjoyment of PROUD MARY,  but they are all wonderful books in their own right and shouldn’t be missed.

I always lose myself in one of Ms. Brant’s books, because she writes such intelligent and intricately layered stories with finely-drawn characters, and always makes me feel as if I am stepping back in time and experiencing life  through her characters’ eyes.

I invariably fall in love with her heroes and Christopher is no exception. Apart from being handsome and sexy, he is also kind, generous, sincere and fair. You see this in the benevolent way he treats his tenants and workers; the way he compliments Mary on her skill at embroidery and as an artist, something no one else has ever done; the positive way he treats Teddy while her father was dismissive because she wasn’t a boy.

When the eighteen-year-old Christopher discovers the truth surrounding his birth, I could understand the anger and sense of betrayal he feels towards the two people he loved and trusted.  He sees himself as ‘a bastard, the ill-begotten fruit of an illicit affair between two adulterers.’  His answer is to run away, something that youngsters with problems still do today. I couldn’t condemn him for his choice of employment whilst abroad. Alone and destitute, he uses the only assets he has. He knows that while his position is perfectly respectable in Italian society, it would be deemed scandalous by English society. It is no surprise that, once he returns home and assumes his position as Squire Christopher Bryce, he wants to keep his family secret and scandalous past well hidden.

Mary is such a sympathetic character. No wonder she is so docile and lacking in confidence given her rigid upbringing; a childhood spent with an overbearing mother who constantly drummed into her the correct social rules; a mother who still dominates her life. Then, marriage to the odious, self-centred Sir Gerald not only compounded her insecurities, but also left her believing she is emotionally and physically cold and incapable of enjoying intimacy.

Mary is a wonderful mother and her love for Teddy shines through, and I admire her determination to give her daughter a very different childhood to her own.

…if climbing trees and riding astride and being outdoors all day made Teddy happy, then she, as her mother, would do her best to see that she could do those things

As with all Ms. Brant’s books, the romance is beautifully written; tender, romantic and sensual, without being overtly explicit. I love how Christopher and Mary each let down their guards and confide in each other about their pasts and how Mary is willing to accept Christopher’s past and sees only the man he is now.

 “I truly do not mind about your past; it is who I see before me that matters.”

The unexpected return of someone, thought long dead, provides a definite obstacle to the romance or, perhaps not!

It is heart-warming to see Mary’s new-found confidence, happiness and contentment knowing that she is truly loved.

She looked confident and content, and it radiated. He smiled to himself as he sipped his tea, at the small part he had played in her new-found self-assurance and happiness.

One of my favourite scenes is where Mary finally stands up to her appalling mother and I was positively whooping when Julian, as head of the family, gives Lady Fitzstuart an ultimatum!

I applaud Ms. Brant for not making the issue of their differing social status conveniently disappear like a puff of smoke, but she deals with it in a realistic way. Mary is aware that she will no longer be accepted by certain elements of society, but she and Christopher are content to live in the depths of Gloucestershire, and, as their marriage is accepted and supported by the Roxton family, that is all that matters.

I adore the tomboyish Teddy and how she loves Uncle Bryce as much as her true uncles. There is one very poignant scene where she gives Christopher’s Aunt Kate, who is virtually blind, a personally embroidered pocket for her handkerchief.

I hated Sir Gerald for so cruelly using his daughter as a means of gaining revenge on the Duke of Roxton (Julian).

Poor Julian is often misunderstood and so I was pleased that Christopher immediately sees him as a good and honest man, one he would willingly trust with his life. I love the unlikely friendship that develops between the two men, but perhaps it is not so surprising as Mary observes…

…both were sticklers for exactness and truthfulness, both were honorable and honest, and both could be frustratingly pedantic at times.

I enjoyed all the secondary threads running through the story, the twists and surprises and the welcome appearance of familiar members of the Roxton family, especially Antonia, who seems to steal every scene she graces.

To my delight, there is also a charming Epilogue and is it possible that Teddy and Jack might get a book in the future? I do hope so.

MY VERDICT: Another superb book to add to an equally superb series. If you have not yet read this series, then you have many hours of wonderful storytelling to look forward to. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


REVIEW RATING:  STELLAR 5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: SUBTLE


Roxton Family Saga
– series so far (click on the book covers for more details):

 Midnight Marriage (Roxton Series #2) by Lucinda Brant Autumn Duchess (Roxton Series #3) by Lucinda Brant Eternally Yours Roxton Letters Volume One A Companion To The Roxton Family Saga Books 1–3 by Lucinda Brant Dair Devil (Roxton Series #4) by Lucinda Brant Noble Satyr (Roxton Series #1) by Lucinda BrantProud Mary A Georgian Historical Romance (Roxton Family Saga Book 5) by Lucinda Brant

 **I received a complimentary copy from the author in return for an honest review**

Read Full Post »

Callie Hutton Interview - author picture

I’m delighted to welcome USA Today Bestselling author CALLIE HUTTON to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

I am very excited to be here today. I’m looking forward to the interview and getting to know your readers.

~~~~~~~

 

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

Callie:
I was born and raised in a major city in New Jersey. It was also the time in our history when most mothers were at home, and there were tons of kids to play with. No video games or internet. We were sent outside to play first thing in the morning and except for lunch we were not expected back home until dinner time. In the summer time if you weren’t in when the street lights went on you were in big trouble. We all had chores and the only sports we played were with neighbourhood kids. No shuffling to dance lessons, baseball practice or piano lessons.

 

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

Callie
:
I am probably one of the few mothers you will meet whose adult children will tell you I’m too easy going. Discipline was never my forte. But, thankfully, my kids turned out great. My daughter is a kick-ass law enforcement officer, and my son and his wife have adorable two-and-a-half-year-old twin boys, who I call ‘the twinadoes.’ We all live in Oklahoma

Callie Hutton Interview - GrandchildrenCallie Hutton Interview - Grandchildren Watching Cat in the Hat
‘The Twinadoes’

 

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

Callie:
Both.


R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Callie:
My family. No question that there is no material possession that matches the ones I love.

 


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

Callie:
Probably a little cottage somewhere in the English countryside.

 

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

Callie:
I have what my family calls ‘selective memory.’ I don’t really remember the bad things in my life, so I can’t recall anything embarrassing. I’m sure there is something, but…

~~~~~~~


Thank you for taking time out to be here today and sharing these interesting facts about yourself, Callie.

Thank you so much for having me. It was fun!

 

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

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

Read Full Post »

I’m a sucker for a Beauty and the Beast story and having read and enjoyed Rachel L. Demeter’s dark and intensely emotional FINDING GABRIEL back in 2015, I was delighted when she offered me a review copy of her new book which is released today.

Beauty of the Beast

(Fairy Tale Retellings, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Experience the world’s most enchanting and timeless love story—retold with a dark and realistic twist.

A BEAST LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF HIS PAST

Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago.

A BEAUTY IN PURSUIT OF A BETTER FUTURE

Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more…

Perfect for fans of Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the OperaBeauty of the Beast brings a familiar and well-loved fairy tale to life with a rich setting in the kingdom of Demrov and a captivating, Gothic voice.

Beauty of the Beast is the first standalone installment in a series of classic fairy tales reimagined with a dark and realistic twist.

Disclaimer: This is an edgy, historical romance retelling of the classic fairy tale. Due to strong sexual content, profanity, and dark subject matter, including an instance of sexual assault committed by the villain, Beauty of the Beast is not intended for readers under the age of 18

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Read Full Post »

I know that I’m going to shed a bucket load of tears over this story of the Marquess of Marsden and beloved wife, Linnie.

 When the Marquess Falls

(The Hellions of Havisham, #3.5)

Genre: Historical Romance (late Regency and Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

The long-anticipated and utterly extraordinary tale of the Mad Marquess that proves love truly does last forever

The Marquess of Marsden always follows the rules. Expected from birth to adhere to decades of tradition, he plans to marry a proper young woman from a good family. But when a beautiful, and completely unsuitable, woman snags his heart, he begins to realize that to get what you want, sometimes you have to break the rules.

Linnie Connor dreams of the independence of running her very own bakery. And while she may be allowed to be a marquess’ childhood companion, the baker’s daughter never ends up with the handsome nobleman. Determined to achieve at least one of her dreams, Linnie makes plans to leave her sleepy village for London, intent on purging him from her heart. And yet, when an invitation to the Marsden annual ball arrives, she can’t refuse her one chance to waltz in his arms.

It will be a night that stirs the flames of forbidden desires and changes their lives forever.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

The Review Sisters

Five Women Who Share A Love Of Reading

Boonies123

Historical Romance Reviews

Delilah Marvelle Loves Her Readers

Sign up for the New Release Alert

Caz's Reading Room

Fiction of a historical nature and anything else that takes my fancy

The Reading Wench

Historical Romance Reviews

Sonya's Stuff

Mostly Books

Chicks,Rogues and Scandals

We Love, We Live and We Read. . . .

The Mighty Quill

Historical Romance Reviews

doingsomereading

Now, what to read next...???

La Deetda Reads

Book Reviews, Thoughts and Recipes

And Then She Kissed Him

Regency romance redrawn with Author Cora Lee

Romantic Historical Reviews

Where History Meets Passion

The Write Thought

Historical Romance Reviews

LovesHistorical Book Reviews

Mother. Blogger. Southern Belle. Makeup geek. Avid reader. Books are my addiction. Highlanders are my passion.

BOOKTALK WITH EILEEN

Sharing the experience of living a thousand lives

ReginaJeffers's Blog

Every Woman Dreams...

%d bloggers like this: