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Archive for September, 2017

Lara Temple Interview - author picture

I’m delighted to welcome Harlequin Historical Romance Author LARA TEMPLE to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Thanks so much for inviting me, Carol. I’m thrilled to be here!

~~~~~~~


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

Lara:
I was born in a very small town in Oxfordshire, in an old farmhouse with only a couple other families within miles. My father was a pianist and often in Oxford while my mother, brother and myself spent a great deal of time alone together, wandering around the nearby woods, picking blackberries in season, and living a very rich imaginary life because there were few children nearby, which is probably when my story-telling tendencies started. It was a great childhood but when my kids were born I was determined to have them surrounded by other children, which they are. I often take my kids to visit my old haunts, though.

Lara Temple Interview - picture 1


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

Lara:
Temperamental wrapped in a layer of easy-going. Other mothers often ask me how I can be so laid back and patient with my kids. I have no idea what to say because inside I’m on high alert and never really in rest mode. I would love to be a truly easy-going person but I’m far too afraid to try.


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

Lara:
Savoury! I am addicted to salt. My husband is definitely on the sweet side of the scale and we never poach on each other’s desserts/puddings. Like Jack Sprat and his wife.


R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Lara:
I’ve moved so often and had to travel so lightly very little has managed to stay with me through the years. But there are some things I treasure such as the book my mother prepared of my first five years. The book (in the picture) is an amazing gathering of anecdotes and photos and little titbits, including the first ever story I dictated to my mother – an adventure story about a city under the sea (with an HEA of course!).
Lara Temple Interview - picture 2

Another treasure is my first stuffed animal which used to be a blue rabbit but since I had a bad habit of disappearing into the fields and forgetting it on trees and under bushes, it had to be repaired so many times it has morphed into something quite different (as you can see in the picture – mine is the bag of pink rags on the left). The others lined up in the picture are those of my three brothers which fared a little better.
Lara Temple Interview - picture 3


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

Lara:
I know it’s a cliché but I fantasize about a house in the countryside outside a small town in Umbria. I would have my writing corner on a patio in the shade of climbing wisteria and buy fresh cheese and bread and tomatoes and sit and write with a glass of wine as I look out over fields of sunflowers and vineyards. Of course, I haven’t quite thought out what I will do with my kids and husband during this creative idyll…

 

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

Lara:
I’m having a hard time narrowing them down to something repeatable in polite circles. I think some of my worst moments were when I was a teenager – everything was so intense. Once there was a boy I really liked and one day he came up to me and asked if I wanted to go to the beach with him and I was so stunned and excited I was stuttering something when I realized he hadn’t been talking to me at all but to the girl standing right next to me. My whole body go beet red with embarrassment. Today I wish I could go up and hug my young self in sympathy. But those memories are always useful for my books…

~~~~~~~

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

Thanks so much for having me here, Carol, and for asking these off-the-beaten-track question. They brought back fun (mostly) memories.

 


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

http://amzn.to/2mWin9R
https://www.laratemple.com
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14951515.Lara_Temple
https://www.facebook.com/LaraTempleAuthor/
https://twitter.com/laratemple1

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The Duchess Deal

(Girl Meets Duke, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules… 

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
– They will be husband and wife by night only.
– No lights, no kissing.
– No questions about his battle scars.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And unlimited teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Whenever I pick up a Tessa Dare book, I know that I’m going to be enchanted by a story rich in warmth, emotion and humour; one that is romantic, sexy and full of endearing characters. THE DUCHESS DEAL, the first book in her new Girl Meets Duke series, certainly didn’t disappoint

Ash is an ill-tempered, brooding, cynical man, convinced that no woman could ever want an embittered, scarred wretch like him; something he has every reason to believe to be true, as I discovered later in the story. However, beneath his gruff exterior lies an honourable and caring man which is evident in his genuine concern for those people who work on his estate and in his need to protect and care for Emma. I love the scene where Ash puts the fear of God into Emma’s father and I totally agree with Ash’s opinion of the sanctimonious vicar – “You crusty botch of nature. You poisonous bunch-backed toad.”

So often the hero’s father is cruel or abusive and it was a refreshing to know that Ash’s father was such wise and loving father whom Ash wanted to emulate. My heart ached for Ash when he says he would not want to see his own son or want his son to see him because he fears he could never be like his own father.

Ash’s son could never admire him the way Ash had worshipped his own father. His father had been unfailingly wise, good-natured and patient. Not ill-tempered and bitter, as Ash had become.

I adore Emma for her courage and resilience. Despite being thrown out by her father for a youthful discretion, with nothing but the clothes she stood up in, she walked all the way to London in the height of winter and succeeded in building a life for herself as a seamstress to society ladies. I also admire her genuine compassion for and desire to help her friend, Davina Palmer, because she doesn’t want another young woman to face the sort of rejection she had.

Emma hadn’t landed in Miss Palmer’s delicate situation, but she, too, had been punished for the simple crime of following her heart.  The memories still pained her – and the thought of watching the same cruel fate befall another young woman? It made her quake with anger at the injustice of it all.

Emma and Ash have such wonderful chemistry and their romance is funny, poignant, romantic and sexy. I love how Emma more than holds her own against Ash and even challenges his ‘house ’ rules with ones of her own. The banter between them sparkles and I love how Emma refuses to call him Ashbury or Duke and keeps coming up with pet names which Ash hates.

“If I choose to make a darling of you, there is nothing you can do about it.”
   “Of course, there’s something I can do about it. I can have you sent to an institution for the feebleminded and insane.”
She shrugged. “If you say so, cherub.”

Ash’s habit of cursing in Shakespearean quotes was priceless and this is my favourite, aimed at the ‘hellion cat’.

“Do you hear me? Get out. ‘Thou art a boil, a plague-sore, an embossed carbuncle.’ King Lear, Act Two.”

I love how Emma gradually captures Ash’s heart with her warmth, wit and passion. She sees beyond his scars to the person he truly is behind the gruff exterior – someone funny, patient and passionate. In Emma, Ash sees a woman who doesn’t shy away from his scars; a woman who ‘touched him, kissed him, made him feel human and wanted and whole’.

I love the ballroom scene towards the end of the book where Ash makes such a memorable entrance with the words:

 “Yes, I know,” he said impatiently, turning the scarred side of the face to the room. “Faulty rocket at Waterloo. You have precisely three seconds to move past it. One. Two. Right. Now where is my wife?”

Ash’s long-suffering servants are hilarious with their mad-cap plots to throw Emma and Ash together in the hope that they will fall in love.

There is a colourful cast of secondary characters including…

  • Penelope, Nicola and Alexandra, the unusual trio of ladies who befriend Emma and Ash, and are, I’m sure, future heroines of this series.
  • Khan, Ash’s devoted butler, who isn’t afraid to give him a good rollicking…
    “You’re going to lose her. And when you do, you are losing me too. I’ve served your family for thirty years. I’m due a pension, and I’m not enabling this self-pitying codswallop any further. I wish you all happiness living alone and growing old with your twenty cats.”
  • Trevor, the young lad whom Ash meets on his nocturnal sorties around London
  • Last, but not least, Emma’s cat, Breeches

The charming Epilogue is just a delicious topping on this delightful confection.

VERDICT: Tessa Dare continues to captivate me with her heart-warming stories, endearing characters and sparkling humour and I’m looking forward to reading the other books in this series. Highly recommended.


REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

 

Girl Meets Duke series so far (click on the book covers for more details):

The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke, #1) by Tessa Dare

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Candace Camp Interview - author picture

I’m delighted to welcome New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling Author CANDACE CAMP to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Hello, Carol, it’s great to be here. Thanks for asking me.

~~~~~~~


R&R:

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

Candace:
I was born in Amarillo, Texas. It’s very, very flat and windy, and it sits in the middle of ranch land and has a lot of oil and gas business.  So, it has a very Texas flavour, but it was also a lot like growing up in the town in American Graffiti. We ‘dragged Polk’ (driving up and down the main street, honking and hollering) after winning football games. We hung out at drive-ins. I spent most of my childhood and teen-age years reading, though, so I was often somewhere else in my mind.

Candace Camp Interview - Easter with big brother and sister
Easter with my big brother and sister

Candace Camp Interview - writer in waiting
A writer in waiting

Candace Camp Interview -Polk Street, Downtown, Amarillo,
Polk Street, Downtown Amarillo


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

Candace:
I’m easy-going, although my husband can tell you that I get pretty irritable when I’m writing the last few chapters of a book.


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

Candace:
I love, love, love sweet things, especially chocolate sweets. I also like salty (yum, popcorn) and sour (pickles, green olives, lemons). I like spicy food to some extent, but not too hot.

 

R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Candace:
My pictures of my daughter, though that’s actually many photo albums, so I guess it’s not just one possession.

 

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

Candace:
Tough question! There are a lot of places I would like to live. Probably it would be somewhere in southern California, especially if I could see the ocean. But I also would love to live part-time in an English village (though I would have to be able to walk to everything because I’m really bad at driving on the left side of the road). I’m not sure where in England, though—I think maybe Northumberland.

 

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

Candace:
Oh, dear. I’m the kind of person who trips and falls over nothing, so I frequently embarrass myself that way. But the worst was when I fainted once in high school. It was very hot and I had been sick; I had been standing in a crowd for a long time. And I just crumpled to the floor. The really silly thing was that it embarrassed me so much that I popped right back up and tried to act like nothing had happened.

~~~~~~~

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

You’re very welcome. I enjoyed it.

 

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

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

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More Than a Mistress

(Mistress Trilogy, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

An arrogant duke does the unthinkable-he falls in love with his mistress.

She raced onto the green, desperate to stop a duel. In the melee, Jocelyn Dudley, Duke of Tresham, was shot. To his astonishment, Tresham found himself hiring the servant as his nurse. Jane Ingleby was far too bold for her own good. Her blue eyes were the sort a man could drown in-were it not for her impudence. She questioned his every move, breached his secrets, touched his soul. When he offered to set her up in his London town house, love was the last thing on his mind….

Jane tried to pretend it was strictly business, an arrangement she was forced to accept in order to conceal a dangerous secret. Surely there was nothing more perilous than being the lover of such a man. Yet as she got past his devilish facade and saw the noble heart within, she knew the greatest jeopardy of all, a passion that drove her to risk everything on one perfect month with the improper gentleman who thought love was for fools.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

I loved this book! Mary Balogh captivated me from the start with this unusual, intelligently written, emotional and sensual love story. 

When we first meet Jocelyn, he is arrogant, cynical, bad-tempered and domineering and revels in his rakish reputation even when it is undeserved. He treats lesser individuals with disdain including his long-suffering servants.

Joselyn jerked impatiently on the bell rope beside his bed and vented his irritability on his vale, who had not brought his shaving water up.
  ‘I thought you would wish to rest this morning, your grace, ‘he said.
‘You thought! Do I pay you to think, Barnard?’
‘No, your grace,’ his man replied with long-suffering meekness.

Despite the desperate situation she finds herself in, Jane is a strong-willed, clever and independent woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind, their verbal sparring providing some delightful dialogue. I love how Jane refuses to be intimidated by Joselyn, even at his most toplofty, and it brought a smile to my face when Jocelyn’s brother, Ferdinand, receives a scolding from Jane regarding the duel, prompting the following observation from Jocelyn…

‘She comes equipped with a mind, you see, Ferdinand,’ Jocelyn explained with studied boredom, ‘with a double-edged tongue attached.’

I love how Ms. Balogh develops the relationship between Jocelyn and Jane and I could feel their attraction and the growing sexual tension as they spend time together during Jocelyn’s convalescence. When Jane discovers Jocelyn playing the piano one night, she sees a sensitive and artistic side he has kept hidden from the world. I felt a subtle change in their relationship when Jocelyn confides in Jane that his father had considered his artistic talent effeminate and had been determined to beat it out of him, and Jocelyn discovers that Jane has a beautiful singing voice. It creates an intimate moment between them leading to their first kiss.

As the end of Jocelyn’s convalescence draws near, Jane does not want to leave any more than Jocelyn wants her to leave. Jocelyn’s solution is to ask her to be his mistress in his typical autocratic way.

‘I am offering you a proposition, a business one, if you wish. You need a home and a source of income beyond what you already have. You need some security and someone to take your mind off your loan state, I daresay. You are a woman with sexual needs, after all, and you are sexually drawn to me. And I need a mistress…’

I like how Jane still gets the last word by stipulating that there would be a contract drawn up between them.

I love how Jane describes the house that Jocelyn provides for her as sleaze and fluff and sets about making the house a home.  The time they spend in Jane’s ‘den’ is my favourite part of the book. Jocelyn sees the den as a haven where they can be themselves; where he can do all those things that he longed to do as a boy. I loved the charming picture Ms. Balogh creates of Jane embroidering and Jocelyn playing the piano and painting in companionable silence. Jocelyn confides his innermost secrets to Jane and I could understand how they had shaped him into the man he became and tainted his life.  Jane sees behind the mask to a vulnerable man in need of friendship, acceptance and love.

I could feel how deeply in love they were but Jane still harbours a secret but, before she can tell Jocelyn the truth, he discovers her real identity. I could understand his anger and sense of betrayal; he had trusted her enough to confide his innermost most self and she had shared nothing of herself but most of all…

She had taken everything from him, even the love of which he had though himself no longer capable.
He hated her for fooling him into hoping that after all life was worth living.

My one criticism is that I found the ending rather confusing, as though something was missing. When I discovered that the editor had suggested that certain scenes be deleted to provide a more effective ending, I bought a copy of Now a Bride, in which Mary Balogh has provided readers with the three missing scenes. I understand the element of surprise the editor was aiming for but, having read the deleted scenes, personally I feel that the book would have benefited from the emotional punch of The Proposal scene where Jocelyn finally expresses his feelings for Jane.

I liked Jocelyn’s sister, Angeline, a veritable whirlwind of chatter, with terrible dress sense and an even worse taste in bonnets and his carefree, charming younger brother, Ferdinand, with his penchant for wagers. I also enjoyed the banter between Jocelyn and his circle of friends.

MY VERDICT: As always, Mary Balogh delivers a beautifully written, emotionally satisfying, character driven romance. Highly recommended.


REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

 

Mistress Trilogy (click on the book covers for more details):

More Than a Mistress (Mistress Trilogy #1) by Mary Balogh No Man's Mistress (Mistress Trilogy #2) by Mary Balogh The Secret Mistress (Mistress Trilogy #3) by Mary Balogh

Now a Bride (Mistress Trilogy #2.5) by Mary Balogh – Contains never-before-published scenes from More than a Mistress and No Man’s Mistress — plus Mary Balogh’s new epilogue for the series.

 

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Sophie Barnes

I’m delighted to welcome Historical Romance author SOPHIE BARNES to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Thank you so much for having me, Carol! I’m absolutely thrilled to be here. 🙂

~~~~~~~


R&R:

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

Sophie:
Well, I was born in Denmark where I lived until about the age of four. After that, my parents decided to move to Spain where I spent the next twelve years of my life attending British international schools. I still remember my first day there at age four – it was awful not understanding a single word anyone was saying. But I gradually picked up the language and made some really great friends, some of whom I’m still in touch with today. It was a very relaxed and social life there. We lived in a wonderful mountain home overlooking the Mediterranean, a place that holds many fond memories for me and where I hope to go back very soon for a visit.

Sophie Barnes Interview - overlooking the Mediterannean

 

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

Sophie:
Definitely easy-going.

 

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

Sophie:
A bit of both though I do lean more toward savoury.

 

R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Sophie:
The Royal Copenhagen china set I’ve inherited from my great grandparents. I don’t have the entire collection since it’s been split at least once, but I have enough for twelve along with some serving dishes and the tea set. I found a picture online so you can see the design below.

Sophie Barnes Interview - The Royal Copenhagen china set

 

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

Sophie:
Mallorca, I think. My family and I visited about eight years ago and loved it there. It’s beautiful without being as far away as New Zealand, which is without a doubt the most stunning place on earth.

Sophie Barnes Interview - Mallorca

 

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

Sophie:
I’m not sure, but one incident does come to mind from years ago in a bar when I picked a Karaoke song I thought I knew the lyrics to, only to realize it was so much harder than I remembered…I really felt the attention from all the onlookers for the five minutes or so that I had to hum my way along while praying for the music to come to a hasty end.

~~~~~~~

 

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

It’s been a pleasure! Thank you once again for inviting me to stop by.

 

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

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

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An Affair With a Notorious Heiress

(Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, #4)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian – London 1872)

Cover Blurb:

The son of a duke and an infamous mother, Alistair Mabry, Marquess of Rexton, fought his way to respectability. Now, the most eligible bachelor in London, marriage-shy Rexton will take only a wife with an impeccable reputation, good breeding, and a penchant for staying out of the gossip sheets. But when he strikes a deal to be seen “courting” a sweet young debutante whose notorious older sister has blemished her chances for marriage, Rexton is unexpectedly drawn to the highly inappropriate, calamitous Tillie, Lady Landsdowne herself.

After a scandalous incident that sent shockwaves throughout society and disgraced her, Tillie refuses to cower in the face of the ton. Instead, she will hold her head high as she serves as chaperone for her younger sister, but Tillie is convinced Rexton’s courtship is shrouded with secrets—ones she vows to uncover. However, doing so requires getting dangerously close to the devilishly handsome and forbidden marquess…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This is the 4th book in Ms. Heath’s Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James series and, while I enjoyed it, I didn’t feel it had the same emotional intensity which I found so satisfying in the other books in the series.

As heir to the Duke of Greystone, Alistair Mabry, Marquess of Rexton (Rex) enjoys a life of wealth and privilege but, at an early age, he learned that respect didn’t come automatically, it had to be earned. He loves both his parents but, at school, he had been subjected to bullying and insults because of his mother’s scandalous past, but with physical maturity came the ability to fight back and he gradually earned the respect of his fellow pupils. He is determined that his own children will never suffer the same way he did and when he finally chooses a wife, she will be someone ‘with an impeccable reputation, good breeding, and a penchant for staying out of the gossip sheets’.

American heiress, Mathilda (Tillie) Paget, Countess of Landsdowne, caused a scandal when she was caught kissing a footman, leaving her husband no choice but to divorce her. Further scandal ensued when the divorce courts agreed, at Landsdowne’s request, to strip her of her title, but she had the audacity to appeal to a higher court and won her case.  Appalled by her behaviour, society has shunned her, friends have abandoned her, and she has become the target for gossip and disdain. Only her sister, Gina, has remained loyal to her. Tillie is determined to protect Gina and ensure her sister does not make the same mistake she did.

She wanted to help Gina find the right man to wed. She wanted nothing more than she wanted her sister’s happiness.

After seeing, Gina settled, Tillie has every intention of returning to America and making a new life for herself.

The sisters’ uncle, Garrett Hammersely, is aware that Tillie’s notoriety is having an adverse effect on Gina’s chances of finding a titled suitor and persuades Rex to feign and interest in Gina. Mr Hammersley hopes that, as Rex is the most sought-after bachelor in London and well respected by his peers, his attentions will pique the interest of other suitable gentlemen. If he succeeds, Rex will acquire the stud services of Hammersley’s prize Arabian stallion. It’s an agreement he simply can’t refuse. Rex and Tillie, who is acting as Gina’s chaperone, are frequently thrown into each other’s company and soon an undeniable attraction flares between them.

Unaware of the arrangement between Rex and her uncle, Tillie feels guilty because Rex is courting her sister and she would never jeopardise Gina’s happiness. Even when she discovers the true situation, she is wary of ever trusting a man again, which I could understand given her husband’s infidelities. Tillie is just the sort of woman Rex has sworn to avoid but he is fascinated and intrigued by her.

Rex comes to appreciate how difficult it must be for Tillie to chaperone her sister, leaving herself open to society’s censure and wants to protect her from the unkindness of others. I loved him for wanting to do things that bring Tillie joy, especially in the scene where he takes her to a secret destination and she is expecting something nefarious, only to find something magical.

I loved Tillie’s unconditional love for her sister and her determination that Gina would have the happiness she never did. I also admired her for having the strength, courage and determination to fight in any way possible to escape her unhappy marriage, knowing full well the personal cost to herself.

She’d sacrificed her reputation, her standing, her place in Society for a chance to be free of Landsdowne. She’d forced a life of solitude, an absence of friends, onto herself.

Landsdowne’s mother and sister always made it clear that they didn’t consider Tillie good enough for him and treated her atrociously. So, I loved seeing Rex’s sister Grace, the Duchess of Lovingdon, spike the sister’s guns, when she tries to have Tillie and her sister removed from The Royal Tea Palace.

“Come along,” the duchess said to Tillie and Gina.

 Lady Blanford had the audacity to step in front of them. “Mr. Wadsworth, I must insist you prevent this rabble from entering.”

“Come now, Countess,” the duchess said, her voice tight but controlled, “do you really think he is going to adhere to your wishes when doing so will mean that my party immediately leaves to never return? And let’s not forget Lady Landsdowne’s pistol. Scars can be a symbol of courage but I’m not certain that would hold true in your case. Now step aside and do not make a further fuss or you will find yourself being the one escorted out.”

What makes Ms. Heath’s books so special for me is her ability to write beautiful and emotionally moving love stories, but the romance between Rex and Tillie didn’t elicit the same strong emotions that I felt when reading the other books in this series. For me, there were no moments when I thought my heart might break or tears streamed down my face.

I liked Gina who is much wiser than anyone appreciates and I’m looking forward to following her own journey to a Happy Ever After in Gentlemen Prefer Heiresses. I loved how Rex’s family and friends offered their unconditional support for Tillie and it was wonderful to see Rex’s parents, Frannie and Sterling and know that their love is as strong as ever despite the obstacles they face. Their story is told in Surrender to the Devil, the third book in the original Scoundrels of St. James series.

I like how Ms. Heath highlights the unfairness of Victorian society where a divorced wife would be ostracised while her unfaithful husband could carry on as before without any repercussions.

As with all the books in this series, Ms. Heath ends with a lovely Epilogue.

MY VERDICT: This may not be my favourite book in this series but there were still many things I enjoyed about it.


REVIEW RATING: 4/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

 

Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James series (click on the book covers for more details):

When the Duke Was Wicked (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, #1) by Lorraine Heath Once More, My Darling Rogue (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #2) by Lorraine Heath The Duke and the Lady in Red (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, #3) by Lorraine Heath An Affair with a Notorious Heiress (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, #4) by Lorraine Heath Gentlemen Prefer Heiresses (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, #4.5) by Lorraine Heath

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Jess Russell Interview - author picture

I’m delighted to welcome Multi-Award Winning and Best-selling author JESS RUSSELL to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Carol, it is my absolute pleasure. I have been reading your reviews and interviews for a long while and I am excited you asked me to participate.

~~~~~~~

 

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

Jess:
I am an “Air Force Brat” so I grew up all over. I was born in Brussels, Belgium and moved every two to four years thereafter. Some moves were more traumatic than others. Certainly, at age 11! My Dad got transferred from the Pentagon to Bangkok, Thailand. I had to leave my pony and BFF. Then two years later we left Bangkok for Tullahoma, TN. I was totally into ballet and was afraid I would never find a teacher in such a small town. But, surprisingly, tucked up in this little town was a woman who used to be a soloist with the New York City Ballet! I was lucky to spend all 4 years of high school in Tullahoma. I left ballet behind for Drama School and then moved to New York City, which has been my home ever since.


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

Jess:

Well, I think I used to be a bit more easygoing, but these days, though I am not exactly temperamental, I would term my state of being as slightly overwhelmed and alternately impatient. I have a lot on my plate right now-new book out (making a Victorian gown to help market the book), trying to finish the next book in the series, doing a play, renovating an apt. in upper Manhattan, AND my only child is going off to college in less than a week! My TBR list (which you contribute to almost weekly) is getting VERY long! I look forward to disappearing into a good romance read soon!

Jess Russell Interview - In Addams Family 1  Jess Russell interview - Addams family 2 Jess Russell Interview - Addams family 3
Pics of me in The Addams Family (I am a dead ancestor, hence the ghoulish make-up)

Jess Russell Interview - dress for marketing book
The Victorian gown I made to help market my new book

 

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

Jess:
Oh, I am a saltaholic. Give me something crunchy and covered in salt and I am one happy camper. (and perhaps an accompanying glass of wine.)

 

R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Jess:
Not so long ago I would have said my photo albums. I love pictures. I am the person who is delighted to scroll through near complete stranger’s vacation shots, or granddaughter’s first birthday. But now I would have to say my computer. OK, not so sexy, but it holds so much of my life-not only my pictures but my writing! Of course, it is technology, and technology and I sometimes do not get along. (just to give you a perspective, not so long ago I finally gave up my flip phone!)

 

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

Jess:
The beach! My husband’s family has a home in the Catskill Mountains. I love wandering those woods and poking around in my garden, but I love the ocean! I miss it. There is something about staring out at those endless waves and looking up at the canopy of stars that makes me feel so small-not in a bad way, but in a way, that gives perspective. I am just a blip in time, so breathe and enjoy this ride!


R&R:

Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Jess:
Hummm…Well, I think I’ll forego the story of too much wine, a blow-up bed and an over eager St. Bernard! (I might need to use that in my next book…) I suppose my most embarrassing moment was not really a moment but a period in my life. I am dyslexic. In third grade, we all had to read the “Dick and Jane” books around in a circle, taking turns reading out loud. I struggled painfully. I would come home telling my mom, “I am so dumb!” Well, she jumped right on it and got me the help I needed. Now I love to read!

~~~~~~~

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

It has been my pleasure, Carol. Thank you for promoting and supporting romance authors. You are a treasure!

 

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

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

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

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