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Posts Tagged ‘Castles Ever After’

ROMANCING THE DUKE BY TESSA DARE

Source: Received from the author in return for an honest review

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(Castles Ever After #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

In the first in Tessa Dare’s captivating Castles Ever After series, a mysterious fortress is the setting for an unlikely love….

As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens.
She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks offered endless possibilities.
And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one.

Ugly duckling turned swan
Abducted by handsome highwayman?
Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?

No, no, and… Heh.

Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance. She’ll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales
are left over for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who’s never even been kissed?

This one.

REVIEW POSTED 6 FEBRUARY 2014: https://rakesandrascals.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/review-romancing-the-duke-by-tessa-dare/

♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

WHY EARLS FALL IN LOVE BY MANDA COLLINS

Source: Received from the author in return for an honest review

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(Wicked Widows #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Society often makes strange bedfellows—and even more surprising betrothals…

IS IT A REASON FOR ROMANCE?

Young widowed Georgina Mowbray is settling into her role as Lady Russell’s companion quite well—until the lady’s nephew Dominic, the Earl of Coniston, arrives in Bath for a visit. Georgie’s always found him shallow and too smooth, and trusts him as much as she trusts most men…which is to say, not at all. But Con turns out to be more intriguing than she remembers—and completely irresistible…

OR A PROMISE OF PASSION?

Pretty, practical Georgie is nothing like the women Con usually woos—especially since she seems blind to his charms. But his elderly aunt is so fond of her that Con is determined at least to be sociable…with the occasional flirtation thrown in just for fun. But things take a serious turn when a dangerous figure from Georgie’s unhappy past appears and threatens to bring her harm. Con will do whatever it takes to keep Georgie safe. And if he can show her that all men are not menaces, he might be able to keep her in his arms and never let go…

♥♥♥♥♥♥


ODIN’S SHADOW BY ERIN S. RILEY

Source: Received from the author in return for an honest review

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(Odin’s Shadow, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Viking 876  AD)

Cover Blurb

Obsession. Treachery. Revenge. Redemption. Certain themes resonate across the centuries.

Odin’s Shadow is the first book in a series of three about a young Irish woman and the two Viking brothers who love her. The novel is set against the harsh backdrop of the Viking era in the 9th century, a time when the sight of a Viking longship sailing up the coast of Ireland would chill the blood of any man, woman or child. One young Irish woman, however, is not afraid of these Northmen, and a fateful encounter with one of them changes the course of her life forever.

Selia is a girl on the verge of womanhood, frustrated by the confines of her gender and resentful of the freedom her brother boasts of. She is intelligent and resourceful in a time when neither is valued in a female, and longs for an escape from her sheltered existence. Selia is fascinated by the tales of Viking raids told by her maidservant, and her hunger for independence is fed through the stories of heathen ferocity she hears at the woman’s knee.

A decision to sneak to the city’s harbor to view the Viking longships leads to an encounter with Alrik Ragnarson, a charismatic Viking warlord. With the knowledge that her father is about to announce her betrothal to a man she doesn’t love, Selia marries Alrik and within a day is on the longship bound for Norway and a new life.

As Selia’s relationship with her new husband grows, her friendship with his brother Ulfrik grows as well. The tension mounts between the two men, and as Alrik’s character flaws come to light Selia begins to have misgivings about her hasty marriage. Ulfrik’s desperate love for Selia causes him to reveal a dark secret from the past that threatens to destroy them all, and Selia is left to make a heart rending choice between the two Viking brothers.

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SAVED BY A RAKE BY EM TAYLOR

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

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Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

When Lady Rebecca Eversley is left ravished by the Earl of Newthorpe and facing ruination, she has the choice to point her pretty little nose in the air and face the gossips of the Ton or scurry off to the country to live out her life as an old maid. When she meets Lord Daniel Ramsey, a notorious rake, she decides on the former course of action.

Daniel has been given an ultimatum, marry before his father dies or lose the majority of his inheritance money. Rebecca seems the perfect candidate, especially once rumours about her start to circulate in the drawing rooms of Mayfair.

When Newthorpe is found dead on the morning of their wedding, the people around them find themselves suspects in the case. Who murdered Newthorpe and can Rebecca ever get over what he did to her?

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THE GROOM’S GAMBLE: A NOVELLA BY JADE LEE

Source: Free on Amazon Kindle

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(Bridal Favors, #3.5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

An original novella linked to Jade Lee’s hot new Regency bride series, a prequel to What the Groom Wants.

Caroline Lyncott, great grandaughter of the Duke of Bucklynde, has a secret. Years ago she was attacked and still bears the terrible scars. To escape the scandal and the reminders, she left everything behind to become housekeeper to a Scottish brother and sister. Gregory Murray, the Earl Of Hartfell, has a secret as well – he harbors a deep attraction to his housekeeper, Mrs. Lyncott. He knows she has a past, but doesn’t know how to fix the pain that still haunts her. His investigation leads him to the darkest London gaming hell and a villain too powerful to destroy. Can his love overcome her desperate past? Can she risk her heart despite the evil that still haunts her nightmares?

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(Castles Ever After #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

In the first in Tessa Dare’s captivating Castles Ever After series, a mysterious fortress is the setting for an unlikely love . . .

As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens. She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks offered endless possibilities.

And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one.

Ugly duckling turned swan?
Abducted by handsome highwayman?
Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?

No, no, and… Heh.

Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance. She’ll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who’s never even been kissed?

This one.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I didn’t think anything could possibly match Tessa Dare’s fabulous Spindle Cove series but her new series, Castles Ever After, promises to be just as wonderful. The first book, ROMANCING THE DUKE is enchanting, romantic, sexy and funny and I was totally captivated from the first page to the last!

I love Tessa Dare’s writing… so rich in warmth, emotion, and humour. She brings each scene to life with such vivid imagery. This is one of my favourite descriptions:

It started to rain. Fat, heavy drops of summer rain— the kind that always struck her as vaguely lewd and debauched. Little potbellied drunkards, those summer raindrops, chortling on their way to earth and crashing open with glee.Image

“I’m no one’s hero, Miss Goodnight. You’d do well to remember that.”

Ransom is certainly my hero but then I do have a soft spot for scarred, emotionally wounded heroes. I just knew that under that gruff exterior beats a vulnerable heart and it just needs the right woman to break down his defences. Izzy is just perfect for him with her warmth, passion and gentle heart.

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I adore Izzy. Tired of being treated like the wide-eyed girl of her father’s stories, she longs to be seen as a grown woman with her own dreams and desires. It is Ransom who is able to see the real Izzy – ‘a beautiful temptress of a woman, with interesting ideas and sensual wit.

I enjoyed the initial sparks and tension between Izzy and Ransome. They were such a delightful couple and watching their romance unfold was a joy. I loved sharing their…

Charmingly wicked banter:

He leaned one shoulder against the archway. “Aren’t we going to continue?”
“Continue what?”
“This game.” His voice was so low it seemed to crawl to her over the flagstones, then shiver up through the soles of her feet. “Am I a Russian prince? No. Is my favorite color yellow? No. Would I object if you were to come inside and remove every stitch of your damp clothing?” His voice did the impossible. It sank lower. “No.”

Tender moments:

Izzy didn’t know if these gentle sweeps of her fingertips could erase his pain— but they were dismantling the safeguards around her heart.
She soothed her touch over his brow and scalp, making shushing noises and whispering what she hoped were comforting words.

Sigh-worthy moments:

It was oneness, and it was glorious, and it was perfect, and it was her. All her.
God, he loved her.

Poignant moments:

…since she was there . .  . he couldn’t deny that a scarred, neglected part of him craved that softness.
 Hell, he ached for it, straight to his bones.

Hot sexy moments:

“Oh, I mean to do this everywhere. I plan to have you in every room of this castle. And why stop there? On the ramparts, beneath the stars. In the park, on a blanket spread amid waving grasses.” He pushed her skirts to her waist. “But we start right here, right now. I’ve been dreaming of taking you on this table for weeks.”

There are some rather delightful but unusual secondary characters…

The Knights and ladies of Moranglia who offer their loyal support when it is most needed (all will become clear when you read the book).

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Snowdrop, Izzy’s pet ermine, who seems to have got to grips with a certain duke!
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I loved Ransom’s devoted valet, Duncan, especially in the scene where he douses Ransom with freezing cold water!

Tessa Dare continues to wow me with her beautiful writing, heart-warming stories and loveable characters and  ROMANCING THE DUKE will definitely be one of my favourite books of 2014.  Now I just have to wait for book 2, SAY YES TO THE MARQUESS!

REVIEW  RATING: 5/5  STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read January 2014

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.

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I’m THRILLED to welcome the fabulous TESSA DARE to Rakes and Rascals today and she has graciously agreed to answer a few questions.

Thank you so much for having me here, Carol!

R&R: 

Tessa, ROMANCING THE DUKE releases today and it is the first book in your eagerly anticipated new series, Castles Ever After. Can you tell us what inspired you to write this series?

Tessa:  

To be honest, I think this series partly originated in my addiction to HGTV! (That’s the Home and Garden television cable channel in the US.)  I love watching and living vicariously through other people’s house hunts in exotic locales, or their extreme renovation projects.  It struck me that inheriting a castle would be both the ultimate coup in home ownership, and at the same time, a formidable challenge.On a more serious note, however, it’s no secret that I like to write heroines who enjoy a bit more autonomy than the average Regency girl.  In those times, for a young, unmarried woman to inherit property would have been a remarkable thing—with the potential to be truly life-altering.  Once I’d thought of the idea, I fell in love with the many possibilities and responsibilities that could change a heroine’s life.

R&R: 

What research did you have to do for the series?                    

Tessa: 

The research for this series was a dream!  Poor me, I had to go all the way to England and traipse about the country,visiting from one castle to the next – and even staying overnight in some of them!  The most memorable was one of the Northumberland castles I used as inspiration for ROMANCING THE DUKE, Chillingham Castle.  It’s supposedly the “most haunted castle in Britain” – and you can stay there overnight.  So I did.  All by myself!  It was pretty creepy, I’ll admit –but I lived to tell the tale and write the book. Of course, I did plenty of reading and researching online after coming  back home, too.  But poking around old turrets and torture chambers was much more fun.

R&R: 

Can you tell us a little about the hero and heroine of ROMANCING THE DUKE?

Tessa: 

Absolutely!  Isolde Ophelia (“Izzy”) Goodnight is the daughter of a beloved author, Sir Henry Goodnight—and in fact, as a girl, she was a character in his stories, The Goodnight Tales.  Now that her father has died, Izzy has been left with nothing, and she relies on the kindness of her father’s many fans. The only problem is, they still see Izzy as the little  girl from their favorite stories.  It’s a role it seems she’ll be stuck playing forever, without a home of her own—until one  day, she receives an inheritance from her godfather.  It’s a castle.  A remote, crumbling, castle in Northumberland that  is possibly haunted, definitely infested, and currently occupied—by a reclusive, wounded duke.

This brings us to Ransom Vane, the Duke of Rothbury.  Ransom was gravely wounded several months ago, and he has hidden away in decrepit Gostley Castle—an old family holding—ever since.  Scorned and scarred, he wants nothing more to do with the world, and most especially nothing to do with an attractive, spirited young woman who claims the castle is now hers.  Since neither of them is willing to leave, Ransom and Izzy agree to share the castle until they unravel the knot of legalities—but of course, in the meantime, their hearts (and limbs) get hopelessly entangled.

R&R: 

What are you working on at the moment?   

Tessa: 

Right now, I am working on the second book in the Castles Ever After series, called SAY YES TO THE MARQUESS.  Clio, the heroine of this book, has slightly better luck than Izzy in that the property she inherits is a lovely, well-kept castle set in the picturesque, rolling countryside of Kent.  What she has in common with Izzy is the problem of a stubborn, attractive man bent on upsetting all her plans.

R&R: 

What is the hardest part of writing a book for you? 

Tessa: 

Oh, all of it.  I have yet to find the “Easy button” for this novel-writing thing.  For every book you see on the shelves, I probably wrote another one (or two) that I threw away in disgust. Just ask my editor.  But even though it’s never easy for me, it’s the best job I could imagine.   

R&R: 

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing.

Tessa: 

Reading is an easy answer, of course. Also spending time with my family and friends.  I like to take nice, long walks in pretty places, too, and I’m fortunate that I can do that all year round here in Southern California.

R&R: 

I loved the innovative book trailer for your Stud Club series.  Are we likely to see any further book trailers? 

Tessa: 

Actually, on New Year’s Eve, I posted what I think will be my last video from the Dareling Room.  It’s not really a book  trailer – just a bit of messing around. But it was fun to make.  The problem is, the darelings are getting older now and  outgrowing their toys!  They’re on to computers and video games and outdoor sports.  Photographs of a gaming console don’t make for exciting book trailers, unfortunately.   However, it was fun while it lasted, and I love knowing I’ll always have those videos as a sort of time capsule of my kids’ room.

R&R: 

If you were stranded on a desert island and managed to salvage three books what would they be and why? 

Tessa: 

These are the kinds of questions that give me nightmares!  The pragmatist in me would probably reach for my Norton anthologies of World, English, and American literature – just for the sake of sheer volume, even though I suspect that’s cheating.   The joker in me wants to bring “How to build boats” and “Wilderness Survival 101.”   Strictly on sentimental value, though – I think the three books I feel most close to would be Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and Little Women.

R&R:  

One final question Tessa. Is it possible that we might see more Spindle Cove books one day or maybe a Christmas story? 

Tessa:

It’s entirely possible!  I hesitate to make any specific promises, but I definitely have not stopped thinking about Spindle Cove and its characters.  I would love to have an excuse to revisit some (or all) of them.

Tessa, I know you have a busy schedule and so thank you very much for taking the time out to answer my questions.

 It was my pleasure, Carol! Thank you so much for inviting me to visit.

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From Tessa’s website:

In the first in Tessa Dare’s captivating Castles Ever After series, a mysterious fortress is the setting for an unlikely love….

As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens.
She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks offered endless possibilities.
And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one.

Ugly duckling turned swan
Abducted by handsome highwayman?
Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?

No, no, and… Heh.

Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance. She’ll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales
are left over for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who’s never even been kissed?

This one.

Order the book from:

 Amazon.com
 Amazon.ca
 Amazon.co.uk
 Barnes & Noble
 The Book Depository
 Books-A-Million
 Chapters.Indigo.ca
 IndieBound
 Powell’s

Also available in Large Print from HarperLuxe.
 Amazon.com

♥♥♥♥♥♥

EXCERPT:

Making your escape already?” he asked dryly. “Can’t even last one night?”

She turned, gathering the open neck of her nightrail with one hand. There the duke stood, not five paces away, still fully dressed. Apparently, he’d been awake. And walking. That must have been the sound she heard—his footsteps, brushing over stone.

“No, I … I’m not escaping at all.” She tried to sound breezy. “I just couldn’t sleep.”

“Too scared, I gather.” He slid a flask into his coat pocket.

“Too excited,” she lied. “I’ve inherited a whole castle, and I’ve barely seen any of it yet. I’m keen to explore.”

“In the dead of night? Return to your chamber. You can’t traipse about the place in the dark. It’s not safe for you.”

She moved to his side. “Do you mean to join me, then?”

“That’s not safe, either,” he muttered.

Nevertheless, he put a hand on the small of her back, following close as she left the great hall and began to climb the stairs. At the top of the staircase, she turned down the corridor, retreating toward her chamber. She thought.

“See?” he said. “You’ve already turned the wrong way.”

Izzy stayed quiet, determined not to admit fault. “I’m not lost. I’m exploring.”

He made a disbelieving noise.

“I’ll be fine. I’m not afraid of rats. The bats are gone for now. And I don’t believe ghosts are real.”

“Do you believe I’m real?” he asked.

If she were honest, Izzy had her doubts. He seemed so larger-than-life. Even she, with her wild imagination, had never dreamed up anyone quite like the Duke of Rothbury.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

**THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED**

INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY

Tessa has a SIGNED copy of ROMANCING THE DUKE to give away to one lucky commentator.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

 ABOUT TESSA

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Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of eleven historical romance novels and four novellas. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award and multiple RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Awards.  Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance,” and her books have been contracted for translation in more than a dozen languages.

Mixing wit, sensuality, and emotion, Tessa writes Regency-set romance novels that feel relatable to modern readers. With her bestselling “Spindle Cove” series, she had great fun creating a fictional seaside community populated by women who defy the conventions of their time—engaging in such unladylike pursuits as medicine, geology, and artillery. And she had even more fun dreaming up the strong-willed, unsuspecting men who find their hearts ensnared by these unlikely heroines. The strong yet quirky heroines and sexy heroes continue in her all-new “Castles Ever After” series, launching in 2014.

A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she shares a cozy, cluttered bungalow with her husband, their two children, and a big brown dog.

Join Tessa on Facebook or Twitter

Visit her website to find out more about Tessa and her books: http://tessadare.com/

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(Castles Ever After#1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Official Blurb 

In the first in Tessa Dare’s captivating Castles Ever After series, a mysterious fortress is the setting for an unlikely love . . .

As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens. She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks offered endless possibilities.

And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one.

Ugly duckling turned swan
Abducted by handsome highwayman?
Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?

No, no, and… Heh.

Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance. She’ll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who’s never even been kissed?

This one.

Publication date: 28 January 2014

FOR AN EARLY GLIMPSE AT THE FIRST SCENE FROM TESSA’S FORTHCOMING BOOK, FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW:

http://tessadare.com/bookshelf/romancing-the-duke/

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This is the first book in Tessa’s new series Castles Ever After. There is no Official Blurb at the moment but I will keep you posted.The expected date of publication is 28 January 2014

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