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Posts Tagged ‘Charming Hero’

(The Dressmakers, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

From the Diary of Leonie Noirot: The perfect corset should invite its undoing . . .

Lethally charming Simon Fairfax, Marquess of Lisburne, has reluctantly returned to London for one reason only: a family obligation. Still, he might make time for the seduction of a certain redheaded dressmaker—but Leonie Noirot hasn’t time for him. She’s obsessed with transforming his cousin, the dowdy Lady Gladys, into a swan.

Leonie’s skills can coax curves—and profits—from thin air, but his criminally handsome lordship is too busy trying to seduce her to appreciate her genius. He badly needs to learn a lesson, and the wager she provokes ought to teach him, once and for all.

A great plan, in theory—but Lisburne’s become a serious distraction, and Leonie’s usual logic is in danger of slipping away as easily as a silk chemise. Could the Season’s greatest transformation be her own?

NOTE: If, like me, you thought this was the last book in the series, you will be delighted to hear that Lady Clara Fairfax will be getting her well-deserved Happy Ever After

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This is the third book in The Dressmakers series and is a delightful blend of engaging story, charming characters and delicious sensuality. Loretta Chase is a wordsmith, par excellence…every word is carefully crafted to produce writing that flows as smoothly as one of Maison Noirot’s exquisite creations and the dialogue sparkles with wit and humour.

Here are just a few of the things that I loved.


Leonie Noirot

Watching the business first, last and always Leonie trying to resist the devastatingly charming Simon was an absolute delight. I love the way Ms Chase describes Leonie’s reactions:

…her usually well-ordered brain was wandering into strange byways and taking excessive notice of physical sensations.


Simon Fairfax, Marquess of Lisburne

Simon finds Leonie’s methodical brain fascinating and there is a very memorable scene where he’s turned on by just listening to Leonie reading numbers from a mercer’s bill!

“One hundred twelve yards of black princetta at twelve shillings nine pence per yard.
She went on reading the bill, while he went on kissing her, murmuring in her ear, encouraging her. ” More numbers,” he whispered. “More numbers.”

The book is rich in Ms Chase’s trademark wit and humour and one of my favourite moments is when Simon is trying to persuade Leonie to go to Astley’s Circus with him rather than listening to his cousin reading melancholy poetry in an overcrowded, overheated room.

“A hot stuffy room, crammed with excitable young women and irritated men, and Swanton and his poetic friends sobbing over fallen leaves and dead birds and wilted flowers,” he said. “Yes, I can understand why you can’t bear to be left out.”

It is also peppered with the most delightful and creative use of words.

…the Fairfax family, to which the Earl of Longmore belonged, was large in its main branch and prolific in its associated twigs and vines.

She had compressed his meandering verbiage amazingly.

The loves scenes are deliciously sensual without even a whisper of purple prose. Look out for the rather wicked scene involving a hat, a naughty, teasing smile and a table!

Of course, the dresses play an important role in the story and I love how they are described in such intricate detail. I could actually see all those ruffles, flounces, immense sleeves and delicate embroidery. What I particularly enjoyed was the way in which Simon views the dresses from a purely male perspective.

The immense sleeves provided the main excitement, slashed to reveal what would appear to be chemise sleeves underneath – a glimpse of underwear in other words.

I appreciated all the research (detailed in the Author’s Note ) Ms Chase undertook to give the story its historical accuracy and she even admits to some anachronisms which were necessary for the story.

There is so much more I loved about this book but I’m hoping that you will discover this delightful, witty, entertaining and romantic story for yourselves.

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read July 2014

The Dressmakers series so far (please click on the covers for more details):

Silk Is for Seduction (The Dressmakers, #1) by Loretta Chase Scandal Wears Satin (The Dressmakers, #2) by Loretta Chase Vixen in Velvet (The Dressmakers, #3) by Loretta Chase

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(Wicked Widows, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

IS IT A REASON FOR ROMANCE?

In Why Earls Fall in Love by Manda Collins, 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…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This is the second book in the Wicked Widows series from Manda Collins.

The series centres on sisters, Isabella and Perdita, and their friend, Georgina… all widows of abusive husbands. They share a terrible secret concerning the death of Perdita’s husband, the Duke of Ormonde, but find themselves threatened by someone who obviously knows that secret and is out for revenge. The first book, Why Dukes Say I Do, told Isabella’s story and this is Georgina’s (Georgie’s) story.

 “…he has nothing more to concern himself with than the betting book or which opera dancer he’s going to bed.”

This is how Georgie sees Con at the beginning of the story. Not very flattering to a potential hero but, of course, Con gradually reveals those qualities that make a good romance hero. It’s clear that he adores his aunt, Lady Russell, and that he had helped her through a very painful time in her life. I love how protective he is towards Georgie when he learns of the potential danger she may be in; how fiercely he defends her honour when Mr. Gilloway, the investigator makes disparaging remarks about her. After hearing how Georgie suffered during her abusive marriage, he comes to fully appreciate how difficult it is for a woman, forced to obey a father or a husband without redress. He had wanted to put a stop to the abuse that Perdita had suffered but, as a duke, her husband was far too powerful for a mere earl. I liked that Con’s thoughts weren’t solely occupied with lustful thoughts of Georgie but he also ‘found her quick wit and kind heart just as alluring as her pretty face’.

Georgie had long ago mastered the art of keeping her emotions in check. It gave her the inner strength to survive the years of her abusive marriage. She also appreciated the well-ordered army life which helped form a welcome counterbalance to the volatile relationship with her husband. Understandably, she has a deep distrust of men and deters any unwelcome attention with her serious demeanour, drab clothes and severe hair styles. I like how she refuses to be intimidated by Con but eventually comes to trust him and recognises his innate sense of decency and goodness. Her fears about remarrying again are very real. She made a terrible mistake in her choice of her first husband and no longer trusts her own judgement as regards men. I love Con for understanding her fears rather than sweeping them aside.

“No one who has endured what you went through could emerge without some sense of scepticism about people around them. It would be impossible not to.”

The romance between them is witty, tender and passionate and Ms Collins manages to convey all the emotion and passion quite beautifully and without being overly explicit. I’m sharing two of my favourite moments:

And with each beat of her heart she felt the threads of their souls knitting knitting together in a fabric no amount of strife could unravel.

It was a kiss of reverence, as if she were as precious to him as a fragile treasure. And Georgie felt her eyes prick with unshed tears. How did he know that what she always wanted deep down in her innermost soul, was to feel valued like that.

I love their conversation in Lady Russell’s breakfast room the morning after they have made love. It sounds perfectly innocent but is full of naughty innuendo.

There is well-drawn supporting cast including Con’s friendLord Archer Lisle who is in love with Perdita but unwilling to tell her. There is some delightfully witty banter between Archer and Con. I also liked Lady Russell who treats Georgie more as a friend than an employee.

”I am an eccentric old woman who has more money than is good for her, who wishes to see her dear friend , who is also her companion, enjoy herself for a change”.

The scene where she gives Georgie a sapphire necklace to wear and reveals her tragic past is both poignant and heartrending. Later in the story, I did find it hard to believe that, given their close relationship, Lady Russell would readily accept, without any question, that Georgie would steal her jewellery.

In the theatre scene, I love how Ms Collins makes reference to her characters in the Ugly Ducklings series, when Con is pointing out some of the more notorious members of the ton to Georgie. Isabella, Trevor and Perdita also make a welcome appearance to offer their help in tracking down the person threatening Georgie.

One reviewer says that Ms Collins’s dialogue is stilted but I totally disagree and found it natural and not at all stilted. I also like how she emphasises the reality of being a wife trapped in an abusive marriage and the limitations on women in general.

There are enough red herrings so that I didn’t guess the identity of the person threatening Georgie until right before the climax. It’s evident there is a master villain at work, who has been using others in pursuit of his or her revenge. At the moment, I have no idea who this mysterious person might be and can only wait for all to be revealed in the final book.

This is a delightful, entertaining romance and I’m really looking forward to reading Perdita and Archer’s story in Why Lords Lose Their Hearts (29th July)

 

REVIEW RATING: 4.5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read July 2014

 

The Wicked Widows series (click on covers for more details):

Why Dukes Say I Do (Wicked Widows, #1) by Manda Collins Why Earls Fall in Love (Wicked Widows, #2) by Manda Collins Why Lords Lose Their Hearts (Wicked Widows, #3) by Manda Collins

 

A special thank you to Manda Collins for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review. 

 

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(The Westruthers, # 2)

Genre:Historical Romance

Cover Blurb

Passion to last a lifetime…

The Sweetest Scandal

Beautiful, exuberant, and stubborn Georgiana Black has more spirit than sense—which she learns when an ultimatum to the Earl of Beckenham ends their engagement. Six years later, Georgie is less concerned with impending spinsterhood than with making sure her young sister doesn’t make the same mistakes she did. But soon Georgie stumbles into a scandalous encounter with none other than her former fiancé. Beckenham is still breathtakingly desirable.

The Truest Temptation

Beckenham’s brief engagement to Georgie taught him one thing: when it comes to a wife, he wants a woman who will do her duty and cause no trouble. When the fiery Georgie falls unexpectedly into his arms, Beckenham remembers just how lushly delectable she is. Suddenly, the idea of actually marrying Georgie is irresistible. In a battle of wills, can passion conquer pride?

♥♥♥♥♥

The Westruthers series is a spin off from Ms Brooke’s popular Ministry of Marriage series and features four cousins, Jonathon, Earl of Davenport, Marcus, Earl of Beckenham, Xavier, Marquis of Steyne and Andrew, Viscount Lydgate, all intent on avoiding the parson’s noose. Jonathon succumbed to cupid’s dart in London’s Last True Scoundrel and now it’s Marcus’s turn.

How I imagine Marcus

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“Beckenham’s a dark horse, mark my words. It’s the quiet ones you have to watch.”

How true these words spoken by Jonathon Westruther in London’s Last True Scoundrel turned out to be. Marcus, the eldest of the four cousins, has always been the level-headed, dependable one but, in the previous book, we get a hint of just how devastated he was when Georgie broke off their engagement. In his cousin Cecily’s words…

“…you must know he’s still eating his heart out for that dreadful creature.”

Marcus knows it’s his duty to marry and produce an heir but he wants a countess who will perform her duties without any fuss, leaving him in peace. Someone, totally unlike his former fiancée, the impetuous Georgiana Black.  He decides to seek Xavier’s advice on suitable candidates but arrives to discover one of his cousin’s notorious parties in progress. When Xavier tells him that an unknown woman has claimed his protection, he finds himself involved in a scandalous encounter with none other than his former fiancée.

How I imagine Georgie…
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Six years ago, Georgie’s beauty and vivacity drew men to her like bees to nectar and she enjoyed playing the femme fatale and relished the power it gave her. Only Marcus refused to play her little games and she lost the only man she ever wanted. Her parents were furious when they heard she had jilted Marcus and her father punished her by changing his will leaving all his un-entailed property in Gloucester to Georgie’s half-sister, Violet.

Georgie had refused all subsequent offers of marriage, subduing her impetuousness and devoting herself to seeing Violet settled and happy. Then she intended to set up her own household with the monies left in trust to her by her father. When she discovers that Violet is attending a masquerade party at the Marquis of Steyne’s house, she knows that her sister risks ruining her reputation. Whilst searching for Violet, she finds herself at the mercy of the notorious marquis and insists she is under the protection of the Earl of Beckenham. Locked in one of the empty bedrooms, she is desperately searching for a weapon to protect herself when the door opens…but it not the marquis standing there but her former fiance, Marcus Westruther, Earl of Beckenham.

I loved the romance between Marcus and Georgie…so full of heady sexual tension, passion, wit and charm. I’m sharing a few memorable moments.

In a London ballroom, she was as exotic as a bird of paradise among a gaggle of geese.

~~~~

Her mouth dried as he reached up a hand to loosen his cravat, flick it open, and pull the long strip of linen from around his throat. Then he walked over to the washstand, where a pitcher of water and a basin stood as if ready for guests.
“Take your clothes off,” he said to her over his shoulder. “I’ll be with you in a moment.”

~~~~

He couldn’t be in the same county as Georgiana Black and resist her siren’s lure.

~~~~

How could the strength and warmth of him feel so utterly perfect, when everything else was all wrong?

~~~~

His whole spirit lifted, soared high and bright. Filled with an extraordinary sense of rightness, even as the flame of his passion for her burned ever brighter.

~~~~

That kiss was incendiary, lascivious, thoroughly consuming, everything he’d dreamed.

~~~~

I enjoyed seeing the more playful and seductive Marcus emerge when he is with Georgie while she is now free to be true to her passionate, sensuous nature.  I liked that they were both willing to acknowledge the mistakes of their youth and I love Marcus for appreciating the real Georgie behind her beauty and cherishing her.

There are some lovely funny moments in this book like the amusing scene where Marcus and Georgie have to rescue his rather inebriated group of prospective brides from the grotto or Lydgate’s humorous comment when Marcus is going through the list of potential bride candidates.

Beckenham glanced up from the list. “Doesn’t madness run in the Maxwell family?”
Lydgate ran the feather of his quill between his fingers. “Eccentricity, yes. Madness, no. Never fear. Miss Jennifer Maxwell doesn’t seem to have a tendency to wear a flowerpot on her head instead of a hat or anything like that
.”

I do love the scenes between Marcus, Xavier and Andrew…the witty banter and the obvious familial affection. You know that they have each other’s backs covered

This was a delightful ‘second chance at love’ romance and there is an excerpt from The Wickedest Lord Alive which definitely makes me want to read Xavier’s story. Not long to wait because it is released on July 1st.

REVIEW RATING:  4.5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read June 2014


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

London's Last True Scoundrel (The Westruthers, #1) by Christina Brooke The Greatest Lover Ever (The Westruthers, #2) by Christina Brooke The Wickedest Lord Alive (The Westruthers, #3) by Christina Brooke– July 1st 2014

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(Lost Lords of Pembrook, #2.5)

Genre:  Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

A Lost Lords of Pembrook Novella

Christmas is a time for miracles … and second chances at love.

In her dazzling first Season, Lady Meredith Hargreaves gave her heart to Alistair Wakefield, the Marquess of Chetwyn, only to have it shattered when he proposed to another. And now that he’s free to pursue her? It matters little, because she’s on her way to the altar, heartbreak be damned.

Chetwyn once set aside his dreams in favor of duty and honor. But as Christmas approaches, he is determined to put his own desires first and lure Lady Meredith back into his arms, where she’s always belonged.

First he steals a dance; then he steals a kiss. But when they find themselves alone in an abandoned castle during a snowstorm, reignited passion consumes them both. And Chetwyn will have one last chance to steal back Meredith’s heart, once and for all.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This novella is the third book in Lorraine Heath’s excellent Lost Lords of Pembrook series. Whether it is a full length novel or a novella, Ms Heath never fails to captivate me with her stories.

Alistair was a secondary character in Lord of Temptation and I really liked him and hoped he would have his own HEA. He had such a strong sense of honour and duty. He blamed himself for his brother, Walter’s death in the Crimea and felt a deep obligation to fulfil Walter’s last request, to ensure the happiness of his fiancée, Lady Anne Hayworth. Alistair believed that marrying Anne was the best way of ensuring her happiness even though it meant giving up the woman he truly loved, Lady Meredith Hargreaves. Then, when he realised that Anne truly loved Tristan, he was willing to set her free and bear all the humiliation of being jilted. Now he is determined to do everything in his power to win Meredith back.
Hers were the only eyes into which he longed to gaze, hers the only fragrance he yearned to inhale, hers the only voice he wanted whispering near his ear as passion smoldered.

It is not going to be easy persuading the lady of his sincerity and there is one major impediment…she is betrothed to another man.

Meredith (Merry) had almost made the mistake of losing her heart to Alistair until his attentions moved onto someone else. She was deeply hurt but now she has moved on with her life and is engaged to Lord Litton who is without a doubt the man for her. She is determined never to fall under Alistair’s spell again.

…she refused to succumb to his charms once again. She could be distant, pretend indifference, give the impression that he had never been more than a dance partner.

Alistair is resolute in his pursuit of Merry and I love the ruse he uses so that he can dance with her. Merry’s defences begin to crumble when things get rather heated in the billiard room. Who would have thought that Alistair could be so sexy!

It is not until a snow storm forces them to spend the night in the ruined Pembrook castle that they are finally able to admit their true feelings. This leads to a sweet and tender love scene. Once again, Alistair’s actions show what a perfect hero he is. It would be easy for him to be found with Merry, forcing her to marry him, but instead he protects her reputation, giving her the freedom to choose her own course.

To have her, he would have to ruin her, and he loved her far too much for that.

I thought Ms Heath disposed of Litton, the only obstacle remaining to their happiness, in a rather clever and believable way, leaving Merry to follow her heart. As always, Ms Heath left me with a sigh and a happy smile on my face.

You don’t have to wait until Christmas to read this enchanting rekindled love story. Like me read it any time of the year as part of this wonderful series.

REVIEW RATING:  4/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

Read May 2014

 

The Lost Lords of Pembrook series (click on the covers for more details):

She Tempts the Duke (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #1) by Lorraine Heath Lord of Temptation (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #2) by Lorraine Heath Deck the Halls With Love (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #2.5) by Lorraine Heath Lord of Wicked Intentions (The Lost Lords of Pembrook, #3) by Lorraine Heath 

 

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(Mad Passion, #2.5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

In this all-new novella from the award-winning author of Lady in Red and The Dark Lady, comes a story of fatal plots, seductive spies, and irresistible passions…

Duchess Clare Ederly is lucky to be alive. Having outlived her violent, abusive husband, she decides to put her significant inheritance to good use helping other battered women by opening a refuge for those seeking to escape. But not everyone is pleased with her work. Someone wants to see her sanctuary torn down—at any cost. Her only hope of protecting her home and tenants is a former spy, whose skill at tracking deadly men is matched only by his dangerous charm…

The Earl of Wyndham has done his part for Queen and country; he has had his fill of plotting and politics and simply wants to retire to the pleasant life of his club. But Duchess Clare’s razor-sharp wit and fierce determination awaken new purpose and admiration in him. To protect her, he will once again delve into the treacherous world of espionage. To win her love, he will do almost anything…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

**4.5 Absolutely Delightful Stars**

I LOVED this novella! It is a captivating and heart-warming story and made a lovely interlude between the darkness and intensity of the other books in this series. It brings together two secondary characters from the previous books –  Lord Byron Cartwright, the Earl of Wyndham (friend to Lord Ian Blake, the hero of the first book, The Dark Lady) and Clare, Duchess of Duncliffe (stepmother to Mary, the heroine of the second book, Lady in Red).

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Byron is a wonderful hero. There is something so adorable about him, with his easy charm and his propensity for quoting Shakespeare. He has experienced the horrors of war but hasn’t let it taint his view of life. His optimism is contagious.

“I am saying that there are things more wondrous in this world, more full of magic than we could ever imagine. And I, for one, despite the terrible things I have seen or perhaps because of them, choose to believe in them.”

He is an uncomplicated person and his dreams are simple…a quiet life, a wife who loves him and children.

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As a young woman of only seventeen, Clare married the Duke of Duncliffe with expectations of happiness, only to discover that her husband was cruel and abusive.

…her gaze bore that haunted mark of one who had seen hell and lived to tell the tale.

Now twenty-five and a widow, she devotes her time to helping other abused women. Her life is her work and she has long since given up any hope of love. Understandably, she is wary of men.

Ms Claremont’s writing perfectly conveys the mood of this enchanting romance. Here are a few of my favourite moments.

How could he do that? With two words? How could he somehow wrap her up in the safety of his voice and presence?

♥♥♥

Right now, she was in hiding, for goodness ’ sake. And the man leading her to God knew where kept spouting Shakespeare and making inappropriate remarks.

♥♥♥

The soft brush of Lord Wyndham’s lips sent Clare reeling. In all her life, she’d never been kissed. Not like this. Not this kind of kiss that every girl imagined and cherished in her heart.

♥♥♥

This was the stuff of knights and their ladies, of Abelard and Eloise, of Darcy and Elizabeth, of Jane and Rochester, of every romance she’d ever read. How she’d longed for it.

The mystery element never overshadows the romance and, although you don’t have to be a great detective to guess the identity of the person threatening Clare, I was so captivated by the characters that it didn’t really matter.

This novella may be short in terms of page count but Ms Claremont’s delightful and heart-warming tale captured my heart.

REVIEW RATING: 4.5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read April 2014

 

The Mad Passions series (click on the book cover for further details):

The Dark Lady (Mad Passions, #1) Lady in Red (Mad Passions, #2) A Lady Undone (Mad Passions, #2.5) The Dark Affair (Mad Passions, #3)

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(Smythe-Smith Quartet #2)

Genre: Historical Romance

Official Blurb 

Anne Wynter’s job as governess to three highborn young ladies can be a challenge – in a single week she finds herself hiding in a closet full of tubas, playing an evil queen in a play and tending to the wounds of the oh-so-dashing Earl of Winstead. After years of dodging unwanted advances, he’s the first man who has truly tempted her, and it’s getting harder and harder to remind herself that a governess has no business flirting with a nobleman.

Daniel made a terrible mistake in his youth and Smythe-Smith might be in mortal danger, but that’s not going to stop the young earl from falling in love. And when he spies a mysterious woman at his family’s annual musicale, he vows to pursue her. But Daniel has an enemy, one who has vowed to see him dead. And when Anne is thrown into peril, he will stop at nothing to ensure their happy ending…

★✩★✩★✩★✩★

A NIGHT LIKE THIS is the second book in the Smythe-Smith Quartet series and, although I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the first book JUST LIKE HEAVEN, it still combines all the elements that make Julia Quinn an absolute favourite of mine. I always know that I’m going to be drawn into her captivating world full of wonderful, loveable, quirky characters.

I completely fell for Daniel’s charm and wicked sense of humour. He’s someone who has learned from his past mistakes and takes his responsibilities seriously. I couldn’t help but adore a man who genuinely loves his family and obviously adores his Pleinsworth cousins.

It was good to be home. Even with the cacophony.
Especially with the cacophony. Nothing said “home” to a Smythe-Smith male like badly played music.

I love how the moment Daniel sets eyes on Anne, he is totally besotted and willing to do anything to be near her, even play the protagonist in his cousin Harriet’s impromptu play! What follows is a laugh-out-loud scene which showcases Ms Quinn’s sparkling, witty dialogue:

“Ah, yes,” Daniel said. “Yes, of course. Sadly, I do know a bit about facial disfigurement at present.”
“At least you won’t need any makeup,” Elizabeth said.
Daniel was thanking God for small favors, but then Harriet said, “Well, except for the wart.”

Warning! Do not mention the …

Anne is a delightful heroine. Charming, intelligent and kind, she’s understanding but firm with her charges. She never takes anything for granted but appreciates the stability, position and self-respect she has working as a governess for the Pleinsworths. As the secrets she keeps so closely guarded are finally revealed, the story takes on a more dramatic tone than usually found in Ms Quinn’s books. When her past finally catches up with her, she’s no wimpy miss but refuses to submit without a fight.

If Anne was going to be saved, she would have to do it herself.
“It is time to be your own heroine,” she whispered.

I enjoyed watching the relationship between Daniel and Anne unfold; hearing their thoughts and feeling their emotions:

the initial attraction… 

Time stopped. It simply stopped. It was the most maudlin and clichéd way of describing it, but those few seconds when her face was lifted toward his … they stretched and pulled, melting into eternity.

♥♥

Anne’s lips parted. His skin was warm, and now hers was hot where he touched her. Something strange and vaguely familiar bubbled within her, and with a prickle of shock she realized it was excitement.

the yearning… 

“I want the kiss,” he said huskily, “and then I want more. I want things you cannot even know about.”
They stood in silence, eyes locked.
“But most of all,” he whispered, “I want to kiss you.”
And then, in a voice so soft it was barely more than breath, she said, “I want it, too.”

the final surrender… 

“Oh, Daniel …”
His lips found her ear again, and his voice was hot and husky on her skin. “Before the night is through, I’m going to make you scream.”
She had just enough sense left to say, “No. You can’t.”
He lifted her against him, with just enough roughness that her feet left the ground and she had no choice but to wrap her legs around his. “I assure you, I can.”

There is always a strong sense of family which I love about Ms Quinn’s books. The friendly bickering between the Pleinsworth sisters, Harriet, Elizabeth and Frances always made me smile.

I was intrigued by Daniel’s friend, Hugh Prentice and I was hoping he would have his own book. So I’m a happy bunny because Ms Quinn’s next book, THE SUM OF ALL KISSES (29 October 2013) features Hugh as the hero and Sarah, the eldest of Pleinsworth sisters, as the heroine. I am definitely looking forward to the next performance by the Smythe-Smith Quartet.

The villain of the piece is suitably menacing, if just a little bit over the top, but I liked the dramatic climax in which Daniel proves to be the perfect “knight in shining armour” and Anne proves that women aren’t just decorative.

I don’t think Ms Quinn has ever surpassed her brilliant Bridgerton series but A NIGHT LIKE THIS is a delightful story full of romance, charm and humour.

REVIEW RATING: 4.5/5 Stars

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

Read June 2013

The Smythe-Smith Quartet series (click on book cover for more details)

Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1) A Night Like This (Smythe-Smith Quartet #2) The Sum of All Kisses (Smythe-Smith Quartet, #3)

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The Marriage Game #1

Setting: Regency England, 1814

Official Blurb

Polite society has its rules for marriage. But for Ella Quinn’s eligible bachelors, their brides will show them that rules are for the weak of heart…

Phoebe Stanhope is not a typical Lady. As feisty as she is quick witted, no one can catch her, especially astride a horse. And unlike her peers, experience has guarded her against a growing list of would-be suitors. But when she encounters Marcus Finley, what she fears most burns deep within in his blue-eyed gaze…

For Lord Finley, the spark of recognition is but a moment in the love he has held these many years. Now that he’s returned to England, all the happiness he desires rests on Lady Phoebe never finding out that he was the one who turned her heart so cold and distant. He must work fast to gain the advantage—to convince her what she wants is exactly what she denies—but in order to seduce her into his arms, he must be willing to give up more than he can control…

NOTE: THIS BOOK WILL BE RELEASED ON 19 SEPTEMBER 2013 BUT IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER FROM AMAZON US, AMAZON UK, BARNES AND NOBLE AND KENSINGTON BOOKS.

★✩★✩★✩★✩★

THE SEDUCTION OF LADY PHOEBE, Ella Quinn’s Regency Historical debut novel, is a delightful mix of romance, excitement and charming characters.

I have a soft spot for unconventional heroines and Phoebe certainly falls into that category. She combines beauty with intelligence, daring, a political and social awareness and a damaging right hook!

For the first time in Phoebe’s life, she was truly afraid. Desperate, she broke his hold and drove her fist into his nose.

I’m also partial to a hero in hot pursuit of a reluctant heroine and love Marcus’ sheer determination to prove to Phoebe that he is no longer the arrogant, spoilt young man of eight years ago, but a man of honour and integrity.

I enjoyed Ms Quinn’s gradual development of the romance between Phoebe and Marcus. Marcus’ actions have instilled such feelings of fear and hurt in Phoebe that it takes a lot of effort on his part to break through the barriers she’s erected around her heart. His love for Phoebe has remained constant and his years of exile in the West Indies have given him time to reflect on his actions and realise what an arrogant and stupid young man he was. I love his willingness to let Phoebe set the conditions regarding his courtship. It certainly enhances the sexual tension and provides for some amusing plotting and scheming from various family members and friends. Although I like my love scenes with plenty of steam, I feel  Ms Quinn’s less explicit scenes do fit the general tone of the story perfectly and so this isn’t a minus point for me.

The secondary characters definitely add richness to the story (although, at times, it does seem like a cast of thousands! LOL!) I love the family dynamics and Lord Travenor makes a suitably menacing villain.

The family exchanges provide some lovely touches of humour and witty dialogue. This is one of my favourites:

“Does she always travel like this?” (Marcus)
Geoffrey grinned. “Always, unless she is fleeing you. Never saw her travel so light before.”
“At least she leaves the furniture,” John said. “I had a great-grandmother who took half her house when she traveled.”

The period language definitely gives the story an authentic Regency feel but, occasionally, I was distracted by some of the phrases, such as ‘peep o day boy’, which I’d never come across before. But, overall, this didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story.

How I imagine Marcus…

How I imagine Phoebe…

THE SEDUCTION OF LADY PHOEBE is a perfect blend of heart, wit and charm which will certainly appeal to all lovers of Georgette Heyer.

VERDICT:  A VERY GOOD READ

RATING: 4/5 Stars

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

Many thanks to the author, Ella Quinn, for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.

Read April 2013

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