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(Comrades in Arms, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

The truth behind the hero.

Officer Jack Trestain may have been one of Wellington’s most valued code-breakers but since Waterloo, he’s hung up his uniform. If only he could just as easily put aside the tortured memories he carries deep within…perhaps enchanting French artist Celeste Marmion might be the distraction he so desperately craves.
Except Celeste harbours secrets of her own and questions that she needs Jack’s help to solve! With Celeste’s every touch an exquisite temptation, how close can Jack get without revealing his darkest secret of all?

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The Soldier’s Dark Secret (Comrade in Arms #1) is an inspirational read from the talented pen of one of my favourite authors. Marguerite Kaye never disappoints and I am constantly amazed by her creative, captivating and original story lines. We could never accuse her of being boring, as no two books are the same and each one is better than the last.

Jack Trestain is an ex intelligence officer, one of Wellington’s most valued code breakers, a brave one too, mentioned in dispatches and a truly honourable man with a conscience. He has a secret – a dark, dangerous secret, one that conjures up terrifying, tortuous nightmares, night after night, leaving him sleep deprived. Jack is a desperate to find peace but unable to, believing himself unworthy of love or forgiveness.

His salvation arrives in the form of an enchanting and beautiful French woman. Celeste Marmion has been commissioned by Jack’s elder brother Charlie to paint some landscapes of their ancestral grounds and gardens. She has used this opportunity to travel to England in search of some answers to a devastating secret of her own. Their first meeting is unorthodox to say the least. Unable to sleep, Jack is in the habit of swimming in the lake in the early morning – without clothing. Celeste, on an early morning reconnaissance of the grounds, spots the intriguing Jack, and to begin with simply enjoys, with an artist’s eye, the beauty of the man. Soon, however, she is aware that what she is doing could be interpreted as spying; indeed, she is also aware that she is actually enjoying the spectacle, that is until Jack turns an anguished face to the sky and Celeste sees the torment and suffering written on his face and makes an attempt to escape this deeply private moment…and fails.

The two get off to a bad start, but it doesn’t take long before they become reluctant friends, with a burning attraction developing between them. Celeste is unafraid of Jack’s black moods and, unlike his family, she stands her ground, challenging him and beginning to pick away at his defences. He is rattled by her ability to get beneath his skin, afraid to let her see his suffering, but still physically and mentally attracted to this beguiling young woman. Eventually Celeste confides, at least part of her story to Jack and it is with relief he is able to turn his mind to what he does best, unravelling secrets and breaking codes. Helping Celeste to search for the answers she has travelled to England for is something his analytical, if troubled mind, CAN do. He has a purpose again, not only will he be able to help Celeste – and he desperately wants to – but he can also discourage her from delving into his own deeply disturbing thoughts.

I love the way Ms. Kaye slowly builds the attraction between her characters – sensuously, sizzling and oh so sexy! Nothing too physical happens until well into Jack and Celeste’s story but the air is electric and when it does happen it jumps off the page.

The sheer amount of historical research that has gone into this novel is breath-taking; a fascinating but never boring history lesson (which I love) wrapped up in a beautifully sensitive love story. I have no doubt that the facts about Waterloo and the enigmatic, if egotistical Wellington, are as accurate as Marguerite Kaye’s thorough research can make them. Jack is obviously suffering from PTSD. Again I can only guess at the amount of reading Ms. Kaye did in order to make his condition as authentic as possible, without being able to tell us what it is he is suffering from, a condition undiagnosed at that time in history. The plot is intricate, clever, and interesting; the soldier really DOES have a dark secret and Celeste’s tale is fascinating and the unravelling of it all intelligently and ingeniously achieved.

Altogether we have accurate history, scintillating romance and mystery and the artwork on the cover is perfect; a dark, brooding soldier in a red military uniform, I’m not sure if the jacket is absolutely correct but quite honestly I don’t care, he looks the part and he looks like Jack.

MY VERDICT: A perfectly wonderful novel and I loved it…5 stars and highly recommended.


REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read January 2015


Comrades in Arms series (click on the book cover for further details):

The Soldier's Dark Secret by Marguerite Kaye The Soldier's Rebel Lover (Comrades in Arms, #2) by Marguerite Kaye

 

I received a complimentary copy of  the book from the author in return for an honest review.

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(Comrades in Arms, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

When Major Finlay Urquhart was last on the battlefield, he shared a sizzling moment with daring Isabella Romero. Two years later, Finlay has one final duty to perform for his country, one that reunites him with this rebellious senorita! Except Isabella has her own mission, which means that no matter how much she craves Finlay’s touch, she can never tell him the truth. But she’s underestimated Finlay’s determination to protect her, and soon she finds herself letting her guard down, one scorching kiss at a time!

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This is the final book in Marguerite Kaye’s Comrades in Arms mini-series and, whilst I enjoyed it, I didn’t find it as compelling or emotionally charged as THE SOLDIER’S DARK SECRET

The son of a Scottish farmer, Finlay has succeeded in rising to the rank of major against all the odds, resulting in Wellington dubbing him “The Jock Upstart”. The army has been the only life he has ever known and, after the war ends, although he loves his family, he knows he could never settle for a life that is safe and predictable. He is a man of action who needs a sense of purpose in his life and he finds that purpose in rescuing and protecting Isabella, the brave partisan he met two years earlier.

Isabella fought bravely for her country but, following the French defeat, she is once again constrained by the rigid rules of society; never allowed to voice her own opinions and forced to hide her true nature beneath a demure façade. But she conceals a secret which is threatened by the reappearance of the brawny Scotsman, she met two years ago.

Finlay is everything a hero should be – intelligent, brave, protective and honourable, but I love that he still maintains a rebellious streak by wearing his kilt. He is a loyal soldier but one with a conscience which sometimes leads him to disobey orders.

My thoughts about Isabella are somewhat conflicted. On the one hand, I admire the feisty, brave partisan who fought to free her country from the French and understand her desire to fight against the return to the old feudal system in Spain and the injustice she sees around her. On the other hand, I found it difficult to accept her failure to see that her reckless actions endanger the lives of her brother and his family. Even when Finlay voices his concerns, she still refuses to accept the truth. It takes a tragic event to make her realise how misguided she has been.

I like how the relationship between Finlay and Isabella evolves as they journey across Spain and each of them grows and changes in different ways. Isabella comes to accept the reality of her situation and understand the consequences of her actions while Finlay has to confront some difficult choices.

The romance is tender, poignant and passionate and when they finally make love it feels right. It’s the only chance to show their love for each other before they are parted forever and the scene is a perfect blend of the sensual and the emotional. Although I knew there would be a happy ending for Finlay and Isabella, Ms Kaye kept me on tenterhooks at the very end until Finlay finally decides to follow his heart.

I was disappointed in the Epilogue because I wanted to spend more time with Finlay and Isabella and share some moments of their Happy Ever After.

Once again, Ms Kaye’s historical research is meticulous and I like how she weaves interesting political and social commentary into the fabric of the story.

MY VERDICT: This may not be my favourite book but Marguerite Kaye still writes a story that is well worth reading.

 

REVIEW RATING: 4 /5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

Read September 2015

Comrades in Arms mini-Series (Click on the book covers for more information):

The Soldier's Dark Secret (Comrades in Arms, #1) by Marguerite Kaye The Soldier's Rebel Lover (Comrades in Arms, #2) by Marguerite Kaye

Also Seduced by a Soldier (a free on-line read available Here)

 

**My sincere thanks to Marquerite Kaye for sending me a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.**

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Source: Received from the publisher Momentum (Pan Macmillan) in return for an honest review

Genre: Historical Romance (Paris, France 1815)

Cover Blurb:

Colonel Gabriel de Laurent departed for the war intending to die.

After a decade of bloodstained battlegrounds while fighting in Napoleon’s army, Gabriel returns to the streets of Paris a shattered and haunted soul. Plagued by inner demons, he swallows the barrel of his flintlock pistol and pulls the trigger.

But fate has a different plan.

Ariah Larochelle is a survivor. Orphaned at twelve and victim to a devastating crime, she has learned to keep her back to walls and to trust no one. But when she finds a gravely injured soldier washed up on the River Seine, she’s moved by compassion. In spite of her reservations, she rescues him from the icy water and brings him into her home.

Now scarred inside and out, Gabriel discovers a kindred spirit in Ariah—and feelings he imagined lost forever reawaken as he observes her strength in the face of adversity. But when Ariah’s own lethal secrets unfold, their new love is threatened by ancient ghosts. Can Gabriel and Ariah find hope in the wreckage of their pasts—or will the cycle of history repeat again?

Perfect for fans of Gaelen Foley’s Lord of Ice and Judith James’s Broken Wing, Finding Gabriel features all the dark romance, searing passion, and historical intrigue of The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables.

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

(Comrades in Arms, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

A hero…a rebel…a desire worth fighting for!

When Major Finlay Urquhart was last on the battlefield, he shared a sizzling moment with daring Isabella Romero. Two years later, Finlay has one final duty to perform for his country—one that reunites him with this rebellious señorita!

Except Isabella has her own mission, which means that no matter how much she craves Finlay’s touch, she can never tell him the truth. But she’s underestimated Finlay’s determination to protect her, and soon she finds herself letting her guard down, one scorching kiss at a time!

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Source: Gift from the author

(Hell Yeah! #1)

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Western Romance

Cover Blurb:

An Erotic Romance

Aron McCoy has sworn off women – except for sex. When Libby Fontaine arrives at Aron’s Tebow Ranch, she is determined to cram a lifetime of living into a few short months. The doctor has told her that she can’t count on her remission from leukemia being a permanent one. Their attraction to one another is instantaneous and overwhelming. But when Aron finds out that Libby is innocent – he backs off. He has nothing to offer a girl who deserves white lace and promises. Then Aron catches Libby pleasuring herself in his stock tank and hears her cry out his name – and the heat is on.

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Source: Received from author in return for an honest review

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Christian Fallon, the Duke of Aubrey, has never forgotten the woman he fell in love with six years earlier. Forced by his father to marry another, he endured a miserable marriage. Now a widower, he arrives in London with the intention of vanquishing his enemy, a man who is set on destroying Christian’s family. When he finds that his enemy is courting the woman Christian tried for years to forget, he conceives of a plan to take everything away from the man, including Katherine, the widowed Duchess of Westervly.

Katherine has intentionally caught the eye of the Viscount of DeWynter, a man she can barely tolerate, but her stepmother is missing, and clues lead to the viscount as having a hand in her disappearance. When Christian appears on the scene, she is torn between the two men; Christian, who has held her heart all these years, and DeWynter, whom she believes can lead her to her stepmother.

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Source: Free from Amazon Kindle

(Steam! Romance and Rails series)

Genre: Historical Western Romance (19th Century – 1870)

Cover Blurb:

The War Between the States ended five years ago, but she still pursues her enemy…

Rebel spy turned government rabble rouser Adella Willows receives her mission straight from a Washington senator—play havoc with the Katy Railroad and derail its bid to win the race. The senator craves wealth. Adella craves revenge against the man responsible for her brother’s death. But her plans crumble into chaos when she enters a battle of wits with the railroad’s foreman.

An ocean separates him from his failures in Ireland, but he’s still haunted by those who died…

Seasoned railroad foreman Cormac McGrady’s sole desire is keeping his workmen safe and employed, which means keeping the Katy ahead of its rivals. But the beautiful spy bedeviling his railroad needs protecting as well. Cormac must choose between winning the race and winning Adella’s heart, while Adella must choose whether she lives for revenge or dies for love.

This novella is part of the “Passion’s Prize” anthology and the “Steam! Romance and Rails” series.

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Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(An American Heiress in London, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

She’s an American heiress. He’s a devilish earl. When these two collide, the sparks ignite a shocking scandal in USA Today bestselling author Laura Lee Guhrke’s unforgettable Victorian-era romance.

Linnet Holland wants nothing to do with fortune hunters. No, she’s determined to marry a man who loves her. But just as she’s about to accept the perfect marriage proposal from the man she wants, the rakish Earl of Featherstone interrupts and ruins everything, including her reputation, with his smoldering kiss.

Jack Featherstone knows all about Linnet’s “intended”, and he’s determined she won’t fall prey to that villain as other women have in the past. But when his attempt to save Linnet ruins her instead, he knows he has to make things right. So he sets out to win this golden beauty . . . and prove to her that being ruined by him was the best thing that could have happened to her.

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Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

Genre: Historical Erotic Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

A sheikh without a country. A woman without fear. A love hotter than the Sahara.

In his heart, Viscount Blakeney will always be Sheikh Altair Mazir, but a deathbed oath to his English grandfather forces him to divide his time between Britain and his beautiful Sahara. A victim of prejudice from both cultures, he has learned a bitter lesson. Trust no one.

Yet when he witnesses firsthand the British Museum’s rejection of Alexandra Talbot’s request for assistance in finding the lost city of Ramesses II, he finds himself not only compelled to help, but donning his desert robes to hide his identity.

Alexandra is all too familiar with men who equate her sex with a lack of intelligence. But the mysterious Altair isn’t like other men. He never questions her ability to find the lost city, only her resistance to the sinful pleasure of his touch.

Bound by a Pharaoh’s prophecy, desire flares between them under the desert stars. But murder and betrayal turn their quest into a deadly game, pushing their fragile trust to the breaking point. A trust that must be reforged if they are to survive.

This book has been previously published by Samhain Publishing.

Warning: Contains a half-blood prince of the desert whose tortured Bedouin heart beats beneath a proper English cravat. And an American archaeologist who’ll go a long way to fulfil her dreams.

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Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(The Reckless Rockfords, #1)

Genre: Historical Erotic Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

Helen Rivenall is willing to do anything to escape the brutality of her uncle’s home. But a promise of honest employment is a ruse. Drugged and auctioned off in a notorious London brothel, she finds herself won by a man who wants nothing from her except her participation in a harmless charade. Left with no choice, she reluctantly agrees, but as their web of lies grows, so does temptation and the realization that pleasure and sin are often one and the same.

Sebastian Rockwood, Earl of Melton is haunted by a dark secret in his past. One that taught him control is a personal trait to be valued above all others. He also learned never to give his heart to anyone. The risk is too great. Yet where Helen is concerned, his prized control is slowly giving way to temptation, and all too quickly he discovers nothing can protect him from the ultimate obsession – love.

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Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(The Reckless Rockfords, #2)

Genre: Historical Erotic Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

Behind the mask lies love-a dangerous and deadly emotion.
Constance Athelson, Viscountess Westbury has a gift she can’t reveal. She sees things others can’t, including the dead. The only thing she can’t see is into the heart of Lucien Blakemore, Earl of Lyndham. After one blissful night in his arms, she knows if she’s ever to win his heart, she must free him from his tortured past.

Lucien Blakemore met the Egyptian goddess Isis at a masked ball, but she vanished into the night before he could learn her real name. It’s just as well, since the Blakemore Curse makes love a dangerous and deadly emotion for him. But the erotic night he spent with his mysterious lover makes him want to throw caution aside-if only for one more night with his masked goddess.

Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex with a hero whose torment equals that of Jane Eyre’s Mr. Rochester.

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(Comrades in Arms, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

The truth behind the hero.

Officer Jack Trestain may have been one of Wellington’s most valued code-breakers but since Waterloo, he’s hung up his uniform. If only he could just as easily put aside the tortured memories he carries deep within…perhaps enchanting French artist Celeste Marmion might be the distraction he so desperately craves.

Except Celeste harbours secrets of her own and questions that she needs Jack’s help to solve! With Celeste’s every touch an exquisite temptation, how close can Jack get without revealing his darkest secret of all?

♥♥♥♥♥

This is the first book in Marguerite Kaye’s new Comrades in Arms mini-series and, from the first page, I was totally immersed in the emotionally charged story and her fascinating, flawed characters.

My Thoughts –

Jack Trestain was one of Wellington’s best code-breakers, lauded in the duke’s dispatches as a hero, but Jack knows that…

Heroes didn’t have stains on their soul.

Ms Kaye imbues her characters with such depth that I experienced everything Jack did…the horror of those recurring nightmares, his overwhelming sense of guilt, his grief, despair and fears.

There were times when he felt as if he were being literally torn in two. Times when he raged at the injustice of what was happening to him, times when he was overwhelmed with guilt. There was no right and wrong anymore, which had been one of clear-cut lines for so long, was now so blurred that he was careering around like a compass struggling to find true north.

At times, Ms Kaye really tugs at the heartstrings, particularly in the deeply emotional scene where Jack finally breaks down and reveals his long-hidden secret to Celeste. I couldn’t help but be moved by the raw, unguarded emotions.

The guilt is slowly eating away at him and he refuses to talk to anyone about it, bottling it up inside. He seems unaware of the effect his erratic temper is having on his brother, sister-in-law and particularly his young nephew.

It isn’t hard to sympathise with Celeste, estranged for so many years from a mother who treated her with heartless indifference, packing her off to boarding school at the age of ten She has grown into an independent, confident and intelligent woman who has carved a life out for herself as a landscape artist. Then to have the letter arrive, casting doubt on everything she believes to be true about her mother, throwing her “perfectly calm and perfectly orderly” life into turmoil She had taught herself over the years not to care but it resurrects all the hurt and anger she’s suppressed. She needs closure.

Maman’s life was an unfinished book. Celeste had to discover the ending, and then she could close the cover for ever.

I like how she refuses to be cowed by Jack’s erratic behaviour and is determined to help him.

Jack and Celeste’s journey is full of emotional, poignant, moving, dramatic and passionate moments and seeing them finally come to terms with their pasts and open their hearts to love was so rewarding. I’m sharing some of those moments.

This was the kind of kiss that would never end. Lips and tongues in a slow dance. Hands smoothing, stroking. Skin clinging, damp, heating.

~~~~
Celeste grabbed his arm. “You see, you are running away from the truth. Why won’t you talk about it?”

“Take your hands off me. Now.”

She had gone too far. She knew it would be insane to push him further, but she knew with certainty that was exactly what she was going to do. Celeste tilted her head and met his stormy eyes. “No.”

~~~~

But the pain, the tearing blackness, the white heat of his uncontrollable fury, the terror that made him run from himself, the sweats and the shakes, and the dull ache in his head, they were all too real.

~~~~

She kissed him to stop the words babbling out. She was in love. “Jack,” she said, because it was all she could trust herself to say. “Jack.” She loved him. She kissed his eyelids. She loved him.

~~~~

I love Ms Kaye’s attention to detail and her skillful weaving of fact with fiction. Her meticulous historical research is evident throughout the story.

VERDICT: Another beautifully crafted and emotionally satisfying love story from Marguerite Kaye.

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read February 2015

 

Comrades in Arms –

Seduced by the Soldier
(free on-line read available Here)

The Soldier’s Dark Secret

The Soldier’s Rebel Lover (Autumn 2015)

My sincere thanks to Marguerite Kaye who provided me with a complimentary copy of her book in return for an honest review.

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Source: ARC received from the author in return for an honest review.

Marguerite Kaye has has become of my  favourite authors since reading NEVER FORGET ME (My Review) and STRANGERS AT THE ALTAR (My Review). So I was thrilled when she asked me to review this book, the first of two full-length stories in her new Comrades in Arms series.

I love this gorgeous cover!

(Comrades in Arms, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

The truth behind the hero Officer Jack Trestain may have been one of Wellington’s most valued code-breakers, but since Waterloo, he’s hung up his uniform. If only he could just as easily put aside the tortured memories he carries deep within; Perhaps enchanting French artist Celeste Marmion might be the distraction he so desperately craves?

Except Celeste harbors secrets of her own, and questions that she needs Jack’s help to solve! With Celeste’s every touch an exquisite temptation, how close can Jack get without revealing his darkest secret of all?

Comrades in Arms

War heroes, heartbreakers & husbands?

Expected date of Publication: 1 March 2015

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You can read an excerpt on Marguerite’s website. Just follow this link:

http://www.margueritekaye.com/bookshelf-2/the-soldiers-dark-secret/tsds-excerpt/

There is also a prequel to this mini series, SEDUCED BY THE SOLDIER, which is a free on-line read on the Harlequin website. It is running in weekly instalments from January 5th through to February 23rd. Here is the link:

http://www.harlequin.com/articlepage.html?articleId=1968&chapter=1

 

 

Source: ARC received from the author in return for an honest review.

I think it was my lucky day today because I also received a copy of A SCOUNDREL BY MOONLIGHT, Book 4 in the Sons of Sin series by another of my favourite authors,  the fabulous Anna Campbell.

(Sons of Sin, #4)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Anything can happen in the moonlight . . .

Justice. That’s all Nell Trim wants-for her sister and for the countless other young women the Marquess of Leath has ruined with his wildly seductive ways. Now she has a bold plan to take him down . . . as long as she can resist the scoundrel’s temptations herself.

From the moment Nell meets James Fairbrother, the air positively sizzles. Yet for all his size and power, there’s something amazingly tender in his touch. Could he really be such a depraved rogue? The only way to find out is to beat the devil at his own game . . . one tempting kiss at a time.

Expected Date of Publication : 28 April 2015

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 I can highly recommend this series and if you would like to read my reviews of the other books in the series, here are the links:

SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BEDMy Review

A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISSMy Review

WHAT A DUKE DARESMy Review

 

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