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Posts Tagged ‘Delightful Heroine’

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

No man, gentleman or otherwise, has ever looked at Lady Edwina Bollash the way the brash, handsome man standing before her is doing now. Edwina has accepted the challenge to transform incorrigible Mick Tremore into a gentleman in just six weeks. And although the linguist is sure she can rise to the task, she isn’t at all certain she won’t swoon under his frankly sensuous gaze before her job is done.

Mick has lived outside of London society long enough to know that appearances can be deceiving. Edwina might look all buttoned up-the perfect English lady-but there is unleashed passion existing just below her placid facade (not to mention a great pair of legs!). And as she prepares him to take his place in society, Mick prepares Edwina to take her place in his heart…and in his bed.

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WOW!  WHAT A FABULOUS BOOK! IT IS DEFINITELY ONE OF MY TOP PICKS FOR THIS YEAR!

I was totally captivated by this book…by the fresh working of the “Pygmalion” story, the lyrical writing and sparkling dialogue, the unforgettable characters and the wonderful romantic chemistry. In fact, everything blended so perfectly.

MICK TREMORE

Mick is such a unique and wonderful hero…handsome, charming, honest, hard-working and so sexy in an earthy way.  He is a very caring person , sending most of his money back to Cornwall to support his ten younger siblings. That care extends to his dogs and ferrets as well and it was touching to see his genuine concern for his old and frail ferret, Freddie.

I couldn’t help but be swept away by his positive attitude and carefree enjoyment of life – “Miss Bollas, life be rich. Why don’t you bite yourself off a piece?”  

EDWINA BOLLASH

It was refreshing to have a heroine who doesn’t conform to the standard mold. Winnie is a 6ft tall, bespectacled, gawky, 29 year old spinster, who sees herself as unattractive and has no romantic expectations. She is strong and capable but with vulnerabilities that make her such a sympathetic character.

The daughter of the Marquess of Sissingley, she once lived a life of wealth and position until her father died and a distant cousin inherited the marquisate. Left to fend for herself, she makes ends meet by tutoring private students in elocution and deportment. Her father had been a linguistics scholar of some stature and she too had developed an interest in people’s speech.

THE ROMANCE

The romance between Mick and Winnie was funny, sweet, poignant and passionate and I loved sharing every moment. If I was asked to pick a favourite scene, it would have to be where Winnie suggests that Mick shaves off his mustache. The mustache isn’t going without something in return…after all it is an outward symbol of his “lionhearted virility“. For a man with a fetish for long, long legs, there is only one bargaining chip…

“Hop up here, loov. Let’s see what’s under those skirts.”

What follows is one of the best sexually charged scenes I have ever read. Brilliantly done.

I enjoyed seeing how each of them grows and changes in the course of the story, Winnie most of all. Mick opens up a world of fun and passion to her and nothing exemplified the changes in her more than the scene in the Bull and Tun tavern where she lets go of her all inhibitions.

How grand! Oh, how grand it was simply to do what she felt like doing! How grand to be alive tonight!

I loved how Mick adored Winnie and saw only beauty in her irregular features..who wouldn’t love a man like that!

Pretty faces are a guinea a dozen. So predictable. I’m tired of pretty faces already. Your face, though, I’d never tire of.”

Like other reviewers, I was disappointed by the rather conventional ending but it did not detract from the sheer pleasure of reading this story.

MY VERDICT: A MUST READ FOR ANYONE WHO LOVES HISTORICAL ROMANCE!


REVIEW RATING:  STELLAR 5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING:  HOT

Read April 2015

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(Duke’s Club, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance

Cover Blurb:

Lady Imogen Cavendish loves making merry. After surviving years of marriage to an old man, having seized her freedom seems the only intelligent thing to have done. Even so, years of dancing her way through parties has lost its’ luster and all she wants now is to spend most of the year on the small estate she’s purchased in Scotland. There’s just one thing. Her neighbor is an infuriating, superior, and exceptionally handsome duke!

An Arrogant Duke Who Knows It All:

Duncan Hamish Fergus, Tenth Duke of Blackburn, does everything right. Duty might as well be his middle name. After his father very nearly ruined his mother and sister’s life, Duncan is determined to never let the family name be tarnished again. Sacrificing his own pleasure seems a small price to pay until he meets the mad capped English woman, Lady Cavendish. In all his years on the path of righteous, no woman has ever tempted him to stray into sin, but no woman has ever been as mischievous or voluptuous as his saucy sassenach neighbor.

Can Imogen teach the oh so proper duke how to have a little fun or will two hearts be broken by propriety?

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I LOVED THIS BOOK! Romantic, sexy and funny, it was totally enchanting from start to finish.

How I imagine Duncan…

Once…years ago, he’d been like them. Making jokes. Smoking, drinking, making merry, as they put it. But he’d let that go. Unlike them, he took being a duke very seriously.

Duncan had watched his womanising, drunken, gambler father almost ruin the family and its good name with his profligate ways. He fears that any slight slip from a life of sobriety could send him down the same slippery path as his father and it terrifies him. Refusing to be fodder for the village gossips, Duncan is the epitome of everything that is proper until the fateful day he meets his lively Sassenach neighbour, Lady Imogen Cavendish.

How I imagine Imogen

…she’d learned that pleasure could easily be had without love. The years since her marriage had proved it time and again, and she’d enjoyed every moment without a second thought.

Ever since her elderly husband’s death, Imogen has enjoyed her freedom and lived boldly without any regrets. Her sense of fun, kind nature and winning smile brighten everyone around her. But she has begun to grow discontent with her carefree life and longs for the sort of love that her friends share with their husbands. Life takes an unexpected turn when she meets her handsome neighbour, the ever so proper Duke of Blackburn. Imogen is sure the man obviously needs some fun in his life.

I imagined the initial meeting between the “grumpy” Duncan and the effervescent Imogen would be memorable. In fact, it is one the most memorable hero/heroine first meetings I’ve read in a very long time. Here’s a taster of this wickedly delightful scene.

“I adore it,” she continued, clearly unaware of his state of torture. “I don’t know why more men don’t wear them. They seem to be far more practical for a man’s. . . um. . . Well, they’re more practical.”
At that, he could no longer suppress his groan. He was discussing the freedom of a man’s cock in a kilt with a Sassenach noblewoman. Surely, he’d conked his head on a rock when he’d fallen. Yes. That had to be it.

As a couple, Duncan and Imogen are irresistable and their romance is such a perfect blend of great chemistry, simmering sexual tension, sparkling dialogue and highly sensual love scenes. Imogen’s sense of fun positively spills off the pages and it’s easy to understand why Duncan falls under her spell and eventually sees what a wonderful woman she truly is.

Imogen wasn’t perfect. She was in many ways the opposite of it…And yet, somehow, that very thing made her the most perfect woman he’d ever met.

Duncan has never enjoyed Christmas. It had always been marred by his father’s drunkenness and then by his mother’s illness. So I loved the scene on Christmas Eve when, for the first time, he knew true joy. There is a poignant moment when Imogen puts a candle in the window and a small knitted baby shoe on the tree and it was so heart-breaking to hear the story of her loss. It made me love her even more because, despite her personal loss, she could still bring happiness to those around her.

As with the previous two books, there are some colourful secondary characters to “assist” our hero and heroine on their journey to a Happy Ever After.

~~~ the Duke of Aston who I love to bits:

“Oh, Aston is quite the character. The man is mad as a loon, a retired pirate if you must know but he’s quite good fun.”

~~~ the powerful and seductive Duke of Roth

~~~ The very pregnant Cordelia and Kathryn who threaten to pop at any moment and their respective doting husbands, the Duke of Hunt and the Duke of Darkwell.

~~~ Duncan’s impulsive sister, Lady Rosamund who frequently subjects him to “the eye”:

It was the ability to look at one with such disbelief it verged on disgust. If it had taken physical form, it would have been a slap upside the head.

When the Dukes’ Club get together you can be assured of some great banter and, as Duncan finds out to his cost, never trust your so-called friends’ advice regarding matters of the heart, especially when they are all three sheets to the wind!

The Epilogue provides a joyous end to Imogen and Duncan’s story and a hint of whose book might be next.

Engaging writing, lively characterisation and great dialogue make this a thoroughly entertaining romance. Highly recommended.

REVIEW RATING : 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read March 2015

The Duke’s Club series so far (click on the book covers for more information):

Once Upon a Duke (Duke's Club, #1) by Eva Devon Dreaming of the Duke (Duke's Club, #2) by Eva Devon Wish Upon A Duke (Duke's Club, #3) by Eva Devon

**A special thank you to Eva Devon for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review. It was an absolute delight.**

NOTE: EVA DEVON ALSO WRITES AS MÁIRE CLAREMONT

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(Scandalous Seasons, 1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Hopeless romantic, Lady Emmaline Fitzhugh, is tired of sitting with the wallflowers, waiting for her betrothed to come to his senses and marry her. When Emmaline reads one too many reports of his scandalous liaisons in the gossip rags, she takes matters into her own hands.

War-torn veteran, Lord Drake devotes himself to forgetting his days on the Peninsula through an endless round of meaningless associations. He no longer wants to feel anything, but Lady Emmaline is making it hard to maintain a state of numbness. With her zest for life, she awakens his passion and desire for love.

The one woman Drake has spent the better part of his life avoiding is now the only woman he needs, but he is no longer a man worthy of his Emmaline. It is up to her to show him the healing power of love.

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FOREVER BETROTHED, NEVER THE BRIDE is the first book I have read by Christi Caldwell and I was totally captivated by this charming, romantic, funny and poignant story.

Drake resents the fact that his future had been mapped out for him since he was a young boy. Desperate to escape the exacting expectations imposed by his father, he enlists in the army only to find himself caught up in the horrors of the Napoleonic war…a war that he can never forget.

He would never escape the war. His mind would forever remain on the bloody fields of battle.

Sleepless nights, hellish nightmares and bouts of lost self-control convince him that he is a madman. To retain a hold on sanity, he buries himself in mindless pursuits… drink and women…his relationships devoid of any emotional connection. He has no intention of marrying…he has no intention of submitting any woman to his dark nightmares. Although betrothed to Emmaline for fifteen years, their contact has been limited and, since his return from the war, he has deliberately avoided her. So he knows very little about Emmaline until one memorable encounter leaves him eager to find out more about his intriguing betrothed.

Wallflowers were content to be dull creatures seated on the sidelines, escaping any notice. They were not clever young ladies with cheeky retorts.

A little over 5 feet tall and lacking the requisite curves, Emmaline is considered rather unremarkable by the ton. Everyone knows she is betrothed and, therefore, honour dictates that no other gentleman can court her. Relegated to being a virtual wallflower and food for the gossips, she has suffered the indignities with only her dear friend, Sophie for moral support. Although she longs for a marriage full of love and passion, her strong sense of loyalty to her father makes her determined to fulfil her obligation and marry Drake. Drastic situations require drastic measures.

“There will be no more opera singers, ballet dancers, young widows, none of it. His days of carefree debauchery are officially at an end. He just doesn’t know it yet, but he will, beginning tonight.”

Oh, Emmeline is such a delightful heroine…mischievous, courageous and funny. Oh yes, she also talks to plants and reads Gothic novels. When she decides to ‘stalk’ Drake, I thought it was hilarious. My favourite scene is when she suddenly appears unannounced in his opera box, proceeds to rebuke him for his behaviour and then makes a dramatic exit, leaving Drake furious.

Drake sputtered around another mouthful of red velvet curtains as Lady Emmaline made her dramatic exit from his opera box. Cursing under his breath, he violently slammed the drapes down, back into place.

I even felt a little sorry for Drake…poor man didn’t know what hit him!

Emmaline’s compassion for and empathy with the soldiers she visits in the London Hospital has earned her their respect, admiration and loyalty. It also helps her to understand Drake and see beyond the protective barrier Drake has erected around himself to the emotionally scarred man beneath. She is perfect for Drake with her warmth, compassion and insight, she makes him laugh and feel alive again.

I love tormented heroes because they always have a tougher time on their road to a happy ending but, it makes their journey more satisfying to me as a reader. Drake’s struggle to confront his wartime experiences and not run from them adds a serious note to the story and the scene where he visits the London Hospital and talks to fellow soldiers is both poignant and heart-warming.

A wave of relief filled him. There was solace in knowing he was not alone – that there were others who shared his struggle.

I love the analogy Emmeline’s brother, Sebastien draws between her old bonnet and Drake and it was a charming touch at the end when Sebastien says to a confused Drake…

“Tell Emmeline to throw out the bonnet I’d given he. Tell her I said her bonnet is just fine.”

Ms Caldwell has gathered an interesting cast of secondary characters, all begging for their own stories; Drake’s best friend, the straight-talking, witty Lord Sinclair (I loved their banter); Emmaline’s bubbly friend and confidante, Sophie Winters and Emmeline’s haughty, over-protective brother Sebastian, Duke of Mallen (he doesn’t stand a chance when Emmeline and their mother gang up against him). There is one more important character I must mention – a little, scruffy, black puppy called Sir Faithful.

Overall, this was an engaging story written with warmth, wit and style and I will definitely be reading the other books in the series.

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read September 2014

Scandalous Seasons series (click on the covers for more details):

Forever Betrothed, Never The Bride (Scandalous Seasons, #1) by Christi Caldwell Never Courted, Suddenly Wed (Scandalous Seasons) by Christi Caldwell Always Proper, Suddenly Scandalous (Scandalous Seasons Book 3) by Christi Caldwell Always a Rogue, Forever Her Love (Scandalous Seasons Book 4) by Christi Caldwell

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(The Rumor, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

He’s a fighter, not a lover.
But that’s about to change…

Lady Imogene Norwood lives a sheltered life of quiet respectability and routine…until she debuts at her first Season. There among London’s elite she meets the wild and broken Lord Atwood. And the very shy English rose suddenly realizes that a little chaos might just be what her heart desires.

Lord Nathaniel James Atwood doesn’t believe true love exists. Since scandal tore him away from his family at an early age, he has spent his life fighting for what he wants. That attitude has made him a rising star in bare-knuckle boxing, and now leads him back to London to reclaim the life that was stolen from him. But upon meeting the innocent Imogene, his beliefs are trounced…as guarding his heart against her proves to be the fight of his life.

Personal Note: This book can be read as a standalone but there are some scenes which are mirrored in Forever and a Day (book 1) and Forever a Lady (book 2) although seen from a different character’s point of view. These scenes might, therefore, seem confusing if you haven’t read the earlier books.

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An enthralling, gritty and emotionally charged story.

This is the last book in the addictive The Rumor series and we finally discover the truth of the mystery surrounding Lord Nathaniel Atwood’s kidnapping and what happened to him during all the years he was presumed dead.

Nathaniel’s experiences…being locked in a windowless cellar for five years, his father’s betrayal and abandonment of him and the years spent surviving the dangers of New York’s notorious Five Points…have left him with deep emotional scars and a scandalous secret he can never share. Caught between two worlds…’He was neither fop nor street boy‘…he has never felt that he truly belongs anywhere. He enjoys sex but love isn’t an emotion he has ever felt or wanted to. Boxing is the only thing in his life that makes sense…it is what kept him alive on the streets of Five Points. Beneath that tough exterior, Nathaniel’s heart is in the right place. Together with his friend, Matthew Milton, he created the Forty Thieves and is committed to protecting those vulnerable people living in the slums.

Imogene is an unusual heroine. The abuse she suffered at the hands of her governess when she was a child has left her with health problems…fainting spells and a stutter. She is tired of being defined by her illness and longs to be independent and, therefore, no longer a burden to her brother, Henry. Imogene knows the sacrifices Henry has made to ensure she gets the medical treatment she needs and she longs to see her brother happy.

Delilah Marvelle’s stories are always refreshingly different and her characters infinitely fascinating. The brawny, tough, bare-knuckle boxing Nathaniel seems an unlikely pairing for the sweet, innocent, fragile Imogene who is twenty years his junior, but Ms Marvelle makes their romance work so beautifully. Imogene reveals a maturity beyond her years when she shows Nathaniel the patience, understanding and respect that he has never known before. I love how protective Nathaniel is of Imogene and how he gives her a sense of worth and confidence in herself so she no longer has to rely on others. Nathaniel’s desire to be in control all the time extends to the bedroom and adds some spice to the love scenes. I enjoyed seeing him come to love and trust Imogene enough to relinquish that control.

The boxing scenes are so visually compelling and Ms Marvelle conveys the brutal reality of the fights so powerfully.

I guessed the reason for Nathaniel’s kidnapping before it was actually revealed but there is a very dramatic scene towards the end of the book which I certainly didn’t anticipate.

The Epilogue provided the perfect ending to the series.

How I Imagine Nathaniel…

How I Imagine Imogene…

Memorable Moments

Everything about him was so beautifully raw and real. She didn’t realize a man could make a woman’s toes curl in her own slippers.
It was divine. He was divine.

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Now take your fancy prick of a wig and get him before I put your liver into your hand and make you swallow it through your nostrils.”

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“You underestimate a woman’s worth and her ability to redefine a man. A woman can give you hope in a world that has none. She can fight for you when you have ceased fighting for yourself and everything you believe in.”

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“I’m trying to save your pretty ass from getting spanked.”
Her brow creased. “You shouldn’t use words like that. Or tea is out of the question.
” He rolled his eyes. “Unless tea involves you fully naked with your arms tied behind your back, I’m not interested.”
She gasped. “No waltz for you, either.”

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God, but she was stealing away pieces of his heart. A heart he didn’t know he had to give.

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I am sad to see the end of this series but I will be eagerly waiting to see what other reading pleasures Delilah Marvelle has in store for me.

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read August 2014

The Rumor series (click on the books for more details):

Important Note from Ms Marvelle’s Website:

Bonus Chapters from Forever Mine that were not included in this Prequel Novella are available for free download. These two bonus chapters are the untold story of what happened to Nathaniel from Augustine’s point of view. The publisher removed these two chapters from Forever Mine, despite my insisting upon their importance to the series and the novella. Which is why I am offering them for free. I feel this story and the entire series is incomplete without them, and in my opinion, are critical in understanding Nathaniel’s story whom the entire series is based on. I have provided the link to her website:
http://www.delilahmarvelle.com/#!forever_mine/c19oc

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(Duke’s Club, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance

Cover Blurb

What a Widow Wants:

Everything is going swimmingly for Kathryn Darrell. She’s got an annuity of a hundred thousand a year, her lecherous-heart breaking husband has had the good graces to pop off, and best of all, she has her freedom– Something she has every intention of reveling in to the fullest. And who better to revel with than Ryder Blake, the infamous Duke of Darkwell?

A Duke’s Desire:

Ryder Blake, Duke of Darkwell, known as the Duke of Debauchery, is certain he will never love again. His heart lies buried with his wife and he has vowed to never give more than his body to a woman. But when Kathryn shows up on his doorstep, quite literally, demanding he show her the ways of London, he finds that his heart longs to love once again.

Expected publication date: July 7th 2014 by Bard Publications

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ONCE UPON A DUKE

Eva Devon gives us a wickedly delicious and sparkling cocktail, with just a hint of bitters.

 

Method

Add a large measure of Ryder Blake, the eleventh Duke of Darkwell…

a man with a reputation as the Duke of Debauchery and a tendency to act irrationally at times; a widower who has sworn never to let another woman into his heart.

Add an equal measure of Kathryn Darrell…

an independent-minded widow determined to experience true passion and pleasure for the first time.

Stir well then add

a dash of Jack Eversleigh, Duke of Hunt, Ryder’s incorrigible best friend…

always ready with a mocking quip and a saucy innuendo; has been known to sing My Wild Irish Rose while waving a peacock feather fan.

and

a dash of Imogen Cavendish , Kathryn’s rather scandalous best friend…

always ready with some juicy gossip and rather fond of handsome footmen and dark closets.

mix in

a soupçon of Grieves, Ryders’ rickety, bushy eye-browed butler

a large splash of scandalous goings on at risqué parties and heaven forbid…even at the Opera House!

copious amounts of witty dialogue and hilarious situations

a generous amount of smouldering love scenes

and finally add

a splash of angst

shake well


FOR A SIGH-WORTHY HAPPY ENDING

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: SCORCHING HOT!

Read June 2014

 

A special thank you to Eva Devon for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review. I loved every page.

 

NOTE: EVA DEVON ALSO WRITES AS MÁIRE CLAREMONT

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I am spotlighting Frances Evesham’s debut novel AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN which is released today.


ABOUT THE BOOK


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Genre: Historical Mystery Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

With nothing left from her childhood except a tiny portrait of a beautiful woman, some skill with a needle, and the knowledge of a dreadful secret, Philomena escapes her tormentor, Joseph, and the dank fogs of Victorian London, only for a train crash to interrupt her quest for independence and freedom.

Trapped between the upstairs and downstairs occupants of a great country house, Philomena hears whispers of the mysteries and lies that lurk in empty corridors and behind closed doors. Her rescuer, the dangerous, enigmatic Hugh, Lord Thatcham, wrestles with his own demons and makes Philomena’s heart race, but she must fight her passion for she can never marry.

Haunted by her past, Philomena’s only hope of happiness is to confront the evil forces that threaten to destroy her.

Buy links:-

The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

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EXCERPT

A new light shone in the grey eyes as Lord Thatcham bent his head ever closer. She must move away. She begged her body to obey her. Instead, it leaned closer as though a magnet  pulled the two together. She could not resist.

“Philomena,” Lord Thatcham murmured. “Is that name real? Who are you? What brought you here to make me—” He stopped abruptly and straightened a little, searching Philomena’s face. He lingered on the black curls, the blue eyes, and then his gaze slid down to rest on her mouth. His lips parted. “You are very beautiful.”

Philomena could not speak. Her body, responding to the hitherto unknown power of male magnetism, yearned for the first touch. Lord Thatcham’s breath escaped in a rough gasp. He surrounded her, his arms gentle, and eased her body forward until Philomena felt his heartbeat in time with her own. Her eyes were half closed. His lips brushed gently, soft and warm, over her mouth. For an endless moment, she stayed quite still, beguiled by the spicy sharp taste of his lips. A charge electrified her body.

Then her head cleared. She gasped. Was she mad? This was Lord Thatcham, and she was nothing but a penniless waif in his power. He meant to have his way with her, just as Joseph had tried to do.

She tore herself away from the embrace. “How dare you.” Her voice shook with fury. “How dare you treat me so?”

Lord Thatcham’s arms fell away. Blood drained from his countenance, leaving the dark eyes aglow in a white face. He said not a word.


 
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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I write, collect grandsons and Victorian trivia. I love to smell rosemary and garlic as I cook with a glass of wine in one hand and a bunch of chillies in the other.

I’ve visited the Arctic Circle and seen the Northern Lights. One day I’ll get to see the penguins at the South Pole.

A speech therapist, a professional communication fiend and a road sweeper in the past, I also work in the criminal courts to uphold fair questioning of people with special needs. I believe it’s possible to speak all known languages using nothing but gestures, pictures and signs.

Writing psychological thrillers, historical romances and books on communication leaves enough time to enjoy bad jokes and puns and wish I’d kept on with the piano lessons.

Social Media Links:

Website :http://francesevesham.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frances.evesham.writer

Twitter: @FrancesEvesham

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THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

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Frances is kindly giving away a digital copy of AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN for your Kindle (or other reader). Don’t worry if you don’t have a Kindle because Frances can provide a PDF copy instead. To be eligible for the Giveaway, just leave a comment and your email address.

 The Giveaway will run for one week from June 11-18.

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MY REVIEW

I was surprised how much I enjoyed Frances Evesham’s debut novel considering it is a clean romance and I’m sure you all know how I love plenty of heat in my romances. Perhaps I was just in the mood for this charming blend of mystery and romance.

How I imagine Philomena…
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Orphaned Philomena had been raised by her guardian and employer, the kindly Samuel Tailor but, when he dies, she finds herself the object of the unwanted attentions of his vile son, Joseph. Desperate to escape from London and Joseph’s clutches, she disguises herself as a boy and boards a train for Bristol, determined to gain her independence and fulfil her dream of having a business of her own. However, fate steps in when the train she is travelling on crashes and she is rescued by the stern but fascinating Hugh Dainty, Lord Thatcham.

How I imagine Hugh...
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Hugh is still living with the aftermath of his disastrous marriage to Beatrice and her death in a riding accident. He has sworn never to be fooled by a woman again. All his energy has been put into restoring the hall and his estates…a legacy to pass onto his son, John. When he rescues a young ‘boy’ from the wreckage of a nearby train crash, his life will change in ways he never anticipated.

I admire Hugh for his forward thinking. He understands that the world is changing and is keen to embrace new ideas and I could just picture him drawing his plans for new machinery. He also respects those who have worked hard and made something of themselves.

I enjoyed watching Philomena stand up to Hugh, something that he’s not used to. I also admired her for fulfilling her dream of setting up her own business and her resolve to stop running away and finally confront the demons of her past.

It was heart-warming to see how Philomema’s influence enables Hugh to build a warmer relationship with his son, John.

Love for his son welled up in Hugh’s heart. John beamed so proudly, his eyes so full of mischief: such a small, happy child. Raising the boy should be a pleasure. Why had Hugh never seen it like that before.

The romance between Philomena and Hugh is beset by various obstacles along the way…deceit, distrust, dark secrets and fiendish villains before true love finally conquers all. As previously mentioned, there are no explicit love scenes but Ms Evesham does create a lovely sense of intimacy, which fits perfectly with the mood of the story.

She was alone with this man. Lord Thatcham’s face, so close, made her pulses race. She had never known such desire. Her eyes travelled across every feature, as if she would learn it by heart. Strong, sharp planes angled below deep grey eyes. Lines ran from nose to mouth. Forbidding and frightening, Lord Thatcham fascinated her.

I took an instant dislike to Hugh’s snobbish, interfering mother, the Dowager Lady Thatcham and loved the scene where Hugh gives her an ultimatum.

You have overreached yourself for the last time. For the future, you will stay out of my affairs, or you will no longer be welcome at Thatcham Hall.” Hugh turned on his heel. The Dowager watched, speechless, as he left.

I soon warmed to Hugh’s high-spirited sister, Selena, because she becomes a true friend to Philomena. She cares nothing for rank unlike her mother. I adore Hugh’s son, John, and his mischievous antics raised quite a few chuckles…

“I should perhaps add, my lord, that Master John has broken three pudding basins and severely damaged a silver sugar bowl by swinging the sword in a dangerous manner.”

The mystery surrounding Philomena’s past adds another intriguing layer to the story and the villains are suitably venomous.

I appreciated the historical details that give the story an authentic Victorian feel and I was interested to read on Ms Evesham’s website that the train crash, which features in the book, is based on a real incident.

Overall, this is definitely a book which will appeal to those who enjoy a sweet, clean romance, likeable characters and a perplexing mystery to solve. 


REVIEW RATING:  4/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING:  KISSES

Read June 2014

I would like to thank Frances Evesham for kindly providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review. 

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(Lost Lords of Pembrook, #3)

Genre:  Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

Only one woman can break through his heart of stone…

Three young heirs, imprisoned by an unscrupulous uncle, escaped—to the sea, to the streets, to faraway battle—awaiting the day when they would return to reclaim their birthright…

Lord Rafe Easton may be of noble blood, but survival taught him to rely only on himself and to love no one. Yet when he sets his eyes on Miss Evelyn Chambers, and earl’s illegitimate daughter, he is determined to have her, if only as his mistress.

After her father’s death, Evelyn Chambers never imagined she would be sold to the highest bidder, yet circumstances give her little choice except to accept the lord’s indecent proposal. Rafe is wealthy, as well as ruthless. Yet his coldness belies deep passion and deeper secrets. If she must be his, Evelyn intends to lay bare everything the Lord of Pembrook is hiding. But dark discoveries threaten to destroy them both until unexpected love guides the last lost lord home.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Lorraine Heath brings her Lost Lords of Pembrook series to a satisfying conclusion with this emotive, romantic and passionate story.

How I imagine Lord Rafe Easton….
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Nothing touched him, nothing bothered him. Nothing mattered.

I have been waiting for Rafe’s story and I knew it would be angsty. He was only ten years old, the youngest and most vulnerable of the three brothers who escaped that night and the one with the deepest emotional scars. His experiences have left him reclusive, cold and cynical; a man who cares for nothing or no one; a man with dark secrets he has never shared with anyone.

He’d been unable to stop thinking about her since he’d first seen her. She invaded his dreams, inhabited his thoughts, occupied his mind.

I loved watching Rafe trying so hard to deny his feelings for Eve when everything he does reveals just how much he really cares. He takes steps to return the sapphire necklace that her father bought her  nineteenth birthday to her and her father’s portrait for her. He always refuses to use his title but refers to himself as Lord Rafe Easton to get the respect Eve deserves from Madame Charmaine, the dressmaker. He never attends balls but is willing to take Eve to his brother’s ball simply because she wants to dance. Hardly the actions of a man who doesn’t care!

How I imagine Evelyn (Eve) Chambers…
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She possessed a determination, a strength of will that would have had her finding a way to avoid the rookeries.

Eve was so naïve and vulnerable at first having been protected from the harsher realities of life by her father. After her initial distress, I admired her for coming to terms with the reality of her situation and it was satisfying to watch her grow in strength, confidence and determination.

“Mistresses are supposed to take what they’re given and not question it.”
“Is that the law? Is there a law of mistresses somewhere, a book that solicitors study?”

I smiled everytime she stood up to Rafe and particularly when she flaunted his rules for being a mistress.

I loved her determination to make Geoffrey pay for what he did to her and I positively cheered when she confronted him with her head held high. Better still was the scene where she ploughed her fist into his face!

Ms Heath built the sexual tension so well. When Rafe agreed to allow Eve time to adjust to him, it created a delicious sense of anticipation, particularly as Rafe has difficulty keeping his hands off her. My favourite scene is where Rafe finally allows Eve to touch him. There is something so beautiful and sensual about it.

He held her, just held her, while she held him.
Marveled at the wonder of it. So much skin against skin. Silk to satin. Velvety warmth.

Couple kissing

Rafe has always struggled with feelings of anger and resentment towards his brothers for abandoning him. It was satisfying to finally see the seeds of reconciliation between Rafe, Sebastian and Tristan and, when Rafe is in danger, his brothers are prepared to do anything to find him. There is a lovely moment in the Epilogue when I knew that Rafe had finally come home.

Lord of Wicked Temptations delivered everything I look for in historical romance emotional, sensual and romantic; the perfect end to this wonderful series.  Highly recommended!


REVIEW RATING:   5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

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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