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I’m delighted to welcome Award-Winning author ELIZABETH ELLEN CARTER to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Thank you so much for having me as a guest! I absolutely love your blog. You have the best reviews and interviews.

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

Elizabeth:
I’m a born and bred Australian but I don’t sound like it. My family is all from Yorkshire and my husband’s family is from Manchester! Growing up in Australia is wonderful. I still live in my home city of the Gold Coast which is a tourist city (perfect weather, beautiful beaches and rainforests), but it did feel like you’re so far away from the rest of the world. I love how the Internet can bring everyone so much closer.

elizabeth-ellen-carter-interview-childhood-photo
The photo is of my grandmother Pat on left, me at a few months old in the centre and my late mother Elizabeth (who was better known by her middle name of Ann) on the right. (My grandmother is still alive and is 92 in June). The photo was taken at Cascade Gardens, a man-made waterfall park in our city which is also home to one of our major war memorials to honour the Australians and New Guineas who fought the Japanese during WWII.

 

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

Elizabeth:
Definitely easy going. Life’s too short to be a stress bunny. I live by the Serenity Prayer.


R&R:

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

Elizabeth:
Definitely both. And over Christmas I indulged in both too much. Sigh – back on the treadmill we go. There’s no shortage of new flavours to try. We have some great restaurants in our neighbourhood. I love some of fresh Thai flavours – especially if there is ginger in there (Yum!)

 

R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Elizabeth:
Oh, that’s a tough one! I’m presuming husbands don’t count, so I’ll have to say my vintage Gold Coast souvenir collection. It started as a joke between my husband and I. We were on holidays and walked into a country antique store and saw a 1940s dish with a scene from the Gold Coast, so we thought we’d take it back ‘home’. One thing led to another and I have more than 100 pieces in my collection including a postcard from 1915.

 

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

Elizabeth:
Hmmm, I think on the coast of Wales would be lovely, or perhaps Cornwall. I love the sea and having a holiday home in the UK would mean research would be easier to do first hand and Europe and US being relatively short plane flights away would be wonderful!

 

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

Elizabeth:
Oh, I have many embarrassing moments, it’s so hard to isolate just one. Let’s see… When I was 16 I was running late for the school bus one afternoon. I turned to look behind me and collided head on with a pole and landed flat on my back in front of everyone. That was pretty embarrassing…

~~~~~~

 

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

Thank you so much for having me as a guest Carol! Hopefully my dream of a Welsh holiday house will come true and I can visit you in person.  🙂


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

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

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I haven’t posted my additions for a while and so there are quite a few. 

Source: Giveaway Prize

(Whitechapel Wagers, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

Set against the backdrop of London’s dangerous East End in 1888, Victorian propriety and passions collide when a beautiful widow makes a wager with a wounded police detective obsessed with solving the Ripper mystery.

Burned by love and estranged from his family, Detective Sergeant Benjamin Quinn has become obsessed with solving the Ripper crimes. When he’s suspended from the Metropolitan Police, it’s another failure in a long line of disappointments. But a new mystery arises when a beautiful widow shows up at the most infamous pub in Whitechapel seeking his help. He’s determined to assist Kate Guthrie, and equally determined to quell his growing attraction to her.

Kate Guthrie hides painful secrets from her first marriage and has avoided matrimony for nearly ten years. Now she’s finally decided it’s time to remarry and move on with her life, even if it means giving up the charity clinic work in Whitechapel that makes her days worthwhile. But when a battered young woman turns up at the clinic claiming to have been attacked by Jack the Ripper, Kate seeks out Detective Sergeant Benjamin Quinn, a man who sparks feelings in her too potent to deny.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(A Lady Forsaken, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

**Warning: Not every story of love has a happy ending**

A man willing to sacrifice all…

Andrew Penton, The Marquis of Drake, is a man used to getting all he desires, for nothing in return. But when a mysterious woman catches his eye, he’s helpless to do anything but offer her all he is.

A woman determined to take everything…

Lady Lorelei de La Valette, daughter of the French Comte of Epernon, is new to London society and not the lady she appears to be. Her life has been controlled since birth, yet she’ll have to decide if her destiny lies with her country or her heart.

A love lost forever…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(The Renegade Royals, #2.5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

He’s the man behind the mission to track down the illegitimate children of England’s Royal Princes and help them get their due. But his deepest desire is far more personal…

Magnificent and stubborn. Fourteen years apart had not changed Chloe Steele, or Dominic’s love for her. He’d been a street urchin, a boy raised at court, and finally a magistrate, yet he’d never belonged anywhere—except by her side. Now Chloe devoted herself to girls threatened by scandal—like she had been. But she was in danger, and Dominic was determined to help—and hopefully make up for lost time…

Even in childhood, Dominic had made Chloe feel safe. Now she also felt thrillingly flustered by the powerful man he’d become, and by the longing he inspired. Because Dominic meant not only to protect her, but to untangle the lies that had separated them. Yet for Chloe, surrendering to temptation may be easier than risking a future that could ruin them both…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

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

(Must Love Rogues, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Georgian – 1805)

Cover Blurb:

A Lady Ready for Battle:
Miss Harriet Manning once made the mistake of falling completely, totally, and irreversibly in love with a duke’s son. It’s a mistake she won’t repeat twice. Truly. Especially since he abandoned her just when they were about to elope to Gretna Green. Five years later, Harriet hasn’t forgotten the way Lord Garret’s smoldering gaze and wicked sense of humor touched her soul. Still, there’s no way she’ll forgive the traitorous libertine, no matter how he stirs her passions. Now, Harriet is determined to show him she doesn’t care, and never did, by making merry right under his nose but a tragic turn of events at her cousin’s wedding has her wondering if just maybe, love deserves one last chance.

A Lord Who Lost His Heart:
Lord Garret Hart, second son of a duke and now brother to the present Duke of Huntsdown, is never ever EVER getting married. Bachelorhood is for him. After all, women are the very devil. Especially one woman. Miss Harriet Manning is Garret’s own personal Medusa and she has turned his heart to stone. Indeed she has, but not before she absolutely ripped it to shreds, leaving him a complete wreck. Nothing will ever induce him to matrimony or nauseating protestations of boyish love again. But when he is forced into close proximity at his brother’s wedding with the woman who first taught him to dream and see the world as a wondrous place, sparks flash and passions explode. Still, Harriet is not to be trusted. She callously betrayed him once. So how can he ever allow himself another chance at love when love always seems to hurt so much?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Source: Received as a gift from the author

Genre: Historical Romance (Georgian – 1790)

Cover Blurb:

Revolution in France, rebels in England, and one woman caught in the crossfire…

For her unwitting participation in a plot to embezzle the Exchequer, Lady Abigail Houghall has spent the last two years exiled to the city of Bath. A card sharp, sometime mistress, and target of scandalous gossip by the London Beau Monde, Lady Abigail plots to escape her gilded cage as well as the prudish society that condemns her. But the times are not easy. France is in chaos. The king has been executed, and whispers of a similar revolution are stirring in England. And because of her participation in the robbery plot, the Spymaster of England is blackmailing her into passing him information about the members of London’s upper crust.

When the dashing English spy Daniel Ridgeway takes a seat at her card table and threatens to expose her for cheating, she has no choice but to do as he demands: seduce the leader of the revolutionaries and learn what she can about their plot. As she’s drawn deeper into Daniel’s dangerous world, from the seedy backstreets of London to the claustrophobic catacombs of a war-torn Paris, she realizes an even more dangerous fact. She’s falling in love with her seductive partner. And the stakes of this game might just be too high, even for her.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Source: Giveaway prize

Genre: Comtemporary Romance

Cover Blurb:

When Verity Peters’ boss, Marco Philippi, asks her to translate an urgent document before she heads off to the staff Christmas party, the last thing she expects…or wants…is to be trapped in the elevator with this distant man.

But is Marco really the cold man she thought he was? Can one night in Tuscany lead to a lifetime?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Source: Giveaway prize

(The Grooms, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Widower Lord Patrick Ramsey, Viscount Drakely, fell in love and married at eighteen only to be devastated by losing her as she bore his third daughter. Now, as his girls are getting older he realizes they need a mother—and a governess. Not able to decide between the two which they need more, he marries an ordinary young lady from the local village in hopes she can suit both roles. But this ordinary young lady isn’t so ordinary after all, and he’ll either have to take a chance and risk his heart once more or wind up alone forever.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

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Genre: Historical Romance (Medieval – 11th Century)

Cover Blurb:

A shared secret from their past could destroy their future…

Northumbria, 1077. In the years following William the Conqueror’s harrying of the North, Lady Alfreya of Tyrswick returns to her family home after seven years in exile. But instead of returning victorious as her dead father had promised, she returns defeated by Baron Sebastian de la Croix, the Norman who rules her lands.

To save her gravely ill brother’s life, Alfreya offers herself hostage to her enemy. As Alfreya gets to know her new husband, she finds he’s not the monster she feared, and their marriage of convenience soon becomes a bond of passion. But Sebastian is a man with a secret—one that could destroy him.

As a series of brutal murders haunt their nights, the man who betrayed Alfreya’s father returns claiming to be her betrothed. He has learned Sebastian’s secret and will use it to further his own ambition—using Sebastian’s own family—which will destroy Sebastian and mark him a traitor, and plunge an unprepared England into war with the Scots…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Set during the years following the Norman Conquest, Warrior’s Surrender isn’t my usual reading fare but I thoroughly enjoyed this masterful blend of action, romance and intrigue.

I like how the events of the Prologue are to have far-reaching consequences later in the story.

While Sebastian is everything I would expect of a conquering Norman lord…powerful, proud, strong and courageous, he is also just and compassionate. These qualities have earned him not only the loyalty of his own men but also the respect of the people of Tyrswick.

Bold, strong-willed and passionate, Frey is the perfect heroine for Sebastian. She commands her men with the temperament and strength of a warrior but I also saw a softer side in her obvious love for her young brother Brice and her concern for her men’s safety.

I enjoyed watching the romance developing between Sebastian and Frey. The initial mistrust and antagonism seem realistic given the circumstances but there is a real sense of the attraction simmering between them. I like how Ms Carter allows us to see Sebastian’s compassion and tenderness and I especially love the scene where he gives Frey’s brother a kitten. It was easy to understand why Frey falls in love with him. It was refreshing to see them openly admit their love for each other…a love that remains strong.

There is plenty of action and even a touch of the supernatural which adds an interesting layer to the story. Ms Carter gathers together an interesting cast of secondary characters but the one who really stands out is the villainous, cunning and truly diabolical Drefan …a formidable enemy indeed.

Ms Carter’s extensive historical research is evident in the details that are subtly interwoven throughout the story. They brought this turbulent period vividly to life for me.

My Verdict: A compelling tale of honour, passion, love and betrayal. Definitely recommended.

 

REVIEW RATING: 4.5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

Read June 2015

**My sincere thanks to Elizabeth Ellen Carter for sending me with a copy of this book in return for a honest review.**

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Genre: Historical Romance (Georgian Era – 1790)

Cover Blurb

Secrets, scandal, and passion…

Selina Rosewall had given up on love, but while helping her brother further his merchant fleet business, she meets Sir James Mitchell, Lord of Penventen. Their attraction is mutual, but what James wants from the relationship goes further—much further—than Selina could have expected. And she learns that in the world of the Ton, scandal and deceit are commonplace.

For Sir James Mitchell, Lord of Penventen, it’s hard to say which is more dangerous: being a spy or being considered husband material by the Ladies of the Ton. With political machinations threatening to draw England into the violent wake of the French Revolution, the last thing James expected was to fall in love with Selina Rosewall, daughter of an untitled seafaring family. But when James’ investigation stirs up a hornet’s nest, can he protect Selena from danger that threatens her very life?

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

MOONSTONE OBSESSION is Elizabeth Ellen Carter’s Historical debut novel and I loved this charming romance with an intriguing historical setting.

James and Selina are such a delightful couple. James has all the qualities of a wonderful hero… handsome, kind, intelligent, witty, honourable and protective of those he loves. Selina is bookish with a love of painting and drawing and a taste for political tracts and business newsletters.

The love story between these two is tender, passionate and romantic. I like how, from the initial attraction, their relationship develops gradually…friendship, talking and discovering how much they have in common. Their falling in love seemed natural and inevitable.

He was fulfilled in a way he never thought possible just six months ago, and all because of this remarkable young woman by his side.

But now she wasn’t alone. She was one half of a whole and James knew her. She was still learning to rely on his strength.

I enjoyed seeing James and Selina work together to uncover the traitor and especially loved the way in which Selina’s drawing ability and knowledge of French played such an important part.

The love scenes are deliciously sensual and one of my favourites is where Selina is washing and she doesn’t realise that James has entered the room. Of course, it is too much of a temptation for James to resist helping her…

Her feet shifted and her hips swayed, chasing the sponge with small movements as it washed across her belly and then hips before its fluid warmth slid across her thatch of curls.

There is quite an array of secondary characters including American Toby Jackson, James’s friend and confidante, the cheating and conniving Lady Abigail and the iniquitous Viscount Canalissy. My favourite is the straight-talking Lady Margaret, James’s grandmother…

“Very well…If you marry Abigail, I’ll disinherit you as the idiot wastrel progeny of your easily led father and your avaricious, vacuous, social-climbing mother.”

I enjoyed the way in which Ms Carter incorporates real historical people like William Pitt into the story together with the fictional character of Sir Percy Blakeney.

Revolutionary France provides a fascinating backdrop to this tale of intrigue, danger and suspense and the carefully researched historical details lend the story realism. I love Ms Carter’s writing style; it flows smoothly and her vivid imagery made it easy to picture the scenes.

When she moved, smaller bows in the same color fluttered and danced like butterflies across the expanse of pleated fabric on the skirt.

Lines of liquid gold shimmered hypnotically on the waves falling toward the shore.

There is also some delightful dialogue.

This was a very impressive debut novel and I will certainly be reading more of Ms Carter’s books.

REVIEW RATING: 4.5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read January 2014
My sincere thanks to Elizabeth Ellen Carter for providing me a copy of her book in return for an honest review.

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MOONSTONE OBSESSION BY ELIZABETH ELLEN CARTER

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

Genre: Historical Romance (Georgian)

Official Blurb 

Secrets, scandal, and passion…

Selina Rosewall had given up on love, but while helping her brother further his merchant fleet business, she meets Sir James Mitchell, Lord of Penventen. Their attraction is mutual, but what James wants from the relationship goes further—much further—than Selina could have expected. And she learns that in the world of the Ton, scandal and deceit are commonplace.

For Sir James Mitchell, Lord of Penventen, it’s hard to say which is more dangerous: being a spy or being considered husband material by the Ladies of the Ton. With political machinations threatening to draw England into the violent wake of the French Revolution, the last thing James expected was to fall in love with Selina Rosewall, daughter of an untitled seafaring family. But when James’ investigation stirs up a hornet’s nest, can he protect Selena from danger that threatens her very life?

When I read the cover synopsis and an excerpt from Ms Carter’s debut novel, I jumped at the chance of reviewing it.

★✩★✩★✩★

IT HAPPENED UNDER THE MISTLETOE BY VALERIE BOWMAN

Source: Bought from Amazon Kindle

(Secret Brides #3.5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Official Blurb 

First in an exclusive Can happily ever after begin with one Christmas kiss?

It Happened Under the Mistletoe is a brand-new holiday novella from award-winning author Valerie Bowman!

When Oliver Townsende escapes to his friend’s house for a Christmas party, he intends to avoid the hordes of marriage-minded misses who have been dogging his steps in London ever since he inherited a dukedom. He soon learns a bit of Yuletide peace and quiet is too much to ask for. When he encounters Miss Cerian Blake, who’s dodging her own unwanted set of admirers, the two decide to join forces and fake an infatuation to keep their suitors at bay. But when a bough of mistletoe becomes involved, will their Christmastime prank turn into a love to last all seasons?

I couldn’t resist this novella to add to my December Christmas reading.

★✩★✩★✩★

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

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