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(FBI/US Attorney, #1)

Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Cover Blurb:

Fate has thrown two sworn enemies…

Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308, where some hot-and-heavy lovemaking ends with a death. And of all the FBI agents in Illinois, it had to be Special Agent Jack Pallas who gets assigned to this high-profile homicide. The same Jack Pallas who still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago—and for nearly ruining his career.

Into each other’s arms…

Work with Cameron Lynde? Are they kidding? Maybe, Jack thinks, this is some kind of welcome-back prank after his stint away from Chicago. But it’s no joke; the pair is going to have to put their rocky past behind them and focus on the case at hand. That is, if they can cut back on the razor-sharp jibes—and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Thank goodness for my TBR Pile Challenge. Otherwise, a gem of a book like SOMETHING ABOUT YOU might have remained forever unread!

All the things I loved about this book:

Hot, sexy, alpha hero

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If you like your heroes in the form of a tall, dark, handsome, tough, protective FBI Special Agent, who can kill a man with a paperclip, then Jack Pallas is definitely your man. Oh, and in addition to being prone to scowling, he also rides a silver and black motorcycle…’definitely a bad-boy bike.’

Gorgeous, sassy, likeable heroine…

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Cameron Lynde is everything I look for in a heroine…confident, intelligent and bold. This Assistant U.S. District Attorney is known to be fearless and tenacious in the courtroom. Oh, and she wears ‘killer’ high heels.

Super sizzling chemistry…

This pair are definitely HOT! There is so much sexual tension that you could cut it with a knife. I love the scene where Jack is taking Cameron home on his motorbike and she starts thinking sex…

As they drove, nice and slow along the side streets, Cameron tried to pull her mind out of the gutter. But then they stopped at an intersection and she noticed how Jack’s hands worked the handlebar/ clutch thingy as he revved the engine—almost like a caress— and she began imagining other things his hands could caress, strong hands that could lift her up, hold her down, flip her over, pin her against a wall . . .

I smiled when Jack is constantly being turned on by the sight of Cameron’s camisole strap:

He stole another look, for security purposes , and watched as the sweater once again slid away from her collarbone, inching down, taunting him, teasing him, dipping lower and lower , revealing creamy ivory skin and that delicate gray silk strap he could rip away with his teeth.

When they finally get between the sheets, the temperature soars to boiling!

An array of engaging secondary characters…

I like Jack’s partner, Wilkins and Cameron’s friend Amy but I absolutely adore Collin, Cameron’s gay best friend.

Sparkling, snappy dialogue…

I love Ms James’s dialogue whether it is the initial biting exchanges between Jack and Cameron:

“I want to talk to a lawyer,” Cameron said.
“You are a lawyer,” he said. “And you’re not considered a suspect, so you’re not entitled to one, anyway.”
“What am I considered, then?” “
A person of interest.”
This was bullshit. “Here’s the deal: I’m tired and not in the mood to play games. So if you don’t start telling me what’s going on, I’m walking,” Cameron said.
Jack eyed her yoga sweats and Michigan T-shirt, looking unconcerned with her threats. Thank God she wasn’t still hanging out in her underpants.
“You’re not going anywhere.” He pulled the chair out and gestured. “Take a seat.”
“Thanks, but no. I think I’ll just stick with the plan where I walk out.” Before he could call her bluff, Cameron grabbed her purse and headed for the door. The hell with her stuff, she’d get it later. “It was nice catching up with you, Agent Pallas. I’m glad to see those three years in Nebraska didn’t make you any less of an asshole.”

or the banter between Collin and Cameron:

“You’re losing clothing every time you see him. At this rate, you’ll be naked in front of him before you know it.” Then the strangest thing happened.
Cameron blushed.
“I’m perfectly capable of keeping my clothes on around him, thank you,” she said, her cheeks tinged rosy pink.
Collin was intrigued. He couldn’t recall the last time he’d seen Cameron blush because of a guy.
The plot thickened.

The action and suspense…

I think Ms James creates the perfect balance between the romance and the action/suspense. The identity of the killer is revealed early in the story but I enjoyed the ensuing game of cat and mouse as they try to put the pieces together and uncover the killer before he can get to Cameron.

The movie mentions…

I love this homage to one of my favourite movies, Casablanca

Of all the murder and she-had-no-friggin’-clue-what-else-but-something-that-apparently-involved-the-FBI crime scenes in all the hotels in all of Chicago , Jack Pallas had to walk into this one.

and the reference to the Walls of Jericho scene from It Happened One Night.

Overall, I loved the sizzling, sexy romance, the razor-sharp humour and the exciting suspense elements and I will definitely be reading more books in this series.

 

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read March 2014

 

The FBI/US Attorney series (click on the covers for more details):

Something About You (FBI / US Attorney, #1) A Lot like Love (FBI / US Attorney, #2) About That Night (FBI / US Attorney, #3) Love Irresistibly (FBI / US Attorney, #4) It Happened One Wedding (FBI / US Attorney, #5)

 

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(League of Rogues #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

The League of Rogues takes what they want—but have they taken on too much?

For too long Miss Emily Parr has been subject to the whims of her indebted uncle and the lecherous advances of his repulsive business partner. Her plan to be done with dominating men forever is simple—find herself a kind husband who will leave her to her books.

It seems an easy enough plan, until she is unexpectedly abducted by an incorrigible duke who hides a wounded spirit behind flashing green eyes.

Godric St. Laurent, Duke of Essex, spends countless nights at the club with his four best friends, and relishes the rakish reputation society has branded him with. He has no plans to marry anytime soon—if ever. But when he kidnaps an embezzler’s niece, the difficult debutante’s blend of sweetness and sharp tongue make him desperate for the one thing he swears he never wanted: love.

Yet as they surrender to passion, danger lurks in Godric’s shadowed past, waiting for him to drop his guard—and rob him of the woman he can’t live without.

Product Warnings:
This novel includes a lady who refuses to stay kidnapped, a devilish duke with a dark past, and an assortment of charming rogues who have no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

**4.5  Roguish Stars**

 

I really enjoyed WICKED DESIGNS, Lauren Smith’s debut Regency Historical novel. This witty and entertaining romance features an emotionally scarred hero, a smart heroine and a loveable group of rogues.

Emily is a delightful heroine. She is smart, courageous and spirited enough to stand up for herself. I love her determination to outwit her captors and escape. She certainly keeps those five rogues on their toes!

Emily rammed an elbow backwards into her attacker’s stomach and began to wrestle free until he grabbed her arm. She swung about, striking him across the face with a balled fist. The man staggered back, leaving her free to dive inside the coach.

I enjoyed seeing her not only capture Godric’s heart but also the affection of the other members of the League of Rogues as well.

Godric is my favourite type of hero…arrogant and self-assured on the outside but hiding a wounded heart. His childhood experiences have made him avoid becoming emotionally involved and so he is unprepared for the feelings that Emily arouses in him. I enjoyed watching him gradually open up to the belief that love was possible.

He could never regret each kiss, each second that Emily’s touch reawakened the ghost of the man he used to be.

I LOVED the other four rogues Ashton, Cedric, Charles and Lucien. They didn’t seem like secondary characters because each one has his own distinct personality. I enjoyed the camaraderie between them and the sparkling dialogue. It’s apparent that Lucien and Horatia, Cedric’s sister, have a history and I’ll be intrigued to read their story.

Blankenship is creepy and menacing as the lecherous villain and I am not quite sure what to make of Miss Evangeline Mirabeau, Godric’s former mistress. Friend or foe? I’m not quite sure.

Favourite Romantic Quote

 “Emily, I know you won’t marry me. I know that. But I can’t live one more day without you. All I ask is that wherever you go, whatever you do, let me come with you. We can travel the world. Whatever you want, it will be yours. I just wish to be with you.”

WICKED DESIGNS is a delightful romance and a great introduction to what promises to be an excellent series.

 

REVIEW RATING: 4.5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

 Read January 2014

My sincere thanks to Lauren Smith for providing me with a copy of her book in return for an honest review.

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(Spindle Cove #4)

Genre: Historical Romance

Official Blurb 

Griffin York, the Duke of Halford, has no desire to wed this season—or any season—but his diabolical mother abducts him to “Spinster Cove” and insists he select a bride from the ladies in residence. Griff decides to teach her a lesson that will end the marriage debate forever. He chooses the serving girl.

Overworked and struggling, Pauline Simms doesn’t dream about dukes. All she wants is to hang up her barmaid apron and open a bookshop. That dream becomes a possibility when an arrogant, sinfully attractive duke offers her a small fortune for a week’s employment. Her duties are simple: submit to his mother’s “duchess training”… and fail miserably.

But in London, Pauline isn’t a miserable failure. She’s a brave, quick-witted, beguiling failure—a woman who ignites Griff’s desire and soothes the darkness in his soul. Keeping Pauline by his side won’t be easy. Even if Society could accept a serving girl duchess—can a roguish duke convince a serving girl to trust him with her heart?

★✩★✩★✩★✩★

There are just not enough superlatives to describe this book. ANY DUCHESS WILL DO has edged A WEEK TO BE WICKED into second place as my choice for the best book in this series. A ginormous feat considering how much I love Colin and Minerva!

There are so many things I love about this book, it’s difficult to know where to start but I’ll try.

The story blends all the magic of …

Pygmalion
Pygmalion

My Fair Lady (2)
My Fair Lady

and

Cinderella
Cinderella

The book is rich in humour and the sparkling dialogue provides so many memorable laugh-out-loud moments…

“Cor”. She unleashed her broadest country accent as she tipped her head to admire the curve of his tight, aristocratic arse. “I’ll have great fun with you on the wedding night.”

I love how Ms Dare tempers the lighter moments with moments that are so heart-rending…

When he tried to stand, he couldn’t. Grief seized like a savage, crippling pain. Like an auger drilling on his heart. It hollowed him out, left a round aching hole – one he knew would never be filled.

I adore Griff and Pauline. These two seem worlds apart but you know they are so right for each other. They are two parts of a whole and proof that true love will always find a way.

Pauline on Griff… The intruder was life-shattering, heart-muddling, oft-maddening Griff.

Griff on Pauline… Lord above. She had him enraptured to the point of drooling incoherence, and she had absolutely no idea.

This book has the most wickedly delicious, sizzlingly sexy, toe-curling love scenes ever! Chapter 21 should definitely come with a warning – READ AT YOUR PERIL! HIGHLY COMBUSTIBLE MATERIAL! 

I started out disliking Griff’s mother, the Duchess of Halford. After all what kind of mother drugs and kidnaps her own son! But her weakness for knitting misshapen items totally swayed my opinion but you’ll have to read the book to discover why!

I shed tears along the way; I hooted with laughter plenty of times; I sighed at the dreamy romantic moments; I nearly had to dowse myself with cold water at one point and finally I cheered for Griff and Pauline’s dreamy Happy Ever After.

Emerald Ring
She turned away burying her face in her apron. Griffin Eliot York, the eighth Duke Of Halford, was here, on his knees. For her. Ring in hand, with the whole village watching.

What else can I say about this book other than – FABULOUS! AMAZING! FANTASTIC! JUST AWESOME! IN A CLASS OF ITS OWN!

RATING: STELLAR 5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT!!

Read May 2013

The Spindle Cove Series (click on cover for more details):

A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1) Once Upon a Winter's Eve (Spindle Cove, #1.5) A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2) A Lady by Midnight (Spindle Cove, #3) Beauty and the Blacksmith  (Spindle Cove, #3.5) Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove, #4)

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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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The Rumour #1

Setting : New York City, New York, 1830 and London, 1831

Roderick Gideon Tremayne, the recently appointed Duke of Wentworth, never expected to find himself in New York City, tracking down a mysterious map important to his late mother. And he certainly never expected to be injured, only to wake up with no memory of who he is. But when he sees the fiery-haired beauty who’s taken it upon herself to rescue him, suddenly his memory is the last thing on his mind.

Georgia Milton, the young head of New York’s notorious Forty Thieves, feels responsible for the man who was trying to save her bag from a thief. But she’s not prepared for the fierce passion he ignites within her. When his memory begins to return, her whole world is threatened, and Roderick must choose between the life he forgot and the life he never knew existed.
…
★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★

I really love this book! It is original, delightfully funny and wickedly sexy. It has a wonderful array of richly drawn characters and just the right amount of drama and mystery to keep me intrigued.

What I love most loved about the book:-

 Setting

It is refreshingly to read a story set against the backdrop of 19th century New York and Ms Marvelle brings everything to life with her vivid images of the notorious Five Points.

He scanned the stretching width of the dank street. Cramped wooden buildings loomed in the surrounding darkness, murky-yellow lamps lighting broken windows stuffed with rags and heaven knows what else. Silhouettes of men and women lurked on the streets and hovered in doorways.

Story

Spoiler free – just a few teasers!

Silver buttons, Robinson Crusoe, a kiss, a vile little maggot, Forty Thieves, a faded brown leather patch, a coal bin, four and forty dollars, a water pail, a proposal, a newspaper, a waltz, a Duke, status and wealth, memories, duty, a crazy Five Points idea, a promise, a transformation, Miss Tormey, an elephant…

Georgia

How I imagine Georgia ~

In most romances, the hero takes centre stage but, in FOREVER AND A DAY, Georgia is definitely the star of the show in my opinion. I absolutely adore her.

I cheered when she gave one of the men helping to lift the injured Roderick some grief…

“You think it fun watchin’ a man bleed? Keep movin’ him, you lout. Lest I make you bleed.”

I giggled at the extreme measures she took to make the uncooperative Roderick look more disreputable…

“Damn you thrice into the pits of hell, woman.” He gestured rigidly toward himself, his face taut and his eyes ablaze. “Why did you think it necessary to ruin a perfectly fine linen shirt?” He was certainly prim for a man who thought he was a pirate. He couldn’t even swear right. “We’re improvisin’, is all. No one’s linen shirts look that snowy white where I live.”

I was touched by her vulnerability…

Tears rimmed her eyes, remembering those nights spent cradling her father’s clothes unable to breathe or think.

I liked how she was a force to be reckoned with…

I may be younger than you, Matthew, but I’m still legally your mother and I’m not afraid to take a crop to your head. So leave off. You hear?

I admired her sheer determination …

“She was naught more than a scrap he took in after finding her asleep in his coal bin, looking like the dirty angel she still is. At the time, she didn’t even know what the hell a quill was for. Now look at her. She outreads me, outwrites me, outwits me and even finds the men around these parts to be so damn stupid, she’s heading out west.”

I loved her for taking the initiative and fighting for the man she loves…

Nothing was going to come between her and her man. Nothing.

Georgia will definitely find a place amongst my favourite heroines.

Roderick

How I imagine Roderick ~

“Because I have faith you’ll not disappoint me or yourself. I have faith you’ve already learned how to be a better man but have yet to see it yourself.”

I think Georgia’s words are perfect to describe Roderick’s journey in this story. After he loses his memory, he’s able to rediscover his true self without the baggage of his past mistakes and the expectations of others. A man who is:

caring…

“…the man is genuinely compassionate and protective of others. Throughout his entire stay, he’s done nothing but lecture us on our inability to tend to patients and is always getting out of bed to assist others in the hall, despite having orders that he rest.”

generous…

Turning toward her, he held out the grouped banknotes between bare fingers. “Four and forty dollars to oversee your journey and your land. Take it.”

kind…

Refusing to watch the woman suffer, he quickly strode past the long line of women, set his pail down beside the pump with a clang and rounded the old woman. “Allow me. Please.”

compassionate…

Robinson’s hands trailed up her back, curving around her shoulders, and found their way up and into her unbound hair. Cradling her moist cheeks with his palms, his thumbs brushed away the tears still rimming her eyes. He tilted her face upward toward him.

selfless…

he would give her everything… by letting her go.

Roderick really is a hero worthy of Georgia.

Those Sexy Moments

Ms Marvelle delivers some pretty hot sex scenes and enough sexual chemistry to singe the pages of the book…

His eyes darkened. “Let me tell you what I want and what I need, and I can assure you, it doesn’t involve water.” He grabbed her hard by the waist and forcefully spun them around so fast, her heart popped.
He shoved her back against the wall, making her gasp.

Secondary Characters

The secondary characters certainly add depth the story; what with Georgia’s neighbour from hell, the piratical looking Matthew with the penetrating coal-black eyes and the dark, mysterious Coleman. The Duke of Wentworth, Roderick’s father, seems very different from the hero of FOREVER MINE. There’s a hardness to him now, but finding out just how much he had lost, how much he truly loves Roderick and would do anything to see him happy, made me adore him all over again.

The Epilogue

I have to mention how much I love the Epilogue. So delightful and so amusing as well!

My one niggle about the book:-

I did find the ending rather abrupt and the situation between Georgia and Roderick seemed to be left unresolved although their HEA is never in doubt.

However, I happened to read these comments from Ms Marvelle on Goodreads:

“If you felt like the book ended abruptly, I am ever so pleased to hear it! That means you wanted more and believe me, there is lots more.”

“Call it evil on my part, lol, but I promise, whatever questions were unanswered in FOREVER AND A DAY will be answered in FOREVER A LADY and FOREVER A LORD.”

Yes very naughty indeed Ms Marvelle!  But it worked because I’m reading Forever a Lady at the moment!

Filled with fascinating characters, bags of humour, sizzling love scenes, plot twists and romance, FOREVER AND A DAY is another winner from the talented Ms Marvelle!

RATING:  ★★★★½

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT!

Read February 2013

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CABOT #2

Setting: London, England, 1826

Julian Kane is back in town.

Once, as a girl of seventeen, beautiful, headstrong Portia Cabot saved the cursed life of the dashing vampire Julian Kane–who marked her forever, then left to go in search of his soul. He returns five years later to find the enchanting young girl he left behind grown into a bewitching woman with a woman’s heart . . . and a woman’s desires.

Portia quickly discovers that Julian’s seductive and forbidden kiss can still make her crave the night . . . and his touch. But the Julian who has returned to London is not the vampire she remembers. His fruitless pursuit of his stolen mortality has reduced him to drunken debauchery. And a recent spate of murders makes Portia fear that the man she has always adored may truly be a monster.

Julian knows he must drive Portia away–but his passion and hunger for her grow more irresistible every time they touch. For years he has fought the temptation to embrace his dark gifts, never realizing that Portia’s love may give him the most dangerous gift of all . . . a reason to live.

★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩

Note: This is the sequel to After Midnight and I would strongly recommend reading that book first. Events taking place in After Midnight are important to understanding the relationship between Portia and Julian in this story.

I just love this book!

Having read how much Teresa Medeiros loves Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I wouldn’t be surprised if that series wasn’t the inspiration for her two Cabot books!

Julian is one gorgeous, brooding, cynical, sexy, vampire and there’s something about a tormented hero that I just love. He has to struggle against his inner demons, always haunted by Duvalier’s taunts to fully embrace his vampire nature. Although he loves Portia, his past actions make him feel totally unworthy of her. It’s wonderful to see how protective he is towards her and the sacrifices he is willing to make to keep her safe. I absolutely love his rapier wit as in this scene after Portia shoots him:

“You know it’s one thing to threaten to drive a stake through a man’s heart, but ruining a perfectly fine waistcoat is bloody rude!”

Portia is a beautiful, spirited and courageous heroine who has matured from the enchanting young girl Julian remembers into a formidable woman who isn’t afraid to stand up to him:

”Your growling and posturing might impress the sort of women you’re accustomed to consorting with, but quite frankly, I find them a bit of a bore.”

I love the fact that, no matter what, Portia never gives up on Julian and her faith in him remains constant even when the rest of the family doubts him.

Their chemistry is totally sizzling with great sexual tension. It’s Portia who initiates the big love scene and we finally learn exactly what transpired in the crypt all those years ago; how Julian can never forgive himself for what happened.  It’s a truly heart-wrenching scene because, for the first time, we see the depths of Julian’s despair. I loved Portia in this scene because she is the strong one. When Julian doesn’t trust himself to be able to control his unnatural hungers, Portia simply says:

”You don’t have to trust yourself. I trust you enough for both of us.”

What a delicious blend of the sensual, the romantic and the playful this whole scene is!

There is a wonderful core of secondary characters; Cuthbert (Cubby), Julian’s bumbling best friend ; Wilbury, Adrian’s ancient, staunchly loyal, family butler; Valentine Cardew, the villainess (anyone notice a striking similarity to Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Druscilla?). I enjoyed seeing Adrian and Caroline and Vivienne and Larkin with their respective families as well.

Ms Medeiros combines the regency historical and paranormal so well. There are moments of tension, suspense and menace but they are always tempered with moments of laugh-out-loud humour. Here is one of my favourite scenes in the book, albeit a rather long one!

In this scene Caroline asks Wilbury to take the children out so the adults can talk.

”Wilbury, my dear,” Caroline said, “would you mind taking the children and keeping them occupied for a bit?”

“Twould be the high point of my golden years, my lady,” he replied with frigid politeness. “The culmination of a lifelong dream I had nearly abandoned in favour of waiting peacefully for the Grim Reaper to come and relieve me of my earthly duties.”
Immune to his sarcasm, Caroline beamed fondly at him. “Thank you, Wilbury. I thought that’s what you would say.”
Shuffling toward the hearth, the butler muttered under his breath, “I just love children, you know.  I simply dote upon the overindulged little darlings with their grasping little hands and their sticky little fingers that foul up every freshly polished surface in the house”. As he leaned toward the hearth, the twins paused in play to gape at him. Baring his pointed yellowing teeth in a grimace of a smile, he rasped, “Come now, lads. I’ll take you to the kitchen for some nice hot chocolate.”
Eyes widening in terror, the two boys leapt to their feet and ran shrieking from the room. Wilbury straightened as much as his hunched back would allow, rolling his eyes.
“Wilbuwy!” Eloisa crowed, scrambling from her mother’s lap and toddling across the room. Wrapping her arms around one of the butler’s scrawny legs, she looked up and batted her long eyelashes at him. “Me want cocoa!”
With a long-suffering sigh, he scooped the plump child into his arms, every one of his ancient bones creaking in protest. She joyfully tugged at his misshapen ears as he carried her toward the door. His curdled expression never varied, but as he passed Portia he gave her a nearly imperceptible wink.

What can I say to sum up this book other than – ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!

RATING : STELLAR ★★★★★

SENSUALITY RATING:HOT

Read February 2012

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Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed (Sons of Sin, #1)

SONS OF SIN #1

Setting: Devon, England, 1826

Will a week of seduction…

Desperate to save her sister’s life, Sidonie Forsythe has agreed to submit herself to a terrible fate: Beyond the foreboding walls of Castle Craven, a notorious, hideously scarred scoundrel will take her virtue over the course of seven sinful nights. Yet instead of a monster, she encounters a man like no other. And during this week, she comes to care for Jonas Merrick in ways that defy all logic—even as a dark secret she carries threatens them both.

…Spark a lifetime of passionate surrender?

Ruthless loner Jonas knows exactly who he is. Should he forget, even for a moment, the curse he bears, a mere glance in the mirror serves as an agonizing reminder. So when the lovely Sidonie turns up on his doorstep, her seduction is an even more delicious prospect than he originally planned. But the hardened outcast is soon moved by her innocent beauty, sharp wit, and surprising courage. Now as dangerous enemies gather at the gate to destroy them, can their new, fragile love survive?

★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★

When Anna Campbell weaves the classic Beauty and the Beast theme into one of her intense, emotional, sensual stories, you know you’re in for a real treat!

When the wind caught her, she staggered. She fought to keep her footing on the slippery cobbles as she looked up, up, up at the towering black edifice before her.

Right from the very first pages, I was completely drawn into the story. The vivid images of the raging storm and forbidding Castle Craven created a wonderful sense of menace. I certainly shared Sidonie’s feelings of trepidation.

Now, even after their short acquaintance, she saw past the scarring to the man beneath.

If anyone is in need of tender loving care, it’s definitely the scarred, reclusive, tormented Jonas. Beneath all that arrogance and cynicism beats a vulnerable heart longing for acceptance and comfort. Discovering how he came to be scarred and the shame and rejection he felt at being declared a bastard was so heartrending.

Sidonie Forsythe was a jewel such as he’d never encountered.

I adore Sidonie. She’s intelligent, courageous and compassionate and spirited enough to stand up to Jonas. However misguided, I can understand her need to protect the sister who was like a mother to her when she was young.  She’s willing to look beyond Jonas’s outward appearance and see the honourable, tender, generous man he truly is.

The connection was perfect soul and body.

Ms Campbell certainly knows how to build and maintain the sizzling sexual tension between Jonas and Sidonie. I can only think of one word to describe the love scenes – WHEW!!!  Here’s a teaser:

She was panting when he caught her up against him. More kissing.  More fevered caresses. She crawled up his body and kissed him. Physical urgency overwhelmed caution. He opened his mouth, ravishing her with lips and tongue and teeth.

Of course, the path of true love doesn’t run smooth and there’s danger, betrayal and heartbreak before Jonas and Sidonie finally get their HEA and a charming Epilogue.

The book also serves as an introduction to Richard and Camden, Jonas’s Etonian friends and future heroes in this series. They’re both intriguing and I can’t wait to read their stories.

VERDICT: CLASSIC ANNA CAMPBELL – COMPELLING, EMOTIVE AND SENSUAL!

RATING:  ★★★★½

SENSULITY RATING: HOT 

Read November 2012

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