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Posts Tagged ‘Friends-To-Lovers’

(Sons of Sin, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

A REPUTATION AT RISK

What woman in her right mind would say no to marrying the dashing Duke of Sedgemoor? Miss Penelope Thorne, that’s who. She’s known Camden Rothermere since they were children-and she also knows she’d bring nothing but scandal to his name.

Cam can hardly believe Penelope turned down his proposal. But if she wants to run off to the Continent and set the rumor mill ablaze, he can’t stop her. Then her brother’s dying request sends him to bring home the one woman he thought he’d finally gotten over.

The only way they’ll both get back to London without their reputations in tatters is to pretend they’re married during the journey. That means kissing like they mean it and even sharing a bed-until it becomes hard to tell where the game ends and true desire begins . . .

♥♥♥♥♥♥

THIS IS HISTORICAL ROMANCE AT ITS BEST!

WHAT A DUKE DARES is the third book in the marvellous ‘Sons of Sin’ series and, once again, Anna Campbell delivers an emotive, romantic and passionate love story.

How I imagine Cam….

When Camden (Cam) Rothermere, heir to a dukedom, proposes to his childhood friend, Penelope Thorne, he can’t believe his ears when she turns him down. Even his declaration that he esteems and admires her and enjoys her company does nothing to persuade her to change her mind. She refuses to marry for anything but love. Cam has seen first-hand the devastating effect love had on his parents:

“As a result of love, my father descended into cruelty and obsession and my mother became a byword for promiscuity.”

and it has no place in his life now or ever.

How I imagine Pen

Penelope (Pen) Thorne has loved her childhood friend, Camden Rothermere for as long as she can remember and, when he proposes, it should be the happiest day of her life…a girlish fantasy come true. The reality is very different because she knows that Cam can never give her the one thing she desires…his heart. If he truly loved her, she’d even be willing to curb her impulsive and headstrong ways to become the wife he needs…someone dignified and above reproach…someone to help him restore respectability to the scandal-ridden Rothermere name.

So they go their separate ways.

In the intervening nine years, Cam is now the powerful Duke of Sedgemoor, renowned for his cold demeanour, self-assurance and his iron control, devoting his life to restoring the family’s good name. Pen had fled England to travel the continent with her eccentric aunt and Cam was well aware of all her amorous intrigues over the years.

When he receives an urgent summons from his friend, Pen’s brother, Peter, Cam travels to Calais to find his friend with very little time to live and fearful for his sister’s safety. Cam is honour bound to fulfil the dying Peter’s request that Cam find her and bring her home to England.

Ms Campbell took me on an enthralling and emotional roller-coaster of a journey before Cam and Pen finally attain their hard-earned Happy Ever After. I enjoyed every moment…the antagonism and the simmering sexual tension; the temptation and the heady passion; the stark danger and the anguish; the scandal and the poignant emotions, the betrayal and the heartbreak; the tenderness and the enduring love.

I enjoyed the secondary romance between Pen’s brother, Harry and Sophie, the sister of Cam’s enemy, James Fairbrother, Marquess of Leath. Their sweet, tender romance forms a contrast to the hot, passionate one between Cam and Pen. It also precipitates events that cause Cam to finally admit his love for Pen.

The Marquess of Leath obviously loves his sister very much which was a point in his favour and, once he and Cam had settled their differences, I liked him even more. I look forward to reading his story in the next book in the series.

Jonas and Sidonie (Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed) and Richard and Genevieve (A Rake’s Midnight Kiss) all make an appearance and I love the banter between Cam, Richard and Jonas.

Call me a sentimental old fool but I love a good Epilogue and Ms Campbell made me go all misty-eyed when Cam gives Pen her special Christmas present.

Some Memorable Moments

“What in heaven’s name brought you to choose this hovel?”

One slender hand brushed her tumble of hair back from her face. To his dismay, he saw she was shaking.

“Try the weather.” Her tone was sharper than his sword. “I know you could barge through an avalanche without creasing your neckcloth, but we lesser mortals must seek shelter when snow blocks the roads.”

♥♥♥

For a second that extended into eternity, they regarded one another. He should leave. He had no right to absorb every glorious, forbidden detail and imprint it on his mind to remember forever.

♥♥♥

He’d burned to wrench his wife from her chair and muss her neat perfection. Then fling her across the polished table and do things likely to make the butler resign.

♥♥♥

“ Anyway, you know that even if you were off your head with opium or inclined to slobber into your dinner, chits would still line up for the duchess’s coronet.”

♥♥♥

THIS IS CLASSIC ANNA CAMPBELL – COMPELLING, EMOTIVE, ROMANTIC AND SENSUAL!

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT!

 

My sincere thanks to Anna Campbell for sending me a complimentary copy of this book  in return for an honest review.

The Sons of Sin series so far (click the covers for more details):

Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed (Sons of Sin, #1) by Anna Campbell A Rake's Midnight Kiss (Sons of Sin, #2) by Anna Campbell What a Duke Dares (Sons of Sin, #3) by Anna Campbell

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(Dangerous Rogues, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

In this dazzling Dangerous Rogues novel, a daring and dangerously handsome duke will do anything for the woman he loves—even if it sparks a scandal.

FRIENDS AND LOVERS…

As a wealthy young widow, Lady Jessica Heyer must endure the closest of scrutiny and most wicked of rumors from society gossips. Their whispers would be utterly unbearable if it weren’t for her oldest friend, the Duke of Alsborough. Jessica knows she can always count on Hayden. What she never could have expected, however, is that he is deeply, madly in love with her…

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD

For years, Hayden has kept his longing for his beautiful friend Jessica a secret. But now that she’s finally free to remarry, will she be willing to take their relationship to a more intimate level? He’ll get his answer soon—at a glittering masquerade, where identities are hidden, hearts are open, and true love is unmasked…in a single, shameless act of passion.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

I have been waiting for Hayden and Jessica’s story and Ms Clare brings her Scandalous Rogues series to a close with this lovely friends-to-lovers story.

Hayden is such a wonderful hero. Beneath that very proper exterior beats the heart of a very passionate man. He has been in love with his friend Jessica for ten years but was too honourable to have told her of his feelings while she was married. Now her husband is dead, Hayden has every intention of claiming her for his own. I love how he respects, adores, cherishes and protects Jessica and will do anything to ensure her happiness.

Jessica spent eight years married to man who was cruel, abusive and humiliated her at every opportunity but she has still retained an inner strength. Even under the most tragic of circumstances, she refuses to give society the satisfaction of seeing any weakness. With everything she is coping with following her husband’s death, I can understand that she needs time to adjust to the knowledge that Hayden has harbored feelings for her for so long. I also understood her reluctance to accept hi marriage proposal. She fears that, if her darkest secrets are revealed, Hayden’s reputation would be irrevocably damaged and she couldn’t do that to him. I admired her for that unselfishness.

There are a variety of secondary characters who contribute to the action and drama… Lord Fallon’s treacherous valet, Miller, who may hold dark secrets about Jessica’s past, Mr Warren, heir to the Fallon estate, who clearly dislikes Jessica, the mysterious person who is writing malicious gossip in the Mayfair Chronicles and Lady Randall, Jessica’s unlikely champion.

Leo and Genny (Wicked Nights With a Proper Lady) and Tristan and Charlotte (Midnight Temptations With a Forbidden Lord) all make an appearance in this book because this story runs concurrently with events happening in the first two books. I think anyone who hasn’t read those books might find certain aspects of The Scandalous Duke Takes a Bride confusing and, therefore, I would recommend reading the series in order.

Memorable Moments

He and Jez had known each other for nearly a decade, and looking at her now, he didn’t see one ounce of the vibrant woman she once was. What he saw in her gaze was eight years of a miserable marriage weighing down on her soul.

♥♥♥♥

And there was the crux of it: in her eyes he would always be just a friend. She really did make him believe that opposites attracted, for there was nothing similar in their characters, yet he wanted her to himself. She’d always been brazen and daring, him steadfast and cautious. Yet he still wanted to protect and cherish her as his own. And he would.

♥♥♥♥

He put his jacket around her shoulders and wrapped her tight in the safety of his arms as he dropped to his knees behind her. She fought him with tears on her face and nothing more than sorrow and sobs in her voice. Her fists pounded at his arms, his hands.
But he didn’t let her go.
He couldn’t.
“Hush. It’s all right. I’m here for you.” His
voice was jagged, raw with emotion.

♥♥♥♥

She felt like a wild bird stuck in captivity and under the scrutiny of too many eyes.

♥♥♥♥

“What do you want from me, Hayden?” “Nothing,” he whispered. “Everything. You make me question my every action and my every move. What I do know is that I want you and only you. I’ve always felt this way.”

♥♥♥♥

This was an engaging, poignant and sensual love story and a satisfying finish to this series.


REVIEW RATING:  4/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING:  HOT

Read June 2014

Dangerous Rogues series (click on the covers for more details):

Wicked Nights With a Proper Lady (Dangerous Rogues, #1) by Tiffany Clare Midnight Temptations with a Forbidden Lord (Dangerous Rogues, #2) by Tiffany Clare The Scandalous Duke Takes a Bride (Dangerous Rogues, #3) by Tiffany Clare

 

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(Ugly Ducklings #3)

Setting : Regency England

Official Blurb 

Lady Madeline Essex is the last of the unwed “ducklings” in her family—and by far the most outspoken. But when she boldly enters London’s most notorious gaming house in search of fodder for her novel, even her sharp tongue can’t save her from the horrible crime she stumbles upon there. As luck would have it, first on the scene is the last man she wants to see her vulnerable. The one man who could tempt her heart…

Christian Monteith, the new Earl of Gresham, isn’t much for card rooms and gaming hells. But as a favor to his former commanding officer, he’s investigating a gamester for espionage on the night that Maddie ventures in looking more enticing than he’s ever seen her. Suddenly, his feelings for his friend aren’t so friendly anymore. And when her curiosity brings the impetuous novelist to the attention of a madman, Christian will stop at nothing to protect her—from a sinister plot that is far more dangerous than any stolen kiss…

★✩★✩★✩★✩★

HOW TO ENTICE AN EARL is the final book in Manda Collins’ charming Ugly Ducklings trilogy. I enjoyed this engaging friends-to-lovers story with its blend of mystery and romance.

How I imagine Christian…

She had come to appreciate his sense of the absurd as much as his strength and loyalty.

Christian is the perfect hero. Honourable, loyal, charming, witty and sexy, I love how fiercely protective he is towards Maddie and he certainly has lots of  patience when it comes to her hair-brain schemes, although his patience does wear thin at times! The guilt at not being there for his twin sister when she needed him gives him a certain vulnerability which I love in my heroes.

How I imagine Maddie…

“That she is a most determined young lady who refuses to be cowed by the strictures of the ton.”

Maddie is my favourite type of heroine, independent, determined and outspoken. It’s also refreshing to find a heroine who is short with ample womanly curves rather than tall and graceful. If I have one criticism, it’s that Maddie’s impetuous behaviour did have me raising my eyebrows on more than one occasion. But in the moving scene where she comforts Christian, I couldn’t help but love her when she vows ‘to keep his vulnerabilities safe in her heart.’

I liked the fact that Maddie and Christian’s feelings grew gradually. It’s obvious they genuinely like and respect one another but have never thought of each other in romantic terms. As they spend more time in each other’s company trying to solve the murder and clear Maddie’s brother’s name, their feelings start to change:

…ever since he’d held her in his arms last night, he’d had the devil’s own time trying to erase the memory of just how right she’d felt there.

***

Each time they touched, the fire between them burned hotter until Maddie was no longer able to tell which of them was in control.
She wasn’t quite sure how it had happened, but what had begun as rather sweet and gentle turned hot and passionate.

At times, I felt that the romance was somewhat pushed into the background by the mystery plot but the love scenes were deliciously sensual.

There were enough twists and turns in the murder mystery to keep me guessing and I enjoyed the witty repartee between Christian, Winterson and Deveril. I was certainly surprised to see Ms Collins redeem the Ugly Ducklings’ arch nemesis, Amelia Snow, at the end of the book and I’m intrigued to read her story in the forthcoming novella, The Perks of Being a Beauty.

This was an entertaining ending to the trilogy and I’m looking forward to reading more of Manda Collins’ books in the future.

VERDICT: A VERY GOOD READ

RATING : 4/5 Stars

SENSUALITY RATING : HOT

Read April 2013

The Ugly Ducklings series (click on the cover for details)

How to Dance with a Duke (Ugly Ducklings, #1) How to Romance a Rake (Ugly Ducklings #2) How to Entice an Earl (Ugly Ducklings, #3)

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