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(Duke’s Club, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance

Cover Blurb:

A duchess who desires her freedom.

Cordelia Eversleigh, Duchess of Hunt, has spent her entire life in Egypt, sifting through the sands, cavorting with the local tribes, and uncovering the tombs of glorified ancient Egyptian accountants. Now, all she wishes is to go to Paris and study the mysteries of the hieroglyph. There’s only one problem. She needs to annul her marriage to the husband she has never met. But when she comes face to face with the infamous duke, he stirs a wicked desire in her nature that shocks her to the tips of her oh so practical toes.

A duke longing to be tamed.

Born the second son, Jack Eversleigh, now the Duke of Hunt, has accepted he is going to be a terrible duke. Loving wine, women, and song, he knows there’s only one thing to do. Live up to his debauched reputation. But when a young woman tracks him down in a London pub, prim, proper, and with a tongue that would make the devil envious, he is captivated. . . Until he discovers that she is his wife.

Can these two embrace an arranged marriage á la mode or will their stubborn minds conquer their passionate hearts?

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This is the second book in Eva Devon’s Duke’s Club series and what a deliciously wicked treat is was! Lots of ribald humour and sinfully sexy romance.

How I imagine Jack…

“I’m am not an archeological site, my lady. No matter how deep you dig, there is no hidden treasure to be found.”

Jack is just the sort of hero I have a weakness for…a rogue with a vulnerable side. His father had constantly instilled in Jack the belief that he would never be anything but a failure. This belief is so deep-rooted that his life becomes an empty, emotionless existence of ‘enjoying women, drinking to excess, and avoiding his responsibilities’. He has never tasted true happiness.

How imagine Cordelia (Cordy)…

I’m partial to unconventional heroines; so how could I not love a sun-tanned heroine with worn fingers and a practical approach to negotiations with grave robbers and idiot Italians! Cordy is a charming heroine with her openness, her honesty, her adventurous spirit and the way she is not afraid to speak her mind. ‘Clever, vivacious, good fun, were all words she’d heard to describe her. Beautiful.? No. And surely such a man only appreciated women who were beautiful.’ This glimpse of vulnerability makes Cordy even more more endearing.

The romance between these two was an intoxicating mix of perfect chemistry, simmering sexual tension, heated exchanges and sensual love scenes. I love how ultimately Jack shows Cordy that she is truly beautiful – ‘a woman who could slay a ballroom of men if she chose’ while Cordy helps Jack realise his own self-worth and enables him see his past in true perspective.

This book is full of uproariously funny dialogue and laugh-out-loud scenes. This conversation between Charles, Jack’s twin brother, and Cordy is one of my favourites.

Nincompoop. I’ve been insulted many a time in my life but never with a trivial word. If you’re going to insult someone woman –“
“Fine, “ she snapped then smiled up at him with a hint of deviltry that would have lured Mephistopheles out to dance, “You’re the oozing fester upon ass’s behind.”
“Ah.” Charles’ lips twitched. “Now that will do”

One of my favourite scenes is where Jack rescues Cordy from the clutches of his overbearing grandmother by shinning up a tree. The resulting antics are hilarious.

Jack and Cordy are surrounded by a wonderful array of quirky characters, all there to either help or hinder our lovers on their path to an inevitable happy ending.

~~ The aforementioned Charles with his bawdy remarks – “What about it my dear. Would you like to be pressed between two twins?”

~~ Hyacinth Eversleigh, Duchess of Eversleigh, Jack’s mother who has a tendency to embarrass him with stories of a most intimate nature – “It took me a great deal of exercise to restore myself to my taut-“ A strangled note rather like a dying pigeon blurted past his lips.

~~ Jack’s grandmother – “Her Grace, The Dowager Duchess of I’m Better than Everybody, Mentally, Morally and Physically”

~~ Lady Gemma, Jack’s rather exuberant younger sister – …launching Lady Gemma was going to be like launching a Spanish galleon than a young and proper woman.

~~ Not forgetting Cordy’s hulking brothers , very protective, unless they happen to be in their cups!

Kathryn and Ryder (Once Upon a Duke) make a welcome appearance and there are possible hints of future heroes to grace the series.

I thought the final chapter was very moving and felt that Jack had finally put his past behind him.

Jack knew that everything was going to be all right. In fact, it was going to be more than all right. It was going to be absolutely, bloody glorious.

Dreaming of the Duke was funny, romantic, touching and sensual, with delightful, quirky, larger-than-life characters who stole my heart. More Duke’s Club please!

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT!

Read September 2014

The Duke’s Club series so far (click on cover for more details):

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

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’m spotlighting Georgie Lee’s new book, THE COURTESAN’S BOOK OF SECRETS which is released today.

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Genre: Historical Romance (Georgian)

Cover Blurb

Uncovered: a list of noblemen’s names—each one guilty of treason

To save his family legacy, Rafe Densmore must seize a courtesan’s infamous register. No one can ever know how his father betrayed his country! One person stands in Rafe’s way—the beautiful Cornelia, Comtesse de Vane.

In the card rooms of Paris, Rafe and Cornelia made an unbeatable… intimate team. Until, convinced of Rafe’s desertion, desperate Cornelia married an elderly comte. Now, returning to London an impoverished widow, she’ll do anything to possess the register.

Even if that means becoming Rafe’s partner once again….

Buy Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

Barnes & Noble

Harlequin

KOBO

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EXCERPT

Rafe brought his lips next to her ear, aching to slide his teeth over the tender lobe. ‘He won’t pay you.’

She turned her head, her almond-shaped eyes hooded and seductive as she peered over one smooth shoulder at him. Her lips parted, moving in a tantalising rhythm to form each whispered word. ‘He’s already agreed to pay me.’

The shock struck Rafe like cold water.

‘You met with him?’ More than one head in the audience turned and looked in their direction. He dropped his voice. ‘When?’

‘This very morning.’ Her lips, so tempting before, now chafed with the way they curled up in a triumphant smile. ‘By the end of the week, I shall have a tidy sum in my possession.’

He took her arm, the warmth of her skin beneath his fingers rattling him before he regained his focus. ‘You shouldn’t have met with him alone. It’s dangerous.’

‘As you can see, I escaped the meeting unscathed.’ She whacked his knuckles with her fan. He pulled back his hand, more annoyed by her flippant attitude than his stinging knuckles. ‘If all goes well tonight, I shall continue to prosper.’

She nodded across the theatre.

He followed her gaze to Lord Edgemont. The square-jawed man sat in his box watching them, not bothering to conceal his interest. ‘No.It’s one thing to toy with your dolt of an Earl, but not Edgemont.’

‘You needn’t bother trying to protect me. My welfare is no longer your concern.’

‘You have the register. That makes you my concern.’ He leaned in close again, trying to ignore the way the heat of her skin heightened the notes of her verbena perfume. ‘I needn’t remind you what Edgemont is capable of.’

‘Which is exactly why he deserves to suffer,’ she hissed, her calm mask sliding. ‘I want to see him squirm.’

‘I agree, but when you threaten a man like him, you make him desperate. You can’t underestimate a desperate man.’

‘Like I underestimated you?’

Rafe jerked upright, surprised by the venom in her accusation. ‘What did I do in Paris to give you such a low opinion of me?’

‘I’m sure if you think very hard, you’ll discover the source of it. For the moment, I have no need of your assistance, so leave, or I’ll make such a fuss the whole theatre will rally to my defence.’ She shifted around to face the stage, raising her glasses to watch the performance.

Rafe moved to say something, but caught the glint of more than one lorgnette turning to study them from across the theatre, including Edgemont’s. Having no desire to set society’s tongue wagging with gossip, he rose and pulled aside the curtain, leaving the curtain rings to clank against the rail as he stormed into the hallway.

Impudent wench. He hurried along the upper level of the theatre and down the main staircase, banging the banister with his fist as he descended into the nearly deserted foyer. Whatever wrong she thought he’d committed in Paris, it’d taken a stubborn hold in her mind. For the life of him, he couldn’t say what he’d done except try to help her, and this was how she chose to repay him? Dismissing him like some servant and then blaming him for her actions in France.

He stepped outside, ignoring the hackneys waiting by the kerb and letting his anger carry him towards a less respectable part of London. Cornelia would be nowhere without him. He shuddered at the memory of her and Lord Waltenham in Lord Perry’s garden and what might have happened if he hadn’t followed them. After the old man insulted her, her father probably would have wagered her away again, or sold her to some moll for a few sovereigns. She certainly wouldn’t have become a Comtesse with a generous inheritance.

Rafe halted in the middle of the pavement, ignoring the inviting calls of a doxy lounging in a doorway across the street. Despite his former misgivings about her morals, it still seemed strange a rich widow would want to dabble in blackmail, not with all those diamonds dangling from her tender ears and caressing her pretty breasts. They’d twinkled with her current good fortune, or were they there to hide the lack of one?

No matter what Cornelia might have done to him in France, if the Comte’s riches were as rickety as his legs then it was a revenge not even Rafe could have designed.

He whirled around on one heel and headed back towards the theatre. If Cornelia wore her finest baubles to distract society from any scent of money problems, it might offer his last hope to reel her in and remove his father’s name from the register.

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ABOUT GEORGIE

A lifelong history buff, Georgie Lee hasn’t given up hope that she will one day inherit a title and a manor house. Until then, she fulfills her dreams of lords, ladies and a season in London through her stories. The Courtesan’s Book of Secrets is her third Harlequin Historical.

When not writing, she can be found reading non-fiction history or watching any movie with a costume and an accent.

Please visit http://www.georgie-lee.com to learn more about Georgie and her books.

Social Media Links:

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Georgie’s Blog

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THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

Georgie is kindly giving away an eBook copy of RESCUED FROM RUIN and to be eligible simply leave a comment. The Giveaway will run for one week from 1st October to midnight (GMT) on 8th October. The winner will be announced on this blog on 10th October.

During the years since Randall Cheltenhsm, Marquess of Falconridge, last saw Cecilia Thompson, he has turned into a dissolute rake. Catching sight of her now, bittersweet memories threaten to shatter his carefully constructed façade.

Although in the eyes of the ton Cecilia is a wealthy widow, in reality she has barely a penny to her name. Randall seems to offer a safe haven, but how can she trust a man who has hurt her before and who seems to have only become darker with the passing of time?

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(Scottish Brides, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

He will expose her as the criminal he seeks, or seduce her as the woman he desires…

An old maid—that’s all Lady Christina McMorlan, daughter to the Duke of Forres, is to society now that she’s past thirty. She hosts her father’s parties and cares for her siblings, knowing she’ll never have her own home and family. She has no time to pine, however. By night, she’s The Lady, head of a notorious whiskey-smuggling gang that supports her impoverished clan. They’re always one step ahead of the revenue man—until Lucas Black shows up.

Rejecting his title and the proper society that disparaged his mother, Lucas earns his living running a successful gambling house. He’s also a spy, charged with bringing down the Forres Gang. He thinks The Lady’s just a bored society spinster. She thinks he’s a lost child playing at rebellion. And when the truth comes out, it’s not just their love on the line…

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The perfect combination of intrigue, passion and romance.

This is the third and final book in Nicola Cornick’s enjoyable Scottish Brides series

Lady Christina is the eldest of the MacMorlan sisters and, at the age of 33, considered to be the ‘old maid’ of the family…the dutiful daughter, keeping house for her father, the Duke of Forres. While he selfishly indulges in his academic studies, Christina also runs the estate and cares for the welfare of her father’s tenants. None of her family suspects that, at night, she becomes The Lady, leader of a successful whisky smuggling gang.

I love Christina’s dual personality…the staid spinster who is easily overlooked and the brave woman who is willing to risk her life to support and protect her people from those who would exploit them. Her family see her as a passionless woman but, in her youth, she had been wild and reckless but sacrificed her own happiness to take care of her father and younger siblings after her mother dies.

When Lucas’s half-brother, Peter, is murdered whilst on a trip to Scotland, Lucas is determined to bring the murderer to justice. The Home Secretary, Lord Sidmouth, is convinced that the infamous Kilmory smuggling gang are involved and Lucas volunteers to go to Castle Kilmory and, posing as a footman, infiltrate the smuggling gang and discover the identity of his brother’s murderer.

I do love a hero who has had to drag himself up by his bootstraps and Lucas did that and more. The legacy of being the illegitimate son of a Scottish laird and a Russian princess and his anger over his father’s abandonment of himself and his mother has fuelled Lucas’s determination to succeed. The hardships he endured taught him to be hard, strong and ruthless. Now he runs the most prestigious gambling salon in Scotland, rejecting the title and lands inherited from his father. Emotions have no place in his life…they weakened a man.

Lucas is totally unsuited to this role as footman, more used to giving orders rather than taking them. His irreverence results in some amusing exchanges with Christina and this is one of my favourites, when they are discussing plans for her father’s grotto:

“Here you have them, Mr Ross. I hope they will give you an idea of what my father has in mind.” Her gaze fell on the top book and she bit her lip, recoiling slightly. “Oh, my goodness! I assume papa does not intend his statues to be quite so overendowed.”

“I now have a mental image of the garden grotto as a woodland glade in which satyrs ravish innocent maidens,” Lucas said, enjoying her discomfiture. He was sure that for a moment her gaze had flickered to his groin as though comparing him to the preposterously huge men in the book.

“Pray remove that image from your mind, “Christina said sharply. “We do not require you to use your imagination, Mr Ross. Not at all.”

It was easy to sympathise with Christina’s insecurities about herself…a complexion that had lost its youthful sparkle and a chin that was showing signs of sagging (I know the feeling well) and I loved that Lucas saw her as beautiful and desirable.


His hand closed over hers and she froze, catching her breath. Her face was in profile and he could see the curve of her lips and a pulse beating in the delicate hollow of her throat. Beneath his hand her fingers trembled. The awareness shimmered beneath them like a heat haze.

The romance was perfectly paced…an intoxicating mix of heart-warming tenderness and delicious sensuality. I could feel the deep emotional connection between Christina and Lucas which made their love for each other both genuine and believable. I enjoyed seeing how Lucas’s love for Christina enables him to come to terms with his painful past.

There was an interesting cast of secondary characters; the merciless excise man, Mr Eyre, who is a vicious adversary, the selfish Duke of Florres, Christina’s father and Gertrude, Christina’s viper-tongued sister-in-law. Robert and Lucy (The Lady and the Laird) and Jack and Mairi (One Night with the Laird) are on hand to lend their support.

There is plenty of drama and excitement and the identity of Peter’s murderer came as a big surprise. The one thing that I could have wished for was a charming Epilogue with a glimpse of the future. Yes, I’m a real pushover for all those cute children.

A captivating and sensual love story and a satisfying finish to this enjoyable series.

 

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read September 2014

Scottish Brides series (click on the covers for more details):
The Lady and the Laird (Scottish Brides, #1) by Nicola Cornick One Night with the Laird (Scottish Brides, #2) by Nicola Cornick Claimed By The Laird by Nicola Cornick

 

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(Marlow Intrigues, #4)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Young, naïve and innocent, Lady Ellen Pembroke falls for a young army officer. Paul has such an easy enchanting smile and his blue eyes glow, vibrancy and warmth emanating from him. She is in love.

Captain Paul Harding, the sixth son of an earl, finds his attention captured by the beautiful young daughter of the Duke of Pembroke at a house party in the summer. Finding Ellen is like finding treasure on a battle torn field. His sanity clings to her; something beautiful to remind him that all in the world is not ugly. She’s someone to fight for. Someone to survive for, when he is called to arms in the battle of Waterloo…

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Information from Jane Lark’s Website:

This is an unusual story for me. I chose to write the prequel to The Illicit Love of a CourtesanThe Lost Love of a Soldier – because the readers who love the series asked for a prequel. But when I decided to write this, I realized I had to follow elements of a real story.

I’d made the decision when I wrote The Illicit Love of a Courtesan to use the title of a real regiment who fought in the battle of Waterloo. I chose the 52nd(Oxfordshire) Regiment of Foot. So when I began this story my first task was to research the 52nd, to find out how they came to be there, and what part they played in the battle.

The 52nd returned from The Peninsular War to Britain, in the summer of 1814, two hundred years ago to the year of this novel, and therefore this became the window of opportunity for my fictional characters, Paul and Ellen, to meet.

I’ve dedicated this story to all those who serve in the military, and the families who support them.

 

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A DANGEROUS INVITATION BY ERICA MONROE

Source: Bought from Amazon Kindle

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(The Rookery Rogues #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Official Blurb

One fatal mistake cost Daniel O’Reilly the woman he loved, spiraling him toward drunken self-destruction. Now sober, he’ll have to prove he’s innocent of the murder he was accused of two years ago. But pistol-wielding Kate Morgan hasn’t forgiven his sins.

Torn from her privileged existence by her father’s death, Kate Morgan has carved out a new independent life in the Ratcliffe rookery as a fence for stolen goods. Daniel’s invitation to assist him jeopardizes her structured existence. Yet Kate can’t resist his touch, or the wicked desires he stirs within her.

As their renewed passions grow reckless, their investigation takes them through the darkest and most depraved areas of the City. To catch a killer, they’ll have to put secrets behind them and trust only their hearts.

After reading an interview with debut author, Erica Monroe on Rogues Rakes and Romance:

http://rakesroguesandromance.com/2013/12/19/please-welcome-debut-author-erica-monroe-with-her-release-a-dangerous-invitation/

and an article by the author on Ella Quinn’s blog

http://ellaquinnauthor.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/debut-author-erica-monroe/

I knew that I had to buy this book.

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Mel has a great review of the exciting debut book from Erica Monroe. I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t rush and download like I did!

bookworm2bookworm's Blog

ADI EMSTORY: One fatal mistake cost Daniel O’Reilly the woman he loved, spiraling him toward drunken self-destruction. Now sober, he’ll have to prove he’s innocent of the murder he was accused of two years ago. But pistol-wielding Kate Morgan hasn’t forgiven his sins.

Torn from her privileged existence by her father’s death, Kate Morgan has carved out a new independent life in the Ratcliffe rookery as a fence for stolen goods. Daniel’s invitation to assist him jeopardizes her structured existence. Yet Kate can’t resist his touch, or the wicked desires he stirs within her.

As their renewed passions grow reckless, their investigation takes them through the darkest and most depraved areas of the City. To catch a killer, they’ll have to put secrets behind them and trust only their hearts.

REVIEW: I honestly don’t know where to begin with this review. Do I start with my praise of it, tell you…

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