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Posts Tagged ‘Laura Kinsale’

Genre: Historical Romance

Cover Blurb:

The Duke of Jervaulx was brilliant – and dangerous. Considered dissolute, reckless, and extravagant, he was transparently referred to as the “D of J” in scandal sheets. But sometimes the most womanizing rakehell can be irresistible, and even his most causal attentions fascinated the sheltered Maddy Timms.

Then one fateful day she receives the shocking news – the duke is lost to the world. And Maddy knows it is her destiny to help him and her only chance to find the true man behind the wicked facade.

But she never dreamed her gentle, healing touch would alter his life and her own so completely – and bind them together in need, desire…and love.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

A new to me author – how could I have missed this amazing book? Luckily it came highly recommended from numerous others on a Facebook debate on favourite authors/books. I was completely blown away by the sheer magnificence of the storyline; the content is intelligent, romantic, inspiring, and darkly frightening.

Initially I downloaded the kindle version but, after reading two chapters,  I discovered that this book wasn’t going to be a light, easy read. So I decided to download the brilliant audio version with the quite remarkable narration of Nicholas Boulton, who is now a firm favourite.

It is never actually stated that the confident, brilliant, dissolute Christian, Duke of Jervaulx suffers a catastrophic stroke, but it is obvious. Too sick to fight back, he is consigned to an asylum by his manipulative power hungry family; they prefer to believe him mad in order to gain control of his estates and fortune.

Christian had previously met Maddie Timms, a prim and proper Quaker ‘friend’. He is a brilliant mathematician, as is Maddie’s father, John Timms. Together they have made a discovery, widely applauded within their own mathematical circles as brilliant and inspiring, and all of this happens immediately before Christian’s collapse. Maddie is not impressed by the man he is, but she IS impressed by his mathematical genius.

Maddie is asked to work for her cousin, a physician who has founded an asylum for the well-heeled of society. She is shocked to recognise Christian as one of the inmates and appalled at their treatment of him, refusing to believe him mad. Having seen evidence of his brilliance, she is convinced everything is still there but locked inside his head. Christian’s inability to communicate manifests itself in anger and frustration and causes his gaolers to mistreat and shackle him in a barbaric fashion.

Maddie is not afraid of this apparently mad Christian and convinces her cousin, much against his better judgement, to allow her to care for and nurse him. Her resulting befriending of Christian sets in motion a series of events which are frightening but beautiful and make for compelling reading/listening,

The slowly emerging love story between Maddie, fighting her puritanical upbringing and trying to reconcile her love for Christian and the worldly wise, cynical aloof and arrogant duke,  is occasionally frustrating, but completely believable. The circumstances of these two people, fighting together to free Christian from his ruthless family’s intentions to have him declared insane, and therefore unable to handle his own affairs, is addictive reading/listening.

Ms. Kinsale’s research and knowledge of the subjects she covers, Christian’s illness and the barbaric treatment doled out to him, mathematics, financial management, law, politics and religion as well as her extensive scholarship of the era is breathtaking.

This book would be heavy going if read, as a lot of the dialogue is inside Christian’s head but the torment and despair of the brilliant aristocrat and mathematician is captured brilliantly by Nicholas Boulton; this talented Shakespearean actor is the chosen narrator of Laura Kinsale and it is quite obvious why. His portrayal of the characters, both male and female is outstanding, so outstanding that it is difficult to believe that we are listening to one man performing all parts. But for me, his portrayal of the tortured, sick Christian is just beyond words.

MY VERDICT: I am aware that this novel has been out for some years, but if anyone who has not read FLOWERS FROM THE STORM happens to come across this review – THIS IS ONE NOT TO BE MISSED.  I am left feeling emotionally exhausted, but bereft because it is finished; definitely up there with my all-time greats. 5 sparkling, glittering stars both for content and wonderful narration.

 

REVIEW RATING:  STELLAR 5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

Listened to in March 2014

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A family gathering with all those delicious Mackenzies…how could I resist!

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(Mackenzies and McBrides, #8.5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Late Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

Ian Mackenzie is awakened at Kilmorgan Castle one night to find robbers stealing the priceless art collection of his oldest brother, Hart. Since Ian and Beth are the only ones in resident at Kilmorgan at the moment, Ian decides he must find the art and the culprits before the family shows up for Hart’s birthday gathering. With Inspector Fellows and Beth, he investigates, though Ian is somewhat worried by Beth’s late husband’s brother, a retired missionary, who decides to visit. Does John Ackerley hold the “cure” to Ian’s madness? And can Ian discover what has happened to Hart’s treasures, and who is targeting the Mackenzies before the enemy strikes again?

Return to Kilmorgan Castle to visit the Victorian branch of the Mackenzie family, and catch up on the brothers and friends, their children, and their lives.

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These two audiobooks were early surprise birthday presents from my dear friend, Wendy Loveridge.

Narrated by Nicholas Bolton

Genre: Historical Romance (England, early 19th century)

Cover Blurb:

The Duke of Jervaulx was brilliant – and dangerous. Considered dissolute, reckless, and extravagant, he was transparently referred to as the “D of J” in scandal sheets. But sometimes the most womanizing rakehell can be irresistible, and even his most causal attentions fascinated the sheltered Maddy Timms.

Then one fateful day she receives the shocking news – the duke is lost to the world. And Maddy knows it is her destiny to help him and her only chance to find the true man behind the wicked facade.

But she never dreamed her gentle, healing touch would alter his life and her own so completely – and bind them together in need, desire…and love.

 

Narrated by Kate Reading

(Scoundrels, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

DETERMINED LADY

Tough-minded Jessica Trent’s sole intention is to free her nitwit brother from the destructive influence of Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain. She never expects to desire the arrogant, amoral cad. And when Dain’s reciprocal passion places them in a scandalously compromising, and public, position, Jessica is left with no choice but to seek satisfaction …

LORD OF SCOUNDRELS

Damn the minx for tempting him, kissing him … and then forcing him to salvage her reputation! Lord Dain can’t wait to put the infuriating bluestocking in her place — and in some amorous position, And if that means marriage, so be it! — though Sebastian is less than certain he can continue to remain aloof … and steel his heart to the sensuous, headstrong lady’s considerable charms.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

This was highly recommended by my friend, Wendy

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(Wicked Trilogy, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

A wickedly wonderful new romance from the New York Times bestselling author of His Wicked Reputation...

Most women will give him anything he wants. She is not most women…

As a well-known barrister and the son of a duke, Ives confines his passionate impulses to discreet affairs with worldly mistresses. A twist of fate, however, has him looking for a new lover right when a fascinating woman shows up in his chambers, asking him to help save her father from the gallows. Unfortunately, he has already been asked to serve as the prosecutor in the case, but that only ensures close encounters with the rarity named Padua Belvoir. And every encounter increases his desire to tutor her in pleasure’s wicked ways…

Having always been too tall, too willful, and too smart to appeal to men, Padua Belvoir is shocked when Ives shows interest in her. Knowing his penchant for helping the wrongly accused, she had initially thought he might be her father’s best hope for salvation. Instead, he is her worst adversary—not least because every time he looks at her, she is tempted to give him anything he wants…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

Delilah Marvelle is one of my top favourite authors and I jumped at the chance of reviewing this Christmas novella.

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

(A Happy Christmas, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

A mysterious key to an attic that cannot be found…
A ghost with good but overly ambitious intentions…
And a forgotten wager that is about to turn Miss Barrington’s life into a holiday mess.

Are you ready for the outrageously funny and Happy Christmas Series?
WARNING: THERE IS A LOT OF MAGIC AND ROMANCE IN THIS BOX.

London, England – Winter of 1860
When all the ladies of London realize that handsome and refined gentleman, the Duke of Ainsley, is formally looking for a wife, only weeks before Christmas, a mad dash to claim him begins. Miss Barrington knows her chances with the duke are incredibly good given what her close gypsy friend had once foretold, but a forgotten wager with her greatest nemesis, American millionaire, Mr. Redstone, is about to bring on complications and…chaos.

Will she claim the dashing and respectable duke once foretold by the stars? Or will she fall for Mr. Redstone and go against destiny? Only the days leading up to Christmas will tell!

♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

I don’t read many contemporary romances but I absolutely love Victoria Vane’s books – whether it’s her fabulous historicals or her sexy contemporaries!

Source: An ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

(Hotel Rodeo, #1)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover Blurb:

Some Odds are Meant to be Played… 

PLACE YOUR BET

The Hotel Rodeo in Las Vegas has seen better days, but managing partner Ty Morgan has come up with a way to return it to its former glory. His plan looks promising until the unthinkable happens. Suddenly Ty is working for the boss’s daughter. And Miss Monica Brandt, hot as she may be, doesn’t share his vision…

ROLL THE DICE

She left a fabulous career and a frustrated fiancé in New York to move to Vegas and save her father’s investment. But now Monica is locking horns with a sexy cowboy-turned-businessman. What does Ty think he can do that she can’t? All Monica knows is that she doesn’t dare trust him—or is it herself she doesn’t trust…

AND WIN 

The battle lines are drawn. The stakes are high. And the attraction can’t be denied—especially the more closely Ty and Monica have to work together. Some odds are just meant to be played, and with chemistry this electric, it may be time to grab life by the horns…

Expected publication date: January 19th 2016

♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

This is another recommendation from my friend, Wendy Loveridge.

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(Rockliffe, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Georgian, 1764)

Cover Blurb:

Rosalind Vernon, robbed of her sight by childhood accident, had no idea that the cherished voice at her door belonged to a notorious rake. Marquis of Amberley had distinguished himself in gaming room and boudoir alike. Now, stranded by snowfall, he became enamored of his innocent hostess. And she, who had lived in seclusion, welcomed his lively wit and distinctive charm.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

After listening to MIDNIGHT MARRIAGE recently, narrated by the amazing Alex Wyndham, I wanted to listen to NOBLE SATYR, the story of the Duke of Roxton and his wife, Antonia. So I was delighted to receive the offer of a free download of the audiobook from author Lucinda Brant.

Source: I received a free download from the author in return for an honest review

Narrated by Alex Wyndham

(Roxton Series, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Georgian)

Cover Blurb:

1740s France and England. Abandoned to fend for herself at the court of Versailles, Antonia turns to her distant cousin, the all-powerful Duke of Roxton, to help her escape the attentions of a lecherous nobleman. Roxton is an unlikely savior – arrogant, promiscuous, and sinister. Antonia’s unquestioning belief in him may just be his salvation, and her undoing.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

I’m way behind reading this series, having only read book 1, but I hope to catch up during 2016

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(A Lady Forsaken, #3.5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

A lady seeking forgiveness for her past…

Lady Viola Haversham is determined to put her past where it belongs—behind her. To do so, she sets out to host the grandest holiday celebration Foldger’s Hall has ever seen; proving to everyone—including herself—that she has more to offer than the hardship and loss she has brought to her family.

A woman forging a new path in life…

Mrs. Ruby Jakeston is tired of others taking care of her. She is ready to show everyone that she can look after more than just herself and her new husband; she also wants to set her overprotective friend at ease, and bring her hellion sister to heel.

A girl lost and in search of a place to belong…

Lady Ellington is on the brink of losing the only home she’s ever known. The last thing she wants is to attend a grand soirée. However, when her older sister demands her presence at a country Christmas party, she is compelled to attend. With only a stablehand as her companion, she arrives at a house teeming with unfamiliar faces—and nowhere to hide.

A trio of women holding out hope for three different holiday miracles…

Christmas ever more.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

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