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Posts Tagged ‘Lauren Smith’

wicked-rivals

(League of Rogues, #4)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

A LORD WITH LEGENDARY CONTROL…

Merciless and powerful, Ashton Lennox is a wealthy man because he puts business before everything else, especially love. As a member of the infamous League of Rogues, he’s no stranger to scandal. His bedroom conquests are as legendary as his fortune. As he searches for a way to bring down an old enemy bent on destroying the lives of his friends, the last thing he needs is a Scottish widow getting in his way.

A FIERY WOMAN WHO WON’T BACK DOWN…

The daughter of a Scottish lord with a dark and treacherous past, Rosalind Melbourne has spent years distancing from her past. After escaping her tyrannical father and marrying an aging English lord, she has become a powerful widow with a business empire at her command. Her business dealings are everything to her, leaving her no time for love. Especially not with her business rival Ashton, a man with a scandalous reputation as striking as his blue eyes.

A GAME OF WITS TURNS TO A GAME OF SEDUCTION…

Ashton is fascinated by the strong-willed, intelligent and sensual lady who, up until now, had outsmarted him at every turn. Rosalind wishes she could deny she is falling for the brooding, handsome baron. How can she possibly trust him when doing so could cost her what she values most—her freedom? When Ashton discovers Rosalind might hold the key to saving the League of Rogues, he knows he will do anything to woo his wicked lass. As their pasts return to haunt them and dark forces rise to keep them from exposing a deadly spymaster, their game of love turns to a game of survival…

Warning: This book includes a brooding baron who’s wild in bed, a crafty Scottish lass who never knows when to quit, a wicked game of strip chess, and a merry band of rogues whose first instinct is to run when they hear wedding bells ring.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This is the fourth book in Lauren Smith’s wonderfully entertaining League of Rogues series. Three of the rogues have succumbed to the parson’s noose and now the same fate awaits Ashton. Meanwhile their adversary, Hugo Waverly, continues to plot his revenge against the League members.

Ashton Lennox has always put his family first and has done everything to care for and protect them.  When his father died in scandalous circumstances, leaving the family socially and financially ruined, young Ashton returned home and worked hard to rebuild both the family’s wealth and social standing in society.

I admire Ashton for his devotion to his family, particularly as they have never fully appreciated everything he has done, especially his mother. Her reaction was to tell him that his need for money and power made him just like his father. Her cutting words left him hurt and angry and his relationship with his mother has been one of icy coldness from then on and he rarely goes home.

Apart from his family, the League is the most important thing in his life. As the oldest member, he feels a duty to protect the other members and is the most cool-headed of them. Ms Smith always writes the camaraderie between these men so well. Despite the witty banter, the close bond that exists is evident to see and, when danger threatens, they will always be there for each other.

When it comes to running his business, Ashton is ruthless, controlling and determined. That is how he has built up his wealth.

He had learned how to make men do his bidding with a cool stare and an imperious tone.

But, for the past several months, a certain Lady Rosalind Melbourne has been outmanoeuvring him on several of his deals. He also suspects that Hugo Waverly is using Rosalind’s companies for some nefarious reason. To find out, he needs to get control of the company’s books and records and so he buys up Rosalind’s debts and arranges for the banks to stop her credit, thus controlling her and her business. However, unaware of the real reason for Ashton’s actions, Rosalind is furious and determined to face him.

Anger and panic rippled through her, dueling for dominance. That damned bloody Englishman. She wanted to strangle him, but the truth of her situation was dire. He had full control over her and was toying with her the way a cat would a mouse. Something had to be done.

Rosalind grew up with an abusive father and three brothers. Her brothers did their best to protect her from their father’s brutality, but, after one particularly bad beating, she runs away from home. After stumbling into a tavern, she meets the elderly but kind Lord Melbourne who immediately marries her. He teaches her about business strategies and banking and instills in her the confidence and knowledge she needs to successfully run Melbourne, Shelly and Company which she inherits after his death. She is now in control of her own life and enjoys the mental challenges of running the companies. She has no desire to remarry and lose the freedom to choose her own destiny and I could understand why she is so furious with Ashton. She fears losing everything she has strived for and revealing the vulnerability which lies beneath her tough business-like exterior

…two reluctant hearts starved for love and yet afraid to grasp at it.

At first, Ashton is unwilling to trust Rosalind. She is far too cunning and just as ruthless as he is. Rosalind sees Ashton only as a cold, calculating business man but this does not stop the attraction that simmers between them. I like how their time spent together at Ashton’s estate allows them to view each other in a very different light; to see the real person they hide from the world.

Rosalind is surprised by Ashton’s kindness in opening his home to simple farm folk when their homes are burnt down and by her discovery that he can be sweet and playful.

This side of him caught her off guard. Never in her wildest dreams would she have imagined the cool, collected man to be so… playful.

I love how, once he discovers the abuse Rosalind suffered, Ashton wants to protect, care for and spoil Rosalind and give her the happiness she deserves. He also finds he enjoys being with an intelligent, free-thinking woman with whom he can enjoy interesting conversations. He had always thought he wanted to marry a woman who was sweet and would bow to his judgement but perhaps…

It would be quite a stimulating experience to be married to Rosalind and share his life with her. They could ride, plan business decisions, even take long walks in a pleasant silence together.

Look out for the game of “strip” chess when Rosalind gambles not only her future but her clothes too!!

There is a point where a Happy Ever After seems imminent but, of course, Ashton’s deception raises its ugly head and Rosalind understandably feels betrayed. To complicate matters further, Rosalind’s burly brothers decide to “rescue” her from Ashton’s clutches but, of course, everything comes right in the end.

Hugo Waverly continues to plot his revenge with the help of spies and it was shocking to discover just how close to the League these spies are. For the first time, the League have evidence to expose Waverly but circumstances force them to make a difficult choice.

There are many intriguing secondary characters, among them is League member Charles and I think I have an inkling of the identity of his heroine (there again, my guesses have been known to be way off the mark). The Jonathan/Audrey (Cedric’s hellion sister) and the possible Brock (Rosalind’s brother) and Joanna (Ashton’s sister) pairings should prove entertaining.  Charles’s servant, Tom Linley, has always been an enigma for me but even more so now, given the disclosures in this book.


MY VERDICT: After I’ve finished a book in this series, I always find myself eagerly waiting for the next one. If you enjoy great characters
and the right blend of romance, humour and action, then I can recommend this entertaining series.

 

REVIEW RATING: 4/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

 

League of Rogues series so far (click on the book cover for more details):

Wicked Designs (The League of Rogues, #1) by Lauren Smith His Wicked Seduction (The League of Rogues, #2) by Lauren Smith Her Wicked Proposal (The League of Rogues, #3) by Lauren Smith Wicked Rivals (The League of Rogues, #4) by Lauren Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m delighted to welcome multiple Award Winning Author LAUREN SMITH to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Thank you so much for having me Carol! I love visiting Rakes and Rascals and am delighted to be here today!

~~~~~~~


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

Lauren:
I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and I still live there. It’s a wonderful blend of country and city with a population of about 450,000. I live wide open spaces populated with trees and Tulsa is the best city for that. I wake to birdsong every morning and the sun in the summer burns hotter than hades *laughs. But it’s a great place full of friendly people.

Lauren Smith interview - me and the team
Me as a kid with my gymnastics team

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

Lauren:
I’m pretty easy going I think. I’m often hard on myself, but not on others.

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

Lauren:
I like both sweet and savoury. What I don’t really like is spicy, I’ve got a sensitive tongue so spicy food makes it a bit difficult for me to enjoy it.

R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Lauren:
I would have to say my most treasured possessions aren’t really possessions. They’re my pets. My two dogs, Evie and Fritz, my cat Tiki and my chinchilla named Churro. If my house was on fire they’d be the next ones out. After that I’d probably have to start choosing some of my old antique

Lauren Smith interview - pet tiki
Tiki

Lauren Smith interview - pets Evie and Fritz
Evie and Fritz

 

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

Lauren:
Cambridge England. I am in LOVE with that city, completely enchanted with it. I’d love to be able to have a vacation home there. It’s a place full of magic, history and inspiration.

Lauren Smith interview - River Tam Cambridge
River Tam, Cambridge

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

Lauren:
Oh Lord, there have been plenty of those moments! I once thought I was late for a hearing in front of a judge (I’m a lawyer as well as an author) and I snuck to the front row and thought I was getting ready to sit down on a seat but I fell flat on my bottom and since we were on the second floor of the building it had a cheap wooden empty floor so when I hit the ground it made this horrible ‘BOOM’ noise. I was mortified! Everyone turned to around and the judge asked if I was okay. I later found out I rushed in there unnecessarily because it wasn’t even the right judge or hearing yet. I was early!

~~~~~~~

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

I had a blast being here today and sharing my secrets! Thanks for letting me stop by!!

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

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

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(League of Rogues, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

He doesn’t need his eyes to uncover her true beauty.

The League of Rogues, Book 3

Cedric, Viscount Sheridan, is cursed. Once the ton’s golden boy, the loss of his sight has left him a reclusive shell of man. His days of womanizing, horse racing and pistol shooting lost forever.

Offered the chance to recapture a small part of his old life, he can’t refuse—even if it means accepting the shocking proposal of the infamous ice maiden, Anne Chessley.

Still reeling from her father’s death, Anne’s deepest wish is to avoid the hordes of fortune hunters who will soon be beating down her door. Proposing marriage to Cedric is an act of desperation, his unexpected acceptance a strange and wonderful dream.

His only stipulation: she must respond passionately and wantonly in his bed. Her agreement barely crosses her lips before he begins a sensual assault on the icy walls bitter secrets have built around her heart.

Yet even as they catch a glimpse of true happiness, betrayal is poised to sweep them away on opposing tides of danger.

Warning: Contains an outwardly aloof heroine with a secretly tender heart, a once-notorious rake who isn’t quite as rusty at seduction as he feared, and a band of rogues who join together to make sure happily-ever-afters do come true.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This is the third book in Lauren Smith’s League of Rogues series and I was delighted to find myself once more in the company of those handsome, wicked rogues… Godric, Lucien, Cedric, Charles, Ashton and newest member, Jonathan St. Laurent, Godric’s half-brother.

Cedric is finding it hard to come to terms with his blindness, not only physically but also emotionally. He can no longer do the things he once enjoyed – riding, shooting and hunting.  A virtual recluse, Cedric has to rely on Ashton, the most patient of his friends, to provide the necessary help he needs to cope with the everyday practicalities of being blind. None of his friends know how close he has come to ending it all.

The victim of a vile assault two years ago, Anne has built a protective shell around herself; her cold exterior earning her the name “ice maiden”.  When her beloved father dies, leaving her a wealthy heiress, she finds herself both lonely and desperate to escape the fortune hunters who are constantly pursuing her.

I really liked Cedric and Anne as a couple; they each bring something that the other desperately needs. Anne brings light into Cedric’s dark world and makes him believe that life is still worth living…

“Being with you…it’s like seeing the world again when I thought I’d be trapped in darkness forever. 

while Cedric gradually breaks down Anne’s protective shell releasing the sensual woman beneath…

She was succumbing to his patient and gentle seductions for better or worse.

The romance is both sweet and sexy, especially when Cedric sets out to seduce his wife. I really liked the emphasis on touch in the love scenes which I feel made them more sensual.

His fingertips ran a slow line up her throat and along the line of her jaw to reach her chin. Anne felt as though she was an uncharted foreign land. Cedric’s fingertips were memorizing the contours of her country for his own private map.

As always, I enjoyed the camaraderie and banter between the members of the League of Rogues. I was also intrigued by the rather heated scene between Ashton and Lady Rosalind Melbourne and I think there is more to Charles’s servant Tom Linley than meets the eye.

There is action and danger as the League’s nemesis Hugo Waverley continues to plot his revenge but danger also comes in the form of a vengeful slave trader who has a score to settle with Cedric.

MY VERDICT: If you are looking for a story with great characters and just the right mix of romance and action, then you will definitely enjoy HER WICKED PROPOSAL.

 

REVIEW RATING: 4/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read January 2016
 

The League of Rogues series so far (click on the book covers for more details)

Wicked Designs (The League of Rogues, #1) by Lauren Smith His Wicked Seduction (The League of Rogues, #2) by Lauren Smith Her Wicked Proposal (The League of Rogues, #3) by Lauren Smith

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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I have been waiting patiently for the 3rd book in Lauren Smith’s League of Rogues series so I jumped at the chance to review Cedric’s story. This book will be published on 19th January 2016.

Source: Complimentary copy received from the author in return for an honest review

(League of Rogues, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

He doesn’t need his eyes to uncover her true beauty.

Cedric, Viscount Sheridan, is cursed. Once the ton’s golden boy, the loss of his sight has left him a reclusive shell of man. His days of womanizing, horse racing and pistol shooting lost forever.

Offered the chance to recapture a small part of his old life, he can’t refuse—even if it means accepting the shocking proposal of the infamous ice maiden, Anne Chessley.

Still reeling from her father’s death, Anne’s deepest wish is to avoid the hordes of fortune hunters who will soon be beating down her door. Proposing marriage to Cedric is an act of desperation, his unexpected acceptance a strange and wonderful dream.

His only stipulation: she must respond passionately and wantonly in his bed. Her agreement barely crosses her lips before he begins a sensual assault on the icy walls bitter secrets have built around her heart.

Yet even as they catch a glimpse of true happiness, betrayal is poised to sweep them away on opposing tides of danger.

Warning: Contains an outwardly aloof heroine with a secretly tender heart, a once-notorious rake who isn’t quite as rusty at seduction as he feared, and a band of rogues who join together to make sure happily-ever-afters do come true.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This sounds such a delightful collection of stories that I couldn’t resist the review request. It includes stories by three of my favourite authors which was an extra incentive. This book will be published on 10th November 2015.

Source: Complimentary copy received from the authors in return for an honest review

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

The tiny village of Hemshawe is the sort of place where nothing ever happens…until a handsome ex-soldier and his matchmaking sister let the imposing manor house at the edge of town. The friendly Londoners shake up the staid people of Hemshawe, and villagers see each other in a new and oh-so-appealing light.

Suddenly long-sparring enemies become lovers, a town festival heralds a new start for a fallen woman and a dandy, and a man who has given up on love gets a second chance with the woman he never forgot. And the matchmaker herself? She won’t rest until she finds her own happily-ever-after…

A Madness in Spring by Kate Noble

Adam Sturridge has made Belinda Leonard’s blood boil since childhood, and the feeling is mutual. But when a would-be matchmaker arrives in the village of Hemshawe, she’d determined to erase the thin line between love and hate. Now, Belinda and Adam are faced with falling for someone they’ve always considered an enemy — can they overcome old prejudices and discover how to rub each other the right way?

The Summer of Wine and Scandal by Shana Galen

When viscount’s son and dandy Peregrine Lochley is temporarily exiled from London to the country for his misdeeds, the last thing he expects is to encounter an intriguing woman. But Caroline Martin has a secret to hide, and it just might be too scandalous for even this debauched rogue.

Those Autumn Nights by Theresa Romain 

Ten years ago, wealthy Eliza Greenleaf broke lowly soldier Bertram Gage’s heart—but the last decade brought changes in fortune to them both. Now that he’s made his mark on the world, a twist of fate brings the Greenleaf family under his power. Will this war-hardened officer triumph over his former lover…or will Bertie and Eliza give love a second chance?

The Season for Loving by Vanessa Kelly

Miss Georgie Gage, matchmaker extraordinaire, is resigned to life as a spinster—almost. When notoriously aloof bachelor Fergus Haddon arrives from Scotland to spend Christmas with the Gage family, Georgie thinks she’s finally found her own perfect match—if, that is, she can get the handsome Highlander to agree!

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I LOVE Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series and so I was delighted to receive an ARC of the latest book which will be published on November 24th.

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

(Maiden Lane, #9)

Genre: Historical Romance (Georgian)

Cover Blurb:

SHE’S TAKING CHARGE

Prim, proper, and thrifty, Eve Dinwoody is all business when it comes to protecting her brother’s investment. But when she agrees to control the purse strings of London’s premier pleasure garden, Harte’s Folly, she finds herself butting heads with an infuriating scoundrel who can’t be controlled.

HE’S RUNNING THE SHOW

Bawdy and bold, Asa Makepeace doesn’t have time for a penny-pinching prude like Eve. As the garden’s larger-than-life owner, he’s already dealing with self-centered sopranos and temperamental tenors. He’s not about to let an aristocratic woman boss him around . . . no matter how enticing she is.

BUT LOVE CONQUERS ALL

In spite of her lack of theatrical experience—and her fiery clashes with Asa—Eve is determined to turn Harte’s Folly into a smashing success. But the harder she tries to manage the stubborn rake, the harder it is to ignore his seductive charm and raw magnetism. There’s no denying the smoldering fire between them—and trying to put it out would be the greatest folly of all.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

I’m a huge fan of Victoria Vane’s Historical Romances and was delighted to receive a copy of her latest novella.

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

(A De Wolfe Pack Kindle Worlds novella)

Genre: Historical Romance (Viking – 907 AD)

Cover Blurb:

She vowed to defy him to her dying breath… but passion blurs the line between love and hate…

The bluest blood and the hardest heart… at least when it comes to marriage… The daughter of a duke and granddaughter of a king, Adele of Vannes was bartered at birth in a marriage treaty for the sole purpose of producing a royal heir. When her philandering husband is slain by Norse marauders, Adele’s only desire is to retire to the peace and solitude of a cloister—until coerced to wed a savage Norseman. Adele knows that her beloved Brittany needs a strong hand to survive, but how can she ever reconcile her bitterness and hatred with the desire she feels for her avowed enemy?

She’s the jewel he seeks for his Breton crown…A Barbarian bent on building a dynasty, Valdrik Vargr, ‘the Norse Wolf,’ is renowned for both his bravery in battle and shrewdness in statecraft. Setting his sights on claiming the kingdom of Brittany, he knows that siring sons from royal blood would solidify his hold, but the woman he would claim as his queen refuses to have him. Will he fuel her hatred by taking her to his bed, or will the man who strikes terror in the hearts of men be reduced to wooing his bride?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Anna Campbell is high on my list of all-time favourite authors and I was lucky enough to receive a copy of her Christmas novella.

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

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

There’s a pirate in the manor house!

What is vicar’s daughter Bess Farrar to do when the dashing new earl, the man gossip paints as a ruthless pirate, kisses her the day they meet? Why, kiss him right back, of course! Now Lord Channing vows to claim the lovely firebrand, despite interfering villagers, a snowstorm, scandal, and a rascally donkey. The gallant naval captain’s first landlocked Christmas promises mayhem – and a lifetime of breathtaking passion

Pursued by the pirate…

Bess Farrar might be an innocent village miss, but she knows enough about the world to doubt Lord Channing’s motives when he kisses her the very day they meet. After all, local gossip insists that before this dashing rake became an earl, he sailed the Seven Seas as a ruthless pirate.

Bewitched by the vicar’s daughter…

Until he unexpectedly inherits a title, staunchly honorable Scotsman Rory Beaton has devoted his adventurous life to the Royal Navy. But he sets his course for tempestuous new waters when he meets lovely, sparkling Bess Farrar. Now this daring mariner will do whatever it takes to convince the spirited lassie to launch herself into his arms and set sail into the sunset.

A Christmas marked by mayhem.

Wooing his vivacious lady, the new Earl of Channing finds himself embroiled with matchmaking villagers, an eccentric vicar, mistaken identities, a snowstorm, scandal, and a rascally donkey. Life at sea was never this exciting. The gallant naval captain’s first landlocked Christmas promises hijinks, danger, and passion – and a breathtaking chance to win the love of a lifetime.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Christina McKnight is a new author whose books I discovered this year.

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(A De Wolfe Pack Kindle Worlds novella)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Lady Aloria has experienced firsthand what balls, betrothals, and the ensuing betrayals can do to a woman. To heal her heart, Aloria’s aim is to simply survive her final grand ball before her twenty-fourth birthday, and hope that her parents finally come to terms with her spinsterhood and allow her to retire to the country in peace.

Unfortunately, Marcus Adair, the Duke of Wolfeton, has other plans for her future. In town to secure a bride, he has set his sights on Aloria, and no other woman will do. But after a chance meeting in a darkened hallway, Marcus realizes he not only needs Aloria in his life; he desires her above all others.

Can Lady Aloria forget her scandalous past to build a future with the Duke of Wolfeton?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This is a series I have been following by British author, Jane Lark.

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(Marlowe Intrigues)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

How do you fight a calling that comes from your soul?

Lillian is in love with her charming protector. He brings her gifts and gives himself to her at night, but she knows nothing of his days; all she knows is that with Peter visiting her she is happier than she has ever been. The way he touches her and treats her is so different from other men.

Emily is excited, hopeful and expectant, waiting on the moment that everything seems to be leading towards. Lord Peter Brooke has courted her for a year; she is awaiting his proposal, certain it will come very soon, and everything he does indicates that it will.

Peter is torn; his soul is seeking one thing, but his mind wants another, and what about his heart? Where does his heart lie?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

I enjoy Shana Galen’s books and this one was free (for a limited period only).

Source: Free from Amazon Kindle

(Covent Garden Cubs, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

His heart may be the last thing she ever steals…

Marlowe is a pickpocket, a housebreaker-and a better actress than any professional on the stage. She runs with the Covent Garden Cubs, a gang of thieves living in the slums of London’s Seven Dials. It’s a fierce life, and Marlowe has a hard outer shell. But when she’s alone, she allows herself to think of a time before-a dimly remembered life when she was called Elizabeth.

Maxwell, Lord Dane, is intrigued when his brother, a hired investigator, ropes him into his investigation of the fiercely beautiful hellion. He teaches her to navigate the social morass of the ton, but Marlowe will not escape so easily. Instead, Dane is drawn into her dangerous world, where the student becomes the teacher and love is the greatest risk of all.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

I thought this anthology, including some of my favourite authors, would be a lovely addition to my Christmas reading.

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

What do you get when you have four despairing mamas with four unwed daughters? A very matchmaker Christmas, of course! This delightful holiday anthology features 4 novellas written by 4 authors, all revolving around the same fun plot involving a Regency holiday house party and hijinks aplenty!

Her Christmas Rogue by Christi Caldwell

Lady Winifred Grisham has been in love with her brother’s best friend Lord Trent Ballantine more years than she can remember. The only problem is, Trent is a notorious rogue who doesn’t dally with the respectable. Except, Winnie doesn’t want a dalliance–she wants his heart.

To Make a Perfect Scandal by Danelle Harmon

Tristan St. Aubyn, the Earl of Weybourne, is a driven man. Haunted by the bad decisions he made in his youth, his life is all about work … working to restore his fortunes, working to rebuild the herd of unique racehorses that were his late father’s legacy, working to forget just how lonely he really is. Lord Weybourne isn’t looking for a wife … but when a saucy young lady dressed as a lad finds her way into his stable and charms the most irascible colt in the barn, Tristan can’t help but be intrigued …

To Win a Quiet Heart by Renee Bernard

Suffering from crippling shyness, Nicodemus Chesterfield, the Earl of Athmore, would rather battle an army of demons than put one toe inside the treacherous social waters of a holiday house party. But sometimes, a man just has to face his fears—and when Jane Pemberly is the surprisingly beautiful and fantastically charming prize at the opposite end of the gauntlet—it seems there is nothing a man won’t do to sidestep scandals and win her love.

To Tempt a Saint by Valerie Bowman

What happens when a saint is tempted by a sinner? Prudence Carmichael is the epitome of well, prudence. But when a rumored pirate—with whom she just might have had a secret scandalous interlude years ago, that she’s been beating herself up about ever since—appears at Lady Weston’s Christmastide house party and charms the innocent young lady again, can Prudence resist her first and greatest temptation?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

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(League of Rogues, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb::

Can the League’s most wicked rakehell be tamed? Or has this Rogue fallen too far?

Horatia Sheridan has been hopelessly in love with Lucien, her brother’s best friend, ever since he rescued her from the broken remains of her parents’ wrecked carriage. His reputation as London’s most notorious rakehell doesn’t frighten her, for under his veneer of cool authority she has glimpsed a man whose wicked desires inspire her own.

Lucien, Marquess of Rochester, has deliberately nurtured a reputation for debauchery that makes every matchmaking mother of the ton quake with fear. His one secret: he is torn between soul-ripping lust for Horatia, and the loyalty he owes her brother.

That loyalty is put to the test when an old enemy of the League threatens Horatia’s life. With Christmas drawing near, he sweeps her away to his country estate, where he can’t resist granting her one wish—to share his bed and his heart.

But sinister forces are lurking, awaiting the perfect moment to exact their revenge by destroying not only whatever happiness Lucien might find in Horatia’s arms, but the lives of those they love.

Warning: This book contains an intelligent lady who is determined to seduce her brother’s friend, a brooding rake whose toy of choice in bed is a little bit of bondage with a piece of red silk, a loyal band of merry rogues and a Christmas love so scorching you’ll need fresh snow to extinguish it.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This is the second book in Lauren Smith’s League of Rogues series and I couldn’t wait to be in the company of those loveable rogues Godric, Lucien, Cedric, Charles and Ashton once again.

Lucien…

The hero falling for his best friend’s sister just happens to be one of my favourite tropes. I enjoyed that “forbidden love” aspect which raises the heat level of the sexual tension between Lucien and Horatia and causes such a dilemma for Lucien.

Lucien has managed to hide his attraction to Horatia beneath a show of coldness. Horatia deserves better than someone as debauched as him and he is unwilling to expose her to his darker passions.

She was too good a woman for him, and he was far too wicked to be worthy of her. Rather like a demon falling for an angel.

Of course, he finds it harder and harder to resist Horatia’s allure and I enjoyed watching him lose control and succumb to temptation.

“Christ. I’m no saint woman. I can’t… Oh to hell with it.”
The warmth of his breath tickled her lips before he devoured her throat in a slow languid kiss.

Horatia…

Horatia is the perfect match for Lucien with her intelligence and strength. She knows what she wants and is willing to go after it and I liked that about her. I enjoyed the smouldering scene in the Midnight Club when Lucien introduces Horatia to passion in the hope that it might scare her away, only to find it has the opposite effect. I love the scene afterwards when they are looking at the stars. There seems a special connection between them and it’s a lovely romantic moment when Lucien calls Horatia his ‘lovely stargazer’.

I love Lucien for being there whenever Horatia needs him most – comforting the distraught fourteen year old girl when her parents are killed or easing the pain of losing her beloved cat, Muff.

This moment, this embrace, was everything that mattered. A man who would do this for her was the only man she could ever have, ever want.

Although, I know Cedric loves his sister and wants to protect her, I felt like shaking him until teeth rattled because of his actions towards Lucien. Cedric fails to see beyond Lucien’s reputation to the honourable, caring man beneath until Lucien proves to be a true hero risking his life for those he loves.

What I love about the secondary characters is they each have their own distinct personalities. Ms Smith gives us a little more insight into both Charles and Ashton’s characters and I enjoyed seeing Godric and Emily so deliriously happy. I adored Audrey, Horatia’s sister, and fell in love with Lucien’s mad-cap siblings. My favourite secondary character has to be Lucien’s mother, Lady Rochester who actively encourages Horatia to seduce Lucien and whose voice can still have her sons running for cover!

“Sit down, all of you.” She’d spent twenty years perfecting that tone of voice and Avery, Lawrence and Linus all but dove for the nearest chairs.

I love how all the ladies band together to form The Society of Rebellious Ladies and the snow ball fight between the ladies and the men is hilarious. It reminded me of the deadly game of Pall Mall the Bridgertons play in Julia Quinn’s The Viscount Who Loved Me.

The plot had plenty of action, danger and betrayal as the League’s enemy, Hugo Waverly, plots his revenge, threatening not only the League members but their families as well. I wasn’t prepared for the tragic event which occurred towards the end. It was a bit of a shocker.

My Favourite Quote

He tugged long slender strip of crimson silk out from the center pages. Too long for a bookmark, it was embroidered with silver stars and crescent moons. “I thought you might find other uses for that.” Horatia nibbled her lower lip with a gleam in her eyes. Damn the woman, she was perfect. Too bloody perfect.

His Wicked Seduction is another wonderful addition to such an entertaining series. Eagerly awaiting Cedric’s story now.

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read November 2014

League of Rogues series so far (click on the book cover for more details):

Wicked Designs (The League of Rogues, #1) by Lauren   Smith His Wicked Seduction (The League of Rogues, #2) by Lauren   Smith

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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When I read Wicked Designs, the first book in this series, I was totally charmed by that lovable group of rogues.

(League of Rogues #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Can the League’s most wicked rakehell be tamed? Or has this Rogue fallen too far?

The League of Rogues, Book 2

Horatia Sheridan has been hopelessly in love with Lucien, her brother’s best friend, ever since he rescued her from the broken remains of her parents’ wrecked carriage. His reputation as London’s most notorious rakehell doesn’t frighten her, for under his veneer of cool authority she has glimpsed a man whose wicked desires inspire her own.

Lucien, Marquess of Rochester, has deliberately nurtured a reputation for debauchery that makes every matchmaking mother of the ton quake with fear. His one secret: he is torn between soul-ripping lust for Horatia, and the loyalty he owes her brother.

That loyalty is put to the test when an old enemy of the League threatens Horatia’s life. With Christmas drawing near, he sweeps her away to his country estate, where he can’t resist granting her one wish—to share his bed and his heart.

But sinister forces are lurking, awaiting the perfect moment to exact their revenge by destroying not only whatever happiness Lucien might find in Horatia’s arms, but the lives of those they love.

Warning: This book contains an intelligent lady who is determined to seduce her brother’s friend, a brooding rake whose toy of choice in bed is a little bit of bondage with a piece of red silk, a loyal band of merry rogues and a Christmas love so scorching you’ll need fresh snow to extinguish it.

 

BUY LINKS:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com.au

iTunes

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

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Amazon US:  http://amzn.to/1vEgJc9

Amazon UK:  http://amzn.to/1CJmyYi

Amazon CA:  http://amzn.to/1ulftdJ

Amazon AU:  http://bit.ly/1n1thc5

Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/10qinCL

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/YYZEgc

All Romance eBooks:  http://bit.ly/Z3OGqi

iTunes:  http://bit.ly/1rTywLe

Google Books:  http://bit.ly/1vGA3EK

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