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(Lonely Lords, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Nicholas Haddonfield has something to hide…

After a wild youth, Nicholas Haddonfield, Viscount Reston, has promised his ailing father he’ll finally take a bride, though doing so will force Nick to make impossible choices and face old, painful wounds.

Leah Lindsey is glad to find refuge from her own desperate situation in a marriage of convenience with the gallant viscount. But soon convenience is not enough, and Leah can’t understand why Nick remains so distant. What is he hiding, and will he ever allow her into his heart?

An extraordinary and passionate tale of courage tested and fears overcome. Once you enter the lush Regency world of award-winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes, you’ll never want to leave.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This is the second book I have read in the Lonely Lords series and, once again, Grace Burrowes has written an engaging story full of heartfelt emotion and richly drawn characters.

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The Snowdrop is for hope.”

Nicholas is a big man with an even bigger heart…so devoted to his family and willing to allay all Leah’s fears and do whatever it takes to protect her from harm –

I will see to your welfare, and without bringing you further misery. You are out of the habit of hoping and trusting, and you grow frantic at the thought of fate pressing upon you. Trust me, and I will win you free of it.”

I did want to bang his big, stubborn head against the nearest wall for keeping secrets from Leah for far too long and causing so much pain and heartache. But the scene where he finally gives up all his secrets was so moving, that I couldn’t help but want to throw my arms around that great big bear of a man and hug him tightly.

Hope, he thought with a flash of insight. Hoe that set teats seeping from his closed eyes, and joy sang through him in the very coursing of his life’s blood.

Other things endeared him to me; his charm and humour and when he sends flowers to Leah with a special meaning and the fact that he likes making birdhouses.

I had so much sympathy for Leah; her life marred by a youthful scandal and feeling alone and unloved.

She’d felt cast out, judged, unclean, and unforgivably stupid as a younger woman, and Society had done its cruel best to reinforce her opinion.

She is barely tolerated by a cruel, unfeeling father, who is only too happy to see her off his hands and married to an old lecher of a man. All she has ever wanted is to be accepted, loved and cherished. I love her courage, her honesty and her wit. Despite Nicholas’s insistence on a ‘White Marriage’,  Leah’s love and loyalty remains steadfast. She is there to support him when he most needs her.

The story also introduces Nicholas’s older, illegitimate half-brother, Ethan Grey. He is still living with the legacy of his father’s betrayal when he was a boy. which also caused a rift between himself and Nicholas. It was heart-warming to see these two starting to rebuild the close relationship they once shared and I was also moved by the poignant scene between Ethan and his dying father.

Favourite romantic quotes

When Nick Haddonfield held her, she felt protected, cherished, understood, and…treasured. When he kissed her, she felt all that, and so much more.

Sitting on the stone bench in the moonlight, his backside going numb, his wife in his arms, Nicholas Haddonfield knew he was absolutely and unshakeably, unequivocally and eternally loved.

Nicholas: Lord of Secrets is another wonderful addition to this delightful series.

REVIEW RATING: 4.5 /5 Stars

SENSUALITY RATING:  HOT

Read April 2014

 

The Lonely Lords series to date (click on cover for more details):

Darius  Lord of Pleasures (Lonely Lords, #1) Nicholas  Lord of Secrets (Lonely Lords, #2) Ethan  Lord of Scandals (Lonely Lords, #3) Beckman  Lord of Sins (Lonely Lords, #4) Gabriel  Lord of Regrets (Lonely Lords, #5) Gareth  Lord of Rakes (Lonely Lords, #6) Andrew  Lord of Despair (Lonely Lords, #7) Douglas  Lord of Heartache (Lonely Lords, #8) David  Lord of Honor (Lonely Lords, #9) Trenton  Lord of Loss (Lonely Lords, #10)

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THE SCANDALOUS DUKE TAKES A BRIDE BY TIFFANY CLARE

Source: Purchased from Amazon KIndle (auto-buy author)

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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.

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WHEN THE DUKE WAS WICKED BY LORRAINE HEATH

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle (auto-buy author)

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(Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

They are England’s most eligible bachelors, with the most scandalous reputations. But for the right woman, even an unrepentant rogue may mend his ways…

Lady Grace Mabry’s ample inheritance has made it impossible for her to tell whether a suitor is in love with her—or enamored of her riches. Who better to distinguish beau from blackguard than her notorious childhood friend, the Duke of Lovingdon?

With no interest in marriage, Lovingdon has long lived only for pleasure. He sees little harm in helping Grace find a proper match. After all, he’s familiar with all the ploys a scoundrel uses to gain a woman’s favor. He simply has to teach the lovely innocent how to distinguish honest emotions from false ones. How better than by demonstrating his wicked ways. But as lessons lead to torrid passion and Grace becomes ensnared in another man’s marriage plot, Lovingdon must wage a desperate gamble: Open his heart fully—or risk losing the woman he adores…

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ANDREW: LORD OF DESPAIR BY GRACE BURROWES

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle (auto-buy author)

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(Lonely Lords #7)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Andrew Alexander will do anything to protect those he loves…

After a tragic yachting accident leaves him wracked with guilt and despair, Andrew Alexander becomes certain he doesn’t deserve to be around his own family, let alone the beautiful, forthright Astrid Worthington. He wanders for years, only allowing himself respite from his self-imposed exile when he thinks Astrid safely married. He returns home to find instead that the only woman he’s ever loved has been recently – and mysteriously – widowed.

…especially from himself.

When Andrew leaves, Astrid refuses to pine. She finds an amiable husband and contents herself with a cordial if unexciting marriage. But her husband’s sudden death and Andrew’s reappearance threaten to break her heart all over again. When Astrid’s life is threatened, she finds Andrew will do anything to protect her not only from her enemies, but also from the truth of his dark past.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

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SECRETS FOR SEDUCING A ROYAL BODY GUARD BY VANESSA KELLY

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

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(The Renegade Royals #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (18th Century)

Cover Blurb

In this witty, sensual new series, Vanessa Kelly introduces the Renegade Royals, illegitimate sons of the Royal Princes who are finding their rightful places in society…

Accomplished spy Aden St. George prefers to stay away from the frivolous ton, especially after the way his mother was used by the Prince Regent. But his latest mission compels him to guard unconventional, vibrant Lady Vivien Shaw. Rescuing her from kidnappers was easy. Resisting her beauty is not. Duty demands he keep an eye on her—and naturally, his lips soon follow. For someone who views entanglements as a weakness, this is pure, delicious folly…

Though grateful for Aden’s help, Vivien has secrets she must keep hidden. Yet with her abductors still at large, she needs Aden’s protection almost as much as she craves his touch…

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THE LAST WICKED SCOUNDREL BY LORRAINE HEATH

Source: Bought from Amazon Kindle

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(Scoundrels of St. James Novella #5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lorraine Heath brings us the eagerly awaited final story in the Scoundrels of St. James series.

William Graves is the last of Feagan’s scoundrels. A onetime grave robber turned royal physician, he has devoted his life to saving others—because he knows there is no way to save himself. Especially not around a lady like Winnie. Though undeserving of her touch, he cannot resist. His passion cannot be tamed…even in the face of certain danger.

Winnie, the Duchess of Avendale, never knew peace until her brutal husband died. With William she’s discovered burning desire—and the healing power of love. But now, confronted by the past she thought she’d left behind, Winnie must face her fears…or risk losing the one man who can fulfill all her dreams.

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DOUGLAS: LORD OF HEARTACHE by GRACE BURROWES

Source: Bought from Amazon Kindle

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(Lonely Lords, #8)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Douglas Allen needs a home for his aching heart…

Douglas Allen, Viscount Amery, hates having arrived to his title without knowing how to manage what few properties he has. Guinevere Hollister is a distant family connection raising her daughter, Rose, in rural obscurity and stewarding the estate they live on. At the urging of mutual family, Douglas reluctantly puts himself in Gwen’s hands for lessons in land husbandry and discovers beneath her prickly exterior a woman of passion and honor. Yet despite the closeness they find, she will not marry him.

Guinevere Hollister needs a champion…

When the powerful Duke of Moreland arranges an engagement between Gwen and his heir, Douglas knows the marriage is not what Gwen wants. In Douglas’s eyes, Gwen deserves to make her own choices, even if she chooses continued poverty and disgrace over the love Douglas offers her. Douglas will take on their family, the meddling duke, and Gwen’s own lonely, stubborn heart to ensure his lady’s happiness.

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LOVE ON A MIDSUMMER NIGHT BY CHRISTY ENGLISH

Source: Bought from Amazon Kindle

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(Shakespeare in Love, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

A Regency-era retelling of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The charming, dissolute Raymond, Earl of Pembroke, is the most notorious rake in London. Home from the war against Bonaparte’s forces, he spends his life gaming, drinking and bedding courtesans, trying to forget the only woman he ever loved.

Arabella, Duchess of Hawthorne, is the woman who betrayed him. Forced into a marriage with an old man against her will ten years before, Arabella never saw Pembroke again. But now her elderly husband is dead, and the new Duke of Hawthorne wants to force her into his bed.

Desperate, Arabella goes to Pembroke in the dark of night and begs for his help and protection. In spite of his anger and bitterness, Pembroke can not turn his old love away. He and Arabella journey to Derbyshire during the midsummer festival to escape the marauding duke. Arabella and Pembroke find that their attraction for each other has not diminished, but has grown to a conflagration beyond their control. They find themselves falling under an enchantment, caught in a dream from which they never want to wake.

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FOREVER BETROTHED, NEVER THE BRIDE BY CHRISTI CALDWELL

Source: Bought from Amazon Kindle

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Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Hopeless romantic, Lady Emmaline Fitzhugh, is tired of sitting with the wallflowers, waiting for her betrothed to come to his senses and marry her. When Emmaline reads one too many reports of his scandalous liaisons in the gossip rags, she takes matters into her own hands.

War-torn veteran, Lord Drake devotes himself to forgetting his days on the Peninsula through an endless round of meaningless associations. He no longer wants to feel anything, but Lady Emmaline is making it hard to maintain a state of numbness. With her zest for life, she awakens his passion and desire for love.

The one woman Drake has spent the better part of his life avoiding is now the only woman he needs, but he is no longer a man worthy of his Emmaline. It is up to her to show him the healing power of love.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

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GARETH: LORD OF RAKES BY GRACE BURROWES

Source: Bought from Amazon Kindle

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(Lonely Lords # 6)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

She’s caught between a rake and certain ruin…

Felicity Worthington’s only hope of avoiding poverty—or worse—is to accept her distant cousin’s dubious bequest…a thriving, high-class brothel. Felicity has 90 days to convince her cousin’s solicitors that Gareth Alexander has taught her the art of pleasing a man, though she’s more interested in the gentleman she glimpses beneath Gareth’s debauched airs, than in the rake he’s become.

In the business of love…How much should he teach her?

Gareth Alexander, Marquis of Heathgate, has little incentive to help a spinster learn to manage a brothel—except that the alternatives for the prim, pretty Miss Worthington are even worse. His resistance to teaching Felicity how to be a madam leaves Gareth wondering if the honor he’d thought long dead still survives, and if that honor allows him to yield to the lady’s ruinous scheme…and to their shared desires.

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IF YOU GIVE A RAKE A RUBY BY SHANA GALEN

Source: Bought from Amazon Kindle

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(Jewels of the Ton #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Her Mysterious Past Is The Best Revenge…

Fallon, the Marchioness of Mystery, is a celebrated courtesan with her finger on the pulse of high society. She’s adored by men, hated by their wives. No one knows anything about her past, and she plans to keep it that way.

Only He Can Offer Her A Dazzling Future…

Warrick Fitzhugh will do anything to protect his compatriots in the Foreign Office, including seduce Fallon, who he thinks can lead him to the deadliest crime lord in London. He knows he’s putting his life on the line…

To Warrick’s shock, Fallon is not who he thinks she is, and the secrets she’s keeping are exactly what make her his heart’s desire…

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THE SCANDAL BEFORE CHRISTMAS – A HOLIDAY NOVELLA – ELIZABETH ESSEX

Source: Bought from Amazon Kindle

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(The Reckless Brides  # 3.5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Lieutenant Ian Worth needs a wife by Christmas, and he can’t afford to be choosy. He has to find her, woo her, and wed her before he goes back to sea – all within a matter of days.

Anne Lesley is a shy spinster with no prospects, and nothing and no one to recommend her but her own self. She accepts the lieutenant’s hasty offer only for the comfort and security it will bring. But when a midwinter storm snows her and Ian in, they both find they got much more than they bargained for – daughter, light, and a Christmas filled with honest to goodness true love…

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THE GREATEST LOVER EVER BY CHRISTINA BROOKE

Source: Bought from Amazon Kindle

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(The Westruthers #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Passion to last a lifetime…

The Sweetest Scandal

Beautiful, exuberant, and stubborn Georgiana Black has more spirit than sense—which she learns when an ultimatum to the Earl of Beckenham ends their engagement. Six years later, Georgie is less concerned with impending spinsterhood than with making sure her young sister doesn’t make the same mistakes she did. But soon Georgie stumbles into a scandalous encounter with none other than her former fiancé. Beckenham is still breathtakingly desirable.

The Truest Temptation

Beckenham’s brief engagement to Georgie taught him one thing: when it comes to a wife, he wants a woman who will do her duty and cause no trouble. When the fiery Georgie falls unexpectedly into his arms, Beckenham remembers just how lushly delectable she is. Suddenly, the idea of actually marrying Georgie is irresistible. In a battle of wills, can passion conquer pride?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

LORD OF THE SEA BY DANELLE HARMON

Source: Gift from a dear friend

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(Heroes of the Sea # 4)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

A Sea Devil Who’s Reckless At Heart. . .

Captain Connor Merrick’s thirst for danger has brought him fame and fortune as one of the most brazenly successful privateers of the War of 1812. But deep beneath his swagger, derring-do and charm, the handsome American captain is hiding a devastating secret, and he’ll go to any lengths to protect it . . .

A Beauty Who Gets More Than She Bargained For. . . .

Rhiannon Evans has longed for an adventure—and a mysterious, dangerous man to sweep her off her feet. While enroute to the tropical paradise of Barbados, she never dreams that her heart will be captured by the dashing American privateer who rescues her from bloodthirsty pirates. Only Rhiannon can see beneath Connor’s reckless façade to the man beneath. But when tragedy strikes, can Rhiannon’s love save Connor from himself? Or will the secret he guards so carefully, end up being the undoing of them both?

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GABRIEL: LORD OF REGRETS BY GRACE BURROWES

(Lonely Lords #5)

Genre: Historical Romance

Official Blurb 

Gabriel North has spent two years allowing his family to believe him dead, while he assumes the identity of a hardworking steward on the neglected Three Springs estate.

When Gabriel falls in love with Polonaise Hunt, cook at Three Springs, he realizes that until he solves the mystery of who tried repeatedly to kill him, he cannot ask any woman to share his life.

Gabriel resumes his proper identity as Marquis of Hesketh, only to find that Polonaise has also resumed her calling, that of talented portrait artist, and she’s been commissioned to paint Gabriel’s heir.

While Gabriel tries to untangle the mystery of his attempted murder, he finds Polonaise has been keeping secrets of her own. She can capture Gabriel’s likeness on canvas, but can he capture her heart?

(Expected date of publication – Kindle: 3 September 2013) 

★✩★✩★✩★

THE UNTAMED MACKENZIE BY JENNIFER ASHLEY

(Highland Pleasures #5.5)

Genre: Historical Romance

Official Blurb 

A WOMAN OF BREEDING MEETS A MAN OF NO STANDING… 

To redeem her family’s disgraced name, Lady Louisa Scranton has decided to acquire a proper husband. He needs to be a man of fortune and highly respectable in order to restore both her family’s lost wealth and reputation. She enters the Marriage Mart with all flags flying, determined to find the right bachelor.

But Louisa’s hopes are dashed when the Bishop of Hargate drops dead at her feet—and she is shockingly accused of murder! Soon, Louisa’s so-called friends begin shunning her, because the company of a suspected killer is never desirable in polite society.

The problem comes to the ears of Detective Inspector Lloyd Fellows, by-blow of the decadent Scottish Mackenzie family and an inspector for Scotland Yard. He has shared two passionate kisses with Lady Louisa–and vows to clear her name. For not only does he know she’s innocent, he recognizes he’s falling for the lovely lady.

Fellows is Louisa’s only hope of restoring her family’s honor—and it is he alone who intrigues Louisa in a way that may be even more scandalous than murder…

[INCLUDES A PREVIEW OF THE UPCOMING NOVEL THE WICKED DEEDS OF DANIEL MACKENZIE]

(Expected date of publication – Kindle: 10 September 2013 ) 

★✩★✩★✩★

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darius

Lonely Lords #1

Setting : Regency England

Official Blurb

Desperate, penniless, and shunned by his wealthy father, Darius Lindsey begins offering himself secretly to jaded society ladies. He hangs onto his last shreds of honor, but he’s losing ground financially each month.

That is until the aging Lord William Longstreet makes Darius an offer he can’t refuse: get the Lord’s pretty young wife-of-convenience, Lady Vivian, pregnant discreetly, and he will earn enough money to never want again. But problems lie ahead when the stunning Vivian captures his heart, and his clients refuse to let him go. Can Darius untangle himself without scandal and offer himself to Vivian heart and soul?

★✩★✩★✩

I started reading this book with some trepidation given the story premise, but I was totally captivated by this beautifully crafted and emotionally satisfying tale of love and redemption.

The time had come to ransom his soul back from hell.

Ms Burrowes took a risk with a hero who, to put it in his own words, was crassly bought and paid for, a stud to service a highbred filly, a cicisbeo in the most vulgar, unflattering sense. But for me that risk definitely paid off because it is Darius’s very flaws that make following his journey to regaining his honour and self-respect so much more satisfying. He’s a good and noble man at heart:

…it struck her like a thunderclap that Darius had prostituted himself to provide for John and the collection of castoffs that formed the staff at Averett Hill. There was nothing, nothing Darius would not do to protect his loved ones.

and truly deserves his happy ending.

I was a biddable, unpaid nurse-companion in an ugly dress. I am not… I am not the woman I am supposed to be, unless I am with you. I had no courage. I had no fortitude. I had no trust. I was nobody’s mother, nobody’s lioness, nobody’s lover.”

I adore Vivian. She’s kind, honest, intelligent and a genuine lady. I loved watching her blossom into the woman she’s meant to be – confident, courageous, passionate and a wonderful mother. Most of all I love her for seeing what a truly wonderful man Darius is.

He was just a man, she was just a woman, and it would be… just sex.

One of the highlights of the book is the slow-building romance between Darius and Vivian. It makes their falling in love seem natural and inevitable. There are so many things I love about the relationship – Darius’s flirting and teasing, Vivian’s delightful innocence, the passion and their overwhelming love for each other.

The secondary characters certainly add depth the story. There’s Vivian’s kindly and astute husband, Lord Longstreet, Thurgood Ainsworthy, Vivian’s avaricious step-father and Lady Cowell and Lady Milne (I would hesitate to use the word Lady in connection with them!), those harpies who make Darius’s life such a misery. I’m happy to report that both the harpies and Ainsworthy get their just desserts.

I can’t end this review without mentioning the scenes with Darius and the baby.  They’re so moving and heart-warming.

If you are looking for a story with unforgettable characters and a love story that touches the heart, look no further than this book.

VERDICT: FANTASTIC! LOVED IT!

RATING:  5/5 Stars

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read April 2013

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