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Posts Tagged ‘Manda Collins’

(Lords of Anarchy, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

LOVE IS ALWAYS A WILD RIDE.

A writer for the Ladies Gazette, Miss Ophelia Dauntry’s passion is her pen. So when she sees a fellow writer kidnapped before her eyes—and the trail of evidence leads to the Lords of Anarchy—Ophelia vows to find her friend and take down the notorious London driving club in her column. But before she can argue her case, she needs the inside scoop from its newest leader: Piers Hamilton, the Duke of Trent.

Headstrong, handsome Trent joined the Lords of Anarchy after a decade in the British Army. He’s made it his business to tame the misbehavior within the driving club—and the infuriatingly attractive Ophelia is only getting in his way. The deeper she digs into the case, the more she puts her own life at risk. Can Trent convince Ophelia to trust him to seek justice…and find protection, and passion, in his arms?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

GOOD DUKES WEAR BLACK is the final book the Lords of Anarchy series and, once again, Manda Collins writes an engaging mix of romance and mystery.

Trent is definitely a hero to fall in love with…strong, honourable and kind. His determination to restore the reputation of the infamous Lords of Anarchy club and help Ophelia find her friend is admirable too. I love how protective he is towards Ophelia when he tends her injuries; how he recognises her quiet loveliness when others don’t; how he expresses faith in her ability to fulfill her duties as duchess when she has doubts; how he encourages her to be open and honest with him; how he respects her enough to wait until their wedding night.

Ophelia is a likeable heroine…independent and stubborn. She doggedly refuses to agree to a passionless marriage even though her mother is determined to marry her off to her best friend’s dull son. She is also loyal and caring as seen in her deep concern for her friend, and her determined efforts to find Maggie. I like that she is wise enough to seek the duke’s help and take her two friends along when she goes to visit the orphanage, unlike some heroines who foolishly run headlong into danger. I also love her boldness and ingenuity when she finds herself in the villain’s clutches.

I enjoyed the slow build-up of the romance between Trent and Ophelia, played out against the unraveling of the mystery surrounding Ophelia’s friend’s disappearance. I also like that a genuine friendship exists alongside the growing physical attraction. It gives their relationship more depth. Trent is certainly every lady’s dream lover but I also enjoyed Ophelia’s boldness in the bedroom.

There is some delightful wit and humour in the story too. I love how Trent’s friends, Freddy and Mainwaring, are constantly ribbing him and, this is one of my favourite exchanges.

I think you’ll make a splendid father when the time comes,” Mainwaring said, turning his quizzing glass from Freddy to Trent. “Quite masterful. But sensitive too.”
“Yes,” Freddy agreed. “Like the sort of father one wouldn’t be afraid to tell about a tipple into his brandy.”

“Or a kiss behind the rosebushes,” Mainwaring added.

“Or losing the cricket match for the whole team.” Freddy agreed.

“You are both quite mad,” Trent said, shaking his head at them. “You know this do you not?”

I also enjoyed the scene where Trent adopts a display of ducal arrogance, complete with quizzing glass, when he questions Doctor Gideon.

I adore Ophelia’s father for standing up for her and loving her just the way she is. Ophelia accepts that her mother loves her but that love seems conditional on Ophelia being compliant to her mother’s wishes.

There are a number of red herrings and the mystery kept me guessing right up to the point where the villain is revealed…a nasty piece of work he is too.

MY VERDICT: A satisfying end to what has been an enjoyable series.


REVIEW RATING: 4/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

Read June 2016

 

Lords of Anarchy series (click on the book cover for more details):

A Good Rake is Hard to Find (Lords of Anarchy, #1) by Manda Collins Good Earl Gone Bad (Lords of Anarchy, #2) by Manda Collins Good Dukes Wear Black (Lords of Anarchy, #3) by Manda Collins

 

**I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review. **

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I’m delighted to welcome Award Winning Author MANDA COLLINS to Rakes and Rascals today for an exclusive interview.

Thank you so much for inviting me, Carol.

~~~~~~

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

Manda:
I was born in Mobile, Alabama, best known for its mention in the Bob Dylan song “Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again.”  For someone who wanted a life of culture and excitement it was perhaps not the most exciting place to live.  But I managed.  And once I’d spent some years away I was ready to move back for good.


With my mother, circa 1982.


With my Great Great Aunt Alida , my grandmother’s aunt – circa. 1980. She was a wonderful lady and fostered my love of love of reading and writing. She died before I got published but she’d have been tickled pink.

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

Manda:
I’m laid back–almost to a fault. It takes a lot to make me really angry.  But when I finally snap, watch out!


R&R:

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

Manda:
Sweet, definitely.


R&R:

What is your most treasured possession?

Manda:
A photograph of me with my mother taken a couple of years before she died.


R&R:

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

Manda:
Once Upon a time I would have said England or Scotland or Wales, but now that I’m older and like the comforts of home,  then I’d say somewhere on the Alabama Gulf Coast, like Gulf Shores, AL. Sugar white sands rushing surf, and a hammock to while away the day in.


Gulf Shores, Alabama


R&R:

Finally, what has been your most embarrassing moment?

Manda:
That would have to be the time I fell crossing King’s Road on a college trip to London.  It was a rather serious injury that meant staying a few days in hospital before being flown back home for surgery. What I remember about the fall itself was that one moment I was walking and the next I was flat on my back on the zebra crossing and the driver of the car that had just stopped was convinced he’d hit me somehow.  Of course he hadn’t.  And despite the pain and the stress of it, it was actually quite an adventure to see that side of England and I met lots of lovely people at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

~~~~~~

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

Thanks again, Carol, for having me. It’s been a real pleasure.

 

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

Website

Goodreads

Facebook

Twitter

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(Lords of Anarchy, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

TEMPTING FATE

Marriage? To a gambler? You must be joking! Yet Lady Hermione Upperton has never backed down from a challenge. When her spendthrift father offers her at the gaming tables, she is given a difficult choice—wed the Earl of Mainwaring, an infamous gamester with no respect for her skills with the reins, or face charges for the murder of a member of the infamous Lords of Anarchy. Either way she’ll have to clear her name. Can she count on her husband’s help the way she has begun to count on his kisses?

RISKING ROMANCE

All Jasper Fawley, the Earl of Mainwaring, wanted was a night of cards. But by the end of the evening he’s walked away with a fortune—and a bride who’s suspected of murder. Jasper knows Hermione is passionate about her unorthodox membership in the Lords of Anarchy, but he’s certain she would never kill to keep it. Can he protect his headstrong wife from prosecution and a ruthless killer without endangering both their hearts in the process?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

I was disappointed with A Good Rake is Hard to Find, the first book in the series, but I really enjoyed this one with its engaging characters, charming romance and intriguing mystery elements.

Jasper has all the traits I look for in a hero… honourable, charming, kind and patient. I love how he champions Hermione and is so protective towards her. He admires her spirit and sharp wit and I like that he has no desire to change her. I think these words reveal the sort of man he is.

“I realize that your life with your father has been somewhat…difficult at times. But you should never worry about angering me or upsetting me. I will always listen to with an open mind.”

Hermione is outspoken, headstrong and determined and, as a keen driving enthusiast, she is considered unfashionable. She is a mixture of strength and vulnerability which made her a very sympathetic character. Her father, Lord Upperton, is a compulsive gambler and Hermione realises that he loves cards more than he loves her. Only a really, corrupt and heartless man would threaten to auction off his own daughter. It’s not surprising she has concerns about Jasper, someone she sees as a gambler just like her father (Jasper’s reasons for gambling are very different from her father’s as revealed later in the story).

I enjoyed seeing their relationship blossom slowly from friendship to affection and finally to love. It was refreshing to see a couple who, although married under less than ideal circumstances, really want their marriage to work and are open and honest with each other.

The conversation they have about what happens in the marriage bed is certainly one of the most unusual ones I’ve read!

“I admit,” she said with a smile, “my knowledge about the process is a bit limited. I have seen horses of course, but as they have hooves there was no question of the lady horse touching the stallion’s …” She made a hand gesture meant to indicate the missing word.
“Quite,” he said with a wince at the absurdity of this conversation.

I liked how Hermione’s boldness extends to the bedroom but also how Jasper shows such consideration and gentleness.

Jasper really proved a true hero when he stands up to his mother on Hermione’s behalf but Hermione proves herself more than capable of holding her own against the over-bearing Lady Mainwaring. At first, I thoroughly disliked Jasper’s scheming mother, but I came to understand and sympathise with her when she confides in Hermione the reasons for the conflict with her son. It was lovely to see a genuine friendship forged between Lady Mainwaring and Hermione and reconciliation between mother and son.

Why did it feel as if this case were becoming more complex not less.

Yes, there are lots of twists and turns before the mystery surrounding the theft of Hermione’s horses  is resolved but I never felt that the mystery element eclipsed the romance.

If I were asked to choose my favourite romantic moment, it would be this…

“Just know that I don’t want you to change. Or rather, I don’t expect you to. It isn’t a requirement for my happiness.”
“You are a wonderful man, “she said, kissing him back. “My father couldn’t have chosen better.”

MY VERDICT: This was a very enjoyable read and Jasper and Hermione were a delightful couple.

REVIEW RATING: 4/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

Read September/October 2015

Lords of Anarchy series (click on the book cover for more details):

A Good Rake is Hard to Find (Lords of Anarchy, #1) by Manda Collins Good Earl Gone Bad (Lords of Anarchy, #2) by Manda Collins Good Dukes Wear Black (Lords of Anarchy, #3) by Manda Collins – to be published 5th April 2016


**I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review. **

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Having very much enjoyed Manda Collins’s Ugly Ducklings and Wicked Widows series, I looked forward to reading her latest Lords of Anarchy series. Although I was sadly disappointed with the first book, “A Good Rake is Hard to Find”, I did like secondary characters Lord Mainwaring and Lady Hermione Upperton and wanted to read their story. So I was delighted to be offered an ARC to review.

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

(Lords of Anarchy, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

TEMPTING FATE

Marriage? To a gambler? You must be joking! Yet Lady Hermione Upperton has never backed down from a challenge. When her spendthrift father offers her at the gaming tables, she is given a difficult choice—wed the Earl of Mainwaring, an infamous gamester with no respect for her skills with the reins, or face charges for the murder of a member of the infamous Lords of Anarchy. Either way she’ll have to clear her name. Can she count on her husband’s help the way she has begun to count on his kisses?

RISKING ROMANCE

All Jasper Fawley, the Earl of Mainwaring, wanted was a night of cards. But by the end of the evening he’s walked away with a fortune—and a bride who’s suspected of murder. Jasper knows Hermione is passionate about her unorthodox membership in the Lords of Anarchy, but he’s certain she would never kill to keep it. Can he protect his headstrong wife from prosecution and a ruthless killer without endangering both their hearts in the process?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This is Grace Burrowes…need I to say more?

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(Captive Hearts, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

He’ll never be free…

Captured and tortured by the French, Christian Severn, Duke of Mercia, survives by vowing to take revenge on his tormentors. Before the duke can pursue his version of justice, Gillian, Countess of Greendale, reminds him that his small daughter has suffered much in his absence, and needs her papa desperately.

Until he surrenders his heart…

Gilly endured her difficult marriage by avoiding confrontation and keeping peace at any cost. Christian’s devotion to his daughter and his kindness toward Gilly give her hope that she could enjoy a future with him, for surely he of all men shares her loathing for violence in any form. Little does Gilly know, the battle for Christian’s heart is only beginning.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Lucinda Brant’s books have been highly recommended to me

Source: Free from Amazon Kindle

(Roxton Family Saga, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Georgian)

Cover Blurb:

NEW 2014 EDITION (revised, re-edited, re-covered)

France and England in the age of hedonism and enlightenment
A green-eyed beauty is abandoned at the court of Versailles
The predatory Comte de Salvan plots her seduction
An all-powerful adversary snatches her to safety
But is he noble savior or a satyr most despicable?

Antonia is pursued by the lascivious Comte de Salvan who wants her as a mistress. When the libertine Duke of Roxton snatches her from Salvan’s clutches, she believes herself rescued. Has she merely swapped one seducer for another? Will Roxton save Antonia from the Comte? Can Antonia save the Duke from himself?

A classic romance in the tradition of Georgette Heyer, Noble Satyr pays homage to Heyer’s These Old Shades.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Source: Novella given as a gift only to author’s newsletter subscribers.

(A Farthingale Novella)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Lady Evangeline Cameron, granddaughter of the powerful Duke of Lotheil, is holding out for one man’s love, but the only thing George Farthingale knows when it comes to Evie is that he must not kiss her. No matter how much he wants to. Find out if Evie and George find love in If You Kissed Me.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Source: Free from Amazon Kindle

(The Rogues of Ravensmuir, 1)

Genre: Historical Romance (14th Century)

Cover Blurb:

Dear Reader:

Seductive and mysterious, Merlyn was the laird of Ravensmuir — never had a man so stirred my body and soul. I gave myself to him — willingly, trustingly, passionately — and we soon wed. Then a horrible revelation emerged, shattering my innocence and my marriage…

Five years later, Merlyn returned to my doorstep, desperate for my help. The scoundrel swore he was haunted by memories of me, that a treasure locked in Ravensmuir could clear his name. Yet I could not surrender to his will again. Now he is said to be murdered and Ravensmuir has fallen into my hands.

But even as I cross the threshold of this cursed keep, I hear his whisper in the darkness, feel his caress in the night, and I know that Merlyn has told me but part of his tale. Should I do as is right and expose his lair? Or dare I trust my alluring but deceptive spouse – the rogue who destroyed my heart?

— Ysabella

♥♥♥♥♥♥

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(Lords of Anarchy, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

A DANGEROUS GAME

Heartbroken by the loss of her brother, Miss Leonora Craven vows to uncover the truth about his “accident,” which seems to have been anything but. Jonathan Craven was involved with the Lords of Anarchy, a notorious driving club, and Leonora can’t help but suspect foul play. But the only way she can infiltrate their reckless inner circle is to enlist the help of Jonny’s closest ally, Lord Frederick Lisle. If only he didn’t also happen to be the man who broke Leonora’s heart…

AN UNDENIABLE DESIRE

Frederick isn’t surprised to find gorgeous, headstrong Leonora playing detective, but he knows that the Lords of Anarchy mean business—and he has no choice but to protect her. A sham engagement to Leonora will allow Frederick to bring her into the club and along for the ride. But it isn’t long before pretending to be lovers leads to very real passion. With everything to lose, is their tempestuous affair worth the risk?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

I really enjoyed Ms Collins’s previous Ugly Ducklings and Wicked Widows series. So I was looking forward to reading this first book in her new Lords of Anarchy series but, overall, I was disappointed.

Frederick was honourable, patient and protective…all the qualities I look for in a hero but he didn’t seem to have that dynamic presence on the page. Leonora was my sort of heroine…unconventional (a poet and a staunch proponent of women’s rights), intelligent, bold and outspoken.

I wanted to know about their previous relationship. How did they meet? How long they were together? What were their feelings for each other? Leonora had decided she would never marry because of the shameful secret she carried so why did she agree to the engagement to Frederick, only to call it off? In this instance, a flashback would certainly have been helpful in answering these questions. I’m not sure whether it was this lack of insight into their previous thoughts and feelings but the romance between them felt flat somehow. I also found it hard to believe that a seasoned rake like Frederick would not have realised that Leonora wasn’t a virgin when they made love.

I am not giving away any spoilers because it was fairly obvious that Frederick’s cousin and leader of the Lords of Anarchy, Sir Gerard Fincher, is responsible for Jonathan’s death. So, rather than a mystery, the main gist of the story was Frederick and Leonora working together to find the evidence to prove it. There were some especially tense moments and Gerald was truly diabolical so I was disappointed that he never got the punishment he truly deserved.

On a more positive note, I did like Frederick’s mother, the Duchess of Pemberton, who is very adept at handling three grown-up sons. I also liked Frederick’s witty friend, Lord Mainwaring and Leonora’s friend, Lady Hermione Upperton, whose skills with the reins are equal to any man’s.

My Verdict: This book was disappointing but it won’t deter me from reading Lord Mainwaring and Lady Hermione Upperton’s story in the second book, GOOD EARL GONE BAD

REVIEW RATING: 3/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read April 2015

Lords of Anarchy series so far (please click on the book cover for more details):

A Good Rake is Hard to Find (Lords of Anarchy, #1) by Manda Collins Good Earl Gone Bad (Lords of Anarchy, #2) by Manda Collins – 6 October 2015

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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(Lords of Anarchy, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

A DANGEROUS GAME

Heartbroken by the loss of her brother, Miss Leonora Craven vows to uncover the truth about his “accident,” which seems to have been anything but. Jonathan Craven was involved with the Lords of Anarchy, a notorious driving club, and Leonora can’t help but suspect foul play. But the only way she can infiltrate their reckless inner circle is to enlist the help of Jonny’s closest ally, Lord Frederick Lisle. If only he didn’t also happen to be the man who broke Leonora’s heart…

AN UNDENIABLE DESIRE

Frederick isn’t surprised to find gorgeous, headstrong Leonora playing detective, but he knows that the Lords of Anarchy mean business—and he has no choice but to protect her. A sham engagement to Leonora will allow Frederick to bring her into the club and along for the ride. But it isn’t long before pretending to be lovers leads to very real passion. With everything to lose, is their tempestuous affair worth the risk?

♥♥♥♥

(Desperate Duchesses by Numbers, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

As a young girl, Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington told the annoying future Duke of Pindar that she would marry any man in the world before him—so years later she is horrified to realize that she has nowhere else to turn.

Evander Septimus Brody has his own reasons for agreeing to Mia’s audacious proposal, but there’s one thing he won’t give his inconvenient wife: himself.

Instead, he offers Mia a devil’s bargain…he will spend four nights a year with her. Four nights, and nothing more. And those only when she begs for them.

Which Mia will never do.

Now Vander faces the most crucial challenge of his life: he must seduce his own wife in order to win her heart—and no matter what it takes, this is the one battle he can’t afford to lose.

♥♥♥♥

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Source: Received an ARC from the author via NetGalley.

(Lords of Anarchy, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

A DANGEROUS GAME

Heartbroken by the loss of her brother, Miss Leonora Craven vows to uncover the truth about his “accident,” which seems to have been anything but. Jonathan Craven was involved with the Lords of Anarchy, a notorious driving club, and Leonora can’t help but suspect foul play. But the only way she can infiltrate their reckless inner circle is to enlist the help of Jonny’s closest ally, Lord Frederick Lisle. If only he didn’t also happen to be the man who broke Leonora’s heart…

AN UNDENIABLE DESIRE

Frederick isn’t surprised to find gorgeous, headstrong Leonora playing detective, but he knows that the Lords of Anarchy mean business—and he has no choice but to protect her. A sham engagement to Leonora will allow Frederick to bring her into the club and along for the ride. But it isn’t long before pretending to be lovers leads to very real passion. With everything to lose, is their tempestuous affair worth the risk?

Date of publication: 31 March 2025

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Source: Won in a Giveaway

(Marriage Mart Mayhem, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

London 1814…

Drake, Duke of Manchester is searching the Marriage Mart for a perfect bride. He wants a woman who is poised, sophisticated, and worthy of the title Duchess. But most of all, he wants a woman who does not want the useless emotion of love.

Socially awkward Miss Penelope Clayton isn’t meant for marriage. A serious botanist, she has no desire to wed, so being forced by her guardian to participate in the Season to find a husband is torture. She’ll never fit in with the ton, especially if they discover she’s been pretending to be a man within the scientific community.

As Drake’s family makes over Penelope, turning her from naive bluestocking to enchanting debutante, he is put upon to introduce her to society and eligible bachelors. Despite dance lessons and new gowns, Penelope is the opposite of poised and sophisticated as she stumbles from one mishap to the next. Why then, does he find it so hard to resist her?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency and Medieval)

Cover Blurb:

Enter a world of dark romances, dark dreams, and ultimate passion in this two-book, multi-historical collection from bestselling authors, Regency powerhouse Christi Caldwell and Medieval master Kathryn Le Veque.

BOOK ONE: MY LADY OF DECEPTION by Christi Caldwell

For Georgina Wilcox, only child of the notorious traitor known as “The Fox”, there are too many secrets to count. However, after her interference results in great tragedy, she resolves to never help another… until she meets Adam Markham.

Lord Adam Markham is captured by The Fox. Imprisoned, Adam loses everything he holds dear. As his days in captivity grow, he finds himself fascinated by the young maid, Georgina, who cares for him. When the carefully crafted lies she’s built between them begin to crumble, Georgina realizes she will do anything to prove her love and loyalty to Adam—even it means at the expense of her own life

BOOK TWO: NETHERWORLD by Kathryn Le Veque

1197 A.D. – Smarting from the loss of his betrothed, Sir Keller de Poyer has learned not to trust women. A bear of a man with a brilliant mind, Keller is socially awkward but an accomplished knight. He is so accomplished in fact that his liege, William Marshal, gifts the man with lands in Wales for his meritorious service. But there is a catch – in order to secure the lands and titles, he must marry the Welsh heiress.

And so begins the journey into the Netherworld – a castle with a dark reputation and an heiress who hides her own terrible secrets. Death lives at Nether and Keller is caught in the maelstrom. Can he save his new wife from danger and betrayal before it’s too late?

This collection is a LIMITED EDITION that also contains bonus chapters of unpublished and published works from these two top-selling authors.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

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