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Posts Tagged ‘Meredith Duran’

The Sins of Lord Lockwood - Meredith Duran

(Rules for the Reckless, #6)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian – Scotland 1857, England 1861 and the Isle of Rawsey 1869)

Cover Blurb:

Steamy romance sizzles between a resurrected earl and his repentant bride in USA TODAY bestselling author Meredith Duran’s latest historical romance.

BACK FROM THE DEAD, AN EARL SEEKS VENGEANCE…

Liam Devaliant, Lord Lockwood, was born into a charmed life. Charismatic, powerful, and wild, he had the world at his feet—and one woman as his aim. His wedding to Anna was meant to be his greatest triumph. Instead, in a single moment, a wicked conspiracy robbed him of his future and freedom.

…BUT WILL HIS LONG-LOST COUNTESS PAY THE PRICE?

Four years later, Liam has returned from death with plans for revenge. Standing in his way, though, is his long-absent bride. Once, he adored Anna’s courage. Now it seems like a curse, for Anna refuses to fear or forget him. If she can’t win back Liam’s love, then she means at least to save his soul…no matter the cost.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Liam Devaliant, the Earl of Lockwood, Julian’s friend and Emma’s patron in DUKE OF SHADOWS, certainly sparked my interest. I was intrigued by Liam’s mysterious four-year absence from society and the obvious tension between himself and his estranged wife, Anna. Once again, I was totally riveted to every page of this dark, compelling and emotionally charged love story.

While at home on the Isle of Rawsey in Scotland, Anna, Countess of Lockwood, discovers from a newspaper headline that her husband, who abandoned her on their wedding night four years earlier, has been back in London for the last eight months but has never bothered to contact her. Furious, she heads for London.

Liam never abandoned Anna. His jealous, scheming cousin and heir, Stephen, had arranged to have Liam abducted and put on a prison ship bound for a penal colony in New South Wales. Certain that he would never survive, Stephen planned to have Liam declared dead and claim his title. After a hellish three years, with only the thought of revenge to keep him going, Liam escaped with a small band of fellow convicts and returned to England. With the help of his friends, Julian, Duke of Auburn, and Crispin Burke MP, Liam has set in motion his plans to wreak revenge on Stephen. With no direct evidence to implicate Stephen to his abduction, Liam must use devious methods to bring about Stephen’s complete financial and social ruin. Then Liam will kill him.

His wife’s unexpected arrival stirs up feelings he would much rather forget because he is no longer the man she married – that man is dead.

She was looking at him as though she knew him, when in fact the boy she’d married was dead now.

His years in the prison colony have left Liam profoundly changed but he will never tell Anna what really happened on that night – he simply couldn’t bear her pity. So, he does and says everything to convince her that he is nothing more than the uncaring fortune hunter she clearly believes him to be, but if he hopes his attitude will drive Anna away, he is seriously mistaken. As Countess of Forth, a Scottish title she holds in her own right, Anna needs a legitimate heir to the earldom which is something only her husband can give her and she has no intention of leaving.

“I am here. I am certainly staying.”
He blinked several times—seeming confused by how closely she suddenly loomed. For she was not a small woman; on her tiptoes, she was nearly eye level with him, which gave her an opportunity to deliver him a fulminating glower.

I loved the complexity of Liam’s character. The brutality and humiliation he suffered at the hands of his guards have left him profoundly scarred, both mentally and physically. Tormented by dark, harrowing memories, he is convinced that he is mad. Ms. Duran conveys his emotional turmoil with such realism that I could feel his pain, fear, anger and desperation.

Anna is independent and out-spoken but also vulnerable. After her mother’s death, her father could not cope with raising a young daughter and sent her to live with her aunts. She never had real home and the abandonment by her father, whom she loved, left her believing that anyone she loved would leave her. It isn’t difficult to understand why she readily accepted, without question, that Liam had abandoned her just as her father had, especially given the terms of their marriage.

Ms. Duran employs a series of flashback chapters which show how Liam and Anna met, their courtship and gradual falling in love. Neither one was willing to confess their true feelings, pretending that theirs was just a marriage of convenience. We see Liam as a charming, affable young man who manages to capture the heart of the independently minded Anna. These delightful flashbacks provide a poignant contrast to their current painful relationship. It is heart-breaking to know that their lives were irrevocably changed by envy and greed. I think that, without these flashbacks, it would have been impossible to appreciate the extent to which Liam was changed by his experiences and how deeply Anna was affected by Liam’s ‘abandonment’.

It is obvious that Liam and Anna are still very much in love, but Liam’s belief that he is a broken man, his feelings of shame and his thirst for revenge all seem impregnable barriers. But when Anna discovers the truth of what really happened, she becomes a veritable tigress. I love her strength, her unflinching belief in Liam and her determination to show him the man he truly is.

How was it that all the world saw Liam’s courage, his strength and his worth, save he?

He is a survivor; a man who was willing to protect his fellow prisoners regardless of the cost to himself. He promised to take care of those who escaped with him and provide them with a home and work – a promise he keeps. The loyalty and respect this rag-tag band of prisoners show Liam goes a long way to affirm his true worth.

The love scenes are sensual but they also reveal so much of Liam’s and Anna’s emotions, fears, vulnerabilities and their overwhelming desire for each other.

I like how Julian and Emma (Duke of Shadows) both play an important role in Liam and Anna’s story. Borne of their own personal experiences, they are able to offer wise counsel which is so significant in Liam’s journey to healing. But, before he can finally exorcise the past, Liam needs to exact his revenge on Stephen and I love how Ms. Duran handles this scene in a way that leaves Liam and Anna free to find their Happy Ever After.

…this was life, his life, like a gift delivered unto him, which he would guard henceforth for her sake, for their family’s sake, for his own sake. This was his. “I love you,” he said into her mouth.

I know Epilogues are an anathema to some readers, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I love them. Revisiting characters, especially ones who have overcome tremendous odds to find happiness, leaves me with a feeling of contentment as I close the final page of the book.

This is the sixth book in the Rules of the Reckless series but I think it can be easily read as a standalone.  However, I would recommend reading Ms. Duran’s debut book, DUKE OF SHADOWS first, because, not only is it a fabulous book in its own right, but I believe it would enhance the reader’s enjoyment of THE SINS OF LORD LOCKWOOD.

MY VERDICT: If you enjoy a superbly written, compelling, angst-filled romance with unforgettable characters, then I can definitely recommend this book.


REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

 

Rules for the Reckless series (click on the book covers for more details):

Your Wicked Heart (Rules for the Reckless, #0.5) by Meredith Duran That Scandalous Summer (Rules for the Reckless, #1) by Meredith Duran Fool Me Twice (Rules for the Reckless, #2) by Meredith Duran Lady Be Good (Rules for the Reckless, #3) by Meredith Duran Luck Be a Lady (Rules for the Reckless, #4) by Meredith Duran A Lady's Code of Misconduct (Rules for the Reckless, #5) by Meredith Duran The Sins of Lord Lockwood (Rules for the Reckless, #6) by Meredith Duran

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Duke of Shadows

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian – Delhi, 1857 and London, 1861)

Cover Blurb:

In a debut romance as passionate and sweeping as the British Empire, Meredith Duran paints a powerful picture of an aristocrat torn between two worlds, an heiress who dares to risk everything…and the love born in fire and darkness that nearly destroys them.

From exotic sandstone palaces…

Sick of tragedy, done with rebellion, Emmaline Martin vows to settle quietly into British Indian society. But when the pillars of privilege topple, her fiancé’s betrayal leaves Emma no choice. She must turn for help to the one man whom she should not trust, but cannot resist: Julian Sinclair, the dangerous and dazzling heir to the Duke of Auburn.

To the marble halls of London…

In London, they toast Sinclair with champagne. In India, they call him a traitor. Cynical and impatient with both worlds, Julian has never imagined that the place he might belong is in the embrace of a woman with a reluctant laugh and haunted eyes. But in a time of terrible darkness, he and Emma will discover that love itself can be perilous — and that a single decision can alter one’s life forever.

Destiny follows wherever you run.

A lifetime of grief later, in a cold London spring, Emma and Julian must finally confront the truth: no matter how hard one tries to deny it, some pasts cannot be disowned…and some passions never die.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to read DUKE OF SHADOWS, Meredith Duran’s much-praised 2010 debut novel, because I was totally swept by this powerful and beautiful love story.

Accompanied by her parents, Emmeline (Emma) Martin is on her way to Delhi to marry her fiancé Marcus Lindley, an army colonel employed by the British East India Company. Tragedy strikes when the ship sinks in a storm, leaving Emma as the sole survivor. She is rescued by a passing freighter, but the knowledge that she has spent time alone with a crew of rough and ready sailors leaves her reputation, among the Anglo-Indian, tainted by association. Emma discovers that her fiancé is no longer the charming man she knew back in England; he is now a philanderer, gambler and only interested in marrying her for her money. Emma is determined to break off the engagement.

Julian Sinclair, Marquess of Holdensmoor and heir to the Duke of Auburn, has mixed blood – his father was British and his mother was of mixed British and Indian descent. He is torn between two worlds, neither of which he feels he truly belongs to and both cultures regard him with suspicion and disdain. Julian is aware that there is unrest among the Indian troops (sepoys) in the service of the British East India Company and fears a mutiny. However, the British authorities consider Julian an alarmist and fail to heed his warnings.

From their initial meeting, it is obvious that Julian and Emma share a mutual attraction and I love how Ms. Duran develops their romance in the first part of the book. It is so beautifully done and I really believed in their falling in love.

She stirred, small twitches and movements. Soft, sleepy noises. He kissed her again, more deeply this time, and ran a hand down her side, to the swell of her hip. Her eyelashes fluttered up; color came into her cheeks. He smiled against her. Fairy tales were wasted on children. Until this moment, even he had not fathomed the power of waking someone with a kiss.

I could feel how torn Julian is when he makes the difficult decision to leave Emma in Sapnagar. He wants to protect the woman he has come to love and also ensure that his Indian family are safe but, most importantly, he sees it as his duty to try to stop the bloodshed between the two sides. He is a honourable man and does what he believes to be right, unaware of how much it will cost him personally.

Ms. Duran doesn’t shy away from portraying the horror and brutality following the uprising and some of the scenes are harrowing to read., but I feel this is crucial to understanding Emma’s emotional state and her motivations in the second half of the book.

The second half, which takes place in London 4 years later, is such an emotional roller-coaster and I felt as though I was living every moment with Julian and Emma, such was the power and skill of Ms. Duran’s writing. Julian is full of guilt for having left Emma and there is so much anger on Emma’s side, believing that Julian had broken the promise he made and deserted her. I could understand Emma’s anger towards Julian, knowing all the horrific sights she saw and everything she had endured. It is heart-breaking to see how emotionally fragile she is and her paintings seem to represent a way of purging herself of those terrible memories.

When Julian sees Emma for the first time in 4 years, his pain and yearning is a palpable thing but I love him for being so patient with Emma and refusing to let her go. Emma fears that should he learn the truth about her, he would surely reject her.

He was so sure his opinion would be unaffected by anything she told him. But he could not know what was in her head. What was in her. And he would not like it. He would recoil and she would not be able to bear it. Seeing him leave again.

There is no doubt that they still love each other, but it seems that the past will always remain an insurmountable obstacle. Only when they are forced to work together to solve the mystery of who is trying to kill Emma are they able to talk openly and honestly and shed the darkness of the past to find the happiness they truly deserve.

Marcus Lindley was truly despicable in his actions towards Emma and his betrayal and gets a suitable comeuppance in the end.

I was especially intrigued in Julian’s friend and Emma’s patron, Lord Lockwood, whose story is told in Ms. Duran’s latest release The Sins of Lord Lockwood.

MY VERDICTIf you are in the mood for something dark and intense with an original plotline, fascinating characters, suspense and a heart-stopping romance, I can definitely recommend this book.

 

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Rules for the Reckless, #4)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

Romance sizzles between a famous heiress and an infamous crime lord in this fourth sexy novel in the Rules for the Reckless series from the USA Today bestselling author of Fool Me Twice.

They call her the “Ice Queen.” Catherine Everleigh is London’s loveliest heiress, but a bitter lesson in heartbreak has taught her to keep to herself. All she wants is her birthright—the auction house that was stolen from her. To win this war, she’ll need a powerful ally. Who better than infamous and merciless crime lord Nicholas O’Shea? A marriage of convenience will no doubt serve them both.

Having conquered the city’s underworld, Nick seeks a new challenge. Marrying Catherine will give him the appearance of legitimacy—and access to her world of the law-abiding elite. No one needs to know he’s coveted Catherine for a year now—their arrangement is strictly business, free from the troubling weaknesses of love. Seduction, however, is a different matter—an enticing game he means to ensure she enjoys, whether she wishes to or not…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

After reading Lady Be Good, I was certainly interested in two of the secondary characters, the beautiful but icy Catherine Everleigh and the ruthless ruler of Whitechapel, Nicholas (Nick) O’Shea. Neither came off as particularly likeable in that book and I was intrigued to see how Ms Duran could not only change my mind about them, but also create a believable romance between two such dissimilar characters both in temperament and social standing.

I like Ms Duran’s effective use of the Prologue to provide insight into Catherine and Nick’s childhoods. This gave me a better understanding of the influences at play in shaping the people they became.

From a very young age, Catherine’s life has revolved around Everleigh Auction House, the family business. She is smart for her age and her father has encouraged and developed her interest in art and antiques to the exclusion of all else. It is a lonely childhood with normal childhood experiences discouraged and no friends. My heart went out to her when she looks out of the window to watch two girls laughing and skipping and convinces herself that she doesn’t need friends when…

She got to come to her father’s auction rooms. No other children were allowed at Everleigh’s. Being here made her special.

Now an expert in the field of art and antiques, Catherine is proud of her business achievements and the auction house has become her life, albeit a lonely one. She has no time for socialising and no interest in fashions, the latest gossip or the latest novels. She and her brother, Peter, have each inherited a half-share in Everleigh’s but Catherine will not acquire control over her share until she marries. In the meantime, her brother controls everything and she is aware that he has been embezzling money from the business to fund his political ambitions and now he is threatening to sell the business. She is desperate to gain control of her share to thwart his plans but the only solution is to marry and…

She knew just the man to bring Peter to heel. All it would require of her was a great deal of…and a reckless disregard for decency and the law.

– the notorious Nick O’Shea.

The letters that pass between Catherine and Nick, when she tries to arrange a meeting with him to discuss her proposition, are not only funny but also cleverly supply details of the circumstances under which they first met.

Forced to fend for himself on the streets of the east end of London at the age of eleven, Nick has clawed his way up to become the wealthy, notorious and powerful crime lord who controls Whitechapel, one of roughest parts of the east end. Despite his reputation, most of the things he has achieved have been through hard work, determination and a keen business mind. The income from his gambling palace and legitimate businesses have meant he is no longer involved in petty crime.

Nick is the sort of hero I adore…rough around the edges but a good man at heart. He truly cares about the weak and vulnerable of Whitechapel and rules through respect rather than fear.

Once this quarter of Whitechapel had looked different— violent, ugly, choked with rubbish. But now it boasted orderly streets, solid tenements, quiet nights, and schools with no seats to spare.

When Catherine puts her “marriage of convenience” proposal to Nick, she never dreams that he has been watching her for years and also sees it as an opportunity to further his own goals.

“I take it that you’re a cynic in matters of love.”
“In every matter, sweetheart.”
“Good. So am I.” “Why, we’re a perfect match, then.”

Cynical they may be but I knew that eventually they would succumb to cupid’s arrow, but it is their journey that kept me captivated. To ensure that the marriage cannot be challenged by Catherine’s brother, it has to be consummated and this scene is both amusing and highly sensual and we discover exactly what is in the package Catherine is carrying!

I enjoyed seeing each of them grow and change during the course of the story. Despite his reputation, Catherine comes to realise that Nick is an honourable, kind and decent man who genuinely cares about the people of Whitechapel. I love how Nick listens to Catherine, respects her opinions, treats her as an equal and never questions her right to work. Nick stirs Catherine’s latent passions and Catherine makes Nick see that he has the ability to fulfil his ambitions.

… she had a way of leading him into dreaming. She made him imagine, hope for, ideas and realities he’d never himself known.

Peter, Catherine’s brother, is a truly nasty piece of work but I love the lengths Nick will go to protect Catherine and enjoyed seeing him scare the hell out her odious brother!

MY VERDICT: A beautifully written story with layered, complex characters and real emotional pull. One I can definitely recommend.

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

Read July 2016


Rules for the Reckless series (click on the book cover for more details):

Your Wicked Heart (Rules for the Reckless, #0.5) by Meredith Duran That Scandalous Summer (Rules for the Reckless, #1) by Meredith Duran Fool Me Twice (Rules for the Reckless, #2) by Meredith Duran Lady Be Good (Rules for the Reckless, #3) by Meredith Duran Luck Be a Lady (Rules for the Reckless, #4) by Meredith Duran A Lady's Code of Misconduct (Rules for the Reckless, #5) by Meredith Duran

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

Thanks so much for having me!

~~~~~~~


R&R:

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

Meredith:
I was born in the south and raised on the west coast. I like to say, only half-jokingly, that I had a bicultural childhood – I spent my summers in Alabama with my grandparents, harassing them for more black-eyed peas and fried okra, and my school year in the Bay Area, on a steady diet of sourdough bread.

My mother was really interested in genealogy when I was young, so my (non-culinary) memories of summers in Alabama involve a lot of dusty libraries and archives. During the school year, my parents were wonderful about taking us on weekend trips to the national and state parks nearby, and I spent those drives goggling at scenery and scribbling “deep thoughts” (ha) in a little notebook I carried on those trips. Like most writers, I’ve always been very good at daydreaming, and thanks to my childhood, I think, I find nowhere more creatively inspiring or romantic than deserted libraries and the rural areas of northern California. (Not coincidentally, I spent my honeymoon in the Sierras.)

Meredith Duran Interview -little girl.jpg
This is me as a little kid on one of our summer road trips (in this case, we’re at Dinosaur National Monument in Utah)

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

Meredith:
Both! I’m easy-going with friends and family, and very temperamental about my writing. I get very worked up when I’m in the middle of writing a book; good days leave me exhilarated, and difficult days leave me gloomy. But that emotional rollercoaster is part of the fun of it. 🙂

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

Meredith:
Savoury, savoury, savoury. Cheese and charcuterie and SALT: my sacred trinity.

R&R:
What is your most treasured possession?

Meredith:
Hmm. So, when I was little, there was a terrible firestorm in the Bay Area that forced us to evacuate. It was a frightening scene –transformers exploding, the sky dark with smoke, chunks of flaming material streaming down as steadily as rain. But before all this, when you could still see the sun and nobody yet grasped how quickly the fire would move, I made the unilateral decision to start moving all the family photo albums into our car.

Now, mind you, I was in elementary school, and those albums were large and heavy enough to prove cumbersome. My parents kept reassuring me that there was no need to pack them (everyone felt sure that the freeway would block the spread of the fire to our neighbourhood). But I was insistent, and so they indulged me—and ended up quite grateful for it when we were forced out of our home.

As I recall that, it dawns on me that were a similar fire to threaten my current home, I would probably take the hard drive where all my family photos now reside.

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

Meredith:
Philo, California. This is a small town in Anderson Valley, California, a wine-growing region that produces some amazing pinot noirs. It’s also one of the most beautiful places on earth, situated between a redwood forest and the coast. Bonus: it’s home to one of the best Mexican restaurants this side of the border.

Navarro Vineyard in Philo

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

Meredith:
Oh, goodness. There are too many to count. I have a razor-sharp memory for moments when I’ve embarrassed myself! But here’s a recent one: at the RITA/Golden Heart awards ceremony last summer, Jo Beverley introduced the Golden Heart finalists for Historical Romance. I watched attentively. And then it was time to announce the RITA winner for Historical Romance (long) – and since I was nominated, I kind of went blank (fully convinced I would not win). Then…I won!

I was so shocked that I went into some kind of awful autopilot and reverted to the last moment when I’d been paying full, relaxed attention. That is how I ended up calling Stephanie Laurens – the presenter, and the author of several books I’ve enjoyed – by Jo Beverley’s name. ACK!

Alas, I’m not the most articulate lady when put into the spotlight.

~~~~~~~

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

Thank YOU, Carol! This was fun.

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

Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

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(Rules for the Reckless, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

The third searing novel in the Rules for the Reckless series by Meredith Duran, the USA Today bestselling author of sexy and evocative Regency romances in the tradition of Sarah MacLean.

Catching the Lady Red-Handed

Born to a family of infamous criminals, Lilah Marshall has left behind her past and made herself into the perfect lady. Working as a hostess at Everleigh’s, London’s premier auction house, she leads a life full of art, culture, and virtue. All her dreams are within reach—until a gorgeous and enigmatic viscount catches her in the act of one last, very reluctant theft.

Chasing One Red-Hot Passion

Christian “Kit” Stratton, Viscount Palmer, is society’s most dashing war hero. But Kit’s easy smiles hide a dark secret: he is haunted by a madman’s vow to destroy anyone he loves. When his hunt for the enemy leads to Everleigh’s Auction Rooms, he compels Lilah to help him. But one tempting touch may be their undoing—for what Kit needs threatens all Lilah holds dear, and losing her may destroy Kit.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This is my first Meredith Duran book and I enjoyed the intriguing story, intelligent writing, fascinating characters and sensual love story.

This is book 3 in the series but can easily be read as a standalone.

I love Lily’s character. She’s intelligent, tenacious, ambitious and courageous. We see it in her determination to fulfil her sister’s dream and make a better life for herself; in the hard-work and self-discipline needed to become a perfect lady; in her desire to earn an honest living as a hostess at the prestigious Everleigh’s Auction Rooms. I like how she holds her own in the initial verbal battle with Christian and I love the knife throwing scene where she certainly comes out on top!

I had mixed feelings about Christian. I liked the rakish, flirtatious side we see in his interactions with Lily but he also has a darker side. He is obsessed with finding and killing Bolkhov, the madman responsible for his brother’s murder and now threatening the lives of his mother and sister. I didn’t approve of the way he is prepared to use Catherine Everleigh as an innocent pawn in his plans. I thought this was particularly reprehensible given he knew full well what would happen to her if she fell into Bolkhov’s hands.

I enjoyed how Ms Duran develops the romance between these two… the witty banter, the heady attraction, the smouldering kisses and the desire and passion that burns between them.

 One of the highlights of the book for me is the developing friendship between Lily and the previously obnoxious Catherine Everleigh. Here are two women who refuse to be constrained by what society expects of them. Both are strong, capable women and I love how they use their own abilities to outwit the villain.

I was intrigued by Nick O’Shea, Lily’s ruthless uncle and infamous ruler of Whitechapel and it will be interesting to see how Ms Duran redeems him in the next book, LUCK BE A LADY. Pairing him with “Ice Queen” Catherine Everleigh should definitely prove interesting!

MY VERDICT: This was a very enjoyable book and I will certainly be looking to read more by Meredith Duran.

REVIEW RATING: 4/5 STARS

SENSUALTY RATING: WARM

Read October 2015

Rules for the Reckless series (click on the book covers for further details):

 Your Wicked Heart (Rules for the Reckless, #0.5) by Meredith Duran That Scandalous Summer (Rules for the Reckless, #1) by Meredith Duran Fool Me Twice (Rules for the Reckless, #2) by Meredith Duran Lady Be Good (Rules for the Reckless, #3) by Meredith Duran Luck Be a Lady (Rules for the Reckless, #4) by Meredith Duran

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When I finished reading LADY BE GOOD, I had to buy this book!

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

( Rules for the Reckless, #4)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

Romance sizzles between a famous heiress and an infamous crime lord in this fourth sexy novel in the Rules for the Reckless series from the USA Today bestselling author of Fool Me Twice.

The Wallflower

They call her the “Ice Queen.” Catherine Everleigh is London’s loveliest heiress, but a bitter lesson in heartbreak has taught her to keep to herself. All she wants is her birthright—the auction house that was stolen from her. To win this war, she’ll need a powerful ally. Who better than infamous and merciless crime lord Nicholas O’Shea? A marriage of convenience will no doubt serve them both.

The Crime Lord

Having conquered the city’s underworld, Nick seeks a new challenge. Marrying Catherine will give him the appearance of legitimacy—and access to her world of the law-abiding elite. No one needs to know he’s coveted Catherine for a year now—their arrangement is strictly business, free from the troubling weaknesses of love. Seduction, however, is a different matter—an enticing game he means to ensure she enjoys, whether she wishes to or not…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

I recently read the prequel novella and this promises to be a delightful and entertaining series.

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(Moonlight Square, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Romance is in the air at Moonlight Square ~ Regency London’s most exclusive address! 

Jason Hawthorne, the Duke of Netherford, made it clear to the young, lovesick Felicity Carvel long ago that nothing could ever happen between them. He has earned his reputation as the Duke of Scandal–and she’s his best friend’s little sister. For honor’s sake, he vows to stay away from the lovely innocent. But six years of the wealthy libertine’s life have left Jason empty and jaded, while Felicity has blossomed into a strong, beautiful woman, ripe for love and marriage.

When a sudden windfall makes her one of the most sought-after heiresses in London, chased all over Town by fortune-hunters, Jason knows he must keep the rogues at bay until her brother returns from his dangerous mission abroad. Unfortunately, the scandalous attraction between them has only grown to a searing intensity. Deep down, Felicity still wants Jason for her own. But after getting her heart broken once before by Naughty Netherford, does she dare attempt to play with fire again–and this time, can Jason resist?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Although this is not traditional Historical Romance, I decided to add it to my bookshelf because I have always enjoyed Nicola Cornick’s writing. (expected publication date 5th November 2015)

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

Genre: Timeslip

Cover Blurb:

London, 1662:
There was something the Winter Queen needed to tell him. She fought for the strength to speak.
‘The crystal mirror is a danger. It must be destroyed – ‘
He replied instantly. ‘It will’
.

Ashdown, Oxfordshire, present day: Ben Ansell is researching his family tree when he disappears. As his sister Holly begins a desperate search, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to an ornate antique mirror and to the diary of Lavinia, a 19th century courtesan who was living at Ashdown House when it burned to the ground over 200 years ago.

Intrigued, and determined to find out more about the tragedy at Ashdown, Holly’s only hope is that uncovering the truth about the past will lead her to Ben.

For fans of Barbara Erskine and Kate Morton comes an unforgettable novel about three women and the power one lie can have over history!

♥♥♥♥♥♥

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Kerrigan Byrne is a new-to-me-author but I have read some excellent reviews of this book.

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(Victorian Rebel, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

They’re rebels, scoundrels, and blackguards—dark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the women who love them, a hint of danger only makes the heart beat faster…

STEALING BEAUTY
Dorian Blackwell, the Blackheart of Ben More, is a ruthless villain. Scarred and hard-hearted, Dorian is one of London’s wealthiest, most influential men who will stop at nothing to wreak vengeance on those who’ve wronged him…and will fight to the death to seize what he wants. The lovely, still innocent widow Farah Leigh Mackenzie is no exception—and soon Dorian whisks the beautiful lass away to his sanctuary in the wild Highlands…

COURTING DESIRE
But Farah is no one’s puppet. She possesses a powerful secret—one that threatens her very life. When being held captive by Dorian proves to be the only way to keep Farah safe from those who would see her dead, Dorian makes Farah a scandalous proposition: marry him for protection in exchange for using her secret to help him exact revenge on his enemies. But what the Blackheart of Ben More never could have imagined is that Farah has terms of her own, igniting a tempestuous desire that consumes them both. Could it be that the woman he captured is the only one who can touch the black heart he’d long thought dead?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

I have recently become a huge Monica Burns’s fan.

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(The Reckless Rockwoods, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

WARNING: Book contains a proud Highlander unwilling to surrender his heart a second time, and a half-Scottish heroine who, like most Rockwoods, is up to the challenge of making her man realize she’s The Highlander’s Woman.

Julian MacTavish’s honor made him guard a friend’s secret. But his lies to keep that vow make it difficult to prove his faithfulness as a husband. When a terrible inferno scars Patience’s body and mind, she becomes a recluse, widening the divide between them. But it’s her lack of trust, not her disfigurement, which sends Julian home alone to Scotland convinced he’s lost her forever.

Forgiveness in the face of death comes easily to Patience MacTavish, but the thought of being a burden to her husband does not. When a twist of fate takes Julian’s sight from him, Patience returns home hoping to make amends for not having faith in him. Pity is the last thing Julian wants from anyone, especially his wife, and it’s his turn to question her sincerity. Now, Patience must convince her husband that she’s come home for no other reason than love, even if it means arranging a highlander’s seduction.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Anna Campbell is one of my favourite authors and I’m looking forward to reading this first book in her new Dashing Widows series.

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

The Seduction of Lord Stone

 

(Dashing Widows, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

For this reckless widow, love is the most dangerous game of all.

Caroline, Lady Beaumont, arrives in London seeking excitement after ten dreary years of marriage and an even drearier year of mourning. That means conquering society, dancing like there’s no tomorrow, and taking a lover to provide passion without promises. Promises, in this dashing widow’s dictionary, equal prison. So what is an adventurous lady to do when she loses her heart to a notorious rake who, for the first time in his life, wants forever?

Devilish Silas Nash, Viscount Stone is in love at last—with a beautiful, headstrong widow bent on playing the field. Worse, she’s enlisted his help to set her up with his disreputable best friend. No red-blooded man takes such a challenge lying down, and Silas schemes to seduce his darling into his arms, warm, willing and besotted. But will his passionate plots come undone against a woman determined to act the mistress, but never the wife?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

I have some of the books in the Windham series but, as I am a stickler for reading a series in order, I needed to buy these two Prequel Novellas to read first.

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(Windham, #0.05)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

The first novella to be published by New York Times bestselling author Grace Burrowes features the foundation story for her bestselling series. This is the tender story of love tested and won, and how Percy Windham, the dashing and brilliant man who was never supposed to become the Duke of Moreland, wooed the amazing lady who became his beloved Duchess.

Percival Windham is a second son, and a cavalry officer acclaimed and respected by his men. He is immensely attractive and distracts himself with the women who seem to throw themselves at him at every turn, until at a country house party, he meets beautiful, retiring Esther Himmelfarb. Esther’s wealthier relations are taking shameless advantage of her dependence on them, and only Percy seems to see the striking intelligence beneath her modest demeanor. Percy sees her as the perfect companion and she finds in him the man of her dreams.

(Windham, #0.06)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Percival and Esther Windham had to beat the odds and face down gossip when their brief courtship resulted in marriage. Five years later, they have four children in their nursery, a ducal estate to care for, ailing family members needing care, and more trouble on the horizon than even a strong marriage might endure.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

I have wanted to read Meredith Duran for sometime and was delighted to win a paperback copy of this book as a Giveaway Prize.

Source: A Giveaway Prize

(Rules for the Reckless, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

The third searing novel in the Rules for the Reckless series by Meredith Duran, the USA Today bestselling author of sexy and evocative Regency romances in the tradition of Sarah MacLean.

Catching the Lady Red-Handed

Born to a family of infamous criminals, Lilah Marshall has left behind her past and made herself into the perfect lady. Working as a hostess at Eveleigh’s, London’s premier auction house, she leads a life full of art, culture, and virtue. All her dreams are within reach—until a gorgeous and enigmatic viscount catches her in the act of one last, very reluctant theft.

Chasing One Red-Hot Passion

Christian “Kit” Stratton, Viscount Palmer, is society’s most dashing war hero. But Kit’s easy smiles hide a dark secret: he is haunted by a madman’s vow to destroy anyone he loves. When his hunt for the enemy leads to Everleigh’s Auction Rooms, he compels Lilah to help him. But one tempting touch may be their undoing—for what Kit needs threatens all Lilah holds dear, and losing her may destroy Kit.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

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