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(League of Rogues #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

The League of Rogues takes what they want—but have they taken on too much?

For too long Miss Emily Parr has been subject to the whims of her indebted uncle and the lecherous advances of his repulsive business partner. Her plan to be done with dominating men forever is simple—find herself a kind husband who will leave her to her books.

It seems an easy enough plan, until she is unexpectedly abducted by an incorrigible duke who hides a wounded spirit behind flashing green eyes.

Godric St. Laurent, Duke of Essex, spends countless nights at the club with his four best friends, and relishes the rakish reputation society has branded him with. He has no plans to marry anytime soon—if ever. But when he kidnaps an embezzler’s niece, the difficult debutante’s blend of sweetness and sharp tongue make him desperate for the one thing he swears he never wanted: love.

Yet as they surrender to passion, danger lurks in Godric’s shadowed past, waiting for him to drop his guard—and rob him of the woman he can’t live without.

Product Warnings:
This novel includes a lady who refuses to stay kidnapped, a devilish duke with a dark past, and an assortment of charming rogues who have no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

**4.5  Roguish Stars**

 

I really enjoyed WICKED DESIGNS, Lauren Smith’s debut Regency Historical novel. This witty and entertaining romance features an emotionally scarred hero, a smart heroine and a loveable group of rogues.

Emily is a delightful heroine. She is smart, courageous and spirited enough to stand up for herself. I love her determination to outwit her captors and escape. She certainly keeps those five rogues on their toes!

Emily rammed an elbow backwards into her attacker’s stomach and began to wrestle free until he grabbed her arm. She swung about, striking him across the face with a balled fist. The man staggered back, leaving her free to dive inside the coach.

I enjoyed seeing her not only capture Godric’s heart but also the affection of the other members of the League of Rogues as well.

Godric is my favourite type of hero…arrogant and self-assured on the outside but hiding a wounded heart. His childhood experiences have made him avoid becoming emotionally involved and so he is unprepared for the feelings that Emily arouses in him. I enjoyed watching him gradually open up to the belief that love was possible.

He could never regret each kiss, each second that Emily’s touch reawakened the ghost of the man he used to be.

I LOVED the other four rogues Ashton, Cedric, Charles and Lucien. They didn’t seem like secondary characters because each one has his own distinct personality. I enjoyed the camaraderie between them and the sparkling dialogue. It’s apparent that Lucien and Horatia, Cedric’s sister, have a history and I’ll be intrigued to read their story.

Blankenship is creepy and menacing as the lecherous villain and I am not quite sure what to make of Miss Evangeline Mirabeau, Godric’s former mistress. Friend or foe? I’m not quite sure.

Favourite Romantic Quote

 “Emily, I know you won’t marry me. I know that. But I can’t live one more day without you. All I ask is that wherever you go, whatever you do, let me come with you. We can travel the world. Whatever you want, it will be yours. I just wish to be with you.”

WICKED DESIGNS is a delightful romance and a great introduction to what promises to be an excellent series.

 

REVIEW RATING: 4.5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

 Read January 2014

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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Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Official Blurb

Could a rogue be her knight in shining armor?

Mary Cavendish’s corset is already too tight. All the lovely Christmas food is tempting her, and that’s bad news for her dream of attracting a “knight on a white charger” — not that volunteering at the parish hospital is how she expects to meet him. Enter a mysterious Christmas Eve patient, who is none other than the famous Shakespearean actor Sir Wesley Samuel Darcy. Mary finds him arrogant, too forward… and maddeningly handsome.

When Mary learns Sir Wesley has been invited to spend Christmas with her family at Rougemont, she vows to resist the charming London rogue. Wesley thinks finding the perfect present for Miss Cavendish will tempt her — she’s not as prim as she pretends to be. Mary turned down six proposals last Season, and she’s not about to give in to a rake. But if Mary can’t resist the sugarplums, how can she resist the dashing Sir Wesley?

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**4.5 Charming Stars**

 I’m always delighted when I discover a new author who captures my imagination with her wonderful writing, her originality and her vibrant characters and Moriah Densley did just that. I loved this engaging novella!

Mary is an unconventional heroine, volunteering as a nurse at the local parish hospital. It is plain to see that she genuinely cares about her patients showing them real kindness, compassion and respect and their love for her in return is obvious.. Her insecurities about her fuller figure are only too familiar and easy to sympathise with. After all, most of us have probably had concerns about our bodies sometime in our lives.

Despite his scandalous reputation and his initial boorish behaviour, I couldn’t help but like Wesley and his droll sense of humour. Of course, the molten-chocolate voice, the remarkable sea-god eyes and the block-shaped pectorals the size of lamb roasts had nothing to do with it. To be fair, he does have reason to be ill-tempered, what with being mobbed by admirers at the train station, waylaid by a stagecoach robber and then, to top it all, having his injury tended by the most argumentative of women. I love that he recognises Mary’s worth and is honest about hiss feelings for her and not willing to give up the chase.

Their romance was an enchanting blend of…

Sharp, witty banter:

She sighed. “Must we do this on the floor, or is there a chance of moving the procedure to the bed, like civilized people?”

He made a sound like humf. “There is seldom much civilized about it whether I do it on the floor or a bed. But I’ve never had any complaints.” His vainglorious smirk turned into a salacious leer, which she found unnecessary.

“My, my. I do believe I’ve just been scandalized by a bawdy joke.” This time she poked him in the ribs with the needle. “Oh, my poor maiden ears.”

Tender, romantic moments:

What if you’ve enchanted me? Stopped time so that two days feels longer. Long enough to recognize a sympathetic soul. Long enough to know I don’t want to leave you.”

Lush, sensual moments

Her skin shivered with a nervous energy the same time a warmth radiated from the inside out, growing hotter by the minute. The contradicting sensations seemed to pull time in both directions.

Sweet, gentle moments

She returned to find Rebecca Montegue laughing, in magical baby peals that probably summoned pixies and springtime. Granted, she didn’t know any better. Then Mary saw why: Sir Wesley puffed out his cheeks and crossed his eyes, then blew air in a rude noise Rebecca found hilarious.

My only criticism is that the novella ended on a cliff-hanger and it wasn’t until I read more about the Rougemont series at the end of the story that I discovered that Mary and Wesley’s story continues in MARRIED QUITE CONTRARY coming in February 2014. I would have appreciated some indication in the book blurb that this was a prequel which would be continued.

I was enchanted by this sweet, romantic story and will definitely be reading more of the Rougemont series.

REVIEW RATING: 4.5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

Read December 2013

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

Song For Sophia (Rougemont, #1) Mary's Christmas Knight The King Of Threadneedle Street (Rougemont, #2)

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A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2)

SPINDLE COVE (#2)

When a devilish lord and a bluestocking set off on the road to ruin…Time is not on their side.

Minerva Highwood, one of Spindle Cove’s confirmed spinsters, needs to be in Scotland. Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, a rake of the first order, needs to be…anywhere but Spindle Cove.

These unlikely partners have one week to…

~fake an elopement
~convince family and friends they’re in “love”
~outrun armed robbers
~survive their worst nightmares
~travel four hundred miles without killing each other

All while sharing a very small carriage by day and an even smaller bed by night.
What they don’t have time for is their growing attraction. Much less wild passion. And heaven forbid they spend precious hours baring their hearts and souls.
Suddenly one week seems like exactly enough time to find a world of trouble. And maybe . . . just maybe . . . love.

★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩

There are so many wonderful reviews of this book, there’s little more I can say, other than…

This book is all sorts of amazing!!  AN ABSOLUTE MUST READ!!!!

Thank you Tessa Dare for writing such a truly wonderful book and creating such an unforgettable couple in Colin and Minerva! You made me laugh! You made me cry!  You made me blush! You made me sigh!

RATING : A STELLAR ★★★★★

[Read March 2012]

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