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do-you-want-to-start-a-scandal

(Spindle Cove, #5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency, 1819)

Cover Blurb:

On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library.
•Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan?
•Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall?
•Perhaps the butler did it.

All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn’t her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers’ true identity, she’ll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville—the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she’s ever had the misfortune to embrace. When it comes to emotion, the man hasn’t got a clue.

But as they set about finding the mystery lovers, Piers reveals a few secrets of his own. The oh-so-proper marquess can pick locks, land punches, tease with sly wit … and melt a woman’s knees with a single kiss. The only thing he guards more fiercely than Charlotte’s safety is the truth about his dark past.

Their passion is intense. The danger is real. Soon Charlotte’s feeling torn. Will she risk all to prove her innocence? Or surrender it to a man who’s sworn to never love?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

I adore Tessa Dare’s books! They are always enchanting, romantic, sexy and funny!

I love the crossover of characters from the two series. The heroine, Charlotte, is the youngest of the Highwood sisters who feature in the Spindle Cove series and the hero, Piers Brandon, Marquess of Granville, appears in the second book of the Castles Ever After series.

Clever, witty, vivacious, good-natured and forthright, Charlotte is like a breath of fresh air. Despite her mother’s ill-conceived attempts to “throw” her into the paths of eligible, titled gentleman (sometimes literally), Charlotte values her independence and has no immediate plans to marry, intending to travel with her friend before settling down. Even then, she will only marry for love.

Attending a house party being held by Sir Vernon and Lady Parkhurst, her best friend, Delia’s parents, she is aware that her mother has set her sights on Piers Brandon, Earl of Granville, as a prospective husband for her daughter. Desperate to warn him of her mother’s machinations and her own unsuitability as a prospective bride (the Prattler has dubbed her “The Desperate Debutante.”), she follows him into the library.

“Don’t be alarmed,” she said, closing the door behind her. “I’ve come to save you.”
“Save me.” His low, rich voice glided over her like fine-grain leather. “From  .  .  .  ?”
“Oh, all kinds of things. Inconvenience and mortification, chiefly. But broken bones aren’t outside the realm of possibility.”

What follows must rank as one of the most delightful and funny first meetings between a hero and heroine. Charlotte’s talk of May-December matches had me chuckling.

However, the best laid plans have a habit of going wrong and disaster strikes when they are discovered in what appears to be a compromising situation. Forced into an “understanding” with Piers, Charlotte is determined to discover the identity of the mystery couple they heard “tupping” from their hiding place in the library. That will release her from a marriage to someone who obviously doesn’t love her.

At first, Charlotte sees Piers as cold and restrained and talking to him “was rather like conversing with an ice sculpture” but his unexpected wicked charm, subtle humour and passionate kiss belie that icy exterior.  He believes there is too much darkness and deception in his past and, if Charlotte knew the truth, she wouldn’t want anything to do with him. He sees himself as ruthless, deceitful, cold-blooded and heartless. I love how Charlotte refuses to give up on him, sees someone worthy of her love, and slowly breaks down the walls around his heart.

I know what’s inside you, behind all those walls. I’ll keep chipping away until I get at it. Even if it takes years. Decades. I know you’ll be worth the effort.” She rested against his chest, burying her face into the crook of his neck. “I’m never giving up on you.”

I also enjoyed seeing Piers losing all his vaunted control around Charlotte.

Good God. What was happening to him? He was falling apart.

In addition to a romantic, tender, poignant and deliciously sexy love story, Ms Dare’s books always contain wonderful humour. There are two scenes that I thought were hilarious. The first is where Charlotte’s mother is trying to explain to her what to expect on her wedding night using edible aids! The other is the scene where Charlotte is in the perfume shop and here’s a snippet.

“I thought you might. All the young ladies do. It’s fresh and grassy, isn’t it? Lemon verbena and gardenia blossoms. But the secret is in the fixative. A touch of castoreum is what makes the summery scents take hold, rather than fade.”
“Castoreum. That’s not from whales, is it?”
“Not at all.” He chuckled. 
Charlotte laughed, too. “Oh, good. What a relief.”
“It’s from beavers.”

Colin, Minerva and Diana (Spindle Cove) make a welcome appearance as does Piers’ brother, Rafe (Castles Ever After).

The mystery surrounding the identity of the lovers in the library kept me guessing and I thought the revelation was a nice twist.

If you are lover of Epilogues, like me, Ms Dare doesn’t disappoint.

MY VERDICT: If you’re looking for a story that is romantic, sexy, funny and full of wonderful characters that steal your heart, then I can most definitely recommend this book.


REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

 

Read October 2016

 

Spindle Cove series – for details of all the books click on the link below:

https://www.goodreads.com/series/58621-spindle-cove

Castles Ever After series – for details of all the books click on the link below:

https://www.goodreads.com/series/105851-castles-ever-after

 

 

 

 

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“Before I found Minerva, I’d passed nights with more than my share of women.”

Thorne groaned. Don’t. Just don’t.

“I’ve passed time with duchesses and farm girls, and it doesn’t matter whether their skirts are silk or homespun. Once you get them bare–“

Thorne drew up short. “If you start in on rivers of silk and alabaster orbs, I will have to hit you.”

(Colin Sandhurst and Corporal Samuel Thorne)

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(Spindle Cove, #4.5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

A snowstorm hath no fury like a spinster scorned!

Miss Elinora Browning grew up yearning for the handsome, intelligent lord-next-door…but he left England without a word of farewell. One night, inspired by a bit too much sherry, Nora poured out her heartbreak on paper. Lord Dashwood Missed Outwas a love letter to every young lady who’d been overlooked by gentlemen—and an instant bestseller. Now she’s on her way to speak in Spindle Cove when snowy weather delays her coach. She’s forced to wait out the storm with the worst possible companion: Lord Dashwood himself.

And he finally seems to have noticed her.

George Travers, Lord Dashwood, has traveled the globe as a cartographer. He returned to England with the goal of marrying and creating an heir–only to find his reputation shredded by an audacious, vexingly attractive bluestocking and her poison pen. Lord Dashwood Missed Out, his arse. Since Nora Browning seems to believe he overlooked the passion of a lifetime, Dash challenges her to prove it.

She has one night.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

After reading the darkly compelling The Highwayman, I was in the mood for something light-hearted and fun and what better than Tessa Dare’s latest novella in her brilliant Spindle Cove series.

“Second chance at love” is one of my favourite tropes and when the estranged couple are forced to take shelter from a snow storm in an isolated cabin…even better. I know there will be lively dialogue, some soul-searching, and delicious sexy moments, all leading to a Happy Ever After. Add a rescue mission undertaken by all those heroes from the previous Spindle Cove books and how could I not enjoy this novella?

I like Nora, because instead of bottling up her negative feelings after Dash left, she puts pen to paper and has the courage to publish her pamphlet and become a successful author.

She’d come away with friendships, respect, a career of sorts— as much as gentlewomen were permitted to have careers. Women from all over England and beyond wrote to her, expressing their gratitude.

She has become her own woman…intelligent, strong and confident.

I admit that I didn’t have a very good opinion of Dash at first. His initial remarks seem particularly cruel and hurtful but it soon becomes apparent that this may well be a front, because you see his genuine care and concern for Nora when their coach skids off the road.

His fingers brushed a lock of loosened hair from her brow, and an idiotic frisson of pleasure chased through her. He’d never touched her so tenderly. No man had.

I like how the close proximity forces them, as adults, to confront their pasts and their feelings for each other. Dash is right when he says they were both young and needed time to become “their best and bravest selves”. He was a callow, immature youth and Nora ‘s dreams of marriage, children and a life spent with Dash were just girlish fantasies. It’s clear that, without those years apart, Nora would never have become an author and Dash, a cartographer.

There is plenty of sexual tension and a delicious sense of anticipation. I love this exchange between them.

“I don’t care how many lovers you’ve taken, nor how experienced they were.” She held up her index finger. “I have more passion in one fingertip than they have in their whole bodies.”
   He propped an elbow on the table. A smile played at the corners of his lips. “Why, Elinora Jane Browning. What on earth have you been doing with that fingertip?”
   “Wouldn’t you like to know.”

An added bonus is we get to see Griff, Colin, Bram and Thorne, the heroes from the previous books. Only they could play cards for fossils. and there is fun and laughter as they set off to rescue the stranded Miss Browning. When they mistake a smugglers’ den for a wayside inn, only Colin could come up with such lines as…

Colin cleared his throat and addressed the men. “Say, is this not the Ceylonese Mission Society meeting? I’m afraid we’ve taken a wrong turn, brothers. So sorry to trouble you. We’ll just be on our w—”

Don’t you just adore Colin?

MY VERDICT: This novella is a charming addition to the Spindle Cove series and I’m already anticipating my next visit there for Charlotte Highwood’s story, DO YOU WANT TO START A SCANDAL, to be published on 27th September.


REVIEW RATING: 4/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

Read February 2016

Spindle Cove series (click on cover for more details):

A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1) by Tessa Dare Once Upon a Winter's Eve (Spindle Cove, #1.5) by Tessa Dare A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2) by Tessa Dare A Lady by Midnight (Spindle Cove, #3) by Tessa Dare Beauty and the Blacksmith (Spindle Cove, #3.5) by Tessa Dare Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove, #4) by Tessa Dare Lord Dashwood Missed Out (Spindle Cove, #4.5) by Tessa Dare Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Spindle Cove, #5) by Tessa Dare – to be released on 27th September

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I will buy anything that Courtney Milan writes! This is the first book in her new series.

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(The Worth Saga, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb:

The last man Judith Worth wants to see again is Charles Trent, the Marquess of Ashford—the man who spent summers at her family home, who kissed her one magical night…and then heartlessly ruined her father. But when a tricky business matter arises, he’s the only one she can ask for help. With any luck, he’ll engage a servant to take care of the matter, and she won’t even have to talk with him.

But Ashford has never forgotten Judith. He knows she will never forgive him for what he’s done, but when offered the chance to assist her, he arrives in person. His memory of Judith may have haunted him, but it pales in comparison to the reality of the vivacious, beautiful woman he rediscovers. Throughout his life, he has always done what is correct. But now, he finds himself doing something utterly wrong…falling in love with the one woman he can never have.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

Tessa Dare returns to Spindle Cove with this novella

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle

(Spindle Cove, #4.5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

A snowstorm hath no fury like a spinster scorned!

Miss Elinora Browning grew up yearning for the handsome, intelligent lord-next-door…but he left England without a word of farewell. One night, inspired by a bit too much sherry, Nora poured out her heartbreak on paper. Lord Dashwood Missed Out was a love letter to every young lady who’d been overlooked by gentlemen—and an instant bestseller. Now she’s on her way to speak in Spindle Cove when snowy weather delays her coach. She’s forced to wait out the storm with the worst possible companion: Lord Dashwood himself.

And he finally seems to have noticed her.

George Travers, Lord Dashwood, has traveled the globe as a cartographer. He returned to England with the goal of marrying and creating an heir–only to find his reputation shredded by an audacious, vexingly attractive bluestocking and her poison pen. Lord Dashwood Missed Out, his arse. Since Nora Browning seems to believe he overlooked the passion of a lifetime, Dash challenges her to prove it.

She has one night.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

I love this series!

Source: I received a complimentary copy from the author in return for an honest review

(Duke’s Club, #4)

Genre: Historical Romance

Cover Blurb:

A Lady Who Vows Never to Wed:

Lady Allegra Portmund knows the cost of marriage. After the death of her dearest and only sister, Allegra swears she will never suffer the same fate. She will not become a possession shaped and destroyed by a husband. So, when her parents insist she marry the man of their choosing, there is only one thing for Allegra to do. Run. But when she runs, determined to be free, she meets the Duke of Roth, a singular man who sees her unique and vital spirit. Now that her heart is awakened to the most dangerous longings for love, how will she resist the temptation to break her vow?

A Duke Ruled By  Honor:

Nicholas Andrew Edward Forth, Duke of Roth, values family above everything else. Despite his wild reputation, having lost both of his parents when he was a child, his most secret wish is to have a family again. When he meets a young lady in disguise, Nicholas quickly realizes that she is unlike any woman he’s ever met and is also the only woman for him. But when he discovers how quickly she has abandoned her own family, he doubts whether she is the exceptional woman he believed her to be. Now, that he knows the truth about Allegra’s past, will his own sense of honor destroy his only chance at happiness?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

Source: A lovely Christmas gift from a friend

Audiobook narrated by Leslie Mackie

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Since losing their parents, Kate and Andrew Dunbar have been living with their cold-hearted aunt and uncle within the vaults of Edinburgh’s South Bridge. Worked relentlessly, Kate has little chance to secure a different way of life for herself and her brother.

Then one day Richard Hope walks into her life. An upper-class student training to become a doctor, Richard knows that he and Kate come from very different worlds. Instantly smitten, Richard vows to do whatever it takes to spend his time with her. But as the romance develops, not everyone is happy for the young lovers.

Can their fragile relationship survive the pressures of family betrayal and society’s disapproval, or will they be forced to part?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

Victoria Vane is one of the few authors whose contemporary romances I read.

Source: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.


(Hotel Rodeo, #2)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover Blurb:

A COUNTRY BOY

Maybe having a hot and heavy affair with the boss’s daughter wasn’t the smartest move. But country boy Ty Morgan didn’t regret a moment with city girl Monica Brandt…until she left Las Vegas to return to her life in New York. When devastating news sends her running back, Ty can’t help but open his arms. His heart, however, is another matter.

AND A CITY GIRL

Now that Ty has what he’s always wanted—controlling interest in Hotel Rodeo—Monica is certain their time together is at an end. Then Ty asks her to come on board as a partner. Maybe it’s just her money he needs, but the chance to stick close to the sexy wrangler sure could make work a whole lot more interesting.

GET READY TO TANGO

Their partnership doesn’t come without a heap of problems. The two can’t agree on anything—except their iron-hot attraction. As the hotel’s Grand Opening approaches, the truth is all too clear: Ty and Monica must find a way to mix business with pleasure if they have any shot at dancing off into the sunset together…

Expected publication date: February 16th 2016

♥♥♥♥♥♥

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