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(The Marriage Game, #5.5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

The bachelors in Ella Quinn’s Marriage Game series make a habit of resisting the irresistible. But during the season for giving, surrendering to temptation may be the greatest gift of all…

A French spy, Georges, Marquis Cruzy-le-Châtel, has lived in England for years, sacrificing his life for his country—but not his heart. For he’s never been able to forget his childhood friend, Madeleine. And now, in her hour of need, he is there to rescue her…

The victim of a ruthless statesman, Madeleine, Comtesse du Beaune, has been abducted and sent to England to work in a brothel. Her greatest wish is to return home for Christmas, and her only hope of it is to marry Georges—though she will be his wife in name alone. Yet as they steal across the snowy countryside, Georges decides to woo her—with kisses that melt the winter’s frost and leave her longing for a holiday miracle…

 

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This is the 5th book in Ella Quinn’s charming The Marriage Game series.

(The Marriage Game, #5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Ella Quinn’s intriguing and irresistible bachelors are masters in the game of seduction. But nothing has the power to change a single man’s mind like a captivating woman…

William, Viscount Wivenly, plans to remain the most eligible of bachelors. He refuses to surrender to the schemes of husband-hunting ladies and matchmaking mamas. Fleeing the pressure of the ton, he’s bent on finding refuge in the West Indies. What he finds instead is a fascinating stranger, a woman so unlike those of his society that he can’t resist such a beguiling distraction…

Determined to let nothing complicate her mission to protect her family’s livelihood while covertly rescuing orphaned slave children, Miss Eugénie Villaret does her best to evade suitors. But when dashing William lures her down a path of forbidden adventure and delicious danger, she may be convinced that business can indeed be mixed with pleasure—and persuaded to add passion to her priorities…

Buy Links:

Buy for the KindleBuy for the NookBuy from Kensington

Also available from:

Amazon Canada

Amazon UK

Amazon DE

Amazon FR

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(The Marriage Game #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Official Blurb 

Ella Quinn’s bachelors in The Marriage Game series are charming and cunning when it comes to the ways of love—until the right woman captures their unsuspecting hearts… 

Custom-made gowns…nights at the theater…and a host of eligible bachelors. Accustomed to living a quiet life in the Scottish Borderlands, Lady Serena Weir has never had any of these luxuries. But when Serena’s brother demands she finally have a Season in London, she’s thrust into a glamorous world she’s only dreamed of…

Robert, Viscount Beaumont remembers all too well what it feels like to be in love. That is why he must keep his distance from Serena. He’s only felt his pulse stir the way it does now when he made the mistake of loving the wrong woman once before. Yet the more he strives to resist his feelings, the nearer he is to falling under Serena’s seductive spell…

NOTE: THE EXPECTED DATE OF PUBLICATION IS 14 February 2014 BUT IT IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER FROM AMAZON US, AMAZON UK, AMAZON CANADA, AMAZON FR, AMAZON IT, BARNES AND NOBLE AND iTUNES.

★✩★✩★✩★✩★

Once again, Ella Quinn charmed me with her third book in The Marriage Game Series. Reading her books is like curling up by a blazing fire on a cold winter’s night with a delicious mug of hot chocolate…makes you feel all cosy and warm. She populates her books with such delightful characters…the sort of people you would love to have as neighbours and friends, and she captures the Regency era so well.

I love Ms Quinn’s heroines…always strong, intelligent and resilient and Serena is no exception.

“I—I am a fish out of water. I never thought to have a London Season.”

It was so easy to relate to Serena, maybe because I have felt totally adrift at certain times in my life. At the age of 26, she is forced to leave the only home she has ever known and is thrust into the glittering world of the ton…a world she doesn’t understand. She can run an estate efficiently but knows nothing of balls or modistes. Despite her trepidation, she is determined to make the best of it with help from her aunt and uncle and friends who have her best interests at heart, unlike her insensitive brother, James and his wife.

He needed an heir, not another broken heart.

Robert has managed to avoid marrying as long as possible but, when his irascible old grandmother tells him – “Decide what you want in a wife, my boy, find her and marry her.” – he knows his bachelor days are numbered. Betrayed by his first love, he will never risk his heart again. If he must marry, then it will be a marriage of convenience where he will maintain full control.

I never felt for one moment that these Robert and Serena were not meant to be together. Their initial attraction is so palpable and I love the scene in theatre where Robert watches the unfeigned delight on Serena’s face and is totally captivated. Serena is equally taken with Robert…

Her chest tightened as his eyes, the color of bright moss, caressed her. Her heart skipped as she fought to regain control of her traitorous senses.

and, before long, she’s fallen in love with him.

As with all the best romances, the course of true love never runs smoothly. Robert’s problem is that he refuses to admit what everyone around him, even his servants, knows…that he is head over heels in love with Serena. Serena refuses to marry a man who does not love her and, in a moment of pure Alpha male arrogance, he attempts to force her hand by compromising her. Not a good idea, Robert! Serena is not a lady to be coerced and it will take more than sweet-talking to win her back.

Rupert lifted a glass to Robert. “I never thought I’d see you married. How did she catch you?”
“She didn’t. Gave me a devil of a chase, and I almost didn’t catch her. It was a near thing, I’ll tell you.” 

Of course, a happy ending is ensured and I enjoyed the bumpy journey with lots of devious scheming; an impromptu family shopping trip to Paris; a hasty pursuit; a significant amount of grovelling; a last ditch stand at the ancestral home of the Beaumont’s; a long-awaited declaration; some deliciously wicked goings on in the viscountess’s bedchamber, bath chamber and not to forget on the Turkish carpet! All ends well with a wedding or two.

As usual, Ms Quinn treats us to a rich array of secondary characters; Phoebe and Marcus (from The Seduction of Lady Phoebe) and Anna and Sebastian (from The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh); Serena’s Aunt Ester and Uncle Henry; Robert’s irascible grandmother and Aunt Freddy. There is also a charming secondary romance between Freddy and an old flame, Edward, Lord Malfrey.

I love the family dynamics in Ms Quinn’s stories. They are always the source of some delightful wit and humour such as this exchange between Robert and his grandmother…

Lady Beaumont nodded. “Good, now take your fidgety self off. You’ll give me a spasm if I have to watch you anymore.”
Robert smiled with amusement. “Grandmama, what a faradiddle. You’ve never had a spasm in your life.”
“No, but there’s no saying I won’t start having them,” she retorted.
“Would you like me to bring you some vinaigrette or feathers to burn when I next visit?” he asked with credible solicitude.
His grandmother threw a pillow at him.
He ducked and blew her a kiss as he left the room.

Once again, Ms Quinn delights with this warm, funny, sweet romance with irresistible characters that are sure to win your heart.

REVIEW RATING: 4.5/5 Stars 

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read October 2013

My sincere thanks Ella Quinn for kindly providing me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review. 

The Marriage Game to date (click on book cover for more details :

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe (The Marriage Game, #1) The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh (The Marriage Game, #2)– 7 November 2013 The Temptation of Lady Serena (The Marriage Game, #3)– 14 January 2014

Future books:

Desiring Lady Caro -(The Marriage Game#4)
Releases Spring 2014

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Ella Quinn kindly sent me a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

(The Marriage Game #3)

Genre: Regency Historical Romance

Official Blurb 

LADY SERENA WEIR has achieved the impossible. At the spinsterish age of twenty-six, she is the most sought after lady on the Marriage Mart. Serena is determined to find not only a husband, but love.

ROBERT, VISCOUNT BEAUMONT, London’s most hardened rake, was betrayed by a woman once and now wants a wife he can rule with an iron hand. Love has no place in his life or in his heart, or so he thinks.

When Robert decides the only way to marry Serena is to compromise her and smugly declare their betrothal, Serena takes off to Paris until Robert can mend his ways. Can love settle the differences between these two strong-willed characters? Or will both live in the shadows of ruin?

Note: The expected date of publication is 14 January 2014 but it is available to pre-order from Amazon US, Amazon UK and Kensington Books. 

★✩★✩★✩★✩★

I had an unexpected windfall this month and so I decided to buy the remaining books to complete Renee Bernard’s Jaded Gentleman series and Maureen Driscoll’s Kellington series.

(Jaded Gentlemen #5)

Genre: Victorian Historical Romance

Official Blurb 

Darius Thorne has learned to use his wit and intelligence to strategize a better life for himself. He is the White Knight amidst the small secret circle of Gentlemen known only as the Jaded. The handsome scholar shields his heart by keeping a studied distance from the world…until he rescues a beautiful woman who literally falls into his hands.

Isabel Netherton isn’t merely a damsel in distress. A high born lady of quality unwilling to be a pawn, she is defiantly escaping an abusive husband. But under Darius’ protection she discovers an unexpected champion—a man who teaches her the power of true desire and what it means to be treated like a queen.

However, the law of the land supports her husband’s cruel claim. It will take all of Darius’ wit to keep one step ahead of their enemies and protect Isabel. In a deadly game of chess, Darius must defeat the Black Knight and sacrifice himself for his Ivory Queen or forfeit all.

★✩★✩★✩★✩★

(Jaded Gentlemen #6)

Genre: Victorian Historical Romance

Official Blurb 

The shy soldier and self-appointed guardian of the Jaded, Michael Rutherford is faced with the ultimate test of his loyalty and honor when he meets the woman who is at once his perfect match and the worst choice he could ever make. The final battle with the Jaded’s greatest enemy will force him to choose between the brotherhood he has vowed to protect and shielding the innocent lady he comes to love. For Michael, it is a dance with the devil for a chance to taste the kisses of an angel.

Grace Porter is no ordinary wallflower or shy spinster hiding in the shadows of her brother’s London home. She is a quiet rebel with secrets of her own and a woman who dreams of an independent life, free to pursue her dreams as a writer. Her imagination holds the key to her survival, but it fuels her retreat from the colorless world around her. Until Michael Rutherford’s arrival upturns her every fantasy and threatens her sanctuary with his lies. His embrace is intoxicating to her senses, but Grace isn’t the kind of woman to lose her head—or her heart.

It’s a knuckle-biting race to the finish for fans of the Jaded as fan favorite Michael Rutherford discovers the identity of the Jackal, and Michael learns that sometimes the price to pay for justice is the sacrifice of hope and happiness. He will risk everything as the Jaded call him out as a traitor and nothing is what it seems.

★✩★✩★✩★✩★

(Kellington #3)

Genre: Regency Erotic Historical Romance

Official Blurb 

Maureen Driscoll’s Kellington novels continue with Arthur’s story, the third book in her Regency romance series.

When Arthur Kellington was fifteen, a Romany fortune teller predicted that his true love would be killed. Since then, he’s resolved to never fall in love. He has no trouble keeping his resolution until he meets Vanessa Gans, an agent with the Home Office who is on the trail of two hardened criminals. As he finds himself falling for her, he must keep his distance emotionally as the only way to protect them both.

Despite her illegitimate birth, Vanessa Gans has worked her way up to being one of the Crown’s finest agents. She’s reluctant to accept Arthur’s help initially because she doesn’t want to place him in danger. Then she realizes her heart is truly at risk because there can be no honorable future between them.

NEVER WAGER AGAINST LOVE is a romantic tale of bravery, sacrifice and love. It contains explicit language.

★✩★✩★✩★✩★

(Kellington #4)

Genre: Regency Erotic Historical Romance

Official Blurb 

Another Kellington brother finds love in the fourth book of Maureen Driscoll’s critically-acclaimed Regency romance series.

When Hal Kellington sees a respectable reform worker with the stockings of a courtesan, he’s intrigued. When his friend wagers he cannot kiss the chit, he’s challenged. And when he gets to know the spirited American, he realizes the stakes are higher than he could possibly imagine.Since arriving in England to live with her uncle and aunt, Melanie Sutton has been working to help London prostitutes start new lives in America. When they begin disappearing, she accepts the help of a notorious rake to track them down. But she soon discovers that resisting temptation is much easier preached than practiced.

NEVER RUN FROM LOVE contains explicit language and adult situations.

★✩★✩★✩★✩★

(Kellington #5)

Genre: Regency Erotic Historical Romance

Official Blurb 

William (Liam) Kellington, the Duke of Lynwood, loves Rosalind Carson, the sister of an impoverished viscount. But while Lynwood was still coming to terms with his feelings — dukes can be particularly dim-witted when it comes to love — Rosalind’s brother sold her into a lucrative betrothal to another nobleman. Liam vows to save Rosalind from a marriage she does not want, while also convincing her to become the Duchess of Lynwood.

The lady, however, is not one to wait to be rescued.

Rosalind has been in love with William Kellington much of her life. And it has been a rather one-sided romance. When her brother promises her to a man five decades her senior, Rosalind must find a way to live the life she wants and not the one that has been forced upon her.

NEVER DENY YOUR HEART is the fifth book in the Kellington romance series and contains explicit language and adult situations.

★✩★✩★✩★✩★

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(The Marriage Game #2)

Genre: Historical Romance

Official Blurb 

For Ella Quinn’s bachelors, courtship is all about gamesmanship, until the right woman shows them how much they have to learn…

Since she was a young girl, Anna Marsh has dreamed of Sebastian, Baron Rutherford asking for her hand in marriage. But that was in another life when her brother Harry was alive, before she vowed to secretly continue the work he valiantly died for. Now as Sebastian finally courts Anna, she must thwart his advances. Were he to discover her secret, he would never deem her a suitable wife…

Sebastian has always known Anna would become his wife someday. He expects few obstacles, but when she dissuades him at every turn he soon realizes there is much more to this intriguing woman. Somehow he must prove to her that they are meant to be together. But first he must unravel the seductive mystery that is Miss Anna Marsh…

NOTE: THE EXPECTED DATE OF PUBLICATION IS 7 NOVEMBER 2013 BUT IT IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER FROM AMAZON US, AMAZON UK, BARNES AND NOBLE AND KENSINGTON BOOKS.

★✩★✩★✩★✩★

THE SECRET LIFE OF MISS ANNA MARSH is the second book in Ella Quinn’s The Marriage Game series and I loved escaping once again into her delightful world filled with romance, charm and humour.

In most romances, it’s the hero who steals the limelight but Anna is definitely the star of this book. She’s just what I love in a heroine… smart, strong-willed and capable. No twittering, fan fluttering, simpering miss here! She can ride, shoot and drive a curricle as well as any man. Oh…and she has a unique way of discouraging unwanted suitors! She has brains as well and is not afraid to voice her political views, no matter how radical. I admire her stance on social issues like providing schools for children of estate workers. It’s not just empty words either. Although she has always loved him, Anna remains true to herself, unwilling to compromise her independence by marrying Sebastian who expects a compliant, easily led wife.

Marcus shook his head. “What a sapskull. I don’t know Miss Marsh that intimately, but I know her well enough to expect she’d bridle at that sort of arrogant behavior.”

Marcus is absolutely right – Sebastian is a “sapskull” and he had to work hard to earn my affection but he got there in the end. He so annoyed me with his initial arrogant assumptions about Anna… that he merely had to snap his fingers and she would agree to become a compliant little wife. But Anna’s having none of it and surprises him at every turn. It was a pleasure watching Sebastian having to ‘court’ Anna and finally coming to the realisation that it’s the unconventional Anna he wants as his wife. I was swayed by Sebastian’s obvious love for his sisters and the understanding and support he shows his mother when certain secrets come to light.

I liked the way Ms Quinn spent the time developing the romance between Anna and Sebastian and establishing that all important chemistry between them. The fact that they spend so much time together allows for a steady building of the sexual tension. The love scenes are definitely steamy compared to the previous book but I’m not complaining! There is also a charming secondary romance between Anna’s brother, Harry and Emma, Lady Rutherford’s goddaughter but this never overshadows the main romance.

A backdrop of smugglers and French spies, some intriguing family dynamics, gentle humour and a real sense of the Regency period, all help to make this romance an engaging and satisfying read.

A favourite quote:

For God’s sake, he’d brought down an entire branch of Napoleon’s spy apparatus. How hard could it be to discover the key to one recalcitrant female, who might not be so comfortable and easily led after all?

REVIEW RATING: 4.5/5 Stars

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

The Marriage Game series so far (click on book cover for more details)

The Seduction of Lady Phoebe (The Marriage Game, #1) The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh (The Marriage Game, #2)

I would like to thank Ella Quinn  for kindly providing me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.

Read June 2013

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(The Marriage Game #3)

Genre: Historical Romance

Official Blurb 

Ella Quinn’s bachelors in The Marriage Game series are charming and cunning when it comes to the ways of love—until the right woman captures their unsuspecting hearts… 

Custom-made gowns…nights at the theater…and a host of eligible bachelors. Accustomed to living a quiet life in the Scottish Borderlands, Lady Serena Weir has never had any of these luxuries. But when Serena’s brother demands she finally have a Season in London, she’s thrust into a glamorous world she’s only dreamed of…

Robert, Viscount Beaumont remembers all too well what it feels like to be in love. That is why he must keep his distance from Serena. He’s only felt his pulse stir the way it does now when he made the mistake of loving the wrong woman once before. Yet the more he strives to resist his feelings, the nearer he is to falling under Serena’s seductive spell…

(Expected publication date: 14 January 2014)

This is the third book in Ella Quinn’s delightful The Marriage Game series and, if you’d like to read an excerpt, just click on the link below.

http://ellaquinnauthor.wordpress.com/2013/06/23/sunday-news-3/

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The Marriage Game #1

Setting: Regency England, 1814

Official Blurb

Polite society has its rules for marriage. But for Ella Quinn’s eligible bachelors, their brides will show them that rules are for the weak of heart…

Phoebe Stanhope is not a typical Lady. As feisty as she is quick witted, no one can catch her, especially astride a horse. And unlike her peers, experience has guarded her against a growing list of would-be suitors. But when she encounters Marcus Finley, what she fears most burns deep within in his blue-eyed gaze…

For Lord Finley, the spark of recognition is but a moment in the love he has held these many years. Now that he’s returned to England, all the happiness he desires rests on Lady Phoebe never finding out that he was the one who turned her heart so cold and distant. He must work fast to gain the advantage—to convince her what she wants is exactly what she denies—but in order to seduce her into his arms, he must be willing to give up more than he can control…

NOTE: THIS BOOK WILL BE RELEASED ON 19 SEPTEMBER 2013 BUT IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER FROM AMAZON US, AMAZON UK, BARNES AND NOBLE AND KENSINGTON BOOKS.

★✩★✩★✩★✩★

THE SEDUCTION OF LADY PHOEBE, Ella Quinn’s Regency Historical debut novel, is a delightful mix of romance, excitement and charming characters.

I have a soft spot for unconventional heroines and Phoebe certainly falls into that category. She combines beauty with intelligence, daring, a political and social awareness and a damaging right hook!

For the first time in Phoebe’s life, she was truly afraid. Desperate, she broke his hold and drove her fist into his nose.

I’m also partial to a hero in hot pursuit of a reluctant heroine and love Marcus’ sheer determination to prove to Phoebe that he is no longer the arrogant, spoilt young man of eight years ago, but a man of honour and integrity.

I enjoyed Ms Quinn’s gradual development of the romance between Phoebe and Marcus. Marcus’ actions have instilled such feelings of fear and hurt in Phoebe that it takes a lot of effort on his part to break through the barriers she’s erected around her heart. His love for Phoebe has remained constant and his years of exile in the West Indies have given him time to reflect on his actions and realise what an arrogant and stupid young man he was. I love his willingness to let Phoebe set the conditions regarding his courtship. It certainly enhances the sexual tension and provides for some amusing plotting and scheming from various family members and friends. Although I like my love scenes with plenty of steam, I feel  Ms Quinn’s less explicit scenes do fit the general tone of the story perfectly and so this isn’t a minus point for me.

The secondary characters definitely add richness to the story (although, at times, it does seem like a cast of thousands! LOL!) I love the family dynamics and Lord Travenor makes a suitably menacing villain.

The family exchanges provide some lovely touches of humour and witty dialogue. This is one of my favourites:

“Does she always travel like this?” (Marcus)
Geoffrey grinned. “Always, unless she is fleeing you. Never saw her travel so light before.”
“At least she leaves the furniture,” John said. “I had a great-grandmother who took half her house when she traveled.”

The period language definitely gives the story an authentic Regency feel but, occasionally, I was distracted by some of the phrases, such as ‘peep o day boy’, which I’d never come across before. But, overall, this didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story.

How I imagine Marcus…

How I imagine Phoebe…

THE SEDUCTION OF LADY PHOEBE is a perfect blend of heart, wit and charm which will certainly appeal to all lovers of Georgette Heyer.

VERDICT:  A VERY GOOD READ

RATING: 4/5 Stars

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

Many thanks to the author, Ella Quinn, for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.

Read April 2013

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