Against All Odds by Jezz de Silva – a Review

Against All Odds by Jezz de Silva – a Review

 

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Description:
The bomb ticking inside Abigail Williams has shadowed every moment of her adult life. With the timer counting down, Abi embarks on one final adventure into theAustralian outback before returning to L.A. to fight for her life.

Sergeant Ryder Harper survived over a decade in Australia’s most elite military unit. He’s ready to hang up his assault rifle and drag what’s left of his broken body back home. He dreads the long flight back to Brisbane, until he collides with the stubborn, maddening seductress sitting beside him.

Abi ignites a need deep inside Ryder, leaving him desperate for more time with this woman with mesmerizing eyes and an even more intoxicating spirit. But when Abi finally relents to Ryder’s offer to be her outback guide, she has one condition: When it’s time, he’ll have to let her go.

 

Review:

Against All Odds. Anyone remember the movie – the namesake song within the movie? I barely do, but it’s hardly necessary when reading this powerhouse of emotion. Escapism might be the initial common bond for these two strangers, but HEA is their unexpected miracle. Jezz de Silva‘s debut novel, Against All Odds, tells a mighty love story derived of hope and promise. They go hand in hand and blessedly held forever.

Abi’s future is so bleak, she’s created a bucket list to complete in a once in a lifetime trip to Australia. But when her window-seat neighbor offers her an authentic tour of the Outback only a native can claim, who knew her heart would be the ultimate sacrifice? There’s steam, and plenty of it, but you’ll get swept up by Ryder and Abi’s instant connection, their shared sensibilities, their natural communication. A good writer makes baring their souls as provocative as shedding their clothes.

Ryder is a man’s man. He’s gained notoriety in his home country, as well as the States, for exemplary service. But while Ryder may have received military honors, his unflinching bravery shines upon discovering Abi’s personal battle. In spite of their two week friendship, Ryder’s heart unquestionably beats alongside Abi’s. Ryder’s new mission may not be on the battlefield, but failure is not an option: He wants Abi, heart and soul.

Insta-love isn’t rational, but matters of the heart seldom are.

“It didn’t make sense, it was impossible, it was crazy, it was suicidal, but love wasn’t meant to be understood.”

I loved Abi and Ryder. They fought different wars, but virulent enemies all the same. When there appeared little hope, the unexpected jettisoned complacency and proposed a few more adventures. Bravo to Mr. de Silva for delivering an impactful , inspirational love story. Write on…I’m reading!

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy provided by Publisher

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Famous by Jenny Holiday – a Review

Famous by Jenny Holiday – a Review

 

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Description:
Everyone knows her face. He knows her heart.

Emerson Quinn is famous. Girls want to be her. Boys want to date her. Each record outsells the last. All that remains is to continue transitioning her brand from its teenage fan base to a more mature, diverse audience. So she’s under strict orders to play nice with her army of assigned co-songwriters and to knock off the serial dating that keeps landing her in the tabloids. If she follows instructions, she can look forward to an indefinite run at the top of the celebrity ecosystem. There’s only one problem with this plan: Emerson is miserable.

So she runs away, impulsively fleeing her L.A. life and heading for a small Iowa college town where a guy she once knew lives. He’s the only person in the world she can think of who might be enough of a nerd to not know about Emerson Quinn the brand. Who might be willing to provide a haven where she can lay low and write her new album by herself, on her own terms.
  
Art history professor Evan Winslow knows a thing or two about leaving your past behind. He’s worked hard to establish himself far from the spotlight of his infamous father. He’s up for tenure soon, which will mean job security for life. All he has to do to lock down his hard-won, blessedly quiet existence is keep his head down.

Too bad the most famous pop star in the world—who also happens to be his long-lost muse—has just shown up on his doorstep.


Review:

When Evan and Emmy first meet, he’s running away from attention and she’s running toward it. Seven years later, their paths reconvene in the “straight lines and right angles” of Iowa, “No twists and turns. Nothing and no one lurking unexpectedly behind a bend in the road. No blind spots.” Will such luxury of independence serve Emmy’s song-producing needs? And what of Evan’s newly-invaded heart, because Emmy whirls in and intensifies all his repressed emotions. Jenny Holiday is “Famous“, *wink, wink* for introducing wonderful characters whose lives she upends only to make them more life-affirming. Gotta love an author like this!

Emmy made her dreams come true, she’s a massive star, but when the music industry begins churning her into a machine, she tries to escape the “Famous” lifestyle she ambitiously created. Evan wishes he could resume his creativity that was deprived him by the sins of his father. Although struggling within an artistic spectrum, Evan and Emmy are more in tune than not. Surprisingly, and selflessly, Evan and Emmy don’t despair over their plights; seeking only to support each other’s goals. Their talents are reenergized in each other’s stasis.

When things turn romantic, as they’re clearly headed (I know I wanted it!), uncertainty overrides emotion. In an effort to achieve her most sought after independence, Emmy’s decreed a moratorium on dating. Evan, honorable dude that he is, abides by her wishes…and battles his burgeoning desires. This may, or may not, make them irritable. But it only enhances their communication. Jenny Holiday moonlights as a part-time therapist, I’m sure. 😉

“But, amazingly, the odd stiffness between them wasn’t enough to extinguish the attraction between them.”

Internal chaos turns innocuous Iowa into a catalyst for two uneasy souls. “The sense that even though everything was orderly and tidy, this was also, paradoxically, a place where anything could happen.” Famous is a beautiful love story that launches a watershed moment to epic proportions. Emmy and Evan weren’t unhappy, but complacent and ultimately compromising their potential. Shared sensibility and compassion inspired them to ask for more. Emmy and Evan surmounted a mountain of more.

On a fun note, I had likened Emmy and Evan to Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel from Safe Haven. But when Emmy was going on about how college girls must be dying to get into Evan’s class, I immediately thought of Indiana Jones and the student with her eyelids declaring devotion. Picture whomever you’d like, maybe even Taylor Swift? ;D. Just know that you’re in for some steamy scenes. Yeah, so not complaining.

Reviewed by Carmen

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Catching the Cowgirl by Jennie Marts – a Review

Catching the Cowgirl by Jennie Marts – a Review

 

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Description:
California video game designer Adam Clark knows that, in his business, authenticity is the key. So, for their newest Western adventure game, he and his partners decide to try out Cowboy Camp. Only Adam’s friends never arrive, leaving him a bit—okay, a lot—preoccupied, trying to resist the gorgeous cowgirl who owns the ranch.

Single mom Skye Hawkins is too busy trying to keep her family’s dude ranch out of the red to even think about romance. But she’s having trouble avoiding Adam. He’s smart, he’s sweet, he’s funny…and he’s hot! Maybe it’s the mountain air, but she finds herself letting down her guard. And the fireworks are definitely worth it.

The only problem—they live in totally different worlds. Still, Adam is nothing if not resourceful. Sure, he wants to catch the cowgirl. But more importantly, he needs to find a way to keep her.

 

Review:

It wasn’t Adam’s idea to immerse himself in all things dude ranch for video game inspiration, but once he saw Skye, the proprietor, a week long visit was ingenious! Preparation’s sake and all that, 😉 Skye’s been burned by a wanderer, so her guard flies up, no matter how dang cute Adam is. Can two opposites handle a guilt-free, week-long dalliance or will priorities shift and align with new purpose? Jennie Marts brings Colorado to life with this very possibility in Catching the Cowgirl, book 3 of her Cotton Creek series.

Adam may announce his outsider/city boy status with awful, pointy snakeskin boots, but his computer engineer brain, and nerdy looks, attract Skye like no one ever has. Skye’s inherited the ranch, is running herself ragged with daily tours, and single-handedly raising a teenager, so she’s fighting feelings and resisting Adam as hard as she can.

“She was a no-nonsense, take-charge, get-things-done kind of girl.  There was one person she could count on and it was herself.  She didn’t have time to waste on fantasies of a knight in shining armor riding in, sweeping her up on his stallion, and kissing her senseless.”

He wasn’t supposed to fall in love, wasn’t quite sure his attraction for Skye wasn’t insta-lust, but this cowgirl upended Adam’s life, and he couldn’t be happier. The gushy emotions were rare, but heartfelt and momentous. How’d that happen so fast?

“He’d thought he was just attracted to her, but now he knew it was more.  Everything on him screamed that this was a bad idea.  He lived a life of logic and practicality.  And there was nothing logical about falling for a cowgirl who lived not only in another state, but in a whole other world.”

Plans of stability go awry in this sweet romance, but its serendipitous outcome is the stuff of HEA. Catching the Cowgirl was a lovely story about two people willing to step outside their compartmentalized lives and thrive on the unexpected.  

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy provided by Publisher

 

 

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Royal Enchantment by Sharon Ashwood – a Review

Royal Enchantment by Sharon Ashwood – a Review

 

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Description:
She married the king. She wanted the man. 

Guinevere’s marriage to Arthur was a political partnership, never a romance. Merlin knows that the king’s court, newly restored at a medieval theme park, will only be complete if Arthur has his lady. Little did anyone suspect that once Guinevere gets a taste of twenty-first-century freedoms that this ancient queen would lose interest in belonging to any man—even a royal one. 

It takes a dragon, and some passionate nights spent in each other’s arms, to lure her back to her husband’s side. Arthur is willing to accept Gwen’s help in protecting the new Camelot from a fae menace, but the bigger challenge will be wooing back Guinevere for a second chance at love…


Review:

King Arthur is an impressive character to be sure, but until now, author Sharon Ashwood has kept him in the background of her Camelot Reborn series. Operative phrase being until now. Welcome, Arthur Pendragon, share your fabled story…tell us why your queen is so bitter towards you…just how responsible you are for the instability in your marriage… Thank you, Ms. Ashwood, for illuminating truths with painful insight and divine forgiveness. Royal Enchantment is book three of the series, but do go in order for each is a journey to love.

Despite the separation/distance between Arthur and Guinevere, there are so many pent up emotions, such repressed honesty, it takes little time before issues are boiling up, surfacing to near explosion. After the “stone sleep”, the marriage becomes an uneasy truce they strike and you’ll find yourself looking forward to their heated exchanges! “Give Arthur something to conquer, and he was in his element”. When that person is none other than Guinevere, “his greatest vulnerability wrapped in an exquisite female form”, tactical measures are paramount to peaceful coexistence.

Arthur wants Gwen, the queen of Camelot, at his side. That’s wonderful considering how strained their marriage had become due to long, repeated absences in the name of duty. But awaking Gwen from the stone sleep into the 21st century, exposed to new culture and equal education for women, goes over Arthur’s head.

“How does that matter? You’re the queen of Camelot. What more could you desire?”

Back to the gilded cage it is. Well, hell…No! Gwen wants to atone for previous indiscretions (Lancelot, anyone?) for lapses in judgment, but Arthur needs to give her the time, and attention, to make such reparations. Not “consigning her to a life of embroidery and love poems”. Courtship after the marriage? As unconventional as it may be, equanimity is vital to regain trust.

While trying to right his own wrongs, Arthur is also facing magical sabotage. A nefarious character is methodically releasing chaos, unleashing dragon mayhem, and manipulating the supernatural contract of fae creatures to usurp the crown of Queen LaFaye while “temporarily” unoccupied. It was all a delight to read, but the powerful subtext of unity and healing was the optimal joy.

Ms. Ashwood does a magnificent job of creating balance between two formidable forces. When Arthur seems immovable, Gwen acquiesces. If Gwen exhorted her fiery temper, Arthur suddenly succumbed to reason. They slowly, but gracefully, owned their respective roles and compromised as necessary. Between the volleys, and balking, genuine love persevered.

I’ve long stated that my knowledge of Camelot is limited, but this series has deepened my understanding and with it my appreciation. Brilliant secondary characters shine in their wit and camaraderie (book 4, Enchanter Redeemed, screams Merlin, does it not?), the boon of Excalibur having magical deterrence as gifted by the Lady of the Lake, the Forest Sauvage and its plethora of fantastic beasts. How can I not be “royally enchanted” — every book is a gem!  Ms. Ashwood details so splendidly, you’ll smell a dragon’s puff of smoke, hear the clanging of metal as Excalibur lands its mighty blow, touch the cavern walls as hero after hero emerges to face threats. But most importantly, you’ll feel the love spanning centuries between King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. Another wonderful book to a dazzling series!

Reviewed by Carmen

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The Rancher and the City Girl by Joya Ryan -a Review

The Rancher and the City Girl by Joya Ryan -a Review

 

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Description:
Rancher and single father Tripp Montgomery is a master at French braiding and princess tea parties. He’s also the most eligible bachelor in Cheyenne, Wyoming. So when he stumbles upon a flashy, sexy city girl, he knows two things: 1) she’s a walking disaster, and 2) he needs to stay far, far away.

But she needs him more than he wants to admit…

Charlotte Gram knows what it’s like not to be wanted. She’s in Cheyenne for the summer to help her grandmother heal after surgery, but the farmhouse “chores” are proving much harder than she thought. If her day couldn’t get any worse, the sexiest man she’s ever seen strolls up to save the day…

…and he definitely doesn’t seem happy about it.

 

Review:

The origin of the Dedication Page was already swoon-worthy. Sounds like Joya Ryan wrangled up her very own cowboy, and that kind of firsthand experience is money for a fan. Tripp and Charlotte are strangers who indulge in a hot moment they desperately needed. When their paths collide anew, despite their mutual agreement to keep it to a singular spectacular event, does a second time automatically lead to Happily Ever After? Ms. Joya writes a bumpy love story in The Rancher and the City Girl that warms your heart and heats your senses.

Wyoming is a far cry from California, but Charlotte is in town to look after farm duties while her grandmother recovers from ankle surgery. Tripp is an overprotective, single dad who’s so focused on limiting his daughter’s outside influences, he negates his own happiness, thereby ignoring fulfillment of his own.

I understand Tripp’s reluctance to allow Charlotte into his life. Charlotte is in town for only a short while and he’s concerned that his daughter is already too attached; that she’ll be crushed when she goes. He’ll be damned if a temporary fling will cause upheaval in his stable home. But the truth is, Charlotte knows all about loss, and her influence is far from detrimental. Far be it from Charlotte, however, who has learned to fend for herself, her independence wrought fiercely, to share her demons. Could Charlotte give up Los Angeles, knowing it’s good for her career, just because Trip makes her feel whole again? Who will win this battle of wills? To lose would be a tremendous loss.

Joya Ryan writes about letting go and letting people in. There was so much heart behind what amounts to fear, you can’t help but forgive. This was a quick, fun read with genuine emotion. While steam will emanate from your device, the bedroom scene, in particular, was next level depth. *tingles*

Reviewed by Carmen

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Scandal of the Season by Liana LeFey – a Review

Scandal of the Season by Liana LeFey – a Review

 

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Description:
Five years ago, Lord Sorin Latham fled England’s shores to avoid heartbreak and scandal in the form of one Lady Eleanor Cramley. On returning home, he finds the young miss he used to scold for lack of decorum is now a stunning woman who fires his blood. But he must resist temptation or risk losing his honor as a gentleman and the friendship of those he holds dear, including Eleanor.

Lady Eleanor is determined to be the paragon of propriety Sorin urged her to become. But now that he’s back, the man she once thought of as an older brother makes her long to be anything but proper. She must make Sorin see her as worthy of his heart and his desire without losing his good opinion, or her Season will end in disgrace.

 

Review:

Do as I say, not as I do? No, not quite that…I expected you to listen, but not to change? An impossible request to be sure. Somewhere between both expressions hovers the end result of Sorin’s hopes for up and coming Eleanor. Could her London debut have provoked Sorin’s feelings…and prompted his hasty retreat? It may have been wiser to allow the young cousin (and ward of his dear friend), to explore the grandeur of the peerage, since five years later, and both still unwed. Has fate stepped out of the shadows to illuminate a path to HEA? Liana LeFey shares such a story in Scandal of the Season.

But Sorin stumbles…

“She grew up with me lecturing her on comportment, correcting her every lapse, always urging her to better herself. She once told me I was worse than any governess. I’m not exactly a romantic figure in her mind.”

And stumbles some more. They’re more like indelicate comments that come across as chastising/heavy-handed to Eleanor, but bless his heart. Sorin realizes that this relationship might earn disapproval — he’s been the dutiful proxy alongside Eleanor’s upbringing. It won’t be an easy task for outsiders to overlook, her guardian cousin and Sorin’s best friend to condone, but of most importance: Eleanor’s heart to win.

Sorin’s angst is palpable, but Eleanor took contemplative to a new level while coming around to the idea of Sorin as a love interest. This introspection allows for thorough examination and consideration of feelings, but it felt practically interminable before the relationship took on an intimate angle.

“The sensation spread, until her whole body felt alive and awake as never before. How peculiar? Was this heightened self-awareness due to the fact that she now regarded him as the potential companion of her life? Had she considered another, would it have been the same?”

A friends-to-lovers story stymied by rumors and complicated relationship labels. I enjoyed the storytelling; there were even zealous saboteurs looking to discredit the fair Eleanor (who serendipitously riled up Sorin’s patience and courage), but I wished for a quicker pace. 74% into the book and I was begging for any sort of scandal to ensue! Heartfelt, swoon-worthy soliloquies (on both ends) needed to be revealed sooner than later, lest the other relinquish pursuit.

Liana LeFey wrote with a mastery of the language and culture of the Regency era. I was enchanted by the developing romance and enjoyed the influence and support of the background characters. While Scandal of the Season did not steam up my Kindle, it proudly boasts that “The truest love begins in friendship.”

Reviewed by Carmen

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A Dangerous Seduction by Jillian Eaton – a Review

A Dangerous Seduction by Jillian Eaton – a Review

 

A Dangerous SeductionAmazon

Description:
A MURDER….

When Lady Scarlett Sherwood’s husband is killed in a riding accident that turns out to be no accident at all, she becomes the number one suspect in a murder investigation that takes the ton by storm. Her accuser? None other than the dark, ruthless Sir Owen Steel, Captain of the Bow Street Runners… and the only man Scarlett has ever loved.

A BETRAYAL…

Owen was just the poor son of a baker when Scarlett spurned him for a highborn lord. Now he is one of the most powerful men in England, but he never forgot the woman who left him humiliated and heartbroken. He always vowed he would make Scarlett pay for her treacherous betrayal, and what better way to seek revenge than to see her imprisoned for murder?

A DANGEROUS SEDUCTION…

But old passions are hard to ignore, and one kiss is all it takes for Owen and Scarlett’s sizzling chemistry to be reignited. Soon they find themselves swept up in an affair that could have dangerous consequences for them both. Because there is still a murderer on the loose, and he’s just found his next victim…

Scarlett.

 

Review:

The introduction was forward and flirtatious, unbecoming of such a well-bred lady, but was it ever so charming and tantalizing! Good for Lady Scarlett to engage, and commit, to securing the attention of Owen. Where was that spine, though, when she had to make a choice between her head and her heart? Seven years later, Owen returns to London to face Scarlett, to declare that…her husband is dead. As captain of the Bow Street Runners, Owen is charged with the heavy task, but damn if he’s not a tiny bit satisfied, even suspicious, about Scarlett’s role in the murder. Second chance romances get me every time and Jillian Eaton‘s A Dangerous Seduction, the first of her Bow Street Brides series, delivers well.

As the investigation unfolds, details reveal Scarlett’s loveless farce of a marriage. Given their failed past, perhaps Owen should have recused himself from the investigation if not based on the sheer amusement derived from Scarlett’s misery! I suppose it’s only natural to experience a degree of satisfaction to learn that the one who spurned you has suffered in your absence. I suppose that’s reasonable. Owen, however, arrived with a derisive chip on his shoulder; so determined to make Scarlett admit that she regretted her choice (and, oh yeah, committed murder). Again, this may fall within the realm of “How you like me now?”, but when Owen drops his barriers, and faces Scarlett’s truths, we discover Scarlett isn’t the only one holding back feelings this whole time. It was total denial, of course, but it allowed us to forgive Owen’s cruel exterior and hope for reconciliation.

It’s not a quick fix, if that’s what you’re expecting — where’s the fun in that? While technically “free” of her acrimonious marriage, an immense relief to be sure, Scarlett must don the pretense of grieving widow. How can she get close to Owen, explain that her rash decision, made as a child, was one of inexperience, not lack of love? Ms. Eaton uses opportune flashbacks to explain the fundamental inequity of wealth and opportunity between Owen and Scarlett. Choices break hearts, but fate finds a way to intervene.

What a fun read! I enjoyed the feisty banter between Owen and Scarlett. It was insolent and combative, but their fierce love for each other prevented irrevocable harm. *sighs* Something that nagged at me, an issue I hate to criticize since it’s not content, but I feel compelled to recommend an additional review of the manuscript. There were so many typos, it was distracting.  I’d love to catch those for you by way of an ARC ;). I’m shameless.  I just want your work to shine!

The prologue prepared us for the saucy sequel starring two secondary characters who experienced quite a moment. Sign me up now, please!

Reviewed by Carmen

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Bedchamber Games by Tracy Anne Warren – Review & Interview

Bedchamber Games by Tracy Anne Warren – Review & Interview

 

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Description:
In this irresistible romance from the New York Times bestselling author of Happily Bedded Bliss, appearances can deceive, but the heart is not so easy to fool…
 
Rosamund Carrow has spent years learning the law by assisting her barrister father, despite the frustrating truth that the profession is closed to women. When he dies unexpectedly, necessity compels her to disguise herself as a man so she can step into the courtroom to finish his cases. She’s willing to put her reputation at risk, but she never expects that the greatest peril will be to her heart…
 
Lord Lawrence Byron is a rising star in London’s legal circles, despite his reputation as an unrepentant rakehell. When an upstart young barrister defeats him in court, he’s determined to discover everything he can about his rival. He’s stunned when he uncovers the shocking secret that his new opponent is actually a beguiling, brilliant woman…one he can’t help but want in his bed. Passion draws them together as they break all the rules, but it may lead to something more lasting—like love…

 

 

 

Review:

Diving back into The Rakes of Cavendish series by Tracy Anne Warren is a decadent delight! Bedchamber Games is the 3rd book and lamentable final installment. Never fear, there is much to love, and vicariously derive, from the exciting lives of Lawrence and Rosamund. This is a re-imagined Mulan. An intelligent woman with an affinity for law, but disallowed to practice as a barrister (thanks, 19th century England), disguises herself as a man to bring her late father’s cases to conclusion. When opposing counsel, the very handsome Lawrence, discovers Rosamund’s deceit, does he oust her or does he collude, allowing alternate forms of compensation for his silence?

“For now that he knew Ross Carrow was a woman, he had to decide how to proceed.  After all, there was a fraud at large, one who was most definitely in need of unmasking.”

The facade is going well, Rosamund adheres to the style and demeanor of men, but at some point I was starting to wonder if Lawrence wasn’t harboring some latent homosexual tendencies; so entranced was he by the developing friendship, his desire to engage with this intriguing fellow so frequently. Please take no umbrage to my suspicions because Lawrence’s reaction to Rosamund’s reveal was all male (if not a bit of relief, lol!)

Was it “misguided hubris” that was Rosamund’s ultimate demise? Or was it Lawrence’s keen eye, and heart, that forced an end to the charade. Whatever the case may be, Ms. Warren detailed a swoon-worthy, albeit clandestine, courting. Rosamund continued to fool the public and to remain aloof in Lawrence’s company, but it only served to heighten the anticipation; allowing them luxurious passion in the time they secured away from prying eyes. But it’s not without some much needed agony to earn its HEA. It’ll stop your heart, bring forth tears, and make you appreciate it all the more. Great writing runs the gamut of emotions.

As a highly satisfied reader, games in all sorts of chambers are welcomed when Ms. Warren is at the helm. I am concerned, however, that at 100% completion of my ARC, my screen read “Teaser TK 8 pages”. I’m desperate to find out if this was reference to an epilogue? Ms. Warren, if you would be so kind as to illuminate this fan? 😉

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy provided by Publisher

 

 

Interview-Gold

TRC: Hi Tracy.  Welcome back to The Reading Café.  

Tracy:  Thanks! It’s great being back at The Reading Café. I always enjoy having the chance to talk to readers and I’m excited to discuss my newest book, Bedchamber Games.

TRC: Bedchamber Games was recently released, which is the 3rd book in your The Rakes of Cavendish Square series. For those of who have not read this series, can you please tell us the premise of Rakes of Cavendish Square?

Tracy:  The books in the series are linked by way of the heroes – each with a well-earned reputation as a rake – who happen to live on the same street, Cavendish Square. In the three novels, readers get to enjoy seeing how each of these unrepentant rakes meets his match – and the love of his life. The stories also tell how the last three Byron siblings – Leo, Lawrence and Esme – from the Byrons of Braebourne series find their happily-ever-afters.

Bedchamber GamesTRC: Can you please give us a brief description of Bedchamber Games?

Tracy:  Rosamund Carrow knows the law as well as any man, but she can’t use her knowledge or skills in the courtroom due to her gender – until her brother convinces her to disguise herself as a man in order to save their family’s reputation and livelihood. Lord Lawrence Byron enjoys a brilliant career as a barrister. He never loses in court – until he argues a case against a new barrister, Ross Carrow. Determined to learn all he can about the man who bested him, he never imagines that this talented and intriguing legal mind actually belongs to a woman, who is as captivating as she is clever. Soon the professional respect Rosamund and Lawrence feel for each other turns to something far more intimate and personal.

TRC: How many books do you have planned for this series?

Tracy:  The three books now in print – The Bedding Proposal, Happily Bedded Bliss and Bedchamber Games – complete The Rakes of Cavendish Squares series. They also complete the Byrons of Braebourne arc, which includes eight novels and one short story.

TRC: What challenges do you face with switching between Contemporary and Regency romances?

Tracy:  When I first wrote my Graysons series contemporaries – The Last Man on Earth, The Man Plan and Mad About the Man – I didn’t think I would have to do as much research as I usually do for a successful historical. I was mistaken. Careful research is just as necessary for contemporary novels as it is for historical. One of the challenges of writing historical romance is that no one living today can really know what life was truly like during the period being depicted – in my case the English Regency. So, as an author, I research the life and times of the period in order to create, what I hope is, a believable Regency world. The challenge of a contemporary romance is that everyone living today knows what modern life is like. Yet everyone’s life is not the same; so, as an author, I have to research the nuances of current times in order to develop unique – and believable – contemporary characters.

Another challenge is the language used in each subgenre. I have to watch to make sure my historical lexicon and Regency era voice don’t creep into my contemporaries and vice versa. American set contemporaries need to sound modern and American with modern slang and dialects, not British and turn-of-the-nineteenth-century. Both subgenres have their own challenges; there’s ‘no free lunch’ when writing either.

TRC: Can you please tell us what you working on now, and what you have upcoming in 2017?

Tracy:  Currently, I’m between contracts, so Bedchamber Games will be my only published novel for 2017. I’ll let my readers know what’s next as soon as I know.

TRC: How long does it usually take you to write a book from start to finish?  Are there different types of stories that take you longer to write?

Tracy:  My goal is to write a full-length Regency novel in six months with additional time for any rewrites requested by my editor, copy edits and reading the final proof. My novels never seem to take less time; however, a story may take longer, if there’s an unusual amount of research necessary. This was the case with Bedchamber Games. I spent many more hours than usual learning about the English legal system in the Regency period in preparation for writing Lawrence and Rosamund’s story.

TRC: What is your favorite place and time to write?

Tracy:  I have an office, which is where I do my writing. I prefer writing later in the day and generally work until 10 o’clock in the evening and sometimes later.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Tracy:  It’s been lots of fun having the chance to chat with you and all the book lovers at The Reading Café. I hope your readers enjoy Bedchamber Games, the last of the Byrons of Braebourne and Rakes of Cavendish Square novels. I’ve loved writing about the Byron family; they are very near and dear to my heart. As for the future, I’m looking forward to starting a new series soon, one I hope my readers will also enjoy!

TRC: Thank you Tracy for giving us an update on the Rakes of Cavendish Square. It was a pleasure having you visit us again. We wish you the best of luck with Bedchamber Games.

Tracy:  It’s been my pleasure, too. Thank you for inviting me to join you. I look forward to chatting with you again sometime soon!

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