His Highland Love (His Highland Heart #2 ) by Willa Blair-a review

His Highland Love (His Highland Heart #2) by Willa Blair-a review

His Highland Love

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date July 11, 2017

A Love Denied
Kenneth Brodie offered for young Mary Catherine Rose but her father declined, then a year later accepted an offer from another clan. Furious at hearing Cat would be married soon to someone else, Kenneth fled to France and drowned his disappointment in wine, women and war.

A Love Lost
Two years after her father demanded they wait until Cat was older, she doesn’t understand why Kenneth hasn’t returned for her. Broken-hearted, Cat spurns yet another betrothal her father arranges and runs away to her cousin in St. Andrews, vowing never to marry.

A Love Worth Fighting For
By the time Kenneth returns home, trouble is brewing in Scotland. Sent to St. Andrews as hostage for his clan to the Regent, Kenneth resents being exiled—until he encounters his lost love, Cat Rose. When war breaks out, they must escape. And even though he betrayed her with more than one mademoiselle, he’s the only man Cat trusts to get her home to the Highlands. Can she forgive his past and renew the love they once shared?


REVIEW: His Highland Love is a historical romance, and is book two in her His Highland Heart Series The opening scene is in St. Andrews and the year is 1411.

Kenneth Brodie is our male lead. He had run away to France some years ago, heartbroken by the refusal of James Rose to let him marry his youngest daughter. The two were in love and he had offered for her hand in marriage, only to be told she was too young to marry. However, her father soon betrothed her to another clan leader. This news caused Kenneth to snap and thinking his love was married to another, he ran to France to fight in wars. He learned much and became a fierce warrior as well as wiser about life.

When Kenneth returned to Scotland, his friend and Laird Iain Brodie was angry he’d run away and punished him by sending him as the clan’s token hostage as demanded by the Duke of Albany. He was sent to Stirling, but later was moved to St. Andrews and his clan did not know where he was or when he’d be returned.

The lead female in this book is Cat or Catherine Rose, daughter of James Rose their clan laird. Her mother passed away while she was a child and she was raised by her father and her sisters. After her heart was broken by his refusal of her love for Kenneth, she was betrothed to three others…each failing for one reason or another. She always thought Kenneth would find a way to take her from here, but found he’d left for France. She’d had enough of this and still dreaming of Kenneth, she ran away. Her sisters helped her get safely away, keeping her from an unwanted marriage. She ran to St. Andrews to some family friends and left her father a note telling him why she left, but not where she was going.

That’s the basic gist of the beginning. Author Willa Blair is an award winning author and does a really good telling of the stories. Readers are also granted a small look at Highland confrontations and wars, the politics that was rampant in those times. Many Lairds married their daughters and even sons off for alliances, some worked…some did not.

If you love romantic highland stories of warriors and danger, love and honor, you’ll find this story intriguing as well as enjoyable. The characters and their motives are complicated with obligations warring with emotions. We’re treated to some secondary characters that are equally interesting and will be featured in future novels. I thought it was an interesting look at how daughters were beginning to find a way around the arranged marriage thing and beginning to follow their hearts. The sisters trying to help each other by manipulating their stubborn father was also interesting. Not that the practice of arranging marriages would end anytime soon.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews

His Highland Heart
His Highland Love

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Georgianna S


Sworn to Protect /No Good Deed by Susanne Matthews-reviews

Sworn to Protect / No Good Deed by Susanne Matthews -reviews

Susanne Matthews duet

by Susanne Matthews
Release Date: June 10, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, romantic, suspsense

Sworn to Protect

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date June 10, 2017

Four years ago, a car accident robbed Nancy Frost of her child and her mother, taking what was left of her marriage with it in the process. A forensic accountant, she agrees to look at a company’s books in a divorce case, trying to find hidden assets, but her meeting with the lawyer goes terribly wrong when the restaurant is attacked.

The moment US Marshal Neil Copeland discovers his wife has been shot in a Baltimore restaurant, he rushes to her side, determined not to let her down again. As the police investigate, evidence suggests the attack was a ploy to hide a specific hit. When a professional assassin tries to kill Nancy a second time, it’s clear that she was the target and whatever’s going on is a lot more complicated than they think.

When Nancy awakes after a month in an induced coma, not only does she not remember the attack on the restaurant, she doesn’t remember marrying Neil.

Faced with the challenge of protecting his wife from a powerful, faceless enemy, Neil must bring her up to date, dredging up all the sorrow that tore them apart in the first place, hoping something will jar her memory.

As he races against time, can he save her from an unknown assassin and convince her to give the love they once had a second chance?


REVIEW: Sworn to Protect is a Romance/Suspense novel. If you like romance and suspense with a good bit of danger in your stories…this one’s for you. It’s well paced, action and emotion packed drama.

Nancy Frost (Copeland)is a tax specialist and incredibly good at her job. However, she inadvertently opens the wrong file and life goes downhill really fast from there. Nancy is beginning divorce procedures after a bad car accident and she loses both her mother and her unborn son. It’s been four years and she just can’t get past it. Her best friend and divorce lawyer, Meredith, tries to talk her out of filing, but she seems decided. Meredith also asks for a tax review for a client, complicating the plot further.

Neil Copeland and his partner Todd Higgins are U.S. Marshalls whose job it is to protect and hide witnesses until they can testify for the Justice Department, then put them into the program with a whole new identity and life. Neil was on assignment four years earlier when his wife had a bad car accident. Unfortunately, his boss didn’t reach him for five days after the accident to let him know.

That’s the basic set up. This is a marvelously and cleverly twisted story of broken love, dangerous people, and second chances. It’s full of danger, great secondary characters, and of course more than a few scumbags. Domestic terrorism and betrayal of country are also featured.

I loved the couple. I loved the stoic man who loves his wife with all his heart. Many regrets and what he considers failures are his devils, but his love is always strong and unshakable. His wife only blames him for not being there for her…that his job came first. Her father put job before family and for her it’s a deal breaker, but did he?

When Nancy is attacked and almost killed because of her job, he’s assigned to take care of her and protect her. Like he wouldn’t have on his own…but his boss knows he owes him.

I’m not going to do any spoiling of this incredible story. You really have to read it for yourself. It should be a movie. If it was, it’s one of those I’d watch again and again. Author Susanne Matthews has put together a believable and complicated story with so much heart as well as real danger. It’s woven with realism and heartbreak that needs healing. If romantic suspense is a theme you like, do yourself a favor and don’t miss this one.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Georgianna S.


by Susanne Matthews

Release Date: July 31, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, mystery, romantic suspense

No Good Deed

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date July 31, 2017

Psychological chills and thrills are woven around a heartwarming love story in this action-packed romantic suspense novel.

Escaping from her abusive fiancé, Alexa O’Brien pulls into a gas station only to walk in on an execution. She’s in protective custody until she can identify Nicoli Zabat, Montreal’s mob boss, at his trial. But her safe house has been compromised, setting in motion a dangerous cat-and-mouse game.

Lieutenant Mike Delorme on the Sûreté Du Québec has spent the last eighteen months undercover in narcotics to take down Zabat, the man he blames for the death of his wife and unborn child. He doesn’t have the interest or patience to babysit a woman whose memory isn’t clear—but he’ll carry out his assignment to show the brass he’s a team player.

As Mike and Alexa dodge danger, it appears she’s in deeper than merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When the mafia hit she witnessed is revealed to be just the tip of an international terrorist’s plot, they must rely on each other to survive—but only if they can learn to trust their instincts and let love map out their next move.


REVIEW: No Good Deed is a Romance/Mystery/Suspense novel. This exciting story is fast-paced, twisty, and features a feisty romance. Author Susanne Matthews is excellent at twisting plots and adding surprises, this one exceeds the rules.

The main characters are believable and damaged but lovable, both of them. The secondary characters are both interesting and unique. The bad guys are malevolent, greedy, and generally evil. However, the main bad guy is exceptional. He’s intelligent and talented and gives Hannibal Lechter a run for his money.

The plot is simple but with all the twists and turns I expect from this author. I was not disappointed in the least. I swear I could watch this one on the movie screen in my mind.

Okay, here’s the set-up.

Alexa O’Brien is escaping. She’s planned well…she thinks. She’s going to make it this time…she thinks. When she tries do one good deed on her way, all hell breaks loose and she’s going to die…she thinks. But fate intervenes and she’s put in protective custody…she thinks.

Mike Delorme is a lieutenant, a member of the Sûreté du Québec, the province’s provincial police force for the last fifteen years. He’s not quite recovered from a beating while on assignment, but is reassigned to a joint task force to protect a woman…he thinks. Her safe house and protection are a botched job…he thinks. He’ll protect her and keep her alive like he failed to do for his wife…he thinks. He doesn’t need romance or a family anymore…he thinks. The task force has his back…he thinks.

Okay, that’s the set-up. You can find the answers to these little teasers and more by reading this marvelous adventure for yourself. It’s a great story with lots of excitement and adventure and you’ll find yourself falling in love with these two…I don’t think it…I know it!

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Georgianna S.


Not So Sweet Maria (Sisters By Marriage #1) by Jessica Spencer-a review

NOT SO SWEET MARIA (Sisters by Marriage #1) by Jessica Spencer-a review

Not So Sweet Maria

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The ton calls her Sweet Maria and, even in her fourth Season, eligibles continue to offer her marriage. They do not know Lady Maria despises the hypocritical ways of Polite Society and is trying to sail away to America!

Though the granddaughter of a duke, Lady Maria is a Child of Scandal because her mother was an American commoner. She blames the duke and the duchess for her parents’ death. Had they not disowned them, they would not have died of a virulent fever in America, leaving her an orphan at the age of five.

She has not forgotten the coldness she had met with as a child, and how there were those who examined her features for tainted blood, and disparaged her mother to her face.

She agrees to an arranged match to ward off her persistent suitors, treating the engagement as a sham one to be ended at her convenience.

Then, most unexpectedly, she finds love with a commoner. Only he isn’t a commoner but the Earl of Daventon.

Gareth, Earl of Daventon is no stranger to Scandal. Rumour has it that his father had banished his mother for adulterous behavior. He remembers his mother as a sweet, gentle woman and knows the late earl yearned until his last breath to have her back.

Love is a quagmire and I shall not be caught in it, he decides. But love finds him. The object of his ardour is a mysterious young woman who dresses like a shop girl and behaves like a lady.

Lord Daventon remedies the situation by accepting an arranged match, his betrothed being Lady Maria whom he hasn’t met.

All of which leads to a delightful tangle of affairs.

NOTE: NOT SO SWEET MARIA is a clean, Regency romance.


REVIEW: Not so Sweet Maria is a romance story set in 1793, not twenty years after the American Revolutionary War.

It begins when Mary (aka Maria) learns her father and mother have died of a virulent illness on their plantation in America. Her father has relatives that he hasn’t spoken much about in England. We learn he was actually the son of the Duke of Severn. He was almost disowned for marrying an American woman, below his station. She and her maid were quarantined for a short time, then were shipped to England and the Duchess of Severn, her grandmother. The Duchess decided to change her name from Mary to Maria.

The girl, Maria, is raised well by her seemingly cold natured grandmother. However, she becomes a shining example of what a good daughter and woman should be, revered by the famous, or should I say infamous, English haute ton (society). She’s sweet, but not coy. She has constant crowds of suitors for her hand, each seemingly infatuated with her kindness and beauty.

We first learn of Gareth, Earl of Daventon at one of the many parties of the social season. He too, is a child of scandal. His father, while not divorcing his mother, forced her to live apart from he and their children. This gave Gareth the reason he claimed for not marrying and shunning finding someone to love. As a child he assumed from snatches of conversation that his mother was unfaithful. However, he was persuaded to marry for the sake of his sister, so she could take her rightful place in the haute ton.

This romantic tale is cleverly written with enough backstory on the characters to let the reader understand how and why they act the way they do. It explains Maria’s seeming sweet manner and secret business, which she cleverly hides, as a means to buy back her families plantation and return to America as soon as she reaches twenty-one (I believe most women of that period were married much earlier…not sure twenty-one signified independence back then, but not really a large concern.).

That’s pretty much the set-up. I don’t do large spoilers. Good stories should be read and experienced first- hand for full effect. However, I found the why and how they fell in love, met, and the rest very interestingly written. This clever author keeps them just apart enough to let misunderstood identities work the full game, while spinning a tale of two perfect for each other people to create a web of forgiveness and intrigue.

It’s not an overly long story but one worth the time to read. Once edited (I read an unedited arc), it will be an interesting and fast paced one. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this tale and look forward to more from the very clever author.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Georgianna S.


The Bad Luck Bride (The Cavensham Heiresses #1) by Janna McGregor-a review

The Bad Luck Bride (The Cavensham Heiresses #1) by Janna MacGregor-a review

The Bad Luck Bride

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 2, 2017


A man of honor, Alexander Hallworth, Marquess of Pembrooke, will not rest until he exacts revenge on the man who destroyed his family. Just one more piece must fall into place for him to succeed he needs to convince his enemy s fiancee, the tragically beautiful Lady Claire Cavensham, to marry him instead.

Lady Claire s curse has always left her one misstep away from social ruin her past three engagements have gone awry, and now her fourth is headed in the same direction. . .until Alex, a man she barely even knows, shocks the ton and Claire by announcing their engagement. What begins as a sham turns into something deeper, and more passionate, than either Claire or Alex could have imagined. But when their secrets are revealed, will the truth behind their union scandalize them both or is their love strong enough to break the curse and lead them toward their happily ever after?


REVIEW: The Bad Luck Bride is a wonderful historical romance set in 1811.

The story opens in Dorchester as Alexander Hallworth (Alex) the Marquess of Pembrooke was trying to goad his once friend Lord Paul into a duel. Another friend, Nicholas St. Mauer, Earl of Somerton prevented the illegal duel and set his friend, Alex, on the path of revenge instead. Alex was distraught over having just buried his sister Lady Alice. She was unmarried and with child. She committed suicide, leaving a note for him not to blame Paul…the misunderstanding is the very beginning of the web of revenge and so much more.

In April of 1812, his plan for revenge on Paul began to come into reality. Lord Paul was a gambler and Alex bought up his debts, claiming his property and setting out to also take the woman Paul had just become engaged to.

Lady Claire Cavensham, orphaned daughter of the late Duke of Langham, was the woman Lord Paul had just become engaged to and the object of Alex’s plans. She was raised, after her parent’s tragic accident, by her uncle and aunt the current Duke and Duchess of Langham. Unfortunately for Lady Claire, she’d had a few attempts at marriage only to be thwarted by fate. This left her with the reputation of having been cursed and making her risky marriage material, even with her wealth.

Alex prepared well for his revenge. However, he didn’t count on his attraction to the lovely Lady Claire. He found he wanted to marry her and even convinced himself he was protecting her from Lord Paul, like he wasn’t able to do for his sister.

That’s the intriguing set up of this well plotted and beautifully written story. The characters are both intriguing and engaging. The twists are very imaginative and the romance is sizzling. I believe this is the debut book of author Janna MacGregor and I for one will be waiting for more from this wonderful new author. I didn’t expect this to be such an engaging story, I was most pleasantly surprised. I found I couldn’t put it down. Unfortunately, with the storms, our power went out. I found myself out in my car reading on my phone just to finish it. Yes, it’s that good!

Copy supplied by the publisher

Reviewed by Georgianna S

About The Author

FOLLOW: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

Janna MacGregorJanna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers.


My Kind of You (Trillium Bay #1) by Tracy Brogan-a review

MY KIND OF YOU (Trillium Bay #1) by Tracy Brogan-Review

My Kind of You

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Title: My Kind of You

Author: Tracy Brogan

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Series: Trillium Bay, #1


Emily Callaghan never expected to spend another summer on Wenniway Island. Yet here she is, back in her quaint northern Michigan hometown of Trillium Bay, divorced, flat broke, and dragging along her precocious twelve-year-old. It’s a simple arrangement: Emily, a house flipper, will renovate one of her grandmother’s rental properties in exchange for a much-needed loan. Once a wild child, the reformed Emily also hopes to remodel her reputation and show her family she’s all grown up.

But coming home is never simple. Emily’s dad is more distant than ever. Her younger sister is dating a much older man, and Emily’s worried it’s a mistake. The cottage remodel grows increasingly daunting. And then there’s handsome out-of-towner Ryan Taggert…

Ryan has his own family drama. A smart, ambitious land developer, he’s come to Wenniway to rescue his father from the grips of a new girlfriend and protect their family business. But he’s quickly distracted by gorgeous, witty Emily Callaghan.

There’s no denying the attraction between Emily and Ryan. But will their conflicting interests destroy any chance at love? Or will Emily finally get the chance to rebuild her life—and repair her heart?


My Kind of You by Tracy Brogan is a lovely contemporary romance story set on a small familiar, but fictional, island in Lake Huron and part of the state of Michigan.

The story begins with Emily Chambers (nee Callaghan) and her twelve-year old daughter, Chloe, who are stuck in a very small airport in Wawatam County waiting for a small plane to take them to Emily’s childhood home of Wenniway Island in Trillium Bay. While at said airport she meets the only other passenger also waiting for the same flight to the island, Ryan Taggert.

Through this cleverly written story, woven well with background stories, family situations, for both Emily and Ryan, we get to ‘know’ the characters and their stories.

Emily is traveling back home to renovate a rental cabin for her grandmother, as a favor for the loan of ten thousand dollars to help her out of a financial problem. Emily is a house flipper, she and her partner were moderately successful and living in San Antonio, Texas.

Ryan’s drama is that his brother sent him to this island to talk his father out of retiring. Ryan’s father is only fifty-nine and owns their large property management company. Ryan and his two brothers help run it successfully from California. It seems his father, a recent widower has fallen for a woman on Wenniway Island and is determined to leave the company to his sons to run while he lives on the island and/or travels.

Okay. That’s the basic setup. I don’t want to give too many details, those are best discovered by the cleverly woven dialog and thoughts author Tracy Brogan does such a marvelous job of writing.

Let me just say this story is very well written. It has witty and fun conversations, humorous almost ILOVELUCYlike scenes, a bit of heartbreak, small-town drama and stories and so very much more. It deals with love in its wondrous varieties and the situations that entails.

It’s a delightful and complicated plot with so much coming home and small-town life included. Pick up a nice glass of your favorite beverage, a couple of tissues (wouldn’t hurt) and settle in for a wonderful read! If you love romance, especially small-town style, this is for you.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Georgianna

About The Author

Tracy BroganTracy Brogan is an award-winning, bestselling novelist who writes fun and funny stories about ordinary people finding extraordinary love, and also lush historical romance full of royal intrigue, damsels causing distress, and the occasional man in a kilt. She has been nominated by Romance Writers of America for a prestigious RITA® Award for her debut novel, Crazy Little Thing, and was nominated by RWA for two Golden Heart Awards. She’s a Booksellers Best Award recipient, along with two Golden Quill Awards in both contemporary and historical romance. Unapologetically devoted to romance, Tracy lives in Michigan with her often-bemused husband, their gloriously above-average children, and their two intellectually challenged dogs. Tracy loves to hear from readers, so please visit her website at tracybrogan.com.

Social Media Links

Website: http://www.tracybrogan.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTracyBrogan
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tracybrogan
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6452601.Tracy_Brogan

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Code of Honor (Knights of Honor #3) by Alexa Aston-Review & Guest Post

Code of Honor (Knights of Honor #3) by Alexa Aston-Review & Guest Post

Code of Honor

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 27,2 017

365 A.D. – After the Earl of Sandbourne banishes his supposedly unfaithful wife to a convent, his young son Michael swears never to set foot on the family’s estate until after his father’s death. Michael will then claim his title as the new earl and restore his beloved mother to a place of honor.

Fifteen years pass, and the now-knighted Sir Michael Devereux serves Lord Geoffrey de Montfort at Kinwick Castle. He accompanies the nobleman and his family to a wedding, where Michael unknowingly falls in love with the bride before he even knows her identity.

Lady Elysande Le Cler is angry that her usually indulgent father went against her wishes and betrothed her to a stranger prior to his death. Now as her wedding day approaches, dread fills her—until she meets a dashing stranger who helps her deliver a foal. Elysande loses her heart to this knight, frustrated that they can never be together.

Join Michael and Elysande as they find fate has other plans in store for them.


REVIEW: Code of Honor is book three in the fabulous Knights of Honor series. This romantic highland story is the tale of Michael Devereux and Lady Elysande. There are appearances of familiar characters of the de Montforts (Geoffrey and Merryn) from previous books.

This is a very well written story about highland knights and the time period is 1365 A.D. Many issues are brought to the surface that women had at that time (being property with no rights…). Marriage was mostly arranged and not a matter of love or choice for the female and sometimes not for the male either.

This wonderfully romantic story is, however, a tale of true love winning over all odds. Sir Michael meets and falls in love with Elysande (name unknown to him at the time) as he helps her birth a foal in the stable at his liege lord’s sister’s estate. Complications arise when he finds she’s the bride-to-be that they’ve come to see married. And there the story begins and takes off with many twists and turns. Just when you think love wins…it turns again. I spent several hair pulling moments thinking…”what now!”

Alexa Aston is the pen name of one of my favorite authors, whose stories are well and truly woven with adventure, history and romance. She has never written one that has disappointed me and this story is no exception to that. If you have followed this marvelous series, you’ll enjoy this romantic adventure as it winds its way into your imagination and heart.
Grab a copy and sit back for a wonderful time!

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Georgianna

guest post

I wake up some days and have to think who I am. Most people don’t have that problem. They are who they are.

But I’m three people . . .

This all began when I started my writing journey. I sold Music For My Soul, a medieval romance, to Soul Mate Publishing October 2012. Immediately, my publisher told me I needed to create an author website, Facebook page, and begin tweeting. My last name is difficult to pronounce. I already had a FB page–and didn’t want to confuse my family and friends. So I decided I would go with a pen name. I could keep the Real Me and the Writer Me somewhat separated. Different emails would keep the personal and business sides organized. I was ready to select a new name!

I chose Lauren Linwood. I liked how it looked on the page. I love alliteration. And when I Googled the name, the only thing coming up was Linwood, NJ. This was opposed to the first name I came up with—already a NY jazz singer—and the second name I tried out—a porn star! After several attempts at selecting a pen name, I because Lauren—Identity #1.

Fast forward a few years. I recently signed on with Dragonblade Publishing, founded by the Queen of Medieval Romance, Kathryn Le Veque. Kathryn loved my writing but said I was all over the map, having writing four western historicals, three medieval romances, and two romantic suspense novels as Lauren. Kathryn emphasized branding and sticking with a single sub-genre of romance for at least ten novels in order to gain a reader base before I branched out. She also felt since Lauren had written in three different types of romance that I needed a new pen name for my Dragonblade books and a fresh start.

Thus, I became Alexa Aston—who will stick with writing historicals—while Lauren will keep with contemporary romance. I began again, creating for Alexa her own author website, personal and business FB pages, and opened a new Twitter account and email address. As Alexa, I’m the author of the Knights of Honor series. The series will run ten books long, but each one can be read as a standalone.

I’m ecstatic to be with a quality press such as Dragonblade Publishing, and I am having the time of my life writing my first romance series. I hope you will give the Knights of Honor a whirl. You can start Book 1, Word of Honor, for only 99 cents. It’s an Amazon exclusive, so if you’re in KU, you can begin reading the series for free! Word of Honor introduces Geoffrey and Merryn de Montfort, my anchor couple. They will appear in the remaining nine books, sometimes in a small role and at other times a larger one.

In the meantime, read Georgie’s review of Code of Honor—Book 3. Michael Devereux and Elysande Le Cler meet under unusual circumstances. Happy reading!


About the Author Black and Orange

Alexa Aston’s is the author of The Knights of Honor, a medieval romance series that takes place in 14th century England and centers on the de Montfort family. Each romance focuses on the code of chivalry that bound knights of this era.

A native Texan, Alexa lives with her husband in a Dallas suburb, where she eats her fair share of dark chocolate and plots out stories while she walks every morning. She enjoys reading, watching movies, and can’t get enough of Fixer Upper or Game of Thrones. Alexa also writes romantic suspense novels as Lauren Linwood.

Contact Info:

Website: https://alexaaston.wordpress.com/

Newsletter Sign-Up: http://madmimi.com/signups/422152/join

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoralexaaston/


Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlexaAston


Word of Honor by Lauren Linwood-Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

Word of Honor (Knights of Valor #1) by Lauren Linwood-Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

Word of Honor Banner

Word of Honor
Knight of Valor #1
by Lauren Linwood
Genre: Historical, romance
Release Date: April 6, 2016

Word of Honor

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / itunes/ Wind Tree Press

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 6, 2016

Merryn Mantel and Geoffrey de Montfort have loved each other since childhood. Once betrothed, Geoffrey leaves for the wars in France for five long years. Upon his return, the two marry and spend one blissful night consummating their love and making plans for their future.

But her new husband vanishes the next day without a trace. Merryn grieves for almost seven years—and then Geoffrey returns to her—changed from the boy and man she knew and worshipped. This stranger refuses to reveal where he has been and why he stayed away for so long.

Will her husband’s silence create a rift too large to heal, or can Merryn and Geoffrey recapture the love they once shared?


REVIEW: The talented author Lauren Linwood has begun a new series, Knights of Valor. Book one is titled Word of Honor, and is begun in 1351 in England, during King Edward’s rule.

The Prologue finds our main characters, sixteen-year-old Geoffrey De Montfort and his recently betrothed, thirteen-year-old Merryn vowing love and saying goodbye for a while, as Geoffrey would leave for France to fight for his king. It’s a tender and loving opening, letting everyone know how a rare love match had been made between these two neighbors.

Chapter One finds us in France 1356, Geoffrey is discussing war policy with Sir Thomas. They drank to their King and his son, another Edward (the Black Prince). On his way back to his tent, Geoffrey discovers a neighbor of his engaged in whoring and betraying his king and cause. Barrett, son of Berold, earl of Winterbourne. The charges resulted in a trial by combat which Geoffrey won, resulting in the beheading of Barrett, just as his father arrived from his own fighting. Berold vows to Geoffrey to make him suffer and pray for death someday, which Geoffrey dismisses as the words of a distraught father (feeling guilty for his part in the son’s death).

This marvelous story continues in November of 1356 as Geoffrey returns to marry his Merryn and begin their life together…they have a marvelous wedding and one night of bliss before all hell breaks loose!

That’s the setup, I’ll not spoil this marvelous story by telling more. The writing is clear and wonderful, the tale exciting and emotional. Just when you wonder what else could these two young people so much in love could go through…our talented author takes the mystery and twisting to another level, both enjoyable and frustrating at the same time.

If you love tales of knights and ladies, love and adventure, you won’t want to miss this series. It’s well written, incredibly interesting (had a hard time not putting it down…so of course I didn’t). I found it both exciting and entertaining. It’s much more than just a good story…an epic tale of the kind of love we all dream about.

Copy supplied by the author

Reviewed by Georgianna S

guest post

Developing my Heroine for Word of Honor

I am a Pride and Prejudice fan from way back. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read Jane Austen’s masterpiece, much less admit how many times I’ve watched the BBC mini-series (COLIN FIRTH!) or the 2005 film with Keira Knightley. Actually, I wouldn’t mind telling this to readers at The Reading Café, but just in case my husband catches this post on my FB or Twitter feed? He would be flabbergasted at the double digit numbers . . . so I suppose I’ll keep my readings & viewings a secret. For now.

One of the reasons I love Austen’s classic tale so much is because of heroine Elizabeth Bennet. Lizzy is intelligent, compassionate, loyal, witty, charming, and feisty—everything I love in a heroine. Of course, she’s not perfect. Perfect is boring. No reader wants to read perfect, and Lizzy does have a few (fixable) faults. She’s a great conversationalist, but her sharp tongue gets her into trouble sometimes. Her biggest flaw is that she tends to judge people a little too hastily and harshly, which occurs when she first meets Mr. Darcy. It’s this mistaken impression she gets of him which leads her to reject his proposal of marriage the first time around.

Thank goodness our hero finds her interesting enough to hang around, hoping that he can change her mind. Lizzy gradually realizes that Darcy, besides being impossible handsome and wealthy, has something truly important to her. He possesses a noble character. She realizes her prejudice against him is undeserved. This was truly the only obstacle to finding lasting happiness with him, as she has fallen in love with him after seeing many instances of this good character in action. His feelings for her never change, but hers do an about face.

Romance writers try to give both their hero and heroine character flaws which they must overcome during the course of the novel and their growing relationship. In my latest medieval romance, Word of Honor, I wanted just as strong a heroine as Elizabeth Bennet.

Merryn Mantel is betrothed to her childhood friend and sweetheart, Geoffrey de Montfort, who leaves England to fight against France in the Hundred Years’ War. Merryn matures into a woman in the five years her betrothed is away. They marry upon his return, but Geoffrey vanishes without a trace the next day. In the years Geoffrey is away, Merryn assumes an incredible amount of responsibility.

Upon Geoffrey’s return, she finds him to be a stranger—and yet she, too, has had to change in order to cope with the circumstances of his disappearance. I had to walk a fine line and balance having Merryn continue to love Geoffrey—the new Geoffrey—and still be true to the woman she has become in his absence. I let her frustration show at the situation, but I allowed her to keep her sense of humor even when things proved tough. It didn’t hurt that she was already intelligent and compassionate, but I had to let Geoffrey see how she had changed, just as Merryn needed to understand how and why Geoffrey changed, as well. Love isn’t the issue between these two lovers; it’s trust. Both must learn once again to trust one another and respect the person each has become in the years of their separation.

I thoroughly enjoyed writing Merryn and Geoffrey’s love story, and I’m thrilled that they are the first book in the Knights of Valor series. In the upcoming five books, I have the pleasure of revisiting this couple again and watching their love mature even as other heroes and heroines appear so that I may tell their love stories, too.


About The Author

Lauren LinwoodLauren Linwood’s historical romances use history as a backdrop to place her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire for one another grows into the treasured gift of love. Her romantic suspense novels feature strong heroes and heroines who unite to defeat a clever antagonist and discover a deep, abiding love during their journey.

A native Texan, Lauren is an avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan who manages stress by alternating yoga with long walks. She plans to start a support group for Fixer Upper addicts—as soon as she finishes her next piece of dark chocolate.

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Lauren Linwood has graciously offered an ecopy of WORD OF HONOR to TWO (2) lucky commenters at The Reading Cafe.

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Wolver’s Reward (The Wolver’s 7) by Jacqueline Rhoades-a review

Wolver’s Reward (The Wolvers #7) by Jacqueline Rhoades-a review

Wolver's Reward

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 17, 2016

Fate has played River for a fool. Again. He thought he’d earned the respect of a decent and admirable wolver pack. He was grateful for it. He was content…until they took it all away, and left him alone and angry. Again.

Yet Fate rewards him with another pack, one that needs his survival skills, and one where he meets the girl of his dreams, but River is no longer a fool. The beautiful Rebecca is an Alpha’s daughter. She can never be his and she knows it, too. But knowing the outcome, changes the game, and both River and Reb decide to play this one on their own, but different, terms.

What Fate knows, and River must learn, is that happiness comes when you least expect it, and finding a love worth fighting for is what brings a Wolver’s Reward.


REVIEW: Wolver’s Reward is Book Seven of the Wolver Series by Jacqueline Rhoades. In this book we revisit a previous character found as a cub/boy in The Alpha’s Choice, his name is River. He was a young male that had been raised by his rogue family, but had escaped with several children that he took care of. They were found by Alpha Charles Goodman and taken into the Wolf’s Head pack.

This story is years later, River has grown into a young man and doesn’t realize he’s meant to be an Alpha someday…spurring Charles and Kat to try to get him to work with or for the mysterious Mr. Begley to help him find his place in the Wolver world. Insulted, and thinking he’s unwanted and being kicked out – AGAIN—he packs his things and takes off.

While he still thinks of himself as a “bad” guy, because of all the things he was made to do as a child, he’s actually a very honorable and wonderful young man. This is a journey of self-discovery and putting his past into the past, while deciding about his future. On the road, he stops to help a young lady in trouble and gets hit over the head and his stuff stolen for all his trouble…and decides to get his stuff back.
This is an emotional story of growing into full adulthood, while fending off danger and righting a few wrongs. The characters are vivid and real, the circumstances interesting and thought provoking.

This story as all the Wolver series books, is well written with compassion, humor, adventure and a nice mixture of danger and fun. Author Rhoades takes us on another journey into the lives and hearts of two people made for each other; while letting us enjoy the complicated ride all the way.

If you haven’t read this series, why not? If you like shifter novels, this is a compelling and different slant on the species. Each book can stand alone, but like most series, you get a better understanding of the overall world and stories if you begin at the beginning.

(1)Alpha’s Mate (2) Alpha’s Choice (3) Alpha’s Daughter and a Christmas novella Rabbit’s Creek Santa are the first part of the series. Wolver’s Gold, Wolver’s Rescue, and Wolver’s Reward are the second leg of this wonderful series.

Copy supplied by the author

Reviewed by Georgianna S