Highland Faith & Highland Hope (Wild Thistle Trilogy ) by Madelyn Hill-a review

HIGHLAND FAITH / HIGHLAND HOPE (Wild Thistle Trilogy ) by Madelyn Hill-a review

Highland Faith

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 17, 2017

Lady Faith MacAlister wishes for adventure, be careful what you wish for . . .

Huntress Lady Faith MacAlister seeks adventure. Her father’s dying pledge tethers her to Wild Thistle Keep, thwarting her desire to explore the world beyond the palisade. Solace is found while hunting and providing sustenance for her clan. When snatched from the safety of MacAlister lands by a rogue bent on securing a ransom, she finds the adventure of her life.

Disgraced Captain Graeme Ross travels the high seas in search of bounty to sell in order to secure lands seized by the Crown. He longs to regain his honor in his father’s eyes and continually risks his life on the high seas. Lacking enough funds, Graeme and his crew follow Lady Faith MacAlister as she hunts. Out of need and desire, he kidnaps her. The lady captivates him for the moment he laid eyes upon her. Bold and spirited, she fights him. When he negotiates a ransom, deception tears the burgeoning romance apart.

Now, Lady Faith and Captain Ross seek to settle those differences hindering their union, despite the stretch of land and sea—and angry Highlanders standing between them.

••••••••••••

REVIEW: HIGHLAND FAITH is the second installment in Madelyn Hill’s historical, Highlander WILD THISTLE romance trilogy focusing on Faith, Hope and Honor of Clan MacAlister. This is Lady Faith MacAlister, and Captain Graeme Ross’s story line. HIGHLAND FAITH can be read as a stand alone without any difficult. Any important information from the previous story line is revealed where necessary.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Faith and Graeme) HIGHLAND FAITH follows Lady Faith MacAlister as she becomes the captive of Captain Graeme Ross. Graeme’s father is about to lose his lands to the Crown and Graeme’s only chance to save his father is a quick influx of cash from an unlikely source. Enter Lady Faith MacAlister, second oldest MacAlister daughter and sister to the MacAlister Lairds. Lady Faith will find herself the victim of an abduction –but a willing captive within days when she loses her heart to Captain Graeme Ross. What ensues is the building relationship between Graeme and Faith, and the fall out when the ransom is paid.

The relationship between Faith and Graeme is one of enemies to lovers; a captive falling for her reluctant jailer but a man desperate in his attempts to save his childhood home. Graeme will find himself falling in love with the woman he holds hostage but a man that is more than willing to step up in desperate times. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive without the use of sexually graphic, over the top language and text.

Once again , there is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Faith’s sisters Honor and Hope, as well as Hope’s husband Aidan MacKerry-MacAlister. We are introduced to the crew of the Blue Boy, all of whom will fall in love with our leading lady.

HIGHLAND FAITH is a story of family, love, desperation and betrayal. The premise is entertaining and enjoyable; the characters are colorful, honorable and inspiring; the romance is passionate and fated. Madelyn Hill invites the reader into a captivating story line as one couple finds love on the stormy seas.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

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Highland HopeHIGHLAND HOPE
The Wild Thistle Trilogy #1
by Madelyn Hill
Genre: adult, historical, Highlander, romance
Release Date: August 31, 2016

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About the book: RELEASE DATE: August 31, 2016

“Remember, lasses. Through Hope, Faith, and Honor, ye can rule,” were the last words Lady Hope MacAlister’s father spoke before dying. Those very words direct her every action and thought. Sword fighting and leading the men of her clan was second nature to Hope and she has little time for herself or any thoughts of love. Until Aidan MacKerry is captured spying on the clan.

She is beautiful, strong, and quick to pull a sword. But when he kisses her, all thoughts of the lairdship Aidan MacKerry seeks flee his mind. When the enemy continues to undermine Hope, Aidan is determined to aid her—only he didn’t think he’d lose his heart to the Laird of Wild Thistle Keep. When the enemy reveals Aidan’s secret, he must fight for his right to be laird and prove, despite their differences, he loves Hope.

The enemy refuses to back down and continues to threaten not only Hope, but the security of the entire clan. Only together will they be able to save the clan and save their love.

••••••••••

REVIEW: HIGHLAND HOPE is the first installment in Madelyn Hill’s WILD THISTLE Highland, historical, romance trilogy. This is Lady Hope MacAlister, and Aidan MacKerry’s story line.

Told from several third person points of view including Hope and Aidan HIGHLAND HOPE focuses on Aidan MacKerry’s return to his boyhood home-the MacAlister Keep, and a legacy he hopes to avenge and retain. Years earlier Aidan and his family had been ousted from their clan, and in the process Aidan and his father lost any hope of retaining the title of Laird. Enter Lady Hope MacAlister, the Laird of Wild Thistle Keep, and the woman with whom Aidan would fall in love. What ensues is the building relationship between Aidan and Hope, and the simmering betrayal that lies close to the surface regarding Aidan’s return.

HIGHLAND HOPE is a slow building story line that follows Laird Hope MacAlister as she struggles to gain the respect of the clan and the council but not everyone is happy with a woman in charge. Aidan’s appearance brings with it a renewed sense of purpose for the council, but a purpose that hides a secret agenda.

The relationship between Aidan and Hope is acrimonious. Hope senses that Aidan knows more than he is revealing; and Aidan is a man determined to regain the title he knows he deserves. The $ex scenes are intimate without the use of sexually graphic language and text. I had hoped for more interaction between the leading characters.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Hope’s younger sisters Faith and Honor, as well as an older woman named Nora who is more of a mother figure to the MacAlister clan.

HIGHLAND HOPE is an engaging tale of passion and power. The premise is spirited and dramatic but predictable-the requisite evil is easily deduced; the romance is sensual and uplifting; the characters are dynamic and inspiring. HIGHLAND HOPE will entertain fans of the Scottish romance genre.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

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The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick – Review & Giveaway

The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick – Review & Giveaway

 

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Description:
When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It’s where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool.

Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician—until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can’t let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago.

With Oliver’s help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past—always just out of sight—could drag them both under…

 

 

Review:

The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick is a mystery romantic thriller that takes place during the 1930’s in old glamorous Hollywood.  The story starts off with a bang, as we meet Anna Harris, who has discovered the dead body of her employer, with a message about a notebook and to “run”.  She manages to flee from the scene in New York to Hollywood, with a new identity.  Months later, we meet Irene Glasson, who is now a columnist for a Hollywood gossip paper. 

Murder seems to follow Irene, as the actress she was meeting at the Burning Cove Hotel was found dead.  Because she heard the footsteps of the possible killer, Irene jumps into the pool to escape.  It is here she meets our hero, Oliver Ward.  Oliver is the owner of the hotel, and a former famous magician, who due to an injury gave up that career and went into the hotel business.  Oliver takes an interest in Irene, and they will join hands to try to solve the murder.  When their relationship becomes a bit more than partners, Irene will eventually confide her past, running from someone who wants her dead.  Oliver is determined to keep a close eye on Irene, as he wants to protect her, as well as his hotel.

While interviewing actor, Nick Tremayne, Irene gets a scoop to enhance her career, only to have the powerful Hollywood conglomerates use everything in their power to cause her to lose her job, even to the extent of hiring people to stop her anyway necessary.   Those who have been looking for Anna Harris, will discover her new identity, which will double up on the threats to her. 

This was an exciting and fun mystery thriller, with a number of twists, and many dangerous situations that both Oliver and Irene are in the middle of.  The slow build romance between Irene and Oliver was nice, as I did like them together.  The nice thing about their romance was it as part of the story line, not taking away from the real story….the murder investigation.  I also liked some of the secondary characters in the book, especially Luther Pell.   The last third of the book was filled with action and excitement, and held my attention throughout.  The Girl Who Knew Too Much was another great story by Amanda Quick.  If you enjoy mysteries taking place in the 1930’s; in old time glamorous Hollywood, and excellent characters, then you should read The Girl Who Knew Too Much.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

 

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Amanda’s Publisher is graciously offering a hardcover copy of THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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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

IS MARRIAGE A BLESSING OR A CURSE?

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.

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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

Copy supplied for review

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Enchanting the Earl by Lily Maxton – a Review

Enchanting the Earl by Lily Maxton – a Review

 

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Description:
Llynmore Castle is the only place Annabel Lockhart has ever considered home. For years, she’s been able to live as she wished, freely roaming the wild moors. Now there’s a new earl, as arrogant as he is handsome, and he wants her out. But if he thinks she’ll go quietly, he’s in for a surprise.

Theo Townsend returned from war a changed man. After unexpectedly inheriting an earldom and a secluded castle in the Scottish Highlands to go with it, he thinks he’s found the perfect place to hide from the world—until he arrives to find a spirited, beautiful woman already in residence. He can’t just throw her out, but surely there’s a way to get her to leave on her own. The sooner she’s gone, the better, especially when he realizes there’s more than just mutual dislike between them.

 

Review:

Enchanting the Earl by Lily Maxton is a magnificent story begins that in 1812 with a knock on the castle door!

I will admit, I took a deep sigh and began to read, expecting another highland romance…I’ve read other novels from this wonderfully talented author. I should have known to expect something that would touch my heart and my very soul.

It is not a typical romance. It’s a very antagonistic beginning. A very untypical couple. An interesting and provocative read. Okay, so let’s get right to the heart of it!

Theo Townsend is a man in his twenties. He has three younger siblings, two sisters and a brother, all fairly grown. Born to a loving mother and father who later died early, they were raised on the charity of aunts and uncles. Not treated unkindly, but not a loving family either. He joined the war effort to gain a name and calling and, of course, an income for his siblings and himself.

War left him physically broken, missing a leg and gaining nightmares. Just because they didn’t call it PTSD back then, didn’t mean it didn’t exist. It just didn’t have a name and wasn’t talked about. He’s a broken man, both physically, which he handles rather well; and mentally, which he doesn’t know how to handle.

After returning home, he finds his long lost mother’s father was the Earl of Arden (his mother married beneath her for love), who has recently died. He now has a title and an old, unmaintained castle in a remote part of the highlands of Scotland. Thinking this is a good place to find the refuge and solitude he feels he needs, he sets about going there. However, his siblings insist on living with him, and he cannot deny them.

Annabel Lockhart and her younger sister Fiona were an orphaned pair. Annabel the older of the two, took care of you sister. They were raised by family, but not wanted or cared for deeply. Fiona married, and disappointed her sister by not taking her with her after her marriage. Annabel went from family member to family member, taking care of younger children, then passed on to others when no longer needed. While not necessarily abused, she wasn’t given the love of family either.

Her aunt Frances had married the Earl of Arden’s brother, but she was an actress and not liked by the Earl. However, after his brother died, he allowed her aunt to live at his old castle in the remote highlands. Learning of her aunt, she walked away one day and attempted to find her. Her aunt immediately loved her and took her in to live at the castle with her. They didn’t have much, but they made do. Annabel was a free spirit, much like her Aunt Frances. She rode old highland ponies astride, wore men’s breeches while doing it. Laughed openly, often went barefoot. All the things proper women didn’t do.

Fiona showed up on their doorstep, hiding from her abusive husband, her sweet daughter in tow. They didn’t know the old Earl had died and that their lives were about to change again.

That’s only the beginning of this masterfully told story. There is so much more to envision and enjoy, told with wonderful conversations, realistic events and promise. Can two damaged people find comfort in each other, or will their differences and issues be too much to conquer?

Prepare for a wonderfully written story, with drama, mystery, danger and all the wonder that makes a story worth telling. And yes, there will be some tears…they were mostly mine! If you love real romance and real people, you just shouldn’t miss this one.

Reviewed by Georgianna

Copy provided by Publisher

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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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The Rakehell Seduction by Lauren Smith – Review & Giveaway

The Rakehell Seduction by Lauren Smith – Review & Giveaway

 

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The Rakehell Seduction
Seduction series – Book #2
by Lauren Smith
Release Date: February 6, 2017

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DESCRIPTION
HE’S MADE A DANGEROUS WAGER

Ambrose Worthing is no gentleman. He’s a proud cold-hearted rake who’s determined to stay a bachelor forever. He enjoys bedding a different woman every night without the risk of falling in love. When he hears about a wager over the seduction and ruination of the daughter of his father’s best friend, he knows he must intervene. Committing himself to the bet, he agrees to seduce Lady Alexandra Rockford—for her own good. He never expected the lady in question to be a beautiful, fiery creature who has passions of her own that call to his guarded heart.

SHE’S VOWED NEVER TO FALL IN LOVE AGAIN

Alexandra Rockford has sworn off men, her heart still broken from the false promises of a childhood sweetheart who left her to marry an heiress. When she stumbles into Ambrose outside of a country ball, she knows the rake his trouble. His smile, his touch, his forbidden kiss are all too tempting but being with him would ruin her. Determined to enjoy herself without falling in love, Alex can’t help but let her defenses down with the too charming rake. But when she discovers Ambrose is seducing her to win a bet, it will take everything Ambrose has to prove to her that he is worthy to love her.
 

 

REVIEW

 
4.5 out of 5 for this reader folks!
 
Nothing like a good read about a bad boy doing the right thing for the right reason and coming out on top.  Predictable maybe, but there is something insanely satisfying about a rake getting his heart handed to him on a platter of “I didn’t see that coming for me”!  LOL
 
The Rakehell’s Seduction by Lauren Smith is her second book in her historical romance “Seduction” series.  You do not have to read the first one to appreciate this book, but as I always state in my reviews on series, why not go back and read the first one so that you get that little extra something in the book when you revisit characters you have already gotten to know.  One of the best things to experience in a series as far as I am concerned!
 
Ambrose is a straight up rake.  He is one of the guys who goes about life basking in nothing but pleasure, bets and ruination of young ladies.  He is selfish but believes that task he is about to under take is noble.  His father’s friend has a daughter that is named as a lady to pursue amongst his rake friends.  There is a plan to seduce and ruin her.  While Ambrose recently has already met such a striking lady (rarely does a lady turn his head), what an annoyance to have to be the hero and seduce his father’s friend’s daughter first.  I mean, better him than one of his friends.  At least this way there is some control right?  Ambrose then realizes that the lady who recently intrigued him just so happens to be the lady he is here to “save”!  Game ON! 🙂
 
Alexandra “Alex” is still nursing somewhat of a broken heart.  She is strong and intelligent and has made a pact to never let a man in again.  Until she meets a man at her father’s home who is staying for a while and who is charming, sincere, kind .. YA RIGHT!  She is having none of that.  Until her defences come down bit by bit and Ambrose manages to sneak into her heart.  The thing is, Alex has snuck into Ambrose’s heart as well.  How could a relationship possibly exist when it began on nothing but lies?  Do these two even have a fighting chance when all the cards are laid out on the table?
 
I love Lauren Smith‘s writing style.  If I had any complaint it would be that the story to a little slow to get going, but once it got going I was all in and completely invested.  She truely has a gift for writing a visual, and emotional scene.  The love she gave these two was genuine and so endearing.  Don’t get me wrong, this is not all sunshine and rainbows, as the bad was bad.  The push and pull we got from Ambrose and Alex made me really root for them in the end.
 
If you are a historical romance lover than I highly recommend this book/series.  You will be transported back to a whole different time where cat and mouse games are played .. but you never really who know who is playing who!  LOL
 
HAPPY READING! 🙂
 
Reviewed by Rachel
 
Copy supplied for review

 

About The author
Lauren_Smith_2014

Born and raised in Tulsa, I spent the first twenty-two years of my life in Oklahoma, bridging the worlds between urban girl and cowgirl. After high school I attended Oklahoma State University where I earned Bachelor of Art degrees in history and political science. Drawn to paintings in museums and obsessed with antiques, I satisfied my fascination with history by writing and exploring exotic, ancient lands.

Over the years, my studies have opened doors throughout the world. From spending two summers at Cambridge to attending classes at such divergent places as Ireland and Chengdu, China, I have discovered fascinating opportunities for enrichment wherever I go. After completing college, I moved to Michigan to attend law school at the University of Detroit-Mercy and University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada.  Armed with two Juris Doctorate degrees from both countries, I returned to Tulsa and became an intellectual property attorney.

Since third grade when my English teacher proposed that all students should craft a story for a young writers’ conference, I have been hooked on writing. My first self-illustrated manuscript described the mysterious disappearance of rare brown bats that were being captured by scientists bent on using them as carriers for an incurable disease. The immense sense of joy in sharing that story with others, and discussing plots and characters, made it clear to me that writing was my true passion.

Learn more about Lauren at the following links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

 

 giveaway

Lauren is graciously offering a $25.00 Gift Card ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE and Follow Lauren Smith on Facebook

4. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

5. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

6. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

7. Giveaway open Internationally

8. Giveaway runs from February 14 – 17, 2017

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Someone to Hold by Mary Balogh – a Review

Someone to Hold by Mary Balogh – a Review

 

someone to HoldAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
Humphrey Wescott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving behind a fortune and a scandalous secret that will forever alter the lives of his family—sending one daughter on a journey of self-discovery…

With her parents’ marriage declared bigamous, Camille Westcott is now illegitimate and without a title. Looking to eschew the trappings of her old life, she leaves London to teach at the Bath orphanage where her newly discovered half-sister lived. But even as she settles in, she must sit for a portrait commissioned by her grandmother and endure an artist who riles her every nerve.

An art teacher at the orphanage that was once his home, Joel Cunningham has been hired to paint the portrait of the haughty new teacher. But as Camille poses for Joel, their mutual contempt soon turns to desire. And it is only the bond between them that will allow them to weather the rough storm that lies ahead…

 

 

Review:

Someone to Hold by Mary Balogh is the 2nd book in her Westcott series. In the first book of this series, Camille Westcott lost her inheritance because her deceased father was a bigamist, having been found to have been married before. Our than heroine, Anna Snow, who grew up in an orphanage, was the rightful heir and assumed the family fortune.  Anna always wanted a family, but the mother, two sisters and brother refused to acknowledge Anna, even if she wanted to share the fortune.  Personally, I did not like Camille at all in the first book.  But, in Someone to Hold, we get to see Camille living with her grandmother, in a nice comfortable house, not too far from the Orphanage that Anna used to live in. Camille always presented herself as a lady, to be perfect in every way, and feelings did not count for anything.  Whereas, her sister Abby was happy, Camille was miserable.  She was betrothed to a man of wealth, until he dumped her after she lost everything.

Camille trys to rediscover herself; she decides to get a job working as a teacher at the same Orphanage.  Along the way she meets, Anna’s best friend, Joel Cunningham, who is an artist, and also teaches art a few days a week to the students.  Joel has disliked Camille, since he did not like how she treats Anna, but slowly he will begin to see a different side hidden under her severe & abrasive appearance.  Joel watches with amazement how Camille steps in and without any experience, does wonders with the children. Joel begins to talk more to Camille, to help give her more confidence and in time they will find their company enjoyable.  Camille puts herself in Anna’s shoes, how she lived all her life growing up and eventually working at the orphanage.  This will help her understand Anna’s situation, as well as slowly begin to open her cold heart, as she starts to have feelings for some of the children, especially young Sarah.  Camille has never known how to love, only to be the perfect lady, which was expected of her in as a Westcott heir.

As Joel and Camille start spending more time together, each of them discover their feelings change to more romantic, which will gradually become love.  But both of them believe there is no future, as they are both very stubborn.  Joel was a great hero, very nice and sweet to Camille; but he doesn’t see himself ever marrying.  His life later in the book, will also take a turn, similar to Anna’s in the last book. Will this help bring Camille and Joel together?

What I really enjoyed about this story was watching Camille slowly begin to learn all about love; learn her own value, rediscover life and hope.  It was great to see Anna and Avery again, as well as the other family members that played a big part in the first book.  It was very enjoyable to watch Camille rise up from losing everything to change, falling for Joel, and to accept her new sister.  Mary Balogh did an outstanding job giving us a heartwarming story that also teaches us the little things in life that we take for granted.  Well done.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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