The Pleasures of Passion (Sinful Suitors #4) by Sabrina Jeffries-Review and Giveaway

THE PLEASURES OF PASSION (Sinful Suitors #4) by Sabrina Jeffries-Review and Giveaway

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THE PLEASURES OF PASSION
Sinful Suitors #4
by Sabrina Jeffries
Genre: adult, historical, romance
Release Date: June 20,2017

The Pleasures of Passion

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date June 20, 2017

When Niall Lindsey, the Earl of Margrave, is forced to flee after killing a man in a duel, he expects his secret love, Brilliana Trevor, to go with him, or at the very least wait for him. To his shock, she does neither and sends him off with no promise for the future. Seven years and one pardon later, Niall returns to England disillusioned and cynical. And being blackmailed by the government into working with his former love to help catch a counterfeiter connected to her father doesn’t improve his mood any. But as his role as Brilliana’s fake fiancé brings his long-buried feelings to the surface once again, he wonders who is more dangerous—the counterfeiter or the woman rapidly stealing his heart.

Forced to marry another man after Niall was exiled, the now widowed Brilliana wants nothing to do with the reckless rogue who she believes abandoned her to a dreary, loveless life. So having to rely on him to save her father is the last thing she wants, much less trusts him with….But as their scheme strips away the lies and secrets of their shared past, can she let go of the old hurt and put her pride aside? Or will the pleasures of their renewed passion finally enable them both to rediscover love?

••••••••••••

REVIEW: THE PLEASURES OF PASSION is the fourth installment in Sabrina Jeffries’ adult SINFUL SUITORS historical romance series- a spin off from Jeffries’ ‘The Duke’s Men’ series. This is Niall Lindsey, the Earl of Margrave, and Brilliana ‘Bree’ Trevor’s story line. THE PLEASURES OF PASSION can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary. Niall Lindsey is the brother of Clarissa Lindsey (The Study of Seduction #2) and cousin to Warren Corry (The Danger of Desire #3).

Told from dual third person perspectives (Niall and Brilliana) THE PLEASURES OF PASSION is a second chance/fake fiancé story line that follows several paths beginning seven years earlier when a then twenty three year old Niall Lindsey finds himself on the run after killing a man in a duel to the death. His then seventeen year old ‘secret’ girlfriend Brilliana ‘Bree’ Trevor refuses to go, and seven years will pass before the two meet again. Fast forward to present day wherein Niall is being blackmailed by a government official to uncover the truth about an influx of counterfeit money, and Brilliana is forced to go along for the ride. What ensues is the rekindling romance between Niall and Brilliana as they hunt for the people responsible while pretending to love one another for the sake of the investigation.

Brilliana and Niall were once in love but Niall’s quick exit out of the country found Brilliana lost when her father’s past came looking for revenge. Forced to marry someone she didn’t love, our heroine did what she had to do to protect her mother from certain harm. Niall’s exile to Spain came with a price-spy for the Crown that continued upon his return to home. Rekindling his relationship with Bree is a hard-fought battle as they both keep secret sins of the past. The distinct lack of communication, bitter memories, misinformation and presumptions, and broken promises does much to destroy their previous feelings for one another challenging the reader in more ways than one. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive without the use of sexually graphic language and text.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Edwin and Clarissa (book 2), Warren and Delia (book 3), Niall’s mother Lady Margrave , Lord Fulkham, Bree’s Aunt Agatha, her father Sir Oswald Payne, and his brother Toby . There is also an assortment of ladies and gentlemen, housekeepers and butlers etc. that come in and out of the story line.

The world building follows the hunt for a counterfeiter; someone who is discretely using family without their knowledge. The second chance romance struggles with a palpable sexual attraction that is unable to come to terms with secrets and lies from the past.

THE PLEASURES OF PASSION is an energetic story line about two people who are given a second chance at love. The premise is engaging and moving; the characters are passionate and determined; the romance is energetic and fated. THE PLEASURES OF PASSION is a pleasing and worthwhile addition to Sabrina Jeffries’ SINFUL SUITORS historical romance series.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
The Art of Sinning
The Heiress and the Hothead
The Study of Seduction
The Danger of Desire
The Pleasures of Passion

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Giveaway

The Reading Cafe and Sabrina Jeffires’ publisher are offering a finished copy of THE PLEASURES OF PASSION to 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.

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9. Giveaway runs from June 18-22 2017

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The Misfortune of Lady Lucianna by Christina McKnight-Review, Book tour & Giveaway

The Misfortune of Lady Lucianna by Christina McKnight-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

The Misfortune of Lady Luciana Banner

THE MISFORTUNE OF LADY LUCIANA
The Undaunted Debutantes #2
by Christina McKnight
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Genre: adult, historical, romance

The Misfortune of Lady Luciana

 Amazon | Amazon. ca | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Quick-witted hellion Lucianna Constantine has no doubt who was responsible for the death of her dear friend. And she will stop at nothing to expose his transgressions—and those of every despicable man in London. Lucianna has witnessed the cruelty of London’s beau monde her entire life…starting with her own father. So she is more than willing to singlehandedly take down every vile man that crosses her path.

Roderick Crofton, the Duke of Montrose, had his entire family fortune stolen when his father trusted the wrong men. After a scandalous article surfaces in the London Daily Gazette, written by the notorious Mayfair Confidential columnist, Roderick finds himself financially destitute, without a betrothed, and lacking the means to find the lords responsible for duping his sire. With little option left, Roderick has only one choice: find another wealthy heiress to wed. His quest brings him to Lady Lucianna Constantine, and soon, he can’t deny that he wants her for more than just her dowry.

However, Luci has secrets that could change everything. And when Roderick uncovers what those confidences entail, it could mean misfortune for all involved.

•••••••••••

REVIEW:

4.5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

The Misfortune of Lady Lucianna by Christina McKnight is the second book of her “The Undaunted Debutantes” series. If you recall. I had reviewed the first book just a couple of weeks ago. I would recommend you absolutely read the first book before you dive into this one as they are both related and revolve around the same crime.

Picking right up where the first book left us, Lady Lucianna is one of the four girls who had formed a lifelong friendship. When one of the girls is found dead on her wedding night the other three girls go into detective mode to make sure justice is served. Lucianna is the spitfire of the group and I was really looking forward to reading her story. She believes what she believes and no one can make her change her mind. While attempting to solve this mystery, Lucianna is also a contributor to a scandalous column that calls out rakes and rogues and unmasks their intentions and usually spoiling their plans to get away with anything. Lucianna has a hunger for exposing rakes due to a deep grudge of her upbringing and her rogue father. She is most definitely the kind to attack first ask questions later. This time however, she may have gone too far,

Roderick Crofton is a Duke and is also the latest victim of Lucianna scandal column. Any other time he could of been called out for being a rogue, but this time he was not at fault. This scandal had now cost his family their fortune and any chance he had to wrong the rights are taken when the funds are dried up. Now he must find a well betrothed wife so he can settle his score.

Both Roderick and Lucianna cross paths, and form a friendship of sorts (a strange way of happening, but so be it). Lucianna father is set to marry her off to the very man who may have killed her friend, and Roderick knows Luci comes with a plump dowry .. well how perfect of a picture could this paint? Not so perfect when you consider the secrets that are held back. These secrets could very well be the undoing of their soon beloved relationship. So much more to this book, but I’m not ruining anything for you!

Another quick read from Christina McKnight. I read this in a afternoon and I do wish it was a little longer. I just found the story a little rushed as I did in the first book, which took away from some believability and character development. I enjoy getting to know the characters and being romanced through the forming of a relationship. This just moved a little too fast .. BUT .. she did write such a fantastic story with the same laughter, fierce female lead, side of mystery and romance that it made up for most of the negative.

Again, make sure you read the first book, it sets up this crime that this series is set around, and there is nothing like revisiting a couple or anticipating upcoming storylines. If you are looking for a wonderful shorter historical romance series to read on a lazy summer afternoon, I strongly recommend this one!

HAPPY READING! 🙂

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Rachel T.

The Misfortune of Lady Luciana teaser

 

about the author

Christina McKnightChristina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since.

Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books…don’t forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.

You can visit her online at the following places: Website Facebook | Twitter Goodreads | Amazon

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The Highlander’s Viking Bride by Cathy MacRae-Review, Giveaway & Excerpt Tour

THE HIGHLANDER’S VIKING BRIDE (Hardy Heroines #2) by Cathy MacRae-Review, Giveaway and Excerpt Tour

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THE HIGHLANDER’S VIKING BRIDE
Hardy Heroines #2
by Cathy MacRae
Release Date: May 22, 2017
Genre: adult, historical, Highlander, slightly paranormal, romance

The Highlander's Viking Bride

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Add to Goodreads: https://goo.gl/k5LpBx

About the book: Release Date May 22, 2017

Calder MacGerry, laird of an impoverished clan, has resolved to end the bitter feud between the MacGerrys and Sinclairs. He jumps at Laird Sinclair’s offer of marriage to his only daughter, Katja, to seal the agreement between their clans—only to get more than he bargained for.

Katja’s chance to escape her father’s harsh treatment appears to be too good to be true. But becoming Lady of a clan that despises her because she’s a Sinclair, doesn’t make her life any easier. When the attacks turn deadly, she fights her way out, making a dangerous passage to the Shetland Isles for refuge with her Viking family.

Calder and Katja’s marriage, built on mistrust, rushes quickly into disaster. As Calder seeks to repair the damage, Katja discovers not another enemy, but a husband who pledges a new beginning.

•••••••••••

REVIEW: THE HIGHLANDER’S VIKING BRIDE is the second installment in Cathy MacRae historical, slightly paranormal HARDY HEROINES romance series. This is Laird Calder MacGerry, and Katja Sinclair’s story line. THE HIGHLANDER’S VIKING BRIDE can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Calder and Katja) THE HIGHLANDER’S VIKING BRIDE follows Laird Calder MacGerry as he must make peace and end the feud with Clan Sinclair upon the death of his father. Without food or supplies for the upcoming winter, the new Laird is desperate for find provisions for his suffering clan. When Earl Sinclair offers a truce, the truce comes with a caveat-a proviso of sorts-Calder MacGerry must marry the Earl’s only daughter, and in doing so would be granted the woman’s dowry and everything that comes with. Enter Katja Sinclair, the mysterious and only daughter of Earl Sinclair, and the woman with whom Calder will fall in love. What ensues is the tepid but growing relationship between Calder and Katja, and the struggle for Katja to trust the man who has all but destroyed her heart and her soul.

THE HIGHLANDER’S VIKING BRIDE is a story of romance, betrayal, revenge and mistrust. Calder never thought about taking a bride but with his clan in total disrepair, Earl Sinclair’s offer is something he could not refuse. Katja is an independent young woman who has struggled all of her life to find a place in her father’s heart only to be rejected time and again. Her marriage to Laird Calder MacGerry comes with a promise of love but a love that will be threatened by sins of the past. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

THE HIGHLANDER’S VIKING BRIDE, like many of Cathy MacRae’s previous Highlander tales finds our couple apart for a good portion of the building story line. Katja believes she is better off, away from the Laird and his clan, and finds herself on the run, searching for family she hasn’t seen in years. Meanwhile Calder MacGerry must go in search of his wayward bride. More time together would have increased my enjoyment of the overall story. The premise is entertaining and passionate; the characters are colorful, strong willed, and charismatic; the romance struggles in the face of mistrust and threats against the heroine’s life. THE HIGHLANDER’S VIKING BRIDE is a dramatic and energetic story where a young woman finds happiness against the odds.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

Excerpt

(Katja meets Calder)
Katja reluctantly heeded her father’s summons to the great hall. She much preferred taking meals in her chamber, as constant criticism and scorn from her father made for poor company. Her only regret was not spending the time with her brothers. She remembered the days before her amma died when mealtimes were pleasant, even enjoyable. She did not remember the days when her ma was alive.
Everyone in the keep knew guests had arrived—rumored to be the hated MacGerrys. Her father would likely use the opportunity to dangle her as bait again for some sort of alliance, her hand in marriage as part of the bargain. She grimaced. The MacGerry laird was as old as her sire—as were all the men her da had presented as prospective husbands.
“I willnae marry a man thrice my age. Why does he keep bringing such old relics about, Freki? Has the man not made the acquaintance of anyone younger than two score?”
Her companion did not answer.
Katja hurried to the great hall with Freki at her side. If she allowed her sire to wait too long, he would add to her humiliation by displaying her like a freshly caught trout in front of his guests. Much as she disliked appeasing him, flaunting her disdain was far worse.
When they reached the door to the hall, she raised a hand, whispering a command for her companion to wait outside the door as she perused the people seated in the great hall. Pale auras of color surrounded each man, giving the room a festive look were it not for the unsettling tale each told her. The reds of anger and lust, the brown of dishonesty, gray and sulphur of dark thoughts and pain. From long practice, she ignored the pale green of pity she knew were aimed at her.
Skirting the red auras, Katja moved silently into the room, attracting no attention. Years of avoiding her father gave her the skill to move about the castle like a ghost, finding tremendous value in being invisible when the need called for it. It wasn’t until she stood near the foot of the lower tables that anyone noticed her. Laird Sinclair’s eyes gleamed.
“Ah, here is my daughter. Katja, meet the new MacGerry Laird.”
The sight of a young man instead of the old laird she expected startled Katja. Tall, lean of muscle with dark brown hair and fair skin, his deep blue eyes were the color of sapphires or perhaps the ocean on a calm day. A high forehead, strong jaw and full lips made for a very handsome face. Lips which curved into a kind smile at her.
His eager blue eyes stared at her, as if caught in a pleasant dream. Katja’s stomach twisted in a way she’d not experienced before. Heat scorched its way from her head to her shoulders, tingling along her breasts and descending lower. She didn’t recognize or understand the strange awareness. Her breathing picked up its pace as her heart beat tripled. How could one look from a man inspire such a reaction?
She averted her gaze in an effort to wrestle her body and emotions under control. Inhaling deeply, she raised her eyes again only to find the same sensations slamming into her anew. She needed a distraction.
Use the sight. It doesnae lie.
Looking past her normal ability to see, she glanced first at her father. The darkening gray aura surrounding him reflected his greed, his nature growing more corrupt with time. A band of deep brown layered on top of the gray was new today. She knew it as a sign of deceit and wondered what he was up to. Scanning the rest of the table, the light blue surrounding her brothers Bjorn, Christer and Patrik reflected

About The author

Cathy MacRaeFollow Cathy: Twitter / Goodreads / Website / Facebook

Cathy MacRae lives on the sunny side of the Arbuckle Mountains where she and her husband read, write, and tend the garden—with the help of the dogs, of course.

 

You can visit with her on facebook, or read her blogs and learn about her books at www.cathymacraeauthor.com. Drop her a line—she loves to hear from readers!

 

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An Unnatural Vice/ An Unseen Attraction (Sins of the Cities 1 & 2) by KJ Charles-Reviews

An Unnatural Vice / An Unseen Attraction (Sins of the Cities 1 & 2) by KJ Charles-Reviews

An Unnatural Vice

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AN UNNATURAL VICE ( Sins of the Cities #2) by KJ Charles

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date June 6, 2017

In the sordid streets of Victorian London, unwanted desire flares between two bitter enemies brought together by a deadly secret.

Crusading journalist Nathaniel Roy is determined to expose spiritualists who exploit the grief of bereaved and vulnerable people. First on his list is the so-called Seer of London, Justin Lazarus. Nathaniel expects him to be a cheap, heartless fraud. He doesn’t expect to meet a man with a sinful smile and the eyes of a fallen angel—or that a shameless swindler will spark his desires for the first time in years.

Justin feels no remorse for the lies he spins during his séances. His gullible clients simply bore him. Hostile, disbelieving, utterly irresistible Nathaniel is a fascinating challenge. And as their battle of wills and wits heats up, Justin finds he can’t stop thinking about the man who’s determined to ruin him.

But Justin and Nathaniel are linked by more than their fast-growing obsession with one another. They are both caught up in an aristocratic family’s secrets, and Justin holds information that could be lethal. As killers, fanatics, and fog close in, Nathaniel is the only man Justin can trust—and, perhaps, the only man he could love.

••••••••••

REVIEW: AN UNNATURAL VICE is the second installment in KJ Charles’s adult, Victorian, historical Sins of the Cities M/M romance, murder-mystery series. This is journalist and former lawyer Nathaniel Roy, and Seer of London Justin Lazarus’s story line. AN UNNATURAL VICE can be read as a stand alone but for cohesion and backstory I recommend reading the series in order as there is an ongoing premise and plot throughout the series. Some of the events of An Unnatural Vice cross over and run parallel to the events of book one-An Unseen Attraction

NOTE: AN UNNATURAL VICE and the SINS OF THE CITIES series contain scenes of M/M sexual situations and may not be suitable for all readers.

Told from dual third person points of view (Justin and Nathaniel) AN UNNATURAL VICE follows the enemies to lovers relationship between the Seer of London (Medium) Justin Lazarus, and journalist Nathaniel Roy. Nathaniel’s latest assignment is to uncover the truth behind self-proclaimed Seer Justin Lazarus-a proclamation Nathaniel is determined to prove fraudulent and deceitful. But Justin has information that could prove helpful to Nathaniel’s friend Clem Talleyfer (An Unseen Attraction #1) as the group of friends endeavors to find the missing heir to the Taillefer fortune and title holder to the Earl of Moreton. What ensues are Justin and Nathaniel’s attempts to stay one step ahead of the people hired to destroy any evidence of an heir, and Justin and Nathaniel’s growing love between two people whose lives follow different paths towards the future.

The relationship between Nathaniel and Justin is slow to build. Their acrimonious but tepid friendship requires cooperation when Justin is targeted by someone in control; Nathaniel is determined to protect the man with whom he is falling in love sweeping his lover to a secreted location fearing for their lives. The $ex scenes are intimate and provocative without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

AN UNNATURAL VICE follows the search for the missing heir, although most of the investigation is behind the scenes as the story line focuses on our leading couple. The requisite evil has many faces but the ultimate villain has yet to be revealed.

The world building continues to look at the friendships and relationships of a group of ‘gay’ men in Victorian, England although AN UNNATURAL VICE primarily focuses on Nathaniel and Justin’s struggle to stay alive. Once again, the tone of the story is not conducive to the era or the time-I was expecting a tighter interpretation of the language e.g. euphemisms, slang, sentence structure, and because of this, the story line reads more modern than historic (see my review of book one). The back and forth banter between Justin and Nathaniel is witty and entertaining. The premise is much more detailed and descriptive than the first installment as the author brings to life the dreary and wretched world of Victorian England; the characters are colorful and dynamic although I would have liked more information about Nathaniel’s earlier years; the romance is seductive and intense. AN UNNATURAL VICE is an entertaining story line; a fast paced and intriguing story of mystery, suspense, romance and love.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

________________

AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION
(Sins of the City #1)
by K.J.Charles
Genre: adult, Victorian, M/M, historical romance

An Unseen AttractionABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 21, 2017

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

Lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer prefers a quiet life. He’s happy with his hobbies, his work—and especially with his lodger Rowley Green, who becomes a friend over their long fireside evenings together. If only neat, precise, irresistible Mr. Green were interested in more than friendship…

Rowley just wants to be left alone—at least until he meets Clem, with his odd, charming ways and his glorious eyes. Two quiet men, lodging in the same house, coming to an understanding… it could be perfect. Then the brutally murdered corpse of another lodger is dumped on their doorstep and their peaceful life is shattered.

Now Clem and Rowley find themselves caught up in a mystery, threatened on all sides by violent men, with a deadly London fog closing in on them. If they’re to see their way through, the pair must learn to share their secrets—and their hearts.

•••••••••••

REVIEW: AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION is the first installment in KJ Charles’s adult, SINS OF THE CITY Victorian, M/M, historical romance, murder-mystery series. This is lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer, and stuffer (taxidermist) Rowley Green’s story line.

NOTE: AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION contains scenes of M/M sexual situations and may not be suitable for all readers.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Clem and Rowley) AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION follows two paths and focuses on the forbidden relationship between two men: lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer, and taxidermist Rowley Green. The year is 1873, and Clem Talleyfer manages, on behalf of his brother, a lodging house for single men. Enter Rowley Green, the local taxidermist, and the man who has caught the eye of the lodging-house manager. When one of the tenants disappears and is found dead several days later, Clem and Rowley face the wrath of not only the local law enforcement but Clem’s brother as well. What ensues is the investigation into the who, what and why, and the building but forbidden love between two men caught in a game of secrets and lies.

AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION is a slow building story line; a murder /mystery plot where our leading couple find themselves targeted for reasons unknown. As the investigation grows, so too does the realization that the person(s) responsible is all too familiar to the lodging house manager.

The relationship between Clem and Rowley is one of immediate attraction but the fear of the unknown and public scrutiny have kept their relationship at a slow burn for several months. When Rowley invites Clem for an evening out, Clem soon realizes that his attraction to the local taxidermist is one of mutual want and need. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION is, first and foremost, a story of murder, mystery and suspense. Clem and Rowley’s backstories are heartbreaking; family history is something no one wants to share. The slow reveal of clues is well paced; the identity of the person ultimately responsible was (for me) easily deduced early on. The language and text is simple; the tone of the story is not conducive to the era or the time-I was expecting a tighter interpretation of the language e.g. euphemisms, slang, sentence structure, and because of this, the story line reads more modern than historic. The premise is entertaining; the characters are colorful and energetic; the romance is sweet and seductive.

Own a copy

Reviewed by Sandy

About The author

Follow: Twitter / Facebook / Website / Goodreads /

KJ Charles is a writer and freelance editor. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, an out-of-control garden and an increasingly murderous cat.

KJ writes mostly romance, gay and straight, frequently historical, and usually with some fantasy or horror in there. She specialises in editing romance, especially historical and fantasy, and also edits children’s fiction.

Find her on Twitter @kj_charles or on Facebook, join her Facebook group

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How to Ruin your Reputation in Ten Days by Harmony Williams – a Review

How to Ruin your Reputation in Ten Days by Harmony Williams – a Review

 

How to Ruin Your Reputation in 10 DaysAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
In 1814 London, England, a lady is defined as a demure, delicate flower. Miss Francine Annesley is not that lady. If men were like plants, she would have a garden of admirers to choose from instead of the thorn in her side since childhood, Julian Beckwith. But she would make an even worse nun than she does a lady, which will be her fate if she can’t dig up a husband before the Season ends. However, Julian is not an option.

With only ten short days left in the Season, Francine doesn’t have time to waste on petty squabbles or knee-weakening kisses, even if Julian’s offer to fulfill her every wish rouses her curiosity. It seems men are more complicated than plants. Too bad love bloomed at the most inconvenient of times…

 

Review:

How to Ruin Your Reputation in Ten Days begins with only ten days left in the Season.  Francine is attending a party at which her parents are hoping that she finds an appropriate suitor.  After five Seasons without an offer, their hopes of her picking someone are faltering.  Francine is determined not to enter into a loveless relationship with someone who is more interested in her dowry than they are in her.  As Francine skirts the people and their boring conversations at the party trying to get away from unwanted suitors, she makes her way outside and into the garden.  She soon finds herself in an awkward position and snags her dress on a thorny bush and eventually gets herself freed, only to come face to face with none other than her childhood friend, Julian Beckwith.  The two of them had been exchanging letters for the last few years, but he suddenly stopped replying, which hurt her more than she wanted to let on.

As things progress, there is no denying the pull between them, but when Francine discovers the reason he stopped replying to her letters, she is shattered.  To make matters even worse, her father has had it with her not choosing a suitor and issues an ultimatum:  pick a suitable suitor by the end of the Season or you’re going to the convent!  (Harsh much?!?!)  Seems he’s had it with her independent ways and the fact the she always seems to get caught in the most awkward and inappropriate situations.  Unfortunately, said situations have made her the gossip of the ton, and her father is DONE.

How to Ruin Your Reputation in Ten Days is a nicely written tale with two great characters.  I loved Francine.  I loved her independent streak that warred with her wanting to please her parents, who in my opinion, were sorely lacking in the parenting department.  I also loved her devotion to her friends and to Julian.  She also made me laugh.  Julian was great as well.  Once we find out the back story as to why he’d stopped responding to her letters, your heart broke a little.  You also wanted to box his ears a little!  The two of them together will melt your heart.  With all of that said, I have to admit that the story I’m most anxious for is her friend, Mary’s.  That one has great potential and I can’t imagine how she’ll be tamed, seeing as she is one of the most inappropriate (for the time) and independent characters I’ve read in years.  I have my fingers crossed that her story will not disappoint.  If you’re a fan of historicals, this series is a nice read.   Well done, Harmony Williams!

Reviewed by Vickie

Copy provided by Publisher

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A Touch of Frost by Jo Goodman – Review & Giveaway

A Touch of Frost by Jo Goodman – Review & Giveaway

 

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Description:
RESCUE ME
After his train is robbed at gunpoint, Remington Frost awakens from a blow to find the bandits gone…along with the woman he was shadowing for protection. No stranger to risk, Remington will do what it takes to bring Phoebe Apple to safety and her kidnappers to justice. But ransoming Phoebe is just the start of trouble…

Phoebe is shocked to learn that her mysterious rescuer is none other than Remington Frost, the son of her sister’s new husband. Home at Twin Star Ranch, she falls happily into western life–and cautiously in love with Remington. But danger hides close to home, and their romance illuminates a web of secrets and betrayal that may put the rancher and his intended bride past the point of rescue.

 

 

Review:

A Touch of Frost by Jo Goodman is a western historical romance.  This is one of the rare occasions that I read a western, especially being historical.  I did enjoy this story, and the fact that the main characters were very likeable.

Phoebe Apple, our heroine, is on a train from New York heading to visit her sister in Frost Falls, Colorado. The train is robbed, and Phoebe, while trying to help an unconscious young man she had been eying, finds herself kidnapped.

Remington Frost, our hero, is the unconscious man, having fallen while trying to fight off the kidnappers.  Remington is Phoebe sister, Fiona’s brother in law, and was sent by Thaddeus, his father to make sure Phoebe arrives safely to their ranch in Frost Falls.  It will be Remington, who will leave the train, and rescue Phoebe.

What follows is a sweet slow build romance between Remington, who does not like Fiona and Phoebe, who has her own issues with Fiona.  Fiona’s attitude towards Remington and Phoebe, as well as her own marriage plays a big part of this story.  But Remington and Phoebe were so great together, as the romance was fun, humorous and their chemistry was sensual.  The major plot surrounding their romance, and Fiona and Thaddeus marriage was the mystery behind Phoebe’s kidnapping.  There is excitement and danger, when someone close to the Frosts comes back to haunt them, as lives are on the line in the action-filled last third of the book.

I loved Phoebe, who a strong independent young lady, and a fun heroine.  I also adored the handsome Remington, who seemed like the perfect hunky cowboy we would all want to meet.  I personally did not like Fiona, who seemed to think only herself, and came across as an unlikeable b**ch.  Closer to the end, we see both Fiona and Phoebe comes to terms, and Fiona does get a bit better. 

Jo Goodman did an excellent job in creating a wonderful couple in Remington and Phoebe, and a story which had a lot of humorous banter, and an enjoyable romance.  If you enjoy romance, a western and historical background, with a fun sexy couple, then you should read A Touch of Frost.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

 

giveaway

Jo Goodman’s Publisher is graciously offering a paper copy of A TOUCH OF FROST  to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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7. Giveaway is open to USA only

8. Giveaway runs from June 7- 11, 2017

 

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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

Copy provided by Publisher

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Echo in the Wind (The Donet Trilogy #2) by Regan Walker-Review and Excerpt

Echo in the Wind (The Donet Trilogy #2) by Regan Walker-Review and Excerpt

Echo in the Wind

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date May 23, 2017

England and France 1784

Cast out by his noble father for marrying the woman he loved, Jean Donet took to the sea, becoming a smuggler, delivering French brandy and tea to the south coast of England. When his young wife died, he nearly lost his sanity. In time, he became a pirate and then a privateer, vowing to never again risk his heart.

As Donet’s wealth grew, so grew his fame as a daring ship’s captain, the terror of the English Channel in the American War. When his father and older brother die in a carriage accident in France, Jean becomes the comte de Saintonge, a title he never wanted.

Lady Joanna West cares little for London Society, which considers her its darling. Marriage in the ton is either dull or disastrous. She wants no part of it. To help the poor in Sussex, she joins in their smuggling. Now she is the master of the beach, risking her reputation and her life. One night off the coast of Bognor, Joanna encounters the menacing captain of a smuggling ship, never realizing he is the mysterious comte de Saintonge.

Can Donet resist the English vixen who entices him as no other woman? Will Lady Joanna risk all for an uncertain chance at love in the arms of the dashing Jean Donet?

••••••••••••••••

REVIEW:  Regan Walker has once again written a tale that pulls you in from the very beginning. As the story begins, we immediately discover that Lady Joanna West is more than just a Lady of the ton. She is a strong and independent woman whose heart aches for the poor, and proves she will do just about anything to see to their well-being.

Lady Joanna and her brother, Richard, the Earl of Torrington, are hosting a party for the new English Prime Minister in their home, when Jean Donet makes his entrance. Joanna is immediately intrigued, as their paths have crossed before, although unbeknownst to him. Rumors of Donet’s past pique her interest even more. Richard has been trying to convince Joanna to travel to London with the family for her little sister’s first season, but she truly had no interest, until Jean Donet asked “Will you be coming to London, Lady Joanna:’. Little did she know that her simple answer of “why, yes”would have a profound effect on her future.

Echo in the Wind is another wonderfully written tale by Regan Walker. Joanna is such a great character. Her big heart, as well as her independent streak, draws you in immediately. However, it is Jean Donet, whom we met in To Tame the Wind, that will grab your heart and not let go. Having lost his first wife years before, he never thought, or even dreamed, that he’d be inclined to love again. His back story is heartbreaking, but it is his strong sense of honor and self that will endear him to all who read. Even though he was cast out by an overbearing father in his youth, he steps up to do what is right by his remaining family after his father and brother are killed in what seemed to be an accident. With tensions rising in France, unforeseen danger lurks in his home country as he tries to unravel not only what happened to his father and brother, but his growing feelings for Lady Joanna. “Like an echo in the wind, love had come to him a second time and he was more than grateful it had”.

Once again, no one, in my humble opinion, writes this genre like Regan Walker. You are always pulled into her tales immediately. You can feel the bumps as the carriage passes over the cobblestone streets and smell the salty sea air as the ship sails to each destination. Walker’s world building is second to none as you are swept from one beautiful and intriguing location to another. And, as always, if you’re a fan of this genre, you will never go wrong with reading any of Ms. Walker’s stories. I always think that once I finish one of her books that it’s my favorite…..until I read the next. Well done, Regan Walker! Very, very, very well done!

Reading order and previous review
To Tame The Wind
Echo in the Wind
A Fierce Wind (2018)

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Vickie M

excerpt


Bognor, West Sussex, England, April 1784

Except for the small waves rushing to shore, hissing as they raced over the shingles, Bognor’s coast was eerily bereft of sound. Lady Joanna West hated the disquiet she always experienced before a smuggling run. Tonight, the blood throbbed in her veins with the anxious pounding of her heart, for this time, she would be dealing with a total stranger.
Would he be fair, this new partner in free trade? Or might he be a feared revenue agent in disguise, ready to cinch a hangman’s noose around her slender neck?
The answer lay just offshore, silhouetted against a cobalt blue sky streaked with gold from the setting sun: a black-sided ship, her sails lifted like a lady gathering up her skirts, poised to flee, waited for a signal.
Crouched behind a rock with her younger brother, Joanna hesitated, studying the ship. Eight gun ports marched across the side of the brig, making her wonder at the battles the captain anticipated that he should carry sixteen guns.
She and her men were unarmed. They would be helpless should he decide to cheat them, his barrels full of water instead of brandy, his tea no more than dried weeds.
It had been tried before.
“You are certain Zack speaks for this captain?” she asked Freddie whose dark auburn curls beneath his slouched hat made his boyish face appear younger than his seventeen years. But to one who knew him well, the set of his jaw hinted at the man he would one day become.
“I’ll fetch him,” Freddie said in a hushed tone, “and you can ask him yourself.” He disappeared into the shadows where her men waited beneath the trees.
Zack appeared, squatting beside her, a giant of a man with a scar on the left side of his face from the war. Like the mastiffs that guarded the grounds of her family’s estate, he was big and ugly, fierce with enemies, but gentle with those he was charged to protect.
“Young Frederick here says ye want to know about this ship, m’lady.” At her nod, Zack gazed toward the brig. “He used to come here regular with nary a con nor a cheat. He’s been gone awhile now. I heard he might have worked up some other business—royal business.” He rolled his massive shoulders in a shrug. “In my experience, a tiger don’t change his stripes. He’s a Frog, aye, but I trust the Frenchie’s one of us, a free trader still.”
She took in a deep breath of the salted air blowing onshore and let it out. “Good.” Zack’s assurance had been some comfort but not enough to end her concerns. What royal business? For tonight, she need not know. “Give the signal,” she directed her brother, “but I intend to see for myself if the cargo is what we ordered.”
Without seeking the position, Joanna had become the smugglers’ master of the beach, responsible for getting the cargo ashore and away to inland routes and London markets with no revenue man the wiser. She took seriously her role to assure the villagers got what they paid for. Their survival depended upon it.

Copyright © 2017 Regan Walker


 

About the author

Regan WalkerRegan Walker is an award-winning, Amazon #1 bestselling author of Regency, Georgian and Medieval romances. A lawyer turned full-time writer, she has six times been featured on USA TODAY’s HEA blog and nominated six times for the prestigious RONE award (her novel, The Red Wolf’s Prize won Best Historical Novel for 2015 in the Medieval category). Her novel The Refuge: An Inspirational Novel of Scotland won the Gold Medal in the Illumination Awards in 2017. And her novel To Tame the Wind won the International Book Award for Romance Fiction in 2017.

Years of serving clients in private practice and several stints in high levels of government have given Regan a love of international travel and a feel for the demands of the “Crown”. Hence her romance novels often involve a demanding sovereign who taps his subjects for special assignments. Each of her novels features real history and real historical figures. And, of course, adventure and love.

Twitter: @RegansReview (https://twitter.com/RegansReview)
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