Bedchamber Games by Tracy Anne Warren – Review & Interview

Bedchamber Games by Tracy Anne Warren – Review & Interview

 

Bedchamber GamesAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

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

The Rakehell SeductionAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

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

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

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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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Highland Vixen (Highland Weddings #2) by Mary Wine-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Highland Vixen (Highland Weddings #2) by Mary Wine-Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

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HIGHLAND VIXEN
Highland Weddings #2
by Mary Wine
Release Date:February 7, 2017
Genre: adult, historical, Highland, romance

Highland Vixen

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Books-A-Million / Barnes & Noble / Chapters /Indiebound

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 7 , 2017

Fierce Highland war chief seeks comely lass for fun, frolic, and marriage

Marcus MacPherson is every inch the fearsome Highlander. He’s used to men averting their eyes and women cowering before him. He thinks he’ll eventually settle down with a nice, obedient bride. Instead, he gets Helen Grant… Stubborn as the day is long, fearless and dedicated to raising as much hell as possible, Helen is definitely going to challenge Marcus. And challenge him some more. And then some.

It’s anyone’s guess who’ll win this battle of the heart..

••••••••••••

REVIEW: 5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Another fantastic Highland read by Mary Wine! LOVE LOVE LOVE! 🙂

Highland Vixen by Mary Wine is the second book in her “Highland Weddings” series and it sure lives up to its name. Vixen indeed! We met our leading characters in the previous book of this series called “Highland Spitfire” and while I suppose it is not necessary to read the first book you would miss out on so much back story, which in my opinion makes this book so good as the story continues on! Besides, there are returning characters in Highland Vixen, and I love reading how characters progress in a series after they get their HEA! 🙂

Marcus MacPherson is one studly, “don’t mess with me!”, fierce, scary , hot badass Highlander. He is the war chief of the MacPherson clan, second to his half brother (who happens to be the lead in the first book). He doesn’t mess around, and icky love stuff is the furthest from his mind .. despite the little vixen lass that resides as a “protected prisoner” of sorts in his castle.

Helen Grant is our vixen. She is fierce and bold, smart and very angry at her current living situation. While she has shared a steamy moment with Marcus, Marcus won’t claim her as his, but won’t allow another to step forward safely either. She is at her wits end and only wants to return to her home (which Marcus has threatened to burn if she leave MacPherson land).

Circumstance allows Helen to sneak away, but not without Marcus hot on her trail. When trouble comes about for Marcus, Helen agrees to marry Marcus, but NOT consummate the marriage so she can get an annulment once danger passes. Well Marcus is having none of that and despite the danger that comes knocking and threatens to take all he stands for, he has decided he is keeping Helen married to him at all costs! He is going to consummate this marriage one way or another and keep her forever.

YES, this is as steamy, perfectly angsty with a side of sass as it sounds! I love my Highland men all fierce and demanding, but deeply kind and protective, like Marcus … and my Highland woman full of attitude and courage, yet seriously lovely underneath like Helen. They are a perfect compliment to the other. Mary Wine really weaves some serious SOB villains as well! Ones that give you the creeps deep to your soul. You can almost smell their evil.

This is a perfect love story that carries an adventure that one would expect to find in a really fantastic Highlander story. If you love a good back and forth match between two well written characters then I highly recommend this book. The story line and side characters are a very decadent cherry on this perfect Highland sundae! LOL

HAPPY READING! 🙂

Reviewed by Rachel

Copy supplied by the publisher

 

excerpt

 

“I did nae have me hands on ye at all, lass,” he responded arrogantly. “And I owe me sire a wee bit of an apology for me thinking last evening because his advice is sound.”
She rolled over and over and right off the edge of the huge bed, but her knees were shaky, so she stumbled, grasping one of the posts that held the bed curtains. Marcus was watching her, his grin widening as he took in his effect on her. He was wearing nothing but his shirt, and his member was sticking out in the front of it.
He’d lulled her into a false sense of ease. She realized he was every bit as menacing as ever and had simply waited for his moment to pounce on her.
“Do nae look at me like that, Helen.” Marcus sat up on the side of the bed and watched her move away. “Ye told me yer maidenhead was the only thing ye have left that is yer own, so I pleasured ye without taking it. Is it so hard to think of me as a man who does nae want to act the brute to ye?” He patted the surface of the bed. “I want ye to choose me.”
Did she dare?
Dare was certainly the correct word. He was looking at her, every inch the hardened man she’d faced time and again, and yet there was much more to him now. He was attempting to push inside her, to that place where no one had ever been, to her deepest feelings. However, he was offering her a glimpse at his own in return.
Such a tangle of possibilities.
She looked at the pile of clothing that she’d left on the bench, caught between the need to maintain her pride and the desire to simply let it go in favor of… Well, she wasn’t sure what exactly she’d find in his bed. She ended up looking back toward him, seeking the answer in his eyes.
“Naught to say?” he asked. “There is a first.”
“Oh, for Christ’s sake,” she exclaimed with her hip roll half laced. “There was a time when I knew how to speak kindly. Why do ye needle me until I can nae hold me tongue?”
He flashed her an arrogant grin. “Because I like ye the way ye are, no’ disguising yer nature to appease everyone about ye. Do ye have any idea how long it has been since a lass was honest with me? Since one came to me seeking me, and no’ me position? Ye are not the only one who feels isolated. As War Chief, I must be hard on the young lads, lest they fail to build up enough strength to survive. Smiling at them would be a disservice.”
Sometime during the night, he’d taken the time to pleat his kilt on a table that ran along the side of the bedchamber. His wide belt was already under it. It took only a moment for him to lean back, grasp the sides of the belt, and pull it all around himself. Most men used the floor, but clearly Marcus wanted to be ready, should there be a need to dress in a hurry during the night.
“It fell to me to either take ye or know without a doubt that I’d be sending me own men up against yer brothers because they refused to admit the cattle were ours.” He was buckling a second belt in place to make sure his kilt was secure. “Ye think I enjoyed it?”
“Yes, ye did,” she answered him. “Somewhat, anyhow. Admit it. Yer nature is suited to yer position.”
He offered her a cocky grin. “If ye’ll match me by admitting ye did nae think to notice I do nae always care for what me duty demands of me. That’s the thing about duty. Ye do it because it needs doing and others depend on ye seeing things through.”
“Fairly spoken,” she said softly while pulling her skirts over her head. The waistband caught on her hip roll, and she began to lace the waistband closed. “Ye are no’ a brute.” His smile was widening with victory. “But swine fits well, for ye knew well ye were twisting words last evening to get me into yer bed.”
He chuckled and opened his arms wide. “Taming a vixen requires cunning.”
Helen felt her temper stir at the use of the word taming.


 

 

Guest Post=Black and Red

For me, research is a two part thing. First off is doing the ‘foot work’ so to speak. That’s the researching. You either know that Elizabeth the first was born in 1533 or you don’t. If you intend to set your story in that era, this is information you need to know. Her mother was beheaded and if you want to go deeper, you learn things such as she was given the mercy of a French swordsman for her execution because the ax was often clumsy. Deeper still and you discover that some of the dates she was accused of having adultery were during her lying in, so completely false as her ladies would have been with her.

That’s part one. The dates, the circumstances. I actually love this stuff because for me, after I absorb the dry facts, I start to think about things like…okay, if there was a young daughter attending court, and in service to queen Elizabeth, what would her duties have been? What exactly was a lady in waiting. I would then learn that Elizabeth had ladies of the Bed chamber, of the presence chamber, and one the list goes. The duchess of Norfolk slept on a trundle bed that came out from beneath Elizabeth’s because that’s how close together they lived.

I like to take it all in and craft a book set in the era. Yes, it’s a fantasy story but I want my characters to be people of the time.

A second part of this is something I have done my entire life and that is historical re-enactment. I make the clothing and wear it. I take sword class. Dances that would have been done in Elizabeth’s court? Yes, I know a few. It’s also the little things, like turning bread on a table and trying….grrr….to bake it in an oven that you have to heat up with coals and no yeast during Elizabeth’s era. You learn to hum a tune because there is no music or make sure you are by the fire at night when someone pulls out an instrument.

I love to find little ways to fold all these details into my stories while still letting my charaters fall in love. It’s a challenge and a fun one.

Cheers!
Mary Wine

About The Author Black and Red

Mary WineAcclaimed author Mary Wine has written over 30 works of Scottish Highland romance, romantic suspense and erotic romance. An avid history-buff and historical costumer, she and her family enjoy participating in historical reenactments. Mary lives in Yorba Linda, California with her husband and two sons. Website | Goodreads | Facebook

 

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Mary’s publisher is graciously offering a paper copy of HIGHLAND VIXEN to ONE (1) lucky commenter  at The Reading Cafe

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9.. Giveaway runs from February 7-11, 2017

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First Comes Desire by Tina Donahue – a Review

First Comes Desire by Tina Donahue – a Review

 

First Comes DesireAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
On a lush, secluded island, one passionate adventure leads to another . . . . Diana Fletcher means business. The beautiful, innocent, reverend’s daughter has traveled all the way to a tropical island off Madagascar on a mission: To find her brother-and to punish the man who drove him to a life of piracy. But when she comes face to face with the enemy in question, the handsome, powerfully seductive man is not at all what Diana expected . . . . Tristan Kent never intended to harm Diana’s brother. A man of humble origins, Tristan claims he tried to save him from another ruthless captain. Diana is desperate to believe he is telling the truth . . . and that the intoxicating desire that escalates between them is true as well. But can she trust him? Or is Tristan’s story-and his heart-nothing more than fool’s gold? Amid the haze of sensual delights and soaring ecstasy Tristan has in store for her, all will be revealed . . .


Review:

Can we just take a moment to pause and appreciate the book cover? That’s Tristan the pirate. He will invade your heart, and make demands of it, before the unconventional courtship even begins. *sighs* Diana, a proper English woman, sets off to rescue her young brother who was kidnapped by Tristan and his band of unruly heathens. Or so she thinks. First impressions are unflattering, but dubious, until you unearth its heart. The layers of Tina Donohue‘s book undoubtedly declare: First Comes Desire is the path to love.

In no uncertain terms, Tristan makes his intentions known and Diana is not immune to his charms. I found him brazen and off putting initially, but there was never any artifice behind Tristan: He would plunder. Once the story unfolded, however, Tristan merely wanted Diana to look beyond skin deep; to discover what he wanted to give so freely. Oh, there was plenty of desire. Tristan awakened Diana’s sensual self and her lust was as healthy as his. The matter of love, a far more perplexing emotion than desire, shook Tristan to the core. I’m not comparing Tristan to Christian Grey, but there are parallels of the swoon-worthy variety and I was quickly on Team Pirate!

I got so wrapped up in the development of the relationship, Tristan’s approach while possessive was undeniably appealing, I must inform you of a rancorous former lover hell-bent on vindication, a shipload of disgruntled pirates on Tristan and Diana’s tail, a young brother trying to spread his wings, and a heartwarming, unforgettable path to love. It all goes back to love, doesn’t it? If you’re lucky. 😉

“Women were not meant to yield. Women could yield. They might even enjoy doing so, but only with the right man. One they desired. First came desire. Respect and love followed.”

Ms. Donahue marries erotica with character evolution quite deftly. Compelling even. It’s pretty easy to love Tristan and forgive his domineering nature, but when trust and devotion are cherished, there is joy in surrender. First Comes Desire, the first book in the Pirate’s Prize series was unforgettable. I look forward to more.

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy supplied for review

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Dance With Destiny by Becky Lower – a Review

Dance With Destiny by Becky Lower – a Review

 

Dance With DestinyAmazon / B&N / BAM / Book Depository

DESCRIPTION
William Myers feels it’s his duty to answer the call to fight for the Union Army—but his wife, Susannah, doesn’t agree. How does he expect her to survive with four small children in the cold Ohio winter during the three-month enlistment period? Angry and abandoned, Susannah learns soon after William leaves that she is also pregnant again. 

Raoul Lafontaine is a half-Ojibwa, half-French-Canadian drifter who is more Indian than white. Also known as Lone Wolf, he has recently left the Ojibwa village in search of a fair-haired woman both he and his grandfather have seen in visions. She is important to him—but how? He will never allow himself to care for another—not after losing the wife he loved so much.

But Raoul could not have planned for the sizzling emotions that surface when he comes near Susannah, nor the love he feels for her children. When he realizes that Susannah returns his feelings, he knows he must leave—for how can he stay close by knowing she can never be his? William will return to his homestead, and they’ll once again be a family. One in which Raoul has no place. Or does he?

Will Fate relent and grant the love between Susannah and Raoul in this DANCE WITH DESTINY? 

 

 

REVIEW
5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

OH this has to be a new BECKY fave of mine!  I absolutely adored this read! 🙂

Dance With Destiny by Becky Lower is a stand alone historical romance that is set during the American Civil War.  This was a different read for me however, as I have never read a romance that featured a half French Canadian (Canadian here myself..  lol) half Native American hero.  As usual Becky does her homework and weaves in true historical events with believable characters set in that time.  This story was heart breaking and freeing all at the same time.  I always know that when I dive into one of Becky’s books, I will set it down feeling like I was smacked in the gut, wiping a runny nose and 100% completely satisfied.  If you are an emotional reader like I am, you will appreciate her kind of writing!

William and Susannah are a married couple with children living in Ohio.  When The Civil War commences William opts to leave home and fight much to Susannah’s dismay.  Like many women during this time, she does what she has to do in his absence .. SURVIVE.  Left with children, limited provisions, isolated living and a pregnancy, Susannah is left to stew in her anger.  She is having trouble making ends meet and is feeling very alone.

Raoul is our Native American/French Canadian hero.  He has set out on a journey of sorts.  A journey that will hopefully enable him to heal from his own broken heart. When he comes across Susannah and her family, he is smitten but decides to stay back .. until … winter sets in and he must help them survive the harsh conditions.  Stepping up where her husband should have been, it’s hard for Raoul to not fall in love, but it is even harder to deny it.

Raoul and Susannah are beautifully matched.  I know Sussansh is married, but I have to say that I was so mad at her husband for not just leaving, but making other decisions that greatly affected this family.  I was proud that Susannah was mad about it as well. She didn’t sit in a corner and play “poor me”, she was honest with herself and decided she was meant to live and if her husband had no concern for her welfare. than maybe it was time to be true to her own feelings.  Raoul has got to be one of the strongest most endearing characters I have read in quite a while.  He struggles with his sense of right and wrong.  This family already has a man, but how can this man be acknowledged when he has clearly disregarded them?  Raoul and Susannah soon must decide if their love is truly forbidden or if they say “to hell with it all” and go for it.

I am really am not doing these characters justice in my review here and maybe that is because it wasn’t so much the characters that made this story for me.  Don’t get me wrong, they are very strong characters and so deserving of “gushy words” but I have to say Becky has this incredible talent for writing visceral scenes/imagery.  When I read her books, I feel like I have jumped right into the daily living and times of that era.  I was a pioneer who struggled, who was married and fell in love with another man who assisted in my survival.  It’s absolutely fascinating and I really believe that there are not many authors out there who can extend this kind of experience to their readers.

I feel like this review may be a little scattered, but that is how I usually feel after a Becky Lower book.  LOL  If you want a break from many of the European historical romances out there, I strongly recommend you read anything that Becky has written.  You will be taken into a completely different world where you will be indulged in some strong romance and history.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND and bring more Canadian to me Becky!  LOL

HAPPY READING! 🙂

Reviewed by Rachel

Copy supplied for review

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His Lordship’s Wild Highland Bride by Kathleen Bittner Roth – a Review

His Lordship’s Wild Highland Bride by Kathleen Bittner Roth – a Review

 

His Lordship's Wild Highland BrideAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM

Description:
A match made for mayhem.

“I’ve no intention of mating with this poor excuse of a man,” Lainie MacGregor declares after reciting her wedding vows. But it’s too late. Far from her beloved Highlands, her fate is sealed.

Ridley Malvern, Lord Caulfield, desperate for her dowry, agrees to marry a wealthy Scot’s daughter sight unseen. He is unaware his tantalizing bride is running from the law. Despite their sizzling attraction, all Lainie desires is to return to her clan. Attempting to make things right, Caulfield takes his wife back to the Highlands only to discover why her father sought the marriage—Lainie is wanted for murder. For her safekeeping, they must remain in England. Now Ridley needs to win her affections and prove that a wild Highland lass and an English lord, can find a love match, after all.

 

 

Review:

“I bloody well hate leaving ye here, lass, but ’tis a far better thing I do than taking ye back to Scotland. I’d only be seeing ye hang fer murder.”

Grounds for an annulment, you think? We learn early on that Lord Caulfield’s bride, Lainie, is wanted for murder in Scotland.

Author, Kathleen Bittner Roth, parses out tantalizing deflections to keep the reader in suspense and, some time, I presume, to make the groom fall so head over heels in love with the lass, he’d couldn’t imagine living without her. His Lordship’s Wild Highland Bride was an absolute delight!

It’s what Ridley deserves, we suppose. To cure his economic hardship, he agrees to a blind betrothal…attached to a generous dowry. That Lainie turns out to be a hellion, a “shrew” who prefers the company of her four walls or to be in self-appointed isolation rather than suffer Ridley’s presence is the mess, and mockery, he’s made of marriage. Just wait until she challenges him at every turn.

The story develops into a give and take between partners, and it was so lovely. Lainie and Ridley cannot fathom any commonalities between them, an English and a Scot are innately contentious, but our H/H are spark and fire blazing. In this unconventional, but true, courtship, a bond emerges from reading. Ridley reads to Lainie by firelight and it’s endearing as well as meaningful. That he reads her own countryman’s words is no coincidence — there are exterior forces, fantastic secondary characters, stoking the fire; hoping love will find its way into their hearts.

Before you know it, Lainie and Ridley deepen their relationship. They’re trying to make a real go of their marriage, but such intense, sudden feelings rarely go unchecked. Ms. Bittner Roth touches on all the intimacy and intricacy of love. Aside from Lainie’s murder accusation (who could ever forget that?!) and demons plaguing Ridley, the simple, but perilous trips of the heart can render one mad. I enjoyed the second-guessing and consideration of falling in love too quickly. A usual consequence due to poor eavesdropping, lol. The assumptions can be soul-wrenching…or life-affirming. You’ll want to experience the highs and lows of Lainie and Ridley.

To my surprise, His Lordship’s Wild Highland Bride is book 3 of a series called Those Magnificent Malverns. To my utter delight, I get to read the first two and be ready in time for book 4. Hamish is too enticing to stay in the background! I’m ready when you are.

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy provided by Publisher

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Love and the Shameless Lady by Barbara Monajem – a Review

Love and the Shameless Lady by Barbara Monajem – a Review

 

Love and the Shameless LadyAmazon

 

DESCRIPTION:
Disgraced lady Daisy Warren serves ale in a tumbledown inn, sings crude songs for the smugglers, and writes romantic novels in her spare time. Shunned by her own class, she’s resigned to her lowly life—until someone tries to kill her.

Gentleman spy Sir Julian Kerr noses out seditionists and traitors. When he visits the inn to investigate two suspicious Frenchmen, he meets the lovely but hostile Daisy. He doesn’t intend to get involved with her—but then he learns that someone is threatening her life. 

He wants to find out more—it’s part of his investigation. 
He wants to protect her—he’s a chivalrous man. 
He just wants her. 
But will Daisy’s bitter past allow her to risk love again? 

 

REVIEW:

4 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Love and The Shameless Lady by Barbara Monajem is the third book in her Scandalous Kisses series.  A regency romance, this story follows Daisy and Julian, and I have to say I was really looking forward to reading about Daisy.  She captivated me in the previous novels and she is everything I had hope she would be.

Daisy Warren is a ruined woman.  Having seduced and bedded a smuggler before marriage, she has been shunned by her fellow high class society and in order to avoid her family any further embarrassment she has taken to living in a local inn and resigned to being a spinster.  Daisy is a spitfire however, and while she may be resigned to live this way, she also takes her future in her own hands.  She has secretly penned a romantic book series and uses stories and people she meets in this inn as inspiration.  Her latest book is ready for release, but someone does not want it published and they have gone so far as to threaten and make attempts on her life to ensure it isn’t.

Julian Kerr is a spy.  YUP, that’s right, a true gentleman like spy.  While investigating, and doing his spy stuff, he lands at the inn that Daisy just so happens to reside.  He is immediately attracted to her and wonders why such a well bred lady is residing in a place like this.  When he witnesses her life being threatened, he jumps right into gentleman savior mode and whisks her away to safety.  Just so happens he can do a little investigation in the process as well.

Before we know it, these two are breaking all the polite society rules and falling for each other.  Julian brings her to her cousin’s home (just so happens to be Miles from the first book) where Daisy is afforded opportunity to heal in more ways than one.  Sassy exchanges, healed relationships, a little action and adventure and blossoming beautiful romance soon come to surface.

Well written, this novel truely flowed from one page to another.  I loved Daisy, I loved everything about her.  I loved that she was hard on the outside but strong and soft on the inside.  She has a vulnerability that is completely endearing and made my want to root for her.  Julian .. he was easy to adore as well.  His patience for Daisy was incredible, and while he wanted her badly, he knew that her previous experience was traumatic in ways and he wanted her to feel safe and loved.

A little slow in the beginning is the only complaint I have.  Once the story got going, it was engaging.  I recommend that you read the first two books of this series before this one.

HAPPY READING! 🙂

Reviewed by Rachel

Copy supplied for review

 

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