Month: August 2010

Guest Review: Seduced by a Highlander by Paula Quinn

Posted August 31, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 3 Comments

Tracy’s review of Seduced by a Highlander (Children of the Mist #2) by Paula Quinn.

Sins that can’t be forgiven

Tristan MacGregor is famed throughout the Highlands as a silver-tongued seducer and an unrepentant rogue. Bold and charming, he’s dallied with many women, yet none as mysterious as the lass he steals a kiss from at king’s court. Little does he know this beauty is one of his clan’s greatest enemies.

Passion that can’t be denied

Isobel Fergusson has despised the bloodthirsty MacGregors ever since they murdered her father. She’s horrified to learn that the handsome stranger she kissed is of this clan. But Tristan means to possess her at any cost and Isobel’s body turns traitor at his touch. Can a man she’s sworn to hate be the only one she can ever love?

Tristan MacGregor was raised by his father but spent summers with his uncle. That uncle taught him love, honor and honesty. When Tristan’s uncle is killed by the Fergusson’s, and Tristan feels that it is his fault, he turns his back on everything he had been taught and come to believe in. When he meets Isobel, Tristan sees someone who makes him want to be his old self. The man he was before he crushed it beneath a façade of seduction and indifference. Tristan sets out to seek Isobel’s favor but he’s not sure he can ever get it.

Isobel Fergusson is beside herself when she finds out that the man she met in the king’s private garden is part of the family who she has loathed, and feared, for years. When Tristan shows up at her families home and tries to win not only her favor but the friendship of her brothers she is beside herself. Her sharp tongue and hatred go far in keeping Tristan at arms length. But after a time Isobel begins to see Tristan for who he really is and she begins to not only like him, but love him.

This is a wonderful story of family loyalty, feuding, honor and justice. The story is told in such a way that you feel the pain and anguish that both the MacGregor’s and the Fergusson’s feel from the losses that they have suffered. Ms. Quinn tells a great tale and my heart truly ached for the two families.

I liked Tristan a lot. We didn’t get to personally see too much about his antics prior to meeting Isobel, but we heard about them and they were plentiful in mischief as well as seduction. I liked the fact that the author didn’t have use a huge portion of the book to prove to us that he was a rogue. Even without a huge background on him you could tell, even with his past that he was a good person. He cared about people and yes, small children and animals as well. lol But he was still a strong male who could fight with the best of them. My kind of hero.

Isobel had a mouth on her that just wouldn’t quit! She made me laugh on more than one occasion in the book when she would spout something off to Tristan of one of her many brothers. She was a strong female but you could see the love she had for her family, and yes, she could be softer at time – but never weak.

Although the title makes you think that Tristan is just trying to get Isobel into bed, which even he may think is his goal at first, the true seducer is actually his honor and goodness.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place.

This book is available from Forever. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Upcoming Events: September, 2010

Posted August 31, 2010 by Holly in Giveaways, News | 8 Comments

This summer was a crazy one for us. Between kids, work and family obligations, we were run ragged. I never thought I’d be so happy to see school start back up again. Even though summer is over and school is back in session, we’re still running around like crazy. September looks to be just as busy as July and August.

We have a lot of big things planned this month for the site, too. We have a whole slew of guest authors lined up.

 9/2 Lila Munro
9/14 Erin McCarthy
9/16 Jennifer Estep
9/20 BethAnn Beuhler
9/29 Meet Me in Manhattan blog tour
9/30 Ava Bleu

We’re also planning another huge back-to-school giveaway. Starting tomorrow we’ll be giving away at least a book a day, with the possibility of up to 10 a day. We have some amazing swag to giveaway, too.

And now, we need your help. We took a hiatus from the Author Spotlight, but we’re ready to start it up again. Only, we have no idea who to spotlight. So we’re asking you! What author do you think we should spotlight in October?

Start throwing out some suggestions and we’ll make a list, then put up a poll with the most popular suggestions for everyone to vote on. Don’t forget to check out the authors (and publisher!) we’ve already spotlighted.

Be sure to come back tomorrow to check out the first in our massive giveaway and then on Thursday to visit with Lila Munro.

*image credit University of Toronto

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Review: The Devil in the Junior League by Linda Francis Lee.

Posted August 31, 2010 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Main Characters: Fredericka Hildebrand Ware
Series: None (that I know of)

The Junior League of Willow Creek, Texas, is très exclusive. Undesirables need not apply. Fredericka Mercedes Hildebrand Ware (Frede to her friends) is a member beyond reproach…until her life begins to unravel. When her husband betrays her, steals her money, and runs off to places unknown, it’s something Frede would prefer to keep under wraps. The last thing she needs is to become fodder for the JLWC gossip mill. And to make matters worse, there’s only one person in town who stands a chance at helping her get revenge – Howard Grout, a tasteless, gold-chain-wearing lawyer who has bought his way into Frede’s tony neighborhood. But there’s a price: She has to get his tacky, four-inch-stiletto-and-pink-spandex-wearing wife, Nikki, into the Junior League.

The crème de la crème of Southern royalty should sit up and take notice, and hang on tight for this irresistible tale of getting in and getting even.

I first read The Ex-Debutante by Linda Francis Lee earlier this year and I adored it. I adored it so much that I couldn’t wait to read this book but then you know how those things go. A couple of weeks pass and the book falls off your radar until you see something somewhere and you’re like, “Oh yeah, I wanted to read that book”…well that’s what happened with me and this book.

I started it a couple of nights ago and it started out pretty good. There was a lot of stuff going on in the book between Frede (pronounced Freddy, not Freed) and her low down dirty shame of a rat bastard husband, Gordon. Frede thinks she’s pregnant and wants to make sure so she cuts her day early and heads home to take a pregnancy test but when she gets there, her entire world falls apart.

She was born and bred a Southern lady so the way that she handled the whole betrayal drove me up the effing wall. I wanted to slap some damn sense into Frede more than once while reading this book. Her whole “must be a lady at all costs and at all times” drove me insane. It took her a while but she finally got mad enough (and humiliated enough) that she went to the one person that is not popular by any means in her world.

She went to Howard Grout, attorney at law to help her with her case against her husband and if there is anyone who will nail Gordon’s balls to the wall, it was Howard.

When I first picked up this book, I thought the romance was going to be between Frede and Howard but I was wrong. Howard is already happily married to the woman of his dreams and he wants, as payment for his services, Frede to get her into the Willow Creek Junior League. Howard’s wife is a loud color wearing sweet woman who would never in a million years fit in with the crowd over at the Junior League but she’s in a peculiar spot right now. Having grown up poor and now being rich, she doesn’t fit in with the people she used to know and the rich people don’t really want them hanging around with them so she’s kind of lost. She needs somewhere to fit in. In short, she needs and wants friends.

Howard, being the loving husband that he is, wants this for her and he’ll do whatever it takes to see his wife happy with friends….even if it means buying his way into this damn Junior League.

So Frede needs Howard’s help and Howard needs Frede’s help so the adventure begins.

Reading as Frede and Nikki (who were childhood friends that drifted apart) build on their friendship again was sweet. I enjoyed it, mostly because I adored Nikki. I thought she was such a sweet spirit and enjoyed her addition to the cast of characters in this book. Whats even more, I hecka loved her friend, Sawyer. The fairy artist (in Howard’s words). I thought he was sexy and his hard stares and long looks whenever Frede was around had me all kinds of excited to get to know him better.

I thought this book was a great way to spend a few hours. Seeing the way that Frede and Howard brought Gordon down and then watching Gordon squirm when Frede finally bested him totally made up for all of the times that Frede’s Southern lady crap popped up. The whole Pilar thing caught me by surprise but I’m glad that things ended the way that it did.

The ending was a lot different from what I’m used to but I didn’t exactly hate it. I enjoyed the book overall and was surprised by how funny it was. I enjoyed the little adventures that Frede went on while trying to whip Nikki into a gentle lady. But my favorite part of this book was most definitely Nina. She flat out rocked!

If you haven’t read this book and you enjoy chick lit type romances then I would definitely recommend this.

Buy the book: B&N|Borders|Amazon
Book cover and blurb credit:

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Review and Giveaway: Wicked Delights of a Bridal Bed by Tracy Anne Warren.

Posted August 31, 2010 by Rowena in Reviews | 33 Comments

Review and Giveaway: Wicked Delights of a Bridal Bed by Tracy Anne Warren.Reviewer: Rowena
Wicked Delights of a Bridal Bed by Tracy Anne Warren
Series: The Byrons of Braebourne #4
Also in this series: Seduced by His Touch, At the Duke's Pleasure, The Bed and the Bachelor, Tempted by His Kiss, At the Duke's Pleasure
Publisher: Avon, Harper Collins
Publication Date: August 31, 2010
Genres: Historical Romance
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

To her surprise, Lady Mallory Byron finds herself walking down the aisle with the last man she ever expected to ask for her hand . . . .

Everyone knows the Byron brothers are “mad, bad and dangerous.” Now their sister shockingly discovers she’s the newest talk of the Ton when she marries the scandalous Earl of Gresham. Faced with a tragic loss, she’d sought comfort from him as a family friend. But soon consolation turned to passion, scandal—and a wedding! In the bridal bed, she finds pleasure beyond her wildest dreams. But can nights of wicked delight change friendship into true love?

Charming rakehell Adam, Earl of Gresham, has secretly loved Mallory for years. He lost her once to another man, but now he has a second chance to win her love—and plans to do so by any means necessary. Will Mallory’s heart give him what he so dearly desires? Or is the past too much to overcome?


Rowena’s review of Wicked Delights of a Bridal Bed (Byrons of Braebourne Series, Book 4) by Tracy Anne Warren.

I’ve been waiting a long time for this book to come out. Mallory is one of my favorite characters in this series and mostly because I saw her storyline unfolding in the background of the other books and man I couldn’t wait to see what would happen. I had a feeling it would all lead up to this climatic happy ending for her and I was so anxious to get on with the story telling already.

This was one of those friends to lovers to true loves stories and I ate it all up. My favorite thing about this story was that the crush wasn’t the heroines on the hero but the hero’s on the heroine. Oh man that was a juicy little tid bit. I loved seeing Adam show up at Braebourne and do everything he could to bring a smile to Mallory’s face again.

Mallory’s fiance, Michael was killed in action and it’s been a year since he died and she still can’t get over it. She suffers from that survivor’s guilt, the one where she can’t bear the thought of forgetting Michael, of moving on while he lays in some grave somewhere and while it drove me bat shit crazy, I understood it. She was truly in love with Michael when they were together and grieving was only normal.

There were plenty of times while reading this book that I fell a little more in love with Adam and watching the love he had for Mallory only made him more swoon worthy but as much as I loved him, there were times that I wanted to give him a good swift kick to the groin for being such a bonehead.

His idiotic vow that he made Mallory make because of his jealousy? Yeah, I totally wanted to knee him in the ball sack because of that. His insane attitude toward the whole thing that made him jealous? Yeah, he needed to protect his family jewels because I wanted to kick him where it hurt but I got over all of that in the end because I adored Adam. He wasn’t the perfect hero but he was still a great one. I never once doubted his love for Mallory and though Mallory wasn’t the most perfect heroine herself, I still liked her. I thought she was great and the both of them together made for some fantastic reading.

All in all, this was a great addition to the Byrons of Braebourne series and I am so very much looking forward to Drake’s story. Over the course of the series, my love for Drake the scholar has grown by heaps and bounds. So much so that I’m anxiously awaiting his story.

Historical fans will enjoy this story and while I feel you should read the other books in this series to thoroughly enjoy this book, I think the book stands great on its own. The characters were very engaging and the story moved along so well that I got this book read in no time at all. Warren did a great job of showing the friendship between Adam and Mallory and she did a wonderful job of penning their romance in a way that was believable and enjoyable. So would I recommend this book?

Yep, totally.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

GIVEAWAY ALERT: In an effort to celebrate the release of this book, we’re giving away three copies of this book for three lucky winners. All you have to do is leave a comment here letting us know if you’ve ever had a secret crush on one of your friends growing up. Share your stories with us and we’ll enter your name into the drawing. You’ll have a week to get your stories in, we’ll announce the winners in a week.

Reading Order:

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here.


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Guest Review: Loves’s Fortress by Samantha Kane

Posted August 31, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 4 Comments

Judith’s review of Love’s Fortress (Book 7 in the Brothers in Arms Series) by Samantha Kane.

Gideon North wants a wife. She must be practical and hardworking. But above all, she must have a hearty constitution. Horribly injured and scarred from his Peninsular War service, Gideon does not want to deal with a wife who flinches every time she looks at him.

Gideon’s estate manager Charles Borden was his sergeant in the war. Inseparable but almost always at odds, the two men agree that Sarah Whitley is the perfect wife for Gideon. Strong, beautiful and intelligent with a dry sense of humor, Sarah bears her own marks from a life spent in the shadows.

When Sarah learns to let go of her past fears, she frees both men to acknowledge the love and attraction that has always existed between them. The three become intimate but the eroticism of their encounters in the bedroom does not guarantee happiness. Gideon’s defenses mire them in the past. Only together can Sarah and Charles break through to build a future with Gideon.

It is not always easy for even very good authors to write a series of stories that reflect a consistency of writing excellence, of plot and character development, which continue to hold the interest of the reading audience. However, Kane has carried these characters throughout most of the preceeding stories so that the readers already know their place in this rather odd society of veterans of the Napoleonic War, all of whom end up taking a wife–a woman who becomes wife to two close and often involved men. In a previous book we meet Gideon North on his search for a wife, one which brings him to a meeting with the soon-to-become Duchess of Ashland. She sees fit to turn down Gideon’s proposal in favor of the two men with whom she has fallen in love. So Gideon’s wife search has already become known to those who have read the previous stories. Now we meet Sarah, daughter of a vicar who has remarried to a woman who has essentially made Sarah’s presence in the Rectory unnecessary and unwelcome. Sarah is a woman who has her own scars, so that when she meets Gideon she is probably one of the first women who has not turned away from his scars and injuries, truly wanting her own home and future family almost more than anything else, and willing to take on the curmudgeon Gideon appears to have become. She quickly discovers that Gideon’s insecurities bring a third person into their marriage bed and from the very first, she is involved in the on-again-off-again dynamic between Gideon and his estate manager.

Having read all the previous novels in this series, I found this one to be one of the most emotional. I think it grabbed my interest and my mental and emotional responses because unlike the other veterans in these stories, Gideon was so very mauled and disfigured, yet he longed for a home and family, some way to bring normalcy into his present and his future. He may have said he was looking for practicality and a hardworking spouse, but it is soon apparent that he is looking for a great deal more. His wounds are deeply embedded in his soul and spirit; they are a long way from being healed. But so are Charles’ wounds. Sarah’s acceptance and her openness to what the future may bring becomes a healing balm, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that the conflicts are easily resolved. How does someone so brutalized and injured, both inside and outside, let go of all that pain? It is the dominant question in this novel.

As in all good fiction, these characters work because they are involved in real relationships and real problems. Even contemporary readers can see corelation between the hurts of this awful armed conflict with the pain and trauma so many of our modern warriors carry for the rest of their lives. So many families have sent their sons and daughters off to war and those young people disappear–they are so very different when they return. So it is in these stories, and while the main love story is between Gideon, Charles, and Sarah, there is also the continuing back story of that loyal band of comrades and their families that surround each one of these men, giving them a sense of worth in a world that simply can’t or won’t understand the nature of their injuries and the relationships that have given them hope for the future.

So I found this novel to be one that I put on my “re-read” list, mainly because it is a really poignant love story (as are all the novels in this series) as well as reminding the reader that love and loyalty, family and devotion are capable of superceding the restraints of an oppressive society. I truly recommend this to romance fans and those who appreciate historical romance fiction in particular. I give this book a rating of 4.75 out of 5.

This book is available from Ellora’s Cave. You can buy it here in e-format.

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