Genre: Historical Romance

Guest Review: Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted December 4, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth HoytReviewer: Tracy
Once Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane #12.6) by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane #12.6
Also in this series: Wicked Intentions, Wicked Intentions, Lord of Darkness, Darling Beast, Dearest Rogue, Sweetest Scoundrel, Duke of Sin, Once Upon a Moonlit Night (Maiden Lane #10.5), Duke of Pleasure, Duke of Desire, Once Upon a Maiden Lane
Published by Forever, Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
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three-half-stars

Adam Rutledge, Viscount d'Arque, really rather loathes Christmas. The banal cheerfulness. The asinine party games. And, worst of all, the obligatory trip to the countryside. His grandmother, however, loves the holiday—and Adam loves his grandmother, so he'll brave the fiercest snowstorm to please her. But when their carriage wheel snaps, they're forced to seek shelter at the home of the most maddening, infuriating, and utterly beguiling woman he's ever met.

Sarah St. John really rather loathes rakes. The self-satisfied smirks. The sly predatory gazes. Oh, and the constant witty banter rife with double meaning. But in the spirit of the season, she'll welcome this admittedly handsome viscount into her home. But as the snowstorm rages, the Yule log crackles, and the tension rises, Sarah and Adam find themselves locked in a fiery, passionate kiss. If love is the true meaning of Christmas, it's the one gift this mismatched pair can't wait to unwrap.

Adam Rutledge and his aged grandmother are traveling to an aunts house for Christmas when their carriage breaks down.  Adam heads to the first house they see and it ends up being the home of Godric St. John’s (Lord of Darkness – ML #5) mother and the family is all there for the holidays along with some friends.  They welcome Adam and his entourage and when they find out his grandmother is quite sick they welcome them for Christmas as well.

Sarah St. John has no desire to interact with Viscount d’Arque or any man who is considered a rake.  However, the more she sees and talks to Adam the more she sees that though he has a reputation he’s actually a good man underneath it all.  He’s soon melting the ice around her heart and a Christmas romance blooms.

This was a cute little novella.  I wish that it had been a full-length story, however, because I felt that I needed to know both Sarah and Adam much more in order to feel all the melty tingles that I should have been feeling.  Yes, the romance was good and of course Hoyt always writes a great story, but I wanted more in-depth info on the H/h!  As much as I liked Sarah and Adam together things were rushed at the end and that bothered me.  I also didn’t really get why Adam had to hate Christmas but I went with it. lol

Overall a quick, fun read and one I’d recommend.  I mean, it’s Elizabeth Hoyt so of course I recommend it! 🙂

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Wilde in Love by Eloisa James

Posted December 1, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Wilde in Love by Eloisa JamesReviewer: Tracy
Wilde in Love by Eloisa James
Series: The Wildes of Lindow Castle #1
Published by Avon
Publication Date: October 31st 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 416
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four-stars

Lord Alaric Wilde, son of the Duke of Lindow, is the most celebrated man in England, revered for his dangerous adventures and rakish good looks. Arriving home from years abroad, he has no idea of his own celebrity until his boat is met by mobs of screaming ladies. Alaric escapes to his father’s castle, but just as he grasps that he’s not only famous but notorious, he encounters the very private, very witty, Miss Willa Ffynche.

Willa presents the façade of a serene young lady to the world. Her love of books and bawdy jokes is purely for the delight of her intimate friends. She wants nothing to do with a man whose private life is splashed over every newspaper.

Alaric has never met a woman he wanted for his own . . . until he meets Willa. He’s never lost a battle.

But a spirited woman like Willa isn’t going to make it easy. . . .

Alaric is shocked when he finds out he’s a celebrity.  He’s returned to England from his many adventures around the globe and finds himself famous.  He has written books that have become best sellers, but he had no idea that a play was the main cause.  The play portrays him as an incredible romantic – something he is definitely not.

Alaric arrives at his family home just in time for a house party in celebration of his brother’s betrothal.  Alaric meets Willa and sees her as someone different.  She doesn’t fawn all over him and states that she’s never read his books.  He’s intrigued, and he makes it a point to spend more time with her.

Willa and her friend are not what they appear to be.  They tell bawdy jokes and have a wicked sense of humor but on the outside they are the perfect ladies.  Willa has turned down no less than 14 marriage proposals this season alone as she has no wish to marry until she finds the perfect man for her.  When someone from Alaric’s past arrives at the party he uses Willa as his fake fiancé.  The thing that surprises the couple is that both of them would like it to be a true engagement.

This was a great book.  It started off with such charm and humor I was instantly invested in the story.  Alaric proved to be a wonderful hero.  He was such a normal guy who did extraordinary things and had written books about his adventures.  Some thought they were fiction, but he had truly lived through it all.  He fell hard and fast for Willa and I loved it.  He was a good man and I liked his character immensely.

Willa was an intelligent woman who wanted nothing to do with adventure. Her parents had died while they were being reckless and Willa just wanted a normal life – husband, children, no adventure.  I liked that she wanted nothing to do with Alaric at first as she thought him a sham.  I loved reading about the two of them falling in love as she was so wrong about Alaric.

This was a fantastic start to a new series and I can’t wait to see what happens next with Alaric’s brother, North.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Excerpt: Deception by Kris Kennedy

Posted November 30, 2017 by Holly in Promotions | 0 Comments

Kris Kennedy recently re-released a revised edition of Deception, an amazing medieval romance. I love all of her medievals. If you didn’t catch this the first time around, go forth and download!

Excerpt: Deception by Kris KennedyDeception by Kris Kennedy
Published by Pocket
Publication Date: July 31st 2012
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 356
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England, 1294USA Today bestselling author brings you a scorching hot, second-chance romance with a warrior on a mission of revenge & the woman who might just make him give up everything…even his life.

First he loved her. Then he abandoned her. Now he’s the only one who can save her.

A dashing con man on a mission of revenge…Irishman Kier once served as the ‘Piper,’ enticing wealthy, unscrupulous men into dealings with other wealthy, unscrupulous men. It was a lucrative way of life for a man without a conscience, and he was very, very good. But now he’s on a mission of revenge, and the men who once betrayed him are about to pay. He’s planned for everything, from how he’ll lure them in, to how he’ll hammer the last nail into their coffins. He’s planned for everything. Except the one woman who can bring the whole thing crashing down around him.

A woman in peril with secrets to protect… Sophia Darnly is stunned by the reappearance of the outlaw lover who abandoned her years ago. And furious. And desperate. Fleeing with a document that contains the most damning details about the wealthiest men in England, she’d being hunted by dangerous men, and has no choice but to do the most dangerous thing of all: turn to Kier to save her.

A game that could get them both killed Time has not erased Sophia from Kier’s heart, nor tamed her fiery spirit. But Kier is on a mission of revenge, and can’t allow even the woman he once loved to stop him.

When Sophia forces herself into Kier’s schemes, he has no choice but to join forces. Posing as a wealthy shipping widow and her agent, the duo set a trap for their targets, but the coals of their rekindled passion burn hotter than either of them could have imagined. And when they discover they, too, are the targets of a deadly deception, the fate of their love, and of England itself, lies in the balance.

Romantic Times’ K.I.S.S. Award, Best Historical Romance Hero of the Year

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE

Excerpt

KIER STOOD AT THE TOP of the stairs, watching the brigands descend into the muddy courtyard below. He stood under the slanting rain, motionless.

Then he turned and stared through the open doorway at her.

He looked like sin. His hair was dripping dark and wet over his face. His clothes were molded to his form, tunic slack and pressed to his body, breeches tight, black boots gleaming, as were the dark eyes pinned on her.

“Where were you going, Sophia?”

It was quietly said. So quiet it made a shiver run through her body, chest to belly.

“Where were you going with the ledger?”

“Kier, stop,” she said in a low, warning tone.

He kicked the door shut behind him.

Her breasts pricked with hard shivers. “Kier, stop,” she said firmly, but the resolve in her words was belied by the way she started backing up, one hand behind her, feeling for obstacles as she went. She bumped into a bench and backed around it.

“Where were you going?” His eyes never left hers as he came forward, shoving the bench out of his way. “To Cosimo? Or had you others in mind? Perhaps you meant to sell it to the highest bidder?”

“Kier, stop.”

“Surely you could have offered me rights of first refusal, could you not, now?”

His Irish was getting stronger as his emotions ratcheted up. Jagged chills raked across her chest.

“How much do you want?” he rasped. “A hundred? A thousand?”

She shook her head wildly and tripped backward another step. Her knees hit the bed and she dropped onto it.

“Kier, no, you must see—”

“See what? Perhaps you were evening the score, aye? I left you, now you leave me?”

She scooted away across the mattress, pushing with her elbows and heels. “No, ’tisn’t—”

He closed his hand around her ankle.

“Oh, Jésu,” she whispered as he pulled her toward him, bundling the sheets beneath her, until she was laid out beneath his towering body.

His eyes were like fury, his face like stone.

“You erred, lass,” he rasped.

She stifled a scream, kicked hard into him, and launched herself over the bed and took off running for the door. She made it two steps before his arm closed around her waist, stopping her like an iron bar. He yanked her back into his chest and the raw, barely-restrained power of him.

“You wanted to negotiate? Let’s negotiate,” he said, his breath hot in her ear.

About the Author

Kris Kennedy

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

I used to work in an office, write a lot of reports, have a lot of clients. I also used to cut out early whenever I could, to write down the stories that kept coming to me. I’d been known to turn the car around mid-commute, to rush home and write down ideas rushing through my mind, before they disappeared into the mists again.

Now I write big, sweeping, super sexy romantic adventures full time. Well, part time. Whenever I’m not mom-ing. Which is an adventure all its own…

I write stories set in the wild and windswept middle ages. Hard heroes. Smart heroines. Big adventures. Mayhem. Villains. Grand love stories. Loads of sexytimes.

Did I mention the sexytimes?

The stories have won many awards, from RWA’s Golden Heart(R) Award, to the National Readers’ Choice Award, to Romantic Times’ Magazine K.I.S.S Award for Best Historical Hero of the Year. They’ve received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and been featured on many ‘Best Of The Year’ lists.


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Review: A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase

Posted November 30, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta ChaseReviewer: Rowena
A Duke in Shining Armor (Difficult Dukes, #1) by Loretta Chase
Series: Difficult Dukes #1
Published by Avon
Publication Date: November 28th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Not all dukes are created equal. Most are upstanding members of Society. And then there’s the trio known as Their Dis-Graces.

Hugh Philemon Ancaster, seventh Duke of Ripley, will never win prizes for virtue. But even he draws the line at running off with his best friend’s bride. All he’s trying to do is recapture the slightly inebriated Lady Olympia Hightower and return her to her intended bridegroom.

For reasons that elude her, bookish, bespectacled Olympia is supposed to marry a gorgeous rake of a duke. The ton is flabbergasted. Her family’s ecstatic. And Olympia? She’s climbing out of a window, bent on a getaway. But tall, dark, and exasperating Ripley is hot on her trail, determined to bring her back to his friend. For once, the world-famous hellion is trying to do the honorable thing.

So why does Olympia have to make it so deliciously difficult for him . . . ?

A Duke in Shining Armor is the first book in Loretta Chase’s new Difficult Dukes series. It follows runaway bride, Lady Ophelia Hightower as she runs from one wedding and finds herself heading toward a new one with her ex-fiance’s best friend.

The day of her wedding to the Duke of Ashmont, she panics and flees the scene only to be chased down by the best man, Hugh Philemon, the Duke of Ripley. Ripley has always known that Ophelia is not for him. She was everything that was good in the world while he was a Dis-Grace. Now she’s engaged to his best friend and he’s trying his best to keep her in sight so that he can return her to his friend, only she doesn’t want to be returned. No matter how hard he tries, shit keeps happening and his hold on her and his sanity is rapidly disappearing and feelings are creeping up and keeping his distance from her is proving difficult as is staying un-injured.

What an adventure this story was! Loretta Chase pens another wonderfully charming romance between two people who begin a journey to one place and end up in a totally different place…in love with each other.

Ophelia was a riot. I completely adored her personality and how she was so adamant that she was a boring person who was sensible and didn’t do outrageous things and yet every single turn her journey took, she was in one pickle after another. I loved how fiercely she loved her family even though they worked her nerves and the responsibility she felt toward them was understandable. I loved seeing her life spin out of control and watching her fumble her way around until she made sense of her feelings, her future, and her heart. She was a great character and a strong heroine and I seriously loved the romance between her and Ripley.

Ripley, oh Ripley. I loved him. I thought he was so much fun and when he finally jumps all in with Ophelia and is like, “Fuck it. Let’s do this. I’ll handle Ashmont.” I about swooned with delight because gah…they were perfect for each other. Ripley and Ophelia’s bickering kept me mighty entertained and I just could not imagine either of them with other people. There were times when I wanted to wring both of their necks but for the most part, I just flat out liked them.

I’m mighty curious about who is next. I’m not thinking Ashmont since he has a lot of growing up to do and I confess that I’m much more intrigued with Alice and Blackwood. What is their deal? Where the heck is Alice?

Overall, this was a delightful romance with characters that won me the hell over and the book left me wanting more from this world. I can’t wait for the next one. Ripley and Ophelia were an awesome couple that kept the laughs coming and really, you won’t want to miss this one. It’s good.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh

Posted November 29, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 6 Comments

Guest Review: Someone to Wed by Mary BaloghReviewer: Tracy
Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh
Series: Westcott series #3
Also in this series: Someone to Love, Someone to Hold
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: November 7th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

When Alexander Westcott becomes the new Earl of Riverdale, he inherits a title he never wanted and a failing country estate he can't afford. But he fully intends to do everything in his power to undo years of neglect and give the people who depend on him a better life . . .

A recluse for more than twenty years, Wren Heyden wants one thing out of life: marriage. With her vast fortune, she sets her sights on buying a husband. But when she makes the desperate-and oh-so-dashing-earl a startlingly unexpected proposal, Alex will only agree to a proper courtship, hoping for at least friendship and respect to develop between them. He is totally unprepared for the desire that overwhelms him when Wren finally lifts the veils that hide the secrets of her past . . .

Alexander Wescott arrives at Withington House for tea expecting that he would be meeting some of his new neighbors.  He’s surprised when it’s only the lady of the house, Miss Wren Heyden, and her maid.  He’s a bit put off by the situation and by Miss Heyden, and just wants to leave.  He is shocked when she proposes marriage to him out of the blue.  She had been sitting in shadow and when she reveals herself he sees a large purple mark on one side of her face that she had had since birth.  Alexander agrees to get to know Wren and they start a bit of a courtship that ends with Wren retracting her proposal.

Almost a month later Wren arrives in London.  When Alexander sees her again he knows that marrying her is the right thing to do.  He proposes, and she accepts.  Unfortunately Wren thought that once they were married that she would continue to live in obscurity – she couldn’t have been more wrong.  The reclusive Wren soon finds herself surrounded by Alexander’s accepting family and eventually going out in public without her veil.  The ghosts of her past, however, soon start to tear her apart from the inside and she’s not sure that marrying Alexander was the wisest thing to do as she considers herself a broken woman.

This was such a sweet book.  I have enjoyed the Wescott series so far and this is another good one.  I expected, after book 1, that the books would be strictly about the Wescott children who had found themselves illegitimate after thinking for most of their lives that they were legitimate.  I was wrong and I’m happy about that. 🙂  I didn’t realize that I wanted Alexander’s story until I started reading.  It was so very good and I was happy that Balogh went the direction she did.

Alexander was such a great character and a good man.  He was conscientious and thoughtful and genuinely cared about people.  When he inherited the Earldom he was shocked and overwhelmed.  He had inherited a home that had been completely neglected despite the former earl’s wealth.  Unfortunately that wealth hadn’t come with the title so Alexander was trying to do the best he could.  He knew he needed a rich wife but it was distasteful to him to marry for money – I can’t say I blame him.  Wren presented a perfect solution but he knew that she had many issues and the wall she put up between herself and people would cause problems.  He told himself when she broke things off that he was relieved, but he couldn’t decide if he was being honest with himself.  I was so happy that he made the decisions he did later in the book. He proved that he was the honorable man I thought him to be.  He took such good care with Wren and her sensitivities to people and I loved him for that.

Wren started off not being my favorite.  She was standoffish and caustic and it bothered me as I knew Alexander didn’t deserve it.  She tried to come out of her shell but after being a recluse for twenty years it was difficult, to say the least.  When she finally made it to London she seemed to become a different person and one I greatly admired. She could have so easily stayed in her rooms and continued to be the recluse but she made an effort to show herself despite her self-consciousness and I loved it.  Balogh did a wonderful job writing this heroine!  She had been through so much in her life that she could have folded up into herself and crumbled but she didn’t and loved her for it.

Balogh has become one of my go-to authors when it comes to historical romance.  She always provides a lovely story and wonderful romance and this was another great one.  The Wescotts are a lively family and I can’t wait to read more about them in the future.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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