Tag: Connie Brockway

Review: The Lady Most Willing by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Connie Brockway

Posted December 31, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Rowena’s review of The Lady Most Willing by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Connie Brockway.

At the behest of three of the most talented historical romance authors writing today, you are cordially invited to a ball. No, a party. No . . . a kidnapping.

Taran Ferguson, laird of his clan, is determined that his ancient (if not so honorable) birthright be secured before he dies. When both his nephews refuse to wed, the old reprobate takes matters into his own hands: he raids a ball and makes off with four likely brides . . .

Miss Marilla Chisholm—the bonniest lass in Scotland, and an heiress to boot.

Miss Fiona Chisholm—her older sister, another fine choice (but for that tiny stain on her reputation).

Lady Cecily Tarleton—true, she’s an English beauty, but very, very rich.

Miss Catriona Burns—without name or fortune, clearly someone made a mistake.

Oh, yes. And one very irate duke.

Because somewhere there must be one lady most willing to love a Scottish lord.

This was a quick read for me.  I was looking forward to reading it because Julia Quinn is one of my favorite historical authors.  She writes the kind of historical romances that keep me smiling like a crazy person and laughing like a loon.

And it wasn’t any different with this book.

I really liked the way that this book was set up. How it was three different stories wrapped up in one bigger story.  Each author took a couple and wrote their story and overall, I thought the book was cute.  It’s set around a crazy Scottish Laird trying to snatch up (literally) some brides for his nephews.  He snatches them from a ball and they’re stuck at his castle because of a terrible snowstorm that has them all snowed in.  It’ll be a few days before they can all return safely home so they each have to make the best of the situation.

Julia Quinn’s part of the story features the Duke of Bretton and a Scottish lass by the name of Catriona Burns.  Catriona isn’t rich but the more the Duke of Bretton gets to know her, the more that he wants her.  She’s a breath of fresh air and he’s completely smitten with her.  Their story was too cute for words and oh so funny.  I laughed out loud more than once while reading their short story and it was most definitely my favorite story of the bunch.

Next up is Eloisa James part of the story and her story featured the Earl of Oakley, who’s uncle is the crazy man that kidnapped all of the ladies AND the Duke.  Luckily for Taran, the Duke of Bretton is a friend of Byron’s and is probably not going to kill him for stealing his coach with him in it.  This story was probably my least favorite of the three stories but it wasn’t a bad one.  the Earl of Oakley knows he has to marry but wasn’t planning on finding his bride so soon but the normally stiff Earl is trying to loosen up and finds himself getting to know the bookish, on the shelf because of a scandal young woman named Fiona.  Fiona’s sister Marilla is the pretty one, the one that gets all of the looks but after one encounter with Fiona, Byron is curious about her and finds himself drawn to her.  A love blossoms between them and I thought it was cute.

The last story is by Connie Brockway and features the poor Lord Rocheforte, who is a French Comte.  He’s the nephew that is going to inherit Taran’s castle and titles and lands and it was for Robin that Taran went to such lengths to procure some brides for their choosing.  There’s only one person that Robin wants but because of his reputation (being poor and a womanizer) he doesn’t think he should ruin her chances of finding a suitable husband so he stays away from her…out of love.  Love at first sight, that’s what it was for both Robin and Lady Cecily and as corny as it sounds, I thought their story was such a delight.  So cute!

I really liked getting to know each character and  I would have liked a little more from each story but overall, the reading experience left me with a smile so I liked it and would definitely recommend them.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

Review: The Lady Most Willing…A Novel in Three Parts by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James & Connie Brockway

Posted December 26, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 4 Comments

During their annual Christmas pilgrimage to Scotland to visit their aged uncle in his decrepit castle, the Comte de Rocheforte and his cousin, Earl of Oakley, are presented with unique gifts: their uncle has raided an English lord’s Christmas party and kidnapped four lovely would-be brides for his heirs to choose from …as well as one very angry duke, Lord Bretton. As snow isolates the castle, and as hours grow into days, the most honourable intentions give away to temptations as surprising as they are irresistible.

Taran Ferguson has no heirs and is determined to get his two nephews wed. Yes, one is part English and one is part French but they’re still blood so he’s going to do his damndest to make sure that their blood continues on. To that end, one winter night, he gets mightily drunk and he and his men invade a neighbors ball and kidnap 4 women. One is a sister of the one he really wanted and the other was just a mistake by his men. Oh, and when the carriage arrives there’s a Duke inside. Now the women and the Duke are all stuck at Taran’s crumbling castle while they wait out a snow storm and rescue.

The first part of the book shows us Catriona Burns. She is a squire’s daughter and figures she’ll marry a squire herself. She is the one that Taran’s men took accidentally so Taran’s not real worried about her comfort. She’s a local girl and has no wealth or title for his nephews. That doesn’t stop the Duke of Bretton from noticing her and liking what he sees. He is not only taken with her looks but also her sense of humor and her forthrightness. Though he knows that he should marry a title himself one day, as he’s not looking for marriage, he can’t seem to keep away from Catriona.

This was just so adorable. I loved the duke and his inability to stay away from Catriona. Catriona herself was just a wonderful character. Her blunt talk was refreshing and the romance between the two was quick, as it is in all the stories, but well done.

The second part of the book has us following Fiona who is the older sister of Marilla. Marilla is a piece of work. She has a huge dowry and will come into even more money when her father passes. She’s arrogant, full of herself and her “charms” and practically throws herself at each man in turn. Fiona tries to keep Marilla a bit tamed but it just doesn’t work. Fiona kind of fades into the woodwork but Taran’s nephew Byron, the Earl of Oakley sees something more than just her spectacles. The problem is that he was brought up with his father spouting propriety and he follows his father’s views. So when he falls for Fiona what happens when he finds out that she’s famous in almost all of Scotland for her horrible reputation?

I can’t imagine how Fiona must have felt growing up with a sister like Marilla and fading from view when it came to her father and most everyone else. The story of Fiona’s supposed ruination tragic in the fact that no one believed her – not her father or her sister. With Byron so stuck on propriety I loved seeing him realize that it means nothing when it comes to love. Their romance was sweet and quite sexy in the end.

The last portion of the book was the love story of Lady Cecily, an earl’s daughter, and Taran’s other nephew, Robin, a French comte. From the moment they saw each other they were smitten. Cecily wants nothing more than to be in Robin’s arms but Robin’s having an issue with his self worth and is fighting his love for Cecily on every level. Cecily tries everything she knows but he still won’t admit his feelings and Cecily learned that you sit and wait for the man to make the move. Cecily finally realizes that if the future she wants is one with Robin then she’s going to have to take matters into her own hands.

Cecily and Robin were two shy people who just couldn’t state their feelings. Cecily wanted to but Robin was just not playing along. Robin was a comte but it was more of a courtesy title and he had no money or home to offer Cecily. Though he knew he loved her he kind of went a little far. That being said Cecily made up for Robin’s shortcomings in this story and it was well worth the read.

This was such a lovely read. Once I started it I couldn’t put it down and was sad when I finished the last page of the book. The way the stories are woven together with the characters and love stories was quite well done and though I knew that each story was written by a different author they flowed pretty seamlessly together.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Julia Quinn 
Eloisa James
Connie Brockway

What I Read Last Week

Posted December 10, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 3 Comments

Happy Monday!

Hope you’re all well. It was a quiet week this past week. My hubby did manage to get the Christmas lights on the house yesterday and we got the Christmas tree put up. We’re leaving it ornament free at the moment to see how Echo the cat takes to it. This is her first Christmas with us so who knows how she’ll be. She seemed fine yesterday but let’s see what happens today when there’s no one home and she gets bored. :0)

I have a lot of giveaways going on at the moment so be sure and check those out to see if you’re interested in any of them.

Sinful Seduction Blog Tour giveaway: Print copies of Two Sinful Secrets by Laurel McKee & Ripe for Seduction by Isobel Carr – ends 12/12/12 at 7:00pm

O Come All Ye Kinky Blog Tour giveaway: Riptide Publishing is giving away a $100 gift card to The Stockroom and I’m giving away 1 copy of O Come All Ye Kinky – ends 12/16/12.

Anne Calhoun’s giving away 1 copy of her new release Breath on Embers to one lucky commenter.

Historical Romance Giveaway: Print copies of To Dangerous to Desire by Cara Elliot & The Laird’s Choice to Amanda Scott – ends 12/15/12 at 7:00pm.

So….did anyone watch Christmas for Holly on ABC last night?  I guess it was a movie version of Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas.  If you did watch it, what did you think?  I DVR’d it but haven’t watched it yet.  

On to what I read this week – overall a really good reading week:

I started off the week with a book that Holly suggested to me and that book was The Gamble by Kristen Ashley. The book involves an American woman who lives in England who has rented a house in Colorado so that she can take a time out from her life an from her fiancé. When she arrives at the house the owner is there and tells her there must have been a mix up and she has to go to a hotel. She tells him off and then promptly drives into a ditch. The man ends up taking care of her and they fall in love. Now a BOATLOAD of other stuff happens in this book other than them falling in love but that is the major part of the story. This guy is uber alpha male but the woman doesn’t put up with all his crap all the time. The book has major editing issues and whole parts that could have been left out, imho, and yet, I couldn’t put the damned thing down. Seriously. I just wanted to keep reading as I was so involved in it all and actually had a hard time not immediately picking up the next book in the series when I was done with this one. I will soon, that’s for sure. 4 out of 5

Next up was Losing It by Cora Carmack. This story is about a college senior that “almost” hooks up with one of her teachers – before she knows he’s her teacher. I’ll post my review of this one this week.

Next up was The Lady Most Willing: A Novel in Three Parts by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Connie Brockway. The story revolves around a nutty Scottish laird who is determined to get his nephews married so he kidnaps women and brings them to his keep and they have to stay there because of a snow storm and their rescuers can’t get through. The novel was really good and I loved it. 4 out of 5

Waking Up Married by Mira Lyn Kelly was a freebie on Amazon so I downloaded it. The story is about Megan and Connor who meet in Vegas one night and have a great time together. When Megan wakes up in the morning, however, she can hardly remember anything about the night, or Connor, and oops, they got married. Megan wants an immediate divorce but Connor talks her into giving the marriage a 3 month trial as he honestly believes that they would be good together. The problem is that Connor’s thoughts on marriage are really quite different from Megan’s and they end up being at odds with each other. I’m happy I downloaded it as it was a good book. Megan had her issues but so did Connor and I thought the author worked them out well. 4 out of 5

O Come All Ye Kinky edited by Sarah Frantz is anthology of m/m, f/f & m/mf stories that are a little bit kinky – some much more than others. I will post my review this week.

Honored Vow by Mary Calmes was my Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week. Ya know, I bought this book right when it came out and I would SWEAR I read it then but when I found it on my Kindle and started reading I realized I hadn’t read it. Duh. lol Anyway, Jin is dealing with the power of his Nekhene cat and Logan has to go through a challenge (of sorts) in order to become the semel-aten. It was a really good story but pretty bloody – just be warned. I still love Logan and Jin together and in this one we also got to see Domin and Yuri finding their mates. 4.25 out of 5

Five Golden Rings: A Christmas Collection is a historical romance anthology that has 5 different stories that varied from London to South Dakota to medieval times. I liked them all and will post my review this week.

Shades of Gray by Maya Banks is PJ’s story. After reading a little more than half of this story I’m sad to say that I just couldn’t finish it. PJ and her teammate Cole get together and then right after that PJ gets raped while on a mission. PJ quits KGI and goes rogue as she goes after the men who raped her. I really tried to give this one the old college try but no matter how loving Cole is to PJ I just can’t see her healing emotionally for years…not 6 months down the road. Maybe I’m skeptical but I’ve known too many rape victims to think it’s otherwise. I won’t even get into her turning assassin. DNF

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week: 
Romancing the Holiday by Jaci Burton, HelenKay Dimon & Christi Barth

Happy Reading!!

Guest Review: The Other Guy’s Bride by Connie Brockway

Posted April 11, 2012 by Ames in Reviews | 2 Comments

Ames’ review of The Other Guy’s Bride by Connie Brockway

Determined to prove her worth as a budding archeologist, Ginesse Braxton vows to solve one of the world’s greatest mysteries–to find the location of the lost city of Zerzura. Unfortunately, no man dares take the risk of escorting the resolute young scholar across the open desert. But on her way to Egypt, Ginesse engages in a daring deception: She will switch places with Mildred Whimpelhall, who is traveling to meet her fiancé.

Cynical adventurer Jim Owen will do anything to escape the dark secrets of his troubled past. Betrayed by the woman he loved and scorned by proper society, he agrees to carry out a danger-fraught task: escort Mildred Whimpelhall across a lawless desert to her intended. But Jim is about to learn that “Mildred” isn’t exactly what she seems…and the dangers they face together are eclipsed by an even greater peril: falling in love, against all reason, with another guy’s bride.

If you’re like me, you may not care for mistaken or fake identities. You just know how things are going to turn out. But fortunately, Connie Brockway manages to make it work. She has a great handle on humour and that makes all the difference in the world for this kind of plot.

Ginesse Braxton is the daughter of Harry and Desdemona from As You Desire (links to my review).  As the daughter of such well known archaeologists, Ginesse wants to make a name for herself, her other siblings have done so and she just wants her time to shine.  Unfortunately, Ginesse attracks trouble like honey to a bee and she’s been exiled to England for her safety.  But while there, she did research on the lost city Zerzura and she’s positive she found the location of this hidden.  So positive she jumps on the next ship to Egypt…er, the next ship that gets her on the path to Egypt.  While aboard, she meets Mildred Whimpelhall, a very proper Englishwoman on her way to Egypt to marry her beloved.  Her path is all laid out, but she’s horribly seasick.  So Ginesse helps Mildred off at the next dock and arranges her travel to Egypt overland…but she takes Mildred’s place back on the ship!

Ginesse is a great character.  She’s fearless, clueless and guileless (assuming someone else’s identity notwithstanding lol).  She just wants a chance to prove herself alongside her famous family but everyone tries to stifle her.  Not anymore!  And that trouble-magnet thing I mentioned?  Check out the way someone described Ginesse:

“A djinn may change her appearance, but its nature stays the same: meddlesome, disruptive, and dangerous. You will see. Look for someone with a broken arm or in bloodstained clothing. Ginesse Braxton is sure to be trailing right behind.”

So true!!

Ginesse makes her way to Egypt where she is picked up by Jim – a man who owes Mildred’s fiancé a favor.  He is to escort her to her beloved, across the desert.  He’s not supposed to fall in love with his charge.  But that’s exactly what happens.  But the outcome isn’t completely predictable here.  Yes Jim gets upset when he realizes that Ginesse is not really Mildred.  But then that means she can be his!  Of course things aren’t that easy but you’re going to have to read it to find out what happens.

I mentioned the humour before and that we get in spades.  Because Ginesse, while in England, was working for someone who didn’t believe her about Zerzura.  But when she leaves abruptly, they start to look over her research and follow her!  Also, there’s Ginesse’s family in Egypt…who are looking for her.  LOL  The overall tone of the book was fun but when we need it to be, we get that emotion we’re craving, and the depth.  *sigh*  I really can’t go on anymore about how much I enjoyed this book.  I liked it more than As You Desire and I highly recommend it.  I’m giving The Other Guy’s Bride a 4.75 out of 5.

And I’m going to leave you with this gem of a passage.  It cracks me up, every time.

They locked him in the stockade for four days. No other prisoners occupied the other cells that ran the length of the room. He was alone, and that was fine with him. He needed to think, and that was best done in a place where he wouldn’t see Ginesse Braxton—Ginesse, not Mildred—because she did things to his thought processes, such as dammed them up completely.
She acted and he reacted: viscerally, irrepressibly, and ruinously.
She fell in the water; he dove in after her. She laughed; he smiled. She mentioned the beauty of the sunset; he saw colors in it he hadn’t ever noticed. She peeked at him from under her gold-tipped lashes; he grew hard as Damascus steel. Pomfrey said something derogatory; he wanted to kill the sonofabitch with his bare hands.
Things like that.

You can read more from ~ames~ at Thrifty Reader.

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

Guest Review: As You Desire by Connie Brockway

Posted December 29, 2011 by Ames in Reviews | 1 Comment

Ames’ review of As You Desire by Connie Brockway.

He galloped across the midnight-shrouded landscape, racing toward her on his pure white steed. Her destiny…In her wildest fantasies Desdemona Carlisle could not have conjured a more dashing savior, and this was real. But an unlikelier hero was hard to find. Harry Braxton was a rouge, a scoundrel, and a born opportunist who had already broken her heart once. How could she ever trust a notorious rake who came with a warning: lover, beware…

With her bronze-gold hair and quicksilver grace, the sloe-eyed beauty was every man’s desire and one man’s sole passion. But the secret that had made Harry an exile also made it impossible for him to offer Desdemona more that friendship. Until his aristocratic cousin laid siege to Desdemona’s heart and Harry, damning the consequences, vowed to do anything, give anything, to claim her for him own…

I received a copy of The Other Guy’s Bride for review and I figured I’d read the book it’s connected to first.

Desdemona is an expert on ancient spoken languages. Growing up, her academically inclined parents dragged her around to different conferences. So Desdemona did not have a typical childhood. When she was 15, her parents died in an accident and she was sent to her only living relative, her grandfather, who was in Egypt. Dizzy’s grandfather is kind of living in exile in Egypt, where he collects ancient Egyptian artifacts. Dizzy takes on translation jobs to help make ends meet for them. Dizzy is quite comfortable in Egypt but her dream was always to return to England and marry and live in a small quaint house with green hills all around – the exact opposite of what she’s got in Egypt.

Harry is Desdemona’s rascal friend who broke her heart when she was younger (he rejected her). But that was quite a few years ago and they’re friends now. Except Harry loves Desdemona. But he believes he’s no good for her because he has dyslexia (although it wasn’t called that back then) and he would hate to see pity in eyes if she ever found out he couldn’t read.

When Harry’s cousin, a nobleman, comes to Egypt to see him, Desdemona takes one look at him and thinks about all the heroes from her romances. He is equally entranced by what he sees as an English rose in the middle of the desert. Harry hates it but figures his cousin can make Dizzy happy by taking her back to England. Except as Dizzy and his cousin get to know each other more, Harry comes to realize that there’s no way he’s going to let her go.

*sigh* I thought this book was so quirky and cute. First of all, the cast of characters are great. Dizzy and her grandfather, Harry who is not always worried about providence of his artifacts and is quite the rascal, Dizzy’s servants, and the other expats that make up their society in Egypt. With such a setting as Egypt, the characters aren’t as restrained and hewn in by societal standards. Something that becomes apparent when Harry’s cousin joins their ranks.

At the center of this story though is Harry and Dizzy. And let me tell you, I loved these two characters, especially together. Everyone knows Harry wants Dizzy, but she’s so blind because of what happened between them before. So he’s been relegated to friendship status and that’s where he is. But Harry teases her and accepts her for who she is – and since her grandfather raised her, she’s not exactly a shining example of the perfect Englishwoman. LOL She’s independent, smart and someone others go to to get things done.

Throw in my love of archaeology and ancient Egypt and I was just tickled by this book. I read that you don’t have to read this book to enjoy The Other Guy’s Bride and that’s probably true, but I recommend you read this one for pure enjoyment alone.

4.25 out of 5.

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