Tag: Delilah Marvelle

Guest Review: Forever a Lord by Delilah Marvelle

Posted December 19, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 2 Comments

Judith’s review of Forever A Lord (The Rumor #3) by Delilah Marvelle

He’s a fighter, not a lover .But that’s about to change…

Lady Imogene Norwood lives a sheltered life of quiet respectability and routine…until she debuts at her first Season. There among London’s elite she meets the wild and broken Lord Atwood. And the very shy English rose suddenly realizes that a little chaos might just be what her heart desires.

Lord Nathaniel James Atwood doesn’t believe true love exists. Since scandal tore him away from his family at an early age, he has spent his life fighting for what he wants. That attitude has made him a rising star in bare-knuckle boxing, and now leads him back to London to reclaim the life that was stolen from him. But upon meeting the innocent Imogene, his beliefs are trounced…as guarding his heart against her proves to be the fight of his life.

Those who have been reading the previous books in this series will recognize some of the background characters as the story begins in the dregs of the Five Points burrough of New York City where Coleman, one of the leaders of the Forty Thieves is a bare knuckle feet fighter and a man who has hidden from his true identity for thirty years.  Abandoned for reasons that are too heinous to reveal lest his family and loved ones suffer irreparable harm, Coleman is wooed away from his pals and the environs of New York to return to London and begin to re-establish himself as a peer of the realm.  It is difficult to begin to once again call himself by his given name, to respond to those who remember far differently than he is now.  His father refuses to accept him as the returning prodigal son, his mother is not allowed to see him, and it is only the care and support of his brother-in-law and nephew that sustain him.  The only thing he really know how to do is box and this is where the heroine come in.

Lady Imogene is a young woman who has always been judged to be “sickly.”  Her father hasWh spent untold amounts of money, literally beggaring himself in order to secure some kind of healing for her.  He even entered into a loveless marriage in order to be able to support her, but even now he is kept on a tight leash financially and wants to be shed of his unfaithful and penurious wife.  Lady Imogene is coming into her inheritance and it is decided that they will invest in the best boxer they can find in order to win the Champion of England competition.  Imogene’s father has been watching Nathaniel as he has been working out and has decided he is probably the best fighter alive and approaches with a business proposition.  But Imogene has another kind of proposition:  believing that Nathaniel will continue to walk out on his investors as he has in the past, she insists that they marry until after the competition is complete at which time they will split the prize money and go their separate ways.  However, Nathaniel insists that while they are married they will have a real relationship–none of this “in name only” stuff.

This is a fascinating look at the society of the late 19th century and the rise of boxing in the world of sport.  Gentleman Jack is known far and wide as the best trainer and he figures prominently in this novel.  There are still strict rules about women being present but because Imogene is Nathaniel’s patroness as well as his wife, she is allowed to be present at all daily workouts.  What begins as a business relationship slowly evolves into something quite different, and through the talented pen of Ms Marvelle, readers are gifted with a slice of English life and sport that is not common in a great many historical romances.  It is such fun to watch Imogene emerge from the sickly and pale debutante who is not really interested in marriage into a woman who sees herself apart from her daily dose of “medicine” which is really a heavy sedative that is doing her no good whatsoever.  And it is equally fascinating to watch Nathaniel emerge from his down-and-out persona, a street fighter who gives away his last penny for the people of his slum environs into the Lord of the Boxing Ring and a man who begins to feel at home in his rightful place in society, not as Coleman the street fighter, but as Lord Atwood.

This is a fine novel and one that will be a favorite among readers who really like the late 19th century as it moves toward the modern technology of the 20th century.  The social rules seem just as rigid as ever–this is Victorian England, after all, but even here one can glimpse that technology and modernization, the emergence of the machine age, is forcing change even when the “upper crust” is resisting with all its might.  This is indeed a stand alone novel but it is even more appealing to those who have been following the strands of story about the various characters connected through friendship, marriage, and family.

I hope you will take the time to read and enjoy this delightful historical romance.  I know I found it to be one of the best I have read recently.

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

The series:

Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

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

Review: Forever a Lady by Delilah Marvelle

Posted July 22, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

TWO DIFFERENT CLASSES, ONE COMMON DESIRE… Lady Bernadette Marie Burton may be the richest widow in England, but like her dreams of finding true passion, her reputation is deteriorating. Cruel gossip, loneliness and hoards of opportunistic suitors have her believing Society couldn’t be more vile…or dangerous. So when an attacker threatens her life, she finds safety in the most unseemly of places: the arms of a mysterious, Irish-American gang leader. His fortune stolen, young Matthew Milton is done playing the respectable gentleman. In the slums of New York, only ruffians thrive. But from the moment he arrives in London and encounters the voluptuous Lady Bernadette, he can’t help but wonder about the finer pleasures he’s missing. Or just how much he’s willing to risk-not only to bed her, but to prove his worth….
Matthew Milton was raised in New York as part of the Merchant class as his father owned a well known newspaper. They did fairly well for themselves until their accountant spent all of their hard earned money and they were left destitute. They ended up in Five Points (which Wikipedia describes as “a disease-ridden crime-infested slum”) living in a tenement. The same day they arrive Matthew finds himself fighting for his life and from that moment on decides that he needs to help the people of Five Points. Now it’s 8 years later and Matthew is the gang leader of the Forty Thieves. He and his friend Coleman train the men to fight and they protect the innocent of Five Points against those who would make it worse than it already is. Matthew also teaches the men to read in hopes that they will be able to make a better life for themselves.
Bernadette is the daughter of a British aristocrat who is now living in New York. Her father had married her off at age 18 to a man she hardly knew but was 43 years her senior. He was very kind but it was a passionless union that ended with the man’s death after 12 years of marriage. Bernadette moved to first New Orleans and then New York so that she could live unencumbered by rules and her father looking over her shoulder. She loves her freedom and plans on never marrying again.
Bernadette was asked by a friend to turn a foul-mouthed Fiver Pointer into a Lady so that she can marry a Duke and be accepted into British society. She takes this job on and eventually delivers the woman (Georgia from book 1) to London where, strangely enough, she meets Matthew. Matthew is in England escaping from a crowd of men who want to kill him. Matthew saves Bernadette from a previous lover who is taking his anger out on her with his riding crop. Matthew and Bernadette are immediately attracted to one another and make plans to meet again. For Matthew he knows immediately that this woman is “The One.” He has no doubt in his mind that Bernadette will be his. While they meet again and they do have a wonderful time together Bernadette isn’t anywhere near ready, if ever, to make a commitment. Matthew takes Bernadette’s honor in hand and ends up stealing from her previous lover (the one who was beating her) and ends up in jail. Bernadette saves him from the hangman but she wants nothing to do with him from then on. Unfortunately they are now linked and Matthew fears for Bernadette as he has many enemies that might use her against him.
Matthew returns to New York but is completely unhappy. A horrible incident involving Bernadette and Matthew throws the pair back together and Bernadette finally concedes that she wants Matthew for herself. She offers Matthew a loan to try to get his father’s paper back into print. Matthew accepts but tells her that while he tries to get back on his feet and repay the loan they cannot see each other at all and can only communicate via correspondence. While she doesn’t care for the arrangement Bernadette understands and complies – she just doesn’t know if when they meet again Matthew will still be interested in her.
This is # 2 in the Rumor series and another good book. The whole premise of the story with Matthew being not only from one of the lowest classes but also a thief and Bernadette being an aristo was definitely a story worth reading about. I loved the descriptions of Five Points and could almost feel the grit and grime of that part of Manhattan.
Matthew was really an honorable man even though he did steal. I know that sounds funny but in his head he was doing the right thing – almost like a Robin Hood. It really took a good tongue lashing from Bernadette to get him to realize that even though he thought he was doing the right thing it was most definitely wrong. I admired Bernadette for standing up to him and not letting him just blow it off. She was a strong woman and as the story went on I truly could see how good they would be together.
Now I did have some niggles with the story. The first and biggest niggle was the fact that while this was a love story and there was romance in the book, Bernadette and Matthew were apart for most of the book. A good portion of the last quarter of the story was great as they were almost inseparable but the first three quarters made me a little nuts. They were thinking about each other but not together and it’s hard for me to thoroughly enjoy a romance novel when the hero and heroine aren’t together. Maybe that’s just me, IDK.
My other issue – while the overall story was really good it really focused on Matthew’s struggle in Five Points. Him pulling himself up by his bootstraps and making a better life for himself and those of his Forty Thieves that followed him felt first and foremost. While this was lovely and I was so happy he could change his life for the better, it felt almost like an interference in the love story. I guess this all connects with my first niggle. I know it all tied together and had to do with Matthew’s pride in that he wouldn’t take charity from Bernadette nor be a “kept” man living off of her money but again, it just kept the main characters apart. Toward the end of the book as I said, the couple is almost inseparable. They court and become closer but even that was a bit truncated for my liking.
Overall a good story with almost a princess and the pauper feel to it. I’ll definitely be reading book three in this series and seeing where Matthew’s friend Coleman ends up.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5

What I Read Last Week

Posted July 9, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 5 Comments

Well it was an ever so exciting week in Tracyland this past week.
As I stated last Monday my new boss started and so far so good. She’s a very nice woman and though it was a pretty quiet week with her getting to know the place, etc. it was all good. Cross fingers that things continue to go well. 🙂
Then it was my baby’s 10th birthday yesterday. 10! How the heck did that happen? lol She was gearing up for the day and her party all week. We had the party at a local gym and the kids had a great time doing all the fun gym stuff as well as rock climbing & jumping into the pit of foam blocks. I called it the pit of doom because it seemed once the kids got in they had a damned hard time getting back out. lol  They all loved it of course. Here’s a few pictures:
The Pit of Doom
Her first time rock wall climbing
I think she wanted to stay in the pit forever
 We did have a bit of an OMG moment before the party when we went to pick up the cupcake cake. They, uh, spelling my daughters name wrong. Since the name was the only thing printed on the thing it was a bit obvious. My daughters name is KYRA. The cake said KRYA. Yeah, so much for spelling the name for the bakery worker and repeating it back and forth on the phone 4 times. They changed it while we waited but the colors were off and yeah, it was a bit disappointing. Thank God I just laughed about it – I mean, what could I do, right? 🙂 The saddest thing was that in the end the cupcakes were great but the frosting was horrible. Oh well – can’t have it all. 
Anyway, on to what I read last week:
I started off the week with Tempted by the Highland Warrior by Michelle Willingham. This was a medieval story of a boy who has been a slave for most of his life and had been constantly tortured. The fiancé of the man who is doing the torturing helps the slave and they form a sort of bond that becomes unbreakable. You can read my full review here. 4 out of 5
Next up was The Lady is a Vamp by Lynsay Sands. Book 17 in the Argeneau story has us FINALLY getting Jeanne Louise’s story. She’s quite young in vamp years – only 102 – so she wasn’t expecting to meet her life mate for maybe hundreds of years. She meets hers, however, when he kidnaps her so that she can turn his daughter into an Immortal to save her from dying from cancer. It’s a great love story and was a bit heart-wrenching because of the daughter but also what happens between Jeanne Louise and her life mate Paul. I’ll post my review for this later this month. (releases 7/31/12) 4 out of 5
My next book was Larkspur Road by Jill Gregory. This is book 2 in the Lonesome Way series and it was a good book. The story focused not only on the love story between Mia and Travis but also the troubles Travis’s son was having, an issue with Mia’s great-aunt and Mia’s niece, Brittany. A sounds story but light on the romance because of everything else that was going on. You can read my full review here on Book Binge. 3.25 out of 5
Forever a Lady by Delilah Marvelle is the story of an English Aristo living in New York with her millions and her finding love with a man who lives in Five Points – one of the very worst parts of New York. They actually meet while both of them are in England and Matthew falls for Bernadette almost immediately. Bernadette never wants to marry again after living for 12 years with her now deceased husband who was 43 years older than her. The book was not only about their love story but Matthew seeing a new life for himself, moving in that direction and becoming the man he always knew he could be. I’ll post my review of this later this month. (releases 7/24) 3.75 out of 5
Doubtless by Cat Grant was my last read for the week. This story has to do with Steve who was a character in Grant’s book, Priceless. I’ll post my review for this one this week.
My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Happy Reading!

Guest Review: Forever and a Day by Delilah Marvelle

Posted January 24, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Judith’s review of Forever and a Day by Delilah Marvelle

Roderick Gideon Tremayne, the recently appointed Duke of Wentworth, never expected to find himself in New York City, tracking down a mysterious map important to his late mother. And he certainly never expected to be injured, only to wake up with no memory of who he is. But when he sees the fiery-haired beauty who’s taken it upon herself to rescue him, suddenly his memory is the last thing on his mind.

Georgia Milton, the young head of New York’s notorious Forty Thieves, feels responsible for the man who was trying to save her bag from a thief. But she’s not prepared for the fierce passion he ignites within her. When his memory begins to return, her whole world is threatened, and Roderick must choose between the life he forgot and the life he never knew existed.

There is culture class and then there is the Great Divide between social class. I’m not really sure which is more difficult to cross, but it would seem that in this new novel from Delilah Marvelle there is both. Certainly the young heir to the Duke of Wentworth was a striking figure of a man with his expensive clothes and the pure silver buttons on his classy vest. And when he approached Mrs Georgia Milton, young Irish-American citizen of New York City and one who is not loathe to let him know that his seemingly innocent advances are not wanted, it appeared that their paths would not ever again cross. That is, until a youthful thief made off with Georgia’s reticule and Roderick made after him, probably in the hope of not only saving the purse but impressing its owner. Didn’t work out quite that way, however. And as Roderick stepped off the curb in front of an omnibus, little did he realize that he was entering into an entirely unforeseen period of his life, one he could have never imagined.

Nor could Georgia. I know the blurb claims that she was head of the Forty Thieves, but I didn’t get that impression from the narrative. Rather I think the story says that Georgia’s stepson Matthew was really the head of the band of Irish do-gooders–sort of a collective Robin Hood who looked out for all the folks in their territory and as it turns out, they even took Roderick under their wing. Although by this time he didn’t know his own name and believed himself to be Robinson Crusoe. (It later came to light that this story was his childhood favorite.)

This is indeed a love story, but Georgia and Roderick might just as well have been on the opposite sides of the earth compared to any hope Georgia had of ever being accepted by the English ton. The tale is really as much about how Roderick and Georgia were able to see beneath the surface of each other and get past their prejudices. Certainly those who know Western European history know that the animosity between Irish and English was of long standing, even in the 19th century. Yet these two people began to see the worth they each possessed as human beings. When Roderick began to regain his memory that is when the %^&* hit the fan for these two. Yet there are some surprises which sort of came out of left field for me when it came to finding a resolution so that these two people were able to be together because it really looked like these two didn’t have the chance of an iceberg in hell to finding their way to one another.

There’s lots of humor and some really funny dialogue in this book. The Irish have such a wonderful way of telling it like it is and Georgia is the quintessential Irish-American woman who really knows the score and has found a way to survive the hardships immigrant peoples faced in this “land of the free.” And while this book is massively entertaining it is also a commentary on the reality of the class structure, both in New York as well as in London. We have all heard that one cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Perhaps this novel shows us how.

I give it a rating of 4.25 out of 5

You can read more from Judith at Dr. J’s Book Place

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

What I Read Last Week

Posted January 3, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 6 Comments

Happy New Year! I know I’ve said that before I just needed to say it again! lol
To say that I’m behind this week is a bit of an understatement. I was almost completely incommunicado yesterday as I promised my girls that I would try and not be on my phone or my laptop all day and just spend the day watching movies and playing games with them. I got a bit done before they woke up yesterday and sent a few emails from my phone while in hiding 🙂 but for the most part it was a day with the girls and it was a good day.
I had a lot of time off last week and read a whole heck of a lot – I’m not kidding. lol A lot of them were shorts and novellas but ones I’ve been wanting to read.

First up was Handyman by Claire Thompson. Now this one I started…I think near when it came out and could not get into it. It has languished in the pile for quite a while and I finally decided to give it another go. The story is about Will who is a stock broker who took a leave of absence after his boss died right in front of him of a heart attack. He’s purchased a house on the outskirts of the city and is refurbishing it. He hires Jack who is a widower with two grown sons and according to him – very straight. Except…there was the one experience in high school with his best friend Luke. This is a great story about Will coming to terms with a slower lifestyle as well as Jack taking a hard look at who he is and what he wants when it comes to his sexuality. 3.75 out of 5

Next was How the Marquess Was Won by Julie Anne Long. Book 6 in the Pennyroyal Green series and it was wonderful. I really loved so very many things about this story of a school teacher and the man they term “Lord Ice”. You can read my review of the book here. 5 out of 5

Next up was Bachelor Number Four by Megan Hart. This was the story of Arden who is a widow and is finally ready to head out on to the dating scene once again. She tries a couple of blind dates that are pretty amusing because the guys are just such losers! What she wants – well yes and no – is to meet up with an old flame who she had feelings for before she got married. She contacts him on a social networking site and they even have cybersex but she’s not sure she wants to take it any further. I liked the book – it was a cute HFN story with the possibility of it turning into a HEA but the heroine, Arden, drove me a bit nuts when it came to her contact with Shane. She ran really hot and cold and I think, hurt his feelings a bit. I realize that she was scared a bit of what could be but the way she handled it wasn’t great. 3 out of 5

My next read was The Bracelet by Mary Jane Clark. This is a short story and it looks like a prequel to the Piper Donovan mystery series. The story is about Piper who is home helping her mother in her bakery. Piper helps by taking some goodies upstairs to a little old man, a friend of her mom’s. When she gets there she finds him unconscious with the very valuable bracelet missing that he had just been showing Piper, her mother and her sister-in-law. Piper finds clues that leads her to believe that her sister-in-law had a hand in the missing bracelet but she doesn’t want to think badly of her – even though she doesn’t like her very much. The story was ok but it was mostly internal struggle and thoughts of Piper’s as she tried to figure out what to do about the missing bracelet. 2.5 out of 5

The Jock and the Wallflower by Lisa Marie Davis was the story of a wallflower, Decker, who is talked into going to a frat party with his best friend. He is almost on his way out when the man he is half in love with helps him out when a beer is spilled on him. The man is Avery and his is a jock and Decker’s thrilled beyond belief that Avery is even talking to him. He’s even more surprised when Avery makes his move. It was a very cute erotic m/m. 3 out of 5

The Santa Problem by Tam Ames was next. Gavin is in a bind. He needs someone to play Santa to his elf for his company on Christmas Eve and he wants his boyfriend Lane to play the part. Lane is NOT thrilled at all to say the least and frankly the gig doesn’t go all that well to say the least. But Lane and Gavin make a turn in their relationship during it all and it makes it all worth it. A very cute story. I just love Tam’s humor…well, all the time and I love that it translates to her books so well. The characters are very real and I love that. 3.5 out of 5

Hot Secrets by Lisa Marie Rice was next on the list. This was another short story that was kind of an “incident in the life of” her characters from her book Dangerous Lover. Jack, an ex-army ranger, is very protective of his wife and he trains her for any eventuality. She goes along with Jack but really her heart isn’t in it. Little does she know that she’ll need that training when her book store is taken over by a drunken madman. She puts into effect her training and her calm demeanor and silently thanks Jack. The story was pretty short but very good. There were a couple of things that were brought up but not mentioned again – I assume we’ll hear more in a future book? IDK. 4 out of 5

A Chip in His Shoulder by LA Witt is a fantasy about a world where technology is king (so much more than what we live in now) and vampire Liam has a ton of them. He is an assassin and is hired to kill his old lover – and he has no problem with that. Except when he gets to the location he finds himself trapped with Daniel and it gives them time to talk about what went wrong in their relationship while they try to find a way out of their highly volatile situation. I really liked the world in this story and hope there will be more set in this interesting world in the future. 3.5 out of 5

Next up was Trouble at the Wedding by Laura Lee Guhrke. This story is book 3 in the Abandoned at the Altar series and it was a good one. We had a duke sworn not to marry again trying to earn some cash by talking an American heiress out of marrying someone her family hates. The Duke, Christian, goes to pretty great extremes to get the job done but it ends up smacking him back in the face. It was a good book and my review will post tomorrow. 4.25 out of 5

All’s Fair by Suzie Quint is a short story in between books 1 & 2 of her McKnight series. This had Sol taking his daughter Eden to the Carnival knowing full well that his ex-wife, and the woman he’s still in love with, there while on a date. Sol ends up discouraging the date from seeing Georgia again by telling him some fantastical lies. Georgia is pissed and goes seeking retribution from Sol and but after Sol gets injured in a bull ride they end up in bed together. This is a very short story and really has no conclusion but it worked for me. I think it was a nice prequel to their eventual HEA…at least I hope they’ll get their HEA. 3 out of 5

Forever and a Day by Delilah Marvelle is the story of a woman who boards a British aristo in her very lowly tenement after he is hit on the street and suffers amnesia. The pair fall in love but how can a Viscount and a laundress ever be together? You can read my full review here at The Book Binge. 4 out of 5

The Viking’s Sacrifice by Julia Knight was a wonderful surprise. The story is about Viking raids, family betrayal, love and lots of danger. I really liked it and will post my review on Thursday. 4.25 out of 5

I’m a lucky, lucky girl and won a copy of Dating the Delaney’s by Anne Brooke over at Brief Encounters when they ran their Boxing Day Extravaganza. I got it and then gobbled it up as I love Liam and the Delaney’s. If you haven’t read this story about a man who works in a gallery and his twin crime boss lovers I suggest you do. They’re all short stories but all worth reading. This was book 4 and the trio has decided that they’re going to date for 6 weeks. On their first date in the movie theatre they can’t keep their hands off each other – just like when they’re on a picnic together. The dynamic is a bit odd with Liam being so submissive and the two brothers being so opposite from each other but I think it’s just great. 4 out of 5

Next was Slow Ride by Erin McCarthy – book 5 in the Fast Track series. This book was about a retired race car driver and a racing journalist and blogger that is grieving the death of her father. They kind of hook up at the wedding reception of Kendall and Evan (of The Chase #3) and start seeing each other. Parts of this book I really liked but others not so much. Tuesday had a stress and drinking problem, along with the fact that she hadn’t properly grieved for her father when she started dating Diesel. Then there’s Diesel who in no way had emotionally dealt with the racing accident that put him into forced retirement. I loved Diesel and Tuesday together when there were no issues but they each needed to handle their own lives before they could handle a relationship. It was good but not great for me. 3 out of 5 Read for The Book Binge

Next up was True Colors by Thea Harrison and is a novella in the Elder Races series. This is the story of Alice Clark who finds her best friend murdered in her apartment and hides when she sees the huge man come in. She runs from him not knowing if he’s the killer but it turns out he’s an investigator and a part of the Wyr division of the police. Gideon is immediately drawn to Alice who is also a wyr and finds he needs to be with her almost as much as he needs info from her to try to catch the killer of her friend. It was a good story about destined mates meeting and had a decent suspense element involved. 3 out of 5

Last on the list…yes there actually was a LAST…was Striker by KyAnn Waters. This is about two men, one a well known professional soccer player and a sportswriter who moves in next door. I’ll be reviewing it this week so keep your eye out. 4 out of 5

OK – so it may look like I read a lot but really, of the 16 listed 6 of them were shorts, 4 novella’s and one a short novel and those take no time at all, right? lol

My Book Binge reviews that posted this week: