Tag: Historical

Sympathy for the Devil

Posted October 20, 2007 by Holly in Reviews | 14 Comments


Sybil and I have been researching ways to make you love St. Vincent as much as we do. I think for me, the reason he tops Craven is he was so much more…real. He didn’t change an ounce from the way he was in IHOY. He as an ass of massive proportions, and happy to be that way. But he was also tender when it suited him, and sexy and sensual always.

The thing with Derek is, we saw flashes of good in him. We saw the way he was with Lily, and how he did what was best for her, and in the end, we knew he’d do Sara right. We knew he’d love her and take care of her and do whatever he needed to keep her.

But we didn’t know with Sebastian if he could be everything Evie needed. We didn’t know if he’d ever be able to change for her, to become something he just wasn’t..at his core. That, my friends, is the mark of a good anti-hero. And oh, what an anti-hero he was.

Of course, despite himself he couldn’t help but be gentle with Evie, and want to keep her safe…even happy.

Perfect, I tell you…But then, I don’t have to. He speaks for himself in Devil in Winter.

_____________________________________

“I can’t let you take the chance. Bloody hell, do you want to find yourself in that bed six months from now with your lungs rotting away?”

“If th-th-that happens, it’s no concern of yours.”

As they confronted each other in the anger-snarled silence that followed, Evie had a fleeting sense that her bitter words had pierced deeper than she would have expected.

“You’re right,” Sebastian said savagely. “If you want to turn yourself into a consumptive, go right ahead. But don’t be surprised when I decline to sit wringing my hands at your bedside. I won’t do a thing to help you. And as you lie there coughing your lungs out, I’ll take the devil’s own delight in reminding you that it was your own damned fault for being such a stubborn idiot!” He concluded the speech with an irritated motion of his hands.

Unfortunately, Evie had been conditioned by too many encounters with Uncle Peregrine to discern between angry gestures and the beginnings of a physical attack. She flinched instinctively, her own arms flying up to shield her head. When the expected pain of a blow did not come, she let out a breath and tentatively lowered her arms to find Sebastian staring at her with blank astonishment.

Then his face went dark.

“Evie,” he said, his voice containing a bladelike ferocity that frightened her. “Did you think I was about to…Christ. Someone hit you. Someone hit you in the past—who the hell was it?” He reached for her suddenly—too suddenly—and she stumbled backward, coming up hard against the wall. Sebastian went very still. “Goddamn,” he whispered. Appearing to struggle with some powerful emotion, he stared at her intently. After a long moment, he spoke softly. “I would never strike a woman. I would never harm you. You know that, don’t you?”

Transfixed by the light, glittering eyes that held hers with such intensity, Evie couldn’t move or make a sound. She started as he approached her slowly. “It’s all right,” he murmured. “Let me come to you. It’s all right. Easy.” One of his arms slid around her, while he used his free hand to smooth her hair, and then she was breathing, sighing, as relief flowed through her. Sebastian brought her closer against him, his mouth brushing her temple. “Who was it?” he asked.

“M-my uncle,” she managed to say. The motion of his hand on her back paused as he heard her stammer.

“Maybrick?” he asked patiently.

“No, th-the other one.”

“Stubbins.”

“Yes.” Evie closed her eyes in pleasure as his other arm slid around her. Clasped against Sebastian’s hard chest, with her cheek tucked against his shoulder, she inhaled the scent of clean male skin, and the subtle touch of sandalwood cologne.
“How often?” she heard him ask. “More than once?”

“I…i-it’s not important now.”

“How often, Evie?”

Realizing that he was going to persist until she answered, Evie muttered, “Not t-terribly often, but…sometimes when I displeased him, or Aunt Fl-Florence, he would lose his temper. The l-last time I tr-tried to run away, he blackened my eye and spl-split my lip.”

“Did he?” Sebastian was silent for a long moment, and then he spoke with chilling softness. “I’m going to tear him limb from limb.”

“I don’t want that,” Evie said earnestly. “I-I just want to be safe from him. From all of them.”

Sebastian drew his head back to look down into her flushed face. “You are safe,” he said in a low voice. He lifted one of his hands to her face, caressing the plane of her cheekbone, letting his fingertip follow the trail of pale golden freckles across the bridge of her nose. As her lashes fluttered downward, he stroked the slender arcs of her brows, and cradled the side of her face in his palm. “Evie,” he murmured. “I swear on my life, you will never feel pain from my hands. I may prove a devil of a husband in every other regard…but I wouldn’t hurt you that way. You must believe that.”

The delicate nerves of her skin drank in sensations thirstily…his touch, the erotic waft of his breath against her lips. Evie was afraid to open her eyes, or to do anything that might interrupt the moment. “Yes,” she managed to whisper. “Yes…I—”
There was the sweet shock of a probing kiss against her lips…another…She opened to him with a slight gasp. His mouth was hot silk and tender fire, invading her with gently questing pressure. His fingertips traced over her face, tenderly adjusting the angle between them.

As Sebastian felt her sway, her equilibrium unraveling, he took one of her hands and drew it gently up to the back of his neck. She brought the other up as well, clinging to his hard nape as she responded to the sweetly nuzzling kisses. He was breathing fast, the movements of his chest a beguiling friction against her breasts. Suddenly his kisses were deeper, more forceful, bringing the passion to a burning urgency that made her twist against him, desperate for more closeness with his hard masculine form.

A sound of pained desire came from low in Sebastian’s throat, and he lifted his mouth from hers. “No,” he whispered raggedly. “No, wait…love…I didn’t mean to start this. I just…hell.”

Evie’s fingers curled tightly into the fabric of his coat, and she buried her face against the slick gray silk of his necktie. Sebastian’s hand cupped the back of her head, his body supporting her unsteady weight. “I still mean what I said before,” he said into her hair. “If you want to care for your father, you’ll have to follow my rules. Keep the room ventilated—I want the door and window open at all times. And don’t sit too close to him. Furthermore, whenever you’re with him, I want you to tie a handkerchief over your mouth and nose.”

“What?” Evie squirmed away from him and gave him an incredulous glance. “So that the tiny invisible creatures won’t fly into my lungs?” she asked sarcastically.

His eyes narrowed. “Don’t try me, Evie. I’m close to forbidding you visit him at all.”

“I’ll feel ridiculous, wearing a handkerchief on my face,” she protested. “And it will hurt my father’s feelings.”

“I don’t give a damn. Bear in mind that if you disobey me, you won’t see him.”

Evie jerked away from him as a surge of new anger filled her. “You’re no better than the Maybricks,” she said bitterly. “I married you to gain my freedom. And instead I’ve exchanged one set of jailers for another.”

“None of us have complete freedom, child. Not even me.”

Closing her hands into fists, she glared at him. “At least you have the right to make choices for yourself.”

“And for you,” he mocked, seeming to enjoy the flare of temper he had provoked in her. “Good Lord, what a display. All that tempestuous defiance…it makes me want to bed you.”

“Don’t touch me again,” she snapped. “Ever!”

Maddeningly, he began to laugh as he went to the door.

© Lisa Kleypas. All rights reserved


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Julia London

Posted October 18, 2007 by Casee in Discussions | 2 Comments

For all Julia London fans, Julia has started a new bulletin board that you can visit here.

She has written many unforgettable historicals…among them The Devil’s Love and Wicked Angel.

If you register as a user, you will be automatically entered to win 1 of 6 ARC’s of Julia’s new book, The Dangers of Deceiving a Viscount. This is Book #3 in her Desperate Debutate’s series!

So go forth, register and win!
Julia is also having a writing contest for Aspiring Authors (which would not be me!). If you’re interested, she is offering the winner the chance to get their submission put in front of an Agent. You can enter the contest by posting your intentions in the Don’t Quit the Day Job section of the board.


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Review: An Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer

Posted October 17, 2007 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: An Infamous Army by Georgette HeyerReviewer: Rowena
An Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer
Series: Alastair-Audley #4
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: September 1st 2007
Genres: Romance
Pages: 512
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

IN THE SUMMER OF 1815, with Napoleon Bonaparte marching down from the north, Brussels is a whirlwind of parties, balls and soirees.

In the swirling social scene surrounding the Duke of Wellington and his noble aides de camp, no one attracts more attention than the beautiful, outrageous young widow Lady Barbara Childe.

On their first meeting, dashing Colonel Charles Audley proposes to her, but even their betrothal doesn't calm her wild behavior.

Finally, with the Battle of Waterloo raging just miles away, civilians fleeing and the wounded pouring back into the town, Lady Barbara discovers where her heart really lies, and like a true noblewoman, she rises to the occasion, and to the demands of love, life and war...

I’d like to send a quick thank you to Sourcebook Publishing for sending us a copy of this book to be reviewed, I’ve been swamped with work so I didn’t have time to publish this review until right now but, wow…what can I say about this book?

I’ve never read a historical romance novel quite like this one. First of all, the dialogue in the story had my eyes hurting when I first started the book because it starts off at some party and their language was just so not something I’m familiar with in historicals but instead of turning me off the story, it made me want to read more…I actually felt like I was in the ballroom with Lady Worth, listening to everything going on around me. I could actually picture everything so vividly in my head because the words GH used to describe everything was just out of this world great.

It was easy to fall into this story because the writing was great. I was on Chapter 8 before I even noticed that I’d been reading for almost 3 hours one night, it was that smooth a read. I’ve got to admit though that when I first met Lady Babs I was not a fan of hers, I wanted Colonel Charles Audley to fall madly in love with the Devenish girl and when they had that little moment at the ball when Charles first comes back, I was hopeful even though I knew that Charles was going to end up with Lady Babs.

But over the course of the book, Lady Babs started getting a little better in my eyes even though she drove me batty at times where Charles was concerned, I mean the way she carried on and stuff, without a care in the world, causing the gossipmongers to flag their tongues drove me absolutely insane but when and where it counted, she came through and she won me over by the end of the book, she was a great heroine, a strong and solid one. I mean, I knew that there was goodness in her because she’s the heroine and I knew it was going to come out sooner or later but the things she did made me grit my teeth sometimes, I mean the whole almost breaking up the marriage of the close friend of the Worth’s, I was like, WHAT ARE YOU DOING???? But, alls well that ends well, because she drove me crazy but I never hated her throughout the book, she just made me sigh a lot. But man, this woman is crazy wicked strong, seeing her help those wounded men, if this were a movie I probably would have stood and applauded her, I liked her because of it.

As far as Charles is concerned, I loved him. I hella loved him even when I was shouting at the rooftops for him not to fall in love with Babs, I loved him. He was a good strong gentleman and I just loved him from the very first…I’m not much of a fan of the style of dress these guys used to wear but man Charles Audley was a sexy stud to me, just because of …HIM. LOVED HIM! I loved seeing him with his friends, I loved seeing him with his family and I loved seeing him battle wits with Lady Babs, I just loved HIM dangit!

Now before I started reading this book, I didn’t know a lick about the Battle at Waterloo…having read this book, I could probably teach a class on it…haha, just kidding, but that’s how great the details were in this book. I could feel the tensions rising, the hearts thumping, the panic trying to storm through the closer Napoleon got and everything was just seemed so real. The description with which she uses to describe the war itself and the soldiers and the deaths and everything was fantastic, there’s one death scene in here that gutted me but man, I hecka loved all of it.

I really enjoyed this book and I really enjoyed the characters, the story and I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed history as much as I have while reading this book, reading this book reminded me of when I first started watching The Tudors, how I had to rush off to Google and google the battle of Waterloo just to read up on the whole thing because this book, even though it was gory, was so compelling and just out and out really good.

A definite must to read, I hella enjoyed this book and am truly grateful that I was given a chance to read this book because I probably wouldn’t have picked this book up on my own, so thanks Sourcebook Publishing for sending me this gem of a book, it’s a definite winner.

four-half-stars


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Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas

Posted October 17, 2007 by Casee in Reviews | 7 Comments

Book description:

When an unexpected inheritance elevates her family to the ranks of the aristocracy, Amelia Hathaway discovers that tending to her younger sisters and wayward brother was easy compared to navigating the intricacies of the ton. Even more challenging: the attraction she feels for the tall, dark, and dangerously handsome Cam Rohan.

Wealthy beyond most men’s dreams, Cam has tired of society’s petty restrictions and longs to return to his “uncivilized” Gypsy roots. When the delectable Amelia appeals to him for help, he intends to offer only friendship—but intentions are no match for the desire that blindsides them both. But can a man who spurns tradition be tempted into that most time-honored arrangement: marriage? Life in London society is about to get a whole lot hotter….

I luuuuuurve Lisa Kleypas. It never matters if I’m not in a “historical mood”. I can pick up a Kleypas book and be engrossed in it from Page 1. Mine Till Midnight was no exception for me. I loved it. It also made me very happy that Cam didn’t end up with Daisy in the last Wallflowers book.

Amelia has been the caretaker in her family for years and years and years. As a matter of fact, Amelia is so old that she practically has one foot in the grave. She’s perfectly fine w/ being a spinster. Her mission in life is to see her sisters happily married off and her brother, well, alive. How old is Amelia you ask? She is a whopping 22 years old. Yep. Ancient. By this short paragraph, you probably have already picked up on the fact that Amelia is a martyr. Not in a bad way, though. Amelia loves her family and will do anything to protect them. That’s what is so great about Cam and Amelia together. Cam shoulders some of the burden that Amelia has held on her old-ass shoulders.

Only a few months earlier, Amelia’s brother (Leo) became Lord Ramsay. A total unexpected ascent to the peerage left Amelia’s family unprepared to handle what came with the title. Quite suddenly Amelia finds that Leo is drinking more than ever and gambling money away left and right. When she goes searching for him, she meets Cam Rohan, manager of Jenner’s. More accepting than most of the Gypsy culture, Amelia is fascinated by Cam but determined to forget about him after he helps locate her brother.

As always, that’s easier said than done. When Amelia and family move to the Ramsay country house, she finds that their “estate” borders Lord Westcliff’s. She soon finds that Cam is a good friend of Westcliff’s and is helpless to fight her attraction to him. I loved their second meeting. It was laugh out loud funny. Cam, Lord Westcliff, and an inventor friend were testing a rocket launcher when Amelia unknowingly steps in front of it. Cam, of course saves the day by tackling her. It was very entertaining.

As for Cam, he is torn between his new feelings for Amelia and his need to roam freely like a Gypsy. Determined to leave Jenner’s and find his tribe, Cam doesn’t count on his need to stay with Amelia. There is one thing the Gyspies believe and that is to hold onto ones mate, no matter what the consequences. It doesn’t take Cam long to realize that Amelia is the one for him and that to be with her, he’ll have to give up his dream of every being “free”. It was a little convenient how Cam so willingly (and quickly) gave up what he had dreamed about for so long.

Kleypas also put some Gypsy lore in the book. See Leo was betrothed to a girl who died when Scarlet Fever swept through the town they lived in. He was madly in love with her and refused to let her spirit “move on”. Eventually he had to let her spirit go or he would have followed her into some bad place where she couldn’t move on. I had no sympathy for the guy. I mean, really. I understood he lost someone, but he had four sisters. Four sisters that were counting on him to be the man of the family. Him drowning his sorrows away almost killed his sisters and Merripen (a sort of adoptive brother).

I really enjoyed seeing the relationship develop between Cam and Amelia. Cam really had to force Amelia to accept help in dealing with her family. He also had to make her realize that marriage to him would not be a bad thing. I really enjoyed reading the banter between these two characters. There were also some extremely amusing situations w/ Amelia’s eccentric family. She has a sister that steals things, but doesn’t remember. The same sister also has a lizard for a pet which she lets loose at the dinner table during a dinner party at Lord Westcliff’s house. She only did it to distract the table after Leo was making a fool of himself as well as angering Lord Westcliff. But it was soooo freaking funny.

I am very much looking forward to the next Kleypas historical. In it, we get Merripen and Win (one of Amelia’s sisters). They are both prominent in this book and I think everyone that reads it will be looking forward to their story as much as I am.

4.5 out of 5.


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High Country Bride by Linda Lael Miller

Posted October 15, 2007 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments


Book description:

One ranch. Three sons. Only one will inherit…and on one condition. Tired of waiting for his sons to settle down, Arizona-territory rancher Angus McKettrick announces a competition: the first son to marry and produce a grandchild will inherit Triple M ranch. Now, three distinctly different, equally determined cowboys are searching high and low for brides.

If Emmeline Harding knows one thing, it’s that she can’t hold her liquor. And though she’s not sure how she came to wake up next to a stack of gold coins in a brothel, she fears the worst. Fleeing town as a mail-order bride, she wonders: how will she ever confess her past to her handsome new husband?

Freedom-loving Rafe McKettrick is a man of strong beliefs and stronger passions and he’ll do anything to win the Triple M — even marry a stranger. To his surprise, Emmeline’s charms beguile him even as the secrets he senses she’s hiding ignite jealousy and suspicion. But when a visitor from the past enters the high country, the newlyweds have no choice but to give up on a marriage in name only and seek a union that satisfies them body and soul.

When I first started reading romance, I read a lot of Linda Lael Miller. I soon learned that I really don’t like her heroines. They are too bossy, too spinster-ish, too obnoxious. I could see almost every one of them organizing feminist rallies and turning their husbands into cute little lapdogs. So why did I read High Country Bride? Because it’s a Western. I also read the trilogy with the contemporary McKettrick brothers and was curious about the historical ones.

After Angus McKettrick tells his three sons that he will leave everything to the son who marries and has children first, Rafe knows exactly how he’ll get ahead of his brothers. He’ll send away for a bride. The problem with that is that it takes longer than he hopes for his bride to actually arrive. By the time she does arrive, he’s forgotten all about sending for her.

Emmeline Harding left Kansas City in shame. Growing up in a boarding house (read: brothel) and being raised by her aunt was unconventional to say the least. Her aunt was always determined to raise Emmeline to be respectable, sheltering her as much as possible. That all changes on the night that Emma decides to pretend to be one of her aunts “girls”. After drinking too much while talking to a stranger, the last thing Emmeline remembers is kissing him in the hallway. The next morning, she finds herself almost naked in bed with a stack of coins on the table beside the bed. She is horrified, but that is nothing compared to what her aunt feels after seeing what Emmeline has done. So Emmeline decides to register with Happy Home Matrimonial and soon finds herself married by proxy to Rafe McKettrick.

After meeting her husband, Emmeline has hopes that her marriage will be more that a marriage of convenience. As she finds herself falling for her husband, she struggles with her secret, not knowing how much longer she can keep it to herself. That choice is soon taken out of her hands when the man from the brothel arrives at the ranch, looking for work. Any hope Emmeline has that she won’t be recognized is put to rest the very day he arrives. It’s clear that he remembers exactly who Emmeline is and that night that she’s trying to forget.

This book wasn’t exactly bad, there were just some things I didn’t like about it. I don’t like when men are portrayed as “manly-men” and then when they speak, the are “shy”. That bugs me. Every time Rafe said something to Emmeline “shyly”, I was like WTF??? Emmeline herself kind of grated on my nerves, too. I understood her internal struggle to keep a secret that could ruin her marriage and the new life she was trying to make, but geez. Make a decision already.

When she finally did tell Rafe, I was really disappointed with Rafe’s response. “You were a whore?” is what he asked her. Pul-lease. Talk about double standard. And it wasn’t like she actually meant to do it. What makes it worse for Rafe (and this is totally understandable) is the man that Emmeline was “with” that night, is actually his half-brother. So I could understand his anger there. When he found out what really happened that night, he couldn’t swallow his pride enough to go to his wife.

The shit really hits the fan when they find out that something was wrong with the proxy and they’re actually not married. Fun times after that.

There are three more books in the series. I picked them up at the ubs and will read them…eventually.

3.5 out of 5.


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