Tag: Jayne Fresina

#DFRAT Excerpt and Giveaway: Seducing the Beast by Jayne Fresina

Posted July 19, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Some men are born to make dynasties and some women are born to make trouble.Hellbent on arranging a pardon for her exiled cousin, Madolyn Carver will stop at nothing to achieve her aim, even if it means seducing the mysterious Earl of Swafford. So what if he’s known as “The Beast” and is immensely powerful? Plucky Maddy isn’t frightened off easily. Returned home after too long abroad, The Beast also has a mission. He must remove his younger brother and heir to the vast Swafford estate from the clutches of a most unsuitable woman. When a misunderstanding leads him to mistake Maddy for his brother’s cunning mistress, he takes her captive under the guise of The Beast’s manservant. Now she can longer be a threat to his misguided brother’s future, or so he thinks. And surely, The Beast’s infamous iron will can resist the charms of one particularly disobedient, witty, intriguingly stubborn young woman.But there is a far greater danger. A deadly assassin has come to the Swafford estate, and The Beast’s fear of falling in love might just be his downfall. Maddy, the woman he won’t trust, is the one innocent soul who can save his life–and his heart.

(copyright Jayne Fresina)

“Why are you here?” He held her wrists between her back and the door, his body pressed to hers. “Tell me the truth and perhaps I’ll be merciful. Although my master would not be. Who sent you here? Who put you up to this?” He bent his head again to lick the curve of her ear.

She swallowed an incapacious cry of protest.

“Tell me,” he repeated gruffly, holding her hard against the door, the words partly muffled in her hair.

“You know why I came. I told you my purpose.”

“There must be more to it. You would give yourself away for so little?”

“So little?” she gasped, as his tongue boldly caressed the pulse at the side of her neck.

“Captain Downing means much to you.”

“Yes. Do you have no loyalty, no devotion to anyone except your master?”

His lips ventured lower, traversing the upper curve of her quaking breast. A light touch, little more than a warm, whispering breeze, it still left a mark on her, the tracing of his damp tongue.

“You put yourself in great danger,” he said, planting another kiss to the base of her throat.

“What if the earl decides to keep you here as his prisoner?”

“I’m far too disagreeable for any man to want for long.”

He paused. She thought she heard him laugh. It was an odd, stilted sound she longed to encourage out of hiding. He needed to laugh. She’d sensed that almost from the first.

“My lord?” Someone knocked at the door briskly, breaking through her balmy daydreams.

The loosened bolt rattled, but her captor paid no heed to the noise.

He kissed her hot cheek and then reclaimed her lips. Eyelids fluttering shut, she arched toward him, her body yearning. She wanted to put her arms around his neck again, but his fingers were unrelenting iron cuffs around her wrists.

The visitor at the door knocked harder.

With little kisses he brushed one eyelid, then the other, his breath blowing playfully on her lashes.

She wanted to cry out, beg him not to stop. Instead she whimpered pathetically, “Someone comes for your master.”

“Ignore. I’m not done putting you in your place for slapping me today.”

“You’d best make haste. I haven’t all day.”

“Are you always so irritating?”

“Irritating?” she muttered wryly, “I thought I was on my best behavior.”

“I’d like to see you at your worst.”

“Be careful what you wish for.” Heat radiated from her belly now; lust held her ransom against the door.

He growled gently in her ear. “What is it you want from my master? Say the word and I’ll see that you have it. Anything.”

“Captain Downing’s pardon. How many times must I say it?”

“There must be more.” His tongue swept over her mouth again as if he couldn’t resist, yet when she parted her lips, ready for him, he left her waiting this time. “What could he give you?

What could he do for you, not for Downing?”

A third, insistent knock rattled the door.

“Is there nothing you want? No fine pearl earrings? No purse of gold? No silk petticoat?”

She’d never thought of anything like that for herself. Earrings she would undoubtedly lose, a petticoat she would tear, and a purse of gold would only make her terrified of robbers. Where did one keep a purse of gold safely? She knew spending it all at once would be quite impossible. Even sixpence caused her palpitations, trying to decide what to spend it on.

“I want nothing else,” she mewled, raising her lashes.

His breath was ragged, her own even less steady. In his eyes, pure gold gleamed through layers of dark and shadow, but despite the riches they held, they were the strangest, saddest, neediest two creatures she’d ever seen. She shivered.

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Guest Review: The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne by Jayne Fresina

Posted January 8, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Tracy’s review of The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne (Sydney Dovedale #2) by Jayne Fresina

By night Ellie Vyne fleeces unsuspecting aristocrats as the dashing Count de Bonneville. By day she avoids her sisters’ matchmaking attempts and dreams up inventive insults to hurl at her childhood nemesis, the arrogant, far-too-handsome-for-his-own-good, James Hartley.

James finally has a lead on the villainous, thieving Count, tracking him to a shady inn. He bursts in on none other than “that Vyne woman” . . . in a shocking state of dishabille. Convinced she is the Count’s mistress, James decides it’s best to keep your enemies close. Very close. In fact, seducing Ellie will be the perfect bait . . .

James Hartley and Mariella Vyne aka Ellie, have been “enemies” for as long as they can remember. James’s mother ran off with Ellie’s stepfather’s brother and therefore sent the families feuding as it were. There has been no love lost between Jame and Ellie over the years. Now James has followed a scoundrel by the name of the Count de Bonneville to an inn and who does he find instead? Ellie. She of course claims that the count just went out the window but Ellie is really the Count. She’s been posing as a man to win funds that keep her half sisters and stepfather going but now she’s in a pickle. James believes that Ellie and the count are lovers and since he feels that is all wrong he says he’ll marry Ellie. It’s kind of a strange proposal but of course Ellie doesn’t take it seriously so she leaves town – only to have James follow her.

As the couple spend more time together Ellie realizes that she’s loved James for years and James eventually realizes the same thing, but not before everyone and their mother and the horse they rode in on manages to try to keep them apart.

I have to say that this book has so many different tropes in it I honestly wasn’t sure which one was the “main” one or which one I should focus on the most.


  • Ellie was posing as a man to get funds for her impoverished family
  • James was being forced by his grandmother to find a wife.
  • James had fathered an illegitimate child.
  • James bumps his head and has amnesia for a short time.
  • James was supposedly still in love with his previous love.
  • Ellie makes an agreement with James to marry him only if 5 nights of passion brings on a child.
  • Ellie’s “real” father shows up to get money from both Ellie and James.


I think that’s it but seriously – that’s a lot going on for one book! Now saying that you would think that I didn’t like the book but I really did. I can’t honestly say that there was a dull moment while I was reading, that’s for sure.

I did feel that there were all together too many misunderstanding’s between James and Ellie but after their past of “hating” each other I guess it was understandable to a point. They had thought the worst of each other for years so why stop now, right?

The love story, at the crux of it, was pretty good. Despite all the crap that life had thrown at them they managed to realize that they couldn’t let the other get away.

There were some pretty fun secondary characters as well. Grieves was James’s valet and he was wonderful. He kind of reminded me of the butler from the movie Arthur in that he was definitely impertinent. But in this book he was softer and more friendly. He had some great pearls of wisdom and his scenes in the book always made me smile. Another character was Lady Mercy Danforthe and she was a royal PITA! Granted she was only 12 but I loved her parts in the story and I really liked seeing her realize that she could be a child and not have to act like a little adult at all times.

Overall it was a really cute book and was entertaining.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Series:

Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

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

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What I Read Last Week

Posted December 31, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 4 Comments

I can’t believe how fast last week went. I guess when I’m off work I expect the days to go by slowly and they never do!

I told you all about my Christmas in my post last Thursday but then I had more excitement this past weekend. First on Saturday I met up with the So Cal Bloggers in Rancho Cucamonga and we had a great time eating, talking and swapping books (which apparently, according to the security guard in the parking log, is considered loitering. Yeah, whatever). Anyway, it was a fun time with Rowena, Holly, Rosie, Lori, Renee, Judith and newcomer, Lynda from A Fish With Sticks. I’m sad that we didn’t get a group picture this time but oh well.
Then yesterday it was my “baby’s” 15th birthday. She was in rare form yesterday and touchy as all hell – but we had a good day going to lunch, doing some shopping and then dancing our asses off to Just Dance 4. I’m a total dork when it comes to that and can only do the 1st level stuff but the kids like to point and laugh. 🙂 Here’s my child at the mall when we went out for frozen yogurt. Kris called it perfectly when I posted this pic on twitter – adorably grumpy. She wouldn’t even smile at the camera because she thinks she looks horrible when she smiles – not true! Yep, that’s my oldest!

Anyway, it was another good week. I’m still off work – yay! – and won’t go back til Wednesday. Life is good. 🙂

My first book of last week was Dragon Lovers byJo Beverley, Mary Jo Putney, Barbara Samuel and Karen Harbaugh. This one sat on my shelf for a long while and I’m not sure why – I always say that, don’t I? Anyway, I love dragons so this was a really great book for me. The four stories were different enough that I liked all of them. There was a pure fantasy, a medieval, a historical set in Japan and a contemporary and they all had good stories. If you like dragons this is a must. 4 out of 5
Next up was Chance of a Lifetime by Jodi Thomas and omg was it good. I love her Harmony series!! The stories included the quiet librarian and her best friend from high school and a lawyer in town who’s trying to find the person who’s trying to kill him along with his hot protector. I love the way Thomas weaves a story together and this one was no different. Great book. 4.5 out of 5
My next read was The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne by Jayne Fresina. The story is about a man who is looking for the man who supposedly stole his families diamonds and finds a family enemy instead. The heroine is actually the “guy” who as the diamonds but he won them in a gambling match. The pair end up together while one looks for his diamonds and the other tries to figure out how to tell him that she’s the culprit. It was a fun read but it had a ton of different tropes involved that made it seem a bit on the ridiculous side. It was still good though. I’m just kind of wondering what the author will use in her next book since she used so many tropes in this one. 3.5 out of 5
The Impetuous Amazon by Sandy James is the 2nd book in the Alliance of the Amazons series and it was another good one. This is Megan’s book and she is Fire. She has a bit of a problem controlling both her fire and her desire to kick demon ass in the middle of a public place. Johann is sent to try to help her but the couple has been in love for years – unbeknownst to the other – and their attraction hits nuclear levels. The problem is that Sentinels and Amazon’s are forbidden to be together and that poses a huge problem. This was another great installment in the series. I really liked Johann a lot. I’ll be posting my review next week of this book. 4 out of 5
A Marquess for Christmas by Vivienne Westlake was my next read. This is a Christmas historical and it was a good one. I’ll post my review of it this week.
Last for the week was a couple of short stories by JL Merrow. I love her work and these were no different. The first was A Ghoul Like You that had a young man picking up guys in a bar that he thought were vampires and then killing them. Unfortunately he meets Niall and tries to kill him but he’s a ghoul. The story is a bit odd but pretty darned good. Only about 19 pages so a quick read. 3.5 out of 5 
Then there was Tortoise Interruptus which had a man who sometimes turns into a tortoise being kidnapped and finding love. It was so cute and unexpected and I love Merrow’s sense of humor – just a great story. 4 out of 5
My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:

Happy Reading!

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