Tag: Lavinia Kent

Review: What a Duke Wants by Lavinia Kent.

Posted October 14, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Published by Avon, Harper Collins

Rowena’s review of What a Duke Wants by Lavinia Kent.

Hero: Mark Smythe
Heroine: Isabella Masters

What woman would refuse a Duke’s kiss?

Running from a dark secret past, Isabella Masters craves peace and stability, a life far from the prying eyes of society.

She does not dream of landing a lord.

But in the arms of a stranger with magnificent eyes, she loses herself in one breath-stealing kiss— only to discover she has been misled by a reluctant Duke.

Angered but enthralled, she dares not submit . . . though her passionate heart begs her to. He cannot wed her . . . but he must not lose her.

Only one possibility remains— one too scandalous to consider . . . yet too tempting to resist.
This book solves the mystery of what happened to Isabella Masters. If you’ve read the other books in this series that feature Isabella’s siblings than you might have been looking forward to this book. I didn’t read either of the other books and so I didn’t even know that all of the mystery behind Isabella’s past from this book was talked about in previous books. Well, I should say that going into this book I didn’t know but as I read through this book, I started picking up on the details that were screaming at me, “You’re reading this series out of order again”. Really, all I could do was sigh because that seems to be my thing these days.

Oh well, that didn’t stop me from enjoying this book. From the beginning of the book where we meet Isabella griping about the uppity duke who can’t sleep so she has to bring her young charge to the stables to quiet him down in the cold night had me laughing and when she starts griping to the actual duke unknowingly, I knew that I was going to enjoy this book.

Isabella was one of those heroines that I spent a great deal of the book trying to figure out. I knew that I liked her but trying to piece her secret together made for an entertaining way to spend reading this book. The way that her thought processes moved at a lightning speed made me smile while reading this book, she thinks fast and she talks fast and I liked her.

Mark had my heart from the moment he took Baby Joseph into his arms and held him while Isabella got some rest. From that moment on, I just knew that I was going to love him and I did. He was just so yummy. I loved the easy way he was with Isabella, I loved seeing his inner struggle with his attraction to her at first and then watching him grow to care and then love Isabella was just too sweet for words.

This book has definitely shown me that I’m missing out on not reading more Lavinia Kent. Outside of the Real Duchesses of London books, I haven’t read very many of her books. Just haven’t been in the mood for them, I guess but I hope to fix that soon. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading many more books by this author. My only gripe with this story was that if Isabella’s story started in the other books, her reunion with her family was kind of short. I wanted more page time with her family but outside of that, this was a great historical story and I’m glad that I read it.

Grade: 4 out of 5.

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

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What I Read Last Week

Posted October 10, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 5 Comments

Hey there!

I’m writing this lovely post straight from lovely downtown Madison, Alabama. Ok, maybe not exactly downtown but close enough. 🙂 I’m here visiting my sister before I head down to NOLA GayRomLit. I flew in yesterday and got here in the afternoon. My sister and her hubby then took me on a personal tour of United Launch Alliance (where my b-i-l works) and I got to see where the Delta and Atlas rockets are built. I actually stuck my head into a rocket that was about 90% built.

My head was in the center part near the top. lol

It was pretty freakin cool to walk through that huge place and see how each piece is made. I have to say a lot of it was WAY over my head (my brain just doesn’t work that way, ya know?) but I loved it. We then went out for some great German food and I got to eat schnitzel for the first time.

I had to get up at 2:30 in the morning to catch my 6am plane yesterday so I was asleep pretty early (for me) but now I’m rarin to go. We don’t actually have plans for the day but when we do…I’m up for it! Lol

I’m sure there was stuff that I want to tell you about this past week but frankly I can’t remember a thing right now. Lol

Since my brain’s in stall mode I’ll just get to what I read last week:

First up was Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh. The story continued from the last book but this one wasn’t about Elena and Raphael this was the story of Dmitri, Raphael’s second. Dmitri gets involved in a case with Honor is a Guild Hunter and they have an amazing connection. They also investigate some murders. I loved this book. I thought Dmitri was a great character and I loved seeing him in a closer way than we’ve seen him in previous books. I read this one for The Book Binge so I’ll let you know when my review posts. 5 out of 5

Next up was What a Duke Wants by Lavinia Kent. This was a great historical that I really enjoyed reading. You can read more about the book and my review here if you’d like. 4 out 5

Next up was Chicken Ranch: Hunger by Amanda Young. The story is about an 18 year old guy who comes out to his father and gets kicked out of the house. After being on the street he finds out about an all male brothel called Chicken Ranch. He decides to check it out as he’s desperate and ends up working there. He’s a virgin until Killian comes along and makes it great for him. Killian and Declan run into each other later and actually start dating though Declan is still working at CR. They have their issues but still fall in love and deal with it all. It was a great story of love and hope and I really liked it. 3.75 out of 5

Next was a free story called Once Upon a Dragon by Jambrea Jo Jones. This was a choose you own m/m story from Kris’s blog and it was a good one. It was simple, short and a destined mates story and it just hit me the right way. About shapeshifting dragons and one finds his destined mate living in a tower that he thought was deserted. 4 out of 5

My next read was If It Ain’t Love by Tamara Allen. Also a free short story, this one took place in the great depression and is about two men who meet in the Bowery and decide to share some time. That time turns into a relationship that sweet and loving. The story was quite poignant in the descriptions of the desperation felt by the people living in that time – the bread lines and need for a job – just very realistic. A great read. 4.5 out of 5

Next was Bridges by M.J. O’Shea – another free short. The story follows Dallas and Brooklyn in their hatred for each other starting in the 3rd grade. The pair grow up hating each other but then start working together after high school graduation. They find that they really can get along and end up falling in love. I loved this story so much! There was just something about the boys and their hatred turned love that really got to me and I couldn’t get enough of them. 5 out of 5

Angels of Darkness by Meljean Brook, Nalini Singh, Sharon Shinn and Ilona Andrews was a book about angels. I really liked all of the stories in this book. I adore Andrews, Brook and Singh’s writing so I knew I’d like those. Shin’s and Andrews ended up being a bit of a surprise. Shin I’d never read but I really liked the story about a blind angel and the woman who helps him deal with life. Andrews’ story was a bit of surprise as well as it was a new world that they introduced about demons and aliens and though it was different I really liked it and can’t wait to read more about it. I read this one for The Book Binge. 4 out of 5

Last on the list for the week was another book I read for The Book Binge called A Bride Unveiled by Jillian Hunter. I really liked this book. It even had some things in it that I usually don’t care for and I still really liked it. It was the story of childhood friends finding each other again. Yes, the woman is engaged when they meet but it’s like she hardly knows her fiancé. No excuse to cheat on him but it still worked for me. I’ll let you know when my review posts. 4.5 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Serpent’s Kiss by Thea Harrison

Happy Reading!!

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Review: What A Duke Wants by Lavinia Kent

Posted October 5, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

What woman would refuse a Duke’s kiss? 
Running from a dark secret past, Isabella Masters craves peace and stability, a life far from the prying eyes of society. 
She does not dream of landing a lord. 
But in the arms of a stranger with magnificent eyes, she loses herself in one breath-stealing kiss— only to discover she has been misled by a reluctant Duke. 
Angered but enthralled, she dares not submit . . . though her passionate heart begs her to. He cannot wed her . . . but he must not lose her. 
Only one possibility remains— one too scandalous to consider . . . yet too tempting to resist.
Four years ago Isabella Masters brother was going to force her to marry a man that she did not want. The man, Foxworthy, gave her the creeps and was blackmailing the brother to boot. She ended up killing the man, retrieving the blackmail info and running for her life. Instead of the gentle life she knew she worked as a companion – but when our story begins she is working as a baby nurse for a fussy baby named Joey. Isabella is in the stable yard of a travel inn trying to get Joey to sleep when she meets a man and they begin conversing. They have a great conversation and another the next day. The man and his party – which is the Duke of Strattington’s party – seem to travel and stop at the same places (they’re all headed to London for the King’s coronation) so the pair begin meeting for a short time each night and get to know each other better as time goes on.
Eventually Isabella decides that she must seduce the man so that he can help her escape. She’s being chased but she knows not why or by whom. She assumes it’s because of Foxworthy but she really doesn’t know for sure – she just knows she needs to get away. Isabella starts her seduction but it is interrupted. She then finds out that the man she thinks of as an estate agent for the Duke is really the Duke himself.
Mark Smythe is the Duke of Strattington but he has a love/hate relationship with the Duke. He feels like he’s two people and he can’t quite mesh the two. Since becoming the Duke, which he never thought would happen in a million years, everyone has treated him differently and he’s never sure if what he’s doing or how he’s acting is the “correct” way. When he meets Isabella she treats him like a man – not a Duke. He loves talking to her because she’s honest and doesn’t try to cozy up to him or fear him because of his title. He wants to tell her the truth about his identity but he doesn’t want to give up the camaraderie that he’s built with her.
Eventually when things come to light Isabella is at a crossroads. She has no money and no where to go but the Duke is offering her a chance to become his mistress. She does care for him but she wants a home and family and a normal life, not to be someone’s plaything. She agrees but she has to head to London where she might be recognized. As time passes she realizes that she cannot stay with Mark as she feels that he is two different people and Mark doesn’t want to let her go – though he knows that he can never truly have her the way he wants her.
When the book started out I loved the verbal sparring and conversations that Mark and Isabella had. It was light and fun and though I could feel Isabella’s distress at her situation I was more aware of the playfulness of the couple when they were together. Once Isabella became Mark’s mistress the book became much more somber. Their relationship, at times, was fun and playful but the overall feel of the book was much more serious.
Isabella wanted the things that a normal woman would want at that time period – home, family, children to love and of course a loving husband. She fell in love with Mark but she wasn’t the type of woman that could be a man’s mistress and be happy. She wanted more and knew that she could never have that (with anyone) because of her past. She wasn’t honest with Mark about who exactly she was and what she had done – or the fact that men were after her. She didn’t want to cause him trouble or start a scandal but I wish she would have had enough faith in him to trust him to be able to help.
For Mark’s part he was just so conflicted. He was falling in love with Isabella (even though he wouldn’t admit that he was) and didn’t want her to leave him – but he knew that she wanted more. He wanted her to be happy but he really wanted her to be happy with him. It was a little heartbreaking. He also had no clue how to keep a mistress. He’d never done so before and was taking the advice of his valet (who was a complete ass and I wish he would have been fired during the course of the book!) which wasn’t good advice at all. I was so happy when a fellow duke pulled Mark aside and explained about being a duke. I wanted to hug that man! lol
The suspense part of the book played a role in Isabella’s decisions so I can’t say that I wish it wasn’t part of the book but it didn’t do a whole lot for me. It explained things and gave another reason for Mark to protect his woman but I didn’t love it.
There was also a part in the book that involved Annie – aka Lady Richard Tenant. She was part of the Duchesses of London series and there was some unfinished business with her and her husband. Hopefully Ms. Kent will continue that story in future books.
Overall it was a very good love story that was a bit bittersweet. I loved the hero and heroine and was quite happy when they got their HEA.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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What I Read Last Week

Posted September 5, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 5 Comments

Happy Labor Day!

I hope you all had a great weekend and for those of you in the US I hope you’re having a nice extra day off today.  I know I am!

Saturday my mom Judith and I traveled to Holly’s house for a special blogger get together.  You see Ames was visiting from Canada and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see her while she was here.  Rosie, Holly, Renee, Wendy, Judith, Lori, Rowena and Ames and I had a great time having lunch together (Nikki had to bow out at the last minute due to work – boo hoo) and then all of us but Rosie went over to Holly’s house to talk for hours and invade her books! lol  I know that we took a group picture but I don’t know who’s camera it was on so I’ll post it when I track them down.

Then Sunday after church we had a little fiesta and had a waterslide (at the church).  It was great fun and my little one was just going nuts on it.  Here she is practically falling out of the darned thing. lol (sorry it’s a little fuzzy since I took it with my phone)

Today we don’t have much planned.  I know I plan to do the laundry that I avoided yesterday. 🙂

On to what I read last week:

I started the week with The Salisbury Key by Harper Fox.  This was a book that I really liked but had some issues with.  I did love the writing though so I had some problems rating it at first.  You can read my review here for further thoughts. 4 out of 5

Next was A Midnight Dance by Lila DiPasqua.  This is a French historical romance based on the Cinderella fairy tale but it wasn’t like any Cinderella story I’d ever read.  It was pretty dark yet a really great romance.  The story is about a girl who was born to wealth but then lost everything.  She’s trying to keep her family from starving and decides to steal silver from a band of privateers.  The privateers are lead by the man she has been in love with for years but that doesn’t stop her.  The story turns in a different direction than what I expected but it was really good and definitely worth the read. 4.25 out of 5 (read for The Book Binge)

Elizabeth, the Enchantress by Lavinia Kent was next and this novella was just as good as the previous 3 novella’s in the series. This story had Elizabeth’s husband William returning home after 4 years.  William is clueless as to what happened after he left on his travels just a month after he married Elizabeth.  Can William make up for his mistakes and can Elizabeth forgive him?  You can read my mini review here. 4 out of 5

Good Girls Don’t by Victoria Dahl was my next read.  This is book one in the Donovan Brewery series about the 3 Donovan children.  This was Tessa’s story.  Tessa has issues but she’s not afraid to go after what she wants…which is to play with Luke Asher. But Tessa has some really huge problems to work through, inner problems with herself and those with her brothers.  Can a romance survive it?  You can read my review here for more info. 4 out of 5

Last on the list was Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong.  This book takes up a day after the last book, Waking the Witch, left off.  Savannah has just investigated murders and being poisoned and now her powers are gone.  She’s trying to find out what happened as well and trying to figure what’s up with a group of supernaturals who want to come out and rule the world.  There’s a whole lot going on and the book was left without a conclusion but it was an enjoyable book that was well written, as usual.  4 out of 5 (read for The Book Binge)

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Changeling Moon by Dani Harper
Changeling Dream by Dani Harper

Happy Reading!

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Mini Review: Elizabeth, the Enchantress by Lavinia Kent

Posted September 2, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

The Real Duchesses of London – Episode 4: How to Succeed in Marriage without Really Trying

Elizabeth, the Countess of Westhampton, has found her husband. Unfortunately, she’d have preferred it if he’d stayed lost! How is she supposed to react when the man who married her and then abandoned her without a wedding night suddenly reappears? Obviously, she’ll have to plan her revenge very carefully…

Four years ago Elizabeth was saved from a horrible home life with her uncle and cousins and marriage to a nasty old man – as those were the only suitors her uncle would let near her, by the Earl of Westhampton. She thought he was her prince charming – but when it came down to it he wasn’t anywhere near a prince – nor all that charming when he left for his travels not a month after they were married.

Elizabeth grew up in the four year that her husband was away but now he’s back and he’s a bit confused as to why Elizabeth is so upset at him. Men really can be incredibly dense.

What William doesn’t know is that Elizabeth was put up to the ton as a woman who couldn’t keep her man satisfied and happy and was made out as a joke. William had already planned his travels when he married and thought he made it clear that it was a marriage of convenience but when he found out what Elizabeth went through he was horrified.

The story tells the story of Elizabeth and William working out their differences, finding a common ground in the marriage that really, both of them want to work and finding love.

This, along with all of the other stories in this series, has been charming. I’ve loved getting to know the “real duchesses” and the men they love as well as seeing their friendship in all of its many stages – both good and bad. Lavinia Kent has brought us lovely stories of love, loyalty, friendship and I very much look forward to reading Kent’s novel, What a Duke Wants, as I very much enjoy her writing style.

Rating: 4 out of 5