Tag: Nicola Cornick

Guest Review: The Lady and the Laird by Nicola Cornick

Posted August 15, 2013 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

15803766Judith’s review of The Lady and the Laird by Nicola Cornick

Lady Lucy MacMorlan may have forsworn men and marriage, but that doesn’t mean she won’t agree to profit from writing love letters for her brother’s friends – letters that become increasingly racy as her fame grows. That is, until she deliberately ruins the betrothal of a notorious laird, Robert, Marquis of Methven. 

Past centuries of bloodshed have left the Methven and MacMorlan families bitter enemies and Robert is furious that Lady Lucy’s letters have cost him the bride he needs so urgently to save his ancestral clan lands. Now he makes Lucy a shocking proposal; in return for his silence she must become his wife and provide him with the heir he needs. It is an inconvenient marriage of convenience but can the rugged laird and the bluestocking beauty fight against the power of love?

What’s the harm in a little fun stuff like writing love letters for one’s brother and his friends?  After all, they really aren’t very good at it and it’s a way to gain a bit of pin money and we all know that in that historical era it was a rare woman indeed who had access to her own funds.  Yet this story is a case of being “hoisted on the point of one’s own pitard” as a specific set of letters does far more harm than good and thus begins the troubled and difficult marriage between the letter-writing Lady Lucy and the  very PO’d bridegroom, Robert.

Nicola Cornick is one of those authors that writes with unmitigated creativity.  She seems to be bowing to the literary protocols of historical novels but in her own way she gives each one twists and surprises that keep each one enjoyable and far from predictable.  So it is with this story.  Of course, we all know that many Regency romances begin as adversarial marriages of convenience or possible as friendship kinds of relationships where there is certainly no love to bind the couple together.  But here, Lady Lucy must “pay the piper” for her transgressions so that in addition to being caught in a marriage of convenience when she had no intention of marrying the first place, she is now caught by a man who is the last in a long line of peers with whom her family as been as serious odds for generations.   It’s a tale well calculated to keep the reader entranced and engaged emotionally as well as intellectually, following the story as well as hoping for the best for these two people who must deal with their own issues as well as those of their ancestors that have fallen upon them without their consent.

I think this kind of historical romance is such fun to read–so very entertaining on so many levels.  It’s one of the novels that I have most enjoyed in recent weeks and am delighted to have had the opportunity to read and review it.

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

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

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

Review: The Lady and the Laird by Nicola Cornick

Posted July 31, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

An Indecent Proposal!

Lady Lucy MacMorlan may have forsworn men and marriage, but that doesn’t mean she won’t agree to profit from writing love letters for her brother’s friends – letters that become increasingly racy as her fame grows. That is, until she deliberately ruins the betrothal of a notorious laird, Robert, Marquis of Methven.

Past centuries of bloodshed have left the Methven and MacMorlan families bitter enemies and Robert is furious that Lady Lucy’s letters have cost him the bride he needs so urgently to save his ancestral clan lands. Now he makes Lucy a shocking proposal; in return for his silence she must become his wife and provide him with the heir he needs. It is an inconvenient marriage of convenience but can the rugged laird and the bluestocking beauty fight against the power of love?

Lord Methven needs a wife in order to fulfill an ancient treaty and to keep his lands. He needs to marry someone from a particular family line (the family the treaty is bound to) but after being left at the altar by one woman there’s only one left and that is Lucy MacMorlan. Lucy, however, has no desire to marry nor have children…ever…due to a tragedy involving her twin when she was 16.  The treaty says Methven must marry within a year and have an heir within 2 years. Nothing like rushing things. Methven likes Lucy a lot so he’s not having a hard time imagining her as his wife but Lucy would rather face a horrible reputation than marry anyone. Robert manages to work his charms and after traveling on their own with no chaperone Lucy knows she has to marry.

The first part of the story is Robert and Lucy and their struggles with themselves and each other – with Robert asking Lucy to marry him at every turn – as well as dealing with the villain of the story, Lucy’s cousin Wilfred. Wilfred will claim the Methven lands if Robert can’t fulfill the treaty so of course he’ll do anything to stop Lucy and Robert. In the second part of the story Robert and Lucy are still dealing with Wilfred but Lucy is also struggling with Robert as they head to the island where he grew up and he becomes stoic and uncommunicative as the island holds such good and some horrible memories.

The story was very well done and I really enjoyed it. Lucy did pull a couple of stupid stunts during the story and those were frustrating as she just seemed too smart to do what she did. I liked the different stages that the characters went through with their emotions. Lucy was so proper yet had an underlying passion for life in her that she tried to squash down. Coming to terms with her true self and facing the emotions and fears she had been carrying around for the past eight years wasn’t easy but she did it well and the author didn’t rush this which I appreciated.

Robert was gorgeous and charming yet could be a jerk. The thing I liked about him though was that he knew when he was being a jerk and always apologized for it. I liked that about him. He was fiercely loyal to those under his care and it showed what kind of a man he truly was. He was a good match for Lucy, that’s for sure.

Overall a story well done. I look forward to reading more in this series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Nicola Cornick

What I Read Last Week

Posted July 22, 2013 by Tracy in Features | 5 Comments

Happy My-boss-is-on-vacation-day! lol I do enjoy working with my boss, a lot, but it’s always nice to have the office to myself. In this case I’ll get the office to myself for the next two weeks. Yes, I can get into a lot of trouble in two weeks but I’ll try to hold myself back. 🙂

Life was pretty quiet this past week. On Friday we went to a Family Night at the park where my youngest is attending summer camp (day camp). They had a potluck and then the councilors did a game rotation. It was hilarious and the kids had a ton of fun. I spent Saturday pretty much doing nothing – which was glorious, I must say – and Sunday doing a total spring cleaning of my bedroom. Every nook and cranny was attacked and cleaned out and it felt great. It’s amazing how much room I have in my night stand now that all that unnecessary crap is gone. lol

Here are a couple of random pictures I thought I’d share. This is, of course, my wonderful and crazy cat, Echo. My daughter likes to put her in strange positions when she carries her around and the cat freakin loves it. Strange cat. This one had her purring like a lion – you could literally hear it down the hall it was so loud. She looks like she’s so resigned to being treated like a rag doll but she loves it – don’t let the face fool you.

This is the tree in my front yard. Isn’t it great? I love it when it blooms because the rest of the year it is seriously one of the ugliest things I have ever seen. lol

Ok, on to what I read:

I started off the week with Forgotten Sins by Rebecca Zanetti. The story is about Josie who was married to Shane for 2 months and then he left for work one day and never came back. It’s now 2 years later and Shane is back but he has no idea who he is as he has amnesia. Josie takes him in temporarily but it’s not exactly safe for either Josie or Shane as there are people after each of them. You can read my full review here. 3 out of 5

Beauty and the Billionaire by Jessica Clare was next up and this was the second book in the Billionaire Boys Club series. The story is about Gretchen who is a ghostwriter and is commissioned to write an epistolary novel based on letters but the letters can’t leave the owners home. The owner is Hunter Buchanan and the whole thing is a set up so that he can get closer to Gretchen. He’s a scarred virgin hero so I loved that. He did act like an ass and ended up doing a fair bit of groveling but he did it well. 🙂 4 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)

Next up was The Highlander’s Desire by Margo Maguire. This is a medieval romance about a man who heads off to marry a woman he’s never met so that he can be named as the next Laird as the woman is the current Laird’s daughter. When he arrives he is met by his enemy who it appears is also courting the woman but it turns out that Lachann is more interested in the serving maid, Anna, than in the nasty daughter, Catriona. This was a good story but I did think the romance started pretty abruptly. I’ll post my review for this one next week. 3.5 out of 5

Tall, Dark and Vampire by Sara Humphreys told the story of Olivia, a vampire who owns a club. Unfortunately one of her progeny, Maya, was playing with a human and then that night the human was dead. The murder is investigated by a man who looks like Olivia’s love from 300 years ago so while she tries to figure out who the murderer is she tries to figure Doug out as well. Doug is attracted to Olivia and tries to stay professional during the investigation but when he almost dies and is turned he just wants to walk in the sun. It was a good story and the start of, hopefully, a good series. 3.75 out of 5

Elite by Rachel Van Dyken was a New Adult book that had me turning page after page. It was about a girl from a farm in Wyoming who attends a very elite school and is met by condescension and frankly people who are just plain evil. She ends up being protected by the group called The Elect but this has both its up and its downs. I could go on but I’ll post my review for this tomorrow so you can read more then. Just know, it was very good lol 4 out of 5 (FYI – there’s a giveaway going on right now for this book right here on the blog.  Go here for the post.)

Last for the week was The Lady and the Laird by Nicola Cornick. This story was about a man who would lose his inheritance if he didn’t marry a woman from a particular family. The only option – after he’s left at the altar is Lucy who has vowed not to marry because of a tragedy that occurred when she was 16. Robert isn’t about to lose though and the more he pursues her the faster he falls in love. They both have issues that they need to work out though and of course a villain’s thrown in too. It was a good story that I very much enjoyed. 4 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Not the Leader of the Pack by Annabeth Leong

Happy Reading!! 

Review: Forbidden by Nicola Cornick

Posted August 31, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

As maid to some of the most wanton ladies of the ton, Margery Mallon lives within the boundaries of any sensible servant. Entanglements with gentlemen are taboo. Wild adventures are for the Gothic novels she secretly reads. Then an intriguing stranger named Mr. Ward offers her a taste of passion, and suddenly the wicked possibilities are too tempting to resist.

Henry Atticus Richard Ward is no ordinary gentleman. He’s Lord Wardeaux and he is determined to unite Margery with her newfound inheritance by any means—including seduction and deception. But when the ton condemns the scandalous servant-turned-countess and an unknown danger prepares to strike, will Margery accept Henry’s protection in exchange for her trust?

Margery sells sweet and confections to the whores at the local brothels and gets paid in their cast off clothing. She then takes that to her brothers second hand store and he pays her for them. She’s saving her money from that as well as her position as a ladies maid to eventually open her own confectioners shop. One day when she’s in one of the brothels she runs into a man who is gorgeous and charming and though she finally spits out that she’s not a lightskirt he still kisses her and wow, it’s memorable.

Another day the man is waiting for her when she leaves her employers house on her evening off. They go to dinner and he introduces himself as Henry Ward. They have a wonderful time and Margery is pretty smitten. They actually end up in a near compromising position but stop before it goes too far.

The next day Margery is called down to her employers parlor and she’s just sure that she’s about to be fired as someone has discovered what she did with Henry. What she discovers instead is that she is an Earl’s long lost granddaughter. She of course scoffs at this information as she knows it can’t be true. She was raised with three brothers as the daughter of a blacksmith. Yet, she has memories that don’t quite fit in with her life in the Mallon family.

She is whisked off to the Earl’s estate and is now Lady Marguerite. She’s not sure what to do with herself and not sure who she is any longer. Her great-aunt isn’t all that nice and neither is Henry’s mother. Henry of course, as far as Marguerite is concerned, can go hang. She’s pissed off that he deceived her to gather information about her and her past but….as much as she hates him she also really likes the guy when she gets to know him further.

The story is about Margery’s life as a Lady and her romance with Henry, that despite all appearances, is quite steamy. We also get someone trying to do Margery harm and Henry’s having none of that.

I really liked this latest installment in the Scandalous Ladies of the Ton series. Margery was quite a woman to put up with all she did from start to finish – with her grandfather as well as relatives and those men who came to court her. No one from the Ton could quite completely accept her because of her background but she just didn’t let that stop her from being true to herself and who she was. I really liked that about her.

Henry was quite a cold fish for the most part but the guy had hidden depths. He knew that Margery was forbidden to him because he didn’t want to be seen as a fortune hunter. (He was the heir apparent until Margery was found.) But the more time he spent with her, and despite the fact that they seemed to frustrate the hell out of each other, he loved her. He tried to fight it and he did make a mess of things sometimes but despite that he came out looking pretty good in the hero department.

In the end the book was quite entertaining. Margery and Henry were great together and I loved reading about them.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Nicola Cornick

What I Read Last Week

Posted August 28, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 11 Comments

Well here we are on Monday again. I don’t understand how this keeps happening so quickly every week! lol

I went back to work on Wednesday but am still under the weather and pretty sick this weekend. I’m at work today just dreaming about home. 🙂

My youngest had a belt test this past Saturday for her Danbo belt. It’s the last belt before she hits black and I was so proud of her! I took a lot of little mini videos and then thanks to a great little app on my iPhone I was able to merge them all together into one video. In this test she had to break a ton of boards and even one with her head! OMG that scared me but she did a great job. I’m embedding that video but there are also a couple of sparring vids on my youtube channel if you want to watch them.

Other than that not a lot happened this week so on to what I read:

I started off the week with About That Night by Julie James. I swear this book must have gotten lost in the shuffle but I was so excited when I unearthed it. This is the story of Rylann who is a US Attorney and Kyle who is an ex-con (he shut down Twitter for 48 hours) and how they fall in love. It was a really great book which is what I expect from Julie as she writes so well. I read this one for Book Binge and will let you know when my review posts. 4 out of 5

Next was a reread for me – The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook. I loved this book the first time I read it and it was no different this time. I wanted to refresh my memory on events and characters before I delve into books 2 & 3 (I know, I can’t believe I’m that behind either). If you haven’t read this steampunk book then you should cuz it’s oh so good. 5 out of 5

My next read was Archangel’s Storm by Nalini Singh that I read for Book Binge. This is a great addition to the Guild Hunter series. In this book we get Jason’s story. Jason is Raphael’s spymaster and is in one of the other Archangel’s courts to try and find a murderer. He meet Mahiya and the man who never thought he could feel again, does. Now he doesn’t turn from dark to light and change personalities and that’s what I loved about the story. He was himself only better and Singh kept his character true. Very good story. 4 out of 5

After that I picked up But My Boyfriend Is by KA Mitchell. This is book 4 in the Florida series and one of the men is the brother of Aaron who was in Collision Course. Dylan’s twin, Darryl, is beaten up because the bashers thought he was Dylan. Darryl was saved by good Samaritan, Mike. Mike and Dylan have a connection and though they quickly getting off in the bathroom, Dylan is in complete denial as to the fact that he’s gay. This one was very angsty but oh so good. I really liked Mike a lot and thought he was extremely patient with Dylan and his constant denials about his sexuality. Definitely worth reading, especially if you’ve read the others in this series. 4 out of 5

Nothing of a Son by LA Witt was next and this was an unusual read for me. I don’t normally read m/m historical romance but this sounded so good. The story is about a soldier, Daedalus, who asks a Duke for shelter from a storm. The duke allows him in but warns him about touching his two daughters. But Daedalus is gay and when he sees the duke’s son, Rauman, he is completely smitten. Rauman is also head over heels for Daedalus. They fall into each others arms but know they can’t be together forever. This was a good historical read. I didn’t get to know the characters that well so I felt I was missing something in the end. The story is more of a HFN story but was still good. 3 out of 5

Turn to Darkness by Jaime Rush was my next read. This is a spin-off from her original Offspring series. I haven’t read any of the other stories but I didn’t feel too lost at all with what was going on. Shea was hurt horribly 6 years earlier but none of her friends know about it. She hides behind baggy clothing. This doesn’t stop her friend Darius from liking her but he wants to possess her and frankly it’s a bit creepy. Then there’s Greer who she really likes but tells herself she doesn’t. The story revolved around Shea and Greer coming to terms with what they were to each other as well as the father’s of Shea and Greer coming to kill their offspring. It was an interesting story and I think I may want to go back and find out more about the “Darkness” which seems kind of like a strange magical ability. 3 out of 4

Love, Hypothetically by Anne Tenino is a follow up to Frat Boy and Toppy that I enjoyed so much. Paul was the nasty ass roommate that couldn’t keep his trap shut about jocks. We all thought he had a stick up his ass but apparently there was a very good reason for the way he acted. I’ll review this one later this week.

Last for the week was Forbidden by Nicola Cornick. This story was about Margery who is a ladies maid and quite happy for the time being. She wants nothing more than to save enough money to start her own confectioners shop. She meets Henry and is quite charmed by him…until she finds out some important information. I’ll review this later this week and tell you more then.

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
A Perfect Stranger by Jaden Skye
Echoes at Dawn by Maya Banks

Happy Reading!