Tag: Victoria Alexander

Review: The Importance of Being Wicked by Victoria Alexander

Posted February 5, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 4 Comments

For Winfield Elliott, Viscount Stillwell, finding a prospective bride always seemed easy. Perhaps too easy. With three broken engagements to his name, Win is the subject of endless gossip. Yet his current mission is quite noble: to hire a company to repair his family’s fire-damaged country house. Nothing disreputable in that—until the firm’s representative turns out to be a very desirable widow.

Lady Miranda Garrett expected a man of Win’s reputation to be flirtatious, even charming. But the awkward truth is that she finds him thoroughly irresistible. While Miranda resides at Millworth to oversee the work, Win occupies her days, her dreams…and soon, her bed. For the first time, the wicked Win has fallen in love. And what began as a scandalous proposition may yet become a very different proposal…

We met Lord Stillwell in a previous novella and I really loved him. He was really a great guy and while this novel showed us a different side of him and some not so charming characteristics, I still thought he was great.

Miranda is a widow and is also a business woman. After her husband died she took over his architectural firm and started running it – but her family has no idea. She actually is the architect herself – as she was when her husband was alive and he took credit for her work. She was fine with that as she knew they’d probably lose business if people knew a woman was doing the work. When Lord Stillwell’s family home, Fairborough, burns Miranda’s firm is contracted to put it back to its former glory. Miranda ends up staying at the home with the Fairborough clan but that puts Miranda and Winfield in close proximity together. They go from annoying the heck out of each other to becoming friends to becoming much more.

There are issues, however that the two must work through. Winfield knows some of Miranda’s secrets and he wants Miranda to trust him enough to tell him what they are – even though he already knows. Just like a man! lol Miranda plans on telling Win everything but hasn’t found the right time. In the meantime his family and her family are hard at work trying to put the two of them together and it makes for some interesting conversations.

I think what I liked most about this book was that it focused on the romance and the issues between the two people. Issues that “normal” (rather than fictional) people would have – trust, honesty, secrets, annoyances – there wasn’t any kidnapping or getting hurt or the like to make the other suddenly know that they loved the other. It was all the struggle between the two and I really enjoyed that. The couple knew how to banter with the best of them and while at times it was a bit much for the most part I really liked Win and Miranda’s conversation. When they finally decided that they were going to move from friends to…more (whatever that ended up being) it was wonderful. They actually talked about it and decided yes, that’s what they wanted to do. There was no moving forward and hoping the other was on the same page. Here it is:

He huffed and got out of the cab, then turned to her. “I shall see you in a few minutes then.”

“I shall linger in the entry and arrange an accidental meeting. And thank you for keeping my confidence.”

“Of course.” He nodded. “But I must confess, I thought what you wished to keep from your family was, well, us.”

“I didn’t know there was an us.”

“Yes, you did.”

“Yes.” She sighed. “I did.”

“Perhaps it’s time we did something about that.”


“Possibly decide what exactly ‘us’ entails?”

“Possibly.” She paused. “You do realize, once we speak aloud of this, of us, there can be no going back.”

He nodded. “No one is more aware of that than I am.”

“We stand to risk what we have. And I must confess, I value the time we spend together and the friendship we have forged.”

“As do I, but it’s not enough, is it?

She stared at him. “No, it isn’t.”

“We can’t continue on this way. Or rather I don’t wish to.

I would hope that you don’t wish to either.” His voice softened. “I want more. Do you?”

She nodded slowly. “Yes, I do.”

Oh, so good! I love that they’re up front with each other in this instance.

Anyway, there is a bit of a dust up when Win wants to take the relationship further and Miranda has some views about that that Win doesn’t really agree with. Then there’re issues with Miranda’s firm and a silent partner and such that while interesting was a bit unnecessary, imho. I think it took too much of the focus away from Win and Miranda and I didn’t care for that.

In the end I thought it was a really good story and well worth the read. I hope there will be more books in this series and look forward to reading them if there are.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Victoria Alexander

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What I Read Last Week

Posted February 5, 2013 by Tracy in Features | 6 Comments

Hope you’re having a happy Monday. Last week was pretty crazy with seeing my parents off to TN. They finally made it there….Saturday, I think. I haven’t heard from them since Friday so hopefully everything’s going well.

Not much to tell this week so I’ll get on to what I read: 

First up was The Better To See You by Kate SeRine. This is the second book in a series about characters from Make Believe who got shoved over to our world after a spell went terribly wrong. Now these fantasy/nursery rhyme characters are trying to live in our world and not let humans knows. This story is about Cinderella’s fairy godmother – the one whose spell went wrong – and she’s in some trouble her friend Red sends her off to be protected by, you guessed it, the big bad wolf. Seth and Lavender really hit it off but there’s so much going on in the Make Believe place called the Refuge and Lavender and Seth get caught in the middle. I have to say that this book was completely unexpected and a real pleasant surprise. I liked SeRine’s writing, her sense of humor and the way she integrated all the characters into the story. Yeah, it’s out there but I liked it. I’ll definitely be reading the next book in the series. 4 out of 5 (read for Book Binge) 

Next up was Steven by Kirsten Osbourne. This is the story of a woman who is down and out and is taking care of her niece after her sister died. She heads to the baby daddy’s house to get assistance and he ends up taking them in and making her the nanny. The story has a twist but it wasn’t completely unexpected. It was cute but pedestrian for my liking. 2 out of 5 (free Kindle book) 

My next read was The Importance of Being Wicked by Victoria Alexander. This is the continuing story of Lord Stillwell (we met him in Lord Stillwell’s Excellent Engagements) and Miranda Garret who is a widow who is running her husband’s architectural firm. Of course she was the architect even when her hubby was alive but it was easier to hide her involvement then. Now she’s thinking her house of cards might be falling and Lord Stillwell might be the one to bring them down. I’m posting my review of this tomorrow so you can read more of my thoughts then. 

OMG I can’t believe I forgot this one (sorry!) All He Ever Dreamed by Shannon Stacey was another great story in the Kowalski series.  This is Josh’s story and is about his desire to get the heck out of town and his loyalty to his family.  Josh and his best friend Katie turn friends to lovers and then more.  I’ll post my review this week. 🙂

Dojo Boys: The Italian Connection by Alex A. Akira is a yaoi type novel about a dancer/thief and the Italian man he has the hots for. I’ll post my review of this later this week. 

Next up was Hope for a Buffalo by Charlie Richards. This story has chameleon shifter Caleb seeing a picture of a buffalo that’s on exhibit at the zoo and thinking he might be a shifter. When they head to the zoo they find he is a shifter, but also Caleb’s mate. They have to try to save him but things don’t go as smoothly as they’d hoped. This was a cute story and also very sad. The buffalo shifter, Emmett, was shunned by his clan for being gay and then forced to live in his animal form for 8 YEARS. Dear Lord that hurt my heart. Anyway, it was a short but good story. 3 out of 5 

After that I continued the Kontra’s Menagie series with Dominating the Wolf by Charlie Richards. This story takes up right where the last book ended and has Kontra’s doctor, Eli, heading to Denver to try to save a shifter. He gets motion sickness and doesn’t realize that the man who’s helping him is his mate because he can’t smell while he’s got his head in the head. Sam thinks that Eli doesn’t want him and takes off. Eli does though, he just didn’t like the thought of Sam, a submissive, seeing Eli, a dom, being anything less than strong. That part bugged me and while I thought the guys were good together I didn’t really feel the connection between them – I only really felt Eli’s domination and it kind of took over the book for me. 2 out of 5 

The Autumn Bride by Anne Gracie was my last read and though I usually love Gracie’s work this one just didn’t do it for me. It was good but mostly because of the female characters, not the romance. The story is about 2 sisters. Abby is a governess and when she finds out that her sister has been kidnapped and taken to a brothel she runs to help. When it comes down to it there are 3 girls including Abby that end up together trying to make ends meet. Abby meets Lady Beatrice Davenham in a very interesting way, the two become friends and the four girls end up living in Lady Bea’s house and taking care of her. Lady Bea’s nephew is the hero of the book and I just didn’t feel there was enough connection between Abby and Max throughout the book. I really loved the 4 girls and Lady Bea though and that made the book for me. 3 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
When She Was Wicked by Anne Barton

Happy Reading!

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Mini Review: Lord Stillwell’s Excellent Engagements by Victoria Alexander

Posted December 21, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Genres: Anthologies (multiple authors)


Some say I do not take my engagements seriously. Nonsense. What man with no interest in marriage would find himself proposing not once, but three times? And each time, I’ve felt certain that this, at last, is the absolutely, positively, perfect woman.

Miss Felicia Whitingdon, for instance, has youth, beauty, style, grace—and a handsome fortune. Lady Lucille Eustice is a widow of impeccable social standing, and a balm to my soul. Then there is Miss Caroline Hibbit, sweet and charming in every way. Any one of these intoxicating treasures could make a man happy. Any one of them could be an ideal wife. But which—if any of them—will it be? 

Lord Stillwell is excited to be engaged. His parents thank that he might be too young at 25 but he’s certain that Felicia is the one….only she’s not. 
A few years later Win is excited once again because he’s chosen a fiance this time who is utterly sensible and beautiful as well. Unfortunately, he once again finds that Lucille isn’t the one for him either. 
Caroline is the one. Yes, he’s now 30 years old and has a good head on his shoulders. He’s found a great girl and he’s anxious for the wedding. *sigh* Yeah, that one isn’t going to happen either. 
All of these women were great and at the time of the engagements Win is certain that this one is the one…kind of. In this novella we read about a nice, honorable man who wants to get married and is consistently thwarted. I liked how we got to see Win grow through the years and what he looked for in a wife change as well. I felt for him each time the engagements didn’t work out but we could see, as readers, that it just wasn’t meant to be. 
I can’t wait to read the novel that has Win finally finding his HEA (comes out in February). I think it will be a great read – just as this was a novella not to be missed. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 

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What I Read Last Week

Posted December 17, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 5 Comments

Well it’s Monday again and only 8 more days til Christmas. Wow. I can’t believe it’s that close. No, I’m nowhere near ready, as is usual. I never know how I get it all done but I always do. So do you shop in advance or are you like me and get it all done at the last minute?

This is the last week of school for my kids before a 3 week Christmas break. I have no idea why they get such a long damned break but it will be interesting this year. I’m off the week between Christmas and New Year, which I’ve never done before so that will be nice. But the rest of the time I have no idea what I’ll do with them! lol They need entertaining, ya know? Otherwise they get into trouble. 🙂

I don’t think my mom has announced this yet but it’s a big freaking deal in my life as well…my mom is retiring at the end of the year (which I’ve known for a while now) but what I just found out a couple of months ago is that my parents are moving to Tennessee next month!!!! I’m so excited for them but so very sad for me. That sounds selfish, I know, but besides college I’ve never lived more than an hour from my parents…ever. Now they’re gonna be about 2,000 miles and 31 hours away! Arrrrrg. I don’t know what I’ll do without seeing them all the time! I guess I’ll have to plan a long vacation and go visit. sigh

Anyway, on to what I read last week: 

I started off the week with Maya Banks’ In Bed With a Highlander. The story is about Mairin who is kidnapped from a convent where she’s been hiding. Those who want her dowry and know who she really is. She escapes from the evil guy and makes it to the home of a boy she has been protecting. She ends up marrying the boys father, Ewan, but it’s a rocky road for them. This was such a great story. I really loved Ewan and his brothers and while I had originally given the story a 4 star rating I had to up that to 4.5 out of 5. The more I thought about it the more I loved it. :0) I’m now impatiently waiting for my turn at the library for the ebook so I can read book 2!

Next up was my Tracy’s TBR challenge read for the week and it was Finding Chrissten by NJ Walters. This is a story about a half human, half shapeshifter who has been in captivity with a psycho for the past 18 months. Her brothers and a group of their friends have been unable to find her until now. They rescue her but she needs time to heal. She was mated against her will while in captivity and the man who is her mate isn’t gonna let her get away. Then there’s one of her brothers’ friends, Hank, who has been drawn to Chrissten since the moment he caught her scent. They both have a strange attraction to one another and feel at peace when they are with each other. But can they keep away from the evil mate? This was a good story. I really liked Hank and his ability to tread lightly when it came to Chrissten. I did think that for all she’d been through the story went too fast but maybe that was me. These are shapeshifters and obviously think differently than I do. I did like the writing in this one a great deal so will look for more books by this author. 3.5 out of 5

Next was Trouble in Texas by Katie Lane. The story is about a 37 year old librarian who the town thinks is an old maid, but she isn’t. Just cuz she doesn’t want to get married and doesn’t dress in a flashy way doesn’t maker her an old maid. She DOES own a house that use to be the most famous house of ill repute in Texas but she wants to unload that and find somewhere else for the hens who still live there to live. She didn’t plan on the hens shooting and then handcuffing Brant Cates to the bed – or for him and his brother, Beau, to buy the house. You can read my review here at Book Binge. 3.25 out of 5

Next up was Deck the Halls With Love by Lorraine Heath. This is a novella having to do with the Lost Lords of Pembrook. The story is about Chetwyn and his love for a woman that he never wanted to let go of but felt he had to. It’s a very good story and one I really enjoyed. My review will post tomorrow.

Trick of Time by JL Merrow is a book that doesn’t come out til late next month but I couldn’t wait to read it. I love Merrow’s work and of course love time travel so there ya go. This story is about a man who heads back to the late 1800’s and meets a rent boy who he falls in love with. I really liked the story a lot – the setting, the characters, just about everything. Good stuff. I’ll post my review next month. 4 out of 5

Aftershock by Jill Sorenson was a great story about people who are trapped in an underpass after a 8.5 magnitude earthquake. They’re not only stuck in the pass and wonder how they will survive if not rescued by also there was a prison transport and not all the passengers died. You can read my review here. Good book! 4 out of 5

Mommy Midwife by Cassie Miles is the story of midwife Olivia living in the mountains outside of Denver. She gets pregnant and while the father of the baby, Troy, wants to marry her she knows that’s not smart as they’re not in love. When someone starts stalking her Troy takes over her protection but who they think is the stalker may not be the right one. This was a cute story. Olivia bugged me a bit at times but I really liked Troy a lot. 3 out of 5

Ready to Run by Kinsey W. Holley was the story of a girl who from a small town who has really never thought about moving to a big city. She meets Nash but Nash isn’t really who she thinks he is. He’s a werewolf and he’s there to investigate her family. He protects her when her uncle sells her to Euro-werewolves and takes her to Houston. The story was good and the romance nice – I just wanted more of an HEA than I got. 3.5 out of 5

Highland Moonlight by Teresa J. Reasor was my TBR Challenge read for December. Not a holiday themed story but they do have a Christmastide party in the story – does that count? I’ll post my review on Wednesday.

Last for the week was Lord Stillwell’s Excellent Engagements by Victoria Alexander. This novella tells us of Lord Stillwell’s 3 engagements and how they didn’t work out for him. I’ll post a mini review of this soon. 4.5 out of 5


My Book Binge reviews that posted last week: 

Courting Carolina by Janet Chapman 
Trouble in Texas by Katie Lane

Happy Reading!

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Guest Review: Desires of a Perfect Lady by Victoria Alexander

Posted April 2, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Publisher: Avon, Harper Collins

Judith’s review of Desires of a Perfect Lady by Victoria Alexander

Lady Olivia Rathbourne has a secret list, and on it is everything she’s always wanted to do . . . such as 1) Disregard convention; 2) Follow her heart; and 3) Bed the Earl of Wyldewood. But the earl is frustratingly perfect—he does what his family and society expect him to do. As for Olivia, she’s also never made a wrong step. But now it’s time to change everything.

Victoria Alexander is an accomplished writer of historical romance and her skill and experience show well in this new novel. It is the poignant love story between two former friends and lovers, betrayed by circumstance and family ambition, and driven apart by misunderstanding and pride. Lady Rathbourne has been “sold” into marriage with an aging viscount who sees a “perfect wife” as one of his possessions and who is a cruel pervert who is only excited sexually by violence. He even reaches out from the grave with possessive violence toward his wife. Nearly broken in spirit by a decade of abuse, no longer in touch with any friends, hurt and disillusioned by what she believes to be the betrayal of her lover at her calls for help, Olivia now has to fulfill the impossible demands of her late husband’s will in order to receive even a portion of his vast estate. Otherwise she will live enslaved financially by his cruelty for the rest of her life. Enter the Earl of Wyldewood, the man who, ten years earlier, had been the love of her life and the person with whom she had envisioned spending her entire life. He is a man who is completely loyal to his family and has taken his duties as head of the family almost too seriously. He is deemed to be stiff, dull, stoggy, and unwilling to bend to any challenges that lie outside the approvfed boundaries of aristocratic society. However, his life and that of Lady Olivia again intersect when her husband is murdered and her father (from whom she has been estranged since being “sold” by him to Lord Rathbourne) comes to the earl seeking his protection for his daughter from whomever may have slit Lord Rathbourne’s throat.

This novel is really the story of how friendship is ever the foundation of enduring love. It is a tale of sacrifice, courage, intelligence, passion, and hope. Set in Victorian England and embracing the cultures of Egypt and Italy, Lady Olivia and Lord Stirling Harrington, Earl of Wyldewood march through the pages, accompanied by a delightful cast of supporting characters. Stirling’s brothers fade in and out just enough to assure the reader of their authentic regard for one another; Stirling’s mother is, in a word, a “hoot” and a woman of sound mind who has been widowed for ten years and is prepared to put up with the stuffiness of her eldest in order to follow her own path, to seek her own happiness. The author is adept in managing this array of individuals and is very adroit in keeping a balance between the strength of their personalities while maintaining the flow of the story. The conflict that energizes the story is how these two really delightful people overcome their hurt, their sense of betrayal, their pride which prevents them from allowing their friendship to flower and grow once again into passion and enduring love. Alexander handles this so well and the circumstance of the resolution is surprising. However, in the Epilogue, the reader is led to believe that there is more on the way . . . somewhere down the road, so to speak. I am looking forward to what may be coming.

This is a novel well-worth reading because it is an example of a well-written historical romance and one that has some genuine merit to offer. In some ways it is a study in human nature and the author has a way of bringing the reader into the context of the story, if not historically, then emotionally. I would have liked to read more about the environment in Egypt and Italy in the 19th century and not just a brief glimpse in a scene or two.

I give this book 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 Avon. You can buy it here.

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