“Timeless Heart” by Karyn Gerrard

STORY: Sandra Cranston, an elementary teacher on leave, discovers an abandoned carriage deep in the woods. Inside is a man, Jerrod Ross, who fuels all of her wicked Regency dreams and fantasies.

Ross has been torn from the only world he has ever known—1821 Cornwall, England. How will he adjust to the future and his growing desire for the lovely lady who found him? More importantly, how will he ever return to his time?

REVIEW: Jude Deveraux‘s “Knight in Shining Armor” is my all time favorite time travel book and Diane Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series is a very close second, and while the movie “Kate and Leopold” is one movie I try never to miss when it’s on, the original “The Time Machine” with Rod Taylor and Yvette Mimieux has to be one of my all time favorite time travel movies.  I can freely state to all of you that if I was unattached and my hero showed up from another time, I wouldn’t even think twice at not going back with him! Cave man from the stone ages?!  I’ll let him drag me by my hair, as long as he loves me (and looks like Hugh Jackman)!

This book sounded very interesting, so I literally ‘stalked’ the author on so many blogs just so I could win a copy! I’m surprised she didn’t send the cops after me! Needles to say, I didn’t win, but I did buy it for my PC for Kindle and let me start of by saying: I’m so glad I did; get to Amazon and do the same!

Sandra Cranston is a chick on a self-imposed ‘sabbatical’ from her job as an elementary school teacher. One day as she’s returning from a picnic, her eye catches a site that gives her pause and spurns her on exploring it.

Jerrod Ross is a propertied Squire and a copper mine owner in the year of Our Lord 1821. The last thing he remembers is a dangerous carriage ride with few other passengers through lightning and storm. And now he’s looking at the woman with the most amazing eyes who’s telling him that this is the Year of Our Lord 2011!

This was so much fun to read. It’s a short novella, but it certainly doesn’t lack in romance, humor or sensuality. Our hero and heroine were equally hot, charming and witty that you can’t help but chuckle at their banter as well as fan yourself when they give in to their desire for each other! It will also leave you torn and in tears at the end as both of them know that neither wants to let the other go, but is that what true love is all about? Can they let go? Or will one decide to go with the other to the unknown… Get the book to find out! And just to get you in the mood for it, here’s a Trailer from “Kate and Leopold”…

 

 

And a Trailer from “The Time Machine”. I know, I know! It’s cheesy, but honestly, I just love this movie…

Author Guest Post and Giveaway with… Vicky Dreiling

Today, I am so happy and excited to welcome an Author that just stunned me with her début novel “How to Marry a Duke” and on June 28th her second novel “How to Seduce a Scoundrel” will be out and I can tell you Hawk will melt your hearts! 

To find out more about her hero and how he sneaked into her dreams, read on.

Scene Stealing Characters by Vicky Dreiling

Some characters just leap onto the page and try to steal the show. The minute Hawk showed up as a secondary character in HOW TO MARRY A DUKE I knew that he would be the hero of a follow-up story. Hawk’s antics were legendary.  He always had a witty come-back and some rather ridiculous advice for his friend Tristan (the hero of  HOW TO MARRY A DUKE). If there was an opportunity to crack a joke, Hawk managed to plant himself center stage.

So basically, Hawk charmed me into letting him be the hero of HOW TO SEDUCE A SCOUNDREL. I’m fairly certain he thought he could be the star and avoid the parson’s mousetrap. He probably had a wager or two at White’s Club that he could outwit me. After all, he is mortally afraid of catching ‘wife-itis.’ However, as his creator, I get to call all the shots.

I wish.

The truth is characters sometimes reveal things that completely and totally flummox authors. And that was especially true in the case of Hawk. I won’t reveal the details here, because that would be a spoiler. However, I will confess that I discovered Hawk had a startling secret. How did I find this out?

Let me back up a bit. In the early planning stages of ‘Scoundrel,’ I knew that the book would involve the high concept premise The Rules in Regency England. I also knew that Hawk’s role in the book would be to act as Julianne’s unofficial guardian. I had a good grasp of Julianne’s conflict, given her family’s history. Hawk, however, remained an enigma to me. I’d created this completely charming, witty, and handsome man, but I had absolutely no idea what made him tick. He seemed like a well-adjusted guy, if you could overlook the numerous mistresses. But I knew that wasn’t going to work. I had to give him some imperfections (beyond being a lady’s man).

I confess I walked around the house, mumbling to myself for several days as I tried to figure out exactly what to do with Hawk. Much of the time, I visualized scenes for some of the turning points in the plot. And then I would go to bed, visualizing these scenes again. Eventually, I would fall asleep, thinking about the characters.  I rarely remember my dreams, but I think I must have dreamed about Hawk. Why? Because when I awoke the next day, a scene played out DVD-style in my head of a much younger Hawk talking to his father. And in that scene, I learned something that his father said to him.

That’s all I got. Imagine my frustration as once again, I paced around the house, only this time, I was trying to figure out what that scene meant. Again, I went to bed visualizing Hawk and Julianne in a scene. The next morning, I awoke to another DVD-style scene. And this time, I learned that Hawk had a heart-breaking secret, one that tormented him.

I’m happy to report, however, that Hawk does have a chance to right a wrong. Even better, he and Julianne find their happily ever after.

Have you ever been surprised by a secret in a romance novel? Did you guess the secret correctly? Or was there a big twist in the plot? Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of  HOW TO SEDUCE A SCOUNDREL and a set of Vicky’s Romance Trading Cards. We have a second prize and that’s a HOT of the press copy of Loretta Chase’s “SILK IS FOR SEDUCTION” which will be out also on June 28th.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

Become a B2B subscriber. Greatly Appreciated!

Post a comment with your email address. (If uncomfortable with that, send me an email).

Tweet or share the post.

Do all three, and you’ll have three times the chance to win.

Giveaway starts June 24th and ends June 29th.

Winners will be notified via email the following day and have 5 days to respond.

Open to residents of the U.S. only.

One winner per household.

Winners will be announced on this blog.

Thank you Vicky for stopping by and giving us a ‘peek’ into the process of developing one of the best secrets I’ve read in a long while. Behind the scenes look at my favorite stories is something I cherish as much as the stories themselves. I can tell you by reading the excerpt from “How to Ravish a Rake” (coming out in the Spring of 2012) that I’m looking forward to meeting the man, William Darcett, Hawk’s younger brother, who will sweep our shy Amy Hardwick off her feet. You’re welcome to stop by sometime before their story hits the shelves and tell us more about them. ‘Till then, congrats on your success and May your Magic Romance Fairies never leave us! 

Vicky Dreiling is a confirmed historical romance junkie and Anglophile. HOW TO SEDUCE A SCOUNDREL will be available on June 28th.To find out more about her and her books, click on the images or visit her website at www.vickydreiling.com.

For an Excerpt of the ‘Scoundrel’ go to my ‘Book Excerpts’ page or click here.

Enjoy the trailer for “How to Marry a Duke”!

“How to Seduce a Scoundrel” by Vicky Dreiling

STORY: Lady Julianne Gatewick is in a pickle. It started when her brother’s best friend—for whom she’s long nursed a secret tendre—agreed to act as her guardian for the Season, only to seduce her with a risqué waltz.

But when the music stopped and the expectant ton waited for the Earl of Hawkfield to claim her as his own, he made his disinterest clear. Rather than succumb to humiliation, Julianne does what any recently discarded, wickedly witty young miss would do. She secretly pens a lady’s guide to enticing unrepentant rakes . . . and it becomes the hottest scandal in London.

Every honorable rake knows that friends’ sisters are forbidden. But suddenly Julianne has a spark of mischief in her eyes that Hawk can’t resist. Try as he might to push her away, he spends his days listening for her laughter and his nights dreaming of her kisses. He’s always avoided innocents and their marriage-minded mothers, but has the man least likely to wed finally met his match?

REVIEW: A book has to be dammed good to keep me up all night and Vicky did this to me yet again! It was THAT good! Shit! I finally got to bed at 5 am and got some shut-eye! I was up by eight and by the time I got to work I needed a double Espresso. PRONTO! I thought I might need toothpicks to keep my eyes open. Thank God my day at work was slow today.

Romance World, watch out! Vicky Dreiling has arrived and she aims to stay. With this second book she’s managed to draw me into the story so much, that I was totally blindsided by the fact that…HA! I’m not telling!

What I am going to tell you is that you will fall in love with Marc Darcett, Earl of Hawkfield or Hawk to his family and friends. He’s charming and funny; teasing and cheery; domineering and secretive. His past mistake holds him prisoner and he willingly stays locked in it. When his grandmother becomes ill and takes away his mother and sisters to her bedside, he’s asked by the Duke of Shelbourne to guard his younger sister Julianne for the Season while his eccentric Aunt Hester takes his mother’s place in sponsoring her

Julianne Gatewick is in her fourth Season and she just knows that this will be the Season that Hawk proposes to her. She has loved him since she was eight years old and there was never a doubt in her mind that he is the man for her. Now was the perfect time to show him and tell him of her feelings. How hard can that be? She was his Julie-girl. He encouraged her mischief, teased her to no end, and thought her to climb trees. And now she’ll have him all to herself for all the Season! It could not have been more perfect!

And then the unthinkable happens…Not going to tell you! You’ll have to buy the book to find out!

In the first book, I thought to start the petition for Tristan’s mother to get her own love story, and in this one I’m thinking that Lady Rutledge or Aunt Hester to all her family, needs to find a man of her own. I loved her spunk and sass. Oh how I wish I had me one o’those when I was twenty! She’s the one that encourages Julianne to anonymously write a pamphlet to help the girls of the ton catch a husband.

Everything about this book I loved. Ms. Dreiling gave me a true romance filled with so much humor that I laughed so much that I was glad I wasn’t reading it in a public place; otherwise they just might have taken me to the loony-bin! I guarantee that if you start reading this book, you won’t be able to put it down until the last page, and then you’ll be wanting more!

Contest & Giveaway with Vicky Dreiling on Friday 6/24!

You all know how much I loved ‘How to Marry a Duke’ and now get ready to meet Julianne, the Duke’s younger sister who is head-over-heals in love with his Rake of a best-friend Hawk in ‘How to Seduce a Scoundrel’. To tell us all about her newest book we’re happy to have Vicky stop by this Friday June 24th. To help her celebrate her June 28th release we’ll have some giveaways for you! Subscribers have double the chance to win! If you haven’t subscribed, what are you waiting for :)

Vicky will be giving one lucky commenter her ARC of ‘the Scoundrel’ and I’ll be giving away a copy of one of Vicky’s favorite author’s Loretta Chase’s newest book ‘Silk is for Seduction’!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

Become a B2B subscriber. Greatly Appreciated!

Post a comment with your email address. (If uncomfortable with that, send me an email).

Tweet or share the post.

Do all three, and you’ll have three times the chance to win.

Giveaway starts June 24th and ends June 29th.

Winners will be notified via email the following day and have 5 days to respond.

Open to residents of the U.S. only.

One winner per household.

Winners will be announced on this blog.

“When Passion Rules” by Johanna Lindsey

STORY: Forced to flee Napoleon’s rampaging army on the continent, orphaned Alana Farmer and her eccentric guardian make a new home for themselves in London. There, Alana enjoys every privilege a daughter of the nobility could hope for, plus an education fit for a queen. Now, on the eve of her début into London Society, she learns the shocking secret of her birthright. Can it be true? Is she really the lost princess of the European kingdom of Lubinia? Persuaded by her guardian to return to their homeland to quell a bloody revolt, Alana finds herself in an isolated, mountainous country whose customs strike her as medieval!

With controversy and intrigue brewing around the beautiful newcomer, Christoph Becker, the captain of the palace guards, arrests Alana on suspicion that she is either a wily imposter or a seductive spy working for the shadowy figures determined to depose the king. No stranger himself to seduction, Christoph uses every means at his disposal to draw the truth from his alluring prisoner, even if he must lay his own life on the line to protect her from harm. Now, as a fiery passion flares between Alana and the man who has wrongly imprisoned her, the fate of a nation rests in their hands and on their hearts.

REVIEW: I used to await with abated breath for one of Johanna’s books. It was always a pleasure to open them, be it hardcover or paperback. There was never a doubt in my mind that every story she puts out would be devoured, savored and long remembered. With years and the avalanche of crop of young authors of romance putting their stamp and feet forth, Johanna’s stories kept coming, but to me they were now a bit ‘behind’ the times. Does that make any sense? I’m not saying that they were bad or even mediocre. They were good. I’m still buying them. It’s just that they’re missing something and I can’t put my finger on it. I want to say ‘passion’ and ‘chemistry’ however I’m not sure if that’s IT or maybe something else. Whatever IT is, it’s missing from her recent releases.

The word out there, throughout the ‘internets’ is that she’s not writing them and that she’s employing a ‘ghost writer’. I’m not buying it. Or I should say, I don’t want to buy it. If I let myself think that, I’m sure that I’d never buy another of her books. I’ve come to cherish her stories and I’ll continue to do so.

As for this story, I loved it! And not just the cover! It was well-written with very interesting characters and an interesting and exciting plot line. The pace and humor are quick, and if you’re looking for a a lighthearted read on a rainy day or on the beach, you can’t go wrong with this story.

June RR@H reviews (part 1)

This month’s been hectic for me not just on the home front (finally found a pair of shoes to go with my black dress!) but at work as well. As always, my quiet moments were filled with reading, so I’ve a few reviews that you might not want to miss. My June Romance Reader at Heart reviews are up on their website and you’re welcome to visit as I’m sure that you’ll find some great reviews there from Kristal, Kay, Shannon and all the other ladies.

JUST ONE SEASON IN LONDON by Leigh Michaels was so much fun to read. I really enjoyed the way the author kept the pace and the plot moving by seamlessly intertwining humor, passion and compassion. All of the players were well written and I was thoroughly engaged in this story. I liked it so much that I went out and got the first in this series THE MISTRESS’ HOUSE and read it the next day. That one was full of humor and wit as well and you might want to check it out.

BREATH OF HEAVEN by Cindy Holby was such a sweet and poignant medieval romantic fantasy. If you’re a fan of medieval romance you’ll enjoy this love story between an honorable and brave knight who falls for a very unique heroine that is no stranger to magic. I was pleasantly surprised by this author whose books I’ve never read. I’ll make it a point in getting some of her work in the future.

RIPE FOR PLEASURE by Isobel Carr was one of those books that leave you…I don’t know…unsatisfied? I didn’t like it much and it was very hard to finish. I’m not recommending for the simple reason that it was confusing, rushed and not interesting. Reading it was like watching the paint dry.

WHEN LOVE COMES by Leigh Greenwood lacked focus, and was just plain silly. I like western romance, but this doesn’t even come close to a romance novel. I view it as a lost opportunity to tell a romantic tale. I’m not recommending it, and I’m not planning to read this author ever again.

DREAMS OF DESIRE by Cheryl Holt will make you laugh; curse and the end will make you cry. I’m sure that some diehard fans of History Romance will not like it for the simple reason that there’s not much of ‘history’ in it, but for those of us who from time to time just need to be entertained with lots of action, a tad of drama and passion galore, you’ll love this one.  It’s lighthearted and silly, romantic and funny and I welcomed its wit and humor after some heavy stories that left me emotionally drained.  The other two novels in ‘Spinster’s Curse Regency’ TASTE OF TEMPTATION and PROMISE OF PLEASURE have just joined my TBR shelf.

The Princess of Montpensier Trailer

It’s 1562, France, Charles IX is the King; time of the wars of religion.
Marie de Mézières (Mélanie Thierry), is the heiress to one of the kingdom’s greatest fortunes and loves Duc de Guise (Gaspard Ulliel) and he returns her love…Her father (Philippe Magnan) aims to add to his family’s lands so he forces Marie to marry the Prince de Montpensier(Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet).

With the Protestant war raging on, the King summons the Prince to join the battle. As the country turns into a bloody battlefield, he chooses to send Marie to Champigny, a secluded castle. She is accompanied by his tutor, Comte de Chabannes, so that he would educate and prepare Marie to take her place at court one day.

Marie tries to forget her love and passion for Guise. Right after Montpensier leaves for war, fate intervenes and leads Guise to Champigny and Marie.
Even Comte de Chabannes falls for Marie’s charms, so all three are vying for her attention!

Here’s a trailer for a movie that opened in New York and Los Angeles, so far, on April 15th this year. I’m looking forward to either see it here in Chicago, or get it on a DVD. It has a look of one of the books I love to read!

You can read a NY Times review of it here.

 

May RRAH reviews (part 2)

It seems that Mother Nature has lost a calendar and can’t make up her mind as to what season of the year to gift us with! I had the air on the day before yesterday, last night I was freezing under the covers, so I had heat on and this morning I had to turn on the air again! What the Hell!? I honestly don’t remember ever having to have heat on in June. This is ridiculous!

I have a feeling that the big heat will hit us in August and then the dress I picked to wear for my son’s wedding will not do, and then I’ll have to go and buy me a new one! I’m actually thinking of doing it, just to play it safe…

I also turned in some of the reviews for my Romance Reader At Heart website and I’ll share some of them here with you.

“A SECRET AFFAIR” by Mary Balogh is a story not to be missed, and of course, a keeper. My last two weeks in April were spent reading her books, and I loved every one of them. There are some earlier titles that I put on my Amazon Wish list and those are worth an arm and a leg, so I just might wait until she reprints them. Speaking of, she is planning to reissue two books in one  and “The Famous Heroine/The Plumed Bonnet” will be released on October 25th this year. I’m excited about that one because I read the “Dark Angel” and “Lord Carew’s Bride” which are  a part of that series. At the end of the LC’B, Lord Francis Kneller is heartbroken when Samantha Newman marries Carew and now he meets Cora Downes, a heroine who rescued the Duke of Bridgwater’s nephew from drowning. And then the duke meets his own lady-love in the next book when he picks her up as she’s stranded he mistakes her for a bird of paradise. Now I’m counting days ’till October!

She also has reissued two of her books, again a two-in-one, of her ‘Mistress’ or ‘Dudley series “More Than a Mistress/No Man’s Mistress” this May and the prequel to that will be “The Secret Mistress” and its hardcover edition will be out next month,  Jul 12th. This will be Angeline and Heyward’s story, and I’ve read an ARC of it. Trust me when I tell you, you won’t want to miss this one! If you don’t want to cough up the dough for the Hardcover, you’ll be able to get it in Paperback sometime next year. Oh, and I almost forgot that she’ll have an eBook special edition out on June 13th. In this special she shares scenes from all the ‘mistress’ books and gives us epilogues and  we catch up with the Dudley family. Now, enough of MB, and on to my next review.

“MIDNIGHT’S WILD PASSION” by Anna Campbell left me loving the hero, but frustrating me to no end with heroine!  I ended up giving it four roses only because I couldn’t blame the author and her excellent writing for my dislike of this heroine that drove me nuts! So, if you like Anna, you’ll end up getting this one as I did. I have all of her books, some signed by her, and I enjoy her writing, but this one would have been given away if I wasn’t her fan. Have I confused you yet? I confused me…

“WHEN TEMPTING A ROGUE” by Kathryn Smith was disappointing. This one was a third in a series and the only one I liked was the first book. I liked the authors earlier releases like The Friends Trilogy and The Ryland Brothers four books out of five that I’ve read so far. You should check these out here. This one wasn’t a keeper for me, but you might like it, as for me, this one was a letdown from the heroine to the plot/mystery of it!

“THE DEVIL IN DISGUISE” by Stefanie Sloan was awesome and you can read all about it here and here.

South Beach Diet ala Melanie

I’ve spent most of my life on a diet, and that’s not fun at all. You name them, I was on it. The skinniest I’ve ever been was a decade ago when I worked physically demanding job, and people who haven’t seen me in a while used to stare at me and ask what I’ve done with the other half of myself. Now, mind you, I’m not obese. The heaviest I’ve been is 172 lb’s, but on a 4’11″ woman at ANY age, that tends to be cumbersome. On the other hand, my healthiest weight was 115 lb’s and I loved it. Besides feeling beautiful, I felt healthy.

My family, Bless their loving hearts, used to tell me when I was younger, that I’m just ‘big boned’ and that as long as I’m healthy, who cares about the weight. I’ll always be ‘cute’ and ‘pretty’ to them. Oh, and have I mentioned I come from the ‘Old Country’ where if you visit family they will nag and nag at you to eat to the point that if you’re not stuffed to the gills, you’ll be insulting them and their culinary skills? Well, that’s my family! So, like a good little girl, I wasn’t going to insult them. Far be it from me to be rude and refuse my Godmothers Baklava, or pass up a Sweet Table at ANY of the Serbian weddings! Oh, those long, long tables full of nothing but ‘bliss’! Our Serbian women sure know how to bake.

Over the years I’ve tried Slim Fast, which gave me gas something fierce; name the pill and I took it, which left me bouncing of the walls; Sensa, now that was interesting, no side effects and I lost 5 lb’s the first week and then even that didn’t work; Jillian Michaels pills saw me in the Emergency room thinking my heart will jump out of my chest. And before you ask, let me tell you, I did try the ‘gym’ thing and had memberships at WWW and couple of others as well, but that just wasn’t for me. Some were too far from home, some time constricted and other sported obnoxious staff so I gave up on those institutions. Here I have to stop and give credit to my DH. This man should be sainted! No joke. Poor thing puts up with too much nonsense from me. No wonder I adore him. Just last month my treadmill broke, and he bought me a new one. I like this one so much better, and I’ve put it to use. This one will NOT be collecting dust, like the one before it. Oh, and he also got me a Pilate machine and I’ll be getting on it soon enough.

The years, some health issues (Lupus) and my current job have slowed me down, and gave me an excuse not to exercise on a regular basis, and that my friends, was not good. I just recently had a physical, and my Doc says I’m out of shape, literally and figuratively. So, last week I’ve decided enough is enough, and with my son’s wedding in August, I ran out of excuses and started to change my eating and exercise habits. I’ve read about South Beach Diet and my Doc highly recommended it, so I’m in my second week and folks…I lost 10 big ones. I feel energetic and rearing to go!

The South Beach Diet has three phases and it teaches you a way of life where you eat the right carbohydrates and fats. My first phase is to last me two weeks and I’ve been eating normal portion sizes, but all carbohydrate are restricted, so I keep myself away from bread, potatoes, rice and pasta. It is a MUST phase in the diet and will last for two weeks only. I am a bread and butter gal and I thought that this part would ‘kill’ me, but surprisingly, I’m not missing it at all. I’m supposed to, and I am, eating a lot of lean meats, like chicken, turkey and fish. I’ve stocked up and have eaten a lot of veggies and I’m snacking on low-fat cheese and almonds, walnuts and pistachios.

What I like best, is no more counting calories, no more weighing food portions, and I don’t feel cheated from eating tasty food! Right now I’m eating three, normal-size meals with two snacks each day. My breakfast is eggs, fake or real, scrambled, omelet or sunny side up with two slices of cheese and one medium-sized tomato. My lunch and dinner are salad or steamed veggies with nice size of meat or tuna. That’s it…oh, and lots and lots of lemon water with one Splenda.

I’m very pumped up and looking forward to my Phase two and Phase three. I’m putting that treadmill through its paces and I’m sweating bullets! The other day I walked almost two hours while watching Tom Cruise in “The Last Samurai”.  By the way, and speaking of, that man is so underrated. I’m not sure why people don’t like him. I think he’s a very good actor. Loved him in “Far and Away”. I’m not so crazy about his “Mission impossible” movies though. Okay, I went of my topic so let me get back to it. Sorry about that…Where was I? Oh, I’m getting a lot of support from my friends at work and my DH, and now I’m asking you all out there who happens to read this to pipe in and let me know of any tips, or helpful advice. I’m going to need a lot of support from my bookworms so tell me your secret, it just might help me too. Don’t tell me you’re perfect?! I’m not buying it! We all have some vice, so what’s yours? I promise if you tell me, I’ll keep it a secret. I will also let you know of my progress…