Maureen Driscoll’s ‘Hook-a-Book’ is…’Lord Stanhope’s Proposal’!

I was very excited when Mel approached me about this project.  I’m a huge fan of her blog and this was just the latest fun idea she’d come up with.  Then I had a big problem with it….how could I possibly choose just one book?

I’ve only been reading romance novels for the past four years, unless you count my all-time favorite book “Pride and Prejudice,” which I’ve loved for decades. 

Sabrina Jeffries is my favorite author and her latest series about Lord Stoneville is amazing. 

Stephanie Laurens has two books in my top five:  “Captain Jack’s Woman” and “Devil’s Bride.”  Mary Jo Putney’s “One Perfect Rose” brought me to tears – the type of sobbing where you have to reach for the Kleenex box. 

And you can’t really miss with Lisa Kleypas’s Wallflower series, which led into the Hathaways.  While I’m not much of a fan of modern romance, I made a huge exception for Kleypas’s Travis trilogy, which was terrific.

They’re all great authors and wonderful books.  But then I remembered the novel that touched me early on and later inspired me to write: ‘Lord Stanhope’s Proposal’ by Jessica Benson.

It was published in 2005 and is basically out of print.  It’s also that rarest of romance novels: the stand-alone book, although it does get referenced in her follow-up “Much Obliged.” 

There’s no family of handsome brothers.  Just one Earl of Stanhope who travels to the country because his scapegrace cousin has placed a very public wager about a very private country spinster. 

What Stanhope expects to find is a quiet country mouse, the sister of the local vicar.  What he finds instead is the quite capable Calista Ashton, beloved by everyone in the county but extremely wary of too-handsome London earls.

It is witty, funny and extremely romantic.  It is my all-time favorite romance novel.  You must find one of the rare copies and read this book.  About a year ago, I wrote to Ms. Benson on her website, checking to see when her next book would be out, since I’d read the three Regencies and one modern novel she’d written.  She wrote back (I was thrilled), but dashed my hopes by saying she was no longer writing.  Nooooooooo!

I’m still hopeful that one day she’ll change her mind.  Because when you find a jewel like “Lord Stanhope’s Proposal,” you always look for more treasure.

I love this book.

Mel here. And now, as usual, I’ll introduce you to Mo, as I am allowed to call her. I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing both Kellington stories, and I just fell in love with this family and with Mo’s story telling. For my reviews of her work check here and here. Now, here’s a bit about the author that you may not be familiar with YET, but I urge you to seek her work. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Maureen Driscoll is a television writer in Los Angeles whose credits include “The Dish” on the Style Network, “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Nickelodeon’s “BrainSurge,” and GSN’s “Love Triangle.” She was also a recipient of a Walt Disney Studios screenwriting fellowship, where she wrote a romantic comedy based on her rather painful divorce. The script didn’t make it to the big screen, but it did teach her a few things about happily ever after.

Before moving to Hollywood, Maureen spent nearly a decade working on Capitol Hill. Her novel “Dating George Clooney” is a political satire inspired by her time there.

Never Miss a Chance” is the second book in the Kellington series of Regency romances. “Never a Mistress, No Longer a Maid” was the first. She can usually be found with a book in her hand, being held way too close to her face (she’s quite near-sighted).  Currently she’s working on the third Kellington book and would love to hear from her readers on her Facebook fan page. Please follow her on Twitter, but if she’s not tweating, that means she’s making the Kellington family do things you may wish to read about later.

She is very, very appreciative of her readers and thanks people for taking the Kellingtons to heart.

Won’t you join our celebration by:

1) Telling us which ‘Hook-a-Book’ did/would you likely give your friends…

2) Subscribing to our Blog…

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All three are required for a TRIPLE chance to win in the Giveaway!

Ashley March’s ‘Hook-a-Book’ is…’Yours Until Dawn’

Ashley here. First of all, congratulations to the ladies at bookworm2bookworm for the celebration of  their anniversary! I’m so glad we romance readers and authors have another place to call home on the Internet.

I’ve read several amazing books this year, but if I could get every romance reader to read just ONE book that they’ve never read before, it would have to be Teresa Medeiros’ YOURS UNTIL DAWN.

I read this book several years ago, and I keep coming back to it again and again. There’s everything here that a historical romance lover could ask for: a damaged hero , both physically and emotionally (blinded in the war, abandoned by the woman he loved); a heroine who is both strong and vulnerable as she works to atone for her secret sins of the past by helping the reclusive hero; witty banter; sizzling sexual awareness; and the type of romance that literally makes your heart throb with a dull ache during the black moment.

I’d read other Teresa Medeiros’ books which made her an auto-buy author for me before I read YOURS UNTIL DAWN, but it was this book that put her on the “I want to be you when I grow up” author-idol list. I loved every word, every scene, every interaction between the hero and the heroine. There are many romance novels that deserve to be made into movies in order to be shared with a much wider audience, but if I could choose only one to be made into a movie, it would be this one. You’ll fall in love with our tormented alpha hero Gabriel (and I’m not usually a fan of tormented heroes, so that should tell you something!), and cheer on our indomitable heroine, Samantha—that is, when you’re not wishing that you were in her place!

Finally, just when you’re convinced you know how the book is going to end, Ms. Medeiros turns the plot upside down and wrenches your heart yet again. I just cannot describe how very, very much I ADORE this book. It epitomizes everything I love about the historical romance genre and everything I aspire to achieve as a romance writer.

So go buy the book—now! And tell your friends!

Mel here. Can you tell that Ashely just loves this ‘hook’? Thank you so much for popping in today, Ashley and on your good wishes. You can ‘come home’ ANYTIME, Chick! By the way, AWESOME recommend read and I know it, because like you, I just loved it!

For all you bookworms out there that are not familiar with Ashley March, I’ll let her tell you all about herself, but before I do, I am going on record here by telling you that Ashley is one of the handful of authors that I would read if she wrote on a paper bag! She may be new, and young, but she is good. My review of her latest book is here.

And now here’s Ashley in her own words:

I’ve read about many authors who claimed to know from childhood that they wanted to be writers. Not me. In elementary school I wanted to be a veterinarian. In middle school I wanted to be a trauma surgeon (yes, I’m one of those people who can watch surgeries on television with fascination; however, I hate horror movies). In high school I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I knew I loved learning different languages. In college I switched majors from Spanish to Japanese, Linguistics, and finally, Chinese. At last, I knew what I would do with my life: I would be a spy!

Alas, when it was time to solidify my Chinese skills by going overseas for a year of studying abroad, my husband pointed out that he couldn’t live without me for that long (yes, he’s my true life hero). Instead, I found a job at a local international university where I could work with students from all over the world. And I loved my job.

Except, somewhere between the 9 and 5 on the clock, I realized that I did indeed have a different dream. I’ve always loved reading historical romances, and as I read more and more, I discovered ideas for my own characters, for books that I wanted to write where the heroine and hero actually lived happily ever after (I’m looking at you, Margaret Mitchell). And so I began writing.

The first manuscript, to be perfectly honest, is now in the category of “That Which Shall Be Forever Unnamed.” It was awful. Really, truly awful. So much so, in fact, that I knew I was in trouble when halfway through the book the hero and heroine couldn’t find anything to talk about except what their favorite color was. (There, I said it! Eek.) I was so traumatized by my utter failure that I gave up writing. I made myself finish the story, but decided that perhaps writing wasn’t for me, after all.

But more ideas and characters kept coming to me. Two years later, in 2008, I tried again. I bought a ton of writing books and joined an online critique group. I entered into RWA chapter contests. To my delight, I was able to write about more than my characters’ favorite colors. While the next manuscript showed much improvement, it was still lacking. However, because of the positive comments I received, I kept going, and in 2009 I found an agent and signed a 3-book contract with a fabulous publisher.

I had finally discovered my dream, and it had come true.

My Chinese skills are now absolutely abysmal, but that’s a story for another time…

Won’t you join our celebration by:

1) Telling us which ‘Hook-a-Book’ did/would you likely give your friends…

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All three are required for a TRIPLE chance to win in the Giveaway!

Rose Lerner’s ‘Hook-a-Book’ is…’The Dragon and the Pearl’!

Here’s Rose Lerner and her Giveaway choice:

I was all set to recommend an old favorite, and then last week I read a book I want to talk to EVERYONE about.  ‘The Dragon and the Pearl’ by Jeannie Lin, set in 8th century China, is my new favorite thing in the world!

I loved her début book, ‘Butterfly Swords’.  “Is it wrong that my favorite character is her evil fiancé?” I thought.  “He’s so ruthless and sexy and he has a lovely profile.”  Well, evidently it was not wrong, because Li Tao, ex-evil-fiancé, is the hero of this book!  A street thief-turned-assassin-turned-Imperial-enforcer-turned-warlord, he’s at home on the battlefield, but court intrigue is a mystery to him (a hero who needs the heroine to instruct him in the finer points of human interaction and diplomacy is one of my favorite things).

When an enemy spreads rumors of his disloyalty to the new emperor, he doesn’t know what to do except build his army.  Then he learns that this same enemy is planning to capture Ling Suyin, the late Emperor’s lovely consort.  He grabs her first, sure she must have information of value…or so he tells himself.  It’s not as if he cares about protecting a woman alone!

Suyin has been living in quiet retirement since the Emperor’s death. She expected to stay in her lovely, remote mansion forever, far from the danger and fear of living at the center of a hundred Imperial plots and counterplots. When she’s brought to Li Tao’s house as a prisoner, her only thought is to find a way to escape.  But she’s drawn to her quiet, unpredictable, deadly host.  At first, flirting is simply part of her plan.  But imperceptibly, her fight for her own survival becomes a desperate fight to save him from being on the losing end of a civil war.

Butterfly Swords was wonderful, but Jeannie Lin has come into her own in a major way in this book.  It was perfect.  Every moment was mesmerizing.  There was not a sentence I would have changed.  Li Tao and Suyin are two compelling, brilliant characters.  They are each so controlled and guarded that each moment between them becomes charged, weighted, and unbearably sexy.  The palpable longing in the way Li Tao thinks about Suyin in his narration made me swoon.

Look at this, from the opening of Chapter 3:

“Li Tao’s captains assembled in a half-circle before him outside the mansion.  The canyon opened wide behind them.  He had summoned them from their posts to give their reports in person.  He needed to look each man in the eye.  Now more than ever before, loyalty was critical.

“Governor Li.”

Lady Ling’s voice rang out over the expanse of stone, much like the floating beauties of Luoyang.  They would coo and flirt from windows that overlooked the streets, but their entreaties were never for him. He kept his back to her pointedly.

“My lord, I have something to discuss with you,” she said, with the carelessness of a breeze.  “Oh, forgive me.  You’re occupied.”

Gray-haired Zhao glanced upwards.  “Ling Guifei?”

The other men seemed to lose focus at Zhao’s breach of etiquette. Their gazes drifted past him to seek out the infamous beauty. Even the most seasoned of them could not remain disciplined.


A single, sharp reprimand brought all eyes back to him.  The captains straightened with deliberate attention.

Suyin did nothing without a purpose.  She’d chosen this moment for a display of will.  By mid-morning, word of the Precious Consort would spread through the barracks along with the rumors. What an enticing picture she must present overhead, elegantly poised over the balcony as she held his men in rapture.  He didn’t need to look upon her.  He could see the furtive desire reflected in every man’s face.  Li Tao’s blood simmered.”

Then he gives her a foot massage!  Later he gives her a tattoo. One of the hottest things I’ve ever read.

I’ve reached the end of what I can rationally say about this book. The rest is just “READ IT IT’S AMAZING OMG OMG EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK I LURRRRRVE IT.”  So go!  Read!

Well, now you know what Rose thinks of her ‘hook’ and here’s a bit about Rose Lerner, if you’ve never read any of her books: “I discovered Georgette Heyer when I was thirteen, and wrote my first historical romance a few years later. My writing has improved since then, but my fascination with all things Regency hasn’t changed. When not reading, writing, or researching, I enjoy cooking and marathoning old TV shows. I live in Seattle.”

I recently had a oportunity to interview Mr. and Mrs. Solomon Hathaway, Hero and Heroine of her latest novel ‘A Lily Among Thorns’ and if you’ve missed that, you can find it here. You can also read my review of ‘A Lily Among Thorns’  here.

Won’t you join our celebration by:

1) Telling us which ‘Hook-a-Book’ did/would you likely give your friends…

2) Subscribing to our Blog…

3) ‘LIKE’ -ing us on our Facebook!

All three are required for a TRIPLE chance to win in the Giveaway!

Kristan Higgins’ ‘Hook-a-Book’ is…’An Angel in Provence’!

Hello my Bookworms! We’re continuing our celebration with Kristan Higgins and she’ll try to ‘hook’ you with ‘An Angel in Provence’ by Nancy Robards Thompson!
Here is what Kristan has to say about her recommendation: “Rita is a woman who’s mostly content with life: she’s in her forties, content, married to a nice guy for many years…but on some levels, she wonders if this is it. When her husband dies unexpectedly, she’s thrown into grief, not just for the loss of her husband, but for perhaps taking her old life for granted.
After the initial mourning period, she decides to take a trip to France, where she begins to see herself as something more than a before-her-time widow. Maybe life holds an entirely new and wonderful chapter…but will she have the guts to move ahead into unchartered waters, or is the tried and true route going a smarter bet?
What I love about Nancy’s writing is the gentle, effortless flow of the story, the evocative, elegant writing style, and the fact that she took an unlikely heroine and gave her an incredibly romantic yet still believable story.
There’s a wry, intelligent humor woven throughout the book, and I could so relate to Rita’s mistakes along the way. I highly recommend this wonderful book, which comes with a bonus novella about the heroine’s sister.
Kristan Higgins”

Now here’s a bit about Kristan in her own words: “I started writing romance novels when my kids were little. I’d always been a writer of some type—public relations, advertising, research—but wanted to stay home with the bunnies. I’d been reading romance novels ever since I swiped Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss from my grandmother’s night table. “Higgins,” I said to myself, “I bet you could write one of these.” And so I sat down every afternoon when the kids were napping, took my lifelong love of romance novels and tried to make a career out of it. We’ve been living happily ever after since.

I live in my hometown, a small, pretty place in Connecticut where there’s a beautiful library and a wicked good ice cream stand. I’m the mom of two lovely children, the wife of a very brave firefighter (who is also a fantastic cook), and the willing slave of a naughty mutt. 
I love to write books about relationships, since the search for love and security is one of the driving forces of life. My characters are regular people, folks like us, and I hope to give them a big, memorable love story rich with family, pets, food and laughter. When I’m not writing, I like to be with my kids, goof around with my husband, read, watch baseball, ride my bike and bake. I suffer from chronic bedhead and an unhealthy (and completely understandable) obsession with Derek Jeter, shortstop for the New York Yankees. We spend as much time as possible at our family home on Cape Cod, swimming in the Atlantic, shivering on the beach, swatting horseflies and watching fish evade my lure at Higgins Pond. It’s as close to heaven as it gets.”

Here’s a book trailer for her new book ‘Until There Was You’!

Won’t you join our celebration by:

1) Telling us which ‘Hook-a-Book’ did/would you likely give your friends…

2) Subscribing to our Blog…

3) ‘LIKE’ -ing us on our Facebook!

All three are required for a TRIPLE chance to win in the Giveaway!


At Home with Lord and Lady Valentine from ‘The Virtuoso’ with Madam Author Grace Burrowes

Ms. Friedman: Welcome to my home Lord and Lady Valentine! [Enthusiastically tries to shake their hands, but changes her mind and gives them all an awkward curtsy]

Madam Author, It’s such a pleasure to welcome you back to my home. Please, sit and make yourselves comfortable and I’ll pour us some tea….It is an honor and a pleasure to host you all at the same time.

Madam Author: Greetings!

Lord Valentine Windham: [bowing over his hostess’ hand] Enchanted, Miss Friedman.

Lady Ellen Windham: [curtseying] Good day.

Ms. Friedman: Now, the questions I have are quite personal, but fun never the less. But before I get to them, tell me how have you all been since last I saw you? Lord Valentine, how is your hand doing and is it giving you any trouble? Lady Valentine, my dear, how are you adjusting to the new family life [leaning closer to Lady Valentine, whispering so only she would hear] Are Their Graces treating you well?

Madam Author, I believe that Congratulations are in order, are they not? Can you tell us a bit about the exciting news you received last week?

Lord Valentine: My hand fares very well, thank you, provided I do not overtax it.

Lady Valentine: Their Graces treat me wonderfully and His Grace has referred to me more than once as Lady Mozart.

Madam Author:  I suppose you’re referring to “Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish,” being nominated for RT Reviewer’s Choice Historical Romance of the Year? That is a quite an honor for Lady Sophie, and for the brothers who played such a magnificent supporting roles in her tale [winks are Lord Valentine, who is too busy gazing soulfully at his wife to notice].

Ms. Friedman:  This question is for all of you. If you don’t mind, would you be so kind to share with us your greatest accomplishments and regrets thus far….

Madam Author: It’s not an accomplishment, but it’s the thing that defines me: I love and am loved by my family. As for regrets… none of any significance, thank heavens.

Lord Valentine: Had I regrets, I’d be implying that somehow the road that brought me to Ellen’s door was imperfect, and that I could not do. Perhaps I ought to have realized she was meant for me when first I laid eyes on her, but then I would have missed my time in Yorkshire with Devlin, and that would not serve.  My greatest accomplishment shall be—I vow this—a lifetime of devotion of my Ellen equal to the devotion His Grace shows his duchess.  

Lady Valentine: Well, I have regrets! I regret that I wasted years allowing That Odious Little Rat to affect my wellbeing and limit my options. If Valentine hadn’t come along… but I suppose that brings us to my greatest accomplishment: I found the courage to accept the love of this fellow here, and to act on my love for him.

Ms. Friedman: I grew up in a village in Eastern Europe and truly cherish my childhood memories, so I wondered…Your childhoods were vastly different, I presume. Would you share with us a childhood memory that brings a smile to your face or makes you tear up?

Lord Valentine: I caught my older brothers sampling His Grace’s brandy when I was about eight. Oh, the favors I was able to extract from them in exchange for my silence! The bribery went on for years.

Lady Valentine: I used to love to garden with my mother. She’d sing as she planted the Holland bulbs, while I got my hands and my pinafore wonderfully dirty.

Madam Author:  My mother got me a horse when I was twelve years old. A pudgy, lazy old gelding, but to me, he was the Steed of Steeds, and I knew much happiness in his company.

Ms. Friedman: Here’s another question for all of you… Have you a wish or a dream unfulfilled and what would that are?

Madam Author: I want to write books that bring joy and comfort to many, many readers for many years to come.

Lord Valentine: I’m working on a piece for Ellen, or in celebration of my love for her. It shall be titled… Ellen puts her fingers over his mouth.

Lady Valentine: “Little Weldon Summer Christening.” I can’t change his mind on this. I suppose my greatest dream is to raise more Windham sons and daughters who will live up to the legacy that name implies…. And I shall love their doting papa, of course.

Ms. Friedman:  Lord Valentine, you are a Virtuoso so tell us what piece are you working on now?

Lord Valentine: In addition to “Little Weldon Summer Christening” I’m doing a set of children’s pieces for my niece, Rose; though I hope these works see wide circulation among the family’s younger generation.  

Ms. Friedman: Madam Author, I have come to care for many of the secondary characters in your novels and in this particular one I was so taken Darius and the boys as well, Day and Phil. How hard is it to ‘draw’ secondary characters?

Madam Author: Secondary characters are tricky. They have to be three-dimensional and interesting without stealing the show, or the book. I become so enamored of them that most of my secondary characters (Darius, Nick, Axel, Hadrian, et alia) end up with books of their own.

Ms. Friedman: Lady Valentine how is Marmalade and won’t you tell us about your gardens? Have you any other news….perhaps…?

Lady Valentine: Marmalade—not Marmaduke—thrives on a diet that includes regular servings of cream. My husband has decreed that the only other creature to share my bed must be kept in proper style—and the cream bowl kept in the kitchen.

Ms. Friedman: Now, let’s have some fun and lighthearted questions, shall we?

Lady Valentine, do you have a favorite scent?

Lady Valentine: The one my husband wears.

Ms. Friedman: What about you Madam Author?

Madam Author: I wear Penhaligon’s Opus 1870, though I’m fairly certain it’s intended for men.

Ms. Friedman: This question is for both Lord and Lady Valentine. What is your favorite mode of transportation?

Lady Valentine: I’ve gotten used to being carried by my husband, at least from the chaise to the bed.

Lord Valentine: The wings of song, of course.  

Ms. Friedman: [winking at Madam Author while turning to Lord and Lady Valentine with a big smile] And now some questions that would make all young debutantes blush, but never the less all want to know:

Silk or cotton? Outdoors or indoors? Top or bottom?

Lady Valentine: Neither, both, either.

Lord Valentine: As my lady pleases in all things.

Ms. Friedman: I will forever be in Madam Author’s debt for making the introductions, and to both of you for being so gracious to indulge me with this visit. Thank you all so much for an enlightening and fun visit! Please be sure to convey my regards to Their Graces…

For all you bookworms out there,

Ms. Grace Burrowes is giving away one signed copy of


to one lucky commenter.

My ‘Hook-a-Book” is…SECRET SANTA!

I love nothing better than reading Christmas stories around Christmas time. I actually go out of my way to make sure my TBR is stocked up. This Christmas I’m recommending this short, sweet, funny and utterly romantic tear-jerker called ‘SECRET SANTA’ by Kristine Cheney.

Holly is a girl after my own heart. She’s bubbly, beautiful, determined and tenacious! For seven years she’s been a part of Ashton Falls Secret Santa Program, and she embraced her ‘task’ with all the enthusiasm and joy she possessed, especially because this particular time of year would remind her of lacking the closeness of her own estranged family.

Marcus is not looking forward to the Holidays nor is he in the mood for anything at all. His life has undergone a very dramatic change in the past few months and solitude is all he wants and welcomes, so finding an intruder on his porch, apparently delivering a gift, was something he isn’t much happy about.

SECRET SANTA was a very heartwarming gift that appealed to every romantic bone in my body!

Ms. Cheney has done such a great job in creating these two lonely souls who through unforeseen circumstances are drawn to each other and are clearly meant to be together. In a short span of time Ms. Cheney has managed to make me laugh out loud when reading of Holly’s deliveries, sighing every time these two just looked at each other, let alone touched! But most of all, Ms. Cheney had me in tears once I found the reasons behind our couple’s loneliness and heartbreak.

Like I said, for such a short story, Ms. Cheney’s managed to deliver a very rich and truly sweet romance that will leave you satisfied, happy and cozy all over!

This one is a Christmas MUST!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Kristine Cheney is 39, and is an Arizona native. Now living in Surprise, she has been married 21 years to her high school sweetheart Brett, and is the mother of Taryn, Brett, and Zackary. A young grandmother, she is Grammy to Parker, Ivy, and Evely’nn. A huge labrador lover, she is mom to yellow lab Magnus and to the very naughty (and huge) white Labra-doodle puppy Brody.

Hobbies include writing passionate love stories that involve chivalrous characters, dashing adventure, forked humor, and the ever-true good vs. evil dilemma. Her favorite place to relax is anywhere within close proximity to a beach or wooded lake. A huge history buff, she plans to one day make a trek across the US to get her fill of American wonder (with hubby, labs, and lap top in tow). She loves a good hot cup of coffee with Creme Brulee liquid creamer and sugar. A maestro with a bag of frosting, Wilton cake decorating lessons only fueled her artistic fire. She is pretty darn awesome at crankin’ out a deluxe wedding, baby shower, or themed birthday cake that will make your toes curl.


Won’t you join our celebration by:

1) Telling us which ‘Hook-a-Book’ did/would you likely give your friends…

2) Subscribing to our Blog…

3) ‘LIKE’ -ing us on our Facebook!

All three are required for a TRIPLE chance to win in the Giveaway!

“A Midsummer Night’s Sin” by Kasey Michaels

STORY: Meet the Blackthorn Brothers—three unrepentant scoundrels infamous for being mad, bad and perilous to love.

Handsome as the devil and twice as tempting, Robin “Puck” Blackthorn lives for the pleasures of the moment. His only rule—never dally with an innocent woman. But when an encounter at a masquerade ball leaves him coveting the one woman who refuses to succumb to his charms, Puck realizes that some rules were made to be broken…

Scandalized to discover that the masked man with whom she’d shared a dance—and a forbidden embrace—is in fact the ton’s most celebrated rake, Regina Hackett vows to keep her distance. Yet when her dear friend vanishes, it is to Puck that Regina must turn. And as they embark on a dangerous journey through London’s darkest alleys, Regina will discover that beneath Puck’s roguish façade lies a man who will stop at nothing to protect her—or to convince her to take a chance on an unrepentant sinner.

REVIEW: Ever since I read the first book in this series and met ‘Puck’, the youngest and so far the cutest of the Blackthorn Bastards, I was itching to find out who would take his heart? He’s blonde, with hair just a bit longer than fashionable, sophisticated and proficient in violin, pianoforte and flute.  He was the brother who was full of ‘Je ne sais quoi? La joie de vivre’!  He finds joy in every thing, every place and every one. Puck is in love with life. The woman who would steal the heart of this young rascal had to be very, very special. Will I like her?

You have to understand, once Kasey Michaels introduces us to a family, we, her faithful readers, become vested and over-protective of the characters she gift’s us with.

As I mentioned, Robin Blackthorn, ‘Puck’ to his friends and family, is the youngest of the three infamous Blackthorn Bastards. The reason behind their ‘bastardy’ is in itself unique and the author is pure genius in creating the plot and characters that are interesting, entertaining and just a delight.

At the end of the first book, we were given a glimpse of the idea that Puck would try to use anything at his disposal to enter London society. To that end he blackmails two of his brother’s cohorts into helping him out.

Regina Hackett is young, beautiful, obedient and easily talked into mischief by her cousin. It only takes one night, one mistake and the night that should have been fun, turns into a nightmare for the two girls.

Regina’s nightmare becomes more bearable by her trust, which she cautiously yet willingly gives, to a stranger who intrigues and attracts her. She finds that her life and society she took for granted, is not what she thought it to be. Her naïve and easily accepting nature is shaken by the truth about a man she feared all her life.

Puck’s first night into society was not what he imagined it would be, and when a ‘chit’ he mistakes for a ‘professional courtesan’ at a masquerade turns out to be a naïve and very rich daughter of a man who might be of some use to him in getting that proverbial ‘foot in the door’ of the society, he takes the chance and offers his help to her.

What follows is pure magic! The story is full of danger, intrigue, mystery and humor. Their romance is one of mutual seduction, and their passion for each other will have you sighing! Kasey Michaels creates characters that are three-dimensional and moving, with a dialogue that is exciting as well as full of wit. As for the plot?! It will keep you guessing and turning the pages. Now, I’m primed and ready for the oldest bastard’s story. Bring it on, Ms. Michaels!

*To buy this book, click on the cover*

*To learn more about the author, click on her name*

* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*