“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*

Joanna Bourne’s ‘Hook-a-Book’ is ‘THE FIRE ROSE’!

Today our guest is Joanna Bourne, and while we celebrate her and her work, she will try to ‘hook’ one of you with her choice. Before she gets going with her ‘hook’ we’d like to offer her our congratulations on her nomination for this years Best Historical Romance of the Year by Romantic Times! It is well deserved and we wish her and ‘The Black Hawk’ good luck.

If you’re an old Jo Bourne fan, you won’t need me to ‘hook” you on her work, but if you’ve never read one of Jo’s stories, then you are missing on something very special. Jo doesn’t just ‘write’ stories…Jo ‘waeves’ the tales like an expert weaver of the wool, pulling threads, slowly and carefuly…puling you between those threads so gently that you become attached to the ‘fabric’ of that story. Oh, how I love her story telling…

Here is Jo in her own words: “I write historical fiction set in Revolutionary and Napoleonic France and Regency England. It was a time of love and sacrifice, clashing ideals, and really cool clothing. I live in the Appalachian Mountains with my family and my dog and cat.

I’ll be giving away a gently used copy of Mercedes Lackey’sThe Fire Rose“.  Romance readers may only be familiar with Lackey as a Science Fiction and Fantasy writer, but she spins a wonderfully romantic tale.

“The Fire Rose” is a love story and a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, full of shapeshifters, mages and magic.  The scholarly governess falls in love with the mysterious master of the brooding mansion.  Air elementals, dragons, and burning salamanders duke it out at the 1905 San Francisco earthquake.  Just lots going on.

“The Fire Rose” is not shelved with Romance, but it easily could be.  A great find for folks who love Paranormals.”

Jo, your choice is very intriguing, so now I need to check this book out. This book sounds like a real treasure! Thanks so much for stopping by and I can guarantee that your ‘treasure’ will find a good home.

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!

Shana Galen’s ‘Hook-a-Book’ is THE SECRET!

Shana Galen is the author of many fast-paced adventurous Regency historical romances, including the Rita-nominated “Blackthorne’s Bride. Her books have been sold worldwide, including Japan, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the Netherlands, and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs.

A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full-time. She’s a wife, a mother, and an expert multi-tasker. She loves to hear from readers and to visit her website, click on her pic, or if you’re on Facebook or Twitter, join the conversation. The book that ‘hooked’ me on Shana’s prose is “The Making of a Duchess” and to this day, her back-list is on my Wish List. Her latest novel “Lord and Lady Spy” is getting high reviews from a lot of Bloggers and her fellow authors.

Shana Galen would like to ‘hook’ one of you with Julie Garwood’s THE SECRET!

“One of the first authors I read when I discovered romance was Julie Garwood. I adored her historicals (and still do!). I think I’ve read each one of them twice. Her heroes are always strong alpha males and her heroines are always a perfect match for them. I love the way Garwood uses humor. Her heroines perplex the heroes in such amusing ways. Garwood manages to write sweet stories with plenty of sexual tension and the requisite ahh-factor at the end.

My favorite Julie Garwood book, perhaps my favorite romance ever, is ‘THE SECRET‘. It’s the story of two friends, Englishwoman Judith and her Scottish friend from childhood, Frances Catherine. Judith has promised Frances Catherine she will be by her side when Frances Catherine gives birth, and when the time nears, Judith is escorted by Iain Maitland, laird of his clan. Iain is a perfect hero. He’s a warrior who is protective and possessive but tender with Judith. Judith is strong and independent, but still very feminine.

I love how Julie Garwood writes humor. Judith challenges many of the traditional Scottish clan customs, and this leads to quite a few amusing situations. Iain is also equally bemused and exasperated by her. He frustrates her as well, and all that frustration can lead to some sizzling sexual tension. But my favorite part of this book is the friendship between the women. Judith and Frances Catherine are great friends. They’re the kind of friends I’d like to have. A secret, a friendship, a warrior hero, and a feisty heroine–this book has it all!”

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!

Vanessa Kelly’s ‘Hook-a-Book’ is SEDUCTION!

I have never read a Vanessa Kelly book, and until yesterday, I didn’t think I OWNED a Vanessa Kelly! Lo and behold, I’m browsing her website, and what shall I see?! A very, very familiar cover, and not one but TWO covers! Quite awhile back, I was going through some shelves at my local Frugal Muse used book store and I saw this cover that just ‘called’ to me and I snagged the book. It was ‘SEX and the SINGLE EARL’ by VANESSA KELLY! This year Jo Beverley had an Anthology coming out, and I am HUGE Jo fan, so I had to get it…I give you one guess as to who’s one of the other authors that has a story in it…VANESSA KELLY! Oh, and that’s not the best part! The best part is that her story ‘THE PLEASURE OF a YOUNGER LOVER’ has one of my favorite tropes: younger man/older woman! So, naturally I stayed up late last night so I could read a Vanessa Kelly story, and I am so glad I did! This is just too, too good! You all will love this hero! So, now I’m ‘hooked’ and on the prowl for more of Vanessa’s books.

Are you ready to be ‘hooked’ by Vanessa’s book?  She’s very excited to give this book away. Are you ready to take it off her hands and give it a home?

Here she is talking about her ‘hook': “I discovered romances in my early teens, when my big sister began gifting me with books from her treasured collection of Georgette Heyer, Mary Stewart, and Victoria Holt novels.  When I went to college I stopped reading romances, and it was several years before I picked up another one.

I began reading them again during grad school, when I was working on my Ph.D. in English Lit.  I was studying the Regency period, and I stumbled upon a set of Georgette Heyer reprints in a bookstore one day.  I stumbled upon something else, too – the Regency-set historical romances of Amanda Quick.  I had never heard of Amanda, nor did I know she was really Jayne Anne Krentz.  Needless to say, I bought every AQ historical romance I could get my hands on, gobbling them up with fiendish abandon.

One of my favorites is ‘SEDUCTION, which is classic AQ.  A dark and very alpha hero, Lord Ravenwood has a tragic and ugly past, which has turned him bitter and cynical.  The heroine, the charming Sophy Dorring, is his complete opposite–optimistic, loyal, trusting, and determined to seek justice on behalf of her dead sister.

One of the great things about AQ’s books is that the hero and heroine–while seeming so dissimilar–are able to overcome their differences to work together.  They may have character flaws, but they’re rarely stupid enough to let them get in the way of solving their problems.  And even though AQ’s books always have a suspense element and usually a very creepy villain, she writes with a light, assured touch.  AQ’s Regencies are really fun, with great dialogue and little bits of slapstick that work exceedingly well.  ‘SEDUCTIONis one of the best–witty, fun, sexy, and suspenseful, with a truly hot hero.  ‘SEDUCTION’ was one of the books that re-hooked me on romance, and I’ve never looked back!”

Now, here’s a bit about Vanessa Kelly. She writes Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra, and has been named by Booklist as one of the “new stars of historical romance.”  Her second book, ‘SEX and the SINGLE EARL’, recently won the Maggie Medallion for best historical romance. We also congratulate her as ‘MY FAVORITE COUNTESS’ was nominated for an RT Reviewers Choice Award for Best Regency-set Historical Romance. WAY TO GO, Vanessa!

Here’s Vanessa in her own words: “I like to think my life has been a process of evolution, growing and changing to reach the place where I am today. There have been periods of stagnation along the way… But through every phase I always imagined I was the heroine in my own story, perpetually waiting for the sound track to cue up the next big scene in my life… No doubt my view of life as story was fostered by the fact that I started reading books well before elementary school. Sadly, my kindergarten teacher did not see my prodigious abilities as a positive development, since she was convinced I had learned to read “the wrong way.”

Regardless, I continued on my wrong way through elementary school and high school, reading as much as I could, whenever and wherever I could. I still remember reading Gone With the Wind when I was a kid, along with all the other classics like The Wizard of Oz, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Anne of Green Gables, Alice Through the Looking Glass, and The Three Musketeers…

Fast forward to graduate school (after another long, boggy period). I finally figured out that since I liked reading and writing so much, I should probably study literature. I gravitated toward British women writers of the Regency period (must have been all the Austen and Heyer), especially the incomparable Fanny Burney…

During this period my love for all things Regency burst into full bloom. I now imagined myself as the classic Regency heroine, eager to dance the night away, and throw myself into the arms of the first handsome rake who stumbled drunkenly from his racing curricle into my path…

Anyway, in addition to all the great literature I was reading, I discovered Amanda Quick, Stephanie Laurens, Jo Beverly, and so many other talented writers. I just loved their ability to craft elegant, thrilling, and passionately sensual stories about intelligent women and the big, strong alpha males who loved them. And I wanted to be a writer just like them…

Fast forward a few more years (after a period working in the public sector as a researcher and writer), and I finally got my wish. I began writing Regency-set historical romances, and signed my first contract with Kensington Books in May of 2008. And like any good heroine, I did find my Happily Ever After. I’m married to a swell guy (who is also a writer), have two great stepsons and a daughter-in-law, and more good friends and family than any one person deserves. And I get to write passionate, sensual romances about my favorite period in history. Just like Amanda, Stephanie, and Jo.”

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!

My “Hook-a-Book’ is CAPTIVE OF SIN!

Have you read Anna Campbell novel yet? I only ‘discovered’ Anna last year, but I’ve gotten ‘hooked’ on her story telling by reading ‘CAPTIVE OF SIN’.

Right of the bat, I need to let you all know that I’m a sucker for a tortured soul, and this story has our hero Sir Gideon Trevithick, who as an English spy got captured in India, was tortured, rescued and brought home to be proclaimed a national hero. He meets battered and bruised Lady Charis Weston who distrusts and despises men after some horrible treatment she receives from her step brothers, who are trying to prevent her from inheriting a huge family fortune.

From the first to the last paragraph of this book, you WILL be enthralled, pulled, sucked and torn! You WILL be on the edge of your bed, chair or just pace back and forth! The tension in this book is palpable, emotions raw, and the courage of both hero and heroine will take your breath away!

Anna says this: “CAPTIVE OF SIN, my November 2009 release, also received wonderful reviews, including another Top Pick from Romantic Times. It was selected as one of the 100 best books of 2009 by prestigious industry journal Publishers Weekly, one of only five mass market paperbacks to make the list. So far, Captive of Sin has finaled in 12 contests and has won the Golden Quill as Best Historical Romance of 2009. It was voted most popular historical romance of 2009 in the Australian Romance Reader Awards. I’m delighted to say I was voted Favorite Australian Romance author of 2009 in the same awards.”

Here is Anna in her own words: “Being such an avid reader seemed naturally to morph into wanting to do what these wonderful writers did. My mother very proudly kept my grade two composition book in which I penned a heartfelt wish to become the new Enid Blyton (my obsession at that stage – my reading life has been marked by particular crazes. We won’t talk about the Dorothy Dunnett period). At least you can say I had a sense of vocation very early. When I was eight, that same mother was so desperate to shut me up – in between reading, I used to talk a LOT – that she gave me a Mills & Boon romance…

But I was immediately hooked. The emotion and the fact that a woman is so central to the story made these books precious to me. And I still feel that way about a good romance…

I started my first novel when I was in grade three – at least I took the promises I made myself in grade two seriously! An exciting saga about horsenapping that I never actually finished. I fiddled with various stories until I left high school, when I managed to finish a historical in the style of Kathleen Woodiwiss…

In between, I did an English literature degree at Queensland University… I came back to Australia determined to act on my writing ambitions so that’s when my gypsy years started. So many jobs, so little money. Retail. Hospitality. Marketing. An art gallery. Technical writing for training companies. Eventually, I settled in to a twelve-year stint in Sydney (thanks to a totally fluked win on a quiz show which funded the move). There I worked at a charity which subtitled TV programs for the deaf and hearing impaired. During all this time I wrote.

As many beginner romance writers do, I decided category would be an easy way into the industry. Even though my heart has always been with long juicy historicals. I finished seven short contemporary stories, all of which were rejected very nicely by Harlequin. By this stage, under the bed was more crowded than the center of Hong Kong at Chinese New Year. Then I worked on a pile of totally unmarketable historicals, some of which I finished, most of which I didn’t…

What made the biggest difference to me was joining Romance Writers of Australia. Suddenly I had like-minded people around me (up until now, I’d basically been working alone) who could offer advice and encouragement… Then one day, I got this idea for a dark sexy Regency historical about a duke who wants to marry his mistress, London’s most notorious courtesan. And ‘No Ordinary Duchess’, which Avon released in April 2007 as Claiming The Courtesan, was born. Claiming The Courtesan went on to final in the Romance Writers of America RITA Award for best Regency Romance and the Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year Award. Among numerous awards, CTC was both best debut and book of year of 2007 in Michelle Buonfiglio’s Romance: B(u)y the Book, best long historical in the Booksellers Best Awards and best first historical in the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards. I was also delighted to be voted best new author in the All About Romance reader poll of 2007.”

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!