‘Scotsmen Prefer Blondes’ by Sara Ramsey

STORY: She never wanted marriage…

When a friend is forced to consider a marriage of convenience, Lady Amelia Staunton is determined to rescue her. But her plans trap her in an illicit seduction, and Amelia must marry him herself. Malcolm’s all-consuming kisses and devilish humor might make up for her lost freedom, but she believes he will force her to abandon the Gothic romances she yearns to write. Since she can’t escape him, she must distract him from her secret…

He isn’t looking for love…

A powerful autocrat with a well-hidden rebellious streak, Malcolm MacCabe doesn’t need another beautiful mistress – he needs an obedient wife. Obedience is not one of Amelia’s virtues. But he’s too enthralled by her wit and passion to let her go – even if it means risking the political reputation he is building to save his clan.

Their hearts can’t survive the scandal…

Despite their intentions, every wicked embrace binds them together. But as their conflicting desires combust into insatiable hunger and unavoidable ruin, they must decide whether to pursue their personal destinies alone – or fight for the love that could destroy them both.

REVIEW: The blurb above summarizes the story well, and rather than going into it, I’ll tell you why I liked this story.

First, you don’t need to read the first novel to enjoy this story, but the dynamic between the muses, their heroes and the story in itself will be more exciting if you do. Let me tell you, I wasn’t a big fan of Amelia’s in Madeline’s story, but by the end of it, I loved her tenaciousness and honesty, and you will too.

Ms. Ramsey continues to impress me with her portrayal of the friendship of her muses. These women seem real because of that. Their feelings toward each other are honest and at times contentious, but deep down their respect and love of each other and their passion for their art is something that will always keep their friendships strong.

Malcolm is a hero to die for! He’s a strong, smart and ambitious man full of wit that would be a God-given gift to any london season ‘mama’, yet Amelia is full of doubts as she struggles with her feelings for him. It was fun to watch these two very strong-minded people fight the atraction and in the end succumbing to it.

If you’re in a mood for a fun and entertaining, sensual and romantic story of two very strong characters who will take you on their fast paced HEA, this story is just the ticket!

‘Heiress Without A Cause’ by Sara Ramsey

STORY: One title to change his life…

A disgraced son with a dark reputation, William “Ferguson” Avenel is content to live in exile – until his father dies in the scandal of the Season. With rumors of insanity swirling around them, his sisters desperately need a chaperone. Ferguson thinks he’s found the most proper woman in England – and he won’t ruin her, even if he desperately wants the passionate woman trapped beneath a spinster’s cap.

One chance to break the rules…

Lady Madeleine Vaillant can’t face her blighted future without making one glorious memory for herself. In disguise, on a London stage, she finds all the adoration she never felt from the ton. But when she’s nearly recognized, she will do anything to hide her identity – even setting up her actress persona as Ferguson’s mistress. She’ll take the pleasure he offers, but Madeleine won’t lose her heart in the bargain.

One season to fall in love…

Every stolen kiss could lead to discovery, and Ferguson’s old enemies are determined to ruin them both. But as their dangerous passion ignites their hearts and threatens their futures, how can an heiress who dreams of freedom deny the duke who demands her love?

REVIEW: This is Ms. Ramsey’s début novel and first in the Muses of Mayfair Series (Madeline Vaillant, Prudence Etchingham, Amelia Staunton and Ellie, Marchioness of Folkestone) and she starts off with Lady Madeline Vaillant’s story.

The book opens up with our heroine attending a ball at Salford House, which is the home of her cousin Alexander Staunton, the Earl of Salford, his mother, her aunt Augusta as well as Amelia Staunton, Alex’s sister. She’s been with them ever since she was a little girl, after her parents went back to France in the midst of the Revolution and gotten themselves killed in the process.

She is aware that no one has ever paid her any attention and that no one likely ever will. Not as long as she’s determined to stay a spinster and dress like one, down to her spinsters cap. What the ton doesn’t know and if it did it would not only shock them but it would also ruin Madeline and possibly the family that she loves dearly, is that our heroine has a secret desire and a talent for acting.

Our hero is William “Ferguson” Avenel and coming out of exile is not so easy for him. It has been a decade since he’s seen his sister Ellie and his twin half sisters who are both ready for their first London season, and to all of them, Ferguson needs to apologies for not being there for them when they needed him the most.

I really liked this story for lots of obvious reasons; for a début book, it was written well, paced well and its hero and heroine were very likeable, but what I liked the best about it was the relationship between the three friends, and after we meet Ellie, there was no doubt in my mind that she was perfect as, and eventually would become another, muse of Mayfair.

The author has done an excellent job in portraying the relationships between all the characters with so much reality, that it will touch your hearts with an equal dose of humor and sensuality. You will come to care for everyone involved and that is what makes this début such a great read and I whole heartedly recommend it.

‘On Any Given Sundae’ by Marilyn Brant

Honestly, I opened up On  Any Given Sundae with no doubt in my mind that I was going to love it, and I was not disappointed in the least bit!  I knew from the premise that this was going to be one of those read-in-one- sitting- feel- good- make- me- all- warm- and- fuzzy books- And it certainly was.  Down to the last bite.

I love reality in my fictional characters- as silly as that sounds.  I like to read a book and feel like I am right there, in their town with their families and friends, sharing in their experiences.  On Any Given Sundae does just that and so so much more.   I might have been right there in this little town in Wisconsin with these wonderful people!

Elizabeth and I may have been sisters for that matter.  The ex-chubby, food loving stuttering chick who had the hots for the town jock… seriously, the parallels I could draw are endless.  And the chance to make that jock fall head over heels years later when he comes back to town lookin all good… well, that I can’t make any parallels on, but I can say that I can imagine it in my head and it would go just like Marilyn Brant painted it for me!

All silliness aside, I truly, honestly, thoroughly enjoyed On Any Given Sundae.  It has the perfect amount of all of the right stuff.  The romance, the laughs, the poignant moments, the food-  I fell so in love with these characters and their story, I literally felt invested in their HEA.  The secondary characters, the atmosphere, the love and loyalty of all of the characters combined- it is a delightful cocktail that will make any romance lover smile all over.

Bravo to Marilyn Brant on a story wonderfully told, I hope she keeps them coming and they keep making me just as happy as this one did!

A time to soak and absorb my adventure at RT’s…

Well, 2012 RT Convention is now in the history and my memories of it will always bring a huge smile to my face. My biggest regret is not taking a pic with Grace Burrowes. This awesome woman has so generously offered to share her room with me during the day, shared lunch with, went to some events together, and we kept saying, later we’ll do it, and in the end with all the running around we never did. Now I feel sad for not doing it and I mean to make sure next time I see her, the first thing we’ll do is take a pic together.

Let me tell you, I don’t get easily intimidated, but meeting Lorreta Chase and Victoria Alexander just left me speechless and in tears. Totally a Fan-Girl moment!!

Right now, I’m truly exhausted and need to rest and sort it all in my head before I bring them to you. Soaking in the tub is on my list of must do in the next hour.

Before I head out to do my soaking, I thought to run one more contest and ask y’all which author would you be in awe of meeting? One of you will end up with a book of your choice out of my stash!

A day with all my favorite authors…and then there’s Brooks!

Once more, before I lay my head on a pillow [in my mind, I'm already there] I’m stopping by with some juicy tidbits….

Too many authors and too little time, but I made the rounds and beside stopping by and saying hi to the old favourites, I made some new author discoveries, and I made new friends.

Sabrina Jeffries is truly the best Duchess ever.

Jade Lee can throw a fun-filled bridal shower and a wedding like no one else.

Kieran Kramer is one hot, HOT chick and she has the moves to kill, and energy to burn.

And then there’s Brooks….

This has been a weekend of my firsts, and this is one first I’m filing under ‘Grandma posed with a male model’ memory file. What about you? Have you had a male model encounter [if not in real life, fantasy will do] and who is it? One of you will get a free book (mention your choice from a big pile that is on the pic under the post) in our second RT giveaway. Click on both pics and you can visit Brooks on his website, and you can enlarge the one with the books.* Sorry, US only…

Not a Virgin any more!

It’s almost midnight and I am tired and sleepy, but wanted to make sure and tell you how my first day at RT Convention went…

The first word that comes to mind is compassion…the second fun! I missed the first event [event was at 8:3 a.m. and they started registrations at 9:00 a. m.] and that was all good, and so I went from room to room and went in the ones that were fun and had my favorite authors). I promise to tell you all about it at the end of the convention, but today, I thought to post a few pics and to one of you who correctly ID’s ALL the authors (okay the MOST) with me, and I’ll send them their newest release!

This contest will be open only ’till midnight Saturday and open to US residents only. Sorry.

Here we go…

My first RT Convention [my first convention ever]

RT Booklovers Convention is on Baby! It’s happening right now (from April 11 – April 15), and it’s in my town, Chicago and there was no way I could have stayed away from it, not when most of my awesome and talented romance authors and bloggers, would be attending.

It’s Wednesday night and I’m counting days and hours to this weekend. I have only a weekend pass for RT Convention and I’m excited to a point where anxiety is taking over! I think I need some Yoga to calm me down…

Anyways, with my health issues slowly, and I mean about a turtle speed, getting better, I’m just about ready for this event to lift my ‘steroid induced roller-coaster’ of emotions, up.

Yesterday I’ve downloaded the RT’s Agenda and highlighted some things that will be a must attend and some authors that are a must meet.

A NOBLE AFFAIR is on a Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. and it’s a champagne breakfast hosted by NOBLE PUBLISHING, which means I need to rise early…very early [note to self: need to arrange to meet Grace Burrowes there, and oh God I hope I do not swoon when meeting Madam Authoress].

At 11:15 a.m. I’m planning to go to a discussion on THE TROUBLE WITH LAYERS and listen to Loretta Chase, Kieran Kramer, Sarah MacLean, Jade Lee and Sabrina Jeffries [note to self: with so much talent in one room, do not, I repeat-do not embarrass yourself by aping a salivating dog].

In the evening there are a couple of things I’d love to check out and the chance to meet Katharine Ashe, Lorraine Heath, Tessa Dare and Sophie Jordan at AVON’S INDIGO LOUNGE, as well as visit with Heather Graham with NIGHT OF THE STARS GANGSTER CAFE TALENT QUEST, would be an awesome way to end my first day at the convention [note to self: time to get of the med's for this weekend].

As I’m packing some of my favorite books from Mary Balogh, Victoria Alexander, Monica Burns, Shana Galen, Sylvia Day, Emma Wildes, Delilah Marvelle, Heather Snow, Jade Lee, Mia Marlowe and many more, I’m so happy I can’t stand it. Is it Friday yet?!

To all of you bookworms, I promise we’ll have plenty of stuff to giveaway, so get ready for it!