‘One Night with an Earl’ by Jennifer Haymore

jh onwaeSTORY: Beatrice Reece, Lady Fenwick, has retired from polite society. Everyone knows her late husband treated her abominably, and she simply cannot bear the whispers of the ton. But it’s the night of London’s premier masquerade ball—and Beatrice’s one chance to revel in anonymity. She hopes no one will recognize her beneath her mask, not even the sinfully sexy stranger across the room who holds her captive in his gaze. 

Andrew Sinclair would know beautiful Beatrice anywhere from the gentle sway of her hips, the richness of her hair and the lushness of her body. When he asks her to dance, the attraction is instant and all-consuming. The only woman he’s ever truly wanted is finally in his arms. But when the clock strikes twelve, will this one reckless night fade into the morning light?

REVIEW: Beatrice Reece, the widowed Lady Fenwicke, chooses to stay closeted at home since the death of her abusive husband.  Many people feel she is in some way at fault for his death which is not the case.  However, she certainly does not miss him and the physical abuse he constantly piled on her.  Currently, she is living with her parents who view her with scorn.

When her good friend, Jessica, convinces her to dress up and attend a masquerade party, she agrees only because her parents will be away from the house for the time she will be at the party.

Andrew Sinclair, the ninth Earl of Weston, is more interested in spending his time classifying botany specimens that attending ton events.  However, his friend, Madame Lussier, insists that he attend her masquerade.

Dressed as Lady Persephone, Beatrice is intrigued when a masked Andrew approaches her and they strike up a conversation that leads to a waltz.  As the evening continues, their attraction becomes more intense and thus they leave the party for a walk in the park.  The walk then leads to them to Andrew’s home.  Where will things go from there?

A sweet novella about two people who fall in love quickly this story gets quite hot as well.

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Complimentary copy provided by the publisher 

‘The Rogue’s Proposal’ by Jennifer Haymore

TRP JHSTORY: Lord Lukas Hawkins, the rakish second son of the House of Trent, has never found a wager he couldn’t win or a woman he couldn’t seduce—until his search for his missing mother leads him to a mysterious encounter with a beautiful stranger.

Luke’s mother has been missing for months, and while his honorable older brother Simon, Duke of Trent, leads the official investigation from London, Luke sets out on a somewhat seedier path. Sources have told him his mother was last seen with a scoundrel named Roger Morton, but their association isn’t clear. Was she kidnapped or did she go willingly?

While searching for Morton, Luke meets Emma Anderson, a secretive beauty with her own reasons for hunting Morton. At first Luke laughs at the idea of allowing a woman to join him in his search, but soon Emma’s insights into Morton—like the woman herself—prove impossible to resist.

REVIEW: Do you like a HOT story?  Well, you have come to the right place.  The Rogue’s Proposal is steamy all the way through.

Lukas Hawkins is a man on a mission.  He’s trying to find his mother who has been missing for some months now.  While she has a tendency to go off with her lovers, this time it is feared that she has been kidnapped by a villain known as Roger Morton.  

As the second son of the House of Trent, Lucas has decided to look for his mother by infiltrating the lower classes to seek whatever information he can find about his mother.  While sitting in a bar one night, Emma Curtis approaches him and asks for his help in finding murderer of her husband, Henry Curtis.  Together, they take off on a journey filled with intrigue, mystery and lots of passion.

Ms. Haymore has written this novel to depict the strength of Emma and the devils that plague Lukas.  Putting the pieces together to follow this story to the end was like an intriguing jigsaw puzzle that has those tricky pieces that make you determined to find where they go.  To add anymore here would be to give away too much as this book has just been published on November 19, 2013!

I recommend it highly as I know the reader won’t be able to put it down.

Connie for b2b

*Book provided by the author.

‘The Duchess Hunt’ by Jennifer Haymore

TDH JH1STORY: Simon Hawkins, duke of Trent, is no stranger to scandal. Rumors and innuendo have darkened the House of Trent for decades, and it has fallen to Simon to restore his tattered family name. He lives by a strict code of honor, but when he is called home to investigate his mother’s disappearance, the distinguished duke will tangle with temptation. For there waits the only woman he has ever loved-and the last woman he should desire . . .

Sarah Osborne has spent her life dreaming of Simon’s touch. But dukes do not long for lady’s maids-or so Sarah believes, until a stolen kiss sparks a passion that could be her ultimate undoing. As the couple begins a forbidden romance, a cunning enemy plots to destroy the duke and everything he loves. Now, caught in a blackmailer’s web, Simon faces an agonizing choice: sacrifice his family’s future or break Sarah’s heart.

REVIEW: This is the first of Ms. Haymore’s House of Trent novels.

Sarah Osborne lives in a small cottage with her father, the gardener for Ironwood Park, which is the large and sprawling home of the Duke of Trent. As a child, Sarah was allowed to play on the grounds of the estate but was cautioned by her father to stay away from the House of Trent. 

One day, Sarah falls into a blackberry bush and is rescued by none other than young Simon Hawkins, the Duke of Trent.  He takes her into the house for his mother to minister to her wounds.  She is welcomed by all members of the Trent family. Later, she finds a position as housemaid with them and after as companion to their daughter, Esme. 

After many years of absence, Simon returns to Trent House to fulfill his obligation to marry and settle down.  Simon’s past kindness to Sarah has resulted in a friendship and attraction to one another.  However, as Sarah is not a titled woman, they cannot marry.  Thus, Simon must look for another bride while Sarah’s heart is breaking.

In to it all, enters a devious blackmailer who threatens to destroy their lives unless Simon agrees to his demands.  Torn by wanting to follow his heart and be with Sarah or marry someone else to ensure his family’s security, Simon is an unhappy man.

The novel weaves together the lives of all the members of the Trent family, in addition to scandals involved with each of them.  This was very well written combining their individual stories all together.  I liked the characters of Simon and Sarah as they are intelligent, kind and real. The second novel, ‘The Rogue’s Proposal’ is due to be published November 26, 2013.

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‘Pleasures of a Tempted Lady’ by Jennifer Haymore

POATL JHSTORY: Captain William Langley knows the ocean well, but nothing could prepare him for what he discovers adrift on the cold Irish Sea. The tiny boat carries two passengers: a child—and Meg Donovan, Will’s long-lost love. Meg’s disappearance at sea eight years ago was a devastating blow. Now she’s back, as beautiful as ever, and with secrets as deep as Will’s own.

After years held captive by a cold-blooded pirate, Meg has finally escaped with little Jake, the boy she’s come to love as if he were her own. But the pirate wants his revenge—and Meg must do whatever it takes to shield Jake from the madman. Determined not to lose Meg again, Will vows to protect them both, yet Meg can’t risk putting the only man she’s ever loved in danger. With the threat to her safety growing, and her passion for Will burning brighter every day, surrendering herself to Will might be a pleasure too tempting to resist

REVIEW: This is the third story in Donovan Sisters series and we finally get Meg’s story.

Meg is the twin sister to Serena who eight years ago was presumed drowned while they were sailing home to Antigua after a scandal in England.

In this book we find out where Meg spent those long years and the story’s not pretty.

So far this series isn’t blowing me away, and the only reason I read this story is its hero, Captain William Langley who was left high and dry by ‘Meg’ [actually Serena pretending to be her] who fell for Jonathan Dane, Earl of Stratford who was the main culprit of the scandal to begin with. If you haven’t read the first book, don’t fret too much, this book will fill in the blanks and you’ll be well-informed of the background of all past characters.

My heart ached for Will and I was looking forward to his happy ending, which was really long in coming.

Captain William Langley has spent the last eight years carrying the torch for his lost love and would have given anything to see her again.

In his wildest dreams he never expected that wish to come true.

While he’s after some smugglers, they come upon a boat with a woman and a boy in it, and low and behold, his Meg is restored to him.

This is another book of Ms. Haymore that I just could not connect with. I’m not sure if it’s the characterization or the plot, or possibly both. The book is well written, fast paced, but even that didn’t make me like Meg or her actions. I even found Will a bit unnerving and not as I remembered him in the first book.

The only thing that made this read bearable were the secondary characters of Jessica and David. Talk about different personalities! While Meg was aloof and off-putting, Jess was trusting and loyal.

I do recommend you read it if you’re vested in this series already, but otherwise you might want to skip it.

*Book provided by publisher from NetGalley.

‘Secrets of an Accidental Duchess’ by Jennifer Haymore

STORY: With her pale hair and slim figure, Olivia Donovan looks as fragile as fine china, and has been treated as such by her sisters ever since a childhood bout with malaria. But beneath her delicate façade, Olivia guards a bold, independent spirit and the kind of passionate desires proper young ladies must never confess…

It was a reckless wager, and one Max couldn’t resist: seduce the alluring Olivia or forfeit part of his fortune. Yet the wild, soon-to-be Duke never imagined he’d fall in love with this innocent beauty. Nor could he have guessed that a dangerously unpredictable rival would set out to destroy them both. Now, Max must beat a Madman at his own twisted game-or forever lose the only woman to have ever won his heart.

REVIEW: This is the second Donovan sister story, and in this one we get familiar with Olivia. She is twenty-one, and as the blurb states, besides being a stunner, she’s the sister that survived the malaria, and everyone is treating her with kid gloves. They’re all worried that even the least bit of exertion would cause her malaria to rear its ugly head, and have her succumb to it. Olivia however isn’t much worried as she’s always ready for it by making sure that she has her medication with her at all times, and she experimented by running around their property in Antigua while unobserved. She is the sister that is quiet content and resigned to being the ‘aunt spinster’ and living with Serena and her family. I actually admired that in her. She showed some strength of character by making that decision and accepting her condition as a part of who she is and not using it as a ‘crutch’.

Max Buchanan, the Marquis of Hasley is thirty years old and considered by many a rake. For someone who will eventually become a Duke, he’s a bit aloof and doesn’t really want it, since he’s the heir to his uncle who thinks him unworthy of the title. From the first time we meet him, while he sets his eyes on Olivia, we’re taken with him because of his honest and stunned observation and reaction to Olivia and his visceral reaction to Lord Fenwick’s admission of a failed attempt to seduce her…

And then he does THE most stupid thing in the world-betting Fenwick that he would succeed in what the other man failed to do! WHAT?! Are you serious?! WHY?! What possessed him to do such a thing to someone he was just mooning over, AND knowing without a doubt to be an innocent woman?! He knows that he NEVER intends to marry anyone because he feels that he would become like his father and be cruel to his wife, so how in the world does he justify his deliberate seduction of this young woman? That was where I started to have a problem with his character. I love our heroes flawed, but I also like to see the redeeming qualities in them, and I just couldn’t reconcile myself with Max’s decision to make a wager that would eventually carry huge consequences.

From that point on my feelings toward both, Olivia and Max, turned lukewarm. Their scenes with each other should have been sweet and warm, and if I chose to ignore the ‘elephant in the room’ they were. But then, they had ‘the talk’…Olivia was still sticking to her decision to be a spinster, while he still wanted to be ‘the bachelor’, yet both agree to enjoy each other (and on her sister’s suggestion, she asks him to ‘withdraw’ so she wouldn’t end up with child) and that night he ‘takes’ her twice, with a ‘position’ that for a virgin, and  as  innocent as she is, I just couldn’t buy.

However, I have to give Ms. Haymore kudos for the secondary plot of wife abuse of Beatrice Fenwicke, the wife of Lord Fenwick, whose evil and madness was left running rampant for the longest time. Ms. Haymore did an excellent job in telling this young woman’s story and I hope she decides to give her an HEA.

The third Donovan book will be coming up soon, and I will read it, but I hope it will be written reminiscent of her earlier books,  ‘A Hint of Wicked’, ‘A Touch of Scandal’ and ‘A Season of Seduction’. If you haven’t read any of those, I highly recommend them, especially the first two.

*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*