Fan2Author Interview with Erica Monroe!

 

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Melanie: Welcome to the blog, Erica! Today we’re doing something a little different: we are answering questions that Erica’s readers sent in through her Facebook page. But first, tell me a little about your new book, Secrets in Scarlet.

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Erica Monroe: Secrets in Scarlet is the second book in my Rookery Rogues series, which is about thieves, scoundrels, and fallen women in the rookeries (poorer neighborhoods) in 1830’s London. Each book serves as a standalone romance, but the secondary characters and the locations connect them.

It’s the story of Poppy “Corrigan” O’Reilly and Thaddeus Knight, who meet when Thaddeus is investigating the murder of another girl at the factory where Poppy works. Being a very cerebral man himself, Thaddeus is attracted to Poppy’s quiet passion, her logical mind, and of course her love of books! But Poppy has a secret she’ll do anything to protect: she’s pretending to be a war widow in order to pass off her young daughter as legitimate. Back then in England, it was considered a huge, huge deal for a woman to have sex outside of marriage, and so Poppy is basically driven from her hometown to London—and she’s determined her daughter won’t pay the price for her mistake. Thaddeus is the one man who could put together her lies, yet she can’t stay away from him.

MF: One thing I’ve noticed about your books is that there’s a lot of detail that goes into the historical settings. How do you research your books?

EM: A lot of different ways. Mostly, I google A LOT of things, LOL! My Internet search Tom-all-alonehistory is probably going to make me end up on a watch list somewhere. Because I write romantic suspense, I’m always like “how can I fracture this bone in this way to cause this effect…” (I actually have a book called Body Trauma that answers a lot of these questions, and I want to give a shout-out to two of my friends, Jennelle Holland and Kristine Wyllys, who help me with my fight scenes). I’m very, very, very fortunate to know lovely people, who are veritable encyclopedias of historical knowledge,  so when I come up against something I’m banging my head against the wall for, I turn to them. But a lot of my research is done through various books. My favorite for rookery research is Henry Mayhew’s London Labor and the London Poor (which is 1850’s, but a lot of it applies to the 1830’s as well). My husband purchased an amazing book for me called England’s First Detectives about the Bow Street Runners, and I used the section on founding the Metropolitan Police for SIS.

But a lot of the resources I use are free too. Google Books is amazing for searching old texts—I got a book written in 1850 or so which actually details most of the rookeries, and I used Google books when figuring out what the factory might look like. I also highly recommend the Old Bailey website, because it has transcripts of various criminal trials, etc. It is invaluable and my favorite thing in the whole wide research world.

MF: Are there any places in your series that are true to history?

Victorian_slumsEM: I draw a lot of my story from the various rookery settings. I’ll find a certain location, and then I’ll want to build a story around it. I set the first book in the Rookery Rogues, in Ratcliffe because it was close to the London Docks and there was also an infamous bar that the resurrection men (graverobbers who sold corpses to surgeons for anatomization) used to frequent nearby, called the Fortune of War. I love incorporating those details.

For Secrets in Scarlet, I wanted to use Spitalfields because it’s a very old community of Huguenot weavers that came over during the eighteenth century. I found a map from the late end of the nineteenth century that marked out the Ripper murders, but it was interesting to me because it had clearly labelled all the various streets in Spitalfields and Whitechapel. On this map was an indication that a factory was on “White Lion Street,” so I chose to set the Larker factory in my book on this street as well. Poppy and Thaddeus are married in Christ Church, also indicated on this map. I used this map for a lot of the layout in my version of Spitalfields, crosschecking the street names with various online historical records to make sure they would be here in 1832. While I can never guarantee 100% accuracy—as the story must take precedence—I try and really use these details to add atmosphere to the story.

MF: And now we’ve got an excerpt from Secrets in Scarlet!

EM: Since we discussed the factory, I thought I’d share a bit of an excerpt from when Thaddeus visits the Larker factory and sees Poppy.

Workers labored at looms that spanned the full length of the room, stationed not more than a few paces apart. The looms formed three rows, with approximately ten in each row from front to back. The building had unusually high ceilings to accommodate for the sheer height of the looms, which reached far above his head. Children picked through the scraps of silk to sell in the market on Crispin Street.

He scanned the room for Mrs. Corrigan, eventually locating her toward the front. Mrs. Corrigan’s loom was positioned two to the left of the blond girl he remembered her exiting with the other day.

If he’d thought Mrs. Corrigan beautiful the day before in the light of the sun streaming through the library windows, here she was in her element. Perched on a tall stool, she leaned over the loom, her hands in constant motion. She’d bound her red hair in a tight top knot, and she wore no apron.

His mouth went dry as his eyes roamed down her frame. Her green dress was fitted so that she ran no risk of getting caught in the machinery, but it had the added appeal of displaying her luscious hips to full advantage. She moved with finesse and speed, each slide of the shuttle and weft an intricate dance. This was her world, the constant advancement of the punch cards, the click and clack of many looms employed in tandem.

As he walked past her station, their eyes locked. His breath caught in his throat. First, there was a flash of curiosity in her eyes, then fear. She missed a beat in the weaving.

Thaddeus couldn’t tarry to watch her. The guards had already progressed three looms past him. He hurried to catch up, following the guards into the office holed in the center of the right back wall.

 

sis emSTORY: When a girl is murdered at a factory in one of London’s rookeries, Sergeant Thaddeus Knight of the Metropolitan Police comes in to investigate. But it’s not just the factory owners that Thaddeus wants information on–the devilishly intriguing Poppy O’Reilly is a puzzle he’d like nothing more than to solve.

Protecting her young daughter is the most important thing to Poppy, and Thaddeus threatens the false identity she’s carefully constructed. The last thing she should do is allow Thaddeus close to her family, yet she can’t stay away from him. With danger around the corner, will the secrets of a scarlet woman lead to their undoing?

Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Google Play | ARE

Connie’s review here.

Erica MonroeAuthor Bio: Erica Monroe is a USA Today Bestselling Author of emotional, suspenseful romance. Her debut novel, A Dangerous Invitation, was nominated in the published historical category for the prestigious 2014 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Romantic Suspense. When not writing, she is a chronic TV watcher, sci-fi junkie, lover of pit bulls, and shoe fashionista. She lives in the suburbs of North Carolina with her husband, two dogs, and a cat.

Social Media: Facebook / Twitter / Website /

‘Secrets in Scarlet’ by Erica Monroe

sis emSTORY: When a girl is murdered at a factory in one of London’s rookeries, Sergeant Thaddeus Knight of the Metropolitan Police comes in to investigate. But it’s not just the factory owners that Thaddeus wants information on–the devilishly intriguing Poppy O’Reilly is a puzzle he’d like nothing more than to solve.

Protecting her young daughter is the most important thing to Poppy, and Thaddeus threatens the false identity she’s carefully constructed. The last thing she should do is allow Thaddeus close to her family, yet she can’t stay away from him. With danger around the corner, will the secrets of a scarlet woman lead to their undoing?

REVIEW: April 1832, Spitalfields London

When Sergeant Thaddeus Knight with the Metropolitan Police finds a young girl who had been beaten severely and stabbed, he rushes to get her to the hospital.  She refuses to say who did that to her but sketches the letter “L” just before she dies in his arms.  This is reminiscent of another young woman seven years earlier who died in the same way.  This second death only heightens Thaddeus’s determination to find the murderer.  However, his boss, Inspector Whiting, is not supportive of his work and says that it is not worth their time.  Whiting thinks that crimes such as one Thaddeus solved when he found some jewels stolen from a countess are more important that the murders of young girls from Spitalfields.  Furious at Whiting, Thaddeus is still determined to find the murderer.

Thaddeus loves his job much to the chagrin of his family.  As the second son of a second son of a Duke and a very well-educated man, he could have a much better and safer job but will not leave his job with the Police.

Poppaea (Poppy) O’Reilly works on a loom at the Larker Textile Factory.  Her hours are very long – from early morning to late at night.  However, she is determined to do whatever it takes to give her baby daughter a good life and, hopefully, send her to a finishing school one day.  When she found herself pregnant and unmarried, Poppy changed her last name and moved to London.    The father would have nothing to do with her and she was ostracized by her townspeople.  She is very ashamed about what happened to her.

While Thaddeus is investigating the murder of the women who had worked at the Larker Textile Factory, he meets Poppy and is intrigued by her beauty, her spirit and her positive attitude toward life.  They find that they have a love of books so when she sees the wonderful library he has in his home, she is enthralled.

When Poppy and her friend, Abigail, discover some questionable activities at the Textile Factory that the Larkers are doing, life becomes very perilous for her.  Knowing what Poppy has uncovered and their growing attraction to one another finds Thaddeus doing all he can to solve this mystery.

It was very enlightening to read about the difficult life that people in this rough area of London had lived and their determination to make the best of their lives was inspiring.  I think readers will enjoy both the romance and the mystery combined in this novel.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author

HEA Journey Matters by Erica Monroe [Guest Post]

ADI EMThank you so much to bookworm2bookworm for letting me come by today as part of the release tour for my début novel, A Dangerous Invitation‘. The first book in my new series, The Rookery Rogues, A Dangerous Invitation is the story of Daniel O’Reilly and Kate Morgan.

Have you ever wanted to atone so badly for a mistake that you’ll risk everything—even your life—for forgiveness? That’s what motivates Daniel to return to London after three years as a fugitive. One wretched night in 1829 sent him reeling toward destruction, when he was accused of murdering a warehouse laborer for the shipping company he worked for (and Kate’s father owned). He faced almost certain death, for he’d been caught at the scene of the crime with the victim’s mangled body. Worse, an “affidavit woman,” a 19th century term for a woman who was paid to give a false statement of evidence, claimed to have seen him commit the murder. So to survive, Daniel flees the City, thinking that he’s going to give his affianced Kate a better life without him.

But Kate doesn’t get a better life, and Daniel certainly doesn’t thrive without her. The addiction to gin that he struggled with in London runs rampant, taking hold of his body until he’s nothing more than a withered husk of the man he once was. When his drunkenness starts to affect his family, he struggles to return to sobriety. With the help of his sister Poppy, he looks at making good on his past life. He comes back to London so that he can prove to Kate that he wasn’t culpable in that murder. He doesn’t know how he ended up in the alley, but by God, he’s going to find out who did kill that warehouse laborer. He’ll get justice not only for himself, but for the man who was murdered.

Kate now lives in the rookeries, the nineteenth century version of slums. She’s a fence for stolen goods, and the company she keeps is certainly not on the up and up. While Daniel works to make her see that he’s not the same man he was before, she struggles to let go of her memories. She’s got to stop resenting him for what he did in the past and also understand that people make mistakes.

I love the idea of two people being changed by their relationship, but still, they are at their core imperfect. In my story, Kate and Daniel have a second chance at love. The relationship they had before was inherently flawed. They had to become something different entirely to be able to accept each other completely.

IYGARAR SGAGU CGIn writing A Dangerous Invitation, I thought about what love really meant to me. I’m drawn to romance genres not just because of the implicit happy ever after, but because of the journey. I want to see two people transition into a relationship that makes them much healthier and happier. By the end of the novel, they’re not who they were when they started. I love romances especially that deal with a traumatic incident in a character’s past—by the end of the novel, the character has learned to accept that event as a shaping part of who they are now. Examples of this that I can think of are Shana Galen’s If You Give a Rake a Ruby with Fallon’s thieving upbringing, and Cecilia Grant’s ‘A Gentleman Undone’ with Lydia’s big reveal to Will.

ADI EMBook Blurb: One fatal mistake cost Daniel O’Reilly the woman he loved, spiraling him toward drunken self-destruction. Now sober, he’ll have to prove he’s innocent of the murder he was accused of two years ago. But pistol-wielding Kate Morgan hasn’t forgiven his sins.

Torn from her privileged existence by her father’s death, Kate Morgan has carved out a new independent life in the Ratcliffe rookery as a fence for stolen goods. Daniel’s invitation to assist him jeopardizes her structured existence. Yet Kate can’t resist his touch, or the wicked desires he stirs within her.

As their renewed passions grow reckless, their investigation takes them through the darkest and most depraved areas of the City. To catch a killer, they’ll have to put secrets behind them and trust only their hearts.

Buy Links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / Smashwords

[iBooks and Paperback edition coming later in the month].

The excerpt below happens when Daniel and Kate have just finished interrogating a pugilist who knew the warehouse laborer.

THEY WALKED DOWN Shadwell High Street, the street alive with a vibrancy that failed to lift Daniel’s mood. Snow crunched under his feet. The smell of gin had left his nostrils, allowing him to breathe easier again, but the heaviness in his stomach came from the knowledge of Kate’s sacrifice. She’d given up part of her livelihood, all to answer questions from a man she shouldn’t have had to speak to, let alone develop an acquaintanceship with.

“You didn’t have to do that,” he said.

“Cyrus would never have told us anything otherwise.” Kate cocked her head toward him, her voice flat.

She walked with her hands shoved into her pockets, her shorter strides two to his longer ones. He slowed to match her pace. This city, with all its grit and crime, didn’t deserve the brilliance of Kate Morgan.

Devil take it, he didn’t either.

“That doesn’t make it right.” He halted her progress down the street, gripping her thin arm. “I’ll pay you back for what that watch costs, on top of what I’ve given you for your help already.”

“That’s not necessary.” She stiffened against his touch.

He didn’t release her arm. They stood in the middle of the street, the traffic diverting around them. If he got through to her—well, he didn’t know what he’d do then.

“I don’t want you to have to pay for my mistakes.” Reaching out with his other hand, Daniel brushed his thumb against her cheek.

Her eyes closed for a half-second, transfixed by the moment. His breath caught in his throat.

Her eyes fluttered back open, chocolate abysses deadened to his attempts. Steeled against what she must believe were lies. Maybe he’d never change. Maybe he was a drunk for life, doomed to repeat the same patterns.

He let out the breath he’d been holding, let it out like he wished he could free himself of doubt. Time flowed once more, rapid and bitter.

“I’ve paid for your mistakes and I’ll pay for mine.” Her voice was full of resignation.

“It shouldn’t have to be that way. Last night, in the wool warehouse—I couldn’t think of anything else other than the fact that you were in danger because of me.” His hand tightened on her arm, holding her close to him.

She shook her head. The feather stuck into the trim of her gray straw bonnet bobbed too. “Nothing is perfect. For all we know, that man was after me for my own activities. You talk as though things will change because you wish them to. I don’t remember you being that naïve.”

“It’s not naïve to dream. You used to know that.”

Erica Monroe

AUTHOR BIO: Erica Monroe writes dark, suspenseful historical romance. Her début novel, A Dangerous Invitation, Book 1 of the Rookery Rogues series, released in December 2013. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina, and the Beau Monde Regency Romance chapter.

Erica can also be found blogging every other Saturday at Teatime Romance. When not writing, she is a chronic TV watcher, sci-fi junkie, lover of pit bulls, and shoe fashionista. She lives in the suburbs of North Carolina with her husband, two dogs, and a cat.

‘A Dangerous Invitation’ by Erica Monroe

ADI EMSTORY: One fatal mistake cost Daniel O’Reilly the woman he loved, spiraling him toward drunken self-destruction. Now sober, he’ll have to prove he’s innocent of the murder he was accused of two years ago. But pistol-wielding Kate Morgan hasn’t forgiven his sins.

Torn from her privileged existence by her father’s death, Kate Morgan has carved out a new independent life in the Ratcliffe rookery as a fence for stolen goods. Daniel’s invitation to assist him jeopardizes her structured existence. Yet Kate can’t resist his touch, or the wicked desires he stirs within her.

As their renewed passions grow reckless, their investigation takes them through the darkest and most depraved areas of the City. To catch a killer, they’ll have to put secrets behind them and trust only their hearts.

REVIEW: I honestly don’t know where to begin with this review. Do I start with my praise of it, tell you the synopses or just shout GET IT! READ IT! NOW!

After I was done reading it, I just sat there, absorbing it all and the only coherent thought in my head at that time was, this is a début?!

If you like your romances with a lot of fairy tale dust, light prose and plenty of fluff, saccharin sweetness, don’t bother with this amazingly realistic, character driven story of true love.

The name of this series, ‘The Rookery Rogues’ tells you exactly what to expect, only if you know what the word ‘rookery’ means, and Wikipedia says this:

“A rookery was a colloquial term given in the 18th and 19th centuries to a city slum occupied by poor people and frequently also by criminals and prostitutes. Such areas were overcrowded, with low-quality housing and little or no sanitation. Poorly constructed dwellings, built with multiple stories and often crammed into any area of open ground, created densely populated areas of gloomy, narrow streets and alleyways.”

With a series like this, you’ll get a lot of what really happened to people who were forced to live and breathe the slums of London.

To capture my heart and for me to forgive him his trespasses against Kate, Daniel O’Reilly had to work very hard. And he did trespass against our Kate.

Kate Morgan, the woman who is left behind to deal with the aftermath of a betrayal of significant proportion, was one of the strongest characters I’ve had a pleasure to read about.

By the time our hero and heroine reconnect, rediscover, restore and rebuild the relationship both thought over and done with, we are as touched and emotionally vested as they are.

To say I enjoyed the read is a gross understatement. I ‘lived’ this read. It touched me on a very personal level, and if you’ve had to deal with someone’s addiction in your life, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Our Kate had so much to overcome to accept Daniel, warts and all.

Bottom line on this début: You’ll want to read it if you like your stories with meat on it!

This is a story of hope to overcome even the direst of circumstances; a story that when life throws you lemons, you make that lemonade and fight for a right to make it the best and sweetest lemonade in the world; story of redemption and second chances. Be ready to enter the world Ms. Monroe painstakingly paints with an impressive prose, dialogue and reality soaked brush you’ve read lately.

*Melanie for b2b

*Book provided by the Author.

‘The Sheik Retold’ by Victoria Vane & E. M. Hull

TSR VV2STORY: The Desert was Never Hotter!

Pride and passion vie for supremacy between a haughty young heiress and a savage son of the Sahara in this fresh new telling of E.M. Hull’s romance classic. A haughty young heiress for whom the world is a playground… A savage son of the Sahara who knows no law but his own…

“There will be inquiries.” I choked out. “I am not such a nonentity that nothing will be done when I am missed. You will pay dearly for what you have done.”

“Pay?” His amused look sent a cold feeling of dread through me. “I have already paid… in gold that matches your hair, my gazelle. Besides,” he continued, “the French have no jurisdiction over me. There is no law here above my own.”

My trepidation was growing by the minute. “Why have you done this? Why have you brought me here?”  “Why?” He repeated with a slow and heated appraisal that made me acutely, almost painfully, conscious of my sex.

“Bon Dieu! Are you not woman enough to know?”

When pride and passion vie for supremacy, blistering desert days are nothing compared to sizzling Sahara nights…

REVIEW: First, I never read the original by E. M. Hall, [although after I read this one, I had to get it for my Kindle especially because it was FREE!], so my review is solely on this retelling of the tale.

My impression of the heroine Diana kept going back and forth between admiration and disdain. I started off by admiring her spunk and independence; I understood that her background shaped who she was and I liked her adventurous side. She appeared to know exactly who she was and what she wants of her life, and I admired that.

However, as the story developed and I got to know her better, I questioned many of her decisions and I thought her too impulsive and bratty; too stubborn as she ignored the dangers she was warned about.

Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan is the hero of this tale and if you’re into the über Alpha Male, this guy is ‘all that’ and more!

Since this story is told to us from the heroine’s POV we are not privy to the hero’s thoughts at all, yet his actions and the people around him, give us a good introduction into his past and present.

He is a complex, flawed and mysterious man whose life went through a profound change before he embraced his identity. Despite his powerful and controlling nature I liked Ahmed Ben Hassan because he was constant; knew who and what he was, and he was a perfect man for a woman like Diana.

‘The Sheik Retold’ is an intense and sensual romantic adventure. It’s filled with action and drama, some plot twists and plenty of very sensual moments between these two headstrong characters.   

What I also liked in this book is the wonderful background in which this story is unraveling. Ms. Vane had me take virtual trip into the desert with Diana and her Sheik. She had me smell in the scents they did and sweat the danger they were pot through.

If you’re looking for an exotic, sensual and passion filled romantic adventure, this is for you! I highly recommend it!

Melanie for b2b

*Book provided by the Author.

Spotlight on Victoria Vane and…

THE DEVIL DEVERE SERIES

A Wild Night’s Bride  (Ned and Phoebe’s story- romantic romp)

AWNB VVBOOK BLURB: What happens when a struggling actress and a grieving widower come together in a night of unbridled debauchery orchestrated by a bored and machinating rake?

She’s a lonely lady down on her luck: Phoebe Scott, alias Kitty Willis, is a struggling Covent Garden actress with a bruised heart and a closely guarded secret.

He’s steadfast and eminently respectable:  Sir Edward Chambers, Ned to his intimates, is guilt-ridden over his beloved wife’s death and avowed to live out a rustic and mundane life … of celibacy.

With the devil in charge — there will surely be hell to pay: Devil in disguise, Viscount Ludovic DeVere, is determined to return his best friend, Ned, to the land of the living. His meddling machinations result in a night of mind-blowing passion after which “dull dog Ned” awakes to find himself in the King of England’s bed!

EXCERPT: here

MINI REVIEW: The first time I ever read this author was under her pseudonym of Emery Lee and the book was ‘Fortune’s Son’. My review of it is here. Since I liked her style and voice, I thought to try her other books, under her Victoria Vane pseudonym.

In this first book of the DeVere Series, she has a couple that no one in their right mind would put together, let alone have them fall for each other, and that is why this romance works.

The story never takes itself too seriously and through its witty dialogue achieves what it’s set out to do: entertain, titillate and intrigue.

The author cleverly spreads a few ‘crumbs’ throughout the story about Devil DeVere that a reader is left with too many questions to now abandon the series, therefore compelling one to follow the trail into the next book.

If you’re looking for a faced paced, funny and very sensual series this summer, this will, without a doubt, fill the bill. Highly recommended.

TVH VVBOOK BLURB: Lady Vesta Chambers is accustomed to getting what she wants…Coddled and pampered, since her mother’s death, Lady Vesta Chambers is beside herself when her father goes to London to prepare for her come-out and returns with a young bride of his own. With her world turned upside down, Vesta accompanies her godmother, Diana, to town, where she is smitten the moment she lays eyes on a certain captain of the Seventeenth Light Dragoons.

But when the object of her passion has eyes for another… it’s time to take matters in hand..

Captain Hewett DeVere, younger brother and heir to Viscount Ludovic ”The Devil” DeVere, has returned from the American war scarred, disillusioned, and looking forward to settling down to a quiet and respectable life. But when the handsome and straight-laced captain turns his eyes toward the widowed Diana, Vesta is prepared to take devilish measures to prove to prove to Hew once and for all that she is no longer a little girl, but a woman with the passion of …a huntress.

EXCERPT: here

MINI REVIEW: This is the second book in The Devil DeVere series and this couple was even more mismatched than the first! I think Ms. Vane thrives on this concept and deliberately plots her stories around these poor characters that have nothing whatsoever in common.

 

The hero is enamored with another woman, and the heroine is hell-bent in snatching him up for herself and blatantly pushing herself on him. I actually enjoyed the many, MANY plots our little virgin puts the hero through in order to show him how perfect she is for him.

Another fun and witty, as well as sensual, little romp. I do recommend they be read in order though.

 

TDYK VVBOOK BLURB: Who can Find a Virtuous Woman…Beautiful, respectable, and dutiful, Lady Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley  has long resigned herself to her twelve-year loveless and childless marriage to a feckless husband…until his gambling pushes them to the brink of  financial ruin.

Sometimes the Devil is in Disguise…As a Gentleman…

Viscount Ludovic, “The Devil DeVere”, is a man accustomed to taking what he wants according to his whim and heedless of the cost…until he encounters a woman who won’t be had at any price.

When Dealing with the Devil, It’s Easy to be Burned…

When Diana discovers a secret that shatters the carefully built façade concealing her private pain, she seeks aid and comfort from the most unlikely place…the devil’s arms. But will a single night of heavenly passion damn them both forever?

EXCERPT: here

MINI REVIEW: This is the third book in the series, but it actually takes place before the other two books, and it gives us a look into Diana and Devil’s past. Once more she pairs a duo of characters that, on paper, should not be compatible, yet once they meet, the sparks fly and the tension this author builds is palpable.

We finally get to know and like Diana. I was surprised at how much I really liked her.As for our hero, he reveal  much about himself and not all of it to my liking. As in earlier books, Ms. Vane plots, paces and entertains well with this first part of Diana and Devil’s story.

To get the most out of this series, I strongly suggest it be read in order. It really gives you the dynamic of the players involved and especially this story which has a mystery plot in it.

TDM VVBOOK BLURB: When Burned Once …Arriving in London as her goddaughter’s chaperone, Baroness Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley wants to avoid her erstwhile lover at all costs. Once nearly consumed by passion, four years has reduced the former inferno to bitterness and ashes.

By An Old Flame… 

A world-weary master of seduction, Ludovic ”The Devil” DeVere is bored with his chosen life of debauchery. When Diana’s charge disappears, she is forced to seek help from the devil’s lair, and their mutual desire reignites with undeniable ferocity.

Fire Is Best Fought With Fire

While DeVere is hell-bent to have her back in his bed, Diana is equally determined to bring him to his knees…by acquiring some sensual secrets of her own.

EXCERPT: here

MINI REVIEW: This is the second part to the third book and Devil and Diana’s story. In this one, the author finally lets us, as well as Diana, see the heart of our hero. Diana finally realizes that this man is more than he lets people see, and we as readers realize that both hero and heroine are two very complex people who are meant to be together.

This was one of those happily ever after stories I was looking forward to and wasn’t disappointed.

The tension, as well as the sensual scenes, in this book is so well written that will leave you breathless.Throughout the series Ms. Vane has done an outstanding job in balancing characterization with plotting a fun, entertaining and interesting story. She enhanced each story with a witty dialogue that at times had me laugh out loud.

This is a must in the series!

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image11427433

JOTE VV
PREQUEL VIGNETTES
DITM VV
TTWS VV

Victoria VaneAUTHOR BIO: Victoria Vane is an multiple award-winning romance novelist and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling and intensely erotic romance. Look for Victoria’s sexy new contemporary cowboy series coming in summer 2014.

A lover of history and deeply romantic stories, Victoria Vane combines these elements to craft novels and novellas for a mature reading audience. Her writing influences are Georgette Heyer for fabulous witty dialogue and over the top characters, Robin Schone , Sylvia Day, and Charlotte Featherstone for beautifully crafted prose in stories with deep sensuality, and Lila DiPasqua for creative vision in melding history with eroticism. 

Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog.

You can reach Ms. Vane at: Web Site / Facebook / Tweeter / Goodreads

‘Fortune’s Son’ by Emery Lee

FS ELSTORY: Love is the ultimate gamble…

Seasoned gambler Philip Drake knows every trick and uses most of them. After years of infamy, he’s ready to accept the mantle of respectability with his earldom– until a devastating racing loss and the threat of debtors’ prison force Philip right back into his gaming ways…

Susannah, Lady Messingham, is a woman with a past who refuses to belong to any man again. But Philip’s skill catches her eye and she persuades him to teach her how to win at the tables. Their new partnership turns into an exhilarating high-stakes game that entangles them in terrifying risk and unimaginable rewards…

REVIEW: This book has been on my wish list and TBR for a year now and the only reason for it was its cover. I mean, just look at it! I also liked the blurb for it, although once I read the book, I was amazed how inadequate it was. Another thing I found out as I finished the book was that ‘Fortune’s Son’ is a sequel to ‘The Highest Stakes’ and finally things in the middle of the story made more sense. Needless to say, I am now compelled to read the first book and highly recommend you read it in order because the author only glossed over some of the very important and crucial events. If the author repeated those events verbatim from ‘The Highest Stakes’ this book could have been better understood and enjoyed by this reader.

The story opens up with our hero in his thirties, with a hangover after his huge loss on the racing track, and now trying to once again come up with money to pay his debts. And while he’s arranging the sale of some horse-flesh, someone in his company mentions the name of Susannah, Lady Messingham, and off into memory lane goes our hero.

We are now meeting Philip Drake at age twenty, a second son of the Earl of Hastings. He is handsome, full of life and devilry, charming and doesn’t give a damn about his ruthless father or half-brother. He hasn’t seen them in years and refuses to live off of his family’s money. His quick wit and talent at dice and cards are the only means of his support while awaiting his mother’s legacy left to him when he turns twenty-one.

Susannah, Lady Messingham, is a twenty-eight year old widow that has money troubles of her own and as she spots young Philip at play, decides that he just might help her out by tutoring her in gaming. At first, Philip isn’t so enthusiastic about her proposal, but the chemistry they share from the start is something he’s willing to explore.

As they embark on this journey of mutual need, neither is aware that their relationship would go through the highest of the highs and lowest of the lows and have their love tested over and over.

As I read this story, watching Philip’s life go from heartache to heartache, I kept thinking that he must have been cursed from the moment he was born and my heart just went out to him.

Emery Lee, with her unprecedented and meticulous research of history, gaming and horse racing in Georgian era England, made this story play out like an epic movie in my mind’s eye. Her characterization of Philip and Susannah was impeccable and their love as it spanned a decade will touch your heart.

For a high drama, passion spanning a decade, revenge and redemption of both hero and heroine, this is one book that is a must read, BUT only if you read the first book before this one.

*Book purchased through Amazon.