‘Unwed and Unrepentant’ by Marguerite Kaye

mk uauSTORY: Burned by love and fearful of being trapped by marriage, headstrong Lady Cordelia Armstrong is furious when her father manipulates her into a betrothal with his business partner, and her one-time lover, Iain Hunter.

Understanding Cordelia’s reluctance, Iain proposes a pretend engagement. For now they will make believe, but there is no need to fake the attraction that still burns hotly between them. As they travel to magical Arabia, the lines between fantasy and reality blur. Will either of them really be able to walk away once their deal is done?

REVIEW: Lady Cordelia is a young woman with a past.  Nine years ago, she ran away with a young man of her choosing to get married.  Her father had dictated to her whom she would marry and Cordelia completely rebelled against his tyranny.  As it turns out, Cordelia never did marry she ran away to meet and has since become a very wealthy woman on her own.  Now, she has returned to her father’s home to face him hoping to finally mend fences with him and be reunited with her sisters.  During her “exile,” her sisters had not been allowed to have any contact with her at all.  Two of her sisters have married Arabian princes and she wants to journey to their homes to visit them.  As her mother had passed away many years ago, her father was now remarried with more children added to the family.  However, her father is still using his manipulative powers by introducing Cordelia to Iain Hunter whom he has employed to buy some Arabian ships for him.

They undertake a long journey for Cordelia to visit her sisters and for Iain to buy some ships.  Their togetherness soon leads to an attraction that progresses to a love affair.  Where will it lead?  Will there be a happy ending?

I thoroughly enjoyed this delicious novel by the great Marguerite Kaye.  Her in-depth research before writing this book is obvious as her account not only of the legs of the journey, but also her delightful descriptions of the scenery, flowers, weather etc. made me feel like I was right there in the moment.

I hope readers will be sure to get a copy of this wonderful novel when it is published on April 16, 2014.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

Marguerite Kaye stops by b2b…

RTRAL MK‘Rumors that Ruined a Lady’

BOOK BLURB: Amongst the gossip-hungry ton no name has become more synonymous with sin than that of Lady Caroline Rider. Cast out by her husband and disowned by her family, rumor has it that the infamous ‘Caro’ is now seeking oblivion in the opium dens of London!

There’s only one man who can save her—notorious rake Sebastian Conway, Marquis of Ardhallow. With Caro installed in his country home, warming his bed, their passion may not be enough to protect them once news of their scandalous arrangement breaks out…

Connie’s REVIEW is here.

Buy Links: Amazon (US) / Amazon (UK) / B&N

EXCERPT:

The woman was lying with her back to the door, her figure obscured under a swathe of shawls and embroidered throws. It wasn’t her, and even if it was, he had sworn he would have nothing to do with her ever again. If she chose to make herself insensible with opium, it was none of his business.

Thus spoke his head. Sebastian’s feet were already moving of their own accord towards the divan, his heart thudding hard and fast in his chest, his skin suddenly clammy with sweat. If it was indeed her, and he simply couldn’t bring himself to believe it was, then the wisest thing he could do would be to turn around and leave forthwith.

Now!

He leant over the divan and roughly pulled back the covering from the comatose woman’s  body. She did not stir. Sebastian swore heavily, reeling with shock. He barely recognised her. Thin, painfully so, under the emerald gown which hung loosely around her, the only sign of life was the pulse fluttering under the fragile skin at her temple. He cursed again. Her eyes were closed. Wisps of copper hair clung to her high forehead, which had a glistening sheen of perspiration. Her hand, when he touched it, was clammy. The skin which had once been so milky-white was ashen. Her cheekbones were too prominent, flushed not with health but fever. Her mouth, whose sensual, teasing smile he had once found irresistible, was drawn into a tight grimace.

Beneath her lids, her eyes fluttered. Her hand gripped him like a claw and she moaned, a tiny, hoarse sound of protest against the opium-induced hallucination she was experiencing. Hers had always been the kind of beauty which reflected her mood, sometimes in full bloom, at others so withdrawn into itself as to make her look quite plain. Now, she looked more like a cadaver than a living, breathing woman.

Scarcely-breathing woman, Sebastian corrected himself as he bent his head towards her face. Her breath was the merest whisper upon his cheek. What had happened to her? The woman he knew was so strong, so full of life, so vibrant. She had been patently unhappy when last they met, but this stupor went way beyond the seeking of painless escape. What had befallen her to make her so careless of her life?

Telling himself again that it was none of his business, he knelt down next to the prone figure, a terrible suspicion lodged in his head. Her lips were cracked and dry. He bent closer and touched them with his own, the merest contact, yet enough to confirm his fears. She had not smoked the drug but consumed it. ‘Caroline?’

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MK viewAUTHOR INFO: Marguerite Kaye writes hot historical romances from her home in cold and usually rainy Scotland. Featuring Regency Rakes, Highlanders and Sheikhs, she has published almost thirty books and novellas.

When she’s not writing she enjoys walking, cycling (but only on the level), gardening (but only what she can eat) and cooking. She also likes to knit and occasionally drink martinis (though not at the same time).

Social Media: Website / Facebook / Tweeter

‘Rumors that Ruined a Lady’ by Marguerite Kaye

RTRAL MKSTORY: Spotted: London’s Favorite Fallen Heiress, Taking Up With The Rogue Marquis!

Amongst the gossip-hungry ton, no name has become more synonymous with sin than that of Lady Caroline Rider, cast out by her husband and disowned by her family. Rumor has it that the infamous “Caro” is now seeking oblivion in the opium dens of London!

There’s only one man who can save her—notorious rake Sebastian Conway, Marquis of Ardhallow. Soon Caro is installed in his country home, warming his bed, but their passion may not be enough to protect them once news of their scandalous arrangement breaks out…

REVIEW: Sebastian Conway, Marquis of Ardhallow, is attending a soiree when he comes across a roomful of people smoking opium.  In the middle of the room, he spies a woman who appears to have passed out.  Realizing she looks familiar, he decides to investigate and finds that she is none other than Lady Caroline Rider, a woman he fell in love with many years before.

Fearing for her life, he takes her home with him to care for her and get her back to health.  The rumor is that she has is thrown out by her husband for supposedly being caught with the boot boy.  However, the truth is much different and Caroline’s reputation is being utterly destroyed by her husband.  The truth is a quite different story.

Caroline and Sebastian met when they were much younger and their estates joined.  Caroline’s beloved mother died when she was little leaving her and her sisters with a father who soon married Bella who gave him the sons and heirs he so desired.  Against her will, Caroline is pressured to marry Sir Grahame Rider and plunges into a marriage filled with misery, while Sebastian remains a bachelor.  Unable to divorce her husband, Caroline is completely frustrated as she and Sebastian want to be together but cannot as society will not allow it.
I enjoyed the story of Caroline and Sebastian and learned a lot about how little women had any rights when it came to ending a marriage.  They were the ones treated as outcasts and they even lost custody of their children.
Marguerite Kaye has once again woven a wonderful story of two people desperate to be together but the customs and laws of the time wouldn’t let that happen.  The author uses flashbacks to tell this story.  In my opinion, she did a good job of it as sometimes flashbacks can be confusing.
My review is based on an ARC of the book which is scheduled for publication on November 1, 2013.

Connie for b2b

*ARC provided by the Author.

‘The Beauty Within’ by Marguerite Kaye

TBW MKSTORY: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Considered the plain, clever one in her family, Lady Cressida Armstrong knows her father has given up on her ever marrying. But who needs a husband when science is the only thing to set Cressie’s pulse racing?

Disillusioned artist Giovanni di Matteo is setting the ton abuzz with his expertly executed portraits. Once his art was inspired; now it’s only technique. Until he meets Cressie….

Challenging, intelligent and yet insecure, Cressie is the one whose face and body he dreams of capturing on canvas. In the enclosed, intimate world of his studio, Giovanni rediscovers his passion as he awakens hers….

REVIEW: Lady Cressida (Cressie) Armstrong is one of 5 daughters of Lord Henry Armstrong, a veteran diplomat, and the late Lady Catherine Armstrong.

Three daughters are married and one daughter is being introduced to the ton by her aunt. As Cressida has reached the age of 26 without receiving any offers of marriage, Lord Armstrong is despaired of her.

When he receives word that his second wife, Bella, is expecting their fifth child to add to their current 4 sons, he has decided to have Cressie be the governess to his sons.  The other governesses have been run off due to the naughtiness of the boys.  

Lord Armstrong knows Cressie is a clever person but he does not realize that her mathematical knowledge and capabilities are enormous.  Unbeknownst to anyone, she has published a number of articles on the rudiments of mathematics under a pseudonym.  It is frustrating for her that she must hide her intelligence as it’s not acceptable in women.

Giovanni di Matteo, a well-known Italian artist, has been hired by Lord Armstrong to paint his 4 sons. He is to observe them in the schoolroom while Cressie is giving them lessons. She proves to be an excellent teacher and comes to enjoy her work.  The time together with Giovanni gives the two of them a chance to get to know one another.  In addition, he proves to be really good with the boys and patiently introduces them to various activities outside such as how to make and fly a kite.

Cressie and Giovanni’s friendship and attraction to one another grows but Cressie opens up more about herself than Giovanni does. He is hiding his past and is not ready to share it. They enjoy deep and intelligent discussions.

Then Giovanni abruptly leaves and Cressie is heart-broken as she does not know whether he will return or not. Why did he leave and will he return?

I so enjoyed this novel.  Once again, Marguerite Kaye has written a wonderful story that grabs the reader’s attention and challenges them to ponder, as well, the psychological aspects of the story. The characters are solid and interesting. This is a book you won’t soon forget.

Connie Fischer for b2b

Out with the Old & in with the New…

Happy New Year

Here we are yet again, the Old year is about to give room to the New one and I suspect that if you are a true bookworm, your ‘To Be Read’ pile, Kindle or Nook, shelf, box or in some cases floor, is littered with books that you’ll either love or hate once you’re done with them in 2013.

This year, more than any before, I went all out in search of new authors and I am happy to say each one I tried was a win. And that’s what I’d like to recommend for you this last day of this year.

Most of the bloggers are doing the best of, and while I eagerly read each one of those posts to make sure some of my bests made their list, I went through the list of some books I never got to review, but think them excellent reads.

Before I get to it, I’d like to thank you all for stopping by, commenting and just being there for me through good and not so good times in 2012. It has been a privilege to bring you my reviews and I hope you stick with me through next year…Wishing you the best of health, happiness and many reads in new year!

And now here they are in no particular order as all are number one on my list….

HLC JB‘Her Ladyship’s Companion’ by Joanna Bourne

STORY: When Melissa Rivenwood accepted the position of companion to Lady Dorothy, she had no idea what intrigue enveloped remote Vinton Manor. Why was 7-year-old Robbie, the future Earl of Keptford, so terrified? The trio of fascinating men who surrounded Melissa hid some dangerous family secrets that undoubtedly led to peril—and her suspicions fell on the one man she loved.

MINI REVIEW: This book was on my TBR for the longest time, and this year I finally got to it. For the life of me I couldn’t tell that this was Ms. Bourne’s first book! She is someone who is superb when it comes to telling a tale. Her telling of this Gothic regency is pure genius. Everything in it is as it should be.

As with her later works, she gives us details on everything thus painting us a picture after picture of all we encounter and adding the dialogue to those pictures she brings us to a place and time of long ago Regency. She plots a tale that you won’t be able to put down, and if you do, you’ll end up welcoming the morning with the end of it. It was worth every penny and then some!

RH BH‘Rogue’s Honor’ by Brenda Hiatt

STORY: To escape her stepmother’s matchmaking machinations, Lady Pearl runs away, pretending to be a common housemaid, with the help of her abigail. When she is rescued from the near-disaster of recognition by a charming serving-man, Pearl pretends to be simple-minded to safeguard herself from any unwanted advances. But soon she begins to suspect that her rescuer is far more than the common servant he seemed at first.

Luke St. Clair lives a double life, pretending to be a gentleman while in reality sustaining himself and the needy as the notorious Robin Hood-type thief, the Saint of Seven Dials. The last thing he needs in his life is a beautiful simpleton in need of protection. But “Purdy” proves to be anything but simple—or common! Once he learns the truth, does he dare continue, in the ballrooms of the élite, the flirtation that began in the slums of London? The risk is enormous, but Lady Pearl’s sweet kisses may just be worth it.

MINI REVIEW: I’ve never read this author, but that’ll change for sure! She did an outstanding job in retelling the Robin Hood tale and gave us a hero that is so cute, charming and just too delish! It is such a… high for a lack of a better word, I guess, to find an author that takes this ‘ordinary’ story and makes it an extraordinary read. I enjoyed every moment of reading it and it was FREE!

You’ll love everything in it, I promise. There are secondary characters that you’ll want to know more about and if you’d like to know more about Seven Dials, you’ll continue reading this series. Now, go get it while it’s still FREE!

RWAFH MK‘Rake with a Frozen Heart’ by Marguerite Kaye

STORY: Waking up in a stranger’s bed, Henrietta Markham encounters the most darkly sensual man she has ever met. The last thing she remembers is being attacked by a housebreaker—yet being rescued by the notorious Earl of Pentland feels much more dangerous!

Since the cataclysmic failure of his marriage, ice has flowed in Rafe St. Alban’s veins. But meeting impetuous, all-too-distracting governess Henrietta heats his blood to the boiling point.
When she’s accused of theft, Rafe finds himself offering to clear her name. Can Henrietta’s innocence bring this hardened rake to his knees?

MINI REVIEW: This one will melt your heart! I’ve never heard of this author! Have you? Are all her books like this one? If they are then I need to stock up as soon as possible.
From the first encounter of these two souls, you’re in for a bumpy ride, so fasten up, as they take you on a ride of their life. Character driven, plot driven, exciting and sensual to the end! A must and worth every penny!

CR MC‘China Rose’ by Marsha Canham

STORY: China Rose is a story of intrigue and betrayal, a tale of deceit and treachery between three brothers vying for the same woman.

When China Grant arrives in Portsmouth, her wedding to Sir Ranulf Cross is two weeks away. The first night there her life is threatened, and as the days unfold, threads from a decade-old mystery on the high seas begin unraveling faster than her wits can keep apace. Soon China is forced to choose between a promise made to her dying father…and the reckless desire to follow her heart’s destiny.

MINI REVIEW: Marsha Canham has been writing novels for a while now, yet until this year I failed to read any of them. It was such a pleasant surprise to discover her through a free read, which it is not available any longer, of ‘Swept Away’ which I highly recommend as well.

‘China Rose’ is a love story filled with sensuality, intrigue and action. I liked everything about it and recommend it to any of you that haven’t tried this author.