‘What a Reckless Rogue Needs’ by Vicky Dreiling

vd warrnSTORY: Will The Rogue’s Perfect Plan . . . 

Colin Brockhurst, Earl of Ravenshire, has no desire to wed, this season or any other. So when his father demands he give up his wild ways and take a wife, Colin refuses. But his father raises the stakes and threatens to sell the ancestral home if Colin doesn’t comply. Now Colin has no choice but to find a wife. Unfortunately, the only woman he wants is the one whose heart he broke years ago.

Lead To The Perfect Seduction?

Regardless of the ton‘s whispers, Lady Angeline Brenham won’t settle for anything less than true love. After rejecting more than her share of suitable suitors, spinsterhood looms before her-until the devilishly handsome Colin reappears in her life with a proposition. Angeline vows to keep her feet on the ground and her heart in check. That is, until one searing kiss melts her resolve and reignites a burning desire for more . . .

REVIEW: Vicky Dreiling writes fun and passionate stories with well-developed, likeable and believable characters that I’ve come to love and admire as if they’re my own family. I have been an avid fan of hers from the first book she ever wrote, and as I was reading this newest, I can safely say, it looks like I’ll be a fan for life.

This is a second book in her Sinful Scoundrels series and in it we finally get to know who the real Colin Brochurst is.

He’s very happy with his single status, his rakish ways and as long as his father leaves him be, life in general is very good for him.

His father is however of the opposing opinion. He isn’t happy to see his son waste his life in debauchery so he summons him home from Town, issuing an ultimatum: either he commits to marriage and dedicates himself to renovating Sommerall, the estate of his mother’s final rest and the one he should inherit, or it will be sold under him. Oh, and he has only three weeks to make up his mind, and six weeks to find a bride and start on the renovations. Talk about ‘shot-gun’ wedding!

Lady Angeline’s parents have decided to attend a house party of their long time friends, Colin’s father and stepmother. She’s surviving a reputation of a ‘jilter’ and before the Season begins, everyone thinks she ought to ease herself back into society after a period of absence and travel. Her relationship with her parents, her sister and even our hero is strained and complex yet this young woman stands behind her principles and holds her head high, and from time to time as opportunity arises she displays her singular gift of decorating. And soon enough our duo is drawn into ‘fixing’ not just the state of Sommerall, but their single status’ as well.

I loved the pace Ms. Dreiling gave this romance as their casual acquaintance slowly turned into a friendship, and then solidly built into love. 

Vicky Dreiling is a gifted storyteller who never fails to create complex, sensual, fast moving stories with witty and intelligent dialogue which stays with her readers long after they’re done with the book. 

*Melanie for b2b.

*Complementary copy provided by NetGalley.

Behind The Scenes of ‘What a Wicked Earl Wants’ by Vicky Dreiling

WAWEW VDWhen Melanie contacted me to blog, she mentioned that WHAT A WICKED EARL WANTS differs from many Regency historical romances in that the story features two mature adults. To be honest, I never thought about it that way. However, I realized that Melanie was right. Since I love to discuss the behind the scenes aspects of my books, I’m thrilled to blog about the book.

The first thing I must confess is that I did not plan Andrew Carrington, the Earl of Bellingham. He first showed up as a minor character in HOW TO RAVISH A RAKE. When he stepped on the metaphorical stage, my arms actually tingled. Bellingham had so much presence that I knew immediately that he would star in my next book. Interestingly, my editor had the same reaction. Some characters just leap to life immediately, and he certainly did.

But, there is another interesting tidbit that goes all the way back to 1996, when I HTRAR VDwrote a Regency historical romance that actually won a lot of contests and finaled in the Golden Heart. Alas, that book, THE DUKE BY DEFAULT, didn’t sell (I was heartbroken). But I salvaged something from that buried treasure: a name. Yes, I decided to metaphorically recycle the name ‘Bellingham.’

Something else you might find interesting is that I am a pantser. That means I do very little plotting. It’s a bit scary to write that way, but it also energizes you, because you’re learning about the characters and the story as you write. I knew Bellingham was a total rake, and I also knew a little bit about his background. He had an early tragedy in his life, one that he buried deep inside. Bellingham is a wounded hero who, to use a modern term, compensates for what he refuses to acknowledge and overcome—that he’s never properly mourned. I knew that an alpha male with these issues would need a special heroine who would stand up to him. That meant the heroine not only had to be mature (age 28), but she also needed wisdom gained from her own experiences with grief.

ASTS VDSo I created Laura Davenport, a widow and vicar’s daughter with a rebellious teenage son. Why a widow and teenage son? Well, all of these characteristics add built-in conflict between Bell and Laura. His values as a rake and ruthless politician are miles apart from Laura’s values. Yet, in so many ways, she is the perfect woman for him, because she had to overcome her own grief after her husband’s death.

Her son, however, is a source of worry and conflict for Laura. She’s in the sprawling metropolis of London for the first time, and her son is associating with wild young men. I thought that many readers would identify with a mother who was having difficulties with her son.

Justin’s character is something of a catalyst in the book in that his rebellious actions actually lead Bellingham to Laura’s townhouse for the first time. I won’t spoil what happens for readers, but I will say that I had an enormous amount of fun writing that scene and many others in the book.

Bellingham has a keen sense about others, but like many of us, not necessarily about himself.  That makes sense, given his issues. He’s an über alpha male who takes over any situation, because he’s so confident of how to resolve problems—for everyone else.  Bell was a fascinating character to write, but he and his friends were also a great source of hilarity. The second book in The Sinful Scoundrels series features Bellingham’s friend, Colin Brockhurst, Earl of Ravenshire and Lady Angeline Brenham.  Their story is loads of fun and is set to publish in March 2014.  Cheers!

Vicky DreilingAUTHOR BIO: Triple Rita®-finalist Vick Dreiling is a confirmed historical romance junkie and Anglophile. Frequent business trips to the UK allowed her to indulge her passion for all things Regency England. Bath, Stonehenge, and Spencer House are among her favorite places. She is, however, truly sorry for accidentally setting off a security alarm in Windsor Castle. That unfortunate incident led her British colleagues to nickname her “Trouble”.  A native Texan, she holds degrees in English literature and marketing.

You can find Vicky on: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Goodreads

‘What a Wicked Earl Wants’ by Vicky Dreiling

WAWEW VDSTORY: WILL A RAKE’S WICKED WAYS

Andrew Carrington, Earl of Bellingham, believes in being a gentleman, whether it’s fishing a soggy stranger out of the Thames or assisting a fetching lady into his bed. If the stranger becomes a friend and the lady a mistress, all the better. He certainly welcomes the opportunity to help Laura Davenport, a dazzling young widow with a rebellious stepson. Her gratitude, he hopes, will take an amorous form. But from the moment he sets foot in her drawing room, he gets far more than he bargained for …

LEAD THE LADY ASTRAY?

It was a moment of desperation. On the brink of losing her stepson, Laura turned to the notorious Lord Bellingham for help. Suddenly she, a vicar’s daughter, is in the precarious position of resisting his tantalizing advances. How Bell earned his wicked reputation is clear; the surprise is how much more there is to him than the gossip sheets could possibly reveal. Now every moment with this dangerously desirable man puts Laura’s good name at risk-and promises pleasure unlike any she has ever known …

REVIEW: Awhile back Ms. Dreiling published her little novella ‘A Season for Sin’ which is a short introduction into the upcoming series Sinful Scoundrels, and this is where we meet our heroine and her step son as well as get a glimpse into a life of our hero’s aristocratic day-to-day life. I highly recommend you read it first as it is a sort of prequel to ‘What a Wicked Earl Wants’ and I loved it.

‘A Season for Sin’ only hinted of the love story that was to come and I must say I was pleasantly surprised with this grown-up tale of courting and romance.

From reading this author’s earlier work, I knew she can do ‘witty and fun’ characters, yet I wasn’t so sure if she could ‘bring it on’ when it came to a more serious plot and more mature romance. Well, shame on me for doubting her!

I was blown away by the degree of maturity she did bring on! Frankly, I was ready for someone to take a chance on an older, mature couple to tackle some real life problems and do some serious, grown up courting.

Every character in this story is given much care and the plot is interesting and entertaining enough to keep you glued until the end.

Even though this is an adult romance, Ms. Dreiling still manages to infuse the tale with quick, witty dialogue and wonderful prose.

I loved the pairing of Andrew, a first-rate rake, with an aversion to marriage and intimacy issues, with a widow Laura who loved her husband and now is left with a teenage stepson who she loves with all her heart, yet is faced with his restless spirit which can bring an unwanted man to their doorstep.

What made this story even more beautiful was the solid, perfect pace of the story that had the two developing a friendship that bloomed into an affection of the heart.

This is a new series, and if the rest of them are filled with strong and complex characters, witty dialogue and her signature prose, I’m there with bells on!

*Book provided by publisher through NetGalley.

‘How to Ravish A Rake’ by Vicky Dreiling

STORY: SCANDALOUS DESIRES . . .

Amy Hardwick has one last Season to shake off her wallflower image and make a love match. If she can’t, she’ll set aside her dreams of romance and return home to a suitor who can provide security—if little else. What she doesn’t count on is the inappropriate—and irresistible—attention lavished on her in a darkened library by rake extraordinaire Will “The Devil” Darcett . . .

DEVILISH DELIGHT

When Will is caught in a tryst with the ton’s shyest miss, he knows he must offer for her hand. Yet Amy is not the shrinking violet she seems to be. Passion lies beneath her prim exterior and Will is eager to release it. But winning Amy isn’t simply a matter of seduction; first, Will must convince her that he’s mended his wicked ways . . .

REVIEW: This is the third story in the How to series from Vicky Dreiling and I was looking forward to Amy’s story since we were first introduced to her character. I had such high hopes for her and frankly, after the previous two books, my expectations were very high.

The blurb sets this story very well, so I’m not going to go into it, but rather I’ll tell you why I liked this story.

I liked the way the author took her time to set up the background on both of these characters and then she placed them in some complicated and interesting situations which made both take a very serious look at their past, present and future.

Will was always a ‘rolling-stone’ and to really understand this complex man, the author gives us little bits and pieces from his past through his families stories and especially through his own musings. He admits to his own failings and wonders as to the reasons behind his past liaisons with many women and why he’s never wanted nor desired a true relationship.

Amy was such a contradiction, even to herself. She, like all that knew her, always thought of her as shy and timid, yet once she really got to look deep down into herself, she found out that she had a backbone and all she ever wanted was for people to see her as she really is, a woman with a mind of her own.

In contrast to Ms. Dreiling’s other two books which were filled with lots of humor and wit, this one was just a tad on the serious side and slower paced, but I believe that both of the characters dictated the story take that turn.

Don’t misunderstand, there’s still plenty of humor, especially when we get to hang around Will’s family, just not as much as I am used to from this author.

The author also gives us plenty of secondary characters such as Georgette and Beau and their romance. We get to meet Will’s ‘misguided’ friends as well and can’t but hope that Bell and Fordham will soon find their own happily ever after.

It appears that Andrew Carrington, the Earl of Bellingham’s love story is next and you can get a peek at what’s coming up for him in ‘A Season for Sin’ which is an e-novella and a prelude to ‘What a Wicked Earl Wants‘ a new series ‘The Sinful Scoundrels’ coming our way in Spring 2013. It promises to be yet another of Ms. Dreiling’s unique fun-filled romantic comedies set in the Regency Era. In the meantime, if you haven’t had a chance to read any of her books, please try to find her previous two, ‘How to Marry a Duke’ and ‘How to Seduce a Scoundrel’. Trust me, you’ll love them all.

ARC provided by NetGalley.

‘A Season for Sin’ by Vicky Dreiling

STORY: Introducing the Sinful Scoundrels…

The Earl of Bellingham is nothing is not a creature of habit: money, meals, and mistresses must be strictly managed if a man is to have a moment’s peace. It’s a system that works splendidly for him–until now. With his oldest and dearest friends succumbing, one by one, to wedded bliss, Bell is now restless and a trifle lonely. Enter the Sinful Scoundrels–Colin Brockhurst, Earl of Ravenshire, and Harry Norcliffe, Viscount Evermore–who drag him back into society and draw his rakish eye to the ton’s new beautiful young widow. Bell isn’t after a wife, but a challenge. And Laura Davenport should fit the bill quite nicely…

REVIEW: This is an e Novella and as such it is a short introduction into the upcoming series Sinful Scoundrels from an author on the rise, Vicky Dreiling. If you’ve never read anything by this author, then this is just the perfect vehicle for you to ‘sample’ and ‘taste’ her fresh take on the regency era. I find her writing style light and refreshing and I hope you will too.

As the story opens we are introduced to Andrew Carrington, the Earl of Bellingham, who is getting ready to ditch his latest mistress. It’s something he dreads to do, but alas she’s begun to grate on his nerves with her whining and nagging. It turns out, the mistress has a mind of her own and she’s about to shock the poor man!

Lady Chesfield is a young widow with a seventeen year old stepson that just can’t stay out of trouble and unless she can reel him in, she just may lose him altogether, and that she’s not willing to accept.

What I liked best about this little novela, is the way Ms. Dreiling introduced her hero. She took her time and took me on an entertaining and fun journey of a life of an Aristocrat. It was too much fun to live in this man’s mind and I can truly say that A Season for Sin is a perfect Prequel to What a Wicked Earl Wants and I am eagerly awaiting the full story of happily ever after of these two characters that are witty, passionate and charming.

And then she gave us the other two scoundrels and as secondary characters, Colin and Harry, were so well written, that they really jumped off the page and I was glad that Ms. Dreiling reined them both in, otherwise, left to their own devices, those two would have taken over the story!

ARC provided by NetGalley.

May RRAH reviews ….

Hello my bookworms!!

Have you noticed it’s middle of May already?! This is ridiculous! This year’s just flying away from me…I’m still recuperating from my January fall and felling better some days, and then there are some that just plain suck… The weather’s not helping much either…Some days are outright gloomy, and then some are so warm and sunny that make me want to be a cat and just lazy around the house….

Even with my mood swings I managed to read and review some of the books Nancy from Romance Reader At Heart had sent me, so here they are….

Shall I start with the ones I liked, then slowly end with the ones that disappointed me a bit? Okay, you talked me into it!

LOVE FOREVERMORE by Madeline Baker

The West – it had been Loralee’s dream for as long as she could remember, and Indians were the most fascinating part of the wildly beautiful frontier she imagined. But when Loralee arrived at Fort Apache as the new schoolmarm, she had some hard realities to learn..and a harsh taskmaster to teach her.

Shad Zuniga was fiercely proud, aloof, a renegade Apache who wanted no part of the white man’s world, not even its women. Yet Loralee was driven to seek him out, compelled to join him in a forbidden union, forced to become an outcast for one slim chance at LOVE FOREVERMORE.

“Once in a while, I’ll venture out of my comfy regency ‘zone’ and stumble on a real ‘gem’ of a book. This is the case with LOVE FOREVERMORE.” – Melanie

LORD MIDNIGHT by Donna Cummings

Gabriel DeVault, a dashing highwayman, lives to avenge himself against the uncle who stole his title and tried to kill him as a child. One night’s robbery yields unexpected riches when his uncle’s spirited bride-to-be falls into Gabriel’s arms. Now his plans for vengeance include seduction of the innocent miss, in the home that once was his own.

Marisa Dunsmore is blackmailed into wedding the cold and calculating Edmund DeVault, Lord Westbrook, to protect her beloved aunt. When her attempts to escape the upcoming marriage fail, she turns for help to the man she knows as Lord Midnight, entrusting him with her love, and her future.

Soon Gabriel must choose: saving the woman who stole his heart, or destroying the man who stole his life.

“I’m giving this story a Top Pick rose because it’s well written with three-dimensional characters (and some secondary ones that are memorable as well), fast paced with witty dialogue, and in one word: DELICIOUS.” – Melanie

TEXAS BRIDE by Joan Johnston

Miranda Wentworth never imagined becoming a mail-order bride. Now marriage to a stranger is her only hope of finding a home where she and her two younger brothers can escape the brutality of the Chicago orphanage where they live. With any luck, she can even start a family of her own, once the three of them are settled at Jacob Creed’s Texas ranch. But Miranda has one gigantic concern: Her husband-to-be knows nothing about the brothers she’s bringing along. What if he calls off the deal when he discovers the trick she’s played on him?

Jake Creed is hanging on to his Texas ranch by his fingernails. His nemesis, Alexander Blackthorne, is determined to ruin him. Jake will never give up, but he’s in desperate trouble. His wife died six months ago in childbirth, along with their stillborn son, and his two-year-old daughter needs a mother. The advertisement Jake wrote never mentioned his daughter—or the fact that he has no intention of consummating his marriage. He’s determined never to subject another wife to the burden of pregnancy. But Jake doesn’t count on finding his bride so desirable. He doesn’t count on aching with need when she joins him in bed. And he never suspected his bride would have plans of her own to seduce him.

“I am all in knots waiting for WYOMING BRIDE (Hannah’s story), MONTANA BRIDE (Hetty’s story) and BLACKTHORNE’S BRIDE (Josie’s story). I am not a patient person, so I’m reading all her books while waiting for these to hit the shelves or my Kindle.” – Melanie

PERFECT STRANGERS by Rebecca Sinclair

Gabrielle Carelton is one of Queen Elizabeth’s most devoted ladies-in-waiting. But her loyalty is put to the test when Her Majesty commands her to marry Scotsman Collin Douglas. When Gabrielle is kidnapped by Collin’s twin brother, not even Good Queen Bess can save her.

Dubbed the Black Douglas, devilishly handsome Connor is known throughout the land for his magnificent feats of strength and cunning. But now he is in need of an heir. An English bride will bring peace to the warring nations — and give him the son he craves. What he doesn’t expect is a woman as passionate as she is proud … and a desire that knows no boundaries.

Set against the pageantry and savage splendor of 16th-century England and Scotland, here is the story of a man and a woman who begin as enemies and strangers — and find a love that will triumph against all odds.

“All I have to say is, WOW! This book blurb doesn’t do this book justice.” – Melanie

HOW TO SEDUCE A SCOUNDREL by Vicky Dreiling

Miss Julianne Gatewick is in a pickle. It started when her brother’s best friend-for whom she’s long nursed a secret tendre-agreed to act as her guardian for the Season, only to seduce her with a risqué waltz. But when the music stopped and the expectant ton waited for Marc Darcett, Earl of Hawkfield, to claim her as his own, he made his disinterest clear. Rather than succumb to humiliation, Julianne does what any self-respecting, recently discarded young miss with a wicked sense of humor would do. She secretly pens a lady’s guide to enticing unrepentant rakes . . . and it becomes the hottest scandal sheet in London.

Every honorable rake knows that friends’ sisters are forbidden. But suddenly Julienne has a spark of mischief in her eyes that Hawk can’t resist. Try as he might to push her away, he spends his days listening for her laughter and his nights dreaming of kissing her senseless. He’s always avoided innocents and their marriage-minded mothers, but has the man least likely to wed finally met his match?

“There’s a lot to recommend this read, but the romance of it would be my first recommendation. The second is the humor; the third, pace; and last but not least are the three-dimensional characters, even the secondary ones.” – Melanie

THE REBEL PRINCESS by Judith Koll Healy

Paris, October 1207. There is nothing that Princess AlaÏs of France wants more than to settle down with her lover, William of Caen, and to reveal to his ward, Francis, that she is his mother. but intrigue is afoot in the palace, and tensions are pushed to the brink when a much prized relic is stolen and young Francis goes missing. frantic for his safety, AlaÏs will risk life and limb to find the boy—donning a disguise to outwit cunning enemies as she makes her way into unfamiliar territory to save her son, and perhaps prevent a bloody holy war that threatens her beloved France.

From the opulent halls of Paris to austere monasteries in the south of France, The Rebel Princess combines history and suspense in an unforgettable tale involving one of the most enigmatic and intriguing female figures in medieval history.

“Where to start? This was a very, very, very long read for me. I would start reading it and stop, then repeat the exercise for the next month and a half.” – Melanie

TO PLEASURE A DUKE by Sara Bennett

It has taken Eugenie Belmont but a moment to decide whom to marry . . .

Unfortunately the gentleman in question, the Duke of Somerton, hasn’t yet offered—a mere formality for a confirmed member of the Husband Hunters Club of Miss Debenham’s Finishing School. Like her friends, Eugenie is unwilling to wait demurely until the perfect mate happens by. And, despite the handsome duke’s imposing reputation, she can feel his heated glances in her direction are charged with desire . . . and possibilities.

Saddled with a dukedom, a haughty dowager, and an irresponsible younger sister, Sinclair St. John is far too occupied with important matters to indulge in romantic whims. But for the first time in his life, a brazen temptress has him utterly distracted. He could—and he should—dismiss her and court someone more befitting his station. But he is irresistibly drawn to this bewitching woman . . . and must match her game of seduction, move for passionate move.

“This is my first ever book by this author, and my last, sad to say.” – Melanie

And there you have it, my bookworms. Now, remember! It’s always possible that what I liked you may not, and vice-versa. These are only my opinions based on what I like, and what I preffer. If you’d like to purchase any of these books, click on the cover and it’ll take you to Amazon.

Now off I go to see what’s left on my Kindle…

b2b will be ONE year old!

Guess what?! We’re about to celebrate our first year in the blogosphere! I ‘brain-stormed’ some ideas that were swirling in this head of mine, but none of them were ‘right’. I started to think about why and how I got to reading and loving romance novels and it hit me!

I was a ‘late bloomer’ and Romance Novels came to me when I was in my late twenties. My best friend gave me a copy of Kathleen E. Woodiwiss’ ‘A ROSE IN WINTER’ and I was hooked. I went out and stocked up on all of her books. Then my friend gave me Johanna Lindsey’s ‘GENTLE ROGUE’ and I had to read everything she wrote.

I ‘got’ what my friend tried to do. She wanted me to get ‘hooked’ on her favorite authors, so she’d pick one of their books and give them away as a gift. It worked in my case. I not only got hooked on the authors, but the genre as well. I took up the banner of the ‘pay it forward’ and started to give my friends ‘books that will hook you’ gifts.

What a better way then to celebrate our first year ‘on’ by celebrating AUTHORS as well as READERS with what connects us all – BOOKS!

Through the month of November, b2b will be honored to host Authors such as Katharine Ash, Grace Burrowes, Anna Campbell, Vicky Dreiling, Eileen Dreyer, Maureen Driscoll, Cara Elliott, Shana Galen, Kieran Kramer and last but not least Rose Lerner.

This amazing group of very talented ‘tale tellers’ have agreed to gift you, the reader, with a book that they hope will ‘hook’ you to either their own work, or the author they chose to share with you.

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!

On November 1st I will let you know my ‘Hook-a-Book’ and celebrate with you this author that had me at ‘Sin’!