‘The Lady’s Command’ by Stephanie Laurens

tlc slSTORY: The instant Captain Declan Frobisher laid eyes on Lady Edwina Delbraith, he knew she was the lady he wanted as his wife. The scion of a seafaring dynasty accustomed to success, he discovered that wooing Edwina was surprisingly straightforward—not least because she made it plain that she wanted him as much as he wanted her.

Declan’s vision of marriage was of a gently-reared wife to grace his arm, to manage his household, and to bear his children. He assumed that household, children, and wife would remain safely in England while he continued his life as an explorer sailing the high seas.

Declan got his wish—up to a point. He and Edwina were wed. As for the rest—his vision of marriage…

Aunt of the young Duke of Ridgware and sister of the mysterious man known as Neville Roscoe, London’s gambling king, even before the knot was tied Edwina shattered the illusion that her character is as delicate, ethereal, and fragile as her appearance suggests. Far from adhering to orthodox mores, she and her ducal family are even more unconventional than the Frobishers.

Beneath her fairy-princess exterior, Edwina possesses a spine of steel—one that might bend, but will never break. Born to the purple—born to rule—she’s determined to rule her life. With Declan’s ring on her finger, that means forging a marriage that meets her needs as well as his.

But bare weeks into their honeymoon, Declan is required to sail to West Africa. Edwina decides she must accompany him.

A secret mission with unknown villains flings unexpected dangers into their path as Declan and Edwina discover that meeting the challenge of making an unconventional marriage work requires something they both possess—bold and adventurous hearts.

REVIEW: London – 1824

Declan Frobisher and his new wife, Lady Edwina Frobisher, daughter of a Duke, are enjoying their new marriage attending events with friends. Edwina is a beautiful blonde lady with impeccable manners. Declan is the second of four Frobisher brothers. Their father owns a large shipping company and numerous ships. All of the brothers are involved with the shipping business and have their own ship.

When Declan is summoned by the First Lord of the Admiralty, he knows that something is brewing. His family has helped the Crown with covert operations in the past and gears himself for what may be coming. It appears that some men sent by the government to Freeport in west Africa, have gone missing and no one has any idea what could have happened to them. Declan is requested to take his ship, “The Cormorant” and sail to Freeport. He is to appear there as just a visitor and not on any particular business so as to not spark the interest of anyone that might be behind these missing people. He is to quietly see what information he can find. Of course, he agrees to the request.

Declan tells Edwina that he will be gone for about two weeks just to take some cargo someplace for the company. When she insists on going with him, he is adamant that she will not. After some argument, she finally relents – or so he thinks. When the ship sails and he retires to his room, he is surprised to find a large trunk in his room. Yes, you guessed it. Edwina is inside! But all is not lost because she truly enjoys the trip and learns about sailing. He tells her the real reason for his trip and they both make plans on how to tackle the problem.

When they arrive, they are welcomed by the English people and using her perfect skills as a lady, Edwina is able to glean information that not just men, but some women and children have gone missing too. Coupling that with what Declan learns and more surprising things surface.

We meet some of the local natives of the town and find that their unusual rituals may be hiding something sinister.

I really liked this book. Declan and Edwina are perfect for each other. A great story. This is the first book in the author’s new series called “The Adventurers Quartet.” I look forward to reading future books in this series and highly recommend it.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

‘The American Heiress’ by Daisy Goodwin

tah dgSTORY: Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the twentieth century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, whose family mansion in Newport dwarfs the Vanderbilts’, suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England.

Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals. Money, Cora soon learns, cannot buy everything, as she must decide what is truly worth the price in her life and her marriage.

REVIEW: I was truly intrigued by the synopsis of this novel long before it was published. Therefore, it was with great anticipation when I started reading it.

I can say that it was hard to put down. What is portrayed in this book is the story of a rich American girl who had been raised to marry a man with a European title. This was not unusual as many American heiresses were doing the same thing. Usually, these men had titles but their family coffers were empty and thus they needed the dowries brought by these young women.

We follow Cora as she learns to accept this type of marriage as her fate and we see how strong she is as she matures. The events that follow are well written. Although the ending might not be what the reader would like, one does realize that indeed this is what she “signed up for” and she not disappoint.

Connie for b2b

A sneak peek of ‘The Wayward One’ from Danelle Harmon!

Coming on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2016!

two dh

BOOK BLURB: A bold, hot-blooded Irishman on a dangerous mission … a cool and aristocratic Englishwoman who was never meant to be his captive…

Captain Ruaidri O’ Devir is a bold, hot-blooded Irishman on a dangerous mission … Lady Nerissa de Montforte is a cool and aristocratic Englishwoman who was never meant to be his captive.

The sexy, emotional, exciting and heart-stopping conclusion to the bestselling and wildly popular internationally, the de Montforte series by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Danelle Harmon.

PRE-ORDER LINKS: Amazon

SNEAK-PEAK:

She spoke so casually that Ruaidri had trouble believing that her feelings for this man had been as warm as she claimed them to have been. He was used to women who wore their hearts on their sleeves, their emotions, needs and desires on display for all to see. This cool, elegant woman beside him … did she lack that warmth, or had breeding and class choked off any expression of emotion she might otherwise have shown?
“Ye think he broke yer heart, don’t ye, lass?”
“Of course he did.”
“Yer heart isn’t broken, Lady Nerissa.”
She looked up then, frowning. “How dare you presume to know what is in my heart.”
“Yer heart wasn’t broken, because ye never really loved him the way ye thought ye did, did you?”
“What?”
“You stand here beside me and relate this tale of woe t’ me with a dry eye and all the feeling ye might use to describe a bucket of sand. I think there’s more to you than that, and I think that this man, this Perry, would have made ye miserable. He wasn’t good enough for ye.”
“How dare you, Captain O’ Devir!”
“Well, I’m standin’ here, lookin’ at you. Ye’re made pretty enough to make a man weep, you are, and if this piece of shite couldn’t make up his mind and sweep you off to the altar, he sure wouldn’t have made ye a strong husband. Is that what ye would have settled for? A wishy-washy nob who not only couldn’t make up his mind, but was also gullible enough to be taken in by yer brother’s schemin’?”
She just looked at him, mouth agape. To deny his conclusions would have screamed of falseness; to her credit, she did not.
“He was,” she finally admitted, looking back out over the sea, “…indecisive.”
“And you wanted that in a husband?” He snorted. “Doesn’t seem he was worth a broken heart. Don’t tell me ye’re pinin’ for this blatherin’ idiot. Why, did he ever even kiss ye?”
“Captain!” she gasped, outraged.
“Well, did he?”
“Of course.”
“With passion?”
“He was a gentleman. He … he abided by the rules of propriety.”
“Bollocks.”
She gasped, her eyes widening.
“He was an arse. When are ye goin’ to get good and angry about what he did to ye? If he loved you as ye deserve to be loved, he wouldn’t have dragged his feet, he’d have had a ring on yer finger and you in his bed before ye even had time to consider the difference between a kiss of passion and a kiss of ‘propriety.’” He shook his head. “Ye don’t throw gold overboard. Ye don’t hold a diamond up to the light and wonder whether it’s the real thing when it’s blindin’ ye with its brilliance. Indecisive piece of shite.”
“You did not know him!”
“Why are ye defendin’ him? He took, arguably, the best years of yer life with his wafflin’ like a one-footed duck.”
“Lots of people are indecisive … unsure.”
“Not in my line of work, they aren’t. Indecision will make a person dead, very dead. Oh no, I may be many things, Lady Nerissa, but I can assure you I’m not indecisive.”
“And your point?”
“My point is, the good Lord gave ye a face and form to bring a man to his knees. Yer earl was an idiot. I barely know you, but I can tell ye right now that if I were to kiss ye, it would sure as hell not be a kiss of propriety.”
“Of course it wouldn’t. You are anything but a gentleman.”
“Aye, ‘tis true. But I could show you what a kiss ought to feel like. Taste like. Make ye feel like.”
Her head jerked up, her fingers went to her throat, and in the darkness, he could see the twin stains that suddenly bloomed on her cheeks. “Captain, what makes you think I want you to kiss me?”
“Everythin’ about ye.” He unclasped his hands from behind his back and reaching out, finally tucked that errant strand of hair behind her ear, noting that she did not flinch or slap his hand away. “The way yer eyes look suddenly intrigued despite the protests of yer tongue. The fact that ye haven’t slapped me. The fact that when I suggested it, ye swayed toward me just the slightest bit.” He cocked his head, letting a little smile touch the corner of his mouth. “Ye’d enjoy it, you know.”
“You are arrogant and audacious.”
“And I could kiss ye senseless.”
She turned from the rail to face him, her eyes a defiant challenge that intrigued and amused him. She had been jilted by this complete arse of an earl, had been manipulated by the even bigger arse that was her brother but she was no simpering miss, and she was honest enough with herself that the idea of letting him kiss her was one that she viewed as a challenge. Perhaps even compensation for the way both fiancé and brother had made a total muck-up of her life.
“Ye’re not gettin’ any younger,” he prompted.
“And you’re not getting any less arrogant.”
“Aye, don’t hold yer breath on that one.”
She stood there looking at him, her eyes lovely in the darkness, her face so beautiful it took his breath away.
He did not move, allowing her this decision, the respect to have it put in her hands; a respect that others might not have given her.
Her chin came up and her eyes suddenly caught the glint of the rising moon. “Very well, then,” she said. “You think you can make me feel something I doubt I’ll ever feel again? Then kiss me.”
dh party

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AUTHOR BIO: Bestselling, multi-award winning and critically acclaimed author Danelle Harmon has written ten books, previously published in print and distributed in many languages throughout the world. Though born and raised in Massachusetts, she and her husband, a native of southwest London, were married and lived in England for several years.

These days, Ms. Harmon and her husband make their home in New England with their daughter Emma and numerous animals including four dogs, an Egyptian Arabian horse, and numerous pet chickens. Danelle welcomes email from her readers and can be reached at her Email or Facebook.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook / Tweeter / Website / Blog

‘Lord Deverill’s Secret’ by Amanda Grange

lds agArriving in Brighton, Cassandra Paxton had one important task-to uncover the meaning of a letter she’d found amidst her late brother’s belongings. She knew of only one man who could help her: Lord Deverill, who just happened to be the most eligible bachelor in all of Brighton.

But what she didn’t realize-until it was too late-was that the handsome earl had a secret of his own. One that might prevent him from telling her the truth-and one that made a marriage between them impossible. Which was most unfortunate, considering the way his gentle touch made Cassandra’s pulse quicken.

REVIEW: 1805 – Brighton

Miss Cassandra (Cassie) Paxton has arrived at her family’s town home in Brighton to prepare to sell it. Her parents have passed away from Cholera and her brother died in a horse riding accident leaving her to raise her younger sister, Lizzie. Unfortunately, the family finances are so low that selling the Brighton home will provide some needed monies to put toward upkeep of the family home outside town. While in Brighton, Cassie plans to spend some time with her friends, Maria and Harry Winter, and investigate the meaning of an unfinished letter found in her brother, Rupert’s pocket when he died. Rupert eluded to the fact that he had done something wrong and he wanted to atone for it.

Cassie decides to call upon Lord Deverill who knew her brother to ask for his help with the meaning of the letter. Justin Deverill readily agrees to help her but Cassie feels as though he is hiding something.

As Cassie and Maria attend and enjoy many of the delights of Brighton, Cassie is the victim of what appears to be attempts on her life. Telling herself that these things were just accidents she still can’t help but worry. She sees Justin at many social events and he finally confesses to her that she needs to be careful for someone means to harm her. Who would want to harm her and why? Could that be tied to her brother’s unfinished letter?

This was a sweet romance intertwined with a mystery that keeps the reader guessing. I enjoyed the descriptions of the events of Brighton and can see how it was and continues to be a very popular place. The characters were well-developed and I highly recommend the book.

Connie for b2b

‘Waking Up With the Duke’ by Lorraine Heath

td lhSTORY: They are masters of seduction, London’s greatest lovers …
Renowned for his bedchamber prowess, Ransom Seymour, the Duke of Ainsley, owes a debt to a friend. But the payment expected is most shocking, even to an unrepentant rake—for he’s being asked to provide his friend’s exquisite wife with what she most dearly covets: a child.

Living for pleasure, they will give their hearts to no one …
Lady Jayne Seymour, Marchioness of Walfort, is furious that such a scandalous agreement would be made. If she acquiesces, there must be rules: no kissing . . . and, certainly, no pleasure.

Until love takes them by surprise.
But unexpected things occur with the surprisingly tender duke—especially once Lady Jayne discovers the rogue can make her dream again . . . and Ransom realizes he’s found the one woman he truly cannot live without.

REVIEW: I enjoyed this book immensely.

The characters were believable which can be hard to find in some romance novels. The heroine, Jayne, is married to a man who is paralyzed. However, she wants a child. Enter her husband’s cousin who has always secretly desired her.

From there, we follow a pact that will lead from passion to sadness to finally love. A wonderfully written novel that I would highly recommend.

Connie for b2b

Spotlight on Maureen Driscoll and ‘Always Believe in Love’!

abil mdBOOK BLURB: Nicholas Chilcott is the Earl of Layton, though his biological father was actually the late Earl of Ridgeway. When Nick’s cousin Simon challenges him for the title, Nick must travel to the coastal village of Weymouth to uncover secrets from the past. But, instead, he finds the woman he wants to build his future with.

Kate Winston serves as the church archivist, while trying to evade the unwanted advances of the new vicar. When a handsome earl comes to town on a mission, she cannot resist helping him, though she has no desire to join his world in the ton.

As Nick and Kate work to find answers to the past, they discover a passion that neither can deny.

BUY LINKS: Amazon

REVIEW: Ms. Driscoll pens another winner!

Ever since I met Earl of Layton, I itched to know his story and finally I got it. I loved his background story and wondered if he’d finally accept the mantle of all his inherited title brought with it. He really worried me for a bit there, but in the end I was so proud of the things he did and the way he went about solving the mystery portion of this sweet and sensual romance. I liked the way that the author made him strong, yet vulnerable and sensitive at times.

Kate was so sweet, yet witty and strong in her own right.

This is everything I love about a romance! Loved the dialogue! Loved the ending too!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author

TEASER:

“Is something amiss, Mr. Chilcott?” she asked.

“Nothing at all.” Other than the mystery of her being betrothed to the vicar. “I was curious about the records that can be found in the archives. I am somewhat of an amateur historian.” As he said the words, he realized how pompous they sounded. He also had a feeling Miss Winston would be able to discern that he was no such thing.

But if she suspected he wasn’t being wholly honest with her, she didn’t show it. “It is mostly an accounting of births, marriages and deaths in the parish for three centuries.”

Damn. That wasn’t going to help at all. “So just the mundane details of daily life.” 24

As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he could tell he’d made a mistake. She visibly bristled, resulting in the most alluring shiver rolling through her body. He wondered what it would be like to see her shiver beneath him. It was wholly inappropriate to think of such things with the vicar’s betrothed, of course. But it was entirely wrong that she should be stuck with Bramwell.

“Mr. Chilcott,” she began, with a chill in her voice that surely must match the wind off the sea in winter. “Births, marriages and deaths are not ‘mundane details’ to those who are going about having children, getting married and dying. They are the most important activities of a village, for they represent life in all its forms. The celebrations and days of mourning are what people remember, sir. They bring people together and you should not disparage them.”

“Pray forgive me, Miss Winston. I did not mean to disparage anything.”

She leaned forward with wide eyes and a look of wonder he knew he shouldn’t trust. “Pray forgive me, sir. Perhaps I have misinterpreted the meaning of the word ‘mundane.’ Has a new definition been affixed to it?”

She was much too lively for the vicar. “You are correct, Miss Winston. My choice of words was poor, indeed. I am at a loss as to what I should do now.”

“Perhaps, sir, you should cease talking.”

The sting of her words was lessened considerably as she clapped a hand to her mouth and wrinkled her nose. “Now it is time for me to ask your forgiveness, Mr. Chilcott, for I have been unforgivably rude. One of my biggest faults is allowing my tongue to race ahead of my brain. I fear in this case, the former is halfway to London while the latter is still asleep in bed.”

For one long, pleasurable moment, Nick could only think of Miss Winston’s tongue. He would like to accompany it on any journey it might undertake. Then he thought about what she’d said and laughed aloud. “Miss Winston, anyone as clever as you should never apologize for her wit. Especially since I am the one whose tongue and brain first disassociated with my thoughtless remarks about the village archives. Shall we begin again? I am Nicholas Chilcott.” He bowed to her.

“And I am Miss Kate Winston.” She curtsied.

maureen driscollAUTHOR BIO: Maureen Driscoll is an Emmy-nominated television writer/producer who’d much rather be reading than writing.  She has written 11 Regency romance novels about the Kellington and Emerson families and one stand-alone political satire, DATING GEORGE CLOONEY, which no one ever reads.

She swears a lot.  Probably too much.  Her comedy credits include writing for JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE, THE DISH on the Style Network and Nickelodeon’s BRAINSURGE.  She is also an actor.  Which means she’s been rejected more than just about anyone you’ve ever met.  But it’s not the “no” that’s important.  It’s going back for another one the next day.  That’s supposed to be inspirational and not very, very sad.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook / Twitter / Blog

‘Always True to Her’ by Maureen Driscoll

atth mdSTORY: Lord James Emerson has returned to England intent on regaining the land that was stolen from him in America. He has come, with his daughter in tow, to confront the family of the man who cheated him out of his life’s savings. But he did not expect to meet the woman who steals his heart.

Miss Irene Wallace is certain her brother could not have acted so dishonorably. Yet it is hard to believe the man who loves his daughter so much is lying. She decides to work with Lord James to resolve the issue in the interest of justice. But instead, she finds herself falling in love with her brother’s enemy.

REVIEW: Ms. Driscoll continues her new Emerson series with book two and James’s story, a brother that decides to come back to England after a tragedy that befalls him in America.

As in book one, there’s so much to like about this story as well, but the best part of it for me, was the relationship James had with his little girl. Just hits you in the feels! I found this story compelling, intriguing and surprisingly easy to read.

It’s also much fun when she has the characters from her pervious books, come in to play in this story.

I find myself admiring the consistency of Ms. Driscoll as she continues to write stories filled with characters of depth and passion. Highly recommending you grab it and enjoy this clever, fun and passionate love story.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided the author