‘Jilting the Duke’ by Rachael Miles

jtd rmSTORY: Broken promise, broken heart …

Aidan Somerville, Duke of Forster, is a rake, a spy, and a soldier, richer than sin and twice as handsome. Now he is also guardian to his deceased best friend’s young son. The choice makes perfect sense—except that the child’s mother is the lovely Sophia Gardiner, to whom Aidan was engaged before he went off to war. When the news reached him that she had married another, his ship had not yet even left the dock.

Sophia does not expect Aidan to understand or forgive her. But she cannot allow him to stay her enemy. She’s prepared for coldness, even vengeance—but not for the return of the heedless lust she and Aidan tumbled into ten years ago. She knows the risks of succumbing to this dangerous desire. Still, with Aidan so near, it’s impossible not to dream about a second chance…

REVIEW: London – 1819

Aidan Somerville, the Duke of Forster, was once fighting in the military and was privy to much classified information.

Tom Gardiner, Lord Wilmot, a childhood friend of Aidan, died a year ago. His wife, Sophia and their son, Ian, have returned to London from the life they all lived together in Italy. Sophia and Tom were both very interested in plants and Tom had written many books on botany. Sophia, a talented artist, added exquisite drawings to the books. Their life was happy and content.

As Sophia is about to come out of mourning, she is notified by her solicitor that Tom had left instructions that Sophia would be co-guardian with Aidan in raising Ian until he reaches his majority. Not having seen Aidan in many years, Sophia was nervous at their meeting. However, it went well and they agreed to terms in raising Ian.

As background, Aidan and Sophia had once been engaged but Aidan went off to war and not long after Tom and Sophia married. Aidan still feels anger and hurt so he approaches his reunion with Sophia with a bit of skepticism.

Sophia fills her days will planning and planting her flower beds. Flowers were a mutual interest she had had with Tom and she wants to hold onto that.

As Aiden and Sophia see more of one another, they realize that their old flame never truly died. Can there be a future for the two of them?

But something sinister is afloat that may go back to Aidan’s past as a spy. Could this result is harm to them?

I understand that this is a debut novel for this author. The writing is good but I think the book was overlong and stuffed with too much extra information. A really good editor would have made this story a bit more interesting to me.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

‘Daisy’s Dilemma’ by Anne Stenhouse

dd asSTORY: Lady Daisy should be ecstatic when her brother, the earl, allows Mr. John Brent to propose. She’s been plotting their marriage for two years. However, she is surprised to find herself underwhelmed and blames their distant cousin, Reuben, for unsettling her.
Reuben Longreach wonders whether the earl understands the first thing about Daisy’s nature and her need for a life with more drama than the Season allows. It’s abundantly clear to him that Daisy and John are not suited, but the minx accepts his proposal nonetheless.

Meanwhile, Daisy hatches a plan to attach Reuben to her beautiful, beleaguered Scots cousin, Elspeth. Little does she know that Elspeth is the focus of a more sinister plot that threatens Daisy too.

Will Reuben be able to thwart the forces surrounding Daisy before she is irretrievably tied to John? Will Daisy find the maturity to recognise her dilemma may be of her own making before it’s too late?

REVIEW: London 1822

Miss Daisy Longreach has just accepted Mr. John Brent’s request for her hand in marriage. She and her widowed mother are living with her brother, Tobias, who is soon to be married himself. John Brent does not have a fortune but feels he can care for and support Daisy and his three sisters as well. Having just been in a fight where another man was killed he is recovering from his injuries. It appears that this man had planned to abduct Daisy to steal and sell the family tiara.

Daisy’s cousin, Reuben, is a wealthy young man who has grown up with Daisy and knows her quite well. He is convinced that John Brent is not the man for her. Daisy feels as though she has made the right decision, however, she enjoys being with Reuben. Both of them are just realizing that they have an attraction to each other.

Daisy’s aunt, Beatrice, has come to visit with her daughter, Elspeth. Beatrice is an opinionated woman who irritates everyone. She is always eavesdropping on conversations and being just a royal pain. She treats poor Elspeth very badly by putting her down and not allowing her to dress nicely. Daisy decides to take matters in her own hands and convinces her brother, Tobias, to supply the funds to get some new dresses for Elspeth.

But behind the scenes, danger lurks and it appears that Aunt Beatrice is right in the middle of it. What could be going on, who could be hurt and why?

I admit that this was a very difficult book for me to read. I felt as though I had walked into the middle of a movie and even reread most of the book to try and piece all of the characters together. I have enjoyed this author in the past but, I just cannot say that I enjoyed this novel.

Connie for b2b

‘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