‘The Dark Affair’ by Máire Claremont

mc tdaSTORY: Lady Margaret Cassidy left a life of nobility behind in Ireland, forsaking her grieving homeland to aid war-ravaged men in England. Still, she never expected a cruel turn of fate to lock her into an unwanted betrothal with one of her English patients—much less one as broken and dangerous as Viscount Powers.

Wrecked by his tragic past, Powers’ opiate-addled sanity hangs precariously in the balance, leaving him poised to destroy anyone who dares to utter the names of the wife and child he still so deeply mourns. So when he is forced to marry Margaret in exchange for freedom, he is shocked by the desire to earn her trust, her body, and—most alarming of all—her heart….

REVIEW: In this third novel of Ms. Claremont’s Mad Passions series we reconnect with James Stanhope, Viscount Powers who came to aid of Lady Mary in ‘Lady in Red’. Have no fear, you don’t have to read that story in order to follow this one, although come to think of it, maybe you should. Lady Mary has a significant part to play in James’s story as much as he did in hers. The relationship they built is very strong and the scenes between James and Mary are heartbreakingly tender because of their intimate knowledge of what the other is going through.

If you’re a fan of ‘tortured hero’ trope, please don’t pass this one up. I can’t tell you how much I loved it. Everything about this hero touched my heart. I was pulling for him from the first page and the satisfaction I got as I watched his courage emerge out of despair, was elating.

Maggie was the only woman for James. Without her tenaciousness, her determination and strong spirit, this man would still be lost. She may have appeared to be cold, calculating and without warm emotions, but once you start to know her, to see behind all this front veneer, you start to understand this amazing woman.

This is without a doubt a character driven, fast-paced and emotionally draining story that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish.

I can’t praise it enough! If you haven’t read this series yet, you’re missing out on a wonderful prose, solid plots and a pace that will give you an adrenaline rush you won’t soon forget.

Melanie for b2b.

Complimentary copy from the publisher.

 

Advertisements

‘Moonlight On My Mind’ by Jennifer McQuiston

jmcq mommSTORY: To ruin a man’s life once takes a regrettable mistake.

To do so twice takes a woman like Julianne Baxter.

Eleven months ago, Julianne’s statement to the authorities wrongly implicated Patrick, the new Earl of Haversham, in his older brother’s death. The chit is as much trouble as her red hair suggests, and just as captivating. Now she has impetuously tracked him to the wilds of Scotland, insisting that he return home to face a murder charge and save his family from ruin. A clandestine wedding may be the only way to save her reputation—and his neck from the hangman’s noose.

Julianne has no objection to the match. More and more she’s convinced of Patrick’s innocence, though when it comes to igniting her passions, the man is all too guilty. And if they can only clear his name, a marriage made in haste could bring about the most extraordinary pleasure…

REVIEW: Patrick Channing has spent several years training to be a veterinarian and he loves his work.  He prefers to spend his time helping animals instead of spending his time participating in society events.  He also happens to be the second son of an Earl.  When Patrick’s brother, Eric, is shot during a shoot at the family’s home, Julianne Baxter claims that Patrick was the one who shot him.  The uproar following this is horrendous.  There will eventually be an inquest to find if it was an accident or if he deliberately meant to kill his brother.

Julianne Baxter is a strong and vocal young woman in society and knowing that her eyesight is not at all good.  She soon realizes that she was wrong to accuse Patrick and wants to make amends by helping to prove that he is innocent.

Patrick chooses to spend some time in Scotland while the authorities decide whether to charge him with murder.  Julianne joins him there for several reasons.  She tells him that his father has died and now he is the Earl.  In addition, she tells him that she supports him and wants to help clear his name.  They are attracted to one another and decide to marry which means as his wife, she cannot be called upon to testify against him.

When they return to his home announcing their marriage, Julianne immediately takes over as the Countess.  However, the home is full of family members and friends who are quite vocal in their accusations that Patrick is the murderer.  Julianne steps in and shows her strong support of Patrick.  But, if Patrick did not kill Eric, who did?  Finding out who did kill him is the mystery part of the novel.

There are some interesting characters here and I have to admit that I wanted to smack both Patrick and Julianne mostly for allowing these hangers-on to stay in their home, accepting their hospitality while showing their disdain for Patrick.  Hello?  Can you say – Get Out?  However, I’m sure the author wrote the novel to get the reader riled up and she did a good job of it.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by publisher.

‘Summer Is for Lovers’ by Jennifer McQuiston

jmcq siflSTORY: His heart is unavailable.

Luckily, her interest lies in the rest of him…

Though she was just a girl when they first met, Caroline Tolbertson’s infatuation with David Cameron remains undimmed. Now fate has brought the handsome Scotsman back to Brighton for what promises to be an unforgettable summer. Soon, Caroline will have to choose a husband, but for now she is free to indulge her curiosity in things of a passionate nature.

That is, if David will agree to teach her.

Past mistakes have convinced David he’ll make a terrible husband, though he’ll gladly help the unconventional Caroline find a suitor. Unfortunately, she has something more scandalous in mind. As the contenders for her hand begin to line up, her future seems assured…provided David can do the honorable thing and let them have her.

When a spirited young woman is determined to break Society’s rules, al a gentleman can do is lend a hand…or more.

REVIEW: This is the second novel by Ms. McQuiston in her Second Sons series [for my review of the 1st book ‘What Happens in Scotland’, go here], and in this story we have a wonderful Prologue in which our hero meets a very young girl that saves his life. I thought it was such a poignant meeting and couldn’t wait for them to meet again some eleven years later and I wasn’t disappointed with their second meeting either as it was as much poignant as their first.

As a matter a fact, the care and pace the author took to develop their budding relationship was what I loved and appreciated the most in this story. It was important to me because Caroline is only twelve when they meet, while he’s already in his twenties and even though she is twenty-two as they reacquaint themselves with each other, both are aware of the strong currents and a thread that is pulling them to each other, yet the slower pace of their romance gives their story strength and lends more believability to it.

I also loved the setting of this story, which was Brighton. The author did such a great job of taking me through this wonderful place in all its Victorian glory.

This is definitely character driven story in which our hero David is a very complex man with inner demons that are overwhelming him and the only person that is capable of exorcising them is another complex and strong-willed woman such as Caroline.

If you’re in a mood for a solid, sweet and at times complex romance, this one’s for you. I highly recommend it.

Melanie for b2b

Book provided by the publisher

‘The Trouble with Honor’ by Julia London

jl ttwhSTORY: Desperate times call for daring measures as Honor Cabot, the eldest stepdaughter of the wealthy Earl of Beckington, awaits her family’s ruin. Upon the earl’s death she and her sisters stand to lose the luxury of their grand home – and their place on the pedestal of society – to their stepbrother and his social-climbing fiancée. Forced to act quickly, Honor makes a devil’s bargain with the only rogue in London who can seduce her stepbrother’s fiancée out of the Cabots’ lives for good.

An illegitimate son of a duke, George Easton was born of scandal and grows his fortune through dangerous risks. But now he and Honor are dabbling in a perilous dance of seduction that puts her reputation and his jaded heart on the line. And as unexpected desire threatens to change the rules of their secret game, the stakes may become too high even for a notorious gambler and a determined, free-spirited debutante to handle.

REVIEW: Honor Cabot is in a quandary.  Her stepfather is dying from consumption, her mother is showing signs of dementia, her stepbrother and heir, Augustine, is engaged to her old friend, Monica, now turned selfish, vindictive and trying to see to it that Honor, her three sisters and mother are quickly removed from the home as soon as the stepfather dies and Monica marries Augustine.  (Whew!  What a long sentence.)

During a clandestine game at a gambling hell, Honor schemes to entice George Easton to seduce Monica so the engagement will be broken and Honor will have more time to hopefully find successful marriages for her, her sisters and make sure that her mother will be cared for.  George Easton is the unrecognized bastard son of a duke and the nephew of a king.  He is also a fairly wealthy and self-made man.  However, his largest investment is threatening to fall through leaving him with little money.

As George attempts to seduce Monica, he and Honor find a strong attraction to one another putting her reputation at risk.  While Honor has fallen in love with George, he knows that without money, he cannot keep Honor in the way she has always known.

Will Monica be successful at ousting Honor and her family and will Honor and George be able to be together?  You’ve got to get the book and find out!

Connie for b2b

‘No Ordinary Mistress’ by Robyn DeHart

rdh  nomSTORY: London, 1814

Remington Hawthorne, Earl of Latham, has spent his life protecting the Crown. When he’s assigned to play the part of lover to Emma Masterson, one of the few female spies in England and the one woman he can’t forget, he’ll have to risk his heart as well as his life.

It isn’t easy being an independent woman, much less a spy. Perpetually tasked with proving she is as valuable as any man in her profession, the last thing Emma needs is to be reunited with the one man who makes her want to forget her duties and get lost in passion.

Pretending to be his mistress isn’t difficult—remembering that it is all a charade is a challenge. With every glance, every touch, every kiss, she is drawn deeper under his spell and pulled further from her goals. She refused him once, but it will take every ounce of strength to not give in to the passion that still burns strong…

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | 

REVIEW: Trained at the esteemed yet secret Seven academy for spies, Emma Masterson is a very smart, courageous, headstrong and beautiful young woman.  Choosing to take an assignment alone is unusual for a woman, however, Emma is determined to do so.  She is sent to seduce Lord Comfry to learn what she can about him being suspected of selling secrets to the French.

Remington (Remy) Hawthorne, an Earl, is also a member of the Seven and has worked with Emma in the past.  At that time, they found they were attracted to one another, but when Remy tries to protect Emma, she becomes angry and they part for a time.  Thrown back together again to solve this crime, their attraction is renewed.

This is a novella that is very well-written and holds the reader’s interest.  The love story between Emma and Remy is very romantic and the story of the spy mystery is quite intriguing.  I’m sure that readers will want to grab a copy of this right away.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author.

‘Always Come Home’ by Maureen Driscoll

md achSTORY: From the author of the Kellington series of Regency romances, comes the first novel about the Emerson family.

Colin Emerson, the Earl of Ridgeway, has two unmarried sisters and a mountain of debt incurred by his late father. He has no choice but to marry an heiress. It is most unfortunate, therefore, when he falls in love with a penniless governess.

Ava Conway has been making her way in the world since the death of her father. She takes a position as the governess to Lord Ridgeway’s sisters, but finds her growing attachment to the earl threatens his family’s future.

Bound by honor, torn by love, can Colin do right by his sisters while following his heart?

REVIEW: It’s no news to my followers that I’m a huge fan of this author and have been ever since I read her first book in the Kellington series. I think she is a wonderful storyteller and after Kellington’s I wondered in which direction she would take us next. I didn’t have to wait too long. She is back with a brand new family and I love them as much as I did the Kelington brood.

Watch out Kellington’s, here come the Emersons, starting with Colin, a man who would do anything for his two little sisters and their ancestral home.

This is one of those stories that are sweet and sensual at the same time. The hero and the heroine of this story are good and decent people who are faced with a dilemma of giving in to their feelings or do their duty toward people that they care about.

Ms. Driscoll pens a tale filled with wonderful prose and characters with depth and passion. I loved Colin and Ava’s road to discovery of each other the most, but coming close second was the secondary love of Maude and Stemple, Colin’s acquired ‘servants’.

Ms. Driscoll gave us so many great secondary characters  who I loved a lot, such as Colin’s older sister Rosemary (who it looks like has an eye for his friend Nathaniel, the Marquess of Grayson); his younger sister Leticia was a little hellion and way too perceptive; the American Babcock family that took over their home for a season was hilarious, and Nora and Myra along with the villain Clayton were characters well written as well. Even the cat Jasper had a good role in this story.

If you are a fan of awesome, witty, clever, funny and entertaining dialogue between all the characters in your stories, than this book will make your day. It really will.

Melanie for b2b.

Complimentary copy provided by the author.

Guest Author Collette Cameron!

Hey Bookworms!
This new to me author which I love, Collette Cameron, has taken over Ella Quinn’s blog today. In Ella’s words – “Collette is going to be talking about her series, has a special announcement and giving way a book.”
Check it out!
Mel

Ella Quinn ~ Author

Please help me welcome my friend, critique partner, and fellow Regency author Collette Cameron to my blog today. Collette is going to be talking about her series, has a special announcement and giving way a book. In order to win, just leave a comment saying you want the book!

A Series Without a Name

First, I want to thank Ella for hosting me today. It’s always such a privilege to be here, right smack dab in the middle of Regency happenings. I’m so honored to have her as a critique partner. I can’t get away with any historical inaccuracy. She’s a walking, breathing museum of facts, and I adore her.

Highlander's Hope Highlander’s Hope

When I started writing, I knew I wanted to write a trilogy with a large cast of characters. Yes, I’ve been criticized for that, but I like large casts—as long as I can figure out who’s who. Thus,  Highlander’s Hope was…

View original post 533 more words