‘When a Laird Finds a Lass’ by Lecia Cornwall

walfal lcSTORY: She is his greatest enemy and his only salvation.

Malcolm MacDonald, a lawyer in Edinburgh, unexpectedly inherits his father’s title of Laird of Dunbronach, forcing him to return to a place he hasn’t seen since he was a small child. To gain the trust of a wary clan, Malcolm must act upon their insistence that he cast aside his English betrothed and marry a Highlander.

However, they have one condition—no lasses of the barbaric clan MacLeod.

When he finds an unconscious woman in the sea, he brings her back to his clan but not before doing the one thing that could save her life—hiding her all too telling MacLeod plaid. When she wakes with no memory of who she is, Malcolm vows to keep the little he knows about her identity a secret. As new dangers threaten his clan, the mysterious lass teaches Malcolm some very important lessons about how to be a Highlander and a laird.

But secrets never stay secret for long, and when she finds her plaid, her memory returns and she flees. Malcolm is forced to make a difficult choice to win her back, facing his darkest fears and his worst enemy for a chance at true love.

REVIEW: This is book two in Ms. Cornwall’s new series of fairy tail retellings. This one is the retelling of The Little Mermaid and since I’ve never read or seen the movie about the said mermaid, I have nothing to compare it to, but I can tell you that I did like this story and now I really need to see The Little Mermaid.

I liked a lot of things in this book. From the intriguing plot to the pace, I thought the author did a fantastic job. But it’s the characters of Marcail and Malcolm that made me like this story so much. . I liked the slow progression of their romance and I liked that she was strong willed and at times impulsive. As for the hero? Well, there was a lot to be impressed by him. He was everything a hero should be. Brave, considerate, strong and passionate about his clan as well as the woman he loved.

This tale is for all hard core romance and adventure lovers and because it will have you smile as you’re entertained by not just our couple but by a slew of side characters as well.

If you are a fan of fairytale retellings and men in kilts, I definitely think you should read this sweet and heartwarming tale.

Melanie for b2b

Gift ARC provided by the publisher

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‘The English Wife’ by Lauren Willig

tew lwSTORY: Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvil live a charmed life: he’s the scion of an old Knickerbocker family, she grew up in a Tudor manor in England, they had a whirlwind romance in London, they have three year old twins on whom they dote, and he’s recreated her family home on the banks of the Hudson and renamed it Illyria. Yes, there are rumors that she’s having an affair with the architect, but rumors are rumors and people will gossip.

But then Bayard is found dead with a knife in his chest on the night of their Twelfth Night Ball, Annabelle goes missing, presumed drowned, and the papers go mad. Bay’s sister, Janie, forms an unlikely alliance with a reporter to uncover the truth, convinced that Bay would never have killed his wife, that it must be a third party, but the more she learns about her brother and his wife, the more everything she thought she knew about them starts to unravel.

Who were her brother and his wife, really? And why did her brother die with the name George on his lips?

REVIEW: I was really torn about this story and while I loved some aspects of it, the other have left me bereft and confused.

For example, the author did an amazing job taking me into the world of these characters, however the pace and multiple points of view and numerous supporting characters have managed to take me out of the story.

I will say this, the mystery was good and the ending surprising, so if you are a fan of this author, I have no doubt that you’ll enjoy this story, but if this is your first time reading her, I’d probably pass on this one and look for another of her many wonderful stories.

Melanie for b2b

Gift ARC provided by the publisher

‘A Matter of Circumstance’ by Michelle Deschenes

amos mdSTORY: It is 1816 and twenty-one-year-old Julianne Smith is anxious to depart from her guardians’ luxurious household and set out on her own. Even with all her grand ideas seemingly within reach, Julianne never foresees the turn of events that are about to irrevocably transform her life.

Captain Charles Dorchester is a handsome, honourable man with few worries now that the war is behind him. When fate leads him to rescue the passengers of a stagecoach after it is robbed somewhere between London and Birmingham, he has no idea that inside is a woman with the power to turn his life upside down.

As Julianne’s path intertwines with his, neither can deny their attraction to each other. But as a fierce passion and love blooms between them, Julianne is left in the midst of an internal struggle that prompts betrayal, fears, and consequences.

In this historical romance, an independent woman becomes embroiled in a passionate love affair with a military captain that leads her to realize the influence of fate.

REVIEW: This is the first time I’m reading this author and I was pleasantly surprised with this touching and heartwarming story. Both, the characters and the plot were well written and the pace was just right, not too fast and not slow.

I truly enjoyed following these characters and finding out what made them tick.

For those of you that enjoy strong, independent heroines and honorable and handsome heroes, this story is perfect for you

Melanie for b2b

Gift ARC provided by the author

‘To the Duke, with Love’ by Amelia Grey

image001STORY: There may be times when a gentleman is desperate to gain a lady’s attention, but a gentleman would never resort to desperate measures to obtain it.
―A Proper Gentleman’s Guide to Wooing the Perfect Lady

Sloane Knox, the Duke of Hawksthorn is guardian for his sweet, younger sister. Due to his misguided past as one of the infamous Rakes of St James, Hawk is hoping to avoid the Season by securing a match for her before it begins. He has the perfect gentleman in mind, but for one infuriating―and unexpectedly intoxicating―obstacle: the intended groom’s own sister, Miss Loretta Quick.

Having narrowly avoided her own arranged marriage to an unacceptable nobleman, Loretta is determined that her dear brother―a gentle, good-natured soul―should marry for love. Matching wits with Hawk may be her greatest challenge yet. . .until she realizes it may also be her greatest pleasure. For the young duke’s irresistible charm has not only begun to crumble her stubborn resolve, it has claimed her heart in true love as well. . .

REVIEW: This is the second story in The Rakes of St. James series and I found this one very hard to finish reading it. The reason for it are not just anachronisms, because sometimes I’ll overlook them if the story is strong and characters relatable and likable. But in this story, I found the hero and heroine just a bit short of cartoonish.

Sorry to say that I’m not recommending this one.

Melanie for b2b

Gift ARC provided by the publisher

‘A Match Made in Heather’ by Anna Harrington

ammih ahSTORY: When Highland Hearts Collide…
Arabel Rowland was the laird’s daughter, courted by sons of dukes and as wild and untamed as the Highlands around her. Garrick McGuiness was nothing more than a penniless, nameless Scot working in the Rowland stables with nothing to offer but his heart. On the eve when they were to elope, Arabel is forced to make a decision that changes both of their lives—one that drives them apart for a decade.

Sparks Are Sure to Fly!
Ten years later, Garrick is now Earl of Townsend and surprised to receive word of an inheritance from the Rowlands—and simply stunned to learn that he must share that inheritance with the one woman he hoped never to see again. His plan is to fulfill the will’s requirement, take the money, and never return to Scotland again. But when the deadly secret that came between them is revealed, he finds himself experiencing the Highlands—and his feelings toward Arabel—in a way he never did before.

Fate tore them apart, but now he’s back in her life with status, money and a title. Can they let go of past hurts and find love?

REVIEW: I’ve read most of this authors books which are all a part of one series or another so I was glad to have a chance to read a stand-alone story from her.

This is a novella and not a full length novel so the reading went fast and I have to say enjoyable, despite the length. 

One of my favorite romance tropes is the second chance in love stories and that’s exactly what this was. Arabel and Garrick epitomized a couple with too much baggage and a past neither could help putting it behind them.

If you’re a fan of strong and stubborn characters who fight their true feelings and try and overcome some misunderstandings, I think you’ll like this story.

Melanie for b2b

Gift ARC provided by the publisher

‘Rushed to the Altar’ by Jane Feather

rtta jfSTORY: Jasper Sullivan, Earl of Blackwater, needs a prostitute. Not in the usual way, however. His wealthy uncle’s will promises to divide his huge fortune among his nephews if each rescues a fallen woman … by marrying her! And since Jasper’s estates were already mortgaged to the hilt before he inherited them, when he catches a pretty young prostitute trying to pick his pocket, he immediately makes his proposal.

Clarissa Astley is not at all what Jasper believes. The orphaned daughter of a prosperous merchant, she is searching the seedier districts of London for her young brother, abducted by their evil guardian, who wants the little boy’s inheritance. But she needs powerful help, and the darkly handsome Earl of Blackwater is certainly that. So she pretends to be exactly what he assumed — a risky charade for an innocent virgin. But when passion flares between Jasper and Clarissa, the deception becomes even more difficult to handle …

REVIEW: This is first the story in a new Blackwater Brides trilogy from Jane Feather and I really liked the premise of a dying uncle who will upon his death divide his fortune among the three brothers, his nephews, but only if all three men agree to marry and redeem a fallen woman. The catch is that all three men have to fulfill this request or neither will get the money.

As a plot, this worked for me and I am actually looking forward to the rest of the books because I really liked all three brothers, of which the youngest two are twins.

For me, all the elements of a well written story were there. The characters, especially the heroine who I found likable, astute, smart and very much capable of taking care of herself. On the other hand, it took me awhile to warm up to the hero. I found him unreasonable at times, but in the end he did show his true feelings and his love for his brothers was genuine.  I also liked the pace of the story. It was perfectly paced and moved the story forward.

Between reading it and listening to Jill Tanner narrate it, I found myself enjoying this story very much. With her wonderful voice and an English accent, she brought all the characters to life for me.

If you’re looking for a fun and entertaining read, I highly recommend this story.

Melanie for b2b

‘The Crown Prince’s Bride’ RELEASE DAY BLITZ!

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Crown Prince's Bride coverBOOK BLURB: A Crown Prince gets a second chance at love with the woman who’s always been there – in the next book in the prince duology from Donna Alward!

The Crown Prince of Marazur is suffering from a broken heart. After losing his wife and future queen, he knows he’ll never find love again with a partner as wonderful as her. He’s thrown himself into his duties and is trying to be a better father to his two children, but he’s lonely. Even though falling in love seems impossible, so does spending the rest of his life alone.

Stephani has been Raoul’s assistant for years. Smart, loyal, and discreet, Stephani is fantastic at her job. Except for the fact that she’s been in love with her boss since her first week of employment, not that she would ever act on it. Besides, Raoul is first in line to the throne and she’s his assistant. If Raoul ever marries again, it’ll be with someone who can be a future queen. Not someone like Stephani.

When Raoul’s date for a state dinner is unable to attend, he invites Stephani. She’s well-versed on the issues and castle protocol, and Raoul’s always been comfortable with her. But when Stephani arrives, Raoul hardly recognizes her. Is this stunning woman the same one who’s run his office for years?

The Crown Prince’s Bride is the ultimate fairy tale for readers looking for Cinderella to get her prince—and be able to keep him past midnight.

BUY LINKS: B&N Nook / Google PlayKoboeBooks.comiBooks

TEASER:

And then he kissed her.

She tasted like dry champagne and a trace of almonds and citrus from the cake earlier, plus a darker flavor that was sultry, sexy woman.The little dress she wore was utterly appropriate, even conservative, but the woman inside it was so very alive and responsive. Her tongue met his as he deepened the kiss, and with a sigh of surrender she curled her arms around his shoulders and melted into him.

His body responded, and he was just man enough—just drunk enough—to be grateful. For the first time since Ceci’s death, he was happy he hadn’t died with her.

Q&A with the author:

Copy of Crown Prince Whim 3 (2) (1)

Q: What books are on your nightstand?

A: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, Witches of New York by Ami McKay, and books I’m judging for the RITA on my kindle.

Q: What author would you totally fan?

A: LaVyrle Spencer. But you know, I actually totally fangirled over Julianne MacLean, as I discovered her historicals maybe…10 years ago? And I glommed. I glommed hard. The first time we met we were doing a signing together. I’m lucky to say we’re now friends. J

Q: What makes you cringe?

A: Videos that have anything to do with losing fingernails/toenails and/or teeth. *shudders*

Q: In your writing process, do you obsessively plot out each point or just go with the flow?

A: I totally go with the flow.

Q: Is there a word you love to use?

A: Clearly. Though I find I have a different word in each book that needs pruning in the end.

Q: Do you have any pets?

A: Yes! Three. Dreamer is our elderly Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Boo is our very large, very zen cat, and Romeo is our black-and-white cat who is very aptly named. He kisses up to everyone.

Q: This book is super timely with the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle engagement. Why do you think we are so fascinated by royalty? What fascinates you about it?

A: What I ADORE about royalty books (and our fascination with the current monarchy) is the whole “it can happen to you” paired with all the glamour. With Will and Harry in particular, we’ve seen them as real people. Young boys who’d lost their mum and then young men finding their way and falling in love and growing into their responsibilities. The heroines, too, aren’t princesses. Meghan is a celebrity in her own right, but adjusting to life in the British monarchy is very different. I had so much fun writing this duet because the characters were so real to me – not just figureheads. At the same time, I had the opportunity to write in flowers, jewels, balls, trips to the French Riviera…what’s not to love?

Q: What are the best and worst parts about Raoul’s personality?

A: His commitment to his duty…and it’s a double-edged sword. It makes him perfect for leading the principality, because he is about serving the people and his country. But it also gets in the way of him having his own life, and happiness he deserves. He also has a very stiff upper lip, so he doesn’t always share his feelings, and those who care about him have to know him very well to understand him. The great thing is, when he loves someone, there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for them.

Q: Any more plans for more royalty romances in the works?

A: Never say never.

Q: What was your favorite fairy tale?

A: Probably Beauty and the Beast, because she really rescues him, rather than the other way around. And she reads BOOKS. J

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Marti Corn Photography donna alward H-R 1600AUTHOR BIO: A busy wife and mother of three (two daughters plus the family dog), Donna Alward believes hers is the best job in the world: a combination of stay-at-home mom and romance novelist.

Donna loves being back on the East Coast of Canada after nearly twelve years in Alberta where her romance career began, writing about cowboys and the west. She is the author of Somebody Like You, Somebody’s Baby, and Someone to Love.

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