‘A Passion for Him’ by Sylvia Day

apfh sd 2007STORY: Stranger

He wears a mask…and he is following her. Staring at her like no other man since Colin. But Colin is dead and Amelia believes she will never again shiver with pleasure, never again sigh his name.

Lover

Until her masked pursuer lures her into a moonlit garden apfh sd 2013and a single, reckless kiss. Now she is obsessed with discovering his identity. Perfectly attuned to his every desire, his every thought, she will not stop until she knows his every secret.

REVIEW: When it comes to this author, I read only her historical novels.

This book was originally published in 2007, by Brava, with a very nice cover and a much longer book blurb, and I liked both better than the republication’s book blurb and cover from 2013 and Kensington. This is the third book in Georgian series and the first I’ve read, meaning I better get the rest now.

As for the story, it was one hot and heavy romance with plenty of angst between the main characters.

While I liked the heroine Amelia who had such unstable upbringing and whose sheltered life had only one bright ray of sunshine found in a friendship with the stable boy.

Years later that stable boy risks his life to save the girl he adores and knows could never be able to have in his life.

The complexity of Colin’s character was what made this book worth reading. My heart went out to him and I honestly couldn’t see how these two could ever find each other and work out all their differences.

If you love the “lost love found” tropes, I highly recommend you read this fast pacing, extremely sensual and wonderfully told romance.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Spotlight on Liana LeFey and ‘Once a Courtesan’!

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oac llBOOK BLURB: Constable Will Danbury has infiltrated a school to investigate an alleged crime. What he finds is a deeper, darker mystery—and a potent attraction to the alluring headmistress, Jacqueline Trouvère. But a constable can’t get romantically involved with a suspect; even one he thinks is innocent, without committing career suicide.

As headmistress of a school devoted to saving the innocent daughters of London’s soiled doves, Jacqueline’s life is complicated. Will tempts her in ways she never thought to experience, but she believes no respectable gentleman could love a former courtesan.

Despite their best efforts to fight it, a romance blossoms. When danger jeopardizes the school, however, his deceptions and her omissions come to light, threatening to destroy their love. They must look beyond the past to save both their future together and the lives of those they’ve sworn to protect.

BUY LINKS: AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo /

TEASER:

Will barely stopped himself from exclaiming in shock at the sight of the pale, puckered scar circling Trouvère’s wrist. He looked away before she could catch him staring at it. Now he knew why instead of the tight elbow-length sleeves currently in fashion, hers went all the way to her wrists before ending in a froth of lace.

My God… Had she done it to herself? He risked another glance. No. It wasn’t the sort of mark left by a blade; it was the sort of scarring left by rope rubbing and cutting into flesh. Horror warred with curiosity. How had she come by such a terrible wound? Did she have a matching one on the other wrist? He’d seen such marks before in his line of work, and they usually came in pairs. Those who bore them had almost always been held prisoner at some point and struggled against their bonds. From the layered look of the scar, she’d done so for an extended period of time.

Thoughts tumbled over one another in a melee of suspicion, accusation, and speculation. She was French. Had she fled incarceration in France and settled in England to escape justice? Was Trouvère really her name? What was a woman with scars like that doing running a school?

She has suffered. The thought evoked a queer sensation of heaviness inside him, as if a weight had settled on his chest. Whatever the origin of that scar, she’d endured great pain in the making of it.

Who put it there? He longed to ask, but the way she snatched her hands back and drew them down out of sight behind her desk made him suspect she wouldn’t want to discuss it. One after another, questions popped up in his mind like mushrooms after arain.

Who is she, really?

REVIEW: There are so many authors out there that I’m trying to get to and if you’re like me, you’re always getting sidetracked because all of my favorite authors keep me busy by writing new books. Well, this author has been on my radar for a very long time and I’m so glad to have found the time to “squeeze” her in.

This is the second book in Once Wicked series (and my first read of the author and the series, but I found it could be read as a stand alone) and the title says it all. These are the stories of people that once-a-upon a time were wicked and now are trying to rectify that.

I don’t know where to start in praising this story. I loved everything about it, from the pace to dialogue; from a plot that kept me glued to the story, to the setting of Georgian era, but it’s the complex characters of our hero and heroine that touched my heart which made this story soar.

Both characters carried deep scars and wounds, visible and invisible, that at times I found myself tearing up. Following their story and watching them grow stronger in their love despite the obstacles they faced was pure bliss.

If you’re a sucker, like myself, for a scared hero and heroine, this is a no brainer. You must read it. Just be warned. This will take you on an emotional roller-coaster!

Now, off I go to read the first book in this series…..

Series Order:
Book #1 To Love a Libertine
Book #2 Once a Courtesan

Melanie for b2b

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llAUTHOR BIO: Liana loves to weave incendiary tales that capture the heart and the imagination, taking the reader out of the now and into another world. The glory and splendor of the 18th Century provides a lush, glittering backdrop for her fairy tale romances. It’s a time of sensuous lovers, passionate music, lavish royal courts and deadly intrigues.

Liana lives in Texas with her own dashing hero of nearly twenty years, their delightful progeny, one spoiled-rotten feline overlord, and several tanks of tropical fish. She’s been devouring historical romances since her early teens and is now delighted to be writing them for fellow enthusiasts.

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‘Wild Lavender’ by Lynne Connolly

wl lcSTORY: A riotous passion and a forbidden love jeopardize the future of the Emperors of London . . .

Ravishingly beautiful and accomplished, Helena has her pick of suitable bachelors—and because she is the only daughter of a powerful duke, her mother is determined she makes a good marriage. But Helena won’t marry any of them, because she is in love with the son of her family’s most dangerous enemy. Though she has now been rebuffed by her beloved, she is resolved to win him back—no matter the cost.

Tom’s forbidden love for Helena has only intensified over the years of their separation. But the discovery of his true roots has changed everything. His secret spells danger for his family and everyone he loves. Devoted to Helena, he will sacrifice anything—even his one great love—to keep her safe. And soon, caught between warring factions and hounded by a deadly assassin, the couple will be swept back together in a fight for their lives, and their destiny….

REVIEW: This is book seven in Lynne Connolly’s The Emperors of London series, and my third read of that series. This story of happily ever after of Helena and Tom I liked the best of the three I read.

As a huge fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, I was pleasantly surprised to encounter historical figures (Hello Bonnie Prince Charlie!) of Georgian era as well as wonderful fictional characters such as Tom and Helena. Their love for each other shone through from the pages and I was vested in their happily ever after.

If you’re willing to leave your Regency world for just a wee bit and venture into this world of sixteenth century, I promise you’ll love it all, from the Georgian setting, to our great hero and wonderful heroine.

Listen, if you’re a sucker for a Forbidden Love trope, you can’t miss this one!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘A License to Wed’ by Diana Quincy

altw dqSTORY: Lady Elinor Dunsmore made the mistake of falling for her older brother’s best friend, who vanished after a night of unbridled passion. Six years and a lifetime later, their eyes meet across a Paris salon. Her friends and family believe she’s dead, but Elle is very much alive. She’s now associated with a ruthless general, who wants her to seduce the man who broke her heart in order to learn his deepest secrets. Is Will a mild-mannered scholar—or the notorious agent they call The Razor?

The bastard son of an earl and an actress, Will Naismith always knew he was an unsuitable match for Elle Dunsmore, no matter how powerfully he ached for her. And yet he almost allowed his desires to spoil her glittering future. After the agony caused by Elle’s supposed death, Will has devoted himself to the Crown, but his entire life has been leading up to this unexpected reunion. As much as he still wants her, though, he must not succumb to lust once again. For his mission is delicate—and Elle is delectably dangerous.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

REVIEW: England – 1796

Lady Elinor (Elle) Dunsmore is tipsy from drinking too much champagne at a party to celebrate her 18th birthday. Elle is the daughter of the Marquess of Aldridge of Langtry House. Her mother has passed away.

Will Naismith has been a friend to Elle for many years. He is also a friend of Elle’s brother, Cosmo. Will is the bastard son of an Earl and an actress who left Will with his father to raise and moved on with her life. He has always been in love with Elle and is sad to know she will soon leave for London for her first Season. Tonight, he too has been drinking some champagne while also trying to keep an eye on Elle. She is trying to entice him to slip off into the dark with her. When she drunkenly decides to jump in the pond for a swim, Will jumps in to rescue her. Elle tells him that she loves him as well and they make love.

Soon, Will hears that Elle has married a very wealthy French Comte and she subsequently died giving birth along with her baby. For five years he has mourned for her. But one day, he sees her in Paris. She is being escorted by General Gerard Durst, a member of Napoleon’s inner circle and she is reputed to be the man’s mistress. It appears that she is now a widow. When they meet again, Elle is shocked to see Will again. He claims that he is simply a numismatist and is in Paris to authenticate an ancient coin. But that is just a front he uses as he is an operative for England.

Elle soon learns that the child she bore, Susanna, is actually alive. General Durst claims that he has her child and will give her to Elle but first she must seduce an English operative known an Le Rasoir.

This is a great romance with a lot of suspense. I enjoyed the story and know other readers will enjoy it as well.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

‘When You Wish Upon a Duke’ by Isabella Bradford

wywuad ibSTORY:Raised in the Dorset countryside, Lady Charlotte Wylder doesn’t care one bit about well-bred decorum. The dark-haired, blue-eyed beauty would rather ride a horse than attend a stuffy ball. So when Charlotte learns that she is to leave immediately for London to wed the Duke of Marchbourne, a perfect model of aristocratic propriety, she is less than enchanted with her arranged marriage.

But to her delight, their first encounters are brazenly flirtatious, and their wedding night burns with passion. March’s broad shoulders and dark countenance make Charlotte want to rip every button off his waistcoast. She may even be falling in love with her new husband. Yet whenever their desire boils over, March reluctantly pushes Charlotte away. Will past secrets and present misunderstandings mire their marriage in scandal, or serve to strengthen a bond that is destined to last a lifetime?

REVIEW: This is my first time reading this author and try as I might, I just couldn’t get into this story. I felt that the story was too rushed and moved too fast with hardly any buildup to the romance.

I also thought the humor in it a bit forced, therefore not too funny, and in the end I couldn’t make up my mind if this story was trying for a comedy or a tragedy.

I will give the second book a try, but if I don’t like that one, I’ll probably not read the third book.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘When the Duchess Said Yes’ by Isabella Bradford

wtdsy ibSTORY: Notorious for her free-spirited antics, Lady Elizabeth Wylder revels in attention—but not the sort that leaves her humiliated when her future husband, the Duke of Hawkesworth, fails to appear for their much-anticipated first introduction.

So when a chance encounter leads to a sizzling kiss with a dangerously handsome stranger, she nearly succumbs. The shock of finally meeting her betrothed only to come face to face with her rakish would-be seducer inspires fury—and fans the flames of a fire that both Lizzie and the Duke acknowledge is a most agreeable way to start a marriage. In her husband’s arms, Lizzie knows she has found love. But is the passion that accompanies endless nights of erotic discovery enough to persuade a duke whose scandalous lineage and lifestyle prevent him from giving his heart completely?

REVIEW: This is the second book in Isabelle Bradford’s Wylder Sisters series and I was torn about it. While I liked some aspects of the story, especially the trope of “childhood betrothal”, I had a very hard time connecting to the main characters. I found them both immature and childish, therefore I stopped caring for them half way through their story.

After I read the first book in this series, and not wholly happy with that story, I thought to give this author another try and again, while some parts were humorous, others were tedious.

That said, you may like it! This is one of those books that you either like or just don’t care for.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Victoria Vane Book Blitz Tour of ‘Breton Wolfe’!

BrentonBOOK BLURB: She swore to defy him to her dying breath… But passion blurs the line between love and hate…

The bluest blood and the hardest heart… at least when it comes to marriage… The daughter of a duke and granddaughter of a king, Adele of Vannes was bartered at birth in a marriage treaty for the sole purpose of producing a royal heir. When her philandering husband is slain by Norse marauders, she is coerced to wed again in order to protect her home and her people. Adele knows that her beloved Brittany needs a strong hand to survive, but how can she ever reconcile her bitterness and hatred with the desire she feels for her mortal enemy?

She’s the jewel he seeks for his Breton crown…A Barbarian bent on building a dynasty, Valdrik Vargr, ‘the Norse Wolf,’ is renowned for both his bravery in battle and shrewdness in statecraft. Setting his sights on claiming the kingdom of Brittany, he knows that siring sons from royal blood would solidify his hold, but the woman he would claim as his queen refuses to have him. Will he fuel her hatred by taking her to his bed, or will the man who strikes terror in the hearts of men be reduced to wooing his bride?

(A De Wolfe Pack Kindle worlds novella)

BUY LINK: Amazon

EXCERPT:

Adèle spent the night on her knees in prayer, gaze cast heavenward in supplication. She hadn’t dared to bow her head and shut her eyes for fear that sleep would overtake her. She couldn’t afford to be caught aware when the marauders came. And they would come. That was a certainty. Rudalt had never returned from his ‘Norse” hunt. None of them had returned. They were dead. She felt it down to her bones.

She’d dispatched riders to Cournailles but he was days away. He would never arrive in time. Her home would be burned to ashes before help ever came. Perhaps she could buy them off? Did she have enough silver and jewels to pay tribute? Or would the Norsemen simply extract their payment in woman’s flesh and men’s blood?

Her throat thickened at the sudden remembrance of her wedding night. She had borne Rudalt’s ravaging for years; surely she could survive it again. And survival was all she dared hope for. The Norse would come with their battle axes and siege machines. The Bretons might keep them at bay for a few hours or maybe a day, but penetration of their walls was inevitable. She had no true defenses outside of a few dozen archers. In his arrogance, Rudalt had taken the best warriors, leaving her defenseless.

From her bedchamber window, Adèle cast her gaze eastward where the sun was rising, painting the landscape of rolling hills in soft shades of pink and gold. She stared off into the distance, chewing her lip and willing her nerves to settle. Last night she’d worn holes in her slippers and bitten her fingernails to the quick. She now accepted that her fate was out of her hands. She had no choice but to entrust herself to the merciful will of God. If death awaited her, she prayed it would be swift.

Moving shadows appeared on the horizon. A moment later they took shape as a solid line of men. Hundreds of mounted men. But rather than shrinking in terror, a strange peace settled over her. She was the daughter of Judicael, a great warrior and Duke of Brittany. Her great-grandfather was Erispoe, the first proclaimed King of the Bretons.

She would do as the father and grandfather had done before her—she would fight them to her dying breath.

***

VV Bio postcardAUTHOR BIO: Victoria Vane is a multiple award-winning romance novelist and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance.

Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website | Facebook | @AuthorVictoriaV | Pinterest | Goodreads