‘The Groom Says Yes’ by Cathy Maxwell

tgsy cmSTORY: He had a noose around his neck and a price on his head…

Sabrina Davidson, dutiful daughter, avowed spinster, thought she’d secured a place for herself in Aberfeldy society—until her hard-earned acceptance of her fate is challenged by the arrival of Cormac Enright, Earl of Ballin, trained physician, soldier of fortune, and convicted felon.

A prim and proper miss was the last thing he needed…

Mac is determined to clear his name, but first he has to find the man whose testimony sentenced him to a hangman’s noose. Of course, Robert Davidson is missing and protecting Mac is Davidson’s daughter, the most entrancing, frustrating, beguiling, stubborn woman Mac has ever met.

And it doesn’t help that he has already tasted her kisses. Or that he has found in her a passion for life and adventure to rival his own.

Mac has turned Sabrina’s world inside out—but what will happen when he leaves?

Or will the Groom Say Yes?

REVIEW: Edinburgh – September 1817

Sabrina Davidson is 29-years-old and considered to be a spinster.  She spent many years of her youth caring for her mother who passed away two years ago of a wasting disease.  She loved her mother dearly and was happy to care for her.  Now, she helps to care for her father assisting him with secretarial duties.  When she finds that the widow Bossley, a woman of loose morals, is going to wed her father, she is incensed.  Her father had vowed to never marry again.  To cool her anger, Sabrina takes a walk in the forest and discovers a man in a crofter’s cottage burning up with fever.  Determined to help him, she secrets him into her house to care for him.

Cormac Enright has managed to escape prison just before he is due to be hanged for a crime he did not commit.  He is also a physician and the earl of Ballin.  As Sabrina cares for him, she realizes that she will probably never marry and does not want to have her place in her home usurped by the widow Bossley. When Sabrina kisses Cormac, the contact leads to sudden passion.

Why was Cormac falsely accused and who was the person that murdered the person he was to be hanged for?

This is when I found the book to be a bit convoluted.  It seemed well-written at first but in wrapping up the story, the facts came out quickly and were rather confusing.  However, I did enjoy the first two books of The Brides of Wishmore series.

Connie for b2b

Spotlight on Amanda Scott and ‘Devil’s Moon’!

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Today we are spotlighting one of my favorite authors and asking her to tell us her Top 5 book to film/series adaptations.

I’m not a movie fan, so this one is hard, but I’m assuming that you’re asking what favorite books I have that have been made into great movies. I’ll give it a shot. 

1. Actually, the first movie that comes to mind is Into the Woods because I was utterly fascinated by the way all my favorite fairy tales were woven into the story.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird. I knew when the first scene of the movie opened which house belonged to Atticus Finch, and I thought the movie brought that so-excellent book alive.

3. American Sniper

4. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

5. And I loved all the Sean Connery James Bond movies

dm asSTORY: A Warrior’s Promise

The last place Sir David “Devil” Ormiston expected his moonlight chase of a horse thief to end was in a lady’s bedchamber. He is shocked to find that the raider he has pursued is no man, but a defiant beauty in disguise-and the woman he’s vowed to protect at all costs. Face to face with a girl Dev thought he knew, the ever confident, marriage-resistant knight may learn that he is defenseless against the desirable woman she has become.

A Lady’s Secret

Lady Robina Gledstanes will do anything to keep her family’s land out of the hands of her greedy kinsmen-except willingly submit to the handsome, cocksure Devil Ormiston. Dev’s help may be just as dangerous as the threats lurking outside her castle. But when enemies scheme to steal the castle’s treasure, Robina must risk losing something even more precious-her heart.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / BAM / B&N / IndieBound / GooglePlay / iTunes / Kobo

TEASER:

Prologue

Coklaw Castle, the Scottish Borders, July 1403

The night was black. Not a star shone, and the damp, clinging mist was as cold as mid-November. The castle’s tall, square keep rose above its outer wall, although the two appeared as one solid density against the night sky.

Armed with a shovel and dirk, the thickset man known as Shetland Jamie felt his way to the crest of a low rise thirty yards southeast of the wall. He thanked God for the darkness and blessed the mist that hid him. He heard no sound from the wall walk above.

The siege laid by Henry Percy, the powerful English Earl of Northumberland, had been in effect for fifteen days, but his men had not attacked for a sennight, so the Scots inside the castle no longer feared an assault. Doubtless, the earl meant to starve them out.

Jamie had worried about his shovel making noise, but yesterday’s misery-making rain had softened the ground, so the rain had been good for something beyond easing the siege army’s stink. Moreover, the heavy mist had muffled the night bird’s call he’d heard a short while ago, so it would doubtless muffle any sounds he made.

Jamie had studied the rise from the day he’d first recognized the stunning opportunity that had presented itself to him. Now, following an image in his head of what he had seen earlier, he soon found the pile of rocks he’d left to mark his spot.

Cautiously resting his shovel on a shrub, he gently set down the crockery jar that held the most precious part of his burden, out of the way but where he could find it again.

Dawn remained distant, and the English tents and siege fires lay to the south, beyond the crest of a nearby hill. Northumberland’s tent was the finest, of course. The Percys were wealthier than God, and Shetland Jamie’s family was poorer than dust.

But God knew all and willed all, did He not?

Jamie believed that God had provided this chance and had willed the idea into his head. A wise man recognized opportunity when it came his way, and he knew that he’d have had to be blind not to see this one. The others had left him alone, guarding that fine tent for just a few minutes, but that had been enough.

It would mean hanging if they caught him, but if they didn’t, he’d be far better off than he was now. God had paved the way for him tonight, too, with the darkness and mist.

As he pictured numerous possibilities that the future might hold for him, he quietly shifted the pile of rocks out of his way. He would bury his treasure for the nonce and take good care that no one suspected what he’d done.

To continue reading more of Prologue & the entire Chapter 1, go here.

Amanda ScottAUTHOR BIO: Amanda Scott is the author of over 62 romance novels and the recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA Award.  She lives in Folsom, California, outside of Sacramento.

Amanda is a fourth-generation Californian, who was born and raised in Salinas and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in history from Mills College in Oakland. She did graduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, specializing in British History, before obtaining her Master’s in History from California State University at San Jose. She now lives with her husband and son in northern California.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook /Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest /

‘Devil’s Moon’ by Amanda Scott

dm asSTORY: A Warrior’s Promise

The last place Sir David “Devil” Ormiston expected his moonlight chase of a horse thief to end was in a lady’s bedchamber. He is shocked to find that the raider he has pursued is no man, but a defiant beauty in disguise—and the woman he’s vowed to protect at all costs. Face to face with a girl Dev thought he knew, the ever confident, marriage-resistant knight may learn that he is defenseless against the desirable woman she has become.

A Lady’s Secret

Lady Robina Gledstanes will do anything to keep her family’s land out of the hands of her greedy kinsmen—except willingly submit to the handsome, cocksure Devil Ormiston. Dev’s help may be just as dangerous as the threats lurking outside her castle. But when enemies scheme to steal the castle’s treasure, Robina must risk losing something even more precious—her heart.

REVIEW: With this second book, Paula Quinn continues her Border Nights series and once more takes me back in time of Scotland of long ago.

It’s worth repeating and reminding my bookworms that reading Ms. Scott’s stories are an adventure in itself. She never fails to have me immersed into her world so much so, that I’m having a hard time coming out of it. The reason behind it is her immaculate research of the world she creates for me and for my pleasure. And trust me. It is pure bliss to let myself go and for a few hours a day just be one of the clansmen.

My heart went out to our heroine, Lady Robina Gledstanes who had such strength, such courage after she had to step up and be the “Laird”, only until her younger brother can reach his majority, of her clan after the deaths of her parents and her twin brother. I can’t even imagine how hard this was for this young woman, especially for the time that she was living in.

The hero, Sir David “Devil” Ormiston, had been in a battle and his best friend saves his life and dies. That is something he feels guilty about and is having a hard time with, especially because that friend is none other than Lady Robina’s twin brother. He gave his word to his friend that he’ll protect the two and now he must do it no matter the cost to his heart.

I loved the way both of them had to adjust their opinion of each other as they slowly realize that no matter how long they’ve known each other, they never really “saw” one another for what they were.

As usual, the plotting is intriguing, the action rampant, and romance sensual and sweet.
This story is one shop-stop when it comes to romance, historical events and fiction. It’s all here and masterfully woven together, just like the tartan’s of old.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘A Duke to Die For’ by Amelia Grey

adtdf egSTORY: What is a roguish young nobleman supposed to do with a shockingly lovely young ward?

The Duke of Blakewell believes he’d better marry her off as soon as possible, before he gives in to temptation himself…

But Henrietta doesn’t want a husband— she wants her independence…

Sure that she carries a curse that killed her previous guardians, Henrietta just wants the duke to sign over her inheritance before something terrible befalls him…

In a moment of passion, they become scandalously entangled, and suddenly the duke must take Henrietta’s curse seriously, and she must take drastic measures to save the one man she could love…

REVIEW: This was a sweet novel of love at first sight. When Henrietta’s parents were killed in carriage accident, she was sent to live with several different guardians in succession as each guardian would die not long after she lived with them. Fearing that she was cursed, she did not want anything to happen to her latest guardian, The Duke of Blakewell to whom she was immediately attracted.

The Duke feels the attraction as well and although he feels she is too young for him, he cannot abide other men showing attention to Henrietta as she has her “Coming Out.”

The sexual friction between Henrietta and the Duke builds until…well…you must read the book and find out what happens. I think you will like the different characters that are woven into the story and, of course, the delicious ending.

Connie for b2b

Top 5 with Wendy LaCapra!

Lady Vice Blog Tour Banner

Hello Melanie, Connie, Leah and Bookworm2Bookworm readers! Thank you for inviting me to share my top 5 books to movie/series.

I had to think hard about my answers. I did not want to list a book-to-movie combination where I didn’t enjoy both. And somehow, for most of the recent books-to-movies, I’ve been acquainted with the story on one end and not the other. 50 Shades? Read the book, didn’t see the movie. Hunger Games? Saw the movies, didn’t read the books. Here’s the list I came up with:

jane-eyre-2011-movie-review-kiss

Jane Eyre, 2011
The cinematography was fantastic and the romance breathtaking. Truly, the movie did one of my favorite novels justice. And ooh, Michael Fassbender.

Pride and Prejudice, 1995

I dearly hope small-screen mini-series count, because this one brought Jane Austen to life like no other version. And then there is, of course, the invention of Colin Firth’s The Look.

moll fMoll Flanders, 1996
I probably never would have read Defoe’s classic Moll Flanders, but a professor assigned it as part of a class and it ended up becoming a favorite. Alex Kingston does a fantastic job of bringing the flawed and wonderful Moll to life. And Daniel Craig looks quite dashing in 18th century garb.

Practical Magic, 1998
The movie may be a bubble gum version of pmthe Alice Hoffman book, but I love the portrayal of sister-love between Sally & Gillian Owens. And Aidan Quinn? Le grand sigh. (I am sensing a pattern here…)

The Joy Luck Club, 1993
I’ve read Amy Tan’s book about 5 times and own the movie. I love this story linking mothers to daughters and beautifully rendering the threads that jlccontinue make patterns from one lifetime into the next. And, to continue my alternate theme, Andrew McCarthy cuts a fine figure in his small part.

Looking over my 5, I see another pattern—stories that have strong female friendships/ and or sisters. Even lonely Jane had Diana and Mary Rivers (who help her recover and turn out to be her cousins). Three strong, female friends form the basis of The Furies trilogy, and so I’m not surprised I’m drawn to strong friendships in movies and fiction.

I’d love to hear some book-to-movie favorites from bookworm2bookworm readers!

lv wlcBOOK BLURB: Not every lady plays by the rules.

Lady Lavinia Vaile knows what happens to a woman who puts her faith in society. For her, it was a disastrous marriage to a depraved man-one she threatened to shoot when she left him. Now Lavinia lives outside of society’s strict conventions, hosting private gambling parties. It’s only when her husband is shot dead that Lavinia finds herself in terrible danger…

A former judge in India’s high court, Maximilian Harrison will do anything he can to help Lavinia. In the darkest of times, he held on to thoughts of her and the love they once shared. Now he risks his own position in society―along with his ambitions―in order to clear her name. Yet as desire reignites between them, Lavinia remains caught up in secrets and shame. Her only salvation is to do the unthinkable…and trust in both Maximilian and love.

EXCERPT:

Max sounded urgent. He crouched and reached out. His touch was gentle and his hands were warm. Skin against skin. He must have removed his gloves. His palm’s heat warmed her chilled cheek.

He was real. This warm, vital man caressing her face was the reason she had survived the dark days of her marriage. Whenever the night had seemed frightening or endlessly lonely, she had lulled herself to sleep by silently repeating his name. She’d used him like a blanket, curling his image close and tucking herself into remnants of remembered love.

The memory caused another searing pain, and she pulled her legs into her chest.

“Hush, love, hush,” he whispered.

His breath tickled her face, contrasting the cool breeze blowing across the water.

Strange. Breathing was so much easier with him close. But everything was wrong. She was angry at him. Why?

Because he left me to find his fortune. Because he left me alone and vulnerable to men like Vaile. She waited for her anger to pulse to life. Instead her heart said, he is here now.

She made no move to push him back and may have even leaned toward him.

His lips touched—softly—against her forehead. He spoke, but she could not understand his words. He was saying something about protection and safety…

Yes, safety.

What an inviting thought.

How long had it been since love surrounded her? Since she had been warmed by place and family and home? After she had left Vaile, every letter she’d sent home had been returned to her as if home had never existed, as if she had never existed. But she’d been loved once, hadn’t she? Max was living proof.

She raised her eyes to his. Past and present, fantasy and reality, they all swirled together.

“Oh, Vinia.”

She parted her lips as he spoke the affectionate name she had not heard for an eternity. He brushed his mouth against hers. His kiss’s warmth was soothing and tender.

Yes, tenderness.

Need uncoiled in her belly, and her knotted shoulders miraculously loosened. She floated—soft and sentient.

Yes. Please. More.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N / iTunes / Kobo / All Romance

Wendy LaCapraAUTHOR BIO: Wendy LaCapra has been reading romance since she sneaked into the adult section at the library and discovered Victoria Holt & Jane Aiken Hodge.

From that point on, she dreamed of creating fictional worlds with as much richness, intrigue and passion as she found within those books. Her stories have placed in several contests, including the 2012 Golden Heart®. She lives in NYC with her husband and loves to hear from readers.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Goodreads

‘Drawn to Lord Ravenscar’ by Anne Herries

dtlr ahSTORY: Betrayed by Marriage

When her betrothed is brutally murdered Lucy Dawlish looks for comfort from the man who shares her grief – his brother, Paul Ravenscar. Virtuous Lucy has always been secretly drawn to this frosty lord, but is it too late to reveal where her heart truly lies?

Paul Ravenscar must marry and produce an heir for the sake of his estate, but there is only one woman he wants. To claim Lucy as his bride risks betraying his brother’s memory, but Paul might be unable to keep his feelings hidden….

REVIEW: Lucy Dawlish and her mother have just returned to their home in England after spending some time in Italy to help Lucy recover from the murder of her fiancé, Mark Ravenscar. The Ravenscar family estate borders her family’s estate and she has grown up with Mark and his brother, Paul.

Upon return to her home, she discovers that Lord Ravenscar, a widower, has taken ill and it is not known whether he will survive or not. Since Mark’s death, Lord Ravenscar has had sole responsibility for the estate. Captain Paul Ravenscar had been summoned by the Duke of Wellington to serve for some time in the war. While he felt guilty being gone, he felt it was his duty to his country to serve. However, now that he has learned that his father is ill, his has resigned his commission and has returned to Ravenscar to take up the reins of running the estate.

Secretly, Lucy has always loved Paul but never felt that he would ever return her love. So when Mark proposed to her, she accepted knowing she could never love him more than as a brother.

Lucy’s cousin, Judith, a wealthy young widow, comes to stay with her family. Just out of her mourning clothes, she has decided to spend some time in London and get on with her life. She and Lucy become close friends and enjoy attending soirees. Lucy is introduced to several men who show interest in her. Paul attends these events as well, but Lucy feels he is not truly interested in her when, in fact, Paul has always loved her.

When a jealous suitor of Judith’s kidnaps her just after announcing her engagement to another man, Lucy is beside herself with worry. However, Paul steps in to search for Judith. Will Judith be found unharmed? Will Lucy and Paul realize their mutual love for one another?

This was a sweet story with a nice plot and great characters. I look forward to reading more of Anne Herries’ novels.

Connie for b2b