‘How to Please a Lady’ by Jane Goodger

htpal jgSTORY: Run though they might, love will find them…

Lady Rose Dunford is shocked–and titillated–by the number of female visitors coming and going from her mysterious new neighbor’s Manhattan brownstone. Recently widowed by the death of her very sweet, but not very exciting husband, Rose finds it difficult to imagine just what the attraction could be.

And then she meets the bachelor in question. Not only is Charlie Avery dashing and outrageously good looking–she knows him! He is none other than the man who once helped her escape the dreary matchmaking plans of her father, the man she once dreamed she could love. Can Charlie’s presence next door be an accident? Or has he come to show her everything he has learned about…

REVIEW: New York

Rose Cartwright’s husband, Daniel, passed away a year ago leaving her childless. Her new neighbors tend to share what sounds like their quite vocal sexual relations. It appears that the neighbor is a bachelor with lady friends who visit him. He is the owner of the company C. A. Kitchen Tools. It turns out he is her former head groom and friend, Charlie Avery.

Before Rose married Daniel, she lived in England. Lady Rose Dunford enjoyed riding her mare, Moonrise. The daughter of the Earl of Chesterfield of Hallstead Manor, she has unwittingly attracted the Duke of Weston and is soon to marry him.

Charlie is the family’s groom and has been friends with Rose for many years. Although he is just a servant, he has always been in love with her. When he finds she is to marry the Duke, he decides to move to America.

At her engagement party to the Duke, Rose meets Daniel Cartwright, an American, who works with the U.S. Ambassador. He is quite charming to her and she fancies that he cares for her. When the Duke treats Rose disgustingly, she is determined that she cannot marry the man. In addition, she realizes how much Charlie cares about her and how much she will miss him.

But fate prevails and she runs away with Charlie to America thinking she will marry Daniel Cartwright. After a sea journey, they arrive in New York and Rose insists that they go their separate ways. Charlie is to work in a restaurant and Rose will take a cab to Daniel Cartwright’s home. But Rose is robbed of her money and tries to walk to Daniel’s home in the snow. Charlie is worried about her and learns that she is missing. He finds her and brings her to Daniel’s house where he nurses her through the night as the doctor has said she may likely die from the influenza she has contracted. But Rose survives and Charlie leaves her with Daniel and become a very successful and rich man.

As it happens, Rose and Daniel do marry but their marriage is never consummated. When Daniel dies several years later, ironically from the influenza, Rose meets Charlie again when he buys the house next door to her. Slowly, they pick up their friendship again which soon leads to an attraction neither of them can deny.

I loved this story. Jane Goodger’s books are really good and I am delighted when I see she has written a new one.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b


‘Behind a Lady’s Smile’ by Jane Goodger

bals jgSTORY: It’s one thing for a girl to lose her way, quite another to lose her heart…
Genny Hayes could charm a bear away from a pot of honey. But raised in the forests of Yosemite, she’s met precious few men to practice her smiles upon. Until a marvelously handsome photographer appears in her little corner of the wilderness and she convinces him to take her clear across the country and over the seas to England, where she has a titled grandmother and grandfather waiting to claim her.

On their whirlwind journey, she’ll have the chance to bedazzle and befuddle store clerks and train robbers, society matrons and big city reporters, maids and madams, but the one man she most wants to beguile seems determined to play the gentlemen and leave her untouched. Until love steps in and knocks them both head over heels…

REVIEW: I’ve read every book this author had written and she never fails to deliver on story, characterization and on the “feels”. And let me tell you something. The “feels” is where it’s at when I read romance, and especially this author. I’m frankly astonished that there’s very little buzz about her and her books. Seriously folks, if you’re a fan of Mary Balogh, Liz Carlyle or Grace Burrowes, then you just have to read Jane Goodger! She is that good!

In this story, the characterization is where it’s at and I loved this strong, sweet, funny and engaging heroine. I admired her courage and strength from the first moment I met her.

As for our hero, well, he sort of grew on me like he did on our heroine!

At first, I thought him selfish, but I quickly changed my mind and just let the story reveal him to me, layer by layer.

I found this story entertaining and lighthearted as I followed the adventure these two embarked on.

As usual, this author thoroughly entertained me with a slew of secondary characters that were as much fun as our duo.

If you’re like me and appreciate a story of a couple that builds their romance from a friendship, this is one story you must read.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Cover reveal for ‘Behind a Lady’s Smile’ by Jane Goodger!

Here is a cover for Jane Goodger’s newest book and first in her Lost Heiresses series. I hope you give this author a try. I just love her prose!

Ever since Jane was a young girl she adored everything Victorian, from houses to clothing to horse-drawn carriages. It was a pivotal time in history and one she loved to become immersed in. My Lords and Ladies Series is comprised of four loosely-tied books. You don’t have to read them in order, but if you do, you’ll recognize some old friends.

bals jgBOOK BLURB: It’s one thing for a girl to lose her way, quite another to lose her heart…
Genny Hayes could charm a bear away from a pot of honey. But raised in the forests of Yosemite, she’s met precious few men to practice her smiles upon. Until a marvelously handsome photographer appears in her little corner of the wilderness and she convinces him to take her clear across the country and over the seas to England, where she has a titled grandmother and grandfather waiting to claim her.

On their whirlwind journey, she’ll have the chance to bedazzle and befuddle store clerks and train robbers, society matrons and big city reporters, maids and madams, but the one man she most wants to beguile seems determined to play the gentlemen and leave her untouched. Until love steps in and knocks them both head over heels…

PRE-ORDER LINKS: Amazon / Barnes & Noble


His little shadow was back.

For two days, Mitch had noticed . . . someone. He wasn’t quite sure whether it was male or female, but that didn’t matter. Out here in the middle of nowhere, where a man could disappear and never be found, a man had to be careful. A man had to make certain his rifle was loaded, his canteen was filled, and he listened to his gut. And right about now, his gut was telling him whoever had been watching him for two days was up to no good.

“You wait here, Millie.” Mitch patted his mule and tied her to a scraggly white pine. If Millie really got in a mind to escape, the sapling wouldn’t do much to keep her in place, but he very much doubted Millie would get in the mind to do more than nibble on some grass.

Mitch was no stranger to the mountains of Yosemite.  He guessed he knew them better than most. He knew how to walk silently and he knew when to make a noise that might scare a grizzly away. That was one creature he wasn’t ashamed to admit he didn’t much care for. He’d seen the results of a bear attack and was quite certain he didn’t want to be on the receiving end of those razor-sharp claws. Other than grizzlies and men with guns, he wasn’t afraid of much else. A man who’d seen and done what he had learned not to be afraid.

Whoever was trailing him was high up, likely taking little peeks over the rocks that jutted out above him like crooked teeth. He climbed silently, his boots pressing into the thick cushion of pine needles, until he was pretty sure he was above his prey. He scanned the area, Winchester in hand, fully loaded and ready to fire. And then he saw a movement, a flash of hair.

“Well, damn,” he whispered, looking at the girl through his gun sight. At least he thought it must be a girl with that long, pale braid down her back. She was lying on her stomach, no doubt staring at Millie and wondering where the heck the man she’d been spying on had disappeared to. His eyes moved down, following the trail of her braid, until he reached the decidedly feminine curve of her backside. Definitely female.

jgAUTHOR BIO: I grew up in western Massachusetts and have lived most my adult life in New England. Thanks to my adventurous husband, I’ve also done brief stints in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Naples, Italy. Although I’ve written four contemporary romances under the name Jane Blackwood, my first love is historical romances set in Victorian times. I’ve written 13 of those with more on the way.
I have three kids, one in college, one a great drummer, and one an artist. I love the Red Sox and the New England Patriots. I work full time, have an editing business, and in my free time write like a fanatic.
Above the desk in my office is this sign: “And They All Lived Happily Ever After.” It may not be reality, but it’s real nice to think about…

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter

‘When a Lord Needs a Lady’ by Jane Goodger

walnal jgSTORY: Lord Graham Spencer needs a wife.

But not just any girl will do. She must have the money to save his dilapidated estate and desperate tenants. So when he meets a charming American lady’s maid on the beach at Brighton, the last thing he ought to do is kiss her.

Katherine Wright is hunting a titled husband.

Or at least her mother is. But Katherine can’t get the memory of a most inappropriate kiss out of her mind. The handsome stranger who took her in his arms in Brighton was only a valet, but even if she is an heiress, she’d rather spend her life with him than some stiff British aristocrat.

Can true love survive two false identities, two scheming mamas, and two lavish house parties where all is revealed? It can…

REVIEW: I say better late than never. Meaning, I just realized that I read this book last year and never reviewed it. Shame on me!

Anyways, after I read ‘The Spinster Bride’ [the next in this series to be published tomorrow, and which will be reviewed by both Connie and I], I was eager to link to my review and low and behold, I couldn’t find it. So, here we are. I offer my apologies to the publishing house and to the author for doing this one almost a year later. Now onward to my thoughts about this great story.

The blurb is well versed and you can get the gist of this story, but what you can’t get from it is the awesome way in which Jane Goodger develops her characters and a myriad of different situations she places them in. Watching them extract themselves from these situations was a thrill!

Another thing you’ll notice as you read this story, is the way the author ‘colors’ her characters, rather than using only ‘black or white’ pallet. Her characters have many shades of many colors which makes them more interesting and entertaining, and makes them more human as they go through their emotional growth.

For an author to write a story which engages many emotions on a part of a reader, means that she/he had done an outstanding job, and I say this is exactly what Jane Goodger has done to me with this story.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

My Historical Christmas recommends [part 2]

MC JG‘Merry Christmas’ by Jane Goodger

BOOK BLURB: A Christmas wedding to the Duke of Bellingham. Any other socialite in Newport, Rhode Island, would be overjoyed at the prospect, but Elizabeth Cummings finds her mother’s announcement as appealing as a prison sentence. Elizabeth has not the slightest desire to meet Randall Blackmore, let alone be bartered for an English title. Her heart belongs to another, and the duke’s prestige, arrogance, and rugged charm will make no difference to her plans of elopement.

Against his expectations and desires, Randall Blackmore has inherited a dukedom and a vast estate that only marriage to an heiress can save. Selling his title to the highest bidder is a wretched obligation, but to Randall’s surprise his intended bride is pretty, courageous, delightfully impertinent—and completely uninterested in becoming a Duchess. Yet suddenly, no other woman will do, and a marriage in name only will never be enough for a husband determined to win his wife in body, heart, and soul.

REVIEW: As promised, here’s my recommendation of Jane Goodger’s 1st book in her Christmas trilogy.

Elizabeth Cummings is an American heiress and in love with a man who, unbeknownst to her, wants her for her money.

The Duke Randall Blackmore is an aristocrat who needs to marry money and so he agrees to meet Elizabeth, whose mother wants nothing more than a duchy for her girl.

While Rand falls for her as soon as they meet, Elizabeth sees only a man who is settling for her money and is heartbroken to be forced into this farce of a marriage while her heart belongs to another.

Despite the predictability of the story, especially on the part of the heroine, I liked both characterization, and plot of this interesting little tale. Out of all three though, I liked this one the least, and that’s because of my feelings toward Elizabeth. Still, worth the read because it is the start of the series.

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OPC SS‘One Perfect Christmas’ by Stefanie Sloane

BOOK BLURB: In an enchanting eBook novella, cherished Regency romance author Stefanie Sloane presents an irresistible tale of fiery passion that burns deep on a cold winter’s night.
Although he’s never been prone to regret, the Honorable Lucas Cavanaugh cannot help but wish for a fresh start with Jane Merriweather.

After being jilted by her fiancé, Jane turns to her dear childhood friend, Lucas, for support—and unlocks the hidden emotion and smoldering desire simmering in the man’s troubled heart.

Frightened by his newfound feelings, Lucas flees to Scotland. But when the Christmas season brings them together again, one look at Jane is all that’s needed to reignite his yearning for the woman. Now Lucas must convince Jane that his intentions are as pure as the falling snow—and turn a dreary December into a joyous Yuletide affair.

REVIEW: I’m a huge Stefanie Sloan fan and have read every book she’s written so far. My attraction to her writing lies in her uncanny talent at always writing fun and entertaining dialogues.

She did it again in this short novella as I found myself laughing and chuckling all the way through this read.

Lucas and Jane were fun to follow around, but having all those entertaining animals around in their quaint little rural part of England, will have you dreaming of sugar plums and kissing bows.

If you’re a lover of a romance with the ‘Big Misunderstanding’ then you’ll love this story for sure. It has lots of humor and heart and plenty of supporting players to make it interesting and enjoying.

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TSBC EE‘The Scandal Before Christmas’ by Elizabeth Essex

BOOK BLURB: First in an exclusive four-part e-serial by New York Times bestselling

’Tis the season for a new holiday novella from acclaimed author Elizabeth Essex! Romance so good it’s scandalous…

Lieutenant Ian Worth needs a wife by Christmas, and he can’t afford to be choosy. He has to find her, woo her, and wed her before he goes back to sea – all within a matter of days.

Anne Lesley is a shy spinster with no prospects, and nothing and no one to recommend her but her own self. She accepts the lieutenant’s hasty offer only for the comfort and security it will bring. But when a midwinter storm snows her and Ian in, they both find they got much more than they bargained for – daughter, light, and a Christmas filled with honest to goodness true love…

REVIEW: I can’t believe that I never read this author before! This is why I enjoy these short little novellas around Christmas time. I get to ‘sample’ so many ‘new to me’ authors and then decide if I’ll read them or not. In case of Elisabeth Essex, I’m sure to read her work in years to come.

I liked our timid, shy and plain heroine Anne, and I looked forward to this butterfly emerging out of a cocoon of her own making.

And then there’s our hero Ian who may seem shallow at first, but was actually a very devoted man and the more you discover about him, the more you realize that he’s much more than what he appears to be.

I really enjoyed Anne and Ian’s romance and hope you will too.

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TCC MJP‘The Christmas Cuckoo’ by Mary Jo Putney

BOOK BLURB: Major Jack Howard, a weary veteran of the Peninsular Wars, has just returned to England and intends to return to an unwelcoming family home for Christmas. But when a pompous secretary gives him too many orders, Jack hops on the next stagecoach leaving London inn, not caring where it’s going. Too much whisky to stave off freezing leaves him sleeping it off in a different inn, and when an attractive young woman asks if he’s Jack Howard he happily goes home with her.

Despite vile weather, Meg Lambert drives to the local inn to collect her brother’s friend Jack Howard, but since she’s never met the man, she doesn’t realize that she’s brought home the wrong Jack Howard. Jack realizes her mistake when he awakes the next morning with an aching head—but he finds a warmth and welcome with Meg and her family that he’s yearned for all his life. He can’t bring himself to admit that he’s a cuckoo in her nest—but what will happen when Meg’s brother and the right Jack Howard turn up for Christmas???

REVIEW: If there ever was an author to ever get you in a Christmas mood, then Mary Jo Putney and this short story is IT!

I’m hoping if the title alone would be intriguing enough for you to want to read it and find out the meaning of the word ‘cuckoo’.

Everything in this story just sparkled, from the characterization of the main characters, to the plot and pace of the story.

If you like your romance to involve a mistaken identity, plenty of Christmas cheer and two people who are truly brought together by Serendipity, this story will have you laugh out loud and wishing upon that falling star for Jack of your own.

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MFC JA‘Mackenzie Family Christmas’ by Jennifer Ashley

BOOK BLURB: The Mackenzies gather for a clan Christmas and New Year’s in Scotland.

In the chaos of preparations for the celebration–the first of Hart and Eleanor’s married life–one of Ian’s Ming bowls gets broken, and the family scrambles to save the day.

Daniel busily runs a betting ring for everything from the time Eleanor’s baby will arrive to whether Mac’s former-pugilist valet can win a boxing match to who will be the first of the many guests to be caught under the mistletoe.

Ian begins a new obsession, and Beth fears the loss of one of his precious bowls has made him withdraw once more into his private world.

REVIEW: What a better way to bring the entire Mackenzie’s together in one spot then a Christmas?

That said, I must point out that if you’ve not read the earlier books in this series, you might be a bit lost and wonder who’s who in this book, but if you’ve read all the other books, you just have to have this one. It is a must read because you know you wanna know what happened to everyone you’ve come so close to know through the series.

For me, this book brought wonderful memories of each Mackenzie and it was like joining their clan for one last time.

My favorite was still Ian then Mac, Cameron and Hart. But what I loved the best was the intro into Inspector Fellowes’ book which will be coming out next.

If you love your Scotsmen tough and their women smart besides beautiful, then get ready for the Clan Mackenzie!

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TCB SB‘The Christmas Ball’ by Sherrill Bodine

BOOK BLURB: The perfect Christmas gift can be found under the mistletoe.

Outshone by a gregarious stepsister and overbearing stepmother, Lady Athena Cummins is used to fading into the shadows.

Beloved only by her youngest sister Persephone, Athena has accepted her destiny as a spinster. But Persephone has a different scheme in mind, and conspires to send Athena out for one night of fun at Lord Finchley’s masquerade Christmas Ball.

The masked beauty catches the Lord’s eye but, determined to avoid the wrath of her stepsister, Athena leads Lord Finchley on a wild chase to discover her true identity.


REVIEWHere’s another ‘new to me author’ that’s worth checking out, and you have that ability too now because it’s FREE!

Okay, who doesn’t love Cinderella’s story? Anyone?! Didn’t think so.

In this story, Cinderella is actually Athena who is helped by her half-sister Persephone by arranging for her to attend a masked ball where she falls in love.

Yes it’s predictable, yes we have the wicked step-mother and sister, but in all honesty, I kind of enjoyed this story despite of it.

If you’d like to find out how this tale develops and who helps our couple, you should read it. It’s FREE!

*Melanie for b2b

*Books provided by the publisher through NetGalley & purchased by me.

My Historical Christmas recommends [part 1]

ACW JG‘A Christmas Waltz’ by Jane Goodger

BOOK BLURB: To Lady Amelia Wellesley, it seems utterly romantic to surprise her dashing fiancé at his home in Texas so the two can marry by Christmas. But Amelia’s surprise goes awry when Carson Kitteridge calls off their wedding as soon as she arrives, leaving Amelia in disgrace. . .

With nowhere to turn, Amelia finds an unlikely savior in Carson’s brother, Dr. Boone Kitteridge. Boone offers to marry Amelia, sparing her the shame of returning to England unwed. But Boone isn’t just protecting Amelia’s honor; secretly, he finds her irresistible, and the thought of indulging his desire for her is too tempting to ignore. As Boone and Amelia forge a fragile bond, something goes terribly wrong–and it will take nothing less than a Christmas miracle for Amelia to discover who she is destined to love. . .

REVIEW: There are three books in this Christmas trilogy and last year I recommended ‘A Christmas Scandal’ which is book two, and today I’m recommending book three [tomorrow I’ll do book one, ‘Marry Christmas’].

For someone that’s always reading any series in order, I’ve no idea why I read this trilogy out-of-order. It really isn’t necessary for them to be read in order… however, maybe I should have. Because they would have flowed better time wise.

In any case, I’m here to let you know that this is a well written, plotted and executed sweet, sensual and very charming tale.

What I liked best about it is the dialogue and the fast pace of the story as well as strong characterization of hero and the heroine.

I adored Lady Amelia Wellesley who might seem flighty and naïve, but this woman was one strong female. For her to leave her native England and pursue the love of her life [an American Cowboy who proposed to her only because he wanted to bed her] all on her own takes guts.

Boone Kittredge is this small town’s doctor and her fiancé’s brother.  He’s also a total opposite of Carson, and Amelia is having a hard time coming to terms with the man she remembers from England, with the man that he is now, here in America.

Boone is a Beta hero all the way, and I just loved him to pieces. Once we get to know his background, we love him even more. This man has survived much abuse from his father, and it was something that made him into a somber and strong person. As well as someone who has always been there to pick up the pieces of his older brother leaves behind.

I also loved the secondary characters in this tale and was heartbroken at the life and hardships they lived through.

This is a story for every age and any time, not just Christmas.

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CR LBIW SK MJP PR‘Christmas Roses: Love Blooms in Winter’ by Mary Jo Putney,  Patricia RiceSusan King

BOOK BLURB: Love blooms in Winter…

Three rare, historical romance novellas by acclaimed writers Patricia Rice, Mary Jo Putney, and Susan King are collected together here for the first time in this exclusive eBook, Christmas Roses.

“The Snow Rose”, “The Black Beast of Belleterre”, and “The Kissing Bough” weave tales of the joy of unexpected Love, at a special time of year, Christmas – as only these talented writers can.

Discovery in the midst of a clash of clans, hidden desires from an unexpected suitor, and a love once lost and found combine for a truly romantic journey through history.

This tantalizing collection of historical romances also includes all-new introductions and recipes to add to the delight of the season.

REVIEW: This book was going to be a win-win for me because I’m new to only one of the authors in this anthology, Susan King and MJP and PR are my all time favorite authors and I’m in process of hunting down their back list for my Keeper shelf.

Plus, you can’t beat the free recipes that all of them are offering at the end of their stories: Oatmeal Brose, Potato Kale Soup, and Lamb’s Wool Punch may not grace my table this Christmas, but they sure were fun to read.

Here are my thoughts on their stories:

‘The Snow Rose’ by Susan King
Catriona MacDonald is determent to gain the rights from her uncle to her family’s estate and the only man that can help her is a Laird of an enemy clan, the Frasers.

The Laird isn’t much inclined to engage a MacDonald into a fight over a woman’s fancy, so he declines to aid her, but a warrior in his Hall feels that he might offer at least some help to a woman who’s left to fetch for herself in the middle of a winter storm.

My fellow reviewer Leah’s been the catalyst for me to start reading more Medieval romances, and this one’s very fast pacing and so heartwarming that will melt your heart, especially when you find out why Catriona chooses to live alone.

Kenneth was an Alpha male all the way, but still managed to be caring and smart; strong and loyal.

I’ve never been to Scotland but Ms. King did such a great job in describing the world of 16th Century in which Catriona lived in that I may as well have been there with her.

‘The Snow Rose’ will melt your heart!

‘The Black Beast of Belleterre’ by Mary Jo Putney
MJP does a ‘Beauty and the Beast’ so well in this short tale that you won’t even notice it’s a short story.

Lord Falconer is blessed with wealth and vast holdings, but not with good looks.

As a child he suffered an accident which left him disfigured, so he’s been hiding behind a hood. He long ago accepted his fate, and knew that he’d never feel the love of a woman or his child’s small hands around his neck.

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TCICAE EL‘The Cheer in Charming an Earl’ by Emma Locke


The second of five impoverished sisters, Miss Elinor Conley knows her dream of becoming a lady is farfetched. When an unmarried gentleman happens by her brother’s smithy, it is up to her to act quickly–and rashly–to secure his interest.

But Grantham Wendell, Earl Chelford, isn’t in the market for anything more than a new horseshoe. What’s a bachelor to do when an innocent miss turns up at his Christmas Eve bacchanalia? He ought to make her leave, but his Twelfth Night party just became more entertaining…

This is story 3.5 in The Naughty Girls Series. To start at the beginning, please see the full-length romance THE TROUBLE WITH BEING WICKED.

PLEASE NOTE! This short novella was first published in the romantic holiday anthology TIS THE SEASON.

REVIEW: I can’t believe that I have every book this author wrote, but never read any of them!

This is a short and quick read with an entertaining cast of characters, like our heroine, Miss Elinor Conley.

Our little miss is in a tizzy as she believes herself doomed to spinsterhood because her little village lacks the suitors, so she decides to convince Grantham, Earl Chelford, whom she just met at her brother’s smithy that they would suit. What could go wrong, right?

Both of these characters were very likable and extremely entertaining.

If you like your novellas with lots of humor, plenty of romance and witty dialogue, Ms. Locke is an author to deliver on all counts.

Now I really have to get to the other books as soon as possible.

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TID CM‘The Inconvenient Duchess’ by Christine Merrill

BOOK BLURB: “Dear Cici and Father,”

“I have come to Devon and married a duke. And I’m more tired and hungry than I have ever been in my life. Please let me come home.”

Compromised and wedded on the same day, Lady Miranda was fast finding married life not to her taste. A decaying manor and a secretive husband were hardly the stuff of girlish dreams. Yet every time she looked at dark, brooding Marcus Radwell, Duke of Haughleigh, she felt inexplicably compelled–and determined–to make their marriage real

REVIEW: I got this book for two reasons, one it was and still is FREE! And the second reason is it has my December theme of Christmas.

Everything in this story worked and meshed well, from our heroine Miranda, who was very ordinary and relatable character, to our hero Marcus who’s an honorable man with a gruff exterior.

Miranda and Marcus felt very real, and their love story and the plot were well-developed. I also liked the dialogue which was entertaining and helped move the story at a nice and steady pace.

Secondary character of St. John, the hero’s brother almost stole the story, that’s how well-developed he was.

I highly recommend it if you like a traditional Regency. The story is highly entertaining, intriguing and its complex characters.

This is a new author to me this year, and I’m sure to read her again. Please feel FREE to download it today!


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THATT RW‘The Holly and the Thistle’ by Regan Walker

BOOK BLURB: A chance meeting at Berry’s wine shop, a misunderstanding and Christmastide all come together to allow the most handsome Scot in London to give Lady Emily Picton the best Christmas gift she’s ever had: a marriage not of convenience, but one of love.

This follows to some extent the first in the Agents of the Crown trilogy, Racing With The Wind, but can be read alone.

REVIEW: Here’s another author that just keeps slipping by me. I have a couple of her books on my Kindle, and I really have to find the time to read her, especially after I read this novella.

From what I could glimpse from this short story, I can tell you that this author does know her craft well and her characters are well drawn, three-dimensional; her plots well-developed and pace fast-moving.

If you like a romance that starts with a mistaken identity, this one is it. The scene in which our hero meets the heroine is priceless, and very well written.

William’s pursuit of Emily is so much more than just entertaining. It’s downright awesome! It really is a must read.

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MAM KR‘Mistletoe and Magic’ by Katie Rose

BOOK BLURB: In Katie Rose’s delightful eBook original novella set in Victorian New York City, a remarkable woman with the gift of second sight must learn to trust her visions while following her heart.
Blond, angelic Penelope Appleton possesses breathtaking looks—and a troublesome secret. She and her two charming—and newly married—sisters have inspired quite a following posing as spiritualists. However, unlike her clever sisters, Penelope actually does glimpse the future. On the eve of her coming out at a Christmas ball, Penelope sees a vision of a rakishly handsome dark-haired man who she knows is her destiny. But her premonition comes with a terrible price: She also foretells his death.

Jared Marton takes one look at Penelope and his fate is sealed. He must possess her, heart and soul, even if his efforts to get close to this ethereal beauty are thwarted by her determination to deny the magic between them . . . until a perfect kiss dissolves all barriers to sweet surrender. But when Jared discovers the burden she carries, a perfect love is challenged by the cold winds of fate.

REVIEW: Well finally I leave Regency England and head to Victorian New York!

When I read this short novella, I wasn’t aware that it was a third book in the Appleton Sister’s series, but fear not, this  story is written to stand on its own.

Our heroine Penelope is the youngest of the Appleton sisters and she has a ‘second sight’ which allows her to see the future, even her own.

And here is where this story gets intriguing. In order to stop a tragedy that she foresaw, she’s determined to stay away from the man she loves because she believes that she saw him die

I liked the characters and the suspenseful plot of this little gem and hope you give it a go.

*Melanie for b2b

*Books provided by the publisher through NetGalley & bought by me.

Time for some old Christmas reads…

Merry Christmas to all

Can you believe it?! December is here! That means whatever I’m reading that’s not a Christmas story, it needs to be abandoned for everything that is Christmas story.

Before I get to them though, I’d like to thank you all for making our second anniversary a huge success.To all the authors that have participated and to those that have been busy in their ‘writing caves’ and couldn’t stop by this year [and who I’ll certainly accost next year], I want to send my heartfelt thanks. You are a bunch of unbelievably generous people that make me appreciate and love your work and you that much more.

My thanks go to all of my new and old subscribers who’ve faithfully followed and made comments [and made my days so much fun just by reading them all], I send my big, huge, humongous Serbian hug and a kiss! Without you, there wouldn’t be bookworm2bookworm. Period.

I also want to thank you all, authors and readers alike, for your patience with me on the contests that ran with every post [thirty-five in total for the month of November], as I procrastinated ’till the very last. I promise that by the end of this weekend many of you will be pleasantly surprised to find your names on our Contest page, and by the end of next weekend, we will have the Grand Prize announced and given away!

This month I’d like to dedicate to Christmas stories and will be recommending some that I’ve read before as well as some newly published. I hope you’ll stop by and join me in the coming weeks to find out which one’s I’m recommending and maybe recommend some of your own… I love this time of year and there’s nothing better than finding that perfect Christmas story that touches your heart, makes you sigh and cry…

Let me start with one of my all time favorites, and that is a story from Anne Gracie from an anthology I read a couple of years ago, Gifts of the Season. If you asked me about the other two stories in that book, I would have to probably think a bit to recollect them, but if you asked me about Anne’s, I’d tell you that I just cried and cried and smiled and smiled, that’s how much I loved the story and highly recommend you pick it up.

Gifts of the Season Anthology 

BOOK BLURB: The Virtuous Widow by Anne Gracie

Ellie was afraid she had no future. Left to her own devices now that her husband had passed away, she worried for her daughter’s welfare as well as her own. But her world changed when a stranger landed on her doorstep.

A Gift Most Rare by Miranda Jarrett 

Sara had never thought to see her precious Rev ever again. Yet here he was, come to stay for the holidays in the very home where she was a governess…and bringing up the painful memories of their shared past.

Christmas Charade by Lyn Stone

Beth didn’t want a husband. But when she agreed to marry handsome Jack as part of a scheme, she didn’t expect to be playing with her heart.

My next two recommends are from Mary Balogh. She never fails to give me one of the most touching Christmas stories and here are the two I think you’ll love.

ACP MBA Christmas Promise

BOOK BLURB: A love that cannot be bought or sold proves to be the greatest gift of all, in this heartwarming classic that demonstrates once again why New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh is among the most celebrated authors of historical romance.

Weddings are supposed to be joyous occasions—especially when a couple seems as well matched as Randolph Pierce, Earl of Falloden, and his bride-to-be, Eleanor Transome. Ellie brings to the marriage a vast dowry, while Falloden, though distant, is handsome, tremendously desirable, and possessed of a title most young ladies can only dream of sharing.

Yet Ellie is not most young ladies. She knows that she must honor her dear father’s dying wish for her to wed the proud earl, but she dreads a lifetime in a union without love—and how can Falloden claim to love her when he married her only for her fortune? As Christmas descends upon the Falloden manor, the warmth of the season may yet melt away the trappings of duty and wealth, leaving behind only a man and a woman destined for each other’s arms.

UTM MBUnder the Mistletoe Collection

BOOK BLURB: In this collection of five Christmas-themed stories, beloved author Mary Balogh brings together tales of love, marriage, friendship, loneliness, and healing.

Includes four Balogh holiday classics, The Star of BethlehemThe Best GiftPlaying House, and No Room At the Inn, as well as A Family Christmas, which is only available in this anthology.

A Christmas Scandal by Jane Goodger

ACS JGBOOK BLURB: In her latest romance, Jane Goodger weaves an unforgettable tale of a woman who thinks she’s lost everything–until a little Christmas magic reunites her with the one man she could never forget. . .

Dashing, debonair, and completely irresistible, Edward Hollings has all of Newport buzzing–and to Maggie Pierce’s surprise, she alone has caught his eye. But when the handsome earl returns to England without proposing, a devastated Maggie knows she must forget him. Life only gets worse for Maggie, as all her dreams of happiness and love come crashing down around her. When Maggie receives an invitation to go to England for the Christmas birth of her dear friend’s baby, she accepts–vowing to keep her devastating lies and shameful secrets from the one man she has ever loved.

Edward vowed he’d never marry, but he came dangerously close with Maggie. She’s beautiful, witty, indescribably desirable–and Edward can’t forget her. When Maggie visits mutual friends for Christmas, Edward can’t stay away. In fact, he finds himself more attracted to her than ever–a desire fueled even more by Maggie’s repeated snubs. With the love he never thought he’d find slipping away, Edward is determined to make Maggie his own, no matter what the cost. . .

The Present by Johanna Lindsey

TP JLBOOK BLURB: As the entire Malory family gathers at Haverston to celebrate the season, a mysterious present arrives anonymously. The gift is an old journal — a tender and tempestuous account of the love affair between the second Marquis, Christopher Malory, and a dark gypsy beauty named Anastasia, who seeks a love match with a non-gypsy in order to save herself from a prearranged marriage to a brute.

Though the dashing English lord Anastasia sets her sight upon burns for the exquisite, exotic miss, Christopher could never consent to wed such a lowborn lady. But miracles have been known to happen in this season of peace and giving and love, as two extraordinary people separated by circumstance of birth begin a passionate dance of will and wiles.

And in the miraculous blossoming of a glorious romance at a long ago Christmastime, there are wise and well-learned lessons that will enrich the hearts of the Malory descendants — and, indeed, of everyone who has ever dreamed.

Forbidden Magic by Jo Beverly

FM JBBOOK BLURB: Left penniless after her parents’ death, Meg Gillingham was in dire straits. Her cruel landlord threatened to turn her and her siblings out of their home by the New Year—unless she surrendered her sister to his lecherous whims. Only a miracle could save her: a magic statue that granted wishes—for a price.

Meg never expected the statue to bring her a marriage proposal, especially from the handsome Earl of Saxonhurst, who needed a bride to keep his fortune. Her heart raced wildly, for she was held spellbound by her desire for this man. But a villain was determined to destroy their union with mistrust, and see them dead. Now Meg had to put her faith in a more powerful magic—the magic of love.

A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas

AWC LKBOOK BLURB: Rafe Bowman has just arrived from America for his arranged meeting with Natalie, the very proper and beautiful daughter of Lady and Lord Blandford. His chiseled good looks and imposing physique are sure to impress the lady-in-waiting, and if it weren’t for his shocking American ways and wild reputation, her hand would already be guaranteed. Before the courtship can begin, Rafe realizes he must learn the rules of London society. But when four former Wallflowers try their hand at matchmaking, no one knows what will happen…

Winning a bride turns out to be more complicated than Rafe Bowman anticipated, especially for a man accustomed to getting anything he wants. However, Christmas works in the most unexpected ways, changing a cynic to a romantic…and inspiring passion in the most timid of hearts.

That’s just a handful of books that I really enjoyed in the past and I hope you’d give them a try, unless you already read them, in which case I would love to know what you thought of them. I usually look for short Christmas stories, often found in Anthologies  at this time of the year. They are the best because they give me the feel for the authors that I haven’t read before.

Speaking of, do you like Anthologies and why? If you have any good Christmas recommendations for me please let me know. This month should be fun as we talk Christmas books…and giveaway a few of those…