‘A Rogue’s Rescue’ by Donna Lea Simpson

arr dlsSTORY: Despite her vast wealth, Miss Ariadne Lambert, at the ripe old age of thirty-three, is a plain and aging spinster with little but a fading hope that a knight in shining armor will come to sweep her off her feet. Which makes her the perfect prey for the unscrupulous “Dapper” Dorsey, who would stop at nothing to seduce a needy and wealthy woman and then coldly fritter away her funds in the gaming halls of London. As Ariadne succumbs first to his wily charms and then to his kisses, will her need for affection rob her of her dignity—and her fortune?

Viscount Ingram, whose soiled reputation from one especially salacious incident has left him exiled to the sidelines of society, marks his time as a dark and brooding man, tolerated more for his title than his merit. But even he has his standards, and when he learns of a rival’s plot to seduce and then steal from a helpless spinster, he vows to stop him.

Ingram’s noble sentiments and uncharacteristic sincerity are in for a shock, however, as he discovers that the hopelessly gullible Ariadne is in fact a clever and shrewd woman who’s got more than a silly giggle up her sleeve. As the two team up in a devilish scheme to bring about the final undoing of Dorsey, cooperation turns to admiration and then attraction, and they discover that their last chance to repair their reputations may also be their first chance at finding true love.

* First published in the anthology, Untameable.

REVIEW: This little novella [a bit over 80 pages long] was so much fun, I beg you to read it!

I loved the plot and the fast pace, but I adored the heroine and the hero equally. It’s refreshing to read about a coupe that’s a bit older, and our heroine was thirty-three, which definitely made her a spinster.

I loved the fact that both were not the “dead-gorgeous” sort and that both had a wonderful sense of humor. It was such a pleasure to read a story that depicted a romance of two people that were “grown-up”! Despite this being set in regency era, the characters were so well drawn out, that they felt very real.

Highly recommending this little gem!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘An Improper Proposition’ by Amy Rose Bennett

aip arbSTORY: Widowed countess Lady Bianca Wells secretly lusts after her much younger, rakishly handsome footman Harry Blake. Even though he has been in her employ for six months, she has not succumbed to her indecorous urges to take him as a lover…until one wicked night at an isolated country inn when she throws caution to the wind and offers Blake a wholly improper proposition.

Harry Blake, the bastard son of a duke and governess, is the epitome of the perfect footman, except for one thing—he fantasizes about seducing his beautiful mistress. When Lady Wells proposes that they become lovers for one night only, he is torn. Even though he wants her with every fiber of his being, he suspects that forbidden fruit once tasted, can be awfully addictive. He wonders if one night of passion will be enough, for either of them—especially now that he realizes he might very well be falling in love with his bella Bianca.

But when all is said and done, Blake can hardly refuse such a tempting proposition, no matter how unwise or improper. He just prays that he can put a smile on his mistress’s beautiful face…

REVIEW: Lincolnshire England – 1818

Bianca, The Dowager Countess of Wells, has just fought off an attacker with the help of her footman, Harry Blake. She is spending the night at an Inn as she is traveling back home after staying for some time with her friend, Lady Jameson. Blake is very solicitous of her as he helps her to her room. An extremely attractive young man, Bianca knows she should send him on to his own room. But instead, he stays to stoke the fire in her room and accepts a glass of sherry from Bianca.

It has been three years since Bianca’s husband, Algernon, passed away and she is realizing that she is in need of intimacy with a man. The very nearness of Blake has her panting for him so she poses an improper proposition to him. While he desires her, he realizes that he is just a footman even though he is the bastard son of a duke and a governess.

After a night of the most incredible sex, Bianca is back home in London in the middle of the Season. She finds herself still attracted to Blake but tries to ignore it. Blake feels the same and has decided it might be best to seek employment elsewhere because he is truly falling in love with Bianca.

Is there any way there can be a future for them? Will society snub Bianca should be choose to be with Blake?

This is a short story that sizzles all the way through. If you like hot, steamy, and sexy, this is the book for you.

I liked both Bianca and Blake as they are portrayed as genuine people.

Complimentary copy provided by the author

Connie for b2b

‘Temptations of a Wallflower’ by Eva Leigh

toaw elSTORY: In society circles she’s known as the Watching Wallflower—shy, quiet, and certainly never scandalous. Yet beneath Lady Sarah Frampton’s demure façade hides the mind of The Lady of Dubious Quality, author of the most titillating erotic fiction the ton has ever seen. Sarah knows discovery would lead to her ruin, but marriage—to a vicar, no less—could help protect her from slander. An especially tempting option when the clergyman in question is the handsome, intriguing Jeremy Cleland.

Tasked with unmasking London’s most scandalous author by his powerful family, Jeremy has no idea that his beautiful, innocent bride is the very woman he seeks to destroy. His mission must remain a secret, even from the new wife who stirs his deepest longings. Yet when the truth comes to light, Sarah and Jeremy’s newfound love will be tested. Will Sarah’s secret identity tear them apart or will the temptations of his wallflower wife prove too wicked to resist?

REVIEW: London – 1816

Jeremy Cleland, age 28, is heading to stay at his family’s Mayfair mansion, Hutton House. A vicar for the parish of Rosemead, Jeremy is the third son of the Earl of Hutton whose main home is in Hertfordshire. Jeremy has been summoned by his father. A difficult man, Jeremy had been forced by the Earl to become a vicar and must always do as the man says or be threatened to lose any financial support from him. However, he is much loved by his mother who is very keen on finding a wife for him. His father and uncle, the Marquess of Allam, are waiting to talk to him.

The Earl and Marquess are very pious men and are outraged by The Lady of Dubious Quality, an author who has written an erotic novel entitled, “The Highwayman’s Seduction.” She has also written other quite erotic novels. As she writes under a pseudonym, the two men want Jeremy to find out who she is. They are intent on finding out the identity of the author so that they can keep their labels as moral leaders and can make this writer stop writing her lewd books. If Jeremy is successful, his father has promised to increase his money which will allow him to live better. With essentially no choice in the matter, Jeremy agrees.

Lady Sarah Frampton, age 23, is the daughter of the Duke of Wakefield. She is attending social events in town and is quite bored by them. She wishes only for quiet and solitude so she can write. Nicknamed the Watching Wallflower. she lacks for attention. She prefers simply to observe people. Secretly, she is also The Lady of Dubious Quality. Her true identity must never be known as the resulting scandal would be devastating. But she will continue to write because she loves it.

When Jeremy and Sarah meet and begin to see one another in society, they find they have a lot in common and are attracted to one another. Since Jeremy is just a vicar, Sarah’s mother feels he is beneath her and tries to discourage their relationship. But a clandestine meeting at a club where masked people have anonymous sex with one another throws them into a tailspin. Sarah has attended to see what the place is like and Jeremy has attended to see if he can find The Lady of Dubious Quality there. They dance together not knowing whom the other is. A kiss leads to her fleeing and Jeremy in search of her because he is sure she is the author he is seeking.

As their attraction leads to love and finally marriage, they couldn’t be happier. But how can Sarah keep her secret from Jeremy? Will the truth finally come out?

This is a very good book. It started out a bit slowly but my interest increased as the book went along.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Scandal Takes the Stage’ by Eva Leigh

stts elSTORY: Successful playwright Maggie Delamere has no interest in the flirtations of noblemen like Cameron, Viscount Marwood. She once paid dearly for a moment of weakness . . . and vows to rebuff the wildly persistent—and irritatingly handsome—scoundrel at every turn. But when pressure to deliver a new play hampers her creativity, an invitation to use his country estate as a writer’s retreat is too tempting to resist…

For years, Cam has admired Maggie’s brilliant work, and he can’t pass up the opportunity to discover if the beautiful, mysterious playwright is as passionate and clever as the words that flow from her quill. He’s never offered a lady his bed without being in it, but if it means loosening Maggie’s pen—and her inhibitions—he’ll do exactly that.

But soon Cam’s plans for seduction become a fight for Maggie’s heart. He’s more than the scandalous, carefree rake society believes him to be . . . and she’s the only woman who has ever noticed.

REVIEW: Eva Leigh continues her The Wicked Quills of London series with another heroine who is good with a quill. This one is a playwright and she is having a ‘writer’s block’, but have no fear. Our hero has been admiring this woman for some time  now, and he comes up with a solution to her problem.

I have to say that this story was a tad slower than the first book, but I did like the characterization of the hero. He was such a romantic and a lot of fun to follow around.

The heroine took a bit of getting to know and once I had a better picture of who she was I begun to warm up to her.

Together, they were an interesting couple, but the romance was driven mostly by our hero, which at times felt a bit awkward. Once the heroine gets on board, the chemistry was undeniable and the story is richer for it.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Forever Your Earl’ by Eva Leigh

fye elSTORY: Eleanor Hawke loves a good scandal. And readers of her successful gossip rag live for the exploits of her favorite subject: Daniel Balfour, the notorious Earl of Ashford. So when the earl himself marches into her office one day and invites her to experience his illicit pursuits firsthand, Eleanor is stunned. Gambling hells, phaeton races, masquerades…What more could a scandal writer want than a secret look into the life of this devilishly handsome rake?

Daniel has secrets and if The Hawk’s Eye gets wind of them, a man’s life could be at stake. And what better way to distract a gossip than by feeding her the scandal she desperately craves? But Daniel never expected the sharp mind and biting wit of the beautiful writer, and their desire for each other threatens even his best laid plans.

But when Eleanor learns the truth of his deception, Daniel will do anything to prove a romance between a commoner and an earl could really last forever.

REVIEW: This is a debut from a new author for me and a first book in her The Wicked Quills of London series in which we’ll be meeting three heroines who are all good with their quills.

We open the series with an owner of a prominent scandal sheet.

This was such a fun, F.U.N., read! From the opening scene to the last, you’ll be on a rollercoaster and you’ll not want to get off.

I loved everything about this story! The plot was as much intriguing as our heroine was about the life of our hero. And speaking of, what a man he was! To go to the lengths that he does in order to help a friend, is not just honorable but commending.

To follow these two as they’re trying to read each other and in the process fall in love, was a delight.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Compromising the Marquess’ by Wendy Soliman

ctm wsSTORY: England, 1814

Leah Elliot sells secrets to survive. Donning boy’s clothes, she uncovers society scandals for a London gossip rag to support herself and her sister, who were left destitute after their father’s death. When she meets the dashing—and perhaps dangerous—Hal Forster, the Marquess of Denby, she learns he may be involved in treason. The rumor is too valuable not to sell, despite her attraction to him…

Hal does have a secret, but he’s no traitor: he’s a spy embroiled in a mystery, seeking the man who killed his contact in France. He sees the alluring woman behind Leah’s disguise at once but is intrigued enough to play along…until he realizes that she’s the source of the rumors interfering with his investigation and forcing him into an unwanted betrothal.

Now, Hal and Leah must work together to draw out the culprit and undo the damage caused by Leah’s gossip. Or will their passion only cause more scandal?

REVIEW: This was a fun and fast pacing read that I liked a lot. I thought the heroine brave and smart, doing what she had in order to survive.

The hero was someone with courage and fortitude to see through who and what our heroine is and does.

Through out the book I just kept hearing the expression “needs must”, which totally applied to Leah. It’s the “necessity” that “compels” her to spy on the ton thus earning her keep, allowing her to survive.

It’s Hal who has to decide if she really had no choice but to do what she did and did the events compel her to do something she would much rather not.

If you like your romance sprinkled with a doze of mystery, this is sure to fill the bill.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Foxing the Geese: A Regency Romance’ by Janet Woods

ftg jwSTORY: She is a spinster with a secret fortune . . . He is an impoverished earl who must marry money or face ruin . . . Theirs is a love match to be reckoned with”

1812. Clever, strong-willed Vivienne Fox is unexpectedly endowed with riches beyond her wildest dreams when a remote cousin dies, leaving her his fortune. Unwed at twenty-four, Vivienne still hopes the right man is out there, but she despairs of ever finding him, and she is determined that rumours of her new-found wealth be quashed, lest she be courted for her purse rather than her heart.

Renowned rake Lord Alex LeSayres comes to an unpleasant decision after the death of his father. If he is to save their family lands, he must marry a wealthy woman and quickly. Introduced to Miss Fox, his interest is soon piqued. But he must set aside his rising feelings, or else his family will face disaster . . .

REVIEW: Kent England – 1812

Vivienne Fox, age 24, the eldest daughter of the Reverend Ambrose Fox, has become quite wealthy when a distant cousin dies and leaves her a sugar plantation worth a fortune. Never having enjoyed attention from society before, now she is in demand. Even though her windfall is not public knowledge and she wants to keep it that way, there is speculation that she is now a rich heiress.

Angered at this duplicity, she refuses to accept the invitations that start pouring in. In addition, Vivienne states that she does not wish to marry. But her father wants to see her wed and urges her to not make such a hasty decision. Therefore, she feels that if she must wed, she will be the one to choose and propose to the man. So, they depart for London where her uncle, John Howard, can advise her on investing her inheritance. In addition, she and her cousin. Adelaide, will be chaperoning one another for the season. Both women are vastly different in looks and personality.

Alex LeSayres is an Earl who needs to marry a wealthy woman. He is in dire need of money to cover his deceased father’s gambling debts and save the family estate. Therefore, he and his brother Dominic decide that Alex will head to London for the season in search of a wealthy bride to become the new Countess LeSayres. His requirements for a bride are numerous.

Alex and Vivienne knew each other as children. She used to hang around with the boys and one day, Alex threw her in a pigsty. After that, he kissed her and promised to marry her only to never see her again…until now during season.

When Alex and Vivienne see one another again, they enjoy each other’s company. While Vivienne continues to keep her inheritance a secret, there is gossip saying that she is, indeed, an heiress.

However, she has to put up with coarse insults from her cousin and aunt. This is difficult for her but she works hard to persevere. Some of the men she meets are quite crude in the way they approach her asking her to marry them to which she responds with a NO! When asked if she is an heiress, she denies it. Some of these men are desperate for a wealthy woman to marry and will stop at nothing to get her to marry them.

When she receives a summons from home that her father is ill, she leaves immediately only to be attacked by a man who wants her money and is trying to make her marry him. When Alex finds out that she has been injured and rushes to her side, he asks her to marry him, but she refuses. How long can she avoid her attraction to him and deny their love for one another?

This was a good story. There are lots of humorous and even scary events happening and I’m sure readers will enjoy the book. You will be fascinated with the desperate men after Vivienne and the antics of her cousin and aunt.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b