‘All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue’ by Sophie Jordan

atwtrar sjSTORY: There was once a lady who loathed a lord…

Lady Aurelia hasn’t always hated Max, Viscount Camden, her brother’s best friend. In fact, as a besotted girl, she thrived under his kind attention – sure that he was the most noble and handsome man in the land. Until her young heart discovered what manner of rogue he really was. Now, though she enjoys nothing more than getting on his last nerve, she can’t deny Max drives her to distraction—even if she tries to pretend otherwise.

…and a lord who was confounded by a lady.

Max cannot recall a time when Aurelia did not vex him. If she was not his friend’s sister, he would stay far away from the infuriating vixen. Unfortunately, they are always thrown together. At parties and family gatherings…she is always there. Infuriating him, tossing punch in his face, driving him mad…until one night, she goes too far and he retaliates in the only way he can: with a kiss that changes everything.

REVIEW: Lady Aurelia has always had a crush on her older brother Will’s, friend, Max Chandler, the fourth Viscount of Camden. Max would often visit their home when Will and Max were off from school. However, at age eight, Aurelia’s fantasy is ruined when she sees Max tup a maid. She is angry, disillusioned and takes her frustrations out in her usual way – by drawing a caricature. This one is of Max with a tiny penis and titles it “Cockless Camden.” The problem is that her private sketchpad is found by some of Camden’s friends. He is laughed at and retains the moniker for years. Although Aurelia regrets her action, she remains angry with Max.

As the years pass, Aurelia continues to vex Max and the two of them can hardly stand to be in the same room together. While Aurelia has no real prospects for marrying, she is close to becoming a spinster and Max is a man who has no desire to ever marry. But when their disdain for one another suddenly catches fire and turns to passion, they’re both taken aback.

Aurelia is a good artist and enjoys leaving her caricatures of people in public places. Max, on the other hand, is afraid that she is going to get caught some day and be terribly embarrassed This is a cute story about two stubborn people. The fact that they care enough to irritate each other shows me there is attraction between them.

I have enjoyed Sophie Jordan’s books and the signature humor she adds is the icing on the cake. It’s always great when a book makes me laugh out loud. I hope others will read this story too.

Connie for b2b

‘In the Spinster’s Bed’ by Sally MacKenzie

itsb smkSTORY: At Spinster House, a woman can enjoy the spoils of single life—or find the love of a lifetime…

It has been twenty years since Lord William Wattles laid eyes on Annabelle Frost. Still, he remembers everything—her ethereal beauty, her bookish intelligence, her surprisingly modern attitudes about love…and lust. But Belle’s allegedly wanton behavior led her father to send her away to save the family’s reputation. Now she resides at Spinster House in the village of Loves Bridge, where an unmarried lady can live—and in Belle’s case, support herself as a librarian—in peace…

Beautiful, passionate Belle—sworn off marriage? William can’t believe the woman he once knew could end up like this. But when the hands of fate bring him to Loves Bridge, his long-lost love might just end up back in his arms. Is their unwavering desire worth the sweeping scandal that is sure to follow them both? Absolutely.

REVIEW: Miss Belle Frost, age 37, lives in Loves Bridge and work as the town’s librarian. She goes by the name of Miss Annabelle Franklin. The daughter of a vicar, she was thrown out of the house when it became known that she was pregnant. She and William Wattles had become lovers and when she realized she was pregnant, she did not want to tell William because she was only a vicar’s daughter. So, she kept her secret from him. Thus, she traveled to Loves Bridge to live the quiet life of a spinster under an assumed name. It has been 20 years and she is known as the Spinster House spinster. As it happens, the town has a home where a spinster can stay for life for until she marries. So, she has had a peaceful life alone and has adopted a cat.

Lord William Wattles, age 38, is the third son of a peer of the realm. His two older brothers, Albert and Oliver are married but their wives have produced only daughters. When William was younger, his father realized that he did not appear to be cut out for big things so he bought William his colors and he entered the Army. Now years later, William has married Hortense, a daughter of an Earl. Unfortunately, it turns out that Hortense is a woman hooked on partying, spirits and cocaine. Her wantonness is such an embarrassment to William that he has decided to leave town for awhile hoping gossip about his wife will soon die down. He chooses the town of Loves Bridge.

When William meets Belle, he immediately recognizes her but she tries to convince him that he is mistaken. But William knows who she is and remembers their past. When he comes to her house, their old attraction takes over. But, William is called away when his wife overdoses and dies. William returns to Loves Bridge but is called away again when his father dies.

Belle does not want to tell William about the past and her pregnancy but she fears she as become pregnant again. She feels she cannot tell him because she is still just a vicar’s daughter and he needs to marry a younger woman of higher breeding and produce an heir.

What will happen to their love and passion? Is it strong enough to keep them together?

This was a nice novella about love that remains true for a long time.

Connie for b2b

‘The Earl’s New Bride’ by Frances Fowlkes

tenb ffSTORY: England, 1819

The Earl of Amhurst has returned to his estate in search of a wife and, more importantly, an heir. Simon Devere isn’t interested in some comely, simpering creature. A beautiful woman only brings heartbreak and ruin, and Simon’s disfigured visage is proof enough of that. No, he wants a wife who is unattractive and undesirable—and the homelier, the better.

But nothing about Lady Henrietta Beauchamp is homely. She is lovely and sweet…and struggles to mix with polite society when she would so much rather have plants for company. And yet Simon is her only hope for keeping Plumburn Castle in her family’s possession. Even if it means marrying a man she doesn’t love.

It’s an impossible and unlikely match…unless this awkward beauty can bring hope back into a solitary beast’s life.

REVIEW: 1819 – Kent England

Lady Henrietta Beauchamp is the oldest of three daughters.  She and her twin sisters, Sarah and Albina, are all lovely young ladies seeking to marry.  When their father passed away, he left a substantial dowry for the sisters.  Henrietta is a very shy young woman who tends to stutter when she is nervous, but she is quite knowledgeable about herbs and has an extensive herb garden.  This has always been a passion for her and she makes teas and salves for medicinal purposes to help her friends and family as needed.

A distant cousin, has succeeded to the title and will now live in what was their home, Plumburn.  They have lived in another home called Roseherst.  Simon DeVere, the Earl of Amhurst, has arrived to take over his new home.  At the same time, he will be looking for a bride.  Thus, he has arranged in advance that the Beauchamp sisters and several other young ladies will be invited to stay for awhile for him to get to know and, hopefully, select a bride from them.  Simon is also known as the Black Earl for he is rumored to have killed his lover to avoid marrying her.  In addition, his face is scarred and he wears a patch over his scarred and blinded eye.

When Simon arrives at Plumburn, the young ladies are all awaiting for him.  Unfortunately, Henrietta is so nervous that she knocks a vase of flowers over herself and soaks her gown.  Well, that certainly got Simon’s attention.  As the house party continues, Simon becomes acquainted with the young ladies but is attracted to Henrietta.  She finds him wandering the house late one evening suffering from pain from his scarred face and she gives him an herb to chew and fixes him a cup of healing tea.  When it soothes his pain, he is very grateful to her.

Unfortunately when several of the young ladies become ill for some unknown reason, people begin to think they have been poisoned and the finger of suspicion points to Henrietta!

I enjoyed this novel and found the characters to be interesting but I felt they were not as well-developed as I would have liked.  However, it did not take away from the story.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Longing’ by Mary Balogh

l mbSTORY: Governess and mistress—he wanted her as both.…

The illegitimate daughter of an English lord, Sian Jones abandoned her heritage to live in a stalwart coal mining community in South Wales. Empowered by their cause, she’s engaged to be married to the leader of a revolutionary movement that is bracing itself against the tyranny of English mine owners. But Sian’s principles are unexpectedly shaken when she accepts a job as governess under Alexander Hyatt, the mysterious Marquess of Craille, the oppressive symbol of everything she has come to resist.

She never expected Alexander to upend all her expectations. He is sympathetic to her cause. He is a loving father. A man of wealth and position, he is fatally attractive. And he is offering his heart to the independent woman who has illuminated his life. Now, caught between two worlds, and between the promises and desires of two men, Sian must make a choice that will define her future—one that can only be made in the name of love.…

REVIEW: Sian Jones is a young widow who lives with her grandparents in a coal mining town in Wales.  Her husband died in a mine accident and she herself works underground at a very exhausting job.  Her mother had been the mistress of a wealthy English Lord who is also Sian’s biological father.  Being illegitimate, he never claimed her as his daughter.  However, as she was growing up, she had access to a very good education.

Alexander (Alex) Hyatt, Marquess of Craille, is a widower with a young daughter named Verity.  As the owner of the town’s coal mine, he feels that it is time for him to come to Wales and learn more about the mine and in running it.

Almost all of the citizens of the town work in the mine for wages that barely support them, but find their joy in their church and in singing.  So, when Alex is forced to vote with other mine owners to reduce the wages of the workers ten percent to make up for losses in the market, the hardship suffered by the workers is heavy and resentment against the owners continues to grow.

Alex needs a governess for his daughter and having met Sian out on the hills walking, he offers her the job.  After much hesitancy, she accepts and proves to be a wonderful teacher and Verity loves her so much.  Alex’s attraction to Sian grows and he wants nothing more than for her to stay at the castle and be his mistress and mother to Verity.

Sian loves Alex too but cannot accept his offer.  Even though Sian is the daughter of a Lord, she is still illegitimate and will not accept being a mistress as her mother had been.  In addition, the citizens of the town do not like Sian working for Alex.

This novel gives an in-depth history of Wales, the people and their deep love for their home and for each other.  We see what happens when the workers call for a strike against working in the mine and how they are pressured by a group of unknown men called the Scotch Cattle that pressured people via beatings to join the Chartists to push the government to give into some of their demands.

I enjoyed the story but I felt at times that it was a little long.  However, as the beloved author, Mary Balogh, was born in Wales, I think this book was written as a tribute to her roots and congratulate her on this magnificent saga.

Connie for b2b

‘The Rogue You Know’ by Shana Galen

RogueYouKnowSTORY: She’s beyond his reach…
Gideon Harrow has spent his life in London’s dark underworld-and he wants out. A thief and a con, he plans one last heist to finally win his freedom. But when everything goes wrong, he finds himself at the tender mercies of one of Society’s most untouchable women-Lady Susanna Derring.

…and out of her depth.
Susanna has spent her life in London’s glittering ton, under the thumb of a domineering mother-and she wants out. When a wickedly charming rogue lands at her feet, she jumps at the chance to experience life before it’s too late. But as she descends into London’s underworld, she finds that nothing- not even Gideon-is as it seems. As excitement turns to danger, Susanna must decide what price she’s willing to pay…for the love of a reformed thief.

REVIEW: This is the second book in Covent Garden Cubs series and it’s filled with much adventure, romance and danger as our heroine Susannah lands into underworld of London courtesy of our hero Gideon.

I loved these two to pieces! They were so incompatible at the beginning that I thought these two would never work together, but fool I!

Once more Shana Galen gifts us with wonderful characters and a vastly entertaining story. Watching our heroine grow from a naïve society miss into a strong woman was a pleasure.

As for the hero, Gideon is now among the one of my all time favorites heroes.

If you’re looking for a fun fast-paced adventure filled with plenty of humor, yet delightfully romantic, look no more! You have to pick this one up!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Top 5 Movies/Books/Series That Made Me Cry Ugly Tears by Shana Galen


For me, writing is very much an escape. I tend to enjoy writing stories that make me smile or laugh or get my heart pumping with excitement. But there can’t be a silver lining or a rainbow without a few clouds, and sometimes those dark moments can be emotional to write. In ‘The Rogue You Know’, Gideon is a thief from London’s worst slums. Susanna is the daughter of an earl who lives in luxury. Even though they fall in love, they know they have no future together. Writing the scene where Gideon has to say goodbye to Susanna had me crying and blubbering and shedding big, fat tears. I don’t always cry at my own books, but I have been known to cry at others’. If you’re looking for a tear-jerker, give these recommendations a try.

tdatlir lh1)       ‘The Duke and The Lady in Red’ by Lorraine Heath

Pretty much every Lorraine Heath book has me crying ugly tears, but this last one I read was the best (or should I say the worst?). I still get emotional thinking about it. Heath is wonderful at creating characters that are so real and vivid their tragedies become ours.

2)       ‘Just One of the Guys’ by Kristan Higginsjootg kh

I’ve read a lot of books by Kristan Higgins, but this one sticks with me. Higgins is such an amusing writer that you never even see the emotional punch coming. This is one of those books I was happily reading while my husband was watching TV next to me. The next thing he knew, I was sobbing. Of course, he wanted to know what was wrong. I had to explain these were the good kind of tears!

3)       P.S. I Love You

I read both the book by Cecelia Ahearn and saw the movie with Gerard Butler and Hilary Swank. The one that made me cry the ugly tears was the movie. The book was poignant too, but I cried for all two hours of the movie. It was probably the saddest non-Holocaust movie I’ve ever seen. So fire up Netflix, grab your tissue and cookie dough ice cream, and enjoy the cathartic release!

cnv ew4)       ‘Code Name Verity’ by Elizabeth Wein

This is a YA novel, but if your fifteen-year-old is the sensitive type, I wouldn’t give this one to her. The story of two women, one British and one Scottish, during World War Two, this book was rife with teary moments. It’s definitely worth the read, but you might not want to read it in public unless you have your dark glasses.

5)       Les Miserables

I’ve seen the musical, which is wonderfully emotional and always leaves me dabbing my eyes, but the movie ripped my heart out. It’s one of those where I needed my sunglasses for the long walk out of the theater so everyone wouldn’t see my bleary eyes and red nose. It’s a fabulous movie that everyone should see, but don’t forget the movie star shades.

Are you like me? Do you enjoy a book or movie that gives you all the feels? What’s your favorite (or least favorite) tear-jerker?

>>>>>>>>>> RAFFLECOPTER <<<<<<<<<<


RogueYouKnowBOOK BLURB: She’s beyond his reach…

Gideon Harrow has spent his life in London’s dark underworld-and he wants out. A thief and a con, he plans one last heist to finally win his freedom. But when everything goes wrong, he finds himself at the tender mercies of one of Society’s most untouchable women-Lady Susanna Derring.

…and out of her depth.
Susanna has spent her life in London’s glittering ton, under the thumb of a domineering mother-and she wants out. When a wickedly charming rogue lands at her feet, she jumps at the chance to experience life before it’s too late. But as she descends into London’s underworld, she finds that nothing- not even Gideon-is as it seems. As excitement turns to danger, Susanna must decide what price she’s willing to pay…for the love of a reformed thief.

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N / iBooks / IndieBound


Susanna jerked back, hidden on the far side of the desk again. Everyone knew London was rife with housebreakers, but would the thieves be so bold as to try and enter a house when the family was home? She heard a thump and trembled.

Apparently, the rogues were so bold. What would they do to her if they found her? Kill her? Rape her? Kidnap her for ransom?

She must escape, but how?

She peered around the desk again and saw two legs standing in front of the window. It was too late to run. The thief was already inside. She did a quick inventory of herself. She had nothing, absolutely nothing that would protect her from a ruffian.

She could hear the thief breathing now. He was breathing hard, as though he’d been running. She pressed her back against the oak of the desk and craned her neck. She spotted the shadow of a candlestick on the edge of the desk. She hadn’t lit the candle in it. If she could pull it off the edge without the thief noticing, she could use it to protect herself.

She felt the edge of the desk with her fingertips. Closing her eyes, she stretched her fingers until she touched the cool silver of the candlestick. She eased her fingers around it and tugged it soundlessly over the edge of the desk.


shana-galenAUTHOR BIO: Shana Galen is the author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the Lord and Lady Spy Series, the Jewels of the Ton Series, as well as the Sons of the Revolution Trilogy.

A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time, and is working on more regency romance novels! She’s happily married to the Ultimate Sportsfan and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making. Shana loves to hear from readers so feel free to talk to her on any of her social media sites.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website  / Facebook  / Twitter  / Tsu  / Google +  / Pinterest 

‘What to Do with a Duke’ by Sally MacKenzie

wtdwad smkSTORY: Welcome to the charming, fatefully named village of Loves Bridge, where a woman destined for spinsterhood can live a life of her own choosing—or fall unexpectedly, madly in love…

Miss Isabelle Catherine Hutting would rather be lounging in the library than circling the ballroom in search of a husband any day. So when Cat hears that the town’s infamous Spinster House is open for a new resident, she jumps at the chance to put all this marriage business behind her. But first she must make arrangements with her prospective landlord, Marcus, the Duke of Hart—the most handsome man she’s ever seen, and the only man who’s ever impressed her in the least…

With her wit, independent spirit, and not least of all her beauty, Marcus can’t help but be stirred by Cat. It’s terribly unfortunate he’s not looking to marry, given the centuries-old curse that left his family with the Spinster House to begin with. No duke shall live to see his heir’s birth. But is there a chance the curse could be broken—in true fairy-tale fashion—by an act of true love? The race to Happily Ever After is about to begin…

REVIEW: London 1817

Marcus, the Duke of Hart, a.k.a., the Heartless Duke has fought getting married for quite awhile now.  He knows that he must soon do so though to get an heir.  However, there is a curse that was put upon the family many years back by Isabelle Dorring that unless a man marries for love, he will die shortly after his heir is born.  This has been the case for many years.

Marcus owns a place called the Spinster House in Loves Bridge.  This home was first lived in by Isabella Dorring, the woman who placed a curse on his family.  The house is where a spinster can live rent-free for life for until she marries.  The latest resident has just married so Marcus must find a new resident.

Miss Isabelle Catherine Hutting, known as Cat to her family and friends has reached the age of 24.  She is the eldest daughter of a vicar and his wife who have an enormous number of children – ten to be exact.  Cat is adamant that she does not wish to ever get married.  Her dream has always been to live in the Spinster House in town and be free to write.

When Marcus arrives in Loves Bridge, he finds that there are three young women who all want to live in Spinster House.  Therefore, Marcus decides to have a drawing to decide which lady gets the house. Marcus and Cat become well acquainted as she tells him how much she wants to live in the house.  He is quite taken with the outspoken young woman and very surprised that such a pretty and intelligent woman does not wish to marry.

When Cat wins the drawing, she is thrilled and immediately begins to move into the house.

She discovers that the house is already occupied by a very independent cat who appears to be very intelligent.

Cat and Marcus are attracted to each other but Marcus is afraid to give into passion.  What if Cat got pregnant?  He would have to marry her and if the curse is right, then he knows his life would soon be over.

Sally MacKenzie has penned a clever and humorous novel once again about the Spinster House and the curse.  I enjoyed it very much.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher