‘A Diamond for a Duke’ by Collette Cameron

adfad ccSTORY: A dour duke and a wistful wallflower—an impossible match until fate intervenes one enchanted night.

A dour duke.
Jules, the Sixth Duke of Dandridge disdains Society and all its trappings, preferring the country’s solitude and peace. Already jaded and cynical since the woman he loved died years ago, he’s become even more so since unexpectedly inheriting a dukedom’s responsibilities and finding himself the target of every husband-hunting vixen in London.

A wistful wallflower.
Forever in her stunning sister’s shadow, Jemmah Dament has adored Jules from afar for years—since as children they were the best of friends. She daren’t dream she can win a duke’s heart any more than she hopes to escape the life of servitude imposed on her by an uncaring mother. Jemmah knows full well, Jules is too far above her station. Besides, his family has already selected his perfect duchess: a poised, polished, exquisite blueblood.

But one enchanted night.
A chance encounter reunites Jules and Jemmah, resulting in a passionate interlude neither can forget. Jules realizes he wants more—much more—than Jemmah’s sweet kisses or her warming his bed. He must somehow convince her to gamble on a dour duke. But can Jemmah trust a rogue promised to another? One who’s sworn never to love again?

REVIEW: Apparently this story is a retelling of Charles Perrault’s classic tale “Toads and Diamonds”, which I’ve never heard of and therefore can’t compare the two. I can tell you that Collette Cameron’s story is heartwarming, poignant and endlessly funny.

I adored Jules and Jemmah and couldn’t wait to see them happy. They both had it hard and definitely deserved their happy ending.

If you love fairy tales and friends to lovers stories, you can’t miss this one. It’s a fast and delightful read with plenty of heart and humor.

Melanie for b2b

Gift copy provided by the author for an honest review

‘Seducing Susannah: The Bride Train’ by E.E. Burke

ss eebSTORY: When all else fails, try seduction.

Ross Hardt needs to marry a proper lady in order to reclaim his inheritance. Among the few prospects in town is a smart, sassy widow who has tantalized him from the day they met–the same day she slapped his face.

Susannah Braddock journeys west on The Bride Train in search of a good father for her young son, but on the lawless frontier few candidates meet her requirements–least of all the arrogant, demanding, unfeeling railroad agent.

Can Ross convince Susannah to see him as more than the man she loves to hate?

REVIEW: This is the fifth book in The Bride Train series in which seven women who answer a railroad advertisement that’s looking for single young ladies willing to be married off to the settlers on the Western frontier. What awaits them there is an adventure none of them even dreamed about.

We met both leads of this book in the first telling of this series and Ross and Susannah didn’t hit it off from the start. They just kept butting heads from book one. That’s why I eagerly awaited their story and Ms. Burke didn’t disappoint.

I always thought that Susannah’s pluck was something that attracted Ross and I was right. No matter how many times they came to blows, I think he admired her for being strong, straight spoken and a good mother to her son.

I loved the plot of this story and it really kept me on my toes. There was a lot of secrets on both their parts and it took trust into one another to bring about love.

I must say that this was such a great, heartwarming story that made me laugh and tear up. All the characters were well rounded and their stories were rooted in reality, which made them come to life.

If you’ve never read this series and are skeptical of it, I’d suggest you take a look at the prequel of it, A Bride’s Journey,  which was such an intriguing and informative little intro, especially the character introduction of our brides and their backgrounds.

If you’re in a mood for a clean, intriguing and heartwarming western romance, you need to pick this one up. You’ll love it!

Melanie for b2b

Gift copy provided by the author for an honest review

‘An Affair with a Notorious Heiress’ by Lorraine Heath

aawanh lhSTORY: The son of a duke and an infamous mother, Alistair Mabry, Marquess of Rexton, fought his way to respectability. Now, the most eligible bachelor in London, marriage-shy Rexton will take only a wife with an impeccable reputation, good breeding, and a penchant for staying out of the gossip sheets. But when he strikes a deal to be seen “courting” a sweet young debutante whose notorious older sister has blemished her chances for marriage, Rexton is unexpectedly drawn to the highly inappropriate, calamitous Tillie, Lady Landsdowne herself.

After a scandalous incident that sent shockwaves throughout society and disgraced her, Tillie refuses to cower in the face of the ton. Instead, she will hold her head high as she serves as chaperone for her younger sister, but Tillie is convinced Rexton’s courtship is shrouded with secrets—ones she vows to uncover. However, doing so requires getting dangerously close to the devilishly handsome and forbidden marquess…

REVIEW: This is book four in Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James series but can be read as standalone. This latest series might be familiar to her fans because the heroes in the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James first appeared in the Scoundrels of St. James series. Please note that you can enjoy the Scandalous Gents without having read their parents’ stories, yet once you read Gents, I have no doubt you’ll be tracking the Scoundrels and enjoy them as much, if not more so.

As the story opens, our hero, Rexton may not be all we’re used to in Alpha males, but as the plot develops so does his character, and by the book’s end, I guarantee you’ll fall in love with him almost as much as our heroine did.

Tillie and Rex’s story has everything you want in a romance, and then some. Their chemistry from the moment they meet is scorching and their dialogue was so much fun to read.

I am a huge fan of Lorraine Heath and I’ve read almost all of her books. Her books are on my Keeper shelf because regardless of the genre she writes about, be it a western, regency or Victorian, she manages to suck me in.

Even though the romance is slow building, I found the pace to be fast and all the characters well developed.

High marks and highly recommended!

Melanie for b2b

Gift copy provided by the publisher for an honest review

Spotlight on Collette Cameron and ‘Passion and Plunder’!

pap ccBOOK BLURB: Would you sacrifice everything for the person you love, knowing you can never be together?

A desperate Scottish lady

Lydia Farnsworth—the sole surviving heir to the Laird of Tornbury Fortress—has lost nearly everyone she loves. Now her father lies on his deathbed. And as if this isn’t dire enough, he’s invited men from the surrounding area to a warrior’s contest—the winner to claim Lydia as his bride.

A Scotsman dueling with his past

Alasdair McTavish, son of Craiglocky Keep’s war chief, is a seasoned warrior in his own right. So when he’s sent to Tornbury to train the Farnsworth soldiers, he’s more than equal to the task.

A danger unseen

When a dangerous adversary makes a move against Lydia, a dastardly scheme comes to light, and Alasdair realizes only he can protect Lydia.

BUY LINKS: Amazon 

GIVEAWAY

One digital set of books 1-4 in the Highland Heather series,

a beautiful scarf

and 2 $25 Amazon Gift Cards

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

EXCERPT:

PP cc

A few feet inside the room, Lydia spun around and planted her hands on her hips. “Pray tell me, what you’re doing? Why are you so upset and acting like a savage? I but spoke the truth. I’m not your responsibility.”

Alasdair leaned against the door, his eyes hooded, and an almost predatory demeanor about his large form. His lips twitched with her last fiery declaration, but he kept stoically silent.

His untamed hair hanging nearly to his shoulders, golden stubble shadowing his face’s chiseled planes, and an unfathomable, wild glint in his steely azure eyes, accented his Viking ancestry. All he needed was a battle-axe and round shield to complete the image of a fierce, marauding Norseman.

And she wouldn’t mind all that much if he’d laid siege to Tornbury.

She feared he’d already done so with her heart.

Oh, the plundering hadn’t been the overwhelming bedeviling of senses as Flynn’s had.

No, Alasdair’s onslaught had been a subtle, insidious seduction, snaring her before she even realized she’d been led into a trap.

He smiled then, that charming, tempting bending of his strong mouth which, despite her pique, towed at her reluctant heartstrings and sent a frisson of excitement coursing through her pores.

His absurdly broad shoulders and marbled muscles appealed to her femininity. Why must he be so deliciously masculine?

Still, he owed her an explanation for lugging her into the drawing room like an errant child.

“Well?” Widening her eyes, she leaned forward a mite, demanding an explanation, irritated at his highhandedness and her wanton response. “What, you’ve nothing to say now? After you dragged me in here, like a crazed, uncivilized barbarian?”

HighlandHeatherSeries_Slider4-1200x600

REVIEW: This is book five in Highland Heather Romancing a Scot series but it can definitely be read as a standalone.

The first word that came to my mind as I read the last page was WOW! This story was chalk full of wow’s. The setting of Scottish Highlands was wow; the heroine’s strength and bravery is wow and the hero is to die for, so wow for him as well.

As usual, Ms. Cameron gives us an intriguing plot, and coupled with a fast pace and great characterization, this story was vastly entertaining as well as heartwarming. I adored the main characters and thoroughly enjoyed their road to happily ever after. The chemistry between the two was electric!

If you’re a fan of kilted men that speak with a burr, this story is for you. If you’re a fan of Scottish Highlands, you’ll let Ms. Cameron take you there. Her wonderful prose and descriptive story telling will enchant you.

Melanie for b2b

Gift copy provided by the author for an honest review

ccAUTHOR BIO: Bestselling, award-winning author, COLLETTE CAMERON pens Scottish and Regency historicals featuring rogues, rapscallions, rakes, and the intelligent, intrepid damsels who reform them.

Mother to three, Collette admits to a quirky sense of humor, enjoys inspiring quotes, and anything cobalt blue. A self-confessed Cadbury chocoholic, she lives in Oregon with her miniature dachshunds.

You’ll always find dogs, birds, occasionally naughty humor, and a dash of inspiration in her sweet-to-spicy timeless romances.

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SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Twitter  / Facebook / Goodreads

‘Seven Years to Sin’ by Sylvia Day

syts sd1STORY: The longer the resistance…

Seven years ago, on the eve of her wedding, proper Lady Jessica Sheffield witnessed a licentious scene no innocent young miss could imagine. Shocked, yet strangely titillated, she’d held her silence regarding scandalous Alistair Caulfield, and walked down the aisle as expected. But through years of serene, unremarkable marriage, Caulfield’s image remained burned into her imagination, fueling verysdc illicit dreams…

…the sweeter the reward

Alistair ran far from the temptation of the prim debutante with the fire of passion in her eyes–all the way to the West Indies. As a successful merchant, he has little in common with the rakehell youth she knew. But when newly widowed Jessica steps aboard his ship for a transatlantic passage, seven years’ worth of denied pleasures are held in check by nothing more than a few layers of silk–and the certainty that surrender will consume them both…

sdc7REVIEW: I can honestly state that this is one of the hottest prologues I’ve ever read!

Lady Jessica Sheffield grew up in an abusive home, so it is no wonder that to our hero, she always appeared ‘cool as a marble statue’. In trying to protect herself as well as her younger sister, this young woman learned early on that hiding her emotions and suppressing her passions was essential to her survival. On the evening before her wedding to a man of her father’s choosing, she shares with our hero a moment that will haunt her for the next seven years.

Alistair Caulfield, on the other hand, was the youngest of four brothers, yet grew up craving affection. As a young man, he hid that need by behaving badly. He realizes that after their unique encounter, his life would never be the same.

I was really moved by these two characters as each slowly comes to the realization that their love for each other should be given a chance.

This story is one that features well-developed and very vivid characters with moving and poignant dialogue. As usual, Ms. Day gifts us with a secondary love story that is as much moving as the first—that of Hester, Jessica’s younger sister, and Michael Sinclair, her brother-in-law.

The romance between Alistair and Jessica is truly not to be missed. SEVEN YEARS TO SIN is a definite keeper!

BTW: I love this books original cover the best.

Melanie for RRAH

Spotlight on Anna Bennett and ‘I Dared the Duke’!

idtd ab

IdtdabBOOK BLURB: Dare to Fall in Love

Alexander Savage, the Duke of Blackshire, is known throughout the ton for three things: the burn scars on his neck, his ornery disposition, and the trail of broken hearts behind him. None of which would concern Miss Elizabeth Lacey in the least—if she weren’t living under his roof. As his grandmother’s companion, Beth is all too concerned with the moody and compelling duke. Incensed by his plans to banish the sweet dowager duchess to the country, Beth refuses to do his bidding. If Alex wants her help, he’s going to have to take her dare…and grant her three wishes.

Alex adores his grandmother, which is precisely why she must leave. A string of unfortunate incidents has him worried for the safety of everyone around him—including the dowager’s loyal and lovely companion, Beth. But the notorious wallflower isn’t as meek as she appears, and as their battle of wills heats up, so does Alex’s desire. He’s dangerously close to falling in love with her…and revealing secrets he’d rather keep hidden. How can he convince her that his darkest days are behind him—and that, for the first time in forever, his heart is true?

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N / Kobo /

TEASER:

London, July 1818

Alexander Savage, the Duke of Blackshire, was known throughout the ton for three things: the horrific burn scars on his neck, his distinctly ornery disposition, and his undisputed skill at…that is, his innate ability to…er, a certain knack for pleasing—

Blast it all, the duke was good in bed.

None of which was any concern of Elizabeth Lacey’s.

In fact, just two months ago, Beth would have bet her best bonnet that she’d go to her grave without ever setting foot inside the duke’s town house.

And now she lived there.

REVIEW: This is the second story in the Wayward Wallflowers series and I liked it a lot. This story was as much fun as it was steamy. I adored the duke and liked the companion as their fun banter made me smile and chuckle through out.

As the story moved at a fast pace, I found all the characters interesting and entertaining, and I thoroughly enjoyed the slow burn of the attraction between these two. I also thought that the secondary mystery plot was well written and executed because I just couldn’t guess the outcome.

This was a lighthearted romance with a hero with a darker side to him and a heroine who is most happy when she’s taking care of people in need.

What I appreciated a lot from the author is the way she handled the sensuality between the leads. The love scenes were there to help me understand the characters and not just to fill the pages. They were emotionally charged and their realism brought the characters to life.

If you’re a fan of Vicky Dreiling, Eileen Dreyer or Julia Quinn, then you’ll find this story and its  romance sweet and sensual and a must read.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

annabennett_authorphoto_color-300x400AUTHOR BIO: Anna Bennett started swiping romances from her mom’s bookshelf as a teenager and decided that books with balls, dukes, and gowns were the best. So, when she had the chance to spend a semester in London she packed her bags—and promptly fell in love with the city, its history, and its pubs. She dreamed of writing romance, but somehow ended up a software analyst instead.

Fortunately, a few years and a few careers later, Anna found her way back to writing the stories she loves and won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart®. She lives in Maryland with her husband and three children, who try valiantly not to roll their eyes whenever she quotes Jane Austen. Other weaknesses include reality TV, cute shoes, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter /

‘Devil in Spring’ by Lisa Kleypas

diw lkSTORY: An eccentric wallflower…

Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger.

A cynical rake…

After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St.Devil-in-Spring-1 Vincent, has finally been caught-by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.

A perilous plot…

After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy-and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven…

REVIEW: ‘Devil in Spring’ is Lisa Kleypas’s third story in her latest historical series, The Ravenels and this is Pandora and Gabriel’s happily ever after. If you’ve never read ‘Devil in Winter’, a story of Gabriel’s parents, then you’ve missed out on one of the best romance novels ever written. However, you don’t have to have read it to get the gist of this story and Gabriel’s character.

He is someone who grew up knowing his destiny and duty of one day becoming a duke, yet the love of his parents had allowed him the freedom to play the field and at the moment we meet him, his parents are not happy with him because he is having an affair with a married woman. He, on the other hand, is very happy with the situation and doesn’t have plans of breaking it off any time soon. That is until he crosses paths with our heroine and they get caught in a compromising position.

As for our heroine, Pandora, we’ve had a pleasure of meeting her from the start of this series and out of all the Ravenel’s, she stood out the most because of her unique outlook on life. I believe all Ravenel’s sisters have had a hard upbringing, but Pandora was a precocious child and she bore the brunt of her father’s anger the most. She is finally coming into her own and with help from her brother in law, looking forward to being a business woman. She never planed on marriage and a husband because she doesn’t want to give up her freedoms. All that changes after they’re caught.

What I loved about this story the most are the characters of Gabriel and Pandora and the way they handled the situation they found themselves in. I loved the courting and enjoyed the banter. I was happy when they entered into marriage without the “convenience” being any part of it. I reveled in Gabriel’s confusion of trying to figure out who this girl was.

“His annoyance drained away, displaced by a rampage of heat and delight. His heart began to thump with the force of his need to be alone with her. To be inside all that energy. Everything in him had just ignited like a bonfire of cotton sedge. He wanted her, wanted her, with all the reckless, self-indulgent desire he usually managed to keep contained. But it made no sense. He was a civilized man, an experienced one with sophisticated tastes, and she was . . . holy God, what was she?”

What I had a bit of a problem with was big enough to make me enjoy this story less. When I’m taken on a ride, I’d like to finish that ride with a bang, and having us witness all the trials and tribulations of these two awesome characters, I feel that the author had let me down in not taking me into the wedding ceremony itself. One moment they’re engaged and the next, in a carriage going to their honeymoon destination.

The secondary plot made sense only because of the further introduction of the young copper with Ravenel’s eyes, otherwise was wasted on me.

Should you read it? You bet! It looks like Lisa Kleypas is back to writing historical novel’s and I am glad for it.

Let me also suggest the audio for this story. I kept going between the two and I must say the narrator, Mary Jane Wells, rocks!

Melanie for b2b