Happy New Year!

“The merry year is born
Like the bright berry from the naked thorn.”

Have a brilliant new year filled with love, laughter and joy!!!

Published in: on December 31, 2010 at 6:30 PM  Leave a Comment  
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TV Rave: The Pillars of the Earth

Summary:

The Pillars of the Earth is set against a backdrop of war, religious strife and power struggles which tears lives and families apart. In that time, there rises a magnificent Cathedral in Kingsbridge. Against the backdrop, love-stories entwine: Tom, the master builder, Aliena, the noblewoman, the sadistic Lord William, Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge, Jack, the artist in stone work and Ellen, the woman from the forest who casts a curse. At once, this is a sensuous and enduring love story and an epic that shines with the fierce spirit of a passionate age. Follett masterfully weaves these stories through political turmoil of 12th century England, creating a relevant and viable world for today’s audience and for generations to come.

Cast:

  • Ian McShane as Waleran Bigod
  • Rufus Sewell as Tom Builder
  • Matthew Macfadyen as Prior Philip
  • Eddie Redmayne as Jack Jackson
  • Hayley Atwell as Aliena
  • Donald Sutherland as Earl Bartholomew

Review:

Oh. My. God.

When I first heard of this show through a fansite for the actor Matthew MacFadyen, I was a bit blah about it. My preferred time period is the 18th and 19th century and this was a medieval drama. On top of that, it looked too gory for my taste.

So, a year went by… and my mother ended up buying it on DVD. She had watched the book and loved it and recommended the series to me. I wasn’t ecstatic but I thought why not? It was time I expanded my historical timeline. I also needed something to watch at that time so it seemed a perfect fit. So I popped it in my laptop and decided to be open-minded. Hey, at least I got to see Matthew MacFadyen again right?

Oh. My. God.

I couldn’t have imagined how much I would end up loving this show! I still cannot believe I discovered this show so late! Seriously, I cannot believe I deprived myself of the pleasure of this epic historical masterpiece!

The 8 hour show is set around the building of a fictional cathedral admidst a time of long drawn out war for the throne of England. But it’s not about the building so much as the lives of the people who are affected by it and the war for power. We are given multiple complex characters, some of whom are devoted to the building of the cathedral and others who are determined to see it fall.

From the first moment when it was announced the Prince was dead and there was no heir to the throne, I was hooked. And the plot didn’t let up for a minute. I was plunged into the lives of these people. I rooted for them, I cheered for them, I cried for them-I was totally, completely absorbed. That first night I was up until 4am to watching the first few episodes-The next night I abandoned all other plans to finish the whole thing up-it was just too addictive!

The plot was complex and I was in awe at the genius of the writer who came up with it! It unfolded so well and just worked on so many levels! It didn’t go right over the viewer’s head and you felt you were really seeing these people and living their lives. The acting was top-notch with some real great actors to be seen! Even the action scenes didn’t bother me as much as I thought they would. I got introduced to a new time in history which was fascinating although I definitely wouldn’t want to live in such a bloodthristy period.

This show really had it all-action, romance, passion, betrayal, murder, greed, ambition, sorrow, joy… I could go on! I don’t care if it’s 8 hours long! I’m definitely seeing this one again!

Historical Drama Rating: 5 stars out of 5!!!

Sexiness Rating: 5 out of 5 😀

Ladies, we’ve got the delicious-voiced Matthew MacFadyen, the scruffy sexy Rufus Sewell and the-too-cute for words Eddie Redmayne who sports some seriously sexy red hair and plays a romantic lead. *Swooon* 😛

Guys, Hayley Atwell is really too gorgeous for her own good and you’ll get to see more than her pretty face, wink wink 😉

Romances coming in January 2011!

NEW YEAR, NEW BOOKS! 😀

Enjoy a fine selection of books all month long!

1) Out January 1, 2011 *First in a new series*

Summary:

Having been raised in the jungles of South Africa, assisting her father in the study of mammal copulation, Lady Justine Fedora Palmer sweeps back into London to embark upon her coming out.  She quickly discovers animals are far more civilized than the men surrounding her.
When her father’s observations are made public, proving buggery is natural to the animal kingdom, all of London is in a huffing outrage, including His Royal Majesty.  Her father is imprisoned and slapped with outrageous penalty fees they simply cannot pay.

Lady Justine becomes more than willing to trade her good name and her place in London’s gossip hungry society to secure her father’s release.  There is only one person she knows she can trust: her father’s patron, the Duke of Bradford.  A dashing libertine, yes, but one she passionately adores for his unwavering kindness, wit, humor, and a willingness to support her father’s studies even as everyone else had laughed her father off.
To her astonishment, the Duke of Bradford is not the same man.  His newly marred face hides a scandal that is about to test them both…

Excerpt and more info:

http://www.delilahmarvelle.com/site

2) Out January 3, 2011 *DEBUT*

Summary:

Tristan, the Duke of Shelbourne is a man with a mission: find a wife he can tolerate as long as they both shall live. No love is necessary—nor desired. But how to choose amid a dizzying array of wealthy-yet-witless candidates? Hire London’s infamously prim and proper matchmaker. Then pretend she’s not the most captivating woman he’s ever met . . .

Helping a devilish Duke create a contest to pick his perfect mate is the kind of challenge Tessa Mansfield relishes. Her methods may be scandalous, but she’s determined to find the notorious bachelor more than a wife—she’ll bring him true love. Yet when Tessa watches the women vie for the Duke’s affections, she longs to win his heart herself. And after a stolen kiss confirms Tristan’s desire, Tessa knows she has broken a matchmaker’s number one rule: never fall in love with the groom.

Excerpt:

http://www.vickydreiling.com/excerpt_duke.html

3) Out January 4, 2011  *Second in Elusive Lords series*

Summary:

Lady Amelia Bertram may have a reputation as the most brazen beauty of the ton, but she shocks even herself when she accidently—and loudly—derides one of society’s most eligible bachelors in the middle of a crowded ballroom. The timing of her faux pas couldn’t be worse, for her father is seeking someone to take her off his hands that very night…

But when Thomas Armstrong overhears the so-called “Lady” Amelia slandering his sexual prowess in public, he cannot help but accept the dare implicit in her words. To her father’s great delight, he offers to take her to his secluded country estate—properly chaperoned, of course—to teach the girl a lesson in ladylike behavior…

Excerpt:

http://www.beverleykendall.com/atasteofdesire.html

4) Out January 25, 2011

Summary:

Widowed Julia, Lady Winterset, has inherited a book—a very shocking book—that every gentleman in London seems to want. For a charismatic businessman, it’s a chance to build an empire. For a dashing novelist, it could guarantee fame. But to a proud, domineering earl, it means everything…

Harrison Landingham, Earl of Mountdale, can’t let the obstinate Julia release the shameless memoir that could ruin his family’s name. But the only way to stop her may be equally sordid—if far more pleasurable. For his rivals are intent on seducing the captivating woman to acquire the book. And Harrison isn’t the sort to back away from a competition with the stakes this high. Now the winner will claim both the scandalous memoirs and the heart of their lovely owner…

Sneak Peek and more info:

http://www.victoriaalexander.com/books/the-perfect-mistress/

5) Out January 25, 2011

Summary:

Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant, lives in a castle in Wales where, it is rumored, his bad temper flays everyone he crosses. He’s a Beast. Miss Linnet Thynne is one of the most exquisite young ladies ever to grace London’s ballrooms. She’s a Beauty. But wait—there’s more! Piers is a doctor: brilliant, lame, and impossible to get along with. Linnet has been involved in a scandalous flirtation with a prince, and everyone in the ton thinks she’s carrying a royal child: she needs a husband.

Linnet estimates it will take two weeks—at the outside—to bring the earl to his knees. Piers knows that he will never fall in love, and definitely never marry.

Excerpt and more info:

http://www.eloisajames.com/bookshelf/beauty.php

6) Out January 25, 2011 *Second in new series*

Summary:

One tryst was all she wanted . . .

From their very first meeting, Julia knew that Aidan Carr, the oh-so-proper Duke of Trathen, had a bit of the devil in him, a devil who secretly yearned for what he could not have, a devil who harbored a desire for her. So when she needed to be caught in a compromising situation, Aidan was the answer to her prayers.

One tryst just wasn’t enough . . .

Aidan is supposed to be looking for a bride, yet his scandalous liaison with Julia is all he can think about. Hot, erotic memories of kissing her skin, falling into her bed, pulling her naked body on top of his own continue to torment and tempt him. What is it about this brazen seductress that he finds so hard to resist? And how can he stop himself from falling into her bed a second time?

Excerpt:

http://www.lauraleeguhrke.com/bookshelf/scandal.php

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! 😀

Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord by Sarah MacLean

Setting: Regency 1823

Summary:

Since being named “London’s Lord to Land” by a popular ladies’ magazine, Nicholas St. John has been relentlessly pursued by every matrimony-minded female in the ton. So when an opportunity to escape fashionable society presents itself, he eagerly jumps—only to land in the path of the most determined, damnably delicious woman he’s ever met!

The daughter of a titled wastrel, Lady Isabel Townsend has too many secrets and too little money. Though she is used to taking care of herself quite handily, her father’s recent passing has left Isabel at sea and in need of outside help to protect her young brother’s birthright. The sinfully handsome, eminently eligible Lord Nicholas could be the very salvation she seeks.

But the lady must be wary and not do anything reckless and foolish…like falling madly, passionately in love.

Click cover for more info!

Review:

After reading and loving the first book in this series, I couldn’t wait for the second one, especially since I had kinda fallen for the hero as a secondary character in the first one. 😉 Nick seemed like an awesome hero and since I personally have a soft spot for kind, honorable heroes rather than the more rakish ones, I was just dying to read this one.

I wish I could say I loved it and that it was a worthy sequel but that would be a lie. There was so much promise for this one but somewhere along the way, the potential was lost in a predictable, cheesy, improbable and frankly quite dull novel. The beginning was funny, witty and promised another great read but once the hero/heroine met, things went downhill.

It was clear from the start that the hero/heroine were meant for each other which heightened my anticipation for when they met, but I was very disappointed. They just didn’t have enough chemistry! Nick who was a great secondary character in the first one, was just plain bland here. It was enough to put me off the ‘good’ hero for good, which isn’t right because I know from personal experience, if done right, they make awesome swoon worthy heroes. He had his moments though but he couldn’t save this book. Isabel was your typical independent, spunky heroine but that was about it. I tried to sympathize with her situation but I couldn’t help feeling that she really didn’t have much to complain about. I just couldn’t admire her all that much. The conflict was also not big enough to keep me hooked and I just struggled through the book, waiting for it too pick up which it never did.

The plot was also full of improbabilities. I mean more than 3/4 of the book took place in 4 days! 4 days and we have the heroine, who has been let down by every man in her life (and has some serious trust issues) completely falling for the hero. I mean really, realistically, it would take a much longer time for her to trust a man so absolutely. Isabel runs a house protecting young women which was a bit improbable but acceptable. What wasn’t was how she actually climbed on a roof to try to fix it, in full view of the hero. I just felt like banging my head on a wall, her behavior was so beyond what was acceptable.

And then after being let down the first half by the H and H, I waited to meet the characters from the first book and spend more time with them but even that was a letdown. The heroine didn’t even meet any of the previous characters! They all appeared for like two pages and were gone! The only light here was meeting the hero for the next book, who will prove interesting!

The love scenes were bland as well, and just seemed like copies of the love scenes in the first book-Looks like the brothers really are twins-they even have sex the same way!! :O I just found the scenes cheesy and unlikely as Isabel just seemed to jump right onto Nick’s lap without even the slightest consideration for propriety or even the smallest concern for her virtue.

Please, Ms MacLean, I know you can do much better than this! I’ll be reading your next book just because I have so much faith in you!

Sensuality Rating: Hot (Long and explicit scenes)

Final Verdict: Sorry to say, but you should skip this one and wait for book three!

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

Anticipation-The Perfect Mistress by Victoria Alexander

START THE NEW YEAR WITH A BANG!

There’s nothing like discovering a new delicious sounding romance, especially when one has spent days away out camping in limited comfort and isolation. Coming home to discover this little gem has made my welcome home even warmer!

Summary:

A dazzling new romance in which one otherwise proper lady discovers the passion that is her legacy…

Widowed Julia, Lady Winterset, has inherited a book—a very shocking book—that every gentleman in London seems to want. For a charismatic businessman, it’s a chance to build an empire. For a dashing novelist, it could guarantee fame. But to a proud, domineering earl, it means everything…

Harrison Landingham, Earl of Mountdale, can’t let the obstinate Julia release the shameless memoir that could ruin his family’s name. But the only way to stop her may be equally sordid—if far more pleasurable. For his rivals are intent on seducing the captivating woman to acquire the book. And Harrison isn’t the sort to back away from a competition with the stakes this high. Now the winner will claim both the scandalous memoirs and the heart of their lovely owner…

Due out January 25, 2011

Excerpt and more info (including a too-sexy stepback):

http://www.victoriaalexander.com/books/the-perfect-mistress/

And to stoke the fires of our anticipation even more, we have an exciting trailer!

Back!

Back from my Christmas camping trip and all set to give you the news on all the new exciting romances coming our way in 2011! Stay tuned!!! 😀

Published in: on December 27, 2010 at 8:09 PM  Leave a Comment  

Away for a trip! Won’t be posting for a while :(

Published in: on December 18, 2010 at 7:33 PM  Leave a Comment  

Swashbuckling fun!

New Pirates movie is coming out soon! Surprising, but it actually looks quite good!

Anna Campbell’s new cover released! :D

Gorgeous, just gorgeous!

The Dangerous Viscount by Miranda Neville

Setting: 1819, Regency

*Book 2 in Burgundy Club series*

Summary:

She is determined to find a husband. . . now!

Lady Diana Fanshawe’s impeccable bloodline doesn’t stop society from laughing at the antics of her eccentric family. She knows a proper marriage is her one chance to make her way in the world—which is precisely why she will marry Lord Blakeney, though she’s certain she’ll never love him. But then she’s kissed by the brilliant and unconventional Sebastian, Viscount Iverley . . . and her well-laid plans tumble into disarray.

Sebastian wants absolutely nothing to do with love or marriage. But when he arrives at his hated cousin Blakeney’s house party, Sebastian is smitten by the tantalizing Diana. But Diana is “the marrying kind,” and Sebastian has no wish to risk his freedom—though the passion between them is hard to resist. Should the lady follow her heart in an attempt to win Iverley’s, though it seems hardened against her—or should she sacrifice her love for respectability?

Click on cover for more info

Review:

I love Miranda Neville’s books and after reading The Wild Marquis and getting a sneak peek at the hero of the next book, I just KNEW I had to pick this one up ASAP! I have such a soft spot for  the innocent or unique hero and Sebastian with his woman hating ways was perfect. I was so excited to see how Miranda turned this unlikable man into a bona fide romance hero of every girl’s dreams!

The result? A resounding success! I was immediately taken by Sebastian from page one when he falls for our heroine after glimpsing her pink silk stockings. 😉 Underneath all that aloofness was a shy and misunderstood man who had all the gems in place to be the man of Diana’a (and our’s) dreams. The joy came in seeing those layers peeled back to slowly reveal the kind, dependable, caring, and surprisingly strong man underneath. Sigh, I can honestly say Sebastian was the first hero in a while to really touch my heart 😀 And despite what anyone else might say, VIRGIN HEROES ARE HOT! There’s something about that innocence in a hero, who is usually mean to be the Eros of sex, that is such a turn-on! 😉

The heroine was harder to like though. Diana treated Sebastian horribly at first, making a wager with his cousin that she could get him to kiss her. But then, which one of us ladies hasn’t made the mistake of choosing of choosing the hot, sexy guy over the sweet, stable guy? In this way, she was relate-able and to her credit she does regret her mistake and begins to see Sebastian as much more worthy of her attention and love. I couldn’t help feeling though that Sebastian deserved a little better than her. Maybe just unwarranted jealousy on my part 😉

This was a unique romance in that you never quite knew what was going to happen next. It was unpredictable and because of that (and Sebastian :P) I stayed up all night to try and finish this! There were twist and turns and I just felt this was a very REAL romance which make it hard for some people to like. This wasn’t your fairytale romance with the perfect prince and princess who fall in love at first sight but two very real people who find love with each other after a lot of struggle and mistakes.

Ms. Neville is a very talented writer who just keeps getting better with every book. Can’t wait for her new book which will feature a Regency dandy… who loses his clothes!

Whether you’re a romance addict or new to the genre, you’re sure to take to this smart, sexy and real romance!

Sensuality Rating: Pretty warm (Quite a few  short though explicit scenes)

Final Verdict: Awesome! One of the best and most unique romances in a long while!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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