Mad About The Duke by Elizabeth Boyle

Setting: Regency

*The second book in The Bachelor Chronicles: The Standon Widows trilogy*

Summary:

Level-headed Lady Elinor Standon will not allow her greedy stepfather to wed her younger sister to the highest bidder! The only way to stop this evil plan is for Elinor to to gain control of her sister’s guardianship, but to do that she needs to get married. Convinced that nothing less than a duke will do, she hires Mr. St. Maur, Esq. to help her land her lofty lord… However her plans go awry as she discovers that beneath her solicitor’s rumpled coat and haughty demeanor is a man all-too-desirable to ignore and she finds herself falling for more than his unconventional legal advice.

James Tremont, the ninth Duke of Parkerton, is astonished by the freedom and anonymity he’s gained simply by donning his brother’s ill-fitting jacket, especially when an exquisite, peer-hunting beauty mistakes him for a solicitor… Now he finds himself tangled up by more than her legal woes. For until he can undo the straight-laced yet delectable Elinor, his identity must remain a mystery—because by not having revealed it immediately, this dedicated bachelor may have already sabotaged his one chance for the madness of finding his one true love.

Click cover for more info!

Review:

I really wanted to like this book. I really did. I bought the book, without having read any of the author’s previous books, based on the blurb (who doesn’t love a classic mistaken identity story?) and the cover/stepback (simply gorgeous!) and in this case I have to say I learned my lesson-NEVER judge a book by its cover! This book was like a creamy dessert that looks amazing and is amazing for the first couple of bites but ends up having a bad taste in your mouth.

What a brilliant premise! Hero disguised as a low class solicitor helping the desperate heroine to find a rich husband, but ends up falling for her himself. But so badly pulled off. I felt like the author was rushing to fulfil her book contract and didn’t bother thinking the story through. There were so many plot holes and so many ‘What the heck’ moments, I was quite tempted to just stop reading altogether! I held on though, thinking things would get better, but they sadly didn’t.

One of the biggest plot holes was the fact that NOBODY recognized the duke even though his ‘disguise’ was a worn out, shabby coat he borrowed from his brother. This could have actually worked IF he had been in the country, but there he was in London of all places walking around in this ‘disguise’ I found it unbelievable no one recognized him! Then there was the fact that if the hero had simply told the heroine right at the start he was a duke (exp since they both fell in love at first sight) and could solve her problems, the problem would be solved and there would be no need for the whole book to happen! If only there had been a few tweaks here and there-the story would have been much more plausible. I simply didn’t get why the he didn’t confess to her until about halfway through when we are given a paltry excuse that the hero was badly hurt by his first wife and then we are never given details and it doesn’t go deeper than that.

Then, there was the predictable misunderstanding fight-though it wasn’t about the heroine discovering the hero’s identity, but the alternative was much worse. Why, Elinor, why oh why? You claim to love the hero and then suddenly abandon your faith in him and believe your EVIL stepdad when he tells you he’s a liar and a fake???

Now, I’m not saying the entire book was a mess-there were brilliant parts-in particular, the writing was a joy and I loved the author’s wit and sense of humour-in fact, if it weren’t for the writing, I might have given up long ago! Some of the side characters and scenes were entertaining as well, and I must add that even though this was part of a long series, you didn’t have to read the others to understand this one-it managed to stand alone. I also really liked the hero, despite his stupidity at certain times, and the heroine was a nice enough character, except the believing-the-evil-stepdad thing.

All in all, this was such a great opportunity missed, thanks to bad plotting. I hope your next book is better, Ms. Boyle.

Sensuality Rating: Warm (Love scenes are short and non explicit)

Verdict: Don’t bother-unless you like collecting pretty covers and sexy stepbacks

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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Romances Coming in December 2011!

Christmas is almost open us and what better way to celebrate that festive season then with a couple of good books by the fire? And this month, there’s plenty to keep you entertained, from new additions to much loved series and even a great new debut! So, what you waiting for? Time to start shopping! 😀

1) Out December 6 *Book 3 in Her Majesty’s Secret Servants series*

Summary:

Holly has always been the reckless Sutherland sister, the one most likely to hitch up her skirts and gallop astride a powerful stallion. Holly’s affinity for horses leads Queen Victoria to enlist her help when a prized Thoroughbred colt disappears. To catch the horse thief, Holly must put on her best manners and mingle with Ascot racing society. But her encounters with the dashing Colin Ashworth, Earl of Drayton, threaten her mission. She’s powerfully attracted to him, but uncertain she can trust him…

When Colin’s father, the duke, left for an extended trip, Colin became responsible for the family’s vast estates and the people who live on them. And when a series of calamities struck and were blamed on a centuries-old curse involving the colt, Colin was forced to act. Now, as Holly’s growing suspicions threaten to expose the truth about the stolen horse, Colin’s head tells him to distance himself. But with his heart, body, and soul all recklessly clamoring for Holly, he finds her impossible to resist…

Click cover for more info!

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2) Out December 6

Summary:

Her heart was a target…

Adelaide Ward has but one goal—to obtain an offer of marriage from the respectable, if less-than-appealing Baron Maxwell before her family is ruined. But it’s the devilishly handsome Connor Brice who captures her imagination—and a kiss in broad daylight—in front of a dozen members of the ton.  Now Adelaide must decide if the charming scoundrel who stole away her reputation might still be trusted with her heart.

His aim must be true…

Connor Brice seeks a long overdue revenge on the baron. And what better way to launch his campaign than to steal the lovely Miss Ward for his own? A quick “compromising” and an even quicker wedding ought to do. But if Connor wants to establish any sort of domestic tranquility, he’ll have to regain Adelaide’s trust and choose what means more to him—his thirst for vengeance, or his need for Adelaide.

Click cover for excerpt!

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3) Out December 20 *Book 1 in Rumor series*

Summary:

Roderick Gideon Tremayne, the recently appointed Duke of Wentworth, never expected to find himself in New York City, tracking down a mysterious map important to his late mother. And he certainly never expected to be injured, only to wake up with no memory of who he is.  But when he sees the fiery-haired beauty who’s taken it upon herself to rescue him, suddenly his memory is the last thing on his mind.

Georgia Milton, the young head of New York’s notorious Forty Thieves, feels responsible for the man who was trying to save her reticule from a thief. But she’s not prepared for the fierce passion he ignites within her. When his memory begins to return, her whole world is threatened, and Roderick must choose between the life he forgot and the life he never knew existed….

Click cover for more info!

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4) Out December 27 *Book 3 in Eloisa’s Fairytales series*

Summary:

Tarquin, the powerful Duke of Sconce, knows perfectly well that the decorous and fashionably slender Georgiana Lytton will make him a proper duchess. So why can’t he stop thinking about her twin sister, the curvy, headstrong, and altogether unconventional Olivia? Not only is Olivia betrothed to another man, but their improper, albeit intoxicating, flirtation makes her unsuitability all the more clear. 

Determined to make a perfect match, he methodically cuts Olivia from his thoughts, allowing logic and duty to triumph over passion…Until, in his darkest hour, Tarquin begins to question whether perfection has anything to do with love. 

To win Olivia’s hand he would have to give up all the beliefs he holds most dear, and surrender heart, body and soul… Unless it’s already too late.

Click cover for more info!

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5) Out December 27 *Book 4 in Inferno Club series*

Summary:

The Inferno Club: To London Society, they’re notorious for their scandalous pursuits. In private, these warriors would risk their lives for king and country.

His brother warriors fear the Earl of Westwood has turned traitor, but Emily Harper knows this is impossible for the man she has loved since childhood . . . as impossible as a marriage between them could ever be—she, the gamekeeper’s daughter and he, a bold and adventurous nobleman.

Driven by hatred and revenge, Westwood is playing a deadly game of deception, bent on destroying the enemy’s dark conspiracy from the inside, and he’s furious when Emily plunges herself into danger for his sake. Forced into close quarters, their long-suppressed desire explodes into all-consuming passion.

Emily knows her love can save him . . . but Westwood is a man who doesn’t want to be saved.

Click cover for more info on the series!

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6) Out December 27 *Book 6 in Pennyroyal Green series*

Summary:

The Scandal Sheets call him Lord Ice.

Ruthless, cold, precise, Julian Spenser, Marquess Dryden, tolerates only the finest— in clothes, in horseflesh, in mistresses. And now he’s found the perfect bride, the one whose dowry will restore his family’s shattered legacy and bring him peace at last: the exquisite heiress Lisbeth Redmond.

She’s about to play with fire…

But one unforgettable encounter with Lisbeth’s paid companion, Phoebe Vale, and the Marquess is undone. This quiet girl with the wicked smile and a wit to match is the first person to see through the icy facade to the fiery man beneath. But their irresistible attraction is a torment as sweet as it is dangerous, for surrendering to their desire could mean losing everything else they ever wanted.

Click cover for more info!

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7) Out December 27 *Book 3 in Abandoned at the Altar series*

Summary:

The last thing Miss Annabel Wheaton desires is true love. She learned the hard way that love makes a woman foolish and only leads to heartache. That’s why she agreed to marry an earl who needs her money. He’s got a pedigree and a country estate, and he won’t ever break her heart. There’s only one problem…

Christian isn’t about to let her marry that pompous prig…

Christian Du Quesne, Duke of Scarborough, thinks this stubborn heiress is about to make the biggest mistake of her life, and he’s determined to stop her. Tempting beautiful women is Christian’s forte, after all. When her family offers him a nice sum of money to stop the wedding, he’s happy to accept. Falling in love with Annabel wasn’t supposed to be part of the bargain…

Click cover for more info!

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8 ) Out December 27

Summary:

Lady Evelyn Renshaw is married to England’s most notorious traitor…
Or is she?

No one has seen Lord Philip alive for months. The Crown wants to hang him. The ton wants to know if Evelyn is as guilty as her husband, and Philip’s enemies expect Evelyn to pay the price for her husband’s sins.

Captain Sinjon Rutherford has troubles of his own. He needs a place to hide while he proves himself innocent of some very nasty charges. The Crown offers assistance, but only if Sinjon helps them uncover the truth about Evelyn’s part in her husband’s treason. He’s planted as a spy in her household, disguised as a servant. But Sinjon is no footman…and he doesn’t have time to fall in love with the enigmatic Evelyn, but the lady needs a strong protector, and a lover.

And it seems the lady has some dark secrets of her own, secrets that can get them both killed…

Click cover for more info!

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9) Out December 27

Summary:

Ashton Burke is a legendary adventurer who has spent the past ten years roaming the globe to forget the girl he left behind. His devil-may-care life is interrupted when he’s hired to rescue his brother’s kidnapped fiancée from a sultan’s harem. Too late, he discovers she is none other than Clarinda Cardew, the very same girl who made off with his jaded heart a decade ago.

The last thing Clarinda wants is to be trapped in a palace of sensual delights with the man whose irresistible kisses still haunt her sleepless nights. Although he vows he is only doing his job, Clarinda quickly realizes that allowing Ashton to rescue her may put her yearning heart in even greater peril. In a journey that takes them from the delicious intrigues of a sultan’s court to the glittering ballrooms of London, Ashton and Clarinda resume the steps of their dangerous dance only to discover the most seductive pleasure of all may be love itself.

Click cover for more info!

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10) Out December 27 *DEBUT*

Summary:

Newly widowed and desperate to protect her estate—and housemaids—from a predatory brother-in-law, Martha Russell conceives a daring plan. Or rather, a daring plan to conceive. After all, if she has an heir on the way, her future will be secured. Forsaking all she knows of propriety, Martha approaches her neighbor, a London exile with a wicked reputation, and offers a strictly business proposition: a month of illicit interludes… for a fee.

Theophilus Mirkwood ought to be insulted. Should be appalled. But how can he resist this siren in widow’s weeds, whose offer is simply too outrageously tempting to decline? Determined she’ll get her money’s worth, Theo endeavors to awaken this shamefully neglected beauty to the pleasures of the flesh—only to find her dead set against taking any enjoyment in the scandalous bargain. Surely she can’t resist him forever. But could a lady’s sweet surrender open their hearts to the most unexpected arrival of all… love?

Click cover for more info!

Trailer:

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MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY SHOPPING! 😀

Follow My Lead by Kate Noble

Setting: Regency 1822

Summary:

Jason Cummings, Duke of Rayne is feeling the weight of his responsibilities – one of which is to get married. Being the most sought after bachelor in London can be trying, so who can blame him if he seeks refuge from the voracious hordes of young debutantes at the decidedly female-free Historical Society? Female-free, that is, until Winnifred Crane marches up to the door, demanding entrance.

Despite her prowess as a historian, Winn is denied membership to the Society. So she daringly offers an unusual bargain: if she can prove the authenticity of a certain painting, she’ll be granted recognition, fame, and respect. But to do that, she must go abroad. And to go abroad, she must have an escort, even a stubbornly unwilling one…

Jason has no desire to accompany Winn on her adventure across Europe, but even he is not immune to Winn’s passion for her profession. As the journey proves more difficult than planned, they must work together to stay one step ahead of their rivals… and the closer they get to the proof Winn seeks, the closer she and Jason become. But as their adventure turns dangerous, can Jason keep this headstrong bluestocking safe? And what will become of their growing bond when the adventure ends?

Click cover for more info!

Review:

Who doesn’t dream of an exciting adventure across Europe, with a handsome companion in tow? And that is precisely the premise behind Kate Noble’s latest novel. Funny, sexy and sweet, this novel is a fresh and entertaining addition to the romance genre, though with a few minor flaws.

The heroine Winn is your typical bluestocking girl, who is happens to be strangely naive for someone who’s supposed to be 30 years old. She wants to gain her independence and is supposed to be a determined, independent woman but she started off being quite selfish, immature and quite unlikeable but by the end, she does grow up and in turn, ends up growing on you.

Jason, the hero is a duke who shirks responsibility, but finds himself taking responsibility on the headstrong beauty he’s joined on her quest for independence.

The writing had to be the best part of the novel, with a great sense of humour and wit to push the story along. The plot itself was commendable in its freshness and though slightly improbable (a lady and a gentleman travelling that long together without money and not appearing too worried about it) but was still well-carried off. I also loved all the historical facts thrown in-so often historical romances fail to deliver on that part of the bargain. The author has clearly done her research! I did feel though, that a lot of focus seemed to be placed on the adventure itself rather than the characters and their romantic development.

The major flaw for me was the lack of chemistry between the hero and heroine. They had chemistry-just not enough of it. The two are as different as night and day and I wasn’t totally convinced they would do well together. This is linked to the lack of focus on the book placed on their romantic development. The ending was also slightly disappointing as there was no closure.

But all in all, this is a fresh, funny spirited adventure-romance for those looking for something different, with plenty of history for history fans, though it would have benefited from a better matched couple and more focus on the romance between the two.

Sensuality Rating: Warm (Love scenes are short and non explicit)

Verdict: Enjoyable way to spend your time

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Debut Author Anna Randol and her new romance!

I blogged recently about a bunch of new debut authors for 2012 and now we’ve got another one-Anna Randol! Just in case you missed her cover featured on the Avon facebook page.. here is everything you need to know about this new author and her romance which looks set to be a 2012 bestseller!

Click cover for more info!

Summary:

She would gladly relinquish her life of intrigue…

A rare beauty, raised in the exotic heart of the Ottoman Empire, Mari Sinclair knows it’s time to end her career as a British spy when she narrowly avoids a brush with death. Unfortunately her employers think otherwise—and they are not above using blackmail to keep Mari in the Game.

Saddled with a handsome, duty-obsessed “minder” to ensure that she completes—and survives—one last mission, Mari is incensed…for her guardian, Major Bennett Prestwood, is simply too dedicated, too unbending, and too disarmingly attractive. But in the face of dark secrets and deadly treacheries, as the true peril to Mari is slowly revealed, loyal soldier Bennett realizes that, to save and win this extraordinary woman, he will have to do the unthinkable and break the rules—rules that passion and desire have suddenly, irrevocably changed.

RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 31, 2012

 

Another delicious cover!

Click cover to view excerpt!

Summary:

By candlelight, she lures him…

Glittering court socialites and underworld cutpurses alike know that Adrian Ferrers, Earl of Rivenham, is the most dangerous man in London. Rivenham will let nothing—not the deepening shadow of war, nor the growing darkness within him—interfere with his ambition to restore his family to its former glory. But when tasked by the king to uncover a traitor, he discovers instead a conspiracy—and a woman whose courage awakens terrible temptations. To save her is to risk everything. To love her might cost his life.

At swordpoint she defies him…

Lady Leonora knows that Rivenham is the devil in beautiful disguise—and that the irresistible tension between them is as unpredictable as the dilemma in which Nora finds herself: held hostage on her own estate by Rivenham and the king’s men. But when war breaks out, Nora has no choice but to place her trust in her dearest enemy—and pray that love does not become the weapon that destroys them both…

RELEASE DATE: MARCH 27, 2012

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MARK YOUR CALENDARS! 😀

 

To Wed a Wild Lord by Sabrina Jeffries Book Trailer!

Coming to bookstores on November 22, the next book in Sabrina’s Hellions series!

Click cover for more info!

Trailer

Published in: on November 17, 2011 at 12:07 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Tessa Dare’s New Spindle Cove Romance!

I’ve yet to get my hands on the first book in her new Spindle Cove series (A Night To Surrender) and I’m already looking forward to her second! Enjoy a sneak peek at this sexy new story…

Click cover for more info!

Summary:

When a devilish lord and a bluestocking set off on the road to ruin…
Time is not on their side.

Minerva Highwood, one of Spindle Cove’s confirmed spinsters, needs to be in Scotland.
Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, a rake of the first order, needs to be… anywhere but Spindle Cove.

These unlikely partners have one week

  • to fake an elopement
  • to convince family and friends they’re in “love”
  • to outrun armed robbers
  • to survive their worst nightmares
  • to travel four hundred miles without killing each other

All while sharing a very small carriage by day and an even smaller bed by night.

What they don’t have time for is their growing attraction. Much less wild passion. And heaven forbid they spend precious hours baring their hearts and souls.

Suddenly one week seems like exactly enough time to find a world of trouble.
And maybe…just maybe…love.

RELEASE DATE: MARCH 27, 2012

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And look out for the new Spindle Cove E-Novella OUT NOW for a limited time only!

Click cover for more info!

Movie Crazy!

Hey everyone!

I very much enjoyed my little vacation in Brunei! 😀 I actually postponed my return till Sunday as I’m found it to hard to leave 😉

I’ve actually stumbled upon this awesome DVD store down here in Brunei and have picked up a whole bunch of obscure/rare historical movies and series that are difficult to get a hold of. Gotta say one thing for these Bruneians-they sure know how to stock a DVD shelf! (And the food isn’t half bad either!) 😉

Some of the movies I’ve got include Marco Polo (starring the gorgeous Ian Somerhalder ;)), As You Like It (starring the equally radiant Romola Garai and Bryce Dallas Howard), The Four Feathers and The Lady and the Duke.

1) Marco Polo (TV miniseries 2007)

Click picture for more info!

Trailer

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2) As You Like It (2006)

Click picture for more info!

Trailer

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3) The Four Feathers (2002)

Click picture for more info!

Trailer

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4) The Lady and the Duke (2001)

Click picture for more info!

Trailer

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I can’t wait to start watching!

So have you guys seen/heard of any of these dramas?

Or do you know of any other obscure ones?

Comment and share your thoughts!

Miranda Neville’s New Book Cover!

I ammmm back! And look a new book cover!

I love Miranda Neville’s books and this one (cover previewed on The Ballroom Blog) is defs on my must-read list for next year! Enjoy and share!

Book 4 in Burgundy Club series!

The long awaited story of Minerva Montrose and the very last man she’d ever choose as a husband.

Click cover for more info on the Burgundy Club series!

RELEASE DATE: MARCH 27, 2012

Away for a while…

Hello romance readers! Sorry, I will be taking a short trip to Brunei and won’t be able to post anything new till next Thursday 🙂 Still, enjoy looking through some old reviews and posts while you’re here to entertain yourself till I get back cause I got more romance goss for you all 😛

Again, apologizes for any inconveniences!

Published in: on November 3, 2011 at 6:30 PM  Comments (1)  
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