Scandal Wears Satin by Loretta Chase

Setting: Late Regency 1835

Summary:

From the Journals of Sophia Noirot: A dress is a weapon. It must dazzle his eye, raise his temperature . . . and empty his purse.

A blue-eyed innocent on the outside and a shark on the inside, dressmaker Sophy Noirot could sell sand to Bedouins. Selling Maison Noirot’s beautiful designs to aristocratic ladies is a little harder, especially since a recent family scandal has made an enemy of one of society’s fashion leaders. Turning scandal to the shop’s advantage requires every iota of Sophy’s skills, leaving her little patience for a big, reckless rake like the Earl of Longmore. The gorgeous lummox can’t keep more than one idea in his head at a time, and his idea is taking off all of Sophy’s clothes.

But when Longmore’s sister, Noirot’s wealthiest, favorite customer, runs away, Sophy can’t let him bumble after her on his own. In hot pursuit with the one man who tempts her beyond reason, she finds desire has never slipped on so smoothly . . .

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Review:

This is another great addition to Loretta’s very original series about three dressmakers in London. Wit, humor and adventure awaits the reader behind the gorgeous blue cover of this beautifully written Regency romance!

The heroine Sophia Noirot was introduced in the last book as being immensely clever and persuasive when it came to marketing the sister’s dress shop. Her latest challenge comes in the form of the Earl of Longmore who can’t seem to get her out of his head! But it’s no smooth road for these two as Longmore’s mother hates the dressmakers and of course there’s the major class difference. But Sophia can’t get him out of her head either! And when his sister goes missing, putting the shop’s future at stake, Sophia and Longmore must team up to save her, which puts temptation way too close for comfort 😉

I loved Sophia’s character-she was smart, hilarious and so manipulative it was dazzling to read. Loving acting myself, I loved how Sophia could assume any character she wanted to suit her purposes. Her personality made for some really fresh and funny scenes. I wasn’t big fan of the hero though-I like my heroes more articulate and charming. Longmore struck me as more of a jock type personality. But seeing these two interact, it was clear they were right for each other. I would have liked to understood why Longmore liked Sophia though-it was never mentioned the why, except that he did, right from the start of the book. However, every scene seemed to crackle with the unspoken tension the two shared.

The rest of the characters shone too, with my favorites being Longmore’s sister (I wonder if she’ll be getting a spin off book of her own), and Longmore’s mother who reminded me of Austen’s Mrs Bennet with her over-dramatic faints and sighs. I did wish I could see more of the couple from the first book though but that was a minor point.

Plot-wise, it was simple and yet so addictive I just couldn’t put it down. The road trip trope? It’s been done before and yet this was somehow too intriguing. I think Sophia’s actress character played a big part but another part of the reason was because of all the descriptions of the different places Longmore and Sophia went to try and find his sister-you felt as if you were right there with them and could envision all the scenes. As with the first book in the series, I loved all the passages at the start of each chapter which were taken from real-life historical sources. It made the book seem like it could have actually happened!

All in all, this was a very beautifully written romance with great characters and a very entertaining plot. I can’t imagine a better way to spend an afternoon 🙂

Sensuality Rating: Hot 😉

Verdict: Another great read from the amazing Loretta Chase! Highly recommended!

Rating: 4 and a half out of 5 stars

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The Proposal by Mary Balogh

Setting: Regency

Summary:

In Mary Balogh’s engaging and seductive new novel of drama and romance, a woman comfortable in her solitude allows temptation to free her heart, when a daring war hero shows her how truly extraordinary she is.
 
THE PROPOSAL
 
Gwendoline, Lady Muir, has seen her share of tragedy, especially since a freak accident took her husband much too soon. Content in a quiet life with friends and family, the young widow has no desire to marry again. But when Hugo, Lord Trentham, scoops her up in his arms after a fall, she feels a sensation that both shocks and emboldens her.
 
Hugo never intends to kiss Lady Muir, and frankly, he judges her to be a spoiled, frivolous—if beautiful—aristocrat. He is a gentleman in name only: a soldier whose bravery earned him a title; a merchant’s son who inherited his wealth. He is happiest when working the land, but duty and title now demand that he finds a wife. He doesn’t wish to court Lady Muir, nor have any role in the society games her kind thrives upon. Yet Hugo has never craved a woman more; Gwen’s guileless manner, infectious laugh, and lovely face have ruined him for any other woman. He wants her, but will she have him?
 
The hard, dour ex-military officer who so gently carried Gwen to safety is a man who needs a lesson in winning a woman’s heart. Despite her cautious nature, Gwen cannot ignore the attraction. As their two vastly different worlds come together, both will be challenged in unforeseen ways. But through courtship and seduction, Gwen soon finds that with each kiss, and with every caress, she cannot resist Hugo’s devotion, his desire, his love, and the promise of forever.

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Trailer

Review:

Loved this book! Balogh does it again with another touching read and a great introduction to her new 7 book series about a group of war survivors, each with their own scars (physical or mental) from the war.

The heroine is the lonely, limping cousin of a previous Balogh heroine-one who was long overdue for a happy ending of her own. Despite her handicap, Gwen is cheerful and generous, always ready to help out her friends and family. She is the perfect lady. At the start we see her forced to endure the company of a whiny, selfish friend. Gwen escapes to the seaside and ends up spraining her ankle, which is how she meets our hero.

On the opposite end of the scale, we have Hugo who has never fully recovered from his psychological war scars. He wears a tough, cold exterior to hide the fact that he feels guilty for living when his comrades have all perished in the war. He’s a middle class man who has just gained a title and he can’t stand the upper classes. When these two meet, there are instant sparks-of dislike. But the more time they spend together, the more both realize how much they have in common. But Gwen has no desire to marry again and Hugo has to persuade her to think otherwise. As far as characters go, I liked both Hugo and Gwen but they weren’t super special in any way. I did admire Gwen’s cheerfulness despite how lonely her life was and the fact that her husband and son died previously. It was sweet watching them fall in love and try to deny it.

As with all Balogh novels, this book focuses more on the character than the plot so if your taste is more towards an exciting fast-paced  adventure romance, this isn’t for you. Reminiscent of Jane Austen novels, this book is more for people who appreciate a deeper look into the workings of human nature. As touching as it is wise, this book will be sure to bring a few tears to even the strongest readers.

Overall, this is a great, emotionally touching read, perfect for a quiet day in. Can’t wait for the next book! 😀

Sensuality Rating: Warm

Verdict: Great start to a new series! Balogh is back in the game!

Rating: 4 and a half out of 5 stars

New series from Miranda Neville!

Love Miranda’s romances? Then you’ll love her new series about a group of badly behaved men-this time men who collect art instead of books.

Check out that gorgeous cover 😀

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RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 27, 2012

Romances Coming in September 2012!

Autumn arrives bringing a great basket full of new romances 😀

Check these books out!

1) Out September 1 *Book 1 in Jewels of the Ton series* (NEW SERIES!)

Summary:

He had a perfectly orderly life…

William, the sixth Duke of Pelham, enjoys his punctual, securely structured life. Orderly and predictable—that’s the way he likes it. But he’s in the public eye, and the scandal sheets will make up anything to sell papers. When the gossip papers link him to Juliette, one of the most beautiful and celebrated courtesans in London, chaos doesn’t begin to describe what happens next…

Until she came along…

Juliette is nicknamed the Duchess of Dalliance and has the cream of the nobility at her beck and call. It’s disruptive to have the duke who is the biggest catch on the Marriage Mart scaring her other suitors away. Then she discovers William’s darkest secret and decides what he needs in his life is the kind of excitement only she can provide…

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2) Out September 4 *Book 2 in Reforming the Scoundrels series*

Summary:

The Marquess of Fenris has loved Lady Eugenia from the day he first set eyes on her. Five years ago, pride caused him to earn her enmity. Now she’s widowed, and he’s determined to make amends and win her heart.  But with their near explosive attraction, can he resist his desire long enough to court her properly?

After the death of her beloved husband, Lady Eugenia Bryant has come to London to build a new life. Despite the gift of a medallion said to have the power to unite the wearer with her perfect match, Eugenia believes she won’t love again. And yet, amid the social whirl of chaperoning a young friend through her first Season, she finds a second chance at happiness.

Unfortunately, the Marquess of Fenris threatens her newfound peace. Eugenia dislikes the man, but the handsome and wealthy heir to a dukedom is more charming than he has a right to be. Constantly underfoot, the rogue disturbs her heart, alternately delighting and scandalizing her.  And when their relationship takes a highly improper turn, Eugenia must decide if the wrong man isn’t the right one after all.

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3) Out September 4 *Book 1 in Whispers of Scandal series* (NEW SERIES!)

Summary:

What is society to do when the diamonds of the first water are caught in compromising situations, one after the other? Can the young ladies survive the season with their reputations intact…or will the scandalous whispers surrounding them bring about the ultimate ruination?

When Lady Elena Morrow, the reigning belle of the ton, suddenly disappears, her family is desperate to find her—and to keep the story from spreading through London society like wildfire, before her reputation is ruined. Unfortunately, it may be impossible to avoid a scandal. Viscount Andrews, better known as the Raven, London’s most notorious rake, has gone missing at exactly the same moment.

Benjamin Wallace, Lord Heathton, is more accustomed to untangling political difficulties, rather than those of the heart. But when he is pressured to help find Lady Elena, he can’t refuse—the distraught father is also his wife’s uncle. Now he must find the beautiful debutante before the connection to Andrews does away with her innocence—assuming the vulnerable young lady wants to be found.…

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4) Out September 18 *Book 1 in The Duchess Diaries series* (NEW!)

Summary:

BESTSELLING AUTHOR KAREN HAWKINS ONCE MORE SETS SCOTTISH HEARTS AFIRE WITH A SCINTILLATING NEW SERIES FEATURING THE UNCONVENTIONAL BALFOUR FAMILY.

Urged by her favorite nephew, the intimidating Duchess of Roxburghe agrees to transform a thorny Scottish rose into a lovely bloom. But even she isn’t prepared for fiery Rose Balfour.

At seventeen, Rose fell wildly in love with Lord Alton Sinclair, known as Lord Sin for his wicked ways. Stung by his indifference, the starry-eyed girl tried to win an illicit kiss, but then panicked and pushed the notorious rakehell into a fountain. Leaving Lord Sin floating among the lily pads to the mocking laughter of his peers, Rose escaped back to the obscurity of the Scottish countryside.

Six years later, Sin convinces his aunt, the Duchess of Roxburghe, to invite Rose to her annual house party, where he plans to get revenge by making Rose the laughingstock of polite society. To his astonishment, he finds she has become an alluring woman who threatens to turn the tables on his nefarious plans. Thus Sin and Rose begin an epic battle of the sexes that becomes more passionate at every turn. Eventually, one will have to surrender . . . but to vengeance? Or to love’s deepest passion?

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5) Out September 18 *RE-ISSUE*

Summary:

Benedict Wincross appears in Camilla Ferrand’s life as quickly as the gunfire pursuing him. Though his name belies the fact, he is obviously no gentleman. But Camilla realizes Benedict may be just what she needs: a temporary fiancé to satisfy her family’s worries.

And Benedict needs something in return: an entrée into Chevington Park, Camilla’s estate, to conduct an undercover investigation into corruption—without Camilla’s knowledge. Each was drawing the other into a dangerous deceit—for even if they survived the danger of Benedict’s mission, how would they undo the love between them?

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6) Out September 25 *Book 1 in Sons of Sin series*

Summary:

Will a week of seduction…

Desperate to save her sister’s life, Sidonie Forsythe has agreed to submit herself to a terrible fate: Beyond the foreboding walls of Castle Craven, a notorious, hideously scarred scoundrel will take her virtue over the course of seven sinful nights. Yet instead of a monster, she encounters a man like no other. And during this week, she comes to care for Jonas Merrick in ways that defy all logic-even as a dark secret she carries threatens them both.

…Spark a lifetime of passionate surrender?

Ruthless loner Jonas knows exactly who he is. Should he forget, even for a moment, the curse he bears, a mere glance in the mirror serves as an agonizing reminder. So when the lovely Sidonie turns up on his doorstep, her seduction is an even more delicious prospect than he originally planned. But the hardened outcast is soon moved by her innocent beauty, sharp wit, and surprising courage. Now as dangerous enemies gather at the gate to destroy them, can their new, fragile love survive?

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7) Out September 25 *Book 5 in Inferno Club series*

Summary:

Meet the courageous men of the Inferno Club as they face their greatest challenge yet: marriage!

Sebastian, Viscount Beauchamp, lives by a code of honor, and now honor dictates he must marry Miss Carissa Portland. He has no regrets over stealing a kiss from the adorable little busybody—a fitting punishment for putting her delectable nose where it didn’t belong. But now, caught in a compromising situation, he knows he must make her his bride. He’s faced danger before—but nothing like this!

Carissa is not a gossip—she’s a “lady of information.” And all she was trying to do was warn the rakehell Beauchamp away from an irate husband. But even she can’t flaunt Society, and while her head tells her that Beau’s a notorious scoundrel, her heart—and her body—are captivated by his dangerous charm. But when Carissa next goes snooping, the secrets she uncovers about the Inferno Club may prove even more hazardous than falling in love with her own husband.

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8 ) Out September 25 *Stand-alone*

Summary:

The passionate new love story from # 1 New York Times bestselling author of The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae, Stephanie Laurens

Neville Roscoe, notorious and enigmatic, lives resolutely outside society, bound only by his own code of honor—until challenged by his desire for the one woman he cannot have.

Miranda Clifford is a lady imprisoned by rigid respectability—until tempted by a passion beyond her power to deny.

Flung together in peril, through danger and intrigue, they discover a love impossible to ignore . . . or keep.

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9) Out September 25 *Book 3 in The Scandalous Brides series*

Summary:

SHE BREAKS ALL THE RULES…

Sophia White knows she will never marry into polite society. The illegitimate daughter of a nobleman, she works at the Tantalus Club, a discreet establishment for gentlemen—and her only suitor is a pastor who wants to save her soul. So when Sophia is invited to spend the holidays at the estate of Adam Baswich, the devilishly handsome Duke of Greaves, she is delighted—and determined to enjoy her last nights of freedom before surrendering her hand…

TO CAPTURE A NOBLEMAN’S HEART

Inviting Sophia for Christmas is a daring courtesy on Adam’s part, but he soon finds the pleasure is all his. Sophia is beautiful, courageous, and stubbornly self-sufficient despite her scandalous circumstances—and not at all the kind of woman he could possibly marry. Adam knows he must find a wife by his thirtieth birthday or he will lose his fortune. But can he defy convention—and convince Sophia—to risk it all in the name of true love?

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10) Out September 25 *Book 3 in The Falcon Club series*

Summary:

Gentleman’s Rule #1: If a lady is virtuous, deny her nothing.

Beautiful Diantha Lucas understands society’s rules: a young lady must find a man to marry. But Diantha has a bigger goal and she’s not afraid of plunging into adventure to achieve it. When daring, dashing Wyn Yale rescues her, she’s certain he’s just the man she needs.

As an agent for the secret Falcon Club, Wyn knows his duty, but he’s not about to admit he’s a hero of any sort. He has a plan too: steal a prized horse, murder an evil duke, avenge an innocent girl, and probably get hung for it—in that order. Wyn can’t afford to be distracted by a pretty face, even one with delectable dimples and kissable lips. But how can a country miss and hardened spy solve their problems when they can’t keep their hands off each other?

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11) Out September 25 *Book 2 in Lost Lords of Pembrook series*

Summary:

Three young heirs, imprisoned by an unscrupulous uncle, escaped—to the sea, to the streets, to faraway battle—awaiting the day when they would return to reclaim their birthright.

Once upon a time, he was Lord Tristan Easton—now he is Crimson Jack, a notorious privateer beholden to none, whose only mistress is the sea. But all that will change when exquisite Lady Anne Hayworth hires his protection on a trip into danger and seduction. . .

Desperation brought Anne to the bronzed, blue-eyed buccaneer. But after the Captain demands a kiss as his payment, desire will keep her at his side. She has never known temptation like this—but to protect her heart, she knows she must leave him behind. Yet Tristan cannot easily forget the beauty—and when they meet again in a London ballroom, he vows he won’t lose her a second time, as fiery passion reignited takes them into uncharted waters that could lead the second lost lord home. . .

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12) Out September 25 *Book 1 in Secret Brides Trilogy* (DEBUT!)

Summary:

HOW TO STOP A WEDDING

Young, widowed, and penniless, Lily Andrews, the Countess of Merrill,has strong opinions on marriage. When she spots a certain engagement announcement in The Times, she decides to take action. She will not allow another hapless girlto fall prey to a man—particularly the scoundrel who broke her heart five years ago. Anonymously she writes and distributes a pamphlet entitled “Secrets of a Wedding Night,” knowing it will find its way into his intended’s innocent hands…

HOW TO SEDUCE A WIDOW

Devon Morgan, the Marquis of Colton, desires a good wife and mother to his son—someone completely unlike Lily Andrews, the heartless beauty who led him on a merry chase five years ago only to reject him. When Devon’s new fiancée cries off after reading a certain scandalous pamphlet, he vows to track down the author and make her pay. But when he learns it’s his former fiancée Lily, he issues a challenge: write a retractionor prepare to be seduced—to find out how wonderful a wedding night canbe…

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13) Out September 25 *Book 2 in Wylder Sisters series*

Summary:

Notorious for her free-spirited antics, Lady Elizabeth Wylder revels in attention—but not the sort that leaves her humiliated when her future husband, the Duke of Hawkesworth, fails to appear for their much-anticipated first introduction.

So when a chance encounter leads to a sizzling kiss with a dangerously handsome stranger, she nearly succumbs. The shock of finally meeting her betrothed only to come face to face with her rakish would-be seducer inspires fury—and fans the flames of a fire that both Lizzie and the Duke acknowledge is a most agreeable way to start a marriage. In her husband’s arms, Lizzie knows she has found love. But is the passion that accompanies endless nights of erotic discovery enough to persuade a duke whose scandalous lineage and lifestyle prevent him from giving his heart completely?

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Trailer

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14) Out September 25 *ANTHOLOGY*

Summary:

In this sparkling holiday collection, eight acclaimed authors unwrap the most daring of Regency delights. . .

Christmastime in England–a time for passionate secrets, delicious whispers, and wicked-sweet gifts by the fire. From a spirited lady who sets out to save her rakish best friend from an unsuitable engagement, to a bold spy who gets the unexpected chance to win the woman he’s always loved, to a vicar’s daughter who pretends to be a saucy wench, these holiday tales will make you curl up in front of the fire for a memorable season of mischief and mistletoe. . .

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15) Out September 25 *Book 2 in The Bridal Pleasures series* (SPECIAL RE-ISSUE)

Summary:

Miss Violet Knowlton knows the dangerous boy she watches in secret from her window is someone a proper young lady should avoid. Yet temptation overcomes her. Kit scoffs at her offer of friendship -until, slowly, her innocent trust opens a door to a world he’s never known…a world where Kit can break off the shackles of his shameful past.

Then Kit disappears from Violet’s life. Lost, she dedicates the next decade to becoming a true lady, only to have her world turned upside down one night at a ball in London. There she encounters a handsome and celebrated sword master – and recognizes him as her childhood friend. Soon the flames of their forbidden past reignite into a passion neither of them can refuse.

Kit can no more resist his first love now than he could years ago. But she’s been promised to another. Sworn to protect her, he vows that he will also find a way to possess her…no matter what stands in his way.

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HAPPY MONTH OF READING! 😀

If I Fall by Kate Noble

Setting: Regency 1823

Summary:

Every great romance comes with a risk…

After a duke’s betrayal, the resilient Sarah Forrester reinvents herself as the Golden Lady: society’s leading light, the beautiful and witty life of the party. It’s all a façade of course-one that protects her from another intimate disloyalty. When her old friend, Lieutenant Jackson Fletcher, returns to London, he is determined to rediscover the true and trusting Sarah he once knew. It’ll take more than a kiss and a promise. It might even call for an innocent and necessary deception.

Then Jackson is enlisted to help capture the lead suspect in a murder— a man who happens to be Sarah’s most ardent suitor. Jack must continue the deception, and weathering this newest and gravest betrayal will be Sarah’s ultimate test. But as Jack’s passion for her grows, he must also reveal his own secrets. And as the killer turns his attention to his pursuers, more than love and trust is put at risk.

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Review:

Anyone who loves the work of Tessa Dare will enjoy this fresh, witty, sparkling Regency romance with a twist!

This is a redemption story featuring the jilted fiance from Follow My Lead and her childhood friend. Brokenhearted, Sarah has decided to make herself over and becomes a cold, calculating b—-. Well you get the idea. The only person capable of saving her from herself is the one man who knew her best as a carefree, friendly child.

Things progress predictably at first with Jackson meeting our aloof heroine and wondering what happened to the nice girl he once knew. But things take an unexpected turn when Jackson decides to disguise himself as Sarah’s childhood idol the Blue Raven (a famous national spy) in order to elicit a reaction from her and discover if the real Sarah is still there. The premise is a bit far fetched but it’s fun and makes for a lot of funny scenes. And things get even more interesting when Jackson’s disguise leads him to a real murder!

As a couple, Sarah and Jackson are wonderful together especially those moments when Sarah lets down her guard. It was a great idea to make Jackson a childhood friend as it made it a much more satisfying ending for a heroine I felt very sorry for in the previous book. I would have liked to have seen more of Jackson and Sarah reminiscing on their childhood memories though as I felt the mystery aspect took away from that.

Another great thing about the book was the history. You can tell Ms Noble did her research and there were a lot of new things I learned about the 1800’s like the war between Britain and Burma. I love the way she writes as well: It flows, it’s poetic, funny and very witty.

Part mystery and espionage, this light, happy read will be sure to put a smile on your face. Remember: If you fall, let it be because of a good book like this one 😉

Sensuality Rating: Very warm!

Verdict: Funny, fast-paced and exciting! An exhilarating ride! 😀

Rating: 4 and a half out of 5 stars

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