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…

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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.

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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….

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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?

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Trailer:

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MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY SHOPPING! 😀

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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?

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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

Slightly Scandalous by Mary Balogh

Setting: Regency

Summary:

From feisty manner to long, tumbling hair, Freyja Bedwyn is pure fire, a woman who seeks both adventure and freedom. Adventure soon finds her on the way to Bath, when a handsome stranger bursts into her inn room in the middle of the night and entreats her to hide him. He is Joshua Moore, Marquess of Hallmere, a man with a hell-raising reputation of his own. They meet again in Bath, where sparks fly as two strong wills clash and each tries to best the other. But when Joshua needs sudden rescue from the matchmaking schemes of his aunt, it is Freyja to whom he turns . . . because he knows that only she is reckless enough to engage in a fake betrothal with him for the sheer fun of it. And fun it is until the Duke of Bewcastle, Freyja’s eldest brother, learns of the betrothal. And until passion blindsides them both. And until a danger more deadly than marriage threatens Joshua. But there is no doubt about the fact that it admirably suits both Freyja and Joshua to be caught up together in something very slightly scandalous…

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Review:

I was so glad when I found this book by chance at a bookstore, as I had read all the previous Slightly books and only had this one to go! This book didn’t wow me but it didn’t disappoint me either. It was just ok. I can’t say I completely fell in love with it as I did with others in the series, but it was still a good read, compared to other romances.

Freyja Bedwyn is introduced as a fiery young woman who is still nursing a broken heart. She hides her wounded heart beneath a mask of arrogance. I felt that this could have been elaborated on as this was an important obstacle in her relationship with the hero.

The hero was one of the major pluses of the book as he was charismatic, charming, witty and funny and one could not imagine why Freyja took so long falling for him. I think that was the biggest flaw in the book-the lack of conflict between the hero and heroine. I wasn’t engaged as it was clear from the start that the two were perfect and it seemed silly that they would try to deny the obvious fact. The use of a fake betrothal only served to bring them closer together and yet they still resisted each other, for no apparent good reason.

I enjoyed the start when the two meet each other but after they perform the fake betrothal, it went a little downhill from there. I think if Freyja’s wounded heart might have been expanded on, i would have enjoyed this book a lot more. As it was, I found myself itching for the ending. The book did pick up near the end, but was overall not what I normally expected from the usually winning Mary Balogh.

Sensuality Level: Warm (Short and not explicit)

Verdict: Just ok but don’t expect to be wowed.

Rating: 3 and a half starts out of 5

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