Cosmo’s 7 Secret Signs V.S. The Average HR Hero

I recently read Cosmo’s Secret Signs He’s Amazing in Bed (yes, even an old-fashioned gal like myself needs to keep up with the modern ways of the world ;P ), enjoyed it and then came up with a fun idea!

What if one were to take the average Historical Romance Hero and pit him against the criteria of this list? How would he fare? Have our favorite authors nailed the secret to how good these men are in bed?

Well, let’s have a look, shall we? ūüėČ

Number One: Number one on the list states that you’ll know he’s good if he knows his way around a guitar, or is into music or art (the so-called ‘geeky’ activities). Well.¬† Seeing as the guitar wasn’t even invented back in the 1700/1800’s, that’s a no go. However, pianos did abound and music and art were definitely in their prime! What’s more it was considered ‘feminine’ to pursue such activities. A man was thought to enjoy more masculine things like hunting and fencing. Hmmm, well I can definitely think of at least one hero who fits that criteria! Jocelyn Dudley,the Duke of Tresham (from Mary Balogh’s More Than a Mistress) is man who appears cold and ruthless but then secretly harbors a gift for playing the piano. Course no one knows about this until the heroine uncovers his secret. So I guess that makes number one a YES.

Number Two: Number two says focus on the way he eats, as that’ll say a lot about his nature in the bedroom-If he gobbles it down quickly, you’ll know he’s all about instant gratification in the bedroom. Hmmm, well the Earl of Storrington from Miranda Neville’s Never Resist Temptation definitely enjoyed his food and took his time-ah, savoring it, **cough cough** Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve read a hero who isn’t about taking his time with food and not golfing it all down. Guess that makes this one a YES.

Number Three: Number three says he’s better in bed if he has a bigger salary. Well, that’s an obvious one. The average HR hero is usually an earl, a marquess or a duke which means piles of cash and at least two big houses, tons of servants, not to mention acres of farmland which is their main source of their wealth. So this one’s definitely a big, fat wad of YES.

Number Four: This one talks about the body of a man. Well, he’s gotta be fit in order to do the job right? It even states that if he’s larger than most men, it’s a good sign-as it means more endorphins. Again, obvious. Everytime the heroine meets her man, there are all these descriptions like his firm, muscular body, his broad shoulders, his intimating height, etc… God, I could go on but then well never get to the end ūüėČ So, YES again.

Number Five: Confidence is key. Again, obvious. There hasn’t been ONE hero who isn’t confident, usually to the point of arrogance (Mr. Darcy, any one?)-I mean it’s always ‘he had a sureness about him’, ‘he seemed so comfortable in his skin’, ya da ya da ya! YES again!

Number Six: If he’s open about his feelings for you right away, it’ll be easier when you’re intimate. Well, hell, that’s dead obvious too. Remember how our confident, smooth hero tells a lady exactly what he thinks about her? You know the part that makes you shiver cause he’s being too darned sexy in telling the heroine how he feels about her? So this one’s definitely another YES.

Number Seven: Last one says nice guys are better in bed. Hmmm, now this one is a toughie. Considering that 99.9% of all HR heroes are rakes with unsavory reputations (who are, naturally, talented in bedroom activities), how on earth can this be true? But then again, isn’t the hero always in some way misunderstood and not really as rakish or as devilish as he appears? And don’ they always end up changing for the women they love? Take this example-Lucas Hadley from Cara Elliot’s Sin with a Scoundrel, is a rake but is also deep down more than just another pleasure seeker. Not to mention the fact that despite these heroes being rakes, they always treat their partners well in bed-and never take more than they get. So, maybe they’re not nice in the traditional sense but they are nice to the women they love! So, I would say YES!

Conclusion: Well, bless my soul, it seems that our favorite authors really do know what makes a skilled man a skilled man! Seems like the HR heroes really do live up to their rep as awesome guys in bed. Glad to know that there was some truth in them and they weren’t complete fantasies for us women ūüėČ

The Way We Live Now music video!

Dear readers,

I’ve just recently watched the BBC series The Way We Live Now (by Anthony Trollepe) and totally fell in love with the couple in the movie! Theirs is a story of forbidden love and is totally absorbing. Cillian Murphy who plays Paul Montague and Paloma Baeza who plays Hetta Carbury have instant chemistry and their love story is filled with all the drama a good romance needs!

As soon as I watched it, I knew I had to make a video for them and now I’m sharing it with you guys, hopefully to encourage more people to come and watch this great show. I always love a period movie and this is one of the best I’ve seen. Apart from the love story, the plot is engaging, addictive and it’s based on classic literature! ūüėÄ For those Pride and Prejudice fans, Matthew Macfadyen stars in here and the talented Andrew Davies writes the screenplay.

To Sin With A Scoundrel by Cara Elliott

Setting: Regency

Summary:

A reclusive widow known for her scientific scholarship, Lady Ciara Sheffield is shadowed by rumors that she poisoned her husband . . . A rakehell rogue notorious for his devil-may-care antics, Lucas Bingham, the Earl of Hadley is not accused of murdering anything‚ÄĒsave for the rules of Polite Society. The only thing they have in common is seeing their names featured in the lurid gossip columns of London‚Äôs newspapers.

Until an ancient manuscript draws them together.

Ciara needs a titled fiancé to quell the slanderous speculations which may send her to the gallows. Lucas needs brilliant scholar to help his elderly uncle decipher the secrets of the mysterious manuscript. So when her friends urge her to accept the earl’s proposal of a temporary alliance, Ciara decides that she had no choice but to make a deal with the Devil.

And so begins a seductive dance of sinful pleasures and hidden desires as the two of them waltz through the mansions of Mayfair. Lies, intrigue, treachery, sex. They find themselves facing slanderous whispers, unscrupulous relatives‚ÄĒnot to speak of their own simmering passions, which quickly ignite into dangerous flames. It‚Äôs a potent mix and the result may be explosive‚ÄĒand perhaps deadly‚ÄĒif they don‚Äôt watch their step.

Review:

Sexy, sweet, romantic, witty and hilarious, this is one book not to be missed! It was a great and refreshing¬†change¬†from all the usual sex-obsessed romance novels. I appreciated the fact that the hero and the heroine didn’t feel the need to jump¬†into¬†bed right away which afforded the reader (me!) to enjoy great witty banter and hot sexual tension. ūüėõ

Both the hero and heroine were awesome lovable¬†characters. I¬†liked¬†Ciara right away, mainly because she was so easy to relate to, dealing with horrible rumors. She was also a strong¬†character, who was willing to do whatever it took to protect her son. I liked how she didn’t succumb right away to the charms of the devilish Lord Hadley, like other heroines seemed to do. It fit well with her¬†rational, serious,¬†focused-on-her-work persona and was a nice change. Sometimes I find myself¬†rolling¬†my eyes at how quickly heroines who say they will never fall for the charms of Mr so-and-so end up in bed with him not too long after.

I knew Lord Hadley, despite all the rumors to the contrary, was a an good man almost right away. We hear about his exploits in the paper Ciara reads at the beginning of the book but later when we first meet him, we see that Hadley is a man who is already wondering at his shallow existence, proving that there is more to him than meets the eye. I loved how the author gradually revealed the deeper layers of the man until I along with the heroine was totally in love with him!

This story was also the perfect opposites attract story. Being a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice, the whole we’re-opposites-and-that-means-we-can-teach-each other-things is completely up my alley. Relationships are about learning new¬†things¬†from your partner while staying true to yourself.

The charcters were complete opposites at first but then gradually we can see how perfect they are for each other.

The pacing of the romance was perfect and I loved¬†watching¬†them fall in love before anything too scandalous happened ūüėČ

Another great thing about this book was the conversations. I loved how witty they were and laughed more than once at the cleverness of the dialogue. Very Austen-esque.

The extra¬†characters¬†were wonderful and really fleshed out. I could completely¬†imagine¬†them saying what they said and acting how they did. The scenes were touching and¬†realistic¬†and I absolutely loved the scenes with Ciara’s son and Lord Hadley.

The only thing that may have kept it a bit down for me was that it wasn’t very adventurous in terms of plot. It was a great fresh telling of the opposites attract story and I suppose this is my veteran romance reader self talking but I would have preferred if the story had¬†happened¬†on more of a larger scale.

I still can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Sensuality Level: Warm (Few love scenes but GREAT tension and chemistry)

Verdict: Very witty and romantic-This is one for the hopeless romantic in all of us! Buy it for a great, feel-good read ūüôā

Rating: 4 and a half out of 5 stars

Seducing An Angel by Mary Balogh

Setting: Regency

Summary:

He must be wealthy, wellborn, and want her more than he wants any other woman. Those are the conditions that must be met by the man Cassandra Belmont chooses for her lover. Marriage is out of the question for the destitute widow who stands accused of murdering her husband and must now barter her beauty in order to survive. With seduction in mind, she sets her sights on Stephen Huxtable, the irresistibly attractive Earl of Merton and London’s most eligible bachelor. But Stephen’s first intriguing glimpse of the mysterious, alluring Lady Paget convinces him that he has found the ideal woman to share his bed. There is only one caveat. This relationship fueled by mutual pleasure must be on his terms.

As the two warily circle each other in a sensual dance of attack and retreat, a single night of passion alters all the rules. Cassandra, whose reputation is already in tatters, is now in danger of losing the one thing she vowed never to give. And Stephen, who wants Cassandra more than he has ever wanted any woman, won’t rest until she has surrendered everything Рnot as his mistress Рbut as his lover and wife.

Click cover to order from Amazon

Review:

This is book four of the Huxtable series.

I don’t know what it is about Mary Balogh books but they get me all the time, As soon as I bought this one (finally¬†out in paperback after a year’s wait) I put it right at the top of my TBR list to be read immediately and for good reason.

Stephen Huxtable is the youngest of the four Huxtable siblings and throughout the first three books in the series, he was my¬†favorite¬†secondary¬†character. It’s so refreshing to have a good hero for once instead of all the brooding,¬†tortured¬†heroes out there. Watching Stephen grow up was a pleasure and I couldn’t wait till he could get his own book. This book was the most¬†anticipated¬†for me. With such a charmed childhood,¬†Stephen¬†really hasn’t got anything to complain about and is in a word, ‘angelic’. He is handsome, outgoing, good-natured, friendly, honorable, and believes a relationship with a woman should be more than about sex.

Can we say swoon?! Oh yes we can!

Our heroine on the other¬†hand,¬†Cassie is the one with the problems. She’s been married for 10 long years to a brute of a husband and is now poor and sworn off all men. She decides to become a mistress so she can provide for herself and her¬†friends¬†who have come with her to London. When she sees the handsome and charming Stephen, she assumes he will be easy to manipulate as he has an innocence about him. So begins the seduction of an angel, which in this case, is the hero. An interesting turnabout as it’s always the angel of an heroine that the rakish hero wants to seduce.

I loved this book. I found Stephen to be wonderfully sweet and though people might find that dull, I personally found it refreshing. Don’t mistake Stephen though-He has strength in him. The journey that they both went on was touching and pulled at my¬†heartstrings. Stephen is the perfect man for Cassandra who believes that all men are cruel and hateful. Cassandra is really not as deceiving as she appears and Stephen can see through her mask to the kind, brave, self-less woman underneath.

They made quite a pair and I loved every minute of their journey into happily ever after. It was worth the wait and in my opinion is the best of the series so far! It kept me entertained the whole time and the tension between Cassie and Stephen was very palpable.

Sensuality Level: Warm (The love scenes were not long and weren’t explicit)

Verdict: Bad girl meets good boy story written in true Balogh style. Not to be missed! This one goes on my re-read shelf!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

OMG, Where will I put all these books?

My book pile is huge.

No joke. I have piles of books stacked up in my case and it just keeps getting fuller.

Sometimes¬†I wish I wasn’t so obsessed with reading. For one thing I would have more money to spend and for¬†another¬†I would¬†have¬†more place to put my things instead of having stuff piled on the floor for lack of shelf space.

Worse thing is, alot of the books I haven’t even read! I just keep buying them-at least one every week and other times three at once.

It’s the curse of the romance reader.

I’m sure you all share the same feeling. Buying endless¬†books¬†after another and then¬†finding¬†more to buy; I¬†have¬†to say, the people in the romance industry must make a lot of money off all the books they sell. Not to sound bitter or anything.

It’s those darn covers! With¬†their¬†tempting pictures of sexy men in breeches or¬†classy¬†looking¬†women wearing gorgeous gowns or even some sexy clinch. I’m often¬†tempted¬†to buy a book cause of the cover alone! Darn those marketing people-They’re evil! (No I’m kidding I love your covers)

My TBR pile has got 11 books on it. Eleven. And some of them have been there since last year-as I keep buying more to read. Sometime in the future, I will show you all my massive romance collection.

I always¬†feel obliged to buy books sometimes simply cause it’s part of a series and sometimes it’s cause it’s an author I love. Other times it’s buying new books cause of rave reviews or fresh premises. Which of course ends up being put on my to-buy list and then meaning more books to fill up my already tight bookcase.

Just recently, I¬†committed¬†myself to¬†Kathryn¬†Caskie’s 7 book Sin series as well as this year’s¬†Sara¬†Lindsey’s¬†Weston¬†family 7-book series. Once I start a series, I feel obliged to end one which now means about 12 more books to my book shelf. Sigh***

And let’s not mention my huge to buy¬†author¬†list which includes¬†Mary¬†Balogh, Anna¬†Campbell,¬†Tessa¬†Dare, Celeste¬†Bradley, Courtney Milan, Miranda Neville. And that’s only the top ones.

I’ve checked my calendar and¬†apparently¬†there are 5 books coming out¬†next¬†week on May 25th which I plan to buy. And I still have eleven I¬†haven’t¬†touched!

With so many books to buy, where will I end up putting them all? I’m thinking I should have a library when I get my home to keep all these books cause I can’t bear to throw any of them out. But now? Maybe clearing my¬†wardrobe¬†would be a good idea?

What about you guys? Do you have similar problems? And if so, how do you deal with it? I’ll love to hear from you-We can wallow in our cluttered bedrooms ūüėÄ

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