Sins of a Ruthless Rogue by Anna Randol

Sins of a Ruthless RogueSetting: Regency

Book 2 in Sinners Trio

Summary:

When Clayton Campbell shows up on her doorstep, Olivia Swift is stunned. For long ago, Clayton was the boy who stole her heart. He’s also the man her betrayal had sent to the gallows. A man she believed dead, now standing before her, looking leaner, harder, more powerful than ever, his haunted eyes filled with a lust she had never seen—for vengeance…

He’s a Crown spy who once faced death and escaped unscathed. Yet Clayton Campbell cannot deny that the sight of Olivia rouses in him something more than a thirst for revenge. Or that the bold beauty would lure him once more into a dangerous game. Only this time, Clayton plans to be the victor—with the tempting Olivia in his bed as his prize. But once passion ignites between them, the hard-hearted agent will face his greatest battle yet—for his heart…

Review:

Having loved her first book in this series about a trio of spies who have recently retired and are trying to move on with their lives, I thought I would love this one even more but I ended up feeling lukewarm about the book. The premise sounded great but I didn’t really gel with the idea on this one and it honestly could have been better.

I thought the books rushed through the exposition way too quickly. One minute  we have a short flashback of Clayton and his girl in love and then suddenly we jump to the present where because of Olivia’s tattle-telling, Clayton has been sent into exile and then he magically pops up on the mill a few minutes later after having never seen Olivia in YEARS.

The thing with books with a couple who have already been in love once is that they tend to think that because they had that connection once then BAM, the chemistry is obviously there so the hard work of creating the emotional bond between the characters is lessened. I really would have liked more flashbacks between the two so we can see the kind of bond they once had before Olivia’s betrayal. And honestly, the whole plot could have been solved if Olivia had just apologized in the first place.

However, I did enjoy the whole action packed mystery plot on the side and I enjoyed Clayton as a hero. He was everything you want; brave, honorable and actually a sweetheart under that cold exterior. Olivia was alright but I wasn’t sold on her romance with Clayton.

I also liked the historical element and I learned a bit more about that period than I expected. All in all, this wasn’t a bad book but it wasn’t as good as it could have been.

Sensuality Rating: Pretty Hot (4/5)

Verdict: Just ok

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The Temporary Wife/A Promise of Spring by Mary Balogh

Setting: Regency

Summary:

In two classic tales of Regency-era romance from New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh, the vagaries of love have a way of challenging the most convenient arrangements.
 
THE TEMPORARY WIFE
Miss Charity Duncan has no illusions about Lord Anthony Earheart’s proposal. The arrogant aristocrat has made it painfully clear what he wants: a wife who will enrage the father he despises and then disappear from his life. In exchange, Charity’s family will receive the money they desperately need. But after Charity agrees to this mockery of matrimony, she soon discovers a startling fact: She has fallen for Anthony, and breaking their marriage vows may also break her heart.
 
A PROMISE OF SPRING
Grace Howard has every reason to be devoted to Sir Peregrine Lampman. After all, the gallant gentleman rescued her from poverty by making her his bride. Even more nobly, he did not withdraw his affection after she confessed to a youthful folly that had compromised her virtue. But Grace did not tell the whole truth about the handsome lord who betrayed her—and now the one thing she’s kept from Perry threatens to destroy her last chance at true love.

Click cover for more info!

Review:

Two tales of people overcoming the trails of the past are brought together and are beautifully told by one of the romance genre’s most talented writers. You won’t be disappointed in this collection with its warmth, unique-ness and poignancy.

The first story we have is about a woman who is forced to marry a man in order to feed her family. This is a very typical set-up as the hero is out for vengeance against his family and marries the heroine in order to fulfill it. But even the most common stories shine in the hands of Mary Balogh and though things may appear done before, you will be surprised and pleased by how this story turns out. Both hero and heroine are more than they appear. I give it a 4 stars out of 5.

The second story was less typical and was a great change from the usual romance storyline. We have a woman who has a past lover who comes back to challenge her current marriage. This one had a more mature, deeper, meaningful feeling to it and some readers may find to hard to like as it is not romantic and contains no great declarations of love or grand gestures. This is about a more gradual type of love. The heroine was admirable and I loved how patient and undemanding the hero was. But watching as the heroine overcomes her past is worth reading this story. A definite 4 out of 5 stars!

Mary Balogh is more than just a romance writer. She is an observer of human nature. And just like her famous predecessor Jane Austen, her stories are always full of real, layered people that aren’t perfect and great insights into the human heart. This book is no exception. You will be deeply touched by both stories. Don’t expect lots of sex and eroticism though sexual tension is always there in a Balogh novel, simmering just beneath the surface.

Again, if you’re looking for some heart warming, touching, more traditional romance with great sexual tension, than pick this one up. You’ll love both stories and want more!

Sensuality rating-Minimal-Very traditional style Regency romance

Verdict: Another great read for those of you who like more traditional romances and can’t get enough of Mary Balogh!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Anna Campbell’s new cover released! :D

Gorgeous, just gorgeous!

Preview of Courtney Milan’s upcoming book!

Courtney Milan unveils ‘Unveiled’!

Alright guys, I know it’s a little too early to start thinking about buying Courtney’s new book when her last one (Trial by Desire) was only JUST released but I couldn’t help myself! Just looking at that stunning cover is getting me all worked up already! Seriously, I WANT HER BLUE CORSET.

Too bad we’ll have to wait till next year to get the book but for now we can enjoy the blurb and the excerpt!

Unveiled-coming January 25th, 2011

Ash Turner has waited a lifetime to seek revenge on the man who ruined his family, and at last the time for justice has arrived. At Parford Manor, he intends to take his place as the rightful heir to the dukedom, and settle an old score with the current duke once and for all. But when he arrives, he finds himself drawn to a tempting beauty who has the power to undo all his dreams of vengeance.

Lady Margaret knows she should despise the man who’s stolen her fortune and her father’s legacy—the man she—s been ordered to spy on in the guise of a nurse. Yet the more she learns about the new duke, the less she can resist his smoldering appeal. Soon Margaret and Ash find themselves torn between old loyalties—and the tantalizing promise of passion….

Read the exciting excerpt here-

http://www.courtneymilan.com/unv-excerpt.php?top

Now isn’t that exciting?! 😀 Next January just looked a little brighter!

Oh and as a point of interest, if you haven’t read her current novel Trial by Desire (Lord knows why you haven’t unless you’re like me and can’t get hold of a copy, darn) than here are ten good reasons why you shouldn’t buy the book that Courtney herself wrote for  Sarah MacLean’s website-

1. You need to save all your money to buy at least two copies of Ten Ways to be Adored when Landing a Lord.

2. Speaking of which, if this book had a rhyming, numbered title, it would be Three Things that kind of Rankle when You’re Breaking your Ankle, which you have to admit is not nearly cool enough. Nor sufficiently high in numerosity.

3. The book starts off with a horse (of course), whose name is either Meat or Champion–depending on who you ask. It runs through a sheep dog by the name of Dobbin, and doesn’t stop with a rooster named Kevin. Do you really want to read about animals with ridiculous names? Or is that, ridiculous animals with names? I can’t even tell which one it should be, and I wrote the book.

4. Let’s go back to that horse. Everyone knows that when the hero picks up a wounded, abused horse in the beginning of the book, by the end of the book he will turn into a fine racing animal who will save the day by winning enough money in the Royal Horse Tournament Cup Ascot to pay off the mortgage on the family cottage. But Champion (or Meat) doesn’t ever race. There is no Royal Horse Tournament Cup Ascot. And Ned, my hero, doesn’t have a family cottage–he has an entire manor–and he doesn’t need money. Seriously. What kind of book is this?

5. Then there’s my heroine. You might think you want to read about her–Lady Kathleen is shy, demure, and she loves to shop. Except, wait a second. Maybe she’s not so shy–she has rescued six women from abusive husbands by the start of the book. And maybe she’s not so demure: when her husband returns from China after three years’ absence, she’s the one who agitates for, ahem, marital relations to resume. But she does love to shop.

6. And what does she shop for? Nightwear. Everyone knows that heroines of the time period usually wore demure, linen nightrails to bed. But my heroine, Kate, purposefully departs from that norm. Twice. TWO TIMES, she chooses to garb herself in something other than the typical linen night rail. Why, why, why would she do that kind of thing? It is almost as if she wants someone to notice her. And do something about it. Shocking, scandalous girl!

7. It’s even worse than the nighttime garb. Ladies in Victorian times don’t speak about politics. Ladies don’t speak about gentleman’s wagers. And ladies don’t speak about a gentleman’s vegetables. Yet despite these well-known demands of etiquette, Lady Kathleen Carhart speaks about politics, wagers, and, most importantly, vegetables. She should be ashamed of herself. She isn’t. Oh, Kate.

8. And while we’re talking about shame, how about the scene where Kate walks in on Ned while he is… actually, I can’t even make myself say it. He should totally be ashamed of himself, too! He isn’t. Oh, Ned.

9. Also, peppermints. (Full disclosure: I am allergic to peppermints. They make me sneeze, which as you can imagine means I have to pick my brand of toothpaste Very Carefully.) My hero uses peppermints as an incentive. My heroine uses peppermints as a weapon. It’s just not believable that two people, so utterly different, could come together and find love.

10. And finally, there’s the title. Trial by Desire. It’s misleading and inappropriate. The only trial in this book is conducted by Magistrate Fang, and so I’m just not sure what on earth I was thinking when I named the book. Trial by Fang has a much better ring to it, doesn’t it?

I hope I have convinced you not to go to the store, not to take this book off the shelf, and to definitely not plunk your hard-earned money down for it. Do not buy this book–not unless you want to be accosted by peppermints, horses, and a heroine who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to wear a nightrail to get it.

Haha, I hope you all laughed as much as I did when reading this! If you haven’t read it, what are you waiting for?

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