The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton by Miranda Neville

Setting: Regency 1820

*Book 3 in Burgundy Club series*

Summary:

Being kidnapped is teaching Miss Celia Seaton a few things about life:

Lesson one: Never disrobe in front of a gentleman . . . unless his request comes at gunpoint.

Lesson two: If, when lost on the moors, you encounter Tarquin Compton, the leader of London society who ruined your marriage prospects, deny any previous acquaintance.

Lesson three: If presented with an opportunity to get back at Mr. Compton, the bigger the lie, the better. A faux engagement should do nicely.

Lesson four: Not all knowledge is found between the covers of a book. But an improper book may further your education in ways you never guessed.

And while an erotic novel may be entertaining, the real thing is even better.

Click cover for more info!

Review:

When it comes to Miranda Neville, I’ve come to expect great things. I’ve followed her since she made her debut on the romance scene a couple of years ago and I have loved every single one of her works.

This novel was eagerly anticipated as it is book 3 in this series about a group of male book collectors and the hero has always been one of the most interesting of the men. He is a dandy through and through and every romance reader knows a dandy is never hero material. Which is why I was so curious to see how Miranda would handle Tarquin, our fashion obsessed hero after doing such a good job with Sebastian (the super geeky one) in The Dangerous Viscount.

While I can’t say this was a bad book, it certainly wasn’t what I expected from Miranda; in fact I was slightly disappointed with this novel. From the start, I felt almost as if Miranda was rushing through the story without spending time developing the characters and the romance. I actually did a double take wondering if she really wrote this book, as the style was so different; short, choppy and full of confusing head hopping. 😦

The story itself didn’t do much for me and I didn’t warm to the heroine. By the end, I still couldn’t understand fully why Tarquin had fallen in love with her-she was plain and mostly un-interesting. Tarquin was quite well handled though but I still felt like we barely scratched the surface of his true depth. Essentially Celia and Tarquin are people who both have had to hide their true natures from the world under the cover of respectability. I just didn’t buy it. I kept waiting for Miranda’s magic to take hold and to fall in love with the story… but something was missing. Even the sex scenes felt dry and rushed, so different from her older books. The title was also misleading-the whole naughty book subplot wasn’t the main focus though reading about this real 19th century book did have a certain fascination. 😉

Basically this is is your standard amnesia plot: guy forgets who he is and falls for girl he normally wouldn’t and then things get very complicated once he gains his memory back. It’s been done before and in a much better book recently by Delilah Marvelle.

I’m hoping Miranda’s next novel will remind me once again why I love her romances.

Sensuality Level: Pretty warm (Short love scenes)

Final Verdict: Just ok.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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Romances Coming in January 2012!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 😀

Check out the great new romances out next year, including some great new debuts!

1) Out January 3 *Book 2 in The Ministry of Marriage series*

Summary:

Lady Rosamund Westruther has no objection to the match arranged for her by the Ministry–until she meets her intended. Gruff, stubborn Griffin, Earl of Tregarth, is hardly the charming nobleman the classic beauty has dreamed of for so long. While a proper lady can’t cry off, she can demand a proper courtship…

Griffin is aware of his duty to wed–and more convinced than ever that the lovely Rosamund has no place with a man like him. Built for fields and stables rather than drawing rooms, Griffin doubts he can win her in the polite manner society requires.

But with every passing day, the attraction between them flares higher and hotter. Maybe there is more to love than meets the eye…

Click cover for more info!

***

2) Out January 3 *Book 5 in Devil Riders series*

Summary:

Eight years ago, Lieutenant Luke Ripton made a hasty wartime marriage to protect a young girl from a forced union. Now, unable to obtain an annulment, Luke has no choice but to collect Isabella, the fiercely independent wife he never wanted.

And while they remain bound to their vows, they never expected that the passionate fury they share could become passion of a different kind…

Click cover for more info!

***

3) Out January 3 *Book 2 in Ladies in Waiting series*

Summary:

Lady Lillian Bourne is re-entering society after her disastrous elopement four years ago, and has to be the very picture of propriety. But when she finds herself locked in a library with an enigmatic stranger during a party, she risks falling from grace a second time…

After years working as a spy, Lord Damien Northfield finds London tedious-until his encounter with the lovely but notorious Lily. When he’s enlisted to investigate a scheme of blackmail and murder, he’s thrilled to discover that Lily may be the key to catching a ruthless killer…

Click cover for more info!

***

4) Out January 3 *Book 4 in The Lords of Vice series*

Summary:

Dashing, decadent, and deliciously seductive, the notorious Lords of Vice indulge their every desire—from dusk until dawn…

Christopher Courtland, Earl of Vanewright—known around London as “Vane”—is the very picture of a rich, handsome ladies’ man. Why shackle himself to just one lady when he’s free to sample them all? In spite of his own mother’s attempts at matchmaking, Vane has sworn to stay single. Until he has a chance run-in with Miss Isabel Thorne…

A modest and refined beauty, Isabel is a lot more brazen than she appears. When a pickpocket tries to make away with Vane’s bejeweled snuffbox, Isabel attempts to thwart his escape…and manages to steal Vane’s heart. But the harder he tries to seduce the sharp-tongued, strong-willed Isabel, the more she resists. Now it’s up to this tried-and-true bachelor to find a new way to play the game…or risk losing the one woman who’s ever captured his heart.

Click cover for more info!

***

5) Out January 6 *UK Re-issue*

Summary:

Sally Bowes is a scandalous figure in Edwardian London. The owner of the outrageously fashionable night club, The Blue Parrot, Sally guards her business and her heart well. But when she meets Jack Kestrel, both come under threat…

Jack Kestrel is known as the last rake in London. Descended from the ancestral line of the devastatingly attractive Dukes of Kestrel, Jack is dangerous and dissolute and irresistible. When Jack and Sally start a passionate affair, neither of them think that the last rake in London might finally lose his heart.

Click cover for more info!

***

6) Out January 24 *Book 1 in Danger and Desire series* (US re-issue)

Summary:

Vivacious lady Perdita Brooke prides herself on her social poise…except when faced with devastatingly dashing Alistair Lyndon. The dreamy young man Dita once knew is now a hardened rake, who clearly does not remember their passionate night together…however much it’s emblazoned on hermemory!

Now Dita has the perfect opportunity to remind Alistair of their sizzling chemistry. But soon she is in over her head. Provoking him is supposed to be a deliciously wicked game, with her holding all the cards—until Alistair reveals the ace up his sleeve!

Click cover for more info!

***

7) Out January 24 *Book 5 in The Hellions of Halstead Hall series*

Summary:

Lady Celia Sharpe hopes that if she can garner offers of marriage from several eligible gentlemen and show her grandmother she is capable of gaining a husband, she can convince Gran to rescind the marriage ultimatum for her. And if that plan doesn’t work, at least she’ll have a husband lined up.

But Bow Street Runner Jackson Pinter seems determined to ruin her plans by disapproving of every suitor she asks him to investigate. It’s only when she and Jackson work together to solve her parents’ murders, plunging them both into danger, that she realizes why–because the only man he wants her to marry is himself!

Click cover for more info!

***

8 ) Out January 31 *Book 3 in Cynster Sisters Trilogy*

Summary:

We joyfully request your attendance at the wedding of Miss Angelica Cynster … but not until she and her hero lay to rest an ancient grudge in the Scottish Highlands!

Headstrong Angelica Cynster is certain she’ll recognize her fated husband at first sight. And when her eyes meet those of a mysterious nobleman, she knows beyond a doubt that he’s the one. But her heart is soon pounding for an entirely different reason—when her hero abducts her!

The eighth Earl of Glencrae has no choice but to kidnap Angelica, the one Cynster sister with whom he hadn’t wanted to tangle. But to save his castle and his clan, he must persuade her to assist him—and he’s prepared to offer marriage to seal the deal!

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***

9) Out January 31 *Book 2 in Legendary Lovers series*

Summary:

Thanks to the mischievous meddling of his matchmaking sister, Ashton Wilde meets a damsel in distress during the midnight magic of a lavish ball. But Maura Collyer isn’t looking for a prince—or an intimate pairing with any member of the scandalous noble Wilde family.

Intrigued by Maura’s beauty and daring, Ash is determined to aid in the rescue of her beloved stallion, gambled away by her wicked stepmother to an evil viscount. As their adventure becomes rife with peril and passion, Ash suspects he’s found his heart’s desire.

Even though her dearest friend may be her self-proclaimed fairy godmother, Maura is mortified at being pushed into a romance with a notorious rake such as Ash. Dashing and charming, he comes to Maura’s rescue just in time to help her steal back her precious horse. As they flee across the countryside, she can’t resist his sweet seduction. But is her prince playing a role in a fairy tale to test an improbable theory, or is the love awakening in her heart proof of her own happily ever after?

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***

10) Out January 31 *Book 1 in Sinful Family Secrets series*

Summary:

Evelyn Hadley-Attwater has it all — a genteel Victorian life replete with loving husband, ball gowns and elegant parties. No one, including the man she married, suspects that she was once “Eve,” a spy for England’s most enigmatic intelligence agency. Summoned for one final assignment, the excitement of her former life and memories of her mysterious, flirtatious boss “Sir” prove too tempting…

Adrian Hadley-Attwater is a respectable, dignified gentleman. But even the most proper gentlemen have secrets of their own. Secrets from the rest of the world, from their families, from their wives. Secrets that have a price. Now, as a veil of secrecy frays, a tantalizing game of cat and mouse will test the bounds of unfailing love…

Click cover for author website!

***

11) Out January 31 *DEBUT*

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.

Click cover for more info!

***

12) Out January 31 *Book 1 in Ugly Ducklings series* (DEBUT)

Summary:

Miss Cecily Hurston would much rather explore the antiquities of Egypt than the uncharted territory of marriage. But the rules of her father’s exclusive academic society forbid her entrance unless she weds one of its members. To clear her ailing father’s name of a scandalous rumor, Cecily needs to gain admission into the Egyptian Club—and is willing to marry any old dullard to do it.

Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson, is anything but dull. He’s a dashing and decorated war hero determined to help Cecily—even if that means looking the other way when she claims the dance card of Amelia Snow, this season’s most sought-after beauty. But Lucas has a reason for wanting Cecily to join the Egyptian Club: His brother went missing during one of Lord Hurston’s expeditions to Egypt. An alliance with the explorer’s bluestocking daughter could bring Lucas closer to the truth about what happened…or it could lead him to a more dangerous love than either he or Cecily could have imagined….

Click cover for more info!

***

13) Out January 31 *Book 1 in The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series* (DEBUT)

Summary:

London, 1887. Part stoic gentleman, part fearless Yard man, Zeno “Zak” Kennedy is an enigma of the first order. For years, the memory of a deadly bombing at King’s Cross has haunted the brilliant Scotland Yard detective. His investigation has zeroed in on a ring of aristocratic rebels whose bloody campaign for Irish revolution is terrorizing the city. When he discovers one of the treacherous lords is acquainted with his free-spirited new tenant, Cassandra St. Cloud, his inquiry pulls him unexpectedly close to the heart of the conspiracy—and into the arms of a most intriguing lady.

Cassie is no Victorian prude. An impressionist painter with very modern ideas about life and love, she is eager for a romantic escapade that is daring and discreet. She sets her sights on her dour but handsome landlord, but after she learns their meeting was not purely accidental, she hardly has a chance to forgive her lover before their passionate affair catapults them both into a perilous adventure.

Click cover for more info!

***

14) Out January 31 *Book 1 in The 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.

Sebastian Easton always vowed he would avenge his stolen youth and title. Now back in London, the rightful Duke of Keswick—returning from battle a wounded, hardened, changed man—cannot forget the brave girl who once rescued him and his brothers from certain death.

Lady Mary Wynne-Jones paid dearly for helping the imprisoned young Lords of Pembrook, and she remembers well the promise she made to Sebastian all those years ago: to meet him once more in the abbey ruins where they shared a bold, forbidden kiss. While Mary is now betrothed to another, a friendship forged with dark secrets cannot be ignored. Unexpected passion soon burns dangerously between them, tempting Sebastian to abandon his quest for retribution and fight for a love that could once again set him free.

Click cover for more info!

***

15) Out January 31 *Book 1 in The Spymaster’s Men series*

Summary:

Dominic Paget, the earl of Bedford, will do anything to resume spying upon Britain’s enemies. Badly wounded, he is put will do anything in the care of a beautiful gentlewoman, Julianne Greystone, only to discover that her sympathies lie with his enemies. Yet he can’t help but seduce the woman who saved his life—hoping she never learns of his betrayal.

Julianne is captivated by the wounded stranger she believes is a revolutionary hero. Until she discovers the truth…her “hero” is the privileged earl of Bedford. Devastated and determined to forget him, Julianne travels to London. But when she finds herself in danger, it is Bedford who comes to the rescue. Now Julianne must navigate the intrigues of a perilous city, the wild yearnings of her own heart and the explosion of their passion….

Click cover for more info!

***

HAPPY MONTH OF READING! 😀

Published in: on December 25, 2011 at 8:22 PM  Comments (2)  
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The Perfect Mistress by Victoria Alexander

Setting: Victorian 1885

Summary:

Widowed Julia, Lady Winterset, has inherited a book—a very shocking book—that every gentleman in London seems to want. For a charismatic businessman, it’s a chance to build an empire. For a dashing novelist, it could guarantee fame. But to a proud, domineering earl, it means everything…

Harrison Landingham, Earl of Mountdale, can’t let the obstinate Julia release the shameless memoir that could ruin his family’s name. But the only way to stop her may be equally sordid—if far more pleasurable. For his rivals are intent on seducing the captivating woman to acquire the book. And Harrison isn’t the sort to back away from a competition with the stakes this high. Now the winner will claim both the scandalous memoirs and the heart of their lovely owner…

Click cover for more info!

Trailer

Review:

As soon as I saw and swooned over the gorgeous and intriguing 3 part mini-movie trailer for this book, I had to pick it up despite having never read anything from this author before.  I mean, with a trailer like that, the book obviously had to be worth the effort that went into promoting it! 😀

Well, once again, I was wrong, and quite sadly too. Seems I really can’t trust the appearance of a book, no matter how well promoted it was. I really wanted to like this book but what could have been a fresh, witty, sexy, fun opposites attract story turned out to be a roller coaster of clichés, poorly written characters and a very undeveloped romance.

Such a great premise but so poorly executed. Three guys (including our hero) all fighting to win the memoirs and the hand of the heroine? Sounds like a great setup for some funny, entertaining scenes. And yet, the other two men were barely mentioned at all, except to be an excuse for the hero to get his hands on the heroine. Some of the scenes were downright cheesy and unrealistic-the kind of thing you would find in a Barbara Cartland romance.  I also had such a hard time believing the hero and heroine could ever live happily ever after at all because all they seemed to do every time they met was fight, and when they weren’t fighting they were busy in the bedroom. Sounds like a perfect fairytale relationship, doesn’t it? Not.

And then there was the heroine who was supposed to be rational and sensible (and granted she was at the start of the book) but ended up being completely irrational and immature, who seemed to like nothing more than shouting at the hero for no reason and then storming out without letting him get a word in. I honestly felt like slapping her a couple of times because her behaviour was so ‘What the heck!’ The hero was actually a decent chap and only at the start did he really behave in an overly arrogant, condescending manner toward the heroine, which kind of defied the purpose of the opposites attract thing.

There turned out to be very little wit. The only character I really liked was Julia’s best friend Veronica who had the best, wittiest lines in the whole book, and who I felt would make a much better heroine than Little Miss Tantrum. Most of the plot was predictable and boring and I can’t help but wonder how the author is a bestseller. It seems another case of a writer rushing their work to fulfil a contract.

Despite it all, there were some good points to be mentioned-excerpts from the memoirs are inserted every couple of chapters and made for some nice reading. There is also a supernatural element *coughghostcough* which made for some interesting scenes. But even this was not enough to cover the book’s mistakes.

All in all, this was another case of a great opportunity missed. I’ll be watching the trailers again, but this time I’ll be imagining my own story and ending and I suggest you do the same.

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

Verdict: Just bad. I highly recommend you skip this one.

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

How to Marry a Duke by Vicky Dreiling

Setting: Regency 1816

Summary:

Tristan, the Duke of Shelbourne is a man with a mission: find a wife he can tolerate as long as they both shall live. No love is necessary—nor desired. But how to choose amid a dizzying array of wealthy-yet-witless candidates? Hire London’s infamously prim and proper matchmaker. Then pretend she’s not the most captivating woman he’s ever met . . .

Helping a devilish Duke create a contest to pick his perfect mate is the kind of challenge Tessa Mansfield relishes. Her methods may be scandalous, but she’s determined to find the notorious bachelor more than a wife—she’ll bring him true love. Yet when Tessa watches the women vie for the Duke’s affections, she longs to win his heart herself. And after a stolen kiss confirms Tristan’s desire, Tessa knows she has broken a matchmaker’s number one rule: never fall in love with the groom.

Click cover for more info!

Review:

Considering the amount of praise covering the cover and inside of this book from top romance authors, I had expectations for this debut. Very high expectations. Needless to say, Vicky Dreiling’s first book (although with some flaws) overall doesn’t disappoint with its fast-paced, funny, The Bachelor-meets-Emma story about a sceptical duke and an ambitious matchmaker who unexpectedly falls in love with her own client.

I really liked Tessa, the matchmaker, though other reviewers might find her manipulative, petty, and silly. She is a relatively young woman, and like Jane Austen’s Emma Woodhouse, makes mistakes but ends up growing on you. I promise you there is a good reason for the way she is. Tristan was great as well, starting off like a shallow rake, but ending up revealing other greater qualities.

The premise for the plot was a bit over the top and anachronistic to be honest. 24 girls all competing for a duke’s hand in a The Bachelor-like setup?  It’s a great idea for modern TV but doesn’t translate that well into frills and laces. Still, it was a fresh idea, and despite the implausibility of it, was still well pulled off, considering the physical limitations of the time between men and women. I applaud Vicky for adhering to the social rules while still making funny ‘tests’ for the competitors.

I also enjoyed getting to know some of the competitors more and was so happy when I found out one of them will be getting her own book. I liked how well-rounded they were, not your cardboard cut-out of the typical contestants, i.e the bitch, the nice girl etc.

However, I found the writing was a bit inconsistent (but this is a debut after all) and it seemed to change styles from one chapter to another. At the very start, the writing felt forced, almost as if she was trying too hard to make herself sound funny. It was also very repetitive at times. Afterwards, though, the writing improved and she seemed to develop her own style by the end of the novel.

I also expected the novel to be wittier with great banter between the hero and heroine. Though there was some wit, most of the novel was plot-driven. The good side? It was very addictive though because of the competition and had me up all night just to finish it and to find out what the next test was and who would be eliminated next!

Stories about matchmakers are generally full of hilarious antics (who can forget Jane Austen’s Emma’s bungled attempts at matchmaking!) and in this area, How to Marry a Duke excels. The plot was hilarious, had some good twists and kept me glued to the page. Once you get over the huge implausibility of 24 girls openly competing for the duke’s hand in full view of society, the novel is a fun ride!

Sensuality Rating: Hot (Love scenes are short but explicit)

Verdict: Addictive, hilarious and fun! Don’t start this one at night 😉

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Sneak Peek of The Tatooed Duke by Maya Rodale!

Check out this neat little sneak peek of Maya’s latest romance!

Click cover to view sneak peek!

Summary:

Breaking news, scandal fans: 

You thought you knew the dangerous Duke of Wycliff, London’s globe-trotting adventure addict. Here’s what you don’t know: he’s penniless. Sebastian Digby’s dukely lifestyle is over forever unless he finds a rich bride. But thanks to The London Weekly, everyone knows better than to tangle with this lothario. Besides (as one writer can testify), it seems that Sebastian has been unable to keep his hands of his own lowly housemaid…

And that’s a problem. A big one. 

Because that housemaid just happens to be me. Eliza Fielding. The same undercover Writing Girl who’s been exposing the Duke’s most intimate secrets to the world. And now I’ve gone and complicated everything by falling love with him. Passion and deception have never been so delicious, but now the truth could destroy everything. This is more than a conflict of interest. It’s a seduction where love itself hangs in the balance.

RELEASE DATE:FEBRUARY 28, 2012

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

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

The Dangerous Viscount by Miranda Neville

Setting: 1819, Regency

*Book 2 in Burgundy Club series*

Summary:

She is determined to find a husband. . . now!

Lady Diana Fanshawe’s impeccable bloodline doesn’t stop society from laughing at the antics of her eccentric family. She knows a proper marriage is her one chance to make her way in the world—which is precisely why she will marry Lord Blakeney, though she’s certain she’ll never love him. But then she’s kissed by the brilliant and unconventional Sebastian, Viscount Iverley . . . and her well-laid plans tumble into disarray.

Sebastian wants absolutely nothing to do with love or marriage. But when he arrives at his hated cousin Blakeney’s house party, Sebastian is smitten by the tantalizing Diana. But Diana is “the marrying kind,” and Sebastian has no wish to risk his freedom—though the passion between them is hard to resist. Should the lady follow her heart in an attempt to win Iverley’s, though it seems hardened against her—or should she sacrifice her love for respectability?

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Review:

I love Miranda Neville’s books and after reading The Wild Marquis and getting a sneak peek at the hero of the next book, I just KNEW I had to pick this one up ASAP! I have such a soft spot for  the innocent or unique hero and Sebastian with his woman hating ways was perfect. I was so excited to see how Miranda turned this unlikable man into a bona fide romance hero of every girl’s dreams!

The result? A resounding success! I was immediately taken by Sebastian from page one when he falls for our heroine after glimpsing her pink silk stockings. 😉 Underneath all that aloofness was a shy and misunderstood man who had all the gems in place to be the man of Diana’a (and our’s) dreams. The joy came in seeing those layers peeled back to slowly reveal the kind, dependable, caring, and surprisingly strong man underneath. Sigh, I can honestly say Sebastian was the first hero in a while to really touch my heart 😀 And despite what anyone else might say, VIRGIN HEROES ARE HOT! There’s something about that innocence in a hero, who is usually mean to be the Eros of sex, that is such a turn-on! 😉

The heroine was harder to like though. Diana treated Sebastian horribly at first, making a wager with his cousin that she could get him to kiss her. But then, which one of us ladies hasn’t made the mistake of choosing of choosing the hot, sexy guy over the sweet, stable guy? In this way, she was relate-able and to her credit she does regret her mistake and begins to see Sebastian as much more worthy of her attention and love. I couldn’t help feeling though that Sebastian deserved a little better than her. Maybe just unwarranted jealousy on my part 😉

This was a unique romance in that you never quite knew what was going to happen next. It was unpredictable and because of that (and Sebastian :P) I stayed up all night to try and finish this! There were twist and turns and I just felt this was a very REAL romance which make it hard for some people to like. This wasn’t your fairytale romance with the perfect prince and princess who fall in love at first sight but two very real people who find love with each other after a lot of struggle and mistakes.

Ms. Neville is a very talented writer who just keeps getting better with every book. Can’t wait for her new book which will feature a Regency dandy… who loses his clothes!

Whether you’re a romance addict or new to the genre, you’re sure to take to this smart, sexy and real romance!

Sensuality Rating: Pretty warm (Quite a few  short though explicit scenes)

Final Verdict: Awesome! One of the best and most unique romances in a long while!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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