Romances Coming in February 2013!

How appropriate!

The month of love… and a whole stack full of amazing new romances! 😀

*EDITED to include one more book*

1) Out February 5 *Book 4 in Duke’s Daughters sub-series and Book 7 in Windham series*

Lady Eve's Indiscretion

Summary:

Pretty, petite Evie Windham has been more indiscreet than her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Moreland, suspect. Fearing that a wedding night would reveal her past, she’s running out of excuses to dodge adoring swains.

Lucas Denning, the newly titled Marquis of Deene, has reason of his own for avoiding marriage. So Evie and Deene strike a deal, each agreeing to be the other’s decoy.

At this rate, matrimony could be avoided indefinitely…until the two are caught in a steamy kiss that no one was supposed to see.

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2) Out February 5 *Book 2 in Nexus series*

Checkmate My Lord

Summary:

A desperate mother falls in love with the spymaster she’s forced to betray.

THE STAKES ARE HIGH, THE PLAYERS IN POSITION…
Catherine Ashcroft leads a quiet life caring for her precocious seven-year-old daughter, until a visitor delivers a startling ultimatum. She will match wits with the enigmatic Earl of Somerton, and it’s not just her heart that’s in danger.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN…

Spymaster Sebastian Danvers, Earl of Somerton, is famous for his cunning. Few can outwit him and even few dare challenge him–until now. After returning to his country estate, his no-nonsense neighbor turns her seductive wiles on him–but why would a respectable widow like Catherine risk scandal for a few passionate nights in his bed?

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3) Out February 5 *Book 1 in Chance Sisters series*

The Autumn Bride

Summary:

Governess Abigail Chantry will do anything to save her sister and two dearest friends from destitution, even if it means breaking into an empty mansion in the hope of finding something to sell. Instead of treasures, though, she finds the owner, Lady Beatrice Davenham, bedridden and neglected. Appalled, Abby rousts Lady Beatrice’s predatory servants and—with Lady Beatrice’s eager cooperation—the four young ladies become her “nieces,” neatly eliminating the threat of disaster for all concerned!

It’s the perfect situation, until Lady Beatrice’s dashing and arrogant nephew, Max, Lord Davenham, returns from the Orient—and discovers an impostor running his household…

A romantic entanglement was never the plan for these stubborn, passionate opponents—but falling in love may be as inevitable as the falling of autumn leaves…

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4) Out February 5 *Book 3 in Affairs by Moonlight trilogy*

A Duke Never Yields

Summary:

Impatient with the strictures of polite British society, Miss Abigail Harewood has decided to live life on her own terms—and the first thing she requires is a lover. When the commanding Duke of Wallingford arrives on the doorstep of her leased holiday castle, she thinks she’s found the perfect candidate: handsome, dashing, and experienced in the art of love.

But tempting Wallingford into her bed proves more difficult than she imagined. Restless and dissatisfied with his debauched life in London, the formerly rakish duke is determined to spend a year chaste. But as Abigail tries her best to seduce him, Wallingford finds his resolve crumbling in the face of her irresistible charm…and her alluring secrets.

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5) Out February 5 (Available now!) 

The Importance of Being Wicked

Summary:

For Winfield Elliott, Viscount Stillwell, finding a prospective bride always seemed easy. Perhaps too easy. With three broken engagements to his name, Win is the subject of endless gossip. Yet his current mission is quite noble: to hire a company to repair his family’s fire-damaged country house. Nothing disreputable in that — until the firm’s representative turns out to be a very desirable widow.

Lady Miranda Garret expected a man of Win’s reputation to be flirtatious, even charming. But the awkward truth is that she finds him thoroughly irresistible. While Miranda resides at Millworth to oversee the work, Win occupies her days, her dreams…and soon, her bed. For the first time, the wicked Win has fallen in love.

And what began as a scandalous proposition may yet become a very different proposal…

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6) Out February 5

Once Again a Bride

Summary:

She Couldn’t Be More Alone

Widowhood has freed Charlotte Wylde from a demoralizing and miserable marriage. But when her husband’s intriguing nephew and heir arrives to take over the estate, Charlotte discovers she’s unsafe in her own home…

He Could Be Her Only Hope…or Her Next Victim

Alec Wylde was shocked by his uncle’s untimely death, and even more shocked to encounter his uncle’s beautiful young widow. Now clouds of suspicion are gathering, and charges of murder hover over Charlotte’s head.

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7) Out February 26 *Book 2 of The Fairbourne Quartet*

The Conquest of Lady Cassandra

Summary:

As headstrong as she is beautiful, Lady Cassandra Vernham defied convention when she refused to marry the man who had compromised her. Now, estranged from her family, Cassandra struggles to make ends meet. A recent auction of her jewels has brought her a modicum of relief, but one of the most valuable lots was never paid for by the highest bidder: handsome, rakish Viscount Ambury. Cassandra needs that money badly, and not to buy a new hat.

Ambury has only to look at Cassandra to begin imagining her in his bed… He has not settled that outstanding debt for a reason. He suspects that the expensive baubles were stolen, perhaps even by Cassandra herself. Erotic fantasies about her notwithstanding, the vixen is not to be trusted, for she has already destroyed his good friend—the man she refused to marry who later lost his life in a duel, which Ambury suspects was fought over Cassandra. But nothing is as it seems…

As the seductive lord and the scandalous beauty are drawn together, the passion that flares between them will illuminate shocking secrets that will change both their lives forever…

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8) Out February 26 *Book 4 in St. James Society series*

A Bride by Moonlight

Summary:

Royden Napier, Baron Saint-Bryce, is tall, dark, and ruthless—and on the hunt for a dangerous beauty . . .

On the eve of her escape to the Continent, bold, beautiful Lisette Colburne accepts a proposal she dare not refuse: masquerade as the future bride of the steely-eyed Royden Napier and help him solve his most dangerous case. Soon Lisette is in even greater danger—of losing her heart to the one man with the power to destroy her . . .

Estranged from his aristocratic family, the enigmatic Napier has forged a reputation as Scotland Yard’s most relentless police commissioner. He’s vowed to bring Lisette to justice—but with every forbidden kiss and every tantalizing touch, he finds himself becoming less convinced of her guilt . . . and more certain he must have her. But when danger touches Lisette, can he save her?

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9) Out February 26 *Book 3 in Royal Entourage series*

The Duke Diaries

Summary:

Six Regency heroes—One royal hangover

After a royal bachelor party of the century, Lady Verity Fitzroy wakes up to find her brother’s archenemy, Rory Lennox, the Duke of Abshire, in her bed. While Rory has always fascinated her, nothing can convince her to marry this rake even though her reputation is in peril. Indeed, there are far graver worries that plague her. If she is unmasked as the author of the infamous Duke Diaries, no one can save her . . . not even the man of her dreams.

Though he has known Verity since she was still in the schoolroom, Rory never imagined her to be such a spitfire! Which only makes the challenge of winning her hand more intriguing. Never mind that he has no interest in a wife. But when this secret war hero discovers the root of Verity’s horrendous troubles, he realizes he must face down his greatest fears not only to save her . . . but to win her hand and her heart.

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10) Out February 26 *Book 4 in Secrets of Hadley Green series*

The Last Debutante

Summary:

Who is the captive and who is the captor? When a sexy laird holds a spirited English lady for ransom, she turns the tables and steals his heart.

The lush Scottish Highlands are a tempting setting for seduction in New York Times bestselling author Julia London’s sparkling new novel.

The last person Daria Babcock expects to find in her grandmother’s home is a brawny, naked Highlander. She doesn’t buy Mamie’s explanation about finding the poor man shot in the woods. Nor does she trust the gorgeous laird, who insists his own memory fails him.

But Daria came to Scotland looking for adventure and romance, and after the intriguing stranger kidnaps her, she gets her wish—and so much more. . . .

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11) Out February 26 *Re-issue now back in print!*

By Love Unveiled

Summary:

Lady Marianne Winchilsea is running for her life from those who think she was involved in an attempt to kill the king. Forced to disguise herself, she trusts no one—especially Garrett Lyon, the Earl of Falkham, the man who usurped her family home and who seems to be her most dangerous enemy.

Beneath her disguise, Garrett sees a beautiful half-gypsy who is enrobed in mystery, deception, and secrets. A woman he should avoid at all costs. In a world of treachery and passion, of sweet seduction and whispered betrayals, each must learn to trust one another as desire turns into a passionate love that all the powers of the world cannot defeat.

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12) Out February 26 *Book 6 in Lords of Vice series*

Dusk with a Dangerous Duke

Summary:

They were children when the Duke of Huntsley was introduced to Lady Grace Kearly. The young duke—nicknamed “Hunter”—took one look at his future bride and thought only of escaping his responsibilities to his family. Marriage was for grown-ups and Hunter still had years of skirt-chasing ahead of him. But now the time has come for Hunter to heed the call: if this Lord of Vice hopes to keep all of his inheritance, he’ll have to claim his long-neglected betrothed…

With her twenty-first birthday approaching, Lady Grace dreads the thought of marrying the duke she has met only once—especially since he’s grown into a notorious rake who will probably beget his heir and abandon her in the country while he pursues fresh game in London. So when Lady Grace coolly decides to call the wedding off, even Hunter is surprised by his refusal to let her go. Suddenly, the notion of claiming and taming this green-eyed beauty is one challenge he cannot resist…

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13) Out February 26 *Book 5 in Maiden Lane series*

Lord of Darkness

Summary:

WHEN STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT

He lives in the shadows. As the mysterious masked avenger known as the Ghost of St. Giles, Godric St. John’s only goal is to protect the innocent of London. Until the night he confronts a fearless young lady pointing a pistol at his head-and realizes she is his wife . . .

BECOME LOVERS . . .

Lady Margaret Reading has vowed to kill the Ghost of St. Giles-the man who murdered her one true love. Returning to London, and to the man she hasn’t seen since their wedding day, Margaret does not recognize the man behind the mask. Fierce, commanding, and dangerous, the notorious Ghost of St. Giles is everything she feared he would be-and so much more . . .

DESIRE IS THE ULTIMATE DANGER

When passion flares, these two intimate strangers can’t keep from revealing more of themselves than they had ever planned. But when Margaret learns the truth-that the Ghost is her husband-the game is up and the players must surrender . . . to the temptation that could destroy them both.

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14) Out February 26 *Book 2 in House of Brady series*

The Earl is Mine

Summary:

Handsome, charismatic, and on the verge of becoming a successful architect, Gregory Sherwood, Lord Westdale, could have just about any woman he wants. So why rush to marry? So far there’s only been one woman he’s ever truly loved. But that was before she had a secret affair with his best friend…with the help of an unwitting accomplice named Lady Pippa Harrington.

Pippa may not have acted in her old friend Gregory’s best interests, but she’s always believed that the heart sets its own rules. This is why Pippa must escape her arranged marriage—fast—by fleeing to Paris, where she hopes to pursue her artistic passions. To do so, Pippa will need all the help she can get—from Gregory, the one man she isn’t sure she can trust…or resist…

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15) Out February 26 *DEBUT AUTHOR!*

What Happens in Scotland

Summary:

She Woke Up Married

When Lady Georgette Thorold awoke she saw . . . her corset hanging from the armoire . . . a very handsome, very naked Scotsman lying beside her . . . and a wedding ring on her finger!

Before the attractive stranger can tell her his name, Georgette does the only sensible thing—she runs for it.

Little does she know, James MacKenzie isn’t clear on what happened the night before either. All he knows is that his money is missing and the stunning woman who just ran from the room is either his wife or a thief . . . or possibly both.

What happens in Scotland when two complete strangers fall madly, deeply in love?

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16) Out February 26 *DEBUT AUTHOR*

Scandalous

Summary:

After watching her beloved sister, Sophia, pine over the ton’s golden boy for years, Miss Julia St. Claire has foresworn love and put herself firmly on the shelf. Unfortunately, her social-climbing mother and debt-ridden father have other ideas, and jump at the chance to marry Julia off to the newly named Earl of Clivesden . . . the man of Sophia’s dreams. 

Since resigning his cavalry commission, Benedict Revelstoke has spent his time in London avoiding the marriage mart. But when he discovers that the Earl of Clivesden has his sights set on Julia, Benedict tries to protect his childhood best friend from the man’s advances—only to discover that more than friendship is driving his desire to defend her. He surprises them both with the force of his feelings, but when Julia refuses him, and her father announces her betrothal, Benedict fears he’s lost her forever—until Julia approaches him with a shocking scheme that will ruin her for all respectable society and lead them into an exquisite world of forbidden pleasures.

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HAPPY VALENTINE’SA DAY AND HAPPY MONTH OF READING 😀

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Last Night’s Scandal by Loretta Chase

Setting: Regency 1831

*Book 5 in Carsington Brothers series*

Summary:

After surviving the perils of Egypt, Peregrine Dalmay, Earl of Lisle is back in London, facing the most dire threat of all: his irrational family….and Miss Olivia Wingate-Carsington. A descendent of notorious—but very aristocratic—swindlers, the delectable redhead has the ability to completely unhinge him, and a long history of dragging him into her scandalous schemes.

Olivia may be Society’s darling, but she’s aware a respectable future looms menacingly. And so when Lisle is forced to go on a family mission, she sees this as the perfect chance for one last adventure—even if it is with the one man in the world she can’t wrap around her finger: but really, she only wants to help…

Which is why Lisle and Olivia find themselves in a gloomy Scottish castle inhabited by spiteful ghosts and craven murderers…and a shocking secret: the greatest peril of all may be burning within their own stubborn hearts.

Review:

After loving Loretta’s Silk is For Seduction, I thought I would go back and read one of her other earlier novels. What better than Last Night’s Scandal, which had a great name, gorgeous cover and an interesting premise to boot? Two best friends embarking on a journey to solve a mystery in an ancient Scottish castle, while slowly falling in love? Yes please!

I thought this was a very well-written, hilarious fast-paced cute romance that made for a great and entertaining read.

At the start of the book, we learn that our hero and heroine have been best friends for years, and they are complete opposites. He’s stiff, proper, and logical. She’s dramatic, impulsive, and scandalous. When they meet for the first time in 5 years, both have changed. He’s been away in Egypt and has grown into a strong, tall manly man; she’s become one of the belles of the ton, surrounded by millions of admirers. Naturally they try to fight this sudden attraction but ultimately, this is a story about two people who were always meant to be together, finally realizing they were made for each other.

I didn’t like the heroine-at least not at first. She knew her own power and used/misled the men around her, breaking millions of engagements for (as far as I could understand) simply because she got ‘bored.’ Then she proceeds to tease the hero simply because she knows she can, but eventually she does grow on you and you see she isn’t some heartless minx.

I hadn’t read any of the previous books and found it slightly hard at first to understand all the relationships between the characters and the references made to prior events. I also felt that if I had, the romance would have felt more cemented. Their romance seemed to start way before this book.

However the book still managed to succeed in its own right, even if it could have done with more recap on former events to help set the scene. It would have been nice if we could have read more about the good times they had together as children, as this book is about their changing feelings.

Still, the writing was lovely, the plot was hilarious, there were some great side characters (I loved the naughty, bawdy chaperones and their great one liners!) and the hero’s parents were magnificent with all their dramatics. The ‘mystery’ of the castle was a great way to get the hero and heroine together and was very intriguing.

All in all, if you like a good opposites attract story with a bit of a mystery, lots of humor, and a fun plot, you’ll want to pick this one up.

Sensuality Rating: Hot (Love scenes are long and explicit)

Verdict: Funny, witty and sexy-what more could you want? 😉

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Beauty and the Duke by Melody Thomas

Setting: 1840, Victorian

Summary:

The face he shows the world is not the face she sees. . .

Once, ten years ago, they were young lovers, sharing sinful touches and desperate ecstasy. But he was bound by his promise to wed another. Since that fateful time, Christine Sommers has grown into a headstrong beauty, the kind of woman who thinks nothing of daring travels to the ends of the world. But for all her achievements, Christine has never found anyone who makes her heart race the way Erik Boughton once did.

Since that fateful time, Erik Boughton, the Duke of Sedgwick, has become something of a beast, at least according to the gossips of the ton. They say that he’s cursed, that any woman who shares his bed will meet an untimely end. But when he comes to Christine, desperate for her help to preserve his family and his title, she does not fear the devil duke. Enthralled by his ravenous desire, she would give him anything he wished, even her body . . . and her heart.

Review:

This is the first Melody Thomas I have read and I bought this one mainly on the basis of the back blurb which made the book sound as if it had magical elements in it. The blurb is very misleading. I thought the story was an update of Beauty and the Beast (which is my favourite fairytale), but it turned out the duke wasn’t a beast at all. Still, this was an interesting novel and different from the usual run of romance novels as it had an element of the supernatural in it-in the form of a ring which grants the wearer what they most wish for. This was more of a mystery romance, with the heroine trying to help the hero discover what happened to his ex-wife. The idea was interesting but failed to keep me hooked and I found myself wishing the story would move a little faster. It dragged in a lot of parts and I didn’t feel there was enough romance between the leads.

The hero, Erik is distant, brooding and really wasn’t a ‘devil duke’ as the back cover suggested. There were no mentions of mistresses or other women apart from Christine. The so-called curse wasn’t present either. Erik was always an honourable man and was as far from a beast as there could be!

Christine, the heroine was smart, independent and determined. She was definitely a woman to admire, and the reader could really connect with her as she tries to find meaning in her life. I loved how she could take care of herself and how the hero didn’t have to take care of her and was instead helping at her side.

Another thing that drew me to this book was the fact that the leads had once been together years ago but had since then been separated. Perhaps, this meant that there was no need for extra tension between the two but I did feel that the tension between them was lacking. Sexual tension is important in a romance as it allows the reader to root for the characters to be together and gives us something to look forward to. This was one of the book’s biggest flaws for me as the payoff came too quickly, and there wasn’t enough leading up to it.

I also felt that the book suffered from a lack of conflict as the danger was never too threatening and the conflict was too easily resolved. There was also no doubt of Erik and Christine loving each other even from when they were married for convenience.

I did enjoy the small tidbits of Scottish words thrown in, and enjoyed that the book was set in Scotland, which made it unique. It was a nice read but could have been better, and been more intriguing.

Sensuality Level: Warm (Love scenes are short but spicy)

Verdict: Just ok

Rating: 3 and a half stars out of 5

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