Romances Coming in May 2013!

Spring is upon us! Or if you live in Australia like I do, then winter is coming (get it? :P). Either way, here are some great new books to help you get through the month! Lots of old favorites releasing books this month so mark your calendars and get your money ready! 😀

1) Out May 1 *Book 1 in The Great Exhibition series* 

Follow the Heart

Summary:

Kate and Christopher Dearing’s lives turn upside down when their father loses everything in a railroad land speculation. The siblings are shipped off to their mother’s brother in England with one edict: marry money. 

At twenty-seven years old, Kate has the stigma of being passed over by eligible men many times—and that was before she had no dowry. Christopher would like nothing better than to make his own way in the world; and with a law degree and expertise in the burgeoning railroad industry, he was primed to do just that—in America.

Though their uncle tries to ensure Kate and Christopher find matrimonial prospects only among the highest echelon of British society, their attentions stray to a gardener and a governess.

While Christopher has options that would enable him to lay his affections where he chooses, he cannot let the burden of their family’s finances crush his sister. Trying to push her feelings for the handsome—but not wealthy— gardener aside, Kate’s prospects brighten when a wealthy viscount shows interest in her. But is marrying for the financial security of her family the right thing to do, when her heart is telling her she’s making a mistake?

Mandates . . . money . . . matrimony. Who will follow the heart?

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2) Out May 6 (E-Novella!)

Ten Reasons

Summary:

A delightful eNovella from New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries about a young woman who learns that you can’t learn about love from a textbook.

In “Ten Reasons to Stay,” previously published in the anthology The School for Heiresses, lessons go far beyond etiquette and needlepoint. Eliza Crenshawe’s lesson is to look before she leaps. But when she discovers that her new guardian plans to marry her off without so much as a Season, she forgets all that. She flees—on a horse she unwittingly steals (oops!)—from Colin Hunt, a newly minted earl who wants nothing more than for her to go home…or stay forever.

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3) Out May 7 *Book 2 of The Lonely Lords series*

Nicholas

Summary:

Nicholas Haddonfield has something to hide…

After a wild youth, Nicholas Haddonfield, Viscount Reston, has promised his ailing father he’ll finally take a bride, though doing so will force Nick to make impossible choices and face old, painful wounds.

Leah Lindsey is glad to find refuge from her own desperate situation in a marriage of convenience with the gallant viscount. But soon convenience is not enough, and Leah can’t understand why Nick remains so distant. What is he hiding, and will he never allow her into his heart?

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4) Out May 7 *Book 1 in Marriage Mart series*

Wedding in Springtime

Summary:

Five minutes into Miss Eugenia Talbot’s presentation at court, notorious rogue Mr. William Grant made her laugh, ruining her debut. To hush up the scandal, Eugenia’s aunt hires a matchmaker to quickly find a suitor— anyone except the infamous William Grant—to help restore Eugenia’s reputation.

But amiable Eugenia shows a disturbing tendency to follow her heart, and is again caught in the company of notorious Grant.

When a traitor creeps closer, threatening to ruin more than just Eugenia’s reputation, her kindheartedness may be her ultimate undoing…

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5) Out May 7 *Book 4 in Beau Monde Bachelor series*

Defies Duke

Summary:

The Naked Truth

Lady Vivian Worth knows perfectly well how to behave like a lady. But observing proper manners when there’s no one around to impress is just silly. Why shouldn’t she strip down to her chemise for a swim? When her betrothed arrives to finally meet her, Vivi will act every inch the lady—demure, polite, compliant. Everything her brother has promised the man. But until then, she’s going to enjoy her freedom…

A Revealing Discovery

Luke Forest, the newly named Duke of Foxhaven, wants nothing to do with his inheritance—or the bride that comes with it. He wants adventure and excitement, like the enchanting water nymph he’s just stumbled across. When he discovers the skinny-dipping minx is his intended, he reconsiders his plan to find Lady Vivian another husband. Because the idea of this vivacious woman in the arms of another man might be enough to drive him insane—or to the altar.

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6) Out May 7 *Re-issue*

Beloved Enemy

Summary:

Daring and defiant, Virginia Courtney risks her life by transporting Royalist fugitives to safety. Until Colonel Alexander Marshall seizes her family’s land and takes her prisoner. But the fearless beauty arouses a passionate yearning that the honor-bound soldier has never before allowed himself to feel.

Irresistibly drawn to her handsome captor, Virginia cannot forget that he is also her most treacherous enemy. Yet with each caress, Alexander mounts a delicate assault on her senses, quelling all thoughts of rebellion–leaving her conscious of the perfection of his passion.

Torn between desire and duty, Virginia and Alexander become players in the most dangerous of games…where intrigue and betrayal rule the day and where love carries the inevitability of destiny.

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7) Out May 21 *Book 2 in The Duchess Diaries series*

Pursue Princess

Summary:

An innocent lost in the woods . . .

The sensible solution to her family’s dire financial woes is for Lily Balfour to marry the Earl of Huntley, a wealthy widower handpicked by her matchmaking godmother, the Duchess of Roxburghe. Huntley is pleasant and attractive, the perfect candidate in every way. But Lily knows she’s in big trouble as soon as passionate, unprincipled Prince Wulfinski sweeps a hot, possessive glance over her.

Powerful and sexy, Wulfinski declares he will make her his—no matter the cost.

By his own account, Wulf is a pauper, barely able to afford his own cottage. Yet nothing will stop him from pursuing the elusive beauty with every cunning trick he can muster. But which is more important: power and money . . . or love everlasting? To make the right choice, both Wulf and Lily must trust their hearts, not just their heads, to lead them to the happiness they desire.

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8) Out May 21

Reforming the Viscount

Summary:

To refuse him twice would be madness!

Viscount Rothersthorpe can’t tear his eyes from Lydia Morgan any more than he can calm the raging fury coursing through his veins. Is there no end to the irony? Come to town to find a wife, only to be taunted by the past?

Furtive glances across the ballroom are not helping to ease Lydia’s state of shock—the man who once uttered a marriage proposal as one might remark upon the weather has returned. But when he stuns her with a second, outrageous but now wickedly delicious proposal, it is clear that despite the rumors the rake from her past has not reformed!

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9) Out May 21 *Book 1 in The Masquerade Club series*

Notoriety

Summary:

As the unacknowledged son of the lecherous Lord Westleigh, John “Rhys” Rhysdale was forced to earn a crust gambling on the streets. Now he owns the most thrilling new gaming establishment in London. Witnessing polite society’s debauchery and excess every night, Rhys prefers to live on its fringes, but a mysterious masked lady tempts him into the throng.

Lady Celia Gale, known only as Madame Fortune, matches Rhys card for card and kiss for stolen kiss. But the stakes are raised when Rhys discovers she’s from the very world he despises…The Masquerade Club.

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10) Out May 28 *Book 4 in Spindle Cove series*

Any Duchess Will Do

Summary:

What’s a duke to do, when the girl who’s perfectly wrong becomes the woman he can’t live without?

Griffin York, the Duke of Halford, has no desire to wed this season–or any season–but his diabolical mother abducts him to “Spinster Cove” and insists he select a bride from the ladies in residence. Griff decides to teach her a lesson that will end the marriage debate forever. He chooses the serving girl.

Overworked and struggling, Pauline Simms doesn’t dream about dukes. All she wants is to hang up her barmaid apron and open a bookshop. That dream becomes a possibility when an arrogant, sinfully attractive duke offers her a small fortune for a week’s employment. Her duties are simple: submit to his mother’s “duchess training”… and fail miserably.

But in London, Pauline isn’t a miserable failure. She’s a brave, quick-witted, beguiling failure–a woman who ignites Griff’s desire and soothes the darkness in his soul. Keeping Pauline by his side won’t be easy. Even if Society could accept a serving girl duchess–can a roguish duke convince a serving girl to trust him with her heart?

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11) Out May 28 *2 in 1 Book Reissue!*

Counterfeit Notorious

Summary:

A COUNTERFEIT BETROTHAL

Lady Sophia Bryant has no intention of marrying anytime soon. Her one desire is to reunite her parents, who have been estranged for fourteen years. Surely, if she happens to announce her betrothal—even a false one—they will be forced to see each other. Devilishly handsome Lord Francis Sutton seems perfect for such deceit, always agreeable to games of passion in which he has nothing to lose. The trap is set—if only Lady Sophia can keep her foolish heart from falling prey to her brilliant snares.

THE NOTORIOUS RAKE

Lord Edmund Waite is everything that Lady Mary Gregg despises: lewd, lascivious, mocking—the most incorrigible and successful rogue around. A bluestocking like her would never tempt a man whose taste runs to pretty playthings—so Mary is startled to find herself the object of Lord Edmund’s desires. Even more surprising is her reaction to his shocking advances. She may be a lady, but this man knows so well how to make her feel like a woman.

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12) Out May 28 *Book 1 in Survivor’s Club series* (US Paperback Edition)

The Proposal

Summary:

Gwendoline, Lady Muir, has seen her share of tragedy. Content in a quiet life with friends and family, the young widow has no desire to marry again. But when Hugo, Lord Trentham, scoops her up in his arms after a fall, she feels a sensation that both shocks and emboldens her.

Hugo is a gentleman in name only: a war hero whose bravery earned him a title, a merchant’s son who inherited his wealth. He is happiest when working the land, but duty and title now demand that he finds a wife. Hugo doesn’t wish to court Gwen, yet he cannot resist her guileless manner, infectious laugh, and lovely face. He wants her, but will she have him?

The dour ex-military officer who so gallantly carried Gwen to safety is a man who needs a lesson in winning a woman’s heart. But through courtship and seduction, Gwen soon finds that with each kiss, and with every caress, Hugo captivates her more—with his desire, with his love, and with the promise of forever.

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13) Out May 28 *Book 2 in Legendary Lovers series*

Lover Be Mine

Summary:

The last thing Sophie Fortin expects at a masquerade ball is a dazzling kiss from a pirate. Her desire quickly falters when she learns that her masked gentleman is devilishly scandalous Lord Jack, a member of the captivating Wilde clan—and a man she’s forbidden to acknowledge. But when Jack begins a breathtaking seduction, Sophie can barely resist.

Jack never imagined that the daughter of his family’s mortal enemy would awaken such fierce passion within him—until one unforgettable kiss changes his mind forever. Soon, Jack is hell-bent on winning Sophie’s hand, going so far as to abduct her to save her from marrying a rival nobleman. Determined to woo Sophie and her unyielding parents, Jack is faced with the one decision he’d sworn never to make. The secret heir to a prince, Jack has spurned his royal heritage for years . . . but for Sophie he’ll risk all to turn a legacy of heartbreak into love ever after.

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14) Out May 28 *Sequel to How to Deceive a Duke*

Secret Life

Summary:

Lady Julia Leighton is engaged to a long-time family friend who doesn’t spark her passion, and at her betrothal ball she meets a seductive stranger who steals hot kisses—and much more—from the beautiful innocent.

Thomas Merritt is a thief of women’s hearts, and their expensive jewels. His steamy encounter with Lady Julia unexpectedly has him rethinking his wicked ways, but in the end, Thomas flees temptation.

When their paths cross years later, Julia has a secret she’s desperate to bury and Thomas is hiding something dangerous, but he needs her help to set things right. Can two lovers with dark pasts overcome their tangled history and rekindle their former love?

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15) Out May 28 *Book 2 in Brides of Redemption series*

Surrender to the Earl

Summary:

She wanted a favor, not a fiancé.

Audrey Blake’s impromptu plan-asking a visitor to help her take ownership of her rightful property-is unraveling in spectacular fashion. Robbed of her sight by a childhood fever, Audrey has been kept in virtual seclusion by her family. And now the enigmatic Robert Henslow, Earl of Knightsbridge, has complicated her scheme to gain independence, insisting they pretend to be engaged.

Duty brought Robert to Audrey’s doorstep. As for what makes him propose marriage…it might be guilt. Compassion. Or something far more urgent and unexpected. Their counterfeit union was supposed to be for Audrey’s benefit. Yet it’s Robert who yearns to prove to the intriguing Audrey how much they both have to gain by making it real-and convincing her to submit to the most blissful passion.

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16) Out May 28 *Book 5 in Eloisa’s Fairy Tales series*

Once Upon a Tower

Summary:

To win her love. . .

As an extremely wealthy laird, Gowan Stoughton, Duke of Kinross, can have any of the maidens at the ball he attends. The only problem is they are all English and Gowan is not so certain they are suitable. He is accustomed to the hard-working lasses from his Highlands, not these dainty noblewomen who spend their days drinking tea or some other such nonsense. But then he makes the acquaintance of Lady Edith Gilchrist. Utterly bewitched by the emerald-eyed beauty with lush golden locks, he knows he must have her.

He must free her from her tower. . .

“Edie” had the misfortune of being dreadfully ill at her debut ball and barely remembers what Gowan looks like. Even worse, she accepted his proposal the following day. Edie’s only true passion is playing music—until Gowan writes a scandalous letter and stirs the most irresistible desire. Yet when they marry, Edie realizes her husband needs a lesson and locks herself in a tower. Somehow Gowan must find a way to enter the tower and convince his new bride that she belongs in his arms.

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17) Out May 28 *Book 1 in Sinful Scoundrels series*

What a Wicked Earl Wants

Summary:

WILL A RAKE’S WICKED WAYS

Andrew Carrington, Earl of Bellingham, believes in being a gentleman, whether it’s fishing a soggy stranger out of the Thames or assisting a fetching lady into his bed. If the stranger becomes a friend and the lady a mistress, all the better. He certainly welcomes the opportunity to help Laura Davenport, a dazzling young widow with a rebellious stepson. Her gratitude, he hopes, will take an amorous form. But from the moment he sets foot in her drawing room, he gets far more than he bargained for… 

LEAD THE LADY ASTRAY?

It was a moment of desperation. On the brink of losing her stepson, Laura turned to the notorious Lord Bellingham for help. Suddenly she, a vicar’s daughter, is in the precarious position of resisting his tantalizing advances. How Bell earned his wicked reputation is clear; the surprise is how much more there is to him than the gossip sheets could possibly reveal. Now every moment with this dangerously desirable man puts Laura’s good name at risk-and promises pleasure unlike any she has ever known… 

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18) Out May 28 *Re-issue!*

The Lady's Tutor

Summary:

Married young to a man hand-picked by her father, Elizabeth Petre is an ideal Victorian lady.  She has borne two sons and endured sixteen years of selfless duty in a passionless marriage.  Craving a man’s loving touch yet loyal to her wedding vows, Elizabeth is determined to seduce her coldly indifferent husband.  She knows of only one man who can teach her the erotic arts of love…

The bastard son of an English countess and an Arab sheik, Ramiel Devington was reared to embrace both Western culture and Eastern pleasure.  Scorned by society and challenged by prim Elizabeth’s request, he undertakes her instruction in the art of sensual delight. 

But when the lessons become a temptation neither can resist, Elizabeth is forced to choose between obligation and forbidden passion…

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19) Out May 28

Diamonds

Summary:

When it comes to diamonds—like their men—some women prefer them rough…

Thanks to her grandfather’s complicated will, Miss Adela Ruffington, along with her mother and sisters, is about to lose her home and income to a distant cousin, the closest male heir to the Millingford title. For Adela, nothing could be more insulting—being denied her rightful inheritance for a randy scoundrel like Wilson, the very man who broke her heart following a lusty dalliance years ago.

Still smarting from the betrayal of his latest paramour, Wilson Ruffington never anticipates the intense desire Adela again stirs within him. Despite his wicked tongue and her haughty pride, their long-ago passion instantly reignites at a summer house party, the experience they’ve gained as adults only adding fuel to the flames.

Wilson and Adela are insatiable, but civility outside of the bedroom proves impossible. Determined to keep Adela in his bed, Wilson devises a ruse—a marriage of convenience that will provide her family with a generous settlement, as well as prevent scandalous whispers. Their plan works perfectly until family rivalries and intrigue threaten to destroy their arrangement…and the unspoken love blooming beneath it.

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HAPPY MONTH OF READING! 😀

Anna Randol’s New Book Sins of a Virgin Cover Revealed!

Anyone who’s read A Secret in Her Kiss would know how brilliant Anna is in telling exciting stories set in unique historical settings. Nothing much revealed about this book apart from that it is set in the ‘seedy underbelly of London’ but we can sigh over that stunning cover.

Looks like our ‘virginal’ heroine is a little bit naughty and likes to tease our hero 😉

RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 28, 2012

Click cover to view author site!

What do you guys think of the cover? Loving it? Hating it?

Published in: on May 20, 2012 at 11:29 PM  Comments (1)  
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The Official Rumor Series Trailer by Delilah Marvelle

Finally the moment we’ve all been waiting for!

The epic mini-movie trailer to kick off the highly anticipated Rumor series!

Look for Book 1 in bookstores December 20th!

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Book One

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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 bag 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.…

RELEASE DATE: DECEMBER 20, 2011

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.

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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

Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord by Sarah MacLean

Setting: Regency 1823

Summary:

Since being named “London’s Lord to Land” by a popular ladies’ magazine, Nicholas St. John has been relentlessly pursued by every matrimony-minded female in the ton. So when an opportunity to escape fashionable society presents itself, he eagerly jumps—only to land in the path of the most determined, damnably delicious woman he’s ever met!

The daughter of a titled wastrel, Lady Isabel Townsend has too many secrets and too little money. Though she is used to taking care of herself quite handily, her father’s recent passing has left Isabel at sea and in need of outside help to protect her young brother’s birthright. The sinfully handsome, eminently eligible Lord Nicholas could be the very salvation she seeks.

But the lady must be wary and not do anything reckless and foolish…like falling madly, passionately in love.

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Review:

After reading and loving the first book in this series, I couldn’t wait for the second one, especially since I had kinda fallen for the hero as a secondary character in the first one. 😉 Nick seemed like an awesome hero and since I personally have a soft spot for kind, honorable heroes rather than the more rakish ones, I was just dying to read this one.

I wish I could say I loved it and that it was a worthy sequel but that would be a lie. There was so much promise for this one but somewhere along the way, the potential was lost in a predictable, cheesy, improbable and frankly quite dull novel. The beginning was funny, witty and promised another great read but once the hero/heroine met, things went downhill.

It was clear from the start that the hero/heroine were meant for each other which heightened my anticipation for when they met, but I was very disappointed. They just didn’t have enough chemistry! Nick who was a great secondary character in the first one, was just plain bland here. It was enough to put me off the ‘good’ hero for good, which isn’t right because I know from personal experience, if done right, they make awesome swoon worthy heroes. He had his moments though but he couldn’t save this book. Isabel was your typical independent, spunky heroine but that was about it. I tried to sympathize with her situation but I couldn’t help feeling that she really didn’t have much to complain about. I just couldn’t admire her all that much. The conflict was also not big enough to keep me hooked and I just struggled through the book, waiting for it too pick up which it never did.

The plot was also full of improbabilities. I mean more than 3/4 of the book took place in 4 days! 4 days and we have the heroine, who has been let down by every man in her life (and has some serious trust issues) completely falling for the hero. I mean really, realistically, it would take a much longer time for her to trust a man so absolutely. Isabel runs a house protecting young women which was a bit improbable but acceptable. What wasn’t was how she actually climbed on a roof to try to fix it, in full view of the hero. I just felt like banging my head on a wall, her behavior was so beyond what was acceptable.

And then after being let down the first half by the H and H, I waited to meet the characters from the first book and spend more time with them but even that was a letdown. The heroine didn’t even meet any of the previous characters! They all appeared for like two pages and were gone! The only light here was meeting the hero for the next book, who will prove interesting!

The love scenes were bland as well, and just seemed like copies of the love scenes in the first book-Looks like the brothers really are twins-they even have sex the same way!! :O I just found the scenes cheesy and unlikely as Isabel just seemed to jump right onto Nick’s lap without even the slightest consideration for propriety or even the smallest concern for her virtue.

Please, Ms MacLean, I know you can do much better than this! I’ll be reading your next book just because I have so much faith in you!

Sensuality Rating: Hot (Long and explicit scenes)

Final Verdict: Sorry to say, but you should skip this one and wait for book three!

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

The Duke Next Door by Celeste Bradley

Setting: 1815, Regency

Summary:

The dangerously beautiful Deirdre Cantor is determined to inherit her grandfather’s vast fortune. All she needs is to marry a duke…and be the first granddaughter to walk down the aisle. After all, she has always dreamed of becoming a member of the haute ton. So when the proper Calder Marbrook, the Marquis of Brookhaven and future Duke of Brookmoor, is abandoned at the altar, Deirdre makes it her business to become his wife—in spite of the whispers about his past.

Soon Deirdre’s visions of a lavish existence with the handsome Calder are shattered when she learns his shocking secret. Feeling betrayed, Deirdre seeks revenge by playing a perilous and seductive game of cat and mouse with her husband that threatens to drive them both to the heights of passion. She will not surrender to him, no matter how great her desire. But at what cost?  Calder is determined to keep his secret under lock and key—and to make his stunning wife his in every way that matters. Even if it means winning her heart all over again…

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Review:

This is the second book in The Heiress Brides series. After being disappointed by the first book in the series, I really hope this one would prove to be much better. It had one thing going for it and that was the hero, who was jilted in the first book, and who I found to be an interesting, complex character with very Darcy-like qualities. I did end up liking the book a lot better than the first one, though it still wasn’t brilliant like her Runaway Brides series.

I think what made this book was Calder, the aloof, brooding hero. I’m a sucker for the distant hero who is eventually won over by the love of the right woman and Calder didn’t disappoint. I loved seeing his icy demeanour break down. At the beginning of the book, the gossips call him the Beast of Brookhaven, after two women leave him and this made me like him even more and made me want to see him end up happily ever after.

I can’t say the same for the heroine though. She was, for me, the major flaw in the book. Deirdre was spoiled, selfish and I just couldn’t warm to her even when her softer side was shown. I didn’t feel she was the right match for Calder who needed someone with more life, a more Elizabeth Bennet type heroine.

Celeste Bradley’s writing as usual was funny and smart even if the plot wasn’t particularly hooking. The tension between the two at the start of the book was electric and it was what kept me reading the book. But after the middle of the book, the story started to drag, and I soon found myself longing for the ending. There were villains in the book which I felt the book could have done without.

The love scenes were admittedly well-written but very explicit-and I could never fully feel the emotional connection between the two.

Despite Celeste’s writing style and the sexy hero, there wasn’t much to like about this book. Read it if you haven’t got anything else to read, or if you love Darcy-ish heroes but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Sensuality Level: Hot (Detailed, explicit and long love scenes)

Verdict: Not recommended.

Rating: 2 and a half stars out of 5

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