Wow! Historical Paranormal Romance at its Best! I normally don't read paranormal romance but discovered Kim Lenox books by chance. I've fallen in loveWow! Historical Paranormal Romance at its Best! I normally don't read paranormal romance but discovered Kim Lenox books by chance. I've fallen in love with this series. Ms. Lenox knows how to world-build with suspense while layering that all-important sensual touch that keeps a reader like me begging for more. Great character development! Her hero, Lord Archer, is a perfect alpha ready to defend against an evil that wants to take over the world. Set in Victorian London, the story centers around Archer who must defeat Jack the Ripper. Somehow, Jack has found a secret portal that allows him to have unconscionable powers. Throw in Lord Archer’s beautiful ward, Elena, as bait, and you have a story that will keep you up all night. All Elena wants is to find her past and become a doctor. Hard to do in Victorian times, but Ms. Lenox’s scrappy heroine is determined. Archer and Elena’s beautiful love story fits in perfectly with the suspense. Will good triumph over evil? You’ll have to read it. Here’s a hint-I’m reading the second in the series, So Still the Night and loving it! ...more
Eliza Lawrence, the receptionist for the Evensong Agency, gently acquiesces to provide temporary governess services for the owner’s brother-in-law, NiEliza Lawrence, the receptionist for the Evensong Agency, gently acquiesces to provide temporary governess services for the owner’s brother-in-law, Nicholas (Nick) Raeburn. Another typical day for our intrepid, career-minded Eliza? I think not when a half-naked, tattooed Nick demands she immediately get naked after he greets her at the door. Poor Nick mistakes Eliza as a replacement model for his current painting.
After the first flurries of misunderstandings are set straight, Eliza enters into what could only be described as hell when the entire household (except for Eliza) succumbs to an evil influenza. Before Nick gets sick, he sets out to defend his original model who has been severely beaten by her husband. Nick comes home black, blue, and stabbed. With everyone ill, his care is left to Eliza. To make matters worse, Nick’s act of chivalry ends up making the gossip rags. Eliza becomes a virtual prisoner in the house as the London press drools for the sensational story of a successful artist caught in web of violence and attempted murder. Throw in a slick villain and the story’s intrepid hero and heroine are forced to rely on each other to get out of this mess with Eliza’s reputation intact. Naturally, the two fall in love while fighting their feelings the entire way.
TRG is a fun story that continues to build the stakes for a HEA. Nick is a true charmer-a typical Maggie Robinson hero-who makes me believe his feelings for the tight-laced Eliza are genuine. Eliza is a delightful, forward-thinking heroine who can't help but get swept away by the charismatic artist.
Time and time again, Maggie Robinson produces a great story with subtle touches of humor that keeps me begging for more. Not many authors make me laugh out loud but Ms. Robinson always does. When I need a fun but satisfying read I pick up a Maggie Robinson book. I can’t wait for next month’s release. I need more Maggie Robinson romance!!! ...more
I normally favor historicals set in the Regency period, but since this book was written by one of my favorite authors (Lily Dalton) under a differentI normally favor historicals set in the Regency period, but since this book was written by one of my favorite authors (Lily Dalton) under a different pen name, I thought I’d give it a try. I wasn’t disappointed. Jolie Mathis delivers a great Viking romance with a wonderful hero and heroine and nonstop action. The heroine saves the hero from death only to face him two years later when he comes to kill her brother. How they find the way to true love is brilliant. My kind of catnip! ...more
Lily Dalton’s second in the Scandalous Season series delivers again. After her fantastic Never Desire a Duke, Dalton continues to produce a great romaLily Dalton’s second in the Scandalous Season series delivers again. After her fantastic Never Desire a Duke, Dalton continues to produce a great romance that sucks me right in. The heroine, Daphne Bevington, masquerades as her maid in an attempt to right a wrong. In her pursuit to help her maid, Daphne meets the man of her dreams, Cormack Northmore. The story centers on whether these two can find happiness when Cormack is promised to another while Daphne vows never to marry. Both have believable reasons for their actions. The author’s voice is perfect and in my opinion, keeps getting better. I can’t wait for the next in the series. ...more
Wow! I found a new historical author! By far, I think this is one of the best romances of 2013. RWA agrees with me as the story was nominated for theWow! I found a new historical author! By far, I think this is one of the best romances of 2013. RWA agrees with me as the story was nominated for the prestigious RITA.
The novel is a second chance redemption story for both our hero, Vane, the Duke of Claxton and his bride, Sophia. When Claxton and Sophia suffer a tragic loss early in their marriage, they must learn to find a way to forgive one another and themselves before their love can emerge from the heartache. A beautifully told story with characters that jump of the page. The author’s voice drew me in from the beginning and never failed in her delivery of a brilliant tale. I liked the story so much; I bought everything she’d written.
What I loved best about the story is the author’s ability to tackle such a heavy topic while making the characters come alive in moments of lighthearted fun. She does this while never demeaning the trial and tribulations Claxton and Sophia must face. I defy anyone not to laugh then cry at the sledding scene. For that scene alone, Never Desire a Duke will be on my keeper shelf. ...more
Christmas in July! Tempted by His Touch is one of the few box sets I’m looking forward to reading. Every story is a present to be opened. Let’s startChristmas in July! Tempted by His Touch is one of the few box sets I’m looking forward to reading. Every story is a present to be opened. Let’s start with Undone.
I just love this book! From the gorgeous cover to the author’s ending historical note, I was hooked. Undone is the story of Simon Boulenger who desperately wants to be part of the French aristocracy and Angelica who is running from her noble birth. Each has their own secrets but finds a way to overcome these obstacles to be together. The story was laugh out loud funny in parts, but it could bring me to tears in the very next chapter.
Lila DiPasqua is a wonderful writer who knows how to keep a reader enthralled throughout the entire story. Her prose flows easily and magically transports the reader into a fairy tale (or should I say “fiery tale”) that is, simply stated, fun. The author deftly captures the reader’s attention by introducing believable characters. Ms. DiPasqua does a fantastic job of developing the characters into ones that I like and therefore, can believe their motivations and actions. I personally thought Simon and Angelica were some of the smartest characters I’ve read about in a long time. I liked Simon a lot. Even though some of his reactions to Angelica were infuriating, I could understand his thought processes. The author does a wonderful job of explaining his motivations throughout the novel. Angelica stays true to character throughout the story. She’s a strong woman who is not afraid to take risks.
This author can lead you to believe the story will follow a certain path then take you in an exciting twist that you never expect. Undone takes nothing for granted. For me, this story took a lot of turns like a roller coaster ride, but I enjoyed every one of them.
Undone is a story that stayed with me for days because it’s so good! I can’t wait for the next story Ms. DiPasqua creates. If you haven’t picked up one of her stories, what are you waiting for? You won’t be disappointed.
Now, off to the next Rogue or Alpha . . . so hard to pick. ...more
I loved this story. It’s the second story in the Five Senses series by author Gemma Brocato. This is a little different book for me since it’s a conteI loved this story. It’s the second story in the Five Senses series by author Gemma Brocato. This is a little different book for me since it’s a contemporary, and I’m a historical fan. But, I love the author’s voice and the characters she’s created in this series. Set in Granite Pointe, Massachusetts, the series focuses on a tightly knit Kerrigan family. It’s a terrific series, full of great characters with a plot that hums along nicely.
A widow and mother of twins named Pippa Sanders’ is visiting the grave of her late husband after attending a military funeral. Finding herself at the cemetery after dark, she’s threatened by a Liberty Battalion protester named Dewey. Our hero, Clay Mathers happens to be assigned to keep an eye out on the radical group. He comes to Pippa’s rescue and dispatches the protestor with ease.
After delivering a brisk lecture on the foolishness of visiting the cemetery alone, Clay starts to see the attractive widow as a possible friend with benefits. Clay’s not looking for anything long-term, as his real purpose in town is to help his mother recuperate from a stroke.
Pippa is cautious about getting involved as she struggles to raise her children as a single parent. But the need for companionship is strong so Pippa can’t see the harm if she and Clay are discrete. Perfect set up for a wonderful and heartfelt romance!
The author has a terrific voice and makes her characters come alive on the page. Clay is a laugh out loud wonderful hero. He has no qualms using colorful language to make a point (much to Pippa’s dismay!). For instance, Clay wants Pippa to understand that Dewey is not someone to reason with, and he’s not shy in telling it like it is:
“I think that shithead is riding the Bipolar Express with stops scheduled at drunk, disorderly and devious.”
Even though he’s rough, Clay’s has a heart of gold. He invites Pippa’s twins to his mom’s farm and takes the opportunity for a little alone time with the lovely Pippa. While passionately kissing, Clay and Pippa are interrupted by her children. Clay delivers a scowl that causes trouble between the couple. In typical Clay fashion, he explains how much he likes her children but while kissing had different priorities:
“But I wanted to jam my tongue down your throat more than I wanted to play gentleman farmer with them.”
Clay had me from the get go. He is fun, sexy and a wonderfully developed character. Don’t get me wrong. I love Pippa too, but Clay seals the deal for me. He had me laughing out loud at these devilishly delicious ‘Clayisms’ sprinkled throughout this smart and sexy story.
I enjoyed reading Hearts and Harmony. Can’t wait for the next to be released in the series. ...more
Let me just start by saying that Breathe into Me caught my attention by the end of the first page. A feat not many books could achieve. The heroine, LLet me just start by saying that Breathe into Me caught my attention by the end of the first page. A feat not many books could achieve. The heroine, Lacey St. James, is barely making ends meet after dropping out of high school to escape the horror of being sexually assaulted. With an alcoholic mother and an abusive grandmother, she’s left to manage not only her life but the life of her little brother. When her so-called boyfriend serves her up on a silver platter to his pals, Everett is there to stop the nightmare from happening again.
Everett Ward has his own demons to master. Coming from a wealthy family, he leaves that life behind to escape. He starts fresh working for a friend’s construction company. He sees saving Lacey as a possible way to achieve some atonement for his past sins.
The story evolves until these two become so intertwined into each other’s lives, they can’t nurture their individual selves or their relationship until they face their own demons independently. This is truly one of the best books I’ve read all year. Sarah Fawkes’ descriptions of domestic abuse and stalking were stark and realistic. Her writing – the characters and her voice - reminds me of another favorite author, Samantha Young. I loved the setting, the gulf coast of Mississippi which Ms. Fawkes cleverly made one of the most important characters.
I will definitely watch for Sarah Fawkes’ new releases. I’m always tickled to have found another new author for my auto buys. ...more
Sometimes a story demands your attention and, if you’re lucky, sucks you in before you know what hits you. For me, TMy Three Days Vacation with Lady X
Sometimes a story demands your attention and, if you’re lucky, sucks you in before you know what hits you. For me, Three Weeks with Lady X is a perfect example. Briefly, Lady Xenobia India St. Claire is the orphan daughter of a Marquess. She possesses the uncanny ability to organize and decorate households for the nobility. Along comes the bastard son of a Duke, Thorn Dautry (Tobias from A Duke of her Own) who’s ready to marry and in desperate need of setting up a household for his future bride and family. The renovation must be finished within three weeks. India, as a favor to Thorn’s stepmother (Eleanor from A Duke of Her Own-love her!), accepts the assignment. Set, Game, Match-let the high jinks begin. Throw in a moppet, a secondary romance for good measure and you have an outstanding Eloisa James novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. Lady X earned a spot on my keeper shelf.
After I finished the story, I thought about the reasons why it gave me the rare but wondrous “romance glow.” In my opinion, James is one of the few authors writing today with the ability to infuse her writing with scrumptious characters, complicated subtexts, deep emotion, and lively secondary storylines. She throws in a jolt of something different just for good measure. She takes all those talents and weaves a perfect story that touched my heart and made me hungry for more. When I reached the end of the book, I sat for a moment in awe (and if honest a little sad-I didn’t want to say goodbye to India and Thorn). The author amazed me with everything she packed within the pages. I’ll bet James is wicked with packing travel carry-ons. Seriously, I’ll be able to reread Lady X over and over and still find another carefully crafted jewel I hadn’t noticed before. So for me, that’s how wonderful this story is.
Speaking of jewels, if I don’t fall in love the hero, I’m not interested in reading the story. The depths James’ hero reaches to comfort his best friend’s daughter brought tears to my eyes. Plus, his quest to secure India’s happiness is epic. James is one of the best at showing characters’ emotional depths. She had me laughing out loud in one scene and crying in the next.
Needless to say, I can’t wait for the next in this new series. One of my favorites of the year. ...more
I got my jingle bells on with the new holiday duet, Holiday for Two, by Maggie Robinson and Elyssa Patrick. Maggie Robinson is a favorite author for mI got my jingle bells on with the new holiday duet, Holiday for Two, by Maggie Robinson and Elyssa Patrick. Maggie Robinson is a favorite author for me (can anyone say auto-buy?), and I’m delighted to say that Elyssa Patrick is a new find. Both stories feature couples stranded in a snowstorm-one of my favorite storylines. Oh, this is delicious -- both novellas feature heroes who wear glasses. ; )
Maggie Robinson’s All Through the Night is the first one up. A blizzard keeps Carrie Moore, personal assistant for a famous mystery writer, from making the last ferry to the island where her rich employer lives. It’s Christmas Eve, and she’s stranded. The night gets interesting when she meets up with her employer’s nephew. He’s a genuine “frigging” English Viscount named Lord Griffin Archer who’s missed the last ferry too. (BTW, he’s so hot!)
With the blizzard in full force and no place to stay – the local inn is closed – the intrepid couple finds refuge in the inn’s garage! Seems Carrie is a wiz at breaking locks. Let’s just say the hijinx continue in typical Maggie Robinson fashion. There’s a “Jag-U-ar” (not “Jagwar”) car, picnic on the garage floor, and other delights. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I have to share this; Carrie and Griffin get special presents this Christmas – each other. It makes me sigh thinking about it.
This is a laugh-out-loud story that left me happy. For my tastes, it’s perfect for the holidays. During November and December, I may only have an hour or so a day that I can dedicate to reading. This story is short and satisfying. It’s what Santa knows I need to make it through the busy holiday season. Elyssa Patrick’s While It Was Snowing features Felicity Evans, a successful small business owner of the Fat Lady Sweets candy store. (Love the name!) Imagine this opening scene: She’s naked with cold whipped cream covering her “woman parts,” and she’s waiting to seduce her best friend since childhood. When her bestie, Harry Walsh, walks through the door, reality hits both of them in the face.
I was immediately rooting for these two. Harry is a shy and awkward accountant, but he’s been crazy in love with Felicity for years. Felicity, a refreshing normal size romance heroine, has been noticing that Harry is looking at her in a way that will take their relationship to a whole new level. Oh, by the way, did I tell you that HARRY IS A VIRGIN? Yep! There’s a shiny bow for your Christmas package. Thanks, Elyssa!
Both Harry and Felicity are in love with one another, and it’s obvious to Felicity that she has to make the first move. Love is a rocky road with whipped cream (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!) for these two as hurt, angst, and the terror of losing their friendship is served up in a story that grabs you from the start. It has a sweet finish with an epilogue that I loved! Double sigh! I thought this was such a heartfelt story about friends who become lovers. I will definitely be purchasing additional books of Elyssa Patrick’s. Love her voice!!
It was fun spending time with these two couples. Both stories just sparkled. For me, holiday romances should be special, and these two stories hit the mark. ...more
It is not an exaggeration to say I’ve been waiting for The Duke’s Match Girl for a long while. When I heard that Lila DiPasqua was writing a story looIt is not an exaggeration to say I’ve been waiting for The Duke’s Match Girl for a long while. When I heard that Lila DiPasqua was writing a story loosely based upon the Hans Christian Andersen tale, I didn’t know how she’d pull it off. Boy, did she deliver.
Leopold d’Ermant, the Duc de Mont-Marly (Leo for short) is given a second chance at finding his happily ever after with the one woman he can’t forget – Suzanne Machet (clever right?). Seems Leo and Suzanne grew up being best friends before they became lovers. I won’t spoil the story for you, but let’s just say Leo has a lot of work ahead of him to make amends for his bad deeds. He wants Suzanne back into his life and into his arms. She’s smart, quick-witted, and a joy to all that know her. But she’s not going to forget the past. It’s a wonderfully told tale that caused me to laugh one moment at the opening scene with Leo’s brothers then cry minutes later as Suzanne reveals her grief at the loss of her father and the loss of Leo all those years ago. It was easy for me to fall in love with Leo and Suzanne within the first few pages. As I’ve come to expect of Lila DiPasqua stories, this one is hot (fans hand across the face) and the characters are vibrant.
During the busy holiday season when I have little time for myself, I plan to grab a glass of wine, hide out, and enjoy this beautifully told Christmas story again. Yes, I think it’s that wonderful of a story that I want to read it again. It’ll be on my keeper shelf. ...more
I really enjoyed the first of Maggie Robinson’s Ladies Unlaced series, and her latest in this series in my opinion doesn’t disappoint. Set in the earlI really enjoyed the first of Maggie Robinson’s Ladies Unlaced series, and her latest in this series in my opinion doesn’t disappoint. Set in the early 1900’s highlands of Scotland, the hijinx keeps this story rolling. With great characters and the author’s trademark banter it was hard for me to put the book down when other duties demanded my attention.
I loved the way the romance developed between the hero, Alec, and the heroine, Mary Evensong, as they ferret out the bad guy. With a lively and clever supporting cast that includes a wonderfully described hotel (yes, I’d characterize the hotel as such! LOL!) and the accompanying highlands, I could imagine being there at the turn of the 20th century.
It’s refreshing for me as a historical lover to find a new era to read about and enjoy. These stories bring lots of joy and ‘modern conveniences’ to the forefront. It was an era that struggled with the ways of the past as the people desperately wanted to head face first into the new century. For me, I love the added pleasure of reading these tales -- Ms. Robinson’s Ladies Unlaced series – as we approach the centennial of WW1.
I for one will be looking forward to the next in the series. It’s a breath of fresh air for me as a historical reader. ...more