This story is an erotic powerhouse that dives right into what readers love best about the demon world created by the amazing mind of Ms. Holly. For readers who may feel that they don’t or can’t get enough of those scenes that the author does so well, The Assassin’s Lover is a bonanza.
What always amazes and delights me is the raw emotion and need that Ms. Holly imbues her characters with. I don’t know how she does it, but every erotic scene has meaning to the characters and brings depth to the story without ever seeming gratuitous or for the sake of sex itself.
The conflicts are varied. There’s the external threat of assassins going after the assassins, the idea of vengeance, and the most important and relevant issue is the balancing of three lives into a cohesive and healthy relationship. Feelings are hurt, soothed, explored and exposed. The dynamics of bringing together three such diverse and unlikely characters and making them fall in love was tricky and fascinating. To add spice and suspense there was an additional goal or plot -- to rescue a relative from an unspeakable and well guarded place. Put it all together and readers are in for a roller coaster of drama, uncertainty, daring-do and a romance that defies the odds.
Kat is an exiled princess. The best description I can come up with to refer to her is ‘survivor’. There’s a bow to the tale of Cinderella regarding the heroine. The unfair attacks against her haven’t broken her but made her stronger, more determined and more appreciative of the gifts that come her way. I loved that she could be haughty and prim, wild and devious, and sexually bold -- truly a mate worthy of the strong men in her life.
Those manly men come in the yummy packages of Hattori and Ciran. A reader will first meet them in an innocent setting. What’s genius about that is its showing of a simple and uncomplicated time in all of their lives. The author sets up the future by looking briefly into the past. By doing so, I understood better about what they lost, what they struggled to overcome and what they eventually will fight for. It’s a hard road but the men are harder.
Hattori is the main focus of Kat’s desire. Ciran is the unfortunate third wheel whose emotions and feelings are locked inside. His yearning is what endeared him to me. He was trying so hard to be selfless and it was killing me. I believe that he needed to love and be loved most of all. Hattori and Kat’s eventual realization of that truth enhanced the telling of this fascinating tale. Sure, it’s full of bumps and bruises, but a lot of hot loving is what eventually takes the blinders off allowing Hattori and Kat to let go of their ingrained reserve and finally reveal the true love they all share. It’s beautiful; their passion has an incendiary quality that had me having to fan myself a few times. Okay, more than a few.
As I said before, one of the plot goals was to rescue a family member. What the trio had to do in order to be successful had me shivering and perspiring. It’s intense, it’s a bit rough and it’s well written. The saying is, when you love someone, you’ll do anything for them. Ms. Holly explored it in a way only she can. Get ready for a wild ride.
The thing that made me tap my chin in thought was the family member. The blurb doesn’t say anything about it and neither will I. I will only say that I wished the character was fleshed out more. I understand that trauma will affect a person but it was hard for me to really truly care when the person came across as cardboard and stiff. Something was missing but I can’t put my finger on it. Out of the whole book, this is the only thing that I felt let me down.
The Assassin’s Lover is a complicated love story, rich in emotion, conflict and heart. Ms. Holly is known for her well written scenes when it comes to skin on skin action and this book certainly delivers with explosive results. The intricacy of the plot takes its toll on the main characters and a reader will be hard pressed to put this book down until the very end. I am satisfied with the happily ever after but I get the feeling it has an attached ‘for now’ somewhere. I don’t believe they’re completely out of danger and I also think the person they rescued now needs some emotional TLC as well. What this means is that the next story set in this alternate Victorian world is going to be an auto-buy for me. I simply have to know.
Passage to November is a special kind of vintage romance because of the unique setting on a ship that sails the Great Lakes. Clara Grace is a well-rounded character. A strong-minded young woman with determined goals. But she also has an inner frail vulnerability that makes her even more interesting. Adjusting to her new job as cook on a ship is not easy, especially since she hates to cook. But she keeps on trying anyway, even in the face of McTavish’s disapproval and scorn. This makes her even more admirable and engenders much sympathy for her. Captain William McTavish is tough as nails and all alpha male but Clara gets under his skin and awakens his soft side.
There is a quite a bit of passive narrative in this story where distance comes in between the reader and the character’s moment-to-moment experience. The prose tends to be wordy. It all made for slow reading in several spots. That said, these faults are somewhat offset by the depth of emotion in the story and the real passion one can feel for the subject matter.
The dialogue and the mindset and motivations of the characters are believable for the time. I did not catch any anachronisms. This story has a strong historical feel and a real sense of adventure. The characters are well drawn and consistent in their actions and motivations. I could believe these were men who fought the elements on a daily basis in their shipboard lives yet nothing was stereotypical.
This story has a strong beating heart that is somewhat dulled by problems of technique but not totally. There is a lot of emotion and sexual tension going on with a strong minded, softhearted heroine and a tough, alpha male with a heart of gold. The sense of history is strong. For those seeking a different setting for a historical romance and a return to sweet romance that is not cloying, Passage to November could very well be the refreshing change-of-pace you are looking for.
Past Destinies is a time travel romance with a little mythology thrown in for good measure. Modern day Douglas Coleman is sweet beta hero, a doctor who plays a doctor on TV. He’s fed up with his life and his girlfriend. Elizabeth is a tomboyish, horse mad young woman living on her uncle’s horse breeding farm in 1868. Once they meet they have nice sexual and romantic tension. Their coming together is sweet and sexy at the same time.
Elizabeth is introduced in a scene where she is assisting horses with mating. So Elizabeth has been established as a no-nonsense, hard working young woman. She loves horses and loves her uncle, doesn’t get along with her aunt. She isn’t interested in men or marriage. She likes to wear boy’s jeans.
At the story’s opening, Doug is dating a stereotypical bad-tempered, arrogant, materialistic, plastic, blonde Hollywood bombshell. Personally, it was hard for me to understand why Doug was with this girl to begin with. They are on a date and he’s nitpicking her in his mind and I am unable to keep from thinking: “Why are you still with her then? She is what she is but you have the choice to be with her. Either accept her or move on.” It made me a bit leery of his judgement in general and made it a little hard to relate to him at first. Okay, honestly, he irritated me in his first scenes. Doug is much easier to like and relate to once he is sent back into the past. He becomes helpful and thoughtful and has a nice sense of humor. He’s very sweet to the heroine and very tolerant of all the changes he has to go through to make it in the past. He’s a different man. Maybe more men should be sent to the past…
There is a fair amount of passive narrative in this story, which at times slows things. But enough of the story is spent deeply in character perspective that the pace stays bearable. The historical feel is good and strong. The sex itself is more like hot mainstream than erotic romance and leavened with plenty of emotion and a dash of humor. There isn’t a lot of sex in this story nor is the sex that is there very long page-wise.
Past Destinies is a sweet time travel romance with lots of romantic and sexual tension and a good historical feel. It’s not so much centered on actual sexual contact. If you like tomboyish heroines, horses and history and time travel, mythology and good-looking TV doctors, don’t miss this one.
Sexy, audacious younger man tempts a lonely widow. This isn’t a battle of wills, this is a sweet yet spicy story of an affair that leads to deeper attachment. Lady Julia Renwick is portrayed as a nice lady who wants some hot love action and is willing to take risk to attain it. The younger man, the Earl of Bedingfield, is a well-done rakish sort with sensitive, caring side who gives her a gentle push into temptation. The whole story is imbued with a good historical feel. Julia’s actions and thoughts are believable for a widow of her time; she doesn’t come across as anachronistic in her manner. The way the affair transpires was also believable and suited the times.
Ms. Erickson’s writing clear and deep in character perspective and sounds historical without being flowery, awkward or wordy. The love scenes are sexily written and infused with plenty of emotion right from the start. Their attraction is instant, steady and overt. The sex happens early and there is no conflict over it. Julia and Bedingfield want the affair and do not hide it from each other. There’s mild tension over Bedingfield’s vast sexual expertise and Julia’s relative lack of experience. Later some conflict arises over Julia’s doubts and insecurities about the age difference. These conflicts are worked out in a way that is believable and satisfying.
It is a light, straightforward love affair story that turns into a HEA. A very enjoyable quick and sexy read with just the right touch of romance.
Tracy L. Ranson's historical romance novel starts dramatically and is absolutely riveting throughout. The reason for India Rookwood's desperate flight is quickly revealed; the classic, 'arranged marriage to horrible man.' However, the plot speeds forward into uncharted waters at a furious pace, and nothing about His Wicked Intentions is remotely predictable.
India plunges into a world entirely new to her aboard the brigantine: the tall ship, the sea, and a world of anger and vengeance that twirls around her family name. Indeed...she has no idea.
Captain Rafe Blackthorne is hardly the sort anyone would be setting up marriages with; and his long-lasting desire for revenge propels him, as we readers cringe, horrified. Yet, India is not quite the person he expects, either: he too, has No Idea! She is strong minded and decisive when she gets the chance. They set sail on a completely unpredictable course. We dare hope for the best; it would all be so magical if Rafe was all we hope.
India's past is not easily left behind however. There is a horrible world out there, a world she has heard only hints and rumors about. She's right to fear the violent, degrading men that are said to exist, but predicting where and at what points they will appear seems impossible. To say more would be to ruin the many surprises and twists.
This reader loved the backdrop, a blend of romance set in historic England and a pirate-style romance, as well as the pace of the action, and the overall originality. There are some darker sections certainly. Spicier interludes fit well with the overall storyline.
Minor editing oversights and an occasional clumsy wordiness drop this from the absolutely top score (minor things like "of a might oak"), but regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed this well-plotted, fast-paced story.
Much more than just a story of a girl who runs from an unwanted marriage, The Seduction of Scandal hums with secret treasonous deals, a one-man campaign for justice, and the blooming of love that brings a sense of belonging never before known to the hero and the heroine.
Corinne Rosemont wants a husband who loves her even when she is silly and obstinate, a husband who relishes her opinions and shares her passion. She just knows there must be more to life than parties, boredom, and a stale, unloving marriage like her parents’. However, she is expected to marry Lord Freddie Sherwin, whom Corinne caught cavorting in her bed with her maid. Her parents turn a deaf ear to her entreaties. To them, money, position, power, and prestige are more important than her happiness.
Freddie’s father, Earl of Bossley, is quite rich, but at the expense of his people. With political ambitions and secret connections, he is eager to have a duke for an in-law. Of course, Freddie, who is selfish, lazy, and loves feeling superior to others, is smug about getting the “Unattainable Ice Maiden” Lady Corinne Justine Rosemont, a duke’s daughter for his bride.
With no plan, just desperation, Corinne hides in the boot of a coach that is leaving the Bossley’s party. When she ends up in the care of the Reverend Will Norwich, foster son of the earl of Bossley, the intrigues, conflicts and complications pile up. Life will never be the same again for the young Reverend or for Corinne. They meet and beat the odds until jealousy overrides common sense, then the twists and turns in the plot take the reader on a rollercoaster ride that seems to be racing down hill to bury Corinne in misery then it swoops up to a breathtaking climax. Ah!
Cathy Maxwell writes with an undercurrent of humor that makes the characters seem very real. Even in some of the tense and dangerous scenes, what is real and what is perceived as real brings a smile. However, her ability to reveal the oppression of the disenfranchised parishioners and the unconscionable acts of those with rank and privilege makes The Seduction of Scandal compelling. Her skill depicting the emerging of gentle, pure love that trusts and gives without reserve captivates.
This hero and heroine’s journey from feeling unloved to feeling much loved touches the heart and satisfies that deep-down desire for love to always find its way to a happy-ever-after. Good reading!
Even though you know how the class system works and what is allowed and what is not, how do you tell your heart not to fall in love?
Ms. Hatton has written a series of short stories covering Regency England and the historical standards and expectations that existed then. Each story is different, offering different circumstances and different challenges. Each solution is unique and interesting. I especially liked how she made her characters vulnerable, yet strong. There are no wilting wallflowers here. The women know what they want (or think they do) and they are willing to work to get it. The men are strong, stubborn and even a bit understanding about the women’s expectations and the realities of the times and world they live in.
The author’s storylines are believable, enjoyable to read, and take you to a world of time past, with all its warts and pimples as well as beautiful homes and good times at public functions. It’s not all peaches and cream, but it’s real.
Ms. Hatton offers you a young lady who can have the man she was hoping for since she now has sizeable dowry – but now she’s not sure she wants him… Or, two that they marry to secure their future but never planned on falling in love. There are several more, but the one I thought was the most fun was the young man who bets he can get married in two weeks to whomever his friends pick. This one has the most interesting ending.
All of Ms. Hatton’s stories are well paced and fun to read. She does an excellent job of depicting the arrogance and ego of the day as well as how little choice or chance young women had for a love match marriage. Her stories will make you smile.
This story is an interesting mix of honor and lust. Britt MacKinnon starts by trying to make the king honor his marriage vows (at least until there’s an heir) when the king prefers to give into lust. Britt is sent to fetch the king’s favorite mistress, Lady Greer Armstrong.
Greer has already giving into lust. Now she and sister Genny are trying to do the safe, yet dishonorable (or is it honorable?) thing of keeping the king from finding out about the resultant pregnancy. To save Greer and the child, Genny believes she is doing the honorable thing in pretending to be Greer. Honor vs dishonor. Lust vs fidelity. Britt striving to force honor and fidelity on his king by leading the king’s mistress astray. It’s a very interesting premise, further complicated by the king’s actions and the queen’s plans.
Britt and Genny’s relationship was initially a nice juxtaposition of a moral couple and a bunch of immoral couples in an immoral society. Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out. I became frustrated when Genny and Britt make the same mistakes as Greer and the king, proving that, despite being supposedly more honorable, they were no better than those they criticized.
There were some interesting plot twists that could have yielded a very intriguing story, but just when things should have heated up and become interesting, the complications resolved themselves. Any one of the dilemmas, if fully developed, could have resulted in a wonderful tension-rich book. All of them in a row, combined with the too easy, unrealistic resolutions, yielded something that was merely good.
Ms. Blair has the talent to paint wonderful scenes, set up interesting dilemmas, and create (at least initially) strong characters. The historical aspects of this book were wonderful, giving the reader a definite feel of time and place. I loved how Ms. Blair started each chapter with an old Scottish proverb.
Ms. Blair has wonderful writing skill, and I'll be on the lookout for more of her works. The King's Mistress was a good read that I largely enjoyed and if you're a fan of historical romance, you might, too.
From the moment I started reading Odessa, I felt as though I had stepped back in time. Ms. Simpson makes excellent use of descriptive language that completely immersed me in the old west setting. “The sun sat high in the sky and pummeled her with heated fists. Sweat trickled down her face and neck and soaked her chemise. Her parched lips longed for a drink but she denied the need, fearing she’d not find water again soon…Her gaze scanned the lonely trail ahead; her spirits sagged.” When I read these few sentences, I felt like I was trudging through the desert with Odessa.
Odessa is certainly a feisty heroine. She is young and more than a little naïve, but she doesn’t let that slow her down one bit. When her father dies, she isn’t about to let the desert claim her life too. She sets off toward Phoenix. However, sometimes a positive attitude isn’t enough. If Zach hadn’t found her by the side of the road, Odessa would have died. Odessa is grateful, but her determination to “help” Zach by earning some money when they stop in Charleston only causes more problems for the pair. I couldn’t help but shake my head when Odessa stubbornly refused to listen to Zach. Still, I liked her as a character. While Odessa makes many mistakes, her heart is pure and strong.
Zach is the perfect hero for Odessa. Like Odessa, Zach is young, but he’s strong, loyal, and a perfect gentleman. Despite Zach’s good moral fiber, he’s made a terrible mistake. He’s agreed to rob a stage in order to save his father’s ranch. Zach regrets his decision immediately, but he doesn’t see any other way. Zach’s internal struggle to make the right decision makes him a very relatable character. As I read, I was constantly in suspense about what Zach would do. Would he tell Odessa the reason he was traveling to Charleston? Would he actually rob the stage or would be back out? I won’t spoil the story by revealing Zach’s course of action, but I will say that I was surprised by Ms. Simpson’s interesting solution to Zach’s dilemma.
I also enjoyed the romance between Odessa and Zach. Neither Zach nor Odessa is very experienced in the ways of love, but the feelings they develop for each other are real and very strong. They have excellent chemistry and share a few passionate kisses. However, I liked that they didn’t rush into a physical relationship. Zach is the first man that Odessa has ever kissed and he knows that she isn’t ready to make love just yet. Zach truly won me over when he agreed to take things slowly so he and Odessa could learn about love together.
I’m glad I had the opportunity to read Odessa. The story has a nice, steady pace, the characters are likable, and the romance is sweet and truly touching. I recommend it to anyone looking for a good western romance.
Can love truly conquer all? Read Shadowed Glass and find out.
I love a hot short story. It’s got to grab me right out of the box and keep my attention while burning my fingers. This is one of those rare piece of short fiction to do just that. The words flow from the page and kept me right in my seat. I had to know what would happen next and how the author had it worked out. There are very few characters in this piece, but the minimalist quality really works for this book.
I love the Mirror, Mirror books because I never know where I’ll be transported to. In this book, we get to meet Olav and Rig. The complexity in the relationship between the two is something lacking in much of the short stories I’ve read of late. It’s not a sticky sweet linear love story. The twists and turns made me turning pages to know what would happen and how. I couldn’t get enough.
When I first met Rig, I wasn’t sure I’d like him as a character. He’s in a situation where it would be easy to fall into dislike with him. But the further I got into the story, the more I liked him. Granted, I loved reading about him and Olav, but there was something about Rig that really tugged at my heart.
And when these two bodies collide? Be prepared and have a cool drink or a fan handy. You’ll be glad you did.
If you’re looking for smart, sassy, sexy fic...more
Can you get a second chance at a first, fulfilling love? With the Mirror, anything is possible.
This is my first read by Kate Hill. It won't be the last. I was drawn to the characters from the first page. I needed to know what would happen next and how Ms. Hill would handle it. I wasn't disappointed. The words literally flowed and snagged me at the same time. I had to know more.
The story is told from Ricky's point of view, but I got a pretty good idea of Simon the man. And I liked what I read. Ricky is...he's difficult to understand at first. He might not be the most attractive, well-built, or even strongest man, but he's got a heart the size of Texas. I could understand his timidness and why he felt that way. Ms. Hill wrote him, not as a victim, but as a survior and that was really important. Sure, there were times when I thought he acted a little too sad and unsure, but as the story went on I rooted for him. I wanted to see him get his heart's desire.
If you're looking for a quick, hot read, then you need to read Mirror, Mirror: Mine for Keeps.. It's a good read.
She’d admired Samuel from afar, but knew he’d never be interested in her. So when he asks her about courting, she gets so excited and embarrassed she falls off the ladder and douses both of them with the blue paint she was using. How can she ever look at him again?
Ms. Miller has written a very pleasant Amish tale about those who live “plain” and have certain rules to follow regarding appropriate behavior and courting. Her main character, Anna, is a large woman. She’s big-boned, she likes to eat, and she has rather plain features. She knows she should choose a husband, but she wants to find love, not just a mate. Ms. Miller makes her a warm, kind woman who is good with children, but finds words wound her soul when people speak badly about her.
Our hero is Samuel. His wife died several years ago and he has five children. He should be getting married again, but he just wasn’t ready for it yet. Then his sister sends his youngest daughter home and he knows she needs a woman’s touch. He also has had an interest in Anna for some time.
The conflict arises because Anna isn’t sure she wants to be courted. She’d love to have Samuel as her husband, but surely he couldn’t love her. She’s too fat and too tall. Maybe he just wants a wife to take care of his five children?
My favorite part of this story is how her friends and family try to make Anna understand that she is someone special in her own way. All beauty isn’t external. Ms. Miller patiently and diligently weaves the story’s way through Anna’s internal insecurities and shows that even the Amish can have sharp tongues.
The author wrote a very good tale that kept me reading until I finished it. I was afraid that Anna was going to shy away like a young, flighty horse. Ms. Miller had me hooked from the moment Anna dropped the blue paint on Samuel and I had to see how this story was going to end. It was a good, smoothly flowing tale where all the characters learned a few lessons on the way.
Ms. Miller has written several other Amish mysteries. Why not check them all out? And do read this one, it’s very good!
The days of log cabins have passed by the wayside, but this collection of short stories will take you back to the 1800’s, and into tough times, loss and love, and more. Let’s step into the past…
Each of the authors in this anthology is a recognized author who writes Christian themed stories. These stories have biblical references but they don’t overwhelm the story. Each story is set in a different location with each family having their own challenges to survive in an undeveloped land in a cabin they built for themselves.
The authors offer you characters who have to be strong to survive. They lose spouses in child birth, due to illness, or death by accident. Women can’t be alone in that day and age, and their choices are not always what they might want for their hearts. These stories have sadness in them, but each ends on a positive note with hope for the future.
The authors do a good job of showing the complex relationships between men and women. There are misunderstandings, fearing to accept or declare love, trying to deal with the children in the family, and then living in a one or two bedroom log cabin is enough to get on anyone nerves. There are different nationalities, odd family units, dangers from animals and Indians, and more. The authors are very factual about living back in the 1800’s. It wasn’t easy, but a well-built cabin and someone to love makes it a lot better.
This book would make a nice Christmas gift. It’s a book that would be fun to read each Christmas season, just pack it away with your Christmas ornaments. The stories are short enough they would work for reading aloud, too. I really enjoyed reading it. Why not give it a try yourself?
Sparkling with humor and sizzling with sex, A Night To Surrender pulsates with the wants and needs of females and males—needs not the same and on a collision course. A hodgepodge of men assembled to form a militia in a quiet seaside village wreck havoc on Spindle Cove that has a motto of “Tranquility is the soul of our community” and where young, gently-bred ladies come to get themselves sorted out.
When black powder explosions, a sheep “stampede”, and wagons loaded with army supplies show up along with Lieutenant Colonel Victor Bramwell, his wastrel cousin Colin, and Thorne, Susanna Finch rallies all her considerable abilities to keep the ladies’ retreat intact and on schedule. The village depends on the money the ladies bring into Spindle Cove.
The Queen’s Ruby Inn is a temporary home for the ladies, whether sickly, scandalous, shy, disenchanted with marriage, too enchanted with the wrong men, or just misfits in the rules-ridden society of early nineteenth century England. Twenty-five-year-old Susanna, the daughter of the only gentleman in area, nurtures the ladies and helps them to realize their self-worth and take pride in their accomplishments. Her organizational skills, healer abilities, business sense, and abundance of energy are instrumental in keeping the village economically healthy and aesthetically pleasing. Her inner hurts, needs, and woes stay locked away until Bramwell invades her territory. Theirs is a romance not to be missed.
Lt. Col. Victor Bramwell, seriously wounded in battle eight months ago, is healing and wants his command back. But his superiors ignore his requests. His last hope is his father’s old friend Sir Lewis Finch, an eccentric inventor of weaponry who is a Royal Advisor to the Prince Regent who could get Bramwell back to his command.
Sir Lewis has his own agenda and gets Bramwell elevated, not back to his command, but gets him a title. By royal decree Bramwell is now an Earl—Lord Rycliff—and owner of a dilapidated castle high on a ridge overlooking the village in one direction and overlooking the channel on the other side where the northern coast of France is only fifty miles away. He is supposed to raise a militia of twenty-four men to defend this area of the coast—NOT Bramwell’s ‘cup-of-tea’.
Colin, Bramwell’s ne’er-do-well cousin, is horrified. A pretty village with no taverns and overrun with unbiddable, educated, man-eater ladies is just too much. While his irresponsible mischief propels the plot along at top speed, it often brings about distressing outcomes, but sometimes there is humor that tickles the funny bone.
The secondary characters are a diverse lot that add a wealth of emotions to the conflicts. The lamb named “Dinner” is not to be overlooked. He does his part to make this a delightful story.
Tessa Dare enchants with her skillful use of humor and her breathtaking love scenes. The awakening of Susanna’s passion and Bramwell’s deep-seated needs is beautifully revealed by Ms. Dare. She does a super job of showing how love reaches beyond weaknesses and flaws to bring out the best of people. She blends differences like Bramwell saying, “You’re mine” and Susanna saying, “I claim sole possession of my body, my heart, and my soul. And, tonight I choose to share them all with you”, in unique fashion. She melds these attitudes together to create a strong, delicious mixture that proves to be just what is needed for a happy-ever-after.
If I was a puppy, I’d be wagging my tail hard enough to knock someone down. I am excited to share the news that the youngest member of the Coig not only gets her man but the ending was simply delightful and so adorable, if it had cheeks, I’d pinch them.
Sorcha is the cute one. I’m not talking about in looks, though the hero is certainly smitten with them. I’m referring to her sunny personality. I have to give credit to Ms. Dare for her consistency. For me, that’s a major point because I’ve read many books where a reoccurring secondary character totally changes in personality, or dialogue or actions from what a reader was expecting as soon as they become the main focus. I do understand that the difference in perspective will alter the voice of the story somewhat, but I’ve been let down before – to the point where I wondered who I was reading about because certainly it’s not the same person. Ms. Dare had Sorcha be her regular, endearing and chipper self. Her innocent charm is intact and her enthusiasm for all things wolfie made me giggle numerous times. Being upbeat and an eternal optimist doesn’t mean Sorcha is a ditz, or daft or weak. She has a temper, she has courage and she has determination. She’s also intuitive at times which takes her fellow characters by surprise at interesting points in the tale.
The most entertaining element of Never Been Bit is the romance. Sorcha and Alec have known each other all their lives. They see with eyes of the past and their roles in it. But a lot has changed over the years. Both Sorcha and Alec have experienced things that made them grow up, be aware of the wider world and take a stand on certain issues, all while setting goals for their lives. The one thing they both wanted and thought unattainable ended up being found in the depths of their own hearts – in each other.
That whole process of cluelessness, awakening and then pursuit was alternately heartbreaking, hopeful and many times hilarious. Okay, a lot of it was hysterical. I had the best time reading this book because they truly were great together. I loved their dialogue with each other, the plots and plans and the things that went awry. I enjoyed watching their feelings stir and their passions flare. And I got the greatest kick out of Caitlin, one of the heroine’s best friends, and her machinations to interfere but not actually interfering. It was a delicate dance of friendship that drove Sorcha nuts. She knew that Caitlin knew something but couldn’t get a hint out of her. But you know what they say, actions speak louder than words and I’m not saying a peep more.
Unlike the previous books in the series, the main conflict and the only one that mattered was getting Sorcha and Alec together. They were their own worst enemies. The culmination was like a family reunion. Hurts were soothed, friendships were strengthened and/or renewed and a most wonderful and heartwarming happily ever after unfolded to my immense delight. There were even some unexpected surprises that tickled my fancy that made the book so much richer and well rounded. The editing was perfect, the dialogue thoroughly entertaining and the characters, both main and secondary, are great together, giving the tale a robust and natural feel to it.
Never Been Bit is saucy and dazzling with a sweet romance full of fun culminating in a sigh-worthy happily ever after. I can’t think of a better book to recommend to my friends because it’s so full of love and laughter. Of all the stories about the women of the Ciog, Sorcha’s romance is the one I liked best. I was so thrilled with Alec’s redemption and awakening. I enjoyed the heroine’s adorable quirks and her charming schemes. I think the hero and heroine make a wonderful couple and I believe the happy ever after to be a strong and solid one. My satisfaction is due to the talents of the author. Ms. Dare has written another winner and I couldn’t be happier. Readers of paranormal romance or romance in general are in for a treat because it’s just that good.
A trip through time will always leave a footprint, the question is: how big and how destructive to the future will it be? That is a question that Their Royal Highnesses, Edmund and Alice Windsor, will have to answer as they go tripping backwards in time.
Ms. Burkhart gave me a delightful Victorian tale with just a slight fantastical historical twist. This story won't be found on the pages of a newspaper unless it’s the National Enquirer. Her story lines took me through many plot twists and turns, and time travel and fantasy kept me wondering, guessing and wish to know what was to happens next.
Her narrative may seem stilted at first, but the further I read, the more I got that Victorian feel, and what at first seems to be a flaw turns out to be its strength. The author's use of fantastical gadgets in the Victorian era give this a slight steampunk taste. Her characters are enigmatic, eclectic and all worth their weight in gold especially the Royals, Alice and Edmund, whose personalities constantly kept me turning pages. They didn’t lessen my admiration for the other characters in the book, from the ordinary to the sublime. The romance in the first episode in this series is sweet and naughty at the same time. Yet even when naughty it has that Victorian properness to it.
The hero is Earl Grayson Swinton, and he many times comes to the rescue of our heroine, Alice, who’s left to her own devices by her mischievous Cousin Edmund. The love scenes are pretty modern in taste for our very improper couple. They delve into the forbidden fruit of passion with both feet and leave their audience fanning themselves.
This is the perfect romance to read while sitting on a wrap-around porch on the swing sipping a cold lemonade and enjoying the last vestiges of summer. It’s the perfect romance if you love the proper etiquette of the Victorian era mixed with the fantasy of time travel. This is the first in this new series and I’m excited to read the next episode.
The cover of this book has the words “A Thrilling and Romantic Adventure Incorporating Magic, Villainy and a Cat”. These words say it all.
Princess Wisdom (Dizzy) becomes engaged to the man who has arrived to court her sister, Queen of Montagne. She travels with her grandmother (Ben - Queen Mother of Montagne) to her betrothed’s home. Crisis after crisis delays their arrival, eventually stranding them in an inn in Bacio with their ladies-in-waiting suffering from food poisoning.
Trudy, chambermaid at the Bacio inn, has written to her childhood sweetheart Tips for years. She has the ability to see the future or, to be more exact, which is the right path to take for a good future. Unaware of this, the Queen Mother invites her to join them as a lady-in-waiting for their visit to the duchy of Froglock where Dizzy’s intended awaits them at Phraugheloch, the ducal residence.
Although her prescience warns Dizzy is not good for her own future, Trudy is overcome by the knowledge Tips will be in Froglock. Lady Fortitude, the title Ben gives Trudy, arrives in Froglock and chaos erupts. Dizzy’s future mother-in-law intends to get rid of her after the wedding, the Emperor is also in Froglock with his own hidden agenda. Tips and his master have accompanied him. The fairy story takes a dark twist as they all try to achieve their own aims.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, a modern fairy tale complete with hero, heroine, villain and various helpful minor characters. Despite the eight points of view it flowed well, carrying the story seamlessly throughout the book.
Both Trudy and Dizzy’s inner thoughts added spice to the story, but still kept it sweet and light. At first I wondered where the author intended to take the storyline but after a few chapters I didn’t care. I was too entranced by what would happen next. If Star Wars is a futuristic Cinderella, then Wisdom’s Kiss is a realistic Cinderella. I say this because the actions and reactions of the characters reflected the way modern misses would react in similar situations.
To get the full flavour of this story the book must be read from cover to cover. Delightful, engaging, captivating. These three words describe my feelings as I read this book. Suitable and entertaining for any reader, young and old.
World War II era novella Blitz evokes emotion from the first. Jack and Velma’s first meeting might have been antagonistic, but humor gets the better of them, and suddenly all these possibilities open up before them. The opening chapter is like a first kiss – a momentary awkwardness, a flicker of hope, and then, oh yes, the promise of so much more. We readers want to rush ahead into this relationship, every bit as much as Velma does. And surely, given their other connections, we feel that their families will approve. However, this is not a usual time, and something will soon intercede.
Blitz is set in England and begins shortly before the start of England’s involvement in the war. Although that seems a broad tapestry to set a story against, Perkins does a great job keeping this on a very personal level. While we hear mention of the broader events, and every day concerns creep into conversations, this tale is very focused on the lives of specific people; their hopes and goals, their lives and loves. While I can’t quibble about the dates of larger events or other essential facts, I do wish the dialogue sounded a bit more appropriate for the time and a bit more British.
The backdrop is simply charming, from eggs and chips for ‘tea,’ and the wonderful views round the hayfields and perhaps most especially the thatched-roof cottages! Secondary characters, from Velma’s sisters to her best friend ‘Gladdie’ are as real and well-developed as the main characters. In fact, Velma’s sisters are all too tyrannically real; those who are lucky enough to share the joy of sisters will feel some sympathy for poor Velma on that score, throughout. It is not easy, being the youngest! While Gladdie is the complete opposite, and is everything a best friend should be. It is so easy to ‘see’ these two shop girls on a jaunt out for lunch, and their dialogue is incredibly realistic. Velma’s feelings, her doubts and fears – all equally realistic. We’ve all felt them.
Blitz by Sue Perkins is everything a romance should be, and then… the war arrives. It is as you suppose: the blackouts, fear, bombing, but also, much much more. Perkins never loses sight of her characters, their goals, or the truth of their feelings.
Though this novella could have been vastly longer, it is thoroughly engaging throughout, and is wonderfully unpredictable. Fans of the era will particularly love this one.
If I found a viscount like Lord Dancy, I’d hire him to be my husband in a minute. Kate Hamilton has the great good sense to do just that in Barbara Miller’s delightful Regency romp, Viscount For Hire. And the pairing of these two sets off sparks that twinkle brilliantly throughout the novella.
Strong characterization and fast paced action drew me straight into the romance of Kate and Dancy. Ms. Miller’s skillful depiction of the American heiress and the nobleman through action and dialogue engaged me in the story and made me immediately sympathetic towards the feisty heroine and chivalrous hero.
In fact, the use of dialogue rather than narration gives the book a lot of its momentum, though a few more dialogue tags would have been helpful. You simply fly through the pages trying to find out what the next crisis is and how Kate will manage it. There is something of a lack of description of the physical settings, but leaving these details up to the reader’s imagination seems a small price to pay for such an engaging read.
Dancy, too, is wonderfully drawn and a great foil in contrast to Kate. His hotheadedness is tempered by his sense of honor, and Kate is won over by these very traits. “He is the first man who ever defended me without being paid to do it. One hardly looks for so much courage.” Meanwhile, Dancy is in awe of this efficient woman who takes command of a situation like a soldier. And a bit skeptical about how they will get on together, until he witnesses the depth of Kate’s compassion and the tenderness of her feelings. Part of the fun of this book is watching them negotiate their way towards a rewarding life together.
Captivating from page one, Viscount For Hire is a must read for anyone who loves the Regency period, historical romance, well crafted, engaging characters, and the spice of a little action/adventure. As Dancy remarks, “I have gotten myself skewered, assisted in an act of piracy, careened all over Oxfordshire on a fool’s errand, taken a bruising fall, and now…may witness the social disaster of the season. If you consider that dull, I shudder to think what would comprise excitement for you.”
Oh, yes, I’ll take one just like Dancy. And I’m betting you will too.
“I bet she’ll die an old maid and never know love.” Eleven simple words can change your life forever.
Living during the regency times couldn’t have been all manners and politeness. Imagine that under the thin veneer of a proper lady is a fiery, passionate heroine and beneath the façade of a distinguished lord is a deviously inventive hero. Time is running out for these two would-be lovers. Upon learning of their true feelings for each other, their passion is ignited and it burns hot and strong. Who knew doing something so wrong could feel so right?
Hopelessly romantic and helplessly in love, Amanda Smythe-Kincaid is destined to never marry. As a young girl, she vowed to never marry unless it was for love. She is twenty-five and in love with her long time friend Jason. Regretfully, the only reason he proposes is because of honor. After overhearing those eleven earth shattering words, the vision of her dismal future shocks her. Amanda forms a new plan. She may die an old maid, but she was going to know the touch of a man and it will be Jason’s, even if it is for only one night.
For seven years Jason has asked Amanda to marry him. She has refused him every time. The first proposal was after he nearly ruined her reputation with a kiss. Jason continues to ask her year after year and will do so until she accepts his offer. Jason loves Amanda, but is unsure how to make her love him. After one conversation with her brother and a request for help from Amanda, Jason’s hope is revived. It will be a perfect opportunity to prove to her that he loves her and that they belong together.
Recompromising Amanda is a delightful story. Ms. Burke took all the great qualities of a historical romance novel and compressed it flawlessly into this little gem. Jason is a brilliant, patient gentleman and Amanda is intelligent and independent. They are perfectly suited for each other, but Amanda has to have been blind not to see that Jason truly loves her. This story was well paced and edited. I am duly impressed that Ms. Burke told an enjoyable and charming story in such a short book. This is a perfect story for a perfect couple.
I just had to read it twice. Entangled snagged me from the first sentence. I think it was a normal reaction considering the first thing I read was “She wasn’t supposed to be in bed with her husband”. Suspense kicked in and barely a few paragraphs later, heated sex raised its head to say hello.
Ms. Fresina was successfully able to tangle me into her web. I was desperate to understand how the protagonists, Luke and Daisy, had come to be husband and wife.
However, it wasn’t only that. The story is riddled with humor and lively descriptions. From the moment Luke got out of that coach and Daisy described him as “shockingly handsome, in a rough-hewn, unapologetic, very masculine way” I believe I was already in love with him. As for Daisy, she might have lived in the 1800's but I could easily identify with her through her independent nature, and some of her ideas (she wasn’t the weepy sort; she didn’t coo over babies, she’s very practical).
Both characters have strong personalities and the contest of wills between them was easily seen through the flowing dialogue that Ms. Fresina writes. The author also conceives everything so that the plot falls perfectly into place. I particularly liked the way she introduced Randolph Blackwell, his paintings and the other two Blackwell brothers (I’m just going to have to look for those two remaining stories). I also appreciated the crafty way in which she introduced a storm during the final climax.
Then there was the sex. Hot is an understatement. The scene with the chocolate and the champagne is, least to say, sizzling. It created a burning, wild fire that made heat spread through my own limbs. The little boat excursion was also dangerously provocative.
Finally, the ending to Entangled arrived and I wasn’t one bit disappointed. Once more, Ms. Fresina shows she knows her craft and tied the knot in a very sweet way.
Entangled is a must read! I breezed through its enjoyable pages in less than it took Daisy and Luke to fall in love!
Hearing this book called The Terminator crossed with My Fair Lady got my attention. This book certainly lives up to that claim, making it quite interesting and unique.
Joan is a great character, tragic, due to the hellish world she comes from and what she¹s gone through; still she lives to help others. So here we have this badass chick going back to Victorian England on a mission to save the future.
Now, imagine what happens when she sees that world. I loved the scene when she is being dressed and fitted in heavy Victorian clothes. She thinks of how her reaction time in fighting will suffer. Had to smile at that one.
Simon, a hunky Victorian man, proves to be heroic as well, and is quite a good match for Joan. But when he first sees her with her weapons and smeared with blood, he finds her strange, of course, and can't evaluate her level of beauty, as her appearance is so wildly foreign to him.
It's interesting to watch as she discovers the Victorian world. She exposes the hypocrisy of the past. The spiritualist activities that occur add allure to this story, too.
Intriguing questions are peppered throughout the story; things to think about. There are some great lines in this book.
So much is at stake, more than normal. It's entertaining to read about her futuristic sensibilities set against his Victorian gentlemanly qualities. This creates a great chemistry between the characters and strange situations. She has depth, and he's impressed with this. Simon is a different kind of hero. He doesn't want the enemy dead and hopes for the villain's redemption. Sometimes though, I wondered how he was able to understand Joan's futuristic vocabulary so easily.
No Proper Lady is a great read with caring, worthy characters. The mix of cultures (past and present) makes for a wonderful story.
It’s time for Mona to make a stand, whether she’s ready to or not.
When I read the blurb for Dragons at Dawn, I was immediately intrigued. I have read Ms. Sookoo’s book Vegetarian at Midnight, so I have encountered Mona and Braeden before. I was surprised that Braeden would be filling the role of hero in this book since my impressions of him from the previous book were less than favorable. Still, I was more than a little curious about what sort of trouble Mona and Braeden would find themselves in, so I eagerly started reading. Note: though it is helpful to have read Vegetarian at Midnight, Dragons at Dawn can be read on its own.
Mona wanted nothing to do with Braeden. However, she found herself bound to him by a dragon ring that she accidentally put on. At first, Braeden’s only interest in Mona was monetary. Her family has offered a substantial reward for her return, and so he and Mona found themselves tramping through the wilderness of Moussai. On their journey, Mona and Braeden bickered constantly. In the beginning, I found this amusing. Personality clashes in a hero and heroine can make for some interesting chemistry. However, Mona and Braeden fought all the time about absolutely everything. Braeden was even downright mean to Mona. It was a little hard to take after a while. Every time I thought Mona and Braeden would reach some sort of truce, they’d end up fighting again. This made it hard to get into the book at time, and even harder to hope for a happy ending. Despite this issue, I still wanted to know how Mona and Braeden’s story would end.
Mona showed impressive character growth as the story progressed. When I first starting reading, she was a lost soul with nowhere to call home. She typically ran from her problems or let other people solve them for her. By the end of the story, she had matured considerably. When dark forces threaten to take over Moussai, she digs deep and finds strength she never knew she had. I was glad that I’d been able to watch her blossom into a strong, independent woman.
I had a very hard time warming up to Braeden. He came off as selfish, arrogant, and even mean. Yet, every now and then, Ms. Sookoo gave me glances of Braeden’s soul. Though Braeden wrapped himself in a tough exterior, deep down, he really did have a good heart and was more insecure than he ever let on. I was so relieved when Braeden’s shell started to crack. Though Braeden kept insisting that he wasn’t a hero, I had the feeling he just might surprise everyone, even himself.
I enjoyed reading Dragons at Dawn. Although Mona and Braden travel a rocky road, their happy ending made it all worthwhile. Anyone looking for a paranormal romance with a feisty couple should give Dragons at Dawn a try.
There is pestilence in the land and serfs are dying. Edith’s Lord decides to handle the matter expediently. He herds all the living serfs into the church building, mixing the healthy with the sick, and bars the doors. What does he care if they all die? He can always get more serfs.
It’s easy to see that this author has done some research on this historical era. She emphasizes the difference between good Lords and bad, she shows insight on the character of knights that joust (they are no better than the man they are to begin with), and she shows how hopeless it is to be a serf under a bad Lord.
Ms. Townsend gives both of her lead characters strong personalities and a will to survive. Edith attends the tourneys with her friends, impersonating an Eastern princess. She manages to feed them with goods given them by knights who are seeking her attention and her hand. Sir Ranulf is a widower who only attends the jousts to keep his mind from dwelling on his dead wife; he takes no pleasure in it.
I really enjoyed how this author made Edith a spitfire who spars words with Ranulf. He snaps back, often regretting his quick words. In no time at all, the sparks flying between them are not just words, he’s determined to bed her. Of course, she’s determined to bed him, too, so that’s all right. I laughed out loud at the times they got close to “bed” and were interrupted by staff. Seems the best laid plans of mice and men didn’t seem to work out…
Danger is close, pestilence still exists, and Edith’s old Lord is after her adding a tremendous amount of suspense, so the words pass quickly as you read. This was an exciting tale with plenty of plot strings crossing back and forth to keep your interest.
Why not take a trip in time back to medieval England and follow Edith’s adventures? Her life was a trial, but it was going to get better…
A damsel in distress, really nasty bad guys, and a hero who is haunted by his past... sure you've seen this combination before, but the way A. C. Mason stirs the pot, it’s a whole new world full of unexpected turns, poignant characters, and just enough sex to satisfy but keep you wanting more. I have to say, I’m not usually a big fan of paranormal romance, but I didn’t want this book to end. The story is exciting, the characters compelling, and the sex — c'est, oooh la la!
Set in Paris in 1940, the novella uses the threat of Nazi brutality to provide intense confrontations that keep the reader on edge throughout. The fast pace creates an urgency in the reader to reach the end of the story, to make sure the bad guys don’t win. In the end, it’s near thing.
Alexia Pane is the quintessential ‘40s heroine, courageous yet soft and vulnerable. Her plight is bound up with the fate of the leader of a pack of shapeshifter wolves who befriend her. Engle VanWolf is the flawed but sexy hot hero of the tale. Hurt by past tragedies, maimed and aloof, Engle is a hero you root for to get his happily ever after. Though he constantly rebuffs Alexia, he is drawn to her beauty and the allure of the chocolate damsel always in need of rescue. Their chemistry sizzles as their attraction escalates.
Did I mention the sex in this book is HOT? The smoking hot ménage a quatre scene (F/M/F/M) between various pack members is brief but sensual. And the scenes between Alexia and VanWolf smolder during stolen moments, fanning the flames of their attraction toward an elusive white-hot fire bolt of passion.
From the action filled plot to the charmingly vulnerable characters to the strange but fascinating world of the shapeshifting wolf pack, A. C. Mason’s book is a great introduction to her Wolf-Spirit series. And if you don’t like paranormal romance, just read Chocolate Damsel. It’ll change your mind.
Survival instincts run strong in Ling Suyin, precious consort of the now-dead August Emperor. Impending war ends her quiet living in the home the emperor had built for her. Now she must use all the weapons she has to stay alive. She knows how expendable a beautiful woman is to men of power.
Sold at age four for one hundred copper coins, Suyin does not know her true name, but she has survived the pleasure district of Luoyang and the treacherous intrigues of the emperor’s palace by using her beauty, talents, and wits. She knows the subterfuge, artfulness and secrets needed to cope with the powerful. Consequently, when she is taken from her home by the fierce young tiger warlord Li Tao, she once again puts her skills and senses on full alert. In her experience, men either want “to bed her or kill her”.
Li Tao, due to an anonymous message, travels a dangerous road with his special guard unit to get Ling Suyin. Along the way they kill some of her would-be assassins. He remembers seeing her in the emperor’s palace when he was chief executioner for the August Emperor Li Ming. Her beauty and her music took his breath away, but that was back then. Now he is a fearsome warlord accused of treason by the present emperor and pressured by other warlords to form alliances he does not want.
Like Suyin, he’d survived in Luoyang, but he’d survived by thievery and killing in the squalid alleys of that city. He’d been a loner: not even Lao Sou, the Old Man, the controller of assassins could fully rein him in. But Ti Lao knows the Old Man bides his time and there will still be a day of reckoning.
Political struggles give The Dragon and the Pearl a tense, suspenseful undercurrent with death seemingly only a breath away. Gao, a strong, cunning warlord, bent on having ultimate power, maneuvers to get Li Tao to help him obtain that position. While Emperor Shen uses a balance of persuasion and intimidation to hold on to power.
Suyin knows secrets that can help Li Tao if only he’d consider negotiation and compromise. But his way is direct and unyielding. He does not understand that keeping control by methods Suyin learned in court might keep him alive. His fatalistic view of how his life will play out is hard to overcome.
The unique relationship Li Tao and Ling Suyin have makes breathtaking reading at times. Their rare moments of feeling safe enough to laugh and love are precious and seem so temporary.
When Lao Sou, and “An Ying” (The Shadows) take Suyin, Li Tao is resigned to his coming death, but he fails to take into account Suyin’s ability to manipulate the self-centered, vain but lonely Old Man. The twists and turns come fast and furious as the four strong powers struggle for control comes to a climax.
The betrayals and intrigues in the brief back stories as well as those in Li Tao’s mansion deliver some shocks and surprises as the story unfolds.
Jeannie Lin weaves a fascinating tale about eighth century China that assails the senses and makes the heart race with danger, secrets, and amazing love—a love that strengthens rather than weakens and best of all it is forever.
Shay Logan left home as a teen, her heart broken because Cody had lied to her. When she returns, she’s engaged to another man and hopes she can avoid seeing him while she’s there…
The author has staged her story in the Highlands of Scotland with a nice mix of warriors, demons and vampires. The story is fast and provocative; excitement rolls off the pages, and the fight between good and evil is intense.
Ms. Clenney has written about warriors, so her characters are strong in both personalities and bodies, as well as being very attractive. Some are almost immortal. She weaves a story of paranormal beings that is vivid and believable as well as good fun to read. I like reading action novels, especially with some romance involved.
When Shay sneaks downstairs to tackle the intruder in her house, she has no idea that Cody is the one snooping around downstairs. When they both beat each other up, I knew this was going to be a good read. I like a little banter between the lead characters as well as people who stand up for what they believe in and that applies to this couple.
The biggest problem is that Shay has no idea she’s a warrior, nor that there is a warrior’s council or enemies after her. Her world suddenly expands into a whole new world but when it expands to include Cody, it's earthshattering.
Fighting demons and vampires is a dangerous game and Shay doesn’t have many warrior skills since she’s untrained. Cody does his best, but she’s not cooperating with him. He tries to direct her; she tells him to get stuffed. The author makes this interplay lively, which makes it a great read.
Why not come play on the wild side for a bit with Shay and Cody? I am hoping there will be sequel to this book as this tale is too good not to do more with it.
This book started with a bang... literally! Someone was attacking a character named Luke and there was some talking and a gun shot. I admit I was a bit confused until the author clearly explained what had occurred during the prologue.
What really got me hooked on this book was Luke. Much like the heroine, Sarah, I didn’t know how my adoration of him happened, but it did. There is just something in the way he's depicted that makes him very desirable. Besides, the more I read about him and the way he started having feelings for Sarah the more I fell for him too.
The sex was hot, intense and very well described. I particularly loved their little role-playing moments. The tender moments were there too and were extremely sweet. Who knew an outlaw could have such a kind heart?
My only disappointment was not getting to know a little more about Luke’s brother, Jack. Perhaps in another story? Nonetheless, The Outlaw Takes a Madam, is both a tender and hot read that will leave you smiling.
Alone for a few days in the family’s opulent ducal mansion in London, Sophie sets out to do one of her good deeds and ends up in a crowded stage station with an abandoned, crying baby. Its cries bring Wilhelm (Vim) Charpentier into Sophie’s life and her dreams and wishes long put away bubble up with new hope. This kind man who understands babies and looks at six-month-old baby Kit with affection and approval makes Sophie long for things no “decent” woman would admit to.
Twenty-seven-year-old Sophie Windham is the sensible daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Moreland. Her exemplary ladylike behavior and her charity work with both people and animals are well-known. But restlessness had prompted her to beg off going to the family’s country home in Kent along with her parents. She promised to travel with her three brothers who would be going in a few days.
As a savage snow storm brings all activity to a halt in London, Sophie ends up with two male houseguests—baby Kit and Vim who is stranded and without lodging while on his way to spend Christmas at this estate in Kent.
Sophie and Vim do not use their titles when they introduce themselves, so neither is aware of the others station in life. In the cozy servants’ parlor of the mansion with a demanding baby to tend, they get to know each other without the usual pomp and circumstance associated with lords and ladies. Even though the mansion is without servants or family, the six-month-old baby makes a super chaperone as Sophie and Vim tend Kit’s needs, cook, and do mundane household activities while unintentionally quietly fall in love.
In the quiet still of night, Vim wakes to the sound of Sophie singing a lullaby to the fretful baby in her room. A peace, sweet and warm, gladdens his weary spirit, quickens an erotic pleasure in his body, and brings to life emotions that are new to him.
His oppressive loneliness for his “half-family” in Cumbria and his dread of going to his estate and its responsibility (that he had avoided for so long) abates. A sense of well-being bubbles up. Vim decides this may not be the depressing Christmas holiday he’d feared he’d have at his Kent estate Sidling where he is known as Lord Sindal.
The arrival of Sophie’s three brothers changes the human dynamics. While the brothers interrogate Vim, they can see their sensible sister has a special affinity for this man and agree, they will travel to Kent together and concoct a story to keep the parents happy about Sophie and Vim’s meeting. Each of the brothers recalls that they have Sophie to thank for helping them in times of great need. She’d helped them get their lives on track to a brighter future—a future that had looked black until she stepped in with her intelligence and common sense to set things straight. Their loyalty to her runs deep.
Grace Burrowes writes with an understanding of her characters that make them totally believable. She shows how their flaws and virtues war for supremacy and she does it with incredible tenderness and humor. She creates dialogue that brings life to the story as she quietly moves the plot along as she ratchets up the conflicts then bit by piece eases the tension as the characters face troubles and overcome them. Each character comes to know him or herself better as work through old hurts and move on toward a happy-ever-after.
Ms. Burrowes’ secondary characters add a unique richness to the story. Some of them were primary characters in her other novels—The Heir, The Soldier and Virtuoso. If you’ve had the good fortune to have read them, you’ll find out how these characters are faring in life (like catching up with old friends).
Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish shines with love, sparkles with humor, and shows the breathtaking special love between a mature man and woman, the inexplicable love for a child, and family love that withstands all and supports unconditionally.
Grace Burrowes’ exquisite writing style is a joy to read. Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish, like her other novels, is a keeper.
“Rash, reckless, thoughtless” Laird Aidan MacKetryck rescues Jullianna D. Aubenville, but Julianna vows he stole her. Pressed close together to hide from the enemy, Julianna feels sensations new to her while Aidan’s body and mind ignite with a desire like he has never before known, testing his self-control to the limit.
Aidan, no stranger to women, attributes the super charge of sexual desire to their near-death experience. He never felt such a need to possess a woman and deems it to be unhealthy and unbelievable. He recognizes she is a well-born, but assumes she belongs to the MacDonal clan. He doesn’t know she is one of the hated English.
While Juliana doesn’t understand her sexual response to Aidan, she does know how to survive. She and the steward, who had been killed in the foray that killed many of Aidan’s men, had escaped Fyfen Castle when Julianna’s father and all the household had been murdered. She survived the cold winter in a leaky croft, foraged for food, and disguised her identity. Stubborn, head-strong, quick-witted, and with a wicked tongue, she stands her ground with the barbaric Highlanders and patiently waits to escape. She withstands the rigorous traveling, the culture shock, the emotional growing pains that change her from the sheltered, well-brought-up English young lady to a passionate, independent-thinking woman who loves the volatile Laird Aidan Ketryck in spite of herself.
Secondary characters add a viciousness to life at the massive, impregnable Castle Ketryck. The “Black” Ketryck, Aidan’s uncle, plots against Aidan, Dame Lileth Fallaine-Dumphat works her magic (scary!) that augments intrigues, while Lady Reina works her special magic with Julianna—adorns her with scents and clothes that mesmerize the people at the feast. The many castle inhabitants who get caught up in the uncle’s machinations and Aidan’s determination to protect Julianna at all cost create adrenaline-pumping events that hold the reader spellbound.
Jackie Ivie is a fantastic story teller. Her descriptions of extreme emotion, whether it is a fight to the death or love making that transports to heavenly ecstasy, give the reader a vicarious experience in the thirteenth century Highlands where life was hard and the people who survived lived only by embracing extreme measures. Ms.Ivie weaves superstitions, humor of the time, unique customs of the Highlanders, and the unending struggle to hold on to power into Knight Everlasting, as she assails the reader’s senses and revs up the heartbeat with sensational loves scenes. WOW!