Review: Desired by Nicola Cornick

Her wicked ways were the talk of the ton

Teresa, Dowager Marchioness of Darent, is rumored to have exhausted her four deceased husbands with her insatiable needs. So it's no surprise that every rake in the ton wants to bed her. If they only knew…through clever marriages to men who would ask nothing of her physical self, Tessa has remained rather innocent in the ways of the bedroom. But now she's on the verge of losing everything and wants to take care of the stepson she's grown to adore.

Enter Captain Owen Purchase. The handsome American adventurer has come into the title of Viscount Rothbury. And the rumors surrounding his injuries at sea suggest that he could fit Tessa's requirements. But little does Tessa realize that the gossipmongers are wrong. She just might lose her heart, and her desires, to the most unlikely of men….

Tess Darent is seen as a featherbrained member of the ton whose reputation is basically in the toilet. While she hates the fact that her rep is so damaged she wants everyone to think she doesn’t have a thought in her head - that way she can continue with her reformist cause and no one will be the wiser.

Tess is visited by a member of the Ton who wants to marry her step-daughter. Her step-daughter is only 15 however and Tess is not about to let some old lecher touch her family. She approaches Viscount Rothbury with a marriage proposal for numerous reasons. First and foremost on her mind is her step-daughter and the fact that she thinks that marrying Rothbury would protect Sybil from the lecher and clean up her reputation. Second is that since he is looking for the cartoonist who is wanted for sedition and if Tess marries him he won’t be able to testify against her. Third, and most important to Tess, is the fact that she thinks that he is impotent – since she wants a marriage in name only, this is perfect.

Owen Purchase is an American who inherited his title. He feels a bit hemmed in with all the rules and regulations of the Ton but he is a rule follower so he adjusts. He is helping at the Home Office and looking for Jupiter who is the cartoonist who is pushing for reform. The head of the Home Office isn’t putting up with it and wants Jupiter no matter how he gets him. Owen figures out pretty quickly that Tess is Jupiter so feels she’s completely bluffing when she proposes marriage. When Owen sets out to make her come clean he realizes that Tess isn’t the person she’s thought to be…by anyone – even her family. She’s fun, loving, adventurous and quite intelligent. He finds himself liking her but still confused as to what to do about her and the fact that she’s Jupiter.

Jupiter aside the couple find themselves liking each other more and more. When Owen moves to kiss her however Tess figures out that she was very wrong on the impotent issue. This opens a whole other can of worms between Tess and Owen. When Tess is betrayed and it comes to light that she is Jupiter what will happen to her, to Owen and to everyone else involved in the reformers movement?

Let me start off with our hero, Owen. He was wonderful. He was written as having temper issues from his past that he had come to terms with and conquered but we didn’t really see but a handful of anger issues. He was really a great guy who could see people for who they really were and not just what was on the surface. It would have been so easy to dismiss Tess as being a dimwit but he took the time to listen and observe it made me like him that much more. He was just a great hero!

Tess had issues galore! She had had a horrible past with a nasty ass husband who treated her like an object and a plaything and that had made her have a horrible fear of intimacy. She didn’t like to be touched, she didn’t have a great relationship with her sisters because she was not only jealous of them but she couldn’t be forthright about her past because she was ashamed. She had almost embraced her bad reputation because it allowed her to be sneaky and look like she was going off with her lover when really she was sneaking off to do reformist duties. She was a complicated woman but I found myself liking her strength along side her vulnerability. It was a well written combination.

The story had its ups and downs for me with slower parts of the novel then followed up with more interesting ones. I thought that the parts about Tess and her reformist issues were ignored for too long in the middle of the book while the romance was taking place. While I really liked the romance a lot I would have liked to have seen them blend a bit more. As far as Tess’s intimacy issues – I thought they were settled rather quickly. For someone who didn’t even liked to be touched Tess gave into her lusts with Owen faster than I thought she would. I think it was the fact that she knew he loved her that made the difference but it felt a bit rushed. to me.

This is my first novel by Ms. Cornick and I have to say I liked it. The romance was quite sweet and touching and I loved Owen and Tess together. I can definitely say that I’ll be reading more from this author in the future.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

What I Read Last Week

I hope you all had a great weekend. Because of the Thanksgiving holiday here in the states I got a long 4 day weekend (that's just never long enough! lol) that I thoroughly enjoyed. I got a lot of reading done, lots of game playing, movie watching and bowling were done as well.

On Thanksgiving we went to my hubby’s parent’s house with one of his brothers and his 5 children. I was also quite lucky in that my parents, brother, niece and sister-in-law also came along so it was one big happy family.

On Saturday I also got a great text from my 27 year old niece that her boyfriend asked her to marry him. All together now, "Awwwwww."  She of course said yes and sent me a picture of the ring. *sigh* Ah, young love. lol

The giveaway by Brita Addams is still open until the 30th.  Just leave a comment on this post to enter to win. (see details about what books are up for grabs on the post)

So what did I read last week?

I started off with Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh. This is book 4 of the Royal House of Shadows series – all by different authors – and I have to say it was my favorite. I liked all the books but the series got better with each book, imho. I know they were Nocturnes but I think they all would have been better had they just been a bit longer. You can read my review here. 4 out of 5

Next was Her Christmas Pleasure by Karen Erickson. This was a historical novella that had the son of a servant who was practically raised with a nobleman’s family in love with his friends’ widow. It was my first historical read by this author but I liked it. You can read my review here. 3.5 out of 5

My next book was a short called Reckless night by Lisa Marie Rice. This was story about a time in the life of a couple from a previous book. It was really good though and definitely made me want to go back and read the other stories. You can read my review here. 3.75 out of 5

Next was A Beginner’s Guide to Rakes by Suzanne Enoch. First off let’s talk about the title – not a think to do with the story. Who comes up with these? Anyway, the story itself was about a woman who’s dead husband was an inveterate gambler and died and left her penniless. She’s decided to get it all back by starting a gentleman’s club in London. She gets money from the one man who she can blackmail into playing along but their past can’t be laid to rest that easily. I liked this book a lot. I thought that there wasn’t enough romance in it but I liked the other parts so well that I almost didn’t mind. Definitely a good start to the series. 4 out of 5 (read for The Book Binge)

Snow on the Mountain by PD Singer was next and this is the continuing story of Kurt and Jake from Fire on the Mountain. It’s now winter and Jake is working as a lift operator while Kurt is working at a prestigious ski school. Kurt however discovers that there’s more to the ski school than he knew while Jake is playing babysitter to the resort owners kids. This one has action, suspense, sex, misunderstandings and lots of snow. lol I really liked this one and will definitely keep reading this series. 4 out of 5

The Comforts of Home by Jodi Thomas is book 3 in the Harmony series. This book brought us back to Harmony to visit people we’ve met in previous books as well as introduce us to new and interesting characters. It was a really great story with a bit of unfulfilled love which I didn’t like at all. I want my HEA’s dammit! lol Still definitely worth the read. 4.5 out of 5 (read for The Book Binge)

Simple Gifts by LB Gregg is her newest book in the Cornwall series. This story introduced us to Jason who had a relationship with Robb years before. Now Robb is back from the service and not looking so good. Jason’s not quite sure how to act but before he can get his shit together enough to figure it out he gets hurt. Robb is there to care for him. The pair get to discuss their lives but what does this mean for the future? This was a short sweet novella that I really loved. There’s no sex in the book (which is a bummer since LB writes it so well) but the story was so good that I just didn’t mind. 4.5 out of 5

My next read was To Wed A Wild Lord by Sabrina Jeffries. This is book 4 in the Hellions of Halstead Hall series and I really liked this one as well. I guess I just really like the Sharpe family because their story is just really appealing to me. This was Gabe’s story and was about him, his guilt, his desire to assuage that guilt (and gain an inheritance) by marrying his best friend’s sister. His best friend died 7 years prior though and the guilt is because of the way he died. The sister doesn’t want to have anything to do with Gabe because she thinks he’s responsible for Roger’s death. When truths start to come out the pair come together. Just a good story. 4.25 out of 5 (read for The Book Binge)

My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr. This is a fantasy/paranormal story about the King of the Dark Court (Faerie), Irial, who manages to get his blood into Leslie while she’s getting a tattoo so that he can siphon feelings through her to feed his court. Only he’s not the horrible person that you would think and truly ends up falling in love with her. She is already in love with Niall, however, who was once part of the Dark Court and is now a guardian of the King of the Summer Court. She can’t be with him though because he’s the type of faerie that can make humans addicted to him. I think I make it sound more complicated than it is. Don’t get me wrong it’s not an easy read but there’s so much more going on than that. The love triangle between Leslie, Niall and Irial is really good but there ends up being some unfulfilled love in this book as well and I just wanted it to work out for everyone. 4 out of 5

Stopping Time by Melissa Marr is a novella that is a continuation of the love triangle between Leslie, Niall and Irial. It really shed some much needed light on the relationship between Niall and Irial that I didn’t get at all from Ink Exchange. I was a bit disappointed that the love between the two men wasn’t explored or explained more in IE. It also showed more between the men and Leslie which while still sad was very good. 4.25 out of 5

My Book Binge Reviews that posted last week:
Heartbreak Creek by Kaki Warner

Happy Reading!

Mini Review: Reckless Night by Lisa Marie Rice

What do you give your beautiful wife when you’ve got all the money in the world but can’t spend it?
Victor ‘Drake’ Drakovitch used to run a criminal empire, but he gave it all up for the woman he loves. Grace, an accomplished artist, abandoned the life she knew in order to be with the one man she could never live without. Exiled to an island far from their former lives, the stay safe from the watchful eye of Drake’s many enemies. This Christmas, Drake wants to show Grace how much her sacrifice means. But what can he give a woman who shuns gold jewelry and diamonds, furs and expensive cars? Grace doesn’t want fancy things; she wants what Drake can give her—unquestioning devotion, fierce protection… and the best sex a woman has ever had.

Until danger strikes and Grace realizes that the best gift of all is a dangerous husband.

Drake is a criminal who is hiding with his wife who is the love of his life. He wants nothing more than to give her the perfect gift as she gives him every holiday or celebration. But Drake isn’t creative and he’s just frustrated by not being able to please Grace. He’s forced her into a semi-seclusion by faking their deaths and moving to a remote island. Yes, they have friends, which he’s not used to and it still freaks him out a bit, but it’s just not the same as the life they led before.

Drake has a brain storm and decides to take a chance. Drake takes Grace to Sydney for Christmas and a weekend of opera and shows. Grace is more than thrilled they’re taking a chance and they head to Sydney.

But will everything be as calm as the couple wants it to be.

I picked this one up from Netgalley when it was offered by Avon Impulse. I’d read the second book in the series but was intrigued by the blurb on this one. Even though I wasn’t familiar with Drake and Grace I very much enjoyed the story.

I loved how much the couple loved each other and wanted to take care of each other. I know that Drake was a criminal but I really liked the guy! He was getting used to a new life and new ways of doing things but he still seemed like he was a good person.

This story has made me want to go back and read all of the stories in the Dangerous series – I think they’ll be as good as this one.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Lisa Marie Rice
Avon Impulse

Mini Review: Her Christmas Pleasure by Karen Erickson

Damien Morton is madly in love. Unfortunately, it's with his best friend's widow, Lady Danver. Damien is not worthy of Celia. Or so he thinks. Desperate to escape his feelings for her, he plans to leave the country at the first of the year. Celia treats him as a family friend and nothing more—until they share a heated kiss beneath the mistletoe...

Celia is shocked by the passions that surge within her at her dear friend's kiss. One touch and one taste aren't enough to satisfy her cravings, and she is startled into action. Damien has stirred something inside her that she never expected to experience again, and she must have more. Full of shameless desire and emotions newly discovered, she decides to pursue Damien and won't be deterred. Will she be able to convince him to stay—both in her heart and life—forever?

Damien is so in love with his best friends widow but he knows that there are many things standing in their way of being together. For this reason he just knows that he can’t tell Celia how he feels about her. He plans to head off to France because he just can’t take being around her and not showing her his love.

A chance meeting under the mistletoe has Celia and Damien kissing. Celia discovers that the notice that she’d taken of Damien in the past few months is not just notice but attraction and real feelings for him. But what will he do if she tells him and he rejects her? Should she take a chance.

Both hero and heroine are afraid to confront the other but they soon learn that there is more to their kiss under the mistletoe than the other thought.

This was quite a short story but just a lovely little piece. We got a great introduction to the Merry Widows series that Erickson will be coming out with and we also got a short but sweet romance.

Damien is just tortured and since he’s the son of a servant he believes that he can never be with Celia as she was a Countess and the mother of a future Earl. But Celia, as well as the current Earl (Celia’s father-in-law) both show him that it can work out.

Besides the feelings and short romance we also got some smoking sex scenes. Erickson never lets us down with her sex scenes in her contemporary novels and she didn’t in this historical either. I loved seeing the inhibitions of both main characters fly out the window once they got together. Just good stuff.

I’m looking forward to reading more in this series.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Saturday Song

This is a song that's been playing in our house non stop recently.  I love Maroon 5 (why have they never had a Saturday Song before this? IDK!) and of course I've always loved Mick Jagger.  There's just something about him that has fascinated me since I was a young teen.  Here's Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5.  Enjoy!

Review: Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh

Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.…

As the dark Lord who condemns souls to damnation in the Abyss, Micah is nothing but a feared monster wrapped in impenetrable black armor. He has no idea he is the last heir of Elden, its last hope. Only one woman knows—the daughter of his enemy.

Liliana is nothing like her father, the Blood Sorcerer who’d cursed Micah. She sees past Micah’s armor to the prince inside. A prince whose sinful touch she craves. But first she has to brave his dark, dangerous lair and help him remember. Because they only have till midnight to save Elden.

Liliana uses a blood spell to send herself straight into the Black Castle where the Lord himself resides. Yeah, she didn’t exactly mean to get quite that close to the castle. Unfortunately the Lord is in his throne room when she arrives and she’s sent directly to the dungeons – but that’s after Liliana, who pretends not to be cowed by the Lord, has a staring contest with him.

The next day Liliana is brought again to the throne room and though she’s a bit mouthy she talks herself into the kitchens where she cooks for him.

The Lord of the Black Castle – who doesn’t know himself as Micah – is intrigued by this woman who isn’t afraid of him. She’s certainly nothing to look at with her eyes too close together, her mouth that is too large for her face, her limp and her hook nose, but there’s something about her that can’t stop Micah’s thoughts about her.

Liliana knows that she must somehow get Micah to remember who he is so that she can get him back to Elden in order to help his siblings take back their kingdom. By telling tales and being kind to the Lord of the Castle – something that had never really happened before – Liliana manages to befriend the man, more than befriend him if truth be told. She falls in love with him and he with her. But what will happen to their relationship when Micah finds out who exactly she is and who her father is.

This was my favorite book of the series – not a shock there. While I really liked book 3, Singh’s story in book 4 was just that much better.

The fact that the Blood Sorcerer’s daughter was involved was extra good and the fact that she wasn’t blindingly beautiful! It’s a lovely beauty and the beast tale only the beauty is the man…in a way. I loved that either the hero or the heroine could be considered beauty or the beast – at least imho.

Micah seemed a bit immature at first but really – he was kind of kept in stasis for years before he became the Guardian of the Abyss. He had no family, no growing up years or experiences so it made sense that he was a bit demanding and spoiled – no one had ever nay-sayed him. Liliana comes along and bam here’s this woman who gives as well as she gets. It was a great combination and I loved reading the witty banter between the couple.

I thought it was a pretty good series that got better with each book. I kind of wish the last battle with the Blood Sorcerer and his minions would have shown more of each sibling’s fight but it all worked out in the end. I was definitely happy with the overall HEA.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing all my friends in the US and Canada who are celebrating and being thankful today a wonderful Thanksgiving!

This year I'm thankful for so many things - mainly my family for their love and support in all things.  I'm thankful I've survived the last year with my oldest daughter, lol.  I'm thankful my kids are happy and healthy and that my husband and I are too.  That the hubby and I have jobs and can pay our bills and keep a roof over our heads as so many right now cannot. 

I've been blessed with incredible friends and I'm thankful that they are there for me when I need a laugh, a shoulder to cry on, someone to drink margaritas with or just a good book recommendation.

What are you thankful for this year?

Interview with Brita Addams & a Giveaway

Please give Brita Addams a warm welcome!

First of all where are you from?

I was born and I grew up in Upstate New York, but have lived in Louisiana for many years. I lived in New Orleans (yes, we lived there during Hurricane Katrina) but moved to western Louisiana a couple of years ago, to be nearer to one of our daughters and her family. Now our youngest daughter has moved into the area as well and our son is only a couple of hours away.

What do you like to read?

I love biographies, anything concerning history, particularly American and British history and I love historical romance. I confess I have read some military romance and loved it. I am really into male/male romance now, vampires as well.

Right now I'm reading a lot of books on Hollywood in the 1920's and '30's. Research for a book I have in mind.

What do you love about being an author?

Having always been a person who enjoys creativity, my imagination has always worked overtime. I think being an author allows me to channel that imagination into my characters. I love creating situations and walking my characters through them.

Where do you get your inspiration?

My family is tremendously inspirational. My husband particularly has unflaggingly supported my decision to write seriously and produce the best possible stories. We discuss plot and feasibility, realism etc. My youngest daughter is also helpful. She's brilliant, a prolific reader and she isn't afraid to tell Mama that something doesn't work.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

I get names from my own family tree as well as old census records, but as far as characteristics, I really don't focus on that at all. Each story calls for a unique set of characters and I'd feel funny about creating a character around someone I know and love.

That said, I wrote An Evening at the Starlight and based the story loosely on the story of my great Uncle Roy and Aunt Dorothy. However, the characters are from my imagination as I didn't know Uncle Roy at all and Dorothy only as a frail woman of 82, not at all her young counterpart in Starlight.

If you could meet a paranormal being or character of your choice with no safeguards, what/who would you choose and why?

I love to meet my characters from Love Immortal, Laurent Kinsdale and Sebastian FitzHugh. They are complicated. Laurent is a deep thinker and has learned from Sebastian that sometimes things are quite as complex as Laurent makes them out to be. Sebastian is a bit more carefree, while quite serious when that is called for.

What are your favorite books to read?

My preferences change. Right now, I am reading a lot of male/male erotic romance, but I am crazy about Lisa Kleypas and Mary Balogh as well. I love historical romance, which is also what I write.

My love of history is long-standing. I devour history books, particularly American and British, which is why most of my novels are set in England.

Because I write time-specific historicals, research is a must, but for me, that is no problem. I love learning new things and seem to with each bit of research I do.

Aside from your successes in the writing industry, what in your life has given you the greatest sense of accomplishment?

Well, my husband and I have raised a daughter (now an adult), who was born with a physical disability. She can't bend her arms or legs. That has never kept her from accomplishing what she set her mind to, as seems to have been born with a healthy dose of determination as well. That's not to say we've not had challenges associated with her disability, mainly, how to raise two other children with the same sense of normalcy they'd had before. They are much older – 14 and 10 years older, so they'd enjoyed years of what we all thought of as a "normal" life.

We determined early on, not to adjust our world to her handicap, any more than need be, but rather, to have her adjust to living in a non-handicapped world. She had to clean her room and do certain chores (she loved to wash dishes). She always took her school work seriously, which is probably why she graduated from college, then went back for another round. She has always felt nurtured and cared for, of course, but is now grateful for the lack of concessions. She's quite independent, something the doctors warned us she'd never be.

To see her as the happy, smart and lovely young woman she is, there isn't anything else I've ever done that can match that.

She's a writer too, with her first book due to come out in the next month. Can we say "bursting with pride?" BTW – Her name is Lindsay Marene Ordone and her book is Most Eligible with Decadent Publishing. It's a sweet romance about a guy, a writer, who is roped into a TV reality bachelor-type show. There is humor and angst, and a very, very, good story.

What are your current projects?
I'm writing more installments for my Romeo Club collection at Riptide and I'm researching a book set in 1930's Hollywood. I'm a Hollywood trivia buff and a story has been buzzing around in my head for quite some time. I think it will be fun to write and hopefully fun for my readers as well.

Can you tell us a little about your latest release? 

I have several at the moment. I've mentioned An Evening at the Starlight. Here's the blurb for that:

John has a hard time forgiving and forgetting, and his wife Christie's tired of trying.

Doe and Royal's love story reaches through the years and gives hope to a young man who's lost hope in his relationship. An Evening at the Starlight and a tale of a once in a lifetime love that wouldn't die might be exactly what John needs to move past the hurt and cherish the love he has.

Then I have A Minute After Midnight. Click the titles to read an excerpt and to purchase.

A fateful decision haunted Logan Chalmers for years. A high school reunion brings Reid Wright back to the old hometown, but will Reid even remember Logan or has he moved on to the bright future they were to share?

Following the rejection of the man he'd loved for most of his life, Reid moved away to seek his fortune. The hurt and anger allowed him to move on, but years later, only thoughts of Logan could bring him back for the reunion – that, and timeless desire.

Both these novellas are a part of Noble Romance's Timeless Desire collection.

Then I have Romeo Club #1: Surprises at Riptide Publishing. I plan to write several of these six-thousand word shorts. They are pure, unadulterated gay erotica and a great deal of fun. Each one focuses on one man's particular fantasy kink.

Here's the blurb from Surprises:

Are you willing to put yourself in our hands?

Smart, successful, handsome, and thoroughly sick of the club scene, Don ventures into a popular upscale dating service. Aroused and intrigued by the boldfaced sexual queries on the Romeo Club’s application, he finds himself embellishing one answer after the next. Don thinks he’s taking control of his fate, but when he’s done, he ends up turning over a lot more than just his questionnaire to the dominant Adonis who runs the service.

In a private back room, beneath the snick of handcuffs, the slide of silk over his eyes, and not one hot mouth but two upon his skin, Don learns just how much more than matchmaking the Romeo Club has to offer a guy who doesn’t mind a few surprises.

Click the title to read an excerpt and purchase Surprises.

You can also pre-order the second installment, Romeo Club #2: Rubbed the Right Way, which will be released on December 5. You'll never think of erotic massage quite the same way again.

Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?

Thank you for reading my stories and I hope you'll always find something of interest.

Please visit me at some of these places:

Thank you so much, Tracy, for having me. I hope you'll ask me back again.

T: Absolutely, Brita! I loved having you - you're welcome to visit any time! 

Giveaway: One lucky commenter will be able to select any book from Brita's backlist! Does not include Romeo Club books and the newest releases, A Minute After Midnight and An Evening at the Starlight. All other books are available.  Contest ends Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 7:00pm (pacific)

What I Read Last Week

This week was another relatively relaxed week. No fires or smoke in the microwave so that was a plus! (Although that smell is still lingering every time we turn on the microwave!). The girls and I just watched movies yesterday and had fun hanging out and being cozy while it rained outside.

The highlight of my week was on Saturday the hubby and I went to a monumental event – my friend Claire’s 100th birthday party. She turned 100 on Nov. 16th and on the day of the party she told us she was 103. We just kind of looked at her funny and she said, “I’m 100 years and 3 days old and I want credit for every minute of it!” lol She’s so funny – and wonderful – and adorable - and I just can’t say enough about how much I love this woman. She has led an amazing life – she was a public health nurse and was in Pearl Harbor when it was bombed. She’s lived in the Philippines, Hong Kong & Hawaii (and Hawaii is one of her favorite places on earth hence the lei’s) as well as many other places in Asia while raising two great sons. She’s taken adventures and just lived a full and happy life. It was a great party and I was so glad I was asked to be a part of it. Here we are enjoying ourselves on Saturday night:

On to the reading…

I started the week with In the Eye of the Beholder by Beverly Cialone. This was the second book that I had read by this author and it was incredibly similar to the first in extreme ways. You can read my reviews for both of this authors books here. 1.5 out of 5

Next up was the book I read for my TBR Challenge which was Heart of Fire by Linda Howard. This was the story of an expedition in the Amazon and a romance that happens along the way. I really liked this book a lot and loved the hero, Ben. I may have to steal his ass from Rowena and Holly. You can read my review here. 4.5 out of 5

Next up was the third book in the Limit War Series by Nico Rosso, The Limit of Desire. This was about a Jessa and Ryder who have had a fling and enjoyed every moment of it but Jessa is Ryder’s commanding officer and though Ryder wants more from the relationship Jessa is hesitant due to many reasons. You can read my review of this very good book here. 4.0/4.25 out of 5

Love, Come to Me by Lisa Kleypas is a re-release that I read for The Book Binge. This book was originally written in 1988 and one of her earliest works. I very much could tell the incredible changes that have been made in her writing since she first began. I actually had to remind myself a couple of times who the author was! The story was right after the Civil War and is about a southern man falling in love with a northerner. They have their many ups and downs and of course a huge lack of communication but eventually work it out. I liked the book but it was definitely my least favorite of Kleypas’s work so far. 3 out of 5

Between Seasons by Aida Brassington was another book that I read for The Book Binge. This was the story of 19 year old Patrick who dies in his home back in 1970. He becomes a ghost there and the story tells of him from 1970 until 2010 (not EVERYTHING! lol) when someone new buys the house. Patrick falls in love with the new homeowner and aches because he can’t be with her in human form. Strange things happen and soon not only can the homeowner, Sara, hear him but she can eventually see him. It’s a bizarre but beautiful tale of love and I very much enjoyed reading it. 4.5 out of 5

Next was the novella, Hopes and Fears, by Rowan Speedwell. This is a follow up story of Brian McCarthy from Finding Zach. Brian has finished his book about Zach but now he’s living in Chicago and trying to deal with his life and the different feelings he’s trying to work through. He meets Jerry who is his physical therapist and is completely interested. Brian however only does hook-ups/one night stands and Jerry only dates men he might consider being with long-term. The story is so good and the tale of their relationship and how the two men get together is just told incredibly well. If you read Finding Zach then I highly recommend you reading this one as well. 4.5 out of 5 (Thanks to Tam for telling me about this one!)

Last for the week was GhosTV by Jordan Castillo Price. I hate to say that this is my Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week (yes, I’ve been sadly falling down on the job with this personal challenge lately) but I have had it for a while. This is book 6 in the series and while I didn’t like it quite as well as the last few it was still very good. The story was about Vic and Jacob heading to California when they find out that their friend Lisa is missing from her school, PsyTrain. They have to deal with people they don’t care to deal with, Vic meets up with someone from his past which is a shock and there are more than a few surprises in the book (not to mention kind of cliff-hanger at the end). It was a really well written and engaging and a definite read if you’ve read books 1-5. (In fact, if you haven’t read books 1-5 then don’t read this one as you’ll be completely lost! lol) 4.25 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:

Happy Reading!

Review: The Limit of Desire by Nico Rosso

Captain Jessa Tok is a veteran soldier, but when an artillery strike separates her from the squad she commands, it may be the end of her career and her life. Then a single Dawn Soldier fights his way behind enemy lines to find her. The last man she’d expect. The one soldier she’d had a fling with and was trying to forget.

Sergeant Ryder Hiltop never thought of himself as a hero. He’s a career soldier, just trying not to get killed. But when his captain is lost during an attack, he has to go find her. And not just for the sake of the other Dawn Soldiers. A shore leave with Jessa left an indelible mark on him, and he’ll do anything to make sure she’s safe. But is it a suicide mission to find her? And if they manage to fight their way to safety, can their brief affair grow into something more?

Jessa and Ryder are Dawn Soldiers in the Limit War. They are currently on Kopol fighting the Dusk Warriors for its inhabitants who can’t fight for themselves. They are cut off from communication and can’t get a message out to ask for reinforcements. Jessa is captain of the team and heads off to try and place an antenna to try to get some sort of distress signal out. What she gets is knocked out by a Dusk Warriors blast. She’s dizzy and out of it but not so much as to not know when 3 Dusk Warriors come across her.

Ryder is a sergeant but it doesn’t really matter what rank he is he fights the same. When the Dawn Soldier squad regroups in the bunker after the latest Dusk Warrior attack and Ryder realizes that Jessa is still out in the open he automatically starts arming himself. He heads out on his own to try and find her. You see, Jessa and Ryder had recently spent some time together on an extended shore leave and though Jessa went right back to being Ryder’s captain, Ryder discovered that he definitely had more feelings for her than just being her subordinate.

Ryder saves Jessa but they soon realize that they can’t return to their bunker. They head the other direction and find the Dusk Warrior encampment, deciding to do a little covert damage to their equipment as long as they’re there. The couple stealthily move around and through the Dusk Warrior’s soldiers and silently disable the guns that keep the Dawn Soldiers from receiving aerial assistance.

Throughout the time that they are separated from their comrades they talk – not only about their backgrounds but also about their relationship and where it’s going, if anywhere. Jessa has serious reservations about making any type of relationship known within the ranks because of what happened to a friend in the past. Ryder is positive that all can be worked out. Can they get off the planet alive in order to find out what will happen in the future?

This is the third book in the Limit War series and definitely my favorite so far. While the other books were good this one had such a great blend of romance and fighting (a war) that once I picked it up I didn't want to put it down.

I really enjoyed getting to know both Jessa and Ryder and their different personality quirks. I loved that Ryder thought Jessa was just as sexy being a soldier and fighting as he did when she was wearing nothing in a hut on the beach. His honest admiration for her and her capabilities was definitely a very attractive part of this hero.

Jessa wasn’t quite as open as Ryder at first but she soon realized that she loved this man and that she needed to do what she felt was right in all ways. She was a strong soldier and she let that strength move into her personal life as well. She took the chance that she wouldn’t get hurt and it paid off for her in the end.

In addition to the romance in this story we also had a fierce battle going on – which was woven into the romance seamlessly. Rosso did a fantastic job of making me want to read about the fight with the Dusk Warriors almost as much as I wanted to read about the romance. Both romance and battle scenes were well written and I got very caught up in the fight between the two factions.

Overall I thought it was a very good book and I just wish it were longer!

Rating: 4/4.25 out of 5

Nico Rosso
Liquid Silver Books

Saturday Song

This week was a week of listening to Santana and it was a good one.  I really love their music and of course I love their different lead singers.  It just works for them - it appears it works for me too! lol  Here's Why Don't You and I featuring Alex Band (of The Calling).

I still haven't figured out why he's flying! :)

Review: Real Men Will by Victoria Dahl

It was meant to be a one-night stand. One night of passion. Scorching hot. Then Beth Cantrell and Eric Donovan were supposed to go their separate ways. That’s the only reason he lied about his name, telling her he was really his wild younger brother. Hiding his own identity as the conservative Donovan. The “good” one.

But passion has its own logic, and Eric finds he cannot forget the sable-haired beauty with whom he shared one night of passion. When Beth discovers that Eric has lied, however, she knows he cannot be trusted. Her mind tells her to forget the blue-eyed charmer. If only every fiber of her being did not burn to call him back.

Eric Donovan hasn’t seen Beth Cantrell in 6 months but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t thought of her often. When she shows up at a party that is being held at his family brewery he gets a bit nervous that she’s find out the truth about exactly who he is. He lied and told her that he was his brother and still had sex with her.

As with most lies the truth come out and Beth is more than pissed. It doesn’t stop her, however, from inviting him over and having the hottest sex she’s had since she was with him last time. But she’s a bit torn. You see she runs a women’s lingerie and sex shop (high end and tasteful, of course) and she’s seen as a completely knowledgeable about sex woman. She’s not. Yes, she’s done research for her job but she’s really not all that adventurous – or hasn’t been until Eric. He relaxes her and she can be herself with him. But they both keep telling themselves, as well as others that sex is all they want and they don’t either really like or trust the other.

They each have their own issues beside their relationship. Beth’s father doesn’t have a clue where she works and her mother wants to keep it that way. Because of an incident when Beth was in High School she’s on tender ground where her sexuality and her father are concerned.

Then there’s Eric and his feeling of losing his grasp on where the brewery’s headed in the future and what that means for him and his place in it. When he finally comes clean about his feelings to his siblings they are shocked and they all have to figure out their places.

I have to admit that while I really liked Eric in the Guy Next Door anthology I really didn’t care for him all that much in the following novels. He seemed like such an ass to Jaime and while we had a slight clue as to why, we didn’t know for sure what his true feelings were. This book obviously shed some light on his thoughts and concerns and his insecurities but he still didn’t come through in the end as a completely likeable guy for me.

Beth was definitely more of a character that I could like. She was confused about her job and while she loved it when she had the opportunity to completely change things she did. It took some time for her to decide what to do but when she did she wasted no time and got to work.

I wish there had been a bit more in the romance department in this book. Yes, there was a relationship and yes there was sex but I found myself longing for the aspect of the book that would have the h/h really getting to know each other.

So while I liked to book, I didn’t love it. I did like the conclusion to the series, that’s for sure as I thought it brought the Donovan siblings closer together in the end and that was a definite bonus.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Victoria Dahl
HQN Books

Beverly Cialone reviews: Two for Thursday

Coming Home

After being apart for many years, Nick learns of the death of Ashley's parents, and flies back to his old hometown to be by her side. Concerned over how distraught Ashley is, he decides to bring her back home with him, where their relationship picks back up and heats up in a hurry. However, Nick has a secret but jealous admirer, and when Ashley is kidnapped, Nick discovers that Ashley is pregnant. Will they get to her in time? What will become of Ashley and her baby?

Nick reads about the death of Ashley’s parents in the paper and he doesn’t hesitate for a minute before he decides that he needs to be with her. He finds her at her parents’ house barely dealing with the emotions that are rioting through her body. Nick pretty much takes over and takes Ashley to his hotel to get some food and rest. He forces her to eat and to take care of herself and eventually she comes out of the fog she's in.

Nick is there with Ashley during the very difficult funeral and when Ashley decides that she can’t stay in her town any longer without her parents Nick offers his home as a place to lay her head. Ashley takes him up on this and due to their close proximity their relationship soon blooms into something more than friendship.

Ashley falls hard for Nick but she’s not sure how Nick feels. When she finds out she’s pregnant she’s not positive Nick will be happy about the baby but before she can tell him, a psycho ex-date of Nick’s decides to take Ashley out of the picture in order to put herself into it.

This is my first read by this author. While I liked the premise of the book the story fell a bit short for me. I liked Nick but frankly by the end of the book knew very little about him.  I liked Ashley as well but besides the death of her parents I knew nothing about her either.  There was very little characterization and sadly  I didn’t feel like there was any true emotion in the book. They almost felt like characters who were playing out a part and just saying their lines - and not well.  The writing itself didn’t delve into the major emotions that this book could have developed.

The part when Ashley is kidnapped is probably the most intense part of the book but it was very short lived. Allison, the psycho kidnapper, had such hatred and while I felt that we really didn't get too much background on why she would act this way except that she'd had a few dates with Nick. I felt Nick’s relief at finding Ashley but even with all the major events that were happening in the book the intensity didn’t come through. Overall the book was just ok for me.

Rating: 2 out of 5

In the Eye of the Beholder

Hi, my name is Ashley. I never thought I would get this lucky - to meet a handsome doctor named Adam and fall madly in love. But I did. The only problem is that Adam is blind and I already have major self-esteem issues. Add to that a spiteful ex-wife and a reserved live-in housekeeper, and my story makes for a very interesting read! Go ahead, lose yourself in my adventure; I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

Ashley, our narrator, has lived in the town for a mere 6 months.  She doesn't date and she's a bit lonely.  She works at the hospital and one day while eating lunch in the cafeteria she sees Adam.  She's instantly attracted to him and since he's reading a book she decides that that would be a perfect conversation starter. She heads over and has a great conversation with Adam and they decide to meet the next day for lunch.  Ashley is beside herself!  She doesn't feel that's she's pretty or attractive in any way so she's shocked that Adam would be interested in eating lunch with her since he's so gorgeous.

Ashley and Adam seem to hit if off and end up meeting for lunch on a regular basis for at the hospital (he works there as a doctor) and they spend a couple of weekends having fun and getting to know each other.  After they'd been dating for a bit Adam decides to come clean - he's blind and has been for the past 5 years.  He handled himself well so she didn't know (although there would have been clues, I would think - especially reading by Braille, right?).  She's not bothered by the blindness and their relationship grows deeper until Adam become eligible for an optic nerve transplant.  He is suddenly a seeing man again and this makes Ashley's self-esteem (of which she has little to none) hit the skids.  Adam, however, knows that he loves Ashley for more than looks and even when he sees her is completely in love and thinks she's beautiful.

Ashley still has doubts though and when Adam's ex-wife shows up she's even more unsure of her future with Adam.

I have to say that this book was much more enjoyable for me for the first part of the book.  While I didn't get a ton of background on either character I got some and it was enough to pull it all together.  I really liked Adam and his love for Ashley.

I have to admit that Ashley's self-esteem issues started to grate on my nerves more than a bit.  She wanted nothing more than a man to love her for who she was, etc., etc. and she had that with Adam!! I didn't want her doubts any longer as he did everything in his power to let her know that she was loved and wanted.

The second part of the book was where things really started to go wrong for me.  Maybe if I hadn't read Coming Home I wouldn't have had a problem with it but frankly it was almost the same book rewritten.

  • The hero is a doctor and know exactly how to sooth the virgins aches and pains after their first time having sex - with ice straight in the vagina.
  • The heroine has a sudden attack of appendicitis and has to be rushed to the hospital where, of course, the hero will perform the surgery.
  • The heroine is slapped around by a jealous crazed woman.
  • The heroine's parents die in a crash and she must be consoled by the hero and forced to eat.
  • The heroine becomes pregnant and is reluctant to tell the hero but when she does he's thrilled.  She's terrified of pregnancy but it's ok because the hero is doing the delivery himself and taking care of it all  - at home.

All of the above was in both books with just slight variations in settings and dialogue!  I honestly had to wonder if the author's other books had the same plot points.  *sigh*

I had a good feeling about the book at first but it soon dissolved and I was left disappointed in reading the same novella over again.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

Beveryly Cialone
ireadiwrite Publishing

TBR Challenge Review: Heart of Fire by Linda Howard

The “suggested” TBR Challenge book for this month called for me to read “other genre besides romance.” When I went to look at the monthly listings on Wendy’s blog I just sat and stared at it for a bit and then said, “Well that’s just mean.” Lol I don’t have any books that aren’t romance on my shelves. Yes, I could have gone out and purchased a book that wasn’t romance but this challenge, for me at least, is all about getting the books on my shelves read. Instead I picked a book that came highly recommended by Holly and Rowena over at The Book Binge. When we were all at Holly’s house in September for a get together Rowena had brought the book to swap. When I mentioned that it sounded good and that I might take it they pounced! (I kid you not, they really did) They said that it was a fantastic book and that the hero of the story, Ben Lewis, was well worth reading about. Well, I definitely had to check this out for myself.

A fabulous lost Amazon city once inhabited by women warriors and containing a rare red diamond: it sounded like myth, but archeologist Jillian Sherwood believed it was real, and she was willing to put up with anything to find it -- even Ben Lewis. Ruffian, knock-about, and number one river guide in Brazil, Ben was all man -- over six feet of rock-hard muscles that rippled under his khakis, with lazy blue eyes that taunted her from his tanned face. Jillian watched him come to a fast boil when she refused to reveal their exact destination upriver in the uncharted rain forests -- and resolved to stand her ground. Neither of them could foresee what the days ahead promised: an odyssey into the fiery heart of passion and betrayal, and a danger that would force them to cast their fates together, immersed in the eternal, unsolved mysteries of love....

Jillian Sherwood is an archeologist. She’s fantastic at what she does but she never gets to go on any major digs with the foundation that she works for. Why is that? Because of her deceased father. Her father, Cyrus Sherwood, was a brilliant man who never discounted any legend or myth as ridiculous because it wasn’t proven right or wrong. The problem was that everyone in the field called him Crackpot Sherwood because he was constantly seeking the truth and never finding it. On one such a mission he died. On that mission Cyrus was searching for the Lost City of Anzar – possibly the home of the Amazons.

Jillian is frustrated and pissed off at her bosses and wants to look for some solace in her fathers papers. As she does so she finds something amazing – and that’s her father’s proof that the Lost City of Anzar does exist and that he had found the way there – he had just died before he could get physical evidence. Jillian and her brother Rick, along with a seedy man named Kates, who finances the trip, head to Brazil to find a guide to take them in to the depths of the jungle.

What they find is Ben Lewis. He is known as the best guide around but he’s not all that appealing to any of them. He looks like a lackadaisical drunk but underneath the fa├žade is a shrewd, intelligent man. He also loooooves women. He loves having sex and he appreciated the female body. Reading this description he doesn’t sound all that likable but he just had this innate charm that you couldn’t help wanting to know more about. He, of course, is not thrilled that Jillian is going on the trip but since she’s the only one who knows where they’re going (the directions to the Lost City were written in code by her father and she’s the only living being that can decipher it) he is forced to accept her presence. He thinks that he’ll be able to seduce her even if she isn’t really his type but his plans are soon thwarted by Jillian herself.

The trip to the City is fraught with unexpected events and even death but they actually find Anzar and Jillian is thrilled! She can’t believe that the City is real and it looks like this was in fact the home of the Amazons! Incredible! But there’s more brewing here than meets the eye. Kates had hired a man to come on the trip who is known to Ben as a hired killer. Kates and Jillian’s brother Rick believe that there is a red diamond in the City that will bring them great wealth. Kates however, plans on killing off everyone and taking the diamond for himself. When things come to a head in the City, Ben and Jillian escape but who did they leave behind that’s alive and who exactly is chasing them?

Prior to reading this book I’d only read 2 Linda Howard novels and let me tell you that this one, by far, is my favorite of the 3. When I opened the book I was completely caught up in the story. There was really not a lot of background story that I had to mess with prior to getting to the “now” story. All of that background info was told throughout the story and woven in perfectly.

Jillian is a brilliant woman. She’s good at what she does – you can just tell from the get-go and she’s smart enough to figure out Ben Lewis from day 1. Yes, he’s oh-so hot and yes, he can be charming but she’s just not interested in him or his tries at seduction. I loved Jillian. Her attitude towards just about everything was so interesting that I couldn’t help wanting to read more about her.

Ben finds Jillian mildly attractive at first but after a while he’s wowed by her personality, her strength, her vitality and it makes her beautiful to him. While he wants at first to get Jillian in the sack, after a while it’s a moral imperative to him to be with her and not just for a quick roll in the hay – for a damned long time. Jillian is HIS and he’s not letting her go any time soon. God, Ben is just such a man! He’s got some strange ideas about how things work but in his life that IS how things work so he’s just going with what he knows. He’s put down a time or two but it works more as a building block for him than anything else. When Ben finally does get Jillian to capitulate it is incredible. The two of them together is beyond amazing and I loved reading every word. Now Ben and his questionable morals did throw me for a loop there near the end of the book but I had great hopes for him and he showed me that he was indeed the man that I thought he was. (That’s a good thing)

The other part of the story – besides the romance (yes there was one) - was done quite well. The secondary characters in this book, both the good guys and the bad guys, are not quite as well fleshed out as Jillian and Ben but still very vibrant within the story. I have to say I was more than pleased with how it all came together in the end. When I’m sitting and reading a book and I have to force my self to relax and not tense up while reading – it’s a good thing!

I guess I have to say to Holly and Rowena: Yes, you were right. (That hurt less than I thought it would. Lol) This was a wonderful book and it’s definitely one that will go on my keeper shelf to be re-read again and again.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Linda Howard
Pocket Books Romance

What I Read Last Week

Well it’s back to work for me after having 3 glorious days off. I was a complete slug this weekend and hardly left my house at all. You’d think I would have gotten so much stuff done – either reading or housework or….IDK, something! Yet, I didn’t. I got a couple of books read…the kids and I went to see the movie Jack and Jill which they were dying to see. I had no desire to see it yet I laughed throughout the film. We just hung out at home and played the game of Life. My youngest bought the board game with some birthday money this past July and I think we played about 20 games over the course of the 3 days. I know! That’s a lot but both girls were somewhat addicted, to say the least. I couldn’t resist them batting their beautiful eyelashes at me so I didn’t end up getting a whole lot done. Oh well…there’s always next weekend. :)

Then there was the Great Ravioli Massacre at our house. My oldest was making ravioli (from frozen) and doing it in the microwave (she’s too impatient to wait till the water boils and do it on the stove) and had a spot of trouble. She put less than the normal amount of ravioli's in the bowl but then forgot to adjust the time setting and ended up burning those ravioli’s into lovely charcoal briquets. I smelled something burning (luckily I was at the kitchen table) and ran over before they actually caught fire. My entire house smells like burnt…something, and smoke. lol I think my daughter’s now afraid to use the microwave – poor thing. That was about as much excitement as we had all weekend. :)

On to what I read last week. It just didn’t feel like I read that much but looking at the titles it was more than I thought! According to my self-imposed challenge on Goodreads I’m 22 books behind. Oh well, it was a lofty goal to think I could read 400 books in one year! lol

I started the week with Cut & Run by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux. Wow. What a great book! I’ve had this for a long while – I think I got it free at one point from ARe – but had never cracked it open. I’m so glad I finally did! It was a really good mystery and suspense story as well as the start of a burgeoning romance between two FBI agents who couldn’t be more different. There was a lot of head hopping in the story which got a bit annoying, but other than that I loved the story. It’s interesting to see all the different ratings on goodreads as it’s gotten marks all over the board. Just shows you how some books appeal to some and not others. I will definitely be diving into book 2 in this series soon. 4.5 out of 5 (I wrote a review for this and posted it on The Book Binge. It will post on Thursday in case you’re interested)

Next up was Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins. I really love Higgins’ books! Her characters and humor just keep dragging me back in time and again and I’ve not been disappointed yet. This story was about a girl who has a crush on a boy in high school. Now he’s a widower and back in the town with his 15 year old daughter. The pair somehow get together and start a relationship but there are many things at play between Posey and Declan and not all of it good. You can read more in my review posted here. 4 out of 5

Next was Coming Home by Beverly Cialone. This is the story of a couple who were great friends and in love with each other when the girl was 16 and the guy 23 or 24. He leaves town and the girl because he feels that she needs to live her life and that it wasn’t right to pursue anything more. Now her parents have died and he goes back to “take care of her”. The relationship blossoms from there but there’s someone who doesn’t want them to be together. The was a requested review and I will be posting my thoughts on this soon. 2 out of 5

Next up was Vampire in Atlantis by Alyssa Day. I read this one for The Book Binge and my review will post tomorrow if you’re interested. The story was about Daniel the Vampire and a woman, Serai, who has been in stasis for 11,000 years. She gets out of her “prison” and heads off to find one of the stones that belongs in Poseidon’s trident. She meets up with Daniel who she was in love with all those many years ago. They each thought the other was dead so are beyond happy when they find each other again. This was a good book but I just didn’t find anything wonderful about it. It was a lovely romance between the reunited couple and of course the sex was smoking but other than that I just wasn’t wowed by it. 3 out of 5

OMG I can't believe I forgot to post this in...yikes (I really wish that goodreads had a "date I finished the book" section to their goodreads app!)  I read Real Men Will by Victoria Dahl as well!  This was Eric Donovan's story.  I really liked the novella that Dahl wrote about the couple in "The Guy Next Door" anthology but I got a bit disappointed in Eric as the series went on.  Yes, the book explained a ton of reasons why Eric acts as he does but he still frustrated the bejabbers out of me.  I will post my review on this book later this week.
Fire on the Mountain by PD Singer was my next read. This is the story of two men, Jake and Kurt, who are fire rangers in the Colorado mountains. They are a two man team and live in close quarters. Jake, who is gay (the story is told from his pov) has suddenly noticed Kurt in a sexual way and is trying hard to do his job and not show Kurt how attracted he is to him. That all becomes a moot point when they are stuck in the path of a raging fire and may die. The two men get together but then are separated and of course doubts abound as to each others feelings. It was a good book up until the time they were separated. Because it was told in 1st person the internal struggle with Jake got a bit old and then when they did get together it was pages and pages of reunion sex. Not a bad thing but I just wanted more. I’ve heard good things about book 2 so I will keep reading the series. 3 out of 5

Last for the week was Heartbreak Creek by Kaki Warner. I’m usually not a huge fan of historical westerns but this one looked particularly good so I gave it a try. I’m glad I did. Edwina is a true southern lady but with the war, her father dying and the plantation taking too much money she knows she has to do something. She signs the plantation over to the bank and becomes a mail order bride. She heads to Colorado with her half-sister, Prudence (who’s half black), to become the wife of a rancher. The book tells us the story of Edwina (Ed) and her husband Declan and how they manage to get along and eventually fall in love but there’s so much more to the story. We get to see the town of Heartbreak Creek and get to know more about it. Declan has an Indian after him who seeks vengeance and then there’s the little issue of whether they’re actually married or not. It’s a good story and I’m glad I picked it up. This was my first read by Warner but it won’t be my last. 4.25 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Angels of Darkness (anthology) by Ilona Andrews, Nalini Singh, Meljean Brook & Sharon Shinn
Telling Tales by Charlotte Stein

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

I'm a fan of Saving Abel and this song, 18 Days, for some reason really resonated with me this week for some reason.  Hope you like it too.  Enjoy

Review: The Lady's Secret by Joanna Chambers

London, 1810

Former actress Georgiana Knight always believed she and her brother were illegitimate—until they learn their parents were married, making them heirs to a great estate. To prove their claim, Georgy needs to find evidence of their union by infiltrating a ton house party as valet to Lord Nathaniel Harland. Though masquerading as a boy is a challenge, it pales in comparison to sharing such intimate quarters with the handsome, beguiling nobleman.

Nathan is also unsettled by Georgy's presence. First intrigued by his unusual valet, he's even more captivated when he discovers Georgy's charade. The desire the marriage-shy earl feels for his enigmatic employee has him hoping for much more than a master-servant relationship...

But will Nathan still want Georgy when he learns who she truly is? Or will their future be destroyed by someone who would do anything to prevent Georgy from uncovering the truth?

Georgy and her brother, Harry, are trying to find proof of their parents’ marriage. If they find proof of said marriage her brother will then be the Earl of Dunsmore. But there are many obstacles standing in their way, not the least of the “acting” Earl of Dunsmore. Harry finally finds information that sends him off to Yorkshire to find the church where the marriage was supposedly performed. Georgy’s friend Lily then overhears two very important points of information. Number one is that Dunsmore is having a house party for the Christmas holiday. The other is that Lord Harland, who has been invited to the Dunsmore gathering, is looking for a valet. Lily then talks Georgy into posing not only as a man but as a valet for Harland.

Much to Georgys’ surprise she is hired on the spot and given a month’s probation. She ends up proving herself as more than competent as a valet. But she still needs to infiltrate Dunsmore’s family home during Christmas! But what happens when Harland not only finds out about Georgy’s secret but finds her trying to break into Dunsmore’s private office! Will he turn her over and if not, what will her consequences be?

I think I have a think for characters posing as others. I’m always attracted to this kind of story but it doesn’t always work out well for me. Well this book definitely worked for me in a number of different ways.

Georgy in this story was just wonderful. She played her part as a man to perfection but still we saw the feminine side of her. She grew up in the theatre so seeing men in the altogether really didn’t effect her all that much – until she saw Nathan. He was just oh so nice to look at she couldn’t help herself from staring at times. Since Harland was like any other aristocrat he really paid no attention to the servants and therefore that left Georgy plenty of time to look him over. I loved that Georgy got to see Harland in almost all parts of his life. She saw him at his worst and his best and though they didn’t talk hardly at all until later in the book she saw him for who he really was.

Nathan was such a great hero. He started out as a stuffy aristo but really, that’s how he had been raised. When it came down to life in the ton and love he chose love and how could I not love that about him?

I’m not sure I’m reviewing this job very well but the book was so good and had so many parts and pieces to it I can’t possibly tell you all about it in a review without telling the whole book.

The story is quite lovely as is the writing. This being Chambers first I know it certainly won’t be her last. It’s a fantastic story and one definitely worth reading.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Joanna Chambers
Carina Press