Archive | November 2013

On My Wishlist (59)

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It’s where I list all the books I desperately want but haven’t actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming.

Baron Guy of Montague came to Lonsdale Castle prepared to fight for what was rightfully his…only to find a woman who made him all but forget his purpose. With her angel’s face and womanly curves, Lady Claudia Chiavari was enough to tempt a saint to sin. And when she returned his kisses with innocent fire, Guy knew that he was bewitched.

But in a matter of hours, everything changed, as he found himself betrayed, betrothed, and imprisoned, with only Claudia to blame…

Five lonely years of exile under her uncle’s tyrannical rule had taught Italian-born Claudia Chiavari to distrust all Englishmen–until Guy swept into her life. Now, determined to prove to the handsome knight that she had no part in her uncle’s schemes, she will risk her life to help him escape. But when she rides with Guy to  his magnificent fortress, she will discover a terrible truth: that she herself is a prisoner…and at the mercy of a man whose tumultuous passion could cost her her heart.

Meet three sexy ranchers?who also happen to be vampires?in the first of a new series by the national bestselling author of Wild Instinct.

Allie always desired mysterious, sexy rancher Caleb Johnson, but he never seemed to notice her. Until the night she?s attacked by a vicious animal, and rescued by a shapeshifting vampire that she almost seems to recognize: the baritone growl, the mesmerizing eyes, the inexplicable animal attraction. That?s because her savior is Caleb, and now he has no choice but to bring Allie into the shadows with him?to protect her from a rival werewolf pack, and to finally reveal his true feelings for the woman he?s been afraid to love.

A CONVENIENT BRIDE
Burdened by family debts, Heather Ashford has no choice but to exchange her dreams of romance and accept the proposal of ruggedly handsome cattle baron Sloan McCord. However the widowed rancher is more than she bargains for. Tormented by a deep sorrow, Sloan keeps his heart well guarded, even as he sets her body on fire night after night. But each time Heather gazes into his ice blue eyes, she realizes she wants more from this man than his passion–she wants his love.

AN IRRESISTIBLE GROOM
But Sloan McCord has vowed never to love again. Although his infant daughter needs a mother, he doesn’t want–or need–a wife. He is surprised that Heather, an elegant city-bred lady, turns his remote Colorado ranch house into a home, and tenderly cares for his child. She is beginning to haunt his thoughts by day and steal his breath by night–and this he cannot have if he is to keep a safe distance. Does his fierce bride of convenience have the strength to heal his broken heart–before he breaks hers?

No beauty in England could outshine Elizabeth Cameron, Countess of Havenhurst. But beneath her exquisite emerald eyes and cloud of golden hair lived a girl of rare gentleness, pride, and splendid, even ferocious, courage. In Ian Thornton’s powerful embrace, Elizabeth felt the first stirrings of a passion that blazed through her senses, never to be denied. Yet for Thornton, a dangerously handsome man of secret wealth and mysterious lineage, the voyage to Elizabeth’s heart was fraught with intrigue, scandal and a venomous jealousy! From London’s salons to Scotland’s Highlands, “Almost Heaven” weaves its sensuous spell…a tempestuous, dramatic romance between two lovers destined for each other, and for love’s wildest abandon.

ARC Book Review-If Wishes Were Earls

If Wishes Were Earls
Rhymes With Love (3)
Elizabeth Boyle
Avon Books
E Book
Published December 2013
384 Pages
Regency Historical Romance
ISBN: 9780062089090
Authors Website

Harrriet Hathaway has loved only one man her entire life: the Earl of Roxley. But when he ignores her at a ball, she takes rather desperate steps to catch his eye and her plans find her ruined and without any hope of gaining Roxley’s heart. So it is much to her amazement when Roxley proposes marriage to save her from ruin. But Roxley’s proposal isn’t quite on the up and up and when she finds out she’s just another piece in one of his plots and japes, she vows revenge.

Roxley is desperate to pull his family from the brink of ruin, and the only way to gain a lost fortune is to prove to his aunts that’s he’s “reformed” his life and is determined to settle down. But the bride-to-be that he thought would be most amiable is doing everything to turn his life and his heart upside down. Harriet Hathaway had always seemed the most sensible girl he knew, but now this siren of a stranger he’s engaged to is leaving him feeling anything but sensible. Harriet is about to steal not only his heart, but quite possibly the keys to the Roxley fortune.

My Review

Harriet Hathaway has known Roxley for most of her life. Now as a grown woman, she wants more from him than mere friendship, she desires him and loves him. One night at a ball they share a memorable kiss, but nothing came from it. Now over a year later, she still wants to marry him and wants to show him that what they have is more powerful than any other match he could ever make with any other woman. Roxley, due to his parents gambling habits, has barely kept himself afloat. Now he is approached by a man who has bought all of his debt, and demands that he marries his daughter. Feeling as if his hands are tied, he knows that he has no choice, even though his heart has always belonged to one woman, a woman who was dare enough to kiss him and change everything. The last thing that Roxley wants is to hurt “Harry”, but he doesn’t have a choice in order to save those whose welfare are relying on him. Harriet is shocked when she learns that Roxley is suppose to propose to another woman, and is determined to stop it. Then a dangerous plot unravels, and it will take Roxley and Harriet working together to put that which was wronged right once again, and to take down those who would destroy them.

If Wishes Were Earls is the first novel that I have read from Elizabeth Boyle. I was able to receive a copy in exchange for a honest review from Avon and Edelweiss. I don’t know why I haven’t read her before now, especially since I love historical romance. As they say “Better late than never”, and I definitely feel that way about this author. I plan on looking for this author at my local library and reading more of her books. Even though this is the third in the series, it could be read as a stand alone, but I definitely wishes I had read the first two beforehand, but it isn’t necessary to read this one. First off I want to discuss the cover, which is one of my favorites, including the stepback. When I saw it for the first time, I found the blend of the purples, pinks and the white dress, had such a mixture of soft colors that created a magical scene of sensuality.

One of my favorite aspects of If Wishes Were Earls was the way that the story picked up, it starts with the reader seeing Harriet being bold and daring and going after what she wants, which is the Earl of Roxley. But what turns into hopes gets turned into disappointment when Roxley treats her differently after the fact. But she doesn’t want to give up hope, so she sets up a plan to make Roxley fall in love with her and choose love over his duty. We see that there are two sides to this situation. Roxley wishes he was free to marry Harriet, but he has to provide for his aunts, and keep those lands that have been in his family for generations. When he ends up being blackmailed, he knows he has little choice. Then we see a certain sub plot of danger and intrigue involving some diamonds, and the plot thickens, and the reader is then taken on a ride of passion, suspense and power of true love.

I found If Wishes Were Earls to be a truly captivating story that reeled me in from the prologue. Usually I have to force my way through the prologue sometimes, I just want to get to the story (LOL). But I have found that reading the prologue lends the reader to some background information needed to make sense of the rest of the story. When I first read the synopsis I wasn’t sure if I would like it much, but the story was far different than what the Synopsis implied the story to be. So I was surprised by how much I enjoyed seeing the change of events and the way the Harriet and Roxley get on together. I couldn’t complain much about the setting, I found it very delightful the connection the Roxley and Harry have with each other, even though its subtle at times and too obvious at other times. The one thing that I would complain about this story would be the multiple flashbacks, it could be a bit confusing at times. Other than the flashbacks, I truly enjoyed this story and I can hardly wait for the chance to read the rest of the series, and more from this author.

Overall I splendid romance with a touch of witty humor, a hint of passion and excitement, a plot thickened with drama and danger and intrigue that will tie you up in knots, and a love story to charm and entice. A DELICIOUS READ!!!

Favorite Quote
 “I want you, and only you” he’d whispered as he’d entered her. Taken her. Possessed her. It had been so breathless, so ruinous. So very wonderful.

My Grade 
4 Blossoms

Heat Rating 
Steamy

Other Books In Series 
Along Came A Duke
And The Miss Ran Away With A Rake

Book Review-Whitney, My Love

Whitney, My Love
Westmoreland Saga (2)
Judith McNaught
Pocket Books
Published June 2000
708 Pages
Regency Historical Romance
ISBN: 978-0-671-77609-1
Authors Website

Synopsis
“Whitney, My Love” stands as Judith McNaught’s timeless bestseller — a novel so rich with laughter, tears, and the power of dreams that millions of readers have returned to it again and again to savor its beauty and majesty.

Under the dark, languorous eyes of Clayton Westmoreland, the Duke of Claymore, Whitney Stone grew from a saucy hoyden into a ravishingly sensual woman. Fresh from her triumphs in Paris society, she returned to England to win the heart of Paul, her childhood love . . . only to be bargained away by her bankrupt father to the handsome, arrogant duke.

Outraged, she defies her new lord. But even as his smoldering passion seduces her into a gathering storm of desire, Whitney cannot — and will not — relinquish her dream of perfect love.

My Review
I had read many recommendations for Whitney My Love for quite some time. Judith McNaught is a author I have yet to read until now, and I am so glad that I decided to take that leap and read this one. I don’t know why it took me so long to get to this book, but I picked it up and I wanted it to be one of the first books that I would read this week. Whitney My Love is a powerful and a classic romance that every romance lover needs to read. Whitney My Love is quite a adventure of passion and romance. Even though it is over 700 pages long, it didn’t feel like it. It took me longer than I thought it would to read it, but since I read it over a holiday, I definitely think I made good time with it, and there were many times that I was tempted to not put this down when I also wanted to spend quality time with my family. Family won of course, but just barely LOL (just kidding). But seriously, the plot was full of twists and turns, you almost feel like you are on a roller coaster.

It begins with seeing Whitney as a teenager, and being her hellion of herself, is wild and charming. I loved her character especially at the beginning. She doesn’t hide who she is, and she isn’t ashamed of who she is even though her father and many others are. I found it almost heartbreaking how her father treats her, I wanted to wallop him over the head for treating his daughter the way he does. After she pulls a stunt that is so in tune with her nature, he sends her off with her aunt and uncle to Paris. Whitney is in love with a man, Paul, who she has been trying for years to charm and make him fall in love with her. So when she is sent to Paris, she realizes that this is her chance to prove to him what she can accomplish. She spends about four years in Paris, learning how to be lady, to flirt and to charm. You see how she slowly changes into a delightful young woman, who still has a wild personality but she is much more polished. Then we meet the hero of the story, who has been keeping a watchful eye on her, for four years in Paris, a Clayton Westmoreland, who desires her as his wife. He knows that she is destined to be his, so he bribes her father a fortune to secure their future marriage. He then returns to England to court and woo her, but she has no interest in him–at least in the beginning.  A drama filled romance starts to develop between the two, even though her eye is on another man. But somehow Clayton gets under her skin, and before long she starts to develop tender feelings for Clayton, against her better judgement. But then she learns that there is no future with Pail, when she learns of what Clayton has done and she feels like she has been bought like a horse. But a flaring desire builds between them, and soon Whitney will have to trust in her heart and the man she truly loves.

Such a amazing story!!! I couldn’t help but fall madly in love with this story, the characters, the surroundings and the masterful storytelling of Judith McNaught that ties your heartstrings. From beginning to end, I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation, tears, laughter, and a emotionally moving story that is bound to keep you enthralled until the very end. There is plenty of drama and misunderstandings (which is a understatement, and it is on both sides) however the way this author works the story together is magical and dazzles the reader with a a love story that makes your believe in happily ever after!! A MUST HAVE FOR ANY ROMANCE LOVER!!

First Line 
As their elegant traveling chaise rocked and swayed along the rutted country road, Lady Anne Gilbert leaned her cheek against her husband’s shoulder and heaved a long, impatient sigh.

Favorite Quotes 
she kissed him with all the aching longing that being this close to him evoked; she kissed him in all the ways he had ever kissed her, feeling faint with joy when he began to kiss her back, his mouth moving with fierce tenderness, then opening with fiery demand over hers, until their breaths were mingled gasps, and they were straining to one another.
 ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““
She was everything he had known she would be and much much more: Headstrong, sweet, fiery-tempered, impertinent, witty…a treasure of exciting contrasts. His treasure!

My Grade 
5 Blossoms

Heat Rating 
Steamy

Other Books In Series 
Kingdom of Dreams
Until You
A Holiday Of Dreams

Historical Romance Reading Challenge 2014

When I heard about this challenge, I was so excited to begin, especially any that know me knows how much I just love historical romance. This challenge is hosted by Herding Cats and Burning Soup, and it runs from January 1 2014, to December 31 2014.

The goal is to read at least 12 Historical Romance! 
 
  • Level 1–12 historical romance
  • Level 2–18 historical romances
  • Level 3–24 historical romance
  • Level 4–30+ historical romances

**Note**You can change your level at any time. It’s just a starting point 🙂

What counts!
  • Every historical romance you read and review in 2014
  • Any time period prior to 1920 qualifies.
  • They can be historical paranormal, historical erotica, m/m, f/f, etc.
  • All historical romances over 100 pages in length–audio, ebook, print
  • Re-reads, cross overs from other challenges

I will be going for Level 4-30+ Historical Romances. As I read and review each book I will list them under the completed section. Feel free to jump over to Herding Cats and Burning Soup to join!!! The more the merrier.

ARC Book Review-Somebody To Love

Somebody To Love
Cupid Texas ( 3)
Lori Wilde
Avon Books
E Book
Published December 31 2013
384 Pages
Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9780062218995
Authors Website

Synopsis (Goodreads)
New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde invites you back to Cupid, Texas, where love is only a heartbeat away . . .

Sexy cowboy-scholar Jericho Chance always knows exactly what he wants and how to get it. And after sauntering back home to Cupid, he’s shocked to discover that he wants Zoe McCleary. After years from home, he takes one new look at his bubbly best friend, with her lightning smarts and luscious body, and it hits him like a bolt: she’s his somebody to love and he’s not leaving town again without her.

Settling down always seemed like a time waster to Zoe, a man magnet with a trail of broken hearts behind her. She’s not meant to settle down—but how can she resist someone as persuasive as Jericho? There’s no way they can ignore the explosive chemistry seething between them . . . even if it means risking their friendship..

My Review


Jericho and Zoe have been best friends since they were children, but when Jericho comes back to town for a job, things start to escalate more than friendship. The last thing that Jericho wishes to do is ruin their friendship, but for quite some time he has been in love with Zoe. Zoe has decided that after having multiple career changes, she has finally decided on being a Archaeologist. However the guardian in charge of her trust fund has told her she can’t just quit, she has to see it through. If she does quit, he will cut her off from her funds, believing her to be flighty, and unable to stick with anything. However Zoe is desperate to prove her family wrong, to show them that when she really wants something she can stick with it. When circumstances start to heat up between Zoe and Jericho, a complication comes up. Jericho’s new job is the new professor for the job dig, and Zoe is his student. So if they are caught together, Jericho will be fired, and he can’t afford it on his record. As they work on the site together, it becomes that much harder to stay apart, and Jericho doesn’t know if he will be strong enough to stop from kissing her or making love to her.

Somebody To Love is the third installment in the Cupid Texas Series that is fairly new by Lori Wilde. I recently discovered this author, when I received a review copy of her first two books. The first two books in the series I fell in love with instantly. Somebody To Love however was a bit different, I had a bit of a harder time reading it. It didn’t take very long, however I couldn’t get fully into the story as I like to when I am reading a romance. I felt a little detached, and I am not sure if its just become I have a harder time liking contemporaries or if it was the actual story. It started out pretty good, I didn’t have a difficult time starting up the story, but as it got toward the midway of the story, I felt like it started to drag a bit. But then as I trudged through the story, it picked up again.

There was a few aspects that I enjoyed about Somebody To Love. The first is the sweet love story that is prevalent through the story. I found that it starts off with Zoe and Jericho have no problem to connect, since they grew up together. In the beginning I felt these two were a bit frustrating, not wanting to admit to each other how much they love each other, and want more than friendship. A blind man could see what they are afraid of admitting to each other. Then when they do, their relationship gets put on hold because of Jericho’s new job which he can’t afford to lose. As the story progressed further, I enjoyed seeing the little twists and turns, and it definitely surprised me. There was a bit of a mystery/suspense aspect in the plot that made it more than just a simple love story. I always enjoy a love story when there is more to it than just that. I love a exciting conflict that gets you at the edge at times. I found the conflict in this story wasn’t over done, although you don’t really realize the conflict until toward the end and I will warn you it might shock you, but in a delightful way. The characters were fun and engaging, however Zoe I had a small issue with. I loved Jericho, very sensual but protective and I love the way he was toward Zoe, willing to sacrifice everything for her. However I felt Zoe was a bit blah, she didn’t really dazzle me in any way, in fact I was a bit disappointed in this heroine. She was very independent, but I thought she was flaky at times, especially in the first half of the story. In the second half I started to enjoy her a bit more, but I didn’t fall in love with her.

Overall I found Somebody To Love a lovely addition to the Cupid series by Lori Wilde. I felt like there could have been a bit more in the beginning of the story to really draw in the reader, but other than that I enjoyed Jericho and Zoe’s story. There was quite a bit of sensuality, sweet moments, and charming plot to engage you in the story. Not entirely remarkable, but a enjoyable read on a lazy afternoon.

My Grade 
3.5 Blossoms

Heat Rating 
Steamy

Other Books In Series   
Love At First Sight
All Out Of Love
Love With A Perfect Cowboy

Book Review-Enchanted

Enchanted
Medieval (3)
Elizabeth Lowell
Avon
Paperback
Published August 1994
400 Pages
Medieval Historical Romance
ISBN: 0-380-77257-4
Authors Website

Synopsis
Simon the loyal has vowed never to love, for love makes a warrior weak. His arranged marriage to a beautiful Norman heiress would be duty and no more. But more than duty stirs his blood when he first sees Ariane. She has known only coldness from men and a betrayal so deep it all but killed her soul. Wanting no man, trusting no man, speaking only through the sad songs she draws from her harp, Ariane comes to Simon an unwilling bride. They wed to bring peace to the disputed lands, but marriage alone is not enough. Simon must teach Ariane passion, she must teach him trust. And both must surrender to the sweet violence of love′s enchantment. . .or die.
My Review

 

Simon is devoted and his only loyalty is to his friend and Lord, Dominic. He is asked to marry a heiress Ariane, who even though she is beautiful but is known as the “betrayed”. Ariane has a past, and she has been betrayed by those she trusted the most. Now the only thing that brings her peace is her harp and the music she plays. She is then informed that she will marry Simon, whom she knows will kill her the moment he learns of a deep secret she keeps hidden. She doesn’t need or want a man, she knows the moment she marries Simon, her life will change. She knows that her life will only be pain and suffering. Simon, has only one loyalty, but when he marries Ariane, his loyalty starts to shift to his wife. Ariane seems cold and unfeeling and passionless, but soon he begins to realize that she suffers from hurt and betrayal just as he does, and only when a flaming passion flares between them will Simon and Arian be able to get beyond the betrayals of their past and focus on their future and each other.

Enchanted is the third in the medieval series, and when I saw this one on the shelf, I knew I needed to try it out. I did wanted to try to read this series in order, however the first two books weren’t available, and since I have heard so many amazing things about this series, and having a weakness for medieval romances, I knew I needed to try Enchanted out. This is also the first time that I have been able to read this author, and I have to say after reading Enchanted I am very impressed. Enchanted is set in a time where honor and loyalty is everything. I do love the arranged marriage themes that are usually in the plots of medieval romances, and Lowell does a outstanding job with Enchanted. From the beginning of the story I was enthralled by the way this author magically weaves a beautiful story of two stranger that end up married, and have both protected their hearts and both need a lesson in the healing power of love and the passion they can find in each other.

The characters were captivating and from the first few chapters, I fell in love with Simon and Arianne. For the beginning half of the books you see the mistrusts and misunderstandings. Simon is a warrior, and has faced many battles and he suffers from past mistakes that almost cost his closest friends their lives. He is a bit of a wounded animal until Ariane comes into his life and he starts to realize that he isn’t the only one hurting from the past.  The relationship between Simon and Ariane is heartbreaking at times, but you see the desire that rises up is one step toward them learning to trust in each other. I found myself having a difficult time putting this one down. The style of this authors writing is absolutely enticing and exactly the way I like a romance to be written. Overall a emotionally driven tale of history, adventure, intrigue and passion. A POWERFUL ROMANCE THAT WILL CAPTURE YOUR HEART!!

My Grade 
5 Blossoms

Heat Rating 
Warm

Other Books in Series 
Untamed
Forbidden

Throwback Thursday (6)The Marriage Contract

Throwback Thursday is a new meme hosted by Buried Under Romance and Love Saves The World, and since I just love Historical Romance I decided to participate.

What Is Throwback Thursday?
Traditionally, Throwback Thursday celebrates nostalgia, asking participants to post a personal photo or image from their past–usually from 5 to 10 years ago. There are a lot of book blogs that also do a book related Throwback Thursday.

Here Are The Rules: 
1. It must be posted on a Thursday.
2. It must be a historical romance novel published before October 3, 2008

Journey with Cathy Maxwell to nineteenth-century Scotland…a land of romance and dreams. There, away from the stifling ballrooms and idle gossip of London, a debutante hopes to find a life she could only have imagined…and a noble Highlander discovers that the truest love of all awaits him in the form of an unexpected bride-to-be…

He was a man exiled from society — handsome, unpredictable, and proud. Dark rumors surrounded his name. But Anne Burnett had signed a marriage contract binding her to Aiden Black, the Earl of Tiebauld. And although she’d never met him, she’s determined to keep her word and make theirs a marriage in truth. Because a well-bred lady with little fortune to recommend her has no choice. From the moment she arrived, Anne fell in love with Kelwin Castle and its roguishly handsome laird. By day, he instills a fierce loyalty in his people with his masterful ways…and by night, he tempts Anne to surrender her innocence to him. But while he is willing to offer his body. Aiden refuses to give Anne his heart…making her wonder what prevents him from truly claiming her as his wife.

Why The Marriage Contract?
This was one of my earlier romances, when I was first starting out. I haven’t read it in a long time, but I fell in love with this style of plot and the way this author weaved her story. This is one of the books that made me fall in love with highland romances. A story full of romance and adventure and the rich culture of Scotland.