Review: An Affair Downstairs by (Thornbrook Park, Book 2) by Sherri Browning

an affair downstairsHero: Logan Winthrop is an estate manager with a past. He was once gentry but was linked with the murder of his lover’s husband. To keep his brother’s family free of gossip he hid from polite society. But he can’t keep hiding around Alice.

Heroine: Lady Alice Emerson has no intention of ever marrying. She has a bucket list and she plans to pursue the completion of every adventure on it and a husband would get in the way. Alice wants to see India, shoot a pistol, and have an affair to name a few things on her list.

Review: Logan is a hero who will do what it takes to protect those around him, even if it is from himself. He has desired Alice for a while but saw the differences in their circumstances as insurmountable. He’s relatively easy to seduce when Alice chooses him as her first sexual experience. Don’t let Alice fool you, she thinks he’s a good choice for all the wrong reasons. Another man enters the picture and he says all the right things, pays all the right attention to Alice, and yet there’s something off about him. Will Logan step aside to give Alice a chance at the perfect match or will he claim her as his own? One nice thing about this book is that the sister isn’t evil (and there will be a time when you wonder, but she’s mostly shallow and clueless which are forgivable because she loves Alice).

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: An Affair Downstairs (A Thornbrook Park Romance Book 2)

Audio Review: Sylvester by Georgette Heyer

sylvesterHeroine: Phoebe Marlow has a good head on her shoulders and sees the ton’s foibles for what they are. She’s also an aspiring writer who just finished penning a marvelous Gothic romance with cameos of different persons in the ton. She makes her bad guy the insufferable Duke of Salford and unwittingly creates his fictional character with a background very close to the real Sylvester. When Sylvester makes a good impression on her after the book is sent to the publishers, she’s desperate to change it but it’s too late!

Hero: Sylvester, the Duke of Salford, doesn’t remember meeting Phoebe the first time. He’s always prided himself on upholding the title with pride and dignity. To treat anyone ill is beneath him and his station. He decides the best way to get back at Phoebe for her slander is to marry the girl, but he goes about it all wrong and botches everything.

Review: In some respects you could say Sylvester is like Mr. Darcy, but they are not exact copies. Loved Sylvester’s nickname for Phoebe, “sparrow.” Super cute. I love a great nickname. I also liked the dynamics of the story. You have several side characters who add to the story’s tapestry and orchestrate all kinds of shenanigans from an ill-behaved nephew, a spoiled woman who wants the attention from being a pitiable mother without having to mother, a man as pompous as he is wealthy, and a platonic male friend who tries to do right but ends up making a mess of things because he lacks the savvy Sylvester was born with. Overall very enjoyable.

Narrator: Nicholas Rowe has a nice smooth voice. The recording is a little soft and I had to listen to it at higher volume than I normally would, but Rowe himself was great. He had a good cadence with the book and made Heyer’s novel entertaining and engaging.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Sylvester: or The Wicked Uncle, Sylvester: Or, the Wicked Uncle (audio book)

Review: An Unsuitable Match (The Duke of Strathmore, Book 2) by Sasha Cottman

cover52980-mediumHeroine: Lady Clarice Langham is in the unenviable position of watching the future Duke of Strathmore wed another woman. (She used to be engaged to the the man). Even being an heiress and a previous ton favorite doesn’t shelter her from vicious gossip and a waning society crown.

Hero: David Radley is the eldest son of the current Duke of Strathmore, but is alas illegitimate even if he is recognized by the duke. He’s loved Clarice for years and sees now as the perfect time to pledge his case.

Review: I think this book is better after having read the first in the series. Readers will have more background on Clarice and David. Clarice did not come across as a strong heroine, although I think she was meant to be because of her inner strength holding onto a secret. She felt drab and plain (she binds her body.) I could not connect with her. David was a good sort. He didn’t envy his younger brother the status of heir to the dukedom and he had a good relationship with his siblings.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

Buy: An Unsuitable Match: Destiny Romance

Dominated by the Earl?

DominatedByTheEarl-200x300Guest blog by Raven McAllen, author of Dominated By The Earl

Well, who wouldn’t want to be?

Especially, when in Regency times, you could be a boring wife, or well wink turn the tables a bit…

Hi, I’m Raven, and I freely admit, I find it really hard to talk about myself, or how I write. I’d love to be able to say, oh I have a formula for writing, I do x, y, or x, but in reality I don’t.

In all honesty, I can’t even say where my ideas form, they just pop into my head, and the characters shout until I listen. It gets confusing when it’s more than one book’s worth at once, but somehow I seem to sort them out, and work out who takes priority.

However, I do know I must listen to them, and if I don’t ohh dear. That’s several k’s worth of words deleted then.

I guess that means I’m a pantster character-driven writer. Strangely, of late I have been roughing out things I know I have to add into my story at sometime, but generally I have a start and a finish, and no clue how I’m going to get there, and how many words it will take for me to do so.

It doesn’t always go according to plan, but ah well, I write as I can, not as I think I aught and it works for me. Well, I think it does, you might beg to differ.

So, what can I say?

I’m growing old disgracefully and loving it.

Dh and I live on the edge of a Scottish forest, and rattle around in a house much too big for us.

Our kids have grown up and flown the nest, but roll back up when they want to take a deep breath and smell the daisies so to speak.

I write in my study, which overlooks the garden and the lane. I’m often seen procrastinating, by checking out the wild life, looking—only looking—at the ironing basket and assuring tourists that indeed, I’m not the bed and breakfast. That would mean cooking fried eggs without breaking the yolks, and disturbing the dust bunnies as they procreate under the beds. Not to be thought of.

Being able to do what I love, and knowing people get pleasure from my writing is fantastic. Long may it last.

Blurb…

Leonora knew she’d wait for Justin to come home.

She hadn’t expected it to be so long or so fraught.

When Justin joined his regiment, and was sent to the continent, Leonora promised to wait for him to return.

She didn’t think it would take so long, or she’d have so many difficulties to face. Her life changes as she struggles to cope without Justin and keep his estate running.

With someone out to destroy all she holds dear, Leonora has to fight for her beliefs and her family, and hope they get the happy ever after they deserve.

Buy: Dominated By The Earl

A wee tease…

“Have you finished?” Justin gestured at the chicken bone in her hand.

“What? Oh, yes.” The bone had no meat on it. She had finished it without any thought. “Thank you, I’ll be fine now.”

“I won’t.” Justin put the bone back into the bag and rested it on the ground by his feet. With a grin that Nora could only think of as wicked, he pushed her back up against a tree trunk. The bark was rough to her touch as she put her

“I won’t be fine until I’m deep inside you,” he whispered. “Pushing you to the edge. Taking you further than you’ve ever gone before. Listening to you scream…for everything.”

Nora felt the warmth of his breath on her ear. That, combined with his words, sent a gush of arousal through her that she had thought she would never find again. Her juices gathered and their warmth coated her mound and the apex of her thighs. Before she had a chance to rub her legs together—she wasn’t sure if it was to increase or reduce that delicious ache—Justin thrust his knee between them, and pressed against her quim. Sharp daggers of excitement bombarded her and she moaned. He put a hand over her mouth and Nora slipped her tongue between her lips to circle his palm. She tasted warmth and sweat.

“Shh, and do not do that, minx. I want you, oh, how I want you. If we were alone, and had more time, I would take you here. Strip you, and bare our souls, as I plunge into you in every way possible. Drink your juices and your cries, and let you milk me, as I will do you. That thought has kept me going many a long month. To stroke your breasts, feel your nipples come alive by my touch. To suckle as our child did, and then to watch you splinter as I fill your cunt. And there’s more,” he continued in a compelling undertone as Nora tingled at the erotic pictures his words created. “I have a need to introduce you to new delights such as we had no chance to experience before I left. But we can’t do anything here, and I need to explain so much to you. In truth, Nora, I can only but hope you give me leave to do all this and more once we’ve talked.” He rubbed his knee across her quim. The pressure was enough to make her squirm in ecstasy.

“I need…” she moaned. “I want…” What did she want? Coherent thought was impossible as he slipped his hand under the cloak and nipped one of her nipples through the thin material of her day gown.

“So do I, but sadly we will have to hold those thoughts. We need to move on.”

He moved backward an inch or two, and Nora felt his withdrawal as acutely as if he had left her alone again. His smile lit his face. “I know, love. I feel it as well. Soon I hope we can sate ourselves. Now let’s move.” He took her hand and led her toward the horses. As he threw her up into the saddle, her hands moved to the neck of the cloak. Justin stayed her hands. “Keep it on. It will not upset Moonlight, and it will hopefully warm you until I can.”

Buy: Dominated By The Earl

Raven McAllan Author PicBio: Raven lives in Scotland, along with her husband and their two cats—their children having flown the nest—surrounded by beautiful scenery, which inspires a lot of the settings in her books.

She is used to sharing her life with the occasional deer, red squirrel, and lost tourist, to say nothing of the scourge of Scotland—the midge.

A lover of reading, she appreciates the history inside a book, and the chance to peek into the lives of those from years ago. Raven admits that she enjoys the research for her books almost as much as the writing; so much so, that sometimes she realizes she’s strayed way past the information she needs to know, and not a paragraph has been added to her WIP.

http://www.ravenmcallan.com

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Review: How to Catch a Wild Viscount by Tessa Dare

how to catch a wild viscountPreviously titled The Legend of the Werestag. Not a paranormal.

Hero: Luke Trenton, Viscount Merritt, is beastly in appearance and temperament. War stripped him of his civility and hardened his heart. He feels like he has nothing to offer the girl who looks at him with stars in her eyes. He wants her to get over him as he knows she will and move on so he can too.

Heroine: Cecily Hale has loved Luke for a while and treasures the kiss they shared before he left for war. When he came home from war and didn’t seek her out she was hurt. She hopes the house party they are both at will be just the setting to win his heart. A local legend of a werestag catches her attention and she convinces the party to go in search of it… but her real hunt is not a wild deer but a wild viscount!

Review: An exceptional novella. I loved the hero and heroine so much I could have read an expanded version of this story. Luke is a deliciously aloof stubborn cad. He rejects her after she pledges her love to him which humiliates and wounds Cecily. Our heroine doesn’t take this too kindly and focuses her attention on the stag hunt instead of the man. At one point she needs rescuing because of a wild boar attack and the mysterious stranger who protects her and things start to develop and get steamy from there on out. Very enjoyable.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: How to Catch a Wild Viscount

Review: The Reluctant Elf by Michele Gorman

reluctant elfHeroine: Lottie and her daughter, Mabel, are planning to visit Aunt Kate this Christmas because Aunt Kate is starting a bed and breakfast (B&B) business. When Kate is hospitalized, Lottie and Mabel leave a day early for their Christmas vacation. The B&B is in dire straights, so are Aunt Kate’s finances, and the help just absconded for a break to recuperate. Everything hinges on getting a good rating from the reviewer. But Lottie hasn’t the foggiest clue what to do to run a successful B&B.

Hero: Danny, the taxi driver, is an unlikely but most definitely needed hero. When Lottie offers him enough money to fund a trip to see his young daughter in America, he agrees to aid her in anyway he can. He helps paint, fix, repair, clean, and cook. And along the way the two find they have an affinity for each other.

Review: The B&B reviewer and his family are seriously dysfunctional. I am very glad that the creepy brother/in-law doesn’t barge in on Lottie in the bath. He was a very ignorant self-absorbed cad. His wife was a hypochondriac and couldn’t stand her children. The two kids were terrors. I’d be afraid for Mabel to hang out with them. The only one sane was the reviewer. Are you up for some crazy hijinks involving scolding plumbing, falling down ceilings, holes patched with toothpaste? Then you’re in for a treat with this wifi-less Victorian-themed holiday chick-lit. Happy ending for all. There’s definitely room for continuation.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: The Reluctant Elf

Review: Fired by Her Fling by Christy McKellen

fired by her flingHero: Tristan Bamfield arrives in London to settle a personnel dispute at his father’s radio station. Cleaning up messes for his dad is something Tristan is used to, having taken over the family kitchen cabinet business years ago. He has a fabulous evening with a sexy woman only to find out the next day that she’s one half of the dispute he has to resolve. He’s been played a fool — again!

Heroine: Tallulah (Lula) Lazenby gets tongue-tied around people which may sound odd as her job is as a radio DJ. Sleeping with her boss at the station was a huge mistake. Jez is a major sleazeball; and the promotion he promised her? Nowhere in sight. Imagine her surprise when her one night stand ends up firing her and calls her on the carpet for unethical behavior and manipulation.

Review: Lula’s celebrity personality (the confident side of herself) I felt had better chemistry with Tristan than her “real” timid personality. Tristan has some serious family issues with his brother stealing his fiancée and his dad serially marrying women. My favorite sequences in this story included the night these two hooked up the first time, when they realized who the other one was and the subsequent firing, and Tristan’s later groveling where he wins her back to the studio with gifts (not all appropriate, but all right, cute anyway).

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Fired by Her Fling

Review: A Rake by Any Other Name (Somerfield Park, Book 1) by Mia Marlowe

rake by any other nameHero: Richard Barrett (Lord Hartley) was enjoying his Grand Tour when he is called home to take his rightful place as the head of the household. His father fell from the roof and while alive, is no longer fit to run the estate. Richard soon discovers the financial situation is only going to be fix by wedding an heiress… which sucks because he was ready to offer marriage to Lady Antonia Pruett.

Heroine: Miss Sophie Goodnight and her parents are newly arrived from India where her father made his fortunes. Her dad is looking to sell her and his fortune to ensure his grandkids are aristocrats. Since she’s not too keen on that idea she partners up with Richard to foil their parents attempts at a match.

Review: This book sets up a love triangle between Sophie, Richard, and Antonia. As with most love triangles in romance between two females and a male, Lady Antonia was not an ideal match for Richard (or really any man) due to her duplicitous nature. All we had to do was wait for Richard to figure that out. I liked Sophie as a heroine. She was smart, capable, and put Richard in his place a time or two which left him all agog. Richard was a good hero too. He wanted to do right by his family and the estate, even when his family was using him to ensure their own comforts (a fun twist on the usual scenario where the heroine is sacrificed at the altar of marriage to ensure her family’s well-being.) The romance is sweet and lively and was one of my favorites to read this year. I devoured it quite quickly waiting to see what happened next.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: A Rake by Any Other Name (Somerfield Park)