Audio Review: The Naked Earl (Naked Nobility, Book 4) by Sally Mackenzie

naked earlHero: The Earl of Westbrooke, Robert “Robbie” Hamilton, has no trouble getting “it” up. No, the problem lies in keeping “it” up. This road block is tied to a humiliating moment in his youth and he’s unable to let the incident go. Just when things begin to heat up — like seeing the inebriated and naked Lizzie in her room — the memory will crop up and the excitement turns to frustration.

Heroine: Lady Elizabeth “Lizzie” Runyon, is the younger sister of Robbie’s best friend, James. She has been in love with Robbie most of her life and would like nothing better than to marry him. When he falls through her window (escaping across the rooftop from a calculating marriage-minded spinster), during a house party, she takes advantage of his naked state and her own, by stealing innocently passionate kisses.

Review: When the guests come running to her door, he begs her for silence and so while she could have kept him all to herself, she does as he asks, which I think takes guts. Of course, Lizzie feels Robbie will come around properly to ask for her hand and is flummoxed when he does not. There was a lot of potential with the book and where it fell flat for me was the passion fizzled at its highest points (and I don’t mean when it fizzled for Robbie as those were some of the better moments in the book because you could really feel his anxiety and frustration over his reactions or lack thereof). Robbie really wanted to be the man he felt Lizzie deserved and needed/wanted. The best-friend’s-sister or brother’s-best-friend trope is a tough one for me to warm up to, but I found myself rooting for the two quite early in the novel. The momentum just didn’t keep up with my expectations.

Narrator: The narrator was exceptional and one of the reasons it was so easy for me to get involved in the romance. I would recommend listening to Terry Donnelly if you get the chance. She’s very good at the intimate moments and keeping characters straight and reads very lively and with emotion. (4.5 of 5 Stars)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Buy: Sally MacKenzie Bundle: The Naked Earl, The Naked Gentleman, The Naked Marquis, The Naked Baron, The Naked Duke, The Naked Viscount, The Naked King

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What Makes Damaged Heroes Hot?

On the outside a damaged hero is a tough-as-nails-and-probably-eats-them-too masculine figure. Inside though is a whole different story. I think that’s one of the biggest reasons why damaged heroes appeal to female readers. We want to care for, nurture, and heal him. It makes the heroine (and through her us) feel needed. A damaged hero’s heroine is crucial to his fundamental wellbeing.

There are many types of damaged heroes. He usually gets classified as one of them when readers and reviewers talk about him. These classifications are:

  • Scarred
  • Wounded
  • Tragic
  • Tortured
  • Burdened

Scarred –

A scarred hero is an exteriorly damaged hero. His body has suffered a lot and is usually covered in scars. Most authors either scar his body or his face, rarely both at the same time. The lost of his looks is a real blow for this type of hero.

Wounded –

A wounded hero can also have scars, but he also is facing physical damage. He has disabling headaches or limited mobility and even potential loss of limbs. He could also have lost one or more of his senses.

Tragic –

A tragic hero in romance is an emotionally damaged hero. He’s lost family, friends, careers, purpose, and drive. He is almost always a recluse and a shut-in. He doesn’t want to love again. Getting hurt again just might kill him.

Tortured –

A tortured hero is a damaged hero at the end of his rope. He is already at his lowest point and feels like he can’t get any lower. He may have been emotionally or mentally abused. He could have been neglected or badly treated by someone in his past resulting in wild crazy theories on how worthless he is.

Burdened –

A burdened hero is a damaged hero who acts alone. Over the years he’s learned to rely on himself and not to trust others. This means he doesn’t connect very well to the heroine at first because he’s so set in his thinking. A burdened hero may have been living with a dark secret for a long time. He could be seeking vengeance, revenge, or absolution.

What type of damaged hero is your favorite and why?

What Damaged Hero do you prefer?

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Double Take: My Celebrity Look-Alikes

by Carol Snow, guest blogger and author of Just Like Me Only Better

When I was in elementary school, I was passionate about gymnastics, which I practiced every Saturday at my local YMCA. I don’t mean to brag, but I could do a killer cartwheel and stand on my head for many minutes at a time. On the other side of the world, there was another girl, a few years older, who loved gymnastics, too. Her name was Nadia Comenici, and you know what? She kind of looked like me!!!!

This resemblance thrilled me to no end. So what if Nadia wasn’t the prettiest gymnast out there? She was the best! At the 1976 summer Olympics, she scored seven perfect tens and won five medals: three gold, one silver, one bronze. And did I mention that she looked like me? Well, at least above the neck; I was in the midst of a prepubescent chunky phase.

A number of years passed before I questioned my enthusiasm at our resemblance – and not just because Nadia’s star began to fade. (If I remember correctly, she put on a few pounds – and, yeah, I could totally relate.)

I can’t remember anyone comparing me to another celebrity until the late eighties, when Broadcast News hit the theaters and Holly Hunter gained fame as a high-strung, tear-prone television producer with a self-destructive crush on a womanizer played by William Hurt. I saw the movie. I liked it. And I was taken by complete surprise when co-workers, family friends and distant acquaintances began to insist that Holly Hunter looked just like me.

“I don’t see it,” I’d grumble. Holly Hunter was cute enough, but at that point I couldn’t separate her from the Broadcast News character, an emotional train wreck who probably couldn’t even do a decent cartwheel. So, yes: we all get a kick out of celebrity look-alikes, but only if we like who they are or what they do. We might say that appearances are only skin deep, but in our hearts we can’t help but connect the inside and the outside.

JUST LIKE ME, ONLY BETTER

JUST LIKE ME ONLY BETTER is Veronica Czalicki’s story. She goes from happy housewife to cash-strapped single mom when her husband finds the love of his life and—you guessed it—it isn’t her. She continues to mourn her marriage. She can’t even go to the grocery store without bursting into tears—or being mistaken for her look-alike, glamorous starlet Haley Rush.

So when a slick talent manager offers a job as Haley’s double, it only takes a minute for Veronica to say yes. Now she’s on call to drive Haley’s car, wear her amazing clo the s, and date her hot TV star boyfriend. Too bad the role is only part time, and at the end of the day she has to return to her life as a minivan-driving substitute teacher and Cub Scout mom.

Buy: Just Like Me, Only Better