Review: How to Lose a Lord in 10 Days or Less (Tricks of the Ton, Book 3) by Elizabeth Michels

how to lose a lord in 10 days or lessHero: Andrew Clifton is Lord Amberstall. On his return to London society, he realizes he is being followed and takes measures to evade his pursuers. At first it seems like a successful attempt to escape… but then his horse nearly lands on a young woman and he gets thrown.

Heroine: Katie Moore used to love horses until she had a bad fall off of one that left her with a permanent limp. Her retreat to the countryside was a decision she took knowing she would never be on the marriage mart again. Terrified to be near horses, Katie is still determined to save Lord Andrew’s horse.

Review: First of all, I love this book title. How fantastic is it? I think it’s great. I also love the series title. The hero and heroine couldn’t be more opposite. The hero is pragmatic while the heroine is overly sentimental. Katie is determined to put her foot down on Andrew’s decision to shoot his injured horse. He says it’s a fatal injury. She claims it is not. Who is right? What is humane? If the horse can be rehabilitated it won’t be able to walk or run like normal. Katie is not impressed. She wins the first round by refusing to lend Andrew a replacement horse and invites him to stay on her father’s estate while the horse mends. I’m sad to say, that both characters were kind of flat for me and I was never really involved in the story despite the intrigue around Lord Andrew.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

Buy: How to Lose a Lord in 10 Days or Less (Tricks of the Ton)

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Review: The Black Sheep’s Inheritance (Dynasties: The Lassiters, Book 1) by Maureen Child

black sheep's inheritanceHeroine: Colleen Falkner receives an unexpected legacy from her client J.D. Lassiter in his will. Three million dollars is more than enough to help her achieve her dreams and fulfill her mother’s too. Colleen wants to be a nurse practitioner for the remote mountain area in Wyoming around Cheyenne. The money will more than enable her to get her license, buy a cabin, and set up a practice. When Sage, J.D.’s son, appears to have an interest in her, she is flattered and excited. She feels like she knows him from all of the stories she’s heard.

Hero: Sage Lassiter wasn’t close with his adoptive father. In fact, the two were loggerheads most of the time they got together after an incident in college. So he’s not surprised when J.D. pulls something crazy in his will. What he is surprised about is that the person who was screwed-over wasn’t himself, but was his sister. The one person who might know about why J.D. did what he did would’ve been his private nurse. And, the woman, just got a three million dollar legacy, so clearly, she’s up to no good.

Review: I’m not sure who the black sheep is supposed to be in this story. I felt the inheritance most in question was the heroine’s (and the hero’s sister’s), but it was the hero who had conflict with his family. The story is adorable and I particularly enjoyed the scenes where Colleen and Sage go to look at houses and she nearly falls into the ravine… which leads to fun sexy times. I also loved how Sage pulled out all the stops to win her over again after making an ass of himself.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: The Black Sheep’s Inheritance (Dynasties: The Lassiters)

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Review: The Ringmaster’s Daughter (The Foxhall Series, Book 1) by Grace Elliott

ringmaster's daughterReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Tobias Wolfson meets Henrietta Hart in a very interesting way. Hetty and I both have something in common – we take care of our fathers. Tobias is all about business but that was before he meets her. He’s a man of vision.

Grace takes the reader back to a time when the circus was all about the talent and not about the theatrics and pyrotechnics. What grabbed people’s attention back then would probably be almost boring by today’s standard. It also makes you wonder what those people would think about our circuses today. Our author’s descriptions are so realistic that I felt as if I was a part of the audience watching the show.

Hetty is a young woman who has a lot riding on her shoulders – makes the reader feel sorry for her. You want to keep reading so that you can see how she handles herself. It also shows how brave she is. This story shows a young lady growing up into a strong woman.

If there’s one character that fits into the hate category, that would be Uglow. I can almost picture him with a moustache and him twirling the ends. But he also fits into the storyline and I don’t think the story would be the same without him.

At times, it did seem a little slow but our author does give her reader a lot for their money. Don’t expect the romance to start at the beginning – you will have to be patient. The scenes aren’t too graphic so it lets the readers use their imagination. But just remember that nothing ever runs smoothly but it’s how the author resolves any issue that makes it interesting.

I found this book to be more historical than romance although I was very pleased with the ending. If you’re on the fence on whether you want to purchase the book, or not, stop at your local library. Even though this is an e-book, a lot of libraries do lend them out. This is the first book in a series and I would see what the next book brings. I did go to her web site, http://graceelliot-author.blogspot.com, but I was unable to get any indication of what it will be about.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: The Ringmaster’s Daughter: A Georgian Romance (The Foxhall Series)

Review: Thrown by Colette Auclair

Thrown by Colette AuclairReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: No one knows about horse riding like professional horse trainer Amanda Vogel. She has aspirations and the drive to want to win big competitions, even the Olympics, yet she has seen her best friend die in a tragic riding accident, and feels that she can’t go on. Unhappy with her lot and down on her luck, she has to take a job tutoring a movie star’s spoiled children to ride. For three months she has to endure tutoring Grady’s daughters, but what if nothing in her new life is what it seems?

Review: Amanda thinks she will hate her time there, but when Grady is different to how she imagined he would be, she finds she might be in for a better time. She is a woman afraid of what her new life will do to her dreams as she still has them even after what happened to her friend. As we all know, no one can stop us dreaming of making a fresh start, but for her they might never be more than just that.

Good bits:

  • Decent plot twists.
  • The romance edge to the story is rather interesting and captures the imagination.
  • Grady is more of a sensitive man than Amanda thinks at first.

Bad bits:

  • A bit too long of a read.

Final Thoughts: Amanda and Grady could be a great couple despite the trouble he is having with his daughters. Amanda soon realises they only need order to their lives and once they start on the right path, they will do well and shake off their troublesome nature. Despite everything, Amanda could still enjoy her life with Grady as he isn’t the hotshot he pretends to be, he’s a man with a softer side she likes. As the title suggests, Amanda is thrown into a life she never thought possible with a man she never knew until she looked beyond the man she worked for.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Thrown

Dogs and Horses

CounterfeitCowboyGuest blog by Gail MacMillan, author of Counterfeit Cowboy

I’m a world class dog and horse fancier. Since my earliest memories I’ve loved and admired these animals. Therefore, it’s no surprise that both frequently appear in my stories and romance novels. In fact, my fascination with horses led me to follow a lifelong dream I’d never been able to previously achieve.

At the venerable age of fifty, I began to take riding lessons. No, there’s no amazing story to follow. I didn’t go on to compete in the Olympics. In fact, I barely managed to learn to stay in the saddle at a modest lope on a mare that definitely had to be at the top of her class in gentleness and patience. But it did plant the seed of an idea for a story, one I’d later entitle, “Counterfeit Cowboy.”

Then other forces came into play to push the plot further. In the course of writing dog stories, I met via e-mails an amazing British Columbia rancher. Both of us having intense interest in dogs and horses, we became long distance friends. (I live on the east coast of Canada, she lives on the west.) When one especially beautiful little filly was borne on her ranch, she allowed me to name her. I chose to call her Fancy and through e-mails and photos, Fancy became a special part of my life. With her silver mane and tail and charcoal body, Fancy was breathtaking beauty on the hoof as she ran wild and free in the mountains of northern British Columbia. One day when she was mature, she’d come back to the ranch buildings where she’d been borne and begin her life under saddle and bridle but until then she was a free spirit.

Fancy had only just passed her second birthday when a horrific ranch accident claimed her life. I was devastated. Beautiful Fancy would never again race through the mountains with her herd. She’d never grow up to belong to my friend’s granddaughter and win at gymkhanas. Her memory had to be honored.

Fancy’s death caused that seed of an idea of writing a romance set on the horse farm where I’d taken riding lessons to begin to germinate and sprout. My long-suffering instructor became its heroine who had to teach a country music star who couldn’t ride a carousel to handle a horse within a six week time frame for his movie debut as a cowboy. A fictional Fancy would play the starring role of most beautiful mare on the farm.

Although she’s no longer with us in body, her spirit gallops gracefully through the pages of “Counterfeit Cowboy” and (I hope) into the hearts of readers. This book is my tribute to her.

Buy: Counterfeit Cowboy

Educate as well as Entertain

Guest Blog by P.J. O’Dwyer, author of Relentless, the first book in the Fallon Sisters Trilogy

Bren Ryan has a tendency to ignore convention and good sense when fueled by passion to see justice served. Only some opponents are more formidable than others. It’s not until she finds her husband caught up in the pulley system, the rope wrapped around his neck, his body dangling outside the hayloft, that she realizes her actions of retribution may have cost her everything.

Headstrong horse rescue director Bren Ryan has been a red-headed streak of trouble for more than one man in Clear Spring, Maryland. She’s grown up needling local “kill buyer” Wes Connelly, and since the sheriff ruled her husband’s sudden death an accident, Bren’s been investigating things herself. She’s certain Tom was murdered, and she’s hell-bent on cornering his killer the only way she knows how—by tempting him to do it again. And she’s the bait.

Rafe Langston came to Maryland looking for land and a fresh start. Or so he says. The sexy cowboy isn’t generous with details, but Bren couldn’t care less—until he buys half her farm at auction and moves into her childhood home. Suddenly, the last man she should befriend becomes her only ally in solving her husband’s murder.

Soon their cozy stakeouts sizzle with unexpected desire neither one can ignore, threatening his mysterious plans and her promise to never fall in love again—especially with a handsome stranger whose secrets could shatter what family she has left.

Excerpt from Relentless

(Scene set up:      Chapter 7 – Bren has only loved one man, and she married him—until death do us part. But her feelings for Rafe come at her too fast to define. The one she can pinpoint with accuracy is friendship, and for that to happen she has to like the man. And she does—too much.)

Bren peeked into the family room, and her heart warmed. Rafe was on his side on the floor, his long, muscled legs clad in faded jeans. But it was the boyish grin lining his face that drew her to him as he contemplated his next move. Finn sat poised with his counter. Aiden sat in the recliner, his face aglow with his laptop—Facebook, another creation she could live without.

Finn slapped his cheeks with both hands and then squeezed them, his lips resembling a goldfish as Rafe jumped several of his checkers.

“King me,” Rafe said.

“You beat me,” Finn whined.

“Remind me next time to teach you my secret.” He tousled Finn’s fair head, stood up, and stretched. He smiled at her, and she went all gooey inside.

“Hi, Mom.” Finn beamed up at her.

“Hi, sweetie.” Then to Rafe, “Hey.”

He grinned and started toward her. “Okay if I stay for dinner?” He glanced back at Aiden, who watched them over his computer screen, before giving her his full attention. “We need to talk.”

He brushed her arm with his long fingers and slid his hand down to hers and held it.

Bren blushed. “What are you—”

“Outside.” He pulled her toward the front door.

She tried to pull her hand away. Aiden and Finn were watching them intently. Bren peered over her shoulder at her boys before Rafe tugged her around the corner wall. “You two need to wash up,” she called back to them. “Dinner’s almost ready.”

Rafe opened the door and then held the screen door for her, her hand tightly clamped in his.

“Let—” She snapped her mouth shut when the boys came charging by to use the bathroom. She stepped out onto the porch, yanked her hand away, and wrapped her arms around herself. “What the hell’s wrong with you? You’re going to give them the wrong impression.”

“Too late.” Rafe leaned along the railing.

Bren moved toward him and narrowed in. “What are you talking about?”

“Aiden saw me bring you home last night.”

“So?”

“You were wearing my shirt.”

“Oh.” Bren dropped into the rocking chair in front of him. “That’s bad.”

“Yep.”

She leaned over and peered up at him. “What’d you tell him?”

“I sure as hell couldn’t tell him the truth.” Those green eyes twinkled, and he gave her a wicked smile.

Bren stood up and moved toward him, outrage quickly tempting her tongue. “You didn’t?”

Rafe shrugged and grabbed her hand.

She wanted to do as she’d done before, but the warmth of his hand and that damn thumb of his brushing her knuckles made it hard to concentrate.

“Don’t be mad, doll face.”

Bren ripped her hand from his grasp. “Stop calling me that.”

“Makes you mad,” he said.

Rafe enjoyed setting her off. In some twisted way, he liked looking for reasons to spar with her.

“Tell me what I need to know.”

“I’m officially your boyfriend.”

Bren’s hand flew to her mouth, and she began to laugh. “Seriously. Rafe Langston couldn’t come up with a better lie?”

“He caught me off guard.”

“How do you propose we go about dating?”

“Look, just be nice to me. Sit down next to me at dinner.”

She could do that. But she wasn’t holding his hand. Or . . . She tingled inside again when she thought back to last night when he was getting ready to kiss her. “We’re not—”

“Hell no. I like blondes. Remember?”

Bren raised her hand to punch him.

He grabbed her arm and pulled her close. “Be nice, darlin’. This is a good thing. You want to stake out Connelly’s place. You’re not going without me. Now we have an excuse why we’re spending time together.”

He had her within inches of him. His arm slipping around her waist, he leaned in against her ear and whispered, “They’re watching.”

Bren stiffened.

“You need to do a better job fooling your boys, otherwise Aiden’s going to question what’s really going on with his mother.”

Bren cautiously threaded her arms around Rafe’s neck and whispered back in his ear, “Get cute, and I’ll nail you where it counts.”

The roughened stubble along his jaw rubbed up against her cheek. “I’m countin’ on it, darlin’.”

That Texas drawl had her legs wanting to fold like an unsteady card table. She only hoped their little charade wouldn’t topple like a house of cards, because the longer she allowed herself to be tangled up with this cattle rancher who had decided Bren Ryan was his charity case, the more she was beginning to like having him around.

And that couldn’t happen.



Relentless centers round a very controversial topic—horse slaughter. As a writer, I believe we are entrusted to educate as well as entertain. Relentless gave me the opportunity to do both due to the gracious nature of horse rescuers who took a call from a stranger, listened and agreed with enthusiasm to read Bren’s story, and offer their insight and knowledge.

As a way to thank them for their kindness, and because their fight has become my own, I am donating 5% to horse rescue for every book sold in the trilogy and any other future works.

The only catch—you must purchase the books through my website at www.pjodwyer.com. There is a list of rescues to choose from, including most states in the U.S., a fair amount of provinces in Canada, and a few in the UK to include Ireland, as well as, Australia and New Zealand.

GIVEAWAY: Please leave a comment for a chance to win a hardcover copy of Relentless. Last day to enter: April 13, 2012.

Thank you Love Romance Passion for inviting me! It was a pleasure visiting.

AUTHOR BIO P. J. O’Dwyer is an award-winning author of romantic suspense. When asked where she gets her ideas for her stories, she laughs ruefully and says, “It helps being married to a cop.” Actually, she admits, “Every day I find a wealth of possible stories and plots in the most unsuspecting places—my daily life.” She lives in Maryland with her family.

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