Review: Two Sinful Secrets (The Scandalous St. Claires, Book 2) by Laurel McKee

two sinful secretsHero: Dominic St. Claire and his brothers continue to uphold a feud that started many years ago with the Huntingtons, involving older relatives on both sides. They brothers blame the Huntingtons for the loss of their family fortune. Revenge would be sweet and Lady Sophia would be perfect target. Dominic decides he will elope with her and then dump her at the altar, forever ruining her. What will he do, however, when his treacherous heart gets involved?

Heroine: When Lady Sophia Huntington, now Mrs. Westman, was younger refused to give up a man she thought she loved was banished from her family’s bosom. He wasn’t such a prince after all. Widowed now, Sophia is betting against the house in order to survive and maybe to finally make her way home. But blast it all! She can’t possibly win her family’s forgiveness if she shows up with Dominic St. Claire. Can she?

Review: I could have done without the obsessed stalker hunting the heroine. In my opinion, it was superfluous to the storyline. The revenge plot could have had more oomph. It’s hard to feel for somebody holding onto a grudge that really isn’t his to hold. One of the hottest scenes in the book is the very first chapter. It introduces both characters and a meeting they had prior to the start of the main action. She’s a masked figure gambling in his family’s gaming establishment. Sophia knows who Dominic is, but he does not know her. They share quite a passionate kiss before she breaks it off and runs away. It’s a moment neither party can forget or the reader.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: Two Sinful Secrets (The Scandalous St. Claires)

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Get into Bed with Laurel McKee (Author Interview)

two sinful secretsKeira: Why do the St. Claires hate the Huntingtons? Is it mutual – like in Romeo and Juliet? Montagues vs Capulets?

Laurel McKee: I have totally loved “Romeo and Juliet” ever since I saw a Shakespeare in the Park production when I was about 8!  Who doesn’t love the idea that love can overcome hatred?  Or the thrill of falling for the wrong person??  With the St. Claires and the Huntingtons it’s a bit more one-sided than with the Capulets and Montagues.  The St. Claires have long blamed the Huntingtons for ruining their family’s fortunes (through an ill-advised marriage 200 years ago!), but the Huntingtons, being a lofty ducal family, don’t even remember this little tidbit of history.  They’ve crushed so many of the little people, after all. :)  But when they find out and the two families finally have a confrontation, it should be quite explosive!

Keira: A heroine who gambles? What is she willing to wager for love?

Laurel: What a great question!  At the beginning of this story—not much.  She wagered on love once and eloped, only to have it all end in disaster.  She thinks she is done with love, but as we know love isn’t done with her…

Keira: He’s a cad – but we love him! Dominic plans on  eloping-and then abandoning his bride, Lady Sophia. But does he have the heart?

Laurel: LOL!  Much like Sophia, Dominic isn’t nearly as bad or hard-hearted as he thinks he is.  In fact, I think he is secretly a great romantic (though he would never agree).  He has just never met a woman who can match him like Sophia can, and make his see his true self.  I did love Dominic so much!

Keira: What would you be willing to wager on love? Could you ever fall in love with your fiercest enemy?

Laurel: I’m not sure I’ve ever had a fierce enemy!  Though I have definitely met people who annoyed me.  I think it would be great fun to see a different side to them and realize that we could understand, even love, each other.  But I just got married last month to a man I liked from the very moment I met him, so I guess I will never find out!  (It’s fun to read about though, isn’t it?)

Keira: What is next on your plate? What inspired you to start the project?

Laurel: I have a lot going on right now!  The most exciting project is a whole new project in a whole new genre.  “Murder at Hatfield House,” the first of the Kate Haywood Elizabethan Mysteries, will be out in October 2013.  And I am thinking about what might happen to the St. Claires next…

Buy: Two Sinful Secrets (The Scandalous St. Claires)

Review: Lady of Seduction (Daughters of Erin, Book 3) by Laurel McKee

Reviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Lady of Seduction is book three of the “Daughters of Erin” series.

The action begins right at the start of the book. Caroline Blacknall is on a ship during a very bad storm. She meets up with Grant Dunmore whom she hasn’t seen in quite a while. There seems to be an instant connection between the two. You think that Grant is a former lover but Laurel puts a twist in the story, he’s not. The way Laurel describes Grant, we don’t think of him as handsome. But not all our romance heroes can be gorgeous. Plus they say, “love is blind”.

It seems that Laurel has made Caroline a writer of sorts and Grant has something she wants. But Grant is a man of many secrets and Caroline, being a typical woman, wants to know what those secrets are. They also seem to have one adventure after another. Our couple seems destined to be together no matter what Grant wants.

Within the first quarter of the book, our author gives the couple their first intimate moment. It happens so naturally – very sensual and fits into the scene perfectly. There is also a scene where they take a walk together. Laurel does such a great job of describing the scenery that you can almost believe that you are right there with them.

One good thing about historical romances is that the author gives their readers a history lesson of sorts. We get to learn a little bit about the country we are “visiting”. The history plays an important part in this historical romance.

Laurel also adds in some suspense into her story. The reader has to ask themselves, “Whose side is Grant on?” He has some people come to visit. “What are his visitors up to?” She also gives us some mystery. With adding the suspense and mystery into her story she keeps her readers enthralled. This also is what makes the story a page-turner. This story builds on the suspense right up until the end.

Besides being a writer, Caroline is a woman who has spirit and is also very curious. She will go to any lengths to protect the people that she loves. We also get to see Caroline as a storyteller.

Grant gives us the impression that he wants to be left alone. But Laurel has also made him a man that has a sensitive side – especially where Caroline is concerned. He is also an honorable, yet stubborn, man. He doesn’t feel that he is worthy of Caroline’s love.

If you love historical romances you will want to add this to your must read list. This is definitely a story that can be read on its own even though it’s part of a series. But if you loved this book as much as I did, you will want to go back and read the other two books in the series.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Lady of Seduction (Daughters of Erin)

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