Audio Review: The Husband Hunt (Madison Sisters, Book 3) by Lynsay Sands

husband huntHeroine: Lisa Madison wants to get married and she wants to be married to Robert Langley, her best friend’s older brother. However he’s clueless. He does not see her as a woman. She’s about to get his attention!

Hero: Robert Langley rescues Lisa from near ruination at a madam’s establishment. Somebody wants to compromise her beyond repair – and the madam says the fellow is a gentlemen. This villain is possibly one of the many suitors surrounding Lisa. He’s going to have to keep an eye on her. No telling what trouble she’ll land herself in if he doesn’t.

Review: Lisa is a TSTL heroine. She can be a real featherbrain and does stupid things in the name of stubbornness and naiveté. She needs a lot of people to explain to her how things work and why she shouldn’t do certain things. Was she asleep in the schoolroom the entire time? Seriously. However, as someone who generally doesn’t like to read the unrequited-I’m-in-love-with-my-friend’s-brother (or brother’s friend) it read well to me. Robert is slowly dragged out of his shell and into the full light of his feelings. I liked that aspect a lot.

Narrator: Jaime Birch was a great narrator. I enjoyed listening very much and would listen to another by her.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: The Husband Hunt

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Review: Love is Blind by Lynsay Sands

bookreview

I just finished rereading Love Is Blind by Lynsay Sands today. It combines two of my favorite things to read in a romance novel. The hero is scarred and she is practically blind. Plus the sex is steamy. What more could one want?

Adrian Montfort, Earl of Mowbray, was scarred in battle against Napoleon. Raw and vivid, the scar proved indecent to display in polite society. Women swooned on sight! The women who did not cringe away in terror were nefarious and cruel. Before the night was over Adrian had packed and fled to his family’s seat in the country.

It is ten years later, after his father died, that his mother convinced him to return to London in search of a bride. Long suffering, Adrian complies and goes to London for the season. At the first ball, he explains to his cousin, Reginald, that the women are all the same, just younger, and proves it by referencing each maiden to one from the past.

Suddenly Reginald smiles and points to Lady Clarissa Cambray and dares Adrian to classify the chit as another girl from the past. She is clumsy, a terror to dance with, and vain, refusing to wear spectacles to help her see. Upset teacups, burned piffles, and alighting wigs on fire are her repertoire. Intrigued, Adrian finds himself drawn to her.

They hit it off right away with Clarissa’s frankness and cheerful retellings of all her woes since coming to London. But best of all in Adrian’s mind is that she can not see him! No awful cringing, fainting, or ugly whispers to contend with, but he can’t leave her blind forever. A few days longer wouldn’t hurt, though, right? He just needed a little longer to make sure she loved him back.

One of the most memorable parts of the novel is when the stepmother tries to explain to Clarissa about the marriage bed. Lydia, the stepmother, has either not had a singular good experience with sex or used this opportunity to spread fear of the act to her stepdaughter maliciously. It dealt with a key and a lock and more specifically the lock was a cherry pie and the key was a truncheon that was slammed violently into the pie. The fallout of this explanation scares the hell out of Clarissa and she immediately becomes terrified to complete the act with Adrian. Their wedding night is hilarious… poor Adrian was most confused.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Love Is Blind

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Review: The Countess by Lynsay Sands

It’s been years since I’ve picked up such a delicious romance featuring the twin theme and mistaken identity. It is right up there with my personal favorite, Thursday’s Child by Sandra Brown (don’t trust those Amazon reviews… lol).

The evil twin’s devilry:

The bad twin, George Radnor, believed he had successfully murdered his twin and for the last year has been impersonating Richard. In that year he wed his wife Christiana at first pretending to be a charming suitor when in reality he was an ogre of the worst sort. Luckily the servants are all on her side.

On the day this story starts, the man known as Dicky dies.

Christiana can’t quite believe she’s free of the miserable tyrant, but she can’t breathe just yet. First she and her sisters have to hide the body, because if anybody knew they would have to go into mourning and they can’t do that without risking scandal from their father’s gambling debts. Suzette is determined to web a fortune hunter of her choosing to pull the family from the brink of ruin.

Will the real Richard Radnor please stand up?

On the same night of her release from the prison of her marriage, who should walk into the ball but her quite dead husband Dicky! Ill at ease and feeling frantic, Christiana doesn’t know what to do, but then what can she do but follow her husband’s lead as he whisks her onto the dance floor?

Inherited wife or scandalous divorce?

Richard must make a tough decision. Will he take his brother’s wife as his own? After all she thought she married him, the true earl. Or does he divorce her so he’s not trapped in an unwanted marriage? His decision is based on one question only – did Christiana murder his brother?

Can true love win the day before… the time ice runs out?

Recommended to those who like or love twins, mistaken identity, and a delicious comedy of manners.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Countess

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Reader Highlight with Mailani

Keira: What are your top 5 favorite romance books and what would you name them if you could retitle them?

Mailani:

a) The Wedding by Julie Garwood… aka Peaking up Kilts
b) Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie… aka Stuck Between a Man and Open Toed
Butterfly Heels
c) Rebel by Heather Graham… aka Swamp Thingy’s Bride
d) What She Wants by Lynsay Sands… aka Please Cover your Crotch Before She…
e) Short Straw Bride by Dallas Schulze… aka Small Woman, Big Hoes

Keira: You’re ship is sinking and you’re only chance for survival is to reach an iceberg in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. Which romantic hero would you pick to help you get there?

Mailani: Uncus from The Last of the Mohicans! His hotness will heat the water alone.

Keira: If you’re stuck on that iceberg for a year and could only read one type of romance which subgenre would you pick and why? Your choices are: civil war romance, regency romance, or romantic suspense.

Mailani: Romantic Suspense. Who doesn’t want to slide on ice beatboxing Mario’s Castle music while role-playing your current romantic suspense novel?

Keira: Who are your top 3 favorite romance heroes and why do you love them?

Mailani: I’m a side character lover, there is something about the mystery of the untold characters that just enlighten my imagination. Antonio from The Scarletti Curse by Christine Feehan. Tall, dark, handsome… what else can I say? lol He’s charming, dark and his political affiliations make him powerful, yet he’s gentle and in touch with nature. He’s the epitome of perfect. Uncus from The Last of the Mohicans: charming, sweet-tempered, one with nature, cultural, practices a great deal of control/patients, and a hot bod! Simon Stein from In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner. Simon isn’t defined physically as a hunk, but his demeanor, funny quirks, nerdisms, and his strong, take charge nature turn him into a very romantic hero, whom breaks the mold.

Keira: What do you look for in a heroine? Do you like her to be similar to you, or do you want someone completely different?

Mailani: Yes, I do like heroines to be similar to me, maybe not physically but personality-wise, yes. It makes it easier for me to lose myself in the story and float out their in la-la land.

Keira Looking at your bookcases – what author dominates the shelves? Would you say this author is your favorite and why?

Mailani: Julie Garwood seems to grow on my shelf. I don’t know if her editor has stayed the same over the years, or if she’s just spanks the dictionary on a regular basis, but her quality of writing soothes the grammar hound in me. Her characters are well-rounded and her plots are simple. Which makes a great trap for my wandering mind, allowing me to alter the circumstances in my head and paint my own stories about the characters on a regular basis.

Keira: What/Who is your go to for a solid comfort read?

Mailani: Julie Garwood. Need I say more?

Keira: How do you define love?

Mailani: I’ve always thought as love as a simple thing. Why makes something more complicated than necessary. Love is commitment, passion and honesty. Though the word passion evokes the erotic feel of red velvet and black silk. Passion can be complex emotion. Passion for a craft or person can be wholesome and sweet, just as easily as it can turn to the wicked.

Keira: Is there anything else you’d like to share or discuss?

Mailani: Yes, I’d like to talk about graphic novels, and no it’s not one of those things you pick up in a black sleeve at 7-11! I’m talking about manga or comics. I recently started reading Naruto, and it’s changed my perception of the craft completely. I originally believed manga to be a quick story fix, with a two-bit plot. Boy was I wrong. This story actually has an intricate plot, strong developed characters, romance, action, sorrow, and all those other complex emotions that cultivate from social interactions. Let’s face it, isn’t that why we read our romance novels: to absorb those social realisms, that allow us to feel happy, healthy and human.

Reader Highlight with Zarabeth

Keira: What was the first romance novel you ever read? Was it the one that got you hooked on reading them?

Zarabeth: The first romance novel that I ever read was Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. It was actually a romantic suspense. It was absolutely not the one that got me interested in romance. It was recommended to me by my art teacher in high school. I liked the romance part but hated the mystery aspect. I tried reading a bunch of the big name romance authors and I couldn’t get into them. I got hooked when I bought a complete cookie cutter type romance from the airport for something to read. It was cheap (not a category) and I fell in love. Completely random.

Keira: What are your top 3 favorite Highlander romances and what would you rename them if you could?

Zarabeth:

Keira: What’s your stance on Time Travel romances? Would you prefer to have a Medieval or Highlander hunk come to the present or go back in time to meet him?

Zarabeth: Go back in time to meet him. I don’t think the Highlander hunk would do well in today’s setting. What makes them Highlander hunks aren’t valued in today’s society, which might be the problem with society but let’s not go there.

Keira: What is your favorite and/or least favorite plot, character type, or literary device?

Zarabeth: I like spinsters and the plots that usually accompany them. Those heroines are far more interesting to me. They generally know who they are and what they care about and they don’t annoy me. My least favorite plots are the ones where the hero gets tricked into marriage by matchmaking mommas even though they usually end up working out. It’s just a bad premise all in all because why on earth would a real guy fall for that and how could it really work out well in the long run? I just picture future fights ending with him saying something like, “Well I never wanted to marry you – you tricked me!”

Keira: How do you define love?

Zarabeth: I’m not sure I can. In my life, love is friendship, respect, and passion all rolled into one and increased by many orders of magnitude. He is my best friend, the person I trust without doubt, a person I greatly admire, and someone I simply can’t get enough of ever. I also have to know that it is mutual.

Sometimes in our books our hero/heroine is so certain that they are in love with the other after just a few minutes of interaction, but for one reason or another assumes that the attraction is not mutual. Other plots have our hero/heroine absolutely refuse to admit that they are in love until some near-death situation. This leads to internal angst and lots of tension.

Both of these settings actually really upset me because I do not believe love should be a difficult and distressing part of life.  I believe it is a blessing and always should be.

Keira: You’re lost wandering around a Scottish moor all by yourself when you stumble upon a fairy willing to grant you one hero to accompany you and help you get safely home. She also promises that if you fall in love by the time you get home he’ll be yours forever. Which hero do you pick and why?

Zarabeth: Simon from Some Like It Wicked.

He is the kind of man who could never be a nincompoop. He is a strong, confident (though sometimes overly so), intelligent man. He has a solid history of being able to take care of himself and the people around him (especially his heroine).  He is passionate and serious about every opinion he has. I very much admire his conviction and would find every conversation ultimately stimulating and satisfying for the rest of our lives.

Keira: What do you look for in a heroine? Do you like her to be similar to you, or do you want someone completely different?

Zarabeth: I want to be able to follow her thought process and usually that means she needs to be similar to me, but a great author can make any heroine relatable.

Keira: When it comes to sex scenes in romances what are some of your turn ons/offs?

Zarabeth: I guess I’m a little bit of a prude when it comes to the sex scenes. I really don’t want to read those “dirty words” which I’m sure you can fill in. My other turn offs are when the hero so convinced of his charm and sexual appeal he manipulates the heroine into sexual situations. That doesn’t seem to work in real life. Major turn ons include: when the heroine is certain of what she wants and goes and gets it, that’s pretty sexy and passion. Flat out passion and good sexual tension! Love.

Keira: Describe the perfect hero in 10 words or less:

Zarabeth: Confident but humble, burdened, honorable (eventually), dark, masculine (no dandies).

Keira: Is there anything else you’d like to share or discuss?

Zarabeth:  Give me solid plots! I know this is an escapism genre but I still want intelligence from my authors.

Reader Highlight- Who’s the Mystery Reader?

Mystery Reader

We have a mystery reader with us today, hi there! Welcome to Love Romance Passion. Whoosh! Zoom! Uh! I’m sorry; our reader is flying around the room. Let’s just begin without her, for now. This reader throws potion bottles when entering contests, and flies around on a besom while blogging. Some authors refer to her as WW.

She drinks way too much coffee, and wonders why Folgers hasn’t officially named her the largest consumer in the world. The library is her second home, her haven if you will. This woman considers herself an (EOR) Equal Opportunity Reader. Nothing “offends” her. In fact, certain subject matter which cause hypertensive meds to work triple-time in certain individuals, simply have no effect on her sensibilities.

Our reader has a bookshelf which contains classics, young adults, historicals, regency, eroticas, paranormals, time travels, romantic suspense, and a few others crushed beneath the above aforementioned. Her categories are hidden strategically in key areas of her SUV.

This blogger/reader/reviewer may remind you of Batman’s character Two-Face. When flipping a coin to tales, she decides to read paranormal romance. Here are just a few of her favorite paranormal romance authors: Michele Hauf, Emma Holly, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lynsay Sands, Gena Showalter, and Donna Lea Simpson.

If fate decrees the coin should land on heads, this mystery reader will read romantic suspense. Some of her favorite romantic suspense authors are: Nina Bruhns, P.C.Cast, Delores Fossen, Susan Kearney, Sheryl Lynn, Leigh Riker, and Darlene Scalera.

This lady loves Nancy Drew PC games, James Bond movies, and Mystery Dinner shows.

Keira hears the radio blaring from our reader’s flying besom. Here’s an announcement from Ms. Unknown.

Hi, LRP readers! For my fellow sleuths out there, look for these upcoming 2010 releases. They’re sure to satisfy your romantic suspense sweet tooths, and give you a romance to boot. Criminal Deception by Marilyn Pappano, Dead Again and Dead Double by Tracy Cooper-Posey, and Black Magic by Cherry Adair.

Cherry Adair deserves special mention, you should really see this author’s website. It is the “best” website ever for suspense fans. I really feel like an agent when I visit. http://tflac.com/

Keira, I love visiting your blog site! There’s so much to see and read. Sorry I missed most of my own reader highlight, but you don’t have any parking for witch brooms. I did want to mention, that I consider myself to be a paranormal suspense witch…er, queen, sorry.

Any guesses, as to who our mystery person is? Scroll down to find out.

Lower.

No, sorry, just a little lower.

Answer: Susan S., a.k.a. Witchy Woman, and our very own Paranormal/Suspense Queen!

Get Into Bed With Lynsay Sands (Author Interview)

authorinterview

I can’t think of a better way to start the weekend off than with an author interview with romance writer Lynsay Sands. I got the opportunity to pose a series of questions about her writing and tips and advice for new writers. Her responses are a joy to read! Thank you again, Lynsay for interviewing with us, and now on with the interview!

LRP: So first question, what do you enjoy doing besides writing?

Lynsay: Walking and nature. Luckily the two things go together.

LRP: You like to write paranormal romance on top of historical. What do you think is the appeal of vampires?

Lynsay: Actually, I just like to write, period. I don’t prefer any genre. I have written medieval, regency, vampires and shape shifters. I’ve also written contemps and will do so again. I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at horror too, although I don’t think I write dark enough. My horror would probably be black comedy rather than strict horror.

As for the appeal of vampires, I can’t really answer that, that’s not what it’s about for me. With the Argeneaus it was the family and the situations that appealed to me. The vampire stuff was just handy as a problem of sorts, something that was both a blessing and a little bit of not-so-much-a-blessing at the same time. These are people who just happen to be vampires. They still have the same issues everyone else does.

LRP: How do you decide on character names and book titles?

Lynsay: That is the hardest and most important part for me. The names usually have a lot to do with their character for me and when I say I struggle at the beginning of writing a book, the name is part of what I’m struggling with. I can change the name several times until I find the character and the name that suits them.

As for book titles . . . I suck at those and my editor is always changing them. The Accidental Vampire is one of the few they didn’t change.

LRP: What is your advice to would-be authors?

Lynsay: Write what you enjoy and do it for your own pleasure. Do not go into writing for the money, or even thinking you’ll make any. Most writers don’t make much money. I’ve been lucky of late and can work at only this, but most writers have to continue to work a day job throughout their career. And this is HARD work. Believe me. At least it is for me. I work long hours. It isn’t just the writing you have to do. You come into it thinking it will just be writing your stories, but there is the writing of the book, the corrections, the proofs, the fan letters, the promotional stuff they want you to do, etc. etc.

And then it isn’t like accounting or engineering where if you get it right, it’s just right across the board. Writing is more subjective and a story is NEVER just right. You can’t please everyone and there is ALWAYS going to be someone who hates your story and seems to delight in telling you that. Even those who like them overall, may criticize the pants off you for something. That is life as a writer. You either develop a thick skin quickly, or . . . So make sure you love it if you’re going to give it a go.

LRP: How long does it take you to write a novel on average? What work took the shortest amount of time and what book gave you the most trouble?

Lynsay: Usually a month for the first round, I tend to write them straight through. The fastest I’ve ever written one was two weeks. That was my first book, The Deed. The one that gave me the most trouble was A Quick Bite. It was my first book for a new publisher and I was a bit anxious (read panicking like CRAZY) so I really struggled with it.

LRP: How do you handle writer’s block? (Or better still… coffee or tea?)

Lynsay: Tea . . . and sometimes coffee. As for writer’s block, moving work to a coffee shop and writing there by hand in a notebook usually loosens things up.

LRP: What is your favorite aspect of writing?

Lynsay: Finishing it. LOL. That’s not really true, though sometimes it is a relief to print them up and send them out. There are several aspects of writing that are great. Working from home is one. My commute is a short walk to the sunroom and I can go there in pjs or a toga if I like (grin).

Making my own hours is nice too, although with me, I tend to not know when to stop, I just work around the clock which isn’t good. But I guess the stories themselves are my real favorite part. I am experiencing them as I write them. It’s kind of like reading them but it takes longer and involves more work (grin). However, I laugh, or smile my way through the stories, and sniffle at the occasional touching scenes too and for me, that’s probably the best part. I get to enjoy the stories as I write them, and I write exactly what I enjoy. I’m just lucky others seem to enjoy them too.

LRP: What do you think makes a good bedroom scene?

Lynsay: I’m not sure. I’ve been told I write them well, but I’m not sure that’s true and if so why it is. I have a friend who has a real struggle with the sex scenes. I think she thinks too much. She seems to think people will think it’s her sex life she’s writing about, so she gets all self-conscious and is very stiff when writing them. I don’t get caught up in that. For me the beginning of the book is where I struggle. I can often write the first chapter or two twenty or more times. I’ve come to realize that what’s happening then is I’m getting to know my characters. Once I have a handle on them (how they think, feel, react, etc) the stories usually flow after that and become a film in my head that I’m just typing up as quickly as I can, sex scenes and all. That gives me a certain amount of distance from it all I guess and less self-consciousness than others might suffer.

LRP: What do you hope your readers will gain from your books?

Lynsay: I hope they get an escape from their everyday lives, a chance to relax and hopefully smile if not laugh. I don’t aspire to write something that makes them stop and think or changes their views on anything, I just think life is tough and we all need a break from it and I hope my books give readers the opportunity to do that

LRP: Thank you again Lynsay, for taking the time to answer all my questions.

:)

Lynsay is really friendly and welcomes questions. Be sure to visit her website @ http://www.lynsaysands.net/.

Lynsay also writes a blog, which you can visit @ http://lynsaysands.spaces.live.com/.

Don’t miss out on her upcoming vampire novel this fall: The Rogue Hunter (Argeneau Vampires, Book 10).

What’s your favorite book by Lynsay Sands?