Friday, March 29, 2013

Unwrapping: LORD OF TEMPTATION by Lorraine Heath - a Guest Review by Stephanie Tracy

My darling friend, Stephanie Tracy of THE TUDOR ENTHUSIAST asked me the other day if I'd ever read any books by Lorraine Heath. My response was yes, in fact, I've got a print copy of LORD OF TEMPTATION in my bookshelf waiting patiently to be read. I then asked if she enjoyed Ms. Heath's books. She surely does. So I asked her if she'd like to review one for us. Guess which one she chose?

Stephanie is a delightful young lady who blogs about fascinating items pertaining to the Tudors. She loves the history, the Tudor family, and THE TUDORS television series. She recently spent time at Oxford - yes, that Oxford in England - studying and was very sad to leave there but has high hopes of returning one day. If you'd like to learn more things about the Tudors than you ever thought were known, please feel free to stop by Stephanie's beautiful website and browse a bit. You'll be as enchanted as I am with the amount of information you'll find there. I'm sure she'd love to have you follow her on Facebook and Twitter as well. Stephanie is a wonderful, intelligent, young woman with a fresh outlook on everything and a wonderful friend. I hope you enjoy her review of LORD OF TEMPTATION by Lorraine Heath - it's exceptional.

Stephanie owns her copy of LORD OF TEMPTATION by Lorraine Heath, and is presenting an honest and unscripted review without compensation.

Blurb for LORD OF TEMPTATION:

Three young heirs, imprisoned by an unscrupulous uncle, escaped--to the sea, to the streets, to faraway battle--awaiting the day when they would return to reclaim their birthright.

Once upon a time, he was Lord Tristan Easton--now he is Crimson Jack, a notorious privateer beholden to none, whose only mistress is the sea. But all that will change when exquisite Lady Anne Hayworth hires his protection on a trip into danger and seduction. . .

Desperation brought Anne to the bronzed, blue-eyed buccaneer. But after the Captain demands a kiss as his payment, desire will keep her at his side. She has never known temptation like this--but to protect her heart, she knows she must leave him behind. Yet Tristan cannot easily forget the beauty--and when they meet again in a London ballroom, he vows he won't lose her a second time, as fiery passion reignited takes them into uncharted waters that could lead the second lost lord home. . .


                                                *                     *                      *                      *                     *


First of all, I’d like to say that I have never read a novel by Lorraine Heath that I didn’t absolutely love. She was actually the author of the first romance novel I ever read, so she holds a very special place in my heart!
 
LORD OF TEMPTATION is no exception to my love for Heath’s books. This book was, in a word, delicious. I could probably gush about it for hours, but I’ll try to keep it under control for this review. Seriously, if you haven’t bought it yet, do it now. Here’s why…
 
This story follows Lady Anne Hayworth, a proper English noblewoman who has been brought up to follow the rules of society, make a good marriage to a wealthy lord, and live the quiet, privileged life that other women are accustomed to. This all seems like a fine idea to Anne, until her beloved fiancé, Walter, dies while fighting abroad. She can’t move on – though her father and brothers are trying to force her into another season so that she can snag a new fiancé. Anne needs to put the ghost of her past away before she can do that, so she makes secret arrangements to visit Walter’s grave.
 
Cue the sexy, rugged, and roguish Captain Crimson Jack – a lord in disguise, he loves and lives for the sea, and he is the person Anne turns to in her hour of need. However, it’s not only a trip with her across the English Channel that Crimson Jack is after. Immediately, he is beguiled by the beautiful lady, and he wants her more than he has ever wanted another woman. Anne also cannot deny her fascination with the captain, and she soon finds herself caught up in a very improper affair with the most unlikely of love interests.
 
This story continues so much farther than the sea, though. Although that is where the romance starts (and I’m a sucker for romances on a ship with a sexy privateer), the complications of their dangerous affair spill over into Anne’s family life, and they certainly make matters of her upcoming betrothal to Lord Chetwyn interesting.
 
I absolutely ADORED the characterization in this novel. As if the plot isn’t fascinating enough, the characters really made this a novel I won’t soon forget. Captain Jack Crimson (who is really Lord Tristan Easton in disguise) is the ultimate bad boy – scarred from his difficult past, attached to the wild, unpredictable life at sea, he is rugged, mysterious, and as untamed as the waters he sails on. Lady Anne is also a great female lead. She is no damsel in distress – she is strong-willed, hardheaded, and unafraid of a little breaking of the rules to get what she wants. She’s feisty, and that’s something that I appreciate in a historical romance. These characters just mesh so well. You can practically feel the heat radiating off the pages – their relationship is hot.
 
There is literally nothing that I didn’t like about this novel. Seriously, I wouldn’t change a thing. There was just the right amount of passion and steam, while maintaining the sweet, romantic charm that means so much in a romance novel. The storyline was compelling enough to avoid being too predictable, and the ending left me very satisfied and happy for the characters.
 
I would recommend LORD OF TEMPTATION to absolutely EVERY romance novel enthusiast out there! If you love roguish, sexy bad boys, and strong, independent ladies, this book won’t let you down. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
 
With that, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the novel, and one of the best examples of Lorraine Heath’s extraordinarily romantic style.

“The sea is his home…and what sort of life would that be for a lady?”
“If it includes love, I should think it would be a very wonderful life, indeed.”
 
- Lorraine Heath, LORD OF TEMPTATION
 
Thank you for a truly wonderful review, Stephanie!  Happy Reading Everyone!
 
LORD OF TEMPTATION, a Lost Lords of Pembrook novel by Lorraine Heath, Avon Romance, available now in print and ebook formats.

                                                                                              

And the Kindle Copy of LOVE ON THE LINE by Kimberly Kincaid goes to ...



THANK YOU EVERYONE
for taking the time to visit
with the lovely
Kimberly Kincaid
and
a great big thank you
to Kimberly
for a such a wonderful post.
You're welcome back here any time,
perhaps when Jason makes his debut! 

I hope you enjoyed this
wonderful look into the
mind of an author and how
she deals with writer's block and
where she gets inspiration.

If you haven't read LOVE ON THE LINE
by Kimberly Kincaid yet,
don't worry, it's going to get even easier
if you weren't the one to win a
Kindle copy here at Unwrapping Romance.

Whenever, I do a giveaway, I always wish
I could give each person who enters a copy.
Well, in a manner, this time I
can kind of do just that.

 As promised, one lucky commenter is
going to win a Kindle copy of
LOVE ON THE LINE by Kimberly Kincaid.

So without further ado,
the winner is: 


 

CHRISBAILS
 


 Congrats to Christine, she has been notified by email
and she will be receiving her copy of this
fabulous, deliciously sexy novella by the amazing
debut author, Kimberly Kincaid

BUT ...

The rest of you are also able to get a copy absolutely
FREE for a limited time through Amazon,
starting today, Friday, March 29th,
so feel free to click on the link below (cover)
and get your prize too!
 
 Christine, please check your SPAM folder so you don't miss the message.

Congratulations, Christine and thank you
to everyone who visited and played.

Happy Reading Everyone!

               

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Special Post: COVER REVEAL of Jaye Shields' THE SEX DEMON TRILOGY in print!


IS THIS FABULOUS, OR WHAT?

The Sex Demon Trilogy by Jaye Shields is coming in print. All three stories - CONFESSIONS OF A SEX DEMON, CLAIMING OF A SEX DEMON, and ADDICTIONS OF A SEX DEMON will be all together in one anthology.

If you're not acquainted yet with this fabulous paranormal/fantasy romance series then you're going to want to be, and what better way, than to have all three under one cover and a beautiful cover to boot. Feel free to click on any or all titles to go to my reviews of all these amazing stories.

Also, in case you didn't notice, Unwrapping Romance - and my dear friend, Lisa, at A Tasty Read - have quotes from our reviews prominently displayed on the back of this beautiful cover. Check it out - left side, half way down the cover. Squeeee!

*** THE SEX DEMON TRILOGY ***
all three stories are currently available separately in ebook formats

Confessions of a Sex Demon
Zahra proves that sex demons do it better as she goes from captive to captivator.

Sex Demon Zahra Aniron is a closet romantic. Too bad she spends her time having hot, kinky sex with paying strangers. But she needs the money to pay off her sister's debt to wizard thugs. There could be worse things than getting paid for pleasure, especially since a sex demon needs climax to survive.
As a blacksmith, Lennox Aegros puts his fury to good use pounding steel into swords. When he arrives at a new town, his real cause for being there isn't to sell weaponry, it's for revenge. When he finds the succubus he's been searching for, her beauty means he can mix business with pleasure. But the joke's on Lennox, because as he succeeds in torturing his victim by repeatedly bringing her to the brink of orgasm and then denying her the release that she so desperately needs, he realizes that Zahra's slow demise means the breaking of a heart he didn't think he had.

Content Warning: strong language, graphic sex, light BDSM scenes

Buy Links
Beachwalk Press / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

 
Claiming of a Sex Demon

It's not easy for a sex demon to find a wife, and it's even harder when the perfect woman is already taken.
Emmerie Winter has only been married a few months, but depression has made her a fragile stranger in the arms of her husband. She knows she should love him, but she doesn't, and no matter how hard she tries, she can't convince her heart otherwise.

When a sex demon with a boyish grin and a sinful body arrives in town, Emmerie's world is turned upside down. His intense passion for life sends her depression into hiding, but her feelings for the sinful male could get her in deep trouble.
A sex demon needs climax to survive, but that's never been a problem for Reza Aniron as women seem to be unable to resist his charms…all except for one, a timid, blonde angel who treats him with complete indifference. But in her eyes he can see a fire that's just waiting to be released. And he always did love a challenge.

Content Warning: strong language, extramarital relations, and graphic erotic situations

Buy Links:
Beachwalk Press / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

 
Addictions of a Sex Demon

Sephina is about to trade one addiction for another—and his name is Axel.
Sephina Antara has gotten into a lot of trouble as a sex demon with a drug addiction. Moving to a new village was supposed to help her get clean. But when she relapses, it comes with a side of hot dragon man.

Axel Stavros may be a drug dealer, but he's also the town healer. Half-human, half-dragon, his blood can cure just about anything, but it has some erotic side effects for its user, as the new beauty in town is about to find out…

Content Warning: graphic language, hot foreplay, and even hotter sex, including light bondage and some girl-on-girl action.

Buy Links:
Beachwalk Press / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

 
Author Info

Jaye Shields holds a degree in Anthropology from San Francisco State University with an emphasis in archaeology. Her previous claims to fame include being a bass player for a grunge band called the Hymens, being mistaken for Britney Spears while in Tokyo, and commercial model. She insists the commercial still counts even though her lines were cut.

Born and raised in Seattle, she now lives in the realm of fog, skyscrapers, and redwood trees. Happy to call San Francisco home, she spends her time writing sensual paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Thanks to her grandmother, she's been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. Jaye sprinkles her love of history, mythology, and the occult into flaming hot reads.

Learn more about Jaye Shields and her fabulous books at her website
Feel free to follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wacky Wednesday Guest Post - THE MUSE: WHERE DO THOSE IDEAS COME FROM, ANYWAY? by Kimberly Kincaid, debut author of LOVE ON THE LINE

On Monday, I reviewed a debut novella by a talented new romance author - LOVE ON THE LINE by Kimberly Kincaid. As much as I love reading debuts, I’m equally amazed when a debut is a novella, and a novella that is as wonderful and character-driven as this one. As someone who has trouble squashing my stories into a smaller word count, I am in awe of such talent.

Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she's not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as "The Pleather Bomber", she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a 2011 RWA Golden Heart® finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. She is thrilled to have collaborated on a Christmas anthology with Donna Kauffman and Kate Angell, titled THE SUGAR COOKIE SWEETHEART SWAP, to kick off her Pine Mountain foodie series with Kensington this October. Her first full-length novel, TURN UP THE HEAT, will follow in February 2014. Kimberly resides in northern Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters. Visit her any time at her website, or come check her out on Facebook and Twitter. She's got some fab recipes, including  a yummy one at the end of LOVE ON THE LINE.

Kimberly has been kind enough to share with us where she gets her inspiration. After hearing hers, mine don't seem so odd. I'll share mine in a comment. I hope you will give Kimberly Kincaid a warm, Unwrapping Romance, welcome. Stick around after, because I’ve got a giveaway at the end of this post. It is Wacky Wednesday, after all.
Kimberly, it’s all yours.

Greetings, my friends,

THE MUSE: WHERE DO THOSE IDEAS COME FROM, ANYWAY?
When I tell people I write romantic fiction, many of them picture me sitting in my neat and cozy office, a cup of tea at the ready as I eagerly type out page after page of my latest work-in-progress. I hate to break the illusion, but writing is a far messier, far more chaotic prospect than all that! And when writer’s block hits? It’s like going from zero to crazy in about four seconds flat. But when The Block hits (and it hits every. single. writer out there), the backup plan can be nearly as much fun as the writing itself.

First, I Step Away From the Keyboard. Yes, I know this sounds counter-intuitive. I’m supposed to be writing! But that blank screen can give a writer’s mind the same idea sometimes (think monkey see, monkey do!) I am incredibly inspired by things found off the page, especially TV shows and real-life interactions. Sometimes I’ll go to Starbucks and gently eavesdrop on conversations (I don’t go all superspy though! That wouldn’t be polite!), or maybe I’ll watch an episode or two of my favorite show on the DVR. Taking a walk will even kickstart my brain sometimes. After all, minds at rest stay at rest. Minds in motion write novels!

I Read. Then I Read Some More. Books by others aren’t just a source of oh-yes in the down-time department for me. They can be an incredibly valuable resource in getting my creative juices going. When I was brainstorming ideas for my latest novella, I was really writer’s blocked. Know what got me writing? A fashion layout in Cosmopolitan magazine! A mere month after I flipped that glossy page, Love On The Line was done. And all it took was a brain-break to read.

I Talk it Out. Some of my most inspired ideas have come from conversations that started with the phrase, “I need an idea for a book!” I’m fortunate enough to have five incredible critique partners, all of whom have said this, and heard me say it, at some point or another. Noodling things out with another person can flesh out ideas, and often offers up surprises as well as sparks. Sometimes I have no idea my hero had a dark past or my heroine wanted to open up her own cooking school until I hash out threads of ideas with my CPs. And once I figure it out, I’m off to the races.

Let’s Get Visual, Visual! Like many people out there, I am a very visual creature. I write foodie romance, and so the grocery store is a hotbed of inspiration for me (I’m reminded of the time I wrote half a scene in the middle of Costco because the banana bunches sparked a whopper of a story idea. Always keep a pen and notebook in your bag, people!) But visual inspiration can come from anywhere. Magazine pictures, people in their cars at stoplights, stories on the news, all of these things have the potential to get a writer’s brain un-blocked.

So tell me, friends! If you’re a fellow writer, what methods do you employ to banish The Block? What works best for your style? And how do you keep those ideas flowing? If you’re a reader, what fresh ideas can you give to those of us in the chair? How do you get motivated in your jobs? In your lives? And what do you want to see in our stories to send us in the right direction?
***Kimberly, thank you so very much for a wonderful post and such fabulous ideas on how to inspire ourselves. Who would ever think that bananas would be inspiring? Then again, there is something about the shape. Well, my dear readers, Kimberly has provided the means, and asked you the questions.

Writers and Readers, how do you get unblocked? How do get motivated in your jobs, and in your lives?  What fresh ideas would you like to see in your favorite authors' stories? 
GIVEAWAY:   One Lucky commenter will win a Kindle copy of LOVE ON THE LINE by Kimberly Kincaid, so if you’ve got a Kindle or Kindle app, please leave a comment and valid email address for a chance to read this fabulous, sizzling contemporary romance.
GIVEAWAY PRIZE: LOVE ON THE LINE by Kimberly Kincaid
Blurb for LOVE ON THE LINE:
Violet Morgan puts the personal in personal chef, catering to clients who want the full cooking experience rather than a culinary drop-and-dash. But when her brother’s police detective partner is injured in the line of duty and needs help during recovery, she makes an exception. Violet lost her father to the job seven years ago, and worries for her brother’s safety every day. The last thing she wants is to get up-close with her brother’s career-cop partner…again.
For Noah Blackwell, being a detective isn’t just a lifestyle, it’s a legacy. So when he’s forced to take mandatory leave and deal with the trauma amnesia keeping him from identifying his shooter, it’s a literal case of adding insult to injury— and now he’s got to deal with an unwanted culinary caregiver on top of it. Never mind that he and Violet shared a steamy, secret kiss last New Year’s Eve. She rejects everything related to the job, and Noah’s not about to be distracted from recovering his memory and getting back to what he does best. No matter how pretty Violet is.
Despite their differences, Violet and Noah share a surprising bond in the kitchen that grows into something neither of them expect. But as Noah heals and their feelings for each other extend from the kitchen to the bedroom, Violet knows she must make an impossible choice. She may wear her heart on her sleeve when it comes to food, but can she risk it all to put love on the line?

EXCERPT FROM LOVE ON THE LINE by Kimberly Kincaid:
As soon as Noah got behind her, the smell of coconuts and warm sand filled his senses, delivering a crystal clear image to his brain. His heart slammed in his ribcage, and without thinking, he cupped Violet’s elbow and swung her around, so tight to his body that he felt her gasp as much as heard it.

“You were in my hospital room yesterday. Before I woke up.”

“I…I—”

But he barreled on, the memory as bright and vivid as if it had just happened a minute ago. “Your hair was braided, on your shoulders, and you were wearing a…a bracelet that sounded like wind chimes. You said the doctor was coming. It was you.”

The fan of her gold-tipped lashes fluttered wide, and the warm puff of her breath heated his cheek as she nodded. “I didn’t mean to intrude. I was looking for Jason, but I didn’t think you’d wake up.”

Noah shook his head to quell her apology. “It doesn’t matter,” he said, his resolve locking into place, and Violet went utterly still against him.

“It doesn’t?”

“No. You’re the first thing I’ve been able to remember since I got shot in the first place. In fact, you’re the only thing I can remember since I got shot.”
GIVEAWAY RULES:
***This Giveaway is OPEN TO EVERYONE with access to Kindle reading, international included. (void where prohibited)
 
***For VALID ENTRY, commenter must leave a VALID EMAIL ADDRESS. Remember the Magic Formula for Entry: 

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
BUT CHECK MY WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT
FOR A SPECIAL SHOT AT GETTING YOUR OWN COPY
OF  LOVE ON THE LINE BY KIMBERLY KINCAID.

***This Giveaway will run until 11:30PM EST, Thursday, March 28, 2013 at which time one lucky valid entry will be chosen by randomizer to win a Kindle digital copy of LOVE ON THE LINE by Kimberly Kincaid. The winner will be notified by email, and announced in a special Saturday post. Good Luck!
 
Happy Reading Everyone! 

LOVE ON THE LINE, a novella by Kimberly Kincaid, Curtis Brown Digital, available now in Kindle ebook format.

                                                                            

Monday, March 25, 2013

Unwrapping: Review of LOVE ON THE LINE, a novella by Kimberly Kincaid

Oh, how I do love debuts! I'm pleased to present to you a debut novella by Kimberly Kincaid, LOVE ON THE LINE. I had heard such good things about this novella, and was already getting to know Kimberly through our following of the group, Washington Loves Romance, so as soon as this novella released, I purchased it. It didn't matter that it was only available through Kindle because, thankfully, I have a Kindle app on my PC. I wasn't thrilled with having to sit at my computer to read it rather than the comfort of my sofa or bed, but I did and it was sooooo worth it!

***Copy purchased for my own personal reading and enjoyment.

Blurb for LOVE ON THE LINE:

Violet Morgan puts the personal in personal chef, catering to clients who want the full cooking experience rather than a culinary drop-and-dash. But when her brother’s police detective partner is injured in the line of duty and needs help during recovery, she makes an exception. Violet lost her father to the job seven years ago, and worries for her brother’s safety every day. The last thing she wants is to get up-close with her brother’s career-cop partner…again.

For Noah Blackwell, being a detective isn’t just a lifestyle, it’s a legacy. So when he’s forced to take mandatory leave and deal with the trauma amnesia keeping him from identifying his shooter, it’s a literal case of adding insult to injury— and now he’s got to deal with an unwanted culinary caregiver on top of it. Never mind that he and Violet shared a steamy, secret kiss last New Year’s Eve. She rejects everything related to the job, and Noah’s not about to be distracted from recovering his memory and getting back to what he does best. No matter how pretty Violet is.

Despite their differences, Violet and Noah share a surprising bond in the kitchen that grows into something neither of them expect. But as Noah heals and their feelings for each other extend from the kitchen to the bedroom, Violet knows she must make an impossible choice. She may wear her heart on her sleeve when it comes to food, but can she risk it all to put love on the line?


                                              *                    *                   *                  *                   *                   *

Violet Morgan is the daughter of a cop, the twin sister of a cop, and the last thing she wants to do is get involved with a cop. After losing her father to a criminal's gun, she worries every day that her brother, Jason, may suffer the same fate so when she gets a desperate call from the hospital that her brother is there, she fears the worst. When she arrives, she finds it's someone else who is on the brink of death - the man with whom she shared a stolen New Year's Eve kiss. A kiss that she's never forgotten.

Noah Blackwell is a cop. He comes from a family of cops and it's the job that defines him, but even he's not immune to the dangers of being a cop. After awakening in the hospital and being told that he's been shot, he's in a near panic because he can't remember anything leading up to the shooting. He prides himself on taking in every detail of a situation. Now he has nothing except a terrific pain in his arm, and the news that he is off the job until he's recovered both his physical health and his memory.

Hired by Noah's superiors to cook for the disabled cop, Violet isn't happy about the prospect of being in such close quarters with the man who rocked her world with one kiss, but she needs the work and the money. As a personal chef, she's used to cooking for folks in the privacy of their home, but never does she imagine her cooking will get as personal as it does with Noah.

LOVE ON THE LINE by Kimberly Kincaid is fast-paced, character-driven, filled with desire driven tension, and mouthwatering delicious kitchen events. Kimberly treats us to, not only a wonderful story and a passionate couple, but also takes our culinary imaginations on a trip through delicious meals that will have you thinking about raiding the icebox. She also tacks on one of the recipes featured as a meal that Violet and Noah cook together. I know I'm planning to try it out - minus the peas. I don't like peas any more than Noah does.

I highly recommend LOVE ON THE LINE by Kimberly Kincaid to anyone who loves a wonderful love story, delicious food, and a happily-ever-after that will make you sigh and have you wishing the story went on forever. I will eagerly be looking forward to reading more from this wonderful new author.

Happy Reading Everyone!

LOVE ON THE LINE, a novella by Kimberly Kincaid, Curtis Brown Digital, available now in ebook format for Kindle.

                                                                                          

Friday, March 22, 2013

Unwrapping: Review of SINS OF A RUTHLESS ROGUE by Anna Randol

I fell in love with Anna Randol's fascinating and intriguing spy twists on historical romance from the first time I read her debut novel, A SECRET IN HER KISS. When she began the Sinners Trio series, I knew I'd never pass up a chance to read her work, ever! Thankfully, I was able to read an ARC of the second book in the series, SINS OF A RUTHLESS ROGUE and I was not disappointed.

***eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.

Blurb for SINS OF A RUTHLESS ROGUE:

Revenge never tasted so sweet…

When Clayton Campbell shows up on her doorstep, Olivia Swift is stunned. For long ago, Clayton was the boy who stole her heart. He’s also the man her betrayal had sent to the gallows. A man she believed dead, now standing before her, looking leaner, harder, more powerful than ever, his haunted eyes filled with a lust she had never seen—for vengeance…
Or burned so hot…

He’s a Crown spy who once faced death and escaped unscathed. Yet Clayton Campbell cannot deny that the sight of Olivia rouses in him something more than a thirst for revenge. Or that the bold beauty would lure him once more into a dangerous game. Only this time, Clayton plans to be the victor—with the tempting Olivia in his bed as his prize. But once passion ignites between them, the hard-hearted agent will face his greatest battle yet—for his heart…


                                           *                   *                   *                   *                    *                    *

Clayton Campbell, aka Cipher, has returned to gain revenge on the man and girl who sent him to the gallows and prevent them from further undermining the British government through criminal dealings. Having spent the years since escaping the gallows as a spy and trained assassin for the crown, he uses the wealth he's accumulated to purchase the debts owed by Olivia Swift, her father, and the mill where he'd once clerked, fell in love, and then was betrayed by the woman to whom he gave his heart.

Olivia Swift believed the only man she ever loved to be dead, sentenced to hang because when he came to her with the accusation that her father was guilty of criminal acts against the Bank of England, she didn't believe him. She ran to her father, told him of Clayton's belief and in return, her father accused Clayton of the act and sent him to the gallows. Olivia has lived with the weight of that betrayal, and vowed to undo all the evil her father had perpetrated upon others, help the town, aid those less fortunate, and to change her selfish ways. She thought she was doing right by all until one day when Clayton returned from the dead and carried with him, the mill's debts and an order to repay them or he will shut down the mill. Frustrated, angry, bewildered and fearing that Clayton will learn of her deceptions to undo the wrongs of her father, Olivia attempts to concoct a plan to outwit Clayton and save the mill - only all goes astray when she's mistaken for the spy, La Petit, is kidnapped, and taken to Russia.

When Clayton discovers her missing, he has no choice but to follow even while believing her to be working with revolutionaries, only to rescue her and keep her at arms length until he can learn the truth. 

I love historicals, I love regency but sometimes, like with anything in life, change is good. Russia, how wonderful! In SINS OF A RUTHLESS ROGUE by Anna Randol, we travel to the cold, barren, frostbitten world of Russia in the time of Czar Alexander and the unrest that is already beginning to plague Russia's undercurrents. This action-filled, tense, dangerous, mystery-laden story is engrossing, captivating, and exceptionally endearing as Olivia attempts to convince Clayton of her innocence, all the while carrying the guilts of her past actions. Clayton fights his attraction and his, still very much alive, love for Olivia because he cannot trust her. The tension between these two is nearly as hard and cold as the deep frozen snow they find themselves trying to survive. Fortunately, my favorite member of the trio shows up to lighten the mood - Ian Maddox, aka Wraith. With his teasing, self-aware intelligence and sense of humor, Ian does more to bring the couple together than any argument, attempt at seduction, or confession. As a team, Clayton, Olivia, and Ian manage to thwart a revolution, make new friends, and save those who need saving and dispatch those who don't.

I highly recommend SINS OF A RUTHLESS ROGUE by Anna Randol if you're a true lover of historical romance filled with wonderful characters, fictional as well as factual, political intrigue, old world settings, and lots of action-filled scenes that bring out the best in spies, friends, and lovers. Anna Randol has definitely become a beautiful and exciting voice in the romance genre.

Happy Reading Everyone!

SINS OF A RUTHLESS ROGUE, a Sinners Trio novel by Anna Randol, Avon Romance, release date - March 26, 2013 in print and ebook formats.

                                                                                           

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Unwrapping: Review of AND THE MISS RAN AWAY WITH THE RAKE by Elizabeth Boyle

I hope you read ALONG CAME A DUKE, book one in the Rhymes With Love series by Elizabeth Boyle after I reviewed and recommended it last June because the next book in the series, AND THE MISS RAN AWAY WITH THE RAKE is coming March 26th. It might not be quite as excellent but it has its moments and it stars Lord Henry Seldon, the sensible uncle of the Duke from book one. Besides, Elizabeth always gets beautiful covers. 
 
***eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.

Blurb for AND THE MISS RAN AWAY WITH THE RAKE:

Daphne Dale never could have imagined that when she answered an advertisement in the newspaper that she would find true love. Now she has the opportunity to meet her unknown suitor, but it means traveling to Tabitha’s wedding, and into the heart of her family’s sworn enemies. Everyone knows the Seldons are terrible rakes and bounders, but Daphne will risk anything to gain the happiness she is certain is right around the corner.

Lord Henry Seldon is aghast at the latest addition to the house party guest list—one would think after the unforgettable scandal Daphne Dale caused at the duke’s engagement ball, she wouldn’t dare show her face at the duke’s wedding. But here she is, poking her nose where she shouldn’t and driving Henry mad . . . with an unforgettable passion that will turn enemies into lovers.


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I was eager for this story after being introduced to Henry and Daphne in ALONG CAME A DUKE. Lord Henry Seldon, being Preston's uncle, and Daphne, one of Tabitha's dearest friends. Henry had already become a favorite of mine and I knew that Preston just wasn't going to allow his uncle off the hook too easily.
 
Lord Henry Seldon is deluged with letters due to his younger nephew by 6 months putting an ad in the newspaper as a joke after a night of drinking. Henry is not happy. Unlike the rest of the Seldon family, Henry is not one to deliberately create scandal. He decides to destroy the letters, but one catches Henry’s attention and he decides to reply.

Daphne Dale has responded to an advertisement in the newspaper for a gentleman seeking a sensible woman to wed. Finding no humor in such a display of insincerity, she sends a letter to "Mr. Dishforth" to tell him that his jest is not at all funny and signs it "Miss Spooner." She did not expect to receive a reply. But before long, a heartfelt correspondence begins and thoughts of meeting begin to surface. 

When Henry and Daphne meet at Tabitha and Preston’s engagement ball, they both feel in instant attraction. Each is secretly hoping they've met their secret pen pal. Unfortunately, they quickly learn who the other is and the feud that exists between their families cause problems to surface. The Dales and the Seldons have never along well, ever, and the topic of the feud is not allowed in polite company. Henry and Daphne are forced to fight their attraction and each decides the other most certainly couldn't be the wonderful person with whom they've been corresponding. Of course, this only causes more trouble. Determined to meet their secret loves, Tabitha and Preston's wedding seems the most amicable place, or not.

Reading AND THE MISS RAN AWAY WITH THE RAKE by Elizabeth Boyle is like experiencing a regency edition of YOU'VE GOT MAIL, or even more so, the original story on which it was based, THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER - since they're corresponding by real letters and not email. Throw in some family feuding a la ROMEO AND JULIET and you have the premise of this delightful tale of pen pals falling in love, misguided information, stifled attractions, a feud that's never quite explained, and a certain amount of deception to round it out. The cast of characters brings humor and subterfuge to the story, although having met Henry previously, I found Daphne's belief that he is an unreformable rake at tad irritating at times. I adore Henry and found myself wanting to slap her and tell her to wake up, that he was nothing like she assumed. Eventually, Henry holds his own against the reputation of the Seldons and is just Henry, which is just fine by me. Daphne eventually realizes she's known the real Henry all along through his letters. 

 

What took a bit of enjoyment away from the antics of matchmaking family members, good friends, and boisterous family get togethers, was the rushed ending, and an epilogue that seems to have been tacked on as an afterthought. Apart from that, I found AND THE MISS RAN AWAY WITH THE RAKE by Elizabeth Boyle to be nearly as delightfully fun-filled, romantic, and humorous as ALONG CAME A DUKE but most certainly a wonderful installment of the Rhymes With Love series. I'm eagerly awaiting Harriet's and Roxley's story, for surely it must be coming next - I hope.

If you're a fan of this series, you won't want to miss AND THE MISS RAN AWAY WITH THE RAKE by Elizabeth Doyle. It's a light-hearted, romantic historical romance that certainly doesn't take itself too seriously.

AND THE MISS RAN AWAY WITH THE RAKE, a Rhymes With Love novel by Elizabeth Boyle, Avon Romance, release date - March 26, 2013 and will be available in print and ebook formats.

                                                                                          
 

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