Thursday, April 29, 2010

'Slightly Dangerous' by Mary Balogh -Review-

There's no 'slightly' dangerous about this book. It is a foregone conclusion that your heart will undoubtedly be in danger of falling 'head over ears' for this book! Truly a delightful book, with characters as engaging and pure as the people in your household. It's just a lovely story, and the cover is quiet adorable in its on right too!!

   If you are familiar with the Bedwyn series (or as commonly referred to, the 'Slightly Series'; because all the titles of the books have 'slightly' in them) , then you know of not only Wulfric Bedwyn, the cold as ice Duke of Bewcastle, but you know of his younger siblings. This is the final book of the 'Slightly Series' and is not only a send off of the beloved series and ties the last love-string (Wulf's), but provides a perfect opportunity to catch up with the other Bedwyn siblings!
   The book starts off quaint enough with the introduction of our heroine, Mrs. Christine Derrick. The full of laughter and sweet dispositioned Mrs.Derrick was widowed two years ago, and ever since (and really, quiet some time beforehand) she has never really strive to get back into the fold of 'proper' and 'demure' society. Some found her sunshiny personality and amiability to all walks of life a bit 'vulgar' and 'indiscreet'. Some of the ringleaders in this dislike were her own brother and sister in-law, Basil and Hermione Derrick (Viscount and Viscountess Elrick) and most cutting, her own late-husband. She was believed to be a flirt, and subsequently, her fidelity to her marriage was questioned by her inner-circle. The only one who stuck by her and believed her innocence was her cousin by marriage,Justin; who held a long tenure for her.
   After politely writing her refusal to attend a house party, which was being thrown by Lord and Lady Renable (her cousins by marriage as well, which meant Basil and Hermione would be there), she is then visited by Melanie, Lady Renable herself, and persuaded to come anyway. Melanie is in a bind because her brother invited an extra guest to the party; The Duke of Bedwyn; and therefore the numbers of female-to-male guest is uneven. Couldn't have that, could we?
   We are then given a glimpse into the laps of judgment that led the formidable Duke to accept an impromptu invitation to the house party. A universally known recluse, The Duke of Bedwyn recently laid to rest his mistress of 10 years and was feeling a bit melancholy. Loneliness prompted his decision to accept, but he immediately began to regret his rashness when a plainly-clad Christine Derrick spies his arrival from a top landing on the second floor and accidentally spills a bit of lemonade in his eye.
   Mortified, and a little more than mischievously tickled by the ordeal, Christine continues on to the primrose salon where all the other lady-guest were to arrive. She has a icy encounter with her sister in-law, Hermione, and is soon playing neutral spectator to the groups of young misses and aging English roses. She overhears and is subsequently pulled into a conversation about the presences of the Duke. As juvenile as these young misses could get, a few of the younger female guest start a wager that would benefit the first young lady in the group to snare the Dukes undivided attention for a whole hour. Christine is helplessly goaded and dragged into the wager, but has no intention of participating.
   Little does she know, her and the Dukes paths are about to become undeniably interlock with each other. A profitable opportunity presents its self as Wulfric bumps into Christine alone on the grounds and feels gentlemanly bound to escort her around for a quick stroll. They further convince themselves of pre-conceived notions of the other; that he is a no nonsense, stick in the mud, cold as ice, arrogant aristocrat and she is an irritatingly care-free, dismissive wild and fanciful female. Having already won the bet, but choosing to keep her win personal,  Christine resigns herself to the notion that the out of  the ordinary occurrence (her receiving the Duke's attentions) will most likely never happen again, and in any case she will remain invisible to him for the rest of the house party's duration.
   Fate wouldn't allow this, and after a mishap involving Christines' climbing a tree, tearing her dress, efficiently being rescued by Wulfric and a passionate kiss shared in the seclusion of a maze, Wulfric is ready to admit that he isn't as put off by Christine's person as he lets on and rashly (and quiet stupidly) offers her the 'distinct honor' of becoming his replacement mistress. Understandably aghast, Christine refuses, flees, and commits herself to the thorough disliking of the Duke of Bedwyn.
   On the last night of the house party (the ball), and presumably, the last time either of them will see each other, Wulfric asks Christine to dance. Her toes are mowed down by a male dancer with two left feet, and Wulfric efficiently swoops her up and takes her outside to compose herself. They end up waltzing under the stars and eventually 'ending' their acquaintanceship with some passionate lovemaking on the grassy bank before a lake.
   Once again, fate wouldn't allow our two to part just yet, and after a disastrous proposal of marriage 10 days later, they meet up again almost a year later at the wedding of Audrey Derrick (for whom the house party was in honor of). After a hilariously innocent incident at the Serpentine in Hyde Park, where Wulfric plays rescuer of Christine again, Wulfric returns a day later to see how she fared and ask her for a chance to prove that he isn't all that she believes him to be. He invites her and her family to his home, where his family will be congregated for the Easter holiday, and intends to prove her wrong there.
   There are some cute scenes here, revelations there, and indifferent family members are reunited and assured of the truth about Christine's nature. Suffice to say, Wulfric succeeds in his bid for Christine's heart and makes her his wife! Slowly but surly our man of ice begins to melt and warm ours hearts a thousand times over in the process!

My Favorite Part of the Book: Is hard to pick out. Although originally, it was the scene from the maze where they first kiss, the ending of the book was to satisfying not to receive this distinction. I do not want to give away all of the plot, but my favorite moment happens at the end (the last sentence to be precise). It is known throughout the book that Christine was barren (unable to conceive) through her 7 year marriage and was likely never to conceive at all. At the end, the epilogue centers around the christening of Christine and Wulfric's 'miracle baby' and ends with:"The marquess (courtesy title for Wulfric's heir) did not even know what brothers and sisters were. But he would...." period, end! (I thought I might cry!)

This book was a classic Mary Balogh for me and endearingly heart-warming. It was pretty well paced and packed a lot of action and emotion in the short time span in which the first half and second half of the book took place. There isn't much more to say about this one; it's golden!
-Read an excerpt here:'Slightly Dangerous' excerpt

Rating: 4 "Aww's"
*Also check out 'Slightly Married',  Wulfric's brother Aidan's Story, and a personal favorite! It is also the first book in the 'Slightly Series' !
read an excerpt here: 'Slightly Married' excerpt

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

'Bride Of A Wicked Scotsman' by Samantha James -Review-

Very Endearing! This is a good read!

   Staring off with a prologue dating back a few generations from the books setting time (which was more of a visual 'info drop' for me), we learn of the conception, protection and subsequent robbery of the 'Circle of Light'. It is known that 'The Black Scotsman' is responsible for the thievery. The ancestors of Lady Maura O'Donnell believed the abduction of the Circle, which has always brought them happiness and prosperity before, has now brought them pain, sufferings, and all around bad luck for being neglectful in their guardian duties to it. 
   In the abruptly emotional first chapter, we look in on the curse swiftly taking yet another O'Donnell life. Lady Maura's father becomes suddenly ill and dies; coincidentally on the same day he reads of 'The Black Scotsman's arrival in Ireland and a masquerade to be held in his honor. Alec McBride received the nickname from the hordes of admiring misses, but that doesn't change the fact that he is indeed a decedent of 'The Black Scotsman'. 
   After the funeral of the Earl, Maura's father, she and the family butler (a long-time friend, and more like family) head off to a town near the Baron who is hosting the masquerade in McBrides' honor. Maura promised her father on his death-bed that she would do whatever she could to bring the Circle back to their homeland and to their people. Through some deception she feels keenly regretful for, Maura manages an invite to the party; and also secures herself a room to retire in afterward, before she 'continues on her nomad's  traveling journey'(a convenient lie). 
   Serendipitously, Maura spots the man she seeks dressed up for the masquerade exactly like her; like a pirate. After some flirtatious banter about pirates looking for booty and dancing around fires naked, Maura's plan proceeds precisely as she hopes, and she is invited into Alec's room. 
   Some hot and steamy interludes almost detract Maura's plan, but she's able to salvage all with a little trickery and well placed blood smears on the sheets. (Sorry to be so ominousness, but you will enjoy the book far more if you find out the means and mechanics to the deceit on your own.).Also according to her plan; she awakens in his bed as they are discovered by the Baron and her 'Uncle Murdoch' (the butler). Honor dictates a marriage, and so there is a marriage.   
   Reluctant at first, having no memory of taking Maura's virginity or desire to wed her, Alec follows through and can't escape the nagging feeling that he has been 'had'. They continue on to his Scotland estate and Alec inwardly vows to make Maura pay for whatever deception she has played at. In between through searches of the estate, and doing everything in her power (save beating Alec over the head with a stick) to avoid her husbands advances, Maura find herself playing a very dangerous game with her loyalties and her heart,
   Eventually, Alec puts two and two together and realizes that her never slept with Maura (ever!), but the realization comes on the heels of an incendiary, playful 'romp' on the estate grounds which leads to kisses, which leads to deflowering. Calmly angry, Alec demands the truth and is part relieved, part angered beyond comprehension with the discovery that Maura's whole motivation for wedding him was over a 'Myth'. Also revealed is the fact that Maura purchased the services of a priest stripped of his privileges of office and thus their marriage is a false one.
   Tender feelings between the two were already present before Maura's deflowering, but like a dam, once such feelings are released and explored once, they can never be reigned in, and passion soon takes precedence over everything else.
   A scary moment at the bottom of a well, the discovery of the true whereabouts of the 'Circle of Life' and Alec's unnecessary jaunt back to Ireland to fetch his 'Irish' ends the book SMASHINGLY!
Rating: 3 1/2 "Aww's"
My Favorite Part of the Book: Is how Maura comes to care for Alec. More specifically, the realization that her search for the 'Circle of Light' has changed from being for the sake of her father to being for the sake of Alec (her love). The curse of the Circle effects not only the family that failed to protect it, but the family that stole it in the first place; and having recently witness the sudden quickness with which the curse consumed her father, and hearing how it took Alec's father, Maura is heartbroken with worry. This is a thought-line that if I were writing this book, I wouldn't think of at first or maybe not at all. It really resonates somewhere and helps translate for the reader the depth of Maura's affection for Alec!

Overall, I enjoyed the book; a lot more than I thought I would, seeing as to the fact that I don't really indulge in Scottish or Irish themed romances. The dialogue lacked in certain spots and lost me a time or two during the 'Hey look, your dressed like a pirate, I am dressed like a pirate' banter. It really began to pick up as you moved along in the story, and the epilogue is just DARLING! I enjoy Sam Jam a lot and have read a few of her titles so far; while this book doesn't disappoint necessarily, it left a little to be desired (in my opinion). The ending chapters of this book and the myriad of twists in the plot have solidified my full recommendation to all you book lovers out there! 
-An excerpt from the book can be found on SamJam's website:excerpt of 'Bride of a Wicked Scotsman'

*Also check out the companion books to the McBride Trilogy series! 'The Secret Passions of Simon Blackwell', Alec's sister Anne's Story!

*And (a personal favorite) 'The Seductions of an Unknown Lady', Alec's brother Aidan's Story!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My First Romance [novel]

My story. Your story. Our Story! Blogs bring people of a common interest, purpose or preference together in one place. The bond that connects me with all of you is my addiction to romance novels. But Julia Quinn didn't just knock on my door and say "Here, fall in love with my Bridgerton series." So how did it all come about? I know I have my story and I will attempt to paraphrase it below, but what about you? Have you ever thought about how you got to this point? Of hyperventilating in Barnes and Noble because they have a copy of 'Gentle Rouge' by Johanna Lindsey? Well we all have our beginning (and in the comments below, feel free to share yours). Here's mine.

   Before I get to romances I should really back track and talk about my relationships with books in general. I admit to a certain hate-loath relationship with books since pre-adolescents and on. Literally, I NEVER read a book for leisure, let alone a 23 chapter novel with words like 'beget' and 'beleaguer' and a score of other 'be-'s in them. T.V was a sanctuary and my Sony Viao laptop was my chapel. So how did I get to the point of leaving my local libraries (yes, I frequently visit more than one in a single day) with stacks of 5 or more books every other week?
  Well, it started with a sale at K-mart. For 30 bucks I could purchase a box set of the first five Harry Potter books. Before I cracked the spine, I just saw a deal/steal, but became something more.
  To be honest, I didn't really read any of them. I just got them to have them and because I enjoyed the movies so much; But me being the stickler that I am, I had to complete the set! So I purchased Half-Blood Prince about 2 years after and THAT really got the key in the ignition. After finishing that one, I naturally had to read the last one. It took me about 3 months to finish each (I would read a page here and chapter there).
   Fast forward to the start of my Senior year of H.S. and this is where my story really picks up. A September assignment I thought I would hate; Read a whole chapter book within the month and prepare for various tests and essays all year long.
   Long story short; I opened the book during 7th period that day and finished it by 11pm that night. The book was called 'Snitch' by Allison Van Diepen, and was the first book I finished in a day that literally enthralled me.
  After seeing how enraptured a book could make me, I wanted to see if that interest could be repeated again and again. After some online perusal; for what? I didn't exactly know; I narrowed down my search to the English-Regency Romance category (at an early age I had a fascination with England I couldn't explain and for some reason I never out grew it). Tasha Alexander's titles held my interest and I soon found myself visiting the library down the street from my house and walking away with (my first library card and) 'And only to Deceive' by Tasha Alexander.
    Subsequently, it took a few days to find my groove, but I ended up finishing the book within the week and visiting another library to check out 'Mine till Midnight' by Lisa Kleypas and 'A Rouge of My Own' by Johanna Lindsey.
    The rest is history and here we are; months later and at least a hundred books read and returned.

Will this addiction ever abate? Probably not, because there are thousands upon thousands of novels and authors I have yet to discover....but at least, now you see where it began for me. I am excited to see where my journey with books lead me and to share my findings with all of you!

Until Next Post <3........

I am But Only A Mere Human!!!!!!

Hello my lovelies,
My apologies for my inferior breeding. I am only human, and thus, can't show this blog the 24/7 attention I would like. But a girls' gotta eat!! (and sleep, and read romances to review, and pass calculus...and occasionally refill that bubble bath!). But in all seriousness, I would love to post something new everyday and add more and more content, so that whenever your whims influence you, you can click on this page and read something fresh and new. I hate the blogs that are so good, but take super long to add new content. Realizing I have more of a life than I thought I did, I can truly sympathize now. No worries. I will work my hardest to bring you your regular dose of 'the freshness' and keep you entertained!!!

and just because I had to do it: " ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!?!"

working on a few new post and the Sunday updating of 'Recommendation of the week'..... hmmm, what should I suggested this time.....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

'To Catch A Bride' by Anne Gracie -Review-

A winning novel! I greatly enjoyed this book and appreciated its levels. As you read one chapter, you were immersed (but not lost) in a crowded market place in the middle of Cairo, Egypt. In the next chapter, you were brought along on the frantic search for a missing fiancee' among the grassy green knolls of an English country-side. All this was done while we the reader admired the rugged, masculinity of Rafe Ramsey and the positively feline, alluring and strong-willfulness of Ayisha Cleeve.

The story starts off with Rafe Ramsey nearly breaking his neck (and fashionable curricle) as he raced with his friend to alleviate some sour feelings. Rafe and buddy,Luke Ripton, were on their way to a friend's wedding, when previous to their departure, Rafe had an audience with his brother, the Earl of Axebridge, where he was informed of some troubling news. The long-accepted fate of the Earls wife's inability to get pregnant laid the responsibility of begetting an heir and continuing the line of Ramsey Heir's at Rafe's door. Rafe accepted this, and although he dragged his feet and found ways to put off the inevitable,  he had every intention of marrying the women his brother arranged his betrothal with. That is, until he was told of a stipulation he couldn't come to terms with. His brother and his possible wife negotiated the terms of their first born son being raised by the Earl and his wife instead of with Rafe and the young Lady Lavinia Fettiplace. As if he wouldn't give a care of his own son, he thought with sarcastic vehemence.
  While seated at the wedding festivities next to an old friend of his beloved grandmother, he was treated to the old woman's story of a long lost granddaughter she presumed to be dead at the age of 7. Said granddaughter was spotted very much alive and even painted by a family friend and artist who subsequently showed the old women. The painting was of a 13 year old girl (the granddaughter) and her father (Lady Cleeve's only surviving son at the time). This was proof that the young girl must still be alive (despite previous reports claiming otherwise) and Rafe also saw this as the opportunity to escape confronting Lady Lavinia and his brother.
    So Rafe sets out for Cairo,Egypt, the last place Alicia Cleeve was spotted alive. Needless to say, what he finds in Egypt literally knocks him over. Alicia, or Ayisha as she apparently wanted to be called, was not a refined, young lady, but a hardened, un-trusting, dweller of the streets. She disguised herself as a boy at the death of her mother and father to avoid the attentions of unscrupulous men (some of whom were still after her and intended to sell her on the slave market).
   Ayisha had to rely on the generosity and companionship of another woman named Laila, who took her and a young boy named Ali, into her home (well, Laila's brother insisted the street urchins stay out in the backyard).
   Before she went anywhere with Rafe, she first wanted to secure Laila and Ali's safety and future. While Rafe settles matters for the two, Ayisha's cover is blown and she is attacked by the man whom she successfully avoided long ago at the death of her mother (whom wanted a young, white virgin to sell then and now). Rafe saves her and a few days later, they set off for England.
   On the journey home, Rafe contracts a fever (which is feared to be the plague) and is almost cast away by the ships other occupants. Ayisha, already having tender feelings for the man who saved her life and was bringing her to presumably a better one, rushes Rafe into his cabin and locks them both inside under the threat that she will kill the first two men to walk over the threshold. She looks after him and helps him through his illness and subsequently, a bond is formed between them that puts them on the fast track of passion (and love).
   Rafe proposes to Ayisha, who accepts, although she is leery of the threat of Rafe renouncing his intentions once he learns she isn't EXACTLY who she says. They land on English soil and go straight to her grandmother's house. After a frosty greeting which included Rafe being summoned separately to speak with Lady Cleeve, while Ayisha is shown the kitchen (an insult to a respected guest), it is clear that the grandmother found out Ayisha's secret before Rafe. Ayisha listens in on their conversation and hears the disgust in which Lady Cleeve informs Rafe of Ayisha's true parentage (being born by a sex slave out of wedlock to her son).
   Determined not to ruin Rafe's life, Ayisha flees the house before she can hear Rafe's gallant speech and persuasion of Lady Cleeve to change her tune about the only bit of family she has left. Distraught, Rafe spends 2 weeks searching for her and seeing to the task of making their marriage an easy transition; which includes getting the Earl to accept the union.
   He finds her right under his nose and as is always said: 'the rest is history'.

My Favorite Part of the Book: Is when Ayisha saves Rafe from being cast away. He catches a deathly fever on the boat as they are crossing over to England. When Ayisha sees what is going on, she rushes Rafe into his cabin and locks the door, threatening to shoot the first person to walk over the threshold. This is one of my favorite chapters EVER. Ayisha's determination to nurse Rafe back to health, which wasn't easy, was truly heartfelt and brave. You can see the first blooms of love start to take form as Ayisha struggles to keep Rafe alive.

Anne Gracie is a new author for me, but I enjoyed her book nonetheless. It had just enough cultural content to make me want to book a plane ticket to Cairo and not feel like I am in an old history class. The romance was a bit slow in development; although the emotion was steady and ever-building. It isn't until after the half way point in the book where we actually get some displays of affection. All in all it was a dynamite book for me!

*Another Gracie title to pick up would be, 'The Stolen Princess' ,Gabe's story (a minor character in the book and apart of the series from which 'To Catch a Bride' is from). This is the first book of the series.
*And also check out, 'His Captive Lady', Harry's Story, and the second book in the series. My Review of 'His Captive Lady' can be found: here

Sunday, April 18, 2010

'The Virgin's Secret' by Victoria Alexander -Review-

This was a very Delicious book. Seriously, Delicious was the first adjective that came to mind towards the end of chapter one. The banter and repartee was simply marvelous. We all have read books where the dialogue left much to be desired, but 'The Virgin's Secret' mixed wonderful dialogue with compelling action and circumstances that left me wanting Victoria to reveal all.

   The prologue gives us a little back story to the Harrington brothers (from which the series of books spotlight). A very young Nathanial and his older brothers Sterling and Quinton.are sneaking around in the attic in search of treasure. The always adventurous lot find a large chest of their grandmothers belongings and find a journal in which she talks about smugglers. Being impressionable little boys, they decided they will play smugglers and bestow upon each other smuggler names. The prologue ends with a familial pact 'Brothers one for the other'. Which is touching, endearing and so sweet!

Anyway, our story picks up on a now grown up Nathanial Harrington who has come home to London with his brother Quinton after a long expedition in lands far, far away. They are treasure hunters (or artifact discoverers, depending on which you prefer) and rarely spend much time settled, enjoying balls among the ton; but their sister Regina is coming out this season, and family duties are family duties. Nathanial spot an guest with an odd out-of-place air about them and is immediately enticed. Miss Gabriella Montini has captivated our Harrington adventurer and doesn't even know it. Gabriella sticks to the perimeter of the ball, which is being held out on the terrace at the insistence of Regina. Her reasons for being at the party circle around the recent death of her brother, the only relative (that she knows of) that hasn't completely abandoned her, and her attempt to restore the discredited state of his artifact finding career. In letters to his sister, Enrico tells her that a ancient seal that was in his possession was stolen. He gives her information regarding his search for recovery of the seal which he presented to the Validation and Allocation Committee of the London Antiquities Society after it had been switched with an unauthentic duplicate. Enrico goes half mad with his obsession to reclaim what was his and is killed before he ever retrieves it. In his letters he names the two Harrington brothers among the possible suspects whom he showed a clay impression of the seal to.
   During her first attempt at searching the library and secretary's desk, she is found by Nathanial and must give a quick excuse to hide any wrong doing. But in the haste with which she put together her alibi, she tell him they met once before, and that they dance, and he stole a kiss in the moonlight. Nathanial can't recall the incident, but wicked ideas are put into his head and it becomes and on-going thing for the two of them. A few days later, Gabriella breaks into the Harrington house and get caught by the little sister. She reveals her identity and her cause for suspecting the two brothers ;efficiently leaving out certain details which lead to her being invited to stay with the Harringtons by their mother while accepting the help of Nathanial.
   Nathanial possessive and protective nature over Gabriella grows as their search for the seal that will prove the existence of 'The Virgin's Secret' and restore Enrico's name, takes them all over London and in the paths of very dangerous people.
   As Enrico's true nature becomes clearer to Gabriella; that he saw her as an obligation, held no true love for her and used her to hold on to the finances left to her at the passing of their father; she also wrestles with the question of 'what happens next'. Gabriella trained herself and versed herself in all things ancient so as to become 'indispensable' to Enrico while he was alive and follow him on his adventures. Now that Enrico was gone, and the opportunities available to women in the archeology world that didn't involve scandal were scarce if any, Gabriella must also resign herself to the fact that Nathanial can never be hers after he find out about her own (non-virginal) secret.
   At the end of the book, the seal was closer than Gabriella thought, and she almost loses her life trying to retrieve it (and letters to her mother) when the hiding place is set on fire. Nathanial resigns himself to being hopelessly in love with Gabriella and gives her the gift of family (she never knew she had), credit to a discovery she almost lost her life to find and love she though she would never be able to discover.

My favorite part of the book: Was the interactions between Nathanial and Gabriella. Especially in the library, where they tended to be often in the story. The sexual tension is insane, and unlike many other heroines in these types of books, she doesn't back down from flirtation and even answers it with surprising resolve. Many of my favorite scenes take place in the library (oddly enough).

As I said, the winning dialogue, and suspense filled settings of this book will truly spell-bound you and have you thinking 'The Virgin;s Secret' its so Mmmm Mmmm good. Delicious indeed.
The only down side to this book is that the writing style favored long winded scenes. Pace wise it was good, but I found myself reading two or three chapters that still had me in the same place. Long winded trains of thought took up a lot of space in the book. The beginning of the ball and the getting caught in breaking in took 5 chapters to cover. With such a great plot, you could lose a lot if you dwelled. It still had me asking for seconds!

*And seconds is just what you will get when you pick up the next addition to this series,'Desires of a Perfect Lady', Sterling's Story,  in stores as of 3/30/2010!!!

A Two-fer !!! Coming Soon (Just Not Soon Enough)

It is, or at least should be, common fact around here, that I am a HUGE Lisa Kleypas fan. And even more so, I am addicted to everything Julia Quinn. Thus, it's only fitting that the most anticipated books of the year (so far), at least for me, are 'Married by Morning' by LK and 'Ten Things I Love About You' by JQ. They both have book trailers out now and both of their books are to be released on May 25th,2010. This post may be a month ahead of schedule, but I couldn't resist ;). No need to worry though, another post for each book is foreseen in the future!!

-I love how classic this trailer is. A lot of LK book trailers (which can be found on you tube), have a classic sense to them. Having read the Hathaway series up to this point, I am very familiar with the hate-loathe relationship between Leo and Ms.Marks. In 'Tempt Me At Twilight', which is his sister Poppy's story,  We get little heighten interactions and strange behaviors between the pair and it is obvious something is up. Even in 'Seduce Me At Sunrise', his sister Winnifred's story;and also the story where Ms.Marks is introduced; we see little interactions that foreshadow something greater.  The ending of 'Tempt me At Twilight' leaves us in Cathrine Marks' room where Leo arrogantly sweeps in, traps her against her dressing table as he braces his arms on either side and says "Cat...We have to talk about what happened"..Period, end, then all you see is back-of the-book cover. If that doesn't send ants of anticipation in your pants, idk what will !!!'Married by Morning' is the final book of the series and thus should be the 'bang' the beloved Hathaways go out with. / an excerpt from the book can be found on LK's website: excerpt

-Another addition to a beloved series. We all fell in love with Sebastian Grey as he brought a levity of humor into 'What Happens in London' as Harry Valentine's best friend. Who can forget the part in that book where he stands on a table in front of a crabby Russian prince and 'preforms' a retelling of the ever present 'Miss Buttersworth and the Bloody Baron'. Well now he has his own story and it appears as if it will be another smash hit by JQ. The trailer is very innovative (as far as trailers that I've seen go). The graphics, the narration; It all speaks to the style of Quinn (as I am so fond of referring to it as). Very well done!! / An excerpt of this book can be found on JQ's website as well: Chapter 1 of 'Ten Things I Love About You'

*Remember, that's MAY 25th, 2010, these amazing books are to be release. Pre-order at, or any other [dot]com you fancy!!!!

'Ravishing in Red' by Madeline Hunter -Review-

Read the first page of this entertaining book and you will be itching for more. It's THAT captivating

-Read and excerpt: here

Book Trailer:

   After a mysterious advertisement is placed in the paper by a man known only as 'Domino', directed towards her recently deceased father, Audrianna Kelmsleigh feels compelled to follow its instruction and show up to a meeting at the Two Swords Coaching Inn in the hopes of clearing her fathers name. After a damning mishap with some tampered gun powder that failed some soldiers on the front lines erupted, blame was left on Audrianna's fathers door and scandal and social scorn traveled in its wake. He took his life, which further implicated him as the one responsible, and left his family in tatters. Friends stop calling, fiancee's begged to be released of their duties and melancholy mothers proved to be almost too much for Audrianna to bear.
   At the invitation of her angel of a cousin, Daphne Joyes, a widower due to the war, Audrianna find herself on the outskirts of London, in a makeshift haven for women who prefer not to talk about their past. The house doubles as a livelihood for the woman who make use of the large greenhouse and grow flowers; the business is called 'The Rarest Blooms'.
   The story begins with Audrianna arriving at the Inn and requesting a room from a skeptical inn-keeper. She tells him that if anyone inquires about a Mr.Kelmsleigh then to send them up to her room. Sebastian Summerhays, the brother of a now handicapped Marquess of Wittonbury, whom suffered his crippling injuries as a result of the war, took a special interest in the whole tainted gun powder debacle. After coming across the same mysterious advertisement in the paper, Sebastian takes it upon himself to investigate. He makes his inquires about Mr.Kelmsleigh once he arrives at the inn and is directed to Audrianna's room. Suffice to say, when he stumbles across a beautiful woman, he has to rethink his game plan and figure out why she is there and what connection she has in all this. There is a scene where he gets a little too close for her comfort and she brandishes a pistol at him. He seduces the gun from her grasp with a kiss, and unknowingly distracts himself from the real purpose for their both being there. 'Domino' walks in on them, thinks its a trap and wrestles with Sebastian for the gun. Domino escapes but not before the gun goes off and Sebastian receives an injury to his arm. This brews up a large scandal that leaves Audrianna's virtue and Sebastians honor in question.
   Reluctantly, Audrianna accepts Sebastian's proposal for marriage after the scandal ensues and is pleasantly surprised that it isn't as unpleasant as she imagined. The passions of the marriage bed sustain her for a little while, but soon she finds that she want more from Sebastian, who continues to pursue the matter of the tainted gun powder and keeps her at a distance. Although she is still determined to prove her fathers innocence, Audrianna realizes the 'scab' her tenacity on the subject is making on her marriage and the endless poking and bleeding is weighting on her happiness.
   Through Sebastian's investigations, he finds his brother may be at the center of the crime and fights with the decision to preserve his familial loyalties and satisfy his duty to justice. And all the while, his resistance at the notion of being in love with his wife begins to lose it's potency.
  At the end of the book, revelations are made and justice will be served, but more importantly, husband and wife accept the bonds that will hold them together and a love that they equally and unconditionally share.

My favorite part of the book: Is in the beginning, when Sebastian kisses Audrianna to distraction and eases the gun from her grip. Actually the entire scene (and chapter) are among the favorite I've read in a while. It was exciting, sensual and compelling. What a wonderful way to start off a book. It drew me in at the start and refused to release me until I found all the pieces to the puzzle.

     This is a good piece of writing and the first I have read by Madeline Hunter. What an introduction to an author I feel will captivate me more and more as I move through her works. Although I did feel it started to go flat during some of the scenes involving the investigation and questioning of key witnesses', it still held me and ranks up their with some of the more passion-filled novels I liked. It was as much mystery as romance and should be enjoyable to any fan of romance!

*Also check out 'Provocative in Pearls', Grayson's story (a minor character in 'Ravishing in Red'), which also interlocks with the tale of another one of the 'women who prefer not to talk about their past'  at 'The Rarest Blooms'/ My Review can be found: here

Friday, April 16, 2010

What to expect from this blog

 Like with every new website or blog, the creator is ambitious and excited and so full of bright ideas to make their site something special. That being said, I must inform you that I am not an exception. Maybe this post is more for myself then those who will come across this blog, but all the same, I would like to outline a few of my ideas on what I will expound upon in the coming months.
   Obviously, I will be doing book reviews, but aside from that, I want this blog to be investigative and informational. So heres what I've been thinking...

*Book Reviews (duh!) (including series recaps- Like Johanna Lindsey's Mallory series and Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series)
*Author of the Month
 *Subscriber Spotlight- (interview on their literary taste-fav books, ect- and their review of a book)
*Posting Book Trailers
*Coming Soon (1st of the month post with titles to look out for later in the month)
*Interviews with Authors (if I find a willing participant)
*Historical Romance Manifesto (an on-going blog project that will be posted in parts and contributed by the comments and insights of not only myself, but you readers)
*Polls (on everything from favorite cliche' to funniest novel)
*Random Questions and Notions
*The Men of (insert authors name)-(A detailed evaluation and competition between different male lead characters of the selected author's different novels) 
*'The Holiday Post' (a collective look at a few of the many Christmas themed romances)

.....the list will grow as the ideas come to me, but if you have a suggestion or opinion of whats up here so far, leave a comment =)......

...Until Next Post<3

Thursday, April 15, 2010

'What Happens in London' by Julia Quinn -Review-

   I am thoroughly smitten with ALL of Julia Quinn's novels. This particular one was full of that fun,quirky and romantic style that is Quinn and I loved this book.

Book Trailer:

   It starts off with Harry Valentine digressing on the short comings of his childhood and family. He spends the first chapter mulling over his past while  including anecdotes about his DRUNK of a father, his uncommon fluency in all things Russian (thanks to his Grand-mere) and the morbid humor in knowing exactly how many times he has cleaned up his father's 'sick'. Deciding in an instant, after the commencement of his final term at school before he was suppose to start college in oxford, Harry takes his neglectful mothers advice and joins his cousin Sebastian in buying a commission and heading off to war. Time passes and Harry finds himself working for the war office, translating Russian text into English. There is a rumor started that he murdered his fiancee (which isn't true), and after moving in next door to the Bevelstokes, he becomes not only the topic of discussion in every drawing room in the neighborhood, but the object of some innocent surveillance by the neighbor's daughter , Olivia.
   They meet face-to-face at a ball, and after some embarrassing innuendos of peeping tom's and irritating retorts, both Olivia and Harry become rather 'put-off' by each other. Harry would of just left Olivia alone after that (despite the fact that he found her very alluring), but she was currently being courted by a Russian Prince with a questionable history whom was under investigation by the War Office. Because of Harry's proficiency in the culture and language, he is 'forced' to follow her around and see if she is connected as well while keeping tabs on the Prince.
    This is a romance book, so obviously, during this undercover mission, Harry finds himself as entranced with Olivia as she is smitten with him. He quickly determines she is not involved but now he must focus on the mission of figuring out the mysterious exiled Prince. After some nail-biting moments involving guns, abductions and abandoned music room dalliances, The story concludes with a very sweet and romantic ending.

My Favorite Part in the Book: Is when Harry pays a call on Olivia to 'return a book' and joins her and her company who is none other than the Russian Prince.While taking tea in the drawing room with her suitors, Olivia asks the Prince to say something in Russian for her. He speaks and then when asked what he said, he translates it as "Only that you are more beautiful than the oceans, sky, and fog". Harry, knowing Russian too (though that detail isn't known by anyone for fear it may compromise the mission), knows that what the Prince really said was "I am going to pump you until you scream'. Morbidly humors indeed. I laughed so hard after reading that, it was so unexpected and just thrown into the scene of the two suitors vying for Olivia's attention....

Overall, it was very well paced and exciting, with just the right amount of romance to make it a personal favorite.  Even though the drama of the abduction was saved for the end and therefore did not really develop as much as it could have, I still found the book immensely gratifying and well executed.


*Also check out the 1st and previous novel in the Bevelstoke series 'The Secret Diaries of Miranda Cheever'

*And also pick up your copy of  'Ten things I Love About You', Sebastian's story, in stores May 25th 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Welcome Post

Hello There,
This is the first official post of the 'Not Another Romance Blog' blog. I am so excited to be starting this little journalism-bout of mine. Although the title suggests otherwise, this IS another Romance blog. I stick to Historical Romances most of the time, but I do dip in and out of other contemporary romances and genres too! What I am planning to do with this blog is to provide the public (that's you) with my insight on everything from different writing cliche' to book reviews and so much more.  
I am always willing to listen to you guys; in fact, I encourage your opinions and suggestions. I run an open inbox, so if you just want to say hello, if you'd like to send suggestions on future topics to dive into, or WHATEVER, I am only a send button away! I will be starting a 'subscribers review post' periodical which will spotlight a subscriber and their review on whatever book they've been reading (subjected to change depending on participants availability). I'll also be working on polls, bringing up-to-date news from the literary world to you , and just about everything else humanly possible. 
One of the greatest things about books is their ability to take you out of the constrictions of reality and thrust you into a world where little boys have lightning scars on their heads and even the loneliest of spinsters find love. We all have our battles to fight, but books just takes us all away from that (even if its only until you reach the epilogue).... 

and btw my lovelies, we may be bookworms (in our own regard), but that doesn't mean we don't have lives. Forget whom ever it was that said reading isn't 'cool'. It isn't that us 'bookies' don't have lives, its just that we have way too many different lives to choose from. Thats the power of a good novel. It's a sad occasion in my opinion, to witness and listen to grown high school students (my graduating class specifically) and hear them say things like "I've never had a library card."  Explore every nook and cranny the world of literature has to offer =)

.. Until Next Post <3

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