Monday, May 31, 2010

'The Book Of Scandal' by Julia London -Review-

   Eh. The main characters in this novel experience heavy emotions as the scandal that had all hell breaking loose in London 1806 (a factual occurrence) warrants their dealing with some damning and fortunate misfortunes. Our hero and heroine must face each other and their demons once again, while trying to stay out of the society papers.Nathan Grey, the Earl of Lindsey, also known as the Libertine of Lindsey (which you won't be forgetting anytime soon) is urged by a friend to remove his long-estranged wife from London immediately to avoid being a casualty (by association) to royal scandal. Evelyn is now residing (against her will) in the one place she wished never to return. Two tattered souls will be thrusted into a situation together where the flames of love may be waiting to re-ignite.

-Read an excerpt: here

Book Trailer (which reminds me of a bad twilight parody, but still well done!):

   The Libertine of Lindsey is perfectly content with his existence thus far. A sprawling property in Eastchurch, buddies (free-loaders) to room and board and keep him company, outrages and notorious sexcapdes to keep him entertained; he has it all. There is a balance in the dysfunction of his life, but soon that happy medium is thrown for a curve when it is brought to his attention that a royal scandal is about to go public and its ramifications could possibly effect HIM.
   After the death of their son Robert (or Robbie), Nathan and Evelyn's marriage started to fall apart. Eve took it hard and became a shell of her former self. Nathan masked his grief with constant social abandon, drink and gambling; all while his wife started to make her own assumptions. She needed him to be there for her, and he was (or at least tried to be), he just didn't know how to really BE there for her. Eve believed Nathan was carrying-on with a neighbor whom was a dearest friend, and eventually that suspicion corroded itself and played a hand in her leaving for London. Nathan tried to convince himself that he didn't care and that it didn't matter to him. He did a pretty good job of it, that is, until a friend of his stops by to inform him that the wife he let leave him 3 years ago is rumored to be having an affair with a close friend of the Prince of Wales. The Princess and Prince are at odds and desperate to ruin the other; Evelyn Grey may be caught in the cross-fires and if she goes down, so will Nathan.
   Resistant to the point where abduction is necessary, Eve resents Nathan whole-heartedly for uprooting her from her contentment in London to the emotional roller coaster that awaits her at Eastchurch. Her presence instantly brings change and forces Nathan to take another look at the facts. He hurts for Eve; he hurts with Eve, they acknowledge their mutual grief over their lost son and failed marriage and begin to rebuild their foundation. As a result of the 'Book Of Scandal' and the consequent 'Delicate Investigation', Eve is put in mortal danger and Nathan must figure out whose trying to kill his wife so that they can truly turn over a new leaf and begin to live their lives together as it was meant to be.

Rating: 2 1/2 "Aww's"

My Favorite Part of the Book: [Spoiler Alert] Is when Eve finds out/accepts that she is pregnant again. After all the turmoil and grief she endured at the death of their first child, Robbie, she experiences some harsh emotions that real jerk at your heart. you can tell shes sort of leery when it comes to bringing another child into the world, but you can also feel the undercurrent of pure joy at her having a second chance to be a mother.
   I found things to enjoy in this book and pleasant surprises that made it worth picking up. The bare emotion that can be found from chapter to chapter is amazing. The grief Eve and Nathan feel over their lost son has a genuine quality to it that just resonated somewhere with me. It was a bit patchy and melodramatic at time, I think, but overall, I made it to the end of the book with a smile playing at my lips. It may not have been a slam-dunk for me, but there was enough of that 'something' to it to make me want to pick up another Julia London novel.

*Try out a book from the 'Desperate Debutantes' Series, 'The Hazards of Hunting A Duke'
-Read an excerpt from 'The Hazards of Hunting A Duke': here

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Recommendation of the Week: 05/30/10 - 06/06/10

'The Pirate Lord' by Sabrina Jeffries 

"A splendid opportunity— a shipload of women, theirs for the taking!  Pirate captain Gideon Horn couldn’t be more delighted.  His men are tired of wandering the high seas and ready to settle down with wives on an uncharted island paradise.  Surely, these New South Wales-bound women will be grateful for an alternative to the life of drudgery awaiting them at the end of their journey.

Married?  To pirates?  Sara Willis couldn’t be more appalled.  First she demands proper courting—at least a month.  The darkly handsome pirate lord grants a week.  Then Sara insists the men vacate their huts for the women—and Gideon demands kisses in return.  As the demands heat up, so do their passions—and soon Sara can't recall why she's fighting the devilishly captain so hard . . .
Read an excerpt: here 

This is your Recommendation for the week of May 30th,2010 thur June 6th, 2010
Until Next Post<3...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

From The Poetry Vault...

While reading a book of poetry ('The World's Favorite Love Poems' edited by Suheil Bushrui) I came across a poem I just had to share. I love poetry, and if I stumble upon a particular poem that speaks to my feminine sensibilities, I'll make sure to post it in this new addition to the blog- 'From The Poetry Vault...'

Diarmad O'Curnain
Love's Despair
-translated from Gaelic (Irish origins) by George Sigerson
I know not the night from day,
   Nor thrush from cuckoo gray
Nor cloud from the sun that shines above thee-
   Nor freezing cold from heat
   Nor friend-if friend I meet-
I but know-heart's love!-I love thee
   Love that my Life began,
   Love, that will close life's span,
Love that grows ever by love-giving:
   Love,from the first to last
   Love, till all life be passed,
Love that loves on after living!

Friday, May 28, 2010

'Provocative In Pearls' by Madeline Hunter -Review-

   Great addition to an awesome series! 'Provocative In Pearls' is the story of a wronged-heiress who was forced into a marriage she didn't want and took matters into her own hands when she faked her own death and went into hiding for two years. She is found by her husband whom wasn't able to use her fortune until she was either found or declared legally dead. He fights her willfulness and her past while she slips her way into his heart. He has to convince her to abandon it all and take a chance on love.

Read an excerpt: here

Book Trailer:

   Hidden away from the world after her supposed 'drowning in the Thames' 2 years ago, Verity Thompson, also known as 'Lizzie', never expected to see her husband face-to-face ever again. So when Grayson, the Earl of Hawkeswell, accompanies his friend, Sebastian Summerhayes, to retrieve his wife from a visit with 'The Rarest Blooms', what's never expected become actual reality. Her futile attempts to conceal her identity once Hawkeswell claps eyes on her are in vain and only add to his frustration and short temper. Resolving to go with Hawkeswell to Essex (with Audrianna and Sebastian in tow) to spare any nasty incidences brought on by her unwillingness to go, Verity agrees to a plan that will have her in a carriage and Hawkeswell foregoing any exercising of his husbandly rights; but under the concession that she must give him three kisses a day. Although Hawkeswell agrees to forfeit conjugal rights during the 4 day trip to Essex, he knows Verity only sees it as her last chance to hold on to her virginity and use the fact to aid in her petition for an annulment. With no intention of letting Verity leave the marriage, Hawkeswell begins to devise ways to seduce her cooperation.
   The reason Verity ran away 2 years ago and made it look like an accidental death was because of her cousin, Bertram, and his wife. Her legal guardians since her father died, the Thompsons saw Verity's huge inheritance as bait to draw in a destitute aristocrat whom will open doors to society that were previously shut. What Verity wanted and needed didn't matter. So when Bertram threatened to harm a family whom had treated Verity with a scrap of humanity, she agrees, only to be devastated by learning on the day of her wedding, that he went ahead and harmed them anyway. Furious at the betrayal and suspecting Hawkeswell of having a part in it (which he didn't), Verity ran away and made it look like she died. It was only suppose to last until she reached her majority and could take control of her finances and her life. But she stayed with 'The Rarest Blooms' a little to long and got discovered.
   Mid way through the visit in Essex, Hawkeswell gets word that Verity's trustee has successfully managed a hearing with a county coroner who may declare Verity legal dead and all the assets that were frozen to him upon her disappearance would be granted to him. Seeing as Verity is alive and well, he must make the trip and introduce Verity into society ahead of schedule. She is met with obvious strained-politeness and nasty rumors, but her submission to Hawkeswell is definitely the most scandalous bit of action. They build and develop a connection between each other, but Verity's insistence that she discover how Bertram harmed her Bowman family (more specifically the son Michael) to make amends started to wedge on Hawkeswell's conscience. He believes Michael was the real reason Verity ran away like she did, and as his feelings for her deepen, his resentment for her past begins to fester.
   Sometimes, when you love someone, you've got to let them go. That's exactly what Hawkeswell does for Verity when he tracks down her beloved Michael and gives her all the necessary evidence she needs to get her annulment. But if it's truly meant to be, when you let it go, it always finds a way back to you.;)

Rating: 3 1/2 "Aww's"

My Favorite Part of the Book: Is when Hawkeswell finally gets Verity's surrender. She'd been putting off the consummation of their marriage ever since her exposure at the Rarest Blooms and by submitting to the act, she would be resigning herself to the marriage. Hawkeswell worked his magic and seduced her right in the garden of their home. They had been eating dinner on the terrace and soon found themselves naked and making a real marriage of it on top of the flower bed. The next morning, Hawkeswell discovers he can't find his wife anywhere in the house and assumes she ran way again after the flower bed debacle; only to be told that she was out in the garden. He doesn't know if she's angry or upset about what happened, but as they gaze at the spot where the flowers were flatten by their love-making, she cracks a joke to ease the tension. She says, "..we should set out a sign and be done with it. A memorial plaque.'Here did Lady Hawkeswell lieyeth while her lord taketh her the first time'". Pretty Funny.

   The second book in 'The Rarest Blooms' series doesn't disappoint. The sensuality is undeniable and through Hawkeswell's compassion and selflessness, you believe in the love that is forged between him and Verity. I think the story started off well enough; diving straight into the drama. The characters definitely developed steadily and the pacing was pretty good. Some deep issues were touched on, and I appreciated that Hunter could take us there and have it add to the plot but not overwhelm it. Although I thought the catalyst for the plot (Bertram's deception about the Bowman's and Verity's running away) was a bit lofty and slightly stretched, the book did what a 3 1/2 '"Aww's" rating entails- The 3 E's, as I like to call them- I Enjoyed, it was Exciting and I was pleasantly Entertained.

*Also check out the first book in the series, Sebastian and Audrianna's story, 'Ravishing In Red'/ My Review can be found: here
 * Want more from Madeline Hunter? Try 'The Sins Of Lord Easterbrook'
-Read an excerpt: here

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

'Smooth-Talking Stranger' by Lisa Kleypas -Review-

   Well done. Alright, let's be honest. This is Lisa Kleypas, all of her books are automatically good reads (this one was no exception). I found this book to be a refreshing and lighter counterpart to its predecessors in the Travis series (Sugar Daddy and Blue-Eyed Devil). Ella Varner, an 'alternative' lifestyle leading, damaged-past having, 'open-relationship' partner to her boyfriend Dane, never expected to become a parent or snare the interest of one of Houston's most notorious playboys. Jack Travis, who leads the fast life with fast women, never believed the sweatpants wearing, stand-in mom with sleep depervation would turn him on so thoroughly. All this and more takes place in this excellent contemporary novel.

Read an excerpt: here

Book Trailer:

    Ella was finally doing things her way. She moved to Austin to live with her boyfriend, Dane, and escaped the constant limbo of inadequacy she felt while with her family back in Houston.She writes an advice column for Vibe magazine, where her alter ego (Miss Independent) gives advice on life, love and our favorite subject, sex. It's ironic, seeing as how she is as emotionally messed up as most of her readers. She suffered a dysfunctional childhood where she always had to step-up, protect her younger sister, Tara, from the sexual abuse of one of their step-father, and have her self-esteem constantly torn down by their perfectionist of a mother.
   It is no surprise that when inconvenience befalls her mothers strenuous social life, that she receives the call of a lifetime. Her sister, in need of psychological help to battle the demons of her hazy past, has a son whom she promptly drops-off and leaves at their mother house. The mother threatens to call social services and have the child taken away because she isn't willing to look after it; so the task falls to Ella. Reluctant at first, because her boyfriend is apprehensive to children in general and tells her not to come back to Austin with the child, Ella makes the 3 hour drive to Houston and has her heart stolen in a flash.
   It is at first believed that business-savvy, Jack Travis, is Ella's nephew, Luke's, father. Ella goes to Jack's office building and manages a meeting with him. Surprisingly, he not only agrees to the DNA test, but helps Ella find a hotel to stay in (because most were booked to capacity due to a convention being held in town). He follows up on his word, and even sets up the doctors appointment, when it is revealed that Tara had an affair with a very married, very public figure, and that he was currently footing the bill for her stay at a mental health clinic. Ella relieves Jack of any further obligation and promises to never bother him again.
   Jack is ever-persistent though and manages a dinner with Ella; where he charms her silly. Other interactions and dates follow, including Jack's assistance in getting her an apartment in his family-owned building. Although she couldn't afford it, she strikes a deal with the previous owner; Jack's sister Haven, and the ladies become fast friends. Although marriage has been off the table in her relationship with Dane, Jack begins to fall hard for Ella and experiences difficulty in getting her to take the risk necessary for something deeper than bedtime attraction. Ella learns to take leaps of faith and trust in a love that is so precious and was almost snatched away from her.

Rating: 4 "Aww's"

My Favorite Part of the Book: Is when Ella and Haven are having a casual drink night in Haven's apartment with her fiancee (Hardy)-the sanagria is plentiful- and in passing, Hardy invites Jack to come up for dinner. The group convinces Ella to stay too, and need-for-sleep mixed with alcohol leads the mother of all knock outs. She's sitting on the couch with Jack as the influences start to take effect  and wakes up practically drooling on his lap. He just sat there, enjoying the way she forgot herself around him and felt comfortable enough to sleep on him. It was a really sweet moment.

   All in all, this book didn't really lack as much as it gave. We got the fiery passion (see sexy, first-time in the parking garage love scene), character growth (slowly, but surly), and that classic Kleypas conflict which made each chapter a page turner. It's simple enough; if you'd like to read a good book, pick up this one!

*The first book in the Travis Series, 'Sugar Daddy' is a must read/ My Review can be found: here
* Second in the series is 'Blue-Eyed Devil'/ My Review can be found: here

* A four-part interview by borders with Lisa Kleypas, where she discuss' 'Smooth-Talking Stranger' and touches on her other contemporaries, can be found:
-here for part 1
-here for part 2
-here for part 3
-here for part 4

Monday, May 24, 2010

'Royal's Bride' by Kat Martin -Review-

   First book by Kat Martin for me. I enjoyed it and am glad to have yet another author to add to my ever-growing 'look-out for' list. I look forward to reading more by Martin and continuing on in the Dewar Brother's series. 'Royal's Bride' is the first book in the series and follows the story of the eldest brother, Royal, and his struggle to balance obligation with personal happiness. His love interest, Lily, is the poor cousin of his intended; and their journey to be together compel you to flip the pages and see what decisions will be made.

Read an excerpt: here

   Would you dare defy a dying man's last wish? The Dewar Family's financial situation has been inconsistent for a long time. When the Duke of Bransford, standing on death's doorstep, secures a promise from his eldest son and heir, Royal, to restore the family finances, he had no idea the turmoil he would leave his son in. A year of mourning has come and gone, and Royal is prepared to follow through on his promise to marry the Caulfeild heiress, Joycelyn, and begin fixing his family's financial problems. The marriage was arranged by his father, prior to his death, and looks to be the solution to all of Royal's problems. So why does he feel so hesitant?
   On the day his intended is expected to arrive, he decides to take a refreshing ride and clear his mind. On his way back home to face the music, he stumbles upon the scene of a carriage accident and immediately inspects the damage. He quickly realizes it is the carriage of his intended that lays on it's side and is missing its occupant. When he finds a gorgeous woman sprawled in the snow, he believes its his soon-to-be wife and fears for the worst. The woman is a little battered up, but otherwise not too worse for wear. On his way back to his lack-luster castle, as he converses with the lady and detects her gentleness and likability, Royal begins to resign himself to the idea of marriage to her. It is a shocking and unexpected blow to find out the woman he saved from the snow isn't his intended, but his intended's cousin, sent ahead of everyone else to ensure the accommodations meet with her picky relatives expectations. Royal tries to suffocate his infatuation with Lily Moran, but the allure is too compelling.
   But Lily isn't at all what she appears -a shy, book-worm, millinery shop owner-, and believes that not only is Royal's near-affiance to her cousin grounds to stop any further attentions, but her sordid past as a con-artist. It doesn't stop Royal's desires in the least, and when they both succumb to desire, it leaves Royal in an unenviable position. The engagement to Jocelyn can be the means to an end, but what becomes of blooming love to the wrong girl?
   After hearing about Royal's investigation which traced the swindling of Dewar family fund that left them in debt, at the hands of a notorious con-artist, Dick Flynn; Lily offers her (previous guardian and the person who taught her how to con)Uncle's assistance in helping Royal procure some of his family's lost funds and exacting revenge. The plan and deception is dangerous and will leave our hero and heroine in harm's way; but only then will the importance of the almighty dollar take a backseat to the importance of love.

Rating: 3 1/2 Aww's

My Favorite Part of the Book: Is when Royal first finds Lily in the snow and thinks she is his intended. He just happened upon her carriage accident, which was caused by highwaymen, and he doesn't expect to find the one person he thinks he was trying to avoid. There is an instant connection and Royal's gallant ways doesn't cease to play court to my feminine sensibilities =] ! It was a sweet scene and then turned into bitter irony as it is learned that Lily is the cousin of his soon-to-be-bride and not actually her. It also bites because Royal, who was so hesitant and reluctant to follow through on his father's dying wish, was beginning to relent to the idea of the arranged marriage; if it was to be with Lily.

   'Royal's Bride' starts off the series wonderfully. There's a lot of inner and outer conflict which amp the forbidden quality to our main character's attraction. The plot is one that has been re-created many times by many authors- falling for the relative of the person your suppose to be marrying- but Kat Martin did it well enough to have me wanting more. The deception required to get back the Dewar Family's fortune is one that could of read tedious and bothersome, but miraculously didn't do so. I think this is a book worthy of a introduction to your bookshelf!

*Check out the next book in the series, 'Reece's Bride', which follows the recently wounded and home from war Brother, Reece.
Read an excerpt to 'Reece's Bride': here

*Also check out the final brother's story, 'Rule's Bride'.
Read an excerpt to 'Rule's Bride': here

Sunday, May 23, 2010

'Blue-Eyed Devil' by Lisa Kleypas -Review-

   Intense. Incredible. Gratifying Beyond Measure. Yep, that's what 'Blue-Eyed Devil' has me saying. I thought 'Sugar Daddy' was too outstanding for words; 'Blue-Eyed Devil' robbed me of breath and ruined me for any other novel! When I finished this particular book, I knew I was spoiled. Any other contemporary I had read up to that point, and every contemporary I am destined to read after this one will pale in comparison. You will fall in love with this amazing novel, I guarantee it!

Read an excerpt: here

 Book Trailer:

   She thought she was in love. Even a dizzying kiss with a relative stranger and her family's disapproval couldn't stop Haven Travis from marrying her boyfriend, Nick. Two years in a declining marriage, and the marks to show for it, have our heroine returning to her family in Houston to rebuild her life. She's always seen her family's wealth as a reason to prove herself as a competent, hard-working individual as appose to the spoiled-brat society would like to believe she is. While trying to work her way to the top in her brothers property-management company, she crosses paths with the familiar stranger whom set her senses on fire when she mistakenly kissed him 2 year previous at her brother's wedding.
   Hardy Cates was dealt a low hand in life, and had to work his way to the top. His ever-ambition and persistence can be off-putting to people, especially when its directed at them to Hardy's personal gain; but when the enchanting Haven Travis appears in his line of vision a second time, with no ring on her finger, Hardy will go all out to claim what he should of 2 years ago.
   The animosity between Hardy and Haven's family, brought on by the long-ago relationship between him and Liberty, Haven's brother Gage's wife, and his trying to win her back (see 'Sugar Daddy' review), is nothing compared to the inner demons Hardy must help Haven overcome.
   Hardy moves into Haven's apartment building, a Travis-owned glass-and-metal structure that is the epitome of high-class style, and his 'wooing' begins to take shape. Haven is apprehensive to the whole idea of Hardy, but even after some embarrassing amorous interludes which end with her freaking out at the intimacy, she still feels drawn to him. Hardy helps her work out her intimacy issues and they share some steamy scenes and form a connection that grabs your attention and shows you what real love is. There's a terrifying twist towards the end of the book (as if my nerves weren't shot by chapter 4) when the past (her ex-husband) tries to work his way back into Haven's life. All is resolved and this masterpiece of a novel comes to it's conclusion.

Rating: 5 Aww's

My Favorite Part of the Book: Is when Hardy saves Haven from drowning in an elevator. Sounds far-out, I know, but it works. Haven is on her way down to the parking garage after an important meeting and there is a storm going on that's flooding parts of the town. As it descends, the elevator stops and begins to take on water. Haven tries not to panic as she makes calls which don't prove fruitful. As her phone is dying out, she finds herself on the recent calls list and Hardy's number is there; he had called to discuss the embarrassing scene that took place as they were making out at a theater opening. Being so close to Hardy brought back a none-to-pleasant flashback from when she was with her husband; she freaked out and ran away, leaving Hardy hard and confused. She calls him and tells him shes trapped in an elevator and he comes to rescue her. The really funny part of this scene is when the roof of the elevator is pried open by Hardy and Haven says "I am so sorry I didn't have sex with you". Hardy informs her that he's sorry too and that everything they're saying is being overheard by two maintenance guys. I just loved how this scene meshed with the whole story and it was pretty funny considering the context.

   Is there any such thing as a perfect book? Maybe not, seeing as there are an unlimited amount of different preferences and possibilities, it would be hard to please all the people all the time. But 'Blue-Eyed Devil' would top my proverbial 'perfect' list. It was so emotional and triumphant and vulnerable and passionate that I found a little bit of myself falling in love with Hardy too. His masculinity oozes from the paper, and Haven's insecurities and vulnerability speak to that fragile female in all of us. There is high conflict, high action and high sensuality. There aren't enough words to describe how this book just makes you feel. Whether your a fan of contemporaries, historicals, paranormals; whatever the case may be, this book will convert you. I've never been a real glutton for contemporaries, but this book has sparked a hunger for the genre in me I may never be able to quell.

*Check out the first and equally amazing book in Kleypas' contemporary series, 'Sugar Daddy', Gage and Liberty's story/ My Review can be found: here

Read an excerpt from 'Sugar Daddy': here

*Also give the third book in the series, 'Smooth-Talking Stranger' a read./ My Review can be found: here
 Read an excerpt from 'Smooth-Talking Stranger': here

*And watch Lisa Kleypas talk about 'Blue-Eyed Devil' in this interview: here

Recommendation of the Week: 05/23/10 - 05/30/10

'In Bed With The Duke' by Christina Dodd
"Demure lady's companion Emma Chegwidden never defies society’s rules. Until the night she runs straight into the arms of the mysterious and menacing Reaper . . . a man who rides the night-shadowed countryside and conceals his identity behind a mask. His goal is justice . . . or is it vengeance? Only one thing is certain: nothing will stop him from his dark purpose.

Michael Durant, long-lost heir to the duke of Nevitt, has a score to settle. Cynical, dangerous and ruthless, Michael is the last man on earth that sensible Emma should defy. But some challenges are too tempting to resist . . . and some passions too fierce to ignore. Soon Michael discovers in Emma the woman he has always longed for . . . a woman whose beauty and courage reach through to his tortured soul . . . and he will defy anything, even fate itself, to claim her . . .
 Read an excerpt: here

This is your Recommendation for the week of May 23rd, 2010 thru May 30th, 2010

Until Next Post<3...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

'Lord Of Sin' by Madeline Hunter -Review-

   This seductive, Scottish-themed tale delivers the goods. Romance, mystery, betrayal, forbidden and 'indecent' paintings not fit for females with weak sensibilities; prepare for it all. Fiery Bride Cameron is in for the distraction of a lifetime in our hero, Ewan MacLean. Their story is touching and develops steadily as action and conflict invade the background. Let our Lord of Sin take you on a journey through lies and deceit and unadulterated-passion.

Read an excerpt: here

   Deathbed promises to an Earl that ensures his heir will follows his predecessor's instructions is one thing; Having said Earl and his heir AND the back-up heir die, all in rapid succession, and abruptly becoming the one to shoulder all the responsibility is another. Ewan MacLean wasn't prepared nor expecting to come into an Earldom; he was much happier floating through life on his allowance and hosting some of the most notorious orgies London has ever seen. Words like 'duty', 'obligation' and 'responsibility' never resonated anywhere with him; but all three and then some are thrust upon him in a sick turn of events that finds Ewan MacLean the current Earl of Lyndale. Now the promise to make sure long-ago affairs are made amends for falls into Ewan's pesky and long lists of 'duties'.
   Bride Cameron is in way too deep. The sole protector of her 3 younger sisters, all of whom attract unwanted attention from the wrong sort, has Bride stepping up since the age of twelve to keep their heads above water. Their deceased father, Angus Cameron, was an engraver, whom made some of the most exquisite prints of famous works of art. His legacy will keep bread on the table and a roof over his daughters heads; but luxury is never in abundance. When Bride calls out Jamie MacKay to a duel, for trying to seduce her youngest sister, Mary; it is Ewan who rides up and puts a halt everything. He has come to Scotland to fulfill the promise he made to his Uncle, the old Earl; that Angus Cameron and his family, who were wronged by him, are to be taken care of as a way to make amends.Finding only 4 daughters near destitution, Ewan decides to stay with the family for a little while to determine if they need his assistance; which they (or at least Bride) fervently refuses.
   To try and satisfy Ewan's curiosity about her family's means, Bride shows him her fathers legacy; which consists of some rare prints (some a little risque'). Though not thoroughly pacified, it is Ewan's lust for the head strong Bride that starts to become insatiable. At first Bride shys away from Ewan's amorous attentions; but when he finally coaxes her surrender, it is he who backs out at the last minuet (having an attack of the conscious). He leaves shortly after that; getting acquiescence to puts together a settlement that will ensure the sister's welfare.
   When the owner of the lands the Cameron sister's property is located on, decides to evict them, they are forced to leave their Scottish glen and seek out Ewan's hospitality until the funds of the settlement are transferred over. But it is not only hospitality they seek when they go to London. Counterfeit bank notes are in circulation, and the plates used to make them, which were stolen from the Cameron sisters a year ago, will be traced back to them unless they find out who took them and get them back. Solicited by a friend involved with the case, Ewan, being a connoisseur and expert of fine prints, is enlisted to aid the efforts in finding the culprits behind the counterfeit bank notes and putting them behind bars; he never expects to find one piece of the puzzle living under his own roof.
   His attraction to Bride only intensifies as the days go by, and he even proposes marriage. Although Bride would like nothing more than to become Ewan's bride, her involuntary involvement with the counterfeit bank notes and the possible criminal charges that she intends to shoulder in order to save her sisters, has her decline Ewan's offer. At first Ewan doesn't understand, but as the secrets are revealed, the Lord of Sin has to decide whom will pay for their sin; and who will get the chance to love for a lifetime.

Rating: 3 1/2 Aww's

My Favorite Part of the Book: Is when the Cameron sisters have to travel to London and ask for Ewan's hospitality until their living situation stabilizes. Ewan walks into his make-shift, erotic gallery; fully equipped with an indoor swing for god only know what; and finds the sisters waiting for him. He is reluctant to have them stay in his home, but Bride refuses to allow him to accumulate even more financial burden by getting them rooms at a hotel. She uses reverse psychology to strong-arm Ewan's reluctance by saying to her sisters. "One of us will have to sell herself tonight, to earn the funds for lodging. Do I have a volunteer, or should we pull straw". She wasn't being serious, but after a few pages of doom and gloom (where will they live, how will they find the counterfeiters), it was a little unexpected and hilarious to have that line just thrown in there. Ewan couldn't refuse and I couldn't stop LOL-ing.

   There were things I liked and disliked about this book. Books with investigation-aspects to them, tend to be a little on the boring side to me. There is a need to impart certain facts on the reader so that they can follow the plot, but said facts and they way they are introduce can become tedious. Hunter did a great job with mixing action to the info drops so we wouldn't be too weighed down. Also, a degree of expertise was imparted in this book, with the mentioning of famous painters, works of art, and the detailed explanation into the mechanics of engraving. Ms.Hunter has a phD in Art History, so she is defiantly flexing her expertise muscles in this book, although I wasn't overly interested in it.While character reactions to certain scenarios felt a little unbelievable, the romance element and conflict elements in this book are good and I say 'Lord of Sin' is worth a read!

* Check out the next book, 'Lady of Sin'. This series is a spin-off of Hunter's 'Seducer Series' which comes highly recommended.
Read an excerpt from 'Lady of Sin': here

*Also, if you'd like more from Madeline Hunter, check out 'Ravishing in Red', which is the 1st book in the 'Rarest Blooms' series. It's Audrianna's story./ My Review of 'Ravishing in Red' can be found: here

Monday, May 17, 2010

'His Captive Lady' by Anne Gracie -Review-

   SPECTACULAR! And I am not just saying that! (I rarely do). Every once and a while, a book comes along that just takes you away from it all; and before you know it, your on page 323, and its all over. But when it does end, there's this odd lull you often find yourself in after reading a great novel, when you acknowledged that, indeed, its was a great novel! I am not partial with my 5 "Aww's" ratings (I admit to trying to find reasons not to award this book my highest esteem), but 'His Captive Lady' took me hostage and deserves to be up there with some of my favorites!

Read an excerpt: here

   On a quaint stretch of English countryside, our hero, Harry Morant, never expects to be captivated into willingly handing over his coveted fur-lined gloves and large-brimmed hat in the middle of a rain storm. But said articles of clothing are exactly what he forks over when he spies the alluring Lady Helen Freymore on the back of a cart, braving the elements ill-prepared. She doesn't even murmur a single word when this stranger canters up to her on his horse and places his hat on her head. As luck would turn out, the dizzying encounter is cut short when a fork in the road takes our hero and heroine down separate paths (but not for long).
   Back from war for good now, Harry plans to make good on the dream he and his buddy, Ethan, had held on to. Equestrian enthusiasts, Harry and Ethan want to breed and sell racehorses. Harry follows a lead on some property that has long been neglected; its perfect for his plans, having previously been a breeder's domain, and he never expects to find the lady who had been haunting his dreams for what feels like forever, delivering a colt in the property's stables.
   The property use to belong to Helen's mother, and consequently went to her father; whom was suppose to have put the deed in Helen's name, but gambled it away before his death (without doing as he said he would). Now destitute and with no further bright-ideas, Helen, or Nell as she likes to be called, will have to settle for earning wages somehow. She doesn't immediately leave the premises, so when the solicitor spots her after delivering the colt (with Harry's assistance, of course) , he is irate and starts to get very nasty. Harry takes up her case and eventually quiets the old man by telling him that, despite the poor condition of the main house, he is willing to make an offer on the property. As the solicitor squares everything away, Nell make her way to her bedroom one last time to freshen up and pack her belonging. On the spur of the moment, seeing that Nell may not fare as well as she believes, Harry proposes she stay on as a horse trainer (since she's so good with them) and when she refuses, he then offers her marriage.
   Nell shares a passionate kiss with Harry, but inevitable, declines his hand and goes on her way. Harry believes he will never see her again; so when his grandmother convinces him to accompany her to Bath, it is the hands of fate which have put his elusive Miss Freymore in his line-of-vision once more. He is determined to speak with her again, and after seeing the way her employer (a widowed 40 something) degrades her, her welfare becomes a matter of great importance to him. He proposes marriage again, when he enlists the help of his grandmother to steal away a few moments with Nell. Again she refuses, but he can tell that it isn't necessarily him shes adverse to, but some unexplainable need to get to London to find someone. Another heated encounter at the Pump Room leads to Nell getting fired; but not before Harry causes scandal and heaves Nell across his shoulder and bodily removes her from that mean witch's employ (and into his life for good).
   Initial dismayed, Nell is furious with Harry, but soon warms up to the idea. But there is the whole matter of getting to London and finding what she was willing to sacrifice dignity to find. Nell ends up telling her secret to Harry, whom doesn't hesitate to reassure her that he will do everything in his power to help her.
   Shocking twist and turns find our couple in every nook and cranny in London; determined to find what they are looking for. Little do they know, it's unyielding and unconditional love that awaits them as well!

Rating: 5 Aww's

My Favorite Part in the Book: (There's so many to choose from!) One would have to be the scene at Bath when Harry and Nell are caught in the backroom where they were meeting in private. Nell's employer proceeds to berate her and resorts to dirty name calling. When Harry informs the witch not to address his fiance' in that way, the employer proceeds to call Harry 'nothing more than a bastard' (He is the natural son of an Earl, and was born in wed-lock; albeit with a different 'father', but still, everyone refers to him as no more than a by-blow). Nell takes exception to that comment and comes to Harry's defense. She smacks that hoe! (sorry, I had to say it). But anyway, it was a weirdly sweet scene; I especially love how Nell wouldn't tolerate a bad word against Harry, and how he tossed her over his shoulder and staked his claim loud and clear to everyone who cared!

   Once again, I couldn't find too much wrong with this book. It was marvelously entertaining, and heartfelt all in the same token. If ever there were a book that defined what Romance was, I'd say this book would be in the running of physical examples. It was tactfully done; with few 'carnal' scenes, but enough to whet the appetite of all those readers looking for the usual something steamy in a HR novel. It was a book about Love, plain and simple, in many of it's different forms; self-sacrifice , justice for another, life and death, unwavering devotion.. 5 Aww's is right, now go out and fall in love as I did!

*Check out the 1st and preceding novel in the series. 'The Stolen Princess', Gabe's story
* And also check out the book that proceeds this one. 'To Catch A Bride', Rafe's Story/ My Review of 'To Catch A Bride' can be found: here

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Recommendation of the Week: 05/16/10 - 05/23/10

'Duke of Scandal' by Adele Ashworth
"The scandalously handsome Samson Carlisle is not the deceiving nobleman Lady Olivia was searching for...but he's the lover she fervently desires.

A lady's heart is a tempting plaything for the DUKE OF SCANDAL

He stands apart from other men--a dark, tall, breathtaking figure of seductive masculinity. With a smile, he can topple the defenses of even the most proper maiden.

And with a single whisper, she will be his.

A wife in name only, Lady Olivia Shea has returned to London in a rage, determined to confront her new husband, who vanished months ago with her inheritance on their wedding night. Yet this hauntingly familiar man who stands before her--this face and form she adores--is not her deceiving Edmund but the blackguard's twin brother, Samson Carlisle, Duke of Durham. Samson knows of his sibling's penchant for perfidy and he graciously offers to help the exquisite Olivia locate the missing rogue and recover her stolen fortune.

But Olivia fears that accompanying this mysterious, dangerous, eminently desirable man would be courting the most devastating sort of scandal--especially since it is now Samson's arms she aches to feel surrounding her, and his kiss she longs to taste ..

- This was the first Adele Ashworth book I ever read and I was IMPRESSED! With praise from Lisa Kleypas on the front cover, I knew I had to give her a read. I thought the plot would loses me, but it didn't. It was really great and in my eyes, a must read.

This is your Recommendation for the week of May 16th, 2010 thur May 23rd, 2010

Until Next Post<3...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

'What A Lady Wants' by Victoria Alexander -Review-

   Delightful, Witty and Romantic.'What A Lady Wants' gives us readers a little bit of everything. It's a quintessential and classic novel that speaks to the love-lorn optimistic in you. Once again, a little thought-y for my taste, but there was a variety of action that made this book resonate somewhere for me.

Read an excerpt: here

   One down, three to go! Our four gentlemanly tontine participants have recently lost one from their ranks; but our heroine, Lady Felicity Melville, is determined to knock off at least one more number from the 'to-go' tally. Ever since he climbed over her garden wall, fleeing the wrath of his dalliance's husband, Nigel Cavendish never expected to find himself 'trapped' in someone else's web. Fate's. Felicity, an avid and amateur astronomer, wishes upon a star for a man who will free her from the tedium of a dull existence and give her a life filled with adventure. She's on her sixth and final season (actually its her fifth, due to the grand tour she took the previous year to obtain some worldly 'polish') and therefore, she's a little bit desperate. As she is staring out at the heavens after making her wish, she sees Nigel and instead of shrinking away from potential danger, she ends up having a conversation with him and helping him with his escape route.
   The Notorious Nigel Cavendish is surprised to learn, while at a ball, that the 'little girl' he thinks helped him the night he fled from Lord Pomfrey's wrath, was actually a grown-up, English rose. He asks one of his friends, whom is acquainted with Felicity, to introduce them. He's only interested in staving off his curiosity; or at least that is what he tells himself. The two meet and dance for a little while, but pretenses are soon done away with and they get into a discussion of the rights and wrongs of Cavendish's actions. They part ways, but the encounter lingers in Nigel's mind.
   After the ball, Felicity is convinced that Nigel is the man for her and starts to take action. She enlists the help of his twin sister, The Countess of Windham; Madeline. They arrange it so Felicity is present at all of the functions Nigel is to go to. Felicity plays it cool and resists the urge to seek Nigel out, which will pique his interest and have him coming to her. At a garden party, he does exactly that and accuses Felicity of following him; but she turns the tables on him and accuses him of the same thing. They share some playful banter, some of which include Felicity shocking Nigel into next week, and an irresistible bond continues to be forged.
   When a mishap involving her little sons, water over-flowing, boats and frogs, force Nigel's sister , Madeline to move their joint early birthday party to Cavendish house instead of at her place; she tells Nigel to stay at her residence and direct any guest who didn't receive the note explaining where the party was moved to to the correct destination. Felicity shows up and Nigel can't stop himself from asking her to keep him company while he waits his hour to see if other guest will arrive. They talk, dance in an empty ballroom, and out of nowhere, Felicity drops the bomb that she intends to marry him. Nigel doesn't know how to handle the news, but that's the least of his worries when, during a card game, he wagers a painting at Cavendish house that doesn't belong to him to Lady Felicity and losses. She says she may give it back, but he will have to call on her (numerous times) and convince her to. He doesn't want his family to find out why the painting is missing and doesn't want to play Felicity's game, so he climbs up her balcony in the dead of night to steal it back.
   Felicity notes Nigel's determination to avoid her and resigns herself to never marrying him. She tells him so, and Nigel, feeling like a cad, asks for a farewell kiss. During the kiss, a gun Felicity was holding goes off and produces a commotion that shocks Nigel into losing his balance and falling over the balcony; and Felicity's parents storm into her room. To avoid scandal, the two must wed; but this isn't how Felicity wanted Nigel. They get married and while they enjoy the marriage bed, Nigel announces that he intends to live his life exactly how he had before he got married (excluding female companionship). Felicity one-up's him by announcing she will follow his lead (and that the exclusion of female companionship isn't necessary). A battle of the will's erupts, and it will take their combined efforts to work through their differences and get what each really want. Love.

Rating: 3 1/2 Aww's

My Favorite Part in the Book: Is when Madeline has to move the birthday party to Cavendish House and leaves Nigel at her residences to shepherd any mislead guest to the right destination. It's a sweet and shocking scene. The band is also unaware of the change in location, so when they arrive, Nigel pays them to play a waltz. The moment is so beautiful and genuine, you can't help but fall in love with the book right then and there. It takes on even more complexity when Felicity blurts out that she intends to marry Nigel. I knew Nigel would find out about her intentions in the end, but never expected it like this.

   'What A Lady Wants' was a really nice book. There was drama and conflict and your heart just sunk at the turning points of the book. It wasn't as steamy, love-making wise, as we are use to, and some character reactions was a little off to me, but the romance was there. Felicity's struggles to get the man she believes is her true love really speaks to me. We've all had that one guy in our lives, whom we thought was the perfect one for us, but they were a little slow in getting to that same revelation. The dialogue was as expected, being a Victoria Alexander novel, and the book didn't disappoint. Give it a read, I am sure you'll like it too!

*Check out the next book in the 'Last Man Standing' series, 'Secrets of a Proper Lady'.
Read an excerpt of 'Secrets of a Proper Lady': here

Thursday, May 13, 2010

'A Little Bit Wicked' by Victoria Alexander -Review-

   Lovely! This book really tugs at the heart strings. The beginning is steamy and entertaining and the plot steadily grows as you move forward through the book. It may have been a bit 'thoughty' for my personal taste, but it entertained and because of this book, I will never be able to look at a billiards table the same again.

Read an excerpt: here

    This is book one of the 'Last Man Standing' series by Victoria Alexander. The premise is simple; a group of four gentleman friends set a wager that one of them will remain unwed the longest whilst the others fall victim to matrimony. The prize is paltry; a mere four shillings (and a good bottle of cognac), but its really the symbolic nature of the bet that entices our gentlemen. Among their ranks, we have the ever-dashing Gideon Pearsall, Viscount Warton. Gideon has been betrayed by 'love' in the past and has been at odds with the concept ever since.
   When the beautiful Judith Chester catches his eye at a gathering, his first instinct is that she must be bedded. Judith Chester has been widowed for almost a decade; and in her time, has only dallied with 3 gentleman. Her reputation proceeds her, but she doesn't give the injustice much thought. When Gideon seeks her out after she makes a hasty escape while in attendance at a 'night of entertainments';which can be described as slow, polite torture; Judith doesn't put up pretenses and all but tells him to jump into her bed.
   A hot introduction to their 'arrangement', in the form of a 'dinner date' sets up our hero and heroine down a path of undeniable passion. Right off the bat, Judith lays down some 'rules'; pure enjoyment of one anothers company, no affections, and once one is ready to end the arrangement, it will be without recrimination.
   The 'rules' last for about 2 chapters and then dilemma starts to brew. Gideon makes Judith feel things she's never felt (even with her husband), and Judith's honorable tendencies and kindness of heart beings to wear down Gideon's resolve. Both fear (and are warned by numerous outsiders) that the speed with which their 'relationship' has taken off are signs that something much more deeper is starting to form. Love scorched Gideon's past with unpleasant memories, and love steadily started to become a buffer for Judith's abusive marriage; it also becomes the catalyst in the defense against the undeniable feelings between the two.
   Some blasts from the past threaten the happiness of the two and the ultimate decision must be made. Do you steer clear of the ledge, neither forfeiting your heart nor your pride , or do you do something 'a little bit wicked' and leap head first?

Rating: 3 1/2 Aww's

My Favorite Part of the Book: Is the scene where Judith is having a conversation with 1 of her 3 'past-adventures' and he is warning her that the party she is present at is being attended by all 3 of her 'adventurers'. It was a simple ploy, constructed by the old flame from Gideon's past whom wanted him back. She ends the conversation by impulsively and passion-lessly kissing said gentlemen in thanks for some kind words when Gideon walks in. I love this scene because not only does Gideon keep his cool and ascertains the situation 'isn't as it appears' , he and Judith share one of the hottest scenes in the book. Once again, no billiards for me!

Overall I enjoyed the book. Miss Alexander has a wit and an ability to produce stellar dialogue that can hold together even the most trivial of novels. As I said in my review of another one of her books; 'The Virgin's Secret' , her repartee is sharp; although, in this book it wasn't enough to solidify a higher rating. I am a fan of action and drama and high conflict; so when this book is really centered around inner-conflict; battling ones resolve, and the constant volleying of emotions and thoughts, it grew a bit tedious. I favored the word 'thought-y' earlier and I think that was accurate. It wasn't a smash hit, but with sinfully steaming scenes and always entertaining banter, 'A Little Bit Wicked' has a lot of merit and will bridge you through any rainy day!

*Check out the next book in the 'Last Man Standing' series. In my opinion , the most cynical of the 4 gentlemen; 'What A Lady Wants', Nigel's Story./ My Review of this book can be found: here
Read an excerpt from 'What A Lady Wants': here

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Oh, and the view was sublime....

   The wickedly wonderful ladies over at the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books blog recently posted an article featuring this picture of Bronwyn Scott's 2008 book, 'Pickpocket Countess'.

   Besides becoming a recent-add to my ever-growing reading list, 'Pickpocket Countess' instantly goes down as being one of my favorite book covers to date!
  We always get the covers with wispy strands of hair, dancing on a moonlit breeze; or of lingerie-clad misses being caressed oh-so sensually by a manly, broad-shouldered hunk.
   I am usually against the objectification of any living thing, but if you guys must know; I am an unabashed perv and reek mayhem in the opposite sexes universe (they run and hide when I come around; I can never resist a man's arse). This is justice, and in my opinion, it has never looked so good!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

I do it all for you (and the love of a good book)

   Just a tiny disclaimer: Yes, that IS a hello kitty comforter on my bed. LOL!
   Just giving you guys a look at what I've got going on on the book front. About half of these have been read/reviewed, but I still have to finish the lot before I can return them to the library and get a fresh 'stack'.
   I refer to the following term a lot, but for an accurate definition:

Reading Queue (Ree-Ding-Kuew): A line-up of recently 'check-out' books from the library (or newly purchased books) that are meticulously arranged and placed atop an extra television (which is much larger than the one I use now, but I am too lazy to buy a universal remote to get this one working again; it's called convenience!) in the order I wish to read them.

I useually take home a stack of books, checking-out around 4-8 at a time. Since I have this neat, little blog, I'll probably be reviewing every book I aquire.
I love the idea of a reading queue because it lays out exactly what and when I should read something from my always stocked 'tv top bookshelf'. It's set up in a way that's probably confuseing to others, but mysteriously practical to me.
There is a rhyme to my reason. I am just weirdly efficent like this.

Until Next Post<3...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

'Some Like It Wild' by Teresa Medeiros -Review-

   Upon turning the last page of this book, I muttered to myself, "Well Medeiros, you did it". She made a fan out of me. This is the first Medeiros novel for me, and I am impressed. I always say finding a new author feels like Christmas; That now there's a whole career's worth of novels yet to be read/ yet to come. 
   The pacing was splendid and the repartee was on point! I just simply liked, enjoyed and appreciated this book.

Read an excerpt: here

   The story starts off with our heroine, Pamela Darby, and her sister Sophie traveling through the Scottish Highlands unaccompanied (save, an elderly driver and his rusty, old musket) and precariously close to financial ruin. The Darby sisters recently lost their mother, an actress, in a horrific theater fire and their last hope of avoiding the work house (or the whore house) is a deceitful little scheme they hope to carry out by enlisting the help of "some strapping Scots lad with more brawn than brains". Back in England, the present Duke of Warrick has been searching for his long-lost son for years; ever since his wife, his son's mother, ran off to parts unknown with the infant after discovering the Duke in their marriage bed with another woman. It has long been agreed  that the Duchess ran off to France with the child, but Pamela knows differently. Her mother, Marianne, was a childhood friend of the Duchess, and upon her death had a solicitor pass along an old letter of hers from the Duchess explaining where she'd planned to run off too (Scotland). With that piece of evidence, Pamela will be able to pull off her farce, but she must first acquire the puppet before pulling the strings.
   Along the road in the middle of the night, the Darby sisters are accosted by a notorious Highwayman, whose got a sizable price on his head. Deserved or undeserved, as the notoriety surrounding him is, Connor Kincaid is still a dangerous man whom should never be trifled with. He subdues the elderly driver and instructs the occupants of the carriage to "Stand and Deliver" (I love that classic line). Pamela decides to take on the highwaymen in the hopes that her sister can flee for safety. After telling Connor what she thinks of his 'unoriginal dialogue', Pamela proceeds to flirt with danger as she goes on a stand of morals and debates the highwayman's rants of English injustice. She further presses her luck as she is saved from his tantalizing kiss by her sister's pink parasol and proceeds to take the highwayman captive. She intends to use him as her long-lost Duke's heir; and as she turns the tables on him, she never expects to have them turn back on her.
   The elderly driver makes a run for it and it is the consensus that the party should leave while they can to avoid the authorities and take shelter somewhere until daybreak. Knowing the lands, Connor offers to lead them to the perfect hide-a-way. He directs them to the ruins of an old castle, and purposely to the lair of highwaymen he runs with. Upon swaying the numbers in his favor, Connor promises the women that no harm will come their way and agrees to speaks with Pamela privately about her previous plans for him. Pamela succeeds in convincing Connor to go along with the charade (after much bickering and reminding of irresistible perks) and the trio (plus Connor's right hand man, Brodie) set off for England.
   Upon strong arming their way into the gravely ill Duke of Warrick's sitting room, Pamela's plan goes off without a hitch. Unless you define a reckless ploy by Connor; telling the Duke that Pamela is his fiancee'; a hitch. It was the first thing Connor could think of doing to keep Pamela in his life when she was attempting to collect her reward and disappear. Soon the idea begins to take on merit.
   The Duke's sister, Astrid, and her 'whelp' of a son, Crispin, don't make the 'transition' for Connor any easier, but he has better ideas to keep his mind on.
   Some shocking revelations are made; including a discover that turns Connor on his head and leaves Pamela at a difficult impasse. At first she chooses to abandon love for some greater good no one can really find practical, and then she decides to take a chance on happiness with Connor. Before she can inform Connor of her change of heart, she is abducted and her life is put in danger.
   Connor makes the decision to sacrifice his own life for his love (Pamela), but after a few action-packed chapters, all is resolved and love is once again free to be as wild as it wants to be!

Rating: 4 Aww's

My Favorite Part of the Book: Is when Connor sets up a make-shift dress shop in the ballroom to have a new wardrobe made for Pamela. She had been crying and avoiding everyone all day and Connor thought it was because of the night before when they had engaged in some 'intimate' activities. The truth was that Pamela and her sister were facing poverty after their mothers death and it is an on-going fact of note that the Darby sisters aren't dressed in the first state of fashion.In the beginning of the story, Connor commands Pamela to hand over her drawers and determines by their current state that she is poor and thus, not worth the trouble of robbing. At this point in the story, when Connor commissions the wardrobe, the Duke recognizes Connor as his son and all the funds are open to him. I just thought it was a cute, high-handed way of telling Pamela he cared for her.

The cover of the book doesn't lie. Some do, indeed, like it wild, and Medeiros delivers. I don't usually fancy Highland tales, but this one was a keeper. USA Today got it right when they said "[Medeiros] will make you laugh and cry". This sweet and endearing novel is the first of hopefully many TM's for me.

*Check out the first book in this duet series, 'Some Like It Wicked', which is Connor's sister Catriona's story.

Read an excerpt from 'Some Like It Wicked': here

Recommendation of the Week: 05/09/10 - 05/16/10

'Only With Your Love' by Lisa Kleypas
"The newlywed bride of a Creole aristocrat, Celia Vallerand prays for deliverance from the blood thirsty brigands who abducted her from a New Orleans-bound schooner. Though she believes her beloved husband slain and despairs for her own life, the shy French beauty fears above all the dashing privateer who pays a king's ransom to claim her ... and boldly risks capture to possess her.
The most notorious pirate of the open seas, he is called "the Griffin" — a rugged and powerful renegade who arouses within Celia desires as dangerous as they are irresistible. But the magnificent adventurer is a man trapped in a perilous deception-and he guards a shocking secret that could deny him the love of the gossamer-haired enchantress who stirs his manly passions and enslaves his heart."Source

-'Only With Your Love' was one of those books that I picked up, not expecting to be blown away, but it did exactly that. With twists and turns that I could never even anticipate; it kept me on the edge of my proverbial seat from page 1 to page 416. I adore this book and take pride in informing you that....

                              This is your Recommendation for the week of May 9th, 2010 thru May 16th, 2010 
Until Next Post<3...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Historical Romances on the Silver Screen

   Have you ever read a book, a historical romance in particular, and wish it were coming to a theater near you?
   There are a lot of different movies out there in the net-flicks archives that feature story lines straight from our favorite periods in time. Victorian and Regency era films are so plentiful; there are even some where the acting isn't TOO over the top!

Here are some titles you may or may not have heard of/seen:

'The Libertine' with Johnny Depp is amazing! I watched it a few times when I picked it up at the local video store one summer afternoon. Click the link to read more about it; but as the title suggests, its about a libertine! A notorious libertine at that.

'Persuasion' ,a film adaptation to Jane Austen's memorable novel under the same title. This is by consensus of all those doing consensuses, that Rupert Penry-Jones is BY FAR the hottest Captain Fredrick Wentworth we've ever seen. There is a 1995 adaptation as well, but although it had better acting, the aesthetic properties (old, slightly unattractive) of the actors didn't please as well as it did in this version.

 'Northanger Abbey' is yet another Jane Austen film adaptation. It has gorgeous characters and in my opinion, does some sort of justice to the  book. 

'Sleepy Hollow' Another Johnny Depp! This one is about 'The Headless Horseman'. It was graphic and grotesque! I didn't like how chaste it was, but maybe Christina Ricci (pictured in the poster to the right) was a minor while filming so the romance couldn't be to exploitative. Its still a good flick!
'From Hell' YET another Johnny Depp. This one centers around the fiend 'Jack the Ripper'. Its has bawdy buxoms and gruesome murders. Anything more romantic?
'Marie Antoinette' with Kirsten Dunst, received mixed reviews. It's really a 'if it floats your boat' kind of movie. You'll either love it, or nitpick it to a skeletal shell. It also won some awards for costume and if anything, the dresses are really pretty =)

 'The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex' made in 1939, features an all-star cast inculdeing the incomprable Bette Davis. It was directed by Michael Curtiz, who had been directing since 1910, and has dozens upon dozens of films in his repertoire

'Shakespeare in Love' with Gwyneth Paltrow and the ever-sexy Joseph Fiennes! This is a classic for everyone. We all know about William Shakespeare and we all know about 'Shakespeare in Love'

'Emma' with Gwyneth Paltrow. Emma has been re-created countless times including multiple times in TV mini series and an earlier film adaptation in 1932.

'The Other Boleyn Girl' with Scarlett Johannsen, Natalie Portman and Eric Bana (mmhmm)! Oh, that scandalous Anne Boleyn! Great film. (for some reason, I hated ScarJo's acting, but she sorta fit into the film anyway o.0)

'The Age of Innocence' the film adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel
under the same title.

'Tristan & Isolde' with the always yummy James Franco! This movie was a delight! So cute and heart-wrenching at the same time. More info in the link.

'The Young Victoria' with Emily Blunt (love her) received some 
serious honors this year at the Oscars. Winning in the best costume design and best make-up and hair categories. I've seen the movie, and it indeed deserved the adulations and the nomination for best female lead at the Oscars! Miss Blunt did 'WORK'. This was a great movie; I wanted to cry at the end when she had his clothes laid out!

'The Duchess' with Keira Knightley is probably one of the most accurate portrayals of the Historical Romances you and I read today. The title alone is reminiscent to a Mary Balogh or Julia Quinn novel, minus the happy ending. It was depressing, but accurate; and the acting wasn't horrible.

'Ever After' is a classic that everyone should have seen at least a good 60 times in their lifetime by now. I loved Drew Berrymore in this film. Modern Cinderella stories always warm the hearts!

'Becoming Jane' is a biopic about the God Mama of Romance. Miss Jane Austen. An upcoming post will be dedicated to her, so look out for that.

As I've stated before, there are hundreds of movies from the Renaissance, middle ages, times of kings and queens and from the formation and systematic dismantling of the British aristocracy. They aren't that hard to find; use a good search engine and type in Dumbo-proof searches: 'regency romance movies' or 'best historical romance movies'.

> Masterpiece | on PBS is a wonderful source for romance re-enactments and motion-picture adaptations of great historicals. There was a whole event centered on Jane Austen's work, which was amazing (and which yours truly missed)! Right now, they are in their 'mystery mode', spotlighting that particular genre at this time; but if you keep checking back, you can get the schedules for upcoming romance masterpiece performances.

*I'll be scouring you tube this weekend for material to use in a video-media/ trailers companion post to this topic.

*Make sure that you e-mail me if you feel there's a great title I may have missed! And post your comments telling me what you thought of the films I've already featured.

-Until Next Post<3...

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