Tuesday, June 29, 2010

'The Tutor' by Hope Tarr -Review-

   Entertaining, Exhilarating and Insanely Erotic, 'The Tutor' was one of those books I just couldn't put down. With a sinfully sensual plot, which in most Historicals cases, would have been watered down and drawn thin, Tarr filled 216 pages with eloquent longing and carnal satisfaction. Ralph Sylvester is a former street rogue whom got his life back on the straight and narrow after years of rough living. He works as his best friend (also and ex street thug), Rourke's personal secretary. (in the previous story UNTAMED) Bea Lindsey comes to Linlithgow, Scotland to visit her beloved sister Kate (Rourke's wife). She is also hiding away from scandal back in London. She befriends Ralph during her stay and the attraction is planted. 'The Tutor' picks up on the heels of those events with the departure of Bea from Linlithgow for 9 months (which is filled with longing desire for both characters). Upon her return, she presents Ralph with the proposition of a lifetime; to be her tutor...on sex. And the price she'll have to pay may just be her heart.

Read an excerpt: here

   The book starts off with a 13 year-old Ralph's life crashing down around him. His mother (for all intents and purposes) was a whore; going out many nights with different gentleman (a few of whom liked to rough woman up and knocked one of her teeth out, leaving her with a gap). When she leaves one night for one of her 'little strolls', she never returns. Soon Ralph gets turned out of their lodging house with no where to go. Alone, hungry and with no place to stay, Ralph becomes the perfect target for thievery-ring leader Johnnie Black.
   After all the years of dangerous and rough living, Ralph, at age 30, finds some subtle peace as the personal secretary to street rogue turned successful self-made businessman Patrick O'Rourke.
    From the moment Rourke's sister-in-law Bea came into his life, Ralph has always held a secret candle for her, even though he believed her to be out of his league.
   Bea Lindsey was the victim of some unwanted lecherous advances by a friend of her father, and when she fled London to find solace in Scotland with her sister Kate, she knew she was just running from her scandal and her problems. She is determined to learn from her mistakes and take her life into her own hands. Marrying Mr.Billingsby will give her the stability and security life with her father, the Earl of Romney,  never afforded. Hamilton Billingsby "never drinks to excess or uses strong language or gambles more than is fashionable". Life with Billingsby will be safe....and boring.
   She already tested the passionate waters with her fiance' and was left with much being desired. She decides that if she's going to marry him, she'll have to take the reigns and see to their mutual sexual pleasures. She believes a good sex life will be the factor in a successful marriage and substitute for the lack of love. Mr.Billingsby doesn't know what he is doing, and neither does Bea; but one man who does know a thing or two is Ralph Sylvester.
   Upon the night of her return to Linlithgow after leaving 9 months ago, Bea finds her way to Ralph's rooms and propositions him to teach her how to give and receive pleasure. Ralph has been lusting after Bea for sometime, and her return after 9 months has only validated his acute yearning for the mesmerizing woman. He sets the condition that they are to meet every night for a week at 9 o'clock and that she is to give herself up completely to the pleasure.
   After a startling discover that his fallen angle wasn't as fallen as she lead on to believe, the sexual encounters build up and become very enlightening to Bea. She and Ralph begin to feel deeper feelings for one another than they intended too.Ralph is no agonizing over his impending good-bye to the woman who fills his days with long and his nights with satisfaction. Bea is afraid to pursue something more with Ralph for fear he may reject her. But when push comes to shove, just asking for what one want proves to be the most useful lesson of them all.

::Rating:: 4 "Aww's" ::Rating:

My Favorite Part of the Book: Is the morning after Bea propositions Ralph to be her tutor. They are having breakfast and while Kate and Rourke are preoccupied with baby Lucy, Ralph begins toying around with Bea. He puts his hand on her knee and starts to explore, all while she tries to keep her composure. I thought this scene was funny because not only are they registering their mutual desire for each other in a convert way, but Bea doesn't just sit there and turn completely submissive to Ralph's ministrations. She actually teases him back a bit, which flips the tables on him and has him in need of some proper 'concealment'.
   This novel isn't just a treat, it's a whole repast. The beginning had my heart-lurching after only a few pages and the happily ever after wasn't reached over night. I felt the misunderstandings were a bit too stretched towards the end and that after they exchanged I love you's the plot got just a tad tedious, but overall, it was a great read. With lines like: "He wanted her to not just want him, but to need him. He wanted to be her food, her opium, her air. He wanted to snare her so that the breadth of her desire made it impossible to fathom ever leaving him. Not now. Not ever." you can feel the urgency and emotion within every page. And did I mention how HOT the male model is on the cover? Sexy beyond words, in my opinion. And the scenes were just as hot (they were steamy, sexy and even scandalized ME a few times). Make sure you keep a fire extinguisher close at hand when reading this book.

-Make certain that you stop by on July 1st, when Hope stops by the blog for a little chat about her latest book, life as an author, and offers some advice for aspiring authors! =D
*special thanks to Hope Tarr
for sending a review copy!

*Also check out the previous novel that introduced us to Bea and Ralph, 'Untamed', Kate and Rourke's story!

M.Y.C day releases for June 2010

   As you all know, each month, I come out with a list of releases that you should look out for.While compiling my picks, I noticed that for each month, there always seems to be one day where the number of great new releases are bundled up. I have taken to calling such days with these occurrences M.Y.C days. M.Y.C stands for Mark Your Calendar, and should you be hoping to kill multiple birds with one stone, the M.Y.C day is that time to do it.
   In June 2010, the M.Y.C day is Tuesday, June 29th 2010 (TODAY). That day is upon us now, so hire your hackney and mosey on down to ye ole Barnes&Noble to get your copy of the following titles (as featured in the Coming Soon: Anticipated Releases for June 2010):

1.) 'My Dangerous Duke' by Gaelen Foley
2.) 'Love In The Afternoon' by Lisa Kleypas
3.) 'The Brazen Bride' by Stephanie Laurens
4.) 'A Groom Of One's Own' by Maya Rodale
5.) 'I Kissed An Earl' by Julie Anne Long
6.) 'The Duke's Captive' by Adele Ashworth

I hope you enjoy your day and add a few of these wonderful titles to your bookshelf.

Until Next Post<3...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Official Release of the: 'Which Bridgerton Are You' Quiz on Facebook

June with Julia Quinn has been great fun. I've gotten the chance to sit down and revisit (and in one books case, be introduced) to my favorite bunch of siblings in the Bridgertons. Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory and Hyacinth have kept me vastly entertained. To commemorate this fabulous first for the blog and pay homage to my favorite family, I have created a fun quiz on facebook. The 'Which Bridgerton Are You' Quiz was made with the express written intent of your having a laugh or two. Don't mind the inevitable spelling mistakes or nonfactual references (I am a self-proclaimed addle-brain at times). Some of the questions I came up with made me LOL, and some are so obvious, you can tell which result they represent, but the whole point is to have fun! Give the quiz a try and comment your results. I got: Hyacinth ....

And also, feel free to go to the contact page on the blog, get my email, and suggest more questions for me to add to the quiz. If I get enough, I may come out with a part 2.

Until Next Post<3...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Recommendation of the Week: 06/27/10 - 07/04/10

'A Loving Scoundrel' 
by Johanna Lindsey

"When Danny, a young woman who grew up on the streets of London with no memory of her real family, is banished from her gang because she helped handsome rakehell Jeremy Malory steal back the jewels his friend lost in a card game, Danny demands that Jeremy give her a job. She is determined to become respectable in order to fulfill her dream of marrying and starting a family. Intrigued by her beauty and spunk, Jeremy hires Danny as his upstairs maid, although he wants her as his mistress.

Under the tutelage of Jeremy and his cousin Regina, Danny blossoms into a lady. Although she is drawn to Jeremy by passionate feelings she has never experienced before, she refuses to be anything more than a servant to him because she knows he is not the marrying kind. When Danny undergoes a Cinderella-like transformation and poses as Jeremy's new love in an attempt to help him avert a scandal, a few highly placed members of the ton remark on how familiar Danny looks. Now tongues are wagging, raising the question of her true identity, which threatens not only Danny's chances of capturing Jeremy's heart but her very life.

-I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this novel. It's definitely one of my favorites. It was so passionate and adventurous with just the right sprinkling of mortal peril. The characters (both primary and secondary) were so engaging and intriguing, the plot was one that kept me on my toes, and the love scenes were VERY steamy! Don't call yourself a romance fan until you've given 'A Loving Scoundrel' a read.

This is your Recommendation for the Week of June 27th, 2010 thru July 4th, 2010

Until Next Post<3...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

'Ten Things I Love About You' by Julia Quinn -Review-

   A story worthy of its main character! There's enough drama, tension and delectable secrets to keep you entertained from chapter to chapter. "Sebastian Grey is a devilishly handsome rogue with a secret". His uncle, the Earl of Newbury, will do everything in his power to secure a wife and an heir to ensure Sebastian won't inherit the earldom. Sebastian really couldn't care less about the earldom, but when his uncle's perspective bride captures his interest (and his heart), he will have to do some crazy things to keep her where she belongs; with him.

Read an excerpt: here

   Annabel's last name may be Winslow, but when her maternal grandmother arranges to 'clean her up and get her married', all in London refer to her as 'The Vicker's girl'. It isn't a season that awaits her in London, but the overweight, hygienically challenged and elderly Lord Newbury. To put it simply: Annabel's family needed money. Lord Newbury has money. Annabel is the eldest daughter and thus, the responsibility to marry and marry well is laid at her doorstep. The Vicker's have a long-standing friendship with Lord Newbury and an alliance was desired. Lord Newbury needed an heir. And most important of all: Annabel had big hips. Annabel knew she had no real say in whom she would marry, but Lord Newbury becomes more and more unsavory by the moment. At a ball, after Lord Newbury forces some of his amorous attentions on Annabel, she flees to the the gardens and then to a heath in the back.
   Sebastian, fresh and relaxed from a recently amorous assignation, doesn't expect to be stumbled across (literally) by a virginal young miss. He also doesn't expect for her to ask for a kiss. But he obliges her request and our dance of wills and circumstance begin.
   Sebastian doesn't learn of Annabel's 'attachment' to Lord Newbury until the night he is punched in the face and spat on unawares by his uncle. It is a distressing family riff, and with both men avoiding Annabel, she is becomeing acquainted with social scorn with dizzying quickness as a result. Feeling responsible, Sebastian decides to help her out and 'play interest' in her so that she will be accepted again in the bosom of society.
   The play-acting becomes a little to real, and when Lord Newbury suddenly rekindles an interest in Annabel, she will have to decide if 'Ten Things' are enough reasons to abandon the security and position Newbury's offer presents; and possibly find eleven or more things to love about Sebastian.

::Rating:: 3 1/2 "Aww's" ::Rating::

My Favorite Part of the Book: Is when Annabel is distraught after she sees Lord Newbury ascend the stair to the Vicker's home after days of ignoring her. She knows he means to propose marriage if only to save his reputation, but she can't face that reality just yet; and when Lady Olivia Valentine happens across her, she offers to let Annabel hide out for the afternoon at her home. Lady Olivia is married to Sebastian's cousin and Sebastian spends a lot of time at their house. When he stops by per usual, he is shocked to find Annabel in tears and provides her with some comfort (and a solution) from her woes.

   Sebastian, Sebastian, Sebastian. His secret came out of left feild, although I should have had an idea from when he made his appearance in 'What Happens In London'. He is a bit melodramatic to me, but I still loved his caring and care-free nature. Annabel was an entertaining character, with her hilarious tendency to state funny facts in lists of ten's. The plot was one that had it's fair share of dark moments.I felt that the resolution (Annabel's conviction that no on will make her marry Newbury and that she loved Sebastian) was reached a little too swiftly, but I definitely enjoyed the ride. Sadly, this novel didn't include as much heat as we are use to in most JQ's, and I get the impression that JQ spent so much time developing the plot, that when she got to the end of the book and realized the Hero and Heroine didn't 'share relations' yet, she just threw it in there. It messed up the flow of the book after the climax had came and went, and the rushed quality towards the end was sadly noticeable. But don't let that turn you off to an admirably entertaining novel. It's worth the read, trust me.

*Also from the Bevelstoke Series:
 'The Secret Diaries Of Miranda Cheever' & 'What Happens In London'

- 'The Secret Diaries Of Miranda Cheever' is a spectacular book. I truly loved it!
-My Review of 'What Happens In London' can be found: here

Wrapping-up June with Julia Quinn

   It has been an amazing June! The first series spotlight is now at an end (review-wise), and I can't begin to tell you how much fun I've had revisiting (and in 1 book's case, getting to know) the Bridgertons!
   Some quick programming notes (lol) regarding the final few post that will be associated with the 'June with Julia Quinn' series spotlight:

-A Bonus Review will be posted Saturday, June 26th, of Julia Quinn's latest release, 'The Things I Love About You'

-'The Bridgerton Review: A Reflective Look Back'- a breakdown of all 8 books and the conclusion post for the series spotlight will be posted on the last date of June, the 30th.

-The commemorative facebook quiz 'Which Bridgerton Are You?' will be ready on June 28th.

Hope you've enjoyed revisiting the Bridgertons as much as I have.

Friday, June 25, 2010

'On The Way To The Wedding' by Julia Quinn -Review-

   What a conclusion to a beloved series! With an ending sequence I didn't see coming and a prologue that made a one-time fan out of me (ME! the hater of prologues by principal). Gregory believes IN love, and believes he IS in love just from a glimps of the back of some lovely woman's head. Said head belongs to Miss Hermione Watson, and directly by that head, is Lady Lucinda Abernathy. Lucy's best friend, Hermione, has the whole of the ton at her feet, in yet, she can't help falling for someone who is highly improper.
   When yet another fool (Gregory) can't mask his infatuation with her best friend, Lucy decides he is the lesser of two evils and decides to help him court Hermione's favor. Needless to say, Hermione stays steadfast in her devotion to her secret lover, and when Gregory starts to realize for whom his heart truly beats, it could possibly be too late. And so...a funny thing happened, 'On The Way To The Wedding'...

Read an excerpt: here

   Gregory Bridgerton was no fool when it came to the subject of love. The second youngest sibling in the Bridgerton family, He has witnessed all 7 of his brothers and sisters transition into their love-matches. He'd have to be completely daft not to recognize the prowess of love or it's existence and inevitability. He is the 4th son, with little to give him a purpose, and now, he is just waiting for love to decide when it will be a convenient time to come into his life.
   At a house party, being thrown by his eldest brother, Anthony, Viscount Bridgerton, and his wife Kate, Gregory drifts to the terrace where food is being served alfresco in the hopes of filling his deprived stomach. So, it was a complete shock to him to be struck by cupid so acutely and in the most curious of ways right there on the terrace. First he spied the back of her head, and then he knew (or at least thought) he was in love. He just had to know her, and know her now.
   Hermione Watson was in love. Head-over-ears, irrevocably in love...with her father's secretary. It wasn't proper for a viscount's daughter to marry said viscount's secretary; but life is, often times, annoyingly inopportune and thus 'improper' just when we need it to be all that's righteous and acceptable. When Lucy is practically tossed at Gregory, she decides to tell him of his rotten luck, but impressively, he stays resolute on his intent.
   Lucy instantly finds things to recommend about Gregory and feels he would be just the right thing for Hermione; so she decides to help him. It's not successful at first, and in all truth, it is decidedly counter-productive, but tenacious as ever, Gregory starts to make a bit of progress with Hermione. All that has to be tossed aside though, when a scandalous scene in an orangery puts Hermione firmly out of Gregory's reach.
   Gregory nurses a bruised ego if nothing else and realizes that he really wasn't in love with Hermione, just the idea of being in love with her. And when he spies the back of yet another female's head, he can't believe who's effecting him now. It's Lady Lucinda! After that maddening kiss that set his body afire for hours before she left with her party, the engaged, meticulous people-pleaser Lucy, his Lucy, has all of the sudden taken up residence in his heart and he hadn't even realize  it.
   Now the battle to hold on to love, real love, this time around is waged, and when Gregory storms in on Lucy's wedding ceremony, he bares his heart and soul.
   But what happens if she says no? What happens to love when the future of her family members may depend entirely on a union between her and the 'nancy' Mr.Haselby? Let's see if love can brave what happens if there's an 'after the wedding'.   

::Rating:: 4 1/2 "Aww's" ::Rating::
My Favorite Part of the Book: Is when Gregory storms Lucy's wedding ceremony and takes the lead in one of my favorite scenes in a historical THUS FAR in my readership! He was so sincere and genuine! There was just a sense certainty in his monologue and then.... the story gets turned on its ears!

   How else can I describe this final installment to the Bridgerton series? Splendid. Truly splendid! I loved the unpredictability of the plot and the twist and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire novel. I may grant that it was a bit melodramatic at times, and that the 'falling in love twice' (and so heavily, so quickly) premise didn't exactly endear itself to me, but this was a great book overall. I read this series in order and I can tell you in all honesty that I haven't experienced this much maudlin over a series ending since I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This book should definitely be a bookshelf fixture for any romance lover. 

* Try the latest JQ release, 'Ten Things I Love About You', from the Bevelstoke series.
-Read an excerpt: here

* Also try the counterpart book to the 'Lost Duke Of Wyndham' series,'Mr.Cavendish, I Presume'
- The cover is among my favorites! The hero just looks so...*sigh*
-Read an excerpt from 'Mr.Cavendish, I Presume': here

'It's In His Kiss' by Julia Quinn -Review-

   A fun book with more from JQ's hilarious and darling cast of characters. Our mischievously forthright, flower namesake, Hyacinth Bridgerton, falls prey to the matchmaking whims of yet another mischievously forthright ally. Lady Danbury is known throughout the ton as a never-holds-her-tongue, spitfire society matriarch, whom just can't and won't be ignore (no matter how hard you try). Hyacinth and Lady Danbury develop a friendship of sorts- with Hyacinth visiting every Tuesday to keep the old bat company- so naturally Lady Danbury will work her influence to bring together two of her favorite people. Her grandson, Gareth, needs her help to decipher a family secret, and his path will ultimately cross with Hyacinth. In this adventure of a novel, a fair bit of ingenuity and luck will be needed to obtain the real treasure that is at stake.

Read an excerpt: here

   Gareth St.Clair's relationship with his father was hostile at best and downright malicious at worst. The by-blow of his mother's lover, whose identity isn't known (until the end of the book), Gareth was raised as a legitimate off-spring and then effectively told of his parentage and cut-off when he refused to marry the women of his 'fathers' choosing (which was arranged just to replenish the family coffers.)
   The death of Gareth's brother, George, makes him the heir and his father has seen to it that he's systematically squandered the majority of Gareth's inheritance. Gareth is given a diary written by his grandmother in Italian, and believes that it will lead to valuable treasure. He will have to seek the help of an unlikely ally and fight his maddening reaction to her all at the same time.
   Hyacinth Bridgerton is the baby of the Bridgerton family, but she'll give you hell if you even think about mocking her. She's a vibrant, full-of-life, cheeky slip of a girl, whose on her third season and in no real rush to settle with any of the fools of the ton. Over time, she and the tell-it-like-it-is, Lady Danbury, develop a blooming friendship. Many find Lady Danbury a bit too abrasive, but Hyacinth can't help but love the old crow (I love Lady D too; I hope she doesn't take exception to the crow comment). The feeling is mutual, and when Lady Danbury's grandson stops by with a mysterious diary and a delima, the wheels start turning, and match-making becomes the operative.
   Gareth may be destined to inherit debt, but the effervescent Hyacinth, sister to a wealthy Viscount and a Duchess, has no problem over-looking that fact and helping Gareth translate the diary from italian (if he agrees to let her participate and follow it's clues to the presumes hidden treasure). As they spend more and more time together, trying to decipher the clues and keeping their meddling relations at bay, their efforts lead to the conclusion that a break-in at Gareth's father's home is the next step.
   As the search for his grandmother's hidden treasure becomes more and more dangerous, Gareth's instinct to keep Hyacinth from harm multiples tenfold, but Hyacinth will have none of that, he can't just kiss her senseless and then expect to leave her out on all the fun.
   The heated accent of investigative intrigue provides the perfect backdrop to a story about a man, whose family's secret could ruin his one chance at happiness, and whose kisses speak of ever-lasting passion (and love).

::Rating:: 4 "Aww's" ::Rating::

My Favorite Part of the Book: Is when Hyacinth and Gareth have to sneak into his father's house. On one of these 'missions', the all too attentive butler almost discovers them, but they quick seek cover in a wardrobe and you could cut the tension with a knife. There's the fear of detection mixed with the sexual tension that's been steadily mounting all throughout the novel. I won't give away what/if something happens, but The scene was just well-written and I remember it fondly.

   Hidden treasure themes can either be boons or bombs for some stories. I am all for adventure and mystery in a romance, and I love what JQ did with this novel. With just enough inner conflict in the hero and quiet a bit of engaging personality in the heroine, I was kept thoroughly entertained. There was also enough conflict between our two lovebirds to make the trails love often goes thorough in a romance novel do it's job here and endear the story to the reader. There wasn't an end to the amazingly funny and dear cast of characters and this book just did some really nice things. If there ever is another earthquake in New York (or wherever you happen to live), swipe this book from your bookcase, head down to your local bomb shelter and let Gareth and Hyacinth mask the hysteria for a few hours!

*Next up in the Bridgerton Series is the FINAL installment, 'On The Way To The Wedding', Gregory's Story!/ My Review can be found: here
*And also try 'The Lost Duke of Wyndham', apart of a duet series written with simultaneous plot

Thursday, June 24, 2010

'Loving A Lost Lord' by Mary Jo Putney -Review-

   The first Mary Jo Putney novel for me, and definitely not the last. The plot was great, the scenarios were engaging and the climax was exactly that.
    When Adam washes up on the Cumberland shore, he was lucky enough to still have a pulse.
  Mariah was all alone in the world and easily tempted to let the nefarious George Burke worm his way into her life, if only to stave off the loneliness. His persistence in vying for her hand induces her to tell a bold-face lie. She comes across Adam as he drifts along in the water and pulls him to safety. Suffering from amnesia, Adam proves to be the perfect temporary solution to Maraih's problem. But what happens when this temporary solution becomes a lifetime desire?

Read an excerpt: here

Book Trailer:

   The book starts off on a somber note. 3 friends, members of this 'lost lords' brotherhood, visit their alma marer to tell their beloved headmistress and teacher, Lady Agnes Westerfield, that they have lost yet another of their ranks. Adam Darshan Lawford, Duke of Ashton was presumed dead after a mysterious boating accident. After their teacher informs them that presumed isn't good enough for her and that they should not accept defeat so easily, the 3 friends set off on a journey to discover the truth...
    Charles Clarke was a gamer. He loved his cards and his gambling almost as much as he loved his daughter, Mariah. Sans a mother for as long as she could remember, Mariah had lived with her Great-Grandmother Rose (Granny Rose) until her untimely death, and then went to travel from place to places, learning the gamer-ways with her father. Charles won Hartley Manor from fat-pocket George Burke, and decides to settle down a bit and give his beloved daughter a real home for a change.
   All is grand and splendid until Charles goes on an ill-fated 'family business' trip concerning some long estranged relatives , but never comes back. It is the pompous George Burke who stops by the Manor to inform Mariah that her father was found dead at the scene of a highwaymen robbery just outside of London. Obviously grief stricken but determined to manage as best she can, she continuously refuses Burke's immediate, insensitive and thereafter tenacious proposal of marriage and courtship.
   Fearing the biting loneliness will compel her to accept George's hand, she tells him that she is married. He has a hard time believing her, but when he comes a calling one day and tries to force his attentions on Mariah, he is take aback by the emergence and retalliation of a studly stranger who calls himself her husband.
   While thinking over her predicament late one night, Mariah ambles close to the shore and feels an inexorably force draw her closer to the sea. She happens upon Adams body, drifting in the sea and so close to death. Bringing him back to her home, she realizes he has amnesia and does something that shocks even her, by informing the stranger that he is her husband. She even tells him his name is Adam (although she has never met him before, the name presented itself to her so she provided that name when asked).
   Slowly, pieces of Adam's past start to come back to him, and when Mariah gives into temptation and lays with him, she is soon requied to come clean and tell him of her deception. Adam battles with his betrayal and undeniable tender feelings towards the woman who saved his life. Matters are complicated further once Adam's friends find him and inform him of his ducal rank. Mariah knows her station in society is no where near acceptable for a duke, but when Adam insists that she comes with him to his London home, she can't refuse.
   Family secrets start to surface, putting our characters through shared emotional trails and tribulations. But matters are complicated even further when attempts are being made on the duke's life, and it is realized that that mysterious boating accident was more than just an accident. Truths and choices all come to a spectacular head as Adam realizes that losing the woman who found him and captured his heart is just not an option.

::Rating:: 3 1/2 "Aww's" ::Rating::

My Favorite Part of the Book: Is when Adam, still weak from his near-fatal shipwreck, rushes in to the drawing room and saves his wife from the unwanted attentions of George Burke. Burke was still leery about Mariah's purposed husband and decided to press his suit more aggressively. Adam immediately needs to relax after exerting so much energy fending off the fiendish Burke and he and Mariah take a seat on the couch. They share little intimacies (through words and little actions). It was a beautiful sequence of scenes.

   In retrospect, I started this book with a few expectations. The plot was one that brought specific ideas to mind. Heroine having to play the role of concerned spouse. Little flash-backs of Hero's past. An amazing consummation scene. And I can safely assure you, it's all there. I enjoyed the plot, the characters and most of the scenarios. The story got a little too 'convenient' for me, and just a bit improbable. Character reactions, such as Mariah's to her father's death was a bit off to me, a bit rushed, but still held some merit. I loved the progression from Hartley Manor to Ashton House, and enjoyed the many different twists, turns and side plots that kept everything interesting but tied together nicely at the end. A 3-E (Entertaining, Exciting and Enjoyable) read for sure!

*Give the next book in 'The Lost Lord' series a read, 'Never Less Than A Lady', Major Randall's Story/ My Review can be found: here

*Or try something from the acclaimed 'The Fallen Angel' Series, 'One Perfect Rose'
-Read an excerpt from 'One Perfect Rose': here

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

N.A.R.B Investigates: The Curious Case of Harriett Klausner

  I recently did a post paying homage to a reviewing legend: Harriett Klausner a.k.a 'harstan'. The lovely Katiebabs over at Babbling about Books, and More was kind enough to comment and alert me to some interesting information.
(Picture above is from my favorite anime series. How Appropriate?)
   Now for as long as I've been logging on to the internet and reviewing books (admittedly, not that long), Miss Harriett has always been a staple to the craft in my mind. I respected the way her reviews told me about the book as apposed to the poorly written drivel with no purpose some users would leave behind (apologies if I offend, but we all know what I am talking about). When I want to find a new book to read, I often check out the reviews left by users, to get a real feel for the plot. Klausner gave me what I needed, and many a time, I found myself making decisions based on the info she provided in her reviews. And she pretty much reviewed every single book I ever wanted,thought about, or already was reading, so my admiration and regard just stuck with me long after I made the switch from b&n reviewer to blogspot patron.
   But, as much as it distress me, the facts are the facts. Call me naive, but a small part of me wants to believe there really is a librarian in Georgia who reads all these books and shares her appreciation with the world. When writing my previous post, I didn't understand the magnitude of reviews and controversy associated with Miss Klausner until right before I hit the Publish Post button. Upon drumming up some quick facts for the post, I was not only impressed but a little taken aback at the official count of reviews done by Klausner. 19,000+ is a large number in any context of use, but it never crossed my mind in more than a fleeting fashion to question exactly how that number was possible. So, as pointed out by the various site's I've just become privy to, consider the following:

1.)For those who haven't heard of her, Harriet Klausner is the #1 reviewer on Amazon. As of right now, she's posted 15,584 reviews. Her very first review is on page 1,559 of her reviews listing, and it's dated November 22, 1999. That's nearly 2,000 books a year. That obviously isn't possible, even if she is a speed-reader. That'd be about six books a day. (January 28th, 2008 Source)
This was the first thing that struck me as odd as I typed up my previous post. This particular comment, along with the one beneath it are from a forum site I have listed as 'Source'. It's pretty cut and dry if you ask me. 

2.)To make it worse, she never gives a book fewer than four stars, which makes the reviews totally worthless. Said "reviews" are never anything more than a synopsis of the novel.(January 28th, 2008 Source)
-I have not verified this, but A lot of the reviews I read by her are usually up there in the star count. But I usually try to read the best of the best, so I am a poor authority on whether or not this is factual. But I'll keep an eye open.

3.)In elementary school, her teacher was shocked when Klausner handed in a 31⁄2-hour reading-comprehension test in less than an hour. Now she goes through four to six books a day."It's incomprehensible to me that most people read only one book a week," she says. "I don't understand how anyone can read that slow."(December 16th, 2006, Source)
-I was never much of a prodigy in school. For the most part, I did my work until I reached the 5th grade and then puberty compelled me to stop trying to over-achieve. #3, as reported by the reputable Time.com, does present a bit of a counterargument.
    All plausible arguments, wouldn't you agree? Shining a light on something like this really does make it hard to plead a case, even with that interview with the Times. I consider myself a practical and realistic girl, but pride and a little naivete make it hard for me to accept the clearly acceptable. No matter the evidence, a small part of me will always want to believe in Harriett Klausner's singular existences. I still hold her in an esteem and regard and credit her in-part for my ever-growing devotion to reading and reviewing. Her enigmatic presences in the reviewing world is one that is as entertaining and interesting as it is controversial.

So what's the verdict?: Because I am a stubborn optimist who simply can't accept good reason where sentiment is involve, I deem this case: INDETERMINABLE (lol)

Case Closed

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gaelen Foley's Pre-Launch Event over at Avon Romance Blog

   The stellar Gaelen Foley has a new book coming out in July (or technically this month), 'My Dangerous Duke', as featured in the Anticipated Releases: June 2010 post. The official release date is June 29th, 2010, but being so close to the month of July, it is considered a July release. And being the day after my birthday and the day of my beloved grandmother's birthday, you should already know my immediate activities for the following week: Buy cravel b-day cake, eat to my hearts content, sleep off the fatigue, Find bookstore, get 2 copies of this book (a present for myself and granny), read away.....rinse, lather, repeat =D

   Over at Avon Romance Blog, she is hosting an event to celebrate the upcoming release of her book. Ofcourse, me being the late-linda that I am, I should have alerted you guys to the event when it started (yesterday). But it's not to late to join in on all the fun. Comment on the day's post and you are automatically entered for a chance to win a signed copy of her book or that of one of her special guests (also amazing authors with releases coming soon).

Book Trailer:

So what in blazes are you waiting for? Head on over to Avon Romance Blog , go to today's post in the event and comment your answer to her most pressing question: If someone were to give you a hottie of the opposite sex, who would you want to be given, and what’s the first thing you’d make him do, hmm? 

My Pick Would Be: The delicious Sam Worthington. He was in the movie 'Clash of the Titans' and I fell in love! He is so gorgeous, it's no wonder that the overly-chaste quality of the film had me crying foul. I mean, this was a movie based on ancient Greek Mythology (a favorite topic of mine). Where was the passionate, raunchy, somewhat disturbing sensual adventure?
   Still, the eye candy was pleasing enough, and if Santa were crazy enough to leave this man on my doorstep, there would be no more Christmas, for I would have done some unspeakable things to Sam and Santa would be taken under police custody for aiding and abetting ;)

All Hail Harriett!

   Many of you may not know this, but before I started the blog, I did a brief spell on the Barnes and Noble circuit; experimenting and learning what style of writing suited me for my so-called book reviews. I would frequently (and by frequently, I mean, almost daily) happen across this wonderful user who would write some of the best reviews I've ever read.on almost every romance I wanted to review. Our Harriet Klasuner a.k.a 'harstan' is a forced to be reckoned with.
   She is a reviewing MACHINE on b&n, with over 19,000 reviews written! A Legend. You can also find her handy work on amazon.com. Her reviews are well thought out, informative, while not revealing too much, and splendidly written. I just wanted to pay homage to a great reviewer (I am not sure whether she has her own website, but she should!). You can find her stuff, scattered across almost every imaginable romance novel listed on b&n, along with some paranormals, mysteries, ect.
   Here's to you Miss Harriett! Thanks for your continued patronage to the art of review writing! Giving bookworms like me the idea to have a purpose on the web =)

Her profile page on my b&n (the community site for barnesandnoble.com) can be found: here

-And check out harstan's review of the latest Stephanie Laurens release, 'The Brazen Bride'. A book I've been dying to read !

Monday, June 21, 2010

'When He Was Wicked' by Julia Quinn -Review-

   There is always a dark complexity to JQ novels that help endear and set them apart from every other book on the shelf. 'When He Was Wicked' was significantly darker than it's predecessors and didn't give in to any cooky side plots of mysterious murderers or wagers gone awry. Being in love with the wrong woman sucks. Being in love with the wrong woman whose in love with someone else sucks even more. Being in love with the wrong woman whose in love and married to your cousin is as sucky as it gets.
Read an excerpt: here

   Michael Stirling saw John Stirling, eighth Earl of Kilmartin, as more of a brother than just a cousin. Michael Stirling also saw John's wife, Francesca, as the most desirable and lovely lady he's ever come across. This was not an ideal situation. Michael's love for John's wife is well hidden behind a mask of preconceived rakeish carelessness, which is really just a front. Michael is a casualty of unrequited love, but when John abruptly dies, that innocent uncontrollable fact begins to weigh even more heavily on Michael's conscience. His secret feelings release within him a sickening sea of guilt, having him believe he has committed the worst sort of betrayal to his dead cousin, and when Francesca needs his comforting presences the most, he high tails it for India.
   He stays away for 4 years, but comes back to realize that the distances has done nothing to ease the reaction his heart makes for Francesca. And Francesca, who went through the ringer of emotion with the death of her beloved husband, the miscarriage she saw as her last connection to him broken, and the distance Michael has put between them. She's finally ready to move on with her life and, after a heart-to-heart with her mother, whom also lost her husband very young (but had her 8 children to help her through), Francesca decides that she would like to have a purpose in life, and that purpose is to have a baby.
   Now, we've all been to sex ed. class and we all know that you need a mommy and a daddy to make a baby. Since there was no such thing as in vitro back in the 1824, Francesca will logically have to find a baby daddy (and marry the loser so that she and the child can avoid scandal, ofcorse).
   In her pursuit for the right candidate, she is taken aback and scared to death by the way her thoughts wander when on the subject of the newly returned Michael. As they balance and flirt with enigmatic temptation, true feelings, and a scary illness, is brought to the forefront and Francesca and Micheal must decide exactly how far to take their second chance at the life they want.

Rating: 3 1/2 "Aww's"

My Favorite Part of the Book: Is when Michael begins to get sick. After so much tragedy and suffering so early in the book, Michael arrives back in England with the perfect opportunity just waiting to be seized. His mysterious illness is discovered, but Francesca is steadfast in her devotion to her once-friend now love interest. I love the whole sick-defenseless-in-need-of-someone-who-gives-a-damn concept. JQ did it well here.

   This novel is a cut above and different from all the rest, but all the better for it. It raises the questions of "Can you love twice?" and "Do second chances really exists" and turns them on their heads. The immediate darkness of the plot had the potential to ruin the book, but there was a balance and a genuineness to the progression of love that made everything click. It wasn't a perfect love story. There were harsh realities and morbid themes and even AFTER the main guy gets the main girl, it didn't end with a classic "and they lived happily ever after". Quality is evident in this book and for that reason alone it should definitely be given a read!

*Next up in the Bridgerton Series (Book 7), 'It's In His Kiss', Hyacinth's Story!/My Review can be found: here
*And check out another JQ novel, 'How To Marry A Marquis'

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Recommendation Of The Week: 06/20/10 - 06/27/10

'The Bridal Quest' by Candace Camp
"Lady Irene Wyngate has sworn she'll never marry, keeping suitors at bay with her caustic tongue. But there is one man she can't scare: Gideon, long-lost heir to the Earl of Radbourne. He was kidnapped as a child and grew up tough on the London streets. And though he's been restored to his family, he is still more at home in gambling dens than stately ballrooms.
Irene isn't attracted to Gideon, or so she says when matchmaker Francesca Haughston asks for her help to civilize him for marriage. After all, he is a true rogue with a dubious past—a handsome rogue, she has to admit. But as she reluctantly begins to yield to love, wicked family secrets come to light…with devastating consequences for the reluctant lovers."Source
This is your Recommendation for the Week of June 20th, 2010 thru June 27th, 2010
Until Next Post<3...

Friday, June 18, 2010

'To Sir Phillip, With Love' by Julia Quinn -Review-

   I really enjoyed this book. Starting off on the tail end of the story before it (Romancing Mister Bridgerton), Eloise Bridgerton does something a little bit out of character and steals away in the middle of the night to meet a man she has only ever corresponded with though letters. Sir Phillip Crane is stunned to find the memorizing Eloise at his door, unexpected, and not some homely, unattractive spinster he imagined her to be. He intended to offer marriage to Eloise, but this high strong vision of loveliness being tormented by his twin children expects some semblance of a courtship before she says "I Do". Will Phillip find a way to put the past behind him and embrace the love Eloise has to offer? We shall see...

Read an excerpt: here

   Eloise is a spinster. But really, she shouldn't be. She'd had plenty of offer in the past, but with a sister and 3 brothers happily married in their love matches (the latest of which was to her best friend, Penelope), Eloise can not be held responsible for the irrationality that sweeps through her and has her high tailing it to Romney Hall in Gloucestershire.
   Phillip wasn't anticipating, a.) Eloise's arrival and, b.) her state of beauty. When he extended a written invitation to his friendly Miss Eloise Bridgerton, he thought her just like any other spinster he had come in contact with before; overweight or scarily underweight, homely, and overall just unattractive, but when he claps eyes on the slender and gorgeous Eloise, he is taken aback by her beauty. He hadn't had time to prepare for her arrival, didn't even secure a proper chaperone, but he must keep her under his roof long enough to convince her to be his wife.
   Initial put off by Phillip's rude and grumpy disposition, Eloise can hardly entertain the notion that maybe she might have made a mistake. Further tempted to think the worst of the Crane family, by a nasty tumble, induced by Phillip's mischievous twins, Oliver and Amanda, Eloise instead fortifies her resolve and tries to find favorable attribute in both children and father. She finds them indeed, and the allure of eternal spinsterhood starts to lose it's appeal.
   Eloise's family find her, almost pummels the unsuspecting Phillip, and somewhat-easily start to accept him after he feed's them and earns their respect. Eloise knows that the impropriety that took place in her staying at Romney Hall without a chaperone all but secures her inevitable marriage to Phillip, but that doesn't stop her hesitant response to the idea.
   Brought around by a persistent Phillip, Eloise is determined to be a wonderful mother to Oliver and Amanda, and the kind of wife Phillip needs. But she has her job cut out for her. She has to aid Phillip in his battle against the demons from his past, but in the end, what she wrote at the end of her letters to Phillip ring true. With love, indeed.

Rating: 4 "Aww's"

My Favorite Part of the Book: Is when Eloise's brothers all force their way into Phillip's home. almost tear him limb from limb, and demand that they marry. They think they are saving her from some lecherous blackguard, little do they know, Eloise brought this upon herself. There is hostility and animosity but soon everything is smoothed over (or as smooth as it could get after suspecting the man you are breaking bread with my have seduced your sister) and the brothers begin to accept Phillip. There were some funny scenes and as usual, the boys worked their differences out over wine and food stuffs.

   I really loved this book. The whole plot line is one that could have headed south in an instant. But with Romney Hall being the center setting of the story, you never get bored and it feels like an adventure. Eloise's interaction with the children is endearing, and her comforting presence as Phillip relives and makes peace with the troubles of his previous marriage really warms your heart. As you can only expect from JQ, the dialogue was on point and there was always something interesting going on. Phillip becomes a better father to his kids and all around, the book exhibits character growth that truly makes it worth the read.

*Next up in the Bridgerton Series is 'When He Was Wicked' (Book 6)/ My Review can be found: here

*Also try 'Everything And The Moon'! A splendid novel!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Not Another Romance Blog's 2010 Summer Reading List!

   I don't know what day you official start YOUR summer, but for some reason, June the 15th always seemed like as good a day as any to me! Half way through the month of June and your probably asking yourself, "What the bloody hell am I going to do this summer!". Have no fear, for I, Historical Romance Junkie Rita, shall save you all from unparalleled boredom this summer!
   I am aware that many blogs and book sites put together their own Summer Reading List or Summer Challenge, or some sort of festive, summer-centric event centering around books. Why should N.A.R.B be left out?  2010 is the year of first's for this little blog. April 14th was it's birthday, May was the first change of the calender page and the presentation of the first Author of the Month feature, and June is seeing the first month-long Series Spotlight (June with Julia Quinn). This being the first Summer for the blog (can't wait for the first X-mas, first New Years...Aww, this really IS my baby!) I figured we do it up in proper fashion.
   While this IS the Summer Reading List-Challenge , I thought I'd take it up a notch and sensationalize this momentous occasion further by adding a special theme to this years list.

Introducing: The Seductive Summer: A list of some scandalously seductive titles guaranteed to spice up your summer nights. You'll find that all the selections for this years SRL (Summer Reading List; because acronyms are trying little buggers) will have predominantly similar plot lines (The name of the game is Seduction) with a myriad of different twist and turns to keep the lineup interesting. If you've read one/most/all of these books already, then now is the time to reread!You can read the books in any order you fancy, but try to challenge yourself and go categorically (also try to finish up by the last day of summer, which for this blog will be Sunday, August 22nd). So let's jump right in!

1.) 'No Choice But Seduction' by Johanna Lindsey
-A fitting start to your literary voyage. I, especially love Boyd's tactics to sequester the reluctant Katey's affections! You know that question all the interviewers ask their guest- "If you were stuck on a desert island, and could only bring one thing, what would it be?"...well read this journey of a novel and you'll know why I'd pick Boyd ;)!
   "After her mother died, vivacious Katey Tyler fled her dull Connecticut town, hoping to meet her relatives in England and find adventure and romance on a grand tour of Europe. She had no idea that her life-changing travels would have both in spades - as well as danger and intrigue - when she catches the eye of ship owner Boyd Anderson and inadvertently stumbles upon a high-stakes kidnapping.
   When Sir Anthony Malory’s young daughter is abducted from London’s Hyde Park, her kidnapper mistakenly sends the ransom note to the home of Sir Anthony’s brother, James. With James and his wife, Georgina, in the Caribbean, the demands are received by their houseguest – Georgina’s youngest brother, Boyd Anderson. Searching for the girl with Anthony, the notoriously hot-headed American sea captain fully intends to make the foolhardy villain pay. But he hardly expects to find exquisite Katey Tyler, recently a passenger on his ship, at the center of the plot!
   Little does Katey realize that in having caught the attention of Boyd Anderson - and in meeting up with the Malorys – she’s about to experience more excitement than the typical young lady encounters on a grand tour, and her life will never be dull again. For a multitude of surprises await Katey, from the startling truth about her mother’s early life. . . to the lengths a man will go to win the affections of a lady who has every reason to despise him - but who can’t resist the seductive, impassioned love he has to offer her."Source [Read an excerpt: here ]
2.)'Seductions Of A Proper Gentleman' by Victoria Alexander
- The last book in the 'Last Man Standing' series by Alexander proves to be seductive indeed. Seduction more often times than not, leads to marriage, but when marriage is the intended goal, is it still considered seduction, or perhaps coercion? Either way, seduction plays a big part in this book, so it's going on the list!

   "To break a centuries-old curse, beautiful, headstrong Lady Kathleen MacDavid knows she must ignore every rule of propriety by seducing — and marrying — the Earl of Norcroft. So she sets off for London, braving scandal and ruin to achieve her goal...until a crazy bump on the head makes her forget nearly everything.
   The thrill of winning a bet — that he'd be the last of his set to wed — hasn't eased the earl's pain of losing his friends to marriage. Still, he'd be willing to settle down if he could meet someone worthy of his love — and desire. But he has met no such woman, until Kathleen is brought to him. Suspicious of her motives, he's determined to resist her seductive ways. But sometimes even the most proper gentleman finds it expedient to act improperly..".Source [Read an excerpt: here]
3.) 'At Last Comes Love' by Mary Balogh
-What!?! The word seduction ISN'T in this title? How will we know if it meets our SRL requirements? Well, never you fear, for I have read this wonderful book and can tell you for a fact that to 'woo' is codeword for seduce! Sometimes, the only way to coax a hesitant heart is through splendidly sexual trickery. (and some genuine feeling towards one another helps too!)

   "Only desperation could bring Duncan Pennethorne, the infamous Earl of Sheringford, back home after the spectacular scandal that had shocked even the jaded ton. Forced to wed in fifteen days or be cut off without a penny, Duncan chooses the one woman in London in frantic need of a husband. A lie to an old flame forces Margaret Huxtable to accept the irresistible stranger's offer. But once she discovers who he really is, it's too late - she's already betrothed to the wickedly sensual rakehell. Quickly she issues an ultimatum: If Duncan wants her, he must woo her. And as passion slowly ignites, two people marrying for all the wrong reasons are discovering the joys of seduction - and awaiting the exquisite pleasure of what comes after..."Source  [Read an excerpt: here]

4.) 'Beyond Seduction' by Stephanie Laurens
-So we're back with the seduction titles? But this one is worth the repetitive nature of this list! Once again, that troublesome, hesitant heart is in need of a good seducing! Part of the lively Bastion Club series, let this inadvertent stroll down the path of true love, interrupted by various nefarious kidnapping plots, steal your heart!

    "In a moment of recklessness, Gervase Tregarth, 6th Earl of Crowhurst, swears he'll marry the next eligible lady to cross his path. Cloistered at his ancestral castle in Cornwall, with nary a suitable woman for miles, he never expects he'll have to fulfill his pledge, at least not until the London Season begins. But then he meets his neighbor, the very appealing Madeline Gascoigne.
    Years of secret service to the Crown have taught Gervase the value of always having a loophole—there will be no wedding if he and Madeline are incompatible in any way. So he sets out to prove that they would make a most dreadful match . . . by luring her into his arms and, ultimately, his bed.
From their very first kiss, Gervase discovers that the headstrong and independent Madeline is no meek country miss . . . and that the fire between them will burn long beyond that first seduction."Source [Read an excerpt: here]

5.) 'The Magic Of You' by Johanna Lindsey
-Shall that be the pattern then? Title with seduction, title without, ect.... Maybe it's just the fact that I am writing this list, that the overuse of the word 'seduction' is an entity. (?) Well, this is a marvelous book. The cliche is, it is always the man seducing the woman because he wants to bed her, or make the best of their marriage. Or, it is always the heroine, when given the role of seducer, who has some grand plan to retrieve a lost medallion or some other priceless relic. Finally, a story where seduction is used for the right reason UPFRONT; For love and time constraints are never a good mix! I felt slightly scandalized after the first few chapters, but I loved it!

   "As wild and reckless as the most incorrigible of her male cousins, Amy Malory has reached a marriageable age and has set her sights on a most inappropriate mate: the straight–laced American ship captain who once nearly had her Uncle James hung for piracy.
    Warren Anderson is shocked by the brazen advances of his despised enemy's beautiful niece. Though determined to resist her, he burns for the enchanting British minx. And an impassioned heart implores him to surrender to a love that could stoke the smoldering fires of a family feud into a dangerous, all consuming blaze."Source [Read an excerpt: here]
6.) 'The Rules Of Seduction' by Madeline Hunter
-Well if there is a more competent author on the subject of the 'S' word than Madeline Hunter, I've yet to read her (or him, you never know). No good seduction themed list is complete with out this title added to it's ranks! Diabolical plan or no, the sensuality in this book is ever-present.

   "Dangerous. Sensual. Handsome as sin. Meet Hayden Rothwell, the shamelessly erotic hero of The Rules of Seduction and author Madeline Hunter’s most irresistible alpha male yet: a man of extraordinary passion and power, a man who can bring out the seductress in any woman.…
   He enters her home without warning or invitation–a stranger of shadowy motives and commanding sensuality. Within hours, Alexia Welbourne is penniless, without any hope of marriage. Until Hayden Rothwell takes her to bed. When one impulsive act of passion forces Alexia to marry the very man who has ruined her, Hayden’s seduction of Alexia is nearly complete. What Alexia doesn’t know is that her irresistible new husband is driven by a secret purpose–and a debt of honor he will risk everything to repay. Alexia is the wild card. Reluctant to give up their nightly pleasures, Hayden must find a way to keep Alexia by his side...only to be utterly, thoroughly seduced by a woman who is now playing by her own rules
."Source [Read an excerpt: here]
 7.) 'With Seduction In Mind' by Laura Lee Guthrie
-Really, can you tell? This book's title is dauntingly accurate to a description of your truly! But better yet, based on the context of this book, perhaps 'Seducing The Muse' would be an accurate title. Coining the title, you authors out there, so don't get any ideas, lol.

                              "Her proposition . . .
    London Society is harsh for a young woman with no family connections who has to work for a living. But when Daisy Merrick is sacked from yet another job, the feisty and outspoken miss comes up with a plan that could give her a future beyond her wildest dreams. There's only one problem. Her success depends on a man, the most infuriating, impossible, immovable man she's ever met. His resolution . . .
    Sebastian Grant, Earl of Avermore, is England's most infamous author. Known for his notorious reputation, he is more interested in play than work, and has no intention of cooperating when Daisy shows up on his doorstep with a mad plan. The provoking, fire-haired beauty stirs his senses beyond belief, and Sebastian knows he has only one way to stop her. Seduction."Source [Read an excerpt: here]
 8.) 'Everything And The Moon' by Julia Quinn
-Not a traditional seduction novel. More of a love lost, than found and almost lost again type romance. You have a colossal misunderstanding which leads to a lengthy separation and a hostile reconciliation. Robert has got revenge on his mind; but the best sort of revenge is....but ofcorse, seduction. In his ploy to teach Victoria a lesson through her consequent seduction, ruin and humiliation, he BUT OFCORSE falls head over ears again! *sigh* L.O.V.E

   It was indisputably love at first sight. But Victoria Lyndon was merely the teenaged daughter of a vicar. . .while Robert Kemble was the dashing young earl of Macclesfield. Surely what their meddlesome fathers insisted must have been true-that he was a reckless seducer determined to destroy her innocence. . . and she was a shameless fortune hunter. So it most certainly was for the best when their plans to elope went hopelessly awry.

   Even after a seven-year separation, Victoria-now a governess-still leaves Robert breathless. But how could he ever again trust the raven-haired deceiver who had shattered his soul? And Victoria could never give her heart a second time to the cad who so callously trampled on it the first. But a passion fated will not be denied, and vows of love yearn to bekept. . . even when one promises the moon.
"Source [Read an excerpt: here]
9.) 'Lady Sophia's Lover' by Lisa Kleypas
-Now this is what a seductive summer is all about! Highlight book! Enough said!
  " Why is Lady Sophia looking for a lover?
And could she seduce the most marriageable man in London?
    Lady Sophia Sydney would do anything to ensnare the unattainable Sir Ross Cannon. Her goal -- to ruin his reputation and cause a scandal that would be the talk of all London. So she insinuates herself into his life by gaining his trust and living in his house.
    Every morning, her lush presence tempts him beyond all reason...the way she bends over the table to serve him the meals she has prepared...the way her hands oh, so gently -- yet sensuously -- brush against him. Every night, she promises with her eyes -- and her body -- that the hours before dawn could be spent in unbridled passion instead of restless sleep -- if only he'd let her share his bed.
    She knows he is falling more in love with her each day. But she never counted on falling in love with him. And she never dreamed he might very respectably ask for her hand in marriage...
"Source [Read an excerpt: here]
10.) 'Lessons In Seduction' by Sara Bennett
-Wrapping up our reading list will be the ironic 'Lessons In Seduction'. That's what this whole SRL has been about anyway =) Sure to curl your toes as you pack up the flip-flop and bare the cruel September breeze (smells like school for you or your kiddies....NO!!!). A really interesting and daring novel!

   "What is prim and proper Miss Vivianna Greentree to do when her precious haven for orphans is threatened? She has no choice but to turn to the owner of the property, Sir Oliver Montegomery—yet the heartless scoundrel refuses to be swayed by reason. So Vivianna must resort to other means of persuasion ...
   Under the tutelage of Madame Aphrodite, London's most notorious courtesan, Vivianna is determined to learn the sensuous secrets that will render a man weak with desire, to melt Oliver's stony heart with a kiss, a caress and a promise. But as her encounters with Oliver become more intense, Vivianna unexpectedly discovers a fiery passion that leaves her breathless. And soon it becomes unclear exactly who is seducing whom ..."Source [Read an excerpt: here]
And there you have it! Get to reading! =)
   This list has been put together for the expressed reasons of having fun. I am sure there are plenty of great seduction-themed novels out there, but these are the ones I choose. I encourage you all to engage in something a bit different or maybe a bit the same this summer and work your way through the list. You can track your progress anyway you want, but feel free to post in the comments or on the facebook discussion board. Which books your reading now or have chosen to read, how far into them you are, ect.
   The economy is in the crapper, but that doesn't mean you should fret if you don't have a particular title. Go to the library, utilize one of the numerous paperback swap sites, borrow from the romance obsessed relative of yours, or even purchase them from any number of retailers (You can get good, quality paperbacks for penny's on the dollar at sites such as ebay, amazon, and half.com). I hope you will find some titles to relish and have a bit of a seductive summer yourself! (Okay, I am officially finished with this post, and I am pretty sure that if you goggle the word seduction, this blog shall pop right up!...lord (pardon the blasphemy) help us when I decide to do 'A Spring of Sin' or 'A Wanton Winter' or my personal favorite 'An Alabaster Autumn')


Monday, June 14, 2010

5 Memorable Quotes

 "Someone must have hurt you very much."
[actually, it was]A multitude of someones, and he was next in line.- 'My Favorite Bride' by Christina Dodd, pg.291

"I'm sorry.....Truly sorry, I...oh, what an inadequate thing to say"..."It's all right. There are some experiences in life they haven't invented the right words for."- 'Married By Morning' by Lisa Kleypas, pg.61
"You ask a lot of questions."..."It's the only way to learn anything useful"-To catch an heiress by Julia Quinn pg.188

"It's not a pleasant thing, to be at the mercy of a man who has none"- Midnight Angel by Lisa Kleypas, pg.324

"His palm tingled at the feel of her heartbeat, as if the rhythm of her life force were captured beneath his hand."-Someone To Watch Over Me by Lisa Kleypas

Sunday, June 13, 2010

'Romancing Mister Bridgerton' by Julia Quinn -Review-

   'Romancing Mister Bridgerton' is without a doubt, the most splendid addition to the Bridgerton Series. If you have not read at least one of the three books preceding this particular novel, I encourage you to do so. The culmination of what proved to be a most rousing subplot in this series thus far plays out in tremendous fashion as we watch two of the most unforgettable and unlikely characters fall in love. Penelope Featherington is no stranger to ridicule, being brazen gossip-columnist Lady Whistledown's favorite punching bag. Colin Bridgerton, the presumed devil-may-care nomad of the Bridgerton bunch, is home from Cyprus and searching for the direction in life that will lead him to a purpose. The awkward wallflower he thought he left behind in Penelope has blossomed into a vision of unparalleled and slightly disconcerting desire and she harbors a secret that becomes all too intriguing. What will Lady Whistledown have to say about such an absurd and unlikely match?

-Read an excerpt: here

   Penelope Featherington knew from the start of her premature first season, that she was destined for the life of a spinster. She was better off than most, with a fiercesom friendship with blue-stocking beauty, Eloise Bridgerton, and her unrequited love for Eloise's brother, Colin. Penelope has been in love with Colin since two days before her sixteenth birthday. The incident in the park which stole her breath away has stayed with her throughout the long and lonely years, but it is in the year 1824 that Penelope's luck starts to change.
   Colin has been blessed with a good lot in life. A wonderful family, filled to the brim with mischievous younger siblings and reliable and trusted elders, a wonderful and sometimes misguided mother who dotes on him with unconditional love, free time a plenty and hearty family coffers; what more could he want? He knows how fortunate he is in this world, but Colin can't shake off the biting resentment for those around him with something to live for. He travels the world, charms the ladies at every port, but still has yet to find his purpose in life. His older brothers are both successful in their own right; one being an accomplished artist and the other living up to his duties as Viscount Bridgerton. Even his sister Daphne is filling in the role of Duchess supremely. Colin is just looking for his calling.
   Home from his trip to Cyprus with notebooks full of his accounts of his travels, Colin can't help but cave in to pressures from his mother to attend some social affairs. Things are in a way familiar, but also changed. When next he claps eyes on his sisters friend, Penelope, he isn't prepared for what he sees. She's really grown into herself, and since when had she developed such a quick wit and that maddening cheekiness? Colin knows that the feelings he's developing for Penelope are wrong, but that doesn't help him get to sleep any easier at night.
   A friendship and a bond begin to form between Colin and Penelope, but soon the inevitable takes place. The two share a spectacular kiss (which knocked my socks off and had me squealing like a pig at breakfast time) and Colin reacts like all the other heros in history always have; by combating and trying to resist what he feels is so right. All the while, Penelope's secret is dangerously coming close to being revealed, and once Colin figures it out, it shocks him to the core. An unlikely marriage, a man's purpose realized, extortion and stolen identity all have a part to play in this stellar Romancing of Mister Bridgerton.

Rating: 5 "Aww's"

My Favorite Part of the Book: Is so hard to choose! At first I want to say that the part that most endeared itself to me was when Penelope asks Colin to kiss her(and he does so). It was truly a memorable moment! But having been a huge fan of the whole Lady Whistledown subplot, I'd have to say that my favorite part in the book would have to be when Lady Whistledown's identity is revealed. Not necessarily the exact scene it is made known to the reader, but rather, the scene when it is revealed at a huge assemblage proceeding a declaration of love. Such a marvelous scene.

   This is usually the part in the review where I wrap-up my final thoughts on the book. But truly, there isn't much I can say to do it justice. This is a shining example of great writing that compels the reader to feel with the characters and champion the underdog. Just....just...READ IT!

* Next up in the Bridgerton Series is 'To Sir Phillip, With Love' (Book 5), Eloise's story/ My Review can be found: here

*Also give 'The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown' a try. Acquaint your self with the bold gossip-columnist who keeps all of London on it's toes. This is an anthology with some stellar contributors! Definitely a winner!

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