The Blood Reaver by Barbara Devlin

The Blood Reaver (Pirates of Britannia Book 6)The Blood Reaver by Barbara Devlin
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Pirates of Britannia, #6

Release Date: April 24, 2018

Turner Reyson aka the Blood Reaver meets Rose Armistead in a brothel in Port Royal. She is waving a gun and demanding the return of her stolen trunk. He wants her and what he wants, he gets.

Her trunk returned, Rose leaves, Turner follows, introductions are made and she negotiates passage back to Charles Town for herself, her mother and her brother. Turner agrees for three reasons, he needs the money, the possibility of Spanish galleons and he wants her.

He convinces his crew to pretend to be merchants and then sets his plan to seduce her into motion. But Rose is much more than he expected and when she learns the truth, even the love she has for him may not be enough for a HEA.

This was a great novella, well written and fast moving story with pirates, a heroine who is a shrewd negotiator, a lusty sea captain, sea battles, steamy love scenes, treasure and a great HEA complete with an epilogue! This is the sixth book in the Pirates of Britannia series, but can easily be read as a stand alone title.

Ladies of the Stone: A Scottish Romance Anthology by Eliza Knight, Madeline Martin, Cecelia Mecca & Lori Ann Bailey

Ladies of the Stone: A Scottish Romance AnthologyLadies of the Stone: A Scottish Romance Anthology by Eliza Knight
Tracy’s rating: 4.5/5 of 5 stars

Release Date: April 24, 2018

This was a really fun anthology – four novellas centered around the legend of the Heart of Scotland, a mythical stone that holds the soul of Scotland and the ladies chosen to protect it. The basic gist of the stories is that the Heart of Scotland must be protected, if it falls into the wrong hands, Scotland will suffer. Each time a protector dies, the stone returns to the Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye and is guarded by the priestess, until the new protector arrives. Every protector has a mark, a small dagger on their hip, they also have a special power, that usually intensifies after they take possession of the stone. For each protector there is a nemesis, who also has a mark on their hip and a power – each protector will have to fight to keep the stone safe – classic good vs evil.

The Highlander’s Quest by Eliza Knight – 4 stars – The daughter of Julianna and Ronan Sutherland, Julia Sutherland, is called to be the new protector of King David II, the boy king of Scotland. She doesn’t want to leave her mother, who is recovering from poisoning, but duty comes first. She goes to Dunfermline Palace to report to the Earl of Moray, the young king’s regent. When she arrives she is stopped by Alistair Campbell, Moray’s personal guard. It is definitely not a case of love at first sight! When the young king is kidnapped, Julia will be drawn to the pools and will have to choose between duty to her king or let the stone fall into the hands of a villain. Julia and Alistair will have to work together to save both the king and the stone. Nice story, lots of action, steamy love scenes and a HEA.

Cassandra by Madeline Martin – 5 stars – Cassandra Thomas is the most recent youngest daughter born to the line of Beaumont women – the youngest daughter of this line is always born with a gift/power, at her birth her grandmother predicts that not only will Cassandra have a powerful connection to the earth, but she will also be called upon as a protector of the stone. Cassandra feels the burden of expectation her entire life and feels like a disappointment to her family, when at the ripe old age of 20 she has shown no real evidence of her gift. But all that changes when the mark of the protector appears on her hip and she is drawn to the pools on Skye. Fergus needs the stone, his king is holding his son captive, a son Fergus has never seen and will not release him until Fergus delivers the Heart of Scotland AND the protector. Cassandra and Fergus meet when they both arrive at the pool – Fergus bests her and takes the stone. Cassandra follows him – which suits his purposes. Along the way to the king, Cassandra will come into her powers and Fergus will help her learn to harness her gift. They will fall in love, but will he be willing to save her at the cost of his son? This was the most “magical” of the novellas, it had some anguish, steamy love scenes, action and a seemingly impossible HEA.

The Protector’s Promise by Cecelia Mecca – 4 stars – William “Court” Thornhurst, an Englishman and seneschal of Camburg Castle is drawn to the pools on Skye and the stone as is Lady Marion of Ormonde. Court get the stone and is pursued by Marion. Marion is the protector, she has anticipated and trained for this her entire life – there is no way she is going to let Court keep the stone. When she confronts him, he takes her captive, he will not give her the stone, he doesn’t know why, but he knows the stone will help him win his heart’s desire. Marion isn’t giving up – she will get the stone. As they travel, they are attracted to one another, but they are enemies and resist the pull. Marion wears down Court and he promises to give her the stone after he completes his mission. Marion must convince him that his mission will destroy the truce between their countries and that he doesn’t need the lands and title he craves to be worthy. This was a sweet story, with steamy love scenes, a bit of angst and very interesting ending.

The Highland Guard and His Lady by Lori Ann Bailey – 4.5 stars – Leslee MacKinnon is the current protector of the stone, she has an unusual gift, she can “read” objects, she can see visions of the past and can feel the objects owners feelings. She is at Holyrood Place to translate an ancient text for the Queen. She meets Duncan Douglas, captain of the guard, when she tries to enter the queen’s apartments. Duncan is immediately drawn to her and feels oddly protective of her. Duncan is the distant cousin to Lord Darnley, the Queen’s consort, the father of the prince and Duncan’s only living family. They both feel the attraction, but she knows nothing will come from it – she will return to Skye and he is needed at the castle. They grow closer and Leslee trusts him with her secrets, which he seems to accept without question. But when Leslee’s nemesis tries to claim the stone, will Duncan choose Leslee or will he choose to stand by the only family he has left? This was a great story, lots of emotion, steamish love scenes and the most original and entertaining fictional interpretation of Lord Darnley’s death that I have ever read.

Overall, this was a wonderful collection, all the novellas follow the same theme, but they are all stand alone stories, they all incorporate true historical figures and events, they are all well written, entertaining, steamish and each have a touch of magic. I am happy to recommend this anthology and would be interested in reading more from all of these authors.

Blog Birthday Giveaway!

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The giveaway runs until midnight on April 29, 2018 and the winners will be selected and posted on the blog May 1, 2018!

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Tracy-Grand-PrizeGrand Prize will be a lovely ‘bath and body’ gift basket including scented soap with matching body spray, lotion, and shower gel as well as ten books (three signed by the author) from some of our favorite authors and a $25 Amazon gift card.


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A Scandalous Deal by Joanna Shupe

A Scandalous Deal (The Four Hundred, #2)A Scandalous Deal by Joanna Shupe
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars (I would give it more if I could!)

Series: The Four Hundred, #2

Release Date: April 24, 2018

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book!

Lady Eva Hyde, daughter of the famous architect E.M. Hyde, Lord Cassell and the holder of the unfortunately nickname Lady Unlucky (because of her 3 deceased fiancés) is on her way to New York to oversee the biggest project of her career. Too bad everyone believes it is her father’s design.

Eva meets Phillip on the ship, she literally runs into him she introduces herself as Evelyn and helps him with his sea sickness, days later during a storm, they meet again and after too much champagne, they share a passionate encounter. Phillip tries to find her the next morning, but she is gone.

Phillip Mansfield is the owner and developer of the hotel, the Mansfield Hotel will be his legacy, he has hired only the best for the project, including famed architect E.M. Hyde. He is back in New York and ready to start his hotel project, but he can’t stop thinking of Evelyn, so when she arrives on his job site, he is shocked and then angry when he learns who she is. Phillip cannot abide deceit, he has been burned by a woman before and has a real problem trusting any woman. He takes Eva back to his office and learns that her father is ill and sent her in his place. Eva doesn’t reveal the truth about her father’s illness or that she is in fact the true designer of the hotel. Phillip agrees to let her stay on as long as she promises to stay in constant contact with her father and that she doesn’t use her real name, she agrees, she needs this job, her father is no longer competent, his memory is gone and Eva has been designing projects under his name for two years. Added to that is the fact he needs constant care and due to poor financial decisions, they are practically penniless. She cannot lose this job! They also agree to keep their relationship professional and forget about what they shared on the ship. Phillip suggests they consider themselves friends.

Eva is staying with her dear friend Lady Nora (heroine from the first book) and confesses all to her, Nora tells her she should tell Phillip the truth, but Eva wants time to prove herself. But that is going to be difficult, it seems that everyone is against her running the project. Union reps threaten Phillip, the General Contractor causes problems with her and demands that Phillip keeps her off the site, which causes problem with his relationship with Eva.

Phillip has other problems besides Eva, his mother is pushing Miss. Rebecca Hall in his path, he has told his mother repeatedly that he doesn’t want to marry. Becca is a lovely woman, but he feels nothing for her besides friendship. He knows Becca doesn’t want him either, but when he learns why, he agrees to “court” her to keep their parents at bay.

When Eva meets with the city building inspector and irons out the problems that have shut down the project. Phillip invites her out to celebrate, he wants an affair, but the risk is too high for her. He asks her to consider it. He takes her to see the new Madison Square Garden building and she is awed. She is touched that Phillip knows her so well and decides to take the risk and they embark on a heated affair.

Things are moving along, both personally and professionally for them, but Eva feels guilty about her lies, she decides to tell Phillip everything, but before she can, everything falls apart.

With her life in shambles, Eva flees to Newport and gets advice and support from an unexpected source. She returns to New York, intent on righting her wrongs.

Phillip will have to face some hard truths and make some serious decisions, is he willing to swallow his pride and grovel? Will that be enough to save his hotel and win back the woman he loves?

This book was fantastic, I couldn’t put it down once I started reading, there is a lot going on, but it never feels busy and the story stays on track even with all the little side plots and twists and turns. It is well written, flows perfectly, has steamy love scenes, a little angst, betrayal, some heartache, lies, secrets, drama, witty banter, great secondary characters, a great epilogue and a very, very hard won HEA.

This is the second book in the series, but it can easily be read as a stand alone title. I cannot recommend this book enough, it is definitely going on my re-read list!

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC provided to me by Edelweiss and the publisher*

A Devil of A Duke by Madeline Hunter

A Devil of a Duke (Decadent Dukes Society, #2)A Devil of a Duke by Madeline Hunter
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Decadent Dukes Society, #2

Release Date: April 24, 2018

Gabriel St. James, Duke of Langford is an unrepentant rake, he revels in his debauchery and could care less what society thinks. But he is more than just a decadent duke, his is also a protective older brother and that is what brings him to his brother Harry’s house, Harry is suffering from his first heartbreak and Langford will console him and assure him that women are plentiful and basically interchangeable – no point in being sad if you lose one, especially when there are so many to choose from! Harry wants to retreat to the country and mope in private, but Langford insists that he stay in town and attend the masked ball in three days.

Amanda Waverly is the secretary of the eccentric Lady Farnsworth, she is also the daughter of thieves, a life she thought she left far behind, but with her mother’s freedom and possibly her life in the balance, Amanda will have to return to a life she hates to save her. She attends the masked ball for the purpose of meeting Lord Harry, she needs access to his house to achieve her objective. But Harry is not interested in her flirtations and sends a silent plea to his brother to save him from the bold shepherdess who is currently throwing herself at him.

Langford smoothly separates the shepherdess from his brother’s side and maneuvers her put into the garden. If she is looking for a tryst – he is better suited to the job. They share a kiss and she finagles an invite to Harry’s house. She agrees to meet him there and leaves – he asks her name and she ignores him.

They meet and when he falls asleep, she does what she came to do and slips away. Langford wakes alone and annoyed. He still doesn’t know her name! So when he finds her shawl, he uses it to see her again. He is fascinated by her and can’t remember the last time (if ever) a woman didn’t fall at his feet. He will find her and she will succumb!

Let the games begin! These two are a perfect match but who they are may make that meaningless, especially when Langford learns the whole truth.

This is a well written, entertaining story, with witty banter (especially with the other dukes), steamy love scenes, secrets, lies, a resourceful heroine, a determined hero, schemes and finally a HEA that seemed impossible to attain! I really enjoyed this book and will be impatiently waiting for Brentworth’s story!!!

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*

The Designs of Lord Randolph Cavanaugh by Stephanie Laurens

The Designs of Lord Randolph Cavanaugh (The Cavanaughs, #1)The Designs of Lord Randolph Cavanaugh by Stephanie Laurens
Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Cavanaughs, #1

Release Date: April 24, 2018

Lord Randolph Cavanaugh aka Rand, the younger half-brother of Ryder Cavanaugh, Marquess of Raventhorne has carved out a life for himself as an investor. He is currently on his way to see William Throgmorton, an inventor with a project due in less than a month, whom he has not heard from in months. Throgmorton’s invention is the Throgmorton Steam-Powered Horseless Carriage. As the exhibition at Birmingham is going to be attended by Prince Albert, Rand wants to make sure the project is on schedule and ready for presentation – he has a lot invested in this venture and will do whatever is necessary to ensure Throgmorton’s success.

He arrives at Throgmorton Hall just as a loud explosion sounds, followed by the members of the house filing out and smoke escaping the opened door. He immediately offers his assistance to an older woman coming down the stairs, he settles the woman and then sees a young man being led from the house by an enraged young woman. A woman that makes Rand look twice…

Miss Felicia Throgmorton is not a fan of inventors, she has seen the carnage their obsession can produce and wants no part of it! When the explosion shakes the house, she immediately gets her staff and Cousin Flora out and then gets her brother, William John out. On the lawn she notices a stranger – a very handsome stranger with Flora. The man introduces himself and she sees her brother go pale. Rand asks to speak to their father and learns that he passed away months ago.

Concerned about his investment, Rand decides to stay for a few days and work with William John. He is attracted to Felicia, but has no time for a romance, this project is and will remain his first priority. But that doesn’t stop him from getting to know her a bit better. For her part, Felicia is shocked and angered by her brother’s deceit regarding the funds he received for the invention – Felicia now realized how imperative it is that the engine is a success. She grudgingly offers her assistance and is soon pulled into the thrill of the invention process.

But there are those that are not as excited at the prospect of Throgmorton’s success, who will do whatever is necessary to see the engine fail. Rand and Felicia will grow closer as they work together with her brother and each other to ensure the engine is ready for the exhibit and to thwart any attempts at sabotage. Along the way, they will find a love that neither was looking for, but soon realize has been exactly what was missing in their lives.

This book is classic Stephanie Laurens, it has all her signature elements, a strong, intelligent hero paired with an equally intelligent heroine, steamish love scenes, a dash of danger, a bit of intrigue, a soulmate type bond, a twist that changes everything and a wonderful cast of secondary characters. The book is a little wordy, but I kept turning pages to see what was going to happen next! I was fascinated by the invention process and I actually felt a little sorry for the villain. The epilogue perfectly set up the next book in the series without taking anything away from Felicia and Rand.

I happily recommend this book and am looking forward to Kit’s story!

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*

Lady Rogue by Theresa Romain

Lady Rogue (The Royal Rewards #3)Lady Rogue by Theresa Romain

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Series: The Royal Rewards #3
Publication Date: 4/24/18

I wanted, so much, to love this book, the characters, the story, etc. but I just couldn’t get there. The characters just weren’t believable nor were their actions, but I think that is mostly because of the time the author chose to set the story within. The setting is the Regency (1818) period but absolutely none of the societal norms of the times are present and that just makes it all totally unbelievable. If the story were set at a later time when Callum (son of a grocer) really could have been referred to as an ‘Officer of the Police’, or Isobel (daughter of a Marquess) really could have received him in the drawing room after he entered through the front door, or she really could have visited (happily chatting) with his family in their grocery store, or she could have freely visited him at his rooming house unaccompanied, etc., well, then maybe the story would have worked. This author writes well, but this story was so non-Regency that I just couldn’t get into it.

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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”

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