Novella

The Lady Loves Scandal by Christina McKnight

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Can Gideon Lyndon win back the heart of Lady Sybil Anson after a year of silence?

Releasing May 22nd – Regency Romance, The Lady Loves a Scandal by Christina McKnight.
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Title: The Lady Loves a Scandal
Author: Christina McKnight
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
Release Date: May 22, 2018

Lady Sybil Anson thought she had it all. Even a match of the heart, despite so many London elite marrying for convenience. But the night before their betrothal was to become official, the love of her life vanished–with a hastily scrawled note and little more. She feared the worst as her heart ached for Gideon, and the scandal sheets simply made matters worse with their preposterous musings on the hows and whys of Viscount Galway’s disappearance. Now, more than a year later, he’s unexpectedly back, and Sybil will have her answers.

Many, many years ago, Gideon Lyndon made a grave mistake. One he’s spent most of his adult life trying to rectify. And despite the progress made, the sacrifices were extensive and damaging. On the verge of repairing one misdeed, he finds himself faced with his greatest challenge yet: winning back the woman he has loved since the moment he met her. But after a year of silence, convincing his headstrong paramour to take him back will not be easy. Especially since he can’t even explain why he left–not if he wants to keep her safe.

Originally published in IT STARTED WITH A WHISPER Anthology

Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | GooglePlay

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    Author Bio:

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Christina McKnight writes emotional and intricate Regency Romance with rebellious women and maverick heroes.

Her books combine romance and mystery, exploring themes of redemption and forgiveness. When not writing she enjoys coffee, wine, traveling the world, and watching television.

You can visit her online at the following places: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

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Tracy’s Review:

The Lady Loves A ScandalThe Lady Loves A Scandal by Christina McKnight
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Previously Released in the It Started With A Whisper Anthology

Release Date: May 22, 2018

Lady Sybil Anson and Gideon Lyndon, Viscount Galway are in love and soon to be betrothed. The night before the contracts are to be signed, Sybil visits Gideon and they share a passionate kiss and whispers of their hopes an dreams. They are interrupted by a late night visitor for Gideon. He kisses her goodbye and tells her he will see her tomorrow. But he never shows.

A year later, Sybil is on the verge of becoming betrothed again. She loved Gideon, but hasn’t heard from him since that night, save a cryptic note saying he would see her as soon as he could. She assumed he was dead, because nothing short of death would have kept them apart. But on the very night she is to accept the Duke of Garwood, Gideon returns to her. She wants answers before she will give him her heart again, but answers are the one thing Gideon cannot give her.

Will Gideon be able to win back the only woman he has ever loved, or will his secrets destroy any hope of a HEA?

Great story, loved Sybil and Gideon, no steam, secrets, angry brothers and bounty hunters and finally a very sweet HEA.

Lord Hathaway’s New Bride by Suzanna Medeiros

Lord Hathaway's New Bride (Hathaway Heirs Book 2)Lord Hathaway’s New Bride by Suzanna Medeiros
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Hathaway Heirs, #2

Release Date: April 28, 2018

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I am amazed by the depth of this novella – it is a very emotional and well written story that encompasses the wedding and the first year of marriage between Sarah Mapleton and James, Viscount Hathaway.

Sarah doesn’t want to marry James, but to save her mother and brother, she agrees. She has been burned by love and vows to keep her heart safe.

James has wanted Sarah since the first time he saw her, he knows that she was (and may still be) in love, but he hopes to win her for himself. He also knows that she didn’t want to marry him, but he paid off her father’s debts and she really had no choice. But he has hope that he can win her heart.

This is such an incredible book, it has a lot going on, but it always stays on point and reads like a full length novel. For a short book, it has a little of everything – insecurity, misunderstanding, jealousy, really steamy love scenes, family and finally soulmate type love. There is no way for me to write an in-depth review without spoilers, so just lets leave it at this – READ THE BOOK!!

This is the second book in the series, but it can easily be read as a stand alone title with no problems.

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

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.

A Rake’s Ruin by Maggie Dallen Blog Tour

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Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079L21KN3
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Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-rake-s-ruin
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1344878738


Blurb:

Only the wildest woman can ruin a devilish lord…

Claire is the dutiful, proper Cleveland sister, and the only one who’s not embroiled in a scandal. Until now. With her sister’s marriage to an earl, the weight of responsibility to save her family has been lifted from her shoulders, and for the first time in her life, Claire is free. A rebelliousness she’s long denied has her acting out in ways she would never have imagined. Like chasing her brother through the dark streets of London… and kissing her brother’s best friend and notorious rake, Lord Nicholas.

Nicholas thought he knew everything there was to know about his friend’s proper and boring younger sister. Beautiful though she might be, Claire holds no allure for the worldly rogue. At least, not until he holds her in his arms. Could this passionate, daring, feisty woman be the same Claire Cleveland with the simpering smiles? Even more alarming, has the woman of his heart been right in front of his eyes this whole time? He may be late to realize that there is more to Claire than meets the eye, but now that he’s seen her true nature, he’ll do anything to keep her by his side. Even if that means marrying her.


Barbara’s Review:

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: A Rake’s Ruin
Publication Date: 4/10/18

I first met Claire Cleveland in the Earl of Davenport (Wicked Earl’s series) and I just knew those still waters must run deep – and they surely do. This is Dallen’s second Regency novel and she’s coming along nicely in the genre. There were still some timeline issues, but other than that I think she pretty much nailed it. It is a sweet and very short read that is well written and well plotted. There is little if any conflict in this book and that is perfectly fine with me.

Claire was raised to be the savior of her family. She was the pretty one, the one who was going to marry well and save her family from financial ruin and give them a connection to the aristocracy. She is the one who got the pretty dresses, the latest hairstyles, and the most attention while her siblings got her hand-me-downs. You might think that would make her self-centered, arrogant and condescending, but it didn’t. What it made her was – numb. She shut down all feelings and desires to become the perfect simpering, biddable ton miss. Nothing ever rattled her at an event – she always acted with complete decorum – almost as if she felt nothing.

When Claire’s sister Anne married the Earl of Davenport, the family was saved. Now, Claire isn’t sure what her role is or even who she is. Anne keeps telling Claire that she is now free to marry when and where she wants or not marry at all, but the message hadn’t really sunk in – until the night of Anne’s first ball. Then, it suddenly hits her – she’s free and she is giddy with that realization. She can actually be something other than perfect – and she giggles and she smiles… She even considers saying something impolite. Then, she sees her brother Jed and heads toward him only to overhear him talking with his best friend about leaving the ball. She asks where he’s going, but he won’t tell her. The old Claire would have docilely stayed where she was and just worried about what he was going to do. However, the new and improved Claire had to know where he was going – so she does what any other young lady would do – she follows him, right to a gaming hell in a seedy part of London.

Lord Nicholas Galwin, the best friend of Jed, notices that a coach has followed them to the gaming hell. While Jed goes inside, Galwin goes to confront whoever followed them. Shock, amazement, and awe await him as the coach door opens and Claire steps out. What! Demure and biddable Claire has followed them, unaccompanied, to a gaming hell. He’d always sort of suspected that there was more to Claire than she let the world see, but the spitfire who greeted him was awesome. They had themselves quite a row and a mind-blowing kiss – and the story is off and running.

One thing that would have made it better for me would have been mending the rift between Jed and Galwin. They had been best friends since childhood and to leave them in a strained relationship just wasn’t right. It would have been an easy fix and the book had plenty of room to add that to the story. The perfect time would have been the afternoon before the wedding, just after she had spoken with her sisters.

This was a lovely read and I’ll definitely be looking forward to Georgie’s story.

Please check out my reviews at:
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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.”


Sample:

He saw her skirts first, bursting through the carriage door in an explosion of crinoline and silk. Pale blue silk, just like Claire Cleveland had been wearing.

No, it couldn’t be. She would never.

Then came blonde ringlets and those long white gloves. He knew those curls, he recognized the gloves, and the dress should have given it away completely. But he still couldn’t quite believe his eyes.

It couldn’t be. Claire Cleveland would never do something so rash.

But then she was out of the carriage, without any assistance from him or the driver. She glanced in the opposite direction before turning to face him.

There was no denying it now. She stood before him in all her magnificent glory. There were clear, bright blue eyes and those beautiful, lush rose red lips.

And yes, there was the scowl he knew so well.

“What are you doing here, Miss Cleveland?” He kept his voice hushed. The last thing he needed was to call attention to the fact that a lovely, young, unattached woman was here. With him. In an alley.

He peered past her. “Who let you come here?”

“No one.” She shrugged, tilting her chin up higher. “I brought myself.”

He gaped at her. “You brought yourself,” he repeated slowly. The words shocked him so thoroughly that all he seemed to be able to think about was how beautiful her eyes looked when they glittered with mischievous determination. Shaking his head, he tried to focus on the urgent matter of her being in an alley. Alone. With him. “What are you doing here?”

She ignored the question, leaning slightly to peer around him. “Where is Jed?”

Ah. So that was it. Some of his questions were answered then and there. She’d come to save Jed.

How very…naïve. Sweet, he supposed. He couldn’t imagine either of his elder married sisters rushing after him if they thought him to be heading into trouble. In fact, he couldn’t imagine them rushing anywhere for anyone for any reason unless perhaps it entailed buying a new gown. Yes, he could see them hurrying if it meant winning their ceaseless quest to be deemed the best dressed in the gossip rags.

Claire’s eyes were darting around the alley as though Jed might be hiding behind that pile of rubbish.

“I’m afraid you’ve missed him, love.” He watched with some amusement as her eyes narrowed and her lips pursed at the term of endearment. Lord, but it was fun to tease this one. He’d always taken an inordinate amount of pleasure out of teasing Claire, but tonight? Tonight there was something different about her. Tonight he actually managed to provoke a response.

And tonight, he reminded himself, this little twit had put herself in harm’s way by coming to a terrible neighborhood alone at night. Alone.

He reached for her arm, steering her back toward the carriage so she would be out of view. “What were you thinking coming here by yourself?” he scolded. The schoolmarm tone in his voice was perhaps more alarming to him than to her.

Claire was acting rebellious and he was the one scolding her. Had the world tipped over and turned upside down? Surely that was the only explanation for this reversal of roles.

Shaking off his grip, she tilted her chin up once more. “I am not leaving here without my brother.”

He stared. And then he stared some more. This could not be Claire Cleveland. “Who are you and what have you done with Miss Cleveland?”

She narrowed her eyes further so she was glaring at him through slits. “I am Miss Cleveland, you fool. And stop trying to distract me. I am here to retrieve Jed and I am not returning home without him.” Her voice rose as she spoke until she was shouting that last bit.

His mouth fell open and for the life of him, he wasn’t certain whether he wanted to laugh or shout back.

Claire shouting? What in God’s name had come over her?

She tried to take advantage of his shock by darting around him. Claire was small, but he’d never thought of her as wily until this moment. He had to spin around quickly to snag her, and even then it was like holding on to a slippery creature as she wiggled and writhed in his arms trying to free herself.

“Just hold still, you little heathen,” he muttered.

“Oh, I’m the heathen? That’s rich,” she said, her voice coming in pants as she fought against his arms, which he’d managed to wrap tightly around her upper body in an odd embrace that fell somewhere between a hug and a wrestling hold.

He tightened his grip so her arms were pinned to her sides, but that didn’t stop her lower body from wiggling against him and his body responded, apparently completely unaware that this was a struggle, not an embrace.


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MAGGIE DALLEN is a big city girl living in Montana. She writes romantic comedies in a range of genres including young adult, historical, contemporary, and sweet. An unapologetic addict of all things romance, she loves to connect with fellow avid readers.

Earl of Harrington by Dawn Brower

Earl of Harrington  (Bluestockings Defying Rogues 1)Earl of Harrington by Dawn Brower

Barbara’s rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: Wicked Earls’ Club #12
Publication Date: 3/27/18

This is the final book in the Wicked Earls’ Club series and was written by a new-to-me author. The writing was very good and I liked the general story. Many new earls were introduced in the book and I assume that they and the new leader of the club are the set-ups for a new series.

Jonas Parker, the Earl of Harrington, has a vile, cruel, hateful, controlling, and evil grandfather. When Jonas’ father died in 1808, when Jonas was fifteen, Jonas lost the only buffer between him and his grandfather, the Duke of Southington. The duke now had full control over Jonas’ life – he even sent Jonas’ mother away. The first thing his grandfather did after they returned to the house after the funeral was to punch Jonas in the mouth with his bare fist. Jonas’ efforts to escape from his grandfather’s control, then stay away from him and to thwart him at every turn is a main focus of the story. That also colored Jonas’ decision to never marry because his grandfather would see that as his weakness and would use his wife and children as a weapon against him.

Lady Marian Lindsay, aspiring spinster and only child of the Earl of Coventry (leader of the Wicked Earls’ Club) has only one life ambition. She wants to be a physician so she can help people. Marian’s mother passed away ten years ago and Marian’s ambition to never marry and to be a physician began. She just had to become a member of The Royal Society so she could learn what she needed to know. She’d studied everything she could on her own – now her only option to learn more was the Society. When she is turned down she and her friends hatch a plan to meet the Duchess of Weston because they’ve heard that she is a gifted physician and they hope she will tutor Marian.

Jonas almost always ignored Marian when he visited her father at their home. However, when he did notice her their exchanges were more like a sparring match. Each thought they thoroughly disliked the other, but those exchanges were always interesting and exciting to each of them. Lately, Jonas had become more and more interested in those exchanges but thought that Marian deserved someone better than him and he couldn’t marry and give his grandfather a weapon to use against him.

It was nice to see how their relationship developed and each came to realize that maybe their chosen path wasn’t the only one available. Their romance was nice to see.

So, since I liked the story, why did I give it 3.5-stars? Well, first of all, I think 3.5-stars is a perfectly acceptable rating – average I’d say. Mostly though it has to do with a big part of the story and that is Jonas’ title. Either this author doesn’t understand Primogeniture (and entails) or I don’t – and while I am no expert, I do believe the author is the one in error. The Law of Primogeniture says that ONLY direct male relatives may inherit a title (with a very, very few titles where the females could inherit). So, titles passed from father to son to grandson, etc. You had absolutely no choice – the current holder could not just choose another heir and the recipient could not decline the title. It was law. IF the son and grandsons pre-deceased the title holder, then the crown (or whoever did that stuff) went back up the family tree to find the next male branch – such as the title holder’s brother and his line, etc. If there were no direct male relatives found, the title died and the entails and title reverted to the crown. None of them had a choice. Also, there wasn’t any way that Jonas or his father could just decide to take on the title of his grandfather on his mother’s side. In this story, Jonas’ father and then Jonas refused the courtesy title from Jonas’ grandfather and they were not going to accept the title once the grandfather died. Then, Jonas’ father and then Jonas took his other grandfather’s title, on his mother’s side because he was the sole living heir. That couldn’t happen with primogeniture. The title of Harrington would have gone back up the male line in that grandfather’s title until they found a branch with a direct male heir. Then, at the end of the story, Coventry is suggesting that Jonas accept the title of Duke and then he could pass that title on to his first-born son and he could pass the Harrington title on to his second-born son. Again – just couldn’t happen.

Another thing that bothered me about the whole series (but didn’t cause any star deductions) was the apparent lack of definition of who the Earl of Coventry was. He had a different persona from book to book. He was a loving husband and father in every book up to this one and then suddenly he had been a widow for ten years. In some he appeared to be an all-knowing match-maker, in another it was hinted that he might be a spymaster and in the last book, I thought he was portrayed as a pretty sleazy guy involved in prizefighting. I think the authors should have fleshed him out fully before they started writing and then maybe collaborated along the way to assure they were being consistent. Maybe they did that, but his character certainly appeared inconsistent to me.

One more thing about the series in general – since this is the last book. The authors announced that you could read the books in any order. Okay. However, most people (I believe) would look at the book number and assume some timeline continuity – so, you wouldn’t expect to have an Earl who had his HEA in a previous book show up in the current book as unmarried.

If you are interested, see our reviews of the other books in the series by clicking on the names below.

Please check out my other reviews at:
Blog: https://flippinpages.blog/
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Twitter: https://twitter.com/BarbBookReview

“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.”

The Determined Duchess by Erica Monroe

The Determined Duchess (Gothic Brides, #2)The Determined Duchess by Erica Monroe
Tracy’ rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Gothic Brides, #2 (previously published in the Charmed at Christmas Anthology)

Release Date: March 27, 2018

Felicity Fields has lost everyone she has ever loved to death, but she plans to change that. She is close to figuring out the formula for the Elixir of Life, an ancient alchemy recipe that promises eternal life, healing powers and possibly the power to raise the dead. Since the death of her adopted mother, Margaret, Countess of Tetbury, Felicity has been consumed with unlocking the secret of the Philosopher’s Stone and reviving Margaret. She has gone to great lengths to ensure success, but she is running out of time and now with the return of Nicholas, Duke of Wycliffe, she is not sure she can continue her experiments without alerting him.

Nicholas, had not seen Felicity in six years, but he spent many summers with his Aunt Margaret and knows Felicity very well, she is by far the smartest person he knows and the most socially inept. Now that Margaret is dead, Felicity is his ward and he feels it necessary to take her to London and find her a husband. But he is not prepared for the attraction he feels towards her or for the secrets she is hiding.

This a very well written novella, it is a tiny bit on the creepy side, but it packs a powerful punch of emotion and the power of friendship and love. My heart broke for Felicity and I loved Nicholas, these two sort of reminded me of Brennan and Booth from Bones – they are complete opposites, yet perfect for each other. The story has some heartache, some fascinating scientific theories and a very touching ending.

This novella was originally released in the Charmed at Christmas anthology and it is the second in the Gothic Brides series, but it can absolutely be read as a stand alone title with no problem at all.

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

Earl of St. Seville by Christina McKnight

Earl of St. Seville  (Wicked Earls' Club #11)Earl of St. Seville by Christina McKnight
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Wicked Earls’ Club, #11

Release Date: March 20, 2018

Sinclair Chambers, Earl of St. Seville aka Sin is “rescued” by James Lane, Earl of Desmond when James sees Sin being attacked in an alley. He brings Sin back to his carriage and learns that he is the son of an old friend. He insists on bringing him home and having his injuries tended. Sin just wants to return to his rented rooms and await his meeting with Coventry at the Wicked Earls’ Club.

He goes with the earl and while waiting for the doctor, a beautiful young woman comes in the room, when she asks who he is and his purpose in her home, he flees. But it will not be the last time he sees the lovely Lady Patience Lane.

Patience’s mother was the famed pugilist Ivory Bess before marrying the earl, she died too young because of complications related to her fighting. Patience has made it her life’s work to inform and warn others of the dangers of fighting, to the point where she is almost a social outcast. She meets Sin again when he defends her at a ball against Lord Holstrom. Holstrom is the man Sin is in London to meet. He hopes Holstrom will set up prize fights for him so he can earn money to save his family and the people of his estate from destitution.

Patience waits for Sin outside his rooms, she wants to thank him for defending her. He is gracious and kind to her and when they part ways, she follows him. She is horrified to see him fighting and knows he will lose. Despite her quest, she knows a lot about fighting from time spent with her mother and at one time she even considered fighting herself. But watching her mother die turned her away from the sport. After the fight, Patience goes to Sin and takes him back to his rooms. She learns why he is fighting and makes a deal with him, she will train him, but in return he must abide by her rules and give up fighting. He agrees, but still intends to follow through with his plan.

Patience teaches Sin the art of fighting, but when she realizes he has not been honest, she is heartbroken. Can Sin win back the woman he now knows means the world to him and still save his people? Can Patience forgive him and let go of her past pain? Will her brothers ever get invited to the Wicked Earls Club?

I have read this author before and not really cared for her writing, in fact, I swore never to read her work again, so when I realized that I would be reading her WEC for our blog, I was not really thrilled, but recently I read an anthology and I really liked her contribution, so I decided to read this book with an open mind and I am grateful that I did, because Sinclair Chambers is probably one of the best heroes I have ever read, I really loved him. This book has a few typos, some misused words, a title error, no steam and a fair dash of angst, but I loved it, Patience and Sinclair are characters that will not be easy to move on from, they are perfectly imperfect and I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It is the eleventh book in the Wicked Earls’ Club series, but it can easily be read as a stand alone (as they all can).

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

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