Tag Archives: Shana Galen

An Affair With A Spare by Shana Galen

An Affair with a Spare (The Survivors, #3)An Affair with a Spare by Shana Galen

Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Survivors #3
Publication Date: 7/3/18

This book is filled with spies, assassins, danger, trickery, betrayal, and yes, love and lust. The writing is excellent, the plots well thought-out and executed and the characters are very relatable and likable. The series focuses on the few survivors of a suicide team from the Napoleonic wars – they were spare heirs whose lives were expendable and they took on the most dangerous secret missions of the war. Most didn’t make it back, but these are the stories of the few who did survive. Rafe Beaumont is one of those survivors and you just always knew there had to be more to him than was apparent and that there was a story buried deep within him. I certainly loved learning what that story was.

Rafe Beaumont, the fifth son of an earl, is seen by everyone as a fribble, a seducer, someone with no real substance. The truth is, he isn’t a seducer – those women chase him with one purpose – being seduced. He’s drop-dead gorgeous, a skilled lover and the most charming man anyone would want to meet. Everybody loves him. Rafe is one of the survivors and he’s always been a little resentful that he was never given the dangerous, exciting missions. His missions were always about seducing information from the wife or lover of someone who held knowledge of French war strategies, etc. Those were easy tasks for Rafe because he never got attached to anyone – he never had a problem walking away. As a matter of fact, he always did the walking away. He’d never give anybody the chance to make him care and then walk away from him.

Imagine Rafe’s total shock when, after being given an assignment, the lady in question seems totally immune to his charms. She’s just not interested. That is just not possible. Is he losing his touch? He’s never actually had to pursue anyone, so he’s not sure how to proceed. Can he figure it out and complete his mission?

Collette Fortier is the daughter of Napoleon’s most successful assassin. The wars are over, but the English would love to get their hands on him. Actually, the English aren’t the only ones. The French royalists have already taken him prisoner and are forcing Collette to spy for them. Her mission – to obtain the codes England uses in its communications. If she doesn’t succeed, her father doesn’t survive. It is just that simple. So, Collette absolutely cannot allow her attraction to Rafe Beaumont to show or to act upon it in any way.

Collette’s ‘cousin’ in England, Lady Ravensgate, is actually no relation at all. Collette had never met the woman before. However, this ‘cousin’ now holds the future of both Collette and her father in her hands. She sees that Collette gets to all of the important social functions that would allow Collette to collect information and meet the people who can lead her to the codes she needs. Collette is focused on Lieutenant Colonel Draven, but she cannot get her to engage with her – and then, suddenly, Rafe Beaumont is paying her attention. When he can’t seduce her, he offers to be her friend. Can she be friends with him and not let her attraction show? Is he really offering friendship or does he have ulterior motives? Can she use him to get the information she needs?

There is always an element of humor involved in these books – and this one is no exception. Collette used a natural history volume on hedgehogs in order to learn English. So, when she is nervous – quotes from the manual escape her mouth. It is totally entertaining and smile-worthy to see where and when these quotes pop out of her mouth.

“During courting rituals the hedgehog sow continually rejects the boar, turning to give him her flank.”
“The majority of snorting during hedgehog courtship originates from the sow.”

Epilogues are one of my favorite things in a book, and this one had a lovely one. However, I would have liked the epilogue to either be longer – or for the epilogue to have an epilogue – something. I wanted to know more about the trip, what happened at the end, how they survived with no money, etc. I just wanted more. Since the end seemed rushed, I really did want more substantive answers to my questions.

Now, to begin my impatient wait for the next book which will feature Jasper.

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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.”

Cover Reveal for Unmask Me if You Can by Shana Galen

Dear Reader,

I’m so excited to reveal the cover of the 4th Survivors book, Unmask Me if You Can. From the beginning of the series, readers have been asking for Jasper’s story. It will be available in print and ebook November 16, 2018! Links coming soon, but for now, I hope you enjoy the cover.

ShanaGalen_UnmaskMeIfYouCan_HRA bit about the book:

This masked lord…

Lord Jasper, younger son of a duke, suffered horrible burns fighting in the Napoleonic Wars. He wears a mask to hide his face from the stares and screams and finds comfort in the shadows. Jasper is an exceptional bounty hunter, so when a woman summons him to her deathbed and asks Jasper to find her runaway daughter before she passes away, he doesn’t refuse. Jasper is close to his quarry when he’s knifed by an assailant. Imagine his surprise when he regains consciousness in the arms of the woman he seeks. Except she’s not at all what he expected.

Is not the only one with scars.

On a remote cliff on the sea, Olivia Carlisle calls her four-year-old son in from an approaching storm. But the little boy is more interested in the man he’s found on the trail to their hidden cottage. Olivia fears men and wants nothing more than to leave the injured man where she found him. But his knife wound is severe, and with the approaching storm, she knows leaving him will condemn him to death. As Jasper begins to heal, Olivia acknowledges her attraction to him, even though such emotions terrify her almost as much as returning to London. Jasper must convince her that her only chance at safety is to challenge the man who pursues her. They must travel into the lion’s den—he to face his vulnerability and her to face her worst fears.

No Earls Allowed by Shana Galen

No Earls Allowed (The Survivors, #2)No Earls Allowed by Shana Galen

Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Survivors, #2

Release Date: March 6, 2018

I liked this book, but not as much as the previous book.

Lady Juliana St. Maur aka Julia, last surviving daughter of the Earl of St. Maur has taken over the St. Dismas Home for Wayward Youth or as she calls it Sunnybrooke Home for Boys, an orphanage in Spitalfields. Her father has allowed her to continue her work there believing that it was part of her grieving the loss of her sister, but now he has had enough and he wants her to come home.

Enter Major Neil Wraxall, aka Warrior, war hero, member of the Survivor’s Club and illegitimate son of the Marquess of Kensington. His father and Juliana’s father are friends and the Earl has asked Kensington to have his son bring Julia home. Neil believes this will be an easy “mission” and he will be back in his club drinking gin before dinner.

Neil’s first encounter with Julia is certainly not what he expected, he didn’t expect a gorgeous woman in a ball gown covered in flour, he didn’t expect rats and he didn’t expect to have to wrangle boys and get breakfast. He tells Julia he is here to escort her home and she tells him she isn’t leaving. Her maid has quit, her cook has quit and now her teacher is leaving, she cannot leave the boys alone. Neil decides to help her get things in shape at the orphanage, so he can keep her safe until he can get her to leave.

Julia’s father has let Julia stay at the orphanage as long as she agrees to participate in ton events and she doesn’t cause a scandal. Julia really could care less about the ton, she has no desire to marry and doesn’t trust men. Her heart was broken when her sister died and she lost her nephew Davy. She pours all the love she had for them into the orphanage and she will not leave. She is not exactly thrilled to have Neil there, but considering the unforeseen threats she has received from the local crime boss Slag, she isn’t in a rush to get rid of him.

What began as a simple mission to bring a pampered earl’s daughter home has morphed into an epic battle of wills and neither Julia or Neil is willing to give an inch. Neil makes repairs and unwillingly helps with the boys, earning Julia’s respect. There is an immediate attraction between them, but they both fight it. Slowly Julia begins to trust Neil and finally shares the threats Slag has made. Neil vows to keep her and the boys safe and promises that he will take care of Slag.

When it appears that Slag is no longer a threat and Julia is safe, Neil decides to leave. Julia asks him to stay, she knows she loves him, but Neil can’t seem to let go of the past and enjoy the future. He cares for Julia, but he is not the man for her. Julia is left broken hearted and Neil returns to his “life”. It seems there will be no HEA for these two, until Rafe steps in and Slag reappears and Neil realizes that he loves her, but it might be too late.

This was a very well written book, the story moves right along and there is no lagging, the secondary characters are wonderful – loved the boys! There are cameos by Rafe & Ewan (yes!), steamy love scenes, some amusing moments, some nail biting moments and finally a very, very hard earned HEA. There is much to recommend this book, but the idea that a young unmarried woman could do what Julia was doing and still be accepted in polite society defies belief and Neil’s overwhelming guilt and his negative outlook got to be a bit tiresome.

This is the second book in the Survivors series, but it could easily be read as a stand alone title with no problems. I would happily recommend this book and can’t wait for Rafe’s book!!!

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

Tracy & Barbara’s Historical Romance Favorites For 2017

As 2017 draws to a close, we’d like to take a moment to thank each of you for your support of our blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages.  We were so excited to start our blog in April, but we were apprehensive as well.  We wondered if we’d be able to produce content that others would appreciate and if we’d be able to grow our following.  Thanks to you, we have grown, are still growing and look forward to growing even more in 2018.

We have read and reviewed some wonderful books this year and we’d like to share our favorites with you.  So, we’ll be sharing our ‘favorites’ published in 2017 with you, in this post and the next – along with a link to our review (just click on the picture to see the review).   You might notice that some books are on both Tracy and Barbara’s list – smiles – that should let you know it was a REALLY good book.  We hope you will enjoy the list, the reviews – and maybe find a new favorite for yourself.  If you like our blog, please pass us along to your friends so maybe they’ll follow us too.

First up – is a list of our favorite Historical Romances.  They are not listed in any particular order.

Barbara’s List

Traitor In Her ArmsThree Weeks With A PrincessThird Son's A CharmThe Silent DukeThe Highlanders Princess BrideThe Duke Of Her DesireHighland SpyHighland RuseTracy-Duke With BenefitsA Most Unlikely Duke


Tracy’s List

Tracy - Anything but a GentlemanTracy-Duchess DealTracy - Duke of DesireTracy - Earl In Wolf's ClothingTraitor In Her ArmsTracy - The Daring DukeTracy - The DukeTracy - Seducing Mr. SykesTracy - Someone To LoveThe Highlanders Princess Bride

 

 

 

 

Third Son’s A Charm by Shana Galen

Third Son's a Charm (The Survivors, #1)Third Son’s a Charm by Shana Galen

Series: The Survivors, #1

Release Date: November 7,2017

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a great start to a new series!

This was such a fun book to read and almost impossible to put down.

Ewan Mostyn aka Protector aka the Viking is the third son of the Earl of Pembroke. He has returned from the war a hero, he was part of an elite group of men who took the most impossible missions and survived. Ewan is a man of few words and even fewer desires – a place to sleep, the opportunity to bash heads and food are all he really wants or needs to be happy. But beneath his stoic demeanor is a man that has been hurt and doubts his own self worth. I LOVED Ewan – LOVED HIM! Currently Ewan is bashing heads for a living at a gaming hell, but when he is approached by the Duke of Ridlington with an intriguing offer of employment, he decides to take the job.

Lady Lorraine Caldwell aka Lorrie is the only daughter of the Duke of Ridlington and she is madly in love with Francis Mostyn, too bad her father has declined his offer for her hand, so Lorrie decides to elope. She may have failed the first time, but she is in no way giving up! But her plans are thwarted when her father introduces her to Ewan – her new bodyguard and the cousin to Francis. Lorrie still isn’t ready to give up and even though she is captivated by Ewan, she firmly reminds herself that this man was a beast to her true love and she will outwit him! She will keep Ewan on his toes and is a total delight!

The story is sweet and as Ewan and Lorrie begin to have deeper feelings for each other, the reader really saw the struggle Ewan felt, his feelings of inadequacy, his longing for what could never be and his growing feelings for Lorrie. Lorrie also matures during the course of the story, she finally accepts that she never really loved Francis and wants a man that will fight for her, she hopes that Ewan will be that man, but he seems to be pushing her away.

When Lorrie is kidnapped, Ewan realizes that he loves her and nothing will stop him from finding her and keeping her forever.

The story was well written and flowed wonderfully, there is a great cast of secondary characters that add some extremely amusing moments, a secondary romance, secrets, action, steamy love scenes and a beautiful ending! I would be happy to recommend this book and I am looking forward to the rest of the series!

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

The Pirate Takes A Bride by Shana Galen

The Pirate Takes a Bride (Misadventures in Matrimony, #4)Barbara’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Misadventures in Matrimony #4
Publication Date: 05/07/2014

Riveting! Sexy! Entertaining! Fast Paced! Memorable and relatable characters. This book is everything I have come to expect of a Shana Galen book. It is a great, exciting read.

I did not read the other books in this series and that did not seem to be a problem. However, this book was so good that I am going to read the rest of the series!

The beginning is a heartbreaking, gut wrenching scene. Ashley had given him her innocence only the night before and tonight she discovers him being intimate with another woman. Her heart is broken and the love she had for him has turned to hate – forevermore. She was going to make Lord Nicholas Martingale sorry! Frankly – after reading that section, I wanted to make him sorry myself!

Eight months later, in Gretna Green, Ashley Brittany finds herself mistakenly married to Nicholas by a drunken anvil priest. The wedding was supposed to be between Ashley’s friend Maddie and Nicholas (I believe that tale is told in Blackthorn’s Bride), but the priest filled out the papers incorrectly and suddenly she was married to her worst nightmare. The anvil priest is passed out on the floor and then, the pirates show up and she finds herself being forcefully taken to their ship. What more could happen in one night – well – she MIGHT discover that Nick is a pirate captain and it is his ship.

Nick isn’t as bad as you’d think from reading that first section of the book. That little scene she discovered was set by him in order to destroy any feelings she might have for him because he is a pirate and is on a mission of vengeance against another pirate. Now, I don’t have a problem with him discouraging her for that reason. What I personally found fault with was the fact that he encouraged her love, took her innocence and then decided it wasn’t in her best interest.

The pirate, Yussef, is a heartless swine who preys on innocent women and children. He will do anything to inflict pain and suffering – especially upon Nick and his crew. So, while Nick and his crew were in England, Yussef attacked the coastal village where Nick’s crew and their families lived. Yussef knew there would be nothing but children, women and the old and feeble left in the village.

Nick is one stubborn man and I was beginning to think this might be the one romance novel that didn’t have an HEA. He was absolutely pig-headed and determined that he was not going to love and share a life with Ashley. Luckily, love found a better way.

Ashley is a very strong, courageous and determined woman herself and you just have to admire her for that. She’s also very compassionate and loving and that serves her well.

Now, for my second (and maybe third) bone to pick with Nick. Nick has an illegitimate daughter that he loves totally, but he makes no bones about letting Ashley know that he never loved the girl’s mother. If he cared for the daughter at all, he could have said that although he didn’t deeply love her mother, he had affection for her. It has to be hurtful for the little girl to be aware of her father’s lack of feelings for her mother. There must have been some affections there because they lived together for years.

This was a great read and I highly recommend it.

Traitor In Her Arms By Shana Galen

Traitor in Her Arms (The Scarlet Chronicles, #1)Traitor in Her Arms by Shana Galen

Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Scarlet Chronicles #1
Publication Date: August 22, 2017

Galen’s captivating descriptions paint a picture of Paris during the French Revolution that just sucks you right into the time and place. Breath coming fast, heart pounding, blood racing – you won’t be able to put it down once you start reading.

I’d like to address one thing right from the start. I have read several reviews that complained that the romance wasn’t front and center in this book. I sort of thought so too – at first. Then, I thought about it awhile and realized that there can’t be anything much more romantic than a man braving the horror that was Paris during the revolution – because he wanted to keep a woman safe. Yes, there were other factors involved, but keeping her safe and protected was at the front of everything he did. So, to me the romance was as front and center as the intrigue and danger.

Lady Gabrielle McCullough is a childless widow who is now hounded by some very nasty creditors trying to collect on massive debt left by her gambling husband. She has no money and no way of paying these creditors – one of whom wants to sell her into prostitution to recoup his debt. Gabrielle turns to theft in order to stave them off and she has become a very adept lock picker and thief. When she is approached by the Scarlet Pimpernel to take on a rescue mission in Paris, she decides to do it.

Lord Sedgewick is living a lie and he’s being blackmailed to keep that lie a secret. His blackmailer is a sleazy lady with tentacles everywhere and she wants to know the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel. She tells Ramsey that she’ll turn over all of the incriminating documents to him if he will go to Paris and uncover the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel. Ramsey feels he doesn’t have a choice because the lives of his family, tenants and the local village depends on him.

Gabrielle and Ramsey are drawn to each other in the backdrop of the intrigue, suspense, danger and ghoulishness of the Reign Of Terror during the French Revolution. They learn to love and trust each other, but that love and trust are hard won because they are both very flawed individuals dealing with extremely stressful times. The descriptions of the streets of Paris, the prison conditions, the mob rule and blood thirst are so captivating that you will shiver with dread of what might come next. How can they survive this ordeal, escape Paris and stay in love? You’ll have to read it to see.

One thing I question is the reason for Gabrielle having to be responsible for her husband’s debt. Her husband was a viscount and he had no sons. So, some other male heir would have inherited the title and the debts along with it rather than the widow. That male heir would also have inherited responsibility for seeing after Gabrielle. Anyway – that didn’t really bother me because the story was so good – but – I did question it!

“I requested and received this 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.”

View all my reviews

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