Friday, June 24, 2016

Lady of Pleasure by Delilah Marvelle

The characters in this story were extraordinarily well crafted and real. The heroine was both sweet and funny, her devotion to the man she loved incredibly endearing, while the hero invited endless amounts of sympathy throughout, due to his tragic past.

When Caroline Arabella Starling meets her brother's best friend, Ronan Henry Dearborn, the fourth Marquess of Caldwell, for the first time at the age of thirteen, she takes an instant liking to him. In spite of the twelve year difference between the two, they become close friends, meeting once a week - every Thursday - for a game of piquet.  And as the years go by, Caroline falls hopelessly and madly in love with him, still holding out hope when he insists she's too young for him.
But it isn't just the age difference that prompts Caldwell to keep Caroline at arm's length. After losing his investment to a fire, he's penniless and desperate, completely unworthy of any lady's affection. Humiliated by the choices he's forced to make in order to get by, he puts distance between himself and the girl who has always idolized him.
Three years go by until they meet again, and Caldwell finds that Caroline has transformed into a stunning beauty. Her feelings for him are unchanged, and so she sets about trying to win him again, with greater success than before. But secrets from his past are destined to get these two tangled up in a series of terrible misunderstandings that only an open heart and absolute honesty can hope to undo.

I found Caldwell's story to be absolutely heart-wrenching! It is filled with so much angst, and just when you think it can't get any worse, something else is revealed. But the interaction between him and Caroline is wonderful, their conversation wrought with humor as their relationship gradually progresses from simple friendship to so much more. 
Delilah Marvelle is a fantastic storyteller. I thoroughly enjoyed this read, and was very relieved when Caroline and Caldwell finally got the happy ending they both so thoroughly deserved.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt

I've enjoyed several of Hoyt's Maiden Lane novels so far, and although I know I haven't read them in order, it has quickly become one of my favorite romance series.
Sweetest Scoundrel offers so much of what I love about Hoyt's writing - a grittiness that sets it apart from most other romances as she dives fearlessly into a rougher way of London life during the early 1800's, exploring a difference between class and position that's wonderfully engaging.

Untitled Asa Makepeace, is the owner of Harte's Folly, a pleasure garden  with a theater that he has devoted himself to rebuilding with the help of his investor, the Duke of Montgomery. But Montgomery has traveled and left his sister in charge, and she insists on knowing how Asa is spending her brother's money - indeed, she demands to go over his books. To Asa's mind, she's stubborn and annoying, reserved and standoffish. He argues with her at every turn until gradually, he gets to know her, and discovers a kind a loving woman, imprisoned by her past, and takes it upon himself to try and set her free.

Eve Dinwoody, Montgomery's illegitimate sister, is shocked when her first meeting with Mr. Makepeace finds him keeping company with a nude opera singer. But, determined to know how he's spending her brother's money or cut him off, she stands her ground. Burdened by terrible memories that make her terrified of dogs and men, she shields herself behind a hard exterior, accompanied always by her loyal footman who has sworn to keep her safe from harm. But as she becomes better acquainted with Asa, temptation sneaks in. He is unlike any man she has ever met before. But can she overcome her fears and pursue the love she desires when threats begin to target the theater and she finds her life in danger?

This novel offered wonderful character growth, an intriguing story between a working class scoundrel and a lady, that I found both refreshing and authentic. I cannot wait to grab another Maiden Lane novel to enjoy.

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Spinster's Guide to Scandalous Behavior by Jennifer McQuiston

If you've always longed to visit the moors and coastal landscape of southern England, this novel paints a perfect picture of the wind-blown cliffs, of broad expanses of heather filling the vista, and of birds nesting upon the ragged rocks. Set primarily against the backdrop of a small rundown fishing village, McQuiston has created a sweeping scenery, so vivid that I felt as though I was walking along the path to Heathmore cottage myself - a two bedroom, dilapidated home that is at the center of this romance. 

When unconventional Lucy Westmore inherits the property from her recently deceased spinster aunt, only to discover that her father has sold it on her behalf to the Marquess of Branston, Lucy  is livid. And rightly so. After all, she is of age and so, the decision to sell the property ought to be hers. But her parents don't see it that way. Her father thinks she should take the money with a thank you and a smile, while her mother is desperate for her to have the Season that she's already waited much too long for - no time for cottages.
But Lucy has other plans. Rash and determined, she takes off for Cornwall on her own, only to discover that the only person willing to help her in her mad endeavor, is the very man whom she wishes to thwart. Because there is no way on earth that she is letting the marquess have her cottage. She will fight tooth and nail for it if she has to, even as she finds herself succumbing to his charms.

This was a delightful read. The feud between Lucy and Branston was vastly entertaining. Uncovering the secret value of the property and the truth regarding Branston's sister also kept the pages turning fast. There was passion  and humor in spades, not to mention a love as expansive as the moors themselves. A wonderful story that I would highly recommended!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Romantic relaxation on Netflix and Amazon Prime

I've recently found myself with a bit more spare time on my hands than usual, and decided to take advantage by looking for movies that I could just allow myself to sink right into, just as I would with a Julia Quinn novel :) Well, imagine how pleased I was by the recent updates on both Netflix and Amazon Prime. I know that many of you have probably seen Kate and Leopold years ago when it first came out, but I hadn't, so when I spotted it on Netflix, it was instantly added to my 'watch with immediate haste' list. But, then I continued browsing and I found two other gems that, as a romance addict, I simply had to share with my fellow appreciators of this totally awesome genre.
So if you haven't seen Doctor Thorne, add it right now. It's a four part miniseries, brought to you by Julian Fellowes who wrote Downton Abbey. Set during the Victorian era, this is a period piece based on a novel by Anthony Trollope. And it's wonderful.
Equally so is The Age of Adaline. Okay, so I wasn't one hundred percent sure about this one when I started watching it, but I do believe it has since become one of my all-time favorite films. It stands out and is masterfully written with so much emotion that you'll want to keep your tissues close at hand while watching. And that's the way it should be. So make sure there won't be anything to interrupt you while you're savoring the incredible experience you're bound to have with this one. 
And if you're in the mood for something a bit lighter and you did see Kate and Leopold back in the day before I did, you can always try The Holiday. It has a pretty big cast in the form of Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Jack Black, and really hits the cute and cuddly factor :)

I'm adding the various trailers below for your convenience. Drop a line if you'd like to share your thoughts about any of them or if you'd like to add more suggestions. And until then, happy viewing to you all!

Doctor Thorne - Available on Amazon

The Age of Adaline - Available on Amazon

The Holiday - Available on Netflix & Amazon

Kate & Leopold - Available on Netflix

Incidentally, while double checking the availability of these, I spotted Becoming Jane on Netflix, so that settles what I'll be watching tonight :)

Thursday, June 2, 2016

You're Invited To Attend HIS SCANDALOUS KISS Pre-release Party

Her Ladyship, the Countess of Duncaster, cordially invites you to an evening soiree in honor of an upcoming release featuring her guests, Mary Bourneville and Mr. Heartly.
To Commence At 6' O Clock Eastern Time
On The 22ND Of July
The Celebration Will Last For One Hour
And Entertainments Will Be Provided.
There will be ebooks and gift cards up for grabs as we select our ballgowns, share our favorite scenes from Thorncliff Manor, and discuss wounded heroes in romantic fiction. 
So bring your tiaras and order your carriage, because this is one party you won't want to miss!
Click HERE to join the fun.

Recommended Summer Reading for historical romance buffs

Summer vacation is just around the corner which means you'll hopefully have a few relaxing sun-filled days in which to just sit back and enjoy a great novel. Or ten :) And if you're an e-book fan, there are so many great reads at discounted prices! So, without further ado, here's a list of the books I plan to devour. Just click on the image for more details and purchase options.


Deals for $0.99