Posted in Book Review, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, New Books, Victorian Romance

The Earl Who Sees Her Beauty Marguerite Kaye 5*#Review @MillsandBoon @MargueriteKaye @HarlequinBooks #HistoricalRomance #RevelationsoftheCarstairsSisters #VictorianRomance #BookReview #HistoricalFiction #MillsandBoonInsiders #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequinHistorical

Unaware of her beauty…

Until he awakens her.

Prudence Carstairs knows her scars leave her with no romantic prospects—instead, she’s content revolutionising her employer’s home with her technological marvels. Then he unexpectedly perishes, and his mysterious younger brother, dashing Dominic Thorburn, reluctantly takes over. In the new earl, Prudence finally finds someone who meets her gaze without flinching. Might he see the beautiful, intelligent woman beyond her scars?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story is both a gentle Victorian romance and an adventure into Victorian history. Prudence has physical scars from her childhood that make a suitable match unlikely. She finds solace in working for an Earl and innovating his household. She is a determined and independent character who develops her intellectual and practical skills to innovate around the Earl’s residence. When he dies, his younger heir sees her in an entirely different way to most and makes her believe her life can include love and a family.

This story highlights the expectations placed on women by Victorian society and the obsession with physical perfection and marriage being their best choice in life. Victorian innovation is an integral part of this story and gives it authenticity and depth.

The romance develops believably and with emotion that overcomes their internal and external conflicts to happiness.

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

How Not to Chaperon a Lady 5*#Review #TheTalkoftheBeauMonde @VirginiaHeath_ @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequinHistorical #BlogBlitz #BookReview

His childhood nemesis

is the woman he can’t resist!

Chaperoning Charity Brookes while she’s on a singing tour should be easy for Griffith Philpot—he’s spent his whole life sparring with her over her flighty ways! But as he discovers that she’s much more than the impetuous girl he thought he knew, a passion ignites between them… Sharing a steamy kiss leaves him torn – he’s supposed to be responsible for guarding her virtue!

Books2Read

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The finale of The Talk of the Beau Monde trilogy is Charity’s story, and it’s a tale of constant banter and misunderstanding that eventually intensifies into passion, but is it, love? Charity, a successful opera singer, is offered a tour of some Northern theatres and agrees, hoping her best friend will accompany her. Griff, her friend’s brother, the man Charity loves to hate, insists he chaperons them for proprieties sake. Frenemies since childhood, Charity is independent and impulsive, Griff is introverted and proper, an explosive combination that has delightful consequences.

Read my review of The Viscount’s Unconventional Lady

Read my review of The Marquess Next Door

When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace insomnia and start writing them down. Twenty books and two Romantic Novel of the Year Award nominations later, and it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

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Giveaway to Win 2 x e-copies of How Not to Chaperon a Lady (Open INT)

Click on giveaway link to enter

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the giveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Book Review, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, New Books

A Blues Singer to Redeem Him Elle Jackson 4*#Review @readellejackson @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #HistFic #MillsandBoonInsiders #HistoricalRomance #1920s #NorthAmerica #BookReview #ABluesSingertoRedeemHim

Nights at the speakeasy…

Spark a dangerous romance

Evelyn Laroque’s performances at Lorenzo De Luca’s Kansas City blues club draw even bigger crowds than his bootleg whiskey. And every time he hears her voice, Lorenzo falls a little harder for the achingly beautiful blues singer. When Evelyn becomes a target for the KKK, Lorenzo faces an impossible choice. Will this son of a gangster turn to the mob if it’s the only way to protect the woman he loves?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The author captures this violent period of North American history succinctly. The story has a dramatic and devastating beginning, but it draws the reader into this time of lawlessness.

Evelyn is still grieving from losing her parents in a violent massacre but determined to realise her dream of being a singer whilst helping her grandmother. Lorenzo is the heir to the De Luca family, entrenched in the mob. He wants to do things differently, but his father’s influence is great. Lorenzo has powerful enemies and someone he wants to protect, but can he do it his way?

This is an atmospheric story with detailed world-building that doesn’t shy away from the prejudice and violence of the 1920s. The romance between Evelyn and Lorenzo is riven with conflicts. They both realise that any relationship would put the other in danger of reprisal, but the attraction is great and the gradual emotional connection even more compelling. The romance is forbidden but inevitable with courageous characters who the reader wants to find happiness.

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Historical Romance, Victorian Romance

Playing the Duke’s Fiancée Amanda McCabe 4*#Review @AmandaMcCabe01 @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #harlequinhistorical #MillsandBoonHistorical #BookReview #BlogBlitz @rararesources #PlayingtheDukesFiancée

A pretend proposal

For the unconventional heiress

When American heiress Violet Wilkins crosses paths with William, Duke of Charteris, she has extremely low expectations of the “Duke of Bore.” But when this seemingly stuffy aristocrat offers her escape from a dreadful arranged marriage, she leaps at the chance! To her surprise, the arresting Charles whisks Vi into an exhilarating make-believe romance. And as she gets to know the man behind the title, she can’t help wanting more…

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Violet’s story is the second in the Dollar Duchess series but readable as a standalone.
With a vibrant setting and vivid characters, this gentle Victorian romance is an engaging read. Violet is an unlikely Duchess as her sister Lily and isn’t even sure she wants to marry. However, her plans for independence are ruined by her parents’ plan to make her part of a business agreement. She turns to the man who is fast becoming a friend for help and then has to reconsider if being a Duchess wouldn’t be so bad after all.

The’Duke of Bore’ is determined to shed his stuffy image. Unconventional Violet is the woman to help him, just for fun, of course. When a fake engagement answers both their needs, he is forced to reconsider.

The main protagonists are both likeable, and the romance that develops between them is gentle and endearing. The historical setting is glamorous and gives the reader a good sense of time and place.

Amanda McCabe

Amanda wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen–a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not her strongest subject…)

 She’s never since used algebra, but her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion.  She lives in Santa Fe with a Poodle, a cat, a wonderful husband, and a very and far too many books and royal memorabilia collections. 

 When not writing or reading, she loves taking dance classes, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network–even though she doesn’t cook. 

Amanda also writes as Laurel McKee for Grand Central Publishing, the Elizabethan Mystery Series as Amanda Carmack, and the Manor Cat Mystery Series as Eliza Casey.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, New Books, Regency Romance

Captivating the Cynical Earl Catherine Tinley 4* #Review @CatherineTinley @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequinHistorical #HistoricalFiction #RegencyRomance #CaptivatingtheCynicalEarl #HistoricalRomance #MondayBlogs

The cool, aloof earl

And the enchanting lady


For Jack Beresford, Earl of Hawkenden, emotional entanglements are the path to pain. But when his brother brings his new wife and her best friend to his country home, everything changes. Lady Cecily Thornhill is both vibrant and beautiful, and Jack finds himself increasingly captivated by her sunny nature. Yet he must resist her charms, for in a month she’ll be gone—unless his frozen heart thaws before then…

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is an engaging Regency-style romance with a well-written plot and multi-layered characters. The historical world-building is excellent, and the reader gets a good sense of place and time. Both of the main protagonists are a little world-weary despite their relative youth. Cecily has a mother who refuses to live within her means, ​and Jack is damaged from lack of nurture in his formative years.

The dialogue is challenging and witty from their first meeting, but as they get to know each other, the put-downs are less frequent and the conversations more flirtatious and respectful. The romance builds from a tentative friendship and makes it enjoyable reading.

Catherine Tinley

Catherine Tinley is an award winning author of historical romance. She writes witty, heartwarming Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. Her first book, Waltzing with the Earl, won the Rita Award for Best Historical Romance 2018, while Rags-to-Riches Wife won the RoNA Award for Best Historical Romance 2021. She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, Sure Start, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now manages a maternity hospital. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, cats, and dog. 

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Gothic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, New Books

The Housekeeper of Thornhallow Hall Lotte R. James 4*#Review @lottejamesbooks @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #HistoricalRomance #Gothic #HistoricalFiction #histfic #BlogTour #BookReview #TheHousekeeperofThornhallowHall

She arrived as a housekeeper
Will she leave as a countess?
To some, Thornhallow Hall might be tarnished by tales of vengeance and ghosts, but to new housekeeper Rebecca Merrickson it represents independence and peace from her tumultuous past. Until the estate’s owner, William Reid, the disappeared earl, unexpectedly returns… After clashing with him over the changes she’s made to the house, Rebecca slowly unearths the memories that haunt brooding Liam—and her defiance gives way to a shockingly improper attraction to her master!

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I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The characters in this Gothic style historical romance are easy to empathise with. Rebecca is clever, independent and kind, and her introspective reflections are humorous and insightful. William is a credible anti-hero, but as Rebecca gets to know him, she discovers his guilt and emotional pain.

Their relationship is reminiscent of The Beauty and Beast fairytale in parts and is full of emotion, poignancy and romance. Whilst the gothic element is present, this could have been more developed earlier in the story.

This is an engaging historical romance. The main protagonists deserve to find happiness with each other.

 

Lotte R. James

Lotte James trained as an actor and theatre director, but spent most of her life working day

jobs crunching numbers whilst dreaming up stories of love and adventure. She’s thrilled to

finally be writing those stories, and when she’s not scribbling on tiny pieces of paper, she

can usually be found wandering the countryside for inspiration, or nestling with coffee and a

book.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, New Books, Regency Romance

Out of the Bower A.E. Walnofer 3*#Review #AEWalnofer @rararesources #histfic #RegencyRomance #HistoricalRomance #historicalfiction #BlogTour #BookReview #MondayBlogs #OutoftheBower

London, 1817: When Barclay Durbin, a young street preacher, encounters Honora Goodwin, injured on a London street, he doesn’t know she has just escaped from Titania’s Bower, a brothel. Taking her to his ancestral home to recover amongst his family, he falls in love with the vivacious girl and comes to believe that she is divinely appointed to become his wife.

Honora begins to feel similarly and knows that the good-hearted gentleman’s attentions would likely ensure her future happiness, but she is intent on liberating Celia Woodlow – the friend she was forced to leave behind at the Bower. Telling Barclay only parts of her own story, Honora enlists the besotted young man to help her.

When their plan goes awry, Honora realizes that only the truth can deliver them from the emotional and societal maelstrom in which they find themselves. But if she divulges all, what will become of Honora and Barclay’s budding attachment? And will Celia ever gain her freedom?

Out of the Bower tells the tale of a forbidden romance, an ardent friendship, and the ever-essential redemption of self.

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story manages to explore the depravity, poverty and social inequity of Regency England without being overly graphic. It follows the fortunes of two young women forced into prostitution and a young preacher drawn to their plight.

The believably crafted characters and well thought out plot make this an interesting read. The writing style and vocabulary make this something that has to be concentrated on, but if the reader is prepared to immerse themselves in this period, it is a thought-provoking read.

A.E. Walnofer

A.E. Walnofer spends weekdays mobilizing the soft tissue and synovial joints of patients, and weekends typing out stories that are incessantly brewing inside her head. There are lots of these tales and she hopes to share many more of them with you in the future.

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Giveaway to Win 3 x E-copies of Out of the Bower by A. E. Walnofer (Open INT)

Click on link to enter

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the giveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize. <

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Mystery, Paranormal

Angel of the Lost Treasure Marie Laval 5*#Review @MarieLaval1 @ChocLituk @rararesources #BlogBlitz #BookReview #historicalromance #adventure #histfic #NapoleonicFrance #Mysticism #Mystery #secrets #Angelof theLostTreasure #MondayBlogs

An ancient secret hidden within a mother’s song

When young widow, Marie-Ange Norton is invited to Beauregard in France by the mysterious Monsieur Malleval to collect an inheritance, she has no choice but to accept.

But when she embarks on the voyage with her fiery-tempered travelling companion Capitaine Hugo Saintclair, little does she know what waits for her across the sea in turbulent nineteenth-century France on the eve of Napoleon’s return from exile. When she arrives, she is taken aback by Malleval’s fascination with her family – seemingly inspired by his belief they are connected to a sacred relic he’s read about in coded manuscripts by the Knights Templar.

As it becomes clear that Malleval’s obsession has driven him to madness, Marie-Ange is horrified to realise she is more the man’s prisoner than his guest. Not only that, but Hugo is the only person who might be able to help her, and he could represent a different kind of danger.

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My Thoughts…

An evocative historical romance with mystical and sometimes malevolent twists, set in Napoleonic France at a time of political intrigue and social unrest.

The characters are complex and vibrant. Courageous Marie-Ange is independently minded despite her naivety. Hugh is honourable and brave, with a kind heart hidden behind his arrogant facade. Malleval is an arch-villain clever and dangerous with a team of evil followers.

The story is full of secrets and surprises with connections to the Knight’s Templar and the mystic that surrounds them. It explores good and evil in an adventurous and romantic style with pertinent historical detail and a wonderful sense of time and place.

The romance sizzles from the couple’s first encounter. Despite the undercurrents of passion, the romance is courtly and gentle and full of conflict. The mystery and mysticism are what makes this story resonate. It’s the perfect way to escape to a time of adventure, deceit and romance.

Marie Laval

Originally from Lyon in France, Marie has lived in the Rossendale Valley in Lancashire for the past few years. She writes both contemporary and historical romance. Her novels include best selling contemporary romantic suspense novels LITTLE PINK TAXI and ESCAPE TO THE LITTLE CHATEAU, which was shortlisted for the 2021 RNA Jackie Collins Romantic Suspense Awards, as well as A PARIS FAIRY TALE and BLUEBELL’S CHRISTMAS MAGIC. ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE, was released in February 2021. Her latest novel, HAPPY DREAMS AT MERMAID COVE was released in June 2021. Marie also contributes to the best selling Miss Moonshine’s Emporium anthologies together with eight author friends from Authors on the Edge.

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

The Marquess Next Door 5*#Review #TheTalkoftheBeauMonde @VirginiaHeath_ @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequinHistorical #BlogBlitz #BookReview #ThursdayThoughts

A dashing new neighbour…

Temptation on her doorstep!

To avoid an unwanted suitor at a ball, Hope Brookes asks another gentleman to rescue her. He obliges – with a surprisingly passionate kiss! Revealed as her sinfully handsome new neighbour, Lucius, Marquess of Thundersley, they forge a friendship over their balconies. It’s refreshing that Lucius is more interested in her writer dreams than her looks, so why can’t she stop thinking about that kiss?

Books2Read

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story epitomises everything I like about Regency romance, the passion, scandal and witty repartee. In addition, this story sensitively explores women’s mental health issues, not understood in the nineteenth century.

Hope and Lucius meet when they are escaping unwanted suitors. Their first encounter is humorous and passionate, which most of their meetings are destined to be. Lucius doesn’t want to title and lifestyle he’s inherited, but he is determined to excel at his new role. He is attracted to Hope but not just physically, admiring her ambition and intellect equally. Their balcony meetings are romantic and a little scandalous, but the privacy they afford lets the couple get to know the other and work out their true feelings. Their romance is not without conflict, but eventually, they get the happy-ever-after they both deserve.

With likeable, strong protagonists, this Regency romance is an enjoyable read.

When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace insomnia and start writing them down. Despite that, it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

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Giveaway to Win 2 x e-copies of The Marquess Next Door (Open INT)

Click on giveaway link to enter

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the giveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Giveaway, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Romance, Travel

Whispers of the Runes Christina Courtenay 5*#Review @PiaCCourtenay @headlinepg @rararesources #HistoricalRomance #Vikings #timeslip #ContemporaryRomance #BlogTour #BookReview #Runes #Archaeology #Silversmith #VikingBritain #Giveaway #WhispersoftheRunes

Time is no barrier for a love that is destined to be.

She couldn’t be sure that she had travelled through time … but deep down she just knew.

And her only way back had just disappeared.

When jewellery designer Sara Mattsson is propelled back to the ninth century, after cutting herself on a Viking knife she uncovers at an archaeological dig, she is quick to accept what has happened to her. For this is not the first Sara has heard of time travel.

Although acutely aware of the danger she faces when she loses the knife – and with it her way to return to her own time – this is also the opportunity of a lifetime. What better way to add authenticity to the Viking and Anglo-Saxon motifs used in her designs?

As luck has it, the first person Sara encounters is Rurik Eskilsson, a fellow silversmith, who is also no stranger to the concept of time travel. Agreeing that Sara can accompany him to Jorvik, they embark on a journey even more perilous than one through time. But Fate has brought these two kindred spirits together across the ages for a reason…

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I received a copy of this book from Headline Books in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This engaging Viking romance has a believable timeslip element and a vividly written Viking setting, immersing the reader in ninth-century Britain.

Whisked back in time to Viking Britain, Sara adjusts to her time-travelling status better than you’d expect. Rurik shares Sara’s jewellery skills and has met a time-traveller before, so he helps her survive the danger, but can he guard his heart?

Full of adventure and romance, pertinent historical details bring the setting to life, but it’s the characters who keep you turning the pages. Will they survive? Can they be together?

With lyrical writing, vibrant sensory imagery and complex characters, the readers’ time in Viking Britain passes quickly, leaving them with images that resonate and the knowledge they’ve experienced something special.

Christina Courtenay

Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and time travel stories, and lives in Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) in the UK. Although born in England, she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden – hence her abiding interest in the Vikings. Christina is a former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association and has won several awards, including the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel twice with Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014). Whispers of the Runes (time travel published by Headline 24th June 2021)is her latest novel. Christina is a keen amateur genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).

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Giveaway to Win a signed copy of Whispers of the Runes plus a pair of silver Viking style earrings  (Open INT)

Click on giveaway link to enter

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using thegiveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Read my review of Echoes of the Runes