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?

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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, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, New Books

The Return of Her Lost Knight Melissa Oliver 4* #Review @melissaoauthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #HarlequinHistorical #MillsandBoonHistorical #BlogTour #BookReview #NotoriousKnights

Her second chance

With her lost love…

To avoid a forced marriage, Lady Gwenllian plans to escape to a convent. She couldn’t possibly honor another when her heart still belongs to Ralph de Kinnerton, the man she had to betray to save his life—only to hear of his death shortly after. So how is it possible he’s here at this knight’s tournament? Now the pull of their unfinished past forces Gwen to question the choice she’d made for her future…

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

My Thoughts…

The third book of Notorious Knights gives a second chance to Gwen and Ralph after they were torn apart by betrayal and treachery in their youth. Ralph wants to reclaim his heritage, and winning a knightly tournament is the only way. Disguised as a fellow knight, he meets the woman who betrayed him and his nemesis, the cousin who wants his lands and his only true love.

This is a courtly romance that hides danger and deceit. Gwen and Ralph are easy to like, but they have to learn to trust each other to find happiness. There are many conflicts before they can be together, but they are strong characters and are willing to fight for their love.

The setting is well-described, and the writing immerses the reader in the times of Knights and Ladies. Whilst lacking the adventure of the previous two books, the romance is emotional and heartwarming, reflecting the two lovers gentle nature.

Melissa Oliver

Melissa Oliver is from south-west London where she writes historical romance novels. She lives with her lovely husband and daughters, who share her passion for decrepit, old castles, palaces and all things historical.
Melissa is the Winner of The Romantic Novelist Association’s Joan Hessayon Award for new writers 2020 for her debut, The Rebel Heiress and the Knight –  Book 1 Notorious Knights.When she’s not writing she loves to travel, paint and visit museums & art galleries.

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

Search for the House of Dreams Alison Burke 3*#Review #AlisonBurke @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #HistoricalRomance #HistFic #VictorianRomance #FamilyDrama #SearchfortheHouseofDreams

It is the year 1847 in the elegant city of Bath where 18-year-old Genevre Stratton is treated more as a servant than a daughter in the elegant house where bills are not paid, and the rent is in arrears.                                                                                                                           

Appalled by the dishonesty and overriding social ambition beneath her parents’ veneer of respectability, only her love for her younger brother and sisters keeps her there.                      

Left to cope alone when their false world falls apart, she fights to keep her siblings together, until poverty forces her to yield them to the care of their half-brother, George Coleman.  Handsome, wealthy and charismatic, he is the enemy who becomes her lover.               

To surrender all to her passionate desire for him, or to keep the independence of a new-found musical career on the London stage? This is her choice to make until an unexpected call of duty takes her to Paris.                                                                                     

Must the old, dark secrets she discovers there alter the course of her life forever?

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

My Thoughts…

Set in Victorian times, this story is full of family drama, hard times and unlikely relationships.

Genevre is the daughter of a Victorian household that outwardly appears respectable and wealthy. Betrayal, deceit and a complete lack of parenting skills are what Genevre has to deal with. She desperately tries to keep her siblings together, protecting them from the depravity and deprivation of Victorian society. Her half brother is both her nemesis and salvation. Their relationship is complex and uncomfortable, especially when their feelings develop. It is indicative of this type of society and adds authenticity.

This is a dramatic story and aptly demonstrates the dire circumstance many women found themselves in. The characters are vividly written although many are unpleasant, they all add to the story.

An atmospheric story with strong characters. It gives the reader a good sense of the darker side of Victorian life.

Alison Burke

I was born in Lancashire and started my career by training as a State Registered general nurse. Later, I joined the army and became an officer in Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps. On a posting to Malaya, now Malaysia, I found my true love. This was an ideal setting for marriage with young children, and now my memories are a wonderfully rich source of material for my writing.

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

The Girl With Flaming Hair Natalie Kleinman 4*#Review @NatKleinman @SapereBooks #RegencyRomance @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #FridayReads #TheGirlWithFlaming Hair

Sophie is plagued by the shadows of the past…

While driving his curricle, Rufus Solgrave, Earl of Luxton comes across Sophie Clifford lying unconscious in the road, having fallen from her horse.

Not too far from home, he takes her back to Ashby, his country seat, leaving her in the care of his mother, Elizabeth, Countess of Luxton, and his sister, Lydia. Under their kindly supervision, Sophie soon begins to recover.

Upon discovering that Sophie has never mixed with London society, Elizabeth invites her to accompany the family to town for Lydia’s come-out. Unhappy with her homelife and eager to sample the delights of the season, Sophie accepts.

However, her enjoyment is marred when talk of an old scandal surrounding her birth resurfaces. What’s more, her devious stepbrother, Francis Follet, has followed her to London, intent on making her his bride.

Sensing Sophie’s distress, Rufus steps in to protect her from Francis’s unwelcome advances.

And although neither Rufus nor Sophie are yet thinking of marriage, both soon begin to wonder whether their comfortable friendship could blossom into something warmer…

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

My Thoughts…

This is a well researched and written romantic Regency adventure with likeable protagonists and a plot with a few surprises.

Sophie is rescued by Rufus when he finds her injured on the roadside. She recovers in the care of his mother, finding life more agreeable than ever before. The chance of experiencing London life beckons but so does the possibility of an old adversary and a damaging scandal.

The setting and historical details immerse the reader in Regency society. The characters are carefully crafted, making the story an authentic and addictive read. The pace reflects the gentle romance. The story echoes classical Regency romance with an independent yet vulnerable female protagonist and a heroic but delightfully awkward male counterpart. There are elements of mystery and danger and plenty of romantic moments.

Natalie Kleinman

Natalie’s passion for reading became a compulsion to write when she attended a ten-week course in creative writing some sixteen or so years ago. She takes delight in creating short stories of which more than forty have been published, but it was her lifelong love of Regency romance that led her to turn from contemporary romantic fiction to try her hand at her favourite genre. Raised on a diet of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, she is never happier than when immersed in an age of etiquette and manners, fashion and intrigue, all combined into a romping good tale. She lives on the London/Kent border, close to the capital’s plethora of museums and galleries which she uses for research as well as pleasure. A perfect day though is when she heads out of town to enjoy lunch by a pub on the river, any river, in company with her husband and friends.

Natalie is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, the Society of Authors and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists.

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Posted in Book Review, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

Scandalous Alchemy Katy Moran 5*#Review #KatyMoran @HoZ_Books #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalRomance #AlternativeHistory #NineteenthCentury #BookReview #ScandalousAlchemy #PublicationDay @RichardsonHelen

In a Bridgerton-style Regency world, three people are caught in a web of passion and deceit.

Fontainebleau in 1825 is a glittering international court, rich with intrigue, passion and simmering violence. Lieutenant Colonel Kit Helford must navigate these treacherous waters to deliver the beautiful, self-destructive Princess Royal to her prospective husband. Kit’s childhood friend, Clemency Arwenack, is tasked with safeguarding her royal mistress’s reputation as the princess awaits a marriage she is dreading.

But both have secrets they will hide at all costs. Kit is on the run—from a man shot and left for dead back in London and a lifetime of scandal that includes a liaison with the princess herself. He will do anything to salvage his family’s reputation. Clemency, meanwhile, conducts a perilous trade in lies and blackmail as she seeks to destroy the princess, not protect her.

With the princess’s life under threat, Kit and Clemency are pitted against each other, even as a dangerous attraction grows between them. The past hunts them both, remorselessly, relentlessly, and neither can escape it for long.

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I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus via Helen Richardson PR in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The third book in the Hester and Crow series set in an alternative Regency world. Written with vivid imagery, astute political insight, and scandalous romance, this book is an addictive delight for historical romance fans.

The characters are pure, romantic Regency, the female protagonist, is independent, intelligent and intriguing. Kit, the male protagonist, is scandalous, sexy and searching, for his happiness in a climate of betrayal and political intrigue.

There’s engaging romance, fascinating political manoeuvring and vibrant characters that befit the glamour of the Regency period.