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

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, Giveaway, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, New Books

The Highlander’s Secret Son Jeanine Englert 4* #Review @JeanineWrites @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #BlogTour #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequinHistorical #BookReview #TheHighlandersSecretSon #Scotland #Giveaway

His first love

Now his sworn enemy…

What is Fiona MacDonald doing on the run across his lands? With a wee baby as well! Brandon once loved this woman with all his heart―until her family killed many of his clan. Now, as the new Campbell Laird, he must make sure she pays the price for her betrayal. But how can he claim his vengeance if what she says is true…? That her child is his son and heir!

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

My Thoughts…

An emotional and well-paced story about betrayal, forgiveness and love in the tempestuous eighteenth-century Scottish Highlands. Brandon and Fiona shared a forbidden love, both from different warring clans. Brandon’s clan is decimated by Fiona’s, and it appears she betrayed them. Forced to become the laird, Brandon has to forget Fiona until he finds her on his land with his baby.

This story explores the role of women in this historical period and shows that Fiona is a victim with no say in her future and subject to abuse. Brandon is Laird because of his brother’s grief. Bringing Fiona into the clan’s heart leads to many external conflicts despite the couples rekindling their feelings for each other. Brandon is forced to choose between Fiona and the clan with devastating results. The couple has to battle their internal feelings of self-worth and self-loathing to have a chance of a happy-ever-after.

This story is rich in historical detail, danger, deceit and unrequited desire.

Jeanine Englert

Jeanine Englert’s love affair with mysteries and romance began with Nancy Drew, Murder She Wrote, and her Grandmother’s bookshelves full of romance novels. She is a Golden Heart ® Finalist, Silver Falchion, Maggie, and Daphne du Maurier Award Winner in historical romance and mystery. Her Scottish Highland historical and historical romantic suspense novels revolve around characters seeking self-acceptance and redemption. When she isn’t wrangling with her characters on the page, she can be found trying to convince her husband to watch her latest Masterpiece or BBC show obsession. She loves to talk about books, writing, her beloved rescue pups, as well as mysteries and romance with other readers. Visit her website at www.jeaninewrites.com.

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Giveaway to Win  A bundle of Highland Treats (Open INT)

Prize contains:

1) One signed paperback copy of The Highlander’s Secret Son.

2) Bookmark and magnet book swag.

3) Scottish Blessing Bracelet.

4) Sterling Silver “Spread Your Wings and Fly” Necklace.

5) Red Journal.

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 Book Review, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

A Marriage of Equals Elizabeth Rolls 4*#Review @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #MillsandBoonInsiders #AMarriageofEquals #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequnHistorical #RegencyRomance #HistoricalRomance

Risking everything…

For love!

Having struggled so hard to become a successful business owner, Jamaica-born Psyché Winthrop-Abeni has no interest in relinquishing her freedom or property to a husband.

But when gentleman Will Barclay comes to her aid, their intense connection tempts her into a thrillingly passionate, temporary affair!

It’s the perfect arrangement…until Will feels honour-bound to propose. His offer is one she’d never dared to dream of, but can she trust Will enough to take the risk?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Psyché forges an independent life in England with the love and support of her Grand-Uncle. As a woman of colour in Regency England, she faces prejudice, from society, for her gender and race, which she overcomes. Living above the business she owns, she risks all to help a runaway heiress escape her controlling father.

Will, secretary to Lord Huntscombe, helps her, and there is an instant connection between the two which intensifies with proximity. Will is at odds with his family’s politics and has a secret which may destroy any chance of happiness with Psyché.

Inspired by actual historical figures and the horror of the trade in human lives in Georgian and Regency England, this authentic story reveals the inhumanity and prejudice lurking behind the glamour and romance of the Regency ballrooms.

The romance is conflicted and passionate, but both protagonists are strong and willing to fight for what is right and what they want, so the outcome is positive.

Posted in Book Review, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

Flirting with His Forbidden Lady Laura Martin 4*#Review @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #HarlequinHistorical #MillsandBoonHistorical #Romance #Regency #BookReview #MillsandBoonInsiders

Returning from India

To a forbidden liaison…

Joshua Ashburton hasn’t seen his brother for years and heads straight to his London townhouse. A ball is underway filled with the cream of society, including one Lady Elizabeth Hummingford. Captivated by her vitality and sparkle, he’s shocked to learn she’s all but engaged to his brother! It’s a loveless, convenient match, but how can Josh persuade her she’s chosen the wrong brother when he’s set to return abroad?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Two brothers separated after the death of their parents meet again in adulthood. Beth has to marry Leo for the sake of her family. When she meets his brother Joshua, she wonders if she can go through with it. Joshua knows Beth must marry for money, but he can’t quell his attraction to her. He doesn’t want to hurt his brother, but surely he deserves to marry for love?

This is a romance full of passion and unexpected emotion. Beth and Joshua are lovely characters who deserve happiness together. Leo is harder to get to know, but a chance meeting with Annabelle Beth’s sister reveals his good qualities.

This is a conflicted but ultimately happy romance with a mysterious twist at the end.

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

The Warrior’s Innocent Captive Ella Mathews 4*#Review @ellamattauthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #HistoricalRomance #medieval #HistFic @rararesources #BlogBlitz #BookReview #TheHouseofLeofric

An impossible choice:

His family or love

As steward to the Earl of Borwyn, Erik Ward had only admired sheltered noblewoman Linota Leofric from afar – until he has to escort her on a dangerous journey. When she’s kidnapped, he rescues the courageous beauty, revelling in finally having her in his arms. But Erik has a secret plan to reunite his family – now he’s forced to choose between that and his growing feelings for Linota…

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

My Thoughts…

This story happens at more or less the same time as the previous book in the series but with two different protagonists giving the reader another medieval adventure in the House of Leofric series.

Erik finds his loyalties impossibly challenged his social standing makes a marriage with Linota unlikely, especially when he betrays her and his friend. Set in turbulent, unforgiving times, where women have no say in their futures. Erik and Linota’s romance is conflicted. Erik is easy to empathise with, and you want him to find happiness. Linota matures as the story progresses.

The final book in the House of Leofric has good character development, powerful dilemmas and gentle romance.

Ella Matthews

Ella Matthews lives and works in beautiful South Wales. When not thinking about handsome heroes she can be found walking along the coast with her husband and their two children (probably still thinking about heroes but at least pretending to be interested in everyone else).

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Posted in Book Review, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

Waiting for a Scot Like You Eva Leigh 5*#Review @EvaLeighAuthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #HistoricalRomance #MillsandBoonInsiders #BookReview #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequinHistorical

Beatrice Sloane, the Countess of Farris, is a free-spirited widow. After a stultifying marriage, she is now wealthy and independent and determined to stay so. Wherever she goes, a good time is sure to follow!

Captain Duncan McCameron struggles to find a purpose for himself now that the war is over. Discovering his sweetheart had married another whilst he was at war means he’s kept himself closed off from love.

Entrusted to escort Lady Farris to her friend’s estate, these two opposites start on a journey that ultimately involves carriage crashes, secret barn dances, robbers, and an inn with only one bed! But as tensions dissolve into passion, can there be a future for an adventure-loving lady and a duty-bound soldier, or will their differences tear them apart?

 Amazon.co.uk.

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

My Thoughts…

A Regency road trip is not easy to imagine, but the author manages to create a road trip full of adventure, misadventure and passion when Beatrice and Duncan share a coach and a great deal more. Beatrice is an independent widow determined to live life fully now she can. There are some amusing and poignant moments as she does this. Duncan, a soldier without a war, is all about duty, but meeting Beatrice shows him what life has to offer. The question is, can their attraction lead to a lifetime together?

Whilst this story pushes the boundaries of Regency society, it is fun, romantic and passionate. The likeable main characters have an emotional connection that makes a happy life together possible.