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

His Unlikely Duchess Amanda McCabe 4*#Review @AmandaMcCabe01 @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #harlequinhistorical #MillsandBoonHistorical #BookReview #MondayBlogs #BlogBlitz @rararesources

Money can buy her marriage

But will it lead to love?

Miss Lily Wilkins hopes her American money will compensate for her lack of etiquette, as she needs a prestigious marriage to save her sisters’ prospects. Raised to believe wealth was her greatest attribute, she’s stunned when her unconventional ways catch the eye of the notorious Duke of Lennox. He’s far from the safe, sensible match she’d planned on—but Lily might just discover he’s the one she needs!

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

My Thoughts…

This story is full of intrinsic historical interest. I enjoyed getting to know Lily and her sisters even before they set foot in England. Lily is a facilitator she mediates between her parents and her sisters, wanting them all to be happy. Making a good marriage will secure the future for her younger sisters, but Lily is understandably nervous when her mother accepts an invitation to go to England and Victorian society.

Lily and Aidan’s first encounter is lovely and makes them see the real person behind the public persona. They process their feelings away from society’s glare, and attraction grows. The potential financial settlement and Aidan’s past make their romance conflicted.

The ending is romantic, and there’s an informative epilogue. I look forward to Violet’s romance the next in the series.

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. 

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

A Waltz with the Outspoken Governess Catherine Tinley 4* #Review @CatherineTinley @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #DollarDuchesses @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequinHistorical #HistoricalFiction #AWaltzwiththeOutspokenGoverness #HistoricalRomance #MondayBlogs

A quiet governess…

An unruly heart

Sir Nicholas Denny is desperate to find a governess to care for his boisterous nieces and nephews. Demure vicar’s daughter Mary Smith seems ideal—at first. All too soon Nicholas discovers a different side to her… She’s a beautiful, vivacious woman, even if she infuriates him with her strong opinions! When he waltzes with Mary at a party he knows he’s in trouble—the spark between them is so tempting, but she challenges everything he thought he wanted in a wife!

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My Thoughts…

This book gives a different view of early nineteenth-century society which explores the divide between the rich and their servants. Mary is an independent young woman, unfashionably educated, intelligent and outspoken. Receiving some disturbing news of her father, a Norfolk vicar she ingeniously finds a way to be close to him to help. Sir Nicholas Kenney is dreading the annual visit from his sister, and family hiring additional staff essential, especially a governess.

Mary and Nicholas’ romance is gentle with the attraction building insidiously. Mary’s outspoken intelligent nature appeals to Nicholas despite the forbidden nature of their circumstances. This story explores the vulnerability of servants to those who pay their wages.

There’s both mystery and romance in this story with relatable characters, witty dialogue and a happy ending.

#CatherineTinley

Catherine Tinley is an award-winning author who writes witty, heartwarming, Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. 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, NHS management, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now manages a maternity hospital. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, and dog.

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Posted in Book Review, Historical Romance, Medical Romance, Romance, Romance -Dark and Steamy

Mills and Boon Holiday Reads #Reviews #MillsandBoonInsiders @MillsandBoon #HistoricalRomance #Romance #Medical #Military #BookReviews @Bronwynscott @scarlet_wilson @JossWoodbooks @CaraLockwood

I received copies of these books from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for honest reviews.

The Earl’s heir

And the rebel artist

Artist Artemisia Stansfield has four months to prove herself to the Royal Academy of Arts. When she finds out that aristocratic art critic, Darius Rutherford, has been snooping in her studio, she’s furious! Sparks of anger turn into flames of desire, but one lapse in judgement could give Darius all the fuel he needs to ruin her, as a lady and as an artist! Unless she trusts him enough to take the risk…?

My Thoughts… 5*#Review

This story has a fascinating theme. It’s full of pertinent historical detail that illustrates the struggle of female artists at this time. The chemistry between Artemisia and Darius in this slow-burn, but ultimately passionate romance is memorable. The emotional connection deepens as the couple get to know each other, and support the other through the conflicts they face.

The character and story development are notable, and it’s an enjoyable reading experience.

A missed blind date…

…leads to a chance at forever!

After exchanging messages for months via a dating app, Surgeon Ivy Ross is finally ready to meet up with ‘Mr. Right’. But when work calls her away the chance is lost…until fate intervenes and Ivy’s blind date – Travis King – arrives as her new Senior Medical Officer…aka her boss! Travis and Ivy know mixing business and pleasure is a bad idea, but sometimes bad ideas feel so good…

My Thoughts… 4*#Review

An interesting setting focusing on medics in the Navy is the background for Ivy and Travis’ romance. Meeting on a dating app, chemistry sparks and they decide to meet, but duty calls and Ivy doesn’t show. Their first meeting is unexpected and difficult as the logistics of a workplace romance on a ship are difficult and forbidden.

Both of the characters are relatable with conflicted and believably written romance. Ivy’s dedication to her career, and Travis’ struggle with his mental health, add additional conflict and give this story authenticity.

This is an original medical/military romance.

If I kiss you,
there’s no going back…’

Hosting South Africa’s wedding of the year at his exclusive safari lodge is Radd Tempest-Vane’s ticket to restoring his family’s empire. As long as he finds a new florist, fast! Brinley Riddell is the perfect candidate. She’s also an immediate distraction.

For Brin, this lucrative job is her chance to be free of the family who never thought her good enough. Radd may be proud, and strictly off-limits, but he’s the sexiest man she’s ever met! Surely one impossibly steamy encounter won’t upend their simple business deal…?

My Thoughts… 4*#Review

This is an atmospheric story, full of vibrant sensory imagery that immerses the reader in the setting. The story follows one man’s quest to rebuild his family’s legacy and a woman’s need to distance herself from her grasping family.

Both characters, are strong and have trust issues, which mean love and romance are not on their life list. A powerful and instantaneous attraction upsets their carefully laid plans and makes for a heated and passionate love affair. Brin has a secret which threatens their new understanding and is the major conflict in this story.

A love that is as decadent, deadly and desirable as the story’ setting is the perfect escapist read.

She’s definitely not invited…
But that won’t stop her

Heiress Asha Patel just crashed a party without knowing that the decadent masquerade ball is for exclusive members. The moment she sees gorgeous, delectably sexy French host Mathis Durand, Asha knows she wants membership more than anything. But Durand has something else in mind for the desi bombshell… Is Asha willing to pay the dangerously high price?

My Thoughts… 3*#Review

This story has potential, but the characters are not as relatable as they could be and the mystique and sensuality of the secret club and masquerade ball is not fulfilled. The love scenes are well-written but the emotional connection is lacking for me.

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Historical Romance, Medical Romance, Romance

Mills and Boon Holiday Reads #Reviewed @MillsandBoon @LouiseRegency @Sophie_Pembroke @AnnieONeilBooks #MarcellaBell #MillsandBoonInsiders #Romance #MillsandBoon #HolidayReads

I received a copy of these books from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for honest reviews.

A Marquis in Want of a WifeLouise Allen

Ross Vincent, Marquis of Cranford, with his scarred face and formidable disposition knows he’s hardly a catch. But he needs a wife to take care of his motherless son. Shy, scholarly Prudence Scott seems ideal: she has no expectation of love or passion. She’ll care for his baby in return for the protection of his name. Yet seeing Prudence on their wedding day tests Ross’s willpower to not take his new wife to bed…

My Thoughts … 4*

A marriage of convenience against the backdrop of Waterloo makes this an exciting read. Prue is an intelligent woman who makes a youthful mistake. Ross, a widower, gives her way of preserving her reputation. Their relationship becomes convivial and then romantic, but Waterloo intervenes with near-disastrous results for their life together. Prue is a strong character who matures in the face of adversity and her growing love for Ross and his son. Ross has to learn to trust, something which takes him a while and almost loses him everything. The emotional connection in this story is believable, and Prue’s relationship with her friends is relatable.

Awakening His Shy CinderellaSophie Pembroke

Damon knows Rachel’s always prioritised her family’s needs above her own and it’s time for her to step out of her comfort zone! Damon usually steers clear of commitment, but neither can resist indulging in a very temporary affair! Only when the time comes, can he walk away…?

My Thoughts … 5*

I love modern fairytales, especially at this time of year and this one is magical and romantic and has a contemporary edge. It’s easy to recognise the characters, there’s the wicked stepmother, and the two ugly sisters who despite being outwardly glamorous are mean spirited inside. Rachel doesn’t want to cause her father extra stress, but that doesn’t stop her having dreams, including her longtime crush on her best friend’s brother Damon. Damon doesn’t fit in with his family either, and never feels good enough. The attraction, between Rachel and Damon, simmers gently but grows as they acknowledge their emotional response to each other. There’s a fairy godmother who sees what they could be and plenty of evil and magic occurrences as the story plays out. Sensory imagery immerses the reader in this magical tale, and the multi-layered characters are believable. A lovely story to escape with during the festive holidays.

Christmas Under the Northern Lights – Annie O’Neil

After her fiancé’s shocking betrayal, District Nurse Audrey Walsh hopes to escape Christmas on remote Bourtree Island! Instead, she’s met by a gorgeous man in a Santa suit… Dr. Cooper MacAskill! They’re stuck working (and living) together ‘til New Year, both with their demons to face. Except their inconvenient attraction, and the warmth of this island community offers them healing and happiness – if they have the courage to take it!

My Thoughts … 4*

This is an atmospheric festive romance set on a remote Scottish isle. Christmas cheer is the last thing Audrey feels when she discovers her fiance with another woman, weeks before the wedding she paid for. Heartbroken and in need of cash, she takes a District Nurse locum role as she reassesses her life goals. Cooper grew up on the island. Grieving over his grandmother’s death, he feels guilty and wary of the islanders’ reception. The author believably creates the island world with a relatable cast of characters within the community. The romance and spectacle of the Northern Lights engage the readers’ senses and immerse them in the setting. Audrey and Cooper learn more about themselves and each other in this gentle romance with a well researched medical theme. This is a heartwarming, festive medical romance.

Stolen to Wear His Crown – Marcella Bell

Mina has finally achieved her dream of becoming chief scientific advisor of Cyrano when she’s stolen from the interview room! She’s taken directly to the palace chapel where the terms of a secret betrothal mean she must marry the King – immediately.

My Thoughts … 4*

A fictional kingdom, an unusual heroine, and a determined king make this an interesting romance. The world created is pure fantasy but with some realistic elements. Mina is an intelligent but unworldly woman, fixated on her career and just about to achieve her objective. Zayn knows his duty and will never let his personal feelings get in the way of it. There are elements in this story that defy belief, but if you accept them and Zayn’s often autocratic behaviour, this is a good romance with strong characters full of conflict, glamour and the chance of love.

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

One Snowy Night with Lord Hauxton Laura Martin 4*# Review @MillsandBoon #MillsandBoonInsiders #Festive #BookReview #MillsandBoonHistorical #HistoricalRomance #RegencyRomance #MondayBlogs

Secluded and snowed in

…with the brooding Earl

Runaway debutante Henrietta Harvey will never live down the mortification of accidentally slipping into Lord Hauxton’s bed. So, imagine her horror upon discovering they’re snowed in together the next morning! Yet Henrietta comes to find this gruff, cold man has an intriguingly warmer side. Still, hiding a secret that would shock the ton, she’s resigned to becoming a spinster. Unless she can trust him with the truth, before the snow melts…

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

My Thoughts…

Snow in a romantic novel creates the perfect proximity for would-be lovers. Lord Hauxton seeks the quiet solace of his friends’ country house to try and move forward with his life after a recent and unexpected loss. Artist Henrietta runs to her cousin’s house, after a bitter fight with her mother, about her future. Both after escaping the snowy night, end up in the same room, which is the catalysis to make them question their futures.

Whilst delivering deepening emotion and passion between Milton and Henrietta a few more flashbacks to their pasts would better illuminate their current, internal conflicts. However, with drama, romance and a festive twist, this is an enjoyable winter read.

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

The Maiden and the Mercenary Nicola Locke 4*#Review @NicoleLockeNews @MillsandBoonHistorical @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #harlequinhistorical #BlogBlitz #BookReview #MillsandBoonHistorical #HistoricalRomance #LoversandLegends #MondayBlogs #Giveaway

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

My Thoughts…

This medieval romance is part of the Lovers and Legends series. The romance between a serving girl and a mercenary masquerading as a servant is a forbidden romance trope and is full of adventure, danger and passion.

The lighthearted romance between two individuals with hidden agendas, but a common purpose counters the malevolence underlying the story. Their romance is intense, passionate and secretive. The plot contains intrigue and the threat of being found out, as Louve and Biedeluue indulge their attraction whilst trying to achieve their necessary missions.

The author creates a believable sense of history and a disturbing ethos which changes with the whim of the evil lord. The characters are flawed and relatable, and the romance is the flame that carries them through.

Giveaway to Win a £20 / $20 Amazon Gift Card

(Open Internationally)

*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.

Nicole Locke

Nicole first discovered romance novels hidden in her grandmother’s closet. Convinced that hidden books must be better, Nicole greedily read them. It was only natural she should start writing them (but now not so secretly).

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Festive Read, Historical Romance, Mystery, Victorian Romance

A Princess By Christmas Julia London 5*#Review @JuliaFLondon @MillsandBoon #BlogTour #BookReview #ARoyalWedding #MillsandBoonInsiders #APrincessByChristmas #MillsandBoonHistorical #Festive

A Secret. A Lie. A Revolution.

Hollis Honeycutt has written her London gazette since the death of her husband – featuring fashion plates, marriage advice, and the latest gossip in and around Mayfair. But now she feels her gazette should have more meaning, cover topics of more consequence than the latest curl cream.

The opportunity presents itself when Hollis overhears rumours of a potential coup in the Kingdom of Wesloria, a coup linked to the highest level of government in London. During her investigation Hollis spies a man with no business lurking around peace talks, and determines to expose him for the traitor he most certainly must be.

When Weslorian Marek Brendan was fifteen he was shocked to discover his heritage was not what he believed – he was whisked away from the Weslorian palace when he was born because there was fear that corrupt forces would try and kidnap him. Now he is determined to stop these corrupt forces staging a coup in his home country. Except for the beautiful woman whose questions are putting his own investigation at risk. Yet soon Marek realises that pretty Hollis can help him. But when he confides his suspicions, Hollis’s loyalties are tested and she must choose between her loyalties to her family, or her heart…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The third book in the ‘A Royal Wedding’ series features Hollis, a widow who is feeling left behind in the romance stakes when her sister Eliza,(The Princess Plan) and her best friend Caroline (Royal Kiss and Tell) find true love.

Hollis is an engaging character conflicted with moving on and keeping her husband’s memory alive. She’s independent, opinionated and a little outrageous for the staid Victorian society and a fabulous character because of these things. Marek’s secret will rock the foundations of Wesloria. He fights his attraction to Hollis fearing she will betray him. Their slow-burn romance is conflicted from the start.

This story is complete and reads like a standalone. However, if you want to know more about Eliza and Caroline and understand the royal world of Alucia and Wesloria read the other books in the series too.

This story has political intrigue at its heart, and its the investigation of a suspected coup in Wesloria that divides and then unites the unlikely couple. The dialogue between Hollis and Marek is witty and informative. Hollis’ introspective thoughts are well written and give important insights into her motivations and personality. The romance is gentle but insistent. There’s a festive twist to this story which gives a perfect picture of Victorian Christmas.

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

Under the Warrior’s Protection Ella Mathews 4*#Review @ellamattauthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #HistoricalRomance #HistFic @rararesources #BlogBlitz #BookReview #TheHouseofLeofric

Letting down her guard…

Might save her life…

With their family name in tatters, Katherine Leofric and her sister are headed for a new life at their brother’s estate. They are escorted by the hardened Jarin, Earl of Borwyn, whom Katherine believes is only after her dowry! Then her sister is abducted on their treacherous journey, and Katherine must rely on Jarin’s protection. Now, seeing a different side to the man she’s sworn to hate, it’s her heart that’s most at risk!

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

My Thoughts…

This is another exciting medieval romantic adventure in the House of Leofric series.

An enemies-to-friends romance Jarin and Katherine are both wary of the other. Katherine because of an overheard conversation and Jarin because of her family’s sullied reputation, and his disastrous former marriage. Events overtake their prejudices and force them together but can trust be built between them and will Katherine lose her heart to the handsome heartless warrior?

Danger, intrigue and the precarious position of women in medieval society define this story. Even courageous and resourceful women are reliant on to men for their safety. Katherine believes herself plain and attractive only because of her dowry. She doesn’t trust Jarin even though she is attracted to him. Jarin sees the goodness in Katherine, but he’s jaded from life and doesn’t believe he can find romantic happiness.

The chemistry between Jarin and Katherine builds in intensity as the story progresses. They have external and internal conflicts to their happiness, and only a leap of faith and trust can achieve true happiness.

A deliciously intriguing medieval story with passionate romance and engaging characters.

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, Christmas Read, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

A Mistletoe Vow to Lord Lovell 4*#Review Joanna Johnson @JoannaJoJohnson @MillsandBoon #Festive #MillsandBoonInsiders #RegencyRomance #MillsandBoonHistorical #BookReview

Will their vows last a lifetime…

Not just for Christmas?

Abandoned by her husband, and society because her father was a slave, Honora Blake will never rely on anyone again. Until dashing Lord Lovell breaks the news that she is a widow – and penniless – and insists she spend Christmas with him and his pregnant ward. Beneath the mistletoe, passion flares between Honora and Isaac. Then childbirth places his ward’s life in jeopardy, and these strangers suddenly face marriage to protect the baby!

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A romance set in Regency times focused on women’s lack of rights in society. Honora naively marries a rake and travels to England only to be abandoned and left in a crumbling house. Issac Lord Lovell brings her news of her estranged husband’s demise. She wonders if she can begin again, but her husband fails her even in death, and she forced to accept Issac’s offer of a place to stay.

This is an enemy to lover trope, but it has more depth than this. Honora faces prejudice both because of her parentage and her gender. The attraction between her and Issac is unwelcome to both. Her past mistakes make trusting Issac difficult. Issac has a secret that may destroy any future they may have. Nevertheless, passion breaks through, but conflicts, both internal and external, make a festive happy-ending hard-won.

This gently paced story is about a romance, which succeeds despite the failings of Regency society. The festive setting gives the story a sense of time and place and provides lighter moments in a story that explores social history inequality and prejudice.

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

Would I Lie to the Duke Eva Leigh 5*#Review @EvaLeighAuthor @MillsandBoon Union of Rakes #RegencyRomance #HistoricalRomance #MillsandBoonInsiders #BookReview #Cinderella #MillsandBoonHistorical #BlogTour

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Jess is a determined and desperate woman who will do anything to save her family business. She is astute, and knows how society works, and decides to become one of them to achieve her aims. Noel is a carefree, gentleman entitled but not arrogant and he is smitten with Jess.

This is a sensual romance with great chemistry between the couple. The conflict to their happy-ever-after revolves around Jess’s lies when the truth is so important to a man with trust issues. The couple’s dialogue is witty and wonderful and carries the story along to its happy conclusion but only after considerable angst and heartache for the mismatched pair.