Posted in Book Review, Friendship, Romance, Romance -Dark and Steamy

Friends With Benefits Margot Radcliffe 3*#Review @MargotRadcliffe @MillsandBoon #Dare #MillsandBoonDare #Romance #MillsandBoonInsiders

#FriendsWithBenefits

‘You made the rules…
But you forgot I’m really good at games.’

Casino mogul Alexa Lawson always keeps the lines between her and drop-dead gorgeous bestie Carter Hayes firmly drawn. That is until Alexa’s solution to all her problems is to make Carter her super-hot, fake fiancé! Now Carter’s changing the game—into one that’s white-hot and deliciously dirty. But what happens on one wild night in Vegas might just cost them their friendship… and their hearts.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Friends to lovers trope romance with the added spice of the #Dare series.

Set in Las Vegas, the setting didn’t endear itself, neither did the gambling references. Similarly, the characters are hard to like because of their preoccupation with money, and one night stands.

Alexa, runs a casino and enjoys gambling and playing the romantic field, serially. Carter, her longtime best friend, is a technical genius, but again has made serious money by providing security devices for casinos and other organisations.

The chemistry between them is what makes this story readable. I like friends to lovers romances, but the fake engagement isn’t believable because it goes against both of the character’s independent, don’t care what anybody else thinks characteristics.

The romance is hot and sensual, but awkward in parts, maybe to illustrate the difficulties the characters had with their new relationship? The ending is happy.

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Holiday Romance, Romance, Romance -Dark and Steamy

Naughty or Nice Rachael Stewart 5*#Review @rach_b52 @MillsandBoon #Dare @rararesources #MillsandBoonDare #Festive #Christmas #Romance #BlogBlitz #BookReview #RachelsRandomResources #Giveaway

#NaughtyOrNice

She’s setting the terms… In business and pleasure!

Lucas Waring was my brother’s best friend—before he broke my heart and betrayed my family. Yet one glance from those dark, intense eyes, and that bolt of aching need returns. Now Lucas wants my business. But the nice Eva he knew is gone forever and naughty Eva wants her cake, and a taste of deliciously hot Lucas, too. Only my heart’s about to pull the biggest betrayal of all…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A seductive festive treat with heartfelt emotion, sensual romance, and a strong female protagonist. There is real character development in this story, which reflects on the event when Eva was eighteen, and how much she has changed ten years on. Yet her passion for Lucas remains stronger than ever. External conflict is strong in this romance, but Eva wants the truth and is determined that this time, everything will be on her terms.

The romance is sizzling and sensual, hotly pursued by the couple’s emotional attachment, which makes this romance endearing, even though, on one level, it is all about the physical attraction. The plot is well- written and the writing style in the first-person point of view, from both protagonists, makes it immediate and believable.

The perfect stocking filler this Christmas.

#RachaelStewart

Rachael Stewart adores conjuring up stories for the readers of Harlequin Mills & Boon and Deep Desires Press, with tales varying from the heart-warmingly romantic to the wildly erotic.

Despite a degree in Business Studies and spending many years in the corporate world, the desire to become an author never waned and it’s now her full-time pleasure, a dream come true. 

A Welsh lass at heart, she now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and three children, and if she’s not glued to her laptop, she’s wrapped up in them or enjoying the great outdoors seeking out inspiration.

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Giveaway to Win an e-copy of Naughty or Nice by Rachael Stewart (Open INT)

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the 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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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

The Debt – Jackie Ashenden 5* #Review @MillsandBoon @Jackie Ashenden #Dare #MillsandBoonInsiders #Romance #BookReview

She owes me a debt…

And I’m ready to collect!

I didn’t go from street fighter to billionaire by being a nice guy. Yet my fresh-faced chauffeur asks me to forgive a debt. Ellie Little needs to learn: nothing comes without a price. So I’ll offer her a deal—pretend to be my girlfriend to secure a business deal and I’ll delay calling in my investment. It’s strictly business. Sleeping with her? Forbidden! But Ellie tempts me to break the rules…

Amazon UK

Waterstones

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

My Thoughts…

The author brings her originality to this #Dare novel and makes it a sexy, glamorous, romantic story, full of conflict. Self-made billionaire Ash and car designer Ellie are both emotionally scarred, but they’re survivors and see enough similarity in each other to learn to trust. What starts off as a purely sexual adventure, becomes something more dangerous and potentially life-changing.

The story told from alternative points of view is amusing, intense, sensual, and fast-paced. The emotional journey is tortuous, but worth the pain, the romance is lovely and the ending perfect, for this sexy story.

Posted in Book Review, Historical Romance, Romance, Travel, Victorian Romance

The Lady Traveller’s Guide to Happily Ever After Victoria Alexander 5* #Review @MillsandBoon @VictAlexander #millsandbooninsiders #victorianromance #historicalromance #travel #ladytravellerssociety #bookbloggers

Can she find her Happily Ever After…

For the past seven years, Violet Branham has enjoyed the luxury of travelling the world as an independent woman, and confining her awkward past to a distant, if painful, memory. But now she has been summoned home to England over a stipulation in the will of her late uncle, the Earl of Ellsworth, one that decrees she lose everything unless she reconciles with the man who broke her heart and ruined her life—her husband.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The fourth book in the ‘Lady Traveller’s Society’ series, this reads perfectly as a standalone. The story of Violet and James, who married after a scandalous moment, to appease society. They lived apart, for the next six years, until the demise of Richard, Earl of Ellsworth, and his will. Forced to live together again, have they changed? Will they learn to be a couple? Or are they destined to lose everything?

Divided into two main parts, the first covers the reunion and the makings of a lasting romance are hinted at, but only if Violet, maintains her independence, and James puts aside his arrogance, and pride, to follow her, and find out who she truly is.

Part two follows the couple across Europe in an amusing, romantic journey to their happily ever after. The main characters are well written and reflect the opportunityof the era they live in. The three elderly matchmakers are also a delight.

The perfect late Summer read. An atmospheric journey across Europe, with gentle romance and witty dialogue.

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

Dare to Love a Duke – Eva Leigh 5* #Review @MillsandBoon @EvaLeighAuthor #MillsandBoonInsiders #RegencyRomance #HistoricalRomance #Extract #ScandalousLadiesofLondon #TheLondonUnderground #BlogTour

Dare to Love a Duke

A Masked Stranger. A Passionate Encounter. A Chance at Love?

For a dashing duke and the proprietress of a secret, sensual club, passion could lead to love…

Thomas Powell, the new Duke of Northfield, knows he should be proper and principled, like his father. No more duelling, or carousing, or frequenting masked balls. But he’s not ready to give up his freedom just yet.

Lucia—known as Amina—manages the Orchid Club, a secret society where fantasies become reality. Yet no member of the club has ever intrigued her…until him, the masked stranger whose heated looks sear her skin. After months of suppressed longing, do they dare to give in to temptation…?

Amazon UK

#BlogTour

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


My Thoughts…

On first acquaintance, Lucia is, the most scandalous of the ladies in this Regency romance series. The proprietress of a secret sex club, although not the owner, she is above the wild abandonment that takes place behind its doors, and never fraternises with members, until Tom. The early chapters of this book are explicit, but not in a gratuitous way. The descriptions demonstrate the ethos of the club and the double standards of polite society. It is a surprisingly egalitarian place, where identity is secret, members are drawn to the place for its freedom.

Tom first visits the club as the Duke’s heir, when it fits into his hedonistic lifestyle, Twelve months later, he attends only for his interaction with Lucia or Amina as she is known in ‘The Orchid Club’, they talk but don’t touch, which sets them apart from everyone else. Then his circumstances change, and he realises, so must his life.

Tom and Lucia are from different social classes, but they share the same beliefs, even if it takes Lucia to make Tom realise his true self. The plot has many twists, that force the couple together. Their relationship is full of conflicts that make their chance of lasting happiness unlikely.

Lucia, like all the women in this series, wants to help women and children subjected to deprivation and poverty, which she has experienced first hand. Scandal and social reform are the main themes of this Regency romance, which showcases the strength and tenacity of Lucia and her friends, in a class controlled, male-dominated society.

While the message of the novel is clear, it doesn’t deter from the delicious interplay between Lucia and Tom, and their passionate romance. The ending is romantic and satisfying, and the epilogue rounds off the series perfectly.

#TheLondonUnderground
Extract From – Dare to Love a Duke – Eva Leigh

Chapter 1

London, England

1816

A droplet of sweat rolled between the shoulder blades of Thomas Edward O’Connell Cúchulain Powell, Earl of Langdon, as he steadied the cocked duelling pistol and took aim. He looked down the weapon’s barrel, his concentration fixed on his target twenty paces away. His exhalation misted in the chill midnight air as he fought for calm.

He inhaled, held his breath, then pulled the trigger.

There was a flash and a cloud of smoke as the weapon’s

concussion split the night’s stillness.

Twenty paces away, glass shattered.

The hushed crowd burst into applause and cheers of “Bravo!” as Tom lowered the pistol and grinned. He kept his footing as people swarmed around him, offering their congratulations and hearty thumps on the back. Numerous women, scented heavily with perfume, kissed his cheeks—so many that he imagined it looked as though he wore rouge.

“The hero of Regent’s Park,” George Mowbray declared.

“Not to Culver, I’m afraid.”

Tom looked over at his opponent, Lord Culver, who sulked as he handed his duelling pistol to a footman. Culver had missed when taking aim at the bottle of claret. Perhaps if Tom had been more virtuous, he would have deliberately missed so that there was no winner and no loser. Though Tom was an earl and the heir to the Duke of Northfield, no one would ever call

him virtuous.

“Ah, shag him,” Mowbray said magnanimously.

“I’ll leave that to the professionals.”

Tom smiled ruefully as Culver’s hired companion for the evening attempted to soothe her client. When Culver shoved her away and she stumbled, Tom immediately strode through the crowd and jammed his fist into his opponent’s sternum.

“You may have lost, but you’re still a gentleman,” Tom said in a low, warning voice. Gently, he took the woman’s arm to make sure she kept her footing.

“Apologize to the lady.”

“She’s just a whore, Langdon,” Culver said.

“Apologize.” Tom’s jaw firmed as he held up the pistol. “Or else the next time I fire this, it will be at your worthless heart.”

Culver scowled, but said in a grudging voice, “I’m sorry.” Under his breath, he muttered, “You Irish son of a bitch.”

Tom narrowed his eyes. “Repeat that.”

“I . . .” Culver gulped. “It was a jest.”

“A poor one.” Since the age of twelve, when he’d been brought from his mother’s Irish home to be educated in his father’s country of England, Tom had heard some variation of Culver’s insult. Why anyone thought Tom ought to be embarrassed about his Irish blood, he’d no idea. But he wouldn’t tolerate slurs.

“Must I ask for another apology?”

“My sincere contrition,” Culver said. After casting Tom a wary glance, he hurried toward his waiting carriage.

“Hope I didn’t cost you your night’s earnings,” Tom said to the woman.

“Ah, no.” She gave him a dry smile as she eyed the throngs of young, wealthy bucks passing bottles back and forth as they caroused. “There’s plenty of pickings in this crowd.” She glanced at him and her smile turned more genuine. “Happens that I’m free right now, my lord. If you’re interested.”

“Perhaps another evening.” He wasn’t ready for bed yet.

One of the rakes came forward with a substantial bundle of cash and jammed it into Tom’s hand. “Your winnings, Langdon.”

No sooner than the cash was in his hand than Tom turned and handed it to the woman. “For putting up with Culver.”

“I couldn’t, my lord,” she said as she tucked the money into her bodice. She gave him a wink. “ ’Night, love.” She pressed a quick kiss to his cheek, then

strode off into the darkness.

“That was near seventy pounds, Langdon,” Mowbray said in shock.

“She’ll have better use of it than me.”

There was no shortage of funds in Tom’s coffers, between income from his earldom as well as his generous allowance provided by his father, the duke. Other lordlings and bucks swam in seas of debt, hounded constantly by tailors, club proprietors, and wine shop owners. Tom made certain to pay everyone on time, for no other reason than the fact that he could.

“I’d do it again for free if it meant humiliating Culver. Bloke’s had it coming since he refused to cover his mistress’s bills.”

“You’re a daft bastard,” Mowbray said with a shake of his head.

“I’d agree,” Tom said affably, “except everyone knows about my parents’ celebrated fidelity. Bastard in deed but not blood.”

Someone handed him a bottle of whiskey and he took a drink before passing the spirits along to a trio of bucks who looked in dire need of refreshment.

“Good Christ, here you are!”

The throng opened up just enough to allow Christopher Ellingsworth to emerge, looking slightly bedraggled despite his military bearing. Since returning home from the War a year ago, Ellingsworth had renewed the friendship he and Tom had begun at Oxford, and from that point forward they had been nigh inseparable, with the exception of tonight.

“Missed the excitement.” Tom handed his pistol to the footman, who returned it to its polished mahogany case.

“Not for want of trying,” his friend said. “I’ve been to the opera, two gaming hells, and a phaeton race. Everywhere I went, I’d just missed you by ten minutes.” He shook his head but his eyes gleamed with reluctant admiration. “Good thing we’re not competing for the title of Most Scapegrace Gentleman in London, or else you’d best me.”

“That trophy isn’t much sought after, anyway. Why such urgency to find me?” Tom lifted an eyebrow.

“My father’s not looking for me, I hope.”

The duke periodically got it into his head that Tom would somehow reform and conduct himself with the dignity and sobriety of a ducal heir with a family history of deeply traditional beliefs, but that was precisely why Tom spent his days asleep and his nights in endless rounds of revelry. One day, hopefully in the far distant future, Tom would inherit the title, and with it, the morass of responsibilities and duties that came with being one of the most powerful men in England—and a voting record dedicated to preserving the ancient systems of power.

Life as Tom knew it would end. He’d say goodbye to nights entertaining opera dancers, midnight swims in the Serpentine, and behaving like the kingdom’s veriest rogue, with his equally dissolute companions keeping him company.

As a marquess’s third son who had recently sold his commission, Ellingsworth had considerably less money but shared Tom’s appetite for running riot. There wasn’t one corner of the city they hadn’t explored in search of amusement and pleasure.

Ellingsworth hooked an arm around Tom’s neck and led him several paces away from the celebrants.

In a low voice, he said, “I’ve heard about something that I knew would interest you. A place in Bloomsbury called the Orchid Club.”

Tom groaned. “I’ve grown weary of clubs. Same games of chance, same people, same wine, same everything.”

His friend’s grin flashed. “This club is different.

For one, it opens its doors only once a week and it just so happens to be open tonight.”

That wasn’t enough to snare Tom’s interest. Many clubs did what they could to cultivate an air of mystery in order to ensure steady business from those eager to discover its secrets.

“What else makes it so special? Is it a brothel?”

“It is most decisively not a brothel. You’ll need this, however.” Ellingsworth unhooked his arm from around Tom’s neck. He reached into his coat before producing something, then slipped the item into Tom’s hand.

Tom held up the object so he could study it better. It was a half-mask made of midnight blue satin.

“What the devil . . . ?”

Ellingsworth chuckled. “You’re intrigued.”

“You’ve gotten my attention.”

Tom had torn all over London tonight, but still, edginess and restlessness pulsed just beneath his skin. He needed diversion. Surely there had to be something in the city he hadn’t already done.

“Excellent.” Ellingsworth clapped his hands together. “I left my horse with the boy watching yours.”

He headed toward where the animals waited, and Tom quickly followed.

“Won’t you tell me more about this mysterious Orchid Club?” he asked.

“I wouldn’t dream of ruining the surprise.”

They reached the horses and after tossing coins to the lad holding the reins, Tom and Ellingsworth swung up into the saddles.

“Not even a hint?” Tom pressed.

In response, Ellingsworth put a finger to his smirking mouth, then wheeled his horse around.

Together, he and Tom rode off into the night.

Back Cover
#OrchidClub
#DareToLoveADuke
Posted in Book Review, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

Daring To Love The Duke’s Heir – Janice Preston @MillsandBoon @JaniceGPreston 5* #Review #MillsandBoonInsiders #HistoricalRomance #RegencyRomance #TheBeauchampHeirs

She’s totally unsuitable…

…to be his Duchess!

Part of The Beauchamp Heirs: Dominic Beauchamp, Lord Avon, is a powerful duke’s heir and it’s his duty to marry well. His bride must have impeccable breeding, manners and grace. But can anyone meet his exacting standards? Certainly not the irrepressible Liberty Lovejoy, who’s been thrust into society after years of being a provincial nobody. She’s too bold, too bubbly…so why is she the only lady he’s thinking about?

Amazon UK

Waterstones

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

My Thoughts…

The second book in ‘The Beauchamp Heirs’ is a delightful read. I like the originality of the plot, the complexities of the heroine and hero, and the cast of characters who bring this story to life. The historical detail and the ethos of living with the expectations and rules of the ‘haute ton’ are cleverly interwoven into a story that explores marrying for love, over the marriage of convenience.

Liberty Lovejoy protects her family at all costs after the loss of their parents and her intended husband to illness. Her meeting with the outwardly proper Lord Avon would leave society’s matron’s gasping, but thankfully he sees beyond her risque actions, to the caring person, who only wants to save her brother from himself and ruin.

Dominic, The Marquess of Avon is to marry, he has a list of likely ladies, but his unexpected encounter with Liberty severely threatens his plans. Both protagonists are damaged by events in their past, especially Dominic, who believes in duty over happiness.

The romance is gentle, the couple like each other, but the love element to their relationship is a surprise to both. The dialogue is witty and often amusing, and the romance as it deepens passionate. The ending is so romantic, almost fairytale-like, but a perfect completion to a lovely story.

Posted in Book Review, Romance

4* #Review An Heir for the World’s Richest Man – Maya Blake @MillsandBoon @mayablake #Romance #Modern #BillionaireRomance #MillsandBoonInsiders

His wealth? Infinite.

Claiming his baby? Priceless!

He may be the richest man on Earth, but self-made Joao Oliviera’s latest deal is personal. To ensure victory, he needs his right-hand woman, Saffron Everhart. But the undeniable tension between them is higher than ever since they finally surrendered to a one-off, emotionally-charged night together. And it’s about to sky-rocket again because Joao’s just found out that Saffron is pregnant!

Amazon UK

Waterstones

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

My Thoughts…

Joao, the richest man in the world, is not easy to like on first acquaintance. His domineering attitude towards his intelligent, irreplaceable Executive Assistant Saffron, doesn’t endear, but once you see things from his point of view, you realise he cannot let her go, for reasons much deeper than her faultless ability to run his professional life.

Saffron, is a woman with goals, professionally she has excelled, but she still needs to fulfil her target, of creating a family. She is easy to like, she has integrity and insight, she knows life with Joao has to end if she is to achieve her ideal life.

This is an emotionally charged story, full of contrasts, excess and glamour. The characters are complex, and believable, even though they inhabit a world few understand. The romance is slow to ignite, but passionate when it does. The conflicts are mostly internal, but are realistic, and threaten the high powered couples happily ever after.

The ending is romantic, and impossibly glamorous as fits the genre.