A stolen kiss from a dashing stranger… at her own betrothal ball!
When Isabella Alstone receives a shockingly passionate kiss from a handsome stranger at her betrothal ball, she scandalously ends her engagement. She is even more surprised when she discovers exactly who the stranger is! Ruggedly striking Wulf FitzDevelin is illegitimate, penniless and her ex-fiance’s half-brother–their match is wholly unsuitable. Yet Isabella cannot escape the burning longing to feel his touch again!
A forbidden kiss, a feisty heiress and a family divided by secrets, make this Regency romance and entertaining read.
With lots of plot twists, a heroine and hero who practically combust when they are in the same place and a scandalous family tragedy, this story is different from the usual Regency romances of debutantes and rakes but still retains a believable historical setting and a lovely conflicted love story.
Isabella’s cruel childhood makes her self-reliant and stubborn, she respects her older siblings advice but knows her mind. Wulf ‘s childhood memories are mostly bad. Shunned by polite society, he lives up to his rakish reputation until his serendipitous meeting with Isabella. Their romance is an enticing mix of innocence and sensuality, but Wulf won’t risk Isabella’s reputation despite her provocation, and their love seems doomed before it takes flight.
A gentle paced story with a few unusual plot twists, one of which remains unanswered, perhaps for another story? I liked the two main protagonists. The cast of family characters adds depth to the story without detracting from its romantic focus. Intertwined with historical detail, which sets the scene but doesn’t slow the pace, it’s perfect if you fancy a romantic Regency tale with a mysterious twist.
I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
My Summer Newsletter has finally been sent out today, it seems I’m as late, as the Summer is arriving in the UK. 🙂
I’m giving away a paperback copy of The Dangerous Gift randomly drawn on 20 September 2016 – to one of my subscribers. If you haven’t subscribed yet to my seasonal newsletter, click on the image above or here.
There’s also a newsletter exclusive excerpt of The Dangerous Gift and my latest novel Past Shadows.
Past Shadows will hopefully be released later this year, here’s another taster of my mystery , historical romance with a ghostly twist.
Happy Reading x
Miss Annabel Bradley refuses to accept life as a spinster. Her many years of pouring greedily over Gothic novels has put her head in the clouds; dreaming and hoping for the love she reads about. She has always held a tendre for her best friend, Lane Mason, seventh Earl of Devon, but she does not want to jeopardize their friendship by telling him about those indecent dreams of hers. Anna, therefore, makes a life-changing decision; she is going to accept the proposal of the next suitor to ask!
Lane Mason is an average aristocrat; absorbed in life in general, and content with his status in society. Amid a frequently occurring moment of self-loathing, Lane shockingly discovers his feelings for Anna. Now armed with the awareness of his love for Anna, Lane decides to perpetrate a devilishly clever scheme. He will pay actors to abduct the two of them in order to give Anna an adventure like the ones she reads in her treasured books.
Lane’s plans go awry, however, when they are kidnapped in truth.
This story lives up to its title. Well paced, with an exciting plot and authentic, complex characters, typical of Regency society. Carefully interwoven historic details bring to life Regency England’s elaborate balls, strict society rules and preoccupation with eating rich food at every opportunity.
Annabel is not the typical society miss; she is educated and prefers to spend her time reading and playing chess rather than shopping for the latest fashion or fripperies. At odds with this is her feminine desire for children, making marriage necessary.
Lane is not the usual Regency hero, although a Lord, he prefers to spend his time with Annabel indulging her whims for play acting, reading out loud and walks in the garden,
The dynamic between Annabel and Lane is intriguing and therein lays the first misadventure
The love scenes don’t need the dialogue. Sensitively written they portray the heat and emotional involvement between the two main characters without the need for conversation.
The secondary characters, notably Charles and the antagonist are well crafted and in the latter case both depraved and sinister. Even the characters we do not personally meet are interesting, Lane’s sister Katherine interests me and I would love to read her story.
The suspense is good and there are lots of twists. The spy theme is the overarching series theme, so this is left open ended, to be continued in book two, which I am looking forward to reading
I received a copy of this book from Pandamoon Publishing in return for an honest review.
Love’s Misadventure by Cheri Champagne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Robert the elder brother of Edward who we met in ‘The Illicit Love of a Courtesan‘ is the passionate rake. A dark, brooding man full of mystery is gradually unravelled by Jane the Dowager Duchess of Sutton, his first love.
This story oozes romance and heartbreak.
Jane’s story reveals the exploitation of women in Regency society. Finally free of her cruel, aged husband she finds his son determined to extract the fortune his father left her by whatever means he can.
The depth of the depravity Jane experienced combined with what she sees as Robert’s abandonment of her when she needed him most ensures the story is rife with emotional conflict.
Robert’s perceptions change as the story develops and he realises why Jane rejects him even if her body cannot.
The story is effortless to read, pure escapism with plenty of excellent supporting characters to hold your interest aside from the passionate romance between Jane and Robert.
The political nature of the society during this time is well described as is the indiscriminate censure it dealt out to those out of favour.
If you are looking for something to warm the winter evenings ‘The Passionate Love of a Rake’ is perfect.
‘The Illicit Love of a Courtesan’ is Ellen’s poignant battle to overcome the abuse she suffered after husband’s death at Waterloo. Her emotional rebirth necessitates self-forgiveness and trust of others before she accepts the love which will restore her humanity and self-worth. Numerous obstacles plague her life in the form of cruel men and society’s unforgiving strictures. To find her happy ever after she must harness her fears and conquer these.
Edward a second son has lost his life motivation after the return of his elder brother to reclaim his legacy which has prospered under Edward’s stewardship. Wiling his time away in a notorious gaming hell he notices and ultimately has an intimate liaison with Ellen a courtesan who he wins for a couple of hours when he calls her protector Gainsborough out for cheating.
The passion ignites between them and even though she belongs to another Edward cannot forget her. He seeks her out and they enjoy and illicit week of passion whilst her protector is away. On Gainsborough’s return he threatens Ellen with her worst nightmare and she runs to Edward the only one who can save her.
Full of angst this story draws you in as soon as the gravity of Ellen’s situation is evident. Edward is a true hero willing to protect his lady against all evils and able to forgive her even when she lies.
The supporting cast of characters are interesting and I look forward to the next in the series. ‘The Passionate Love of a Rake’
‘The Illicit Love of a Courtesan’ is an emotional romantic story which gives an excellent insight into the vulnerability of young women in Regency society.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Set in Regency England ‘The Devil’s Thief’ is the first in the Saints’ Devils series. It is a sensuous, amusing, exciting story which features Alasdair Sharp the first of the Saint’s Devils to reform.
Alasdair has no desire to change his ways until he finds a thief in his bedchamber intent on stealing the Stewart Pearl a priceless family heirloom. Inexplicably drawn to the young woman he discovers Alasdair offers her the pearl for a night in his bed.
Julianna Harte accepted in Regency society although her formative years were difficult decides to steal the Stewart Pearl in an impulsive moment. Careful to hide her true self from the world she maintains a low profile. Alasdair barely acknowledges her presence when their paths cross in society and his thoughtless attitude towards her is part of the reason she steals the pearl.
The fiery relationship between Julianna and Alasdair dominates the story. The many sensual encounters between the two are hot but integral to their emotional journey.
The pacing of the story and the plot’s twists ensure an interesting read. The descriptions and characters of criminal life in Regency London are well written and create an atmospheric, sinister setting. Notable characters are Hil and Templeton who Alasdair enlists to help him retrieve the pearl and Wiley the teenage thief with a golden heart who makes this story his own.
A sensual Regency romance with a strong plot and fascinating characters an excellent way to brighten the journey to work or while away a Sunday afternoon.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The title ‘ A Most Devilish Rogue’ initially drew me to this book. I expected a Regency romp where the hero is dashing and debonair and the heroine is feisty and beautiful and this is exactly what the book delivers but in a unique and interesting way.
After reading the whole story I’m convinced the title doesn’t do it justice. The depth of the emotion conveyed by the writer and her clever layering of the conflicts facing our devilish hero George and our heroine Isabelle make it a far more satisfying read than the Regency romp I expected.
I particularly liked her exploration of what Regency society expected of men.
George has an artistic skill which he has spent most of his life suppressing because his father considered it unmanly. He was driven into the life of a rakish rogue by his father’s and society’s expectations.
Isabelle’s fall from grace is sensitively portrayed. It is an essential element of Regency novels that ladies are expected to remain demure and pure until they achieve the point of their existence a good marriage. Isabelle is not the usual Regency heroine because she succumbed to a heartless rake at a tender age and was banished both by her high-born family and the Ton.
Usually the hero saves the heroine before her reputation is lost,not so here. This is a story of pride, forgiveness, strength of character and learning to grasp the opportunity of happiness when it is offered.
What this story lacked in Regency glamour it made up for in emotional battles between George and Isabelle.
The love scenes are sensual and realistic and enhance the emotional depth of the story. When George and Isabelle finally achieve their HEA you really feel they deserve it.
I enjoyed this book which is the second in the series. I haven’t read ‘A Most Scandalous Proposal’ yet, the first book in the series but I definitely will now.
I recommend ‘A Most Devilish Rogue if you’re looking for a unique romantic, Regency historical read.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jane Hunt Writer First Steps
This is the perfect story for Regency Romance lovers. An easy read I couldn’t put it down.
The romance is engaging. The pacing of the story is good and the plot is well thought out with unexpected twists. There is an interesting amount of historical detail throughout which enhances the book.
Millie is an unconventional heroine for a Regency romance. She was born and lived in India and so provides a fresh perspective on Regency society’s constraints on women. An endearing combination of feisty and vulnerable make Millie attractive both to the reader and the hero.
Alex is a likeable rake. The insights the reader is given into his thoughts allow you to like him even when he unwittingly breaks Millie’s heart.
The story is full of layered conflict which keep you turning the pages.
Whilst not a steamy romance. The ending definitely raises the temperature and gives Letter From A Rake its Happy Ever After.
I enjoyed this and would recommend it.
Letter from a Rake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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