Monday, January 30, 2012

To Wed A Wild Lord by Sabrina Jeffries

Lord Gabe Sharpe and Virgina Waverly's book

To Wed a Wild Lord (Hellions book 4)

By Sabrina Jeffries

Book Blurb:
Drowning in guilt over his best friend's death seven years ago, Lord Gabriel Sharpe, the Angel of Death, knows his only hope at redemption is a race against a shocking opponent. 

Shrouded in darkness for the past seven years, the infamous racer Lord Gabriel Sharpe is known to accept every challenge to race thrown at him. When his next challenge comes in the form of his late best friend's sister, Virginia Waverly, Gabe is shocked. Yet she presents just the opportunity Gabe needs--marriage to fulfill his grandmother's ultimatum and ensure his inheritance. What he didn't count on was needing her love.

Gabe is indeed the wild one out of his brothers. A phaeton carriage racer, Gabe has been known as the Angel of Death for seven years after racing Virginia's brother, Roger. Roger died in that reckless race and Virginia along with her grandfather had always blamed Gabe for his death. It was a great story to read about the forgiveness unfold and begin to heal. Both healing inregards to Virginia against Gabe but also with Gabe himself. He had such a burden all these years. Great title and well suited, To Wed a Wild Lord.

Even though Gabe felt incredibly guilty for losing his best friend that fateful day all those years ago, it certainly did not curb his wild activity with the racing. It took me a long time in To Wed a Wild Lord to understand why he would continue to be a daredevil and continue to race so carelessly. Even after it was fully explained, I just didn't buy it. Sabrina Jeffries did a great job explaining Gabe's reasons through Virginia's voice, but I still just didn't buy it. 

Virginia and Gabe had great chemistry on the pages. They are totally a great match and it was lovely reading how Gabe tried to win her hand. I liked Gabe and he would have won me over a long time before it took Virginia but with the heavy blame she still placed on Gabe. It made for a great obstacle and book conflict. Well Virginia's grandfather was a pretty heavy obstacle as well. 

Of the Hellion series so far, I found Gabe's romance the most swoon-worthy of the brothers. There is a hay loft scene that was simply romantic as it was lusty. The added touch that Gabe walked around dressed completely in black, firmly cementing his Angel of Death persona, just made him that much sexier to me. No wonder the women were crazy for him. But the best thing was that I didn't necessarily get the impression that Gabe was the rake his brothers were. He'd rather hang out with his horses. 

The mystery continues along the series and it got even more interesting in To Wed a Wild Lord. More and more secrets are uncovered and I haven't a clue at this point who could have killed the Sharpe sibling's parents. I have some light speculation but really, I'm grasping. I love that Celia's book is last and the Bow Street Runner, Mr. Pinter seems to be the potential match in A Lady Never Surrenders so I am happy to start the book next. I am sure I will feel some sort of withdrawal once the series is done as I've come to really like the Sharpe family and their spouses. 

Teasers: mystery man on horseback, hayloft heaven, lavender, grandma just may get some ;)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

How to Woo a Reluctant Lady by Sabrina Jeffries

Giles Masters and Lady Minerva Sharpe's book

How to Woo a Reluctant Lady (Hellions book 3)

by Sabrina Jeffries

Book Blurb:When a charming rogue proposes she marry him to meet her grandmother's ultimatum, the Sharpe clan's strong-willed sister makes a tempting counter-offer that preserves her inheritance and ignites his imagination. 
Lady Minerva Sharpe has the perfect plan to thwart her grandmother's demands: become engaged to a rogue!
Surely Gran would rather release her inheritance than see her wed a scoundrel. And who better to play the part of Minerva's would-be husband than wild barrister Giles Masters, the very inspiration for the handsome spy in the popular Gothic novels she writes? The memory of his passionate kiss on her nineteenth birthday has lingered in Minerva's imagination, though she has no intention of really falling for such a rakehell, much less marrying him.
Little does she know, he really is a covert government operative. When they team up to investigate the mystery behind her parents' deaths, their fake betrothal leads to red-hot desire. Then Minerva discovers Giles's secret double life, and he must use all the cunning tricks of his trade to find his way back into her heart.
How to Woo a Reluctant Lady is the third book in the Hellions of Halstead Hall series. Each one of these Hellions has been a great read so far but I think that How to Woo a Reluctant Lady just may be my favourite up till now. I was fond of the idea that Minerva had fallen in love with Giles when she was only 9 years old. I love a story that has a rich backstory that began years before. Even though Giles was 10 years older than Minerva, the kindness he'd shown her the day of her parent's funeral was just what made me fall in love with him too. 

Since the title of the book is called How to Woo a Reluctant Lady, you may wonder what is so reluctant with Minerva not to fall for Giles' marriage proposal many years later. Well fast forward from Minerva's parent's funeral to ten years into the future, Minerva gets her dream answered by bribing a kiss from the rake Giles. It is after this precious moment that Minerva falls out of love with him as he  made some flippant cruel comments that broke her heart. How to Woo a Reluctant Lady was about poor Giles making up for those careless words. 

Minerva is running out of time regarding her grandmother's ultimatum to marry within the year or be cut off. As she attempts to battle wits with her grandmother, the famous Gothic novel writer decides to be bold and takes out an advertisement  in the newspaper to interview suitors for a potential husband. It is this ad that springs Giles forward with a plan to make Minerva his wife. Giles always wanted Minerva ever since that moment years earlier but had to hold off due to his emotional place in life. He just wasn't ready or stable to settle then.  As Giles shows up for his interview, he eventually woo'd her into accepting the proposal under the guise of fooling her grandmother. I loved out Minerva thought she was thwarting her but really Giles and her grandmother were thwarting Minerva!

It was entertaining t read the various ways Giles was striving for her to fall in love with him. Giles became super attractive to me as he demonstrated how smart he was in court as a barrister and how he worked to figure out more clues regarding her parent's deaths. I do love a smart man and Giles had it in spades. 

Another reason I loved the story is because Giles and Minerva get married in the middle of the book. I truly love a marriage near the beginning or middle and not having to wait for a wedding to close out the novel. All in all, a wonderful read and can't wait to start the next book, To Wed a Wild Lord. Sabrina Jeffries did a great set up for a potential spouse for Minerva's brother Gabe so I am eager to read how that will all play out. Could be turbulent and I have a feeling it will be emotional. 

Teasers: Behind the dressing screen, the real Lord Rockton, parent's mystery thickens, office desk experience

Shameless Blog Hop Winner

Congratulations goes to Linda H for her entry in the Shameless Blog Hop. 

Rafflecopter together with selected her comment on my book review of Enemy Lover for the random draw. #93

I have emailed Linda and I am presently waiting for a reply. I hope she enjoys her $25 Amazon Gift Card. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Funny

Every week around Facebook and Twitter I see things that just crack me up. 

Some weeks there are more than others. 

So I thought, starting on Fridays I'm going to post on my blog some of the things that gave me a big smile during the week and share them with you.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Hellion in Her Bed by Sabrina Jeffries

Lord Jarret Sharpe and Annabel Lake's book

A Hellion in Her Bed (Hellions of Halstead Hall #2)

By Sabrina Jeffries

Book Blurb:
Furious at his grandmother’s ultimatum to marry or lose his inheritance, Lord Jarret Sharpe wagers his luck—and his heart—at the card table against a most unlikely opponent.Mired in scandal after his parents’ mysterious deaths, notorious gambler Lord Jarret Sharpe agrees to tamely run the family brewery for a year if his Machiavellian grandmother rescinds her ultimatum that he marry. But the gambler in him can’t resist when beguiling Annabel Lake proposes a wager. If she wins their card game, he must help save her family’s foundering brewery. But if he wins, she must spend a night in his bed. The outcome sets off a chain of events that threatens to destroy all his plans . . . and unveils the secret Annabel has held for so long. When Jarret discovers the darker reason behind her wager, he forces her into another one—and this time he intends to win not just her body, but her heart.

I didn't find this book 2, A Hellion in Her Bed as good as the first book, The Truth About Lord Stoneville.  At the same time, I was a really great book. 

Jarret's grandmother becomes ill and releases him from the ultimatum she placed on Jarret regarding the demand to get married....only if he will run Plumtree Brewery. This decision gave Jarret the purpose he needed to move passed his wastrel life. Although he reluctantly took over charge at the brewery at first, it quickly became obvious that he really did knack the true business sense to operate the company. When Annabel takes a gamble on her future and approaches Jarret to help, their chemistry was instant.  Their charm may have been compatible but both were quite devious. Annabel with her salacious wagers and Jarret thinking with his lower brain. 

It is obvious that Sabrina Jeffries did a lot of research for this book. I really appreciate when I read about a certain time period (1825) I can trust what I read. The Plumtree and Lake Brewerys were fictional but she combined in a great historical account regarding India Pale Ale and the shipping export business. I love it when I leave a book with some account of true facts on the period. It just gave the entire story such validity. 

Annabel sure lied her way through A Hellion in Her Bed. It was becoming a dangerous slope for her to follow and she needed many others to back her up with all the lies. I realize that she did what she did to save her family and company but I still felt bad for Jarret that she was being so deceptive. Now Jarret was no angel either by accepting her wagers and also holding back on his own personal history so really the two were quite a match. I did adore how well the pair were suited for each other and they were both so clever and knowledgeable about their business. It is always a pleasure to read about women of industry in that time period. It was so rare.

I wished we had more interaction with the other siblings in A Hellion in Her Bed. I think that is what I missed about this story compared to The Truth About Lord Stoneville.  The family dynamic in this story was more on Annabel's side. I am hoping that when I start How to Woo a Reluctant Lady next (and I am starting right now) that there is more of the Sharpe family. I missed his grandmother too. She is a scene stealer for me. 

I liked the idea that Sabrina Jeffries created a mystery to link the books together more closely. Instead of each book being about a couple match up, there is more to the story to keep the reader coming back. I think with each book more clues get revealed. I would like to see how it all links together. So for that reason, I would not recommend Hellions of Halstead Hall as a stand alone books but rather to be enjoyed from first book to last. 

Teasers: Irish whist, late night office rendezvous, cundums, more clues to the mystery

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Truth About Lord Stoneville by Sabrina Jeffries

Oliver Sharpe and Maria Butterfield's book

The Truth About Lord Stoneville

by Sabrina Jeffries

Book Blurb:
They're the scandalous Sharpes, five hell-raising siblings tainted by a shocking family legacy. Now each faces a daunting ultimatum: marry by year's end -- or kiss their inheritance good-bye. 

In the two decades since a tragic "accident" took the lives of his parents, Oliver Sharpe, the Marquess of Stoneville, has survived the scandal surrounding that fateful night by living as an unrepentant rakehell. And with his grandmother vowing to disinherit him if he doesn't settle down and wed, he plans to fulfill the bargain in true Sharpe style -- by bringing home a fake fiancée from a brothel! But his scheme is derailed when he rescues an American beauty in a dire predicament instead. Maria Butterfield came to London to track down her groom-to-be, who's gone missing, but her engagement won't stop Oliver from getting what he wants: her, in his bed. His rebellious masquerade may call his grandmother's bluff , but it's soon made all too real -- by a love that tempts him to be a hellion no more.

I really enjoyed The Truth About Lord Stoneville. This was my first read from Sabrina Jeffries and first time being introduced to Oliver (Lord Stoneville). Loved them both!
Oliver Sharpe, the Marquess of Stoneville was sure in for a surprise when the tables get turned on him. His grandmother's ploy to get her grandchildren married off seemed to be exactly what Oliver needed for healing. Whether or not he knew he needed the cure. 
Oliver had a tragic moment early in his life that scarred him for years to come. It was heartbreaking really. His mother was furious and in her anger she said some things that if she lived, she would have deeply regretted. The thing is, I understood his mom. Being a mother myself, I know that there are times where I am so angry I say something that I don't necessarily mean. I later regret and apologize profusely. I am so saddened for his mother and for Oliver that those harmful words were the last thing she ever said to him before she died. It leaves a pain in my heart and huge lump in my throat.  This very incident is the core basis for how Oliver's life was shaped and how he grew into the rake he was. The burden on his shoulders was immense. 
Maria was like the healing salve being gingerly applied to heart.  The minute Oliver met Maria, as she threatened to stab him in the neck with a sword, he knew she was different. She was outspoken and said her mind instead of the English prudish way he was used to. Being American she didn't salivate over gossip and paid little credence to the ton's talk and rumours. I liked her right away. Even though she was strong willed women, I loved that she was still so completely soft that Oliver's kisses could still melt her. 
I like that this Hellion Series has a back story mystery attached. As I head into book 2 A Hellion in Her Bed, I am eager to see the little bit of a cliffhanger continues. I'd hate to stop on just book 1 The Truth About Lord Stoneville because I am eager to read these siblings through to the end. They all have such different and awesome personalities that I can't wait to read their matches. 
Teasers: hungry cousin Freddy, conniving grandmother (whom I adored), brothel encounter, fixed Valentine's Day ball 

 Sparkling Reviews: Alienware Gaming Laptop Giveaway

I am going to try and win this amazing prize for my youngest son. He is saving his money for a Gaming Laptop. What an awesome opportunity!

Sparkling Reviews: Alienware Gaming Laptop Giveaway:

'via Blog this'

Teaser Tuesday - The Truth About Lord Stoneville

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Truth About Lord Stoneville

By Sabrina Jeffries

"I love you," she repeated as she kissed his cheek. "I love you." She kissed his other cheek, now damp, though she wasn't sure whether from her tears or his. " I love you so much." She brushed his lips with hers. 
pg 344

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Shameless Blog Hop

Welcome to the Shameless Blog Hop hosted by Jen at Red Hot Books, Brie at Romance Around the Corner and Michelle from Michelle's Book Blog

January has always seemed like such a BLAH month for me. I usually reach for my various comforts this time of year. My comfort PJ's, my comfort hot drinks and my comfort books written by my favourite comfort authors. 

So I'd like to simply offer up a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a US or Canadian resident to purchase any book you want any time you want. Its all about the comfort and being shameless. 

Pesky yet simple rules

  1. Open to US or CAD residents. 
  2. The only mandatory rule is to comment on ANY book I have reviewed in the past. Just click Books Reviewed to see my list. 
  3. Must enter through the Rafflecopter. Its the only way your entry will count. 
  4. Have fun! You can check out all the other amazing blogs that are participating. Some awesome prizes. The linky for the other blogs are just below the Rafflecopter. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Guest Guilty Pleasure by S.J. Clarke - Secret Love Affair with Egyptian Sheets

This Wednesday's return of my Guilty Pleasure posts welcomes author S.J. Clarke. I totally love the guilty pleasure topic because I have the same one!!

My Secret Love Affair

My guilty pleasure, what I curl up with every chance I get, are my Egyptian cotton sheets.

Nothing compares to rolling around in sinfully soft sheets that stroke every pleasure point on your body.

Egyptians grow their cotton along the steamy, fertile banks of the Nile. Ooh, what fantasies that inspires as I slip between the covers. Who can resist the result of skill perfected through generations? Expert craftsmen gently ply their trade by hand, devoting exquisite care to each and every detail, offering the most luxurious of bedroom accessories.

Believe me, while skill counts, quantity and size matter. The higher the thread count, the longer the fibres, the greater the euphoria.

Oh sure, you may have other toys ─ uh, I mean accessories ─ that provide bliss. But do they have the strength and endurance to caress your sensitive skin, oh-so-softly, for hours at a time? Like fine wine, these only get better with age. Can your's boast the same?

I know you've tried them ─ ones boldly promising to send you into dreamland with a smile on your face, but once unwrapped, fail to live up to expectations. Don't be ashamed. Many of us fell for those enticing, if unfulfilling, come-on lines.

Image from Amazon 

The rewards of unadulterated Egyptian cotton put wannabe’s to shame. The real deal are enduring, able to withstand the most vigorous of activity. No heat level (or hot flash ─ whatever) is too much for them to handle, because they breathe. This decadent splurge is enough to entice even me to shave my legs during cold Canadian winters.

My Egyptian sheets call out to me, luring me to return to them earlier each evening. I find myself making excuses, bidding abrupt farewells at the most inopportune times. My family understands. They realize a happy me at night, means a happier me the next day.

Have you experienced this love of Egyptian sheets yourself? Do you have a special comfort or quilt instead?

S. J. Clarke has published over fifty articles as a columnist and regular contributor for a variety of lifestyle and human interest websites. She is a grateful member of the Writers' Community of Durham Region, and proud to sit on the Board of Directors for The Ontario Writer's Conference. 

Check out my new website at:

Friend me on Facebook:

Follow me on Twitter: 

Join me on LinkedIn:

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Enemy Lover by Karin Harlow

Marcus Cross and Jax Cassidy's book

Enemy Lover

By Karin Harlow

Book Blurb:

When you have no alternative, then you call in L.O.S.T. Because with the Last Option Special Team, it’s do or die. . . .
It’s Jax Cassidy’s first mission for L.O.S.T.—one that will give the former cop who went rogue a chance to prove herself. Her assignment: gain the trust of assassin Marcus Cross . . . eliminate him . . . then take down Marcus’s mentor, Joseph Lazarus, a man with a bold eye on the White House. But the woman who’s known by her team for being a femme fatale succumbs to passion, only to discover Cross’s deadly secret. He’s a vampire, and Joseph Lazarus is his creator.
Left for dead by his platoon in the violent hills of Afghanistan, Special Ops sniper Marcus Cross was given a second chance at life. His newly heightened skills make him the perfect killing machine, and as Lazarus’s right-hand man, he’s quickly rising to the top of his dark empire, purging enemies with speed and precision. Only when dangerous beauty Jax Cassidy is sent to bring him in does he begin to question Lazarus’s motives and his own actions. But when Jax’s life is threatened by the one thing that can destroy them both, Marcus must make a bitter choice—her death or his.

I read Enemy Lover a few days ago and I didn't do a review right away because I am unsure what to rate it. So this review is me on the fly jotting down what comes to me and where it flows out at the end is how I'll rate it. I don't think I've done that before. 

The female protagonist is Jax Cassidy. She is a tough chick. She has been wronged on so many levels that it infuriated me. So points there for invoking so much anger from this reader. A former decorated cop, we meet a convicted Jax (then known as Angela) as she is being loaded onto a bus heading off to prison. Although she is toughing out this circumstance you can't but feel the helplessness of the situation. Life imprisonment. 8 x 8 cell. Mixed with prisoners she has arrested over the years. 
I ached and the book caught my attention right away. 

The next few chapters is about Jax being interviewed and introduced to L.O.S.T after she was kidnapped from the prison bus. We don't actually get introduced to Marcus until chapter 7. Marcus works for a type of vigilante organization called "The Solution". He is going after his target, a scumbag press secretary for a senator, who like to hurt young girls. You learn a lot about Marcus' back story in this chapter. 

So I am trying to gather my thoughts about these two  similar organizations. You have "L.O.S.T" which takes out targets and completes undercover Ops, funded by the government. And then you have "The Solution" who is illegitimately funded by the government. The Solution claims to be patriotic by taking out terrorists and was even the network who located Saddam Hussein before turning over to the armed forces. 
I felt very confused by the two organizations. It wasn't until later when it was clear that the leader of The Solution was power crazy before I understood. Then I kept wondering if The Solution would have been a bad organization if their leader, Lazarus would have been stable like L.O.S.T.'s  leader "The Godfather"???

The fact that Marcus is a vampire only mildly came into play in the story. It felt odd. I don't know quite how to explain this but to me it felt misplaced and as if the story was being made up as I read along. 
It seemed odd that L.O.S.T. had no idea about the vampire society but then all of a sudden the Godfather found someone who could speak expertly about them. 
These type of things kept me from enjoying the story. 
There are a few more but I fear my review would certainly be to long and more of an analysis.  

I did feel that Jax and Marcus had a great connection and were a fabulous couple to read about. I understand that L.O.S.T. is going to be a series but I would have loved it if the series was about Jax and Marcus similar to Cat and Bones. I loved their chemistry and I would think that if Enemy Lover served as an introduction book, Karin Harlow could write amazing adventures full of suspense for Jax and Marcus. I admit to not wanting their journey to come to an end. These two could be one hell of a power couple.  
I just wished that when authors found a magical match with a couple that they expand on that same couple and write a series around them. So few couples are written about but when they are, the books just get better and better. 

Teasers: gangster alley fight, sunset balcony sex, killing room, healing blood

Yours Until Dawn by Teresa Medeiros

Gabriel Fairchild and Samatha Wickersham's book

Yours Until Dawn

by Teresa Medeiros

Book Blurb:
Gabriel Fairchild's valor during battle earns him the reputation of hero, but costs him both his sight and his hope for the future. Abandoned by the fiancée he adored, the man who once walked like a prince among London's elite secludes himself in his family's mansion, cursing his way through dark days and darker nights.

Prim nurse Samantha Wickersham arrives at Fairchild Park to find her new charge behaving more like a beast than a man. Determined to do her duty, she engages the arrogant earl in a battle of both wit and wills. Although he claims she doesn't possess an ounce of womanly softness, she can feel his heart racing at her slightest touch. As Samantha begins to let the light back into Gabriel's life and his heart, they both discover that some secrets -- and some pleasures -- are best explored in the dark. 

Great deal for your Kindle. If an US resident Yours Until Dawn was free. If you're Canadian, Yours Until Dawn was still an amazing price of $2.19. I highly recommend this great limited time offer. 

Well I'll be honest and say that I purchased Yours Until Dawn because of that great deal I mention above. I follow Teresa Medeiros on Facebook and I read so many of her comments from her fans indicating that Yours Until Dawn was one of their favourites of her's so I got it. I can see why. I just loved it. 

I knew nothing of Yours Until Dawn as I didn't even read the book blurb. I had no idea what to expect but I do enjoy Teresa Medeiros' historicals so I knew with faith that it would be great. The writing was fabulous and highly descriptive. I adore the witty banter of conversation she orchestrates with her protagonists. Samantha and Gabriel entered into some simply awesome sparring moments and humourous comebacks. As Samantha was acting as Gabriel's nurse there were some laugh out loud moments that I want to go back and read. Loved it!

I could really feel Gabriel's desperation with his blindness and all the emotional turmoil that twisted inside him. From the jilted finance that left him at the hospital to his adoring family thinking he'd been better off dead rather than suffer a disability like blindness. It was unsettling to read their ignorance. 

There is a twist to Yours Until Dawn that I admit I didn't see coming. I can usually sniff out the obvious and I was pleasantly surprised to be taken by surprise. I think I was so absorbed with the fabulous story,and by not taking a moment to put my Kindle down, that I didn't see it coming. What an amazing transformation these characters go through and it was a wonderful afternoon read. Outstanding! Now I want to turn around and re-read. 

Teasers: love letters, Sam the dog, "Before, you were only a dream. Now you're a dream come true"

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Shy Duchess by Amanda McCabe

Lady Emily Carroll and Nicholas, Duke of Manning's book

The Shy Duchess

by Amanda McCabe

Book Blurb:
With her golden hair and dazzling emerald eyes, Lady Emily Carroll should have her pick of suitors. Instead, her crippling shyness has earned her the nickname "Ice Princess."
Nicholas, Duke of Manning, isn't looking for a bride, but he won't pass up a stolen kiss at a masked ball.
With her blushes hidden, Emily lets her inhibitions go. Only to find herself betrothed! Now it's her wedding night, and her new husband seems determined to thaw his Ice Princess and reveal her every secret….

Just look at the beautiful cover. It is a piece of art! So lovely. In fact, I was drawn to read The Shy Duchess from my huge TBR pile because of that beautiful cover. I won this book in a fabulous blog hop and I was eager to try a new to me author. I am a huge historical romance reader as it is my favourite of all the romance genres but The Shy Duchess wasn't for me. I want to be specific why I didn't care for the book because my reasons may very well be the same reasons other would love this story. 
I am not a shy person. I am reserved and I like to hold back a bit in a crowd until I am comfortable but I am very very far from being shy. Reading about The Shy Duchess, I had a very difficult time relating to Lady Emily because she was so timid and skittish. She saw the worst in every situation and seem to seek out the negative with every interaction. I like my female protagonists to be confident and sure of themselves. Reading about all of Emily's hesitant reactions drove me a little crazy. 
Nicholas was not a manly alpha Duke character that had a tortured upbringing. He wasn't abused and in fact had a wonderful family. It was nice change for once but then I realized as it turns out, he was boring. I know lots of readers that don't like the whole tortured past going on with their heroes so The Shy Duchess is for you. Is this the type of conversations you enjoy? Let me set it up for you...
Emily and Nicholas sneak away to a secret watering hole on their honeymoon and they are laughing and having a great time. Nicolas says to Emily, ...."we could sing and weave daisy chains, and lay in the sun all day long."
Yeah I don't know about you but weaving daisy chains doesn't bode well with me and what I like to read from my heroes. 
Even with Emily here is an example of her getting all mad and angry. "It was time for something quite extreme. She was going to have to get rude."
Oh heavens forbid my female protagonists doing extreme rudeness!
So The Shy Duchess is as fluffy as a romance novel as you could get. She is an annoying English proper prude and he is a gentle as an English gentleman could be. All wrapped up in a whole lot of boring. 
Teasers: stuffy ballrooms, firework display, gallant save from a runaway carriage, morning sickness before her courses were even missed *eyeroll*

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Hazards of Hunting a Duke by Julia London

Ava Fairchild and the Marquis of Middleton, Jared Broderick's book

The Hazards of Hunting a Duke

by Julie London

Book Blurb:
When the young ladies of the Fairchild family learn that their stepfather has absconded with their late mother's fortune, Ava, the eldest, hunts down the notoriously wealthy rakehell Jared Broderick, the Marquis of Middleton and heir to a dukedom. Much to her shock and delight, the marquis sweeps her into a whirlwind romance and proposes marriage. But after their passionate wedding night, Ava discovers Jared has ulterior motives of his own. Not only does he expect her to deliver an heir while he continues to enjoy a rogue's life, but Ava also suspects she is a pawn in her husband's quest for revenge. Marriages of convenience work for some, but for Ava a loveless bond won't do. So she devises a bold plan to confront her husband's demons so that he might be free to choose to give her his heart for the right reason: because she is the only woman he will ever truly desire.

Did you notice the title of the book? It's called The Hazards of Hunting a Duke, yet the male protagonist was a Duke's son, a Marquis named, Jared. I thought that was very odd. Why title a book about a Duke when the character wasn't a Duke???

Anyhow moving on...that was not my only issue with The Hazards of Hunting a Duke. I felt all over the place in this book. There was also a lack of originality missing from the story. 

Normally I love a story where the protagonists gets married near the beginning or in the middle of a book as The Hazards of Hunting a Duke did. They are my favourite coupling stories by a long shot. Especially in historicals because I love reading about why they married and the various circumstances that lead to an early wedlock. I also love to read about the couple falling in love with each other as they start out their married lives. But The Hazards of Hunting a Duke put me off just a bit. There were a few story plots thrown in the story that I thought were unnecessary as it didn't really provide any growth to the story as I kept waiting for something more to happen. It felt like Jared's former mistress was forced to be a villain and I tired of her quickly.  The same reaction to Jared's father, the Duke. It was almost as if the author couldn't decide if he was to be a wicked man or if he was to be forgiven. 

I did enjoy Ava's maid Sally as she added some relief from the couple's tension and she was a great scene stealer. I'd actually love to read a book about her! 

I have to say that I did really enjoy the actual writing as everything was very well described and emotions were well communicated. The Hazards of Hunting a Duke did retain my attention and there is more story to be told here in a book 2. I will just not be in a rush to read it but perhaps check it out of the library some time. 

Teasers: great idea for free labour, wrong way to church, who is Mr. Percy?, harem dance