Tuesday, January 31, 2012

She Tempts The Duke by Lorraine Heath

Three young heirs, imprisoned by an unscrupulous uncle, escaped--to the sea, to the streets, to faraway battle--awaiting the day when they would return to claim their birthright.

Sebastian Easton always vowed he would avenge his stolen youth and title. Now back in London, the rightful Duke of Keswick--returning from battle a wounded, hardened, changed man--cannot forget the brave girl who once rescued him and his brothers from certain death.

Lady Mary Wynne-Jones paid dearly for helping the imprisoned young Lords of Pembrook, and she remembers well the promise she made to Sebastian all those years ago: to meet him once more in the abbey ruins where they shared a bold, forbidden kiss. While Mary is now betrothed to another, a friendship forged with dark secrets cannot be ignored. Unexpected passion soon burns dangerously between them, tempting Sebastian to abandon his quest for retribution and fight for a love that could once again set him free.

1st book in The Lost Lords of Pembrook Trilogy
Hero -- Sebastian Easton - The Duke of Keswick
Heroine -- Mary Wynne- Jones- Daughter of the Earl of Winslow
We first meet the 3 Easton boys the day of their father's funeral. Their uncle has locked them in a tower and they are scared, hungry and worried. They hear footsteps, a key turning in the lock, when the door opens it their neighbor's daughter Mary who has overheard their uncle talking to someone to kill the boys so he could become the next duke. The boys escape with Mary's help and on their way to freedom Sebastian stops and pulls out a hankie and fills it Pembrook dirt, he then asks Mary for her hair ribbon and ties the hankie with her ribbon. The brothers then disappeared for 10 years and appear on the day that their uncle is holding a ball to announce that he will be the next Duke of Keswick. Imagine the surprise on everyone's face when the three brothers are announced.
Sebastian -- his face horribly disfigured and who wears an eye patch
Tristian his twin brother who is a captain of his own ship
Rafe the youngest who is a very successful casino owner.
Mary is at the ball and is shocked to see the brothers. She would know Sebastian anywhere and comes to their defense.
The story continues with Sebastian plotting revenge against his uncle and Mary not being able to stay away from Sebastian even though she is engaged to be married.
This is a wonderfully written story, our hero a hardened and revengeful man and Mary who never stopped caring and loving Sebastian. The ending of this story is so filled with emotion and packs a punch when Sebastian realizes that it wasn't the dirt that carried him through all the hardships he endured but his love for Mary.
We also get a glimpse of the kind of life Tristian and Rafe had. The hardest thing Sebastian ever did was sell Tristian to a ship's captain and leave Rafe at a work house. This haunts Sebastian because he knew he couldn't care for his two brothers.
I'm so looking forward to reading Tristian and Rafe's story.
Received this book from Net Galley for an honest review.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae by Stephanie Laurens

We joyfully request your attendance at the wedding of Miss Angelica Cynster…but not until she and her hero confront a devious enemy, and lay to rest an ancient grudge in the Scottish Highlands!

Headstrong Angelica Cynster is certain she’ll recognize her fated husband at first sight. And when her eyes meet those of a mysterious nobleman across a candlelit ballroom, she knows beyond doubt that he’s the one. But her heart is soon pounding for an entirely different reason - when her hero abducts her! The eighth Earl of Glencrae has no choice but to kidnap Angelica, the one Cynster sister with whom he hadn’t wanted to tangle. But to save his castle and his clan, he must persuade her to assist him -- and he’s prepared to offer marriage to seal the deal!

This is third book in the Cynster Sisters series.

Angelica youngest daughter to Martin and Celia Cynster.

Dominic Lachlan Guisachan aka Debenham aka the Earl of Glencrae

We finally find out why the Earl's mother wants to "ruin" a Cynster girl.

The book opens up with Angelica at a ball and taking one look at a dark haired gentleman and saying to herself this is her "hero." She finds a mutual friend to introduce her to her hero, he goes by the name Debenham. After all it's her turn to wear the "tailsman" necklack the the Lady (Scandal's wife) gave her. The Lady gave Heather the "necklace" first and then to Eliza who both found their "hero."

After Angelica is kidnapped by Debenham and is taken to his house, he sits Angelica down and tells her the reason why he needs to kidnapped and "ruin" a Cynster. Angelica listens to Debenham and agrees to help him retrieve the "goblet" from his mother and save his clan. He then tells Angelica the name that he really goes by which is Dominic, the Earl of Glencrae but the Ton only knows him by Debenham. After the Cynster's received a letter from Angelica - they decided to try to find her anyway.

While Angelica and Dominic travel to his home, we get to meet the Cynster family again. The male Cynsters, Jeremy and Breckenriudge trying to figure out what happened to Angelica and the females know that Angelica is up to something. It can't be the Earl the Earl is dead or is he?

The adventure begins for Angelica and Dominic to get home, convince this mother that Angelica is ruined and make it back to London bankers with the "goblet" by the "fifth" anniversary of his father's death, July 1st.

It was fun to see Dominic slowly falling in love with Angelica and Angelica playing her rule as a kidnapped Cynster to the hilt and laughing out loud at her performance. The ending of this book with all three Cynster sisters and their "heros" made me just go AHHH.

I thought this would be the end of Ms. Lauren's "Heros" but near the end of the book we see Angelica passing on the necklace to Henrietta (who is the younger sister to Amanda and Amelia).

Once again Ms. Laurens didn't fail me and I have to admit that I can never get enough of the Cynsters.

ARC received from Net Galley for an honest review.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Seductive As Flame by Susan Johnson

First, let me say that this book may not be for everyone. Our hero is married --- unhappily but married --- our heroine is not a virgin and there is sex -- plenty of sex. Our hero and heroine are like the EverReady bunny -- they just keep going and going and going.

I have to admit that I had mixed feelings about starting this book -- one thing that I do not approve of is an "open" marriage no matter what the arrangement is. But after meeting the hero's wife in one of the opening scenes and I can see why. Talking about a mean spiteful woman and that is all I'm going to say about her. But it did make wonder why the heck Alex married her.

We first meet Zelda and Alex at the hunting lodge of the Duke and Duchess of Groveland Chase (Fitz and Rosalind from Gorgeous As Sin). What I like about Zelda is tall with magnificent flame-red hair and speaks her mind. Alex takes one look at Zelda and he must have her. At first she fights off her feelings for Alex but lust takes over both of them. Alex has a stepson, Chris who is from his wife's first marriage and she could care less about her son except use him for leverage against Alex. Alex dotes on the child and treats him like his own.

As we read more about Violetta 's character I had never wanted Alex to leave this woman ASAP.

Alex invites Zelda to his hunting lodge along with Chris and Creiggy (his childhood nanny and now Chris's nanny). His entire staff loves Alex and is very protective of him because of the childhood and then the wife he married. His staff also fall in love with Zelda and feel that she is just what he needs.

As the story progress we find out more about his childhood and his fragile mother. When Alex takes Zelda to meet her she feels joy for her son because he is finally finding happiness.

My thoughts on this book -- even though the Alex is married you are rooting for him and Zelda to find love and happiness. In fact Alex never really knew what happiness was, he was loved growing up but his father was not a nice person his staff protected him and would do anything for him and his mother. I love when a "rake" falls and falls hard and that is what happened here. Alex would move heaven and earth for her and he did in the end when he made his divorce go fast with all parties involved. I did like Zelda but sometimes she let her jealousy get to the best of her and I wanted to shake her. The ending to me came to an abrupt end and I would have loved to her seen an epilogue. But I have a sneaking feeling that Ms. Johnson will be writing a book about one of Zelda's brother and it's the end of Alex and Zelda.

I purchased this book for my reading pleasure. Released Date December 6, 2011

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What Is Going On With My Reading?

I thought last year that I read more books than I did in 2010 -- Wrong. After I compared the two totals I realized that I read 19 less books in 2011. I am sitting here wondering WHY!!!! Then it hit me -- I noticed that it is taking me longer and longer to read a book!! Yes, some books I can plow through but other books, even though they are good, I notice are taking me all week to read a 300+ book.
Then I started doing some deep thinking and reality set in. I was watching more TV instead of reading. I also found myself playing more games on the computer, going over and checking my homepage on Facebook and surfing the Internet. What the heck!! I was doing everything except reading and as I sit to write this, I'm wondering how I can get my mojo back and find my love for reading once again. That's right - Dani who has been reading for over 30 years has lost her love for reading.
Keep your fingers crossed everyone, that I can find my love of reading once again!
I can understand what Dani is saying because I am having the same issues!! I did not read half as many books as I did last year or the year before. And I can say I have only one book since Nov and and am half way though a book now that I want to read but just can't can't get into it.
Now with me I know I have some things going on that make me not really want to read, but Dani is right about the same old story lines. How many times can you read them????
Oh well, I guess I will pull out some Julie Garwood or maybe even a Karen Rose's books and see if they can get me back in the mood!!!! Debra
Well, I did read less books in 2011, but the books I read I really loved! I have gotten to the point that I seriously find out all I can about a book prior to buying it, and that worked well for me this past year. I don't mind reading less, as long as I like the book, and am able to give it a good rating. I do have a lot of outside iterests, such as my stitching, my gardens in the summer, volunteering at the hospice, and 3 dogs that need attention, plus my Golden Retriever Rescue group I work with. These things all come in to play when my reading nunbers are down. I have given up the paranormal genre, except for a few favorite authors. All the books started being the same for me! I try to rotate through all the genres, but sometimes get held up with historicals. I only read a very few authors in that genre, but because it's what I cut my teeth on, there isn't much new for me in that area. I sorta feel like if someone were to drop me off at a dock in England, I would know just where to go! That's called overkill! Teri

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

On Lavender Lane, by JoAnn Ross

Rating: A, Hot

This book is an excellent addition to the Shelter Bay series. Navy SEAL Lucas Chaffee recently returned to Shelter Bay. His father, world famous architect Duncan Chaffee has unexpectedly passed away. They had planned to work together when Lucas completed his Navy career, restoring old homes on the West Coast. Lucas is at loose ends, wondering what he will do.

Sofia DeLuca owns Lavender Hill Farm, and is having a dinner for all the guests of Duncan’s funeral. Sofia helped raised her granddaughter Madeline, who is a chef with culinary TV shows, and is married to Maxime who owns several famous restaurants. Things aren’t going so well for the two, due to Maxime’s sex video with another woman going viral. Sofia has a plan to make the farm in to a small restaurant, which would involve Maddy’s help. Sofia seizes the moment to ask Lucas to remodel the farm to accommodate the restaurant, and get Maddy back home and in to Lucas’ life. You see, ten years ago the two were madly in love. Lucas hurt Maddy badly, and desperately wants her back in his life. He’s got a lot of explaining to do before that can ever happen. Lucas is a glass half full kind of guy, and figures fate just may have given him a chance at a do-over.

Maddy wants so badly to not have Lucas back in her life, but the man is persistent. I love the second chance at love theme, but this time around it’s especially good since it’s Lucas in hot pursuit, not the other way around. Lucas uses every play in the book, and he knew Maddy well ten years ago, so he knows just how to make her squirm. Although Lucas is not an architect, he has some wonderful ideas for the Farm restaurant. The more he and Maddy conspire, the more time they spend together. She still has strong feelings for Lucas, but her main concern is putting Maxime behind her. Since Maddy has bent to Maxime’s desires for his restaurants, she starts to really get in to what she would like to do, which involves adding a cooking school to her restaurant.

Everyone in Shelter Bay has a hand in the machinations of Maddy and Lucas getting back together. With Lucas willing to pull out all the stops to woo Maddy back, and the sky is the limit! And let me say that Lucas is one creative soul. He doesn’t need anyone’s help planning his big surprise for Maddy! Even Scout, the dog with PTSD, has a role to play. One thing leads to another, and after a frightening incident at Haven House, life and happiness kind of take on a whole new perspective.

This book is hard to put down. You can feel the sea breeze and be pulled in to the incredible community of Shelter Bay. In a way, it’s like going home to good friends, and books don’t get much better than that!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Dylan by C. H. Admirand

Second in a hot contemporary cowboy romance trilogy featuring three brothers desprately trying to save their ranch, and their pride.

Sexy rancher Dylan is temporarily covering his brother's shift at the Lucky Star ladies club when he meets Ronnie DelVecchio, a darkhaired beauty with snapping green eyes. Sparks and tempers fly and Dylan can't resist the urge to see what it would be like to kiss her senseless.

Dylan has taken over working at the strip club where his brother Tyler just left. Dylan meets Ronnie when her friends bring her in to help celebrate her 25th birthday. Dylan's job is to lassoed Ronnie and wheel her in. He does and after taking one look at her Dylan lays a kiss on her. Ronnie is not happy to say the least. Ronnie has just moved her from New Jersey.

Ronnie's business was destroyed by teenagers along with two other businesses in Tyler's book and this book picks up after soon after that. The Garahan brothers are doing what they can to save their family ranch. Dylan does side jobs as a carpenter and unbeknown to Ronnie she has hired him to fix up her shop called the "Guilty Pleasure" in return for her cooking for the three brothers.

I really enjoyed this book -- both Dylan and Ronnie fall for each other immediately. Ronnie is coming off a bad marriage and has problems dealing with her true feeling for Dylan. Ronnie totally married the wrong man in her first marriage because she didn't want to succumb to the "DelVecchio Curse." I should mentioned that the curse is when a DelVecchio woman falls in love with an Irishman and they get married they have a set of twins.

Ronnie comes with a lot of baggage in this book -- she has to overcome her fear that Dylan is no better than her ex. In doing so she saids things that she later regrets and tells herself she is doing what is best. She makes many mistakes in trying to fight her feelings for Dylan and at one time I wanted to slap her in the back of her head.

I have to admit that the sex scenes are hot and well written. Dylan was a true cowboy and his conversation with his dead grandfather had me laughing out loud.

I look forward to reading Jesse's story and I'm dying to see who his "filly" is.

I received this book from Net Galley for an honest review.