Review & Giveaway: Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

HELLO STRANGER
Series:
The Ravenels #4
Genre:
Historical Romance 
Author:
Lisa Kleypas
Release Date:
February 27, 2018

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas delivers a scintillating tale of an unconventional beauty who finds passion with the spy who can’t resist her

A woman who defies her time

Dr. Garrett Gibson, the only female physician in England, is as daring and independent as any man—why not take her pleasures like one? Yet she has never been tempted to embark on an affair, until now. Ethan Ransom, a former detective for Scotland Yard, is as gallant as he is secretive, a rumored assassin whose true loyalties are a mystery. For one exhilarating night, they give in to their potent attraction before becoming strangers again.

A man who breaks every rule

As a Ravenel by-blow spurned by his father, Ethan has little interest in polite society, yet he is captivated by the bold and beautiful Garrett. Despite their vow to resist each other after that sublime night, she is soon drawn into his most dangerous assignment yet. When the mission goes wrong, it will take all of Garrett’s skill and courage to save him. As they face the menace of a treacherous government plot, Ethan is willing to take any risk for the love of the most extraordinary woman he’s ever known.

AMAZON | INDIEBOUND | B&N | B-A-M | iBOOKS | GOOGLE PLAY

 

This woman owned the sum of him, his tenderness and violence, everything good or bad.

All.
Of.
The.
Swoons.
*dreamy sigh*

I am not typically a reader that enjoys the instant connection and road to love that was shared between Garrett and Ransom, but boy did it ever work for me here. I can’t even tell you why. I think it was a combination of several things, starting from wonderfully crafted and multilayered characters and ending with an engaging story and swoony romance. Whatever the case may be, I simply adored this book. ADORED IT.

Lisa Kleypas is almost always a guaranteed winner for me, and Hello Stranger definitely delivered on all sides.

Dr. Garrett Gibson is not your typical historical heroine. (side note: I love that she was loosely based on an actual person). This is a woman that’s not satisfied being the status quo. A brilliant doctor, her practice and career has always been her prime concern. She doesn’t want to be an accessory for a husband to be put away on a shelf when she’s no longer needed. But the last man she expects to draw her interest is the enigma that is Ethan Ransom.

Have I made you uncomfortable? I beg your pardon.”
Ransom lifted his head to reveal eyes glinting with laughter. “Not at all. It’s just that I’ve never heard a lady talk as you do.”
“As I told you . . . I’m not a lady.”

I love how these two characters balance each other out. Ethan is fiercely protective of Garrett, but Garrett can also hold her own like no other lady. They couldn’t be more wrong for each other. With his current dangerous mission, Ethan’s days are numbered. He knows he can’t offer Garrett the forever that she rightfully deserves. But Garrett knows what she wants, and she’s not afraid to go after it.

There had always been a cold streak in him, but he couldn’t seem to find it now, when he needed it most. He was breaking apart inside. He would never be the same after this. “Christ, you’ve ruined me,” he whispered.

Admittedly it took a little bit to fully get into the swing of things for me, but by 30%, I was completely riveted to the pages. The romance was equally swoony and heart achingly emotional. It was perfectly written and I couldn’t get enough of these two. It’s so charming to see a man as ruthless as Ransom brought to his knees by Garrett and showing his sweet side. And boy did this man have a sweet side. GAH!

A queen, you are,” he said softly. “I could travel the world the rest of my life, and not find another woman with half your ways.”.

Hello Stranger was an incredibly satisfying romance that was as swoony as it was gripping. It tugged at every single heart string I had, and I absolutely adored the fierce connection shared between these characters. Yet another winner from one of my favorite go-to authors, and I’m already craving more. I’m hoping West’s story is next because I was super intrigued by the little of him that we got in this book.


GERI’S REVIEW

“She was sunlight and steel, spun into a substance he’d never encountered before.”

One of the things I love Lisa Kleypas’ books is how vividly written her characters are especially her heroines. In Hello, Stranger, we see Garrett Gibson, the first female physician in England and Ethan Ransom, former detective of the Scotland Yard and current spy fall in love. It was glorious.

I liked their banter and how their relationship progressed. Garrett was intrigued by Ransom but was also suspicious about where his loyalties lie. Ransom for his part can’t help but be attracted to the doctor but because of the nature of his job, he felt that he can’t give Garrett what she needs. But they’re drawn to each other and even with the risks involved, a romance developed between them.

I simply adored Garrett’s character. If you follow Lisa Kleypas on social media or have read Devil in Winter, then you know that Garrett was inspired by a real living female doctor in Victorian England. Garrett was such an interesting heroine. Yes, she’s strong but she also shows vulnerability and isn’t afraid of showing it.

Ethan Ransom was a good Lisa Kleypas hero but not really an exciting despite the fact that he’s a spy. He’s definitely not my fave Kleypas hero. As much as I love how he’s all in with Garrett, I find some of his background problematic and convenient. I could do without the orientalism bit which may not bother some people but it’s definitely there. What I’m saying is, I wish his characterization is a lot deeper than what we got and less problematic. Other than that, he and Garrett are perfect together.

Hello, Stranger is another solid entry to Ms. Kleypas’ Ravenels Series. And speaking of Ravenels, I’m so happy we get to spend more time with West before his book comes out. I already adored his character. I can’t wait!

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas graduated from Wellesley College with a political science degree. She is a RITA award winning author of both historical romance and contemporary women’s fiction. Her novels are published in fourteen different languages and are bestsellers all over the world. She lives in Washington State with her husband Gregory and their two children.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review & Lana’s Binge Read: Victorian Rebels series by Kerrigan Byrne

THE HIGHWAY MAN, THE HUNTER, & THE HIGHLANDER
Series: Victorian Rebels
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Kerrigan Byrne

OMG, you guys! Did I have a binge of my dreams when I discovered this sizzling historical romance series! Anti-heroes, sexy romance, addicting stories and top notch writing, this series had EVERYTHING I love!


THE HIGHWAYMAN (Victorian Rebels #2)

The Highwayman (Victorian Rebels, #1)

 

They’re rebels, scoundrels, and blackguards—dark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the women who love them, a hint of danger only makes the heart beat faster…

STEALING BEAUTY
Dorian Blackwell, the Blackheart of Ben More, is a ruthless villain. Scarred and hard-hearted, Dorian is one of London’s wealthiest, most influential men who will stop at nothing to wreak vengeance on those who’ve wronged him…and will fight to the death to seize what he wants. The lovely, still innocent widow Farah Leigh Mackenzie is no exception—and soon Dorian whisks the beautiful lass away to his sanctuary in the wild Highlands…

COURTING DESIRE
But Farah is no one’s puppet. She possesses a powerful secret—one that threatens her very life. When being held captive by Dorian proves to be the only way to keep Farah safe from those who would see her dead, Dorian makes Farah a scandalous proposition: marry him for protection in exchange for using her secret to help him exact revenge on his enemies. But what the Blackheart of Ben More never could have imagined is that Farah has terms of her own, igniting a tempestuous desire that consumes them both. Could it be that the woman he captured is the only one who can touch the black heart he’d long thought dead?

AMAZON

In this quiet, unfettered moment, she knew him, truly saw him for what he was. Hard, ruthless tyrant. Abused, wounded boy. An empty heart full of promise, and a soul of shadows in need of sunlight.”

Ermahgerd.
My heart. MY HEART!!!!
ERMAHGERD.

First of all, I am seriously kicking myself for taking this long to start this series. Like SERIOUSLY kicking my ass. What the heck was I thinking? I was crazy! Nuts. Loony bins, I tells ya! Because this book? It was everything. All of the things! ALL OF THEM.

It combines my obsession with anti-heroes and sexy historical romance, and weaves it all together into a story that’s truly spellbinding. I couldn’t bring myself to set it down for even a second. I was immediately hooked from the prologue, and as I kept reading, I grew more and more addicted to the words of Kerrigan Byrne.

Dorian Blackwell. The Blackheart of Ben More. The deadliest, coldest, and most lethal king of the London underground. His name is whispered in the shadows and renowned in fear. He’s scarred, both in body and soul, and knows only revenge.
Be.
Still.
My.
Ovaries.

Alright. So maybe I sound slightly deranged, but work with me here. There’s a lot more depth to the man, and when you get to the heart of him, you’ll see exactly what I mean.

Farah Leigh Mackenzie. Beautiful, sweet, and a woman with a spine of steel. My god but I loved her. The things she’s survived and the secrets she’s kept would have made a lower woman than her wither away. But she persevered and lost none of her steel core. This is a woman that gives as hard as she gets and she’s not about to back down to a man that’s kidnapped her and essentially propositioned her into a marriage of…convenience?

Enter my other favorite trope.

But I digress yet again.

What you need to take away from my incessant rambling is this; I LOVED THIS BOOK. LOVED it. The romance was swoon worthy, the story was deliciously addicting, the characters full of depth, mystery and secrets. I devoured it like a starving lunatic and couldn’t get enough.
I immediately jumped right into book two. I can’t recommend this book enough for any lovers of steamy historical romance. Period.

READ THIS BOOK.


THE HUNTER (Victorian Rebels #2)

 

They’re rebels, scoundrels, and blackguards—dark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the proper Victorian-era ladies who love them, a hint of danger only makes their hearts beat faster…

A scandalous proposal.

As one of London’t most elite hunters, Christopher Argent never misses his mark and always gets his man. But when his latest target turns out to be a woman—the popular, and stunningly beautiful, actress Millie LeCour—it turns his whole world upside-down. Overwhelmed by the heat that simmers between them, Christopher can’t complete his mission. On the contrary, he’ll do anything to save Millie’s life—even if it means risking his own…

A dangerous passion…

When she learns what Christopher was hired to do, Millie is torn between the fear in her heart and the fire in her soul. Putting herself in this dangerous man’s arms may be her only path to safety—but giving in to her desire may be the deadliest mistake she’s ever made. With both of their lives in jeopardy, Millie and Christopher must learn to trust the real feelings they’re hiding—to find the true love they’re looking for…

AMAZON

He didn’t fear death. Didn’t appreciate life. He was fond of nothing and therefore didn’t fear pain or loss.

Holy WOW! I’m obsessed with this series. I loved this book even more than the first and I freaking LURVED the first. If tortured anti-heroes are your thing, it just doesn’t get much better than Christopher Argent. A ruthless and cold blooded killer; his reputation is one of legend. But what happens when a killer for hire falls for his mark?

This must be what religious men felt as they fell to their knees at an altar. This unworthy rapture. This unholy desire. This need for redemption. Christopher became a pilgrim of her pleasure.

Millie LeCour is a talented London theatre actress. When she see Argent in the audience of her performance, she’s drawn to him like a magnet. Little does she know why he’s really there.

This story was utterly delicious. I loved watching the ice that is Argent’s heart slowly melt for the sweet and sassy Millie. Millie was such a wonderful heroine; full of spunk and courage. She was able to bring one of London’s most feared men to his knees.

He shut her door behind him, wondering to himself just what hour of the day she became less dangerous than him. He’d probably wake her then.

I read The Hunter in one gritty, action packed and delicious sitting. If you’re a fan of sizzling Historical Romance, this series is simply a must read.


THE HIGHLANDER (Victorian Rebels #3)

Can the fiercest master of battle conquer a woman’s heart?

They call him the Demon Highlander. The fearsome Lieutenant Colonel Liam MacKenzie is known for his superhuman strength, towering presence, and fiery passion in the heat of battle. As Laird to the MacKenzie clan, the undefeated Marquess has vanquished his foes with all rage and wrath of his barbaric Highland ancestors. But when an English governess arrives to care for his children, the master of war finds himself up against his greatest opponent… in the game of love.

Defying all expectations, Miss Philomena is no plain-faced spinster but a ravishing beauty with voluptuous curves and haughty full lips that rattle the Laird to his core. Unintimidated by her master’s raw masculinity and savage ways, the headstrong lass manages to tame not only his wild children but the beast in his soul. With each passing day, Liam grows fonder of Miss Mena—and more suspicious. What secret is she hiding behind those emerald eyes? What darkness brought her to his keep? And how can he conquer this magnificent woman’s heart… without surrendering his own?

AMAZON

He wanted all of it. All of her. He wanted to uncover her, body and soul. To lay her bare and wide and make a conquest of her. He wanted to own her. To claim her. To brand her skin with his mark.

Another amazing installment in what’s become my recent addiction of a series! Ever since Mena was first introduced in The Hunter, I’ve been eager for her story. After all the abuse she’d suffered at the hands of her vicious husband and cruel family, I was yearning for her to know love. Who knew she’d find it at the hands of the one they call The Demon Highlander? Yum!

Laird Hamish Mackenzie had wanted to craft a monster out of his son and heir. Someone like him. But monsters were mythical, the figments of superstitious imaginations and farcical stories of centuries past. Liam decided he’d be no monster. Nay, he’d do one better. He’d become a demon.

This was a delicious slow burn of a romance. I loved watching the battle-scarred war hero fall harder and harder for Mena, as she tried harder and harder to stay away from him due to her secrets.

There was plenty of action to be had, with fantastic secondary characters, and a romance that will make you swoon. Another winner from my new favorite historical romance series!

Geri’s Review: Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh

SOMEONE TO WED
Series: Westcott #3
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Mary Balogh
Release Date: November 7, 2017

A very practical marriage makes Alexander Westcott question his heart in the latest Regency romance from the New York Times bestselling author of Someone to Hold.

When Alexander Westcott becomes the new Earl of Riverdale, he inherits a title he never wanted and a failing country estate he can’t afford.

But he fully intends to do everything in his power to undo years of neglect and give the people who depend on him a better life. . . .

A recluse for more than twenty years, Wren Heyden wants one thing out of life: marriage. With her vast fortune, she sets her sights on buying a husband. But when she makes the desperate—and oh-so-dashing—earl a startlingly unexpected proposal, Alex will only agree to a proper courtship, hoping for at least friendship and respect to develop between them.

He is totally unprepared for the desire that overwhelms him when Wren finally lifts the veils that hide the secrets of her past. . . .

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBO 

 

It was not just her face that she had hidden from the world. It was the whole of herself. Her instinct was to hide behind veils within veils, and she had done it for so long that she did not know how to case those veils aside.

Someone to Wed is a story about two people who came together out of convenience but in the process, found not only affection but deep and abiding love for each other.

The romance was top-notch as is expected from a Mary Balogh book. Both characters are flawed, complex and relatable in a way that made you root for their happiness and their developing relationship.

Alexander has inherited a failing earldom and must marry for money in order to rebuild his estates. Wren has spent the better part of her adult life in isolation. She wants to get married and have a family but feels that her appearance (she was a huge port wine stain on her face) and time spent away from society made her less of an ideal candidate for marriage. The one thing she has advantage of is her wealth. She’s an independently wealthy woman and wealth is something that Alexander needs.

But he had glimpsed something tantalizingly fleeting behind the veil. Something – no, he could not find the word. But something that invited him to keep looking.

There’s plenty to love in Someone to Wed.

It’s a fantastic MOC story, something that Mary Balogh does really well. Great, well-developed characters. Wren is such a strong, layered character. She knows what she wants and while she presents this cold and aloof behavior on the outside, her heart is passionate. But years of self-imposed seclusion and loneliness did a number of her, which made her all the more endearing and likable in my opinion.

I really liked Alexander, too. I liked that at very beginning, there’s no feelings or even an attraction between them. Their relationship grew from chapter to chapter and I was swept away with the slow burn romance between these two characters.

If you’re a fan of both slow-burn romances and the marriage-of-convenience trope, I highly recommend this book.

Mary Jenkins was born in 1944 in Swansea, Wales, UK. After graduating from university, moved to Saskatchewan, Canada, to teach high school English, on a two-year teaching contract in 1967. She married her Canadian husband, Robert Balogh, and had three children, Jacqueline, Christopher and Sian. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, music and knitting. She also enjoys watching tennis and curling.

Mary Balogh started writing in the evenings as a hobby. Her first book, a Regency love story, was published in 1985 as A Masked Deception under her married name. In 1988, she retired from teaching after 20 years to pursue her dream to write full-time. She has written more than seventy novels and almost thirty novellas since then, including the New York Times bestselling ‘Slightly’ sextet and ‘Simply’ quartet. She has won numerous awards, including Bestselling Historical of the Year from the Borders Group, and her novel Simply Magic was a finalist in the Quill Awards. She has won seven Waldenbooks Awards and two B. Dalton Awards for her bestselling novels, as well as a Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award.

FACEBOOK WEBSITE | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE 

 

Review & Excerpt: His Hand Me Down Countess by Sorcha Mowbray

HIS HAND ME DOWN COUNTESS
Series: The Lustful Lords #1
Genre: Historical Romance, Erotic
Author: Sorcha Mowbray
Release Date: September 20, 2017

His brother’s untimely death leaves him with an Earldom and a fiancée. Too bad he wants neither of them…

Theodora Lawton has no need of a husband. As an independent woman, she wants to own property, make investments and be the master of her destiny. Unfortunately, her father signed her life away in a marriage contract to the future Earl of Stonemere. But then the cad upped and died, leaving her fate in the hands of his brother, one of the renowned Lustful Lords.

Achilles Denton, the Earl of Stonemere, is far more prepared to be a soldier than a peer. Deeply scarred by his last tour of duty, he knows he will never be a proper, upstanding pillar of the empire. Balanced on the edge of madness, he finds respite by keeping a tight rein on his life, both in and out of the bedroom. His brother’s death has left him with responsibilities he never wanted and isn’t prepared to handle in the respectable manner expected of a peer.

Further complicating his new life is an unwanted fiancée who comes with his equally unwanted title. Saddled with a hand-me-down countess, he soon discovers the woman is a force unto herself. As he grapples with the burden of his new responsibilities, he discovers someone wants him dead. The question is, can he stay alive long enough to figure out who’s trying to kill him while he tries to tame his headstrong wife?

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBO | GOOGLE PLUS 

London, May 1860Stone heard the butler intone his name and title loudly enough for all of London to hear, let alone the population of the Devonses’ ballroom. Had anyone suggested three years ago he would bear the family title, Earl of Stonemere, never mind be contemplating his future nuptials, he would certainly have laughed. True, he never actually laughed anymore, but he certainly would have found such a claim incredulous.

It was no longer an amusing matter.

Having survived the receiving line, he eased through the crowded ballroom. Every few feet, he stopped to speak with one acquaintance or another. Not so long ago, these same people would have been running for the hills and hiding their daughters. But fate, a fickle mistress to say the least, had other plans.

Moving with a quickness born of desperation, he barely acknowledged the next three men as the heat from the crowd paired with the stench of perfumes and body odor to choke him. After his service in India, crowded entertainments such as a ball had grown difficult to endure. The press of bodies and the loud murmur of conversation punctuated by the occasional shrill laugh smothered him, too similar to the roar of battle and the cries of the dying.

Moving past a swarm of silk skirts, he spotted a dark, hidden alcove, an oasis from the overwhelming onslaught, both real and imagined. If he could shut it down quickly enough, he wouldn’t embarrass himself. If he failed, all of London would learn just how broken he was.

He was an earl. Not a soldier. Never again a soldier.

Once the cool darkness enveloped him, he opened his mouth and drew a breath. His pounding pulse eased as the vise around his chest released and his damp skin dried. After another quarter hour spent tucked away, he believed he could manage the crowd long enough to find his betrothed.

As any good officer would, he had a strategy. Find her, claim his dances, and then await each one either on the balcony or on the dance floor, if required. Even the cardrooms at these soirees bordered on disabling.

He reached for the drapes to his hideaway, but hesitated as two women tittered in the immediate vicinity.

“Why, Gladys, I heard his name announced earlier. I’m certain Matilda invited Stonemere despite all the gossip.”

“I simply cannot imagine what she was thinking,” the one called Gladys said.

“Can’t you? Having one of the Lustful Lords in attendance at your ball? I daresay everyone who is anyone will wish to be able to say they were here. It’s all so deliciously scandalous and yet possible now the unmitigated rake is off the market.” Gladys’s friend sighed with a bit more drama than anyone in their right mind or otherwise would deem necessary.

“Well, one should hope that man can contain himself what with all these poor young virgins parading around. It would serve Matilda right if he debauched each and every one of them while here under her auspices.”

“Oh, do be sensible, Gladys. He could perhaps ruin four or five in one night, but all of them?”

Past ready to find his fiancée and escape his hidey-hole, he stepped out next to the ladies in question, turned to them, and bowed over each of their hands. The shock on their faces far outweighed any notion of good manners on his part. “Why, ladies, you both give me far more credit than I deserve. Even in my heyday of debauchery, I could only service three ladies in a single evening.”

As the two ladies sputtered, he departed their corner. The temptation to turn and wink at the gossipers won out, which caused another round of tittering and sputtering from behind him. Of course, he was well aware of what proper Society called himself and his friends. But the Marquess of Flintshire, Earl of Brougham, Baron Lincolnshire, and Viscount Wolfington—as well as himself—held little regard for polite society. Each of them had learned the hard way that they had no place amongst their peers.

He hadn’t claimed her as truly his, and he did not suspect he ever would in any way that satisfied his sexual hunger. He doubted his pretty wife would appreciate how he wanted to strap her to his bed and demand she acknowledge him as her lord and master in the most primeval of ways.

I love a sexy historical romance, and Sorcha Mowbray has me hooked with book one in her Lustful Lords series. The series title is definitely appropriate, because this book isn’t just hot, it’s SCORCHING.

Aptly dubbed as one of the Lustful Lords, known for their sexual debauchary, Achilles Denton, the Earl of Stonemere is anything but proper.

His brother’s death leaves him forced to take a title he never desired, and wed a woman that would likely be scandalized down to her bones if she ever learned his true nature. Shy and sweet Theodora Lawton was once his brother’s finance and in Stone’s opinion, was a better match for his brother than him. But duty is duty and The House Of Lords made their decision and he has a duty to uphold.

But sweet and soft spoken Theo is not at all what she seems. Beneath the manners and the innocent beauty is a tigress; a woman that has a wild streak as large as her independent one. She knows her new husband isn’t giving her everything that he is, and she’s determined to bring the beast out.

This was a ridiculously sexy romance with a delicious mix of BDSM elements. Stone is controlling, domineering, protective, and if it takes a proper spanking to make his sassy wife see reason, he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. Theo is not afraid to give as hard as she gets, and let me just tell you, she gets it HARD. Uhem. *dirty grin*

While the sex was super hot, at times it was a bit much and distracted from the story. Though if you like super sexy reads, you definitely won’t be complaining. I’m just pickier than most *sheepish grin*
The suspense part of the story felt a bit on the slow side, but I appreciated the way the author resolved it. She wrote one empowered heroine with Theo and I got to love that.

Sorcha definitely has a new fan in this reader and I can’t wait for more in this series and more of deliciously kinky Lusty Lords (particularly since one hints at an MMF situation). If you like super hot historical romances, this one will definitely hit the spot.

Sorcha Mowbray is a mild mannered office worker by day…okay, so she is actually a mouthy, opinionated, take charge kind of gal who bosses everyone around; but she definitely works in an office. At night she writes romance so hot she sets the sheets on fire! Just ask her slightly singed husband.

She is a longtime lover of historical romance, having grown up reading Johanna Lindsey and Judith McNaught. Then she discovered Thea Devine and Susan Johnson. Holy cow! Heroes and heroines could do THAT? From there, things devolved into trying her hand at writing a little smexy. Needless to say, she liked it and she hopes you do too!

For more information about Sorcha, please visit her website, “Like” Sorcha on Facebook and follow her on TwitterInstagram and Goodreads. Join Sorcha’s newsletter to be the first to hear about upcoming releases. She’s loves hearing from her readers. Email her directly at sorcha@sorchamowbray.com

AUTHOR LINKS:

Lana, Geri & Jenn swoon over THE DUCHESS DEAL by @TessaDare ‏

THE DUCHESS DEAL
Review: Girl Meets Duke #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Tessa Dare
Release Date: August 22, 2017

When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
– They will be husband and wife by night only.
– No lights, no kissing.
– No questions about his battle scars.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And unlimited teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

AMAZON | iBOOKS

LANA’S REVIEW

Emma Gladstone had learned a few hard lessons by the age of two-and-twenty. Charming princes weren’t always what they seemed. Shining armor went out of fashion with the Crusades. And if fairy godmothers existed, hers was running several years late. Most of the time, a girl needed to rescue herself.

Is it possible for my swoons to have swoons? Because I’m pretty sure they all mated together in a swooning frenzy and had swoon babies. I mean all of the swoons! ALL OF THEM!!!! This book was everything. EVERYTHING. It was romance perfection. I think my goosebumps had swoons, for goodness sake. No really. I’m not exaggerating even a little. This book was a little peace of romantic heaven. It was everything I love about a great romance; great banter, humor, sizzling steam, and two main characters that you can’t but help and fall head over heals for.

Emma Gladstone

Complexion: cream. Lips: rose petals. Lashes: sable. Backbone: steel.

I. Loved. Her. Here’s a woman that didn’t live an easy life. Not even close. And yet she never loses her fire, her sparkle, her incredibly gentle heart. When she faces down a broody duke in order to receive payment for a dress she made for his ex fiancé, the last thing she expects is a proposition of her own. The man is impossibly stubborn, grumpy, with a penchant to blasphemy in the most creative of fashions, and perhaps slightly deranged…

Are you—” There seemed no way to say it but to say it. “Your Grace, are you trying to get me into your bed?”
“Yes. Nightly. I said as much, not a minute ago. Are you listening at all?”
“Listening, yes,” she muttered to herself. “Comprehending, no.”
“I’ll have my solicitor draw up the papers.” He returned to his place behind the desk. “We can do it on Monday.”
“Your Grace, I don’t—”
“Tuesday, then.”
“Your Grace, I cannot—”
“Well, I’m afraid my schedule is quite booked for the rest of the week.” He flipped through the pages of an agenda. “Brooding, drinking, indoor badminton tournament…”

The Duke of Ashbury has returned from the war, a scarred, shell of a man he once was. A monster he no longer recognizes in the mirror. But a duke needs an heir, and to get an heir, he needs a wife, and to get a wife, well…he needs a miracle. When the beautiful Emma comes charging into his house, he believes she holds the answers to everything he desires. But what he doesn’t expect is for the witty beauty to tilt his world on its axis.

she tucked a stray wisp of dark hair behind her ear. Then she licked her fingertip and turned the page. His knees buckled. In his mind, he scrambled to piece that half second into a lasting memory. The crook of her slender finger. The red pout of her lips. That fleeting, erotic glimpse of pink. She did it again. Ash gripped the doorjamb so hard, his knuckles lost sensation.
He wanted her to read the whole cursed book while he watched. He wanted the book to have a thousand pages.

The chemistry between these two was instant and fiery. I couldn’t get enough of it. Their banter, their daily push and pull of Emma attempting to break through his walls and Ash retreating further behind them. I loved it so hard. I loved Emma’s backbone and take charge attitude. She was no wilting wallflower but there was also this endearing softness to her. It wasn’t long before everything about her began to tear down the walls that Ash has built around himself and questions everything he once thought. I loved watching that wall of his break down slowly. I loved the way that Emma slowly but surely healed his heart even though she couldn’t heal his scars. I love that he was the most perfectly imperfect hero. There was something so completely endearing about the man. GAH.

You are wet, and you are cold. You don’t like being cold. Therefore, I despise you being cold. I would go about murdering raindrops and setting fire to the clouds, but that would take slightly more than an hour. Perhaps even two. So we’re here, and you will cease complaining about it.”

This book is why I read romance. I can’t believe this is my first Tessa Dare book and I plan on rectifying this immediately. I loved every chapter, every page, every word. If you’re a fan of swoony and steamy historical romance with incredibly vivid and multi-layered characters, this is simply not to be missed!


GERI’S REVIEW

This was one of swooooooooooniest book I’ve read this year. The only other books that can compare in terms of the swoon factor was the Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas and The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean. All three are historicals and all three worked like a charm.

War had taught him two things. First, life was fleeting. Second, duty wasn’t.

The hero, the Duke of Ashbury became a recluse and withdrew from society due to the injuries he sustained in the war. His face and his body was so scarred that people turned away from him, and even started calling himself a monster because of the way he looks. Because he a duke, one of his duties was to provide an heir. Something that he was adamant of doing or else his whole estate would be inherited by a cousin who is an irresponsible bloke. He didn’t want the people depending on him to have the misfortune of getting a spendthrift for a lord so he had the motivation to really find a wife and have an heir.

Emma Gladstone is the seamstress tasked to create the wedding gown for the Duke of Ashbury’s mistress until the wedding was called off. Unfortunately, she wasn’t paid. Desperate to get money to pay for her rent, Emma went to the Duke to ask for payment.

I have an unfortunate habit of looking for the best in people, and it makes me blind to their flaws.”

This is where their story begins, and man, what a story it is. What started off as a marriage of convenience turned into one of the most romantic and life-affirming stories I’ve read this year. Their meet-cute was one of the most hilarious I’ve read in a long time. t’s full of lighthearted and funny moments, and the romance is just, ah-mah-zing. I was swooning from beginning to end. Tessa Dare is known for her clever, witty banter and this book is brimming with it.

If you say so, my treasure.”
“I daresay I do, you little baggage.”

Emma is fantastic heroine. Her backstory was really sad and it made her into a person she is. I love how she’s not cowed at all by Ashbury’s appearance and temper. In fact, she revels in it. I enjoyed how she was able to coax her scarred husband out of his shell and made him a better person.

At first, I thought the Duke of Ashbury was going to be just this brooding temperamental one-dimensional character at first. I mean, I love me some grumpy, brooding hero but Ash is so much more than that. His sarcasm, his wit and deadpan humor added so much to what could have been a dreary and bitter character. He does have a chip on his shoulder, something that his character had to deal with throughout the book. But this hero was seriously funny.

And you claim to be feeling this way. Floatish. Singsong-ish. About me.”
She sighed. “Yes.”
“That’s absurd.”
“I know, but I can’t seem to stop it.”

There were some subplots in this book that might feel unnecessary but I thought that they were perfect because they add so much not only to the characters, especially the Duke, but also to the place where the story is set. And these subplots did a great job at setting up future storylines in the series, which is always a win for me.

The Duchess Deal is a book that you read in one sitting. Once you open it, good luck to your chores or doing anything else because all you’d want to do is read straight through. I had a biggest smile on my face reading this book. It’s romantic and full of characters that you can embrace and root for. So well done!

If you leave, I will follow. Do you hear me? I will follow and find you and cart you home.”


JENN’S REVIEW

I begged for this ARC. Literally. And I’m not even sorry. Was I surprised by how much I loved this book? Absolutely not. I will always love Tessa Dare….always. I always giggle in her books. I always swoon in her books. There is almost always a hate-to-love relationship, which is perfection for me. The Quirk! The Dry Humor! The Witty Dialogue! ALWAYS!

 always GIF

SWOONS!

All the swoons!

Did I say swoons? Oh yeah, I did!

à la Mode St. » fashion

“You are wet, and you are cold. You don’t like being cold. Therefore, I despise you being cold. I would go about murdering raindrops and setting fire to the clouds, but that would take slightly more than an hour. Perhaps even two. So we’re here, and you will cease complaining about it.”

à la Mode St. » fashionEmma. Complexion: cream. Lips: rose petals. Lashes: sable. Backbone: steel. A seamstress, not only in deed, but also in heart. This is what she loves to do. In seeking out payment for a discarded fiance’s dress, Emma goes to the formerly intended groom for payment of the dress she made, which happens to be Ashbury. He needs a wife, so he proposes a marriage of convenience. These two are so different that at first, she doesn’t even believe him. Even after getting married, these two find it very difficult to get along (Ugh. I love it.).

Ashbury. What a brooding, scarred, perfect character. He is VERY scarred from a war injury. And jaded. And ill-tempered. And I love him. What can I say? He’s an asshole, and this dirty girl loves her assholes. He needs a wife to make an heir….and that’s pretty much it. He doesn’t believe anyone will truly desire him because of his disfigurement. I love scarred heroes so much. They are always assholes. yes yeah nod cowboy clint eastwood GIFThis book definitely had a slow burn. Ash promises to visit her bedroom every night (in the dark so she cannot see his scars) in order to conceive as quickly as possible. Of course, things take an unexpected turn into awkwardness and it doesn’t go as planned. Both Emma and Ash have their own insecurities (but still being awesome and not whiny bitches), so they vow to themselves and each other to not get attached and to take precautions so that emotions don’t get involved in their marriage. (Psh! Please. Who are they kidding? Am I right?)

 yes yes gif yes gifs GIFà la Mode St. » fashion

As he stood in the doorway watching, she tucked a stray wisp of dark hair behind her ear. Then she licked her fingertip and turned the page.

His knees buckled. In his mind, he scrambled to piece that half second into a lasting memory. The crook of her slender finger. The red pout of her lips. That fleeting, erotic glimpse of pink.

She did it again.

Ash gripped the doorjamb so hard, his knuckles lost sensation.

He wanted her to read the whole cursed book while he watched.

He wanted the book to have a thousand pages.

à la Mode St. » fashionWhat I love the most about Tessa Dare’s books?

EVERYTHING.


 

Review: The Scandal Of It All by Sophie Jordan

THE SCANDAL OF IT ALL
Series: The Rogue Files #2
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Sophie Jordan
Release Date: July 25, 2017

It takes two to make a scandal…

What kind of woman ventures into London’s most notorious pleasure club? An outsider like Graciela, the Duchess of Autenberry, snubbed time and time again by society because of her Spanish roots. Ela longs to take a lover for a single, wild night, and within the walls of Sodom there are gentlemen to suit every forbidden taste. If only she were not so drawn to the smoldering Lord Strickland…a dangerous man who sees beyond her mask, and could ruin her reputation with a mere whisper.

Lord Strickland never permitted himself to fantasize about the sultry, off-limits lady, but then he never expected to find Ela in a place so wicked, looking for what he’s more than too happy to give. She may not be to the ton’s taste, but she suits him perfectly. First, however, he must convince her to trust in this dangerous desire—and in the promise of forever unleashed by one wild, scandalous night.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

Somehow, in a short time she had become his sole desire. He wanted her with an intensity that would not go away until it found its release.

This was my first book by this author and I’m an instant fan! The Scandal Of It All was wickedly delicious and sinfully swoony. Not having read the first book in this series (quit side eyeing me, OCD police), I wasn’t sure how smoothly I’d be able to jump into the story. Turns out, I had no problem at all. The heroine of this book is the step mother of the Duke of Autenberry, who had a very big secondary character role in the previous book. And while you can definitely see the happenings of the previous book carried over into this one, the author gives plenty of background that a new reader wouldn’t be even remotely lost.

Graciela, the Duchess of Autenberry, is a widow that’s tired of having no passion in her life. Her daughter is almost of marrying age. Her step daughter and step son are fully grown. After a loveless marriage with a cold and calloused man that took every opportunity to put her down, she’s not a woman of confidence. Her coloring and Spanish blood ensure that she always gets looked down at by the ladies of London’s ton. Yearning for the touch of a passionate lover, she caves to her best friend’s nagging and goes to a club known for it’s darker pleasures. Only the man she meets the attention of is not one she expected.

She felt as though she were facing a stranger, contrary to the nonsense she was spouting. A man who was stripping her of her clothes with his eyes to see all that lay beneath.

Lord Strickland is her step son’s best friend and several years her junior. But that never stopped him from fantasizing about the beautiful Graciela. Now that he knows that she’s interested in the same darker desires, he’ll stop at nothing to have her.

I fell hard and fast for Collin. This is a man that knows what he wants and goes after it with a single minded intent, damn the consequences. His grandmother is on his back to pick a finance but the one woman he craves is the one that he can’t have.

What begins is a back and forth laden with enough sexual tension to really set things on fire. It was utterly delicious. As much as I wanted to be frustrated with Ela at her adamant refusal of Collin, I can understand why she was the way she was. This is a woman beaten down by what society expects of her and what her husband engrained in her to believe. It took a while for her to clear the fog. I loved the way that Collin goes after her and the passion brimming between them.

There was a little bit of drama at the end that seemed just a bit over the top, but it also served to tie everything together nicely. The epilogue even managed to make me tear up. And while I wished for a bit more closer with Ela and her step son, it looks like we’ll be getting that side of things in his book next and I already can’t wait!

Jenn’s Review: The Duke Meets His Match by Tina Gabrielle

THE DUKE MEETS HIS MATCH
Series: The Infamous Somertons #3
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Tina Gabrielle
Release Date: July 10, 2017

The daughter of an infamous art forger, Chloe Somerton grew up poor. Desperate to aid her sisters, she’d picked a pocket…or two. Now circumstances have changed, and Chloe has a chance to marry a young, wealthy lord. Only his mentor—a dark, dangerous duke—stands in her way.

The duke knows about her past, and she’ll do anything to keep him from telling.

The moment Michael Keswick, the Duke of Cameron, sees Chloe Somerton, he recognizes her as a fraud. The stunning beauty with sapphire eyes and golden hair now appears to be a proper lady, but he knows better. What begins as a battle of wills soon escalates into a fierce attraction.

In Chloe, Michael finds peace from the memories of war, but he refuses to marry…and she won’t settle for anything less.

 

AMAZON

It isn’t often that I read historical romance author that I have never read before….and enjoy it! I am pretty picky when it comes to HR authors, typically sticking to my favorites. But I know I need to branch out, and I’m glad that I did!
à la Mode St. » fashion

He had the power to ruin everything.

à la Mode St. » fashionsuzanne4u: “His princess ”Chloe has a past that no one knows about, except the Duke of Cameron. She is determined to put her past behind her and marry a title because she knows what it is like to go without money or food, and she is determined to never live like that again. The Duke is in her way of getting what she wants. Chloe is a strong-willed character with a hint of innocence, but she does not go quietly. I loved how determined she was through the whole book to go after what she wants.

Michael made a promise to a friend to protest his son, and that is exactly what he is determined to do. When he discovers that Chloe has set her sights on the young man he is protecting, he makes it clear that it will never happen. Michael is immediately attracted to Chloe, but he believes her to be a thief who is just trying to use the man he vowed to protect. His suspicions of Chloe’s character drives him to seek out the truth, but he doesn’t expect to be seduced.

The beginning of this book was wonderful! I loved how much they hated each other, and I wish that the animosity between them kept going. The sparks fly between these two!
à la Mode St. » fashion

”You may be a duke, but you are not a gentleman.”
“There’s no room for chivalry in war.”
“And this is war?”
“Only if you don’t obey.”
Blue sparks flashed in her eyes. “So be it, Your Grace.”

à la Mode St. » fashionIt was only when the story became sweet that it began to falter for me. But I still wanted to keep reading about these fantastic characters to see what happened in the end. This was my first book by Tina Gabrielle, and I am definitely intrigued.

Geri’s Review+Excerpt: The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

THE DAY OF THE DUCHESS
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #3
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Sarah MacLean
Release Date: June 27, 2017

The one woman he will never forget…

Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has lived the last three years in self-imposed solitude, paying the price for a mistake he can never reverse and a love he lost forever. The dukedom does not wait, however, and Haven requires an heir, which means he must find himself a wife by summer’s end. There is only one problem—he already has one.

The one man she will never forgive…

After years in exile, Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, returns to London with a single goal—to reclaim the life she left and find happiness, unencumbered by the man who broke her heart. Haven offers her a deal; Sera can have her freedom, just as soon as she finds her replacement…which requires her to spend the summer in close quarters with the husband she does not want, but somehow cannot resist.

A love that neither can deny…

The duke has a single summer to woo his wife and convince her that, despite their broken past, he can give her forever, making every day…

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | GOOGLE PLAY | KOBO

Chapter 1
DESERTED DUKE DISAVOWED!
August 19, 1836
House of Lords, ParliamentShe’d left him two years, seven months ago, exactly.
Malcolm Marcus Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven looked to the tiny wooden calendar wheels inlaid into the blotter on his desk in his private office above the House of Lords.
August the nineteenth, 1836. The last day of the parliamentary session, filled with pomp and idle. And lingering memory. He spun the wheel with the six embossed upon it. Five. Four. He took a deep breath.
Get out. He heard his own words, cold and angry with betrayal, echoing with quiet menace. Don’t ever return.
He touched the wheel again. August became July. May. March.
January the nineteenth, 1834. The day she left.
His fingers moved without thought, finding comfort in the familiar click of the wheels.
April the seventeenth, 1833.
The way I feel about you . . . Her words now—soft and full of temptation. I’ve never felt anything like this.
He hadn’t, either. As though light and breath and hope had flooded the room, filling all the dark spaces. Filling his lungs and heart. And all because of her.
Until he’d discovered the truth. The truth, which had mattered so much until it hadn’t mattered at all.
Where had she gone?
The clock in the corner of the room ticked and tocked, counting the seconds until Haven was due in his seat in the hallowed main chamber of the House of Lords, where men of higher purpose and passion had sat before him for generations. His fingers played the little calendar like a virtuoso, as though they’d done this dance a hundred times before. A thousand.
And they had.
March the first, 1833. The day they met.
So, they let simply anyone become a duke, do they? No deference. Teasing and charm and pure, unadulterated beauty.
If you think dukes are bad, imagine what they accept from duchesses?
That smile. As though she’d never met another man. As though she’d never wanted to. He’d been hers the moment he’d seen that smile. Before that. Imagine, indeed.
And then it had fallen apart. He’d lost everything, and then lost her. Or perhaps it had been the reverse. Or perhaps it was all the same.
Would there ever be a time when he stopped thinking of her? Ever a date that did not remind him of her? Of the time that had stretched like an eternity since she’d left?
Where had she gone?
The clock struck eleven, heavy chimes sounding in the room, echoed by a dozen others sounding down the long, oaken corridor beyond, summoning men of longstanding name to the duty that had been theirs before they drew breath.
Haven spun the calendar wheels with force, leaving them as they lay. November the thirty-seventh, 3842. A fine date—one on which he had absolutely no chance of thinking of her.

Tell me, Seraphina. If there were no one—no sisters or god or goddess to protect, no American, no aristocracy to watch and judge? What would you do if I pursued you?”

The Day of the Duchess is one of those books that makes me go, “This is the reason why I read romance!” Does it have a healthy dose of angst? Yes, it does. It also has one of the best grovels I’ve read in a while. The satisfying ending was worth every single heartache I, and the characters, went through. And every emotional moment in this book was earned.

Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, is back from exile with a single mission: get a divorce from her estranged husband, Malcolm Bevingstoke. The Duke however won’t let her go without a fight. He has regretted his actions in the past and is willing to do anything to win his wife back. But he has to contend with a lot of obstacles before he can even begin to fix what he broke years ago. So he concocted a crazy plan. Ask Sera to accompany him on his estate to help him choose her replacement and then she’ll get her divorce.

It’s a crazy plan from a man who’s desperate to win back his wife and atone for his sins in the past. What he didn’t know is Seraphina is desperate, too. But for different reasons. And it’s something that I totally could relate to. It’s something that we take for granted now but was totally not an option for women back then. And this is important to the story and to Sera’s character arc and it made me understand her motivation and sympathize with her.

I have dreamed of you here. Look up. Look at us. Look at how beautiful you are. Watch how I worship you.”

The tension between them was unmistakable. These are two people who clearly still love each other desperately but are so desperately broken that they can’t see beyond their own pain. Sarah MacLean did a phenomenal job at writing both of these characters at their darkest moments. They both made mistakes. Malcolm’s transgression would have been a deal breaker for me if not for the fact that the author was able to convince me that he truly regretted his actions. And some of his actions were not immediately known to Sera. She didn’t know what he’s done to make it up to her after she left.

And that’s one of the beauty of this book. I went through it knowing that these two are still desperately in love and that they deserved each other. I want them to work out their issues because them not being together would be a tragedy. But man, did they have to work for it.

But she remembered every note, every word, as though it were a prayer. And perhaps it was. Perhaps she could exorcise the past with it.

I mentioned above how much the satisfying ending was so earned. And this is the reason why. Both characters had to find a common ground first before they could even move on.

I don’t blame Sera for not trusting Malcolm at his word. What she went through was heart-wrenching. At the same time, as much as I hated what Malcolm did, it was impossible not to be moved by how genuinely sorry he was for the past. And he suffered as well. I loved, LOVED how their relationship evolved.

I shall have to be happy with finding you in the stars, at night.”

Apart from Sera and Malcolm, the Day of the Duchess are full of interesting characters. Of course, Sera’s sisters, the Soiled S’s are by the far the most interesting ones. But there were characters here who really stood out as well. Caleb and the ladies that were supposed to vie for the title of the next Duchess of Haven were charming and wonderful. I’m so looking forward to reading Caleb’s book. I won’t tell you his potential partner. You’d have to read this book to find out. But man, that’s going to be another angsty one for sure.

Overall, I LOVED this book. The romance was just top-notch. And the grovel…*swoon* It took me quite a bit of time to recover after I finished it because it was that good. Well done, Ms. MacLean. Well done!

Related image

Jennifer’s Review: Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

DEVIL IN SPRING
Series: The Ravenels #3
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Release Date: February 21, 2017

An eccentric wallflower…

Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger.

A cynical rake…

After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught-by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.

A perilous plot…

After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy-and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven…

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBO

Devil in Winter is my second favorite book of all time….after Jane Eyre. I didn’t want to get my hopes up about this one because of this fact. But it was everything I dreamed…..and MORE!!

à la Mode St. » fashion

Wouldn’t it be dull if ever-after was always happy, with no difficulties or problems to solve? Ever-after is far more interesting than that.

à la Mode St. » fashionLisa Kleypas, I don’t know how you do it. But thank you …..and I love you….and I want to lock you up in my basement….I mean, my heart. Don’t worry, only my absolute favorite authors get a special place in my basement….I mean, my heart.

Pandora…..is a hot mess!! And yet a breath of fresh air. What an amazingly written character. She is the definition of feminism, and I love that Lisa wrote her like she did because she is so relevant!!! This whole book is relevant to this day, especially with the entire women’s movement. I honestly wonder if today’s current events helped Lisa to write this book.

Pandora has zero interest in getting married, and she isn’t just being coy. She has ambitions and desires to work. She has dreams that cannot be fulfilled if she gets married. She wants to own her own business and her own money and her own life. I loved how tough she was and how she fought and fought for her rights to be a married woman and keep her independence and…..dignity.
à la Mode St. » fashion

“Not every girl who attends a ball wants to be Cinderella.”

à la Mode St. » fashionGabriel…..Holy Lord. He is the perfect mix of both Sebastian and Evie. I loved that he wasn’t an asshole like his father because it just wasn’t in his character. He and Pandora get caught in an awkward, compromising position that isn’t even that compromising, but Gabriel is an honorable man and does the right thing by Pandora. On the other hand, Pandora wants nothing to do with Gabriel and his marriage offer. She is very adamant about turning him down….multiple times. Lol! But after spending a week together and getting to know each other, she eventually changes her mind. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this book. To me, Pandora made this book extra special, but Gabriel pulled out all the swoons.
à la Mode St. » fashion

”Every night for the rest of my life, I’ll dream of the afternoon in the holloway, when I was waylaid by a dark-haired beauty who devastated me with the heat of a thousand troubled stars, and left my soul in cinders. Even when I’m an old man, and my brain has fallen to wrack and ruin, I’ll remember the sweet fire of your lips under mine, and I’ll say to myself, ‘Now, that was a kiss.’”

à la Mode St. » fashion
And can we just take a moment and talk about how much I loved that Lisa put Sebastian and Evie in so much of this book???!!! All of my heart for this couple.

Everything about this book and these characters just MADE SENSE. The ending surprised me but I can tell Lisa is gearing up for either the next book or a whole spin-off series! (Yes, please!)

Geri’s Review: Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

DEVIL IN SPRING
Series: The Ravenels #3
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Release Date: February 21, 2017

An eccentric wallflower…

Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger.

A cynical rake…

After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught-by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.

A perilous plot…

After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy-and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven…

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBO

The night we met, I felt you like an electric shock. Something about you calls to the devil in me.”

This book is everything a historical romance should be. From its unforgettable characters to its sparkling and witty dialogue, Devil in Spring not only met but exceeded my very high expectations. I loved this book and these characters so much.

Lisa Kleypas has a way of capturing emotions without wasting many words. Her characters are vibrant and so full of life. She easy for readers to not only understand and sympathize with these characters but full on fall in love with them.

Dangerous creatures, wallflowers. Approach them with the utmost caution. They sit quietly in corners, appearing abandoned and forlorn, when in truth they’re sirens who lure men to their downfall. You won’t even notice the moment she steals the heart right out of your body—and then it’s hers for good. A wallflower never gives your heart back.”

Pandora might be my favorite Kleypas heroine to date. I still love Evie but Pandora overcame so much more. Her journey was such a joy to read. Actually, there’s a level of joy permeating this book that I was smiling all the way through it. Sure. There were some tense and emotionally fraught moments as well but there was never any doubt about the payoff, which is the HEA.

I have much love for Sebastian (Devil in Winter) and Derek Craven (Dreaming of You) and Hardy Cates (Blue-Eyed Devil) but Gabriel…*heart eyes* He’s Sebastian St. Vincent’s son but he is also Evie’s. Which means, he’s the best of both worlds and it shows. Not to say that he doesn’t have flaws. He’s still very much a product of his generation and lives a privileged life. But he’s also kind and loyal and just so attuned to Pandora’s needs which makes him more appealing. As far as being a romantic hero, he’s perfect.

You guys! The way he treats Pandora and the way he went about courting her heart will seriously melt your heart. It’s one of the best parts of the book and Lisa Kleypas spent a lot of time building their relationship. It’s so good and so romantic.

There were so many scenes and dialogue in this book that I really want to share all of them but I won’t because it would be so much better to experience them yourselves. Trust me you will be laughing and sniffling at all the heartfelt dialogue in this book.

I haven’t even talked about how Seb is with Gabriel (OMG! So cute and lovely!) or Seb with Evie (*swoons*) or Gabriel with Evie (*heart eyes*)! Their relationship with each other is #goals. And Gabriel and Pandora is OTP! Full stop.

She was so endearing, so indomitable, that Gabriel was wrenched with a feeling he’d never known before, as if all the extremes of joy and despair had been compressed into some new emotion that threatened to crack the walls of his heart.”

As for cameos from the Wallflower gang…yes! We do get Evie and Seb as well as Westcliff. I wish we could’ve seen more of the other couples but I really can’t complain. There’s also a great set-up for the next book in the series, which I am now dying to read.

This book made me so happy. It truly did. And it also makes me want to re-read The Wallflowers series again.

There was magic in the world, and it was woven throughout each ordinary day, the same force that pulled the tides and drove the rhythm of a human heart. Inspired”

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

%d bloggers like this: