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?

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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:

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.

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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.

 

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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!
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”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…

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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!

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Jennifer’s Review: The Duke by @Kerrigan_Byrne

THE DUKE
Series: Victorian Rebels #4
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Kerrigan Byrne
Release Date: February 7, 2017

He is noble, notorious, and takes no prisoners…

They say that now His Grace, Collin Talmage, Duke of Trenwyth has only one hand, he might finally be a mere mortal, but no one seems willing to test the theory. Rich as Midas, big as a Viking, beautiful as Adonis, and lethal as a feral wolf, he is the English Empire’s golden son. But now he’s lost everything. Most of his family died in a terrible accident, his protégé and closest friend betrayed him on the battlefield, and his left hand was cut off while he was a prisoner of war. The only thing that’s kept him going until now is the memory of a night spent in the arms of a mysterious raven-haired woman almost a year ago…

Imogen Pritchard is a nurse by day, but a fallen woman—and a spy—by night. Seduced on the job years ago by a Duke who mourned for the loss of his family, Imogen has never shaken the memory of the man’s despair—or the fathomless depths of pleasure he brought to her. But as the threat of betrayals, blackmail, and secrets abound, Imogen and Collin are thrown back together in a dizzying swirl of dangerous games and earthshattering desire. But can their love overcome the everything that threatens to tear them apart?

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SOLD! I am sold on Kerrigan Byrne for life and will be reading all of her books. This was my first book by Kerrigan Byrne, and I was greatly impressed. She is such an amazing and creative story-teller. Her stories are definitely more plot-based, which I appreciate. This story has so many layers to it. She just kept peeling back all of the intricacies to the characters. Kerrigan took my heart and wove it in and out of the pages of this story.

The beginning is so hot. She did not mess around in breaking out the sexy times (woo!). But then the story takes a quick turn, and the story leads both Cole and Imogen through separate tragedies.
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The beast was no duke. He was no man raised with genteel civility, with a care for the expense of things or the consequences of his actions. This beast was no longer dormant within him, but prowling beneath the surface of his skin, wanting to mark his territory.

And he’d found a delectable morsel just now, one he was in danger of acquiring a taste for.

à la Mode St. » fashion
My Cole & Imogen:

 : Cole is a soldier, a spy, a duke….an animal. He is many things in this book. He travels through war and pain and torture, barely making it out alive. Imogen is his savior, in more ways than one, but he doesn’t even know it. He is trapped in the darkness, and she is light. He cannot escape and is constantly fighting against himself.

Imogen has been through her own version of hell. She has fought her own war, but she is a beacon of hope and is determined to help others that were in a situation like her own. I loved how strong she was. Even when I didn’t expect it, she would stand up to Cole. The feminism in this book! Gah!
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”It would take nothing to destroy you.” He tightened his fingers ever so slightly, and the telltale jump of her pulse belied her unwavering audacity.

“Better men than you have tried,” she remonstrated, her eyes blazing green with a maelstrom of her own primitive emotions. “Yet here I stand.”

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THE FEELS!!!! Lawdy, the feels. I’m usually not a fan of angst, but this book was all kinds of delicious. Most of this book is sad, but I loved it (again, not my usual opinion). I felt so much in this book. The tragedies that both Cole and Imogen have to go through in order to finally be together. They are in each other’s lives, but Cole is searching and he doesn’t even know he’s searching for Imogen! Gah! And Imogen has to PINE for him! Oh, the pining! Curse you, Kerrigan for tugging at my heart, so!
If you are fan of Julia Quinn, you will love Kerrigan Byrne! They are very similar in the story-telling, character development, and the feels.

I have to say, I am sad that I did not read the previous 3 books in this series before this one. The characters from the first 3 books in this series were in this book enough that I was a little lost and wanted to know more about them! I would recommend reading this series in order (which I usually don’t say).


READ THE SERIES IN ORDER

THE HIGHWAYMAN | THE HUNTER | THE HIGHLANDER | THE DUKE

Jennifer’s Review: A Scot In The Dark by Sarah MacLean

A Scot In the Dark-Review
A SCOT IN THE DARK
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #2
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Sarah MacLean
Release Date: August 30, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

a scot in the dark

Lonesome Lily Turned Scandalous Siren

Miss Lillian Hargrove has lived much of her life alone in a gilded cage, longing for love and companionship. When an artist offers her pretty promises and begs her to pose for a scandalous portrait, Lily doesn’t hesitate…until the lying libertine leaves her in disgrace. With the painting now public, Lily has no choice but to turn to the one man who might save her from ruin.

Highland Devil turned Halfhearted Duke

The Duke of Warnick loathes all things English, none more so than the aristocracy. It does not matter that the imposing Scotsman has inherited one of the most venerable dukedoms in Britain—he wants nothing to do with it, especially when he discovers that the unwanted title comes with a troublesome ward, one who is far too old and far too beautiful to be his problem.

Tartan Comes to Town

Warnick arrives in London with a single goal: get the chit married and see her become someone else’s problem, then return to a normal, quiet life in Scotland. It’s the perfect plan, until Lily declares she’ll only marry for love…and the Scot finds that there is one thing in England he likes far too much…

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKSReview-DGR4.5 stars

This book basically consisted of gleeful giggles while slapping my kindle on my knees.

And dreaming about Scottish knees. And drooling over Scottish knees. Why oh why do men wear pants when they could be wearing kilts?! I mean, it’s a reasonable request….from most women (and some men). The Scots know what they’re doing to us, right?! Killing us with their sexy knees!

When all else fails, a real man says… | 12 Reasons Women Love Men in Kilts: à la Mode St. » fashion

Her gaze traveled to the edge of the fabric, drinking in the curves and dips of his knees. She swallowed, the act a challenge, wondering how it was she’d never noticed the precise shape of a knee.

à la Mode St. » fashionMy Alec:

 :

My Lillian:

.:
Alec is a ALL Scot and hates all things English. Except her. Alec is basically a Scottish PMB (Pouty Man Bear – see Tessa Bailey’s book Worked Up for more information). He is huge, everywhere. He’s a big, brawny beast. But he’s a little sensitive about it because he has been used by women in the past and believes that he is not worthy. This is a central part of the story because it keeps him from accepting Lily’s feelings for him. Alec inherits a Dukedom after a long list of Dukes suddenly die, and Lily is part of that inheritance. She was a ward of one of the previous Dukes, so she has been passed along and forgotten by many.

Lily is known to be a true beauty of England. She begins as a naïve character, but she is jilted at the start of the story and becomes jaded. She ends up accepting that she will be lonely her entire life because of this incident. She has been forgotten and lives alone. BUT she turns out to be the strong one in this book. Alec might by huge, but Lily is a beast in her own right! She is a fighter, and I loved her. Where Alec was weak (emotionally), Lily was strong. Both Alec and Lily just want to run away from everything, but they don’t realize that they could find their escape in each other. They each spend time actually running from each other, but they always seem to come back to each other.
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”I will give you everything you want, mo chridhe. Everything you need,” he promised, the words dark and low and filled with the accent he worked so hard to keep at bay with her. “I will show you heaven. But only if you let me watch you find it. That is my price.”

à la Mode St. » fashionKnees. You get to know Alec’s knees in this book. Every inch. They are discussed several times, and it wasn’t even enough for me. I didn’t know I could have a love of knees until I met Alec. Some might relate Alec to Jamie from Outlander with the whole Scottish-sexy-knee-thing going on, but I wouldn’t know because I’m an idiot for not watching Outlander yet! Damn, I need some more Scottish knees in my life!
Also from celtic cowgirl on facebook...: à la Mode St. » fashion

For something so silly, the plaid was tremendously flattering. Though, truthfully, Lily thought that it was possibly likely that a flour sack would be flattering to Alec.

The man had empirically lovely legs.

Not that she’d given much thought to men’s legs in her life. Until Alec. Now, every time she saw him in his plaid, she thought far too much about men’s legs.

It was terribly inappropriate.

à la Mode St. » fashionI am such a loser for not reading ALL of Sarah MacLean’s books. Seriously. What have I been doing all my life when I should have been reading her books. Ok, I have read 3 of her books counting this one, but she has so many that I have not read, and I’m a loser for it. My goal is to not be a loser, so I will be reading all of her books.


SCANDAL & SCOUNDREL SERIES

The Rogue Not Taken (Scandal & Scoundrel, #1) 
GOODREADS | AMAZON

A Scot in the Dark (Scandal & Scoundrel #2) 
GOODREADS | AMAZON

The Day of the Duchess (Scandal & Scoundrel, #3) – April 25, 2017
GOOREADS | AMAZON

Jennifer’s Review & Historical Rec: ★Devil In Winter★ by Lisa Kleypas

Devil In Winter-DGR reviewDEVIL IN WINTER
Series: Wallflowers #3
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Release Date: October 13, 2009add-to-goodreads-button-2

Devil In Winter

“I’m Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent. I can’t be celibate. Everyone knows that.”

Desperate to escape her scheming relatives, Evangeline Jenner has sought the help of the most infamous scoundrel in London.

A marriage of convenience is the only solution.

No one would have ever paired the shy, stammering wallflower with the sinfully handsome viscount. It quickly becomes clear, however, that Evie is a woman of hidden strength—and Sebastian desires her more than any woman he’s ever known.

Determined to win her husband’s elusive heart, Evie dares to strike a bargain with the devil: If Sebastian can stay celibate for three months, she will allow him into her bed.

When Evie is threatened by a vengeful enemy from the past, Sebastian vows to do whatever it takes to protect his wife . . . even at the expense of his own life.

Together they will defy their perilous fate, for the sake of all-consuming love.

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N


Lately I’ve been trying to broaden my reading horizons, and I asked Jennifer if she had some historical recs for me since I haven’t read very many. What I got was a million exclamation points following an all cap proclamation of READ THIS BOOK! So I figured, ok, I guess she really liked it LOL! Jenn just so happens to know that I have a type when it comes to my alphas; manwhorish, alphaholish, and all of that to the nth degree. What? Like you don’t have a vice? Pfft! So knowing my preferences, she insisted this is the book I start with. OCD readers avert your eyes, because I’m starting with book 3 in a series…and I’m not sorry! I began listening to the audio of this book and while I’m only on chapter 3, I’m absolutely in love! I’ll likely finish it from my kindle though. Stay tuned for further progress report. But for now, check out Jennifer’s review!

~ Lana


Review-DGR5 stars

My love is upon you.

This isn’t your ordinary romance. It’s real. It’s dry. It’s cold….like winter. The perfect book for curling up in a big comfy chair with some English breakfast tea (my favorite) while it’s raining or snowing outside (or you can just read this book all year-long, like me).
Between the covers

Sometimes the fractures in two separate souls become the very hinges that held them together.

Lord Sebastian St. Vincent is not a good man. He is a man whore. He is a spoiled rich boy. He is selfish. He is mean. His is penniless and must marry for money. He is desperate enough to attempt to kidnap a friend of Evie’s to force her to marry him (the previous book in the series). After this attempt fails, Evie realizes that Lord St. Vincent is as desperate as she. Thus begins the Devil in Winter.

He looked like a fallen angel, replete with all the dangerous male beauty that Lucifer could devise.

Sebastian has a dirty mouth, and I love it. He is sex on a stick. I just want to run my face up his body and purrrrrrr. He broods and smirks at the same time (swoon!). He doesn’t just walk….he prowls (yum!). Everything he says is sarcastic and hilarious (oops! My panties just fell off!).

My Sebastian:
.
Evangeline Jenner (Evie) has been physically abused by her Aunt and Uncle since she was a little girl. She stutters and is considered a wallflower. Her father is a gambling club owner and is dying, but her Aunt and Uncle refuse her wishes to see him. Ever since she was promised to her cousin for marriage, she is desperate to get away from her abusers and will do anything necessary to see her father before he dies, including asking Lord St. Vincent to marry her.

Evie is a fabulous heroine. She is shy but also strong and intelligent. She has had to depend on herself her whole life. I love that she is the one to make the marriage proposition to Sebastian, knowing that it would only be a marriage of convenience. She does what she has to do in order to survive.

My Evie:
Great book character
The story begins with Evie and Sebastian fleeing to Gretna Green, Scotland to get married in haste. Because they are traveling from London, it is a long trip. This trip is very significant because Ms. Kleypas quickly shows us a side of Sebastian that we had not seen in the previous book, a softer side while still keeping his callous, sarcastic side. When they return as husband and wife, they hurry to Evie’s father before he passes. The rest of the book takes place in the gambling club in the streets of London.
Oh. Wow.

If my love can hold you, I’ll keep you with me.

This is not your typical story of man-whore meets innocent and they fall in love and she doesn’t think twice about his past and he doesn’t think twice about his past. Trust me. It’s so much better than that. This book is much like Jane Eyre (which is my favorite story of all time). It has a darkness to it, and when you are least expecting it, a ray of light shines through. It shines through the characters as they grow and learn and love.

As high as the fire in me burns, Evie, I will stoke it in you.

I want to fill every part of you…breathe the air from your lungs…leave my handprints on your soul. I want to give you more pleasure than you can bear. I want to make love to you, Evie, as I have never done with anyone before.

I love you so much that I’m drowning in it. I can’t defend against it. I don’t know who I am anymore. 

My prize…my pleasure and pain…my endless desire.

Happily Ever After Wedding Print by firstsnowfall on Etsy, $35.00
If you are looking for epic love, this is the book to read!!!!


THE WALLFLOWER SERIES

SECRETS OF A SUMMER NIGHT | IT HAPPENED IN ONE AUTUMN | DEVIL IN WINTER | SCANDAL IN SPRING | A WALLFLOWER CHRISTMAS

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