Book Review – A Christmas Ball (ARC)

A Christmas BallA Christmas Ball
Written by: Jennifer Ashley,
Emily Bryan & Alissa Johnson
Published by: Leisure Books
Date: September 29th, 2009
Pages: 336
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 978-0843962505
(Available NOW!)

A Christmas Ball is a heart-warming anthology that offers you three romantic, historical love stories for the price of one; you can’t beat it!”

Jennifer, Emily & Alissa

The first story in A Christmas Ball is My Lady Below Stairs by Emily Bryan. Emily’s characters are refreshing and unique and the witty dialog between them is just what I’ve come to expect and I have always loved about Emily’s writing.
Jane Tate, the illegitimate daughter of nobility, is coerced into impersonating her legitimate half-sister to save the family from disgrace. It’s no surprise when Jane has the presence of mind and generosity of spirit go along with the plan to impersonate her sister for a short time and hopefully save the Somerville family’s name from disgrace. There is one tiny problem; Jane’s muscular beau Ian, doesn’t like the idea one bit! Tempers flare and adventures abound in this historical romance as Jane and Ian fight for their love and a future together.

The second story in this anthology is The Longest Night by Jennifer Ashley. I have never been a big fan of mixing paranormal elements into historical romances, but I’m sure that this story will still be a big hit with many readers.
Mary Cameron offers to chaperone the daughter of a deceased friend as a generous favor. While her charge is whirling with excitement and anticipation, Mary solemnly does her duty by the girl and accompanies her to a much talked about, Christmas Ball. Never far from her thoughts, the darkly handsome Valentin is the last person she expects to see again; yet here he is. Though some time has passed since their first, fiery encounter; sparks still fly between Mary and Valentin as they rekindle what they once had. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that Valentin has some amazing talents and he has a very colourful heritage.

The third story in the anthology is Traditions by Alissa Johnson. Alissa’s story was truly delightful to read; Traditions is just what I was hoping for!
William Renwick, Earl of Casslebury and Miss Patience Byerly are perhaps the most incompatible couple you could ever hope to find. As the fates would have it, William doesn’t have any interest in the average-looking Patience unless she can get him closer to her best friend and heiress, Miss Caroline Meldrin. As time passes and William gets to know both women better, he finds himself attracted to Patience because of her honesty, her generous nature and her intelligent mind. The sometimes humorous and always witty dialogue creates a touching, deeply sensual and very unique love story that made me smile, laugh and blush.

You won’t be disappointed with this book; I promise! So go on out there and pick up a copy for yourself and maybe grab a few extra copies as stocking stuffers! I recommend this book for historical and paranormal romance fans!!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (8 out of 10 Diamonds) – Thoroughly enjoyed it

Read more about A Christmas Ball.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author Websites:
Emily Bryan, Jennifer Ashley and Alissa Johnson

Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Dorchester Publishing for sending me a copy of this anthology to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Highland Rebel (ARC)

Highland RebelHighland Rebel,
A Tale of a Rebellious Lady and a Traitorous Lord
Written by: Judith James
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date: September 1st, 2009
Pages: 480
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 978-1402224331
(Available NOW!)

Highland Rebel blends history and fiery romance together in an adventurous story of divided loyalties, betrayal and blazing passion”

Detached and jaded, Jamie Sinclair wants to do nothing more than follow his orders and return home to reap the rewards for his faithful service; until one day on a battlefield, when he meets and mistakes Catherine Drummond for a lad and he is forced to act. Before long, Jamie and the rest of the men realize that the struggling youth is actually a woman. To save Catherine (Cat) from the blood thirsty band of mercenaries, Jamie finds himself married to the daughter of a Highland laird and heiress. Through out all of the confusion, Cat remains suspicious and fears the worst about her captivity and the handsome, aloof Englishman who guards her.

This story grabbed my attention from the first page and held on until the very end! The story is fast-paced, full of intrigue, excitement (bloody battles) and romance. The plot has really good momentum so there is never a dull moment. The camaraderie between Cat and Jamie that made me laugh, smile and really pulled me deeper into the story. The romantic chemistry between the two main characters really sizzles off the page.
I highly recommend this book for romance readers who enjoy lots of romance with their historical adventure stories!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (9 out of 10 Diamonds) – Loved it!
 

Read more about Highland Rebel.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Sourcebooks, Inc. for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Seduced at Midnight

Seduced at MidnightSeduced at Midnight
Mayhem in Mayfair, Book #3
Written by: Jacquie D’Alessandro
Published by: Berkley Sensation
Date: January 2009
Pages: 345
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 978-0425225493

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“The Ladies Literary Society of London gathers again for a ghost story…
Lady Julianne Bradley has always longed for wild adventure. Unfortunately, the man with whom she wishes to share her fervor can never be hers. Tormented by her desire, she’s preparing for a suitable marriage when ghostly occurrences straight out of her latest read start happening—and to protect Julianne, her father hires the very man her heart cries out for.”

Seduced at Midnight is the 3rd book in the Ladies Literary Society series that centers around a small group of friends who participate in a seemingly innocuous book club; unbeknownst to their family and friends, the book club includes some racy titles that really fire the blood and in Lady Julianne Bradley’s case, they cause her imagination to run wild. The source of her passionate desires is the Bow Street Runner, Mr. Gideon Mayne; his a-typical, mouth-watering, muscular physique and his very presence makes Julianne’s heart pound wildly with need. There is sizzling chemistry between Gideon and Julianne; their love scenes are very descriptive with luscious sensuality that heats up the room! The dialogue between the characters is witty, humorous and you can feel the chemistry sparking between them. One small downside to the dialogue was a repetitive phrase that was cute the first few times, but it was used too often and too close together, in my opinion. It was nice to read a book that had strong characters, both male and female and I always enjoy it when they are beautiful people!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (7 out of 10 Diamonds) – I really enjoyed it
 

Read more about Seduced at Mighnight.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Jacquie D’Alessandro for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – The Grand Sophy

The Grand SophyThe Grand Sophy
Written by: Georgette Heyer
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date: July 2009 (Originally published in 1950)
Pages: 384
Format: Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1402218941

Top Pick

The Grand Sophy is lively and emotive; a thoroughly satisfying read for all regency era, Historical Romance fans!”

The Product Description – From Amazon.com
“When Lady Ombersley agrees to take in her young niece, no one expects Sophy, who sweeps in and immediately takes the ton by storm. Sophy discovers that her aunt’s family is in desperate need of her talent for setting everything right: Ceclia is in love with a poet, Charles has tyrannical tendencies that are being aggravated by his grim fiancee, her uncle is of no use at all, and the younger children are in desperate need of some fun and freedom. By the time she’s done, Sophy has commandeered Charles’s horses, his household, and finally, his heart.”

The Grand Sophy is a delightful book set in London, England where the story begins in the spring of 1816. When meddlesome Sophy Stanton-Lacy arrives at her aunt’s Berkeley Square home for a lengthy visit, the oppressive atmosphere quickly weighs down on her. Sophy wastes no time and gives her younger cousins a few unique pets to enjoy. Though outspoken, honest and more then a little too cheeky; Sophy’s meddlesome ways cause quite a few quarrels. Even with the best of intentions, she manages to ruffle a lot of feathers. The smoothly flowing, fast-paced story includes some wonderful plot twists that take the reader on a delightful journey filled with witty characters, humorous dialog and precious, G-rated romance. A rather large cast of characters makes for a veritable menagerie of interactions, clashes and confrontations; this delightful story is packed-full of charm and amusement. Not too long after her arrival, the self-confident Sophie notices that her oldest cousin Charles, Mr. Rivenhall, seems to rule the household with his holier-then-thou, domineering attitude. Never one to back down from a challenge, Sophy makes it one of many important tasks, to transform the dreary home into a house filled with smiles and contentment; unfortunately, the dour Charles does not care for her intrusive behaviour.

A quote from the book – Charles & Sophy:

‘I’ll take care of that!’ he retorted. ‘Let me tell you, my dear cousin, that I should be better pleased if you would refrain from meddling in the affairs of my family!’
‘Now, that’, ‘said Sophy’, ‘I am very glad to know, because if ever I should desire to please you I shall know just how to set about it. I daresay I shan’t, but one likes to be prepared for any event, however unlikely.’

Georgette Heyer is the author of more than 50 novels and many of them are being republished by Sourcebooks Inc. I really love this particular story; it made me smile and laugh!
I very highly recommend this book to regency era, historical romance fans and those who enjoy classic literature.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!
 

Read more about The Grand Sophy.
Find out where to buy this book.

Link to the Author’s Fan Website:
http://www.georgette-heyer.com/

Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.sourcebooks.com/

A special thanks to Sourcebooks Inc. for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Lady Anne and the Ghost’s Revenge (ARC)

Lady Anne and the Ghost’s Revenge (Book 2)Lady Anne and the Ghosts Revenge
Written By: Donna Lea Simpson
Published By: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date: August 2009
Pages: 368
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 978-1402217920
(*Publication has been delayed…future publication date unknown*)

Lady Anne and the Ghost’s Revenge is a lightly romantic, adventure-filled historical romance.”

Product Description - Back of the book
“A FASCINATING AND EXASPERATING YOUNG LADY…
After the Marquess of Darkefell offers her the most inopportune marriage proposal, Lady Anne Addison flees to the Cornwall coast for a bit of sun and rest. But the place is anything but restful, with smugglers on the beaches, ghostly apparitions in the night, and the obsessively passionate marquess in hot pursuit of her…
A COMPELLING AND MASTERFUL MAN…
Even if she doesn’t want his help, Lord Darkefell is determined to assist Lady Anne in uncovering the secret of the mysterious-and apparently dangerous-goings-on. When a murder takes place, Darkefell is the prime suspect, and now he needs her help even more then she needs his…”

Lady Anne and the Ghost’s Revenge is the continuing story of Lady Anne, as she tries to distance herself from Marquess of Darkefell and ends up in more trouble then she’d bargained for. The Marquess is darkly handsome and very intense; his devotion to Lady Anne, though sometimes misguided, is very sincere and heartwarming. The story itself is fast-paced, has some interesting plot twists full of intrigue and a sprinkling of g-rated romance. I found many of the names of the people and places just a little bit silly; it seemed to me anyhow, that many of the names were just random one-syllable words mashed together. This is book 2 of 3 in a series (as far as I can tell) and it is different from many traditional Romance formats in that the relationship between these two strong-willed characters takes place over the 3-book span; there isn’t a conclusion to their relationship until book 3 (at least I hope it ends there). This particular format isn’t my cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be yours.
I recommend this book for readers who are looking for a historical romance that is heavy on adventure and light on the romantic.

♦♦♦♦♦♦ (6 out of 10 Diamonds) – I enjoyed it
 

Link to the Author’s Profile:
http://bookblogs.ning.com/profile/DonnaLeaSimpson

Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.sourcebooks.com/

A special thanks to Sourcebooks Inc. for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Giveaway – Knight of Desire (IS CLOSED!)

Knight of Desire

*** Congrats to: Nancy V(#30), Serena(#20), R Hicks(#68), Deedles(#19) & Alicia(#34) ***

** Five(5) Chances to WIN! **

Thank you to Anna at Hachette Book Group

Knight of Desire by Margaret Mallory

FEARLESS IN BATTLE
His surcoat still bloody from battle, William FitzAlan comes to claim the strategic borderlands granted to him by the king. One last prize awaits him at the castle gates: the lovely Lady Catherine Rayburn.

TENDER IN BED
Catherine risked everything to spy for the crown. Her reward? Her lands are declared forfeit and she is given this choice: marry FitzAlan or be taken to the Tower. Catherine agrees to give her handsome new husband her body, but she’s keeping secrets, and dare not give him her heart. As passion ignites and danger closes in, Catherine and William must learn to trust in each other to save their marriage, their land, and their very lives.
 
To Enter: Please make sure to leave a reply in the comment section of this post.

♦The giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents only.
♦You must be 18 years of age or older.
♦The winner’s mailing address: NO P.O. Boxes.
♦Only one entry per household/IP address.
♦The contest ends at midnight on July 6th, 2009.
♦Five(5) winners will be picked in a random draw and will be notified by 5pm (MDT) by e-mail on July 7th, 2009.

Good Luck Everyone and Have Fun!

Book Review – Frenchman’s Creek

Frenchman’s Creekfrenchmans-creek
Written By: Daphne du Maurier
Published By: Sourcebooks Landmark an Imprint of Sourcebooks Inc., 2009 (Originally Published in 1941), 284 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-1402217104

Frenchman’s Creek starts out slowly but quickly picks up speed; a story of a spoiled english woman who craves freedom, love and adventure.”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“Jaded by the numbing politeness of Restoration London, Lady Dona St. Columb revolts against high society. She rides into the countryside, guided only by her restlessness and her longing to escape.
But when chance leads her to meet a French pirate, hidden within Cornwall’s shadowy forests, Dona discovers that her passions and thirst for adventure have never been more aroused. Together, they embark upon a quest rife with danger and glory, one which bestows upon Dona the ultimate choice: sacrifice her lover to certain death or risk her own life to save him.”

Frenchman’s Creek started out rather slowly. Instead of making me pity the Lady Dona St. Columb, I rather disliked her at the beginning of the story. Perhaps the author intends for the reader to make the emotional journey with Dona as she changes and explores her freedom and that’s exactly what I did. With lyrical prose, this smoothly-flowing story will take you along on some wild adventures and dangerous escapades full of adrenaline and G-rated romance. Though I found Dona to be spoiled and self centered, there was a part of me that could identify with her need to escape, especially when you consider the time in which she lived; women were repressed and usually had to follow the rule of their husbands regardless of their own hopes and desires. Dona however, was able to work around some of these constraints because of her lenient and somewhat careless husband. When Dona arrives at Navron House with only her two children and their nanny, she is looking for peace and serenity; a break from the stench and artificial decorum of London. When Dona finds strange inconsistencies with her hired help and other odd items around the home, she begins to explore the grounds of Navron House with purpose; searching for an adventure that she feels unlikely to find. Dona and a French Pirate meet and begin a whorl wind friendship that shows Dona how to be “real” and how to feel alive for the first time in her life; her thirst for adventure is whet as she spends more and more time with the Pirate. As danger and intrigue swirls and time starts to catch up with them, what will Dona do? Can she go back to her tedious, dull life as a mother and wife or will she throw caution to the wind and embrace a life of exhilaration and independence?
I recommend this book.

♦♦♦♦♦♦ (6 out of 10 Diamonds) – I enjoyed it
 

Link to the Author’s website:
http://www.dumaurier.org/
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.sourcebooks.com/

A special thanks to Sourcebooks for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Emily Bryan’s “Name A Character” Contest for her next book: Stroke of Genius

Emily Bryan Contest

STROKE OF GENIUS CONTEST

Want to see your name on the acknowledgment page of Emily Bryan’s next book? Here’s your chance!

Emily is giving her readers an opportunity to name an important secondary character in her upcoming STROKE OF GENIUS.

The Grand Prize Winner will receive signed copies of Emily Bryan’s entire backlist (including A CHRISTMAS BALL anthology, due out Sept 29th). PLUS you’ll be mentioned on the acknowledgment page of STROKE OF GENIUS and the Grand Prize Winner’s name suggestion will be used in STROKE OF GENIUS!

Here’s an added bonus: the top 10 finalists will each receive their choice from Emily’s backlist!

Then Emily will throw the final decision on what XXX’s name will actually be back her readers. That’s right! YOU GET TO VOTE ON THE FINAL WINNER!

And for helping Emily pick the winner, each voter will be entered in the drawing for a big box of books that Emily picked up at RT this spring!

The contest begins June 1st and entries close July 1st.

For more information and to enter, please visit www.emilybryan.com

ONE ENTRY PER PERSON PLEASE!

 

Book Review – To Beguile A Beast

To Beguile A Beast,To Beguile A Beast
Book 3 in The Legend of the Four Soldiers Series
Written By: Elizabeth Hoyt
Published By: Forever, an imprint of Hachette Book Group USA, Inc., 2009, First Edition, 368 pages, mass market paperback
ISBN 978-0446406932

To Beguile A Beast is a full-bodied, sensual Historical Romance; a sumptuous read!”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“CAN A WOUNDED BEAST . . .
Reclusive Sir Alistair Munroe has hidden in his castle ever since returning from the Colonies, scarred inside and out. But when a mysterious beauty arrives at his door, the passions he’s kept suppressed for years begin to awaken.
TRUST A BEAUTY WITH A PAST . . .
Running from past mistakes has taken legendary beauty Helen Fitzwilliam from the luxury of the ton to a crumbling Scottish castle . . . and a job as a housekeeper. Yet Helen is determined to start a new life and she won’t let dust-or a beast of a man-scare her away.
TO TAME HIS MOST SECRET DESIRES?
Beneath Helen’s beautiful façade, Alistair finds a courageous and sensual woman. A woman who doesn’t back away from his surliness-or his scars. But just as he begins to believe in true love, Helen’s secret past threatens to tear them apart. Now both Beast and Beauty must fight for the one thing neither believed they could ever find-a happy ever after.”

To Beguile A Beast is by far my favorite book in this series. I found that the first two books, though very good, lacked a lot eroticism and the necessary, passionate depth to the love scenes; Elizabeth Hoyt certainly makes up for it with this decadent love story which is the third book in the series. I have to say that I am a little disappointed with the book cover; I think it is absolutely gorgeous and the colours are divine BUT…I can see the male cover model’s face and it is not scarred; one side of his face should have been completely shadowed or covered by a hooded cape or something! Now onto the story… Sir Alistair Monroe and Helen Fitzwilliam are a most unlikely pair. Alistair has wounds that run much deeper then the skin’s surface and Helen and her two young children seek refuge in the one place far enough away from her pursuers to guarantee their safety…or so they hope. I was wondering how I would react to a disfigured hero, if I would believe that someone as beautiful as Helen could fall for him; thankfully my concerns were mostly unfounded. There were moments where I found Alistair’s disfigurement a little distracting, but the overall story is well worth reading. This novel is smoothly flowing and has a few predictable, but interesting plot twists. The love scenes between Alistair and Helen are very erotic; making me blush a time or two. I was happy to see more descriptive love scenes in this book and I hope that book four follows a similar format.
I highly recommend this book.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (8 out of 10 Diamonds) – Thoroughly enjoyed it
 

Link to the Author’s Website:
http://elizabethhoyt.com/
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/

A special thanks to Hachette Book Group for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Forbidden

Forbiddenforbidden1
Written By: Helen Kirkman
Published By: Harlequin Books, 2004, First Edition, 352 pages, mass market paperback
ISBN 978-0373836291

Forbidden is a beautiful written, highly sensual love story filled with intimacy, betrayal and redemption.”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“England, 716 — a time of power and passion, corruption, courage, violence and vengeance . . .
He was for sale — a slave forced to do the bidding of others. Dangerous . . . and fascinating, but no more than a thrall in chains.
She was a lady, a woman bent on vengeance. A woman in need of help. Not the ordinary kind of help. What she wanted to do, what she had to do, did not require commonplace skills. It required courage that took no account of either the odds or the risks. Her idea was every bit as reckless as the slave’s bravery . . . and in all probability just as doomed. No matter the cost, she would never be at the mercy of anyone’s will again.
They were worlds apart.
And anything between them was . . .
forbidden . . .”

Forbidden is a really fantastic Historical Romance. The main characters in this story are very well written and with great humanity; I could identify with their thoughts and feelings. With a smoothly flowing story and an interesting plot, this story really satisfies. I was very pleased with the beginning; it captured my attention quickly and held it right till the end. Set in VERY early England, 716, this novel takes you back to a time when powerful families and landowners ruled absolutely; with barbaric savagery and underhanded schemes, the evil and corrupt flourished because there was no one powerful enough to stop them. When Rowena sees a heavily muscled slave for sale, she finally sees a way to right the wrongs. When Rowena purchases Wulf, she also sets a dangerous plan in motion, one that risks everything she owns and loves. The love scenes are very erotic; steeped in sensuality that nearly made me blush. This book was well worth my time and I really enjoyed this beautiful story.
I very highly recommend this book to Historical Romance readers.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (9 out of 10 Diamonds) – Loved it!
 

Link to the Author’s Website:
http://www.helenkirkman.com/
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.eharlequin.com/store.html?cid=191

A special thanks to Helen Kirkman for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Tempted At Midnight (ARC)

Tempted At Midnighttempted-at-midnight
Written By: Jacquie D’Alessandro
Published By: The Berkley Publishing Group, 2009, First Edition, 336 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-0425226995
(Available NOW!)

Tempted At Midnight is a passionately-written, sensual love story full of adventure and fiery, sexual chemistry.”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“To stir public interest in her vampire romance novel, Lady Emily Stapleford stages nighttime vampire appearances. Overnight, London is abuzz with the sightings. Now she’d be guaranteed success, if it wasn’t for mysterious Logan Jennsen, who’s onto Emily’s duplicity.”

Tempted At Midnight is an adventurous, fast-paced, Regency era romance with a modern twist; vampires. Now before you start thinking that its cheesy, I can assure you that it is only a ruse; it is just Emily’s way to try to save her family from financial ruin. I can’t explain how it all works because I don’t what to ruin the story, but suffice it to say that all does not go as planned. This entertaining love story has various plot twists and a fascinating, in-depth plot. The internal dialog sometimes seems too heavy but I believe that it is to give the reader the necessary back story and helps move the story forward. The love scenes are so wonderfully written, with so much sexual tension and flowing elegance that they actually brought a blush to my face and made my blood pound; all in a good way I assure you!  Logan is THE consummate lover. 
This is a fantastically fun romp and I highly recommend it!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (9 out of 10 Diamonds) – Loved it!
 

Link to the Author’s Website:
http://www.jacquied.com/
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://us.penguingroup.com/static/pages/publishers/adult/berkley.html

A special thanks to Jacquie D’Alessandro for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Love With the Perfect Scoundrel (ARC)

Love With The Perfect Scoundrel,love-with-the-perfect-scoundrel
Widows Club, Book 3
Written By: Sophia Nash
Published By: Avon Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2009, First Edition, 384 pages, mass market paperback
ISBN 978-0061493287
(Available NOW!)
Top Pick

Love With The Perfect Scoundrel is sexy and sensual; a lush Historical Romance that sizzles off the page!”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“Only a man with a mysterious past could tempt the Countess from the Isle of Ice . . .
Twice jilted, Grace Sheffey has given up on love. No longer capable of maintaining her elegant facade with her intimate circle of friends, she has little choice but to flee . . . right into the teeth of a blizzard. But when her wretched carriage ride ends in disaster, a rugged, imposing stranger is waiting to save her life . . . and her heart.
Michael Ranier is a man of many secrets—secrets that could place the countess in terrible danger. But concealed in the wilds of Yorkshire, he can’t help but unleash her hidden reserves of desire and fortitude—and challenge her to blossom into the woman she was destined to become . . . a lady willing to sacrifice all to find love with the perfect scoundrel.”

Love With The Perfect Scoundrel had me at hello. Seriously though, I was instantly drawn into the story and enjoyed every single minute of it. I have read hundreds of Historical Romance novels from the Victorian era and I have to say that THIS book, is in my top 10! With a story and plot that is more creative then many I have read, the Author takes advantage of the weather, social strictures (or lack there of) and with a genuine humanity, creates the distressing and ultimately delicious situations that Grace and Michael find themselves in. I immediately felt the heart-pounding attraction between the main characters and this beautiful, sensual love story. Though it is set in the Victorian era, this story had a fresh feel that amused and entertained as much as it titillated. The Author has an exceptional talent for writing and her distinctive story writing talents will, if they have not already, set her apart from many of her peers. This delightful book left me with a big smile on my face and a light feeling in my heart. It is just what I have been waiting for; kudos to you Sophia Nash.
I very highly recommend this book!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!
 

Link to the Author’s website:
http://www.sophianash.com/
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.harpercollins.com/Imprints/Avon/

A special thanks to Sophia Nash for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Vexing the Viscount (ARC)

Vexing the Viscountvexing-the-viscount
Written By: Emily Bryan
Published By: Leisure Historical Romance, Dorchester Publishing, 2009, First Edition, 320 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-0843961348
(Available NOW!)

Vexing the Viscount is witty and entertaining: a sizzling Historical Romance that you won’t want to miss!”

Product Description- From Dorchester Publishing
“As children they’d sparred with play swords. She’d scarred his chin, and he broke her heart. Now, more than a decade later, the true battle was only beginning…
Daisy Drake needed Lucian Beaumont, Viscount Rutland. Tired of being labelled “on the shelf,” she craved adventure. And Lucian held all the clues to a long-buried Roman treasure. Surely her desire to join his search had nothing to do with his dark curls and seductive Italian accent. Too bad Lucian wanted no help from her—until she donned the disguise of an infamous French courtesan and promised to teach him all she knew about the pleasures of the bedchamber. Of course, she only knew what had been written in naughty books. But Daisy had always been a quick learner. And night by naked night, they’d discover treasure neither expected to find.”

Vexing the Viscount is a marvellous book, full sexual tension and wonderful characters whose stories pull you into their world for a few lovely hours. The pacing is smooth and steady, with vibrant visuals and intensely amusing banter. This story is very well written with an unerring focus on supplying the reader with a captivating story that includes lots of romance. The plot includes some fun twists and turns, that are sure to surprise. Lucian and Daisy are an enchanting mix. When they get tangled up together, sparks fly and sexual tension abounds! These characters have a sizzling chemistry which is sure to satisfy the romantic in all of us. Emily Bryan writes with talent and skill; she pours her heart into each and every page. I really enjoyed this book and I’m positive that you will enjoy it too.
I highly recommend this book!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (9 out of 10 Diamonds) – Loved it!
 

Link to the Author’s website:
http://www.emilybryan.com/
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.dorchesterpub.com/

A special thanks to Emily Bryan for sending me a copy of her book to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Emily Bryan is our Guest Author TODAY!

A warm welcome to…Emily Bryan

emily-bryan

…who is our Guest Author, today.
Emily is making a stop here on her
50 Day/50 Blog Tour which is promoting her sizzling, upcoming novel, Vexing the Viscount.
Emily Bryan, who also writes under the name Diana Groe, is giving away One(1) copy of Vexing the Viscount to one lucky person who leaves a comment on this post, today (Open to all countries!).

* Congratulations to Aja Jackson on winning a copy of Vexing the Viscount

Literary “First Times”

Thanks for having me here today, Bobbie! I love your blog!

When I tell non-romance readers that I’m a romance author, the first thing they do, after a giggle or two, is ask if my sex scenes are autobiographical. (If they ask my DH, he just smiles and says, “Of course!”)

vexing-the-viscount1

The truth is I write explicit scenes when the story demands it.

Writers work with nothing but ink on a page and somehow hope to breathe life into our characters. We play on their hopes and dreams. We catalogue their triumphs and failures. Nowhere are these more evident than in our character’s sex lives. Even if a character is not currently sexually active, he thinks about it as often as we do. Sex is a ripe store house of emotions and motivations. Commercial fiction is rife with sex scenes. It’s not just for romance novelists any more.

It never was. My literary “first time” was not a romance book, at all. It was Rabbit Run, from the highly respected and recently deceased, John Updike. I was a junior in high school, an extremely naïve junior. The scene where Updike’s hero, Harry Angstrom, talks a hooker into giving him oral sex while his wife is giving birth was a shock to me. First because I had no idea people did such things (told you I was naïve) and second, because the relationship in which the act occurred was so cold and devoid of joy.

But did it deepen my insight into the characters and propel Mr. Updike’s story? Like a runaway locomotive.

Writing a sex scene is not about being an exhibitionist. It is not about me. It’s about my characters and their relationship. Which leads me to my first rule about writing sex scenes.

erinsong

1. It’s about serving the story first and foremost. If I can replace the scene with the words, Then they had sex, with no change in what comes afterward, then the scene is unnecessary and must be cut.

Not all stories call for hot, sweaty monkey sex. The bedroom door can remain completely closed and yet be totally romantic. Less is often more.

What to call it . . .

“The sun glinted off his chiseled pectorals.” No, that’s not from a romance novel either. It’s a Washington Post reporter waxing poetic over President Obama’s work-out regimen. It’s also a shining example of trite wording (why even mention a pec unless it’s chiseled?) and dangerously close to Purple Prose.

All writers face word choices and nowhere is it more important to choose the right word than in a sex scene. When in doubt over what to call something, I ask my characters. What would they call it? In the 80’s a romance writer might get away with “the raging beast of his desire,” but if I tried that now, my editor would have me in a headlock. Beauty of language is one thing, but there’s no room in any scene for, pardon the pun, flaccid prose. I want my readers with me the whole time, not giggling over my Victorian silliness. (Unless of course my story is set in the Victorian era, but even then I try to keep the use of euphemisms down. Or better yet, let one of my characters joke about the verbal coyness.)

distracting-the-duchess

So here’s the second rule:

2. Call it what the characters would call it. When the plain sense makes sense, seek no other sense. Technical terms may not sing, but they don’t confuse anyone either. And it is possible to write a totally hot sex scene without mentioning any body parts at all.

Not even a chiseled pectoral.

It’s about sex and . . .

So often sex scenes will stop the story dead. If we know what’s at stake, it’s more interesting. The basic tenets of the writer apply. What does my character want? How will he/she go about getting it? How can I, as the writer, throw obstacles in his/her path? What’s the subtext? It’s rare that both parties will be in complete accord. It’s also boring.

In Vexing the Viscount, both my hero and heroine are virgins. That means the angels don’t sing without a few fizzles and moments of comic relief. (Face it. Sex is pretty darn funny.) Two inexperienced characters lent itself to plenty of trial and error, some pleasurable, some frustrating. Fiction may be made up, pleasuring_the_piratebut that doesn’t mean it can’t be true. Which leads to my last rule . . .

3. The scene must be about sex and something else. For the writer, a sex scene is a chance to examine how the relationship between two people changes, how they feel about themselves as well as each other. A tryst interrupted, a near miss because someone lost their nerve, a wardrobe malfunction—these are all grist for the mill and a story propeller instead of a stopper.

Sex scenes, like every other scene, should reveal my characters, help or hinder their growth, challenge them, uplift or dash them. I’m not afraid to follow my character into the bedroom, or the library, or the . . . well where ever the action leads me.

Sex is part of who my hero and heroine are. It’s part of who we all are.

I won’t wimp out. I’ll tell the whole story.

 

An excerpt from Vexing the Viscount:

Daisy and Lucian have finally become lovers, but the games that started it all are still definitely afoot.

“Lucian climbed the stairs, his body thrumming with anticipation. Would Daisy be wearing that naughty red gown again or maybe the elegant corset with all those lovely lace ties? Perhaps this time he’d manage not to befoul the ribbons as he undid her. Continue reading

Book Review – Border Moonlight (ARC)

Border Moonlightborder-moonlight
Written By: Amanda Scott
Published By: Forever, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, 2009, First Edition, 432 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-0446541350
(Available NOW!)

Border Moonlight is an interesting and historically-rich, border romance novel”

Product Description - From Amazon.com
“Lady Sibylla Cavers is ripe for marriage, yet she’s rejected the first three suitors her father brought. When one of these suitors, the dashing Lord Simon Murray, rescues both Lady Sibylla and the small child she was trying to pull from the churning River Tweed, Sibylla begins to see Lord Simon in a new light. As he cares for her and the child until both are recovered from their near-deaths, she finds admirable – even lovable – qualities in Lord Simon. But political intrigue surrounding the powerful governor of Scotland will throw obstacles in the path if Simon’s and Sibylla’s budding love. Simon will fight for his inherited estate, while Sibylla will use all of her wits to protect their future together.”

Border Moonlight is a historical romance novel that gives you a fairly realistic sense of border life. The Author’s attention to detail and the authenticity of the time period is a nice treat. I have to admit that the use of Scottish some language and their way of speaking is a significant interruption to the flow of the story and I found it necessary to stop frequently and re-read sentences so that I could figure out a particular word’s meaning. The pacing is fairly good, other then the ‘language’ issue. The characters are very likable and well developed. I really enjoyed the interactions between Sibylla and Simon, they are a feisty couple.
I would have liked this book to have had a more romantic feel and I really think that the author could have marketed this book, with a little more development, as historical fiction, not as a historical romance novel. 

♦♦♦♦♦♦ (6 out of 10 Diamonds) – I enjoyed it
 

Link to the Author’s website:
http://home.att.net/~amandascott/

Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/

A special thanks to Hachette Book Group for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Giveaway of ‘To Seduce A Sinner’ (IS CLOSED!)

to-seduce-a-sinner

*** CONGRATULATIONS to Erica G.(#98) ***

*** A Giveaway of a signed copy of To Seduce A Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt ***

A Special Thanks to Renee at Hachette Book Group and Elizabeth Hoyt.

Jasper Renshaw, Viscount Vale, has a problem: he needs to marry and produce an heir to the title. All Jasper wants is to find a lady who will put up with him long enough to wed so he can retreat to his life of debauchery–a life that keeps the haunting memories of his past at bay. Knowing that Jasper is under pressure to marry, Melisande Flemming grasps her fate with both hands and volunteers to wed him. Although Jasper is initially only interested in producing an heir, he soon becomes entranced by his wife–prim and proper by day, wanton by night– and vows to learn her secrets.

Melissande, however, is determined to keep her husband at a distance. She has loved, and lost, before, and will do anything to keep him from learning her terrible weakness: she’s secretly been in love with him for years. But to her chagrin, her husband pursues her, wooing her as if she were a paramour, not his lady wife. As Melissande and Jasper embark on a passionate game of cat and mouse, secrets from the past begin to resurface…. threatening to tear them asunder.

To Enter: Please make sure to leave a reply in the comment section of this post.

♦The giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents only.
♦You must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
♦The winner’s mailing address: NO P.O. Boxes.

♦Only one entry per household/IP address.
♦The contest ends at midnight on November 28th 2008.
♦One(1) winner will be picked in a random draw and will be notified by 5pm (MDT) by e-mail on Saturday, November 29th 2008.

Good Luck Everyone and Have Fun!!

Book Review of ‘To Seduce A Sinner (ARC)’

Sunday, September 14, 2008 (ARC) – original post

To Seduce A Sinner,
Book 2 in the Legend of the Four Soldiers
Written By: Elizabeth Hoyt
Published By: Forever, an imprint of Hachette Book Group USA, Inc., New York, 2008, First Edition, 400 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-0446406925
(Available NOW!)

To Seduce A Sinner is an emotional tale of bravery, love and sexual fulfillment”

Melisande Flemming decides that it’s high time to take matters into her own hands. She has been perfectly and desperately in love with Jasper Renshaw, Viscount Vale for as long as she could remember. Lady Emeline Gordon and Melisande has been best of friends since childhood and because Emeline’s property bordered on Lord Vale’s, Melisande witnessed her heart’s desire flirting with, seducing and romancing beautiful ladies throughout the years. He whispered sweet-nothings to exquisite looking women and was rumoured to be a marvellous lover. Through the passing years, Melisande stood quietly by while she watched possessively as Lord Vale became engaged to a Miss Mary Templeton.
Jasper Renshaw, better known to his peers as Lord Vale, couldn’t believe his bad luck. Who would have thought that he’d be thrown over by this lovely little heiress for a poor, untitled curate? While dealing with a terrible hangover and the rather distressing news of his broken engagement, Lord Vale had not heard Melisande quietly entering the room. Here was Melisande, a woman proposing to him in the vestry of the church, on the morning of what was to be his wedding to Miss Templeton. He could not have been more surprised by the question posed by the rather plain-looking friend of Emeline’s, then he was by his own very honest answer to her. Why not wed the Ms. Melisande Flemming? She seemed more then willing to marry him and was quite unwavering in her request. Very well then.

To Seduce A Sinner is a enchanting book which pairs up two of the most unlikely people in one of the most endearing ways possible; through the meeting of like-minds and the incredible persistence of enduring love. I found myself so entranced by the fragile, tender side of the very handsome and masculine Lord Vale. I was truly pleased by Melisande’s resolute acceptance of her new husband’s peculiarities and his strange behaviours. The love for her husband, her faith in his goodness and Jasper’s protectiveness and love for his wife, all coalesce to create a shining story of healing, love and desire.
I very highly recommend this book!! It follows To Taste Temptation By Elizabeth Hoyt very nicely and I’m so looking forward to reading To Beguile A Beast, the third book in the Legend of the Four Soldiers Series.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (8 out of 10 Diamonds) – Thoroughly enjoyed it

 
Link to the Author’s Website:
http://elizabethhoyt.com/
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.hachettebookgroupusa.com/index.aspx

A special thanks to Renee at Hachette Book Group for sending me a copy.

To listen to an interview on Blog Talk Radio with Elizabeth Hoyt please click here.

Book Review of ‘Duchess By Night’

Duchess By Night,
Written By: Eloisa James
Published By: Avon Books, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2008, First Avon Books Printing, 373 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-0-06-124557-2

Duchess By Night is a decadent, sizzling romp; a tale of Historical Romance that is thoroughly enjoyable.”

Lady Harriet, Duchess of Berrow is the portrait of perfection and responsibility. But being a Duchess has turned into a weighty burden and has become intolerably suffocating. The beautiful Lady Harriet has been a widow for more then two years and has lived the luxurious but demanding life of integrity and refinement that is required of her.
When the ducal bonds become too suffocating, Harriet wishes for some sort of diversion that would liven up her world. Why can’t she be more like the ravishing Duchess of Beaumont or the gorgeous Duchess of Cosway?
As Harriet longs for some freedom and distraction, she and her cohorts, a fellow Lord and two Ladies of the Realm, come up with a plan to attend the scandalous party hosted by the infamous Lord Justinian Strange. They decided that Lady Harriet would be disguised as a man so she can remain anonymous.
Lord Justinian Strange also known as Jem, hosts titillating fete’s at his large Country Estate on a continuous basis.
Jem is famous because of his elaborate and scandalous parties and his vast fortune. Anyone daring enough to risk scandal was sure to have a delightful time in his ‘strange’ world.
As a widower and father of an eight year old daughter, Jem is not nearly as peculiar as many would like to believe. The love he has for his adorable daughter Eugenia, keeps Lord Strange from slipping too deeply into the fantastical-world he has created on his Estate.
With an inventive mind and limitless funds at his disposal, why should he not host parties and gatherings where actors, musicians and people from all stations of life could mingle freely and take pleasure in self-indulgence?
When Jem finds himself strangely attracted to the young man called Mr. Cope, he simply can not understand it. He had never considered himself to be a ‘molly’…

Duchess By Night is a lovely story of strictures falling away and the freedom to enjoy life’s pleasures. As Lady Harriet starts to experience life from a male perspective she realizes that she has been missing out on a lot for much of her young life.
I really enjoyed the flow of the story and found that it was somewhat unique, compared to some of the standard historical romances I’ve read. It had an added freshness and there were some encouraging variations from the usual structure.
The characters were convincing and well described. I did find Lord Strange’s limitless amount of money a little over the top, but I guess that is just the view from a ‘regular’ person who isn’t rolling in heaps of money *smiles*.
The parties are lovely and well described. The steamy sex scenes between Harriet and Jem are mouth-watering!
I really enjoyed reading this book and I recommend it!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (7 out of 10 Diamonds) – I really enjoyed it

 

Link to the Author’s Website:
http://www.eloisajames.com/
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.harpercollins.com/Imprints/Avon/

Book Review of ‘To Taste Temptation’

Tuesday, August 5, 2008 – original post

To Taste Temptation,
Book 1 in the Legend of the Four Soldiers
Written By: Elizabeth Hoyt
Published By: Forever Hachette Book Group USA, Inc., New York, 2008, First Edition, 362 pages, mass market paperback
ISBN 0-446-40691-0

To Taste Temptation is a seductive, luscious Historical Romance that fires the blood and leaves you deliciously sated”

Lady Emeline Gordon is the model of a cultured and refined English widow.
Everything in her life is predictable and rather dull, that is until the extremely wealthy Samuel Hartley walks into her life.
With the request that she act as his sister’s chaperone for the season among the haut ton, Emeline becomes more and more attracted to the brooding and uncivilized American.
Mr. Samuel Hartley is a man with a dark past. Haunted by memories from years ago, he finds his attraction to the unattainable Lady Emeline almost instinctual. She begins to fill a void and allows him forget, if even for a short time, some of the horrors that eat away at his soul.
Though she wants to fight the sexual magnetism, neither Emeline nor Samuel can deny the lascivious feelings and stolen embraces for long.

To Taste Temptation captivates the reader from the very first page and provides you with a sensual repast that will delight and satisfy. This is a first-rate erotic Historical Romance.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I highly recommend it!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (8 out of 10 Diamonds) – Thoroughly enjoyed it

 

 

Link to the Author’s Website:
http://elizabethhoyt.com/

Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.hachettebookgroupusa.com/index.aspx