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
“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
“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:

Link to the Publisher’s Website:

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
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…
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:

Link to the Publisher’s Website:

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

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

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
“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:
Link to the Publisher’s Website:

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

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

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
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.
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.
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:
Link to the Publisher’s Website:

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

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy