Friday, May 29, 2015

Innocence by Holly J. Gill

Publisher & Release Date: Secret Cravings Publishing, May 22, 2015

Time and setting: Present Day, England  

Genre: Contemporary Mainstream Fiction with Romantic Elements

Length: 316 pages

Heat Level: 1 Scorching Hot Flame

Rating: 4 Gold Crowns

Quote: ‘Don’t make promises you cannot keep!’ 

Calvin Edwards, has everything he could dream about, perfect lifestyle, running the family real-estate company back in London. He takes a holiday up North to visit his parents, only when out walking on his parents land, he finds a young pregnant woman attempting to take her life. Calvin wishes to help, becoming a friend through her troubles, only fears he’s out of his depth, let alone discovers his past comes back to life, sending his life crashing. 

Kacey is pregnant and her life is out of control, with nowhere left to go. She descends on her mum for one last chance for help, only the door is slammed in her face. At her wits end, alone, scared and helpless until Calvin comes along. He becomes a dear friend giving her kindness. Only what she’d pushed to the back of her mind through selfish pain, is back. Her past has come back to life!

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Vikki’s Musings

When Ms. Gill sent me a request to review her newest release, I accepted the review copy for an honest review. I had read one of Ms. Gill’s books in her Desires series and enjoyed it immensely. The book description sounded fascinating, so I could not wait to read Innocence. This is a unique story and I was pulled in from the first page.

Kacey can no longer face the nightmare her life has become. Abandoned by her drug dealer ex-boyfriend, had the door slammed in her face by her mum, she stands on a bridge ready to end it all, when a kind young man comes along and talks her down.

Calvin Edwards cannot believe what is before his eyes; a beautiful, very pregnant woman appears to be ready to end it all. He convinces her to come with him, and he takes her at a cottage owned by a friend and offers her safety and a chance to regroup.

It has been ten long years since anyone has shown Kacey any care or compassion, and Calvin shows her both. Can she trust this stranger with her life and the life of her unborn child?

Wow! Innocence is an emotionally-charged read from the first page to the last. I could not stop reading. This is not a pretty story, but one of rough, edgy feelings that had me sheading a few tears. I fell in love with Calvin, a man who is not afraid to show his feelings and acknowledge his pain. While this story has strong romantic elements, it is a tale of the consequences of decisions made in the past and how they affect Kacey’s life irrevocably. I look forward to continuing her life’s journey in the next books in the series.

While this tale of incredible pain and sorrow drew me in and kept me mesmerized, I did have a bit of a problem with editing errors. At times, it threatened to pull me out of the story. It may well be because Ms. Gill is British, and I am not familiar with some of the phrasing and word choices she used. Nonetheless, Innocence is a compelling book, and I await the next one in the series with great anticipation. I must find out what happens next. Happy reading!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The De Monteforte Brothers Series by Danelle Harmon

Publisher & Release Date: Self-published, 2012

Time and setting: 1775 - 1778 England  

Genre: Historical Georgian Romance

Length: Each novel is full length

Heat Level: 1.5 Scorching Hot Flames

Rating: 5 Gold Crowns

The Wild One

FROM NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR DANELLE HARMON comes this # 1 in Amazon Kindle store download and runaway international bestseller! (Originally published by Avon Books)

"The bluest of blood, the boldest of hearts; the de Montforte brothers will take your breath away."

England, 1776: Lord Gareth de Montforte is known as an irresponsible rake with a heart of gold. When he takes a bullet for boldly thwarting a stagecoach robbery, he is stunned to discover that the beautiful young woman he has heroically rescued, Juliet Paige, is his deceased brother's American fiancée, accompanied by her infant daughter. Despite his brother the duke's refusal to acknowledge Juliet, Gareth is determined to do right by the courageous woman who crossed an ocean to give her baby her rightful name. But Juliet is wary of marrying this black sheep aristocrat, even while she is hopelessly charmed by the dashing devil. Never has she met anyone who embraces life so thoroughly, who makes her laugh, who loves her so well. And, even when it seems the odds are against them, Juliet has absolute faith that Gareth will go beyond the call of duty, risking his life itself to give her and her daughter a home -- and a love that will last a lifetime.

Book 1
I thoroughly enjoyed The Wild One, even though this is the second time I read it. This time around, I listened to the audio version. While the story is fantastic, filled with deep emotion and passion, it is also a tale of a high-spirited young man’s journey to accepting and embracing adulthood. It’s a story where the woman is truly the making of the man.

I did not care for the narrator. I think his voice is too mature. After all the hero is only 23 years old. 
However, he does a good job of getting the feelings across to the listener. 

If you enjoy a rollercoaster ride of emotions from laughs to tears, then you will love this exciting, well-written Georgian romance. I can’t wait to listen to the rest of the books in this incredible series.

The Beloved One

In this second installment of her breathtaking De Montforte Brothers series, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Danelle Harmon introduces us to Englishman Lord Charles de Montforte, who awakens in the tender care of an American beauty after being wounded in battle. Amy Leighton has long wished for someone special to enter her life and take her away from a cruel, unloving step-family, but the handsome stranger is from an enemy land ... and he's sworn to love another. A 1775-era Cinderella story sure to enthrall!

Book 2

I enjoyed listening to The Beloved One immensely. This one is filled with deep emotion, and it has a tortured hero, my personal favorite. The romance is compelling, the plot is well-developed, and the characters are unforgettable.

While the narrator's voice is a bit too mature, his performance enhances the deep emotion of the characters, and he gives each one a distinct voice tone. 

If you have not read Danelle Harmon's De Monforte Brothers series, I highly recommend this awesome, emotionally-charged series, and The Beloved One in particular.

The Defiant One

Blessed — or perhaps cursed — with a fiery temper, a strong will, and a blatant disregard for his brother’s wishes, Lord Andrew de Montforte's only desire is to be left alone. But after being caught in a compromising position with tempting Lady Celsiana Blake, the brilliant and brooding scientist/inventor is forced into marriage in this fast-paced, jocular tale in which a supporting cast of beloved pets, the warm and eccentric de Montforte brothers, and the Machiavellian influence of the mighty duke of Blackheath once again play a role...

Book 3

The Defiant One truly earns its name. Book 3 of the De Monteforte Brothers series is a story again filled with high emotion and passion, but this one is edgier than the first two. Andrew is an inventor and appears to be angry with everyone, especially his immensely controlling eldest brother, the duke.

Danelle Harmon certainly knows how to write a tortured hero, and Andrew fits this archetype perfectly. Her hero in The Defiant One is more than a match for him. She is feisty and determined to love him out of his defiance with her gentle touches and unconditional love.

The narrator is again able to bring so much emotion to his writing that I forget that his voice is too mature for the characters.

This is another great addition to the epic saga of the four De Montforte brothers. Now on to the next and final book is this fantastic series!

The Wicked One

When the powerful Lucien de Montforte, the Duke of Blackheath, arrives home to find a dangerous and vengeful woman waiting for him in his bed with pistol in hand, the master manipulator never dreams that he has finally met his match. But thanks to his scheming family's successful attempts to force a wedding, the wicked and wily duke finds himself entangled in a web of his own making in this spectacular conclusion to Danelle Harmon's critically acclaimed de Montforte Brothers series!

Book 4

What an outstanding end to this remarkable series! Lucien, the Duke of Blackheath has met his match in Eva de la Mouriere. She is the only woman who can bring this arrogant and manipulate duke to his knees, and she does this repeatedly from the first page to the last.

While Eva took a while for me to warm up to her character, by the end of the book, I grew to love her. She is a mix of cynical woman—betrayed by her father at a tender age, and then later betrayed by her first husband—and innocence at the same time, especially in sexual matters. Her character is complex to say the least and marvelously entertaining.

I struggled with the narrator’s voice tone for Eva, but his interpretation of her emotions is fantastic. Now his voice for the duke is perfect in this one, his tone shows the arrogance and controlling man with all his faults.

The conclusion of the De Montforte series is perfection, and I am so glad I discovered Ms. Harmon. I love the depth of emotion she is able to put in her books. I will definitely read future romances by her. If you are looking for a series that will hold your imagination from the first book to the last, then you will not want to miss out on this marvelous, well-written series. Happy reading!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Cover Reveal for upcoming release
Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey by Vikki Vaught

Good morning and welcome to my site today. I’m very excited about my upcoming release. I received the cover art yesterday and I am so pleased. The couple on the front looks just as I imagined my characters, Anissa and Alex. The background art is perfect for their love story.

Publisher & Release Date: Secret Cravings Publishing, July 2015

Time and setting: 1803 England/America  

Genre: Historical Georginan/Regency Romance

Length: Word count, 98,700

Heat Level: 2 Scorching Hot Flames

Book Description:
When her son’s life is threatened, Anissa, Marchioness of Overton, seeks refuge by sailing to America. Before the ship reaches the high seas, sparks fly between her and Captain Alex Hawks. Although the young widow may be lonely, and afraid, she cannot risk the diversion a romantic entanglement could bring, no matter how much she wants to lose herself in the captain’s embrace.  
The Captain vows to protect the young Lord Overton, but can offer no assurance that the marchioness will leave his ship with her virtue intact. Alex is drawn to Anissa’s beauty and courage, as a hummingbird is to the nectar of a flower. How long he can fight a losing battle before he surrenders and makes her his own? 
Will Alex be able to keep this remarkable woman and her child safe? Will his passion for Anissa be enough or will their differences keep them apart?

She spied an inn and pulled into the yard. A groom ran forward and helped her dismount. She lifted her sleeping son down and cradled his head against her, shielding him from the light streaming out of the open door to the stable. Making sure her cloak covered her masculine attire, Anissa turned to the young groom. “Do you know if any ships are bound for America?”
“The Renegade, ma’am,” he replied. “Captain Hawks is inside the tavern, and his ship leaves at dawn.”
Anissa adjusted Harry to a more comfortable position. He had grown much heavier in the last few months. “Could you describe Captain Hawks, so I have an idea what he looks like?”
“He’s th’ biggest man in there with massive shoulders and dark hair,” he replied. “You can’t miss ‘im, ma’am.”
Taking her valise from the groom, not daring to leave it unattended with all her jewels inside, she entered the tavern and looked around. She spied a huge man with deep chestnut brown hair, and immense shoulders. He had to be the man the groom told her about. As he raised a glass to his mouth, the sleeves of his deep blue jacket pulled taut across his muscular arms. Anissa felt a pull in her lower belly when she took in the sight of this attractive man. This would never do. With ruthless determination, she pushed those thoughts from her mind. She had no time for such foolishness.
Her insides churned as she wove her way through the crowded tables, the chairs filled with dirty, unsavory looking men. The strong smell of sweat mingled with ale threatened to turn her stomach and had her breathing through her mouth. Anissa went over to the man. “Sir, are you Captain Hawks?”
The man turned around, and in a drawling voice, he answered, “Well, darlin’ that’s my name.” He swept his tri-corn hat from his head, stood and bowed. “Captain Alex Hawks, at your service. Now what can I do for you?”
Anissa gazed up into the blackest eyes she had ever seen and wanted to fall into them. Mesmerized, she blinked as a shiver ran across her shoulders. This was not the time to notice this man’s eyes, no matter how compelling they were. Now was the time to use her charms to convince him to take her on his ship.
“My name is—” she quickly searched for a name, not wanting to give him her identity, “—Mrs. Carlson. I would like to pay for passage on your ship. I understand you are leaving for America this morning.” Then, thinking of a city she had heard of in America, she added, “I need to go to Boston, where some of my family lives. Would you be able to help me?”
Captain Hawks gave her an appraising stare, which unnerved her. This man was intimidating, to say the least. “I’m not going to Boston. And, I don’t normally take on passengers. I’m headed to Baltimore, and it’s a far piece from Boston, darlin’.”
“Please take me. I have to leave for America as soon as possible.” Anissa had to convince him to allow her passage. “And as far as your destination is concerned, I’m sure once I am in America, I shall be able to travel to Boston from there.”
“Darlin’, do you even know where Baltimore is and how far it is from Boston?”
Anissa wished he would quit calling her darling. It was quite presumptuous of him, and she did not appreciate it at all. Of course, she did not want to anger him, so she kept her feelings to herself. “Well, no, not really. How far is it?”
“It’s over four hundred miles,” Captain Hawks explained, as if he were speaking to a child, which further irritated her, tugging at her frazzled nerves. “You would be better served if you found a passenger ship going there, instead of Baltimore. I have an associate who should be arriving in a few days, and his ship is going to Boston. He also takes passengers. I’m sure he would be happy to take you on board.”
Oh, dear, why did I say Boston? Please, Lord, let me convince him to take me.
Every hour brought her closer to the chance of discovery. She could not afford to wait for another ship. She needed to get as far away from Lord Howard as possible, immediately.
“Captain, I do not have a few days to wait. My uncle is dreadfully ill. He may only have a few months to live. I need to leave as soon as possible. Please allow me to travel on your ship.” She looked up at him, willing a few tears into her eyes, praying to gain his sympathy.
Captain Hawks sighed and rolled his obsidian eyes toward the ceiling. “I know I’m going to regret this. All right, darlin’, if it’s that important, I’ll take you. I hope you realize how uncomfortable this voyage will be for you and the child. The cabin you will be in is minuscule and barely has room to turn around in. Are you sure you don’t want to reconsider?”
“We shall be fine, regardless of the conditions.”
He shook his head, sending her heart to the floor.
Oh Lord, please don’t let him change his mind.

What shall I do, if he has?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Spotlight on
Sharp Shootin’ Cowboy by Victoria Vane
(Hot Cowboy Nights Book 3)

Welcome to my blog today. Victoria Vane is visiting and sharing some of her thoughts on her upcoming release with us. Make sure you go to the end of this post and enter the Rafflecopter drawing for a chance to win a Hot Cowboy Nights Book bundle! 

SHARP SHOOTIN’ COWBOY is not a typical romance. Reid Everett and Haley Cooper are two very different personalities. They are like opposite poles of a magnet and just as powerfully attracted to one another even though they are constantly at odds. This was a risky book for me because I knew many readers would tend to side with one character over the other based on who is more closely aligned with the reader’s own socio-political views, but I had to write it anyway.

To quote my hero Reid Everett, “Being on different sides doesn’t necessarily make us enemies. Good people are allowed to disagree. Some of the best solutions to the hardest problems result from differing minds coming together, meeting in the middle.”

That’s what SHARP SHOOTIN’ COWBOY is really all about- meeting half way and finding compromise, even when the odds are against it. I hope readers will enjoy getting to know and like both Reid and Haley.    

Warmest regards,
Victoria Vane

Who is your best friend?
Haley – “Yolanda Rojas. We’ve been BFF’s since middle school.”
Reid – “Rafael Garcia. He’s my spotter and always has my back.”

What makes you laugh?
Haley – “Animal antics always make me laugh. I love watching wolf pups romp.”
Reid – “I love the Three Stooges.”

What do you love most about where you grew up?
Haley – “I loved the beach in California. I miss a brisk run along the icy Pacific surf.”
Reid – “I love the mountains. After four tours in the desert, I never want to see sand again.”

Sharp Shootin’ Cowboy
By Victoria Vane
Hot Cowboy Nights, Book 3
June 2, 2015
Contemporary Western Romance
ISBN: 9781492601180
$7.99 paperback

Buy SHARP SHOOTIN’ COWBOY here: Amazon | B&N | BAM | iBooks | !ndigo | IndieBound

Weary warrior… After eight years as a Marine sniper, war-scarred Reid Everett is back in his native Wyoming. He knows and loves this rugged land, so working for wildlife services to reduce the booming wolf population suits him to a T.

Caring crusader… Wildlife biologist Haley Cooper is desperate to make a difference. Leaving the world of academia behind, she accepts a position as a wolf advocate to protect the animals she loves.

Raw attraction… Their jobs set them on a collision course, but chemistry sparks like wildfire between Reid and Haley. They’ll have to brave some rough territory if they hope to reconcile their polarizing views with a passion that won’t be denied.

About the Author

Victoria Vane is a multiple award-winning romance novelist and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog.

Connect with Victoria Vane: Website | Facebook | @AuthorVictoriaV | Pinterest | Goodreads

Praise for Rough Rider by Victoria Vane:
“Victoria Vane continually surprises the reader in her latest western romance Rough Rider as she plunges audiences into the world of bull riders and cattle ranchers.”
The Examiner
“Ms. Vane entertained me... had me at the edge of my seat with twists and turns, and even had me scream at Dirk's stupidity, so she completely EARNS my top score of 5 fingers up & 10 toes.”
Avon Romance
“I honestly loved this book! This is an unconventional love story about second chances. The characters were great on their own, but it was the unique way that the plot unfolded that sold the book for me... The romance was passionate, and the road to a happy ending was bumpy with some detours along the way.” – The Romance Reviews
“Another winner. It was a really good tale in the rough and tumbled world of cowboys and bull riding...  if you get a chance, check it out and also, check out [Victoria Vane’s] other books. You won’t be disappointed.” – BTS Magazine

Excerpt from SHARP SHOOTIN’ COWBOY by Victoria Vane

He could see her getting more worked up by the minute, and damned if he wasn’t also—just not in the same way. She’d been baiting him from the start, spewing arguments that usually just pissed him off, but in this case, it was turning him on.
His gaze locked on her mouth. Her tongue darted out as if she read his thoughts. She drew a breath as if to formulate another rebuttal, but he’d had enough. Before her lips could spout off anymore of the Pacifist Tree Hugger’s Manifesto, he pulled her into his arms and silenced her with his.
The kiss came without warning, and Haley was too stunned at first to react. He began gently enough, his lips sliding over hers, hands cupping her face, thumbs stroking her jaw, and then he grew more insistent, his tongue probing the seal of her lips. His callused hands were simultaneously firm and gentle, and his lips paradoxically soft and commanding.
Mere seconds had her head spinning and stomach fluttering. She was slipping fast and not about to let him pull her in any deeper. Part of her wanted to give into it, to see where it might lead, but the other half resented his audacity. Her pride won out. She resisted the urge to soften, to open to him, then stiffened, pressing her hands against his chest.
He released her instantly.
She stepped back, knees weak and pulse racing. “I didn’t come here looking to hook up.”
“Neither did I. But sometimes unexpected things happen.” His gaze locked with hers, a look of speculation gleaming in his eyes. “When they do, it’s best to just go with your gut instinct.”
“That so? Well all my instincts scream ‘no marines,’ so don’t let it happen again.”
Suddenly remembering the cue in her hand, Haley turned back to the table. It took all of her will to focus back on the game. She could hardly believe how he’d nearly unraveled her with a single kiss. Then again, no one had ever kissed her like that. She made her break, pocketing the one, and then moved methodically around the table, calling each shot as she sank every solid. Only the eight ball remained, but it was trapped behind two stripes.
Reid’s lips curved with smug certainty. “Looks like I’ll get my turn after all.”
“Don’t count your chickens, cowboy.” She laid down her cue and searched the wall behind her for a shorter one. “Jump cue,” she answered his silent question.
“You’re kidding right?”
“Nope.” Approaching the table, she angled for her shot. She could almost feel his eyes on her ass. She glanced over her shoulder. Sure enough. He was leaning against the wall with both arms crossed over his broad chest, his gaze zeroed in on her behind.
“Enjoying the view?”
“Sure am,” he confessed, unabashed.
He was sadly mistaken if he thought he’d unnerve her. Keeping him in her peripheral vision, she widened her stance and stretched out over the table. All sign of smugness evaporated from his face. He tugged on his jeans.
Haley grinned, reveling in her small victory, and then prepared for a bigger one. “Eight ball, side pocket,” she declared with confidence. On a three count she took the shot, jumping the stripes to pocket the eight. “Yeah baby!” She threw down the cue and fisted the air, gloating in her triumph.
Reid gaped at the table. “I’ll be goddamned. How did you learn to do that?”
“My grandpa was a regional pool champion.”
“That bit of information was mighty sneaky to withhold.”
She shrugged. “You didn’t ask. Loser buys. I’ll take a mojito.”

Genre: Contemporary Cowboy Romance/Military Romance

Length: 320 pages

Heat Level: 1.5 Scorching Hot Flames

Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns 

Vikki’s Musings

When I received an offer from Sourcebooks to read and review Sharp Shootin’ Cowboy by Victoria Vane, I immediately accepted. I has read the first two books in the Hot cowboy Nights series and loved them, so I couldn’t wait to read this one. As always with Victoria Vane’s books, she has written a unique love story. I thoroughly enjoy her writing style and Sharp Shootin’ Cowboy is definitely a fantastic read.

In a matter of days, Corporal Reid Everett of the United States Marines is heading back to Iraq for yet another tour of duty. His friend, Garcia, convinces him to go to a cowboy bar where he meets Haley Cooper, a young veterinary student and advocate for endangered gray wolves. This is not a match made in heaven to say the least.

After the exchange of a few hot kisses, Haley and Reid go their separate ways, her back to school and him to the front. However, Reid is not ready to give up on Haley and starts texting her and sending her letters and emails. As happens with so many long distance romances, eventually, they lose contact.

Years later, Haley accepts a position with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife as a wolf advocate in Wyoming. Reid is back at his family’s ranching operations working as a guide for Everett’s Extreme Expeditions when his overzealous client shots an endangered wolf and Reid ends up doing a mercy kill to put the wolf out of its misery.

When Reid comes to turn in the collar of the wolf, he finds none other than Dr. Haley Cooper. The attraction between the pair is as strong as it was when they first met. Can a couple with such vastly opposing views ever find a way to meet in the middle?

While it takes quite some time before Reid and Haley spend enough time with each other to find out if can overcome their differences, the pacing of the book is good, and I enjoyed Reid’s determination to win Haley over a great deal. Reid is a great hero and I fell in love with him from the very beginning.

Since Haley is so young when she meets Reid at the beginning of the book, and it spans more than five years, she has a personal journey of discovery as well as a romantic one. While I liked Haley’s character, I did not warm up to her as quickly. However, by the end of the story, I was rooting for them to find a way to bridge the gap between them, and I loved their “happily ever after”. Everything is wrapped up with a pretty bow in the epilogue.

Sharp Shootin’ Cowboy is not your typical romance, but highly enjoyable regardless. If you enjoy reading about couples with lots of obstacles to overcome, then this will be a great read for you, especially if you like a hot, hot, cowboy! I am most impressed by the amount of research Ms. Vane did for this book. Happy reading!  

Rafflecopter giveaway (open 4/22 – 7/1)
Hot Cowboy Nights Book Bundle! (3 books)

Direct URL:

Friday, May 22, 2015

Dearest Rogue by Elizabeth Hoyt
(Maiden Lane Series Book 8)

Published & Release Date: Hachette Book Group, May 26, 2015

Time and setting: 1741 London, England  

Genre: Historical Georgian Romance

Length: 347 pages

Heat Level: 1 Scorching Hot Flames

Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns


Lady Phoebe Batten is pretty, vivacious, and yearning for a social life befitting the sister of a powerful duke. But because she is almost completely blind, her overprotective brother insists that she have an armed bodyguard by her side at all times-the very irritating Captain Trevillion.


Captain James Trevillion is proud, brooding, and cursed with a leg injury from his service in the King's dragoons. Yet he can still shoot and ride like the devil, so watching over the distracting Lady Phoebe should be no problem at all-until she's targeted by kidnappers.


Caught in a deadly web of deceit, James must risk life and limb to save his charge from the lowest of cads-one who would force Lady Phoebe into a loveless marriage. But while they're confined to close quarters for her safekeeping, Phoebe begins to see the tender man beneath the soldier's hard exterior . . . and the possibility of a life-and love-she never imagined possible.

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Vikki’s Musings

While browsing books offered for review on Net-Galley, I found Dearest Rogue and since I had read books by Elizabeth Hoyt in the past, I requested it. This book is another fantastic addition to the wonderful Maiden Lane series. This is definitely a character-driven read, and I enjoyed it immensely.

Captain James Trevillion sustained an injury which has left him with a bad limp, causing him to resign from the 4th dragoons. He’s been hired by the Duke of Wakefield to guard his sister, Lady Phoebe because she has slowly been losing her sight for years and is now almost completely blind. Phoebe is bright, vivacious and witty with everyone, except the captain, but when he saves her from kidnapping, she changes her demeanor toward him, and now looks upon him as her friend and no longer the overbearing man who keeps her from freedom.

Trevillion is fiercely attracted to the enchanting Phoebe, but knows he is too far beneath her to ever have her return his regard. After all, he’s the son of a Yeoman, and she’s the daughter and sister of a duke. Yet Phoebe is far from the typical duke’s daughter. When danger strikes again, they are forced to flee London.

Can Trevillion overcome the barrier society dictates and win the heart of the sweet and innocent, yet alluring Lady Phoebe, while keeping her from harm, or will those barriers separate them for good?

What makes Dearest Rogue such a delightful read are the characters. Phoebe is easy to love. While she regrets the loss of her sight, she does not let it throw into despair. She is determined to live a full life and gain some independence, whether her brother agrees or not. I loved her feisty attitude and her kindness to her loved ones, even her autocratic, controlling brother.

James Trevillion is a fantastic hero with all the qualities that I love. He’s honorable and kind and determined to keep Phoebe safe, even when she puts herself in danger in her bid for freedom. He earns Phoebe’s trust and admiration when they are forced to go into hiding by showing her true kindness and offering her friendship. He’s a bit of a tortured soul as well, which is my favorite kind of hero. Ms. Hoyt does a fantastic job of protecting his secret too without irritating me, which is a big plus.

Dearest Rogue has a bit of everything to make it an engaging read, a great romance, filled with tender moments, delightful characters to fall in love with and a mystery to unravel. It kept me reading long into the night. I highly recommend this wonderful love story between two people who should not have fit. I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as I have. Happy reading! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Laiden’s Daughter by Suzan Tisdale

Published & Release Date: Self-published, 2013

Time and setting: 1344 Scotland  

Genre: Historical Medieval Romance

Length: 255 pages

Heat Level: 1 Scorching Hot Flame

Rating: 4 Gold Crowns

Scotland, 1344 
She believes men are not honorable nor are they kind-until she meets one that changes her heart forever. 
Betrayed by lies told before her birth, Aishlinn is raised by a harsh and cruel stepfather. Her life is forever changed one horrifying night when she is forced to flee England for the safety of the Scottish Highlands. Rescued by a fierce band of highland warriors, Aishlinn soon learns that honorable men do exist. She finds a strength she never knew she possessed and it will be tested to the limits when she is forced to make a heart-wrenching decision…allow the English to kill those she loves, or surrender for the crime she committed. 

She is everything he never knew he wanted in a woman…. 

As a fierce highland warrior, Duncan McEwan has survived numerous battles, bed countless women, and survived a horrific storm at sea. He has scaled mountains and even survived hand-to-claw battle with a cat-o’mountain. But none of that could have prepared him for how his life forever changed one fateful spring day when he rescued a lass from a freezing stream. He will do anything to keep her as his own and will risk everything to keep her out of the hands of the English.

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Vikki’s Musings

This is the first book I have read by Suzan Tisdale, but it will not be the last. I downloaded Laiden’s Daughter on a recommendation from Goodreads and since I could purchase the audio book for a very modest price, I took advantage of that offer as well. I am so glad I took a chance on this book. The prologue is interesting, but the first scene in the book grabbed me and I could not stop reading/listening.

Aishlinn finds herself a victim of an evil earl. After manages to escape him with the help of one of the man’s guards, she begins her journey to Scotland. After traveling several days with a bruised face and broken ribs, she can no longer continue. She come upon a band of fierce looking men and gathers enough strength to urge her horse into a gallop, but her mount stumbles, sending her flying from the animal’s back and darkness descends.

Duncan McEwan and his men are trying to locate a band of reivers who have stolen some of their sheep. When he sees the young lass thrown from the back of her horse into a stream, he hurries to her and picks up her limp body and carries her to the clearing nearby. The young woman is in a bad way. Her eyes are swollen shut from a battering that could have only come from a man’s fists. How could any man treat someone so small and defenseless in such a cruel manner?

This begins the love story between the highlander and the lass. I found Laiden’s Daughter an emotionally-charged read and loved Duncan immediately. After all who doesn’t love a highlander with a gentle heart? Duncan is a hero that will grab you and not let go. While of course, he is handsome and brawny, his tender care of Aishlinn is what makes him so special. He is a fantastic character with more depth than I would have expected to find in a debut novel.

Even though the plot is a bit predictable, it has plenty of twists along the way, which made it a gripping story. This is a fast-paced read that kept me enthralled to the end. There is plenty of action and that also kept the story moving along well. I also enjoyed the romance between Duncan and Aishlinn tremendously and was rooting for them to find their ‘happily ever after.’

I have never listened to this narrator before, but she is fabulous. Erin Jones brings all the characters to life. She adapts her tone and pitch to the different characters giving them each a distinct voice. The accent of the highlanders is incredible and, I believe her narration increased my reading/listening pleasure a great deal. I will definitely be looking for other books narrated by Ms. Jones.

Now for the reason I could not give Laiden’s Daughter 5 Gold crown. Ms. Tisdale is a wonderful storyteller. Her writing is descriptive and vividly brings the scenes to life. However, she does many of the things that can confuse a reader, such as head hopping. At times, Aishlinn’s character is inconsistent as well, but I liked her so well that I overlooked that. Unfortunately, the book needs a good editor. There are quite a few grammatical mistakes, missing words, commas in the wrong place, etc. 

Even with these issues, I thoroughly enjoyed this compelling love story and loved the ending. I plan to read the rest of the books in this series. As long as you can deal with a few problems with the writing, I believe you will enjoy this book as much I did. Happy reading!