I’ll Be Home For Christmas by Abbey Clancy

 

‘That’s why I’m standing here. That’s why I flew five thousand miles to come home, just for a couple of nights – to try and fix things. But it looks like you’re doing just fine without me, doesn’t it?’

 

Blurb:

Even stars have Christmas dreams…
Popstar Jessika Malone can’t believe her luck! Not only has she signed a major record deal and is topping the charts with her latest single, she’s just been offered the chance of a lifetime: a tour with gorgeous megastar Cooper Black…
It’s everything she’s ever dreamed of – except that it means travelling thousands of miles from her boyfriend, Daniel, just when he’s finally got down on one knee and popped the question!
Far from home and followed by the paparazzi, her relationship is tested more than Jessika ever imagined – will she make it home for Christmas before it’s too late?

 

Review:

Hi everyone, I have a contemporary review for you today. I was asked to take part in the blog tour for I’ll Be Home For Christmas, and I am so glad I said ‘yes’! So, welcome to my stop on the blog tour – I hope you enjoy it.

Jessy is a down to earth girl from Liverpool; but as Jessika Malone, she’s a famous singer who’s offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to tour America with sexy Cooper Black. The problem is, Jessy struggles with all the attention, and the lack of privacy that come with being a celebrity. Plus, she’s going to have to leave her soulmate, record producer Daniel who’s also going to be faced with temptations of his own. Can Jessy cope with more fame, and will their relationship survive a month apart from each other?

I really loved this! The interplay of all the different relationships is fabulous. We all behave differently, and wear different masks depending on who we’re with, and Ms Clancy has beautifully understood this. She’s drawn each character, and each relationship with warmth, humour and believability. My sympathies though, lay with Jessy. She’s the main viewpoint character, and this is so well done, so tightly focussed, and her experiences, emotions, and thoughts are so real, she just leaps off the page. I felt as if I was in the position of a best friend, and like any good best friend I found myself laughing, and crying with her, sometimes getting frustrated and mad with her, but always rooting for her and wanting her to find happiness.

Buy this if you want a wonderfully entertaining, fun, and heart-warming read, that’s full of fabulous characters (Neale anyone?), glamour, and romantic conflict. Oh, and stock up on tissues. Preferably Christmas ones.

PS, I’ll be Home For Christmas was chosen to be part of the Tickled Pink Campaign for October 2019, and 45p from each book sold was donated to the campaign.

 

 

Buy:

Mills & Boon

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

Kobo

 

 

Abbey on Instagram               Abbey on Twitter              Abbey on Facebook

The Lord’s Inconvenient Vow by Lara Temple

 

‘ “Bunny…” she murmured again, pressing kisses to his throat, her laughing breath spreading over his skin like sun-warmed silk. “Warm. Cuddly. Bunny.”
‘How the devil did she make something so humiliating sound so erotic?’

 

Blurb:

‘I have a favour to ask…
I want you to marry me.’
Part of The Sinful Sinclairs. Samantha Sinclair has always been Lord Edgerton’s complete opposite. But when Edge meets Sam again in Egypt it’s clear the years have changed her as much as him. So when she blurts out an impulsive convenient proposal his protective urge compels him to accept. Is it possible for two such different people to be together and find the happiness they both deserve?

 

Review:

Hi everyone. I know I’ve been a bit quiet recently, so I am delighted to be back and taking part in another blog tour. Welcome to my stop for The Lord’s Inconvenient Vow.

This is the third, and sadly, final book in the wonderful Sinful Sinclairs series.
Samantha Sinclair and Edward Edgerton, have known each other from childhood, and there are some wonderful early scenes that perfectly capture the bickering, exploring, and laughter between friends of different temperaments.

Therefore, present day Sam is a complete surprise to Edge, (and us), when they meet again eight years later in Egypt. She’s nothing like the girl he remembered: the Sam he knew was fearless, aggravating, and completely unconcerned about propriety, now however, she seems beaten down, withdrawn.
Thankfully, she’s not allowed to stay that way in the story for long, and the old Sam soon reappears.

Edge’s childhood was one of misery, and confusion. He thought his mother didn’t want him, so doesn’t know what love feels like. When he experienced a kiss from the teenage Sam years earlier, he ran from it and her. However, he can’t deny he wants her, and so accepts her proposal of marriage.

Sam believes their childhood trust and friendship is a good foundation for their marriage. However, childhood trust cannot survive secrets, and lies of adulthood, and they realise a new and deeper, more adult trust based on honesty and vulnerability, has to be forged if they are to have a future together.

Oh my word, I loved this. It’s swashbuckling in parts, serious in others; the dialogue sparkles with humour, and emotion; the descriptions of the scenery and settings are so breathtakingly realistic, I was disappointed when we had to leave Egypt to come back to England. And there’s so much sexual chemistry, I’m surprised my book didn’t burst into flames!
I’ve always thought Ms Temple’s heroines comparable to those of Georgette Heyer, and Sam is no exception. Sam’s snappy comebacks, witty exchanges, and opinionated conversations make her a heroine after Ms Heyer’s own heart.

Incidentally, It was lovely to read the different Desert Boy epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter. Both for enjoying in their own right, and also because they subtly suggest a particular theme to follow which will unfold in Sam’s & Edge’s relationship.
I would love Ms Temple to actually write these books hint hint.

 

Buy:

Amazon UK

Mills & Boon

Harlequin.com

Amazon.com

Kobo

 

Author Bio:

Lara Temple writes strong, sexy regency romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon about complex individuals who give no quarter but do so with plenty of passion.
When she was fifteen Lara found a very grubby copy of Georgette Heyer’s Faro’s Daughter in an equally grubby book store. Several blissful hours later she emerged, blinking, into the light of day completely in love with Regency Romance but it took three decades of various fascinating but completely unrelated careers in finance and high tech before she returned to her first love.
Lara lives with her husband and two children who are very good about her taking over the kitchen table for her writing (so she can look out over the garden and dream). She loves to travel (especially to places steeped in history) and read as many books as possible. She recently went looking for that crowded little bookstore but couldn’t quite remember around what corner it was…hopefully it is still there and another girl is in the corner by the window, reading and dreaming…

Lara on Twitter                     Lara’s Facebook Page                     Lara’s Website

The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

‘….Where was I?’

‘At Almack’s for your grand social debut, eating dry biscuits

and hiding a hedgehog in your pocket.’

 

Blurb:

They call him the Duke of Ruin.
To an undaunted wallflower, he’s just the beast next door.
Wealthy and ruthless, Gabriel Duke clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society–and now he wants to get even.
Loyal and passionate, Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart.
When her imposing–and attractive–new neighbor demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes.
Done, Gabriel says. How hard can it be to find homes for a few kittens?
And a two-legged dog.
And a foul-mouthed parrot.
And a goat, an otter, a hedgehog . . .
Easier said than done, for a cold-blooded bastard who wouldn’t know a loving home from a workhouse. Soon he’s covered in cat hair, knee-deep in adorable, and bewitched by a shyly pretty spinster who defies his every attempt to resist. Now she’s set her mind and heart on saving him.
Not if he ruins her first.

 

Review:

Hi everyone. I am beyond excited and delighted to welcome you to my stop on the Wallflower Wager blog tour!

The Wallflower Wager is part of the Girl Meets Duke series, and is Penny’s story. Gabriel Duke and Lady Penelope Campion meet when she breaks into an apparently empty house to catch a runaway (flyaway?) parrot. And it just gets better, sexier, and funnier from here.

Penny is an amazing heroine. She’s spent the time since her disastrous debut in rescuing all kinds of animals. However, she’s now forced into finding homes for them when her aunt decides to give her one last chance to re-enter society . If she doesn’t, then she will have to return to the family home to become a spinster aunt. She’s apparently scatty, naïve, ditzy – but hidden underneath is a truly strong character with a caring heart.
Gabriel is…he’s…what can I say about a hero this wonderful? He’s from the slums, self made, and as sexy as hell! Called the Duke of Ruin because he financially ruins members of the aristocracy, he decides to help Penny with her aunt’s wager, because he knows that having a real ‘Lady’ living next door, will add value to his house. He’s apparently got a heart of stone, but it soon becomes clear he’s got integrity, as well as morals.

They both have secrets, both are scarred by their past, and lonely. Yet, they are equals and so perfect for each other.

This review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Delilah the parrot. I have a sneaky affection for her – she’s such a brilliant creation. The interaction between them had me in stitches.
It is a glorious caper of a book! Tessa Dare has the rare ability to write real romantic comedy. It’s effortless, unforced, and done in such a way that you really will cry with laughter. The interaction between hero and heroine veers between witty dialogue and sexy shenanigans, but always with that underlying spark of real, sensual, attraction. It’s breath-taking!

The Wallflower Wager is the first Tessa Dare I’ve ever read. I loved it! So much so, I went and bought the first two in this series.

*Don’t buy this if you are a traditionalist, and don’t like ‘modernised’ language and characters.

*DO buy this if you love humour, fun, sexy, and parrots brought up in brothels!

 

Buy:

Amazon UK

Mills & Boon

Harlequin.com

Amazon.com

Kobo

 

Author Bio:

Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty historical romances. Her books have received numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award (twice) and multiple RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Awards. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance,” and her books have been contracted for translation in a dozen languages.

A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a trio of cosmic kitties.

Tessa’s Website       Tessa on Twitter     Tessa on Facebook     Tessa on Instagram

Secrets of a Highland Warrior by Nicole Locke

‘Are we done now?’ she asked. ‘I have more to read and you are in the way.’

 

Blurb:

The key to his past…
…lies with the enemy sharing his bed!
Part of The Lochmore Legacy: a Scottish castle through the ages! Rory Lochmore had expected to wage battle, to claim land and finally secure his standing within his clan… Instead he won a wife. A McCrieff wife. Their convenient marriage could unite the two long-feuding clans forever. But can a political alliance give way to a passion strong enough to stand the secrets of the past?

 

Review:

Well. Here we are. The final part of the Lochmore Legacy. I really can’t believe it’s finished. This series has been wonderful from start to finish. I will be doing a separate post to somehow bring together all my thoughts on this series, and this will include the epilogue at the end of Secrets of a Highland Warrior.

So. Secrets of a Highland Warrior. The last book in the Lochmore Legacy series, but in a way, it’s the start of the mystery. It is a marriage of convenience/enemies to lovers story, but it’s also not that straightforward. The McCrieffs and Lochmores have been enemies for generations, and this enmity has recently been exacerbated by the grant of ‘McCrieff land’ to the Lochmores by Edward I of England. The McCrieffs have ignored all Lochmore communication about this, and as a last resort, Clan heir Rory Lochmore goes to the McCrieff stronghold. Once there, it becomes clear that this ‘visit’ has been engineered by Frederick McCrieff, second in command to the Clan Chief, so that he can arrange a marriage between his daughter, Ailsa, and Rory.

I loved this book! It’s got everything: danger, secrets, intrigue, mystery, romance, complications, warring Scottish clans, an absolute dream of a hero …..

Ailsa McCrieff is a wonderful heroine. She’s the clan healer, caring, sensible, and very intelligent. However, she’s certainly no pushover – she’s also very feisty and wields a mean set of shears! She’s a perfect match for Rory.

Rory Lochmore is a pure dream of a hero. He’s strong, muscular, gentle, and thinks on his feet. Yet, underneath all this, he’s also very insecure. However, these insecurities don’t detract from his attraction, rather they add to it.

I first came across Nicole Locke through her ‘Lovers & Legends’ series, and in Rory and Ailsa’s story, she’s brought all the things I love about her books. There’s lots of snark, sparring, banter, and warring between the couple. Her wonderful descriptions, accurate sense of the age, clan life and warfare, her ability to weave in a sense of intrigue, and danger, all combine to build up tension, heighten our emotions, and serve up a truly satisfying read.

 

(Reviews for the other books in the Lochmore Legacy series can be found here, here, and here)

 

Buy:

 Amazon UK

Mills & Boon

Harlequin.com

Amazon.com

Kobo

 

Author Bio:

Nicole Locke is the author of Harlequin Mills and Boon Lovers and Legends and The Lochmore Legacy series. 

Nicole’s Website       Nicole’s Facebook Page       Nicole on Twitter     Nicole on Instagram

 

 

Mrs Sommersby’s Second Chance by Laurie Benson

‘I don’t want to be beholden to any man again. It’s why I will never marry again and place my future in the hands of a husband.’ 

‘She was everything he could ever want in a woman and that thought frightened him down to his soul.’

 

Blurb:

She’s played Cupid for others
Now she’s met her own unlikely match!
Part of The Sommersby Brides. Widowed society matchmaker Mrs Clara Sommersby thinks handsome self-made businessman Mr William Lane is just the man for her neighbour’s overlooked daughter. He’s successful and confident, if somewhat emotionally distant, until suddenly―shockingly―his attention turns to Clara herself! She thought her days of romance were over, but is this dashing younger man intent on giving her a second chance?

 

Review:

Hi everyone. I’m thrilled to be part of another blog tour. This time, I’m delighted to welcome you to my stop on the Mrs Sommersby’s Second Chance blog tour!

Mrs Sommersby’s Second Chance is the fourth book in the Sommersby Brides series, but although some linked characters appear in this book, don’t worry, you won’t be left scratching your head saying ‘huh?’. It is very much a stand-alone if you haven’t read any of the others, (and why haven’t you?)

So, on to the book proper. Set in Bath, it’s the story of Clara Sommersby, widowed aunt of the Sommersby girls of books 1-3. Now she’s on her own, it might be assumed that Clara will be bored and lonely, but she has a secret which is unknown to even her closest friends. A secret which could ruin her and her nieces if it got out. She owns a hotel which in those days was scandalous. She meets William Lane over a glass of spa water, and there’s an instant, and mutual, attraction between them. However, William is in Bath on business, and is determined to buy Clara’s hotel from the assumed owner.

Clara is a total joy as a heroine. She’s fun, shrewd, but real. She still carries some baggage from the past, which is why she’s determined never to hand over herself, or her business to another man, ever again. She’s also realistic about her ‘charms’, and her age.

William is a self made man. He’s serious, hard working, and intelligent. However, his heritage/upbringing, (he’s a foundling), has caused him to protect himself by developing a very hard shell indeed. He has a huge chip on his shoulder which Clara delights in trying to knock off every chance she gets. It’s wonderful to watch.

Laurie Benson has the gift of writing unconventional characters in a way takes our preconceived ideas, turns them upside down and inside out, and hands them back to us completely transformed. And we are the richer, more fulfilled, for it. She makes us care! She accurately reflects the fears, insecurities, and very real choices that are peculiarly associated with second marriages – particularly those embarked on in later life. Her love for the period shines through every word, as she brings the regency to life with a humour, and vividness that’s breath-taking.

Finally, this is a very different kind of Romance in that the heroine is older than the hero, (Clara is 45, and William is 37). Don’t let it put you off. It is a wonderfully gentle, and tender read, yet still has all the emotion you’d expect.

 

Buy:

Amazon UK

Mills & Boon

Harlequin.com

Amazon.com

Kobo

 

Author Bio:

Laurie Benson is an award-winning author who writes flirty and frisky Regency romances. She began her writing career as an advertising copywriter, where she learned more than you could ever want to know about hot dogs and credit score reports. Now, she is happy to put that behind her and spend her time writing stories that take her and her readers on a romantic adventure. When she isn’t at her laptop avoiding laundry, Laurie can be found browsing antique shops, going on ridiculously long hikes, or sitting in her car on the school pickup line. She lives with her husband and two sons in a house filled with testosterone—even her bunny is a boy.

Laurie’s Website          Laurie on Facebook       Laurie on Twitter      Laurie on Pinterest

Reclaimed by Her Rebel Knight by Jenni Fletcher

‘No! You said honesty was important to you, too. You said that you didn’t have any more secrets!’

 

Blurb: 

Married to a perfect stranger
Reunited with her warrior husband
When Constance inherited her father’s lands she had no choice but to marry cold-hearted Matthew Wintour. He left her for the battlefield without even a wedding night. Five years later Matthew has returned―a valiant knight! But Constance is no longer a frightened girl. And this time she must reach out to discover the honourable man behind the armour and what pleasures await them in the marriage bed…

 

Review:

Hi everyone. I’m delighted to welcome you to my stop on the Reclaimed by Her Rebel Knight blog tour! I’m really thrilled to be part of this.

I really loved this book! Both for the storyline, and the time in which it is set. Reclaimed by Her Rebel Knight is set in the reign of King John, amid the backdrop of the barons revolt and the Magna Carta.

The hero, and heroine were married five years earlier, only they have never exchanged so much as a single word. Ever! Matthew left England as soon as the wedding was over, while Constance was sent to live with her uncle. The story begins as Constance’s life is once again disrupted, because Matthew has returned for her. However, the tables are soon turned, when Constance begins to disrupt the barriers he has carefully constructed around his heart.

Constance is a wonderful heroine. She’s hurt and bewildered by what she sees as Matthew’s rejection and abandonment of her five years ago. Orphaned, torn from the home she loves, married to a man who she thinks only wanted her inheritance, it’s not surprising she’s angry. Nevertheless, her integrity and sense of honour, together with her underlying strength, resilience, and courage enable her to treat Matthew better than she feels he deserves.

I fell in love with Matthew right from the start. His surprising offer at the beginning proves he is trustworthy, and causes him to stand far above the other men. He is honourable, loyal, and determined to do the right thing, regardless of what it could cost him. He does make many mistakes with Constance because of the secrets he’s keeping, but in spite of all this, his own sense of honour, integrity, courage, and strength are always apparent.

This is such a powerful story. We get a wonderful sense of that tentative, sometimes fearful, and intricate dance of two people who are learning to know, and trust one another, as they journey together towards healing, and wholeness.

Jenni Fletcher is one of the best Medieval romance authors I have ever read. She knows her history, her research is extensive and thorough, yet it isn’t intrusive. She creates a vivid and authentic sense of the time, by seamlessly weaving her knowledge into the book in a way that’s reminiscent of Nora Roberts. Ms Fletcher’s characters fairly leap off the page, and draw you into their lives – you really do care what happens to them. Her ability to write very evocative, vivid, and moving stories, her understanding of emotion, and what it means to be human, her ability to write flawed characters with skillful compassion, all combine to make Ms Fletcher one of Mills & Boon’s best. A definite auto-buy author.

 

Buy:

Amazon UK

Mills & Boon

Harlequin.com

Amazon,com

Kobo

 

Author Bio:

Jenni Fletcher was born on the north coast of Scotland and now lives in Yorkshire where she writes historical romance novels set in several different eras. She studied English at Cambridge University before doing a PhD on Edwardian literature & psychology at Hull. She has been nominated for 3 RoNA awards and has a day-job teaching creative writing. In her spare time she loves baking, eating the results of baking and, obviously, reading.

Jenni’s Website            Jenni on Twitter          Jennie on Facebook

The Determined Lord Hadleigh by Virginia Heath

‘You are not my master, sir. I cannot begin to tell you how relieved I am that nobody is any longer nor will anyone ever be again. Nor do I need a benefactor.’

 

Blurb:
He’s got iron control…
But she might be his undoing!
Part of The King’s Elite. Haunted by Penny Penhurst’s courage on the witness stand, meticulous barrister Lord Hadleigh offers her a housekeeper position at his estate. Despite trying to stay detached, Hadleigh is charmed by her small child and surprised by how much he yearns for this proud woman! Can this he break through his own – and Penny’s – barriers to prove he’s a man she can trust…and love?

 

Review:

I’m delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for The Determined Lord Hadleigh! It’s my very first time on something like this, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

I loved Lord Hadleigh a lot. The final book in the King’s Elite series, we finally get to know Penny Penhurst’s, and Lord Hadleigh’s stories. Penny’s life apparently lies in ruins, and Tristan, Lord Hadleigh, has a compulsion to help her get back on  her feet. However, this ‘knight in shining armour’ soon finds out that this ‘princess’ has every intention of rescuing herself. It’s a beautiful story of hope, healing, courage, and triumph in the face of adversity.

Penny is such a strong heroine. No-one would blame her if she did lie down and wallow, but that’s not the true Penny. She’s courageous, proud in a positive way, (not an arrogant, superior kind of way), resourceful, and as determined as Lord Hadleigh. The way she confronts her situation, the way she accepts what has happened, and decides who she will be from now on, brought a lump to my throat.

Tristan, Lord Hadleigh, has his own secrets which help explain his driving need to seek justice above all. His resourcefulness and determination mirror Penny’s, and it’s fascinating to watch them dance round each other. Tristan’s overwhelming desire for truth and justice makes him seem to Penny to be cold and overbearing; yet these very qualities enable him to acknowledge his own faults, and respond with humility.

There is a large group of wonderful authors writing Mills & Boon Historical Romance at the minute, and Virginia Heath is one of the best. She writes the most delightful, witty, and humorous characters, who are perfect foils for each other. Her dialogue is sharp, snappy, and full of wit, her settings are wonderfully descriptive, and her books captivate you from start to finish. A real paragon of storytelling, you’ll definitely want to put Virginia Heath on your autobuy list.

 

Buy:  Amazon UK

Mills & Boon

Harlequin.com

Amazon.com

Kobo

 

Author Bio:

When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Fortunately, the lovely people at Harlequin Mills & Boon took pity on her and decided to publish her romances, but it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

 Virginia’s Website     Virginia’s Facebook Page       Virginia on Twitter

A Runaway Bride For The Highlander by Elisabeth Hobbes

‘She looked unearthly, pale face surrounded by darkness. The ghost he had thought she was.’

 

Blurb:

Lost in the Highlands
Found by the Scottish Earl!
Part of The Lochmore Legacy: a Scottish castle through the ages! Far from her home in France, Marguerite Vallon escapes her arranged marriage to a man she despises. Stowing away in a stranger’s cart, she finds herself headed deep into the Highlands with Ewan Lochmore, new Earl of Glenarris! Ewan vows to protect her. But maybe the freedom Marguerite has been searching for can be found with this rugged warrior…

 

Review:

Before I get to the review, is it okay if I comment on the book cover first? Oh my goodness, it is gorgeous! I love the pose, the style of the dress, and the colour. That I love the colour is actually surprising, because I’m a Taurus and we all know we’re supposed to hate red!

Now for the story, which I loved very much. It’s straightforward enough; Marguerite Vallon is being used as a pawn by her father, and has been sent to Scotland to marry Duncan McCrieff, who she’s never met. This isn’t an ‘Arranged Marriage’ story though, for me, this is a ‘Transformation’ story. Marguerite runs away from McCrieff by hiding herself in the cart of Ewan Lochmore, which causes problems as he is the hated rival of the McCrieffs. Naturally, she is discovered, and the story then becomes a beautiful blend of integrity, clan rivalry, suspicion, and longing.

I really love Marguerite. When we first meet her, she’s almost like a ghost, fading into the background, and in fact Ewan does at first mistake her for one. Her inner journey is reflected outwardly by a clever use of colour (clothing) as she transforms from being insubstantial to corporeal. Her name too reflects this, as it’s French for the Oxeye Daisy, and just like a daisy unfurls its face to the sun, Marguerite slowly unfurls to Ewan. It really is a joy to experience this transformation with her.

Ewan on the other hand, is a Scottish highlander, the complete opposite of French Marguerite. He is a physically strong man, though learned, but his position and title of the Earl of Glenarris has been thrust upon him unexpectedly, and he feels he is untried in the eyes of his people. Ewan’s journey to becoming the Earl in truth, is an other joy to experience. His decisions about Marguerite, his care for her and his people, his interaction with her, all reflect his inner growth in becoming. I love him!

It’s no secret I love Elisabeth Hobbes. She’s the author responsible for causing me to fall  back in love with Mills & Boon Historical, after about 10 years of being disillusioned with romance novels in general. I love the way she evokes mood, atmosphere and a genuine sense of the era. Her research, attention to detail, sense of humour, and ability to tell a story, all combine to make her an excellent author time and again. Her characters and their stories are always ‘real’, and true to the age, while still retaining the sense of romance and glamour that are the hallmark of Mills & Boon.

This is the third book in the Lochmore Series, (reviews of the first two can be found here and here). I really am loving the unfolding of this shared mystery. I didn’t think it would work, but a little piece of the puzzle slots into place as each subsequent book moves us backwards through time.

 

Buy: Amazon UK

Mills & Boon

Harlequin.com

Amazon.com

Kobo

 

Author Bio:

Elisabeth’s writing career began when she entered her first novel into Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest in 2013 and finished in third place. She was offered a two-book contract and hasn’t looked back.
Elisabeth also works as a Primary school teacher but she’d rather be writing full time because unlike five year olds, her characters generally do what she tells them. When she isn’t writing, she spends most of her spare time reading and is a pro at cooking one-handed while holding a book. She loves historical fiction and has a fondness for dark haired, bearded heroes.
Elisabeth enjoys skiing, singing, and exploring tourist attractions with her family. Her children are resigned to spending their weekends visiting the past. She loves hot and sour soup and ginger mojitos – but not at the same time!
She lives in Cheshire with her husband, two children and two cats with ridiculous names because the car broke down there in 1999 and she never left.

 Elisabeth on Twitter             Elisabeth’s Facebook Page           Elisabeth’s Blog

 

 

Disclaimer: I received this as a free digital copy from the author, in return for an honest review, and also in paperback as part of my paid subscription for the Mills & Boon Historical bookclub.

Unlaced by the Highland Duke by Lara Temple

‘She pressed her face into the soft folds of his coat to breathe the warmth of his scent, knowing the coat had a better chance of a future with him. Oh God, but her heart ached.’

 

Blurb:

A plain Regency governess
In bed with the duke!
Part of The Lochmore Legacy: a Scottish castle through the ages! Unceremoniously packed off to Scotland to care for the Duke of Lochmore’s young son, practical widow Joane Langdale fears she will be ignored as always. But the deep connection and heated passion that develops between her and Benneit is far more dangerous! When Benneit is expected to propose to another, how dare Jo dream of becoming his duchess?

 

Review:

I have to say that this is the first book I’m struggling to find words for. Unlaced by the Highland Duke is such a wonderful, emotionally intense story, that I don’t think I have the skills to do it justice. But I’ll try.

The story itself is simple – Joane Langdale is a widowed cousin of Bella, the Duke of Lochmore’s late wife. However, because Jo is from a poorer branch of the family, she is still being passed from pillar to post to make herself useful to her richer relations. These relations also interfere in Bella’s son Jamie’s life, and through the machinations of Lady Theale, Jo ends up going to Lochmore with Jamie, and his father Benneit, the Duke of Lochmore. As Jo grows closer to Jamie, she also grows closer to Benneit – but he is supposed to be marrying to end a feud . . . .

Jo is, well quite simply, she IS Jo, a heroine so real she comes alive on the page. She’s a wonderful mix of what makes us human. Our experiences, emotions, personalities, and depth of character all combine to make us truly unique, and Jo is no exception. All her experiences, and the grey drabness with which she, and others have clothed her, cannot truly hide her wit, humour, and joyful spirit.

Benneit too leaps off the page. He is a dreamy hero, and completely worthy of Jo. There is something really satisfying at watching him being brought to his knees. His aloofness, his ability to fall back on years of control, his very position, have all combined to create a façade, an armour which he hides behind, causing him to appear emotionless. Jo’s presence, and her ‘Great Grey-eyed Stare’ slip through his armour, and suddenly, it seems to him, it isn’t protecting him any more. We get a real sense of his anger and bewilderment, as he struggles to subdue his passions, keep his word, and continue to hide his ‘weakness’. And although he repeatedly tries to retreat behind the façade he has built up, each time gets harder than the last. His struggle is so real, we can almost hear the cracking and shattering of his armour.

 

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely! Lara has a real gift in creating characters so real, you’d swear you could hear them breathing. The romance is intensely emotional, sensual, and believable. The setting and scenery are breath-taking, and skillfully drawn, so real, it’s easy to forget you are reading. And if you like men in kilts, it’s got those as well! Incidentally one of the main reasons I recommend this, or any of Lara Temple’s books, is her heroines. In my humble opinion, they are comparable with any of Georgette Heyer’s. They  are witty, humorous, fun to be with, and the hero never knows quite what to do with her.

This is the second book in the Lochmore Series, (review of the first one can be found here ). I am really enjoying the glimpses of this shared mystery, as each subsequent book moves us backwards through time.

Buy:  Amazon UK

Mills & Boon

Harlequin.com

Amazon.com

Kobo

 

Author Bio:

Lara Temple writes strong, sexy regency romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon about complex individuals who give no quarter but do so with plenty of passion.

When she was fifteen Lara found a very grubby copy of Georgette Heyer’s Faro’s Daughter in an equally grubby book store. Several blissful hours later she emerged, blinking, into the light of day completely in love with Regency Romance but it took three decades of various fascinating but completely unrelated careers in finance and high tech before she returned to her first love.

Lara lives with her husband and two children who are very good about her taking over the kitchen table for her writing (so she can look out over the garden and dream). She loves to travel (especially to places steeped in history) and read as many books as possible. She recently went looking for that crowded little bookstore but couldn’t quite remember around what corner it was…hopefully it is still there and another girl is in the corner by the window, reading and dreaming…

 Lara on Twitter    Lara’s Facebook Page   Lara’s Website

 

 

Disclaimer: I received this as part of my paid subscription for the Mills & Boon Historical bookclub.

His Convenient Highland Wedding by Janice Preston

‘She had never felt so … unnecessary’

 

Blurb:

Bought by her husband…

Bound by secrets of their past!

The start of The Lochmore Legacy – A Scottish castle through the ages! Earl’s daughter Flora McCrieff brought shame on her family once, now she discovers she must wed impossibly rich but low born Lachlan McNeill. He’s undeniably handsome, but a man of few words. Despite the attraction that burns between them, can she reach beyond his impeccable clothing to find the emotions he’s locked away for so long…?

 

Review:

His Convenient Highland Wedding is a great title for this book. It’s about a marriage that’s convenient for the hero, convenient for the heroine’s family, but is it convenient for the heroine? It’s a story about secrets: hers, his, and the underlying mystery; and I wondered how on earth this was ever going to work out, and if they ever could or would be honest with each other, and find true happiness together.

I loved Flora, and really felt for her. She is not a typical Victorian woman, as is evident at the beginning of the story. Her will and strength are apparent as she defies what is expected of her. And yet, just a few years later, when she learns she is to be married, she appears quiet and downtrodden, as if that independence and strength has been beaten out of her. It’s as if she’s a completely different person, and her bewilderment, frustration, and resentment are palpable. However, although Flora now appears to be a typical woman of the time, her strength of mind, will, and courage soon bubble back to the surface….

Lachlan is a wonderful hero. Although a Victorian male, he also is not typical for the times. He is from a different background, and has many wrong assumptions about how the nobility behave. He just doesn’t know what’s expected of him and consequently makes a lot of mistakes. His past is always hanging over him, and he constantly feels the weight of guilt which he cannot share with anyone. Yet, Lachlan’s real character also cannot be suppressed….

Do I recommend this? Without hesitation! Janice creates wonderful characters, and equally wonderful atmospheric settings, and moods. And although she gives a realistic portrayal of how women were really treated, (they were thought of as brood mares, and pawns for example), she does it in such a way that doesn’t detract from the reader’s enjoyment. Janice’s skill causes us to become emotionally involved right from the start. We share Flora’s frustrations at not being listened to because she’s female, and her resentment that her ideas aren’t as valid or relevant as a man’s. And it’s also thought-provoking, as Janice wonderfully illustrates the truth that men and women really do need to talk to each other….

His Convenient Highland Wedding is the first book in a new four book series. It hints at a mystery that will be revealed and solved backwards in time, through each subsequent book. This is unusual, and I did wonder how this first book was going to introduce this mystery. I enjoyed finding out, as it teased and tantalised, and revealed enough without detracting from the main story, which was Flora and Lachlan’s romance. It also introduces us to Joane and Benneit, whose story will be told in book two of the Lochmore series: Unlaced by the Highland Duke by Lara Temple.

 

Buy   Mills & Boon

Amazon.co.uk

Harlequin.com

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Amazon.com

 

Author Bio

Janice Preston writes emotional, sensual and satisfying Regency romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon.
She grew up in Wembley with a love of reading, writing stories and animals and has worked as a dairy farmer, a police call-handler and a university administrator. She has two children, two step-children (all now adult) and a gorgeous, cheeky grandson. She now lives in the West Midlands with her husband and two cats and enjoys swimming, yoga and pottering about the garden when the sun is shining.
If you’d like to know more, please visit Janice’s website at http://www.janicepreston.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @janicegpreston or on Facebook at Janice.preston.author.

 

Disclaimer: I received this as part of my paid subscription for the Mills & Boon Historical bookclub.