Posts Categorized: Reviews

Getting Rough by C. L. Parker

January 26, 2016 Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Reviews 0 ★★★½

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Getting Rough by C. L. ParkerGetting Rough by C L Parker
Series: Monkey Business Trio #2
Published by Bantam on January 26, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Hotshot San Diego sports agent Shaw Matthews and his sexy professional adversary Cassidy Whalen have gone head-to-head in the boardroom—and the bedroom. Now Shaw has scored a big promotion—but only because Cassidy turned it down and ran off. There are many things he wants when it comes to Cassidy—just not her pity. So Shaw rushes to a small town in Maine to retrieve his dignity—and maybe the woman he’s hungry to claim once more.

Cassidy has pushed herself to the max to realize her career dreams—until a family crisis brings her home. But Shaw isn’t letting Cassidy go that easily. Neither is gorgeous heartthrob Casey Michaels, the childhood sweetheart she left behind—and who now wants to win her back. As the rivalry between the two alpha males intensifies, and Shaw’s seductive moves reach a whole new level of heat, Cassidy has to make a choice. And this time, it’s for the highest stakes of all.

GETTING ROUGH is the second in a series and it is highly recommended that first-time readers read PLAYING DIRTY (first in the series) before reading this novel.  This installment of the trilogy picks up right where the last book left off.  Shaw is about to enjoy his new promotion and Cassidy has run off to her hometown in Maine.  Despite their animosity-hiding-possible-love, Shaw makes the decision to follow Cassidy to Maine and when a hurricane comes hurtling through the sleeping lobster-catching village, Shaw and Cassidy are forced to confront whatever-it-is simmering underneath the surface of their fights.  Add to this volatile mix the presence of Cassidy’s childhood sweetheart also vying for Cassidy’s heart and readers are in for a steamy, passionate treat!

I enjoyed this new set of characters we meet in Maine as well as the new setting.  Cassidy and Shaw are very much city-folk, so to see them trying to figure out whatever-it-is between them in the sleepy Maine town was endearing.  I just hope they’ll be able to maintain it once they go back into the city.  Told from multiple points of view, readers get inside not only Cassidy and Shaw’s heads, but also that of the childhood sweetheart and a few others.  While this isn’t my favorite form of storytelling, it was helpful to get the plot moving along while providing some explanation as to why characters were acting in certain ways.

 

Divider

How to Rescue a Rake by Jayne Fresina

January 5, 2016 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★★½

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

How to Rescue a Rake by Jayne FresinaHow to Rescue a Rake by Jayne Fresina
Series: Book Club Belles Society #3
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on January 5, 2016
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars
HOW TO RESCUE A RAKE:

Reject his marriage proposal
Nathaniel Sherringham has returned to Hawcombe Prior a changed man. Gone is the reckless rake who went out on a limb to propose to Diana Makepiece three years ago. Now Nate's mysterious new wealth has the town's rumor mill spinning. To stir things up (and get Diana's attention), Nate boldly announces his plans to marry "any suitable girl" under the age of 25.

Run away
Diana, now 27 and still single, is acutely aware of Nate's return. When her mother suggests a trip to visit a cousin in Bath, Diana leaps at the chance to escape the heartbreak and regret she can't help but feel in Nate's presence...and avoid his irritating charade to find a bride.

But for Nate, Diana has always been the one. He might just have to follow her to Bath and once again lay his heart on the line to win her attention-and her heart.

HOW TO RESCUE A RAKE is a romantic story about broken hearts and second chances.  Closely mirroring many elements of Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, the hero and heroine of HOW TO RESCUE A RAKE, Nathaniel Sherringham and Diana Makepiece were once friends with strong, but hidden, feelings for one another.  Until Nathaniel made a inebriated marriage proposal to Diana which Diana’s mother convinces her to refuse.  Though intoxicated, Nathaniel’s proposal was sincere and he leaves the village quite brokenhearted.  Fast forward three years.  Diana has become a shadow of herself, always cow towing to the wishes of her domineering mother instead of expressing her own desires of opinions.  Nathaniel is back, rich, and looking for a bride.  In a fit of wounded pique, he declares his bride must be no older than 25, even though Diana is now 27.  The plot which then follows loosely mirrors that of PERSUASION, so I would suggest readers be at least a little familiar with that wonderful novel as it would enhance a reader’s enjoyment of HOW TO RESCUE A RAKE.

Diana and Nathaniel are like peanut butter and jelly.  Diana is quiet and introverted.  Nathaniel is outgoing and boisterous.  Together, they are a wonderful match – Nathaniel is able to bring Diana out of her shell and Diana’s calm nature helps bring peace to Nathaniel’s race-about lifestyle.  Ms. Fresina does a marvelous job showing exactly why these two lovers are perfect for each other, despite their polar opposite personalities.  I loved that this was a story about second chances.  It was so painful at first to see Diana so wounded by Nathaniel’s callous comments about what he wanted in a bride.  Yet, I could understand that Nathaniel was just trying to protect himself too; of course, we also got to see that Nathaniel didn’t really mean his hurtful words.  He wanted Diana three years ago and he wants her still.

I think readers can definitely relate to many of the characters in this novel and the experiences they go through.  I highly recommend reading this novel, especially for fans of Jan Austen!

Divider

A Whisper of Desire by Bronwen Evans

December 29, 2015 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★½

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A Whisper of Desire by Bronwen EvansA Whisper of Desire by Bronwen Evans
Series: The Disgraced Lords #4
Published by Random House on December 1, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 273
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Lady Marisa Hawkstone’s nightmare is just beginning when she wakes up naked, with no memory of the night before, lying next to Maitland Spencer, the Duke of Lyttleton—a man so aloof and rational, he’s nicknamed “the Cold Duke.” A scandal ensues, in which Marisa’s beloved beau deserts her. As a compromised woman, Marisa agrees to marry Maitland. But on her wedding night, Marisa discovers the one place the duke shows emotion: in the bedroom, where the man positively scorches the sheets.

Taught from a young age to take duty seriously, Maitland cannot understand his new wife’s demands on his love and affection. Marisa’s hot-blooded spirit, however, does have its attractions—especially at night. In retrospect, it seems quite silly that he didn’t marry sooner. But being one of the Libertine Scholars requires constant vigilance, even more so when the enemy with a grudge against his closest friends targets Marisa. Now Maitland must save the woman who sets his heart aflame—or die trying.

I would classify this story as historical erotica instead of historical romance.  The plot revolves around a sex-based inciting incident and most, if not all, of the major plot points are also sex-based.  This isn’t a criticism – I thoroughly enjoyed A WHISPER OF DESIRE.  I simply point this out at the beginning of my review for those readers who prefer their historical romances more tame and/or based on non-sex-based plot points.

Maitland Spencer, Duke of Lyttleton, takes his role as a Duke of the realm very seriously, to the point where he is nicknamed “The Cold Duke” for his taciturn and aloof demeanor.  In this respect, he reminds me a little of Mr. Darcy from PRIDE AND PREJUDICE in that he is seemingly proud, but hides his great depth of emotion behind a mask of indifference.  Maitland is more proactive than Mr. Darcy, of course, and when he sees an opportunity to get his friend’s sister, Marisa, away from a horrible beau, he seizes the opportunity.  Compromised, Marisa is quickly wed to Maitland and the two begin to explore the pleasures of the marriage bed.

Marisa is far more emotionally mature than Maitland and as a result she is able to draw upon a great deal of inner strength when Maitland tries to pull away from her.  She is not afraid to explore her more sensual side with Maitland and uses this curiosity to encourage Maitland to open up to her emotionally as well as physically.

I enjoyed this couple and the fast-paced nature of A WHISPER OF DESIRE.  While it can be read as a standalone, it is obviously part of an on-going series, with some necessary backstory that must be understood for other events to make sense.  Maitland and Marisa also leave a lot of trouble in their wake at the end of this book, which with obviously (hopefully??) be addressed in a future installment.

Divider

Wild Ride by Cathryn Fox

December 25, 2015 Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Reviews 0 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Wild Ride by Cathryn FoxWild Ride by Cathryn Fox
Series: Playing for Keeps #2
Published by Entangled Publishing on October 19, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 98
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars
Good girl, meet bad cowboy...

Marketing Tycoon Tyler Mackenzie, a.k.a. Wildman Mac, has a knack for knowing what people want and, more importantly, what they need…so when he decides to show sweet and sexy yoga instructor Jess Gray that she's the one for him, he puts a seductive campaign into motion.

When Mac defines the terms for the week and insists she do everything he says, Jess can't help but be intrigued. Since this good girl wants to break free and do something naughty, she agrees to his terms and soon finds herself embarking on a sexual journey that knows no limits. For Jess this is one week of living out her fantasies, but Mac is determined to make this wild ride last forever.

One week can change someone for a lifetime.  Tyler Mackenzie has always known that his childhood friend Jess was the perfect woman for him and has harbored deep feelings for her since their high school days together.  Tyler convinces Jess to come to his ranch and spends the week showing her exactly all the ways he is as perfect for her as she is for him.  And of course, he is the only one who is able to fulfill all her shy, dirty fantasies she’s kept hidden from the rest of the world.

Wow, wow, and wow!  What a fun and naughty read!  I loved this novella from start to finish and really wish it could have been longer.  In true novella fashion, Tyler and Jess fall into bed pretty quickly, but this was somewhat believable knowing these characters had a long past together.  The sex is steamy and even kinky!  This is the perfect book for those looking for a quick read that may spark some new ideas for your own bedroom.

Divider

Tempting the New Boss by Angela Claire

December 22, 2015 Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Reviews 0 ★★★

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Tempting the New Boss by Angela ClaireTempting the New Boss by Angela Claire
Series: Sleeping With the Enemy #3
Published by Entangled Publishing on October 19, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 200
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
three-stars
Sometimes you have to break the rules…

When Camilla Anderson loses her job just as a position at Talbot Inc. opens up, there's no way she's questioning the lucky break. Working for the quirky, reclusive CEO will pay off her student loans within a year, and they're flying to Europe in his private jet.

Mason Talbot isn't good at talking to women. Well, to anyone, really. But when his new lawyer boards his plane, biology kicks in. But he can't tell if her adverse reaction is to him or his painfully awkward attempts at flirting.

As the flight gets bumpier, Mr. High IQ gets calmer. And…he holds her hand? Maybe the guy is redeemable after all. As soon as they land, she'll have to teach her endearingly awkward new boss how to seduce a girl properly.

That is, if they don't die in a fiery plane crash first.

Mason Talbot is incredibly blunt, almost registering on the Asperger’s scale.  He’s a billionaire who unfortunately needs more than a little help navigating social situations.  Thankfully his new lawyer, Camilla Anderson, is a whiz at reading people and diffusing tense situations.

This was a slow-start kind of book.  I didn’t really connect to the characters, but was eventually entertained by their story.  Mason’s bluntness is almost comical at times and as a reader I almost felt sorry for him.  Camilla was a little wishy-washy.  She’s say one thing and do another, which I felt was a little off-putting and disingenuous to her lawyer-background character.

That said, the romance was sweet and the sex steamy, just the way I like my erotica!  I definitely gave bonus points for having such an unique hero like Mason.

Divider

The Harlot Countess by Joanna Shupe

December 18, 2015 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★★★

The Harlot Countess by Joanna ShupeThe Harlot Countess by Joanna Shupe
Series: Wicked Deceptions #2
Published by Zebra Books on April 28, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Format: Audiobook
Goodreads
five-stars
Maggie, Lady Hawkins, had a debut she'd rather forget--along with her first marriage. Today, the political cartoonist is a new woman. A thoroughly modern woman. So much so that her clamoring public believes she's a man...
 
FACT:  Drawing under a male pseudonym, Maggie is known as Lemarc. Her (his!) favorite object of ridicule: Simon Barrett, Earl of Winchester. He's a rising star in Parliament--and a former confidant and love interest of Maggie's who believed a rumor that vexes her to this day.

FICTION:  Maggie is the Half-Irish Harlot who seduced her best friend's husband on the eve of their wedding. She is to be feared and loathed as she will lift her skirts for anything in breeches.

Still crushed by Simon's betrayal, Maggie has no intention of letting the ton crush her as well. In fact, Lemarc's cartoons have made Simon a laughingstock...but now it appears that Maggie may have been wrong about what happened years ago, and that Simon has been secretly yearning for her since...forever. Could it be that the heart is mightier than the pen and the sword after all?

Maggie, now Lady Hawkins, had what was possibly the worst come out in all of London’s history – an unwanted attack in the gardens turned into a “lover’s tryst” by the scheming knave branded Maggie as “The Half-Irish Harlot.”  And when her beau Simon Barrett believed the knave’s lies and turned his back on Maggie, she flees into a loveless marriage with the first man who will marry her.  Ten years later, the nickname still burns on society’s tongue wherever Maggie goes.  But now she embraces the freedom the nickname – and her widowhood – provide her and little does society know, but she is behind the infamous political cartoonist, Lemarc, poking fun at both society’s hypocrisies and rising politicians like Simon.

Maggie is one of the strongest heroines I’ve read.  Despite years of cruel taunts, gossips, and not-so-subtle whispers, Maggie has held her head up high and presented the world with a brave face.  She turns a spiteful joke into an infamous persona.  Her intelligence, wit, and artistic talents earn her a very comfortable living at the expense of the very society who pretends to despise her.  She is the very definition of courage and strength.

Simon is the character with a true development arc in this novel.  His love for Maggie ten years ago was weak and he believed the lies about her.  But through actually talking to Maggie, learning her side of the story, and discovering the woman she has become, Simon’s love for her grows and develops into full maturity.  Simon is just as complicated a character as Maggie and shares her stubborn streak.

But this makes for a fantastic read!  Simon and Maggie’s chemistry sparks off the page and some of their love scenes actually made me blush!  And let me tell you, I read a lot of erotica and historical romance so that’s really hard to do.

I *loved* this book and immediately went out and bought the other two in the series, THE COURTESAN DUCHESS (book #1) and THE LADY HELLION (book #3).  Reviews for those novels will be up soon too!

Divider

How to Seduce a Scot by Christy English

December 1, 2015 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

How to Seduce a Scot by Christy EnglishHow to Seduce a Scot by Christy English
Series: Broadswords and Ballrooms #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on December 1, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
three-stars
He's the terror of the ton...

The plan is simple:
1. Descend from the Highlands to face the aggravation of a London Season;
2. Foist his wild sister off on some gullible English lord;
3. Retreat before the ladies of the scandalized
ton can get any ideas.

Determined to see his hellion of a sister wed, Highlander Alexander Waters is willing to face anything—even the English. He just didn't expect his own rough manners to cause such a riot...or for a blooming English rose to catch his eye.

Gently bred Catherine Middlebrook must find a respectable man to marry or her family will be ruined. She won't allow herself to be distracted by Highland barbarians...no matter how her body may thrill whenever Alex is near.

Catherine wasn't part of the plan, but as their battle of wills escalates, Alex comes to realize this "proper" English girl is as wild as the Highlands themselves...and nothing will stop him from having her.

After her family’s disastrous attempts at managing the family finances, Catherine Middlebrook and her sister are left practically penniless with just enough money to give Catherine a single Season.  A Season in which she must find and marry a rich gentleman.  As quickly as she can.  Yesterday, if at all possible.  Lucky for Catherine, the kind (if boring) Lord Farleigh is interested in her.  But the polite attentions of Lord Farleigh are nothing compared to a single glance from the enticing Scotsman, Alexander Waters.  From their first meeting, Catherine and Alexander are attracted to each other with frightening intensity.  Catherine is frustrated and confused; she must marry for money, not the love of a Scotsman, nor matter how appealing he is in his kilt.  Alexander is equally appalled.  He came to London to marry off his little sisters and hie himself back to the Highlands, away from the Sassenach and their ridiculous society rules.

This is a very sweet romance; not at all what I expected from a novel whose hero is a Scottish highlander, but enjoyable nonetheless.  Catherine is young, but is attempting to heroically save her family from scandal and ruination by marrying the richest man who will take her instead of someone who might value and love her.  Alexander is equally sweet; not at all what I expected.  When I think ‘Scottish highlander,’ I think of big, hulking alpha males who care little for the rules and strictures of regency society, ready to create mischief and scandal where ever they go.  Instead, Alexander is quite the gentleman.  Frankly, I think he probably could have been any one of the English lords about the ballroom.

There are a few things that didn’t work for me, but the biggest problem was this: Catherine needed to marry the richest man available, so I understood why she wanted to marry Lord Farleigh.  However, Alexander was an equally rich (or so I thought) Scotsman.  And with this background, I didn’t understand why Catherine believed that she couldn’t marry Alexander instead of Lord Farleigh.  Alexander has the money her family needs and they love each other to boot, so what’s the problem?

Divider

The Last Confession by Regina Mhairi

November 27, 2015 Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★½

I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Last Confession by Regina MhairiThe Last Confession by Regina Mhairi
Published by Amazon Digital Services on April 5, 2015
Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
Pages: 228
Source: the Author
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Paris, 1663

Mentored in the enchanting world of the courtesans, beautiful, intelligent and outspoken Catalina Cosme has her pick of any man the city offers. But no man has ever captured her interest…until she lays eyes on Father Benedict Mortimer. Determined to prove that even holy men can fall, Benedict becomes her greatest challenge yet.

The former pupil of a grand inquisitor, Roman Catholic Priest Father Benedict Mortimer was once the worst sort of libertine before he became a ruthless speaker of The Church. Now he is a man haunted by the horrifying sins of his past. After reading the memoirs he wrote during his years in the seminary, Catalina never imagined the condemnatory author was that self-same kindhearted priest whom she sought refuge with when she escaped an abusive benefactor.

As their unlikely friendship forms, Catalina’s aim for seduction begins to fade, and the love she was never allowed to experience blossoms for the man beneath the cloth.

Although Benedict offers to be her new and anonymous patron, he denies himself the temptation of claiming her body in exchange. But desire may prove to be stronger than resilience, and the salvation he believes he had long ago lost may be closer than he realizes.

This book almost begins to straddle the line between historical romance and literary prose.  It’s deep, exploring taboo and sometimes uncomfortable issues.  Neither the hero nor the heroine is an ideal historical romance character, but from this ‘failure’ comes the very story the author is trying to tell – people are not defined by the labels society gives them or those they give themselves, but rather they are defined by the strength of their character, their conviction, and ability to embrace the love they deserve.

Catalina was frustrating at first.  She made little to no effort to escape her physically abusive benefactor.  Moreover, her initial attempts to seduce Father Benedict came from a place of manipulation and spite.  But in a beautiful and poignant character arc, Catalina develops true feelings for the priest and her quest to cause Father Benedict’s downfall morphs into a real desire to see him succeed and to connect with him on a intellectual and spiritual level.

Father Benedict was a more compelling and likable character.  He struggles to resist his desire for Catalina and maintain his priests’ vows.  Her presence in his life stirs up old memories he’d rather forget and it is through these memories we learn about the former libertine-turned-holy-father.

Together, Catalina and Benedict are able to forge a new path.  Their love and devotion to one another is fascinating because it is forbidden and taboo.  There are lots of emotional surprises in this novel and the author does a fantastic job of weaving lots of historical details into the narrative.  I look forward to reading more novels by Ms. Mhairi.

Divider

The Lost Soul of Lord Badewyn by Mia Marlowe

November 24, 2015 Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★★½

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Lost Soul of Lord Badewyn by Mia MarloweThe Lost Soul of Lord Badewyn by Mia Marlowe
Series: Order of the M.U.S.E. #3
Published by Entangled Publishing on November 23, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 318
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Meg Anthony was never raised a lady. Instead, she grew up amongst grifters who used her unique “finding” ability for their own selfish purposes. Recently, she's been taken under the wing of the Duke of Camden and the Order of M.U.S.E., learning not only the fine art of becoming a lady, but how to use her extraordinary talent to help others.

But Meg's gift is a beacon to unsavory characters who would possess her.

Charged with her protection, Lord Badewyn knows—too well—that his wild, Welsh castle is no safe haven for this lovely, all-too-desirable creature. Part human, part fallen angel, he is one of the Nephilim. He is a recluse sworn never to love. As the dangers to Meg grow more threatening, he cannot help but find himself tempted beyond all reason...and tested to see if he has both a heart and a soul.

Another fantastic installment in the Order of the M.U.S.E. series!  In this book, Meg Anthony – a supernaturally-gifted finder of lost things – is introduced to Lord Samuel Badewyn, an intelligent recluse who cares more for what is found amongst the stars and heavenly bodies than the physical bodies of humans.  Lord Badewyn is only half human, the son of a fallen angel and the human he fell in love with.  Now he eschews human interaction for fear of what his father will do – every time one of his father’s sons marry, Sam’s father seduces and impregnates the wife who later dies in childbirth.  It is this deceit that keeps Sam and Meg apart for much of the story.  Sam cares too much for Meg’s life to endanger it by marrying her.  Of course, Meg’s determination, feisty nature, and inability to act like a proper lady – once a bemoaned curse – helps brings these lovers together (and provide some much needed comedic relief too).

Other characters are equally compelling and fans of this series will recognize some familiar faces from previous books.  I’ve been interested in learning Meg’s story since the first novel and now we finally get it.

As with the other Order of the M.U.S.E. books, there is mystery, suspense, and paranormal doings interspersed throughout this entertaining regency romance.  If you enjoy a dash of paranormal in your romances, please check out this entire series!  This particular novel can be read as a standalone as the author does an excellent job of explaining just enough of the necessary elements for new readers to understand what’s going on without needing to read the other novels in the series.

Divider

Rise of the Defender by Kathryn Le Veque

November 20, 2015 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★★

Rise of the Defender by Kathryn Le VequeRise of the Defender by Kathryn Le Veque
Series: de Lohr Dynasty #1
Published by Dragonblade Publishing on January 26, 2014
Genres: Historical Romance
Format: Audiobook
Goodreads
four-stars
1192 A.D. – Sir Christopher de Lohr is Richard the Lion Heart’s champion, a man that the Muslims nicknamed “The Lion’s Claw”. Blond, battle-scarred and powerful, he is what all men fear. After the fall of Acre, Christopher makes a promise at the deathbed of a dying comrade to marry the man’s incorrigible but wealthy daughter. Christopher returns home to marry the woman, but the only thing is interested in is her substantial dowry. He has no use for a wife and resents being forced into the marriage.

The Lady Dustin Barrington doesn’t want a husband. Petite and beautiful, she is a goddess with the heart of a tomboy. When the enormous, seasoned warrior comes to Lioncross Abbey Castle to marry her, she savagely resists him. More than ever, Christopher regrets agreeing to marry the woman but as they are forced together in a contract marriage, something strange happens… somehow, someway, the animosity subsides and a gentle warmth takes its place. More and more, they come to care for one another but neither of them will admit it.

As the voyage of discovery begins, Christopher is distracted by a very important task entrusted to him by Richard. He has been sent back to England ahead of King Richard to assess the climate of the country and also to assess the activities of Richard’s brother, Prince John. He leaves for London to put himself in the heart of the turmoil that is going on between Richard and John, and brings Dustin with him. The moment they arrive in London, an entirely new and dangerous world opens up to them.

Join Dustin and Christopher as they embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Evil princes, tournaments, politics, wars, and a threat to their relationship from deep inside Christopher’s inner circle invade their loving and passionate world. When Christopher is reportedly killed in battle, Dustin must pick up the pieces of her shattered life and attempt to carry on. But don’t count the Defender out just yet… can he make it back to Dustin in time to prevent catastrophe?

Become a part of the sweeping three- part saga in an epic Medieval Romance you won’t soon forget.

Oh my goodness, where on earth do I begin?  This is truly an epic historical romance/historical fiction.  The book is incredibly long and so much happens that it is difficult to craft an adequate summary.

Set during the Crusades of Richard the Lionheart, this epic novel explores the lives and love(s) of Lady Dustin Barrington  and Sir Christopher De Lohr.  Beginning with an unwanted arranged marriage, Dustin and Christopher begin to drop their mutual animosity and come to care for each other.  Christopher is not adjusting well to life off the battlefield, especially when King Richard commands he stay put and spy on the local gentry.  Similarly, Dustin has never had to answer to man and is not adjusting easily into her new life.  Death follows Christopher from the battlefield into his new home with Dustin at Lioncross Abbey and soon Christopher and Dustin are forced to London and become embroiled in a deadly battle of wits with the King’s evil brother, Prince John.

Christopher is a battle-hardened warrior.  At first he is brutish, callous, and full of raging testosterone.  I didn’t expect to like him.  But he softens around Dustin and readers discover he is honorable, loyal, and absolutely devoted to his beautiful, enchanting wife.

Dustin is a beautiful woman who has the personality of a tomboy.  She has no problem running, jumping, climbing trees, and generally getting into mischief, but also knows when to turn on the ladylike charm in order to get her way.  While she does mature as the novel progresses, there are times I wanted to shake her for her stupidity.  Honestly, she is the reason this did not get a 5-star review.

This novel will turn you into an emotional wreck.  It’s a constant roller coaster between laughter, tears, disgust, fear, loathing, love, and yes even sometime confusion.  There were portions that had me transfixed to the audiobook, eager to find out what happened next, enthralled in the passionate love scenes, or sitting in shocked disbelief in what had just transpired. There were a few points where I wanted to stop listening because of things that happened in the book (it’s like a soap opera really), but I am so, so glad I continued.  Give this one a try!!

 

Divider