*REVIEW* ~ Her Bastard Bridegroom, by Alice Coldbreath

#medieval #fantasy #romance

A Sweet and Steamy Adult Read

hbb

Book Blurb

Lady Linnet Cadwallader has been raised a helpless invalid in her own castle. Brought up to believe she will ‘never make old bones’ she lives a quiet and lonely existence, hiding away her excessive freckles and red hair from a world that believes her to be hideously misshapen and ugly.

Until one day her uncle arranges a marriage of convenience for her, a marriage in name only with a young puppet groom… but Sir Roland does not show up. In his place turns up his bastard-born brother Mason Vawdrey. And dark, forceful Mason is no-one’s puppet.

Things are about to get interesting at Cadwallader Castle. And Linnet is about to discover that maybe a golden leopardess does not need to change her glorious spots.

This is a full length novel of over 80,000 words. Please do not purchase if you are offended by strong language and or sex scenes.

My Review

Loved it – A Delightfully Sweet and Steamy Treat! ~ 5 stars

I came across this read whilst noodling on Amazon and downloaded it as the plot line – vulnerable heroine marries bad boy alpha male really appealed to me. I’m so so glad I did, as I now have another favourite author to read!

Her Bastard Bridegroom is a sweet and steamy read set in a Medieval landscape. Whilst the hero Mason truly is the dark and brooding bastard in the book’s title, and Linnet regards herself as an unattractive young lady destined for an early grave, nothing is what it first seems – this book is a romance after all! Both hero and heroine are just what each other needs and their relationship frees them from their past and leads the to discover truths about themselves that they did not know existed. What starts of as a marriage of convenience with the hero making no bones about marrying the heroine for her riches soon develops into something more. Yet there are those in Linnet’s and his own family who are far from happy about their unexpected union and they gather in the wings…

Mason is a loveable rogue of a man. He is renowned for his dark ways and freely admits that he does not have a romantic bone in his body. I liked that he is totally honest with Linnet and leaves her under no illusions that what he wants from her is her dowry and an heir or two so that his offspring can secure a title. Yet this great beast of a man has never met a woman quite like Linnet, so unspoiled and innocent. Despite his first impressions he is in for a huge surprise as his new wife also has a strong character and can match him in and out of the bedroom. Talking of bedroom there are many steamy scenes inside and outside of the chamber and the authors graphic depictions of their lovemaking positively sizzle!

As for Linnet. despite Mason’s reputation, she is undaunted and is liberated by her marriage as never before in her life. I loved how her character came into its own with the developing plot and how Mason, despite his gruff ways and his insistence to himself and others that this marriage was for his convenience only, falls hard for his wife.

Mason’s half-brother Oswald, so different in character, is a perfect foil for Mason, often acting as his conscience and along with many other supporting characters make for an entertaining and often humorous read. I loved how the story developed and was very satisfied with its outcome.

Recommended for fans of historical/fantasy romance who like a romantic and steamy read.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Purchase Links

Amazon US  Amazon UK

Author Links

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32388550-her-bastard-bridegroom

 

*REVIEW* – King’s Knight (Medieval Warriors #4),by Regan Walker

#historical #medieval #romance

A Superb  Tale of Medieval Romance and Adventure

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HE SEIZED LIFE BY THE THROAT

Dubbed the Black Wolf for his raven hair, his fierceness in battle and his way with women, Sir Alexander of Talisand attacked life as he did the king’s enemies. But acclaim on the battlefield and his lusty escapades did not satisfy. King William Rufus would bind him to Normandy through marriage to one of its noblewomen, but the only woman Alexander wanted was a commoner he had saved from a terrible fate.

SHE KEPT MEN AT BAY WITH HER BOW

The shame of being the child of a Norman’s rape dogged Merewyn’s steps from her youth. Determined never to be a victim of a man’s lust like her mother, in Wales she donned the garb of an archer and developed extraordinary skill with a bow. Despite her fair beauty, men now keep their distance. No longer in need of protection from other men, can Merewyn protect herself from Alexander when he holds her heart yet can never be hers?

My Review

Mesmerising Medieval Romance – 5 stars

Once again I was blown away by the storytelling ability of this author! King’s Knight by Regan Walker is book 4 in the superb Medieval Warriors series. I was immediately drawn into the world in which her characters inhabit, a world which she brings alive with her colourful descriptions, rich plot lines and real historical figures.

I loved the romance between Alexander and Merewyn! Alexander returns to his father’s estate, his boyhood home, a favourite of the king, having proved his loyalty and prowess in battle (he also has a reputation amongst the ladies at court). It is there that he is reunited with Merewyn, a young woman whose honour he protected when she had barely reached womanhood. Yet Merewyn is not the girl he once knew. She has blossomed into a beauty, a beauty who is now a confident and skilled archer who can hold her own. Alexander would like to claim her but his king would tie him to another. Merewyn fights a losing battle against her own attraction to protect her heart as she knows that she is far too base born to be a suitable match for the heir of Talisand and the King’s favourite.

The read is such a romantic and sensual one: Alexander and Merewyn are so perfect for each other and I was totally enthralled throughout. Indeed, Regan Walker weaves a bewitching tale of their star crossed romance and a HEA for the couple seems so far from their grasp due to the differences in their social standing. Alexander cannot bear for her to belong to another (I just LOVED how protective he is of her when she is faced with attentions from others), yet is torn between his duties to King and family and his growing respect and love for Merewyn.

Yet Merewyn will not let his love for her dishonour him in the eyes of his kin and King. I really felt for her, as despite her prowess with the bow she is vulnerable, the shame of illegitimacy being a heavy burden for her to bear. The pair are two strong individuals who are so right for each other but whom circumstances of birth would tear asunder. The evolving plot is full of adventure and twists and turns which test the couple’s love and loyalty in many respects before the novel concludes. Alexander and Merewyn are so perfect for each other and I was totally enthralled throughout.

Regan Walker’s depictions of the medieval world and the characters are once again sublime and it is clear that she has researched the lives of people from all stations in society as well as real life historical figures, such as King Rufus, very well. I recommend it wholeheartedly for lovers of historical romance, especially those who enjoy tales set in medieval times.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  Amazon US

Connect with the Author

http://www.reganwalkerauthor.com

http://www.facebook.com/regan.walker.104

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6450403.Regan_Walker

 

 

**ARC REVIEW** ~ Rebel Warrior (Medieval Warriors #3), by Regan Walker

Historical Medieval Romance

Rebel warrior

Blurb

“Master storytelling transports you to medieval Scotland!”
Paula Quinn, NY Times Bestselling Author

When your destiny lies far from where you began …

Scotland 1072

The Norman Conqueror robbed Steinar of Talisand of his noble father and his lands, forcing him to flee to Scotland while still recovering from a devastating wound. At the royal court, Steinar becomes scribe to the unlettered King of Scots while secretly regaining his skill with a sword.

The first time Steinar glimpses the flame-haired maiden, Catrìona of the Vale of Leven, he is drawn to her spirited beauty. She does not fit among the ladies who serve the devout queen. Not pious, not obedient and not given to stitchery, the firebrand flies a falcon! Though Catrìona captures Steinar’s attention, he is only a scribe and she is promised to another.

Catrìona has come to Malcolm’s court wounded in spirit from the vicious attack on her home by Northmen who slayed her parents and her people. But that is not all she will suffer. The man she thought to wed will soon betray her.

When all is lost, what hope is there for love? Can a broken heart be mended? Can a damaged soul be healed?

My Review

Spellbinding and Expertly Crafted ~ ***** (Five Stars)

Set in Scotland in the years following the 1066 Norman invasion of England, Regan Walker’s Rebel Warrior (#3 in the Medieval Warriors series), is a spellbinding romantic read which has been meticulously researched and expertly crafted. The past came alive for me whilst reading and I left the 21st century and lived and breathed through the lives of the characters in the book.

Catriona and her brother Niall suffer a cruel blow when their parents and kinsfolk are killed in a Viking raid. The orphaned Catriona finds herself at the royal court as one of the Queen’s ladies. Her growing friendship and attraction she has to the King’s scribe Steinar becomes more and more important to her. The actions of  Domnall, her betrothed, increasingly perplex her and his ultimate betrayal is heart-breaking to a young woman who is already attempting to come to terms with her tragic loss. Can Catriona ever trust again?

The romance between Catriona and Steinar is full of fire and humour as the couple indulge in many scenes of verbal sparring. Regan Walker’s heroines certainly have plenty of backbone! Steinar falls hard for the wild, beautiful and yet fragile Catriona and she in turn is attracted to his good looks, charm and inner and outer strength. Although there is more to Steinar than meets the eye, his current station in life is not high enough for one of the Queen’s ladies, and he can only look on as King Malcolm contrives to marry Catriona to another.

I really felt for both Catriona and Steinar. Both have suffered terrible personal losses and have little control over their destinies. They are well matched – Steinar being the only man at court to fully appreciate the lively and headstrong young woman, and Catriona’s attraction to Steinar grows the more she experiences his humour, honour and strength. The path to true love is never easy, yet Regan Walker leads the reader to an entertaining, realistic and worthy HEA.

Most of the action takes place at the court of king Malcolm of Scotland and his devoted and devout Anglo-Saxon Queen Margaret. There are also a number of vividly portrayed battle scenes. Regan Walker’s characters are complex and well-rounded and in her hands real historical figures merge seamlessly with those from her imagination. The book can be read as a standalone, but I also enjoyed meeting characters who featured in The Red Wolf’s Prize and Rogue Knight, particularly the Welsh bard Rhodri whose own story is interwoven into the plot.

I loved the read and wholeheartedly recommended it to readers of Historical Romance.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, an ARC of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  Amazon US

Connect with the Author

http://www.reganwalkerauthor.com

http://www.facebook.com/regan.walker.104.

**ARC REVIEW** ~ Rogue Knight (Medieval Warriors #2), by Regan Walker

Historical Medieval Romance

Rogue Knight

Blurb

“Mesmerizing medieval romance! A vivid portrayal of love flourishing amidst the turbulence of the years after the Norman Conquest.” — Kathryn Le Veque, USA Today Bestselling Author

York, England 1069… three years after the Norman Conquest

The North of England seethes with discontent under the heavy hand of William the Conqueror, who unleashes his fury on the rebels who dare to defy him. Amid the ensuing devastation, love blooms in the heart of a gallant Norman knight for a Yorkshire widow.

A LOVE NEITHER CAN DENY, A PASSION NEITHER CAN RESIST

Angry at the cruelty she has witnessed at the Normans’ hands, Emma of York is torn between her loyalty to her noble Danish father, a leader of the rebels, and her growing passion for an honorable French knight.

Loyal to King William, Sir Geoffroi de Tournai has no idea Emma hides a secret that could mean death for him and his fellow knights.

WAR DREW THEM TOGETHER, WAR WOULD TEAR THEM APART

War erupts, tearing asunder the tentative love growing between them, leaving each the enemy of the other. Will Sir Geoffroi, convinced Emma has betrayed him, defy his king to save her?

My Review

Page-Turning Enemies to Lovers Romance

Five Stars *****

Rogue Knight is book 2 in Regan Walker’s Medieval Warriors series. In it the author expertly brings the enemies to lovers theme vividly to life in a passionate, blood stirring and romantic read set during the aftermath of the Norman conquest.

The novel is set at the time when William the Conqueror was busy putting down insurrection after insurrection in the country, the north of England being particularly troublesome. Regan Walker’s research into this time period is extremely thorough and I loved how she weaves real life events and characters into the plot which explores the tensions between love, honour and duty.

Both the hero and the heroine are characters whom I quickly fell in love with.  The hero of the tale is Sir Geoffroi de Tournai, who we met in the first book in the series, The Red Wolf’s Prize (click on the book title for my review). Geoff is a noble knight with a strong code of honour, sometimes at odds with the brutal orders of his superiors, in particular King William. The heroine, the young widow Emma of York, has noble Danish blood in her veins and her father is leader of the rebels. Emma  is gentle and kind but also one who does not shy away from the responsibilities of her proud lineage in defending those who are weaker than her against the the despised Normans. However, despite the fact that Geoff is her enemy, once they meet, their mutual attraction develops into passion and a deep and abiding love.

However, Geoff knows nothing of her links to those who would see him and his compatriots annihilated, and Emma, torn between her loyalty to her father and hatred of the Normans on one side and her growing love for Geoff on the other, keeps this knowledge to herself. How will Geoff react when he learns of Emma’s duplicity and involvement with the rebels and will the couple survive the clash that is brewing between the rebels and William as he seeks revenge.

The novel had me on the edge of my seat in terms of the intensity of the plot, and how the political machinations impact on the romance between the couple. It’s a super page-turning read which I recommend to all romance readers but especially those who like to escape into the past.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of this novel was given to me for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon US   Amazon UK

Connect with the Author

http://www.reganwalkerauthor.com

http://www.facebook.com/regan.walker.104.

ARC REVIEW ~ *The Red Wolf’s Prize (Medieval Warriors #1)* by Regan Walker

A Rollicking Medieval Romance! *TOP READ*

Historical romance fans will just ADORE this new novel by Regan Walker, released today. I love all of the books that I’ve read by this author but can honestly sat that this is amongst her best! Tina 🙂

 Book Blurb

22883671“Medieval romance at its best!” –Virginia Henley, NY Times bestselling author.

HE WOULD NOT BE DENIED HIS PRIZE

Sir Renaud de Pierrepont, the Norman knight known as the Red Wolf for the beast he slayed with his bare hands, hoped to gain lands with his sword. A year after the Conquest, King William rewards his favored knight with Talisand, the lands of an English thegn slain at Hastings, and orders him to wed the heiress that goes with them, Lady Serena.

SHE WOULD LOVE HIM AGAINST HER WILL

Serena wants nothing to do with the fierce warrior to whom she has been unwillingly given, the knight who may have killed her father. When she learns the Red Wolf is coming to claim her, she dyes her flaxen hair brown and flees, disguised as a servant, determined to one day regain her lands. But her escape goes awry and she is brought back to live among her people, though not unnoticed by the new Norman lord.

Deprived of his promised bride, the Red Wolf turns his attention to the comely servant girl hoping to woo her to his bed. But the wench resists, claiming she hates all Normans.

As the passion between them rises, Serena wonders, can she deny the Norman her body? Or her heart?

My Review

A Rollicking Medieval Romance! 

A fantastic read, full of passion, deceit and adventure! Regan Walker has once again excelled herself with yet another memorable historical romance, this time set in the medieval period. Following his invasion of England William stamps his authority on his new vassals by confiscating lands from English thegns, gifting them to his loyal knights and constructing castles to intimidate and control.

Sir Renaud de Peirrepont is gifted the demesne of Talisand and its lady Serena as his bride. I loved this knight, known as the Red Wolf. He has a fearsome reputation on the battlefield but a strong desire for peace and to put down roots in this new land. However, Serena despises the Normans who are busy subjugating her people. Indeed, her own father fell at Hastings and her brother has fled. She is a brave and resourceful woman and I loved how she disguises herself as a servant in an attempt to escape her fate, and even when she is captured and returns to Talisand manages to keep her real identity a secret. Renaud is drawn to her and there are many scenes where he tries to woo her to his bed, a privilege that others would jump at, but she denies him. Such scenes are filled with sexual tension as Serena is equally attracted to Renaud. In fact the more she finds out about this man the more she grows to respect him and it becomes harder to resist.

Renaud is furious that his bride has escaped him and is also one frustrated man, his own personal code preventing him from taking his servant by force. She enchants, challenges and perplexes him at the same time. With a castle to build, William requesting his services in battle, a missing bride and a woman who will not submit to his charms, Renaud has his work cut out and I did sympathise with him. Yet how will he react once he discovers Serena’s ruse? Will she submit her body and heart to him or will she once again deceive him and seek to escape? How will she react when he takes up arms against her people? There are also other players with their own agenda and the couple have a mountain to climb before their HEA can be reached.

This truly is a ripping, page-turning yarn with a hero and heroine who are just perfect together. There is also a superb cast of secondary characters, Renaud’s fellow knights, Cassandra, Serena’s handmaiden, Maugris, Renaud’s wise counsellor and Rhodri the Welsh bard to name a few. Real life historical figures such as William and English earls also play a part and I am looking forward to the other novels planned in the series.

A must read for fans of historical romance, especially those who love medieval romances.

An advanced reader copy of this novel was given to me for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Buy Links

Amazon US  Amazon UK

Connect with the Author

Regan Walker’s website

Facebook

 

~*REVIEW*~ BORDERLAND BETRAYAL, #3 in The Borderland Legacy Series, by Samantha Holt

21403370Sizzling Passion, Secrets and Suspense!

Another sensual and romantic tale from Samantha Holt! Borderland Betrayal is book #3 in her Borderland Legacy Series set in Medieval Northumbria. It contains sizzling passion, secrets, danger and suspense and a couple who despite their apparent differences, are just meant for each other.

 

Book Blurb

To Captain James, duty means everything. He’s worked hard to ensure the safety of the people of Thornewall and now the border reiver threat is gone and the recovery from the plague is well underway, he finds himself questioning his life. The arrival of the vibrant Ellise only confuses him further. When he catches Ellise thieving, instead of wanting to let the law deal with her, he finds he longs to take a more personal approach… a much more personal approach. Having lived on the edge of society for many years, Ellise is used to scraping for a living and she knows moments of happiness are few and far between. So she leaps at the chance to spend one sensual night with the handsome captain. Just one night and then she’ll be gone. To her astonishment, fate throws her back into James’ sights when she accepts a job at Thornewall to look after the pregnant lady. Although the attraction still burns between them, she cannot give into it. One night has to be enough as she has far too many secrets. Should the honourable captain ever discover them, it would be more than her heart that would be at risk. Her life could well be at stake too.

My Review

Readers met the hero of this novel, Captain James, in the previous two books in the series, Borderland Bride and Borderland Beauty (click on the book titles for my earlier review). James has dedicated his life to protecting his liege lord Dominic and the inhabitants of Thornewall keep and also recognises his duty to his own lands and estates. I loved how the author pairs him with the unconventional and mysterious Ellise, a woman who rocks his very world on its axis! Their initial meeting and sizzling passionate encounter is pure Samantha Holt as it not only grabbed my attention and interest from the off, but left me in no doubt as to how this couple were fated to be together!

When Ellise reappears as Lady-in-Waiting, to Lucy, Lord Dominic’s wife, James is absolutely confounded as to how to deal with his unexpected passion for a woman with a mysterious past, who does not fit into his conventional plans. Although they initially both try to put the night of scorching passion they spent together behind them, they both find it increasingly difficult to maintain indifference. Sexual tension is high and it is not long before they once again succumb to their attraction in some scorching and heartfelt scenes.

As the plot develops Ellise’s past catches up with her, threatening her safety and that of those she cares for. Yet if she reveals her secrets to James will those self-same secrets drive him away? I was on the edge of my seat as the book reached its conclusion.

I loved Ellise. She is a true survivor, a bold, passionate and capable woman who has survived for a long time on her own. She tries to stop herself falling for James to protect her heart, believing that with no lands and dowry she is not good enough for him. She is also terrified of his reaction if her secrets are discovered. James must confront his sense of what he feels is expected of him and his growing feelings for this woman who has wit, charm and strength a plenty. There are a number of times in the book when I wanted to give him a good shake to make him come to his senses and claim what his heart so clearly desires, before it is too late. However, his natural caution, plus his own past do explain his actions.

I adored this read and it was a fitting conclusion to the Borderland Legacy Series. It also reuinited the couples from the first two novels, notably Jake and Isabel and Dominic and Lucy and brought me up to date with their stories.

I recommend this read to those who love a sensual romance with a strong story line and characters in an historical setting. The book works perfectly well as a standalone, but I strongly recommend the whole series to those that have not read the first two books, as they are equally awesome reads!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this novel was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase links: Amazon UK   Amazon US

Find and connect with Samantha Holt:

https://www.facebook.com/romanticfiction

http://www.samanthaholt.org.uk/

http://www.samanthaholtauthor.blogspot.co.uk

Check out our reviews of Samantha Holt’s other books in The Borderland Legacy Series:

Borderland Bride small-004

Borderland%20Beauty300dpi.jpg.opt166x249o0,0s166x249[1]-001https://areadersreviewblog.com/2013/04/10/borderland-bride-the-borderland-legacy-1-by-samantha-holt/

https://areadersreviewblog.com/2013/06/03/borderland-beauty-the-borderlands-legacy-2-by-samantha-holt/

RAIN, BY NICOLE HURLEY-MOORE – Synopsis, Trailer, Review, Author Bio and Giveaway

RAIN BLOG TOUR

Rain - Tour Banner

Title – Rain
Author – Nicole Hurley-Moore
Genre – Fantasy (medieval fairytale)
Publication Date – 20th November 2013
Length (Pages/# Words) – 169 pages
Publisher – Jupiter Gardens Press
Cover Artist – Tibbs Design

Rain - Book Cover

BOOK SYNOPSIS
1216 AD
On the mountain, high above the village of Farran – Nuri is caught between heaven and hell. Two men fight for her love and her soul. The first is Maras, an elemental being who follows the storms. Nuri knows that he is not human, he’s something more. She believes he is her beautiful fallen angel. Yet he is transient and is bound to the elements and their love may be as fleeting as the storm itself. The second is Brother Erebus, a pious monk whose tortured soul is twisted by his desire for her.

But Nuri may sacrifice more than her heart when the Church brands her angel a demon. As Brother Erebus will do anything to protect her soul from the silver haired devil, even if he has to crush her body to do it.

BUY & TBR LINKS
Amazon Kindle Link | Barnes & Nobles Nook Link | Smashwords Link

iTunes Link | Goodreads Link

MY REVIEW

A Magical Fairy Tale – Sensual Fantasy/Paranormal/Medieval Romance

This novel is pure magic – a beautiful and sensual romance that has all the elements of a fairy tale for adults. It has well defined and believable characters and a strong plot set in a world akin to that of European folk lore and fairy tales of old.

The love story at the centre of the novel is pure delight to read. I loved how Nuri and Maras meet and how her love rescues the tortured and lonely water elemental from his self-imposed exile from the human world, due to his misplaced guilt about past events. There are many romantic moments and sensual love making scenes as the novel progresses and the couple find that they cannot ignore their mutual attraction. Nuri herself represents all that is good and selfless, but she also has a strong personality and is prepared to give her all to protect Maras her Angel. Erebus by contrast is truly a troubled soul, who is twisted by jealousy and lust and has lost his grip on reality. There is a great cast of supporting characters who also play a key role in the tale.

The author paints a vivid picture of the village of Farran and its inhabitants and I was immediately drawn into the plot and identified with the emotions of the characters. The tenor of the novel oscillates between darkness and light – the beauty and goodness of Nuri’s and Maras’ romance and the malevolence of Erebus’ twisted and unrequited love for Nuri and his belief that Maras is a demon that he must destroy regardless of the damage to Nuri. The descriptions of the storms, when they appear in the tale, I found particularly poetic.

Like all good tales it has many layers of meaning that as a reader I related to.  Whilst it is first and foremost a love story of two people finding their soul mate it also explores the themes of jealousy and lust and reminds us that the demons which exist are those that reside within individuals. It also examines the prejudice and fear that some have towards others that appear to be different to us. The writing is sublime and reminded me of some of the fantasy novels of Linda Mooney and Christine Pope. I will definitely be checking out other books from this author. Recommended for readers of historical novels with a paranormal twist and lovers of fantasy romance.

Rain - Author Photo

AUTHOR BIO
Nicole has always been a lover of fairy tales, history and romance. She grew up in Melbourne and has traveled extensively, whilst living her life through the romance of books. Her first passion in life has always been her family, but after studying and achieving a History degree and Honours in Medieval Literature, she devoted her time to writing historical romance.

She is a full time writer who lives in the Central Highlands of Victoria with her family, where they live in the peaceful surrounds of a semi‐rural town.

STALK THE AUTHOR HERE
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GIVEAWAY
$20 Amazon Gift Card

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