~*BLOG TOUR*~ When a Rogue Loves A Woman (Rogues of Redmere book 2), by Samantha Holt (includes EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY)

#regency #historical #romance

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When a Rogue Loves a Woman

Rogues of Redmere book 2

whenaroguelovesawomanmed

Notorious rogue, Lord Nathaniel Kingsley always tended to leap without thinking. Becoming a smuggler, adopting a sheep, getting engaged to Miss Patience Grey….

Patience has no need for a fiancé, or a husband. For once in her life, she wants to prove she’s just as good as a man and she does not need Nathaniel Kingsley getting in her way. With her brother injured, it is up to her to continue her family’s work…and that means tracking down a French spy and ensuring said spy will turn.

Unfortunately, no one believes she can do it alone. Which is where Nathaniel comes in.

Nate is happy to be of service. Why pass up the opportunity to repay an old friend, especially with a little intrigue along the way? Find the spy, play escort to Patience, return home to continue smuggling. Easy.

Or at least it would be if the stubborn Patience would let him do his job. The breeches-wearing woman is determined to do it all alone and, he has to admit, there’s something quite distracting about a woman in men’s clothes.

Can he keep his attention from her long enough to complete their mission and persuade Patience to let him do his job and protect her? A job he’s beginning to find he’s enjoying a lot more than he thought he would…

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Excerpt

“There would have been many a heartbroken lass had you really been engaged,” Drake said. His grin grew wicked. “I was looking forward to offering my comfort and condolences.”

Nate shook his head and ignored his friend’s jest. Instead he turned his attention to the ale in his hand. It would be his last for a while. He’d need a clear head for what was to come, especially if he was to keep that minx under control. If her own mother could not make her wear a dress, what chance did he have?

Either way, he was looking forward to the challenge. Smuggling was all well and good but they had only gone out once in the past month and all had been quiet. No excitement to be had. He was rather looking forward to the chance to indulge in some espionage and adventure.

Of course, Jacob Grey was aware of their illicit activities. Being a government agent had meant they had helped him before. He was one of the few residents of Penshallow who quite understood who was behind all the smuggling that took place in their small fishing village. Most thought Knight the face of it—the big, brooding, scarred hulk of a man opposite who spoke only when absolutely necessary.

At present, Knight’s attention was on something near the bar. Nate flicked a glance over but could see nothing of interest. Only the usual overly drunk patrons gathered while Louisa, the innkeeper, worked her hardest to keep up with demand.

Other patrons littered the room, gathered around small tables. Some had cards in their hands while all had drinks. The Ship Inn was not the most savory of places but it was out of the way and the food was good. Not to mention Louisa was uncannily good at ensuring the customs men never came near the place. She had saved their skin many times and they repaid her help generously, ensuring she had a good supply of excellent French wine.

“You were a damned fool, signing up for this,” Nate’s brother said, thrusting a finger at him.

“What was I to do? You were off enjoying yourself with Hannah. Far too much it seems.” His brother’s gaze darkened and Nate immediately ceased any idea of talking of Red’s fiancée. Hannah was currently installed in lodgings in the village while they awaited the license for their marriage and to finalize all the details. His brother was, unbelievably, utterly in the love with the woman. It was not such much the woman he had fallen for that surprised Nate but that his brother had the ability to fall so heavily for her. Red had always been too busy to think of love or even marriage.

Drake leaned in. The captain fixed Red with a slight smile on his lips. “Face it, Red. While you were distracted by petticoats, Nate held down the fort. I don’t blame him for offering to help, after all, are we not in this to help the crown?”

“Since when are you so noble?” Red demanded.

“Since I have a pocket full of coin,” Drake said smugly. “Things have been going uncommonly well of late. I don’t see why Nate cannot help Jacob Grey and be back in time for our next outing.”

“Uncommonly well?” Nate’s brother lifted a brow. “After Knight’s illness and the storm that near tore your ship in half, you were complaining of curses. Now you think things are going uncommonly well?”

Knight glowered. The giant of a man sat with his arms folded, a great scowl etched upon his face that in some lights looked as though it could be made of granite. Were it not for being friends with him, Nate would give him a wide berth. The man looked like trouble and, potentially, he was. No one really knew anything about him apart from the fact he was useful muscle and a damned hard worker. Though Nate suspected there was something more under that silent exterior. What that was, however, he was not sure.

“It was not an illness,” Knight protested.

Drake laughed. “You vomited on my boots, Knight. What would you call it?”

Knight fell back into silent mode and glowered some more.

About the Author

Samantha is a full-time author who lives in England with her twins girls and a dachshund called Duke. When not writing, she loves to explore stately homes and castles around the country.

Find Samantha on her website http://www.samanthaholtromance.com 

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Review Round-up Feb ’16

Hi readers, we hope you all found something exciting to do with your extra day in February. We have been looking forward to the beginning of Spring, even though I did actually wake up to a coating of snow this morning!

We have just celebrated Mother’s Day here in the UK, and whilst I didn’t receive a book myself, I did have some chocolates to share (or not to share!) whilst enjoying Alan Jones‘ thriller BLOQ, to be released on April 1st. I do hope you all had a good day. Feel free to share your weekend reads with us in the comments below 🙂

Although a leap year, Feb is always still short and therefore we have a smaller review list. That said we still have a range of genres for you to choose from, whether it be a Young Adult post-apocalyptic, sci-fi fantasy action/adventure horror in Mark King‘s Daniel Jones series, historical romance in Sinful Possession by Samantha Holt, or a futuristic sci-fi paranormal in Em Taylor‘s Discovered. There is also a contemporary, military romance with C.J. Pinard‘s new series prequel, Antihero novella and a hot erotic read in Love Yoga by Serge de Moliere, plus more.

As always, please click on the title and author to read our full review post!

Thanks for following. Your views, likes and comments are always appreciated. Have a great month!

Caroline & Tina ❤

The Iron WebDiscovery (The Iron Web #1) by Kristin Ravelle, NA dystopian (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Penrith, Wales. Bryn is turning 22 and must register for One Earth Dynamic ID.

Buried in the mysterious N800 texts is a horrifying secret, an ancient evil that Bryn feels compelled to unearth. A secret that may underpin One Earth, the global agency that monitors and tracks everyone.

Curran, gorgeous, tortured OED fugitive, finds sanctuary with Penrith’s underground, Luxent, and discovers Bryn and her strange ability to throw condensed light. And unexpected love in a world suddenly seeming to go mad.

Can Bryn’s primeval earth magic help Luxent overcome other-worldly forces and the OED or will her growing feelings for Curran and learning the horrifying reality of the OED only lead down the road that goes straight into its ancient and evil web? 

***

Discovery is book I in the Iron Web series. Immortelle, Book II, finds Bryn and Curran on the run from One Earth to the mythological Dinas Affaraon. If they find Dinas in the Snowdonia mountains, they may learn new ways of fighting the OED.

AntiheroAntihero (Imperfect Heroes prequel) by C.J. Pinard, contemporary military romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Can a street punk on the wrong path be transformed into a Special Forces killing machine? Once he’s been “rehabilitated”, Ellis Anderson is determined to show the woman he loves that he’s nothing like both the lives he’s left behind. But actions speak louder than words – and he has a lot of work ahead of him.

sinful possessionSinful Possession (Cynfell Brothers #5) by Samantha Holt, historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. The Cynfell brothers are the very embodiment of a sinful existence. But could the right woman change that?

Sloth

Miss Lila Radley was set to be the belle of the ball this summer. With her charming manners, beautiful looks and excellent connections, everyone anticipated her receiving endless proposals.

However, no one expected her to be kidnapped.

After she witnesses a murder, Lila finds herself in the hands of two overwhelmingly attractive brothers—entirely against her will. However, while the twin Cynfell brothers might be as devastating in looks as each other, only one intrigues her—the brooding Lord Ash Cynfell.

Unfortunately, he is the very reason she is in danger.

Already battling with his own demons, Ash finds himself with an additional burden to bear—Miss Lila Radley’s safety. He cannot very well abandon her as it was due to his inaction that a man ended up dead and a serial killer is now targeting her. Unfortunately, keeping the vivacious Lila protected until the murderer is found is going to test him in every way possible.

Can he resist her charm and beauty, aware a worthless man like himself is no good for a woman like her? All he knows is that when Lila turns her sunny smile onto his twin brother, his finds himself unable to summon his usual relaxed attitude. Has Ash Cynfell, the most reclusive brother, finally found something worth fighting for?

LachlanDiscovered (The Forsaken Blood series #1) by Em Taylor, futuristic, sci-fi paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Edinburgh is a city that’s slow to change. Which is why in 2061, Professor Lachlan Mackenzie still lives there. He hasn’t changed in the 1000 years since he and his shipmates abandoned ship, forsaken by the Vampyras millions of light years away and left to fend for themselves, feeding off the blood of humans.

Lachlan is drawn to sexy psychologist Kate the moment he steps into her office. He wants to protect her and help her overcome her PTSD. Ignoring the warning signs of his growing attraction he agrees to be her cabin mate on the journey to the new colony on Mars. But when Kate discovers him feeding on bagged blood, all hell breaks loose. Has he been set up by the Vampyr council leader? Will Kate ever forgive his lies? And how does he explain what he is to his long lost daughter who he meets on their journey?

As Kate starts to trust, outside forces threaten to rip them apart. Will Lachlan lose the only woman he’s ever truly bonded with?

HuntHunt for the Enemy (The Enemy series #3) by Rob Sinclair, international suspense thriller (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: The breathtaking and action-packed finale to the bestselling Enemy series. The Hunt is on. They’ve erased his past. Wiped out his very existence. But Carl Logan isn’t finished yet. On the run in a harsh Russian winter, Logan – once an invaluable asset but now branded a traitor – has been framed for murder. His own firm, the secretive Joint Intelligence Agency, have labelled him a rogue operative after two decades of loyal service. The agency is hunting him down… and they’re not the only ones. But there’s much more at stake than just Logan’s life. One by one, agents and informants from all sides, all allegiances, are dying. And Carl Logan is the only man who can put a stop to it, once and for all.

Love YogaLove Yoga by Serge de Moliere, erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Morgan Love is one of the few African American yoga instructors in town. After her studies in India with the legendary Swami Monda, students flock to her classes. But without her own studio, money remains tight, and her personal life is a wreck after the last man in her life cheated on her.

When an attractive man enters her yoga studio, Morgan is instantly drawn to him. When she discovers the attraction is mutual, things quickly escalate, taking a dramatic and passionate turn. Eli is like no other man she’s ever met, and that includes his incredible sexual prowess.

But when Morgan’s past comes back to haunt her, she finds herself forced to turn to Eli. Are her hopes and dreams safe with this seemingly too-perfect man? Or will Morgan end up once again as a man’s sex toy?

Frenzy & Doom (A Daniel Jones Story #1 & 2) by Mark King, YA dystopian/post-apocalyptic action/adventure, fantasy horror (reviewed by Caroline)

Frenzy 3 v2Frenzy (book 1) blurb: Daniel leads a peaceful life with his family until he finds out a repulsive secret about the Over-seers, the ‘saviours of humanity’, and his security is blown to smithereens. He enters a world where death is the only certainty and quickly learns to kill – or be killed.

Enter Gwendolyn, with the charm of a snake and a bite that’s twice as dangerous. People skills aren’t her thing but she knows how to survive in a post-apocalyptic world; she’s a hotshot with a bow and arrow and can rustle up a mean rat soup.

Mary is the only person left alive over forty. She’s not too good at fighting but she knows where to find the one thing that could save their lives. Only Mary can remember life before the invasion, before humanity was brainwashed into following the procedures.

Pursued by the Over-seers, the Triclops and the barbaric hunters, can the three brave rebels triumph in their quest for survival? The odds are stacked against them – hold tight for a white-knuckle ride through a landscape of devastation!

Daniel Jones Doom Cover LargeDoom (book 2) blurb: Daniel’s peaceful life has been destroyed after discovering the hideous truth about the Over-seers – the new masters of humanity. Hiding in centuries-old flint mines from Hunters and from the terrifying Triclops machines, Daniel’s recurring nightmares lead him, once more, into danger. With mankind brainwashed under the false hope of a glorious new life in the Achievement Centre, he must return home through a devastated landscape to save his father
from certain death.

Daniel reunites with two fellow fugitives – Mary and her young companion Gwendolyn – to undertake a rescue mission so dangerous that death is the only guarantee. Is it too late for Daniel’s family or is it too late for humanity itself? Daniel Jones DOOM, the exciting new sequel to FRENZY a Daniel Jones Story, is another fast-paced, engrossing chronicle of three rebels who once again risk their lives in a vividly depicted world peopled by memorable new and known characters.

*BOOK BLAST & REVIEW* – Sinful Possession (Cynfell Brothers # 5) , by Samantha Holt (includes excerpt and giveaway)

Sinful Possession - Banner

BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Sinful Possession
SERIES (& book #) – Cynfell Brothers # 5
AUTHOR – Samantha Holt
GENRE – Historical Romance
PUBLICATION DATE – 25th January
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 37000

NOTE – Can be read as standalone


Sinful Possession - CoverBOOK SYNOPSIS

Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. The Cynfell brothers are the very embodiment of a sinful existence. But could the right woman change that?

Sloth

Miss Lila Radley was set to be the belle of the ball this summer. With her charming manners, beautiful looks and excellent connections, everyone anticipated her receiving endless proposals.

However, no one expected her to be kidnapped.

After she witnesses a murder, Lila finds herself in the hands of two overwhelmingly attractive brothers—entirely against her will. However, while the twin Cynfell brothers might be as devastating in looks as each other, only one intrigues her—the brooding Lord Ash Cynfell.

Unfortunately, he is the very reason she is in danger.

Already battling with his own demons, Ash finds himself with an additional burden to bear—Miss Lila Radley’s safety. He cannot very well abandon her as it was due to his inaction that a man ended up dead and a serial killer is now targeting her. Unfortunately, keeping the vivacious Lila protected until the murderer is found is going to test him in every way possible.

Can he resist her charm and beauty, aware a worthless man like himself is no good for a woman like her? All he knows is that when Lila turns her sunny smile onto his twin brother, his finds himself unable to summon his usual relaxed attitude. Has Ash Cynfell, the most reclusive brother, finally found something worth fighting for?

BUY LINKS

AMAZON KINDLE US – http://amzn.to/1TPGbFQ


EXCERPT

“What were you thinking?”

Ash narrowed his gaze at Harris. “There’s a serial killer out there. A powerful and dangerous one.”

His brother paced in front of him while Ash sat on a chair too small for his build outside of the bedroom.

The bedroom that held a currently enraged Lila. The crashes of furniture had stopped only a short while ago. It seemed no one had noticed that Lila had gone. Her family, according to Harris, had assumed she’d retreated to bed. They were, as his brother said, a little scatter-brained.

He couldn’t deny he had come to that conclusion from his short acquaintance with them, but Harris spent more time in society so his opinion was likely correct.

So that at least gave him time to decide what to with Miss Lila Radley.

Pin her to the bed and kiss away her fury?

He smirked to himself. No. Tempting as that was, he suspected that would only increase her ire. Since she’d awoken from her faint, she’d been full of fire. He wouldn’t tell her that he had enjoyed picking up her soggy form and carrying her to his brother’s carriage far more than he should have done. He also certainly wouldn’t mention how she’d curled a hand around his neck and burrowed herself against him.

He released a sigh. If it wasn’t enough he’d already near fallen for her on sight, she was now appealing to his need to protect. There was nothing quite like being needed by the opposite sex. And when she’d tucked her face into his neck, he’d been lost.


My Review

Five stars *****

Scandalous and Sexy Victorian Escapade

I just loved Sinful Possession, the latest addition to Samantha Holt’s Cynfell series. In this scandalous and sexy read, the hero is compelled to kidnap a debutante in an effort to save her from the clutches of a serial killer.

The romance between the handsome and reclusive Ash and the feisty and headstrong Lila sizzles with sexual tension from the off. At first she is enraged that Ash and his twin Harris have whisked her away from the marriage mart, despite the duo being sinfully attractive and (at least in Harris’ case) charming. Yet it is the brooding Ash who draws her and the banter between them and the results of their enforced proximity is highly diverting. Even his occasional grumpiness and his propensity to fall asleep at inappropriate times does not put her off. She starts to view this man who places her well-being above his own as a keeper. Yet does he want her for his own and what is he hiding? It takes a very determined Lila to persuade this man of his true worth.

I just adored Ash’s determination to protect Lila, even at the expense of her reputation and his good name. He is instantly attracted to her and it is not long before he wants to protect her not just from the killer on the loose but other men who covet her. There are some highly amusing scenes where these protective instincts come to the fore.

Samantha Holt certainly excels at both scenes of sexual tension and sensual love-making and she delivers both with alacrity in this novella. Recommended for historical romance lovers who are looking for a sexy, satisfying and diverting read.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of this book was given to me as part of this blog tour for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

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AUTHOR BIO

Samantha lives in a small village in England with her twin girls and a dachshund called Duke. She enjoys writing historical romance involving chivalrous knights, hot highlanders and cravatted men. Writing is her (more than) full time job but on the rare occasion, she’s not writing, she loves to visit the many stately homes and castles nearby.

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**BLOG TOUR & REVIEW** ~ The CynFell Brothers, by Samantha Holt (includes excerpt and giveaway)

cynfellbrothers
BOOK INFORMATION

SERIES – Cynfell Brothers
AUTHOR – Samantha Holt
GENRE – Victorian Romance
COVER ARTISTLove, Lust & Lipstick Stains


BOOK SYNOPSIS

Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. The Cynfell brothers are the very embodiment of a sinful existence. But could the right woman change that?


BUY & TBR LINKS

Sinful Confessions

Sinful Confessions

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My Review

Sin Away! Fabulous start to a new series! *****

Sinful Confessions is the first instalment in Samantha Holt’s sensual Victorian Romance series, The Cynfell Brothers. This novella is the story of Julian Cynfell, the Marquess of Lockwood, the eldest of seven very naughty brothers. Julian embodies the sin of wrath, being a very grumpy lord indeed, wallowing in self-inflicted solitude since the untimely deaths of not one but three wives. Believing himself responsible for their demise, he shuns and is shunned by society and has driven all but his most faithful servants away. His only real solace is the correspondence he has struck up with Viola Thompson, the daughter of a business associate, whom he believes is far out of harms way in America.

But oh what tangled web! Julian is completely blindsided when the beautiful and brazen Viola unexpectedly turns up on his doorstep, alone and unchaperoned. Just what is a reclusive lord to do? Misunderstandings abound as Viola is under the distinct impression that they are to be wed, a state that the hero is sworn off, believing that he is a danger to any future spouse.

Julian is now forced to deal with his demons as he fights his immediate and growing attraction to Viola, convinced he needs to keep her at arms- length for what he believes is her own safety. For Viola’s part she is understandably taken aback when she realises the error of coming to England, but I liked her spunk and how she bounces back making the most of the situation and Julian! As an American she tests the sensibilities of both Julian and English society at the time to its limits, which makes for some highly amusing scenes!

The romance between the hero and the heroine is at the heart of this sensual romance by Samantha Holt. I just loved the premise of this plot, which the author exploits with her customary finesse, creating oodles of sexual tension, and a story interjected with plenty of humour and torment (especially for the unsuspecting hero)!

I recommend Sinful Confessions to lovers of historical romance. I find the whole concept of sinful men irresistibly appealing and I am looking forward to indulging in the other novellas in this series in which we find out about his siblings, who each have a particular vice to overcome before they are to find their HEA.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

 

Sinful Deeds

Sinful Deeds

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Sinful Liaisons

Sinful Liaisons

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Sinful Liasons - Teaser

EXCERPT

Sinful Liaisons
Oxfordshire, 1897

A breeze whistled across his nether regions. Pierce grimaced. It could have been worse, he supposed. At least the day was mild with no sign of rain. He peered into the distance. Only the deeply grooved road cutting its path through the gentle hills hinted at civilisation. He grimaced again. Where the bloody hell was he?

He curled a fist and began trudging along the grass at the side of the road. Stones pricked his bare feet.

“Bloody Goddamn it.”

Pierce was going to kill Giles if he lived through this. He hadn’t intended to visit their favourite gambling den, but Giles just had to talk him into it. Nor had he meant to get utterly foxed. He hardly remembered wagering everything including his clothes. As for how he’d ended up naked on the roadside…

“Bloody Goddamn it all to hell.”

One final wager…He had vague recollections. Something to do with a race? Damnation, if only his head wasn’t so fuzzy. But even then, why had Giles left him to sleep it off in a field—naked?

The rumble of a carriage made him stiffen. He wouldn’t get far with his bare feet. A form of transport would be useful indeed. But who would give a naked man a ride? Pierce shrugged to himself and turned, cupping one hand over himself to preserve what little modesty he had left and using the other to gain the driver’s attention.

The black, glossy carriage rumbled closer, led by two horses. He saw the driver glance his way then look again before turning his head away. Dirt spattered his legs making him jump back as it rolled past.

“Rot in hell then,” he muttered half-heartedly and resisted the urge to scuff his bare foot across the ground.

A command from the driver reached his ears and he held his breath as the horses came to a halt. The vehicle stopped. Both hands over the family jewels, Pierce waited. The door swung open.

“Thank you,” he uttered, lifting his gaze to the heavens, and hurried toward the carriage. He cursed under his breath when several more rocks jabbed the soles of his feet.

Trying to look as noble as one could when naked, he paused in front of the open door. There, in the dark confines of the vehicle and set against plush royal blue seats, an elegant redhead skimmed her gaze up and down his body. Even in the gloom of the carriage, he saw an eyebrow rise. Then he noted the curve of her lips.

Pierce stared back. He allowed his own gaze to travel over her, observing the generous rise of her breasts against a low cut bodice and the slender waist that led to hips that were emphasised by a bustle. Hair coiled high, it gave him a fine view of the gems on her neck and ears. From the delicate porcelain skin to the emeralds casting a faint green hew across it, everything about this woman told him of her importance.

And her attractiveness. He had to force his gaze from her breasts or else both hands wouldn’t conceal anything.

“Get in.”

AUTHOR BIO

cynfelllogo

Samantha lives in a small village in England with her gorgeous twin girls. She enjoys writing historical romance involving chivalrous knights, hot highlanders and cravatted men, but sometimes gets lured away by bad boy bikers, soldiers and other heroic modern men.


AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS

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FACEBOOK


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**REVIEW** ~ Knight’s Captive, by Samantha Holt

Elizabethan Historical Romance

Blurb

Samantha-Holt_Knight_ConQueen Elizabeth sits on England’s throne. A once Catholic country is now ruled by a Protestant queen. In a time of fear, turmoil and bold deeds, many heroes are seldom written into history…

After aiding in the capture of the flagship Rosario and helping to defeat the Spanish Armada, Sir Henry Bainbridge is set to make his mark on the world and strengthen his position as a man of authority. Now in charge of the Spanish prisoners, Henry must negotiate their return to Spain and manage the care of his people.

However, when he comes across a woman amongst the survivors, his future plans are put on hold. The exotic beauty draws him in and his honour will not let him doing anything other than protect her. Henry takes her into his home and places her under house arrest. He can only hope his principles are enough to protect her from his desires…

In a time when small differences spark fear into the heart of many, Antonia finds herself drawn into a battle between a zealous priest, a discontented population and the most honourable man she’s ever met. Nothing can ever come of their attraction, not while he’s holding her father prisoner and not when so many differences divide them.

Or can it?

My Review

Sweet Captor/Captive Romance ***** (FIVE STARS)

Samantha Holt’s latest release, Knight’s Captive, is a lovely romantic read. The narrative takes place in 1588 against the backdrop of the attempted invasion of England by the formidable Spanish Armada. The safety of the country is in doubt and the Protestant queen Elizabeth is keen to put down any possibility of Papist plots, which may aid the enemy.

The hero Sir Henry is stunned to find a young woman aboard the Spanish flagship that has been captured. Antonia is the daughter of the captain and whilst the captured Spanish crew are taken into custody and sequestered in the local village, she is taken to Henry’s ancestral home under house arrest, her fate, like that of her compatriots dependent on diplomatic negotiations between the two warring countries.

Henry is immediately drawn to the young woman admiring her spirit, bravery and beauty. He is perplexed at what would prompt someone of the fair sex to risk their life aboard the ship. There is clearly a lot more to Antonia than meets the eye and as the days pass and the couple spend time together, they begin to mean a lot more to each other than captor and captive. Yet what chance of a HEA do they have, when Antonia is effectively an enemy and a pawn in the ensuing diplomatic relations? She is a Catholic reviled by his queen and those like the local zealot priest, who would see the Catholic faith and their followers destroyed. Moreover Antonia has her own personal demons to contend with.

I immediately rooted for the heroine and admired her for her spirit, strength and compassion. A young widow she has a dark past which is revealed as the plot unfolds. Henry is an honourable man and determined that no harm will befall Antonia whilst she is under his protection, even from his own desires….. The romance is overall a sweet one, although it does have some sensual scenes. I particularly liked the sexual tension between the couple as they both seek to deny their growing feelings for each other, in the belief that nothing can come of a liaison which could end in tragedy. It is a page turning read as the themes woven into the novel come together the couple must fight more than their own feelings before their fates are decided.

I loved reading a novel set in this time period and the descriptions of the devastation of the Spanish flagship at sea, village life and Henry’s household evoked the period beautifully. It was all the more fascinating as instead of being set at court, it focused on the countryside, where the impact of the attempted invasion and its aftermath on the local populace and the plight of those who still practice the Catholic faith is explored.

A super read for lovers of historical romance.

Purchase links:

US: http://amzn.to/1NL2c5n

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01054FDEI

Connect with the Author

Find Samantha on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/samanthaholtromance

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http://www.lovelustandlipstickstains.com/p/street-team.html

www.samanthaholt.org.uk

**COVER REVEAL** ~ Sinful Liaisons (book 3 of the Cynfell Brothers Series), by Samantha Holt (includes giveaway)

Releasing August 12th 2015

Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. The Cynfell brothers are the very embodiment of a sinful existence. But could the right woman change that?

sinfulliaisons

Greed

It’s not every day a duchess comes across a naked man on the roadside. It’s not every day a duchess takes said naked man home with her. But Evelyn Chesworth can hardly leave the poor man in nought but his skin on the dangerous road to London. Particularly when he’s so attractive…

Lord Pierce Cynfell is in a world of trouble. With his brother threatening to cut him off and his gambling debts increasing, his beautiful rescuer couldn’t have come at a better time. He can’t help but be attracted to the worldly, mature woman.

So he certainly isn’t going to say no when she offers to write off his debts in return for one thing—his body.

However, it soon becomes clear more than his body is becoming involved. While everyone else might think he’s only there for the money, the beautiful widow slowly draws him deeper until he wants to unlock every secret buried beneath those tight corsets.

Evelyn might let Pierce beneath her corsets but she’s determined it will be no more than that. She has loved and lost twice in her life and won’t let that happen again. Meanwhile, she has too many other things to worry about—like the preservation of her son’s land.

When Pierce begins to show himself as more than a skilled lover, Evelyn has a choice—let herself be vulnerable again or send away the man who lights a fire in her body, heart and soul.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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~**EXCERPT**~ from *Knight’s Captive* by Samantha Holt

Elizabethan Romance

Release Date 16th July 2015

We are delighted to share with you an excerpt from Samantha Holt’s sensual Elizabethan romance, Knight’s Captive, available next week and now up for pre-order! Tina 🙂

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Blurb

Queen Elizabeth sits on England’s throne. A once Catholic country is now ruled by a Protestant queen. In a time of fear, turmoil and bold deeds, many heroes are seldom written into history…

After aiding in the capture of the flagship Rosario and helping to defeat the Spanish Armada, Sir Henry Bainbridge is set to make his mark on the world and strengthen his position as a man of authority. Now in charge of the Spanish prisoners, Henry must negotiate their return to Spain and manage the care of his people.

However, when he comes across a woman amongst the survivors, his future plans are put on hold. The exotic beauty draws him in and his honour will not let him doing anything other than protect her. Henry takes her into his home and places her under house arrest. He can only hope his principles are enough to protect her from his desires…

In a time when small differences spark fear into the heart of many, Antonia finds herself drawn into a battle between a zealous priest, a discontented population and the most honourable man she’s ever met. Nothing can ever come of their attraction, not while he’s holding her father prisoner and not when so many differences divide them.

Or can it?

Pre-order links:

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UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01054FDEI

Excerpt

The ship seemed to come apart beneath his feet. It propelled him forward and he snatched whatever part of Antonia he could grab to haul her close. His fingers met a bunch of fabric, and he yanked her to him and drew her to her feet. She tried to get away again but he was prepared this time and wrapped his arms about her.

“We need to get off.”

She shook her head. “My father!”

Smoke was beginning to rise out of the hull. Men poured onto the deck, but he couldn’t see her father. His men frantically ushered them over the side of the ship to the waiting boats. He stepped around the steadily growing cracks in the wood and grimaced as the mast swayed and creaked. The ship didn’t have long.

He shoved Antonia into Will’s arms. “Ensure she gets into a boat.” He turned his attention to the dark-eyed woman. “I’ll get your father.”

She nodded, her lips pulled into a tight line of fear. Henry turned away before he could regret his decision. Will would see her to safety. The gut-sickening sound of men’s cries sliced through him, like a baby’s wail calling to its mother. It wasn’t the first time he’d heard sounds like that, and yet it still made him stiffen and determination burned in his belly. He’d been tasked with capturing these Spanish and he’d damn well do it. None would burn or drown on his watch.

Henry raced down the stairs and covered his mouth with his arm. Smoke made his eyes water. Ghostly creaks rattled through the ship. She was taking on water though it hadn’t reached the deck below. He could hear the sea swallowing her, drawing her down to her doom. But the fire hadn’t been doused. Heat touched his skin and he suspected that not far beneath him could be a raging inferno.

Several men pushed past him—his own men. He peered into the gloom and stalked past the canons. The ship gave another shuddering moan and tilted aft. He gripped some rope hanging from the roof and forged forward.

“De Valdés!” he called, almost choking on a lungful of acrid smoke. When he neared the galley, he paused. Over the sound of the foundering ship, a cry for help reached his ears. He pivoted and raced to the fore, narrowly avoiding tripping over loose shot and ropes. There, near the front, was Antonia’s father—pinned by a strut of wood that must have fallen from the roof.

When he peered closer, he noted de Valdés wasn’t the only one caught. A young officer had also become trapped. Henry grimaced. He didn’t look alive.

Henry wasted no time in gripping the plank at one end and dragging it from the commander, wincing from the effort. His muscles pulled in protest, his lungs burned with exertion and smoke inhalation. He cast it aside and did a cursory inspection of the lad. Dead, for certain.

“Can you walk?” he called to the older man.

He nodded, dragged himself to his feet and propped himself against the rear wall. Even in the gloom, pain dug deep grooves in his features. Henry suspected a broken leg. God’s teeth, they didn’t have time for this. He snatched the man’s arm, flung it over his shoulder and they made their way all too slowly to the stairs.

A moan rumbled through the ship. She tilted farther, heeding their progress yet more. He practically dragged the commander up the steps and they both took a moment to swallow gulps of fresh air. Henry surveyed the deck and saw most had abandoned ship.

Except…damn her. He passed her father over to Will. “A broken leg,” he shouted. “You’ll have to lower him down. As soon as he’s in, abandon ship.”

Antonia was already hurrying to his side from the quarter deck but before she reached them, a crack splintered the air. Henry’s skin prickled. He glanced up and saw the middle mast sway. The ship was now at an angle—slightly back, slightly to one side. The mast began to tilt that way too and as it went, it ripped the quarter deck with it, sending Antonia sprawling. He half-expected her to be swallowed into the bowels of the ship before he stormed up the stairs to her side, but he reached her before the mast fell.

As the deck splintered into what seemed like a hundred pieces, he snatched his arms around her and dragged her onto the main deck. The ship spit up shards of wood around them. She wasn’t going down without a fight, but she seemed determined to take them with her. Henry glanced back to see Will and de Valdés were gone. He tightened his grip on Antonia and wrapped a hand around the railing. They’d be lucky to make it to the longboats waiting in the water. “We need to jump.”

“No. My father.”

“He’s safe.” Henry had no way of knowing that, but he wouldn’t have this woman on the ship any longer. “Can you swim?”

She nodded.

He helped her up onto the railing. Her body trembled beneath his palms. “Jump now.” His world tilted further. “Jump!”

She flew over the edge, her hair streaming out behind her. He couldn’t hear the splash as he tore off his doublet and undid his belt. He flung both aside, regretting that he’d lose his blade. That had been a fine blade. Clambering onto the side, he took a breath and dove.

knightcaptiveteaser

About the Author

Samantha lives in a small village in England with her gorgeous twin girls. She enjoys writing historical romance involving chivalrous knights, hot highlanders and cravatted men, but sometimes gets lured away by bad boy bikers, soldiers and other heroic modern men.

Find Samantha on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/samanthaholtromance

Join her street team here: http://www.lovelustandlipstickstains.com/p/street-team.html

www.samanthaholt.org.uk

 

BLOG TOUR WITH REVIEW ~ **Kissed At Midnight** by Samantha Holt (includes excerpt and giveaway)

Sensual Victorian Romance

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BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Kissed at Midnight
AUTHOR – Samantha Holt
GENRE – Historical Romance
PUBLICATION DATE – 18th February
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 60,000
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BOOK SYNOPSIS

August Avery, a renowned civil engineer, has found himself the sole custodian of his cousin’s six month old daughter and he needs assistance—fast. He understands how to build railways, to construct bridges and to save the railway tycoons thousands of pounds. He doesn’t understand, however, how to care for a child.
 
When Ivy Davis turns up at his door looking for work, he believes his prayers are answered. If only the exotic, exuberant young woman did not prove to be such a distraction from his busy workload.
 
Unsure if she is even up to the task of looking after a baby, Ivy finds herself swayed by the handsome and slightly desperate August into working for him. With her singing career failing before it even started and no other talents, she decides looking after a young child cannot be so hard, surely?
 
But the child may turn out to be the least of her worries. Her handsome, brooding master seems to keep her awake more than the baby. Add to that her desire to achieve her dreams of singing on stage and the machinations of the indomitable Mrs. Pepperwhite who sees her as competition for August’s hand, Ivy finds this simple job growing harder by the day—as does her desire for her master…

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EXCERPT

Ivy darted a look at the door as she eased herself down onto the bed beside her master. The housekeeper could have no reason to come upstairs but if she caught her in the master’s room—on his bed no less—she could be in quite a pickle.“Mr.—” A snore escaped his mouth and she shook her head.

“Oh dear, Mr. Avery. You are the one who is in a pickle I think. Or more likely utterly foxed.”Leaning over, she went to grasp his hand to study the damage and froze when he grunted and rolled towards her. His arm landed near her backside on the bed and his head was almost on her lap. Ivy attempted to take his hurt hand from behind her but he twined it out of her grasp and released a low mumble.

She gasped when his hand curved around her backside. She wore only her chemise and her drawers. Mr. Avery’s warm hand fairly burned through the cotton, feeling as though she would wake up with a handprint on her bottom. She twisted to yank his hand away, only to end up with his head pressed against the side of her breast. Mr Avery nuzzled his face against her breast and she stilled. She should draw away, press him back, but for some reasonher body refused to cooperate. Hands to his head, she found his hair to be soft and thick.

Oh dear. One part of her body seemed to be working—her fingers. They twined into the softness, so at odds with the rest of him, from his stern features to what she suspected was a body that rivalled the statues of London. He released a muffled groan against her and she heard him inhale deeply.

“Smell so good,” he murmured.Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. She was going to lose her job not two days into it if she was not careful. Her nipples were tight and hard. Lush heat rolled throughher as he burrowed closer and his hand splayed across her back to hold her to him.

A creak from somewhere else in the house startled her into action. She jerked back and clasped his wrist to force his hand back. At least in his foxed state he wasn’t particularly strong. She had no doubt if he really wanted to keep hold of her, he could, but had he been sober, she was positive he’d want nothing to do with the governess.  A man like Mr Avery likely enjoyed the company of women less… interesting-looking than her. Blonde ones with soft features and a delicate manner.

He rolled onto his back, a grin cracking his face. His eyes were at half-mast and she wasn’t sure what amused him. Recalling her original reason for being on the bed, she grasped his hand and inspected the cut. It had already stopped bleeding so couldn’t be deep. Ivy rolled her eyes to herself. All this for a tiny scratch. At least he was so foxed he would never recall any of it.

 
samanthaholt
AUTHOR BIO

Samantha lives in a small village in England with her gorgeous twin girls. She enjoys writing historical romance involving chivalrous knights, hot highlanders and cravatted men, but sometimes gets lured away by bad boy bikers, soldiers and other heroic modern men.
AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS

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Signed picture of Colin Firth as Mr Darcy
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My Review

Upstairs meets Downstairs in this sensual Victorian romance *****

I loved Kissed At Midnight, where the usual walls between master and servant crumble and passion ignites. The read is sensual, romantic and fun as the two protagonists, Ivy and August, who may well be my favourite Samantha Holt couple to date, circle each other, trying in vain to deny their growing mutual attraction.

August is in a real pickle since he assumed the responsibility for caring for his cousin’s baby Elsie, and in an uncharacteristic show of impetuosity he hires Ivy as her nursemaid, despite her lack of experience in such a role. Both know that the situation is only transitory as Ivy’s real goal is to forge a career as a singer.

The author’s voice in this novel is decidedly playful, driven in part no doubt by the character of the heroine, Ivy, whose actions compel the evolving romance with her knack of plain speaking and spontaneous nature. By contrast the engineer August is methodical, cautious and conservative in outlook. Ivy is the perfect yin to his yang, free spirited and adventurous. I just adored how the tale shows us how August’s well-ordered life is soon compromised by Ivy’s presence in his household.

I loved how the author showed this handsome man grappling with his conscience regarding how to treat Ivy, a woman in his employ who he is honour bound to protect, yet at the same time the very woman who he is developing an irrepressible attraction for. He also strives to avoid the unwelcome attentions of the widow Mrs Pepperwhite, who does not care for Ivy’s appearance on the scene.

Ivy is quite a heroine! I loved her back story and her character which goes against everything that is expected of a Victorian lady. She certainly upsets August’s routine and in a household as small as his, the usual rules between master and servant are soon compromised. Their romance is a real page- turner as neither August or Ivy know how to cope with their growing feelings for each other and there are a number of barriers to their HEA: Ivy’s ambition to become a famous singer; August’s desire to maintain his distance from the hired help and Mrs Pepperwhite’s interest in August.

Their love-making scenes between the couple are hugely romantic and sensual and although August is a true gentleman, he is very much flesh and blood and as I read I could sense the growing desire between him and Ivy which demands to be sated…..

All in all a super sensual romance and I feel one of the author’s best to date. Recommended for readers of historical romance.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this novel was made available for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

 

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Review Round-Up Jan ’15

Hi readers, we are well into January now but we do hope that you enjoyed the holiday season and that you have a Happy New Year. I am amazed that over the last month Tina and myself have managed to review fifteen books and hope that you enjoy reading all about them.

Romance is certainly a strong theme for the following books but we still cover the historical, contemporary, chick-lit, erotica, paranormal and sci-fi (and festive) genres, as well as having a paranormal thriller/horror and a crime drama in the mix too!

As always, you can click on the book title for the full review and more!

Caroline & Tina ❤

temptinghismistress800Tempting his Mistress by Samantha Holt, historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: What could possibly induce at woman to follow in the footsteps of her mother and further sully her reputation by becoming a mistress?

Lilly Claremont is well used to being at the centre of gossip. Being the illegitimate child of a rich businessman never failed to titillate the gossips and while she cared little about the wagging tongues she never intended to reinforce their opinions of her by ruining herself completely.

But it seems Lord Hawksley is determined to make the fascinating Lilly his mistress…

Evan has no doubt her bold tongue and beautiful body could keep him entertained for some time. Captivated by her, he must find a way to burn through his desire for her. He cannot marry a woman of such social standing so why not make her his mistress?

After the murder of her father, Lilly is searching for answers and they lead her directly to Lord Hawksley. But will they also lead her to his bed…?

All I Want for ChristmasAll I Want for Christmas by Amy Silver, contemporary holiday romance, chick-lit (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: It’s Bea’s first Christmas with her baby son, and this year she’s determined to do everything right. But there is still so much to do: the Christmas menu needs refining; her café, The Honey Pot, needs decorating; and she’s invited the whole neighbourhood to a party on Christmas Day. She really doesn’t have time to get involved in two new people’s lives, let alone fall in love…

When Olivia gets knocked over in the street, however, Bea can’t help bringing her into The Honey Pot and getting to know her. Olivia’s life is even more hectic than her own, and with her fiancé’s entire family over from Ireland for Christmas, she shouldn’t be lingering in the cosy warmth of Bea’s café. Chloe, on the other hand, has nowhere else to go. Her affair with a married man has alienated her friends, and left her lonelier than ever.

But Christmas is a magical time, and in the fragrant atmosphere of The Honey Pot, anything can happen: new friends can be made, hearts can heal, and romance can finally blossom…

A True Alpha ChristmasA True Alpha Christmas (novella of the True Alpha series) by Alisa Woods, new adult, paranormal romance (reviewed by Caroline)

STAND-ALONE NOVELLA – best enjoyed after reading the True Alpha Box Set (Vol 1-6)

Blurb: Shifters live in the shadows of Seattle, just under the skin of the alpha male, dot-com entrepreneurs who are building a new Silicon Valley in the Emerald City. Mia is your everyday college girl, trying to earn her business degree—and a shifter who’s long hidden her identity from everyone, including her mother, who believes shifter is synonymous with criminal. Six months ago, sexy and powerful alpha-male Lucas rescued her in an alley and claimed her for his mate. Now Mia’s heart belongs to Lucas, and everyone in the world of shifters understands the magic of their mating has bonded them for life. But in the human world, there’s no wedding ring on her finger to show for it. With Christmas looming, Mia’s mother wants to finally meet Mia’s mysterious and high-powered live-in lover. With her human and shifter lives about to irrevocably collide, Mia fears there will be nothing but broken hearts in the end.

A True Alpha Christmas is 80 pages or 20,000 words. This novella can be read as a standalone, but readers will enjoy it more if they read the True Alpha serial (Vol 1-6) first.

23249978Long Gone Girl (short story) by Amy Rose Bennett, erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: After returning home from the Korean War a widow, former MASH surgical nurse, Ginny Williams, heads to the Jersey Shore for a weekend of much needed R&R. But her plans to do nothing more than relax on the beach go seriously awry when the boy who broke her heart on Prom night nine years ago—the now hotter-than-hot ‘fly-boy’ Jett Kelly—shows up on her patch of sand. To make matters worse, Captain Kelly seems to be on a mission to win her trust, and maybe even her heart again. But the last thing Ginny wants is a man—especially one like Jett—in her life. She’s a career nurse now, and that’s that. If only Jett wasn’t so damned charming and attractive

US air force pilot, Captain Jefferson ‘Jett’ Kelly Junior is blown away to have stumbled across the beautiful yet shy and bookish girl he used to have a huge crush on in high school—especially now that Ginny is all grown up and sexy as hell. Problem is, she’s also not backward in coming forward when letting him know she hasn’t forgiven him for the Prom-kiss-gone-wrong incident. Even though Jett knows he’ll have his work cut out for him to get a second chance with her, he’s definitely going to give it his best shot…

Despite Ginny’s determination to keep her head—she’s certainly not the naïve girl she used to be—when Jett starts to unashamedly woo her, she soon realizes that maybe her heart didn’t get the memo…

FallingDragons-200x300Falling Dragons (Moon Shadow series #3) by Angela Castle, erotic paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Drugged and running for her life, Dragon Princess, Ophelia, jumps off a rooftop to escape her captors.

Immortal Demon Hunter Simon, is shocked when he catches a falling, redheaded woman. His surprise is short-lived when he faces not only a vicious demon, but those hunting his newly acquired redhead.

In desperate need of protection, and knowing he is her mate, Opie spell-tethers the sexy Demon Hunter to her, not realizing he’s a seventeen-hundred-year-old dragon slayer.

The sexual chemistry explodes between them as they fight each other, in and out of the bedroom. Together, they must battle an evil enemy set on unleashing a soul-sucking demon army into the world, threatening to destroy everything they hold close to their hearts.

Bethany's Heart (Unearthly World #3)Bethany’s Heart (Unearthly World #3) by C. L. Scholey, sci-fi erotic romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Amidst the snow and icy wasteland, Earth has become a watery grave to many. Zargonnii warriors Finn and Blu search for any remaining human females. Luck abounds and six females are found struggling to survive. The moment his blazing red eyes settle onto Bethany Finn feels in his heart she is the one he wants to end his loneliness. When Bethany encounters two massive aliens, eyes alight, long white hair wildly flying, she knows the pair are either death or salvation. Their encounter leads Bethany on the wildest adventure of her life. After the Zargonnii ship is annihilated by the enemy a shuttle leads Finn and Bethany straight into the path of peril more times than the couple care to count.

Help, I've Been Abducted by an Alien!Help, I’ve Been Abducted by an Alien! (short story) by Juliet Cardin, sci-fi erotic romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Jen joins an alien-abductee group in order to secretly write an article on the subject. Her plans take an unexpected turn when she encounters a UFO in her neighborhood park and gets abducted for real.

Lysander, her sexy captor, informs Jen he’s not taking her home. Earth, he confides, is soon to be impacted by an asteroid and then invaded by a hostile lizard race. Jen is determined to find a way to escape Lysander–who is hell-bent on having her for himself–and return to Earth, before it is too late to prevent its annihilation. 

drug_final_ResizedDrug (The Kassidy Bell trilogy #1) by Lynda O’Rourke, paranormal thriller, horror (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Out of work and out of luck, 19 year-old Kassidy Bell finds herself in desperate need of money.

Coming across a mysterious advert in her local newspaper offering a reward, Kassidy believes she’s found the answer to her prayers.

But Kassidy soon realises that if something is too good to be true then it usually isn’t what it first appears to be. Finding herself in a desperate situation, Kassidy realises that she must run if she is to escape the new horrors she has discovered however great the reward might be.

21948425Mr X by Clarissa Wilde, dark, erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

18+/Adult Read

Author Note: This is not your average romance story. Some people will kill for love.

Blurb: He’s come to kill me. I’m a user and abuser of my own body. In my darkest hour I sold my soul to the devil and now I must pay the price. With his gun to my head I have no choice but to listen and obey, but I refuse to go down easily. Nothing is stronger than the will to survive. My instincts kicked into full gear the second he stepped into my motel room.Except when I look at him I see my own heart staring back at me. A history tainted by blood.I don’t know his name, but I know he wants me. To save myself I’ll sacrifice my sanity. My body. My soul. Something tells me the x-shaped scar that marks his eye is the only escape I have. He is Mr. X: the man who comes to claim my life. Can I save myself before he demands my heart?

WARNING: This book contains very disturbing situations, dubious consent, breath deprivation, strong language, drugs and alcohol, and graphic violence.

SHEIKH Boxed WebTaken by the Sheikh (Boxed Set) by Christina Phillips, Mel Teshco & Cathleen Ross, contemporary erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Book 1: Hostage to the Sheikh ~ Mel Teshco

Sheikh Shahzad Salah al Din doesn’t have time for hearts and flowers, not when his parents’ bodies are barely even cold in their graves and his country, Omana, is on the brink of revolt. He has to secure peace by honoring a long ago arrangement to make English rose, Lexi Galvin, his wife. The trouble is strong-willed Lexi isn’t aware of her royal Arab lineage let alone her destiny. There is only one way Shahzad can guarantee she will be his queen … and he isn’t above using force to get it.

Book 2: The Sheikh’s Mistaken Bride ~ Christina Phillips

In order to secure a powerful alliance for his country, Khalid has no choice but to marry a neighboring princess. It’s not what he wants, but duty must come before pleasure. Yet when he meets the beautiful Sanura he changes his mind… only to discover the virgin in his bed is not his destined bride.

Book 3: Sold to the Sheikh ~ Cathleen Ross

He’d paid a fortune for his bride and he was determined to collect, whether she liked it or not. Rafi Salah al Din doesn’t trust easily. In charge of security for his country Omana, he devotes his life to duty. With his parents murdered it is his duty to stabilize his country by finding his parents’ assassin, marry and produce a son to ensure the Salah al Din line lives on. So why does the wife he bought disagree?

HGF_CoverHeart Grow Fonder by Cristy Rey, adult contemporary romance (reviewed by Tina)

Wrong place. Wrong time. Right people.

Jessie Bravo knows what’s wrong with her life; she just doesn’t know what to do about it. Eleven years ago, she saved Tyler Cantrell from getting his ass kicked by gay-bashing high school jocks. Since, they’ve been the closest of friends. Years later, Jessie circled the drain of chronic depression, spiralling out of control, and it was Tyler’s turn to save her. Who knew her best friend would become a Hollywood A-lister? Though Jessie credits Tyler for keeping her together, living in the shadow of her best friend’s celebrity isn’t all it’s cut out to be. It’s up to Jessie to figure out what she has to do to be happy: get better or get lost.

Stardom is on the horizon for British television actor Boyd Kerrington. He’s starring opposite Tyler Cantrell in an American feature film sure to blow his career out the water. For all the years he’s focused on his career, however, he’s settled in his personal life. That is, until he meets Tyler’s best friend, Jessie. Jessie is refreshingly cool, passionate, and compelling…but she’s also complicated. Worse yet, she’s not interested in remaining in the celebrity stratosphere, even for her lifelong friend.

22855324-2Triple D Dude Ranch by Beverly Ovalle, erotic western contemporary romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Blaire is a freelance photographer on assignment. She is heading home to Texas, armed with her camera to do a photo feature for the Tribune. Taking photos of the dude ranch, she gets an eyeful of an uninhibited cowboy through her lens. The summer heat of Texas has nothing on the heat he generates in her.

Dan was expecting a photographer but not the sexy urban cowgirl that arrived. He knew it was hot out, he just hadn’t expected the hot and sexy woman to make him burn the minute he caught sight of her. One look and he had to quench this fire inside.

One touch between Dan and Blaire sparks a wildfire that burns hotter than the Texas summer and is just as hard to put out.

Playing the Field (Duty & Desire, Book 4)Playing the Field (Duty & Desire #4) by C.J. Pinard, contemporary military romance, chick-lit (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: An overachiever in uniform…

Jace Lawless is an overachiever, a go-getter, and determined to accomplish everything he sets his mind to. After serving his country in the U.S. Marine Corps, and receiving his college degree, he’s picked up by a popular minor league baseball team, all while continuing his service in the USMC reserves.

When Jace meets a beautiful, breathtaking single mother named Miranda Cates, it takes him by surprise. Her shady past and beautiful little girl are the conundrum that both confuses and fascinates Jace. He can’t tear his thoughts away from Miranda, and eventually he believes he can win her over with his dimpled smirk and witty charms.

Once Miranda becomes his, the part of him she hated the most – the part he had kept secret from her for so long – rears its ugly head. Will Miranda lean on her friend Cara for support while staying by his side once he tells her that duty is calling… or will she decide she can’t handle it and take her daughter and leave?

Playing the Field is the fourth and final installment of the Duty & Desire series. Contains adult situations and minor scenes of war. 

Chris Collett 7 Dead of NightDead of Night (A Tom Mariner Mystery #7) by Chris Collett, police procedural, crime drama, thriller (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: When a young woman disappears on her way home from work, Detective Inspector Tom Mariner tackles his most challenging investigation yet!

18-year-old Grace Clifton vanishes on her way home from work in the centre of Birmingham late at night, the case is remarkable in that not a single witness comes forward. The more he has to deal with Grace s wealthy and overbearing father, Council Leader Bob Clifton, the more Tom Mariner is inclined to believe that Grace left of her own accord.

Then the package arrives. It contains Grace s clothes, neatly pressed and laundered. A second woman disappears. And a disturbing pattern begins to emerge.

Still adapting to a new investigation team and struggling to pull its members together, Detective Inspector Mariner is about to tackle one of his strangest, most challenging cases to date.

OnceuponarakeOnce Upon a Rake by Samantha Holt, historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

In Victorian England, Little Ellie Browning swiftly discovered happily ever afters did not exist and rakes were simply rakes. When the man she had adored for years kissed her and left her heartbroken and she was forced to marry an elderly earl to save her reputation, she resolved to put any dreams of fairy tales aside.

Seven years later, the now widowed Eleanor, Countess of Hawthorne, has returned to England after years of travelling and is now part-owner of a cotton mill left to her by her late husband.

But the owner of the mill, and the very same handsome rake who hurt her years earlier, has no desire to let a woman interfere with his business, let alone little Ellie Browning—no matter how fascinating he finds her since her transformation from coltish scarecrow to almost graceful countess.

Lucian is still recovering from the after-effects of one of his mills succumbing to fire, and now he’s fighting to save the other in a tough economic climate. He doesn’t need this new distraction, especially when, after a series of accidents, it becomes clear someone wishes the mill to close and he has to find the culprit—fast.

With things heating up between Ellie and Lucian, it’s apparent that not only is the mill in peril—they are both at risk of getting burned…

Review – Once Upon a Rake, by Samantha Holt

A Second Chance at Love

Sensual Victorian Romance 

Onceuponarake

 Blurb

In Victorian England, Little Ellie Browning swiftly discovered happily ever afters did not exist and rakes were simply rakes. When the man she had adored for years kissed her and left her heartbroken and she was forced to marry an elderly earl to save her reputation, she resolved to put any dreams of fairy tales aside.

Seven years later, the now widowed Eleanor, Countess of Hawthorne, has returned to England after years of travelling and is now part-owner of a cotton mill left to her by her late husband.

But the owner of the mill, and the very same handsome rake who hurt her years earlier, has no desire to let a woman interfere with his business, let alone little Ellie Browning—no matter how fascinating he finds her since her transformation from coltish scarecrow to almost graceful countess.

Lucian is still recovering from the after-effects of one of his mills succumbing to fire, and now he’s fighting to save the other in a tough economic climate. He doesn’t need this new distraction, especially when, after a series of accidents, it becomes clear someone wishes the mill to close and he has to find the culprit—fast.

With things heating up between Ellie and Lucian, it’s apparent that not only is the mill in peril—they are both at risk of getting burned…

My Review

A Second Chance at Love *****

Once Upon a Rake is the second of Samantha Holt’s Victorian romances I have read, the first being Tempting His Mistress and once again it is a fantastic read! It is a tale of second chances and an unexpected reversal of fortune for both the hero and heroine, where they must help each other recover from old and new wounds before their HEA can be reached. It also delves into the social issues of the day surrounding the working conditions in cotton mills, which I enjoyed reading.

When Ellie Browning is found in a compromising position with the rakish Lucian her father marries her off to a much older man, to preserve her reputation. Fast forward seven years and the newly widowed Ellie, now a countess, returns to England determined to participate in the running of the mill that her deceased husband had invested in. Lucian, the mill owner, is no longer the rake he was, cutting himself off from society and throwing himself into the business to keep it afloat. Ellie by contrast is now to all intents and purposes an accomplished young woman, having gained much confidence from her life with her late husband. Yet both are lonely and the heroine still feels unworthy of a man like Lucian, who she is still very much attracted to.

Although Lucian resents what he views as Ellie’s interference in the mill, she will not be prevented from helping. I loved Ellie’s tenacity in persuading Lucian to let her get involved. The more time he spends with and comes to know Ellie, the more respect he garners for her and he becomes obsessed with her, despite himself. However, he has little to offer this woman who is now his social superior and begins to regret how he acted towards her in the past.

I just loved the handsome but taciturn hero Lucian! When he is first introduced in the book he comes across as a thoroughly self-centred and unlikable character, totally unworthy of the adoration of the young heroine Ellie. Samantha Holt manages to redeem his character as we learn about what has happened to him since he last saw Ellie. By the end of the novel he had totally redeemed himself in my eyes, having learned a lot in the intervening years, yet still remained as devilish as ever! I found the way in which the author portrays Lucian’s dawning realisation that Ellie is the woman for him very well done.

I adored that Ellie is an unconventional woman in terms of her impulsiveness, outspoken nature and her interests. She comes across as a very believable and worthy heroine. Although she strives to be confident she has a number of vulnerabilities, which I was rooting for her to overcome. I also liked how she sees past Lucian’s grumpy demeanour and slowly finds out about the reality of the man that he has become. Dare she take a chance on him this man who once broke her heart?

The sexual tension between the couple simmers until passion ignites – and ignite it does! The lovemaking scenes are sweet, sensual and sizzling and I really wanted the couple to admit their true feelings for one another. The read also has an element of danger and suspense as Lucian and Ellie try to get to the bottom of problems at the mill.

I recommend this read to lovers of historical romance who are after a fast-paced, entertaining and sensual read.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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Author Links

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Check out Samantha Holt’s Tempting His Mistress, also set in Victorian England.

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