*REVIEW* ~ The Firebrand (Great Chicago Fire Trilogy #3) , by Susan Wiggs

#historicalromance #suffragettes #romance

Book Blurb

On October 8, 1871, one small spark ignites the entire city of Chicago, sending its residents into panic. But amid the chaos, a chance encounter leads to an unexpected new love. Wiggs’s USA Today bestselling trilogy is now reissued.

Chicago is burning

And Lucy Hathaway is running for her life.
As she rushes past a fine hotel engulfed in flames, a wrapped bundle
tumbles from a window into her arms. Seconds later the building
crumbles–and Lucy is astonished to discover the swaddled blanket
contains a baby.

Five years later Lucy walks into Rand
Higgins’s bank and knows: the orphan she rescued that day actually
belongs to this ruthless financier. Now, to keep the child she’s come to
love, she’ll have to give up her hard-won freedom and become his wife.
But giving Rand her heart? That, she could never have expected…

My Review ~ Fantastic read! ~5 stars

This is the first book that I have read by Susan Wiggs and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It has plenty of tension and conflict between the hero and heroine, which for me is always a strong plus. Not only that but it gave me an insight into the terrible fire that engulfed Chicago and the women’s movement in America at the time.

Rand, renowned for his strong business and financial acumen, is both a scarred and bitter man, the Chicago fire of 1871 having impacted on his life in a terrible way. Yet a miracle happens and the child he thought he had lost reappears in his life. To do right by her he is compelled to forge a marriage of convenience with the headstrong radical and social outcast, Lucy Hathaway. Lucy is everything Rand despises in a woman and sparks fly between the two of them as does an undeniable attraction …

Can this union of opposites ever have a chance of succeeding when many in Chicago society are against it? The journey both the hero and the heroine embark on is an emotional one and I admired their commitment to the child that they both love. Can Lucy reign in her radical views and activities and conform to the expectations of polite society or will she lose her sense of self in the process? Can Rand change his chauvinistic views and give a little? It is not an easy ride for either of them and there are many hurdles to overcome.

I loved this entertaining romance and the companion books in the series are now on my to read list. I’d highly recommend it.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Connect with the Author

https://www.susanwiggs.com/

**REVIEW** ~ Loving the Beast: A Beauty Epilogue, by Skye Warren

Erotic Romance Novella

Adult/18+ Read

Blurb

Loving the BeastThe sexy journey began in Beauty Touched the Beast and continued in the Beauty series. Now read the breathtaking conclusion in this epilogue novella…

Since their forbidden beginning, Erin and Blake’s relationship has been marked by deep sensuality and intense emotion. Each challenge only makes them stronger, and Blake is ready to take his new fiancee to meet his family.

Home holds secrets for them both. A dark legacy threatens everything they’ve worked to build. When old debt comes between them, both Blake and Erin must fight to protect each other–and their love.

Books in the Beauty series:
1. Beauty Touched the Beast
2. Beneath the Beauty
3. Broken Beauty
4. Beauty Becomes You

And now the sexy ever after… Loving the Beast: A Beauty Epilogue

My Review *****

Sweet and Scorching!

Loving the Beast is a sweet and scorching epilogue to Erin and Blake’s romance, which began in Beauty Touched the Beast. The series recounts the relationship between war veteran Blake (the ‘Beast’ of the title), who is struggling to deal with the aftermath of war and the internal and external injuries he sustained and Erin (the ‘Beauty’), a college student who cleans his house to help fund her studies. Their journey is one of deep emotions and sensuality: they face many challenges as Erin progresses through college and Blake, empowered by her love, re-enters society.

I LOVED how in this final instalment both Erin and Blake are compelled to face their inner demons and open up more fully than ever before to one another in some soul-searching and erotic scenes. The love this couple have for each other just jumps off the page!

Engaged to be married, Blake and Erin visit first Blake’s parents and then Erin’s mother. However, secrets from the past come to the fore, revealing their insecurities and once again testing their love. Throughout, I loved how Erin and Blake were ultimately there for one another emotionally and physically, even though the revelations lead to their unravelling.

There are also some seriously HOT scenes in this book, as Erin and Blake in turn encourage each other to ‘let go.’ These scenes illustrate once again the creativity of Skye Warren and the raw beauty of her writing! Not as dark as some of the author’s novels, it nevertheless deals honestly and sensitively with the issue of PTSD and physical injuries sustained in combat, as well as issues around trust and overcoming insecurities.

Readers of erotic romance who love tortured heroes and strong and vulnerable heroines will adore this series and its epilogue as much as I did.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

Purchase Links

Loving the Beast: A Beauty Epilogue

Amazon US  Amazon UK

The Beauty Series:

Amazon US  Amazon UK

Please note, the first novella in this series, Beauty Touched the Beast, is  FREE at the time of posting.

Amazon US  Amazon UK

Connect with the Author

Website: http://skyewarren.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skyewarren

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

Purchase Links

Amazon UK    Amazon US

Author Links

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGEWEBSITE / BLOGFACEBOOK

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

Amazon UK   Amazon US

 

The Harlot (#1 in the Taskill Witches Series), by Saskia Walker

11549064[1]A Wickedly Sexy Romp for Lovers of Erotic Historical Romance!

Adult Read/18+ only

Mmmm… a bawdy wench, a masterful hero seeking to use the heroine’s sexual charms to seek revenge on his enemy, sprinkled with a fair bit of magic, a mouth watering combination! This is an very lusty read, set in Eighteenth century Scotland, with some extremely naughty characters. If you are familiar with the images often portrayed by the Georgian satirist Hogarth, you will have some idea of the licentious scenes that you can expect to encounter! Please note that in addition to the many scorching consensual lovemaking scenes between the main couple, there is also one f/f scene (involving the heroine) and a m/m scene (not involving the hero).

The Harlot is the first book in Saskia Walker’s Taskill Witches series, books 2 and 3 (which I have not yet had the pleasure of reading) being entitled The Libertine and The Jezebel. There is aso a novella in the series, Their Private Arrangement, which contains some characters we meet in The Harlot. The character in each of the main books is one of three siblings, who were cruelly separated after their mother was burnt at the stake for being a witch. All three have inherited their mother’s gift. The Harlot of this book’s title is Jessie, who has had a hard time since the death of her mother and is pursuing a career as a whore, in the hope of saving enough money to return to the Highlands.

Jessie is confident of her sexuality and in the opening scene, which I ABSOLUTELY ADORED, she is brawling in a tavern with one of her colleagues, accused of poaching a customer from her. It is there that she catches the admiring eye of the hero, Gregor Ramsay, a ship’s captain, who has taken leave from his business to take revenge upon a man who did him and his family great wrong. During the brawl Jessie is accused of witchcraft and is thrown into prison. Gregor, who has decided that Jessie would be the perfect instrument in his revenge, disguises himself as a priest and springs her out of gaol in return for her services. This is also an extremely HOT AND SEXY scene which I vastly enjoyed! Jessie is to use her considerable sexual charms to seduce and ruin his enemy.

There are many erotic and humorous scenes throughout. Jessie finds much pleasure in Gregor’s embrace, as he trains her for her role, and whilst she toys with him, Gregor tries unsuccessfully to distance himself from her charms. The sexual energy they create by their coupling greatly enhances Jessie’s powers, putting her at an even greater risk of being denounced as a witch.

Jessie soon becomes emotionally involved as does Gregor. Yet how will he react when Jessie’s powers become so powerful that he finds out that she is in fact a witch? What will happen if this is discovered by others? The plot hots up in all respects as the novel progressed and I could not put it down! What starts off as a very erotic lust fest soon turns to something very emotional and far deeper and whilst the erotic scenes do not cease in intensity, romance blooms and I found myself rooting for a HEA, as danger looms.

I loved the characters of both the hero and the heroine. Neither conformed to society and both have truly heart breaking pasts, yet they have the potential to heal each other and are well suited. Will Gregor’ s desire for revenge and the danger Jessie is in of discovery thwart any future they have together? The supporting cast of lusty characters are equally colourful and there is an unexpected plot twist. There is also a great balance between the erotic and paranormal scenes and the overall plot and character development.

I will most definitely be reading the other books in the series and other steamy offerings by this author. I recommend The Harlot to lovers of erotic historical romance who also enjoy tales of magic, set in a fascinating period of Scottish history.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Check out the following links to find out more:

http://www.saskiawalker.co.uk/theharlot.html – contains a scorching excerpt from chapter one!

Amazon US

Amazon UK