The Delicate Matter of Lady Blayne, by Natasha Blackthorne (Intimate Secrets, Book 1)

Erotic Historical Romance

Adult/18+ Read

Book Blurb

Lady Blayne

Catriona, Lady Blayne is recovering from a most delicate situation. Driven to the brink of madness by love for her late husband, a young man too ill to meet the demands of the marriage bed, she teeters on the brink of scandal. Now she must face the carnal temptation personified by her husband’s cousin and heir, James, the new Lord Blayne. His sensual appeal, contrasted with his iron will and stern self-mastery fascinates her. She can’t help but ask: what if sensual indulgence is the only way out of her darkness? However, she is not free to explore the idea. There are those who seek to control the young widow, keeping her imprisoned through emotional manipulation and physical coercion. With her growing restlessness, the very people she loves and trusts the most are becoming an increasing danger to her sanity and safety.

James is determined to protect Catriona—but he will not soften to her again. She rejected him once and James can’t risk losing his heart a second time. As heir to the Blayne baronetcy, he must marry a woman socially and politically appropriate. Such a scandalously self-indulgent lady as Catriona won’t do. Yet the pretty girl he once knew has grown into a beautiful, curvaceous woman that is every man’s dream.

Especially his.

Erotic Romance; Regency Historical; Elements of Sensual Domination, Spanking and Light Bondage; Rubenesque Heroine; Character-Driven Story with Angst and Strong Internal Conflicts; Standalone Long Novel.

Reader Advisory: The characters discuss issues of abuse which took place in the heroine’s backstory. Frank sexual language & period appropriate sexual slang and general bedchamber naughtiness. 

My Review ~ FIVE STARS! TOP READ.

Sexy and Angst-Ridden!

Once again it’s hats off to Natasha Blackthorne for another fabulous sexy and angst-ridden erotic historical romance, which delves deep into the psyche of its characters and the sexual mores of the time. Indeed, The Delicate Matter of Lady Blayne, cuts straight to the heart of Regency sexuality and what was considered right and proper behaviour between a man and wife and how women should conduct themselves in and out of the marriage bed…. Double standards abound and the novel operates on a level far removed from the polite Regency veneer of many works set in this period.

Being familiar with Natasha Blackthorne’s work (I’ve previously read Her Mystery Duke which is equally complex, and angst-ridden and which I highly recommend) I was expecting both a scorching and emotional read and I can unreservedly say that this book delivers! I love tortured characters,and in this the female lead Sunny, aka Catriona, is as tortured as they come, the details of her past slowly revealing themselves to the reader and the hero James, the new Lord Blayne, as the story unfolds. I was as devastated as James as I learned of the trauma of her marriage and her life since the death of her husband Freddy, James’ deceased cousin.

Catriona is no straight-laced Regency miss. She is a sensual and complex creature and has suffered greatly on account of her natural carnal desires. The novel explores a number of heavy themes: grief, guilt, death, abuse, (including drug abuse), dominance and submission and desires that at the time considered female debility and madness. A number of scenes brought tears to my eyes for what she had been through and her current situation.

The hero James is also a complex and tortured character in his own right and I loved his own emotional journey, as well as Catriona’s as they work through the many issues that at the same time pull them together and apart. James is a man torn between his duty to the family and his growing love for Catriona, a woman proving herself to be most unsuitable as a wife. There are also a number of characters in the novel whom I despised with a passion as they attempt to thwart James and Catriona’s HEA! indeed, this tale really pulls at the heart strings, it is so emotional! It also does not shy away from some very intimate scenes!

Readers of historical erotic romance not yet acquainted with Natasha Blackthorne will love this novel, which I also recommend to lovers of historical romance who are looking for a spicier read.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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

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Purchase Links

Amazon US   Amazon UK

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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

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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

**DOUBLE COVER REVEAL** ~ Tempting His Mistress and Once Upon a Rake, by Samantha Holt

Today I’m delighted to share not one but two cover reveals for Samantha Holt’s upcoming Victorian Romances, Tempting His Mistress and Once Upon A Rake! Scroll down to read the book blurb. Tina 🙂

Tempting His Mistress

Coming November 10th

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Book Synopsis

What could possibly induce a 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…?

Once Upon a Rake

Coming November 24th

Onceuponarake

Book Synopsis

In Victorian England, little Ellie Browning swiftly discovered happy endings did not exist, and rakes were simply rakes. When the man she had adored for years kissed her and left her heartbroken, she resolved to put any dreams of fairy tales aside.

Seven years later, the widowed Eleanor, Countess of Hawthorne, has returned to England after years of travelling with a few ideas in mind. Firstly, she will continue to be the refined, elegant woman she has learned to be—or at least she shall try her best—and secondly, she will make a difference to the lives of those less fortunate than her. A fine opportunity presents itself when she discovers she is now a part owner of a cotton mill.

But the owner of the mill and the very same rake who had hurt her, has no desire to let a woman interfere with his business, let alone little Ellie Browning. After one of Lucian’s mills succumbed to fire, he’s fighting to save the other and continue his father’s legacy of fine business decisions and accruing wealth.

However, after a series of accidents, it becomes clear someone wishes the mill to close. But who, and why? Forced together to investigate the incidents, they must get past their shared history if they want to save the business.

If only the growing attraction between them did not prove such a distraction. With things heating up between them, it becomes clear that they are both at risk of getting burned…

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The Twelfth Night Wager, by Regan Walker – A Perfect Christmas Read!

715486[1]Has the Rake Met His Match?

Regency Romance: e-book 134 pages

The Twelfth Night Wager, by Regan Walker, is a classy Regency romance where a wager between friends has far reaching consequences for those it concerns – a dissolute rake and a respectable young widow. There is also a cleverly woven sub plot containing elements of danger and suspense, which added to my enjoyment and acted as a catalyst to the romance. I found it a love affirming and entertaining read, welcome at any time of year but especially heart warming at Christmastime!

In The Twelfth Night Wager, Christopher St Ives, Viscount Eustace, is a rake, who toys with women for fun. His friend, Hugh Redgrave, by contrast a happily married man, sets him a challenge in a wager, which is entered into the betting book at White’s and becomes the talk of London society:

‘LD Eustace has wagered LD Ormand 1000 pounds that by Twelfth Night he can seduce, bed and walk away from a certain lady understood between them.’

The ‘certain lady’ is Grace, Lady Leisterfield, a young widow with the reputation of being very proper. Her husband has been gone a year, and Grace, encouraged by her friends, decides to shed her mourning attire and embrace life. The plot thickens when Mary, Hugh’s wife and a friend of Grace, insists that Grace be informed that she is the object of the wager. Grace nevertheless decides to welcome the Viscount’s suit, with the intention of letting him down when he finally propositions her. For his part, Eustace finds Grace very attractive and foresees no problem in using his wiles to seduce her and win the wager. Throw in a great cast of supporting characters, not least Hugh and Mary (Lord and Lady Ormand) a matchmaking dowager countess and a sub plot involving blackmail, and the scene is set for a delightful and entertaining read!

I loved Grace, who although she has been married before and is in many ways innocent, she is totally aware of the danger rakes such as Eustace pose. She is surprised however, when she starts to discover the real man beneath the façade. It is this man whom she must guard her heart against, lest she succumbs, as he will, as per the wager, only walk away from her once he has bedded her!

Eustace is a fascinating character, whilst most certainly a loveable rogue, who has had his fair share of women, underneath he is a man of substance. As the plot progresses and he gets to know Grace, he becomes very protective of her and more and more enamoured, a state that he is not familiar with. I found some of the scenes where he struggles with his feelings and Grace’s actions very humorous, especially when provoked by his friend Hugh. The sexual tension between the couple sizzles throughout and they are well matched. However, the wager stands between them and casts doubt on Eustace’s intentions. Will Grace succumb to his charms and will Eustace win the wager and still get his girl or will he lose her forever?

I enjoyed meeting characters out of the author’s other books, which I have read, notably Hugh and Mary, whose love story begins in Racing With The Wind ,  book #1 in Regan Walker’s Agents of The Crown Trilogy (for my review click on the title). The tale also includes fictional and real-life Regency characters and makes reference to actual events, places and Christmas and New Year customs, which add to the authenticity of the read. The Twelfth Night Wager is a great addition to the author’s Regency romances and works perfectly as a standalone. I recommend it to romance lovers who enjoy a Regency tale where a rake may finally have met his match!

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

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Boroughs Publishing Group

Digital edition created by Maureen Cutajar www.gopublished.com

Amazon US          Amazon UK

Regan Walker’s website

4326416[1]If you like the sound of The Twelfth Night Wager you may want to check out The Holly and the Thistle, a short story which takes place at the same time and featuring how one of Grace’s friends, the widow Lady Emily Picton finds love after a case of mistaken identity with a handsome Scot

Amazon UK     Amazon US

The Club by Sharon Page

theclub-201Racy Regency Romance

 I enjoy Regency romances and have wanted to read a Sharon Page novel for some time. This one intrigued me as it has a gentleman’s club at the centre of the plot and promised to be a sensuous read!

In The Club Widow Jane Beaumont, Lady Sherringham enters a notorious private club, posing as a patron, in search of her friend Delphinia. Del disappeared after she was seen attending the club with her debauched husband. Jane, intent on finding out what happened to her friend, immediately encounters Christian Sutcliffe, Lord Wickham, Del’s brother, a well-known libertine. Christian went into self-imposed exile abroad after he killed a man in a duel over a woman, but has returned to search for his sister, who had written to him telling him how unhappy she was, prior to her disappearance. Neither Jane nor Christian believes the claim made by Del’s husband, that Del has ran off with a lover to the Continent.

Christian warns Jane to stay out of the club before she compromises her safety. However, Jane and ignores his wishes and they spend more time together in and out of the club, as they try and find out what has happened to Del. Jane, abused by her deceased husband, is skittish around men and it takes all of her courage to venture into the club, posing as Christian’s lover.

Mrs Broughton’s club is a place where married couples of the ton go in search of sexual fulfilment and adventure – not always with each other! The author describes a number of consensual scenes, between a range of partners, which include bondage and the use of other paraphernalia one would expect in a sex club.  It becomes clear that some women, including Del were not wholly willing participants in the activities there. Whilst investigating the club, Jane and Christian also uncover some other nefarious activities taking place at an establishment linked to it.

Christian and Jane knew each other when they were younger and often clashed.  Christian found Jane to be rather serious and forthright, always willing to criticise him, whereas Jane believed Christian to be a wastrel and a womaniser. Jane fears male contact and is adamant that she will not marry again and put herself at the mercy of another man. However, she slowly finds herself drawn to Christian romantically. She is torn between what she knows of Christian’s past behaviour and the actions he takes now, where she sees him care deeply for those around him and act with honour. Indeed, she thinks his considerate behaviour towards her is prompted by his desire to rescue her and not out of love. All this is at odds with the rumours about his sexual conquests and liking for violent sex.  She also fears that he will face trial for his sin of shooting the man in the duel.

I immediately liked Christian. He was reckless in his youth and got up to all sorts of adventures abroad, although Jane learns that his actions were not just about self-gratification but also about rescuing those less fortunate than himself. He is not afraid of using violence or the threat of violence against those who threaten those he loves. He recognises Jane’s fear of men early in the novel and it is to his credit that he strives to protect her from the sexual advances of a number of debauched men in and out of the club. When they eventually become lovers he is patient and attentive, realising that she has never known physical pleasure only abuse. There are nevertheless a number of sensual lovemaking scenes between them in some inventive locations!

There a number of secondary characters who naturally resent the couple investigating Del’s disappearance and other matters that come to light in their search for her. The plot develops swiftly and involves scenes at the club, blackmail, violence and murder. There are also a number of unexpected plot twists. With all of these obstacles, we are left wondering whether Jane and Christian can ever find their happy ever after.

I  recommend this novel if you enjoy Regency romances with added spice. I liked the fact that the plot revolved around the club and the underbelly of London and I enjoyed the interaction between the hero and heroine. The plot was complex and engaging and acted as an excellent counterpoint to the sex scenes. Due to the lovemaking scenes, I would class the novel as sensual in content and therefore suitable for those aged 18 and above.

Author’s website www.sharonpage.com

Published by Ebury Publishing, part of the Random House Group www.randomhouse.co.uk