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Genre: Historical

THE BEGINNING by Mychael Black

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

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
THE BEGINNING by Mychael BlackThe Beginning by Mychael Black
Series: ShadowKings #1
Published by Torquere Press Genres: Gay, Historical, Paranormal
Reviewed by Lisa

The Morretti twins Lucca and Gabriele are nothing alike in personality.  Lucca is known as a hot head talented with a sword, whereas Gabriele is the peacemaker proficient with a bow.  As with most wealthy Roman families they aren’t without enemies.  They never expected anyone to hate them so much that their family home would be blown to bits killing the twins’588 parents and younger sister.  The brothers turn to a friend of their father’s in the city for aid.

 

Growing up Gabriele knew that he had to keep his wicked desires for his brother a secret.  Lucca also did his best to hide his feelings for his twin as well as hiding certain talents that would label him a witch.  Meeting Master Lorik is an eye opening experience.  Lorik doesn’t care what they do in the bedroom and he’s already aware that Lucca is a mage.  The twins are now in the home of a Master vampire.

 

A new world is shown to the brothers, one where they will have to make the decision to become a vampire.  Lucca is hell bent on avenging the family, Gabriele as well though he worries for his eternal soul.  It seems destiny was waiting for Lucca and Gabriele.  For one it’s an easy decision.  For the other… the only thing certain is that they won’t be parted.  In this lifetime or the next.

 

The Beginning: Shadowkings 1 plunges readers into a world of incestuous love, vampires, and revenge.  It’s quite the bloody package.  The brothers’ damning love condemns them, which is a major plot point in this wild adventure.  The Beginning is an erotic thriller laying the foundation for a new exciting series.  Incredibly carnal, Shadowkings 1 is just the beginning.

HOW TO SCHOOL YOUR SCOUNDREL by Juliana Gray

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

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
HOW TO SCHOOL YOUR SCOUNDREL by Juliana GrayHow to School Your Scoundrel by Juliana Gray
Series: Prince in Hiding #3
Published by Penguin on 2014-06-03
Genres: Historical
Pages: 320
Reviewed by Shayna

Three intrepid princesses find themselves targets in a deadly plot against the crown—until their uncle devises a brilliant plan to keep them safe... Princess Luisa has devoted her life to duty, quietly preparing to succeed her father as ruler. Nothing, however, primed her to live on the run, disguised as a personal secretary to a notorious English scoundrel. The earl is just the man to help her reclaim her throne, but Luisa is drawn to her powerful employer in ways she never imagined... Philip, Earl of Somerton, has spent six years married to a woman in love with another man—he refuses to become a fool due to imprudent emotions ever again. Only, as his carefully laid plans for vengeance falter, fate hands him hope for redemption in the form of a beautiful and determined young princess who draws him into a risky game of secrets, seduction, and betrayal. And while his cunning may be enough to save her life, nothing can save him from losing his heart...

Crown Princess Luisa of Holstein-Schweinwald-Huhnhof watched as the entire life she was raised to lead got turned upside down by the revolutionaries who murdered her father and her husband.  Now disguised as a man and living in England while her uncle works to regain her crown, Luisa has gone from princess to personal secretary of the most dangerous man in England.  The Earl of Somerton is dark, lethal, and extremely bitter.  His wife is in love with another man and his focus has devolved into a quest for vengeance.  Only Luisa seems able to reach him.  But can she tell the man who trusts almost no one that she’s been keeping secrets from him?  Even if he forgives her deception and promises to help her cause, Luisa isn’t so sure Somerton will ever be able to open his heart to her…and she’s very afraid she’s already lost hers to him.

 

The fate of a small German principality is decided in How to School Your Scoundrel.  In the third Princess in Hiding book, Juliana Gray has penned a story filled with action, disguises, deception, redemption, and love.

 

Somerton is not an easy hero to like, but I grew to care about him fairly quickly, thanks to Ms. Gray’s talent.  Somerton has never known love or genuine kindness, and each time he’s opened his heart he’s been slapped in the face in return.  His marriage comes across as a twisted Beauty and the Beast story, one where Beauty would never give the beast a chance because he wasn’t the Adonis of her dreams.  Somerton has become someone extremely bitter and hurt and it takes Luisa to bring him from the darkness to the light.  Luisa is smart, capable, and just a bit cheeky.  She doesn’t back down from Somerton and isn’t afraid to speak her mind.  The two of them are a great pair and their relationship – both before it turned into a romance and after – gives How to School Your Scoundrel life.

 

How to School Your Scoundrel is a fast-paced read for the most part.  The overarching series plot of the revolutionaries in Luisa’s country adds action to the story.  Though I won’t spoil what happens, I will say that Ms. Gray resolves this plotline in a satisfying manner.  Where How to School Your Scoundrel dragged was the plot involving Somerton’s wife.  There seemed to be good chunks of the story missing, likely because Elizabeth and her lover are the hero and heroine of another book (A Gentleman Never Tells) and Somerton is presumably the villain in that story.  Not having read A Gentleman Never Tells I only got Somerton’s point of view and thus many of the events in his book that paralleled Elizabeth’s story seemed out of place when they were only part of a larger story.

 

All in all, How to School Your Scoundrel is an enjoyable read and an excellent conclusion to the Princess in Hiding trilogy.  I adored Luisa and Somerton together and their stellar chemistry had me turning the pages of their book late into the night.

SILK IS FOR SEDUCTION by Loretta Chase

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

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
SILK IS FOR SEDUCTION by Loretta ChaseSilk Is For Seduction by Loretta Chase
Series: Dressmakers #1
Published by HarperCollins on 2011-06-28
Genres: Historical
Pages: 384
Reviewed by Shayna

From the Design Book of Marcelline Noirot:The allure of the perfect gown should be twofold:ladies would die to wear it . . .and gentlemen would kill to remove it!Brilliant and ambitious dressmaker Marcelline Noirotis London's rising star. And who better to benefitfrom her talent than the worst-dressed lady in the ton,the Duke of Clevedon's intended bride? Winning thefuture duchess's patronage means prestige and fortunefor Marcelline and her sisters. To get to the lady,though, Marcelline must win over Clevedon, whosestandards are as high as his morals are . . . not.The prize seems well worth the risk—but this timeMarcelline's met her match. Clevedon candesign a seduction as irresistible as her dresses;and what begins as a flicker of desire between twoof the most passionately stubborn charmersin London soon ignites into a delicious inferno . . .and a blazing scandal.And now both their futures hang by anexquisite thread of silk . . .

Marcelline Noirot may be part of the notorious “Dreadful DeLuceys,” but she and her sisters are not a pack of liars and thieves.  Marcelline is, however, incredibly ambitious, and she’s determined to be London ‘s premiere dressmaker.  And what better way is there for her to win over the ton than to dress the Duke of Clevedon’s future bride?  Marcelline tracks down the scandalous duke in Paris and sets out to convince him to patronize her shop.  But there’s one thing Marcelline didn’t count on when she set out to capture a duke: that she’d come to want his heart, not just his wallet.

Loretta Chase brings 1830s fashion to vivid life in Silk is for Seduction.  The amount of detail allotted to dressmaking in Silk is for Seduction is sure to please fashion enthusiasts. Unfortunately for this reader, it felt like more attention was paid to dresses than characters or plot, making Marcelline and Clevedon’s story fall flat.  Marcelline’s personality seems to be limited to her ambition and Clevedon’s character doesn’t come to life except when he’s thinking of how he lusts after Marcelline.  The future heroines of the Dressmakers series, Sophia and Leonie, have no personality whatsoever, making it very difficult to find something to interest me in Silk is for Seduction.  The one character of note is Clara, Clevedon’s intended.  Clara is the one character that leaped off the page and I found myself wishing that the book was about her rather than Marcelline and Clevedon.  Theoretically, Clara’s almost-engagement to Clevedon would be the major obstacle of Silk is for Seduction, but strangely this element of the book never really seems to hit its full potential.

Silk is for Seduction plods along with its tepid romance and weak attempts at intrigue until the very end of the book.  Ms. Chase does finish up Marcelline and Clevedon’s story nicely, but not enough to make me want to revisit Silk is for Seduction.  Readers who already are fans of Ms. Chase’s might enjoy this book, but those who are new to her work would be better served by looking to another one of Ms. Chase’s stories to read instead of sitting down with Silk is for Seduction.

THE MANY SINS OF LORD CAMERON by Jennifer Ashley

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

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
THE MANY SINS OF LORD CAMERON by Jennifer AshleyThe Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Highland Pleasures #3
Published by Penguin on 2011-08-02
Genres: Historical
Pages: 320
Reviewed by Shayna

A renowned rake, Cameron Mackenzie doesn't care if Ainsley Douglas has a virtuous excuse for sneaking around his bedchamber. He only cares that she's at his mercy. One kiss at a time, he plans to seduce her. But what starts out as a lusty diversion may break Cam's own rules.

Six years ago, Cameron Mackenzie discovered Ainsley Douglas searching his room.  Back then, she claimed to be looking for a liaison with Cameron, but she had an attack of conscience and returned to her husband instead.

Now Ainsley is a widow and her path has crossed Cameron’s once more, and like the last time, she’s in his rooms.  This time, Ainsley’s on a mission to recover letters that could be used to blackmail the queen.  Only Cameron isn’t about to let Ainsley get away as easily as she did before.  Six years haven’t dimmed his desire for her, nor hers for him.  As they search for the queen’s stolen letters, Cameron tempts Ainsley with promises of passion.  But Cameron never expects his lust for Ainsley to turn into something more; something that could reopen the wounds of his past and threaten the promise of a future for himself and Ainsley.

If you’re looking for a likeable heroine, a tortured hero, sensual romance, memorable secondary characters, and a dash of royal intrigue – and let’s face it, who isn’t? – then The Many Sins of Lord Cameron is for you.  Jennifer Ashley delivers an engaging story in this fast-paced third installment to her wildly addictive Highland Pleasures series.

Cameron is considered to be the black sheep of his family, and in the Mackenzie family, that’s saying something.  But Cameron’s dangerous façade masks a tortured past.  To say that he lived through hell when he was married to his now-deceased wife would be putting it mildly.  His first wife was insane, conniving, and abusive, and Cameron lived through her torture in order to protect his son.  My heart broke both for Cameron and his son, Daniel, who is a bright young man that runs a bit wild but is definitely loved by the entire Mackenzie clan.  Cameron deserves happiness and Ainsley is just the woman to give it to him.  Her past isn’t without heartache and her present is marked by her duty to Queen Victoria .  At the beginning of The Many Sins of Lord Cameron, Ainsley is a shadow of herself in many ways, and it was a joy to watch her become a vibrant heroine.  She and Cameron were a fantastic match and together they brought The Many Sins of Lord Cameron to vivid life.

While The Many Sins of Lord Cameron is the third Highland Pleasures book, it can be read as a standalone.  However, I defy readers who haven’t read the first two books – The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie and Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage – to read The Many Sins of Lord Cameron and not want to rush back and read Ian and Mac Mackenzie’s books.  The entire Mackenzie family wrapped itself around my heart in The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie and they have yet to let go.  As a fan of the series, it was a joy to see how the first two couples have progressed over the years.  What’s more, with the groundwork she lays in The Many Sins of Lord Cameron, Ms. Ashley has me on the edge of my seat to see what happens to the eldest Mackenzie brother, Hart.  Even Daniel, who is only sixteen, is already developing into hero material.

The Many Sins of Lord Cameron is an excellent book that I read in one sitting.  The only problem I had was that I finished it and wanted to dive right into the next Highland Pleasures book, which sadly won’t be out until 2012.  I look forward to revisiting Cameron and Ainsley’s romance many times over as I wait for Hart Mackenzie’s book, The Duke’s Perfect Wife.

IF HE’S DANGEROUS by Hannah Howell

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

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
IF HE’S DANGEROUS by Hannah HowellIf He's Dangerous by Hannah Howell
Series: The Wherlocke Series #4
Published by Kensington Publishing Corp. on 2011-06-07
Genres: Historical
Pages: 352
Reviewed by Vanessa

New York Times bestseller Hannah Howell’s extraordinary Wherlocke family returns with the story of a passion that will heed no resistance, no matter how deadly…When Lorelei Sundun first finds Sir Argus Wherlocke in her garden, she’s never heard of the mysterious Wherlocke clan-or their otherworldly abilities. That changes the moment she watches Argus-the most tantalizing man she’s ever seen-disappear before her very eyes. What she’s witnessed should be impossible. But so should falling in love with a man she’s only just met…Pursued by a madman intent on harnessing the Wherlockes’ talents as weapons, Argus meant to seek help from his family, not to involve a duke’s lovely daughter in the struggle. But now, the enchanting Lorelei is his only hope for salvation-and the greatest temptation he’s ever faced…Praise for Hannah Howell and If He’s Wicked

Lorelei Sundun, the daughter of a Duke, discerns a naked man standing in her father’s garden.  The apparition that soon fades has requested her assistance by way of contacting his family.  Lorelei is at first reluctant to believe her eyes, but she soon sets out to do as the Argus Wherlocke has asked.  With her uncanny ability to find anyone or anything, Lorelei soon uncovers the place that Argus is being held against his will.  Rescuing him was the easy part.  Now she finds that he has captured her heart, and she would like to capture this reluctant man’s heart as well!

Argus Wherlocke has let his guard down to his own peril.  In trusting someone else, he has been captured and has endured torture and beatings while being cuffed to his bed in a dark, dingy cellar.  Using one of his gifts, he inadvertently reaches out to Lorelei for help before he is removed from this earth permanently.  Soon Argus discovers that he has jumped from the pot into the frying pan by hiding out with the lovely Lorelei Sundun.  Because now he finds that, despite his avowals of being an honorable knight, he is very attracted to the aristocratic woman who has freed him from his bondage.  Argus can NOT offer marriage to Lorelei as he doesn’t believe in it, but he can’t ruin her either.  Will he be able to steer clear of the temptation that is Lorelei as he and his “gifted” family uncover the treachery that is after them, or will he soon find himself dragged to the altar to make Lorelei a suitable husband?

If He’s Dangerous began as a very intriguing mystery with very likeable characters that you wanted to unravel and get to know.  It was full of humor and an innocent heroine who sought knowledge through books.  If He’s Dangerous has all the characters, plots, and intrigues that are rampant in Hannah Howell’s earlier works.  I found myself drawn into the mysteries of If He’s Dangerous, but I soon felt that it was too similar to some of Hannah Howell’s previous stories.  I had read several before and had to stop as I felt they were too much alike and I couldn’t distinguish between any of them.  Yet, If He’s Dangerous wasn’t a total bomb for me because the protagonists and her family were quite entertaining.  The explanation for Argus and Lorelei’s easy acceptance of one another was very believable given that her family is so eccentric.  Argus’ push/pull of Lorelei was even slightly amusing as he fought his desire and temptation to have her despite his honor and knightliness to not spoil her good name.

Introducing so many characters can be off-putting as you try to keep them straight, but they just added to the colorful cast in If He’s Dangerous.  I’m sure that I would have gotten more out of If He’s Dangerous had I read the previous books, but I was not completely lost with this one.  I understood why Argus didn’t want to tangle with Lorelei, and I believe you can gain much satisfaction from If He’s Dangerous if you are a Hannah Howell fan.

TO WED A WILD LORD by Sabrina Jeffries

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Source: Publisher This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.ToContinue Reading

THE SINNER by Margaret Mallory

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Source: Publisher This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.TheContinue Reading

SEDUCTION AND SCANDAL by Charlotte Featherstone

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Source: Publisher This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.SeductionContinue Reading

A HAUNTED TWIST OF FATE by Stacey Coverstone

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Source: Publisher This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.AContinue Reading

A LADY AWAKENED by Cecilia Grant

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Source: Publisher This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.AContinue Reading

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