Sunday, July 16, 2017

#BOC Summer Must Reads: Lord of Pleasure (Rogues to Riches #2) by Erica Ridley

Lord of Pleasure ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️written by Erica Ridley
(Rogues to Riches #2)

Michael Rutland, Earl of Wainwright, is faced with his notorious reputation. The gossip paper has a caricature of him daily his good looks and suave manners have both single and married women dropping at his feet. All his actions are out of proportion to his actual deeds. He just cannot overcome this demonizing by the papers.

His best friends cast a wager with him to stay out of the daily papers for forty days. He takes them up on this bet as a way to reassess his life.

Camelia Grenville is the eldest of the three Grenville girls. At 26 she is all but on the shelf. She has always but the good girl the mouse never refusing her sisters and family and to her demise her own
desires have never been fulfilled. Camelia possesses a beautiful operatic voice and holds a longing to be on stage. 

Camelia is presented with a ticket and opportunity to attend a scandalous masquerade event. She snatches this moment to finally rebel and see the other sides of life. It is at this masquerade she meets unbeknownst to her the rake Lord Wainwright both being in disguise.

The two immediately share moments together revealing their inner selves to each other. Both have never shared their secret emotions before with anyone. They continue to meet weekly for this masquerade event and the attraction deepens beyond what either expected.

The encounters are just magical and Cinderella like. Ms Ridley works her storytelling abilities in this simply touching romance. Will they be able to overcome their personal fears to make the leap of love. You must read this book to see.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

#BOC Summer Must Reads: Lord of Chance (Rogues to Riches #1) by Erica Ridley

Anthony Fairfax is in a gambling hell, on the border between Scotland and England, where he is gambling. Again. Gambling is Anthony’s way of supporting his family, and the difference between living decently or in the gutter. Anthony had noticed a particularly lovely woman, sitting by herself in a corner and watching. Anthony’s evening was going pretty well, and he surmised it might be because of the presence of “Lady Luck”, Charlotte Devon. Anthony has huge debts in England, and one big win might do it. He invites the pretty lady to join him, and he wagers everything he has. And of course, the silly fool loses everything to Charlotte, who is searching for her father. Then, because of Anthony’s very gallant gesture towards Charlotte, they both end up married. What are the chances that what happened in Scotland remain in Scotland? Not bloody likely!

Anthony really got himself in a dreadful pickle, and then inadvertently dragged Charlotte along as well, the poor thing, as if she didn’t already have enough worries. But what a delight it is to follow these two wonderful characters’ adventures! Charlotte has a fantastic and sad backstory, yet she is the strongest one; she is clever, ingenious, and straight as an arrow. Anthony has a debilitating gambling addiction, which occurred because of his family’s lofty ideals, and the issue is treated very realistically, it is not glossed over; he has to crawl his way out of the hellhole he got himself into. Granted that Anthony is rather impulsive, but I was never quite sure why he blurted out what he did, when he did; it could have been dealt otherwise, but then again, if he had, we would not have had this interesting marriage of convenience story, or rather marriage by accident! 
The author mentions that LORD OF CHANCE is an expanded edition of a previously published story, and in certain places, unfortunately it shows. There is a scene, albeit cute, which serves no purpose, and there are several unnecessary repetitions, which is very unusual for Ms. Ridley. 

In spite of Anthony being a reckless fool, I loved him so much; he is truly adorable, exceedingly naturally charming, kind, and utterly irresistible. Anthony and Charlotte are opposites in very unusual ways, and I loved the dynamic it created between them; Charlotte is endearing, easy to relate to, but Anthony is one of the best characters I have ever read: I saw him, his gestures, his smiles, his debonair attitude; he has charisma in spades and he felt so real to me, it was uncanny! So much in Anthony and Charlotte’s lives has to do on keeping up appearances, the meaning of family, of love, and it is riveting. And Anthony and Charlottes’s road to romance is absolutely lovely; they are two good people forced into an odd situation, but they are determined to succeed, whatever it takes. The ending was somewhat predictable, but still very satisfying.


Friday, July 14, 2017

#BOC Summer Must Reads: Highland Hellion (Highland Weddings #3) by Mary Wine

Cross dressing heroines. Chicks in pants. Whatever you want to call it, it’s an old familiar plot trope but one that I love because it makes for such an adventurous story. And what an adventure it is in Mary Wine’s Highland Hellion. There’s just something about a strong highland man with the right woman. Together, they’re unstoppable. 

Katherine Carew was the illegitimate daughter of an English earl. Abducted to Scotland at age 14 by the Earl of Morton, regent to the Scottish King, the earl had plans to marry her off. Marcus MacPherson, a war chief, rescued her. She’d been disguised and trained as a boy under Marcus to protect her from her English heritage being discovered. Marcus had been more of a brother to her than anyone she’d ever known. He’d made certain she grew strong and skilled in fighting. Katherine had gladly discarded the often tedious ceremonies of England as she’d settled into the highlands. Now that she was 20, life in England was just a memory. She was free and, as a boy, allowed to run wild. To enjoy the freedoms that women weren’t allowed to enjoy. She took pride in her riding, fighting and archery skills. 
When her true gender was discovered, Katherine’s whole world changed. Now she felt like a stranger in her own clan. The men she’d thought of as her friends, now turned traitor, calling her English. She didn’t know the women. She lacked the skills of other women her age. Where she’d been able to hold her own with the men, she knew little about being a woman. She longed for the times when she could escape the drudgery of woman’s work and ride her horse through the countryside. Those moments were her only time to restore her spirit. 
On one such escape, she ran into Rolfe McTavish and his men who were on MacPherson land to do some innocent cattle stealing. They were surprised when the woman they captured took a flying leap onto her horse and rode off like a man. Rolfe was intrigued by this unique woman and knew he had to have her. Later, on another escape from woman’s work, Katherine came across another clan on her land. The violent, vengeful clan of the Gordons. Realizing that the men were about to attack Rolfe and his men, Katherine made herself a target to distract them. Unfortunately, this time her escape attempt failed and though she fought bravely, she was captured and taken to Gordon Castle. When it was discovered that the captive boy was a woman, the laird declared her a witch and ordered that she be burned at the stake. When Rolfe discovered that Katherine had been captured, he had no choice but to save her. He owed her. She had protected him and his men from attack by the Gordons. So Rolfe and his men entered the castle grounds and managed to rescue Katherine in the nick of time. But rather than return Katherine to her clan, Rolfe decided to take her home and ransom her to the MacPhersons. She needed to be taught a lesson about running wild through the countryside with no thought for the consequences. Unfortunately, Rolfe’s father, Laird McTavish had other plans. He intended to give her back to the king’s regent in exchange for the regent ennobling his line. 
As Katherine traveled to court with Rolfe and his men, she learned much about him. Not only was he very attractive, he had honor. She knew he didn’t want to follow his father’s orders but he would obey the laird. Rolfe, though aggravated with Katherine, was mesmerized too. They couldn’t fight the attraction, and once they kissed, they didn’t want to fight it. Katherine had never realized her body could feel so much delight. She enjoyed Rolfe’s kisses, craved his touch, and wanted more. She felt practically wanton with him. Rolfe tried to hold back but the more he was near Katherine, the harder that became. Their feelings for each other strengthened with every moment they were together. Could Rolfe give Katherine up and deliver her to an uncertain future?
What a fabulous story by new-to-me-author Mary Wine. I was captivated from the start by Ms. Wine’s writing style. With just the stroke of her pen, she manages to masterfully portray both the beauty and the ugliness of the time period. Her multi- faceted characters are hard, tough, proud, fearless, and loyal. I loved Katherine. Living in a world where her blood was hated, her courage was her soul possession. Her evolution from boy to woman was a delight to read, and I loved that the outcome was the best of both genders. She could be a woman but still embrace those “manly” things that made her unique. I also loved that Rolfe realized her hellion ways were what he loved most about her. The secondary characters of neighboring clans were every bit as captivating as the main characters. I enjoyed seeing the opposing clans working together for a common goal. I’m anxious to see what’s in store for them as well. Though #3 in her Highland Weddings series, I had no trouble reading this story as a stand- alone. It won’t be a stand-alone for long though as I intend to read the others in the series as soon as possible. Let’s face it, who can resist the adventure and romance of these Highland hunks?

 A Book Obsessed Chicks Review Team Selection.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

#BOC Summer Must Read : Forbidden Knight (Forbidden #2) by Diana Cosby

Forbidden Knight ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ written by Diana Cosby

Alesone has grown up thinking she was a by-blow of Lord Comyn and cast out to live with the local healer Grisel Buchanan. When Grisel is killed Alesone finds herself alone and on the run. Grisel had given her a ring that belonged to King Robert and Alesone is on a mission to find him for protection. 

Alesone,among all her accomplishments as a healer, is remarkable with a bow and arrow and quite capable to handle herself with most weaponry. King Robert welcomes her and accepts her offer as a healer. 

It is on a trip to gather herbs she meets Sir Thomas MacKelloch a displaced Knight Templar. When Thomas sees how proficient she is with a bow he suspects her to be an assassin. When he returns her to camp Robert explains her position I the camp. 

Soon after King Robert learns of an attempt by Lord Comyn to apprehend Alesone and barter her in a marriage for gold. 
Robert charges Sir Thomas to deliver Alesone to a safe castle. It is on this journey Thomas is injured and Alesone care pulls him through. The closeness they experience begins and feelings of love emanate. 

The plot of Thomas reconnecting with his family after a tragedy that occurred years before is quite touching and the revelation of Alesone's true father was something the reader could not have suspect. I enjoyed this story. The depth of these character and the masterful way the author wove the tale was excellent. 


#BOC REVIEWS: Plain Haven by Susan Lantz Simpson

 When librarian , Lilly Brandt witnesses a crime in her hometown, her only option is to go into hiding. The criminals in question will stop at nothing to find Lilly and make sure she can't identify them. When the authorities decide to send Lilly into witness protection within an Amish community in Southern Maryland, it's not only a shock to her system, but a whole way of life. Trying to fit in is a work in progress and any mess up could cost her as well as those around her. 

With the requisite name change and lessons on how to be plain, Lilly, AKA Hannah Kurtz begins her stay in Cherry Hill where she stays with an Amish family who are happy to have her there. As a guest at Rebecca and Samuel Hertzel, Hannah becomes an integral member of their lively household where she not only helps with the children, but takes some stress off the pregnant Rebecca. 

Jake Beiler is an Amish man nursing a broken heart. When he discovers the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with turned her back on the Amish, he vows to never fall in love again. Meeting the fascinating Hannah Kurtz changes all that when the two begin a friendship that  quickly morphs into something deeper. But Hannah is really not Amish and the closer she gets to these people, the more she may be putting them in danger. The only thing is, everyday it's harder to keep herself at a distance and being in Jake's company makes her yearn for something she cannot have...or can she?

PLAIN HAVEN by Susan Lantz Simpson is a wonderfully written book that sucked me right in, beginning with page 1.The entire atmosphere is electric, between the imminent danger Lilly is in and the way she takes to life in Cherry Hill. I simply couldn't put this book down and I am anxious to read more by this talented author. 


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

#BOC Summer Must Reads : The Bad Luck Bride (The Cavensham Heiresses #1) by Janna MacGregor

The Bad Luck Bride ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ by Janna MacGregor
(The Cavensham Heiresses #1)

Lady Claire Cavensham believes she carries a curse and she fears it will follow her for the rest of her life. That being said, Alexander Hallworth, Marquess of Pembrooke will not rest until he gets revenge for his sister Alice's death. Alice committed suicide because she could not face her family, and tell them she was pregnant out of wedlock.

Alex believe the father of this child was Lord Paul Barstow one of his best friends. Lord Paul in currently betroth to Lady Claire and Alex wants to destroy Paul and marry Claire himself even though he does not love her. Lord Paul is in tremendous gambling debt and Alex buys up all his vowels and forces him to break his engagement. 

As Alex becomes more and more acquainted with Claire he see the women who is very unsure of herself. She has been betroth three times each story sadder than the previous. She believes she carries a curse. 

This is truly a heartfelt story of how revenge reveals a fragile person and how revenge turns to friendship and love on both sides. Alex falters quite a few times but rights himself up to prove his worth and love.

I really enjoyed this tale and will continue to follow this author.

~~Joann Maggio ~~

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Kat Martin's BEYOND REASON & the Question: Why Romantic Suspense?

She’s determined to be successful--no matter
who tries to stop her

Someone is willing to kill for control of Drake Trucking, a well-respected firm now run by a woman named Carly Drake.  Big money is involved.  And very big danger.
Multi-millionaire Lincoln Cain is determined to keep the promise he made her grandfather, the man who helped him change his life after he got out of prison.  Cain has vowed to protect Carly, no matter what it takes.

Unfortunately, the only way to keep her safe is to keep her close--and fight like crazy. 

Beyond Reason
By Kat Martin

The helicopter flight back was quick and uneventful.  By the time they reached the ranch house and she made her way into the kitchen, her heart hurt and despair had her mouth so dry she could barely speak. 
As if he had some kind of special Carly radar, Linc followed her and just stood watching. 
“What happened today?” he asked, the unnatural calmness in his tone putting her on alert.  “Something happened that changed things between us.  What was it?”
He was amazingly perceptive.  She thought about lying, but it wasn’t worth the effort. 
“Sophia happened.  She reminded me of the way things really are.”
“Sophia Aiello?”  He frowned.  “What does Sophia have to do with anything?”
“She came to see you.  You didn’t have time for her, but I’m sure she’ll forgive you.”
“I’ve never slept with Sophia.”
“You have a date with her next week.  Were you going to tell me the truth or make something up?”
A knot of anger surfaced in his jaw.  “It’s just a PR stunt to raise money.  I have no interest in a woman like that.”
She didn’t believe him.  She wished she’d never met him.  
“I want to go home.  I’ll sleep in one of the other bedrooms tonight, but tomorrow I’m going home.”
His jaw went harder.  “You’re not leaving.  I’m not letting you put yourself in that kind of danger.”
“You can’t tell me what to do.”
“You don’t think so?  I’ll tell you this--I’m not letting some spoiled, self-absorbed female I don’t give a damn about ruin what’s happening between us.”
Her head came up.  “Nothing’s happening.  It’s just sex.”
“Is it?”  He stalked toward her, caught her shoulders.  He was mad, furious.  She didn’t understand why he was so angry. 
“I don’t know where this is going.  But if Sophia upset you that badly, I mean more to you than just sex.  We’re going to see where this leads.  We’re not going to let other people decide the outcome.”
He fisted a hand in her hair to hold her in place and his mouth crushed down over hers.  She pressed her hands against his powerful chest and told herself to stop him, that he was just saying the words every woman wanted to hear.
But what if she was wrong?  What if Linc was the one man who was exactly what he seemed?  She wanted to believe it so badly.
Carly struggled against him, but the heat was too much, the yearning too strong.  She kissed him back with all the need she felt for him, all the hunger.  She whimpered when Linc broke away.
“Another thing you should know.  I’m not above using sex to get what I want.  Since I know how much you like sex with me, I’m going to remind you exactly why you decided to stay with me in the first place.”
When Linc kissed her again, Carly closed her eyes and let the storm of passion roll over her.


To CELEBRATE the release of BEYOND REASON, enter my new contest for a chance to win a KINDLE FIRE 7" Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB and a Kindle copy of AGAINST THE WILDAGAINST THE SKY and AGAINST THE TIDEContest runs from May 1, 2017 through June 30, 2017.
For May, Kat Martin is giving away to FIVE winners an audio edition of one of her AGAINST series books, plus a copy of INTO THE FIRESTORM.

Why Romantic Suspense?

I love novels that include both romance and suspense/thriller elements.  I like the extra depth it gives the story.  From the start, I envision the book being as much about the developing relationship between the hero and heroine as solving the suspense/thriller mystery.  There is intrigue in both.  How will the protagonists extricate themselves from danger?  Will the hero and heroine overcome their emotional problems and be able to forge a future together?  And though the reader may know the answer, the idea is to make the journey worth the read.
Beyond Reason is a slightly different book for me, a bigger novel in some ways.  Because the story deals with regular people not detectives, bodyguards, or anyone in the security business, trouble doesn’t start when a client with a problem walks through the front door.  The characters have to develop.  The stage has to be set.  The peril has to build.  It’s a big, bold adventure, and once it gets rolling, it’s high-action, face-paced danger I hope will keep readers turning the pages.
Beyond Reason is the first book of three.  It revolves around tough, self-made multi-millionaire Lincoln Cain as he clashes with his determined competition, Carly Drake.  The second book, Beyond Danger, involves Linc’s mega-rich business partner, former race car driver, Beaumont Reese.  Accused of murder, Beau desperately needs the help of lady detective, Cassidy Jones.  The third novel centers on Linc’s brother, Joshua Cain, a former Marine sniper returned to Texas to heal and find some measure of peace--which Josh does not get.
I liked the diversity of these three books, though there is a common element that ties them altogether, something I’ll let readers find out for themselves. 
I hope you enjoy Beyond Reason and that you’ll watch for the other two books in my Texas Trilogy.  Until next time, all best and happy reading, Kat

Kat Martin Bio

Bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, in Missoula, Montana, Kat has written sixty eight Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels.  More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Her last novel, INTO THE FIRESTORM, took the #7 spot on the New York Times Bestseller list.  This will be the 15th novel in a row to be included on that prestigious list.  Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.