Thursday, 30 December 2010

#62 - Much Ado About You ~ Eloisa James

My 62nd book this year, and realistically the last for 2010 was a new author to me, and what a way to see the year out.

Much Ado About You (Essex Sisters, book 1)

ISBN:  0-00-722948-8

Right off the bat can I just say ................ WHAT A DOOZIE .............. a 5+ Star Read.  I enjoyed every second of it.  Like an up to date Georgette Heyer on speed.  It felt just like reading a story I would be involved in with my best girly girls.

Packed through from start to finish with the most fabulous humour and insight.

Run at a startling speed to the nearest purveyor of fine literature and pick this baby up.

Book 1 in the Essex Sister Series, the story of Tess Essex, eldest of four sisters suddenly faced with a shambolic and mostly drunken guardian (Rafe, Duke of Holbrook) following the death of their beloved, but horse mad Father.

The story kicks off with said Duke displaying to his friends four sets of rocking horses, dolls and other paraphernalia associated with young wards, only to find said wards being ushered into the Nursery .... ranging from 20 odd downwards and beautiful beyond belief.  What can he do with them ........ find a chaperone p.d.q for a start.  Then arrange to marry the oldest one off to one of his friends.

Just when it all looks to be turning out for the best, Tess;s finance gets cold feet and hies off, and she is left with the other friend, one of London's most notorious rakes.

To top it all off, one of the other sisters, Imogen, elopes with a reckless and horse mad young lord, just like their Papa.

I am tracking down the next in the series tomorrow, Kiss me Annabel.

Happy reading.


Wednesday, 29 December 2010

#61 - Slightly Tempted ~ Mary Balogh

Slightly Tempted

ISBN: 0-7499-3786-6

Across a Brussels ballroom notorious rake Gervase Ashford, Earl of Rosthorn spots the beautiful and very young Lady Morgan Bedwyn. With revenge in mind he effects an introduction, as he also spots the instrument for the perfect revenge against her brother Wulfric, Duke of Bewcastle.

War and scandal ensue, but it all end as simply revenge?

A 3.5 **** Star read.  Whilst I enjoyed it, and it was good to get Morgan's side of the whole Bedwyn Series, it was a little slowing going at the beginning, with a gentle curve towards a satisfactory ending.  Probably best to read this before you read Slightly Sinful (#60) ..... I suspect it might have been better that way around!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

#60 - Slightly Sinful ~ Mary Balogh

Slightly Sinful

ISBN: 0-7499-3787-4

Lord Alleyne Bedwyn (Brother of Wulfic, Duke of Bewcastle) is in the diplomatic service, and takes a message to the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo.  Unfortunately, he is hit by a bullet and ends up coming to in a Brussels brothel without a stitcth of clothing to his name, nor a memory of who he is, or what he was doing at the battle.

His rescuer was Rachel York, who ends up at the Brothel after being swindled out of the little money she had by a Clergyman.

She could inherit some family jewels, but in order to do that she needs to marry, so a plan is hatched to pretend to be married to Alleyne (aka Sir Jonathan Smith).  Upon their return to England their charade draws them both into danger, scandal and a blossoming relationship that is really slightly sinful.

A 4.5 ***** Star read.

I can't really believe that I've read 60 books since September - actually, it will hopefully be more than that be New Year's Eve as I am reading another of the Slightly series at the moment.

Happy reading.


Kindle have 'The Devil in Winter' on pre-order now

The Devil in Winter (The Wallflowers, Book 3)

I've just spotted the trailer for it ..... personally, I can't wait to read another of the Wallflower series, about Evie and the notorious Rake, Sebastian St Vincent ..... so will be logging on to Amazon later to put my pre-order in.

#59 - Simply Love ~ Mary Balogh

Simply Love

ISBN: 0-7499-3744-0

Yet another in the 'Simply Series', this time Anne Jewell (featured in the story of Freyja Bedwyn and Lord Hallmere) and Sydnam Butler (Brother-in-law of Lauren in #52).

Unmarried mother Anne takes up employment with Miss Martin's School with the assistance of Freyja Bedwyn (Lady Hallmere) with her son David.

Whilst on a Summer holiday with Lord & Lady Hallmere and the Bedwyn clan in Wales, she meets Sydnham Butler (taciturn and badly scared Hero of the Peninsula Wars) and Land Steward to Wulfric, Duke of Bewcastle.

After first Anne runs from him on the cliffs when she views his horrendours injuries, but later they strike up a friendship, but will it turn to love?

You'll have to read it I'm afraid to find out, but I will tell you that I sobbed and sobbed my way through a lot of this book .... in the best possible way.

A 5 ***** star read.

#58 - Simply Magic ~ Mary Balogh

Simply Magic (Dell Historical Romance)

ISBN: 978-0-7499-3803-1

I am horribly behind with updating my reading list, so 3 quick reviews will follow in quick succession.

This is the story of Peter Edgeworth (Viscount Whiteleaf), the Cousin of Lauren (#52 - A Summer to Remember) and Susanna Osborne.

A nice enough read, ticks along, and lovely wedding scene at the end.

A 3 Star *** read.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Gaelen Foley Trailer

Just the trailer alone makes me want to read these, but apparently they are very good anyway.


Kay xoxo

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

#57 - One Night for Love ~ Mary Balogh

One Night for Love

A lovely poignant and romantic tale of Neville, Earl of Killworth and Lily.

Neville is waiting in the Church as his bride is about to come down the aisle, a small beggar woman Lily Doyle pushes past to stop the wedding .......... Neville, she tells everyone is her Husband.  He confirms the story that they were married on a battlefield in Portugal, and he thought that she had been killed in an ambush the next day.

The bride waiting was Lauren Edgeworth (I reviewed the book a little while ago of her story "A Night to Remember").

Lily, it also eventually turns out is a Daughter of a Duke .... Sargent Doyle (the man she thought of has her Papa) was the husband of her old nurse, in whose keeping she had been place as a babe in arms.

A 4 **** Star read.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

#56 - A Wallflower Christmas ~ Lisa Kleypas

A Wallflower Christmas

ISBN: 978-0-312-36073-3

Actually I think this would be described as a Novella rather than an actual Novel, but I am willing to stand corrected if anyone has different ideas.

A short'ish tale of Rafe Bowman (Brother of Lillian and Daisy two of the Wallflowers) and Hannah Appleton.

Rafe arrives from the States to do the thing his Father has been demanding .... that he asks Lady Natalie Blandford to marry him  .... so that he can become involved in the European side of the Family Soap manufacturing business.

Unfortunately, his heart and soul have other ideas and he falls hook, line and sinker for Lady Natalie's cousin .... a poor relation who acts as her companion.

A delightful and easy to read story, which featured lots of little vignettes of the Wallflowers along the way.

A 5 ***** Star read.

Happy reading.

Kay xoxox

Friday, 17 December 2010

#55 - Seduce Me at Sunrise ~ Lisa Kleypas

Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, Book 2)

ISBN: 978-1-44480-005-0

The second book in the Hathaway Series, telling the story of Winifred Hathaway and Kev Merripen.

Kev (a Romany) was taken in by the Hathaway clan when he was small, after being badly beaten and left for dead.  He stayed on with the family, and formed a close bond with Win.

In 1848 she suffered a terrible attack of Scarlet Fever and was left an invalid.  Unwilling to accept her fate, she persuaded the Family to send her off to France, along with the brother Leo, to a special clinic set up Dr Julian Harrow.

Kev's love for her is so fierce that he would do anything to protect her from harm ..... unfortunately, she has other ideas .... and wants Kev at any cost, and nothing can eventual stand in the way of that love.

Their story unfolds, along with the mystery ehind the tattoo of the Pooka both Kev and Cam Rohan Winifred's brother-in-law, another Rom).

It is perhaps quite possible to write Win off from the beginning as weak and helpless, but she is far from that, in the end showing extraordinary spunk to get the truth from Julian Harrow!

I would urge you to read it, not a greatly exciting story, but highly enjoyable never the less.

A 3.5. **** Star read.

Happy reading.

Kay xoxo

Thursday, 16 December 2010

#54 - Slightly Scandalous ~ Mary Balogh

Slightly Scandalous

ISBN: 0-7499-3755-6

Following A Summer To Remember (#52) which featured Lady Freyja Bedwyn as the rejected betrothed of Kit Butler, I really had decided starting out on this one that I definitely did not like her - she did not comport herself properly and came across as arrogant, self-willed and rude.

How wrong could I be?

Actually she made a perfect Heroine from very early on, especially paired with Joshua Moore, Marquess of Hallmere.  He was forever referring to he as "sweetheart" and "my charmer", which was so endearing.

Find it ..... read it .... love it ....... a thoroughly and exceptionally entertaining book.

A 4.5 ***** Star read.


Kay xoxo

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

#53 - Devil to Pay ~ Liz Carlyle (Kindle e-book)

Devil to Pay, The

This is the first ever Kindle e-book I've ever had, and have been so pleased with the Kindle.  It feels really strange to pick up a book again!  Therefore it was lovely to start off my career as a Kindle reader with one of my favourite authors, Liz Carlyle and The Devil to Pay.

Especially as it was the story of George Kemble's sister Sidonie Saint-Goddard and her Aleric, Marquess of Devellyn.

A fabulous story of lover conquering the social layers and respectability, and thankfully winning.

Both of the characters, and supporting cast were truly believable and heat-warming, and nothing annoyed me at all on any level!  Especially good to get lots of lovely background revealed on George.

A 4 **** Star read.

Happy reading.

Kay xoxo

Monday, 13 December 2010

#52 - A Summer to Remember ~ Mary Balogh

A Summer to Remember (Get Connected Romances)

ISBN: 978-0-7499-4212-0

One of the Bedwyn Family Novels.

The last thing on the mind of out and out Rake Kit Butler, Viscount Ravensburg is marriage but his Father has different ideas.

Estranged for some time he is going home, and has been informed that a marriage contract has been arranged with Freyja Bedwyn, the Sister of the Duke of Bewcastle.

He decides to thwart his Father's plans and underakes a shame bethrothal with the staid and previously jilted Lauren Edgeworth - all she asks in return is that he gives her a Summer to remember and she will then break off the engagement and they can go their separate ways.

She gets a Summer that she will never forget, but unfortunately both fall in love.

Not an enormously exciting read, but bobbles along nicely, and worth a 3.5 **** Star rating.

Happy reading.


Saturday, 11 December 2010

Happy Happy Day ....... look what arrived on the breakfast table today

Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 3G Works Globally, Graphite, 6" Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology

and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!

It is happily downloading a Liz Carlyle book and a sample for Big Guns out of Uniform at the moment.

So easy to use and light to handle.  Even my Mother who bought it for me has been playing with it, and at 70+ has admitted she wants one too.

The coolest thing is when it goes into sleep mode, so far I have had pictures of vintage birds, Jules Verne and Virginia Wolf.

Friday, 10 December 2010

#51 - Slightly Dangerous ~ Mary Balogh

Slightly Dangerous

ISBN: 978-0-7499-3772-0

I am happy to write this this book was a vast change from #50's review.  Interesting, intriguing, ringing with humour and pure delight.

I believe it is the last in the "slightly ....." saga, based on the Bedwyn Family.  So I suppose that I should have probably read them in order, but hey ho.

Christine Derrick, a Widow and estranged from most of her husband's family because of difficulties in her marriage before her husband died is as and poor as a church mouse.

Whilst Wulfric, Duke of Bewcastle is cold as ice, he is also the most glittering of prizes for any social hostess and that is why Lady Renable made sure that Christine would make up the numbers.

The house party did not start well, Christine dripped lemonade in the eye of the haughty Duke and it went down hill from there.  They are so widely different in character, she's fun loving, un-coordinated and gauche, but people love her .... he is well, an aristocratic, autocratic, steel to the core Duke ... he probably has never know how to laugh and enjoy himself!

Can two such people poles apart find any common ground ... I doubted it.

The book was a bit slow for ..... well, can I just say a bit.  I can't define a bit now I've finished it, because I forget (even though I started it last night and finished it this morning) just what the amount was: a bit of a chapter, a chapter, a bit more than a chapter?).  Suffice to say though that that just shows that it was probably akin to stretching exercise to warm up before you enjoy a highly enjoyable run in the countryside.

Any book that can then go on and make me audibly catch my breath and my stomach flip flop and them bottom out should be forgiven the fact that it was a trifle difficult for a bit.

I found myself totally and completely in love with Wulfic and willing that both of them could see that they were perfect for each other.

Run straight out and buy this book.  If you need to read all of the series first get them all .... I am fairly certain that the investment will prove worth it just for this book alone.

A 5+ *****+ star rating.  I would give it higher if it could.

I have realised the count of the books, maybe next year I can do the 144 book challenge.  I'm off to read "A Summer to Remember" which is apparently the first book I should have aimed for regarding the Bedwyn family.

Happy reading.

Kay xoxox

#50 - A Rake's Vow ~ Stephanie Laurens

A Rake's Vow (Cynster Novels)

ISBN: 978-1-40741-357-0

What can I say .... it was pleasant, but not much of a story compared to some of her other efforts.

Vane Cynster (Spencer) takes shelter from an on-coming storm (and fate) at his Godmother's home and meets her Niece, Patience Debbington.

A mysterious thief and the equally mysterious Spectre of the Abbey Ruins need to be run to ground, which he does with ease and wins his girl.

A 3 *** Star effort is all I can give it.

Happy reading.


Thursday, 9 December 2010

#49 - The Viscount Who Loved Me ~ Julia Quinn

The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgerton Series, Bk. 2)

ISBN:  0-7499-0774-6

What can I say, another sparking Julia Quinn novel that had me laughing out loud ... definitely recommend this one.

The story of Rake Anthony, Viscount Bridgerton and Kate Sheffield.

He decides he needs to marry, and Edwina Sheffield is firmly set in his sights.

Her Sister, Kate has different ideas and he needs to get through her to marry her sister.  Not that she would want him for herself even.

They do start to get a grudging respect/friendship together, but Kate still vehemently disapproved of him for Edwina.  Eventually a bee helps things along and love conquers all.

A 5+ Star ***** + read.

Happy reading.

Kay xoxo

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

#48 - One Little Sin ~ Liz Carlyle

One Little Sin

ISBN: 0-7499-0761-4

This is the story of Merrick MacLachlan's elder brother, Sir Alasdair MacLachlan and Esmee Hamilton.

Upon her Mother's death Esmee is thrown out of her Step-Father's house along with her Sister, Sorcha.  Sorcha is the product of a love affair that her Mother apparently had with Alasdair MacLachlan, who is a notorious rake and scoundrel.

Esmee journeys to London to track down the hapless Earl and insist that he stands up to his actions, and takes on Sorcha.  Without any idea how to deal with children, he persuades Esmee to stay as well - despite the consequences on her reputation - to act as Sorcha's Governess.

The only family apart from Sorcha Esmee has is her Aunt who is away on an overseas trip, and despite writing many times there is no way of knowing how long she will be away.

Eventually the Aunt returns, and Sir Alasdair is astounded to find out that it is the formidable Lady Tatton.

Lady Tatton is horrified and scandalised that Esmee has been under the roof of an un-married man - especially one with the reputation that Alasdair has gained - and whisks off Eseme determined to hush up an scandal and find the girl a husband.

Fate however decides that Esmee and Alasdair should be together.

A fabulously enjoyalbe and spellbind story, which I had great difficulty to put down.

5 ***** Stars from me.

Happy reading.

Kay xoxoxo

Monday, 6 December 2010

#47 - Three Little Secrets ~ Liz Carlyle

Three Little Secrets

ISBN:  0-7499-0764-9

Whilst this is really a story of all things mis-placed:  love; pride; trust in a parent.  Eventually, it just proves that love will win through and can overcome the enormous hurdles put in its way by the things that were mis-placed.

This engaging and intriguing story by one of my favourite authors, Liz Carylyle, engaged me all the way through.

The story of Merrick MacLachlan and Lady Meredith Bessett.

I would say a 5 ***** Star read.  I thoroughly enjoyed snuggling down by the log burner to read this exceptionally well crafted story.  I'm sure you won't be disappointed.



#46 - The Reckless Bride ~ Stephanie Laurens

The Reckless Bride (The Black Cobra Quartet)

ISBN:  978-0-349-40005-1

I am behind because of the horrendous weather here in our bit of the Kentish Countryside, so this is a scant review.  Probably in truth just a record of the fact that I read it, and gave it a star rating.

The fourth, and final book in the Black Cobra Quartet.  The story of Rafe (Reckless) Carstairs and Loretta Michelmarsh.

Very slow to get going at all this book, and only improved for the last third.  On that basis I am afraid that I could only merit a 2.5 *** star rating.  I feel bad about it, as it is no secret that Stephanie Laurens is a favourite of mine....but you have to tell it the way it is!

Happy reading.

Kay xoxox

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

#45 - Mine Til Midnight ~ Lisa Kleypas

Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, Book 1)

ISBN:  0-7499-3855-2

This is another in the Hathaway Series, the story of Leo's (Lord Ramsay) Sister, Amelia and the half-gypsy Cam Rohan.

A little on the slow start to begin with,  The narrative seemed a bit dis-jointed for about 4 chapters, and then settled down to a pleasant enough story.  Almost like it could of done with a bit of a further edit before being published.

I should say a 3 *** star would be appropriate for this, but essential if you are reading any of the Hathaway series.  Actually, it also links into the Wallflower books along the way as well.

Monday, 29 November 2010

#44 - How to Catch an Heiress ~ Julia Quinn

To Catch an Heiress

ISBN:  978-0-7499-0882-9

Which method do you think would work to Catch an Heiress:

(a)  Arrange for your son to rape her, and then force her into marriage?;


(b) Wait until the rape was attempted, then for said Heiress to flee her Guardian's home and then kidnap her by gunpoint because you thought she was a spy, tie her to the bedpost and be generally horrible for a few weeks?

You'll just have to read the book to find out.

The story of Caroline Trent and Blake Ravenscroft.

Full of the usual whit and laugh out loud moments.

I loved it, and highly recommend you give it a whirl.

A 4.5 ***** star read.
Happy reading.

Kay xoxo

Saturday, 27 November 2010

My review of At Last Comes Love ~ Mary Balogh

Yay, that's another review under my belt and published over at Love~Romance~Passion.

Happy reading.


#43 -Tempt me at Twilight ~ Lisa Kleypas

Tempt Me at Twilight (Hathaways, Book 3)

ISBN:  978-0-7499-0958-1

Book No. 3 in the Hathaway series proved to be entertaining and a happy read.

The story of Harry Rutledge, owner of the hugely prosperous hotel of the same name, and Poppy Hathaway, Sister of Leo Hathaway, Lord Ramsey.  Harry is also the half-brother of Catherine Marks (who eventually marries Leo - see review #40).

The book starts with Poppy chasing the pet ferret through the hotel on her own and happening upon the rarely seen Harry Rutledge.  The letter is one of love from Michael Bayning, and Poppy is desperate that the secret does not get out before Mr Bayning's father agrees to the marriage.

The encounter with Poppy only left one thing for certain in Harry's mind .... that he wanted Poppy.  What Harry Rutledge wants, Harry Rutledge gets.

A set of circumstances see Michael Bayning break off the secret engagement, and Harry makes a move.

There are some delightful scenes - I love the catching of the monkey.  There are also a couple of laugh out loud ones too, I won't say much I wouldn't want to spoil them, but the discussion the staff of the Hotel have about vegetables was so funny.

Do not pass this one, or I suspect any in the series when you browse the book shelves to find something to read.  A 4 star **** read.

I am eager now to read the others in this series to find out the stories behind the other Hathaway sisters.

Happy reading.

Kay xoxo

Thursday, 25 November 2010

#42 - First Comes Marriage ~ Mary Balogh

First Comes Marriage

ISBN:  978-0-440-24422-6

I seem to be getting a few of these read in the wrong order.  This was actually the first in the Huxtable series.  The very young Stephen Huxtable is informed by Elliott Wallace, Viscount Lyngate that he has by twists and turns of fate become the new Earl of Merton.

Viscount Lyngate takes Stephen and his three sisters Miss Huxtable (Margaret), Miss Katherine Huxtable and the widowed Miss Vanessa Dew to to their new home.  Margaret and Katherine and undisputed beauties, but Vanessa is always considered plain.

Viscount Lyngate needs a wife and decides to offer for Margaret, but Vanessa steps in to save her sister and offers herself.

Will they find love, will it all turn out OK in the end?

I have to say, I did not like Elliott at all well until very near the end of the book.  Actually, I found the whole book rather sad, and felt so sorry for Vanessa, not that she would probably want to see it that way.  Angry actually, that people could have undermined her self-esteem so badly.  This is not an all consuming fire and fireworks kind of love though, but a steady burn to a glorious and cozy fire for the long nights.

I had though I would give it a 3 star rating, but thinking it over walking the dog, that really would not be fair.  Is not the mark of a good author to make you feel for their characters, empathise or sympathise, and some how want to correct mistakes made by their fictional counterparts?  Therefore a 4.5 **** read should be more the mark.

Definitely read it, and let me know how you felt.

Happy reading.

Kay xoxo

#41 - Never Romance a Rake ~ Liz Carlyle

Never Romance a Rake

ISBN:  1416527168

The story of Kieran, Baron Rothwell and Camille Marchand, the illigitamate Daughter of the Comte de Valigny ....... or is she.

I would love to have written a review other than the basic star rating, but it's been swiped and taken back to library without me realising it, and I like to check the facts before I set finger to keyboard.

I will say though that I thoroughly enjoyed this the last in the Never Trilogy.  Kieran is the kind of dark and brooding hero I love, but I did feel so much sympathy for Camille.

A 3.5 star **** read, and I can thoroughly recommended you give it a whirl.

Happy reading.