A Winner for the Virginia Heath Gift Set has been randomly selected and the name that came out of the hat is…..drum roll, please!
Congratulations Alison, we will be in touch with you to arrange sending your prize.
A dangerous attraction in Montana!
Castillo Jameson has been hunting a murderer for years. The notorious outlaw never expected his search to lead to a standoff on a train—or having to save a beautiful woman caught in the crossfire…
Caroline Hartford has her own troubles—she wants to become a physician, but her parents demand she marry first. Then Castillo arrives at the wedding she’s attending, and Caroline has the perfect solution.
She will keep the outlaw’s true identity a secret…if he’ll pretend to be her fiancé!
This is my first Western Historical Romance and it’s not at all what I was expecting, the nearest I have come to westerns is watching old cowboy movie’s, so in my ignorance I was thinking it would be the same – with gunslinger wearing wide-brimmed hats, as they ride through various deserts. But this is fabulous, this completely blew my mind.
It’s intelligently written, super sexy and funny with a dark and dangerous undercurrent.
Caroline just wants to follow her dreams and become a doctor, but her selfish parents, especially her mother putting the boot in and telling her she must marry first. What’s even worse is that her mother has gone and picked out a suitor for her.
I really respect Caroline, she has got a very wise head on her shoulders. She is having the same dilemma that a lot of women have today; Career first or family?
“My virtue doesn’t belong to my husband. It belongs to me. I can do with it what I like.”
She wants to forge out a career for herself And achieve something that she is hugely passionate about, then settle down and have children – that is if she finds anyone acceptable, but like today people find it odd when a young woman doesn’t do as expected and wants to wait and have children, that’s if she wants them at all and from that you get scorn and distrust.
I like how St. George has created this free-thinking and independent woman, who in all accounts I can really relate to. Caroline isn’t one to mince her words she knows exactly what she wants, she has a perfect picture of where her life is heading and she fights tooth and nail to make sure it does.
I really like how Castillo respect’s Caroline? when he finds outs what she wants.
Castillo Jameson or as he prefers to be called Reyes is out for revenge, he has been on the hunt for a murderer for years and Castillo won’t rest until he has it. But he also, desperately wants a family of his own, he wants a normal life. But seeing as he is wanted outlaw he can’t see that ever happening to him anytime soon.
That is until he meets Caroline.
She was beautiful. She was strength. She was all the things he wanted and admired….
Castillo has a lot of issues, is full of bitterness, that is directed mainly towards his father. Tanner Jameson married Castillo’s mother only to up and leave both Castillo and his mother to marry a young, well-connected woman from Boston. A woman with a name and more importantly political connections and money. For me I can completely understand Castillo’s resentment towards his father, what Tanner did was unforgivable.
Castillo is a suave and ultra sexy man, I have always loved a pair of green eyes and Castillo has the most amazing eyes. St. George has done a brilliant job at how well she had written Castillo, he springs up into your mind fully formed and he really is one brutally handsome man, he is charismatic, suave and his sex appeal just simmers off the page, that you end up in a melted puddle on the floor.
Castillo just so damn sexy and he knows it. He knows his effect on women and yet he isn’t arrogant, he just knows how to use his natural charm to get what he wants – and my goodness is he charming.
I adore it when he uses his Spanish charm on Caroline – especially when he uses the Spanish equivalent of her name “Caroleena” and that alone can make you squirm with pure delight.
“Carolina?” That name spoken in a whisper in his deep, raspy voice made butterflies take flight in her belly. The fluttering of their dainty wings sent ripples of awareness out along her nerve endings. He said the name using the Spanish pronunciation. Caroleena. She quite liked it….
It’s like a battle of wills between our two, they are both stubborn, and both are people who don’t back down in a fight, so the arguments and the bartering between them is fiery and highly enjoyable.
I love the relationship between Hunter and Castillo, they are solid they have a genuine, brotherly love and respect for each other. They don’t see each other as half-brothers, in Hunters eyes Castillo is his true brother. The way they communicate with each other with just a look, speaks just how in sync these two brothers are.
I also really like the third member of their little band of outlaw brothers; Zane! He is an intriguing man who I would really like to get to know more about. He has got so many hidden depths beneath that monosyllabic and rough exterior.
For me though – as much as I adore Castillo – Caroline is the star of the show.
St. George has done it again, she has yet again introduced me to an era that I wouldn’t have read and made me want more, that to me is the is the proof of just how talented author she is.
I loved it to bits, I definitely have had my eyes opened to just how marvellous this era in Historical Romance can be, and I will definitely reading more.
A stylish and thrilling foray into Western Historical Romance, love it and I highly recommend this.
This was an ARC copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
A Marriage Deal With The Outlaw is out on 27th July and can be Pre-ordered now at Amazon
When the Earl of Salt Hendon marries squire’s daughter Jane Despard, Society is aghast. But Jane and Lord Salt share a secret past of heartache and mistrust. Four years on, they are forced into a marriage neither wants; the Earl to honor a dying man’s wish; Jane to save her stepbrother from financial ruin. Beautiful inside and out, the patient and ever optimistic Jane believes love conquers all; the Earl will take some convincing. Enter Diana St. John, who has been living in a fool’s paradise believing she would be the next Countess of Salt Hendon. She will go to extreme lengths, even murder, to hold the Earl’s attention. Can the newlyweds overcome past prejudices and sinister opposition to fall in love all over again?
Set in the opulent world of the 18th century aristocracy, Lucinda Brant delivers another delicious 18th century romantic experience. High drama, witty prose, a deft palette of historical detail, and a weave of subplots will keep you mesmerized from beginning to end.
Jane and Salt—four years of Happily Ever After
Sir Antony Templestowe—four years of Exile
Lady Caroline—four years of Heartache
Diana St. John—four years plotting Revenge
The time has come…
How does a brother cope with life knowing his sister is a murderess? How can a nobleman have the life he has always wanted when a lurking evil consumes his thoughts and haunts his dreams?
What will it take for good to triumph over evil?
I started reading/listening to “The Salt Hendon Collection” with an open mind, I have tried audiobooks before and I have always been skeptical, as I have never really enjoyed them as I do a regular book. But I am not one to give up on something without at least giving it a secret chance and as the lovely Lucinda Brant so generously offered me a complimentary copy, how could I refuse? So I gave Audiobooks their second chance.
As much as I want to say I loved every moment of this, I hate to say I didn’t. It has nothing to do with the brilliance of the story because the overall plot is fabulous, I have heard so many good things about Brants work and I do agree that she is an exceedingly talented author. The way she entwine’s the characters personal lives with a fast and intriguing plot is superb and I cannot say a single bad thing about her writing.
It’s the same with the narrator, Alex Wyndham. He is a sensational story-teller, his articulated voice is like pure velvet. The way the simplest words just rolls off his tongue can make any woman melt, if I was watching him on the stage or Television, then I would be swooning. His ability accentuate each individual character is pure brilliance, he could read the phone book and still make it could sexy. But, unfortunately even his refined and cultured tones couldn’t save it for me.
The issue wasn’t the story or the narrator, but the Audio version itself. When I’m reading a regular book I become transported to the era, I am living and breathing the story along with the characters, I just didn’t get that same sense with the Audiobook. I couldn’t visualise the characters or the scenery, I couldn’t understand or relate to them and get their personalities like I usually do, all I got from it was the wonderful Mr. Wyndham’s voice in my head telling me a story.
I know without a doubt that if I read this as a regular book, then I would become emersed into the Georgian era and love it, because it has all the ingredients of a great story. For me this particular way of reading it, didn’t work.
I always hate giving negative reviews, but I abide by my own rule, that I will always be honest in my reviews. For those that do like an audiobook they will adore “The Salt Hendon Collection” but this has just confirmed that audiobooks aren’t for me, but I am going to get the book version of this and I am going to read more of Brants work as I want to get to know the characters and plots.
Overall the Audiobook experience didn’t work for me, but Lucinda Brant is definitely an author I am going to read more off.
This was a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
I am very excited because I have a pretty special post for you all, my friend and awesome Historical Romance author Virginia Heath dropped by Chicks Rogues and Scandals to celebrate her upcoming newest release of “A Warriner to Rescue Her” which is book 2 in the Wild Warriners Series and she brought with her some incredible goodies, an exclusive to Chicks Rogues and Scandals excerpt and an amazing Gift Set that we will be giving away to one very lucky winner. I did want to keep the gift for myself but I promise I will let the prize go to a good home – it is seriously amazing though 😉.
To celebrate the up and coming release of “A Warriner to Rescue Her” we are going to be chatting Beatrix Potter, The Warriners and Acorns?…So to get our little celebration going with an exclusive post from the lady her self; here’s Virginia Heath…
From Little Acorns…
Just over a year ago, my first book came out. Like most debut authors, I found it all exciting yet a strangely daunting process. There was so much to learn and so much to do, and everyone told me that top of that list was to get some reviews because without them my book would fade into obscurity. Eagerly, I sent out my precious book to all and sundry, terrified they would all hate my work but knowing I had to do it or else nobody else would read it, hoping that from little acorns an oak tree would grow.
However, there was a problem. The reviewers weren’t interested. Why would they be? Why would they waste their valuable time on a new, unknown author when they already had a huge To Be Read pile filled with well-established and brilliant authors? It seemed my debut book was doomed and so was I.
That’s when I came across Frankie on Twitter. She had just started up her own blogging site Chicks, Rogues and Scandals. She was new and so was I, so I asked her if she would review That Despicable Rogue and to my delight and utter relief she said yes.
It was my first review, and a very nice one. Thanks to that review, other reviewers picked up my book and gave me a go. Since then, it’s all snowballed and I truly have had the most phenomenal first year. I’m building a name for myself and a solid following of readers. I was even nominated for a RONA award (Romantic Novel of the Year) for my third book The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide- I didn’t win but to have been shortlisted felt like I did. The big sites now regularly review my books, and by and large those reviews have all been excellent. The response to my first ever series- The Wild Warriners- has been awesome and I can already feel it building momentum after the success of the first book A Warriner to Protect Her.
I’m not an oak tree yet, more a sapling, and I will be forever grateful to Frankie for her part in that. That’s why I decided to celebrate the launch of the second Warriner book with a giveaway and excerpt exclusively on Chicks, Rogues and Scandals rather than on my own website. A little thank-you for being the first person to take a chance on me. I hope you all enjoy A Warriner to Rescue Her…
Exclusive Excerpt of A Warriner to Rescue Her.
Their butler crept in stealthily and coughed subtly. Every time Jamie saw him it gave him a start. Six months ago they had not even had a maid—now, thanks to Letty, there was a veritable army running Markham Manor, all transplanted from her opulent mansion in Mayfair.
‘You have a caller, my lady.’
A rarity indeed. Nobody called on the Warriners unless they were baying for blood or demanding immediate payment.
‘A young lady. A Miss Reeves. She is enquiring as to whether Captain Warriner is at home.’
Jamie could feel the beginnings of nerves in the pit of his stomach, warning of further impending humiliation, but tried to appear impassive.
‘Captain Warriner?’ Letty was staring at him with barely contained delight. ‘How very dashing that sounds.’
‘Tell her I am not at home, Chivers.’
‘Tell her no such thing! Have her shown in immediately, Chivers. And arrange for some tea.’ His sister-in-law tossed aside her already forgotten sewing and sat eagerly forward in her chair. ‘Why is a young lady calling for you, Jamie?’
He considered lying, but as the real reason for Miss Reeves’s unwelcome visit was doubtless about to be unveiled there seemed little point. ‘I tried to rescue her from a tree yesterday.’
‘Yes. And failed. Miserably.’
Further explanation was prevented by the arrival of his embarrassment. Just as it had yesterday, those red-gold curls refused to be tamed by her hairpins. Several very becoming silky tendrils poked out of her sensible bonnet and framed her pretty face. Her lovely chestnut eyes were wary as they darted between him and Letty.
Politeness dictated he should stand in the presence of a lady, but if he stood she would see more damning evidence of his infirmity and his pride was already bruised and battered quite enough. Letty, of course, sprang to her feet in an instant and gushingly greeted their guest.
‘Miss Reeves! I am delighted to make your acquaintance. I am Letty Warriner- technically the Countess of Markham, although my husband is reticent about using his title. Do take a seat. I hope you will join us for tea?’
It was all a little over the top, in Jamie’s opinion. Yes, a visitor was something of a rarity here, but the way Letty was behaving was a little too effusive. Especially as he was already counting the seconds until Miss Reeves left him in humiliated solitary peace.
‘Tea would be lovely,’ she said, flicking her eyes towards his briefly as she arranged her bottom on a chair. Jamie could still remember the feel of it in his hands. Firm. Rounded. Womanly. Which of course made him think about the incongruous garters again. ‘I came to check on Captain Warriner’s recovery. Because of my own lack of judgement, he was injured yesterday.’
Jamie stared straight ahead, but could feel Letty’s eyes boring into him. ‘Really? Jamie made no mention of an injury. Come to mention it, he also made no mention of the accident which must have led to the injury. All I know is what I have just been told. You were apparently stuck in a tree, Miss Reeves, and my brother-in-law tried and failed to get you down.’
She put unnecessary emphasis on the words brother-in-law, clearly making a point to their guest. A point which made Jamie uncomfortable.
He is single, in case you were wondering, Miss Reeves, and desperately in want of a wife. Try to ignore the fact he is lame, futureless and has the potential to kill if the mood takes him.
Miss Reeves blushed like a beetroot, a beetroot with distracting freckles on her dainty button of a nose, and wore a pained expression. ‘Captain Warriner climbed the apple tree to save me, but I fidgeted too much and the branch snapped. I am afraid we both fell to the ground. The poor captain absorbed the brunt of the impact.’
An understatement. His ribs had damn near snapped in half.
Letty was grinning like an idiot. ‘You fell on top of him? In the orchard?’ And like a nodcock he just happened to be painting the same blasted orchard and things looked so much more beautiful through his stupid eyes.
Miss Reeves nodded. ‘I feel awful about it.’
For his own sake, now was the opportune time to intervene, before Letty started to matchmake in earnest. ‘As you can see, I am in fine fettle, Miss Reeves. You needn’t have troubled yourself by coming all this way to see the evidence for yourself.’ His sister-in-law shot him a pointed glance for his rudeness, but Jamie was unrepentant. The last thing he needed was Letty reading more into his choice of painting than he was comfortable with her knowing. Miss Reeves’s fine eyes swivelled towards his leg, raised as always on a supportive footstool, and he inwardly cringed.
‘But I can see your leg is still injured, Captain Warriner, and that is completely my fault.’
She thought his infirmity was a temporary affliction, and as tempting as it was to go along with the fantasy, his innate sense of futility kicked in. ‘This is Napoleon’s fault, Miss Reeves. Not yours.’
Now, please go away, woman!
‘Indirectly. It was his guns which fired the musket balls.’
Her voice came out a little high-pitched and he simply nodded. He had no intention of telling her how they had had to dig three of the blighters out of his thigh while he was still conscious and he’d very nearly lost the whole leg, as well as his life, to infection afterwards. She blinked rapidly and Jamie could see her imagination filling in the blanks, those long lashes fluttering like butterflies as she did so.
Somehow that made it worse. Pretty and pity made him feel less of a man than he usually did. However, under the circumstances, it was probably best to divulge the horrible truth and suffer her pity rather than give Letty false hope that this delightful armful of woman might enter into a romance with a dangerous invalid. ‘They left me crippled, Miss Reeves.’ And cripples were not attractive. Especially not to freckle-faced fertility goddesses with positively sinful hair and saucy garters.
Cassie had no idea how to respond to such a statement. Part of her was sorry he had suffered, another part of her was hugely relieved not to have been the cause of his injury and a bigger part of her kept remembering how very big, solid and manly his body had been sprawled beneath hers. Just thinking about it made her feel all warm and those deliciously sinful sapphire eyes were not helping. Once again those exuberant passions she was trying her hardest to suppress jumped to the fore. Fortunately, the arrival of the tea tray meant she did not have to respond and had a perfectly reasonable excuse for removing her bonnet before she began to perspire from her wayward, wicked thoughts.
‘Do you take sugar, Miss Reeves?’
‘Just one, please, Mrs…er…my lady.’
The pretty blonde woman giggled. ‘To be honest, it confuses me, too. Perhaps we should simply dispense with the formalities. Why don’t you call me Letty?’
‘In that case, please feel free to call me Cassie.’ She risked peeking at Captain Galahad, but he made no move to invite her to call him anything familiar. In fact, he looked quite irritated at her continued presence. His gorgeous eyes were distinctly narrowed, which made her babble. ‘I am new to the area. My father has recently been appointed the vicar of this parish. We live at the vicarage.’ A completely ridiculous clarification only an idiot would make. It would probably be sensible to stop babbling nonsense and wait to be asked a question. Unfortunately, once her nerves got the better of her, Cassie’s mouth had a habit of running away with itself. ‘I couldn’t help noticing you are going to have a baby.’ Was it polite to mention such things?
Whether it was or it wasn’t, her hostess smiled and Cassie watched in wonder as the young woman’s hand automatically went to her protruding stomach lovingly. ‘Yes, indeed. But not until the autumn. I appear to have got very fat very quickly.’ She handed Cassie her tea. ‘Are you engaged to be married, Miss Reeves, or is there an ardent suitor on the cusp of proposing to you in the near future?’
A very sore point.
Cassie’s odd personality, off-putting exuberance, unfortunate freckles combined with her father’s ferocious temperament had all proved to be highly effective deterrents to the male sex. ‘No to both questions, I’m afraid.’
I am doomed to sit on the shelf and gather dust; I only hope it is sturdy enough and wide enough to bear my weight.
‘Well, I am sure it won’t be long before some lucky gentleman snaps you up—you are uncommonly pretty, Miss Reeves. Isn’t that right, Jamie?’
Captain Galahad grunted and appeared very bored. Clearly he disagreed. He was sipping his tea and practically glaring at her over the rim of the ridiculously delicate cup in his large, manly hand. Or perhaps he was glaring at his sister-in-law for asking him such an impertinent question? It was quite difficult to tell.
A Warriner to Rescue Her cam be Pre-ordered at Amazon
As you would have guessed from the Amazing Excerpt “A Warriner to Rescue Her” follows second brother; war hero Jamie as he tries to get on with his life after being severely wounded in battle. Jamie is an accomplished artist and it is through his art that he really comes into his own. On meeting Cassie, the new vicar’s daughter who like Jamie comes into her own through her stories, they come together to create a book, in a very Beatrix Potter way. Cassie writes the story about talking animals, no less and Jamie creates the glorious pictures and soon through their shared love of this venture they begin to heal each other. Which leads nicely into the next part of our Celebration The lady, who is the inspiration to Cassie and Jamie’s book; Beatrix Potter….
A Lady who Inspired….
Beatrix Potter was a childhood heroine of mine, she inspired children, young girls especially, to go out there and pursue their dreams, just like she did. Beatrix was a kind-hearted, intelligent and wonderful woman who could see the beauty in the most ordinary, everyday things. Her gift for creating these lovable tales is extraordinary but that isn’t all she achieved, her legacy will be her love and respect for the wild and all its creatures.
Beatrix wrote and illustrated 28 children’s books that to this day are loved by children all over the world, they have been translated into over 35 languages.
She was originally from Kensington, London born 28th July 1866 to a Rupert and Helen Potter, but her heart was and always would be in the country; such as Scotland and the Lake District. She was the eldest of two, her little brother Bertram were very close and they shared a love of animals and nature. As Bertram was really the only childhood friend she had while growing up, once he was sent off to school Beatrix was very lonely and it was at these times that her artistic talents and astonishing imagination really took root and started her off down the path she took and why and how she became the inspiring woman she became.
Like all girls growing up during the Victorian era, Beatrix was restricted in her activities, she rarely spent much time with her parents and other than her brother her main source of companionship was various governesses who were brought in to educate young Beatrix, because of her extraordinary talent she was encouraged to pursue her love of art. She created astonishingly accurate drawings of fungi and insects and her beloved pet rabbit Benjamin Bouncer.
Throughout her twenties, after years of observation and studies she developed into a keen and talented naturalist and she wrote her first paper called “On the Germination of the Spores of Agaricineae” all about how fungi spores reproduced but was rejected by William Thiselton-Dyer, director of the Royal Botanical Gardens. She refused to give up and carried on with her research and a year later George Massee, a fungi expert who worked at the Kew gardens, agreed to present her paper to the Linnean Society of London as women weren’t allowed to at the time.
Way before becoming the published author we know her to be, Beatrix created illustrated post cards depicting scenes from her favourite stories such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for the publisher Hildesheimer & Faulkner. Many more illustrations and verses followed, this cemented her desire to Publish her own stories.
In 1901 after being rejected by many publishers Beatrix decided to print and Publish The Tale of Peter Rabbit herself, she initially printed 250 copies and sent them to friends and family. The book was an instant success and the publishers Frederick Warne & Co., who had previously turned it down, reconsidered and offered to publish as long as Beatrix illustrated in colour. On publishing in October 1902 the book was an instant hit.
But she wasn’t just a one hit wonder she created many more books that were instant successes, she started exploring more creative pursuits, she created her own Peter Rabbit doll and in 1903 she registered it at the patent office making Peter Rabbit the world’s oldest licensed literary character. Beatrix dabbled in other merchandise such as tea sets. Slippers, she invented The Peter Rabbit board game in 1904. She also published Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle Duck painting books.
She met her soul mate in her editor, Norman Warne but unfortunately after a long courtship Norman died of Leukaemia just a month after his proposal of marriage. To recover from his passing Beatrix took to the Lake District, which was her sanctuary a place she could grieve and be herself in peace and it was a place where she spent the majority of the rest of her life.
She loved the area and the people and just the way of life so much she bought fifteen farms and took a very hands on approach to caring for them. She was known to helping with the haymaking, wading through mud to unblock drains or dressed in tweed searching the hills for lost sheep. She was at her utmost happiest when she was tending to her animals.
Beatrix became the first woman elected President of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders Association in 1943 and in the same year Beatrix sadly passed away, leaving her fifteen farms and over four thousand acres to The National Trust.
For me Beatrix was an astonishing woman, she pushed the boundaries of what women could do in the time and she never gave in. She was a force to be reckoned with and she brought so much joy and happiness into the world, her legacy is of her love of nature and these wonderful stories that are still loved to this day. She had her heart breaks and it was in those times that she showed again and again just how much strength she had.
I promised at the beginning of the post that we have a doozy of a giveaway and here it is. Virginia has generously put together a Warriner/Beatrix Potter Gift set which includes…
• A signed copy of A Warriner to Rescue her.
• Virginia Heath Bookmarks.
• Beatrix Potter Adult Colouring Book.
• Horses Adult Colouring Book.
• A Pack of Fancy Steadler Norris Colouring Pencils.
So, to be in for a chance of winning this incredible Gift set then all you have to do is tell me : Who is your favourite Beatrix Potter Character? That’s it simple!
Revised Giveaway Entrant Rules : I have had a it pointed out to me that those who don’t have a wordpress account are having difficulties commenting, so I have adjusted how you all can enter – You can either comment below, or you can leave your answer on the original Giveaway Post on the Chick’s Rogues and Scandals Facebook page. Link – HERE
The Giveaway is open Internationally. The closing date is Tuesday 27th June at 6pm GMT. The winner will be drawn at random after the closing date and will be notified shortly after.
A maiden for the mercenary
Mercenary knight Rhain is living on borrowed time. With a vengeful warlord pursuing him, he has accepted his fate—though first he must get his men to safety.
When he rescues mysterious and deeply scarred Helissent from her attackers, Rhain soon wishes he wasn’t marked for death. He can never be the man she deserves—his scandalous lineage alone dictates that—but Rhain can’t resist the temptation to show this innocent maiden how beautiful she truly is…
Lovers and Legends A clash of Celtic passions
Knight and mercenary leader; Rhain is trying to get his band of brother mercenaries to the safety of York, due to the fact that Rhain has a bounty on his head from one of the most powerful lords in the country he knows that he will eventually end up dead but he’s adamant that his band of mercenaries will survive.
On their way to York, Rhain stops at a sleepy little village at first it’s just like any other until he sets eyes on the mesmerizing Helissent, a severely scarred but deeply beautiful woman. One night as he’s on patrol of the village he hears screaming and comes across Helissent being attacked by a gang, after rescuing her from certain death he tends to her sounds and leaves her.
Helissent is in complete shock over what happened but no just about the attack but over the kindness Rhain has shown her, for the first time in her life she has felt safe. She knows that without Rhain there she may not survive and so she does the only thing she can do to protect herself; she walks into the mercenaries camp and demand that their mysterious leader take her to York with them.
So now Rhain in stuck between a stone and a hard place, he knows what she says is true an innocent woman like her, alone in a place where her attackers live wouldn’t survive, and his conscience wouldn’t let him rest if anything happened to this charming creature. But can he risk her life by taking her with him?
Off course he can! Just one look into her determined eyes and the decision has been made for him, there is just one problem as they make their way towards York, Rhain starts feeling things for Helissent that he knows he shouldn’t, having a price on his head and his death is imminent he can’t begin something no matter how alive he feels.
I love this, this is absolutely superb! It sticks with you and gets under your skin, but in a very good way you become absorbed in their dark and dangerous world. I have read Historical Romances that has stuck with me long after finishing the book, but this is right up there with some of the best books I have read. It’s beautiful, heart wrenching and you get tingles while reading it.
Rhain is such an intoxicating, brave and a undeniably fragile man who has got so much loyalty and he is very protective of his men and he wants to do right by them. He acts cold and distant and he is a little paranoid, but behind those amazing Amber eyes he has got a heart of pure gold, he just wants to protect Helissent and his band of mercenaries from what he knows is coming after him.
“ I’m not a saviour,” he said.
She, of all people knew no one was and that she didn’t deserve one.
“I’m not asking you to be.”
Rhain was raised as a lord as his father was one of the powerful Welsh Lords, but he finds out that the people he thought were his parent, weren’t and in actual fact his biological mother was the woman he grew up calling his aunt, a woman who he grew up respecting and loving. The only thing that he doesn’t know, is who his father is, so for the last five years he has searching for this elusive man and as his searched be became the man and mercenary he is now.
He believes he is tainted, that he is cursed because his biological mother was prone to seizures, he now believes that he has got “The Devils Blood” running through his veins. He believes that because of that he will never be able to have the life that he wants, a life that he was raised to have and this does explain a lot about how he is and how little he thinks of his own life which is a real shame as Rhain is very special man.
Rhain is an absolutely fabulous man, he is skilled at everything from sword fighting to healing, but he is a vulnerable man, a man who needs a bit of kindness who is the most outstandingly beautiful hero I have come across in a very long time.
“All this time women have been riding against you and you haven’t spared then a glance. Yet with her, you are. You even listen to that dreadful song she constantly sings.”
“Enough, “ he growled. “I’m a dead man, why bother with these questions?”
“Because your a dead man, and for some reason your coming alive, again”
Helissent wears her scars, not with pride she isn’t proud of herself, she is deeply ashamed of how she came about her burns, she does embrace them as that. As her shame and guilt! She feels that she is deserving of them, she has got this mad notion that because she couldn’t save her family from the flames, then she deserves the scars, the pain and even the scorn filled looks. She thinks she let her family down and as such she wanted to die too. So now she not only has to suffer from other people’s prejudice but from her own self loathing.
She is actually so much like Rhain, he is filled with self loathing too and neither of them can see just how incredible they are.
I know I say this a lot, but Helissent is by far the most incredible heroine I have come across, she is a courageous little thing. I absolutely love how she walks right into the den of big, burley mercenaries and demands that their leader; the gorgeous and intriguing Rhain, take her with him to York. Even when he refuses and she is surrounded by his men, she stands her ground and like any good negotiator she brings them around to her way of thinking.
She is an Inspirational woman!
“Your a gem, Helissent. A very rare gem. I’ve never met your like before.”
This is very clever, I really like all the different aspects that feature in the story from Helissent’s talent for baking, to Rhains mercenary life style. I particularly like how Locke has brought to attention how suppositious people were at the era and just how people saw hereditary illnesses, like seizures. The fact that people saw having some kind of illness as having, so-called “Devils Blood” hugely fascinating.
I do genuinely love this book, the plot is fast, complex and thrilling. Rhain and Helissent take you on this sensual, nerve wrecking journey as they find their feet and try to survive and move on with their lives.
From this book Locke has now become my go to author for Medieval Romance, it is astonishingly good, this isn’t your run of the mill Historical Romance. This is something special and cannot recommend this enough, for those who don’t like or haven’t read Medieval Romance you need to read this. This is how a Medieval romance is supposed to be, its perfect!
This was an ARC copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Knights Scarred Maiden is released on 27th July and can be pre-ordered Amazon.
The Heart of a Hero series prequel
Michael Devlin is a man of great learning but little means, living in one of the poorest sections of Dublin. By day, he practices law at the Four Courts and gives reading lessons to the local children. By night he’s the man in the mask, prowling the streets of The Liberties defending the people—his people—from those who would prey upon them. But when his estranged wife appears on his doorstep with a summons from Sir Arthur Wellesley, both of Michael’s worlds are turned upside down. What will happen to The Liberties if he obeys Sir Arthur’s command to meet in Cork? Can he even trust the woman who married then left him five years ago?
As a spy for Sir Arthur Wellesley, Joanna Pearson Devlin has executed this same mission flawlessly many times before: locate the subject, transport him safely, and present him to her employer. When Sir Arthur sends her out one more time to bring in her estranged husband, Joanna knows this mission will be anything except flawless. But Napoleon’s agents are everywhere, and Michael is an important part of the team Sir Arthur is assembling to stop them. For the sake of her country, Joanna heads to Dublin even as her discomfort grows. Will she be able to put aside her uncertainties and convince her husband to join the fight? Can they learn to work together again if he agrees?
Five years ago his wife left him and set off on another mission for the crown, Michael has learned to get on with his life, not only that but he has learned to lock away his anger and hurt that he has been feeling for not only his estranged wife but of life itself. He had set out to focus on helping those that are genuinely in need, in his own special way!
By day he is the calm and educated lawyer Michael Devlin, by night he walks the streets of “The Liberties” as the masked vigilante; The Demon of Dublin’s Hell.
So he gets the shock of his life, when one day out of the blue his estranged wife turns up on his doorstep with a message from none other than the mighty Lord Arthur Wellesley. She is there to deliver the message and the Demon to Sir Arthur.
Joanna is a covert agent who works closely with the war effort and Sir Arthur in particular, she knew that she would get another mission so it wasn’t surprising that soon after her wedding to Michael she was given a new assignment what did surprise her was it has kept her away from the man she loves for five years.
Joanna, as much as she loves her work and being able to-do something useful to help her country and the people she loves. She hated having to leave Michael and worse than that because of her duty she has had to stay away and break off all contact with he only man she has ever loved, and the only man who has ever loved her completely.
She promised she wouldn’t be away or too long but because of her duty she was forced to break that promise to her husband and in the process break both of their hearts.
After agreeing to undertake this assignment and travel to meet with Sir Arthur with Joanna they set off, but what they encounter on route will turn their lives upside down and not just with the danger of the mission but from what they find out about each other.
This is the first book I have read by Cora Lee and I thought it was a fabulous introduction into this talented ladies work. No Rest For The Wicked is apart of the “Heart of a Hero” series and it is a series I am looking forward to reading more of. The chemistry between out estranged couple is heated, the tension just ripples as well as the distrust for each other. This is fast, fun and exciting a fabulous read.
Michael is really good man, he is from the slums and yet, he has had an education he is hard-working, kind-hearted and loyal. A man who genuinely cares for the people in his Dublin Hell, he is a surprise and not exactly what you would expect from a lawyer. By day he helps people legally and by night he prowls about wearing a black mask under the name of the Demon of Dublin’s Hells, he cares for the under privileged and cares about what will happen to them.
He is a regular man who has pulled himself out of the lowest rungs of society to become the intelligent, brave and caring man he is now and he deserves respect. Especially from his wife. He genuinely loves Joanna and I do think that he was treated very harshly by Joanna and the way he lets her back into his life and his world after five years just goes to show just how much of a good man he is.
He is incredible!
“You said it’s the Demon of the Dublin’s Hell, that Wellesley wants. Does he know I’m the Demon?”
Michael held the letter with both hands and read it again, “What does he want with me?”
Now Joanna is a tough woman and when she is on a mission she is a force to be reckoned with and when she’s in agent mode she is very cold and calculating, and I will admit that I wasn’t sure if I could like her but she grew on me. Her loyalty and her bull headed-ness to get the job done earns respect, she is a woman putting her life at risk day in day out and she is doing what many would – even today – consider a man’s job, and that is inspiring.
When on a mission she is cold, calculated and manipulative, she is fierce women especially when eagerly integrating a highwayman while pointing a pistol at his head. But when she is alone with Michael she is like a completely different woman, she is warm and she actually comes across as very vulnerable. She wants Michael to look after her, and to love her.
“You never spent even a single night with… company?”
“No” his brows drew down over his eyes “Why would I?”
“Because I disappeared without a trace far longer than I told you I’d be gone. Because I could have been dead, or captured or mistress to another man.”
He was seated across from her again, and slid his foot across the floor to touch hers.
“You were my wife, and continued to be eleven when we were no longer in the same country. I’d never hurt you that way.”
“I didn’t….I was never unfaithful to you, either.”
I do really like this, it is smart, sexy and so well written but the more than that it makes you think. It is really lovely watching as these two get to know each other all over again and as their defences lower and they get closer and closer. They are both very reluctant to reveal their hearts, so it’s quite sweet when they finally do.
The inner turmoil with both of them is constantly present and yet despite not knowing whether to trust one another, they work brilliantly as a team. They can read each other like a book and its like a beautiful dance between them, they are so in sync.
A great story about how love can conquer over so many difficulties and so much turmoil, and one that I would definitely recommend and Lee is an author who I will be reading more of.
This was an ARC copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.
No Rest For The Wicked is released on 6th July and can be found at Amazon.
One mistake ruined her… One man can redeem her!
When an ill-fated affair left Beatrice Penrose with more than just memories, she fled to Scotland to raise her son away from society’s eyes. But the past catches up with her…and Preston Worth is impossible to deny when he’s sent to bring her home.
Preston has known Bea since childhood, but only now does a forbidden and unexpected desire spark between them. And when Beatrice’s and her baby’s lives are threatened, he makes her an offer of protection she can’t refuse…as his wife!
The last in the “Wallflowers to Wives” Series doesn’t disappoint, for the last three books it has been building up to this beautiful and thrilling finish.
Beatrice ran away to Scotland on finding out she was pregnant, she sets up herself in a little cottage in a village where everyone knows each other, for the first time in her life she is finally at ease and free to do as she wishes. No parents to rule over her, no husband to make demands of her; free to raise Matthew as she wishes.
But, Bea is living day-to-day in fear, she is afraid that her son Matthew will be taken away from her – as was done in the time – or if she re-enters society that her precious son will be ostracized, she can bear scorn for herself but not for her innocent baby. Her biggest fear though is that Matthews father will find out about him either force her into marriage or take Matthew away from her, neither option is good for Bea.
She could face the shame for herself. There were other fears, bigger fears. ‘I won’t let them take my son,’ Beatrice said with quiet force. This was the real fear….
So when her childhood friend Preston Worth turns up at her little cottage, she thinks the worse and her fears are confirmed when Preston gives her the ultimatum that her parents have given her; go home and do as she is told or be cut off and end up destitute. She has no choice, but to return.
Preston only took on the task of collecting Bea because her parents said if he didn’t do the horrible deed of dragging their daughter home, then they would find someone who would. Well, Preston isn’t going let a stranger go anywhere near Beatrice and her baby, so he accepts the job. What he finds when he gets there blows his mind, she isn’t what he expects her to be like. She has grown into this beautiful, mature and sensual woman.
He wanted to hold them both close and know they were safe.
“And Matthew? He’s all right?”
“of course he is. ’ Preston smiled. He drew Beatrice close. ‘Thank God.’ Those two words encompassed everything he was feeling; Thank God his throw had been good….
Beatrice and Preston area match made in heaven, once you get past the animosity between them, both Stubborn, highly opinionated and both think that what they say is right and everyone else is wrong. Both highly loyal and protective.
Beatrice is a lioness, like any mother protecting their young, she will fight to the death to protect her cub and everyone, especially Preston better watch their backs. I really like Bea, she is strong and resilient young women.
Preston has held a candle for Bea since childhood and on seeing her again, as a mother he has fallen head over heels for her. He is amazed at what magnificent woman she has become, and he vows that no one is going to harm this woman.
He is a complex man, after being wounded while on a missions, he has turned into a sort of loner or recluse. He prefers to be alone but he also knows that he has to do his aristocratic duty by marrying and producing an Heir but he is very reluctant to-do either, until he sets eyes on Bea. When that is actually his first thought, at how amazing it would be to live this life with her.
One of the things I really like about this, is how Scott put Bea’s situation in as the main plot, this highlights just how dismally unmarried, single mothers were treated in the era. How just because they didn’t have a husband that they were threatened of having their children taken away and manipulated into marriage just so that the family looks good. I think Scott has got Bea’s predicament spot on as well as her fiery personality. Scott has shown just how much of a struggle these incredible women had to go through just to live day-to-day. I have so much respect for Beatrice she faces the stigma of being classed as a fallen women with grace and aplomb, she is a feisty heroine and one I really like.
Preston adjusted his hold on the infant, starting to feel more confident.
He looked down at the little face looking back at him and grinned.
“I think he smiled at me. I think he likes me.’ It was such a small thing and yet it pleased him extraordinarily and ridiculously…
Preston really comes into his own in this, he grows into a man right before your eyes. From a carefree, reclusive agent to a seriously kind and responsible man, who is mature enough not to scorn and be embarrassed when he sees a woman breast feeding her child. The way he treats Matthew is truly beautiful, the way he takes him on as his own is marvellous, and just shows how great a man he is.
Even the baddie is a great character is a real stinker and Scott has him spot on. He a typical aristocratic maniac who acts like butter wouldn’t melt, he s a pompous ass and in my view a proper fruit loop.
This has been a great series, this is such a great way to say good-bye to these four couples we have seen them through so many hardships and watched them transform from naive Wallflowers to strong woman and it is marvellous.
This was an ARC copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.
Marrying The Rebellious Miss is out now and can be found at Amazon.