Month: November 2016

Hottie’s of the Week ~ Scottish

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This may be an old Hotties of the Week but its still a good one and in honor of St. Andrews Day, I thourght it was fitting . so sit back and enjoy a little bit of vintage Hotties and Happy St. Andrews Day.

Chicks,Rogues and Scandals

After the success of “Period Drama Hottie’s” last week I thought that I might make it into a regular feature on Chick’s, Rogue’s and Scandal’s, so especially for all my lovely reader’s every week they will be some devastatingly good looking men for us all to drool over. This week we are going Scottish (really who doesn’t like a rugged man in a kilt?). . .Enjoy!!

Rugged Gerard Butler

Handsome Richard Rankin

Talented Paolo Nutini

Dangerous Richard Madden

Cool James MacKenzie

Sexy James McAvoy

Devastating Ewan Macgregor

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A Rogue By Any Other Name ~ Review

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Rule of Scoundrels #1

Back Blurb :

What a scoundrel wants, a scoundrel gets. . .

A decade a go, the marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London’s most exclusive gaming hell, the cold ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance – including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury.

A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtship’s have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage. How lucky that her new husband has access to such unexplored pleasures. Bourne may be a prince of London’s underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness – a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything, for them. . .even her heart.

My View :

Book one in the Rules of Scoundrels series is just superb, the that fact that this whole series is generated around the founders of a Gaming Hell/Casino is such a change then what we are used to and I love that.

Bourne or more accurate Michael Lawler; Marquess of Bourne is one of the founders of the most sought after club in all of Britain, as a young man he lost everything he had on one bet and he was left with nothing more than the clothes on his back, a guinea in his pocket and a tarnished title. Now years later he is a cold, heartless and hardened man who takes everything he want’s and has no mercy for anything or anyone that get’s in his way. So when the chance to get back his birth right he takes it no matter the cost. And the cost to get his family home back is to marry the sweet and innocent Penelope Marbury.

So Bourne being the scandals Gaming Hell king that he is, does exactly what he is best at and that is manipulating everyone around him to get what he want’s, he kidnap’s Penelope and ruin’s her so that she has no choice but to marry him and alas he get’s his family’s stronghold. Bourne has it all planned out, marry her and then ignore her. . .The only problem with that plan is that Penelope isn’t happy with that arrangement and she want’s more and what Bourne didn’t bank on was that Penelope is just as brutal and manipulative as him.

The relationship between Bourne and Penelope is strained at the best of times, they have been thrown together and now they have to put up with each other, Bourne tries his best to ignore the fact that he even has a wife and goes about his business as though nothing as even occurred. But the thing that you see instantly is that these two do genuine love each other, those little touches and glances when Bourne has let his mask slip is really beautiful.

“I intend to play. We require a dealer.”

Michael’s gaze snapped to her as Langford sneered, “I will not play cards with a woman.”

She took the seat at one side of the table. “I usually will not play cards with men who rob children of their inheritance, but tonight appears to be one for exceptions.”

Cross looked to Michael. “She is incredible.”

Possessiveness flared as he took his seat, eyes on his wife. “She is mine.”

I think that Bourne is a brilliant character, he does come across as a hard man but once you get past that steel exterior you will see that he is a very emotional man, he is exceedingly protective, he is like a wolf all teeth and bite but also soft and loving. Bourne has had a tough time, losing everything when he was nothing but a teenager really had an effect of him, he built his life back up from nothing to be the powerful man he is now, and I really like that I like that he has pulled hisself up and he is in essence a self-made man he has worked hard to be where he is and that in its self deserves respect.

Penelope is just perfect for this hard, unreadable man she is the epitome of sweetness and light but she has got real strength of character, a strength that she has had to acquire during the last few years since her failed betrothal. She can be as hard and manipulative as Bourne and that makes their argument’s and the sex scenes fiery. they really are a perfect match for one an other.

Dear Sixpence,

I saved them all, you know. Every letter you ever sent, even those to which I never replied. I’m sorry for so many things, my love: that I left
you; that I never came home; that it took me so long to realize that you were my home and that, with you by my side, none of the rest
mattered.
But in the darkest hours, on the coldest nights, when I felt I’d lost everything, I still had your letters. And through them, in some small way,
I still had you.
I loved you then, my darling Penelope, more than I could imagine—just as I love you now, more than you can know.

Michael

The four founding members of the exclusive, powerful The Fallen Angel are four of the best character’s I have come across, they are cold, brutal, powerful, elusive and secretive. Bourne, Cross, Temple and Chase are a foursome to be reckoned with and I can see as the series goe’s along that I am going to have a lot of fun getting to know these four.

The is such a great book and a brilliant start of a series, it is intelligently written with a great plot and a marvelous bunch of character’s and I am thoroughly looking forward to seeing how the series ends and what’s in store for the other three.

A superb start to what I know is going to be a brilliant series.

The Relationship Between Author and Reviewer, From the Reviewers Point of View

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bookreviews1Before I started Chicks Rogues and Scandals, I never really understand just how important reviewers are to an author, or that they could have these great relationship’s all based on a common joy. Reading. I had just taken those quotes in the front of a book for granted and I was, I will admit it ignorant to all the hard work that an author goes through to get their work out there.

That’s sound’s pretty shameful doesn’t it? After all the book’s I read and hires-6-158x300I never saw the importance of a reviewer, even once I started blogging and I posted review’s of my own it still didn’t register how important honest reviewers are to an author, I had started Chicks Rogues and Scandals for the sole purpose of putting out my thoughts and opinions and to encourage more people to read. Then came the day when I was approached by my first author, asking if I wanted to exclusively read their work in return for an honest review. I was ecstatic, I couldn’t believe it that this brilliant person wanted me, a novice at all this reviewing lark to review their work. You cannot believe how thrilled I was, it felt like a real achievement and I will say that I was pretty giddy for days.

Well I did the review, I sent it back and I sat there on tenter hook’s wondering what they will think of what I have said about their work? Was I too opinionated? Did I put enough into my review? or was my review too long and drawn out? and then I got a reply and the author couldn’t have been more kind, they were thrilled by what I had written, but it wasn’t until I saw their promotional tweet’s and post’s that they had used a quote from my review.

vintage_scrapbookMy review was quoted and used as promotion for this great book, that was just an incredible moment for me and I will admit that I have started a scrapbook which, contains those promotions with my quotes. Is that odd? If it is I don’t care, I felt really proud of myself in that moment and I still do every time I get a request for another review.

For me it was in that moment, on that first requested review that it finally dawned on me just how important each is to the other. The author thrives on those honest thoughts and opinions from the reviewer, and the reviewer (In my opinion) is just doing what they love, which is reading. If I was an author, which obviously I’m not, I would respect the reviewer if they were totally honest and didn’t just write what they think I would want to hear, and wrote exactly what they thought about my work. So that is what I try to do, I always put exactly what I think in the review, if there is something that I don’t like then I will add it, as polite as I am I always try to do that as respectfully as possible because I just hate being rude about another person’s livelihood.

hugging-smileysSo there we have it, my “I have seen the light” moment, since that first author approached me and asked me to review their work, I have approached by so many wonderful people – it stills makes me giddy that these brilliant people ask me – it is so amazing and I have gained brilliant relationship’s with them all. Now finally I understand that special friendship between author and reviewer, having got first hand experience and I feel very honored that I can say I have it too.

The Saxon Outlaw’s Revenge ~ Review

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Back Blurb :

At the mercy of her enemy!

Abducted by Saxon outlaws, Constance Arnaud comes face to face with Aelric, a Saxon boy she once loved. He’s now her enemy, but Constance must reach out to this rebel and persuade him to save her life as she once saved his. . .

Aelric is determined to seek vengeance on the Normans who destroyed his family. Believing Constance deserted him, he can never trust her again. Yet, as they are thrown together and their longing for each other reignites, will Aelric discover that love is stronger than revenge?

My View :

My goodness how much do I like this? I haven’t read a Historical Romance from this period before, for some reason I just never thought about trying a Medieval Romance, how wrong I was. This is just so unbelievably good. The story is incredible Constance and Aelric are on opposites sides Constance is a Norman and Aelric a Saxon, both are supposed to hate each other and yet deep down they are soul mates. This reminds me so much of Tristan and Isolde, which is one of the most romantic stories ever, two love bird’s stuck in the centre of two warring clan’s, separated by who and what they are.

As a boy Aelric’s entire family is brutally murdered by the evil Lord De Courdrey, the only thing that stops the evil De Courdrey from killing Aelric also is the pleading of his childhood sweetheart and sister-in-law of De Courdrey; Constance. She put’s her very life on the line to help Aelric with horrific consequences for her self.

Years later Aelric is now Caddoc the Fierce, leader of a little band of outlaws, living on the fringes of his once home and gutting for revenge against the man who destroyed his life. He is now a hard, cold fierce warrior with nothing but vengeance for his family coursing through his veins. One day Caddoc get’s wind that there is an item being taken to De Courdrey, this item is said to be of up most importance and alas Caddoc think’s he has finally found the way to destroy De Courdrey. The only problem is that the very thing that Caddoc want’s to use against De Courdrey turns out to be the girl who saved his life and the girl that also broke his heart.

“When I played, why did you weep?” Aelric asked.

Constance stepped towards him. The memory made tears spring into her eyes. Blinking sent them trickling down her cheeks and there were more that she had expected.

“Because I know your heart is not as dead as you would have me believe.”

Aelric dipped his head. His lips moved, but no sound emerged. When he lifted his face his brow was furrowed,. He took her face between his hands and with a thumb wiped the tears gently away.

“I don’t understand”

They were closer now, without Constance being aware of either of them having moved. Heat rose from Aelrics body. The need to touch him was overpowering and she was certain he would not resist.

“No one could sing as you did unless there was true emotion within him. Not just hatred. There is more to you then that, deny it all you might. I saw it tonight and it gave me hope for you.”

Constance has had her share of hardship, beaten and abused by De Courdrey sold of for marriage where she was treated just as badly by her supposed husband and now she is widowed all she want’s is to spend the rest of her life is peace without fear. But her peace never comes as she is dragged into a conspiracy that has her kidnapped, threatened and in fear of her very life. That is untill she finds herself face to face with the boy she had loved and lost.

The chemistry between our two leads just sizzles of the page, even when they are arguing and when they are looking at each other with pure unbridled hatred they still sizzle, they are just an incredible pair. They are both strong-willed, intelligent, caring and vulnerable. They are both so fragile that it breaks your heart witnessing as they try to get past their own horrific past’s, and try as they might to make a future for themselves and for each other. And yet the fact that they are both just so stubborn and bull-headed sort of even’s their vulnerability.

“My loyalty is to you,” Aelric asked, he seized hold of her hands and held tightly against his chest. “Your not meant for cloister, to spend your days in sackcloth in a dreary cell.”

“What am I meant for?” she asked, his touch was setting her senses a flame.

Life and light. Days in the sun.”

Days in the sun you say?” Constance said, a smile beginning to bloom on her lips, she raised her face and looked at him frankly.”And what of my nights? Where should I spend those?”

He wove his arms around her waist.

“The nights you’ll spend with me. In my bed.” He kissed her. . .

Elisabeth Hobbes has created a magical and atmospheric tale of loss, love and hope, I think what really makes this a winner for me is that the amount of historic detail, this isn’t just your run of the mill love story, it is bloody and gory and you get a true sense of how dark and scary and difficult this era was. The Saxon Outlaws Revenge, is brilliant. Beautifully written, the best love story for an age, it is sexy, intelligent and one of those rare gems that can be enjoyed by not just avid Historical Romance fans but by everyone and I cannot recommend this enough.

This really is breathtaking.

What is the Lovers and Legends Series?. . .Guest Post by Nicole Locke

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What is the Lovers and Legends series?

nicole

I don’t know. I didn’t come up with the name, Harlequin did. I do, however, love the name because it sounds Jackie Collins-ish. That may have made it worse to my understanding what the series will entail because if there ever was a legend she was it. I’m definitely not.
Oh, I know I’m supposed to have the answer to what the series is. After all, I’m the person at the keyboard. But the funny thing about creating something is it never feels as if it’s coming from you.

Certainly none of these characters or their stories, or the plots and intrigues and villains feel like they’re coming from me. It feels more like I’m just the medium for them to tell their story. Which now makes me sound like someone from Poltergeist, when all I am is someone trying to explain this while eating pretzels.

Yes, I’m eating pretzels while writing this post. See? Definitely not Jackie Collins.

But I do have stories to tell, and there will be many in the Lovers and Legends series. So far, there are ten. I have a lot of voices in my head.
They are not written in chronological order, nor are they written in order of importance. They’re more like threads in a tapestry. They can be read separately, and each has their own Happily Ever After.

4But everything hubs around The Knight’s Broken Promise, which introduces Robert of Dent, his friend Hugh, and the Colquhoun clan. All the people in that book will have their own stories, and the best part, you’ll see them again and again. For instance, you’ll be introduced to Gaira’s brother, Malcolm, in The Knight’s Broken Promise, hear about his grief in Her Enemy Highlander and struggles in The Highland Laird’s Bride. Eventually, he’ll have his own happily ever after, too.

What of the Legend? That’s first revealed in 3Her Enemy Highlander. It’s a Jewel, which has many myths attached to it. Thus, it becomes a powerful talisman for both good and evil. In The Highland Laird’s Bride, you’ll find its purpose. In Malcolm’s story, you’ll know what will become of it.

But before Malcolm’s story, there will be Rhain’s, who is brother to Teague, who is friends with Robert. And I’m currently writing Hugh’s story from The Knight’s Broken Promise for a later 2017 release.

I’m also trying (and failing) to rein myself in from talking about the other people and voices in my head. Yet someday, I hope to chat about them all while sharing my bag of pretzels.

In the meantime, I may not know exactly what the Lovers and Legends series is, but I’m typing it as fast as I can to find out.

More about my work at  www.nicolelocke.com

A Chat With. . .Nicole Locke

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Today on Chicks Rogues and Scandals, I am very pleased to have Best selling author Nicole Locke chat with me. So take a seat and let’s get to know Nicole a little better.

nicole

Reading Chick : Hi Nicole, Welcome to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals, Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today, Firstly, what five words would you use to describe yourself?

Nicole : Persistent and Procrastinator. (Yeah, those two have epic battles). Five words? I can’t get past procrastinator. How about traits? Cause I like things clean, but hate to clean. Love going out, but adore staying in. Best and the worst cook ever. Love my children, but not on deadlineday. How about one word? Chatty.

Reading Chick : Brilliant! one of the best answers we have had for a while. If you could live in any era and place, when and where would it be? And why?

Nicole : The future where they invent time-travel. I want to be able to explore more worlds than I can today. Mostly, I just want to visit bits of myself with my children and husband and tell myself: Enjoy Now! (and stop thinking about other worlds and the future where they invent time-travel).

Reading Chick : Oh wow, what an answer, very original I like it. Who was your childhood hero?

Nicole : Besides my mom? That’s easy: Words. Words have always inspired me. If I think of all those staggering moments when something just clicked inside me, it was usually because I read, or someone said, something profound.

Reading chick : That’s really nice Nicole, What is your favourite time of the year?

Nicole : Autumn. It’s the best time of year. I was raised in the Midwest, US. Spring had too many bugs; Summer was too hot; Winter had ice storms. But the time of year we were freely able to dine outside was Autumn (food is very important to me).

Reading Chick : I agree with you there, Autumn has always been my favorite season too, OK, a time for a toughie. Out of all your work, who is your favourite character and why?

Nicole : I’m writing a series, so that’s a difficult question the more I get to know the characters. But I think it has to be Robert from The Knight’s Broken Promise. His grief compelled me to write and to stop putting my ideas in a drawer.

4

Reading Chick : Very nice, Your books are incredible, where does your inspiration for them come from?

Nicole : From the characters. Every story I write, someone else is revealed. Someone, who demands their tale be written as well. In this way, I don’t know when, if ever, the series is going to end.

Reading Chick : Very interesting. What three tips would you pass on to an aspiring author?

Nicole : 1. Just. 2. Keep. 3. Going. It took me forever to get here. Decades of writing, but never enough. Half-attempts at finding a publisher or agent. Just keep going. Finish. Keep going again. I read somewhere (words are my heroes): Even those falling down are moving forward.

Reading Chick : Oh, Wow! That is a brilliant tip, Thank you Nicole, If you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite? (They can be real/fictional, dead or alive).

Nicole : I’d want my grandparents around the family table again so my children would know them. But if I was just, you know, making macaroni and cheese (my favourite food) and had extra to spare? I’d have the Count of Monte Cristo, Jamie from Outlander, and Jason Bourne. All three of these characters possess the traits of that tortured, vulnerable, reluctant hero. I adore a man, who has weaknesses and perseveres despite them.

Reading Chick : That is some dinner party, can I come too? Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today, it has been an absolute pleasure.

If you want to find out more about Nicole and her work then check out her website, Nicole loves hearing from her readers so why not connect with her via the links below.

Website

Twitter : NicoleLocke News

Goodreads

Awakening The Shy Miss ~ Review

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Wallflowers To Wives #2

Back Blurb : 

Seduced by the prince 

Dimitri Petrovich, Prince of Kuban, is unlike any man seamstress Evie Milham has ever met. Exotic and charismatic, he’s paying a visit to her sleepy country village. Yet one glimpse of the prince’s melting brown eyes and shy Evie’s heart races like never before… 

Dimitri is no stranger to desire, and he knows innocent Evie wants him! Before he returns to his homeland, he must decide—resist Evie’s siren call, or give her pleasure beyond her wildest, hottest imaginings!

My View :

Evie Milham loves the rascally Andrew Adair, she has loved him since she was a child and she will whatever she can to finally make him notice her and marry her, the only problem with that is; he barely even knows she exists and another much bigger problem for Evie is that she has gone and caught the attention of the devilishly handsome Dimitri Petrovich; Prince of Kuban. It all sounds simple and innocent enough but that is just to put you off your guard because this is super sexy, brilliantly intelligent and such a feast for the eyes.

Dimitri is leading an archeological dig in Evie’s home village and the moment he set’s eyes on the shy and beautiful Evie he knows that this is the woman for him, she has a razor-sharp mind and wit to goe with it, she is intelligent, caring and so far out of his sphear. They start working alongside each other at his dig and soon find themselves giving into that mutual attraction. Unlike other woman she doesn’t treat Dimitri like a royal she treats him like an equal and this makes Dimitri want her all the more . . .The only issue is that he has to go back to Kuban to be the Prince that he was born to be, but can he leave her?

First off, wow! what a villain we have in Andrew, he is egotistical, smarmy and as slippery as an eel and personally I think Evie needs a to have a sit down with a doctor for wanting this villanous creature, especially when the man that she should be fawning all over is right in front of her, in the form of the delectable Dimitri.

“Please don’t do that.” She couldn’t beat it if he was toying with her. She was enjoying his company far too much, especially after being denied it for a few days. She knew intuitively he was himself in these moments, not the polite faced she’d seen all week.
“Do what?” he leaned close, his knuckles skimming her jaw in a light caress for wich there was no other explanation but the improbable.
“Act as though you’re seducing me.” She clapped her hand over her mouth. She could hardly believe she’d let that thought escape. Surely he would laugh at her now. But he didn’t laugh.
His hand sifted the wet stands of her hair “Maybe it’s not an act. . .”

Oh! How much have I fallen for the Prince of Kuban, he is just such an incredible character, once you have got past his Regal exterior there is a kind, intelligent, loving and sexy man beneath who is just shouting out for a bit of love, for someone to just forget for a minute that he is a Prince and treat him like a man.

The chemistry between Dimitri and Evie is just amazing is just sizzles off the page, every time they are together the atmosphere just crackles with pent-up tension and frustration, from the full-out sexy and erotic scenes in Dimitri’s pavilion to the secret little touches and glances that they share, it is those moment’s that are just beautiful and full of emotion.

“Then don’t be a gentleman. Don’t be a prince. Just be a man. My man.” It was all he really wanted to be in those minutes – just hers – and he could feel logic slipping away, replaced by something headier, stronger and undeniable where doing what he wanted made sense.
“I am going to lose this argument, aren’t I?” He could hear the desire in his voice, feel the beginnings of a smile on his lips.
“Yes, absolutely.” Evie gave his neckcloth a tug to make it clear. “if you’re lucky, you’ll lose more that.” Yes, he could see that, starting with his clothes and quite possibly ending with his mind.

Awaking the Shy Miss is, I am ashamed to say my first Bronwyn Scott novel, I really cannot express how much I enjoyed this book. It is fast paced and imaginative, the character’s are so well written. From love rivals, plot twists, steamy and sexy scenes that can make your toes curl and by far one of the best villains that I have come across for an age, this has everything that you want from a Historical Romance and I highly recommend it.

This just has to be read and I am looking forward to reading more from this talented lady.