Month: December 2016

In Bed With The Viking Warrior by Harper St George : Review

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Back Blurb :

” I still don’t know who I am. . .What if I am an enemy?”

Injured in battle, Magnus awakens with no memory of who he is. Knowing he is in danger, he flees. . .only to encounter a Saxon maiden in peril.

Aisly hates the Danes who invaded her land and killed her husband. Yet, when a mysterious wounded warrior saves her life, she cannot turn her back on him. As Aisly tends to Magnus’s injuries, desire surges between them. But when Magnus’s true identity is revealed, she’s thrown into turmoil – she has invited her enemy into her bed!

My View :

First review of 2017 and I am starting off the new year with a doozy, This is such a heart warming and sometimes heart wrenching book that shows just how difficult, yet rewarding love can be even between so-called enemies.

Viking warrior Magnus is seriously injured while in battle, he has extensive and life threatening wound’s and when he is conscious he doesn’t even know who he is. All he knows is that someone is out there in those wood’s trying to do him harm. Along comes beautiful and kind Aisly who after being saved by Magnus – takes him back to her Saxon settlement to care for him. With her intelligence and persistence, Magnus soon recovers from his physical injuries and start’s falling in love with the gentle Aisly. The more he recovers the more he start’s getting glimpses of the man he is – unfortunately for both him and Aisly he start’s to realise that he may well be his loves enemy.

” They won’t let you back through the gate.”

His lips twitched in the beginnings of a smile, “Neither gate nor wall can keep me from you.”

Her foolish heart began to beat faster. She wanted to believe it was fear, but she couldn’t lie to herself. It beat with excitement. . .

Magnus is a fabulous character, he just eat’s up every page that he is on, he is a large and powerful man but not just in his physique, he just oozes power and influence, a true leader and he has a rakish arrogance that we love in our heroes. He really is a force to be reckoned with. Even at his most vulnerable when he is in and out of conscious and plagued with fever and infection due to his injuries he is still a captivating and provoking man. Magnus is intelligent, caring, extremely protective and has a will of iron, nothing get’s in his way of what he want’s. He is a warrior to the core.

Small unassuming, brave Aisly is the perfect partner for the large, powerful Viking. She may think that she hates his kind but how on earth can she not fall in love with the magnificent Magnus? Poor Aisly has had a hard life she was orphaned at a young age, became the ward/ servant of the powerful lord of their settlement only to be married off to a bully and brute of a man. She was widowed very young, had all her belongings taken from her and now she is at the mercy of her lecherous father in law. But even though all of her hardship and what she has suffered at the hands of not only her husband but his father she is still such a strong individual. She is so courageous and as proven with how she helped Magnus she has like him has a kind heart and iron will.

“Not all men treat you so harshly. some men would count themselves lucky to have you as a wife and do anything to keep you happy”.

Giving him a wry smile, she asked “And how would you know? You can’t even remember your own name”. . . .

. . .”I know because I am one of those men.”

I really do like In Bed With The Viking Warrior, the story is so charming with a simplistic brilliance that is very hard to find. It is intelligent, well written and very well researched by the author. This is very character driven the relationship between Aisly and Magnus is very, very heated, it is steamy and emotional and so sweet. You feel their happiness and their pain and you are at the edge of seat wondering what will happen to them.

I would highly recommend In Bed With The Viking Warrior, it has everything that we would want from a Historical Romance, great plot, strong and likable character’s. It is sexy and atmospheric and highly enjoyable.

This was an ARC version provided by the author for an honest review, In Bed With The Viking Warrior e-book version is released 1st January 2017.

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Reading Chicks Best Books of 2016

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We are nearly into 2017, so for the first time I am holding my own Top Books of the Year, but with my own twist. I have five Categories Best Hero, Heroine, Plot, Series and Book of the Year. This isn’t an oficial chart it’s just my opinions on what I have read this year, I would love to know what your favorite books have been and equally what you are looking forward to reading in the new year, so let’s begin. . .

Best Hero :

Rhys Winterborne, Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas.

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A ruthless tycoon. . .

Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better . . .

A sheltered beauty

Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable . . . the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss. And it all begins with . . .

Marrying Mr. Winterborne

This is exactly what I have come to expect from the very talented Ms Kleypas, Rhys is the best hero I have come across for a very long time and I love the fact that his isn’t aristocracy, he is a blunt, rough around the edges hard-working man who has pulled hisself out of the gutter and become a successful self-made man. he isn’t afraid of hard work and he appreciates what life is like to be below the bread line and that for me is very refreshing, I do love a good down to earth, ordinary hero who we can all relate to and with Rhys we have just that. and he is just so damn gorgeous to boot. ~ Chicks Rogues and Scandals

Best Heroine :

Amelia Mansfield, The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide by Virginia Heath.

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Choosing a wife is not a task that should be undertaken lightly.

Bennett Montague, sixteenth Duke of Aveley, is seeking the perfect bride. He’s narrowed his search to five worthy “Potential”…until the arrival of his aunts companion unravels his carefully laid plan’s.

Having fought for everything she has, Amelia Mansfield is incensed by Bennett’s wife-selection method’s. But as she’s forced to spend time in his company, she begin’s to see another side to Bennett – and that man is infinitely more tantalizing and enticing…

Amelia, is the best heroine that I have come across for, ages, talk about rag’s to riches fairytale, well Cinderella has nothing on this girl. She know’s what’s it like to be not just on the bread line but miles below it, she is a tough cookie and from what she has had to go through in her short life so far it is not surprising, she went to hell and back and yet she still managers to be so sweet and lovely. but she doe’s have her flaws too she is so untrusting of the aristocracy, especially titled men, but that insecurity makes you warm to her the more, I just love the way she bring’s out the real Bennett, she shows him life from another perspective; something that he has never done in his life and because of her he does come in to his own ~ Chicks Rogues and Scandals. 

Best Plot :

 No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah McLean

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A rogue ruined. . .

He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night. Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of. . .absolution.

A Lady returned. . .

Mara planned never to come back, but when her brother falls deep into dept at Temples exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade: she will return to society and reveal the truth. . .that he is no killer.

A scandal revealed. . .

But the lady – and her past – are more than they seem. It will take every bit of Temple’s strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything. . .even for true love.

Twelve years earlier the young William Harrow, heir to the Dukedom met a tantalizing and beautiful girl, a girl with magical odd eyes, he fell in love with her there and then. The next day he woke in his to be step mothers bed, with no memory and in a pool of blood and he was accused of murdering her. After fleeing to London he was rescued by an elusive person named Chase who ran a gambling hell called The Fallen Angel, where he changed from suspected murderer to the towering Temple. Now all those years later Mara Lowe the very women that he was supposed to have murdered turns up, completely and utterly alive and wanting help from the very man who was accused of murdering her all those years ago. ~ Chicks Rogues and Scandals.

Best Series :

Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt

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There was really no other choice for this category, Maiden Lane is by far the best Series out there, Elizabeth Hoyt just keeps spittting out book after book which contain the most amazing plots and charactand. This is one series that I will never tire off.

The Maiden Lane Series is just breathtaking no matter which book or character is your favorite, no matter what a person usually read this series has something for all Historical Romance reader’s and by far the best thing that Elizabeth Hoyt has done, I can’t wait for the next one. . . ~ Chicks Rogues and Scandals.

Book of the Year : 

The Saxon Outlaws Revenge by Elisabeth Hobbes.

This was by far the most difficult decision I had to make, I have read so many brilliant books this year, but this in particular did stick with me. The entirety of this book is just perfection.

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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 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. ~ Chicks Rogues and Scandals.

Merry Christmas

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To all my wonderful readers, this is just to say a big thank you for sticking with me as I counted down to Christmas in my own, unique way. I want to wish my dear friends and followers a very Happy Christmas, I hope your day to be filled with so much joy. Chicks Rogues and Scandals is going to be taking a break until the New Year, so i’m leaving you with something very special. This is Silent Night by the brilliantly talented Michael Buble, accompanied by the Trinity Boys Choir.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

The Queens Christmas Summons ~ Review

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Back Blurb :

“Royal courts are glittering places. But there can be many dangers there.” 

The words of Juan, the shipwrecked Spanish sailor Lady Alys Drury nursed back to health, echo in her mind as she puts on another courtly smile.

Then Alys locks eyes with a handsome man amid the splendor of Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas court—Juan is posing as courtier John Huntley! Alys is hurt at Juan’s deception until she learns he’s an undercover spy for the crown… Amid the murky machinations of the court, can true love still conquer all?

My View :

I do have to admit that Tudor/Elizabethan era novels are my guilty pleasure, they don’t come along often so I was over the moon when I got the opportunity to review The Queens Christmas Summon’s. And I wasn’t disappointed! The thing about Tudor/Elizabethan novels is that a lot of authors tend to stick to the known historical character’s and stick religiously to the story that we all know and love, what I really like about this is that we have a new couple to get to know. Alys and John’s story is so strongly entwined with historical fact that it makes a new story out of one that has been told so many times, it is refreshing and new and utterly real and likable.

Our couple; Alys and John are the cutest couple that I have come across in ages, they met each other when they were but children, a brief but memorable encounter that neither of them ever forget, and then fast forward ten years and they are once again thrown together. Alys is the daughter of one of Queen Elizabeth’s Lord’s but because of her mother being Spanish, their family was sent to live in Ireland so her father could be lord of the Duboynton castle; here she dreams of one day being able to attend Queen Elizabeth’s court but with England and Spain at war she is to stay at her isolated little castle untill the Queen summon’s her.

Alys laughed with joy. “I feel the same John. We are bound together, you and I. We have been ever since I found you on that beach.”
He smiled, and it was like the summer sun coming out, warming her heart. “so we must go on saving each other?”
“For the rest of our lives, I hope.”
“Does that mean you will marry me, Alys? That you will stay with me even in a tumble-down pile like my house?”
Alys feared her heart would burst, it was so full.” I would go anywhere at all, John, as long as we are together.”
“My angel,” he said, and leaned closer to press his lips to her in a warm kiss filled with the promise of all the days to come. “I do love you.”
“As I love you.”
He kissed her hand. . .

John like Alys is half Spanish, because of this fact he is taken under the wing of his godfather, the notorious and elusive Sir Matthew Morgan, who enrol’s John into a life of spying for his Queen and Country. One day when he is trying to get back to England after year’s of being under cover at the Spanish court, John is on the Armada that sink’s in a storm on the Irish coast. John and wounded and in serious danger when Alys saves his life.
Their relationship isn’t highly erotic or overblown, it is sweet and gentle, the atmosphere is charged around them, it simmer’s below the surface. They are both conflicted and confused about their feeling’s for one and other, John is the worst for it he has his role as a spy to consider and how dangerous that position is for those around him and you can understand why he tries to keep Alys at arm’s length, but even the trained royal spy can’t ignore that fact that she has become his world.

There is some really lovely moment’s between these two, by far the most romantic moment for me is when John is teaching her to dance while they are hiding out in a little neglected Abbey in Ireland. They are both themselves they isn’t any falsehood’s they are just two people sharing a beautiful moment.

She came to a stop close to him, mere inches from his shoulder. She didn’t dare look up at him, into those magical eyes. The warms of his nearness made her breath catch. “Now – now what?” 

“I put my hand on your waist, like this,” he answered hoarsely as his hand landed lightly on her waist. “You hold my shoulder, and we turn.” They spun around each other, slowly at first, their steps twining around each other, perfectly matched, as if they had always danced just like that. Alys held onto his strong shoulder, letting him guide her, trusting him, But then she got ahead of him, and his leg tangled in her skirt. She felt herself tip-off balance, toppling toward the floor. She caught his shoulders, her stomach lurching, and he swung her up high in the air.

Alys laughed, her head floating giddily. “Is this part of the dance?”
“it is now! Our own step.” He twirled her around and around, as if she was a mere feather. . .

If you’re a fan of Tudor/Elizabethan historical, conflicted romance, ruggedly handsome spies, fearless heroines and with a christmas undercurrent then The Queens Christmas Summons is the book for you. Even if you’re not a regular reader of any of the above, this book will charm you none the less.

I did really love this, and I cannot thank the lovely Amanda enough for sending me an early copy, it has got so many twist’s and turn’s there is danger and romance and deadly secret’s in every corner of Queen Elizabeth’s court and right in the centre is our adorable couple.

This is a must Christmas read, and I do recommend that everyone go out and grab a copy.

A Chat With. . .Amanda Mccabe

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Today at Chicks Rogues and Scandals, I have a Christmas special of “A Chat With…” the very lovely, Best Selling Author Amanda Mccabe chatting with me, so sit back and let’s get to know a little a bit more about Amanda.

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Amanda

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

Amanda : —Thank you so much for the welcome to your blog!! hmm, five words? – I would say bookish, stylish, shy, artistic and – well, my husband says I have to add “stubbord”!

Reading Chick : Lovely! If you could live in any era and place, When and where would it be? And Why?

Amanda : If I could take things like medications and modern shampoo with me (ha!) I would have to say I love 16th Centuary England, it would be such an exciting time of change and adventure (and possibly get to meet Shakespear!). But if we are going fashion, I would say Regency England. I think those gowns musy have been much more comfortable that Elizabethan farthingales and ruffs!

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Reading Chick : I have to agree with you on all point’s, I do love the Elizabeth era, but their clothing looked very uncomfortable. Who was your childhood hero?

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Abigail Adams

Amanda : When I was in the 3rd grade, I found an old book in the school library that was a novel about a young Abigail Adams. I fell in love with her, and had to read everything I could find about her life! I am still a big Abigail fan (my poodle is even named after her)

 

Reading Chick : How what a really lovely answer, What is your favorite time of the year?

Amanda : Autumn! I love the colors of the trees, the snap in the air, apple cider. But I hate winter.

Reading Chick : Ditto! I am a bit Autumn fan too, time for a toughie. Out of all your work, who is your favorite character and why?

Amanda : As Amanda Carmack, I write The Elizabethan Mysteries which webpage_20161224_103255features a fictional musician at the court of Elizabeth I, Kate Haywood. I love Kate, maybe because I’ve seen her grow through 5 books, mending her way through a perilous world and becoming stronger. I also like living vicraiously through her music (I’ve always loved music, but have no talent at it myself!). I liked Alys in my newest release, “The Queen’s Christmas Summons,” as well, because she is an Irish lass….

Reading Chick : Very interesting, Your book’s are incredible, where doe’s your inspiration for them come from?

Amanda : People ask this a lot, and I always have to say—I’m not sure!! I love music, movies, and visual art, so I find a lot of inspiration there. (What would it be like to live in a certain painting, or what emotions does a symphony make me feel?). Sometimes I just like a dress or hat, and build a character around it!

Reading Chick : I find that so interesting that you create theses wonderful stories and charecter’s from something so ordinary, Thank you Amanda! What three tip’s would you pass on to an aspiring author?

Amanda : Persistence! And more persistence! Writing and more writing is the only way to get better at writing, and the only way to have finished stories to putout there. This is not easy sometimes. I would also say keep going to classes and read all you can, learn to hear your own voice

Reading Chick : Thank you, what brilliant tip’s, if you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite? (They can be real/fictional, dead or alive)

Amanda : Jane Austen (of course!), Tolstoy, and maybe my grandmother, because she always knew how to host a fun party (and would cook the appetizers, LOL)

Reading Chick : Ha! I love that. Thank you again, Amanda for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today, I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun . . . What is your all-time favorite naughty but nice food?

Amanda : Chocolate lava cake!!! Well, anything chocolate, really, but I love the way the dark chocolate oozes out of the cake. 🙂

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Reading Chick : Oh yummm! Sound’s good :-), Thank you Amanda.

If you want to learn more about Amanda and her work then why don’t you check out the link’s below, Amanda loves hearing from her readers.

Facebook

Website

Twitter : AmandaLaurel1

Goodreads

Amazon

My Advent Calendar. . .Door 24

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It’s nearly here, just one more sleep! But before we do take to our beds and pretend to sleep while the big guy in the red coat squeezes himself down the chimney, we have to open our penultimate Advent door. So here it is, another classic for you to enjoy.

 

My Advent Calendar. . .Door 23

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Well we have had Aramis and Anne. Athos and Milady, now we have got my favorite Musketeer the cuddly giant Porthos accompanied by this lovely song. So sit down and enjoy door 23. . .