I have a very special post, I have been a huge fan of Anabelle Bryant’s “Bastards of London” Series since beginning and today I wanted to share this wonderful Series with you all. This is such a fantastic series, the stories are different and fresh and the characters are like nothing else you will read, heroes that you will fall head over heels in love with, while at the same time you want wrap your arms around them and hug them. Heroines that are strong, independent and know exactly who they are and what they want and more importantly they are the only women who can tame these rogues.
So what is the “Bastards of London”? Simple it is three sinfully handsome, roguish men; Max, Cole and Luke who have all been born on the wrong side of the blanket and through sheer determination, intelligence and a uncanny skill to manipulate a gaming hell to their advantage these three best friends created the most exclusive of all of London’s gaming hells “The Underworld”. Here they are king’s, they answer to no one but their own volatile thoughts, here they are the well respected men that they should be in “Proper Society” but due to their birth they never get treated in any other way but with scorn and greed.
Welcome to The Underworld
“This new series takes the reader to the darker, more dangerous side of London. Into the streets of St. Giles, Seven Dials and Charing Cross, where three bastards form an alliance and create the most exclusive gaming hell, “The Underworld”. Though these gentlemen are surrounded by earls, viscounts and the like who squander their plentiful coin, Max, Cole and Luke are bastards, born on the wrong side of the blanket and each with a heavy secret…so the last thing they need in their lives is emotion or the threat of falling in love”
Welcome to the most notorious address in London…
Beneath the airs and graces of the Ton lies The Underworld – London’s most scandalous gambling hall.
The only thing darker and more debauched that the hall itself? The proprietor, Max Sinclair. As mysterious as the corners of the city he stalks, Max has vowed to take revenge against the men who murdered his mother. And The Underworld attracts London’s darkest characters – the perfect partners in crime.
But when Lady Vivienne Beaumont enters The Underworld, Max’s life becomes more dangerous than he ever thought possible.Enter a world of lust, lawlessness and obsession with The Den of Iniquity, the first in Anabelle Bryant’s Bastards of London series.
Den of Iniquity is a smart, sexy and engaging Historical Romance, that is entwined with a compelling sub plot of vengeance and loss, the story just rolls along flawlessly there is no let up. The characters are fabulously developed, they jump off the page and demand attention, that keep you hooked right up to the very last page.
Its fun and witty and it just sizzles! Max and Vivienne are two of the most compelling characters you will find. Both have their own hidden past, both in need of love and both so sexually charged that when they are together the atmosphere changes to a sensual, smoulder and you know that you are going to have a lot of fun as they to and fro. She invokes a gentleness in him whereas he brings out the smoking hot vixen that is buried deep down.
Bryant has got The Underworld’s owners spot on, they are the perfect amount of viciousness, deadly charm and sensitivity. They really are lovable rogues they may want to come across as hard men but all three are so cute and lovable.
This is a marvellous start to a new series, and one that I am really looking forward to reading. It is flawless and I can’t wait to start book two; Into The Hall of Vise, featuring lovely Cole.
A thrilling and intriguing romance and one I highly recommend. ~ Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s.
As joint owner of London’s most notorious gambling hall, The Underworld, Cole Hewitt spends his days surrounded by wealth – and looks every inch the debonair. But, unknown to most, he was born a bastard – and knows better than anyone the fine line between the elite and the slums.
When he falls for the beautiful Lady Gemma Amberson, sister to the Duke of Kent, Cole knows that his past means he will never be considered worthy of her. But Cole has no intention of being cast aside again.
However Cole’s attraction to Gemma hasn’t gone unnoticed – and there are those who wish to thwart his plans, for the darkest of reasons. Cole may be used to getting his own way. But the question is: how far will he go to get it?
I think Bryant has done a marvellous job with these two, matching the suave, poetry reading charmer who was born on the wrong side of the sheets with the aristocratic daughter of a mighty Duke is a stroke of genius. It’s very Romeo and Juliet!
Now, I adored Max Sinclair from the first book, but I have to say Cole has inched his way past. He is a sensitive, tender and highly protective man, who treats everyone equally from the lowest street urchin right up to Rosalinde, if they are good people then they are blessed with Cole Hewitt’s love but just don’t get on the wrong side of him.
Just as with the first book, Into The Hall of Vise is an edge of your seat thrilling romp. It is so sexy, the chemistry between Cole and Gemma just sizzles right off the page, they are a fascinating couple and I love them to bits, the way their lives and personal stories entwine together to create a fabulously charming, intricate and fast paced story is a triumph.
I am really getting into The Bastards of London and yet again I am looking forward to reading the next instalment.
A hugely enjoyable, sophisticated Historical Romance and I cannot recommend it enough. ~ Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s
As one of the owners of London’s most infamous and scandalous gambling hall, The Underworld, Luke Reese looks like a man who has it all. But underneath his swagger lies a pain which no amount of liquor, women or card games can ease. Because, nine months ago, Luke’s son was stolen by his half-brother, Lord Dursley.
Luke knows the agony of growing up without a family, and he will not allow his son to suffer the same fate. So when evidence leads him to Coventry and a mysterious governess named Georgina, Luke doesn’t hesitate in tracking her down.
But nothing is ever as simple as it seems in the London ton. And soon, Luke is facing his most dangerous gamble yet. Dare he risk losing his heart to find his son?
This series caught my attention from day one and it’s gone from strength to strength, Bryant has yet again created an entertaining, thrilling and sensuously attractive story. The thing that does set this one apart from the others has to be Luke, we have had snippets of this shadowy man’s turmoil in the previous two books “The Den of Iniquity” and “Into The Hall of Vice” and to finally get to see his story unfold and see his Happy Ever After is very satisfying.
I cannot say how much I enjoyed this one and I am so pleased that Bryant is taking this series further with book four, I can’t wait to see in which direction she is going to take this wonderful series in.
Simply perfect! ~ Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s
About Anabelle Bryant
Anabelle began reading at age three and never stopped. Her passion for reading soon turned into a passion for writing and an author was born.
Happy to grab a suitcase if it ensures a new adventure, Anabelle finds endless inspiration in travel, especially imaginary jaunts into Regency England, a far cry from her home in New Jersey. Instead, her clever characters live out her daydreams because really, who wouldn’t want to dance with a handsome duke or kiss a wicked earl?
Though teaching keeps her grounded, photography, running and writing, counterbalance her wanderlust. Often found with her nose in a book, Anabelle earned her Master’s Degree and is completing her Doctorate Degree in education. Thrilled to be an author for Harlequin’s Carina line, Anabelle’s historical romances are character driven. She strives to provide a heartfelt connection between her hero, heroine, and the reader, believing the emotional journey on the path to true love is the most important bond. Clever secondary characters and lively conversation keep the pages turning.
Anabelle knows sometimes life doesn’t provide a happily ever after, but her novels always do.
Anabelle loves hearing from her readers so why not drop her a line, follow her on social Media and check out her website for all information on her work. (Links Below)
I am very pleased to have been asked to host an Exclusive Spotlight on Best Selling Author; Santa Montifiore and her newest release Daughters of Ireland, so sit back and enjoy.
About the Author
Santa Montefiore has written fourteen bestselling novels, which are translated into thirty languages. She is a fascinating person herself, as sister of Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, the former British Socialite, and personal friend of the Royal Family.
Santa grew up on a farm in Hampshire and was educated at Sherborne School for Girls. She read Spanish and Italian at Exeter University and spent much of the 90s in Buenos Aires, where her mother grew up. She converted to Judaism in 1998 and married historian Simon Sebag Montefiore in the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London. They live with their two children, Lily and Sasha in London.
With my novels, I hope to carry you away to sunnier shores, while at the same time remind you of all that is wonderful about England. Above all, they are love stories, because love is more important to me than anything else. I hope you laugh and cry in equal measure, but most vitally, escape for a while. Santa x
You can find it more about Santa by following the links
About the Book
In Ireland 1925, the Anglo-Irish war is long over, but life will never be the same. Castle Deverill has been home to the Deverill family in West Cork for hundreds of years, until it fell prey to a devastating attack during the war. Young Celia (Deverill) Mayberry and her husband bought the estate, determined to restore it to its former glory. But not everyone is elated. Although Kitty is grateful to her cousin for ensuring the castle will remain in the family, she cannot help but be wistful for the days when she was the mistress of Castle Deverill. While she is content in her new life, her heart still yearns for Jack O’Leary. As Kitty struggles with her choices, she must make a heartbreaking decision that could hurt those closest to her.
Wealthy and the toast of the town in New York City, Bridie Doyle has come a long way since she was the daughter of one of the cooks at Castle Deverill. But all her money cannot ease the pain over having given away her baby or from seeking revenge upon the woman who wronged her all those years ago.
As Celia wastes no time, or expense, in hiring workers to renovate Castle Deverill, dark shadows are gathering once more, as the financial markets begin to shake. Now everything that felt so certain is cast into doubt as this daughter of Ireland must find the inner strength to build a new future.
At last the castle came into view. The western tower where her grandmother had set up residence until her death was intact but the rest of it resembled the bones of a great beast gradually decaying into the forest. Ivy and bindweed pulled on the remaining walls, crept in through the empty windows and endeavored to claim every last stone. And yet, for Kitty, the castle still held a mesmeric allure.
She trotted across the ground that had once been the croquet lawn but was now covered in long grasses and weeds. She dismounted and led her horse around to the front, where her cousin was waiting for her beside a shiny black car. Celia Mayberry stood alone, dressed in an elegant cloche hat beneath which her blond hair was tied into a neat chignon, and a long black coat that almost reached the ground. When she saw Kitty her face broke into a wide, excited smile.
“Oh my darling Kitty!” she gushed, striding up and throwing her arms around her. She smelled strongly of tuberose and money and Kitty embraced her fiercely.
“This is a lovely surprise,” Kitty exclaimed truthfully, for Celia loved Castle Deverill almost as much as she did, having spent every summer of her childhood there with the rest of the “London Deverills,” as their English cousins had been known. Kitty felt the need to cling to her with the same ferocity with which she clung to her memories, for Celia was one of the few people in her life who hadn’t changed, and as she grew older and further away from the past, Kitty felt ever more grateful for that. “Why didn’t you tell me you were coming? You could have stayed with us.”
“I wanted to surprise you,” said Celia, who looked like a child about to burst with a secret.
“Well, you certainly did that.” Kitty looked up at the facade. “It’s like a ghost, isn’t it? A ghost of our childhood.”
“But it will be rebuilt,” said Celia firmly.
Kitty looked anxiously at her cousin. “Do you know who bought it? I’m not sure I can bear to know.”
Celia laughed. “Me!” she exclaimed. “I have bought it. Isn’t that wonderful? I’m going to bring back the ghosts of the past and you and I can relive the glorious moments all over again through our children.
“You, Celia?” Kitty gasped in astonishment. “You bought Castle Deverill?”
“Well, technically Archie bought it. What a generous husband he is!” She beamed with happiness. “Isn’t it a riot, Kitty? Well, I’m a Deverill too! I have just as much right as anyone else in the family. Say you’re happy, do!”
“Of course I’m happy. I’m relieved it’s you and not a stranger, but I admit I’m a little jealous too,” Kitty said sheepishly.
Celia flung her arms around her cousin again. “Please don’t hate me. I did it for us. For the family. The castle couldn’t possibly go to a stranger. It would be like giving away one’s own child. I couldn’t bear to think of someone else building over our memories. This way we can all enjoy it
You can continue to live in the White House, Uncle Bertie in the Hunting Lodge if he so wishes and we can all be terribly happy again. After everything we’ve suffered we deserve to find happiness, don’t you think?”
Kitty laughed affectionately at her cousin’s fondness of the dramatic. “You’re so right, Celia. It will be wonderful to see the castle brought back to life and by a Deverill no less. It’s the way it should be. I only wish it were me.”
Celia put a gloved hand on her stomach. “I’m going to have a baby, Kitty,” she announced, smiling.
“Goodness, Celia, how many more surprises have you in store for me?”
“Just that and the castle. How about you? Do hurry up. I pray we are both blessed with girls so that they can grow up here at Castle Deverill just like we did.” And Kitty realized then that Celia had placed herself here within these castle walls for more than merely the annual month of August.
She was one of those shallow people who rewrote their own history and believed in the absolute truth of their version. “Come on,” Celia continued, taking Kitty’s hand and pulling her through the doorframe into the space where once the great hall had been. “Let’s explore. I have grand plans, you know. I want it to be just the same as it was when we were girls, but better. Do you remember the last Summer Ball? Wasn’t it marvelous?”
Kitty and Celia waded through the weeds that grew up to their knees, marveling at the small trees that had seeded themselves among the thistles and thorns and stretched their spindly branches toward the light
The ground was soft against their boots as they moved from room to room, disturbing the odd rook and magpie that flew indignantly into the air. Celia chattered on, reliving the past in colorful anecdotes and fond reminiscences, while Kitty was unable to stop the desolation of her ruined home falling upon her like a heavy black veil. With a leaden heart she remembered her grandfather Hubert, killed in the fire, and her grandmother Adeline who had died alone in the western tower only a month ago
She thought of Bridie’s brother, Michael Doyle, who had set the castle ablaze, and her own foolish thirst for recrimination, which had only led to her shame in his farmhouse where no one had heard her cries. Her thoughts drifted to her lover, Jack O’Leary, and their meeting at the wall where he had held her tightly and begged her to flee with him to America, then later, on the station platform, when he had been arrested and dragged away. Her head began to spin
Her heart contracted with fear as the monsters of the past were roused from sleep.
*The Excerpt, Author Photo and Cover were provided by Publisher Harper Collins for exclusive use by Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s Blog for this post.
I have the great pleasure of being apart of Vivian Conroy’s latest Cosy Mystery Cover Reveal of Fatal Masquerade, which is book four in the Lady Alkmene Cosy Mystery series. So drum roll please….
Lady Alkmene and Jake Dubois are back in a gripping new adventure facing dangerous opponents at a masked ball in the countryside.
Lady Alkmene Callender has always loved grand parties, but when she receives an invitation to a masked ball thrown by Franklin Hargrove – oil magnate, aviation enthusiast and father of her best friend, Denise – she’s never seen such luxury. The estate is lit up with Chinese lanterns in the gardens, boats operated by footmen float across the pond and the guest list features the distinguished, rich and powerful!
But below the glamour, evil is lurking. When a dead body is discovered, it forces Lady Alkmene to throw off her mask and attempt to find the true killer before Denise’s family are accused. If only her partner, Jake Dubois, weren’t hiding something from her…
This case might just be more dangerous than either of them could have imagined.
Fatal Masquerade is to be released on 4th October and can be pre-ordered now at Amazon.
I think, I can safely say that if you read Romance then you most likely watch it too, or is that just me? I love a chick flick there is nothing better than whiling away a Sunday afternoon, watching some light good-hearted Romanic fun. My personal favorites have to be; One Fine Day, You’ve Got Mail and Leap Year. But what about when the film producers decide to take one of our much-loved romantic books and turn them into a film or drama?
When I hear that a book, that I have read and enjoyed is being turned into a film, then I do at first get excited. I find it very interesting to see how the characters that I have come to love will look from the eyes of these directors/producers and all the other people who make up a film production team – Will the characters have that same charisma and charm that I love about them from the book? But then on the other hand I start thinking, that something that is so wonderfully vivid in my head is going to be ruined by these film makers, because obviously a two-hour long film cannot connect with me like the book did, or can it?
Personally speaking they don’t all work for me, once I have read the book I have already got an image of how the hero, moves, sounds and in some cases even smells like – yes, I know that’s weird! I have a vision of the scenery, the atmosphere and so on, that obviously cannot be translated to the screen. So when it comes to watching it on screen I think because I am already biased as to what I already know these books to be like, I’m like – That’s not my hero, he doesn’t look, talk or even move like my hero and I think that does mar what may be a very good film.
True, I have seen some really good book to film/dramas I adored Atonement and The Notebook was so emotional and then there is Sharpe, which is in another league of its own. Then there are those where I have watched the film first and then read the book, and in those cases its been the film that has won over.
For example I watched The Book Thief and since I have tried to read the book by Markus Zusak on many occasions and just can’t get into it as I already know what each character looked like, where the story goes and so on.
But there is a few, a very small few that have bridged the gap of what the “What is best, film or book” debate, these few and quite beautiful pieces of work have resonated with book lovers and movie goers alike. In these rare cases it doesn’t matter if you watch or read them, the story and characters are just so beautiful and thought-provoking. Its that what wins over again and again, not how you absorb the story, but the story its self.
The two that I think falls into this category has to be Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights, for me like a lot of women, there will only ever be one Mr Darcy, true it’s not the book version, but the drama version of Colin firth. I think this one has tested and won that argument over book or film and it does prove that if made right, with the perfect actors then you can take a book and put it on the screen.
Buts that’s just my opinion and I would love to hear other’s views on this. Do you watch the films or dramas of well loved books? And if so, do you think of them?
I have made my own list of my favorite books to screen, your more than welcome to add your views to my little debate.
1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
3. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
4. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
5. Atonement by Ian McEwan