Historical Romance

#Review | Redeeming The Reclusive Earl by Virginia Heath #RedeemingTheReclusiveEarl @VirginiaHeath_ @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

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Hello Sunshines! Well, have a got a long, waffled review for you all today, honestly you will need that cuppa to sustain you through my rambling, but this book is so amazing I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of the gorgeously perfect; Redeeming The Reclusive Earl by Virginia Heath. So have you got that cuppa ready, well then go and enjoy!

His heart is a fortress.

And she’s trespassing!

After losing all he holds dear in a horrific fire, Max Aldersley, Earl of Rivenhall, shuns the world – until he catches Effie Nithercott digging holes on his estate! He banishes the intrepid archaeologist and the unsettled feelings she rouses within him. But she returns even more determined and infuriatingly desirable than before! He wonders just how deep she is prepared to dig – so far she’ll reach the man beneath his scars…?

When I sat down to write this review, I literally stared at the blank page for what much have been twenty minutes as the words I desperately wanted to say about this sensational book alluded me. My thoughts were as scrambled and illegible as those of my notes in my notebook….and believe me, a handwritten doctors note is neater and more legible than my shorthand….but the problem I was having was simple;

How do you describe perfection?

Because, I am telling you, that is exactly what this book is; Perfection!!

I have been an avid reader of Virginia Heath since the start, I have devoured book after book after book and loved everyone, there are some that have really stuck with me ***Warriners*** and every single time I say that Virginia you have outdone yourself which is the truth, but this one, my goodness!!….. Not only has Virginia literally out written herself, but this has ‘one of the Classics‘ written all over it, in years to come people will be talking about this book in the same breath as the literary giants, such as Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, in my humble opinion this could easily rival and dominate those greats.

This book is something very special indeed!

Virginia has literally taken every aspect of what I (and thousands of other romance readers) love about historical romance and placed it in inside this book. Everything that we love about historical romance is here; romance, intrigue, history, intelligent and courageous heroines, flawed and fragile heroes, great banter, wit, unique and inspiring plot, perfect pacing and character development, heart-breaking moments of honesty, laughter and sadness…plus my beloved Heathcliffe has now been resigned to the ‘oh, he’s not too bad‘ category and well and truly been replaced by my now beloved Max (hhmmm….which sounds very possessive, but honestly this guy is very special)

I do realise I’m waffling and really making a complete hash of this review, plus most likely not making any sense what-so-ever, but this book is just so beautiful and mesmerising I really want to do it justice, but I’m afraid, I’m not; maybe I should stick to gifs and emoji’s!

After losing everything in a fire, a fire that not only stripped him of his possessions but it stole a part of him too, not just leaving his horrifically scarred both physically but his new scars run deep and have crept in and taken hold of his mind and his heart. Max Aldersley; Earl of Rivenhall becomes a recluse – or he wants to, he wants to run away from the world, from society from all hope so he retires to his newly inherited estate to as he hopes perhaps be forgotten about and I believe die in peace. But, that all get thrown out of the window when he meets the most startling and unusual woman he has ever met in his life; Miss Effie Nithercott, who is only digging up his land in the most alluring breaches which inflame the dormant lust he thought was dead.

He just cannot be having a distraction such as her curvaceous bottom roaming his land digging holes everywhere, even if is looking for archaeology, all our lovely Max wants is peace, so there and then he bans her from his property, well our plucky, determined and uniquely intelligent; Effie has never done wants she was supposed to do if she had maybe she would have been married off by now, but alas her smarts intimidate those poor boys. She very rarely hears the word ‘no’ which I supposed makes you think she is a right spoiled little madam, but that is the complete opposite, Effie is a remarkable, passionate and determined woman, whom I think is rather lonely herself due to her unique talent, she just turns up in the dead of night to dig, something which infuriates the hell out of Max.

Max, oh Max!!! Oh my goodness, I can’t write this, my heart is bursting with too much love for this scarred, fragile, sad, lonely and beautiful-in-his-own-way man. A man who is beyond heart-breaking and easily one of the most tortured individuals that Virginia has ever created, I just don’t know how this fabulous man can be topped, I don’t think he can be, in my eyes he is perfect!! My heart broke for him, he is so full of grief over the future he thinks he has lost, he is uncomfortable around everyone and even more confused and uncomfortable with his growing awareness for the marvellously unique Effie. Plus, I love that hint of a quirky sense of humour, I love that when he gets riled with Effie he changes her surname with hilarious results – but, I am easily amused, but calling her ‘Miss Nitwit’ fabulous.

The whole book is a beautiful masterpiece, a setting example of how a historical romance is supposed to be, it’s so perfectly crafted from start to finish, it’s actually criminal how heartbreakingly beautiful this book is! It’s sensual, traumatic, emotional, mesmerising, alluring, full of drama and romance, with that ever-present Virginia Heath humour and wit, which we have all come to know and love.

With its solid narrative, richly textured details and amusing and thought-provoking plot. Plus two of the most perfectly imperfect lead characters that have ever walked out of the pages of a book, this is an amazing never-ending pull at the heartstrings love story. One of the very finest that any historical romance reader can ever read, this book has ruined me, it’s exhausted me and sent me into a tizzy of happiness, just perfect! (I do realise I have said that about a hundred times, but there are books that can never have it said about them enough)

Plus, can I just mention the cover? Glory, glory, glory me!! Before I even opened the book, that cover got me; those penetrating, lost and beautiful eyes gazing out at you, Mills and Boon/Harlequin have literally outdone themselves with this beauty but it’s more than just easy on the eye, once you start reading it hits you like a storm that cover model IS-MAX, that is how I envisioned him in my head. I bow down to whoever created this cover, they need an award!

I don’t think I can say much more, without sounding like a broken record, but I will say it again just one more time; IT’S PERFECT!!

This was an Arc copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you so much Virginia. X

Redeeming the Reclusive Earl is to be released on 19 March, do go and pre-order it, you won’t be disappointed.

#BookFeature | Impassioned Deceit by Faye Hall #ImpassionedDeciept #ExclusiveExcerpt @FayeHall79

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Hello, Sunshines! Today I have the huge pleasure to be featuring this gorgeous book on the blog today; Impassioned Deceit by the very lovely Faye Hall. Not only will I be telling you all about the book, but I also have an exclusive excerpt, which is amazing and will make you want to read more. So sit back, grab that cuppa and enjoy. 

Would you risk your life for the one you love?

At thirty-two, Hannah Wagstaff’s scandalous past, and the scar it left her with, has made her a spinster, scaring away any offers of marriage. She had given up on love until by chance she was reunited with Patrick, a man who had lit a flame in her heart years ago before disappearing from her life.

Patrick O’Doherty couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw Hannah. He had been certain he would never see her again, but there she was, and this time he would do anything to keep her in his life.

Things take a drastic turn when Patrick’s vengeful stepfather starts demanding ownership of the cattle station that was left to Patrick by his father. Suddenly, Patrick finds himself on the run for his life, trying to uncover the secrets of his stepfather’s past and the reason he would be willing to murder for a cattle station.

Hannah is distraught when she’s told Patrick died in a fire. Her grief continues when her sister is kidnapped without any clue to who could have taken her. Months later, when her sister returns, Hannah goes looking for the culprit. What she finds is Patrick, alive and working as a bartender at a hotel.

Passionately reunited with Hannah, Patrick discovers that not only is his life under threat, but hers as well. What secrets tie their families together? Will he be able to protect Hannah, or will his love for her ultimately cost him his life?

Content Warning: contains sex, strong language, and some violence

Beach Walk Press / Kobo / Amazon

***

Exclusive Excerpt

Patrick walked toward the waterhole, the sound of his father’s departing carriage drifting off in the distance behind him. He had come here to swim several times over the years, finding it a welcomed solace from the heat in this country. Was that why Hannah had invited him here? He could think of no other reason. Even if his assumption was wrong, and this visit was brief, he was just happy to be seeing her again.

As he neared the water, his gaze went to the dark-haired woman sitting on the bank, her feet dangling in the water. He was going to announce himself, but in truth, he didn’t know what to say. He cleared his throat nervously, hoping that would be enough to draw her attention.

She turned to look at him, a huge smile filling her face. “I feared you wouldn’t be able to come.”

My father dropped me off on his way to deal with some business in Inkerman,” he explained. “He’s going to collect me on his way home.”

She stood and stepped toward him. “How long can you stay?”

He shrugged. “Maybe an hour. Maybe longer.”

The pair stood there, their gazes joined. He wanted to ask her so many questions, hungering to know just who she was.

Can you swim?” she asked. “Or we could just go for a walk around the area.”

Her uncertainty confused him. “Why did you ask me to meet you here?”

She bent down and slipped off her shoes. “A swim seems like a better idea in this heat.” Her hands went to the buttons on her blouse, unfastening them.

What are you doing?”

She giggled. “You can’t expect me to go swimming in this. I’ll drown from the weight of it.”

Patrick watched as she stripped down to her chemise and drawers before turning and running into the water. Hesitating only a moment longer, he took off his shoes, then his shirt, throwing it beside her clothes.

Is that all you’re taking off?” she asked.

He walked toward her and waded through the water until he was only a few feet from her. “I think it’s for the best.”

She began to giggle. “Are you shy?”

He shook his head, sharing in her humor. “I just think what lies beneath my trousers is a bit too much of an introduction given we only met an hour ago.”

Her laughter began to fade, and he watched as a cheeky grin spread across her lips. “I’ll take my chemise off if you take your trousers off.”

He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “You can’t be serious?”

She raised her brow. “What if I am?”

The pair waded in the water, their gazes joined, each wondering if Hannah would indeed go through with her side of the bargain. Patrick knew he shouldn’t encourage such behavior, but the thought of being so close to this woman—and so revealed—both thrilled and scared him. Never had he met a woman so forward, and he needed to know now more than ever if she was serious or just all bluff.

You have yourself a deal,” he finally said.

***

About The Author

Faye Hall spent her early years listening to stories about the families – including her own – who settled townships in and around her hometown in North Queensland, Australia. The local townspeople, including her own parents, told her stories of corruption and slavery, along with family secrets and forbidden love.

Desperate to remember what she’d been told, along with her already growing love of writing, Faye began to write about the history of her local area. Never could she have imagined the history of her small home town in Australia would become a growing list of published books.

Faye’s passionate stories combine controversial subjects and provocative encounters as her characters struggle to survive the lifestyle in early rural townships throughout Australia. She explores slavery and abortion, drug addiction and murder, as well as forbidden love and passionate affairs of the heart.

When she’s not writing, Faye enjoys sharing a bottle of wine with her husband in their ever-growing garden, and encouraging the varied interests of their combined family of nine children.

Explore the world of Faye Hall, Australian Historical Romance Author at her website.

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#Review | Scandalously Wed To The Captain by Joanna Johnson #ScandalouslyWedToTheCaptain @JoannaJoJohnson @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

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Hello Sunshines! I am super excited to be sharing my review of the beautiful; Scandalously Wed To The Captain by Joanna Johnson. So grab that cuppa and a snack – you will need it and enjoy!

Bound to a stranger

…in a secret ceremony!

With her finances, reputation and heart all broken by a family scandal, Grace Linwood seeks employment. But the lady she’s companion to isn’t long for this world. She’s intent on seeing Grace protected and quickly wed to her son, curt and closed-off Captain Spencer Dauntsey. With little choice, all Grace can say is “I do”…but who is the man she has just married?

I have been so looking forward to this book ever since reading Joann’s debut; The Marriage Rescue last year, I knew that there were more great things to come from her and I wasn’t wrong, this book is a sensation; deeply moving, fabulously original plot with two of the most engaging characters who I can guarantee you will love from the onset. …plus one’s a Captain; you all know me and men in uniforms, I love them, the more fragile and broken the better and does this guy need loving are what? I could easily weep for his tortured soul.

I love that opening scene, it really grasps the reader’s attention, it’s so dramatic you can really sense the emotion and how lost in their own broken world Grace and Spencer are, it’s a brilliant piece of writing and sets up the story perfectly. I love how the unique ending fits Grace and Spencer perfectly with the opening scenes, it’s so clever how Joanna has used turbulent weather to really build upon the emotion, yet again proof of what a brilliant writer she is.

Grace Linwood is a woman on the edge; her family are centre stage to a huge scandal since her father has been wrongfully imprisoned in debtors prison of all places, framed by his colleagues the family are now bankrupt, their so-called friends have fled like a rats on a sinking ship and the family are just about destitute. To make matters wore – if they could get any worse; Grace’s beau has done a runner not wanting his name to be tied with known debtors and such scandal – the rake! But never mind Grace, your knight in not so shining armour will be along soon to growl and brood at you….sigh!! Which is when in her most desperate hour of need while contemplating her life in the pouring rain she bumps into an old family friend.

Captain Spencer Dauntsey….be still my over rapidly beating heart! I need a gif, honestly, words are failing me!…..is back in Lyne Regis, after leaving the town eight years previously after the death of his father he, his mother and twin brother left but now with his mother dying he has brought her back home.

Spencer has a lot of darkness that is engulfing his every day, he is wracked with guilt and shame over his actions, over what happened he is so wrapped up in his own grief and his own hell he is becoming oblivious to everything else around him…honestly the bottle he drinks daily doesn’t help matters either. He is locked in the gloom of his darkened mind, that is until the ray of saddened sunshine appears out of nowhere to set his world off kilter…or maybe that is one too many bottles?

When Grace is reunited with a family friend and Spencer’s mother; Dorothea, who is unfortunately seriously ill, she and her family are saved when Dorothea offers Grace the position of companion, which pushes Grace and Spencer together forcing them to spend time with each other. Something our spencer isn’t too happy about he doesn’t want Grace to know the full extent of just how much he has changed from the carefree and charismatic man he once was. Dorothea who even though we see her in the final throes of life because of this illness, I sense that she is a really cunning and savvy woman, she sees things and it is her dying wish that Spencer and Grace marry. Which sees them complying to her final wishes, and then they must tread the uncertain path they have found themselves on which is compelling reading and an absolute delight to see them slowly getting to know each other.

Even though this is only the second book by Joanna Johnson it is as clear as a bell that this lady has huge amounts of talent, her writing is flawless, I know that she is going to from strength to strength – honestly, this fine lady will soon rule the historical roost and I cannot wait to see what she pulls out of her intelligent mind next.

Overall, this is a magnificent, charming and intriguing romance, with a perfect and highly original plot and two of the most heartbreakingly wonderful characters, it really is just perfect!

This was a complimentary copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Joanna and huge apologies for how ridiculously late this review is. xx

#Review | Her Rags-To-Riches Christmas (Scandalous Australian Bachelors, Book 3) by Laura Martin #HerRagsToRichesChristmas #ScandalousAustralianBachelors @lauramartin2788 @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

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Hello Sunshines! Am I super excited about this book or what? I cannot wait to share with you all my review of the stunning; Her Rags-To-Riches Christmas by Laura Martin, which is book three in the Scandalous Australian Bachelors series. So settle back grab that cuppa, grab your cake and enjoy!

A Christmas miracle rescue!

But dare she wish for more?

Wrongfully-convicted and transported to Australia, Alice Fillips is saved from public flogging by wealthy landowner George Fitzgerald. Working as a domestic servant at his farm feels worlds away from her old life. But as the connection between her and George boils over, she’s torn between her fear of trusting anyone…and the tantalising glimpse of the fresh start this man could offer…

I have been avidly awaiting this book for way too long, and I was not disappointed, my goodness! This book is stunning, it’s mesmerizing, beautiful, clever and surprising, I felt every emotion and loved every moment, every page was a treat for this romantic’s heart.

Her Rags-To-Riches Christmas is the third book in the outstanding; Scandalous Australian Bachelors series, and oh boy, what a series it has been! Each book can be easily read as a stand-alone, yet my personal opinion is, I would read them in order as that way will give you a greater appreciation of just how beautiful this series and these bachelors are. Laura Martin is an outstanding author, I am relatively new to her work only reading this series, but from that very first book last year I was hooked and mystified with her wondrous writing.

The opening is brilliant and sets up the story beautifully, from that first introduction to the characters you know that all is not going to be smooth sailing for Alice and George, there are too many shadows and darkness lurking in their past, especially for Alice, because of what has happened to her she is so reluctant to trust and to believe that people can be good and kind, which I found very emotional and heartbreaking to read, but hugely heart-warming once George shows her that not everyone in life is out to hurt her in some way.

George Fitzgerald is back in Australia, after a brief spell in England with his friends, he is making his way back to his farm when he comes across a young woman being cruelly punished in the town, even though she is a transported criminal he cannot bare to see her flogged so he steps in and claims her as his.

Definitely a Knight in shining armour moment! 😉

Honestly, in that one moment I fell head over heels for this marvellous man, he is a kind, gentle, caring and sympathetic man who cannot tolerate the abuses and injustices he sees around him. But the other reason I adore him, it is his way with animals. I have always said you can tell a mans character by the way he treats those less fortunate than himself or the way he treats animals and George is a prince amongst the injured, the way he cradles that little joy just broke me, I melted completely.

It was so lovely seeing all the boys back together again, I have loved getting to know each one of the Bachelor’s as they have found the women who have tested and helped them find their happiness, but I think this is my favourite of them all, I know I have said that about the previous books, but this one really buried itself into my heart, it is hugely emotional, thought-provoking and sensitive and at the same time it crackles with tension and sizzles with pent up attraction, it burns with longing and chemistry. I cannot truly say how much I loved this one, this series is amazing each one so different and so cleverly entwined together yet this one really sets itself apart from the others, I really think that Laura Martin has broken the mould of Regency romance with this beautifully captivating book.

Alice is wrongfully convicted and transported she has been through hell lost a little of her self while a prisoner, she has lost her trust, her faith in humanity, she has become a shell of the wild and vibrant women you just know is hiding in that fragile body. I adore the way Laura has handled the weary budding relationship between Alice and George, the way trust is built up between them is so beautiful to see especially with Alice as she has seen and experienced so little kindness since she was convicted and transported so it is so hard for her to believe and trust George. She senses that he is different from the other men she has encountered, but can she really put her faith in a man who is technically her owner?

What I love about this series is that it isn’t your stereotypical regency full of glittery balls and glamorous debutantes, this is looking at the era from the opposite side of the fence we get to see another side to Regency one that doesn’t follow the rules and I love it. There is something very enthralling about Australian history, I’ve not read that many historical romances set there only because I haven’t found them, which is a real shame. I loved learning about the land and the history, the descriptions of the outback are so vivid, they are full of raw truth and enchanting colour. It is obvious that Laura has done her research as she wrote this book, every aspect is so clear and real, I was transported there with every scene.

As you may have guessed, I loved it!!! This is easily one of the best I’ve read, I loved the intricate story, the romance, the easy and thrilling pacing of the story and especially the setting. It’s beautiful, atmospheric, enticing, gripping and magical. Hurrah, to Laura Martin for writing such an intense and satisfying book!

This was a complimentary copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Laura and huge apologies for how ridiculously late this review is. xx

#Review | Lilian And The Irresistible Duke (Secrets of a Victorian Household #4) by Virginia Heath #LilianandtheIrresistableDuke #SecretsofaVictorianHousehold @VirginiaHeath_ @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

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Hello my Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure and massively excited to be sharing my review of this gorgeous book; Lilian And The Irresistible Duke by Virginia Heath. Be prepared for waffle, I’m afraid there is quite a bit, so as always grab that cuppa, a good piece of cake and enjoy!

A reunion in Rome…

Sparks an affair to remember!

Part of Secrets of a Victorian Household. Responsible widow Lilian Fairclough is persuaded to travel to Rome for a hard-earned break and to let down her hair! She’s surprised to be reunited with passionate, cynical Italian duke Pietro Venturi. He reawakens her sensual side and intrigues her with glimpses of pain beneath his rakish surface. Enticed into a secret and temporary affair, what will happen once she returns home?

This is the fourth and final book in the Victorian Household series, and if there was any author who can end a brilliant series with a swooningly brilliant bang, then it’s Virginia Heath! And what an ending, it’s so romantic…but then what do we expect from a sensual Italian?

Lillian whom for those who have been following this series will know as the mother of the three siblings whose stories have come before this, she has done the dutiful mother and wife she has put her whole life on the back burner for her family and now after being widowed for many years and having her children fly the next to start their own chapter’s she has now the opportunity to go out there and have an adventure of her own. I can’t help but think I have made her sound a little cold, which was not my intention she is as far from cold as a person can get, yet I don’t think I have done this amazing lady justice. This is what happens when you have a very small vocabulary and your sole focus is on the incorrigible Italian, maybe I should just stick to gifs to get my opinion across?

I really, really like Lillian, she is a remarkable lady; selfless, loving, caring, protective and resourceful. She believes that she can never find love or ever feel the stirring of lust and tingles of desire again, oh how wrong she is! After the sad passing of her beloved husband she reached into that deeply hidden internal strength to pull her self up and raise her children – plus their Fairclough foundation, as her husband would have wanted, I also love that she genuinely appeared to love her husband that theirs was a love match another reason why I think she’s a wonderful lady she has a romantic’s heart. She did the most amazing job doing all that on her own, but she is well and truly in dire need of some happiness, a little wooing and adventure of her own. Something which she thinks a lady of her age cannot have, honestly lady your not in the grave yet.

It is such a breath of fresh air to read a story with an older couple instead of your young whippersnappers at twenty-something taking centre stage, we have here a women in her prime finally having fun and living the life she should be and being charmed by a sexy enigmatic and gloriously seductive man…isn’t that every woman’s wish?

So our lovely Lillian sets out to Rome for an adventure of a lifetime, unfortunately for her, she ends up with not one but two match-makers who are both gently nudging her in the direction of the ridiculously charming, sexy, god-like, rampant Italian stallion that is Pietro…oh, my days! Where is my feather fan when I need it? I’m getting all hot and flustered, one of the things that I have got from this gorgeous book is that; Virginia you really need to send me some more sexy Italians!!!

So…where was I? Oh, yes, Lillian is soon reunited with a very familiar face, if you have read the previous book; Amelia’s story, then you will know that while at a house party Lillian got friendly with a mysterious Italian Duke….oooh the minx! Well, that very man is right there before her eyes in all his beautiful tantalising glory.

Pietro, oh Pietro; be still my beating heart! He is a real stud, a proper rascal, roguish in a very elegant way, charming, enigmatic, seductive, a blazing Italian stallion. But, he is also jaded and cynical, his view of relationships and of love is gone a little astray and all he now sees is the needy, manipulative and the bad side of love. He is a bit of a playboy, hopping from one woman’s bed to the next, never sticking around too long and never visiting the same bed twice, but his reluctance in love comes from a real deeply ingrained pain, a pain that our Lillian can see straight away she sees the sadness behind his sparkling smile. I adore the way Virginia describes his voice, I have this sudden image of chocolate; smooth, luxurious and delicious, it made me melt and go into a full-on swoon whenever he purrs those Italian love words to her. Smooth Pietro, very smooth!

They are both guarded, but they can’t deny the attraction they have for one and other, and it is so lovely seeing them as they slowly and rather cautiously get to know each other as Pietro shows her his beautiful city, as they discover they each share a love of art, but seeing as Lillian is only there on holiday will be an end to their newfound love? Well, I’m not going to divulge what happens’ next, but that ending…oh, be still my beating heart, super romantic!

I love this, the perfectly paced plot is full of fun, brilliant banter, sizzling tension flirtatious winks and saucy innuendos. Fabulously likeable character’s, and set in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, the description of the city, the art, the history is magical.

This was an arc copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you, Virginia! xx

Lillian and the Irresistible Duke is available now.

#Review | Uncovering The Merchant’s Secret by Elisabeth Hobbes #UncoveringTheMerchantsSecret @ElisabethHobbes @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

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Hello my Sunshines, on this cold day! I have the massive pleasure and hugely excited to be sharing my review of this amazing book with you all; Uncovering The Merchant’s Secret by Elisabeth Hobbes. Honestly, I’ve read it back and I did worry if I have babbled a wee bit too much in this one, but there was so much I wanted to say. So as ever grab that cuppa and a snack or your choice (you will need it) and enjoy!

A man with no past…

…could she hold the key to his future?

Shipwrecked merchant Jack Langdon wakes with no memory and steals a kiss from a beautiful stranger—widow Blanche Tanet. As he recovers in her castle, passion flares between them. Jack’s fascinated by her independence and courage but, discovering his identity is not what it seems, Jack must first uncover the secrets of his own past if they’re to have a future together…

I love, love, love this book!! I have been a huge fan of Elisabeth Hobbes work since that very first book of hers I read; the Outlaws Revenge, which was actually one of the first medieval romances I read and from those first few bloody pages I was hooked like a fish on a line. Every year I wait with baited breathe to see what new adventure I am going to go on and with every new book Elisabeth shows time and time again what a marvel she is, yet this one is in my humble opinion the best yet! Especially the heroine; Blanche is easily one of the best heroines Elisabeth has written. I love her steely strength, her passion, her loyalty, her unwavering thirst to do all she can for her people, even if that means less then proper means to get what she wants and needs, which belays that fact that she has a vulnerable side, one which is well hidden beneath the padded Blaiz Mor disguise.

I think I have been waiting for this book for such a long time, a woman in control who dresses up as a notorious pirate? Yup, this book is what has been missing from historical romance.

After the death of his wife, Jack Langdon has fallen into a deep depression of pain and grief. Even his secretive life as a wine merchant; which really is a cover for something else, that something I refuse to tell you about as it would give way too much about Jack and the life he leads. He goes from day to day in a haze of gloom and with a deep desire to join his dead wife on the other side – honestly, this guy could break any heart with his Heathcliffe-Esque gloom and sadness – which is why he takes dangerous risks and gambles with his very life with deadly bar fights and making the acquaintances with smugglers.

It is on one of these very occasions when he is seeking passage from France to England that he takes a very shifty stranger up on his much too generous offer of passage on his ship – honestly, this guy has trouble written all over him! The ship he has taken passage on becomes shipwrecked on the coast of Brittany, which isn’t exactly accident of natural causes either, it was the villages who wrecked the ship and then went on to pilfer from the wreckage and the dead. Something their fearless and notorious leader isn’t too pleased about!

Jack is on death’s doorstep when out of the mist appears an apparition of whom he first believes to be his late wife coming to collect him and to take him to the other side – hmm!!! That does sound like something out of Wuthering Heights, but believe me, there is no ghostly arms through windows or digging up of corpses, I think I went slightly off-topic there. – But it isn’t his late wife, it is the Madame of the little rock he has landed on and the women who will not only bring him back to life but change it.

Blanche Tanet – is easily the best heroine that has sprung from the brilliant mind of Elisabeth Hobbes – she isn’t just a wealthy twice-widowed woman, but she is the Captain of her own fleet which she ruthlessly leads as the notorious pirate; Bleiz Mor (Sea Wolf) she didn’t permit the wrecking of the ship and is obviously furious that her people would go behind her back, putting so many in danger. She finds a lone survivor on the beach and instantly feels drawn towards the mystery man, so much so she knows she needs to keep him alive, there is an unexplained pull towards him – which really is not suspiring, this guy is hot, hot hot – you know me, I always have had a thing for brooding fragile heroes, I can’t help it they are my catnip, add in the fact that this guy can’t even remember his own name and I am lost forever.

Honestly, I need a cold shower and that’s when he is on his death bed, once Jack is fully fit…well…I don’t think my overactive mind and heart can take such swoon-some sexiness…those arms, well errrmmm…I need my heart-eyed emoji’s or a gif for this…#DoubleSwoon!!!

I really, really liked Blanche she is a complex individual, she has many responsibilities adorning her cloak’s shoulders; she has the care of her little community within the walls of her fortes to think of, her crews on her many ships, the villagers and now she has in her care an unknown man who may or may not be an enemy spy. She has a ruthless reputation once she is garbed as the Sea Wolf, and parts of that character are embroiled with her own tenacious and strong will, but that strong will of enforced iron is about to be tested once our lovely Jack begins to regain his feet.

The main plotline is really all about how Blanche and Jack getting to know each other, learning not just about one and other and the secrets that so cleverly entwine throughout the story, but there is also a sense of self-discovery for both. Obviously, with Jack trying to regain his memory but Blanche realises a few truths about herself and her way of life, she also shows huge amounts of courage as she allows someone in and opens up something which she has been determined never to do, I love how every step of their blossoming romance unfolds right before our eyes, its all so beautifully written.

Don’t think for a moment that this gorgeous book is all about Blanche fighting her internal fluttering for the handsome Englishman and said Englishman trying to remember who he is and all the while they fall under each other’s spell, oh no! This is an Elisabeth Hobbes book remember, so obviously, there is tension between the sparring character’s; Jack and Ronec are brilliant enemies you just know that these two are going to butt heads sooner or later. Imagine, two alpha male wolves circling and baring their teeth, each wondering who is going to make the first move, then you have an idea about how brilliantly written Jack and Ronec are.

If you hadn’t guessed already, I loved this book. Elisabeth’s already brilliantly enthralling writing has just gone up a gear. There isn’t a single thing I don’t love about this, it’s full of intrigue, lust, emotion secrets and untruths. It has a real buzz to it, it simmers with danger and tension, the characters are brilliantly written, each full of personality and the detail of Brittany is so vivid, I love it all.

This was an Arc copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Elisabeth. Xx

Uncovering the Merchants Secret is available now.

#GuestPost and #Review | Her Dark Knight’s Redemption (Lovers and Legends #8) by Nicole Locke #HerDarkKnightsRedemption #LoversandLegends #Giveaway @NicoleLockeNews @MillsandBoons @HarlequinBooks

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Hello Sunshines! Have I got an amazing, epic post for you all today, not only am I sharing my review of the brilliant Her Dark Knight’s Redemption (be prepared for waffle), but I also have an exclusive guest post by Nicole where she will be introducing us all to that brutishly handsome Knight himself, not only that but I have teamed up with Nicole to bring you the most amazing giveaway – really it’s a doozy and not to be missed! Honestly, I’m sure it’s not healthy to be this excited…So settle back, grab that cuppa and enjoy!

‘This man was shadow and night…
He was Darkness.’
Homeless Aliette is saved from punishment for stealing by a mysterious knight. This stranger informs her that to stay alive she must claim his child as her own. She should fear the knight’s power, and yet it’s clear there’s more good to this man than he’s prepared to show. Can she break down the barriers of the tortured knight she calls Darkness…?


Oh, my! Oh, my! Oh, my! Nicole Locke, you have out completely outdone yourself!! You have well and truly cemented yourself as the best Medieval Romance Author!! This is – well, I honestly don’t have the words to fully describe the wealth of emotion that is swimming through me at the moment. There are words that I could brandish about to describe just how extraordinarily good this book is; such as amazing, flawless, stunning, inspiring, beautiful, dark, delicious, deadly, gorgeous, sexy – Hmmm, I may have just described the delectable hero there! – but honestly, this is just too damn good, that my little brain can’t handle it. I am a wreck, I am a simmering cauldron of emotion!

I love how different this is from the other books in the series, it is far darker then what I have read before from Nicole, and the sexual chemistry between Aliette and Reynold is like sparks shooting from a blazing fire, it’s sizzlingly hot, there may not be a lot of bedroom action but the attraction between our couple is instant, the air crackles like thunder and lightening around them as they both are consumed with lust for the other. Every scene is full of heated glances and a tingling tension that even the reader can feel running down their backs and then there is this beautiful sweetness between them, times where he is human his love of reading and teaching her to read made me not only swoon but fall in love with him that little bit more.

Reynold – those who have been following this series may remember him from ‘The Knights Scarred Maiden’ and if you’re like me then you would have been avidly awaiting his story and oh my!! I cannot begin to express how much I adore this dangerously dark and deadly man, you know me I do love a bad boy especially one who not only needs to learn to love and trust but needs love to unfreeze his frozen heart…Sigh! Honestly, this lone wolf is a menace, how am I ever to look at another hero again? I am ruined, who wants a clean-shaven goody-two-shoes when there is a dark knight with a nice backside lurking in the shadows?

Hmmm, it seems my waffling and lurid thoughts have well and truly taken over this review, I have just realised that I haven’t actually said anything about the book…stop perving on Reynold and get on with the review!!!

Reynold is wealthy, powerful, manipulative, dangerous with a hunger for vengeance and blood, in some way another he has been playing deadly games with his enemies for as long as he can remember, a game that continues and one that he is determined to win whatever the costs – that is until a little surprise lands in his lap, in the form of a scrawny little girl by the name of Grace who the strange women who arrive with her claims is his, being the super cynical and menacing creature that he is, he has to stop himself from killing the old woman on the spot as he doesn’t trust or believe a word she says. But he soon learns the truth, and little Grace finds herself in the care of her broodingly handsome predator of a father. In the care of a man who has a hardened fragile heart and too many secrets and shadows.

Now he has Grace in his care, what is he going to do with her? His lifestyle of devilment and games isn’t the place for a baby, plus he knows that the moment anyone of his enemies finds out about her, she will be in huge danger – something that our cunning plotter will not hear of – especially if his family learn how quickly she has become his Achilles heel.

Oh, I have to mention that scene when Aliette meets him and he is holding Grace close to his well-formed chest…sigh that could melt any heart!

Our heroine Aliette is currently homeless, she is a really good young woman, she is resilient and a survivor. She has taken under her wing an elderly couple who have found themselves in difficulty and a young thief; Gabriel, the four of them have become a little family. Being abandoned by her birth family many years ago, Aliette knows more than most the importance of sticking together to survive. It is because of young Gabriel that puts Aliette into the sphere of our brutally gorgeous mastermind, she is taken from the street and thrust into the calculating gaze of Reynold. She is the answer to his problem of what to do with Grace, and he will damn well make sure that Aliette complies with his scheme.

Aliette can’t trust the seething cauldron of danger that is standing looking at her as though she were a piece of meat, she is unnerved by him and incredibly attune to her primal womanly feelings for him, she is instantly attracted to him but not enough to tell him who she is or anything about herself of her life, and especially not about her little family who depends on her. No matter how much she demands he release her he refuses instead offers her a pretty odd position in his household.

I won’t say too much, but throughout the book, we are kept on this constant dizzying will they open up to each other or won’t they, it is mesmerising and ….well too damn good!

As it says in the authors note, this is a turning in direction to the Lovers and Legends series, and I am really loving where this is going, and cannot wait for more especially mesmerizing mercenary Knight; Louvre, now he is a man that I really can’t wait to get to know – you know me I have a one-track mind and you all know that I was drawn to the rougher and rugged heroes, which explains why I was so taken with Reynold. But Louve, I feel will be different, he has that ferocious and dangerous side, But I think there is something else simmering beneath the surface.

I love the really dark and brooding feel of this book, like the hero it has a really different feel to it then the other’s in the series, it is a lot edgier then Nicole’s other work and I utterly love the new direction her writing and this series is going in. Anyone who knows me knows that more Gothic feel romances are my Achilles heel I love the brooding and the dangerous feeling that you really can only get from a well written Gothic, historical romance and this is easily the finest I have read. From that first chapter when we meet the darkness himself you know you are going to be in for a real deadly threat. Every page is like walking along a spiders web to get to the finale, to your Knight but along the way you are unsure if at any moment you are going to either fall to your doom or be captured by the spider in search of her dinner.

This will probably sound a wee bit odd, but at times I was so wrapped up in the story that I forgot I was reading a romance. Usually, you know that the characters are going to have their happily ever after, and all will be well once they have got past their own issues, but here the question of whether or not they would actually allow the other in was constant, it kept me glued. I was completely taken in with them, I loved getting to know Aliette and Reynold as individuals and as a couple, they are fabulous!

I think you may be able to guess how much I loved this book, I could keep whittling on and on about how amazing, seductive, tantalizing this book is, but I really don’t want to sound like a broken record, I’ll just finish with – Read This Book!!!

This was an Arc copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you, Nicole, massive apologies for how late this review is.

Her Dark Knight’s Redemption is available now, do go and grab a copy!

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Link

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Exclusive Guest Post

Top Ten Things About Reynold of Warstone by Nicole Locke

  1. He’s hot, and the writer who wrote about him couldn’t put it in the story often enough for her liking.
  2. He’s actually in three of the Lovers and Legends series, and she’s writing about him in her current novel as well…just to prove her point she thinks he’s hot.
  3. He’s a villain in pretty much all the stories whether the reader knows it or not. The entire series of #LoversandLegends has been a game to him. However, in Her Dark Knight, he gets to be a lover and a legend (lol).
  4. Reynold knows torture. Not only can he dish it out, but he’s got this really evil mother who likes her sons to prove their loyalty to her by holding their left hand over an open flame. This scar in his hand is why the heroine, Helissent, in The Knight’s Scarred Maiden thought she could talk some sense into him to not be so villainy (he’s scarred, she’s scarred…they could share). Of course, he wouldn’t bond with some gentle baker who lusted after his enemy, but can’t blame a woman for trying.
  5. He’s got three brothers. He’s glad one of them was killed (saved him the mess and made him wealthier). He’s making plans to kill the other two. After all, it’s them again him…and he’s far too arrogant to think anyone else deserves to live more than him.
  6. He speaks several languages and loves to read anything he can get his hands on. If he can’t find something, he has books commissioned for him. His favourite book is Tales of Odysseus. If asked, he’ll tell you he likes the adventures, but in truth, the part that intrigues him is Odysseus’ need to return to Penelope and Penelope’s devotion to Odysseus. His parents would kill each other if given the chance, but something of this tale makes him long for something other than the games he plays.
  7. He waits in shadows and darkness. It’s all part of his game so he can observe his next prey without being observed. It often surprises and unnerves people, but the writer thinks the habit is part of his charm.
  8. He’s really rich. He’s inherited a ton, stolen even more and he’s stashed the money all over England and France. Some of his cache is in Mei Solis, the home of Nicholas and Matilda from Reclaimed by the Knight. He spreads his coins around so that he’s never without in case his brothers’ back him in a corner.
  9. There truly was only ever going to be one heroine for a man like him: Aliette. She’s uneducated (but loves stories). Doesn’t have a family (so she’s adopted people..a little tidbit she keeps as a secret). Doesn’t have coin or food or truly any proper clothing. In fact, she lives on the streets. And one thing she cannot stand is waiting. Who has time for dilly dallying or games?
  10. So when Reynold captures Aliette and blackmails her to play his game? He doesn’t stand a chance of winning. Good thing he’s so cute.

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About the Author

Nicole discovered her first romance novel in a closet, where her grandmother, the godmother in the romance black market, was hiding hundreds. Knowing her grandmother wouldn’t approve, Nicole hid in the closet to read them. It was only a matter of time before she was found out and given an offer she couldn’t refuse: enjoy them, but out in the living room please. Oh, and if she could go to the store and get a few more…. A few more? Nicole got two jobs.

Inexplicably, Nicole stopped reading romances (she blames her handsome university English professor, who she was trying and failing to impress). So she didn’t discover them again until, at work, where another black market book swap occurred. Instead of swapping for another forgettable book, Nicole chose a romance (which she still reads).

Needless to say, she didn’t return to work (good thing it was after 5:00 pm) and she didn’t immediately return home either. At that moment, she insists Etta James was singing “At Last”. It was only natural she’d start writing romances as well.

Currently, she lives in Seattle with her two completely opposite children, who if not for their birth certificates and their red hair, she’d argue they weren’t related, and her husband, who if not for his red hair, would have returned them.

Website / Twitter / Instagram / Goodreads / Facebook

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Giveaway

I have the most amazing Giveaway for your all, Nicole has so generously donated a print copy of Her Dark Knights Redemption and a pair of Odyssey Book Earrings – which, I have a pair of these earrings and they are absolutely gorgeous – for one lucky winner!

How to Enter?

To be in for a chance of winning this amazing prize, then just tell me who your favourite Badboy/Lovable Rogue is (This can be from a book, tv or film) Mine is below, to some, it isn’t a surprise, as always pictures and gifs are welcome!

The giveaway is not only open here, but across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook too, same rules apply; just like the giveaway post and comment with your answer. (Each post you comment on is a separate entry, eg; If you comment here and on all the social media posts then that is four entries) Sharing is also hugely appreciated, but not mandatory.

Finally, Good Luck my Sunshines!

*T&C’s – Closing date is Wednesday 15th January at 9pm GMT, the winner will be chosen at random and will be announced shortly after, the winner will be contacted directly by myself whether that be by email or DM via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. This Giveaway belongs to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals and it is not sponsored or endorsed. Giveaway Open Internationally.