LGBTQ Romance Book Reviews
#Review | The Captain And The Squire (Captivating Captains Series ) by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead #TheCaptainandtheSquire #CaptivatingCaptains @e_harkstead @MadameGilflurt @PridePublishing
Hello my wonderful Sunshines, on this grey and blustery day! I am soooo excited to be sharing my review of the next Captivating Captains novel….squeals!!! Not only will I be boring you silly with my babble which after reading the review back does seem to focus a lot of bottoms, but I also have an exclusive excerpt for you all to devour, so settle in grab that cuppa and cake, and enjoy!!
A sexy city boy and a country squire will set the countryside alight!
Tarquin Bough is a tweedy squire with an ambitious fiancée who controls his every move. He’s also the owner of the finest collection of saucy artefacts in the world. From Christine Keeler’s eyelash to the Virgin Queen’s dildo, they’re all safe in Tarquin’s care.
Christopher Hardacre is a city-slicker with the tightest jodhpurs and the most smackable bottom in London. He’s given up the rat-race for a country life as captain of the village rowing team. The only trouble is, he’s lost his money to a ruthless scam and Bough Bottoms is his last hope of a home.
But Chris hasn’t reckoned on his late uncle’s will. The house comes with a sitting porcine tenant and if Chris can’t look after his newly-acquired pet pig, he’ll lose his inheritance and his last chance at happiness.
When Tarquin sees Chris it’s lust at first sight, but dare he be honest about his feelings in a village where being gay is bound to be a hot topic? As soon as Chris and Tarquin get together, it’s the hottest summer this little corner of England has ever known.
With a scheming local hotshot out to turn the beloved pig into sausages, can the captain and the squire save everybody’s bacon?
Tarquin yawned and stretched in his deckchair. Although most of the blossom had gone from the orchard, blown away by the storms in late spring, it was still a beautiful place to sit in the evening. He took a mouthful of brandy and scratched the head of the pig who was snuffling at the grass beside his chair.
“Now look here, Oracle!” Tarquin held up the length of carved wood that he had been nursing on his lap. “The craftsmanship is second to none.”
The Oracle seemed to be listening, even if she was still busy hunting for truffles. But over the contented snorts of the pig, Tarquin heard the music from next door rise in volume and yet another car revved in the private lane outside his house.
His new neighbor had arrived.
The car doors slammed and the sound of braying laughter carried on the breeze as yet more visitors arrived to greet—who? Who was it who was moving into the Hardacre house anyway? Who was it who’d had removal vans and tradespeople coming and going for weeks to the empty house? Who was responsible for the smell of fresh paint and the sound of hammering and drilling from that tottering, crumbling pile where the late Beardsley Hardacre had lived for his one hundred and three years? Who had landscaped that wild garden?
Who was it who had arrived by nightfall not quite twenty-four hours earlier and was apparently already throwing a party?
And why had this interloper made no effort to claim the Oracle of Delphi?
“Your new mummy and daddy have arrived, my friend,” Tarquin told the pig, his voice soft. But as another toot and another bray of laughter reached him in his formerly tranquil orchard, he rose from the chair, fire in his tone as he declared, “And I’m going to have words!”
Tarquin ran across the orchard and, his brandy in one hand and the carved wooden length in the other, took the fence in a single bound like a steeplechaser.
The evening air was torn by that most dreadful of sounds—the cry of ripped corduroy trousers.
Now in the Hardacre garden, Tarquin cast a glance back at the fence, where a ragged square of golden-colored corduroy waved back at him like a tiny flag. It must’ve caught on a nail, but instead of going home to change, Tarquin was too inflamed with rage to turn back, and instead plunged on through the garden.
And what an improvement it is!
What had once been a tangle of brambles amid a sea of grass that would have hidden an army was now a manicured lawn so flat that it could have been a golf course. Bright bursts of color sprang from well-tended borders and for the first time in years Tarquin could actually see the banks of the river that ran along the bottom of their neighboring gardens. How strange it was to think that such a beautiful view had been hidden all these years, but the cantankerous old gentleman who had lived here far longer than Tarquin had even been alive’d had little time for gardening. He had been too busy with wine, women and song for that.
And whoever was now in his house seemed to be of similar appetites, Tarquin realized, as he rounded the corner and froze on the edge of the patio.
Everyone appeared to be in swimwear, or something resembling it. Tall, elegant women wearing sarongs and high heels with their jewelry chatted with handsome young men in shorts and little more, each of them holding a fizzing glass of champagne, each of them exuding money and confidence and…the city.
A huge hot tub that bubbled on the patio contained yet more of the incomers, tan and braying and so bloody loud and one of them, he knew, must be the new master of Hardacre Grange.
It had to be the man whose braying laughter was louder than anyone else’s. The man who seemed to be holding court in that absurdly overstated hot tub.
The only one wearing sunglasses on an evening that required no such thing.
Tarquin strode straight up to the hot tub and bellowed, “Which of you ruddy coves is in charge here?”
The chatter fell silent but the thump of the music, of course, did not. The man in sunglasses took a leisurely sip from his glass of champagne and said, “That would be me, squire. Why don’t you grab a glass and hop on in?”
Tarquin shook with fury, the brandy slopping up against the brim of his glass. “Hop in? Hop bloody in? The bally cheek of it—I don’t bathe in public with strangers!”
“Oh, you’ve brought your own booze, I like it!” He lowered his sunglasses just a little and peered closely at Tarquin’s other hand. “And you appear to have also brought a large wooden penis. Is that a traditional welcome in Bough Bottoms? Hello, old man, here’s a penis from all of us on the parish council!”
The partygoers guffawed that braying laugh, every eye now focused on Tarquin’s hand.
“Penis?” Tarquin thundered. Then he recalled the antique object in his hand. “This? This is a Tudor dildo! It belonged to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I herself!” Tarquin wagged it under the nose of the man in sunglasses, because surely the man couldn’t see properly wearing Ray-Bans in the dusk.
Although Tarquin could see his new neighbor very well, smarmily grinning at Tarquin from under his arrogant flop of blond hair. Tarquin wasn’t going to admit it, but the fellow was in exquisite form, with swimmer’s shoulders and toned arms that Tarquin would have happily spent hours squeezing like a shopper deciding on a grapefruit. And that angular jaw was worthy of a statue, finished off with a square chin that Tarquin would never tire of nibbling on.
Not that he would. Tarquin threw a furious glance at the woman chortling at his new neighbor’s side.
Married. Has to be. Bugger it.
Or sadly not.
“A Tudor dil— oh, just a minute!” The man pushed his sunglasses up into his hair, his welcoming smile evaporating. “You’re Bough! You’re the man who did Great-Uncle Beardsley out of Prince Albert’s ceremonial Prince Albert!”
“No, I bloody didn’t! It’s mine!” Tarquin stamped his foot. Oh, my dander’s most definitely getting up! “And besides which, you could at least extend the courtesy of pronouncing my surname properly. It’s Boff, to rhyme with cough, not Bow as in bough as in part of a tree! It’s bloody Anglo-Saxon and if my ancestors weren’t conquered by the Normans, I won’t be conquered by a bloody blow-in Yuppie like you, accusing me of theft, who’s got a bath on his patio like a peasant!”
A collective intake of breath sounded around the patio. And where had the patio come from anyway? The last time Tarquin had glimpsed the back of the neighboring house before the brambles had claimed it, this had been a mud pit.
But the man who now rose from the water of the hot tub was certainly not an eyesore.
Bloody hell, he’s no old Uncle Beardsley.
“Uncle Bea said you were a Bow,” he said in a plummy sneer. Then he grinned and held out his hand, as though Tarquin weren’t juggling a glass of French brandy and Queen Elizabeth’s favorite dildo. “Christopher Hardacre. You can only be my new next-door neighbor. You’re exactly like Bea said you were in his letters. I feel like I already know you!”
Tarquin shoved the dildo into his pocket, its curved end poking out like a rhino horn. He held out his hand. “Your Uncle Beardsley was a dreadful old git—never got on with him, and he always pronounced my name wrong just to rile me. I’m Tarquin Bough, as in cough, and that’s the end of it. Christopher Hardacre, eh? My new neighbor!”
As Tarquin shook Christopher’s square hand, his gaze wandered down the planes of Christopher’s dripping chest, down to his muscular stomach and those wet shorts that clung to his every contour.
My other dander’s up now, blast it.
**Excerpt provided via the publisher’s website**
I love, love, love, love this book!! Can I put anymore ‘loves’ in that first sentence? I know, I know, I say the same every single time I read a Captivating Captain book, but I can’t help myself this series is just…..well, I am unable to say, as I think I have used every word that has been listed under amazing in the thesaurus…hmmm, went slightly off subject.
Anyway, Just when I think that this series has peaked and it can’t possibly get any better, and I have found my new love and favourite, then boom! The ladies-only go and pull out another winner and turn me into a melting, withering and babbling wreck, yet again, but this is too damn good!! It is in times like this when I need my heart-eye emoji’s to say what I can’t seem to put in words. Honestly, I don’t think that I have the adequate vocabulary to really do this amazing book the justice it deserves, but I’ll give it a darn good shot.
There are so many things that I want to say about this, and yet I don’t want to give away too much – I would rather hint and intrigue then give spoilers. But like all of the Captivating Captains series, this has everything that I look for in a good romance, it has the perfect mix of enigmatic character’s, sizzling chemistry, lots of fun and laughter, love to hate villains, a wonderfully original plot, plus the sharp, clever and very English wit which we have all come to know and love about this series.
When his elderly neighbour dies, Tarquin Bough – alias the very naughty ever so slightly kinky Squire – meets the new Hardacre to grace their little village of Bough Bottoms, Tarquin is all set to hate his new neighbour as there had been a small neighbourly war going on between the Hardacre’s and the Bough’s, but when our Squire meets sexy, confident and constantly unbuttoned Christopher Hardacre sparks fly and trousers rip (literally). For Tarquin it is an instant attraction, he feels proper raging lust for the first time, yet with his fiancée Petunia back at Bough Towers and who insists on wearing the trousers for him, his secret lust and desperate yearning to really get to know their new neighbour may not be as easy to accomplish as he hopes.
Oh, goodness me, that first meeting between Chris and Tarquin is hilarious, I was up most of the night giggling away with that first chapter which is full ripped trousers, lot of bottom showing, super tight swimwear; which leaves very little to the imagination and a squire brandishing an Elizabethan dildo; that alone ensures for some very tongue in cheek, hilarious and very, very cheeky banter between our boys, something which carries on throughout. These two are the best, I love their instant attraction, the trust they place on one and other, I love their chemistry it doesn’t just sizzle it steams up the windows with a mere peacocking, cheeky glance… I will never look at a simple barn or a shower cubicle in the same way again….phew!
City boy and newly named Captain of the rowing team; Christopher has moved to Bough Bottoms with the hope of making a whole new life for himself, a slower life, unfortunately, our golden-haired, fine bottomed Christopher has been through t’mill, after being caught in the snare of terrible con he is now broke, Bough Bottoms is his saving grace, Well it would be if it wasn’t for a certain clause in his late uncle’s will, basically, there is a pig and said pig has Christopher’s fate and future happiness in her trotter, because if Christopher and the cute as a button Oracle of Delphi don’t get along then its goodbye Christopher.
The Oracle of Delphi, what a brilliant addition to the story, I love that a pig is such an important part of the plot, there are some very funny and very touching moments where the Oracle is concerned, especially with Christopher. But, it’s not all sweetness and sexy jodhpur clad bottoms, there is a dastardly villain in the village, one with a plan and whom wants to serve our Oracle with apple sauce….the absolute cheek!!
There is a slight different feel to this one that the previous ‘Captivating Captains’ didn’t have, nothing bad just a little different, it’s a lot more saucier then the other’s that’s for sure. I love how it’s written predominately through Tarquin’s point of view, I really liked the way that Tarquin’s personal story is written how he knows he is gay yet for his own reasons won’t actually come out and say it openly, he doesn’t want scandal or to be the only gay squire in Bough Bottoms, I think he just lacks the confidence to actually be himself, and this is what Christopher does so perfectly, he shows Tarquin how happy he can be if he just allowed the saucy Squire to come out and once he does, there is no locking him away again.
The Captain and the Squire is an excellent, gloriously funny and sexy romance, the tongue-in-cheek humour, great banter and brilliant interaction between all the characters is perfect. The writing is as you’d expect from Catherine and Eleanor strong, witty, immensely clever and entertaining. Even the villains are brilliantly written – there is one that in particular, which I just loved hating – this character definitely mad me want to ‘boo’ and ‘hiss’ every time they were in a scene – which makes it all sound very pantomime-ish, but this is far, far better than sitting through another version of Aladdin for a start there are far more cheeky winks, pig wooing and well-shaped thighs and bottoms (Its official, I have a perversion for fine rear ends, someone help me)
I don’t think I have to say how much I loved this book, do I? Because I did, I thought that I was ruined with Guy the Pilot in The Captain and the Best Man and of course my beloved Captain Thorne from The Captain and the Cavalry Trooper, but this has galloped in right to the top.
If you love a jolly good ride through the country with two scandalously seductive gent’s then you need to read it!
This was an Arc copy via the authors, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you, Catherine and Eleanor. Xx
The Captain and the Squire is available from today, do go and grab yourself a copy, it’s definitely worth it!
#Review | The Captain And The Best Man (Captivating Captains Series) by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead #TheCaptainAndtheBestMan #CaptivatingCaptains @e_harkstead @MadameGilflurt @PridePublishing
Hello Sunshines, I am super excited to be sharing my review of the latest gorgeous Captivating Captains book; The Captain and the Best Man by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead. Have I been looking forward to this book, or what? Not only will I be sharing my review of this fabulous book, but I have an exclusive excerpt for you all. So settle in, be prepared for a fair amount of gushing, grab your cuppa, a cinnamon bun and enjoy.
When Josh meets handsome airline pilot Captain Guy Collingwood on a sun-kissed island, he finds out what flying first class really means!
When Josh leaves the rainy shores of England for the sun-drenched tropical island of St Sebastian, his biggest worry is remembering his best man’s speech. But a chance meeting with dashing airline pilot Captain Guy Collingwood leads to a hot and raunchy holiday romance.
Guy’s everything Josh is looking for in his ideal man. Mature, dashing and confident, he’s also single and more than happy to show Josh the pleasure of St Sebastian. Yet Guy’s unruffled demeanor hides a past regret. Is the wedding of Josh’s best friend about to reopen a painful chapter that has never fully closed?
As a fearsome tropical storm threatens the island paradise and a broken family threatens Josh and Guy’s happiness, the stakes have never been higher. Can St Sebastian work its magic to heal past wounds and will Josh and Guy’s holiday fling take flight?
The farthest Josh had ever traveled before was Magaluf. He glanced at his boarding pass again as he headed to the departure lounge, still not quite believing what it said.
Nine hours on a plane.
At least I can have a nap.
Josh trundled his cabin bag through Duty Free and left with aftershave and sunglasses that he wasn’t sure he needed. Then he found a café, the perfect place to camp out with a book and kill time before the flight. Half-asleep, Josh clambered over other people’s luggage to join the queue.
Nine hours in steerage.
The cafe’s prices seemed only slightly more reasonable than the eye-watering first-class ticket that Josh couldn’t afford, but he could treat himself at least. An array of elaborate, decadent pastries filled the glass-fronted cabinet, tempting any travelers who were about to submit to airline food, and Josh was happy to surrender to their charms. It was a nice way to start the holiday, after all.
Where are all these people going? he wondered idly as he waited to be served. Screaming babies, excited gaggles of students with packs on their backs, stressed-looking business types and children zooming around making plane noises, all of them ready to escape the autumn drizzle.
Josh ordered a latte, then selected a cinnamon bun from the pastries on offer. It was the last one, a complicated twist of pastry zigzagged with icing and dark with cinnamon. He’d never seen a bun like it.
“If that’s really the last bun, you’d better hope you’re not on my flight,” a plummy voice announced from behind Josh. “Or I’ll make it a bumpy landing.”
“It’s the last one,” the young woman who was serving Josh said with a comical pout, a red flush creeping over her throat. “Sorry, Cap!”
When Josh turned to face the man behind him, his fringe swished into his eyes. He brushed it away with the back of his hand as he looked up.
There behind him in the queue was a pilot clad in the sort of immaculate uniform he could only have dreamed of—every button shiny, every seam straight, his hat at a perfect angle on his head. But Josh barely noticed because his gaze was drawn to the pilot’s handsome, chiseled face.
“I…erm…sorry! I don’t mind having an almond croissant instead, if you’ve got your heart set on a cinnamon bun.”
“Well it is my birthday,” the pilot told him, his expression somber. Then he blinked his blue eyes and smiled. “But I’m a nice fellow, so take it. It’s my treat.” He looked to the woman behind the counter, who was beaming at him, Josh entirely forgotten in the wake of the Cap. “Throw me something nice with pistachios into a bag and a huge cup of tea, please! I’m paying for His Cinnamon Munching Majesty here, too. And something for you as well, of course! Happy birthday to me, eh?”
Josh smiled. A stranger—a pilot, no less—was footing his bill. “You really don’t have to!”
The bright lights of the café picked out discreet flecks of silver in the pilot’s hair and Josh couldn’t look away. The man was so effortlessly confident and self-assured. Radiant. And at this time of the morning, too. “But…if you insist. And—happy birthday, by the way.”
“Thirty again.” The pilot grinned. “I’ve been thirty for about nineteen years now, but don’t tell anyone.”
“Do you keep a portrait in your attic or something? You’re never—” Forty-nine? Josh stopped himself before he announced the man’s age across the café. “I’m thirty next year,” Josh volunteered, though he had no idea why.
“Happy early thirtieth.” He chuckled, handing a note to the woman. “Take my advice and always claim to be thirty next birthday. It’s a good age to be, even for nineteen years.”
Josh chuckled. “And what if I claim to be twenty-nine again next year? Then I’ll always be a year younger than you!”
Always? Josh glanced away. You don’t say always to the man stood behind you in the queue, who’s about to fly off to God knows where. Josh looked instead at the bottles of syrup along the shelf and caught the pilot’s reflection in the mirrored wall behind.
What a smile.
“It’s a deal,” was the reply. “Maturity is vastly overrated, after all.”
“Oh, I don’t know about that.” Josh turned back to the pilot with a grin. Why not? If he was straight, the bloke wouldn’t notice he was flirting. “Maturity can be very nice indeed.”
He heard the tinkle of coins as the pilot dropped his change into the tip cup. “Well, this birthday’s getting better. No cinnamon bun this morning, but you’ve more than made up for it.”
They stood at the end of the counter, waiting for their drinks.
“Is it your favorite?” Josh asked. “I honestly don’t mind relinquishing it. Seeing as it’s your birthday. That bun does look amazing, but so do all the others.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it!” The pilot nodded toward a brightly decorated paper bag on the counter. “Whatever’s in there will be just as tasty. Besides, I can always have something special when you and I go out to dinner. If you’d let an old reprobate like me take you to dinner, that is?”
Stunned, Josh rubbed his tired eyes and blinked. “I’m not imagining things, am I? You did just invite me to dinner?”
“Don’t tell me you’re flying out of Blighty for good?” The pilot’s grin grew more mischievous. “I’m off on a bit of a jolly once I clock off but I’m safely back on British shores in a fortnight. What do you say?”
“I’d say very definitely yes. I’m going to my friend’s wedding, but I’ll be back in a week. So…once you’ve returned from your jolly, let’s meet.” Josh’s face began to ache from smiling. He added, “I’m Josh, by the way.”
“Guy,” he replied. Guy. How well the name suited him. Guy the pilot. Guy with the immaculate uniform and blue eyes. Happy birthday to Guy. “Hello, Josh!”
Not knowing what else to do, Josh held out his hand to shake. “Hello, Guy.”
Who was about to hop into the cockpit and fly off who knew where.
Guy took Josh’s hand in his own and shook it. Josh was barely aware of the drinks arriving, his placed on the tray with a clink of crockery, Guy’s in a takeaway cup. When Guy released Josh’s hand, he reached into the well-cut jacket of his uniform and took out a silver pen.
A fountain pen, Josh noted. Just right.
“Let me give you my number,” Guy said. Josh resisted the urge to tell him he could put it straight into his phone, because there was something about that dark blue ink and the swirl of handwriting as Guy wrote on one of the napkins, something wonderfully traditional. Romantic, even. “There you go!”
“Thanks.” Josh carefully laid the napkin on his tray. “Enjoy your flight. And your jolly, Captain Guy.”
“Enjoy the wedding.” Guy gave a little bow. “And my cinnamon bun.”
“I intend to!” Josh said. “We’ll speak soon.”
With another flash of that brilliant smile Guy picked up the cup. He raised his cap momentarily to Josh, then picked up the bag and said, “Happy flying!”
“Bye!” Josh waved.
Why did they both have to go their separate ways so soon after meeting? But Josh had Captain Guy’s number. They’d meet again, he knew it.
He watched Guy stride away across the wide expanse of gleaming floor. He wasn’t the only person watching, Josh knew, but he was the one with Guy’s number.
Dinner. How could I say no to that?
In a daze—partly brought on by an early start, but mainly due to the last few minutes of his life—Josh took a seat at a table. He put down his tray and tore a piece from his bun. It really was delicious, the pastry melting on his tongue and the—
His table jolted as a little boy in a striped T-shirt accidentally barreled into it.
“You okay?” Josh asked, but the child ran off. Josh shrugged and went back to his bun, only to discover that the child’s impact with his table had sent his coffee sloshing over the side of the cup.
And it had saturated the napkin.
Guy’s phone number, written with such crisp elegance in fountain pen, was nothing now but a smudged, smeary watercolor. Josh carefully peeled the napkin off the tray and stared at it, trying to decipher the blurred mess. He could just about see a seven… It definitely started with a zero. And there was a three…or was it an eight?…at the end.
The number had gone. Lost. Just as suddenly as Captain Guy had entered Josh’s life, he had left it.
It had been a nice little fantasy while it had lasted. The HR manager and the airline pilot. And now a fantasy was all it’d ever be.
**Excerpt provided via the publisher’s website**
How much do I love this series? Honestly, l don’t have the adequate words to fully describe how much I love this series, I could say the usual; glorious, splendid, fabulous – but they don’t really do it justice, maybe I should just stick with heart-eyed emoji’s and swooning gifs? Those would probably be easier to read than my waffle, which is what I do whenever I get my hands on another Captivating Captain.
The Captain and the Best Man is book four in the Captivating Captains series, as I always say they are stand-alone stories, the only thing that connects them together is that there is a ‘Captain’ in each one, each book is as different as the next. So if you are new to the series, you can pick up any and start reading straight away and I cannot say it enough how much I recommend these books.
Isn’t it everyone’s fantasy to be swept off their feet by a gorgeous man in uniform and to be flown away to a romantic island in the middle of nowhere? Sound’s amazing right? Well this is exactly what happens to Josh, there is minding his own business waiting to fly off to be best man at his mate’s wedding, when all of a sudden is he accosted over the last cinnamon bun by this charming, sexy as hell silver fox in – yep, you guessed it – uniform. I may have died and gone to heaven there and then! In fact our Josh thinks the same, he is utterly amazed that this gorgeous, suave and very gentlemanly pilot with the voice like chocolate would be interested in a run of the mill HR manager, with very floppy hair like him, but he is, which begins the start of what is a whirlwind frolicking romance on a Caribbean island.
Our Captain Guy is one enticing chap indeed, he definitely knows the way to a girl’s – or should that be in this case; boys? – heart, from the moment he wrote his number down – yes actually takes a pen and writes his number on a napkin, which is unheard off now isn’t it? – for Josh, I knew that this fella was something special…plus the fact that he’s in uniform, honestly I am beginning to sound a little obsessed! He is a proper gent, and he certainly knows how to woo, this is how you steal a heart!
Once they reach the beautiful island of St Sebastian Guy and Josh don’t waste any time at all getting to know each other, they really are a randy couple, I’m exhausted just by reading, I love that it’s very passionate and tender sex between them, it doesn’t overshadow the story in any way, it’s written so beautifully that even though they are at it like a couple of rabbits on Viagra, you get a real sense of just how much they mean to each other, even though they have only known each other for a short period of time their love for each other and the chemistry between them leaps off the page.
But, it isn’t all sunshine in paradise for our adorable couple, as there are storms coming – and I’m not just talking about the tropical one about to hit the island. There are deeply ingrained heartaches that arise which our couple must work through too, a lot to ask for a brief holiday fling, but what happens when they are back in old Blighty, well you’re going to have to read it and find out what happens and what the unexpected twist is.
I adored this one! There isn’t a single moment I didn’t love, everything is perfect, I loved ‘floppy-haired’ cutie-pie Josh, dazzling uniformed Guy, the story, the setting, the romance, the banter, the twist that occurs – which I won’t be talking about, as I refuse to spoil any part of this gorgeous book 😉 everything is just perfect! This could be my favourite of all the Captains, except now after admitting it, I feel like I am cheating on my beloved Captain and the Cavalry Trooper – how could you do this to me ladies?
This is such a great addition to the Captains series, I loved the cheeky, flirty, sexy and fun banter between Guy and Josh, they had me giggling away well into the early hours. The plot is pure escapism, it’s a fantasy we all have dreamed about at one time or another and lucky bugger Josh (or as our Captivatingly cheeky Captain has dubbed him; Josh with the poets hair, it’s not just me who has a love of a heavy fringe on a man) gets to live it.
A glorious romance, that will whisk you away.
This was an Arc copy via the author’s, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you, Catherine and Eleanor. xx
The Captain and the Best Man is to be released on 3rd December and can be pre-ordered now.
#Review | The Captain’s Flirty Fireworks (The Captivating Captains) by Catherine Curzon & Eleanor Harkstead #TheCaptainsFlirtyFireworks #CaptivatingCaptains @MadameGilflurt @eharkstead @PridePublishing
Hellooo, my lovelies! I am so super excited to be sharing my review of the latest Captivating Captains story; The Captains Flirty Fireworks by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead. So, park yourselves in your comfiest chair, grab that cuppa and a toffee apple and enjoy getting to know Rob and Ollie, I can tell you now, that your going to love them.
When a hunky fireman and a gorgeous gold medalist meet on Guy Fawkes Night, sparks are sure to fly!
For fireman Rob Monteagle, this Guy Fawkes Night seems like it’s going to be anything but fun. After all, who wants to spend the noisiest night of the year saving careless cats from trees or rattling a fundraising bucket at Longley Magna’s annual bonfire, the pride of the village’s bad-tempered old retainer?
For Ollie Tresham, the night isn’t looking any better. He might have won gold in the Olympic showjumping ring yet he’s still expected to meet the public at his dad’s charity fireworks extravaganza. But when a rogue rocket heads straight for the showjumper, it takes a quick-thinking fireman like Rob to save the day.
As the flames of the bonfire smolder, Rob and Ollie’s night is just getting started. And it’s sure to go with a bang…
Here it is, the brand new Captivating Captains…..Squeals!! **Dances a happy, if slightly clumsy jig**
There is nothing better then sitting down with a cuppa and diving into another Captivating Captains story, honestly I live for the moment when I get another Captain in my hands, my birthday has definitely come early – uniformed and jodhpur wearing men what more could I want? (Hmm, that sounded a bit perverse, but I don’t think anyone expect anything less from me)
As always this book is apart of the Captivating Captains series, each one are stand-a-lones, they only share the fact that there is a hunky ‘Captain’ in there somewhere to tempt us away from reality….something which isn’t hard to do where I am concerned, I think everyone knows by now that I have a one track mind, I just can’t get enough of these delicious, luscious Captains. Set over the course of a few hours on Guy Fawkes Night, this is a very short story, we go from flirting in a pub, saving a life – and a cat, to romping in the bedroom – phew, I’m exhausted just reading….but our boys have a lot of stamina, I’m pretty sure they can keep up with the pace.
Fireman, Rob Monteagle having recently moved to a quaint little village is about to face one of the busiest nights of a fireman’s schedule; Guy Fawkes Night, before donning his uniform ….and sigh! Do I really need to say more than; dishy fireman saving cats from trees, to tempt you? The night ahead has bucket rattling, fireworks, bad-tempered; but hugely funny old Tresham ranting about clipboard welding firemen and young excitable children – I know sounds like hell on earth, right? Well it would be hell, that is until Rob umps into Jodhpur wearing, Olympic gold medal winning show-jumper; Ollie Tresham, who puts a flame to Rob’s practically dormant libido. Really who wouldn’t feel a flurry of lust when seeing that fine specimen of a man waltzing around in his “leaving little to the imagination” Jodphurs 😉
Ollie isn’t looking forward to the night a head any more then Rob is, he must show his face at his father’s charity fireworks bonanza, he may be the star Olympic athlete but that doesn’t mean he wants to be the poster boy of his fathers grand night, but he is a dutiful if reluctant son and does as is expected of him. He fully thinks that this night is going to go along the same lines as the previous Guy Fawkes, oh how wrong he is, as his night starts with fireworks of a completely different kind when he meets a luscious, tempting fireman who shows that he far more then a handsome face, he is a genuine, bona-fide hero ….yes, there is a bit of swooning moment, when Rob shows us all just how heroic he is!
I adore that first proper meeting between Rob and Ollie; sitting in the pub bonding over a drink, there is a crackle in the atmosphere around them they just gel together like peas in a pod. The banter between them is fabulously fast and witty, I love how incredibly cheesy and funny they are, they seem to bounce off each other and when they finally reach the bedroom you have the customary flirtatious wit and a sizzling ‘steaming up the windows’ sexiness.
These two are a wonderful couple, Ollie is such a good looking chap, he knows it yet he’s not arrogant he is just very aware of how he looks and who he is, he is fun and a little cheeky whereas Rob is such a cutie, handsome, serious, proud and cheeky. There are moments where he reminds of someone, a person who loves a well form male backside in a pair of fitted jodhpurs – oh, ok he reminds me of myself!
The only thing I will say against it; is I did wish it was a little longer as I would have loved to really get to know both Ollie and Rob and to have more of the glorious Tresham senior – honestly he is a real hoot, I was happily giggling away as he ranted about health and safety and clipboard wielding firemen – Nevertheless it is an excellent read, for such a short story we get a real insight of the character’s personalities, I love the transition that they both go through from meeting to the end, which is so lovely.
If you love a quick romp around the bonfire, with two sinfully attraction and sexy men (yes, I do realise how that sounds) then this is the book you, just like a firework; it’s sparkly, explosive and glittery and ends with a bang.
This was an Arc from the authors, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Catherine and Eleanor! Xx
The Captain’s Flirty Fireworks is to be released on non-other than 5th November, and can be pre-ordered now and I definitely say go and grab it.
Hello my lovely friends, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of; The Low Road by Eleanor Harkstead, which is a gorgeous little story, perfect for curling up with a cuppa and couple of biscuits, enjoy.
Can a lonely driver and a tragic hitch-hiker cheat both time and death?
One night in the pouring rain, Alex stops on Gallows Hill to pick up a hitch-hiker. But when the hitch-hiker vanishes from the passenger seat, Alex fears for his sanity.
Then he discovers that Gallows Hill is a place filled with ghosts—of smugglers, witches and highwaymen.
And a young, tragic hitch-hiker named Joe.
When Joe appears again on Gallows Hill, Alex dares to hope that they can cheat both time and death. But how can there be a future for them when Joe is trapped in a few minutes of a rainy night forty years before?
What a lovely little story this is, I was fascinated by the premise of this from the off, it’s quite an unusual love story but I knew that if there was one person who could pull off a living/dead romance then Eleanor Harkstead is the author to do it, and by jove does she pull out a original and beautiful little romance out of her hat.
The story opens one stormy rainy night with Alex driving along a deserted road called; Gallows Hill, he is a bit low in spirits, I felt a real loneliness pouring off Alex even his mother senses it from him as she tries play cupid and set him up with a nice young man she knows. Alex is a bit in limbo where it comes with relationships, then when on the road he spots a hitch-hiker through the rain spattered windscreen, it is an encounter that changes everything for Alex. I love how in those few moments when Alex and Joe first meet there is a real spark between the two men, Alex enjoys the ‘younger’ man’s company, but only for Joe to completely disappear from a moving car. I mean literally poof, now you see him and then he’s gone, but where has he gone? Or more importantly was Joe even in the car in the first place?
I real feel for Alex, he thinks he may have found a guy who he enjoys being around, and who he feels very comfortable with and then all of a sudden he’s not there, Alex is confused and a bit perplexed, he thinks he might be going a little mad, but when Joe appears again on the same stretch of road, Alex knows that this is real he has formed a real connection with very adorable, all smiley Joe, and at the same time he knows that there is something not quite right going on here, which is when he starts to investigate Gallows Hill and Joe the hitch-hiker.
In such a short story there is a lot of emotion, it’s not just a wham bam, I have fallen in love with a ghost, story, there is a bit of intrigue. I particularly love how Alex is desperate to know more about the young man who appeared beside the road, the young man who even in such a short space of time stole Alex’s heart. It is a weeping moment when we all learn what happened to Joe, yes he’s dead, but what happened to him?
The ending is so lovely, it goes full circle, we not only find out what happened to Joe, but the past and the present entwine themselves together to form a wonderfully engrossing story. I love the fun and cheeky banter between Alex and Joe, they flirt, tease and wink their way through their shared part of the story, they are such a cute couple to get to know. The writing is solid, its a real skill to be able to achieve such wonderful character and emotional development in such a short story. Even though I wish there was more, I loved where it ended, this is a splendid love story.
This was a Arc copy from the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Eleanor. x
The Low Road is to be released on 15th October, and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.
Review | The Captain and the Theatrical (Captivating Captains Book 3) by Catherine Curzon & Eleanor Harkstead #TheCaptainAndTheTheatrical #CaptivatingCaptains @e_harkstead @MadameGilflurt
Hello my lovely friends! Have I got a wonderful book to share with you all today, or what? I am so excited to be sharing my review of The Captain and the Theatrical, which is the third book from the Captivating Captains series…..squeal!!! I think anyone who follows me, will know how much I love this series, be prepared for waffling…so grab a cuppa and maybe a packet of biscuits and enjoy.
FROM MULTI-PUBLISHED AUTHORS OF GAY ROMANCE, CATHERINE CURZON AND ELEANOR HARKSTEAD
Book three in the Captivating Captains series
When Captain Pendleton needs an emergency fiancée, who better to turn to than his male best friend? After all, for Amadeo Orsini, life’s one long, happy drag!
Captain Ambrose “Pen” Pendleton might have distinguished himself on the battlefield at Waterloo but since he’s come home to civvy street, he’s struggled to make his mark. Pen dreams of becoming a playwright but his ambitious father has other ideas, including a trophy wife and a new job in America. If he’s to stand a hope of staying in England and pursuing his dream, Pen needs to find a fiancée fast.
Amadeo Orsini never made it as a leading man, but as a leading lady he’s the toast of the continental stage. Now Cosima is about to face her most challenging role yet, that of Captain Pendleton’s secret amour. With the help of a talking theatrical parrot who never forgets his lines, Orsini throws on his best frock, slaps on the rouge and sets out to save Pen from the clutches of Miss Harriet Tarbottom and her scheming parents.
As friendship turns into love, will the captain be able to write a happy ending for himself and Orsini before the curtain falls?
Finally, its here!! *She says jiggling about like someone with ants in their pants* The long awaited next instalment of the gorgeous ‘Captivating Captains’ is here, am I excited about finally getting my hands on this or what? Patience is not my strongest quality, it feels like an eternity since I had my last Captain fix, honestly, poor Catherine and Eleanor, they must be pretty tired of hearing my constant whining of “I’m so excited’s” and “I cannot wait’s”….I have bored myself…Anyway, it’s here woo-hoo!
This time we are in the Regency era, Captain Ambrose Pendleton (Pen) having just returned from the battle of Waterloo he is shocked to find that his father has arranged a marriage for him, in fact not just a marriage but he has planned out Ambrose’s future, which consists of him leaving England and everything he knows to marry a stranger, move to America and turn his hand to industry. All poor Ambrose wants is to follow his heart and write, while perhaps floundering around in the sea with a certain Italian, not that I blame him at all, Orsini is wonderful and he has the best wardrobe any woman could ever want, I was cheering him on at every turn, follow your heart Ambrose! …anyhow, Ambrose is a dutiful man, as much as he doesn’t want to leave and me hitched with a spoiled little girl he wouldn’t dream of going against his father that is until his good friend Amadeo Orsini comes up with a brilliant plan to release him from the vicars mousetrap.
Ah, Orsini what a fabulous creature you are! Thespian Orsini has made a name for himself – or should that be herself – on the stage in the guise of exotic, vivacious and striking Cosima, she is loved by all where ever she may go she has become the most sought after actress to tread the boards. Orsini and Ambrose have been good friends since meeting while Ambrose was on his grand tour, he is not about to see his good friend be forced into something he doesn’t want and be sent far, far away. Oh no, the tempting Italian has other plans for his darling Ambrose, But how to extricate him from the clutches of the Tarbottom harridan? – or as Orsini says; ‘Tarrow-Bottom’ – why, with a performance that would earn him a Olivier off course.
And this is when the fun really starts! Imagine it; A Derbyshire house party, A set of vile American’s (no offense to my lovely American friends, I know you not all vile ;-)) a actor who just happens to explode on to the scene dressed as a woman announcing her undying love for the brooding Captain and who has very saucy thoughts regarding his gold military sash 😉 a cheeky parrot who sets his eyes on the lady of the house and amongst it all you have a theft….ouh la la! I don’t think I can take anymore excitement…wait, oh yes I can, especially when Ambrose and Orsini finally declare their feelings…honestly I thought they never would, but it was well worth the wait, because these two are just too adorable for words.
I adore Ambrose, even though he has had flings in the past while in the army I think that his feeling’s for Orsini confuse him, he is a worrier, he is undeniably attracted to Orsini as both himself and as Cosima but he is afraid about what his friend would make of his attraction to him….Ambrose, you really don’t need to worry!
But alas as much as I adore both Ambrose and Orsini/Cosima the star of this has to be Pegolo, yup, the sarcastic, clever and brilliantly hilarious parrot has stolen the show and teamed up with the equally brilliant Mrs Pendleton, well we have a fabulous comedy duo….honestly where else would you see a married older lady walking about with a parrot propped on her shoulder?
This book holds some of the best character’s I have come ever across, not only in the shape of our two romantic leads – who in themselves are absolutely adorable – but the supporting cast are brilliant, from the very amusing Mrs Pendleton, who sees far more then she lets on, to the brilliantly funny Pegolo (this parrot needs a show of his own, he is fabulous) and the ever so slightly vile Tarbottom’s (I can never say that name with a straight face, I’m stifling a giggle now as I write, I can’t help it.) there was something about the Tarbottom’s that really made my skin crawl, and yet I couldn’t look away, which goes to show how much skill there is in this writing.
I love this, there isn’t anything I didn’t like, even though the start was a little slower then expected, with surprised me, but once the reason behind Ambrose’s slight melancholy is revealed all makes sense and I think the slower more thoughtful start is perfect for Ambrose and Orsini and their story. The chemistry and passion between our leads is wonderfully tantalizing and tender, those little glances they cast each other made my heart melt. I loved the little theft twist away from the romance, it builds up slowly and as you read you begin to wonder….hmmm, now is something going on here? I loved the investigation then ensures to find the culprit.
This really has everything I look for in a historical romance; beautifully portrayed lead character’s who you can get behind from the start, a wonderfully original love story with an unexpected sub plot. It has a real whimsical feel about it that made me think of fairy tales, and the humour, my goodness this is so much fun to read, there are some real laugh out loud moments…..Yes, I did a fair amount of giggling an sighing… I definitely think me and Orsino are two peas in a pod, especially whenever he thinks of a certain Captain in those fitted trousers and tall military boots…sigh!!
This is enchanting, it’s fun, romantic, original, the perfect escapism from the real world, I have said it before but I’m going to say it again…I love it!
This series just goes from strength to strength, each is as different from the next as you can get and with the constant love is love message tightly ingrained in each one there is nothing not to love about the Captains. Plus with another planned for later this year and fingers crossed more after…I’m not hinting, OK, I am, I need more Captains…. I am going to be in Captains heaven….or as excitable as a hyperactive spinning top, I may need sedating.
This was an Arc copy via the authors, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Catherine and Eleanor xx
The Captain and the Theatrical is to be released on 3rd September and can be pre-ordered now.
#Review A Late Summer Night’s Dream by Catherine Curzon & Eleanor Harkstead @MadameGilflurt @e_harkstead @PridePublishing #MMRomance #AlateSummerNightsDream #ContemporaryRomance
Today I have the very great pleasure to be sharing my early review of ‘A Late Summer Night’s Dream’ by the wonderfully talented Eleanor Harkstead and Catherine Curzon.
Length: 79 pages
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Release: 19th February 2019
Among Oxford’s dreaming spires, can a widowed professor and a wide-eyed scholar make their own dreams of love come true?
Simeon Shakespeare is living his academic dream. As an Oxford scholar, he spends his days in libraries and whiles away his nights at the theater. A mix-up over a seat number leads to a very awkward first act, but that’s nothing compared to what happens when the lights go up.
Professor Anthony Meadows is finished with love. Shattered by the death of his husband, he divides his time between his book-lined study and Oxford’s theaters. The last thing he needs is an annoying research student bickering with him over who should sit where.
When Anthony and Simeon discover they have more in common than a shared love of the Bard, it looks as though the stage is set for romance. Yet with the memory of Anthony’s lost love keeping the professor from moving on, can Simeon’s love mend his broken heart?
I do love reading these two fine ladies work, whether its historical, contemporary or even supernatural (Read The Captains Ghostly Gamble ;-)) Curzon and Harkstead together are such a treat for the romance reader and this is a wonderful addition to their ever-expanding CV.
A Late Summer Night’s Dream is another wonderful novella, set in picturesque Oxford. A love-at-first-sight tale, which sees a young wide-eyed, who is living the scholarly dream, who meets a handsome, widowed professor at the theatre.
I love the concept of this one; meeting a gorgeous stranger who not only dresses well but smells divine – which is so important, don’t you think that they smell nice? And could very well be ‘the one’ because of a mix up with seats at the theatre, giggling and joking through a bad performance of ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ all the while having a hard-boiled sweet chomping woman beside you giving you the evil eye, and finally ending up in the pub sharing a pie supper; just how perfect is that? Now, that is my kind of date! But there is more to this merry little, exceedingly English tale then getting to know one an other over pie and peas there is a real sadness to the tale that pulls at the heart-strings.
When scholar Simeon Shakespeare (Great name!) arrives at the theatre a tad late he finds a nice smelling, suit wearing gorgeous man sitting in his seat. The nerve of the man! But is it his seat, really of has there been a mistake on Simeon’s part? Honestly it can happen, believe me. But the seating mistake is soon pushed behind him as he and the god beside him soon find that they have a lot in common, and as happens in this case one thing leads to another and after the play and a meal they head off to Simeon’s.
Simeon has just come out of a not-so-happy relationship with a man who claimed him to be boring, honestly the nerve of the man, he finds peace in trips to the theatre, in disappearing into books. He isn’t looking for love but he knows that the moment he sets eyes on the gentlemanly Anthony that this is the man for him. He senses there is something about him, there is sadness behind those pearly blue eyes. A sadness that Simeon would love to help heal and which makes his heart bleed for him.
Professor Anthony Meadows is attempting to regain his life after the terrible loss of his husband four years earlier to brain cancer, Anthony knows that Iain; his late husband wouldn’t want him to disappear into his shell, he would have wanted Anthony to carry on and live again; which is the reason why he finds himself at the theatre that night. Anthony is shocked that gorgeous, vivacious and young Simeon would want to be with an older guy like him. As soon as meeting the young scholar; Anthony begins to feel himself enjoying himself again, he is flattered by the attention but he is also confused by that and feels he is betraying his late husband’s memory and he can’t take the relationship further. It is at this point where you think “No, what the hell are you doing Anthony, you fool. Get back in there, Simeon’s brilliant!” But never worry, all will come right in the end.
The budding relationship between Anthony and Simeon is so lovely to see blossom, each of them have initial issues, Anthony especially. Not only because of his sadness over his late husband but also because he is very aware of the large age gap between them, that aspect of the story along with Simeon’s patience and how he encourages Anthony to just be himself is so beautifully written.
Curzon and Harkstead just gel together, there is always something very special about their writing. Plus it always is so very realistically and wonderfully English in tone, I could hear Anthony’s plummy tones in my mind as I read – which to me oddly enough sounded something along the lines of a younger James or Edward Fox, weird I know! With a realistic plot, witty and sensual dialogue between the characters this is a charming and delightful read, that ended far too soon.
Definitely another winner!
This was an Arc copy from the authors in exchange for an honest review; Thank you Catherine and Eleanor!
A Late Summer Nights Dream is to be released on 19 February and can be pre-ordered from Amazon; links at beginning of review.
#Review – The Captains Cornish Christmas (A Captivating Captains Story #4) by Catherine Curzon (@MadameGilflurt) & Eleanor Harkstead (@e_harkstead) #CaptivatingCaptains @PridePublishing
A Captivating Captains story
For a lonely Cornish lifeboatman and an author who’s more used to crime scenes than love scenes, this Christmas is going to be very merry indeed!
When Jago Treherne agrees to man the Polneath lifeboats one snowy Christmas, he knows he can forget turkey and all the trimmings.
Yet when he boards a seemingly empty yacht and stumbles upon sexy Sam Coryton enjoying an energetic afternoon below decks, Jago soon realizes that he might be unwrapping a very different sort of Christmas gift this year!
I always get very excited whenever a new ‘A Captivating Captains’ book is out, I have been avidly following this series from the very first book and I’m always giddy to see what is to come next. As always, I jumped at the chance to read this one, and as always I was not disappointed, not only is the cover gorgeous, but the story is pretty good too 😉
The Captains Cornish Christmas is a short novella, set in gorgeous Cornwall and revolves around the Captain of the Polneath lifeboats; Jago Treherne. What surprised me about this and what was different from the other’s in the series, is that instead of being split POV between the leads this story is told more through Jago’s perspective, which I found quite endearing especially as Jago is – for me, the star of the whole book and I really enjoyed seeing the story play out from Jago’s perspective.
Jago is spending this festive season on duty, he is manning the lifeboats and has no expectations of celebrating Christmas – except maybe at the end of his shift he will go home have a cuppa with his very spoilt cat; Peregrine – Isn’t that a great name? Yet when the weather begins to turn, he comes across the what looks like a yacht in trouble, which actually turns out to be the Morveren owned by best-selling author and child hood friend; Sam Coryton. Once on board he finds to his embarrassment that Sam isn’t in trouble at all – well only if he counts falling head over heels, crashing to the floor and ending up butt up on the floor with a black eye, which is very funny – he is in, shall we say a rather intimate position, that leaves poor Jago feeling rather hot under the collar and a tad embarrassed 😉 Sam has moved back to Polneath after becoming tired and a bit world-weary of London life and he is trying to escape a family Christmas. When ruggedly handsome Jago unceremoniously barges in on him, it is like a gift from the gods and he fully intends on making the most of his good fortune.
Jago is by far one of the most adorable character’s from the whole series, he is uncomfortable, shy and a tad lonely, plus not to mention his self-confidence issues. He believes that the glittery, handsome as hell and overly confident Sam would never look twice at an ordinary, gruff and rough around the edges, salty sea-dog like him. But that is where he is so wrong, from the moment when we first meet them you know instantly that there has only ever been one man for Sam, every other relationship has just been a stop-gap, he is the kind of man that he needs someone in his life.
What I love about this series is that each one is different, you don’t have to read them in any order as they are all stand-a-lone stories. Each one is as different as the next, every aspect of romance is covered so no matter what genre you read there will be something everyone will love.
The Captains Cornish Christmas is a charming, witty and sensual romance. The story progresses quickly right from the off there is a buzz about Jago and Sam. I love the difference in their personalities, Sam is far more relaxed and confident in his own skin whereas Jago is more reserved and shy, that is until they are behind closed doors, then he shows his hidden lusty side. The thing that I particularly love is the dialogue between Jago and Sam, they are very open with one another, there is no hidden agenda’s with them and at times it is wonderfully cheesy, plummy and very Cornish – courtesy of Jago, who actually reminds of the characters from the TV show Doc Martin.
Another winner, really these two wonderful ladies can do nothing wrong in my book, the writing is as always perfect and highly enjoyable. It’s sweet and sexy, with the best laugh out loud moment’s – the beginning on the yacht is a corker.
Highly recommended, I can’t wait to see what comes next.
This was an ARC via the authors in exchange for an honest review.
The Captains Cornish Christmas is to be released on 11th December and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.