Miscellaneous

Chicks, Rogues and Scandals; What’s New For 2019?

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I am one of those types of people who no matter how busy and topsy-turvy my life is, I can never keep still, I am always looking for more to do. Really, I am a glutton for punishment; as my great gran used to say. I do like to keep things fresh and try new things out; maybe not in real life as being a full-time carer prevents me from such selfish pursuits, anyone who cares for loved ones knows what I mean by that. Which is why this year I will be starting a couple of new things on Chicks, Rogues and Scandals.

Firstly, I will have a new ‘thing’ on the blog; Off The Bookshelf, which is basically what is says. These will be reviews of the books that I have – yep, you guessed it; on the bookshelf. I thought to mix things up a bit in-between the Arc reviews, I have lined up that I would finally start reading all the books that have been residing on my bookshelf for way too long – both the physical shelf and the Kindle shelf; Honestly it’s ridiculous how many books I’ve bought that I have yet to read. I think I may be addicted to buying books, I just can’t help myself. Only problem is that I forget to read them.

These reviews will be at least every month, dependant on how busy I am. I really like the idea of having this very interactive with my followers so I will be setting up a vote, poll or something on Facebook or Twitter where you all can really get involved, and choose what I read next in the ‘Off The Bookshelf’ section.

Secondly, This year I will be doing a Book of The Month – or something along those lines, I am still tinkering with what to call it at the minute. I will do a feature post about the Book Of The Month, it will have all the links to the book and author. It’s still in the early stages as I iron out the wrinkles as I am still deciding whether to have it has a page too, but one thing for sure; is that I will feature my ‘Book Of The Month’ at the top of the side bar of the blog for all visitors to see and hopefully read for themselves. I do love sharing books in that way, it’s very visual way to recommend books.

I may even open up the Book Of The Month section of the blog to authors who would like to have their books featured on Chicks Rogues and Scandals, if you like the idea then you are more than welcome to get in touch.

So there you go, this year both Off The Bookshelf and Book Of The Month will be up and running on the blog and as always, I would love to know you thoughts on these two ideas.

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Chicks, Rogues and Scandals; Favourite Books of 2018. #FavouriteBooks #BestBooksof2018

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It’s that time of year again we have made through the madness that is Christmas is over and now we are heading on that one way road towards a whole New Year. A new year of great new books, I can hardly wait! But before we reach 2019 I first must share with you my favourite books of 2018, and believe me, this was no mean feat.

I have read so many great books over the last twelve months, books from authors that I know and love, books from new-to-me authors who are now on my to-read-again list. I have discovered whole new era’s and gone out my regular reading pattern of only reading historical romance and I have started to branch out in other genre’s such as erotic romance and non-fiction. It really has been a very busy year, so when I sat down to write this post I got a bit stumped. How could I pick a handful of my favourite books from all which I have read? As hard as it was to whittle over hundred books down to just twenty, there are one or two that didn’t need any thinking about, and then there was one which really stood out for me and that I have named my Chicks, Rogues and Scandals Best Book of 2018….You’ll need to read the full post to find out what it is though!

Before I share my Chicks, Rogues and Scandals; Favourite Twenty Books of 2018 with you, I firstly want to thank all the amazing authors who have been above kind and generous to entrust their precious work to me to review. You are all amazing, thank you!

So in no particular order, here are my Favourite Twenty Books of 2018!

Tempting The Laird (Highland Grooms #5) by Julia London

Mystery and desire cloak the Scottish Highlands

Unruly. Unmarried. Unapologetic. Catriona Mackenzie’s reputation precedes her everywhere she goes. Her beloved late aunt Zelda taught Cat to live out loud and speak her mind, and that’s exactly what she does when Zelda’s legacy—a refuge for women in need—comes under fire. When her quest puts her in the path of the disturbingly mysterious Hamlin Graham, Duke of Montrose, Cat is soon caught up in the provocative rumors surrounding the dark duke. Never one to retreat, Cat boldly goes where no one else has dared for answers.

Shrouded in secrets, a hostage of lies, Hamlin must endure the fear and suspicion of those who believe he is a murderer. The sudden disappearance of his wife and the truth he keeps silent are a risk to his chances at earning a coveted parliamentary seat. But he’s kept his affairs tightly held until a woman with sparkling eyes and brazen determination appears unexpectedly in his life. Deadly allegations might be his downfall, but his unleashed passion could be the duke’s ultimate undoing.

King’s Knight by Regan Walker

WINNER OF THE 2017 RONE AWARD (best medieval romance)!

HE SEIZED LIFE BY THE THROAT

Dubbed the Black Wolf for his raven hair, his fierceness in battle and his way with women, Sir Alexander of Talisand attacked life as he did the king’s enemies. But acclaim on the battlefield and his lusty escapades did not satisfy. King William Rufus would bind him to Normandy through marriage to one of its noblewomen, but the only woman Alexander wanted was a commoner he had saved from a terrible fate.

SHE KEPT MEN AT BAY WITH HER BOW

The shame of being the child of a Norman’s rape dogged Merewyn’s steps from her youth. Determined never to be a victim of a man’s lust like her mother, in Wales she donned the garb of an archer and developed extraordinary skill with a bow. Despite her fair beauty, men now keep their distance. No longer in need of protection from other men, can Merewyn protect herself from Alexander when he holds her heart yet can never be hers?

The Matrimonial Advertisement (Parish Orphans of Devon#1) by Mimi Matthews

She Wanted Sanctuary…

Helena Reynolds will do anything to escape her life in London, even if that means traveling to a remote cliffside estate on the North Devon coast and marrying a complete stranger. But Greyfriar’s Abbey isn’t the sort of refuge she imagined. And ex-army captain Justin Thornhill–though he may be tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome–is anything but a romantic hero.

He Needed Redemption…

Justin has spent the last two decades making his fortune, settling scores, and suffering a prolonged period of torture in an Indian prison. Now, he needs someone to smooth the way for him with the villagers. Someone to manage his household–and warm his bed on occasion. What he needs, in short, is a wife and a matrimonial advertisement seems the perfect way to acquire one.

Their marriage was meant to be a business arrangement and nothing more. A dispassionate union free from the entanglements of love and affection. But when Helena’s past threatens, will Justin’s burgeoning feelings for his new bride compel him to come to her rescue? Or will dark secrets of his own force him to let her go?

The One by Maria Realf

You never forget the one.
You’ll never forget this book.

’A beautiful, believable writer…5 stars’ THE SUN

Fall in love with this beautiful love story. A must read for fans of Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You and Cecelia Ahern’s PS I Love You

Lizzie Sparkes should be the happiest girl in the world – she’s three months away from marrying The One in the wedding of her dreams! But then The One before the One walks back in to her life with a bombshell.

Alex’s unexpected return changes everything and now Lizzie faces an impossible dilemma. Because how can you leave the past behind you, when it’s standing right in front of you…asking you for one more chance?

A Scandalous Winter Wedding (Matches Made In Scandal #4) by Marguerite Kaye

From one snowy Christmas… … to a sizzling hot reunion!

A Matches Made in Scandal story: Kirstin Blair has spent seven years trying to forget brooding Cameron Dunbar. Now self-made man Cameron needs her help to recover his missing niece, and Kirstin must face the truth: seeing him again sparks the same irresistible attraction that first brought them together! She must decide… Resist, or give in to temptation and risk Cameron discovering everything she’s fought so hard to protect…

Awakened By The Prince’s Passion (Russian Royal Of Kuban #3) by Bronwyn Scott

A lost princess…

And the prince who will protect her!

In this Russian Royals of Kuban story, Crown Princess Dasha is plucked from the flames of rebellion and sent to London with no memory of the past. Everyone says she’s heiress to Kuban’s throne… She trusts Ruslan Pisarev on first sight–he becomes her protector, her confidante, even her lover. But can Ruslan claim her forever when she is awakened to the truth of her identity?

Sent As The Viking’s Bride by Michelle Styles

She’s the wife he doesn’t want…
…and the woman he needs!

Desperate to escape her murderous brother-in-law and protect her young sister, Ragnhild agrees to marry an unknown warrior, and arrives penniless at his remote island. Only Gunnar Olafson’s belief in love died with his family—he does not want a bride! But as yuletide approaches Ragnhild transforms his isolated existence. Can she melt her Viking warrior’s frozen heart?

The Earls Irresistible Challenge (Sinful Sinclairs #1) by Lara Temple

Could this infamous rake…

…finally have found his Countess?

Part of The Sinful Sinclairs. When Lucas, Lord Sinclair, receives a mysterious summons from a Miss Olivia Silverdale he’s sceptical about helping her. But Olivia, although eccentric, is in earnest about her quest to restore her late godfather’s reputation. Lucas’s curiosity is piqued—and not just by Olivia’s intelligent eyes and lithe form. A new challenge quickly presents itself: keeping Miss Silverdale at arm’s length!

The Makings of a Lady by Catherine Tinley

Be calm, she thought.

Be gracious. Be twenty-two.

Lady Olivia Fanton is eager to prove she’s no longer a child. However, just as she thinks she’s found a suitable match in the suave Mr Manning, charismatic Captain Jem Ford walks back into her life, bringing with him all the embarrassment of her infatuation four years before! She’s determined to appear mature, distant, friendly. But does she dare hope he’ll notice her as the lady she’s become?

Warriors Bride Prize by Jenni Fletcher

Daughter of a slave…

…wedded to the warrior!

Livia Valeria is furious when she’s ruthlessly gambled away by her intended bridegroom. Luckily, it’s tall, muscled and darkly handsome Roman centurion Marius Varro who wins her as his bride! She must hide her Caledonian roots, but when Marius faces a barbarian rebellion at Hadrian’s Wall, Livia must make a choice: her heritage or the husband she’s falling for…

The Duke With The Dragon Tattoo (Victorian Rebels #6) by Kerrigan Byrne

The bravest of heroes. The brashest of rebels. The boldest of lovers. These are the men who risk their hearts and their souls—for the passionate women who dare to love them…

He is known only as The Rook. A man with no name, no past, no memories. He awakens in a mass grave, a magnificent dragon tattoo on his muscled forearm the sole clue to his mysterious origins. His only hope for survival—and salvation—lies in the deep, fiery eyes of the beautiful stranger who finds him. Who nurses him back to health. And who calms the restless demons in his soul…

A LEGENDARY LOVE

Lorelei will never forget the night she rescued the broken dark angel in the woods, a devilishly handsome man who haunts her dreams to this day. Crippled as a child, she devoted herself to healing the poor tortured man. And when he left, he took a piece of her heart with him. Now, after all these years, The Rook has returned. Like a phantom, he sweeps back into her life and avenges those who wronged her. But can she trust a man who’s been branded a rebel, a thief, and a killer? And can she trust herself to resist him when he takes her in his arms?

Lady Cecily And The Mysterious Mr Gray (The Beauchamp Betrophals #3) by Janice Preston

Love or family…

How can she choose between them?

Lady Cecily Beauchamp has always put her family first. Until she falls under the spell of the mysterious Zachary Gray – a man of Romany descent. Knowing her family will forbid their match, Cecily steels herself to do her duty and marry elsewhere. Only she finds herself irresistibly drawn to Zach as the spark between them ignites a passion neither can deny!

Captain And The Cavalry Trooper (Captivating Captains #1) by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead

As the Great War tears Europe apart, two men from different worlds find sanctuary in each other’s arms.

Captain Robert Thorne is the fiercest officer in the regiment. Awaiting the command to go to the front, he has no time for simpering, comely lads. That’s until one summer day in 1917 when his dark, flashing eye falls upon the newest recruit at Chateau de Desgravier, a fresh-faced farmer’s boy with little experience of life and a wealth of poetry in his heart.

Trooper Jack Woodvine has a way with strong, difficult stallions, and whispers them to his gentle will. Yet even he has never tamed a creature like Captain Thorne.

With the shadow of the Great War and the scheming of enemies closer to home threatening their fleeting chance at happiness, can the Captain and the Cavalry Trooper make it home safely? More importantly, will they see peacetime together?

Miss Moonshine’s Emporium Of Happy Endings by Mary Jayne Baker, Sophie Claire, Jacqui Cooper, Helena Fairfax, Kate Field, Melinda Hammond, Maria Laval, Helen Pollard – Otherwise known as Authors On The Edge.

Sometimes what you need is right there waiting for you…

Miss Moonshine’s Wonderful Emporium has stood in the pretty Yorkshire town of Haven Bridge for as long as anyone can remember. With her ever-changing stock, Miss Moonshine has a rare gift for providing exactly what her customers need: a fire opal necklace that provides a glimpse of a different life; a novel whose phantom doodler casts a spell over the reader; a music box whose song links love affairs across the generations. One thing is for certain: after visiting Miss Moonshine’s quirky shop, life is never the same again…

Nine romantic novelists from Yorkshire and Lancashire, including best-selling and award-winning authors, have joined together to create this collection of uplifting stories guaranteed to warm your heart. This intriguing mix of historical and contemporary romances will make you laugh, cry, and believe in the happy-ever-after

Captain Amberton’s Inherited Bride (Whitby Weddings #2) by Jenni Fletcher

“Marry me…

and you’ll have your freedom.”

Her father’s will dictates Violet Harper must wed or be disinherited—yet she’d rather face the wilderness of the wintry Yorkshire moors than be bound to cynical, damaged soldier Captain Lance Amberton. Lance promises a marriage of convenience that will grant Violet her independence. In exchange, she must put her faith in Lance and see beyond his gruff exterior to the man beneath…

One Week To Wed (The Sommersby Brides #1) by Laurie Benson

One stolen night…

…leads to unexpected wedding vows!

Widowed Lady Charlotte Gregory believes she’ll never marry again after losing her husband. Until meeting dashing Lord Andrew Pearce brings her respectable, lonely world back to vibrant life! Left alone one night, they give in to their desires only to find their secret passion leads to shock, scandal…and a sudden marriage of convenience

Outlaw To Protect Her (Outlaws Of The Wild West #3 ) by Harper St George

Running from her past…

Into the arms of an outlaw!

In this Outlaws of the Wild West story, gunslinger Zane Pierce is the only man who can shield brothel madam Glory Winters against a dangerous threat. But safety at the smoldering Zane’s side comes at a price, and soon it’s not just the secrets of her past that have Glory on edge…it’s the realization that she might be losing her heart to an outlaw!

Mysterious Lord Millcroft (The Kings Elite #1) by Virginia Heath

Life as a duchess…

Or something much more dangerous?

Part of The King’s Elite: constantly told her beauty and charm are all she has to offer, Lady Clarissa is intent on marrying a duke. And intriguing spy Sebastian Leatham will help her! Only, first she’ll assist him with his new assignment—playing the part of confident aristocrat Lord Millcroft. Sebastian awakens a burning desire within Clarissa that leaves her questioning whether becoming a duchess is what she truly longs for…

How To Bake A New Beginning by Lucy Knott

Three sisters. One trip to Italy. The chance to change their lives.

Amanda has always taken the role of big sister seriously. She has her life in order; a fantastic job in a great restaurant, a wonderful house and a best friend who’s a Rockstar. But, Amanda’s beginning to realise that her life is missing one monumental piece…

Sabrina is living the high life in LA. Her Instagram is full of lavish parties, her tweets are brimming with celebrity names, but in reality she’s stuck behind a desk working for a boss who is determined to make her suffer. Is it time for her to stand up and take charge of her life?

Louisa has always been drowned out by her sister’s successes. As the university drop-out she’s always felt third best. But a chance encounter in a little Italian village may be about to change that…

When their beloved grandfather passes away these sisters are forced to take another look at their lives. These three sisters are about to embark on a journey of self-discovery that could just lead them down a road of romance (with a little help from the kitchen)!

Perfect for fans of Jenny Oliver, Carole Mathews and Lucy Diamond.

And Finally, Chicks Rogues and Scandals Best Book of 2018 is…

Beguiled By The Forbidden Knight by Elisabeth Hobbes

He’s her enemy…

…and she must not fall for him!

When her mistress is claimed as an enemy knight’s betrothed, handmaiden Aelfhild knows it would be too dangerous for her lady; she must go in her place. But there’s more to the scarred knight than she first thought—she isn’t expecting to fall for him! As the line between friend and enemy blurs, Aelfhild realizes she might be protecting her mistress, but not her heart…

***

So there you have them, this year was so hard to choose my Best Books but this twenty are incredible books which I cannot recommend highly enough. Each one is full of fun, emotion and some of the best character’s I have come across, so do go and try these books and the authors. They are incredible gifted people who I cannot wait to read more of.

Until I see you all again in 2019, have a very happy New Year!

Frankie xx

St. Andrews Day; Celebrating All Things Scottish. #StAndrewsDay #Scotland

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Happy St Andrews Day to all my lovely Scottish friends and followers, I hope that you have a wonderful day. I thought that I would share a few of my favourite Scottish thing’s;  everything from books, TV/film and food, plus everything in between – Yes, there will be a few ‘Hotties’ in there somewhere 😉 So in no particular order, let the Scottish love fest begin.

So what are some of my favourite Scottish things? the first thing’s that come to mind are;

  • The scenery; even though I am immensely proud and love my own Yorkshire countryside, but there is something very special about the Scottish highlands. It’s brutally beautiful, magical, raw and untouched. there is nowhere in the world that can compete.
  • The Accent; I am in love with the broad Scottish brogue. It’s sexy, romantic and very comforting.
  • Tartan; A bit of a miscellaneous item, but I do love Tartan in what every colour or form, it looks smart when wearing it, it’s tidy beautiful and when incorporated in gifts can make the recipients day. Is there anything better then opening a tartan wrapped Christmas gift?
  • Shortbread; Yup, it’s one that most people associate with Scotland, but really is there anything better then buttery, creamy proper Scottish Shortbread?
  • Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo; In my opinion by far one of the most beautiful events that anyone can witness, I have yet to see it in person, but I will one day.
  • Castles; No reason for these to be on my list, other then; who doesn’t love an old Scottish Castle?

Obviously I have to add my favourite Scottish Hottie’s to my Love of Scotland post, here’s just a few, to wet your appetite 😉 Just in case you don’t know who they are from left to right; Sam Heughan, Richard Rankin, Gerard Butler, David Tennent, Ewan McGregor & Richard Madden.

Now on to the books, how could I have a Love of Scotland list without featuring some of my favourite books set in Scotland.

A Secret Scottish Christmas by Regan Walker

Spies and Scots and Shipmasters, oh my!

Scotland 1819 – Twin brothers Nash and Robbie of Powell and Sons Shipping, London, sail with their fellow Agents of the Crown to Scotland for a secret celebration of Christmastide, a holiday long considered pagan by the Scottish Kirk. But more than Christmas is being kept secret. The two brothers have accepted an assignment from the Home Secretary Lord Sidmouth to ferret out a fugitive fomenting rebellion among the Scots.

Aileen Stephen, the only daughter of an Aberdeen shipbuilder, had to be clever, devious and determined to gain her place in the family business. She succeeded to become a designer of highly coveted ships. One night, a man’s handsome face appears to her in a dream. When two men having that same face arrive on a ship full of Londoners, Ailie wonders what her second sight is telling her. Is the face she saw a portender of the future, a harbinger of danger, or both? And which of the two Englishmen is the one in her dream?

Older than Nash by a mere five minutes, Robbie has always been protective of his twin. When he realizes Nash is attracted to the sister of their Scottish host, he thinks to help matters along. But Nash wants no help from his brother, not where Ailie Stephen is concerned because Robbie is attracted to the girl himself!

Two brothers vie for the affection of the Scottish lass but only one stirs her passion. Which one will it be? And what will she do when she learns both are spies?

Devil In Scotland by Suzanne Enoch

The dawning of desire…

1806, Scotland: Wild, reckless Callum MacCreath is in no hurry to become someone’s husband. But when his responsible, steady older brother Ian announces his engagement to their childhood friend Rebecca, Callum makes a startling discovery: he wants the lovely young lass for himself. But it’s too late, and when Ian banishes him for his duplicity, he’s only too happy to leave Scotland forever…

…is delicious and dangerous.

1816: Marrying Ian was the practical, logical thing for Becca to do. But once Callum sailed away to America, she missed his rakish charm and lust for life. Now, ten years later, Becca is a widow when a much-changed Callum returns to his Scottish homeland. Will he remember their spirited, fiery connection, or does he blame her for his brother’s unexpected death? This time neither of them can deny their scorching attraction, but will their hearts be burned in the blazing heat of scandal?

The Seduction Of Elliot McBride by Jennifer Ashley

PROPERLY IMPROPER…AND DARING TO LOVE…

Juliana St. John was raised to be very proper. After a long engagement, her wedding day dawns—only for Juliana to find herself jilted at the altar.

Fleeing the mocking crowd, she stumbles upon Elliot McBride, the tall, passionate Scot who was her first love. His teasing manner gives her an idea, and she asks Elliot to save her from an uncertain future—by marrying her…

After escaping brutal imprisonment, Elliot has returned to Scotland a vastly wealthy yet tormented man. Now Juliana has her hands full restoring his half-ruined manor in the Scottish Highlands and trying to repair the broken heart of the man some call irredeemably mad. Though beautiful and spirited, Juliana wonders if that will be enough to win a second chance at love.

Tempting The Laird by Julia London

Mystery and desire cloak the Scottish Highlands

Unruly. Unmarried. Unapologetic. Catriona Mackenzie’s reputation precedes her everywhere she goes. Her beloved late aunt Zelda taught Cat to live out loud and speak her mind, and that’s exactly what she does when Zelda’s legacy—a refuge for women in need—comes under fire. When her quest puts her in the path of the disturbingly mysterious Hamlin Graham, Duke of Montrose, Cat is soon caught up in the provocative rumors surrounding the dark duke. Never one to retreat, Cat boldly goes where no one else has dared for answers.

Shrouded in secrets, a hostage of lies, Hamlin must endure the fear and suspicion of those who believe he is a murderer. The sudden disappearance of his wife and the truth he keeps silent are a risk to his chances at earning a coveted parliamentary seat. But he’s kept his affairs tightly held until a woman with sparkling eyes and brazen determination appears unexpectedly in his life. Deadly allegations might be his downfall, but his unleashed passion could be the duke’s ultimate undoing.

Anyone who knows me, will know about my huge sweet tooth, which is where Scottish confectionary comes into it’s own. (And I don’t mean deep fried Mars Bars) I have been in love with Lees confectionary for years, ever since being introduced to them from an old friend and they really do some of the best super sweet Tablet bars, so obviously I needed to add these three beauties to my Love of Scotland list.

I am, like many, many other women, a huge Outlander fan. What’s not to like? but here is a few other hugely loved TV shows and Movies that are set in beautiful Scotland, there are many, many more but I can’t

   

I hope you have enjoyed my Love of Scotland list, there is so much more I could have added, but there just isn’t the time or post space. I would love to hear what you love about Scotland; is there a Movie/TV show you love? Or an Actor/Actress, a Scottish myth or legend? I would love to hear.

Getting Started With Reviewing!

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I was talking to some friends on Facebook, many of them are reviewers and one or two are just coming into the reviewing world and hearing how daunting it is to put their views on books out there for others to read and pick apart. I have to agree it can be hugely nerve-wracking especially if like myself you jump into the whole blogging thing head first. Which got me thinking that there really isn’t that much information out there for new reviewers, I basically learnt everything I know on my own, it was trial and error and still is! Literally I just jump in and try it, but for those that aren’t as – shall I say; bonkers? – as me, I thought I would share my experience as a reviewer, my thoughts and some tips that I have picked up along the way.

I didn’t find writing and posting the reviews the daunting part of the reviewing process it was sharing them on social media, and still is. I was very reluctant to set up accounts on Twitter and Facebook, in fact it took nearly a year for me to create my Facebook page. I don’t know why, I suspect that it was the thought of putting myself out there and actually socializing with the incredible authors and bloggers. Even now, nearly three years in, I still find sharing my reviews on Facebook quite an intimidating process, there is no reasoning for it. Maybe it’s because I know that once it’s on these huge social sites that the very authors who I have written the reviews for are actually going to see it, yes that is a nail-biting moment and a very liberating one too, as all that hard work you have put into that review is now out there.

What I have learnt though is that as long as you are honest in the reviews and don’t rip the books apart just because you have the power to do so, then authors are really kind about what you have written and hugely supportive. You will soon find that as an honest and respectful reviewer you will start to have authors keep coming back asking you to review their work. I still feel a flush of pride and I feel very humbled that these incredible people reach out to me every time they have a book to be released and now 99% of them have become good friends – but that doesn’t mean that I tailor my reviews to say what they want it to say. No, I am honest to a fault and if there is something I didn’t like, then I will say so.

The authors I have found are hugely supportive of the blogs/reviewers they always go above and beyond to support you, and as if there is something you wish to discuss about the book you are reading or have read I know that they love to chat about it. For example, if you have questions about certain aspects of the book, or something really resonates with you I know they love to hear that feedback. I can definitely recommend chatting with them and asking questions about the book!

My Tips

  • You don’t need a blog to review! – If you’re just starting out don’t feel that you follow everyone and start blogging. A lot of people are just not comfortable with the whole setting up a website and blogging and not having one does not mean that you aren’t a valued member of the reviewing community, because you are! Reviews come in all shapes and sizes. You can review on Goodreads or Amazon only if you wish, post on Facebook or even send an email/letter to the author with what you think of the book. Whatever you’re comfortable with!

 

  • Don’t copy what other reviewers are saying! – That really is the most important tip I can share. YOU have read the book, these are YOUR opinions and thoughts, just because you agree with what friends are saying doesn’t mean you should copy it. Write what YOU think, even if it’s just “This book was brilliant” they are your thoughts and it’s those that are important.

 

  • Don’t rip the books and authors apart! – This is so important! Authors go through a lot to get their work from the imagination to the actual book in your hand and they don’t deserve to be hurt and treated with contempt. Authors are people with feelings and in any other work place nastiness wouldn’t be accepted, so be respectful even if you didn’t enjoy the book, be honest yes, but don’t be hurtful.

 

  • Join groups and follow other reviewers! – This has been by far the best part of reviewing for me, I have met some incredible reviewers, reviewers who have become very good friends. Start off by following other blogs, 99% of all blogs you can follow them by your email they are treasure trove and not to be missed. If you’re on Goodreads start following and friending authors and reviewers, you can chat and comment on their reviews. If you’re on Facebook I can highly recommend joining a group, depending on what genre you read there will be a group for you, a lot of authors have their own groups and street teams so that is worth looking into. I highly recommend The Unlaced Book Club!

 

  • Have fun! – Reviewing is fun, it’s a way to express yourself. Reviewing is not supposed to stressful it’s a wonderful experience, so don’t stress about how long or short a review should be, as I said above it’s what YOU think that matters. Don’t feel pressured to accept a review request just because an author is offering you a free book, if you don’t think you can review it, if it’s not your style or for whatever reason you just don’t want to read that book, then say so.

What every reason you choose to start reviewing, remember that above all you are doing this FOR YOU! I find reviewing hugely liberating, in a world where real life is structured and at times trying and complex, there is hardships and at times struggles. But being able to sit down and share my thoughts to the world has at times really kept me grounded and it keeps me focused on what I need to do in my real life.

Reviewing is fun, it gives me the chance to be creative with words and above all I get to read some incredible books, meet some equally incredible people. It is something that I cannot recommend enough, it is a pure joy and something that I can see myself doing for years to come.

I hope my few tips have been useful in some way, have fun and good luck!

New Edition to The Blog – Nothing But Romance Series

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I have decided that I am going to start a new series of guest post’s, it’s called “Nothing but Romance” and it is going to be exactly that, an whole range of posts about Romance. Romance itself is such a diverse topic it can cover so many different angles, and you can enjoy romance in so many different forms everything from reading, listening to music and watching films and TV shows. Then there is how romance makes us feel and how romance is so important to have just a sprinkle of romance in our lives. We really don’t celebrate and talk about romance enough, and how it can be so beneficial for us so this is what my Nothing but Romance series is about.

So ‘Nothing but Romance’ is open for all that love Romance and you are a Reader/Reviewer or Author then this is open for you. All posts will be added to the Nothing but Romance page, for everyone to read and enjoy and maybe be inspired by.

The Guidelines – or lack of them!

  • You must be a Reader/Reviewer or Writer (or apart of that community, in someway) with an interest in Romance.
  • The post must be about Romance – here are just a few examples; Why you read/write romance, Why romance is important for us, What we can learn from romance, What we do to keep romance alive….You get the idea, but it’s up to you.
  • Along side your post, I will add a little spotlight on you so this will be a bit of a bio about who you are, links to where people can follow your review/learn about your work and profile picture – just so people can see who you are. (If you could provide these, that would be great)
  • The post will be yours to write about what ever you like about romance – yes, I am giving you free reign – as long as it’s not disrespectful, derogatory or abusive and if I feel it is, your post WILL NOT BE POSTED!!
  • I will read everything before posting, so nothing will get past me!

If you are an author and you are interested in participating in this new series, you are all welcome. You don’t have to have already been featured on Chicks, Rogues and Scandals to participate, as this new venture isn’t associated with my reviewing.

If you are interested in me reviewing your work then please read my Reviewing Policy first.

So if you think that this is something that You would be interested in participating in then you can contact me either direct on Facebook and Twitter or by using the form below.

I am really excited about how this new project is going to go and what I am going to learn from it, my aim is to have a post out a month dependant on how many requests I get.

Chicks, Rogues and Scandals Best Books of The Year, 2017

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It’s that time of year again where I look back through the year and pick out my favourite books that I have featured on Chicks, Rogues and Scandals, it has been especially hard this time to pick my favourite’s as this year has been full of the most amazing books you can imagine. I have found new author’s that are now go to authors for their genre, new style books and series’ it has been an amazing year of reading. I have ditched my usual formula of best Hero/Heroine/Plot but I have still got a book of the Year – right at the bottom of the post. There are others books that I have loved this year, but if I kept adding books it would end up being my top 50 – I have already added more then I intended, as I only intended on doing my top ten, but there were some books that I couldn’t possibly leave off.  So, in no particular order here are my favourite Books of 2017 followed by my Book of the Year!

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14 Best Books of the Year; 2017

Echo in the Wind by Regan Walker

Echo in the Wind is a beautifully written story, its thrilling and exciting but yet the love story is so tender. Jeán Donèt really steals every scene he is featured in. He is a hero who can make any woman swoon with just a smouldering look, he is an enigmatic and suave individual who has a breath-taking Gaelic confidence and charisma. A heroine, who is not a wilting wallflower she is a vibrant and strong-willed, independent woman who has her own beliefs and views on the world and she isn’t afraid of voicing them. Together these two are a force to be reckoned with, but they compliment each other too. There isn’t anything about this that I don’t like!

The Viking Warriors Bride by Harper St George

This is so sexually charged, the chemistry between Vidar and Gwendolyn is red hot, any hotter and your eyes would smoke with just reading it, they are made of the same stuff. I love when they start getting to know each other, there is a real spark between them and the respect he shows her is sweet and uplifting. As always the writing is strong and articulated as we have come to expect from St. George. When I read an historical I like the historic detailing within the story and St George doesn’t disappoint, she has got it all spot on, everything is crystalized and explained to a high degree from the smells of our characters to the actual Viking marriage ceremony – which I found absolutely enchanting, the trading of the swords is a beautiful ritual.

Angel Comes to the Devils Keep by Regina Jeffers

This is highly enjoyable read, the romance between Angelica and Hunt simmers and sizzles nicely, Ms Jeffers has done a lovely job at building up their relationship from when Hunt gets injured right to the end, you never know in which direction their story is going to take as there is so much that stands in their way. Yet, that connection that they share, that Hunt has especially, is tender and loving and at times you are just as agonised as he is. I really like how Jeffers has mixes a romance novel with a murder, kidnapping an espionage thriller, I found it exciting, romantic and one that I highly recommend.

The Unexpected Countess by Laurie Benson

This is great read, there is the perfect amount of romance and adventure with a huge, fabulous twist that is so unexpected. The Unexpected Countess is a huge success, a thrilling jaunt with an original plot. It is just so good! Benson has really out done herself with Hart and Sarah she has done such a great job with them, especially Hart who is a seriously great man to get to know I like Benson’s work her fun and charming personality just oozes off the page. But what I particularly like about her writing is that you get a real feeling of a writer who loves what she does, she puts her heart and soul into her work, her warmth is so palpable, her work is comforting as well as thrilling which I find so rare.

The Lost Letter by Mimi Matthews

Now I loved this book, I do love my heroes to be trouble and vulnerable and wanting a strong women to help them back to happiness and this is just that, this is truly breath-taking and I loved every single moment of it, the plot is gorgeously written. The simplicity of the story is what gives it real back bone, there isn’t twists turns at every corner so you lose track of the initial story. The Lost Letter is a beautiful, romantic and emotionally shattering, as the writing is so well-defined that you feel every emotion and I just love it to bits. For me this is one of those books that you keep on the bookshelf for ever, you will read and re-read it and you will never tire of Sylvia and Sebastian’s love story.

Besieged and Betrothed by Jenni Fletcher

What a terrific read, I will apologise for the amount of gushing I will most likely be doing about this book, but I have so much to say about it. Jenni Fletcher has real out done herself with this, it is such a compelling and highly charged romance that grips you from that very first page where our bulking, tank of a hero spots the fiery haired, tomboy on the battlements. I was literally hooked, and I was eager to finish and yet when I did turn the last page it was a sobering moment as that was it, done. I could’ve read this again as soon as I had finished. It’s fun, witty and at times heart-breaking, and fabulously engrossing. I just love it.

The Lions Embrace by Marie Laval

The Lions Embrace follows on from Angel Heart in the last book we met Marie-Ange and Hugo Saintclair who are the parents of our hero in this one; Lucas Saintclair and oh, my word what a man! He is simply delectable! Lava’s talent at entwining history of area and the cultures and languages, with a thrilling game of cat and mouse plus the tantalizing love story is faultless. She sprinkles The Lions Embrace with her customary Gaelic charm and she enhances your reading with detailing the sights, aromas and culture of each area we visit during the book and it enhances the reading experience. You become transported to this hot, dusty and dangerous place and it is utterly exhilarating.

 The Knights Scarred Maiden by Nicole Locke

I love this, this is absolutely superb! It sticks with you and gets under your skin, but in a very good way you become absorbed in their dark and dangerous world. I have read Historical Romances​ that has stuck with me long after finishing the book, but this is right up there with some of the best books I have read. It’s beautiful, heart wrenching and you get tingles while reading it. I do genuinely love this book, the plot is fast, complex and thrilling. Rhain and Helissent take you on this sensual, nerve wrecking journey as they find their feet and try to survive and move on with their lives.

The Last Gamble by Anabelle Bryant

This is the third instalment of “The Bastards of London Series” and I do think this is the best one yet. I have been really looking forward to reading this one, after meeting the dark and shadowy Luke Reece in the previous book’s he intrigued me. I wanted to know his story, his past and what in the hell his happening with his lost son and Bryant doesn’t disappoint. This series caught my attention from day one and it’s gone from strength to strength, Bryant has yet again created an entertaining, thrilling and sensuously attractive story. The thing that does set this one apart from the others has to be Luke, we have had snippets of this shadowy man’s turmoil in the previous two books “The Den of Iniquity” and “Into The Hall of Vice” and to finally get to see his story unfold and see his Happy Ever After is very satisfying

No Rest for the Wicked by Cora Lee

No Rest For The Wicked is apart of the “Heart of a Hero” series and it is a series I am looking forward to reading more of. The chemistry between out estranged couple is heated, the tension just ripples as well as the distrust for each other. This is fast, fun and exciting a fabulous read. I do really like this, it is smart, sexy and so well written but the more than that it makes you think. It is really lovely watching as these two get to know each other all over again and as their defences lower and they get closer and closer. They are both very reluctant to reveal their hearts, so it’s quite sweet when they finally do.

lord Hunter’s Cinderella Heiress by Lara Temple

This is book one in this new series; The Wild Lords and Innocent Ladies Series by the highly talented Lara Temple, and one that I have been looking forward to reading. But nothing prepared me for the huge emotion that surges through you as you read it. I know that Temple has said that this series is her baby, this is a personal story for her and you can really understand as you are reading it just how much of herself she has put into this. I have always liked her work but this really resonates with me, this touched a cord with me more than any other book I have read before, you can feel Temple’s heart and soul running through this, it is very emotional and it packs a real punch and it stays with you long after the last page.

The Crown Spire by Catherine Curzon & Willow Winsham

On first meeting their highway men our ladies fall for their irresistable and roguish charm in a heartbeat, not unsurprising really! They are saved and taken to an inn where they meet the cheeky, charming Innkeeper Ed Hogan and the shy, gentlemanly Doctor James Dillingham. There is something irresistable and provoking about these two handsome Scotsmen, not to mention something very familiar, could it be that Alice and Beth may have met these two rogues before? I love this, the chemistry between both our couples is rich and sensual and very sexy, like all Historical Romance fan’s I do particularly like a good rogue and The Crown spire doesn’t disappoint, in fact we are spoilt as there are two highway men to get to know and adore. It’s going into the super market and getting a two for one deal. Curzon and Winsham have created two strong and charming heroes, that you are bound to fall for.

A Warriner to Rescue Her by Virginia Heath

Move over Heathcliffe there is a new gruff, monosyllabic, tormented hero in town in the form of Captain Jamie Warriner. Oh my word! I was warned I would love him and he has more than lived up to the hype, he really is something special. He is a proud man who after serving his country with courage facing down more horrors than any man should face he is back and he is in pain, not just physically but he is trying adjust to civilian life but like a lot of soldiers today poor Jamie is struggling. I was drawn to him the moment I met him in the previous book “A Warriner to Protect her” there is just something about this gruff but hugely sensitive man, that draws you in. Yes, he may be as stubborn as an OX – as well as built like one – but he has a good and kind heart, who needs a little love.
Proof of Virtue by Leila Snow

Ms Snow is was a new to me author and I can say this is simply stunning, there is pure and honest anguish which oozes of the page, It’s raw and immensely real to the era and really shows what life in the Victorian era was like for regular, working-class people. It’s so realistic, it’s like you are in the work house and mill alongside Emma, and you are experiencing her turmoil and suffering. It is gloriously detailed and graphic, some may think that for a historical romance it is too graphic of their suffering, but for me that is what makes an historical. This is how they should be, it has real meat on the bone. I can absolutely say for certain that Ms Snow is going to go very far in this genre, her way with language and fact is mesmerizing. If you’re like me and you like grittier, brutally honest and very real historical where the romance is hard fought for genuinely deserved, than this is the book for you.

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So Chicks, Rogues and Scandals all time Book of the Year, 2017 is…

The Captains Disgraced Lady by Catherine Tinley

Tinley has captured the mixed emotions of Waterloo war is mesmerizing. You feel the sadness and despondency of the men and the civilians. Those chapters that cover the battle are superb, the detailing of what was going on and how everyone was coping and the actual battle scenes where Harry is in hand to hand combat is brutal and engrossing. This is atmospheric and so beautifully written and from reading this, I do think Tinley has a gift for capturing those little nuances in human thought and feeling and placing on the page. I had been looking forward to this story and it was so much more than I expected, you’ve probably guessed by my gushing how much I love this book and that I cannot recommend this enough, this is a must read! If you like your charming yet fragile heroes, feisty independent heroines all brought together with a stonking good plot and tied off with some beautiful romantic scenes and moments then this is the book for you.

So there you have my favourite books of 2017, have you read any of them and if so what you think? I’d love to know what your favourite’s have been from the past year.