Anabelle Bryant

London’s Wicked Affair (Midnight Secrets #1) by Anabelle Bryant, Release Day Review

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In Anabelle Bryant’s wickedly romantic new series, secrets and seduction go hand in hand . . .

Lunden Beckford, Duke of Scarsdale, has chosen to exile himself far from London, with its painful memories and cruel gossip. Forced back to town on business, he’s eager to make his stay as brief as possible. But first, he must honor his promise to find a suitable husband for his friend’s little sister. On one hand, Amelia Strathmore has grown into a stunning, statuesque beauty. On the other, the willful chit is more likely to scandalize a drawing room with her outspoken opinions than blush prettily. At least she agrees to accept his help—if he fulfills
certain conditions . . .

Though duty-bound to marry, Amelia longs to secretly enjoy some of life’s freedoms first. In this, as in many things, Lunden proves an excellent guide. In fact, Amelia’s girlhood admiration for her brother’s friend is fast becoming something far less innocent. Lunden believes he’s known too much darkness to offer any woman happiness. Yet Amelia is starting to see how much pleasure can lie within the right partnership—especially if one is willing to be a little wicked . .

My View

Firstly, I want to say a huge congratulations to Anabelle Bryant for her first in-print book!! So hugely deserved and what a wonderful start to this new series, I have been looking forward to reading this for ages, and I can honestly say that this does not disappoint. Ms Bryant’s Midnight Secret’s series has started with a blast and going by this first instalment, I can say that we are in for something very special. As always with this fine ladies writing, the story is spell-binging with drama and flawlessly written with real wit an skill.

After years away from London the notorious and equally mysterious Lundon is back, having been forced from his voluntary exile with the death of his brother and rightful Duke, Lundon has to face the one thing that he has been dreading and hiding from, actual public and people. He has been traumatised by the cruel and backstabbing nature of society, which was one of the reason’s he chose to stay away in the first place. But, now he has not choice! But before he can do what he intends to do and then return to his reclusive life he must do one thing; he has been giving the task by his best friend; Matthew to help find Matthew’s rebellious and spirited sister Amelia a husband. Lundon is very reluctant, but he agree’s but he soon finds that the task given to him is far more challenging then he thought, especially once he reacquaints himself with the tantalizing beauty.

Lundon is a wonderfully sensual and complex man, there is so much about this mysterious man he has deep pain and issues that he hides well behind his glacial mask, but I just wanted him to find his happiness that he so deserves. He is so very hard on himself over thing’s that were out of his control, he has been through the mill and doesn’t deserve all the anguish he puts himself through. He is such great hero, he doesn’t think of himself as anything worth loving but I think he is, Lundon is kind, generous, protective and honourable. If you are lucky enough to be under this man intelligent and soothing gaze, you are a very lucky lady.

Amelia has a romantic heart and soul, she refuses to marry any man just because society and her brother dictate it. She believes in love, she wants that in her life and she will not be coerced into something she doesn’t want. At first I thought that Amelia was a little brash and spoilt little thing, she as been indulged to the point she thinks a little too much of herself, But, I love tat my initial thought of her was challenged and soon changed as I soon saw her for the women that she really is; a soulful and a tenacious young woman just wanting love. She is also very high-spirited and free- thinking, and she knows exactly what she wants, and she isn’t afraid to voice those wishes.

This is a delightful, energising read that will keep the reader on their toes. I love the intricate storyline and the relationship between Amelia and Lundon is tense and sensual, there is a spark that jumps at you off the page and keeps you engaged as you wonder what is going to happen between these two. Ms Bryant has created a fun, wonderfully atmospheric and engaging love story that will dazzle and enthral the reader with every page.

Romantic, thrilling and beautifully written, very highly recommended!

This was an ARC copy via the author and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

London’s Wicked Affair is out today and can be purchased from Amazon.

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A Chat With…Author Anabelle Bryant.

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I have the very great pleasure of welcoming, Historical Romance author; Anabelle Bryant author of The Bastards of London Series, to Chick’s, Rogues and Scandals. So sit down and lets get to know Anabelle…

Anabelle Bryant is the bestselling author of ten historical romances for Harlequin/HarperCollins. Her love of writing keeps her busy in front of her laptop when not in front of a classroom. The Last Gamble is book three in her newest series, Bastards of London, an edgier look at the Regency. Anabelle enjoys hearing from readers and talking all things bookish. Visit AnabelleBryant.com and see what she’s up to on Facebook and Twitter.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Youtube

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

Anabelle Creative – loyal – friendly – imaginative – dedicated.

Frankie If you could live in any era and place, When and where would it be? And Why?

Anabelle Definitely Regency England – around the year 1817 – when the aristocracy was at its best. I’ve been enchanted by this period of history for decades and to now be able to write about it is wonderful.

Frankie How fabulous, and you would look great in those beautiful ball gowns. Who was your childhood hero?

Anabelle As expected as it may sound, my dad was my childhood hero. I was definitely a “daddy’s girl” and enjoyed his sense of humor and bedtime stories thoroughly. He worked a nightshift and I remember as a child being in my bed and listening to his car leave for work. I missed him even though I would be asleep through the night.

Frankie Awww, That is so lovely, Thank you for sharing that memory with us. What is your favourite time of the year?

Anabelle I enjoy all seasons and definitely love the sun, but as far as nature goes, nothing can beat the leaves changing in autumn. Here in New Jersey there is a nearby street where the trees have grown up and over to create a leafy tunnel. Driving along the lake and through that tree tunnel during autumn is an awe-inspiring experience.

Frankie Out of all your work, who is your favourite character and why?

Anabelle Now that is a difficult question. I love my heroes…all for different reasons. If I must choose, I’m going to pick Jasper of Undone By Your Kiss. In my opinion, he is the perfect combination of handsome, strong, vulnerable, sexy and funny. I put a lot of my own sense of humour into his character.

Frankie Oooh, great choice! He sounds fab, Where doe’s your inspiration for your books come from?

Anabelle I have more imagination that the average person. My mind is always creating dialogue or scenes and then I build stories around these ideas. I have notebooks in every room of my house and in my purse and in my car – because I’m often scribbling down a new idea. Inspiration isn’t a problem. Lol!

Frankie How fabulous! What three tip’s would you pass on to an aspiring author?

Anabelle 1. Realize it’s a long road and you need to dedicate yourself to the journey.
2. Decide what it is that you truly want from the experience. Everyone’s goal is different.
3. Don’t judge yourself too harshly. Learn. Grow. Accept advice. Keep an open mind most of all.

Frankie How amazing, those are brilliant tips, thank you! If you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite? (They can be real/fictional, from any era)

Anabelle Shakespeare – Jane Austen – Lewis Carroll
All three authors have written my favourite works of literature and are unrivalled for their talent. Imagine the tips I could pick up from that dinner party!!

Frankie Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today, I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun . . . What is your all-time favourite naughty but nice food?

Anabelle French Fries. I’ve never met a fry I didn’t like. 😉

Ha,ha…Thank you Anabelle, its been a pleasure having you visit today.

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Anabelle’s new book; London’s Wicked Affair is to be released in August.

In Anabelle Bryant’s wickedly romantic new series, secrets and seduction go hand in hand . . .
 
Lunden Beckford, Duke of Scarsdale, has chosen to exile himself far from London, with its painful memories and cruel gossip. Forced back to town on business, he’s eager to make his stay as brief as possible. But first, he must honor his promise to find a suitable husband for his friend’s little sister. On one hand, Amelia Strathmore has grown into a stunning, statuesque beauty. On the other, the willful chit is more likely to scandalize a drawing room with her outspoken opinions than blush prettily. At least she agrees to accept his help—if he fulfills
certain conditions . . .

Though duty-bound to marry, Amelia longs to secretly enjoy some of life’s freedoms first. In this, as in many things, Lunden proves an excellent guide. In fact, Amelia’s girlhood admiration for her brother’s friend is fast becoming something far less innocent. Lunden believes he’s known too much darkness to offer any woman happiness. Yet Amelia is starting to see how much pleasure can lie within the right partnership—especially if one is willing to be a little wicked . . .

You can pre-order London’s Wicked Affair at Amazon.

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.

In The Spotlight – Bastards of London Series by Anabelle Bryant

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I have a very special post, I have been a huge fan of Anabelle Bryant’s “Bastards of London” Series since beginning and today I wanted to share this wonderful Series with you all. This is such a fantastic series, the stories are different and fresh and the characters are like nothing else you will read, heroes that you will fall head over heels in love with, while at the same time you want wrap your arms around them and hug them. Heroines that are strong, independent and know exactly who they are and what they want and more importantly they are the only women who can tame these rogues.

So what is the “Bastards of London”? Simple it is three sinfully handsome, roguish men; Max, Cole and Luke who have all been born on the wrong side of the blanket and through sheer determination, intelligence and a uncanny skill to manipulate a gaming hell to their advantage these three best friends created the most exclusive of all of London’s gaming hells “The Underworld”. Here they are king’s, they answer to no one but their own volatile thoughts, here they are the well respected men that they should be in “Proper Society” but due to their birth they never get treated in any other way but with scorn and greed.

Welcome to The Underworld

“This new series takes the reader to the darker, more dangerous side of London. Into the streets of St. Giles, Seven Dials and Charing Cross, where three bastards form an alliance and create the most exclusive gaming hell, “The Underworld”. Though these gentlemen are surrounded by earls, viscounts and the like who squander their plentiful coin, Max, Cole and Luke are bastards, born on the wrong side of the blanket and each with a heavy secret…so the last thing they need in their lives is emotion or the threat of falling in love”

Book 1; THE DEN OF INIQUITY
Meet Max and Vivienne

Welcome to the most notorious address in London…
Beneath the airs and graces of the Ton lies The Underworld – London’s most scandalous gambling hall.

The only thing darker and more debauched that the hall itself? The proprietor, Max Sinclair. As mysterious as the corners of the city he stalks, Max has vowed to take revenge against the men who murdered his mother. And The Underworld attracts London’s darkest characters – the perfect partners in crime.

But when Lady Vivienne Beaumont enters The Underworld, Max’s life becomes more dangerous than he ever thought possible.Enter a world of lust, lawlessness and obsession with The Den of Iniquity, the first in Anabelle Bryant’s Bastards of London series.

Den of Iniquity is a smart, sexy and engaging Historical Romance, that is entwined with a compelling sub plot of vengeance and loss, the story just rolls along flawlessly there is no let up. The characters are fabulously developed, they jump off the page and demand attention, that keep you hooked right up to the very last page.

Its fun and witty and it just sizzles! Max and Vivienne are two of the most compelling characters you will find. Both have their own hidden past, both in need of love and both so sexually charged that when they are together the atmosphere changes to a sensual, smoulder and you know that you are going to have a lot of fun as they to and fro. She invokes a gentleness in him whereas he brings out the smoking hot vixen that is buried deep down.

Bryant has got The Underworld’s owners spot on, they are the perfect amount of viciousness, deadly charm and sensitivity. They really are lovable rogues they may want to come across as hard men but all three are so cute and lovable.

This is a marvellous start to a new series, and one that I am really looking forward to reading. It is flawless and I can’t wait to start book two; Into The Hall of Vise, featuring lovely Cole.

A thrilling and intriguing romance and one I highly recommend. ~ Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s.

Book 2; Into the Hall of Vice
Meet Cole and Gemma

As joint owner of London’s most notorious gambling hall, The Underworld, Cole Hewitt spends his days surrounded by wealth – and looks every inch the debonair. But, unknown to most, he was born a bastard – and knows better than anyone the fine line between the elite and the slums.

When he falls for the beautiful Lady Gemma Amberson, sister to the Duke of Kent, Cole knows that his past means he will never be considered worthy of her. But Cole has no intention of being cast aside again.

However Cole’s attraction to Gemma hasn’t gone unnoticed – and there are those who wish to thwart his plans, for the darkest of reasons. Cole may be used to getting his own way. But the question is: how far will he go to get it?

I think Bryant has done a marvellous job with these two, matching the suave, poetry reading charmer who was born on the wrong side of the sheets with the aristocratic daughter of a mighty Duke is a stroke of genius. It’s very Romeo and Juliet!

Now, I adored Max Sinclair from the first book, but I have to say Cole has inched his way past. He is a sensitive, tender and highly protective man, who treats everyone equally from the lowest street urchin right up to Rosalinde, if they are good people then they are blessed with Cole Hewitt’s love but just don’t get on the wrong side of him.

Just as with the first book, Into The Hall of Vise is an edge of your seat thrilling romp. It is so sexy, the chemistry between Cole and Gemma just sizzles right off the page, they are a fascinating couple and I love them to bits, the way their lives and personal stories entwine together to create a fabulously charming, intricate and fast paced story is a triumph.

I am really getting into The Bastards of London and yet again I am looking forward to reading the next instalment.

A hugely enjoyable, sophisticated Historical Romance and I cannot recommend it enough. ~ Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s

Book 3; The Last Gamble
Meet Luke and Georgina

As one of the owners of London’s most infamous and scandalous gambling hall, The Underworld, Luke Reese looks like a man who has it all. But underneath his swagger lies a pain which no amount of liquor, women or card games can ease. Because, nine months ago, Luke’s son was stolen by his half-brother, Lord Dursley.

Luke knows the agony of growing up without a family, and he will not allow his son to suffer the same fate. So when evidence leads him to Coventry and a mysterious governess named Georgina, Luke doesn’t hesitate in tracking her down.

But nothing is ever as simple as it seems in the London ton. And soon, Luke is facing his most dangerous gamble yet. Dare he risk losing his heart to find his son?

This series caught my attention from day one and it’s gone from strength to strength, Bryant has yet again created an entertaining, thrilling and sensuously attractive story. The thing that does set this one apart from the others has to be Luke, we have had snippets of this shadowy man’s turmoil in the previous two books “The Den of Iniquity” and “Into The Hall of Vice” and to finally get to see his story unfold and see his Happy Ever After is very satisfying.

I cannot say how much I enjoyed this one and I am so pleased that Bryant is taking this series further with book four, I can’t wait to see in which direction she is going to take this wonderful series in.

Simply perfect! ~ Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s

About Anabelle Bryant

Anabelle began reading at age three and never stopped. Her passion for reading soon turned into a passion for writing and an author was born.

Happy to grab a suitcase if it ensures a new adventure, Anabelle finds endless inspiration in travel, especially imaginary jaunts into Regency England, a far cry from her home in New Jersey. Instead, her clever characters live out her daydreams because really, who wouldn’t want to dance with a handsome duke or kiss a wicked earl?

Though teaching keeps her grounded, photography, running and writing, counterbalance her wanderlust. Often found with her nose in a book, Anabelle earned her Master’s Degree and is completing her Doctorate Degree in education. Thrilled to be an author for Harlequin’s Carina line, Anabelle’s historical romances are character driven. She strives to provide a heartfelt connection between her hero, heroine, and the reader, believing the emotional journey on the path to true love is the most important bond. Clever secondary characters and lively conversation keep the pages turning.

Anabelle knows sometimes life doesn’t provide a happily ever after, but her novels always do.

Anabelle loves hearing from her readers so why not drop her a line, follow her on social Media and check out her website for all information on her work. (Links Below)

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Amazon / Goodreads 

 

Review – The Last Gamble (Bastards of London #3) by Anabelle Bryant

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As one of the owners of London’s most infamous and scandalous gambling hall, The Underworld, Luke Reese looks like a man who has it all. But underneath his swagger lies a pain which no amount of liquor, women or card games can ease. Because, nine months ago, Luke’s son was stolen by his half-brother, Lord Dursley.

Luke knows the agony of growing up without a family, and he will not allow his son to suffer the same fate. So when evidence leads him to Coventry and a mysterious governess named Georgina, Luke doesn’t hesitate in tracking her down.

But nothing is ever as simple as it seems in the London ton. And soon, Luke is facing his most dangerous gamble yet. Dare he risk losing his heart to find his son?

My View

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.

She looked up to find him bedside. His bare chest a breath away, his silver-grey eyes as sharp as ever. “ Ours is a timeless love….”

Luke is the third owner of the Scandalous and powerful gaming hell; The Underworld. Along with his brother owners Cole and Max, he was born on the wrong side of the blanket. Which in all doesn’t bother him, just because he’s a bastard and has lived his life on the fringes of so-called “better society” doesn’t mean he isn’t a good, intelligent and charming man. Far beyond it, he is the sexiest man who you will come across with the brains to match.

One day while at work his then four-year-old son; Nathanial was kidnapped by non-other than his half-brother, Lord Dursley for some unknown reason. Luke has tried and failed for a year now to find out where his son has been taken, but time and time again he gets doors closed in his face and the trail grows cold. He knows that, even though he is Nate’s father he hasn’t got a chance with the authorities, as being who and what he is; a by blow won’t stand up in court next to his charming aristocratic brother. Because of his parentage and his occupation, he is never taken seriously and he knows too well that the courts will always side with own of their own, his half-brother.

So he is left to find his son by his own means, but after a year Luke doesn’t know in which direction to look next, his only clue resides in Dursley’s journal which Luke stole and that is a name. Georgina Smith, governess. He sets out to Coventry to speak to this governess for himself and hopefully find either where his son or the clue that he desperately needs. But what he finds instead turns his life upside down.

‘I need your help.’ His admission tempted for all the right reasons and set her heartbeat into an anxious gallop for all the wrong ones…..

He finds an exceedingly beautiful, too smart for her own good and kind young woman who, yes did look after Nate for a time and she could be the answer to all his prayers. She could be the means to end his year of agony and finally find his son. The only problem is she point-blank refuses to go to London with him, she is hiding something and she is as scared as hell of something. He knows that she is hiding from something, but what? But more importantly can he gain her trust to help him find Nate before he loses himself in her kind, blue eyes?

Georgina is hiding from scandal, she fled London and society, left her family behind after a mistake. She has been burnt, her heart and trust of men in general has been broken and she now finds it incredibly difficult to find herself trusting again. She has vowed never to step foot in London, she would never bring shame and scandal on to her family. So the only way to protect them and herself is to stay in her idyllic little country life, where no one knows her true identity or her past.

She has set up again in her quiet little Coventry village, she lives modestly as a governess with her temperamental Pug; Biscuit. But, even though from the outside she appears to have everything, she is constantly looking over her shoulder wondering when the day will come that her parent’s will find her and force her back to London and live by their strict society rules once again.

So when a sinfully handsome man knocks on her door and asks for her by name she is instantly on guard, who is this silver-eyed, silver-tongued rogue with dimples that could make the iciest heart melt? And more importantly what does he want with her? She realises that he isn’t going to anywhere until she hears him, once she does she soon learn’s that he hasn’t been sent by anyone and he doesn’t know her, he only wants to know where is son is.

Now, his eyes glinted silver, daring her in a dozen wicked ways, suggesting things and evoking desire with nothing more than a glance…..

…… He smiled , that dimple at work to weaken her knees…..

She sees how deeply hurt and worried he is about his son being taken from him and she instinctively knows that he is a good father, she doesn’t know him as a man but she knows that he has a good caring heart. But can she in all honesty do what he needs her to do? Can she find herself going back to London to face her past and help Luke with his future?

I adore Georgina and Luke they are both wounded souls in their own way, both hurt by what has happened in each of their past’s. Yet together they make the cutest couple, they heal each other, they bring light and happiness into each other’s dark lives. And by some of the best scenes comes when it’s just Georgina and Luke getting to know each other – or when poor Luke gets bitten by that little hell raiser; Biscuit.

Luke is such an incredible character, not just that fact that he is sinfully handsome with the ability to seductively charm the birds from the tree’s, he’s got a fabulous mind and personality. He is a very intriguing and interesting man and by far the best thing about this series. I knew there was something special about him, but it’s not until you get to know him and his back ground that you get a real sense of just what a fascinating and complex man he is. He lives in the shadow’s and on the edges of society he feels like he doesn’t quite and belong anywhere, except at the helm of “The Underworld” he is the Captain of the gaming hell.

Again, like at the coaching inn, he reminded of a wolf under a moonlit sky, tensed and at the ready to pounce…..

….. If he was the wolf on the hunt, she realized belatedly, he’d made her his prey…..

This series caught my attention from day one and it’s gone from strength to strength, Bryant has yet again created an entertaining, thrilling and sensuously attractive story. The thing that does set this one apart from the others has to be Luke, we have had snippets of this shadowy man’s turmoil in the previous two books “The Den of Iniquity” and “Into The Hall of Vice” and to finally get to see his story unfold and see his Happy Ever After is very satisfying.

I cannot say how much I enjoyed this one and I am so pleased that Bryant is taking this series further with book four, I can’t wait to see in which direction she is going to take this wonderful series in.

Simply perfect!

  

The Last Gamble is out now and can be found at Amazon.

Review ~ Into The Hall of Vise (Bastards of London #2) by Anabelle Bryant

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As joint owner of London’s most notorious gambling hall, The Underworld, Cole Hewitt spends his days surrounded by wealth – and looks every inch the debonair. But, unknown to most, he was born a bastard – and knows better than anyone the fine line between the elite and the slums.

When he falls for the beautiful Lady Gemma Amberson, sister to the Duke of Kent, Cole knows that his past means he will never be considered worthy of her. But Cole has no intention of being cast aside again.

But Cole’s attraction to Gemma hasn’t gone unnoticed – and there are those who wish to thwart his plans, for the darkest of reasons. Cole may be used to getting his own way. But the question is: how far will he go to get it?

Brief Preview

Gemma Amberson is on the hunt for information, she wants to know why and how her father; the previous Duke of Kent died. Was it as innocent as her brother has always told her? Or was there something else going on, something darker and deadlier? To find the answers to her questions she begins trawling the various gambling halls, balls and anywhere there is an abundance of gossips. One trip she finally manages to a gain a snippet of information, one detail that sends her to the front door of a Ms Devonshire, owner of an orphanage in Charing Cross. Instead of meeting with the lady and finally gaining answers, Gemma meets a vagrant with beautiful eyes called Goodworth who saves her from a thief.

Cole Hewitt lives a double life on one side he is one-third of the powerful owners of the most exclusive hell in London; The Underworld he is a rich, self-made man in his own right and on the other side he is Goodworth, the charming rogue that helps out at the Second Chances orphanage and also owner of said orphanage. His double life as complicated as it is, once he meets a mysterious, beautiful woman outside his orphanage and then again Peering through the window of The Underworld his life takes an unsettling turn and he is thrown head first into trouble.

My View

This is book two of this new and addictive Bastards of London Series, this time we are introduced to Cole Hewiit, the second manager of the Underworld. We got a glimpse of Cole in the first book; The Den of Iniquity and from that brief introduction you fell right under his charming spell, Cole is so different from explosive Max Sinclair. Cole isn’t one to use violence, even though he can look after himself when he has to, he uses his brains and his cunning to get what he wants.

On meeting Cole in the first book we got a sense of an educated man who is charming as well as cool and aloof, but he is so much more. He is completely different from Max Sinclair, Cole is a master of disguise, a man of the streets, he is like a chameleon who can adapt to any environment whether that be as a high and powerful aristocrat of a transient from the street.

He angled forward, his hand holding tight to the shelf above her head as he rocked closer, his arm flexed tight through his shirt sleeve.

He was tall and charming.

There was no debating that fact, though belatedly she noticed his eyes fell to the spine of the book clutched to her bosom. It took every ounce of willpower to resist the urge to cover the title with her hands.

‘What do you have there? Something I’d like to peruse?’ He winked, the scoundrel, and her breath caught, while her mind worked through the double entendre.

Words were difficult to form.

‘No, thank you. I can manage. Why do you ask?’He must think her a complete ninny.

And why not? She was acting the role.

But he ’d kissed her. Stolen a kiss actually, the handsome thief….

Cole had a very hard start in life and that has had a huge effect on how he lives his life now, he hasn’t let his harsh childhood control him he has learnt from his experiences and he has become a powerful man in his own right. As a child Cole was thrown from his aristocratic fathers moving carriage into the slums of Seven Dials and warned never to darken his father’s door again, from that day onwards Cole was a street urchin. He did have the good fortune to be found by a young woman called Maggie who ran a bit of a home for homeless boys, Maggie saved his life that day with her kindness which helped to put him on the path to become the man he is today.

Cole never forgot the kindness that Maggie showed him and since then he has looked after her and the boys she still keeps, between him and Maggie they opened an orphanage called Second Chances. The way he treats the children is heart-warming, he is a fun and loyal father figure in their little lives something that he didn’t have. He gives them a chance when hundreds others would just turn their backs on them, he gives them jobs within The Underworld. Cole is just an absolute star, the way he looks after Maggie and the lads off the streets is so honourable.

I do really like Cole, his story is definitely a rags to riches story, he is so hardworking he has dragged himself literally out of the gutter to the prestigious position he is in now. He hasn’t forgotten his roots though and that endears him to me even more, he is still that smart, street-wise young lad who is as cool as a cucumber.

Gemma as well as her investigation in their father’s death she is also severely worried about her sister Rosalinde who after their father’s death just stopped talking, her brother shut himself off from her and absorbed himself into parliamentary work and the only time he pays either of them any attention is when putting his foot down and dictating to them as though they were fellow members of the house of lords.

You feel a lot of sympathy for Gemma she has got so many troubles in her life but yet she is so vibrant and loving, the relationship between her and each of her siblings he is so different, with her brother as much as she tries to get on with him, he keeps pushing her and Rosalinde away, he is quite a cold harsh man. But the relationship between the sisters is truly lovely, Gemma tries with all her might to get Rosalinde engaged in life again with the hope that one day she will speak.

He pulled her close, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and bringing her against his chest 

‘I love you , Gemma. Tell me you will remember my words no matter what transpires during our visit.’

Her head jerked up in objection , her crystalline gaze razor-sharp.

‘What is happening between those ears? Where is my chivalrous, intelligent charmer?’ She knew the right thing to say. He breathed easier, mentally chastising himself for showing his sudden insecurity.

He couldn’t lose her.

Yet her brother’s influence threatened; a powerful foe.

She turned within his embrace and placed a kiss upon his chin. It wasn’t enough.

‘ Your brother will never approve.’

I think Bryant has done a marvellous job with these two, matching the suave, poetry reading charmer who was born on the wrong side of the sheets with the aristocratic daughter of a mighty Duke is a stroke of genius. It’s very Romeo and Juliet!

Now, I adored Max Sinclair from the first book, but I have to say Cole has inched his way past. He is a sensitive, tender and highly protective man, who treats everyone equally from the lowest street urchin right up to Rosalinde, if they are good people then they are blessed with Cole Hewitt’s love but just don’t get on the wrong side of him.

Just as with the first book, Into The Hall of Vise is an edge of your seat thrilling romp. It is so sexy, the chemistry between Cole and Gemma just sizzles right off the page, they are a fascinating couple and I love them to bits, the way their lives and personal stories entwine together to create a fabulously charming, intricate and fast paced story is a triumph.

I am really getting into The Bastards of London and yet again I am looking forward to reading the next instalment.

A hugely enjoyable, sophisticated Historical Romance and I cannot recommend it enough.

This was an ARC copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Into The Hall of Vise is out now and you can find it on Amazon.

 

Review ~ The Den Of Iniquity (Bastards of London Book 1) by Anabelle Bryant

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Welcome to the most notorious address in London…

Beneath the airs and graces of the Ton lies The Underworld – London’s most scandalous gambling hall. The only thing darker and more debauched that the hall itself? The proprietor, Max Sinclair. As mysterious as the corners of the city he stalks, Max has vowed to take revenge against the men who murdered his mother.

And The Underworld attracts London’s darkest characters – the perfect partners in crime. But when Lady Vivienne Beaumont enters The Underworld, Max’s life becomes more dangerous than he ever thought possible.

My View

What a fabulous introduction, not just to this new series but to this author I haven’t read any of Bryant’s work before this, but I have been a keen follower this is such a great way to get to know this talented authors work this is a supremely sexy and evocative story with a thrilling plot.

Max Sinclair is all out for revenge he wants justice for his poor murdered mother, and for the best part of Max’s life he has slowly tracked the men who are responsible and dealt with them in his own way; let’s just say he hasn’t got any foibles about murder, manipulation and blackmail to get what he wants, he is driven by one and only thought. Retribution; Sinclair style! His heart is set on revenge he hasn’t the time for other things, that is until he sets eyes on the beautiful Vivienne she turns his head and for once in years he can see light but he can’t let himself get too close to her, no matter how intoxicating she is. He has things he must do, his search is drawing closer to its finale, but Max soon finds that it is getting dangerous and before he knows it he is on the receiving end of threats and danger.

Vivienne has just come out of her year of mourning, after her mother’s death she finds that she can’t face the full on ton, she can’t face society but being locked away on her own with nothing but her creepy step fathers company is too much to bear. So, she decides she needs a challenge and between her and her friends she decides to reform a notorious rake, and who better than the devilishly handsome and scandalous Max Sinclair; owner of one of the most notorious gaming hells in London. The Underworld!

“I can’t be reformed.” He adopted a sympathetic tone as if he apologized and at the same time mourned the truth of his words.
He touched a lock of her hair with his free hand, winding the length around his finger and stroking it against her cheek. It was a terribly intimate gesture and her whole body revelled in that one velvet caress.
“That’s not true.” Her brows furrowed in dispute. “Of course…”
“I’m a bastard.” His eyes searched her face but she shared no reaction and when he saw none he leaned that much closer. She inhaled, wanting his scent inside her.
“I’m a bastard and nothing can change the circumstance of my birth. I’m formed this way. There’ll be no reforming.” The tension in his words was near overwhelming, the admission rife with too many emotions to label, yet no matter how he fought against it she could never allow him to believe it true.
“I think…” He captured her mouth in a demanding kiss that brought them against the door with its force. Good thing too.
She melted beneath him, her legs of no use for support, her hands grasping the collar of his coat in desperate preservation. He angled his head, fitting his mouth to hers in perfect position while his hand sunk into her hair, his fingers scraping across her scalp with tingling possession.
Dear Lord she must be dying….

Max is a strong, complex and enthralling man but an exceedingly vulnerable one. He is trapped in this dark place that is filled with revenge, but he is hugely protective of those he cares about. If you are fortunate enough to be caught in his sights, then you never have to worry again, he is a smooth suave and too sexy for his own good rogue. Everyone knows how much I adore a dog loving man so wait until see Max and his huge Irish Wolfhound; Ransom. 😉 Max is definitely a tempting and seductive rebel with a very good heart, buried very deep inside.

I love the relationship between him and his co-owners and co-bastards; Cole and Luke they are a real band of brothers, it is sweet and filled with respect for each other, All three have hidden depths they are extremely close to one an other and hugely protective of each other. They all share the fact that they were all born on the wrong side of the blanket, they run The Underworld together and they all have their reasons for being there as each man is going through their own individual torment’s and crisis.

I just love each one of the owners Max is the roguish, hot-head one, ready for a fight at a moments notice. He isn’t averse to getting what he wants by using his fist’s, but never with those that don’t deserve it. He has got some morel’s! He is also very protective to those he cares about especially Vivienne, he can be an elusive and very intimidating man but all that brute force just adds to his appeal especially when he shows his caring tender side.

Cole and Luke are just as elusive and intimidating as Max, but in a very different way, where Max likes to use his fists to get answers. These two are sly and cunning, they use their brains and they both have their secrets and are both equally just as seductive. Like Max you get a sense of two tortured souls and two complex and flawed men who you yearn to get to know more off.

Den of Iniquity is a smart, sexy and engaging Historical Romance, that is entwined with a compelling sub plot of vengeance and loss, the story just rolls along flawlessly there is no let up. The characters are fabulously developed, they jump off the page and demand attention, that keep you hooked right up to the very last page.

Its fun and witty and it just sizzles! Max and Vivienne are two of the most compelling characters you will find. Both have their own hidden past, both in need of love and both so sexually charged that when they are together the atmosphere changes to a sensual, smoulder and you know that you are going to have a lot of fun as they to and fro. She invokes a gentleness in him whereas he brings out the smoking hot vixen that is buried deep down.

Bryant has got The Underworld’s owners spot on, they are the perfect amount of viciousness, deadly charm and sensitivity. They really are lovable rogues they may want to come across as hard men but all three are so cute and lovable.

This is a marvellous start to a new series, and one that I am really looking forward to reading. It is flawless and I can’t wait to start book two; Into The Hall of Vise, featuring lovely Cole.

A thrilling and intriguing romance and one I highly recommend.

This was a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

You can find this on AMAZON or check out Anabelle’s WEBSITE for more details.