Black Opal Books

Review – Keeping You (A Cheshire Love Story #3) by Mollie Blake

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His past haunts him. Revenge drives him. Can her love save him?

After a chance meeting in a bookshop, young Suzy Harper is engaged by multi-multimillionaire, Lawrence Bane, to work on translating a French document. They embark on an intense relationship, but he is surrounded by mystery and shame as demons from his past threaten to destroy everything he has worked for, including her love for him.

This exciting erotic romantic thriller traces the increasingly intense and tender relationship between the inexperienced Suzy and her wealthy, troubled lover, Lawrence. There are two obsessions in Lawrence’s life—his passion for Suzy and his drive for revenge against the gangland boss who murdered his best friend.

Will Suzy be strong enough to accept Lawrence for the man he is? Will Lawrence trust the woman he loves enough to reveal his darkest secrets to her? Will their love survive the challenges that lie ahead.

My View

This is book three in the ‘Cheshire Love Story’ series, but as I have found out these can be read as stand-a-lones, there isn’t a continuing story that links them together it is book hopping characters, which I do love reading stories that have shared characters. This is an exciting and sexy book, Ms Blake is hugely talented author who knows her craft in erotic romance, she takes you on a journey of love and lust.

I first read book one; The Secret at Arnford Hall, I will admit that I was a little taken back by the content, it was very graphic and that first reading, I found it wasn’t entirely to my taste. Then I re-read it again, and I saw it in a completely different way, which made me instantly want to read more.

After the death of her parents, Suzy returns back to the UK from Cambodia where she has lived her entire. With the help of her cousin – who eagle eyed reader’s will notice made an appearance in book one – she has settled into a job at her local bookstore, she is also trying to set herself up as a French translator. When one day she comes face to face with the man of her dreams and this sex-god with the primal green eye’s want’s her!

Suzy is an innocent, quite closeted little thing, she is trying to forge a career for herself and move on from a terrible period in her life. I found her to be very real, she is the girl-next-door, kind, caring and sweet. She is instantly seduced by the older more experienced man – really, who can blame her for going weak at the knee’s when you have this fine, sexy specimen of masculinity wanting to take you to bed, and oh, boy doesn’t he just! 😉

Lawrence has deep, dark secret’s that he would rather no-one ever know about, especially innocent Suzy. But, Lawrence can’t steal himself away from her, she is a breath of fresh air to his closed off heart. He knows that he shouldn’t be entangling himself with her as there is trouble on the horizon that could ruin everything. But, he can’t help himself he just has to have her in his life, even if it is for a short time.

Oh, my word! Lawrence, what are you doing to me? He is every bit the sexy, charismatic high-flying business man that his reputation perceives him to be. He is also dark, brooding and dangerous. He has a raw, troubled mind that makes you weep for him. He has been through a lot and he has a past and he has done thing’s that he isn’t proud of, he want’s to protect Suzy (or, as he likes to call her “his baby”) not just from what is waiting to happen, but from himself too. He is a predator; strong, protective and dangerous yet kind, caring and sensual.

At first sight these two make a in-matched couple; him being a uber confident wolf and her a doe-eyed, girl-next-door and yet they fit together. There relationship isn’t just sex, they have a real bond he want’s to get to know her as a person. He brings her out of her shell and teacher’s her that she is a goddess to be worshipped and she see’s through his over-riding carnal desires and see’s the vulnerable man that he really is, she soothes his tormented soul as well as his lustful body. She helps him come to terms with himself and that he isn’t the monster he think’s he is.

This is seriously hot! The sex is scorching and frequent, but it doesn’t take over the actual story. It’s not constantly in your face there are some really loving and tender moments between Suzy and Lawrence, when they are just spending time getting to know each other. For those that haven’t read Ms Blake it isn’t as dark as the previous; The Secret at Arnford Hall but it isn’t for the faint hearted. It has a lot of adult scenes which surprisingly go very well with the actual plot. The side story concerning Lawrence’s thirst for revenge is thrilling and engrossing, you never know when the confrontation is going to happen, and it keeps you hooked right to the end. I was pleasantly surprised at how much enjoyed this one!

If you like hot romance, with supremely sexy heroes in suits that make you go awfully hot around the collar than this is the book for you, and Ms Blake is the author you need to read and one that I shall be reading more of.

Highly recommended!

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

Keeping You is available to purchase at Amazon.

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Review – The Earl Claims His Comfort by Regina Jeffers

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Hurrying home to Tegen Castle from the Continent to assume guardianship of a child not his, but one who holds his countenance, Levison Davids, Earl of Remmington, is shot on the road and left to die.

The incident has Remmington chasing after a man who remains one step ahead and who claims a distinct similarity—a man who wishes to replace Remmington as the rightful earl. Rem must solve the mystery of how Frederick Troutman’s life parallels his while protecting his title, the child, and the woman he loves.

Comfort Neville has escorted Deirdre Kavanaugh from Ireland to England, in hopes that the Earl of Remmington will prove a better guardian for the girl than did the child’s father. When she discovers the earl’s body upon road backing the castle, it is she who nurses him to health. As the daughter of a minor son of an Irish baron, Comfort is impossibly removed from the earl’s sphere, but the man claims her affections. She will do anything for him, including confronting his enemies. When she is kidnapped as part of a plot for revenge against the earl, she must protect Rem’s life, while guarding her heart.

This is book two in ‘The Twins Trilogy’ we have picked up where we left off in the previous ‘Angel Comes to the Devils Keep’ this time we are focusing on Remmington – who I have to say I have been really looking forward to reading his story since we first met this intriguing man in the previous and I have to say that Ms Jeffers has not disappoint where it comes to this man and this story. This is such a fabulous story, it isn’t just your stereotypical historical romance this is something else it has so many twists and turns, assignation attempts, identity theft and the mystery of why Rem is now the guardian of a little girl that has nothing to do with him and, yet she looks like him – why is that? And what on earth is going on with this elusive Frederick Troutman?

While on an assignment as an agent to the crown, Levison Davids; Earl of Remmington – otherwise known as Rem, gets a summons from home that he is to return as soon as possible, he is needed to take guardianship of a little girl that her mother has claimed is Rem’s but who isn’t. Rem as always is driven by duty, he isn’t the sort of man to shirk his responsibilities – even though the child isn’t his he knows that he can give her a far better home than that of her worthless and harsh step-father, so he goes back, it is while making his way to his ancestral Yorkshire home he is suddenly attacked and left for dead. The following day Rem is found semi-conscious by the most mesmerizing woman he has ever seen in his life, hair life a fiery red halo with the most alluring Irish accent he has heard that in that one moment when she is arguing with him and calling him some rather interesting names he falls for this antagonising and nymph like woman.

For a long moment Comfort wondered what it would be to skim her hands over the man’s roughened body. She had never known a man’s flirtations. Nor had she ever felt a man’s kiss or experienced any sort of intimacy beyond a dance or a walk, but she expected that she could enjoy touching Lord Remmington…..

Rem is a complex man, he harbours this idea that his family is cursed, that all males in his family are doomed and so he does start thinking why bother even fighting what is evidently going to happen, so he dives into his role as a secret agent, he spends years away on one assignment after the other and there is a moment in the book when Rem reflects on that and does regret his choice to basically run away when things get hard.

But he is very loyal, and duty bound he never shirks that duty, Rem is a good man, he is exceedingly stubborn and has the blackest, foul-mouthed temper you have ever seen – which for an Earl is very funny. On the other hand, he is very caring and loving, he has got the gentlest heart when able to show his true feeling’s – which he only does with Comfort, as the story moves along through one drama to the next we see how he takes comfort in just the thought of her and those moment are sparse but very precious for him.

Comfort Neville is caring for little Deirdre until the child’s guardian; Lord Remmington turns up, Comfort has it all planned out, she was going to assess to see if this Lord Remmington was going to do the right thing by young Deirdre, and if he proves to be trustworthy Comfort plans to go and live with her cousin. After finding him near death and nursing him and his bad temper back to health again she isn’t quite sure if this man is the right guardian for her precious ward; Deirdre. Yes, he maybe gentlemanly with some of the best connections in the country with the most tantalizing grey eyes and stunning rare smile but he is a bad-tempered oath with a certain darkness about him that draws her to him like a moth to a flame.

While Rem is reluctantly resting his handler Sir Alexander Chandler and best friend Huntington Mclaughlin; Marquess of Malvern start their investigation as to what happened to Rem but what they uncover is extremely unexpected and disturbing, the attempt on Rem’s life is just the tip of the ice berk in the mystery that soon arises its head. They find out that there is an imposter who is interestingly reported to be the mirror image of the real Earl, is gallivanting around the country as though he were the Earl of Remmington himself.

“…As I am the daughter of a minor son of an Irish baron, perhaps you fear I mean to poison your English hide. That must be it! My desire to cut you open and cleanse you of the blood and pus and mud is a plot! A plot,” she said in a thick Gaelic accent, “to be rid of the English, one thick-headed pig at a time….”

Frederick Troutman; the imposter they soon find out from their investigation is a dangerous and unhinged man who for reasons only known to himself is merrily living Rems life, he is causing trouble for Rem whenever he goes from arranging marriages and setting up mistresses to infiltrating his own home. While Rem and Malvern look deeper into this Troutman’s history and try to figure out why Troutman would want to do this to Rem, what motive has he got that he would want Rem dead? At Rem’s home a murder within Rem’s household turns their investigation on it’s head all over again and now it is a matter of time to solve this mystery as it becomes clear that this Troutman needs to be found before something else happens – or he decides to take his duplicity to another level, one that very would get him killed by Rem’s own hands.

With Rem investigating the spiders web of a mysteries, Comfort is now at her cousin; Isolde home she is helping around the house while waiting for the birth of Isolde’s little one but all the while all she can think off day and night is Remmington. Even though she knows that he must marry one day but he will never marry her – he won’t be able to marry her, she is an Irish catholic with a wild temper and idea’s that really have no place in her head.

Rem’s embrace tightened about her, edging Miss Neville closer. Her heat warmed his body from chin to abdomen. The rightness of her in his arms nearly knocked his defenses off kilter. His emotions screamed with disorientation.

Again, this is another thoroughly enjoyable read, Rem is everything that I love in a hero, brutishly handsome with a sensitive soul just waiting for the right woman to come along. The story is fast, thrilling and intriguing there are twists and turns which at times makes you stop and think ‘what just happened?’ The only thing I do have to say against it, is Comfort didn’t feature as much as I would have liked her to, she and Rem are such a cute couple and I would have liked a little bit more of the two of them together apart from that I found this to be another winner and it leaves you with such a good feeling and it is very much recommended.

This was a complimentary coy via the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Earl takes his Comfort can be purchased at Amazon.

New Review – Angel comes to the Devils Keep by Regina Jeffers

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Huntington McLaughlin, the Marquess of Malvern, wakes in a farmhouse, after a head injury, being tended by an ethereal “angel,” who claims to be his wife. However, reality is often deceptive, and Angelica Lovelace is far from innocent in Hunt’s difficulties. Yet, there is something about the woman that calls to him as no other ever has. When she attends his mother’s annual summer house party, their lives are intertwined in a series of mistaken identities, assaults, kidnappings, overlapping relations, and murders, which will either bring them together forever or tear them irretrievably apart.

As Hunt attempts to right his world from problems caused by the head injury that has robbed him of parts of his memory, his best friend, the Earl of Remmington, makes it clear that he intends to claim Angelica as his wife. Hunt must decide whether to permit her to align herself with the earldom or claim the only woman who stirs his heart—and if he does the latter, can he still serve the dukedom with a hoydenish American heiress at his side

Firstly, what a fabulous book! I haven’t read any of Ms Jeffers work before, but I have been an avid follower of her highly interesting and educational blog, so even before I read this, I knew that I would be in store for something good. But this is really something special, its exciting and equally enchanting, the story line of destiny has brought Hunt and Angelica together through the most difficult things people could experience, really pulls at the heartstrings.

Huntington McLaughlin isn’t no ordinary Marquess, he is a secret agent for the crown. He is a man who despite having a huge responsibility on his wide shoulders cannot think of anything worse than settling down and marrying the ditzy young woman who his father has arranged for him to meet. Hunt is never happier than putting on a disguise and being someone else, just a while.

Hunt has got a lot of pent-up tension coursing through him, you get a sense that he wants to branch out do thing’s his own way. He is an intelligent man how feels that while doing his Marquess duties he is restrained and controlled, he loves the freedom that being an agent gives him. He also has a deep darkness within him, he was taken prisoner by the French and it was only due to his father paying his hefty ransom that he was released so obviously Hunt owes the Duke his very life, and his sanity which is why he agrees to go through with what his father wants. But the memories of his capture still cling to him like dust.

The beautiful, American Angelica Lovelace has been brought back to her parent’s homeland so that she can forefull her mother’s dying wish; to make her society debut and make a good a good marriage. But that is so far easier said than actually done, as our Angelica is very picky she want’s what her parents; a proper love match and not just an arranged marriage like so many of the Ton have to endure and then there is the fact that she already has the ideal man, the man who sends her heart a flutter and who she trusts inexplicably. The problem is, her ideal man, her soul mate is nothing more than a figment of her over active imagination, that is until one day in Regent’s park she spies a man with the face of her hero.

Angel opened her eyes to look upon the sharp angles of his ruggedly handsome countenance. “You are my world,” she whispered as their gazes met and held….

Angelica is a passionate and loyal young woman, she wants to please her father by doing as he and her late mother want, but she has a wild stubborn side that won’t allow any man to bend her to his will. She knows her own mind and she is proud of that. So, when she meets Hunt, she amazes herself to have fallen for him. She sees real pain in his eyes and she will try to do whatever she can to ease that pain. I really like Angelica, she is bright and she knows what she wants, she won’t be pushed into something she doesn’t want.

On her way north to attend a house party, during the storm that is raging her carriage get in trouble and ends up crashing killing her driver and servants leaving her stranded at the side of the road. That is until she comes across a rider who has a suffered an accident himself, he is unconscious with a head and shoulder wound, with a bit of ingenuity Angelica manages to get herself and the unconscious stranger to a little farm where they take refuge.

To protect her reputation and that of the stranger’s she states that they are a newly married couple, so that the farmer and his wife will take them in. She tends to his wounds and looks after him until he wakes, only for when that happens he wakes not knowing who he is or unable to remember a thing about his life. Hunt wakes to a beautiful Angel tending him, an angel who claims is his wife. He is in the dark he cannot remember anything the only real, tangible thing he knows is what this beautiful woman has told him. Hunt feels an instant connection towards her, she is the lightness he needs to bring him from the dark.

“I am gladdened by your progress.” Hunt said in a teasing tone. “I move as if I am a man many years Wendt’s senior, but my wife approves. I am a blessed man.” She blushed, an action quite hard for him to resist in its appeal. If he were well, Hunt would kiss her thoroughly to keep that touch of color upon her cheeks.

It soon comes to light that they aren’t married and she has made it all up, but for good reasons. His brother Harry and best friend Lord Remmington take him back to his ancestral home – The Devils Keep – where things take an unexpected and frightening turn that brings Hunt and his Angel back together again, only for his friend to take a keen interest in his Angel. Hunt soon finds out that because of his title, he must marry well. Can an out-spoken American really be the woman for him?

Now I do like Remmington, he is an intriguing man. A complex one, but he’s super smooth and has defiantly got the gift of the gab when he decides to charm Angelica, she doesn’t even realise what he’s doing. But that’s not surprising, with him being a spy.

With a murderer on the loose, dark secrets coming out of the wood work at every corner, the spy master hovering about with knowledge that Hunt needs to know and his so-called best friend and fellow agent; Remmington making a move on the only woman who has caught Hunt’s heart.

Over all it is a 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.

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

Angel comes to the Devils Keep is out now and can be found at Amazon.