Nicole Locke

Review : Reclaimed by the Knight (Lover to Legends #7) by Nicole Locke

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He left to save his family…
Now he’s back!

Nicholas of Mei Solis once swore to do anything to protect his home—he even went away to fight for it. That meant leaving beautiful Matilda too. Now Nicholas has returned briefly, to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one look at Matilda, now widowed and with child, changes everything. Suddenly Nicholas is compelled to stay…and to take back the future they both thought they’d lost…

My View

Firstly when I got this book, I got to say I did squeal in pure delight! I have been looking forward to reading this one since I met Nicholas in ‘The Knight’s Scarred Maiden.’ There was something very dark and dangerous and raw about him, something that captured my attention and like a lot of readers of this series, I really wanted a Nicholas story. I wanted to know what drove him to becoming a mercenary, I wanted to know all about him, so I was very excited when I heard that Nicole Locke had written his story. I was way too excited! This does not disappoint, this story is high on emotion, but more than that it answer’s so many questions’ that needed answering about Nicholas.

This is book seven in the wonderful Lovers to Legend’s series, just the like previous books this can be read as a stand-alone or as apart of the series. This is what I love about this series is you can pick up any book in random order and instantly become glued with it.

Mercenary Knight; Nicholas left his home all those years ago to bring in the funds that his ancestral estate needed. Yes, some thought he left to gain a name for himself or left for some selfish, vain reasons, but that is as far form the truth. Nicholas isn’t selfish he cares deeply and knew that he needed to leave. Which also meant leaving the one woman he had always loved; Matilda.

When he receives word that Matilda had blatantly given up on him and married their childhood friend Roger, Nicholas is fuming and all out for revenge which is one of the reason’s he decides that now is the time to return home and take his rightful place as lord. Nicholas is hurt and confused by Matilda and Roger’s marriage, he doesn’t understand why the woman who had claimed to love him and said she would marry him had done such a thing while he was away risking his very neck – not to mention losing his eye – to send home the coin Matilda and his people needed. Let me just say that Nicholas can hold a grudge, he has seen too much and experienced too much he has become dangerous and jaded and his blood and heart wants revenge. Yet, he isn’t half as bad as people think him to be, he is kind and nurturing he has a big heart and feels thing’s very deeply. He is actually quite a sensitive man beneath his chain mail. He just wants love!

Matilda had no choice, she waited for Nicholas but after all her letters had gone unanswered she thought he had given up them. She saw him as just another selfish mercenary. She had tried to forget about her feelings for him and get on with her marriage, she wanted it to work with Roger, that is until the man she had vowed herself to suddenly dies and her past love turns up. Like Nicholas she is confused about her feelings for him, she wants to hate him for – as she thought it – deserting her, yet he proves difficult to do so.

Their feelings for one an other are still obvious for all to see, there are a lot of misunderstandings and confusion on both sides. They are both quite stubborn people, and they don’t make life easy for themselves. I do love how Ms Locke has really pulled out all the stops with these two, she has created a powerful yet equally up-lifting, second-chance romance.

I absolutely love this story, it is an engaging, magic and wonderfully romantic love story that has got so much of the authors heart in it. Ms Locke’s passion for this era and this story is evident on every page. The character’s really go on an emotional journey not just finding their happy ever after, but they go through a lot as individuals. Out of all the Lovers to Legends series, this has to be the most emotionally heart-wrenching book of the series, it is very character focused, the reader is drawn into Matilda and Nicholas’ world. For me I found that I wasn’t merely reading their story I was completely immersed into the story, avidly watching as the story unfolded.

A fabulous addition to what is already a favourite series, I cannot wait to see what comes next.

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

Reclaimed by The Knight is available now and can be purchased from Amazon.

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Review – In Debt to The Enemy Lord (Lovers and Legends #4) by Nicole Locke

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“You have a debt to pay. You owe me your life.”

Anwen, bastard of Brynmor, has fought hard to find her place in the world. But she’s forced to rethink everything when she’s saved from death by her enemy Teague, Lord of Gwalchdu. Instead of releasing her, he holds her captive…

Teague trusts no one. So, with ominous messages threatening his life, he must keep Anwen under his watch, no matter how much her presence drives him wild. And when passionate arguments turn to passionate encounters, Teague must believe that the strength of their bond will conquer all!

In Debt to the Enemy Lord is book four in the Lovers and Legends series, even though these books do have a common link between them, they can be read very easily as stand-alone as each book has its own unique story, its own history and fresh character’s. I did start reading this series half way through and I am currently reading them out-of-order but as they are so well written and each one is different that is very easy to do.

I have been a huge of fan of Nicole Locke’s work since I first read her work and I have been hooked since each book in the series has a superb story that entwine’s itself so beautifully with history, myth’s and romance.

Set in the after-math of the war between Wales and England, where English King Edward I won the war, now the country has settled in a sort of stale-mated peace. Each side trying to move forward and get on with their lives, the Lord of Gwalchdu; Teague is thankful that the war is over but now home from fighting alongside King Edward he is treated with hostility from his people. Teague is half English and half Welsh and when the war broke out Teague chose to side with the English, making the Welsh think of him as a traitor to them and treat him with hostility and contempt. Teague is receiving mysterious threatening letter’s that are both alarming and worrisome, he feels alone as he has an issue with trusting people and more to the point very few people trust him. If it wasn’t for his brother; Rhain he would be very much alone in the world.

While out and about with Rhain touring his lands, he unexpectedly comes across a beautiful young woman who quite literally falls into his arms, after falling out of a tree. After the letter’s he keeps receiving Teague is instantly on edge, he is certain she must be a spy or something more sinister. But being the honorable man that he is, Teague takes her home and nurses her back to health only to discover that she is in fact from the illegitimate daughter of the Prince of Brynmore. Teague is a good man, he always does what he thinks is right not just for himself but for his people of Gwalchdu. He has a lot of pain that he holds close to his chest, I really felt him to be a very sensitive man and even the little snide remarks doe’s impact him. If it wasn’t for the wonderful Rhain Teague really would be alone in the world. He fully believes that Anwen is the person behind these threats he has been receiving so he makes sure she stays within his castle where he can watch her and as he does, he becomes more and more enchanted by her.

Teague is a lonely and brooding man, he sees darkness and lies ever where and trusts none and yet I find him utterly fascinating. His is a quietly seductive and remarkable man, he has like a haunted aura about him that pulls you to him like a moth to a flame. I love how Locke has described the brothers when Anwen first meets them both; one is golden light and the other darkness, and this is so true for them.

Anwen is very much in the camp where she see’s Teague as a traitor; which actually she does refer to him as such throughout the book. She thinks that being the Lord of Gwalchdu he should have stuck with his country people. As much as I liked Anwen’s spirit and passion for what she believes in and her tenacious character, I found her constant berating of Teague a little irritating at times she did act like a spoilt little girl a lot. Yet Teague and Anwar have a real connection once they let go of their own personal dislike and distrust of one and other. There are some really sweet and lovely moment between them when they have let their guards down, and their happily ever after is well worth the wait.

As I have been reading them out-of-order I had met Rhain before in ‘The Knight’s Scarred Maiden’ (which comes after this book) I was instantly drawn to him, he such an extraordinary character. As this is before his own story we see what he was like before he became a mercenary he is so alive, and so different to how he is when I first met him. The relationship between Teague ad his brother is loving and tender, they know each other so well and look out for one and other.

I have always been a fan of ‘Enemies to Lovers’ tropes and this is exactly what I look for in when reading one, the to-ing and fro-ing between Teague and Anwen is so entertaining, if at times strained. This is a dark and brooding romance – which is actually a lot likes its hero; Teague, which I thoroughly enjoyed it, I do have a real fondness for Medieval Romance and Ms Locke is a very gifted writer in the era. The story is complex and thought-provoking, with some very memorable characters it takes you on a journey with a lot of twists along the way and encased in historical fact.

Thoroughly enjoyed it and I cannot recommend it enough, definitely a must read for Medieval Romance fans.

In Debt to The Enemy Lord can be purchased from 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.

Review – Her Christmas Knight (Lovers and Legends Series #6) by Nicole Locke

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A knight to protect her—this Yuletide By order of the English king, Alice of Swaffham searches London nobility for the traitor dealing information to the Scots. Little does she know that the mysterious spy she seeks is the man she once loved and thought she’d lost forever…

If Hugh of Shoebury felt unworthy of Alice before, as the Half-Thistle spy he can never claim her heart. Now he must fight to keep not only his dark secrets—and Alice—safe from a vengeful king…but also his burning longing for her at bay!

This is the next instalment of Nicole Locke’s enchanting “Lovers and Legends” Series, this is a terrific addition and Locke doesn’t disappoint Her Christmas Knight is empowering and romantic with a darker undercurrent. I’ve said it before, but I do love a Medieval Romance I find that this era and Locke’s work is raw and highly romantic.

Medieval Romance takes you to a brutal time where the men were real, harsh and untamed men and the women were just as strong, maybe not treated very well but they worked even harder to get what they wanted. That’s I really like about this era, romance its always very gritty and raw.

Why had he danced with Alice? It could never be simply a dance with her. Stupid to think otherwise, but he’d been consumed with jealousy. He’d had no right, and yet he’d taken it….

Hugh of Shoebury is charged by King Edward to go back to his childhood home of Swartham to spy on the villager’s, the Fenton family particularly, specifically Alice. Which is all good as this isn’t anything knew to him but the thing is, Hugh has a secret, a deadly secret that only he knows and one that could get him killed for treason if anyone find’s out, because in the eyes of the King he is doing just that by keeping this secret; he is committing treason. It’s all for a good cause, he is protecting the life of his best friend and mentor; Robert the black who after faking his own death moved marriage a Scottish Lass and Hugh is the only person who knows the truth. But, by taking on this assignment from the King, Hugh finds that his secret could very much be found out

Alice of Swartham while in London got pressured into playing a game, which should have been just a bit of fun but she soon finds out that it wasn’t just regular childish game but a task that was set by the King. Alice being the only one to finish this game is then in a combination of being threatened and pressured, accepts an assignment by King Edward to find the traitor who is passing information to the Kings enemies’ and who is hiding within her sleepy village of Swartham. The traitor has a seal; the Half Thistle that belongs to the King himself and is using it to correspond with Scots and outlaws and Alice needs find that seal and hand over the traitor.

Alice at first comes across as a naive, stubborn young girl who is set in her ways. She is also very caring, hugely likable and highly protective of her family which is why she is doing this duty for the King. When she finds that Hugh is back she has mixed feelings about his return, Alice has always held a torch for Hugh, ever since she was a young girl – but then again it isn’t surprising because is quite a man who would capture any young girl and woman’s heart. Alice was infatuated with him, that is until he broke her heart in a rebuke that put her off men for life, she has sworn that she hates him and yet, she still holds tightly on to that vow that she made as a child, a vow that he was the only man for her.

But she wouldn’t give up—she’d made a vow.
‘‘But don’t you see?’’ she said. ‘‘There wasn’t a reason to stop your kiss that day. I never saw you as you saw yourself. Like you do now. I only saw your strength, courage, perseverance. That was the man I wanted. The man I vowed to marry.’’
‘‘You saw me wrong. You keep seeing me wrong.”

When Hugh find’s out what the King has made Alice do, how he has put her into such danger. Hugh is fuming, not just the fact that the King has got an innocent woman to do a man’s job, but the fact that this could get her killed and as much as Hugh act’s the callous, unfeeling brute, he genuinely cares for her. He always has done! But there is the fact that her search is getting too close for comfort, so he decides to “help” her with her mission.

Hugh may come as a manipulative and callous brute, that only cares about himself, but that is only a mask, a mask that he has hid behind since childhood. Really, he is a kind, generous and valiant man who has seen too many hardships and experienced too much pain in his life, I have always liked flawed heroes and Hugh is perfect. He makes you want to wrap your arms around him and tell him that you will always be there for him, no matter what. He hasn’t had a lot of kindness showed to him, mainly because of his parentage the only person that was really kind to him was Alice, even as a young girl she had a light and caring nature that instantly drew away Hugh’s darkness that circulates him like a predator.

I really like their relationship, right from the beginning when she has vowed that she will hate him and she want’s nothing to do with him and Hugh believes he is destined to be alone, there is a real buzz around them whenever they are in the same scene. Their love/hate romance is intoxicating and sweet and you are urging them on and at times you want to bang their heads together.

This moment right now was what she had dreamed of all those years ago when she’d demanded that Hugh kiss her. She didn’t want only his kiss—she wanted his love….

Now, King Edward is a shrewd, malicious man who takes pleasure in toying with both Alice and Hugh. He is a manipulator who preyed on Alice’s good nature, on her love of her family by threatening them and coercing her into doing what he wanted her to do. Just as with Hugh, he seems to be able to read their minds and know their deepest fears and darkest secrets and he plays on that, Kind Edward is one nasty piece of work and Locke has done an unbelievable job at capturing his manipulative and malicious side.

As always Locke sprinkles her own unique magic over this and creates a thoughtful, thrilling and at times, heart wrenching story of finding love in the most dangerous times. Locke has handled Hugh’s past with sensitivity and respect and out of all that darkness and grief she has made Hugh in to the great man he is, and the same can be said for Alice. I have always thought that Locke excels at writing heroines, her ladies are always as strong as the men, they know their own minds and always put their brains to good use.

Another enchanting and romantic Christmas story, which I absolutely recommend. It’s just so good!

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

Her Christmas Knight is out 1st November and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

Introducing The Unlaced Ladies.

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Just over a year ago nine incredible Historical Romance author’s banded together to create the hugely popular Facebook based; Unlaced Book Club, a very special place where authors, readers and like-minded individuals all get together to discuss Romance, History and have a lot of cheeky fun in between.

Now a year on and with enough books to fill a library and with over two hundred members this club is going from strength to strength and I feel very privileged to be a part of it and be able to experience the fun and good-natured banter that makes this Book Club so special.

So, who are these nine women who brought all this fun and hilarity to the world?

Each one of them are extraordinary writers with the best Romance brain’s in the business, between the nine of them they have brought to the world Rugged Medieval Knight’s, Sinfully Handsome Rakes, Roguish Agent’s, Tormented Military Men, Scandalous Dukes and Gorgeously Brave Vikings. Plus some one the strongest and resilient heroine’s that are the only women in the world that can put up with theses adorable heroes.

Let me introduce you to nine of the best women you will ever meet.

“We are a group of authors who write sassy and sexy historical romance. If you like good books, giggles, and giveaways you’ve come to the right place! At The Unlaced Book Club, we adore heroes that wear breeches or wield a broadsword. We love to chat and have fun, the only thing we ask is that members are respectful of each other and if you’d like to post promotional material, you check with one of the administrators first.
So, dive right in and join the conversation. You know you want to…”

 

Virginia Heath

When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Fortunately, the lovely people at Harlequin Mills & Boon took pity on her and decided to publish her romances, but it still takes her forever to fall asleep. Virginia is the author of the incredible Wild Warriners series.

Reading List

That Despicable Rogue
The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide
Miss Bradshaw’s Bought Betrothal
Her Enemy at The Alter
A Warriner to Protect Her
A Warriner to Rescue Her
His Mistletoe Wager

If you want to find out more check out virginiaheathromance.com or follow her on Twitter @VirginiaHeath_ Click Here

 

Laurie Benson

Laurie Benson is an award-winning historical romance author who writes books about men in boots and the women who fall for them. She began her writing career as an advertising copywriter, where she learned more than you could ever want to know about hot dogs and credit score reports. Her interest in history began when she was in elementary school, and that interest was fueled by many visits to many museums. In 2015 Laurie was honored to become a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® finalist. When she isn’t at her laptop avoiding laundry, Laurie can be found browsing antique shops, going on ridiculously long hikes, or sitting in her car on the school pickup line. She lives with her husband and two sons in a house filled with testosterone—even her bunny is a boy.

Reading List

The Unsuitable Duchess
The Uncommon Duke
The Unexpected Countess

Learn more about Laurie by visiting her website at lauriebenson.net. You can also follow her on Twitter at @lauriebwrites and like her on Facebook Click Here

 

Lara Temple

When Lara was fifteen she found a very grubby copy of Georgette Heyer’s Faro’s Daughter in an equally grubby book store. Several blissful hours later she emerged, blinking, into the light of day completely in love with Max Ravenscar and with Regency Romance. Lara writes strong, sexy, and suspenseful regency romances about complex individuals who give no quarter but deliver plenty of passion. Lara recently went back to look for that grubby crowded little bookstore but couldn’t quite remember around what corner it was…hopefully it is still there and another girl is in the corner by the window, reading and dreaming…

Reading List

Lord Crayles Secret World
The Reluctant Viscount
The Dukes Unexpected Bride
His Cinderella Heiress

To learn more about Lara Click Here

 

Nicole Locke

Nicole first discovered romance novels hidden in her grandmother’s closet. Convinced hidden books must be better, Nicole greedily read them. It was only natural she should start writing them (but now not so secretly). If she isn’t working on the next book in the Lovers and Legends historical series.

Reading List

Her Enemy Highlander
The Knights Broken Promise
In Debt to the Enemy Lord
The Highland Brides Laird
The Knights Scarred Maiden

She can be reached at NicoleLocke.com, on Facebook, or Twitter as @NicoleLockeNews. Click Here

 

Harper St George

Harper was raised in rural Alabama and along the tranquil coast of northwest Florida. It was a setting filled with stories of the old days that instilled in her a love of history, romance, and adventure. By high school, she had discovered the historical romance novel which combined all of those elements into one perfect package. She has been hooked ever since. Harper is the author of the fabulous Viking Warrior series and the Outs of The WildWest series.

Reading List

Enslave by the Viking
One Night With The Viking
The Innocent and the Outlaw
In Bed With The Viking Warrior
Marriage Deal with the Outlaw

She would love to hear from you. Please visit her website at http://www.harperstgeorge.com or find her on Facebook Click Here

 

Catherine Tinley

Catherine writes witty, heartwarming Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, NHS management, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now works in Sure Start.

Reading List

Waltzing With The Earl

She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, and dog and can be reached at catherinetinley.com, and @CatherineTinley on twitter. Click Here

 

Janice Preston

Janice Preston writes emotional, sensual and satisfying Regency romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She grew up in Wembley with a love of reading, writing stories and animals and has worked as a dairy farmer, a police call-handler and a university administrator. She has two children, two step-children (all now adult) and a gorgeous, cheeky grandson. She now lives in the West Midlands with her husband and two cats and enjoys swimming, yoga and pottering about the garden when the sun is shining.

Reading List

Mary and the Marquess
Cinderella and the Duke
The Governesses Secret Baby
Saved by the Scandal’s Heir

If you’d like to know more, please visit Janice’s website at http://www.janicepreston.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @janicegpreston or Click Here

 

Jenni Fletcher

Jenni was born on the north coast of Scotland and now lives in Yorkshire, where she writes historical romance novels set in the Medieval and Victorian eras. She studied English at Clare College, Cambridge and Hull University, before starting to write books of her own Combining her love of history and literature with a special emphasis on alpha males and feisty heroines.

Reading List

Married to Her Enemy
The Convenient Felstone Marriage

Jenni loves hearing from her readers so why not get in touch Click Here

 

Elisabeth Hobbes

Elisabeth grew up in York where she spent most of my teenage years wandering around the city looking for a handsome Roman or Viking to sweep her off her feet. Sadly it never happened but Elisabeth developed a love of the past and went on to read History and Art History at university before venturing into the world of teaching. These days she holds down jobs as a teacher and mum. She lives in Cheshire with her husband, two young children and two cats with ridiculous names. Elisabeth loves historical fiction and has a fondness for dark haired, bearded heroes. When she’s not writing, she spends a lot of her spare time reading and has become something of a pro at cooking one-handed while holding a book!

Reading List

The Saxon outlaws Revenge
Redeeming the Rogue Knight
The Blacksmiths Wife
Falling for her Captor
A Wager for the Widow

You can find Elisabeth on Facebook and Twitter Click Here

Aren’t they fabulous?

So why not check out each of these author’s work and follow the Unlaced Book Club on Twitter to keep up to date with all their comings and goings. I can guarantee that getting to know these fine women will be the best thing that you will do today. TheUnlacedBookClub

 

Review – The Knight’s Scarred Maiden (Lovers and Legends Series #5) by Nicole Locke

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A maiden for the mercenary

Mercenary knight Rhain is living on borrowed time. With a vengeful warlord pursuing him, he has accepted his fate—though first he must get his men to safety.

When he rescues mysterious and deeply scarred Helissent from her attackers, Rhain soon wishes he wasn’t marked for death. He can never be the man she deserves—his scandalous lineage alone dictates that—but Rhain can’t resist the temptation to show this innocent maiden how beautiful she truly is…

Lovers and Legends A clash of Celtic passions

Brief Preview

Knight and mercenary leader; Rhain is trying to get his band of brother mercenaries to the safety of York, due to the fact that Rhain has a bounty on his head from one of the most powerful lords in the country he knows that he will eventually end up dead but he’s adamant that his band of mercenaries will survive.

On their way to York, Rhain stops at a sleepy little village at first it’s just like any other until he sets eyes on the mesmerizing Helissent, a severely scarred but deeply beautiful woman. One night as he’s on patrol of the village he hears screaming and comes across Helissent being attacked by a gang, after rescuing her from certain death he tends to her sounds and leaves her.

Helissent is in complete shock over what happened but no just about the attack but over the kindness Rhain has shown her, for the first time in her life she has felt safe. She knows that without Rhain there she may not survive and so she does the only thing she can do to protect herself; she walks into the mercenaries camp and demand that their mysterious leader take her to York with them.

So now Rhain in stuck between a stone and a hard place, he knows what she says is true an innocent woman like her, alone in a place where her attackers live wouldn’t survive, and his conscience wouldn’t let him rest if anything happened to this charming creature. But can he risk her life by taking her with him?

Off course he can! Just one look into her determined eyes and the decision has been made for him, there is just one problem as they make their way towards York, Rhain starts feeling things for Helissent that he knows he shouldn’t, having a price on his head and his death is imminent he can’t begin something no matter how alive he feels.

My View

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.

Rhain is such an intoxicating, brave and a undeniably fragile man who has got so much loyalty and he is very protective of his men and he wants to do right by them. He acts cold and distant and he is a little paranoid, but behind those amazing Amber eyes he has got a heart of pure gold, he just wants to protect Helissent and his band of mercenaries from what he knows is coming after him.

“ I’m not a saviour,” he said.
She, of all people knew no one was and that she didn’t deserve one.
“I’m not asking you to be.”

Rhain was raised as a lord as his father was one of the powerful Welsh Lords, but he finds out that the people he thought were his parent, weren’t and in actual fact his biological mother was the woman he grew up calling his aunt, a woman who he grew up respecting and loving. The only thing that he doesn’t know, is who his father is, so for the last five years he has searching for this elusive man and as his searched be became the man and mercenary he is now.

He believes he is tainted, that he is cursed because his biological mother was prone to seizures, he now believes that he has got “The Devils Blood” running through his veins. He believes that because of that he will never be able to have the life that he wants, a life that he was raised to have and this does explain a lot about how he is and how little he thinks of his own life which is a real shame as Rhain is very special man.

Rhain is an absolutely fabulous man, he is skilled at everything from sword fighting to healing, but he is a vulnerable man, a man who needs a bit of kindness who is the most outstandingly beautiful hero I have come across in a very long time.

“All this time women have been riding against you and you haven’t spared then a glance. Yet with her, you are. You even listen to that dreadful song she constantly sings.”
“Enough, “ he growled. “I’m a dead man, why bother with these questions?”
“Because your a dead man, and for some reason your coming alive, again”

Helissent wears her scars, not with pride she isn’t proud of herself, she is deeply ashamed of how she came about her burns, she does embrace them as that. As her shame and guilt! She feels that she is deserving of them, she has got this mad notion that because she couldn’t save her family from the flames, then she deserves the scars, the pain and even the scorn filled looks. She thinks she let her family down and as such she wanted to die too. So now she not only has to suffer from other people’s prejudice but from her own self loathing.

She is actually so much like Rhain, he is filled with self loathing too and neither of them can see just how incredible they are.

I know I say this a lot, but Helissent is by far the most incredible heroine I have come across, she is a courageous little thing. I absolutely love how she walks right into the den of big, burley mercenaries and demands that their leader; the gorgeous and intriguing Rhain, take her with him to York. Even when he refuses and she is surrounded by his men, she stands her ground and like any good negotiator she brings them around to her way of thinking.

She is an Inspirational woman!

“Your a gem, Helissent. A very rare gem. I’ve never met your like before.”

This is very clever, I really like all the different aspects that feature in the story from Helissent’s talent for baking, to Rhains mercenary life style. I particularly like how Locke has brought to attention how suppositious people were at the era and just how people saw hereditary illnesses, like seizures. The fact that people saw having some kind of illness as having, so-called “Devils Blood” hugely fascinating.

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.

From this book Locke has now become my go to author for Medieval Romance, it is astonishingly good, this isn’t your run of the mill Historical Romance. This is something special and cannot recommend this enough, for those who don’t like or haven’t read Medieval Romance you need to read this. This is how a Medieval romance is supposed to be, its perfect!

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

The Knights Scarred Maiden is released on 27th July and can be pre-ordered Amazon.

What is the Lovers and Legends Series?. . .Guest Post by Nicole Locke

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What is the Lovers and Legends series?

nicole

I don’t know. I didn’t come up with the name, Harlequin did. I do, however, love the name because it sounds Jackie Collins-ish. That may have made it worse to my understanding what the series will entail because if there ever was a legend she was it. I’m definitely not.
Oh, I know I’m supposed to have the answer to what the series is. After all, I’m the person at the keyboard. But the funny thing about creating something is it never feels as if it’s coming from you.

Certainly none of these characters or their stories, or the plots and intrigues and villains feel like they’re coming from me. It feels more like I’m just the medium for them to tell their story. Which now makes me sound like someone from Poltergeist, when all I am is someone trying to explain this while eating pretzels.

Yes, I’m eating pretzels while writing this post. See? Definitely not Jackie Collins.

But I do have stories to tell, and there will be many in the Lovers and Legends series. So far, there are ten. I have a lot of voices in my head.
They are not written in chronological order, nor are they written in order of importance. They’re more like threads in a tapestry. They can be read separately, and each has their own Happily Ever After.

4But everything hubs around The Knight’s Broken Promise, which introduces Robert of Dent, his friend Hugh, and the Colquhoun clan. All the people in that book will have their own stories, and the best part, you’ll see them again and again. For instance, you’ll be introduced to Gaira’s brother, Malcolm, in The Knight’s Broken Promise, hear about his grief in Her Enemy Highlander and struggles in The Highland Laird’s Bride. Eventually, he’ll have his own happily ever after, too.

What of the Legend? That’s first revealed in 3Her Enemy Highlander. It’s a Jewel, which has many myths attached to it. Thus, it becomes a powerful talisman for both good and evil. In The Highland Laird’s Bride, you’ll find its purpose. In Malcolm’s story, you’ll know what will become of it.

But before Malcolm’s story, there will be Rhain’s, who is brother to Teague, who is friends with Robert. And I’m currently writing Hugh’s story from The Knight’s Broken Promise for a later 2017 release.

I’m also trying (and failing) to rein myself in from talking about the other people and voices in my head. Yet someday, I hope to chat about them all while sharing my bag of pretzels.

In the meantime, I may not know exactly what the Lovers and Legends series is, but I’m typing it as fast as I can to find out.

More about my work at  www.nicolelocke.com