Review: Four Nights With the Duke

Four Nights With the Duke
Four Nights With the Duke by Eloisa James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I couldn’t wait to read this soon as I had it downloaded. Mia and Vander’s journey to true love, well, admitting their love, was by turns melodramatic, laugh out loud funny, witty and heart meltingly romantic. I’ve never been so enthralled by two such like able main characters. Mia’s inner insecurities and yearning for love and Vander’s blunt speaking got in the way of the lovebirds believing in what they have seen in each other’s eyes, and hearts all along. Another masterpiece and DIK read. Can’t wait for the next one, where Edward gets his Seven Minutes in Heaven.

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Review: Sinful in Satin by Madeline Hunter

The third book in The Rarest Blooms series, Sinful in Satin by Madeline Hunter is a slow burning romance, as both lead characters are a little reticent about expressing their feelings, but if you adore romances that develop over time, and appreciate book series supported by delightful secondary characters, then this is a good book to curl up with on a lazy afternoon.

Review: Sinful in Satin by Madeline Hunter
Sinful in Satin

Author: Madeline Hunter

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Jove Books/ The Berkley Publishing Group

Year Published: October 2010

Stand alone or series: Book 3 of The Rarest Blooms series

On the Back cover:

She was trained in the art of pleasure. But she’s about to ger her first lesson in love…

The daughter of a famed London courtesan, Celia was educated in the art of pleasure – destined, it seemed, to follow in her mother’s footsteps. But instead, Celia ran away, taking refuge with friends far from society’s debauched circles.

Her life of quiet comes to an abrupt end when her mother dies. Celia has inherited all of her property, which includes massiive debts and a small house in town. She has also inherited Jonathan Albrighton, an enigmatic gentleman who has lived in her mother’s house as a tenant … a man Celia soon admits she is in no hurry to evict, no matter how deliciousy unsettling she considers his presence. Darkly handsome and reputedly dangerous, Jonathan has his own reasons for staying close to Celia as he conducts a secret investigation into her mother’s mysterious activities.

With mounting debts threatening everything she had hoped to build, Celia is forced to consider embracing the scandalous profession for which she was groomed. But now there is only one man for whom she wants to put her erotic training to use …

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Review: Provocative in Pearls by Madeline Hunter

Continuing with The Rarest Blooms series, here’s my opinion of the second book, Provocative in Pearls, in this historical romance series by Madeline Hunter.


Provocative in Pearls

Author: Madeline Hunter

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Jove Books/ The Berkley Publishing Group

Year Published: March 2010

Stand alone or series: Book 2 of The Rarest Blooms series

On the Back cover:

The Earl of Hawkeswell has been living in limbo for two years, ever since his bride, heiress Verity Thompson, disappeared on their wedding day. As she hsn’t been declared deceased, Hawkswell cannot legally remarry and cannot access his wife’s funds – either of which would settle his dire financial crisis.

Coerced into marrying Hawkeswell by her duplicitous cousin, Verity fled London for the countryside. With no interest in the earl’s title or status, she was willing to forfeir her inheritance in exchange for her freedom. Now that her ruse has been discovered, Verity is forced to return to a loveless marriage.

Hawkeswell strikes a bargain with Verity: In return for three kisses a day, he will no insist on his conjugal rights. But Verity discovers there are kisses … and then there are kisses … as she begings to learn the true meaning if seduction at the hands of a master.

In my books …

The mystery surrounding Hawkeswell’s runaway bride was hinted at in the first book, and I had the sneaky suspicion that she’s hiding behind an invented identity. But this was unveiled in the beginning of the book. What kept me going to the end of the book was the hero’s wooing and seduction of the reluctant Verity, who despite her common merchant background, has captured his heart and admiration with her bold and honest way of facing life and the marriage, once her deception caught up with her.

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Review: Ravishing in Red by Madeline Hunter

Ever since I picked up Madeline Hunter’s medieval romance, By Arrangement, set in 14th century London, she has kept me spellbound to her writing with the breathtaking attention to details she imbues in her description of the period setting. In this, her latest romance series, she introduced four independent women who live together communally just on the outskirts of London, and they all contribute to the household funds, helping to garden and harvest the flowers for enigmatic widow Daphne’s trade, The Rarest Blooms.

Here’s a quick review of the first book in the series, which I read late last year, and re-read early this year for the 2011 Reading Challenge.

Review: Ravishing in Red by Madeline Hunter

Title: Ravishing in Red
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Jove Books/ The Berkley Publishing Group
Year Published: February 2010

Stand alone or series: Book 1 of The Rarest Blooms series

On the Back cover:

The Domino requests that Mr Kelmsley meet him at The Two swords in Brighton two nights hence to discuss a matter of mutual benefit.

Hoping to clear her dead father’s name, Audrianna Kelmsleigh decides to respond to the advertisement placed by the mysterious “Domino”. Armed with her cousin’s pistol, she takes a room at the two Swords Coaching Inn. But the handsome man of commanding sensuality who shows up is not the Domino at all, but Lord Sebastian Summerhays – one of her father’s persecutors – who has been lured by the same advertisement. When Audrianna’s pistol accidentally fires, the situation becomes mortifyingly public …

There is only one way out of the scandal that erupts, and so these two passionate and headstrong adversaries find themselves joined in a marriage of necessity. Expecting a practical alliance, Audrianna quickly discovers she is helpless to resist Sebastian’s seductive persuasions as he teaches her the meaning of erotic desire. But she remains determined to exonerate her father, even if it means risking her life, her marriage – and her heart …

In my books …

I’ve always have a soft spot for heroes named Sebastien (or Sebastian). The few I’ve come across, in books of course, are rather intense, impassioned man of action. And Summerhays is no exception. In fact, this book works primarily because of him, even though the series revolves around the women.

Audrianna comes across as naive, and impetuous most of the time, and although she grew up a little towards the end of story, it was Summerhays and his circle of friends, and his brother, who captured my attention and held my interest in the development of the story. I already liked the Duke (Tristan) and the mystery surrounding Hawkswell’s missing bride promises to be an intriguing second installment.

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Book Review: Lisa Kleypas' The Hathaways series

One of my all-time favourite author, Lisa Kleypas has the amazing talent of creating unforgettable, engaging characters, rather family of characters, who stick to your memory and ender themselves to you even long after you’ve closed the back cover on the book.  One such family is the Hathaways, not least because of their unconventional upbringing, but more of the unusual and refreshing way they view the 19th century world that they reside in.

The romance series has afforded me many hours of enjoyment and will no doubt become familiar favourites that I’ll return to in the future.


Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa KleypasTitle: Tempt Me at Twilight

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Year Published: September 22, 2009

Stand alone or series: book 3 in the Hathaway series


On the Back cover:

He was everything she’d sworn to avoid.

Poppy Hathaway loves her unconventional family, though she longs for normalcy. Then fate leads to a meeting with Harry Rutledge, an enigmatic hotel owner and inventor with wealth, power, and a dangerous hidden life. When their flirtation compromises her own reputation, Poppy shocks everyone by accepting his proposal—only to find that her new husband offers his passion, but not his trust.

And she was everything he needed …

Harry was willing to do anything to win Poppy—except to open his heart. All his life, he has held the world at arm’s length…but the sharp, beguiling Poppy demands to be his wife in every way that matters. Still, as desire grows between them, an enemy lurks in the shadows. Now if Harry wants to keep Poppy by his side, he must forge a true union of body and soul, once and for all…

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Book Review: Mary Balogh's The Huxtables and A Matter of Class

Am no stranger to Mary Balogh.  Her name has been mentioned many times amongst romance readers that I was quite delighted to have come across some books by her at the local bookstore. The Huxtable series was a good addition on the shelf, while the slim novella sized A Matter of Class was acquired slightly before Christmas on a business trip to a remote part of Indonesia, in anticipation of the lack of in-flight entertainment onboard.

Book Review: Mary Balogh's The Huxtables and A Matter of ClassTitle: First Comes Marriage

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Dell

Year Published: 2004

Stand alone or series: Book 1 of The Huxtables series

Why I read it: I was casting around for a book with a marriage of convenience angle for the TBR reading challenge last year and chanced upon this book

On the Back cover:

The arrival of Elliott Wallace, the irresistibly eligible Viscount Lyngate, has thrown the sleepy village of Throckbridge into a tizzy. It soon becomes clear that Elliot seeks a convenient marriage to a suitable bride, and desperate to rescue her eldest sister Margaret from a loveless union, Vanessa Huxtable – a proud and daring, a young widow – offers herself up instead.

In need of a wife, Elliott takes the audacious widow up on her unconventional proposal while he pursues an urgent mission of his own. But then a strange thing happens: as the wedding night approaches they become inexplicably drawn to one another. And, as intrigue swirls around a past secret – one with a striking connection to the Huxtables – Elliott and Vanessa are uncovering the glorious pleasures of the marriage bed and discovering that when it comes to wedded bliss, love can’t be far behind.

In my books …

Okay, this was the weakest book amongst the three for me, although I was quite charmed by the other two sisters, and curiosity prompted me to seek out the other two books. Thankfully, the next two books in the series captured my interest, with more intriguing heroes.

IMB Rating: 3.0, liked it

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2010 Round-up Review: A Kiss at Midnight, A Hellion in Her Bed and A Rogue of My Own

Almost there … here’s another batched review of romance novels read in 2010.

kiss-midnightTitle: A Kiss At Midnight Author: Eloisa James Genre: Historical Romance Publisher: Avon Books Year Published: August 2010 Stand alone or series: looks like the debut of a new series Why I read it: It’s an Eloisa James novel, need I say more? The Cinderella angle promises sheer escapism. On the Back cover:

Miss Kate Daltry doesn’t believe in fairy tales… or happily ever after. Forced by her stepmother to attend a ball, Kate meets a prince… and decides he’s anything but charming. A clash of wits and wills ensues, but they both know their irresistible attraction will lead nowhere. For Gabriel is promised to another woman—a princess whose hand in marriage will fulfill his ruthless ambitions. Gabriel likes his fiancé, which is a welcome turn of events, but he doesn’t love her. Obviously, he should be wooing his bride-to-be, not the witty, impoverished beauty who refuses to fawn over him. Godmothers and glass slippers notwithstanding, this is one fairy tale in which destiny conspires to destroy any chance that Kate and Gabriel might have a happily ever after. Unless a prince throws away everything that makes him noble… Unless a dowry of an unruly heart trumps a fortune… Unless one kiss at the stroke of midnight changes everything.

In my books … Ms James sure knows how to bring new perspectives and twists to a familiar fairy-tale, and it didn’t hurt that she injected this novel with a bit of fun, comedy, romance and humour.  There were a lot of whatifs that both main characters have to work on, but the happy-ever-after was so much more satisfying when the love lost and found angle worked out for all. Am already looking forward to her version of Beauty and the Beast, next in the loosely related series. IMB Rating: 4.0, Really liked it Continue reading