Tuesday, April 15, 2014

ARC Review: How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Kate McKinley

Click here to find out purchase information for this book (Release date: April 21, 2014)

This is the second story that derived its title from the rom-com movie "How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days" and, while the first book didn't really have anything in common with the movie, Kate McKinley's reworking is more faithful to the original. Lucas and Pippa are both bold and audacious and outrageous in how they try to one-up each other (and Pippa really does try to get rid of her unwanted suitor, Lucas).

Lucas, the Duke of Arlington, saw Pippa six months earlier and had been so captivated by her beauty that he couldn't speak or act in her presence. Unfortunately, the Duke's inaction was mistaken by everyone present as a cut-direct and has tarnished Pippa's reputation in society. Pippa has vowed never to marry into such a cold and ruthless society. It comes as a surprise to her when, six months later, the Duke arrives at her house, announcing his intention to make Pippa his wife.

Pippa refuses and the Duke leaves, but not before he gives Pippa an invitation to her own engagement party to him in ten days. Pippa is determined to break the engagement, and Lucas is determined to convince her otherwise. It's a battle of wills and both sides are evenly matched -- and it was exciting to see sparks fly between the two.

"I'm a woman, not property. I will not be taken, as you so eloquently put it,:
- p.11

* * *

"I happen to adore animals," she said. "And I do believe it was you who said 'whatever you wish, it's yours' just three days past." She pulled her glove back on, then smiled up at him. "I'm afraid I don't have much use for rubies or diamonds. But dogs, on the other hand, add life and vivacity to a household. You wouldn't deny me that, would you?"

She was challenging him again -- always challenging. He wasn't surprised to have his words flung back at him. He should have known better than to make such a broad and undefined statement. If he gave in, he risked appearing weak. If he denied her, then there was little doubt she'd use it against him at some later date.
- p. 90

McKinley's How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days has all the classic elements to make this a fun, light-hearted read (The bit with the decorator and the lace was funny. pp. 36-37 ^_^) -- and I appreciated the author's decision to infuse a bit of dimension to the characters by delving into their backstory. Lucas hints at an unhappy and neglected childhood, and these are the things that have shaped him into the person that he is. There is more to Lucas than his domineering/bossy ways and there's more to Pippa than her defiant/impulsive self. McKinley exposes the difficulty young women like Pippa encounter when they enter society: tolerated, but not completely accepted -- talked about and speculated about behind their backs. In Pippa's case, the attacks weren't even done behind her back but were done directly to her -- and you have to admire her grace, patience and forbearance for handling such terrible situations with dignity.

However, I felt that there was so much material and there was opportunity to do more. It might have been too much for a novella, which is why, while the components are all present, they weren't maximised.

I was also confused by Lucas's motivation for pursuing Pippa. The very first time Lucas addresses this, he mentions how taken he was taken by Pippa's beauty and freshness. But, then, the issue of the coal mines, which Lucas wants and Pippa's family owns come up -- and Lucas thinks about it four times (p. 15, p. 16, p. 38, and p. 57) . Up to the middle of the book, Lucas seems to think the latter, so, when he is confronted about his reasons for courting/wanting Pippa, it came as a surprise to me when he said it was love. How? When did it happen? When our hero and heroine weren't matching wits, they were indulging in their physical attraction to each other. There were some conversations that revealed a bit about them, and, again, this was a point I wish was explored more in the story.

I've read McKinley's debut, A Duchess in the Dark, and the tone of the love scenes were clear and consistent with the rest of the story. In How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days, I was a bit shocked by Lucas's darker inclinations/intentions (p. 61) -- and I didn't see it meshing well with the light/fun premise of the story. (He never acts on it, btw.)

Despite my reservations, I thought McKinley was really able to cover a lot of ground and present us with a complete picture of the courtship and love between Lucas and Pippa, considering the limitations of the length of the form. There are scenes in How to Lose a Duke which presents the characters and story for the second instalment in this series (Lord Crawford and Lucas's sister, Lady Evelyn). It looks to be a very interesting read. ^_^

How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days is the first book in Kate McKinley's What Happens in Scotland series and will be released on April 21, 2014. To find out more about Kate McKinley, click below:
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Disclosure: I received this review copy from the author. Yes, this is an honest review.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Free and Discounted Romance Novels

Happy Monday, everyone! How was your weekend?

Here's the latest set of historical romances for your consideration:


Blurb:
Angelica Douglas has no idea that she’s the Countess of Melrose. What she does know is that she needs to support her family as a card shark, while finding a way to seek revenge on the men who ruined her father and sent her family spiralling down into poverty.

Robert Campbell, Marquess of Argyll, heir to the Duke of Inverary, has no idea who Angelica truly is. He just wants to watch over her and make her his mistress.

Angelica thinks Robert is simply a dashing rogue who is far too dangerous for her peace of mind. Robert thinks Angelica is an angel except when she’s being a pain in the behind.

When Robert finds out that his own father may have been one of the men who ruined Angelica’s family, he vows to keep a careful eye on her. When Angelica finds out that Robert’s father may have been one of the men responsible, she vows to stay as far away from Robert as possible. But when danger threatens, both Robert and Angelica must face the truth and let fate take the upper hand.

* * *


Blurb:
In 1789, on the eve of the first Presidential inauguration, charismatic Lion Hampshire aspires to a seat in the first Congress. In an effort to improve his rakish reputation, he agrees to an arranged marriage with Virginia-bred Priscilla Wade. However, his fiancée's headstrong lady's maid, Meagan, is not who she seems to be and Lion's carefully crafted future may be undone by his passion for the wrong woman ...

Filled with Cynthia Wright's hallmarks of warm intimacy, sensual romance, humor, adventure, and colorfully-drawn historical characters like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, TOUCH THE SUN is a shining achievement by a beloved author!

* * *


Blurb:
Affairs of the state will soon give way to affairs of the heart.

Althea Markham shoulders many burdens of being an unattached countess -- wading through the collection of gold-diggers and rogues to find a suitable husband, providing her family with a male heir, and most of all, protecting her mother, who tends to acts more debutante than dowager. As she sneaks away for illicit meetings with a mysterious stranger, Althea is determined to unveil his identity -- and his intentions.

Desperate to escape from beneath the shadow of his older brother, John Ridley takes part in a daring game of espionage against the French. Posing as a smuggler, he engages with the charming Celeste Markham. But despite her winsome allure, it is her daughter, Althea, who seizes John's attention.

As affairs of the state give way to affairs of heart, John must convince Althea that she can trust him with her future, and her love.

* * *


Blurb:
London, 1814

Remington Hawthorne, Earl of Latham, has spent his life protecting the Crown. When he's assigned to play the part of lover to Emma Masterson, one of the few female spies in England and the one woman he can't forget, he'll have to risk his heart as well as his life.

It isn't easy being an independent woman, much less a spy. Perpetually tasked with proving she is as valuable as any man in her profession, the last thing Emma needs is to be reunited with the one man who makes her want to forget her duties and get lost in passion.

Pretending to be his mistress isn't difficult -- remembering that it is all a charade is a challenge. With every glance, every touch, every kiss, she is drawn deeper under his spell and pulled further from her goals. She refused him once, but it will take every ounce of strength to not give in to the passion that still burns strong ...

* * *


Blurb:

In this novella of the Holy Grail from New York Times bestselling author Jo Beverley, one woman must step forward to restore peace to medieval England ...

As the seventh child in her family, Sister Gledys was given to the Church at birth. She has spent all of her eighteen years in the Rosewell Nunnery, living a quiet, regimented life behind its walls. But lately, her mind has been wandering. She has visions of a gallant knight battling a massive foe. She longs to see his face and speak to him but she cannot ...

As a young boy, Michael de Lourey was locked away in a monastery by his mother. Not being the oldest in his family, he would not inherit land. His only options are to be a monk or a knight. Michael left the monastery at twelve and has grown into a skilled fighter, but the chaste life of a knight may be taking its toll on him. Whenever he fights, he keeps seeing a beautiful and silent woman in a green dress and white veil. He doesn’t dare mention her to anyone for fear of sounding crazy.

But there’s nothing crazy about their visions. It’s as though some great power is drawing them together ...

The Raven and the Rose previously appeared in Chalice of Roses.

* * *


Blurb:
New York City, 1883

A Prince Charming meets his match ...
Self-made shipping magnate Christopher Black first spies Rebecca Bailey at a masquerade ball and is captivated by her refreshing naivete and sparkling beauty. She's a stark contrast to the hollow behavior of the ton and the guile of his former fiancee, but the closer he gets to her secrets, the further she pushes him away.

A Cinderella with a secret ...
Rebecca is drawn to the charismatic Christopher from the first, but she cannot risk him discovering that she is really a housemaid impersonating an heiress. Her father's life depends on it.

A Happily Ever After that could never be ...
When Christopher's investigation of the murder of his best friend leads him straight to Rebecca, he fears his ingenue may be a femme fatale in disguise. Now he must decide if he can trust the woman he's come to love, or if her secrets will be his downfall.

* * *


Blurb:
A drunken laugh, a roll of the dice ... and Aurora Sprague finds herself a child bride, married in haste to a young man she's never met to settle her father's gaming debt. Moments after the ceremony, the new groom gallops off to the army and Aurora is banished to a remote estate, married in name only.

Years later, Alex Fenimore, now a top intelligence officer, is on a secret mission when a fiery young lady helps him escape attack.

He has no idea that the woman is his wife or that the sparks of desire between them are about to ignite a dangerous passion.

* * *


Blurb:
WARNING: This is an EROTIC romance. This series contains material that is not suitable for anyone under the age of 18 ...

Behind the Plaid -- Book One

He dominated her mind. She possessed his soul.

Emma Gordon escapes from a troubling marriage in which she's completely lost sight of who she is. Desperate for independence, she leaves her husband while on a trip in the Scottish Highlands. Only thing is, she ends up hurled back in time to the 16th Century Castle Gealach and headlong into the arms of the handsome, intimidating Laird Logan Grant. Thrust into a world filled with treachery, danger and intensity she must summon the courage to find her way.

Bared to the Laird -- Book Two

Secret obsession makes for the sweetest of sins.

Overwhelmed by her new life in another era with the Laird of Gealach, and the feelings that threaten to consume her, Emma determines she must return to her own time and a semblance of sanity. Having heard of a magical circle of stones atop the ridge overlooking Loch Ness, she manages to escape from the castle and the desire and intensity of Logan that's held her captive. When Logan realizes Emma is missing, he is enraged and terrified. He seeks to find her and when he does, he will punish her exquisitely for leaving him, and for inexplicably exposing his scorching fascination and adoration.

Dark Side of the Laird-- Book three

Bound by passion. Freed by love.

When the damaged and tormented Emma first meets the equally broken Logan, they embark on a torrid, emotionally provocative affair that irrevocably changed their lives. Emma has sacrificed her entire being and just when she thinks Logan is willing to do the same, he holds back. Reluctant for their love to be a thing of shadows, Emma issues an ultimatum: commit or say goodbye. But Logan's appeal to the king to grant his wish to marry is denied and instead, Logan is seized and sent to the dungeon with no hope for escape. While in Hell, Logan's dark past haunts him, threatening to consume him. He must fight to remain the man he's become with Emma by his side and relinquish the control he's held onto for a lifetime.

* * *

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Review: Sweet Disorder by Rose Lerner


Click here to buy the book on Amazon

Phoebe Sparks is a Whig, but such a fact is not useful to her. A widow, Phoebe has chosen to live independently, without relying on her late husband's family or her own and she makes ends meet with her writing. Despite the meagreness and simplicity of her life, she is happy because she is independent and makes her own decisions, living the life she wants to live. But it is election time and Phoebe's late husband's vote will make the difference between who will win the elections in their town. The Tories want that vote and so do the Whigs -- and the only way for Phoebe to give that vote is by marriage ... something Phoebe has sworn never to do again.

Suddenly, plain and quiet and ordinary Mrs. Sparks is the center of both party's attention and each one has a candidate for Phoebe's hand in marriage. But Phoebe is busy with other things: her younger sister just revealed that she is pregnant and has been booted out of their mother's house. Her brother-in-law, Jack Sparks, (a Whig) is in love with the Tory MP's daughter -- it's all a big mess, really ... and it's up to Phoebe to fix everything.

Phoebe didn't want this shop to go under. All she had to do, to ensure it and Helen's security both, was marry the man. Why couldn't she say the words?
- Chapter 8

It doesn't help the situation when Nick Dymond, the brother of the Whig candidate arrives in Lively St. Lemeston for the very specific reason of courting Phoebe's vote -- and while Phoebe tries her best to like Mr. Moon and Mr. Fairclough, she finds it easier to like Mr. Dymond, and she's not supposed to.

What unfolds next is a most charming, most engaging portrait of small town politics and of a young woman navigating her way through the tricky (and tense) line between the two parties.

Phoebe is such a complex and complicated character. She's so incredibly outspoken and blunt -- but there's also a vein of vulnerability to her. She tries her best to keep everything together, but there is a limit to every person and Phoebe is nearing hers. She juggles her sister's and her brother-in-law's affairs, as well as her own -- and I really admired how calmly and fairly she handled the two gentlemen vying for her hand and vote. She's a strange mix of abrasive and loveable -- and incredibly real. My heart broke for her during her confrontations with her mother and my heart was giddy, especially when she was accommodating Mr. Moon. In some sense, I really wanted her relationship with Mr. Moon to succeed. It was fun reading about her visits to Mr. Moon's and sharing her love for reading while he would share his love of desserts. I love how she was gracious and tried to mask her dislike of sweets, which I thought was a weird quirk (what woman doesn't like sweets? ^_^) -- but I saw it as a reflection of who Phoebe is as a character. She's unlike any other heroine that I've ever read about and she isn't afraid to go against the grain.

She hid a smile. He wasn't, after all, much more tactful than she was. "I didn't mean to be rude. As I said, I haven't read his lordship's work. I might like it. Plenty of others do."

He smiled. "No, I do believe rudeness comes to you quite unconsciously."
- Chapter 2 (Phoebe and Nick are discussing Lord Byron)

* * *

"...My heart doesn't start and stop at my command. Or yours, or your mother's for that matter."
- Chapter 9

Nick doesn't fit into his family, either. The Dymonds have been involved in politics forever, but Nick chose to become a soldier -- and then he returns home with a limp. In a family that values perfection and conformity, Nick sticks out like a sore thumb. The only reason why he agreed to help out his brother is because of a wager he made with his mother.

She had never had the slightest bit of faith in him. Nick tried not to let it sting. Why should she have? It was only in the army that he had found something worth working for, worth fighting for. He'd been useful there, even valuable. He'd became someone to be relied on.,

Now he was useless again.
- Chapter 1

I did like how Phoebe and Nick rubbed together. While their stations in life were not equal, it didn't stop them from engaging/interacting with each other as equals. The love that develops between the two is very natural and is the product of the logical progression of events: they spend a lot of time together, they communicate very well with each other, they've shared secret pains and hopes with each other, etc. It isn't driven by lust or physical attraction (well, Phoebe does find Nick very handsome) -- but is rooted in a sense of companionship and connection that goes beyond the body.

But this point leads me to the one aspect of the story that was jarring for me: the sex scenes have a very different tone and voice compared to the rest of the story. While they were very well-written, those scenes felt disjointed (and a bit dark) (read: Chapter 17).

The most fascinating aspect of this book is how Rose Lerner has woven politics and romance into a cohesive story. I am amazed by how thoroughly she has presented the bipartisan politics that existed (and still exists) in England today. At certain points, I was tempted to view this book as historical fiction with a splash of romance. Fellow readers, be assured that the romance is present and it is as practical and as no-nonsense as Lerner's heroine.

Sweet Disorder is an interesting commentary on the role of women in politics. On one hand, I am happy to read that Phoebe actually holds such power -- but, on the other hand, I am sad that she could not use the vote herself and must give it to her husband. I thought Lerner set her story against a very interesting time, where women had greater involvement in their community -- it is an encouraging story, but also one with a gentle reminder: we still have far to go.

"But what if you say no, and he's angry? He could tell everyone you kissed him."

"He won't," Phoebe promised as they half-ran towards the Drunk St. Leonard.

"How do you know?" Helen held her skirts up with one hand and her hair carefully in place with the other.

Phoebe just knew. "He wants me votes," she said flippantly.
- Chapter 10

Finally, I appreciate how clear and distinct Lerner's voice and style is. It's very new to me and I find that I lack the words to accurately describe her writing. ^_^ It's a wonderful mix of pastoral (?) and social commentary and I loved the details she included to make Lively St. Lemeston so real, so homelike, and so alive.

Congratulations to Rose Lerner for this wonderful book! I look forward to the next instalment in her Lively St. Lemeston series.

To find out more about the author, click below:
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Friday, April 11, 2014

Review: Once a Rake by Eileen Dreyer


Click here to buy the book on Amazon
Click here to buy the book at The Book Depository

Ian Ferguson is on the run after being accused of attempting to assassinate the Duke of Wellington. He's injured and is far from London and his friends.

Lady Sarah Clarke is the sole caretaker of her husband's estate, and of her mother-in-law and her young sister-in-law. Funds are scarce and Sarah cannot afford to make a mistake as her husband's heir circles about them like a buzzard waiting for the kill. When a wanted man appears at her door, Sarah's first instinct is to protect herself and her family, but when she realises that he is the older brother of her dearest friends from Last Chance Academy, she knows she must help him at all costs.

The heroine, Sarah Clarke, is admirable in her devotion to her husband's family. She's had to bear the responsibility of being the head of their household because her mother-in-law is too flighty and her sister-in-law is too young. It isn't the happiest situation, but, for Sarah, it's the happiest she's been. She was born a bastard and has longed for acceptance, recognition and love from a family. When she married, Boswell, she knew it wasn't a love match, but she was content because her marriage came with the life she has always dreamed of. Here, in this tiny corner of Fairbourne, in this rundown farm with her pig and chickens, she belongs. But her life also teeters at a balance. If her husband does not return from the war, he would be declared dead and their cousin, Martin Clarke would inherit the farm. She and her in-laws would be turned out from the farm and have no place to go. It's been four months since the war ended, and, with each day that passes, the chances of her husband returning home becomes slimmer and slimmer.

When she finds Ian, she is torn between her loyalty to her family and loyalty to her dearest school friends. She knows who Ian is and had, as a young girl at the academy, listened to his letters being read by his sisters and imagined his adventures in distant lands. In fact, Sarah was secretly infatuated with the idea of Ian. And, now, the man himself is the stuff of her daydreams ... and more.

Ian's character isn't as clearly defined in this story. The title implies that Ian is a rake, but he doesn't really exhibit rakish tendencies. Dreyer also puts a lot of emphasis on Ian's size, often referring to him as being very tall and with having very broad shoulders and with being broad and big all over.

His hips were so wide, she could barely straddle him, but she managed ...
- pp. 285-286

I am amazed by his physical prowess, considering how long he has survived wounded -- with an infected wound, at that! I think what overshadowed his character development and the romance between Sarah and Ian is Ian's own backstory and his relationship with his sisters (Fiona and Mairead). Despite his reconciliation with his sisters, there's a lot of things left unspoken and unresolved between them -- and it's what takes center stage in this story. (This and Ian's strained relationship with their grandfather.) Ian's conversations with Sarah are almost always about his sisters (or about the sinister plot he is involved in), and there's actually more emotional pull in the scenes with Alex and Ian's grandfather. I didn't really see a way for Sarah and Ian's relationship to flourish with so many other things happening around them. The relationship seemed one-sided for the most part of the story: it is clear that Sarah was infatuated with Ian from the beginning, whereas Ian seems to just depend on Sarah. I did like how he tried to protect Sarah at the risk of his own life and he was willing to go away, even though he hadn't fully recovered to save Sarah.

My second problem is the intrigue itself. The initial premise is clear: Did Ian try to assassinate the Duke of Wellington? Dreyer's recounting of the events in the Prologue is a bit vague and confusing and I wonder if that was deliberately done.

Later, no one would be able to agree as to exactly what happened on the HMS Reliance that night. The witnesses were too many and the action too sudden to gain a coherent story.
- p. 1

What is clear is that Ian has a flask and the villains want it back at all cost, including calling in one of their most ruthless assassins, Madame Ferrar, a recurring character. While her reappearance is meant to tie Ian's story to the rest of the series, I could not help but feel that she was acting with her own agenda and her scenes, while gory and compelling, did not seem as a cohesive part of Once a Rake.

I had expected this story to be about how Ian would clear his name and it all seemed link to the flask -- but, even the role of the flask isn't that clear. It contains an image? It implicates someone they already know to be involved? The best part of the intrigue is how Ian manages to send messages to his compatriots -- and then the plot goes downhill from there. The resolution is just as vague and confusing as the beginning: it was a house party at the Duke of Ripton's house and the tone of atmosphere at the party is a strange mix of light and sinister -- it seemed to house the dangerous criminals who were after Ian. Another of Sarah's school friends, Lizzie, is the sister of the Duke and she has a room in the house. Another friend, Pippin, the younger sister of Alex Knight (one of Drake's agents) is also at the house party and those scenes felt very much like what a house party should be, but they abruptly jump to scenes of lurking around hallways and danger being present everywhere. Where were the footmen? The maids? The other guests?

Reaching another hallway, obviously the guest wing, Pippin tiptoed to the third door on the right and scratched on the door. There was no answer. Taking another look over her shoulder, she turned the knob and pushed the door open. Sarah wasn't surprised to see that she was grinning. Pippin adored high adventure.

"Huh," Pippin breathed, striding across the room to where a canopied bed rose before them. Empty. "Why, that sly dog. I wonder whose bedroom he is in?"

'There was a light in the library," Sarah suggested, staring at the tidy line of the untouched bed linen.

"We don't have time," Pippin said. "We'll have to breach the defences of Chuffy's sanctuary." She flashed another grin Sarah could barely see in the dark. "Gird your loins, Lady Clarke. We are about to do something quite scandalous."

Sarah scowled. "Pip, I have been kidnapped by a man wanted for treason, hidden with him in a barn, and climbed a wall in a dress. I think I left scandalous back at Fairbourne."

Only Pip would giggle.
- p. 319

* * *

Well, Ian thought, testing the ropes that held him to the chair, at least he'd been smart enough to hide the flask back in the tunnel. If only he knew where Sarah was. If only he knew she was safe.

...

"I don't think you appreciate your situation, Colonel Ferguson," the silky voice insisted beside him. "We can do anything we want to you, and no one will care. When your body washes up on the beach in a few days, they will shake their heads and think how a traitor had met his just fate."

Ian laughed, even though it hurt. Hell, by this time, everything hurt. He could no longer see out of his right eye, his nose was broken again, and at least one tooth was loose. He didn't even want to think about his ribs.
- p. 329

Another plot twist that took my attention away from the resolution was the relationship between Lizzie, Sarah and the Duke of Ripton -- though the author hints about this early on, when she finally reveals the details, it took away the momentum from the Ian/traitors conflict. Was Ian able to prove that he didn't try to kill the Duke of Wellington? Yes -- but it seemed like a secondary thing ... something incidental that just happened as they confronted Madame Ferrars and her cohorts.

I'm a big fan of Dreyer's Drake's Rakes (Three Graces) series and I was very excited to read about Ian Ferguson after encountering him in the previous books. I was also very excited to read about the ladies from Last Chance Academy after reading the e-novella, It Begins with a Kiss. Sadly, Once a Rake was a bit of a disappointment for me: it isn't the best romance I've read from Dreyer and not the best intrigue either -- I will still continue to follow this series, despite the slow start -- there's a lot of electricity in the scenes between Alex and Fiona and Pippin is such a fun character as well. ^_^

To find out more about Eileen Dreyer and her books, click below:
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Historical Romance Edition #30

Thank you to Shabby Blogs (http://shabbyblogs.com/) for the free frame!

Happy Thursday, everyone! And welcome to a new feature on Buried Under Romance and Love Saves the World.

What is Throwback Thursday?
Traditionally, Throwback Thursday celebrates nostalgia, asking participants to post a personal photo or an image from their past -- usually from 5 to 10 years ago. There are a lot of book blogs that also do a book-related Throwback Thursday.

The Historical Romance Edition:
Since Mary of Buried Under Romance and I are unapologetic lovers of historical romances, we've decided to focus on our beloved genre.

Here are our rules:
1. It must be posted on a Thursday.
2. It must be a historical romance novel published before October 3, 2008.


Thunder and Roses by Mary Jo Putney, published 1993

Blurb:

A Dangerous Bargain

“They called him the Demon Earl. They said he could do anything.” Son of a rogue and a gypsy, Nicolas Davies was a notorious rake until a shattering betrayal left him alone and embittered in the Welsh countryside. Desperation drives quiet schoolmistress Clare Morgan to ask the Demon Earl to help save her village. Unwilling to involve himself in the problems of others, Nicholas sets an impossible price on his aid -- only if Clare will live with him for three months, letting the world think the worst, will he intervene. Furiously Clare accepts his outrageous challenge, and finds herself drawn into a glittering Regency world of danger and desire. As allies, she and Nicholas fight to save her community. As adversaries, they explore the hazardous terrain of power and sensuality. And as lovers, they surrender to a passion that threatens the foundations of their lives ...


I'm a big fan of Mary Jo Putney's current Lost Lords series and would have wanted to feature the first book of that series, Loving a Lost Lord, but it missed the cut-off (published in 2009). Thunder and Roses is the first book of Putney's Fallen Angels series. I've read a few books from the series and would love to be able to read it from beginning to end.

To find out more about Mary Jo Putney and her books, click below:
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Head over to Mary @ Buried Under Romance and Ki Pha of Doing Some Reading for their picks for Throwback Thursday.^_^

Fellow historical romance readers are welcome to join us. Enter your link below so we can visit your TBT: HR Edition post for the week! (Then go here to copy the Link code to your blogs.)







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