Thursday, July 30, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Historical Romance Edition

Thank you to Shabby Blogs ( 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.

London's most talented criminal is about to be fingered ...

Lady Viola Preston can relieve a gentleman of the studs at his wrists without his being any the wiser and pick any lock devised by man in less than a minute. But she's careful to wear gloves when she steals jewels. Because when Viola touches a gemstone with her bare skin, it "speaks" to her, sending disturbing visions -- visions almost as unsettling as the sight of the cool-eyed stranger who catches her red handed.

Now Viola will only be stealing at Greydon Quinn's behest. And even more daunting than the violent history of the red diamond he's after is the prospect of a night in the devastatingly handsome lieutenant's arms. Touch has always been Viola's weakness, and the full body-to-body contact Quinn has in mind is about to shatter her defenses and set her senses reeling.

To find out more about Mia Marlowe and her books, click below:


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.)

Mini-Review: A Game of Persuasion by Emma Locke (e-novella)

Click here to get the book for FREE on Amazon (limited time offer)

This e-novella is the prequel to Emma Locke's The Art of Ruining a Rake, and chronicles Lucy's planned seduction of Roman Alexander. Lucy has loved Roman from childhood, and, on the cusp of her spinsterhood, she has decided to take matters into her own hands and has planned for her one glorious night with the man of her dreams. Many would use this to lure men to marriage, but there's something different with Lucy's plan -- she plans to leave and begin her new life as headmistress of her own school. All she wants is the memory of Roman and the experience of Roman -- and nothing more.

"The trouble is, I'm in love with a man who would make a terrible husband, and yet I don't want to marry anyone else. I will have him once, because I cannot bear not to have him at all." Her voice wavered. "It shall have to be enough for a lifetime."
- Chapter 1

Lucy enlists the help of Celeste Grey, and I loved how Emma Locke timed Lucy's story to connect with Celeste and Trestin's story. When Celeste decides to help Lucy seduce Roman, we wonder what Celeste's motivations are: is it to punish Roman for his interference with her affairs? (There's a hint of Les Liaisons Dangereuses in that.) But unlike the French novel, Lucy is nobody's pawn -- she is her own person and acts according to her own will.

I did love the insight that Celeste brings -- how the act of seduction is a slow and gradual process -- how it has nothing to do with beauty, and a lot to do with attraction. I love that there wasn't any need to transform or improve Lucy's outward appearance (the Cinderella effect), but all that was needed was to change how she thought about herself.

Emma Locke uses the word "game" in the title, but there is also a very emotional (very heartbreaking) element in this e-novella -- and it's from the most unlikely person: Roman Alexander. Roman is transparent, yet impenetrable -- and this e-novella reveals what it is that our beautiful, broken angel of a hero wants most: to be loved. It's a bittersweet tragedy to be loved by all and, yet, not be loved at all. Roman is popular and well-liked -- but he yearns for that one authentic connection. How he breaks my heart when he bares himself to Lucy.

..."Tell me who it is who's captured your heart."

Misery flashed across his handsome face so quickly, she almost didn't see it. Then he was sporting his rakish smile again. "Must I pick just one?"


His eyes dimmed, a frown wrinkled his brow, and inside, Lucy died. He didn't fancy all the women in the world. Just one of them.

Someone who didn't return his affection.


"But does she know how you feel?"

He turned away and stared out over the dancers. "That I admire her? That she is part of my soul? My best friend, my right arm, the pillow on which I sleep at night? Life without her is gray and misery. Yes, Lucy-love, she knows."
- Chapter 7

On the technical side, Emma Locke really maximises the full power of Poe's single effect -- at the end of the novella, you are rooting for this couple. You want them to work out their personal issues, and work through the complications of their relationship, and get together. This book will leave you on a heart-wrenching cliffhanger -- but, thank goodness, the completion of this story is just a click away. ^_^

A Game of Persuasion is Book 2.5 of Emma Locke's Naughty Girls series. To find out more about Emma Locke and her books, click below:
Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Happy Release Day! The Curse of Lord Standstead by Mia Marlowe

Title: The Curse of Lord Stanstead
Series: The Order of the M.U.S.E.
Author: Mia Marlowe
Genre: Historical, Historical Romance
Length: 295 pages
ISBN: 978-1-63375-377-8
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Imprint: Select Historical


When only seduction will do ...

Wherever Cassandra Darkin goes, fire is sure to follow. It’s not until she’s swept into the arms of a handsome, infuriating stranger that she learns she’s responsible for the fires. As it turns out, Cassandra is a fire mage ... and with her gift comes a blazing desire for sins of the flesh.

With his pretenatural ability to influence the thoughts of others, Garrett Sterling is sent to gather Cassandra for the Order of the M.U.SE. He’s entirely unprepared for his immediate attraction to the comely little firestarter. But it’s an attraction that he must quell, even as his body craves her touch and her fiery, sensual hunger.

For Garrett’s gift has a dark side … and the moment he begins to care too much for Cassandra, he knows he will doom her to an inescapable fate.

Find Mia Marlowe at:
Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Review: The Art of Ruining a Rake by Emma Locke

Click here to buy the book on Amazon

The last time I read about Roman Alexander was in his brother's book in 2013, and, if it's any indication of how great Emma Locke is, I haven't forgotten about Roman all these years. It's been an agonising wait, and, I was beyond thrilled when Locke finally announced the release of Roman's book. And, of course, being the fan that I am, I spent the whole night reading it -- and up to 1 in the morning thinking about it, before reading select chapters again until 2 in the morning. (Did I mention I needed to wake up at 5:30 that morning because it's a school day?)

Roman Alexander holds the distinction for being the most transparent man in all of London: Roman doesn't keep many secrets, and all of his motivations and actions are clear to everyone. Everyone knows him, everyone knows what he does, and everyone knows what to expect of him. It's a bit tragic how Roman has been pigeon-holed into this role -- by his brothers, by his friends, and by society. He's expected to entertain and amuse and look pretty -- and nothing more.

But Roman Alexander also holds the distinction for being the most misunderstood man in all of London -- everyone thinks they have figured him out. Everyone thinks they know everything about him. Everything thinks they know how he'll act and react in certain situations. But, everyone is so very wrong about Roman.

While not intended, I appreciate the break between the stories of Constantine and Roman because it allowed me to reflect on how I've perceived Roman's character since I first read about him in The Trouble with being Wicked, Emma Locke's debut novel. And I realised I had loved him for all the wrong reasons back then -- much in the same way Lucy did. I think Lucy first loved (and hated) the danger and excitement that Roman's life presented. Lucy had been living under the watchful eye of her always-correct brother, Trestin, but Lucy knew she wanted more from her life than what her brother had planned for her.

Roman's world was London, and it seemed so liberating to Lucy. But Lucy also thought Roman was a typical rake who just needed to be reformed, and Lucy would not be the one to do so. Lucy's family history is one of infidelity, jealousy and tragic death. Lucy is afraid that she has followed in her mother's footsteps, and inheriting her madness. Lucy is afraid that she would end up hurting Roman, the same way her mother had hurt (and killed) her faithless father.

Oh, but he was wrong. There would be consequences. Her broken heart, for one. His cold, dead body for another. When she looked at him, all she saw was his blood on her hands.
- Chapter 1

Throughout the story, the idea of "love" is called into question many times -- Roman claims to love Lucy, but Celeste and Trestin don't believe it's real. Lucy thought she was firmly and decidedly in love with Roman, but realised that the love she felt for him was conditional. Roman on the pedestal was safe for Lucy to love. She was able to idealise him in all his imperfection, but, Roman up close and personal is very different and difficult to love, but equally difficult to hate. Lucy realises this when she sees more and more of Roman's world, and when Roman reveals more and more of himself.

Love is constantly tested at every turn and encounter -- there were so many opportunities where Lucy could have just given up -- surrendered, packed up her toys and left -- but she continued to stay. And it didn't drive her mad.

In the same way, Roman's love for Lucy was also constantly challenged. Roman could've been content with their current arrangement -- where lust and passion overcome reason. Roman could've chosen not to tell Lucy all of his secrets. He could have chosen to allow Lucy to cling on to her image and idea of him -- but that would not be real, and it would not be love.

... Who was he, really, besides a man even he didn't want to like?

He turned away from the house. He should have refused Lucy's request to introduce her to his friends. She might be in disgrace, but there was no need to corrupt her with his brand of entertainment. No need to show her who he'd been, before. Who he still was because he had no idea how to be anyone else. And yet, there was no better way to gain her trust than to let her taste what she thought she wanted. Worldliness, vice, the lure of the forbidden.

Didn't those terms describe him, too?
- Chapter 8

Emma Locke calls this her Naughty Girls series, but it's also the Alexander Family series -- the drama of Roman's family unravels with every instalment. Dare's gambling troubles continue to snowball in this story -- and it's one of the calls to action that drives Roman forward, towards an unknown, but potentially promising future.

This is a novel with an amazing, amazing heart -- and that heart belongs to Roman Alexander. He might not be the hero we dream of, but, considering how bravely he bared himself, and wore his heart on his sleeve, I think he is a hero most worthy.

The Art of Ruining a Rake is Book 3 in Emma Locke's Naughty Girls series. To find out more about Emma Locke and her books, click below:
Sunday, July 26, 2015

Free and Discounted Historical Romance Novels

Hi, all!

It's RWA weekend, and the RWA winners for 2015 have been announced. So, so happy to see Tessa Dare win for Romancing the Duke, one of my favourite reads last year, and to Meredith Duran for winning for Fool Me Twice. Congratulations to all the winners! (Click here for the full list.)

Amazon is offering Select Romance Kindle Books for $1.99 Each with code READROMJULY. Offer is good until August 21. Click here to see the list.

Eva Devon (Maire Claremont) is offering her Dukes' Club Box Set: The First Three Scandalous Novels for pre-order at the special price of $0.99 -- price changes to $5.99 on August 4

Click here to pre-order the boxed set. Release date: August 4, 2015

And here are this week's featured free and discounted historical romance novels:

Deceiving the Duke of Kerrington (Ladies of Deception Book 1) by Ginny Hartman
FREE on Amazon

About the book:

273 pages, 63 reviews (Average customer rating: 3.9 stars)

Hope Hillburn was born to a life of servitude and never once questioned her role in society. As a lady's maid to Noelle Parrish, she had everything she wanted out of life; a secure and honorable post, a decent room to call her own, and ample time to write fantastical tales of winsome creatures while her mistress, Lady Noelle, attended the various society events offered by the ton.

Lady Noelle Parrish knew that her father was anxious to see her wed but she never imagined he'd go behind her back and arrange for her to marry against her will, to a duke with a questionable reputation no less. Disheartened by the prospect of marrying a man she's never met and the possibility of foregoing a lifetime of love, Noelle makes the impulsive decision to flee England with an American gentleman she's only just met.

There's only one problem ...

Lady Noelle's father, the Earl of Brattondale, would never permit her to marry an untitled American, nor was he willing to go back on his word to the duke. In her desperation, Lady Noelle convinces Hope to take her place after noticing an uncanny resemblance between them both.

Against her own better judgment, Hope agrees to take Noelle's place when she realizes there's no other way for Noelle to flee to America without causing her family disgrace. Thrown into a life she has only ever viewed from the outside, Hope must convince everyone that she is a lady lest her farce be discovered. She is confident that she can handle society's strict rules of propriety but she soon learns that guarding her heart from falling in love with an incredibly handsome, self assured duke with a penchant for snarling isn't going to be quite as easy.

A Scandalous Wife (Scandalous Series Book 1) by Ava Stone
FREE on Amazon

About the book:

303 pages, 78 reviews (Average customer rating: 4.1 stars)

As the head of his family, Robert Beckford, the Earl of Masten, was accustomed to dealing with various problems his siblings had caused of one sort or another. However he wasn’t prepared when his cad of brother ruined and then abandoned a young lady. To right the wrong, Robert married the girl himself; but his chivalry only went so far. He didn’t want a wife, and most certainly not a scandalous one. So after repeating his vows, he sent her packing, off to a secluded estate and expected her to stay put.

After years of mistreatment at the hands of her family, Lydia was prepared to be an accommodating wife; but her rigid and unforgiving husband asked too much of her. After languishing for years in her opulent prison, Lydia leaves her country estate for the glamour and excitement of London -- and unfortunately her husband’s path.

Sing Me Home by Lisa Ann Verge
FREE on Amazon

About the book:

194 pages, 3 reviews (Average customer rating: 4.3 stars)

Ireland, 1307

Blessed with an angel’s voice, Maura of Killeigh escapes from a convent determined to join a band of traveling players. They’ll be her protection on the roads while she searches for the parents who abandoned her at birth. But once face-to-face with the seductive, sinfully handsome vagabond who rules the troupe, Maura wonders if she wouldn’t be safer traveling alone ...

The Wrong Cowboy (Harlequin Historical) by Lauri Robinson
$0.99 on Amazon

About the book:

282 pages, 24 reviews (Average customer rating: 4.3 stars)

One mail-order bride in need of rescue!

All the rigorous training in the world could not have prepared nursemaid Marie Hall for trailing the wilds of Dakota with six orphans. Especially when her ingenious plan -- to pose as the mail-order bride of the children's next of kin -- leads Marie to the wrong cowboy!

Proud and stubborn, Stafford Burleson is everything Marie's been taught to avoid. But with her fate and that of the children in his capable hands, Marie soon feels there's something incredibly right about this rugged rancher and his brooding charm ...

What a Lady Requires (The Eton Boys) by Ashley Macnamara
$0.99 on Amazon

About the book:

231 pages, 43 reviews (Average customer rating: 4.4 stars)

Perfect for fans of Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Sabrina Jeffries, Ashlyn Macnamara’s blazing hot novel tells the story of mismatched newlyweds who discover a simmering connection.

Unlike every other proper young lady, Miss Emma Jennings views marrying well as little more than a means to an end. Such a merger would provide her industrious father with social credibility, and Emma with a chunk of her vast inheritance. Emma’s practical views are shattered, however, when her father ties her to the fabulously handsome ne’er-do-well Rowan Battencliffe, a man she loathes on sight -- from the smile that promises all manner of wickedness to the way he ogles her with those striking blue eyes.

Deep in debt, especially to his wine merchant, Rowan figures the sooner he gets his finances in order, the sooner he can go back to doing what he does best: burning through ridiculous sums of cash. Which is why Rowan agrees to marry the merchant’s daughter, a prim and proper woman with delightful curves and an ample dowry. But Emma seems to think it’s her business to reform him! Their marriage is a tinderbox -- and it’s just too tempting to resist playing with fire.

You Only Love Twice by Elizabeth Thornton
$0.99 on Amazon

About the book:

418 pages, 25 reviews (Average customer rating: 4.4 stars)

Bestselling author Elizabeth Thornton triumphs with this thrilling blend of sensuous historical romance and heart-stopping suspense.

For three years she’s been a mystery even to herself -- a young woman who awoke in a London convent bereft of her memory. But now Jessica Hayword knows her name, her birthplace, and one other thing: By some terrifying twist of fate, she has the power to read another’s thoughts -- the thoughts of a man who has killed and will kill again.

Convinced that she must unmask the murderer before it’s too late, Jessica goes home to Hawkshill Manor -- and discovers that no one is happy about her return, especially the dangerously handsome earl Lucas Wilde. What kind of girl was she, Jessica wonders, to have earned such scorn? And whose murder is it that continues to haunt her? The deeper Jessica digs, the more scandalous details are revealed. Yet even as the clues point to Lucas as the killer, Jessica can’t keep herself away from his embrace. And now all she can do is pray that the man she’s falling in love with isn’t the man whose deadly voice she hears in her dreams.

A Captain's Order - A Duke's Command (Hot Regency Read) (Scandalous London Series Book 2) by Tamara Gill
$0.99 on Amazon

About the novella:

80 pages, 20 reviews (Average customer rating: 4.3 stars)

Lady Eloise Bartholomew's trip to Australia on the shirttails of her adventurous brother ends in tragedy when he dies from a fever. But with the conventions of English society suspended on the high seas, she finds passion and excitement in the arms of a rugged ship's captain-only to be dumped back into the ton, still burning from the fire ignited in her and the loss of the only man she could ever loved.

More at home on his ship than dallying with the ton, Gabriel Lyons, now the Duke of Dale, intended never to set foot in London again. But when an elder brother dies, and the woman who claimed his heart over his love for the ocean brings him home, he knows he has to face the secrets of his past. He can only pray their love will survive the scandal that sent him away, the lies he has told her, and the duel he must fight for his honor and her hand.

A Gentleman and a Scoundrel (The Regency Gentlemen Series Book 1) by Norma Darcy
$0.99 on Amazon

About the book:

188 pages, 51 reviews (Average customer rating: 3.6 stars)

Beautiful, young and wilful, Lady Louisa Munsford has determined that she will only marry for love.

When the very eligible Duke of Malvern makes her an offer, everyone expects her to accept him. Rich, handsome, with quite the most agreeable disposition and figure of any man of her acquaintance, he is the biggest matrimonial catch of the season.

There is just one problem; Louisa suspects that the Duke does not possess a passionate bone in his body. This is unfortunate, given that she had long ago resolved to be soundly kissed by him!

Jasper John Lansdowne, the Duke of Malvern is a gentleman through and through. He is well aware that Louisa regards him as her staid, bookish, older brother. He is determined to teach her that underneath his polished manners and gentlemanly demeanour, he is a man like any other -- with a few desires of his own ...

Sparkling Regency Historical Romances take the manners and fun of the old style Regency novels and bring them up to date with a peep into the bedroom ...

If He's Daring (Wherlocke Book 6) by Hannah Howell
$1.99 on Amazon

About the book:

352 pages, 176 reviews (Average customer rating: 4.6 stars)

In a dazzling new novel in the Wherlocke family saga, New York Times bestselling author Hannah Howell creates an unforgettable story of intrigue, jeopardy, and desire ...

Stealing a stranger's carriage is the second most reckless thing Lady Catrin Gryffin de Warrene has ever done. The first is succumbing to her powerful attraction to the carriage's owner. Catrin has heard the rumors about Sir Orion Wherlocke's family and their otherworldly gifts. He's the one person who can keep her son and his inheritance safe from her late husband's ruthless brother. As for how to protect herself ... it may be too late for that.

Orion is facing the worst danger a man of his ilk can find: a woman he can't walk away from. Catrin is an intoxicating blend of innocence and sensuality, and for the first time, seduction is far more than a game. But her beauty and fortune have made her a target -- one that will dare him to risk everything he's known -- in pursuit of everything he's ever longed for ...

Happy Reading~ 


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