Holiday Cheer- Music, Movies and Books!

Since we are in full swing of the holiday season I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite things that make the holidays special for me. Also, I have read two holiday short stories I think should be on your reading list this holiday season.

Sleigh RideMy absolutely favorite song for the holidays is Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson the instrumental version. I don’t mind the lyrics but I love  hearing the instruments playing this classic. I’m a band geek at heart and this was always one of my favorite songs to perform. It isn’t Christmas without hearing this song. 🙂

urlWe all have our favorite holiday movies. My husband’s favorite is Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase. We watch it every year to get into the holiday spirit but my favorite is The Holiday with Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Jack Black. Not that your surprised are you? Half the movie is set in England and since the stories I read are set in England it would only make sense, naturally.

15706303All I Want For Christmas is a Duke has two stories with two Dukes who have a very passionate Christmas. Delilah Marvelle an Maire Claremont write two wonderful Christmas stories with love, passion, friendship and redemption. I read this in April and knew it would be a re-read and it was fabulous the second time around. Don’t miss this one!

18998386A Grosvenor Square Christmas is four stories by Anna Campbell, Shana Galen, Vanessa Kelly and Kate Noble. Their stories all center around an annual Christmas ball given by Lady Winterson. All four stories are unique with one thing in common; Lady Winterson’s magical Christmas ball that has certain couples finding love with they least expect it. There are surprises in this story and I loved how we watch Lady Winterson grow through the four stories. Hurry and get this one quickly. It’s FREE on Amazon.

-Romance Reader Girl

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Author Interview & Giveaway: Anna Campbell

Happy December Readers, I am so THRILLED to have the fabulous Anna Campbell on the blog today. I discovered her books through the wonderful Nancy Goodman (check out here awesome blog here) and my summer was full of great reads. Ms. Campbell is stopping by today to answer some questions about her writing, life and reading. Don’t forget to comment- One of you will win a copy of one of her books. Please welcome the fantastic Anna Campbell!!

Hi Lindsey! Thank you so much for having me as your guest today!

Questions:

13512914RRG: What inspired you to write the Sons of Sin series?
AC: If you’ve followed my career, you know that all my earlier books are stand alones (although a couple of them have VERY loose connections in terms of place or characters). When Grand Central Publishing expressed strong interest in SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED, they wanted a series. Eeek! I’d written 7 Nights as a stand-alone. Not only that, the hero was an out-and-out loner and had to be for the story to work. So I went back to the drawing board and thought about themes in 7 Nights. A really strong one concerned a man outcast because of his illegitimate birth. The Regency is a period where bloodlines were terrifically Days of Rakes and Roses final-72important in high society (suspect they still are!), so having a black cloud hanging over your legitimacy was an awful fate. I thought about how that would affect three very different men, I made the three team up against bullying as schoolboys at Eton, and voila! I had my series. Currently, there’s SEVEN NIGHTS IN A ROGUE’S BED, A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS and WHAT A DUKE DARES, with a novella about Cam’s sister DAYS OF RAKES AND ROSES, and a fourth book in the works featuring the Marquess of Leath. I’m not sure what will happen with the series after that, but I’d love the chance to do at least one more novella.

RRG: If you gave one of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
AC: I think they’d all say, “What have we done to you that you put us through such a terrible mill before we get our happy ending?” LOL!

16007701-1RRG: Speaking of characters, who is in control you or the character?
AC: Ha ha, I wish I was! Actually, all jokes aside, once the characters start acting outside my jurisdiction, it means the book is coming alive. After writing nine books now, I’ve learned that I need to trust my subconscious. It knows far much more than my conscious mind does.

RRG: Who are some of your favorite heroes and heroines in romance novels?
AC: How long have you got? I’ve been a mad keen reader all my life which means a lot of favorites. I think my all-time favorite hero would have to be Francis Crawford who features in a fabulous series of books called The Lymond Chronicles by late, great Dorothy Dunnett. My favorite heroine would probably be Jane Eyre because she’s so strong in herself. In romance, some of my faves would include Rupert from MR. IMPOSSIBLE by Loretta Chase, Anna from A COUNTESS BELOW STAIRS by Eva Ibbotson, Jervaulx from FLOWERS FROM THE STORM by Laura Kinsale and Milla from CRY NO MORE by Linda Howard. I’m also madly in love with Julia Spencer-Fleming’s mystery series which features two wonderful main characters in Claire Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne.

RRG: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
AC: I pretty much knew I wanted to be a writer from the moment I got hooked on Enid Blyton at the age of about six or seven. I flirted with things like ballet dancer and concert pianist, but always came back to writing. Given my complete lack of coordination, I think I probably made the right decision!

RRG: Where in the world would you like to visit?
AC: I love to travel! I’m hoping to do a research trip to the United Kingdom next year. Definitely overdue to go back there. As far as places where I haven’t been before, I’d love to see the historical sites in Turkey and I’d love to see the art and the ballet in Russia.

RRG: Do you drink tea? If so, how do you take it?
AC: Do I drink tea? Like it’s going out of fashion! I always have a cup of tea at my elbow when I’m working. It seems to get my brain working. And I’m not fit to talk to in the morning until I’ve had at least one cup. I’m fairly old school. I don’t particularly like herbal teas or flavored teas. Just a nice English breakfast, fairly strong, with plenty of milk and no sugar.

RRG: Can you tell us what you are currently working on?
AC: I’ve just handed in the manuscript of the third Sons of Sin book, WHAT A DUKE DARES, Cam’s story. That will be out late August 2014. I’m about to start on the fourth book, title to be confirmed, which is about the Marquess of Leath who plays a major role in Cam’s book. That should be out sometime in 2015.

Anna Campbell 43970006Favorites:
Quote: “The heart has its reasons that reason cannot know,” Blaise Pascal
Season: Spring, especially in the Northern Hemisphere
Beverage: Champagne!
Candy: Lindt Peanut Butter Balls
Holiday: Christmas
Animal: Arab horse

*GIVEAWAY* From Anna Campbell: I’d love to know your favorite quote. I’ve been using the Pascal one for a while now so it probably needs to be retired! I’ve got a signed copy of my latest historical romance, A RAKE’S MIDNIGHT KISS (international) to give away to someone who leaves a comment.

You can find books by Anna Campbell on Amazon.

Thank you for being on my blog today, Anna!

-Romance Reader Girl

My Top Reads for 2013, Part 1

Screen shot 2013-11-24 at 1.10.53 PMI had a goal this year to read 125 NEW books and I have reached my goal. I am going to post two blogs with my top reads for 2013. Yes, two blogs. I did read 125 books this year and felt I couldn’t pick five books for the amount I read. Not all the books are brand new this year but some that have been out for a long time, and they are new to me. Many I have done reviews on as well. I will post Part 2 later in the week.

2098340Wicked at Heart by Danelle Harmon: This is the first book I’ve read by Danelle Harmon and it won’t be the last. I was in a book coma for a few days after reading this book. This book keeps you guessing to the very last minute. You will experience every emotion while you read it. There are many twist and turns that you honestly don’t see coming. The love the story between Damon and Gwyneth is one for the times. I don’t have enough words to describe how wonderful this book really is.

9645276Midnight’s Wild Passions by Anna Campbell: I spent a good part of my summer devouring Anna Campbell’s books (author interview to come soon!). She is a fabulous writer and I will be auto by anything she writes. This book is about a man getting revenge and sharp tongue companion that will stop at nothing to protect her charge. This book has adventure, lots of laughs and romance.

13489922The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan: Another auto buy author! Take a young lady that is going to the extreme to protect her sister and you’ve got a heroine you instantly love and are cheering for. This book is hilarious. The lengths that the heroine goes to, to keep the male population away from her is remarkable and I love her strength. It’s a great read with a wonderful romantic element with Oliver.

12532672Untouched by Sara Humphreys: This is the second paranormal romance I’ve read and it is just as amazing as the first book that I read (which was a top summer read for me). This story is about a woman who cannot touch others without pain and seeing visions of that specific person. Makes life lonely not being able to touch anyone. Ms. Humphreys’ writes her characters with a lot of depth that makes her stories so fun to read.

15847315Lady of Pleasure by Delilah Marvelle: Don’t let the title of this book throw you off. This book is about a long friendship with strong feelings that are ignored and because they have been ignore there is pain for the H/h. There is so much emotion of every kind that you don’t want to put it down becuase you are waiting for the next type of emotion to hit you. Ms. Marvelle pushes the emotional boundaries in this book and it made it a ever better read.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00034]Final Piece by Maggi Myers: This is not a historical romance but a romance. It is VERY emotional. It deals with a young woman that has experience sexual abuse very young but overcomes that and puts the pieces of her life back together with help from a friend. This is not just about a young lady but about a family healing. It’s a powerful read that is full of hope. It is written beautifully. You will want to have your box of tissues next to you as you read this story.

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The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley: Many of you that follow this blog know that I will drop everything (nearly) to start reading a book about the Mackenzie’s. This book was no exception. I loved it. Daniel Mackenzie has been in every book from the beginning of this series as a young man in his early teens. It was a wonderful read that is about the beginning of the Industrial Revolution with many inventors popping up. It was an exciting romantic read with all the fabulous Jennifer Ashley flair.

Happy Reading and stay tuned for Part 2 later in the week.

-Romance Reader Girl

Review: A Rake’s Midnight Kiss (Sons of Sin #2) by Anna Campbell

Oh Anna Campbell you never disappoint. I have spent a good part of my summer reading Anna Campbell books as. She is becoming a book household name.

MY THOUGHTS of A Rakes Midnight Kiss:

16007701-1Take a brilliant scholar that is tucked away in the country having her vicar father taking credit for her work, match her with one of London’s most notorious rakes known as a bastard add a valuable relic and what do you have? You have story full of laughs, mystery, romance and sexual tension.

Genevieve Barrett keeps secrets. Her number once secret is her brilliant mind. She writes papers and her father who is the local vicar takes the credit. She has a plan to take control of her life and work. However her plans goes awry when a very handsome young man comes to study with her father.

Sir Richard Harmsworth is known in London as one of the titled gentleman that is a bastard as his sire is questionable. He has used his handsome good looks and incorrigible personality to get what he wants. What he wants the most is for the world to respect that he is Sir Richard Harmsworth the rightful heir to his title and having a ancient relic will help prove his claim. With the help of his friend the Duke of Sedgemoor, Richard finds his way to country and changing his identity to Christopher Evans a young wealthy scholar wanting to study with vicar. What Richard doesn’t fit into the equation is a beautiful young lady that will question himself and beliefs and make him realize what is really important in this world.

From the first meeting in the dark the sparks fly and you know this is going to be an exciting story with explosive characters. Genevieve and Richard spark across the pages with their fun banter and explosive personalities.  There is a lot of secrets being kept among all the characters in this story and it makes it fun while reading it. Richard is a hero you will fall for. He may have London believing he is a rake of the worst kind but he has a big heart tender heart and you cannot help but fall for him. Genevieve is a sweetheart that has been driven to be hard because all she wants is for someone to really say, “Your writing and work is amazing, great job!”.

This read was very different from the first book in the series (Seven Nights in a Rogues Bed). This story had a lot of comedy built in with suspense and action. Anna Campbell has a well ensembles cast of characters that having you turning pages to see what they will and do next. My favorite part of this book is the epilogue. In fact I have coined it as the best epilogue I have ever read. I had tears streaming down my face while I read it AND becuase I try very hard not to give spoilers in my reviews that is all I will say… BEST EPILOGUE EVER!

Anna Campbell keeps bringing her A game to each books she writes. I enjoyed all the elements of this story and I look forward to reading all about the Duke of Sedgemoor in the next book in the series.

Buy on Amazon or B&N.

-Romance Reader Girl

My Summer Favorites

As I approach the Labor Day weekend and the unofficial end of summer I realized I had an amazing summer of reading. Take a look below at what were my favorites between Memorial Day (end of May) and Labor Day (beginning of Sept). If you have some time this weekend enjoy one of these books! I know many of them will be on my to read again list. The list is in the order of when I read them this summer. Enjoy!

15724338Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare:  This historical romance was hilarious. I had so many laugh out moments that I lost count. The H/h have a charisma that leaves you craving more. I had a great time reading this. I can guarantee there will be moments you will want to share the one-liners you’ll read. It is impossible not to like this book. You will smile a lot while reading it. This is my favorite book by Tessa Dare.

13638570Out of Breath by Rebecca Donovan: The emotional hell Rebecca Donovan put me through to read how Emma and Evan make it gave me at least sixteen new strands of gray hair. It was an emotional roller coaster and I loved every minute of it. *For this book you will want to go back and read the first book in the series, Reason to Breath. As cliche as it might sound there were moments I had to stop and catch my breath.

perf5.000x8.000.inddThe Letter by Sandra Owens: I read this book in one day. It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon. This book was written in a way that captured my heart and soul. I had never been completely engulfed in a story the way I was when reading The Letter. In my review I stated if you could only read only one historical romance this would be it. Really? Who would limit themselves to one historical romance? It was that powerful.

81FVqrfzr5L._SL1500_Desire Wear Diamonds by Renee Bernard: Oh! I have waited for what seems like forever to find out who was the Jackal was that plagued the Jaded. It was an exciting conclusion to a fabulous series. Can I say having all six men in one story was aaaamazing! There is a quite a bit of action with all the usual Renee Bernard flare she puts into her stories. NEWS FLASH- it will be on sale ($0.99) this weekend Aug. 30, Aug. 31 & Sept. 1. So if you are still waiting to pick up you should and read it this weekend! I bet you’ll want to go back and start from beginning with Revenge Wears Rubies, to get the full picture of the Jaded.

10880685Unleashed by Sara Humpreys: Yes! I added a paranormal to my list of favorites this summer. This is uncharted waters for me but I am so happy I stepped outside my reading comfort zone for this. I loved it! It isn’t over the top paranormal. It really is a great romance with really fun characters (and it’s a series!). If you are unsure about paranormal I would start with this book and see where it takes you. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

1502191Untouched by Anna Campbell: Anna Campbell is an author I discovered halfway through the summer and I instantly felt that author/reader connection. I spent a good portion of my summer reading her books. This story was very dark and touching. The H/h have some big issues that need to be overcome and there are moments you are not sure if theses two will survive. I had moments where my heart just ached for these characters. It’s a beautifully written romantic story with twist and turns.

It was an wonderful summer full of reading. Many of the books listed here have full reviews on my blog. If you want more information please check them out.

Happy Reading!

-Romance Reader Girl

Review: Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed by Anna Campbell

What rock have I been living under!? Why is this the first story I’ve read by Anna Campbell!? I loved it! A big thank you to my fellow blogger (Carol you are fabulous!!) for sending me this wonderful story!

Take a man that has been heavily scarred physically and emotionally and enter a fierce young women willing to protect her sister and young nephews and you have an emotional, passionate, enthralling romance story.

13512914Jonas Merrick is a dark wealthy man living in a gothic manor as a loner. He has been scarred in many ways and betrayed by his family. His purpose is to get revenge on those who have done him wrong. As sweet as revenge taste it is a lonely life.

Sidonie Forsythe is a young woman who cannot stand by and watch her sister, Roberta and nephews be tortured by her brother-in-law anymore. When Roberta cannot pay the gambling debts owed to Mr. Merrick, Sidonie offers herself as payment; knowing that if her brother-in-law were to find that Roberta had lost the sum of money she would probably pay with her life. Sidonie is off to the gothic manor to sacrifice herself to Mr. Jonas Merrick.

When Jonas meets the fierce Sidonie he is intrigued by her forthcoming attitude and innocence. She makes it very clear why she is there and what she intends to do for the night. Oh, but Jonas has other ideas when he realizes that one night with this spitfire will not be enough. What happens in seven days will change both of their lives….

Ms. Campbell is a new author for me and I LOVED this story. She creates a dark world that can only be altered by light of love. There is a lot of scars for both Jonas and Sidonie. When we learn what Jonas has gone through your heart breaks for the boy he was and understand why he is the man he is. Sidnoie is strong and does what she must do to protect her sister and nephews. This story was dark, passionate and emotional. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this book. You will be laughing, crying, cursing and feeling hot when you read this story- it really is that good!

Anna Campbell is now an auto-buy author and I look forward to going back and reading all her other stories.

Purchase Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed and other books by Anna Campbell on Amazon or B&N.

Learn more about Anna Campbell by visiting her website.

Romance Reader Girl