Love has existed since the beginning of time. For Ashlin Thomas, love was an illusion that she desperately wanted to make a reality.
Returning home to Savannah, after her aunt’s death, Ashlin must deal with the harsh realities life has dealt her.
As Ashlin begins sorting through her aunt’s personal effects, she stumbles upon a journal. Not just any journal, but the words of her great great great grandmother, Sophia.
Two love stories intertwine with each other as Ashlin reads the beautiful words, written over a hundred years ago.
The intense connection Ashlin feels with Sophia begins to allow her to find herself. Never thinking love was possible for her, Ashlin now sees it is within her grasp.
But, life is never perfect. Life is never fair.
When faced with the decision that could change Ashlin’s future … will she sacrifice one love for another, or will her predestined heart lead her home?
A light rap on the counter brought my attention to the man in front of me. He had dark-brown hair that was tousled about in disarray. His warm brown eyes melted through me. The five o’clock shadow from the stubble on his face showcased his strong jaw line. He was sinfully gorgeous and I could feel my insides turn all gooey from the sight of him in front of me.
My mouth was dry as he looked at me expectantly. In that moment, it was as if something within me altered and changed. I couldn’t explain it.
Get it together, Ashlin.
“I’m sorry. It’s been a long day. Can you repeat what you said?” My voice came out fairly normal, which I was proud of, versus the crazy energy I felt pulsating within me.
He gave a gentle look; it wasn’t cocky or knowing, but only sweet. “Is there anything I can get you?”
Smiling back, I responded, “I’ll have the beef stew and a water.”
“Good choice. Coming right up.” He rapped his knuckles on the counter as he walked off to the left.
I wasn’t paying attention to how his white shirt was rolled up to his elbows. Nope. And I wasn’t paying attention to how his khaki pants hugged him in all the right places. Nope. And I for sure wasn’t staring at him as if he would be sex on a stick. Nope.
Seriously get it together, Ashlin. My life has turned inside out and the last thing I need to be thinking about is sex.
The man turned back toward me and I looked up at the television screen that was above, hoping I wasn’t caught ogling the bartender. I need a life, seriously. Time passed and before I knew it, a steaming bowl of beef stew with a little plate of bread was set in front of me.
It smelled delicious. “Thank you.”
The bartender smiled. I glanced back to my stew as I ate.
He responded, “You’re welcome.”
Taking a bite, it was one of the most delicious stews I had ever tasted. I moaned in appreciation.
“It’s that good, eh?”
I licked my lips and felt heat creep up on my face. Not realizing I had closed my eyes, I tentatively opened them and glanced at the bartender, who was looking at me more intensely than before. “Oh, I did not mean to do that out loud.” Picking up my napkin, I dabbed the corner of my mouth. “Give my complements to the chef. It’s incredible. I’d love to get the recipe.”
He leaned on the counter. “I’ll let the chef know. I know him pretty well, and I’d say if he could get that type of reaction out of every beautiful woman who ate the stew, he’d serve it all the time versus only on special occasions.”
The bartender moved a little closer to me and I smiled at his playful face while wanting to reach out and trace that devastatingly handsome jaw line. Conspiringly, he whispered, “I’ve heard that the recipe is a family secret. You’d have to marry the chef in order to get it.”
I giggled as he winked at me. “Okay, if I get that desperate to have it, I’ll know to bring a ring and my bended knee.”
He chuckled and stood. “So, what brings you to Savannah?”
“Is this where I lay all my troubles on the line for the bartender to listen and give advice?” I teased with him as I cocked my head.
He shrugged as he mixed a drink. The bar was otherwise vacated except one person at the end who nursed a beer. “I happen to listen and give advice for free on Wednesday’s.”
My smile was wide. There was something magnetic about this man and I didn’t want our conversation to end. “Well, it’s a good thing
Gazing around the room, I searched for Daniel. My father and mother were busy talking to Mr. and Mrs. Stowe along with two other couples, whom I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing. A young gentleman had been talking my ear off and I was in desperate need of fresh air.
Turning to him, I asked, “Will you please excuse me? I am in need of some fresh air.”
“Shall I join you?” he asked.
I quickly shook my head. “No. No, that will not be necessary. I have a slight headache and need some time alone.”
Nodding his head, he smiled and took a step back, giving me a quick bow. Returning the polite gesture, I began toward the kitchen. One look over my shoulder showed my mother watching me intently. I’m sure she was distressed at the idea of me wandering off and being late to sit down for dinner.
Somehow managing to find my way to the back gardens, I smiled and inhaled a deep breath. All I smelled were azaleas. I walked along the cobblestone pathway that intertwined among Magnolia trees and some of the most amazing flowers I’d ever seen. My mother would be green with envy were she to lay her eyes upon this colorful garden.
“It goes on forever,” I whispered.
“One can easily get lost back here.”
I stopped the moment I heard his voice. Closing my eyes, I placed my gloved hands on my stomach to calm the butterflies. Inhaling a deep breath through my nose, I slowly blew it out as I turned to face him.
His eyes widened and he licked his lips. I raised the corner of my mouth and bowed slightly. Daniel walked up to me and smiled, causing my knees to shake. For a moment, it felt as if the earth was moving and I fought to stand upright.
He took a step closer to me as his eyes moved about my face. When they landed on my lips, I instinctively licked them. His eyes were ablaze with fire. I took a step back as he took another step forward. My breathing increased as I felt something I’d never felt before.
Kelly Elliott is married to a wonderful Texas cowboy who has a knack for making her laugh almost daily and supports her crazy ideas and dreams for some unknown reason…he claims it’s because he loves her!
She’s also a mom to an amazing daughter who is constantly asking for something to eat while her fingers move like mad on her cell phone sending out what is sure to be another very important text message.
In her spare time she loves to sit in her small corner overlooking the Texas hill country and write.
One of her favorite things to do is go for hikes around her property with Gus….her chocolate lab and the other man in her life, and Rose, her golden retriever. When Kelly is not outside helping the hubby haul brush, move rocks or whatever fun chore he has in store for her that day, you’ll find her inside reading, writing or watching HGTV.
Since an early age, she has always enjoyed reading and writing. While visiting
her father one weekend, he suggested that she should take up writing again.
With family and a career, she didn’t give it a lot of thought, until a story
entered her mind and wouldn’t leave. It just kept forming and developing over a
couple of months.
it to herself. One sentence developed into two, and before she knew it, she had
the makings of a novel.
meet new people. She holds a degree in International Business and uses it daily
in her job. Kristin now adds “author” on her list of jobs, and feels very
blessed and thankful.
Blurb: Miss Sophia Vane, a hoyden of the first order, makes an unlikely match when she weds Nathaniel Ellison, the rich and wary Duke of Scarsdale. What starts with an unexpected friendship soon blooms into a fiery passion. But a betrayal plunges Sophia into the thorny world of London Society and entangles her in a labyrinth of manipulation and jealousy that will test the strength of her marriage. Behind her husband’s sudden icy facade, Sophia believes dwells the caring, passionate man she loves. To break through the barriers and reclaim their happiness, they must do more than simply cast away their pride. They must fight for their very lives.
Excerpt: Sophia trailed her fingers over Nathan’s strong jawline. She would reveal some of her fear in hopes that one day he would reveal some of his. “You’re like Michelangelo’s David. I’m afraid one day you will wake up and wonder who the stray puppy is that you married.”
He stood so abruptly she feared he was about to agree with her and then walk out of this room and her life. He looked down at her from his towering stance, reached behind him to tug off his shirt, and revealed a rippling abdomen and muscled chest. She stared in awe and wistfulness; his body―marred only at his shoulder by the bandage covering his healing wound―was every bit as beautiful as his face.
“I’m no statue, Sophia,” he growled as he yanked his boots off, then his pants and undergarments. She gaped at the size and power of his body that could not be denied now that he stood there without a stich of clothing.
“You are perfect,” she whispered, ashamed that she was so far from it, so very unmatched to him.
His gaze grew hard. “Expecting perfection from me will hurt us both. I like that you’re not perfect. Do you understand?”
She understood that he’d been hurt deeply and that he was trying to tell her how without saying it explicitly. “I do.”
He lowered himself over her, and something fierce glittered in his eyes. “I’ll hurt you and I’ll fail you, and then you’ll see. You won’t think me perfect. You won’t want to love me then.”
“Come to me, Nathan,” she replied, knowing arguing was futile. “Show me your imperfections.”
Blurb: From New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries, the deliciously sexy fourth book in the “Duke’s Men” Regency romance series—the first of which was called “a totally engaging, adventurous love story” (RT Book Reviews, Top Pick).
The heir presumptive to the Viscount Rathmoor, Dominick Manton once had his heart’s desire within reach—a bright future as a barrister and engagement to Jane Vernon, a wealthy baron’s daughter. Then a shattering betrayal by his vindictive brother George snatched away Dom’s inheritance and his hopes of offering Jane a secure future. Brokenhearted, and attempting to end their engagement without destroying Jane’s reputation, Dom staged a betrayal of his own to convince her that he’s not the husband-to-be that she thought.
Now George is gone and the viscountcy restored to Dom, since his brother’s widow, Nancy—Jane’s cousin and closest confidant—never bore an heir. But when Nancy goes missing, a panicked Jane calls on her former fiancé to track down her cousin. Dom knows the mistakes of the past may be unforgiveable—but now, entangled together in mystery and danger, will they rekindle a passionate longing that was never lost to begin with?
My Thoughts: Dom and Jane were once betrothed but to protect Jane from a life of poverty Dom sets up a farce for her to jilt him. After 12 years they are faced to work together to find Jane’s cousin, Nancy, which is Dom’s sister-in-law. The chemistry is still there and I enjoyed the twist and turns of the mystery to find Jane’s cousin. We can’t forget the Duke’s Men are all there helping.
I always know when I pick up a book by Ms. Jeffries I am going to enjoy it. This was no exception. It was a fun read with a mystery element that had me guessing to the end.
Buy on Amazon and other retailers.
-Romance Reader Girl
The third deliciously sexy novel in the New York Times bestselling Duke’s Men historical romance series, featuring an investigator who sets out to find gypsies— and unexpectedly finds love.
Investigator Tristan Bonnaud has one aim in life— to make sure that his half-brother George can’t ever ruin his life again. So when the pesky Lady Zoe Keane, the daughter of the Earl of Olivier, shows up demanding that the Duke’s Men find a mysterious gypsy woman, he seizes the opportunity to also hunt for a gypsy friend who knows secrets about George. Tristan doesn’t expect to uncover Lady Zoe’s family secrets, as well… or end up falling for the woman who will risk all to discover the truth.
My Thoughts: This is the third book in The Duke’s Men series and I it’s my favorite so far. The chemistry between Tristan and Zoe is fantastic. Not only is there chemistry but the plot is really interesting with some great twists and turns. I really enjoyed how Ms. Jeffries did not create the typical regency heroine. Zoe is robust, colorful and not afraid to get the job done. Her strength makes her admirable. Of course, I cannot forget the mysterious Tristan. I enjoyed the depth of Tristan and his thought process was fun to read. I have to mention adding the Romany to the book was fantastic and added to the plot immensely.
I have to give a shout out to the American Jeremy Keane, he’s a scene stealer and I hope Ms. Jeffries writes his book. I am curious about him. And I am really looking forward to Dom’s book coming next year.
-Romance Reader Girl
Book Blurb: Jason Mallory can no longer hide the dissatisfaction of his relationship with his longtime girlfriend. Her ultimatum to get married pushes him to break off their relationship and he’s determined not to jump into the dating scene. When a group of injured pit bulls are found on his construction site, he calls the neighborhood rescue for help.
After adopting one of the dogs, Jason finds he can’t forget Ryder, and the two become fast friends. Then one night, Ryder lets down his guard and Jason recognizes his desire. After Jason devises a plan to bring Ryder and his brother together, they can no longer deny the passion between them. Will family differences and ugly prejudices keep them apart, or can they fight to prove that love is precious, no matter the gender?
My Thoughts: Dogs + Romance = A Fantastic Read! Felice Stevens is a new author and I loved her writing style. I was hooked on page one and stayed hooked to the end. This m/m romance is full of love and discovery and I enjoyed every minute.
Ryder and Jason have a chemistry that lights up the pages. It is a joy to read two characters build a relationship based on trust, friendship, honesty and love. Don’t get me wrong this book is not all rainbows and butterflies; there is quite a bit of drama and that’s what makes this a great read. Ms. Stevens does not shy away from the hurt and real issues that many couples deal with. I won’t give anything away but there are moment in this book where the emotional is so raw you will have tears in your eyes and you will need a tissue. Let’s not forget this book is not only about romance between two people but loving puppies! It was great to read a story that focused on an issue close to my heart dog rescues.
I am so excited to read more from this author!
-Romance Reader Girl
Official Blurb: This is a charity novella for Hospice with a goal of raising $10,000 for donation.
Victorian England is about to go wild…Lady Ophelia longs to be independent, daring and bold, but her mother’s illness has stolen the last of her creative fire. Condemned to an isolated country cottage after the death of her idealistic father, she and her mother are forsaken by family and all of society. Disappointed by those she once trusted, Lady Ophelia lovingly nurses her dying mother knowing that her own dreams of being an artist will never be realized. That is until she meets a devilish aristocrat who reawakens her desire to be wild.
Viscount Stark has never known love. Reputed to be a rebel and a rake by all, at heart he is anything but. When he meets Lady Ophelia, he is struck by her haunting presence, dignity, and honor. Will he continue to play his wicked games and risk ruining the last of Lady Ophelia’s wounded heart? Or will he dare to be the gentleman he always wanted to be and unveil a love he never thought possible?
My Thoughts: This story is about fate and love bringing two people together, and learning to tear down the walls and trust in that fate and love. It’s amazing how love can make a person realize how strong and independent they really are. Ophelia and Andrew come together under very sad circumstances but are shown how to live and love by a dying woman, Lady Darlington, Ophelia’s mother. Ms. Claremont does not shy away from the reality of death and the emotions that accompany it. While this story does have an undercurrent of sadness there is happiness and laughs. I adore Ophelia’s strong personality and willingness to be the woman she wants to be. Andrew is a true sweetheart and underneath the armor of being the rogue he is a romantic. I loved how he truly loved Lady Darlington and wanted her time in London to be memorable not only for herself but for her daughter. Oh and I have to note, Marcus, Lord Vane is quite the dark mysterious character and I am look forward to his book.
Please read why Hospice care is so important to Maire.
Lady Wild is ready for you to snap up! I have a big goal for it. I’d like to raise $10,000 of profits for donation to Hospice. As many of you know, my mother died just a little under two years ago. She fought the battle with cancer and ultimately lost. Her last months were spent on Hospice. My father, too, died of cancer and spent his last 3 months on Hospice. It’s such an incredible organization and I don’t know how my mom or dad and I would have made it without the support of the staff. It’s wonderful that so many people raise money for cancer prevention! But I also think it’s important to help those who’ve sadly reached a point in which terminal illness is the reality. Death is expensive and painful. Thankfully Hospice helps with nursing, counselors, medication, and sometimes even bills. They provide relief for the caretaker. I can’t tell you how huge that is. I’m sure many of you already know. So, together, let’s help make the crossing over of a terminally ill person a little more peaceful, a little more loving, a little more free of fear.
-Romance Reader Girl
Happy New Year, Readers! I hope you all had a wonderful New Year. I am going to dive right in with my first review of the 2014, The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan.
Official Blurb: Sebastian Malheur is the most dangerous sort of rake: an educated one. When he’s not scandalizing ladies in the bedchamber, he’s outraging proper society with his scientific theories. He’s desired, reviled, acclaimed, and despised—and he laughs through it all.
Violet Waterfield, the widowed Countess of Cambury, on the other hand, is entirely respectable, and she’d like to stay that way. But Violet has a secret that is beyond ruinous, one that ties her irrevocably to England’s most infamous scoundrel: Sebastian’s theories aren’t his. They’re hers.
So when Sebastian threatens to dissolve their years-long conspiracy, she’ll do anything to save their partnership…even if it means opening her vulnerable heart to the rake who could destroy it for good
REVIEW: The day this book was released I stopped all my holiday preparations to read it. Nothing was more important than reading the third book in the Brothers Sinister series and it did not disappoint.
Can I just say, “WOW”! Ms. Milan has cleverly pulled the wool over my eyes with the character of Sebastian Malheur. I have followed this series and the whole time I thought he was the normal type of rake. No, well… yes, he is a rake but dare I say he is a beta rake? Wait- Is that even possible, a beta-rake? YES, it is! Sebastian is intelligent and all he wants to do is make people smile and not in the class clown kind of way but a man wanting to see people happy kind of way. I love that about him. He has a personality that jumps of the page and leaves you smiling.
As cold and stony as Violet Waterfield came across I just wanted to hug her and let her know she is a wonder person and valued. This young woman had been beaten down and truly believes she is not worth love, maybe friendship at a distance but not love. I enjoyed her logical mind and her sarcastic mouth. I, too, have that in common with the Countess. As much as I enjoyed Violet there were a few moments I wanted to have the “come to Jesus” talk, only because I wanted to see Sebastian smile again and Violet relax.
One of my favorite things about this read was the dialogue between Sebastian and Violet. There is so much and I love the language between the two. They have their own language that is addicting and you cannot wait until the next heated exchange comes to pass. There are moments you are just snickering because you can see yourself chatting in the same way with your best friend. There is a lecture that is swoon worthy that will leave you all giddy and full of smiles. Of course, it would not be a Brothers Sinister book without all the boys and their lovely wives. It was great to see Robert and Minnie with Oliver and Jane. Might I add, any scene with Federica Marshall is fabulous. She is a scene stealer! The only thing I did not like was I felt the ending was a bit rushed but hands down still an amazing read and I recommend it to all readers!
Romance Reader Girl
Collette Cameron will take you on a brilliant memorable ride when reading The Viscount’s Vow. You cannot help but being dazzled by the rich characters and setting of this romantic story.
Evangeline Caruthers (Vangie) is vibrant as the day is long. She bounces off the page with her feisty tongue and very kind forgiving heart. Vangie is a woman stuck in two worlds; the Elite English Ton and the Gypsy Roma, a group of wondering kindhearted people. Trying hard to fit into the Ton she is taken for a women that gives away her favors and tongues begin to wag. Vangie becomes a target for men becuase of her heritage and beauty.
Ian Hamilton, Viscount Warrick is out for vengeance. Coming home from abroad to a dead brother and father he is out to take back what he lost. Listening to his step-mama and sister Ian is out to ruin Miss Evangeline Caruthers as she is to blame for his brother’s death. He will stop at nothing to ruin the beautiful taunting Miss Caruthers.
After a dance Ian and Vangie find themselves immersed in scandal forcing them to marry. With a quick marriage ceremony they are off to Northumberland to Ian’s Somersfield Estate. Along the way Ian realizes that Vangie isn’t the woman the world has portrayed her to be and begins to realize he married a wonderful vibrant woman he would like to get to know. This is where you see Ian being the wonderful romantic he truly is. However things never go according to plan and Vangie will soon realize that maybe Ian has not been as honest as she would have liked and takes her life into her own hands.
This wonderful crafted story has all the good parts; romance, mystery, comedy, kindness and something that I haven’t encountered but really liked, the Roma culture. The last book I read with the Roma culture was by Lisa Klepas. That book was good but Ms. Cameron gives us so much more and you feel like you really know who the Roma people are. I loved the scenes where Vangie and Ian are with the Roma people. It was rich with description and she makes you feel like you are there with them. I loved it!
I had a great time reading this story and will go back to read Ms. Cameron’s first book Highlander’s Hope. I look forward to reading more vivid romantic story from Collette Cameron.
Purchase The Viscount’s Vow on Amazon.
*Received a copy of this story for an honest review.
-Romance Reader Girl