Review: Lady Wild by Maire Claremont

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?

Lady WildMy 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


Blog Tour: Dark Affair by Maire Claremont *Giveaway*

Created by Romance Wrangler for Maire Claremont. January 2014.

*Giveaway* Author is giving away a signed copy of DARK AFFAIR make sure to post in the comments and leave your email. Contest open to US/CA residents.

Official Blurb: The Victorian era was full of majestic beauty and scandalous secrets—a time when corsets were the least of a woman’s restrictions, and men could kill or be killed in the name of honor……

Lady Margaret Cassidy left a life of nobility behind in Ireland, forsaking her grieving homeland to aid war-ravaged men in England. Still, she never expected a cruel turn of fate to lock her into an unwanted betrothal with one of her English patients—much less one as broken and dangerous as Viscount Powers.
Wrecked by his tragic past, Powers’ opiate-addled sanity hangs precariously in the balance, leaving him poised to destroy anyone who dares to utter the names of the wife and child he still so deeply mourns. So when he is forced to marry Margaret in exchange for freedom, he is shocked by the desire to earn her trust, her body, and—most alarming of all—her heart….

unnamedExcerpt: He stared blankly before arching that one damning brow. “Do you think me a freshly born babe?”
Her lips twitched at the very idea. Powers had no doubt been born domineering and dripping sarcasm the moment he had popped into the world. “Hardly, milord.”
“You want something,” he stated flatly.
She nodded. Unsurprisingly, it appeared the best course had to be straight for him to follow her lead. He would sense it if she laced too much sweetness into her proposition. “I do at that.”
“Out with it.”
She cleared her throat, the words oddly discomforting. “‘Tisn’t just for myself, you understand, what I’m about to suggest.”
“How noble.”
She bit the inside of her cheek, knowing this was much like ripping off a bandage that had stuck to a wound. She simply needed to do it quickly and with authority. “I should like you to marry me.”
The silence which followed was punctuated by a mad cackle somewhere down the hall.
Powers contemplated her, his face an odd mask of dispassion. “And they say I’m mad.”
She couldn’t help but say, “They do indeed.”
He blew out an agitated breath. “My good woman–”
“Hear me out,” she said loudly, determined to cut him off and finish off her bargain.
He attempted to inch away from her, a rather hilarious spectacle, given the narrowness of the bed and the tightness of his leather straps. “I’d rather bash my brains out against the wall.”
Well, this was going splendidly. “Do you revile me then? Find me repugnant? repulsive?”
That seemed to stop him and he eyed her with a careful curiosity. “That is a great many Rs. Is your vanity wounded by my reluctance to tie myself to such as yourself?”
Such as herself? It was extremely tempting to pursue that line of thought, but she was not leaping to that bait. “That you’d rather be judged mad than marry me? Yes, I suppose my vanity is a wee bit trampled.”
He scowled. “You are an exceptionally beautiful woman, for which I am sure you are already cognizant.”
Her cheeks burned. She was aware of how men watched her, their trousers bulging, eyes lighting with lust and superiority simply because they were men. Even as they admired her, they doubtlessly imagined her in a place of far less power than the place she’d managed to carve out for herself in this hard, male ruled world. She’d done her best to avoid their unwelcome advances and kept herself to herself. It was imperative that she’d carefully cultivated a trustworthy, responsible reputation for healing in a world that generally expected women who ventured outside the home to be nothing better than whores..
“Ah.” A slow sort of dawning amusement sprung in his eyes.
“You are aware then. So. . . Why do you wish to marry a mad man?” he intoned with exaggerated drama. “Tired of working your pretty little fingers to the bone?”
The sneering note to his voice grated against every principle she’d managed to form over the last years, principles she was gleefully tossing to the wind for the sake of her future. No, not her future. The future of her brother and so many others that she would finally be able to truly help.
She supposed, she could have turned down the marquess’ offer and thrown herself on the generosity of other lords than she had helped, hoping to avoid a marital entanglement. But she she needed aid immediately. The marquess had promised it and there was no guarantee that any other lord, no matter the debt they owed her, would be willing to assist her brother in such a state.
It took a great deal of fortitude not to slap the ragingly arrogant superiority off his face. God, how she hated his immediate assumption that she would marry him for so little. Still, she refrained.
For heaven’s sake the man was strapped to a bed because he couldn’t care for his own safety, and he was attempting to make her feel inferior! So, she jabbed a little knife into that illusion of his that he was so much higher than she, clipping, “In truth, it was your father who has asked me to wed you. With much reluctance, I agreed.”
Yes, the stabbing little phrase seemed to leech the disdain out of him for a brief moment before he said flatly, “I don’t believe you.”
“He’s asked me to lend credence to your sanity so that you will be able to inherit and be forever free of the doctors.”
“My jailor, not my wife.”
“Aren’t they one and the same in any case,” she teased, hoping, despite the growing animosity, for a moment of lightness between them.
He grew quiet and seemed to disappear to some far off place. His face, so hard and strained, relaxed for a moment. A strange glossiness turned his icy gaze mirror-like, before he blinked and replied, “No. They are most definitely not.”
The way he now looked at her, as if she’d just spewed filth on him made her feel as if she’d suddenly revealed some secret part of herself that no one nor no ray of light had ever seen. Suddenly, she did feel ugly. She felt exceptionally low, lower than he could feel at this moment, despite his temporary committal to a madhouse. For at least, he still had some hope in the state of marriage and faith in love.
How remarkable. Because she most certainly did not. She hadn’t for almost her entire life.


unnamedBuy Links:
unnamed-2About Maire Claremont: 
2011 Golden Heart winner Máire Claremont first fell in love with Mr. Rochester, not Mr. Darcy. Drawn to his dark snark, she longed to find a tortured hero of her own… until she realized the ramifications of Mr. Rochester locking his first wife up in his attic. Discovering the errors of her ways, Máire now looks for a real-life Darcy and creates deliciously dark heroes on the page. Oh, and she wants everyone to know her name is pronounced Moira. Her parents just had to give her an Irish Gaelic name.
-Romance Reader Girl

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

My Top Reads for 2013, Part 2

Here is part two of my favorite reads for 2013. In case you are new to this blog I have a reading obsession with Historical Romances. What can I say? I love the setting of Regency and Victorian England with happily ever afters. I am working in more contemporary and paranormal for 2014 but 2013 was the year of Historical Romances.

18012643A Taylor-Made Life by Kary Rader: Tissue Alert! This book requires tissues and time. I am not going to lie, this book is about two young people with cancer. Now don’t turn away, it’s a great story full of romance, laughs, hope and yes, sadness.  Still wanting to run? There is a sequel planned. Now what book with the leading characters that have cancer have a sequel? Not many. You’ll enjoy this read, I promise.


perf5.000x8.000.inddThe Letter by Sandra Owens: I have been telling anyone that will listen to me about The Letter. This is one of my favorite, favorite books. I find, Ms. Owens to be a words smith and writes emotion so well. You will want to cry and laugh. Let me tell you any author that can have a three-legged cat and rabbit steal the show is pretty amazing!



16056420Lady in Red by Maire Claremont: A deliciously dark Victorian romance is what you get when reading this book. Ms. Claremont does a wonderful job creating a setting that seems like the only way out is to fight. Her characters have an emotional depth that pulls you in wanting to know more about them. I felt this book was about taking back your identity and fighting for what’s right. The road is hard but worth every hard step.



Darius: Lord of Pleasures by Grace Burrowes: This story stirred many emotions for me. It’s about a woman who wants a child and her husband is not able to help in that area. He husband finds a man willing to get the job done and a relationship is formed. It’s a slow romantic build and the ending is surprising and yes you will need tissues. Ms. Burrowes knows how to write a story that doesn’t allow you to put it down.


15778717Sweet Madness by Heather Snow: Conquering demons is the theme of this story. The H/h in this book are trying to fight through their demons by helping others and hiding. Ms. Snow does a fabulous job drawing you into the story and to the characters. You feel the emotional pain and triumphs the characters endure. A powerful read.



81FVqrfzr5L._SL1500_Desire Wears Diamonds by Renee Bernard: I have waited for what seems like forever to find out who was the Jackal that plagued the Jaded. It was an exciting conclusion to a fabulous series. Can I say having all six of the Jaded men in one story was aaaamazing and worth the wait. There is a quite a bit of action with all the usual Renee Bernard flare she puts into her stories. 



15839962If You Give a Rake a Ruby by Shana Galen: What I found great about this book and series is that not everything or everyone is as they seem. Ms. Galen gives her characters a depth that you don’t see until you really get into this book. She then begins to peal layers off and we see the characters for who they really hard. It’s wonderful! This book had mystery, suspense, romance, heat and humor. It was great!


16056370Flirting with Fortune by Erin Knightley: This was wonderful story of two real-like people. Ms. Knightley does a wonderful job creating characters that you could easily believe to be your friends or even yourself. I was submerged into this story with it’s wonderful banter and mysterious elements. When reading her stories I feel so happy and when having a rough time I always know Erin Knightley’s books will put a smile on my face.


I read so many fabulous books during my book challenge that I probably could post two additional blog post about them but then they wouldn’t be my top picks. If you have time this weekend pick up one of these books, I know you won’t be disappointed.

To my fellow American friends have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. To my friends around the world enjoy the rest of the week and enjoy your weekend. I hope you all find time to get some reading in.

-Romance Reader Girl

Author Interview: Maire Claremont

MClaremont-LadyinRedtourReaders, thank you for joining me today for my first author interview (totally doing the happy dance!).  Please welcome the fabulous Maire Claremont on the blog today as we talk about why she writes, a little about her latest release Lady in Red and some of her favorite things. A lucky one of you will receive a $10 Amazon gift card so make sure to post (contest is international).

MClaremont-blogtour200x400RRG: Can you tell us what inspired your Mad Passion series?
MC: Lady Eva Carin from The Dark Lady. She popped into my head and adamantly insisted that I write her story. Seriously, I was in bed trying to sleep and she wouldn’t stop showing me this heart rending scene. So, I got up and wrote it. That was the beginning and then I was swept away into that world.

RRG: When did you realize you wanted to write and why historicals?
MC: True Confessions Time. I was eighteen. I’d devoured just about every Johanna Lindsay book and Julia Quinn novel. I was convinced romance writers ate bon bons and lived fabulous lives. It seemed a good career choice. ;D

RRG:  Who are some of your favorite heroes and heroines in romance novels?
MC: That’s a brutal question. My ultimate historical Heros are:
The Duke of Jervaux from Laura Kinsale’s Flowers From the Storm. He’s just out of this world in his dark fabulousness.
The Duke of Auburn from Meredith’s Duran’s Duke of Shadows.
Dageus MacKeltar from Karen Marie Moning’s The Dark Highlander. I love them tortured and he’s so deliciously bad and good.

RRG: When not writing what do you like to do?
MC: My VERY favorite thing is to travel. I could probably live out of a suit case and be happy. I adore reading in the bath tub. Seriously, I could spend hours. I’m also a big movie fan. I adore period films.

RRG: Please tell us about your highly anticipated book Lady in Red.
MC: Lady Mary, daughter of the Duke of Duncliffe, has been locked in the asylum by her father. So, instead of being the toast of London she’s battling to stay alive, fight off her laudanum addiction and escape the asylum. Once she does escape, she meets another duke, Edward Barrons, a hero who will do anything to save her. Together they discover that while the path of vengeance seems to be the only way to find a peace, love ultimately is the answer.


Favorite Snack?
Hint of Lime chips and Queso
Favorite Season?
Christmas. I am a Christmas FIEND. . . And yes, I realize it isn’t exactly a season.
Favorite Animal?
Horse. I wish I could own one, but there’s just something so beautiful and elemental about horses.
What song can’t you get out of your head? 
Right now, since I’m writing, its one of my major go to songs, Go Ask Alice by Jefferson Airplane.
One place you would like to travel to and why? 
London. Pretty much always London. It a huge city filled with good food, history and theater. Also, Scotland and Ireland and Paris are just a skip and a jump away. ;D
ladyinred_MClaremontAbout Lady In Red:
The Victorian era was full of majestic beauty and scandalous secrets—a time when corsets were the least of a woman’s restrictions, and men could kill or be killed in the name of honor…Lady Mary Darrel should be the envy of London. Instead, all society believes her dead. For Mary holds a secret so dangerous, her father chose to keep her locked away…and have a grave made for her near her mother’s. Driven to the edge of desperation, Mary manages to escape the asylum, only to find that her fate yet again rests in the hands of a man…Edward Barrons, Duke of Fairleigh, longs for some way to escape the torment of his father’s crimes. In Mary’s warrior spirit and haunted gaze—which so mirrors his own—he finally sees his path to redemption. He will stop at nothing to keep her safe, even as she seeks revenge. But will the passion they discover in each other be enough to save them from their demons?

Maire ClaremontBio:
2011 Golden Heart winner Máire Claremont first fell in love with Mr. Rochester, not Mr. Darcy. Drawn to his dark snark, she longed to find a tortured hero of her own… until she realized the ramifications of Mr. Rochester locking his first wife up in his attic. Discovering the errors of her ways, Máire now looks for a real-life Darcy and creates deliciously dark heroes on the page. Oh, and she wants everyone to know her name is pronounced Moira. Her parents just had to give her an Irish Gaelic name.


Buy Links:
Book Depository
More About The Book

A big thank you to Maire Claremont for being on my blog today!
Happy Reading,
Romance Reader Girl
This blog tour brought to you by:
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Happy Book Release Day: Pick up these books!

Two books have come out today that I encourage romance lovers to pick up and read.

16056420Lady in Red by Maire Claremont 

Lady Mary Darrel should be the envy of London. Instead, all society believes her dead. For Mary holds a secret so dangerous, her father chose to keep her locked away…and have a grave made for her near her mother’s. Driven to the edge of desperation, Mary manages to escape the asylum, only to find that her fate yet again rests in the hands of a man…

Edward Barrons, Duke of Fairleigh, longs for some way to escape the torment of his father’s crimes. In Mary’s warrior spirit and haunted gaze—which so mirrors his own—he finally sees his path to redemption. He will stop at nothing to keep her safe, even as she seeks revenge. But will the passion they discover in each other be enough to save them from their demons?

I was lucky to receive an ARC copy of this story and I loved it! See my review here.

Purchase on AMAZON or B&N.


12240496The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

Daniel Mackenzie lives up to the reputation of the scandalous Mackenzie family—he has wealth, looks, and talent, and women love him. When he meets Violet Bastien—one of the most famous spiritual mediums in England—he immediately knows two things: that Miss Bastien is a fraud, and that he’s wildly attracted to her.

Violet knows she can’t really contact the other side, but she’s excellent at reading people. She discerns quickly that Daniel is intelligent and dangerous to her reputation, but she also finds him generous, handsome, and outrageously wicked. But spectres from Violet’s past threaten to destroy her, and she flees England, adopting yet another identity.

Daniel is determined to find the elusive Violet and pursue the passion he feels for her. And though Violet knows that her scandalous past will keep her from proper marriage, her attraction to Daniel is irresistible. It’s not until Daniel is the only one she can turn to that he proves he believes in something more than cold facts. He believes in love.

Purchase on AMAZON or B&N.

-Romance Reader Girl

*Pre-Release* Review: Lady in Red by Maire Claremont

From the moment I finished reading The Dark Lady by Maire Claremont in February I knew I would read anything this amazing writer put out. Her deliciously dark stories grab at your emotions and you are not able to put the book down. Her second book Lady in Red is no exception. Once again my attention was grabbed from the beginning and stayed until the end.

T16056420he theme of this story is taking back control of yourself and fighting to regain your self worth.

Lady Mary Elizabeth Darrel has been locked away in an asylum by her father, a powerful Duke.  When Mary escapes she is broken but determined to never go back again. When she arrives on the doorstep of friend of her beloved mother’s her life will take a turn she never saw coming.

Edward Barrons, Duke of Fairleigh has spent years trying to fix his fathers mistakes by doing what he feels is right. He lives a very closed off life. One evening he see’s a woman that he can help save brining himself some peace and forgiveness. What he doesn’t see coming is this woman will change his view on life that he never thought possible.

I loved the theme of this book-fighting to regain your self-worth and power. Edward and Mary use one another as a pillar of strength to discover themselves and what truly is important in life, love and acceptance. There are many dark moments as Mary must fight to push out the evils done to her by her father and the people of the asylum, but with the help of Edward she is able to do it. Edward must fight his past and realize that what his father did was not his fault. He also must realize that to help Mary he must allow Mary to help him. Not an easy task. With the help of the Edward and his friend the Viscount Powers Mary is able to find the strength to face her father the man she once loved more than anything but also the man that locked her away.

This is an amazing read. The follow up book to The Dark Lady does not disappoint. Ms. Claremont brings a powerful read full of dark moments but moments of hope and laughter. You will be taken on a journey of self discovery through love, strength, passion, heart wrenching terror, sadness and hope. I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend this book to lovers of historical romance that love to read deliciously dark stories that will have you crying one moment and snickering the next.

Lady in Red will be available for purchase on OCTOBER 1, 2013. You can find it on Amazon or B&N.

*A big thank you to Maire Claremont for sending me a copy for an honest review. 

-Romance Reader Girl