Blog Tour Review: Wicked and the Wallflower + Giveaway

Note: I just realized that my review of Too Wilde to Wed by Eloisa James was stuck in drafts and never went live! See it here.

Promo Graphic 1 - Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean.png

 

Book Cover - Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLeanWicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean
Series The Bareknuckle Bastards Series
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date June 19, 2018
Format: eARC curtesy of Avon & Edelwiess – thank you.
Amazon https://amzn.to/2JtzvyF
Avon Romance http://bit.ly/2MajcZo
Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2LyGXcd
Google Play http://bit.ly/2LA0Tvl
iBooks https://apple.co/2sDurRR

 

When a man known only as Devil finds his way into her bedchamber and offers her his help in landing a duke, Lady Felicity Faircloth agrees. She might be a spinster, but she’s seen love in action and is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that her future husband will love her beyond reason—even if it means she must make a deal with a man more dangerous than she could imagine.

Bastard son of a duke, and king of London’s darkest corners, Devil has made a lifetime of wielding power and seizing opportunity, and Felicity Faircloth is everything he needs to exact a perfect revenge. All he has to do is turn the plain little mouse into an irresistible temptress, set his trap, and destroy his enemy. If the girl is ruined in the process, so be it.  

Except there’s nothing plain about Felicity Faircloth, and soon it’s Devil who is trapped…along with his heart.

3 and a hlaf stars

Sarah MacLean is always good, but this wasn’t my favorite of hers. It kind of felt like it was setting up the rest of the series more than standing alone. The first half kind of dragged for me, lacking the emotional impact I usually get from Sarah MacLean books. The later half, though, made up for that and packed a good punch that had me up far past my bedtime.

I did love Felicity, the heroine. Actually, all the women in the story were strong and inspiring – Felicity, Nik, Grace/Dahlia. They were all equal to the men in their abilities and smarts. I think Grace/Dahlia is probably smarter than everyone.

Devil’s darkness and mysteriousness, unfortunately, extended to the reader. I never felt like I really got to know Devil. I think, as the series goes on and we get to know him through his friends and brothers, I’ll feel a deeper connection to him.

My favorite things about this book:

  • Scarred, criminal, working class hero with a perfect head.
  • Clever, lock-picking aristocratic heroine who talks to herself.
  • VERY sexy depictions of enthusiastic consent alllll through the book.
  • Many badass women in trousers.

I’m really, really, really looking forward to Whit/Beast’s book.

 

Author Pic - Sarah MacLeanNew York Times, Washington Post & USA Today bestseller SARAH MACLEAN is the author of historical romance novels that have been translated into more than twenty languages, and winner of back-to-back RITA Awards for best historical romance from the Romance Writers of America.

Sarah is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place at the nexus of gender and cultural studies. She is the author of a monthly column celebrating the best of the genre for the Washington Post. Her advocacy for romance and the women who read it earned her a place on Jezebel.com’s “Sheroes” list of 2014 and led Entertainment Weekly to call her “gracefully furious.”

A graduate of Smith College & Harvard University, Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.

Website http://www.sarahmaclean.net/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sarahmaclean
Twitter https://twitter.com/sarahmaclean
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1598076.Sarah_MacLean
Amazon https://amzn.to/2Hy3N1a

 

PRIZE:  To celebrate the release of WICKED AND THE WALLFLOWER by Sarah MacLean, we’re giving away two $10 Amazon gift cards! 

https://www.subscribepage.com/WickedAndTheWallflower

 

Tour Banner - Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean

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Blog Tour Review: Too Wild to Wed by Eloisa James + Giveaway

Too Wilde to Wed by Eloisa James - Tour Banner 1000

Too Wilde to Wed by Eloisa JamesToo Wilde to Wed by Eloisa James
Series The Wildes of Lindow Castle Series
Genre Adult Historical Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date May 29, 2018
Format: eARC provided by Avon & edelweiss – Thank you!
Amazon https://amzn.to/2KrrHON
Avon Romance https://goo.gl/esHscG
Barnes & Noble https://goo.gl/bNfwxw
Google Play https://goo.gl/jg6JYG
iBooks https://apple.co/2jpcrFU

 

No one is more surprised than Lord North when he returns from war to find his ex-fiancee in his ancestral home…working as a governess in a sexy, fiery new Wildes of Lindow Castle romance by New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James…

The handsome, rakish heir to a dukedom, Lord Roland Northbridge Wilde—known to his friends as North—left England two years ago, after being jilted by Miss Diana Belgrave. He returns from war to find that he’s notorious: polite society has ruled him “too wild to wed.”

Diana never meant to tarnish North’s reputation, or his heart, but in her rush to save a helpless child, there was no time to consider the consequences of working as a governess in Lindow Castle. Now everyone has drawn the worst conclusions about the child’s father, and Diana is left with bittersweet regret.

When North makes it clear that he still wants her for his own, scandal or no, Diana has to fight to keep from losing her heart to the man whom she still has no intention of marrying.

Yet North is returning a hardened warrior—and this is one battle he’s determined to win.

He wants Diana, and he’ll risk everything to call her his own.

4 and half stars

Reading Diana & North’s story made me realize how much I love a second chance romance – especially when we’ve met both characters before. We meet both Diana & North in Wilde in Love. Both spend that book dressed in over the top clothing and wigs, North strutting around like a peacock and Diana crying helplessly. It was clear there was more to each of them, but the early versions of Diana and North weren’t people I loved. So, this kind of second chance romance is a second chance for the characters to fall in love, but also for the audience to get to know and fall in love with them.

I’ve read a few reviews that didn’t like Diana. She’s not a strong, independent, capable woman. She works as a governess, but is not good at it. She doesn’t know how to make change. She doesn’t know how to do much. That said, I liked her. She knew her weaknesses and she didn’t lie or hide them. She tried to do well and made the best she could with her situation.

I liked North, too. Eloisa’s choice to have him fight in the Revolutionary War was a smart one. It helped transform him from the over the top dandy we met in Wilde in Love to a rugged hero in readers’ minds (at least this reader’s mind). I don’t really believe that he loved Diana when they were first engaged, though he clearly does, but I did like the way he never wavers. He knew what he wanted – Diana.

The whole Wilde family is fun and I’m excited for Parth’s story.*

Giveaway – A Hardcover copy of Wilde in Love by Eloisa James & a Peacock Keychain! https://goo.gl/gceRD3

ELOISA JAMES is a New York Times best-selling author and professor of English literature who lives with her family in New York, but can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. She is the mother of two and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight. Visit her at http://www.eloisajames.com.

Website http://www.eloisajames.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/eloisajames/
Twitter http://twitter.com/eloisajames
Goodreads https://goo.gl/cSkBqw
Amazon http://amzn.to/2ylm3cO

 

*I know there has been some controversy about why and how Eloisa James decided to write Parth, who is half Indian. Her explanation does seem to be a very convenient way to inject some diversity without having to go all in and address issues of colonization or create a fully developed identity that includes that part of himself. I sincerely hope that she dove back into her research, worked with a sensitivity reader, and has addressed that. I still plan on reading it, but I respect anyone who was turned off by those comments and chooses not to.

Review: Wilde in Love by Eloisa James

33020122Too Wilde to Wed by Eloisa James
Series 
The Wildes of Lindow Castle
Genre
Adult Historical Romance
Publisher
Avon Books
Publication Date
October 31, 2017
Format 
Print (MMP)
Amazon: 
http://a.co/1GFno00

 

 

 

About the Book:

Lord Alaric Wilde, son of the Duke of Lindow, is the most celebrated man in England, revered for his dangerous adventures and rakish good looks. Arriving home from years abroad, he has no idea of his own celebrity until his boat is met by mobs of screaming ladies. Alaric escapes to his father’s castle, but just as he grasps that he’s not only famous but notorious, he encounters the very private, very witty, Miss Willa Ffynche.

Willa presents the façade of a serene young lady to the world. Her love of books and bawdy jokes is purely for the delight of her intimate friends. She wants nothing to do with a man whose private life is splashed over every newspaper.

Alaric has never met a woman he wanted for his own . . . until he meets Willa. He’s never lost a battle.

But a spirited woman like Willa isn’t going to make it easy. . . .

4 and half stars

I really loved Willa and Alaric! Alaric is like an historical romance Indiana Jones – traveling the world and writing books about his adventures. But once his books made their way to England, they – and he – were romanticized. An unauthorized, very fictional play about his life swept the nation and Alaric returns to find he’s England’s #1 Heartthrob. He does not like this.

Willa and her best friend Lavinia are both stunning and sought after. They play the London Season like a game, being perfect prim and proper potential wives in front of society and laughing at dirty jokes to themselves when no one is looking.

Willa wants nothing to do with Lord Wilde, certain that he’s an egotistical fraud. Alaric, though, realizes his feelings for Willa early on and dedicates himself to wooing her. I really like romances where the hero is the first to realize his feelings. His wooing includes gifting Willa a baby skunk, Sweetpea, who is an adorable side character and plays a very important role in the end.

There is a bit of a Shakespearean drama theme throughout the whole story, including a wicked villain and high stakes drama at the end.

I felt really connected to both Willa and Alaric. They felt evenly matched. All of the secondary characters, including Sweetpea, were delightful and I am excited to read more of the Wildes.

Blog Tour & Review – A Scandalous Deal by Joanna Shupe

EDIT: REVIEW: 

Howww is Joanna Shupe so good?

Just like with A Daring Arrangement, when I started I wasn’t sure if I was going to fall in love with these two and then somehow I’m halfway through the book and can’t stop reading. The Joanna Shupe word vortex pulled me in and didn’t let me go.

I absolutely love this setting. I want more historical romance outside of Great Britain.

The story has a diverse cast, dealing with real issues, real fears, and finding real love. (For the record, I would absolutely LOVE to read Becca’s story). I felt Eva’s frustration and anger at the unfairness of the way society was catering to the absolute fragility of all the men around her. I felt her pull to Phillip, even when she was annoyed with him. I felt her pride seeing her dreams come true and, finally, being recognized for her own worth.

I was annoyed at Phillip, but I was still rooting for him to figure it out and I am deeply satisfied with the story’s conclusion. There were a few times at which the dialogue felt a little awkward and unnatural, which didn’t take me out of the story or anything, but might if you are listening in audio.

4.5 stars, you should read it.

ARC provided by Avon & Edelwiess for an honest review.

 

Final review coming – Okay, SO. I signed up to review this book because I LOVED A Daring Arrangement. But, I didn’t plan my life correctly and I haven’t finished reading it yet. HOWEVER I am almost done and confident that you should go get it because it’s excellent. I’ll finish tonight and post my actual review other than “OMG JOANNA SHUPE I LOVE HER” this week!

Joanna Shupe returns with another unforgettable novel set in the glittering world of  New York City’s Gilded Age…

They call her Lady Unlucky…

With three dead fiancés, Lady Eva Hyde has positively no luck when it comes to love. She sets sail for New York City, determined that nothing will deter her dream of becoming an architect, certainly not an unexpected passionate shipboard encounter with a mysterious stranger. But Eva’s misfortune strikes once more when she discovers the stranger who swept her off her feet is none other than her new employer.

Or is it Lady Irresistible?

Phillip Mansfield reluctantly agrees to let the fiery Lady Eva oversee his luxury hotel project while vowing to keep their relationship strictly professional. Yet Eva is more capable—and more alluring—than Phillip first thought, and he cannot keep from drawing up a plan of his own to seduce her.

When a series of onsite “accidents” make it clear someone wants Lady Unlucky to earn her nickname, Phillip discovers he’s willing to do anything to protect her—even if it requires a scandalous deal…

About the Book

A Scandalous Deal
by Joanna Shupe

Series
The Four Hundred Series

Genre
Adult
Historical Romance

Publisher
Avon Books

Publication Date
April 24, 2018

Amazon | Avon Romance | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | iBooks

ASD teaser

Tour Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the release of A SCANDALOUS DEAL by Joanna Shupe, we’re giving away for two paperback copies of A DARING ARRANGEMENT!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. Two winners will each receive a paperback copy of A Daring Arrangement by Joanna Shupe. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance.  Giveaway ends 5/4/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address.  Duplicates will be deleted.  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

Excerpt

“Yes…. I will.”

His nostrils flared ever so slightly.

“Why?” he asked, brows lowered in confusion. “Why now?”

She understood perfectly. A few days ago, she’d insisted on professional distance. Yet how could she explain it? They were high above the city, just the two of them, in a cocoon of warm July air. “Does it matter?”

“It does to  me. I’d like to know why you’ve changed your mind.”

Because she wanted him, wanted him to do the same wicked things he’d done on the ship. The insides of her thighs grew slick just thinking on it. She went with a coy answer instead. “Isn’t that what women do?”

One side of his mouth kicked up. “Most women, perhaps. However, you’re not most women. There’s no one else who can begin to compare.”

About Joanna Shupe

Joanna Shupe has always loved history, ever since she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. While in college, Joanna read every romance she could get her hands on and soon started crafting her own racy historical novels. In 2013, she won Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart® Award for Best Historical. She now lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband. To connect with Joanna, visit JoannaShupe.com.

Author Links

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This promotion is brought to you by Pure Textuality PR.
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New Release & Review: Tempest by Beverly Jenkins!

 

4 and half stars

I was SO ready for Regan’s story after finishing Breathless – in Breathless, Regan surprised me when she taught her sister about contraceptive sponges and then decided she was going to be a mail order bride. I knew I was in for a ride with Tempest.

OKAY BUT I did not expect Regan to shoot Colton! I know it’s laid out in the blurb, but I didn’t read the blurb. I just saw “Beverly Jenkins. Book #3 in the Old West series” and I was sold. I love her boldness. She and Colton were perfect together.

Some historical romance authors are like 90% romance & 10% history. Some are the opposite. Some, like Miss Bev, are perfectly balanced. I love learning about the Old West in this series and the lives of those who lived and loved there. Romance and fiction in general allow authors to teach us about forgotten histories. People and populations that have been overlooked by the history books. Most of the history I was taught growing up was the history of white dudes. I love Dukes and Earls as much as any other historical reader, but traveling to the Old West and learning about the lives of People of Color there is refreshing.

From USA Today Bestselling Author Beverly Jenkins comes a new novel in a mesmerizing series set in the Old West, where an arranged marriage becomes a grand passion . . .

What kind of mail-order bride greets her intended with a bullet instead of a kiss? One like Regan Carmichael—an independent spirit equally at home in denims and dresses. Shooting Dr. Colton Lee in the shoulder is an honest error, but soon Regan wonders if her entire plan to marry a man she’s never met is a mistake. Colton, who buried his heart along with his first wife, insists he only wants someone to care for his daughter. Yet Regan is drawn to the unmistakable desire in his gaze.

Regan’s far from the docile bride Colton was expecting. Still, few women would brave the wilds of Wyoming Territory for an uncertain future with a widower and his child. The thought of having a bold, forthright woman like Regan in his life—and in his arms—begins to inspire a new dream. And despite his family’s disapproval and an unseen enemy, he’ll risk all to make this match a real union of body and soul.

About the Book

Tempest
by Beverly Jenkins

Series
Old West #3

Genre
Adult
Historical Romance

Publisher
Avon Books

Publication Date
January 30, 2018

Amazon  |  Avon Romance  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Google Play  |  iBooks

 

Tour Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the release of TEMPEST, we’re giving away two paperback sets of FORBIDDEN and BREATHLESS by Beverly Jenkins!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. Two winners will each receive a paperback set of Forbidden and Breathless by Beverly Jenkins.  This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance.  Giveaway ends 2/9/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address.  Duplicates will be deleted.  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

About Beverly Jenkins

Beverly Jenkins is the recipient of the 2017 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the 2016 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for historical romance. She has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Literature, was featured in both the documentary Love Between the Covers and on CBS Sunday Morning. Since the publication of Night Song in 1994, she has been leading the charge for multicultural romance, and has been a constant darling of reviewers, fans, and her peers alike, garnering accolades for her work from the likes of The Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, and NPR. To read more about Beverly, visit her at http://www.BeverlyJenkins.net.

Author Links

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This promotion is brought to you by Pure Textuality PR.
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Review: Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas

7233767

Again the Magic
Lisa Kleypas
(there is a new cover for this title, but my copy looks like the above image.)
The Wallflowers Book #0

5 Stars

McKenna!

Some romances are perfect, dreamy fairy-tales and some are deeply intense, passionate, emotional rollercoasters. This was the latter.

I love an across-the-tracks romance, especially in historicals. Again the Magic gave me that plus childhood friends-to-lovers plus second chance romance AND revenge. The perfect trope blend of FEELINGS. And Aline and McKenna have no shortage of feelings. They are both overflowing with love and hurt and insecurity and their happily ever after was so hard to come by but so satisfying. And, unlike most historical romance, we get steam from the get-go and I LOVE IT.

The secondary romance, between Gideon & Livia is just as swoony, hard-earned, and well-deserved.

I loved it.

Audiobook Review: Potent Pleasures by Eloisa James

36235620

2 Stars

Potent Pleasures
by Eloisa James
The Pleasures Trilogy
Audiobook – narrated by Susan Duerden

Eloisa what is you doing to me? This is not your best work.

That said, this is Eloisa James’s first work and certainly better than I can do, but still. I’m glad I started with her later works, because I know she is better than this and I will continue to read her newer work. Potent Pleasures was not a winner for me.

Alex is THE WORST. He is an unredeemable ass. I will go over why, but it’s very spoilery, because the entire plot is Alex being an ass.

Continue reading

Review: When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James (Audiobook)

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5 Stars

When Beauty Tamed the Beast
by Eloisa James
Audiobook
Narrator: Susan Duerden

Review:

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Goosedang this was good. I love fairy tale retellings and Eloisa James absolute crushes it with this Beauty and the Beast inspired story.

Linnet and Piers were perfectly matched with hilarious teasing banter and super hot sexual tension. Just loved it start to finish.

I listened to the audiobook and Susan Duerden was a wonderful narrator.

 

Blurb: 

Miss Linnet Berry Thrynne is a Beauty… Naturally, she’s betrothed to a Beast.

Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant, lives in a castle in Wales where, it is rumored, his bad temper flays everyone he crosses. And rumor also has it that a wound has left the earl immune to the charms of any woman.

Linnet is not just any woman.

She is more than merely lovely: her wit and charm brought a prince to his knees. She estimates the earl will fall madly in love—in just two weeks.

She is more than merely lovely: her wit and charm brought a prince to his knees. She estimates the earl will fall madly in love—in just two weeks.

If she decides to be very wicked indeed… what price will she pay for taming his wild heart?

Review: An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

30237404

5 Stars

An Extraordinary Union
by Alyssa Cole
The Loyal League Book 1
Paperback

 

Guuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhh

So this should have taken me a day or two to read, but I started it, then somehow lost it. And by lost it, I mean, I put it in my literal To-Be-Read pile near my bed, not in the literal Currently-Reading pile on the nightstand and then didn’t find it until almost a month later. It took no time to dive back in to the story, though.

Elle is a free black woman, but in service to the Union, she goes undercover as a mute slave in the South. She is angry – angry that she should be living free, but can’t until she does her part to free others. She’s angry that she’s treated poorly by a spoiled Southern Belle who has never had to work a day in her life. She’s angry that, as part of her disguise, she can’t speak up, but lacks the power to really speak her mind thanks to her station. But anger isn’t all she is. She’s strong and hopeful and clever and armed with an eidetic memory to serve the Union. I love her.

Malcolm wears a Confederate uniform and blends in easily, but he, too, is a Union spy. Elle is fearful of him at first and suspicious of his intentions. I was pretty suspicious, too, but he won us both over completely.

Y’all, I love forbidden romance. And this one

It’s the kind of forbidden romance that shouldn’t work. An interracial couple in the South during the Civil War. They can’t be seen together, their marriage wouldn’t be legally recognized for a century – is it really worth all the trouble? YES YES IT IS because their love is so sweet and tender and dreamy.

Love this one.

Plus, Gomez has loved to snuggle up with it since I got it.

Review: How the Duke was Won by Lenora Bell

260295485 Stars

How the Duke was Won
by Lenora Bell
The Disgraceful Dukes #1
Paperback

Review: 
Just what I needed.

Adorable with a cast of wonderful – often unconventional – characters. I definitely fell for James (and Charlene), but loved all the secondary characters as well. I laughed aloud a few times, I shed a couple tears, and I immediately grabbed Book 2 when this one ended.

Blurb: 

The pleasure of your company is requested at Warbury Park. Four lovely ladies will arrive… but only one can become a duchess.

James, the scandalously uncivilized Duke of Harland, requires a bride with a spotless reputation for a strictly business arrangement. Lust is prohibited and love is out of the question.

Four ladies. Three days. What could go wrong?

She is not like the others…

Charlene Beckett, the unacknowledged daughter of an earl and a courtesan, has just been offered a life-altering fortune to pose as her half-sister, Lady Dorothea, and win the duke’s proposal. All she must do is:

* Be the perfect English rose [Ha!]

* Breathe, smile, and curtsy in impossibly tight gowns [blast Lady Dorothea’s sylph-like figure]

* Charm and seduce a wild duke [without appearing to try]

* Keep said duke far, far from her heart [no matter how tempting]

When secrets are revealed and passion overwhelms, James must decide if the last lady he should want is really everything he needs. And Charlene must decide if the promise of a new life is worth risking everything . . . including her heart.