Tag Archives: London

The Trouble with His Lordship’s Trousers (Ladies Most Unlikely #1) by Jayne Fresina

Trouble with His Lordship's Trousers CoverRelease Date: March 14, 2016
Published by Twisted E-Publishing, LLC 
Review Copy from Author

ABOUT THE BOOK:

In Regency London, Georgiana Hathaway has no intention of falling into the conventional trap of marriage and motherhood. She has so much more to do with her life, and a few tortuous years at ‘The Particular Establishment for the Advantage of Respectable Ladies’ has done nothing to change her mind. In fact, she’s already taken the first steps to carve out a career, by anonymously crafting a scandalous, satirical column, called His Lordship’s Trousers, for her father’s newspaper.

But as the misadventures of her comical rake become the most talked-about story in London, and the naughty column earns greater popularity, it is also bound to gain critics. How much trouble can “His Lordship’s Trousers” get her into? She’s about to find out.

Meanwhile, “Dead Harry” Thrasher eagerly reads that wicked column every week. It is one of the few things— other than the obituaries— that make him laugh out loud these days. He lives vicariously through that fictional rake’s antics, because his own life is suspended in time and he sees no reason to move forward. After all, when a man’s obituary has been printed in the newspaper, not once but twice, he has a tendency to believe it. What’s the point of a life over which man has no control? What, exactly, has he been saved so many times for? He’s about to find out.

When Dead Harry meets Miss Hathaway, they will both find their worlds, and their long-ingrained opinions, at risk. She does not want to fall in love with a man when everybody knows the male animal only gets in the way of a girl’s ambitions. And Harry may have survived a “mortal” wound, and eight hundred and fifty days stranded alone on an uncharted island, but can the very private life of this semi-recluse survive the reckless curiosity and impertinent sauce of Miss Georgiana Hathaway?

He’s a naval war hero— even if he does have an aversion to decent clothing and polite behavior— so if this young woman thinks to conquer him and put his life in order, she’d better have a battle strategy. It’s been a while since he enjoyed a skirmish at sea, but Harry has a feeling he’ll love every moment of this one.

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OUR THOUGHTS:

There’s nothing like a really good historical, am I right? Jayne Fresina has penned some stories I’ve highly enjoyed, and I’m adding The Trouble with His Lordship’s Trousers to the list. Her particular brand of historicals is sure to delight and never bore. In a quirky, humorous approach to an otherwise classic trope, Fresina matches wits – and more – of the unlikeliest of bedfellows. Readers will find the end result truly magical.

I’m always drawn to a heroine who’s a tad bit rebellious, and  Miss Georgiana Hathaway certainly fits the bill. Unwilling to simply abide by society’s standards for young ladies, Georgiana dreams of an independent life as a writer. She has a pretty good start on that already, secretly writing an anonymous column for her father’s newspaper.  Now if only her amusing shenanigans wouldn’t attract so much attention and keep getting her into trouble! Her heart’s in the right place, though, and that’s what counts.

In what seems like more than coincidence, Georgiana finds herself frequently crossing paths with “Dead Harry” Thrasher. The former naval war hero is the stuff legends are made of! The rumors and myths surrounding him are never-ending and endlessly entertaining, except perhaps to Harry himself. He’s a quiet fellow who’d love nothing more than to battle his demons in private and live a solitary life peacefully in the countryside. His meddlesome aunt, however, has other plans.

As Georgiana and Harry fumble their way through a forced acquaintance, it’s obvious there’s something more to it. Nevermind being warned to keep her distance, Georgiana is far too curious and strong-willed for that.  Besides, Harry’s odd behavior and secrets present the perfect mystery.  It’s a good thing she’s so persistent, because it presents the perfect opportunity for Fresina to build a relationship between them that’s unique and special.

All in all Fresina’s creativity and powerful storytelling show through in this rather eccentric romance. Her ability to create and develop unique, independent characters demonstrates a depth and complexity readers appreciate.  The interaction of these distinctive characters is the pleasing reason readers keep coming back for more. I know I’m looking forward to reading more of the adventures of the Ladies Most Unlikely.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!

Convincing the Secretary (London Legal #3) by Ava March

Convincing the Secretary by Ava March
Released: 8 March 2016
Published: Samhaim Publishing
Word count/Pages: 138 page
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Blurb:

Business and pleasure is a mix no gentleman should consider.

Lord Grayson Holloway goes after what he wants—be it in the law office on his clients’ behalf or in the bedchamber. His new position as partner puts him closer to achieving his goal of becoming the most successful solicitor in London. There’s just one problem—his new secretary. Broad of shoulder yet mild of manner, Edward tempts Gray like no other. Yet the young man barely notices him.

Edward Fenton tries to be a good secretary, but being in Lord Grayson’s hard, commanding presence rouses Edward’s most forbidden desires. Wicked, naughty desires no gentleman should consider giving in to, let alone with his new employer.

Gray is more than willing to mix business with pleasure. But convincing Edward to take a chance on a future with him? That might be the most challenging case Gray has ever taken on.

Warning: Includes buttoned-up gentlemen who become undone, improper use of a desk, spankings, and a big bad lord who has a soft spot for his virgin secretary.

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Our thoughts:

I’ve read everything that Ava March has released and of all those stories, Arthur and Leopold have always been my favorites. When March decided to re-release the first two books and expand them into a series, I was ecstatic. Even if the newest book only gives a glimpse here and there of Arthur Barrington and Leopold Thornton, I’ll take it! Plus, we get the luxury of another stellar couples story with Gray and Edward.

Lord Grayson Holloway is now Arthur Barrington’s partner. He’s known for being aggressive and sharp in his field, He’ll take cases others would back down from. He’s a force and he intends to win his cases with any means possible. All of that confidence as a solicitor doesn’t shine through into Gray’s private life. He longs to be able to wake up next to a man who loves him. Someone he can also lavish with love, affection, and share his days with. Most men slink away in the night, leaving him alone and just as lonely the next morning. That’s why Gray cannot figure out Edward. He’s obviously keen on men but seems to be lacking any game! With two men a bit shy to start anything where can this possibly lead?

Edward is worried. He can’t control his urges around Gray and he fears he’ll be hauled off to prison for being a sodomite! When he gets a bit turned on in Gray’s presences he’s certain the end is near. Never in his wild and kinky dreams would he have imagined Gray shared the same interest in men. Gray not only likes men, he likes Edward and he’s more than happy to oblige his more kinkier side.

March perfectly juggles the historic ton, the forbidden desire and the kinky lust in Convincing the Secretary. Edward gets fulfilment he dreamily longed for with Gray. Gray is able to find what he’s needing most with Edward. Their story unfolds quickly yet completely. They’re quick to judge and have a huge misunderstanding but they’re adults and work it through. Less time is spent in conflict which leaves much more time for the good parts: finding their center, love and purpose – together.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!

Lord Byron’s Secret Obsession by H.C. Brown

Lord Byron's Secret ObsessionReleased 27 August 2015

Published by Momentum

Sales link: Amazon

Blurb:

Can he regain his lover’s freedom?

Lord Byron Wilton leaves England for the Americas after a public argument with his secret lover, Lord David Litchfield. On his return, he finds, Lord David has become an unwilling sex partner for the reprobate Mr. Hale and his cohorts, due to unpaid gambling debts. After Mr. Hale refuses his offer to settle the debts, Lord Byron makes an outlandish and dangerous plan to outwit the trio. He must use every trick in the book, and a considerable amount of his fortune, in an effort to regain his lover’s freedom.

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Our thoughts:

I always enjoy a good historical novel intermingled between the BDSM, contemporary and paranormal romances within the genre. This is my first historical from HC Brown and I was enamored with some of the finer details that I’ve missed in other historical.

One of those details would be that they were more afraid of discovery than in most. The men were not wearing blinders in this tale of woe and love. Actually, Lord Byron took a commission in the Americas to escape any possible though that he was in any way associated in ‘that way’ with Lord David. Lord David had caused a screen and it was safer to leave with a bought commission than chance any murmurs of indiscretions or accusations of being a sodomite.

Another interesting aspect I found to be delightful was the planning. All people of high birth wanted to keep their name as respectable as possible. Relations before marriage resulting in a by-blow was rather unsavory. Desperate fathers were quick to marry off their daughters to whomever would keep up appearances and take on the bastard child as their own and take care of their daughters as well. These girls were the perfect beards for men who preferred other men. Their wives were happy to have little attention and we’re understanding of their husband’s ‘mistresses.’

In Lord Byron’ s Secret Obsession, Lord Byron and his friend Lord John scheme an elaborate plan to marry two girls of this exact circumstance. Both gay men, they are happy to marry, have an immediate heir and keep their other relations at the same time.

Lord Byron goes one step further. His heart’s desire has always been Lord David. He’s missed him the three years he was in America. Unfortunately, Lord David acquired some gambling debt and sold himself for ten years to a brut of a man, Hale. Hale is sadistic and unrelenting. He uses and abuses Lord David in the most harsh of ways. It is humiliating and it literally breaks Lord David’s spirit. Lord Byron is determined to free Lord David and he will go to any lengths to do so. Hale has taken advantage of too many men in their circumstances and Lord Byron and Lord John plan to stop him for good. Even if they can make Hale go away, Lord Byron’s isn’t sure it will be enough to win back the heart and trust of his beloved.

Lord Byron’s Secret Obsession is a delightful book with deceit, scheming, love and true friendship. A win on all accounts. We travel this tale through three view points, that of Lord Byron, Lord John and Lord David. The planning, scheming is at its highest with Lord John. Byron is quite the man’s man. He is brave and a bit demanding but extremely smart and with the money to back his plans, a dangerous man indeed. Lord David is just a broken boy. He requires great care and gentle handling but he isn’t a lost cause, just a bit broken by fixable. Overall, a delightful historical that leaves us wondering if there will be a second book to accompany and continue the tale.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!

SPOTLIGHT TOUR: The Duke’s Disaster by Grace Burrowes

Welcome to our spotlight stop for The Duke’s Disaster, a brand new historical romance from award-winning author Grace Burrowes. We’re HUGE fans of her stories, so we’re thrilled to be able to share this one with our readers. Check out the expanded excerpt as well as an amazing giveaway. Happy reading!

ABOUT THE BOOK:
The Duke's DisasterNoah Winters, Duke of Anselm, exercises the pragmatism for which he’s infamous when his preferred choice of bride cries off, and her companion, Lady Thea Collins, becomes his next choice for his duchess. Lady Thea’s mature, sensible and even rather attractive-what could possibly go wrong?

As a lady fallen on hard times, Thea doesn’t expect tender sentiments from His Grace, but she does wish Noah had courted her trust, lest her past turn their hastily arranged marriage into a life of shared regrets. Is His Grace courting a convenient wife, or a beautiful disaster?

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Release Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Historical Romance

 PURCHASE A COPY: AMAZON / BARNES & NOBLE / iTUNES

CLICK HERE FOR OUR REVIEW OF THE DUKE’S DISASTER

EXCERPT:

The Duke and Duchess are having a rocky start to their marriage, also to their day…

“Your tea, Duchess.”

Noah had woken up beside his wife—again, despite all plans to the contrary—creating another first for him. Thea had risen several times during the night to tend to herself. He hadn’t realized that monthly courses caused a woman’s rest to be interrupted.

Crashingly bad planning, for a lady’s sleep to be disturbed when she most needed rest.

“You’re not about to steal my tea?” Thea held out the cup, her gaze shy as she sat propped against the headboard.

“Where’s the fun in stealing what’s freely offered?” Noah settled in beside her and filched a bite of her cinnamon toast. “Would you rather have chocolate this morning?”

“Because?”

“You’re”— Noah waved a hand in the direction of her middle—“indisposed.”

“I am not indisposed.” Thea set her teacup down with a little clink. “The discomfort has passed, as it always does. You needn’t be concerned.”

“I am not concerned, Thea.” Not greatly concerned, now that she’d stopped ordering him to go away and was ready for a proper spat. “I am attempting in my bumbling way to dote. You will allow it.”

Drat. He’d given another order.

“You couldn’t bumble if one gave you written instructions, Anselm,” Thea said, looking a little less peaked for having run up her flags. “That was my toast you appropriated.”

“Appropriation is what happens when one’s wife can’t appreciate a little doting. You’re being stingy with the tea, just as you were stingy with the covers. How long does this indisposition last?”

Her chin came up. “I am the Duchess of Anselm. I am not stingy with anything, but you are a very presuming husband.”

“Doting.” Noah took Thea’s free hand to kiss her knuckles— lest she mistake his point. “Also in need of my duchess’s guidance on this one marital matter.”

“This is so personal.” Thea’s gaze was on their joined hands— for Noah would not have her haring off in a fit of mortification. “I didn’t think you’d be a personal sort of husband. You were supposed to appear in my dressing-room doorway a few nights a month, silently take a few marital liberties, and then leave me in peace. We’d trade sections of the Times over breakfast the next morning.”

“Prosaic.” Boring and exactly what Noah himself had envisioned. “Hard to see any doting going on, though.”

“Husband?” Thea’s tone was hesitant. “Thank you, for keeping me company last night. I would not have known how to ask.”

“I suppose that’s the definition of doting.” Noah lingered at the cart to assemble a plate. “It’s the little things you can’t bring yourself to ask for, that an attentive spouse will enjoy providing to you. Bacon or ham?”

“A little of both, please.”

“Feeling carnivorous?”

“I’m a trifle indisposed. I need the sustenance.”

Noah piled both ham and bacon on Thea’s plate, and stole better than half of it, because he needed the sustenance too.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Grace BurrowesNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes’ bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish and Lady Eve’s IndiscretionThe Heir was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010, The Soldier was a PW Best Spring Romance of 2011, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish won Best Historical Romance of the Year in 2011 from RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight was a Library Journal Best Book of 2012, and The Bridegroom Wore Plaid was a PW Best Book of 2012. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.

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