Tag Archives: Loveswept

What a Lady Demands (The Eton Boys Trilogy #2) by Ashlyn Macnamara

What a lady Demands coverRelease Date: November 4, 2014
Published by Loveswept
Review Copy from NetGalley

About the Book:
Viscount Lindenhurst cannot seem to find a governess who meets his impossible standards—until Cecelia Sanford becomes the first woman to interrupt the widower’s brooding in years. Lind had returned home from the Napoleonic wars, broken in body and soul and longing for his wife’s embrace, only to find her changed. Before they could reconcile, an accident struck their son and claimed her life. Now enter Cecelia, with her soft curves and sharp tongue—a tempting distraction, it is true, but not a welcome one.

Past the usual marrying age and haunted by a scandal of her own, Cecelia soon finds herself caring for both the child and the man. The viscount is brittle and even abrupt at times, yet she cannot deny the attraction that stirs her body in his presence. Moved by the deep sense of abandonment that tortures his soul, Cecelia aches to fully awaken Lind’s heart from its rancorous slumber—if she can just keep their pasts from destroying a second chance at love.

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Our Thoughts:
Each time I read a book by Ashlyn Macnamara I’m wowed by the effortless way she tells her story. The characters seem to almost develop themselves, making it easy to focus on what’s happening and become lost in the story. She may not have as many published works as some authors, but I have no doubt each and every book she writes will be quality work that’s a joy to read.

Cecelia Sanford isn’t a particularly unique type of historical heroine, but the way Macnamara manipulates her character as the story evolves is something distinctive. Historicals are full of ladies who fondly remember a youthful crush and are rekindling those feelings. Cecilia’s among them, however she finds herself in a singular predicament with regards to her position, status and reputation. This is the edge I’ve come to expect from Macnamara’s characters and that element which intrigues and keeps me reading.

Lind is likewise a gentleman of a common sort for historical romance in that his past has dealt him some bad blows, and now he’s wallowing in them rather terribly. He’s angry, bitter and unhappy, causing those around him to suffer right along with him. The attention grabber of his story is whether or not he can overcome his quest for vengeance and find happiness, and whether Cecelia will be a part of the process. His demons are fierce, and with a steadfast determination like Lind’s I’m not sure he’ll ever come around. Matching two strong-willed characters like these is bound to cause some sparks and excitement.
For all that it’s no secret Cecelia is willing to act on her attraction to Lind, their connection is a slow, quietly growing affection. Make no mistake – he wants her. He just has the restraint of a saint and puts up walls to protect himself. Watching those come crumbling down as they each seek to find solace and comfort is really satisfying. I could feel the growth and emotion they share as they overcome the hurt and heartache in their pasts to wipe the slate clean and hope for the future.  The moments of wicked passion Macnamara intersperses balance out the tenderness, creating a truly well-rounded romance.
One last note – I seem to always mention Macnamara’s noteworthy covers. I’m not sure where Loveswept is finding these perfectly formed derrières, but I hope they keep them coming. I’ve already peeked at the cover for the third Eton Boys book, and in my opinion they’ve even managed to raise the bar a little.  Then again, I’d imagine that’s pretty representative of Rowan Battencliffe, wouldn’t you? Taking things just a bit further than the others. ;) You’ll have to take a look and judge for yourself. I’m sure the cover is just one of the many things I’ll love about Rowan’s book – I can’t wait to see how Macnamara concludes this trilogy.
RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS

What a Lady Craves (The Eton Boys Trilogy, #1) by Ashlynn Macnamara

What a Lady Craves coverRelease Date: August 12, 2014
Published by Loveswept
Review Copy from NetGalley

About the Book (from Goodreads):
Ashlyn Macnamara weaves a delicious tale of two souls torn apart by circumstance and reunited by fate—perfect for fans of Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Sabrina Jeffries.

Henrietta Upperton is about to marry Alexander Sanford, when he rushes off to India to salvage his family’s fortune. Then comes the devastating news that he has wed another. Eight agonizing years later, a storm washes Alexander ashore—injured, widowed, and hunted—and one glimpse of his ruggedly handsome face reawakens the desire Henrietta thought she had buried deep inside. Her body still yearns for his touch, but she’s determined not let him wound her again . . . not this time.

For Alexander, honor always comes first. But only now does he realize that when given the choice between two virtuous deeds, he picked the wrong one. On the run with his life in tatters and a pair of daughters in tow, Alexander burns for Henrietta. He knows he does not deserve forgiveness. And yet he longs to wrap his arms around her warm body once again. What’s more, he is sure the lady craves the same.

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Our Thoughts:
Do you know what this lady craves? A historical romance full of passion, depth and darkness just like this one.

Ashlyn Macnamara is a master of intrigue. She knows just how to begin a story in such a way that she introduces the characters and situations with just a hint of the complications between them. It’s compelling in that you think you know what will happen, but you suspect the story will be clever enough to surprise you. She makes you crave details and insight, makes you want to discover more. The anticipation of such a  journey lured me in, and I couldn’t wait to uncover the true story of what happened between Alexander and Henrietta all those years ago.

I love the tension and emotion tangled up in the backstory between Henrietta and Alexander. Theirs is a classic story of a jilted debutante recovered from her broken heart only to have the wounds ripped open when her former love returns. The unrequited emotions are achingly tender, and Henrietta’s reaction to Alexander’s appearance showed her strength and vulnerability.  I was a little disappointed in how often she capitulates to Alex, but she fights her feelings admirably, reminding herself those urges and emotions are forgotten. In the end her choices are made with a level head and an open mind.

It’s clear Alex has been through a lot. If I’m being honest, I really didn’t want to like him. I mean he’s a bit remorseful for what’s transpired, but he’s also attempting to manipulate the current situation with Henrietta despite all the pain he’s caused her. Normally I’d write him off as pompous and arrogant, but there’s something about him that says if you know the whole story you’d forgive him. In the end that’s exactly what happened – he completely won me over.

If the romantic tension isn’t enough, this book is filled with shipwreck, mystery and murder. Nothing is as it seems, and as the story unfolds it reveals secret after secret in a whirlwind, action packed tale. Macnamara more than delivers on the intrigue and promise of a fantastic story.

One thing I’m perhaps most overjoyed about is that What a Lady Craves is the start of a new trilogy! (You thought I was going to talk about that sexy cover, didn’t you? ;)) You know what this means? Three fantastic historicals from Ashlyn Macnamara! While I believe the heroine in this story is a relative of George Upperton from Macnamara’s previous book A Most Devilish Rogue (another cover with a  gorgeous backside), the series will explore the lives of Alexander’s friends. Macnamara’s already done an excellent job of setting things up by introducing them and giving us a glimpse of their predicaments.  The blurb for Viscount Lindenhurst’s story, What a Lady Demands, is already up on the author’s blog – check it out here. I can’t wait to find out what has his knickers all in a twist. Unfortunately for him, they’ll stay that way until November. ;)

RATING: ONE BAD ASS BOOT, ONE STILETTO

COVER REVEAL: Desired (Club Sin #3) by Stacey Kennedy

DESIREDReaders of Fifty Shades of Grey are sure to love Desired, Stacey Kennedy’s latest seductive, electrifying novel of Club Sin, where fantasy becomes reality.

Kyler Morgan, Master at the legendary Club Sin in Las Vegas, knows how to give women what they want—too well. He hasn’t had a real challenge in a long time. Then Ella Snow enters his life. Beautiful, inhibited, and innocent in the ways of submission and domination, Ella is the new blood he’s been lusting after. Soon, the thrill of training her to embrace his world brings forth desires Kyler cannot control.

After ending an abusive relationship, Ella makes a promise to herself to start living life to the fullest. It’s one of the reasons she seeks out Club Sin. Here, Kyler’s every touch is a lesson in liberation, stirring passions that have no bounds. But as she falls under Kyler’s command, Ella discovers that some secrets are so dark they must come to light. Submission alone may not be enough to save her, leaving her Master with only one question: How can he help Ella heal while unlocking the deep pleasures she craves?

Desired is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.

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About the Author:
Stacey KennedyUSA Today Bestselling Author, Stacey Kennedy is an urban fantasy lover at heart, but she also enjoys losing herself in dark and sensual worlds. She lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, who gave her a happily-ever-after. Together, they have two small children who can always make her smile, and who will never be allowed to read Mommy’s books. If she’s not plugging away at a new story, you’ll find her camping, curling up with the latest flick, or obsessing over Supernatural, True Blood, Lost Girl, and Sons of Anarchy.

Connect with Stacey:
Website – http://www.staceykennedy.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorstaceykennedy
Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/Stacey_Kennedy
Loveswept websitehttp://www.readloveswept.com

 

Blue Lines (Assassins, #4) by Toni Aleo

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Release Date: December 9, 2013
Published by LoveSwept – Random House
Review Copy from NetGalley

Erik Titov…I don’t know whether to hug you or hit you. Maybe both.

It was great to jump right back into Toni Aleo’s hit series, The Assassins.  I, like many of you, have been waiting on this one for quite a while. I absolutely love sports romance, especially hockey, and Aleo’s boys are some of my favorite to read. The characters are real with struggles and imperfections; they have to work for what they want. They’re cocky, tough, and definitely keep things interesting.  The fourth installment doesn’t disappoint.

It’s pretty much business as usual for Erik Titov, notorious man-whore and womanizer. I guess that makes him the Assassins’ leading scorer on and off the ice? It’s no secret he likes his women, but when he allows Piper Allen to get under his skin after an amazing night together, he finds himself in a frenzy of females trying to purge her from his system.  Erik quickly learns that his personal and professional lives aren’t mutually exclusive – excessive tabloid publicity causes Assassins’ owner Elli Adler to put him on probation until he can get his act together. Too bad the damage is done – Piper drops quite the baby bomb and turns his world upside down. But he can’t fall for a nice girl like Piper, she’s too good for a guy like him. Fortunately for us Piper totally disagrees.

I really struggled with Erik during this story. I can’t remember ever being so singularly frustrated by a character. Erik is the epitome of a head case where relationships are concerned.  I mean I could completely understand his unease about his family history and being able to commit to a relationship and not destroy it, but I didn’t like his disrespect and outright crude treatment of Piper even when I could see why he was doing it. At times he knows what he wants and needs yet denies himself out of fear. I almost couldn’t reconcile his professional confidence with his personal doubt; it made him a very complicated guy. I hated to see him torture himself over and over and over where Piper is concerned. It’s more than a little exhausting, and I’m not sure how Piper managed to keep it together. She has way more patience than I do, but I guess it speaks volumes about how much she loves him. He’s a complete idiot and still she waits. And waits. Gets hurt some more and waits. Make no mistake – she’s not a doormat. She makes some pretty bold moves and decisions when it counts.  She’s a lot stronger than her family gives her credit for, that’s for sure. Don’t even get me started on those people…grrr. Sometimes I wanted to shake them. :)

My overall favorite character might surprise you – it’s Cooper, Erik’s dad. What a great guy! Such a rock, he’s always there for Jakob and Erik no matter what. When he and Erik have that heart to heart where he reminds Erik who his best friend is…I think I almost cried. Erik’s so lost and trying to cope with his feelings, and Cooper is just full of so much love and support. I wish everyone could have that kind of relationship with at least one of their parents. It was a warm, fuzzy moment in the middle of a lot of heartache.

In Blue Lines we see a lot of Erik’s best friend, Phillip. Since he is (was?) Erik’s wingman with the ladies as well as his roommate and teammate, they spend a lot of time together. I’d be totally lying if I didn’t say I’m hoping Toni Aleo writes his story next.  I just really feel like he needs someone a little more stable and permanent; his back story breaks my heart. I look forward to him finding some happiness in a way only Aleo can deliver – hot, sweet and non-stop action. In fact, I’m off to scour the internet to see what I can dig up about Assassins #5 right now…

RATING: ONE SNEAKER, ONE BAD ASS HOCKEY BOOT