Ebook Giveaway, just released—THE ENCHANTMENT OF EMMA FLETCHER by L.D. Crichton ~ a sweet small-town read to warm the heart

The Enchantment of Emma Fletcher by [Crichton, L.D.]Title: The Enchantment of Emma Fletcher
Author: L.D. Crichton
Genre: Contemporary YA Romance
Published by: Pocket Star Ebooks
Published Date: March 13, 2017
ISBN: 9781501152313
Price: $1.99

“The character development will draw readers into the story and have them rushing to find out what happens…Verdict: Romance readers who prefer a love story with a thriller twist will enjoy this page-turner. It’s perfect for those jumping from YA contemporary romance to more adult fiction.”

Library Journal STARRED REVIEW

“L.D. Crichton has written a compelling story of overcoming tragedy and moving forward. I truly experienced the wide range of emotions felt by all the characters, as all feelings are conveyed with genuineness. THE ENCHANTMENT OF EMMA FLETCHER is heartfelt and very realistic…THE ENCHANTMENT OF EMMA FLETCHER is emotionally rewarding…L.D. Crichton has created an interesting story about true-to-life people, and I look forward to more books from this author.”

—Always Reviewing

About the book:
After Emma Fletcher is viciously attacked and left for dead, she flees to her old childhood hometown where she’s confronted with bitter memories of her damaged past and alcoholic mother. Emma is determined to make her stay temporary and get out with minimal emotional damage. What she doesn’t count on is Tristan Banks: auto mechanic, coffee addict, and town hottie with dark secrets of his own.

Tristan’s track record of saving girls has historically led to failure. The last thing he needs is trouble in the form of a leggy brunette with an attitude, but when he starts to fall for Emma, Tristan realizes the only way he can save her is to help her save herself.

My Thoughts:
I loved this small-town story where fears can be overcome and trust regained. It’s also a story of people depending on each other.

Emma comes to town with lots of baggage.  Most of us have some or another when a new relationship presents itself.  But what’s lovely about this story is the understanding and interest which Tristan has for Emma.  Everyone knows she’s hot looking, but few look deeper.

Marley, Emma’s best friend, and sometimes confidant, is pure and simply a fun character to get to know.  She secretly has a thing for Mateo, and he has been eyeing her for years, daring not to approach her, because she’s just too perfect.  Little does Mateo know, he is as perfect as she is. Fun times when they get together.

Tristan and Mateo have been pals forever and they support each other 100%.  Tristan also has come back to this small town to help his dad in the auto shop, after getting a great education.  He sees his roots in this small town and is a man one can count on.

Things get bad when Emma’s nightmare comes to town (he’ll be your worst nightmare!).  He did some major physical trauma to Emma when she thought she was interested in him.  She lost her self-esteem, belief in herself, and is totally traumatized–hiding out now where her mom lives.  Thank God, she now has Tristan.

I loved the story–the sweetness and courage of the two couples, backing each other up when necessary.  I enjoyed the courage Emma had when Tristan became her thing.  It’s everything a small-town story should entail. Very well written, and I’m delighted I had the chance to read and review.

About the author:
L.D. Crichton is the author of the only official fan fictions for both One Direction and Emblem3, commissioned by Sony Music Entertainment and Faculty Management Group. Crichton has over 7.5 million combined reads on Wattpad and her work has been featured in Publisher’s Weekly, the Daily Dot, Marketing magazine, Just Jared, VentureBeat, and Contently. She lives in Alberta, Canada. Please visit ldcrichton.com, and L.D. Crichton on Facebook and Twitter.

 ERead Enchantment Giveaway:

The below listed blogs will each host an ERead Enchantment Giveaway = one promo code giveaway for THE ENCHANTMENT OF EMMA FLETCHER! You can enter on all sites but you can only win once.  To win on this site, please leave a comment and tell me why you enjoy reading small-town romances!  Giveaway will be open through next Sunday.  Good luck, readers!

 Blog Tour Schedule:

March 13th
Adventures of a Book Junkie – Q&A
Momtrends
Passionate Encounters
Night Owl Reader
Once Upon a Twilight 

March 14th
Celticladys Reviews – Spotlight
Collectors of Book Boyfriends

 March 15th
Reviews by Crystal

 March 16th
Authors on the Air Global Radio Network’s The Librarian – Interview 7:00 pm

 March 17th
Momtrends
Wild Wordy Women

 March 18th
Booktalk with Eileen
Passionate Reads

 March 20th
Bibliognost

 March 26th
From the TBR Pile
The Lovely Books

 March 31st
Reading Frenzy – Q&A 

April 3rd
Crossroads

 April 4th
Kritters Ramblings

 April 5th
Crazii Bitches Book Blog

 April 21st
Art, Books & Coffee

 April 2017
Bookaholics Romance Book Club – Q&A

 

Posted in Book Reviews, New Adult, New Book Release Tour, Romance, Young Adult | Leave a comment

Released Today LAIRD OF SHADOWS by Eliza Knight ~ a captivating and compelling read!

34517618Title: Laird of Shadows MacDougall Legacy Series, Book 1
Author: Eliza Knight
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: Scottish Highlands, 1207
Pages: 260
Published Date: March 17, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B06XCXCQJS
The MacDougall Legacy Series:
Laird of Shadows
Laird of Twilight COMING SOON
Laird of Vengeance
Laird of Storms
Laird of Darkness

 

 

Publisher’s Summary:

When darkness falls… Only true love can save them…

Beiste MacDougall has only just found himself as laird of his clan after a brutal attack from Vikings leaves his father slain. On the night of his sire’s death, a beautiful woman comes to his castle begging for help, calling upon a vow their clans had made years before. Though he’d rather wallow in his pain, Beiste is tempted by the lass, the secrets she holds, and the chance at retribution she brings.

Lady Elle Cam’béal is desperate to save her brother and her clan from the vile clutches of her Viking enemies. But there is only one man who can help her, a handsome, provocative laird with a beastly temper. When he locks her in a chamber, she is visited by an apparition, and left with a secret that changes her destiny. Elle must figure out a way to accept her fate, but also forge a future of her own choosing.

As battles and treachery rain down upon them, Beiste and Elle find unlikely allies in each other, and a few stolen moments of passion that bring light from the shadows…

A much smaller, novella-length version of this story appeared originally in the Once Upon a Haunted Castle anthology. This extended version is twice the original size!

My Thoughts:  I was actually introduced to this story in the novella of Once Upon a Haunted Castle anthology.  I liked it then, and love it now!

I lean toward longer novels, so the longer the better.  Although this one isn’t terribly long, it does flesh-out the characters much more, giving them a well-developed personality, and engages more snuggly than the novella.  I fell upon the same quote I particularly liked in the novella and will share it here.

“Ye see, life is really only filled with the appearances of choice. The rest is simply our response.”

From the first page the author has my heart racing.  We know they are coming and Lady Amma Cam’beal, Elle’s mother, a warrior of Viking heritage, is scared.  She knows she’s doomed and needs to save her children.  Elle and her brother, Erik, age ten, don’t hide, for these monster Vikings would seek them out.  Nay, they run and run as far as little Erik can.

So much happens in this scene—it’s terrifying and very well written.  We learn the sword above the hearth is very important and lest it fall in the Vikings’s hands, Elle takes it. Elle’s da tells her the MacDougall clan will protect them and the sword is proof.

So I’m in–hook, line and sinker.  The read was almost done in a single sitting, because I couldn’t put it down.

From terror, to only more terror.  Elle has to leave her brother at a crofter she knows and trusts.  Arriving at Dunstaffnage Castle, home of the MacDougall clan did not relieve Elle’s pain and heartache.  Laird Beiste MacDougall is in a bad temper, sorrow wenches his gut – his da is dead, cut down, just that morning.  Is it coincidence when Elle appears?  Highly suspicious timing.  Who is she and why does she ask for protection?  He prefers to protect his clan against her and locks her in a chamber. Woe to the vanquished!

Eliza Knight keeps the tension building, coiling ever tighter throughout the story until they come!  Yes, they are coming for her! It is simply riveting and quite the thriller! Can Elle trust Beist to honor his fathers promise of protection?

Beiste comes to terms with his da’s demise, he is the new laird and must protect his clan and those he is sworn to protect. Thank God for Elle and Erik! He is quite the passionate, safe harbor for Elle, and I simply fell in love with who he is.

I can’t tell you how excited I am about the rest of this series.  It will take you to a world pockmarked with vengeance, and in the end, rendered safe through honor, love and determination.

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Highland Romance, Highland Stories, Historical Romance, Medieval Romance, New Book Release, Romance, Suspense | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Released today! SMOLDER by Nancy Lee Badger ~ join these three brothers (dragons) just trying to survive who end up with so much more!

A dragon in pain wants nothing more than to fly, and he sure as hell kneels to no one. 

Title: Smolder, Clan of Dragons, Book 3
Author: Nancy Lee Badger
Genre: Historical Romance, Paranormal Fantasy
Story Setting: Centuries Ago on the Isle of Skye
Pages: 264
Amazon ebook ASIN:   B01MRAZ2AD
Retail: $4.99
Release Date:  March 13, 2017
Print ISBN: TBA

 34553469

Buy Links
Amazon   http://amzn.to/2kHk4pB
Amazon UK      https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MRAZ2AD/
Amazon CAN    https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01MRAZ2AD/
Amazon AUS    https://www.amazon.com.au/d/B01MRAZ2AD/
Amazon NL      https://www.amazon.nl/dp/B01MRAZ2AD/

Clan of Dragons Series:
Spark
Smoke
Smolder

Publisher’s Summary:

 As a white doe, Fiona searches for her friend, Cliona. The snows have melted across the Island of Skye, and she tracked her from their northern herd, to the Black Cuillin Hills, and to a fairy pool. Shifting into the human form Cliona had shared with her, Fiona swims and enjoys using her new human limbs. When a dragon lands along with two humans, she overhears them talk about a festival. Would Cliona head to a village?

Dougal’s scales tremble with anger. Tasked with the safety of his kin as they travel to the village of Morbhan to celebrate Beltane, and the coming of spring, he shifts into a human form. He would rather fly across the sky or race through the forest as a red stag. Spying the white doe, the one he has searched for, for months, he follows her. Pirates, a villain, and drunken celebrators keep him from his task. Will he ever find the doe that pricked his interest and make her his?

My Thoughts:  I’ve enjoyed this series by Nancy Lee Badger.  If you love stories about dragons, this is certainly one for you.

Apparently, there are no more dragons left, except these three brothers.  With no more females, they are a desperate lot in finding a way to have progeny.  In the earlier books, Vika, the human female, married to Evan is carrying a child.  What no one talks about between the brothers is will Vika be able to bear this child?  Will it be in dragon form or human?  This anxiety the brothers feel, is also carried by the reader.  That’s problem one.

Problem two is the shape-shifter Kera, who is mate to Wynn, another brother. She carries a child.  Will a shape-shifter be able to bear a dragon?

And then there is Dougal, the eldest of the brothers who was married to the last female dragon.  She was a bit promiscuous so even though she carried a child, Dougal wasn’t sure it was his.  But this is a moot point, because Cliona was attacked and killed.  Of course, this leaves Dougal in a bit of a funk.

Fiona knew Cliona, but only in human form.  She was her best friend, and since she’s gone missing for some time, Fiona is determined to find her.  Hence, her interest in going to the local village.  Thinking Cliona may be there, she finds much more to keep her busy, keeping her from searching for her friend. Right at the top of the list is Dougal.  Every time she is in danger, he shows up.  It is his duty to protect those in the village, but he feels highly protective of Fiona. Fiona soon is swayed by his chivalrous manners.

Pirates swarm the area, looking for treasure, and are out to retaliate for a ship badly damaged, they presume by the villagers.  (They don’t realize the brothers did the damage.)  So the honorable thing, of course, for the brothers, is to protect those who attack. The story is action-packed with sly pirates sneaking into the village, where villagers help defeat the pirates, where dragons, highly sensitized to protect their mates, learn how to fight like men.

I can see this series will continue to evolve.  After all, there were several loose threads not tied up at the end.  The scenes where Dougal learns to seduce a female in human form is ridiculously amusing. I enjoyed how Fiona, although not human, trustingly befriends the villagers, and quickly learns how to avoid the bad guys who lust for a good tumble. I hope you join Badger’s band wagon–to fantasize how the Island of Skye may have been centuries ago.

 

About the Author :
Multi-published and award-winning author, Nancy Lee Badger, announces her 19th book. The author has used her love of all things Scottish, as well as years as a volunteer at a Scottish festival, to bring her readers another series. Ever since her first books were published in June 2010, she has successfully self-published a variety of novels and novellas. This book is a paranormal fantasy romance and is set centuries ago on the Scottish island of Skye.

Nancy Lee Badger loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, Nancy moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Triangle Association of Freelancers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers. Nancy and her family volunteer each fall at the New Hampshire Highland Games surrounded by…kilts!

 Connect with Nancy Lee Badger
Blog     Website     Twitter    Facebook   Goodreads     Amazon Author Page

Connect with Nancy Lee Badger at badgerpress@yahoo.com

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Fantasy Romance, Highland Romance, Highland Stories, New Book Release, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Romance | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Audiobook Review: YOU AND NO OTHER ~ dazzling writing by Cynthia Wright with superb narration by Tim Campbell

You and No Other AudiobookTitle: You and No Other Renaissance Rogues, Book 1
Author: Cynthia Wright
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting:  1526, France
Pages: 480
Published by: Boxwood Manor Books
Publication Date: October 5, 2011
ASIN: B005T8NLWC

Narrated by: Tim Campbell
Length: 11 hours, 20 minutes
Release Date: January 25, 2017
Renaissance Rogues Series (ecopy Amazon purchase link):
You and No Other
Of One Heart
The Secret of Love

Publisher’s Summary

You and No Other positively sparkles with historical details, real-life characters, and an utterly unforgettable hero!” (Past Romance historical romance blog)

Thomas Mardouet, seigneur de St. Briac, is a man with a perfect life – bold, witty, and splendid to behold, he is the King of France’s trusted knight.

But the day that captivating Aimée de Fleurance appears in the woods to interrupt a hunt, St. Briac’s life is turned on end. When she takes her sister’s place and joins the royal court to avoid an arranged marriage, St. Briac is drawn unwillingly into her impetuous scheme.

To save Aimée from the king’s bed, St. Briac shocks them both by declaring that they are betrothed. After all, marriage is the last thing he wants, especially to this infuriating maiden….

Journey back to the magical world of 16th-century France and join Aimée and St. Briac for an adventure filled with enchantment, laughter, and sensuous passion!

©1984, 2011 Wrighter Inc., Cynthia Challed (P)2017 Cynthia Challed

5-star-review

 

My Thoughts: Cynthia Wright writes such wonderful books.  Whether I read one of her stories with a setting in the United States, London or French, each are extremely entertaining with intense detail to the historical moment, encouraging the reader to do some internet research themselves.

Historically, I learn much of the events of history—the machinations behind historical happenings is always intriguing.  The setting is in France, and one I enjoyed very much.  Narrator Tim Campbell is a favored narrator. His accents add sparkle to the dialogue. There are some French word pronunciations not quite right.  Tim, if you happen to be reading this review, contact me.  It’s just a few words, but it is worth mentioning. 😊

Aimée de Fleurance is a delightful character, although one character of the story calls her a head-strong little vixen.  At 17, she has zest of life, humor, a quick-wit and determination to succeed and outwit those who determine a woman’s future.  Her approach to her problems create more and as a reader I laughed most the time!  However much she wants control of her future, events wrap their tentacles neatly around her wrists and she must make the most of it.

Honorine, Aimée’s sister, is the prim and proper young lady, however, her flaw rests in her determination to be part of the royal entourage almost landing in the king’s bed. Aimée saves her sister, but can she save herself from a king who has long been imprisoned and just wants to cavort with desirable young women?

Thomas’s sarcastic remarks to his man-servant, Gaspire, are entertaining and vastly enlightening as to Thomas’s character and frame of mind.

Thomas and Aimee share one common trait, stubbornness. Each speak freely what is on their minds in a caustic, sharp-tongued manner making the dialogue absolutely great fun! Aimée plays with fire as events get out of hand.

There are many supporting characters who add a lot to this read and help develop the main characters further.  All in all, this is one author I highly recommend for her historical romances. I look forward to continuing the series.  It is one not to be missed!

Posted in Audiobook, Audiobook Review, Book Reviews, Historical Romance, Romance | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just Published NO OTHER HIGHLANDER by Adrienne Basso — Review

30352632Title: No Other Highlander  McKenna Series, Book 2
Author: Adrienne Basso
Genre: Historical Romance, Scottish
Story Setting: Highlands of Scotland, 1334
Pages: 368
Published by: Zebra
Published Date: February 28, 2017
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
ASIN: B01GBAG3AS

McKenna Series:
The Highlander Who Loved Me
No Other Highlander

 

Publisher’s Summary:
Scottish Highlands, 1334: The McKenna clan flourishes under a family of warriors, fierce and righteous, faithful to their own until the last. But to produce an heir, the widowed eldest son must risk his heart again . . .
 
Lady Joan Armstrong Fraser was once the indulged and pampered daughter of a laird. But marriage to a brute changed her. When he sets her aside, she has only her wits and her beauty to protect herself and her child from the chaos of her former home. She will have to find another husband—a man whose strength is more than a weapon against the weak. A man she can trust . . . if such a man even breathes.

Sir Malcolm McKenna has known Lady Joan since her childhood, a spoiled princess as dangerous as she is lovely. But when she steps forward to protect him against a false accusation, he discovers a character stronger than he guessed—and an attraction he yearns to explore . . .

My Thoughts:  Very few men want a woman who is strong-willed, sharp-tongued, and speaks what is on her mind.  I would hazard a guess that even today, a man would rather have a sweet, docile woman to do his bidding, not creating discord.  Some would, however, take the challenge. Sir Malcolm, it seems, took the challenge and was rewarded greatly with a deeply felt love.  The process of making that happen is what the story unfolds.  A story of second chances; it is also a story of knowing what you want and finding the will to fight for it.

Lady Joan could not be further from a paradigm of a woman.  She, an only child, had just about anything she wanted as a child, therefore terribly spoiled.  She hides real feelings behind a hauteur quite off-putting and consequently she is shunned by both male and female.  She is insecure.  Having been wed, now divorced, to a monster of a man who beat her verbally and physically, she uses her abrasiveness to push people away.  Her father wants to remarry and wants her out of his home.  She fears another marriage like the one she had and has every reason to run from her situation.  But where can she run?

Sir Malcolm is in a bit of a pickle.  He may have impregnated a young girl when he was highly intoxicated during one of the festivals.  Rather than fight with the woman’s clan, he is willing to do the honorable thing if he truly did have sex with the woman.

While trying to resolve the matter, he meets Lady Joan.  This isn’t the first time he’s seen her, but this is the first time his interest is engaged.  She’s a beauty with a sharp mind, but with a reputation of being cold—a fate no hot-blooded man wants. Lady Joan’s character catches Malcolm’s interest.  He finds her to his liking, rough edges and all.

I enjoyed many scenes in this story.  Author Adrienne Basso’s writing style, and steady pace building the story, is full of texture and dynamic dialogue.  Her characters are well-developed. I feel the honor that permeates the MacKennas and the strength of the clan.

The children and dog played an adorable part in the story. Lileas, a five-year-old demon on wheels, and Malcolm’s daughter is terribly funny with her insistence she is a motherless child and should be pitied.  Lady Jane has her work cut out for her. There is a saying, what goes around comes around.  You’ll appreciate what I mean when you read the story.

We are introduced to Katherine, Malcolm’s sister who I’m sure will have her own story.

We see the love between Malcolm’s mother and father and understand why Malcolm wants such a marriage.

If you are a reader who loves your hero handsome, quick-witted, just, kind and honorable step right up and read this book.  You’ll fall in love with both Malcolm and Lady Joan.

Posted in Highland Romance, Highland Stories, Historical Romance, New Book Release, Romance | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: A PASSIONATE PLAY by Jessica Lauryn ~ intrigue, suspense and danger in a contemporary romance

32732926Title: A Passionate Play The Rabourn Theater Series, Book 1
Author: Jessica Lauryn
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romantic Suspense
Story Setting: New York, the theater scene
Pages: 220
Published by: Siren Publishing
Publication Date: November 28, 2016
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B01MRR0CE8

 

Publisher’s Summary:

In the midst of recovering from a blow to the head, theater actress Alicia Coleman comes to know the man whose home she awoke in and realizes the two of them share a complicated past. A series of dreams prompts her to suspect the most outrageous of possibilities–that the man holding her prisoner may actually be her lover. Surrounding threats cause Alicia to realize that proving her theory true–or not–may be her only chance of keeping her attacker from coming after her a second time. A BookStrand Mainstream Romance

My Thoughts:  This is a story about a young, talented singer, Alicia Coleman, who sings exclusively for Raybourn Theater.  She is driven to reach the top and has succeeded.  Forces around her, people from the theater who have their own agenda and other unbalanced souls, come crashing down on Alicia with a crack on the head, giving her amnesia.

Her agent, and on-again-off-again boyfriend rescues her from the attacker.  Would he have stopped with hitting her over the head and done worse?  Nick Lancaster is a wary guy, he trusts no one at this point.  He more or less abducts Alicia, running off to someplace secluded to protect her.  When he finds she has amnesia, he uses it to his advantage. This must be a guy thing!

Alicia didn’t know who to trust when she becomes conscious. Was Nick the bad guy?  Should she escape or trust him? Why won’t he tell her of her past, not even her name?  As she slowly regains her memories, she only has more questions.

If I had paid more attention to the prologue, I probably would have started weaving pieces of the unfolding story together more quickly.  As it was, it took me a while to figure it all out, which isn’t necessarily bad.  As it was, chapter one is quite the hook.  From its textured writing, the scene of pain and terror felt very real as well as creating a bit of an edge to what transpires.

The tale tells of two people who are terribly attracted to each other, but leery of each other for different reasons.  I enjoyed the complexity of both personalities–their arguments, and bantering in dialog.  As the story unfolds the suspense that the attacker could come calling again, that the situation would end bad put a nice spin on Alicia’s recovery.  Will she regain her memory in time to be able to identify her attacker?

After the storm, comes the sun.  This rocky, suspenseful romance ends in a very satisfying way.

The book was provided to me by the author to read and review.  All opinions and comments are solely my own.

Posted in Book Reviews, Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance, New Book Release, Romance, Romantic Suspense | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: MR. RIDLEY by Delilah Marvelle ~ beginning of a new series featuring the whipping society

Arresting quotes in Mr. Ridley by Delilah Marvelle 

Don’t lecture me. I’ve seen too much of life and I am what I am because I am.

Few will ever point out their own flaws, but I will be the first to admit I carry the greatest one of all. I deny myself nothing and regret everything.”

In real life, sometimes the chance of amounting to anything in a world that offers nothing is contingent on believing in something.

There is only one god and one master of this universe we need to fear and his rightful name is death. 

For one didn’t crawl into the minds of criminals and leave unaffected. Their grime continued to smear itself into his brain like mold spreading over aged cheese looking for blood.

 She was all she had and all she would ever have in a world that tried to take everything.

No woman can believe she is loved without feeling it.

 

Title: Mr. Ridley The Whipping Society, Book 1
28195585Author: Delilah Marvelle
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: London, England, 1830
Pages: 363
Published by: Delilah Marvelle Productions, LLC
Published Date: February 28, 2017
ASIN: B06XBQ8ZWT

 

Publisher’s Summary:

He’s all bones and she’s all sunshine.

Meet Mr. Ridley.
BOOK 1 of 3, one man and one woman bent on one passion of making the other writhe.

LONDON, ENGLAND – 1830
Criminals fear the iron fist of justice he delivers. Scotland Yard will do anything to get their hands on his mind. Whilst women? They crawl in the hope of becoming his. But only one woman is about to hold his career and his body and his mind hostage.

Jemdanee (Kumar) Lillian Watkins is a botanical savant from India who ends up getting arrested for a crime she didn’t commit. Only one man believes her: Mr. Ridley. Drawn to him and the rope he knots in her presence, she quickly realizes this overly regimented dark hero is lining her heart up for trouble.

Themes include wit, humor, mystery, history and romance. Lots of it! 

My Thoughts:  It’s my pleasure to learn something from a book.  Author Delilah Marvelle spent over 100 hours of research to write this book.  If you’d love to hear about her research and some of the backstory of how she approached the story and in her own voice, listen to her video where she discusses the book and characters.  It is riveting, much like the book.

 

I appreciated the glossary of terms at the beginning of the read.  Some are Hindi words, some French and a few in English, providing names of torture mechanisms.  Marvelle also includes some information about the two historically real characters, Eugene François Vidocq and Mrs. Theresa ‘Elizabeth’ Berkley.

Mr. Ridley has a very dark side of him, which he cowers from by chewing coca leaves with another ingredient.  He’s able to push his past aside, to focus on the here and now.  His mission in life?  To rescue those who are falsely maligned and accused of crimes, getting great satisfaction in putting them back together, as it were. He enjoys inflicting pain on the perpetrator and (his dark secret) pain to those he would love.  He’d feel bad about that, that is, if he had a heart.  Which he definitely knows left him long ago. He is also incredibly crass and vulgar.  That being said, as the story develops I could see chinks in his armor, and while speaking very roughly, he would do something else to soften my heart and my judgement of his character.

Jemdanee. a Hindu who lives in India, but comes to England to expose her botanical skill, looks for the light of a situation and the good of people. Her soul loves nothing more than the beauty of nature, even though her past is seeped in misery.  Now, a girl of nineteen, she is beyond her physical age many times over.  Her past in India, prepared her for the events in this story and her relationship with Mr. Ridley. Where Mr. Ridley is dark in nature, hers is the opposite, a seeming balance to Mr. Ridley’s darkness.

Jemdanee is rather funny in her approach to life, very talkative and really polite. Her education in phytology and Hindi religious upbringing is not only intriguing to me, but plays a great role in the entertaining aspect of the read. There is such a cute scene where Jemdanee finds herself in rather close proximity to the lower half of Mr. Ridley.  It is when he wishes to remove her chains (she’d been falsely accused and jailed).

”Hold still.” Gritting his teeth, he turned the key in the padlock bolting her confined wrists together.

With a clank, it unhinged.

Setting the lock aside onto the desk with a clack, he quickly rose and, standing before her, slid her hands out of the iron, unraveling the long chain. “Lean forward.”

She did so and…paused. Her face now hovered near the flap of his trousers that had been uncovered by his open great coat. The textile fabric was form-fitted against a dormant but sill very sizable indentation of that male fertilizing organ consisting of a different sort of pollen.

…She leaned far back.

Ridley jerked her back toward himself. “Ey. I need you to hold still.”

“Your stamen.”

“My what?”

She scrunched her nose, realizing she had used a botanical term for his lower half. “Your reproductive organ. You keep wagging it in my face.”

He rolled his eyes. “Pardon the wagging, but every man has one. Or did you plants never tell you that?”

This type of repartee is delightful which continues through the story.  For all her youth, Jemdanee very accurately takes Mr. Ridley’s number, but falls in love with him with all his complicated and morose look at life.

I’m sure you will enjoy the richly flawed characters, and the desperate conditions each of the protagonists must endure to grow beyond who they are. This series will be a memorable one, I’m sure!

Posted in Book Reviews, Historical Romance, New Book Release | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments