Review: The Wicked Duke

Madeline Hunter is definitely an author that I keep tabs on. She writes historical romance and, in my humble opinion, doesn’t always get the credit she deserves. She’s a fantastic writer and has written many books that happily sit on my keeper shelf. So, when I read the back story of The Wicked Duke, it went on my TBR pile immediately.

Lancelot Hemingford is the Duke of Aylesbury, a rake with a devilish reputation with women. Unfortunately, he’s also suspected of his brother’s murder, something that bothers Lance enough that he wants to finally be rid of the condemnation. To clear his name, he makes a bit of a deal with the devil and, in the process, ends up married to Marianne Radley.

Marianne is legally dependent on her uncle, but she’s incredibly intelligent and smart. She’s figured out a way to make money–something of an impossibility for women back then–by writing under a pseudonym gossip letters to the newspaper. It’s that same cunning that has her sniffing out what truly happened to the Duke’s bother.

Their marriage is a busy one. Things start to be uncovered. First and foremost, the Duke wants to clear his name but, along the way, secrets are revealed that test their commitment to each other. The wonderful aspect of the book is that they fall in love with each other by the end, something I was hoping for all along but fearing might never happen.

The Wicked Duke has a great pace. It’s not rushed, the marriage doesn’t happen three days after they meet or anything and yet, I kept turning pages trying to find out what was going to happen next. I think what kept me glued was the great characters, the sad but not over-the-top circumstances and the superb dialogue. Historical romance dialogue has to show feeling without using today’s expressions and that’s not easy with polite, restrictive English sayings. Still, Madeline Hunter manages to do just that.

Madeline Hunter is certainly no dim wit. She has a PhD in art history and more than twenty seven nationally bestselling historical romances in print. If you haven’t tried her before now, check out her website and try some of her books or go for this one. It might be the third in a trilogy but it can be easily read on its own and it’s got everything you want in a historical romance, the love story, the historically accurate pieces and dialogue, great characters and a rakish duke. It’s definitely a great summer read.

(credit: goodreads.com)

(credit: goodreads.com)

Note: to go to site, click on cover.

 

Upcoming books!

I love knowing the releases of upcoming books. I write them in my agenda and they help me get through dreary Mondays at work. I go through the author sites, check their upcoming releases, then write them into my agenda religiously every year. This time around, I thought I’d share some of the titles I’m particularly excited about with you guys. That way, if you’re a fan, you can also add them to your list.

Madeline Hunter has Tall, Dark and Wicked coming out October 6th.

Nora Roberts has Stars of Fortune coming out November 3rd.

Nalini Singh has Archangel’s Enigma coming out September 1st.

Elizabeth Hoyt has Sweetest Scoundrel coming out November 24th.

Mary Balogh has Only a Kiss coming out September 1st.

Kristen Ashley has Hold On also coming out September 1st.

Jill Shalvis has All I Want coming out October 6th and My Kind of Wonderful December 22nd.

Annabel Joseph has Torment Me coming out at the end of September.

These are just some of the amazing books coming out before the end of 2015. Do you have others you’re looking forward to? Share them with me! I’d love to add them to my list. 😀

Review: The accidental Duchess

Madeline Hunter is one of my favourite authors for historical romance. She’s truly a pro and that genre is all that she writes. The Accidental Duchess was no exception. Check it out at her site: madelinehunter.com.

Lady Lydia Alfreton is in a fix. Once upon a time she wrote a work of fiction and a nasty man is blackmailing her for money in order to get it back. Desperate to obtain the manuscript and keep her virtue (something really important back then to a Lady of the ton), she agrees to an old wager against the Duke of Penthurst.

Now, Lydia is no fool. She only agreed to the wager because she’s incredibly lucky at cards and knows she’s going to win but the impossible happens and she loses. Now, her fix has doubled. She has that horrid blackmailer on her tail and a Duke at her elbow determined to collect the winnings of the bet.

No worries, it all works out in the end, it is romance after all, but there are more than a couple of twists and turns. This is a very active version of historical romance. Lydia is pretty smart and she comes up with all sorts of ways to keep her pursuers at bay (some quite funny) but one in particular ends up catching up with her.

The Accidental Duchess was a delight in many ways. There’s humour, something that doesn’t often happen in historical romance. The characters are awesome and very credible. The dialogue is definitely a slice of the time period and completely transported me back there. We have a strong, alpha hero and an intelligent, determined heroine. It’s like having a taste of Regent history without leaving your home. Delicious.

I would certainly recommend it to fans of historical romance. And, if you’re one and haven’t discovered Madeline Hunter, give her a shot. She’s really one of the best in the genre.

Note: click on the link to go to site.

 

My favourite series

Absolutely recommended. Hands down. These are my favourite series in no particular order. In order to make this list, the series has to have more than 3 books and they have to reside on my Keeper Shelf.

* The Black Dagger Brotherhood by J. R. Ward.

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* The Guild Hunter Series by Nalini Singh.

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* The Psy/Changeling Series also by Nalini Singh.

psy_changeling_collage_by_nixtheeverknowing-d6qwhlu-2* The Bedwyn series from Mary Balogh.

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* The Maiden Lane series from Elizabeth Hoyt.

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* The Outlander series from Diana
Gabaldon.

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Did I miss any? Rats!

* The Rarest Blooms by Madeline Hunter!

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Miss any now? Do you have a series you adore? Or one I should have included? Give me a shout! I love to find great new books!

P.S. If you click on those covers, you can go to the author sites.

Review: Dangerous in Diamonds

Dangerous in Diamonds is the story of Tristan, the Duke of Castleford, and Daphne, the owner of Rarest Blooms. Tristan is quirky–only works on Tuesdays–but also very intelligent. Daphne is sedate, calm and collected, on the outside. Inside, she’s highly intelligent and passionate.

They meet when Tristan inherits the land and buildings of Rarest Blooms. Though he has no interest in them, he contrives reasons to take them over just so he can win her over.

By all rights, Daphne has the disadvantage, but she manages to find ways to fight back. She has heard about Tristan’s scandalous ways and refuses to be his next conquest. They argue, banter and unravel each other’s secrets. Along the way, we learn their fears and reasons for why they act the way they do. And they fall in love.

Madeline Hunter is a master of historical romance but that’s not the limits of her appeal. Her characters are without doubt, some of the most enjoyable I’ve ever read. They compliment and enrich each other, bringing out their best sides until the reader can’t wait to see them fall in love.

I would recommend this book highly to any fan of historical romance and to anyone interested in trying out the genre. Take an afternoon, turn off the phone and enjoy. This one is one to be savoured.

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Note: click on cover to go to site.

Tuesday Teaser

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“Are you unwell, Mrs. Joyes? You have been extraordinarily composed thus far, but now you appear close to fainting.” Pg. 14 from Dangerous in Diamonds by Madeline Hunter.

9780515149340_DangerousinDiamonds_MM.indd

 

Note: click on cover to go to site.

Review: Secrets of Surrender

This is a book to be savoured. An absolutely priceless gem. I’d say easily my favourite from Madeline Hunter.

Each word is carefully placed, not an excess to be found. Each sentence captures the meaning and delivers the message powerfully. The writing is exquisite without being flowery.

Hints aren’t repeated or shouted, they’re small, secretive and delicious. The characters are so rich and fully formed, the reader can actually hear their different voices and see their unique gestures.

It is a book rich with amazing characters and I only want more. I want to know more about Lord Easterbrook, about Roselyn’s sister and about her friends. I want the book to continue.

The scenery and speech is exactly right for a historical yet it doesn’t take away from the dialogue. Instead in enriches it until I want to go back in time and say those expressions, have those discussions, take those walks down the countryside.

The heroine is caught and rescued by a gallant man but she’s no crying victim. She’s brutally honest with herself, determined and resourceful without being willful or nasty. He’s powerful and honourable, a perfect hero who still has his faults but rises above them.

There are issues that the couple needs to work out and they do, logically and slowly through the book. The story of how they go from acquaintances to lovers moved me. I not only believed it, I loved reading each and every word.

I could go on and on but I’ll leave you with this. Take your time with this one. Let the words drip across your tongue and enjoy. It’s like rich, dark chocolate, meant to be savoured. It’s historical romance at its finest.

(credit: madelinehunter.com)

(credit: madelinehunter.com)

Review: The Accidental Duchess

The Accidental Duchess starts off with a bang. Lydia is blackmailed and she has to figure a way to keep the contents of a manuscript she wrote from leaking out. Desperate, she agrees with to an old bet with the Duke of Penthurst. She’s willing to wage her innocence over cards. If he loses he has to give her the sum the blackmailer wants, ten thousand pounds–a vast amount back then.

Of course, trying to solve her problems, Lydia seems to get even more tangled into a mess. During this process, she raises the curiosity of the Duke, who then becomes an ally.

I loved the dialogue of the book. I could not only believe it was British but that it was historical. There were no slips, no modern words and yet nothing sounded stilted or awkward. It wasn’t just the dialogue that’s worthy of praise, Madeline has a great way of sliding delicious, little hints along with her descriptions adding hugely to the plot. They’re like little succulent crumbs and I ate them up wondering where they were leading. Nothing was stated over and over until it became nauseating. On the contrary, if anything we were left wanting more which made me turn those pages faster and faster.

A powerful, strong alpha hero and an intelligent heroine that has come upon tough times always draws my interest and this one was no exception. This is a great book for those who like historical romance and anyone looking for a great summer read.

Tuesday Teaser

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“…Twice now you have spoken too quickly on my account. I would think that the last time cost you dearly enough.” Pg. 89 from Secrets of Surrender.

(credit: madelinehunter.com)

(credit: madelinehunter.com)

Note: click on the cover to go to the author’s page.

Tuesday Teaser

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“Panic swelled. Lydia stared at the door after the duke left, and wondered if she should try to move a heavy chair against it.” Pg. 180 from ‘The Accidental Duchess’ by Madeline Hunter.

(credit:dearauthor.com)

(credit:dearauthor.com)

(click on the cover for more information on the book)