Author Archives: What The Cat Read

The Scottish Duke by Karen Ranney – Excerpt & Promotional Post

vt-scottishduke-kranney_final

We are thrilled to be able to host Karen Ranney today and wish to offer our thanks to Tasty Book Tours for making this post possible. For those wondering, Sara will be reviewing this title after the tour has ended. If you would like to see all of the blogs participating in this event, please click on the banner above. =^.^=

ClipArt

scottish-duke-mm-c

f4b35-addtogoodreadsblack

Publisher: Avon Books

Date Released: November 29, 2016

Series: Duke Trilogy #1

New York Times bestselling author Karen Ranney returns with the first novel in a new series about dashing, charismatic dukes—and the women who tame them…

Though raised as a gentleman’s daughter, Lorna Gordon is obliged to take a position as an upstairs maid at Blackhall Castle when her father dies. Alex Russell, the Duke of Kinross, is the most tempting man she’s ever seen—and completely unattainable—until, at a fancy dress ball, Lorna disguises herself as Marie Antoinette and pursues an illicit tryst…with scandalous consequences.

Months after his mysterious seductress disappears, Alex encounters her again. Far from the schemer the distrustful duke assumed her to be, Lorna is fiercely independent and resourceful. She’s the one woman capable of piercing his defenses. But when danger threatens Lorna, Alex must prove himself not just the lover of her fantasies, but the man who will fight to protect her.

amazon B&N KoboIcon itunes

Excerpt:

Blackhall Castle
Scottish Highlands
June, 1861

“It would be a waste of my time to tell you this is foolish, wouldn’t it? You wouldn’t pay any attention.”
Nan stepped back and surveyed Lorna, shaking her head all the while.
The room they shared was small and with only a tiny mirror over the common bureau. Nan would have to be her eyes.
Each maid was assigned an oil lamp and a certain amount of oil. If it was used before the end of the month, she had to dress in the dark, a way of ensuring that she rationed the light better the following month.
Lorna hadn’t used any of her oil for a week, saving it all for this one night.
“Maybe it is foolish,” she said, glancing down at the wide panniers of the gown she wore. “But it is such a magical evening and when would I have another chance to experience a ball at Blackhall?”
“You’re a maid, Lorna,” Nan said, sighing heavily. “Not a guest.”
“Tonight, though, Nan, no one will know.”
Nan made a sign in the air and she obediently turned so that the back of the dress could be inspected.
Things happened for a reason, didn’t they? The housekeeper had sent her to find a certain table in the attic and she’d gone, reluctant to climb into the darkened space. She couldn’t disobey Mrs. McDermott. The dear lady had taken her on when she hadn’t a whit of training or background in service.
To her surprise, the attic wasn’t gloomy or dark at all. Porthole windows along the outer wall let in the June sunlight. For an hour she’d pulled up one sheet after another, only discovering the table at the far end of the attic. Between the stairs and the door, however, there’d been dozens and dozens of trunks, each begging to be opened and inspected.
In the third trunk she’d found the carefully wrapped wig and the golden dress with the panniers. A fortuitous find, especially since they’d been preparing for the fancy dress ball at Blackhall for over a month.
She was not one to overlook circumstances, especially when they were calling out to her. Her father had often said that fortune favors the bold – fortuna audaces iuvat.
“We could have found a dress for you, too,” she said now as she tugged on the wig.
She’d taken the precaution of grabbing some flour from the kitchen. None of her training had given her any insight into fashions from a hundred years ago, but the wig had given off a cloud of finely milled powder and the only thing she could think of to substitute was flour. Nan dipped a powder puff into the bowl and patted it on her temples and the tall crown of hair adorned with gold bows.
“I’m not as brave as you.”
“Or as foolish,” Lorna said.
“That, too.” Nan stepped back and surveyed her handiwork. “Mrs. McDermott will have no choice but to dismiss you if you’re found out.”
“Then I’ll make sure I’m not discovered.” She turned and smiled at Nan. “It’s a fancy dress ball, Nan. Everyone will be wearing masks. No one will know who I am.”
“Oh, Lorna.”
“What?” she asked.
Nan shook her head again. “You see what you want to see, Lorna. You have ever since I’ve known you. You’re lucky Mrs. McDermott didn’t assign you to serve the guests. What would you have done then? Come up with some sort of sickness?”
“I would have found some way,” she said, smiling down at Nan.
She’d been deliberately clumsy this past week, especially in the housekeeper’s sight for that very reason. She’d dropped an armload of books she was dusting, fumbled with the jar of spent tea leaves used to clean the carpets, and repeatedly stumbled holding her brushes and pail.
After all that, Mrs. McDermott would have been foolish to select her as one of the servers. Better to dismiss her early, send her to her room, and instruct her to appear at dawn to help clean the ballroom. To her relief the housekeeper had done exactly that.
“Well, how do I look?” she asked, carefully affixing the mask strings behind her ears. That, too, had been another miraculous find, a sign that she had to attend the ball.
It was as if Providence, well aware of her barely contained curiosity and fascination, had provided her with a way to see the Duke of Kinross up close. Granted, it would only be for a few hours on a June night in the Scottish Highlands, but who was she to deny Providence?
“You look beautiful,” Nan said, nodding. “The gold makes your brown eyes sparkle. And the white wig accentuates your complexion.”
“Could I pass for one of the guests?”
Nan sighed again. “Yes, but I’m not sure that’s a good thing.”
“My father was Robert Gordon. I’m the equal to most of them there.”
“But it isn’t because of most of them that you’re going, is it? It’s to see the duke. We both know how foolish that is.”
Lorna reached over and hugged Nan, depositing a fair share of flour onto the other girl’s shoulders. Apologizing, she pulled back.
“Don’t worry, Nan. I’ll go and pretend to be someone else for a few hours. Then I’ll return and be a well disciplined upper maid, I promise.”
Nan didn’t appear convinced. Nor was Lorna, if she were to tell the truth. It was going to be so difficult to be herself after tonight.

About the Author:

ranney-photo

Karen Ranney wanted to be a writer from the time she was five years old and filled her Big Chief tablet with stories. People in stories did amazing things and she was too shy to do anything amazing. Years spent in Japan, Paris, and Italy, however, not only fueled her imagination but proved she wasn’t that shy after all.

Now a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, she prefers to keep her adventures between the covers of her books. Karen lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Website | Goodreads

***Giveaway***

If you would like to enter for your chance to win 1 of 3 print copies of The Scottish Duke, please click on the Rafflecopter below. This giveaway is open to US Residents only!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/521ac4c81181

Mimi’s Review of Winter Halo by Keri Arthur & Giveaway

winterhalobannerlg

I would like to sincerely offer my thanks to Signet of Berkley Publishing for not only letting me participate in the blog tour for Keri Arthur’s newest novel, but for also providing me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review! =^.^=

winterhalo

Rating: paw4

Publisher: Signet – Berkley Publishing

Date Released: December 6, 2016

Series: Outcast #2

Goodreads Description:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Souls of Fire novels comes the second in the futuristic fantasy series that will make you want to keep the lights on…

When the bombs that stopped the species war tore holes in the veil between worlds, they allowed entry to the Others. Now, a hundred years later, humans and shifters alike live in artificially lit cities designed to keep the darkness at bay….

The humanoid supersoldiers known as the déchet were almost eradicated by the war. Ever since, Tiger has tried to live her life in peace in hiding. But in the wake of her discovery that Central City’s children are being kidnapped and experimented on, Tiger’s conscience won’t let her look the other way.

The key to saving them lies within the walls of a pharmaceutical company called Winter Halo. But as she learns more about the facility, Tiger’s mission is derailed by a complication: Winter Halo’s female security guards are being systematically attacked by an unknown force.

Now Tiger must summon all her gifts to stop those responsible for both atrocities—no matter the cost to herself…

mg amazon B&N

Review:

This series just keeps getting better with each book! And having said that, if you haven’t ready the first book in this series, be sure you do so before you read this novel, because the events in this book take place directly after the events in City of Light. While Keri does do a good job of providing readers with a recap of what happened previously, this book really should not be read as a stand-alone.

So that being said, I truly have come to enjoy many of the characters in this series, though it took this book for me to really appreciate them. Tiger is still just as wonderful and strong-willed, and my love for her is just as great as it was after I first meet her. It was a pleasure to watch her continue to kick ass and fight to protect those in need, even if it meant continuing to assist Nuri and her crew. Jonas has managed to grow on me, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t find him rather appealing. I wasn’t entirely sure if I liked him or not after the first book, but by the end of this novel he’s managed to win a place in my heart and I can’t wait to find out what happens between him and Tiger in the next novel! Nuri also manged to surprise me this time around. I honestly didn’t care for her after the events in City of Light. In fact I distrusted her completely. But after this book I’ve started to develop a grudging admiration for her and have begun to see her in a different light. Some of the questions I had regarding her and Jonas were answered in this story, and those answers helped change my views on them both immensely. As for Branna, I still hate him, and I wouldn’t mind it if he disappeared entirely come the next book in the series. I rather enjoyed the scene where Cat, one of Tiger’s ghost comrades, took pleasure in smacking Branna over the head with a chair leg. Heehee.

Keri continues the suspense and fast paced, on the edge of your seat action that abounded in City of Light. Just when you think Tiger is going to have a moment to relax and just settle, she’s caught up in either a fight for her life, investigating the newest lead in the case of the missing children, or attempting to infiltrate some high security building. Each chapter has you turning the pages in anticipation of what is going to happen next. There were a couple of times where I felt just as physically as exhausted as Tiger, but I suspect that was because I kept holding my breath during the fight scenes, and a few times I was left wincing in sympathy as she attempted to heal the damage done to her body. Honestly, I’m in awe over just how powerful a character Tiger is, she truly doesn’t know the meaning of the word “quit,” though I suppose some folks would view her as stubborn. And it’s true, she is stubborn, but no one can argue that she doesn’t get things done.

I think the thing that has drawn me the most to this series is the mystery behind what is going on and who is involved. With each book we’re getting more insight into what has happened to Penny and the other children, we’re learning more about who is officially in charge, and we’re seeing what the results are from the experimentation that is being done, but we’re not given the entire picture in full. In fact, if after reading City of Light you were left wondering what happens next, believe me when I say you’ll be screaming in frustration at the end of this book, because Keri still hasn’t given us all of the answers, and she leaves us with even more questions. When I got to the last page I actually said out loud “That’s it?! Seriously! You’re seriously going to end it there?!” There can be no question that I want more, the sooner the better. This feline is anxious to get her paws on the third book, but sadly I, like all of Keri’s fans, will have to wait until next year to find out what happens next in the series. But you can bet that I will definitely be reading the next book once it does come out! =^.^=

About the Author:

keriarthur

Keri Arthur is the New York Times bestselling author of the Outcast series, including City of Light, as well as the Souls of Fire, Dark Angels, and Riley Jenson Guardian series. She has written more than thirty books and has been nominated in the Best Contemporary Paranormal category of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards and has won a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for urban fantasy.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

***Giveaway***

If you would like to enter for your chance to win either a copy of City of Light, book #1 in the Outcast series, or a copy of Winter Halo, book #2 in the Outcast series, please fill out the Google Doc form below. This giveaway run from Midnight, December 6th – Midnight, December 12th 2016 and is open to US & Canada residents only!

The Millionaire’s Convenient Arrangement by Jane Peden – Excerpt & Promotional Post

millionairebc_badge

Jane Peden returns with an all new Miami Lawyers novel releasing November 29, 2016. Maria is raising her 13-year old brother Joey alone, and it’s clear he’s headed for trouble. But what happens when the only man who can save Joey is the same man Maria holds responsible for destroying her family? Find out in this steamy must read Fall title which fans of Jackie Braun’s Revenge Best Served Hot will love.

millionaires_bc-front-only_%c6%92

f4b35-addtogoodreadsblack

Publisher: Mr. Media

Release Date: November 29, 2016

Series: Miami Lawyers #2

Her worst enemy is the one man she can’t resist.

Maria Martinez thought it was a dream come true when Ritchie Perez—a sweet and sexy guy she met volunteering at a soup kitchen—took her delinquent little brother Joey under his wing. But her dream becomes a nightmare when she discovers Ritchie is the same man who put her twin brother Tito in prison for 10 years. Now Joey’s in trouble, and Ritchie’s been appointed his temporary guardian. He’ll be moving into Ritchie’s luxurious waterfront Miami home—unless he’d prefer a juvenile detention facility.

And if Maria wants to be with him, she’ll be moving in too.

Now a hugely successful attorney in private practice, Ritchie made his reputation as a tough prosecutor who didn’t make deals with drug dealers and gang members. But that history comes back to haunt him when the woman he’s falling for believes he’s responsible for convicting an innocent man, and destroying her family. Ritchie wants to stop Joey from making the same mistakes his brother did. And he wants Maria in his bed. But as desire heats their blood, will the past reach out and destroy their future?

amazon B&N KoboIcon

pq_3_tmca

Excerpt:

They were sitting at an outside café on the waterfront. Joey seemed to have rebounded quickly and managed to eat two burgers and a massive quantity of cheese fries. As soon as he finished, Maria had given him some money to go down the street and get ice cream so she could talk things over with Ritchie.
The second he was gone, she started, apparently realizing she needed to shift tactics and take a softer approach. Ritchie wondered how long it would take until that temper of hers took over again.
“Listen, I don’t want you to think I don’t appreciate what you did for Joey – for both of us – this afternoon. But I can tell how much this has shaken Joey up. He’s not going to be a problem from here on.” She took a measured breath and continued.
“So, as much as I appreciate your offer to have Joey move in with you for six months, it’s really not necessary. We couldn’t disrupt your life that way.”
She smiled at him, and he knew it must have cost her. Humble was not her style.
“It doesn’t work that way, Maria,” he said, and watched the smile fade from her pretty face.
“I don’t know what you mean,” she said.
“I mean, when you ask me to drop everything and run over to the courthouse and get Joey out of trouble, I’m happy to do that. And I was happy to take on responsibility for watching over him because that was what it took to keep the Judge from removing him and conducting a home study and dumping that kid into a system that’s going to hurt him more than it would ever help him. But when I make a commitment to help, I’m all in. Don’t expect me to put a temporary fix on this legal problem then step back and just wait for you to call me when the next crisis happens.”
He leaned forward. “Because the way things are headed, there will be a next crisis. And it won’t be as easy to make a deal with the prosecutor and the court next time.”
“I think you’re overstating it. This was a wake-up call for Joey. He’ll stay out of trouble from now on,” she said.
“Why not make it easier for him to do that? I like you, Maria. And I like Joey. He’s a good kid, and I want to help. But I don’t have time to run back and forth between your apartment and his school checking up on him.”
“I’m not asking you to do that.”
“That apartment isn’t big enough, and you know it. That’s why the best solution is for him to move into my house, where he has his own room. I can make sure he’s home when he’s supposed to be, he’s in the right school, and he’s doing the right kind of activities. You know he’s interested in sports. I can get him in some great programs after school and on weekends. No more hanging out with his friends from the old neighborhood, and no more sitting around an empty apartment thinking up ways to get in trouble while you’re at work.”
“So you’ll help him but only if it’s your way.” Her jaw was set stubbornly, and she narrowed her eyes, still holding onto her temper but clearly by a thin thread.
“That’s right. If you want me to help him, you have to give me a chance to do it my way.”
“And if I say no?”
“Then you might as well make a reservation for him to move into a cell with your brother Tito.”
Her face paled. “You knew,” she said, her voice a whisper. “You spent time with us, with Joey, you took me out on a date, you knew I was attracted to you. You kissed me,” she said, and a bit of the color came back into her face. “You must have realized that if I knew who you were, I’d hate you.”

Copyright © 2016 by Jane Peden

About the Author:

jane-peden-author-photo

Jane Peden is a Florida trial attorney who writes sexy contemporary category romances set in the exciting South Florida city of Miami, where millionaire lawyers live extravagant lifestyles and find love when they least expect it. When Jane isn’t in court, you can find her at the beach with her laptop, dreaming up stories about successful, confident men who know what they want and how to get it, and smart, sexy women who demand love on their own terms.  Jane’s books promise sizzling chemistry in the face of insurmountable obstacles. And just when things couldn’t get any worse, an emotional payoff that makes it all worthwhile.

Jane grew up in the mountains of western Pennsylvania, but decided early on that the only thing better than escaping the cold for a two-week vacation at the beach was to live there all year around, so she traded her snow boots for a jet ski and has never looked back.  Jane lives on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida with her husband, two kids, two dogs, and a fish.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

***Giveaway***

Jane Peden is offering some wonderful prize to two (2) lucky winners during our virtual tour event. One (1) lucky winner will win Beach Tote Bag Prize Pack filled with a drink tumbler, note book with pen, sun glasses, salt water taffy, towel, and shells! And a second winner will receive a Kindle Fire! To enter, simply click on the Rafflecopter link below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b050ef29303

Can’t Wait for Books of 2016 – December

With so many exciting books coming out this year, the felines thought it would be fun to do a monthly post showcasing titles that they are anxious to get their paws on. Here are their picks for this month. =^.^=

~*~

Sara’s Choice: Lady Claire is All That (Keeping Up with the Cavendishes #3) by Maya Rodale

Expected publication: December 27th 2016 by Avon

ladyclaire

f4b35-addtogoodreadsblack

Her Brains
Claire Cavendish is in search of a duke, but not for the usual reasons. The man she seeks is a mathematician; the man she unwittingly finds is Lord Fox: dynamic, athletic, and as bored by the equations Claire adores as she is by the social whirl upon which he thrives. As attractive as Fox is, he’s of no use to Claire . . . or is he?

Plus His Brawn
Fox’s male pride has been bruised ever since his fiancée jilted him. One way to recover: win a bet that he can transform Lady Claire, Society’s roughest diamond, into its most prized jewel. But Claire has other ideas—shockingly steamy ones. . .

Equals A Study In Seduction
By Claire’s calculations, Fox is the perfect man to satisfy her sensual curiosity. In Fox’s estimation, Claire is the perfect woman to prove his mastery of the ton. But the one thing neither of them counted on is love . . .

amazon B&N

~*~

Dancer’s Choice: Ever the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms #1) by Erin Summerill

Expected publication: December 27th 2016 by Harcourt Childrens Books

everhunted

f4b35-addtogoodreadsblack

Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.

amazon B&N

~*~

Mimi’s Choice: Moonshadow (Moonshadow #1) by Thea Harrison

Expected publication: December 13th 2016 by Teddy Harrison LL

moonshadow

f4b35-addtogoodreadsblack

Her past is a blank, her future uncertain….

Recovering from a shooting, LAPD witch consultant Sophie Ross leaves her job and travels to the U.K. to search for answers about her childhood. When she encounters a Daoine Sidhe knight of the Dark Court, she becomes entangled in an ancient hatred between two arcane forces.

He has given his body and soul to fight for his people….

Barred from his homeland along with his surviving brother knights, Nikolas Sevigny is embroiled in a conflict that threatens everything he holds dear. Only by uniting his people’s resources can they hope to prevail against Isabeau, the deadly Queen of the Light Court. He will do anything and use anyone to return home to Lyonesse.

When Nikolas encounters Sophie, he sees a tool to be used. The insouciant witch might be the key to unlocking every passageway that has been barred to the knights of the Dark Court, even as a fascination for her takes root in what’s left of his soul.

Sophie has no intention of becoming anyone’s pawn, yet the fierce Nikolas is so compelling, she can’t deny the temptation that endangers her guarded heart.

As magic threatens Lyonesse, Queen Isabeau unleashes her merciless Hounds, and Nikolas and Sophie become embroiled in a race for survival. Meanwhile, the passion that ignites between them burns too hot to be denied and quickly turns into obsession.

Thank goodness they both know better than to fall in love…

amazon

~*~

Sammers’s Choice: Dead Man’s Steel (Grim Company #3) by Luke Scull

Expected publication: December 6th 2016 by Roc

deadmanssteel

f4b35-addtogoodreadsblack

As the “gripping”* epic from the author of Sword of the North continues, the Grim Company must battle a dangerous new enemy that is determined to destroy all of humanity…

In the City of Towers, former rebel Sasha and her comrade Davarus Cole struggle to keep the peace between the warring mages who vie for dominion. But when the White Lady sends Davarus south to the Shattered Realms to seek allies among the fallen kingdoms, he finds that his hardest battle may be one fought within. The godly essence now residing within him offers power that could be used against the Fade—but with every death that feeds It, Cole risks losing a part of himself.

An association with a Fade officer grants the Halfmage Eremul a position of privilege among Dorminia’s new masters. He witnesses firsthand the fate that awaits humanity. But with his magic pitiful in the face of the Fade’s advanced technology, the Halfmage must rely on his wits alone to save whom he can…

And in the frozen north, the legendary warrior Brodar Kayne fights a desperate battle for his people. He is running out of time: an ancient evil sealed beneath the mountains is about to break free, an evil that is older than humanity, older than the Fade, older even than the gods—and it will not stop until the entire world is drowned in blood…

mg amazon B&N

Sara’s Review of Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt

duke-of-pleasure-launch-day-blitz

I would like to thank Forever – Grand Central Publishing for not only letting me participated in the launch day event for Elizabeth Hoyt’s Duke of Pleasure but for also providing a copy of the book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review, murr! =^.^=

dukeofpleasure3_rgb300

Rating: paw4

Publisher: Forever – Grand Central Publishing

Date Released: November 29, 2016

Series: Maiden Lane #11

Goodreads Description:

IN THE ARMS OF DANGER

Bold. Brave. Brutally handsome. Hugh Fitzroy, the Duke of Kyle, is the king’s secret weapon. Sent to defeat the notorious Lords of Chaos, he is ambushed in a London alley-and rescued by an unlikely ally: a masked stranger with the unmistakable curves of a woman.

IN THE HEAT OF DESIRE

Cocky. Clever. Courageously independent. Alf has survived on the perilous streets of St. Giles by disguising her sex. By day she is a boy, dealing in information and secrets. By night she’s the notorious Ghost of St. Giles, a masked vigilante. But as she saves Hugh from assassins, she finds herself succumbing to temptation . . .

ONE KISS WILL CHANGE THEIR LIVES FOREVER

When Hugh hires Alf to investigate the Lords of Chaos, her worlds collide. Once Hugh realizes that the boy and the Ghost are the same, will Alf find the courage to become the woman she needs to be-before the Lords of Chaos destroy them both?

amazon B&N KoboIcon itunes

duke-of-pleasure-quote-graphic-1-2

Review:

This is only the second full novel (not counting a novella) from Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series that I’ve read, and I must admit that I’m wondering why I never tried this series sooner. Rest assured I am making plans to get caught up on the previous books next year because I truly am enjoying Hoyt’s writing and characters, and I anticipate reading the next book when it comes out too. There is no question that I have become a fan of this author, murr!

I just loved Alf! She’s cheeky, strong-willed, intelligent, and everything I enjoy in a female lead character. She reminded me a lot of Eponine from Les Miserables, especially when she assumed her boy persona, and I enjoyed her Ghost of St. Giles persona as well, though I would have liked to have seen more of that side of her. Hugh, meanwhile, is the kind of character who took me a little bit of time to warm up to, but that was mostly due to the fact that he’s a complex character with a complex background. He’s both a protector, a father, an acknowledged son of the king, an investigator/spy, and man of arms. As such, it is hard for me to say which role of his I enjoy more, though I’m leaning strongly toward that of father. Many of the scenes in the book focused on Hugh’s relationship with his sons and it was a pleasure to watch them reconnect with each other. It helped that Alf was there to act as a bit of a bridge. But I also liked watching him interact with his men and with his wife’s friend Iris. I’m rather looking forward to reading the earlier books and seeing when these two characters initially come in because I know this isn’t the first time we see them. I mean, Alf doesn’t just become the Ghost of St. Giles without some sort of lead up. And that more than anything is what I’ve come to enjoy with these books: they all tie together not just in location, but also in characters, and yet they can pretty much all be read as stand-alone novels, which is great because it means that a reader can pick the series up at any time and not feel pressured to read the earlier books before hand. Though I suspect that like me, they will quickly end up wanting to read those books at some point. Heehee.

The relationship between Hugh and Alf was slow to build in this novel. There was mutual interest, but the romance wasn’t instant lust, which I greatly appreciated. Instead it started as a slow simmer that heated up more with each chapter, and when they finally came together it felt natural rather than rushed. The only thing that irked me regarding their relationship was how Hugh continually fought his feelings in the beginning because he was worried that he’d have the same experience with Alf as he had with his wife, never mind that he clearly could identify the many ways Alf was different from her. Hoyt definitely knows how to write believable relationships and realistic characters. Their internal, personal struggles make them easy to connect with, and thus allows for the reader to slip in and view events clearly not just with their mind’s eye, but with their emotions as well. I cared about the characters in this book, all of the characters, not just the main couple. In most books I often end up overlooking the secondary/minor characters, but in Hoyt’s books I find myself actively looking at everyone and wanting to know more about them and discovering how they all connect within the area that is St. Giles and Maiden Lane.

The pacing of the story was smooth and held just the right amount of suspense to keep me reading chapter after chapter just to see what would happen next. Most of the questions I had as I was reading were answered by the time I finished, and those few questions that remain I suspect will be answered in the next novel, or their answers can be found in previous books. There is one question in particular, more of a hunch if you will, that I have which surrounds a character we meet toward the end of the story. It will be interesting to see how this character ties in with everyone and discover what happened to make him who he is now, if he’s who I suspect he is. My curiosity has certainly been piqued to say the least.

Overall this was a fun book to read. There were several scenes where I couldn’t help but smirk at the interaction between Alf and Hugh, a few scenes with Peter and Kit (Hugh’s sons) that melted my heart, and many others that left me nodding my head in appreciation for a well-written story. I feel confident in saying that fans of Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series and of historical romance will enjoy this book. And to those readers who are debating on whether to give this series a read or not, my suggestion to you is read it, don’t wait any longer. I know there are a lot of series out there to choose from, but this is one that you’ll not want to miss out on. Trust me. =^.^=

*****************SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT*****************

WICKED INTENTIONS is now FREE for a limited time!

The ebook edition of WICKED INTENTIONS, the first book in Elizabeth Hoyt’s bestselling Maiden Lane series will be FREE from November 28 through December 12!  This is a great opportunity to introduce friends to the series! On December 13 the price returns to $5.99.

wicked-intentions-price-drop

amazon B&N KoboIcon itunes

About the Author:

HoytElizabeth

Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing “mesmerizing.” She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads