Journey to Honor by Alexa Aston

All the books in the Knights of Honor series are filled with realism, and the fourth story had me experiencing the mid 1300’s in countless ways. From daily routines to vindictive schemes, I got a feel for what it could have been like to live during this changing period in history. Alexa Aston depicts every scene with details that are very convincing, as I could easily envision the moment as described. Each character is not only distinctive but also portrays someone who could have existed in the medieval era because of their reactions and personalities. When a story comes across as true-to-life as those written by Alexa Aston, then I feel as though the circumstances could actually have happened. JOURNEY TO HONOR is continuously enthralling because of vividly imagined developments.

Although Kenric Fairfax was actually the first-born son to the Earl of Shadowfaire, his twin brother was raised as the heir because of a vindictive plot. Upon turning twenty-one, he went through the Order of Knighthood Ceremony, which should have resulted in a good position immediately. Sadly, an incident makes him feel the need to leave the area, and Kenric eventually ends up serving Lord Devereux. When he is sent to retrieve the sister-in-law of his liege lord, he is eager to carry out this important duty.

While Avelyn Le Cler enjoyed some of her time at court waiting on the queen, she is ready to see her sister and be present for the birth of her niece or nephew. As Kenric watches over the woman under his protection, he comes to realize she is a considerate and knowledgeable individual. When Avelyn learns the hidden secret about the man for whom she is coming to deeply care, she is torn about what to do with the decisive information.

From the instant I met Kenric and Avelyn, I thought of them as being people with whom I would like to be friends. I could tell they were always concerned for others, as both tried to help when needed. They were honest and unselfish, not like so many people during this time when they only thought about themselves. Kenric could definitely have turned out much different after suffering through such a painful childhood, but he took it upon himself to never give in to his heartaches, which made me respect him very much. Avelyn was a delight with her positive attitude, and I really liked how she was not one to give up when she was confident an idea was correct. A few doubts do creep into the minds of these two characters, and I breathlessly waited to see what they would decide in the end.

JOURNEY TO HONOR is about discovering the truth and then acting accordingly. Knights were supposed to be loyal and righteous, and Kenric has tried to live his life in this manner, even when situations went terribly wrong. I ached for him when certain facts became known, and cheered when an event left him happy. I did lots of smiling over how Avelyn responded to several incidents, and even wanted to applaud her reaction to one episode. Many past characters make appearances throughout the book, and whether their stories have been read or not, enough was told to keep the reader well informed and not lost. I am hoping there are many more medieval books written Alexa Aston.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Knights of Honor – Book 4

Publisher:  Dragonblade Publishing, Inc.

Releases:  June 27, 2007

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/yd7fvojz

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  https://alexaaston.wordpress.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

The Pleasures of Passion by Sabrina Jeffries

When it comes to men who would make a good husband, Niall Lindsey would seem like a bad candidate. With his reputation as a rogue plus having taken part in a duel, he gives the impression of someone who enjoys a good time and does not think about his actions. But appearances can be deceiving, as Brilliana Trevor slowly discovers when the two must work together. As secrets come to light and opinions begin to change, the couple cannot keep from wondering if they can have a relationship that might just last this time. Historical romances written by Sabrina Jeffries are always convincingly realistic, and every detail in THE PLEASURES OF PASSION captures the imagination.

After a duel in which Niall Lindsey participated resulted in the death of the other man, the future Earl of Margrave knew he had to leave London or face grave consequences. When he asks Brilliana Trevor if she would accompany him, her refusal leaves him dejected. Hearing she married soon after his departure is a double blow. It sadly takes seven years for Niall to be exonerated of the crime, and he can now return home. It is not long before he and Brilliana come in contact during various social functions, but he has no intention of being involved with her again.

Unfortunately, Niall’s wish for him to avoid the woman whom he once wanted to wed is not granted. A government employee forces the couple to pretend they are engaged in order to catch a possible counterfeiter, a man related to her. Though neither wants to take on the assignment, the price of not doing so is too high. As Niall and Brilliana are seen together so everyone will actually think they are going to marry, their private conversations reveal inner hurts plus hidden truths and may even give them another chance.

The Sinful Suitors series is up to four books, and THE PLEASURES OF PASSION is filled with heartfelt emotions and a huge mystery. Though Niall and Brilliana were once very close, misconceptions led to them being apart for years. Now the couple has the opportunity to see if there is still something between them, but first they will have clear up any wrong ideas they have about the other or they can never have a future. A second chance storyline is one I like, especially if the reason two people broke up was beyond their control. Sabrina Jeffries carefully constructs a believable explanation for Niall and Brilliana’s previous relationship not continuing, and then gives convincing accounts of what takes place when they reunite. I could not keep from worrying over the fact that a big secret needed to be concealed, but at what cost. Niall gives plenty of honest reactions during many of the discussions he has with Brilliana, and her own are just as candid. Desiring each other is not one of their problems, as their intimate encounters are heated and definitely enthusiastic.

What is going on connected to any counterfeiting matters is cleverly carried out, and I kept trying to guess exactly who was behind any criminal activities. The author kept the suspense building until all is disclosed, as clues are subtle. This story easily stands alone, but will make the reader want to know what has been missed in earlier books.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher, and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Sinful Suitors – Book 4

Publisher:  Pocket Books

Releases:  June 20, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/ya3nwqzf

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://www.sabrinajeffries.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars

The Dukes of Vauxhall by Vanessa Kelly, Christi Caldwell, Theresa Romain and Shana Galen

A mutual topic can be found in every storyline of the novellas that have been created by four notable authors. The French have been defeated at Waterloo, and the British are ready for some merrymaking. Parties are taking place, and several big gatherings will occur at Vauxhall Gardens. What will happen to eight individuals attending various entertainments will change their lives forever, and I was thoroughly enraptured by how cleverly the authors entwined common threads into each of their stories. There are also fascinating romances which are given a second chance at love or an unexpected beginning. All the authors have previously written outstanding romance books about the Regency period, and these fun novellas are totally gratifying. THE DUKES OF VAUXHALL has enchanting characters, original circumstances, and compelling emotional issues in every captivating story.

“Taken by the Duke” by Shana Galen

After recently becoming a viscount, Henry Selkirk gets chosen to organize a huge ball that will celebrate the British victory over the French at Waterloo plus observe the Prince Regent’s birthday. As he tours Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, the site of the festivities, he is taken by a group of ruffians whose leader is called the Duke. While held hostage, Henry meets Kate Dunn, a childhood friend with whom he was once very close. But she has grown into a woman with many secrets, and their lives depend on what choices each ends up making.

The interaction between Henry and Kate is often very interesting, as these two gradually discover whether they can ever trust the other or if they will only get hurt. I thought the current events in their lives led to plenty of surprising scenes, where emotions and hope played a huge part in deciding the course of their actions. Shana Galen makes “Taken by the Duke” constantly intriguing with unforeseen developments. A delightful story with subtle humor and charming characters.

“Fighting for His Lady” by Christi Caldwell

Though Patience Storm had once deeply cared for Godrick Gunnery, his lies caused her to never want him in her life again. However, a desperate need for her brother to win a prizefighting match has her contacting the man who became a champion after being taught by her deceased father. Previously called the Duke of the Ring but now retired, Godrick agrees to help Patience’s brother train in order to hopefully have a victorious bout. Fighting is all he has let himself think about since he last saw the only woman who ever meant anything to him, yet being around her brings back memories that he wants to turn into a reality once more.

“Fighting for His Lady” is an exciting story of lost dreams and optimistic wishes. The premise does not follow a typical Regency plot, as Godrick lives an unusual life for a Duke’s son, while the conduct of Patience is not the norm for women of the period. I was highly entertained when this couple interacted, because honest feelings led to earnest responses. Christi Caldwell has written a rousing and enjoyable romance.

“The Prodigal Duke” by Theresa Romain

There was a good reason for Leo Billingsley leaving London years ago, but now he has returned and will become the next Duke of Westfair. But he needs some assistance with a problem, and the only person who comes to mind is Poppy Hayworth, the woman with whom he grew up and is now a local tightrope performer. Since she has her own troubles, accepting his offer of a fictitious engagement will also benefit her. What was once between Poppy and Leo could have turned into more than friendship at one time, and they might just realize that the chance is still there.

Amusing comments had me smiling, while several more serious incidents made me anxious as I waited to see what would eventually take place. Leo and Poppy are pleasantly delightful, and I saw them as two people who were caught in difficult situations not of their making yet still tried to make the best of whatever they faced. Theresa Romain gives her couple much to prevail over, and I found their choices to be genuinely realistic. “The Prodigal Duke” has sincere emotions and enthralling occurrences.

“The Buccaneer Duke” by Vanessa Kelly

With two aspects about her life that English society sees as disgraceful, Antonia Barnett is not having any luck finding a man willing to marry her. Then she meets Captain Roman Cantrell. He was a privateer during the war, and now the illegitimate offspring of a royal prince is supposed to wed someone of good standing in the hope it gives him respectability. Though different in many ways, Roman and Antonia do share some similarities and their conversations are certainly lively. But there is no way her father will get his daughter be connected to the man who not only looks like a pirate but has acted like one.

Engagingly imaginative from beginning to end, “The Buccaneer Duke” is an engrossing romantic adventure. I was overjoyed for the chance to read another Renegade Royals story, as this favorite series has an innovative premise and unique characters. Roman and Antonia are truly beguiling, as they are quick-witted and make some of the most outrageous remarks. I repeatedly laughed at the more humorous moments in the story, while other instances profoundly affected me with their realism. The large number of candid scenes created by Vanessa Kelly for her appealing couple caused countless smiles.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Publisher:  Amazon Digital Services LLC

Releases:  May 9, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/lb2bx3f

Genre:  Historical

Rating:  5 Stars

Under a Sardinian Sky by Sara Alexander

Thoroughly detailed scenes and a vast assortment of distinctive characters makes UNDER A SARDINIAN SKY highly engaging. Sara Alexander has created a story filled with emotional issues that are very true-to-life, and I was deeply drawn into the lives of individuals who came alive because of the author’s perceptive writing. I may not have ever been anywhere like the island of Sardinia, but after reading Ms. Alexander’s debut story, I certainly feel as though I am well acquainted with its past citizens plus many of their local traditions.

After her aunt died, Mina decides it is time to learn about a part of her family’s history that has always remained unspoken. Since she writes travel articles for a newspaper, she is going to use some of her skills to hopefully discover the truth concerning Carmela Chirigoni, another aunt who was Italian and lived on the island of Sardinia. Mina knows little about her relative except for the fact the woman went missing back in the 1950’s.

With World War II having been over for several years, those living on the picturesque island are looking forward to better times. Carmela is from a farming family plus she makes fashionable clothing for others. She has been asked to wed a man who could one day be very rich, but she is not too fond of behavior at times. During a big fiesta in her hometown, she comes in contact with an American soldier from a nearby base. They keep meeting at different places, and she ends up becoming an interpreter for Lt. Joe Kavanagh as she speaks some English. This decision will change many lives forever.

While reading UNDER A SARDINIAN SKY, I got a glimpse into what could have easily occurred to someone living in a region once greatly affected by war. Carmela is a spirited yet respectful daughter who plans to obey the wishes of her family, but she dreams of seeing other places and having a rewarding marriage. Her life may be shaped by the wishes of someone else, but it does not stop her thinking about improbable possibilities. People trying to get back to normal after a huge war can find themselves still being influenced by outside forces for years, and Carmela meeting American soldiers deeply changes how she envisions her future. There are many times when her inner feelings battle, as she knows what path should be followed but often would rather not. Her thoughts about her intended husband causes many worries, while sentiments connected to a particular American soldier double her uncertainties. Sara Alexander gives much insight into what leads to the reactions of her characters, thus letting me come to really know these individuals.

The story is told because Mina wants to uncover what actually happened to her aunt, and the author skillfully let me know all the facts through colorful historical descriptions. Italian customs are depicted with much fanfare, while the daily lives of the island inhabitants are also vividly portrayed. From meals to parties to work, I got a sense of what various people experienced while living through these events. Food preparation is especially interesting and often lively.  The images visually conveyed throughout UNDER A SARDINIAN SKY cause enthrallment and pure delight.

I voluntarily reviewed the book via NetGalley, and all comments are my honest opinion

Publisher:  Kensington

Releases:  April 25, 2017

Purchase:   http://tinyurl.com/kar2u2k

Genre:  Historical

Rating:  4 Stars

Bound by Their Secret Passion by Diane Gaston

When gossip is spread about someone, whether it is true or false, it can affect that person’s life for years to come. The Scandalous Summerfields is about four siblings who suffered because of the actions of their parents, and one of the sisters is still greatly feeling the effects in the fourth and final book in the series. While this woman was a thoughtful individual, and she did her best to help those for whom she cared, her own future is bleak. But when circumstances change in an instant, she finds herself facing a multitude of obstacles before being truly happy. Diane Gaston makes BOUND BY THEIR SECRET PASSION a realistic Regency story, as so many outside factors influenced lives during this period when social status was so important.

To help make the future better for her two sisters and half-brother, Lorene Summerfield married a much older man. She has been a respectful wife to her husband, but there was never any love between them. Thankfully, her siblings have found partners whom they adore, so she is gratified in knowing her sacrifice paid off. One night, there is a confrontation at her home that has a tragic ending. Lorene’s husband is now dead, and the Earl of Penford may possibly be blamed for his death.

Although Lorene has secretly been attracted to Dell, she had never let anyone know of her fascination. But with her callous husband now gone, perhaps the days ahead will actually be much more pleasurable for her. Unfortunately, suspicions about what took place on that fateful night bring trouble for Dell, and Lorene worries he may suffer because of their friendship, a connection which she wants to be closer yet knows it never can be.

The number of challenges Lorene and Dell must face throughout the story just keep adding up, and it certainly seemed like they would never be able to have a relationship that lasted. I so wanted these two to get together, but the time in which they lived kept them apart because of society’s rules. Though Lorene had never done anything wrong, her reputation was tarnished because of what others did in the past. I am definitely glad to not have lived in a time where many people judged someone so harshly, as these opinions often led to needless misery. Dell has his own personal troubles, and he lives his life in memory of his family, not his goals. Neither he or Lorene are really happy, and they fear the consequences of them appearing to be in a relationship. Diane Gaston made their feelings very evident, and I ached right along with them on numerous occasions when things did not go as they wished. BOUND BY THEIR SECRET PASSION is an emotional romance packed with heartache yet also hopeful longing.

With this being the last book in the series, I was delighted to see all the past couples featured, thus letting me get caught up with their current lives. There are also plenty of other secondary characters in the story that I came to know well, as their personalities were brought to life with colorful behavior. The author inserted historical facts into quite a few scenes, and I enjoyed these moments of reality.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  The Scandalous Summerfields

Publisher:  Harlequin Historical

Releases:  March 21, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/kg2h7b6

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://dianegaston.com/

Rating:  4 Stars

Code of Honor by Alexa Aston

In the latest Knights of Honor story, two people find their love being tested over and over again when unforeseen circumstances keep developing. One man must prove whether he is worthy to be a knight, while a situation forces a woman to follow undesired obligations and not her heart. Alexa Aston has combined meticulously researched details with a heartfelt historical romance to create a story that will long be remembered. Medieval books have been a favorite for many years, and Ms. Aston delivers exactly what I like in this genre. CODE OF HONOR has a multitude of emotional issues, a delightful cast of characters, and constant realism.

Although his father ignored him all through childhood, the mother of Michael Devereux showed him much affection. But when the Earl of Sandbourne was going to get rid of his wife by forcing her to live in a convent, the boy left his unhappy home and vowed to stay away until his father was dead and the title became his. Days and then years go by, and Michael has changed from an awkward child to a respected knight. He has sworn fidelity to those living at Kinwick Castle, and his latest task is to make certain those whom he serves are safely guarded while traveling to a wedding.

With her marriage only a few days away, Lady Elysande Le Cler is resigned to becoming the wife of a man whom she barely knows. Yet it is the path set for her, and she only hopes things will not be as bad as she fears. When relatives began arriving for the celebration, one of the knights escorting her uncle and family ends up assisting her when a horse gives birth. Michael feels a deep attraction to Elysande, but she is already promised to another and neither would ever go against their pledges. But staying away from the other is the hardest thing this couple has ever done.

The third book in the Knights of Honor series is filled with constant ups and downs, many of which caught me by surprise. Though Michael and Elysande are drawn to each other, a number of factors keep them from ever thinking they have a future together. Even when it appears they just might have a chance of actually being a couple, a new problem makes their having a relationship seem hopeless once more. I went through so many emotions while reading CODE OF HONOR, from elation to despair, and the author had me feeling each sentiment to the fullest. Alexa Aston makes her characters very realistic, and their reactions are always true-to-life. She also accurately shows life in medieval times, and I was moved by how women plus children were often treated. CODE OF HONOR is adventuresome at times and continuously emotional.

When I think of a hero, Michael is a perfect example. His younger days were packed with misery, but he did not let it keep him from his goal of becoming a well-regarded knight. Learning about all his ordeals growing up and how he overcame them only added to his hero status. Elysande is also a compelling character, as she put her duties first yet let me know how much it pained her. Their love is truly powerful, and I totally enjoyed their daunting journey. Though this story could be read first, the two prior books in the series are not to be missed and getting to catch up with their characters was enjoyable.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Knights of Honor – Book 3

Publisher:  Dragonblade Publishing, Inc.

Releases:  March 28, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/kvkypmo

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  https://alexaaston.wordpress.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

A Perfect Gentleman by Candace Camp

From the very start of A PERFECT GENTLEMAN, I was immediately drawn into the fascinating circumstances taking place, and my interest never waned during any scenes that followed. Candace Camp always manages to invent original situations for her characters to face, and events in her latest book are absolutely riveting. There is intrigue, misunderstandings, humor, and even some suspense, and each new development kept me from finding a stopping point. While I have enjoyed numerous books from Ms. Camp in the past, her latest is definitely one of her best. A PERFECT GENTLEMAN has every ingredient needed to make it an entertaining historical read.

When Abigail Price married Graeme Parr, she had hoped her life would finally be much better. After living with a father who controlled every aspect of her daily existence, she had thought becoming the Earl of Montclair’s wife would lead to more pleasant days. Though Abigail was aware her English husband did not love her, as they hardly knew each other, she had dreams of them one day having a happy marriage. But it quickly becomes apparent Graeme only wed the American because of her wealth that his family needed and does not plan on being a real husband to her, so she swiftly leaves him and goes back home.

After not having any contact with his wife for ten years, for which he is grateful, Graeme is very wary when she suddenly shows up in London. Their initial meeting gives him no clue as to why she has returned, yet he does realize Abigail has changed from quietly timid to a stunning woman and superb conversationalist. At first, he is very concerned about her causing a scandal that would affect his family’s name, but he soon also feels unexpectedly drawn to his wife who is practically a stranger.

There are so many things that I liked about A PERFECT GENTLEMAN. Regardless of what part they played, characters are convincing and very lifelike. I must say Graeme was not exactly endearing himself to me at first, but his later actions showed his heart was in the right place, even when his mind kept the words from being spoken. At least he was willing to talk over his troubles with others, and possibly see the error of ways. Abigail is a heroine for whom I was rooting for at all times, as she is such a wonderful person but has had so much go wrong for her. I thoroughly delighted in her quick wit, plus how she never held back from speaking her thoughts. A number of discussions in the story left Graeme and Abigail confused because of their beliefs, and I frequently became anxious because I wondered how either of them would react. There are several passionate encounters between the couple, and Abigail’s honest responses were truly heartfelt.

While the couple is often tested as they suffer through more than a few trials during their marriage, they do also experience plenty of good times. I really enjoyed their intelligent banter with each other and even some of their relatives, especially Graeme’s cousin, James, whose book is next. There are also unknowns that need answers, and the path to finding solutions is occasionally frightening. Candace Camp has created a compelling romantic story, as A PERFECT GENTLEMAN is constantly engaging.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher, and all comments are my honest opinion

Publisher:  Pocket

Releases:  March 28, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/n6pqlqg

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  www.candace-camp.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

A Lady’s Code of Misconduct by Meredith Duran

The Rules for the Reckless series has contained books that always have inventive storylines, and A LADY’S CODE OF MISCONDUCT is definitely a shining example of originality. A very imaginative first chapter left me almost breathless because of how much I felt pulled into the life of a particular character. Meredith Duran managed to also grab my attention during every following scene by creating a totally intriguing premise. From political concerns affecting English citizens in the 1860’s to problems two individuals must face on their own, there is never a moment when I was not eagerly reading to see what could possibly happen next. Ms. Duran has amazed me in the past with her unique plots, and I must say that her latest Rules for the Reckless story is truly remarkable.

Even though an aunt and uncle took in Jane Mason after her parents died, these relatives were actually only interested in her large inheritance. While living in their home brings her no pleasure, news of a forced wedding is more than she can tolerate. Getting away from the estate has Jane devising a plan which will help gain control of her life. But problems cause the plot to fail, and the only person around to offer assistance is Crispin Burke. He is a political ally of her uncle, and Jane does not trust him at all.

When Crispin comes up with a way to aid Jane while also getting something for himself in return, she comprehends this is her only choice and agrees to his terms. His main reason for assisting the downtrodden woman is to further advance his own political career, but admiration for her spunk is a little extra motivation. Just when Jane is about to lose all hope of her wishes being granted, an incident involving Crispin gives her an opportunity to follow an unexpected path. Then the two are thrust into a world full of secrets and treachery.

If a relationship is based on lies, often it cannot last because guilt will tear away the foundation. With so many truths left unsaid between Jane and Crispin, either because of unintentional deceit or buried memories, I felt it would take a miracle for them to ever form a lasting bond. New facts become known to them from time to time, and I nervously waited to see how the couple would react when the information was learned. Before Crispin lives through a tragic event, his choices were all about helping himself. But afterward, his altered behavior makes him a changed man. While I did not completely despise him at the start of the story, I cannot say that I really liked him either. Jane had a rough life after the death of her parents, and her cunning strategies for making a better life caused much respect. My heart broke for this couple more than once, as Ms. Duran gave them realistic complications to overcome. A LADY’S CODE OF MISCONDUCT is overflowing with emotions that are heartfelt plus exceedingly profound.

There is much political unrest in the story, and the author let me get a sense of how people saw the same situation differently. Arguments are passionate, and responses are sincerely candid. I experienced the feelings, hopes, and dreams of numerous individuals, and I came to intimately know what stirred these people to action. Meredith Duran has written a spellbinding novel where mysteries, romance, and sharp wit are cleverly entwined.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher, and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Rules for the Reckless – Book 5

Publisher:  Pocket

Releases:  February 28, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/jf79lks

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://meredithduran.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

Twelve Kisses to Midnight by Karen Hawkins

29565617Connected to the Oxenburg Princes series, this entrancing story taking place at Christmas had me laughing often and definitely smiling at the end. Karen Hawkins skillfully weaves plenty of humor into her compelling novella, while also delving into numerous emotional issues. The romantic couple is charmingly delightful on every page, and I thoroughly enjoyed observing them try to work through several matters that once tore them apart. TWELVE KISSES TO MIDNIGHT induces chuckles while also touching the heart with intensely sincere moments.

When Marcus Sutherland spied Kenna Stuart Graham at a large gathering, he kept telling himself that her presence would not affect him. They were to be married many years ago, yet their engagement was called off shortly before the wedding day. Marcus has no idea why his former fiancée is attending the same party in Scotland, but he plans to ignore her and enjoy his time visiting with friends over the Christmas holiday. Then fate steps in with a different goal.

As the paths of Marcus and Kenna keep crossing over and over, more memories that he has tried to forget keep being recalled. When the woman standing beneath a sprig of mistletoe turns out to be someone other than he believed, this is the first surprise of many more to follow. But how the couple decides to respond during each incident could vastly influence their futures.

A story by Karen Hawkins is always entertaining as amusement is guaranteed. Comments are often hilarious, especially when two intelligent individuals like Marcus and Kenna have a conversation. Their replies often contain sharp-witted retorts, and any reactions to these candid words show they are not as immune to each other as they would like to think. A big problem in their previous relationship was not conveying their thoughts and feelings when it counted, and I nervously waited to see if their differences could eventually be resolved when given a second chance. The passion between them simmers throughout the story, and Ms. Hawkins lets it ignite at exactly the right time.

The appearance of Grand Duchess Natasha Nikolaevna, is an extra special treat as she constantly expresses her views with frankness. She is the grandmother of the Oxenburg princes, and her manners plus most anything said is usually comical in some way. Details about the settings let me experience the aspects of each particular situation, while descriptions of a certain room caused much laughter. If you missed this novella when it was included in an anthology, be sure to read it now and get in the spirit of the Christmas season. TWELVE KISSES TO MIDNIGHT is an enchanting holiday romance.

Received copy from publisher via NetGalley

Series:  Oxenburg Princes

Publisher:  Pocket Star

Releases:  November 28, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/h9dm68s

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://www.karenhawkins.com/

Rating:  4 Stars

The Danger of Desire by Sabrina Jeffries

51hfukbnxllThough the Sinful Suitors series features men who are supposed to protect women from roguish males, the heroes of each book seem to find themselves tempted to break a rule they should be following. In THE DANGER OF DESIRE, a marquess with personal troubles feels compelled to help a woman who confronts peril with little thought to her own safety. Together, they just might discover that confiding their darkest secrets to someone could have a great impact on their lives. The latest historical romance by Sabrina Jeffries is not only convincing but also particularly captivating, as the distinct characters are very engaging while the premise is entrancing. I truly adored the main couple in THE DANGER OF DESIRE with their spirited plus determined personalities.

When Delia Trevor and Warren Corry first meet, she is carrying out a scheme to get information. After her brother died, she has made it her mission to learn the name of the man that she holds accountable for her sibling dying so young. She does have a clue to his identity, and looking for him at gatherings like the party where she met Warren is one way. Another part of her plan is more risky, as Delia dresses like a man in order to play cards at the gambling house where her brother was cheated, and she will not stop searching until the culprit is found.

Although Warren came in contact with Delia because of his cousin’s request, the Marquess of Knightford starts to enjoy being around the woman who speaks her mind. Yet he does get the feeling that she is hiding something, and he intends to uncover what she is concealing. Upon realizing she is using a disguise to gamble with all types of men, he firmly tells Delia to quit being so reckless. What he did not foresee is starting to actually care about more than her welfare.

If I am reading a book written by Sabrina Jeffries, then I know there will be constant entertainment. The Sinful Suitors series has been a favorite since the beginning, and THE DANGER OF DESIRE is pure reading pleasure. Delia is unbending at times, and I always like when the lead female takes a stand and does not back down. Her deep concern for others is shown in numerous ways, and I respected her all the more for some of her convictions. Warren may have some problems in his life, but taking care of others is also his first priority. As the reasons for his current behavior come to light, I came to understand many of his actions.

There are many conversations between Warren and Delia which are quite humorous, as their sharp-wit produces clever retorts. Several of their discussions are quite inappropriate, and this made for even more amusing situations. Sabrina Jeffries knows how to make the past intriguing with expertly created characters that seem so believable.  Warren and Delia do not always adhere to what society tells them to do, and this made them fascinating and totally charming. I laughed with them on numerous occasions, plus felt their inner misery when they were affected by emotional issues. Passion is the driving force during a few scenes, and they were definitely steamy.

Many characters from past books written by Sabrina Jeffries make an appearance, and it is always delightful catching up on present happenings in their lives. There are some unexpected turns in the story, and one twist could entangle the future of two characters. I am really happy to know they will get their own book.

Received copy from publisher

Series:  Sinful Suitors

Publisher:  Pocket

Releases:  November 22, 2016

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/jtwsydy

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://www.sabrinajeffries.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars