Saturday, November 28, 2009

AT THE BOSS'S BECK AND CALL - Anna Cleary


At the Boss's Beck and Call by Anna Cleary is `An Affair to Remember' and `Sleepless in Seattle', all rolled into one spectacular and emotional romance.

I love romances with conflict and this definitely is one of those because at the end of their affair six years earlier they both agree to have a "time out". The sexy Italian Alessandro Vencenti is going to America to finish his education and the beautiful Lara Meadows to return to her family home in Australia. They agree to meet months later back in Australia at The Centrepoint Tower if they still feel the same way about each other. Of course that doesn't happen and now its six years later and they are fated to meet again at Lara's publishing firm where Alessandro is going to reorganized and restructure and appoint a new Managing Director. What he doesn't know is that he's a father!

Alessandro sees a familiar name and wonders could this be the woman who took his breath away so many years ago? The same woman who he was sure loved him? In the meantime, Lara is on pins and needles because she know that Sandro will be at her office and she's not sure what if he's going to remember her after all of these years and if he does, will she tell him he has a five year old daughter? At first he plays with her and lets her feel the past meant nothing to him. But the chemistry still exists between them and it's an emotional roller coaster for them both.

Lara is the one to take the initiative to ask questions about the past but what they don't know about each other is that on that fateful day Laura was in the hospital due to a fire at her family home where her father died and one is not sure if Sandro showed up or not. Then Lara wonders if he's still married because he comes from a very high powered family in Venice and he married a wealthy family friend which was published in all of magazines she read a few months later.

They feel their way around each other but it's so very obvious they both desire each other and it was emotional when Lara finally told Sandro about his little girl for two reasons, because of his family history and also would he have a part in her life or not? And of course, when they finally agree to see each other on a personal level it's obvious it's only going to be a short time before they resume their affair and it sizzles off the pages.

Can there be a happy ever after for this family and can they forgive and resolve the past? The emotions one will feel while reading At The Boss's Beck and Call and the reasons they didn't meet up all of those years ago plus the reason Sandro married is quite the journey. But mark my word, in the end you'll be cheering for Alessandro, Laura and Vivi.

From Anna's Website - Behind the Book:

Do you know 'An Affair to Remember', that beautiful romantic movie so stylishly acted by the great Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr?

I was inspired by that particular story when I was dreaming up Lara and Alessandro's tale. Like the lovers in the movie, when Lara and Alessandro are separated by the demands of their lives, they make a pact to meet again, at a certain time, in a certain place.

And like the lovers in the movie, Fate intervenes. So, when they do finally meet, their reunion doesn't go smoothly. Old passions, guilt, anger and sizzling desire rise to the surface like furies.

I'm considering who to cast for their characters. For instance, I suspect Andy Garcia would make a gorgeous Alessandro. What do you think? Here he is, intense, strong, brooding and so passionate. Oh yes, he could be Alessandro.

POWERFUL GREEK, UNWORLDLY WIFE - Sarah Morgan


Sarah Morgan dazzles her readers with Powerful Greek, Unworldly Wife.

This love story sizzles off of the pages as one learns that Leandro Demetrios is not only a ruthless billionaire, he’s one that any and every woman desires. However, there are some problems…… number one he’s married but his wife Millie left him because she believed he had an affair with her sister. And she also believes that he’s the father of her sister’s child. And now that very same wife has come to claim her nephew because her sister died. Add to the list, Millie finds her husband in the arms of another woman, a well known beautiful actress.

As this story unfolds you learn they met at her parent’s farm where she lived and worked. Immediately Leandro and Millie fell into a passionate affair, married only a few months later and this proud Greek took his marriage and their relationship seriously. Due to his wealth and status as all billionaires, he was in the limelight, expected to go to various parties, events and as a couple they were always being photographed and his sweet wife Millie never felt she measured up and she had self confidence issues. She never believed herself beautiful enough and compared herself to other women in her husbands past and to his friends he socialized with. Millie never felt confident or good enough and she didn’t communicate those feelings to her husband.

This proud and sexy Greek has a plan and is determined that Millie will never again walk out on him and that they will honour their wedding vows. Personally, I immediately fell in love with him the more I read this up and down and very emotional love story. He’s not as daunting as one might believe because you learn that he has taken in his baby nephew not because of an affair with Millie’s sister but out of a sense of duty and to make sure little Costas has the very best life has to offer.

Was this painful at times to read? The answer yes due to Millie’s misconceptions concerning her husband and because of her insecurities. The beautiful part of the story was how determined Leandro was in making sure they communicated, how patient he was with her when he found out her secret and how determined he was to make her realize her potential as the woman he loved not the insecure girl from the farm who always felt compared to her sister. Powerful Greek, Unworldly Wife was a magnificent love story and gives the reader hope because it’s not about where you come from, it’s about accepting who you are, believing in yourself, letting go of the past and in the person you love.

Book Description:

Powerful and proud – he’s a traditional Greek husband!

Gorgeous Greek billionaire Leandro plucked plump Millie from her farm and swept her into his glamorous world! Wrapped in his arms, draped in diamonds, she thought nothing could touch them.

But the deepest, darkest betrayal did. Her sister claimed she was expecting Leandro’s baby. So Millie ran away, distraught. The designer dresses had clearly never hidden how unsuitable and unglamorous she truly was.

Now, though, Leandro’s powerful voice is demanding his wife come home… And, to her shame, she’s willing…

THE GREEK BILLIONAIRE’S INNOCENT PRINCESS – Chantelle Shaw (The Royal House of Karedes)


Author Chantelle Shaw has captured a “Princess” and sweet romantic tale with The Greek Billionaire’s Innocent Princess.

Princess Kitty is such an innocent and inexperienced young woman and hides behind her insecurities with her work and her books. She’s recently lost her father the King of Aristo and is still grieving. Her brother is someday to be the future King and has asked her to plan a ball and in attendance is one of her brother’s closest friends the fabulous and handsome Greek billionaire Nikos Angelaki. He mistakes her for a waitress but there something about her that attracts him.

Nikos literally grew up in the streets and his mother scratched and worked to provide for them both. When she died, he was devastated. A woman she worked for took him under her wing and when she died she left a shipping company to him. The company under his direction was extremely successful. He’s known as a playboy and Kitty is aware of him from the tabloids. He had also been married and betrayed by his wife so he vows to only have affairs, never to marry again.

Kitty and Nikos I felt immediately were meant to be because she was so different from the models he dated, she was curvy, sweet and concealed her figure and most of all she was innocent. Whereas, Nikos was handsome, outgoing, driven and she affected him for some reason. Was it fate on the night of the ball that she was swimming nude in the surf and he left the palace, went for a walk and found her in the surf? Was it fate that in the end they made love and weeks later she found herself pregnant? Was it also fate when he and her family found out she was carrying his child that he would ask her to marry him? Yes to all and he was determined to marry her, and be an excellent father to his child because he never knew his father.

Greek society was thrilled to have a princess in Athens and were curious whereas Kitty was scared to death because of the way she felt about her looks, she was shy and she didn’t want to embarrass her husband. Being Greek, Nikos was a take charge husband, purchased her designer gowns and clothes, took her to parties and made love to her and couldn’t seem to get enough of his wife. He adored her curves and her intellect.

What was wonderful to read was their journey because she was so insecure, but her love for him and how she blossomed with his help and encouragement, amazing. One felt heartache for him because his father had abandoned him before he was born, he lost the only two women who ever loved him at a young age plus his wife betrayed him. This star crossed lover romance is one you won’t want to miss and a wonderful addition to The Royal House of Karedes series.

Book Description:

Plain, plump Kitty Karedes is the forgotten princess—until she has to host the palace ball. Kitty plans everything perfectly, but doesn't have time to buy herself a showstopping dress!

At the ball, Greek tycoon Nikos Angelaki mistakes homely Kitty for a waitress. She flees, her confidence in tatters but her identity still a secret. When Nikos spies her again, she's swimming naked in the moonlight—her frumpy clothes were hiding luscious curves! But next morning Nik discovers he's seduced a princess…and made her pregnant with his baby!


Friday, November 27, 2009

RAFFAELLE: TAMING HIS TEMPESTUOUS VIRGIN – Sandra Marton (The Orsini Brothers)


I defy people who are critical of romance novels especially the contemporary romance to not adore, love, cry and yes, laugh while reading Taming His Tempestuous Virgin, Raffaele’s story. The initial first chapters I absolutely died laughing. Sandra Marton is an extremely talented author and she’s written such an exceptional and emotional love story with the first book in the Orsini Brothers series.

I knew this would be a wonderful love story because I’m such a fan of Sandra Marton but I was knocked side ways with the fun and sexy humour plus the element the author always delivers the love, emotion and the passion. I can absolutely say I would rate this as one of my top ten picks for 2009.

The book begins with Raffaele and his brother being summoned to their father’s home. Their father who is the don, head of a crime family. Rafe agrees to return to his father’s birthplace Sicily to make amends but when he finds out what he father has in mind, he immediately refuses to wed the daughter of a Sicilian mobster. I can’t begin to tell you how much fun their meeting was, how everything falls apart and in the end he does marry her and they return to his New York home.

From reading the series description you realize just how incredible these Italian men are, as they’ve put their talents into honest and lawful business and they are extremely close. Rafe’s character description describes him as tall, dark and handsome and a savvy millionaire with absolutely no plans to marry. He’s devoted to his family with the exception of his father and is determined to get this mess over. However, when everything backfires and they return back to New York, that’s when things get messy, crazy and very very heated!

Chiara Cordiano is a sheltered virgin mistreated by her father and determined to run away when he tells her she is to marry her father’s old rival. She meets Rafe in the most amusing way, then things become somewhat crazy and she finds herself married and in New York city when all she knows is her small town in Sicily and the convent where she went to school. This sheltered spitfire is a marvellous heroine. She appears to be dowdy in her appearance but it’s misleading especially when she gets angry, she has a tainted view of marriage based on what her mother’s told her about men. She’s determined to buy her way out of her marriage.

Chiara also believes her new husband is just like both of their fathers and is involved in organized crime. With just a simple touch from Rafe, she goes berserk and he realizes he has a lot on his hands. She’s perfect for Rafe as he sees through her attempt to hide her beauty. He realizes something else a few brief kisses, that he desires her.

Rafe takes time off from work, they sightsee, dine out, things we would take for granted but for this sheltered virgin, she’s overwhelmed. A few stolen kisses which drive him crazy yet he wonders if she’s playing a game and then bam, they make love! Just when you think their marriage can become real, a series of things happen and Chiara flees. The forced marriage, the heat, the passion, tempers, plus confused feelings all make for an incredible romance. A true example of finding that perfect someone when least expected!

Book Description:


Raffaele Orsini doesn't want a wife…

But when he meets his arranged bride Raffaele feels honor bound to marry her. She's not what he was expecting…but her dowdy clothes can't hide her lusciously feminine figure or her wildcat temperament!

Chiara Cordiano will not love her husband!

She's tried everything to avoid her fate, but in the blink of an eye Chiara is swept away from her quaint Sicilian town to New York! She wants to hate Rafe, but seduction is in his blood. With his dark, brooding looks and tempting masculinity, she'll be purring like a kitten!


ABOUT THE SERIES:

The Patriarch of a powerful Sicilian dynasty Cesare Orsini has fallen ill and he wants atonement before he dies.

One by one he sends for his sons – has a mission for each to help him clear his conscience.

His sons are proud and determined but they will do their duty – the tasks they undertake will change their lives forever!

They are the Orsini brothers who are darkly handsome – proud and arrogant. The perfect Sicilian husbands!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks today for my US Family and Friends









More Than A Day



As Thanksgiving Day rolls around,


It brings up some facts, quite profound.


We may think that we're poor,


Feel like bums, insecure,


But in truth, our riches astound.


We have friends and family we love;


We have guidance from heaven above.


We have so much more


Than they sell in a store,


We're wealthy, when push comes to shove.


So add up your blessings, I say;


Make Thanksgiving last more than a day.


Enjoy what you've got;


Realize it's a lot,


And you'll make all your cares go away.


By Karl Fuchs

Thursday, November 19, 2009

PUBLIC AFFAIR, SECRETLY EXPECTING - Heidi Rice


Public Affair, Secretly Expecting is amazingly sensual and the affair between the handsome Irish actor Mac Brody and the English shopgirl, Juno absolutely sizzles off of the pages.

In Hot Shot Tycoon, Indecent Proposal the reader was introduced to Connor Brody and Daisy and their close friend Juno. Now in this book Juno is determined to help her two best friends by physically demanding Connor's brother Mac attend their upcoming wedding. This determined young woman meets his flight at Heathrow and demands he listens to her. However, Mac thinks a photographer is recognizes him and so he grabs Juno and kisses her. To both of their surprises the kiss knocks them both sideways. However, there are secrets in Mac and Connor's childhood which prevent Mac from agreeing to attend and wedding and Juno returns empty handed.

Mac is not the only one with secrets as six years earlier Juno had a horrible experience with a man and it's taken her this long to get over it. She's miffed that Mac wouldn't attend but the kiss reawakened something in her and she decides to make an effort with her life and her appearance. On the Brody's wedding day she absolutely sparkles and is beautiful but then there is a wedding crasher in the form of Mac Brody and he's there not for his brother because he can't forget the woman nor the kiss and he's determined to see Juno.

As only Heidi Rice can pen, the story, the attraction and the romance becomes intensely passionate and these two are drawn to each other and so as with most love stories they act on their attraction at Mac's hotel suite. Of course the press get wind of their one night stand and so Mac feels the only way to put a stop to it and have a little more time with Juno is to wisk her away to his home in the US at Laguna Beach.

I was actually breathless while reading this book, just reading how Juno opens up to Mac, how they both interact, how they both share their secrets, how close they become and then everything comes crashing down. Like the Laguna surf, it's a wave that knocks them down, makes them dust themselves off and in the end get that wonderful and special happy ending because of forgiveness and trust. It's a sensual ride you won't want to lose the opportunity of reading.

Book Description:

The shop assistant, the superstar...

Mac Brody's Hollywood life is far removed from his turbulent youth - and that's how he likes it. The legendary bad boy refuses to be judged by Juno Delamare for declining his brother's wedding invitation... ...and a scorching LA affair!

But he can't get feisty Juno out of his head! So he goes to the wedding - to strip away her defences and her sexy bridesmaid dress. When their steamy night hits the headlines, Mac sweeps Juno away for a two-week affair... Soon Juno realises she has more than memories to hold dear!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

THE MAVERICK'S VIRGIN MISTRESS - Jennifer Lewis (Texas Cattleman's Club)



The Maverick’s Virgin Mistress by author Jennifer Lewis is an impressive and spectacular addition to the Texas Cattleman’s series with sizzling passion and intrigue.

As the author states in her introduction, Alicia Montoya is a 26-year old virgin who has been raised in a convent and sheltered by her older brother Alex Montoya. She’s met a member of the famous Texas Cattleman’s Club, a very handsome and charming man by the name of Rick Jones who is hiding his true identity. A fire breaks out at El Diablo, her brother’s ranch and it presents the perfect opportunity for Alicia to explore her relationship with Rick, so she lies to her brother and seeks the protection of Rick at his hotel room for a few days. Yes her innocence is sweet but her attempt to change that status and how the author portrayed their joined passion was beautiful to read.

Rick Jones is actually Justin Dupree, a man known as a very rich shipping magnate, one that dates high profile women and goes by the alias because of the press. Women when they become aware of him usually will go to any lengths to become his next girlfriend due to his wealth. Alicia is a breath of fresh air and he wants to get to know her not as Justin but as Rick Jones. He decides to take it slow but Alicia has other ideas, she wants a relationship full of passion and I promise you Justin delivers and their romance begins immediately at his hotel and sizzles right off of the pages. It’s sweet, tender, romantic and full of passion. However, what was so special about this man as he took the time to get to know Alicia and was surprised by her passion for the town’s historical society to preserve Somerset and her occupation as the museum’s curator.

When I originally read the series years ago, there was always intrigue and this book is no exception. The fire set at Alicia’s ranch is under investigation for arson and Justin’s friends who have also suffered an arson fire think Alicia’s brother Alex is involved. However, there’s more, Alicia has talked about her brother to Justin and when she finds out through a friend he’s lied about who is actually is, then the fireworks begin.

Alicia is devested by the lies Justin has told her even though he was going to tell her who he was upon his return from a business trip. This man, who has not trusted, realizes what they’ve shared together is important plus her sweetness and caring personality makes him realize she’s the “real deal” and that he adores her. One is left to wonder if they can find happiness, forgiveness and will Alicia’s brother come to terms with her having a man in her life.
The Maverick’s Virgin Mistress was the “real deal”; it’s a love story that could happen anywhere in the world, a beautiful and emotional love story with a happy ending.

About the Series: The original series began in 1999 and ended in 2005 and then began again in 2009. Author Charlene Sands shares info about the series:

Texas Cattleman’s Club - The bible or given guidelines for this series gives good description of the amenities of this fictious cattleman’s club. TCC is a 26 room converted mansion that includes a golf course, riding stables, spa, and an air-conditioned pool house. Inside, you’d find meeting rooms, a game room, library, formal dining room and café. The cattleman’s club is exclusive to the wealthy millionaires in the Houston area.

Book Description:

Texas Cattleman's Club member Justin Dupree has met the perfect woman…too bad their relationship is built on a lie.

Her life in danger, Alicia Montoya turned to the one man she thought she could trust. Her new boyfriend—a tall, dark Texan—offered her refuge in his posh penthouse. And she eagerly accepted his proposal of protection…

…until she discovered her lover's true identity: Justin Dupree, notorious playboy and her beloved brother's enemy. She had given her virginity to a man who had betrayed her. How could she possibly accept anything this maverick said as truth?

PRINCE OF MONTEZ, PREGNANT MISTRESS - Sabrina Philips



From the very first moment he saw her he wanted her and was determined to have her for as long as he wanted! This thrilling and powerful love story by Sabrina Philips leaves the reader breathless as it begins so intensely leaving nothing to the imagination because it’s very obvious that Leon desires Cally like no other woman in his life. He makes his desire for her immediately clear.

Cally Greenway needs the chance to work on the restoration of two priceless paintings which would also give her resume a boost for future work. She’s been promised the restoration job if a London gallery wins them in the auction. She’s on pins and needles the night of the auction and notices the most gorgeous man she’s ever seen. Unfortunately, the gallery does not win the auction and she’s left with not knowing what to do other than to return to her hotel. However, the handsome stranger invites her out for a drink, she accepts and they kiss; the passion is overwhelming and to her astonishment and dismay he sends her away in a taxi back to her hotel.

Now weeks later, Cally is summoned to Montez to interview with the buyer of the paintings, the Prince of Montez and of course it’s Leon Montez the very same man who sent her away. How can she accept this job from the very same man who humiliated her? She has no choice, so accepts because of the reputation she will gain for future restoration work.

Leon decides he’ll be patient and she’ll come to him on his terms! He watches her restoration during the first days which totally distracts her. He keeps taunting her and is constantly reminding Cally about how much they want each other. When she can’t stand it anymore and gives in to the desire, the passion explodes between them and they realize during their lovemaking she wasn’t protected.

As the story unfolds the reader learns about each character. Cally’s given up quite a lot in her life, her painting and another wealthy man she thought she loved who in the end used her. A man she thought she could trust only to be betrayed. As for Leon, he was used by women wanting him for his wealth and what he could give them, not for him. He definitely had trust issues.

Cally’s entire stay on Montez is emotional and overwhelming. Even though Leon desires her like no other woman, he can’t seem to trust her motives for coming, her motives for the restoration and feels it’s the fame and the press she wants. Even 1when his reason for the mistrust is revealed, it doesn’t help one to understand his abruptness and obsession towards Cally.

Their affair explodes off of the pages and you begin to wonder will it continue or how will it end? That’s not all that explodes especially when Leon’s ex-sister-in-law shows up with accusations, her love blows up in her face. It’s too much in the end, she leaves heartbroken for Paris and then finds out she’s carrying Leon’s baby. Surprisingly enough she’s happy and seems to adapt. It reminded me of the fairy tale about a girl that jumps into a rabbit hole and how does she come out of it unchanged? Well the answer is, she doesn’t.

As only Sabrina Philips can pen, The Prince of Montez, Pregnant Mistress is an intense and passionate romance with many lessons for this couple to learn such as acceptance, forgiveness, trust and love. It’s simply a brilliant contemporary romance which in the end has a happy ever after.

Book Description:

Pregnant – by royal decree!

It’s the night of a most glamorous art auction in London, and Cally Greenway is due to win the restoration commission of her dreams… Until the paintings sell to an unknown bidder and, devastated and dashed, uncharacteristically Cally finds solace in the arms of a handsome yet ruthless stranger…

The very same man who bought her precious paintings – the Prince of Montéz! Leon summons Cally by royal decree – His Majesty wants a mistress: biddable, pleasurable…and pregnant?

Behind the Book:

“In terms of the story, I started knowing that I wanted to write a book in which the hero and heroine were new to one another from page one. My previous two stories were about couples with a shared past reuniting, and I wanted to try something different. When I was sunbathing on my honeymoon in Zanzibar I started contemplating how a girl might find herself going to live and work in the home of a wealthy alpha hero, and out of nowhere the heroine-as-art restorer idea was born. The auction opening scene – a delight to write, sprang to mind next, and then the story just took off!” Sabrina

For more on “behind the scenes” see Sabrina’s website

ROYAL BABY, FORBIDDEN MARRIAGE - Kate Hewitt (Snow, Satin & Seduction Series


Kate Hewitt has written an exciting, intriguing and passionate love story in Royal Baby, Forbidden Marriage which is part of Harlequin’s Snow, Satin and Seduction series. This contemporary has ups and downs, passion and secrets. It is a “royal” romance with the crown at stake for Prince Leopold.

His entire life Leopold has lived in the wings of this royal family. First his father died, then his mother was sent away and bought off and he was treated as the royal misfit. He also was left to pick up the messy pieces of his cousin Anders escapades. The dark and handsome Leopold was known as the playboy prince, left alone with no love, no family with only hatred and jealousy from his cousin. And then finally his selfish cousin abdicated his royal position to run away and marry the beautiful Phoebe Wells. Now his cousin has died in a reckless drunk driving accident, the King is ill and Leopold is next in line for the throne. However, there is one problem, Anders left behind an ex-wife, and son who is the heir, six year old Christian.

This royal story begins six years earlier with Leopold and Phoebe negotiating a pay off which she refuses. However, even though Phoebe believes herself in love with Prince Anders she is inexplicably drawn to this “dark playboy prince” Leopold, in ways she can’t explain. Now her ex-husband is dead and she is again faced with Leopold, only in her home city New York. He has come to tell her that the King is aware he has a grandson and wishes, no demands to see him and has sent Leopold to bring them back to his country Armanes. The King is an unpleasant man who is selfish and known to only think of what he wants and he desires his grandson Christian. The Kings plan is to make his grandson the future King. Prince Leopold is made aware of the plan upon his return to Armanes along with Phoebe and Christian. He has worked so hard to change his reputation, move his country forward. He can’t get this woman who so many years ago, left her mark on him and he also feels protective towards Christian. Leopold remembers his unloved childhood and how he was treated, he remembers everything and vows to come up with a plan for the good of Phoebe, Christian and himself.

Leopold realizes one thing after spending only one evening with Phoebe, that’s she’s a good mother, she’s worked hard to create a loving environment for Christian and she’s also created a business to provide for them both. He also realizes that she’s very attracted to him and he uses that, inviting her for dinner both in New York and when they arrive back in his country. What neither Phoebe nor Leopold count on is the magnetic attraction they feel towards each other, like a moth to a flame, combustible, powerful, so full of desire they don’t fight it, act on their feelings and then realize that Phoebe might be pregnant. He proposes marriage if she finds herself pregnant because of course the baby would be his heir.

As much as Leopold fights it, one secretly wonders if he’s softening because one can certainly see that he adores Christian, he’s attracted to Phoebe and won’t let the King hurt either one of them, no mater the cost. Captured memories in this wonderful love story are many family outings with the three of them having a marvellous time, family time together. It clearly obvious Christian adores Leopold and sees him as a father figure.

However, things have a way of changing when secrets are revealed; they make people look deep into themselves to see what’s important and that’s what I personally adored about this future King and this contemporary romance. How in spite of his childhood, his anger towards the ruling monarch and his hatred for his cousin, he had a deep responsibility to his people and to Phoebe and her son. This alpha was tough, honourable and a changed man thanks to hard work, his people and the two people he was trying to protect.

As for Phoebe, her undying love for her son, her determination not to give up protecting him and her determination to stand up to Leopold and declare her feelings of love for him was amazing to read. Royal Baby, Forbidden Marriage is one spectacular, emotional and roller coaster romance, one you won’t want to miss!

Bool Dsecription:

Six years ago Phoebe Wells was offered fifty-thousand dollars to leave the Amarnes palace and turn her back on all that she thought she loved. She refused. Now the past is back to haunt her, and she will have to stand fast once again.

The fierce Prince Leopold isn't interested in widowed Phoebe, but he is interested in her child, his cousin's boy, whose rightful place is as heir to the throne. Leo knows Phoebe cannot be bought, but she might be persuaded—as his convenient wife….


Behind the scenes:

‘Royal Baby, Forbidden Marriage, which is set in the fictional Scandinavian country of Amarnes. I had great fun researching fjords and Danish food.” From Kate’s website

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Desert Prince, Blackmailed Bride - Kim Lawrence


Gabby has a serious problem. She's in a foreign country and her brother has been jailed for drug trafficking. He's always had a problem with pretty women and he let one talk him into taking a stuffed animal with him on the plane and was arrested. As his sister, she feels responsible and pleads his case but is told nothing can be done. So she storms the King's palace to plead her case only to meet the handsome Prince Rafiq. Immediately, there is bantering and he realizes she is strong, fierce and would make a wonderful wife for his "weak" brother so he blackmails her into meeting his brother and hopefully marrying him in the end.



The sparks fly between Gabby and Rafiq and they both fight it all the way. What Gabby realizes about this proud man when he spills that he's dying that this country and its future are first and foremost for him, and he would sacrifice anything to make sure it's safe and stable, even at his own happiness. She also falls desperately in love with him and at every turn he fights his attraction until his kisses her and then everything changes for them both. However, it's always unspoken and at the back of everything.


Things get out of control when Gabby meets Rafiq's younger brother. He reminds her of her own and she actually likes him. But she makes one mistake, she tells him his brother's secret and then he leaves the country. Rafiq mistakes it for his lack of responsibility, but in the end, it's entirely something different. However, he's angry and then the most unexpected thing happens, Gabby comforts him and they make love.

Trust me, that's when the entire story changes but you'll have to read Desert Prince, Blackmailed Bride to see what happens to the virgin temptress and the proud, dying, honorable sheikh. One thing is for sure, the Prince and the Princess find equal ground, surprises and a happy ending which was brilliant as crafted by author Kim Lawrence.


Book Description:

Rafiq Al Kamil, heir to the desert kingdom of Zatara, thinks innocent Gabby will be the perfect convenient wife for his brother. But Gabby isn't as biddable as she seems…. Now Rafiq will have to persuade her!

Except the more time Rafiq spends with Gabby the more he wants her—in his own bed. But when he discovers she's a virgin, the earth collapses under his feet. Suddenly, having her as his mistress is not enough— Rafiq demands she become his bride!

Friday, November 06, 2009

HOT ON HER HEELS - Susan Mallery (Lone Star Sisters)



Author Susan Mallery has crafted an emotional and very moving book, the last in her Lone Star Sister series, HOT ON HER HEELS. It was the two characters who drew me into this incredible story, Dana and Garth. Like all of Mallery’s books, the message is about family, friends, trust and love as only she can pen.



In the first three books one is introduced to the head of the Titan family Jed and his beautiful and spirited daughters, Lexi, Skye and Izzy, the three women who took Dana into their home and made her part of the family due to an abusive father. What was so wonderful to read throughout all three books was the love and support the four of them gave each other. So in the end, Hot on Her Heels was about trust, love, family, belonging, believing in those around you and in yourself.


Hot on Her Heels is Garth and Dana story, one that for me personally was an emotional roller coaster. However, Susan’s character development the bantering between the girls and Dana’s smart mouth to Garth had me howling with laughter. The authors humour shines though and it’s no wonder that Hot on Her Heels hit #5 on the New York Times Best Seller list this past week.


Throughout the series there are two apparent factors Jed and his illegitimate son Garth who vows to take down Jed because of what he did to Garth’s mother, Kathy. Garth’s plan is to get to Jed through his daughters so in each book it focuses on each sister, their father and their half brother with Dana in the wings ready to take Garth down. In the end, Garth plans to legally destroy Jed, take his business, home and all assets, everything making sure he goes to jail.


For Dana, Garth was the evil one, he messed with her friends the Titan sisters and she would take him down. She agrees to follow Garth and find out what he’s up to and is amazed also to learn that the youngest Titan sister Izzy is determined to reform Garth, love him and make all of the sisters forgive and bring him into the family. They’ve learned it’s not Garth to fear but their father Jed. The sisters agree with Garth’s but want Dana involved in the investigation to make sure everything is legal.


The story is fast paced in the beginning and things begin to happen quickly, Jed pays Dana a visit, she is run off the road and her rental car shot at. Garth decides to move Dana into his condo because now like his sisters she needs to be protected. Dana’s not sure what to think of the situation because he unsettles her and she likes being in charge. She’s tough, determined and not like the women he’s used to….no make-up, no designer clothes like his sisters and he knows she’s hiding something from her past. But he also realizes in the end what he wants is someone who stands up to him, someone who is a challenge.


Garth was a wonderful addition to the book because at first you hate him and then you forgive him for the way he treated his sisters. Watching him struggle with the “family thing”, learning to interact with his sisters and their husbands was humorous to read and then so was his relationship with Dana as it became more intense and serious. Could this woman who didn’t trust, who was strong be in danger of loosing her heart? And how about Garth, would he take down his father, become a part of a family and would he let his guard down and let Dana in?


Towards the end of the story, as a reader who loves a happy ending, I began to wonder would Garth and Dana find their happy ever after? As much as they seem to be a great couple with incredible chemistry, there are many obstacles they both face. Dana struggles with the fact that the women he has dated are models, socialites who wear designer clothes where she hasn’t worn a dress in years. With the love and support of the Titan sisters, they help her with some of those issues. However, it’s constant in her mind that Jed reminded her she would never fit in because she was “white trash”. Then on top of everything else she meets Garth’s ex-fiancé and again questions her place in his life. Does she dare take a chance, risk heartbreak and when she figures it out, tell him how she feels?


But the same applies to Garth because for most of his life he has had to trust himself and has only had one friend he could count on. Like Dana he has a past, one that left both physical and mental scars plus a mother because of a tumour would never be the same as Jed Titan refused financial help years earlier. Vengeance at what cost and would it is worth it? For Garth, love doesn’t factor into the equation as he tells his sister. Prepare yourself, there will be lots of tears shed while reading this love story, especially in the final chapters.


Again, Susan Mallery has written such a beautiful, intense and wonderful story. It’s undoubtingly one I will cherish and long remember.


Behind the Book (A Border’s Interview)


Question: Scene you like most and would never cut:
“Hmm…I’m not sure there’s one scene in particular that I love the most, but there are a lot of scenes that I loved. The first kiss ranks high, of course. The realization that the heart is in danger, that sort of combination of panic and giddiness.


The scenes that mean the most to me are those scenes that show internal growth. Love changes a person, and I like to see those changes. One of my favorite scenes in HOT ON HER HEELS comes about midway through the book. Dana has never been a girly-girl. She prides herself on her toughness and her ability to take care of herself no matter what happens. She doesn’t do dresses or high heels. But then Garth invites her to be his date for a fancy benefit.


Despite her best intentions, Dana is falling for Garth, which feels as scary to her as falling backward from the roof of a Dallas skyrise. She wants him to like her, wants almost desperately for him to look at her with that special fire in his eyes that a man gets when a woman dresses up for him. For the first time in her life, she wants to be feminine. So she calls the best fashion expert she knows, Lexi Titan. Pregnant Lexi takes great delight in playing fairy godmother to Dana’s Cinderella. That scene was a lot of fun to write… and the scene in which Garth sees Dana in her finery was probably even more fun!” Author, Susan Mallery
Book Description:


Dana Birch vowed never to put herself at the mercy of a powerful man. She became a deputy so that she could take care of herself and protect those she loves. Especially her best friends, the Titan sisters.


Twenty years ago, Garth Duncan swore revenge on Jed Titan for abandoning Garth and his mother. Now he's back to fulfill that promise, even if Jed's daughters get caught in the crosshairs. All that stands between him and his goal is Dana, her gun and a growing passion that can't be denied….

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

November Recipe of the Month - Russian Tea Cakes with Hot Chocolate



This month I'm honoring the Russian alpha Maksim Rostov from Jennie Lucas November release The Christmas Love-Child, a Harlequin Presents Extra. His Grace loved to have hot chocolate with her family. One of their homes was located in Russia so with the holidays soon to be upon us, enjoy!


Russian Tea Cakes
Serves: 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar, plus more for rolling cookies
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
Directions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Cream butter in a large mixing bowl. Add the vanilla then gradually add the 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Sift the flour, measure, then sift again with the salt. Add gradually to the butter mixture. Add the pecans and mix well.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten slightly using the bottom of a glass, then bake for 20 minutes, or until edges are very lightly browned. Remove the cookies from the baking sheets and roll in powdered sugar while still hot.

Cool on wire racks and roll cookies again in powdered sugar before serving.
Once they are completely cooled, cookies may be stored in airtight containers for up to 1 week.


Hot Chocolate (serves 4)

4 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup sugar

Directions

In a medium saucepan, heat 4 cups of the milk over low heat, being very careful not to let the milk boil. In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa, sugar, and the remaining 1/2 cup milk. Add the cocoa mixture to the warm milk, and continue to warm the cocoa until hot.

Pour into 4 mugs and serve along with the garnishes.

Garnishes:
1 toffee candy bar, crumbled (recommended: Heath Bar)
Mini marshmallows

THE CHRISTMAS LOVE-CHILD – Jennie Lucas (Snow, Satin and Seduction Collection)


The Christmas Love-Child is the most perfect and romantic love story for the Holidays. Of course, it’s brilliantly crafted by author Jennie Lucas and this time her hero is the most sensual, ruthless and handsome Russian alpha with the most incredible name, Prince Maksim Rostov.

Maksim is known for being ruthless and will stop at nothing to seal a deal. What he now wants he can’t have because his mistress has gone to his competition, is engaged to the CEO and has guaranteed him the oil deal with her father. However, like all successful businessmen, Maksim knows that Alan Barrington has a secretary who worships him, one that he believes if he can get her to tell him Alan’s secrets, then he’ll get the deal back.

Grace Cannon is secretly in love with her boss, and he uses her in the most inappropriate way, over works her, uses his charm on her, she’s underpaid, plus she lives in the basement of his home and she pays him rent. On top of everything else, she an innocent and is devoted to her family. So much so, she’s trying to earn money to save their home back in California.

Its Christmas time and Alan sends Grace on an errand to purchase lingerie for his fiancé, the lovely and beautiful redhead Francesca who is Maksim’s past mistress. Maksim stages a meeting and absolutely sweeps her off her feet. However, it’s not one sided as Maksim sees not the plain woman before him, he actually sees her inner and physical beauty. He actually likes her, he shares with her things he’s never told anyone and I personally thought he just might have fallen in love with her. I know that Grace fell hard for this handsome prince.

Of course, as all powerful and handsome ruthless billionaires, he seduces her and then the worst thing happens, Grace believes he’s betrayed her when her boss fires her, leaves her without anything and so on Christmas Eve she returns home heartbroken to her family in California. She’s devastated and knows that they will now loose their home. On top of everything she finds out she’s expecting Maksim’s baby.

Christmas becomes an unhappy time for the couple, he demanding she marry him and return to Russia with him, plus the accusations they both hurl at each other were painful to read. And just when one doesn’t think it can become worse, he leaves her at his mansion, ignores her, they speak horribly to each other and just can’t seem to get past it all. Where has this man gone, the man she loved, the man she swore they could see into each others souls?

The Christmas Love-Child has it all, emotions, misunderstandings, miscommunication, mistrust and such passion, it consumes them both. What disappeared from their relationship was trust However, so many lessons this couple would learn especially Maksim as he would remember he’s always taken care of his own and he’d let Grace down by not being there for her, not protecting her and leaving his bride on her own. And for sweet Grace her journey is a little more painful but in the end so worth it all. Like all Christmas miracles this Prince and Princess come to understand each other and bask in the warmth of their love thanks to the very talented author Jennie Lucas.


Book Description:

It's Christmastime in London, and unwittingly Grace is swirled into the sumptuous and scandalous world of Prince Maksim Rostov. When the unworldly secretary learns he took her innocence in exchange for a business deal, she flees broken-hearted.

But when Maksim discovers Grace's pregnancy secret, the ruthless Russian drags her to his guarded mansion in snowy Moscow. There he'll keep her as his captive bride and unwilling princess….


Personal note to the Author: I’m so pleased you went ahead with your Russian alpha as I fell in love with him!

Jennie Lucas Website

Monday, November 02, 2009

NOVEMBER CONTEST - The Millionaire's Misbehaving Mistress - Kimberly Lang




I'm offering this month Kimberly Lang's The Millionaire's Misbehaving Mistress, a wonderful book. Stop by Kimberly's Facebook Page and write on her wall or follow her.

For an additional chance, stop by The Writing Playground Blog on November 13th. It's their fourth birthday so celebrate with the authors and post a comment.

Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact the winner.

Book Description:

As Dallas's most eligible bachelor and heir to his family's fortune, billionaire Will Harrison knows how to handle the paparazzi—but his little sister Evie is a worry….

Miss Behavior, etiquette expert Gwen Sawyer, has only three weeks to work her magic on Evie before a society ball, and so moves into Will's luxurious penthouse. However, she discovers too late that etiquette is the last thing on devilishly handsome Will's mind….

Kimberly's website
 

web page counters