Sunday, January 31, 2010


Bought: The Greek Baby is about revenge and hatred all directed at his ex-lover Eve because she betrayed him. The frustration, anger and lust Talos feels for Eve Craig literally leaps off of the pages as penned by the very talented Jennie Lucas.

For months Talos has been looking for Eve and now his men have found her in London while she was attending her stepfather’s funeral. They’ve tailed her car and witnessed, before their eyes, her getting into a car accident which has resulted in amnesia. To top it off, when he arrives and speaks with the doctor he is told she is pregnant with his child. Before she regains her memory and because of the selfish person she was, he’s determined to marry her immediately to protect their baby at all costs.

I could not stop thinking about how it would feel to be that attracted to someone, to let your guard down and then to be betrayed and almost loose everything. Of course one would want to get even but for him to still be fighting the passion he felt for her….. what an emotional roller coaster for Talos.

Before she leaves London, Eve insists she stop and get her passport and things at her deceased step-fathers home. What she finds out and sees she doesn’t like. She views her bedroom, the designer clothes and finds out from the housekeeper how much her step-father loved her and is told she didn’t even return home for the holidays. She’s saddened that she was that selfish. She also finds out from Talos that she was a party girl, travelling with friends all over the world.

So Talos forms a plan…..he wants to take her places to force her memory. So the first stop is Venice where they originally met. Every man in Venice can’t keep their eyes off of her due to her beauty and figure and it makes her feel uncomfortable and cheap. So she goes shopping for a simpler wardrobe and cuts her hair. Talos can’t believe her new look, he remembers the passion they shared, and when they made love, she was a virgin. He also remembers how she almost cost him his wealth and company when she turned over important papers to his rival.

When they bump into an old friend in Venice who volunteers his Tuscany home for their wedding, he takes him up on it and she agrees. However, immediately after the wedding, he’s so frustrated with her because in this amnesia state, she’s sweet, wholesome and he’s so very frustrated and angry, he whisks her away and they fly to their home in Athens, leaving Eve bewildered and upset.

Could this get any worse? Yes it does and more! In his frustration for her to remember her betrayal, Talos is cruel. He takes her to a party where his rival was attending and forces her to dance with him. Still she doesn’t remember. And then he takes her to her favorite restaurant and tells her what’s she did and still no memory. She’s shocked at what she did, apologizes and then she tells him no matter what, she loves him.

In a dream she remembers a little and asks about her family which Talos can’t answer because they never discussed their families they only made love! Then Eve remembers and it’s quite amazing because she was also out for revenge against Talos. It was let’s say, an unbelievable twist to this magnificent story.

As a reader of romance this particular romance had so many twists and turns, was very intense, and full of revenge it kept me up most of the night. My heart was pounding, my emotions were all over the place and I so loved this story and wished for a happy ending and I got one! Forgiveness, understanding and what’s important LOVE and that’s what Bought: The Greek’s Baby was all about……..a fabulous love story with an emotional happy ending! 

USA Today Bestseller

About the book

Jennie Lucas website

Book Description:

American beauty Eve Craig fell under the spell of powerful Talos Xenakis in a hot-blooded Athens encounter….

Three months later Eve has lost her innocence—and her memory!

But she has aroused Talos's desire and his anger—she has betrayed him. So what better way to punish the woman who nearly ruined him, than marry—and destroy—her? Only she's now carrying his love-child….

Friday, January 29, 2010

RUTHLESS MAGNATE, CONVENIENT WIFE – Lynne Graham (Pregnant Brides Series, Book 2)

Again Lynne Graham writes a powerful, charged and roller coaster romance with Ruthless Magnate, Convenient Wife.

Sergei is one arrogant and demanding man. He was married once before and it didn’t last and he mistrusts women. He decides to have his people interview marriage candidates and Alexa is chosen. However, she’s in-love and pregnant with another man’s baby so she takes the money and pays off her mother’s debut but in order to do so, her sweet twin Alissa must now step in to fulfil the contract. However, she’s not aware of what the contract entails, especially about the intimacy and the child she will need to conceive and then give up.

Sergei is powerfully attracted to Alissa and she appeals to him like no other woman and it frustrates him. He’s puzzled that she seems different from his reports but he can’t seem to keep his eyes off of her. This arrogant Russian is demanding, he flaunts himself at other women and he’s also very handsome and straight forward. What Alissa likes about him is his honestly, his directness, how he adores his grandmother and for all his wealth and power he doesn’t take advantage. He’s polite, courteous and made her feel very feminie.

This Russian alphas father was in and out of prison, his mother a drunk, his childhood was dark and troubled ending with the death of both parents when he as a young teen. So he went to live with his grandmother, the woman he adored. The same woman he wanted to please by marrying again and giving her a grandchild.

Sergei couldn’t stop wanting her. He loved her eyes, her freshness, her lush curves and she seemed so different from her profile. She was nothing like her picture, she was sensitive and that didn’t add up. And then on their wedding night he finds more surprises, she’s a virgin and he didn’t use protection. Even though he knows with the contract says, he wants to take things slowly and enjoy her a little longer. Then everything comes crashing down when he finds out about the sisters fraud…..Alexa signing the contract and taking the money and Alissa actually marrying him!

Just when you think there might be a chance for Alissa and Sergei, Alissa comes clean and tells him everything Alexa has done. He’s furious and decides there are only two ways to proceed, he prosecutes the sisters or he keeps her where he wants her, in his bed! The other stipulation they stay married for a year so as not to hurt his grandmother. And then the unexpected a three week honeymoon on a yacht, a surprise visit in Turkey to see her sister and the most unexpected and alarming realization that’s she’s pregnant.

Ruthless Magnate, Convenient Wife had a very charming and happy ending especially for Sergei when he realizes from their first meeting, then seeing the “bad” twin in action, and spending time with his wife how he can never let her go and that he loves her. It’s a lovely ending for the two of them because they deserve happiness and a family.

Book Description:

Billionaire in need...

Sergei Antonovich, a Russian billionaire, was famous for being knee-deep in stunning supermodels and aspiring actresses. But not one was suitable bride material. Would he ever grant his ageing babushka her dearest wish and present her with a grandchild?

Of a bride and a baby...

So, why not handle this challenge as business? Without emotion, but with a contract of convenience that granted him the perfect deal: a wife he’d bed, wed, get pregnant...and then discard...

Lynne Graham’s website

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Magnate’s Mistress, Accidentally Pregnant is not just a believable love story set in the beautiful Caribbean; it’s magnificent and full of powerful emotions between a ship building billionaire and an accountant. It’s intense emotion and their affair sizzles off the pages, like the hot Caribbean sun!

Leaving behind her cheating fiancé and her “crazy” family, Ally Smith sets out on a Caribbean adventure that should have been her honeymoon, staying at a not so nice hotel. And then she spots him one sunny Caribbean day, the most handsome man she’s yet to see and the attraction between them is immediate. She meets him at a harbour where yachts and boats are moored. They discuss the boat he’s restoring and he asks her out for a meal because their attraction is so immediate they don’t even make it to dinner, they return to her hotel and make love. It’s a whirlwind and sensual couple of days until Ally is called back to the states to deal with a family emergency. She leaves a brief goodbye note with no contact information.

Chris Wells and his family are prominent shipbuilding and racing owners and he’s determined to purchase the Circe part of his family history, his father’s first win. Chris was a racer today because of his father and particular yacht. And then he meets Ally, so the work is delegated to friends because he wants to spend time with her, lots of time. Trust me on this, the author is very graphic with amazing, sizzling and sensual scenes, And then abruptly their time together ends. However, he bribes the hotel manager for her contact information and now weeks later he still hasn’t called her because her note “stung”; he felt he deserved more from her due to their intimacy and enjoyable time spent together.

Ally returns home to her business and partner and her “nutty” emotional family. She’s their caretaker, she’s the rock in her family and she’s also finds out she’s pregnant with Chris’s baby; it’s definitely his but she’s not going to contact him. And then the unbelievable happens, he calls her at the insistence of a family friend, her partner misinterprets who he is and spills the beans. Furious, he comes to Savannah to confront her and talk about World War III, you’ll shutter just reading about their reunion, quite different from their passionate time spent in the Caribbean together.

Be prepared for emotional ups and downs as penned by the very talented Kimberly Lang. She so nails the emotions and the passion which literally leaps off of the pages. Kimberly takes all emotions into consideration, Chris, Ally, his grandfather, her crazy parents and so much more and makes one wonder if this drop dead gorgeous and daring man and the sweet, sensible accountant will have a chance for the future. It brings a lot to mind. Should a marriage take place for the sake of the baby? Should it take place because of the passion they share? Because they come from two different worlds and life style, do they have a chance?

Magnate’s Mistress, Accidentally Pregnant is truly a beautiful and passionate love story and in the end, one of give and take, sacrifice and understanding what’s important, the person you loved!

Behind the Book:
Kimberly Lang talks about her ideas behind her book at I(Heart)Presents

Kimberly Lang’s Website:

Book Description:

Pregnant by the wild and wicked billionaire!

Ally Smith might have dumped her cheating fiancé, but she refuses to waste her non-refundable honeymoon in the Caribbean!

Trying to embrace her freedom, Ally meets sexy stranger Chris Wells… Not recognizing him as the famous thrill-seeking tycoon, Ally throws caution to the wind and allows Chris, with his hot body, to sweep her into an even hotter summer fling!

But back home Ally realizes that, unlike her tan, memories of their wild night will never fade… Oh-so-sensible Ally is expecting the playboy's baby!


The very talented India Grey has written the most incredible love story with a strong heroine and an equally strong hero set in a lovely location, Tuscany in Powerful Italian, Penniless Housekeeper. The title is misleading so don’t be fooled. This particular love story is simply delightful, amazing, and will have you crying buckets at the end.

One is immediately introduced to Sarah Halliday and her sweet daughter Lottie. At the beginning of the book you will learn that the little girls’ father is not present and is due to marry someone else. He doesn’t contribute to her support which makes it doubly hard on Sarah plus the fact that her occupation as a caterer, the jobs are few and far between. During her last job she dropped the engagement cake so she’s not working and money is tight.

How Lorenzo and Sarah met sets the theme of the story and my heart ached. Sarah, her beautiful step-sister and friends are at a bar for a bachelorise party. One of the friends has organized a scavenger hunt and the item at the top of the list is to find an eligible bachelor. As the evening begins, Sarah by accident meets Lorenzo and they kiss but due to poor self-esteem, Sarah thinks he’s laughing at her and flees. Of course he follows and sees her walking across a field and that brings to his mind the film he wants to produce based on an Englishmen’s novel which was written in this very location. He’s determined to get the film rights as this has been his dream for years.

Do you believe in coincidence and meeting again? Ms. Grey shifts early chapters from England to Tuscany and the countryside where her sister and future husband have a farm house, and where the wedding will take place. Due to lack of money, Sarah has agreed to cater the early events and the wedding feast as her present to her sister. As fate would have it, there is a horrible storm, the roof leaks and they are forced to seek help from a nearby neighbor who turns out to be Lorenzo, the same man Sarah kissed in England. He offers his home to her family, the wedding party and guests especially when he finds out that Sarah’s father is the very same man who wrote the book and she’s owns those rights.

Sarah is the most loveable character, she gives so much to her family and daughter. She cleans, cooks, is the most amazing mother and Lorenzo recognizes that in her. He sees both her inner and outer beauty. As the days before and after the wedding take place he does special things for both she and her daughter. And in the end, he offers her a chance to stay on in Italy as his housekeeper, hoping to soften her up so he can get the rights to her book. What he doesn’t count on is how much she and her daughter will come to mean to him.

Lorenzo Cavalleri is the most interesting Italian alpha. He was not the ruthless type; he was warm, creative, an accomplished film producer, recently divorced and had a few secrets. Two to be exact……his infertility and his desire for movie rights of her father’s book. He’s driven to produce the movie of his dreams yet he’s not ruthless about how that might occur. He finds Sarah’s luscious curves appealing, loves how she’s not afraid to enjoy food, sees what a good mother she is and tries to make things easier for her, while she’s preparing for her sister’s wedding. Lorenzo and Sarah were well matched and brought out the best in each other.

When he had to attend a movie premier in Venice, he asks Sarah to go with him, telling her they will also see his ex-wife. Sarah’s aware of how beautiful she is but to Lorenzo, its Sarah who is the beautiful one. She’s treated like an A-lister; she’s groomed, coiffed, made-up, designer gowns and all. However, he misses her natural style….her curls, her curvy figure, her non-made up face and then they come together and it’s all over for them both. However, like all love stories when it’s revealed to Sarah that he wanted the movie rights along, she’s devastated because she feels used and returns home to England.

Be prepared in the final chapters for tears when Lorenzo reveals how much Sarah and Lottie mean to him. It’s such a fabulous ending as only this extremely talented author can pen. India Grey makes this story so believable and weaves such warmth between Sarah, Lottie and Lorenzo, this book is destined for awards!

Behind the Book:

Blog posts on PHS Book Club:

More about the book at I(Heart)Presents:

Book Description:

Though Sarah Halliday is very ordinary, her dangerously attractive new boss is not content with her scrubbing the marble floors of his Tuscan palazzo….

Instead she finds herself catapulted into Lorenzo Cavalleri's star-studded life—with a wardrobe to match! Makeup masks her blushes, silk evening gowns flatter her fuller figure, but underneath Sarah's still the shy, frumpy housekeeper Lorenzo hired…and not the sophisticated bedroom siren he seems to be expecting….

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Meet Author Lucy King - Debut Harlequin Presents Author

Lucy King Bio:

I'm a newly signed Mills & Boon Modern Heat author.

In September 2008 my entry A Bid for Love won the Harlequin Mills & Boon 'Feel the Heat' Competition. It's out now in the US as Bought: Damsel in Distress.
Lucy's Website


I would like to welcome Lucy King, Harlequin Presents debut author of Bought: Damsel in Distress which will be released January 2010. Lucy, can you tell us a little about the book?

Lucy:  Thank you for the warm welcome - it’s great to be here! And it’s very exciting to see the release of my first Harlequin Presents.

Bought: Damsel in Distress tells the story of Emily and Luke, who meet when Emily’s sister puts her up for auction on the internet and Luke ‘wins’ her. Although they are wildly attracted to each other from the start, Emily doesn’t need rescuing and she certainly doesn’t need a man, and as a result of his wife’s death, Luke has no intention of ever falling in love again. Or so they think...

Is there a back story for Damsel in Distress? How did you come up with Luke and Emily’s characters?

Lucy:  The initial spark for the story came from watching an episode of the BBC’s Top Gear in which their ‘Star in a Reasonably Priced Car’ segment featured the singer James Blunt. During the interview he happened to mention that he’d once put his sister up on eBay  as a damsel in distress and that she’d ended up marrying the man who bid for her. When I heard it, I thought how romantic is that? Possibly a bit odd, but definitely romantic.

Anyway, a lightbulb went off in my head and after some frantic scribbling I had what I hoped would be an original and fun setup. So then I had to think about what sort of characters would find themselves that situation and why. I ended up working backwards, asking my characters a lot of questions, and generally trying to think of ways to make their lives as difficult and emotionally challenging as possible.

Since you’re a new author, would you please share your call story?

Lucy:  With pleasure! After winning the ‘Feel the Heat’ contest in September 2008, I sent in my first three chapters, and following a discussion with my editor which led to six manic weeks of writing, submitted the rest just before Christmas.

I didn’t expect to hear anything for months, so you could have knocked me down with a feather when the phone rang in the evening of Jan 8th 2009 and there on the other end was Kim from Mills & Boon. In fact, I initally thought she was a telemarketer and nearly hung up. Thank goodness I didn’t! She said she loved my story, wanted to buy it and offered me a two-book contract. I didn’t come down off the ceiling for days.

What are you working on at the moment?

Lucy:  I’m working on my third book. It’s part of the ‘Young, Hot and Royal’ mini-series. I’m having great fun creating a fictional Mediterranean kingdom, a hot recently-crowned king and the girl who falls in love with him.

Do you plot your stories or let your characters lead you?

Lucy:  I don’t have a huge amount of experience yet, but I like to let my characters lead the story. In Book 2 I tried to make the characters fit the plot and it was a disaster! I find I tend to flit back and forth. I’ll start with the characters, who reveal the plot, and then often I’ll have to go back and alter something so that the story makes sense and their behaviour stays consistent.

What is the best thing about your job as an author?  What is the hardest thing?

Lucy:  There are so many good things it’s hard to identify the best. I guess one of the things I love is creating characters that seem so real to me I can’t believe they don’t exist. And when the story’s going well and the words are flowing there’s no better feeling.

On the other hand I find organising my time quite hard. Where do the hours go? Ok, so I have a part-time day job which occupies my mornings but surely email, Facebook and blogging can’t take up the entire rest of the day???

As the coming months bring two book deadlines, building a house and a new baby, I need to come up with a time-management strategy fast! Any tips would be greatly welcome.

What is something you definitely want readers to know about you?

Lucy:  Just how much I appreciate them. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without them.

When the day comes for you to retire from writing, what would you like your readers to remember the most about you and your writing?

Lucy:  I hope that day doesn’t come for many years - in fact, the thought of not writing makes me feel rather sad. But when it does, I think I’d like my readers to remember my characters and their banter. I love writing dialogue more than anything.

What are your currently reading?

Lucy:  I’ve just finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows and am in the middle of The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. It’s a ghost story set just after the Second World War, and I’m gripped! Both are quite different from the chicklit I natually veer towards, but am thoroughly enjoying broadening my book-reading horizons.

Who is your favorite author?

Lucy:  Hmm, that’s tricky. It depends on my mood. All the Modern Heat girls, of course. I love Jennifer Crusie and Jill Mansell, and, for complete wackiness, Jasper Fforde. His imagination is truly extraordinary.

Before I let you go is there anything I forgot to ask that you want the readers and fans to know?

Lucy:  This might be a bit cheeky, but I’d love them to know that Propositioned by the Billionaire, my second Modern Heat/Presents, which features a high-achieving PR exec, an untrusting venture capitalist and the occasional exploding handbag, will be out in July 2010.

Lucy, thanks so much for joining us at Marilyn’s Romance Reviews and sharing a little bit about yourself.

Lucy:  Thanks for having me. It’s been lovely. Sorry if I’ve gone on a bit much...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mortal Enemy, Immortal Lover – Olivia Gates from Awakening the Beast (A Collection of Six Sexy Bites)

Olivia Gates two characters Desiree and Javed literally explode off the pages with their shared passion in Mortal Enemy, Immortal Lover.

This was my first reading venture into the “nocturnal world” and was quite an enjoyable experience. I suspect it had to due with the author herself because I’ve read her sheikhs and royal series. At first I had to concentrate

Javed was an experiment, a little bit of everything, a hybrid that made him over a thousand years old. He had killed a multitude of vampires and demons and now he finds himself in a horrible situation, he’s met a human woman who has been driving him crazy. He knows he cannot act on his emotions because it would mean Desiree’s demise. When he goes to her home to tell her goodbye and give somewhat of an explanation, he attacked violently and to his surprise it’s by Desiree.

Desiree is an Eradicator and unleashes her power straight at Javed. When things finally cool down and explanations are given, they can finally act on the passion they’ve been holding back and oh what passion they possess. Reading their love story I could see them fighting the universe together and that they did when they were hunted down by ninety-four predators. When Javed realizes he might loose his love, he bites and sucks the life out of her making her, he hopes, immortal.

In the end, whatever the future held for both of them, this couple would fight it together like any other love story. I loved how Javed who had been fighting for over 1,000 years found love.

Behind the Book:

“It felt like coming home when I wrote the dark and intense love story of Javed and Desiree. The backdrop of the complex urban fantasy setting provided the perfect catalyst to ignite the sensuality –and the high stakes—surrounding them. And I can’t wait to write more about their universe and in the paranormal genre that knows no limits.” Olivia Gates  Website:


Enter the darkly seductive world that exists within Nocturne Bites with tales woven by some of the most spellbinding authors: Lisa Renee Jones, Olivia Gates, Linda O. Johnston, Barbara J. Hancock, Caridad Piñeiro and Lydia Parks. Let them take you on a thrilling ride where you'll catch a glimpse of sensuous, sexy men who share their wildest desires in ways you thought only existed in dreams….

From the moment they met, Javed and Desirée have shared an explosive passion. Yet Javed fears that being with Desi will put her in danger from the monsters that inhabit his world...monsters like himself. An immortal half-vampire, half-demon with both species’ powers and none of their weaknesses, even Javed may not be strong enough to save Desi from his enemies. He is determined to end their affair to protect Desi...and to tell her the truth about himself.

But Javed isn’t the only one with a deadly secret. For Desi is an Eradicator, a breed of human with special powers trained from childhood to eliminate all demons. Once their true identities are revealed, will these destined enemies destroy one another--or will their love be enough to overcome an otherworldly feud centuries in the making?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Jennifer Lewis charms and delights her readers with a tender love story in The Desert Prince. It’s set near the Arabian Sea in an ancient desert city with two strong and romantic lovers who had a past.

Salim Al Mansor is one handsome, honour-bound desert prince. He is the son that stayed in Salalah, Oman and was raised by a stern father to value his heritage and to marry the woman he chose for his son. Unlike his two other brothers who lived in North America, he obeys his father’s wishes. However, the marriage doesn’t work out because Salim can’t forget Celia Davidson, the woman he once loved while attending college in America. He broke her heart when he told her he was married and then four years ago he bumped into her again at a conference and they spent two wonderful days together. Again, he cut her loose breaking her heart.

Celia Davidson is an accomplished landscaper, a wonderful mother to a 4 year old daughter Kira who hasn’t divulged to the father that she exists. The very same father who has asked her to come to the desert and work on a hotel project with giving her an offer she can’t refuse. Can her heart survive? When will be the right time to tell the man who still affects her heart that he has a daughter?

From the moment they shake hands the sparks fly, their feelings ignite and it’s that way the entire time they spend together. However, in a way it’s a healing process for both of them because they discuss how much they loved each other in college, how much it hurt them both when Salim married, again how much Celia hurt when Salim sent her away a second time. It was also a time for Celia to get to know Salim’s brother and family as they were visiting. They as well could see how much this couple only had eyes for each other. The very first week they act on their feelings for each other; it’s explosive.

As with all stories there are hurdles…..Salim admits to his brother just as soon as he gets Celia out of his system he’s going to marry a suitable wife and produce heirs. And then Celia tells Salim they have a daughter together and he demands she bring Kira to meet him in Oman. Add to this the pressure his family put on him to marry Celia, Celia’s fear he’ll take their daughter away and the fact that the woman he later plans to marry shows up at the hotel job site.

The Desert Prince was such a joy to read. It was wonderful reading about all of the family, their interaction with each other, Salim and his brother Elan, his wife Sara and the children as well as Salim and his sweet daughter Kira and in the end when Salim realizes how much he loves, has always loved Celia… outstanding love story about second chances and a happy ending.

About the Book from Dear Reader:

"My first book, The Boss's Demand, told the story of the unfortunate but irresistible attraction between oil magnate Elan Al Mansur and his assistant Sara. Since it was published, I've received many e-mails asking whether there would be stories coming for Elan's brothers, who appear in the wedding at the end of the book.

I'm happy to say this is the story of one of those brothers. Salim Al Mansur, the dignified eldest in the family, never quite got over his college sweetheart Celia. Now he finds himself in dangerously close proximity as she designs the grounds for his newest hotel.

This book takes the reader to Elan and Salim's hometown of Salalah, Oman, an ancient coastal city looking out over the blue waters of the Arabian Sea. I had fun catching up with Elan and Sara while I wrote this book, and I hope you enjoy Salim and Celia's reunion romance." Jen
Book Description:

Mr. February: Salim Al Mansur, desert prince
His Quest: Marry and produce an heir
His Quandary: The woman he wanted, he couldn't have

He'd been determined to keep their relationship strictly business. Though seeing Celia Davidson again had Salim reconsidering seduction. Yes, he'd once rejected her because she would not make a suitable bride. But surely Celia understood he could not deny his duty, and the lovely American could never give him an heir.

Or had she already done so?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

THE DESERT KING'S HOUSEKEEPER BRIDE - Carol Marinelli (The Royal House of Karedes)

There are series and then there are spectacular series and that what every single Harlequin Presents author gave to The Royal House of Karedes.

Dramatic and stunning is all I can say about the last book which is Carol Marinelli’s contribution with The Desert King’s Housekeeper Bride. It was so amazing that it kept be charged and up all night reading it and absolutely not wanting it to end. As I read the last three chapters my heart raced because I new it was going to end dramatically and it lived up to that emotion and so much more!

Knowing that you were going to be King of a country would be hard on any man but not this future King, this desert sheikh Zakari He can’t wait but before he can rule his country Calista and take over the island Aristo he must find the missing pink Stefani diamond. Once he does that and he’s very sure he will, he will rule both countries as Adamas as it once originally was before a bitter family feud. The desert always clears sheikh Zakari’s head so that’s where he’s gone and he awaiting a maid from the palace to take personal care of him in everyway. However, she’s becomes unavailable and in her place a palace maid is sent thinking she’s going to clean and cook for him. Of course, this sexy and handsome sheikh has other ideas until he sees this prim, shy and curvy virgin.

Effie is a very sweet and sincere person, takes her duties at the palace very serious and misses her mother very much since she passed away. She loves her country but also has a love of Aristo where her mother once was a palace maid as well before leaving and arriving in the desert kingdom to live out her days in her little cottage. Effie has kept up on the politics of both countries and is aware Aristo’s king cannot have his coronation until the missing diamond is found. She is hard working, honourable and wishes to serve her King but when she arrives to his desert tent what she sees is the most amazing and handsome King she’s admired from afar. What she doesn’t count on is liking him, spending time talking with him, sharing a meal and in the end having him seduce her.

Zahir is used to getting what he wants especially in bed. He doesn’t make the time for kissing he only takes but on this occasion when he realizes that Effie is a virgin he makes sure it’s perfect for her. What he doesn’t realize is two things, 1) it’s perfect for him as well and 2) later that evening she’s wearing a gift from her mother, a necklace with a pink diamond the exact one he’s looking for and he puts two and two together with Effie’s stories about her mother. He realizes her mother had an affair with the King of Aristo and she’s the result. He whisks her back to his palace, demands they marry, lies with words of love and then the next day destroys her when he tells her the news.

How can the man she loves sink so low by lying with words of love to get the diamond and end the end for one reason only to be the ruler of bother countries? Effie’s devastated and the proud sheikh doesn’t understand. He likes Effie, she gives him peace and soothes him and he believes she’ll be a good Queen and mother of his children. She’ll have power, money, everything her heart desires so how can she turn away from him?

Personally I wondered how any author could tie all of these books together, with the two countries, the different families and their own personal stories and Carol Marinelli did it brilliantly. The last chapters, the strong emotions, the uncertain, the heartbreak and the oh so surprising ending full of twists and turns, they had me on the edge of my seat and I thought absolutely brilliant. And then the teaser because not all of the mysteries surrounding these two dynasties were solved as there is still one missing person and Ms. Marinelli left one hoping and dangling at the same time.

So if you’re a fan of The Royal House of Karedes, Carol Marinelli’s Wedlocked: Banished Sheikh, Untouched Queen might hold all of the answers. This will be part of her Dark-Heart Desert Men series.

USA Today Bestseller

Book Description:

Housekeeper Effie, a practical yet slightly frumpy virgin, has been summoned to the desert to serve the sheikh!

Ruthless Sheikh King Zakari had gone to seek solitude in the sands, but nights alone are not something this ruler is used to. However, with his housekeeper at his service, there's no need to allow his bed to grow cold….

After hot hours of passion, Effie's heart is near to bursting. But what she doesn't realize is that something has compelled Zakari to take her, a lowly servant, as his royal bride!

Behind the book – Carol Marinelli:

“I loved how awkward and shy Effie first appeared, yet just beneath the surface, she was intelligent an strong. And as the story revealed, there was something special about her – she just didn’t know it yet.

As for Zakari, he was my first sheikh, so he holds an extra-special place in my heart. I love Zakari!” CM

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Konstantos Marriage Demand – Kate Walker

This past December Kate Walker celebrated her 25th anniversary as an author. She is a master storyteller and The Konstantos Marriage Demand show cases her talent with an unforgettable, highly charged and emotional romance which will delight you as much as it did me.

Sadie Carteret is on a mission to protect her mother and little brother by begging if she must, the man she left standing at the altar five years earlier. He has obtained his revenge of her family for the way he was treated and now owns all of the Cateret’s holdings which include the family mansion. Sadie’s mother is very fragile and so she’s determined to approach her ex-fiancé and beg if need be to allow them to stay in their home. What’s she’s met with when she finally meets up with Nikos Konstantos is a man full of hatred for what her father did so many years ago to his family, the very same thing leaving them with nothing. Now he’s had his revenge and he’s going to rub her face in it!

Nikos Konstantos is stunned when he sees Sadie. She is still lovely and has the power to attract him but he’s determined not to make the same mistake again. However, the sensual pull between them is too much and when he can’t help himself during their meeting, he kisses her and the tension, need and want is still the same for them both. However, he’s determined to have the upper hand and demands she meet him for dinner and he offers her a proposition, no a demand, that she must accompany him to Greece as his hired wedding planner to plan his wedding. Can Sadie survive planning a wedding for the man she once loved and who is making her crazy? Is Nikos really getting married? Talk about a roller coaster with charged emotions!

While reading the first chapters of the book, it was very obvious this couple had been deeply hurt and manipulated by their families past hatred and revenge. Sadie was a pawn in her father’s plot years ago to take down the Greek family. It’s also obvious that Nikos is using Sadie and that he really hasn’t gotten over her nor she him. Their time spent in Greece is extremely rocky, with barbs, accusations hurled, yelling, name calling and on and on. However, under it all, one just knows they are confused and still care for each other. And then it happens, truths are told……they kiss, they make love and it gives one hope until a picture appears in a newspaper and Nikos feels again betrayed.

The Konstantos Marriage Demand with its emotional plot and intense passion will have Kate Walker fans adding this book to their “keeper” shelf. It’s second chance theme and the way it was executed by the author was exceptional.

Book Description:

The Greek’s ruthless reunion

Sadie Carteret and Nikos Konstantos were once blissfully in love. They planned the wedding of the year, and that their union would create a powerful dynasty.

But business and pleasure should never be mixed. Nikos was accused of scheming for Sadie’s money and title and was systematically destroyed by her family. The wedding was cancelled, the relationship in tatters.

Now the ruthless billionaire has built himself back up from scratch. He will clear his name and demand what was rightfully his. Sadie must love, honour and…..obey….


Again, author Carol Marinelli charms her readers with Innocent Secretary…Accidentally Pregnant and gives a new meaning to new beginnings.

This brilliantly crafted love story gives one so many thoughts to think about, like the true meaning of love and I so admired the heroine in this story. Emma because of her character, her strength and how she endured the hurt from the man she loved. When she should have walked away, she stayed and was there for him during his time of need. Both for his sister’s wedding and his father’s funeral, she was there supporting him and loving him. It showed one that yes love can hurt but real love could also make you strong. And strong she became when she did finally walked away.

Emma Stephenson new exactly what it was like living with a home full of men, how they treated women, using them and then casting them out of their lives. She also knew what it was like not having a mother and living a life feeling not wanted or loved by her father. Now, however, she had the responsibility of taking care of her father who was in a nursing home plus the new responsibility of a new job and a boss that was the most handsome man she had ever seen. He’s demanding, he’s arrogant, he’s rich and he’s off limits because of his reputation for going though women and disregarding them at a moments notice. She’s now faced with an even more pressing problem in her life, her desire to become an artist, the cost of the nursing home and now her sexy boss insists she must play his girlfriend at his sister’s wedding in Sicily. Will she be able to resists his charms? If she falls for him, will she escape being hurt because he makes it very clear he will never love nor marry?

Luca D-Amato is tall, dark, handsome and sexy man who never will commit. The reason is made known early in the book because of the abuse he heard and witnessed his father inflicting on his mother. It’s so deeply imbedded in his mind and heart that he doesn’t want to take a chance he’ll be like his father. However, working with Emma, seeing how bright, cheeky she is, she challenges him and she’s constantly in his thoughts from the moment he meets her. She’s different from the other women he’s dated, she’s a challenge, one he understands immediately he can’t do anything about it because he likes her and doesn’t want to hurt her. However, emotions become their highest for them both while attending the family wedding and they finally make love and then things go down hill.

As we all know, pasts sometimes affect one’s future and one can only hope there’s a chance for this couple. However, as in life, walls, barriers, emotions and harsh words get in their way and their short termed affair abruptly comes to an end. Add to that Emma finds out the truth of her mother’s death and realizes she’s pregnant. Then Luca’s father dies, his family expects her to attend the funeral, which she agrees to because he asked. If that’s not enough emotion, Luca finds out a secret his mother has kept from him.

Innocent Secretary…..Accidentally Pregnant is one I’ll read over and over again because it simply was that good. Besides the sizzling passion, the book brings a new beginning and second chances theme, and the reminder that love heals all! Thank you Carol Marinelli for this moving and magnificent book!

Behind the Book from Dear Reader:

“I had a very clear fission of Luca when he arrived in my mind….he smiled at me and I promptly melted. He crooked his finger and I bounded towards him like a puppy in the window….pick me, pick me!

Oh Carol!

I knew then that I was going to need a special heroine for Luca. Frankly, I’d have been putty in his warm hands, and would have made all the wrong choices (but, oh, so right at the time!) Thankfully, Emma has rather more self-control than her creator.

I loved finding out more about Luca…..getting to know the real man behind his rich playboy veneer and I hope you do too.” Carol

Book Description:

Sexy Sicilian boss – handle with care!

Plain Emma Stephenson might not look like a tycoon’s glamorous assistant, but for Luca D’Amato – a playboy who likes to play – breaking through her no-nonsense attitude is his favorite new game.

Sensible Emma thought all they’d be sharing was an office – not a bed! But she’s learning fast what being Luca’s personal assistant really means!

Now he’s standing there offering her a promotion, and she’s trying to find the words to tell him…she’s pregnant!

Ruling Sheikh, Unruly Mistress - Susan Stephens

The al Maktabi brothers...........Kings of the desert… Masters of the bedroom!

Ruling Sheikh, Unruly Mistress by the very talented Susan Stephens was definitely Cinderella/Prince love story but an unusual one.

I’m not sure I can pinpoint why I felt this way but it’s definitely a different sheikh romance. There’s a lot of interaction and dialogue between the two main characters Razi and Lucy and they are as different as night and day. Razi is the love them and leave them playboy prince but now it’s time for him to take the throne and he wants one last fling. His country, his brother and friends are very important to him but duty comes first.

As for Lucy Tennant, she’s English born an accomplished chef at one of Razi’s exclusive skiing chalets. She’s sweet, innocent and bright but lacks self confidence. Immediately Razi or as he calls himself Mac, seduces Lucy and brings her and introduces her to intimacy she never dreamed of and stirs unbelievable emotions. This couple are so different from each other one can’t imagine how explosive their affair is and how it abruptly ends.

Lucy finds out she’s expecting their baby and decides to travel to Razi’s desert kingdom. Their meeting is explosive, their time spent together in the desert amazing, seeing their twins sonagram beautiful and sorting out their future emotional to say the least. Its East meets West, compromise and understanding the past in order to have a future. It’s simply beautiful!

Author Susan Stephens weaves such an emotional, sensual and roller coaster romance set in the magical desert with such passion and hope for the future , a magical romance you won’t want to miss.


Duty vs Desire in the desert!

Women around the world sighed when Sheikh Razi al Maktabi declared his playboy days were over and duty would be his new mistress.

But he found time for one final fling before he took his desert throne, and curvy chef Lucy Tennant certainly whetted His Majesty’s appetite. A whiz in the kitchen, Lucy was a beginner in the bedroom, and Razi couldn’t resist one last challenge.

But one night has led to the scandal of the century! Lucy has unexpectedly arrived at the desert palace…proud, packed – and pregnant!

Friday, January 15, 2010


The Italian Billionaire’s Secretary Mistress was both explosive and a sensual journey with one determined and demanding Italian boss which takes alpha to a new level. For some this book might seem offensive because Riccardo Castellari was blunt, opinionated, determined and demanding with his secretary Angie. In the beginning his demeanour and the way he spoke to he was somewhat difficult to read but in the end and oh what an ending, it was brilliant how the very talented Ms. Kendrick brought him to his knees, teaching him a lesson on what it was to love this sweet young woman.

From the moment she was asked to be his secretary when he moved her from the typing pool she admired and soon loved him. This Italian successful billionaire she felt challenged by and worked very hard for him, making sure she was the very best secretary ever, from planning his schedule, to typing his memos, to making his coffee, and buying gifts for his family. As much as they worked well together and she knew he appreciated her skills, he really didn’t see her for who she was….sweet, warm, caring as a woman because she knew he considered her a “plain Jane”. Now on the eve of the office Christmas party he surprises her with the most beautiful designer red silk dress she’s ever seen and asks her to war it to the company party.

Riccardo Castellari made sure he choose well the new replacement for his secretary, the mousy Angie and he was glad because she was the very best and catered to his every need. He didn’t want someone fawning over him nor trying to get into his bed. He wanted efficient and that’s exactly was she was and he counted on her. However, when he sees her transformed wearing the red dress, wearing her hair down with a little make-up, he sees that she’s not mousy at all, she’s full of curves and his desire escalates, especially when he gives her a ride home after the party.

The chemistry explodes between them in her apartment and her very sexy boss ends up spending the night however making it very clear he doesn’t want to repeat it, he doesn’t do “love” or marriage and for Angie she’s heartbroken. After the holidays she realizes that she needs to get another job not only because she’s embarrassed, she’s also hurt. And then the unthinkable happens, he’s relentless in his sexual pursuit of her in the boardroom and suggests they go to his sister’s wedding in Tuscany and continue their affair and upon return to England, she’ll move on and work elsewhere.

Their journey is of course a rocky and at times a hurtful one especially for Angie and in the end, she makes a decision for her personal welfare, one that had this reader cheering. Will she find love and happiness? Can she survive without this time in Italy working for him, loving him and the stress of his family and his sister’s wedding? Well, you’ll just have to read The Italian Billionaire’s Secretary Mistress to find out and trust me,

About the book from the author’s blog:

“It's all about Riccardo Castellari - the powerful and sexy Tuscan tycoon. And Angie - sweet, mousey little Angie who has loved her terse boss ever since she can remember. I love this couple and really wanted to tell their story.

I love the cover, too....and not just the artist's brilliant depiction of the intense and inexplicable passion which grows between Angie and Riccardo. Look closely and you can see Big Ben - which looms up over the city like a benign friend. That's one of the fabulous things about being in London - it really does feel as if you've fallen into a picture post-card.” S. Kendrick

Thursday, January 14, 2010

RUTHLESS BOSS, ROYAL MISTRESS (The Royal House of Karedes) Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson takes her readers on a romantic and sensual journey with Ruthless Boss, Royal Mistress, a sizzling one that you’ll treasure for a long time.

Elissa and James are the perfect couple in and out of the bedroom but not so much in the boardroom. The differences that separate James and Lissa are unmistakable - but so are the sparks flying between them. Can those sparks of attraction be fanned into a fire of something meaningful, possibly love?

Personally, I’ve read every book in the series. Each should be considered a stand alone and I’ve been sincerely impressed how each Harlequin Presents author has tied the series together. In earlier books we were introduced to the beautiful, vivacious Princess Elisssa. She was loved by her sister , I think tolerated by her brothers and the female family members counted on her for fashion advice among other things. However, in this particular book, Natalie Anderson took her characters to new dimensions. I believe it’s the reason this book made the USA Best Seller list and I certainly can understand why. Its Lissa’s insure feelings about where she fits in with her family, her belief that’s she’s not good enough, her desire for a home and her belief that she’s not accomplished in anything; it was heart wrenching to read.

Lissa’s brother asked a favour of James Black the Australian millionaire. He wanted to send his sister away because she was high profile and with the mess in Aristo, the death of their father the king, an important diamond missing, the throne in jeopardy, the family wanted her gone! Lissa is charming, beautiful, the perfect hostess, a party goer, and due to her princess status and personality, everyone is drawn to her. However, her insecurities were a shock to me. Personally my heart ached for that reason; she was misunderstood, misjudged by friends, society, the press and most importantly not valued by her own family

James Black, well this alpha is sexy, hard working, even though born into money, he’s made a name for himself on his own through his determination. He also has short term relationships, doesn’t trust women due to a deceitful mother and fiancé who had affairs and caused him to be mistrusting. However, Elissa his new employee is a diaster. She can’t type, she can’t transfer a call, she can’t do a proper chart but she’s the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen and her sparkling personality, laughter and long legs intrigue him. She tries so hard that he realizes he won’t send her home; he’ll utilize her party planning skills to organize an important event, his new hotel grand opening in her home country, Aristo.

Be prepared for one of the most sensual journeys you’ll take with this couple when they board the aircraft for Aristo and the opening of the hotel. It’s during this time they come to grips with their passion, their feelings for each other and resolve personal issues and fall in love. It’s a magnificent love story; it’s really quite magical thanks to Natalie Anderson.

Behind the Book:  I(Heart) Presents:

“In Ruthless Boss, Royal Mistress, it is Princess Elissa’s job to organise the ultimate in exclusive parties to showcase her boss James Black’s new hotel on the island of Aristo. Now party planning might sound like the most fun job ever, but it is also a huge amount of work as our pampered Princess soon learns.

I had so much fun imagining what her party might be like – with absolutely no expense spared. I was dreaming of tiny, delectable canapes, chocolates like kisses from heaven and cool glasses filled with bubbles that burst on your tongue – yum! Yes, I always tend to think food first but I also imagined spellbinding decorations, sublime entertainment and the who’s who of Aristo on the guest list.

Sadly, despite her best efforts Liss doesn’t get to enjoy the party quite as much as she would have hoped – you can have nothing but the best things, but still not have the fun, and despite trying your best you can still stuff things up – ‘royally’ as Liss does! After the party however? Why then she and James might have a little private one of their very own that more than makes up for the earlier problems…” Natalie Anderson

NOTE;  Check back next month as Ruthless Boss, Royal Mistress, will be offered for my February contest.

Book Description:

Princess Lissa Karedes, renowned posh party girl, has been packed off to Australia to learn the meaning of hard work! But billionaire James Black, her wickedly sexy boss, has different ideas.

He won't be treating her any differently just because she's royal. But he is tempted to break his golden rule and bed his assistant! Lissa is dreadful at business and when she nearly costs him his reputation, he issues her an ultimatum: she's banned from the boardroom, but welcome to take a promotion…to his bedroom!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

DESERT PRINCE, BRIDE OF INNOCENCE - Lynne Graham (Pregnant Brides)

There's something quite powerful about a tall dark and handsome desert prince who knows what he wants and never lets anything stand in his way. That's just one of the things that make Sheikh Jasim in Lynne Graham’s Desert Prince, Bride of Innocence so unforgettable. It is the first book in her Pregnant Brides series.

Have you ever known deep within your heart that a couple should definitely belong together? That’s how I felt about the very sexy Prince Jasim and the lovely titan Englishwoman, Elinor who was his brother Murad’s nanny. This proud sheikh thinks he’s doing his sister-in-law a favor by luring the nanny into a sexual relationship which leads to her having to leave their employ. Jasim believes again, his brother has shown bad judgment when it comes to the lovely young woman and is sure his brother will cause another family scandal. What he and his brother’s wife don’t know is that at one time Elinor’s mother and Murad loved each other and that the man was only trying to protect her by offering her a job and had no interest in the lovely young woman.

Elinor has always known since her mother died that her father had no use for her and was constantly belittling her. He called her stupid and nothing she could ever do pleased him. So as soon as she could she left home went to school to become a nanny and was thrilled when the crown prince offered her a job taking care of his daughter. Now she’s had a horrible birthday and has come back to the estate and an empty house because the Rais family is on holiday. If that’s not bad enough she encounters the most handsome man she’s every seen in her life, Murad’s brother who seduces, shames and tricks her into having leave her position.

Being the proud, determined and hard working person she’s become, Elinor is determined to find another position while Jasim has other ideas and wants her to live with him as his mistress. As fate would have it, he leaves on business, only to return and find that this young woman is pregnant so he demands they marry because if they don’t, his heir won’t be accepted. Just when one thinks things can’t get more complicated, the wedding is a disaster and hurtful to Elinor due to lack of emotion and then she over hears a conversation between her new husband and Murad’s wife which is so upsetting that she flees.

Jasim after long months of looking for Elinor he finds her and his son, the son that will be the heir to the Quaram throne. As much as they both fight the physical it’s still very much there and so is the mistrust, especially for Jasim. He still believes she was out to get something from Murad, he mistrusts her and does not believe her explanations because his past has taught him never to believe a woman. First his mother left he and his father for another man, and the woman he was to marry a few years ago was not what she seemed. Now he must return back to Quaram with his son which means he must take his wife with him. Reading some of this was hard at times because you knew if they could both drop their guard, see what was right in front of them, they would have a chance to be a family.

As always, Lynne Graham is very good at weaving together a fast plot and colorful story along with interesting characters. The chain of events she inserts into the storyline upon their arrival at Quaram only adds to the roller coaster romance.

For readers of Harlequin Presents and the sheikh genre and for those who love a good romance with an alpha hero who sets pages on fire with passion. Lynne Graham’s Desert Prince, Bride of Innocence is a story not to be missed!

Book Description:

Prince Jasim bin Hamid al Rais was concerned that his womanizing elder brother was bewitched by his child's nanny—the throne of Quaram could be threatened by scandal! Though Elinor Tempest appeared to be a fragile beauty, Jasim wasn't fooled; he'd deal with this strumpet himself….

Only after he'd ruthlessly seduced her did Jasim discover Elinor really had been a virgin—and she'd fallen pregnant! A royal baby couldn't be born out of wedlock so, faster than the desert wind, Elinor became Jasim's unwanted bride….

Post From I(Heart) Presents:

"Life can often be tough and I like my protagonists to have suffered at some stage in their lives because I think it makes them more real. My lead characters in DESERT PRINCE, BRIDE OF INNOCENCE both have unfortunate backgrounds and this has affected them in different ways.

Jasim was rejected as a child because his mother left his father for another man and his father was very tough on him. Elinor lost her mother young and her father was an intellectual who treated her as though she was stupid and denigrated her career as a nanny. Elinor was left with low self-esteem while Jasim’s various experiences make him too quick to distrust women.

In many ways all of us are shaped and marked for life by our upbringing, sometimes positively but just as often negatively. In common with many other writers I draw on some unhappy childhood experiences of my own when I write and sometimes I do wonder if the sad memories are the most effective at firing our creative energy. I know that I will often use pieces and feelings inspired by those recollections to illustrate and explain my characters’ strengths and flaws in greater depth."  L. Graham

Monday, January 11, 2010

CAVELLI'S LOST HEIR - Lynn Raye Harris

Cavelli’s Lost Heir by the extremely talented Lynne Raye Harris is every girls dream come true; a prince, a palace and even a dramatic rescue. It’s an exceptional romance with a magical ending. Yet it’s a deeply driven romance.

Playboy Prince Nico Cavelli is due to be married to a neighbouring Princess. However, at the last minute his plans change as someone he once met and had a brief affair with in the US has been jailed on charges of antiquity theft and it seems she has a baby who looks exactly like him!

Lily Morgan is a fierce young woman who has had to travel to Montebianco to do a travel piece for the newspaper she works for and is hopeful she doesn’t bump into her ex-lover Prince Nico Cavelli because she has a secret. Since a young teenager, Lily has looked after herself because of her dysfunctional parents and now she’s a parent herself, a very loving and caring parent who takes her responsibility seriously.

Nico has lost so much in his life and he has built up a wall around his heart. He is now faced with the responsibility of his country as someday he will be heir to the throne. He lost his mother at an early age, was illegitimate but adored and was devoted to his older half brother. Now that very same brother committed suicide and Nico’s now the heir. Love is not a factor his life but honour and duty are so when he finds out he has a son, he immediately acts, forces his son to be brought to Montebianco and forces Lily to marry him.

Nico, Lily and Danny’s time spent together as a family was beautiful to read plus as a couple their renewal of passion was sensational. It’s sensually explosive and as the plot is revealed, there are a few twists, and turns. Lily realizes she still loves him but she also realizes she is not what Nico needs and demands to be released from her marriage and returns home to Louisiana. It certainly had me holding my breath as I wondered would they ever find the happiness they so both deserved.

Author Lynn Raye Harris brings the magic of romance into her storyline and in the end this love story comes to life when the prince comes for his princess. I was reminded of the song from Snow White, “Someday My Prince Will Come” and the belief in happy endings.

Book Description:

Normally Prince Nico Cavelli would never waste his time visiting the prison cell of a tourist. Except this particular alleged criminal has stolen something very personal to him—his son, heir to the Montebianco throne!

Lily Morgan always knew it was a mistake coming to the Mediterranean kingdom, but she'd had no choice. First she was thrown into jail for a crime she didn't commit…now she's been bailed out by the prince—though in return she must become his royal wife!

Author’s Website:

Behind the Story – I(Heart) Presents post:

"A new year always brings resolutions, does it not? But does it also bring regrets about past events, things we wish we’d done differently? That’s not the idea behind resolutions, but I can’t help but think that we sometimes look back while we’re looking ahead. A new year is about a fresh start, but I think it’s also about second chances sometimes.

That’s what Nico Cavelli and Lily Morgan get when they meet again by accident in CAVELLI’S LOST HEIR. Lily was utterly swept away by Nico the first time she met him. During the heat and passion of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Lily lost her heart to the tall, dark stranger from an exotic Mediterranean kingdom. When they part quite suddenly, Lily has no idea her lover is a prince – or that she’s carrying his child.

By the time Nico and Lily meet again in his native country, Nico is the Crown Prince and he’s about to be married to a neighboring princess. Nico searched for Lily after they were parted, but was unable to find her. Now that he has, and now that he knows her secret, he’s not about to let her go.

The story is passionate and hot, peopled by two characters who share a bond that cannot be broken but don’t know how to make it work. I absolutely loved writing Nico and Lily’s story. I laughed and cried and ached along with them, and I hope you will too.

We don’t always get a second chance in life to make things right, or to do something over, but it’s nice to think that if we did, we’d succeed. The path to getting it right isn’t easy for Nico and Lily. Though we aren’t guaranteed happy endings in life, we know a Presents hero will move heaven and earth for the woman he loves once he figures it out."  LR Harris

Note: Cavelli’s Lost Heir this past week made it to the USA Today Bestseller List…..congratulations Lynn Raye!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

January Recipe of the Month

Today I had such a great surprise......I received a box from author Jane Porter that I won from her JaneBlog post, goodies from Hawaii.  In the box was a recipe card so I'm going to share with all of you.  The recipes are  from Jane's latest women's fiction Easy on the Eyes in which her heroine is Tiana, a Hollywood media celebrity.

About the book:

At 38, Tiana Tomlinson has made it. America adores her as one of the anchors of America Tonight, a top-rated nightly entertainment and news program. But even with the trappings that come with her elite lifestyle, she feels empty. Tiana desperately misses her late husband Keith, who died several years before. And in a business that thrives on youth, Tiana is getting the message that her age is starting to show and certain measures must be taken if she wants to remain in the spotlight. It doesn’t help that at every turn she has to deal with her adversary—the devilishly handsome, plastic surgeon to the stars, Michael O'Sullivan. But a trip away from the Hollywood madness has consequences that could affect the rest of her life.

Tiana’s Holiday Hollywood Sidecar

¾ ounces cointreau
¾ ounces brandy
¾ ounces lemon juice

In a shaker combine all of the above and shake vigorously.

Wet rim of a 3 to 4 ounce cocktail glass and place on a lightly sugared plate.

Strain liquor into glass and serve. Add festive curling ribbon to the glass and serve.

Jane’s Favorite Cold-Weather Warm Artichoke Dip

 one 14 ounce can quartered artichokes in water
 one 8 ounce jar quartered marinated artichokes
 1 4 ounce can mild Ortega chilies
½ teaspoon garlic powder
 1 cup mayo
1 cup parmesan cheese

Drain artichokes, mix all ingredients together and pour into small casserole

Top; with additional 1/4 cup parmesan cheese if desired

Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes or until dip is bubbling

Serve warm with pita crackers, tortilla chips or sourdough bread

Jane's Website:

Saturday, January 09, 2010


Forgotten Mistress, Secret Love-Child was one powerful and emotional romance that shimmered with a sensuality that will melt your heart.

It was author Annie West’s first reunion love story which began with a twist when the handsome Alessandro Mattani who was suffering from a form of amnesia recognized a woman in a Melbourne hotel brochure. He’s certain he’s known her sometime in his past and that they were lovers. Sandro has learned from a very early age to guard his heart, neither to trust nor love. He’s a hardworking and ruthless millionaire and he’s determined to get to the bottom of how he knows this woman and why he’s certain she walked out on him. So he leaves Italy and goes to Melbourne hoping that by seeing her it will help him to remember the missing pieces of his life.

Carys Wells is one strong, lovely and caring mother and she’s determined to make a good life her for son no matter the personal cost. Even though she has asked her family for their support, they ignore her as they have for most of her life. She was different from them all and not accomplished like her siblings due to being dyslexic. Now she’s working in a limited position at an upscale Melbourne hotel and is shocked when she’s approached by her ex-lover and the father of her baby. The sexy and very same man who sent her away and broke her heart. She’s also shocked when she learns he doesn’t remember their time together. And then to make matters worse, when he learns he has a son and demands marriage her emotions are all over the place.

From the very beginning I knew in my heart this couple deserved a happy ending because of everything they had been through and everything they eventually overcame. Sandro’s mother left him at an early age and he had to toughen up and keep his emotions in check. As for Carys, not only the rejection from her family when her entire life she just wanted to be accepted for who she was; also Alessandro’s rejection and accusations before he cast her out of his life.

The emotions in this book are up and down for this couple and the sensual tension between the two leaps off of the pages.

And then the realization that Sandro might not ever remember how he once felt about her, how compatible they were, how much fun they had was heart breaking. On top of everything else a conniving step mother, misconceptions about an old family friend, a wicked cousin, just added to the strength of Carys love for Sandro.

This engaging romance was exactly what I expected from author Annie West; one with a twist, secrets, passion which leapt off the pages and powerful emotions. Its one love story I won’t soon forget because even though they for the most part had to start over, it was in the end the realization they loved each other more than life that was undeniable.

Book Description:

He’s forgotten their past, but not  her body…

A lavish masquerade ball is no place for plain-Jane receptionist Carys Wells. Used to being unnoticed by the glitterati, Carys feels vulnerable and exposed by the searing gaze of a dark masked man. Little does she know he’s the man she ran from two years ago, whose wicked touch is about to become her undoing once more…

Alessandro Mattani cannot remember Carys, but his body does – intimately. And the red-blooded Italian is determined to claim all that he believes is his…

Per the author, this is her first reunion story.

Monday, January 04, 2010


Temporary Boss, Permanent Mistress by Kate Hardy is so full of passion it sizzles off the pages and has such delightful warmth.

Jake Andersen stepped into his CEO position when his father retired. However, he just didn’t assume the top position, he was the kind of man who worked in all departments, got to know the staff and made the office environment informal. He was beyond a hard working CEO; he was a man who had deprived himself of pleasure and relaxation. It was his way of not remembering what he had faced and the lost months and the secrets he was hiding. Now he was faced with an important business deal in Norway and needed one of his attorneys. However, both were unavailable so he needed to count on a junior staffer, Lydia Sheridan. While going over their game plan for the deal they were about to present, Jake realizes he’s very attracted to Lydia, but he’s her boss and then he formulates a plan which he feels would benefit them both, a week long affair.

There were only two people in Lydia Sheridan’s life she could count on…..her godmother and her best friend. And now she’s at a crossroad in her life. Since she was a child she has tried to please her parents, she’d given up her dream to become an artist and became a lawyer instead because it was expected of her by her parents. She’s always felt they never loved her and nothing she could ever do would please them. On top of everything else when asked by the CEO of Andersen Marine to accompany him on a business trip to Norway and take extra time off to see the sights, she’s not sure what to make of the offer. She finds him to be the most handsome man she’s ever met and when the attraction becomes too much and he offers her a week of passion and an adventure which will end when they return to London; she can’t refuse.

Their lives were so different from each other……Jake’s from a supportive and loving family, parents, grandparents, cousins who adored him and worried about him. Lydia just the opposite, had parents who never attended the special events in her life, never showed any emotion, were controlling and made her feel so unloved. Now on this business trip her boss, her very sexy boss has offered her time to explore her feelings, have an affair full of passion, talk things out, be a sounding board for each other and in the end, they can both walk away and he’ll accept her resignation because she’s explained she wants to chase her dream of becoming an artist.

After the business was finished their time and the beginning of their affair was magical. It wasn’t just the magic of the country itself, it was their time spent talking, loving, sharing and it was Jake’s realizing the hurtful childhood Lydia had experienced and trying in his small way to make their time together special. And Lydia realizing how beautiful and special Jake was and embracing his secret and through her art and sketching him and healing him without him even realizing it.

For me personally, Temporary Boss, Permanent Mistress made me take stock of my life and my career choices. I wish years ago I had read this very powerful love story which makes one realize they can follow their dream. Why one might ask? Because we all make choices based on family and others and sometimes not for our own personal needs. Lydia lived her life for her parents and gave up so much and finally she had the courage to leave a respected profession as a lawyer and take a chance on being an artist and loosing what was left of her relationship with her parents. It makes one question their own personal choices in love and career and what’s important.

And then there was Jake, the brilliant, handsome man who was loved by family and friends, unlike Lydia. The very same man who couldn’t get past what had been dealt to him in life, the cancer. Even though part of their affair was to be honest, talk things out, share and in the end walk away and be better people because of their week together, he failed them both and realized it too little too late.

Its obvious Jake and Lydia were meant to be together but it took some time for Jake the man who had respect from his peers and the love of family to realize how much she meant to him. Author Kate Hardy’s talent shines through as she provides her readers with a magnificent ending and a few surprises in the final chapters of Temporary Boss, Permanent Mistress.

Behind the Book
I've always, always wanted to see the Northern Lights. The next best thing to doing something is writing about it... so I had the fun of persuading my editor that the frozen north is verrry sexy. Yes, I know Presents/Modern Heat readers love Mediterranean men - but this would be different. Glamorous and sexy, but different.

Then I told her my hero was a reindeer farmer. We were drinking champagne at the time, so she thought I was teasing. When she realised I was totally serious, negotiating started in earnest. NO REINDEER. So we compromised. He'd be a shipping magnate, but I'd get my Northern fantasy. Complete with ice hotel (James Bond).
But I was writing the book just before Christmas, and there were reindeer in the city centre. I had to go and see them. And then they ended up in the book. (I hid them where she couldn't take them out.) And then, at revision stage, I sneaked in four more. The way I see it, if you're getting married in the arctic, how else are you going to get to the church? (I was also writing this book when we had a major cold snap, so to research exactly what it felt like inside an ice hotel, all I had to do was step outside my front door, because it was the same temperature. Minus four Celsius.)
So. We have Jakob the shipping magnate, who's hiding a deep dark secret; and Lydia, his lawyer, who's tried too hard to please everyone else and is about to rebel spectacularly. (Ohhh. Light bulb. I've just realised: this is my rebel book - except it's the heroine rather than the hero who's the rebel. Of sorts.) Can they overcome their pasts and risk a future together?
I loved writing this. I drove the entire family bananas - we were eating Norwegian food (sadly, I was the only one who liked gjetost, so I had to eat it all myself) and I was trying to talk them into taking our summer holiday in Norway, except in February rather than summer as it's the best month to see the Northern Lights. But then my husband discovered what the temperature in Norway is, during February... so I'm still negotiating that one.
I also had a great conversation with my fellow Modern Heat authors about vodka - I prefer wine to spirits, so I had to talk to some people who do actually like the stuff, in order to find out what my heroine would be drinking in the ice hotel and exactly what it tastes like. Kimberly Lang came up with the goods for me: vanilla vodka. Cheers, Kim! And thanks also to Heidi Rice for sharing Finland with me and reminding me about the different sorts of snow.
As Lydia is an artist, some of this book is quite visual, so I'd recommend looking up Edvard Munch's Madonna.

It's dedicated to my friend and fellow Mills and Boon author, Nicola Cornick, who let me grill her about her own adventures in Spitzberg and answered all the weird questions that authors come up with when they get the chance to grill someone.
Book Description:

Cool, hard business....

Cool Jakob Andersen likes working with extremes, and the frozen plains of Norway suit his business style. But with Lydia Sheridan accompanying him on business, his temperature is about to soar….

Red Hot Passion!

Jakob wants a seven-day affair, and Lydia is finding her resistance melting away. It's hard to keep saying no when her body is screaming yes! But will it take more than a week to thaw her boss's buried heart? With passion this hot, anything is possible!

Knightly Tours offers a great tour to Alaska to see the Northern Lights!

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year's resolutions for romance novel lovers

I read this on the Examiner and thought what a good idea.  I know sometimes I keep reading the same line or authors and this way one can broaden their reading experience.  It's going to be one of my New Years Resolutions!

Under the heading of being good to yourself, or nourishing your positive karma, if you love romance novels, nothing could be better for you than to resolve to feed the healthy habit. After all, what could be more uplifting for the spirits than a romantically happy ending? Here's a list of ways to resolve to make the most of romance novel reading:

1. Try out one new romance author each month--someone you've never read before, but maybe you've seen the name on the shelves. Many hidden treasures have been found this way and may you find yours this New Year!

2. Try out a first time author or two this year. These fresh-out-of-the-box romance novelists may be starting out, but to make it to the shelves as a new writer these days means they are stellar talents--look at Stephenie Meyer after all!

3. Try a new romance sub-genre this year. Maybe you've already read them all--or so you think! There's always new twists around the corner. One up-and-coming new sub-genre is called "steam-punk". It's so new you may not have heard of it let alone read a steam-punk romance novel. What is it you say? It's the steam engine era, like the old "Wild, Wild West" TV series, with mysterious gadgets and intrigue, along with the old-fashioned.

4. Write a fan letter--or rather a fan e-mail--to your favorite author and let them know how much you appreciate their stories. You never know, you may get a personal response back!

5. Give a romance novel to someone you love! Maybe on Valentine's day...


Claimed His Bought Bride is a complex, extremely sensual and explosive love story by debut author Rachel Bailey. I’m amazed is all I can say that this is Rachel’s first published romance as it’s so well crafted with two very interesting lovers being Damon and Lily. The steam and heat vibrates from them both is all I’m going to say and they can’t seem to keep away from each other, especially Lily and she fights it every step of the way.

Damon Blakely is a ruthless businessman in and out of the boardroom and he’s out for revenge again his uncle and determined to bankrupt him. His character has so many layers and facets but it’s obvious that his abusive childhood has taken its toll and he can’t seem to see past the revenge. He’s going to make sure before his uncle dies, that he owns all of his holdings, the mansion and Blakely Corp which he should have inherited after his parents died; which his uncle kept from him. And now three months later since his break up with his lover Lily, he’s faced with another challenge….that of becoming a father and he’s determined to have Lily back in his life as his wife.

And there the beautiful, nurturing and very lovely Lily Grayson who has come to Damon’s uncle’s birthday party to advise him she is carrying his child. All she wants and hopes for is a future for her unborn child, no marriage, just a promise that her child will be secure. She knows she and her Gran will love this child and protect is at all cost. She wants Damon to have a part in their child’s life however due to his tortured past she honestly believes Damon can’t be the father her baby needs. But there’s one problem, she is still so attracted to him, he still has the sensual power over her and she fights it every step of the way.

Sexy, determined and ruthless Damon sweeps Lily off her feet, makes immediate arrangements to fly away and get married and dazzles her with such strong and powerful emotions. True to his past he’s always thinking and working towards his goal of destroying his uncle and is constantly leaving her alone at home. And then the most unbelievable thing happens Damon’s uncle calls Lily to his mansion because he’s dying and leaves her everything. Can their marriage become more bizarre?

Let the roller coaster ride of love and emotion begin because Lily knows she loves Damon and he has the power to destroy her. However, because of her past upbringing, being twisted, torn and let down by her parents, she won’t allow this to happen to her baby. Her baby and her Gran who saved her from her parents and raised her are her top priority and she has no other option but to leave.

This romance has so many twists and turns, emotional ups and downs and in the end a sweet sort of healing for them both, it was such a beautiful read. Rachael Bailey has written a delicious reunion love story in Claiming His Bought Bride and I look forward to reading her next release, The Blackmailed Bride’s Secret Child.

From Dear Reader:
I love a reunion story—especially with a couple where the passion still runs deep. So it was such a pleasure to sink into Lily Grayson's life when she meets with her ex-lover, the rich and gorgeous Damon Blakely.

Having been brought up around art and galleries, it was natural for me to infuse Lily's life with touches of the art world through her job as a gallery curator. Monet's series of water lilies have always spoken to me, and Lily shares my appreciation (though Damon prefers a different series by Monet—one that more reflects his personality!).” Rachel Bailey
Book Description:

Tycoon Damon Blakely had one year to produce a legitimate heir. Luckily he had a bride candidate in mind. Lily Grayson had been the perfect mistress…until she'd left him. And when he proposed his plan, Damon learned why. Lily was already expecting his baby.

The millionaire's shock and anger was quickly trounced by Lily's counteroffer. She would give their child his name…but theirs would be a paper marriage. Lily claimed Damon had no room in his heart for anything beyond business. The terms of his proposal left him little room to argue…until he could get Lily back into his bed.

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