Thursday, June 16, 2011

At His Majesty's Convenience (Royal Rebels) - Jennifer Lewis

Andi Blake had worked for Jake Mondragon and now he was was being pressured to choose a royal queen before Ruthenia's Independence Day.  She was in love with her boss and on the eve of one of his royal events, which she had planned, she was going to give him her letter of resignation and return home to New York.  She couldn't stand to see him wed anyone else.

Nothing bothered the sexy and handsome Jake Mondragon.  He had left a successful life in Manhattan and had adjusted well to his role as King of Ruthenia.  He was determined not to let his personal assistant resign from her job.  He would be lost without her.  So after his event was over, he went looking for her because she had disappeared from his party.  None of his staff had seen her and she definitely was not in her room.  What he didn't expect was to find her in a shear evening gown, with her hair down, twirling around on the front palace lawn, dancing and singing and acting like they were a couple.  Not until he talked with her and examined the bump on the  her head, he sent for the doctor.  The doctor confirmed she had amnesia.  Jake came up with the brilliant idea to tell his people and the press that he and Andi were engaged to be married.  It would surely take the pressure off of him to choose a wife.  His people would be pleased about having Andi as their queen, he was sure of it!

Talk about a man who steam rolled his assistant.  Immediately he took her to choose a ring and they were photographed after their outing to the jewelry store.  It was almost as if he had planned it.   She couldn't remember her name and if she was engaged to Jake.  So she wondered why didn't he know anything about her family, or where she went to school?  It all seamed  so strange.  On top of everything, while she still suffered memory loss, he made love to her.  I thought, what would happen when her memory returned?   Would she be angry with him, feel cheap and/or used?  However, days later Andi's memory did returned and she was devastated because their lovemaking wasn't the result of a loving romance.   She felt he had no respect for her feelings,  Another thought crept into her mind, Jake's desire to keep her had nothing to do with him wanting her as his fiancee, or even his friend.  It had everything to do with keeping his office running smoothly.  However, Jake thought his idea was brilliant because Ruthenia's powerful families were putting the pressure on him for one of their daughter's to be crowned queen. 

The upcoming Independence Day was drawing near, things were quite tense between them, so they took some time off and went for a hike and picnic in the mountains.  It was lovely and I could only hope that Jake would come to his senses, realize that Andi was a gem and that he sincerely wanted to marry her.  I suppose
the straw that broke the camel's back was when Andi heard him say the words "I love you" while speaking to another woman.  That showed her he did not feel an ounce of love for her so she made the decision to break off the engagement.

Finally, Jake realized he loved Andi and told her so but she didn't believe him.  She felt he'd go to great lengths to keep her, making sure their marriage took place.  Like a "thief" in the night, Andi for the second time packed her bags and snuck away to catch a train and then an airplane to return home to the US.  All Jake could think of was they were a great "team" and  they complimented each other.  He enjoyed their lovemaking and sincerely felt their marriage would be a good one.  She hurt his pride when she told him she didn't believe he loved her.  But this royal King had a plan.  Like a knight on a charging white horse, he went after her and it was such a wonderful ending for this couple.  His declaration of his love will have you crying as this "royal rebel" brought his love, Andi, to her knees, thanks to author Jennifer Lewis.

Back of the Book

When her boss accepted the role of king of a far-off land, Andi Blake willingly followed. Yet despite her devotion, Jake Mondragon had never looked at her with desire. Until Andi lost her memory and forgot she shouldn't throw herself into her boss's arms.

Shocked—and enticed—by his secretary's actions, the king used Andi's amnesia to hatch the perfect plan. She would be his fake royal fiancee, deflecting pushy suitors and nosy public alike. But when Andi inconveniently regained her memory, she faced a choice: put the brakes on Jake's scheme, or hold out for a fairy-tale ending!

Taming the Last St. Claire - Carole Mortimer (The Scandalous St. Claires)

Honestly, they were as different as night and day.  Both being attorney's who shared a history.  He a twin and her sister married his oldest brother..  Now they were faced
with an impossible task to run the family business together in the absence of his brother and his bride while taking a well deserved honeymoon.  Was it planned, I
think his brother Lucan realized they both could or could have an amazing chemistry between them and he secretly thought they might be a match.  If not, they all missed their mark!

It s like watching a Kathryn Hepburn and Spencer Tracy Movie.  The chemistry and the attraction plus the challenge.  He was buttoned up and she was carefree and sexy and she drove him crazy and I was feeling so happy........good for her!

The description of The Scandalous St, Claire's says, "three arrogant aristocrats......ready to marry!  However, I didn't get that feeling about  Gideon St. Claire.  In fact I think in the end, his brother purposely put him and the feisty Joey McKinley together on purpose.  It didn't help the fact that they shared twin siblings who married into his family and at his brother's recent wedding she sang and had the voice of an angel.  Honestly the writing was on the wall for Gideon and Joey, it was just a matter of time and the build up was well worth the wait!

As final book in the mini-series I don't want to give away too much but let's just say sexual tension, family dynamics and danger in the form of a stalker put them in an interesting situation.  However, for Gideon the house comes tumbling down due to the intelligent, sexy and sassy Joey and he definitely met his match.  But isn't life worth new beginnings without taking a chance and that's something they had to do, faith was s much a part of it. 

What did I love about this book? The sensual tension, conflict, secrets and how Gideon had to get to the party of his life to trust and love Joey!

Book Description:

Gideon St. Claire's life revolves around work—just the way he likes it. He's master of his emotions, and the women he dates never get glimpses of his home life beyond the stairs leading to his bedroom….

Feisty and fun loving, with the annoying knack of knowing just how to wind Gideon up, Joey McKinley is the sort of woman he avoids. How does he handle such enthusiasm? But when an old enemy of Joey's starts looking for revenge, Gideon is forced to keep watch over her—day and night….




Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Innocent Virgin, Wild Surrender - Anne Mather

I must say, this was my first time reading a romance by Anne Mather.  Innocent Virgin,Wild Surrender was no "innocent" romance.  The beginning reason Rachel Claiborne was sent to an island off of Jamaica was interesting.  Her father wanted her to fly to the island of St. Antoine to bring her mother back to England.  Her mother had wanted her father to retire and he didn't and now he wanted he wife back home.  Personally I thought what kind of a back bone did this man have?  Sending his daughter, for a couple of weeks to find her mother?  What would that accomplish because she and her mother didn't have a good relationship.  Plus that fact when she finally found her mother there was nothing but nasty words exchanged and scenes in the Brody home and at the hotel.

Thirty year old and a virgin, she worked at the local newspaper in her town selling advertising.  I wondered how she would deal with her missing mother.  Especially when the very handsome and rich Matt Brody made his entrance and meeting by accident.  It was obvious they were attracted to each other.  They spent some time together but she wondered how this man and her mother were connected.  And then there was the fact of Matt's father Jacob and the evening she spent at their plantation and her mother "exploded in" making a scene. That wasn't the only scene she made, there was also one at Rachel's hotel.  Taking also into the factor, their night of passionate love making even though there were questions not addressed by the Brody family concerning her mother.

A lot of things happened on this tropical island.  Sexual tension between Rachel and Matt but there were two things in this romance that bothered me.  First of all she suspected her mother might be having a relationship with Matt or there was a secret.  At the end, her mother allowed something to be "assumed" that was horrific.  I thought  her mother and even her father who had kept secrets from her, should be shot.  Add to the mix a honeymoon couple where the groom made a pass at her.......interesting.

While the writing was descriptive the two plots involving her parents and the Brody family were disturbing., I tried to make sense of this love story.  It was just some things that were lightly suggested between Matt and Rachel which suggested a taboo that bothered me.

While they got their happy ending there were certain elements that disturbed me from the family secrets to her mother's behaviour.  Maybe that was what the author intended, I'm not sure.  Will I read another Anne Mather book, of course because I'm a Mills and Boon and Presents author fan.  We all have differences of opinion and there was this "one secret" and unsettled me.

Book Description:

Seduction and sins...

Rachel Claiborne is a blonde beauty - but, tired of being judged on her appearance, she's never let a man close. For the moment she's focused on finding her mother, who abandoned her family for the sultry paradise island of St Antoine.

But soon St Antoine works its dark magic on Rachel too, in the shape of irresistible Matt Brody. For the first time ever she wants to give herself to a man. But Rachel can only look, not let herself be touched...because Matt clearly knows something about her missing mother... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Prince of Scandal - Annie West

For Raul, the fate of his nation was at risk. He had devoted his life to his kingdom and he was soon to be crowned King. However, now there was a problem with the laws of inheritance and they could not be overturned.  To become the King of Maritz he would have to marry a twenty-four year old woman, named Luisa Katarin Alexandra Hardwicke, the heir of Ardissia.  The Prince of Ardissia had died and she was the next in line, heir to Ardissia's throne..

Luisa had heard all of this royal babble at the age of sixteen when her grandfather had promised to groom her for royalty.   The very same grandfather who had thrown out her mother because of the man she married. Now standing before her was this handsome prince who had an agenda.  He wanted her to return home with him because he could not be crowned King due to old laws in place.  Luisa along with her aunt and uncle ran a co-op farm and was in serious debt. They had been her loving family and now Raul had paid off their debt forcing her to return with him to Martiz. Blackmail? You bet and then he dropped the bomb, he was taking her home to be his bride and that was the only way he would inherit the crown.   Two marriage proposals in her life, both from men who wanted something from her. She felt cheap and dirty. Thinking back to their couple of meetings, their chemistry, and his promise to make their marriage a pleasurable one, had me smiling. Luisa wasn't a push over, so I began to think Raul had a tigress  to tame not a kitten.

Raul immediately took over by taking her to Paris,  ordered a complete makeover, new fashions and she balked the entire time.  Damn the man  for trying to take over her life. She missed the farm, her family, and friends and wondered what she had gotten herself into with all of this royal mess. Because he now had the upper hand, he owned the farm.  However, he did promise her after their wedding the debut would be cancelled.  She fought their attraction and then blurted out the most unaccepted thing, "you can't give me anything I truly desire.  I want to marry a man who makes my blood race and my heart sing".  Well they both got that and more when he kissed her; it was off the charts!  For Raul the kiss with Luisa was full of fire, determination and he desired her. The force of his desire an attraction for her disturbed him.  I realized were the tables being turned on him by this lovely young woman? She was so different from the women he had known and she was down to earth.

Their wedding day came and for Luisa she hurt due to the circumstances of their wedding agreement which would enable her husband to become King. On top of that, his stepmother showed up on the castle doorstep and started to create speculation  amongst the wedding guests by getting in her new husband's personal space.  It caused Luisa to wonder about Ana and her relationship with Raul. However, nothing got pass Luisa and like the tigress she was she approached her husband, asking all sorts of questions, definitely giving off her vibes of desire, making him want her even more. Let the wedding night begin!  It was emotional, stormy, and filled with sexual tension.  Definitely a marriage without love.  Luisa realized she would never have a relationship like her parents. She so wanted love and children.  Could this man, her Prince Charming ever love her?   It was obvious that they had enjoyed their wedding night and that she was a virgin. How long would this marriage last without love even though they both desired each other? Luisa was scared because he scrambled her thoughts, he raised passions she'd never known, and everything felt so much more intense because of him.

I wondered if Raul had a heart at all because duty for him and his country came first. However, he did feel a little guilty because Luisa had given up a lot, had left her family, the farm to come to Martiz, giving him the opportunity to become King and it had cost her. He realized they had shared something very special on their wedding night and it somewhat surprised him. As for Luisa, she knew very little about her husband, his relationship with his father, what sort of a childhood  did he experience and did he have friends?  There was one thing for sure, he had been groomed to be a leader of his country. He worked so hard to distance himself and then everything came tumbling out, his past relationship with Ana, the woman who had married his father and it scared Luisa. As if, this royal couple couldn't face any more roadblocks. Luisa loved Raul and realized he was just too closed off to ever share himself with her or to love her.

Dramatic is the only way to describe the ending chapters and what they had to experience before they could find their happiness. Would Raul realize how much Luisa had given up for him, her family, and the farm everything back in Sydney? Then there was the marriage of convenience, which turned into hot nights of sensual passion, leaving them both breathless and Luisa frustrated.   All of the duties she was expected to perform, learning the language, trying not to make a fool of herself in public. The strain of possibly expecting their first child and not knowing what kind of a father Raul would be; would he be like his father? In the end, the love of a good woman won out! Raul for most of his adult life had lived to shut out his emotions. He realized he had done that with his wife and that she had given up so much for him.  However, Luisa had made him feel so much and yes, it was love,  When the light bulb came on and he realized  how much he loved her it gave this royal couple their happy ending.

Book Description:

Ruling prince…

Raul, Prince of Maritz, is furious that an archaic law is forcing him to wed. But scandal and unrest has dogged this prince for years, and a marriage to recently discovered princess Luisa Hardwicke will help bring stability to the monarchy.

…reluctant princess

Only, Luisa is an outspoken, mud–splattered farm girl, who isn't going to come quietly! Even as she's reluctantly transformed into polished perfection, Luisa challenges Raul at every turn— and he finds himself anticipating their wedding night with an excitement he never imagined he'd feel…

The Sarantos Secret Baby - Olivia Gates

All I can say is Olivia Gates always delivers a spectacular and emotional read and The Sarantos Secret Baby was no exception.

Selene Louvardis, her father and her brother's were the arch enemy of Aris Sarantos.  For years they had been competing against each other for contracts.  In some small way, her father had known what sort of man Aris was and she even remembered overhearing him once way that Aris should have been his biggest ally but was his enemy.  Now her father was dead and this rich Greek billionaire was paying his respects at her father's funeral and her brother's weren't happy about it one bit.

Selene had always been attracted to Aris and seeing him at her father's funeral socked her.  On her way home, she saw him just outside the estates gates and offered to give him a ride to his hotel.  The attraction was so strong between them, so much so they ended up spending the weekend in bed together.  As a result months later, Selene found herself pregnant.   She needed to remember she was the one who had walked out of that hotel room, secretly hoping he would come after her; but he didn't.   She wasn't a fool, she knew he wouldn't have any time or want to be a father, so she kept it a secret.

Now eighteen months later, Aris is back in town and at Louvardis estate because Selene and her brother's were trying to take an ax to his shipping business and take him down.  So he was attending an evening event at their estate.  However, her brother's wanted to through him out.  Aris was reminded of the bitterness they both shared and of the importance for them to take him down.  However, nothing ever shook Aris until again he heard her speak, watched her walk across the room and he knew he still craved her and would definitely bed her again,  The sensual tension was still there for both of them and Aris argued with her that he wanted her back in his life and wanted to have an affair.  And then she walked away and he watched her to straight to a woman holding a baby, a baby that he realized was his!

All of his life from the time he was seven he took care of his mother and siblings.  Their father would come and go and each time making his mother pregnant.  He never got emotionally involved with them but felt a financial responsibility to them all.  He even built his family a huge compound where they could live or come to visit whenever they wanted.  However, after seeing his son Alex, something shifted inside him and he actually wanted to be a parent and he definitely wanted Selene back in his life.  All I could think of was how emotionally depraved he must have felt as a child and how would he deal with all of the emotions he was feeling for this woman and his son?  A trip home to Greece.  In the end that's what he proposed for the three of them and to take her to see his homeland and family.  While there, Aris shared a lot of his childhood with Selene, why he had built the compound and she began to see him for the man he was but she was concerned as well.  Because what if Aris wanted his son but not her?

Her need for him was every bit as strong as his need for her.  In the end he gave one of the most romantic proposals I think I have ever read.  Just plain breathtaking!  If one you definitely won't want to miss.  He felt so blessed because of her need for him.  She was his home.  And then everything came crashing down upon them from their son being rushed to emergency to Aris receiving a phone call which made him doubt Selene and she knew just by the look on his face because he shut down.

They returned home only to find her brother's at her condo, furious and ready to take down her lover, Aris.  The ending chapters for her family and Aris were a roller coaster.  However, all I can say to those who will read The Sarantos Secret Baby is hold on to your seats because the ending was so unexpected.  It was brilliant, thanks to Olivia Gates.

Back of the Book

He was as tall and dark as the devil…and was her family's hated adversary. But that didn't stop Selene Louvardis from wanting Aris Sarantos with her every breath. Or grabbing her one chance for a forbidden night with him.

He was never supposed to learn she'd borne his child. But when Aris stormed back into Selene's life and discovered the truth, nothing would stop the ruthless billionaire from claiming his own. Not her family, not the billion-dollar contract at stake and certainly not something as inconvenient as love.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

For Duty's Sake (Royal Brides) - Lucy Monroe

Angele bin Cemal and Sheikh Zahir bin Faruq al Zohra had been promised to each other since she had been a young girl. Zahir had been photographed with a German actress Elsa Bosch. In fact, the photos had been sent to her residence in the United States. What a cruel thing for someone to do. It made me wonder if it was Elsa herself.  In the end, it was a blackmailer.  Angele had always cared for Zahir from afar and wondered if she should just give him up so that he could be with the beautiful and curvy actress and find happiness.   Because in the photographs they looked very intimate and happy. Maybe she and Zahir wouldn't wed but she would ask him to share one intimate night together before she gave him up!

Since Angele had been eighteen, she had been in love with Zahir. She had not cared if people understood or believed that such a young innocent girl was capable of that emotion. She'd just known what she felt and it was not a crush. As each year passed, it had grown deeper. In fact at a state dinner they had attended tohgether, while strolling in the gardens she had asked him to kiss her. Instead of doing so, he had told her she was too young and had kissed her on the forehead. Talk about awkward. On top of that, there was the fact that her father was not faithful to her mother. It was an embarrassment to her family and to their country. Therefore, as she sat looking at the pictures of Zahir and Elsa "lip locked", she knew deep in her heart that she could not allow Zahir to be held to the contract.  The contract which had been brokered by men who had never given love between the two people involved even a thought.  His lack of love for her demanded his freedom. Personally, I thought what a lovely and noble gift she was giving him.

Angele had been treated as the favored niece by the King of Jawhar. Now they were both, along with the wedding guests, attending his brother Amir's and Grace's wedding.  A marriage  which was based on love. Both of his brothers had found love with women not all together suitable. However, it was not the same for him.  His bride had been set by an agreement between Zohra and Jawhar and he honored his duty and the contract. Angele had refused the request to be apart of both weddings and Zahir assumed it was her way of demanding he formalize the engagement between them. It was obvious she was tired of waiting and he realized the time had come to do his duty. On top of that Zahir had spoken to Angele's father and told him he would not marry a woman whose farther appeared in the tabloids, Her father patched things up with her mother and had not been featured in the press for five years.  Thus proving he took his daughter's future seriously. Zahir vowed he would never be unfaithful even though his marriage would be a loveless one on his part.   His future bride's stubbornness gave him hope for their future together and he realized so did her love for him as well..

Angele slipped away from the wedding and approached Zahir in his private office. She blurted out that she knew about Elsa. In fact, it was then revealed  to the reader, that twice she had paid the blackmailer in order to avoid a scandal for Zahir.  This fact he was unaware of  because he thought it was Angele who had seen the pictures in the tabloids. However, during their discussions Zahir told her his five year relationship with Elsa was over and assured he was not like her father. He also assured her he did not consider himself "stuck" and he had been a young adult when the agreement had been made and that he chose his future. Because Angele loved Zahir so much, she wanted him find happiness like his brother's, he deserved to have it. She could do no less for the man she loved with her entire heart.

Angele and Zahir continued to argue about duty, honor, responsibility and a marriage that should take place, a marriage their families agreed to but this stubborn young woman held firm. She actually asked him if he had loved Elsa. The answer to the question was he refused to discuss it. Then she told him she wanted the wedding night she would never have and he realized she loved him. Back and forth they argued and then he agreed after all of his brother's marriage celebrations were over he would give her that one night and he sent to her room the dress that his grandmother wore on her wedding day. That was a huge surprise and I wondered why he would do such a sentimental thing like that for a woman he wasn't going to end up marrying?

Zahir was furious, with Angele, because after an evening of making love, which he enjoyed immensely, he was sure she would agree to their royal engagement and future wedding. How could she have left him like this, putting out press releases, giving letters of explanation to the Kings, calling her father? How could she after all they shared?  Damn her for doing this to him.  He was shocked and so angry with her. After hours of explanation to his father, her father, and the Kings, he came up with a plan. One that had me laughing so hard because in the end, I was sure this  proud sheikh would fall hard. He wanted his father to put out a "royal" press release stating that he Zahir, future King would "woo his future wife". His father laughed at him and his answer back was "you doubt my ability to woo one innocent woman after witnessing his skills at negotiations with world leaders?" Angele's father died laughing and his response was "a woman is not a world power." With that Zahir said, "no, but one day your daughter will be married to one." I thought, good luck with the wooing, Zahir. lol

For Duty's Sake, clearly showed Lucy Monroe's sense of humor and I couldn't wait to continue along with Zahir's and Angele's journey at finding happiness. After he found the blackmail pictures she left behind for him, he knew Elsa had not only betrayed him with a lover, now these picture and the lengths that Angele would go to protect him, proved to him how much she loved him. First, he would deal with the blackmail and then the courtship, because Angele would take her place as his Queen  by his side because she truly loved him.  She was honorable, stubborn and would make him a perfect queen. From a distance, the courtship began with gifts and flowers and all the while, he thought of her. Finally, he personally came to see her and was shocked at her appearance. He was even more shocked when she agreed to marry him because she was carrying his heir. Could this get anymore complicated? She had conditions for their marriage.  After I read them I realized they reflected back on both of their childhoods convcerning fidelity and  how their children would be raised.   It made complete sense to me.

In the end, they were both full of surprises. Zahir's feelings about her love for him and how it would be positive for their marriage. Her thoughts on her pregnancy and how  Zahir' negotiated everything. Moreover, of course, their upcoming "quickie" wedding. However, it all worked out in the end with both mother's doing the wedding planning.  There was also the fact that world leaders would soon be attending a summit in Zohra.  Which meant their wedding would take place in two months time and would be a "political" event. The surprises continued to come with her future husband continuing the courtship.  I began to wonder could he possibly be falling in love with her?

The ending chapters were amazing and Lucy Monroe made sure that anyone reading  For Duty Sake would realize Angele was Zahir's treasure.  There was also the fact that he was an old fashion man. Because on the fateful night when they first made love, he had actually considered her his wife. In the end, their lovemaking changed and I understood why because Zahir needed his future wife to trust him. To me it seemed like they had a real chance for a successful and happy marriage.  That was until he took her on a business trip with him to Europe. Could their love survive  the fact that she saw him having lunch with a female instead of attending the meeting her told her about on his schdule?

 Love is about trust and Angele trusted her future husband and in the end realized, he cherished her. Oh, I cannot begin to convey how much I've loved this Royal Brides series and this book was no exception. How Zahir discovered his love was amazing to read and so was their beautiful royual wedding.  It was just the perfect ending, to a perfect royal romance thanks to the brilliant Lucy Monroe.

Book Description:

Angele has longed for her betrothal to Crown Prince Zahir to be consummated within wedlock. She naively hoped her promised husband would wait for her, as she would him—but compromising paparazzi photos have dashed those youthful dreams….

She cannot become Zahir's wife out of duty and endure a loveless union; she must let him go free…but on one condition. Without taking Angele's hand in marriage, will the proud sheikh agree to give her the wedding night she has long dreamed of?

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Man Who Could Never Love (Royal Secrets)- Kate Hewitt

Kate Hewitt has written a dynamite romance with a lot of heart in The Man Who Could Never Love. The message?   Can old wounds be healed?  Beauty is only skin-deep; it's what's inside that counts.

It was time to marry and he was done playing around. He needed to take his rightful place as Vittorio Ralfino, the Count of Cazlevara. He also needed to broker a marriage of convenience.  The perfect wife would be Anamaria Vialo, a woman with a passion for wines, a vintner whose property was near his estate. Therefore, he went to her father to propose the union and then shocked her with his proposal.

After her mother died, Anamaria went to boarding school and was labeled all sorts of things from "large" to "unattractive”.  Her only encounter with a man had  been a disaster and she felt such the fool. She only had one friend she could count on and after her father somewhat got over the death of her mother, she returned home to the winery to manage it on behalf of her father. Shocked was the only way to describe her reaction to Vittorio's proposal because he was known for dating beautiful women, not women who dressed in clothes to hide their figure in manly pantsuits.  No dresses, no skirts and definitely no designer clothes like the women he once dated. In addition, there was fact that she had no sexual experience and was a virgin.

Being the oldest Vittorio was favored and groomed by his father to lead his country when his father died. So in retaliation for the lack of love and attention from her husband, when his younger brother was born, his mother favored him and turned her back on Vittorio. From the time he was a toddler he was shunned and ignored. These hurts were like an open wound and still hurt deeply. When his father died, his mother tried to take not only the estate from him, she had tried to give the throne to his younger brother. However, there were also things he did not know about his parent’s relationship, things that had been kept secret and misunderstandings about the past. The memories held a lot of power and pain. He had seen first hand how love could destroy.  Therefore, his marriage would be of loyalty, friendship and respect, never love.

A few dates in over-sized clothing, friendly kisses and then the agreement was made with Ana and her father. He stirred things in her and she wished he desired her in the way she desired him. She felt an ache inside her and she told him she did not want to marry a man who did not find her attractive. And then, her father found her mother's wedding dress,  Out of date was the wedding gown.  However, her father asked her to wear it and out of love and respect, ruffles and all she wore it even though she knew Vittorio would be embarrassed by it.  He was horrified when he saw his bride walk down the isle but said nothing. Even though she knew she would look horrible, she wore it for her father and that said so much about her character. I kept wondering how this marriage would work out especially in light that he physically ignored her after they were married or so it seemed.

Vittorio's entire adult life had been focused on NOT loving yet he wanted to consummate the marriage. He had tried everything, to be her friend, to ask her not to betray him ever. He even took her  to Venice to purchase designer clothing which she did not want and fled the boutique. Yet somehow, Ana had slipped through his defenses and he really wanted her and her lush curves. There was to be a formal function at the castle. Ana being the person she was went back to Venice to seek out the sales girl who had wanted to originally dress her.  She asked her for help as she wanted to please her husband. Oh boy did she; Ana astounded him. She was stunning. He desired her so much but did not want to hurt her because he was very sure he could never love her due to the situations of his childhood. 

There was so much pain in Vittorio's family and secrets. When it was all exposed, his mother actually felt compassion for Ana and she tried to reason with her oldest son. She actually begged him not to hurt Ana. Family secrets all came tumbling out and all Ana wanted to do was to comfort Vittorio. However, to him love was destructive and he wanted no part of it. However, Ana felt, no actually knew, she wanted to not only comfort him but also be at his side. She wanted to find a way for his family to heal.

When he was away on business, her had her oversee both wineries. She made a decision concerning Bernardo and a wine he was working , one she thought would be a success.  As he was employed at Vittorio’s winery, the Cazlevara Vineyard, she wanted his brother to take credit for the wine. His Caterpillar had become a butterfly and he realized he loved her. Really loved her until he found out about her decisions and commitment she had made with his brother. He was gutted; it was too much to take in because the woman he realized he loved had betrayed him! 

Past hurts and betrayal were not forgotten. However,  all she wanted was for the family feud to end for her husband's sake. Did he think so little of her?  Was this how his mother had felt about her husband who had a heart encased in ice just like her husband? I wondered how could their marriage survive this because Ana, the lovely person she was only wanted to heal her husband and his family.

Kate Hewitt is an amazing author and she gave The Man Who Could Never Love an amazing happy ending.   The main poinits being Vittorio forgiving his mother, brother and healing them all in the process thanks to Ana.  Also he realized he loved his wife due to her inner beauty even though in the end, he found her lovely.  As for Ana, she realized she needed more than his trust; she needed his love and she got it!  If you're a romance reader, you won't want to miss this summer. read; take it to the beach.

A Cinderella Story or Not?  At the Harlequin Presents Blog

Book Description:

Vittorio Ralfino, the Count of Cazlevara, is back in Italy to make a business proposition. He wishes to marry a traditional wife, and Anamaria Viale—sturdy, plain and from a good vintner's family—perfectly fits his bill.

Ana is stunned that Vittorio is offering her—an ugly duckling!—marriage. She'd stoically resigned herself to a career and singledom.

But Vittorio is persuasive and Ana would like a child of her own. Although she's under no illusion that this is anything but a convenient marriage—Vittorio will never offer her love. So when the time comes for him to claim her as his bride, she's surprised—and amazed—at the strength of his passion….

His Unknown Heir - Chantelle Shaw

Lauren Maitland, respected London attorney and mistress to Roman Velaquez knew she was in trouble because she had not only fallen in love with the ruthless Spanish billionaire Ramon Velaquez, she had also discovered in his absence that she was expecting his baby.  Fall in love was  something Ramon didn't do because he'd been there, done that and had been betrayed.

Upon his return, Ramon couldn't wait to see Lauren so he called her and invited her to dinner.  However what he didn't expect was to receive a present from her because it was their so called six month anniversary and he didn't do anniversaries.  He also didn't keep a mistress around for more than a couple of months.  However, he enjoyed Lauren's personality, they had a lot in common, he respected her but then she did the clingy think and asked him where their relationship was going due to her secret pregnancy.  The answer was his father was ill, he would be expected to marry aristocracy to provide an heir and would take his royal place and live in Spain at the family castle.  It didn't include here in his life, so she broke off their relationship.  No one walked away from Ramon, never!

Lauren had trust issues when it came to men.  Her father had left her mother for a mistress, leaving her and her mother behind, never to hear from him again.  He had hurt them both so badly.  Lauren's mother took to drinking and Lauren worked several jobs to pay the mortgage, graduated from university and was determined to become an independent woman, never to depend on a man for her happiness.  After Ramon told her about what would be expected of him from his family, the decision was made for her, to keep their baby a secret and not tell him.

Secret baby?  Not for long because fate stepped in eighteen months later  Ramon's father died, he took up the reigns, taking care of his mother and family but he couldn't get Lauren out of his mind.  He somewhat blackmailed her by going to her law firm, requested that she become his London attorney and the "heat was on".  Poor Lauren was frightened he would learn about his son Mateo and in the end he did and let's just say he was furious and felt betrayed.  He was so furious that he threatened to take his son away unless they all three returned to Spain.  The chemistry was still there for both of them and Lauren fought it every step of the way.

One woman, along with her lover betrayed Ramon when he was eighteen and he thought he loved her.  However, his father had pointed out it was a scam for money.  Now this woman he was still attracted to, who he slept with again, had betrayed him by not telling him he had a son.   Talk about a roller coaster romance.  Yes she still loved him and wanted him in her bed.  However she still wanted her independence but agreed to marry him because she was so afraid he would take Mateo away from her.  Throw into the mix, Pilar, an attractive model, a family friend who stirred up doubts about her relationship with Ramon and Lauren wondered how secure was her marriage.  Pilar said things like "do you know what Roman does on Fridays".  That would put up a red flag personally for me.

There were many challenges for both Ramon and Lauren but it was touching to read about how well Ramon adapted at being a father and husband.  In the end, as this sexy alpha stated to the wife he adored..... "true love, the kind that lasted forever was profound and loving, passionate and tender.  It was about trust, forgiveness, friendship and an abiding affection that transcended all of life's problems and disappointments and brought the greatest joy."  Such a lesson for all of us to remember, don't you think?

His Unknown Heir was an amazing roller coaster romance thanks to Chantelle Shaw, one I will long remember.

Book Description:

She committed a sin...and hides a shocking secret...

Ramon Velaquez, heir to the Velaquez winery, clearly stated his cardinal rule to Lauren Maitland – he can’t promise her more than a red-hot affair. Whilst she heard the words, her heart wasn’t listening, and her punishment for falling in love was to be sent away. Two years later, and Ramon still can’t escape the memories of the woman he banished. But when he finds Lauren again she’s independent, strong, and harbouring a shocking secret...


I can certainly see why Prince Voronov's Virgin was chosen as the Book of the Month by Mills and Boon.  Lynn Raye Harris has again, out done herself with this ruthless Russian hero, Prince Alexei.   June finds this book released under BEHIND THE PALACE WALLS.

Alexei and Paige met in a most interesting way as Paige was roaming Red Square looking for her sister.   He heard a scream, then foot steps and found a woman frightened and alone. When he learned some men were after Paige, Alexei came up with a quick plan......."Kiss me,’ he growled… ‘And make it believable."  He had decided they wouldn't be bothered if they acted like lovers, so he hauled her into an embrace.  Nothing like that had ever happened to Paige.  Later on after their hot kiss, Alexei found out why Paige was in Russia, she worked for Russell Tech and his American cousin.

What a coincidence; the very same Russell family he hated and wanted to destroy.  Years earlier after his father died, he, his mother and terminally ill sister needed help.  Alexei went to his uncle for financial assistance and was denied it. That's when they lost their family home and everything including his sister.  Revenge was what he wanted now, he wanted them to suffer as his family once had.  He'd restored his fortune, gained back the family palace but in the end the only thing that mattered was taking down Russell Tech.  When he found out Paige worked there, he decided to use her. 

All of her life Paige always thought of others first, especially her sister Emma, the very same sister she had to raise when their mother died.  Now the man she had a crush on, her boss was having an affair with Emma and wanted to marry her.  Broken hearted, Paige took a chance and let the handsome Russian prince take her to dinner at his palace.  He was so handsome and the palace was incredible.  But still she felt she was betraying her boss by seeing him.  Then something she didn't expect happened.  She slept with him.  However, on the way back to her hotel she found out Alexei had won the bid and Russell Tech had been destroyed.  She was furious with Alexei, felt used and returned home to Texas.

Talk about a shock when Paige found out weeks later that she was pregnant!    On top of that, who should arrive at her door step and witness her with morning sickness?  You guessed it, Alexei!   He was determined to take her home to Russia, marry and take care of them.  However, he would never love, never care again because he had failed his mother and sister. She saw things in Alexi, things that no one else had and that made him vulnerable. It was easier not to need nor love anyone and so he left her alone again.  He wouldn't take that chance again and so he made a decision.  He would leave her at the palace, only returning occasionally to check on her. What a lonely life and existence for Paige and she was miserable.

The ending chapters of Prince Voronov's Virgin were difficult to read.  Paige told her husband she loved him.  However, Alexei was too afraid to tell her he felt the same. Because love meant loss to him.  He was a coward because he didn't want to face his feelings and his fears.  However, Paige was determined and she followed him to Moscow and everything came crashing down upon them.  He was afraid he would loose his wife and/or baby, just like he had lost his sister, Katrina.  Paige wanted it all and I couldn't blame her.  Even though she loved him, it wouldn't be enough unless he loved her back.  It was time for the people in her life to put her first!    Sometimes in life, it takes a near tragedy as a wake up call.  Well the Prince got his and in the end, gave his Princess his love and all of her dreams came true!

Lynn Raye talks about Prince Voronov's Virgin over at her website

At I(Heart)Presents here

Book Description:

Kiss me,’ he growled… ‘And make it believable.’

Alone and scared on the dark streets of Moscow, staid, bespectacled Paige Barnes has no choice but to comply with the handsome stranger’s command…

Little does Paige know she’s been rescued by Alexei Voronov—a Russian prince and her boss’s deadliest rival. Now he has Paige unexpectedly in his sights, Alexei is prepared to play emotional Russian roulette to keep her close and discover her true motives. But in his splendid gilded palace his game of chance spins out of control and passion takes over…

It’s only when she’s back home that Paige realises she’s pregnant with the Prince’s baby…

Do Not Disturb - Anna Cleary

Do Not Disturb by Anna Cleary was an engaging  and torrid contemporary romance,  It was also a reunion, one not planned however.  Mirandi Summers at 18 met the bad boy Joe Sinclair.  She was overwhelmed by Joe, she loved him and he broke her heart while her Aunt and father watched.  She learned a valuable lesson however through the break-up, once she was over the heartbreak, she realized her happiness depended on herself and not another person.

And then she left town and went to university.  Now she had accepted a position not knowing the CEO was her ex lover.  Under Joe's watchful eye she was acting as a personal assistant to one of the department heads, just waiting for her office to be finished.  Joe was scheduled to go on a business trip to the French Riviera and when he found Mirandi in his apartment because she was sent to deliver some papers for his trip, what did he find?  Mirandi lying on his bed, daydreaming.  And then he had an idea.  He asked her to go along with him as his assistant because his own PA couldn't travel with him due to her son's accident.

I knew this was going to be explosive and it was.  The attraction was fierce immediately between them from their takeoff and he couldn't help himself, he pulled her into the bathroom on the plane and I thought, omg "The Mile High Club"?  Not quite but almost.   And she was ashamed of herself and wondered if this was why he suggested she accompany him on this business trip.  Was she so weak because look how quickly she had succumbed.  Their first stop, Zurich but Joe didn't take her to that meeting, instead he asked her to go shopping for a dress to wear in Monte Carlo and/or see the sights.  She didn't, so he took her to a boutique himself and outfitted her for their meetings with the casino people.  Mirandi was on edge and then the inevitable happened, they ended up in bed.

Next stop, Monte Carlo and she was worried for Joe for a good reason.  His successful architect father died from alcohol and he lost everything due to his gambling and she worried for Joe.  But, it didn't stop there because upon arrival at their hotel, a older French woman recognized Joe and then she remembered his mother was French and this particular woman called out his name.  The very same woman who had left Joe and his father.  They attended the meetings but the evening was a disaster because Joe gambled, they argued and talked about the past but Joe didn't tell her why he had broken up with her but he almost let it slip, her father, the Captain.  She told him her secret and why she left town. It was pretty emotional to read because they certainly had loved each other but she had been so young.  And they made up later in a most intimate way in the garden of all things!  Talk about one torrid romance!

And then Joe suggested they take a short vacation sightseeing.  Mirandi had the time of her life with Joe as they played during the day and made love at night.  And then he asked her if she would come with him because he decided it was time to see his mother and she worried again because she loved him very much. The visit went well for Joe, so he decided to stay and Mirandi went back home to Australia but she worried he might not return and wondered if he would stay and not return home to her.  She visited her father and aunt upon return and found out the truth of her father part in her break-up years ago.  And now with heavy heart she awaited for his hopeful return.

The ending chapters were quite emotional to read.  She began her new job as an MA and cried herself to sleep at night.  And then the worst thing happened, Joe resigned and she was devastated.  However, she got her "perfect" reunion when Joe returned home with love in his heart and told her so, but there was more, Mirandi accepted Joe's proposal and she shared her little secret, the results of their lovemaking in those Monte Carlo gardens.  Thank you Anna Cleary for the most charming and perfect romance.

Anna's inspiration here

Discussions at I(Heart)Presents

Book Description:

As a teenager, Mirandi Summers was a preacher’s daughter straight-laced and virginal. Joe Sinclair was the boy from the wrong side of the tracks who led Mirandi deliciously astray.

Now a CEO, Joe hires Mirandi as his Executive Assistant. But on a business trip to the French Riviera, Mirandi discovers Joe’s devilish side isn’t far beneath his new, polished exterior. Especially when Joe pulls her into his hotel room and locks the door…

The Heir From Nowhere - Trish Morey

Angelina Cameron did not have an easy childhood. Now she only had the house her mother left her because her husband had moved out because a mistake had been at an IVF clinic. He was divorcing her and had moved in with his lover. What could she do, there was only one logical conclusion, contact the people whose baby she was carrying.

Dominic Pirelli came by his wealth the hard way and now he was not only a successful and a ruthless billionaire he was also a widower. Dammit, why now? Why did woman calling herself Angelina Cameron call him and was suggesting that she was carrying his child, the child that should have been his years ago. Therefore, Dominic confided to his PA about the mix-up and she suggested they set up a meeting with the young woman. Neither of them could believe their eyes because it was obvious Angelina by her appearance, that she didn't have much of anything and he wondered what it was she actually wanted.....was it money?

When she agreed to the meeting, what she did not plan on was this serious billionaire. She traveled a long way on the train and was exhausted when she finally met Dominic and his PA. He could tell she was thin and not feeling well so he offered to buy her lunch. When the time came to say goodbye, she realized that her wallet had been stolen so Dominic offered to give her a ride home. No way was she going to raise his unborn child in this dump and have of the furniture missing thanks to her ex. Therefore, he made a decision, to take her home with him, to monitor her eating and personal health until the baby was born. Sounds easy, doesn't it? Guess again because the attraction was there and it was mutual. It also did not help that his housekeeper, Rosa was so excited to have her staying here with them.

Angelina thought this man was unlike any man she had ever encountered. He made her feel uncomfortable on so many levels and she did not like it. She felt venerable and so aware of him and then upon arriving at the mansion, he dropped the bomb, his wife was dead! In addition, all she could think of was "poor baby". On top of everything, she realized and felt sorry for him because of the bombshell she had dropped when she told him about the baby. She also remembered how she felt when she found out she was pregnant with the child she believed to her hers and her ex-husband.....she really did not want a baby. So for this little one, she would give birth to his child and then she would walk away and go back home. However, not before sharing with Dominic about her mother raising her on her own, why she got married to Shayne in the first place due to her mother's illness, and she shared all of it. Now due to her nasty ex-husband she stood to loose her home and in the end her fantasy of the baby and Dominic and all them being together was only a fantasy. Even though they had finally acted on their attraction for each other and made love.

She filled her days with learning how to cook with Rosa and filled her nights in Dominic's bed. Then the baby kicked and she realized the shear wonder of it all. However, she still believed to him. she was only an incubator. She also realized something else, because of where she came from and who she was she would never measure up to the stunning women he was known to see or his elegant PA. She also realized something else, she was jealous of these elegant women, even his dead wife and most important, she loved him. However, she needed to do something and so she decorated the nursery.

Dominic spent some of his evenings in the garage, remembering his mother and his grandparents. His grandfather had taught him how to sculpture wood so he dug out the tools and went to work on some pieces, thinking back to times long ago. He decided to take a more active part in his unborn child's life, he would read to the baby some evenings and then he took Angelina along with him to a baby store to pick out furniture and baby gear. On top of that, he paid off her mortgage and her husband and he wondered if she would actually leave after the baby was born. He had planned that Rosa his housekeeper would take care of the house and the baby. However, as Angelina pointed out it would put more stress on her. However, he wondered how a woman who had decorated the nursery and was carrying a baby could not be interested in seeing the ultrasound or staying around and then an idea came to him.

Well, the closing chapters though lovely to read were so very sad. Because Angelina realized two things, she loved him and she loved this baby. It would kill her to leave but what choice did she have because she would not beg him to stay on. Then I hoped he would ask her to stay and he did! However, she felt he was not asking her to stay because he loved her; he only wanted her to help Rosa. Then pain, blood and an emergency ride to the hospital had my heart racing. Presents always have a happy ending and I thought while reading the final pages would they get theirs and would the baby be born and survive? Of course, because Dominic shared his past, about Carla's problems, what he wanted for the future for his new baby girl and the woman he loved, which was.......yes you guessed it, Angelina and his daughter Angela Carla Pirelli! Again, Trish Morey has written an emotional packed romance, one I will remember for a long time!

Discussions at ((Heart)Prwesents

From the Harlequin Presents Blog

Book Description:

‘You don’t know me, but I’m having your baby.’

Dominic Pirelli’s carefully ordered world falls apart when a female stranger phones with staggering news: an IVF mix-up means she is carrying the baby that he and his late wife dreamed of having!

Though he distrusts her motives, Dominic is determined to keep waif-like Angelina Cameron close. Taking her to his luxury home, reluctantly the hardened tycoon begins to admire Angie’s strength and gentle beauty as her body swells with the precious life inside her.

But when their baby is born, who will have custody of the Pirelli heir?

The Secret She Can't Hide - India Grey

The Secret She Can't Hide by the award winning author India Grey was absolutely without a doubt a spectacular read. It will also appear on my top ten list for 2011. However, you most definitely will want to allow enough time to read this romance in one sitting!

Personally, I’ve visited Monte Carlo and it’s magical. Can you imagine being there with the rich and famous watching one of the world’s most successful playboy billionaire’s and the sought after handsome driver Christiano crash and burn? The very same man you interviewed and slept with the night before? The sexy Italian who bared his soul and told you “last night was just the beginning, wait for me”. To make it even more emotional, he suffered from memory loss and couldn’t remember the night you spent together nor did he know he had fathered a son!

Kate Edwards couldn’t believe she had spent the most amazing night with the famous Christiano Marseca. They had not just shared passion, they talked about their pasts, something this Italian playboy never did and it was special for both of them. However, thinking about her while racing his car ended in a crash and he suffered a memory loss. When Kate returned home to England, she found out she was pregnant and wrote to him several times sending letters to his villa in Monte Carlo but never heard back from him. However, as fate would have it, four years later, Christiano had somewhat recovered and had returned to race for his mentor and friend. Kate’s company, one of the sponsors, which had originally sent her years earlier were sending her again. Her boss and friend, agreed she needed closure, needed to tell Christiano he had a son and that he and his wife would babysit her little boy.

There was something familiar about her, Christiano could sense it but he couldn’t put his finger on it. He could also sense she was nervous being at the party and he followed her. He experienced some flashbacks due to his retrograde amnesia and remembered she had interviewed him the evening before the race. Could she be the key to him remembering those hours before the crash? Because he was sure he had slept with her, even though she was so different from the women he usually bedded. So he ran after her and that’s when the intensity began in the storyline in Her Last Night of Innocence.

Kate couldn’t believe he was in her hotel room as she was packing to return home to England. Christiano didn’t remember her so she would leave the envelope for him with the message to contact her solicitor and that he had a son or would she? Christiano made an abrupt decision, as he was going to take up his physician on using her chalet in Switzerland, he was going to take Kate with him and get down to the bottom of things. He was sure she was the key to his memory loss. What he didn’t count on was her fear of driving fast. Kate had lost both her father and brother to fatal car accidents.

Bittersweet is how I would describe their time together, making love, sharing, laughing, loving. During their time at the chalet, pivotal things happened. Kate realized she never stopped loving him, she learned he never wanted to marry nor have children, and then the most horrible thing happened, her son became extremely ill and she need to get home to England fast! Her heart was broken, in tatters because she knew she would never see her lover again. She also realized that because he told her he never wanted children, he had released her from the burden of telling him about Alexander.

Talk about a sorrowful love story! Just when I thought nothing more could happen to Kate, low and behold Christiano found her evening bag with the letter that told him he had a son! Talk about a roller coaster romance by the clever India Grey. Could it just get anymore intense? Trust me, it does and talk about raw emotion because their son was seriously ill, Christiano was determined to have his son, with or without Kate and poor Kate’s emotions because she loved them both so very much. All I can say is that that this author gave Christiano, Alexander and Kate the most amazing happy ending. It took getting over her fear of fast cars and it took Christiano getting his memory back and realizing what Kate had meant to him back in Monte Carlo and now in the present. As I said at the beginning, this is a must read, a perfect fast paced romance with the most perfect beginning and ending!

Discussions at I(Heart)Presents

Back of the Book

World-famous racing driver Cristiano Maresca always spent the night before a race in the arms of a beautiful woman…

One night three years ago that woman was Kate Edwards, and her time with Cristiano awakened her to unimaginable pleasure. But the following day the untamable Cristiano had a near-fatal crash…and then Kate discovered she was expecting his baby….

Now Monte Carlo is set to celebrate Cristiano's return to the track. Shivering with nerves, Kate braves the paparazzi to find the man who set her body aflame—and tell him her scandalous secret….

Italy's most notorious playboy has a love child!

The Forbidden Wife - Sharon Kendrick

The Forbidden Wife was part of a series titled The Powerful and The Pure - When Beauty tames the brooding Beast!

Enter the brooding, dark haired Englishman, riding his powerful horse through the English moors. Sound familiar? An old classic? Of course, he encounters a very young woman on this particular evening not knowing she is the personal assistant he has hired through an employment agency to assist him with his book. A very young woman, only 18 years old and she had some issues. She had been abandoned as a baby, gone from one foster home to another. Had even been abused in one of them. Alone and in debt, she needed this job.

Jack Marchant, was rich, powerful, retired army and writing a novel. While reading this romance, he oozed everything we love in an alpha but he was also mysterious, one didn't learn a lot about him. He lived at his manor, employed a housekeeper, had no family, was in his mid-thirties, he loved to ride his horse and sometimes went to London to see friends. But that was about all one learned about Jack until he felt the pull of sexual attraction and charms of his new personal assistant Ashley.

Ashley, the heroine was another story. She learned early in life how to camouflage her feelings and somewhat fit into situations. She didn't under stand the attraction, the feelings he made her feel because she was an innocent. There was one thing for sure, she needed this job and she wouldn't do anything to loose it; or so she thought until Jack finally kissed her.

Without the eyes of Christine the housekeeper or the other manor workers, after frustrating weeks of working together and having these sensual feelings they acted on it and began a hot and torrid affair. For both of them it was incredible. But something kept creeping into my mind because Jack made it very clear he didn't want anyone, and he meant anyone to find out about them. However, people in the town were gossiping about them and the housekeeper warned Ashley because she didn't want to see her get hurt. It was obvious she was so munch younger than Jack and so innocent.

Like all love stories when secrets are revealed and let me just say it was a whopper, one wonders if there will ever be the possibility of a happy ending. Jack married? His wife living in the United States and in a comma. Talk about heartbreak for the couple because in secret Jack had proposed to Ashley.

In the middle of the night, Ashley fled, went back to London and found a job. However, through pain came some joy in the form of her relatives seeking her out. She now had a family, even though she didn't have Jack. And then via the manor housekeeper she found out that the manor had suffered a fire and Jack was blind. Of course because she adored and loved him so, Ashley returned back to Jack only to learn he was now a single man because his wife had passed away. Even under the circumstances of his blindness, Jack was a vibrant force and would soon be her husband. Through all of this tragedy they both became so much stronger, rebuilding the manor but using it for the good of others. Because in the end for Jack and Ashley "love conquered all"!

I sincerely think Sharon Kendrick translated Jane Eyre into a modern romance and she did it with sexual tension, a forbidden love, heartbreak, an explosive secret plus giving in the end, the couple a their happy ending.

Discussions at I(Heart)Presents

Back of the Book

After her mother died, Ashley Jones spent her childhood in care and foster homes. Alone in the world, she desperately needs her new live-in job as an author's assistant. But she is filled with trepidation when she arrives at isolated Blackwood Manor and meets the formidable Jack Marchant.

Ashley thinks she is just a drab nobody…but her heart goes out to handsome but arrogant, tortured Jack, though she has no idea what troubles him. What is the secret that he keeps hidden? It is only after Jack proposes marriage and Ashley joyfully accepts that she finds out…and, for this innocent bride-to-be, the truth is shocking….

Monday, June 06, 2011

June Recipe of the Month - Kristan Higgins Bread

Rhubarb Nut Bread from Author Kristan Higgins

Oven: 350
Makes 2 loaves

2 ¼ cups brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 ½ cups buttermilk (you can make faux buttermilk by using 1 tablespoon of vinegar for each cup of regular milk and letting it sit for 10 minutes)
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 ¾ cups flour

(sift the above three ingredients together)

2-2 ¼ cups rhubarb, cut into small pieces
¾ cup chopped walnuts


1 ½ tablespoons butter
½ cup granulated sugar

Combine ingredients in the order in which they are listed. Stir in fruit and nuts. Sprinkle with topping, and bake for one hour. Yummy!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Lori Foster Annual Reader & Author Get Together, Talk Live

Tomorrow, Live from the Get Together!

Lori Foster Talks with Virna DePaul, Toni Blake and Mary Burton

Join the dialogue and the chatter about books, reading, readers and writing at the 7th Annual Reader & Author Get Together!

June 3rd, 2011 

4:30-5:30 pm Eastern/1:30-2:30 pm Pacific 

Either Enter your name here

Or Join here For more info about the event, here

June 4th

Turn in from 1 to 2 PM and 4 to 5PM { (EST)

Meet Jules Benett, Lori Foster, industry guest Sue Grimshaw, Nalini Singh, Ann Christomer, Patricia Sargent, Regina Hart, Liane Gentry Skye, Gentry Lee Burke and Kate Douglas

Meet the Notorious Wolfes (Bad Blood in the UK)


The Man With The Money by USA Today Bestselling Author Lynn Raye HarrisThe Trophy Wife by USA Today Bestselling Author Janette KennyThe Girl That Love Forgot by USA Today Bestselling Author Jennie LucasThe Lone Wolfe by USA Today Bestselling Author Kate Hewitt

A powerful dynasty, where secrets and scandal never sleep!

Eight siblings, blessed with wealth, but denied the one thing they wanted – a father’s love. Haunted by their past and driven to succeed, the Wolfes scattered to the far corners of the globe. It’s said that even the blackest of souls can be healed by the purest of love…

But can the dynasty rise again?

William Wolfe was the youngest son of a dominating army official Edward Wolfe. As heir to a powerful and aristocratic legacy, William was expected to follow in his father’s footsteps. Edward was a strict task master and a harsh punisher, who expected nothing less than military discipline. William craved attention, and knowing he would never find it at home, sought it elsewhere. He had a colourful personal life, his wealth and charisma attracted women like moths to a flame. While there were many notches on his bedpost, only a few left a lasting impression…

William’s love affairs left him with eight children, and years of grief, bitterness and regret. His feelings towards his children were complex; they were reminders of the women he’d loved and lost – yet they were also his sons (and daughter)…they were Wolfes! He had known only the firm hand of discipline so in William’s mind, he punished his children for their own good. As he spiralled into an alcohol-induced decline, he found it more difficult to control his temper, although Annabelle – the image of her mother – was the only one to escape his wrath.

William’s darkest hour came when, Annabelle in an act of teenage rebellion, snuck out to a party. When she stumbled home wearing a short skirt and makeup, she bumped into her father. William, who was riled up after a day out hunting and drinking, was furious and shouting ‘no boy will ever look at you again!’ raised his hand…

Annabelle’s younger brothers tried to stop their father, but they were too small. Then Jacob came home and tried to pull William away but he was too strong. Knowing he needed to protect his sister, and seeing red for the first time, Jacob lashed out, momentarily seized with rage. William fell to the ground where he hit his head on the bottom step of the grand staircase and died.

With William dead, eighteen year old Jacob became guardian of his siblings. But he was haunted by that night. Although he acted to protect his sister, he couldn’t believe he’d lost control. He’d always sworn to himself that he would never react with violence and for a fleeting second he’d enjoyed the power – retribution for twelve years of torment – and he was terrified by that.

Unable to deal with the events, Jacob starts drinking and brooding in William’s study. When he shouts at Annabelle and feels his fists clench, and not wanting to become like his father, he decides to leave, entrusting Wolfe Mansion to the second eldest, Lucas. As the years go by the Wolfe siblings gradually dissipate, until finally there was no-one left at home. Wolfe Manor was boarded up and left empty for a decade.

Over the years the brothers (except for Jacob) and Annabelle keep in semi-contact. There are the occasional gatherings at Annabelle’s London flat attended by whoever is around at the time. And the boys bump into one another on the international party circuit. But there hasn’t been one day in the last twenty years when all eight Wolfe children have been together.

But all that’s about to change; complaints have been made about the neglected house and the local council have stepped in. With some difficulty they have located the owner, Jacob Wolfe, and served him with a Dangerous Structure Notice. It is demanded that Jacob take urgent action to remove the danger, remedy to make the building safe.

So it’s 2011…Jacob Wolfe is coming home!

Underneath the movie star’s good looks is a man battling with the demons of his past. No one knows the real Nathaniel, they only see the pin-up, the man he pretends to be.

Until one night he is forced to rely on Katie Field, an ordinary young woman from a very different world to Nathaniel’s. She may be starstruck but she isn’t blinded by the bright lights of fame. Can Nathaniel trust her enough to reveal the man behind the mask? Let the seduction begin

No one denies Lucas anything. Women fall at his feet and into his bed at the click of his fingers. His life is charmed, reckless and carefree – he is definitely a bad boy.

Grace Carter knows uncontrollable Lucas could ruin her career and she won’t tolerate his wayward behaviour, despite their chemistry. But working with Lucas is thrilling, and after just a small dose of his magic, even Grace’s prim and proper shell begins to shatter.

Ruthless in business and revered by many, Sebastian is at the top of his game professionally. Emotionally he keeps himself alone, aloof and almost untouchable. Some say his heart is made of stone.

Escaping her wedding, it takes one look at ice-cool Sebastian for Bollywood star Aneesa Adani to be hooked! Passionate Aneesa is the biggest risk Sebastian has ever faced, and letting her close could ignite the fire that melts even the hardest of hearts…

Driven to succeed, Alex’s only desire is to win, win, win – at all costs! A champion race-car driver, he lives like he drives – fast, reckless and always number one…

But after a huge crash, his racing career facing ruin, Alex must confront his biggest fear: failure.

Physio Libby Henderson is there to help him get back to fitness, and all Alex wants to do is get physical! Libby’s dealt with more challenging things in life, but it’s taking all of her professionalism to keep this stubborn playboy at bay!

Notorious gambler Jack no longer gets a buzz from the risks, or the money, he takes at the card table. In fact it bores him. Until one night he wins more than he ever bargained for…

His prize is the stunning Cara Taylor – she might be down on her luck but she certainly doesn’t need rescuing by a maverick card-shark like Jack! Now she’s stuck with him she doesn’t know whether to love him or loathe him. But cut from the same pack playing Jack at his own game is the most fun she’s ever had!

Always an outsider, Rafael spent his life looking in on his privileged Wolfe siblings, a boy in the shadows. And so, determined to create the lifestyle and family illegitimacy denied him, Rafael punishingly worked his way to the top. His marriage to beautiful supermodel Leila the icing on the cake of success!

Now his marriage is crumbling and the vows he took seem in vain. Rafael chased a rainbow –but made his wife feel as though she was never more than a trophy… Now it will take all of his courage to win his wife back…

Sister to seven brothers, Annabelle should be used to men, but her trust was shattered the night her father almost killed her. Now Annabelle is a poised, polished ice-queen, whom no man has ever touched…

Stefano Cortez can tame a wild horse quicker than any man alive and this passion heats the blood in his veins. Annabelle, might appear untouchable, but he sees beneath the frost, sees the real her; a woman desperate to be brought alive again.

After years lying neglected the walls of Wolfe Manor trembles as Jacob Wolfe returns – the master is back!

Reputation in tatters, Jacob licks his wounds alone in the shadows. Gardener’s daughter Mollie Parker knows his ferocious bark is worse than his bite and as she takes her tentative steps across the threshold she brings with her the light missing from his darkened soul. The lone Wolfe will never be tamed – but she knows that once he loves, he loves for life.

International Contest - Abby Green's Breaking the Sheikhs Rules

I loved this book so much I went out and purchased it to share with those of you who love romance and the genre.

Description:  (the correct one)

The huge imposing castle and the barren terrain of Merkazad are a far cry from the modest farm and the emerald fields that horsewoman Iseult calls home. Or used to, until Sheikh Nadim bought her family's stud farm. As part of the deal, she must work at his royal stables….

Nadim enrages Iseult…but he also inspires a more unwelcome, unfamiliar feeling: desire. Drawn into Nadim's sensual world, Iseult feels like a beautiful, confident woman for the first time.

But she must remember the sheikh's cast-iron rule….

About the Author:

I've been hooked on romance novels for as long as I can remember, and it all started one day in my grandmother's bedroom in the west of Ireland where I spent all my summer holidays. She had taken one of the distinctive rose emblemed books out of the library, and being a voracious reader, I devoured it in one sitting. It could have been a Penny Jordan, or a Sally Wentworth, I can't remember now. But what I can remember is being swept away into a story that was passionate and romantic and wanting more. The fact that I am now writing for that company is a dream that still hasn't quite sunk in, although deadlines and readers figures are helping a little! I've lived in Dublin all my life but was lucky enough to spend a lot of time in Kerry with my grandmother. Ireland is a vibrant, ever changing and growing country, and especially Dublin its capital. I've been working pretty much since the day I left school in the film industry as an assistant director, getting in on the very lowest rung and working my way up. It's been a fascinating and engrossing career. It also gave me the opportunity to work abroad which was such a gift. But, the hours are long, the work is extremely hard and the situations can be very stressful. Not to mention the weather conditions, especially here in Ireland! I'd often thought of trying to write a Mills and Boon and when a friend lent me a guide to writing one, the idea just wouldn't go away. Many years of procrastination later, I finally sat down and put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard. My first and second attempts were both rejected, albeit with encouragement, and at that stage I was determined so I didn't give up. I sold my first manuscript to Mills and Boon Modern Romance in March 2006, and have been living my dream since then. I can honestly say to any aspiring author out there that it really is worth it to keep trying, the only difference between an unpublished author and a published author is persistence, I truly believe that.

Good luck to anyone out there trying to get published and just believe that you will. Abby

This contest is International and you can find it at Romancing the Desert - Sheikh Books.  In order to win a copy of the magnificent love story, tell me your favorite sheikh book or royal romance.  Contest ends June 30th. For an extra chance to win, follow Abby Green on Facebook.

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