Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress by Elizabeth Boyle
I have been following the story of Philippa and Dash since they were introduced in This Rake of Mine, so I believe my expectations were pretty high. I have to say I was a little disappointed in Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress.

This story takes place 20 some years after Confessions of a Little Black Gown and its cliffhanger ending. There are two love stories in this book, one told through flashbacks of when Dash and Philippa were young. The young flashbacks fill in the blanks from the other books. The other love story is the reunion between Dash and Philippa, and this is the weak part of the story. I love older characters in books and think there should be more of them, however, there didn’t seem to be any chemistry between the older Dash and Philippa.

Philippa’s life has been fairly easy, while Dash has turned into a mean drunk. Without giving too much away, I don’t think that the loose ends were tied very well in this story.

So, the flashbacks are good, the reunion is lackluster and there is a little bit of another cliffhanger at the end of the book.
Sensuality Rating: Hot


Honor's Splendour by Julie Garwood
You know, I’ve decided that when I read too many disappointing books in a row, I will need some kind of refresher; much like a wine taster refreshes their mouth after each swig. So, my spit turned out to be Julie Garwood’s Honor’s Splendour, written in 1987 and this book reminded me of why I love romance novels so much. And, why Julie Garwood’s older books are so wonderful.

This is the story of Lady Madelyne and Baron Duncan. Duncan is a typical Garwood hero, he falls hard right away, but it takes a long time for him to figure it out. Lady Madelyne is a Garwood heroine that everyone around her falls in love with, even dogs and horses.

This medieval romance book is filled with wit, humor, adventure, chivalry, villainy and a creepy step-brother. This is an exciting story brimming full of wonderful characters and by the worn condition of my book; I must conclude that I’ve read this book many times before. I’d venture to say that it has even taken a bath with me (it's pages were crinkly, as if a cat might have knocked it into the tub.)

Anyway, it was a good to read an old treasure, and if you’ve never read one of Garwood’s medieval books, this is a excellent choice to start you down the road to obsession.
Sensuality Rating:Warm/Hot
P.S. if you've never visited Garwood's website, you should. It has a lot of animation.


Bride of a Wicked Scotsman by Samantha James
Here we go again! Normally I like Samantha James, but in this case I didn’t. The Bride of a Wicked Scotsman has one of my pet peeves in it.

The heroine Maura, drugs the hero Alec so that they can be found together in bed. Then the next morning they are forced to marry. And then she has the nerve to be upset because he is mad that he was deceived, drugged and humiliated.

And there is a dorky curse. I DNF this book. That means by page 150 I put the book in my pile of finished books. I Did Not Finish this book. I don’t know maybe there eventually would have been some chemistry between the two main characters, but I didn’t want to waste my time finding it.
Sensuality Rating: Wouldn't know


Tempted at Midnight by Jacquie D'Alessandro

What a great story! And the hero is one of my favorites: the strong rake befuddled by love.

Really, the plot of Tempted at Midnight is secondary to the interaction between the two main characters of Emily and Logan. Emily is secretly writing a female vampire story so she can save her family from financial ruin. Logan is a wealthy man and someone is out to kill him. But that all seems to fade into the background as you watch these two characters get to know each other.

I even chuckled out loud in a couple of spots.

There were some scenes where all of the other characters from previous books showed up, but not enough to distract from Emily and Logan. The characters are mostly honest with each other, both of them are strong willed and believable. The story moves at a fast pace, almost to the point where I think some of the secondary characters get lost. But I loved this couple, they made me laugh.
Sensuality Rating: Warm/Hot


Vexing the Viscount by Emily Bryan
I wanted to like Vexing the Viscount because I’ve enjoyed Emily Bryan’s other books, but in the end I find I couldn’t like it.

For the first time in a long time I like the heroine of the book. Daisy Drake is a delightfully smart character. Daisy and Lucian could have been a really good couple. They engaged in wonderful repartee and their lovemaking was hot.

Now, let’s start with that lovemaking. You see Daisy is of course a virgin, but she’s been reading a book written by a courtesan, so she knows everything about love making, except where is that "hidden spot" located and of course she disguises herself as a courtesan. What self respecting heroine wouldn't? She also get's a wax job and thinks about her smooth "folds" alllllll of the time, or should I say her throbbing smooth folds. The other unbelievable element in this story is: ta da, Lucian is a virgin also. And, I just want to say, for a virgin he knew all of the right moves, no fumbling around in the dark for this guy, no sir. I’m not rally sure why the author made him a virgin, but whatever the reason it wasn’t successful. He just didn’t seem like one.

Thrown into the disguise business were two villains committing treason, a crazy father, a retired courtesan, the courtesan’s gay husband and flashbacks to a Roman romance that tie into a hidden treasure. It was all too much of a hodgepodge that didn’t connect very well.
Sensuality Rating: Hot


Mastering the Marquess by Vanessa Kelly

Vanessa Kelly
Just once I would like for the heroine to say to the snaky, soon to be mother-in-law, who is telling her that she will never fit “Sc—you, I’m marrying your son and nothing you can say will stop me and furthermore, why don’t you move to the dower house?”

That doesn’t happen in Mastering the Marquess by Vanessa Kelly. I wish it had because Meredith Burnley did the “I’m not worthy” way way too long. I liked the first part of this book, but the middle was filled with this party and that party and that tea and this opera…blah blah blah.

Come and think of it Meredith wasn’t worthy of the hero Stephen, Marquess of Silverton.

This was a debut book, I always try to find at least one new author a month and in this case it was pleasant enough, but it wasn’t one of those debut books that grab you. I probably will buy her next book, but if it doesn’t improve over this one, it will probably be my last.
Sensuality Rating: Warm


The Secret Wedding by Jo Beverley
Jo Beverley is one of my all time favorite authors, and I know I say that a lot, but in this case it’s true. Ms. Beverley and I go back a long way, she is the recipient of one of my first fan letters, I’m sure she saved it. Why am I talking about how much I admire Ms. Beverley? Well, because sometimes she writes a book that I don’t care for and The Secret Wedding falls into that category.

Christian meets a 14 year old Dorcas, when he saves her from the clutches of a villain. He is 16. They are forced to marry; he lies about his name, calling himself Jack Hill. Christian then goes off to fight in the colonies. 10 years later, Dorcas who is really Caro wants to get married, but first she must find Jack Hill aka Christian. And so the adventure begins. This is a travel story filled with lies, Christian and Caro travel together not knowing that each other is their husband/wife.

I loved the first part of this book, I enjoyed the humor and budding romance of these two characters. However, when I got to the second part of the book, I found myself putting the book down or skipping whole passages just so I could get to the end. Not a good thing. One of the main problems I had with it was Caro and her resistance to telling Christian the truth. The “he’s not getting my money” routine went on waaaayyyy too long. I really started to dislike Caro quite a lot by the end of the story.

So, for me this was not one of Jo Beverley’s better books. There is a third in the Secret series coming out next year, I’m keeping my fingers crossed. And by the way, some of Jo Beverley’s traditional regencies are going to be reprinted: Lord Wraybourne’s Betrothed October 2009, The Sanfirth Secrets February 2010, The Stolen Bride June 2010, Emily and the Dark Angel October 2010 (great book!)
Sensuality Rating: Warm


An Indecent Proposition by Emma Wildes
Get me a fan quick!!
When I first read the synopsis for An Indecent Proposition, I was a little nervous. Normally, a ménage a trios isn’t my thing, nor do I like to read about them. And, the author’s website says she writes Erotica novels, so I wasn’t really sure what I was getting. However, this story really turns out to be something else entirely.

Two aristocrats, the Duke of Rothay and the Earl of Manderville, make a drunken wager, each claims they are the better lover. The heroine, Lady Caroline Wynn takes up that wager. Caroline is a widow, who had a crappy marriage, really really crappy. She has earned the reputation in the ton for being glacial and she needs to preserve her reputation. The plan is that she will discreetly go with each one of them for a week, and then at the end of the two weeks send an anonymous note to the papers announcing who is the better lover.

Of course, the plan doesn’t work. I don’t want to give too much away, but let me just say that there are two romances in this book. And, they are wonderfully written. The book as four flawed characters and as the story progresses we get to watch them work their way through their flaws. There is some really good writing in this book.

The love scenes are hot, but sensual. They enhance the story and are not just the obligatory sex scenes that is thrown in to take up space.

This is Ms. Wildes’ first book in mainstream publishing, although she’s written a few e-books. This is a fresh, well-written, sorta debut book that I couldn’t put down According to her website there is another book Lessons from a Scarlet Lady coming January 2010. I for one am marking my calendar.
Sensuality Rating: Scorcher


Some Like it Wild by Teresa Medeiros
Well, it seems I’m over my slump and back into some good books. Didn’t last long did it? Some Like it Wild is the second book in the Kincaid series, and no, you don’t have to read the first book (Some Like it Wicked) to know what is going on here. This is one of those standard plots about a Scottish thief masquerading as a missing heir and surprise, surprise, he's the real heir. However, in the hands of Ms. Medeiros, this standard storyline turns into a very enjoyable read.

The characters of Connor and Pamela are wonderfully witty and the secondary characters are fun. In fact, secondary characters almost steal the show, but don’t. I am hoping for a sequel with Sophia (Pamela’s sister) and Crispin (Connor’s cousin). Sophia and Crispin are very funny in their antagonizing banter. I loved Sophia and her reason for not liking Crispin. I wish Ms. Medeiros would update her website better so that I could find out, however it seems she has to write. La di da.

There aren't any surprises in this book, but don't let that bother you. This is not a dark brooding novel, but one that will but a smile on your face and I find it very easy to recommend.
I have changed my rating to grades instead of's easier and more flexible.
Sensuality: Hot


Confessions of a Little Black Gown by Elizabeth Boyle
Confessions of a Little Black Gown continues the story of the Bachelor chronicles. This story is about Thalia Langley (Tally) and Lord Larken.
I must confess that I had a little problem because I couldn’t remember the first book in the series and this one continues where that one left off or it plays a major part in this story. Tally and her cousin Lady Phillipa Knowles have broken an American privateer out of prison and will hide him throughout this book. Lord Larken is sent to capture him and adopts the disguise of a vicar to do so. Tally sees through his disguise almost immediately. There were some things I didn’t see coming and the ending has a hanger.

Anyway, I think that this book was supposed to be kind of a screw ball comedy, but it misses, although there are some scenes that had me chuckling. This is not a heavy duty book, it could have been if the author had journeyed into the hero’s past, but she doesn’t. We are reintroduced to the characters from the first book. I found her sister very annoying and keep trying to remember her from her own book, but couldn't. Also, the secondary characters of Philipa and her American privateer almost stole the show. Thank goodness we don’t have to wait a year to read their story, Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress…it’s out in May. I hope it lives up to my expectations. And, after what I just wrote you might think that I didn't like the book, but I did.

This is a good, fast read; with just a little twist at the end to keep your interest peaked.
Sensuality rating: warm


The Immortal Hunter by Lynsay Sands (Book 11 Argeneau Series)
The Immortal Hunter
is more plot driven than character driven, there is absolutely no chemistry between the two main characters Dani and Decker. One of the reasons for that is in Lynsay Sands vampire world the vampires have life-mates, so there isn’t any real effort made to explore their relationship.

The vampire world of Lynsay Sands is an interesting place. These vampires can be in the sun, they are vampires because of “nanos” in the blood, they are from Atlantis, there are fang and non-fang vampires, there is a governing council of elders, they are limited to one child every one hundred years, you know you have met your life-mate because you cannot read their mind and other interesting bits of information that Ms. Sands drops throughout her books.

It isn’t necessary to read all 11 books in the series to follow this one, but it helps. However, this book pales in comparison to my favorite in the series “The Accidental Vampire

The book opens where the last book ended, wrapping up all of the loose ends that were left over. Once those ends are tied, Decker decides he wants to relax, however he can’t because Dani and her sister Stephanie have been kidnapped by rogue vampires, he and his partner must rescue them. And, so the chase begins.

There were too many things in this book that either disturbed or irritated me, here are just a few (spoiler’s included):
1. Dani’s sister Stephanie is only 15 when she is kidnapped and turned into a vampire.
2. The really depressing conversation(s) on how they were going to tell Dani’s parents that she was a vampire. Would they tell the parents, would they pretend the women were dead or at school, would they wipe out their mind?
3. If vampires can read minds, why can’t they read the mind of the villain in the next room? A plethora of characters from previous books showing up.
4. Last, but not least, cell phones, cell phones, cell phones, talking on cell phones, getting batteries for cell phones, listening to cell phones, speaker phones…aaakk!

(Spoiler: there are loose ends at the end of this one too.)

I don’t think I liked this one very much.
Sensuality Rating: Hot