Lessons from a Scarlet Lady by Emma Wildes


This book puts the E in Erotica, however, not the kind where you need to take a shower afterward! No ick factor!

Emma Wildes has done a ton of e-books and for some reason I always feel they are not as good as the writers that have been published in print. I'm not sure why that is, I haven't read any e-books, so I guess I just discriminate against e-book writers for no particular reason. In this case, I seem to be wrong. Lessons from a Scarlet Lady is well-written and has some very interesting characters in it.

Even though the blurb on the back talks about Brianna Northfield and her husband, there are really two stories in this book. We have the story of Brianna and her husband Colton. And, then there is the story of her best friend Rebecca and Colton's brother, Robert. Both stories are very good, and let me tell you the love scenes are hot!

You see Brianna is a newlywed, she loves her husband and the sex is ok, however, he's kind of a cold fish and she wants more. So, what does she do? She buys a racy book written by a former courtesan on all the ways you can hold your man! How to explicitly hold your man, if you get my drift. Colton's confused reaction to his wife's seduction was very entertaining. Of course, there was the eventual misunderstanding, but that was over quickly.

The other story is about Brianna's friend Rebecca, who has had a crush on rakish Robert for years. However, the stumbling block here is her father. To say he doesn't like Robert would be an understatement. So, we have that obstacle to watch.

I loved the brothers relationship, especially when they were trying to express their feeling about themselves and their women. Even though the plots been done before (both of them) they worked in this book and I found this a very pleasant read.

There were only a couple of things that bothered me, first of all the name Colton. Hated it. Threw me out of the story a number of times. Colton in my mind is either contemporary or saying Yipee-Ki-Yay little doggies. The other thing was even though I enjoyed both stories, I occasionally felt they invaded each others space. I'd be really interested in what was going on with Brianna and then Rebecca's story would be there. And vice-versa.

However, those are minor quibbles. I found this book to be very entertaining well-worth reading.

Time Place: Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Hot! Hot! Hot!


Sinful Surrender by Beverley Kendall

Sinful Surrender, a book full of loathsome characters! See the tears in my eyes.

OMG where do I start? I wanted to like this book, and when it started out I thought I had found another debut author who could write romance. But, then it turned ugly. First of all there's the stalker chick heroine Millicent or Missy as she is called by those who love her. She has loved the whiny, jerk hero James forever. James is the friend of her equality atrocious brother (who by the way is the next one to get his book). The brother doesn't think his best friend James is good enough for his sister, and he wants James to end the infatuation. Why would you have a best friend who you don't want hanging around your sister?

Even though we are talking a time period when an innocent girl would have a chaperon, our stalker heroine doesn't seem to have any problem waltzing into James house at all hours of the day and night to throw herself at him. Of course, he can't resist, he can't control his lust, he can't, he can't, he can't. So, his predator animal instinct takes over and he has mind-numbing sex with her and then he kicks her out of his house. Does she get the hint? Are you crazy, we still have more pages of this atrocious behavior to go through. One of the more heart warming moments is when he parades his mistress around in front of her and then gets mad when her feelings are hurt. That was sarcasm. I really hated this guy.

Of course, there are always the secondary characters that might save this story, there is the Ice-princess who lies and says James is the father of her child, the drunken lover who when he's not drinking is glaring at people, there is the 17 year old about-to-have-her-own-book-woman who publicly insults Millicent's atrocious brother. This book is so full of people I couldn't keep track of all of them. Now, I will admit that not all of the characters were horrible. There were a few that had redeeming qualities, maybe four out of, oh...I don't know, hundreds.

In case you missed it, I hated James, he was such a ass and I really don't know why Millicent thought she loved him. I would have cut my losses the first time he showed up with a floozy on his arm. He really was a whiny big baby.

The sad thing about this book is technically the writing is good, but the characters in the story are horrible. I debated on the high rating.

Time/Place: Victorian England
Sensuality Rating: Hot!


Faith by Deaneane Clark

Duck!! Watch out wall!!!!


If you like " I hate rakes, but I'll kiss them...then I'll never believe anything they say", then Faith by Deneane Clark is for you. Do you know why Faith hates rakes? Because when she was five she was tricked into a maze and caught the eldest son of the household having fun with a maid (if you get my drift). Anyway, he told her that if she moved or made a sound a giant spider would eat her. So, because of that she doesn't like rakes and is afraid of intimacy...get it...a giant spider is going to eat you, so you will always hate rakes. Plllleeeeaaasse!

I could not finish this clunker, the writing was of the "I can do this" style. I really like to give new authors a chance, and I had read a favorable review calling this book a romp. However, someones definition of a romp and mine are not simpatico.

I will confess, that yes, I did skip ahead in the story...Because, this idiot couple were having one misunderstanding after another...Never talking to each other...listening to bad advice. The book is 288 pages long for Pete's sake and they don't get around to consummating their forced marriage until page 250. And, then...and then...because she's a virgin and he thought she was a whore, they have another misunderstanding and then she gets kidnapped. Where's that wall!

I don't think I will be waiting for this particular author to develop her craft.

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Warm

A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh

Get your cute-0-meter out!

Mary Balogh's is in top form with A Matter of Class, a novella that reminds me of the old traditional Regency. Of course, the old traditional Regency was not $15 buck-a-loos, so check it out from your favorite library or borrow it from a buddy, but read it!!

Whether you like Mary Balogh's or not, she knows how to put words together to make a full story and even though this story is short, it is a well-written book. For those of you that don't like flashback, too bad, because they are in this book; however, they blend perfectly into the storyline. In fact, they are needed for this particular story. I can't tell you too much of the plot because there are some unexpected surprises in this one. (Unless, like me, you read the end of your books first...I have to tell you, in this case resist the temptation!)

The hero, Reginald is the son of a wealthy coal merchant. His father wants him to be a gentleman. The heroine (Lady Annabelle) their neighbor, is the daughter of a Marquess. And, let me tell you the marquess is a real snob and very class conscious. Reginald and Annabelle are both well-written, interesting characters.

So, find this book (remember $15.00), pull up an easy chair, get a cup of hot chocolate and spend a few hours enjoying a pleasant read.

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Warm


How I Met My Countess by Elizabeth Boyle

If you don't like flashbacks be warned, half of this book is a flashback. However, the flashback is the best part of the book. With How I Met My Countess, Elizabeth Boyle is back on top. I have a feeling that not everyone is going to like this book, but I enjoyed it. It was a fast read, nothing earth shattering or hard to understand.

I especially enjoyed the heroine, Lucy. She is the daughter of a pick pocket who runs a spy school (and I'm sure that was in one of Boyle's other books, but I can't remember). Now don't get excited about the spy part, because we don't really see any spying, just the training.

The first part of this book is fast paced, and fun and I loved Lucy and Gilbert. When Lucy and Lord Gilbert meet, it is hate at first sight. Lucy is really rough around the edges, and she doesn't give a fig; Gilbert is an aristocrat who believes in everyone in their right place. They really butt heads, I only wish there had been more of this part.

How I Met My Countess had a two book feel about it, and for me the momentum in the first part was lost when the flashback is over. I had the feeling that Ms. Boyle realized she had two more books in the series and had to figure out a way to squeeze that info into a small amount of pages. So, the second half felt a little rushed.

But all in all, if you want a break from those heavy duty, brain-numbing books you've been reading, this one is for you.

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Really Warm

Proof of Seduction by Courtney Milan

Every author has a rhythm, which is why I'm comfortable when reading one of my auto-buy authors. When I open up a Jo Beverley or Mary Balogh, I know their rhythm, I know what I'm getting. So, when I read a new author, it is always with a little trepidation, because you never know what you're getting. When I started reading Proof of Seduction by Courtney Milan, it took me awhile to find her rhythm, so I was a little concerned.

As first books go, this was a pretty good read, oh, it didn't blow me away like Meredith Duran or even Julia Quinn when I first read her eons ago. But like Julia Quinn, I recognize a quality in Miss Milan work that as some possibilities.

There is a lot to like with this book, and the hero is one of my favorite types, the stuffed shirt hero. There is also a wonderful secondary character, Ned, who has his own book coming. And, I'm really looking forward to that one because Ned isn't the brightest bulb in the bunch and I really want to see how he turns out. The one problem I had with this book was there is an awful lot of internalizing and hardly any dialogue, so, we are told what's going on instead of seeing it.

This story is basically a story of two people, Jenny and Gareth, both abandoned but in different ways and with different results in their outlook on life. I especially enjoyed the interaction or lack of that Gareth had with his sister and Ned, very touching. And don't let the cover mislead you about the sex in this book. This isn't an erotica with sex all over the place, however what there is, is well-written and hot.

So, this is a good debut book, nothing earth shattering, but good and if Ms. Milan can add more dialogue and less internalizing she should become a top-notch romance author.

Time/Place: Victorian England
Sensuality Rating: Hot


Whirlewind Wedding by Jacquie D'Alessandro

Another palette cleansing!!

Whirlwind Wedding
by Jacquie D’Alessandro

After the last book, I decided, since a new decade was upon us to dip into the past and read a book from the year 2000; one I remembered fondly. It's always interesting to see how much your tastes change with the passing years. Well, much to my surprise Whirlwind Wedding by Jacquie D'Alessandro still holds up.

Elizabeth Matthews is a heroine who is warm, witty and intelligent; she also has visions. Now, don't become alarmed, the visions do not overpower the book. She is invited to the country estate of the Duke of Bradford, Austin Jamison. I did have a problem with the name Austin, so, I found myself skipping over his name. Anyway, Austin is injured and Elizabeth saves him, but they are caught in a compromising position and forced to marry.

I did enjoyed watching this marriage of convenience blossom. They made a great couple until the big misunderstanding. And, it is that misunderstanding which lowers the rating of this book. The big misunderstanding was very silly and I wish the author had come up with some other method of creating tension between this very charming couple.

So, except for the misunderstanding contrivance, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it. By the way, this author's website is not one of my favorites. I always feel some eye strain after visiting it.

Next, onto a debut author.

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality Rating:


A Wicked Lord at the Wedding by Jillian Hunter

Another Boscastle!

A Wicked Lord at the Wedding by Jillian Hunter is another book that produces the "I can write as good as her" syndrome.

Lots of sex in this book, but no communication. After the couple (Sebastien and Eleanor) are married, Sebastien disappears into The War and is gone for long periods of time without a word to Eleanor.

When the story opens he is at a costume party trying to win his wife's affection back. And let me say something about silliness, Eleanor is dressed up as a cat...seriously, a cat. With a tail, in Regency England. Hard to swallow. More silliness: in her husbands absence she has turned into the Mayfair Masquer. She dresses up like a man and breaks into people's homes, looking for some stupid letters written by someone blackmailing people. Groaning. See...silly...and it hasn't even started.

And then there is Sebastien, he is just across the ocean fighting or whatever he's doing. Does he send a message to his wife? Noooooo! Does he sit down for a heart-to-heart with his wife? Nooooooo! What is his plan to win his disguised as a man wife back? He'll seduce her, that's what! Of course, Eleanor cannot love him again. Nooooo, she cannot trust him again. Nooooo, however, there's nothing wrong with a bit of really hot sex.

Really, this book is truly a groan feast...Hisssss.

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Hot