Review: The Pursuit of Pleasure (Dartmouth Brides #1) by Elizabeth Essex

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The Pursuit of Pleasure by Elizabeth Essex

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋💋💋

Buy Links

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Blurb

SHE DOES SAY SHE’LL NEVER MARRY…
Miss Elizabeth Paxton is a new sort of heiress–educated, opinionated and entirely independent. The last thing she wants is a husband mucking about her life. Even if he is the only man she’s ever loved.

BUT SHE HAS ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A WIDOW.
When dashing Captain Jameson Marlowe returns to Dartmouth, he proposes to give Lizzie exactly what she wants–a marriage without the man. After one night of searing passion, his sworn duty will take him far off to sea…or so she thinks until secrets and lies set a collision course with the smugglers along the south coast, and Lizzie is caught in the dark tide of treason. Can she salvage her pride and learn to trust in true love before it’s too late?
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The Pursuit of Pleasure was originally published in 2010. This new edition has been revised and reedited. This book was a 2009 Golden Heart finalist with the Romance Writers of America.

My Review

*I received a copy via NetGalley.

Another up until 2 AM read! This one is steamy and will give you chills for many reasons. I love a story with smugglers, secrets, and a bit of mystery. You will be hooked from the start like I was because you know right away how they will be with each other. I had my suspicions from the start about who was involved in the smuggling and was partially right. Some favorites include her a shooting and the twists surrounding everything. The ending was perfect.

Lizzie is definitely opinionated, educated and voices her thoughts to anyone. She comes off as a wild child many times, but also is very stubborn and doesn’t always think thing through. I did love her for fighting things she believed in and her struggle to be true to herself.

Jamie (Jameson) convinced himself that everything was apart of his plan and nothing else, but from the start, you know the truth. I loved him right away because he had a hint of mystery to him and also spoke his mind. He is on a mission that isn’t quite going to plan in many ways.

I highly recommend this one.

ARC Review: Windswept (Wales #2) by Sabrina Jeffries

*This post contains affiliate links.*

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Windswept by Sabrina Jeffries

Releasing February 28, 2017

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋💋💋

Buy Links

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Blurb

Originally written under the pseudonym Deborah Martin, this unforgettable tale of mystery, treasure, and passion is back in print at last and newly revised for today’s audience!

Welsh widow Catrin Price is haunted by a family death curse. Any man whom she marries without first drinking from an ancient Druid chalice sold by her ancestor long ago is unquestionably doomed. But when she hunts it down to purchase it, the chalice’s former owner ends up dead. Who will believe her innocent with the man’s treasure in her hands? Now she lives in fear of discovery, afraid to trust, afraid to give away her heart…

Even Newcome, a scholar struggling to overcome a difficult past, travels to Wales to find the mysterious woman last seen with his murdered friend. So when the lady proves to be a beautiful yet shy creature who shares his love of Welsh mythology, he’s torn between believing her guilty and trusting the passion blazing between them. But as unscrupulous men seek the chalice for their own devious purposes, will Catrin and Evan let their wall of mistrust stand between them? Or will they defeat their enemies together and embrace the love intended for them since time immemorial?

My Review

*I received a copy from the author via NetGalley

This story will make you want to read up on Wales and Welsh mythology. The opening was perfect and hooked me from the start with the tale of the chalice. I loved the mystery and had absolutely no clue who the murderer was or why and was taken by surprise when it was revealed. Catrin and Evan are perfect for each other and definitely have instant chemistry. I loved their first meeting and how they are kind of opposites in many things. The ending was AMAZING! So much happened that made non-believers into believers.

Catrin is so shy but so strong too. She has had so much happen to her that it’s easy to understand why she believes in the curse and doesn’t trust strangers. I loved her personality and her name. When she needs to take action and protect someone she loves she is powerful. I loved her with the gun.

Evan is not shy at all and is very smart. His past is heartbreaking and has convinced him to never marry, but he is not his past. I loved how he didn’t hide what he felt and the way he went about getting her to listen. He did have a bit of an inner battle and didn’t see what others saw in him which affected him in many ways.

I wanted to dislike Catrin’s father in law, but he proved himself to be a good man in the end. I was so excited to see Juliana and Rhys and how they played into the story.

Release Blitz and Review for The Rakehell’s Seduction by Lauren Smith

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RELEASE BLITZ

Title: The Rakehell’s Seduction

Series: Seduction #2

Author: Lauren Smith

Genre: Historical/Regency Romance

Release Date: February 6, 2017

Buy Links – 99c for a limited time only

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Blurb

HE’S MADE A DANGEROUS WAGER

 Ambrose Worthing is no gentleman. He’s a proud cold-hearted rake who’s determined to stay a bachelor forever. He enjoys bedding a different woman every night without the risk of falling in love. When he hears about a wager over the seduction and ruination of the daughter of his father’s best friend, he knows he must intervene. Committing himself to the bet, he agrees to seduce Lady Alexandra Rockford—for her own good. He never expected the lady in question to be a beautiful, fiery creature who has passions of her own that call to his guarded heart.

SHE’S VOWED NEVER TO FALL IN LOVE AGAIN

Alexandra Rockford has sworn off men, her heart still broken from the false promises of a childhood sweetheart who left her to marry an heiress. When she stumbles into Ambrose outside of a country ball, she knows the rake his trouble. His smile, his touch, his forbidden kiss are all too tempting but being with him would ruin her. Determined to enjoy herself without falling in love, Alex can’t help but let her defenses down with the too charming rake. But when she discovers Ambrose is seducing her to win a bet, it will take everything Ambrose has to prove to her that he is worthy to love her.

My Review

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

Spice Level: 💋💋💋💋

Absolutely amazing!! I highlighted so many favorite parts and lines from start to end. The moment they met I knew they were a perfect match even with the pranks that followed. I loved that when I thought everything was going great a twist was thrown in about the wager that I did not see coming. All of the characters are a bit surprising as you get to know them and a couple of more twists are in there. The ending was perfect with the whole book having that bit of fairy tale feeling.

Alex may be my favorite heroine of all time. She is not shy, very bold, and knows how to stop a man in his tracks when he tries something. I loved how she got along with her father and how open she was about things.

Ambrose was exactly like I thought he would be after meeting him the last book. He definitely is a rake, but there is a side of him that wants to protect people. I loved how he treated people and when set out to make things better.

Vaughn was one I wanted hate when he showed up, but as it went on he sounded like a pretty good guy really. The parts in the end with Lady Society really have excited and I want to know who she is.

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Excerpt

 Ambrose Worthing was attending a country dance.

The notion was laughable. He, a glorified rakehell with a distaste for country life, was currently entrapped in a bloody assembly room that could pass for a barn on better days. In fact, as he glanced around the room, he decided it most certainly resembled a farmyard at the moment, with the gaggle of society mamas squawking like geese, their turbans festooned with tall ostrich plumes.

He groaned when he saw them scrutinizing him, whispering behind their fans, their eyes dancing over his form as they assessed his marital suitability. From the clever smiles he glimpsed, he knew they were ready to throw their innocent daughters at his feet.

Like bloody hell. He was not about to find himself accidentally “compromising” any of the young ladies here tonight. He’d come here tonight to find one particular young woman to seduce her, to win a bet he’d made in London the previous week, and hopefully save her. He was not about to let the gathering of society mamas intimidate him into dancing with their daughters, even if they rivaled the great ancient Mongolian Golden Horde led by Genghis Khan. Many a rake had fallen under their wiles, surfacing months later to find themselves stuck with a shy chit of a girl as a wife and an obnoxious mother-in-law.

At twenty-nine years old, he’d managed to weather many attempts by his friends and relatives to see him settled. If those who loved him could not bring him to the altar, no silly chits from the country would have any success either. He was a permanent bachelor, and he liked it. Marriage was not made for men like him. To be tied down with one woman for the rest of his life and suffer the trappings of home and hearth when he could be exploring the world and living? Heavens no, he would not give up his freedom for anything.

A few daring matchmaking mamas separated from the crowd and walked in his direction. Damnation, even the need for a master of ceremonies to perform introductions wouldn’t stop these women.

Ambrose spun on his heel, desperate to avoid conversation. If he had to listen to one more story about how well their daughters played the pianofortes or how accomplished they were at needlepoint, he’d run from the assembly hall screaming.

He had met almost everyone present at the dance and had no desire to continue any of the acquaintances. He was only here because of the wager placed in a betting book at White’s. A damned fool named Gerald Langley had put down in the books that anyone who plucked the fruit of this girl’s vine would receive five thousand pounds from him. Langley was a brute with little in the way of good sense and far too much coin. Ambrose had no idea why Langley had it in for the Earl of Rockford’s daughter, but he did. After reading the bet, Ambrose had penned his name to the challenge and notified Langley he had accepted the wager.

For once in his life he was trying to do the right thing by a woman. It was a bit ironic, though, that saving the woman required compromising her. But the Earl of Rockford and his father had been friends, and Ambrose felt he owed it to Rockford to win the wager and keep the lady safe from true scoundrels. No other man would take the care with her that he would and see to it that her first time with a man was a pleasurable experience.

He had one month to seduce Rockford’s daughter and provide proof of this seduction in London. As the lady in question had never been to London, there was much speculation among the men at his club whether she was a diamond of the first water or a dowdy creature. The betting book listed her age as twenty-two, young enough not to be an ape leader, a nasty term for women nearing spinsterhood.

Apparently Rockford wasn’t one for traditions. Any father wishing to ensure his daughter’s future would have brought her to London at seventeen or eighteen, had her presented to the queen, and then made the round of balls to hunt for a husband.

Yet Rockford had not done any of that. He’d kept his daughter in the country, living a quiet life. An unplucked fruit to tempt the worst sort of men in White’s to bet upon the taking of her maidenhead for their own amusement.

Normally Ambrose had little desire to compete in wagers, especially ones which involved the corruption of innocents. It was not out of some moral principle, but rather a dislike of virgins. They tended to fall in love and cling to the man who took their innocence. But after witnessing the sort of men discussing whether to take the bet that night, Ambrose decided he would do this innocent lady a favor. He’d penned his name in the books, taking up the wager, and sent a letter to Rockford, renewing their acquaintance.

A letter from Rockford arrived only a few days later, inviting Ambrose to this ball and to spend a few weeks at Rockford’s home as a guest. It was the perfect opportunity for Ambrose to cozy up to the man’s daughter and see what sort of creature he would soon be bedding.

If only he knew what the lady looked like. In the chaotic din full of dancing and music, he could not find a single young lady among the crush that he was willing to bed. It wasn’t that the young ladies weren’t attractive. They were, but none were to his taste. Innocent young ladies had never appealed to him. If his friend Gareth Fairfax had been there, Gareth would have been laughing at him. Gareth was stuck in his own hell—the poor fool was happily married. Married! Ambrose couldn’t think of anything more terrifying than being stuck with one woman for the rest of his life. Helen was a darling creature and perfectly suited to Gareth, and Ambrose supposed it would be not too terrible to share a bed with a woman like her. But still, to be leg-shackled?

I would rather die in a thousand unspeakable ways than stand in a bloody church and tie myself to one woman for the rest of my days.

Also Available

In the Seduction series

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Author Bio

 lauren-smithLauren Smith is an Oklahoma attorney by day, author by night for Grand Central Publishing, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She knew she was destined to be a romance writer when she attempted to re-write the entire Titanic movie just to save Jack from drowning. Connecting with readers by writing emotionally moving, realistic and sexy romances no matter what time period is her passion. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including: New England Reader’s Choice Awards, Greater Detroit BookSeller’s Best Awards, Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award. To connect with Lauren, visit her at http://www.laurensmithbooks.com/  or twitter at https://twitter.com/LSmithAuthor.

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