The Wicked Wallflower by Maya Rodale

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Lady Emma Avery is in quite a predicament-since her debut into society, she has very little to show for herself by way of marriage prospects-the one man who has shown her attention would love to settle down with her, but he needs to marry a lady with a dowry or his family will be ruined…And Lady Emma Avery hasn’t a penny to her name. One night, while drinking too much sherry, her lady friends come up with a scheme that will be sure to have her married by the end of the season…All she has to do is announce her engagement to a man who doesn’t even know she exists-the bachelor of the year, the womanizing Duke of Ashbrooke.

Little does Emma know, their little joke is about to have a domino effect-and the Duke of Ashbrooke may just need something Lady Avery can provide…But can they both maintain a “professional” relationship as they pull off their little ruse, or will they be overtaken by the temptation of one another and lose everything they know?

This novel is, obviously, the genre I refer to as “bodice-rippers” and is full of stolen kisses and impassioned arguments leading up to passionate lovemaking and inevitable happy ending..So if that sounds like something you like, be sure to pick up The Wicked Wallflower and give it a shot. Maya Rodale is one of my favorite authors in this genre, she adds a humor that many authors fail to integrate and you will be giggling throughout the entire novel.

Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove #4) by Tessa Dare

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The Duke of Halford has a problem. His mother has decided that she has waited long enough for grand babies, and he absolutely must marry as soon as possible or else. But the Duke has no desire to burden himself with the fairer sex, and certainly no interest in chasing debutantes around London. His mother’s counter-offer? He doesn’t have to marry a wealthy heiress or a female with a dowry, he can marry anyone he wants, just so long as he finally marries and puts his family line in motion. The Duke agrees to this plan, but with his own agenda. He will find the most wildly inappropriate female for the job, and he will pay that female to be a complete disaster for his mother’s designs. With any luck, it will go so badly that his mother will stop pushing the issue for a while and he can have some temporary peace. But his plan is flawed. His working-class belle is very rough around the edges, and has just enough spirit and courage to make the Duke question his own methods of operation… Can he follow through with the plan without falling in love with Pauline?

Anyone who loves historical romance novels (bodice-rippers) will want to pick up Any Duchess Will Do, by Tessa Dare. The dialogue is laugh-out-loud hilarious and the romance is sweet and genuine. This novel is like a cross between Pygmalion (My Fair Lady) and Pride and Prejudice, with some sexy and slightly naughty sprinkled on top.

Seducing the Princess by Mary Hart Perry

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Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter Beatrice was her best companion when her other daughters had long been married off. Approaching 30, Beatrice had long been considered a spinster. Suddenly, however, two gentlemen have appeared, both of which are suddenly interested in the woman : dashing nobleman Harry Battenberg, and a mysterious new stableman from Scotland who saved her from bandits while she rode her horse. Unfortunately, the Queen has no interest in losing her daughter to the hands of man, instead opting to keep her chaste and protected, and by her side for the rest of time.

Beatrice is torn like she has never been torn before. She wants to have her own life, and make her own decisions, and she very much wants Harry Battenberg, a man who seems to understand her deeply and appreciate her, and who has asked for her hand in marriage.  But when Victoria refuses to give her blessing to Harry Battenberg and banishes him from the kingdom, and Beatrice receives no word from him about his intentions or affections following the event, the handsome stableman begins to seem much more charming and attractive. But where does he come from and what are his secrets? What are his intentions? Something dark looms overhead, but Beatrice is too naive to anticipate the shock she is about to receive.

Seducing the Princess, by Mary Hart Perry, is a historical novel set in Victorian England (obviously) and will be greatly appreciated by just about anyone who enjoys a good historical romance. The novel also has very little in the way of lewd sexuality, I would even hesitate to call it a bodice ripper, consummated love is alluded to, but never written out descriptively. The author also wrote The Wild Princess, which is about Victoria’s daughter, Louise. These novels take creative liberty to add adventure to facts already known about the princesses (although the author admits that they are strictly fictional). Readers who like Phillipa Gregory or similar authors will truly enjoy Mary Hart Perry. Don’t hesitate, pick it up!

The Story of X by A.J. Malloy

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Fifty Shades of Grey readers, be on the lookout for The Story of X, an erotic adventure about conservative American student, Alexandra Beckmann, who meets the wealthy and terribly sexy Lord Marcus Roscarrick and is pulled into a world she never knew existed. Nice restaurants and exclusive events are only the beginning. Marcus seems to have another “involvement” that she never expected…He’s in a secret society which meets regularly for initiation rituals that include explicit sexual acts…Suddenly sweet, naive Alexandra is taking the first steps to join a sex cult…Can she really find happiness with this man who has chosen a lifestyle she must embrace if she wants to be part of his life?

If you like erotic literature and you’ve been looking for your next “Fifty Shades” experience, The Story of X, by A.J. Malloy, is an obvious next read. Like Fifty Shades, however, this novel is quite explicit, so if you are sensitive to anything rated higher than PG-13, you will want to avoid this novel. Also, being erotic literature, the plot is second to the description, so keep that in mind as you read.

The Rock Star in Seat 3A by Jill Kargman

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Most couples have had the “free pass” discussion about which celebrity dream girl/guy they are allowed to sleep with in the unlikely event that they are given the opportunity. When Hazel finds herself in a first-class seat on an airplane, right next to the celebrity dream man she has lusted over for years, she finds the temptation to use her “free pass” irresistible. Sexy rock star Finn Schiller has the hots for Hazel and he invites her into his life, but Hazel is torn…Her longtime boyfriend Will is practically her family…But she has the chance with her dream man…The seductiveness of the rock star world pulls Hazel into the haze of celebrities, music, travel, and even drugs…Will Hazel find happiness there?

An average woman must decide what she really needs in life, to find true happiness. Is it the comfort of home or the excitement of constant motion and thrills? Is it passion or warm contentment? What will Hazel learn about herself?

This novel is very humorous, very ChickLit. If you don’t mind some vulgar language and serious sarcasm, you will enjoy this novel very much. If you like humorous women’s fiction like Heather McElhatton (Jennifer Johnson is Sick of Being Married, Jennifer Johnson is Sick of Being Single), don’t miss The Rock Star in Seat 3A, by Jill Kargman.

What Happens in Scotland by Jennifer McQuiston

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Lady Thorold, recently widowed, left London to become acquainted with her cousin. She has a few drinks with the man, and doesn’t remember anything that happens for the next 12 hours. When she wakes up, she is married to a Scotsman she has never met before and they have spent the night together in a local inn. She promptly knocks him out and makes a run for it, like any respectable woman would do…

As the night’s events begin to come together, she realizes she may need James MacKenzie more than she thought–she may need him to free her from their marriage! But where is this illusive man? In the meantime, MacKenzie is out to find the spitfire of a blond who mesmerized him in the night and left him wondering where his horse and pocketbook have gone! In a very “what happens in Vegas”-like theme, these lovable characters are sent on a scavenger hunt to piece together the evening before and find out how to fix all the damage that they created, which, of course, they don’t remember themselves, but the villagers seem to have observed to great amusement.

This novel is definitely one of the more light-hearted “bodice-ripper” type of books I have read. If you like historical romance, you don’t want to miss this one, which is fun and amusing and perfect for a long soak in a bubble bath or maybe just a cozy rainy day. What Happens in Scotland, by Jennifer McQuiston is unexpectedly enjoyable, and you can expect more posts about this author on my page in the future, I hope.

How to Deceive a Duke by Lecia Cornwall

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I will be the first to admit that when I saw the cover to this book, I thought “OH BROTHER, another cheesy romance novel…” but I was pleasantly surprised the night that I decided maybe some light, silly reading would be just the thing at the end of a long day…Lecia Cornwall’s How to Deceive a Duke was surprisingly fun to read, with just the right amount of cheesy and inevitable love, but some pleasant surprises giving it unexpected originality.

Meg (Marguerite) and her family have lost everything-if her older sister doesn’t marry the rogue, Nicholas Hartley, they will surely be ruined and have to sell off everything they own, and Meg will be forced to provide for the family by seeking employment. When her sister runs away from home at the prospect of marrying an infamous womanizer and all-around rake, Meg does the first thing that comes to mind-she puts on the gown and veil and walks down the aisle herself! The duke is none the wiser and by the end of the day she is a duchess-but what will happen when people learn that she is not the eldest Lynton sister, but the second? And what will it be like to be married to this terror of a husband?

The new duchess is in for a pleasant surprise, however, when she discovers that her womanizing husband is, admittedly, very charming indeed. She finds herself in a very confusing situation. Her duty is to bear an heir into the Hartley blood lines, but when the two of them are locked in a bedroom together, her duties are very little like duties, after all. Very confusing, indeed.

If you like bodice-rippers or historical romance novels, this novel is just what you need for an easy, pleasant read. Don’t be fooled by the cover, this is one of the better romance novels of the year.

Vanity Fare : a novel of lattes, literature and love by Megan Caldwell

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Molly Hagan is a single mother in Brooklyn with a passion for coffee, books, and handsome men…Her husband left her for a hot young blond and she has been hiding behind romance novels and a steaming mug ever since. But the bad news keeps coming-her husband has lost his job and will no longer be paying for her son’s insurance or much else by way of child support, either. Molly will have to get a job and become entirely independent, and find a way to take care of her son alone…And she’s very, very worried about it.

Can she go back to work after being a stay-at-home-mom for so many years? Will her literature degree mean anything to ANYONE out there in New York City? Luckily, a family friend may have a temporary solution for her, helping out his company to do writing copy for a new bakery that’s going to be the next big thing-owned by a very sexy pastry chef from the UK who seems to think that Molly is, actually, kind of tasty herself.  Just to shake things up, a few other men are trying to tickle her fancy, too. The very serious and somber Nick actually seems to have a heart hidden under that sexy brooding facade…

This novel is about new beginnings, the importance of family and good friends, and power to women, especially those who are forced to re-examine their entire existence when things don’t go exactly as planned. If you like Chicklit or Women’s fiction with a touch of humor, like Heather McElhatton or Liane Moriarty, you won’t want to miss Megan Caldwell’s Vanity Fare: a novel of lattes, literature and love.

Paranormal Romance of 2012

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Vampires, Werewolves, Angels, Fallen Angels, Demons, Witches, Fairies, Pixies, Gods and Goddesses, the genre of paranormal romance, which took the world by storm some years ago, is still going strong, with a devoted following. Here are some authors and some of their 2012 releases, for those of you who try to keep up.

Kerrelyn Sparks’ Wild About You (Love at Stake #13) brings you Elsa Bjornberg, home renovating TV personality with a family curse brought upon her, and the Were Bear, Howard, who will stop at nothing to have her.

Sable Grace’s Chosen (Dark Breed #3) stars half-vampire, half lychen Kyana, a warrior protecting the earth from supernatural takeover who is in love with a supreme being.

Lynsay Sands’ The Lady is a Vamp (Argeneau #17), in which Vampire Jeanne Louise Argeneau is kidnapped by a man who doesn’t realize just what he’s getting himself into, and the connection between the two becomes more important than anything in the world.

Juliana Stone’s King of the Damned (League of Guardians #2) introduces a fallen Angel, Azaiel, who wants more than anything to atone for his past mis-deeds and comes across sexy Witch, Rowan, bringing them both into a quest to avoid damnation for once and for all.

If you love paranormal romance novelists like Laurel K Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Pamela Palmer, etc, and you haven’t tried one or all of these authors, be sure to give them a sampling and decide if they will be your next paranormal romance obsession!

Rogue Rider by Larissa Ione

roguerider-200x321Rogue Rider, by Larissa Ione, is Book 4 of Lords of Deliverance series, which is made up of Eternal Rider, Immortal Rider, and Lethal Rider.   The series is about the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse, (actually 3 horsemen and one horsewoman), born to bring on, or end, the Apocalypse, depending on the prophecy in play and the translators…These immortal beings have superhuman strength and very bad tempers…Not people you should mess with. As you follow the series, these unstoppable beings, one by one, learn the meaning of true love and find a more noble path to their destiny, sending a few bad guys back to hell along the way.

Rogue Rider is about Reseph, the Horseman responsible for Pestilence on earth, who goes from good to evil and back again, in a constant struggle as the power tempts him to turn to the dark side and join Lucifer in taking over heaven. He wakes up with no memory of who he is, and Jillian Cardiff finds him in the snow on her property. She helps him back to her house and feeds him, and she decides to help him figure out who he is and what he was doing out in a snowstorm. She has no idea that he is immortal or anything other than a VERY sexy stranger with amnesia. As they become friends, the sexual tension between them becomes almost unbearable, until they finally give in to the lust they share. But Lucifer is still trying to take over the world and demons are running loose on earth in the meantime. Reseph will have to figure out who he is and how to fight his own internal demons, then take down the enemy threatening his new life and his family. Can he overcome the evil once and for all?

This novel is a paranormal romance, and it definitely borders on the erotica side of the spectrum. It’s very graphic, both violently and sexually, and the language is very colorful. If you think you can handle some very sexual demons and fallen angels, this series (and Rogue Rider) will not disappoint. The audiobook format is also excellent if you like to listen to your smutty romance…But don’t drive off the road in distraction when things get steamy!