Friday, January 31, 2014

Dead in Boca (Dirty Harriet #3) by Miriam Auerbach

Dead in Boca (Dirty Harriet, #3)
Most of the time, especially with mysteries, series become dull and predictable after a while. Book three of the Dirty Harriet series does not follow this path. It wasn’t in the least dull—full of humor, wisecracks, and guessing games as we try to figure out whodunit. The story manages to avoid dulldome without even having anyone attempt to kill Harriet. So many things kept me chuckling. If this author ever decides writing isn’t for her—and I sincerely hope that never happens!—she could have a career in comedy.

Dirty Harry was a loner, and so am I. I like it that way. It keeps me out of trouble, like marrying someone I might have to shoot sometime down the road.

And how about the little story about the old lady and the “kondoms” who forked over her life savings to purchase a truckload of things I won’t mention here but cracked me up big time…intending to sell them over the phone to “aging horndogs” before discovering…

“…the market for these particular products in South Florida’s retirement communities was already deeply penetrated.”


But I digress. As I said above, the story is not predictable either. I like tiny clues here and there as I read. I like to sorta guess whodunit and then be wrong! This one offered some clues that didn’t really “smack me in the face”. Even when I began to get a “feeling” I didn’t want it to be true and thought, “naww..”

This has a surprising ending.

We meet a very cool engineer too, a woman of course. I hope we see more of her.

And as usual, there’s the usual cast of eclectic characters with things heating up between Lior and Harriet. I got a feeling Harriet is not going to hold on to her heart much longer. And you can’t have Florida without hurricanes, hogs (the bike), gators, and Boca Babes. Something else I liked about this installment in the series is that it shows us more of Harriet’s inner feelings and thoughts and fears. It never gets mushy or loses its quick pace though.

I’m still loving this series and cannot wait for book four. Strong heroine, great humor, and just overall a perfect read. I finished in no time, not because it's too short--it's not--but because I could not put it down.

I got this via Netgalley.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Strong is Sexy Heroine of the Week: Cricket Hooper

Book: Heels of Love, Wounded Love, Winter in Love
Author: Phoenix Rayne
Heroine: Cricket Hooper

Cricket Hooper would be perfect for Heroine of the week. She's strong because she raised herself on the mean cold streets of the US. She's a strong woman who never let's her heart get hurt. She has this with letting people get too close. She leaves everyone at arms length and she's good with that. She's sexy because she's a plus size, voluptuous, fashionista, with a pure soul.

We walked back towards the house. I was just about to become frantic, and then I breathed through it. “I can’t believe a house like this doesn’t have a wine cellar or a basement.”

Trey looked over at me and shook his head. “I forgot you were a serious wine drinker back in the day. It was your thing. I remember that.”

“Yes, it is, and I would damn near kill for a decent wine right now.” I pulled Trey closer to me and shivered.

“You cold?”

“It’s a little chilly.” He pulled me closer, and we walked back to the house.

We went in through a side door, and then Trey pulled me to the corner.

“We do have wine cellar, but no one’s allowed down there right now,” Trey whispered.
“Why?” I whispered back.

“Because Mr. Paul has some guys down there he’s teaching a lesson to.”

“Oooh, what did they do?” I leaned into him.

“This big shot Indian over in Seattle has been buying his way in, and Mr. Paul don’t play that shit. He doesn’t care how much fucking money you got. He runs the casinos in Cali and Washington State .”

“Damn, Mr. Paul don’t play,” I giggled.

“Are there any dead bodies?” I asked with fake wide eyes.

“Nawh, Mr. Paul just had us beat the shit out of them for a few hours; he’s letting them go tomorrow.”

“Can I see? I won’t say anything, and I swear I won’t touch anything”

“Shhhh.” Trey said, and then we walked over to the cellar door and started stepping down. We entered an almost empty room with a wall-to-wall refrigerated wine chiller. Trey tugged at my arm, and we walked towards the other side of the room.

We walked up to a steel door, and I looked through the small glass window. There were four Natives sitting in chairs that were all tied up to each other. None of them was facing each other; they were all blindfolded. There was food all around them, and then I realized they were in the refrigerator.

I looked around for something to hit Trey in the head with, but found nothing. I saw a small table to the side, and it had their cell phones and wallets on it. My mind was racing, and I was running out of ideas.

“You know they haven’t said a word in English since they been here. They’ve been communicating in some old Indian language, and Mr. Paul is Indian himself and he doesn’t even know the language,” Trey told me.

“We need wine glasses.” I told him.

“Shit, I forgot. I’ll be right back.” Trey headed for the stairs, and I pulled my phone out. As soon as I heard the door shut, I dialed Chelle.

“Let all the seats down in the back and don’t come any closer to the house until I call or text you. Don’t let him know I am here. Make him think I am on the reservation and cannot come to the phone. Call Mrs. JJ, and fill her in. From what I can see their all okay. I gotta go.”

I hung up the phone and ran to the other side of cellar, looking for another door or a window, but there was nothing there. I still looked for something to hit Trey in the head with, but there was only the small table and that wouldn’t do anything.

I heard the door open, and then Trey was heading back down. But the person on the steps was not Trey; it was Troy .

“What are you doing down here, Cricket?” he asked.

“Trey brought me down to get some wine.”

“What are you up to?” he demanded.

“I want to make a deal with you.”

“I’m listening.”

“Me for them.”

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“I give you myself completely for them.”

“Why?” he asked.

“Because the only man who’s ever loved me for me is in that room. And I’d die for him if I have to.”

“My brother loved you, Cricket, and I think he still does. You’ve had many men who loved you,” Troy said.

I stood there, and then Troy laughed. “Oh, but you love this one back. I get it. So if we were to let them go, what can you promise me?”

“You’ll never hear from them or this stupid casino again, and I’ll do anything you want.”
“Love my brother even when he’s been drinking, and I want to feel the tongue trick my brother has been raving about for eight years straight.”

“I can do that.”

“Which one is he?” Troy asked.

“Does it matter?”

“Which one?” We both looked in, and I said, “The one in the white shirt.” Loon was wearing a white shirt; Jyme was wearing a black sweater.

Troy looked at me and shook his head. “Liar, that one in the white shirt is not your type. I can see you with…I see you with the one in the black sweater.” I stiffened, and Troy opened the refrigerator door.

He untied them from the chairs but still left them tied up as if they were in a chain gang. He pulled Jyme out last just to fuck with me. I pulled Kanoke’s hat off his head, and he shifted, messing up the coordination for the rest of them. I ran right dead smack into Jyme. As soon as our bodies touched, he started sniffing and sniffing like a dog looking for food. I knew he knew something, but I was not sure what. I pulled all of their phones and wallets off the table and put them in Kanoke’s ball cap.

My heels were loud, and Jyme was listening. He kept stopping, and then he would start back up, walking backwards again. I pulled my phone out and texted for Chelle to pull the car up and wait for me to come out. I told her to have the back already opened because they were all tied up and blindfolded.

She texted me back, “I’m here.”

We finally made it to the top of the stairs, and Troy opened the door. We all walked into the hallway. I wondered where Trey was. He told me he would be right back, but that felt like hours ago. My heels across the floor were so loud, and Jyme’s face twisted and turned from side to side. He absolutely knew something, but hadn’t put the puzzle together yet.
Chelle and Ayashe were waiting by the main gate. My heart was racing, and I knew I was about to lose it. The tears started first, and then I breathed and breathed slowly. The gasping of air caught everyone’s attention, and I could tell Sheen and Loon were scared. Jyme and Kanoke acted as though everything was okay.

I wanted to touch him, feel him, kiss him, and tell him I loved him so much, but I couldn’t . He would find the letter when he got home, and that is all that mattered. I knew all along he was too good for me, but I wanted to live in the bubble so badly that I pretended he was not. I knew we would never have a happily ever after, and I cursed myself for the months we had been apart. I would give anything to go back and fix it. He looked so strong and so confident. I loved him so much and I wished. I just wished.

Troy and I got them loaded up in the back, and I never once touched Jyme. Once they were all in, we shut and locked the hatch. I opened the door and got my three bags out, and Chelle handed me my purse. I handed her the hat with their belongings. I reached into my purse and handed her the stack of money for the plane tickets, my rental car keys, and my Blackberry. She got out and hugged me tight. Ayashe did the same. We were all crying and sniffling and looked a mess now. I mouthed, “I love you: to Ayashe, and she did the same. Chelle stood there, and then she smiled at me.

“I know I won’t ever see you again, and I will miss you. You’re my best friend and I love you,” she cried into my shoulder.

“Take care of him, and tell him I have this,” I pointed down at the ring, and she nodded.
“Don’t take those blindfolds off until you get to the airport; you have to convince him I’m not here,” I told her as I pulled away from her. They both blew me kisses and waved as they pulled off.
Heels of Love
I turned around and set all the bags onto the concrete. I pulled my phone out and slammed it to the ground twice. Then, I dug into it with my Stiletto heel. I left the crumbled up pieces of my phone on the ground and walked away from my current life, stepping back into my old one.

When Cricket Hooper moves to Seattle she only has a couple of goals find a job and an apartment near her friend Chelle, and basically to live a quiet, normal life. However, it isn't long before life becomes far from normal. When a mysterious man helps get her car out of the mud after she makes a wrong turn, she finds herself in his thrall. He wines and dines her, quite literally, and before Cricket can stop it, things are steamy and serious very serious.

Cricket is thrown aback when Jyme turns out to be more than a simple fisherman, but then she isn't telling all of her story either.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What Makes Big-Sky Country the Perfect Setting for Big Romance? A Guest Post from Merry Farmer

Photo courtesy of Swiss via stockxchng
What is it about Montana that makes it the perfect setting for so many romance novels?  Is it the richness of its history, the adventurous and colorful nature of its people, or the pure physical beauty of its landscape?

For me, it’s all three.  I’ve been fascinated with Montana for ages, ever since I was a small child living in North Dakota.  North Dakota was flat and seemingly endless, but Montana was where the mountains were.  There’s also a certain amount of mystique about Montana.  I’ve always had the impression that it remained free and expansive, maybe even unruly, long after the west was won.  The land is big and the people who settled there thought big.

In a lot of ways, Montana is everything that the west is all about.  The state experienced gold and silver rushes, like the famous ones that brought people to California.  It was a huge cattle state and navigated the transition between the open range and the ranch system (which I deal with in my book Fool for Love).  It also experienced a little bit of the ranch war tension that was much more of a problem further south in Wyoming.  And, of course, Montana was subject to the tragedies of the Indian wars and the resulting monumental change in lifestyle of the Native Americans.  Montana really has it all.

There’s something about a place that provided to much opportunity for so long, and still does today.  In my Montana Romance series I’ve tried to capture a lot of the wide variety of people who were able to pick up and move west to start a new life, and who were successful at it.  In its early days, Montana, like a lot of the west, was quite liberal and open to all sorts.  I love that about the place!  And even though its history wasn’t always perfect, it was always colorful.

Believe it or not, I’ve never actually had the chance to visit Montana, although I’ve always wanted to.  I have always sought out books and programming about it.  I think the show that really solidified my love of the state was the PBS reality series Frontier House.  Not only was the cinematography of that show amazing, being PBS it contained a lot of fascinating information, not only about frontier life, but the state itself too.  After the show was over, I really dug into research about the people and locations involved.  Good stuff!

I definitely hope to get to Montana someday soon.  In the meantime, I’ll continue writing about it for a little bit longer and revisiting it in my heart and in my books.


Merry Farmer lives in suburban Philadelphia with her two cats, Butterfly and Torpedo. She has been writing since she was ten years old and realized one day that she didn't have to wait for the teacher to assign a creative writing project to write something. It was the best day of her life. She then went on to earn not one but two degrees in History so that she would always having something to write about. Today she walks along the cutting edge of Indie Publishing, writing Historical Romance and Women's Sci-Fi. She is also passionate about blogging, knitting, and cricket and is working towards becoming an internationally certified cricket scorer.

Find Merry Farmer on her websiteFacebookTwitter, and Amazon Author Page.

In Your Arms is the third full-length novel in Merry Farmer's sweeping, engaging, and extremely historically accurate Montana Romance series. Never one to shy away from difficult or controversial topics while still imbuing her tales with more than a dash of romance and steam, Merry depicts a tale of love, trust, and stubborness against the backdrop of the turn-of-the-century American frontier.

"[In Your Arms is] a book that intelligently tackles racial tensions of post-Civil War era...a highly engaging romance between two fiery-spirited individuals...I highly recommend this book to all fans of historical romance." --Mary Chen, Amazon reviewer

In Your Arms Merry Farmer

Get In Your Arms on Amazon, Amazon UK, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.
Add In Your Arms to your Goodreads to-read shelf!

Lily Singer has never belonged. Taken from her tribe as a child and raised in a white man’s school, she no longer has a place in either world. Teaching has become her life. When that life is threatened by rumors and prejudice after a string of robberies, she must turn for help to the one man who spells disaster for her carefully ordered existence. Will he save her or steal her heart?

Christian Avery, Justice of the Peace, is used to having things his way. Cold Springs is his responsibility, and when its citizens blame the local Indian population for the mysterious robberies, it’s up to him to restore order and maintain calm. The one person who refuses to follow his lead is the beautiful, native-born Lily. Her defiance turns his life upside down.

But when town gossip shifts from robberies to romance after a foolish indiscretion, Lily’s job and reputation are on the line. She must choose between the only life she has ever known and the only place she has ever felt at home, in Christian’s arms.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Secret of Raven Point by Jennifer Vanderbes

The Secret of Raven PointOnce upon a time there was a girl who loved to read. She grew up to become a book reviewer in her spare time. One very sad month in her life, every single book she picked up sucked. The woman seriously contemplated giving up reading forever and ever.

And then she picked up The Secret of Raven Point and she was riveted, and she learned things, and she laughed and cried.

Her faith in literature was restored.

That's my story and it's true.

I loved this book. It has so many incredible things going on: a girl growing up and growing comfortable with herself, developing confidence; a woman helping others at a great loss to herself (nobody is coming out of this war unscathed); a doctor trying desperately to help people understand battle fatigue; and most of all, it was about how war changes people, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

I felt as though I were there. I chuckled a few times in the first half of the tale. The heroine meets some awesome people who in a time of bleakness still manage to have a sense of humor (Glenda). I grew with Juliet and felt as though I was with her as she tended all this patients and shared these heart-wrenching stories with us. I sympathized with her as she grew a numb detachment.

There's a soldier facing court-marital for attempted suicide. That's considered desertion. But the story behind the WHY is shocking and sad. So much bad behavior on all sides in a war. There's a romance, or two, sorta, as much as one can have during a turbulent era such as this, when people are desperate for love, affection, a sign that humanity still exists. Does anything come of it? I won't say, but I will say this book doesn't have that cheesy HEA. It's not a romance. It's a story of life, of life during the second world war in Italy, of a nurse, a doctor, of soldiers.

All this time, through all these wartime struggles and losses, Juliet grows from a girl to a woman. Her priorities change. Her shallowness disappears. She matures and the book does this so subtlety you don't notice it at first. The author did a superb job with characterizations. The descriptions were excellent--not too much, not too little. The suspense def kept me on the edge of my seat. What happened to her brother? Is he dead? Is the patient going to die? Wake up? Escape? Is the doctor going to do something?

As I read, I picked up more little facts about WWII I didn't know before, such as how the gov't apparently wanted to sacrifice men instead of tanks due to the cost of the tanks. Lives were cheaper. Shocking little things kept popping up.

The story also gave me a deep moment of reflection or two, points to ponder...

Was there an obligation that came with living? With each adversity you suffered, with each disappointment, did you have to recognize that someone else hadn't even had the chance?

If I was to complain about anything at all, it would be that the book contains nothing of her "five grueling weeks of Basic Training and eight blazing, seasick days aboard of the HMS Mayflower..."

I actually wanted MORE of this story. I have to say it had it all: laughter, tears (I cried at one point, at least), deep thoughts, suspense, love, and history.

I received this from Edelweiss.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Win a Kindle Fire With the Complete Devil DeVere Series!

From now till the end of February, Victoria Vane is offering a Kindle complete with her DeVere series on it. For those who may not know, the DeVere series is erotic historical romance. The series takes place in Regency England and follows the obstinate rake DeVere and his friends, Simon and Ned.

And their women...

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Good luck.

Praise for the DeVere series:



"The “Devil DeVere” series is a variation on the rake’s progress, or the rake’s reformation, except that is doesn’t start with said rake as the main character—a device that is amazingly clever on Vane’s part and allows her to circle in on DeVere without revealing too much at the outset… The series is erotic and sexy, and sometimes you want to shake the characters until their teeth rattle, but it is absolutely marvelous... This one should be read with bonbons. And a fan!" --Marlene Harris for Library Journal


IND'Tale RONE nominee
IRC Reader Choice Best Historical Nominee

IND'Tale RONE nominee

IND'Tale RONE nominee

IND'Tale RONE nominee

Two Lips Reviews Recommended Read


A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE by Victoria Vane

 The Devil DeVere Series- Library Journal Best E-Book Romance 2012  

A Wild Night's Bride (The Devil DeVere #1)With the devil in charge … there could be hell to pay

She needs a protector… Once seduced by whispered promises of a faithless lover, Phoebe Scott is determined to make a name on the Covent Garden stage, but after three years of bit parts, she realizes she'll never achieve her goals on her own merits. Acknowledging her success is dependent on a powerful patron, Phoebe is now resolved to find a protector to secure her future. With this goal in mind, she seeks out the best prospects at London's most notorious brothel.

He's avowed to celibacy… Sir Edward "Ned" Chambers has been lost and lonely since his wife’s death in childbirth. Burdened with blame, he has sworn to a life of celibacy, but after three years, he is inwardly edgy, irritable, and increasingly discontent. Perceiving the cause behind Ned’s unhappiness, as well as the obvious cure, his best friend and rake of the first order, "The Devil" DeVere, is hell-bent to return Ned to the land of the living. DeVere's machinations result in an outrageous wager that could lead Ned to a new love… or land them all in the Tower!

All bets are off in in this racy Georgian romp! (romantic comedy with mature content) 

The Devil DeVere Series- Library Journal Best E-Book Romance
All's Fair in Love and Abduction 
In the second installment of the award-winning Devil DeVere series, Ned's daughter Vesta is preparing for her come-out only to have her world turned upside down when her father returns from London with a bride of his own! Put out that he is so wrapped up in Phoebe, Vesta accompanies her godmother, Diana, to town where she meets and falls instantly in love with the gallant Captain Hewett DeVere. 
"Hew" DeVere, younger brother to Viscount Ludovic "The Devil" DeVere, has returned from the war with plans of selling his commission and settling down. He quickly becomes enamored of the older but beautiful Diana, and barely notices eighteen-year-old Vesta. When Hew fails to respond to her feminine charms, Vesta takes extreme measures to capture the object of her desire, but Hew didn't survive the worst of the war only to succumb to Vesta's wayward wiles.
"You conniving creature! How can you possibly think I could ever love such a spoiled, petulant, self-absorbed, and scheming little wretch?"
Proving the adage that opposites attract, this hilarious romp pits the would-be huntress against the gallant hero in an epic war of wills. (Romantic comedy with mature content) 

THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by Victoria Vane
The Devil DeVere Series- Library Journal Best E-Book Romance 2012  

Sometimes the Devil is Disguised as a Gentleman...

In this third installment of the award-winning Devil DeVere series, DeVere is finally center stage when Ned, Annalee, and her cousin, Diana arrive at DeVere’s estate for a weekend of horseracing. From the first meeting, DeVere makes his interest in Diana acutely known. Although she sees no harm in a light flirtation, she doesn’t intend to become another notch on his bedpost. Nevertheless, DeVere fascinates her.

Ned gave her a meaningful look. "I hope you'll take extreme care in any dealings with him. He is ruthless and calculating when he chooses to be and has a strong predilection to manipulate and exploit the vulnerabilities of others—when it suits his purpose. He just can't help himself. It's not that he's evil incarnate, or anything like that; it's just that he has low tolerance for weakness, incompetence, or buffoonery."
Diana lifted her brow. "You know I am no fool, dear Edward. I take full responsibility for my actions and have already made clear what I am willing and not willing to sacrifice."

Although DeVere is outwardly arrogant, ruthless, unpredictable, and manipulative, the private man is quite another creature—intensely loyal and fiercely protective of those few he cares about. Diana also maintains a false front to the world. Her twelve year marriage is a mockery and she feels unfulfilled and undesirable which makes her all too vulnerable to DeVere’s dangerous charm. After events take an unexpected turn, Diana' most erotic fantasies become reality when she seeks comfort and affirmation in the devil's arms. But little does she know that the fire he ignites within her will burn long after she leaves Woodcote Park. 

THE DEVIL'S MATCH by Victoria Vane

The Devil DeVere Series- Library Journal Best E-Book Romance 2012  

The devil is the true tempter of women
The Devil's Match (The Devil DeVere #4) 
In this fourth installment of the award-winning Devil DeVere series, Diana has come to London as her goddaughter's chaperone. Wanting to avoid her erstwhile lover at all costs, she nevertheless has no choice but to appeal to DeVere for help when Vesta mysteriously disappears. Although once nearly consumed by her passion for DeVere, four years has reduced the former inferno to bitterness and ashes.

Ludovic's time abroad has only served to deepen his debauchery. He's become jaded, world-weary, and bored. He also recognizes with self-annoyance that the marks of his discontent have only  increased upon a certain person's arrival in London. When Diana makes her appearance in his den of iniquity in all of her glorious self-righteous fury, he suddenly feels alive again.

"Damn you to hell, DeVere!" she cried, jerking out of his hold. "Yes, I want you now, but I would despise myself for it the moment we finished."
"Why?" he asked, confounded.
"Why? Because I once confused passion for deeper feeling. I won't make that mistake again."
"But don't you remember how it was between us? I can bring you rapture. You know that. What harm is there?"
She scoffed, "Surely the same words the serpent whispered to Eve."

While DeVere is once more hell-bent to have Diana back in his bed, she will do whatever it takes to bring him to his knees. 

A DEVIL'S TOUCH by Victoria Vane

The Devil DeVere Series- Library Journal Best E-Book Romance 2012  
This short erotic installment in the award-winning Devil DeVere series can stand alone as a complete story, but also serves to bridge The Devil's Match and Jewel of the East (Salime and Simon's story).
In her last month of pregnancy, Diana, Viscountess DeVere, has barely settled into her new life and role as "the devil" DeVere's wife, when her increasingly restless husband receives an urgent summons to London. When Diana inadvertently discovers a message he received from a known courtesan with whom he was formerly linked, she fears her marriage is over before it has begun.
They were barely three months into a marriage that had begun on rather shaky ground. Was it possible that for him, the novelty of it had already worn off? This had always been Diana's greatest fear, for Ludovic was a man with a voracious sensual appetite, one he had honed with years of endless variety and constant, unrestrained indulgence. Diana, on the contrary, had known only one true lover—this same perplexing man who was now her husband—the one who had made her heavy with his child…and now left her alone in a cold bed.

DEVIL IN THE MAKING by Victoria Vane

The Devil DeVere Series- Library Journal Best E-Book Romance 2012 
Every Devil Has A Beginning... 

In this first of three prequels to the award-winning Devil DeVere series, we meet Ludovic, Ned, and Simon as youths in this riotous Georgian romp written in the tradition of Fielding's Tom Jones.
Since their first meeting at Westminster, Ned, Simon, and DeVere had forged an iron-clad bond that had maintained them through nearly six years. From the outset, Ludovic's scandalous family secrets had set him apart from the other aristocratic scions as an "untouchable." Deny it as he tried, the ugly truth remained that his mother was indeed the biggest whore in England, and his presumed father, the viscount, no less than a pox-ridden madman.
Likewise, Simon Singleton's poetic proclivities had instantly made him the bullies' mark, and even Edward Chambers' great size had served as little deterrent for the upper classmen's taunts when accompanied by adolescent awkwardness and a broad North Country drawl.
By the end of the first form, however, DeVere's finely honed shell of arrogance, Ned's increasing brawn, and Sin's rapier wit, had given birth to an unholy triumvirate that came to wreak perpetual and unchallenged havoc upon Westminster School. Now, it appeared their illustrious reign had come to an inglorious end.          

Intent on serving up revenge on their tyrannical schoolmaster, a prank with the king's lion goes comically awry, leading to a startling chain of events. 


The Devil DeVere Series- Library Journal Best E-Book Romance 2012 

This second prequel to the award-winning Devil DeVere series is a comedic romp featuring aspiring poet, Simon "sin" Singleton.

The Trouble with Sin … Is the devil within… Sin has lived only for larks, laughter, and ladies of easy virtue, eluding defying, and flouting all manner of authority until his impetuous misdeeds finally catch up with him.

Ned asked, "Are you not still bound for the clergy, Sin?"
Simon heaved a deep sigh. "It is my dear Mama's fondest wish for me to join the church, but I fear my nature is quite incompatible with a theological vocation. I have searched deeply, and cannot seem to summon an inkling of pious sentiment, which makes me an exceedingly poor candidate for the clergy."
"Even so, why would you wish to dirty your hands with something like this?"
"The answer is simple, Ned—I need the money."
"But you receive a more than adequate allowance."
"That he mostly squanders on women of easy virtue," DeVere drawled.
"Admittedly," Simon confessed, unabashed. "But now my father has reduced my quarterly and demands a full account of every ha'penny. I tell you, it is humiliating in the extreme! Unless I wish to live under such a yoke for the next three years— which I positively do not— I must make my own living. If I must travail for my bread, how better than by the fruits of my pen?"
"So you seek to combine your love of poetry and lewd women by writing poetry about lewd women?" Ned replied dryly.
Simon clapped Ned on the back. "Precisely! Don't you see the ironic beauty of it?"
"What do you suppose will happen when your dear, devout mama gets wind of this?" Ned asked.
"I have taken every precaution to ensure my anonymity." Simon retrieved the book from DeVere. "My contribution to this little work is, and shall forever remain, a well-kept secret."

The wage of Sin… is twenty-five percent of the net! It seems a fantasy come true when Simon is offered an independent income by combining his two great passions— poetry and lewd women. Unfortunately, maintaining anonymity may be much harder than he thought…

JEWEL OF THE EAST by Victoria Vane

The Devil DeVere Series- Library Journal Best E-Book Romance 2012 

Jewel of the East (The Devil DeVere #5)Maimed by Misfortune… Healed by Love…

In the fifth installment of the award-winning Devil DeVere series, DeVere once more plays the unlikely cupid by bringing together Simon (The Trouble with Sin) and Salime (The Devil's Match), two injured souls who find ultimate healing in each other's arms.

His wounds run deep…Having once lived his life only for larks, laughter, and ladies of easy virtue, Captain Simon Singleton has returned from war a shambles of a man. Although free from six years of captivity, he's still fettered by fears that confine him to a life of seclusion. 
Her scars are well-hidden…Once the crowning jewel of the most lavish brothel in London, the exotic Salime finds her reputation and livelihood destroyed by a bitter rival. With a closely guarded secret stripped away, she fears no man will ever desire her again. Seeking aid from one who once saved her life, she accepts a proposition to become a companion to his war-scarred friend. 

But love is the eternal cure…When circumstance brings these two damaged souls together, fate ignites a love story worthy of the Arabian Nights. (mature content warning).

Saturday, January 25, 2014

My Reading Radar 1/25/2014

What hit the wishlist this week and why?

Spare BridesSpare Brides by Adele Parks. Spotted on Netgalley and appeals to me because I love that period of history after WWI and before WWII, when the social classes were becoming one and things began to change. And of course, it's about women!

Damaged and beautiful, they were the generation who lost so much and became 'spare brides'. The richly compelling and emotional new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author Adele Parks is the powerful story of four extraordinary women left to pick up the pieces of their lives, in the scarred, glamorous and endlessly fascinating post-First World War era.

New Year's Eve, 1920. The Great War is over and it's a new decade of glamorous promise. But a generation of men and women who survived the extreme trauma and tragedy will never be the same.

With countless men lost, it seems that only wealth and beauty will secure a husband from the few who returned, but lonely Beatrice has neither attribute. Ava has both, although she sees marriage as a restrictive cage after the freedom war allowed. Sarah paid the war's ultimate price: her husband's life. Lydia should be grateful that her own husband's desk job kept him safe, but she sees only his cowardice.

A chance encounter for one of these women with a striking yet haunted officer changes everything. In a world altered beyond recognition, where not all scars are visible, this damaged and beautiful group must grasp any happiness they can find - whatever the cost.


This author got my attention on NG too, though only the further below book was posted and I don't believe they are taking U.S. requests. Bummer for me.

Black Roses by Jane Thynne.

Black RosesBerlin, 1933. Warning bells ring across Europe as Hitler comes to power. Clara Vine, an attractive young Anglo-German actress, arrives in Berlin to find work at the famous Ufa studios. Through a chance meeting, she is unwillingly drawn into a circle of Nazi wives, among them Magda Goebbels, Anneliese von Ribbentrop and Goering's girlfriend Emmy Sonnemann.

As part of his plan to create a new pure German race, Hitler wants to make sweeping changes to the lives of women, starting with the formation of a Reich Fashion Bureau, instructing women on what to wear and how to behave. Clara is invited to model the dowdy, unflattering clothes. Then she meets Leo Quinn who is working for British intelligence and who sees in Clara the perfect recruit to spy on her new elite friends, using her acting skills to win their confidence.

But when Magda Goebbels reveals to Clara a dramatic secret and entrusts her with an extraordinary mission, Clara feels threatened, compromised, desperately caught between her duty towards — and growing affection for — Leo, and the impossibly dangerous task Magda has forced upon her.


The Winter Garden by Jane Thynne.

The Winter GardenBerlin, 1937. The city radiates glamour and ambition. But danger lurks in every shadow…

Anna Hansen, a bride-to-be, is a pupil at one of Hitler's notorious Nazi Bride Schools, where young women are schooled on the art of being an SS officer's wife. Then, one night, she is brutally murdered and left in the gardens of the school. Her death will be hushed up and her life forgotten.

Clara Vine is an actress at Berlin's famous Ufa studios by day and an undercover British Intelligence agent by night. She knew Anna and is disturbed by news of her death. She cannot understand why someone would want to cover it up, but she soon discovers that Anna's murder is linked to a far more ominous secret.

With the newly abdicated Edward VIII and his wife Wallis set to arrive in Berlin, and the Mitford sisters dazzling on the social scene, Clara must work in the darkness to find the truth and send it back to London. It is a dangerous path she treads, and it will take everything she has to survive…


And of course, having loved the first two books in the series, I'm stoked to see this coming out soon: Dead in Boca by Miriam Auerbach.

Dead in Boca (Dirty Harriet, #3)Boca Raton. South Florida’s wealthy enclave of sand, surf, martinis, and murder . .

From high society “Boca Babe” to Harley-riding private eye, Harriet Horowitz has established her rep as a kick-ass P.I. with an insider’s connection to both the high life and the low life of Florida’s Palm Beach coast.

Like “Junior” Castellano, a big-time land developer who hires Harriet to find the silver-haired gigolo who broke Mama Castellano’s heart, Harriet is practical when it comes to solving problems. Simple enough, until the Boca police find Junior bulldozed at one of his construction sites. Was Junior killed by his mother’s con man? Or by a bitter ex-wife or spurned ex-girlfriend? Maybe by his estranged sons? And what about the bartender at Hog Heaven, who was about to lose her home in a trailer park because of Junior’s latest land development deal?

Harriet will do whatever it takes to protect others. Even if Junior Castellano’s enemy list is longer than the reservations at a Boca cocktail bar, and the scheme he was hatching was big enough to destroy the whole city.

A hurricane is heading toward Boca. It should be named Harriet.