Throwback Thursday: A HEART SO WILD by Johanna Lindsey

Yup, I picked another Johanna Lindsey book for this week’s Throwback Thursday because…

  1. It’s our WordPress Blogiversary!
  2. A Heart So Wild is my FAVOURITE Johanna Lindsey novel…ever!
  3. This fabulously talented writer has another book releasing June 2015 called Wildfire in His Arms…and I am insanely excited!

Yes, those are the triple threat of exclamation points, which of course only proves that these are very good reasons for choosing to spotlight Johanna Lindsey as a Throwback Thursday author again. :)

Courtney Harte is certain her missing father is a alive, lost somewhere deep in Indian territory. But she needs a guide to lead her safely through this dangerous, unfamiliar country, someone as wild and unpredictable as the land itself. And that man is the gunslinger they call Chandos.

Courtney fears this enigmatic loner whose dark secrets torture his soul, yet whose eyes, bluer than the frontier sky, enflame the innocent, determined lady with wanton desires. But on the treacherous path they have chosen they have no one to trust but each other–as shared perils to their lives and hearts unleash turbulent, unbridled, passions that only love can tame.

Best of all, my favourite historical romance novel of all time has a sequel. The second novel of the Straton Family series, All I Need is You, follows the story of Courtney and Chandos’ daughter, Casey. It also an exciting novel, where the female lead is definitely more street smart and ready to kick ass than the hero – though the hero, Damian, does have his moments.

I highly recommend this novel to historical romance fans!

-Rika Ashton

(aka “Happy Blogiversary to me…Let them eat cake!’)


Graphic Novels, Manga, Comics…A Rose by Any Other Name

Kaleigha over at Wicked Scribes recently posted about novel to comic book adaptions and whether or not they should be included as part of a series if they are only rewrites (or reinventions) of the original works. Personally, the geek in me is for anything graphic novel related, but I understand the limitations of such works…as well as their strengths.

Art sample from SWORD OF DARKNESS by Kinley MacGregor

Case in point, let’s take a look at some recent (and not so recent) adaptations of some of my favourite books and series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter, and Nalini Singh.

Marvel has created comic books adaptations of Ms. Kenyon’s novels Lords of Avalon novels, written under her penname Kinley MacGregor. While I personally adored the adaptations, I know not everyone was a fan of the artwork, as well as the fact that some of the minor interactions between characters had to be cut out. On the other hand, the artists for this series did an amazing job using colour and keeping the basic story line and event descriptions the same. Compared to the novels, the sex scenes in the comics were not as explicit, and included more for furthering the plot.

On the other hand, if we look at the manga adaptations of Ms. Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series, the major as well as minor interactions between the character remain intact. Partly, this is due to the publisher’s decision to split each novel into two separate mangas – like the last Harry Potter film was split into two movies. Not to mention the improved level of artwork.

Artwork which is further improved in the Chronicles of Nick series – the third of Ms. Kenyon’s series to be adapted into manga format.

Romance publisher, Harlequin, has also been on the comic/manga bandwagon for a while. They’ve adapted most of the Harlequin Presents line into mangas, as well as recently transforming Ms. Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series into graphic novel format.

I also came across a manga adaptation previously done for Ms. Singh’s novel, Desert Warrior, from Harlequin’s Silhouette Desire line.

Opening from DESERT WARRIOR by Nalini Singh

More artwork from DESERT WARRIOR

Can’t say I’m the biggest fan of the artwork in Desert Warrior – though this is a much older adaptation and the dated artwork is to be expected – but it’s certainly a creative way to introduce new readers to novels. Not to mention if they make a graphic novel adaptation of Ms. Singh’s Guild Hunter series, I’d be the first in line to buy.

Though the artwork varies from novel to novel, all the graphic novel adaptation outlined in this post have strengths. Each of these graphic novels is a unique platform on which to engage new readers, plus the visualized scenes reaffirm the importance of key events in the novels. Graphic novels introduce readers to characters, setting, and story in a new light – strengthening the writer’s vision and founding an incarnation of this world in the readers’ minds.

Could…would you get on the graphic novel bandwagon or has that train firmly departed?

-Rika Ashton

(aka Graphic Novel Advocate)

P.S: A special thanks to Kaleigha for inspiring this post!

Throwback Thursday: LORD OF SCOUNDRELS by Loretta Chase

Confession time: I read this novel way back when and I have no memory of it.

Tough-minded Jessica Trent’s sole intention is to free her nitwit brother from the destructive influence of Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain. She never expects to desire the arrogant, amoral cad. And when Dain’s reciprocal passion places them in a scandalously compromising, and public, position, Jessica is left with no choice but to seek satisfaction …

Damn the minx for tempting him, kissing him … and then forcing him to salvage her reputation! Lord Dain can’t wait to put the infuriating bluestocking in her place – and in some amorous position, And if that means marriage, so be it! – though Sebastian is less than certain he can continue to remain aloof … and steel his heart to the sensuous, headstrong lady’s considerable charms.

Loretta Chase‘s Lord of Scoundrels is often featured on “Best of Historical Romance” (or a variation of) lists and I know I read this novel because the names Dain and Jessica are so familiar. I think I can even recall some scenes from the book, but I can’t be sure.

But what I do want to do is read this novel again. I found this quote from the novel on Goodreads and it made me laugh out loud.

“Jessica, you are a pain in the arse, do you know that? If I were not so immensely fond of you, I should throw you out the window.”

She wrapped her arms about his waist and laid her head against his chest. “Not merely ‘fond,’ but ‘immensely fond.’ Oh Dain, I do believe I shall swoon.”

“Not now,” he said crossly. “I haven’t time to pick you up.”

Don’t know how could have forgotten such hilarious banter – I guess I must have been in some fugue state…or possessed, which is always a possibility in my life.

Have you ever read a book that you can’t remember reading? (Yes, this question is meant to be confusing.)

-Rika Ashton

(aka The Demon Possessed)

P.S: Can you guess which is the older cover?

Cover Reveal: THE PRINCE AND I by Karen Hawkins

Is Robin Hood’s secret identity finally going to be revealed? Okay, so technically Robin Hood doesn’t have a secret identity – he is Robin Hood – but Karen Hawkins has another historical romance novel, The Prince and I, releasing next year in August as part of the Oxenburg Princes series and this one features the heroine as an incarnation of Robin Hood.


I, personally, can’t wait to see how this plays out because I love the classical Robin Hood character and want to see how Ms. Hawkins incorporates his traits into the new story. Course, this one will feature a whole lot more romance and I’m curious as to whether our hero will embody a bit more “Marian” just to balance things out. ;)

But, really, don’t you just love the colours they used for this cover? The background reminds me of the film, Brave, and plus the heroine is holding a bow and arrow. The cover artists were seriously channeling Merida for this one. And, lo and behold, the models are both fully dressed.

Who else is excited to read Ms. Hawkins’ retelling of Robin Hood?

-Rika Ashton

(aka Member of Robin Hood’s Merry Band)

Blurb Reveal: ROCK HARD by Nalini Singh

T-Rex and Charlotte officially have a blurb! I’ve been waiting for their story ever since the couple was introduced in Nalini Singh‘s Rock Addiction (book one of the Rock Kiss series), and it looks like book three Rock Hard is going to belong to Charlotte and Gabriel (aka T-Rex)…YES!

In New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s newest contemporary romance, passion ignites between a gorgeous, sinfully sexy man who built himself up from nothing and a shy woman who has a terrible secret in her past…

Wealthy businessman Gabriel Bishop rules the boardroom with the same determination and ruthlessness that made him a rock star on the rugby field. He knows what he wants, and he’ll go after it no-holds-barred.

And what he wants is Charlotte Baird.

Charlotte knows she’s a mouse. Emotionally scarred and painfully shy, she just wants to do her job and remain as invisible as possible. But the new CEO—a brilliant, broad-shouldered T-Rex of a man who growls and storms through the office, leaving carnage in his wake—clearly has other plans. Plans that may be equal parts business and bedroom.

If Charlotte intends to survive this battle of wits and hearts, the mouse will have to learn to wrangle the T-Rex. Game on.

Any other eager T-Rex/Charlotte fans out there?

Also for those of you interested, there is an excerpt from Rock Hard on Ms. Singh’s blog.

-Rika Ashton

(aka Blurb Flasher)

Throwback Thursday: A KINGDOM OF DREAMS by Judith McNaught

This week for Throwback Thursday, I thought I’d shine the spotlight on a novel that I haven’t read yet, but one that has been on my “must-read” list for ages. Judith McNaught’s A Kingdom of Dreams comes highly recommended by many of my own favourite authors, including Julia Quinn. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. :(

Abducted from her convent school, headstrong Scottish beauty Jennifer Merrick does not easily surrender to Royce Westmoreland, Duke of Claymore. Known as “The Wolf,” his very name strikes terror in the hearts of his enemies. But proud Jennifer will have nothing to do with the fierce English warrior who holds her captive, this handsome rogue who taunts her with his blazing arrogance. Boldly she challenges his will—until the night he takes her in his powerful embrace, awakening in her an irresistible hunger. And suddenly Jennifer finds herself ensnared in a bewildering web…a seductive, dangerous trap of pride, passion, loyalty, and overwhelming love.

Seems like this novel will consist of a love-hate relationship…a thematic trope that I’m slightly tired of, but I might give it a shot because this cover is gorgeous! (Yes, I’m that shallow.) But can you blame me, this cover has such a fairy-tale feel to it.

I’m going to try and make time for this novel over the long weekend we have coming up…it’s very much overdue for a reading.

But for those of you who have read it…what did you like about this novel? What did you hate? And if you haven’t read it, would you…judging by cover or blurb?

-Rika Ashton

(aka Shallow Cover Lover)


A New Nalini Singh Cover…SLAVE TO SENSATION Gets a Makeover

When Nalini Singh announced that she would be posting a brand new cover on Facebook, just a little over twelve hours ago, to say I was excited would have been an extreme understatement. I was ecstatic, delirious, my curiosity roused beyond relief…so I was very happy when the cover was revealed a few hours ago.


I actually liked the original cover for Slave to Sensation, so I won’t be upgrading my copy. but if you weren’t a fan of the purple cover (below) now is your chance. If only they would reissue Angel’s Blood with a cover to fit the rest of the Guild Hunter series.

What do you think? Another amazing paranormal cover, non?

-Rika Ashton

(aka Paranormal Insider)

And the Giveaway Winner is…

Thank you to everyone who entered our first ever giveaway!

The randomly chosen winner (through is #1…


Congrats, Mary! You’ve won the first three novels of the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones (First Grave on the Right, Second Grave to the Left, and Third Grave Dead Ahead). We will be contacting you shortly for your mailing info.


-Rika Ashton

(aka Generous Book Dealer)

First Look at the Cover Flat for DEAD OF WINTER by Kresley Cole

If you missed the cover flat reveal in Kresley Cole‘s newsletter for Dead of Winter (or if you aren’t a subscriber), here it is:


What do you think?

The models’ poses reminds me of the cover for Endless Knight, and I like that the models haven’t completed been eradicated from the series – at least this cover has partial consistency to the old ones. I hate when series covers stop matching…looks so odd on my self.

-Rika Ashton

(aka Cover Flat Lover)


Throwback Thursday: THE SILVER DEVIL by Teresa Denys

This week I went with a controversial historical romance novel, often characterized as a bodice ripper – because, yes, it’s very old – by Teresa Denys. Ms. Denys wrote only two historical romance novels, The Silver Devil (which is this week’s pick) and The Flesh and the Devil, and both novels are  difficult to find. I found a copy of The Silver Devil a few years ago at a used book store, but if you try to buy a print copy these days it’ll cost you about $50 for a used paperback in Canada- a high asking price indeed.

Amid the gilded opulence and dark intrigue of Renaissance Italy grew a love that knew no bounds….

No woman’s heart is safe from the Silver Devil. From the moment he sees the beautiful Felicia, he must have her. Overnight he changes Felicia’s nightmare world of tavern drudgery into an erotic adventure as his royal mistress. He is the Duke of Cabria who holds his subjects in constant fear. He is troubled. He is ruthless. And Felicia is hopelessly in love with him – though at times he seems like the devil incarnate.…

I’ve always considered The Silver Devil more than just a romance novel. Set in Renaissance Italy, its very different from the norm. The entire novel is written in first person in the heroine, Felicia’s perspective, and while she does focus on her dangerous and romantic relationship with the Duke – Domenico – she also describes the corruption of the Italian court in detail and her own place in this new world. Felicia is an uneducated eighteen year old, and she’s plucked from her life with her half-brother and sister-in-law and thrown into a new one as the Duke’s (really equivalent to King’s) mistress. The Duke apparently finds her beautiful enough for the new role, though Felicia claims that other women at court are far more beautiful than her. For me, The Silver Devil was as much a novel of court intrigue and politics as it was about romance.

On the other hand, the first person perspective was very limiting at times. The reader stays with Felicia through the events that unfold, but we don’t get much insight into Domenico at all. We’re forced to make assumptions – which may be correct – but we don’t get the thought process in Domenico’s mind and he comes across as evil. Felicia describes him as a spoiled child, which is as accurate a description as you can get for a man who would execute another for simply being taller than him. Likewise, he is very jealous. Insanely so. He has a man tortured because he thinks Felicia’s falling in love with him.

I found this novel a very dark read…and yet, oddly amusing. Felicia does go through a character arc and comes out stronger in the end, but along the way her naivete is painfully clear. On the flip side, Domenico is very cynical and distrusting throughout.

But, I really found this an interesting read. It was beautifully, almost poetically written, and despite the controversial subject matter – rape, torture, etc – it was still a believable (and imaginative) representation of life in the Renaissance.

What “controversial” bodice rippers are you in love with?

-Rika Ashton

(aka Renaissance Time Traveler)

P.S: Here’s another, very detailed, review of the novel in case you’re interested and not afraid of spoilers.


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