Posts tagged “Jennifer Ashley

Throwback Thursday: THE MAD, BAD DUKE by Jennifer Ashley

I’m sharing an old favourite this week for Throwback Thursday. It was one of the very first Jennifer Ashley novels I read, and the novel that made me realize that I was madly, badly in love with her writing.


The Mad, Bad Duke by Jennifer Ashley!

Meagan Tavistock can easily see how Alexander earned the nickname Mad, Bad Duke. His deep blue eyes promise sinful pleasure and his rich voice intimates that as soon as they are skin to skin, he’ll fulfill desires she isn’t even aware of.

When a love spell misses its intended target, Meagan can no longer resist the temptation…until the magic wears off, leaving the pair in a most compromising position. Their only option is a marriage that thrusts Meagan into a new world of high danger, dark secrets, and a passion so intense she can’t help wondering: Is it the lingering power of the spell or true love at last?

The second of the Nvengaria series, The Mad, Bad Duke was the reason I went back and read Penelope and Prince Charming – an equally delightful tale, but Meagan and Alexander have a special place in my heart.

Alexander came of as cold initially, but boy was he HOT! And Meagan was a sweetheart from start to finish. The novel had everything that my paranormal and historical loving heart desired – magic and carriages and lavish parties. In fact, just thinking about the book makes me want to read it again. 🙂

Rika Ashton

(aka The Madly, Badly Still in Love)


Stealthy Sneak Peeks!

Excerpts, teasers and (maybe) spoilers galore!

Here’s the latest in the world of paranormal romance/urban fantasy:

  • Nalini Singh released excerpt two of Shield of Winter. (Excerpt one can now be found on her website.) Ms. Singh is also hard at work on the Kaleb and Sahara short story, and it will presumably be released with her next newsletter on June 3rd.
  • Kresley Cole’s Dead of Winter cover has been revealed!
  • Jennifer Ashley’s next Shifters Unbound story is titled, Alpha’s Mate. (Ms. Ashley is also writing another Shareem novel, called Keiran, and has posted a short teaser on her website, and she’s promised more Stormwalker novels!)
  • The Beautiful Ashes, an upcoming New Adult novel by Jeaniene Frost also has a new excerpt. (Ms. Frost also previously revealed that the title for the final Night Prince novel is Bound by Flames.)
  • The second Sentinels book by Alexandra Ivy is titled Blood Assassin.

That’s all I’ve got for now.

If you’ve got any more release dates or excerpts/teasers to share, please do!

Rika Ashton

(aka The Novel Insider)

The Untamed Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley: Cover and Blurb Reveal!

If you’re like me and eagerly awaiting the next “Mackenzie” series installment by Jennifer Ashley, then be ready to rejoice! The blurb and Kindle cover has been revealed for “The Untamed Mackenzie” – a novella featuring Inspector Fellows and Louisa Scranton, Isabella’s sister.

Delicious, no?


To redeem her family’s disgraced name, Lady Louisa Scranton has decided to acquire a proper husband. He needs to be a man of fortune and highly respectable in order to restore both her family’s lost wealth and reputation. She enters the Marriage Mart with all flags flying, determined to find the right bachelor.

But Louisa’s hopes are dashed when the Bishop of Hargate drops dead at her feet – and she is shockingly accused of murder! Soon, Louisa’s so-called friends begin shunning her, because the company of a suspected killer is never desirable in polite society.

The problem comes to the ears of Detective Inspector Lloyd Fellows, by-blow of the decadent Scottish Mackenzie family and an inspector for Scotland Yard. He has shared two passionate kisses with Lady Louisa – and vows to clear her name. For not only does he know she’s innocent, he recognizes he’s falling for the lovely lady.

Fellows is Louisa’s only hope of restoring her family’s honor – and it is he alone who intrigues Louisa in a way that may be even more scandalous than murder…

I’m now officially dying to read this one – have been ever since that kiss between Louisa and Fellows. Plus, any chance to catch up with the Mackenzie’s is worthwhile. 😀

If you have a favourite series with a new installment releasing, please do share! I’m always looking for new reading material. The wait between novels by favourite authors can be lonely without company. 🙂

Rika Ashton

(aka “OMG! September cannot come sooner!”)

Book Love: Summer 2013 Releases and a Sneak Peek of MACRIEVE

It’s Summer! And for me, that means reading (and school, but mostly reading). Fortunately, there is a long list of anticipated books releasing this summer. (Not to mention movies, but that’s a post for another time.)

So for your reading pleasure, here’s a list of the books I have been most anxiously waiting for:

1. One Heart to Win by Johanna Lindsey. Ms. Lindsey only releases one book a year, so I always mark my calender for when the next one is due – this one hits the bookstores on June 11th.

Some young ladies marry for money and social standing, a few lucky ones marry for love – but Tiffany Warren is marrying to end a feud. Honoring her mother’s promise, Tiffany reluctantly travels west to meet her estranged father and his enemy’s eldest son, rancher Hunter Callahan. Once the Warrens and the Callahans are united by marriage, both clans will stop squabbling over a disputed strip of land.

In the chaos of a train robbery Tiffany seizes a golden opportunity: By assuming the identity of her father’s new housekeeper she can live with the father she never knew and assess his true character, as well as that of the neighboring cowboy to whom she is betrothed. But, too late, Tiffany discovers that the rivalry between the Warrens and the Callahans has escalated when the Callahans steal the Warrens’ housekeeper as soon as she steps off the train!

Now, Tiffany, who is pretending to be Jennifer Fleming, finds herself living in the enemy camp, under the same roof as her fiancÉ. All too soon she learns her intended is a handsome, sweet talking charmer whom she has to fight off because he can’t keep his eyes – or his hands – off Jennifer. After Tiffany’s charade is exposed she refuses to marry Hunter to end the feud. As Hunter goes about claiming his rightful bride-to-be, he knows that although he loves two women – proper, elegant Tiffany as well as spunky, passionate Jennifer – he has only one heart to win.

2. Deception Cove by Jayne Castle. The first novel of the Rainshadow series introduced us to the potential characters of the second novel and, now, here they are!

As a light-talent, Alice North has the rare ability to make things disappear, including herself—a gift that comes in handy during her magic act with her dust bunny Houdini.

Business mogul Drake Sebastian is day-blind, since his sight was nearly destroyed in a lab accident. But he’s the one man who can see Alice when she disappears—and he needs her.

On Rainshadow Island, two dangerous Old World crystals are missing, igniting a paranormal storm. Drake thinks Alice is the key to finding them, and proposes they head there, but only after a Marriage of Convenience.

Alice’s honeymoon on Rainshadow is guaranteed to be memorable, as the island—and the passion between her and Drake—is about to explode…

3. An English Bride in Scotland by Lynsay Sands. If you have read any of Ms. Sands novels before, then you know that this one will make you laugh out loud!

Annabel had planned to become a nun. But when her mother arrives at the Abbey to bring her home to marry a Scottish laird – her runaway sister’s intended husband – her life takes a decidedly different turn.

And though Annabel isn’t the wife he’d planned for, strong, sexy Ross McKay is taken with his shy, sweet bride.

Annabel knows nothing about being a wife, running a castle – or the marriage bed. But her handsome new husband makes her want to learn. When Annabel’s life is threatened, Ross vows to move the highlands itself to save her and preserve the passion that’s only beginning to bloom.

4. Macrieve by Kresley Cole. Alpha heroes and kick-ass heroines! I pretty much devour whatever Ms. Cole writes.

A Beast In Torment

Uilleam MacRieve believed he’d laid to rest the ghosts of his boyhood. But when a brutal torture revives those ancient agonies and destroys his Lykae instinct, the proud Scot craves the oblivion of death. Until he finds her—a young human so full of spirit and courage that she pulls him back from the brink.

A Beauty In Chains

Seized for the auction block, Chloe Todd is forced to enter a terrifying new world of monsters and lore as a bound slave. When offered up to creatures of the dark, she fears she won’t last the night. Until she’s claimed by him—a tormented immortal with heartbreaking eyes, whose touch sets her blood on fire.

A Full Moon On The Rise

With enemies circling, MacRieve spirits Chloe away to the isolated Highland keep of his youth. But once he takes her to his bed, his sensual mate becomes something more than human, evoking his savage past and testing his sanity. On the cusp of the full moon, can he conquer his worst nightmare to save Chloe . . . from himself?

(And for your early reading pleasure a 34-page free sneak peek of the novel. It’s a PDF file.)

5. The Darkest Craving by Gena Showalter. A friend got me hooked on this series, and I’m too addicted to ever kick the habit.

Having endured weeks of torture in the bowels of hell, Kane wants nothing to do with his beautiful rescuer, Josephina Aisling. The half-Fae female threatens to awaken the demon of Disaster inside him-a beast he’s determined to kill, no matter the price.

Josephina is hunted by a brutal enemy-her royal family-and Kane is her only source of protection. He’s also the only male to ever set her aflame, and even he succumbs to the heat.

But as they navigate the treacherous world of the Fae, they are forced to make a choice: live apart…or die together.

6. The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh by Stephanie Laurens. I love her Cynster family series and I’ve been waiting for this story for a while.

The Honorable Miss Mary Cynster always gets what she wants. As the last unwed Cynster of her generation, she is determined to remain in charge of her life and of the man she will marry. At the very bottom of her list of potential husbands is Ryder Cavanaugh, the daring and devastating Marquess of Raventhorne, an overwhelming and utterly unmanageable lion of the ton. But destiny has a different plan.

Ryder needs Mary as his wife, not just because she is delightful, fiery, and tempting, but because he values all she could be. When fate and circumstance hand him the chance, he claims Mary as his marchioness . . . only to discover what he truly desires is not just to take her hand in marriage, but to capture her heart.

7. The Vampire with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrelyn Sparks. The series has been a bit of a hit and miss for me so far, but I’m open to giving this book a chance.

He’s out of control

Dougal Kincaid has something to prove. After being injured in a battle with the Malcontents, he’s ready for active duty protecting unsuspecting mortals from these villainous vampires who want to rule the world. But first he has to get control of himself . . . because just the sight of a certain lovely doctor has his injured hand doing some peculiar things, not to mention the sizzling sensation that burns along his dragon tattoo . . .

Vampires? Vampires?! As a scientist, Leah is having trouble believing that these immortal creatures exist. But there they are, standing in front of her, asking for help in solving a genetic puzzle that can save mankind. There’s even one in a sexy kilt! Just one look into Dougal’s gorgeous green eyes sets her pulse racing. But can she trust him – and the overwhelming desire that refuses to be ignored . . . ?

8. What the Duke Desires by Sabrina Jeffries. I’ve read everything that Ms. Jeffries has written under this pseudonym and I have yet to be disappointed.

Maximilian Cale, the Duke of Lyons, accepted long ago that his kidnapped brother was dead. When a cryptic note from investigator Tristan Bonnaud claims otherwise, Max seeks out Tristan’s sister, Lisette—and is infuriated to learn that Tristan has also mysteriously vanished. Have the siblings perpetrated an elaborate hoax? Or is the fiercely protective beauty as innocent as she claims them to be?

Fearful that the powerful duke will destroy Tristan’s career in his zeal for the truth, the clever Lisette convinces Max to accompany her to Paris in a joint search for their loved ones. But their journey takes a seductive twist when they pose as an ordinary husband and wife—not an English duke with a tarnished family name and the illegitimate daughter of a viscount—and discover an exhilarating passion free from the damning secrets of the past. With the line between danger and desire enticingly blurred, they discover that some mysteries, like those of the heart, are answered tenfold in the bliss of a true and trusting love.

9. How to Entice an Enchantress by Karen Hawkins. Okay, so strickly speaking this one comes out in September, but I figured why put a limit on Summer. 🙂

Reclusive Viscount Kirk, horribly scarred by a tragic accident that stole the life of his beloved first wife, is a man defined by fury. For years he’s eschewed society, growing abrupt and curmudgeonly. But now, when he’d given up on life, he’s fallen madly in love with the refreshingly naive daughter of his neighbor, dainty and charming Dahlia Balfour. Desperate to win her attention, Kirk calls in a favor from the Duchess of Roxburghe and asks that she transform him into a fashionable suitor for Dahlia’s hand. But what’s easy to change on the outside, isn’t as easy to change on the inside…

Dahlia’s always dreamed of a fairytale romance. Although Viscount Kirk is only seven years her senior, because of his cantankerous ways and lack of social graces she thinks of him as her “older neighbor,” and is blissfully unaware that he sees her as anything other than an acquaintance. She is shocked to see him at the duchess’s grand house party, trying to fit with the very societal rules he so frequently mocks. Surprised by his attention, irritated at his bald honesty, and intrigued that he finds her worth the effort, Dahlia regards Kirk as the opposite of Prince Charming. Without the pretty words and grand gestures she yearns for, can true love find its way into her unwilling heart?

10. My Notorious Gentleman by Gaelen Foley. For those of  us who love the occasional darker toned read, there is Ms. Foley. (And this cover is stunning!)

Shy, warm-hearted Miss Grace Kenwood knows she has no chance of tempting her new neighbour, Lord Trevor Montgomery. Every eligible beauty is swooning over the brooding former spy. Even though he once kissed her senseless, he can have no interest in someone like her. Yet somehow, the seductive rogue unleashes her own inner devil . . .

Every lady loves a hero but Trevor has no interest in any of them – except for the refreshingly candid Grace. If he had a heart left, Grace might steal it. She insists he’s better than he thinks. He’s sure she’s absolutely wrong. Until danger threatens, and Trevor rediscovers how easy it is to be a hero . . . for the right lady.

11. Warrior’s Moon by Lucy Monroe. She is one of my newest, most favourite authors and I highly recommend the Children of the Moon series to fans of paranormal-historicals.

After being rejected by Caelis, Shona was forced to marry an English baron. Now she’s on the run from the deceased baron’s heir. Determined to protect her children, she heads north to Balmoral Island, to the only family she has left. And runs into the one man she never wants to see againand the only one who might be able to save her.

As powerful and charismatic as ever, Caelis has been charged with saving his pack from the corrupt laird ruling them. This time, however, he refuses to abandon his sacred mate. He lost Shona once and swears he will never be separated from her again. Passion and love urge Shona to join him. But she has to wonder if she truly comes before the pack, or if nothing has changed at all.

And that concludes my list of Summer reading recommendations. I’ll be posting a Fall/Winter reading list soon, with releases from Nalini Singh, Lynsay Sands, Jeaniene Frost, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jennifer Ashley, Julia Quinn and more!

What are some of your highly anticipated books for Summer 2013?

-Rika Ashton

(aka, “Kids are the future! Read books!”)

Updates, Excerpts and Recommended Reads


Just a quick post to let you guys know what I’ve been up to. Well, for one, I graduated from university with m Bachelor of Arts (English Major) degree. What am I going to do with this degree, you ask? Well, the long answer is I have no idea. And the short is that I’ll teach. Probably.


If I can stand the kids…but teaching’s a good back-up plan to have, which is why I”m going to start my Bachelor of Education at the University of British Columbia in September. (Yay for more school! No, seriously, I’m bored out of my mind right now so I’m kind off looking forward to it.)

Along with finishing school I’ve also been busy writing and editting The Dagger of the Sun and in the spirit of writing, here’s a small preview of the chapter:

As soon as Delphyne smelled the putrid breath of the dragon, she knew Apollo had lied to her. Again. Python, as the locals referred to the beast, would not be an easy kill.

      The colour of trampled grass, the dragon was at least ten feet long. Its body was covered with impenetrable scales that made him near invincible. It was rumoured that the Titaness, Gaia, had created Python from the foul-smelling swamp waters that surrounded the region of Delphi, to protect the oracle of Delphi and its prophetess.

      A duty Apollo wanted to relieve it of – a task that was proving more difficult than he anticipated.

      The once lush lands of the Delphic oracle were now barren, after an hour of hard battle. The ground was sodden with the poison that Python spewed from his mouth. The poison had eaten away at the grass and trees in the area. The trees that had survived the acidic downpour were uprooted and tossed asunder.

      “Keep it occupied and I’ll shoot it down from above.”

      Her dark braid whipping her back as she dodged to avoid another of Python’s swinging claws, Delphyne dared a brief glance behind her. The movement made the strap on her sandal tighten awkwardly, biting into her skin. Sure enough, she could feel the beginnings of a blister.

      Apollo was hidden safely behind one of the large boulders that surrounded the sunken ground of the oracle, the sunlight that glinted off the golden bow in his hands was the only clue to his current location.

      Coward, Delphyne scowled. It was easy for him to give orders, he wasn’t the one who’d nearly been sliced in half four times in the past hour.

      “How do you suppose I keep an ten-foot serpent preoccupied? Maybe I should just stand still and let it rip me apart?” The sarcastic retort rolled naturally of her tongue. “It seems to enjoy doing that.”

      “She,” said Apollo from his safe haven.


      “The dragon. It’s female.”

      “Oh, really. Well, doesn’t that just change everything.” She was beginning to sound like a hysterical fishwife even to her own ears. The pressure of nearly dying over and over again must be getting to her.

      “Dodge left.”

      Delphyne swerved left on Apollo’s command. A flaming arrow went flying past her, only to hit Python’s armoured shoulder and bounce off harmlessly. The flame put out by the damp ground while the arrow joined its fallen companions, Apollo’s previous attempts to kill the dragon.

      Apollo let out a foul oath.

      “Perhaps you should distract it while I shoot it down,” Delphyne said. “Oh wait, that’s shoot her down.”

      “You can’t aim worth a drachma,” said Apollo. “With your luck, you’ll shoot everything but the dragon. Move right.”

      Another arrow shot out. This one landed close to Python’s eye, but not close enough to do any damage. 

      “That would be different from what you’re doing, how exactly?”

That’s a little taste of Delphyne, Apollo and the Python.

(Chaos: Apollo a total coward in this scene, not to mention an idiot.

Apollo: *glares at me*

Me: *starts running as if my life depends on it cause it probably does*)

Finally, for some recommended reads:

book cover of<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />The Duke's Perfect Wife<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> (Highland Pleasures, book 4)<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />by<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Jennifer Ashley book cover of<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Under a Vampire Moon<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> (Argeneau Family, book 16)<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />by<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Lynsay Sands book cover of<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Once Burned<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> (Night Prince, book 1)<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />by<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Jeaniene Frost

I recommend the The Duke’s Perfect Wife for those who love mystery, romance, some tears and IAN MACKENZIE! For people whol love to laugh, the Under a Vampire Moon is perfect! And though strickly speaking the Once Burned isn’t out yet…who doesn’t love Vlad?

Rika Ashton

(aka I’m Back!)

Cover Madness!

First of all, the next novel by Lydia Dare. I believe that is Lady Madeline Hayburn (introduced in Never Been Bit, Sorcha and Alec’s novel) and her hero, one of Dash’s brothers (not sure which one, yet…but you all are welcome to guess).

The next cover belongs to debut author, Susan Dennard. The first book of the Spirit-Hunters trilogy:

How could I forget Jennifer Ashley’s next Mackenzie series book…Hart and Eleanor:

And finally the next in the Chronicles of Nick series because I adore Nick:

In a Long Time Coming…

Updates. Updates. And more updates…oh, and a review, too!

Yes, you all deserve HUGE rewards for your patience. (Contrary to popular belief, I only received about 50 angry emails a day telling me to update as opposed to say 500.) Although it seems that while I’ve been away, cyberspace has moved on without me.

First order of business, Eion Macken, Merlin’s Gwaine has a Twitter account. Follow him, you know you wanna…

Plus, I had some fun revamping the first chapter of Apollo’s Necromancer…again. The novel is now titled Dagger of the Sun, and the first chapter reflects this darker tone. I’m sad about leaving out so much of the comedy for the fantasy and action, but I’m afraid it had to be done. Good news is that Delphyne and Apollo get to fight the dragon (yes, there is a dragon because what would a fantasy novel be without one) a whole lot sooner and Kale gets to do some serious black magic.

I would also to take this opportunity to thank those of you who replied to me plea for critique partners. THANK YOU! 🙂 I am ever grateful and will contact you guys soon. (You know who you are.) I’m not entirely sure how critique partnerships work so bear with me.

Of course, by disappearance from cyberspace was not entirely do to edits. University, as always looms over the horizon — and now that I’ve actually found a volunteer teaching position (glorified slave labour) — it’s harder to find time to blog anything. That, and nothing truly interesting happens when teaching watching a grade 9 and 10 English classes write in-class essays.

On the upside I did have some time to read Jennifer Ashley‘s The Many Sins of Lord Cameron:

Lord Cameron Mackenzie is intrigued when he finds the pretty widow, Ainsley Douglas, hiding in the window seat of his bedchamber. Cam remembers Ainsley Douglas all right—six years ago, he’d caught her in this very bedchamber, during a house party in the Mackenzies’ Scottish manor. Enchanted by her ingenuous excuses, he decided to seduce her, but stopped shy when she’d made a rather touching appeal about her “good husband who didn’t deserve to be heartbroken.” 

Later, Cameron learned that her visit to his bedchamber was part of some female intrigue against him, the kind his late wife used to practice. Ainsley protested her innocence, but Cameron’s anger made him never want to see her again. Now she’s back, at another houseparty—and Cameron finds the gray-eyed minx in his bedchamber, again. Her excuses are just as ingenuous, but this time Cameron is determined to teach her a lesson. 

They have unfinished business, Cameron tells her. He asks her how many of her many buttons she’ll let him unclasp, promising that before the houseparty is over, she’ll be asking him to undo them all. 

Ainsley’s dismay is real. She’s on a mission to prevent embarrassment to Queen Victoria, and time is running out. Though the needs he’d stirred long ago during her unhappy marriage rise again, she knows it would be foolish to fall for love-them-and-leave-them Cameron Mackenzie. 

But he asks her a question that challenges her beliefs about love and happiness, and she finds herself risking all to be with the black sheep of the Mackenzie family.

And now for a very brief review:

I adored this book. Cam was a sweetheart, and almost topped his brother Ian as the perfect hero. In fact, I think the two are tied for the top spot. Cam wasn’t your usual bachelor who was afraid of matrimony because he wanted to sleep around, but he had an actual reason. His first marriage was a disaster (with a capital “d”), and he finds it hard to trust after the abuse (emotional and physical) that his wife put him through. I was glad though that he was clear-headed enough to see that Ainsley was different and that he could trust her. It’s rare to have a great hero paired with an equally awesome heroine, but Ms. Ashley seems to have perfected the technique because I have absolutely no complaints about Ainsley. She was intelligent enough to realize that accepting help is not a slight against her power a a woman. Ainsley’s first marriage was more of a marriage-of-convenience for her, though she did care for her husband and he cared for her, but he was a lot older and died leaving her with little money. Ainsley works for Queen Victoria, who is a bit of a controlling biotch in the novel, and has to find a way to free her from a blackmailer. Though the blackmailer was more of a side-show, an excuse really to get Cam and Ainsley back together. Together, Cam and Ainsley were combustible!

It was nice to catch up with the other Mackenzie brothers and their wives. Hart was also less distant in this novel and I’m looking forward to his HEA. Unfortunately, I have to wait. Good news is that the Mackenzie series will not end with Hart’s novel, and Daniel (most intriguing teen character EVER, cause usually I find teenagers a little immature) will also get his own story. 😀

Hopefully, this post redeems me for neglecting you guys for so long, but if not maybe my next post — a review of Lydia Dare‘s Gentlemen Vampyres series will.

-Rika Ashton

(aka The Ashamed One)

P.S: I have to thank Priscilla Shay for introducing me to Luke Evans. She somehow manages to go to university, write, read and scope out hot guys! True talent, that!