Posts tagged “stephanie laurens

A Review for Loving Rose: The Redemption of Malcolm Sinclair by Stephanie Laurens

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest, and hopefully spoiler-free, review.

As I raved in my review post for The Masterful Mr. Montague, I adore Barnaby and Penelope as a mystery-solving couple, so I started reading Loving Rose: The Redemption of Malcolm Sinclair by Stephanie Laurens – book three in the Casebook of Barnaby Adair series – with gleeful anticipation.

The Blurb:

Miraculously spared from death, Malcolm Sinclair erases the notorious man he once was. Reinventing himself as Thomas Glendower, he strives to make amends for his past, yet he never imagines penance might come via a secretive lady he discovers living in his secluded manor.

Rose has a plausible explanation for why she and her children are residing in Thomas’s house, but she quickly realizes he’s far too intelligent to fool. Revealing the truth is impossibly dangerous, yet day by day he wins her trust, and then her heart.

But then her enemy closes in, and Rose turns to Thomas as the only man who can protect her and the children. And when she asks for his help, Thomas finally understands his true purpose, and with unwavering commitment, he seeks his redemption the only way he can—through living the reality of loving Rose.

The Review:

Loving Rose can be termed an original work for Ms. Laurens. This is the first time that she’s taken a villain, Malcolm Sinclair initially from A Taste of Innocence, and transformed him into a hero – Thomas Glendower. And it wasn’t a rapid transformation, but rather well done as most of this novel seems to be about Thomas. This is a romance where the hero is front and centre, which makes it different from the norm. As a reader, we are taken in a journey of transformation and redemption along with Thomas. Rose, who is an important character in this novel, serves as a reason for that change, but it is nonetheless Thomas who carries the weight of this story.

That isn’t to say that the mystery and romance aspects of Loving Rose are not explored or well-portrayed, they are but they are not as important to the story as Thomas/Malcolm’s journey. This novel is a romantic tribute to the hero’s journey of old.

And of course, we get cameos from some old friends and new!

My only quibbles with this novel were that I wanted a more dastardly villain, especially since Malcolm had been such a good villain in his own novel, but a true evil mastermind was sadly lacking in this novel and I also wanted to see Malcolm’s new identity as Thomas Glendower challenged in some way, but it never was to my satisfaction.

Yet, overall this novel was fun enough to make me dread the wait until 2018 for the next one! 😦

For those of you lucky enough to just be starting the Casebook of Barnaby Adair series, you have three amazing novels to tide your over for the next three years. But, of course, Ms. Laurens never sits idle so, while we may not be getting another installment in this particular series any time soon, she is returning to her beloved Cynsters for the next batch of novels. 😀


Rika Ashton

(aka Book Reviewer)


A Review of The Masterful Mr. Montague by Stephanie Laurens

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and, as always, be wary of spoilers.

The Blurb:

Montague has devoted his life to managing the wealth of London’s elite, but at a huge cost: a family of his own. Then the enticing Miss Violet Matcham seeks his help, and in the puzzle she presents him, he finds an intriguing new challenge professionally … and personally.

Violet, devoted lady-companion to the aging Lady Halstead, turns to Montague to reassure her ladyship that her affairs are in order. But the famous Montague is not at all what she’d expected – this man is compelling, decisive, supportive, and strong – everything Violet needs in a champion, a position to which Montague rapidly lays claim.

But then Lady Halstead is murdered and Violet and Montague, aided by Barnaby Adair, Inspector Stokes, Penelope, and Griselda, race to expose a cunning and cold-blooded killer.who stalks closer and closer. Will Montague and Violet learn the shocking truth too late to seize their chance at enduring love?

The Review:

I’ve been waiting for another Barnaby Adair novel for what feels like ages now, so when I first read the blurb for The Masterful Mr. Montague, I was a little disappointed. Not because it didn’t seem to hint at an interesting story line, but because the mention of Barnaby and Penelope and the gang seemed like an after thought. After reading the blurb I thought the novel would focus more on the story between Violet and Montague, but once I read the book I was pleasantly surprised to find out I was very, very wrong. 🙂

The novel’s got a nice balance between the Barnaby and Penelope romance and mystery angle, and the budding romance between Violet and Montague. We get to see how Penelope and Barnaby are adjusting to married life, but they are the same mystery pursuing couple as they were in Where the Heart Leads (the first Casebook of Barnaby Adair novel). We also get some Cynster action in this novel, and while I did miss seeing Devil Cynster, I was happy to catch-up with the Cynster ladies.

The mystery elements in this novel were well-developed. There didn’t seem to be an obvious suspect, so it was great working alongside the characters to figure out the identity of Lady Halstead’s killer. Every time I felt like I got close to figuring out the killer, I was thrown for a loop – in a good way!

The romance between Violet and Montague was also pleasant and sweet, but for me personally Barnaby and Penelope stole the show. And then, of course, there was Stokes and Griselda…Griselda stood out a lot more in this novel than the previous one, and we get to know her character more slowly.

I know I’ve made a lot of references to Where the Heart Leads, so I know the obvious question now is: Can this be read as a standalone? Yes, absolutely! The characters are reintroduced in this novel for new readers and, though for me the experience of having read the first novel made me appreciate this one all the more, the story is self-contained.

Overall, I give this novel a solid 4 out of 5 for being an unpredictable read while, at the same time, letting me catch up with much-loved characters!


Rika Ashton

(aka The ARC Devourer)

From the Land of ARCs

Hi all,

This has been the busiest week of my life…and I still have three more to go! (I started working three jobs again – teaching Kindergarten, which is fun but you never really get a chance to rest, tutoring and working at a learning centre…again no rest in the last two jobs either.)

And I course I’m still in the middle of edits, but thankfully my critique partners are awesome and totally tolerate my erratic writing schedule. But I’ve promised to get more chapters done over the weekends!

But recently, I also received three Advanced Review Copies (ARCs) from Avon and I am very, very excited to read them! 🙂

And in the order of the release dates, here they are:

1. The Masterful Mr. Montague by Stephanie Laurens (releasing April 29th, 2014) and the second “Casebook of Barnaby Adair” novel. I’ve already read a bit of this and I love the characterization!

Montague has devoted his life to managing the wealth of London’s elite, but at a huge cost: a family of his own. Then the enticing Miss Violet Matcham seeks his help, and in the puzzle she presents him, he finds an intriguing new challenge professionally … and personally.

Violet, devoted lady-companion to the aging Lady Halstead, turns to Montague to reassure her ladyship that her affairs are in order. But the famous Montague is not at all what she’d expected – this man is compelling, decisive, supportive, and strong – everything Violet needs in a champion, a position to which Montague rapidly lays claim.

But then Lady Halstead is murdered and Violet and Montague, aided by Barnaby Adair, Inspector Stokes, Penelope, and Griselda, race to expose a cunning and cold-blooded killer.who stalks closer and closer. Will Montague and Violet learn the shocking truth too late to seize their chance at enduring love?

2. The Kiss of Wrath by Sandra Hill (releasing May 27th, 2014), the fourth in the”Deadly Angels” series  and the title of this one is so badass!

No wicked wenches or wild rampages…it’s been centuries since Mordr the Berserker was turned into a Vangel-a Viking Vampire Angel-as punishment for his sin of wrath, and he’s been frustrated ever since. It’s not so bad being stuck in modern-day Las Vegas. What better place to slay Lucipires, or demon vampires, than the original Sin City. But then Mordr Sigurdsson’s mission is expanded to a new assignment: protect lust-worthy Miranda Hart.

Miranda’s well-ordered life turned into chaos when she unexpectedly inherited her late cousin’s five children. Now, her cousin’s dangerous husband is about to be paroled, and she needs a miracle to keep them all safe.That miracle arrives on her doorstep in the form of a very buff, handsome man with a very strange name. Mordr wants nothing to do with a red-haired wench or children. Miranda wants nothing to do with gorgeous hunk who claims to be a Viking.

As Miranda and Mordr give in to temptation, they must decide if they fit in each other’s worlds-before their enemies close in on them.

3. The Virgin of Clan Sinclair by Karen Ranney (releasing May 27th, 2014 as well) and this is the third in the “Sinclair” series and since it was the first ARC I received I’ve pretty much finished this one and will have a review soon. (Although, I don’t want to post it too much before the release date.)

Ellice Traylor has a secret. Beneath her innocent exterior beats an incredibly passionate and imaginative heart. She has been pouring all of her frustrated virginal fantasies into a scandalous manuscript. But when her plans for her future are about to be derailed by her mother’s matrimonial designs, she takes matters into her own hands.

Ross Forster, the Earl of Gladsden, has spent his life creating order out of chaos. He expects discipline and calm from those around him. What he does not expect is a beautiful, thoroughly maddening stowaway in his carriage.

But when Ross discovers Ellice’s secret book, he finds he can’t stop thinking about what other fantasies the disarming virgin can dream up. He has the chance to learn when a compromising position forces them to wed. But can the uptight Earl survive a life with his surprising new wife? And how will the hero of Ellice’s fantasies compare to the husband of her reality?

I’ll have reviews of all of these books posted closer to the release dates!

Rika Ashton

(aka The Official Book Reviewer)

Cover Lover: Historical Edition

2014 means more reading for me. Only this year, I don’t have to read theoretical papers on the importance of intrinsic motivation – or at least, this year I will have the choice of whether or not I want to read them.

That said, I’m looking forward to the line of historical romances coming out this year. Here are a few of the HR books I know I’ll adore!

The third deliciously sexy novel in the New York Times bestselling Duke’s Men historical romance series, featuring an investigator who sets out to find gypsies—and unexpectedly finds love.

Investigator Tristan Bonnaud has one aim in life—to make sure that his half-brother George can’t ever ruin his life again. So when the pesky Lady Zoe Keane, the daughter of the Earl of Olivier, shows up demanding that the Duke’s Men find a mysterious gypsy woman, he seizes the opportunity to also hunt for a gypsy friend who knows secrets about George. Tristan doesn’t expect to uncover Lady Zoe’s family secrets, as well…or end up falling for the woman who will risk all to discover the truth.

New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands returns to the Highlands of Scotland in her hottest new historical romance yet!

Highlander Campbell Sinclair is no stranger to battle, so when he sees a lad attacked by bandits, he jumps into the fray. He didn’t count on being stabbed. Grateful to the boy for nursing him back to health, Cam offers to accompany Jo safely to his destination. But when he accidentally comes across the lad bathing in the river, Cam discovers that Jo is actually Joan . . . with the most sinful of curves.

Joan promised her mother that she would deliver a scroll to the clan MacKay. But traveling alone is dangerous, even disguised as a boy. When a Scottish warrior lends his aid, she is more than relieved . . . until he surprises her with lingering kisses and caresses that prove her disguise hasn’t fooled him. As their passion ignites, will the secrets of the scroll force a wedding . . . and lead to a love she’s never known?

(UK Cover)

Miss Amity Doncaster, world traveler, is accustomed to adventure and risk. Benedict Stanbridge, a man of science and a spy for the Crown, has faced danger in the darker corners of foreign lands.

Now they are about to face a threat that is shockingly close to home . . .

One does not expect to be kidnapped on a London street in broad daylight. Yet Amity Doncaster barely escapes with her life after she is trapped in a carriage with a blade-wielding man in a black silk mask who whispers the most vile taunts and threats into her ear. Her quick thinking, and her secret weapon, save her – for now.

But the monster known in the press as the Bridegroom, who has left a trail of female victims in his wake, has survived the wounds she inflicts and will soon be on his feet again. He is unwholesomely obsessed by her scandalous connection to Benedict Stanbridge -gossip about their hours alone in a ship’s stateroom seems to have crossed the Atlantic faster than any sailing vessel could. Benedict refuses to let this resourceful, daring woman suffer for her romantic link to him – as tenuous as it may be.

For a man and woman so skilled at disappearing, so at home in the exotic reaches of the globe, escape is always an option. But each intends to end the Bridegroom’s reign of terror in London, and they will join forces to do so. And as they prepare to confront an unbalanced criminal in the heart of the city they love, they must also face feelings neither of them can run away from . . .

And that is my list so far – although there are other authors, such as Julia Quinn, Stephanie Laurens, and Johanna Lindsey (previously posted here) among others, whose novels I can’t wait to get my hands on as well.

Rika Ashton

(aka The Historian)

Reading Recommendation: The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of reading Stephanie Lauren’s The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh – the latest in her Cynster series.

The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh (The Cynster Sisters Duo #2)

The 2nd in the Cynster Sisters duo, #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens thrills with this fantastic tale of a Cynster who’ll stop at nothing for love.

Lady Mary has been waiting years for this opportunity. Not that her sister has thrown off her spinster ways and become betrothed, it’s finally Mary’s chance for true love. She knows exactly who she wants –and it’s not someone as wild, unmanageable, and sinfully seductive as Ryder Cavanaugh.

Ryder Cavanaugh, Marquess of Raventhorne, had never met a woman who wouldn’t happily fall at his feet–or into his bed…until Lady Mary Cynster. But Ryder has made some decisions about his life and he’ll only succeed at being the man he wants to be with Mary by his side. And convincing her of that fact is just the kind of challenge he thrills at…

The novel was a bittersweet read for me – not because the story was in any way sad or morose, but because I knew that this would be the last Cynster novel in a while, before we get to the story about the next generation. Laurens is taking a break from the Cynsters to write the next Casebook of Barnaby Adair novel – a spinoff of the Cynster series that started with Where the Heart Leads. As much as I enjoyed reading Where the Heart Leads, I’m impatient to get to Lucilla’s novel, which will hopefully be the next Cynster duo to be released in 2015. (But luckily we get a Cynster Christmas novella in 2014 to somewhat tide us over.)

The good news is that Laurens is signed on for 5 more Cynster novels – and hopefully more after that, especially now that she’s whet my appetite for the Cynster children’s novels – of which there are 79 children. 😉

On the other hand, I also want to know what’s happening in Penelope and Barnaby’s world – and in a perfect world, all these novels would be written and released simultaneously! 🙂

But since this is not the case, I’ll have to satisfy myself by raving about The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh!

The novel starts off with Mary Cynster, the last of her Cynster generation, who’s looking for her “hero” while at the same time expecting to make a great match. Fortunately, she believes they will be one and the same. Luckily, Mary’s stubborn and determined enough to make this the case. Unfortunately, Mary has set her sights on Randolph – that’s right, Randolph not Ryder – Cavanaugh. Randolph is Ryder’s younger brother, close to Mary in age and a “hero” Mary believes has the potential to be taught how to be a great husband.

You see, Mary has one primary defining trait – she’s bossy. Her family know it, the ton know it, Mary knows it and Ryder knows it.

This is exactly why Ryder is determined to wed Mary himself. No, not because he likes getting ordered around – or so he thinks – but because he believes he can stand up to Mary.

It takes some convincing and some luck, but Ryder is able to persuade Mary into choosing and marrying him over Randolph, his half brother.

So how does Randolph feel about this?

If your expecting a love triangle, then prepare to be disappointed. Randolph is very relieved to learn that Mary has married Ryder. One, because he’s too young to get married – he’s only twenty-four. And two, because Randolph, being an informed member of the ton knows how bossy Mary can be.

Fortunately for Ryder, he adaptable to taking orders from his wife – a unique trait in an alpha male. But for Mary’s part, she’s also willing to compromise – a skill she has learned is necessary when dealing with alpha males of her Cynster cousins’ caliber.

One of the best parts about reading this novel, was reading about a couple that learns to compromise and a female who is just a little more alpha than the hero when it comes to knowing her own mind and heart. Mary’s logical, open-minded and decisive. Once she’s made a decision or promise, she sticks to it. Plus, she’s perfectly capable to brining Ryder to his knees!

It was refreshing to read about a couple who didn’t keep secrets from one another and were willing to listen to each other and work together to overcome their foes.

[Mary’s] eyes had narrowed slightly; her lips parted, but before she could speak, [Ryder] held up a staying hand. “And yes, knowing that Cynster’s only marry for love, I freely admit that I was perfectly prepared to cold-bloodedly pretend to fall in love with you if that was what it took to win you as my marchioness, to be the mother of my children and the matriarch of the Cavanaughs…” Eyes locking with hers, he drew in a massive breath, let it out with, “But then I discovered I didn’t need to pretend.”

I don’t know about you, but there is something decidedly HOT about a man who is willing to do anything – including lie and cheat – in order to win the woman he wants! 😉

So what to you think about the Cynsters? Who do you think the next novel should be about?

-Rika Ashton

(aka Book Recommender)

P.S: There are more Stephanie Laurens’ novel release details in her latest newsletter.

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!”)