Posts tagged “throwback thursday

Throwback Thursday: SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS by Mary Balogh

This week I pulled out a book from my “to-be-read” pile to share with you all – Mary Balogh‘s Slightly Dangerous.

All of London is abuzz over the imminent arrival of Wulfric Bedwyn, the reclusive, cold-as-ice Duke of Bewcastle, at the most glittering social event of the season. Some whisper of a tragic love affair. Others say he is so aloof and passionless that not even the greatest beauty could capture his attention.

But on this dazzling afternoon, one woman did catch the duke’s eye—and she was the only female in the room who wasn’t even trying. Christine Derrick is intrigued by the handsome duke…all the more so when he invites her to become his mistress.

What red-blooded woman wouldn’t enjoy a tumble in the bedsheets with a consummate lover—with no strings and no questions asked. An infuriating lady with very definite views on men, morals, and marriage, Christine confounds Wulfric at every turn. Yet even as the lone wolf of the Bedwyn clan vows to seduce her any way he can, something strange and wonderful is happening. Now for a man who thought he’d never lose his heart, nothing less than love will do.

With her trademark wit, riveting storytelling, and sizzling sexual sparks, Mary Balogh once again brings together two polar opposites: an irresistible, high-and-mighty aristocrat and the impulsive, pleasure-loving woman who shows him what true passion is all about. A man and a woman so wrong for each other, it can result only in the perfect match.

I confess, I have never read a novel by Ms. Balogh, but she seems to be on most “must-read” piles so I placed this novel on my reading list a long while ago. (Only, I have yet to actually read the darn thing…argh! Other novels just keep getting in the way.)

Who are some TBR authors you never get to?

Rika Ashton

(aka #HavingBookwormProblems)

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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!’)

 


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?


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)

 


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.

Introducing….

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)


Throwback Thursday: COUNTESS CONFIDENTIAL by Barbara Dawson Smith

This week I found a long lost treasure – personally speaking – after searching high and low for it. I read Barbara Dawson Smith‘s Countess Confidential early on in my journey to the world of romance reader. I remember thinking it was a heartwarming tale, but I never kept track of the novel, nor did I read anything more by this author at the time. You see, I was still in the stage of sowing my wild oats and hopping from the pages of one novel to another – so I most likely couldn’t tell you the names of most of the novels I read in those days (except, my first…it’s likely that everyone remembers their first.)

But when I rediscovered Countess Confidential – after a very hectic Google search that involved typing in variations of the title and the hero’s name (which I happened to recall): “The Confessions of a Countess,” “Countess Confessional,” and “Countess Simon.” The last of which yielded the following result:

Needless to say, Simon Cowell is not even close to what I had in mind…

I was about to give up, when in a last ditch effort I typed in everything I could recall about this novel, summed up as “Countess Simon romance novel historical.” Yes, it wasn’t much, but fortunately for me the Google gods were listening and happened to answer the desperate pleas of this romance novel enthusiast, and I finally found the novel that would become this week’s Throwback Thursday pick:

New York Times bestselling author Barbara Dawson Smith mesmerizes readers once again in her latest novel of a woman forced to enter the aristocratic world she despises–only to find a man she can’t live without…

Dear Reader,

This is the story of how I, a penniless upstart, became a countess.

I never set out to be the heroine in a romantic tale of derring-do. As a spinster of five-and-twenty, I was much too practical to imagine myself tracking a dangerous criminal or falling prey to ardent nonsense. Nor did I ever envision myself entering the gilded ballrooms of society where indolent aristocrats nibbled cake and traded gossip. But that was before my father was wrongfully imprisoned as a jewel thief.

Determined to uncover the true criminal, I posed as an impoverished widow and secured a post in the grand household of a noble family – the very family that had cruelly cast out my mother many years ago. Of course, they knew not who I was. To them, I was merely a servant, an invisible hireling. And little did I know, my daring plan would throw me into the path of Simon Croft, the almighty Earl of Rockford.

Arrogant, charming, and too handsome for his own good, he might have walked straight off a pedestal in a museum. I had no use for such a rogue, yet from the moment of our first meeting, he tempted my unruly heart. And soon, he threatened my schemes as well, for Simon had secrets of his own….

-Claire, the Countess of Rockford

As I start to reread Countess Confidential, I’m rediscovering all the elements I loved about it in the first place. The mystery and the humour keeps me turning the pages. The banter between Simon and Claire escalates into an unconditional love. Claire is such a strong character, and willing to go to extreme lengths to protect those she loves. Simon is a good foil for her, loving but no less determined.

I know I’m going to enjoy reading towards the happily ever after as much as I did the first time!

Rika Ashton

(aka Google Gods Disciple)


Throwback Thursday: HER MASTER AND COMMANDER by Karen Hawkins

This week’s Throwback Thursday features the first book I read by Karen Hawkins: Her Master and Commander! I read this book a very, very long time ago, but Ms. Hawkins’ writing – imbued with her classic sense of humour – has made it very memorable and I thought I’d share it as this week’s pick.

Just ask Reeves!

Dying without legitimate issue, the late Earl of Rochester set his butler extraordinaire, Reeves, to find his wild, illegitimate children and “civilize” them. Reeves must seek out the first o the earl’s arrogant sons, Captain Tristan Llevanth, a one-time pirate, and teach him how to be a gentleman.

A will of steel…

Tristan Llevanth gave up his free-wheeling life as a pirate to fight at Admiral Nelson’s side. Wounded, Tristan will never again sail the seas he loves. Life has not more challenges. Or so he thinks, until Reeves brings a certain outspoken lady into the captain’s uncultured household…

An iron-clad spirit…

Reeves believes Tristan needs a spark to relight the fires of his soul. And who better than the lovely Prudence Thistlewaite, the bane of the captain’s existence? Prudence wants nothing to do with her wickedly handsome, ill-tempered neighbor. Still, she cannot refuse the outlandish sum Reeves offers to smooth Tristan’s rough edges.

Can Prudence tame the rakish captain?

Or will Tristan gain what he most wishes, to become…

Her Master and Commander

This book is full of laughs and wicked banter between Tristan and Prudence. No one can write character chemistry like Ms. Hawkins and certainly no one can replicate her sense of comical timing. If you haven’t read anything by Ms. Hawkins or if you’re a lifetime fan, this is one book you can’t miss!

Rika Ashton

(aka Master and Commander of All Things Bookish)


Throwback Thursday: THE CAPTAIN OF ALL PLEASURES by Kresley Cole

Kresley Cole is one multi-talented author. Before delving into the paranormal romance genre with her Immortals After Dark series and young adult books with The Arcana Chronicles…and way, way before her erotic romance Game Maker series, Ms. Cole wrote historical romance. First published in 2003, The Captain of All Pleasures (book one of the Sutherland Brothers series) was Ms. Cole’s very first – and might I say, award-winning – novel.

In her exhilarating debut novel, Kresley Cole captures the drama, passion, and boundless adventure of the high seas—as one fiery lass finds herself caught in a tide of torrid romance.

Raised as a free spirit aboard her American sea captain father’s majestic clipper ship, willful Nicole Lassiter has never encountered an obstacle she couldn’t overcome—until she meets Captain Derek Sutherland. His sizzling kisses leave her longing, but after they share a night of passion, his subsequent disdain makes her blood boil. Nicole vows to take her revenge—by helping her father beat Sutherland in a high-stakes competition: the Great Circle Race from England to Australia.

Nicole’s scheme is thrown overboard after her father is wrongly imprisoned, yet she remains undaunted—taking to the high seas with her father’s ship. But a storm wrecks her plans, and she finds herself a virtual prisoner aboard Sutherland’s vessel. And while her mind tells her she should escape, her body urges her to surrender.

I discovered Ms. Cole’s “historical” side before jumping into her paranormal worlds. This novel was fun, adventurous, and romantic and certainly worth its RT Reviewer’s Choice win!

If you haven’t tried Ms. Cole’s historical romances, I urge you to start with this one! 😀

Rika Ashton

(aka Captain Derek’s First Mate)


Throwback Thursday: LONDON’S PERFECT SCOUNDREL by Suzanne Enoch

This week’s Throwback Thursday pick is a novel that I haven’t read in a very long time, but one that started my lifelong love affair with Suzanne Enoch – really, what else could it be but London’s Perfect Scoundrel?

A determined young lady vows to give one of London’s infamous rakes his comeuppance — but when the rogue turns the tables, who truly learns a lesson in love?

The ton gossips call him “Saint” — but the Marquis of St. Aubyn has well earned his reputation as London’s perfect scoundrel.

Evelyn Ruddick knows she should avoid him at all costs–but the strikingly beautiful lady wants to aid the children of the Heart of Hope Orphanage, and he heads the board of trustees. Evie is determined to teach the charming, arrogant man a lesson in compassion, but it won’t be so easy–especially since his touch is setting her desire aflame, making Evie yearn to submit to his passionate instruction…

The idea of joining in her “project” is unthinkable, but this enchantress refuses to give up! So what else is there for a self-respecting rake to do but seduce the lady? Yet soon it is he who is being seduced by Evie’s tender heart and fiery blushes. Could the temptation of long, passionate nights in her arms bring about the impossible? Could the disreputable Saint at long last be reformed?

If you haven’t read anything by Ms. Enoch yet, then this is a good book to start with. The only thing better than a reformed rake…is watching one get his comeuppance! 😉

Rika Ashton

(aka The Very Unreformed Lady Rake)


Throwback Thursday: The Paid Companion by Amanda Quick

I thought I’d share one of my favourite books by Amanda Quick for this week. I can’t count the number of times I have read and reread The Paid Companion – in fact I’m currently rereading it again – so I wanted to highlight this book is a Throwback Thursday post. Plus, I don’t think I’ve shared too many of Ms. Quick’s novels on the blog – a conscious decision because she is one of my favourite authors and whenever I start talking about a book by an author I adore, I start gushing and fangirling like crazy! 😛

The Earl of St. Merryn needs a woman. His intentions are purely practical-he simply wants someone sensible and suitably lovely to pose as his betrothed for a few weeks among polite society. He has his own agenda to pursue, and a false fiancée will keep the husband-hunters at bay while he goes about his business. The simplest solution is to hire a paid companion.

Finding the right candidate proves more of a challenge than he expected. But when he encounters Miss Elenora Lodge, the fire in her golden eyes sways him to make a generous offer.

Her sorry financial circumstances-and dreams of a life of independence-convince her to accept. But St. Merryn appears to be hiding a secret or two, and things seem oddly amiss in his gloomy London home. Elenora soon discovers that this lark will be a far more dangerous adventure than she’d been led to believe. And the Earl of St. Merryn will find that the meek and mild companion he’d initially envisioned has become a partner in his quest to catch a killer-and an outspoken belle of the ball who stirs a bothersome passion in his practical heart.

All of Ms. Quick’s heroines are strong leads with a sense of honour and boundless optimism and Elenora  is no different. Plus, they all get a chance to actively save themselves and the hero at some point in the novel. Left destitute and alone, she finds a way to overcome her situation by becoming a paid companion for old ladies of the ton. Saving her wages, she plans to open a bookshop – a dream I can relate to. 😉

St. Merryn – Arthur – is also a trademark Quick hero. Faithful, relentless and slightly arrogant, he’s a neat foil for the heroine. Arthur balances out Elenora more innocent and optimistic personality, but they also balance out and make up or each other’s weaknesses and they hunt for the villain in the story.

Suspenseful and romantic, The Paid Companion has long been one of my favourites by Amanda Quick.

Rika Ashton

(The Unpaid Writer)