Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Winners Post

It's been awhile since I've done a winners post because I am trying to get on a new schedule. This time there will be tons of winners. The next winners post will be on May 15th (hopefully) and there will only be a few winners. After that I will do a winners post on the 15th and 30th of each month. On the fifteen the winners post will consist of the giveaways closing between the 15th and 30th of the previous month. The winners post on the 30th will consist of the giveaways ending between the 1st and the 15th of the month. Does that make sense? I hope so, because it does to me. Basically, 2 winners posts a month, the 15th and the 30th. But it will take a little while to get it sorted out, by May 15th we will be on track. 

I want to thank everyone for participating in all of these wonderful giveaways. We have always had greater success with the giveaways for cozy mysteries here on the blog, but the other genres are starting to catch on as well. Get out of your comfort zone a little bit... try something new. I know you'll be glad you did. I've reviewed a ton of great books in all sorts of genres lately. It's been a good year.

Now for the good stuff. Winners will be notified later today or tomorrow and publishers no later than Friday. All winners are chosen by random.org. And new giveaways are posted almost everyday. 

Shunned and Dangerous by Laura Bradford
Winner: Carol Wong

Dead Between the Lines by Denise Swanson
Winner: Brooke Bumgardner

Some Like It Wild by M. Leighton
Winner: Anita Yancey

Berkley Prime Crime's 20th Anniversery Giveaway
Winner: Karen Barnett

Sweet Tea Revenge by Laura Childs
Winner: Sheila Korman

Inherit the Word by Daryl Wood Gerber
Winner: Linda Kish

Pearls and Poison by Duffy Brown
Winner: Natasha Donohoo

Spirited by Mary Behre
Winner: Deb Soliz

Iced to Death by Peg Cochran
Winner: Kimberlee Gibbs

Seduced by Fire - Tara Sue Me
Winner: Lisa Garrett

Willing Sacrifice by Shannon K. Butcher
Winner: bn100

How to Paint a Cat by Rebecca M. Hale
Winner: Nancy Luebke

Keeping Mum by Alyse Carlson
Winner: Charlotte Wills

Spinning in Her Grave by Molly McRae
Winner: Helen Kotowske

Flirting With Fangs 3-book series by Ashlyn Chase
Winner: Janie McGaugh

Werewolf in Las Vegas by Vicki Lewis Thompson
Winner: Diane Sallans

What a Woman Wants by Judi Fennell
Winner: Martha Lawson

Desperately Seeking Suzanna by Elizabeth Michels
Winner: Annette N

Fallen Beauty by Erika Robuck
Winner: Cyn209

Steeped in Evil by Laura Childs
Winner #1: Barbara Tobey
Winner #2: Sue Farrell

The Dark Affair by Marie Claremont
Winner: CrystalGB

Theirs to Cherish by Shayla Black
Winner: Joanne B

Need You Tonight by Roni Loren
Winner: Texas Book Lover

Carolina Man - Virginia Kantra
Winner: Debra Woloson

Feel the Rush by Kelsie Leverich
Winner: Chelsea B

Murder on Bamboo Lane by Naomi Hirahara
Winner: Deja 

Reaper's Vow by Sarah McCarty
Winner: Michelle Willms

Ghost of a Gamble by Sue Ann Jaffarian
Winner: Bonnie G

Cole's Redemption by J.D. Tyler
Winner: Lea-Ellen Borg

Bloom and Doom by Beverly Allen
Winner: Virginia Winfielf

Widows Tears by Susan Wittig Albert
Winner: Gloria

Sugar and Iced by Jenn McKinlay
Winner: Anne Berger

Death on Eat Street by J.J. Cook
Winner: Janel Gradowski

The Blackwoods Farm Enquiry by Ann Purser
Winner: griperang

The Whole Cat and Caboodle by Sofie Ryan
Winner: Alicia Farage

A Roux of Revenge by Connie Archer
Winner: Carol M

How to Handle a Cowboy by Joanne Kennedy
Winner: Ruth Curcuru

Review and Giveaway: Wild Wolf

Wild Wolf (Shifters Unbound - Book 6) by Jennifer Ashley

Publication Date: 04/01/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Sensation
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 0425266044
ISBN-13: 978-0425266045

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Sensation)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Jennifer Ashley on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Shifters Unbound

1. Pride Mates
2. Primal Bonds
3. Wild Cat
4. Mate Claimed
5. Tiger Magic
6. Wild Wolf

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from, Wild Wolf, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


In the latest Shifters Unbound novel, a man has resigned himself to a life half lived. But a beautiful, courageous woman has him longing for something more… 

Graham McNeil knows that his pack is unruly, but he’s not sure he can take the next step toward Shiftertown stability—choosing a new mate. After losing his mate and son long ago, Graham has worked hard to keep his heart in check. And even if he was inclined to bind himself again, his girlfriend, Misty, is human—a fact that won’t sit well with Graham’s old-fashioned wolves. 
But Graham is up against a new enemy, one who could spell danger and death to all of Shiftertown. Graham must now defend his leadership and save Misty, the woman he has grown to love—before Shiftertown is pulled into an all-out war.


Jennifer Ashley continues her Shifter Unbound series with book six, Wild Wolf. The world building in this series is excellent and fans of paranormal romance will love learning about how all of the super natural creatures interact. Ashley blends the paranormal with a strong romance between a human and a shifter, that defies the rules of the pack. The hero has almost forgotten how to love until he meets a woman who is willing to fight for what she loves. Two twin wolf cubs add humor and family bonds to the mix and Ashley will thrill readers with lots of action and sizzling romance.

What I liked:

Diving into book six of a series is not often a fun thing to do. Readers often feel left out, especially if there is an overall series arc. But Jennifer Ashley has a knack for making her books stand alone, while still being linked by characters and situations. I didn't feel at all left out of the loop as sometimes happens when I start in the middle. There was enough background for me to pick up on the essentials, though I do want to go back and read the others. 

The whole concept of Shiftertowns and the way they were set up was really interesting to me. They reminded me of Native American reservations which is somewhat distasteful to me. I liked the idea that the inhabitants stuck together and worked to create their own identities as a community. The world building was probably my favorite part of this one. There were several different types of shifters and different breeds. There were other paranormal beings including one of my favorites, the Fae. It was fun to read Ashley's ideas on the mythology involved and readers who get into the dynamics of packs and that sort of thing will love this one.

I liked the fact that Ashley chose to make the heroine a human. Misty wasn't your average girl though. She had some grit and edge to her that  made her the perfect mate for Graham, who could be a little surly and hard to get along with. She loved him for all of his bad parts, as well as, the good and she stood by him and fought for those she cared about. I love a strong female lead and Misty certainly fit the bill. She also had a gentle side that came out when she dealt with the wolf cubs that showed a real vulnerability in her. A great heroine.

Graham was so alpha. He was used to being charge of his own fate and coming to a shiftertown where he was not the top dog was difficult for him, but not as much as losing his first mate was. He has basically walled off his heart and he hides behind a facade of gruffness and downright ornery behavior to keep his pack and Misty at a distance. But walls show some cracks when it comes to taking care of the wolf twins and when Misty is kidnapped. He deserved a strong female counterpart and Ashley gave him one. Together these two were unstoppable.

There was tons of action in this book including a plot by the fae that threatened all shifters and their towns. There was some serious love scenes that may require a cold drink and a fan to get through and there was a lot of familial bonds and friendships that Ashley explored along the way. There was more than one couple in this book, which provides other areas of interest and kept the book interesting. I definitely want to read more.

What I didn't like:

Not too much to say here. I loved the world building, adored the characters, was totally surprised at some of the plot twists, intrigued by the fae machinations and completely taken in by the cubs. Nope nothing to report that I didn't like.

Bottom Line:

I'm not quite sure how I missed this series. But I'm glad to have found it. Readers who love a good strong pairing in the hero and heroine will really enjoy this one. Those that have think shifters should stay with shifters (paranormal racism if you will) might not be as enthusiastic. I loved it!

Wild Wolf is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Jennifer AshleyNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author and winner of a Romance Writers of America RITA Award, also writes as national bestselling and award-winning author Allyson James. She lives in the Southwest with her husband and cats, and spends most of her time in the wonderful worlds of her stories.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Wild Wolf by Jennifer Ashley.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, May 6th.

1. Please leave a comment about what you think of human/shifter romances.
2. Please fill out the FORM.

Blog Tour Stop: The Day He Kissed Her by Juliana Stone (Exclusive Excerpt, and Review)

Please join me in welcoming Juliana Stone to Debbie's Book Bag today. Juliana is here promoting her book, The Day He Kissed Her, which is the third book in the Bad Boys of Crystal Lake series. Juliana has brought us an exclusive excerpt from her book, today. Enjoy the excerpt and my review of her book.

He stopped a few inches away, and his smile widened when he caught sight of the throbbing pulse at her neck.

She had no idea at all.

“This is a surprise,” he said softly, his eyes piercing the dark glasses on her face. A smattering of small freckles danced across the bridge of her nose, so pale, you’d miss them if you weren’t looking.

“Really?” she answered. “You don’t look surprised.” 

“No?” Mac shoved his hands into the front pockets of his faded navy board shorts. 

“What exactly do I look like?” 

“You really want me to answer that?” she shot back. 

Mac shrugged, enjoying the color that slowly flushed up her cheeks. 

“Only if you have something nice to say.” 

“That would be a stretch,” she replied, not missing a beat. 

“Am I missing something?” Jake said with a frown.

 “Do you guys know each other?” 

Lily opened her mouth, but Mac beat her to the punch. 

“Nope,” he said with a grin. “At least not until yesterday. Isn’t that right…Boston?” 

Her mouth thinned a bit. Score one for Draper. 

“Don’t call me that,” she said softly.

“I like it,” Mac shot back. 

“You would,” she retorted. 

For a moment there was silence, and then Raine let out a long, slow whistle. “Wow. This is gonna be fun.” 

Mac turned and headed back toward the boat. “Got that right.” 

Suddenly it was as if the clouds parted and the sun shone on everything in his sight.

The tension across his shoulders dissipated and not one single muscle or bone ached. All was right with his world. 

He saw the way Boston’s pulse still ran…the way she let her tongue glide across those pouty, full lips—-a nervous gesture, no doubt about it. 

She wanted him to think that he didn’t matter. That New Year’s Eve didn’t matter. That the way she’d responded to his touch didn’t matter. 

Mac hopped into the boat. It mattered. 

It mattered a lot.

Book Information:

The Day He Kissed Her (Bad Boys of Crystal Lake - Book 3) by Juliana Stone

Publication Date: 04/01/2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Imprint: Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 1402274866
ISBN-13: 978-1402274862

(Received for an honest review from Sourcebooks Casablanca)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Juliana Stone on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Bad Boys of Crystal Lake

1. The Summer He Came Home
2. The Christmas He Loved Her
3. The Day He Kissed Her

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from, The Day He Kissed Her, courtesy of the author's website.


"Will appeal to readers of Cathie Linz and Susan Elizabeth Phillips."—Booklist
He can't wait to leave
Mac Draper finally has everything he's always wanted: An amazing career. A New York City apartment. He's this close to being free of his past forever. But a mind-blowing encounter with the sexy yet tough-as-nails Lily St. Clare has him delaying his plans to put Crystal Lake in his rearview mirror for good.
She's finally found a place to stay
For Lily St. Clare the charming small town of Crystal Lake is her haven—a place she can hide from her famous, back-stabbing family. It's as close to happy as she's ever been. Until an unforgettable night with tall, dark and tortured Mac Draper gives her a glimpse of what true happiness feels like.
Lily can't help but melt a little under the sizzling heat of Mac's touch. But Mac's scars run deep, and Lily's afraid she may be falling for the one man who can never return her feelings...


Juliana Stone's third book in the Bad Boys of Crystal Lake series, The Day He Kissed Her is an emotional journey that readers won't soon forget. Contemporary romance fans will love this small town, feel good, romance with two somewhat tortured souls that find each other in the grand scheme of life. Stone's ability to right about deep meaningful relationships is balanced by her gift for writing humor and every day situations. As well as some pretty hot and heavy romance scenes. This is a great new book from a great author.

What I liked:

Now I will be the first to tell you that I like a dark and brooding hero in some cases. In Juliana Stone's new book, the hero isn't a brooder but he certainly has a lot to overcome to find his happy ever after. Mac Draper's father was a real piece of work and the childhood Mac endeared would have been more than many could stand. But he powered through it and he has the life he thought he wanted. But in the back of his mind he wants to settle down and have a family. But that's something he feels he can never have. He thinks he doesn't have a chance to be different. That he can't outlive his father's influence on his life. 

To say Mac was a bit tortured is probably an understatement. I really liked Mac's character. I can't say that I felt a kinship with him or that I understood his pain, because my childhood was pretty great. But I do think I understand overcoming obstacles and this character was a case study in perseverance. Juliana Stone gives readers a character that is struggling with himself and what he believes he is capable of. I was totally engrossed in watching Mac find his way out of the darkness of his own making. It took finding someone who was his equal in most things to help him find his way.

Lily came from a very elite family with old money and pedigree that could match a thoroughbred. But she wasn't pretentious. She wasn't a spoiled little rich girl and she understood the value of working for what you wanted. I liked the fact that she isn't a perfect women. She has her flaws and demons and was able to recognize them in Mac. It took a strong woman and Lily was definitely that. Mac and Lily didn't have any illusions about their New Year's Eve hookup, they both knew what they were doing, but they both were longing for something more and it was hard to deny they had found it in each other.

This was a very emotional novel that wrung that emotion from the reader as well as the characters. I don't always go for books that leave me feeling spent, but this one was an exception. Juliana Stone writes contemporary romance with the best of them and this book proves you can have a story that pulls at the heartstrings and still has substance and strong plot points. There were some hiccups along the way with Lily's family and Mac's commitment issues. By the time I was finished I really, really wanted this happy ending and I'm guessing it will affect most people that way. 

What I didn't like:

I was all for Mac working out his issues and a bigger part of the story centered on him and what was going on inside him and I felt like Lily's story got a little cheated because of that. Mac's plot line was so intense that it was hard for Lily's to shine. Though I felt I knew Mac well, Lily was more of a periphery view. A little too focused perhaps.

Bottom Line:

This was a very well written contemporary romance. I was totally invested in this hero, though I felt the heroine was a bit more two dimensional. Not because that's how the author wrote her, but because so much detail had to go into Mac's story. A bit more balance would have put this one over the top. Still a very good novel though.

The Day He Kissed Her is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Juliana Stone fell in love with her first book boyfriend when she was twelve. She decided that when she grew up she would like to write her own book boyfriends and, luckily, she gets to do this. She writes dark paranormal romance as well as contemporary romance and now is excited to write young adult as well. She lives with her husband, kids, a dog and a cat somewhere in the wilds of Canada.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Review: Cougar's Mate

Cougar's Mate (Heart of the Cougar - Book 1) by Terry Spear

Publication Date: 03/07/2014
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Format
Imprint: Self Published
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 252
ISBN-10: 1496138775
ISBN-13: 978-1496138775

(Received for an honest review from Terry Spear)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Terry Spear on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Excerpt from, Cougar's Mate, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


Cougar’s Mate: Instinct told her to run… Shannon Rafferty learns that hanging out with the bad boys could be a dangerous business, but hooking up with a cop is even worse. Now she’s on the run, trying to avoid being murdered by his cougar shifter brothers and uncle. If that isn’t bad enough, a deputy sheriff hunts her down while she’s running as a cougar and trying to survive in the Colorado wilderness. He vows to protect her no matter what she’s done. With three dead boyfriends to her name, she’s sure she will be the death of Chase Buchanan before either of them can prevent it. No matter how much she knows she has to run again, he soon holds her heart hostage. But will that be enough to keep them both alive? Chase Buchanan—as wilderness cabin resort owner, former US Army Special Forces, and part time deputy of the small town of Yuma, Colorado that boasts a love of cougars—is tasked to track down a cougar reported to be hunting human prey. Chase soon learns she’s a shifter, not a full-time cougar, and she’s on the run. When he takes her in, he vows to protect her. After losing his wife and baby to the human kind of predator years earlier, he’s not letting Shannon’s hunters kill her, too. But how is he going to hold onto the wild-cat woman, who is unpredictable at every turn, without losing his heart to her, and then losing her as well?


Bestselling Author Terry Spear takes readers on a new adventure with the first book in a new shifter series, Heart of the Cougar. This time cougar's that take center stage, as Spear builds her new series around another powerful, intelligent animal. Cougar's Mate introduces readers to the town of Yuma, Colorado, ran by cougar shifters and open to helping heroine Shannon Rafferty who is on the run from those who want her dead. Deputy Chase Buchanan doesn't know what he's getting himself into, but he knows he has to protect this woman, this she-cat who has stolen his heart.  

What I liked:

I am a Terry Spear fan from way back. And hearing that she had a new series out about another group of shifters was tantamount to Christmas for me. Spear has a way of writing that not only pulls the reader in, but it also keeps them interested and not just through one particular novel, but through everything they can possibly find that she's written. She has an easy word flow and style that makes her writing accessible and engaging. Her characters are always intense and well developed and her world building is beyond phenomenal and I was so excited to see where she would go with her new cougar shifters. I was certainly not disappointed. Yuma is quite a town!

Shannon Rafferty is one of those women that just doesn't know how to pick'em. She has had three boyfriends that were not Mr. Right and all three have ended up dead. Now she's on the run from the brothers of boyfriend number three which ended up murdered before her eyes. She's a cougar shifter and ends up living as a cougar in order to protect herself. She certainly hasn't had an easy life and she doesn't know who she can trust. As a heroine I think Shannon had her moments. At first she needs a lot of help to survive, but eventually she comes into her own and shows her fierce cougar spirit. I think Spear gives readers a woman who shows that sometimes it's okay to accept help when you need it. It doesn't make you weak or any less independent. I loved the fact that Shannon knows her limits, but also shows a protective side when she tries to decide whether to leave Yuma or not.

Chase is an interesting hero. He is ex military and has a strong and courageous heart. He wants to be a loner, but he can't quite pull it off. He is drawn to the people of his small shifter community and when he meets Shannon in a very precarious situation, his protective instincts kick in hard. He was great hero for a lot of reasons. But I think the most interesting part of his character was the way his past shaped him into the man and cougar shifter he is. He is not immune to tragedy, and he knows where Shannon is coming from. I liked that about him and Spear just seemed to know how to make these two characters relate.

The relationship between Shannon and Chase doesn't start off with a bang. There is a slow build up that ends in a very satisfying romance. Spear always knows when to use the right amount of humor, the right amount of action and the right amount of sizzle. These two have some serious chemistry and it's pretty undeniable that they are made for each other, it's just a matter of convincing them of that.

As with any good Spear book, the world building is central to the story. I loved Yuma from the first description. It reminded me of Silver Town from Spear's Heart of the Wolf series, in that it was run by shifters, but that's where the similarities end. It wasn't a pattern that Spear carried over or reused. This town was unique and had secondary characters that were multi-dimensional. Spear showed depth and understanding in creating a community that was united and protective. A town that looked after it's own. I loved that community spirit and strong connections between the characters and I'm looking forward to where Spear will take readers with them.

What I didn't like:

Sometimes I think readers put too much credence in books that are published by the big houses and don't take the time to look closer at books that are self published. Terry Spear did a remarkable job with this book, from the cover art to the exceptional writing and the promotional aspects. It's time for a change in attitude about self-publication and books like this one will be the cornerstone that will rival any titles from the big name houses.

Bottom Line:

This is an exceptional paranormal romance. Terry Spear never disappoints. She creates characters that readers can relate to, whether they are paranormal or not. Her world building is a real strength in her writing, as is her easy style and humor. If you are looking for an engaging love story that just happens to involve cougar shifters, this one is one to read.

Cougar's Mate is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Bestselling and award-winning author Terry Spear has written over fifty paranormal romance novels and four medieval Highland historical romances. Her first werewolf romance, Heart of the Wolf, was named a 2008 Publishers Weekly’s Best Book of the Year, and her subsequent titles have garnered high praise and hit the USA Today bestseller list. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry lives in Crawford, Texas, where she is working on her next werewolf romance, continuing her new series about shapeshifting jaguars, and having fun with her young adult novels. For more information, please visit www.terryspear.com, or follow her on Twitter, @TerrySpear. She is also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/terry.spear. And on Wordpress at: Terry Spear's Shifters http://terryspear.wordpress.com/

Review and Giveaway: A Shocking Delight

A Shocking Delight (Company of Rogues - Book 15) by Jo Beverley

Publication Date: 04/01/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Signet Select
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 432
ISBN-10: 0451468015
ISBN-13: 978-0451468017

(Received for an honest review from Signet Select)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Jo Beverley on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Company of Rogues

1. An Arranged Marriage
2. An Unwilling Bride
3. Christmas Angel
4. Forbidden 
5. Dangerous Joy
6. Forbidden Magic
7. The Dragon's Bride
8. The Devil's Heiress
9. Hazard
10. St. Raven
11. Skylark
12. The Rogue's Return
13. To Rescue a Rogue
14. Lady Beware
15. A Shocking Delight

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from, A Shocking Delight, courtesy of the author's website.


From five-time RITA Award winner Jo Beverley comes an exciting new Regency romance in which a lady must risk all to win love.
The man she shouldn’t want. The woman he shouldn’t marry...

David Kerslake, smuggling master from The Dragon's Bride, is now Earl of Wyvern and must survive the ton as well as the Preventive Officers.
Lucy Potter, daughter of a wealthy merchant, is more interested in trade than in the men after her dowry. When forced to have a London season, she sets out to enjoy herself rather than to find a husband. But once she meets the notorious Earl of Wyvern, her resolve weakens, and when they kiss, it dissolves—even though her instincts warn he’s dangerous.
Wyvern has a dark secret, which means he must win a rich bride. Lucinda Potter seems ideal. Not for her beauty and her lively charm, but because at first meeting she seems unlikely to realize the truth.
As he comes to know her, however, as they spar and kiss, he realizes she’s too clever and honest by far. Marrying Lucy would mean living a lie with the woman he has come to love.... 


Award winning author, Jo Beverley continues her long running Company of Rogues series, with the 15th installment, A Shocking Delight. Beverley has long thrilled historical romance fans with her blend of opulent Regency grandeur and sweet and tender romance. Her latest offering is a tale of opposites. At first glance Lucinda Potter and David Kerslake have little in common, but underneath there is a lot more to this relationship than meets the unknowing eye. Filled with action, adventure, and a delightful romance, this is a book any Regency fan will adore.

What I liked:

Jo Beverley is often considered one of the best when it comes to Regency romance. Her command of the customs, fashions and rules of the times gives her writing an authentic and believable ring that is undeniable. The Company of Rogues series has flourished over the years and fans still flock to read each new book. A Shocking Delight is number fifteen in the series, but Beverley doesn't show any signs of slowing down. It is a rich and vibrant story about truth and deception and how they straddle a fine line. Fans will adore it and new readers will be rushing to the bookstore for the other fourteen titles in the series.

Lucinda Potter is in a bit of a jam. Her father has always schooled her in the way of business and mercantilism. But the death of her mother has completely derailed Lucy's plans to take over her father's business. Now he intends to remarry and have a son to continue his legacy. And where does that decision leave Lucy? Her father is determined she marry and start her own family, when all she wants is continue in the financial world of the ton. What a great heroine! Lucy is tenacious and head strong. She's used to getting her own way and now she is at a loss. When she meets David she knows something is different about him, but she can't quite put her finger on it. Beverley once again creates a heroine that interesting and full of the zest of life. Lucy is fun to read about and her success in life is something readers will be clamoring for.

David Kerslake is a study in contrasts. He is a man of whom a lot is expected from others, when he only wants to live a quiet life. He has an earldom that he doesn't want and doesn't know what to do with. He is the leader of a group of smugglers that he doesn't want to captain and he now has to find a woman with money which he really doesn't want either. That is until he meets Lucy and things begin to become a lot more clear. I think Beverley knew that Lucy needed a man who could challenge her and David is certainly that man. He loves her intelligence and fortitude, even though her opinions are vitally different from his own. A great overall hero and the perfect compliment to the heroine.

Together these two characters provide readers with a look into true honesty and how it affects any relationship. I think Beverley wanted the reader to think these were two very different characters who would have to overcome a lot to be together and that's true. But there are also a lot of similarities as well. I think readers will find that they have more in common that what is first apparent. I loved the way their relationship flourished and grew. It started out slow and then worked up to a beautiful romance. I thought the pacing was perfect and the kiss a day bargain was genius. I loved this one.

What I didn't like:

There were times when I felt a little behind the times with this book, having not read any of the previous titles in this particular series. I especially think I would have benefited from reading, The Dragon's Bride in which David is first introduced. I think readers would enjoy this title more with a little more background and perhaps reading a few of the other books as well. 

Bottom Line:

I enjoyed almost everything about this book. Beverley shows why she is such a well known and excellently regarded novelist. The plot was not just a rehash of a typical Regency theme. It stood well on it's own, though I think readers may find themselves more attuned to the story by reading previous books in the series. An overall good read, with excellent characters and storyline.

A Shocking Delight is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Jo Beverley is widely regarded as one of the most talented romance writers today. She is a New York Times bestseller, a five-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s cherished RITA Award, and one of only a handful of members of the RWA Hall of Fame. She has also twice received the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Her recent novels include Seduction in Silk, A Scandalous Countess, An Unlikely Countess, and The Secret Duke. She has two grown sons and lives with her husband in England.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of A Shocking Delight by Jo Beverley.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, May 5th.

1. Please leave a comment about what you think of smuggling or pirating themes in historical romance.
2. Please fill out the FORM.