Tag Archives: romance

For Better, For Worse or Maybe Not by Wunmi Fani

I have received a free e-copy of the book For Better, For Worse or Maybe Not (Volume 1): A Take on Courtships, Relationships and Almost Weddings by Wunmi Fani to review. You may find out more about the author on her website.

For better, for worse or maybe not by Wunmi Fani

Here is the book blurb.

A man misled into hiding a million dollars from his fiancee. A woman who interprets a fortune teller much too literally. An eager lady whose clueless man won’t propose after months of in your face hinting. A serial cheater who can’t choose between three women despite an inheritance on the line.

These are a few of the stories in For Better, For Worse or Maybe Not (Vol 1); a collection of the edge of your seat narratives that explores deceit, dishonesty, greediness and putting the cart before the horse in courtships, relationships and almost weddings.

“This is hilarious! A very humorous way of dealing with complex issues in romantic relationships. I love the writing style of the author, it is enthralling and lucid!” – comment from a reader of The Underwear Defense, the first story in the series.

Win a free paperback copy of Vol 2 by guessing which of the stories are true. More details in the book!

This is a really funny selection of short stories, all on the topic of romantic relationships. You have the guy who is dating 3 girls at the same time, but struggling to decide who is Ms Right, when faced with the ultimatum from his mother of losing his inheritance if he doesn’t choose just one. And the girl who already has the wedding planner booked and has been hinting to her boyfriend for ages who seems totally oblivious. These are just two of the comical situations that had me laughing.

For Better, for Worse or Maybe Not is available on Amazon, currently priced at £8.86 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A nice selection of funny short stories to dip into.

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MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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The Earl’s Forsaken Bride by Tammy Andresen

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Earl’s Forsaken Bride by Tammy Andresen to review.

The Earl's Forsaken Bride by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

Lord Callum Blackwood does not want a silly empty headed lass for a wife. He’s seen too much darkness, for such a woman. Nor does he have the patience or softness to woo a blushing bride. He needs a woman that can step into the role of wife and fill his obligation for an heir.

Lady Elizabeth has been ruined by her father’s gambling debts and is now a lowly laundress. But her fate cannot hide her beauty, her strength, or the lady that still lives within. And while she takes pride in her work, her ability to care for herself in a world that forces women to rely on men, she cannot deny that Callum could help her. Especially when her aunt falls gravely ill.

Neither wants love, but nor can they deny the attraction that sparks between them. Will those feelings, forge a bond or break their tentative agreement apart?

This is the sixth book in A Laird To Love series, of which I have previously read all the other titles. I had assumed that the series would have drawn to a natural conclusion with the fifth title, but no Tammy is back with yet another tale. This time with a more tenuous connection to the previous books, but an enjoyable read none the less.

Lady Elizabeth Chase has been taken in by her spinster aunt when her father committed suicide to escape going to the debtors prison. They survive by doing laundry but now Aunt Mary is ill.

She is surprised to return home and find a fine carriage outside their cottage. Lord Callum Blackwood has been brought here by her distant cousin Ewan, to ask her to marry him.

Why? What is his motive? Elizabeth values her independence. But what about Aunt Mary? Callum summons a doctor who diagnoses pleurisy.

Callum seems serious about his proposition. Will Elizabeth agree? He even cooks them all soup in the cottage and mends the roof himself.

The Earl’s Forsaken Bride is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.17 in Kindle format. The sixth title in A Laird To Love series, but works well as a stand-alone read. Another nice romantic predictable light-hearted quick read, so ideal summer reading.

Here are the links to my reviews of the previous titles in A Laird to Love series.
My Enemy, My Earl
Heart of a Highlander
A Scot’s Surrender
My Laird’s Seduction
Christmastide with my Captain


About the author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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My Duke’s Deception by Tammy Andresen

I have received a free e-copy of the book My Duke’s Deception by Tammy Andresen to review.

My Duke's Deception by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

A mysterious man saves her life but can he save her heart?

Lady Eleanor McIntyre has been forgotten by society, unloved and left to ruin by her father. But just when she is at her lowest, she crosses paths with a mysterious man who saves her life. It is like a miracle but even more shocking is that he needs her help to find his lost sister.

Lord Matthew Evans, the Duke of Pennington, has an excellent reason for hiding his title from the lovely Ella. The only woman he had ever loved cared far more about his position than she ever did the man. Ella is too beautiful to be trusted with the knowledge he is a duke. But the longer he knows her, the more he wishes he hadn’t deceived her. Because as pure as her heart is, she could surely never love a man who lied about his identity.

This is the second book in the Wicked Lords of London series. You may see my review of the first title here.

The story begins with Matthew visiting the Kicking Horse Tavern in the London docklands in search of news about his sister who disappeared two years ago, believed to have boarded a ship from near there. He rescues a serving girl from ruffians there. This is Lady Ella McIntyre, who has fallen on hard times, since her father died and debtors seized everything.

Matthew offers Ella a temporary job to help him find his sister, but he does not let on that he is a duke. He also invokes the assistance of the Duke and Duchess of Langdon and the Earl and Countess of Sussex to help Ella. But he isn’t too happy when he realises they plan to find a husband for Ella. Why? It is not as if he wants to marry her himself does he?

My Duke’s Deception is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.14 in Kindle format. This is a nice short romantic story, when you want a light read between thrillers.


About the author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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My Laird’s Seduction by Tammy Andresen

I have received a free e-copy of the book My Laird’s Seduction by Tammy Andresen to review.

My Laird's Seduction by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

Lady Ainsley McDougal has long been the bell of the ball. But there is one beau she cannot tame, which, of course, is her favorite kind. She’ll catch her man yet.

Laird James McPherson is a Highland Laird, an English Earl, a soldier of the Indian War, and a privateer for the British Navy simply for the joy of it. He’ll be damned before one tiny blond spitfire of a Scottish lass brings him to his knees and ties him down in wedlock. But even he can’t deny that he’s tempted…

This is the fourth book in A Laird To Love series, of which I have previously read and reviewed all the earlier titles including the introductory Christmas novella. Here are the links to my reviews of titles one, two and three.

Lady Ainsley and her mother have gone to stay with her cousin Clarissa and Ewan for the birth of baby Eva. But apart from time spent with the gorgeous baby, Ainsley is bored, so she is very interested when two eligible bachelors arrive, Lord Callum Tate and Laird James McPherson. Lord Callum is very friendly but she only has eyes for the rude arrogant Laird James. Meanwhile he considers her a vain peacock. But when she calls him James, rather than by his formal title, he becomes a different man and kisses her. She almost forgets how much she hates him. But he is so inconsistent, the next day avoiding her. Will they sort out their differences or not?

My Laird’s Seduction is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.89 in Kindle format. The fourth title in A Laird To Love series, but also works fine as a stand-alone read. As always with Tammy’s books, this is a nice romantic easy read to curl up with, in-between some thrillers.


About the author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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Clutch by Lisa Becker

I have received a free e-copy of the book Clutch by Lisa Becker to review. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

Clutch by Lisa Becker

Here is the book blurb.

Clutch: a novel is the laugh-out-loud, chick lit romance chronicling the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single purse designer who compares her unsuccessful romantic relationships to styles of handbags – the “Hobo” starving artist, the “Diaper Bag” single dad, the “Briefcase” intense businessman, etc. With her best friend, bar owner Mike by her side, the overly-accommodating Caroline drinks a lot of Chardonnay, puts her heart on the line, endures her share of unworthy suitors and finds the courage to discover the “Clutch” or someone she wants to hold onto.

If you page down, you’ll see an extract of the first few pages from the book. This is where we are introduced to Caroline Johnson, who gained her love of handbags as a child from her Great Aunt Mimi. Caroline meets her new best friend Mike at Harvard business school. They do sleep together once but agree it was a big mistake. After college, they both set up their new businesses in LA, where Caroline creates her own handbag line, Clutch and Mike opens a bar, The Last Drop.

We then follow Caroline through a series of 12 unsuccessful romances, where she compares each one to a style of bag before she finally finds someone she wants to Clutch and hold onto. First up is like a Hobo bag. This is Jason, a homeless artist, who quickly moves into Caroline’s apartment, sponges off her and even steals her money, before she plucks up the courage to order him to leave.

Each time Mike is there for Caroline. After Hobo, we meet Demi-Bag, Coin Purse, Messenger, Doctor Bag, Baguette, Diaper Bag, Fanny Pack, Briefcase, Wallet, Cosmetic Bag, Backpack and lastly Clutch.

All very humorous and I’ve certainly learnt some handbag types that I’d never heard of before. I loved this book, just as much as when I read Links, another of Lisa’s titles.

Clutch is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.00 in Kindle format and is also available in paperback. A nice romantic comedy.


Here is an extract of the first few pages of the book for you to read.

Mimi Johnson was casually dressed in a brightly-colored blouse with enormous turquoise jewelry and equally-oversized glasses. Despite that largesse, the only thing truly bigger than her personality (and her bosom) was her handbag. Always perfectly matched to her clothing, shoes, and jewelry, she was like a walking Chico’s advertisement, if you added forty years, forty pounds, and a Virginia Slims cigarette. From her Mary Poppins-like bag, she pulled out a box, impeccably-wrapped in glossy pink paper with a white grosgrain ribbon bow. A cigarette teetered between her two fingers while she produced a lung-hacking cough.

“Open it… <cough, cough> …sweetie. Open it,” she said to her seven-year-old great niece, Caroline, a beautiful and vibrant girl with long blonde hair and oversized blue eyes.

Alive with anticipation, sweet young Caroline eagerly took the box and smiled up at Mimi. She gingerly removed the ribbon, planning to save it for later. The glossy paper was of less interest and she ripped through it quickly. She opened the box and gently lifted out a hot pink purse, adorned with pale pink flowers and rhinestones. An enormous smile overcame her. Caroline nearly set her own hair on fire from Mimi’s cigarette as she bounded into her aunt’s arms.

“Oh, thank you, Aunt Mimi. It’s lovely.”

And that was when Caroline’s love of handbags began. From big and loud ones that would make Mimi proud to unimposing wristlets, from bowler bags to satchels; it didn’t matter if they were made of canvas or calf-skin leather, were distressed or embellished with metal studs. Hell, she didn’t care if you called them pocketbooks or purses. She just loved them all – almost as much as she loved Mimi.

By the time she was a junior in high school and well on her way to being class valedictorian, it was the hundreds of bags Caroline owned that helped her conceptualize her ticket out of her suffocating small Georgian town. She would design handbags. And it was Mimi who was her steadfast cheerleader.

“Caroline, sweetie… <cough, cough> …you find something you love and you just hold onto it.” It had never mattered if Caroline was asking Mimi’s advice about a friend, lover, or career. The advice was always the same: “Find something you love and hold onto it.”

Mimi’s words ever-present in her mind, Caroline headed to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and spent four years in Los Angeles learning everything there was to know to pursue her passion. Then, right out of college, she spent three years working in the design and marketing departments of two of the world’s leading, high-end handbag designers.

She was schooled in beauty and how to accessorize the perfectly-coiffed women on the way to their Botox appointments. But Caroline was pulled by the nagging feeling that the very person who had inspired her career, Mimi, could never afford the bags she designed, even if Caroline used her generous employee discount on Mimi’s behalf. And God forbid Mimi would ever accept one as a gift, always preferring to give rather than receive. But Caroline believed there was no reason for anyone to be denied the ultimate in accessories. She saw an untapped market of designing beautiful and affordable bags, but she just wasn’t sure she was start-up potential. Again, it was Mimi who nudged her to learn the business side of things and apply to MBA programs. When Caroline was accepted to Harvard Business School, Mimi, of course, encouraged her.

“You’ve got this, sweetie. <cough, cough>,” she said. “It’s in the bag.”

•••

Caroline was sitting in Financial Reporting and Control on her first day of Harvard classes (and yes, the class turned out to be as boring as it sounded). That’s when she first eyed Mike, who was wearing a faded pair of Levi jeans, a washed-out vintage Rolling Stones T-shirt, and Converse sneakers. He oozed charisma. Turning her head away from him and back toward the front of the lecture hall, Caroline thought that if he were a handbag, he would be a grey leather tote – confident and dependable, but not trying too hard.

Mike surveyed the large lecture hall as he walked in, a Starbucks coffee cup in each hand. After descending the steps slowly, he took a seat next to Caroline and planted one of the white and green cups on her desk.

Flashing a wide, dimpled smile, which she mused he reserved for getting girls to drop their panties, he said, “Here. You look like you’re going to need this.”

“Thanks,” she replied in a suspicious tone, turning her head sideways to look at him and raising an eyebrow.

“I’m Mike,” he said, again flashing a smile and reaching out for a handshake.

“I’m Caroline. Thanks for the…”

“Latte.”

“Latte,” she confirmed. “Thanks. But just so you know, I’m not gonna sleep with you,” she said in an apparent attempt to establish up front she wasn’t taken in by his obvious charm.

“I know,” he replied matter-of-fact.

Before she could respond, Professor Beauregard, a stout man with excessive eyebrows, spoke up. “Please take note of where you are seated. I will send around a seating chart for you to mark your spot. This will be your seat for the remainder of the semester.”

“Looks like we’ll be seatmates,” Mike said, grinning at her.

“Looks like it.”

•••

About three months into the first semester, Caroline learned that her fun-loving, easy-going, new best buddy Mike wasn’t exactly who he appeared to be.

A blanket of white snow dusted the Harvard grounds and it was a particularly slow day in another mutual class, LEAD – Leadership and Organizational Behavior. Professor Moss, a frail man who weighed less than his years, was droning on and on about establishing productive relationships with subordinates or something to that effect. He initiated a discussion about what works better – the carrot or stick approach.

“Mr. Barnsworth,” he called, referring to his seating chart and scanning the room until he found Mike in the fifth row. “What are your thoughts?”

“Well, it seems to me that good management is all about empathy and being able to enthuse and inspire your staff. You know, appreciating them and respecting them. Showing you care,” he said, placing his hand over his heart in a gesture of true compassion and concern. “And if they can’t get that through their thick skulls, you fire ‘em,” he continued, drawing his finger across his throat.

Several students sitting around them started to chuckle while Caroline stifled a laugh. Mike looked around the room and nodded his head, soaking in the appreciation of his sense of humor.

“Mr. Barnsworth,” said Professor Moss in a menacing tone, “I would have expected a better answer from you, considering your family history.”

Confused by the conversation unfolding before her, Caroline leaned over and whispered to Mike, “What is he talkin’ about?” Mike put up a hand to quiet her.

“Later,” he hissed.

Twenty minutes later, the two shared a bench outside Baker Library, the chill of winter causing Caroline to pull her scarf closer around her neck.

“What was that all about?” she asked, scrunching up her nose in confusion.
Reluctantly, Mike began to speak. “My full name is Michael Frederick Barnsworth the Third. My family owns a large brokerage firm in New York,” he confessed, unsure of how Caroline would react.

Caroline listened as she took in just how old money his family really was. Mike’s great, great, great, great – actually it was hard to keep track of how many “greats” it went back – grandfather ran the first Bank of the United States, which Congress chartered in the early 1800s. His family had advised presidents, dined with royalty, and amassed a fortune that continued today through the Barnsworth Brokerage Firm.

“I’m the seventh person in my family to attend Harvard including my father, uncle, three cousins, and grandfather, who was a classmate of Professor Moss,” he continued.

Surprised by this unexpected news, she joked, “So you’re just slummin’ with a simple Southern girl like me – and makin’ me pay for drinks, mind you – until you go join the family business and marry someone named Muffy…”

“That’s my family’s plan,” Mike laughed. “There’s even an office in the Woolworth Building owned by my family, sitting empty, until I finish business school,” he said reluctantly.

“But…” she pressed, touching his hand gently, sensing the family plan may not actually be Mike’s plan – though they had never discussed his plans before.

“I want to open a bar,” he said, matter of fact and looking her square in the eye.

Caroline’s head leaned back as she let out a raucous laugh. “You want to own a bar?” she questioned, her shoulders shaking from laughter. “Now I get your goal to drink at every one of the six hundred bars in Boston before you graduate.”

“Yup, it’s research,” he said emphatically.

“Research?”

“Yeah. Every time my parents call, which isn’t very often – they are usually off with their snobby society friends or at Met Balls – I tell them I’m working hard and doing research.”

“Gotta give you credit. That’s pretty clever,” she replied, nodding her head.

“And true. If I’m going to open the best bar ever, I need to know what works and what doesn’t.”

“Okay. I get why you don’t want to be a wizard of Wall Street. But why a bar?” she asked, not understanding his desire for the life of a bar back.

“My parents weren’t around a lot growing up. My father spent more time in the office than my mother spent jetting between boutiques in Paris and ski chalets in Switzerland. And believe me, that was a lot,” he confessed. Caroline looked down in her lap, her heart sinking at the thought of the small boy with the winning smile being ignored by his family.

“I was pretty much raised by a series of au pairs. My favorite was Linnea who was nineteen when she came from Sweden to live with our family. She was obsessed with Tom Cruise movies and we would watch them all the time,” he explained, a wistful look on his face as he recalled fond memories.

“Cocktail!” Caroline exclaimed.

“Yup, I want to be the sole proprietor of a place where you can shake margaritas bare-chested,” Mike laughed. “It’s going to be called The Last Drop,” he stated, not looking for her approval.

“Great name,” she admitted, nodding her head. “Especially when your folks drop kick you out of the family.”

“I know. I’m preparing to be disowned, which is why I’m getting you used to buying the drinks,” he said, flashing her a smile.

“Well with any luck my business will allow me to continue payin’ for drinks.”

“The purse thing?”

“Yes. The purse thing,” she said, mocking him. “I aim to start a line called Clutch, because it’s one of my favorite handbag styles, and in honor of my aunt Mimi. She always says ‘Find somethin’ you love and just hold onto it.’”

“Sounds like a smart lady.”


About the author

Lisa Becker is a romance writer who spends her time like she spends her money – on books and margaritas.  In addition to Clutch: a novel, she is the author of the Click trilogy, a contemporary romance series about online dating and Links, a standalone, second chance romance readers.  As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a tush.” Lisa is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach, California with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone! You can share your love stories with her at www.lisawbecker.com.


General Q&A with Lisa Becker

Please introduce yourself to our readers.

I’m a romance writer who spends her time like she spends her money – on margaritas and books. In addition to my romantic comedy novels, which reviewers call clever, hilarious, sexy and smart, I’ve written bylined articles and participated in interviews about relationships, online dating and romance for a range of media including Reader’s DigestMind Body Green, Cupid’s Pulse, The Perfect Soulmate and TV Grapevine. My grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a tush.” I’m now happily married to a wonderful man I met online and live in Manhattan Beach, California with him and our two daughters. So, if it happened for me, there’s hope for anyone!

Tell us about your most recent release.

A light-hearted, second chance romance, Links explores what happens when nerdy girl Charlotte reconnects with her unrequited schoolgirl crush, star athlete Garrett, 15 years after high school.

Did you have an unrequited crush in high school?

I’m not too ashamed to admit I had such a fierce crush on a boy, I willingly sat with him in the bathroom at parties while he puked up wine coolers, just so I could spend time with him. Thankfully, that soul-crushing time in my life is over, but I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if I came upon that secret crush today as a confident, successful woman.

One of your books is based on how you met your husband. Can you tell us more about that?

I’m most known for the Clicktrilogy comprised of Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click and Right Click,which is loosely inspired by how I met my husbandThe series follows a young woman’s search for love online in Los Angeles with the entire series unfolding in emails between our heroine, her friends and her hilarious dates. Fraught with BCC’s, FWD’s and inadvertent Reply to All’s, readers will cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends. And ultimately, they will root for Renee to “click” with the right man.

What is next for you?

This spring, I will re-release a novel I published several years ago called Clutch. The re-release includes five new chapters, a new cover and audiobook.  It is a laugh-out-loud romance chronicling the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single purse designer who compares her unsuccessful romantic relationships to styles of handbags (the “Hobo” starving artist, the “Diaper Bag” single dad, the “Briefcase” intense businessman, etc.) as she searches for the “Clutch” or someone she wants to hold onto.

Is Clutch also inspired by your real life?

When I was writing the Click trilogy I was obsessed with NCIS re-runs and would have the show on in the background as I wrote. There was an episode where a character refers to a man as a “handbag husband,” or something useless you carry on your arm.  I started thinking about that, and the idea for Clutch grew from there. I believe that everyone deserves a happily ever after and would like to think there’s a “clutch,” or someone worth holding onto, out there for everyone.

If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?

I think Eloise Mumford, who played Kate in Fifty Shades of Grey, would make an outstanding Caroline. She has the right mixture of warmth, gumption, vulnerability, and beauty to bring this character to life. I still can’t decide who would play Mike, although I know I’d love to sit in on those casting sessions.  😉

At the end of your life, when it is all said and done, what would you want your tombstone to read?

Here lies Lisa Willet Becker – a great wife, mother, friend and citizen who wrote books and movies people loved.

How can readers connect with you?

I love hearing from readers, especially when I’ve brought some humor, heart or happiness into their worlds with my writing.

And you can find Lisa Becker on social media as follows:-

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

The Carmichaels by Charlotte Penn Clark

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Carmichaels Complete Series by Charlotte Penn Clark to review. You may find out more about the author on her website.

The Carmichaels by Charlotte Penn Clark

Here is the book blurb.

The lives and loves of five privileged daughters of a Colorado political family….

Rich. Smart. Beautiful. Talented. And they even get along. Mostly.
The five Carmichael sisters lucked out in the game of life, but their privilege doesn’t protect them from heartbreak. Read all five contemporary romance novellas newly revised and together for the first time!

CORINNE wants her independence, but when tragedy strikes her family she relies on her new French boyfriend for support.
Headstrong DAISY goes after what she wants as a financial journalist, but the guy she wants keeps her at arm’s length.
VALERIE, still shaken by past trauma, is surprised when her feelings for her E.R. doctor grow beyond friendship.
MARIE is just getting started as a sportswriter so she really shouldn’t fall for her first subject, the newly-drafted quarterback.
SAMANTHA has crushed on her college advisor for a year but now that she’s about to graduate maybe she finally has a shot with him.

The box set has just been recently released, but all 5 individual novellas were published a couple of years ago. So far I have read Corinne.

Corinne is the eldest of 5 daughters of senator Roger Carmichael who is considering running for President. She is doing modelling jobs between studying at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) but she is battling against her father who wishes her to stop modelling because of the media interest. She insists on honouring a modelling job she has already secured in Hawaii but overall, feels she is losing her independence.

There she meets Paul, a French photographer, with whom there is a mutual attraction. After flying their separate ways, they text each other regularly and meet up a few months later one weekend in LA. But even then, the media capture some shots of them. They start a long distance relationship and she invites him to meet her family at Thanksgiving. They share an idyllic week in France followed by more family time at Christmas.

But a couple of months later tragedy strikes with a helicopter crash. Corinne relies on Paul during this difficult time. How will things pan out?

A lovely story. I’m about to start reading Daisy next, although I feel I already know a bit about all the family from the first story.

The Carmichaels Complete Series is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.54 in Kindle format and is also available in paperback. Five stories in one book. What a great bargain for lovers of romantic reads.


About the author

Charlotte Penn Clark writes sweet-sexy New Adult and contemporary novellas that take romance seriously. As an avid romance reader, she used to spin love stories in her head until she finally started to write them down two years ago. She has studied English literature and taught college composition, but now she enjoys playing matchmaker to friends and enemies, geeks and nerds, jocks and bookworms.

So far she’s published eight books in two series: the Carmichael series interweaves the lives and loves of five privileged sisters in a political family, while the Extra Credit series tells the stories of three unlikely couples thrown together on a college campus.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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My Duke’s Seduction by Tammy Andresen

I have received a free e-copy of the book My Duke’s Seduction by Tammy Andresen to review.

My Duke's Seduction by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

Can her gentle tenacity unlock a duke’s heart?

Lady Tricia Riley is the sweet daughter of a duke until her family’s ailments force her to breech societies’ dictates and go where no lady should… the docklands. When a tall, strong and handsome stranger helps to keep her safe, she agrees to keep their meeting, secret. She’s no interest in marrying a tall and darkly handsome stranger. Actually, she has no intention of marrying at all. Instead, she plans to dedicate herself to charitable pursuits.

Ryker Pembroke, Duke of Landon, will marry eventually, as duty requires him to do. But it is a fate, he regards with a certain amount of dread. That is, until an auburn haired minx bursts into his life. Her warmth, charm and giving nature draws him to her even as he attempts to maintain a safe distance. She is entirely wrong for him with her impulsive nature and blatant disregard for her own safety makes her a terrible choice for a wife… doesn’t it?

This is a stand-alone romance with a lovely HEA! The heroine does appear in the Earl of Sussex: Wicked Earls’ Club. And the books that follow will all be connected with the Earl of Sussex and his lovely bride, Tabbie.

This is the first book in the Wicked Lords of London series set in 1816. However Lady Tricia did briefly appear in The Earl of Sussex which I had read a few months ago. Her sister was the heroine in that book.

The story starts with Lady Tricia Riley alone at night in the London docklands, not a great place for a respectable young lady to be. She is searching for her cousin Fenton, who she is worried will die in the opium dens. But she is scared as some drunks emerge from a pub, leering and grabbing at her arm. Thankfully she is rescued by the mysterious Ryker, a gentleman who we later discover to be the Duke of Landon.

However she foolishly wishes to continue her search rather than be escorted to safety. So Ryker suggests that he will send someone to look for Fenton tomorrow instead. As they walk to where Ryker’s carriage is waiting, they hear a baby crying and Tricia picks up the abandoned infant. Another rescue. They take the foundling to an orphanage that her sister had opened, before they part ways close to Tricia’s home.

The next day she realises that she doesn’t know who Ryker is, so how will she know if Fenton has been found. She decides she will have to find Ryker to ask, but the only place that she knows to look for him is the docklands.

So having already narrowly escaped ruin once, she plans yet another night time escapade. What will happen this time?

My Duke’s Seduction is available on Amazon, currently priced at 99p in Kindle format. This is a nice romantic story, when you want a light read between thrillers.


About the author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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Captain of my Heart by Danelle Harmon

I have received a free e-copy of the book Captain of my Heart by Danelle Harmon to review. You may find out more about the author on her website.

Captain of my Heart by Danelle Harmon

Here is the book blurb.

He wanted no woman, except one made of sails and wood and wind …

Handsome, wily Irish privateer Captain Brendan Jay Merrick is running from a painful past — and fighting for a new nation’s future when he arrives in the colonial town of Newburyport, Massachusetts, with plans for shipwright Ephraim Ashton to build his magnificent new schooner. Brendan’s daring sea battles against His Majesty’s fleet have made him a legend in his adopted country — but one look at the dashing stranger and Ashton’s daughter Mira starts making plans of her own. . . .

She wanted no man — but him.

Brash, hot-tempered, and born at sea in a raging gale, Mira Ashton is more than most men can manage. Disguising herself as a crew member and sneaking aboard Brendan’s newly-built Kestrel, she becomes the schooner’s finest gunner . . . and the captain’s most outrageous distraction. As desire ignites between them, Mira finds herself competing against Kestrel for Brendan’s love. But when tragedy strikes, Mira must join forces with her mighty rival in a daring adventure that turns the tide of battle and brings glorious victory to the colonists, the captain . . . and the lady who has captured his heart.

The book is set in Massachusetts in 1778-79, only a couple of years after the American colonies had declared independence from Britain. This is not a period of history that I am at all familiar with.

Irish Captain Brendan Merrick had been in the Royal Navy back in the prologue in 1775, but is now captain of an American privateer. He seems to be making a habit of falling overboard and surviving, usually at the hands of his arch-enemy British Captain Richard Crichton. This time he is rescued by Matt Ashton, who ironically is the son of shipbuilder Ephraim, whom Brendan was going to have build his new ship, from the drafts which have suffered a soggy fate in his pocket.

Matt takes him home, where he meets Matt’s unconventional sister Mira, who prefers to dress as a boy and is a dreadful cook. Mira and Brendan are attracted to each other. The ship Kestrel is built and Brendan brings his sister Eveleen to stay with the Ashtons too. Mira initially doesn’t take to Eveleen and to avoid being left at home with her, sneaks aboard Kestrel as a gunner for the maiden voyage.

It took me quite a while to get into this story but was definitely worth persevering. The different strands of the story are woven together excellently. Sea battles, romance, confusion, there’s lot more excitement to come.

Captain of my Heart is available on Amazon, currently priced at £10.99 in paperback and is also in Kindle format. A nice read once you get into it.


About the author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Danelle Harmon has written seventeen critically acclaimed and award-winning books, with many being published all over the world. A Massachusetts native, she has lived in Great Britain, though these days she and her English husband make their home in New England with their daughter Emma and numerous animals including five dogs, an Egyptian Arabian horse, and a flock of pet chickens. Danelle enjoys reading, spending time with family, friends and her animals, dog showing, plane-spotting, and sailing her reproduction 19th century skiff, Kestrel II. She welcomes email from her readers and can be reached at Danelle@danelleharmon.com.

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MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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The Wicked Marquis by Mary Lancaster

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Wicked Marquis by Mary Lancaster to review. You may find out more about the author on her website.

The Wicked Marquis by Mary Lancaster

Here is the book blurb.

The lady meets her match – and he’s hopelessly ineligible.

Poverty stricken marquis, Lord Tamar, is regarded in Blackhaven as an amiable eccentric and a gifted painter, rather than as a wicked man. But Tamar has secrets that he dare not reveal to anyone, let alone to the delightful Lady Serena, the Earl of Braithwaite’s sister, who suddenly lights up his world.

To Serena, fed up with London etiquette and sent home to her family castle in disgrace after her engagement is broken, the fascinating Tamar is a breath of fresh air. Accepting his help with the mystery of the strange barrels in the castle cellar, she is soon in the midst of danger involving smugglers and spies and a friend’s broken heart.

But it is her own heart which is in most danger, as she falls swiftly and desperately in love. And neither her family nor Tamar himself would ever countenance a marriage between them. Moreover, the marquis turns out to have committed a far more shocking crime than mere poverty.

This is the fifth book in the Blackhaven Brides series. I haven’t read any of the previous titles, but found that this worked well as a stand-alone read.

This historical Regency read begins with Lady Serena having been sent back in disgrace from London, after the break off of her engagement, to the family country estate Braithwaite Castle on the Cumbrian coast. With only her younger sisters and their governess for company, she is bored. Supposedly not even allowed out of the castle, she dashes into the orchard, where she encounters a trespassing artist, who asks her to stop whilst he paints her picture. He then kisses her.

She wakes in the middle of the night to spot smugglers with a barrel in the courtyard. Up early the next morning, she disturbs the smugglers brazenly still there. She gives chase and then panics when she realises one is threatening her with a knife. Luckily she escapes, running slap bang into the mysterious artist.

It doesn’t take many more encounters for them to fall in love, but Tamar hasn’t yet revealed that he is an impoverished Marquis. Is he a fortune hunter? And is Serena still in danger from the smugglers?

The Wicked Marquis is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.13 in Kindle format. The fifth book in the Blackhaven Brides series. This is a great romantic read, with plenty of other strands to the storyline.

You’ll see in the interview with the author below, that the sixth Blackhaven Bride book is due out this month. Having had a quick look at who are the heroines of the previous titles, I’m guessing that the sixth book may be about Miss Grey, the governess although I think that Serena’s friend Catherine would make a good heroine for another title.


About the author

Mary Lancaster lives in Scotland with her husband, three mostly grown-up kids and a small, crazy dog.

Her first literary love was historical fiction, a genre which she relishes mixing up with romance and adventure in her own writing. Several of her novels feature actual historical characters as diverse as Hungarian revolutionaries, medieval English outlaws, and a family of eternally rebellious royal Scots. To say nothing of Vlad the Impaler.

Her most recent books are light, fun Regency romances written for Dragonblade Publishing: The Imperial Season series set at the Congress of Vienna; and the popular Blackhaven Brides series, which is set in a fashionable English spa town frequented by the great and the bad of Regency society.


Interview with Mary Lancaster – Author Journey and Writing Career

1. In your bio, you state that your first literary love was historical fiction. Was there a specific book that started that love?

I suppose, looking back, that it might have been LM Alcott’s Little Women! But I can only have been 8 or 9 years old and it was the characters who obsessed me rather than the historical setting. I think it was more reading several very different historical novels that focused my love of the genre. Lorna Doone and The Count of Monte Cristo among the classics, and then I discovered Georgette Heyer and the great Dorothy Dunnett.

2. At what point in your life did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve written stories almost since I could hold a pencil. I was certainly still at primary school when I realized I wanted to be a published author. Of course, real life and self-doubt kept me writing in secret for my own entertainment for years. Then a desire to escape a job I disliked and a somewhat optimistic notion of being able to write at home while I brought up children, made me look seriously at getting published.

3. What does your average writing day look like?

I wake up early, about 6am and drink coffee in bed while writing until I have to get my daughter up for school and rouse anyone else who needs to be up and out. Then I cram in another hour of writing, take the dog for a walk and return to write until my daughter comes home from school.

I’m trying to adjust the balance, because this schedule doesn’t leave much time for housework (which I hate in any case!) but if I’m on a roll, I can’t bring myself to stop until I’m forced to 😊

4. Where can we find you writing? At home, in a coffee shop? With or without music?

I prefer privacy to write, so usually at home. Sometimes I write with music, sometimes without. It depends on my mood and the mood of the book, and what’s going on around me.

I have a pleasant room (known as Mum’s library) where I like to work, surrounded by books and a few favourite knick-knacks we’ve picked up on our travels over the years. And the dog often joins me there on a nearby cushion 😊. Unfortunately, the kids also use this room in the evenings if they have friends in – which at least one of them nearly always does – so sometimes I’m driven away by the mess they leave behind until they’re forced to clear it up!

5. Where do you get the ideas for your books from? Dreams? Real life?

Anything can set me off! A line in a book, an item on the news, the atmosphere of a particular place, a face glimpsed on a train. The whole story of A World to Win was inspired by a man on a Romanian train when I was traveling as a student. An Endless Exile, A Prince to be Feared and Rebel of Ross, were all inspired by sentences read in books when I was researching other things.

Often, it’s the history itself that inspires me initially, but the story waits in the background to be told because the right character or some other spark hasn’t quite brought it alive in my imagination.

6. Do you outline your stories or just start writing and see where the story takes you?

I usually make a brief (and often vague!) outline of the plot and the motivation of the characters, and the first scene or two. After that, I tend to go wherever the story leads!

7. What’s the most discouraging thing about being an author, and how did you get over it?

Rejection. I think most authors would say that! Most of us have been rejected multiple times by several publishers, agencies etc., until you wonder why you bother carrying on. You have to be determined to wade through all of that and keep going. An encouraging letter or a single acceptance works wonders, though!

Nowadays, with so much self-publishing, it’s not always necessary to put yourself through that, but then there’s the difficulty of being seen in such a crowded market place, and lack of sales can be seen as the rejection of readers! As can a poor review. Self-doubts never really go away, but I suppose I get over the tough times by remembering the positives – a reader’s appreciation, or an editor’s praise mean the world!

8. Do you have a favorite book of your own work? Which one is it, and why?

I don’t know that I do have one favourite! I’m aware none of them are perfect and yet I’ve been totally immersed in all of them and like different things about each. I love to make historical figures come alive and if I believe I’ve succeeded, it makes me proud. For those reasons, I like An Endless Exile (about Hereward the Wake) and A Prince to be Feared (Vlad Dracula). But my main aim is always to entertain and I’ve been really thrilled with reader reactions to the lighter Regency romances – the Imperial Season series and especially Blackhaven Brides. I think they’re fun, and I have great fun writing them.

9. How do you come up with the titles for your books?

Various ways! Sometimes, they just pop into my head as I’m writing them, or when I’m writing a summary for submission – inspired by an event or a character or a line in the book itself. Vienna Waltz just seemed to suit the shenanigans of my first story set at the Congress of Vienna, and of course my heroine falls in love during a waltz! The Wicked in the Blackhaven Brides titles is Regency society’s perception of certain heroes or heroines.

When I can’t think of a title, I look for inspiration in quotations – like A Word to Win (Marx) and A Prince to be Feared (Machiavelli).

10. What’s your least favorite part about writing? Writers block, research, etc.?

I love writing (and research!) so it’s hard to think what I don’t like! I suppose it’s when I feel a story might be lagging a bit and I’m not sure whether to push on in this direction and see if I change my mind, or to scrap that part and try something else. I know from experience the same answer isn’t always right!

11. What’s your favorite part of the publishing process? Picking/making the cover, release day, etc.?

I do love seeing a good cover and knowing it’s right! But there’s always a special excitement about a release day celebrations – especially a good release day when you can chat with readers, the first reviews are quick and positive, and you see the sales numbers/rankings begin to climb 😊

12. Any advice for aspiring authors?

I think every author makes their own journey in different ways, but I think it’s always good to keep reading, and not just in the genre you wish to write in. And to write constantly and listen to constructive criticism. Most of all, don’t give up!

13. What are some of your other hobbies, or things you enjoy that’s not writing related?
I love spending time with my family and friends, enjoying good conversation, food and wine. And I love reading for its own sake, and a good film or binge watching a tv series that’s grabbed me. I also like to visit new places and soak up different cultures and different history.

14. Currently, what are some of your favorite books and authors?
I like to read a mixture of genres and both old and new books. I’ve been reading a bit of Gothic romance, recently, by Eve Silver, and have got heavily into Jennifer Ashley’s historical detective series about Captain Lacey. I was also blown away recently when I read Daphne du Maurier’s The King’s General – so brilliant and moving! I also love Toni Anderson’s romantic suspense. And Christopher Brookmyre who writes clever and hilarious Scottish thrillers – I am in awe 😊.

15. What are your short term and long term goals as an author?

Short term, I’d like to keep readers happy with more Blackhaven Brides stories, and expand my readership there – so recommendations greatly appreciated 😊. Longer term, I suppose I’d like to be a recognized bestseller – who wouldn’t? But mainly, I want to keep entertaining with my books.

16. What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

Next is the 6th Blackhaven Brides book, The Wicked Governess, which should release some time in April.

I’ve also written a novella in the multi-author Marriage Maker series, which should be out later on in the year.

Looking further ahead, there will be at least 3 more Blackhaven Brides books! And I have another book I want to write following on from my medieval Scottish “Ross” series – these are still romantic but veer slightly more towards historical fiction than historical romance.

Honestly, I have more stories in my head than I have time to write them!


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MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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Entrapping A Lord’s Love by Tammy Andresen

I have received a free e-copy of the book Entrapping A Lord’s Love by Tammy Andresen to review.

Entrapping A Lord's Love by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

Lady Caroline Crawley’s fall from polite society was a foregone conclusion. Her father had joined the army to escape his debts. Debts he left hanging around his daughter’s neck like a noose. She had few options and thieving seemed as good as any. But she never expected to fall in love with one of her marks. The handsome and mysterious Lord Thomas Fairfield has her dreaming of a future that will never be hers.

Some might think that Tom and his three brothers are blessed. He knows, however, that their fate is a duty at best and most likely, a curse. His brothers have sent him to London to complete a mission. Not only is Caroline Crawley distracting him from his task, but she may just be part of the forces that are trying to thwart him.

This is the third book in the Fairfield Fairy Tales series, set in the Regency period. I haven’t read any of the other titles but this worked well as a stand-alone read.

It is based on the Fairy Tale: A Master Thief which is not a tale that I am familiar with, so after I had finished reading this book, I looked it up on Wikipedia.

Lady Caroline Crawley has lived in a London theatre with her cousin Crimson, Lord Wainscroft since she was orphaned. The theatre was the only asset left after they cleared her father’s debts. And even though everyone in so Society flocks to the theatre each night, every penny they earn is spent. So Crimson forces Caroline to pick pockets to help make ends meet.

Crimson’s latest target for Caroline is Viscount Tom Abernathy, Lord Fairfield, who is building an orphanage next-door to the theatre, in a property that Crimson had hoped to expand into, if he ever raised sufficient funds. And Crimson believes that Tom possesses a magical item.

Meanwhile Tom has a secret and he worries that Caroline and Crimson might know.

Caroline invites Tom to watch the show with her, but they have an instant connection. Will she pick his pocket or not? And what will Crimson do?

Entrapping A Lord’s Love is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.15 in Kindle format. The third title in the Fairfield Fairy Tales series. A rather far-fetched plot but still a nice romantic read, when you just want something light-hearted in-between reading thrillers.


About the author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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