To Tempt a Rake by Cara Elliott Review

Lady Kate Woodbridge is not your typical Society miss after growing up on her parent’s pirate ship, she has done whatever needed to survive and take care of her family. In To Tempt a Rake by Cara Elliott Kate finds herself out of her element when fulfilling her parent’s dying request that she heal the broken relationship with her grandfather, the Duke of Cluyne. Just when her relationship with her grandfather is starting to get better, Kate finds herself attracted to Marco, Conte of Como and one of the house guests is found murdered with Kate’s knife. Can Kate convince her grandfather she is innocent and why does she find herself so attracted to the wasteral Marco?

Marco has spent years perfecting his reputation as Il Serpenti, a rakehell of the worst sort. While Marco has enjoyed the pleasures that have come with creating his reputation, he is also creating a facade so he can work for the English Government as a spy. With the containment of Napoleon at Elba and the rapidly approaching conference in Vienna of the other European nations to carve up Europe, the English government is very concerned to know how each country is secretly conspiring with other countries.  The Duke is holding a country party at his estate with many of the international diplomats who will be attending the Vienna Conference and Marco is sent to the keep his ears open and report back to London. Marco didn’t expect to find himself so attracted to Kate that is starts to interfere with his ability to fulfill his spying ability. When Kate is accused of murder Marco finds himself voluntarily investigating the situation to help her out but how far is he willing to pursue his investigation?

Kate’s past is an interesting one and I admit I thought it was different from what it turned out to be (I won’t elaborate because it would spoil some of the story) but it was an interesting twist and her scientific bent an intriguing addition to the story.. The descriptions of the locations were great from the country estate of the Duke to the glittering ballrooms of Vienna. The story felt very standard regarding Marco and Kate being attracted to each other (rakehell is attracted to innocent miss, flirting ensues) but once the murder happened I was really hooked into the rest of the story, trying to figure out who really committed the murder and why. There is a sub story between the Duke and Kate’s older friend Charlotte. I loved seeing the Duke start to unbend when dealing with the opinionated Charlotte and Charlotte’s reactions to the teasings of the Duke. This is the first book in The Circle of Sin series and I will have to go back and read more about the beginnings of the society.

You can read an excerpt here.

The Circle of Sin Series:

To Sin With a Scoundrel

To Surrender to a Rogue

To Tempt a Rake

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Content:

Title: To Tempt a Rake

Author: Cara Elliott

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 384

ISBN: 978-0446541305

Publisher: Forever Romance

Release Date: February 2011

Available for purchase: Amazon.com

Reviewer: Jessica

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way. MacKenzie Weegar Womens Jersey

Notorious Pleasures by Elizabeth Hoyt Review

Lady Hero Batten, the daughter of a Duke, has been raised to be proper in all things, comportment, behavior, speech and thought. In Notorious Pleasures by Elizabeth Hoyt, Lady Hero has become engaged to a proper man, then she meets his rakehell younger brother St. Giles and all her proper behavior goes out the window as he upsets her within the first five minutes of meeting him.

Griffin Rmmington has worked hard to present a façade of a rakehell to society, little do they know he has worked hard to bring his family back from the brink of bankruptcy. While the family is now financially solvent, Griffin feels the need to defend the family’s business interests when it falls under attack from competitors. Griffin is having a hard time juggling his façade and the family business and then he meets Lady Hero and finds himself having to protect her when she travels into the dangerous St. Giles area to oversee the rebuilding of the orphanage she sponsors.

I had some problems with the beginning of this novel, Griffin and Hero meet for the first time while Griffin is having sex with another woman. While the scene is humorous, I really struggled to see why the proper Hero was attacked to Griffin when this is how they met. It is one thing for man to have a reputation as a womanizer but another thing altogether to see him in the act.  Getting past that rough beginning, I was very intrigued by the direction the story took by addressing the gin problem that developed in the lower class during the 1700s. Hoyt’s portrayal of both the aristocracy belief and justification for dealing with the problem and the lower classes reactions and persecution was intriguing and heartbreaking. The other issue I had with this novel was the use of the “F” word by Griffin, while the etymology credits the creation of the word in the 1600s I just struggle to believe that a aristocratic lord would use the word in mixed company in the 1700s.  I gave Notorous Pleasures a 3 in liking because I felt the great story of the orphanage and the gin distribution outweighed the issues I had with the novel.

You can read an excerpt here.

The Maiden Lane:

Wicked Intentions

Notorious Pleasures

Scandalous Desires (November 2011)

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Content:

Title: Notorious Pleasures

Author: Elizabeth Hoyt

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 400

ISBN: 978-0446558952

Publisher: Hachette Publishing

Release Date: February 2011

Available for purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Reviewer: Jessica

**I received a copy of this book from Hachette Publishing but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way. Mike Mitchell Womens Jersey

Against the Fire by Kat Martin Review

Mattie Baker is determined to take care of herself, she learned from her mother that you can’t depend on a man to save you but then she met Gabriel.  Against the Fire by Kat Martin opens with a bang when Gabriel Raines’ construction site goes up in flames. The suspect of the arson caused fire is Angel Ramirez, a juvenile delinquent with a past conviction of starting a fire, but Mattie is determined to prove to Gabriel that Angel is innocent. When a second fire consumes another construction site, Gabriel realizes that someone is determined to ruin him.

Mattie has worked hard her entire life to get the type of education she needed to take care of herself, now that she is finished with school she spends all her time and energy on her job and volunteering at the Family Abuse Center. The only way Mattie lets her hair down is when she gets on the stage to sing at the Karoke Bar. Gabriel finds himself drawn to the conservatively dressed Mattie but isn’t sure why until he watches her sing at the Karoke Bar in his neighborhood. Mattie tells herself that she is only helping Gabriel with his investigation to save Angel but as things escalate in the investigation and in the bedroom Mattie realizes she might be in over her head.

Against the Fire is the second book in the Raines of Wind Canyon Series, Gabriel is the middle brother and like Jackson in the first book Against the Wind Gabriel was wild in his teenage years but has gone on to make something of himself by creating and running his successful construction business.  The story was suspenseful and the relationship between Mattie and Gabriel was enjoyable. Mattie’s concern and dedication to the Abuse center was touching. I loved the secondary story line of the relationship between Tracey and Sam, I wish they would have been in their own novel but the glimpses we get of them is great. Finally, the love and companionship between the brothers is heartwarming and I am excited to read Against the Law to see who can finally bring Dev, the last remaining bachelor, to heel.

You can read an excerpt here.

The Raines of Wind Canyon series:

Against the Wind

Against the Fire

Against the Law (March 2011)

Rating:

Title: Against the Fire

Author: Kat Martin

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 426

ISBN: 978-0778329305

Publisher: Mira

Release Date: January 25, 2011

Available for purchase: Amazon.com

Reviewer: Jessica

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

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Almost an Outlaw by Patricia Preston Review

Austin Cade rode into Liberty looking for the man who stole his prize mare and was surprised to run into the first girl he ever kissed and has never been able to forget. In Almost an Outlaw by Patricia Preston, Austin is forced to convince Darcy, the girl he never forgot, to contact her cousins to help him out, the notorious James-Younger Gang, the most famous of the gang being Jesse James. Darcy wants to help Austin but struggles to be able to assist him with the Pinkertons watching her every move, hoping she will lead them to her cousins.

Darcy has always remembered the sexy Austin since he saved her life but she has learned the hard way not to trust anyone or she could get them hurt.  Wearing mourning clothes even though her husband has been gone for three years is a way to warn other men away and remind Darcy that she was the reason her husband was killed. But Austin makes her want to take a chance again and Darcy finds herself torn between her past and what could be her future. When a murder shows up in town, Darcy immediately turns to Austin for help but will she be able to survive the heartbreak once he leaves to return to his ranch?

Almost an Outlaw by Patricia Preston was fun, quick read. Austin’s fears regarding the love of a woman for a dead man were touching. Darcy’s mistaken belief about her causing her husbands death was a little over done and I felt like the story of the murderer could have been explored a little more but the setting was great and Darcy and Austin’s concerns for each other and for others around them was great. I enjoyed getting the glimpses of the James-Younger Gang and would love it if the author covered some of the other love stories she hinted at in the novel.

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Title: Almost an Outlaw

Author: Patricia Preston

Format:  eBook

ASIN: B004GB1T40

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date: January 10, 2011

Available for purchase: Amazon.com, Carinapress.com

Reviewer: Jessica

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way. Seth Jones Authentic Jersey