A Rogue by Any Other Name (The Rules of Scoundrels #1)

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I loved this book, Sarah MacLean outdid herself with this one.


Michael Bourne, lost all he ever had in one night in a game of cards. And that night changed his life totally and he has only one goal on his  mind REVENGE.
Now a powerful man, co-owner of London’s most famous gaming hell, he’s prepared to do anything to accomplish his goal, even marry his childhood friend, Lady Penelope Marbury. Penelope owns the estate Michael lost 10 years ago and he wants it back even if he has to marry her.

Michael intends to corrupt Penelope. He wants to turn her from light to dark, from good to bad. His goal is to totally ruin her. And Penelope has no choice but to marry him. Penelope was a means to an end, but he falls in love and she with him.

This book was AMAZING, loved the characters, the witty dialogue.
Highly recommended

PS: Isn’t this book cover beautiful


My favorite trope! Childhood besties! Michael and Penelope were the best of friends on adjoining estates. Life was good. Along with their buddy, Tommy Alles, their young lives were filled with fun and adventure. That is, until life happened.

This story delves into the aftermath of loss, separation, grief, greed and vengeance. I especially enjoyed the running commentary provided by letters from home to and from the young Michael and Penelope while he was away at Eton. They emphasized the bond shared by the two friends.

This was somewhat of a dark story as the hero behaved a lot like a villain throughout most of the story. I really couldn’t blame his anger and search for vengeance, but crikey, these are your friends and you want vengeance by any means necessary even at the expense of the ones who love you? Sheesh, Bourne!

Sarah MacLean takes us on a journey into the minds of her characters and you find that they are so well written that you will forgive them their foibles in their journey to HEA.

The ultimate villain in this story didn’t receive the true comeuppance that he deserved. He was a vile man who deserved to be ruined, but instead seemed to break even. Maybe I’m just more vengeful than the characters.

Because I’m on a reread binge, I did note a couple of inconsistencies – Donovan West versus Duncan West in a later novel. There were several references to the number of “men” in the room and skewed gender references in several instances.

This book is a keeper for me and I enjoyed the reread thoroughly. It has been a few years so it was good to revisit these characters in anticipation of a new release.

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Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart by Sarah Maclean

   

Can I just say how much I loved this book, Sarah MacLean’s writing is flawless. This book has it all. Two wonderful main characters, a great story, witty dialogue, swoony and break-my-heart emotional moments and a beautiful happy ending.

Juliana is bold and temperamental, she always says what’s on her mind, and doesn’t follow society’s rules that much. Being the daughter of a woman who abandoned her and her brothers, thus making the scandal of all scandals, Juliana fears that she may be like her mother because she too causes heaps of scandal.

Simon is forced to protect his reputation, now that his sister is about to give birth and cause the scandal of the year. He can’t afford anything to blemish his status in society, and that’s why he must marry someone with an untarnished  reputation. And this is where TROUBLE ensues, Juliana wants to make Simon feel something, he is drawn to her and her passion and although he wants to prove that life isn’t all about having fun, he finds he likes it.

This book was just great and Sarah MacLean’s books are an auto buy for me, there are books in this world that just make you ridiculously happy, this is it.

 
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Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord 

This book was fabulous, I love how Sarah MacLean writes her books, full of humour and great characters. Loved Isabel and Nick – great couple.

Here, we finally get the chance to know the charming Nicholas St. John more deeply. Yes, he keeps this fun, sexy side of his we got to know in ‘Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake,’ but we also discover some other, more serious, thoughtful layers to him

And our heroine, she’s great, too. I have to say that I felt a lot of empathy for Isabel. I also loved how strong and courageous she is.

I got involved with the book and the emotions it portrays. I will definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves an HEA and a good funny historical romance.

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah Maclean

This book was AMAZING. It had everything you’ll want in a historical romance novel, witty banter between the hero and heroine, drama, emotion, a lovable heroine and a rake reformed by love.

Callie was tired of being trapped by society’s expectations. She smokes cheroot, gambles, attends a duel  – all things a lady isn’t supposed to do. Gabriel gets caught up in her rule breaking and helps with her rule breaking and they end up falling for each other. The chemistry between these two is undeniable.

I would recommend this book to any historical romance readers out there, who love humor and adventure in their stories.

A rake who abhors the concept of love. An awkward spinster who fell in love at 18.

What’s a plain, missish spinster to do when she’s spent the past ten years desperately and hopelessly in love with the most roguishly handsome rake the ton has ever seen?

Lady Calpurnia Hartwell embodies the hopes and dreams of every awkward teenage girl who fails to blossom into a beautiful, swan like woman. She’s plain, short, bosomy and broad in the hips. The exact opposite of Lord Gabriel St. John, Marquess of Ralston’s type.

How can two seemingly mismatched persons come together for a satisfying HEA? Sarah MacLean’s debut novel takes us on a hilarious journey as Lady Callie and Lord Gabriel discover one another and love while working through Callie’s “list,” and what a list it is.

This novel is engaging. There are many tender scenes between the pair and as the author promised lots of smooching. Gabriel’s personal journey is actually quite heartbreaking and explains his life choice somewhat.

The writing and plotting were tight. There were no obvious villains. The drama was created between the two main characters and their opposing personalities. The attraction was magnetic, though they both fought it mightily for their own reasons.

We are introduced to several characters who later appear in the series with their own HEAs. Lord Nicholas St. John, Juliana Fiori and the Simon Pearson, Duke of Leighton figure prominently in future books.

If you haven’t read these books, do dive in. This is a second read for me and I enjoyed the ride just as much the second time around.

Christi Caldwell Interview

TittleTattler Books’ debut Spotlight Author of the Month of May 2017 is the incomparable Christi Caldwell. It is an honor and a privilege to have you grace our blog with your presence and your wonderful books.

As our readers may know, the five ladies who comprise this blog met in Christi Caldwell’s Corner, a private reader’s forum on Facebook created by Sandra J. Rutter Davis for the purpose of discussing Christi’s books.

So, it is with great pleasure that we now welcome you Christi as our very first Spotlight Author in TittleTattler Books. *rousing applause*  Welcome!

CC:  Thank you for having me!

TT: Can you share with our readers a bit about yourself and how you came to be such a prolific writer?  How do you feel about the writing process?

CC:  Writing is and always has been cathartic. I still find myself fascinated at how whatever I’m feeling or experiencing in my  life at a given moment invariably impacts the emotional feel of a book. And going back through time, each work stands as a kind of memory, too.

TT: We are looking forward to seeing you at RWA this year, how is the planning going, any surprises for your readers?

CC: I look forward to seeing everyone who will be in attendance at RWA come July.

Here’s something exciting to share.  It’s official!

I’ve signed a THREE book deal with Montlake Romance for the next books in my Hell and Sin set Regency romance series!! For those of you who are enjoying my Sinful Brides…I have more gaming hell heroes and heroines coming for you in 2017 AND 2018!!!

TT:  That is indeed exciting! We look forward, as always to reading every word.  So, I wanted to thank you for dedicating a book to me. I was really touched by that… oh wait, that wasn’t *just* me…, but I like to think as one of your fans, I was included. Can you tell us a bit about that?

CC:  Every day, I’m humbled by my readers’ excitement for characters and books that mean so very much to me. As I said in the dedication of “The Scoundrel’s Honor,” my experience as an author is never a solitary one because of each of you. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you!!

TT:  So, how are Doug, Rory, Riley and Reagan? Anything new and exciting with them? What’s everyone reading in your family this month?

CC:  Oh, they are so wonderful…and always wonderfully busy. This year, our son began a new experience in a school for children with special needs.

As someone who had a strict vision that included a world of inclusion, it was a difficult and gut-wrenching decision. In the end, it’s proven everything he needed. He’s in a place where he is nurtured, loved, and cared for and he’s truly blossomed. So sometimes the things we *think* we know, we don’t always. I still learn that lesson every day through my children.

Rory is reading every Mo Willems book he can get his hands on. Or, we read it together. He’s still working on learning how to read.

We just began reading Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems. Reagan, on a trip to Barnes and Noble picked out Disney’s story of  Moana and her sister, Riley, Big Hero Six. My husband is a huge Star Wars fan and is currently reading Star Wars: “Thrawn.”

The latest addition to my collection is a primary resource: The Complete Servant: Being a Practical Guide to the Peculiar Duties and Business of all Descriptions of Servants…With Useful Receipts and Tables. (how’s that for a title)…it was written by a husband and wife who were servants.  

TT:  That is awesome. It sounds like you are a family with diverse tastes in reading material. It surely makes for interesting dinner conversation.

Can you give your readers an idea of your writing process?

CC:  Some authors are ‘pantsers’ (fly by the seat of their pants when writing a book)…others are ‘plotters’ with very detailed chapter outlines and perfectly mapped out.

I think of myself as a panster…who jots down a plot that acts as a general, very loose ‘guide’… and then I just follow where my muse leads.

To give you an idea, this is one I dug up from Marcus and Eleanor’s story…”To Trust a Rogue.” As you can see in this, I’d originally entertained the idea of Eleanor having siblings.

Ideas usually come to me in the dead of night, and I frantically write down everything as quick as I can. That said…yes, my handwriting is sloppy. 🙂

TT: I can see the story taking shape in your notes. Thank you for that insight into your process.

We want to thank you so much for talking with us today. I hope you enjoy your month in the Spotlight with us. Now before we depart, the burning question. Every reader pictures the hero of your novels in her mind. For most readers, that hero would naturally be Aidan Turner.

Tell us why you’ve gone against the grain and selected Kit Harrington as your hero ideal.

CC:  I don’t even know what I was thinking. There could be no greater romantic hero prototype than Aidan Turner. Kit Harrington pales in comparison.

TT: (side commentary, the last response cannot be confirmed as the author’s own words and was completely fabricated by the interviewer who shall remain unnamed as an anonymous source. FAKE NEWS)

Spotlight Author: Christi Caldwell

Christi Caldwell                                                         85d49-christi

Broken dreams, broken hearts, broken minds, broken bodies, ruin, and scandal are the seeds that grow the roots of the intertwining stories in Christi Caldwell’s unique universe. 
Historical romance has never seen such a fascinating group of characters. TittleTattler Books is proud to present Ms. Christi Caldwell as our debut Spotlight Author of the Month!

Find Christi on facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorChristiCaldwell/

Official Biography: 
USA TODAY Bestselling author CHRISTI CALDWELL blames Judith McNaught’s “Whitney, My Love!” for luring her into the world of historical romance. While sitting in her graduate school apartment at the University of Connecticut, Christi decided to set aside her notes and pick up her laptop to try her hand at romance. She believes the most perfect heroes and heroines have imperfections, and she rather enjoys torturing them before crafting them a well deserved happily ever after! 

Christi makes her home in southern Connecticut where she spends her time writing her own enchanting historical romances, chasing around her feisty eight-year-old son and caring for her twin princesses in training!

My Lady of Deception By Christi Caldwell

 

This book, the first in the series, “Brethren of the Lords” was my introduction to Christi Caldwell’s wonderful writing. It is quite well written and dark. I usually don’t go for dark, but the prose sucked me in.  In hindsight, after reading so many of this author’s works, the tone is extremely dark. This is not your typical Regency romance.

Wow! What an incredible ride. I’ve never worried so much for a heroine in my life. Honestly, I came to the conclusion at one point that Adam did not deserve her. I know that there were some extenuating circumstances, but good grief man! He redeemed himself, of course, in the end, but … oh well.

 


The characters are well developed. Georgina’s ability to maintain a strong moral compass despite her family situation is amazing.


Adam’s willful blindness to her true social standing annoyed me. Yes, of course, a servant can pick up ballroom etiquette and ton manners in a few easy steps. Yes, a servant speaks posh English. Context clues are a thing, Adam.


This book left me yearning to know more about Nathaniel Archer, the Duke of Aubrey, and Adam’s brothers. There is so much potential there to be mined.
I know that there are no definite plans to continue the series, but surely these characters will start screaming or whispering to the author for a story at some point.

TRIGGER WARNING: There are scenes that allude to torture and domestic violence.

 

 

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