Christmas Awards 2011

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

River's Reach

River's Reach by Christina Green
Robert Hale Publishers
Historical Romance
July 2008
224 Pages
ISBN: 978-0709085959

I very much enjoyed reading this excellent Victorian saga by Christina
Green. Exquisitely-told, highly moving and powerfully written, River's Reach
is a terrific romantic tale.

Rose Victoria Adams vows not to be like her parents, scrimping and saving
and living in a hovel. She wants more from life and has applied herself to
able to become a teacher at her local school. But Rose Victoria wants more.
She wants to be elevated to the upper echelons of society and not to be seen
by the people she knows an upstart with ideas above her station.
When artist Lawrence Vane comes to live in the village, he is immediately
drawn to Rose. An attractive red-head with a beautiful figure and a
delectable smile, Lawrence is determined to paint Rose's picture and to make
her his. And when his sister, Elizabeth, asks her whether she'd like to be
her companion, Lawrence is delighted because he thinks that he can finally
achieve his aim. However, Lawrence hasn't counted on Thomas Vane, the new
school master, who has managed to get under Rose's skin.

Thomas is taciturn, impervious to Rose's ideas and absolutely infuriating,
but Rose still cannot stop thinking about him - nor can she stop wishing to
become his wife!

River's Reach is a wonderful historical romance that I couldn't stop
reading. Christina Green imbues her tale with plenty of warmth and emotion,
and once readers begin reading this book, they will soon find themselves
unable to put it down! 4.5 red roses JB

His Reluctant Mistress

His Reluctant Mistress by Joanna Maitland
Historical Romance
April 2009
300 Pages
ISBN: 978-0709085959

A rakish spy finds himself giving his heart to daring opera singer in Joanna
Maitland's fabulous new novel, His Reluctant Mistress!

Sophie Pietre can never forget the cruelty which she had suffered at the
hands of her gambler father. Having been forced to abandon everything that
was familiar to her, Sophie had been compelled to make a living out of
singing opera and although the Ton thought her to be a superb singer, she
knows that the same members of polite society who complimented her voice
would scorn her company in their parlours. But Sophie is determined that
things will change for her. She doesn't want to spend the rest of her life
being treated with disdain by society matrons and being pawed by lecherous
men, so she makes plans to escape from the gilded cage which she has lived
in for the past few years.

Sophie distrusts men and vows never to let another man control her life and
shape her destiny. But when she meets Lord Leo Aikenhead, she finds herself
unable to forget the roguish English gentleman who seems most determined to
make her acquaintance. When a stolen kiss leads to something more, Sophie
soon realizes that she is in danger of falling for Lord Leo.

But can there be a future for a Lord and an opera singer? Or will their past
prevent them from moving forward?

His Reluctant Mistress is a spellbinding Regency romance imbued with plenty
of intrigue, passion and adventure. Joanna Maitland writes beautifully and
with great style and confidence, and I am sure that readers who enjoy
reading historicals will not be disappointed with her latest Harlequin
Historical! 4.5 red roses JB

Wolf's Revenge and The Stray

The Princess and the Wolf By Linda Sole comes out with Red Rose Publishing next month.

These books are being sold to help a charity set up for a wolf sanctuary. They are short stories so I am putting the two together reviews together.
Wolf's Revenge by Aline de Chevigny/Red Rose Publishing. first Howl

Yvee returns to the man she loves, knowing that he is also a wolf. She did not think she could live with the knowledge but she cannot live without him either and she needs help. She is being pursued by Dekland, who is determined to have her as his mate. What Cain has to decide is whether this other wolf/man is the renegade he has been hunting and what he will do about it.

This is a lovely story and very enjoyable.

The Stray by Cassandra Gold. Red Rose Publishing. Second Howl
J owes Cash money and he can't pay but Cash won't wait. Stumbling away after being victimised, J is lonely and miserable but things get worse when he bumps into a man with long hair and blood stains on his clothes.

Hunter was fleeing from the enemy, his mind confused when he bumped into a young man. Hunter is a wolf/man who has escaped after being captured and used for experiments to discover what he is exactly. Can he make friends with a man who has helped him? Or will his secret prevent that yet again?

This is a different kind of story to the first but also enjoyable and touching.

This series will consist of many types of story about werewolves and there should be at least one for everyone. The Princess and the Wolf is described as a fairy story for grownups. This is a good cause and we hope it will be well supported.

Impoverished Miss

Impoverished Miss, Convenient Wife by Michelle Styles
Mills and Boon
Historical Romance
April 2009
300 Pages
ISBN: 9780263867749

Michelle Styles has written a fabulous Regency romance set in the North-East
that is heading straight for my keeper shelf. Highly emotional, immensely
compelling and beautifully written, Impoverished Miss, Convenient Wife is
simply another must-read by this wonderful writer.

A tragic accident had turned wealthy landowner Simon Benedict into a bitter
recluse. But Simon's scars are the last things on his mind. His son, Robert,
is ill and none of the servants, governesses or doctors he's employed seem
able to do anything for him. The only person who can help Robert is his Aunt
Diana. But Diana is pregnant and cannot make it to Northumberland from
London, so she sends her husband's cousin, Phoebe Benedict, instead.

Phoebe Benedict had been one of the Ton's most notorious beauties, but her
father's death had forced her to turn her back on the ton and focus all of
her time and energies into taking care of her family. Unfortunately for
Phoebe, her family treat her no better than an unpaid servant. But Phoebe
must bear their indifference for she has never forgiven herself for an event
which happened in the past which is still haunting her.

Phoebe wants to get her brother into the army and she knows that her cousin
is a many with many connections who could open lots of doors for her
brother. Deciding that the best way to impress her cousin is to step into
the breach for his wife, Phoebe decides to help Simon Benedict take care of
his son. But little does Phoebe know that Simon will awaken long-buried
feelings deep within her. Feelings which she won't be able to ignore.

But can there ever be a future for them when they are still haunted by
ghosts of the past?

Impoverished Miss, Convenient Wife is simply fantastic! You will adore
Michelle Styles' powerful romantic story of redemption, hope, sacrifice and
love. 4.5 red roses JB

Bonded Heart

Bonded Heart by Jane Jackson
Severn House Publishers
Historical Romance
January 2009
224 Pages
ISBN: 978-0727867483

Jane Jackson's sweeping Cornish historicals are not to be missed and her
latest, Bonded Heart, is another spellbinding tale of love, honour and
loyalty by this wonderful storyteller.

Roz Trevaskis' life of luxury and comfort came to an end when she discovered
that her mother was living in Cornwall as a drunk prostitute who would sell
her own soul for a swig of brandy. Determined to help her mother as much as
she possibly can, she leaves her grandfather's house and goes to her aid.
But life in Cornwall for a gentlewoman like her is anything but easy. Forced
to work in a tavern to put food on the table and to keep a roof over their
heads, Roz has to contend with the advances of Will, a man who is adamant
that he will possess her and make her his wife, much to Roz's disgust and

Shame keeps being heaped upon Roz, whose drunk mother's misdemeanors often
lead her down the shameful path of jail. Roz is embarrassed at having to
rescue her mother - especially when she meets the Justice, Branoc Casvellan.
Branoc is attractive, intelligent and out of her league. Although Roz is
drawn to Branoc, she knows that a man such as he could never look twice at
her. But little does she realize, that her face, her figure and her smile
have been haunting Branoc's dreams and thoughts.

Branoc couldn't believe that Roz, with her gentle manners and aristocratic
voice, is the daughter of a drunk. He is intrigued by her and wants nothing
more than to get to know her better. However, Branoc knows that he is
expected to make a suitable match, and marriage to a tavern wench is
anything but!

When Branoc's brother is taken ill, he enlists Roz to look after his ailing
sibling. But as his desire for her increases, Branoc wonders whether he will
be able to resist the woman he has grown to love.

Jane Jackson is a wonderful writer whose books sparkle with beautiful
descriptions and captivating prose which will keep you reading late into the
night. Bonded Heart is the sort of book that has it all: a spirited heroine,
a gorgeous hero, a dastardly villain, poignant romance, nail-biting drama
and plenty of twists and turns to keep you engrossed till the very end!
4.5 red roses JB

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Hope Springs Eternal

Ginger Simpson
Hope Springs Eternal
Eternal Press
70 pages/ ebook

Another brilliant story from the author of Sarah’s Journey.
Hope Harrison decides it is time she had tests to establish whether she might have cancer. However, in her forties and a widow, Hope doesn’t expect the doctor to look like a cross between Paul Newman and Tom Selleck. Knocked off balance at the first meeting, she can hardly speak. Returning for a mammogram doesn’t seem so bad now. His sexy image was going to stay in her mind

When she returns the blood pressure is responding to treatment and the tests were negative, but Hope is lonely and when he suggests that she might help with his notes by transcribing them she seizes her chance to see more of him. Things spark between them but then it looks as if Hope may be ill. Will happiness beyond her dreams come for her or will she lose everything?

This is a lovely sympathetic book about an older woman. A book to pick you up when you are down from a well loved author. Morna. 4.5 red roses.

A Knight's Captive

Paperback 346 pages

Zebra Historical Romance ISBN 13-978-1-4201-0362-5

US $4.99
Can $5.99

This novel of Saxon/Norman conflict is filled with adventure throughout. Sunniva of Wexford is at the mercy of a brutal, uncaring father and half brothers who treat her as if she is a slave. Travelling on a pilgrimage for the sake of her father’s painful leg, Sunniva is under constant attack both from her family and from slavers who would sell her as a whore. Her beauty has attracted the attention of Marc de Sens, a Breton knight travelling with his nieces. It is Marc who saves her from brutality and capture, but he has a secret.

Sunniva is falling for Marc, but pretends to have a betrothed waiting for her, because of her father’s attitude. At first she cannot believe that any man would treat her with kindness and love, but as their journey continues and she is Marc’s captive their feelings become impossible to ignore. Yet in such violent times can this mismatched pair ever find peace and happiness?

This is a powerful book, the writing strong, sensual with beautiful descriptive passages. I suggest another winner from this popular author.
Five red roses, Linda Sole

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Featured Author Rhonda Parrish

Questions for Red Roses For Authors/Reviews /Interview

Tell us a little about yourself

My name is Rhonda Parrish, I've loved writing for as long as I can remember. Midway through high school I stopped doing it but when I picked it up again a few years ago my life improved dramatically. I don't think that's wholly coincidental.

I'm the editor of a fantasy and horror e-zine called Niteblade ( and I blog regularly at Clever domain name, eh? ;)

What do you write?

As cliché as it sounds listing what I don't write would be a less time consuming project than writing what I do. I write whatever I'm inspired to write. Sometimes that takes the form of poetry, sometimes fiction and it spans over a lot of different genres. I think my favourites are fantasy and horror, but I don't restrict myself if I can help it.

Why do you write?

How many times has someone answered this question with 'Because I have to'? I bet a lot, and that's my answer as well. When I'm not writing I'm grumpy and unfulfilled. I have all these characters and stories in my head, I have to get them out and share them.

What are you writing now?

I recently finished up a zombie novel called Deadmonton and I think my next project is a paranormal mystery novel with a touch of romance which I've tentatively titled 'Richter'. I'm excited about it.

What kind of clothes do you like to wear?

I'm all about being casual and comfortable. My wardrobe reflects that LOL I'm a fan of jeans, earthy colors and black.

Are you in love? Have you ever been?

I am totally in love with my husband, and I also tend to fall in love with whatever my current writing project is. My husband is very good about sharing me with my work *wink*

What kind of comfort food do you like best?

Cookie dough, popcorn or sushi LOL That's quite a selection I know, but I guess my preference changes depending on the situation. Sushi is good anytime though really ;)

What makes you laugh? Cry?

I love to laugh and I have been known to enjoy a good cry too, actually. My husband and daughter both make me laugh quite often, as do my friends. I am blessed to have very clever and funny friends. As for crying, well, I'll do that at the drop of a hat, as the saying goes. Really. It's kinda pathetic actually. If I even –see- anyone crying I join in…it doesn't matter why they are crying, just seeing the tears in their eyes triggers mine.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?

Primarily, I play World of Warcraft LOL 'Spare time' I have that isn't consumed that way is sometimes directed toward quilting or cross stitching, plus I read an obscene amount.

What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?

I want to tell stories. Lots of stories. I think I've made pretty good progress toward that goal and thus I feel like I'm already a success…happily though, there are still more stories left to tell. Many more.

What are you going to write next?

"Richter" is the next project on my to-do list followed by a M/M fantasy romance novel and another romantic novel featuring a fun shapeshifter. I'm looking forward to both a lot. If only there were a few more hours in the day…

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Featured Author Melissa Bradley

Tell us a little about yourself
I’m a single Sagittarian chocolate loving horror movie fan. I was born, raised and currently live on Chicago’s southeast side. I had brief stints living in Seattle and in a town called Whiting IN. I am the oldest of five kids and can get bossy. Um, reading is one of my all time passions and my library card has scorch marks from overuse. I also own enough tomes to start my own library. If you ever want to borrow one, let me know. My other loves are music, theatre and going to museums. I’m the person at the museum who has to read every single placard so I usually end up going by myself. I also love to bowl and play pool.

What do you write?
I am currently focused on erotica and romance, because I think love and sex and relationships are so interesting to write about. Each of my three releases are different in style though. Michael’s Keeper is a paranormal set in an alternate reality, Dream On(which received four red roses, thank you!) is a contemporary and Love Haight is a nostalgic contemporary set in 1967 San Francisco. I write whatever comes to mind. Sometimes I get a setting in mind or a character and other times a plot idea will form. Eventually, I hope to have stories that are historical, mystery, sci fi, fantasy or I may create whole new hybrid. My brain is funny like that.

Why do you write?
I write because I have stories and characters in my head that are dying to get out. Even if no one read my stuff I would still write.

What are you writing now?
Right now I’m working on a paranormal erotica involving werewolves. Werewolves are my favorite Halloween/horror movie characters.

What kind of clothes do you like to wear?
The more comfortable, the better. Tee shirts, jeans, leggings. I don’t like skirts at all.

Are you in love? Have you ever been?
Not now, but I thought I was once. He turned out to be so very very wrong for me.

Do you have a dream lover – and what does he or she look like?
I have an entire harem of dream lovers...David Tennant, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Depp, Gerard Butler, Jamie Bamber, Oded Fehr, Olivier Martinez...the list just keeps growing. I love variety so my dream lover of the moment depends on what kind of mood I’m in. Of course they are all tender, funny, exceptionally talented...Oops did I say that out loud?

What kind of comfort food do you like best?

I love pizza, chocolate chip cookies, and cheese and crackers. Mashed potatoes too.

What makes you laugh? Cry?
I love to laugh out loud and so hard that my eyes water. I find humor everywhere and almost anything can set me off from the slapstick to the droll. Most of the time I get choked up with a couple of tears streaming down my face at things like sad movies, songs, military ceremonies. When I cry it is absolutely alone and it’s usually someone’s death or serious illness or if I’ve gone through something awful.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?
I read, watch movies, go out with friends and take myself on artist dates to the theatre, the ballet or to a gallery. I also make jewelry.

What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!
Aww, darn it! Just when I was about to talk about... A good personality, a certain sparkle in the eye and the way he looks at me. He also has to make me laugh.

What do you hate about life?
I hate stress, though I work best under pressure. I hate sweating small things and time spent on necessary evils like bills.

What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?
Personally, I want to travel to every continent and make a worthy contribution to this world. I want to leave this planet knowing I did some good. Professionally, I’d like to have one story turned into a film, but I’ll be okay if that never happens. Honestly, success for me will be the day I can walk into a library and see one of my books there in the old card catalogue.

What are you going to write next?
I have two pieces to finish, one is an historical and the other is a contemporary. Beyond that is a sci fi trilogy.

Thank you so very much for this opportunity. I really enjoyed myself. This is the only the second interview I’ve ever done so I was excited and nervous. I love hearing from people so feel free to get in touch with me at Thanks again and have a wonderful week

Monday, 6 April 2009

Dream On

Dream On by Melissa Bradley

Amber Quill Press, LLC

ISBN: 978-1-60272-367-2

Pages: 100


Nina knew this day just wasn’t going to go right. It being her birthday should have made circumstances go well, but getting pulled over wasn’t something one looked forward to. Though one look at the police officer pulling her over, made her think that maybe this wasn’t as bad as it could be. Nina does wish she would have put in a little more effort into her appearance. On the other hand getting a closer look at him she realizes that he is younger than her.

Officer Alex Torres was just doing his job when he pulled over the speeder but one look at Nina and he is wondering how he can manage to meet her without looking like a stalker and making it look casual.

Nina’s friends take her to a concert for her birthday and as luck would have it runs into Alex. Now they both have a chance to see where the attraction between them might lead. Even with the age difference if they can keep their friends and family from weighing in on the subject they just might be able to have a relationship. Alex and Nina are going to have to decide if they want the relationship enough for them to work it out between them and overcome their own prejudges first before overcoming others opinions.

This is a fast paced story that has you rooting for both Alex and Nina and hoping they will be able to make things work between them. You see them come up against what a lot of people would face in a relationship of this kind. It is interesting seeing how the characters work through all the pitfalls in the relationship. This story is fascinating to read and you see the compromises that must be made.

I give this one 4 red roses

Rebecca Myer's Interview

Tell us a little about yourself—I’m a victim of American wanderlust. I’ve lived in 7 different states and have visited 46. I plan to see the other 4 within a couple of years. If I had been born 150 years ago, I would definitely be on a prairie schooner headed west.

What do you write?—I write contemporary romance-short stories, novellas, full-length novels-the length doesn’t matter, the story does.

Why do you write?—I like to tell stories, either orally or in print. An idea keeps running around in my head until I put it on paper.

What are you writing now?—I just finished a full-length contemporary novel called The Duchess of Round Hill, about a woman who buys an old Victorian house and fixes it up, with the help of a handsome carpenter, who happens along at the right moment. But just as their relationship blooms, her childhood sweetheart returns from the ashes of the World Trade Center, claiming he’s had amnesia since the disaster happened five years earlier.

What kind of clothes do you like to wear?—I’m most comfortable in an old pair of blue jeans and moccasins.

Are you in love? Have you ever been?—I have had my share of romantic heroes, all of whom show up in my novels, in bits and pieces. Currently, however, my love is divided between family, friends, life in general and my dog.

Do you have a dream lover – and what does he or she look like?—My dream lover is a compilation of all the best features of the men from my past. I recently met a man who was buying a gift for his wife and asked my advice. His choice of gift, and his reason for giving it, struck me as the most romantic thing ever, so right now, he’s tops in my mind. Looks don’t really matter. Blue eyes or brown, it’s what’s going on behind the eyes that counts.

What kind of comfort food do you like best?—I like a mug of hot chocolate, and a bowl of warm graham crackers and milk.

What makes you laugh? Cry?—It’s little, silly things that make me laugh, which I try to do daily. I don’t cry often, but I just lost a very dear friend to cancer, so tears have not been far away lately.

What do you do to amuse yourself when not working?—I have two jobs, so I spend a lot of time working. I don’t consider writing work, so that would have to be my first choice, along with hiking the Appalachian Trail.

What is it in a man or woman that turns you on? The clean version please!—A good heart.

What do you hate about life?—That it must end sometime.

What do you hope to achieve in life and when will you know that you have been a success?—When I saw my first story in print, I considered myself a success. Everything since then has been icing on the cake.

What are you going to write next?—I’ve been working up to this one. I have sketched out the plot line for a real-life early American explorer to get vaulted through time to the 21st century, into the lap of a most dysfunctional family. It’s going to contain a lot of history of early America, which I love, intertwined with a romance. A huge challenge, and I’m looking forward to it. I already made a trip to the Redwoods in northern California, where the final chapter takes place. I wrote the final chapter in the San Francisco airport, while the emotions that I had in the forest were still fresh. I had tears streaming down my face as I was writing it, and received some strange looks from my fellow passengers!

Rebecca Myers/Caliente/ Published by Red Rose Publishing