Christmas Awards 2011

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Scandalous Summer Nights

Scandalous Summer Nights Box Set

Publisher: Jennifer Haymore

June 2014

Pages: 632

Historical Romance

England & Scotland

The Widow Vanishes (Prequel to the Heart of Enquiry series) by Grace Callaway

Annabel Foster had a brief disastrous marriage that has left her with her dead husband’s debt.  She is also at the mercy of a menacing cutthroat.  Now the only way to pay off the monstrous sum is either death or selling her body.  She steels herself for the worst on her first night at the bawdy house but what she doesn’t expect is the unexpected passion she discovers instead.

William McLeod is a former soldier that has left both his privileged family and his regiment behind him.  He is haunted by his past and makes his living as a guard in London’s underworld.  He is offered one night with a tempting wench and instead of just slacking his lust he finds a passion beyond compare. 

Annabel and William are on opposite sides of a cat-and-mouse game.  They have to find a way to overcome both betrayal and an evil enemy.  They also need to find out if the passion they found together in one night is enough to lead to a lifetime of love.

Scandal Before Sunrise (Book 1 of the Weekly Scandal) by Sabrina Darby

Abigail Billings is bad girl that loves fun and excitement.  With a wit that flows after a few glasses of wine.  And she most definitely loves the boys.  Three years before she fled London ahead of a scandal but now she is back.  Abigail is determined this time around she is going to make a respectable and advantageous match. At least before anyone finds out that there is nothing behind her father’s title except even more scandal.  Everything would be fine if the Honorable Elliot Jones wasn’t so determined to bring her to ruin.

Jones is the younger son of an earl that did his duty by fighting for England and has happily put it behind him.  He is drawn to the fast set, the one that pairs poetry and wagers.  Not to mention the gossip.  It is also that gossip that tells him that there is a great deal more to Abigail than her high neckline, beauty and straight-laced attitude suggests. 

She is a contradiction he is determined to solve because behind every modest smile is a sharp gaze and a trapped free spirit.  At first it is just for fun he is determined to make Abigail crack.  Soon though it becomes so much more as the music and moonlight lead to romance and love.  He might not have thought he was ready to settle down but now he knows the only thing that will make him truly happy is to have Abigail as his wife. 

A Highlander’s Heart (Highland Knights, Book 1) by Jennifer Haymore

When Lady Claire Campbell last saw her husband she told him that she hated him and never wanted to see him again.  Now he is off fighting Napoleon, and it might end up being too late to tell him she is sorry.

Major Sir Robert Campbell figured he would never see his English wife again.  He is convinced he is seeing an angel when she appears on the battlefield after the bloody conflict of Waterloo. 

After the battle Rob is ordered to London on Crown business.  Claire follows desperate to fix their broken marriage.  Rob suffered a concussion on the battlefield but he knows some wounds go much deeper than that.  And some never heal.

Lord Lucifer’s Disciple (Haberdashers Nights) by Sue London

An heiress has turned away every suitor that she has until the night she meets a mysterious foreigner at a masque ball.  With him one kiss ignites a passion in her that she has never known before and yet he refuses her pleas to elope.  Now she has to figured out if she has fallen in love and lost her heart to a man that doesn’t really exist.

John Howards has always been shy but finally he accepts an invitation to one of his cousin’s masque balls.  So he decides to go in the guise of his friend from the Congress of Vienna.  He didn’t expect the freedom the role would give him and the confidence to flirt with a beautiful woman.  Most certainly he didn’t expect his interest to be returned by her.  An illicit night in the gardens leads to regrets for John and now he has to see if he can convince her to marry him for himself.

Elisa Jarvis has made it to one and twenty without falling prey to a fortune hunter.  Though now her guardian is pressuring her to marry in less than a fortnight before her next birthday.  She is determined to find the love of her life and will not be distracted by the latest dull gentleman that has come to court her. 

How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days (What Happens in Scotland, Book 1) by Kate McKinley

Lucas Alexander is the ninth Duke of Arlington and a man that is used to getting what he wants.  So when he first sees Miss Pippa Welby across the ballroom he is determined to make her his.  Pippa is both bold and spirited and has vowed to never marry into the haute ton.  Lucas is determined to win her even if it is the only way he knows how but one wicked kiss at a time.

Pippa is the daughter of a wealthy tradesman and she has been sneered at by the upper echelons all her life.  Pippa hatches a daring plan when a duke shows up on her doorstep with an invitation to her own engagement ball to him in just ten days.  She risks losing her heart if she can’t lose the duke in ten days before the ball.

Miss Amelia Lands a Duke (a prequel to The Caversham Chronicles) by Sandy Raven

Amelia is a spinster that accepts a position to be a companion to her social-climbing aunt.  Her aunt is already planning her next wedding before even being out of mourning for her second husband.  Her aunt is stalking the very elusive widower and obscenely rich Duke of Caversham.

Amelia is horrified by her aunt’s behavior so she hides away in their host’s gardens and library for the duration of their visit.  One evening walking through the maze she meets an older gentleman that both intrigues and arouses her.  Before even learning his name she flees.  She later stumbles across the same gentleman a couple of days later in the library where he astonishes her with a kiss.  Even more astonishing she kisses him back. 

Now Amelia and the duke are caught in an embrace by her aunt.  Amelia flees because of her embarrassment at her own wanton behavior and the mistaken belief that he was only using her to escape her obsessed relative.  After the duke confronts Amelia’s aunt he feels the only honorable thing to do is to make plans to marry Amelia.  He just doesn’t ask her first.

Lady Northam’s Wicked Surrender (Wicked Liaisons, Book 1) by Vivienne Westlake

Rowena is the countess of Northam and finds to her surprise that her former suitor is returning from India and not only that will be staying in the same house as she is staying at.  He appears in her room late one night and she can only surmise it must be a dream.  Though her fantasy quickly becomes reality when Simon makes every effort to seduce her. 

Simon is determined to get Rowena back now that she is a widow and despite a six-year absence and the fact that she married his best friend.  While her body craves him it quickly becomes clear that she doesn’t trust him enough to give him her heart.  Simon has to decide if he can get past her betrayal and convince her to surrender to the greatest love either one of them has ever known.

This is a wonderful mix of stories that are sure to please everyone.  It also gives readers a chance to try new to them authors while also reading some of their favorite authors.  It will also have readers wanting to read the other books in the series.  Some are the perfect length though some will have readers wishing they were longer and with a better resolution to the story. It also has some great Scottish heroes that make for some very hot reading.  This is worth getting because it has a great assortment of stories.  They can also be read at different times and don’t have to be read all at once but most readers will find themselves reluctant to put it down for long.

I give this 4-1/2 red roses


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