Christmas Awards 2011

Tuesday 30 March 2010


Rhiannon by Carole Llewellyn
Published by Robert Hale
ISBN 978-0-7090-8963-6

The year is 1908. Fourteen year old Rhiannon Hughes and her twelve year old stepsister, Mair, are waiting for Mair’s mother, Nellie, to return home after an evening out. Unbeknown to Nellie, her husband (Rhiannon’s father), Dai, is not on the night shift at the local colliery, but waiting to confront his errant wife about leaving the children on their own and not for the first time. Dai, however, is unaware that Nellie has plans to leave him and the girls to begin a new life with her lover, Harry Stone. After a nasty argument between the couple, Nellie leaves the family home to meet with Harry and to travel to Cardiff, but Harry is not the wonderful catch Nellie has been led to believe and it soon becomes clear to her how he intends to use her charms to make his fortune.

Mair is obviously distressed at the departure of her mother, but Rhiannon and Dai assure her that her home is with them and life soon settles down. Disaster is not too far away, however and in March 1909, Rhiannon and Mair find themselves forced to leave their home. They are taken in by kindly neighbour, Ethel Lewis and her family. Then life changes forever for Rhiannon when she receives tickets to a Cardiff music hall show in which her mother’s sister, Florrie, stars. Florrie takes Rhiannon and, reluctantly, Mai under her wing and they become part of the exciting, theatrical world. Rhiannon is a popular and talented addition to the music hall community, but Mair feels overshadowed by her step-sister and senses a deep insecurity in her life. The re-appearance of her mother, however, means more changes for Mair and Rhiannon and not changes for the better.

Read on to find out how Rhiannon and Mair’s lives go their separate and completely different ways. Will Rhiannon find her vocation in the theatre or will she return to the valleys and the only life she has ever known? Will Mair find happiness with her mother, or will she be let down once again by Nellie and Harry Stone?

This is a very enjoyable read and once started, it is difficult to put the book down in the desire to find out what life has in store for Rhiannon and Mair. The characters are believable and the author makes the reader care about what happens to them.

A book well worth reading and which I award five deserved red roses.

Dangerous Games

Dangerous Games by Lora Leigh

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

February 2007

ISBN: 978-0-312-93992-2

Pages: 344

Morganna Chavez wanted to do something with her life that would make a difference. She knew that if her brother, Reno or his best friend Clint McIntyre ever found out that they would never let her go to the law enforcement academy. Since she has graduated from the academy Morganna has been working for the DEA. Going under cover in the club scene to try to stop a very dangerous drug that too many women are paying for with their lives, the last person she expects to see is Clint. Trying to stay undercover and away from Clint doesn’t look like it is going to be possible especially when things start heating up on the case.

Clint McIntyre is on leave from the SEALs and the last thing he expected while keeping an eye on Morganna for Reno was to see her in the club that he frequents. Now he just has to find out what she is up to. But when the bullets start flying he will do everything in his power to protect Morganna. He thought he could resist her as he has been doing for the past 10 years, but with all the danger around them he is finding out that he isn’t going to be able to run from his feelings for Morganna. While trying to keep her alive he is going to have to face some truths about himself and his past that he has been avoiding for years.

Morganna has been in love with Clint for years but has always known that he was running from her love and his feelings for her. She just never knew why. Now she is hoping that they can stay alive long enough to find out if they can find a way to be together and if she is going to be able to face the truth about Clint’s past.

This is a fast paced story that is very hard to put down. It has a lot of action that really keeps the story line moving along quickly. Seeing the emotional roller coaster that both Morganna and Clint go on really pulls you into the story and makes you want to read the book until the very last sentence. You really connect with both characters.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses

Monday 22 March 2010

I came Up Stairs

MC Halliday/ I Came Upstairs/Eternal Press/ebook/182 pages

Born Mabel Gray, she rose to become Marisa Montague, courtesan of London society, sought after by titled men. Close to succumbing to a mean death in the slums, Mabel is rescued by Mr Robert Vickers. He sees in her an opportunity to make money, but he cannot guess at the heights she will eventually scale. Her natural sexuality, keen mind and beauty take her way beyond him. Encouraged by the tender love making of Lord Morley and her success on the stage, Marisa leaves Mr Vickers to live in a hotel. It is there that she is approached by Lady Morley, who asks her to teach her how to attract her husband's attentions. Marisa enjoys this interlude, as she enjoys all the further sexual encounters in the book. Mae, as she soon becomes, goes from one lover to the next, showered with honours and rich gifts. She is betrayed by friends and loved by many, but will know pain and heartbreak as well as triumph.

This exciting story in the style of Moll Flanders is a good, meaty read that will keep readers enthralled to the end. The sexual adventures of this lady are many and amusing. MC Halliday writes what Defoe would not have dared in his day and the result is a sensual story of erotic adventures. This book deserves to be a success!

Revised and republished this excellent book is once again on the market. Snap it up!
Five red roses, Anne

Saturday 20 March 2010

A Witch's Beauty

A Witch’s Beauty by Joey W. Hill

Publisher: Berkley Sensation

January 2009

ISBN: 978-0-425-22567-7

Pages: 389

Mina has always taken pleasure in being difficult. It tends to keep people away and wary of her. Being a seawitch it also makes sure that she isn’t bother by the creatures of the sea too much when they want a potion from her. The only one that her attitude doesn’t seem to affect is the angel David. Being mistreated as a child has made it hard for Mina to trust anyone. But she is learning that David refuses to give up on her and sees her completely differently than anyone else ever has.

David has known there was more to Mina than she allowed others to see. He just has to discover how to show her that she can care about others and show it without it affecting her ability to perform magic. He also sees that when she does create mischief with her magic it is never as bad as it could be and seems to amuse Mina when those who end up suffering her mischief have annoyed her. She just creates temporary spells that keeps people away from her.

Mina, being a daughter of a seawitch and a Dark One, makes her a Dark Spawn which makes it very important that she keeps balance between her dark side and her light side but now things are changing and she doesn’t know if she can keep the balance much longer. She is afraid she will end up doing something that will end up really hurting someone. David believes he can help Mina keep the balance in herself but first she is going to have to trust him. David is finding ways that help distract Mina when the dark side starts to get the upper hand and as he helps her Mina is starting to learn trust. Though she is afraid that she doesn’t deserve David’s love and affection he isn’t going to let her go because he knows she does deserve them. Mina is in the unique position of experiencing new things as David shows her things that give her the balance she needs. Now it is going to be a race against time for Mina to learn trust so that she can save the people that mean the most to her. And the only way she is going to be able to do that is with the help of David and putting them both in danger.

This was a great story. You will enjoy seeing Mina learn how to control her powers and find the extent of her abilities. It is engrossing to see her learn what true love really is and see her experience it and learn that she really does deserve that love. Mina is a fun character as she does what everyone least expects. It is funny to read when she plays jokes on people to get them to leave her alone. This is one book it is a good idea to keep some Kleenex close by.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses

Friday 12 March 2010

A Mermaid's Kiss

A Mermaid’s Kiss by Joey W. Hill

Publisher: Berkley Sensation

November 2008

ISBN: 978-0-425-22380-2

Pages: 374

Anna is a direct descendant of the mermaid from the legend. And as such she finds all the joys and freedom of the oceans. She loves her life of being with the whales and dolphins and has the chance to swim among them. She also has her friend Mina that she shares a special bond with. Mina has been the one constant in her life. Little does she know that she is about to fall in love with an Angel.

Jonah has been fighting the Dark Ones as an Angel for a very long time and is starting to lose his way. After being injured in yet another battle he finds himself in the care of Anna. Jonah is used to leading armies and having his men listen to his commands. He is not sure how to deal with Anna when she won’t listen to his orders. Jonah knows that if Anna is found with him she might be hurt by his enemies and if he is not sure of anything else in his life he knows that he doesn’t want anything to happen to Anna.

Anna knows that Jonah is hurting and all she wants to do is help and heal him. So she has to find out the best way to accomplish this as Jonah doesn’t seem to want to do this for himself. Mina tells Anna the only way to heal what is wrong with Jonah is for them to go on a trip. Now Anna just has to convince Jonah of the necessity of the trip and she isn’t real sure how she is going to do that. All she knows is that Jonah is very important as an Angel and needs to find his way again. She also knows that if she never does anything else this will be the most important thing she has ever done or will ever do in her life.

This is a wonderful story. It is also one that requires a box or two of Kleenex to be close by. This is one story that you can read over and over again and still get lost in the story. You will be taken on an emotional roller coaster but is worth reading until the very last page. You won’t want to put this story down until the very end.

I give this one 5 red roses

Wednesday 10 March 2010

Nauti Deceptions

Nauti Deceptions by Lora Leigh

Publisher: Berkley Sensation

ISBN: 978-0-425-23255-2

Pages: 373

Caitlyn “Rogue” Walker had her life destroyed when she crossed the wrong people in the small town of Somerset. Set up in a sex scandal that ended her career as a teacher Rogue decided she wasn’t going to let them get away with it. Rogue recreates herself and rubs the towns’ people noses in her presence and new identity every single day. Never letting them forget that what she is now is what they made her into.

Zeke Mayes is the sheriff of the small town of Somerset. He never believed what was said about Rogue but could never prove what he knew to be true about her. He has also spent the last ten years trying to get rid of a group of people that belong behind bars for crimes he knew they had committed but could never find what was needed to put them there. Things are now heating up as he gets closer to catching the people that need to be put in jail for their crimes, but he is afraid that someone has noticed his interest in Rogue and will try to use her to get to him.

Zeke has his hands full but he can no longer fight his attraction for Rogue. It has been 5 years and he knows he isn’t strong enough to stay away anymore. Now he just has to find a way to protect her so that she is not drawn into his fight and hurt because of him. But the head of the group he is after is starting to target Rogue to get Zeke’s attention and is starting to strike a little too close to home for Zeke’s peace of mind. Now it is a race against time to figure out who the head of the organization is before they can get Rogue.

Rogue tries to convince herself that she will be satisfied with whatever Zeke can give her but quickly finds out that what she really wants is everything and she has to find out if that is going t be something that he will give her. Zeke realizes that if anything happens to Rogue he won’t be able to survive the pain.

This is a great story and it shows you some of the background between Zeke and Rogue and how they have been fighting their attraction for years. The action is swift and plentiful and keeps you guessing what is going to happen next. It is interesting to watch Zeke fight for what he wants because he feels it is the wrong time in his life but very quickly learns Rogue isn’t something that can be put off any longer. This has an ending that you don’t see coming. This is one that is hard to put down once you start reading it.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses

Monday 8 March 2010

Lord Dancy's Delight





ISBN 978-0-7090-8628-4.

Amelia Longworth, daughter of Sir Oliver Longworth, was on her way to England to make a proper ‘come-out’ and learn about the English and the ways of polite society, her Aunt, Mrs Spencer was to be her sponsor . Amelia was born and reared in Macao, by her parents, but when her mother died, a Cantonese woman called Chen May, had taken over the task of looking after Amelia and was very protective of her. Amelia’s father travelled most of the time, so was rarely at home.

Arriving in Lisbon, after six months of sailing, Amelia was relieved to be on firm ground again but was very disappointed in what she saw there. She found Lisbon a dirty place, the streets strewn with rubbish and rotting food. It was hot and smelly and she longed for some cool water in which to bathe. She watched the water carriers with their large casks on their shoulders; suddenly a stray dog attacked one of the carriers, causing him to drop his cask. The cask was rolling towards Amelia when suddenly she felt herself snatched from its path and held against a broad chest. The cask smashed against a stone wall and a fountain of water sprayed the area.

It was Geoffrey, Lord Dancy, returning to England to claim his title, who witnessed the incident with the water carrier and who snatched Amelia from certain injury or worse. She thanked him and realised what a very attractive man he was.

Lord Dancy was destined to save Amelia’s life not once but three times before they reached London.

According to the unwritten laws in Macao, this Amelia informed him meant that her life now belonged to him.

But it was not Amelia who was in danger in London. After over hearing a conversation, Amelia realised that Lord Dancy was in some grave danger. Now she would be able to repay his kindness and would work with Chen May to keep him safe. Amelia wondered if Lord Dancy could have been a spy for the English army when he was abroad, perhaps that was why someone was plotting to kill him.

Will Amelia be able to save Lord Dancy, even with the help of the resourceful Chen May?

You must read the rest of the story to find out what adventures Amelia is to have before it comes to it's conclusion.

This is a fascinating story and will be an enjoyable read for lovers of this genre, I am sure. I award this book 4.5 Red Roses AS.

The Debonair Duke





ISBN 978-0-7090-8289-7.

Lady Pamela Taylor was finding her ‘come out ‘in London decidedly dull. Her father the Earl of Greshham was as usual reading the daily papers at the breakfast table and bemoaning the state of crime in London. Apparently there had been several daring jeweler robberies of late.

Whenever Pamela asked questions about this or any other news her father would tell her that young ladies did not involve themselves in such things, thus adding to the boredom of each day. Pamela would indulge herself by reading the articles of interest when her father had left for his daily, dull routine.

The earl of Gresham was very impressed with the knowledge of a certain, Duke of Wrexford, who it seems, had helped with installing a modern safe in their house, so keeping his wife’s jewels secure. The same Duke had apparently forestalled the attempted robbery in a large house in London and was well respected as a ‘solver ‘of mysteries. So when a mystery presented itself to her, in the form of a beautiful Sapphire and Diamond necklace delivered to her one morning, Pamela determined to enlist the help of the Duke. The necklace was delivered in a brown leather box, it had no address on the front of the package, but inside was a note which said ‘keep this for me –for us- until I come for both of my treasures’ and it was signed JR. Pamela was startled as she knew no one who would send her such a magnificent piece and indeed it was unheard of for a lady to accept such a present except from her husband or a relative. Lady Pamela wondered which’ Lady Pamela’ it was intended for, it was certainly not her. What was she to do with it? She felt that she could not tell her parents as they were like to blame her for receiving such an unsuitable gift, but she certainly had no idea from whom it could have come, it was clearly a mistake. She made up her mind to ask for the help of the famous Duke of Wexford without delay. Lady Pamela sent a letter to his address asking for his help.

The Duke met Pamela as she had suggested, in the park and was intrigued by her and the mysterious gift. When she asked if he thought it could be part of a haul of jewellery, stolen lately in London, he seemed to doubt this possibility but he determined to call in Bow Street and enquire if this particular piece had been reported as stolen.

If it had not, he decided that the best way to start their search was by finding out who, with these initials, could afford to give such an expensive gift. For this, he determined to enlist the help of a close friend and his young wife Lady Anne and the use of their library.

Pamela is unwilling to tell her parents about the necklace as she thinks they will blame her for encouraging some suitor without their knowledge.

After researching the initials JR for some while and finding nothing of real interest, it is decided that Pamela should wear the jewels and perhaps this way the owner will come forward.

A story is told to her parents which, though unlikely, they do believe as it has to do with an eccentric Uncle, who never leaves his home, and a lost love of his youth.

This does bring some surprising results and some danger too. There are many events to explore before this story reaches its ending.

An enjoyable tale with some surprises, a good read for lovers of this genre.

I award this book 4.5 Red Roses. AS

Sunday 7 March 2010

Nauti Intentions

Nauti Intentions by Lora Leigh

Publisher: Berkley Sensations

April 2009

ISBN: 978-0-425-22605-6

Pages: 339

Janey Mackay is finally free of her abusive father. She never thought she would see it happen. Janey feels she now has a chance at the life she has always wanted, which includes Alex Jansen. She feels she has been in love with him forever but knew she could never show any interest or her father would use him to hurt her. Now she just has to get her courage up to try and go after Alex and get what she wants.

Alex Jansen has been waiting for Janey to grow up. He also knows that with her brother and cousins around that he is going to have to be very careful where he steps. With the thoughts he has regarding Janey they would very happily kill him. But Alex knows he is after more from Janey than he has ever wanted with any other woman in his life. He just has to show Janey and her family that he has no intention of letting her go.

Someone has decided that Janey needs to pay for her fathers’ sins. They have decided that she is as guilty as he was. Janey thinks someone is just trying to play a cruel joke but Alex knows it is something more and will do whatever he has too to keep Janey safe. Now it is a race against time to find Janey’s stalker and stop them before they really hurt Janey. As the action heats up so does the romance between Alex and Janey.

This book is as steamy a read as readers have come to expect from Lora Leigh. It has all the romance and action you could want. You get to see Janey coming out of her shell and start to experience life as she has never had the chance to do before. Just as you think you know who is stalking Janey you find out you just might be wrong. This has a great twist ending that keeps you guessing until the very end.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses

Friday 5 March 2010

If He's Sinful

If He’s Sinful by Hannah Howell

Publisher: Zebra

December 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4201-0461-5

Pages: 323

Penelope Wherlocke knows something is wrong when she is kidnapped off the street and taken to a brothel. She tries to explain that there has been a mistake when she is drugged by the madam in charge. Knowing that the only way to escape is to save herself Penelope is not sure she will be able to do that because of the drugs. It doesn’t help when a ghost shows up and tells her bad things happen at the brothel. Wishing the ghost would be a little more helpful she does what she can to escape.

Ashton Radmoor’s friends decide that before he proposes to the woman he has decided to marry that he should have a fun night out and they take him to a brothel that is believed to be upscale. What Ashton finds instead is a young woman who is saying she has been drugged and not sure he really believes her he tries talking to her to get more information. But before she can several boys break into the room to rescue Penelope. Ashton finds that what Penelope was saying is the truth and decides to help her find out who hired the men to kidnap her.

Penelope is pretty sure she knows who is behind her kidnapping but needs to find the proof necessary. As it turns out by trying to prove who the villain is she will be doing a huge favor for Ashton too. Ashton has been blackmailed into an engagement with Penelope’s step-sister that he is not sure he really wants anymore. As Ashton and Penelope work to find out the truth their attraction for each other grows to the point they can no longer deny it.

This is a wonderful story that mixes historical with a little bit of paranormal aspects to the overall tale. It is fun to read and be taken back to England in the 1700’s and see what it was like at that time. The hi-jinxes in this story make it a real page turner just so you can see what is going to happen next. You get a great story that has both mystery and humor that makes it very hard to put it down until the very end.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses

Wednesday 3 March 2010

If He's Wicked

If He’s Wicked by Hannah Howell

Publisher: Zebra

June 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4201-0460-8

Page: 357

Chloe Wherlocke has the ability to see what is going to happen in the future. And what she has seen for Julian Kenwood and his son has her racing to his aid. She just has to find the correct way to warn him and get him to believe her. Coming from a strange family she has seen the reaction of others to her family members and what it can do to relationships.

Julian Kenwood is starting to believe that someone is out to kill him when Chloe rescues him from the latest attempt on his life. He believes her when she tells him his life is in danger and surprises himself when he also accepts her ability to see the future.

As they work together to find the proof they need to get Julian’s attacker arrested. They also have to fight their attraction to each other. Julian had already decided to divorce his wife and Chloe is an even bigger incentive to have it done quickly. But will Julian’s attraction to Chloe put her in the sights of the person trying to kill him? Julian tries to draw out the killer while keeping Chloe safe. By trying to draw the assailant out it is keeping him on a tight rope trying to balance everything around them. Knowing that if he takes a wrong step it could put innocent people and his loved ones in danger.

This is a great story that has all you could wish for, action and adventure with some suspense thrown into the mix. It is interesting to see Julian and Chloe’s relationship develop as they are dealing with all the mayhem the assassin is throwing at them. This story also has humor that keeps the story from getting too dark. It is a fast paced story that keeps you turning the pages just to see what will happen next. This is a great historical tale set in England in the 1700’s.

I give this one 5 red roses