Summer Lovin’ Giveaway Hop

Summer Lovin' Giveaway Hop

For this Summer Lovin’ Giveaway, a fun, light beach read:

Every Girl Does It by Rachel Van DykenEvery Girl Does It by Rachel Van Dyken

COVER BLURB:

Amanda turned down Preston’s prom invitation in front of her entire high school, but that was eight years ago.

Somehow, her past mistakes always have a way of catching up with her, and making her pay. Amanda’s sarcastic wit mixed with Preston’s insufferable ego make sparks fly in more than one way.

Preston, against his better judgment can’t fight the desire to get under Amanda’s skin and mercilessly tease her, but when that teasing becomes flirting, and flirting becomes something dangerously more, neither of them are prepared for the adventure that follows.

(This is classified as Christian romance)

~OR~

You might prefer the contemporary Regency-styled romance,

Compromising Kessen also by Rachel Van Dyken

COVER BLURB:

Compromising KessenThe last thing career-driven Kessen Newberry wants is to leave her home in Colorado to spend a Season in London, far away from her job, her friends and the memories of her mother. However, her father, the Earl of Newberry, threatens to disinherit her unless she gets in touch with her British roots. She complies, but has no intention of enjoying the experience.

That is until she meets Christian Vandenbrook, the arrogant and irritatingly handsome future Duke of Albany and her father’s business partner. Unfortunately, Christian hates Americans. And coffee. And apparently, Kessen.

A hatred this passionate can only lead to one thing… marriage.

Caught in the middle of a Regency-inspired nightmare, Kessen and Christian are forced to marry in only one week’s time. Resigned to their fate, the two resolve to give the relationship a chance—which would be much easier if everyone would stop interrupting them every time they found a moment alone.

The winner of this giveaway will receive her or his choice between these two ebooks. All you have to do to enter is FOLLOW my blog (upper left corner in the dashboard line) and then leave your following name and email in the comments. One winner will be chosen at random, notified and posted on July 18th.

THANKS FOR PARTICIPATING! Back to the linky list.

Review: Upon a Midnight Dream by Rachel Van Dyken

Upon a Midnight DreamTitle: Upon a Midnight Dream

Author: Rachel Van Dyken

Publisher: Astraea Press

Format: E-book ($3.99)

Pages: 223 pages

Release Date: March 27, 2012

Genre: Regency Romance, Fairy Tale

Available at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Astraea Press

Summary: Rosalind Hartwell’s family has fallen under a curse, and it is all her fault… Well, it’s half her fault.

The other portion of culpability falls on Stefan Hudson, the recently returned prodigal, the Marquess of Whitmore and soon to be Duke of Montmouth. It was their responsibility to marry and join the two families in order to avoid bringing the full fury of the family curse crashing down around them.

When Stefan and Rosalind call off their engagement, members of both families start dropping like flies, starting with the fathers of both houses. It seems as though Stefan and Rosalind have no choice but to follow through with marriage after all. But Rosalind insists on being wooed, and Stefan had been stranded on a deserted island for so long, he has all but forgotten most of the social graces.

In their quest to reverse the family curse, they find out there is much more to all the strange sickness and death than meets the superstitious eye. But will they figure out the secret in time to save the rest of their families?

Review: A much-loved favorite fairy tale re-mixed in a new and intriguing story. Rachel Van Dyken was able to weave a brand new story out of the old, which is not easy to do. Between the heroine’s narcolepsy and the over-protective, cane-wielding godmother there is a wonderful mix of the original fairy tale with Van Dyken’s own inventions.

The hero, who suddenly re-appears after having been presumed dead, is an interesting mix of knight in shining armor and unbearable shipwrecked savage returning to polite society.

The heroine, who is convinced she is dying, is a strong female lead holding out for love even in the midst of the threat of a curse befalling her family. She is a worthy opponent of the stubborn, arrogant Stefan, and often gives him a taste of his own medicine in more ways than one.

Recommendation: This is an enjoyable read, a bit steamy in some places, but clean overall. It was written for an adult audience, and I probably wouldn’t recommend it for readers under fifteen. It has mystery, betrayal, romance and suspense all rolled in, so there is a little something for everyone. It is an excellent start for the new series, and I am looking forward to the next installment about Beauty and the Beast. I give Upon a Midnight Dream four quills.

four quills

For those of you who haven’t yet read the House of Renwick trilogy, the characters in this book do make an appearance in The Redemption of Lord Rawlings. It’s definitely worth picking up. You can check out the review here.

Review: Desperate Measures by Candice Hern

It Happened One Night

Title: Desperate Measures (a Regency short story)

Author: Candice Hern

Publisher: self

Format: E-book

Pages: 32

Release Date: May 29, 2011

Genre: Romance – Regency/Historical

Available at: Amazon (free)

Summary: Lydia Bettridge is in love with a man who seems not to notice her existence. But she has a plan and has enlisted her brother’s friend to assist her in carrying it out. Things fall apart however, when her co-conspirator stands her up and sends in his place the very man she was plotting to catch, Geoffrey Danforth. He knows the plan. He doesn’t know he is the intended victim. Together Lydia and Geoffrey spend an evening pretending to be love-stricken in order to make her “intended” victim notice her enough to become jealous.

Review: Short, sweet and straight to the point. This was a delightful read which can be read in one sitting. Of course, you want more. That’s the point. Get a taste of what the author can do and then go buy her novel-length books, because her writing is like a Pringle’s potato chip. You can’t just have one.

Recommendation: Well worth the time and the price (Um, it’s free. Can’t really go wrong.). You will want to pick up a few of her other titles after you’re done. I enjoyed this and will read it again. I give it four quills:

four quills

Review: The Redemption of Lord Rawlings by Rachel Van Dyken

The Redemption of Lord Rawlings

Title: The Redemption of Lord Rawlings

Author: Rachel Van Dyken

Publisher: Astraea Press

Format: E-book

Pages: 204 pages

Release Date: March 2012

Genre: Romance – Regency/Historical

Available at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Astraea Press

Summary: Lord Rawlings is in trouble. His inheritance comes with strings. He must get married before his next birthday or he loses everything. After having given up his chance with his former betrothed for a life of wild oats, he now finds himself with no money, no prospects and no hope.

And that’s where his only hope finds him. Down and out and sitting in the rain all alone in the park.

The problem? He still thinks of the young lady as the little girl in pigtails he used to know. And it’s up to her to change his perception of the situation. And all this amidst the public scrutiny of the revered Mrs. Peabody who seems to have it out for him.

Review: I was offered the opportunity to read this book before its release in order to give an honest review. This is the third book in the House of Renwick series. In both the first and second books Rawlings was an antagonist, and a bit of a slimeball at that. I was anxious to see how the author would develop her third protagonist into a character worthy of redemption, let alone deserving of his happily ever after.

Van Dyken did not disappoint. From the very beginning, the character development was well done. All Rawlings’ former rogue-ish qualities were shown to be steps on the way to that redemption. The heroine in this book was younger than the first two, and she often behaved like a spoiled child, but her growth also led her to maturity worthy of being Rawlings’ match.

The attraction between the two characters is undeniable, and the tension is built throughout the story through passionate interactions, though clean and sweet. I love this author’s ability to build the intensity of the relationship without crossing the line. Add to this, her usual knack for comedic wordplay, and you have a winning combination.

Recommendation: With every new release, Rachel Van Dyken’s books keep getting better and better. I was completely absorbed in Lord Rawlings’ story from start to finish, in spite of hating his guts after the first book and being on the fence about him after book two.  This is an enjoyable story, one of the best romances I’ve read in a while. I give it my highest rating:

Five Quills

The third book in The House of Renwick series is a don’t miss in the trilogy. And if you haven’t read The Ugly Duckling Debutante and The Seduction of Sebastian St. James, you should add them to your must read list.

Review: Seduction of Sebastian St. James by Rachel Van Dyken


The Seduction of Sebastian St. James

New release from Rachel Van Dyken

Title: The Seduction of Sebastian St. James

Author: Rachel Van Dyken

Publisher: Astraea Press

Format: E-book

Pages: 213

Release Date: December 23, 2011

Genre: Romance – Regency/Historical

Available at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Astraea Press

Summary: Sebastian St. James is the Duke of Tempest who earned the nickname “Angel Duke” because of his   heroic exploits and his impeccable reputation. When he decides it’s finally time to find a wife, his search leads him to enlist the help of an old friend. It just so happens that old friend is also the cousin Lady Emma Gates, an eligible young woman who is also searching for a spouse.

The duke is very protective of his reputation and his family’s name. Emma is hiding a volatile secret. They team up to help each other find a suitable spouse. But what they thought was a great scheme for finding the perfect spouses turns into a disaster when they find themselves unable to shake the feelings they develop for one another. When their respective pasts come back to haunt them, things get complicated.

Review: This was a fantastic read. It had everything in it I would want. Steamy romance (but clean), suspense, laugh out loud sequences, action. The characters were well developed and consistent. Gotta love the hot, fun-loving male lead – and if I may say so, even Nicholas Renwick was slightly more likable in this book. Emma was just the right mixture of strong-willed and vulnerable. Her strength in her circumstances is inspiring.

The story moves fast and throws just enough twists in to keep it going at a good pace. The plot is well-constructed all the way to the end.

Recommendation: Not gonna lie, there were parts I read several times just because they were so good. Out of all of Rachel Van Dyken’s books so far, this is easily the best. I’m looking forward to Books 3 and 4 in this series! I’m gonna have to give it my highest rating:

Five Quills

You don’t want to miss out on The Seduction of Sebastian St. James by Rachel Van Dyken. And if you haven’t yet read The Ugly Duckling Debutante, you’ll want to pick that up too.