Book Review: I Kissed a Rogue by Shana Galen

I Kissed a Rogue by Shana Galen  I Kissed a Rogue

Publisher & Release Date: Sourcebooks Casablanca, March 1, 2016

Time and setting: Regency, London

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Length:  384 pages

Heat Level: 2 Flames

Book Description: 

Once she spurned the man…

 When the Duke of Lennox hires Sir Brook Derring, England’s best investigator, to find his daughter, Brook intends only to rescue the lady and return to his solitary life. He deals with London’s roughest criminals every day of the week; surely he should be able to endure seeing his first love again—the perfect girl who broke his heart…

 Now her life depends on him

Lady Lillian-Anne Lennox has always done her best to live up to her father’s standards of perfection—at the cost of following her heart. When she’s kidnapped and her perfect life is shattered, Lila has another chance. Together, Lila and Brook navigate not only the dark and deadly side of London but the chasm of pride and prejudice that divides them.

Buy Links:

Amazon:http://smile.amazon.com/Kissed-Rogue-Covent-Garden-Cubs-ebook/dp/B017HX12WM

B&N: http://bit.ly/1RkrxGz

Apple: http://apple.co/1L8K6hl

Add to Goodreads:

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25503002-i-kissed-a-rogue

Vikki’s Musings

I found Ms. Galen’s books years ago, and I have been a fan ever since. I can always count on her to give me a story with plenty of adventure and intrigue. When I received a request from the publisher to read I Kissed a Rogue in exchange for an honest review, I immediately accepted. This is a lovely Regency romp.

When the Duke of Lennox hires Sir Brook Derring to find his kidnapped daughter, he is not enthused. After all, she is the very woman who broke his heart seven years ago. Can he rescue Lady Lillian-Anne without losing his heart all over again when he finds the attraction is as intense if not stronger than it was years before?

Lady Lillian-Anne knows she treated Brook badly when he courted her as a young debutante right out of the school. She let her status and the admiration gentlemen showered on her to go to her head. Now, she has to depend on the man she hurt. Will she accept her punishment from Brook and turn what was antagonism into a lasting love?

I enjoyed the story a great deal, and the pacing is fast, making this a quick read. Ms. Galen starts this one with an exciting action scene. I always enjoy a book where I am dropped into a high suspense scene. It certainly sets the tone of the novel. I Kissed a Rogue is very well-written, something I can count on with one of Shana Galen’s books.

Lila is a complex character with quite a bit of depth and flaws. So many times, Regency heroines are perfect, but Lila is not. Granted most of her flaws are in her past, so she needs to redeem herself to Brook. Ms. Galen takes her from a spoiled debutante, careless and thoughtless, to a mature woman ready to be a caring and compassionate individual.

I was not sure I was going to like Sir Brook Derring’ character in the beginning of the story, and he does set out determined to teach Lila a lesson in unrequited love. His form of revenge is not honorable, but again, Ms. Galen turns it around when Brook becomes so protective of her, even when he is still determined to have his revenge. By the end of the tale, I was really rooting for him the win the girl!

One thing I particularly enjoy about Shan Galen’s books is her ability to write action-packed scenes and make them believable. That is a skill that I admire a great deal. She is also able to give the hero and heroine great sexual tension, keeping to romance in the forefront of the story.

This is a wonderful book for all Regency addicts. I Kissed a Rogue has intrigue, suspense and a great love story with plenty of tender moments along the way. This is the 4th book in this unique Covent Garden Cubs series and is easily a stand alone. It is not necessary to read these books in order. Happy reading!

Excerpt:

 She had to escape. She couldn’t die down here, in the rank dark, alone. She might deserve such a death, but she’d fight it with every last ounce of strength. She’d almost freed her hands by twisting and working the rope against her chafed wrists until it slackened. Her captors hadn’t tied it very tightly, but that was the only mistake they’d made.

Lila had no idea how long she’d been in the dank, cold cellar, but she knew the moment her life went completely astray. The carriage had raced along the dark streets of London, the familiar clip-clop of the horses’ hooves almost like music in her ears. She’d pulled her thick pelisse more tightly around her bare shoulders and rested her dancing slippers on the warm brick at her feet.

All she’d wanted was her cozy bed and a cup of tea. She hadn’t even cared that by leaving her cousin Rose’s betrothal ball early, she risked her father’s wrath in the morning. She’d attended the betrothal tea, the betrothal dinner, and now the betrothal ball. Would that Rose marry and be done with it. It was during that uncharitable line of thinking that she heard John Coachman call out and the carriage slowed.

Lila had parted the curtains in an effort to see what was the matter, but all she’d seen was the swirl of London fog and the amorphous shapes of the outriders moving to stand protectively in front of the carriage door. She’d sighed with impatient annoyance.

“Now wh—?” She’d clamped her mouth shut at the sound of a thump and an unfamiliar man’s voice. The carriage rocked as the horses danced with fear. She waited for John Coachman’s reassuring words and heard only a muffled shout and the pop of what sounded like her father’s rifle.

Her heart pounding in fear, she’d slid one lock into place and was reaching for the other when and a tall, lanky man yanked the door open.

He’d smiled, his thin lips and cheeks stretching over his facial bones. “Hello, Lady Lillian-Anne.”

From there, everything was a blur. She’d been dragged from the carriage, hooded, and pushed against the conveyance, her hands roughly bound. Lila had been so shocked at her mistreatment, she hadn’t even screamed, and then she’d been lifted and tossed over a man’s shoulders. She hadn’t been carried far before she’d heard the squeak and squeal of a door being pried open and the echo of boots on slatted wood floors. Another door and then another and her captor had carried her down a flight of stairs and dropped her on her bottom.

She’d screamed then and scurried backward, only to run up against a pair of hard boots. A voice, much like the one who’d greeted her, hissed in her ear. “Shut yer potato hole. Keep quiet or I stuff my drawers down yer throat. You hear me, Duchess?”

She’d nodded and closed her mouth. She’d pulled her legs in and hunched her shoulders, making herself small, waiting for what seemed an eternity for what was to happen next. Would they rob her? Rape her?

She was not a duchess, only the daughter of one. She had the wild thought that perhaps the men wanted her stepmother, the Duchess of Lennox. But, no. They’d called her Lady Lillian-Anne. They knew who she was. They’d planned the abduction and whatever was to come next.

Lila had shivered, her body shaking uncontrollably with fear and cold. Finally, the man moved away. At his word, the others followed, and she heard their boots on the stairs and then the thud as the door closed.

She’d sat on the hard floor, the small pebbles and rocks digging into her skin through her silk ballgown and the pelisse. She jumped at the creaks and pops of the building settling, fearing each minute sound was the men returning for her. Gradually, she grew accustomed to the sounds but not the smell, never the smell. Something had died down here—many somethings—and with the hood over her face, she could only imagine. Lila envisioned rat corpses responsible for the sharp, sickly fragrance that burned her nostrils. When she began to imagine human bodies, she bit her lip hard to stop the rising panic.

Strange that in the middle of London, all was silent but for her teeth chattering.

They’d stopped chattering now—after too many hours to count. Lila was too numb to feel the cold any longer. The rope around her wrists was all she cared about. She twisted and pulled until finally she managed to squeeze one hand free. She bit her raw lip against the pain of the rough rope sliding against her bare skin. The gloves she’d painstakingly inched off might have protected her bare skin, but they were one more layer between her and freedom.

With a wince, her wrists slid apart, and she exhaled softly, hugging her arms around her chest. Her shoulders throbbed, and the simple act of rotating them in the opposite direction was sheer bliss. She felt for the opening of the hood she wore and quickly tore it off. Charcoal gray replaced the blackness. If the cellar had openings of any kind, she couldn’t spot them in the dark of night. She prayed it was still night and that morning would show her some sort of escape.

And not a stack of rotting bodies.

She had to find a way out. By now her father must have realized she’d been abducted. He would be frantic with worry. Had her captors sent a ransom note? Was that what this was about? Colin would make the duke pay it. Colin and Lila had grown closer since their mother’s death. He wouldn’t allow their father to ignore a ransom note.

If there was a ransom note.

What if the Duchess of Lennox was behind this? Lila’s stepmother hated her, but even she would not stoop to hiring mercenaries to abduct her stepdaughter.

Lady Selina would. She and Lila had hated each other since their first Seasons when Lord Hugh had asked Lila to dance before Selina. From then on, it had been war.

Selina was married now and certainly too busy to plan attacks on Lila. But Madeleine Stratham, her cousin Rose’s friend, was not too busy, and she had intentionally stepped on Lila’s gown at the ball tonight, hissing, “Watch out!”

Had that been a warning?

Lila’s head spun. If she tried to count all of her enemies, it would take hours. And who knew what her abductors would do to her when they returned. She pressed her hands against the cold, dirt floor beneath her, moving her fingers until she found her gloves. She pulled them on again, for warmth as much as protection, and moved cautiously forward, hands outstretched. Her knees trembled and wobbled.

“Please, no bodies. Please no bodies,” she chanted under her breath.

The cellar was blissfully empty. She discovered a wall and followed it around to the base of the stairwell. Her hands traveled over that rough wood until she found the opening. The stairwell had no railing, so she carefully lifted her skirts and moved slowly and silently upward. Her fingertips touched the wood of the door at the top, and she stood listening.

She heard nothing but silence and the strains of music farther away. Perhaps a tavern or gin house was nearby. She couldn’t be certain a guard wasn’t on the other side of the door, but she tried the handle anyway. The handle moved, but the door did not budge when she pushed on it.

Some sort of lock to keep it closed and secure.

Lila waited, again listening for movement or an indication her efforts to escape had been noted. When she heard nothing, she rattled the door. The wood was flimsy and old. One serious push against it, and she could compromise the lock.

She took a jagged breath and said a quick prayer. She’d never prayed so much—no, she’d been her own god for too many years. Lila stepped back, careful not to go too far and tumble down the stairs, then rammed the door with her shoulder.

 

Which hero is your match-

 

Author Bio:Shana Galen

 Shana Galen is the national bestselling author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Her books have been sold in Brazil, Russia, and the Netherlands and featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She is a happily married wife and mother of a daughter and a spoiled cat and lives in Houston, Texas.

 

 

Thanks for having me on your blog!

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MissKathleensScandalousBaron_LRG

Spotlight on Honorable Rogue series by Vikki Vaught

Lady Overton’s Perilous Journey (Honorable Rogue, Book 1)

 BookCover_LadyOverton Publisher & Release Date: Enticing Pleasures Romance, February 21, 2016

Time and setting: 1802, England, America

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Length:  280 pages

Heat Level: 3 Flames

Book Description: 

When her son’s life is threatened, Lady Overton seeks a vessel bound for America. Before the ship even reaches the high seas, sparks fly between her and Captain Alex Hawks. Although the young widow may be lonely and afraid, she cannot risk the diversion a romantic entanglement could bring, no matter how much she wants to lose herself in the captain’s embrace.

 The Captain vows to protect the little marquess, but can offer no assurance that the marchioness will leave his ship with her virtue intact. Alex is drawn to Anissa’s beauty and courage. How long can he fight a losing battle before he surrenders and makes her his own?

 Will Alex be able to keep this remarkable woman and her child safe? Will his passion for Anissa be enough or will their differences keep them apart?

Buy Link:

http://smile.amazon.com/Overtons-Perilous-Journey-Honorable-Rogue-ebook/dp/B0158RMU0C

Add to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26881736-lady-overton-s-perilous-journey

Excerpt:

She cuddled her sleeping child close as she scanned the common area. Her insides churned as she wove her way through the crowded tables, the chairs filled with dirty, unsavory-looking men. The strong smell of sweat mingled with ale threatened to turn her stomach and had her breathing through her mouth.

Anissa approached the man the stable boy had described. “Sir, are you Captain Hawks?”

He turned around, and in a drawling voice, he answered, “Well, darlin’, that’s my name.” He swept his tri-corn hat from his head, stood and bowed. “Captain Alex Hawks, at your service. What can I do for you?”

Anissa gazed up into the blackest eyes she had ever seen and wanted to fall into them. Mesmerized, she blinked as a shiver ran across her shoulders. This was not the time to notice this man’s eyes, no matter how compelling they were. Now was the time to use her charms to convince him to take her on his ship.

“My name is—” she quickly searched for a name, not wanting to give him her identity, “—Mrs. Carlson. I would like to pay for passage on your ship. I understand you are leaving for America this morning.” Then, thinking of a city she had heard of in America, she added, “I need to go to Boston, where some of my family live. Would you be able to help me?”

Captain Hawks gave her an appraising stare, which unnerved her. This man was intimidating, to say the least. “I’m not going to Boston. And, I don’t normally take on passengers. I’m headed to Baltimore, and it’s a far piece from Boston, darlin’.”

“Please take me. I have to leave for America as soon as possible.” Anissa had to convince him to allow her passage. “And as far as your destination is concerned, I’m sure once I am in America, I shall be able to travel to Boston from there.”

“Darlin’, do you even know where Baltimore is and how far it is from Boston?”

Anissa wished he would quit calling her darling. It was quite presumptuous of him, and she did not appreciate it at all. Of course, she did not want to anger him, so she kept her feelings to herself. “Well, no, not really. How far is it?”

“It’s over four hundred miles,” Captain Hawks explained as if he were speaking to a child, which further irritated her, tugging at her frazzled nerves. “You would be better served if you found a passenger ship going there. I have an associate who should be arriving in a few days, and his ship is going to Boston. He also takes passengers. I’m sure he would be happy to take you on board.”

Oh, dear, why did I say Boston? Please, Lord, let me convince him to take me.

Every hour brought her closer to the chance of discovery. She could not afford to wait for another ship. She needed to get as far away from Lord Howard as possible, immediately.

“Captain, I do not have a few days to wait. My uncle is dreadfully ill. He may only have a few months to live, so I need to leave right away. Please allow me to travel on your ship.” She looked up at him, willing a few tears into her eyes, praying to gain his sympathy.

Captain Hawks sighed and rolled his obsidian eyes toward the ceiling. “I know I’m going to regret this. All right, darlin’, if it’s that important, I’ll take you. I hope you realize how uncomfortable this voyage will be for you and the child. The cabin you will be in barely has room to turn around in. Are you sure you don’t want to reconsider?”

“We shall be fine, regardless of the conditions.”

He shook his head, sending her heart to the floor.

Oh, Lord, please don’t let him change his mind.

What shall I do if he has?

Miss Kathleen’s Scandalous Baron (Honorable Rogue, Book 2)

 MissKathleensScandalousBaron_LRGPublisher & Release Date: Enticing Pleasures Romance, February 21, 2016

Time and setting: 1803, London & Dorsetshire

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Length:  272 pages

Heat Level: 3 Flames

Book Description: 

When an innocent, young miss from Baltimore meets the scandalous baron, Lord Billingsley, will she manage to reform him, or will he lead her astray?

 When the beautiful American debutante, Miss Kathleen Hawks, arrives for the London season, the last thing she expects is an attraction to the scandalous Baron Billingsley. He’s the kind of aristocrat she detests, one who only cares for his pleasures.

 Andrew Grainger is handsome, young and very wealthy. He loves carousing with his pack of friends from his schooldays. When he stumbles across the prim, yet charming Miss Hawks, he should avoid her at any cost. After all, she’s an innocent, barely out of the schoolroom. But…there’s just something about her he finds irresistible.

 When a chance encounter leads to scandal for the pair, they must choose to brave the Beau Monde, or give into its dictates. Is there any possibility that what appears to be a match made in Hades, could turn into a match made in heaven?   

Buy Link:

http://smile.amazon.com/Kathleens-Scandalous-Baron-Honorable-Rogue-ebook/dp/B01C28L3FI

Add to Goodreads:

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29244470-miss-kathleen-s-scandalous-baron

Excerpt:

 After a full night’s rest, Kathleen awakened early the next day. The duchess had assigned a maid to help her and soon she was dressed. Taking the servant with her for propriety’s sake, she made her way to Hyde Park for her early morning constitutional. While it wasn’t as enjoyable as her solitary walks on the beach, nonetheless, it gave her a chance to walk off her excess energy.

While briskly walking along one of the many paths in the park, she almost ran into, of all people, Lord Billingsley. That same feeling started in the pit of her belly. She did not understand why this man affected her so. When their hands had touched during the dance they shared last fall, her palms tingled and grew clammy, and her breath quickened, just as it was doing now.

She tried to shake off her body’s reaction as she stopped to allow the baron to pass. She couldn’t help noticing the man looked as if he’d spent the night somewhere other than his bed. His cravat hung loosely around his neck, his bottleneck green evening jacket had a tear at the shoulder and a smudge of dirt marred the sleeve. His red-gold hair looked tousled as well. Obviously, he was returning home from a night of carousing with his reprobate friends.

He swept off his top hat and bowed. “Well, if it isn’t the lovely Miss Hawks,” he declared, his speech slightly slurred. “It’s a pleasure to see you again, but I thought you were in Devonshire. When did you return to London, my beauty?”

Irritated beyond endurance by Lord Billingsley’s inebriated condition and outrageous comments, all thoughts of propriety fled from her mind, and Kathleen stamped her slender foot. “It’s none of your business when I arrived. I dare say you’re returning from a night of debauchery. Don’t you care that you’re ruining your life?”

The baron straightened up. “I do not see where it’s any of your business how I choose to live my life. I’m a young man about town, and I’m going to enjoy myself. I can see your time in the country has not improved your sanctimonious attitude.”

“Oh, there’s no use talking to you,” she retorted, “If you will move out of my way, so I can continue my walk, I would relish it.”

Swaying slightly, the obnoxious lord grabbed the lamppost, laughing. “Of course, don’t let me stop you.” Then giving her a sly smile, he added, “You know, it’s a shame such a pretty little thing like you is such a…prude.”

“Well, I never!” Kathleen grabbed her maid’s arm and marched off.

 

 

Thanks, K.J. Pierce

http://misplacedmisfit.com/2016/02/22/a-new-beginning-or-a-life-stuck-in-the-past-a-new-beginning-for-nanci-by-vikki-mccombie/#comment-641VikkiCover-ebookfinal

AL “TRUNK” MAHONEY Defensive Line ~ Jean Joachim

SSLYblog

Al Trunk Mahoney - Blast Banner

BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – AL “TRUNK” MAHONEY, DEFENSIVE LINE
SERIES – FIRST & TEN
AUTHOR – Jean C. Joachim
GENRE – Contemporary/Sports Romance
PUBLICATION DATE – Jan. 9, 2016
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 68,156 words
PUBLISHER – Moonlight Books
COVER ARTIST – Dawné Dominique


Al Trunk Mahoney - Cover

BLURB

When his wife walked out on him, Al “Trunk” Mahoney’s plans for the family he’d never had went up in smoke. A top-ranked defenseman in the NFL, Trunk’s success on the gridiron didn’t translate to the rest of his life. Hooking up with women was easy for the sexy lineman, but Trunk’s secret closed the door to marriage. Would the happiness he yearned for always be just beyond his reach?

Beautiful Carla Ricci, bar owner and independent woman had her choice of men. A love-‘em and leave-‘em lady, she’d made a decision that ruled out 99.9% of men for marriage. She didn’t care. Then Trunk…

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Life Below Stairs, Part II – Rules of Engagement

ReginaJeffers's Blog

9e258cff4045bcc508f349fc6f62d9b6Previously, we looked at what a servant in an upper house, or even in a second-class household, of the late Regency Period or early Victorian times, might encounter. We spoke of wages, delineation of duties, and additional compensation. Today, we wish to examine the “snobbery” found among the servant class. As mentioned in the previous’s article, the servants in upper households expected “tips” from the master’s guests. If he did not receive it, he might still exact his revenge on those who paid a second visit to the estate. On his return, a guest might find himself in a one of the draftier bedchambers or he might be met at the train in a cart rather than an estate carriage.

The servants expected the guests to conform to certain standards of gentility. Heaven help a stranger who appeared on the doorstep and not dressed to the hilt. John James, in

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Tuesday Tales: From a word, BEAT

What an excerpt!

susanne matthews

Badge for TT - very small (1)Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of Tuesday Tales. Each week, a group of dedicated bloggers add a section to their wip using either a word or a picture for inspiration. This week, the word is BEAT. This post is a little longer than usual, but I promise it won’t disappoint.

For those of you following the story called, Hello Again, a paranormal/romance /suspense, Bill has left Shirley and Charley to go into the reservation’s town and see what he can learn about the triple tornado that devastated the area the previous day. He’s made it to Sintulata, and has spent most of the day helping the chief and his people.

Here’s today’s tale:

SueParaCoverDraft5 (1)Bill and a few of the boys at the station had always referred to mobile home parks as “tornado magnets” and once again, they’d lived up to their name—the homes here either can-openered or tossed…

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