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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Made the Grade: Christmas Brides by Suzanne Enoch, Alexandra Hawkins, Elizabeth Essex, & Valerie Bowman

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Amazon.com: Paperback - Pages: 384; Kindle Edition - File Size: 937 KB | Expected Release Date: September 30, 2014 | Publisher: St. Martin's Press | Obtained: NetGalley

"Christmas Brides" by Suzanne Enoch, Alexandra Hawkins, Elizabeth Essex, & Valerie Bowman

Authors' Book Description : Relax on a silent night and dive into Christmas Brides, a lush historical holiday anthology featuring a brand-new story from USA Today bestselling author Alexandra Hawkins. And back by popular demand from last Christmas, previously published One Hot Scot, The Scandal Before Christmas, and It Happened Under the Mistletoe are back to deck the halls in this sensual Christmas collection.

One Hot Scot by Suzanne Enoch
Duncan Lenox lives surrounded by enemies, a MacLawry in a land of Campbells. But when an English beauty has nowhere else to turn, he feels obligated to help. Now that they must spend a night together in an abandoned cottage while a storm rages on, will their mutual passion save—or doom—them both?

Once Upon a Christmas Scandal by Alexandra Hawkins
Lady Ellen is outraged when she learns her dowry’s been increased by her dad, eager to draw every bachelor in England to her front door. So when Lord Swainsbury comes knocking, Ellen assumes he’s another dreadful fortune hunter. Little does she know that Swainsbury has completely fallen for her—body, heart, and soul...

The Scandal Before Christmas by Elizabeth Essex
Lieutenant Ian Worth needs a wife by Christmas. He has to find her, woo her, and wed her before he goes back to sea. Anne Lesley is a shy spinster with no prospects, so she accepts Ian’s hasty offer only for the security it will bring. But when a midwinter storm rolls in, things start to heat up between them...and they might just find true, honest-to-goodness love

It Happened Under the Mistletoe by Valerie Bowman
Oliver Townsende intends to avoid the hordes of marriage-minded misses at a friend’s holiday party. When he meets Miss Cerian Blake, who’s dodging her own unwanted set of admirers, the two decide to join forces and fake an infatuation to keep their suitors at bay. But when mistletoe becomes involved, will their Christmastime prank turn into a love to last all seasons?



"One Hot Scot" [Christmas Brides Anthology, Novella 1] & [Scandalous Highlanders Series, Book 0.5] by Suzanne Enoch

Author's Story Description : While attending her aunt's wedding in Inverness, Julia Prentiss is literally swept off her feet by a man who kidnaps her for her fortune. Julia manages to escape from his estate in the Highlands, only to find herself alone, lost, and hunted in a strange land. When she stumbles across a naked man in a lake, she thinks her luck has gone from bad to worse...or has it?

Duncan Lenox lives surrounded by enemies, a MacLawry in a land of Campbells. With three sisters at home who rely on him, he's become a very cautious man. But when an auburn-haired English beauty has nowhere else to turn, he feels obligated to help. When the two are forced to spend the night in an abandoned cottage while a storm rages and enemies circle, they find a mutual passion that could save -- or doom -- them both.

My Story Review : 3 out of 5 stars, a woman sets out in the Highlands in hopes of celebrating Christmas the way she wanted but finds herself alone in a cabin/cottage with a stranger who promises to help her get back home, if only she doesn’t lose her heart to him first.

It’s a sweet story. Yet, I found the beginning to be a bit slow even though Duncan is naked then. =0)

Nevertheless, I enjoyed how this story picked up in the middle and how Duncan & Julia’s relationship grew throughout it. I do recommend this story to those who like holiday romances that have hot Highlanders in them!

Purchase This Story and/or The Other Stories From It's Series Here : AMAZON.COM : One Hot Scot | KOBO : One Hot Scot | ALIBRIS : The Devil Wears Kilts | AMAZON.COM : The Devil Wears Kilts | KOBO : The Devil Wears Kilts | ALIBRIS : Rogue With A Brogue | AMAZON.COM : Rogue With A Brogue | KOBO : Rogue With A Brogue | AMAZON.COM : Mad, Bad, and Dangerous in Plaid | KOBO : Mad, Bad, and Dangerous in Plaid

Author's Story Extras : One Hot Scot - Overview

Author's Series Extras : The Devil Wears Kilts - Overview & Excerpt | Rogue With A Brogue - Overview & Excerpt

Story Teaser :
She picked up a black knight and showed it to him. "Did you think this would be you today?"
He chuckled. "A black knight? Nae a white knight?"
She grinned back at him. "Well, you were naked."
"Aye. That I was." ~ within Chapter 2
For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Suzanne, then please check out her website.



"Once Upon a Christmas Scandal" [Christmas Brides Anthology, Novella 2] & [Lords of Vice Series, Book 7.5] by Alexandra Hawkins

Author's Story Description : Lady Ellen is outraged when she learns her dowry’s been increased by her dad, eager to draw every bachelor in England to her front door. So when Lord Swainsbury comes knocking, Ellen assumes he’s another dreadful fortune hunter. Little does she know that Swainsbury has completely fallen for her—body, heart, and soul...

My Story Review : 4.5 out of 5 stars! A woman, who is coming into her "spinster years," finds out that her parents want her to get a husband so badly, before her father might die, that they raise her dowry and now has to fight off "fortune hunters." Hopefully she won't fight off the one man who wants her for herself...

I love how this story thrusts its readers right into the action from the very beginning. It's a charming story about an independent woman finding a man who tries to protect her from an unknown man. Ellen & Derrick are a perfect matchup, I'm so glad they ended up together! Their romance was one I would read again!

I recommend this story to those who are fans of Ms. Hawkins historical series and to those who like historical holiday romances!

Purchase This Story and/or The Other Stories From It's Series Here : ALIBRIS : All Night with a Rogue | AMAZON.COM : All Night with a Rogue | KOBO : All Night with a Rogue | ALIBRIS : Till Dawn with the Devil | AMAZON.COM : Till Dawn with the Devil | KOBO : Till Dawn with the Devil | AMAZON.COM : After Dark with a Scoundrel | KOBO : After Dark with a Scoundrel | ALIBRIS : Sunrise with a Notorious Lord | AMAZON.COM : Sunrise with a Notorious Lord | KOBO : Sunrise with a Notorious Lord | ALIBRIS : All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess | AMAZON.COM : All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess | KOBO : All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess | ALIBRIS : Dusk with a Dangerous Duke | AMAZON.COM : Dusk with a Dangerous Duke | KOBO : Dusk with a Dangerous Duke | ALIBRIS : Twilight with the Infamous Earl | AMAZON.COM : Twilight with the Infamous Earl | KOBO : Twilight with the Infamous Earl

My Previous Mention(s) of this Author's Books/Characters : Second Sentence Saturday: Once Upon a Christmas Scandal

Author's Story Extras : Christmas Brides - Overview & Excerpt


Story Teaser :
"Enough." Her father raised the book in his hands as if he was fighting down the urge to fling it at the nearest wall. "And what of Mr. Neese? What was wrong with him?"
"His right leg is shorter than his left," she blurted out. "The difference sends him into tables, plants, and walls."
She had exaggerated a bit about Mr. Neese's clumsiness. However, she had sensed her mother's meddling the moment the gentleman had awkwardly asked her to dance. She had put them both out of misery as quickly as possible.
"And Lord Rouger?"
Ellen tried not to share at the muscle twitching near her father's left eye. "What of him?"
"Did you truly liken his handsomeness to your favorite horse?"
She leaned forward, her face guileless. "It was a sincere compliment, Papa." ~ within Chapter 1
For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Alexandra, then please check out her website.



"The Scandal Before Christmas" [Christmas Brides Anthology, Novella 3] & [The Reckless Brides Series, Book 3.5] by Elizabeth Essex

Author's Story Description : Lieutenant Ian Worth needs a wife by Christmas, and he can’t afford to be choosy. He has to find her, woo her, and wed her before he goes back to sea—all within a matter of days. Anne Lesley is a shy spinster with no prospects, and nothing and no one to recommend her but her own self. She accepts the lieutenant’s hasty offer only for the comfort and security it will bring. But when a midwinter storm snows her and Ian in, they both find they got much more than they bargained for—laughter, light, and a Christmas filled with honest to goodness true love...

My Story Review : 3 out of 5 stars, this is a sweet historical romance that keeps entertained while allowing you to enjoy catching up with favorite past characters.

Ian and Anne's story is charming in the way that they become friends, to confidants, to lovers. Plus it helped that they have similar interests.

All in all, I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the series and to those who enjoy historical (slightly erotic) romances!

Purchase This Story and/or The Other Stories From It's Series Here : ALIBRIS : Almost a Scandal | AMAZON.COM : Almost a Scandal | KOBO : Almost a Scandal | ALIBRIS : A Breath of Scandal | AMAZON.COM : A Breath of Scandal | KOBO : A Breath of Scandal | ALIBRIS : Scandal in the Night | AMAZON.COM : Scandal in the Night | KOBO : Scandal in the Night | AMAZON.COM : The Scandal Before Christmas | KOBO : The Scandal Before Christmas | ALIBRIS : After the Scandal | AMAZON.COM : After the Scandal | KOBO : After the Scandal | ALIBRIS : A Scandal to Remember | AMAZON.COM : A Scandal to Remember | KOBO : A Scandal to Remember | AMAZON.COM : A Scandal to Remember | KOBO : A Scandal to Remember

My Previous Review(s) for this Series : Book 1 | Book 3.5

My Previous Mention(s) of this Author's Books/Characters : Teaser Tuesdays: Almost a Scandal | Feasted On: Eloisa's Fairy Tales Series, Book 4 | The Books I'm Thankful For (so far) in 2012 | Best Book Couples -- Happy Valentine's Day 2013

Author's Story Extras : Pinterest: The Scandal Before Christmas | The Scandal Before Christmas - Overview & Excerpt

Author's Series Extras : Pinterest: Almost a Scandal | Pinterest: A Breath of Scandal | Pinterest: Scandal in the Night | Pinterest: After the Scandal | Pinterest: A Scandal to Remember | Almost A Scandal - Overview & Excerpt | A Breath of Scandal - Overview & Excerpt | Scandal in the Night - Overview & Excerpt | After the Scandal - Overview & Excerpt | A Scandal to Remember - Overview & Excerpt | Sal & Col named Best Book Couples

Story Teaser :
Yet still, she did not speak.
But with the mother still carrying on---"This chimney appears to draw well. So important to have a fire that draws cleanly, don't you think? I always say..."---no one could get a word in edgewise. It was no wonder the girl was silent as the tomb.
God's balls. Maybe she was a mute, who never spoke. Or couldn't. Maybe--- ~ within Chapter 3
TEASER #2 ~ within Chapter 5
For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Elizabeth, then please check out her website.



"It Happened Under the Mistletoe" [Christmas Brides Anthology, Novella 4] & [The Secret Brides Series, Book 3.5] by Valerie Bowman

Author's Story Description : When Oliver Townsende escapes to his friend’s house for a Christmas party, he intends to avoid the hordes of marriage-minded misses who have been dogging his steps in London ever since he inherited a dukedom. He soon learns a bit of Yuletide peace and quiet is too much to ask for. When he encounters Miss Cerian Blake, who’s dodging her own unwanted set of admirers, the two decide to join forces and fake an infatuation to keep their suitors at bay. But when a bough of mistletoe becomes involved, will their Christmastime prank turn into a love to last all seasons?

My Story Review : 3.5 out of 5 stars! Two people are looking for the same thing in finding a spouse ... a love match but, because of their inheritances, it's hard to find that certain person who is being true ... that is until they meet each other.

Oliver and Cerian's blossoming romance is one that I thoroughly enjoyed reading about. From their growing friendship to their personal worries/feelings for each other, this novella is one that I didn't want to finish, as I liked the main characters so much. In addition, that mysterious cat was fun to find out about, especially when it kept showing up at the most opportune times and suddenly wearing random decorations.

Overall, I recommend this novella to anyone who likes historical romances!

Purchase This Story and/or The Other Stories From It's Series Here : ALIBRIS : Secrets of a Wedding Night | AMAZON.COM : Secrets of a Wedding Night | KOBO : Secrets of a Wedding Night | AMAZON.COM : A Secret Proposal | KOBO : A Secret Proposal | ALIBRIS : Secrets of a Runaway Bride | AMAZON.COM : Secrets of a Runaway Bride | KOBO : Secrets of a Runaway Bride | AMAZON.COM : A Secret Affair | KOBO : A Secret Affair | ALIBRIS : Secrets of a Scandalous Marriage | AMAZON.COM : Secrets of a Scandalous Marriage | KOBO : Secrets of a Scandalous Marriage | AMAZON.COM : It Happened Under The Mistletoe | KOBO : It Happened Under The Mistletoe

My Previous Review(s) for this Series : Book 3.5

My Previous Mention(s) of this Author's Books/Characters : Best Book Couples -- Happy Valentine's Day 2014

Author's Story Extras : It Happened Under the Mistletoe - Overview & Excerpt | Dashing Duchess Release: It Happened Under the Mistletoe (Giveaway!) | It Happened Under the Mistletoe is on Sale Now and FREE Christmas Presents!

Author's Series Extras : The Secret Brides Series - Overview | Secrets of a Wedding Night - Overview & Excerpt | A Secret Proposal - Overview & Excerpt | Secrets of a Runaway Bride - Overview & Excerpt | A Secret Affair - Overview & Excerpt | Secrets of a Scandalous Marriage - Overview & Excerpt | Valerie Bowman Books May News! | New Release, Signing, & a Workshop at the RWA National Conference in Atlanta! | August Workshops, Preorder Gift, and Say Yes to the Dress Update! | Secrets of a Scandalous Marriage earns a STARRED review from Publishers Weekly! | Runaway Bride is an RT Reviewers’ Choice Nominee and December News!

Story Teaser :
TEASER #1 ~ within Chapter 2
"Seems the entire house party is talking about us," he began.
She pursed her lips. "No doubt they're agog at our antics."
He nodded.
"It is what we wanted, after all," she pointed out.
"Indeed."
He opened his mouth to speak, then closed it again. Then he repeated both actions. Twice.
"Your grace?" ~ within Chapter 8
For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Valerie, then please check out her website.



My Book Review : For the full book I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars!! These were engaging holiday romances that I believe anyone who likes reading about historical books would enjoy! I definitely recommend this anthology to those who what to read about handsome and charming historical heroes who end up winning a wife during the holiday season!

Purchase This Book and/or The Other Books That Connect To Some Of The Above Stories Here : KOBO : Christmas Brides | ALIBRIS : Christmas Brides



Authors' Anthology Extras : Ms. Hawkins' Christmas Brides - Overview & Excerpt | Ms. Essex's Christmas Brides - Overview & Excerpt | Ms. Bowman's Christmas Brides - Overview & Excerpt | Ms. Bowman's Christmas Brides - Overview & Excerpt | September News! Maggie Finalist and the Christmas Brides are Coming!

Book Teaser(s) :

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