Frankie Reviews

The Last Gamble by Anabelle Bryant

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As one of the owners of London’s most infamous and scandalous gambling hall, The Underworld, Luke Reese looks like a man who has it all. But underneath his swagger lies a pain which no amount of liquor, women or card games can ease. Because, nine months ago, Luke’s son was stolen by his half-brother, Lord Dursley.

Luke knows the agony of growing up without a family, and he will not allow his son to suffer the same fate. So when evidence leads him to Coventry and a mysterious governess named Georgina, Luke doesn’t hesitate in tracking her down.

But nothing is ever as simple as it seems in the London ton. And soon, Luke is facing his most dangerous gamble yet. Dare he risk losing his heart to find his son?

Frankie’s View

This is the third instalment of “The Bastards of London Series” and I do think this is the best one yet. I have been really looking forward to reading this one, after meeting the dark and shadowy Luke Reece in the previous book’s he intrigued me. I wanted to know his story, his past and what in the hell his happening with his lost son and Bryant doesn’t disappoint.

Luke is the third owner of the Scandalous and powerful gaming hell; The Underworld. Along with his brother owners Cole and Max, he was born on the wrong side of the blanket. Which in all doesn’t bother him, just because he’s a bastard and has lived his life on the fringes of so-called “better society” doesn’t mean he isn’t a good, intelligent and charming man. Far beyond it, he is the sexiest man who you will come across with the brains to match.

One day while at work his then four-year-old son; Nathanial was kidnapped by non-other than his half-brother, Lord Dursley for some unknown reason. Luke has tried and failed for a year now to find out where his son has been taken, but time and time again he gets doors closed in his face and the trail grows cold. He knows that, even though he is Nate’s father he hasn’t got a chance with the authorities, as being who and what he is; a by blow won’t stand up in court next to his charming aristocratic brother. Because of his parentage and his occupation, he is never taken seriously and he knows too well that the courts will always side with own of their own, his half-brother.

So he is left to find his son by his own means, but after a year Luke doesn’t know in which direction to look next, his only clue resides in Dursley’s journal which Luke stole and that is a name. Georgina Smith, governess. He sets out to Coventry to speak to this governess for himself and hopefully find either where his son or the clue that he desperately needs. But what he finds instead turns his life upside down.

He finds an exceedingly beautiful, too smart for her own good and kind young woman who, yes did look after Nate for a time and she could be the answer to all his prayers. She could be the means to end his year of agony and finally find his son. The only problem is she point-blank refuses to go to London with him, she is hiding something and she is as scared as hell of something. He knows that she is hiding from something, but what? But more importantly can he gain her trust to help him find Nate before he loses himself in her kind, blue eyes?……..

Full Review over at Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s Blog

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His Mistletoe Wager by Virginia Heath

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“Five berries equal the five separate kisses I challenge you to steal.”

Notorious rake Henry “Hal” Stuart, Earl of Redbridge, is certain he’ll win his Christmas bet— until he learns he’ll be stealing Lady Elizabeth Wilding’s kisses. A woman who refuses to be charmed! Once jilted, Lizzie must guard her heart, because the ton is unaware of her scandalous secret— her son!

Despite their increasing attraction, she can’t risk the persistent Hal bringing down her defenses. But when her former fiancé returns, Lizzie realizes that perhaps Hal’s the one man she can trust— with her heart and her son…

Frankie’s View

This is my first Christmas book of the year and it is a doozy, and it can’t be kept just for Christmas “His Mistletoe Wager” should be read now and then again and again and then at Christmas and then again…

Five years earlier Elizabeth (Lizzie) Wilding is waiting in the church for the love of her life, only to be horrible jilted by only to be told by a note hastely scribbled. She is broken this man was suppose to be her happy ever after, she had given him everything even her innocence only for him to jilt her. Leaving her facing scandal and censor, not only that but leaving her pregnant.

Now she is five years older she has sworn off men for the rest of her life, she has built a wall around her heart and no man will ever broach it again, the only man she wants in her life is her son; George. She has decided that now her son is getting older she is to leave her aristocratic life and move to Yorkshire in peace where her and her cute as button son, George can live without all the cloak and dagger, creeping around as what happens now. She has planned to live her life as a widow, which is entirely proper and also she knows that as a widow her son will be accepted. But unfortunately for lizzie her father has yet again decided that she needs to get herself back on the marriage market and it would be in her best interest to find a gent and get married.

To not only complicate things and make matters worse for her, she has caught the attention of the rakish and womanizing Henry Stuart, the new Earl of Redbridge, for whatever reason he has suddenly decided that she is exactly what he needs to get through this Christmas. He makes her a bargain that she cannot possibly pass up, but in dealing with the devil himself will she be able to fulfil her dream of living independently? Or will she succumb to his charms?

The initial meeting between her and Hal is really very funny, he forces himself in to her little bubble and she is just so irritated by him. She literally think of him as a pesky wasp that first needs swatting with a good old fashioned barbed, tongue lashing. When that doesn’t work she decided that the only way to make the wasp go away is to ignore it, which is highly amusing.

Hal has got to the point in his life where he is bored of the rakish behaviour, he want’s something more to fill his days. Not just a quick tryst with a willing widow, he finds that since gaining the title he has found an whole new love of books and politics and how things are run.

He has spent his life going against the grain and flaunting his rakish ways for all and sundry to see but now that he has taken his rightful place in parliament he finds that he enjoys the debates. He is growing into the Earl we know deep down he is and, we as readers can see what he’s missing in his life and why he isn’t as bothered with bed hopping as he used to be. But as ever with our heroes it does take them a while to get to the conclusion that; Yes, he needs a woman! A good, strong woman who can put him in his place…….

do love a Christmas story and this is such a sweet, festive tale that can be read at any time. For me Lizzie’s personal struggle and trials that she has to face and what she has gone through is the centre stone of the book, and that’s what Heath is particularly very good at. She brings the character’s alive and as always Heath transports you to another time and place with her charming and enigmatic writing, which is as ever spot on.

Full Review can be found at Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s Blog

Mad For The Marquess by Jess Russell

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James Drake, Marquess of Devlin, had everything—until he was found covered in blood, standing over a dead girl. Now locked away in a madhouse, he has one short year to recover his memories and prove his sanity, or be condemned for life. But the demons inside Devlin’s head are far easier to battle than the evil surrounding him at Ballencrieff Asylum.

Anne Winton hardly expects to find her calling—or love—while working in a lunatic asylum. But despite all warnings, the “Mad Marquess” proves dangerously fascinating to innocent Anne. She vows to save him not only from his adversaries, but from himself.

Initially, Anne is only a pawn in Devlin’s bid to gain his freedom, until he begins to see her not just as a means to an end, but as a beautifully passionate woman. He must choose: compromise the woman he loves, or languish forever in hell.

Review by Frankie

I had read an awfully lot of good things about this book, so I did go into reading it with a very high expectations of what it would be like, but what I thought it would be like was completely different to what I actually thought and felt about this book.

It is seriously good in every sense of the word, I do say this a lot but this is simply stunning, it is a heart wrenching and at times very disturbing but I couldn’t get enough of it.

James Drake, Lord Devlin after being discovered by the murdered body of a young girl was locked up n a lunatic asylum, where he has steadily got worse, his illness has got to stage where he is addicted to laudanum. He must prove his innocence or he will be forced to languish in the hell that he is in for the rest of his days, but how on earth can he do that when most of the time he doesn’t quite know who he is?

Anne has secrets of her own too which is why she is at the asylum working as a maid come assistant come dogs body, she doesn’t want anyone to know her past or anything about her life. She is a highly private person she does come across as a bit of a naive little girl at times, but she is strong, good woman who knows to get on with the job. She understand the concept of hard work and of loyalty and of respect to the resident’s. Which is why I think James is so drawn to her, he sees something in her that he hasn’t seen in anyone else. She doesn’t see a lunatic but a vulnerable, highly sexy man who has got a real gift, he is a real artist.

I have never read anything like this before the whole concept of the plot is surprising and brilliant. The detailing of James illness and his so-called treatment is harrowing and so brutally honest, and it is those details that get to me eve time.

Russell had created characters that you fall in love with and you urge them on through their own personal battles and tribulations. The two lead characters you genuinely care about, you go through so much with them as they go along their own paths.

I really, really like this it is so different to the regular Historical Romance it is new and fresh and at times difficult but it’s cleverly written and Russell has treated the characters who are suffering from various mental illness with the utmost respect and dignity.

This is a terrific book and I cannot recommend enough. But I do warn you that you may need tissues because there is some high-octane emotion going on here.

Full Review can be found over at Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s

Review – Wicked Surrender by Carole Mortimer

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Eight gentlemen known far and wide as The Sinners. Also agents for the Crown, they are each tasked with discovering which of eight ladies in Society has been acting as a spy for Napoleon. By fair means or foul.

Dante St Just, the Duke of Huntley, is less than pleased when he is asked to investigate the beautiful widow, Lady Isabella Aston. The two knew each other seven years ago, and parted badly. But neither can Dante bear the thought of passing Bella’s name on to one of his friends. If anyone is to seduce Bella into revealing whether or not she is a spy, then it will be him or no one.

Bella is surprised, and then suspicious, when Dante St Just calls unexpectedly at her home. She becomes alarmed when, that very evening, he carries her off in his carriage.

Alone with Dante, with not even a servant to act as chaperone, how is Bella to resist the helpless attraction she has always felt toward him?

Dante’s intention was to quickly confirm or disprove Bella’s innocence, after which he would either return her to London and the spymaster wishing to speak with her, or he would continue to keep her as his prisoner and the two of them would spend time together becoming reacquainted. Intimately.

But he had not fully taken into account his wild and uncontrollable response to Bella’s sensual beauty, or how it would affect his judgement where she is concerned.

Frankie’s View 

This is the first book I have read by this author after I had her recommend to me by Shell and I really enjoyed it. It’s saucier than I usually read but not smutty and I did really like it.

Dante St Just, Duke of Huntley has been given the task of investigating beautiful widow Lady Isabella Aston, whose name was on the list of those eight woman who are thought to be the traitor.

Being a good agent and one to never shirk his duty he does what his superiors tell him to do and find the truth about Bella. But there is just one flaw in the plan and that is that ever since he was a young man he had always held a torch for her, she infuriates him and antagonizes him but yet he is drawn to her like a moth to a flame. He can’t get enough of her, especially once he sees her again after all these years……

Dante as much as I do like him – and don’t get me wrong he is a cunning, suave and enigmatic man, who can charm the birds from the tree’s. But I can’t get on with his domineering personality he, is manipulative, dangerous and not one to take no for an answer and that doesn’t sit well with me the way he treat’s Bella, he can be harsh and brutal but on the other hand he can be a deeply emotional and loving man, when he lets himself.

Bella is half French and half Spanish when she was a child her father died and her mother married an Englishman, her step father and mother sadly passed away she sent to live with her step aunt the Duchess of Huntley. The Duchess hated her and made Bella’s hell while she was the Duchesses ward.

She had fallen in love with the young Dante, she thought that if she tells him how she really feels about him, he would save her from her hell. But he cruelly put her in her place which forced her hand and for her to take drastic action, to get away from the St Just’s she married a friend……

I love the chemistry between then and I personally think they are at their finest when they are at loggerhead’s, the bickering and snipping at each other is highly amusing. Dante cannot stand the fact that with him being a Duke he is being spoken to in a way by her, and she just can’t stand him – His is manipulative, arrogant and demanding and they do make a terrific couple.

This was a complimentary copy from the author in return of an honest review.

Full Review over at Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s

Introduction to Review Sister – Frankie Reviews

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Hello Lovelies, welcome to The Review Sisters blog!

If you don’t know me I’m Frankie, I am the founder, owner and sole reviewer of book review blog Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s, and I am very honored to call myself one of The Review Sisters along side four of the most amazing women.

I am a very proud Yorkshire Lass, tea drinker and a huge Historical Romance fan who has an addiction to a certain Tom Hardy, but don’t tell anyone…😉 I am never happier then when I am curled up with a good book, a cuppa and with my dog at my feet.

I am the “Jack of all Trades” of the group, I’m not too fussy about what kind of Historical Romance I read, whether that be Regency, Medieval or Georgian. I don’t mind!

Unfortunately at the minute I’m not accepting review requests from new authors as my ARC pile has grown to mammoth proportions.

Thank you for dropping by, I hope you will find my reviews interesting and helpful and I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on the books I read. 💜

 

The Lost Letter by Mimi Matthews

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A Proud Beauty

Society beauty Sylvia Stafford is far too pragmatic to pine. When the tragic death of her gamester father leaves her destitute and alone, she finds work as a governess in a merchant’s household in Cheapside. Isolated from the fashionable acquaintance of her youth, she resigns herself to lonely spinsterhood…until a mysterious visitor convinces her to temporarily return to her former life—and her former love.

A Scarred Beast

Colonel Sebastian Conrad is no longer the dashing cavalry officer Sylvia fell in love with. Badly scarred during the Sepoy Rebellion, he has withdrawn to his estate in rural Hertfordshire where he lives in near complete seclusion. Brooding and tormented, he cares nothing for the earldom he has inherited—and even less for the faithless beauty who rejected him three years before.

An Unexpected Reunion

A week together in the isolated Victorian countryside is the last thing either of them ever wanted. But when fate intervenes to reunite them, will a beastly earl and an impoverished beauty finally find their happily ever after? Or are some fairy-tale endings simply not meant to be?

Review

My, oh, my! This is absolutely remarkable!

Everyone who has read my reviews before will know how much I love my heroes to be trouble and vulnerable and wanting a strong women to help them back to happiness and this is just that, this is truly breath-taking and I loved every single moment of it, and I will apologize now if I start rambling on, but this is really something special and I have so much I want to say about it.

I have read a lot of Mimi Matthews’ blog posts and I have always hugely enjoyed them but this is the first book I have read from her. I knew before I opened it that it would be really rich in detail because Mathews has this undeniable skill for writing articles with atmospheric and Historical accuracy, but I like to start a book with a clean slate as though this is the first time I have read this author. But even though I knew what an amazingly talented lady she is, this blew me away.

Sylvia fell in love the devilishly handsome, Sebastian Conrad younger son of the Powerful Earl of Radcliffe, on the eve of Sebastian going off to war Sylvia and Sebastian share a beautiful moment together as they say good-bye. They share a longing kiss and being the mischievous Rogue he is, he hr for a token to take into war with him……

Sebastian shouldn’t be the earl, his father was and his eldest brother was groomed for the job but Sebastian being the younger son his destiny was the army. He was never happier than following the from, having day-to-day life set out with discipline and routine. He was free to do what he was good at, and he was a good cavalry officer and what he enjoyed. He hated the killing at seeing all those wasted life strewn over the battle field but he loved the life of a soldier – until an enemy Saber blinded and ruined him for ever.

The one thing that kept his going first through the horrors of the battle field and then through his daily hell was his talisman he carried around in his pocket the thing that brought him so much joy through so much pain and with that he thought of her and how much he did love her and how she broke his heart when he never heard from her again……..

Read and Reviewed by Frankie, Full Review at Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s