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Francine Howarth (United Kingdom)

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The Ice Duchess: Scandalous Regency Widows, Book 2
The Ice Duchess: Scandalous Regency Widows, Book 2
Price: £3.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensual eroticism at its best., 16 July 2017
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It’s 1816, the year after the Battle of Waterloo, and the year of the wettest summer known in England to that date. Whilst dark skies prevail, Georgiana, Duchess of Darby is blighted by the deepening desire of her brother and friends to see her back within the social whirl of the haut monde, which in turn means the marriage mart. Whilst her past remains a dark and raw reminder to the hurt that awaits the innocent and unpractised in deceits and vile subterfuge, widowhood is a sanctuary, albeit a lonely place to hide one’s inner desires. Even when temptation beckons in the form of Rafe Landsbury, he poses a dilemma for Georgiana, for to put her trust in another man and give sway to notions love can exist if only she can embrace it, she knows the potency of it all could be utter folly.

Likewise, for Rafe, tempted in extremes by Georgiana, he’s aware she could so easily become his Achilles heel - the one thing that can destroy him. To his chagrin his past which is far darker than Georgie’s haunts from the shadows of his mind, and whilst his present interest in her becomes a whirl of hedonistic delights, a ghost from that past suddenly looms and threatens all that he covets. Thus, as hurt, betrayal, eroticism, and the mire of a covert lifestyle play on his mind, Rafe must cut off the snake’s head or lose all: game over. To say this is an exciting and hot read, pretty much says it how it is: enjoy!


Traitor's Knot
Traitor's Knot
Price: £2.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyable Read., 30 Jun. 2017
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This review is from: Traitor's Knot (Kindle Edition)
The Royalist defeat at the Battle of Naseby (1645) is the opening scene to Traitor's Knot, and cannot by any stretch of imagination be quantified in death and injury alone. Miraculously alive, and determined to survive and fight another day, James Hart traverses a path of broken bodies whilst the stark crushing horror of it all tests his resolve in how to evade the triumphant Parliamentarian victors. What transpires is an episode of derring-do, alongside untold fear of detection. Hart's life and future has fallen to the hands of fate, and his reaching the Royalist stronghold of Bristol affords momentary relief. But nothing in times of war can be counted on as secure, and with a royal prince taking flight from the country what hope exists for eventual victory for the royal standard?

As with all historical fiction, even romantic fiction, history itself dictates the outcome and the author adheres strictly to historical fact. In bearing a great passion for this particular period in history both as a reader and author, I thoroughly enjoyed James Hart and Elizabeth Seton's adventures and all the heart-rending experiences that befell them. Make no mistake this is a swashbuckling romance set within the English Civil Wars, and a delightful step back in time.


Babylon's Downfall: An Uncivil War Adventure
Babylon's Downfall: An Uncivil War Adventure
Price: £2.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another enthralling read by Ms Logue. (Fan of Colonel Babbitt), 19 Jun. 2017
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It’s 1644, and Colonel Hollie Babbitt and his disorderly ragamuffin Parliamentarian troupers are ensconced up north on Babbitt’s home territory, thus old memories and hurts haunt from the shadows amidst a task he abhors. Siege situations are his pet hate, and having to socialise and parley with a hard-nosed flirtatious fat mare (pardon the insult), who refuses to surrender Lathom House, Hollie becomes the butt of his own misfortune in never thinking himself attractive to the opposite sex. As with any fragile negotiations, deliberation can go awry if distractions aplenty are present and ignored. Hence, instead of a white flag rising up the flagpole, red bull mania and stubborn resolve takes hold on both fronts. Not least when the lady of the house sets out to teach Hollie Babbitt a lesson in manners, and Hollie resorts to covert devilry. If all that wasn’t bad enough to contend with, plus ribald remarks from fellow and junior officers, Prince Rupert is reportedly en route to rout the enemy from the gates. Subsequently, that particular Royalist’s imminent arrival on the scene sets Hollie at odds with self. All the while his junior officers are embroiled in several pickles, thus he’s not best pleased when outnumbered and outgunned he’s forced to retreat and take flight. But Hollie’s no quitter – he’ll be back, of that you can be sure. Yet again, this is another page-turning read from M. J. Logue’s Parliamentarian stable.


The Magnificent Marquess
The Magnificent Marquess
Price: £2.32

5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Story. ARC (Reviewed for Romance Reviews Magazine UK), 3 Jun. 2017
Having ventured to the Far East as an East India Company man, Reinhart Maycott is essentially a reluctant aristocrat. His life in India encapsulates the intrepid and adventurous spirit of the young Reinhart, until the sudden and unexpected elevation to a marquisate forces him back to his homeland. And no matter his shady existence in the nether wilds of India and scandalous rumours that abound, every mama in England has taken note of his return to home shores, not least that of Lady Parbury, who immediately sets out to present her eldest and most ravishing daughter for his delectation.

Of course, Reinhart (Ren) is far from conventional, any more than young Mariah Parbury, who indeed recognises Ren’s extreme handsomeness as does her elder sister Rorie (Aurora), but it is his travels and former lifestyle that prove as captivating as his golden eyes to Mariah, whilst her mother sees only wealth and status for her eldest darling. And so the fun begins as Lady Parbury sets forth to create a match made in heaven, but the best laid plans ‘n’ all are thwarted as Ren’s past begins to encroach and threaten those close to him. As happened whilst in India, life becomes fraught with ever increasing threat of danger, and if love should blossom betwixt him and a Parbury miss the death knell may ring out as it had when he was far away in India.

The great mystery of who is plaguing Ren’s life comes to light at the very end of the story, as would be expected of a good suspense novel. I applaud the author for the story’s unusual theme of a man and his big cat, a man who harbours a secret longing for love but dare not embrace it. As for the delightful heroine with an inquisitive mind and foolish daring, she set the tone nicely for touches of farce, fear, and she was indeed deserving of a happy ever after. Nice one Ms Eastwood.


A Love Remembered
A Love Remembered
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Read - ARC (Reviewed for Romance Reviews Magazine UK), 14 May 2017
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This review is from: A Love Remembered (Kindle Edition)
The title says it all, and as with any first real sense of romance, imagined or otherwise, who from amongst us forgets the name and description of their first romantic entanglement? Thus Cassandra remembers every aspect of the late Lieutenant, Lord Benedict Mallory’s appearance, or does she? Has the passing of time and heartbreak clouded her memory? For when she encounters a stranger in a position that is contrary to Ben’s former life she cannot believe her eyes, and yet, something deep inside wills her to pursue the notion it is he. Unsure how to proceed in matters of discretion is not easy for Cassandra, who is far from slow in putting forth in petulant manner and oft sharp tongued when it suits her. Equally frustrated by formal etiquette so prevalent within the elder echelons of society, she faces the added task of proving a young chit can balance emotional pull against sage thinking as a soldier steels himself to do what must done. Therefore she strives to convince others Ben is indeed alive. But of course, love does strange things to a mind, and there I shall leave you to ponder Cassie’s fate. Has she seen the one she fell in love with, or is the man she encountered a figment of imagination and overt desire for something lost? I can say in all honesty I enjoyed following Cassie on her journey of discovery, and although the plot follows though pretty much as expected, there are steamy and sensual moments, emotional torments and strife aplenty, and of course, a Happy Ever After. Enjoy!


The Middle Of The Day
The Middle Of The Day
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short Afternoon tea read!, 10 May 2017
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A lovely little short novella to wile away a moment of escapism with afternoon tea and cake. Albeit small, the author packs a lot of detail into this sweet tale of bridging the centuries, and all without the ubiquitous "sudden thunderstorm" which opens a time-warp fault so commonplace within time-slip novels. So what is it like to find oneself the object of attention by an unknown who is convinced you are a part of his life? There I shall leave you to discover how Lottie copes with amorous intentions, and whether she wants to, or indeed makes it back to the 21st Century. Enjoy!


A Raging Madness (The Golden Redepennings Book 2)
A Raging Madness (The Golden Redepennings Book 2)
Price: £2.20

5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing Read! (ARC-Reviewed for Romance Reviews Magazine UK), 9 May 2017
In all honesty I can say this novel was a delightful surprise. Not so much a romance novel as that of a “Suspenseful Love Story” and it was pleasant respite from the ubiquitous angst-ridden young heroines and rakish alpha males that are extremely prevalent within the Regency romance genre as a whole. That is not to say this novel is devoid of anguish, for much soul-searching and need to heal past hurts prevail for the protagonists. But what would one expect with a wounded soldier back from the wars and his mind filled with the horror of it all, and a widow at a crisis point in her life where death seems more inviting than the living hell she is subjected to. The very fact Ella has been appallingly abused and imprisoned by means most foul, one is rooting for her from the moment she sets out to escape her vile captors. Her desperate plight in not only having to convince an old friend she is sane, he too has inner demons in need of quelling if he is to be of help to her.

Whilst compromises must be made along the way as pursuit of Ella persists with factions of mean intent, life for Alex is equally as perilous as that of Ella whilst others harbour long-term grudges. What is more Ella’s escape involves finding some means to evade highways and byways; hence the route chosen draws the reader into a very different way of life, but needs must for a man of good breeding and the social whirl of the ton intrudes momentarily. With that momentary intrusion a stroke of royal luck sets Alex ill at ease, for gifts and titles are not always as one might expect. Thus reawakening desires and long-held misconceptions are faced, whilst evil doings set precedence for fear and heighten nightmare scenarios. But love does find a way through the mire and fog of lost years and imagined betrayals, which makes this novel a thoroughly engrossing, pleasurable and highly recommended read for lovers of depth driven love stories. Well written, concise in detail, Ms Knight’s characters are fully-fleshed and I have a notion I will remember them and this novel for quite a good while.


Sweet Errors: a novella (The Regency Romantics Book 3)
Sweet Errors: a novella (The Regency Romantics Book 3)
Price: £1.53

5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious Regency Romp! (ARC- Reviewed for Romance Reviews Magazine), 19 April 2017
Hilarity abounds in this sweet tale of love and romance, in which Charlotte and Elizabeth Richmond are elated by the good fortune of both having acquired a beau. Likewise Thomas and Robert, the best of friends, are utterly smitten by the young sisters, and all seems bright and beautiful and the path ahead strewn with love and romance. But a few sage, or could it be embittered words, from an aged aunt, and the girls are cast into uncertainty and fears of male infidelity. Equally, young Thomas and Richard receive sage, or could it be mischievous advice, thus all the young lovers are cast into a pickle reminiscent of French Farce, and despite the simplicity and predictability of this little tale, it’s a giggle read from start to finish!

This isn’t a novella that strikes one as period specific, but that really doesn’t matter all that much because it is a parody of historical romance, and the “errors” aspect is classic farce. Besides, if one stops to think seriously about Jane Austen’s novels, what was Elizabeth Bennet but a caricature of fickle female? And Emma too, a blind romancing matchmaker who couldn’t see love staring her in the face!


Love Finds Lord Davingdale (The Reluctant Grooms Book 2)
Love Finds Lord Davingdale (The Reluctant Grooms Book 2)
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely, lovely read., 28 Mar. 2017
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As always Anne Gallagher delivers a delightfully charmingly sweet romance. A lovely, lovely short read.


Perception & Illusion
Perception & Illusion
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A poignant and delightful Romance. ARC (A Review Copy for Regency Romance Authors & Readers), 28 Mar. 2017
Another treat read from Ms Kullmann, and loosely-linked to her previous novel The Murmur of Masks. Here we are given a delightful, almost but not quite, an ugly duckling story touching shades of Cinderella. After all, Lallie Grey’s future looks a tad bleak, her prospects mundane at best. But life’s path oft has unlikely twists and turns, not only for Lallie, none more so than for Hugo Tamrisk. Blighted by duty to beget a wife and provide the ubiquitous heir and a spare, he and Lallie seem the most unlikely to form a relationship of note, and as whispers abound with all manner of false notions, Lallie and Hugo find common ground until, amidst confusion and misinterpretations, all seems lost when their togetherness has just begun. The ultimate question - Who will cast aside pride and prejudice and concede first, which duly takes the reader through an emotional minefield of dashed dreams and heartfelt longing. A poignant and delightful Romance, dappled with historical detail thus providing good sense of time and place.


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