Review: Bound for Eden by Tess LeSue

May Contain Spoilers

This title caught my eye for two reasons. It has a cross-dressing heroine, and it’s set on the Oregon Trail. I can’t imagine traveling across the country in a rickety wagon, helpless against the weather, disease, and in this story, the vicious Grady brothers. Parts of this worked well for me, and parts fell flat. This is a new to me author, and while Bound for Eden wasn’t a total success, I am interested in following the series further.

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Mini Review: The Pawn by Skye Warren

May Contain Spoilers

Review by Poo Penny

This series has a lot of potential. I love a good revenge story. Especially one full of violence. Gabriel, however, is kind of a pathetic villain in this story. And Avery tries so hard to be a strong character, but she falls flat. I feel like the gravity of everything that happened in this book, and all the romanticizing she did will force her to face the situation and turn almost assassin like, and she will have her revenge. I hope. Because, I love a good revenge story. I want it so bad.

There were a lot of laughable moments in this book, that were so unlike Skye Warren, that I was confused. Normally her writing makes me uncomfortable. She is extremely, extremely graphic in her sex scenes, so there is that warning. I have had to put a few of her books down mid sentence because I was just like, no. This is not happening. But hearing an “innocent” character describe sexual encounters as “stuff” was just funny to me.

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Review: Tycoon’s Delicious Debt by Susanna Carr

May Contain Spoilers


As you know, Harlequins are my crack.  It doesn’t matter which series, I love them all.  I can always count on them for a quick escape from reality, so when the author of Tycoon’s Delicious Debt asked if I would review it, I jumped.  I haven’t read Susanna Carr previously, so I was eager to give a new to me author a try.  I have read a few of the books in The Chatsfield continuity, which was another plus because once I start something, I try to finish it, (though I’m not always successful!).

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Review: Falling for the Pirate by Amber Lin

May Contain Spoilers


After reading House of the Four Winds, I was in a pirate kind of a mood.  Good thing I had Falling for the Pirate locked and loaded on my Kindle.  I admit that I wasn’t charmed with the beginning, but after Juliana lost her memory, I was a convert.  I’m not sure why I felt that way, because she’s not annoying or a bad person.  Maybe her blind devotion to her missing father, and the risks she was willing to take to clear his name, didn’t work for me?  Or maybe I liked the person she became better when her circumstances better mirrored Nate’s previous meager life?  I’m totally baffled by my first response to her.  Maybe I just needed to get to know her better?

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Review A Bride by Moonlight by Liz Carlyle


Title:  A Bride by Moonlight

Author: Liz Carlyle


May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:


Passion and secrets simmer behind the elegant façade of Victorian London in another deliciously intriguing novel featuring the dangerous men of the mysterious St. James Society. Royden Napier, Baron Saint-Bryce, is tall, dark, and ruthless—and on the hunt for a dangerous beauty . . . On the eve of her escape to the Continent, bold, beautiful Lisette Colburne accepts a proposal she dare not refuse: masquerade as the future bride of the steely-eyed Royden Napier and help him solve his most dangerous case. Soon Lisette is in even greater danger—of losing her heart to the one man with the power to destroy her . . .

Estranged from his aristocratic family, the enigmatic Napier has forged a reputation as Scotland Yard’s most relentless police commissioner. He’s vowed to bring Lisette to justice—but with every forbidden kiss and every tantalizing touch, he finds himself becoming less convinced of her guilt . . . and more certain he must have her. But when danger touches Lisette, can he save her?


This is the first time I’ve read a book written by Liz Carlyle.  After I finished it, I immediately wanted to read The Bride Wore Pearls, which features Lazonby and Anisha, two of the secondary characters from A Bride by Moonlight.  I enjoyed Carlyle’s writing style, and I’m always up for a good historical romance, which in the case of this title is Victorian England. While I have a few quibbles about the pacing of this book, I did like the characters immensely, especially Napier. Lisette was harder for me to warm up to, but considering all the baggage she has been dragging around since the death of the father and her sister, that was understandable.

Lisette blames Lord Lazonby for the deaths of both her father and her sister.  Having returned to London from the States, where she was raised by her aunt and uncle, she has dreamed of only one thing – revenge!  She has drawn comfort and strength from the thought of getting back at Lazonby, for plotting to make him suffer as painfully as she has.  He stole everything from her, and she is going to collect her pound of flesh.  When attempts to reason with, and then bribe, the straight-laced assistant police commissioner, Napier, fail to propel him to arrest Lazonby, a man he considers the vilest of criminals, she sets out to destroy Lazonby’s life by herself. 

A murder forces them together two years later,  and Napier believes that Lisette might be the murderer, but in a switch of loyalties, she and Lord Lazonby are now providing air-tight alibies for each other.  Napier is skeptical, to say the least, and he’s determined to get to the bottom of both the murder and his two chief suspects’ sudden friendship.  Before he gets far into his investigation, he discovers that he is now the heir of a prosperous estate.  Estranged from his father’s family for his entire life, he has no interest in getting to know his grandfather, Henry Tarleton, Viscount Duncaster, or any of his other relatives, better.  He is forced to visit the estate to investigate the suspicious death of his uncle, though.  In an attempt to foil the matchmaking machinations of his scheming aunt, and to keep Lisette right where he can see her, he forces Lisette to pose as his betrothed.  Once he arrives at Burlingame, he begins to question everything he  believed about both his family and Lisette.

I loved Napier.  What a hottie.  He’s analytical and capable, and he doesn’t give a fig about his inheritance.  He loves his job with the police, and has no intention of giving it up.  His superiors aren’t going to give him a choice about the matter, though, and he is urged to do his duty and take up his rightful position in society.   Though Napier is also stubborn and can be harsh, he also has a heart.  He treated Lisette coldly, though respectfully, at the start of the book, but by the end, he was the first to accept that his feelings for her had changed, and that he couldn’t live without her.  I loved that about him.  Once he realized how he felt, he also realized that he had to tread carefully.  Lisette’s drive for revenge left her twisted and emotionally fragile, and he was terrified of pushing her away from him. 

Once I understood Lisette, I liked her, too.  She is so strong and so fierce, and she won’t let anyone hurt her again.  Losing her family, and then being shuttled off to America, away from everything she had ever known, almost destroyed her.  Her aunt and uncle only agreed to take her in because they were paid to do so.  As time passed, causing Lazonby’s downfall kept Lisette going.  All of her dreams, all of her emotions, were cast aside for her all consuming need for revenge.  I believed that Lisette was ruthless enough to murder a man in cold blood, just as Napier did, and that made her a very interesting heroine, indeed!

The romance between Napier and Lisette developed slowly and realistically, given their mutual suspicion of each other.  As they spent more time together, though, it was obvious that they were a perfect match.  They complimented each other, and gave strength to each other.  Their attraction was unrelenting, and after they got to know each other better, their mutual respect made the romance work for me.  They still didn’t trust each other, and they were keeping big, big secrets from each other, but with the foundation of respect they had built, I knew that they could overcome all of the other obstacles in their lives.

The mystery is fun and I didn’t see the major plot twist coming.  My one quibble with A Bride by Moonlight is that it felt too long, especially near the end. 

Grade: B

Review copy provided by Bewitching Book Tours

About the author

A lifelong Anglophile, Liz Carlyle cut her teeth reading gothic novels under the bedcovers by flashlight. She is the author of over twenty historical romances, including several New York Times bestsellers. Liz travels incessantly, ever in search of the perfect setting for her next book. Along with her genuine romance-hero husband and four very fine felines, she makes her home in North Carolina.

Interview with Carmen Falcone, Author of A Vengeful Affair and Giveaway!

Carmen Falcone is the author of A Vengeful Affair, a new offering from Entangled Publishing under their Indulgence imprint.  Carmen dropped by the virtual offices for a chat, and she brought a present! She has a digital copy of A Vengeful Affair for one of you to win!

[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Carmen Falcone] I’m a new author, translator, wife, mother, dog lover, and an avid reader. I own three pugs, I live in Austin, and I love all things Ryan Gosling. Smile

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about A Vengeful Affair?

[Carmen Falcone] Vivian Foster plots to steal insider information from Spanish tycoon Javier Rivera as revenge for the murder of her best friend, for which she believes he is responsible. But he catches her before she can do so – and vehemently denies any wrongdoing. As they work together to find out what really happened, they also must come to terms with a sizzling attraction to each other, as well as the emotional bond that begins to form between them despite their best efforts to ignore it.

[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Carmen Falcone] I read lots of category romance growing up – unapologetically so – and I’ve always enjoyed the revenge theme. It’s such a good setup for a wide range of emotions and sexual tension, and it’s just an all-around fun read. But I wanted to give it a twist and have the heroine want revenge – not the other way around.

[Manga Maniac Café] What three words best describe Vivian?

[Carmen Falcone] Resourceful, loyal, goal-oriented.

[Manga Maniac Café] What are three things Javier would never have in his glove box?

[Carmen Falcone] He wouldn’t have any possible information on his coveted merge, or any personal objects like an iPad or anything that could jeopardize his business deal.

[Manga Maniac Café] If Javier had a theme song, what would it be?

[Carmen Falcone] “Turning Tables” by Adele. I’m not sure he’d agree, but that’s it. Smile

[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Carmen Falcone] I grew up reading Sandra Marton’s short romances, and I simply love them. She has that fast-paced, addictive writing style that I strive for. I like books that give you that endorphin rush and keep you on the edge of your seat.

[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Carmen Falcone]  I need a cleared desk. No clutter around me. I usually turn my cell phone off and have a bottle of water nearby. I don’t want to have an excuse to dash off when my characters misbehave.

[Manga Maniac Café] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Carmen Falcone] I really enjoyed A Night of Southern Comfort by Robin Covington.

[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Carmen Falcone] Jacqueline Baird’s revenge-themed books that I read growing up.

[Manga Maniac Café ] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Carmen Falcone] I like to spend time with my daughter and hubby, shop, take the dogs to the park, read, watch movies.

[Manga Maniac Café] How can readers[Carmen Falcone] connect with you?

[Carmen Falcone] I love to connect with readers and aspiring writers. My info:



[Manga Maniac Café]Thank you!

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Carmen Falcone learned at an early age that fantasizing about fictional characters and places beat doing Math homework any day. She traveled the world, achieved a B.A. in Tourism in her hometown in Brazil and was soon invited to work in the USA, where she met her Swiss husband. She’d always dreamed of becoming a published writer, and after her daughter was born, she revisited that dream of writing – this time, unwilling to give it up. She lives in Austin and enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family and three high energy pugs.