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Showing posts by: A.J. Wilson click to see A.J. Wilson's profile
Jan 31 2012 5:00pm

Fresh Meat: Jillian Stone’s An Affair with Mr. Kennedy (Jan. 31, 2012)

An Affair with Mr. Kennedy by Jillian StoneJillian Stone
An Affair with Mr. Kennedy
Pocket, $7.99, Jan. 31, 2012

London, 1887. Part stoic gentleman, part fearless Yard man, Zeno “Zak” Kennedy is an enigma of the first order. For years, the memory of a deadly bombing at King’s Cross has haunted the brilliant Scotland Yard detective. His investigation has zeroed in on a ring of aristocratic rebels whose bloody campaign for Irish revolution is terrorizing the city. When he discovers one of the treacherous lords is acquainted with his free-spirited new tenant, Cassandra St. Cloud, his inquiry pulls him unexpectedly close to the heart of the conspiracy and into the arms of a most intriguing lady.

And Cassie is no Victorian prude. An Impressionist painter with very modern ideas about life and love, she is eager for a romantic escapade that is daring and discreet. She sets her sights on her dour but handsome landlord, but after she learns their meeting was not purely accidental, she hardly has a chance to forgive her lover before their passionate affair catapults them both into a perilous adventure.

In 2010, Jillian Stone’s Victorian-set romantic suspense won the Golden Heart, the Romance Writers of America’s award for unpublished authors. That book then sold and is Stone’s debut, An Affair with Mr. Kennedy.

[So...how is it?...]

Jan 5 2012 11:15am

Hot for a Highlander: Those Sexy Scots!

Aidan Paul is Duncan MacLeod in The HighlanderA battled-hardened warrior whispers

“Scottish by birth, British by law,
Highlander by the grace of God.”

in your ear; his burr sending shivers of pleasure through your body …

Through the mist, high above the rolling hills, clad in his clan colors a sword at his side stands a proud warrior, a Highlander. Home is a castle, several hundred years in the past.

[I’m guessing we’re not in Kansas anymore...]

Aug 2 2011 3:00pm

Fresh Meat: Michelle Diener’s In A Treacherous Court (August 2, 2011)

In a Treacherous Court by Michelle DienerMichelle Diener
In a Treacherous Court
Gallery Books, Simon & Schuster, $15.00

Henry VIII’s most lethal courtier and his newly appointed artist become the only thing keeping him on the throne—and if they survive, neither will ever be the same.

John Parker is one of Henry VIII most useful courtiers—utterly merciless and completely loyal. But one small favor for his King will pull Parker into a deadly plot against the throne, one that will test his courage, his resolve, and most especially, his heart.

A commission from Henry VIII should have been the crowning achievement of Susanna Horenbout’s career, but before the beautiful and talented artist even sets foot in England, she finds herself in possession of a secret that could change its history. With Parker as her only protection against killers who will stop at nothing to silence her, Susanna has to trust the dangerous, enigmatic courtier. She’s used to fighting in a man’s world, but she never expected to be fighting for her life.

[Click and think of England...]

Jul 30 2011 5:00pm

The Women of True Blood: Pam vs. Sookie

Pam and Sookie in True BloodWe’ve often focused on the men of True Blood, and for good reason—an inability to wear shirts, serious sexual charisma, and many, many abs. But what about the ladies? So we thought we’d represent them as well, and do a H & H Throwdown on which True Blood woman you like the best. First off, we’ve got vampire Pam pitted against faery Sookie. Let us know in comments which is your favorite, and that winner will go against the winner of the next round.

[Voting for strong, opinionated ladies? Sign us up!...]

Jul 23 2011 3:00pm

The Men of True Blood: Bill vs. Eric

Two go in, only one will leaveEarlier this year, we did a throwdown between the Brothers of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. So we thought it might be fun to have a similar contest between our favorite hotties from True Blood. First up, we’ve got the Sookie’s suitors: Bill and Eric. Which will you choose?

Let us know in comments, and we’ll announce the winner who’ll be matched against the winner of the next round.

[Round 1: Eric the Viking Vampire vs Bill “Deep South” Compton]

Jul 17 2011 3:00pm

Lannister is to Lancaster as Stark is to York: Game of Thrones as History Retold

I’m enthralled: Epic storytelling, political intrigue, intricate plotting, noble knights and mad, ruthless kings.

Game of Thrones is all of these things, and though George R.R. Martin creates his world on a grand, fantastical scale, it recalls the time in English history that was full of bloodshed, betrayal and wary alliances (although when wasn’t that happening?). A time when two royal families, Lancaster and York, fought to wear the crown of England—the War of the Roses.

[Where would you stand?...]

Jun 25 2011 4:00pm

Game of Thrones Season 2: Anticipating What’s Next

Joffrey Baratheon in Game of ThronesLike arch-enemies the Lannisters and Starks, Aliza and I—A.J.—fought to the bitter end for the right to pen this post, but alas, it was a tie, the result of which is that both of us will be offering our perspectives—as avid viewers who haven’t read the books—on what happened during Game of Thrones Season 1, and what might happen in Game of Thrones Season 2.

A.J.: I’m a die-hard Game of Thrones fan, so much so that I’ve bought all of the books—and for one who loathes surprises, and ALWAYS reads spoilers —have not yet read them. I want to wait, yes, the queen of spoilers thrives on the anticipation of what is to come. Very rare indeed!

[But speculation is fair game!...]

Apr 20 2011 12:15pm

Fresh Meat: Ann Lethbridge’s The Gamekeeper’s Lady (April 19, 2011)

The Gamekeeper’s Lady by Ann LethbridgeAnn Lethbridge 
The Gamekeeper's Lady
Harlequin Historical, April 19, 2011, $5.99

Frederica Bracewell grew up under a cloud of shame. As an illegitimate child, she was treated by her uncle like a servant. It isn't until she encounters the new gamekeeper that shy, innocent Frederica starts to feel like a true lady...

Lord Robert Mountford has been banished by his family. After a debauched existence, he revels in the simplicity of a gamekeeper's lifestyle. Until temptation strikes! Frederica's plain appearance and stuttering speech are a far cry from the ladies of the ton, but she may just be his undoing...and unmasking!

[Unmasking the gamekeeper! Sign us up!...]

Apr 4 2011 6:00pm

The “I’ve Come For You, Katrine” Scene in Anya Seton’s Katherine

Katherine by Anya SetonJohn looked down at the head on his breast . . . “I’ve come for you, Katrine.”

So begins a love affair so grand, so infinitely beautiful it has become legend . . . Crafted by the breathtaking prose of Anya Seton, set in 14th Century England, Katherine tells the very real life and love of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, and Katherine Swynford.

With unmatched prose, Seton tells the tale of the convent-bred daughter of a minor Flemish herald from Hainault and the third surviving son of King Edward III of England.

[Once upon a time...]

Mar 18 2011 6:00pm

Built for the Kilt: Sexy Scotsmen in Romance

With Every Breath by Lynn KurlandThe motto of chivalry is also the motto of wisdom; to serve all, but love only one.
—Honore de Balzac

There is something inexplicably sexy about a man sired from the same fierce and proud stock that drove the entire Roman Empire away.

Strapping lads showing off muscled legs, holding a sword in one hand and your heart in the other . . .

I cannot recall the first romance novel I ever read, but at the edges of my conscience floats a memory of gallant warriors, hardened by the struggle to survive in a harsh environment, yet chivalrous in their service to others. My first real taste of such men was of the characters penned by author, Lynn Kurland in her MacLeod Series. They’re historically accurate, not to mention wonderfully rich with sexy, gallant Scotsmen.

Chivalry—or, more specifically, a chivalrous Scotsman in plaid—does it for me every time. Whoever said chivalry was dead, sadly, never had the fortune to know it or read of it in a good Highland Romance.

[Would you even recognize chivalry anymore? . . .]