Giveaway results & Review – The Heiress’s Homecoming by Regina Scott

First up, I’m pleased to very belatedly report the giveaway results for Admission.

Admission-Random-giveawayresultsBeautyinbudgetblog is the big winner, and she will receive a movie-tie-in copy of the book in short order courtesy of the publisher, Grand Central Publishing.  I send my thanks to the publisher for hosting the giveaway and to everyone who participated!  OK, now back to the regularly scheduled programming.

I’m quite behind schedule in my posting on this blog–I’ve been very busy in all areas of my life, and the amount of time available to putz around on the Internet has seriously decreased–and it’s starting to stress me out a little bit.  At any rate, I’m very pleased finally to be getting around to posting about this book, because I loved it.

Cover image, The Heiress’s Homecoming by Regina Scott

I have a bit of a soft spot for inspirational romances, but my appreciation for this book really has nothing to do with its wholesomeness.

As usual, I’ll start with the blurb, courtesy of Goodreads:

To keep her cherished childhood home, Samantha Everard must marry by her twenty-fifth birthday. Yet she refuses to marry on a whim, not even to save her fortune. When she returns to Dallsten Manor to say goodbye, the last person she expects to see is her handsome, disapproving neighbor William Wentworth, Earl of Kendrick.

Will is certain the scandalous Everard family is nothing but trouble. He shouldn’t care about Samantha’s predicament, but her feistiness and kindheartedness intrigue him—as does her refusal to wed. He wants to help, especially when he perceives the threat that surrounds her. Soon his greatest wish is to persuade Samantha that her true home is with him.

The publisher’s blurb doesn’t lie – the story is about a woman who has to make an awful choice: marry within a few weeks or lose her family home.  It’s about what happens when that woman meets her handsome, disapproving neighbor and the hijinks that ensue, including said neighbor persuading her to matrimony, but the whole is so much better than one would assume, considering a sum of the parts.

For starters, there is Samantha, a well-developed character whose motivations and actions always make sense.  She doesn’t want to marry without the right kind of love, so she chooses not to accept the well-meaning proposals that are thrown her way.  Her choice is not made out of petulance, it’s an honest conviction to which she sticks, no matter the personal cost.  Beyond that, Samantha is reasonably self-sufficient.  When danger rears its head, she neither cowers behind the males nor charges off half-cocked into danger.  Instead, she arms herself when possible, fights when she’s able, and runs for safety when there is no other choice.  Samantha is never a damsel in distress, even when a dude with a gun is chasing after her.

Then there is Will, whose development from disapproving neighbor to man in love is a delight to read.  For some added fun, readers also get to watch Will recover from his grief at losing his first love and learn how to relate to his nearly-adult son, Jamie.  The relationships between Samantha and Jamie, friends since childhood, Samantha and Will, and Will and Jamie are complex and, for me, were a bit of surprising gold hidden in an enjoyable story.

There were a few things about the story that didn’t entirely work for me.  I haven’t read any other books by this author, and some of the backstory elements that involved Samantha, Will’s brother, and Samantha’s relatives (all secondary characters here) didn’t quite make sense to me as a reader new to the story.  That said, the things I loved about this story (Samantha, Will, & Jamie, pretty much) far outweighed the occasional irritation of not knowing what was happening.

So there you go!  If you’re looking for a historical romance that is wholesome and not at all preachy, has interesting, well-developed characters and an intriguing  if occasionally confusing, plot, this is the book for you.

The Heiress’s Homecoming was released on March 5, 2013 as a mass-market and e-book by Love Inspired Historical (Harlequin).  If you’re interested in learning more about the book, please click on the cover image above to visit the book’s page on Goodreads.  For more information about Regina Scott, please visit her website.

*FTC Disclosure – I received an e-galley of this book from Love Inspired via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Review & Giveaway – Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz

You guys… this book is wonderful.

Cover image, Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Cover image, Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz

I’m not exactly convinced that the movie will be equally amazing, or even slightly amazing, but anyone even contemplating seeing the movie should read the book first.  Actually, read it right now.  I’m not kidding.

The blurb, courtesy of Goodreads:

“Admissions. Admission. Aren’t there two sides to the word? And two opposing sides…It’s what we let in, but it’s also what we let out.”

For years, 38-year-old Portia Nathan has avoided the past, hiding behind her busy (and sometimes punishing) career as a Princeton University admissions officer and her dependable domestic life. Her reluctance to confront the truth is suddenly overwhelmed by the resurfacing of a life-altering decision, and Portia is faced with an extraordinary test. Just as thousands of the nation’s brightest students await her decision regarding their academic admission, so too must Portia decide whether to make her own ultimate admission.

Admission is at once a fascinating look at the complex college admissions process and an emotional examination of what happens when the secrets of the past return and shake a woman’s life to its core.

When I was younger and full of the snobbery of college-age promise, I always read with pen in hand, ready to make notations, certain that this or that work of literature would suddenly explain the world to me in stark relief and beautiful language.  Sometimes it did; mostly, that pen was just a sign of my readiness to be transformed.  In the intervening decade, as my life became more full and my reading choices less profound (some would say; others, myself included, could argue this assumption, but that’s another blog post for another day), I stopped my habit of clutching a pen.

By the time I reached page 52 of Admission, I was digging in my purse for my favorite pen (and thanking the PR folk at Grand Central Publishing for sending me a paper copy of the book, enabling me to feel the extreme satisfaction of underlining this sentence: “There is a sound to waiting. It sounds like held breath pounding its fists against the walls of the lung, damp and muffled beats.”)  All told, I employed my pen eleven times to mark passages that seemed to me beautiful or particularly interesting or important.  I might have taken the time to underline more had I not read the last 2/3 of the book in one sitting, desperate to watch the journey unfold.

That careful unfolding is perhaps the best thing about the book.  The prose is beautiful, the story interesting, the backdrop profound, but it was the clarity of the author’s light shining into the murk her character had encouraged her life to become that floored me.  Portia is simultaneously far too aware of herself and utterly blind to the reality of her life.  Her struggle with the weight of the past, the penance of the present, and the impossibility of the future is at once shocking and intimately familiar.

I don’t often read other reviews before publishing my own review on a book, but this time I did.  The critical praise included in the book’s front matter seemed a bit strange to me, with most of the reviews focusing on the glimpses of college admissions culture that one can glean from this book.  That struck me as odd, because it did not seem to me that the book was about college admissions at all.  In fact, it is about Portia and her slow, difficult, and at times traumatic, recovery of her life.  Her sojourn in Dartmouth’s and Princeton’s Admission offices is the blindfold Portia uses to hide from reality.

“Her only tether was to the armchair and the orange folders, traveling slowly from stack to stack across her wooden lap desk, like that T.S. Eliot poem about the life measured out in coffee spoons, except that she was measuring hers with other people’s lives, which they had measured into these life-folders. Short lives, slivers of lives, fictions of lives.” (140)


“Her life was a port in the storm, a craft in unpredictable waters. Her life, it occurred to her, was a careful refuge from life.” (166)

One can, undeniably, learn quite a lot about college admissions while reading the book, but all those sections are a carefully crafted distraction from what’s really going on with Portia.  Along its winding road, this novel delves into the potential of young womanhood, along with all of its attendant responsibilities to justify and validate the struggles of all the women who came before; the weight of self-reproach and shame that falls on those who buckle under the pressure; the awareness of failure that marks middle age.  It also hints at the joy accessible to those who live, not through coffee spoons or any other measure of  habit, but through themselves.


I am absolutely thrilled to be able to offer a giveaway of Admission, hosted by Grand Central Publishing.  One lucky commenter, selected at random by, will win a copy of the movie-tie-in trade paperback (U.S. only… sorry!).  Please answer this question in a comment below in order to enter this giveaway (or feel free to make up your own topic, if you prefer, but please say something substantive…it’s just more interesting!):  

  • Assuming you wrote them, do you remember what you said in your college application essays?  Care to share the topic(s)?

The giveaway will run from Wednesday, March 20 until Tuesday, March 30 at 11:59 p.m. pacific time.  The winner must be willing to provide a mailing address in order to claim the prize.

*FTC Disclosure – I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Grand Central Publishing, in exchange for an honest review.*

Dueling Review – Rush by Maya Banks

First, an update on the Lord of Darkness giveaway.  The winner (who has already been notified and whose books are already on the way) is…



Next up, Kim, over at Reflections of a Book Addict, and I have another dueling review, this time about Maya Banks’ loved-or-hated Rush, the first book in her new Breathless Trilogy.  While reading the book, we kept up a steady stream of tweets and emails, and it soon became clear that we both had issues with the monumentally unheroic Gabe (note: he’s not an anti-hero… he’s actually just a douche bag) and the weak, complacent Mia.  We worried that the recent spate of books that seem to encourage unhealthy relationships might have a negative effect on women in our culture, so we wrote an open letter to women who are thinking about entering into a relationship and who wonder if, perhaps, their relationship (or arrangement) is a trifle unhealthy.

Check out the full post, over at Kim’s blog.  I’ve copied our open letter below.

Dear Woman Who Deserves Better Than What She’s Signing Up For,

We really want to see you with a man who deserves you.  Therefore you should know that if any of the following statements ring true for your relationship, something’s wrong.

  • Did you have to sign a contract with your new “significant other?”
    • If part of the negotiations require you getting him to agree to fidelity to just you…..something’s wrong (especially when there is a whole paragraph already included in the contract about your fidelity to him!)
    • If you need your “significant other’s” permission to hang out with your friends, something’s wrong.
      • If you’re not allowed to speak to your friends about your relationship, something’s wrong.
      • If you get permission to hang out with your friends, and your “significant other” still gets upset because alcohol is involved, something’s wrong.  You’re in your twenties. Live it the fuck up.
    • If your contract stipulates that all your physical and financial needs will be met in return for your ceding all control over yourself and your functions, but said contract makes no mention at all of your emotional well-being, something’s wrong.
    • If your contract states that it’s totally OK for your “significant other” to share you, occasionally, with other people, and you’re not quite sure what that means, so you have to ask about it, something’s wrong.
      • If you might be on the positive side of ambivalent, once it’s explained, that’s cool. But if, when the sharing happens, you aren’t in possession of the full facts, and it’s awful, and it happens anyway, something’s wrong.
        • If your “significant other” shares you without your permission and you get upset, and his response is to just take you on a shopping spree….something’s wrong.
  • So, you’re having sex with your “significant other.”  If he’s constantly shouting at you to give him your eyes, something’s wrong. I mean really, those are your eyes! Why should you give them up?
  • While at the office, if your “significant other” says, “Hey, come over here. I’m going to put this butt plug in you, and you’re going to wear it all day,” something’s wrong. Seriously girl, that’s your butt. What if it’s Mexican lunch day in the office? You gotta say no to that chili because he wants those plugs in you all day? Hells no.
  • If your “significant other” says “I’m looking forward to f**king this sweet ass” more than once (and that once is permissible only if there’s a lot of alcohol involved), something’s wrong.
  • If your “significant other” starts hitting on his dad’s girlfriend, like right in front of you, and you’re like, “What?!” and you leave, and then your “significant other” gets all kinds of angry at you for leaving that shit, something’s wrong.
  • If your “significant other” basically rapes your mouth because he’s too impatient to let you go at your own pace, something’s wrong.
  • If your “significant other” constantly asks you, “Did you eat?” GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE. Your fast metabolism won’t last forever and you’ll just end up obese with the amount of food he keeps plying you with.
  • If your “significant other” wants to pay you an outrageous sum of money so that you’ll be his beck and call girl (and butt-plug recipient), something’s wrong. You’re not a prostitute. You shouldn’t be treated as such.
  • If you have to pay the piper for all the stupid shit your “significant other’s” ex-wife did, something’s wrong.  That’s his baggage, girl, and it shouldn’t have anything to do with you.

As we said earlier, something’s wrong if these statements describe your relationship.  We’d be more than happy to help you get out and find someone much more worthy of you.

With sincere love,

Kelly & Kim

Review – Along Came Trouble by Ruthie Knox

About a month ago, I picked up and read About Last Night in one sitting.  Then I read it again the next day. Then I thought about it for a few days.  I’ll be honest, a lot of the time when I read a romance novel, I am striving not to think, but I get such a kick out of the books that force me out of my mental somnolence and into an engagement with what I’ve read.  About Last Night was such a book, and it launched Ruthie Knox onto a rather high spot on my “Authors Whose Books I’ll Anticipate and Automatically Buy” list.  When I saw on NetGalley that Knox had another novel coming out soon, I jumped on a chance to read and review it (and then purchased the novella that introduces the series).

Cover image, Along Came Trouble by Ruthie Knox

Do not judge this book by its cover.  I know you want to… dont’ do it!  The blurb, courtesy of Goodreads

An accomplished lawyer and driven single mother, Ellen Callahan isn’t looking for any help. She’s doing just fine on her own. So Ellen’s more than a little peeved when her brother, an international pop star, hires a security guard to protect her from a prying press that will stop at nothing to dig up dirt on him. But when the tanned and toned Caleb Clark shows up at her door, Ellen might just have to plead the fifth.

Back home after a deployment in Iraq and looking for work as a civilian, Caleb signs on as Ellen’s bodyguard. After combat in the hot desert sun, this job should be a breeze. But guarding the willful beauty is harder than he imagined—and Caleb can’t resist the temptation to mix business with pleasure. With their desires growing more undeniable by the day, Ellen and Caleb give in to an evening of steamy passion. But will they ever be able to share more than just a one-night stand?

I’m just going to come right out with the bottom line: this book is fabulous.  It takes the well-worn Hero as Protector trope and adds depth and substance by giving Caleb a few genuine insecurities to go along with his protective impulses.  Caleb worries about his father and mother; he worries that his mother doesn’t respect him as an adult; he feels guilt over leaving his family behind while pursuing a career in the military, and he worries that he won’t be able to fix all the problems that his family collected while he was gone.  Once he’s connected with Ellen, he worries that he won’t be able to adequately protect her while also giving her the space she needs.  The poor man worries a lot, significantly more than the brutish alphas one is accustomed to seeing grunting and flexing their way through their more traditional romances.

Ellen is also a bit of a twist on the traditional heroine.  After emerging, pregnant, from an awful marriage that left her belittled and diminished, she is extremely reticent to rely on anyone (especially another man) for anything.  She fears returning to weakness and complacency.  Ellen’s journey from forced independence to healthy interdependence is lovely to see.

This book also features a fun subplot involving Ellen’s brother and her next door neighbor (and her neighbor’s grandmother, who is probably my favorite character in the book).  While I’m often a bit leery of subplots (sometimes you wonder why you’re spending so much time hearing about stuff that has nothing to do with the main story, you know?!), it totally worked in this book.  I don’t know why (so I feel a bit dumb even bringing up the subplot thing, but whatever), but maybe it’s because the subplot really was necessary to throw Caleb and Ellen together and because Jamie (Ellen’s brother) is an excellent foil for Caleb.

My favorite bit in the book is Ellen’s epiphany after the big conflict.  I mentioned in the opening paragraph how much I enjoy being stunned out of somnolence by bits of writing that make me think.  Ellen’s epiphany was one of those moments (and the resolution scene following it made me smile and cheer).

If you’re going to read this book (and you totally should), you also might want to check out How to Misbehave a prelude novella introducing the setting and some of the characters in this series, set in an idyllic Ohio town called Camelot.  Along Came Trouble is totally a stand-alone book, and you don’t need to read the novella in order to follow the plot, but you should read it anyway because it’s wonderful.  Just saying.  (For more information about the novella, click on the cover image to visit the book’s page on Goodreads.)

Cover image, How to Misbehave by Ruthie Knox

Along Came Trouble was released on March 11, 2013 as an e-book by Loveswept, a division of Random House.  If you’re interested in finding out more about the book, click on the cover image above to visit the book’s page on Goodreads.  For more information about Ruthie Knox, visit her website.

*FTC Disclosure – I received an e-galley of this book from Loveswept via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Review – The Chieftain by Margaret Mallory

I really dug Margaret Mallory’s last release, The Warrior, so I jumped at the chance to read The Chieftain, the final book in the Return of the Highlanders series.

Cover image, The Chieftain by Margaret Mallory

The blurb, courtesy of the publisher:

Connor, chieftain of the MacDonalds of Sleat, holds the fate of his people in his hands. Rival clans are plotting to take over his lands, and duty determines whom he will fight, trust . . . even marry. Seeking guidance, Connor turns to Ilysa, a young lass with the gift of foresight, who reveals an approaching danger — and a passion that burns only for him. But the warrior must make a powerful marriage alliance, and Ilysa’s bloodline is far too humble.

With her powers to heal and see evil where others cannot, beautiful Ilysa dresses plainly, speaks softly, and loves her chieftain from afar. Yet when Connor finally stokes the embers of desire that have so long burned within her, Ilysa feels bliss unlike any she’s ever known. Now as he is forced to place duty before happiness, Ilysa senses Connor is in grave peril. Can she find a way to prove she is the woman he needs by his side?

So, here’s the thing. I’m not usually into stories that skeeter anywhere near the wallflower-who-gets-a-makeover-and-then-everyone-discovers-that-she-was-totally-hot-all-along trope. Those stories always seem to reinforce classic stereotypes (you must be pretty to get an HEA) while smugly pretending to reinforce the idea that there’s beauty in everyone. I mean, come on:

Also, Freddie Prinze, Jr. is in two of my top-5 Most Terrible Movies I Have Ever Seen. (Anyone else remember Head Over Heels?)

There are hints of that makeover trope at work in The Chieftain, but the overall story was compelling enough to make me overlook that detail.  It pretty much comes down to Ilysa.  She’s a strong, hardworking, capable, loyal character who trusts her own judgment and isn’t afraid to go up against Connor when he’s being pigheaded (which, let’s face it, is almost all the time).  She saves the day, several times over, and eventually (perhaps a little too eventually) Connor learns to value her as much as she rightly values herself.

I loved pretty much everything about Ilysa, but Connor was a little more difficult to like, mostly because Ilysa was so obviously awesome, and it seemed to take him FOR-EV-ER to notice.  Also, Connor suffered a bit — as far as I was concerned — in comparison to the moody, broody Lachlan and his deeply conflicted self.  I have my fingers crossed that he’ll get to star in an upcoming book.

That said, this book is a delight to read because of its plot and pacing.  The story is chock full of plot development, but the plot is perfectly balanced with enough character development to keep a reader like me happy, and it’s all perfectly paced.  The result is a fun, quick read that is utterly entertaining.  I highly recommend this book, Freddie Prinze, Jr. notwithstanding.

The Chieftain was released on February 26, 2013 as a mass-market and e-book by Forever.  If you’re interested in learning more about the book, click on the cover image above to visit the book’s page on Goodreads.  To learn more about Margaret Mallory, visit her website.

*FTC Disclosure – I received an e-galley of this book from Forever via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Review, author interview, and giveaway – Lord of Darkness by Elizabeth Hoyt

Cover image, Lord of Darkness by Elizabeth Hoyt

I’ve mentioned a few times how much I enjoy Elizabeth Hoyt’s books.  I dig the Georgian setting (with modern sensibilities), the less-than-perfect characters, the ethical questions that are explored.  I abso-freaking-lutely adore the way Hoyt arranges the story so that it weaves around a legend that introduces the book’s main themes–and that those themes differ in each book.  (I hadn’t realized it before, but those legends, which are told throughout the chapter introductions), are rather like the Opening Collects of all sorts of liturgies.)  Anyway, I just love these books, and it’s always a fine day when I sit down to read one.

The blurb, courtesy of Goodreads:

When Strangers In The Night

He lives in the shadows. As the mysterious masked avenger known as the Ghost of St. Giles, Godric St. John’s only goal is to protect the innocent of London. Until the night he confronts a fearless young lady pointing a pistol at his head—and realizes she is his wife.

Become Lovers…

Lady Margaret Reading has vowed to kill the Ghost of St. Giles—the man who murdered her one true love. Returning to London, and to the man she hasn’t seen since their wedding day, Margaret does not recognize the man behind the mask. Fierce, commanding, and dangerous, the notorious Ghost of St. Giles is everything she feared he would be—and so much more.

Desire Is The Ultimate Danger

When passion flares, these two intimate strangers can’t keep from revealing more of themselves than they had ever planned. But when Margaret learns the truth—that the Ghost is her husband—the game is up and the players must surrender…to the temptation that could destroy them both.

My review

I love a good courtship story, but I also get a real kick out of stories that are basically about a couple of strangers who are married (or otherwise tied to one another) for whatever reason and have to muddle through the muck and mire of interpersonal nonsense in order to reach their happily ever after.  These stories are refreshing (to me) because (1) the author doesn’t have to spend time dreaming up ways to throw the characters in company–they’re stuck together– (2) they fly counter to the idea that marriage (or even an engagement) is an end unto itself, a guaranteed happily ever after, and (3) they occasionally contain darker or deeper themes than courtship stories (the characters marry, and suddenly the heroine isn’t just herself, she’s also “wife,” and that added identity can make it more difficult for hero and heroine (also husband and wife) to develop a relationship as individuals outside their marital roles.).

Anyway, Lord of Darkness is a fun twist on the strangers married story type.  Not only are Margaret and Godric (got to love a romance hero named Godric, right?) pretty much a pair of married strangers, but they also have to work through an added layer of difficulty–Godric’s secret identity.  Also, both characters show up with the emotional baggage of a former love (Marianne Dashwood would be horrified), and Margaret’s biological clock ticks at a deafening volume.  I love me some deep-seated emotional issues, so I was a very happy reader as Godric and Margaret each worked through their grief and guilt with emotional poignancy and occasional humor.

As usual, my favorite thing about the story was the legend that was told throughout the chapter introductions, calling attention to the book’s main theme (between the characters, at least), the restoring power of love.  Beyond that theme, the book also discussed social justice, vigilantism, depression (in a way) and family, among other things.

I’m not saying that I loved everything about the story.  The intrigue plot felt like a little bit of a redo, and it seemed (to me) as though Margaret took Godric’s news way too well.  But on the whole, I enjoyed this book, and I’m super excited to read the next one.  I highly recommend this series (and all of Hoyt’s books) to anyone looking for romances with interesting characters set in Georgian England (but with modern sensibilities and language) that explore deeper themes than just person A meets person B; they boink.  (Actually, that would be a fun story to read…)

Interview with Elizabeth Hoyt

I want to start by thanking Elizabeth for coming on the blog today to answer some questions about her newest release.  As those of you who have been following this blog for a while know, I’m a bit of a fan, and I clapped my hands like a little girl when I found out I had the opportunity to host an interview with her on the blog and offer a giveaway of her current series.  (Seriously… I was in public when I read the email… my husband was pretty embarrassed.)

1.  RwA: Is there any historical example for the Ghost of St. Giles, a real-life vigilante?  

Hoyt: I don’t know of any real-life examples (there are of course plenty of fictional ones.) I do know about an example of a historical urban legend that worked kind of like the rumors that swirl around the Ghost. In the late nineteenth century several newspapers reported on a figure called Spring-Heeled Jack, a sort of satanic figure with glowing red eyes who popped up and scared people. He was supposed to make inhuman leaps, hence his name.

2.  RwA: When I read this book, I noticed some parallels (possibly of my own imagination) between the individual ghosts and some modern vigilante archetypes.  Did my imagination get away from me, or are there parallels?

Hoyt: You mean fictional characters? My Ghost was definitely influenced by the modern Batman films, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Scaramouche, and an obscure 1970s Disney film, Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarcrow.

3.  RwA: What illness did Clara St. John have?

Hoyt: LOL! No one has ever asked me that. I think she had some type of cancer or tuberculosis.

4.  RwA: Is it difficult to bridge the gap between a modern audience’s understanding of medical matters and a historical setting wherein many medical matters are unknown and mysterious (and in which the practice of medicine bears almost no resemblance to modern procedures)?

Hoyt: Actually, yes. It’s hard because we all know about germ theory and the importance of hygiene, especially around wounds, but really they had no idea back then. A lot of “medicine” consisted of wine or other spirits and herbs that might have no effect at all. But, oddly enough, people did survive horrific wounds that by all rights should’ve killed them either outright or by infection.

I did quite a bit of research into Godric’s arm injury in Lord of Darkness and the bulky, awkward splint the doctor uses is historically accurate—as is the fear of being crippled for life from a simple break. Bonesetting was an important art.

5.  RwA: During this book, some of the male characters have a discussion about a law attempting to regulate the flow of gin in St. Giles.  What is the significance of this law?

Hoyt: Overall there were seven gin acts put into law over twenty years trying to control gin in London during this time—most of which either didn’t have any effect or actually made matters worse. The act the characters are talking about in Lord of Darkness had to do with trying to arrest unlicensed gin sellers. Unfortunately, the act resulted in a lot of poor people who were selling gin out of wheelbarrows and carts getting arrested. It didn’t stop the bigger sellers (who paid bribes) or the overall distribution of gin. And there were several bloody riots with informers being lynched.

6.  RwA: Most readers of historical romance have a familiarity with Regency England as a historical setting. What are some of the cultural differences between the Georgian period in which you set your books and the later Regency period?

Hoyt: The Georgian period is more earthy, more opulent, and slightly freer. Also, lady’s underwear hadn’t been invented yet. 😉

 7.  RwA: Lady Penelope is a delightfully awful character.  Is there any chance that she’ll get to star in her own story?  (I have my fingers crossed… she’s one of my favorite characters.)

No, but never fear, she does get her own happy ending. 😉

Thank you for having me on Reading with Analysis! Readers can learn more about my Maiden Lane series and Lord of Darkness at my website: You can also chat with me on Twitter (, Facebook (, Goodreads (, and Pinterest (

Giveaway epicness!

FOREVER Romance has generously agreed to host this epic giveaway and will send one print copy of all five books in the Maiden Lane series (Wicked Intentions, Notorious PleasuresScandalous Desires, Thief of Shadows, and Lord of Darkness) to one lucky commenter, chosen at random (thank you,  There are, of course, some rules:

  1. This giveaway is limited to US residents only (sorry!).
  2. You must be 13 years of age or older to enter.
  3. You must comment on this post in order to qualify.  Don’t worry, I’ll give you a topic.
  4. You must be willing to provide your mailing address in order to receive your copy of the book.
  5. The giveaway will run through 11:59 PM pacific time on Thursday, March 14.  I will announce the super lucky winner on Friday, March 15.

Please leave a comment about vigilantism in literature (including comics), movies, and/or real life.  Many of us enjoy stories about dashing heroes taking justice into their own hands, but would you really want to meet one?  What is the draw?  Feel free to ignore my arbitrarily chosen topic in favor of one that is more interesting to you. 🙂

Lord of Darkness was released on February 26, 2013 as a mass market and e-book from Forever.

* FTC Disclaimer – I received an e-galley of this book from Forever through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. *