Tag Archives: Eloisa James

Seven Minutes in Heaven

Seven Minutes in Heaven by Eloisa James

 


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Description: 

All of Eugenia Snowe’s problems start when Edward Reeve, an arrogant bastard son of an earl, bursts into her registry office. He wants a governess and he wants her. She gives him the governess he demands, but she refuses to give herself.

No question that Eugenia enjoys crossing wits with the brilliant inventor, but she will never tarnish her reputation with an affaire, particularly with a man who doesn’t realize she’s a lady!

She holds her ground…until he kidnaps her.

Ward will stop at nothing to convince Eugenia that they’re meant to be together. He promises her heaven.

She gives him seven minutes.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review: 

Eloisa James has done it again! Seven Minutes in Heaven was an amazing book! Having read her previous Desperate Duchess series, I loved seeing Eugenia and Ward grow up and fall in love. Ward has recently gained control of his two half-siblings and Eugenia runs the governess service that Ward uses. While some plot-points felt a little unbelievable, i.e. Eugenia’s presence at Ward’s house, the chemistry between the hero and heroine more than makes up for it! It was especially nice to see a widow who moves on from a loving relationship and decides to enter into an affair without being coerced by external forces. Overall, another trademark and successful Eloisa James story!

Received an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

 

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Pleasure for Pleasure

Pleasure for Pleasure by Eloisa James

428677Description: Fueled by the knowledge that notoriety is better than failure, witty, unconventional Josie does what no proper young lady should—she challenges fate. She discards her corset and flirts outrageously. She attends the horse races and allows an arrogant rakehell to whisk her behind the stables for a surreptitious kiss . . . and is caught!

She doesn’t want to marry the young hellion—but who’s to help? Her chaperone keeps disappearing for mysterious appointments; her guardian is on his wedding trip; and his friend the Earl of Mayne is too busy staring into the eyes of his exquisite French fiancée.

Can a marriage forced by stuffy convention and unwilling desire become the match of the season?

Review: It’s been a long while since I’ve read this series by Eloisa James. Previously, I know I enjoyed the books and rereading Pleasure for Pleasure, I find that enjoyment held true. I actually want to go back and reread the first three books also. I really enjoyed Josie, the heroine. She has gumption and a persona about her that makes her very relatable. She, do to an unfortunate nickname, gets hung up on her weight for most of the book. The hero, Mayne, is able to convince her that she is attractive and that her weight doesn’t define her. This is one of those lessons that are sometimes not addressed in romance novels and perhaps should be. Josie’s weight does not define her as a woman nor should it. Mayne and the other characters in the book, such as her sisters, see passed her weight to the lovely woman Josie is. The problem that I had with the book is Mayne’s engagement and how the tendrils of his relationship with Josie start while he is engaged to someone else.

Pleasure for Pleasure Teaser

I forgot how much I enjoyed watching the relationship between Darlington and Lady Griselda develop. Darlington abandons his hurtful wit and doesn’t let the age difference between them stop his pursuit of Lady Griselda. It is an excellent addition to the main story line. And also allows Josie freedom to get into trouble. Trouble, that Mayne is able to deliver her from. Reading this book makes me realize how much Eloisa James has developed as a writer. While I secretly adore her older books, her writing becomes wittier and more enjoyable with each book I read. I do think her newer books are less awkward than some of her older ones. Now I  want to reread her Fairy Tale Retelling series and perhaps her Desperate Duchesses series before her new book is released. Rereading Pleasure for Pleasure was like reuniting with old friends but after while, you realize why you don’t spend much time with them anymore. 

I’m sure it has been addressed but I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring it up: the cover. The most unfortunate case of an inaccurate cover. Josie’s weight is a major plot point and yet the cover model is quite skinny. Although, I do approve of the sensuality of the cover. It fits with Mayne and Josie’s relationship.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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The Official Essex Sisters Companion Guide

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The Official Essex Sisters Companion Guide

By: Eloisa James & Jody Gayle

Releasing May 24, 2016
Avon Impulse

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Companion_coverBlurb
This is a book no Eloisa James fan should miss! Eloisa revisits the scintillating world of the Essex Sisters with “A Midsummer Night’s Disgrace,” a new story featuring a young lady, Cece, who would rather ruin her own reputation than endure further speculation about whether her children will be “silly,” like her brother, Billy. Happily for fans of Pleasure for Pleasure, Cece’s best friend is Josie, Countess of Mayne!

Just as exciting, the Companion includes not only Eloisa’s original notes about each book and her “extra” chapters, but a 170 page alternate ending to Kiss Me, Annabel. Eloisa discarded this shockingly different plot after writing one draft, and the published novel went in an entirely new direction. Make up your own mind about which is better-Eloisa’s original, or the final book!

Super fan Jody Gayle’s engaging guide includes essays about fascinating historical details, including period fashion designs. Explore the world of horse racing and tour the London theater scene. Delve into the rich history and deep literary tradition that makes Eloisa one of the top writers of historical romance.

The Companion also gives you a sneak peek at Eloisa’s newest full-length novella, “A Gentleman Never Tells”-which springs from the world of the Essex Sisters! What will happen when one of the men who ruined an heiress’ debut by labeling her a “Wooly Breeder” (and Josie Essex a “Scottish Sausage”) decides that it’s time to make amends?

 

Link to Follow Tour:  http://www.tastybooktours.com/2016/05/the-official-essex-sisters-companion.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18707904-the-official-essex-sisters-companion-guide

Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/41344-essex-sisters

Buy Links:      Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo

Kiss Me, Annabel Teaser

Author Info


Eloisa
ELOISA JAMES is a New York Times best-selling author and professor of English literature who lives with her family in New York, but who can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. She is the mother of two and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight. Visit Eloisa at http://www.eloisajames.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

Author Links:  Website | FB | Twitter | GR

Website:  http://www.eloisajames.com/
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/EloisaJamesFans
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/eloisajames
GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/86778.Eloisa_James

 

The Taming of the Duke Teaser

Author Info


Jody_GayleJODY GAYLE
, best-selling author and researcher, likens her work to that of a literary archeologist rather than a traditional author. She is dedicated to unearthing publications of the past, and sharing these long-forgotten books … the jewels and riches of the written word. She has uncovered tens of thousands of old publications from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and wants to bring them to life, and send her readers traveling back in time.

Author Links:  GoodReads | Website | Facebook

GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7009567.Jody_Gayle

Website: http://www.jodygayle.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jodygaylespage

 

Much Ado About You Teaser

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Print Copies (US Only) of the ESSEX SISTERS novels including Much Ado About You, Kiss Me, Annabel, The Taming of the Duke and Pleasure for Pleasure)

Link to Rafflecopter Page, http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/521ac4c81040/?

Excerpt-Banner

Excerpt

The Boundaries of a Book by Eloisa James

When Jody first approached me with the idea for an Essex Sisters companion consisting of historical essays addressing various aspects of the novels, I imagined contributing a couple of pages. But once we began discussing possibilities that went beyond historical investigation, my contribution grew to include an original novella, extra material that had previously been published only on my website, and this narrative essay, which traces my initial idea for the quartet to an “extra” chapter set a decade after Pleasure for Pleasure, the final book in the series. While Jody and I quickly agreed to include material already available to readers, the really crucial question for me had to do with Kiss Me, Annabel, which exists in sharply different versions.

The original plot of Kiss Me sprang from the fact that my husband is an observant Catholic, whereas I was introduced as a child to a confusing medley of religions, from Lutheran to Buddhist, none of which I now practice. I wanted to write a novel in which hero and heroine are not of one mind with respect to faith.

My editor at the time found the second half of the novel far too dark. The change she requested required me to cut the last nineteen chapters and rewrite them. As it happened, I was reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books aloud to my daughter at the time; I credit those books with inspiring me to reshape my overly dark story into a lighthearted road trip (with a detour into the mysteries of butter churning).

The two endings are so different that I don’t think it’s possible to say that one is “better” than the other. Reading the original draft all these years later, I love the focus on Ewan’s faith, as well as all the drama.  But I might as well add that when I recounted the original plot to my current editor, Carrie Feron, her eyes grew round and she said that she likely would have found the story a bit dark.

For me, including the original half of Kiss Me, Annabel here definitively transformed this companion from a bunch of complementary essays to something that questioned our conception of a genre novel. Why shouldn’t a book exist in two different versions, as long as each ends happily? Why shouldn’t a reader be able to follow—and take pleasure in—two completely different paths by which the same characters end up in the same place?

Once I accepted that, the temptation to meddle with other parts of the series was irresistible. As I again immersed myself in the world of the Essex Sisters, I found loose ends in Pleasure for Pleasure that, interestingly enough, all had to do with bullying. The novel is a reader favorite, not least because Josie’s experience of being labeled with the horrid nickname the “Scottish Sausage” resonates with so many readers. What happened to the other girls mentioned in the book, who were ostracized along with Josie? What about the young lady deemed unmarriageable because her brother was “silly,” leading everyone to assume that her children would be cognitively impaired? Or the “Wooly Breeder,” so named because she had unruly, curly hair and a father who owned many sheep?

Part of the reason this companion took two years to assemble was that I found myself writing new, discrete novellas to answer those questions. A Midsummer Night’s Disgrace, included here, tells the story of the sister of “Silly Billy,” and her recognition that she was tired of being shunned; instead of silly, she chooses to be scandalous. A Gentleman Never Tells, another new novella, is being published in tandem with the companion; it answers the question of what happened to the “Wooly Breeder,” while also considering the long-term consequences of bullying on the bully. I hope readers will be happy to see that Josie and her husband, the Earl of Mayne, make a brief appearance in the companion, and then reappear in company with their daughter in A Gentleman Never Tells. 

 

Review-Banner

Review:

I loved revisiting the Essex sisters! This companion had everything I would have wanted: excellent essays, a new novella, a catch-up with the Essex sisters, and an alternate ending for Kiss Me, Annabel.  Loved it!

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Top Ten Authors Duos You’d Love To See Write A Book Together

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list and everyone is welcome to join. This week’s theme is “Top Ten Author Dous You’d Love To See Write A Book Together.”

  1. Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter! 

    I want a Immortals After Dark/ Lords of the Underworld crossover!

  2. Sherrilyn Kenyon and J.R. Ward

    Dark-Hunter/ Black Dagger Brotherhood crossover!

  3. Eloisa James and Julia Quinn

  4. Sarah MacLean and Lisa Kleypas

    Writing about competing gambling halls

  5. Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgins

    That book would be hysterical!

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Top Ten Books to Read if You Like Lisa Kleypas

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list and everyone is welcome to join. This week’s theme is “Ten Books to Read If You Like This Popular Book/Author”. I decided to chose Lisa Kleypas since she writes both historical and contemporary books.

  1. The Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn

    The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1)
    Similar to Lisa Kleypas’ Hathaway series

  2. A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

    A Rogue by Any Other Name (The Rules of Scoundrels, #1)
    The entire time I was reading this book I kept thinking of Lisa Kleypas’ Dream of You, Derek Craven, sigh.

  3. Lucky Harbor Series by Jill Shalvis

    Simply Irresistible (Lucky Harbor, #1)
    Reminded me of Kleypas’s Friday Harbor series

  4. Duchess Quartet by Eloisa James 

    Duchess in Love (Duchess Quartet, #1)
    The friends in her series reminded me of the Wallflower series.

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Top Ten Books That Made Me Cry

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list and everyone is welcome to join. This week’s theme is a freebie so I decided to do “Top Ten Books That Made Me Cry”. I’m one of those people who adores books that make me cry so I figured, why not.

  1. Midnight Pleasures by Eloisa James Midnight Pleasures (Pleasures, #2)

    This book makes me sob. Not just cry. Sob. I’m actually not the biggest fan of this book’s plot but whenever I pick it up, I know the emotions I will get from it and that’s why I keep coming back to it.

  2. Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia QuinnThe Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever (Bevelstoke, #1)

    This is one of my favorite Julia Quinn books. I think that’s because most of her books are so happy that I was knocked off my feet by the emotions in this one. Case in point, my other favorite Julia Quinn is Romancing Mister Bridgerton, which has similar themes but leaves me grinning the entire book.

  3. The Bollywood Bride by Sonali DevThe Bollywood Bride

    I just read this book recently and I’m pretty sure I sobbed from start to finish.

  4. Dream a  Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth PhillipsDream a Little Dream (Chicago Stars, #4)

    A lot of Susan Elizabeth Phillips books make me cry but I decided to include the two that make me cry the most.

  5. Kiss An Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips Kiss an Angel

  6. Styxx by Sherrilyn KenyonStyxx (Dark-Hunter, #12)

    Oh god. There aren’t words for how much this book makes me cry. It doesn’t matter what I’m in the middle of doing, just the thought of the scene where Styxx is poisoned and dreaming of Bethany and their son. I’m tearing up right now just typing that.

  7. Acheron by Sherrilyn KenyonAcheron (Dark-Hunter, #8)

    I’m still emotionally scarred from that book.

  8. Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa KleypasBlue-Eyed Devil (Travises, #2)

    This is my favorite Lisa Kleypas book and I cry through the first 100 pages over what Haven has to suffer through.

  9. Enslaved by Virginia Henley Enslaved

    The scene in the arena where Marcus has to send Diana back. Sobs.

  10. Heart of Obsidian by Nalini SinghHeart of Obsidian (Psy-Changeling, #12)

    This book tore my heart out and then pieced it back together.

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The Hotter You Burn

The Hotter You Burn (The Original Heartbreakers, #2)The Hotter You Burn by Gena Showalter

Description: Beck Ockley is ruthless in the boardroom…and the bedroom. He’s never been with the same woman twice, and vows he never will. With a past as twisted as his, meaningless sex keeps the demons at bay. His motto: One and done. No harm, no foul.

Harlow Glass is the most hated girl in town. The beautiful artist is penniless, jobless and homeless. When she sneaks into Beck’s home—her ancestral estate—for food, she’s shocked by his early return…and her immediate, sizzling and intense attraction to him.

For the first time in Beck’s life, he can’t get a woman out of his mind. All too soon, friendship blooms into obsession and he’ll have to break her heart…or surrender his own

**Warning- This review has spoilers! 

Review: About halfway through this book, tears streaming down my face, I realized something: I didn’t actually like the book I was reading, and crying over. Despite this, I finished the book, staying up a little too late on a work day. I then spent my entire commute into work the next morning trying to pinpoint what bothering me so much about this book. And it did bother me. I had read the novella and the first book of Showalter’s The Original Heartbreakers Series and really liked them. And the first book left me intrigued for Harlow and Beck’s story as well as the third book, West and Jessie Kay’s story. However, The Hotter You Burn left me questioning why I liked the first book and whether it would worth it to read the third. Honestly, I’m a fan of Showalter. I love her Lords of the Underworld Series, her Alien Huntress Series, and even her Atlantis Series, though I read it a while ago. I think that’s why I’m so surprised I didn’t like this book.

This book is mostly character driven. In terms of plot, not much occurs. Beck, as learned in the previous book, bought a house in Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, with his two best friends. This house previously belonged to Harlow Glass and her family but Harlow lost the house after her mother died. Harlow was the town mean girl and basically everyone in the town hates her. She is homeless, jobless,broke and secretly camping on Beck’s land. They meet when Beck catches Harlow breaking into her former house and stealing a pie. The rest of the story revolves on Beck being attracted to Harlow, giving her job and a RV to live in. Harlow is trying to make amends with a town that hates her as well as wanting to create a home and stability, which totally goes against Beck’s One Night Stand policy.

Okay, so let me try to break down my issues with the book. Basically, it’s a lot of small things combined which put me off this book.

  1. Harlow’s life- We learn, in Harlow’s backstory, about why she was a mean girl in middle school and high school. However, halfway through high school, Harlow is injuried and home-schooled. Then, a time later, her mom dies and Harlow loses her house. That’s it. Harlow is presented as in her 20’s. What did she do between her injury in high school and her mom dying. Didn’t she get a job? Go to college? There’s a giant piece of her life, one which places her in the position she’s in at the beginning of the book, that is completely blank.
  2. Harlow’s job with Beck. Beck gives Harlow a job designing characters for video games. That’s fine, he’s seen her art work and knows she’s a good artist. But he essentially gives her his office at the company and moves into West’s. And then, when they break up, she’s basically fired and homeless again. So she moves back into the woods. Wtf
  3. Harlow and the Woods. Okay, I get the poverty plotline. But living in the woods because you won’t leave the town you grew up in, a town whose people actively hate you, seems a bit ridiculous. And when she goes back into the woods a second time, she has friends, somewhat, or at least people who might be willing to help her. But no, she goes back to living in the woods.
  4. Random odd things that Beck does- He sets up a trust for her early into the book and doesn’t tell Harlow- even after they break up and she moves back into the woods
  5. Beck the Man-Whore – I get the whole childhood sexual assault and friend-went-jail -and-its-partly-my-fault and abandonment by family thing but I’m not sure if that all justifies his fear of commitment. And if it does justify his fear of commitment, I’m not sure his and Harlow’s relationship is enough to get over that.
  6. How easily Harlow takes Beck back- this might be a preference thing but I really like when there’s a good grovel scene and when the heroine doesn’t automatically forgive the hero.

Honestly, I’m just not sure if I like the characters either as individuals or as a couple.

Despite my previous rant, there are pros to the book.

  1. It made me cry- Also personal preference but I’m a huge sucker for books that make me cry. I’m talking to you Midnight Pleasures and Kiss An Angel and Styxx and Blue-Eyed Devil. I’m fan of down-on-their-luck heroines. And I have to say, as many issues I had with this book, there were emotional, poignant scenes which bought my opinion of it back up.
  2. Chemistry- For as many problems I had with Beck and Harlow, both individually and as a couple, Showalter sure knows how to create chemistry between characters. Never did I doubt their chemistry, not for a minute.
  3. The negative side of small towns- I’ve been reading a lot of small town romances, i.e. Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold Series, and these books tend to present the positive side of small towns. It was a nice change of pace to see the humanity of Showalter’s Strawberry Valley, even if it was the negative side. It made the town feel more realistic.

Rating: 2 out of 5. I clearly had a lot of issues with the book and I’m not sure if I’m going to continue the series when the next book came out. But it also made me think. And cry. I really do have a soft spot for books that make me cry.

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Top Ten Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list and everyone is welcome to join. This week’s theme is “Top Ten Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From”. This was a really easy week. Once I find a romance writer I like, I tend to read their entire back-list.

  1. Sherrilyn Kenyon
    Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #8)

  2. Johanna Lindsey Gentle Rogue (Malory-Anderson Family, #3)

  3. Eloisa James A Kiss at Midnight (Fairy Tales, #1)

  4. Julia Quinn Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet, #1)

  5. Nalini Singh Archangel's Shadows (Guild Hunter, #7)

  6. Susan Mallery Chasing Perfect (Fool's Gold, #1)

  7. Elizabeth Boyle Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress (Bachelor Chronicles, #5)

  8. Lynsay Sands A Quick Bite (Argeneau #1)

  9. Christina DoddThe Barefoot Princess (Lost Princesses, #2)

  10. Lisa Kleypas Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1)

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Booksigning – Nalini Singh with Sarah Wendell

To start off my week of romance novels, last Monday I went to a booksiging for Nalini Singh. I’ve been fortunate that over the last few years, my local Barnes and Noble has hosted a variety of romance novelists. I’ve meet everyone from Eloisa James and Julia Quinn (total fangirl moment) to Brenda Jackson.

Sarah Wendell and my signed copy of Beyond Heaving Bosoms- The Smart Bitches Guide to Romance Novels

Sarah Wendell and my signed copy of Beyond Heaving Bosoms- The Smart Bitches Guide to Romance Novels

My night started off amazing. I left work early and headed straight to Barnes and Noble. What I can I say, I wanted a good seat and was totally okay with arriving 2 hours early. While I was sitting in Starbucks, rereading Heart of Obsidian, I looked over and there was Sarah Wendell. For those of you who don’t know, Sarah Wendell co-runs one of the best romance websites around: Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. And she co-wrote Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches Guide to Romance Novels and wrote Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels. So of course, I had to go over and talk to her.

Nalini Singh

Nalini Singh

And ask her to sign my copy of Beyond Heaving Bosoms. And chat with her

about romance novels. As one does.

The night got even better from there when Nalini Singh arrived. Since I basically worship the ground she walks on and re-read her Psy-Changeling series every few months, you can understand my excitement. She and Sarah chatted about her books, her addiction, while in the States, to Extreme Couponing, and everything in between. Sarah was sneaky and kept trying to get Nalini to slip up and tell the identity of “The Architect”. I was lucky enough to get ask Nalini a few questions.

Pups or Cubs- Referring to Mercy and Riley’s future children from Branded by Fire  – she laughed and refused to answer

Who would win in a fight: Hawke or Lucas – She also didn’t answer- I don’t blame her; I’m not sure either

While getting my books signed, I also asked her if Hawke and Sienna will have a satisfying showdown with Ming- They will!!

It was an amazing night and an excellent way to kick off my romance novels week!

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