Thank you, Santa! And thank you, Tessa, Emily and Eloisa!
By Tessa Dare
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Release Date: November 15, 2011
It's the night of the officer's ball in Spindle Cove and Violet Winterbottom is where she can usually be found at a ball; in the corner. She's gained a fair amount of confidence since arriving in Spindle Cove - a haven for young ladies who for a variety of reasons are society misfits - following The Disappointment a year past but her parents have called her home and tomorrow she leaves for London where she faces the possibility of seeing him, the boy next door, the man she's always loved, the man who, one year ago, broke her heart by giving her reason to hope then leaving the country without even saying "good-bye."
She's on the verge of leaving the ball when a bedraggled and obviously wounded man staggers into the ballroom, mumbling in a foreign language, and collapses at Violet's feet. Who is he? A spy? A smuggler? An enemy of England or someone more familiar? All Violet knows about this stranger who intrigues her is that she's the only person at the ball who can understand the language he's speaking and he's desperate to keep her by his side.
One night. That's all she has to discover his secrets. Will it be enough to erase the painful memory of The Disappointment and give her the courage to once more open her heart to love?
Tessa Dare returns to Spindle Cove, the setting of her current historical series, for this charming, frequently humorous and sensual holiday tale that will warm your heart on a cold winter's eve and leave you counting the days until your next visit to this delightful seaside village.
The first book in the Spindle Cove series, A Night to Surrender was released in August and the next book, A Week to be Wicked will be released March 27, 2012. That's 130 days. In case you were wondering. ::grin::
Mistletoe Mine: An Eternity Springs Novella
By Emily March
Release Date: November 21, 2011
Only one thing is casting a shadow on Molly Stapleton's upcoming marriage: the fact that her beloved parents haven't spoken for the past three years. Can a destination wedding in Eternity Springs, Colorado and a little help from her new Eternity Springs friends bring about the Christmas miracle she most wants?
Torn apart by a tragic family betrayal, Emma and Jared Stapleton have lived separate lives for the past three years. Now, with the wedding of their only child on the horizon, they will come face to face for the first time since the day when they hurled painful words at one another and Emma stormed off their ranch, never to return. Will their daughter's not-so-subtle matchmaking and the magic of the holiday season open this stubborn, emotionally wounded couple's eyes to the fact that where love still resides there is always hope? And, if they finally set aside their pride and truly communicate with one another, will the gift their hearts most desire finally be theirs?
Emily March's small mountain town of Eternity Springs has quickly become one of my favorite fictional places to visit. Each story, whether full-length or shorter novella, is character driven, deeply emotional and finely woven with March's strong threads of hope, love and friendship. If you haven't visited Eternity Springs yet, why not take a trip this holiday season with "Mistletoe Mine?"
Lover's Leap, the next book in March's Eternity Springs series will be released December 27th. Two trips to Eternity Springs this holiday season make me one very happy reader!
By Eloisa James
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Cyrus has a plan: become wealthy, buy an estate, marry a member of the ton, restore his family's reputation in society and, at all costs, avoid the scandal his parents created when his titled mother eloped with the family solicitor. Choosing perpetual wallflower, Lucy Towerton at first sight, Cyrus secures her father's approval of the match then goes about his business, paying his fiancee less attention than he would a stranger on the street.
When Lucy, who is much more than the wallflower persona she presents, inherits a fortune from her aunt, she becomes an instant heiress and Lucy's snobbish mother insists she break the engagement and set her sights higher. Lucy does break it off but not for those reasons. Having finally gained confidence in herself, and the attentions of other men of the ton, Lucy realizes that she deserves more than to be a number on a gentleman's "plan." Though she desires Cyrus, she really doesn't know him but she knows herself well enough to understand that she cannot spend her life with a man who doesn't desire her above all else. Lucy wants love and she's willing to fight to get it. What Cyrus slowly discovers, once he no longer has her, is that what he wants is Lucy but she won't make it easy for him. If he wants to win her, he'll have to work for it because Lucy won't give herself to a man who doesn't know her completely and who can't open himself completely to her.
Like exquisitely packaged gourmet chocolates, James reveals each layer of Lucy and Cyrus's personalties at a leisurely pace, serving them to the reader at the appropriate time. Light and fluffy, dark and sensual, intriguing and complex; each delicious piece offers a deeper look into the hearts of our hero and heroine, allowing the reader - and even the characters themselves - to finally, completely uncover the real person behind the public veneer.
I loved this couple! They made me laugh, sigh, groan, laugh some more and cheer them on from beginning to end. James's signature wit, well-drawn characters and sensual romance make this holiday tale one to treasure. And, as an added bonus, the epilogue is one of the most entertaining I've read in ages. I highly recommend "Winning the Wallflower."
The next book from Eloisa James, The Duke is Mine, will be released December 27th. I've read it and I think it's one of the best books she's written. (Watch for my review in December) It also features one of my favorite heroines ever, Olivia Lytton, an irrepressible young lady who is introduced to readers in "Winning the Wallflower."