Scandalous Summer Nights – a novella collection

summer nights

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Publisher and Release Date: Jennifer Haymore, June 2014

RHR Classifications:
Time and setting: Regency England
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 3
Reviewer rating: 5 Stars

Reviewed by Vikki

Seven sexy series-opening novellas from seven bestselling historical romance authors Grace Callaway, Sabrina Darby, Jennifer Haymore, Sue London, Kate McKinley, Sandy Raven and Vivienne Westlake.

The Widow Vanishes by Grace Callaway

Annabel Foster is forced to honor her late husband’s debts by either giving up her life or losing her virtue. On her first night in the brothel, she is fortunate to have William McLeod as her first patron. The last thing she expects is the fiery passion that ignites between them. Can this night of startling passion lead to a forever kind of love?

What a great story and so well-written. For a short novella, there is excellent character development and an intriguing plot. This is another great offering from Grace Callaway and it will not be the last of her books that I’ll read. I can’t wait to read the Heart of Enquiry series!

Scandal Before Sunrise by Sabrina Darby

Abby returns to London for the season after being away for three years, determined to secure a husband before the ton finds out about her parents’ scandalous behavior. While she gains the attention of an honorable man, she is drawn to Elliot Jones, a rake and a gossip. Should she choose her steady admirer, or give in to her desires and choose passion over sensibility?

This book showcases friendship between a group of young people bent on living life to its fullest, but at a cost. I had sympathy for Abby’s frenzied need to find a husband before all was revealed, especially when some of her poor choices from three years previously come back to haunt her. After all, she lives in a time where marriage is the done thing. However, I did not care for Elliot as much. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading the story and will look forward to reading more from this author.

A Highlander’s Heartby Jennifer Haymore

Lady Claire races to Belgium so she can tell her husband she is sorry for her hateful words ten months ago when he left her side at the worst moment of her life. She arrives too late and searches the battlefield for her estranged husband the day after Waterloo. When she finds him, all she wants to do is rush into his arms, but is she too late? Can they mend their broken marriage, or are they destined to repeat the past heartache?

What a great start to what I anticipate will be another incredible series by Ms. Haymore. She masterfully introduces the men of the Highland Knights as she weaves a poignant story of loss and love for a couple trying to find their way back to each other. When I found out what happens, my heart ached for their terrible loss. I couldn’t stop reading this riveting story, which captured me and held me in its thrall to the very end while the tension built on each page. I look forward to this new series with great anticipation.

Lord Lucifer’s Disciple by Sue London

Elisa Jarvis meets a mysterious and intriguing stranger at a masked ball. As an heiress, she is constantly plagued by dozens of men who are only interested in her massive dowry. This interesting masked man doesn’t know who she is and can’t be interested in her money. Swept up in the moment, she allows him to kiss her and agrees to meet him the following night. Little does she know, but the strange is none other than the quiet, reserved John Howards, her best friend’s cousin. Will this couple live up to each other’s expectations?

What a delightful read! Ms. London has written a sparkling, funny, yet sweetly innocent love story. When I say sweet, I don’t mean it’s not sensual because the sexual tension is so strong it leaves the reader breathless with its intensity. John Howards is one of the strongest beta heroes I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting (in a book). This witty love story enchanted me, and I look forward to reading more of the Haberdashers series.

How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Kate McKinley

Lucas Alexander, the Duke of Arlington is on a mission. After meeting Pippa Welby at the Tizdale ball, he vows to make her his own. When the duke shows up with an invitation to her engagement ball—to him—Pippa, the daughter of a wealthy tradesman, is determined to never marry a member of the ton. Who will win this tug of war? Can Pippa lose the duke in ten days, or will he manage to win her heart?

This is another great story filled with passion and desire with a well-thought out and unique plot. I look forward to reading more by this talented author.

Miss Amelia Lands a Duke by Sandy Raven

Amelia Manners-Sutton, a spinster who accepts a position as companion to her aunt, is appalled when they show up at a house party without an invitation. As she wanders through the garden, she meets a distinguished gentleman and is immediately attracted to him. After a brief interlude in the library, she finds out the gentleman is none other than the Duke of Caversham, the man her aunt plans to seduce into marriage. When the duke finds out who her family is, he demands that she marry him in a month. Will Amelia take a chance on love with an older man?

This is such a well-written story with deep emotion and passion galore. When I saw this story by Sandy Raven, I couldn’t wait to get to it, since I’ve already read The Caversham Chronicles and loved them. I loved this amazing prequel and now I need to re-read her series again!

Lady Northam’s Wicked Surrender by Vivienne Westlake

Rowena, the Countess of Northam finds out her former suitor has returned from India. When dreams of Simon seem too real, she discovers they are very real indeed. He seems bent on seduction. Now a lonely widow, Rowena wonders if it’s too late for a second chance at true love. Dare she open her heart to Simon again after his past abandonment?

This is another great story with sizzling passion and intense desire. Ms. Westlake writes of love lost, yet not forgotten in a way that warms the heart and touches the soul. I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful love story and look forward to reading more of her Wicked Liaisons series.

Scandalous Summer Nights may very well be the best Regency Anthology I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. It’s quite unusual to find seven stories that capture the mind and titillate the senses. I’m so pleased I had the opportunity to read this excellent book.

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