Thursday, July 17, 2014

Scandalous Summer Nights an Anthology

Scandalous Summer Nights by Grace Callaway, Sabrina Darby, Jennifer Haymore, Sue London, Kate McKinley, Sandy Raven and Vivienne Westlake.

This anthology includes seven series-opening novellas.

The Widow Vanishes by Grace Callaway

Annabel Foster has just found out that her husband has passed away and left her in debt to a man no one is willing to cross. After trying to earn the money respectfully, she is forced to sell her body. Her first night turns out unexpectedly.

William McLeod has been given his choice of women for the night in reward for a job well done. Little did he know that the woman he choice would change his life forever.

This was a nice quick read. This is an introduction to her new Heart of Enquiry series, but had a few characters from her Mayhem in Mayfair series too. The story has me hunting down the Mayhem in Mayfair series to read!

Scandal Before Sunrise by Sabrina Darby

Abigail Billings had been one of the wild girls before disappearing from the ton for three years. Now she is back and looking for a respectable husband before everyone learns that there is no longer any money with her father's title.  Unfortunately,  the man that interests her is not interested in marriage but wants an affair instead.

Elliot Jones has just returned from fighting for England and is ready to have some fun. His friends talk about bad girl Abigail and she has peaked his interests. But when he finally meets her, she is no longer that fun lovin' girl his friends talked about.  

Can Elliot find that fun lovin' girl behind the woman that wants a respectable marriage?

A great story with a mischievous girl trying to do right. This novella definitely peaked my interest for reading the rest of the books in the Weekly Scandal series. I'm hoping the series includes Elliot's friends from this novella!

A Highlander's Heart by Jennifer Haymore

Claire Campbell is determined to fix her marriage, but to do that she must find her husband who is in the middle of fighting a war.  Finding her husband wounded on the battlefield at Waterloo, Claire is determined to see him regain his health.

Rob Campbell thinks it's an angel approaching him on the battlefield, but when she gets closer he realizes that it is his wife whom he is estranged. 
Can these two mind their marriage in the middle of this horrible war?

Haymore does an excellent job of setting up her new series. We are introduced to the male leads and given enough of a back story on each to peak our interest.  Her new Highland Knights series is definitely on my TBR list!!

Lord Lucifer's Disciple by Sue London
Elisa Jarvis know that all her husband prospects are just after her dowry, plus they are all boring! That is until she meets a mysterious foreigner at a masked ball.
John Howards has always been awkward during social functions, so when he finally agrees to attend his cousin's masked ball he pretends to be his foreign friend. It gives him the courage to do things he would never dream of as himself.
What will Elisa do when she unmasks her foreign friend?
This was my first story by Sue London and I really enjoyed it.  So much so that I need to hunt down all her Haberdasher books to read the stories of all the secondary characters I meet in this one. 

How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Kate McKinley

Pippa Welby can't imagine why the man that gave her the cut direct is asking her to marry him. He has even given her an invitation to her own engagement ball that is to happen in 10 days. Pippa has been looked down on by the peerage her whole life because of her heritage and there is no way she is going to marry into it.

Lucas Alexander, the Duke of Arlington, is smitten with Pippa the first time he sees her. So taken with her, he was at a loss for words and walks away from her. Finding out that her father owns the largest coal mine in the area is just the icing on the cake.

What happens when what starts out as a seduction of convience turns into true passion? Can Pippa forgive Lucas when she finds out why he really wants to marry her?

It was a very enjoyable read. It's often hard for authors to write novellas without the story feeling rushed. McKinley does an excellent job of keeping the pace of the story without leaving out any details. Lucas was definitely an alpha male, but also showed that he had a softer side to him. Pippa, as a headstrong young miss, was not going to let Lucas walk all over her. They were perfect for each other!
Miss Amelia Lands a Duke by Sandy Raven
Amelia Manners-Sutton is the companion for her aunt, whom is not very nice, but she took Amelia in when she didn't have any where else to go. Since her aunt doesn't want Amelia to ruin anything for her at the house party, Amelia is left to her own devices and finds herself wondering the gardens where she meets a man named "Sir." She is intrigued by him, but it is not until she is almost caught in the library with him that things get interesting.

Marcus Halden, the Duke of Caversham, is just looking for some peace and quiet when she encounters "Miss." He is also intrigued and when she is about to speak and alert her aunt to their presence in the library he kisses her.

What will happen when they are caught in a compromising position?

There was just something about this one that I didn't like. I think part of it is the age difference in the H/H. He was old enough to be her father and I just don't want to read about that in one of my romances.  The other was the editing of the piece, which I hope was fixed before publication....
Lady Northham's Wicked Surrender by Vivienne Westlake

Rowena, Countess of Northham, is in the home of her former suitor when she learns that he will be arriving soon.  She was jilted by the man and doesn't know how she will act when she sees him again.

Simon, Lord Rutherford, is on his way back to claim his former love.  She rejected him once, but he has hopes that she is ready to be his forever.

What happens when they learn what they thought happened, was all lies?

I really enjoyed this very short story and am looking forward to reading more by this author.

Over all I really enjoyed this set of stories and have found several new authors that I will be putting on my TBR list. I would definitely pick this one up for your keeper shelf!!

You can get this book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and All Romance E-Books.

Thanks go out to Jennifer Haymore via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of a copy of the book.

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