The Savage Noble

The Savage Noble Cover

The Savage Noble

A thrilling Regency-era romance about Lord Justin Tollemache, a cruel and vain Earl who thought he could have everything or everyone he desired, and Miss Linnet Talbot, the one woman who would deny him at every turn… Until he devised a ruthless scheme to ensnare her into his clutches, only to find they were both caught in a trap from which neither would escape.

…Coming This Winter 2021…

Bodice Ripper Review: “Love, Cherish Me” by Rebecca Brandewyne

Love, Cherish Me (Aguilar's Fate, #1)Love, Cherish Me by Rebecca Brandewyne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read Love, Cherish Me many years ago, and it’s a long-time favorite.

You have to read this book as a lover of the genre because Rebecca Brandewyne is here at her bodice-rippiest. What I loved about Rebecca Brandewyne’s old romances was that she would always pose dressed as the heroine in her picture on the back of the book. There would be a poem at the beginning, and the book would be broken up into several books or parts. The story began with a prologue with the couple together and ended with their epilogue. And let’s not forget the Elaine Duillo cover art, which was practically de rigeur for a romance diva. What can I say, I’ve always preferred intricate, elaborate heavy metal or progressive rock as opposed to streamlined, gritty punk, and my taste in romances is no different.

The heroine is southern belle Storm Aimee Lesconflair and the hero is the dark stranger called “Lobo,” or Wolf. The tale is epic, set in the epic state of Texas. Storm is abducted and almost raped by villains, saved by Wolf multiple times, separated from her beloved, accused of murder and experiences the worst pain a mother can feel and finally is reunited with her soul mate.

This is a companion piece to And Gold Was Ours, which was good but not as great as this. The only Brandewyne book I like more is her gothic romance reminiscent of Bronte’s Wuthering HeightsUpon a Moon-Dark Moor.

A

Originally posted on Goodreads

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Bodice Ripper Review: “Dangerous Obsession” by Natasha Peters

Dangerous ObsessionDangerous Obsession by Natasha Peters

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“You will travel far to find love, only to find that love has traveled with you.”

Dangerous Obsession is the sequel to Natasha Peters’ first book, Savage Surrender, although the relation between the books is not revealed until midway through this 630-page epic.

Like so many great bodice rippers of epic scope, Dangerous Obsession takes us through various years and continents. It spans 12 years in the life of Rhawnie, the blonde daughter of a gypsy and a Russian noblewoman. Rhawnie is not a simpering, treacly-sweet girl or spunky, foot-stamping heroine. She lies for the hell of it: to strangers, to the people she loves, she lies to herself, she even lies on her (near) deathbed! She is an unrepentant thief. Early on Rhawnie is caught stealing from an innkeeper and Seth, the hero, is forced to remove the purloined items hidden under her petticoats: a bottle of vodka, a wheel of cheese, a large loaf of bread, several sausages, a large knife, and a whole chicken! When caught red-handed she denies ever touching the stuff and accuses the innkeeper of framing her. In this Rhawnie reminds me a bit of my daughter who lives by the motto: “Admit nothing, deny everything and make counter-accusations.”

Rhawnie is not just a mere mortal…she is beautiful, a professional thief, a fortune-teller, a gambler, a card cheat, men duel and die over her, she is mistress to a king, a threat to a nobleman’s power, a baroness, a world-famous singer, a saloon owner, savior of an orphan and a wronged woman, and the love-object of two brothers, who are as opposite as day and night.

The male protagonist, Seth Garrett, is a piece of work and it took me a long time to warm up to him. He’s no Sean Culhane from Stormfire or Domenico from The Silver Devil, but he’s both cruel and vicious and unfeeling and cold. He wins the right to Rhawnie’s virginity in a card game, but passes on the offer, as she is only 14 or 15. In angry retaliation, Rhawnie gets beaten and kicked by her lecherous older uncle and Seth just sort of stands there. Then when her uncle rapes her a few pages later, Seth is too late to save her–even though he’s in the next room and can hear what’s going on. He destroys any chance Rhawnie has for legitimacy in Paris society by publicly claiming her as his mistress. And what Seth does in Chapter 10 simply calls for a karmic justice which never occurs. But he does properly declare himself at the end and gives himself completely to Rhawnie. Seth is not perfect, but neither is Rhawnie, so together they are perfect.

Dangerous Obsession is written in 1st person POV, but as Rhawnie is a great narrator, with so many wonderful quips and observations, this did not detract. There was an appropriate blend of action and introspection, but no excessive self-absorption of feeling too often found in modern romances.

However, the action does get a bit too much at the end. The book is a hefty door-stopper and could have been 50 pages shorter. Rhawnie and Seth embark on a search for Seth’s missing sister that takes them through the American West. They get on TWO different boats that explode and sink into the river, Seth gets injured and Rhawnie nurses him back to life, Rhawnie gets cholera, so Seth has to nurse her back to life (on a regiment on camphor, cannabis, and caviar, no less). They travel for months through the mountains and have many misadventures, she survives a great fire, gets kidnapped, addicted to laudanum, gets rescued…and before you know it–whew!–it’s over.

This book was so close to perfect, but like so many bodice rippers, at the end, it falters under its own hefty weight. It’s a 4 1/2 star read, but I’m rounding it up to a 5 solely on the basis of the heroine, Rhawnie, who is all kinds of awesome.

A-

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Originally posted on Goodreads

Hello, Historical Romance Fans! Get Ready for Some Throwback Excitement!

My Fellow Old-School Romance Lovers,

I’m so excited to announce that in just a few months I will release my first book, a retro-styled historical romance! The Savage Noble will take place in Regency-era England and I will offer it as a free e-book for a limited time. I hope readers will find the turbulent love story between Justin and Linnet as enthralling as I have while writing it!

One caveat I must give regarding these novels: my historical romances aren’t catered to every reader’s tastes. I do not write them with modern sensibilities.

I grew up loving the epic romances written from the 1970s to mid-1980s, devouring every book I could get my hands on. So many authors influenced me, from Jude Deveraux to Johanna Lindsey to Rebecca Brandewyne to Valerie Sherwood to Rosemary Rogers to the vast stable of writers of the Zebra historical lines.

While many excellent romances are being published today, they rarely strike an emotional chord with me. I prefer the “Old-School” historicals, with some rough bodice-ripping here and there, over-the-top, pulpy plots and careful attention paid to not just to historical facts, but to the attitudes that were prevalent way back when.

There’s much to be said of the well-written love stories created by various talented authors. Over the years, I’ve read thousands of romances and have enjoyed too many to count. Nevertheless, as I grew up on a steady diet of the (now) much-maligned bodice-ripper romances, I have always preferred them to contemporarily-written historicals. I miss the wild fun, the emotional heights, and depths of those old-time romances, and, yes, even the cheesiness of some of the plots! Not to mention the beautifully painted covers by artists such as Robert McGinnis, Elaine Duillo and Tom Hall.

If as a romance devotee you prefer historicals with forward-thinking heroines and heroes, mixed with a generous dose of modern-day politics, perhaps my books may not strike your fancy. Many might categorize my books as “politically incorrect.” The stories are often epic in scope, spanning months, or even years, not days or weeks. My heroes are not the always rakish Dukes with hearts of gold. They will leave you swooning with their unrepentant machismo.

It is my deepest hope that book lovers can enjoy a purely fictional story for escapist thrills.

Readers, I welcome you to give one of my novels a try. One promise I can make is that the plots will never bore you! After The Savage Noblemy following novel will be What She Says with Her Eyes, set in France during the reign of Louis XIV, about a calculating French widow on the prowl for a new husband and an ascetic English swordsman who is more than what he seems. I hope to release this book in Spring of 2022.

There is a vast untapped market for readers hungry for something different, yet a little retro.  For those romance fans intrigued by that writing style, I promise to always keep my novels thrilling, sexy, and wildly unpredictable.

I’d love to hear from all my readers, detractors and fans alike. You can reach me here at WordPress, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Please be on the lookout for more Jacqueline Diaz historicals. I will keep you posted with updates and if you contact me I’ll always try my get back as quickly as possible (although my rheumatoid arthritis due to lupus might delay my responses by a day or so). Still, I will do my best to respond to all your queries.

Whatever your opinions, I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Thank you and happy reading!

-Jacqueline Diaz

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