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The Stanhope Challenge: A Regency Quartet by Cerise DeLand

The Stanhope Challenge: A Regency Quartet
By: Cerise DeLand
Publisher: W J Power
Published: November 6, 2014
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: Novel 
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: Toni
Date: November 15, 2014


4 Brothers, 4 Love Affairs, 4 Marriages That Challenge the Family Curse!

Jack, Adam, Wes and Mark Stanhope fear falling in love. No wonder. No Stanhope has enjoyed a happy marriage in centuries. What does it take to change the family curse? Courage? Devotion? Love?

Adam Stanhope is a politician who needs a wife. When he marries for convenience, he overlooks the fact that he cares for his lovely childhood friend more than he should.

Wes Stanhope is a national hero, but he’s wounded physically and emotionally. When the woman he loves wants to help him, he learns that the woman he adores can be just as courageous in the bedroom as he was on the battlefield.

Jack Stanhope leads a carefree existence but when he meets Emma Darling, he realizes that in saving this woman from dastardly men is his saving grace.

Illegitimate Mark Stanhope expects nothing from his family, but when they save him, he in turn saves a young noblewoman who has the valor to stand against others who would abuse her.

Lord Stanhope's Improper Proposal

Lord Adam the youngest of the brothers and the most gun shy. He has his reasons and proof of the validity of it. I enjoyed his battle, but I think I enjoyed Felice’s strength the most.

Felice is a young widow who has adored Adam since she was a child. While she may know the ways of being married, she knows that something was missing from her first marriage. She showed spunk and determination in a time when it is a rare commodity. I loved how she decided to own her marriage and be damned what her husband thinks he wants.

It doesn’t take long for Adam to come to his senses, but with a wonderfully headstrong woman as his wife, he didn’t stand a chance. Too bad Felice’s independent nature and self-reliance is going to cause problems for Adam and their marriage.

What a fun start to the boxset. The Stanhope men seem to be a little on the weak side when it comes to manning up and not being a big babies about falling in love. Adam was in a rather crappy first marriage and I can kinda see his point, but WOW I really hope all the other Stanhope men are not so superstitious and scared. Thank goodness Felice was on the scene and she more than made up for Adams’s insecurities. If I lived in that time period, I only hope that I would have a bit of this take charge woman in me.

Lord Stanhope’s Improper Proposal is a very promising start to the series. Ms. DeLand did not disappoint and wrote two perfectly suited characters that were easy to love and enjoy.

Lady Featherstone's Fervent Affair

What is better than a dashing military man? Well a determined woman who knows what she wants and knows how to get it. One that will take a self-imposed prisoner of war and love, hold and heal him until she has repaired all the heart breaking damage.

Colonel Wesley Stanhope is a broken man. He was once an unstoppable rouge and leader, but is now a shell of a man. With the future no longer in his grasp, he retreats and implodes upon himself.

Lady Lacy knew at first sight that the older, handsome Wesley was the man for her. Within hours of meeting him, she had him hooked and she thought she had secured a loving future with him. Now she has to dig deep and pull her love out of the hole he has dug for himself. She is willing and ready to capture the man that stole her heart.

LOVED LACY! Wow, what a fun, determined, young lady. She may seem impetuous at times, but she knew what she wanted and set out to get it. Not taking no for an answer, she is lovingly ingenious in her pursuit to heal Wesley.

Lady Lacy’s determination is sure to put a smile on your face. I enjoyed this story very much and I am looking very forward to Jack’s adventure in love.

Miss Darling's Indecent Offer

Jack is the oldest of the brothers and therefore the heir. He has no desire to fall to the family curse and will happily pass on the title and money to any of his younger brothers. With nothing to ever change his mind; he is living the life of a forever rouge.

What he didn’t expect was having Emma fall right into his lap or quite literally right into a rather large puddle in front of his carriage. Dripping wet and desperate he is torn between his freedom and the pull to help her. Because of Emma, he may finally be able to end a foe that has plagued him for a very long time. She makes him an offer that may be too sweet to pass up.

Emma is at her wits end. Desperate to save herself she makes an offer to a man she never expected. A man who can answer her prayers and finally answer some questions her body has been craving. With nothing to lose she does the unspeakable, she asks a Stanhope man to marry her.

I think this may be the most endearing of the stories for me. I enjoyed how the two of them approached their situation and how it changed them forever. With sexy sparring and tempting touches, these two never stood a chance. They were made for each other.

Miss Darling's Indecent Offer is wonderful. I loved how the final and most stubborn brother fell. But hummmm, what is it I see. There is a fourth brother, a bastard Stanhope! I am more than ready for him. Bring on Mark.

The Bastard's Passionate Prize

Mark is the newly discovered bastard son of the Stanhope clan. If you have read the series, you will be very surprised that he was the only one too (at least claimed). To add an extra twist, he’s American. Dang Daddy John got around!

Sirena is a woman who is stuck in the constraints of her time period. Her life is not her own and soon has to run away for her freedom. This is something unheard of in her time and I have to give her kudos for taking the initiative.

As you read the stories in this boxset you get a feeling of men that are unsure about their romantic futures and the strong women that shake them up, right down to their boots. The Bastard’s Passionate Prize will throw you overboard with how unique and different it is. Mark’s story is his own, because he is not hindered by the so called curse.

While the constraints of the English society are still present, Ms. DeLand removes that factor early in the story and takes us out to sea and then she ups the ante again and adds pirates…yes, pirates. Then adds……and then some public……, oh and don’t forget……

Yes, I’m a tease and can’t tell you because it would ruin all the wonderful surprises that make this story fun and fresh, but I will say, that this story was a very unexpected surprise and took me on a sexy voyage that made me hot and bothered. It makes me wish Lord John was even busier than he already was and that there were countless more bastards out there. He was a delicious horn dog that made even more tasty men that were insatiable in their sexual tastes and were not afraid to show the women they love all their magic tricks. There were never more mourned losses to the English ton then when these men got married and became off the market.


Ms. DeLand wrote four great tales about men who were insecure about themselves in the romance department until they met their matches. Her heroines were very delightful and strong in their pursuit of their Stanhope men. I also enjoyed the side romances that sprung up along the way. 

This is a great read if you want to experience regency romance that is filled with rich characters, descriptive in details and will get your blood pumping. Ms. DeLand knows how to write the period and also knows how to spice up the page. She is a favorite of mine and shouldn't be missed.

Mia Dolce by Cerise DeLand

Mia Dolce
By: Cerise DeLand
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Published: April 15, 2009
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance 
Content: M/F, Bondage, Exhibitionism, Anal Play, Anal Sex, Oral Sex, Toys
Length: Novella 
Heat Level: Scorching
Reviewer: Toni
Date: November 15, 2014


Regina DeMaio craves one night in the arms of a gorgeous Italian duke to end the famine of her lonely widowhood. But when Sergio Avanti’s tender skills stir Reggie’s ravenous sexual appetite for more of his erotic loving, she eagerly agrees to spend a week with him in his castello in Tuscany, cooking up new delights in his bed. Never before has such desire consumed her. When she discovers the delicious charms of his legendary stamina and the torturous joys of his antique Chinese love balls, his dungeon, rack and chains, she wonders if she can ever do without him.

When you were a child, you want to have bedtime stories read to you. As an adult, you pick out lovely books to submerge yourself in to the story. For me, Mia Dolce was the perfect bedtime story.

Regina has been a widow for three years. At thirty, she is ready to savor life again and the tasty man across the way is just the man to indulge in.

Sergio is a man of wealth, title and needs. From the moment he opened Regina’s cookbook and tasted her recipes, he knew he had to meet her. The perfect opportunity has risen and he is a man who gets what he wants and he wants to get to know Regina DeMaio.

Stolen glances, instant chemistry and rampant passion is how this whirlwind affair begins. Is it everything that it seems or is it a well-planned scheme?

This story read like a fairytale for me. The dashing prince and the captivating princess have eyes only for each other and partake on a romance that is only meant for storybooks. Mia Dolce is a quick read that is perfect for bedtime and sexy enough to make you quiver in all the right places. Their desire jumps off the pages and the story is rich with enchanted details.

Ms. DeLand wrote such a great story. While in real life, the probability of this scenario really happening to a woman would be a true rarely, but written as a fictional short novella, it is light, sexy and made my imagination tingle. Tonight I hope to go to sleep and dream of a gorgeous Italian man to come along and sweep me away with passionate kisses, sinful touches and toe curling sex. To me that is the best way to go to bed, short of having the real thing that is.

I would highly recommend Mia Dolce for a quick escape. What would romance be without a bit of fantasy and Sergio Avanti is prime example of the perfect man we would all love to have. He is inventive, attentive and all around amazing. He is a perfect book boyfriend and one that will be top on my lists for years to come.

The Robber Knight (The Robber Knight Saga #1) by Robert Thier

The Robber Knight (The Robber Knight Saga #1)
By: Robert Thier
Publisher: Amazon Kindle
Published: April 29, 2014
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Sigh
Reviewer: Christie
Date: October 27, 2014


When you are fighting for the freedom of your people, falling in love with your enemy is not a great idea.

Sir Reuben, the dreaded robber knight, has long been Ayla’s deadliest enemy. She swore he would hang for his crimes. Now they are both trapped in her castle as the army of a far greater enemy approaches, and they have only one chance: stand together, or fall.

Welcome to "The Robber Knight"—a tale full of action, adventure, and romance.

Special Edition with secret chapters revealed and insights into Sir Reuben’s mysterious past.

For a first book Thier has made a good showing. He spins a great historical tale with amazing detail. I enjoyed reading the rich historical viewpoint. Ayla was a funny heroine who grew leaps and bounds throughout the read.

Reuben was an enigma and really had swoon worthy moments. But Thier seemed to think that saying how wonderfully handsome woman thought Rueben was should be enough for the reader to immediately fall in love with Rueben. But I do have to say his sense of humor is attractive as hell.

However, that is where it ended for me. The love story was halted and stilted and pulled at the main story. There was no sexual tension between Reuben and Ayla, and at times Thier seemed to try to push it down the reader’s throat. And without any sexual tension it just leaves the reader cold.

The worst part of the book is the cliff-hanger ending. I detest cliff-hanger endings, this is of course a personal preference.

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