Sunday, 16 December 2012

A Sinful Regency Christmas

One Wicked Christmas by Amanda McCabe

 London, 1806

Lady Cassandra Osborne is ready to take a new lover to her bed—and knows exactly the man she wants: Sir Ian Chandler, her late husband's rakish best friend. The single kiss they'd shared had made her feel alive again, awakening dark needs she didn't even know she had…though Ian had quickly pulled away. Cassie is sure he doesn't want her, until their reunion at a Christmas house party tempts them to succumb to the desire that has haunted them both.


 All well and good, except for the fact that Ian is referred to as David in the author’s introduction. I felt the story was spoiled even before I started to read. It was an error that I did feel should have been picked up before publication. Christmas featured quite a lot in this story, but as with the rest of the book, the tales could have taken place at any time of the year. The story based itself around misunderstandings and lack of communication; two people in love with one another, but neither of them willing to be the first to risk their friendship and admit to their true feelings.

Virgin Unwrapped by Christine Merril

 The thought of Robert Breton's touch fills Anne Clairemont with a delicious, scandalous heat—but her family's happiness depends on her going through with her planned marriage to his wealthy, cold business partner. Then Robert gives her a searing kiss beneath the mistletoe that changes everything. Soon he's showing Anne the intimate pleasures they could share, determined to fan the flame of their desire and convince her to call off her engagement. But can she disappoint her parents to be with Robert, or will she break her own heart first?


  Anne has chosen to become engaged to Mr Joseph Stratford, due to an unfortunate turn of events concerning her family. However, it is clear from the beginning that the reader is to feel she is the shy daughter of forceful parents, who have frogmarched her into this unfortunate situation.  It doesn’t quite match with the wanton woman who trots off to bed with her intended’s best friend, the night their engagement is announced. I didn’t like Anne, as she seemed rather deceitful and not at all the usual brand of heroine who would appear in this type of collection. For me, that made it difficult to enjoy the story.

An Illicit Indiscretion by Brownyn Scott

London, 1835.

 Dashiell Steen, heir to the Earl of Heathridge, is tired of boring dinner parties and matchmaking mamas. He craves one final adventure before he's forced to settle down and finds it with a vivacious beauty escaping from a manor window! Elisabeth Becket's intelligence and rebellious sprit excite both his mind and his body, stirring a mutual attraction that neither can resist. But will their illicit encounter last when she discovers Dashiell is the unwanted suitor she was trying to escape?

This was my favourite story from the collection. The author’s introduction was well written and her research seemed thorough. The story surrounding the couple was unique and enjoyable; focusing on the arrival of a once- in- a- life- time comet. Elisabeth is the type of heroine I love to read about. She is intelligent and sensual, yet she tries for the sake of her family’s reputation to stay in line as much as possible. However, for the sake of her own sanity, she allows herself to break free every once in a while.

A Rake For Christmas by Ann Lethbridge

England, 1813

 After years of struggling against her wicked desires, Lady Eugenie Hardwick is being driven wild by the sounds of unrestrained passion coming from her neighbor’s bedroom. The thought of Lord Richard Townsend, a notorious rake, sets her body quivering with need—even though she’s never yet seen his face. When they finally meet in person on Christmas Eve, it only takes one masterful kiss to unleash Eugenie’s inner temptress for a night of pleasure with the devilish lord. But Eugenie must ensure their holiday affair remains a secret so she doesn’t get ruined—again…


Eugenie is another spirited and admirable heroine. The reader discovers that she is a woman forced to live away from her family, after an earlier indiscretion brought shame upon them. Keeping to herself, she shies away from society, but not from the sensual, nocturnal, noises of her neighbour.

I liked this story for the fact that Lord Richard doesn’t immediately feel it necessary to offer marriage, just because he sleeps with Eugenie. She in turn, doesn’t expect it. Eugenie is a strong minded woman, ahead of her time, with a sensual Christmas story to accompany her.

Spellbound & Seduced by Marguerite Kaye

Scottish Highlands, 1822.

 Two hundred years ago, a witch cursed all the women in Jura Mcnair's family to be widowed on their first wedding anniversary, until a true and perfect love could break the spell. Jura has chosen a life of loneliness instead of risking the sorrow of losing a husband. Then fate brings handsome Lawrence Connaught to her cottage, and for the first time she realises the lure of temptation. She may never know love, but just once Jura is determined to experience a taste of forbidden desire.

To me, this story didn’t fit with the collection. To complete the collection in Scotland, with witches and suspicions was rather a strange addition.  There was something disjointed about its inclusion that made me feel as though it had been added as an after-thought.

On the whole, I did feel as though there was a very thin nod towards the festive season with the collection. I had purchased the book to get me in the festive spirit, but it didn’t really work for me at all.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Relaunch in January

Honey Bee Reviews will once more be opening it's doors in January 2013. If you would like to post here as part of your blog tour, or would like a review of your latest release, please go to the contact page. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Mia's Scandal by Michelle Reid

Mia has spent the first twenty one years of her life living quietly in deep rural Tuscany believing her father was dead. When she discovers that he is in fact very much alive and living in England she is determined to meet him. Arriving at Balfour Manor she finds herself thrown headlong into a rich glamorous world filled with shocks and scandals. That Mia is one of those shocking scandals only makes her transition from naive country girl to sophisticated daughter of Oscar Balfour more complicated.

Then she meets Nikos Theakis, a power driven Greek tycoon with the kind of dangerous attraction that fires Mia’s Italian blood. They strike the kind of sparks off each other that can only take them to one place. Bed, sharing the kind of passion that complete overwhelms them both.

But Nikos never looks for more than a brief affair with his women. And he has no intention of falling beneath Mia’s fascinating spell...

Mia’s Scandal was a fun holiday read.  The end was clear from the beginning, but it was entertaining to see in what manner things would pan out.
 Nikos Theakis is a man who has faced a lot of turmoil in his past and the arrival of the beautiful Mia in his life, only makes  his present more challenging. Not only does he have a business to run, but he must follow the wishes of Mia's father and instruct her in the ways of the business world. Nikos's turmoil comes from the fact that it's more than business he wants to show Mia.
Mia's life in Italy has been a simple one; suddenly thrust into the spotlight belonging to her wealthy English father , she has a lot to contend with.Enemies old and new come into her life and force her to make some tough decisions about her future. 
 Mia's Scandal  was well written and very descriptive, which is what can be expected from a Mills and Boon book. Ms Reid used clear detail to describe the characters, their emotions and the various settings. I felt that the book was very smooth to read and quite luxurious in it's detail.  I enjoyed the tensions and obvious attractions between Mia and Nikos; both who have their own vulnerabilities. If you’re already a fan of this genre, then Mia’s Scandal is certainly worth picking up. It doesn’t disappoint.

Author's Website


Taster of Mia's Scandal

Mia stood frozen as the low silver monster hurtled towards, filling the air with a tire burning ear-piercing screech until finally it slithered to a grit spitting halt two tiny centimetres from her shins.
The engine hissed, the silver bonnet shuddered, silence returned like a numbing blow to the head.

Pushing back into his seat, Nikos stared out at her with his heart pounding like a hammer and his fingers still clamped to the wheel. He had not believed he was going to stop in time. He wasn’t even sure that he had. He continued to sit in a state of near total shutdown waiting for her to give him a clue by making some kind of movement – by stepping back to show he hadn’t hit her or to drop down to the ground in a smashed heap!

Theos, she’s stunning, his stupefied brain fed to him, then compounded the observation by feeding a rush of hot blood down his front. It gathered in his loins like a neat shot of testosterone. Reacting to it with an explosive force of anger he thrust open the car door and threw himself out.
‘What the hell do you think you are playing at!’ he raked out in full blistering fury. ‘Do you have a death wish or something? Why didn’t you move out of my way--?’

It took every bit of Mia’s numbed strength just to breathe in and out. Her eyelashes finally gave a flutter of life and she managed to raise her eyes up from the car to focus on him instead. It came as a second shock to find she was staring at the most beautiful man she had ever seen in her life.
And he was striding towards her like a gladiator going to war. Only this gladiator had a black overcoat hanging from his impressive wide shoulders and wore a frighteningly elegant steel grey three piece suit beneath. His shirt was white, his tie a silky slither of smoke down his front.

Reaching the corner of the car he stopped to rake a downward glance at how close he had come to her fragile legs. Fire lit his eyes just before he reached out, clamped his hands around her waist and bodily plucked her off the ground. The next thing Mia knew she was up close and staring directly into a pair of deep dark polished mahogany eyes set beneath startlingly straight thick eyebrows as black as the hair on his head....

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson


Bella Rossi may be nearing thirty, but her life is just starting to get interesting. When her Italian-turned-Texan parents hand over the family wedding planning business, Bella is determined not to let them down. She quickly books a "Boot Scoot'n" wedding that would make any Texan proud. There's only one catch--she's a country music numbskull because her family only listens to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Where will she find a DJ on such short notice who knows his Alan Jackson from his Keith Urban?When a misunderstanding leads her to the DJ (and man) of her dreams, things start falling into place. But with a family like hers, nothing is guaranteed. Can the perfect Texan wedding survive a pizza-making uncle with mob ties, an aunt who is a lawsuit waiting to happen, and a massive delivery of 80 cowboy boots? And will Bella ever get to plan her own wedding?

Fools Rush In happens to be one of those books that I wish I could have lived in. The characters were fun, entertaining and brought many a smile to my face as I read. I wish I could have been adopted by the Rossi family. Not only is their every meal time amazing, but their outlook on life, love, happiness and food had me hooked from the very beginning. I appreciated the picture that Ms Thompson painted with the characters and their lives and have to say that there were some amazing little quirks that made this book very special.

Bella is a sweet heroine who has some lovely mannerisms. She really does come across as a friend we would all like to have. DJ our hero is a gorgeous cowboy with a heart of gold which shines through his every action. Our couple have some great characters in their families and their circle of friends, who pull the storyline along in a very engaging way. Even the animals in this story stand out as humorous.

  Fools Rush In is a sweet and funny romance with strong elements of Christianity in it. Church is very important to the people within the book and this really pulls the story together. Without this element I think the book would have missed some amazing scenes. I enjoyed this story because it pulled me into a whole new world of food, God and comedy; they made amazing companions in a book that had me entertained from beginning to end.  

Friday, 31 August 2012

My Man Pendleton by Elizabeth Bevarly

Marry the boss’s daughter?

Pendleton can’t believe his ears. He took this new job hoping to make money, not marry into it. But if runaway heiress Kit McClellan doesn’t agree to enter into wedded bliss soon, the entire family fortune could be willed to the homeless pets of Louisville. Someone has to find Kit and bring her back as his fiancée–and his boss is telling Pendleton he’s just the man for the job.

Trouble is, Kit doesn’t give two hoots about her fortune - she’s looking for love…the sweep-you-off-your-feet kind of passion she’s never had before. When Pendleton comes striding into her life sexy, attractive, and oh-so-handsome in his business suit her heart tells her she’s finally found Mr Right.
But what if her heart is steering her wrong?


I read five books over the summer and I’m pretty sure I saved the best for last. I simply couldn’t put My Man Pendleton down. It’s a witty, snappy book which moves quickly along and most certainly brings a smile to the reader’s face. During the course of the book we are treated to not one but two love stories, which makes the book all the more entertaining. Not only do we follow the relationship between Kit and Pendleton, but also we glimpse into the life of one of Kit's brothers and the very feisty female that he comes up against.

I thoroughly enjoyed My Man Pendleton. It was fun to read as the relationship between Pendleton and Kit developed. I loved Kit’s sense of play and the great one-liners that she came out with. She truly has a wicked personality (in the best possible way) and following her journey via the book is a wonderful way to pass the hours. I was reminded a little of Goldie Hawn's character in the movie Housesitter. Kit has the same feisty spirit and devil may care attitude that makes her an attractive character to read about. However, underneath her bravado, she possesses a  sensitive heart and a desire to find the one man who will love her for more than just her money.

The hero, Pendleton, is more than Kit's match when it comes to outdoing our spirited heroine and he's more than just a new boy on the block at his job too; he's a man of many layers  and a few surprising secrets too.

If you’re looking for a story with love, comedy, laughs and a sparkling story line , then do take a peek at My Man Pendleton.
Meet the author :
Elizabeth Bevarly was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky and earned her BA with honors in English from the University of Louisville in 1983. Although she can’t recall ever wanting to be anything but a novelist-oh, all right, she toyed briefly with becoming an archaeologist, until she realized how awful she looked in khaki and flannel, and there was a brief fling with the interior decorator thing, until she realized she had trouble distinguishing chintz from moiré, and… (Where was I? Oh, yeah. My brilliant career.) Anyway, her career side trips before making the leap to writing included stints working as a bartender, a waitress, a movie theater cashier, a soap-hawker for Crabtree & Evelyn, an apparel-hawker for The Limited, and a bridal registry consultant for a major department store. She also did time as an editorial assistant for a medical journal, where she learned the correct spellings and meanings of a variety of words (like microscopy and histological) which, with any luck at all, she will never use again in this life.

She wrote her first novel when she was twelve years old. It was 32 pages long-and that was with college rule notebook paper-and featured three girls named Liz, Marianne and Cheryl, who explored the mysteries of a haunted house. Her friends Marianne and Cheryl proclaimed it “Brilliant! Spellbinding! Kept me up past dinnertime reading!” Those rave reviews only kindled the fire inside her to write more.

Since sixth grade, Elizabeth has gone on to complete more than 60 works of contemporary romance. Her novels regularly appear on the USA Today and Waldenbooks bestseller lists, and The Thing About Men was a New York Times Extended List bestseller. She’s been nominated for the prestigious RITA Award, has won the coveted National Readers’ Choice Award, and Romantic Times magazine has seen fit to honor her with two-count ‘em TWO-Career Achievement Awards. Her books have been translated into two dozen languages and published in three dozen countries, and there are more than ten million copies in print worldwide. She has claimed as residences Washington, DC, northern Virginia, southern New Jersey and Puerto Rico, but she now resides back in her native Kentucky with her husband and son and two very troubled cats where she fully intends to remain.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Stained by Ella James

Stained by Ella James

After a fire destroys seventeen-year-old Julia's home and kills her foster parents, she chases the half-demon responsible across the country and back, determined to avenge her family and discover why a host of celestial baddies want her dead. With Julia is enigmatic hottie Cayne, who has his own score to settle with the half-demon, and who might be just as dangerous as the creature he and Julia hunt.

Are you looking for a fast-paced action and adventure story, with twist and turns, plus the added ingredient of a budding love story between two teens? If this sounds exactly what you need from your next read, then pick up Stained today. Detail and vivid descriptions abound, as Julia enters a deadly world; where no one is what they seem. Dreams and demons, mystery and tragedy are the added spice to this book. I enjoyed Stained immensely, for its swift pace and developing plot. Each chapter added interesting and new twists which pull the reader along and immersed them in Julia’s world.

Glass Houses: The Morganville Vampires Book 1

                       Glass Houses: The Morganville Vampires Book 1 by Rachael Caine.

Welcome to Morganville, Texas. Just don’t stay out after dark. College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation, where the popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks in the school’s social scene: somewhere less than zero. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don’t show many signs of life. But they’ll have Claire’s back when the town’s deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood.

As a fan of vampire books for adults, I was keen to see what author Rachael Caine had to offer younger readers. I wasn’t disappointed. This was a fun read, with interesting characters and a spooky old house I would love to live in. Atmospheric visits to the college library, as well as some spooky individuals in the coffee shop, made this an intriguing read and promising introduction to the rest of the series.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Taking Chances by Tara Manderino

A gung ho PR person in charge of getting a reclusive country western singer to perform live at a small function is responsible for him possibly losing his ranch for children. Tyler Davidson would rather deal with a large concert hall audience than come face to face with a few people. Such thoughts are beyond Abie Halloway’s thinking, but as she learns to understand what the ranch means to Tyler and comes to care for him in this sweet romance / inspirational, she realizes she does not want to be the one to cause his downfall.
I relished the idea of reading this book. Not only do I enjoy country music and ranch living, (both ingredients of the story) but brooding heroes with secrets are a must. Taking Chances was a weekend read for me. I started reading on Saturday and finished it off on a lazy Sunday morning. It was an enjoyable way to spend my time and was exactly what I was looking for. If you’re looking for a sweet and gentle, Inspirational story, then you’ll enjoy this book also.
Abie and Tyler’s story is tender and touching; set against the backdrop of a ranch for disadvantaged children and the cut throat world of business. Tyler is a man with secrets and will do anything to keep them. But Abie’s strong and determined personality is just the thing to make him let go of his past and open his heart to new possibilities.
There are no real surprises with this book, but it is sensitively written and a pleasurable read. Smiles all round from this reviewer.
“You really think I can’t do it?” Abie was incredulous. How could Matt even think her incapable? The tone of her voice echoed through the near empty conference room, sounding sharp even to her. She wouldn’t back down though.
Matt sat forward his palms splayed flat on the faux wood table. “Come on, Abie! Tyler never, absolutely never, does these kinds of performances. I tried to get him before, remember?”
Unable to resist the challenge in Matt’s voice, Abie cocked her brow and sat forward.“I can get him – signed and delivered.”
Mitchell’s Promotions was in the top five slot for event planning corporations in the state, if not the country. Abie’s meteoric rise through the ranks proved she was one of its rising stars. She intended to keep pushing that spectacular rise to the top. Right now, she would settle for the vice presidency.
“There are other musicians out there that would love the exposure,” Natalie interrupted. She shrugged and sat back in her chair. “If this guy doesn’t want to do it, pick someone else.”
Matt and Abie both turned to stare at her. Matt cleared his throat. “I realize that you are new to the area, but Tyler is hardly just a local name.” At Natalie’s blank look, Matt ran a hand through his hair, ruffling it and then leaned forward in the plush swivel chair, his arms supported by the conference table. “Okay, you’re not a country music fan, I take it.”
“Not even close. I’m a Metal Head.”
Abie watched Natalie play with the row of silver studs and loops on her left ear, an action Matt seemed oblivious to. Abie swiveled back and forth in her chair studying the latest addition to the team. Natalie wore a long sleeved black and white polka dot tee shirt, red flared pants and black and white men’s oxfords; conservative dress for her. She had a single silver loop hanging from her right eyebrow which was in harmony with the plethora of assorted loops and studs in her ears. Matt had insisted she would appeal to the younger clientele; she would be the stereotypical Metal fan. Abie bit back a grin. While Matt knew he was right on one level, it hadn’t registered with him that Natalie’s appearance, or her singular taste in music, would also have drawbacks. “Tyler is one of the biggest names in the music industry.” She kept her voice even, stating a fact.
Natalie stopped chewing her gum for a moment.” Yeah? How many records has he made?”
“Fifty charted singles and a dozen platinum albums on the Country, Rock and Christian charts. There are Tyler wannabes throughout the country.”
“With all of the cross over, why doesn’t he perform?”
“He does perform, just not at small gatherings,” Abie corrected her, “because he says it will take him away from what he really wants to do – his real life’s work.” Abie tilted her head to one side and leaned back in her chair. “I believe that’s what the article said.”
Matt turned his chair to grin at her. “You believe? If you read it once you know that you have the article memorized, Abie.”
She returned his grin. “True. So, I’m the one to approach him.” Abie straightened her spine. This was her assignment. Already the few facts she knew about Tyler Davidson assembled in her brain. As soon as Matt said okay, she would gather the rest of the information.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Silver Screen Dream by Victoria Blisse

Silver Screen Dream.
Book one in the Djinn's Amulet Series.

When true love conquers all, what is a djinn to do?
Johnny is a djinn, and he has a hard life. His master, Rahul, is a massive Bollywood star who’s run off to England to avoid an arranged marriage, a marriage Johnny has to make happen. It’s his job.
Rahul further complicates matters by falling for a British Bollywood fan, Laura, whom he meets at a film premiere. How can Johnny get his master back to Mumbai to marry the woman to whom he is pledged and away from the English hussy who is steadily taking more and more of his attention?
Johnny will use revenge and jealousy, but how will he cope when true love is thrown into the mix?

Silver Screen Dream was a book of many first for me. It was my first Djinn story, my first Bollywood story and the first story I have read that was told from two different perspectives. The first chapter is from the Djinn, Johnny’s point of view and the second from the heroine, Laura’s perspective. The book then alternates between the two, until the end of the book. I found this a unique and enjoyable way of storytelling which developed the story very well and moved it along at a good pace.
I must give Johnny an honourable mention for being my favourite character in the book. His sense of humour was wonderful and often made me smile.
This is a short, sexy read, which combines magic, lust and love with a real life heroine, who carries real life insecurities, dreams and desires.
 Real life meets Bollywood and lots of sexy frolics. You can’t go wrong.
Buy Silver Screen Dream here.

Learn more about Victoria here.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

My Temporary Life by Martin Crosbie.


Heroes are not born, they’re made. With strength forged by years of enduring schoolyard bullying and neglect at the hands of a promiscuous carefree mother, Malcolm Stewart learns to stand up for himself and for his friends. But sometime between his years growing up in Scotland, with his staunch Scottish father and his adulthood in Canada, Malcolm gave up on life. When beautiful Heather, with her red hair, wearing a t-shirt that reads “I Am the Revolution,” and combat boots enters his life - everything in his world changes. Malcolm falls in love with Heather. And after hearing about her abusive childhood and the daughter she was forced to leave behind, Malcolm knows he must help her get the little girl back. He has no choice– that’s what heroes do. Their journey takes them to a remote corner of Canada, where Malcolm faces trouble from being accused of kidnapping to being run off of a snowy road by an enraged psycho. Heather's story proves to be more tragic than Malcolm ever imagined. But his love for her and a little girl he has never met, gives Malcolm an opportunity to become the hero he never thought he could be.


My Temporary Life begins in Scotland in 1976, with Malcolm, the main character of the story telling us about his childhood. He is 13 years old and spends summers in Canada with his mother and the rest of his year with his father. By the time I had finished the first few pages, I knew I liked Malcolm. I felt that every second of his life was portrayed vividly and with such compassion that it would be hard for anyone to dislike this young man.Reading the story of his youth, friendships and the relationship with his father was most enjoyable. The author, Martin Crosbie, easily pulls the reader into Malcolm’s story with such skill that it felt as though I were actually there with him in the school yard.

When Malcolm travels to Canada the reader goes too and experiences all the joys and sorrows of this young man’s life. It is clear from Mr Crosbie’s writing that he has experience of both countries described in the book and to use such knowledge correctly is always a bonus for the reader.

I was so immersed in Malcolm’s young life that I have to admit to feeling a little lost when we moved swiftly onto Malcolm’s life as adult. The missing years are explained however, but nevertheless I was a little sad to say goodbye to the teenager and his adventures.

As an adult, Malcolm experiences more escapades however and this time, he has a companion; the mysterious Heather. She pulls Malcolm far away from his steady life and takes him on a journey he will never forget. At this point in the book, I felt I was in a mystery story which seemed like an interesting move on the part of the author. In some ways it appeared to be a swift shift from the earlier tone of the book, but the main threads are still there and keep the reader’s attention and enthusiasm going.

This book is written in the first person and I have to admit that I’m not a fan of that perspective. This book however surprised me greatly. To follow Malcolm’s journey from any other angle would have compromised the story. Malcolm is both our guide and our narrator; bringing emotions to life with clear, well observed descriptions. I found My Temporary Life a very good introduction to the work of Martin Crosbie and it would certainly encourage me to read more of his work in the future.


Visit Martin Crosbie's Website

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Sunday, 15 January 2012

Coming Soon

Please be patient as we read our initial wave of books. The first reviews will be posted shortly. Thank you.