Ongoing Giveaways!

Becoming Lady Lockwood by Jennifer Moore - Win $50 Amazon/Paypal cash, ends August 8
Tempted by His Touch historical anthology - Win an iPad Mini with surprise bonus books, ends in October
Mastering the Marquess by Lavinia Kent - A $25 egiftcard to Your ebook retailer of choice and a Loveswept mug.
I Adored a Lord by Katharine Ashe - Win 3 digital copies of I Married the Duke, ends August 26
Love and Let Spy by Shana Galen - Win a paperback copy of the book, ends August 12

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Passionate, Enticing, Reckless Blog Tour with Cara Elliott, Lily Dalton, Vicky Dreiling: Reviews + Giveaway

Buried Under Romance has the pleasure of participating in Forever Romance's Passionate, Enticing, Reckless blog tour with authors Cara Elliott, Lily Dalton, and Vicky Dreiling. I will be reviewing each of these books.

**GIVEAWAY: One US/CA reader will receive a print copy of Never Entice an Earl, a print copy of What a Reckless Rogue Needs, and a digital copy of Passionately Yours. Comment details below.

PASSIONATELY YOURS by Cara Elliott (March 4, 2014; Forever E-Book; $7.99)
The youngest of the Hellions of High Street, Caro Sloane has watched her two sisters have exhilarating encounters with dashing heroes, and now she is longing for some excitement of her own. After all, how can she write truly passionate poetry until she has experienced a Grand Adventure? But that seems unlikely to happen as she'll be spending the next few weeks in the quiet spa town of Bath, where nothing grand or adventurous ever happens . . . until she and her new friend Isobel are nearly abducted while walking on a quiet country road-only to be rescued by Alec McClellan, the moody and mysterious Scottish lord she met at Dunbar Castle. 

Alec has come to England to deal with a treacherous betrayal and fears that his half-sister Isobel is in peril from an old enemy. Does he dare share his secrets with Caro? The bold and brave beauty leaves him no choice, and together they are quickly caught up in a swirl of dangerous intrigue . . . where fiery desire between them may ignite into the greatest danger of all.

About the author: 
Cara Elliott started writing Westerns at age five but moved on to Regency romance after reading Pride and Prejudice. (Clearly she has a thing for Men in Boots!) A graduate of Yale University, she lives and works in New York City.
Social Media Links:
Buy Links:

Having come to the conclusion of the Hellions of High Street series, I was no doubt sad to bid farewell to this delightful cast of characters that populated the first two books, the Sloane sisters and their respective husbands, and finally those in Caro's book. 

From the beginning, our Scottish baron, Alec, has been well acquainted with Caro's activities, often engaging in witty retorts with the clever poetess Caro. Caro is brilliant and talented at her craft, yet she finds herself in some loneliness as her sisters have gone on with their separate lives, leaving her somewhat behind. In comes Alec, who continually challenges her mind, stimulates her conversation, and serves as a source of amusement for her life. Others think he will be the perfect match for Caro, both being opinionated, independent, and firm of mind. Yet Alec dances a verbal battle with Caro, all the while believing he would not surrender. 

What is the highlight of Cara Elliott's books is the tone of adventure that courses through the story, of battling villains, finely tuned tension, and a never ending array of action, battles, in the midst of a grand and inevitable romance. Caro was young, reckless, and somewhat immature in the previous books, and it nice seeing her mature in this story, albeit not changing the fundamental wildness that exemplifies her. Alec, on the other hand, was less of a dynamic character in terms of growth, his personality and behavior having been already established. Despite that, it was great to see him evolve from a secondary character in the previous book, to a guardian and hero in his own right, especially with regards to Caro.

As with the other books of the series, there is a concrete villain in this book, a wily villain who is somewhat predictable, yet at times throws the reader for a twist. These setups are usually the grand stage for the hero to shine and rescue the damsel in distress, of which Alec performs splendidly.

I enjoyed this story from its witty repartees, action-filled scenes, to a reluctant hero who had no idea his fate was sealed long ago (since the second book). It was a fun adventure reading this story, and a nice parting, too, on a high note in harmony with the Hellions theme. 

Alec was becoming more flustered. Small sounds were beginning to rumble in his throat, like the growling of a bear. “I do not have Thayer’s gift of making myself agreeable. He has a honeyed tongue, which seems to appeal to all the ladies.”
“Honey is, after all, a great deal more palatable than vinegar,” Caro pointed out.
He now looked utterly nonplussed.
Caro let him stew for a moment longer before huffing an exasperated sigh. “Oh, for heaven’s sake, give me some credit for having a brain, Lord Strathcona! Of course I don’t find Thayer appealing. When honey drips that freely, it ought to catch naught but flies.”
The growls ceased.
Caro waited for him to speak.
Ever so slowly, Alec shifted his feet, stirring tiny puffs of pale dust beneath his boots.
The flicker of dark leather caused a momentary spasm of doubt as she recalled her chilling encounter in the churchyard.
Alec as evil? She couldn’t explain how, but she knew with a certainty that resonated right down to her very heartbeat that it couldn’t be true.
“Are you saying you would trust my word over his?”
“Yes, you big lummox! I don’t know why I should, but I prefer your snaps and growls.”
A dappling of sunlight seemed to catch on the curl of his lashes, gilding them to a gleaming gold.
“You are forthright, you are honorable in your own maddening way,” she went on. Oh, no man ought to have such beautiful eyes.
She found herself staring, and at that moment, all rational thought seemed to dance away in the breeze. His face was utterly intriguing—a mix of chiseled planes and well-defined features that hinted at hidden secrets.
“And… well, you are quite the most interesting man I have ever met.” Her legs suddenly seemed a little unsteady, so Caro reached out and caught hold of his lapels.
Looking up, she found his mouth was only inches from hers.
“Oh, bosh—I shall probably regret this…” Standing on tiptoes, Caro kissed him. Not a mere feathering of flesh against flesh, but a hard, hungry embrace that she let go on for far, far longer than any proper young lady should dare.
“There, I have no doubt shocked you.”
NEVER ENTICE AN EARL by Lily Dalton (April 29, 2014; Forever Mass Market; $8.00)
Lady Daphne Bevington would do anything for her maid Kate-including masquerading as Kate and sneaking around the wrong side of London to settle the poor girl's debt. Yet her innocent ruse takes a scandalous turn when "Kate" runs into a handsome gentleman on a secret quest of his own. A moment of passion could cost Daphne her reputation, but how can she ignore the stranger's searing kiss?

An Arrangement Most Wicked
Lord Cormack Northmore is determined to find the immoral peer who ruined his sister. So when he learns that the irresistible woman he knows as "Kate" is the Season's most sought-after debutante, Cormack plans to use her connections to help him set a trap. Now, the closer Cormack gets to uncovering the villain who haunts the ton's ballrooms, the more he realizes that the lovely lady is in danger herself. Will he abandon his quest for revenge-or risk losing his one chance at love?

About the author: 
Lily Dalton grew up as an Army brat, moving from place to place. Her first stop after relocating was always the local library, where she could hang out with familiar friends: Books! Lily has an English degree from  Texas   A & M   University and after graduation worked as a legal assistant in the fields of accident reconstruction and litigation. She now lives in  Houston ,  Texas, with her family. When she isn't at work on her next manuscript, she spends her time trying out new recipes, cheering on her favorite  Texas football teams and collecting old dishes, vintage linens and other fine "junque" from thrift stores and flea markets.

Social Media Links:

Buy Links:
Cormack Northmore made his fortune from Bengal in order to buy back his family’s ancestral estate, Bellefrost, and to restore his family’s good name after the collapse of their fortune.  He was equally glad to see his sister, Laura, who had been a source perseverance for him during his hard years abroad. However, his dreams of ensuring his governess sister married well and happy were shattered when he came home to find her dying in childbirth, without marriage.

Two years later, Cormack and his parents have been raising Laura’s son, Michael, to the ostracization of their neighbors for this scandal. Armed with a token Laura had given him prior to her death, Cormack vowed to avenge her by finding the man who impregnated her. The token bespoke a secret men’s society, and it led him to a brothel, where he first encountered a most surprising dancer.

Daphne Bevington is the catch of the Season, in possession of beauty, kindness, and intelligence, as well as a rich aristocratic family. She is lively and joyful with her older and younger sisters, receiving knowledge about the marriage bed from her older sister Sophia (heroine of Never Desire a Duke) and mindful of watching out for her heavily romantic younger sister, Clarissa. However, unlike her sisters, she had vowed to never marry for fear of losing another loved one, a vow that secretly pierces her heart. As a sign of her benevolence, she is also best friends with her maid, Kate, and went in Kate’s place to settle a debt, whereby she finds herself in the surprising position of dancing for a brothel.

As adventure goes, Daphne’s was rapidly descending into madness, and it was by chance that Cormack rescued her, upon which passion claimed them both in a kiss. As it so happens, Cormack’s father came to a marquisate, which gave him the honorary title Earl of Raikes, and elevated him to Daphne’s station. That allowed him to meet Daphne again without the disguise of “Kate,” the uncovering of deception surprising both parties.        
Cormack blackmails Daphne into helping him find the villain who seduced his sister, all the while attempting to keep their relationship professional. Alas, he cannot help kissing her…except that he’s already betrothed to another.  

“You are betrothed to another woman and you kissed me. Now stop interfering in my life, when you have absolutely no right to do so.” - Chapter 10

Cormack and Daphne dance to a dangerous round of seduction and subtle blackmailing. I say subtle as Daphne is astute enough to guess the purpose of Cormack’s investigation and offers to aid him, yet Cormack both refuses and engages her help, which is both confusing to Daphne, and to the reader.

The focal point of their relationship is their undeniable physical attraction and both characters’ respective stance on love. Daphne longs for love but purposefully maintains a distance, while Cormack throw off gentlemanly promises and behavior for pursuit of physical passion with Daphne.

“I caused my father’s death with my selfishness, and I vowed that never to never fall in love. Never to marry.” – Chapter 15

This is a fast-paced and amusing story with plenty twists and turns, but require the more serious readers to disband societal plausibility in order to enjoy this story. Cormack and Daphne are charming as a pair, and so are the secondary characters of Daphne’s family. As the story climaxes to a conclusion with a villain confrontation, truths and lies become revealed, as the ultimate question is asked: what is the measure of love?

He really was nonpareil. No man in her social circle compared, but that was because he obviously wasn’t a nobleman. No nobleman would travel about London in a shabby, half-destroyed carriage nor converse on such familiar terms with their driver.
“Who are you, Cormack?” she asked.
“Just…a man.”
“Are you a newspaperman? A store owner, or a sea captain? Please tell me, I want to know.”
“I…er, a merchant actually. Saltpeter.” 
That answered her question. After tonight, she most certainly would never see him again. A merchant would never be allowed into the ballrooms of the haute ton. Even if he was deliriously rich, which he obviously wasn’t, given the condition of his equipage, the upper echelon of the beau monde, to which she had been born, simply did not intermingle with men of trade.
Her adventurous nature awakened. No, she didn’t intend to ever marry, but…what would be wrong with kissing a handsome, intriguing stranger she’d never see again?
Everything inside her soared and spiraled and exploded into sparkly stars at wondering. Again, her gaze settled on his mouth, which slowly, as if it read her mind, turned up at the corners, making her catch her breath.
At that moment, the carriage made a sudden turn and tilted steeply. Daphne toppled, the whole of her weight crushing into Cormack. His arms came round her, seizing her in place against his chest. The carriage bounced down again, and continued on, to the sound of Jackson cursing at another driver, but Cormack didn’t release her. How she wished she wasn’t wearing the coat, which smelled of damp wool. He, on the other hand, smelled delicious, like rainwater  and soap.
“How unexpected,” he murmured, his mouth so close his breath feathered across her lips. “But not unwelcome.”
 “No,” she whispered. “Not…unwelcome.”
Just then the carriage jerked to a stop and a hard rap sounded against the roof.

             A low, bruxy growl emitted from Cormack’s throat. “What a pity.”

WHAT A RECKLESS ROGUE NEEDS by Vicky Dreiling (March 25, 2014; Forever Mass Market; $8.00)
WILL THE ROGUE'S PERFECT PLAN . . . Colin Brockhurst, Earl of Ravenshire, has no desire to wed, this season or any other. So when his father demands he give up his wild ways and take a wife, Colin refuses. But his father raises the stakes and threatens to sell the ancestral home if Colin doesn't comply. Now Colin has no choice but to find a wife. Unfortunately, the only woman he wants is the one whose heart he broke years ago.

Regardless of the ton's whispers, Lady Angeline Brenham won't settle for anything less than true love. After rejecting more than her share of suitable suitors, spinsterhood looms before her-until the devilishly handsome Colin reappears in her life with a proposition. Angeline vows to keep her feet on the ground and her heart in check. That is, until one searing kiss melts her resolve and reignites a burning desire for more . . .

About the author:
Vicky Dreiling is a confirmed historical romance junkie and Anglophile. Frequent business trips to the United Kingdom allowed her to indulge her passion for all things Regency England. Bath, Stonehenge, and Spencer House are among her favorite places. She is, however, truly sorry for accidentally setting off a security alarm in Windsor Castle. That unfortunate incident led her British colleagues to nickname her Trouble.

When she's not writing, Vicky enjoys reading, films, concerts, and, most of all, long lunches with friends. A native Texan, she holds degrees in English literature and marketing. 

Social Media Links:

Buy Links:
This story reads like a bildungsroman, especially for the hero as he matures through his interactions with the heroine, his family, and when he comes to terms with himself. It is also a family novel in which the thoughts of the secondary characters are revealed and thus, become critical in pivoting the plot.  

Our hero is Colin Brockhurst, Earl of Ravenshire, who returns home like the prodigal son, to prevent his father from selling his boyhood home, Sommerall, the place where his mother was laid to rest. Due to Colin’s wild reputation, his father issued an ultimatum: If Colin can prove that he’s changed – via marrying and settling down in 6 weeks’ time, then the estate will be transferred to Colin. The problem is, of course, where will Colin find a willing and suitable bride in such a short time?

Enter his childhood friend/adversary, Lady Angeline, who returned post causing a scandal through jilting a fiancĂ©. No matter that her ex-fiancĂ© was a horrible cheater, Angeline bore the brunt of the scandal, which drove a wedge between her and her father, with the chance of jeopardizing her beloved young sister’s debut. She has a special skill in renovating rooms, and it is not long before she joins Colin in renovating Sommerall, despite his attempts to push her away.

Due to the closeness of their families, it was predicted that Colin and Angeline would marry each other, but a youthful incident caused a falling out between the two, whose relationship slow began to mend, as Angeline became sympathetic to Colin’s frustration of needing to prove himself to preserve his mother’s memories in the form of Sommerall. It was not long before Colin concocted a plan – a marriage-of-convenience to Angeline to keep his property and repair her damaged reputation.
There are several significant virtues in this novel, one of which is Colin’s growth. In the beginning, he is like a wounded young bird, trapped in his past eight year-old self of losing his mother, unable to understand his father’s remarriage. His hurt was transcribed to Sommerall, and the intensity of his frustrations at being denied that was something only he, and later Angeline, understood. As the story progresses, Colin began to reflect on his past and truly move on emotionally with one part of his hurt.

“I’m glad my father found happiness with Margaret, but their lives went on and so did mine. No one is to blame. It was just the situation.” – Chapter 5

Yet, a part of him was still fixated on having Sommerall, and he was not above using Angeline for his goal.

“He meant to compromise her thoroughly, and then she would have no choice but to marry him.” Ch 11

However, through his interactions with Angeline, getting to know her and letting her heal him, that Colin came to truly see the result of his own actions, and grew to take responsibility for them.

“But he’d been a cad. He actually told her he wouldn’t abandon her if she found herself with child. Now he felt the shame bone-deep. She was the daughter of his father’s best friend, and he’d bedded her, without offering a single tender word. She deserved better.” – Ch 13

Initially, it is Angeline who gives her heart to Colin, all the while knowing he’s a rake who couldn’t make her promises. She does this secretly, holding back on her feelings for some time in fear that Colin does not love her, all the while soothing his hurt and championing his cause to his family. By the end of the story, their positions are reversed and Colin tries to win her back with his newly-realized love, which makes a wonderful dynamic of their relationship.

“Worse, she’d made it clear she didn’t want to marry him. He meant to change her mind, but first she must take her rightful place as Lady Angeline and then God willing, she would consent to marry him and become Lady Ravenshire.” – Ch 15        

Indeed, Colin and Angeline take the crown in this story, but kudos also goes to the set of dynamically crafted, multi-dimensional secondary characters – Colin and Angeline’s family. They appear to be antagonist at first, respectively thwarting Colin’s plans and uncaring towards Angeline’s situation, yet it is soon revealed that behind the curtains, every parent was wishing the best for his/her child, in their own way of caring, however misguided.

Accolades to Vicky Dreiling for penning a fantastic bildungsroman romance of a loving, realistic set of a characters who not only have their own perspectives and perception, but manage to grown into better versions of themselves. A great tale of familial love and self-actualization, for two splendidly crafted characters.                                                                                                                             

A slow smile tugged at his mouth. It was a kneeweakening, toe-curling rake’s smile meant to disarm a lady. She was, of course, impervious to him. Well, maybe not completely.
“You’re a bit disheveled, too,” he said.
“What?” She walked over to the shaving mirror.
“Got you,” he said, laughing.
She spun around. “You’re as horrid as a little boy.”
“I may be horrid, but I’m no boy.”
“You’re in luck. I find you mildly tolerable today.”
“Lucky me,” he said, beginning to close the distance between them.
She tried to ignore the husky note in his voice, but the deep sound hummed inside her. Tension hung in the air, and unbidden, she recalled the way his muscles had strained while he’d wielded that ax. She dared not let him know how he’d affected her.
“I have a confession to make,” he said.
Now she couldn’t breathe, because he was too close and the scent of him swirled all around her.
“I find you charming today.”
She took a step back and lifted her chin. “It will wear off quickly.”

He took another step. There was a languorous expression in his eyes. She might have noticed the amber hues in them, but only because she was perceptive by nature. Drat it all. Why couldn’t he have a long nose, pointed chin, and no muscles at all? And why after all these years did she find him irresistible?
**GIVEAWAY: One US/CA reader will receive a print copy of Never Entice an Earl, a print copy of What a Reckless Rogue Needs, and a digital copy of Passionately Yours. Comment details below.

1) Comment with some passionate/enticing/reckless thing you've done in your life
2) Be sure to leave your email address so I can contact the winner!

I will pick a random commenter on March 24th, the last day of the blog tour.


  1. So jealous of these reading s you have Mary!!! I want all of them!!

    But as for the question, I haven't done anything passionately or enticing. Maybe reckless but not to an extreme. Well my life hasn't started yet so I have no story to tell. But since this month I'm dedicating it to not buying books, I bought a load of Victoria's Secret under things. It's bad but not as bad ad buying books so they say. LOL

    kp_kazamei@yahoo. com

    1. LOL Ki, I'm still using the last batch of nicely-smelling products you sent~
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Oh wow... these all sound awesome!!! I haven't done anything really passionate or enticing either :( But maybe that's why I'm such an avid reader... especially of romance... living vicariously :) Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Erin,
      I consider being an avid reader of romance a "passionate" endeavor. ;)
      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Thanks for the great reviews, Mary!! Now I want these books more than I did before your reviews. :-)

    I'm not sure it counts as passionate, enticing, or reckless - actually I know it doesn't - but I did take a temporary job assignment halfway across the US when I was supposed to be planning my wedding. I ended up breaking that engagement and marrying my husband of 22 years. :-)

    1. Hi Glenda,
      Thanks for stopping by! LOL That sounds somewhat reckless to me! ^_^

  4. Thanks for the giveaway & reviews. I can't think of anything particularly reckless or enticing that I've done. I tend to think things through, so I'm not that spontaneous.


    1. lol, how wise of you, Kim :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I haven't read Cara Elliot or Vicky Dreiling before but I read the first book in Lily Dalton's series and I love it! She's an awesome author and I really want to read the other two.
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

    1. ^_^ Thanks for stopping by, Kimberly!

    2. Kimberly -- you are the winner! I used a random number generator. :)

  6. Great reviews! I'm especially looking forward to Dreiling's latest - it looks fantastic. As for doing something reckless, can't say that I have at this point in life. But I keep toying with the idea of moving out of province for work, which is about as spontaneous as I get!

    1. I say if that's what you really want to do, go for it! :)
      Thanks for stopping by, Jaclyn!

  7. Love each of the reviews! Now I can't wait to read them because they are all on my TBR list. The closest thing I can come up with reckless if I guess changing majors. Let's see if I made the right decisions later on in my life.

    1. Hi Sandy! Thanks. :) That must have been a big step in your life, and I hope you're all the happier for it. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. What great reviews! Wish I could say I have done something super passionate or enticing but I sure can't think of anything!

    Thanks so much!
    mmafsmith AT gmail DOT com

    1. Hehe, I'm sure the fun things will happen to you in the future :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

  9. What a enjoyment, reading each of these reviews. I want to read each of these books. The most reckless thing I've ever done in my life is making out in the back seat of a car in a parking lot. Only for the young! lol Thanks for this chance.

    Debbie macdebbielou AT yahoo DOT com

    1. Thanks, Debbie! :) I really liked these and hope you enjoy them too if you get them.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  10. When it comes to it I guess you could say I something passionate, enticing, and reckless all at the same time! My husband was in the Navy during Vietnam and that's when I met him. We didn't get to see each other often after we met but when he finally got shore duty for a while he'd come over when he had time off. I swear the one thing he liked the most was getting home cooked meals! He ended up being scheduled to work the night shift and I worked during the day so our time together was always much too short. Just before he was getting ready to leave for another deployment I said something that made him realize how much I'd miss him when he was gone. The time he came over he brought his sea bag with him! He had decided to move in (without mentioning it to me) so that some of his things would be around while he was at sea (and to remind me how much he'd miss me!).

    Since this year we celebrated our 44th Anniversary first two apply but not reckless but instead the best decision I ever made!

    1. Wow, Jeanne, thanks for sharing your fantastic love with your husband! This is both passionate and romantic. ^_^ I'm glad you're very happy with your choice!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  11. I forgot to leave my email - jeanne(at)yahoo(dot)com

  12. I can't think of any reckless or passionate thing that I have done.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    These all sound like great reads!!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  13. Most passionate thing I've done was to quit my job and spend six weeks (by myself) at a Shakespeare Summer School -- because, back then, I was really, really in love with the works of William Shakespeare! ^_^

  14. Passionate thing? Pondering...Silly thing, well, that comes easy to my mind...driving to my friend's place using my sister's corvette while wearing a sexy black lingerie and I ended up running out of gas, had to stop and pump it myself under full and bright lights!

    1. LOL I don't even want to imagine what you thought to do in that outfit! ;)

  15. These all sound awesome - I've read other books by Vicky and Cara, but have yet to try Lily's, so thanks for the introduction for a new-to-me historical author!

    I'm not really a reckless person, but I did try this a couple of years ago: Once I got over the "OMG what was I THINKING" moment, it was amazing.

    cayenne-9t1 AT hotmail DOT com

  16. Wow, three great books to add to my TBR list! I'm totally not a reckless person (that's just not my kind of thing) and the most passionate thing I've done is devouring romance novels! Thanks for the fabulous reviews!

    thebigbluewall77 AT gmail DOT com

  17. One of the most reckless things I've ever done (though I didn't think so at the time) was to walk across a beam over a basement in an apartment building under construction. I was around 11 at the time.
    jmcgaugh (at) semo (dot) edu



Imagination Designs
Blog design by Imagination Designs
All images from the Turning Leaf Apothecary kit by Lorie Davison