Monday, February 25, 2019

Giveaway/ Excerpt,/Early review of Lady Derring Takes a Lover (The Palace of Rogues #1) by Julie Anne Long

A mistress. A mountain of debt. A mysterious wreck of a building.

Delilah Swanpoole, Countess of Derring, learns the hard way that her husband, “Dear Dull Derring,” is a lot more interesting—and perfidious—dead than alive. It’s a devil of an inheritance, but in the grand ruins of the one building Derring left her, are the seeds of her liberation. And she vows never again to place herself at the mercy of a man.

But battle-hardened Captain Tristan Hardy is nothing if not merciless. When the charismatic naval hero tracks a notorious smuggler to a London boarding house known as the Rogue’s Palace, seducing the beautiful, blue-blooded proprietress to get his man seems like a small sacrifice.

They both believe love is a myth. But a desire beyond reason threatens to destroy the armor around their hearts. Now a shattering decision looms: Will Tristan betray his own code of honor…or choose a love that might be the truest thing he’s ever known?

She’d taken two steps when he said, his voice raised only a little, “Lady Derring . . . something
puzzles me.”

She halted.

Closed her eyes.

Took a shuddering breath for courage.

Turned back to him. From the relatively safe distance of three feet, she said, “Surely not. We’ve established you know everything.”

His smile was small and patient. “You seem to excel at so very much here at The Grand Palace on the Thames. Yet you can’t seem to disguise how much you want me.”

Julie Anne Long
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USA Today bestselling author Julie Anne Long originally set out to be a rock star when she grew up (and she has the guitars and fringed clothing stuffed in the back of her closet to prove it), but writing was always her first love. Since hanging up her guitar for the computer keyboard, her books frequently top reader and critic polls and have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Rita, Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, and The Quills, and reviewers have been known to use words like “dazzling,” “brilliant,” and “impossible to put down” when describing them. Julie lives in Northern California.

Title: Lady Derring Takes a Lover: The Palace of Rogues
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Palace of Rogues (Book 1)
Format: Paperback; 384 pages
Publisher: Avon (February 26, 2019)
ISBN-10: 0062867466
ISBN-13: 978-0062867469
Author's Website:
Notes: I received an eARC loan from the publisher for review purposes.

Lady Delilah Swanpool, Countess of Derring, played by the rules, acted as she was supposed to, did as she was told, and what did it get her? Absolutely nothing. When her husband of 6 years dies suddenly, she finds herself homeless, penniless, with only the clothes on her back. As she approaches her husband's solicitor, she finds she has been left something--a dilapidated old building in a seedy portion of the city that her husband is rumored to have won over a card game. Delilah, however, isn't one to wallow in her sorrow. Where others might find despair, she finds opportunity in her predicament. Determined to squeeze lemonade from the lemons life has handed her, she devises a plan that doesn't include her being at the mercy of another man ever again...

Captain Tristan Hardy is in charge of the King's Blockade. Tristan, known to be the King's favorite hunting dog, has broken the back of every smuggling gang in England save one--the Blue Rock Gang. His current pursuit has left him wondering if Delilah's late husband might have had a hand in the matter. That makes Delilah a prime suspect and leads Tristan right to her front door...

"Oh, now I see, You're that Captain Hardy."
She heard him take a sharp audible breath.
"Always gets his man," Lieutenant Massey whispered proudly. 
"Or woman, too, I suppose," Delilah said lightly, slowly. "Is that not so, Captain Hardy?"
This is the first book in a new series which derives its name from the building Delilah inherits which was once known as the Palace of Rogues. Unbeknownst to Delilah, it is a former bawdy house. This sets the groundwork for some interesting and funny situations.

Delilah is still young and could remarry, but after living years with no say as to what happens to her  she's rather fed up with men. Additionally, as she never gave her husband an heir and she lacks a dowry, her prospects are vastly limited. So far everyone who should have looked out for her, including her parents, have let her down. For all those reasons, she feels it's high time she takes matters into her own hands.

While Delilah is the main character in this book, Angelique gets her fair share of page time in this story. An unlikely friendship develops between these two women who are as different as day and night. While Delilah is a respected member of the ton, Angelique is a fallen women. She also was Delilah's late husband's mistress. After shedding a few tears, letting go of some of the anger she's felt, and analyzing all that's happened, however, Delilah realizes that she and Angelique aren't all that different. Each is a victim of circumstance and society's constraints on women. Both are in dire straits and while neither has the resources to survive on their own, Delilah realizes if they pool together what they have they each might just be able to land on their own two feet. What one lacks in knowledge or ability, the other makes up with their own talents and abilities. Hence, a nice collaboration, dare I say, partnership is formed. I rather liked this.

Captain Hardy has never really had a family and doubts he ever will. The closest thing he has to one are the men who work for him. He takes each loss personally and makes it his quest to get vengeance for all who fall under his watch by making sure to capture those responsible. When he meets Delilah, he is thrown for a loop. She's nothing like he expects her to be. She's young, beautiful, sweet, charming, and everything he knows he doesn't deserve. He decides he'll keep his distance, but as he soon finds, some things just can't be denied. There's just something about Delilah that makes him want more...

 Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. I adored seeing the attraction and feelings grow between Tristan and Delilah. The complications presented from Tristan trying to do his duty to his king and country made things all the more interesting. I liked seeing the friendship and camaraderie between Delilah, Dot, and Angelique bloom and grow. I loved the humor and enjoyed the mystery surrounding the smuggling ring. Plus, the ending made me want to read the next book right now. What a tease you are Ms. Long! On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed. A most enjoyable read!

Enter for a chance to win 'ONE' print copy of 
Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Anne Long
(Open Only to Residents of the United States and Canada)

I am not responsible for lost or stolen items, but let me know if you haven't received your book in a reasonable amount of time. I will attempt to contact the publisher to find out what happened and get the problem rectified. Good Luck!

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  1. I love heroines that have unusual skills that are often thought to be for males only.

  2. i love reading about heroines who are not afraid to be who they truly want to be. especially when they come in to a situation that causes them to act!


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