Before She Was Found

Before She Was Found
Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf

When He Finds You

When He Finds You
When He Finds You by Sadie Ryan

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Taste of Texas Spotlight on Author Lorraine Heath + Giveaway

A Taste of Texas is a new Meme here at The Book Review.  I’m from Texas, obviously, so I thought it would be appropriate to spotlight the incredible authors who are from Texas or have featured Texas in their books.   Once a month, I will spotlight one such author.


It is my privilege to introduce the first author to be spotlighted on “A Taste of Texas” -  LORRAINNE HEATH:


Lorraine Heath has always had a soft spot for emotional love stories. No doubt because growing up, watching movies with her mom, she was taught that the best movies "won't half make you cry."

She is the daughter of a British beauty (her mom won second place in a beauty contest sponsored by Max Factor® during which she received a kiss from Caesar Romero--Joker on the original Batman TV series) and a Texan who was stationed at Bovingdon while serving in the air force. Lorraine was born in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, but soon after moved to Texas. Her "dual" nationality has given her a love for all things British and Texan, and she enjoys weaving both heritages through her stories.

When she received her BA degree in psychology from the University of Texas, she had no idea she had gained a foundation that would help her to create believable characters—characters that are often described as “real people.” She began her career writing 
training manuals and computer code for the IRS, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she became not only hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She's been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards including RWA's RITA®. Her novels have appeared on bestseller lists, including USA Today and the New York Times.    

The author of more than 60 novels, she writes historical and contemporary romance for adults and historical romance for teen readers. Under the names Rachel Hawthorne and Jade Parker, she writes popular contemporary, historical, and paranormal romance for teens readers. She also writes young adult with her son under the name J. A. London.



Branded a traitor and imprisoned for refusing to fight for the Confederacy, Clayton Holland returns home to Cedar Grove, only to be spurned by the townspeople, except for vengeful Meg Warner, who finds her hatred and grief transformed by love.



Always to RememberAlways to Remember by Lorraine Heath
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Always to Remember by Lorraine Heath is a 2010 Harper publication.

This retro-romance novel was originally published in 1997 by Jove.

Set in Texas, post-civil war, the story centers around a young widow, Meg Warner and Clay Holland, a man who refused to join sides in the war or fight in it.

Meg’s husband and brothers were killed in the war, and Clay was held prisoner for being a dissenter. He should have been executed for his beliefs, but his life was spared. Returning home to his younger twin brothers, Clay tries to put his life back together, but Meg is infuriated that her husband’s best friend, has returned home alive, a yellow coward, while her husband died.

Revenge is a dish best served cold, as they say, and Meg believes she has come up with the best way to punish Clay. Since he is so good at carving stone, he must make a memorial for those men who gave their lives for what they believed in.
He must carve each name into the granite and face his own cowardice and dishonor. Meg will supervise him and watch his suffering with righteous indignation.

But, something begins to happen between Meg and Clay as they spend more time together. Could Meg have been wrong about Clay? Will she discover Kirk’s true feelings about Clay and his stand against the war? Is there some way Clay can prove to Meg he is as honorable as those who fought, and show her he is not a coward?

Back in this era of time, standing up and refusing to join in the fight was unheard of. No one understood how brave Clay was for sticking to his own convictions. That is not the way people viewed things back then. But, for Meg this is personal. She hates, hates, hates Clay for being alive while her husband, who did the right thing, in her eyes, is dead.

It’s a bitterness that has settled into her bones, giving her something to hold on to, and she does so with a vengeance. But after a time, her repetitive mantra seemed like a way to remind herself, she was supposed to despise Clay, but he made it very difficult for her.

Clay is brave, of course, because he went against the grain, spoke out about his beliefs, by thinking the war was a big mistake. He paid dearly for this stance, and even though he managed to avoid the firing squad, his life is miserable because he is a pariah.

But as he regales Meg with stories of he and Kirk’s adventures before the war, and as Meg sees him care for his brothers, and work with his hands, her heart slowly begins to soften and the man she sees now, is not who she believed him to be. In fact, he may be one of the most courageous and honorable men she knows.

This is a very good story, with a strong message woven into it, one that speaks of adhering to one’s values and beliefs, no matter what the personal cost. It’s a powerful, thought provoking tale, but also one of those strong examples of love’s power to heal, bring forgiveness, break down walls, and melt hearts.

I really wish more stories were written like this one!


                           SPOTLIGHT ON LORRAINE'S  LATEST RELEASE:

                                                         THE EARL TAKES ALL


One summer night, Edward Alcott gives in to temptation and kisses Lady Julia Kenney in a dark garden. However, the passion she stirs within him is best left in the shadows as she weds his twin, the Earl of Greyling. But when tragedy strikes, to honor the vow he makes to his dying brother, Edward must pretend to be Greyling until the countess delivers her babe.

After her husband returns from a two-month sojourn, Julia finds him changed. Bolder, more daring, and more wicked—even if he does limit their encounters to kisses. With each passing day, she falls more deeply in love.

For Edward the embers of desire sparked on that long-ago night are quickly rekindled. He yearns to be her husband in truth. But if she discovers his ruse, she will despise him—and English law prevents him from marrying his brother’s widow. Yet he must dare to risk everything and reveal his secrets if he is to truly take all.


The Earl Takes All (The Hellions of Havisham, #2)The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath is a 2016 Avon publication. I as provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Sometimes you know from the start things are going to end badly. Yet, despite everything, I had to look, had to listen, had to know, even if my heart was on the line, knowing full well I would need a super-size box of tissues to get through it.

The setup is wrong on so many levels, I don’t even know where to start. Perhaps at the beginning?

Julia and Edward share a kiss that rocks both their worlds and leaves a long lasting impression. But, Julia believed she was kissing Albert, Edward’s identical twin, and is furious at him for taking advantage of her.

Not a great way to start a relationship with your future sister-in-law. But, the die was cast, and the awkwardness remained until Edward was killed.

Only Edward didn’t die, it was Albert. Albert’s dying wish is for Edward to pretend to be him until Julia gives birth to their child. It would only be for a short time and then he would tell her the truth.

This set-up is obviously pretty tricky, but you must keep an open mind because the author did a spectacular job of walking across a tightrope without a net. You have to trust me on this one, and believe me when I say she never took one misstep or lost her balance from start to finish.

Forbidden love, a heartbreaking deception, cruel and downright strange British laws, all team up against the power of love and wins a few significant battles along the way, but of course true love will win the war… eventually.

Wow! This story is tense, daring, emotionally charged, and may be the most sensual story I’ve read in a long time.

Albert is most certainly an honorable and noble man who loved Julia with all his heart, and only wanted her to be happy. So, his demise is going to be hard to comprehend, and you may be tempted to close your minds and hearts right then and there. But, I beg you to reconsider, because in no way is the love shared between Julia and Albert diminished or dishonored.

Edward and Julia’s love story is nothing short of epic. The feelings they have for each other transcends boundaries and all obstacles, refusing to be contained for anyone. The characters are human and real, caught in a trap they have no way of escaping- a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. They can live a lie, cheat Albert’s memory, hide the truth from his daughter, allow Edward’s reputation to remain mired in scandal, or they tell the truth and lose any and all chance of happiness.

Love brings out the best in us, but also the worst. The consuming desire to finally be with the one person you have always loved, the only one you will ever love, or having a second chance at real happiness, could be a temptation impossible to deny. If you have ever been in love, you know what a powerful drug it is, which can have you rationalizing your decisions, even if you know deep down it's not the right thing to do.

I realize the plot may be hard for some to wrap their heads around, and there were some moments where I thought a line was blurred, but once all was said and done, it came together beautifully, with every character able to hold their heads up high, with their reputations intact, blazing new trails, and paying tribute to those who left us too soon, by making sure their memory was honored.

I rarely gush over a book, but this one is worth it. Kudos to the author for daring to challenge us, for keeping the genre fresh by adding in a dash of true scandal, and a bit of controversy, but mostly for writing a moving story, with depth and feeling, that really touched my heart and left tears standing in my eyes.



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In the first in a dazzling new series, New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath introduces the Hellions of Havisham—three charismatic rogues destined to lose their hearts...

After six unsuccessful Seasons, Miss Minerva Dodger chooses spinsterhood over fortune-hungry suitors. But thanks to the Nightingale Club, she can at least enjoy one night of pleasure. At that notorious establishment, ladies don masks before choosing a lover. The sinfully handsome Duke of Ashebury is more than willing to satisfy the secretive lady's desires—and draws Minerva into an exquisite, increasingly intimate affair.

A man of remarkable talents, Ashe soon deduces that his bedmate is the unconventional Miss Dodger. Intrigued by her wit and daring, he sets out to woo her in earnest. Yet Minerva refuses to trust him. How to court a woman he has already thoroughly seduced? And how to prove that the passion unleashed in darkness is only the beginning of a lifetime's pleasure?

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