Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Earls Just Want to Have Fun by Shana Galen Spotlight Tour

His heart may be the last thing she ever steals...

Marlowe is a pickpocket, a housebreaker-and a better actress than any professional on the stage. She runs with the Covent Garden Cubs, a gang of thieves living in the slums of London's Seven Dials. It's a fierce life, and Marlowe has a hard outer shell. But when she's alone, she allows herself to think of a time before-a dimly remembered life when she was called Elizabeth.

Maxwell, Lord Dane, is intrigued when his brother, a hired investigator, ropes him into his investigation of the fiercely beautiful hellion. He teaches her to navigate the social morass of the ton, but Marlowe will not escape so easily. Instead, Dane is drawn into her dangerous world, where the student becomes the teacher and love is the greatest risk of all.

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Book 1
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Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes

“While I do not usually object to a woman in this position,” Dane said quietly, “I must confess something about the dagger between your lips is less than romantic.”

Marlowe reached for the dagger, but he was faster, grasping her hands and pinning them at her side. She lost her balance and settled on top of him, and he pushed her down so that she would fall forward if she tried to swing her legs out from under her.

“What, exactly, are you doing?”

She couldn’t answer, not with the dagger in her mouth, and she shook her head, shaking her arms to indicate she wanted to be freed from his hold.

“What’s the matter? Can’t speak with a knife between your lips? Hazard of your profession, I assume.” He began to rise, sliding her along his body, as he did so. Even beneath the layers of bedclothes, she could feel the strength and power of him. His hands, remarkably strong, held hers at her sides. Nothing she did would free them. He was far too strong. It was times like this she hated being a woman. Gideon would have freed himself easily. He was also tall enough that he wouldn’t have needed to climb onto the bed.

When the swell was sitting, with Marlowe conveniently in his lap, he leaned forward so his face was inches from hers. “Drop the knife.”

She wanted to tell him it was a dagger, a subtle but important distinction, but she couldn’t speak and hold on to her weapon. And she couldn’t think very well with her body pressed against his. Something about their positions made her skin tingle and her belly flutter. She should want to pull away. Instead, she fought the urge to push closer, to rock against him. What the bloody hell was wrong with her?

“Drop the knife or I’ll take it.”

She laughed. Just let him try.

“Very well.”

To her surprise, he leaned closer, his lips moving so near to hers she could smell his breath. Like the rest of him, it smelled clean. She was so intent upon smelling his breath, so intent upon the heat of his body pulsing against hers, she forgot to move her head back, and she jolted in shock when his lips touched hers. What was he doing? Kissing her?

But then his teeth flashed and closed on the dagger’s blade, and she reacted too slowly. He yanked it from her mouth, and she had no choice but to let it go or risk the blade cutting the corners of her sensitive flesh.

“Bastard!” she yelled. He released her hands then, allowing the dagger to drop into one of his. She swung at him, and her fist collided with a satisfying thunk against his cheek. But her satisfaction was short-lived as he recovered easily and flipped her over. Suddenly, she was beneath him on the bed, and all the warmth from the bedclothes and his body were covering her. She bucked immediately, trying to throw him off, but he was solid and heavy, and when his hands grasped her wrists and pinned them to the pillow, she knew she was trapped.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

5 stars.
Earls Just Want to Have Fun was a surprisingly deep read, when I thought it would be light-hearted and comedic as suggested by its title. The main characters were fully fleshed out and three dimensional. The side cast made you long to read their stories. The main premise showed the heartbreak, pain, and poor quality of life of the lower classes, while showing their courage to do anything to survive, as well as the upper class's ignorance of the situation. Fast-paced, packed with suspense, and 100% story-driven, I was engrossed from page one until the end.

I feared a formulaic, clichéd book, but it broke the mold from the beginning. Time after time, I worried that it would fall into the trap. I waited for the Heroine to run off for the simplest thing and need the assistance of the Hero. I was so thankful I was wrong. There weren't any miscommunications, or misunderstandings, which could be solved with a simple conversation.

The Heroine didn't need to be saved, and she didn't turn TSTL and run off to get harmed. She fought, used her street-smarts to get them all out of danger, and the largest surprise, she asked the Hero for help. Instead of pulling apart as a plot device, the Hero & the Heroine joined forces and worked together, showing their deep connection and lending to a lifelong partnership.

As for the romance? It wasn't in your face. The author took the time to develop a connection the reader could believe. There was still plenty of witty banter, smoldering bed-sports, and heart-felt moments.

Would I recommend this book: Yes, especially to those who read Historical Romance and are a stickler for the facts of the era, and for those who want to feel the gamut of emotions on the path to an HEA. With plenty of lusty thoughts and several highly detailed ‘romantic’ scenes, Earls Just Want to Have Fun is definitely story-driven.

Will I read more by this author: As soon as I was finished, I messaged my fellow Wicked Readers joining me on this read and said, “5 Star. I hadn't realized I read the night away. I'm going to check out the author's backlist when I wake in the morning.”

I am happy to say that I was impressed by this book. The characters were very developed and not singular in their ways. I really enjoyed how the author showed the depth of differences in social classes as well as the major problems of the impoverished.

The story was deep and different than I had expected. I was intrigued by the storyline and enjoyed how the story unfolded and climaxed. The mild humorous mixed with the suspense kept things free flowing.

I also appreciate that the romance wasn't rushed. It was developed and grew with the characters. I enjoy when the author balances the romance without throwing it in the reader's face.

I would recommend this book the historical romance fan that enjoy a unique read with great references to the times and just the right amount of romance. I will be looking into reading more by this author.

Also Available in the Covent Garden Cubs Series

Book 0.5
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes

For reviews and more info, check out our Viscount of Vice blog post.

Shana Galen is the bestselling author of passionate Regency romps, including the RT Reviewers' Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Kirkus says of her books, “The road to happily-ever-after is intense, conflicted, suspenseful and fun,” and RT Bookreviews calls her books “lighthearted yet poignant, humorous yet touching.” She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston's inner city. Now she writes full time. She's happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making. Shana loves to hear from readers, so send her an email or see what she's up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Earls Just Want to Have Fun (Covent Garden Cubs #1) by Shana Galen to read and review for this tour.

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