Lady, It's Cold Outside by Deb Marlowe
Miss Glenna Bolton is not having a Happy Christmas. She’s lost her grandfather and the bookshop they ran together. If not for the invitation from the Duke of Danby, she would have no place to go.

No Christmas festivities for Baron Ellesworth this year. His newly inherited estate is in bad shape—and so is his bank account. He’ll spend the holiday travelling to do a bit of business with Lord Danby, in hopes of bringing Christmas to Elleshaven next year.

Travelling during the holiday season doesn’t sound romantic, but a star in the East, an abandoned child and a quest for holiday cheer might just convince these two that love is the best gift of the Season.


This is a novella associated with Marlowe’s Half Moon House series. The series is linked by the owner of Half Moon House - a former courtesan who helps young women in dire straits. The owner appears briefly in this novella but having never read any other Half Moon House stories myself, I’m happy that this one stands alone quite nicely.

The story itself is quite a simple tale of finding love in the most unexpected places and at the most inconvenient times. Both Glenna and Alex are likeable characters and their romance is as sweet and adorable as could possibly be.

The romance novels that I tend to read normally have a little more passion and a lot more sex and sensuality. This has quite a different tone. It’s very chaste and, well, cute as a button. With that said, it’s still really easy to believe in the love of the main characters and wish them well on the way to their happy ending.

The Christmas theme works really well and the descriptions are very believable. I could really go for some gingerbread and snow right now!

Overall, this is a quick read (68 pages) and one that is sweet, cute and just an enjoyable romance all round. 4 stars.


68 pages

* I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. *

The Half Moon House Series:

Stormswept by Sabrina Jeffries first wedding night that Lady Juliana St. Albans spent with the dark and daring Rhys Vaughan was intoxicating, the heady culmination of her new husband’s driving hunger and her own awakened sensuality. When he mysteriously disappeared the next morning, she waited for him in hope and desperation. And when he was finally proclaimed dead in a shipwreck, she bitterly mourned the loss of her love.

The second wedding night that Juliana spent with Rhys Vaughan was six years later, after he returned to claim her just as she was about to wed another. This Rhys was different—bolder, harder, and convinced that she’d betrayed him. Only their blazing passion remains from their years apart. But is it enough to light their way through the maze of mystery, menace, and mistrust—to the love they once shared and would have to find again?


This is one of Sabrina Jeffries earlier works - first published in 1995, I think, and written under the name Deborah Martin. It’s been given a look over, a polish up and has been re-released.

One of the joys (of many) of this book is the sheer depth of the characters. It’s not unusual for the main characters, and even some of the secondary characters, to be multi-layered and have a realism that you can identify with. What’s more unusual is when the ‘baddies’ have that same layering. Darcy is our antagonist in this tale but he’s also got redeeming qualities, shows true feelings and made the reasons for his actions understandable if not above reproach. Sure he was selfish but he was written so well that I did feel pity for him at times.

Julianne and Rhys themselves were such well-rounded characters, too, and painfully perfect for each other, even if, at times, neither could see it (or would admit to it). I can definitely understand the conflict within the story - the betrayals done and those thought to be done. It really was a tangled weave and fascinating to see how the characters reacted and made the way to the perfect ending.

The Welsh setting was also done really well and while it was a key component to the story, it never overshadowed and remained interesting throughout. It would be interesting to hear what any Welsh readers thought, though.

Deborah Martin books tend to be a little darker and less humorous than Sabrina Jeffries’ later works. Having said that, I didn’t feel this one as dark and atmospheric as others and as it focussed primarily on the relationship between characters rather than the backdrop of political machinations, it retained a nice, light, readable feel.

I absolutely devoured this book and found myself wanting to tell people about the outcome when I was finished. It’s got it all - exemplary writing, superb plotting and a love story that will make any romance lover’s heart sing. Definitely recommended. 5 stars.


400 pages

Welsh series:


Kiss and Makeup by Taryn Leigh Taylor hot shade of lipstick calls for a hot, sexy guy.

Makeup artist Chloe Masterson has a look for every occasion. Flying home for your sister's wedding and family torture? Easy. Bring out the sarcastic wit and black eyeliner. Bonus - the look catches the eye of the corporate hottie sitting beside her on the plane. Turns out Ben has the exact same last name, and everyone assumes they're married.

When they get stuck in a hotel room together, Chloe decides to accept the gift the Fates have bestowed upon her. (Tip: a bold lip colour does wonders for seduction.) But as their lies begin to snowball, Chloe and Ben find it harder and harder to distinguish between what's real and what's all just smoky eyes and mirrors.


You know what to expect when you pick up a Harlequin Blaze - hot, sexy scenarios with hot, sexy characters and a sprinkling of romance thrown in for good measure. A perfect, escapist read with the necessary happily ever after.

What this book added as a little extra was some humour. I have to admit that when Chloe and Ben, our two main characters, first met and the humorous banter started to flow - I wasn’t sure how it could transcend into the hot and sexy I was looking for. But there were still some funny moments and exchanges in the book. They felt real and made the characters easy to root for.

Chloe and Ben are two very different characters. Chloe is your ‘black sheep’ and likes to keep things a little different from the norm. She’s also a make-up artist who works for a store in the mall. Completely opposite to corporate, suit-and-tie Ben. He’s all about getting the best job, the corner office and all the trappings that come with being the best. They wouldn’t normally be two people you would put together but it really works. I think that’s probably because the author doesn’t write either of them as cliches. They are not the stereotypical wild child and corporate suit but are written as normal people with hang-ups and the same every-day confusions as the rest of us.

I had to drop a star because of my earlier concern. I just didn’t feel the same magic and zip from the sex scenes as I would have liked. I don’t think that was anything to do with the characters themselves but I just felt something was missing. Dare I say I wanted it to be a bit more explicit. I wanted passion and fire when what was there was just sweetly sexy.

I really liked this book. It’s just what you need to while away a couple of hours. It’s fun, a different premise on the ‘fake husband/wife’ storyline, and the writing was really, rather good. I’ll be looking out for other books by Taryn Leigh Taylor and would recommend this book to those who enjoy Blaze romances.


224 pages

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