Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Devil's Return Book Tour: Review + Excerpt + Giveaway!

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Welcome to my post for the Devil's Return book tour! I have a review coming up, as well as an excerpt and a giveaway for a copy of The Bride Prize and a goodie pack. But, first, allow me to introduce the book:

Tour: Devil’s Return (Allen’s Miscellany 1847) by: Sandra Schwab
Release date: August 15, 2014
Genre: Historical (Victorian) Romance
Series: Allan's Miscellany

Seven years ago Fran and Alex were very much in love. Yet because Alex was only a younger son with no prospects to speak of, Fran’s family pressured her into breaking the engagement and marrying a rich, titled man instead. Filled with bitterness, Alex left England for the New World.

Now he is back, more dangerous and more cynical than ever before. He has found fame and fortune as an adventurer, traveling the world from America to the Near East and writing about his travels for Allan’s Miscellany. He has come to London to drum up interest for his friend’s archeological excavations. Soon, he finds himself the darling of London society, admired by men, wooed by women.

Fate has not been so kind to Fran. After a disastrous marriage, which has left her with deep emotional and physical scars, she is widowed and now lives in genteel poverty.

By chance, Alex and Fran’s paths cross again. They have both changed so much, and past betrayals and past hurts still divide them. So surely there can be no second chance for their love…



My Rating: 4 Roses

A sweet second-chance romance, Devil's Return was a lovely read and I really enjoyed it.

Fran was a surprisingly strong character. She was easily influenced by her family in her youth but, over the years, she learned that she had to think of herself and her happiness. And, after the disaster of her marriage, she bore her unfortunate circumstances with dignity. I thought she was great.

Alex was so sweet. He had loved Fran and was heartbroken when she left him. But, rather than become bitter, he turned his attention to making something of himself and became a better man for it. I really liked how he still loved Fran and, after hearing of her misfortunes, his first thought was of comforting her. I thought he was just adorable.

The romance was sweet. Even after years of separation, Fran and Alex still loved each other and, after overcoming the gap that had come up between them, they were determined to be together. My only issue was that I wish Fran had actually expressed her regret to Alex about leaving him. When he found out about what she had went through while he was gone, he was the one who apologized to her about not being there for her and that just struck me as odd, considering she was the one who had rejected him and told him to leave. So, why was he thinking that he had to apologize? If I had just gotten a full spoken expression of regret from Fran when she sincerely apologized, I would have been happier but, as it was, it didn't quite strike me right. Overall, though, I thought they were a sweet couple.

The plot moved swiftly and I was drawn in right from the start. I enjoyed the story and I thought the ending was very sweet.

Devil's Return was a lovely historical romance that I really liked. It was sweet, enjoyable, and just great overall. Romance lovers, this is a book worth checking out.

*I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review
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Excerpt:

Fran had always found the glittering world of society parties and balls slightly tiresome. They might have briefly dazzled her when she had been eighteen, but even then, she had had a decided preference for local assemblies, where she had been able to dance with—

She caught herself short and released her breath in a small sigh.

How happy she had been!

Smiling wistfully, she gave her wrap to a footman and followed her sister and the major to the drawing room.

Well, she was happy still, wasn’t she? Or content at least. Yes, content. The new Lord Clifford—a nephew of her late husband’s—and his wife had been most gracious in allowing her to live in the dowager house on the estate. She loved the small, darling house with its own small flower garden, where she could bustle around. And it was close enough to the walled garden that in the height of summer, the wind sometimes carried the heady smells of apricots and ripe peaches into her drawing room. A most comfortable arrangement indeed!

Another footman stood at the door of the Langton’s drawing room, where the guests assembled before dinner, and announced the newcomers in a sonorous voice. “Major Ryder and Mrs. Ryder—”

The party, Frances saw with relief, was indeed a small one. There were no more than ten or twelve people present. In one corner of the room a small gaggle had formed around a tall, blond man, who stood with his back to the door.

Frances frowned. A small shiver of foreboding slid down her spine.

“—and the Dowager Lady Clifford.”

The man turned.

He was older, of course—broader and taller than she remembered, his face deeply tanned by eastern suns. The tousled, honey-blond locks were gone. Instead of the untidy mop, he now wore his hair shorn close to his head. It made him appear harder and more dangerous—a powerful man instead of an unruly boy.

Yet despite all the changes, she would have known him anywhere.

For one endless, awful, wonderful moment their gazes met and clung.

Her breathing stopped, perhaps even her heartbeat.

Oh Alex, she thought. Alex...

But the moment passed, and his eyes slid away, and he gave no sign that he knew her at all.

Like a vicious knife the pain sliced through Fran’s middle, nearly making her gasp. She pressed a hand against her belly.

How ridiculous, she thought. When the wound is as invisible as the blood oozing from it.

Helplessly, her gaze remained fastened on him.

Seven years and two continents away...
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Giveaway:
Up for grabs is The Bride Prize, a previous book in the series, and a goodie pack including bookmarks, German tea, and German chocolate.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:
Sandra Schwab
Award-winning author Sandra Schwab started writing her first novel when she was seven years old. Thirty-odd years later, telling stories is still her greatest passion, even though by now she has exchanged her pink fountain pen of old for a black computer keyboard. Since the release of her debut novel in 2005, she has enchanted readers worldwide with her unusual historical romances.

She holds a PhD in English literature and lives in Frankfurt am Main / Germany with a sketchbook, a sewing machine, and an ever-expanding library. Her new series about the fictional magazine Allan's Miscellany combines her academic research on Victorian periodicals with her love for story-telling.


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