A Perfect Plan is book #1 of the Wiltshire Chronicles regency romantic mystery series.
It opens with a prologue from 1842 and the ruthless murder of Lord Matthew Hastings by an unknown gentleman.
Chapter one begins almost eleven years later. Samantha Hastings is currently residing in the town house of her sister-in-law Wilhelmina, who has been widowed. She asked Sam to come and help her with running the finances of her late husbands house and business. An unusual responsibility for a women of this era, Samantha is not one to conform to society. In fact an invite to Lady Allendale’s ball has her shuddering.
Wilhelmina insists that Sam accompanies her to parties and such, as her chaperone, whilst she is also on the look out for a suitable husband for Sam. At the ball Sam is reacquainted with her brother’s friends, one of whom promised to be her guardian. A task he feels duty bound to uphold, but Benjamin is not thrilled with having to vet future husbands for his friend’s sister. A young chit of a girl he remembers, who no doubt has grown into a plain Jane.
What Benjamin hasn’t considered is that the beauty on the dance floor who has captured his attention is the one and the same younger sister of best friend Edward.
The storyline follows with a pleasant romantic tale fitting with the genre, a couple of times there were unbelievable leaps in action however the mystery adds a good twist. A man thought dead, returns to life, but shadows follow him closely and put the Hastings family in grave danger.
For those who enjoy a regency romance complete with happy ever after ending, be warned, this book ends of a cliff hanger, ready for book #2 to continue the tale.
I reviewed this book for Readers Review Room
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Samantha Hastings lived a quiet, peaceful life on her family’s country estate. With no man to order her around and no stifling society rules to follow, she considered herself blessed. However, when her brother’s ship sinks during a short trip to France, Samantha receives a request from her sister-in-law to return to town and manage the late Earl’s finances. Suddenly thrust into society, Samantha faces an unfamiliar world and a pair of very familiar green eyes.
Lord Benjamin Westwood never intended on following through with his rash promise to his best friend. Now, with Edward’s death, Benjamin becomes the unwilling guardian to Edward’s bratty little sister, who has grown up considerably since the last time they met. His intention to marry her off to the first available suitor is thwarted when he finds himself falling for Samantha’s unique demeanor. He lights upon the perfect plan; a marriage of convenience, giving him the opportunity to romance Samantha without distraction.
However, when they discover Edward’s disappearance was due to foul play, Benjamin’s perfect plan begins to quickly unravel. Now, Samantha is in more danger than either of them realized and Benjamin is running out of time.
About the author
Award winning author Alyssa Drake has been creating stories since she could read, preferring to construct her own bedtime tales instead of reading the titles in her bookshelves. Enraptured with all types of writing, Alyssa has tried her hand at short stories, collaborations and poetry. However, her first love has always been books. She thoroughly enjoys strong heroines and often laughs aloud when visualizing conversations between her characters.
Alyssa graduated from the University of the Pacific, with a B.S. in business and a concentration in French literature. Currently she resides in Northern California with her blended family, where she works full-time at a chocolate factory.
She believes everyone is motivated by love of someone or something. One of her favorite diversions is fabricating stories about strangers surrounding her on public transportation. Alyssa can often be found madly scribbling notes on a train or daydreaming out the window as the scenery whips past.
An Imperfect Engagement, Alyssa’ sophomore novel, is the follow-up to her debut novel, A Perfect Plan (which won Obsessed by Book’s 2016 Indie Award for Best Historical Read). Both novels are historical romantic suspense (love & murder in 1850’s England).