📚Victorian #Romance. Rosie’s #Bookreview of A Most Intriguing Lady by @SarahtheDuchess and @margueritekaye #TuesdayBookBlog

A Most Intriguing LadyA Most Intriguing Lady by Sarah Ferguson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Most Intriguing Lady is Victorian romance and is the second book in the collaboration between Sarah Ferguson (the Duchess Of York) and Marguerite Kaye. Although this tale is easily a stand-alone story, it also loosely follows on from their first book.

Lady Mary is the youngest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch (pronounced ‘Buck-Loo’). Beneath her quiet, well-behaved demeanour is a young woman who resists the demands of society. She’s daring and inquisitive and has qualities that make her an ideal amateur sleuth.

Colonel Trefusis is a guest of the Duke and Duchess, but when one of the other guests loses a valuable brooch he offers to help Mary solve the crime. They form a friendship, but Trefusis pushes Mary away when he suffers one of his debilitating headaches.

Their paths cross a few years later and once again they join forces to solve a different crime.

This is a gentle romance with a sub-theme of sleuthing to add interest to the tale. I liked both Mary and Trefusis from the start and I was rooting for them until the very end. There are some interesting secondary characters and the historical notes at the back of the book inform us about which of them were real as well as a few other interesting historical facts.

Although I quite liked the first book written by this duo I much preferred this one. The novel reflects the improving strength of the writing team which brings to the table Marguerite’s vast writing experience in the historical romance genre, with almost sixty books in her portfolio, and the Duchess’s lifelong experience of the aristocracy.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

From Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, a sweeping, romantic compulsively readable historical saga about a Duke’s daughter–the perfect Victorian lady–who secretly moonlights as an amateur sleuth for high society’s inner circle.

Victorian London was notorious for its pickpockets. But in the country houses of the elite, gentleman burglars, art thieves and con men preyed on the rich and titled. Wealthy victims–with their pride and reputation at stake–would never go to the police. What they needed was a society insider, one of their own, a person of discretion and finely tuned powers of observation, adept at navigating intrigue.

That person was Lady Mary Montagu Douglas Scott, the youngest child of Queen Victoria’s close friends the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch. Bookish, fiercely intelligent, and a keen observer, Mary has deliberately cultivated a mousey persona that allows her to remain overlooked and significantly underestimated by all. It’s the perfect cover for a sleuth, a role she stumbles into when trying to assist a close friend during a house party hosted by her parents at their stately Scottish home, Drumlanrig Castle.

It is at this party where Lady Mary also meets Colonel Walter Trefusis, a distinguished and extremely handsome war veteran. Tortured by memories of combat, Walter, like Mary, lives a double life, with a desk job in Whitehall providing a front for his role in the British Intelligence Service. The two form an unlikely alliance to solve a series of audacious crimes–and indulge in a highly charged on-off romance.

Pacy, romantic, and fun, A Most Intriguing Lady documents one remarkable woman’s ability to be both the perfect lady, and a perfectly talented detective…and, of course, to find love too.

The book will be released in March 2023. AmazonUK | AmazonUS

Victorian #Romance Based On A True Character. Rosie’s #Bookreview of Her Heart For A Compass by @SarahTheDuchess & @MargueriteKaye @MillsandBoon

Her Heart for a CompassHer Heart for a Compass by Sarah Ferguson

4 stars

Her Heart For A Compass is a Victorian romance. It is based around a true character, Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott, and the authors of this book have created a fictional tale about her life. As a second daughter of a Duke, Lady Margaret was brought up to do her duty by both her family and the society in which she lived. However, she rebelled against her father’s wishes and she refused to marry the Earl of Killin, the man chosen for her.

Lady Margaret’s refusal set her on a lonely path as she was sent away from her family, but as the story progressed Lady Margaret followed her heart and grew in confidence to become an independent woman; a rarity in Victorian England.

During the story the reader is taken on a journey which included Scotland, Lambeth in London and New York, and I could easily picture the settings. The narrative is sprinkled with letters between Margaret, her family and friends,  as well as several newspaper articles written about Margaret; not usually a fan of such inclusions, I was surprised by how well I thought they worked for this book.

The author’s notes at the back of the book explain that Lady Margaret is loosely based on a relative of Sarah Ferguson the Duchess Of York, who wrote this book with her co-author Marguerite Kaye. I’m sure that the Duchess’s knowledge of royal etiquette must have helped enormously as far as giving the story authenticity is concerned.

I must mention this is a long book, with my paperback version reaching almost 550 pages. I felt there was room to shorten the narrative without taking away too much of the story.  In other areas, a few times dialogue was used to convey information to the reader, in a fashion that made the dialogue seem unnatural; the facts could have been interspersed in the narrative instead.

Overall, this is the first attempt at writing for an adult audience by the Duchess and I’m sure it will be popular. I look forward to seeing what she writes next.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Desc 1

London 1865

In an attempt to rebel against a society where women are expected to conform, free-spirited Lady Margaret Montagu Scott flees the confines of polite society, and an arranged marriage. But Lady Margaret’s parents, the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, as close friends with Queen Victoria, must face the public scrutiny of their daughter’s impulsive nature, and Margaret is banished from polite society.

Finding strength amongst equally free-spirited companions, including Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Louise, Margaret resolves to follow her heart. On a journey of self-discovery that will take her to Ireland, America, and then back to Britain, Lady Margaret must follow her internal compass and search for her place, and her own identity, in a changing society.

Incorporating research into her heritage and drawing upon her own unique life journey and experiences, the Duchess pens a fictional account of the life of her great-great-aunt, Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott. Rich in historical detail, Her Heart for a Compass offers a compelling look at Victorian England and the fascinating journey of a woman, born into the higher echelons of society, whose only desire is to follow her heart.

With co-writer Marguerite Kaye, an accomplished Mills & Boon historical author, The Duchess has created a breathtaking romantic novel of daring to follow your heart against all odds. Set amongst the drawing rooms of Victoria’s court, and the grand country houses of Scotland and Ireland. 

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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