💕An anthology of historical #romance. Rosie’s #Bookreview of A Touch Of Romance by @PaullettGolden #FridayReads

A Touch of Romance (Romantic Encounters #2)A Touch of Romance by Paullett Golden

4 stars

A Touch Of Romance is an anthology of historical romance. Part one of the book has a story set in Devonshire at the beginning of 1796. Leila Owen meets Jules Knowlton whilst attending a writer’s retreat. The pair bond as they are the only poets. Although they form a good friendship Leila knows that her father is making marriage plans for her with someone who will help advance his own career.

The story mixes Eastern languages and traditions with English ones; Leila’s mother is from India and Leila expects her marriage to be with someone from the East India company. Jules is a professor of languages and a talented poet. He provides a link between Leila’s current life and her possible future.

Although I don’t read poetry, I appreciated its role in this story and the sprinkling of foreign words worked well. The story is fun and has some good secondary characters and it is well-worth a read for fans of this genre.

After the main feature story (which is just shy of 380 pages) there is an added bonus of eleven flash-fiction tales also of a historical romance nature.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

 

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Book description

Despite the odds, two poets manifest their dreams.

His recent appointment as Regius Professor of Greek has Jules Knowlton enjoying a life of leisure, one that begins with a writing retreat to stimulate his mind but ends with the unanticipated arousal of his heart. The problem? His newfound ladylove is arranged to marry someone else.

Leila Owen is a loyal and devoted daughter, one who would do anything for her family, anything except marry the suitor they’ve chosen for her. Using her poetic cunning, she schemes ways to convince her parents the man of her choice is a better match. The problem? The suitor is nothing if not perfect.

This is the love story of Jules and Leila, two poets who playact through life’s charade.

From second chance romances to mistaken identities, experience A Touch of Romance in this collection of one short novel and twelve bonus flash fiction pieces.

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🐉 Set in the Welsh Marches during the late 13th century. Rosie’s #Bookreview of #Histfic The Welsh Lord’s Convenient Bride by @LissaMorganAuth #TuesdayBookBlog

The Welsh Lord's Convenient BrideThe Welsh Lord’s Convenient Bride by Lissa Morgan

4 stars

The Welsh Lord’s Convenient Bride is historical romance set in the Welsh Marches during the late 13th century.

The Welsh Marches was a frontier land that straddled what we know today as the borders between England and Wales. In the middle ages it was a place of constant war and rebellion. As this story opens, Eleanor de Vraille travels to Castelle y Lleuad where she is to marry Rhun ab Owain as part of peace treaty deal. The treaty was agreed years ago between their respective fathers and now that Rhun is the Lord, he is ready to get married.

Both Rhun and the castle are, at first, hostile to Eleanor. She doesn’t speak Welsh and she is at a loss to know why Rhun dislikes her so much; she even considers returning to her English home, but there she would face a father who despises her. When a new uprising against the English king begins, Rhun will support his Welsh comrades, which forces Eleanor to choose sides.

I enjoyed Eleanor’s determination to break Rhun’s dislike of her. I haven’t read any other books in this setting and the author’s historical notes at the back were most interesting. A good debut novel.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

 

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Book description

Enjoy the drama that unfolds in this medieval marriage of convenience…A wedding between enemiesA marriage to heal their scars

Hiding a disfigurement, Eleanor de Vraille is already lacking confidence when she arrives at her future husband’s cheerless Welsh castle. And Rhun ab Owain’s open disapproval of her does nothing to make her feel at ease. Their union is to seal peace between their families, nothing more. But Eleanor’s heart rebels—is she a fool to hope for any affection from this strong-willed nobleman with the dark glittering eyes?

From Harlequin Historical: Your romantic escape to the past.

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Partly Set Around Glasgow. Rosie’s #Bookreview of #HistoricalRomance Lady Armstrong’s Scandalous Awakening by @MargueriteKaye

Lady Armstrong's Scandalous AwakeningLady Armstrong’s Scandalous Awakening by Marguerite Kaye

4 stars

Lady Armstrong’s Scandalous Awakening is an historical romance. It is also book two in the Revelations of the Carstairs Sisters mini-series.

Mercy Armstrong’s husband has just died, which is quite a relief after seventeen years in a loveless relationship married to a bully. On the last day of her period of mourning, Mercy is almost knocked over by a carriage. The driver, an engineer from Glasgow, stops to help Mercy, and while she recovers their conversation leads to thoughts about how she will make a fresh start.

Jack Dalmuir will be in London to oversee his steam engines which are being installed in new water pumping stations. He enjoyed his afternoon with Mercy and offers to be her companion, should she need one, when she returns to London.

Mercy’s new life is far from her upbringing and her married life, now she enjoys her outings with Jack, but both agree it will lead to nothing more. So why do they find it harder to say goodbye each time they part?

Having enjoyed book one in this series, it was good to read more about Mercy. I particularly liked the parts set in and around Glasgow as I don’t know much about the history of the area. Jack was a great character and I enjoyed the author’s notes about Glasgow’s engineers.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

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Be swept into a world of passion and emotion in this sexy Victorian romance!

Hers was a body of marble…

Until he brought it to life

After her tyrannical late husband ruined her reputation, Lady Mercy Armstrong is longing to reinvent herself. The perfect opportunity presents itself when rebellious self-made man Jack Dalmuir has a daring proposition—a fake dalliance that will change society’s view of her! Only, cavorting with the handsome Scotsman ignites a passion that could change both their lives forever…

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Saving Whittleston-on-the-Water. Rosie’s #Bookreview of #HistoricalRomance The Earl’s Inconvenient Houseguest by @VirginiaHeath_ #TuesdayBookBlog

The Earl's Inconvenient HouseguestThe Earl’s Inconvenient Houseguest by Virginia Heath

4 stars

The Earl’s Inconvenient Houseguest is set in 1818. This is book one of A Very Village Scandal series of historical romances. It opens with villagers discussing the new lord of the manor and his possible plans for the estate. Many of the villagers fear that he will turn them out of their homes or sell the estate to a ruthless money-grabbing lord.

Rafe Hockley has inherited much of the land and village of Whittleston-on-the-Water, but what he really wants is a horse stud in a remote part of the country, far away from gossiping villagers; the quicker he can sell his inheritance, the better. However, he must first deal with Miss Sophie Gilbert, the leader of the Save Our Village brigade.

Sophie and her aunt live in a ramshackle cottage which the previous Lord Hockley refused to repair. She will do anything to save her aunt and the other villagers from being sent packing by any hard-hearted lord.

This is a fun story with some great battle lines between Rafe and the villagers. It took me a few chapters to get into the book and enjoy the characters, but once we began to learn more about them I soon became enchanted.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

 

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The earl she loved to hate

…until she stayed in his mansion!

Sophie Gilbert has thwarted the standoffish new earl’s plans to sell his country estate and the quaint village that forms part of it. But when disaster strikes and he offers her refuge, she must reconsider everything about this vexing, determined man. After the heartbreak in her past, it’s a revelation to feel her pulse racing and her body yearning for his touch… 

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#NewRelease #HistoricalRomance Rosie’s #Bookreview of How To Lose An Earl In Ten Weeks by @JenniAuthor @PenguinUKBooks

How to Lose an Earl in Ten Weeks by [Jenni Fletcher]

How To Lose An Earl In Ten Weeks is an historical romance.

On Essie’s eighteenth birthday she will meet again the man that she is engaged to. Her father made the engagement arrangements when Essie was still a child and she hasn’t seen her fiancée for years. Alas, Essie doesn’t want to be a Countess; she has her own enthusiastic plans for her life. So she decides to do all she can to make the Earl refuse to marry her. The story that follows is a fun romantic comedy as Essie does her best to shock her Earl. I liked Essie’s high spirits especially her choice of dress colours. I also loved her Grandmother, a wonderful secondary character, who was quite outrageous at times with some of her thoughts and actions. It all added to the comedy.

I would recommend this to readers of adult historical romance who might enjoy some of the amusing situations that the characters find themselves in.  Penguin lists the book as being for teenagers, but I believe its appeal to be potentially much wider.

4 stars

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Miss Essie Craven has been engaged since birth to a man she has only met once. The haughty, black-haired man with the intense blue eyes: Aidan Ravell, Earl of Denholm. The most coveted man in all of the Ton.

The day of their marriage is set. The only problem is, spirited Essie dreams of more than being a Countess. She soon finds out that Aidan has his own reasons for not wishing to marry, but is compelled to proceed due to his sense of honour and the financial baggage his father has left him.

So, Aidan and Essie strike up a deal. Essie will find him a more suitable match, and in the meantime they will keep up appearances as the most fashionable couple in all of the Ton.

But soon what is real and what is fake begins to converge. Suddenly, what seemed to be a simple agreement is no longer quite that straightforward . . .

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How to Lose an Earl in Ten Weeks by [Jenni Fletcher]

‘It’s how you get to that ending!’ @deBieJennifer Reviews #HistoricalRomance Miss Wetherham’s Wedding by Linore Rose Burkard

Today’s team review is from Jenni. She blogs here https://jenniferdebie.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Jenny has been reading Miss Wetherham’s Wedding by Linore Rose Burkard

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Alright readers, if you are picking up a book titled Miss Wetherhan’s Wedding, the third in a series called The Brides of Mayfair, complete with cover art depicting a pretty blond in a period gown, you know what you’re here for.

Not as steamy as a Julia Quinn, not as sexless as an Austen, Burkhard strikes a nice balance with her characters and settings, and that’s exactly how I would describe this one. Nice. There’s a rake, there’s a heroine in a jam, there’s a meddling spinster and some servants and a scheme that we all know is going to go awry, and in the end there’s a happily ever after.

There are stakes, of course there are stakes—reputations might be ruined, someone might have to (gasp) leave London, and someone might enter a loveless marriage, but come on lads. Are we really that worried about any of these people?

Burkhard has spent some time researching her era, there are fun, period-specific phrases used by various characters and some clothing descriptions that the casual BBC watcher would not have picked up on. Burkhard knows her genre and obviously loves it, and good for her.

A friend studying chick-lit for her PhD tells me that with books like this, it’s not the fact that you know the ending from the back cover blurb that matters, it’s how you get to that ending. The journey, not the destination, and a few other decorative mug phrases.

If that is the case, then the road through Miss Wetherham’s Wedding is pleasant. There’s banter, there’s dancing, sherry is consumed, there’s a fun wardrobe for our heroine to don and several fancy events where she can show it off, and in the end problems are solved by everyone marrying the person we thought they would.

If you’re looking for mystery and tense, upper-crust intrigue, this isn’t exactly it, but, if you’re looking for a nice little read on a sunny afternoon, Miss Wetherham’s Wedding might just be your cup of tea.

4/5

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Every step she takes to ensure his happiness is a nail in the coffin of her own.

Miss Wetherham, a matchmaker, must agree to the devious plan of a society rogue before she finds herself destitute. Helping him gain back his lost love will protect her independence and survival. But can any amount of money protect her guileless heart from falling for his charms?

Nick Dellacort is determined to restore his pride and gain back the bride he lost. Miss Wetherham is the woman able to help him do it and he’ll make it worth her while. But once he sets the devilish wheels in motion, can he persuade her to abandon the scheme and choose instead a scoundrel like him for a wedding of her own?

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Rosie’s #Bookreview of #NewRelease #HistoricalRomance The Cinderella Heiress by @JaniceGPreston #TuesdayBookBlog

The Cinderella Heiress (Lady Tregowan's Will Book 2)The Cinderella Heiress by Janice Preston

4 stars

The Cinderella Heiress is book two of Lady Tregowan’s Will series of historical romances. When Beatrice Fothergill is informed that she is one of three beneficiaries of Lady Tregowan’s will, it provides her with the means to escape from her ruthless and overbearing brother and his wife; no longer does she need to feel grateful for the roof that they begrudgingly provide for her.

Lord Jack Kingswood met Beatrice on the road when her carriage broke down. He escorted her safely home, but was concerned by her obvious fear of her family. Bad weather prevented him from calling on her and it was many weeks before the pair met again. Now Beatrice’s brother has found out about the inheritance and Beatrice needs Jacks’ help once more.

Janice Preston has created two very likable characters in Beatrice and Jack; both had obstacles they needed to overcome and I enjoyed their stories. Having read book one of the series I was already acquainted with several of the secondary characters and it was fun to read about some of the events from an alternative view to the first book. I now look forward to reading the third book in the series.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

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She’s inherited a fortune

But will she realize her true worth?

Claiming her inheritance in London will help Beatrice Fothergill escape her bullying, belittling half brother. When her carriage overturns, dashing Waterloo soldier Jack Kingswood comes to her aid—setting her pulse racing! In return, believing her new fortune can help the injured veteran rebuild his life, Beatrice proposes a convenient marriage. But is this all she can offer—or dare Beatrice believe she’s worthy of more?

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #HistoricalRomance GENTLEMAN JIM by @MimiMatthewsESq

Today’s team review is from Sandra, she blogs here https://www.firthproof.co.uk/index.php/book-reviews

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Gentleman Jim by Mimi Matthews

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I have read and enjoyed quite a few novels by Mimi Matthews, but Gentleman Jim is my favourite so far. Set between Somerset and London in 1817, this is a tale full of love, adventure and revenge.

Maggie Honeywell and Nicholas Seaton were childhood sweethearts who grew up together on her father’s estate in Somerset; she the squire’s daughter, and he the illegitimate son of the kitchen maid, though his father was rumoured to be the notorious highwayman, Gentleman Jim.

Her father had always wanted to join his estate with the neighbouring one by having Maggie marry Frederick Burton-Smythe. She loathed him, but this was no deterrent to her father’s plans. Jealous of their close relationship, Fred falsely accuses Nicholas of stealing Maggie’s jewellery, and intends handing him over to the magistrate, thereby eliminating his rival. Maggie has other ideas – she helps Nicholas escape and vows to wait for him. He sets off to find his father and promises to return.

We learn all this in the prologue. Ten years have gone by, and Maggie’s father is now dead. She is completely at Fred’s mercy – in six months she must either marry him or lose everything. In this day and age it is hard for us to fathom that a devoted father would put his daughter in this position, but women were simply seen as possessions with little or no say in what happened to them.

Maggie goes to stay with a friend in London to try to come up with a plan. She learns that a Viscount St Clare has challenged Fred to a duel. If anything should happen to Fred, her estate will go to a distant relative, and she will be no better off, so she visits St Clare to try and dissuade him from fighting the duel. She comes away convinced that St Clare is Nicholas Seaton, though he denies it vehemently, as this would mess up his plans to prove he is the grandson and legitimate heir of the Earl of Allendale.

The emphasis in Gentleman Jim is different from Mimi Matthews’ previous books. It is partly set in London during the season, with more exposure to the eyes of the ton, and all this entails – balls, duels, etiquette and carriage rides in the park. There is a large element of suspense, mystery and adventure which shows Maggie to be a fearless, feisty heroine capable of holding her own when the going gets tough.

The characters are all well written and relatable, even the nasty ones who are willing to go to any lengths to satisfy their greed. Mimi Matthews brings Regency England to life, seamlessly inserting the period detail into the story with a light touch. My only reservation would be that I don’t think the cover art does the book justice.

At the start of Gentleman Jim, the likelihood of Maggie and Nicholas ending up together seems pretty remote, but this is a romance novel so the ending is almost a foregone conclusion. It is how Mimi Matthews brings the story to a satisfying and believable finale that makes this such an enjoyable read.

Book description

She couldn’t forget…

Wealthy squire’s daughter Margaret Honeywell was always meant to marry her neighbor, Frederick Burton-Smythe, but it’s bastard-born Nicholas Seaton who has her heart. Raised alongside her on her father’s estate, Nicholas is the rumored son of notorious highwayman Gentleman Jim. When Fred frames him for theft, Nicholas escapes into the night, vowing to find his legendary sire. But Nicholas never returns. A decade later, he’s long been presumed dead.

He wouldn’t forgive…

After years spent on the continent, John Beresford, Viscount St. Clare has finally come home to England. Tall, blond, and dangerous, he’s on a mission to restore his family’s honor. If he can mete out a bit of revenge along the way, so much the better. But he hasn’t reckoned for Maggie Honeywell. She’s bold and beautiful—and entirely convinced he’s someone else.

As danger closes in, St. Clare is torn between love and vengeance. Will he sacrifice one to gain the other? Or with a little luck—and a lot of daring—will he find a way to have them both?

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Victorian #Romance FAIR AS A STAR by @MimiMatthewsEsq

Today’s team review is from Sandra, she blogs here https://www.firthproof.co.uk/index.php/book-reviews

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Fair As A Star by Mimi Matthews

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Set in Somerset in 1864, Fair as a Star is the first in the Victorian Romantics series by Mimi Matthews. Newly returned from a mysterious trip to Paris with her aunt, Beryl Burnham tries to pick up her life where she left off. She is engaged to Sir Henry Rivenhall, in a marriage of convenience, but has always been good friends with his brother, Mark, who is curate in the local church.

No one knows why she left for France so suddenly, and local gossip was rife, but she has to come clean to Mark when he accidentally finds her weeping in a secluded spot by the river. She is suffering from depression (or melancholy as it was known then) and does not want anyone to know, partly because of the extreme treatments advocated by her previous doctor.

Mark is very understanding, and does not belittle what she is going through. As a curate, he is a good listener and this is just what she needs. He does not suggest cures for her melancholy, does not even see her as damaged. The message here is to accept others for who they are as individuals, and not try to make them all fit into the same mould.

This is a romance novel, and the ending is obvious from the start, but it is how Mimi Matthews achieves this end that makes it so readable. Sir Henry is very full of his own importance and thinks he knows best, but does not love Beryl. She realises her affections lie elsewhere and behaves in a very bold fashion.

I read this in one sitting, and thought it dealt very sensitively with the difficult subject of depression. It was not really understood back then, and a lot of strange, harmful beliefs and so-called ‘cures’ were commonplace. Medicine was a very male-dominated profession, and women faced both the patronising attitude of old-school male doctors, and the ludicrous treatments they prescribed.

The period detail is convincing, and the characters come across as well rounded individuals; my favourite was Beryl’s horse-mad sister, Winnifred, whose story will no doubt feature in a later book. I will certainly be looking out for the next book in the Victorian Romantics series.

Book description

A Secret Burden…

After a mysterious sojourn in Paris, Beryl Burnham has returned home to the village of Shepton Worthy ready to resume the life she left behind. Betrothed to the wealthy Sir Henry Rivenhall, she has no reason to be unhappy—or so people keep reminding her. But Beryl’s life isn’t as perfect as everyone believes.

A Longstanding Love…

As village curate, Mark Rivenhall is known for his compassionate understanding. When his older brother’s intended needs a shoulder to lean on, Mark’s more than willing to provide one. There’s no danger of losing his heart. He already lost that to Beryl a long time ago.

During an idyllic Victorian summer, friends and family gather in anticipation of Beryl and Sir Henry’s wedding. But in her darkest moment, it’s Mark who comes to Beryl’s aid. Can he help her without revealing his feelings—or betraying his brother?

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #HistoricalRomance MISS TAVISTOCK’S MISTAKE by @LinoreRBurkard

Today’s team review is from Sandra, she blogs here https://www.firthproof.co.uk/index.php/book-reviews

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Miss Tavistock’s Mistake by Linore Rose Burkard

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In Miss Tavistock’s Mistake, Margaret, orphaned at the age of nine, is living in Yorkshire as the ward of the Duke of Trent. Finding life at Toadingham a bit dull, and eager to meet the elusive Captain Rempeare again, Margaret hatches a plan to go to London for the rest of the season. In the meantime, Gabriel Rempeare turns up unannounced and, having believed some not very flattering things she read about him in the papers, Margaret pretends to be someone else.

Instead of just owning up, Margaret now proceeds to carry the deception to ridiculous lengths. On arriving in London, Gabriel is tasked with introducing her to society. What follows is a tale of misunderstanding and miscommunication, and it becomes increasingly obvious that she has completely misjudged Captain Rempeare; then, as now, it is a mistake to believe a lot of what you read in the press.

A lot of research has gone into the period detail in this novel which I found fascinating – stories of naval battles and life at sea, the wonderful variety of food that was eaten and the colourful slang words and expressions that were common in Regency England.

The main characters are very likeable, the villains suitably nasty and there are a lot of laugh-out-loud moments as we join Margaret on her first visit to London. We can understand why she is reluctant to come clean about her identity – she has dug herself a pretty deep hole – but by the final scene she has nowhere left to turn. It is fortunate that Gabriel is a very patient man, and we have to bear in mind that Margaret is still only nineteen.

I really enjoyed Miss Tavistock’s Mistake and would definitely recommend it. My only criticism would be the cover; it’s a bit busy, and doesn’t do the book justice. This is the first book by Linore Rose Burkard that I have read, but it certainly won’t be the last. It’s always great to find a new author with a substantial back catalogue.

Book description

Young Miss Tavistock is promised in marriage to Captain Rempeare by the wish of her dearly departed papa. But the captain’s been at sea for a decade. When she finally meets him, tempestuous sparks fly, and she impulsively adopts a daring false identity. Going by “Lady X,” she vows never to marry such an infuriating man.

Captain Gabriel Rempeare is prepared to fulfill his duty and marry Miss Tavistock—if only he can clap eyes on her. One circumstance or another keeps them apart, though he cannot seem to avoid the beautiful, maddening, Lady X. When fate throws them together in London, Miss Tavistock discovers the real nature of the captain, and regrets her subterfuge. But can such a noble man forgive deceit? Or has her mistake already cost her everything?

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