The Earl She Should Never Desire is a Regency romance set in London. Lily Walsh is a widow living in Birmingham; her younger sister begs her to travel to London to spend a few summer weeks with her. Anne is engaged to be married and Lily is delighted for her, but she wonders if Anne is truly happy.
Lord Sherbourne is pleased to meet Anne’s sister after hearing much about her, but she isn’t the person he had imagined. It troubles him that he feels more drawn to Lily than Anne, but he’s a man of honour and he can’t back out of the wedding now.
I enjoyed getting to know Lily and finding that she had a passionate side under her practical dresses. The author has done a fine job of creating the sisters as opposites. Outwardly Anne is the pretty one who has been groomed to be a society wife. Lily is the black sheep, the one her mother finds a disappointment. I wasn’t sure how the story would work out at the half-way mark, but I was very keen to keep turning the pages to find out. Lily has a troubled past that she must work through and she needs a friend who she can trust to be there for her at all times. The little fears which kept popping up were understandable and I particularly liked the final setting; it felt very appropriate. A great story and a wonderful set of characters.
Lara Temple offers you a taste of the forbidden in this sexy Regency romance.
This very handsome earl…Is the one man she cannot fall for…
War widow Lily Walsh has left her aristocratic family behind, but she can’t deny her younger sister’s request to come to London to meet her fiancé. Though not a love match, Lord Sherbourne is kind, amusing and ideal for her sister on paper. But as Lily gets to know him, she’s finding him alarmingly attractive! And the forbidden look in the earl’s eye shows the feeling is mutual…
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.
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 . . .
How Not to Chaperon a Lady is the third book in the Talk of the Beau Monde trilogy, a series of historical romances.
Charity Brookes is an opera singer who is following in the footsteps of her very succesful mother. Charity’s rise to stardom offers her a tour of some Northern theatres and she has asked her best friend, Dottie, to travel with her.
Charity’s reputation for mischief and spontinaity worries Dottie’s brother Griffin and he insists on chaperoning the ladies. This sparks yet another argument between Charity and Gruff Griff, as she calls him. They have sparred for almost seventeen years of family friendship and it looks like it will be a very long and tedious trip for them both.
I am not going to give away the rest of the story, except to say that these two characters must have fought with the author as well as each other all the way to the end of the book; what a delightful but troublesome pair. I was engrossed with the tale and loved every moment of the conflict, which made for a very satisfying ending.
Chaperoning Charity Brookes while she’s on a singing tour should be easy for Griffith Philpot—he’s spent his whole life sparring with her over her flighty ways! But as he discovers that she’s much more than the impetuous girl he thought he knew, a passion ignites between them… Sharing a steamy kiss leaves him torn—he’s supposed to be responsible for guarding her virtue!
From Harlequin Historical: Your romantic escape to the past.
The Talk of the Beau Monde
Book 1: The Viscount’s Unconventional Lady Book 2: The Marquess Next Door Book 3: How Not to Chaperon a Lady
Sandra has been reading The Work Of Art by Mimi Matthews
Set in the Regency period, The Work of Art is the first book I have read by Mimi Matthews, but it certainly won’t be the last! I love finding a new writer and knowing there are lots of books to catch up on. The Work of Art was such a delight to read. The main characters, Philly and Arthur, jump off the page fully formed; they are not the usual stereotypes, but slightly unconventional and therefore much more interesting to read about.
All alone since the death of her grandfather, Philly is in London to find a husband (or so she thinks). What she doesn’t know is that her Uncle has promised her to the Duke of Moreland, a despicable character, who only wants to add her to his collection of unique objects, due to the unusual colour of her eyes.
What starts out as a marriage of convenience, to save Philly from the clutches of the Duke of Moreland, works out so well because of the foundation of friendship, trust and mutual support between her and Arthur. Their romance blossoms but the author manages to avoid the kind of explicit descriptions that would have made Georgette Heyer blush!
In London, both Philly and Arthur are not in their natural environment – they are both much more at ease in the countryside, horse riding, walking the dogs, away from the superficial restrictions imposed by society.
The ending is a real surprise; I won’t say any more but I don’t think you’ll see it coming. I am looking forward to reading many more books by Mimi Matthews.
An Uncommon Beauty…
Hidden away in rural Devonshire, Phyllida Satterthwaite has always been considered more odd than beautiful. But in London, her oddity has made her a sensation. Far worse, it’s caught the eye of the sinister Duke of Moreland–a notorious art collector obsessed with acquiring one-of-a-kind treasures. To escape the duke’s clutches, she’s going to need a little help.
An Unlikely Hero…
Captain Arthur Heywood’s days of heroism are long past. Grievously injured in the Peninsular War, he can no longer walk unaided, let alone shoot a pistol. What use can he possibly be to a damsel in distress? He has nothing left to offer except his good name.
Can a marriage of convenience save Philly from the vengeful duke? Or will life with Arthur put her–and her heart–in more danger than ever?
The Disgraceful Lord Grey is an historical romance and part of the King’s Elite series. It takes place in Suffolk in 1820.
The King’s Elite are on the trail of The Boss, a notorious leader of a smuggling gang. Lord Graham Chadwick (Gray) and his superior Lord Fennimore have set themselves up as neighbours of Viscount Gislingham, who may just be the elusive Boss.
Whilst swimming in a stream, Gray meets Gisingham’s niece Thea. He uses the chance meeting to secure an introduction to her uncle, but the man he meets seems unlikely to fit the role of a gang leader. Instead the charming Gislingham encourages Gray to pursue his niece.
Romancing Thea might be easy for Gray because he likes her, but he has a scandalous past; one which left him penniless. However Thea is not an easy catch, and Gray finds that he must juggle his job as spy against Thea’s suspicious nature.
I would suggest reading all the books in this series to get the full benefit of the storylines. This book focused heavily on the romance between Gray and Thea more than the smuggling, although I didn’t guess the surprising denouement.
Part of The King’s Elite. Miss Theodora Cranford’s learned to keep her impetuous nature locked away. She won’t be deceived by another man who can’t see past her fortune. She wants an honourable, sensible sort – not a self-assured scoundrel like her new neighbour, Lord Gray. Although she’s sure there’s more to him than meets the eye… But after that first captivating kiss, she’s certainly left wanting more!
Counting On A Countess is book two of The London Underground series of historic romances.
The story opens with an introduction to Kit, an ex-soldier from the Napoleonic war and a recently appointed Earl. Haunted by traumas of war, Kit spends his days wenching, carousing and gambling. But suddenly he’s informed that he can be the beneficiary of a large sum of money. All he must do to receive it is find a wife within thirty days.
Tamsyn Pearce is a smuggler. Devoted to helping the poor in her Cornish village, Tamsyn turned to smuggling eight years ago. She’s currently in London looking for a new fence for her stolen goods. Her second problem is that her uncle intends to sell her family home, thus threatening her smugglers’ caverns. The villagers will once again face poverty, unless she can find a wealthy man to rescue her home.
A marriage of convenience between Kit and Tamsyn will suit them both, and a wedding is arranged immediately. When they meet with the solicitor to sign the papers, the late Lord Somerby has one last behest. It’s just a small hitch, but it throws both Kit and Tamsyn into turmoil.
The main setting for this book is London, with a secondary setting in Cornwall. I found the insights into Tamsyn’s homelife and her accompanying skills added interesting points. I did enjoy the smuggling element of the book and the Cornish setting was one of my favourite parts of the story.
This book is primarily a Regency style romance so there are plenty of heat-filled moments for those who enjoy smouldering passion between the pages.
Christopher “Kit” Ellingsworth, war veteran and newly minted Earl of Blakemere, buries his demons under every sort of pleasure and vice. His scandalous ways have all but emptied his coffers . . . until a wealthy mentor leaves him a sizeable fortune. The only stipulation? He must marry within one month to inherit the money. Kit needs a bride and the bold, mysterious Miss Tamsyn Pearce seems perfect.
Husband hunting isn’t Tamsyn’s top priority—she’s in London to sell her new shipment of illicit goods—but she’s desperate for funds to keep her smuggling operation afloat. When a handsome earl offers to wed her and send her back to Cornwall with a hefty allowance, Tamsyn agrees. After all, her secrets could land her in prison and an attentive, love-struck spouse could destroy everything.
But when an unexpected proviso in the will grants Tamsyn control of the inheritance, their arrangement becomes anything but convenient. Now, Kit’s counting on his countess to make his wildest dreams a reality and he plans to convince her, one pleasurable seduction at a time.
The Warriner to Protect Her is a Harlequin / Mills and Boon regency romance and is due for publication in May 2017. I read an ARC copy for review.
Violet Dunstan is a Tea heiress. Her family wealth was made through the tea trade and she is due to inherit upon her upcoming twenty-first birthday. However, her guardian uncle has other ideas—he agreed to her kidnapping by the Earl of Bainbridge for an enforced marriage at Gretna Green. The pair would then split her inheritance after the marriage.
However, Violet, or Letty as she prefers to be called, is a wilful young lady. She seizes an opportunity to jump from the carriage that thunders through the night, and dashes for the cover in the woods. Hours later, drenched and freezing cold, local landowner, Jack Warriner, discovers her whilst returning home.
Jack takes her to the home he shares with his three brothers, where they bring her back from the brink of death. A cautious Letty tells them essential snippets of her circumstances, and a covert trip to the village reveals that Bainbridge’s men are searching for Letty, with a reward offered for her safe return.
A determined Jack vows they will protect her until her birthday, when they will take her back to London. Letty brings warmth and friendship to the Warriner family home. She soon charms the menfolk, although Jack’s behaviour towards her blows hot and cold. He finds Letty both intriguing and frustrating, yet he battles with his responsibilities to his brothers, the family home and his fears about his family reputation.
Regular readers of this genre know the story arcs: boy meets girl, the ups and downs of their will they won’t they relationship and the expected wrapped up ending. The pull for the reader is how they actually get there, the details of those ups and downs, the break-up and make-up moments.
I enjoyed Jack and Letty’s tale; this is the first of the Wild Warriner series, with books promised for each of the brothers in turn. Look out for book #2 in July.
When heiress Violet Dunston escapes from an abduction she finds an unlikely protector in Jack Warriner―a member of one of England’s most infamous families. Ensconced with mysterious Jack behind his manor’s walls, soon escape is the last thing on Letty’s mind!
Jack may be an earl but his father’s exploits have left him with nothing to offer except a tarnished name. He’s turned his back on the ton, but with Letty tempting him day and night, he finds himself contemplating the unthinkable―a society marriage!
About the author
I live on the outskirts of London with my understanding husband and two, less understanding, teenagers.After spending years teaching history, I decided to follow my dream of writing for Harlequin.Now I spend my days happily writing regency romances, creating heroes that I fall in love with and heroines who inspire me.When I’m not doing that, I like to travel to far off places, shop for things that I do not need or read romances written by other people.
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.
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).
Miss Bradshaw’s Bought Proposal is a historical romance from Harlequin / Mills & Boon. I read an ARC copy of this book.
It opens in Mayfair, London in 1816 at the engagement of Fergus Matlock, the Marquis of Stanford, and Miss Evelyn Bradshaw. Evie is currently living with her stepmother and two stepsisters, and this hasty engagement is her chance to run away from them and become a strong independent women.
Evie has entered into a secret business arrangement with Fergus and once she is free of London she intends to buy her own home and then break the engagement. Fergus escorts Evie and her great aunt to Yorkshire, but he dumps her on his brother and takes off to squander the first installment Evie has paid him.
Finn Matlock hasn’t seen his brother for three years and there is no love lost between the pair. He reluctantly allows Evie to stay until she finds a new home. He is grumpy and ungracious preferring to wallow in his own pity for his deceased wife.
In Yorkshire Evie blooms in her new found freedom. Yet she still fears her step-family and the constant threat they hold over her. Can she pull off the final coup and escape their hold or will she be found out and taken back to London?
A good book which fits the genre well. I liked that it stood up for curvaceous well built women and watching Evie blossom was a delight. I liked Finn too, a dark brooding male in need of rescue. I will definitely read more from this author.
She’d done it! Plain, invisible Evelyn had escaped…
Fed up with being a doormat to her evil stepmother, heiress Evelyn Bradshaw pays a dissolute rake to pose as her betrothed so she can secure her freedom. But then her fake fiancé leaves her with his estranged brother Finn Matlock and disappears!
Having withdrawn from the world, Finn knows the last thing he needs is the temptation of a woman, especially one like Evie. She has an irritating habit of causing chaos wherever she goes and being in places she shouldn’t…including, as he soon learns, his heart
About The Author
I live on the outskirts of London with my understanding husband and two, less understanding, teenagers. After spending years teaching history, I decided to follow my dream of writing for Harlequin. Now I spend my days happily writing regency romances, creating heroes that I fall in love with and heroines who inspire me. When I’m not doing that, I like to travel to far off places, shop for things that I do not need or read romances written by other people.
Her Enemy At The Altar is a Regency Romance from Harlequin set in England in 1815.
It opens with a London Ballroom scene. Lady Constance Stuart is a gangly redhead and used to being a wallflower at such events. Fearful of his daughter becoming an aged spinster her father recently increased her dowry and the Marquis of Deal proposed marriage to Constance. However the Marquis has a reputation as a scoundrel and humiliates Constance at the ball with his attentions given very obviously to another.
Constance flees to the library to hide her shame, but is interrupted by Aaron Wincanton, who also seeks solitude. The Wincanton and Stuart families have been feuding for three hundred years and Aaron would like peace, he’s also always been attracted to Connie, but close to bankruptcy, Aaron is about to propose to Violet Garfield for the good of his family. Her feisty nature soon has Connie in a compromising embrace with Aaron and they are discovered by gloating family and acquaintances.
One kiss and Connie’s reputation is ruined, the Marquis of Deal refuses to marry her and Aaron feels obliged to offer instant marriage the very next day. As Connie’s father throws her out of the house, she must accept Aaron’s proposal but it doesn’t mean she has to ever like the despicable man.
Not long back from the Napoleonic war, Aaron tries to understand the reasons for the failing family estate, whilst attending his sick father and his new wife. Will he ever be able to tell his wife how he really thinks about her? Or will he have to agree to her wishes for an immediate annulment of the marriage?
This is a quick read and ideal for histfic romance readers.
I posted my review on Amazon as part of #AugustReviews