📚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.

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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.

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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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Rosie’s #Bookreview of #NewRelease #VictorianRomance The Silk Merchant’s Convenient Wife by @ElisabethHobbes

The Silk Merchant's Convenient WifeThe Silk Merchant’s Convenient Wife by Elisabeth Hobbes

4 stars

The Silk Merchant’s Convenient Wife is a Victorian romance and is mainly set in the industrial town of Macclesfield. Jonathan Harcourt is a successful partner in a silk weaving business; although he vowed not to marry, he is encouraged by his childless partner to take a wife for companionship and to produce an heir.

Aurelia’s family have recently returned to the area and her father has gambling debts which will make it hard to fill marriage dowries for his three daughters; he is pleased when Jonathan approaches him with a proposal about buying some land. A counter-deal includes the hand of one of his daughters as well as the land.

This is a story which begins as a marriage of convenience and ends as so much more. I enjoyed the setting which was different from the many London settings in this genre. There is a lovely inclusion about The Great Exhibition held in 1851, which although only touched upon, was a fascinating addition to this story.

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His parents’ loveless relationship has left silk merchant Jonathan Harcourt suspicious of marriage. But in order to expand his mill and have an heir, he must marry his neighbour Aurelia Upford. Even more surprising than finding himself with a clever, beautiful society wife is the unexpected passion that flares between them, and the unsettling emotions it leads to. Sharing a bed was part of their arrangement, but can Jonathan risk sharing his heart, too?

AmazonUk | AmazonUS



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

Today’s team review is from Amy, she blogs here https://authoramydeal.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Amy has been reading Fair As A Star by Mimi Matthews

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Fair as a Star is the latest Victorian romance by Mimi Matthews.  It tells the story of Beryl Burnham and two brothers who both want Beryl but for very different reasons.  The book begins with Beryl returning from a year-long sojourn to Paris with her aunt.  She returns to pick up where her life left off.  That includes her engagement to Sir Henry Rivenhall.  Once she becomes Lady Rivenhall she and her family will want for nothing.  Money, title, position all come with the marriage.  It’s a perfect arrangement, or is it?  Beryl and Henry are marrying for all the wrong reasons.  Duty and family, while on paper look good, are not the makings of a happy marriage.  Especially when Beryl loves someone else.  Mark Rivenhall is Henry’s younger brother and the village curate, soon to be the vicar.  Mark is Beryl’s dearest friend and confidant who has loved her for years, but is unable to profess this because of her engagement to his brother.

Once settled, Beryl begins her social life once again.  She’s aware that the village is full of rumors about why she fled for Paris, but decides to not let them get to her.  She joins the women’s committee at church, planning a festival and visiting the sick.  On the outside, she appears to be happy and content, the excited bride.  Who wouldn’t be excited when your wedding gown was being made by THE Charles Fredrick Worth?  Beryl spends the rest of her time trying to keep her baby sister out of trouble with Henry. The two have a tumultuous relationship which comes to a heated disagreement over a prize horse.

Beryl’s trip to Paris was under mysterious circumstances that no one outside of her mother, aunt and doctor know about.  Or so she thinks.  When confronted with the knowledge of the secret by Henry, Beryl sees him and their upcoming marriage in a whole new light.  Especially after he confesses what his cure is for her condition once they are married.  However, when you’ve been raised to put your family’s financial security above all else, can you just walk away?

This is the second book by Mimi that I’ve read and I’ve not been disappointed. You can tell she’s done her homework and this results in believable characters, plots, locations and of course fashions.  If you love historical romance you’ll love this book.  It’s the first in a series and I’m hoping to read Winnifred’s story next.  I’m hoping I know who she ends up with and can’t wait to see if I’m right.

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?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Of Victorian Romantic #Mystery His Convenient Highland Wedding by @janicegpreston #TuesdayBookBlog

His Convenient Highland Wedding (The Lochmore Legacy, #1)His Convenient Highland Wedding by Janice Preston

4 stars

His Convenient Highland Wedding is a Victorian romantic mystery and book one of The Lochmore Legacy collection. A set of four books, each steps back into history as clues to the secrets are recovered. Book two is set in the Regency era, book three in Tudor times, and the final book is set in the medieval period.

The story opens with a young Flora McCrieff discovering a skeleton with a silver brooch in a forbidden castle tower.

Seven years later, Flora is about to marry a man she has never met. Lachlan McNeill, a self-made businessman, hopes to use Flora’s aristocratic connections to help him sell his new whisky. While Flora’s father agreed to the marriage for financial gain, it left Flora feeling as if she had been sold at a market.

At Lochmore Castle, Flora is lonely while Lachlan deals with his business, and her sheltered upbringing has left her fearful to express her unhappy feelings. Lachlan, in turn, believes that Flora will reject him if she finds out about his past life secrets. The pair must learn to like and trust each other if they want their marriage to work.

I did enjoy the mystery surrounding the silver brooch. My love of Flora and Lachlan grew as their relationship bloomed. I also liked some of Flora’s friends and family, especially those who refused to conform to social conventions. I’m eager to see where the Lochmore Legacy takes us in book two.

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Book description

Bought by her husband…

Bound by secrets of their past!

The start of The Lochmore Legacy – A Scottish castle through the ages! Earl’s daughter Flora McCrieff brought shame on her family once, now she discovers she must wed impossibly rich but low born Lachlan McNeill. He’s undeniably handsome, but a man of few words. Despite the attraction that burns between them, can she reach beyond his impeccable clothing to find the emotions he’s locked away for so long…?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS