Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Historical Romance, Victorian Romance

His Unlikely Duchess Amanda McCabe 4*#Review @AmandaMcCabe01 @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #harlequinhistorical #MillsandBoonHistorical #BookReview #MondayBlogs #BlogBlitz @rararesources

Money can buy her marriage

But will it lead to love?

Miss Lily Wilkins hopes her American money will compensate for her lack of etiquette, as she needs a prestigious marriage to save her sisters’ prospects. Raised to believe wealth was her greatest attribute, she’s stunned when her unconventional ways catch the eye of the notorious Duke of Lennox. He’s far from the safe, sensible match she’d planned on—but Lily might just discover he’s the one she needs!

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story is full of intrinsic historical interest. I enjoyed getting to know Lily and her sisters even before they set foot in England. Lily is a facilitator she mediates between her parents and her sisters, wanting them all to be happy. Making a good marriage will secure the future for her younger sisters, but Lily is understandably nervous when her mother accepts an invitation to go to England and Victorian society.

Lily and Aidan’s first encounter is lovely and makes them see the real person behind the public persona. They process their feelings away from society’s glare, and attraction grows. The potential financial settlement and Aidan’s past make their romance conflicted.

The ending is romantic, and there’s an informative epilogue. I look forward to Violet’s romance the next in the series.

Amanda wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen–a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not her strongest subject…)

 She’s never since used algebra, but her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion.  She lives in Santa Fe with a Poodle, a cat, a wonderful husband, and a very and far too many books and royal memorabilia collections. 

 When not writing or reading, she loves taking dance classes, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network–even though she doesn’t cook. 

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance

A Waltz with the Outspoken Governess Catherine Tinley 4* #Review @CatherineTinley @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #DollarDuchesses @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #MillsandBoonHistorical #HarlequinHistorical #HistoricalFiction #AWaltzwiththeOutspokenGoverness #HistoricalRomance #MondayBlogs

A quiet governess…

An unruly heart

Sir Nicholas Denny is desperate to find a governess to care for his boisterous nieces and nephews. Demure vicar’s daughter Mary Smith seems ideal—at first. All too soon Nicholas discovers a different side to her… She’s a beautiful, vivacious woman, even if she infuriates him with her strong opinions! When he waltzes with Mary at a party he knows he’s in trouble—the spark between them is so tempting, but she challenges everything he thought he wanted in a wife!

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My Thoughts…

This book gives a different view of early nineteenth-century society which explores the divide between the rich and their servants. Mary is an independent young woman, unfashionably educated, intelligent and outspoken. Receiving some disturbing news of her father, a Norfolk vicar she ingeniously finds a way to be close to him to help. Sir Nicholas Kenney is dreading the annual visit from his sister, and family hiring additional staff essential, especially a governess.

Mary and Nicholas’ romance is gentle with the attraction building insidiously. Mary’s outspoken intelligent nature appeals to Nicholas despite the forbidden nature of their circumstances. This story explores the vulnerability of servants to those who pay their wages.

There’s both mystery and romance in this story with relatable characters, witty dialogue and a happy ending.

#CatherineTinley

Catherine Tinley is an award-winning author who writes witty, heartwarming, Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She has loved reading and writing since childhood and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, NHS management, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now manages a maternity hospital. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, and dog.

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Posted in Book Review, Historical Romance, Medical Romance, Romance, Romance -Dark and Steamy

Mills and Boon Holiday Reads #Reviews #MillsandBoonInsiders @MillsandBoon #HistoricalRomance #Romance #Medical #Military #BookReviews @Bronwynscott @scarlet_wilson @JossWoodbooks @CaraLockwood

I received copies of these books from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for honest reviews.

The Earl’s heir

And the rebel artist

Artist Artemisia Stansfield has four months to prove herself to the Royal Academy of Arts. When she finds out that aristocratic art critic, Darius Rutherford, has been snooping in her studio, she’s furious! Sparks of anger turn into flames of desire, but one lapse in judgement could give Darius all the fuel he needs to ruin her, as a lady and as an artist! Unless she trusts him enough to take the risk…?

My Thoughts… 5*#Review

This story has a fascinating theme. It’s full of pertinent historical detail that illustrates the struggle of female artists at this time. The chemistry between Artemisia and Darius in this slow-burn, but ultimately passionate romance is memorable. The emotional connection deepens as the couple get to know each other, and support the other through the conflicts they face.

The character and story development are notable, and it’s an enjoyable reading experience.

A missed blind date…

…leads to a chance at forever!

After exchanging messages for months via a dating app, Surgeon Ivy Ross is finally ready to meet up with ‘Mr. Right’. But when work calls her away the chance is lost…until fate intervenes and Ivy’s blind date – Travis King – arrives as her new Senior Medical Officer…aka her boss! Travis and Ivy know mixing business and pleasure is a bad idea, but sometimes bad ideas feel so good…

My Thoughts… 4*#Review

An interesting setting focusing on medics in the Navy is the background for Ivy and Travis’ romance. Meeting on a dating app, chemistry sparks and they decide to meet, but duty calls and Ivy doesn’t show. Their first meeting is unexpected and difficult as the logistics of a workplace romance on a ship are difficult and forbidden.

Both of the characters are relatable with conflicted and believably written romance. Ivy’s dedication to her career, and Travis’ struggle with his mental health, add additional conflict and give this story authenticity.

This is an original medical/military romance.

If I kiss you,
there’s no going back…’

Hosting South Africa’s wedding of the year at his exclusive safari lodge is Radd Tempest-Vane’s ticket to restoring his family’s empire. As long as he finds a new florist, fast! Brinley Riddell is the perfect candidate. She’s also an immediate distraction.

For Brin, this lucrative job is her chance to be free of the family who never thought her good enough. Radd may be proud, and strictly off-limits, but he’s the sexiest man she’s ever met! Surely one impossibly steamy encounter won’t upend their simple business deal…?

My Thoughts… 4*#Review

This is an atmospheric story, full of vibrant sensory imagery that immerses the reader in the setting. The story follows one man’s quest to rebuild his family’s legacy and a woman’s need to distance herself from her grasping family.

Both characters, are strong and have trust issues, which mean love and romance are not on their life list. A powerful and instantaneous attraction upsets their carefully laid plans and makes for a heated and passionate love affair. Brin has a secret which threatens their new understanding and is the major conflict in this story.

A love that is as decadent, deadly and desirable as the story’ setting is the perfect escapist read.

She’s definitely not invited…
But that won’t stop her

Heiress Asha Patel just crashed a party without knowing that the decadent masquerade ball is for exclusive members. The moment she sees gorgeous, delectably sexy French host Mathis Durand, Asha knows she wants membership more than anything. But Durand has something else in mind for the desi bombshell… Is Asha willing to pay the dangerously high price?

My Thoughts… 3*#Review

This story has potential, but the characters are not as relatable as they could be and the mystique and sensuality of the secret club and masquerade ball is not fulfilled. The love scenes are well-written but the emotional connection is lacking for me.

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Historical Romance, Medical Romance, Romance

Mills and Boon Holiday Reads #Reviewed @MillsandBoon @LouiseRegency @Sophie_Pembroke @AnnieONeilBooks #MarcellaBell #MillsandBoonInsiders #Romance #MillsandBoon #HolidayReads

I received a copy of these books from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for honest reviews.

A Marquis in Want of a WifeLouise Allen

Ross Vincent, Marquis of Cranford, with his scarred face and formidable disposition knows he’s hardly a catch. But he needs a wife to take care of his motherless son. Shy, scholarly Prudence Scott seems ideal: she has no expectation of love or passion. She’ll care for his baby in return for the protection of his name. Yet seeing Prudence on their wedding day tests Ross’s willpower to not take his new wife to bed…

My Thoughts … 4*

A marriage of convenience against the backdrop of Waterloo makes this an exciting read. Prue is an intelligent woman who makes a youthful mistake. Ross, a widower, gives her way of preserving her reputation. Their relationship becomes convivial and then romantic, but Waterloo intervenes with near-disastrous results for their life together. Prue is a strong character who matures in the face of adversity and her growing love for Ross and his son. Ross has to learn to trust, something which takes him a while and almost loses him everything. The emotional connection in this story is believable, and Prue’s relationship with her friends is relatable.

Awakening His Shy CinderellaSophie Pembroke

Damon knows Rachel’s always prioritised her family’s needs above her own and it’s time for her to step out of her comfort zone! Damon usually steers clear of commitment, but neither can resist indulging in a very temporary affair! Only when the time comes, can he walk away…?

My Thoughts … 5*

I love modern fairytales, especially at this time of year and this one is magical and romantic and has a contemporary edge. It’s easy to recognise the characters, there’s the wicked stepmother, and the two ugly sisters who despite being outwardly glamorous are mean spirited inside. Rachel doesn’t want to cause her father extra stress, but that doesn’t stop her having dreams, including her longtime crush on her best friend’s brother Damon. Damon doesn’t fit in with his family either, and never feels good enough. The attraction, between Rachel and Damon, simmers gently but grows as they acknowledge their emotional response to each other. There’s a fairy godmother who sees what they could be and plenty of evil and magic occurrences as the story plays out. Sensory imagery immerses the reader in this magical tale, and the multi-layered characters are believable. A lovely story to escape with during the festive holidays.

Christmas Under the Northern Lights – Annie O’Neil

After her fiancé’s shocking betrayal, District Nurse Audrey Walsh hopes to escape Christmas on remote Bourtree Island! Instead, she’s met by a gorgeous man in a Santa suit… Dr. Cooper MacAskill! They’re stuck working (and living) together ‘til New Year, both with their demons to face. Except their inconvenient attraction, and the warmth of this island community offers them healing and happiness – if they have the courage to take it!

My Thoughts … 4*

This is an atmospheric festive romance set on a remote Scottish isle. Christmas cheer is the last thing Audrey feels when she discovers her fiance with another woman, weeks before the wedding she paid for. Heartbroken and in need of cash, she takes a District Nurse locum role as she reassesses her life goals. Cooper grew up on the island. Grieving over his grandmother’s death, he feels guilty and wary of the islanders’ reception. The author believably creates the island world with a relatable cast of characters within the community. The romance and spectacle of the Northern Lights engage the readers’ senses and immerse them in the setting. Audrey and Cooper learn more about themselves and each other in this gentle romance with a well researched medical theme. This is a heartwarming, festive medical romance.

Stolen to Wear His Crown – Marcella Bell

Mina has finally achieved her dream of becoming chief scientific advisor of Cyrano when she’s stolen from the interview room! She’s taken directly to the palace chapel where the terms of a secret betrothal mean she must marry the King – immediately.

My Thoughts … 4*

A fictional kingdom, an unusual heroine, and a determined king make this an interesting romance. The world created is pure fantasy but with some realistic elements. Mina is an intelligent but unworldly woman, fixated on her career and just about to achieve her objective. Zayn knows his duty and will never let his personal feelings get in the way of it. There are elements in this story that defy belief, but if you accept them and Zayn’s often autocratic behaviour, this is a good romance with strong characters full of conflict, glamour and the chance of love.

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

One Snowy Night with Lord Hauxton Laura Martin 4*# Review @MillsandBoon #MillsandBoonInsiders #Festive #BookReview #MillsandBoonHistorical #HistoricalRomance #RegencyRomance #MondayBlogs

Secluded and snowed in

…with the brooding Earl

Runaway debutante Henrietta Harvey will never live down the mortification of accidentally slipping into Lord Hauxton’s bed. So, imagine her horror upon discovering they’re snowed in together the next morning! Yet Henrietta comes to find this gruff, cold man has an intriguingly warmer side. Still, hiding a secret that would shock the ton, she’s resigned to becoming a spinster. Unless she can trust him with the truth, before the snow melts…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Snow in a romantic novel creates the perfect proximity for would-be lovers. Lord Hauxton seeks the quiet solace of his friends’ country house to try and move forward with his life after a recent and unexpected loss. Artist Henrietta runs to her cousin’s house, after a bitter fight with her mother, about her future. Both after escaping the snowy night, end up in the same room, which is the catalysis to make them question their futures.

Whilst delivering deepening emotion and passion between Milton and Henrietta a few more flashbacks to their pasts would better illuminate their current, internal conflicts. However, with drama, romance and a festive twist, this is an enjoyable winter read.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Romance

The Viscount’s Convenient Bride Josie Bonham 5*#Review @BonhamJosie @rararesources #Romance #HistoricalRomance #Georgian #TheViscountsConvenientBride #BlogTour #BookReview #ReluctantBrides

Luke, Viscount Enstone’s, resolve to avoid a love match is tested to its limit when he accepts responsibility for the Davenport family.

Luke has found it hard to sort out his late father’s affairs. A dishonest secretary and ailing land agent have left the family estates in disorder. With new people in place, he sets off to one of his smaller properties to discover the extent of an obligation that seems out of keeping with the cold-hearted father he remembers. Who is the young woman living at Shepley Hall and what was her connection to his father?

Miss Kitty Davenport has waited for a long time to find out if the new Viscount Enstone will continue the support his father gave to her family and her patience is wearing thin. Will he carry on paying for her young brother’s education and even assist him in finding a career? For herself, all she needs is help to find a suitable position as a companion and to escape from the unwanted attentions of a persistent suitor.

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The second book in the ‘Reluctant Brides’ series is a complete story, so it’s fine to start the series at this point. This is Kitty and Luke’s story. Kitty, like so many women, of this historical period, finds her life determined by men who have financial control over her. After a series of family drama’s, she is now dependant on Luke for a home for her and her younger brother’s future stability. Kitty is a personable and strong character who dislikes being financially dependant on man.

This is a marriage of convenience story with a satisfying slow-burn romance and two characters emotionally damaged by their pasts. Realistically flawed and easy to empathise characters draw you into their world. The authentically produced Georgian setting both in the country and in town immerses the reader in the historical time and place.

This is an engaging and enjoyable historical romance.

Josie lives in the English midlands, surrounded by towns full of history such as Evesham, Stratford-Upon- Avon, Warwick and Worcester. Which is perhaps why her favourite reads are historical. Out of all the periods to choose from the Regency Era stirs her imagination the most. The true Regency lasted from 1811 until 1820 but dates as wide as 1789 to 1837 have been included in the extended Regency period. For Josie the true flavour of this period emerges after the iniquitous hair powder tax of 1795, unsurprisingly, scuppered the fashion for hair powder almost overnight.

Josie has always dabbled in stories but it took the combined efforts of her sister and eldest niece to set her on the path to writing novels. Her Regency romances, with a dash of adventure and intrigue, are the result.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Historical Romance, Romance

The Runes of Destiny Christina Courtenay 5* #Review @PiaCCourtenay @headlinepg @rararesources #HistoricalRomance #Vikings #timeslip #ContemporaryRomance #BlogTour #BookReview #Runes #Archaeology #TheRunesofDestiny

Separated by time. Brought together by fate.

Linnea felt a shiver travel the length of her spine.

It hadn’t been a joke – the runes really had shown her destiny.

Indulging her fascination for the Viking language and losing herself in an archaeological dig is just what Linnea Berger needs after her recent trauma. Uncovering an exquisite brooch, she blacks out reading the runic inscription, only to come to, surrounded by men in Viking costume, who seem to take re-enactment very seriously.

Lost and confused, Linnea finds herself in the power of Hrafn, a Viking warrior who claims her as his thrall and takes her on a treacherous journey across the seas to sell her for profit. Setting sail, she confronts the unthinkable: she has travelled back to the ninth century.

Linnea is determined to find a way back to her own time, but there’s a connection forming with Hrafn. Can she resist the call of the runes and accept her destiny lies here …

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I received a copy of this book from Headline Books in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Like the first book in this series, The Runes of Destiny is an atmospheric timeslip novel full of adventure, danger and romance. This story reads well as a standalone with intricate historical detail and vibrant characters. The sense of time place and culture is wonderfully described. The attention to detail and use of sensory imagery makes this an immersive experience for the reader.

Linnea is recovering from a devastating road accident her physical injuries minor, but the mental scars deep, especially the survivor guilt, as her friends’ parents died and she was badly injured. An academic she studies ancient Nordic languages and uses the archaeological dig as a way of escaping.

The timeslip element is well executed and Linnea’s confusion and need to make sense of the world she finds herself in believable. The characters are relatable and the adventures she experiences exciting and scary. The romance is gentle and believable.

The plot has clever twists and a satisfying ending.

Christina Courtenay

Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and time travel stories, and lives in Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) in the UK. Although born in England, she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden – hence her abiding interest in the Vikings. Christina is a former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association and has won several awards, including the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel twice with Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014).  The Runes of Destiny (time travel published by Headline 10th December 2020) is her latest novel. Christina is a keen amateur genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).

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Giveaway to Win

A signed copy of The Runes of Destiny and Plushy Raven (Open INT)

Click on giveaway link to enter

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using thegiveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Read my review of Echoes of the Runes

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Medical Romance

The Heart of Doctor Steele Colette Dixon 5*#Review @CDixonBooks @crimsonfoxpub @rararesources #histfic #HistoricalRomance #MedicalRomance #BlogTour #BookReview #TheHeartofDoctorSteele

Are the rumors about him true? She intends to find out. 

The mysterious Dr. Steele has taken up residence next door, and scandalous rumors about him are spreading through Margaret Landeau’s small Massachusetts town. Rumors of women he’s ill-used and exploited for his experimental surgeries. Never one to believe gossip, Margaret arms herself with a basket of baked goods and ventures to discover the truth from the man himself.

John Steele has lost everything. His parents, his aunt, too many women he intended to save, and his good name. All he has left is his aunt’s home in a far-flung village and a library he’s stocked with whiskey. He has nothing to offer anyone. Especially not the bold woman next door whose passion for healing reminds him of the man he once was.

But when a dangerously ill girl arrives on his doorstep, pleading for help, Margaret is thrust into his world. She will learn who the real Dr. John Steele truly is, and soon, not even his dark past can stop her from fighting for the brilliant doctor she now loves. But he must deny his crushing desire for her—loving a man like him can only cast a shadow over her own bright future.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is such an absorbing story full of historical medical details, the emergence of female emancipation and a misunderstood and scandalous hero. This story explores society’s prejudices against the pioneers of medicine who dared to try something different to help their patients.

John Steele flees to his deceased aunt’s house amid a scandal that threatens to ruin his medical career and has devastated him emotionally. He is the subject of gossip, but Margaret likes to make her own decisions and what she finds is a complex, driven man whose motives are predominately good.

The chemistry between them is sizzling even though Margaret is naive and John anxious for her reputation. The romance is full of conflicts, both external and internal, but worth the angst.

The characters are believably flawed and easy to empathise, the historical and medical detail is fascinating, and the plot is original and riveting.

Colette Dixon

Colette Dixon writes steamy stories with heart and humor about slightly tortured people who learn how love can heal. For more years than she cares to admit, she worked in a hospital while dreaming up love story plots. A farm girl who landed in Chicago, she loves to eat (food made by others), drink tea, and sun herself at every chance she can get to survive the Midwest winter.

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Giveaway, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance

The Maiden and the Mercenary Nicola Locke 4*#Review @NicoleLockeNews @MillsandBoonHistorical @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #harlequinhistorical #BlogBlitz #BookReview #MillsandBoonHistorical #HistoricalRomance #LoversandLegends #MondayBlogs #Giveaway

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This medieval romance is part of the Lovers and Legends series. The romance between a serving girl and a mercenary masquerading as a servant is a forbidden romance trope and is full of adventure, danger and passion.

The lighthearted romance between two individuals with hidden agendas, but a common purpose counters the malevolence underlying the story. Their romance is intense, passionate and secretive. The plot contains intrigue and the threat of being found out, as Louve and Biedeluue indulge their attraction whilst trying to achieve their necessary missions.

The author creates a believable sense of history and a disturbing ethos which changes with the whim of the evil lord. The characters are flawed and relatable, and the romance is the flame that carries them through.

Giveaway to Win a £20 / $20 Amazon Gift Card

(Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Giveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Nicole Locke

Nicole first discovered romance novels hidden in her grandmother’s closet. Convinced that hidden books must be better, Nicole greedily read them. It was only natural she should start writing them (but now not so secretly).

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Festive Read, Historical Romance, Mystery, Victorian Romance

A Princess By Christmas Julia London 5*#Review @JuliaFLondon @MillsandBoon #BlogTour #BookReview #ARoyalWedding #MillsandBoonInsiders #APrincessByChristmas #MillsandBoonHistorical #Festive

A Secret. A Lie. A Revolution.

Hollis Honeycutt has written her London gazette since the death of her husband – featuring fashion plates, marriage advice, and the latest gossip in and around Mayfair. But now she feels her gazette should have more meaning, cover topics of more consequence than the latest curl cream.

The opportunity presents itself when Hollis overhears rumours of a potential coup in the Kingdom of Wesloria, a coup linked to the highest level of government in London. During her investigation Hollis spies a man with no business lurking around peace talks, and determines to expose him for the traitor he most certainly must be.

When Weslorian Marek Brendan was fifteen he was shocked to discover his heritage was not what he believed – he was whisked away from the Weslorian palace when he was born because there was fear that corrupt forces would try and kidnap him. Now he is determined to stop these corrupt forces staging a coup in his home country. Except for the beautiful woman whose questions are putting his own investigation at risk. Yet soon Marek realises that pretty Hollis can help him. But when he confides his suspicions, Hollis’s loyalties are tested and she must choose between her loyalties to her family, or her heart…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The third book in the ‘A Royal Wedding’ series features Hollis, a widow who is feeling left behind in the romance stakes when her sister Eliza,(The Princess Plan) and her best friend Caroline (Royal Kiss and Tell) find true love.

Hollis is an engaging character conflicted with moving on and keeping her husband’s memory alive. She’s independent, opinionated and a little outrageous for the staid Victorian society and a fabulous character because of these things. Marek’s secret will rock the foundations of Wesloria. He fights his attraction to Hollis fearing she will betray him. Their slow-burn romance is conflicted from the start.

This story is complete and reads like a standalone. However, if you want to know more about Eliza and Caroline and understand the royal world of Alucia and Wesloria read the other books in the series too.

This story has political intrigue at its heart, and its the investigation of a suspected coup in Wesloria that divides and then unites the unlikely couple. The dialogue between Hollis and Marek is witty and informative. Hollis’ introspective thoughts are well written and give important insights into her motivations and personality. The romance is gentle but insistent. There’s a festive twist to this story which gives a perfect picture of Victorian Christmas.