A lovely collection of shorts, about romance in Antigua.
Despite the brevity of the stories, the authors manage to capture the holiday island ethos and the intensity of holiday romance. All have hopeful endings, that let you imagine what comes next. Lovely Summer reading.
by Penny Penhurst’s courage on the witness stand, meticulous barrister Lord
Hadleigh offers her a housekeeper position at his estate. Despite trying to
stay detached, Hadleigh is charmed by her small child and surprised by how much
he yearns for this proud woman! Can this he break through his own – and Penny’s
– barriers to prove he’s a man she can trust…and love?
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
Firstly, even though this book is the last in the ‘King’s Elite’, series, it reads well as a standalone. The King’s Elite is a group of brave men who protect the crown against enemies abroad and within. The first three books feature British Spies, Hadleigh is a barrister, very skilled and an integral part of the King’s Elite.
Troubled by his past, he is an advocate for justice and the victims who are collateral damage from their outcome, particularly wives. His meeting with Penny is unorthodox but memorable and it acts as a catalyst for his future actions, which although kindly meant, creates instant conflict with Penny.
Penny, the wife of a traitor, and a victim of domestic abuse values her independence above everything, she sees Hadleigh’s well-meant actions as controlling and dislikes him intensely. Not the most auspicious start to a romance, but circumstances contrive, and chemistry sizzles, and as the sensual heat escalates, the couple learn to trust each other, and their feelings.
The setting; preparing for an important trial, gives the plot and original twist. The romance is lovely, full of conflict and indecision, making the ultimate passion, deserved. There is a further twist, which jeopardises the happy-ever-after but rest assured it ends well. The epilogue perfectly sums up the series, whether you’ve read it all or not.
When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace insomnia and start writing them down. Despite that, it still takes her forever to fall asleep.
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For a shameless libertine and a wily smuggler in the London Underground, marriage is more than convenience—it’s the strategy . . .
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. When a handsome earl offers to wed her and send her back to Cornwall with a hefty allowance, Tamsyn agrees.
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…
An enticing medley of Regency London Society and Cornish smugglers provides an exciting setting for this ‘Marriage of Convenience’ historical romance with a strong feminist theme.
Kit, the Earl of Blakemere is a veteran of Waterloo, he is a consummate rake, who has to marry. Tamsyn is forced to earn money in an unorthodox way when her parents die, and her uncle refuses to support the estate’s villagers. She needs a rich husband to buy back the estate.
Kit and Tamsyn meet at a society ball and the physical attraction is strong, but will a ‘Marriage of Convenience’ succeed when they are both keeping secrets and their emotions are starting to mirror their passion for each other?
This is an exciting story, with complex characters and contemporary exploration of historical themes. Kit has lasting effects from his war service, recognised in today’s society as Post Traumatic Stress. Tamsyn is a society lady, with feminist views and actions, not accepted in Regency society.
The attraction is passionate, the story well-paced and varied, the characters multi-layered and believable, with an adrenaline-fueled satisfying ending.
I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Q&A Eva Leigh #CountingOnACountess #BlogTour #MillsandBoon
What do you find inspirational about Regency England?
I love that there was a mix of different classes, genders, races, and sexualities—particularly in London—and we as readers and authors get to explore the dynamics of shifting borders. The social constructs were more fluid than I believe we realize, and I love playing with that.
Would you have liked to have lived in this era? Why?
Nope! I don’t fancy being considered a man’s property. I’d rather write about hidden pockets of resistance in that world.
How do your stories differ from other Regency romance novels?
Honestly, I don’t like to compare myself or my books to other authors or their works. I like that we each provide different stories, different facets, different characters. My books often consider people who don’t quite conform to societal expectations, and I have a very strong feminist sensibility which plays out in the pages of my work.
Do you draw your characters from real life or are they purely a product of your imagination?
I take inspiration from history and do a substantial amount of research to learn about people such as confidence artists or smugglers. The characters are born from what I learn and my own imagination.
Can you tell us a little about the ‘Scandalous Ladies of London’ series?
Regency London existed beyond the ballrooms and private clubs of the elite. As the television series “Taboo” explores, there were thousands of liminal figures in this world, and I wanted to explore it. In particular, women were a major part of this in-between world, and I thought, Wouldn’t it be fascinating to make my heroines shady? Also, I love an across-the-tracks romance.
What sort of books do you enjoy reading and why?
Naturally, I love romance, so that constitutes a considerable amount of my reading. Historical, contemporary, erotic, and the occasional paranormal. I’m getting into reading more Young Adult fiction because of the breadth of characters, settings, and topics. It’s really amazing to see marginalized voices finally getting heard—though we have a long way to go as far as representation and #ownvoices are concerned.
What are you currently writing?
It’s very exciting because I’m currently working on the first book in a new series inspired by classic American ‘80s movies. The heroes all meet during “detention” at Eton—which, yes, is loosely based on The Breakfast Club! I’m really loving writing the first book in the series because I get to be a little silly, a little funny, and also discuss important topics like gender roles, biases in the sciences, and the need for ecological conservation. The usual Eva Leigh book! 😉
‘It’s not my habit to seduce impoverished widows…’
The Duke of Greyland lost his heart – and a princely sum – to a charming, beautiful and destitute widow who, after one passionate night, vanished without a trace. Cassandra Blair grew up on the city streets, picking pockets to survive. Greyland was a rich mark – to be fleeced and forgotten – only she’d never forgotten him.
Years later, chance brings them together again, in a London gaming hell. Grayland is desperate to have her… never suspecting everything about his lover was a lie. But finding herself in dire financial straits, at risk of losing everything, Cassandra has no choice but to beg the man she betrayed for help.
The proud Duke will assist her under one condition: she doesn’t leave his sight until her debts are paid! But can the real Cassandra – the smart, streetwise survivor – steal his heart all over again?
Book one in ‘The Scandalous Ladies of London’ series.
A different trope from the usual Regency romance, this story has some originality, an anti-heroine character rather than an anti-hero. The story creates an interesting relationship between the Duke and the con- artist, but even though she fools him once, Cassandra ultimately needs his help and position to survive, which detracts from her independence.
The Duke of Greyland lacks the arrogance customarily associated with his rank in Regency romance. He has many appealing traits, not least his passionate nature and support of those less fortunate than he. However, he does lack authenticity.
This story scores highly for sensuality, the connection between the Duke and Cassandra is hot, and the love scene leaves little to the imagination. They explain why the Duke acts as he does and their deepening emotional attachment underlines every kiss.
Overall this is a lovely story, which superficially explores the seedier side of Regency England while delivering a passionate love story.
I received a copy of this book from Mills&Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Lainey Kline has one goal before she leaves Melbourne forever: transform herself into a sexy siren, sneak into the season’s most glamorous masquerade ball and seduce Damian McKnight. Only there’s a teeny little problem — one deliciously hot night isn’t nearly enough. Now Lainey wants more. But while getting naked is one thing, taking off their masks is quite another…
Masquerade balls evoke images of mystery, romance and secrets, ‘Unmasked’ encompasses all of these elements in a contemporary setting.
Lainey is leaving Melbourne and her friends for a fantastic career opportunity, but is she taking the next step in her future life or running? Her teenage crush on her best friend’s older brother grows into love, but he doesn’t see her that way? Damien has a failed marriage and hidden self-esteem issues, at odds with his successful career. Damien’s attraction for Lainey is inconvenient and something he is not going to explore despite her provocation.
The chance to act out her greatest fantasy before he leaves is something Lainey must do, and so she gatecrashes an ‘A’List, charity ball that the object of her desire is attending. The love scenes are sensual and explicit, but in keeping with the ‘Dare’genre and mirrored by the emotional intensity of the hidden feelings, Lainey and Damien have for the other. There is a lovely ‘Cinderella’ like twist after Lainey’s night at the ball. Passion, romance and steamy moments make this an enjoyable, fast-paced, sexy read.
I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
He’ll make her an offer… Pascha Virshilas is on the brink of securing personal redemption when Emily Richardson breaks into his office and steals private company documents. And then she has the gall to blackmail him into clearing her father’s name! She can’t refuse! But Pascha has his own terms. He’ll keep his side of the bargain, but the enticing Emily must accompany him to his private island – the only place he can ensure her silence. But in the midst of a tropical storm the wind blows aside suspicions and secrets to reveal something much more dangerous: lust!
The Russian’s Ultimatum is a dark, sexy but definitely romantic story that doesn’t disappoint. Dangerous, vibrant Pascha has dark secrets and a soft heart. Emily is a successful designer but despite her talents she seems determined to be all things to all men; the perfect daughter/sister / employee. This is a story of family, secrets and wild passion, which unfolds in an idyllic tropical setting. Emily’s love of her father forces her to go against her principles and break into Pascha’s office. She needs vital documents from his laptop to clear her father’s name. Pascha catches her. Fortunately Emily discovers something that gives her leverage. Pascha is furious with Emily but not just because she has tried to steal from him. His physical reaction to her is both unexpected and unwelcome and he is determined to make her pay. Pascha’s ultimatum means Emily must spend the week on his tropical island to prevent disclosure of his latest business venture. The perfect solution until Mother Nature forces Emily and Pascha to remain in far closer proximity than either wants. Passion and secrets flow between them but what happens when the storm is over?
I read the book in a day to find out. The Russian’s Ultimatum is a perfect winter escape.