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

The Determined Lord Hadleigh – 5* #Review Virginia Heath #KingsElite @MillsandBoon @rararesources #BlogTour #HistoricalRomance #RegencyRomance #TuesdayBookBlog

King’s Elite #4

Haunted 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?

Amazon UK   

Waterstones

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

My Thoughts…

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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Posted in Book Review, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

A Debutante in Disguise – Eleanor Webster 4* #Review @MillsandBoon @ewebsterauthor #HistoricalRomance #RegencyRomance #Historical

A society lady… 
…with a secret!

Determined to help people, Letty Barton has a double life – she’s a trained doctor! No-one must know ‘Dr Hatfield’ is actually a woman. Called to an emergency, she comes face to face with her patient’s brother, Lord Anthony Ashcroft… They’d once shared a spark-filled flirtation – now he’s a brooding, scarred war-hero. But how long will it be before he recognises her, beneath her disguise, and the sparks begin to fly once more…?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Women’s education was not the norm in Regency times, so a well-educated woman, either had to waste her skills, or use subterfuge to achieve her full potential. Letty is a medical doctor, who works under a pseudo name, disguised as a man. Her life is complex, two identities two lives and when she meets Lord Ashcroft, it becomes even more so.

There is intriguing chemistry between the Tony Ashcroft and Letty, in her female persona. Both sense a familiarity that they cannot pinpoint. The unlikely romance is full of intrigue, confusion and sensual heat. 

It is an entertaining quirky, romantic read, that highlights Regency society’s unforgiving conventions, in respect of both women and those of less than perfect countenance.

30th May 2019

Posted in Book Review, Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Romance

5* #Review – Sophia James -The Cinderella Countess – @MillsandBoon

From rags to riches

By the earl’s side!

Abandoned as a small child, Annabelle Smith has only vague memories of her past. Now living as a healer in London’s poverty-stricken East End, she receives a life-changing visit from the rich and imposing Lytton Staines, Earl of Thornton. He needs a cure for his ailing sister and helping him thrusts Belle into his dazzling life of luxury. But it’s Lytton who makes her world come alive!

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

An elegant Earl is not the usual visitor at Miss Anabelle Smith’s rented accommodation It is her reputation as a healer that draws him to her, but when they meet there is instant chemistry. The plot is fast paced and has clever twists, which gradually reveal the puzzle of Anabelle’s former life.

The romance is charming. Lytton is an honourable character and Anabelle, self-reliant and kind, they deserve their happy ending, but are their backgrounds and the conflicts that befall them too diverse and numerous?

This is the third book in the ‘Gentlemen of Honour’series, but the first one I have read, and it is a good standalone read. However, the characters from previous books, who feature briefly here, make me want to read their stories too,

Romantic, full of secrets and simmering passion this Regency romance is the perfect escape for an hour or two.

Posted in Book Review

5* Review – Tessa Dare – The Governess Game

The accidental governess…

After her livelihood slips through her fingers, Alexandra Mountbatten takes on an impossible post: transforming a pair of wild orphans into proper young ladies. However, the girls don’t need discipline. They need a loving home. Try telling that to their guardian, Chase Reynaud. The ladies of London have tried—and failed—to make him settle down. Somehow, Alexandra must reach his heart . . . without risking her own.

The infamous rake…

Like any self-respecting libertine, Chase lives by one rule: no attachments. When a stubborn little governess tries to reform him, he decides to prove he can’t be tamed. But Alexandra is more than he bargained for: clever, perceptive, passionate. She refuses to see him as a lost cause. Soon the walls around Chase’s heart are crumbling . . . and he’s in danger of falling, hard.

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts…

Alex’s supportive group of friends defy convention, preferring to listen to each other, rather than the male-dominated Regency society that surrounds them. Alex’s unusual job gains her entry into society’s most exquisite homes but only as an employee. Alex and Chase met previously at a bookshop, but he doesn’t remember her. However, he wants her for his wards’ governess, despite her lack of skills and social standing. Serendipity ensures he gets his way, but she proves to be a disturbing employee who threatens his dissolute habits.

Alex ‘s caring nature and empathy endear her to the girls. Believable and charming the two girls provide much of the story’s humour and poignancy. Importantly, they catalyse the romance between Alex and Chase. Alex wants Chase to give the girls the parental love they need but getting them the father they need involves constant interaction with the rake whose sense of the ridiculous and sensual expertise endanger her heart.

This lovely story encompasses all the best qualities of Regency romance; humour, historical detail and sensuality intertwine to make an addictive read. The plot showcases other elements of Regency society outside of the ‘Haute Ton’, which gives the story a unique perspective. Alex’s intelligence and tenacity are far more critical in this tale than her looks and social skills.

Escape to Regency London in this absorbing tale, and you may not want to return.

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

Posted in Book Review

Blog Tour: Eva Leigh – From Duke till Dawn – Extract and 4* Review

 

‘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

Amazon UK

Amazon

Hot romance, deep emotion and a glimpse into the seedier side of Regency England.

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 scenes leave 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.

Extract:- Eva Leigh’s  ‘From Duke till ‘Dawn’

Chapter 1

London, England 1817

A woman laughed, and Alexander Lewis, Duke of Greyland felt the sound like a gunshot to his chest.

It was a very pleasant laugh, low and musical rather than shrill and forced, yet it sounded like The Lost Queen’s laugh. Alex could not resist the urge to glance over his shoulder as he left the Eagle chophouse. He’d fancifully taken to calling her The Lost Queen, though she was most assuredly a mortal woman. Had she somehow appeared on a busy London street at dusk? The last time he’d seen her had been two years ago, in the spa town of Cheltenham, in his bed, asleep and naked.

The owner of the laugh turned out to be a completely different woman— brunette rather than blonde, petite and round rather than lithe and willowy. She caught Alex staring and raised her eyebrows. He bowed gravely in response, then continued toward the curb.

Night came on in indigo waves, but the shops spilled golden light in radiant patches onto the street. The hardworking citizens of London continued to toil as the upper echelons began their evening revelries. Crowds thronged the sidewalk, while wagons, carriages, and people on horseback crammed the streets. A handful of pedestrians recognized Alex and politely curtsied or tipped their hats, murmuring, “Good evening, Your Grace.” Though he was in no mood for politeness, responsibility and virtue were his constant companions— had been his whole life— and so rather than snapping, “Go to the devil, damn you!” he merely nodded in greeting.

He’d done his duty. He’d been seen in public, rather than disappearing into the cavernous chambers of his Mayfair mansion, where he could lick his wounds in peace.

The trouble with being a duke was that he always had to do his duty. “You are the pinnacle of British Society,” his father had often said to him. “The world looks to you for guidance. So you must lead by example. Be their True North.”

This evening, before dining, Alex had taken a very conspicuous turn up and down Bond Street, making certain that he was seen by many consequential— and loose-lipped— figures in the ton. Word would soon spread that the Duke of Greyland was not holed up, sulking in seclusion. His honor as one of Society’s bulwarks would not be felled by something as insignificant as his failed marriage suit to Lady Emmeline Birks. The Dukes of Greyland had stood strong against Roundheads, Jacobites, and countless other threats against Britain. One girl barely out of the schoolroom could hardly damage Alex’s ducal armor.

But that armor had been dented by The Lost Queen. Far deeper than he would have expected.

Standing on the curb, he signaled for his carriage, which pulled out of the mews. He tugged on his spotless gloves as he waited and adjusted the brim of his black beaver hat to make certain it sat properly on his head. “Always maintain a faultless appearance,” his father had reminded him again and again. “The slightest bit of disorder in your dress can lead to rampant speculation about the stability of your affairs. This, we cannot tolerate. The nation demands nothing less than perfection.”

Alex’s father had been dead for ten years, but that didn’t keep the serious, sober man’s voice from his mind. It was part of him now— his role as one of the most powerful men in England and the responsibilities that role carried with it. Not once did he ever let frivolities distract him from his duties.

Except for one time . . .

Posted in Book Review

From Duke till Dawn – Eva Leigh- 4* Review

‘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

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts…

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 scenes leave 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.

Posted in Book Review

A Wedding for the Scandalous Heiress – Elizabeth Beacon 4* Review

 

A stolen kiss from a dashing stranger… at her own betrothal ball!

When Isabella Alstone receives a shockingly passionate kiss from a handsome stranger at her betrothal ball, she scandalously ends her engagement. She is even more surprised when she discovers exactly who the stranger is! Ruggedly striking Wulf FitzDevelin is illegitimate, penniless and her ex-fiance’s half-brother–their match is wholly unsuitable. Yet Isabella cannot escape the burning longing to feel his touch again! 

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts…

A forbidden kiss, a feisty heiress and a family divided by secrets, make this Regency romance and entertaining read.

With lots of plot twists, a heroine and hero who practically combust when they are in the same place and a scandalous family tragedy, this story is different from the usual Regency romances of debutantes and rakes but still retains a believable historical setting and a lovely conflicted love story.

Isabella’s cruel childhood makes her self-reliant and stubborn, she respects her older siblings advice but knows her mind. Wulf ‘s childhood memories are mostly bad. Shunned by polite society, he lives up to his rakish reputation until his serendipitous meeting with Isabella. Their romance is an enticing mix of innocence and sensuality, but Wulf won’t risk Isabella’s reputation despite her provocation, and their love seems doomed before it takes flight.

A gentle paced story with a few unusual plot twists, one of which remains unanswered, perhaps for another story? I liked the two main protagonists. The cast of family characters adds depth to the story without detracting from its romantic focus. Intertwined with historical detail, which sets the scene but doesn’t slow the pace, it’s perfect if you fancy a romantic Regency tale with a mysterious twist.

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