Georgian Era (1714-1837)

The Lord Meets His Lady by Gina Conkle

The Lord Meets His Lady (Midnight Meetings, #3)The Lord Meets His Lady by Gina Conkle

Series: Midnight Meetings, #3

Release Date: December 5, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am torn about this review – I liked the idea of the book, but the execution didn’t work for me.

Genevieve Turner is a woman on the run, she has set out under an assumed name to take a position as a housekeeper. She desperately wants to start anew and hopes this position will be the first step in her new independent life.

Lord Marcus Bowles is a man with no direction, after causing one too many scandals, his brother, the Marquess Northampton, has sent Marcus to the country to sober up and lay low until North can find a suitable bride. Marcus agrees to go, but is counting the days until he can return to London and his aimless, pleasure seeking life.

These two meet when Gen’s carriage is broken down and Marcus mistakenly assumes they are being held up by a highwayman. Gen immediately recognizes Marcus from her former life at the Golden Goose and asks him not to reveal her true identity. Intrigued, Marcus agrees.

Days later he shows up at the house she is working in, turns out her employer is Sam, one of his best friends. Sam wants Marcus to work with him in a business venture and Marcus agrees, if Sam will let Gen come work for him. Sam explains the arrangement to Gen, who agrees to work for Marcus.

Gen and Marcus then proceed to set his house to rights and Marcus tries to lure Gen to his bed. Gen is no stranger to a man’s bed, but she wants a new life and sex is not part of their arrangement.

When Gen’s past comes calling, Marcus steps up and marries her to protect her. But Gen assumes it will be a sham marriage and doesn’t want to get too close to Marcus. By this time, Marcus knows he has deeper feelings for Gen and is content to have her as his wife. They become intimate, but Gen refuses to let there be anything more between them than a physical relationship.

The “Wolf” is not done with Gen yet and Marcus stands to lose everything to keep her safe. And Gen realizes that she loves Marcus and is willing to sacrifice her newfound independence to see him happy.

The story is well written albeit a bit wordy and the pace of the story is bogged down by the wordiness making it a slow read. I liked all the characters, including Wolf (the villain), there are some steamy love scenes, some sweet moments, some amusing moments and finally a HEA.

What I didn’t like was the incorrect use of formal address – this is the one thing that annoys me more than anything else in historical romance – I can overlook a lot, but not that. Marcus is the son of a Marquess, so he has an honorific title of Lord Marcus, when he marries Gen, she becomes Lady Marcus – but for this entire book Marcus is called Lord Bowles and after they are married she is being called Lady Bowles and that made me want to bang my head against the wall. So that, along with the slow pace of the story, made this a 3 star read for me.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*

Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt

Once Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane, #12.6)Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Maiden Lane, #12.6

Release Date: December 5, 2017

This was a sweet (and surprisingly steamy) little Christmas novella.

Adam Rutledge, Viscount d’Arque (Remember him from ML#5 Lord of Darkness?) hates Christmas, but he loves his grandmother, so agrees to travel with her for the holidays. When they are caught in a snowstorm and their carriage is wrecked, Adam sets off to find shelter for them – imagine his surprise and dread when the only house nearby is that of Godric St. John’s mother and that she is hosting a Christmas house party, whose guests include Godric, Megs and his step-sisters.

Adam asks for assistance and is welcomed by the family, by all except Sarah St. John – she hates him, well not him in particular, she hates rakes and Adam is a self-proclaimed, unrepentant rogue.

Sarah and Adam banter back and forth, each is fascinated by the other, but Sarah has no more love for rakes than Adam has for innocents. Forced into each others company, they begin to see there is more to the other than just a label – Sarah has a reason to hate rakes and Adam has reasons to scorn love, but there is a lot more to Sarah than her past and Adam may not be the rogue she thought he was.

This was a sweet story of opposites that turn out to be a matching pair and find a love of a lifetime.

The book was short, but it was well written and fleshed out, the love between them did seem a little out of the blue, but overall it was a very good story with steamy love scenes and delightful cameos by Godric and Megs St. John.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by the author’s assistant/publicist*

Death Comes To The School by Catherine Lloyd

Death Comes to the School (Kurland St. Mary Mystery #5)Death Comes to the School by Catherine Lloyd

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Kurland St. Mary Mystery #5
Publication Date: 11/28/17

Another outstanding new book in the Kurland St. Mary Mystery series. As always, the mystery is outstanding, full of twists and suspects and keeps you guessing right up until the end. It is a well-written, well-paced and very well executed book – both romance and mystery.

Robert and Lucy have been married for three years and they are going through a bit of a rough patch. It is not that they don’t love each other, it is that Lucy is horribly depressed and Robert doesn’t know how to help her. He tends to order her around, demands that she take care of herself, etc. Frankly, I’m not sure what else he could actually do because she is inconsolable after going through two miscarriages within six months. Robert is afraid of losing her in childbirth and while he’d love children, he wants her more. He just isn’t good at actually making her understand that. She feels inadequate as a wife because she doesn’t think she can give him the heir he needs and wants. Most of the problems, as usual, fester because two people just don’t actually talk with each other.

What does it take to perk Lucy up? Well, a murder will do it nicely. Lucy has just met the new school teacher and did not like her at all. Normally, she would have been heavily involved in the selection of the new teacher, but she was ill and since Robert was concerned with Lucy’s health, both of them basically left it to Lucy’s father. After doing some checking, they have discovered that the teacher was dismissed without reference from her last position. When Robert goes to confront the teacher and to dismiss her, he finds her dead with a quill lodged in her eye.

Robert does his best to keep Lucy out of the investigation, but she’ll have none of that. As she gets more involved in the investigation we see more and more of her old spark come back. That delights Robert, but he still worries about her overdoing. Even with the spark of health coming back, something is still bothering Lucy – a lot. You’ll have to read the book to see what it is and if the relationship survives it.

Who murdered Miss Broomfield? Who is sending the incendiary notes to people in the community? Are they also being blackmailed? Do we have one perpetrator? Two? More? I’ll not tell – and you won’t guess. You’ll just have to wait until you get to the end of the story!

We get a couple of lovely new romances in this story as well – so they get their HEA’s. They are lovely romances and one of them will probably surprise you because we’ve known those two characters through all of the books.

Check out my reviews of the other books in the series:
Death Comes To The Village
Death Comes To London
Death Comes To Kurland Hall
Death Comes To The Fair

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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”

Once Upon a Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt

Once Upon a Maiden LaneOnce Upon a Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt

Series: Maiden Lane, #12.5

Release Date: November 14, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought this was such a sweet book! Mary Whitsun has been a reoccurring secondary character throughout the entire series and it was so nice to see her get a HEA.

Mary Whitsun is an orphan, former of the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children in St. Giles but now she is a nursemaid for Lord and Lady Claire. Mary has spent her entire life not knowing her real family, but all that changes the day she meets Henry, Viscount Blackwell.

Henry spies Mary at a bookshop and mistakes her for his fiancé Lady Joanna, but he soon realizes his error and is convinced that Mary is the long lost twin of the Earl of Angrove and Henry’s true fiancé

Mary thinks Henry is just a rake looking to seduce her and refuses to give him her name or her direction. She returns home and tries to forget about the handsome lord. But the next day, Henry shows up at the Claire’s home and he is not alone. He brings with him the Countess of Angrove and her mother the dowager Marchioness. The ladies are sure that Mary is the lost twin, Lady Cecilia and ask her to come home with them. Lord Claire intervenes and tells the ladies to return the next day for Mary’s decision.

Mary can’t believe how much her life has changed and after a visit from her sister Joanna, she decides to take her rightful place and agrees to marry Henry.

Henry is thrilled, he likes Joanna, but Mary sparks something primal in him. As they grow closer, they both begin to fall in love.

But just when it seems Mary will get her fairy tale ending, a surprise twist changes everything and a HEA seems impossible.

I loved this story and it was so fitting that Lord and Lady Claire played such a big role in the book, it brought the entire series full circle. The book is short, but well written and beautifully paced. if you have been following this series, you MUST read this book, but if you haven’t, it could easily be a standalone title. I highly recommend this book and while I am sad that the series is over, I couldn’t have asked for a sweeter ending.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC*

Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

Duke of Desire (Maiden Lane, #12)Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

Series: Maiden Lane, #12

Release Date: October 17, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Raphael, the Duke of Dyemore is one of the most tortured heroes I have ever read, but beneath the scars and the pain is a man with a huge capacity for love. His mission is to destroy the Lords of Chaos, the depraved group of men that was lead by his father until his recent death. Raphael fled England and his father and went to live with his mother’s family in Corsica at the age of twelve and hasn’t returned since. But now that his father is gone and Raphael is the new Duke, he is home to take his rightful place and to bring down the LoC.

Lady Iris Jordan is kidnapped from her carriage on her way home from Alf & Hugh’s wedding and kept captive by the LoC as revenge against Hugh (the Duke of Kyle) for his attack on them in the previous book (The Duke of Pleasure, Maiden Lane #11). So when Iris is taken to the revel and announces that they have taken the wrong woman, a very naked man in a wolf mask claims her as his prize. The leader of the LoC grants the wolf the right to woman, but tells him to kill her in the morning.

When Iris is thrown into the wolf’s carriage, she frantically looks for a weapon while he is speaking to his men, finding a gun she shoots the wolf as he enters the carriage. This is when she learns that the wolf is actually Raphael, the mysterious scarred man she met and danced with at a ball a few months ago and rather than planning on ravishing her, he was trying to save her.

Raphael had planned to send Iris to London, but now that he is wounded and he realizes that she is not married to Hugh, he decides the best way to keep her safe is to marry her himself. At first Iris resists, but then agrees that marriage is necessary. They marry in a brief ceremony before Raphael passes out from his wounds. Iris spends the next couple of days nursing Raphael and trying to learn more about her new husband’s past – she thinks she has an idea of what happened, but no one, especially Raphael is willing to give her the whole story. Iris wants answers and she wants a true marriage with Raphael. Her first marriage was not happy and she has no desire to repeat that fiasco with Raphael, but much to her dismay, he intends to keep her close, but in name only.

When the LoC come calling and learn that Iris is not only alive, but married to Raphael, he knows he must get her to London. They set out almost immediately and Iris decides to use the time to make her new husband come around to her way of thinking. But Raphael is firm in his convictions and Iris wonders if the problem is her – even as she ponders this, she makes a discovery that makes it clear that desire is not the problem. She goes to confront Raphael and stumbles upon an ambush. When the attack is over they spend the night together and Iris believes that they have turned a page and will be able to have a real marriage, but the next morning Raphael is more remote than ever.

They return to London and slowly grow closer until Raphael finally tells her the truth of his scars and the reason he is out to bring down the LoC. Iris is horrified by Raphael’s tale (an rightly so) but it only makes her realize how much she cares for him and how much he needs that love and acceptance. They share an incredible night of passion and finally consummate their marriage, Iris believes that they are finally going to have a real marriage but the next morning Raphael is more remote than ever and tells her that their night will never be repeated.

When the LoC kidnap Iris again and force a confrontation with Raphael, he knows that he loves her and will do whatever he can to make her happy, even if that means letting her go.

This was an amazing story, it was well written, flowed perfectly, had some truly horrific, dark moments, some steamy love scenes, lots of secrets, lots of pain and sorrow, some sweet moments and finally a well deserved HEA. I loved this book and would have no problem recommending it, but I would strongly suggest that you read the Duke of Sin (book 10) and the Duke of Pleasure (book 11) before reading this installment.

I am sorry to see this series end but I can’t wait to see what Elizabeth Hoyt comes up with next!

*I am voluntarily leaving a review of an eARC*

Wilde in Love by Eloisa James

Wilde in Love (The Wildes of Lindow Castle, #1)Wilde in Love by Eloisa James
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Wildes of Lindow Castle, #1

Release Date: October 31, 2017

What a wonderful start to a new series!

Lord Alaric Wilde aka Lord Wilde, author, adventurer and son of the Duke of Lindow is back in England after years of traveling. He was expecting a hot bath, a cup of tea and a quiet reunion with his family to mourn the death of his eldest brother but what he got was a mob of ladies clamoring to meet the infamous Lord Wilde. Unbeknownst to Alaric, someone has adapted and embellished his books into a play titled “Wilde in Love”” and the women of England can’t wait to meet him and console him after the tragic death of his beloved. His fame or infamy comes as a shock to Alaric and he has to disguise himself to escape.

Miss Wilhelmina Ffynche aka Willa and her friend Lavinia are attending a house party at Lindow Castle, in honor of the betrothal of their friend Diana and the duke’s heir and Alaric’s older brother Lord Roland Northbridge Wilde (aka North). Lavinia is overjoyed that Lord Wilde will be there, she has read all his books and has purchased several prints of his adventures, Willa is not as enthused, she has not read any of his books and has spent the last three years listening to Lavinia gush over the man. So it comes as a bit of shock to her when she first meets him and finds herself reluctantly attracted to him.

Alaric is fascinated by Willa, not only is she lovely and intelligent – but she has absolutely no interest in fawning over him like the rest of the women attending the party.

Willa has no interest whatsoever in Alaric, she is a very private person and the thought of having a husband who is adored and pursued by countless women is abhorrent to her. She is sure that his books are made up and the man himself is unreliable. She tries to avoid him as much as she can without being rude, but the more she tries to avoid him, the more determined he becomes.

Willa grudgingly accepts Alaric’s presence and even begins to like the real Lord Alaric, but she still has no desire to form any attachment to a man that is most likely going to leave again and is stalked by hordes of women. So when a crazed woman appears at the party and announces that she is Alaric’s deceased beloved, Willa pretends to be his betrothed to discourage the woman.

Alaric see this as an opportunity to woo Willa, he has decided that she is the woman for him and he will win her!

This book is delightful, it a well written, engaging and witty read. The introduction of secondary characters (who will presumably have books of their own) was done perfectly, they enhanced the story of Willa and Alaric instead of distracting the reader, there are mischievous siblings, a pet skunk, a crazy stalker, a hero who doesn’t mince words with other women, a bog and finally a wonderfully done HEA – with an epilogue!!

I loved this book, I am happy to recommend it and I am looking forward to Roland’s book (Ms. James set his book up with a bit of a cliffhanger in this story).

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by Edelweiss and the publisher*

Lady Charlotte’s First Love by Anna Bradley

Lady Charlotte's First Love (The Sutherland Sisters, #2)Lady Charlotte’s First Love by Anna Bradley

Barbara’s Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Sutherland Sisters #2
Publication Date: 10/3/17

What an emotionally wrenching ride to reach a Happily Ever After! Toward the end of the first book in the series, Lady Eleanor’s Seventh Suitor, you got an inkling of the issues that permeate this book. There are multiple issues but you could discern them from the first book’s story. This book deals with the aftermath and reactions of each of the main characters. You really do need to read the first book in order to gain a full appreciation for and understanding of this story. I liked these characters in the first book but somehow couldn’t come to like or be invested in them in this one. They are broken individuals and remain that way through the majority of the book – well, maybe the whole book except for perhaps the epilogue. There is a lot of melodrama.

Recap from the first book: Charlotte Sutherland was madly, deeply, passionately in love with Julian West. They had an intimate relationship until she overheard something that made her believe that he had pursued her only because it made things easier for his cousin Cam to pursue her sister. That is true, to a point. Julian did start pursuing her for that reason, but he came to love her as much as she loved him. When she announces her engagement to another man, Julian heads off to war.

A year later Julian returns from the war, except he isn’t the same Julian who left. That Julian was joyous, happy, humorous and loved life. This Julius is hard and joyless. This Julius is Captain West.

Charlotte is leading a frenetic life in London. She is courting scandal at every turn and each thing she does is more outrageous than the last. She hates to be alone. As you read the book, you’ll find out the reasons for this.

There is a new character introduced in this book and I really liked him. His name is Devon and he is an Earl. He knew all of Charlotte’s secrets and pains and helped her deal with them – he also wanted to marry her. He will be the hero in the next book and that one looks like it will be a good one. Maybe not quite so dark and angsty.

I find this review a bit hard to write without including spoilers – which I won’t do. I have a number of concerns and questions around the book and the plot and the characters, but they all hinge on those spoilers as well. The bottom line is that I liked both of these characters in the first book and was disappointed in them in this book. I did enjoy the story but don’t pick it up looking for a lighthearted, happy read because you won’t find it here.

“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”

About the Author:  Anna Bradley has been an avid reader, writer and book junkie since childhood, when she pilfered her first romance novel and stole away to her bedroom to devour it.

Before she became a writer she worked with a rare books library featuring works by British women writers from the 1600’s through the Regency period. Here she indulged in her love of stories, fondled smooth, leather-bound volumes to her heart’s content and dreamed of becoming a writer.

She writes steamy historical romance (think garters, fops and riding crops). She lives with her husband and two children in Portland, OR, where people are delightfully weird and love to read.


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