Georgian Era

Charlotte & Thomas Pitt #1 and #2 by Anne Perry

The Cater Street Hangman (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #1)The Cater Street Hangman by Anne Perry

Barbara’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nobody does Victorian mysteries better than Anne Perry. Her grasp of the culture and mores of the times is unparalleled and her descriptions of the area just make you feel like you are right there in that time and place.

I recently read a later book in this series and enjoyed it so much I wanted to start at the beginning and read them through, in order. This was certainly a great beginning to a long and enduring series.

The bloody and mutilated bodies of lovely young women are showing up on Cater Street. Cater Street is home to the rich gentry of London and they are not happy to have the police nosing around looking for a murderer.

Inspector Thomas Pitt, a very large, tall, perceptive and intelligent man is assigned to investigate the case and it is really baffling. There just isn’t any commonality among the victims and that will make solving the case next to impossible unless the perpetrator is caught in the act

When Pitt shows up at the Ellison’s door to interview the family he is taken with Charlotte. This is during the period when there is a definite separation of classes and the police are considered a very low rank. However, he is still smitten.

Charlotte is a very outspoken, intelligent young woman who chafes at the restraints placed on her gender during that time. She isn’t supposed to read the news papers or be interested in anything other than fashion, embroidery and how to run a home.

You’ll be guessing right until the end – when Charlotte’s life is threatened.

A great read — I highly recommend this book and the series!

Callander Square (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #2)Callander Square by Anne Perry

Barbara’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nobody does a Victorian mystery better than Anne Perry and there isn’t a better sleuthing team than Charlotte and Thomas Pitt! Winners all around.

Charlotte and Thomas met in the first book of the series and they are now married and expecting their first child. Charlotte’s younger sister has also married her titled suitor from the first book. Everybody is happy, but Charlotte’s sister is getting a little bored with her aristocratic existence. So, when the skeletal remains of three babies are found in Callander Square she decides that she and Charlotte need to help Pitt solve the case.

Add two more murders to the list and the local residents petitioning the government to end the investigation and poor Inspector Pitt has his hands full. It is a good thing he has the help of Charlotte and her sister — isn’t it?

Can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

Fearless By Lynne Connolly

Fearless (Those Scandalous Shaws)Fearless by Lynne Connolly

Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Those Scandalous Shaws
Publication Date: 8/22/17

Connolly has added a great follow-up series to her ‘The Emperors Of London’ series. This first book in the series is a wonderful lead-in to the series. It is action packed and leaves you wondering where it will head next.

Plots within plots, villains you didn’t expect, twists and turns and lots of passion – it sucks you in from the first page and doesn’t let you go until the end.

Lord Valentinian Shaw’s reputation exceeds his exploits – although those exploits are many. As one of several sons of a Marquess he is under no pressure to marry and produce an heir, so he’s in no hurry to give up his freedom and marry. He’s restless, unsettled and is constantly moving from adventure to adventure. However, he has been more settled over the last two years because he has found an outlet for his restless spirit – he, his brother, and their cousin have been pursuing financial ventures that are exciting and interesting.

Lady Charlotte Engles has been engaged to Val for two very long years. She suspects he will never be ready to marry and if they do marry, she is sure he won’t be faithful. She NEEDS to marry in order to get out from under her cruel father’s thumb and to provide for her younger sister. When she receives an offer from someone else, someone she feels is infinitely suitable, she asks Val if he would please release her from their engagement.

When Lady Charlotte asks Val to release her from their engagement, it unexpectedly leads to a kiss and a budding desire to keep her. However, he does reluctantly agree. Then, he gets to know her better and better and finds he is beginning to love her. He’ll live up to his agreement though – as long as the new suitor is worthy.

Val and his twin brother Darius begin to investigate and they find that the suitor isn’t just unworthy, he’s unsavory and debauched to the highest degree. Val cannot let Charlotte marry this man, but he cannot tell her the truth either. So, he does the only thing he can do – he refuses to end the marriage contract and doesn’t give her an explanation.

I won’t provide a blow-by-blow description of the entire plot, but you should know that it is a wonderful, exciting read and you will love watching Val and Charlotte find love and understanding. Val grows and matures so much through this book that you will hardly recognize him at the end. Coming to know all of the abuse Charlotte and her sisters have had to live with throughout their lives will keep you in tears.

The last twenty percent of the book will have you on pins and needles. I won’t describe it, but to tell you that it is suspenseful and gut-wrenching is putting it lightly.

“I requested and received this 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.”

Salt Hendon Series (two books) by Lucinda Brant

The imagery painted by Brant is spectacular. You just literally feel like you are right there with the characters in that time period and you feel what they are feeling right along with them. There is some very intense emotion, a bit of wit and very, very high drama.

Salt Bride: A Georgian Historical RomanceSalt Bride: A Georgian Historical Romance by Lucinda Brant

Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Salt Hendon
Period: Georgian

There is a very unhappy history between the Earl of Salt Hendon and Jane Despard, the daughter of a neighboring squire. And now, years later, they are being forced to marry. Neither of them is happy about the situation, but neither of them has a choice.

There is a sinister, dark character in their orbit who wants Jane gone and totally out of Salt’s life and she will – and has – done the most despicable and heinous things to assure that they stay separated. Diana St. John, widow of Salt’s cousin and best friend is fixated on Salt. Diana believes that she will be the Countess of Salt Hendon and that Salt cannot get along without her. As you learn more of what she has done and is willing to do it will make your skin crawl and you’ll want to check under your bed at night. She is truly a chilling villain. You’ll think her eventual punishment is nowhere near enough for the things she did.

Jane has a wonderfully sunny outlook on life – even after all the misery she has been through. She is so very kind, loving, gentle, caring, patient, giving. Even Salt’s rancor and utter contempt cannot make her act as he does. She’s beautiful inside and out. Nobody in the household can resist her – not the servants, not the relatives and certainly not Salt, no matter how hard he tries.

The dark history is slowly exposed and the misunderstandings come to light and they learn that neither of them ever actually stopped loving the other. Brant’s use of suspense, humor, and love just draws you right in and makes you a part of the story.

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Salt Redux: Sequel to Salt Bride (Salt Hendon #2)Salt Redux: Sequel to Salt Bride by Lucinda Brant

Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Four years after Diana St. John’s heinous, mad schemes were revealed and she was imprisoned in a remote Welsh castle, she escapes. She’s had four years to plot a revenge on Jane and her children and that revenge is every bit as heinous as the plots covered in the first book. She is absolutely and totally mad but is excellent at hiding that from the general public.

In the four years since the ending of the last book, many things have happened to the Salt Hendon’s and those who are near and dear to them. Most of those things have not been good, but some have been absolutely wonderful.
— Salt and Jane have three beautiful, happy children – two sons and a daughter – and they have a very close and loving relationship.
— Sir Antony Templestowe, who has loved Lady Caroline for as long as he can remember, made an absolute, drunken ass of himself at Lady Caroline’s coming out party and has been exiled to Russia.
— Lady Caroline made some terrible choices and ended up very unhappily married. She is now a widow.

As soon as Antony learns of his sister’s escape he heads back to London to do whatever it takes to stop whatever devious plan she has made. When he arrives at his home, he finds her living there and totally immersed back into society. He knows he cannot let her know that he is watching her and is going to foil her plot. Since she thinks he’s a stupid buffoon and doesn’t credit him with any intelligence at all, that isn’t too hard to do.

Anthony rushes over to Salt’s home to assure that he is aware of Diana’s escape and to tell him of his plan to recapture her without causing the scandal they’ve all been trying to avoid.

When Anthony see’s Lady Caroline again, he immediately proposes. She runs out without accepting or declining. They both have secrets they must share with the other before they can look toward their HEA.

It is wonderful to see that Anthony outsmarts his evil sister and she gets the ending that I think she deserves – Finally!

Great read!

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