Regency Era

Lady Lorena’s Spinster’s Society by Charlotte Stone

Lady LorenaLady Lorena’s Spinster’s Society

Barbara’s Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Series:  Spinster’s Society

Publication Date:  08/07/17

A lovely, entertaining book by a new-to-me author.  I actually believe she is a fairly new author as well and you can see that in the polish and flow of the book and some of the societal norms she missed for the time period.  That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the story.

The main characters are like pyrotechnics – every time they are in the vicinity of one another some disaster or another happens and the sparks fly.  Yes, disasters from the mundane falling flat to burning an entire townhouse down.  There are no dull times when these two are around.

I believe this will be part of a series, and I’m not clear what the series will be about – I assume that it will include either the Spinster’s Society ladies or the group of ten gentlemen known as the Men of Nashwood.  Nashwood was a tavern, close to Oxford, that the young men had more or less taken over when they moved to Oxford to complete their education.  I believe this book may only be available on Amazon.

Emmett Starr is the Earl of Ashwick and a member of the Men of Nashwood.  His early life was a very sad one.  Both parents were cold and uncaring and his mother even actively disliked him.  No reason for it – it was just who they were.  So, when he became a member of the Men of Nashwood, it became his family.  He felt especially welcomed and at home when he visited the family of Francis Cullip, heir to the Duke of Valdeston.  They were a warm and loving family who welcomed Emmett with open arms.  The very first time Emmett saw the daughter of the house, he was totally besotted and from that point on, in his mind she belonged to him.

Lady Lorena Cullip was raised in a warm and loving home – though it was nearly penniless.  She was a sweet and caring young lady who always wanted to make others feel safe and comfortable and she was very gifted at doing that.  She was also very curious and mischievous.  Around Emmett, she seems to trip over her own feet – she burns him with coffee, sticks him with a toga pin and – oh yes – she burns his house down.

I won’t give you a twist-by-turn description of the book because you can get that from the book blurb.  I will tell you that I did enjoy the story itself, but if you are a historical fan, some of the details will make you cringe.  For instance – Lorena is living alone in her own townhouse (she’s maybe 19-20 years old) with no chaperone or even any servants.  That just isn’t done.

“I 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.”

 

Francie & the Bachelor by Sue London

Francie & the Bachelor: A Caversham-Haberdasher CrossoverFrancie & the Bachelor: A Caversham-Haberdasher Crossover by Sue London
Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Release Date: August 08, 2017

Series: Caversham-Haberdasher Crossover, #2

I really liked this installment of the Caversham-Haberdasher Crossover.

We were introduced to Francie and Reggie in the first book – Phoebe and the Doctor. And this book starts with the same scene, but this time it is from Francie and Reggie’s perspective.

The story again opens with Francie accidently shooting Reggie. Reggie and Harry have come to bring her cousin Wally’s effects to Phoebe and check on the girls wellbeing before Reggie heads out to Bermuda and Harry goes to Scotland.

When they learn of Phoebe’s problems, Harry offers to escort her to London, but doesn’t want to leave Francie alone with the thugs stilling hanging around, so it is decided that Reggie will stay with her. At first these two dance around each other, but after a couple of days, they form a friendship of sorts. Each harbors an attraction to the other, but they are both determined to ignore it. When things begin to heat up between the two of them, Reggie decides that he will marry Francie and he has a plan. Unfortunately, Francie is not privy to the “plan” and assumes that Reggie wants her as his mistress. When the thugs make a move against Francie, Reggie puts his plan in motion and takes her to London.

I really liked a lot of things about this book, the first being that they declared themselves well before the end of the book. I also loved that all the Haberdashers (including Jack’s sister Sam) and their husbands where included in the story.

The book was not perfect, it is a bit slow to get going, there are some typos, some incorrect formal address and no real conflict. But, it is well written, has steamy love scenes, Sue London’s signature witty banter and Haberdashers! So overall, it was a fun read and I would be happy to recommend it.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC I received from the author*

A Love to Remember by Bronwen Evans

A Love to Remember (The Disgraced Lords, #7)A Love to Remember by Bronwen Evans
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Disgraced Lords, #7
Release Date: August 29, 2017

I LOVED this book, if you have been following the Disgraced Lords series then you already know Philip and Rose and you have probably been wondering why they haven’t married. If you haven’t read the series, you will still enjoy this book as Philip and Rose have primarily been secondary characters and Ms. Evans give more than enough back story to make this a stand alone title.

The book opens with Philip Flagstaff, the new Earl of Cumberland standing at the grave of his older brother Robert, the previous Earl. Philip is overwhelmed with grief and guilt, he blames himself for his brother’s death as Robert sacrificed his own life to save Philip at Waterloo. At that moment, Philip makes a vow, he will never marry or have children, so the earldom he feels he stole from his older brother will go to Thomas, his younger brother. He believes the only way he can honor his brother is by sacrificing his own happiness. As he is standing there he is approached by Rose Deverill, Duchess of Roxborough. Rose has long admired Philip and had secret hopes to one day marry him, but her father sold her into marriage at 18 to a man old enough to be her grandfather. She endured marriage to him and was rewarded with the birth of her son and widowhood on the same day. She has no desire to remarry and has spent the last few years as a “wicked widow”, taking lovers and refusing all offers of marriage.

Fast forward two years, Rose and Philip have been exclusive lovers since that day at the graveside, but now Rose wants more. She loves Philip and wants to marry him, her young son adores him and she would love more children, but she is afraid to broach the topic with Philip. For his part, Philip loves Rose and can’t imagine a life without her and if not for his vow, he would marry her. So when the topic comes up, Rose is crushed to learn that Philip does not want to marry. She believes that he will marry, but not her. When a misunderstanding at a ball occurs, these two are forced to have the conversation they have both been dreading. Philip again says he will not marry and Rose tells him that she can no longer be his lover, she will remarry for the sake of her son, but if Philip cannot be her husband, she must be free of him so she can move on. Heartbroken, they spend one last night together and part ways.

Over the next few weeks, they dance around each other and each are subjected to jealousy when they are seen with other people. The tension between them is white hot and again Philip asks Rose to reconsider and again she refuses. When her son’s guardian learns of their split, he tells Rose it is time for her to remarry and expects her to find a suitable groom by the time her son goes off to school. Rose is still holding out hope that Philip will change his mind and asks Lord Kirkwood to invite him to his house party. He agrees but tells her if Philip does not propose, she must move on and find someone else. Rose knows there will never be anyone else and has a secret that could force Philip to marry her – but that is not what she wants, she wants him to let go of his guilt and choose her.

At the house party Rose decides that she must tell Philip her secret, but when an attempt is made on her son’s life and threats are made to her, she doesn’t know who she can turn to. She decides that she must leave and returns to London without telling Philip anything. Philip knows that someone is trying to hurt Drake and enlists the Libertine Scholars to help him. He knows he loves Rose and will do anything to protect her – even if that means they must marry. When he learns she left the house party without telling him, he is furious.

He returns to London to confront Rose and tells her they will marry. Rose refuses, she tells him that she loves him, but if he can’t choose her over his guilt, they would both be unhappy. Philip does not take this news well and is determined to change her mind. But before he can the villain strikes again. And Philip must decide if being a martyr is worth losing the only woman he has ever and will ever love.

OMG! This book was amazing, it is well written, flows perfectly, has super hot love scenes, a lot of action, a bit of angst, moments when you want to smack the hero, a couple of misunderstandings, cameos by the former Disgraced Lords and their ladies and finally a hard won HEA.

I highly recommend this book, even if you haven’t been following the series, this book is not to be missed!!

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

Phoebe and the Doctor by Sandy Raven

Phoebe and the DoctorPhoebe and the Doctor by Sandy Raven
Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Caversham-Haberdasher Crossover, Book 1

Release Date: July 30, 2017

This is the story of Harry Manners-Sutton and Phoebe Grenard. Its tie to the Caversham series is through Harry, his sister is Amelia, Duchess of Caversham (you can read Amelia’s story in the novella Miss Amelia Lands a Duke).

Phoebe has had a couple of rough years, her half-brother Wally was impressed into the Navy with four of his university friends just months before they were set to take their final exams. Five were taken, but only three survived. Just months before Wally was set to come home he contracted Dunga Fever and died. In addition to this, her parents ran an inn in London, but when her mother died, her father packed up Phoebe and her younger sister Lydia (who hasn’t spoken a word since the night Wally was taken) and left them with their Aunt Frances and her cousin Francine aka Francie Walters. Just over a year later, her father died, followed by their Aunt a year after that! The girls have tried to continue the dress shop they had with their Aunt, but business is not doing well and the girls wonder how long they will be able to keep the shop going.

It doesn’t seem like things could get much worse for Phoebe, but they do! A very rough looking man comes looking for Phoebe and informs her that her father owed a huge debt to a moneylender by the name of Donovan and if that wasn’t bad enough, her father used his daughters as collateral for the loan and he has come to collect – either she pays the outrageous sum or she and her twelve year old sister will be sent to Donovan’s brothel to work off the debt. Furious, Phoebe threatens the man with a gun and tells him to leave. He does, but warns her not to leave and assures her he will be back.

Still shaken, Phoebe hands the gun to Francie, who promptly fires it when the door is reopened. Only she hasn’t shot Donovan’s man, she has shot a stranger. The strangers turn out to be Harry and his friend Reggie – Wally’s friends who were taken at the same time as Wally. They promised Wally on his deathbed that they would see to his sisters. Harry was attending school to be a doctor when he was taken and immediately takes charge. Francie shot Reggie in the arm and need to be attended.

Once Reggie has been taken care of Harry speaks to Phoebe and learns of her troubles. He vows to help her by taking her to London to sort things out with the moneylender. Harry has decided that he will pay the debt himself, but Phoebe insists on speaking with the man and trying to work out a “payment plan”.

They leave for London with Lydia, leaving Reggie behind to watch out for Francie. When they arrive, Phoebe is horrified to learn that Harry has ties to society and that his sister is a duchess, because over the course of a few days, she had begun to fall in love with Harry, but now believes that he is out of her reach. For his part, Harry is just as smitten with Phoebe, but wants to get the business with the moneylender taken care of before he declares his intentions.

When Phoebe learns that Harry met with Donovan without telling her, she is furious and hatches a plan. But as they say, the best laid plans………………………. And trust me, this was not a well thought out plan to begin with.

Can Harry save the woman he now realize he loves with all his heart? Will Lydia ever speak again? Will Phoebe ever be free of Donovan? And what about Reggie and Francie? To find out, you will have to read the book!

I liked the idea of the story, but the first half of the book seemed to drag and was repetitious. But once they reach London the story takes off like a rocket. It was lovely to see Cav and Amelia, but for this reader it was also bittersweet (if you have read the Caversham Chronicles, you will know what I mean), I loved Harry, Reggie and Francie, but I found Phoebe to be a bit too naïve and stubborn to be truly likable. I did admire her determination and her desire to save her sister, but she really should have thought things out better and ended up coming across as a pattern card, TSTL heroine. And while this book was not as steamy as the previous books, it was just right for this story. The ending was very satisfying and of course there is a HEA.

All in all, it was a good read and I would recommend it to followers of the series, but I wouldn’t consider this book a keeper.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an ARC provided to me by the author*

View all my reviews

Romancing the Rogue by Lana Williams

Romancing the Rogue (Regency Rendezvous Book 9)Romancing the Rogue by Lana Williams
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Release Date: 07/28/17

It is no secret that Lana Williams is one of my favorite authors. I loved her Medieval series, the Victorian/Paranormal Secrets trilogy and most recently her Victorian Seven Curses series and now she has taken the plunge into the Regency era!
Regency era romance is one of my favorite subgenres in the world of Historical Romance and while I am not overly picky, most authors stumble when they delve into this era – so as much as I love Lana’s work, I was leery. I am happy to say with the exception of a couple minor things and one title flub – she nailed it!

This is the story of Richard Walker, the Earl of Aberland and Caroline Gold, eldest daughter of Sir Reginald Gold. Caroline’s father made his fortune in shipping and he was awarded a Knighthood twenty years ago for his service to the crown. Sadly, her father has recently begun to show signs of dementia and combined with some bad investments, the family is on the brink of ruin. She feels guilty that unlike her sisters, she has no talents that would enable her to contribute to the family’s coffers. So in an effort to save her family, Caroline has been trying to encourage the Duke of Wakefield to propose. With his wealth and connections, Caroline is sure that he is the answer to her all her problems.

After sharing a dance with the duke, she is sure he will propose, but when their conversation is interrupted and he walks away, Caroline makes an impulsive decision to follow him.
Richard is on a mission, he is an agent for the crown and lost his partner and best friend just over a year ago – betrayed by a woman whom he trusted. He is determined to find the traitor that killed his friend and his former lover. He has narrowed his suspects down to 3 members of the ton and has returned to England to deliver justice. The ton know him as a penniless rogue, which works for his purposes. He sees Caroline follow Wakefield out to the gardens and as Wakefield is one of his targets, he follows them. When Wakefield abruptly leaves, Richard confronts Caroline about her conversation – at this point he is not sure if she is innocent or if she is in cahoots with Wakefield. Unfortunately, when she tries to leave, he grabs for her arm and they end up in a compromising position, which is witnessed by not only her mother, but the hostess.
Caroline is horrified and tries to explain her way out of the inevitable – Richard must propose to save her reputation – but marrying him will ruin her family. She is also concerned with him finding out about her father’s condition. They reluctantly agree to a betrothal – but neither actually plans to marry the other.
As Caroline and Richard get to know each other, they both wonder if perhaps there could be something more between them. But the each have secrets and a villain is determined to destroy them both.
The book is well written, flows nicely, the secondary characters are wonderful, it has secrets, some action, a bit of intrigue and a dash of angst. While this book is not a steamy read, there are a few passionate kisses and stolen moments.

I would be happy to recommend this book because I really enjoyed the story and sincerely hope that Ms. Williams has plans to write stories for Caroline’s sister and Richard’s brother!

*I was provided a copy of this book by the author and am voluntarily leaving a review*

Lord of Night by Erica Ridley

Lord of Night (Rogues to Riches, #3)Lord of Night by Erica Ridley
Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Release Date: 07/22/17
Series: Rogues to Riches, #3

I’m giving the book 4 stars, because it was well written and entertaining, but if you are a stickler for “by the book” true Regency protocol, this book is not for you.

This is the story of Dahlia Grenville (sister of Camilla from Lord of Pleasure) and Simon Spaudling.

Dahlia has runs a boarding school for girls in St. Giles, she has a huge heart and can’t bring herself to turn away any girl in need. Problem is, she has used all her own funds and she can’t afford to keep the school running without more donations, which are bascially non-existent since Lord Wainwright inadvertently scorned her school. Unwilling to close the school, Dahlia does what she thinks she must to keep the school going. She becomes a thief, does she know that it is wrong? Yes! But to her mind, closing the school and returning the girls to the streets is far worse.

Simon is an inspector for Bow Street, he is dedicated to his job and is a stickler for the law – there is no gray in Simon’s world. He is the bastard son of a marquess and has strong feelings about the “upper class”. He is still angry and bitter about the relationship that he had (or more aptly, didn’t have) with his father and is incredibly jealous of his half-brother, Lord Hawkridge. He has put all his passion for injustice into his career and has been very successful. So successful that the Justice of the Peace has been tasked him with finding the “Thief of Mayfair” and Simon will stop at nothing to find this criminal and bring them to justice.

He meets Dahlia by chance, he was on his way home when he came upon two women running from an attacker, he chases the thug and takes him into custody. He returns to St. Giles to let Dahlia know that the attacker was caught and thinks that will be the end of their association. But Simon is intrigued with Dahlia and returns to the school a few days later.

Dahlia is also taken with the handsome young inspector, but she has no room in her life for a romantic relationship nor can she risk what little social standing she still has by engaging in an affair. She vows to keep Simon at arms length. But she can’t seem to stop herself from drawing Simon into her life and for his part, Simon can’t seem to stay away.

As these two spend more time together and fall in love, it seems like they will have an easy path to a HEA. But what fun would that be??

When the truth is revealed about Dahlia’s “fund raising” efforts, will his love for her be enough for him to change his black and white view? I honestly wasn’t sure and didn’t see how this book could possibly have a positive ending! Of course it does, but it is touch and go until the very end 🙂

The book is well written, flows nicely, has a couple of warm love scenes and very likable characters (I will be honest, I didn’t like Dahlia in the previous book and didn’t expect to like her in this one, but she won me over). On the downside, their is little to no adherence to Regency proprieties and the idea that a young unmarried woman from a good family could do the things that Dahlia did and not be a complete outcast is unbelievable. However, if you can bear in mind that this is a work of fiction and can overlook this, you will not be disappointed with the story!

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

My Fair Lover by Nicole Jordan

My Fair Lover (Legendary Lovers, #5)Barbara’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Legendary Lovers #5
Publication Date: 8/29/17

Delightfully enthralling tale of love tempered with wit and adventure. Nicole Jordan has added another delightful read to the Legendary Lovers series.

Brandon Deverill is in love with Lady Katherine Wilde – but he doesn’t know it and neither does she. She loves him too – and she doesn’t know it and neither does he. What a delightful, tangled, twisted set of emotions these two unleash on each other.

The one sure thing is – Brandon wants Katherine and has for several years. He’s American, but he has English relatives and was in England visiting those relatives when he met Katherine’s family and became close friends with them. However, being the honorable man he is, he made the decision to return to America and fight on the side of his country in the War of 1812. During all the time he was gone he never forgot Katherine and wanted to go back and claim her for his own. Then, his relative passed away and Brandon inherited a title. He could care less about the title, but it gave him just the excuse he needed to go back to England and marry Katherine.

You’ll absolutely love Kate’s matchmaking family and the stunts they pull to get Brandon and Kate together. You’ve met them if you read the other books in the series, but if you haven’t, you’ll get to catch up with them in this book.

Kate is a little spitfire who wants absolutely nothing to do with Brandon Deverill. You see, like the honorable gentleman he is, he spurned her advances on the night before he left for America and she will absolutely never forgive him. However, when Kate’s very-much-loved aunt asks Kate to fill in for her in helping Brandon gain some polish and find a bride, Kate can hardly refuse because the aunt has been unavoidably detained at a lying-in.

Sparks fly as the two of them square off and do their best to keep their jealousy from showing as the other dances and flirts with others. Brandon has absolutely no intention of finding any bride other than Kate, but watching him convince her is wholly entertaining.

Then comes the adventure – a trip to France and an encounter with a pirate with whom Brandon has a history. Will they escape in one piece – if they do, it will be a close call.

I hope you’ll give this delightful, can’t-put-it-down book a try – I am sure you’ll enjoy it.

“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.”

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