Victorian Era (1837-1901)

The Traitor’s Club: Jeb by Laura Landon

The Traitor's Club: JebThe Traitor’s Club: Jeb by Laura Landon
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The Traitor’s Club, #3

Release Date: December 26, 2017

Lieutenant Jeb Danvers is a former spy and “traitor” who has no desire to resume his work for the crown, but when Her Majesty makes him an offer that he cannot refuse, he agrees to take one last mission.

His mission is to travel to Scotland and find out who sent the Queen a jewel from a crown that was stolen years ago and assumed lost and retrieve the rest of the jewels. The package sent to the Queen was traced back to the MacFarlane clan and Jeb is expected to use his family connections to gain entrance.

Jeb’s father, the Earl of Stafford went to school with Laird MacFarlane and Jeb uses that connection to stay with him for a few days. He hopes to find the person who sent the jewels and return to England as quickly as possible.
Jeb meets Mariah MacFarlane shortly after he arrives and knows he has found the person who sent the jewel – but why? Why would Mariah turn on her own father?

Mariah MacFarlane is impressed by the Englishman sent by the Queen and out of loyalty to her English mother, she will do all she can to help him retrieve and return the jewels, but she has one condition, she goes to London with Jeb. She knows once her father learns of her deeds, there will be no going back to Scotland – – – ever.

Jeb doesn’t want Mariah to be involved, any more than she already is, but knows her life will be forfeit if she stays. Over the few days spent in her company, he has come to admire her and he cannot deny their mutual attraction, but until the jewels are safely returned to the Queen and Mariah’s father has been brought to justice, there can be no future for them.

As they travel to London, Mariah shares her reasons for turning on her father and also admits to the attraction between them, however, there is no time to explore their deeper feelings as they are being pursued by her father and his men. They narrowly escape the first attack, but are not so lucky the next time. Jeb is shot and Mariah risks her own life to save him.

They hide out at Caleb’s house and Mariah nurses Jeb back to health. They both know they are in love, but until they can find a way to keep her father away from her – there is no way they can have a real relationship. When Jeb’s father shows up at Caleb’s house, he insists that Jeb and Mariah return with him. He has a plan to draw out her father and end the standoff once and for all.
Unfortunately, things do not go as planned and Mariah is shot and in grave danger of losing her life. This is when Jeb realizes that she is the love of his life and that he cannot imagine life without her.

This was a short novella, but of the three I’ve read, this was hands down the best of the bunch. I loved this story, it is well written, flows perfectly, it has amazing depth for such a short book, it has a lot of action, some warmish love scenes, a lot of heart break, a visit from the Queen and from the other “traitors” and finally, a beautifully done HEA.

This is the third book in the series, but it could easily be read as a standalone title with no problems at all. I highly recommend this story and can’t wait for Caleb’s book!!

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

The Lady Travelers Guide to Larceny with a Dashing Stranger by Victoria Alexander

The Lady Travelers Guide to Larceny with a Dashing Stranger (The Lady Travelers Society, #2)The Lady Travelers Guide to Larceny with a Dashing Stranger by Victoria Alexander

Series: The Lady Travelers Society, #2

Release Date: November 28, 2017
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wilhelmina, Viscountess Bascome, Willie to her friends, needs to get to Venice to retrieve a valuable painting her late husband used as collateral for a loan. After his untimely death, Willie learned that they were debt ridden and she is basically penniless. When she learns about the painting, it seems like the answer to all her problems, she just needs to get to Venice. She calls on her godmother, Poppy, knowing she is a founding member of the Lady Travelers Society, hoping she will be able to help. Poppy and her friends arrange for Willie to led a tour of American women to Venice. Willie has no experience traveling – but really, how hard could it be?

Dante Montague is also on the hunt for the painting. The painting belonged to his grandfather and was recently discovered missing. Dante will do whatever is necessary to retrieve the painting and return it the family museum – a legacy left by his grandfather. He tracks the painting to Willie and convinces his sister Rosaline (Roz) and his niece Harriet (Harry) to join the tour to Venice so he can tag along and reclaim the painting.

Dante makes it his mission to befriend Willie, but soon his feeling change and he wants her in his life, but he also wants the painting and the longer he waits to tell her his true purpose, the harder it gets. He is repeatedly warned by Roz to tell Willie the truth, but he never finds the right time.

Willie is falling for Dante, hard, but she has made mistakes in the past and is not willing to make them again. When she learns his true reason for joining the tour, she is heartbroken and angry. But she is not willing to let go of the painting either.

When the reach Venice, they form a truce to retrieve the painting – but gaining the painting will most definitely cost them any chance at happiness, as neither is willing to give it up.

This book was so delightful, it is well written – I was astounded at the amount of research that must have gone into the writing of this story, the descriptions of each city were amazing and very detailed! The secondary characters were wonderful and added so much to the story without overshadowing the love story and there is an appearance by “Val” Percival, Marquess of Brookings, a lot of amusing banter, a bit of steam, betrayal, heartache, larceny, surprises and a grand romantic gesture. The road to HEA is not easy for these two – but it is quite an enjoyable journey!

This kindle edition also included the novella “The Rise and Fall of Reginald Everheart”, but I will review that separately.

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

How to Woo a Wallflower by Christy Carlyle #BlogTour

Meet the Author:

Fueled by Pacific Northwest coffee and inspired by multiple viewings of every British costume drama she can get her hands on, Christy Carlyle writes sensual historical romance set in the Victorian era. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines who are ahead of their time. A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there’s nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with a die-hard belief in happy endings.
Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

About the Book:

An Unconventional Wallflower…
Clarissa Ruthven was born to be a proper lady, but she’s never wanted to live up to the expectations her late father set. Determined to use her inheritance to help the less fortunate women of London, she’s devastated to learn that she won’t be inheriting anything until she marries, a fate she has no interest in. Unwilling to let go of her plans, Clary works at Ruthven Publishing for Gabriel Adamson, a man who’s always hated her. She’s always returned the feeling, but as she begins to turn her family’s publishing company upside down, she finds herself unable to forget her handsome boss.
Never Follows the Rules…

Gabriel Adamson believes in order. He certainly doesn’t believe Clary should be sticking her nose in the publishing company, and she definitely has no business invading his every thought. But Gabe soon finds he can’t resist Clary’s sense of freedom or her passionate kisses and he starts to crave everything she’s willing to give him.
Especially When It Comes to Love…

When Gabe’s dark past comes back to haunt him, he’ll do anything to make sure that Clary isn’t hurt…even if it means giving up the only woman he’s ever loved.
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Check out the other books in the Romancing the Rules series:

 

Giveaway:

  • $30 Amazon Gift Card + Signed copies of Rules for a Rogue and A Study in Scoundrel – US shipping ONLY!

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Excerpt:

CC HtWaW Teaser 1

Few visited the Ruthven offices who were not expected. Workroom employees were due at half past seven. Vendors arranged appointments weeks in advance. No meeting was ever scheduled before nine. Gabe imposed order efficiently and effectively on the daily goings-on of the business. If some random Londoner happened across their threshold, it was usually because the poor sod got lost.

Over the years, Gabe had learned the rhythms of the workroom floor by heart, memorizing the clatter of the printing presses and the patterned strikes of Daughtry, his assistant, and other clerks tapping at their typewriters. When productivity waned because of inane chitchat, he caught that too. And immediately cut such nonsense short.

So when he settled behind his desk on Monday morning, a half hour before any other employees were due to arrive, as was his habit, he savored the bliss of quiet. He felt something akin to peace. After weeks of mulling, he’d made a choice. He would inform Kit Ruthven of his plans to leave Ruthven’s and take the position offered by Wellbeck Publishers.

Why shouldn’t he go? He owed no loyalty to the late Leopold Ruthven. The man had been a reprobate, far worse than his family suspected. Only grudgingly, Gabe had come to respect the son. Kit Ruthven trusted him to carry out his duties, rarely questioning or interfering with his management. He even admired the man’s determination to share ownership with his sisters. If he’d been lucky enough to inherit anything of value, he’d have happily shared with Sara too.

Of course, Gabe didn’t believe in luck. Only in scrabbling and fighting for every scrap of good fortune that came his way.

Change was necessary. He needed the higher salary Wellbeck’s offered. He’d been beholden to the Ruthvens for long enough.

Unfolding the letter from Wellbeck’s, he smoothed the document on his desktop. Beside it, he poised a nib pen over a fresh sheet of foolscap and began scratching out a formal reply. A moment later, a noise in the outer workroom jolted his attention, and his nib sputtered blots of ink across the paper.

Hell and damnation. Gabe crushed the ruined page in his fist and shot up from his chair. No one ever arrived this bloody early, and he’d secured the door behind him when he’d let himself in.

After shrugging out of his suit coat, he rolled up his sleeves and moved slowly toward the door. He took care to land his boots softly on the polished wood. A distinctive sound froze him in place. Not the rustling that had initially drawn his notice but a steady, rhythmic tick of type bars hitting the platen of a typewriter.

Plastering himself against the frame of his open office door, Gabe gazed across the workroom to get a glimpse of the early morning typist. Irritation flared, and his chest collapsed in a long sigh.

Bent over Daughtry’s typewriter, Miss Ruthven swiped a strand of hair from her face and then proceeded to jab haphazardly at the keys. With her back to him, her body curved in a perfect hourglass shape. A single loose curl had slipped its pin, hanging down her back in the same sinuous line. Despite the fact that he’d never entered the workroom to find a lovely woman working away at one of the desks, she looked strangely right perched on Daughtry’s chair.

He couldn’t lambast her for skulking into the office and commandeering the old man’s typewriter. This was her office now. Her business. Her typewriter, if she damn well pleased to use the machine. Apparently, she did.

Gabe cleared his throat as loudly as he dared.

She jumped before turning an irritated glare his way. “You startled me.” After an enormous gulp, her tone softened. “I didn’t expect anyone so early.”

“Likewise.”

“Do you always arrive before everyone else?” She collected whatever she’d been composing from the typewriter and turned to face him.

“Always.” Gabe gestured toward Daughtry’s work space. “What required typing so urgently?”

“Nothing.” She shoved the paper behind her.

The movement amused him. How many filched objects had he pushed behind his back or stuffed into his pockets as a child? Once he’d even hidden a stolen pocket watch in his mouth while a constable passed on his nightly rounds. The bitter tang of tarnished metal had lingered on his tongue for days.

“May I?” he asked, palm out, much more politely than any copper had ever cross-questioned him.

She notched up her chin a moment and then relented, shoving the half-covered sheet in front of him. “It’s nothing. Truly.”

The page smelled of flowers. Gabe wondered if she imprinted her scent on everything she touched. Rows of letters typed over and over were broken with lines of text such as “There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.” The words were familiar to Gabe, though he couldn’t recall from where.

“I must become proficient with the typewriter. I came early so as not to disturb anyone.” She stepped closer and snatched the sheet from his fingers. “Did I disturb you, Mr. Adamson?”

“No,” he lied. But she did disturb him. Mightily.

His senses ignited in awareness, every nerve firing. She was the brightest spot in the room, her blouse a bright buttercup yellow that clashed with the darker gold of her hair. And those violet eyes of hers seemed to eat up everything they beheld. She had an eager way of gazing about, as if she was seeing the world for the first time, and every sight fascinated her.

She moved constantly too, like a flower swaying in a stiff breeze. Shuffling her feet, twisting at the hips, she behaved as if the act of standing in one place put a fearsome strain on her patience. “Would you mind if I continue, at least until the other employees arrive?”

Yes, I would mind quite a lot.

“As you wish, Miss Ruthven.”

“Will you be at the meeting later this morning, Mr. Adamson?” she put to him over her shoulder after settling herself back into Daughtry’s chair.

“Of course.” The question irked him, almost as much as her sweet floral scent. Where did she think he’d be? This was his domain. At least for a little while longer. “I’m the one who called the meeting.”

As he headed back to his office, a thought struck like a punch to the gut.

He’d miss this damned place—the tidy workroom, the hum of activity when a shipment came in or a new title started production, even the simple orderliness of his desk. Employees like Daughtry, who believed in working as hard as he did to make the enterprise a success, were a rarity. Would he find the same at Wellbeck’s?

Then another thought came, and a chill spilled down his back like ice water.

“Will you be attending the meeting, Miss Ruthven?”

She shifted her enticing hourglass figure, glanced at him over her shoulder, and shot him an irksome grin. “Since I’m here, I might as well.”

Wonderful.

Tracy’s Review:

How to Woo a Wallflower (Romancing the Rules, #3)How to Woo a Wallflower by Christy Carlyle
Release Date: November 14, 2017

Series: Romancing the Rules, #3

Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Gabriel “Gabe” Adamson is a self made man, born and raised on the streets of Whitechapel, he has done many things he is not proud of, but he has left that life behind and never intends to look back. However, at his sister’s request, he is back in Whitechapel looking for their mother. Unable to find her, he leaves intending to return home, but he is side tracked when he hears a scream and finds a woman fighting off a man. He is ready to intervene when he realizes two things, one the woman is doing a fine job on her own and two she is his employers sister, his secret desire and greatest annoyance.

Clarissa “Clary” Ruthven is helping her friend Helen at the Fisk Academy for Girls, Clary firmly believes in helping others and wants to give these girls a chance at a better life. While fighting off an unwanted suitor of one of the students, she notices Gabe standing near by. The two have known each other for years and she can’t stand him, he is so proper and perfect and gorgeous (not that she is looking). Once the attacker is sent on his way, Clary invites Gabe in to see the school. And when he says he must leave, she suggests they share a cab.

On the ride back to town, they butt heads and Gabe has the cab stop and leaves. Clary follows him, she wants the feuding between them to be over and invites him to her birthday dinner. He refuses and leaves her to go home alone. After her dinner, she learns that her father did not leave her an inheritance like she thought – he left her a dowry. Upset with this information that ruins her plans for the Fisk Academy and an independent life, she tells her brother Kit that she wants to be more involved in the family business. The business that Gabe oversees. Kit encourages her to attend the board meeting.

Gabe is on the verge of quitting, he has been offered a job with an competitor who will pay him more and with his sister getting married, Gabe needs the extra money. He composes his letter of resignation and requests a meeting with Kit. Before he can say anything, Kit offers him a raise and a bonus if he will mentor Clary. The amount is too good to pass up, so he grudging agrees.

Clary is the complete opposite of Gabe in every way, she is warm, friendly, unconventional and overly sympathetic. Gabe is no nonsense, proper, by the book and somewhat grim. They are oil and water. But there is something there, they both feel it and try to ignore it. Gabe tries to ignore Clary, but she is impossible to ignore and when he learns she is planning to go to Whitechapel again, he intercepts her. He knows better than to try and stop her, so he offers her a quick lesson in self defense. Clary is touched that Gabe took the time to help her and begins to admit that her feelings for him confuse her. One minute he is stern and unyielding and the next he is kind and going out of his way to help her.

When a mishap at work leads to Clary being taken into his office to get cleaned up, she tries her hand at flirting with him, but they are interrupted by a visitor to see Gabe, Jane Martin. Gabe was close to her father and considers her a friend, even thought she and his sister hope for more.

When Gabe brings Jane as his guess to the Fisk Academy benefit ball – Clary is horrified to realize she is jealous. When she steals away to compose herself, Gabe finds her and explains that Jane is just a friend and he asks Clary to teach him to dance. They share a kiss before they are interrupted by her sister.

Gabe knows he should stay away from her, but he is drawn to her like a moth to a flame. Clary feels the same way and since she has begun working with him, she is even more impressed with him.

When Gabe is called to Whitechapel and ambushed, he ends up at the Fisk Academy, Clary cares for his wounds and things heat up between them, but when she asks about his scars, he immediately goes cold and leaves.

The next day, he gets bad news and is late to work, when he finally arrives, the building is dark and only Clary is there. The office is closed due to a gas problem and Gabe asks Clary to leave with him, determined to share his past with her.

Once his past is in the open, it seems like these two are headed to a HEA, but Gabe still has secrets and when ghosts from his past come calling, Gabe may have to give up the only woman he has ever loved.

This was a very well written story, it flowed well and it was a very intense, emotional story. Gabe and Clary are both extremely likable characters with strong personalities, there are secrets, passionate kisses, steamy love scenes, a great secondary cast, amusing moments, some heart breaking moments and a very rough road to their HEA.

This is the third book in the series, but I had no problems following the story, without reading the previous books. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be looking for more by this author.

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

Redeeming Lord Ryder by Maggie Robinson

Redeeming Lord Ryder (Cotswold Confidential)Redeeming Lord Ryder by Maggie Robinson

Series: Cotswold Confidential, #3

Release Date: November 21, 2017
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another excellent installment of the Cotswold Confidential Series!

Mary Nicola Mayfield, known as Nicola to her friends and family has been in the Puddling-on-the-Wold “secret spa” for 2 months, sent there by her family after all other medical avenues had failed. Nicola was a passenger on a train that derailed and hasn’t spoken since. She has been pricked, prodded and examined, but there is no medical reason that she can’t speak. She doesn’t exactly recall the accident and doesn’t want to be a burden to her family, she tries, but the words will not come.

Lord Jonathan Ryder aka Jack is in Puddling because of the same accident, but for different reasons. Jack owned the company that manufactured the part that failed and caused the accident. Jack suffers from depression and is ridden with guilt. He came to Puddling, hoping to find a way to overcome the depression, but he hasn’t been entirely honest with anyone about his reasons for coming.

He meets Nicola on his second day in the village, he is immediately taken with her and plots and plans ways to see her again. The two grow close and Nicola wants Jack to be her lover – but Jack is trying to be honorable and keeps pushing her away – sort of – kisses don’t count, right? When Jack is with Nicola, he feels happy for the first time since the accident and when he kisses her, Nicola makes sounds, something that hasn’t happened in ten long months! When Nicola learns who Jack really is, she is shocked and doesn’t want him to know who she is, fearing it would change the way he treats her.

This is a well written story with a lot of deep emotion, but it never feels dark or angsty, Jack’s antics (especially concerning food) are hilarious and Nicola is the perfect soothing balm for his soul. The book is filled with lighthearted banter, steamy moments, guests sneaking around, secrets, betrayal, a little heartache, a lot of joy and a hero with a passion for peaches.

This is the third book in the series, but it could easily be read as a stand alone title. I think this might actually be my favorite in the series so far, but I don’t want to commit to that, since they have all been great and I am sure there are more to come! I would recommend reading the series in order, it is not necessary to enjoy this book, but it will give you more insight on the “secret spa”.

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

A Christmas Return by Anne Perry

A Christmas ReturnA Christmas Return by Anne Perry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Stand Alone
Publication Date: 11/7/17

This lovely novella is loosely related to the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series. Thomas nor Charlotte makes an appearance in this novella, but they are mentioned. It definitely made me realize that I am woefully behind in that series. Evidently, a lot of family changes have transpired since I last read one of the books in the series. I’m thinking I need to go catch up!

The only real relationship this novel has to Christmas is that it is set at Christmas time. However, it is also a novel of justice, growth, self-knowledge, and renewal. The main characters were good friends twenty years ago when a tragic death tore them apart. Can that friendship be renewed and can a twenty-year-old murder be solved? Seeing Mariah’s growth, understanding and self-forgiveness is a delight.

Mariah Ellison is Charlotte Pitt’s paternal grandmother. She has always been a curmudgeon – well, not just a curmudgeon because she was mean, spiteful and hateful. In this novella, we learn about her early life and basically what made her who she is today. It is nice to see that a genuinely nice and caring person appears to be emerging.

Twenty years ago, in a small English village, a fourteen-year-old girl was abducted, raped, tortured and murdered. Mariah’s friend, Cullen, an honest, ethical lawyer was set to represent the accused, Dr. Durward. Then, after a visit to another village a number of miles away, Cullen told the defendant he could no longer represent him. The next day, Cullen was murdered, and rumors were spread about his wife, Rowena, having murdered him. Dr. Durward was later tried and found not guilty of the girl’s murder and nothing ever happened with the murder of Mariah’s friend.

Today, that defendant is back in town stirring up trouble for Rowena and her grandson, Peter and also impugning Cullen’s name. Peter sends a desperate message to Mariah for help and the next day she’s on a train determined to help however she can – and to mend a torn friendship with Rowena. The last Mariah saw Peter, he was only ten years old. He has now grown into a man who remembers her with great affection and respect.

Mariah and Peter work hard to solve the murder and bring the killer to justice. Mariah’s unique understanding of someone who is as dark as this murderer allows them to take avenue’s that would not normally have been looked into. There is a short time to be able to find the killer and bring him to justice. Can they do it? If the murderer is really Dr. Durward, he cannot be tried again, so what can they do?

This is an entertaining short read and if you have read the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt books, you will greatly appreciate Mariah’s metamorphosis. She’s still a work in progress, but she’s growing every day.

Please check out my reviews at:
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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.”

Death In St. Petersburg by Tasha Alexander

Death in St. Petersburg: A Lady Emily Mystery (Lady Emily Mysteries)Death in St. Petersburg: A Lady Emily Mystery by Tasha Alexander

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Lady Emily
Publication Date: 10/10/17

Okay, I admit it – I loved the book! The writing is superb and the descriptions put you right there with the participants. I love Emily and Colin – what a strong, loving, caring, and supportive couple they are! What threw me was having to constantly stop and sound out the Russian names. Normally with unusual (to me) names, I just decide what they are going to be and call them that whether it is correct or not. For some reason, I couldn’t do that with this book – maybe it was because I was loving the book and wanted to get the names correct.

Colin Hargreaves travels all over in his role as a spy in support of the crown. Lady Emily usually stays home worrying about him and entertaining herself with solving her own mysteries. However, when he is sent to St. Petersburg, Emily also gets an invitation to visit her friend in St. Petersburg. She knows Colin won’t let her go with him, so she leaves the day after him – and sends him a missive letting him know she is on her way and letting him know that she can stay with her friend while she’s there or she can stay with him – whichever he prefers. Of course, he wants her with him!

Colin spends his days and often long into the night working on his mission while Lady Emily spends her time with her friends and attending various entertainments. Then, there is the opera. Swan Lake featuring a new ballerina in the dual role. She is flawlessly beautiful and graceful beyond compare – so – finding her dead body, covered in blood, directly after the performance is really shocking. Add a fabulous stolen Faberge Egg underneath her body and you have a real mystery on your hands.

Lady Emily has been asked to investigate the death, by a friend of the victim, because they have no confidence in the state’s investigators. The suspects and motives are legion. Is it an old love, a current love or one of the many wealthy and high-ranking men who want to be her lover? Investigating in a foreign land isn’t easy, but Lady Emily solves the case, and the perpetrator may surprise you.

I like that the chapters switch between the current time (January 1900) which is told in the first person by Lady Emily and the earlier years told from Katenka’s point of view. Seeing the friendship between Katenka and Irusya Nemetseva in those earlier years is very nice. They give you a real feel for what it must have been like in ‘the state system’ in place in Russia at the time.

There are many political undercurrents in the case and any one of them could have bearing on the case. Then, add in the delightful Sebastian Capet (from earlier books) and you have a real mystery. Who stole the egg? Is that why the dancer was murdered? Was she involved in political intrigue? Was she just in the wrong place at the wrong time? You’ll just have to read the book to see.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

“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.”

 

 

The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne

The Scot Beds His Wife (Victorian Rebels)The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne

Series: Victorian Rebels, #5

Release Date: October 3, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Kerrigan Byrne has delivered another amazing installment in her Victorian Rebels series!

The blurb for this book doesn’t even begin to skim the surface of this book and in my opinion is a tad misleading. Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne is a man-ho – he is a gorgeous man and takes full advantage of his effect on women. He uses his “wiles” to get what he wants and right now he wants Erradale and the only thing standing in his way is Alison Ross.

When Samantha Masters met Alison Ross traveling to Scotland was the last thing on her mind, after all, it isn’t every day that you rob a train and kill your husband. Desperate to get away, she agrees to Alison’s outrageous scheme. Go to Erradale, assume Alison’s identity and prevent Gavin from claiming her lands. Alison doesn’t’ really want Erradale, she just doesn’t want Gavin to have it or an Mackenzie for that matter – understandable considering Gavin’s father killed hers.

It is impossible to give an in depth review of this book without spoilers, so all I am going to say is – READ THE BOOK! The writing is stellar, the story flies, there are secrets upon secrets, steamy love scenes, heartbreak, deception, betrayal, life and death moments, a heroine with a very dirty mouth and a hero who likes it. There are wonderful secondary characters, cameos from Liam and Mena and the introduction of “the Rook” – who may or may not be another brother – but after reading about him, I am going to re-read the Highwayman to see if I can find the connection! The book is a little dark, but not as dark as some of the previous books and of all the heroes she has written, Gavin is the only one that I would consider “reformed” at the end of the book.

I can’t recommend this series highly enough – this book is the fifth book in the Victorian Rebels series, but it could be read as a stand alone title, however, you will enjoy it much more if you have at least read the previous book “the Highlander”.

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

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