Earl of Weston by Anna St. Claire

Earl of Weston (Wicked Earls' Club, #6)Earl of Weston by Anna St. Claire

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 Stars rounded up to 4
Series: Wicked Earls’ Club #6
Publication Date: 2/14/17

This new-to-me author has included my two favorite elements in a book – mystery and romance. Well, actually, it was a little short on the romance side but was probably typical for marriages of that period. I believe that the book tried to cover too many elements for a novella and I didn’t really feel complete with either of the elements – especially the romance though. There was potential – and they were getting there – but I don’t think a great romance was there yet. The characters had great potential, but they didn’t feel fully developed – although the hero and heroine were fairly well developed. Some of the story also felt a bit contrived – yes, I know it is a story and they are all contrived.

There are some light moments in the story with an incorrigible parrot. He’s absolutely priceless – and the real hero of the story.

Edward Hunter, Earl of Weston, had returned to England from a mission for the crown to find his brother, Robert, dead. Then, a short time later his father died and Edward unexpectedly assumed the title he didn’t want. After some questioning and investigating, Edward came to believe that his brother was murdered rather than dying in the duel he was supposedly fighting. Edward drinks too much and gambles too deep – he always has – and that causes a rift with his mother who blames him for Robert’s death. When Edward finally gets a clue to the whereabouts of a witness he’s been seeking, he and his best friend, Bergen, headed to a house party at the home of Lord Bentley.

Hattie Longbottom is a twenty-six-year-old spinster who is as naïve as the day she was born. Since the age of sixteen, she lived in a very small village taking care of her ailing mother. She’s very involved in the church and takes all of those homilies to heart. Her bright spot is her parrot, Archie. After the death of her mother, she had the choice of living with an aunt (without Archie) or with her half-brother. She chose to live with her brother because she could keep Archie.

So, here is one of those contrived bits I mentioned. The village reverend puts Hattie and Archie on a coach to travel to her brother’s residence. This is a brother who loves his sister and cares for her – he is a member of the aristocracy, but we don’t learn what title he has – we do learn it is less than an Earl, so it must be a Viscount or Baron. At any rate – there is no way he would have allowed his sister to board a mail coach, unchaperoned (or otherwise) to travel to him. He would have sent his coach or come himself. So – that whole part of the story was just not believable to me. There are other bits that felt contrived, but that was the biggest one.

The author used a term that is new to me and I have to find out more about it because it is the first time I’ve seen it used and I have read a lot of Regency period romances. She used it in relation to winning bets. So, I’ve got some research to do. I’m not questioning the use of the term or whether it is correct or not – just something I haven’t seen before. Here’s one place it is used – “Edward was one monkey richer after five games of piquet.” I just have to find out what a monkey is!

I enjoyed the story and would try another book by this author should she choose to write another Regency. I don’t believe that is her normal genre, but I’m not sure.

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It Started With a Whisper by Various Authors

It Started with a WhisperIt Started with a Whisper by Dawn Brower
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Release Date: January 23, 2018

Overall this was a very good anthology and each novella was well done and none of them felt rushed.

One Moonlit Tryst, Amanda Mariel, 4 stars – Colin Brooks, Earl of Harcourt and Reginald St. John, Viscount Lovell are the best of friends, one night while out carousing, Reg is shot down by a woman and Colin says he could get any woman. They make a wager – Reg bets him a thousand pounds that he cannot win the woman of his choosing. He chooses Lady Tabitha Pemberton, he has to charm a kiss from her before the end of the season.

Lady Tabitha and her twin Lady Priscilla have decided to enjoy their first season and vow not to marry until their next. They keep all their suitors at an arms length. Colin begins to court her, but not overly – he has a plan. Reg and Pricilla form a friendship and watch the game being played between Colin and Tabitha with delight.

They grow closer and just when Tabitha believes she can give this man her heart, a shocking revelation from his past comes to light and she is heartbroken. But this is no longer a wager for Colin and he will do whatever he can to win back the woman he loves.

Good story, no steam, interesting twist, HEA

Love Me, Lord Tender, Deb Marlowe, 4.5 stars – William Grey, Lord Tensford has become infamous in Lady X’s column and known as Lord Terror for the horrible way he treats his female relations. Nothing could be farther from the truth, but gossip persists. He needs to marry a heiress to save his failing estate, but no woman is interested in Lord Terror – except Lady Hope Brightly. She finds him charming and when he saves her from an unwanted suitor, she calls him Lord Tender. The name sticks and now he is having an even harder time with the gossip. Hope feels awful and sets out to make things right. Will really likes Hope and wishes her dowry was larger and he could afford to marry her, but it is not nearly enough, so he accepts her help in finding a wife.

Hope wants him for herself, but she has to know that he wants her more than he wants money. Will will have to make difficult decisions and prove himself to win the woman he has come to love.

Great story, loved Will & Hope, great ending, no steam, great secondary characters (whose stories I would definitely read), HEA

The Lady Loves Scandal, Christina McKnight, 4.5 stars – Lady Sybil Anson and Gideon Lyndon, Viscount Galway are in love and soon to be betrothed. The night before the contracts are to be signed, Sybil visits Gideon and they share a passionate kiss and whispers of their hopes an dreams. They are interrupted by a late night visitor for Gideon. He kisses her goodbye and tells her he will see her tomorrow. But he never shows.

A year later, Sybil is on the verge of becoming betrothed again. She loved Gideon, but hasn’t heard from him since that night, save a cryptic note saying he would see her as soon as he could. She assumed he was dead, because nothing short of death would have kept them apart. But on the very night she is to accept the Duke of Garwood, Gideon returns to her. She wants answers before she will give him her heart again, but answers are the one thing Gideon cannot give her.

Will Gideon be able to win back the only woman he has ever loved, or will his secrets destroy any hope of a HEA?

Great story, loved Sybil and Gideon, no steam, secrets, angry brothers and bounty hunters and finally a very sweet HEA.

The Scandalous Widow, Erica Monroe, 4.5 stars – This is a second chance at love / murder mystery and it is very well done. Gabriel Sinclair, Principal Officer for Bow Street has responded to a murder outside a bawdy house in the rookeries, it seems like a simple case of robbery gone wrong and he is ready to call it done when he realizes who the victim is – Philip Forster, Earl of Wolverstone – Gabriel’s one time best friend and husband of the woman Gabriel loves.

Jemma Foster, Countess of Wolverstone is sure that here brother in law David killed his brother and she needs help proving it. The only man she trusts is the last man she wants to see – Gabriel Sinclair. The man she walked away from to make her family happy and the man she loves. It has been three years since they have seen each other, but the passion is still there, stronger than ever.

Jemma and Gabriel work together to solve the mystery of who really killed Philip and why. They also slowly begin to reconnect. But when Jemma starts to get too close to the truth, will Gabriel be able to save her and have a second chance to win the woman he has always loved?

Wonderful story, lots of interesting historical facts and a really nasty villain, no steam, some violence and a HEA.

How to Land an Earl in Ten Days, Ave Stone, 5 stars – this was my favorite story in the book! Reese Delacy, Earl of Darling is consoling his heartbroken friend Capt Lucien Gates. Lucien has been thrown over by his betrothed and is drowning his sorrows. Reese doesn’t believe in love and tells Lucien that he could make any woman fall in love with him, just by being charming. Lord Daniel Westham overhears him and they make a wager – Reese has ten days to make a woman fall in love with him – winner gets 200 pounds. Trouble is Lady X gets wind of the wager and no woman will give Reese the time of day. Enter the Duchess of Hythe (Lucien’s grandmother) she is sponsoring Cara Beckett for the season, Cara is from Bermuda and is only in England for one reason – to garner votes for the Turks Salt Trade bill, her family’s livelihood depends on Bermuda’s right to free salt trade on the Turk islands. Her father was dear friends with the duchess and she has been kind to Cara, helping her meet the peers she needs to speak with, but the duchess wants more for her. Cara is single minded in her quest, she has lost so much, her father and her betrothed and the business is all she has left besides her sisters. She cannot fail them! When the duchess and her friends learn about the wager, they come up with their own wager – they will have a woman let Reese think he is winning and then bring him down a few pegs and Cara is the perfect woman for the job. The duchess convinces Cara to go along with her and Cara reluctantly agrees.

When Reese meets Cara, he pours on the charm and Cara is hard pressed not to fall for him. She needs votes and Reese offers to help her. He introduces her to voting members and at the same time courts her. When the opportunity to visit the Hadleigh fair, she agrees to go. Archibald Atherton and his sister Emma insist that she stay with them for the three days and of course Reese is going. While at the fair, Cara sees her sister’s betrothed, but he avoids her, she wonders why and tells Reese, he warns her not to mention that Ballantyne is betrothed to her sister and that he can’t explain in the crowd why. Cara wants answers but will wait. Reese tracks down Ballantyne and asks about Cara’s sister – Charles Ballantyne is the man who stole Lucien’s betrothed – Charles says that he had no formal betrothal with Cait and Reese punches him. Reese returns to the group, but is withdrawn and during dinner Cara is sure he is angry with her. When her dinner partner seems interested in her political dealings, she tries to focus on him. Chopwell suggests they meet to discuss the vote and Emma shows them to parlor and leaves them to talk. Chopwell attacks Cara and Arch and Reese barely are in time to save her.

Reese takes her to her room and then returns to deal with Chopwell – he calls him out and goes to check on Cara. This is when she learns about Charles’ betrayal of her sister – it is all too much and she lashes out at Reese – she tells him she knows about the wager and he is no better than Chopwell.

Reese is hurt and angry, but he will leave her alone, he returns to London to prepare for the duel – it is the least he can do for her. She is upset when she learns he left and Lucien is demanding answers – Emma is drawn into things and even though she is secretly in love with Lucien, she can’t tell him what she knows, she also thinks that Lucien is in love with Cara and is a little heart sick. Lucien returns to London for answers, but hits a dead end.

Cara returns and confides all to the duchess, who vows that everything will work out. She then calls for reinforcements. Reese refuse to call on Cara, thinking that is her wish, so the duchess has her work cut out for her. Cara feels terrible about the things she said, she admits to herself that she cares for him and may love him – but everything has gone terribly wrong.

Cara reenters society and works to get the votes she needs. She is at a ball and sees Reese, but he tries to avoid her, but when he is drawn into the group around her, he helps her further her cause and he realizes he loves her. He decides to take a chance and talks to her, but Cara still has a secret and she hopes that when she comes clean, Reese can forgive her.

This was the shining star in the anthology for me, again this is a no steam novella, but it is brimming with sexual tension, secrets, witty banter, very likable leads, great secondary character (who are begging for their own stories!) a well meaning meddling duchess and a sweet HEA.

Lady Hoyden’s Secret, Dawn Brower, 3.5 stars – Lady Helena Carter has after 3 seasons accepted that she will not marry, but that is all right because she has a plan. When her brother forces his friend Oliver Hunt, Marquess of Dashville to dance with her, she solidifies her plan. Five years later, Helena’s plans are just about ready to pay off. She is Lady X and has finally earned enough money to support herself until she is old enough to access her trust. She has been very successful and her favorite person to roast in her column is Oliver aka Dash.

Dash has grown up a lot since the night he danced with Helena, Lady X’s column had made him realize what a jerk he was and he has changed. He wants a wife and figures if Lady X sees him make amends with Helena, the task of finding a wife will be easier. He tried to reconcile with Helena, but she is having none of it. Oliver really sees her for the first time and decides then and there, Helena will be his wife. Now all he has to do is convince her that he has changed and is the perfect man for her.

He asks her for a second chance and she shoots him down and takes off. He follows her and finds her snooping in a desk, they kiss and she tells him to leave her alone. But fate has other plans and when they end up in Scotland together and he learns her secret and seems to accept her, she is thrilled. But when they are caught in a heated embrace and told they will have to marry, it seems like Oliver will get his wish,. However, Helena is not ready to concede defeat. Will Oliver be able to win over the woman he knows he loves or will Helena let past hurts and rejection doom her to a life spent alone?

This book was ok, there is a lot of modern verbiage, some completely unbelievable scenarios (especially for a Regency), no steam and an unlikable heroine – but Oliver is this books saving grace, he is wonderful and I can’t imagine why he loves Helena.

All in all this was a very good anthology, while none of the novellas are steamy (mores the pity) they are all well done and paced nicely. I would be happy to recommend this book.

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

A Duke In The Night by Kelly Bowen

A Duke in the Night (The Devils of Dover, #1)A Duke in the Night by Kelly Bowen

Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Devils of Dover #1
Publication Date: 2/20/18

I believe this was my first book by Kelly Bowen and I did enjoy it. However, all-in-all, I wouldn’t really class it as a Regency – it ‘feels’ much too modern. It is more like a modern story dressed up like a Regency. I’m giving it 4-stars because I really did enjoy the story. The heroine, Clara Hayward, is very much a contemporary woman, forward-thinking, ‘experienced’, etc. and all of the people surrounding her are very ‘modern’.

August Faulkner, Duke of Holloway, never expected to be a Duke. His father was in debtors prison and August, as a boy of fifteen, spent two years living on the streets. That experience hardened him and he was determined to provide for his sister – not just provide for her, but assure, beyond all measure, that she would never, ever be in reduced circumstances again. August learned to make money and became ruthless in buying businesses and making them successful. He has no room for anything in his life other than the acquisition of money and property. He’s not a bad man, he just has no time in his life for relationships.

Clara’s family is now in reduced circumstances, but they have managed to keep it quiet. The ton still thinks that they are enormously rich. Clara owns and is headmistress of, Haverhall School for Young Ladies. She treasures the school because it was left to her by her mother – but – in order to keep their shipping line afloat, she has to sell it. She doesn’t know that August is the one who has bought it.

Buying the school just whets August’s appetite. He always does a thorough check on the people and businesses he’s planning to buy and when he was checking on the school, he also learned that the Hayward’s were in financial difficulties and thought he’d buy a share of their shipping line. He’s totally shocked when they turn him down.

When August’s sister sneaks off in the middle of the night to attend a summer school in Dover, August takes off after her. He wanted to go to Dover anyway to meet up with the Hayward’s. August definitely gets his eyes opened as he learns more and more about what this school is teaching. Definitely NOT what you’d find in the Regency era!

August and Clara are definitely attracted to each other and have been since they first met ten years ago. They go through a lot of slips and slides before they get their relationship off the ground. Lots of excitement with soldiers, kidnappings, misunderstandings, etc. before they finally get their HEA.

One thing that seemed to be left hanging was – what happened with August’s sister and his man-of-business? They were in love – but no resolution in this book.

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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.”

The Woman In The Water by Charles Finch

The Woman in the WaterThe Woman in the Water by Charles Finch

Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

WOW! I am in awe of Charles Finch and his writing and I’d give this book more than 5-stars if I could. This has to be the absolute best book of the Charles Lenox Mystery series so far. While it is shown as book #0 in the series because it is a prequel, it is actually something like the thirteenth if you count the novellas. The writing is superb, the characters are fully developed and relatable, and the story is fast-paced, engrossing and detailed.

We are introduced to a young Charles Lenox, just twenty-three years of age and newly living in London on his own. He desperately wants to be a detective, but his few forays into it and his interactions with Scotland Yard have been very disappointing. However, being the tenacious young man that he is, Charles perseveres by honing his knowledge of crimes in London, how they are solved and the details behind them. He does that by buying copies of all of the newspapers and cutting all of the crime related articles out and filing them away.

When one of those newspapers carry the text of a letter claiming that the writer had already committed one ‘perfect’ murder and would be committing another soon, Charles knew he had to be involved. He and his valet, Graham, use the timeline given in the letter and find the case the letter writer must be claiming as his perfect crime. They are off to Scotland Yard to show them their conjecture and to offer their services. Of course, Scotland Yard wants no part of their help, but that doesn’t deter Charles. As he digs and learns more and more – he shares it all with Scotland Yard.

While the murder plot was interesting, detailed and engrossing, I think my favorite parts of the book were the more personal parts. Those are skillfully written and poignant, heartwarming, emotional and sad. We meet Charles’ mother and father and learn of the father, Edward’s, medical diagnosis. How Charles, his mother, and brother Edmund – his father too – deal with that is so bittersweet and lovely. I absolutely adored his father and the efforts he made to ensure that he spent time with each of the family members individually and that they knew he loved them. I loved the descriptions of his fence painting – and I loved that when he finally spoke to Charles about his leaving them he said – “The hardest part of losing a person, Charles, is that grief is only an absence. There is nowhere to go to touch it.”

It was fun to meet the younger, more immature versions of people we’ll get to know and love throughout the series. There is Jane, of course. She’s married to someone else and Charles is heartbroken over that. Graham, of course, is one of my favorite people. Then, we meet a very young and very mischievous John Dallington.

I usually don’t read prequels, especially if I know that someone doesn’t last through the series – especially because of a bad end. I am so very, very happy that I made an exception for this book. It is so well written, so well developed and just such a wonderful read that I cannot imagine having missed it.

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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.”

Murder in Bloomsbury by D. M. Quincy

Murder in Bloomsbury (Atlas Catesby #2)Murder in Bloomsbury by D.M. Quincy

Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Atlas Catesby #2
Publication Date: 2/13/18

Excellent! What a great read. Well written, well plotted, interesting and well developed main characters – and a very believable plot. Actually, the plot is based on a very real case that took place in Scotland in about the same time period. I’m loving this series and highly recommend that you read the first book in the series before this one. You don’t have to, you can begin with this one, but the first one is great and shows the development of the relationships between many of the main characters. I read this book from beginning to end – in one sitting. I just couldn’t put it down. I say that as I sit here bleary-eyed – with toothpicks holding my eyes open. One thing I do have to say though – for some reason, this book (and the first) often made me think of the Victorian era rather than the Regency.

Atlas Catesby is, by his own description and thinking, not quite a gentleman. That isn’t meant to describe his behavior – because, in that, he is every inch a gentleman – even a bit of a prig. No, it means that he is more on the edge of society – the fourth child of a baron – no title and only a modest fortune. Imagine his dismay when he found himself very much in love with the sister of a very powerful duke in the last book. He knew nothing could come of the relationship, so being the traveler and adventurer he is, he left on a voyage. This book begins nine months after the last book ended and Atlas has just returned from Jamaica.

Atlas is rudely awakened by his valet, Jamie, after a night where he’d gotten very, very drunk. That is something he just doesn’t do – but it was a night filled with things he just doesn’t do. The valet excitedly tells him that there is a liveried servant with an urgent message. Atlas groans, but when Jamie tells him that the livery is black and gold, he quickly goes on alert because he recognizes it as the Duke of Somerville’s livery – Lilliana’s brother. Panic – something must have happened to Lilliana.

Thus began an intriguing mystery. It turns out that Lilliana’s maid, Tracy, doesn’t believe her brother died naturally. She’s convinced that he was murdered and is very distraught. The authorities have ruled it an accident, but the maid is sure that isn’t the case. Atlas can’t pass up any puzzle – and he also can’t pass up the opportunity to spend more time with Lilliana, so he takes on the task of investigating.

As Atlas and Lilliana discover more and more about the deceased, they can definitely believe that he might have been murdered – and there are suspects aplenty. What a nasty, nasty man he was. He ruined so many young lives and tried to keep ruining them even after death. What an interesting case filled with twists and turns and some nasty people. The solution isn’t as simple as it appears to be and Atlas is puzzled almost to the very end.

While the investigation is continuing, Atlas is struggling with his feelings for Lilliana. He has long known that he loves her and was even going to offer for her until he found she was the sister of a Duke (book 1). He left after that because he knew he wasn’t good enough for her – she deserved better than him – someone of title and fortune. Now, she’s being courted by a Marquess. Can Atlas walk away a second time? Will Atlas turn away and find another love? You won’t know until the last page.

The returning characters are great and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to visit with them again – Jamie, of course, because it is great to see how he’s changed and grown. Then, the Earl of Charlton is always a delightful character. Watching his infatuation with Atlas’ sister, Thea, is endearing and funny – and her reactions to him are priceless. Then, there is a new character, Atlas’ nephew, who makes an appearance and it will be interesting to watch and see what happens with him. You just know there is going to be quite a story there!

Just one question her though — why do authors sometimes get hung up on characters with similar names? I hate to try to keep them straight. In this book, we have Lavinia and Lilliana. Why couldn’t Lavinia be Barbara (a perfectly acceptable Regency name) or Mary or . . . Well — just something else.

I highly recommend the book, the author, and the series!  See my review for the first book in the series, Murder in Mayfair.

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.”

Daring Widow by Cerise DeLand

Daring Widow: Those Notorious Americans, Book 2Daring Widow: Those Notorious Americans, Book 2 by Cerise DeLand

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Those Notorious Americans #2
Publication Date: 12/1/17

I enjoyed this read even though it is set at a later time than I usually read and is set in France rather than England, Ireland or Scotland (my preferred geographical reading areas). I thought the characters were well developed, the story stayed on-point and the writing was good. This is the second book in the series, but I didn’t feel that I missed anything by not having read the first book in the series. You’ll be engaged by the H/h and will love getting to know them.

The descriptions of Paris are so vivid that they make you feel as if you have lived there yourself. Paris was the exciting place to be at that time and our author makes you feel that excitement.

The main characters in this story are different than many of the lords and ladies you read about. They are less formal and more forward thinking, but this was the Victorian era in Paris rather than the Regency period in London. Remy is of the French aristocracy and a gifted artist – he’s also a rogue and scoundrel where the ladies are concerned. Marianne has been widowed for ten years and she is also artistic.

Remy and Marianne’s relationship heads down many paths and you wonder – almost to the last page, whether they’ll finally get their HEA or not. It goes from Remy wanting an affair/mistress and Marianne wanting nothing at all – to Marianne wanting the affair and Remy wanting more – to – well, you get it – it changes a lot – and often. You’ll experience their joys and their sorrows as well as their personal growth and enlightenment.

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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.”

The Earl of Basingstoke by Aileen Fish

Earl of Basingstoke: Wicked Regency Romance (Wicked Earls' Club)Earl of Basingstoke: Wicked Regency Romance by Aileen Fish
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Wicked Earls’ Club, #5

Release Date: February 6, 2018

I really enjoyed this installment of the Wicked Earls’ Club and for a relatively short novella, there is quite a bit going on!!

Lady Phoebe Woodson, she has been infatuated with Nathan Curruthers, Earl of Basingstoke since she met him three years ago, too bad he doesn’t remember her… She writes fantasy “on dit” about the two of them in her journal and has been warned by more than one person to get over her infatuation of him and find a nice man. But Phoebe still holds out hope that Nathan will finally “see” her and they will fall in love and live happily ever after.

Nathan has been thinking of finding a wife, the ton believes him to be wicked and that he fathered an illegitimate son, but he longs for a simple life and at 29 he believes it is time. So he begins his search, he arrives at Almacks (thankfully his mother is friends with Lady Sefton!) to begin his “hunt”. He spots Phoebe and is immediately interested, he begs for an introduction and is promptly mortified to learn that they had already been introduced. He asks her to dance. Phoebe is floored, she must be dreaming because the man of her dreams has just asked her to dance and seems interested in her. But all too soon her mother drags her away.

Nathan calls on Phoebe, he is smitten, she is everything he never knew he wanted and he wonders how long he will have to wait before he can ask for her hand. But not everyone is happy with his interest in her, her parents are dead set against a match, but her mother allows her to spend time with him, thinking she will see his true colors and find a better man.

But Phoebe and Nathan are clearly meant to be and things progress between them and it seems like a HEA is inevitable. But then a nasty rumor is printed in the gossip pages saying Phoebe was seen leaving Nathan’s house in the middle of the night and her father forbids her to associate with him. Phoebe is still not ready to give up, she meets with him in private and they make plans to see each other at upcoming events, but Nathan doesn’t show. Days later, she sees him while visiting the menagerie with friends and he is not alone, he has a young boy who must be his son with him. The gentleman she is with makes cruel remarks and Nathan leaves, angry that Phoebe is not the woman he believed her to be. But when he returns later and she is still there, she apologizes for the man and strikes up a conversation with Ben. Nathan knows he judged her too harshly and they reconcile.

Nathan is planning on asking for her hand and is excited for a future with her. But when his friend shows him her journal and the gossip pages are almost an exact match, Nathan believes he has been played. He heads to the newspaper to find out if his suspicions are true but gets no answers. As he is returning, he runs in to Phoebe, she is heading towards the paper and he assumes the worst and without letting her speak, ends things with her.

Phoebe is heartbroken, she has no idea what happened to turn Nathan away from her and can’t figure out a way to make things right. Nathan is equally unhappy and hopes in time his heart will heal enough for him to try and find love again.

It seems like all hope for a happy ending is lost, until one very determined Duchess gets involved and sets Nathan straight. But is it too late? And will the secrets he has been keeping prevent them from having their hearts desire?

This was a very well written, fast moving novella. There are no love scenes, save a kiss at the end, but there is quite a bit of angst and heartache, a fair number of misunderstandings, a hero who needs a smack up side the head and finally a HEA.

** This review is for the UPDATED edition of the novella released on 2/6/18

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