Tag Archives: Charlotte Stone

Diana Sensational Spinsters Society by Charlotte Stone

Diana - SpinsterSeries:  Spinster’s Society #9
Barbara’s Rating 4 of 5 Stars
Publication Date:  6/13/18

I believe this is the most exciting book of the series so far.  I have been looking forward to seeing what was going to happen with Franklin Lockwood since he decided to become a physician specializing in healing the mind.  My Goodness!  Those skills are sorely needed in this book.

London, 1815 — The opening scene takes place in a basement with Franklin, Charles Grayly (Earl of Dahl) and some thugs employed by Mr. Bancroft.  Charles Grayly has been badly beaten – he could still talk – but he won’t.  Frank has been commandeered by Mr. Bancroft to plumb the depths of the earl’s mind for clues to the location of Bancroft’s sister, whom the earl has kidnapped.  The man is completely and totally mad.  When the earl won’t talk, Frank turns to the strange poems the earl sends to his victims to see if there is a clue.  They are strangely written poems, but then . . . . then… Frank notices a pattern and determines where Diana Bann is secreted.  So, off they go to rescue her – or more likely, to find her dead body because all of the earl’s other victims are dead.

Diana Bann is a renowned ballerina and she is also the much loved secret sister to Mr. Bancroft the king of London’s underworld.  They cannot afford for the world to know of their relationship because it would make Bancroft vulnerable – and that is one thing he cannot afford to be.  Diana is near death when she senses people running toward her in the basement where she’s been kept, brutalized and tortured.  She fights them off as best she can in her weakened state, but it is no use.  Then, she sees a marble angel and quiets for him.  She forever refers to Frank as her ‘marble man’.

Diana needs to heal in both body and mind.  The body, of course, heals much quicker than the mind.  Frank works with her for months and she comes to terms with most of what happened to her, but he knows she hasn’t told him all.

I love that the story takes place over almost two years rather than the usual short periods from meeting to marrying.  However, there was one thing I just couldn’t buy – Diana almost immediately lusted after Frank.  Given what happened to her, I cannot imagine that happening.  So, that particular part of the story was pretty unbelievable.

Frank and Diana come into contact off and on and the attraction is always still there.  Frank fights it because of the doctor/patient relationship and his secret fears and Diana embraces it and does all she can to attract Frank.  Then, when Diana remembers more from her abduction, Frank realizes she is still in danger.

Frank and Bancroft have a number of run-ins that are great.  Bancroft is very, very protective of his sister and it doesn’t matter that she loves Frank.  Bancroft doesn’t approve of the gentry/aristocracy and will keep them apart – even though he really does like Frank.

Their path to their HEA isn’t easy or in a straight line, but they do finally get there.  One thing that would have made it better would have been for the book to go through the wedding and to have Bancroft yield and walk Diana down the aisle.

I thought we might see a set-up for what I assume will be the last book in the series – Julius Hext and Moira, but they didn’t even make an appearance.  Several others from the previous books were there, but not Julius and Moira.  I sure hope the last book is a whizz-bang wrap up with all the Men of Nashwood and their wives and an epilogue that takes place two or three years in the future showing all of them in their happy lives.

This was a quick and interesting read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The other books in the series are listed below:

Book # Hero Heroine
1 Emmett Starr, Earl of Ashwick Lorena Cullip (Sister to Francis Cullip)
2 Calvin Lockwood, Very rich landed gentry Alice Wilkins (Gentleman’s Club Owners Daughter)
3 Francis Cullip, Duke of Valdeston Lady Genevieve ‘Genie’ Toft
4 Morris Kidd, Duke of Cort Sophia Taylor
5 Rollo Kerry, Rich landed gentry Florence Crew (a lady’s maid)
6 Hugh Vance – Marquess of Edvoy Taygete Bellenger
7 Aaron Walsh, Earl of Jeanshire Cristin Potter (Owner of employment agency)
8 Sir William Tift Natalia Hext (Leah Wells)(Cousin to Julius Hext)
9 Franklin Lockwood, Very Rich Landed Gentry Diana Bann (Ballerina and sister to crime lord Mr. Bancroft)
10 Julius Hext, Marquess of Darvess Moira (?)

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Blog: https://flippinpages.blog/
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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.”

Natalia’s Secret Spinster’s Society by Charlotte Stone

Natalia's Secret Spinster's Society (The Spinster's Society) (A Regency Romance Book)Natalia’s Secret Spinster’s Society (The Spinster’s Society) by Charlotte Stone

Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Spinster’s Society
Publication Date: 4/25/18

Secrets! Long held and closely guarded secrets are revealed in what is one of the best books of the series so far. It is well written and well plotted and focuses more on the two main characters than it does on the society interfering with whatever is happening. Yes, the society is there, but more in the background than they have been in other books. There was also a nice catch-up with the ladies and their families. We’ve always known there was more to Sudworth than meets the eye – and we finally find out what that ‘more’ is! There is also a bit of a set-up for what will probably be the next romance in the series – at least I hope it is.

As we’ve read through the series, we came to know that the Men of Nashwood were bound by blood as well as a deep friendship. We knew that the secret centered around Julius Hext, but that was all we knew. In this book, we learn the horrific events that happened when the Men of Nashwood were still just boys. With that kind of heartache, it is hard to see how they could grow into the wonderful men they have turned out to be.

Julius Hext is receiving blackmail notes and has been for the last year. Someone knows their secret and intends to make them pay. The men have been investigating and are getting closer and closer to finding the culprit. They have found that one member of the ton has been spreading rumors, but where is he getting his information? William Tift and Franklin Lockwood have followed him to Oxford where a woman of obvious wealth passes him a note. Can she be the source? Then, they see yet another woman arguing with her. As the two women split, Frank goes after one and William goes after the other. William confronts the one he is chasing, but she gets away – but not before he gets a good look at her.

Mrs. Leah Wells is a resident and teacher at the home the Spinster’s society run for battered and abused women. However, Leah doesn’t show any of the symptoms of having been an abused woman and Maura has begun to wonder about her and asks the other ladies to look into it. William and Franklin are assigned to keep an eye on the home and as they are arriving, they see a woman running down the street with a fire poker in her hand – she’s chasing a big, burly man who is dragging another woman with him. The first woman attacks the man with the poker and manages to free the woman. Then, William manages to rescue both of them from the man. Later, as William gets a good look at her, he realizes she is the woman he’d seen in Oxford. How can she be back here and in residence at the home? Is she a danger to the ladies of the Society or the residents? What does she have to do with the blackmail? Is she the blackmailer?

Sir William Tift hasn’t always been rich. His family went through some very hard times, but nobody outside the Men of Nashwood knows that. He always loved the time he spent at the homes of the Men of Nashwood – he especially treasured the time he spent at the home of Julius Hext because he loved spending time with Julius’ young cousin – Natalia Hext. She frustrated him, tormented him, and aggravated him, but he always loved being around her. Then, she disappeared and he hasn’t seen her for twenty years. Why are memories of her suddenly in his thoughts?

As the investigation continues and secrets are revealed, can a family rift be healed? What role does Zedock Sudworth play? What is his relationship to Mrs. Wells? Is Mrs. Wells William’s childhood friend? Wow! So many questions. You’ll just have to read this great addition to the Spinster’s Society series to find all of those answers and many more.

If you are interested in my reviews of the other books in the series, click on the book name below:

Men of Nashwood

Heroine

Book

Emmett Starr, Earl of Ashwick Lorena Cullip (Sister of Francis) 1 – Lady Lorena’s Spinster’s Society
Calvin Lockwood, Very rich landed gentry Alice Wilkins 2 – Alice’s Shameless Spinster’s Society 
Francis Cullip, Duke of Valdeston Lady Genevieve ‘Genie’ Toft 3 – Genie’s Scandalous Spinster’s Society
Morris Kidd, Duke of Cort Miss Sophia Taylor 4 – Miss Sophia’s Spirited Spinster’s Society 
Rollo Kerry, Rich landed gentry Florence Crew (a lady’s maid) 5 – Florence’s Stupendous Spinster’s Society 

 

Hugh Vance – Marquess of Edvoy Taygete Bellenger 6 – Miss Taygete’s Sweet Sister’s Society

 

Aaron Walsh, Earl of Jeanshire Christin Potter 7 – Christin’s Splendid Spinster’s Society

 

Sir William Tift Natalia Hext (Julius Hext’s cousin) 8 – This book
Julius Hext, Marquess of Darvess    
Franklin Lockwood, Very Rich Landed Gentry  

Please check out my reviews at:
Blog: https://flippinpages.blog/
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Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlippinPagesRev
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BarbBookReview

“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.”

Christin’s Splendid Spinster’s Society by Charlotte Stone

Christin's Splendid Spinster's Society

Barbara’s Rating – 3.5 stars rounded down to 3
Series:  The Spinster’s Society #7
Publication Date:  3/15/18

 

 

I have wanted to see what Aaron’s story was going to be since the beginning.  He is so deep down angry.  Actually, that anger is to cover a very deep hurt.  I this book we find out about his childhood and what caused his anger – and we meet the woman who, along with his wards help him learn to control his anger.

Over the last couple of books, we’ve learned how Aaron Walsh, the Earl of Jeanshire, came to have two tiny girls as his wards.  He’s adapted really well to that but needs a governess for them.  Upon the recommendation of his friend Alice Lockwood (book 2), he visited the Potter Agency for them to help him find the perfect governess.  Once he met Mrs. Christin Potter, he knew why Alice had recommended her.  The attraction was instant and undeniable.  He soon decided he wanted her – for more than just a tryst.

Mrs. Christin Potter was a troubled lady.  She’d successfully run the Potter Agency singlehandedly since the death of her husband, but she couldn’t save her only niece from the wicked step-father that had custody of her.  All she could do was pay him to keep Tina fed and clothed – but she was sure he wasn’t doing that.  Then – during her current visit – he told her he needed two-hundred pounds from her or she could never see her niece again and that the man he owed the money to would be taking Tina ‘in payment’.

Aaron helps Christin with her problem of a brother-in-law and brings her and Tina to his home for safety.  There, he finds his estranged mother as well.  Since Christin will need a chaperone in order to remain in his home, he tolerates his mother – barely.

Christin manages to soothe the savage beast and helps Aaron to find some peace in his life.  However, there are still secrets – deep dark secrets – held by the Men of Nashwood and it sounds as if they are all about to break out into the light.  Will those secrets put them all in peril?  I can’t wait to see and I also can’t wait to see what and more importantly, who, Zedock Sudworth is.  We all know he can’t be who he is pretending to be.

Now, there are only three Men of Nashwood who remain unmarried.

The Men of Nashwood: Click the names to see the review
Emmett Starr, Earl of Ashwick – featured in book 1 with Lorena Cullip
Calvin Lockwood, Very rich landed gentry – featured in book 2 with Alice Wilkins
Francis Cullip, Duke of Valdeston – featured in book 3 with Genie
Morris Kidd, Duke of Cort – featured in book 4 with Sophia
Rollo Kerry, Rich landed gentry – featured in book 5 with Florence Crew (a lady’s maid)
Hugh Vance – Marquess of Edvoy – featured book 6 with Taygete as the heroine
Aaron Walsh, Earl of Jeanshire – featured in this book with Christin Potter as the heroine
Sir William Tift
Julius Hext, Marquess of Darvess
Franklin Lockwood, Very Rich Landed Gentry

Please check out my reviews at:

Blog: https://flippinpages.blog/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/flippinpagesweb.wordpress/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlippinPagesRev
Twitter:   https://twitter.com/BarbBookReview

“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.”

Miss Tagete’s Sweet Sisters Society by Charlotte Stone

Taygete's Spinster3.5 Stars – Rounded down to 3
Series:  Spinster’s Society #6
Publication Date:  1/31/18

I have read and enjoyed all of the books in this series, but the last book and this one have left me . . . wanting.  I wanted more – I just didn’t ‘feel’ the solutions and wanted to see some other outcomes.  Again, I enjoyed the story, but it sort of felt like wanting pizza for dinner and having to eat asparagus instead.  I just didn’t care for the ‘solutions’ that really weren’t.  Several avenues for the solution were discussed, but evidently not pursued since there wasn’t any further mention of them – for instance – getting the King to recognize the marriage.  This almost total lack of action and involvement just doesn’t sound like the kind of effort the Men of Nashwood would normally make.  There was also only a sort-of halfway end to the plot.  The last two books just haven’t been as good as the first four.  The pairing in the last book was totally improbable and this one is improbable as well – not as improbable as the last, but still improbable.  Hugh is a Marquess – very rich and very handsome, he doesn’t need to marry for money, but his mother’s first choice of bride for him is the daughter of a very rich mine owner.  Just not probable, but none of the books are – maybe that is why I enjoy them.  I’ll be looking hopefully toward the next one!

If you have read the previous books you will know who the Men of Nashwood are and how they got their name – but just to remind you.  There are ten men who met at school and formed a strong bond.  They were all from rich families, but many had unsupportive or uncaring families or had already lost their families and assumed a title, etc.  They looked out for and helped each other.  They were a mix of aristocracy and rich landed gentry.  The gentlemen are:

  1. Emmett Starr, Earl of Ashwick – featured in book 1 with Lorena Cullip
  2. Calvin Lockwood, Very rich landed gentry – featured in book 2 with Alice Wilkins
  3. Francis Cullip, Duke of Valdeston – featured in book 3 with Genie
  4. Morris Kidd, Duke of Cort – featured in book 4 with Sophia
  5. Rollo Kerry, Rich landed gentry – featured in book 5 with Florence Crew (a lady’s maid)
  6. Hugh Vance – Marquess of Edvoy – featured in this book with Taygete as heroine
  7. Sir William Tift
  8. Aaron Walsh, Earl of Jeanshire
  9. Julius Hext, Marquess of Darvess
  10. Franklin Lockwood, Very Rich Landed Gentry

Through the other books in the series, we learned that Hugh is a widower.  In this book, we learn the circumstances of the marriage and the loss of his wife and daughter.  We also learn that he was always in love with his wife’s sister Taygete Bellenger.  He was only 18 (say what) when he married Maia and he did it because his mother chose her.  Something about the timing and ages sounded off to me – or I missed something – If he was 18, that meant that Taygete was only 15 or so when they met.

It seems everybody feels responsible for the deaths of Maia and Artemis and they are all keeping it to themselves.  Then, as stories begin to be told and information shared, they discover a bigger plot – against the entire Bellenger family.  There are some absolutely heartbreaking revelations in this regard and that is part of my dissatisfaction with the solutions.  Titan, Taygete’s older brother suffers a terrible blow and there is no resolution for this.  It could have been so easily done, yet the author chose to let it ride.  That did not make me a happy camper – thus the rounding down from 3.5 to 3 rather than up to 4.  The final solution to the villain was sort of just mentioned in passing – no chase – no turmoil – no suspense — just a blurb that Hugh had found evidence and that Livingston had been thrown in prison and was being transported to Australia.  Say what?

The story itself is sweet.  Hugh and Taygete had been drawn together for a long time, but since Hugh had been married to Taygete’s sister Maia, they couldn’t marry (it was against the law in England).  So, each fought the attraction to the other – but neither had married anyone else.  Their journey to expressing their love is sweet and I just loved Hugh.  He’s long been one of my favorites in the series.  So – how do they end up with their HEA and marry when it is against the law?  Well – they just marry.  According to the author, and I have no clue if it was really possible or not, they could marry, but any judge at any time could declare the marriage invalid.  There was also the question of heirs and inheritance.  That wasn’t answered either.

While this is an enjoyable read, if you like all the loose ends tied up, all of the villains to be punished and all the good guys to get HEA’s, then this book will leave you wanting.

Please check out my reviews at:

“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.”

Florence’s Stupendous Spinster’s Society by Charlotte Stone

Florence-Spinster.SocietyJPG3.5 Stars rounded up to 4
Series: The Spinster’s Society #5
Publication Date: 12/20/2017

I’m not sure why I enjoy these stories so much. They are all highly improbable, don’t follow the forms of address or societal norms of the time and could be set at any point in time rather than the Regency. They are really a modern tale – only with ball gowns and carriages. Still, given all of that – I enjoy reading them. This book is the most improbable of all of the books and, while I thoroughly enjoyed it, it is my least favorite of the series so far. We have a very rich, untitled member of the Men of Nashwood paired up with a ladies maid and that is pretty improbable for the time. I don’t think I got enough information about our heroine’s background to really understand how things are so disparate between the three siblings (one is a curator, one a madam and one a ladies maid). Are they all illegitimate? They all had the same father and three different mothers. How did they come to know each other? Each was apparently raised by the mother and the father showed up when he felt like it. They can’t all have been legitimate because each was raised by their mother – to all be legitimate, the mother would have had to die and the children raised by the next Mrs. Crew. They also all had the last name of Crew – ??? I don’t know – it just left me wondering.

This tale picks up where the last one left off. The Men of Nashwood have rescued Sophia from the Baron of Helsby. Helsby has taken his own life and Aaron, the Earl of Jeanshire, is now the guardian of Helsby’s little girls. The group (Men of Nashwood and Spinster’s Society) have chosen to await the arrival of the two little girls at Helsby’s small cottage in Gretna Green. The men have also planned to stay until the ladies finally decide to marry them. When they arrive at the cottage, they find that it is already occupied by a visitor – a cousin of Helsby and her ladies maid, Florence.

Florence Crew, ladies maid to Elipha Thrup, has endured a lot during their stay in Gretna Green. Finally, Elipha’s baby has been delivered and has been given up to an orphanage and Florence can look forward to Elipha’s recovery and their return to London. Florence is a very lovely and caring young woman and wants the very best for her mistress and she’s very protective of her. Florence knows that Elipha is broken and needs to heal and wouldn’t think of leaving her before she has a chance to do that healing.

Rollo Kerry is a very rich and very lonely young man. He has always felt his parents loved him, but he also felt left out because their world revolved around each other rather than him. So, when they took off on a vacation and didn’t return, he felt totally abandoned. He didn’t even know where they went. I have to say, this part bugged me. He is exceedingly rich and there is no reason he couldn’t hire enough folks to track down information on his parents to at least verify if they were alive or dead. He didn’t do any of that. Even after he had the clues he needed he just assumed they were dead and didn’t verify it.

As soon as Rollo sees Florence he is in insta-lust. He plans to seduce her and have a liaison until they leave for London. Florence is also in insta-lust, but plans to resist his advances – after all, she’s only a ladies maid and he’s a gentleman, so nothing can come of it.. The story revolves around these two dancing around each other before they finally realize it is more than lust.

We finally get four marriages and an engagement out of this! Yes, the weddings do finally happen! I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

Please check out my reviews at:
Blog: https://flippinpages.blog/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/flippinpagesweb.wordpress/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlippinPagesRev
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BarbBookReview

“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.”

Sophia’s Spirited Spinster’s Society by Charlotte Stone

Sophias Spinsters SocietyJPGBarbara’s Rating 4 of 5 stars
Series:  The Spinster’s Society #4
Publication Date:  11/15/17

This is the fourth book in the Spinster’s Society series by author Charlotte Stone.  I have to say that I love the tales themselves – they are interesting and have a different take on things.  The characters are fun and I enjoy seeing the repeat characters and watching them grow as friends and individuals.

I’m not sure how much research this author actually does on the Regency period, but if you are a purist for forms of address (they are so simple who wouldn’t get those right), social norms, etc. these books will definitely ring your bell.  For instance – a character has been hiding the fact that she is, in fact, a Viscount’s daughter.  Whenever that is revealed, a big deal is made that she is now referred to as Madam and not Miss.  Say what!    In FORMAL written correspondence she would be addressed as Madam, but, in speech, she would be addressed as or referred to as Miss.

Sophia has been a very interesting character throughout the books so far and it was great to see that she finally got her story.  She and her father aren’t in the normal areas of society.  They are the avant-garde before there was such a thing.  Sophia is an intelligent, bright, lively, passionate, caring young lady.  She’s totally dismayed at her strong attraction to Morris because she knows that the illegitimate daughter of a tailor can never hope for a future with a Duke.

Morris is just as attracted to Sophia as she is with him.  At first, he thinks he’ll pursue her and sate his attraction and then be on with his life.  No woman ever rebuffs him – but Sophia does.  He pursues her – until he is the one who is totally in love. However, she won’t believe it because she thinks his goal is to marry a Lady.

It is fun that we actually get two love stories in this book.  There is the main story with Sophia and Morris, but there is also a love story for Morris’ mother and Sophia’s father.

It is also fun to see the ladies of the Spinster’s Society lead the Men of Nashwood on a merry chase.  The gentlemen plot to get the ladies to marry them

Definitely a fun read.

Please check out my reviews at:

Blog: https://flippinpages.blog/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/flippinpagesweb.wordpress/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlippinPagesRev

“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.”

Our reviews for the previous books in this series:
Book 1 – Lady Lorena’s Spinster’s Society
Book 2 – Alice’s Shameless Spinster’s Society
Book 3 – Genie’s Scandalous Spinster’s Society

Genie’s Scandalous Spinster’s Society by Charlotte Stone

Genie's Scandalous Spinster's Society
Series: Spinster’s Society
Publication Date: 10/3/17

The third exciting and romantic entry in Charlotte Stone’s Spinster’s Society series. The Men of Nashwood are definitely shrinking the ranks of the Spinster’s Society. Finally, Genie gets her man, but it isn’t an easy path.

Francis Cullip, Duke of Valdeston, is in a very bad position. He’s desperately in love with Lady Genevieve and has been since they were children. However, her nasty father has put Francis in a position where he can neither offer for her nor tell her how he feels. All of their friends know that they are in love and cannot understand why Francis keeps Genie at arm’s length.

Valdeston is an empty dukedom. They are poorer than church mice and are deeply in debt. Everybody knows Francis has pockets to let, but he’s been making some headway since he and his friends opened an exclusive gentleman’s club in his townhouse. The dukedom once had an ample income, they weren’t rich, but they were comfortable enough. Then, the duke, Francis’ father, made a series of very bad investments and put the family on the road to ruin.

Genie’s father is a very rich, but very mean and hateful Earl who will do anything in his power to bring down the dukedom. He doesn’t even care that he’s also ruining the life and happiness of his only child. Genie doesn’t know what her father has done, and Francis can’t tell her. Even though Francis keeps her at arm’s length, she doesn’t give up. She loves Francis just as desperately as he loves her and will do whatever is necessary to win him.

Francis and Genie have a rough road to travel to find their HEA and you wonder if they’ll ever make it through. Can they overcome all of the obstacles in their path or will they end up alone and miserable? You’ll just have to read it to see.

I think we might also see the set-up for the next book in the series – a match between Sophia and Morris. That will certainly be an interesting combination if that is the case.

“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.”

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