Tag Archives: Elizabeth Essex

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Marry by Elizabeth Essex

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Marry (Highland Brides, #4)Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Marry by Elizabeth Essex
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Highland Brides, #4

Release Date: March 20, 2018

The wedding day of Lady Greer Douglas and Ewan Cameron, the Duke of Crieff is finally here, after 10 years of writing letters and falling in love, they will finally meet and marry.

Greer is in alt, she loves Ewan with her entire being and he is her best friend and today she will not only marry him, but look upon his beloved face for the first time! Betrothed as children, they have never met, the timing has always worked against them, but they have written letters and come to know each other and have fallen in love. Both are anxious and excited for the wedding.

But this day will not be the fairy tale Greer has envisioned, first they are delayed when they find a badly beaten man in the road, Greer doesn’t hesitate to help, the man is barely alive, they are preparing to take him to the castle when the moorkeeper for Crieff, Dewar comes along. He recognizes the man and tells Greer, he will take him and care for him. Greer is reluctant to let the man go, she feels drawn to him, but Ewan awaits. They continue up to the castle and are shocked that no one is there to greet them, they knock on the door and learn the awful news – Ewan is dead. His cousin Malcolm has installed himself in the castle as the new Duke and has the audacity to offer to marry her in Ewan’s stead. Greer is devastated and Malcolm doesn’t give them any straight answers. He says he doesn’t even have Ewan’s body yet, he was killed in Edinburgh after a night of carousing with his friends. Greer doesn’t believe him, but has no way to refute his words. In her sorrow, she runs out of the house and to the moors to grieve, this is where she finds Ewan’s dog Gent, alone and disheveled. As she takes the dog and makes her way back to the castle, she is intercepted by Malcolm and has no choice but to walk with him. They pass the moorkeeper cottage and Dewar tells her that the man died. He sees the dog and offers to take him, but Greer asks Malcolm if she can keep him.

Dewar tends to the man from the road, he is barely clinging to life and has only said one word – Crieff. The man is Ewan and Dewar is convinced that his life is still in danger. Ewan doesn’t remember anything – his mind is a black void, the only thing he knows is the name “Crieff”, but he doesn’t even know what that means. His only memory is a vison of a bridge, a woman and a penny. Dewar tells him that the Douglas of Delshee found him, that is another name he knows, but doesn’t know why. For his protection, Dewar moves him to a brothy near Glas Maol (yet, another name he knows).

Greer returns home and is inconsolable for the next two weeks, but finally she is given a purpose to get out of the house – the new duke is selling off unentailed land and her father wants her to look at it, it is near her favorite place, Glas Maol – this is the place between hers and Ewan’s estates – a place they had planned to meet but never got the chance. She goes and sees Ewan, but doesn’t’ recognize him as Ewan – having never met him in person and this man is still healing from a beating and is covered with bruises. She doesn’t know him, but Gent does! Greer begins to foster hope that this man, might be her Ewan. She talks to him and learns that he has no memory since the beating. She befriends him and promises to visit him again. She returns home to find Malcolm there – inviting them to Ewan’s funeral.

Ewan begins to heal and bits and pieces of his memory return, he is also falling in love with Greer, but sadly has no memory of his previous relationship with her. Greer is now positive that this man is Ewan and writes to his friends for answers to his last day in Edinburgh. But they have to proceed with caution, because even if Ewan can’t remember what happened to him, it is clear that someone tried to kill him. When he finally remembers who he is, it is bittersweet for Greer, as he has no memory of her. So she has found the man she loved, but has still lost him.

Together with his friends, they try to sort out what happened to Ewan that last day and who is trying to kill him.

This is a very sweet story of lost love found, betrayal and friendship. It is well written, it is set in the present, but is interspersed with the letters Greer and Ewan wrote to each other, so the reader learns their past and sees them falling in love, which makes it all the more heartbreaking when Ewan doesn’t remember her. The story has several suspenseful moments, some steamy love scenes, cameos from Quince and Alastair from Mad About the Marquess (Highland Brides, #2), a really nasty villain and a very, very touching ending.

I have loved all the books in this series, but I think this might be my favorite, Greer and Ewan truly are soulmates. I highly recommend this book, it is the fourth in the series, but it could be read as a stand alone title with no problems.

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

The Danger of Desire by Elizabeth Essex

The Danger of Desire (Dartmouth Brides #3)The Danger of Desire by Elizabeth Essex

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Dartmouth Brides #3
Release Date: 04/04/17 (Revised edition)

Please Note: This review is for the 2017 revised/reissued version.

I read the original version of this book years ago and I loved it – the changes in this new version are slight, but for all those who were upset that the hero was not a virgin in the original – you will be very happy with the revisions!

Captain Hugh McAlden has been recuperating from an injury that almost cost him his leg and is at loose ends. He has been asked by the admiralty to look into a delicate matter. His reward for a successful mission will be a knighthood and reinstatement of his command. Eager to get back on his ship, he accepts the mission and finds the perfect person to help him as he is leaving the admiralty building.

Meggs is a thief, she has been working the streets as a pickpocket for years to support herself and her younger brother. She is “working” outside the admiralty when she catches Hugh’s eye – shocked that she has been caught, she runs without hearing Hugh’s proposition. Hugh chases her through the streets and alleys of London and finally corners her. He tells Meggs what he needs her to do. Meggs takes his watch and manages to escape – but in the process, badly injuries her hand.

Intrigued by Hugh and worried for her brother, Meggs seeks Hugh out by taking his watch to the watchmaker and pretends to be trying to return it the owner. The watchmaker sends a note to Hugh
and when he comes to claim the watch, he meets with Meggs again. This time he gives her more information about what he wants to hire her for and gives her his direction.

Meggs decides that if Hugh is really willing to pay her, it would mean security for her and her brother, so she seeks out Hugh to make a deal and then collapses from complications of her injury.

Hugh nurses Meggs back to health and brings her brother to his house as well. When Meggs wakes, he tells her what he needs her to do and puts her to work in his house. As the days pass, the attraction between them grows and they dance around each other. Meggs is confused by her feelings for Hugh and can’t imagine a future with him, so when she is finally healed enough to go on the mission, she sets out determined to succeed and then set out on her new life.

When Meggs is nearly caught, Hugh realizes that Meggs means more to him than the mission and doesn’t want things to end between them. He enlists his mother to help him acclimate Meggs to society and makes provisions for her brother to train for the navy with his friend James Marlowe. At this point it appears that it will be smooth sailing to a HEA, but a surprising twist that leads to the truth about Meggs identity threatens to tear our lovers apart.

This book is well written, has funny moments, some very steamy love scenes, some intrigue, a lot of twists and turns and finally a very hard earned HEA. The book is the third in the trilogy, but it is loosely connected and could easily be read as a stand alone title.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for a Revised copy of this book that was provided to me by the author*

A Fine Madness by Elizabeth Essex

A Fine Madness (Highland Brides Book 3)A Fine Madness by Elizabeth Essex

Release Date: May 2, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

This was a charming little story about Hamish Cathcart, the third son of an earl and Rory’s (from Mad for Love) half brother and Elspeth Otis, orphaned daughter of John Otis, infamous author of a banned book. This is the third book in the series, but it appears to run concurrently with Mad About the Marquess and I thought it tied the three books together nicely.

Hamish is in a bind, his father has decided that it is time for him to marry and has given him about 5 weeks to pick a bride or be cut off. Hamish has no desire to dance to his father’s tune and is determined to find a way to make his own fortune. As luck would have it, opportunity knocks in the form of Lady Ivers – sister to John Otis. She suggests that Hamish revive and revamp her late brother’s book and points him in the direction of the original publisher.

Elspeth is at home with her two aunts (her mother’s sisters) celebrating her 24th birthday when she is surprised by a delivery from her aunt (Lady Ivers) from Edinburgh – since she has never had any contact with her father’s family, she is shocked to find out that her aunts have kept the knowledge that Lady Ivers has sent her letters and gifts over the years from her. She makes a rash decision and leaves the cottage and travels to Edinburgh – much to the dismay and contempt of her aunts. Unsure of her welcome, Elspeth is delighted by the warm welcome she receives from Lady Ivers. Lady Ivers explains to Elspeth that the trunk that was delivered to her was actually her father’s and encourages Elspeth to explore the contents and pick up where her father left off on the manuscript within. She then points in the direction of the original publisher of her father’s book.

When Hamish and Elspeth first meet, it is definitely not love at first sight – but after Elspeth leaves and Hamish reads the book she has written – he is blown away and sees the means to make his venture a success and to escape the marriage noose his father is trying to trap him in.

Hamish and Elspeth meet again at Lady Ivers home and agree work together to publish the book. Hamish realizes that Elspeth is not the mouse he first thought and the more time he is with her, the more he wants her and not just for the book. Elspeth is also smitten by Hamish – but she has lead a small life and is sure that a worldly man like Hamish would never want a girl like her. When they meet at a ball and things become heated between them – Elspeth’s upbringing resurfaces and she is ashamed of herself – so when Lady Ivers tells her one of her aunts is ill and asking for her – she bolts.

Hamish is not willing to let Elspeth walk away and sets out after her. Just as he convinces her that should be together – a misunderstanding sends Elspeth running again.

I really enjoyed this book – it is well written, has an interesting storyline, likeable characters, no real villains (unless you count the aunts as villains – which they kind of were), a couple of steamy-ish love scenes, a quickly resolved misunderstanding and a wonderful declaration scene.

This book could easily be read as a stand alone title – but it does tie the other two books into the series very nicely.

Historical Hellions – Box Set, Various Authors.

Historical HellionsHistorical Hellions by Elizabeth Essex

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Release Date: 4/11/17

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for a copy of this book that was provided to me by the author*

This was a great set!

The Pursuit of Pleasure – Elizabeth Essex – Full Length Novel – 4 Stars: This is the story of Lizzie and James. They were friends in their youth before James disappeared for 10 years. He is back and offers Lizzie what she has always wanted – to be a widow! The book is good, but feels a little disjointed. I know Lizzie and Jamie are in love, but the story really lacked romance – but that was more about the personalities of Lizzie and Jamie than any flaw in the writing. They simply are not lovey-dovey type of characters.

The Thief Steals Her Earl – Christina McKnight – Full Length Novel – No Rating – I did not read this book.

Secrets In Scarlet – Erica Monroe – Full Length Novel – 5 Stars: This is the story of Poppy and Thaddaeus. Poppy is a single mother trying to do the best she can for her daughter and Thaddaeus is the police sergeant trying to solve a murder. Poppy tries hard to keep Thaddaeus out of her life, but he will not be swayed. When danger threatens and secrets are revealed – I fell in love with Thaddaeus – he was a perfect hero. His love for Poppy was beautiful and unconditional. He made this book for me. Poppy was a good heroine and I understand her need to protect her daughter – but I think she could have trusted Thaddaeus with the truth much sooner than she did.

Sleeping Beau – Lila DiPasqua – Novella – 5 Stars: This book was scorching hot – I a surprised my kindle didn’t melt – HOT! I loved this story – it might be my favorite in the set! This is a very, very loose interpretation of Sleeping Beauty. Adrien and Catherine shared a night of passion years ago – but Adrien never knew who the woman was and she has haunted his dreams since then. Catherine had her reasons for seducing Adrien 5 years ago – but she had no idea who he was. She is now a widow on the cusp of remarriage when she meets Adrien again. They immediately recognize each other, but Catherine steadfastly refuses to acknowledge their prior meeting. When Adrien finally gets the truth, Catherine agrees to be his lover until her betrothed arrives. They spend several HOT nights and days together and when Catherine’s intended shows up early, they are dismayed – neither is ready to say good-bye. Adrien lets Catherine go and it seems that there will be no HEA – but the author throws in a shocking twist that changes everything!

The Art of Seduction – Eileen Richards – Long Novella – 4 Stars: This book was a bit different than I imagined it would be from the blurb. It is about lost loves reuniting, Beth and Michael were in love but lost touch when Michael was called home to attend his dying mother. Five years later they meet again by chance and this time Michael is not going to let Beth slip away. This book really explored the social class differences in the era and the struggles young unmarried women faced. There is a love story, but it seemed downplayed in comparison to the social issues. I really liked Ms. Richards writing style and will definitely read more of her work!

The Madam’s Highlander – Madeline Martin – Long Novella – 5 Stars: This was the lone Scottish offering in the collection and it was fantastic! Ewan Fraser is a member of the Black Watch, he joined in hopes of redeeming his honor after his father was hung as a traitor. Freya is the owner of a brothel and loathes the English and the Black Watch – so when Ewan asks Freya for help – she refuses. Desperate to save his mother he does the only thing he can – he threatens hers! Furious Freya has no choice but to agree. When she goes to his home and finds it burned and his mother hiding from the Redcoats, she takes his mother to her home. When Ewan learns of her fate, he renounces his service to the Black Watch and becomes a fugitive. Freya agrees to take him to his mother. When they arrive at her home they are confronted with an English solider and Freya tells him Ewan is her husband. These two slowly form a bond and fall in love. When Ewan is discovered and all hell breaks loose – he sacrifices his freedom to save the woman he loves. It seems all hope is lost and months pass without word of his fate. I don’t know how she did it – but Ms. Martin turned it all around in the last chapter and accomplished what seemed impossible just a few pages before – a touching and believable HEA!

Reckless Wager – Christy Carlyle – Long Novella – 5 stars: This story was amazing! Set in Victorian England in Whitechapel – it was not your traditional Victorian romance. Kate has been widowed for 10 years and is considering getting married, but the abuse she suffered in her first marriage still haunts her and she doesn’t really want to give up her volunteer work in Whitechapel has her second guessing her decision. She meets Detective Sergeant Benjamin Quinn when a young woman comes into the clinic and claims she was assaulted by Jack the Ripper. The young woman, Rose, refuses to talk to anyone from the police, save Ben. Kate tracks him down at a pub and agrees to go to his flat to talk. Ben is drunk and ends up passing out, when Kate goes to leave, he briefly wakes and they share a heart stopping kiss. Kate leaves never expecting to see him again – but she wants to! These two cross paths again and Kate concocts the “wager” to make Ben include her in the search for Rose. The more time they spend together – the more they want. Ben has been hurt before, by choosing to join the MET, he lost the woman he hoped to marry and the relationship with his family became estranged. He has sworn off women and love, but he is drawn to Kate. I really loved this story, it is well written, well researched and paced perfectly.

I really enjoyed this collection and would highly recommend it!

At the time of this post (4/23/17), this collection was on sale for $0.99 at Amazon.com!

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