Tag Archives: Jess Michaels

The Duke of Nothing by Jess Michaels

The Duke of Nothing (The 1797 Club, #5)The Duke of Nothing by Jess Michaels
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: The 1797 Club, #5

Release Date: January 16, 2018

I started this book with a preconceived notion of how it was going to play out based on the blurb. I thought I was going to be reading a typical star crossed lovers trope, I foresaw anguish, heartbreak, longing for what could never be, etc., etc., etc., and then a miraculous HEA. I am happy to say, I was totally wrong! Yes, the book had all the aforementioned elements, but OMG – there was nothing typical about the way this story unfolded.

Baldwin Undercross, the Duke of Sheffield, has a secret, one he has kept from everyone, his mother knows part of it, but even she does not know the full extent of his ruin. Baldwin inherited the estate five years ago from his father and learned that his father had gambled away almost everything that was not entailed. And Baldwin added to this debt by trying to gamble and only made things worse. His pride will not let him share his shame with anyone. He knows that he must marry a heiress and soon, before society at large learns of the state of his finances. His mother has complied a list of “prospects” and Baldwin must choose one to be his duchess.

Helena Monroe is the cousin and companion of Charity Shephard, who is one of Baldwin’s prospects. Helena also has secrets and accepts her lot in life because she really has no other options. Helena is truly a kind, loving soul, she meets Baldwin when she has slipped out to count stars. When Baldwin asks what she is doing and she tells him that counting stars reminds her that there are bigger things than herself or her problems. Baldwin is instantly charmed and thinks that she might be the “American” from his mother’s list and suddenly, the idea of marrying doesn’t seem so awful.

Baldwin soon learns that Helena is not the heiress and cannot even be considered a prospect, but his mother points out that Charity is a lovely young woman and urges him to pursue her. Helena also learns who Baldwin is and that her cousin is interested in him. She knows that she is not a suitable choice for his bride and pushes down her disappointment.

They meet again when Baldwin hosts a tea for the prospects, they once again end up alone when Helena is embarrassed by her uncle and needs a moment to compose herself. They chat and are found together by Charity.

Her Uncle is livid and punishes her by making her stay home while he and Charity pay calls. But while they are out, Helena receives a visit from the “duchesses”, they noticed Baldwin’s interest in her and decided to make her acquaintance. Helena is overwhelmed by their offer of friendship and she gladly accepts. She knows that they would shun her if they knew the truth, but she can’t help but be thrilled by their friendship. When Charlotte invites her to dinner, she tries to decline, but Charlotte promises to invite her family.

At the dinner, Baldwin once again singles her out and they go for a walk in the garden and share a kiss. After which, he apologizes and he tells her everything. They know that there can be no future for them and commit to being friends. It is not enough, but they will take what they can get.

Baldwin’s mother organizes a house party for the prospects. Baldwin and Helena try to avoid each other, but it is impossible and causes problems for Helena with Charity and her Uncle Peter. And to make matters worse, Baldwin learns that someone has bought up some of his debts and he doesn’t know who or what they will demand. When Helena goes looking for him, she finds him drunk in his study. They talk and kiss and Baldwin learns part of her secret. The next day he seeks her out and learns the full extent of her secrets. She tells him that even though they have no future, she would like an affair. Helena knows she loves him and wants something to remember after they part.

Baldwin knows he loves her and has to make a decision. When he is confronted by Matthew about his intentions toward Helena, he tells him everything and why as much as he loves her, he cannot marry her. Matthew is angry and offers to marry Helena himself. This is the jolt Baldwin needed and he confesses all to his family.

Just when it seems like a HEA is on the horizon, Helena’s uncle throws a wrench into their plans and all seems lost. But salvation comes from an unlikely and surprising source!

This was probably my second favorite book in the series. It is well written, flows perfectly, has steamy love scenes, wonderful secondary characters, one of the best declaration scenes I have ever read and of course a wonderful HEA. While this is the 5th book in the series, it could easily be read as a stand alone title – but be warned, if you start with this book, you are going to want to read the previous books 🙂

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

Tracy & Barbara’s Historical Romance Favorites For 2017

As 2017 draws to a close, we’d like to take a moment to thank each of you for your support of our blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages.  We were so excited to start our blog in April, but we were apprehensive as well.  We wondered if we’d be able to produce content that others would appreciate and if we’d be able to grow our following.  Thanks to you, we have grown, are still growing and look forward to growing even more in 2018.

We have read and reviewed some wonderful books this year and we’d like to share our favorites with you.  So, we’ll be sharing our ‘favorites’ published in 2017 with you, in this post and the next – along with a link to our review (just click on the picture to see the review).   You might notice that some books are on both Tracy and Barbara’s list – smiles – that should let you know it was a REALLY good book.  We hope you will enjoy the list, the reviews – and maybe find a new favorite for yourself.  If you like our blog, please pass us along to your friends so maybe they’ll follow us too.

First up – is a list of our favorite Historical Romances.  They are not listed in any particular order.

Barbara’s List

Traitor In Her ArmsThree Weeks With A PrincessThird Son's A CharmThe Silent DukeThe Highlanders Princess BrideThe Duke Of Her DesireHighland SpyHighland RuseTracy-Duke With BenefitsA Most Unlikely Duke

Tracy’s List

Tracy - Anything but a GentlemanTracy-Duchess DealTracy - Duke of DesireTracy - Earl In Wolf's ClothingTraitor In Her ArmsTracy - The Daring DukeTracy - The DukeTracy - Seducing Mr. SykesTracy - Someone To LoveThe Highlanders Princess Bride





The Silent Duke by Jess Michaels

The Silent Duke (The 1797 Club, #4)The Silent Duke by Jess Michaels

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The 1797 Club #4
Publication Date: 11/14/17

What a book! I absolutely loved it from beginning to end – and couldn’t put it down until I could see how it all worked out. Do you want a broken heart? If so, just read the Prologue to this excellent book. The unimaginable pain a heartless and mean-spirited parent can cause is just palpable. Then, if you want a smile in your heart – read the rest of the book. It is an excellently written, well-paced, story of life-long friends finding their own happily ever after. It isn’t one of those books where they were in denial of their feelings – no – both knew they deeply loved the other. However, one of them (you guess which one) is stubborn beyond belief and doesn’t feel worthy of the other. Now, for the purists among us (yes, I’m one), the author did use a couple of anachronistic words – for instance, she used the word ‘sex’ to refer to the act rather than the gender. See this Facebook post by Ella Quinn for information on the etymology for ‘sex’.

Ewan Hoffstead was born mute. He was a lovely child, but his father could not accept that his heir was less than perfect and tried to beat, berate and shame him into speaking. Picture a grown man standing above a cowering two-year-old child screaming at him that he was broken and worthless. Imagine the damage that treatment would cause to a young child’s psyche. When Ewan was ten-years-old, his father was going to finally put him in an asylum in order to keep him from inheriting the title. Luckily for Ewan, his aunt and uncle took him from his parents and raised him with love and acceptance. Ewan was actually a very intelligent man, but everyone else seemed to judge him on his lack of speech. Or did they? Maybe it was just his perception that everyone was judging him negatively – but, that poor abused little boy always came to the fore and thought that they did. You’ll just fall hopelessly in love with Ewan when you read this book. He’s sweet, thoughtful, considerate and honorable.

Charlotte Undercross was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl of seven when she helped Ewan through the worst day of his young life. Then, together, they developed a hand-signing language to make it easier for Ewan to communicate with others. It turned out to be much too complicated for others to learn, but Ewan and Charlotte used it all the time. Charlotte loves Ewan with all of her heart and she has told him so and asked him to love her in return. When he refused, she married another.

Charlotte is now a young widow and she’s determined to have one more shot at a life with Ewan. If he still refuses, she’ll have to go back on the marriage mart. Ewan is hosting a Christmas celebration at his estate and several friends and family will attend – Charlotte is among those. Fate intervenes and a winter storm causes rivers to flood and Charlotte’s coach is the last one to make it over the bridge leading to Ewan’s home. That gives Charlotte several days alone with Ewan. Can she convince him to let go of his past and embrace a future with her? We sure hope so. Then, there is the remainder of his hate-filled family to contend with. Will they manage to oust Ewan from his title and cause irreparable harm?

This is a quick and lovely read and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

Please check out my reviews at:
Blog: https://flippinpages.blog/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/flippinpages…
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.”

Please check-out our reviews of the other books in this series:
Book 1 – The Daring Duke
Book 2 – Her Favorite Duke
Book 3 – The Broken Duke

The Broken Duke by Jess Michaels

The Broken Duke (The 1797 Club Book 3)The Broken Duke by Jess Michaels

Series: The 1797 Club, #3

Release Date: September 12, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series is phenomenal – there is so much emotion written into these books, that you can’t help but to be sucked in and become invested in the characters.

This is the story of Graham Everly, Duke of Northfield and Lady Adelaide aka Lydia Ford. If you have been following the series, you know that Graham was jilted in the previous book and that Lady Adelaide is dear friends with Emma, Duchess of Abernathe.

In the two months since Graham was jilted and lost his best friend in the process, he has been sulking. He didn’t love Meg, but his pride was hurt and he was angry at both Simon and Meg for their betrayal. He has been drinking and brooding ever since. His fellow dukes have decided that he has sulked long enough and convince him to go out with them to see a play. Grudgingly he agrees and is immediately captivated by the actress Lydia Ford. After the play, he meets her backstage and they share a passionate kiss.

Lydia Ford is not who she seems, she is in reality Lady Adelaide, daughter of the late Earl of Longford. When she hears the Duke of Northfield wants to meet her, she is terrified that he will recognize her and she will be ruined. She started acting to escape her unhappy home life and has been successful in keeping her true identity a secret. By day, she is the dutiful niece to the abusive, unstable Lady Opal. She is a wallflower, who wears spectacles and dowdy gowns. But by night, she is the bold and talented actress Lydia Ford. She meets with Graham and is relieved that he doesn’t seem to recognize her – but why would he? He is gorgeous, rich and popular and Lady Adelaide is a wallflower.

Graham feels lighter and happier after meeting Lydia and decides to stop hiding and return to society. To avoid a confrontation with Meg and Simon, Graham asks Lady Adelaide to dance and is surprised and delighted by her. The encounter causes Graham a bit of turmoil, how can he be attracted to two women at the same time? It isn’t exactly easy for Adelaide either, she is attracted to Graham, but can’t tell him her secrets.

Things between Graham and Lydia heat up and they share a passionate night together, but strangely, Graham feels out of sorts. He keeps crossing paths with Adelaide and they have formed a friendship. He has begun to care for Lydia, but he also has begun to care for Adelaide and his affair with Lydia makes him feel like he is betraying Adelaide. Adelaide is also having problems, the least of which is she is jealous…..of herself.

When a villain from the past attacks Lydia, Graham beats the man senseless and Lydia saves him from himself. They share another night together and Graham shares his deepest, darkest secrets with her. Adelaide is horrified by the pain and suffering Graham endured as a child and admits to herself that she is falling in love with this broken man. She knows that she will have to tell him her secrets and soon, as their night together might have complications. Graham awakens to find Lydia gone and he is more confused than ever – he wants both women and has no idea what to do. He turns to his friend James, Duke of Abernathe (Meg’s brother & Emma’s husband) for advice.

When Adelaide returns home, her aunt loses control and attacks her, she is saved when her friend Emma arrives and takes her to her home. Graham is also at Emma’s house and James tells him to let Adelaide go. He accepts this advice with a heavy heart, but when he goes to leave, he finds Adelaide in the library. When he sees her, he is confused, she looks more like Lydia and when she confesses the truth, he is overjoyed. They share another passionate encounter and he makes a decision.

The next day, he arrives to see Adelaide and tell her of his plans, but they are interrupted by her aunt and then by an agent from the home office with the news that Graham is the prime suspect in a murder. To save Graham, Adelaide confesses her affair with Graham. Her aunt goes crazy and attacks Adelaide again. Once she is taken out of the house, Adelaide and Graham decide to find out who the true killer is. Once they do, Graham tells Adelaide that they will marry.

The truth of the murder and his acceptance of his feelings for Adelaide, lead Graham to reconcile with Simon and Meg. It also leads Adelaide to try and make amends with her aunt.

This book is so good! It is well written, flows perfectly, has steamy love scenes, great secondary characters, a lot of secrets, nasty villains, some heart stopping moments, reconciliations and finally a sigh worthy HEA.

I would highly recommend this book, it is the third in the series and could be read as a stand alone title, but I think you would have a great understanding of the character’s motivations if you read the series in order.

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

Her Favorite Duke by Jess Michaels

Her Favorite Duke (The 1797 Club Book 2)Her Favorite Duke by Jess Michaels

Release Date: June 6, 2017

Series: The 1797 Club, Book #2

Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

If you read the previous book, The Daring Duke, you know that there was something between James, the Duke of Abernathe’s sister, Lady Margret aka Meg and Simon, the Duke of Crestwood. These two shared a very close friendship and the longing between them was tangible. But Meg was betrothed to Graham, Duke of Northfield when she was only 16 and her brother inherited. While her heart longed for Simon, she accepted the betrothal to make her brother happy and hoped that she would learn to love Graham.

Simon was devastated when Meg was betrothed to Graham. He loved Meg and wanted to marry her, but he said nothing because he didn’t want to cause problems with James and Graham. Next to Meg, the two men where his closest friends and like brothers to him.

Seven years have passed since the betrothal and time is running out for Meg, James has married and has been hinting that it is time for her to marry Graham and despite the time that has passed, she is still in love with Simon and feels nothing more than friendship for Graham. While at a house party, James and Emma are hosting, Graham asks her if she would like to marry in three months, she feels she has no choice. Their wedding date is announced and she is heartbroken, she secretly hoped that Simon would object and declare himself, but he said nothing.

Simon can’t believe that Meg and Graham are finally going to marry – it feels like his life is over. When the Duke of Roseford finds Simon alone and suggests that Simon might want to take a holiday to get over his pain, Simon agrees, because there is no way he wants to watch his love marry another man. The next day he plans to say good-bye to Meg and then leave. But when he sees her and sees her pain, he wants nothing more than to comfort her. When Meg slips away from the party to clear her head, Simon follows. She wanders for almost an hour before Simon calls out to her. The weather has taken a turn and they are caught in a downpour. Too far from the house to make it back, they take shelter in the abandoned caretakers cottage.

Soaked and chilled to the bone, they start a fire and strip out of their wet clothes, when they agree to share the bed to keep warm and share a passionate kiss, Simon is disgusted with himself and leaves the room. The next morning he is awoken by voices outside and realizes that James and Graham have found them. Unfortunately, they are not alone, and when the group enters the cottage and find a naked Simon alone with an equally naked Meg – everything changes.

Graham is very angry with Simon and says some very hateful things, but he is gracious and agrees to stay long enough to see Simon and Meg’s engagement announced and appear to support the marriage.

Simon cannot seem to forgive himself, he doesn’t believe that he should get his heart’s desire and hates himself for causing so much pain and scandal. As much as he loves Meg, he seem intent on punishing himself and in the process, hurts her as well.

Simon feels incredibly guilty and mourns the loss of his friendship with Graham, he refuses to let himself be happy with Meg and begins to shut her out. For her part, Meg tries to make their marriage work and tries to get Simon to put the past behind them, she is willing to fight for their happiness, until an unexpected visit and confession from Roseford, makes her realize that Simon will never forgive himself and she leaves him.

Simon is confronted by James the next day and when he learns that Meg has left him for good, he finally seems to snap out of the pity party he has been having since they were caught together. For the first time ever, Simon is ready to fight for what he wants and he wants Meg.

This story is so well done, it flows perfectly, has some very HOT love scenes, it is emotional and I never doubted for a moment that these two loved each other, but I confess, I was ready to smack Simon more than once. These two had a very painful journey to their HEA, but once they find it, the ending was worth all the agony this reader suffered!

This is the second book in the 1797 Club series, but there is enough backstory given that you could read this as a stand alone title with no problems. I highly recommend this series and am looking forward to reading Graham’s story!!

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

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