Tag Archives: Lana Williams

Daring the Duke by Lana Williams

Daring the Duke (The Seven Curses of London Book 7)Daring the Duke by Lana Williams
Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Seven Curses of London, #7

Release Date: June 12, 2018

Still reeling from the death of her beloved friend, Lady Lillian Bartley goes to London with one goal in mind – to make Elijah Waters, the Duke of Burbridge pay for breaking her best friend Helena’s heart. Lillian is a sweet, loving, loyal person, she doesn’t blame Elijah completely for Helena’s death, but she feels that he was a major factor. Helena had fallen fast and hard for Elijah when he danced and flirted with her at a ball. Later she receives a letter from an “admirer” wanting to meet with her – but when he doesn’t show, she falls into a fit of despair and when she becomes ill, fails to fight for her life and dies. Lillian believes that Elijah sent Helena the letter and toyed with her affections and she will do the same to him – she will make him fall in love with her and reject him as he did Helena.

But when she meets Elijah, she has a hard time reconciling the man who so callously hurt her friend with the kind man who is obviously dealing with his own grief over the recent death of his father. Lillian’s plan begins to unravel before it even starts – she is consumed with self doubt and questions herself, her worth and her motivations.

Elijah has his own doubts and guilt to deal with, he is attracted to Lillian, but he is not ready for a wife. The death of his father hit him hard and he spent most of the previous year in a haze of alcohol and meaningless dalliances to staunch the pain. Now he has finally realized that he owes it to his father to be a better man and take up the reins of the duchy. Elijah tries to do the right things, but besides the estate, his mother is suffering. She has turned to drinking to cope with her pain and Elijah feels responsible. When Lillian saves his mother from a potentially humiliating scene, Elijah begins to wonder about her reason for being so nice to his mother. But as time passes, he realizes Lillian is a truly beautiful person and he longs to know her better. When he suggests a ride in the park, Lillian agrees, only to be hurt when he fails to show. She then begins to question her decision to not hold him liable for Helena’s pain. What Lillian doesn’t know is, Elijah’s mother is on death’s door. She consumed some doctored spirits at a party and was poisoned. Elijah was not with her at the time, because he was out looking for the man who is selling altered liquor – he believes that his mother was subjected to it the night she almost caused a scene. He was given a copy of the Seven Curses book by Lillian’s brother Viscount Frost and read that things can be added to liquor to improve potency and shelf life while cutting costs – but the true price is high – many of the additives are poisonous.

When Elijah realizes he missed his meeting with Lillian, he rushes to see her – she forgives him and promises to visit the Duchess, but her own insecurities have taken root and the budding relationship they had may never blossom as a result.

Elijah doesn’t understand the change in Lillian, but he is grateful for her attention to his mother. The Duchess is finally starting to move past her crippling grief, thanks in part to Lillian. Elijah decides that Lillian is the woman for him and sets out to court her. But Lillian can’t seem to accept his attentions, she cares for him, but doesn’t feel worthy of his attention. So when an opportunity to help him by finding the apothecary that is suppling the additives to liquor distributor, she jumps at the chance to prove herself worthy of his love.

I thought this was a well written, emotional story that did true justice to how people grieve and the harmful effects of self-doubt. Lillian and Elijah are both dealing with insecurities and both are grieving, I liked how Ms. Williams dealt with both issues and I found the storyline of the tainted/altered liquor completely fascinating. There are no love scenes in this book beyond a couple of stolen kisses, so the heat level is low, but I didn’t feel like the story suffered from the lack. I thought this was a well done story that tackled some very sensitive issues and still managed to have a HEA. And while this is the seventh book in the series, it can easily be read as a stand alone title.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an uncorrected eARC that was provided to me*

Falling for the Viscount by Lana Williams

Falling for the Viscount (The Seven Curses of London Book 6)Falling for the Viscount by Lana Williams
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Seven Curses of London, #6

Release Date: January 27, 2018

Spencer Campbell and Dalia Fairchild have known each other since they were children and have annoyed each other for just as long. In Dalia’s mind, Spencer is all that is proper and boring, not anything like a man she would consider spending her life with. Spencer is in fact cautious by nature, but by no means is he boring. Spencer has been working on a case for the Intelligence Office and in the course of his investigation he happens upon Dalia in a place no proper young lady should ever be!

Dalia has followed her maid to a Dance Hall located in a seedy section of London, her maid Ruth has been displaying some discontent lately and has decided to venture to the Dance Hall with her cousin Betty. Betty has been telling Ruth stories of a better life, but Dalia is sure that life involves prostitution. Worried for her maid, Dalia tries to convince her that her life will not be better if she listens to Betty, but without solid proof, Dalia fears Ruth will not believe her. Thus the trip to the Dance Hall. Dalia enters and feels uncomfortable and is more than shocked (and secretly relieved) when Spencer insists on seeing her home. She wonders why Spencer is at the Dance Hall, surely he is not there to meet a woman!

Spencer is trying to find evidence that Jack McCarthy along with his right hand man Charlie Pruett are luring and even abducting women to force them into prostitution. This cause is near and dear to the Prime Minister’s heart and success in this case could give Spencer the position and respect he longs for.

When she asks Spencer to take her to Cermore Gardens, so she can see more of what Ruth is being drawn into, he refuses. She argues that she needs to understand why her maid thinks that she would have a better life as a prostitute, she wants to go so she can present the facts and dangers to her. Spencer pulls her into an alcove and they share a kiss. Dalia is seriously reconsidering her opinion of Spencer – perhaps he is not what or who she has always believed him to be. They visit the gardens and Dalia causes a scene – one in which Spencer must rescue her from, yet again. He knows Dalia is trouble and is impulsive, but he cannot stop thinking about her.

Dalia wants to learn more about these fallen women and what options are available to them and decides to visit a home for women who are trying to leave the “business” and start a new life – what she finds is appalling, she seeks out Spencer for help and unknowingly draws more attention to herself.

Slowly these two transition from childhood nemeses to friends to much more. But the road to their HEA will not be easy, Spencer knows he cares for Dalia, but he feels that her impulsiveness will make them both unhappy in the long run. It isn’t until Dalia is placed in grave peril, that Spencer finally admits that impulsive or not, he cannot live without this woman.

This was another great installment of the Seven Curses Series, I really loved Spencer, he is a wonderful hero, he is not your typical HR hero, he is not an alpha male, but I wouldn’t really call him a beta either – he is more like a real man, not always the strongest or the smartest, but a man that would give his life for the woman he loves. The book is well written, flows nicely, has a couple of warm love scenes (no intimacy outside of marriage), a really nasty villain, cameos from Hawke, Aberland, Lettie and Sophia, action, some tense moments and finally a very sweet HEA.

I am happy to recommend this book and look forward to the next “curse”

A Knight’s Temptation by Lana Williams

A Knight's Temptation (Falling For A Knight Book 2)A Knight’s Temptation by Lana Williams

Series: Falling for a Knight, #2

Release Date: November 7, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I was thrilled to learn that Ms. Williams was finally writing the follow up to A Knight’s Quest and could wait to delve right back into her medieval world of knights and ladies!

This story begins about two weeks after the end of A Knight’s Quest, Ilisa Douglas is the sister of Sophia (the heroine from A Knight’s Quest) and sister of the former governor of Berwick is in hiding with her younger brother Alec and Braden. She has a serious aversion to English knights and wants nothing more than to see Braden healed and on his way, so she can take her vows and retire to St. Mary’s. She feels honor bound to stay with Braden until he heals and her sister returns to take Alec with her to England.

Braden is the cousin of Garrick (the hero of A Knight’s Quest) and son of William and Christiana (Believe In Me – a fact that I remembered while I was reading this book!). Braden was injured while saving Ilisa and Sophia from an assassination attempt. Now that he is recovering, he wants to learn why Lord Graham is trying to kill the Douglas’ and who else might be involved. Little by little he regains his strength and tries to fight his attraction to Ilisa. Braden possesses the same gift of healing as his mother, a secret he guards closely, but a secret that may already be out, as he had used his gift in front of Alec. Using his gift drains him and in his weaken state could kill him, but Braden cannot let anyone suffer if he is able to help them. He is truly a good and honorable man.
When Ilisa and Braden learn that Lord Graham is having a tournament to celebrate his daughter’s birthday, Braden decides to go and see what he can learn. Ilisa and Alec also want to go and after meeting with the Prioress of St. Mary’s, Braden grudgingly agrees to let them accompany him. The Prioress helps them by giving them an invitation and new identities, but in turn she demands that they marry before they leave, assuring them that it will be easy to annul later. Doubtful, but needing to gain entry to the keep, they agree.

They travel to Lord Graham’s estate and along the way, Ilisa begins to realize her assumptions about Braden where wrong and that even though his is an English knight, he is a good man. The more she is with him, the more she begins to rethink her plans to take vows. She wonders if there could be a future with the man she is coming to admire.

When they reach the estate, they learn that Lord Graham is part of the Sentinels (the group of Scots looking to place their own man on the throne), but they still don’t know why he wants the Douglas siblings dead. They each play their role, trying to glean more information and the identities of Graham’s conspirators. When Ilisa befriends Arabela (Lord Graham’s daughter) they get too close to the truth and someone tries to kill Ilisa, Braden is forced to use his gift to save her. But too many people saw her injured and suspicion begins to take root.

When Chanse (Braden’s brother) shows up uninvited, Braden is overjoyed. Chanse enters the competition and tries to help Braden and Ilisa find out who Lord Graham is working with and to divert attention from Braden.

Braden knows he loves Ilisa, but is not sure about her feelings and with the danger they are in, he decides to wait until they are back in Berwick before he talks to her. But Ilisa has figured out Braden’s secret and is humbled that he risked his life to save her. She now knows that she loves him and would like to have a real marriage – but first they have to finish their mission. When they attend the final feast, Ilisa learns who tried to kill her. She tells Braden and they decide to leave the next morning. But when they are confronted by the villain and he uses Alec to force Braden to use his gift to save him and things go from bad to worse. Braden and Ilisa go to the keep to meet with Lord Graham and discover that Alec escaped. They leave to search for him and finally decide to leave and look for him on the road. When they find him and Braden heals him, he is drained and they are forced to stop so he can rest. But Lord Graham is not done with them yet and Braden is forced to make a choice to which there is no happy ending.

I loved this book, it was well written, flowed nicely, had plenty of action and intrigue and while it was not as steamy as I like, the love scenes were well done and appropriate for the story. Braden is a wonderful hero and is truly the shining star of this book.

This book is part of a series, but it could easily be read as a standalone title with no confusion to the reader. I was also excited to learn that Chanse’s story will be next and is scheduled to publish next spring!!

Romancing the Rogue by Lana Williams

Romancing the Rogue (Regency Rendezvous Book 9)Romancing the Rogue by Lana Williams
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Release Date: 07/28/17

It is no secret that Lana Williams is one of my favorite authors. I loved her Medieval series, the Victorian/Paranormal Secrets trilogy and most recently her Victorian Seven Curses series and now she has taken the plunge into the Regency era!
Regency era romance is one of my favorite subgenres in the world of Historical Romance and while I am not overly picky, most authors stumble when they delve into this era – so as much as I love Lana’s work, I was leery. I am happy to say with the exception of a couple minor things and one title flub – she nailed it!

This is the story of Richard Walker, the Earl of Aberland and Caroline Gold, eldest daughter of Sir Reginald Gold. Caroline’s father made his fortune in shipping and he was awarded a Knighthood twenty years ago for his service to the crown. Sadly, her father has recently begun to show signs of dementia and combined with some bad investments, the family is on the brink of ruin. She feels guilty that unlike her sisters, she has no talents that would enable her to contribute to the family’s coffers. So in an effort to save her family, Caroline has been trying to encourage the Duke of Wakefield to propose. With his wealth and connections, Caroline is sure that he is the answer to her all her problems.

After sharing a dance with the duke, she is sure he will propose, but when their conversation is interrupted and he walks away, Caroline makes an impulsive decision to follow him.
Richard is on a mission, he is an agent for the crown and lost his partner and best friend just over a year ago – betrayed by a woman whom he trusted. He is determined to find the traitor that killed his friend and his former lover. He has narrowed his suspects down to 3 members of the ton and has returned to England to deliver justice. The ton know him as a penniless rogue, which works for his purposes. He sees Caroline follow Wakefield out to the gardens and as Wakefield is one of his targets, he follows them. When Wakefield abruptly leaves, Richard confronts Caroline about her conversation – at this point he is not sure if she is innocent or if she is in cahoots with Wakefield. Unfortunately, when she tries to leave, he grabs for her arm and they end up in a compromising position, which is witnessed by not only her mother, but the hostess.
Caroline is horrified and tries to explain her way out of the inevitable – Richard must propose to save her reputation – but marrying him will ruin her family. She is also concerned with him finding out about her father’s condition. They reluctantly agree to a betrothal – but neither actually plans to marry the other.
As Caroline and Richard get to know each other, they both wonder if perhaps there could be something more between them. But the each have secrets and a villain is determined to destroy them both.
The book is well written, flows nicely, the secondary characters are wonderful, it has secrets, some action, a bit of intrigue and a dash of angst. While this book is not a steamy read, there are a few passionate kisses and stolen moments.

I would be happy to recommend this book because I really enjoyed the story and sincerely hope that Ms. Williams has plans to write stories for Caroline’s sister and Richard’s brother!

*I was provided a copy of this book by the author and am voluntarily leaving a review*

Her Majesty’s Scoundrel’s – Various Authors

Her Majesty's ScoundrelsHer Majesty’s Scoundrels by Christy Carlyle
Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

A very good collection of Victorian Era novellas.

To Lure a Lost Duke – Christy Carlyle – 5 stars: This was my favorite in the collection, it was also the longest of the five and the steamiest. This is the story of Octavia aka Tavia and Killian Graves, the Duke of Strathmoor. Octavia is an investigator hired by the Queen to track down Killian and bring him back to London. Killian was a soilder and never expected to inherit, he doesn’t feel worthy and couple that with an accusation of murder – he has decided to walk away from his life. Tavia finds Killian and worms her way into his life. After a confrontation with the murdered man’s brother, Killian agrees to return to London, where he hope Tavia will agree to marry him. But upon his return he is promptly arrested for the murder and believes the woman he loves betrayed him. Can Tavia clear his name and convince Killian that she was not party to his arrest? Great story!

Cast In Scandal – Laura Landon – 4 stars: This is the story of Edward, Duke of Townsend and Alyssa, Countess of Lindleigh. Edward has been tasked with finding a missing agent of the crown and finding out the truth of Lord Lindleigh’s death. Alyssa has lived under a cloud of suspicion for the past year – the ton believes that she killed her husband. Alyssa would be more than happy to live the rest of her life out of society – but for the sake of her daughter, she has re-entered society and is trying to put the scandal behind her – without much success. Edward is drawn to Alyssa and after a rocky start, they form a friendship. Edward manages to find the missing link between the missing agent and the death of Alyssa’s husband – but will he be able to save the woman he loves? I liked this story – both Alyssa and Edward are older and have been in love before and been hurt by those loves.

The Viscount’s Secret – Anthea Lawson – 3 stars: Anthony, Viscount Percival is a spy, he has honed an image of a frivolous flirt to glean secrets. Irenna is the niece of Anthony’s latest target – but somehow she sees past his disguise. Anthony is intrigued by Irenna and hopes that she can be the one woman that can love the real Anthony. But the path to their HEA will be difficult, Irenna has been hurt before and war is brewing. I felt like this novella was a little too short and therefore it made the love story feel rushed and unbelievable.

A Spy to Call My Own – Rebecca Paul – 3 1/2 stars: This story started out so good, but it wrapped up too quickly. Vera is a suffragette and attending college when she learns that her brother has died. Desperate for answers, she travels to Africa to find her brother’s partner, Owen. Owen is an agent for the home office – he fell in love with Vera years ago – but his duty has made walk away from her. When she shows up with a map that she found hidden in her brother’s belongings – he wants nothing more than to ship her back to England where she will be safe. Vera is having none of that and manages to save herself and Owen from certain death when the villain tries to take the treasure that cost her brother his life. This was well written and interesting – but it wraps up way too fast and felt incomplete.

Tempting the Scoundrel – Lana Williams – 4 1/2 stars: Elliott, Earl of Aberland is a spy, he has cultivated the image of a rake and a wastrel to explain his many absences from society. Sophia Markham is his grandmother’s new companion and far to lovely and clever for Elliott’s peace of mind. Elliott tries to send Sophia away – because he knows it will be impossible to maintain his cover with this woman, but his grandmother adores her and he doesn’t have the heart to hurt her. They grow close and Sophia is sure that Elliott is not the scoundrel he wants the world to believe. However when she spies on him and is caught – he makes it clear that he is not interested in her and that he is exactly what his reputation implies. But when danger threatens and Sophia is dragged into an assassination attempt on the Queen – Elliott will move heaven and earth to save the woman he loves. Great addition to the Seven Curses series with cameos from the previous characters.

I really enjoyed this collection and would be happy to recommend it.

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