Tag Archives: Linda Rae Sande

The Dream of a Duchess by Linda Rae Sande

The Dream of a Duchess (The Widowers of the Aristocracy, #1)The Dream of a Duchess by Linda Rae Sande

Barbara’s rating: 3.5/4 of 5 stars

Series: The Widowers of Aristocracy #1
Publication Date: 1/19/18

This well-plotted and well-written novel is very busy and basically follows two couples. This is not a steamy book, but it is sweet. The main couple is Lady Isabella Tolson and Octavius, Duke of Huntington, but I liked the romance between David Fitzwilliam, Earl of Norwick and Clarinda (Clare) Brotherton.

Lady Isabella is plundering through her mother’s (Arabella) belongings and finds a very old and worn letter with just a signature of ‘D’. She wonders who ‘D’ might be – because it sounds like a fairly intimate letter. She also has an old and worn calling card that her mother had given her when she told her that if anything ever happened and she needed help, to contact that person – David Fitzwilliam. Later that same afternoon, Isabella finds her father bent over her mother’s lifeless body and she’s convinced he’s murdered her. Isabella flees to London to find David Fitzwilliam.

Lady Isabella ends up at the brothel, The Elegant Courtesan, owned by David Fitzwilliam. She has ridden on horseback all night, is tired and bedraggled and terrified of her father. After hearing Isabella’s story, David knows he has to hide her in order to keep her safe until he can discover the truth or until her father dies – whichever comes first.

David sends an urgent message to Octavius and asks him to come to the brothel right away. After reading the entire missive, Octavius hurries out. After a discussion, they agree that the best place to hide Isabella is at the Octavius’ country estate, Huntinghurst. Since Isabella is horse-mad, it is the perfect location for her.

This tale covers several years – April 1813 through the Epilogue in March 1816. There were a number of things that just aren’t Regency appropriate – or at least it didn’t seem so to me. For instance – at around the 27% mark we have the maid changing into livery, when maids didn’t wear livery – footmen wore livery and sometimes the coachmen, but not the maids. Then we have the lady asking the butler his name in conversation. There was a lot of handshaking going on. I don’t think the ladies shook hands in that period – the gentlemen probably didn’t either. We also have servants, like Mr. Jenkins using the front door and everyone referred to one of the stable hands as Master George. I’ve never heard of the seat at the head of the table (the host’s seat) being called a carver – is that what it is called? I know there is a type of armed chair that is called a carver maybe that is how she was using it. Just wanted to mention a few that just didn’t seem right to me.

The story seems to portray Maxwell Tolson, Earl of Craythorne as a despicable villain and I just didn’t buy that. He was a very large man who was gruff and had a temper, but he didn’t beat his family or much of anything else that I can see. He truly loved his wife and his daughter. He was betrayed in that his bride was expecting another man’s child when they married –he never knew – but he always felt she was in love with someone else. That must have been a very hard thing to live with.

I loved that the story took place over a longer period of time because it should have allowed for a slow growth of affection and love. However – there were few visits between Isabella and Octavius. As you read through the story it shows long periods with no visits – but toward the end, they mentioned that he visited something like two days per month.

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.”

The Christmas of a Countess by Linda Rae Sande

The Christmas of a Countess (The Holidays of the Aristocracy Book 1)The Christmas of a Countess by Linda Rae Sande

Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Holidays of the Aristocracy #1
Publication Date: 10/24/17

What a delightfully funny, totally unlikely and improbable tale. It reminds me of those zany old romantic comedy movies from the 1940’s (like My Favorite Wife with Cary Grant & Irene Dunn) where you have a handsome, sophisticated man, a beautiful wife and lots of witty banter. If you are a regency purist, it will probably make you a bit insane. However, if you can suspend that and just enjoy a funny, romantic tale you’ll find yourself chuckling. While you don’t get explicit sexual descriptions you definitely have a libidinous bunch of characters – think rabbits – with varied and sundry locations.

Milton Grandby, Earl of Torrington, had loved his best friend’s sister since she was a child. He’d missed out on his chance to win her hand and she married another. He never married – just assumed he’d die still unmarried. At the beginning of each season he would choose a different widow to escort to all of the functions of the season – and at the end of the season, he’d buy her a parting gift and go on his way. Then, Adele is widowed and he has his chance with her.

Adele Slater Worthington knew Milton Grandby and she also knew his reputation, so when he approached her, she assumed that he wished for her to be his widow of the season. Imagine her surprise when he proposes shortly after that – and declares his love. She doesn’t believe him at first but, over time, he proves that he really does love her.

Our story begins when Milton decides that they need to spend the Christmas period at his country seat. While making the arrangements Milton learns that his valet, Alonyius Banks, has a brother who is near death. Alonyius isn’t interested in stopping at his home to see his brother even though it is right on the way. However, the coach with the Earl and the Countess manages to get through the weather to the country seat, but the coach with the servants, valet and ladies maid, is stranded.

We actually have two romances – one between the valet and ladies maid and then the continuing romance of Milton and Adele. There is much more to Alonyius than it would seem at first and you’ll learn all about it as you progress through the story.

One of the things I really like about the story is that all of the main characters are mature – in their late thirties and even into the mid-forties. The author assures you are aware that they are older because she keeps referring to their grey hair — especially the grey chest hair.

There are so many inaccuracies and improbabilities that it isn’t worth the time to go through all of them, but I’ll speak of a few.

  • There are the conversations – they might take place today, but they would definitely not have taken place during 1816. I’m speaking of almost every conversation in the book – between servants, between masters and servants, etc. They are witty and funny and I enjoyed them, but they are definitely inappropriate for that time.
  • There is the interaction between Milton and Alonyius as well as between Adele and Alice Simpkins. Their conversations are much too personal to be believable. For instance, at one point Milton says “Good God, Banks! She just needs a good lay.” And then goes on to suggest that Alonyius give her (Alice) a tumble. Then, there is the encouragement of a wedding, sharing of expensive gowns and jewelry, etc.
  • There is the choice of Alonyius’ profession. It just isn’t a believable choice given his background. I won’t explain more, but you’ll see why when you read the book
  • There are ‘old sayings’ sprinkled throughout the book – some were true to the time period and others were not – for instance ‘The whole nine yards’ wasn’t a saying until the 1900’s – but – ‘In for a penny, in for a pound’, was period accurate. I didn’t check them all, but it was an easy enough thing to do.
  • There is the lack of proper address. It is dismissed as a concern because Milton doesn’t like it. I don’t believe that would have been honored during that time period and it would have been so easy to just get it right.

This was a fun and enjoyable read – as long as you can put aside any issues with period correctness.

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

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