Tag Archives: Sophie Barnes

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 Duke of Her Desire by Sophie Barnes

The Duke of Her Desire (Diamonds in the Rough #2)Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Diamonds In The Rough #2
Publication Date: 12/26/17

 

I loved this book. It is one of my favorite books (and series) for 2017! The writing is excellent – as always – the story is well plotted and the characters are well developed. We met most of the characters in the first book, A Most Unlikely Duke. While you get some of the family background from this book, it is well covered in the first book. So, I’ll give you a little detail here. The definitely unlikely duke, Raphe Matthews, was born into the gentry – his mother was the daughter of a viscount — but through an awful set of circumstances, he, at the age of 8 ends up living in St. Giles with his three younger sisters in his care. For fifteen years he manages to care for all of them by working on the docks and prizefighting. Sadly, he does lose one sister, and that eats at him. Can you imagine any 8-year old today managing to do what this child did? Never happen – but they seemed to mature earlier back then.

After a month or so of marriage, Raphe is taking his bride on a wedding trip. That leaves his sisters with an eccentric aunt, Lady Everley, as a chaperone. Raphe also asks his best friend, Thomas Heathmore, Duke of Coventry to help steer his two younger sisters through the beginning of the season. While he is hesitant, Thomas agrees. Little does poor Thomas know what he is getting himself into.

Amelia has lived almost her entire life in St. Giles. She’s learned to be resourceful, smart and determined because she had the care of her younger sisters. She cleaned, scavenged for food, prepared meals and otherwise did all the things that needed to be done to see to her family’s welfare. She has had a really hard time adjusting to her new life in Mayfair since her older brother inherited a Dukedom a couple of months ago. She’s been diligent about her dancing, deportment and other lessons, but she just doesn’t feel as if she belongs. She’s at a loss and needs something to do with herself – and she knows what that is and what she needs to do. Hang on to your hats – you are in for a ride! Almost as soon as her brother is gone she begins to put her plan into motion – much to her own peril as well as Thomas’s. She just needs to manage to avoid Thomas as much as she can – because she is so very, very attracted to him.

Thomas has changed over the last five years. The once happy and cheerful man has become a recluse who seldom smiles and cuts himself off from society. He is a very loving man and has taken on many responsibilities that he feels keeps him from being able to marry himself – not to mention his big secret. However, he finds himself more and more drawn to Amelia’s sunny and determined personality. He fights that attraction with everything that is in him – but he has no success. As they are thrown together more and more his attraction grows.

I love how accepting Thomas is of Amelia’s project and how he tries to help her. I also love the other suitor’s Amelia has. They genuinely care for her and are lovely and understanding when she doesn’t return their regard. They even pitch in and help with her project as well.

It is a true delight to watch Amelia and Thomas dance around their love for each other. You begin to wonder if Thomas will finally come to his senses, but a firm sock in the face can do wonders for making one see the light. Of course, you also have a bad guy in the story who, I’ll almost bet, will be back in the next book. Can’t wait to see that one.

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.”

Christmas at Thorncliff Manor by Sophie Barnes

Christmas at Thorncliff Manor (Secrets at Thorncliff Manor, #4)Christmas at Thorncliff Manor by Sophie Barnes

Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Thorncliff Manor #4
Publication Date: 12/5/17

This is a delightful read with a mystery, hidden doors, tunnels and rooms, missing treasure and four romances. I have not read the other books in this series, but that didn’t detract from enjoying this one – it just made me want to go back and read them! If you are a Regency purist, this book may set your teeth on edge because it does contain some anachronistic language, phraseology and social standards, etc. I am usually one of those purists and frankly, I just enjoyed the book!

Lady Duncaster is quite a matchmaker and she’s invited her good friends Lord and Lady Oakland along with their four remaining unmarried daughters to spend Christmas with her. She’s also invited four imminently eligible bachelors to spend Christmas there as well. She won’t interfere, but if they come to know and love each other while they are at Thorncliff Manor, that is a good thing. They know each other already, they just need to spend some time together.

Fiona Heartly is the youngest of the four sisters and doesn’t feel there is any hurry for her to marry. She’s sweet, refined, good-natured, witty and mischievous. She is also obsessed with finding her great-aunt’s jewelry box that she is sure is hidden somewhere at Thorncliff. Edward, Earl of Chadwick is a long-time friend of the Heartly family and he and Fiona have always been close despite their age difference. He has also fallen in love with her. Can she ever see him as anything other than a friend?

Emily Heartly always has a sketchbook in her hand, but she never lets anyone see her drawings. They are private and she just feels they are good enough for anyone to see. Will the Marquess of Montsmouth be able to convince her to show him her sketches? He is a renowned art lover and expert. Will he love her sketches? Will he love her?

Laura Heartly is a published author and a genuine romantic. The Duke of Lamont has two young wards who need a lady in their lives – but he deserves love too. Can they come together and love each other?

Rachel Heartly is a scientist, very smart, very focused and very practical. She’s so focused that she has no time to worry about social skills, hair styling or fashion. Viscount Belgrave is the cousin of the Duke of Lamont. He’s very kind, good natured and curious. He loves discussing science with Rachel. Can they find love with each other?

They all have quite an adventure on their way to love and happiness and along the way, they solve a decades-old mystery and find a treasure. This is a fun read.

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.”

Blitz – The Duke Who Came To Town by Sophie Barnes

The Duke Who Came to Town

The Honorable Scoundrels
by Sophie Barnes
Publication Date: November 21, 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

She doesn’t want to be a kept woman…

Josephine Potter knows she must retain her employment to provide for her younger sisters and to maintain the house. While a young woman working as an accountant – at a hotel no less – could be frowned upon by some, it’s still a respectable way to earn a living. No matter what a certain duke might think. Besides, Josephine has a few rules she lives by: Don’t rely on others, don’t accept money from someone you don’t know, and never allow a man to control your life. But when she is fired from her job, Josephine may have to bend a few rules…

Devon, the Duke of Snowdon, has never met a more bull-headed woman than Josephine Potter! The Potter sisters are granddaughters of a Viscount and should not have to work for a living. So despite Josephine’s arguments, Devon insists she end her employee status immediately and accept a stipend for her and her sisters. When she is then fired, she accuses him of meddling in her life…and things are about to heat up despite the cold winter weather. As they work together to figure out why Devon’s hotel is losing money, a mutual attraction that won’t be denied, grows between them.

But when rumors of impropriety abound, can Josephine’s reputation be saved…or will her life be destroyed by scandal?


To see our review, click here


About Sophie Barnes

Born in Denmark, Sophie has spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She’s lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish and Romanian.

She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor’s degree from Parson’s School of design, but most impressive of all – she’s been married to the same man three times, in three different countries and in three different dresses.

While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion – writing.

When she’s not busy, dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading. She currently lives on the East Coast.

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The Duke Who Came To Town by Sophie Barnes

The Duke Who Came To Town (The Honorable Scoundrels, #3)The Duke Who Came To Town by Sophie Barnes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Honorable Scoundrels #3
Publication Date: 11/21/17

This is the last of three novellas in the Honorable Scoundrels series and it is absolutely lovely. It is well paced, excellently written and Ms. Barnes manages to do the almost impossible – she manages to provide a truly romantic story filled with fully developed and likable characters while also wrapping up the series with all of the siblings and their spouses – in a novella. All I can say is – well done!

The series follows three sisters who are gently-born but impoverished. They are the great-granddaughters of a member of the aristocracy, but they have fallen on hard times. Their grandfather went into the practice of the law and was very successful – accumulating wealth and estates. Their father, however, didn’t have the acumen his father did and wasn’t successful. Then, after his wife died, he took to drink and eventually had to leave the practice. By the time he passed away, there was nothing left. The estates were sold, the Mayfair mansion was gone, dowries spent and hope for a happy future was crushed. Josephine, the oldest sister, is our heroine in this novella. Louise, the middle sister, was featured in the first novella and Eve, the youngest sister was featured in the second novella. They are very close-knit, lovely, caring, intelligent and independent ladies and watching them find their HEA is a great delight.

All three of these novella’s all take place at basically the same time. Louise leaves on her way north one day, Eve leaves to visit her friend the next day and Josephine’s adventures start that same afternoon.

It is a very cold and windy day in London when Josephine is walking home after seeing her sister Eve off to visit her friend. She’s wondering how much longer she can keep them all afloat on her salary as a bookkeeper. Louise’s taking a job as a governess will help greatly, but it will still be a tight squeeze. Her hands are nearly frozen as she approaches her front door – and spots a grand coach parked at the curb. That is certainly an out-of-place sight in her neighborhood. As she moves to her door and tries to use her frozen fingers to fish her door key from her pocket, the coach door opens and a tall, elegant gentleman steps out and approaches her. After he convinces her to let him enter her home, she learns that he is there as a representative of their absentee guardian to see that they are well. He is dismayed to learn that Louise has taken a job as a governess and that Josephine is employed in a job normally held by a man. Those things reflect badly on the reputation of their guardian and so the gentleman informs Josephine she’ll have to tell Louise to come home and she’ll also have to quit her employment as well. Josephine is incensed by his arrogance and tells him he is a pompous ass – and it gets better from there.

Devon, the Duke of Snowden is immediately attracted to the beautiful Josephine, but he must convince her to take the stipend being offered by his friend and her guardian. Her guardian cannot attend to the task himself because his father, her previous guardian, has died and he’s taking over the title – and discovering he has wards. So, he asks Devon to check on them.

Josephine refuses to leave her position because the men in her life have all proven untrustworthy. She’ll depend on herself from now on. Yet, two days later she loses her employment because the owner has told the manager to cut costs. What follows is a lovely romance story. Devon pursues, but Josephine is very hesitant. How will he win her over? He’ll have to figure out how to extract the real man from the arrogant Duke. Can he? Read this lovely, lovely novella to find out!

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.”

Other Books in this series:
Book 1 – The Governess Who Captured His Heart
Book 2 – The Earl Who Loved Her

The Earl Who Loved Her by Sophie Barnes

The Earl Who Loved Her (The Honorable Scoundrels, #2)The Earl Who Loved Her by Sophie Barnes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Honorable Scoundrels #2
Publication Date: 11/14/17

This second book in the Honorable Scoundrels is a great read. The series centers around three impoverished sisters. Their great-grandfather was a Viscount and they are the wards of the Duke of Snowden. However, they have never met the Duke and he has made no effort to contact them or provide for them in the year since their father passed away. They are totally on their own. Josephine, the oldest at twenty-six has employment as a bookkeeper. Louise, the middle sister left just yesterday to take employment as a governess (that was the first book in the series – see my review here). This novella features Eve, the youngest at twenty. The two older sisters want very much to give Eve the season they never got to have and are working hard to do just that.

Eve’s childhood friend, Margaret, has invited Eve to spend the Christmas holidays at Amberley Hall. Eve is hesitant to leave Josephine all alone during the holidays, but Josephine encourages her to go because of the contacts and exposure to eligible bachelors. Eve understands how very hard her sisters are working for her and how very much they want her to marry well, so she agrees to make the journey.

Eve’s mail coach made excellent time on the trip to Amberley Hall and arrived about half an hour early – before Margaret’s coach was to meet her. So, Eve decides to walk. It is dusk and Eve heads toward the lights in the distance. When she arrives – she finds she is at the wrong house. Her destination lies six miles in the other direction and the roadways have now turned to ice. Neither man nor beast can make the trip. This means she must spend the night in the home of the bachelor who lives there.

There is an instant attraction between Eve and Bryce Harlowe, the Earl of Ravenworth. He collects, books, coins and . . . . . . flowers. He is also rusticating at his estate – for the last three years – because he’s being shunned by society for a scandalous transgression. He’s really a kind and lovable man and you come to feel his pain as you get to know him. He and Eve make a great pair and their journey to an HEA isn’t a smooth or easy one.

The characters are fully developed and very robust and that is something that is hard to do in a novella. The book is interesting and filled with twists and turns. When you finish, you feel as if you have read a full-length novel rather than a shorter novella. It is excellently done. The plot is solid, the characters are full and the romance is convincing. Well done Sophie Barnes!

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.”

Blog Blitz: The Governess Who Captured His Heart by Sophie Barnes

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See our Flippin’ Pages review of this novellaHERE


Synopsis

Temptations or Priorities…?
Determined to help her oldest sister make ends meet, Louise Potter accepts a governess position in the northern part of England. If this means accompanying an older gentleman on his travels, then she will. There’s only one problem: Louise is about to discover that her traveling companion is not the elderly man she expected, but rather a seduction itself…

Alistair Langley has no desire to share his carriage with his niece’s newly hired employee. But the matron he expected to find at his door is instead a beautiful young woman, one he knows he can’t travel alone with. After all, he’s going to visit his brother who is pressuring him to marry and produce a Langley heir–or be cut off from inheritance. When he confides in Louise, together they form a plan. But the closer they become, the more temptation beckons…

Until finally a choice must be made: Love or money? Or is it possible to have both?


About the Author

SophieBarnesBorn in Denmark, Sophie has spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She’s lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish, and Romanian.

She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor’s degree from Parson’s School of design, but most impressive of all – she’s been married to the same man three times, in three different countries and in three different dresses.

While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion – writing.

When she’s not busy, dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading. She currently lives on the East Coast.

Website: http://www.sophiebarnes.com/sb1/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSophieBarnes/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BarnesSophie
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5400052.Sophie_Barnes
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Excerpt:
Lowering the letter she’d been reading, Louise Potter held the expensive sheet of paper between her fingers and glanced at both of her sisters in turn. “I have been accepted for the position. Lady Channing would like me to start immediately.”

“That is what you wish to do, is it not?” Josephine asked. At six and twenty, she was two years older than Louise and six years older than their youngest sister, Eve.

“It certainly is a welcome opportunity.” With the townhouse serving as their only inheritance, and Josephine working hard to make ends meet for all of them, Louise wanted to find a way to help her older sister. As a result, she now had the chance of becoming a governess to three young children. “My only regret is I shall miss Christmas with the two of you.”

“Perhaps the countess will allow you to see us on that particular day?” Eve suggested.

Louise bit her lip. Her employment would require a major move, which was something she hadn’t yet mentioned to either of her sisters. “I’m afraid not. If I’m lucky, I shall be able to come to Town during the spring and part of the summer while the Season is underway. Otherwise, most of my time will be spent near Whitehaven.”

Her sisters stared at her. “I forget where that is,” Eve finally said.

“I believe it is in the north,” Josephine told her.

Louise nodded. “It is indeed.”

Eve’s mouth dropped open. “But then we shall never see you again!”

“As I mentioned, I might return to Town once Parliament opens and the Radcliffe family chooses to relocate to their London home.” She paused to consider their unhappy faces. “Unless I decline the offer and remain here. I can do so if you are loath to see me go.”

“No.” Josephine quickly smiled, though the effort did appear slightly strenuous. “You have been given the chance to accept respectable employment with a highly regarded aristocratic family. Neither of us will stand in your way.”

“Are you certain?” Louise was beginning to doubt her own resolve.

Travelling north had seemed like a grand adventure until she’d told her sisters about it. They’d never been apart before, and since their father’s death, they’d been especially dependent upon each other, not only to get through the grief but also to find a way forward in the following whirlwind of chaos.

Louise’s grandfather had been the third son of an earl. As such, he’d gone into law and had eventually, upon his death, left his thriving practice to his son. But he had not been as skilled a barrister as his father, nor did he have a head for the business. After he lost a  string of cases, clients had chosen to seek counsel elsewhere. As time had progressed and the funds had dwindled, the larger houses had been sold and the meeker residence where Louise and her sisters now lived had been purchased instead. But even this house would be lost to Louise and her sisters unless a decent income could be secured. Especially since their uncle, the current Earl of Priorsbridge, had neglected to take on his responsibility as their guardian.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for you,” Josephine said. Meeting Louise’s gaze, she did not need to say the money her work would produce could ease their concerns. Instead, she asked a practical question. “When do you intend to leave?”

“Tomorrow.” Knowing how surprising this comment was, Louise hastened to say, “The Countess has offered conveyance if I do. It seems her uncle, Lord Alistair, will be traveling up then as well, so it has been suggested we go together for practical reasons.”

“I suppose doing so would provide you with a better carriage for such a long journey,” Josephine said. “But is it wise for you to travel alone with a man whom you’ve never met before?”

Louise made a face. “At my age?” She shook her head. “You know as well as I that I am almost as firmly on the shelf as you are. And since I am not a young lady with marriageable prospects but rather a soon to-be-governess, I dare say no one will think much about it. Not to mention this uncle must be at least fifty years old considering the countess’s age.”

“How can you possibly know her age?” Eve asked. “It doesn’t seem like the sort of thing she would share in her letter to you.”

“Quite right,” Louise told her, “but her eldest son is eleven so I can make an intelligent guess.”

“I suppose that is true,” Josephine murmured. “Which means you’re probably right about Lord Alistair. Besides, I doubt the countess would suggest his escort unless she was sure you’d be safe in his presence.”

Louise agreed. “It is settled then?”

“I believe so.” Josephine said.

Her remark propelled Louise to hug both her sisters. She then hurried on through to her room and pulled her valise out from under the bed. It was time for her to start packing.

#

Enjoying a last-minute brandy in his study, Alistair Clay Hedgewick, considered his niece’s request to bring her new governess with him to Whitehaven. He groaned at the prospect of it–of having to spend a week with a middle-aged spinster instead of alone in his own company as he’d been expecting. Dreading it, he took another sip of his drink. It was a bit early in the day to be imbibing, but under the circumstances, he felt he needed the fortification before setting out in another half hour.

He glanced toward the clock on the fireplace mantle. An hour had passed since he’d sent his carriage to collect her, so she should be arriving at any moment. A knock sounded at the door, and Alistair called for his butler to enter.

“My lord,” Mr. Fox said while maids and footmen scurried around behind him, gathering last minute items in need of packing. “Miss Potter has arrived. Would you like me to show her in?”

Alistair considered the question. He could hardly say no, could he? It was tempting since doing so would allow him that extra half hour of peace before embarking on a journey that would force him to stay on his best behavior. Taking his shoes off and relaxing his feet would not be possible. Nor would sleeping, since he had no desire to snore in her presence. In fact, he was giving up a great deal of comfort for a woman he’d never met and did not care about.

“Very well,” he sighed, before downing the rest of his drink and rising. He might as well meet his traveling companion, he reasoned, since it was the polite thing to do. Like it or not, he always strove to do what was right and play the part of the well-mannered gentleman, no matter how impractical or aggravating it could be. His behavior, however, reflected not only on him but on his entire family, and being called to task by his brother was something he always tried to avoid.

Mr. Fox returned. “Miss Potter,” he said, before stepping aside so a slim woman, wearing a grey gown and a matching pelisse, could enter. On her head, she wore a straw bonnet beneath which he was able to spy a golden display of neatly combed hair. But what shocked him the most was her face, because it did not belong to the middle-aged, rotund matron he’d envisioned, but rather to the angelic youthfulness of a woman in her prime. More than that, she was the perfect picture of beauty, her delicate features lending an elegance even the highest ranking ladies of society lacked. Her eyes, he noted, were a bright glow of hazel while her lips, parting now with undeniable surprise, were the sort men dreamed of in their wickedest fantasies.

Aware he was staring, he gathered his wits, schooled his features, and stepped toward her. “Miss Potter, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

She gaped at him. “Are you Lord Alistair?”

“The one and only.”

She shook her head. “You can’t be.” Glancing around as if seeking another gentleman, she gradually returned her gaze to him when none was to be found. “You…you…” Waving her hands as if hoping to fashion the necessary words, she finally blurted, “You are twenty years younger than you ought to be!”

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