Tag Archives: #TheSevenCursesOfLondon

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”

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