I have the very great pleasure to be the next stop on this wonderful blog tour with Mills and Boon Insiders, and to be sharing not one review – oh, no! I have a double whammy for you lovelies to read, as I have reviews for both From Duke Till Dawn and Counting On A Countess by Eva Leigh. So sit back for ten minutes and take a look at these two amazing books!
Eva Leigh is a romance author who has always loved the Regency era. She writes novels chock-full of smart women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, spending too much time on the Internet, and listening to music from the ’80s. Eva and her husband live in Central California.
Eva also writes in multiple romance genres as RITA-award nominated Zoe Archer.
From Duke Till Dawn (The London Underground #1)
Eva Leigh launches a seductive new series that sizzles with the dark secrets of London’s underworld…
‘It’s not my habit to seduce impoverished widows…’
The Duke of Greyland lost his heart – and a princely sum – to a charming, beautiful and destitute widow who, after one passionate night, vanished without a trace. Cassandra Blair grew up on the city streets, picking pockets to survive. Greyland was a rich mark – to be fleeced and forgotten – only she’d never forgotten him.
Years later, chance brings them together again, in a London gaming hell. Grayland is desperate to have her… never suspecting everything about his lover was a lie. But finding herself in dire financial straits, at risk of losing everything, Cassandra has no choice but to beg the man she betrayed for help.
The proud Duke will assist her under one condition: she doesn’t leave his sight until her debts are paid! But can the real Cassandra – the smart, streetwise survivor – steal his heart all over again?
This is the first I have read Eva Leigh, really? I can’t believe that myself, I must constantly walk around with my eyes closed off to the world, to have missed out on such a fabulous author. But, I can guarantee that this will not be the last, I am determined to read more by Ms Leigh.
I was instantly taken with the premise of this book, was the way the hero is portrayed she is independent, strong, reliant and manages to manoeuvrer her way through a man’s world and manages to hold her head up high and say “Yes, I can do exactly what I want and will have the respect” At times in Historical romances it can be hard to have the heroine really stand out as herself, there is very few authors who can really make their heroines likeable as well as real and Ms Leigh has definitely made it on to that list of the very few who can create a real heroine who you not only can relate to but who is incredible in her own right. Anyone who knows me, will know how much I love a romance where the character is a self made man/woman and yet another reason why I love this book.
Years before Alex; the Duke of Greyland met the most glorious woman he has ever set eyes on, he gave her his heart and soul. For a Duke who lives by the code of responsibility and the rules that surrounds his station letting anyone peer past his aristocratic cool exterior to the sensual man within wasn’t easily done. So, when she disappears with a large amount of his money he is devastated. Now at the ripe old age; of thirty- eight Alex knows that he really needs to get on with finding himself a wife and procuring the mandatory heir, but when he does he is yet again left all on his tod. As the chit goes and elopes with a cavalry officer and runs of to Gretna Green. Yep, Alex isn’t having the best of times and things become even more complicated for Alex as he comes face to face with his ‘Queen’ in an unarmed gaming hell. What the hell was she doing, and more importantly who exactly is this mysterious woman who stole his heart.
I will admit that it took me a while to warm to Alex, but once you get past the moody egotistical and self-pitying Duke and get to the man warm, sexy, sensitive man behind the mask, he is quite the catch. He thinks that because everyone has so far let him for whatever reason he now believes him to be unlovable, unwanted – which is totally wrong, and something he does soon learn.
To say that Cassandra Blake is shocked to bump into the very man who she stole from but the man she has unfortunately fallen in love with after she dumped him so callously is an understatement. She is now working for her old mentor Martin Hughes in his gaming hell, Hughes on finding out about her and Alex’s brief encounter wants to cash in once again and she has no choice but to go along with his plan. After all this man could put her on that transportation ship or even worse put the noose around her neck as he knows all about her life of crime.
One thing leads to another and as with all historical romances our hero and heroine get their happy ever after, but there is some twists to the tale, there is hurts, lies and harsh truths which must be faced before that happens.
I adore Cassandra, again and again she has found herself in a precarious place, from picking pockets as a child to pulling cons and ending up working the floor and tables in a gaming hell – one that unusually has no name. She has been through some really tough times, she has seen her fare share of troubles but she has taken the bull by it’s horn and battled through to become the mysterious ‘Queen’ I found Cassandra to be highly intelligent, resilient, independent, great at thinking on her feet and even though she has spent a life conning and swindling – but all or a good reason- she isn’t heartless or cold. She feels genuinely bad about all the things she has done especially what he did to Alex. She is a kind woman, maybe not an honest one but we can see past that once you get to know her. And her love and friendship with Alex shows just what kind of warm and caring woman she is. All she wants now is to go on the straight and narrow, she’s had enough of the cons and the criminal aspect of her past hanging over her head.
This is a brilliant introduction to a new-to-me author, I love Ms Leigh’s writing style, it’s fast-paced and flows with absolute ease taking the reader on a whirlwind journey through he criminal underworld of London. The research is spot on the mark, the detailing of everything from the clothes, scenery and setting makes the whole story come to life with dazzling effect. The story is imaginative, sensual, atmospheric, rich with allure and shines with regency glitter. I absolutely loved it.
Counting On A Countess (The London Underground #2)
For a shameless libertine and a wily smuggler in the London Underground, marriage is more than convenience—it’s strategy…
Christopher “Kit” Ellingsworth, war veteran and newly minted Earl of Blakemere, buries his demons under every sort of pleasure and vice. His scandalous ways have all but emptied his coffers…until a wealthy mentor leaves him a sizeable fortune. The only stipulation? He must marry within one month to inherit the money. Kit needs a bride and the bold, mysterious Miss Tamsyn Pearce seems perfect.
Husband hunting isn’t Tamsyn’s top priority—she’s in London to sell her new shipment of illicit goods—but she’s desperate for funds to keep her smuggling operation afloat. When a handsome earl offers to wed her and send her back to Cornwall with a hefty allowance, Tamsyn agrees. After all, her secrets could land her in prison and an attentive, love-struck spouse could destroy everything.
But when an unexpected proviso in the will grants Tamsyn control of the inheritance, their arrangement becomes anything but convenient. Now, Kit’s counting on his countess to make his wildest dreams a reality, and he plans to convince her, one pleasurable seduction at a time..
After reading ‘From Duke Till Dawn’ I was looking forward to reading this book, anyone who knows me will know how much I love a scarred soldier. So the minute I was introduced to Kit in the previous book, I knew that I needed read this one and I am so pleased that I got the chance as this is fabulous! Even though this is only the second book I have read by Ms Leigh I can instantly see that this lady has a skill with creating sensual, engaging and ultimately absorbing stories which will stay with you long after bedtime, or even keep you up way after your bedtime. All readers know what I mean by that, you start reading in bed, promising you’ll just read one more chapter and before you know it you’ve nearly finished the book.
Oddly enough with the previous book, it took an age for me to arm to the hero and yet the heroine instantly struck me and stayed with me. This time it was the complete opposite, I was instantly drawn to Kit, I wanted to shake him for his stupidity, hug when he was feeling blue and just be with him all the time, he has a mesmerizing quality about him that any woman with a pulse will instantly flock to. Anyone who has seen the film; Michael will know what I mean when I say, he was definitely my pie. ;-) Google Michael and you will understand!
Kit; Earl of Blackamoor is sort of stuck in a bit of a rut, since leaving the military with scars – which are definitely more psychological then physical – which make him want to loose himself to drink. He has received the title which he never wanted, and still doesn’t want and all the time flitting from one scandal to the next as he searches for a way to drown his sorrows, his memories, either in the bottom of a bottle, in the darkness of a gaming hell or in the arms of a willing woman. He is definitely on a road to self destruction, but unfortunately for him he has now squandered his inheritance and his now skint. Which really is no good especially as he had his heart set on building a garden where veterans and their families can go and have a little happiness.
But all isn’t doomed as he finds out he has been left a substantial sum from a former commanding officer who not only looked after Kit, but who Kit regarded as more family then officer, but there is one thing that is in the way of him getting his hands on the money; in the will, it states Kit must marry. But, old Lord Somerby was a sly old fox. He knew exactly what would happen to his money if Kit got his hands on it so he put yet another clause in the inheritance contract, not only must Kit find himself a wife, but said wife will ave full control of the money.
So with that in mind, Kit goes on the search when he suddenly and literally bumps into the staggering beautiful, mysteriously clever Tamsyn. But there is more to this fiery red-head then meets the eye. She has her own secrets and her own reason for being in London and her own reasons for suddenly needing a husband, can you seen were this is going? each need to marry, and standing before them is the person who could save both their lives. Match made in heaven! Sort of, that is until a certain smuggling secret rears it’s ugly head sending our couple on a tense, sexually charged and engaging journey which will see them go through so much.
I loved the plot, there seems to be so much going on within one story, a scarred hero and feisty heroine with a marriage of convenience, mixed with a smuggling scheme then you have you hands on a compelling, engaging, fast paced, sensual and very hot historical romance. Yet again this is another wonderfully written, captivating story that will keep the reader glued to the last page.
These two books were supplied by the publisher in exchange for honest reviews as apart of this blog tour, Thank you Sanjana and the Mills and Boon Insiders team.
From Duke Till Dawn and Counting On A Countess can be found at Amazon.