#BlogTour | The Turncoat by T.J London #TheTurncoat #Review & Exclusive Extract @TJLondonauthor @hfvtb #HFVTBBlogtours
Hello my lovely readers! I have the huge pleasure to be todays stop on this wonderful blog tour, for The Turncoat by T.J London. Not only will I be sharing my review of this rich and gripping book, but I also have an exclusive excerpt, plus a chance for you to win some amazing goodies. So grab a cuppa and enjoy.
The Turncoat by T.J. London
Publication Date: May 23, 2019
Format: eBook & Paperback
Series: The Rebels and Redcoats Saga, Book 3
Genre: Historical Fiction
Spy. Redcoat. Traitor.
After Captain John Carlisle’s dance with death, he’s retreated to the serenity of the Oneida village with his beloved Dellis McKesson, trying to hide from the inevitable truth: war is coming. But when duty calls, and John’s expertise is needed to negotiate a treaty between the Six Nations of the Iroquois and the Crown, he’ll once again be faced with a decision: his King or his conscience.
Many truths that have yet to be revealed, and a deal with the Devil made in desperation, threatens to ruin Dellis and John’s hard-won love. As ghosts of the past resurface, and bitter family rivalry exposes betrayal from those closest to her, Dellis is dragged down a devastating path to the truth of her parents’ murders.
Now, the die is cast as war comes to the Mohawk River Valley in the Summer of 1777. St. Leger and his native allies siege Fort Stanwix. They’re also plotting a secret attack that will force the Rebels and the Oneida to face off against the Crown and their allies, further dividing John’s loyalties, leaving him on the precipice of another decision: Rebel or Redcoat?
John addressed Brant with a nod. “Tell me your plan, Chief?”
“The colonists will be coming from the east, down the old military trails from German Flats towards Stanwix,” Brant said in his low, distinct voice.
John reached into his tunic and pulled out the maps from his breast pocket. Nervously, he fumbled through them, looking for the ones he made when he was living at The Thistle. Dropping one on the ground, General St. Leger leaned over and picked it up, taking a moment to unfold it.
With a grin, St. Leger pointed to the paper. “An interesting map you have here, but have you marked off all the strategic places a man should pay attention to when in pursuit?”
“Excuse me?” John eyes widened with confusion, and then suddenly, it dawned on him what the General was referring to. “I’m sorry, sir. That wasn’t meant—”
“She’s quite striking.” The General turned the picture, taking a moment to admire it. “Is this your wife?”
John bit back a yes for her protection; the fewer people who knew about his association with Dellis, the better. “A former mistress.”
“One so lovely should not be former, Captain. When this war is over, if I were you, I’d remedy that situation… with haste. And the good thing is, the war will be over very soon.” The General handed the picture to John. He folded it up and stuck it back in his tunic, close to his heart.
With a deep breath, John unfolded one of the maps and placed on the table. “Sir, this shows all the military roads from Fort Dayton in German Flats and the path through the forest to Stanwix.”
John pointed to the map, drawing an imaginary line with his finger. “The best place to approach the colonists would be here.” With his fingertip, he directed their attention to a little spot on the map near Oriska. “There are two ravines; at the bottom of the first one is a swamp and a small bridge, and after that, the road does a sharp climb and then turns southwest to bypass another ravine just over here.” He pointed to the right of the road. “The road turns west, climbs through the woods, and then dips into another ravine and across another creek.” He looked up at St. Leger and the men standing around the table observing. “This is a perfect location; you have the advantage. The colonists will be on low ground, condensed as a group, and unable to see due to the thick foliage and the slope of the road.”
“This is what I said!” Joseph Brant yelled, pointing to the map. “You trust his word and not mine?”
“No, my friend,” St. Leger said calmly, putting his hands up, trying to placate the volatile Mohawk. “We merely wanted to confirm it. As you can see, Captain Carlisle was able to provide us with a map we can use to better plan your strategy.”
“I disagree with this whole idea. We outnumber the Rebels here at Stanwix, and we can outnumber them on the road. Why not send a parley before this turns into a bloody battle?” Colonel Johnson asked.
“I agree.” Butler added, “This could turn into an ambush, and it may not be necessary. We should parley.”
“You’re weak fools. They won’t parley! Don’t you understand?” Brant yelled, his face turning red with rage. “Not a week ago I encountered Cox and some of the militia. They’re preparing to fight to the death. The Oneida and Tuscarora have sided with them; surely, they’ll be there, too. It’s a betrayal, both by the colonists and our brothers. We must strike swiftly and now! If you’re not brave enough, my men and I will go alone.”
“Brant, we’re just as disturbed by the actions of our brothers, but if we can try and salvage our relations, then we should,” Cornplanter said, his calm voice in stark contrast to the rantings of the Mohawk.
St. Leger’s eyes flashed to John. “How should we do this?”
The weight of the world had once again been thrust on his shoulders, but he held on tightly, rising to the challenge. “What men are you taking with you?”
“Colonel Johnson will lead the group with two-hundred men, consisting of rangers and some Jägers; Joseph Brant and Cornplanter will bring five hundred of their natives to assist.”
John looked at the map, sizing up the attack. “I’d wait until the full brigade was between the two ravines, catch them when the rear is on the bridge of the first ravine and the front regiment is climbing the slope of the second ravine. You have the perfect locale for a frontal assault of the first regiment; hit them hard and prevent them from advancing, and they won’t be able to back up or move with the rest of their men coming up the ravine. They’ll be trapped in the lowland. Then, the rest of the men can attack the body of the army in-between on the high ground. Have a group on either side of the road taking shots at them. Make sure you bring Lights; you’ll need your best shooters to be effective in the environment. The forest is so dense in that area that it practically blocks out the sun.”
“Is this not what I told you!” Brant raged again.
“Yes, it is.” General St. Leger nodded at Brant in appreciation. “Thank You, Captain Carlisle, for your information. It was most helpful.”
John stepped back, his eyes scanning the map, making sure every detail he provided was correct. After a moment of quiet, St. Leger spoke. “Tomorrow morning, we strike. Colonel Johnson, you’ll lead the contingent, and Brant will coordinate and plan the attack. It’s settled.”
When I featured the cover reveal for this earlier this year, I thought; “Oooh, this sounds so good, I definitely need to read this one.” and it didn’t disappoint, it has everything I look for in a historical fiction book; huge amounts of brilliantly researched history, great, edge of your seat, page-turning story and a lovely romance. But for me, I felt like I was standing on the outside looking through a tinted window trying to grasp what was going on, which let me first point out has nothing at all to do with the authors writing, or the story, but everything to do with me not reading the previous books.
Full disclosure I hadn’t read this authors work before this, I was fascinated though, personally speaking I did have this feeling that I had missed out on something profound that I think comes from reading the series in order. I did get a sense that you need to read the books in order to fully grasp the love story between John and Dellis, but apart from my personal misgivings about it – which really are my own doing for not reading the first books – this is great read, it has got a great energy fluidity to it that keeps you reading, for me it is the realism in the dialogue and the descriptions that really grab your attention, yes there are parts when I went; “Ooh, did I really read that?” but this is an historical and that means there must be the more ….eye opening and uncomfortable moments.
The story opens with the lead characters John and his intended preparing for their wedding, now I did get the feeling this is a on going storyline through the books, I’m not sure if that is true or not, but that’s how I read it. John is trying to stay out of the fighting, all he wants is to stay with Dellis and be at peace, but we all know that isn’t going to happen, don’t we? And true to form, he gets the worst possible news he can get; he must once again pick up arms and do his duty. He has been tasked with negotiating a treaty between the six nations and the British, you can imagine how John is feeling right at this moment. Being a British Spy and now being apart of the Oneida family, he is torn between his love and his country.
As you might expect this is an explosive read, there is a drama galore, passion, danger, spies and a really twisty, intriguing tale of love, honour and duty. The writing is flawless, it entwines a passionate, bloody history with a complex story about a man who only wants to the right thing.
For those who love their deeper detailed historical fiction then this is the book for them.
About the Author
T.J. London is a rebel, liberal, lover, fighter, diehard punk, and pharmacist-turned-author who loves history. As an author her goal is to fill in the gaps, writing stories about missing history, those little places that are so interesting yet sadly forgotten. Her favorite time periods to write in are first and foremost the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolution, the French and Indian War, the Russian Revolution and the Victorian Era. Her passions are traveling, writing, reading, barre, and sharing a glass of wine with her friends, while she collects experiences in this drama called life. She is a native of Metropolitan Detroit (but secretly dreams of being a Londoner) and resides there with her husband Fred and her beloved cat and writing partner Mickey.
Blog Tour Schedule
Do visit the other blogs which are participating in this blog tour.
Monday, July 8
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch
Tuesday, July 9
Review at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, July 10
Guest Post at Passages to the Past
Thursday, July 11
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
Friday, July 12
Excerpt at Words and Peace
Saturday, July 13
Feature at Coffee and Ink
Monday, July 15
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews
Tuesday, July 16
Review at Gwendalyn_Books_
Thursday, July 18
Review at Historical Fiction Reviews
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away some fabulous prizes! To enter, please use the Gleam form below here : The Turncoat
1. A Signed copy of each of my Revolutionary books
2. A bag with my Revolutionary Author Logo
3. A Sterling Silver Tricorn hat charm, so you’re always in style
4. My favorite T-Shirt to wear when I write my Revolutionary tales, that says: The original New England Patriots, from 1630 in Boston
5. A stuffed founding father doll by Little Thinkers to inspire the Rebel in you
6. And a Founding Father book of quotes. Seditious banter from our brash Rebels!
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.
Hello my lovely readers! I have the huge pleasure to be sharing with you all an up and coming new Viking Anthology, that available for pre order today, so why not check it out, it does look amazing.
NINE CONQUERING REASONS TO SURRENDER
Filled with action and suspense, this summer’s hottest beach read comes in the shape of Vikings!
Battle-hardened and broad-chested, with arms strong enough to sweep you off your feet, these warriors are pure muscle, with shoulders built for carrying you to bed.
You’ll be wriggling with anticipation for these steamily smouldering stories, filled with scorching scenes of sexy sizzle.
A big hooray for Ashe Barker, Lily Harlem, Felicity Brandon, Gianna Simone, Vanessa Brooks, Sassa Daniels, Sky Purington, Emmanuelle de Maupassant and Jane Burrelli – who’ve created a shared-world series of supreme alpha hotness, guaranteed to have you page-turning into the late hours.
A tiny Scottish settlement at the mercy of its enemies.
A harrowing bargain struck for nine fearful and reluctant brides.
Delivered into Viking hands, the brides of Achnaryrie now belong to their conquering masters but, as wedding nights bring surrender to duty, will fierce lovers also surrender their hearts?
The Highland wilderness is savage, life is perilous, and the future uncertain, but each Viking has sworn protection, and there are no lengths to which a man will not go to safeguard the woman he loves.
Against the forbidding backdrop of medieval Scotland, join these indomitable heroes and intrepid heroines as they discover that the raging storms of fear and passion can transform into enduring devotion.
Heat Level: Volcanic
Nine conquering reasons to surrender
Brandr by Ashe Barker / Steinn by Lily Harlem / Jerrik by Felicity Brandon / Magnus by Emmanuelle de Maupassant / Graeme by Gianna Simone / Thorolf by Vanessa Brooks / Garth by Sassa Daniels / Ragnar by Sky Purington / Bjorn by Jane Burrelli
This delicious set of all-new Viking romances is currently on pre-order for the heavily discounted price of 99p/99c.
On sale across all outlets until 18th July, then entering Kindle Unlimited (you’ll find it solely on Amazon after that date – and there will be a paperback available).
Like what you see? Then go and check it out:
To find out more about the authors of this anthology, then click on the authors name below to visit their Goodreads page.
#BlogTour : Listen To The Wind (The Orphans of Tolosa #1) by @Susanne_Dunlop #Review & #GuestPost #ListenToTheWind #TheOrphansOfTolosa @HFVTB
Hello everyone! I have the great pleasure to be todays stop on this wonderful blog tour for; Listen To The Wind by Susanne Dunlap. Let me tell you that I have a mammoth post for you all today; Not only will I be sharing my review of this splendid book, I also have an exclusive guest post by Susanne for you all – and it is an amazing post and there is a chance to win a cop of Listen To The Wind. So without further ado, sit back and enjoy.
Listen to the Wind by Susanne Dunlap
Publication Date: April 22, 2019
Publisher: Bellastoria Press
Format: eBook & Paperback; 388 Pages
Series: The Orphans of Tolosa, Book 1
Genre: Historical Fiction/Medieval
Sent away from their families for their own protection when they were very young, Azemar and Azalaïs become separated when they are forced to flee from the band of outlaws who served as their supposed protectors. Armed only with scraps of memories and the wits and intelligence that have helped them survive brutal conditions, they struggle to find each other again and discover the mysterious past that links them across distance and time. Who are they? And do they hold the secret of the legendary Cathar treasure? All they know is that knights and monks spell danger, and they must find a way to survive at all costs if they are to fulfill their destiny—and preserve their vanishing culture.
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Kobo
Guest Post by Susanne Dunlap
One of the best things about being a historical novelist is having the opportunity to delve deeply into a period and imagine the world as it was at that time. Perhaps that’s why, in order to put in the months (or years) of researching and writing a historical novel I have to become completely passionate about my subject and my characters—real or invented.
Most of my novels have taken place in the modern world, from the 17th-20th centuries. But something about the world of thirteenth-century Languedoc caught me and simply wouldn’t let me go.
It all started in grad school. I was studying music history at Yale University, working toward a PhD, and loving every minute of the research and writing. When in the medieval seminar I found out about the women troubadours (trobairitz) of Languedoc in the 12th and 13th centuries, I was utterly intrigued. Apparently all 20 of the trobairitz historians know of came from one small region of what is now southern France, but was then its own patchwork of political entities and its own culture. They didn’t even speak French, but spoke what is now referred to as Old Occitan, and was then sometimes referred to as Lemozin.
The troubadours and trobairitz wrote courtly poetry in very complex metrical forms. The subjects were love, of course, but in the case of the trobairitz, the love was decidedly earthly. They spoke of disappointments, of unrequited love, of friendship, and passion—where the men tended to go in a more esoteric direction, making the object of their love poetry the idea of a lady rather than an actual living, breathing, woman.
So, I thought, these women who weren’t afraid to be honest must have been strong, intelligent, educated, and imaginative. What’s not to like?
Very little is known about the real lives of the trobairitz, so I found myself creating characters and a story that integrated the poetry and music, and captured the volatility of the period. Because trobairitz came from the educated upper classes, Jordane de la Moux d’Aniort, daughter of a baron, is the trobairitiz in Listen to the Wind.
The Orphans of Tolosa trilogy (of which Listen to the Wind is book one) takes place as the culture of the region is being crushed by the inquisition, which not only sought to eradicate the Cathar heretics, but to impose the legal systems of northern France and subsume the region into the territories ruled by the King of France.
Although the region is now fully part of France, a modern version of the language is still spoken, and the descendants of those fiercely independent people cling to their cultural heritage. In recognition of this heritage, what used to be known as Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrenees is (as of 2016) now referred to as Occitanie, and if you visit there, you’ll see many street signs in both French and Occitan.
It is my hope that readers will not only be drawn into the adventures of the characters in Listen to the Wind, but also appreciate the culture that inspired the story.
More historical tidbits and a glossary of Old Occitan terms featured in the book is at https://orphansoftolosa.com.
Well, what can I say about this book? Thrilling, engaging, illuminating and brilliantly entwined with history and a wonderfully complex story. It takes you on a real adventure through 13th Centaury France, the colourful writing makes every scene so beautifully detailed and vivid you can see it playout like a film in your mind.
I haven’t read any of Susanne Dunlap’s work before, but after reading this – or should that be; devoured – I will definitely be reading more, her writing is so imaginative and atmospheric that you become completely lost in the story and before you know it you have whiled away a full afternoon.
The story opens with siblings; Azalais and Azemar who are living in a orphanage in Tolosa, they live a happy simple life roaming around the woods and surrounding area, making up games with the other orphans abuts knights in shining armour and damsels in distress. Everything in their life is good, that is until a illness spreads throughout the area and the people who were supposed to be protecting them soon turn on them and the other orphans, thinking it them that has caused all this illness and death. The children flee for their lives and in the melee Azalais and Azemar become separated, promising to meet up.
But, all doesn’t go to plan and what should have been a simple meet each other again in the next town turns into years of uncertainty and adventure for our two youngsters. What at first appears to be a very simple story of these two young people trying to forge their way through such hardships and attempting to find one and other again, you soon realise that this is far more then that. There is a ethereal and magical quality to the story, that is both surprising and addictive reading. We soon see that there is more to these two then meets the eyes, they have secrets buried within them that even they don’t know and even though once they have separated and when they try to find their feet they are more intricately entwined to one and other then originally thought.
So when they meet again years later, which is an amazing and gorgeous scene their shared past and destined future soon becomes clear.
This is an intriguing and complex story with lots of secrets and lies interwoven within the characters personal stories, it is charming, exciting and mesmerising. Ms Dunlap’s writing is wonderfully immersive and brilliantly atmospheric, there is a real starlight quality to this book which will grab any readers attention.
Definitely a must read, I cannot wait to see what comes next in this series.
This was a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour, thank you Susanne and Amy.
About the Author
Susanne Dunlap is the author of six works of historical fiction. Two are for adults (Emilie’s Voice and Liszt’s Kiss, both published by Touchstone books of Simon & Schuster). Four are for young adults (The Musician’s Daughter, Anastasia’s Secret, In the Shadow of the Lamp, and The Academie, published by Bloomsbury). A graduate of Smith College with a PhD in Music History from Yale University, Susanne grew up in Buffalo, New York and has lived in London, Brooklyn and Northampton, MA. She now lives in Northampton with her long-time partner, Charles, has two grown daughters, three granddaughters, a grandson, a stepson and a stepdaughter, four step-grandsons and one step-granddaughter—that’s a total of four children and nine grandchildren!
In her spare time she cycles in the beautiful Pioneer Valley.
Blog Tour Schedule
Make sure you go back through the blog tour and check out all the blogs which have participated.
Monday, May 13
Review at Bibliophile Reviews
Tuesday, May 14
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Wednesday, May 15
Interview at Passages to the Past
Thursday, May 16
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Tuesday, May 21
Feature at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots
Wednesday, May 22
Feature at Just One More Chapter
Thursday, May 23
Interview at Donna’s Book Blog
Friday, May 24
Review at Passages to the Past
During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away one copy of Listen to the Wind by Susanne Dunlap! To enter, please use the Gleam form here – Listen to the Wind
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on May 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
#BlogTour : No Other Duke But You (Playful Brides #11) by Valerie Bowman #Review & Exclusive #Extract #NoOtherDukeButYou #PlayfulBrides @StMartinsPress
Hello my lovely readers! Do I have a great post for you today?! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this great blog tour for No Other Duke But You by Valerie Bowman, no only will I be sharing my review of this No Other Duke But You, with you all, but I have an exclusive extract for you all to feast your eyes on. So, do grab yourself a cuppa, take a seat and enjoy.
SINGLE LADY SEEKS DUKE
Lady Delilah Montebank has her marital sights set on the Duke of Branville. There’s just one problem: he barely knows she exists. But no matter, she’s got a plan to win him over with her charm, her wit—and perhaps the love potion she has in her possession wouldn’t hurt her cause…
Lord Thomas Hobbs, Duke of Huntley, thinks his best friend Delilah’s quest to become a duchess is ridiculous. He’s always said he’d rather give up all the brandy in London than commit to one person for life. Besides, he knows that Delilah’s love potion can’t possibly win over Branville…since she accidentally gave it to him instead. But perhaps this is the excuse he needs to show her he’s always loved her…
Delilah can’t believe she gave the potion to the wrong duke. Then again, Delilah could do a lot worse than win the hand of her handsome best friend. Could it be that the right duke has been before her eyes all along?
Delilah glanced up and down the dim hallway. It was well past three in the morning, she was still dressed in the pink ball gown she’d worn to the party, and she clutched the small vial of Cupid’s Elixir in her sweaty, guilty palm. She pressed her back against the shadowed wall not far from the Duke of Branville’s bedchamber. She could do this. More importantly, she would do this. She’d come this far, hadn’t she? What did a little sneaking about in the middle of the night matter?
She’d got detailed instructions to Branville’s room from Derek, who thankfully hadn’t asked any questions about why she wanted to know. According to him, the room was four doors to the right, just past the staircase on the third floor. The third floor was where all the bachelor gentlemen were sleeping. It would be a complete scandal if she was found lurking about alone at this time of night, but she’d waited until the household seemed quite asleep and then waited a bit longer for good measure. Anyone who saw her now would be skulking about themselves, which meant they would hardly be in a position to judge her. She briefly wondered if she’d run into Lavinia.
It was not as if she was out to do anything particularly scandalous. It was more silly and frivolous than anything else. She’d simply die, however, if Branville woke up and asked her what she was doing sprinkling pixie water in his eyes. She’d already decided to pretend as if she were dreaming, thinking she was Puck in the play. Sleepwalking. That would make all the sense in the world. Wouldn’t it? She swallowed hard. Probably not, but she wasn’t about to let the fear of being caught stop her. Besides, all of her and Lucy’s matchmaking had turned into a colossal mess. If a spray of perfume could sort it out, so be it. Of course, Delilah’s conscience reminded her that she hadn’t offered any of the perfume to Rebecca to use on Thomas. She didn’t want to even contemplate that. She’d already shared it with one other person, and that made her guilty enough. The image of Madame Rosa’s disapproving, craggy face had haunted her all evening.
Delilah shook off the thought and turned her attention back to the matter at hand. Pressing her empty palm against the darkened wall, she inched her way along until she came to Branville’s door. She felt like a spy. This was how professional spies did such things, wasn’t it? Too bad she was too embarrassed by her actions to ask the veritable house full of professional spies who happened to be asleep behind other doors right now.
She transferred the vial into her opposite hand and slowly reached to grasp the door handle. The metal was cold in her bare hand. She’d discarded her gloves, deciding that they would make her actions more clumsy. The last thing she needed tonight was to be more clumsy than usual. Decidedly, she needed to be less so.
She clutched the door handle like a lifeline and closed her eyes, steadying her shaking fingers on the knob. She was close, so close. Praying that the door wouldn’t squeak, she turned the handle slowly. The only sound was the thumping of her own heart in her ears.
When the handle was turned as far as it would go, she pushed it, praying fervently that it wasn’t locked. It took a moment before she realized the door was opening. Its hinges silent, merci a Dieu. Completely silent.
She slipped inside the cool, dark room. Steady, deep breathing came from the bed. Thank goodness, she hadn’t woken the duke with her entrance. She could barely see a thing, but she didn’t dare light a candle. A tiny stream of moonlight filtered into the room through a small opening in the curtains on the far window. She used that to identify the hulking bed in the center of the room. She tiptoed over to it slowly, taking care in case there was anything to trip over. No doubt she would find it if there was.
She made it to the foot of the bed without incident and paused, trying to quell her nerves and dispel her guilt. She clutched the vial more tightly in her palm, shaking with fear and anxiety. Now that she was here, she had no earthly idea how to drop liquid on a man’s eyes without awakening him. Besides, how much of it was she supposed to use? Surely not much. She would employ the tiniest drops possible so as not to disturb him, but she also needed to ensure the perfume touched his eyelids. Tricky business, this being a fairy. She had a sudden appreciation for Puck.
Holding her breath, she lifted her skirts with her free hand and tiptoed to the right side of the bed. Because it was summer, the bed curtains weren’t drawn. The window was open, and a slight breeze blew through the crack in the curtains.
The outline of the duke’s body was barely visible in the moonlight. He was turned away on his side, his back to her, his face toward the window. She would have to lean over his body to sprinkle the elixir on his eyes. The bed was tall. She must carefully climb up to do this task properly. She only hoped she didn’t jostle the mattress enough to wake him.
She waited in silence for a few moments to ensure his breathing remained steady, then she carefully lifted first one knee and then the other, bracing them on the mattress and pulling herself up, still clutching the vial. She winced as he moved slightly in his sleep, but he kept his face turned away. Blast it.
Once she was fully atop the bed, she paused and hoped the hammering of her heart didn’t wake him. He smelled good, a combination of soap and maleness that she wanted to breathe in. There was something vaguely familiar about his scent.
Shaking away that unhelpful thought, she moved gingerly across the mattress on her knees until she came to a stop at his side. His shirt was off. The beam of moonlight hit his smooth, muscled arm. She swallowed. The man’s chest was positively swoon-worthy. She took a deep breath to calm her nerves and uncorked the vial. Then she carefully leaned over as far as she could to locate his eyes. They remained shrouded in the dark, but she took a guess as to their general direction and tipped the little vial as slowly and carefully as she could. He turned then, and she was afforded enough light to see that the first tiny drop of liquid did indeed fall directly onto his eyelid.
He blinked, and she held her breath. When he settled back into sleep, she closed her eyes and said a brief prayer that she would get away with it a second time before tipping the vial once more to allow another tiny drop to fall on his other eyelid.
He blinked and rubbed at his eyes while Delilah held her breath again, paralyzed with fear. Soon, he settled back into his pillow and his breathing returned to its steady pace.
She pressed a hand to her throat. It was over. She was done. All she had to do was extract herself from the bed and the room without being seen or heard. The difficult part was behind her.
Still praying he wouldn’t stir, she backed away from the duke. Slowly. Slowly. She’d nearly made it to the edge of the bed when he flipped over to face her. A beam of moonlight slid over his sleeping features.
From No Other Duke But You. Copyright © 2019 by Valerie Bowman and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks.
This is book eleven in the ‘Playful Brides’ series, and even though I haven’t read them all, I have thoroughly enjoyed all that I have read, these books are a lot of fun to read Valerie Bowman has a real witty way with words that never fails to amuse. She has genuine gift for her play on words and her imaginative storylines ….plus, not to mention her amazing heroes!
Delilah has come to the point in her life where she really must wed, after all she can’t very well keep going around like a feral child for the rest of her life now can she? She knows who she wants to marry, the only problem is to catch his attention. So, she devises a ‘not so’ brilliant plan to lace her intended with a love potion that will have him falling to his knees in love with her, then she can live happily ever after. Sounds like a good plan, right?
Unfortunately for Delilah her great plan doesn’t go to plan as the man she wanted doesn’t end up drinking her potion, but instead the man she has always seen as a best friend does. Oops!
Thomas has always had feelings for Delilah, he has never had any inclination to get stuck in the parsons mousetrap himself, yet when he sees his friend so adamant on becoming a duchess and her infatuated with another man he starts to have stirrings which shows themselves as true love for her. So, he starts to show her exactly how much she means to him.
Will Thomas finally prove to her that he has always loved her? And will they finally have their happily ever after?
The story which follows is a fun, clever and imaginative and quirky; friends to lovers romance. Even though this is a very fun, light-hearted and easy to read book and there is a real playful element to it which I found very entertaining, yet for me it wasn’t the best I have read of the series. It did feel as though there was something lacking, it didn’t quite have the same magic as the other books did. It has all the ingredients of a brilliant Valerie Bowman book; imaginative and fun plot and sensual, charismatic and lovable characters. But whether because it’s the last book, it has lost some of that much loved sparkle.
Overall this is a charming, little story that has a real warmth and wit to it that will entertain, those who love Ms Bowman’s work will devour it in one.
This was a complementary copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour.
About The Author
Valerie Bowman grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her mini-schnauzers, Huckleberry and Violet. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS.