Victorian Romance

#Review – A Modest Indepenence (Parish Orphans of Devon #2) by Mimi Matthews @MimiMatthewsEsq #AmodestIndependence #ParishOrphansOfDevon #VictorianRomance

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Hello my lovelies, today I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of this amazing book, anyone who reads my reviews will know how much of a fan I am of Mimi Matthews work, I have not come across one of her books that I didn’t like and then I was introduced to the beautiful Parish Orphans of Devon series and I was blown away so much so that I cannot fully express just how incredible this book is, but I will give a go.

He Needed Peace…

Solicitor Tom Finchley has spent his life using his devious intellect to solve the problems of others. As for his own problems, they’re nothing that a bit of calculated vengeance can’t remedy. But that’s all over now. He’s finally ready to put the past behind him and settle down to a quiet, uncomplicated life. If only he could find an equally uncomplicated woman.

She Wanted Adventure…

Former lady’s companion Jenny Holloway has just been given a modest independence. Now, all she wants is a bit of adventure. A chance to see the world and experience life far outside the restrictive limits of Victorian England. If she can discover the fate of the missing Earl of Castleton while she’s at it, so much the better.

From the gaslit streets of London to the lush tea gardens of colonial India, Jenny and Tom embark on an epic quest—and an equally epic romance. But even at the farthest edges of the British Empire, the past has a way of catching up with you…

Well, what can I say? This is such a beautiful story, which is full of so much hope and it leaves the reader with a real sense of that there is love in the world for everyone no matter what your station in life. It is a book that I felt right down inside, I spoke to me. It is a truly beautiful book!

What I love about this, is that Jenny and Tom are very normal people, they aren’t aristocrats whose only problems in life is whether their morning kippers are hot or cold – no these two are brilliantly down to earth. Anyone who knows me will know how much I love character’s who have pulled themselves up from the bottom and trying to find their own way in life and this is Jenny and Tom. They are two people who have both experienced hardships in one way or another and yes because of that it has made them more jaded, hard and a little cynical but once you get to know them you will understand.

Jenny Holloway is a former lady’s companion has been given what was called then a ‘modest independence’ she is all set to leave England to try to find out what really happened to her old friend the Earl of Castleton, so she has her sights on making her way all the to India to find the truth. But to do that she needs her money which needs to be released by her solicitor Tom Finchley. She is determined that after a live of being in servitude that now is the chance for her to be free to follow her heart, and I really love her for that. She is a quiet woman who has got large opinions and is that which Tom finds utterly fascinating, he sees that she is very much like him and he sees in her a friend first which I found so lovely. He refuses to let her go off on her own so he does the only compulsive thing he has ever done in his life and goes with her.

So Tom, Jenny and two servants set off on a life changing adventure from England to India and it is this part of the story that is so damn good! The way Ms Matthews has written their journey is an assault on the senses, you literally see, smell, and experience everything that Tom and Jenny do. The research that has gone into every detail and element of this journey is a masterpiece of historical research and writing, I was spellbound by every sight that our couple see.

I love Tom and Jenny, they are both brilliant created by the very talented Ms Matthews and they also have quite a unique and very different relationship to what we are used to in Historical Romance which I found so refreshing, it was lovely watching two people get to know each other in a very natural way.

A Modest Independence is the second book in The Parish Orphans of Devon series, and the beauty of this book is that you really don’t need to read the previous to enjoy the series, as everything you need to know about The Parish Orphans of Devon is here, but do read A Matrimonial Advertisement. I cannot recommend either of these books enough!

Overall a gorgeous, heart-warming and brilliantly clever romance which will keep you tuning the pages and I also got a sense that there could be more in the series especially with the ending. There is just a whisper of maybe more to come, I so hope so! My only negative comment was the first few pages, I felt that they were a little slow for the story, but it was still captivating and I am in utter awe of the hard work that has gone into this book, I truly felt that Ms Matthews has put her heart and soul into this, there is little piece of Mimi Matthews in this book that you feel as you read.

In one word, this is beautiful.

This was an Arc via the author in exchange for an honest review, Thank you Mimi and apologies for the late review.

A Modest Independence is to be released on 23rd April and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

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#Review His Convenient Highland Wedding (The Lochmore Legacy #1) by Janice Preston @JaniceGPreston #HisConvenientHighlandWedding #TheLochmoreLegacy @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

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I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of this amazing book, to say I have been looking forward to this is an understatement so before I begin a long-winded chapter of adoration of the book, the author and a certain hero 😉 grab yourself a cuppa and let me tell you a wee bit about this book – and hopefully, not put you to sleep with my babbling review.

The Lochmore Legacy

The series is linked by setting a castle in the Highlands of Scotland – and by a feud between two clans that spans the centuries. It is different in that book 1 (His Convenient Highland Wedding) is set in the Victorian era. The heroine makes a shocking discovery, and clues to the mystery are gradually uncovered as we go back in time through the Regency era (Lara Temple), Tudor (Elisabeth Hobbes) and finally Medieval (Nicole Locke), when the truth about that mysterious discovery is finally revealed.

#1 His Convenient Highland Wedding (Victorian) Janice Preston – 21 March 2019

#2 Unlaced by the Highland Duke (Regency) Lara Temple – 18 April 2019

#3 A Runaway Bride for the Highlander (Tudor) Elisabeth Hobbes – 30 May2019

#4 Secrets of a Highland Warrior (Medieval) Nicole Locke – 27 June 2019

If you want to find out more about The Lochmore Legacy, then check out their Goodreads page and the new The Lochmore Legacy Facebook page and make sure you have a read at this great interview with Janice Preston at the Romantic Novelist Association where she is talking all about The Loch More Legacy.

Romantic Novelist Association; Janice Preston Interview / Facebook / Goodreads

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His Convenient Highland Wedding

Bought by her husband…

Bound by secrets of their past!

The start of The Lochmore Legacy – A Scottish castle through the ages!

Earl’s daughter Flora McCrieff brought shame on her family once, now she discovers she must wed impossibly rich but low born Lachlan McNeill. He’s undeniably handsome, but a man of few words. Despite the attraction that burns between them, can she reach beyond his impeccable clothing to find the emotions he’s locked away for so long…?

Oh, my goodness me!! This is ridiculously good. No, good isn’t the right word to describe just how brilliant this book is; definitely more along the lines of sensational. I shouldn’t be surprised seeing who the author is, Ms Preston is a favourite author of mine, I knew that I would be in for a great story, but this is really something special, and I can honestly say that this is my favourite of all of Ms Preston’s work, it really is astonishing how good this is.

I love it when author’s go out of their comfort zone and try a new era, and I think that Ms Preston has out done her self here. I was literally blown away with the excellence of this book, I cannot praise Janice Preston enough. This has ‘Best Selling’ and ‘Made to be a Movie’ written all over it.

Janice Preston, what have you done to me? How can I possibly love another hero now? Lachlan has now ruined me for all other heroes, I will never be the same again.

So His Convenient Highland Wedding is the start of a whole new series; The Lochmore Legacy which is so refreshingly new and unique in it’s own right. The Lochmore Legacy is written by four amazing historical romance authors; Janice Preston, Lara Temple, Elisabeth Hobbes and Nicole Locke and it will span across four separate era’s, it will start in the Victorian and go back through Regency, Tudor and finally end in Medieval where all the secrets will be revealed. The connection between the books will be linked with the setting (The Castle) and the feuding families, This is such an original idea, it’s imaginative and adventurous and not something we usually come across in romance and I can’t wait to see where this series is going to go, judging by this first instalment The Lochmore Legacy is going to be something special; one of those once in a life times things.

But, that is all for the future I really much stop babbling and focus on the here and now.

This is in all essence a ‘Marriage of Convenience’ but I see it as much, much more than that. It is a finding love in the most unexpected places entwined with a stonking great mysterious undercurrent that runs throughout the book and believe me, I was gripped!

Businessman Lachlan McNeill – oh, be still my beating heart! – is trying to get his newly founded Whiskey brewery up and running, he is confident that his new blend will become a great whiskey. There is just one thing standing in his way, and that is who is. He is a self-made man, new money as some call him and not an aristocrat – can you see why I am so much in love with this guy? He is a man who has a troubled and dark past – one of which he is deeply ashamed of and one which he knows if society ever found out about his business would probably fail. He hides his past and plans to get himself a patron, an up standing man of society who will be able to help, but to get that he needs a wife with some clout. Which is why he marries Lady Flora.

Flora McCrieff is basically sold to the highest bidder, that’s how I saw the way her family treated her. After bringing scandal to her house and with her family in dire need of money, Flora is married off to Lachlan. A man she never even set eyes upon until the day of her wedding, she is saddened that her family would do such a thing and depressed that she has been shunned from society and now she feeling a mixture of fear and trepidation at what kind of man her husband is. But, really she has nothing to fear from Lachlan, yes he maybe broody and secretive but he is a good man, a man who hasn’t had the best of starts in life, a man who so deserves some good luck.

Once they are at Lachlans home of; Lochmore Castle this is where our couple really learn about each other, they grow as a couple and as individuals and their confidence for one and other grows. It is utterly breath-taking watching Lachlan and Flora go on their journey of discovery, and realising that; yes they do deserve love and that the person right in-front of them is just person who completes them. I love that!

My goodness, did I mention how much I have fallen head over heels in love with Lachaln? This is how a hero should be written, this is my kind of hero! He really is perfect, hardworking working class man, who has literally dragged himself up from a terrible beginning. Self made, blunt, brooding, sensitive, gorgeous inside and out, proud. I love how he is so focused on trying to make life better for the poor and under privileged, he is a fair man and wants to do his best for his workers and if I knew only that about him I would be enthralled by him. How a man treats his workers says so much about that mans true character and this man is wonderful. Did I mention he was perfect and handsome?

This is really stunning! Mesmerizing, atmospheric, rich in emotion and mystery and so beautifully written. It is a beautiful love story with a mysterious undercurrent that makes you look up and think; ooh, I wonder what is happening here? Or Where will this story lead? It keeps you completely gripped throughout and on the last page you weep that’s it’s over and want to re-read it straight away and then you are on tenter hooks desperate for the next book in the series.

I can’t praise this enough, I am literally lost for words at just how captivating this is. Janice Preston has written the perfect historical romance, one that I cannot recommend enough.

Stunningly perfect!

This was an Arc copy via the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you Janice.

His Convenient Highland Wedding is to be released on 21 March and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

#Review One Night With The Major (Allied At The Altar #2) by Bronwyn Scott @Bronwynscott #OneNightWithTheMajor #AlliedAtTheAltar @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

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Hello my lovelies, today I have the great pleasure to share my review of One Night With The Major, which is the second book in the ‘Allied At the Altar’ series by Bronwyn Scott. So grab yourself a cuppa and let me tell you about this brilliant book.

One daring encounter

Binds her to his marriage bed!

Part of Allied at the Altar: In England, innocent tea heiress Pavia Honeysett has always been judged for her face or her fortune. She would much rather return to her uncle’s palace in India. So to escape marriage to the aged man her father has chosen she will ruin herself!

But her red-hot night with Major Camden Lithgow changes everything. Suddenly, this stranger will become her husband…

My goodness, this is so good! I loved the first book in the series, the character’s of that really spoke to me but this really is so different to the first and definitely in a league of it’s own. It’s exotic, sexy, sensual and thoroughly enchanting and it has the best twisty ending. Which is exactly what I have come to expect from Ms Scott’s writing, she takes what is a very basic ‘Marriage of Convenience’ story and gives it a fresh new twist, she incorporates different cultures, plus some of the most enthralling heroes and spirited heroines around.

Major Camden Lithgow has been sent home from the war on leave for a short time, for him to give the worst possible news to his best friend and fellow officer’s family; that Fortis has been killed in the war. Cam feels guilty about his best friend and he went a little off the rails as he never believed his best friend to have gone. Which is another reason why he is on leave – time away from the war to try to get himself in a better place. It is as he is making his way home that he meets an astonishingly beautiful and mysterious exotic dancer who seduces him, has her sinful wicked way with him and then leaves him, with nothing but lustful memories.

Pavia Honeysett is destined to married off to a man who is old enough to be her grandfather. A vile, perverse man who has a certain fetish for young virgins – is it alright for me to scream; pervert? Her father an incredibly wealthy tea merchant who married an Indian princess who has struggled to claim his place in society and now he has only one thing on his mind when it comes to his only daughter, and that is how she will get him his much sought after foot in the aristocratic door. Independent and free-thinking Pavia has other idea’s so she concocts a scheme to ruin herself so that her intended won’t want her and then she will be free. But alas, as with these things, her plan doesn’t exactly go as she expected it to, and soon she must marry the very man who she chose to ruin herself with – a stranger with his own demons.

I may have just found my favourite of Ms Scott’s heroes, Cam is such an amazing character I loved him from the very first instance. Anyone who follows my reviews will probably have an idea of what sort of man Cam is, that makes me swoon at his feet in a very unsightly heap. Cam is just marvellous! Charismatic, brave, loyal, courageous, a real charmer when he puts his mind to it, gorgeous inside and out but there is something else beneath that proud officer’s surface, there is a loneliness, a fragility that I found far more alluring than him in his uniform – believe me, coming from me that is quite something, as I do have a real love for uniformed men.

This is perfection, the relationship between Pavia and Cam isn’t what either of them had originally wanted, but they soon realises that the other is exactly what they have both needed in their lives. They are such an adorable couple, they have much to face, not just learning to love and discover who the other is but they have a fair amount of prejudice they must face.

I absolutely loved the ending, it was really satisfying and perfect for our couple and their story. Another reason I love how it ended was the reference to what I hope will be the next story in the series – I am desperate for Tresham’s story. I won’t say too much about that, all I will say is that the ending is a bit of a cliff-hanger with regards to the sub plot of this story. I can’t tell you too much about that as there would be huge spoilers, and I never like to give away spoilers

Over all a wonderful story, the plot is as fascinating and mesmerising as the character’s, while the writing and attention to detail is as ever spot on the mark. I cannot wait for the next instalment of the Allied at the Altar series.

Highly recommended, a definite must read!

This was an Arc copy from the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you Bronwyn and apologies for the late review.

One Night With The Major id available now from Amazon

#Review Her Deceptive Duke (Wicked Husbands series #4) by Scarlett Scott @scarscoromance #HerDeceptiveDuke #WickedHusbands #Victorian #Romance

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Georgiana, Duchess of Leeds, hasn’t seen her husband since he left her on their wedding day for an extended hunting expedition and never returned. But she isn’t the sort to wait around pining for an arrogant oaf who can’t bother to recall he has a wife, no matter how sinfully handsome he may be.

She finds all the fulfillment she requires in caring for the stray cats and dogs of London’s streets. Until, that is, the duke returns, and she uncovers the truth about where he’s been…

Kit, Duke of Leeds, never wanted to be duke. He was content with his life as one of Her Majesty’s most dedicated spies until his brother’s unexpected demise left him forced to marry an American heiress to save the family estate from ruin. The day he married her, he left for a secret assignment in America, with no intention of returning.

Seriously wounded and his cover ruined, Kit’s forced back to London where he finds a townhouse brimming with creatures and a wife who can’t bear the sight of him.

With husband and wife beneath the same roof at last, their marriage of convenience sparks into a passion that’s as undeniable as it is unexpected. But is desire enough to bring two wary hearts together? And once Kit’s wounds are healed, will Georgiana’s love be enough to make him stay?

WARNING: Contains explicit language and steamy scenes.

Well, what a fantastic book! It’s ultra hot, saucy, thrilling, exciting, sensual….I could go on but over the course of this review, I may bleat on a wee bit too much about how amazing this book is. I cannot believe that I have never read Scarlett Scott’s work before, why is that? I must have been walking around with my eyes shut to have missed this fine author, but that will soon be rectified as I will most certainly be reading more from Ms Scott.

This is book four in the Wicked Husbands series seeing as I hadn’t read any of the other before I can whole heartedly say that you really do not need to. I read this as a stand-a-lone, because the story is centred around the couple and not so much the spy network – we will get to that later 😉 I didn’t think that I had missed out on anything from the previous books, true I now need to read the other’s just because this was so darn good.

The story starts with Georgianna and Kit marrying, not voluntarily theirs was the typical arranged marriage of convenience; his Ducal family needed money and she has money as she is the daughter of a wealthy American. Match made in heaven? Not quite, seeing as the moment they are married and before the wedding day is even finished Kit swan’s off without a backwards glance at his new wife and Duchess. To say that poor Georgianna is riled doesn’t even come close to how she feels about her husband, all she can do is stand by and watch his retreating broad shouldered back walk away from her.

In the months while her husband was off on his so called ‘hunting trip’ she has had to find a way to take her mind of the hurt she was feeling when he left, that hurt soon turned into anger and now she feels nothing for the man she was made to marry. She started rescuing animals and nursing them back to health, she has literally filled the house with all manner of animals – which once her husband returns and finds dogs in his master chamber that makes for some very amusing scenes between estranged husband and wife.

He does sound like a cad and really he could have waited a day at least before he fled, but I do like Kit and there is a very good reason why he had to flee. Kit is not just a high and mighty Duke but he is also apart of a secret group of her majesties spies called ‘The legion’ he had to rush off on his latest mission, one that unfortunately for him is the one that nearly gets him killed. He turns up again months later; severely wounded after being shot when his cover was blown. He has no choice but to go home with his tail between his legs as everyone thinks him a traitor, let us just say he isn’t looking forward to the reunion with Georgiana.

I absolutely adore ‘enemies to loverstrope stories, I love the conflict between the couple and the HEA feels so much more earned and these two are fantastic. They argue, rant and rave, they throw abuse and insults at one and other as though it’s as easy as breathing and then there is the making up sex; my goodness me it mightily hot! Kit is gruff, broody, argumentative, he never wanted to be Duke he is far happier in his spying role, he never wanted a wife – especially one as free- spirited and feisty as Georgianna, who would be as happy as Larry to skewer him with something sharp; but the estate and the title needed the money. Yet beneath all that ruthlessness and cold heart there lies a good, loyal, decent and brave man who merely wants to do his duty. Georgianna is a wonderful lady, yes she does hate Kit with a passion for doing a runner, but when he turns up wounded she is the first to jump in and help her husband, but that doesn’t mean life is plain sailing for them especially with an unknown traitor on the loose and Georgianna ready to shoot anyone – including Kit – with her trusty pistol.

I love it!! It is such a great story; thrilling, imaginative fast-paced and supremely sexy. The character’s are well developed from the moment of meeting them you are instantly drawn to into their story but more then that they are immensely likeable and very funny; especially when they want to throttle each other. It is defiantly one that will be read and re-read again and again.

I do have to warn that there is a lot of strong language throughout, and the sex will make the reader rather hot under the collar. So if you don’t like explicit bedroom scenes and a foul mouthed hero then this may not be the best book for you, but I would say give it a go as the story is a corker. With a traitorous and complex plot, sexy spies, brooding dukes and fiery duchesses, plus a mansion full of vagrant animals; what’s not to love?

A must read for all historical romance lovers!

This was a complimentary copy via Aurora Publicity in exchange for an honest review, Thank you Pam.

Her Deceptive Duke can be purchased from Amazon.

#Review The Viscounts Veiled Lady (Whitby Wedding’s #3) by Jenni Fletcher (@JenniAuthor) #TheViscountsVeiledLady #WhitbyWeddings #Victorian #Romance @MillsandBoons @HarlequinBooks

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A lady hidden from society
A viscount with his own secrets…

When Frances Webster meets brooding Arthur Amberton on Whitby shore he’s a different man from the dashing young gentleman she once carried a flame for. But life has changed her too. After a tragic accident left her scarred, physically and emotionally, she’s led a solitary life. She cherishes their new friendship, and yet she can’t help but hope Arthur sees the beauty within her…

 

Now this is truly wonderful, I have been waiting with bated breath for Arthur’s story since briefly meeting him in the previous book. I fell in love with his brother Lance the minute I set eyes on him, but I was fascinated with Arthur, I wanted to know him and know why he disappeared and the results of it. He was so different to Lance and I can happily say that this was well worth the wait, Ms Fletcher has pulled out all the stops with this beauty. It is such a loving story all about two people who after both suffering their own personal heartaches find themselves a bit lost in the world, Frances and Arthur are in need of love that can only come from another who understand them and loves them for who they are.

When Arthur Amberton returns after his mysterious disappearance Frances is sent with a message to him from her sister; Lydia – who just happened to be secretly engaged to Arthur that is until he disappeared, now he is back Lydia is determined to be Lady of the manor, she thinks that if she can get him alone for just ten minutes he will fall helplessly in love with her and take her off to Amberton Castle, only problem with that plan is one she is currently in mourning and can not leave the house and two Arthur knows the real Lydia he knows what a manipulator and gold digger she is and wants noting to do with her. Which is where Frances comes in, she can be the messenger.

Frances only goes along with her sister’s slightly mad plan because Lydia being a selfish, spiteful, spoilt little madam, practically blackmail’s Frances into doing her dirty work. Frances would rather not meddle in their affairs she is far happier making her jet jewellery but with her sisters spiteful threat she dons her veil and off she goes across beautiful Whitby to find a man who no longer wishes to be apart of civilization again and try to persuade him to give her sister the second she Frances knows Lydia doesn’t deserve. Only as with all great romances stories all doesn’t exactly go to plan and what should have a been a simple message delivery turns into a twisted ankle, dinner with the two broodingly beautiful Amberton brother’s at Amberton Castles and one sinful lordly pig farmer scandalously peeling off her stockings…ouh, la la! Followed with lots of pent-up lust, frustration, overwhelming emotions and picnics on the beach accompanied with some seriously delicious cakes.

But it’s not all plain sailing (the expression wasn’t intentional, but quite fitting) and cake eating, our two have got serious issues to over come before either of them can even think about moving on and taking that huge step with one another. And this is where the story really comes into it’s own, and where Ms Fletcher excels with her gift for portraying most subtle of human emotion in ways that grabs the reader’s heart. For me it’s is their connection, the fact that they are both fractured and how between the two of them they learn to move forward and to be at peace. The story really focuses on their psychological emotion, their pain, their vulnerability and their eventual hope for the future, which I found utterly heart-warming to read.

Frances is such an amazing lady, I felt a real connection with her, she resonated with me in ways that doesn’t often happen, I understood her. She is a real understated heroine, she is selfless, imaginative, creative, brave and she has an inner strength and intelligence about her that I found utterly captivating. She is has lived her life after her terrible accident under the illusion that she is now destined to be alone, that she isn’t worth anything and worse she truly thinks herself as a burden because of misunderstandings she has always feared to be an embarrassment to her family which is one of the reasons why she covers her scar with the veil and why she finds so much happiness and peace from making her jewellery.

Arthur is so different to how we last saw him, he is a large, brooding, self-conscious, vulnerable, tender, sensual, ruggedly handsome and he has quite the foul mouth. Plus since his return he has cast off the ‘proper’ gentleman etiquette and has thrown himself into his farm….there really is nothing funnier and, may I say sexier than a gorgeous man running around after piglet’s 🙂 I found he also has a real darkness about him, he appears locked in to his self loathing thoughts and it is only the pure, kind, caring and loving heart of Frances that really makes him see past the darkness and into the light.

This is an enchanting story about second chances, about over coming great inner conflict to find your happily ever after. The romance between Frances and Author sizzles right from the off – well its’ not surprising seeing as when she first sees him again, while he was not wearing a great deal and left little to the imagination. There is a spark between them that ignites into some more the longer they are around one and other, and when they kiss….my, oh my! The air fizzles with lust and romance, it is well worth the wait, I can tell you. Their relationship develops in a very natural way and it is that what readers can relate to and will fall in love with – after all who hasn’t shared a cake at a picnic with a loved one?

Utterly captivating! An exquisite, beautifully written story of heart-felt love that will leave the reader with enchanted and yet again proves what an exceptional writer Ms Fletcher is and worth her weight in gold!

This was an Arc via the author in exchange for an honest review, Thank you Jenni.

The Viscounts Veiled Lady is to be released on 24 January and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

#Review Marriage Deal With The Viscount (Allied At the Alter #1) by Bronwyn Scott (@Bronwynscott) #AlliedAtTheAltar #Historical #Victorian #Romance #MarriageDealWithTheViscount @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

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‘I can protect you.’

But she must accept his ring!

An Allied at the Altar story: after an abusive marriage, Sofia is struggling to find acceptance in Society. So when dashing Viscount Taunton needs her investment for his business, she’s surprised by his strong, supportive nature.

In Conall’s arms she discovers true pleasure. Yet to fully leave her past behind, Sofia must consider Conall’s offer of his full protection – in the form of wedding vow

My View

This is a fabulous start to a whole new series; Allied At The Alter, which going by this first book is going to be another brilliant series by a favourite author of mine. This is essentially a ‘Marriage of Convenience’ story, but as ever with Ms Scott’s work there is always a great secondary plot or a twist to the tale. I love that Bronwyn Scott has set this series in the Victorian era, which is such a change from her hugely popular and brilliant regencies, I can say without a doubt that she has pulled a beauty out of the bag with this one.

Conall; Viscount Taunton after gaining the title he now has to deal with the problems that go along with it, which in Taunton’s case means they are in dire need of money. Conall comes up with the most brilliant plan to gain the funds that his family and more importantly the title needs and that is to do what many aristocrats deem as rather vulgar. He plans to go into business!! I know shock and horror, he wants to start trading with the mills with his Alpacca wool, but to do that he needs capital but when he goes to the one man who could set this venture off refuses him point blank he must find another avenue to go down.

I love that about him he is an enterprising, creative and imaginative young man who has a proper head on his shoulders, in fact he rather makes me think of John Thornton from North and South – I think everyone knows how much I love a man who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty and this is the man. Conall is a very proud man, it does grate that he has to beg but where his family is concerned he will do what is needed. I really, really love him he just wants to do what’s right he is motivated, enigmatic and at times very serious but that just adds to his appeal. Once he gets turned down by a family friend no less he has no other choice than to fall on to the charity of the mysterious but incredibly wealthy; La Marchessa di Cremona.

Sofia has her own reasons to be as mysterious and hidden in the shadows as she is, if found she would face a fate far, far worse then death, which is why she is equally as desperate for this deal with Conall to go well. She is a complex woman, and I love how Ms Scott doesn’t divulge all of Sofia’s secrets in one go, she teases with dropping little clues and subtle hints through out the story. Yes, it is pretty easy to figure out her back story and why she is fleeing, but it’s incredibly satisfying finding out about this woman. Sofia may appear to be an alluring, beautiful, majestic creature from another planet and yes she is, but that is a mask to protect herself, she is pretty damaged, she is vulnerable, afraid and has trust issues.

I adore both Conall and Sofia, as individuals they are tough cookies who are fighting to not just keep their heads above water but to save their family and themselves. But for me they really shine when they are together, they are both immensely intelligent, resourceful, charismatic and proud. You would think that they would be like chalk and cheese, but that’s as far from the truth as you can get they are each others rock.

This isn’t your stereotypical boy meets girl romance, there is intricate layers that entwine some very serious subjects within the story; such as abuse, divorce and a county which is forging a head into a new innovative world. I love Victorian novels, it was a time of change of new ideas and all of that is features in this book. The character’s are engaging and likeable, the two leads off course are perfect but I love the secondary characters too which are fascinating, and fun to get to know, even the baddie is mesmerising.

Overall this is a brilliantly written, original, thrilling, engaging, captivating and page-turning romance that will keep you teetering at the edge of your seat, reading with baited breath as the story unfolds. A great start to a whole new series, one that I cannot wait to dive into again with book two.

A great book and highly recommended!

This was an Arc copy via the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you Bronwyn.

Marriage Deal With The Viscount is to be released on 27 December and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

#Review : A Holiday by Gaslight (A Victorian Christmas Novella) by Mimi Mathews (@MimiMatthewsEsq)

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A Courtship of Convenience

Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr. Edward Sharpe is no run-of-the-mill London merchant. He’s grim and silent. A man of little emotion–or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she’s ready to put an end to things.  

A Last Chance for Love

But severing ties with her former beau isn’t as straightforward as Sophie envisioned. Her parents are outraged. And then there’s Charles Darwin, Prince Albert, and that dratted gaslight. What’s a girl to do except invite Mr. Sharpe to Appersett House for Christmas and give him one last chance to win her? Only this time, there’ll be no false formality. This time, they’ll get to know each other for who they really are.

My View

My goodness, yet again I am blown away with the excellence that is Ms Mimi Matthews. I am a huge fan of her work – In fact, I have said that very sentence so many times, I’m sure that Mimi and everyone reading my reviews must be sick of hearing it, but I don’t care I am still going to shout it from the rooftops just how much I admire this fine lady’s work.

A Holiday By Gaslight is a wonderfully seasonal novella that will definitly leave the reader feeling all warm and Christmassy, set during the Victorian era – which I do have to say, that Ms Matthews is the best there is when comes to this era – and it is full of seasonal joy and atmosphere, the historic detail is as always flawlessly described, it is literally like waking up in this era and joining Sophie and Ned at the Christmas house party.

With the her family facing financial ruin, mainly due to her selfish and inconsiderate father and her brattish sister, Sophie Appersett knows that with no dowry she will most likely have to marry below her station and quickly to bring in the much needed funds her family need especially if they are to carry on living in the land of luxury that they are accustomed to. Walk on stage Edward Sharpe, the handsome, brooding and monosyllabic working class, mill owner and merchant. A man who her class cannot abide because of his humble roots yet will go out of their way to grasp hold of his hard earned cash.

After two month courting, Sophie breaks it off with Ned. She thinks him gruff and silent, in their brief courtship she cannot bare he thought of marrying such a silent man, a man she doesn’t know and who refuses to talk to her. Ned is far from what Sophie thinks him to be, he is silent because he is following what a rather stupid book on society rules says, instead of being himself. They meet again during her parent’s annual Christmas house party, which is when she begins to see what we all see, that he is a wonderfully thoughtful and fascinating man and Ned too sees that she isn’t like the rest of society she doesn’t see him as just a walking bank balance, she is kind and generous and very loving and open.

I have to say that I do love the scene where Ned tell Sophie that he will get a kiss from her, it is such a fun scene and really shows Ned’s witty and fun loving side and shows that he is much more that the incredibly shy with women, brooding yet amazingly intelligent and hard-working man he is, especially when he says he will kiss anywhere either under the mistletoe or under the stairs, I love that!

This is magical, it beautifully entwines a gorgeous Victorian Christmas, social prejudices of the era and the most marvellously different cast of character’s that you would ever want I a historical romance. Each character brings their own personalities to the story, that gives it that realism that I love, Sophie’s sister Emily was a little irritating brat and Mr Murry, well he is a real rakish charmer. I love that the driving force of this is Ned and Sophie not just over coming their own misunderstanding towards one and other, but also attempting to bring their two completely different worlds together to have a harmonious and unforgeable Christmas.

Yet again, Ms Matthews has created another wonderfully charming and vividly rich romance, that will have the readers swooning with absolute delight.

Perfect!

This was an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

A Holiday by Gaslight is to be released on 13 November and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.