#Review | The Winter Companion (Parish Orphans of Devon #4) by Mimi Matthews #TheWinterCompanion #ParishOrphansOfDevon @MimiMatthewsEsq
Hello Sunshines! I have the massive pleasure to be sharing my review of this utterly beautiful and enchanting book; The Winter Companion by Mimi Matthews with his the fourth and final book in the gorgeous Parish Orphans of Devon series. So prepare for waffle – I know whenever I have a Mimi Matthews book in hand I have to babble about it, I can’t help it though her writing is just exquisite – and settle back grab that cuppa and enjoy!
A winter reunion for the orphans brings romance for Neville Cross in Book 4 of Mimi Matthews’ USA Today bestselling Parish Orphans of Devon series
She Needed to be Seen…
As a lady’s companion, Clara Hartwright never receives much attention from anyone. And that’s precisely how she likes it. With a stormy past, and an unconventional plan for her future, it’s far safer to remain invisible. But when her new employer is invited to a month-long holiday at a remote coastal abbey, Clara discovers that she may not be as invisible as she’d hoped. At least, not as far as one gentleman is concerned.
He Wanted to be Heard…
Neville Cross has always been more comfortable with animals than people. An accident in his youth has left him with a brain injury that affects his speech. Forming the words to speak to his childhood friends is difficult enough. Finding the right things to say to a lovely young lady’s companion seems downright impossible. But Miss Hartwright is no ordinary companion. In fact, there may not be anything ordinary about her at all.
During a bleak Devon winter, two sensitive souls forge an unexpected friendship. But when Clara needs him most, will Neville find the courage to face his fears? Or is saying goodbye to her the most heroic thing he can do?
To say I have been looking forward to this book is an understatement, the moment I read the very first book in this series I just knew that Neville needed his story and then his story was going to be an emotional one. Mimi Matthews is a master at heart-wrenching and thought-provoking stories, but, even I am stunned by just how beautiful this book is.
This is a truly magical, richly emotional and captivating love story, with two of the most complex and deserving characters that I have come across. I knew that Neville would take me on an emotional roller coaster ride and I was right, he brought all boundaries crashing down and made everyone love him for who he truly is and Clara is absolutely perfect for our strong and shy hero, I adore her caring, gentle and unwavering support and love of him. It makes the heart melt so much, I am a mess, this is perfection in every single way.
So for those who haven’t been hanging on to the every word of this beautiful series like I have, then let me re-cap; The Parish Orphan’s of Devon is a group of four friends who as you have guessed it are orphan’s, they all grew together and after an incident that changed their lives, especially that of our hero here; Neville they went their own ways. This is book four and as you may have guessed the one that myself and many, many other readers have been avidly waiting for. You can very easily read them as stand-a-lones, as each book is very much its own story centring around one of the orphan’s, personally though I would read them in order there is just something very special about this series that needs to read in order to fully see just how mesmerizing this is.
When Neville was a young parish orphan, along with his three best friends and practical brothers, a horrific accident happened which changed his life forever. It fractures their little band of brothers and leaves him with a disability, one of which he knows people see or hear before they even give him the chance. He finds talking with his friends hard enough, but at least they know him, he finds it near enough impossible to converse with others outside his little circle, much preferring the companionship of his animals.
It’s Christmas at Greyfriars Abbey, which those who have been following this series will know it is held by one of the orphans whom the whole series has been following; Justin and his lovely wife; Helena. He has brought his friends all together again after so many years apart to finally have their much deserved happily family Christmas together. With the guests, is lady’s companion; Clara Hartwright, who has no wish to be the centre of any attention, her only asperations in life is to study and to be an academic something which as we all know wasn’t conventional or even allowed during the era. Whilst there she meets silent, strong and complex Neville a huge man with a kind and caring soul who like her has a love for being in the background and a passion for animals.
Can you see why I love this man so much?
Aw, my darling Neville, he broke my heart, he mended it again, he made me sigh with joy and shed tears of happiness. He is easily one of the most thoughtful, inspiring and complexly gently creature that has ever walked out of Mimi Matthews brilliant mind. I adore her writing there is something very magical about the way she can capture every emotion in a single scene, honestly, this lady could write a phone book and make it enchanting, but I really fell in love with Neville, I think that he is easily the best hero Mimi has written – which feels a little traitorous saying an I have loved every single one of the Orphans, yet this man just caught my heart and even now refuses to relinquish it.
I love that Clara unlike so many others sees past his disability and really sees the true and gentle man beneath, it breaks my heart sees those moments when Neville really struggles with his speech and how others perceive him to be, they judge him to be simple and feeble-minded instead of getting to know him and this is another reason I like Clara so much she is kind, caring and patient she knows better than to judge on sight. This is another reason why they are so perfect for each other. Mimi Matthews really has out written herself with Clara and Neville.
Their romance isn’t a boom and it’s over, it’s slow and but the emotion and the atmosphere shimmers, I really love that they do become friends before anything else they get to know each other and that builds up into something more.
What I absolutely loved about this series, especially with the first book is that Neville is the soothing balm in the midst of three very different personalities in the form of his friends and fell orphans; Justine, Tom and Alex, I totally see him as the glue that holds their little group together even if at times through heir lives there has been difficulties and incivility towards one and other, they all have their love for Neville that brings them once again together. I really loved seeing them all in this and how at ease they all are now they have all found happiness and contentment its a beautiful piece of writing and some of Mimi’s very best.
I really must mention the vivid Victorian detail that is in itself a story, Mimi’s skill at capturing every single scene so well that it is like looking down a lens into their world, every aspect of Victorian life is beautifully portrayed, the way they live whether that be the wealthy of the more, the simple rustle of the ladies skirts, the weather, the scents, the sights the feel of fabric, how the house is decorated and even the atmosphere when certain characters are in the room together, not a single thing is missed and it draws the reader into the flawless and sensual world that Mimi has built around her characters. You just feel Mimi’s passion for the era, her absolute love of this period in time is reflected in each word she writes.
Yet again Mimi Matthews has created the most enchanting true love story, she has once again proved that she is the queen of the emotional, tender and magical historical romance.
This was an Arc copy via the author which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Mimi and massive apologies for how ridiculously late this review is. xx
#Review | Lilian And The Irresistible Duke (Secrets of a Victorian Household #4) by Virginia Heath #LilianandtheIrresistableDuke #SecretsofaVictorianHousehold @VirginiaHeath_ @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks
Hello my Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure and massively excited to be sharing my review of this gorgeous book; Lilian And The Irresistible Duke by Virginia Heath. Be prepared for waffle, I’m afraid there is quite a bit, so as always grab that cuppa, a good piece of cake and enjoy!
A reunion in Rome…
Sparks an affair to remember!
Part of Secrets of a Victorian Household. Responsible widow Lilian Fairclough is persuaded to travel to Rome for a hard-earned break and to let down her hair! She’s surprised to be reunited with passionate, cynical Italian duke Pietro Venturi. He reawakens her sensual side and intrigues her with glimpses of pain beneath his rakish surface. Enticed into a secret and temporary affair, what will happen once she returns home?
This is the fourth and final book in the Victorian Household series, and if there was any author who can end a brilliant series with a swooningly brilliant bang, then it’s Virginia Heath! And what an ending, it’s so romantic…but then what do we expect from a sensual Italian?
Lillian whom for those who have been following this series will know as the mother of the three siblings whose stories have come before this, she has done the dutiful mother and wife she has put her whole life on the back burner for her family and now after being widowed for many years and having her children fly the next to start their own chapter’s she has now the opportunity to go out there and have an adventure of her own. I can’t help but think I have made her sound a little cold, which was not my intention she is as far from cold as a person can get, yet I don’t think I have done this amazing lady justice. This is what happens when you have a very small vocabulary and your sole focus is on the incorrigible Italian, maybe I should just stick to gifs to get my opinion across?
I really, really like Lillian, she is a remarkable lady; selfless, loving, caring, protective and resourceful. She believes that she can never find love or ever feel the stirring of lust and tingles of desire again, oh how wrong she is! After the sad passing of her beloved husband she reached into that deeply hidden internal strength to pull her self up and raise her children – plus their Fairclough foundation, as her husband would have wanted, I also love that she genuinely appeared to love her husband that theirs was a love match another reason why I think she’s a wonderful lady she has a romantic’s heart. She did the most amazing job doing all that on her own, but she is well and truly in dire need of some happiness, a little wooing and adventure of her own. Something which she thinks a lady of her age cannot have, honestly lady your not in the grave yet.
It is such a breath of fresh air to read a story with an older couple instead of your young whippersnappers at twenty-something taking centre stage, we have here a women in her prime finally having fun and living the life she should be and being charmed by a sexy enigmatic and gloriously seductive man…isn’t that every woman’s wish?
So our lovely Lillian sets out to Rome for an adventure of a lifetime, unfortunately for her, she ends up with not one but two match-makers who are both gently nudging her in the direction of the ridiculously charming, sexy, god-like, rampant Italian stallion that is Pietro…oh, my days! Where is my feather fan when I need it? I’m getting all hot and flustered, one of the things that I have got from this gorgeous book is that; Virginia you really need to send me some more sexy Italians!!!
So…where was I? Oh, yes, Lillian is soon reunited with a very familiar face, if you have read the previous book; Amelia’s story, then you will know that while at a house party Lillian got friendly with a mysterious Italian Duke….oooh the minx! Well, that very man is right there before her eyes in all his beautiful tantalising glory.
Pietro, oh Pietro; be still my beating heart! He is a real stud, a proper rascal, roguish in a very elegant way, charming, enigmatic, seductive, a blazing Italian stallion. But, he is also jaded and cynical, his view of relationships and of love is gone a little astray and all he now sees is the needy, manipulative and the bad side of love. He is a bit of a playboy, hopping from one woman’s bed to the next, never sticking around too long and never visiting the same bed twice, but his reluctance in love comes from a real deeply ingrained pain, a pain that our Lillian can see straight away she sees the sadness behind his sparkling smile. I adore the way Virginia describes his voice, I have this sudden image of chocolate; smooth, luxurious and delicious, it made me melt and go into a full-on swoon whenever he purrs those Italian love words to her. Smooth Pietro, very smooth!
They are both guarded, but they can’t deny the attraction they have for one and other, and it is so lovely seeing them as they slowly and rather cautiously get to know each other as Pietro shows her his beautiful city, as they discover they each share a love of art, but seeing as Lillian is only there on holiday will be an end to their newfound love? Well, I’m not going to divulge what happens’ next, but that ending…oh, be still my beating heart, super romantic!
I love this, the perfectly paced plot is full of fun, brilliant banter, sizzling tension flirtatious winks and saucy innuendos. Fabulously likeable character’s, and set in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, the description of the city, the art, the history is magical.
This was an arc copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you, Virginia! xx
Lillian and the Irresistible Duke is available now.
#Review | Miss Amelia’s Mistletoe Marquess (Secrets Of A Victorian Household #2) by Jenni Fletcher #MissAmeliasMistletoeMarquess @JenniAuthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks
Hello Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of this gorgeous books with you all; Miss Amelia’s Mistletoe Marquess by Jenni Fletcher. This book is so delicious, it really is the perfect partner for a good sit down and a cuppa.
The virtuous Miss Fairclough
Now faces ruin!
When Amelia Fairclough had sought refuge in a blizzard, a brooding stranger had given her warmth and shelter. She’d even tried to soothe him of his demons in return. But as she scurried home at dawn she was spotted! Now he’s in the parlour, offering to do the honourable thing. Surely she’d be a fool to turn down the new Marquess of Falconmore!
Jenni Fletcher has gone and done it again, easily one of the best, yet!! I utterly adored this books, Jenni has sent me out to sea on a raft of enchantment, longing and serious all-out ruination of a crush on the leading man, honestly, I may never be the same again, how could you do such a thing to me? I am ruined, plus I am sinking in the copious amount of tea that I consumed over the course of this book – really, I have guzzled enough to sink a submarine!
Hmmm, I think I must have strayed off topic a tad there….it’s all Cassius’ fault, I just can’t cope with how much I love this man, maybe cake will distract me from my devilish thoughts? 😉
Anyhow, I really must start talking about the book and not his lordships fine rear-end – so, this is the second book in the new multi-author series, and what a cast of fine writing minds with have on this series, we really are spoilt. I haven’t read the first book, yet but I didn’t think I missed out on anything, this is definitely a stand-alone.
Firstly, I felt a real connection with Amelia, she spoke to me on a level that most heroines don’t, I have only ever come across one other time in a book when the heroine spoke to me as Amelia did. I got her completely, I understood her completely. I understood yearning for adventure, her guilt that those traitorous thoughts have taken hold in her mind when her family needs her so, I understand her love for her family and her deeply ingrained need to do all she can for them even scarifying what she wants for them, I saw so much of myself in her, so to see her get her happily ever after was like a balm to the soul.
After the death of her father ten years ago, Amelia’s life and her whole personality has changed dramatically, gone has the adventuresome, fun-loving and carefree Millie and in her place has stepped serious, dutiful, practical and always reading to do all she can; Miss Amelia. Responsibility of her new role within the Faiclough Foundation, which was founded by her parent’s many years before is now pressing down on her slender shoulders. Her life goes from bad to worse when Amelia reluctantly attends a house party her usually restrained temper gets the better of her – good on ya’ lass! – which is one thing but when the carriage she is waiting for leaves without her she chooses to walk home rather than plead help from the very woman she insulted. The snow falls, she becomes ridiculously lost and ends up knocking at the door of a cottage for shelter, an action which will change the whole course of her life, when a growling, dishevelled bear of a man opens the door – not an entirely bad thing to be faced with, I can assure you 😉
Gorgeous, captivating and brooding Cassius Whitlock – oh, be still my rapidly beating heart!! How much do I love this guy? I have the real weakness for fragile and tormented heroes, I love them, they are like Jaffa cakes to me, I can’t get enough of them and Cassius is right up there with the very best yet. He is not just a brooding, damaged, fragile and growling beast…but my goodness, is he as sexy as hell…with a fine firm rear end *coughs, I am becoming obsessed*
He is hiding from the world in his little gatehouse, hoping that life and responsibly will pass him by as he sinks deeper and deeper into his own fragile and guilt-ridden mind. He doesn’t want anyone to know of the darkness that lurks within him, that appears in his nights as terrors, which wakes him and leaves him feeling further guilt and embarrassment then he did before, so being in the gatehouse he thinks himself safe. That is until he hears the gentle and constant tapping on the door, as much as he wants to be alone he is a gentleman through and through, he is a thoroughly decent chap even if his very mind is clouded, he can’t leave ‘Just Millie’ out in the cold so an act of kindness turns into an act of honour.
I really love that night in their little sanctuary of the gatehouse, where they get to know aspects of the other that not even their nearest and dearest know. This is writing at it’s very best, there is no denying that there is something very special happening between the two of them, those scenes are heartfelt, emotional and very funny – coming to rescue with a brolly wearing not a lot more then your undergarments will always be a winner for me 😉
After their shared night in the gatehouse, they are unfortunately discovered which results in our hero doing the thoroughly decent thing and proposes a marriage of convenience, which is where Jenni Fletcher’s remarkable writing really comes into his own. As what follows is a journey of discovery as they walk into married life with shadows hanging over them both, they each have their own issues which they must overcome, they find their way to allowing themselves to let go of their own reservations and just be happy.
I loved everything about this, the entire cast of character’s are brilliant, each fits perfectly within the story, I adore the banter between Millie and Cassius, they just gel together like two broken peas in a pod, their journey to their happily ever after is beautiful. The whole book is so enchanting and hugely enjoyable.
There really is no denying that Jenni Fletcher has a real gift, she is a tremendously talented writer, with every book which she adds to her rapidly growing CV, she pushes the boundaries of her writing and every time she creates a piece of perfection.
This was an Arc copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Jenni and huge apologies for the lateness of this review. Xx
Miss Amelia’s Mistletoe Marquess is available now and I cannot say too many time just how much you need to read this book.
#Review | A Convenient Fiction (Parish Orphans of Devon #3) by Mimi Matthews #AConvenientFiction #ParishOrphansOfDevon @MimiMatthewsEsq
Hello Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of this incredible book; A Convenient Fiction, which is book 3 in the beautiful Orphans of Devon series by Mimi Mathews. To say I have been looking forward to this book is a pretty understatement, I have been in love with this series from day one and this book just blew me away. So settle down, grab a cuppa and a snack – really, you’re going to need it, this is going to be a long review.
She Needed a Husband…
It’s been three years since Laura Hayes’s father died, leaving her and her invalid brother to subsist on the income from the family’s failing perfume business. But time is swiftly running out. What she needs is a husband, and fast. A noble gentleman who can rescue them all from penury. When a mysterious stranger arrives in the village, he seems a perfect candidate. But Alex Archer is no hero. In fact, he just might be the opposite.
He Wanted a Fortune…
Alex has no tolerance for sentiment. He’s returned to England for one reason only: to find a wealthy wife. A country-bred heiress in Surrey seems the perfect target. But somewhere between the village railway station and the manor house his mercenary plan begins to unravel. And it’s all the fault of Laura Hayes—a lady as unsuitable as she is enchanting.
From the beaches of Margate to the lavender fields of Provence, a grudging friendship slowly blossoms into something more. But when scandal threatens, can a man who has spent his entire life playing the villain, finally become a hero? Or will the lure of easy riches once again outweigh the demands of his heart?
It has taken me an age to write this review, as there are so many things that I want to say about this, yet every word I write seems a little redundant and doesn’t do this stunning book justice. I have written and deleted and banged my head on the desk in frustration because I can’t begin to describe just how beautiful this book is.
This is the third book in the Parish Orphan’s of Devon series and by Jove, have I been looking forward to this book. Each of these beautiful books can be read very easily as stand-alone, as each of them hold their own stories and any reference to the other ‘Orphan’s’ are done as background to Alex’s story, yet I would read the previous books only because they are so good, I wouldn’t want you to miss a moment. This is the one I have been looking forward to, and we finally get to meet the elusive and mysterious; Alex who after the accident that set the course of the Orphan’s lives, he left never to look back, never to be heard from again.
Alex Archer left England many years ago, now he is back with one goal; to find himself a rich wife! He doesn’t care about anything else other than to marry rich, preferably to marry someone connected, love and emotions don’t even get a second thought, he knows what he wants he will damn well get it. He may sound mercurial and pretty villainous and that is the persona he likes to show the world, he enjoys playing the bad boy, but our boy has many layers which over time we slowly peel away and uncover the captivating and vulnerable man beneath, something which our heroine Laura see’s too.
His plan’s for a wealthy wife soon get pushed to the back of his mind and quite soon really, and that is when he sees a nymph in the pond – said water nymph happens to be our brilliant heroine; Laura Hayes.
Laura is one of the most ordinary and relatable heroines that you will ever meet, and she is one that spoke to me more then most, after her father’s death she is left caring for her sick bother, trying to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table and coal in the fire, she deals with every aspect of their life and is loyal and protective of her brother, she is a stubborn lioness hiding in meek mice clothing, she is resilient and as savvy as hell with their finance. This is a character’s that doesn’t suffer fools easily even if she has always held a tender for a certain neighbour. She is the finest, strongest and independent woman I have met in a historical romance for a while, one of the reasons I liked her so much is that Ms Matthews has done this incredible job at creating a character that 99% of women can relate to.
Alex, oh my word! He had me hooked like a fish on a line from the first peacock-esque swagger and roguish twinkle, I fell completely, he is by far the sexiest and swoon-some of all of Mimi’s Matthews heroes – if ever there was a time for a #DoubleSigh then this is it, the way Mathews has so perfectly created this character is a testament to just how incredible a writer she is, he tries to be the bad boy he thinks himself to be, and some of his actions may make people think that true, but like Laura you can see beneath his manipulative, villainous mask to the unwittingly good heart and there are moments when he makes me sigh and go weak and the knees.
I utterly loved that very first moment these two met, and it is a little on the scandalous side than what we are used to with Ms Matthews, it sets up the relationship between them perfectly, yet they are an adorably sweet couple, the chemistry smoulders beneath the surface, it’s electric the atmosphere around them crackles. Ms Matthews has a brilliant gift at hinting at things that makes the reader really think and imagine, I loved that style of writing it enhances the reading experience. There are some truly beautiful moments between these two there is a scene where Laura tells him that all he wants deep down is a family and not money or property, that really spoke to me it’s a simple very normal truth that so many can relate to.
I have to mention the ending, without giving away any spoilers, it is perfection, it’s heart-warming and so good to see all the Orphan’s together, I cannot wait for the fourth and final book; I know that that one is going to be a tear-jerker, but that man needs a happy ending too.
This is a truly beautiful story of second chances, of moving from your past and embracing the future, it will enchant you from the moment you open the first page. I have said it before, and I am not ashamed to say it again, but Ms Matthews really does have a beautifully rare gift at writing the most enchanting and magical stories. She is the queen of the Victorian romance there are no others that can compare to her mastery, as ever I am enthralled by her sparkling words.
This was an Arc copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Mimi and massive apologies for how ridiculously late my review is.
A Convenient Fiction is available now, I cannot recommend that you go and grab a copy, this book is stunning!
#BlogTour | How To Love A Duke In Ten Days (Devil You Know #1) by Kerrigan Byrne #HowToLoveADukeInTenDays #Review & #Exclusive Excerpt @Kerrigan_Byrne @StMartinsPress
Hello my friends, I have the huge pleasure to be todays stop on this amazing blog tour, for the equally incredible How To Love a Duke in Ten Days, which is book on in the whole new series by Kerrigan Byrne. Not only will I be sharing my review of this amazing book with you, I also have an exclusive excerpt, so settle in grab a cuppa and enjoy.
About the Book
These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees…
Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for to herself. But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past—one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors. Even if he does have the reputation of a devil.
LOVE TAKES NO PRISONERS
Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is seeking revenge and the first step is securing a bride. Winning a lady’s hand is not so easy, however, for a man known as the Terror of Torcliff. Then, Alexandra enters his life like a bolt of lightning. When she proposes marriage, Piers knows that, like him, trouble haunts her footsteps. But her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens every fierce desire within him. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe in his arms.
Maynemouth, Devonshire, 1890 Ten years later
Accept the invitation to Castle Redmayne. I’m in danger. I need you.
Alexandra Lane had spent the entire train ride from Lon- don to Devonshire meticulously pondering those fourteen words for two separate reasons.
The first, she had been unable to stop fretting for Fran- cesca, who tended to give more than the appropriate amount of context. The terse, vague note Alexandra now held was more of a warning than the message contained therein.
The second, she could no longer afford a first-class, pri- vate railcar, and had, for the last several tense hours, been forced to share her vestibule face-to-face with a rough- featured, stocky man with shoulders made for labor.
He’d attempted polite conversation at first, which she’d rebuffed with equal civility by feigning interest in her cor- respondence. By now, however, they were both painfully aware she needn’t take four stops to read two letters.
It was terribly rude, she knew. Her carpetbag remained clutched in her fist the entire time, except when her hand would wander into its depths to palm the tiny pistol she always carried. The sounds of the other passengers in ad- joining vestibules didn’t make her feel safer, per se.
But she knew they would hear her scream, and that pro- vided some relief.
For a woman who’d spent a great deal of the last ten years in the company of men, she’d thought these painful moments would have relented by now.
Alas, she’d become a mistress of manipulating a situa- tion so, even if she had to endure the company of men without a female companion, there would be more than one man. In the circles she tended to frequent, people be- haved when in company.
It had worked thus far.
Alexandra braced herself against the slowing of the train, breathing a silent prayer of relief that they’d finally arrived. She’d been terrified that if she’d glanced up once, she’d be forced into conversation with her unwanted com- panion.
Rain wept against the coach window, and the shadows of the tears painted macabre little serpents on the conflict- ing documents in her hands. One, a wedding invitation. The other, Francesca’s alarming note.
A month past, she’d have wagered her entire inheritance against Francesca Cavendish’s being the first of the Red Rogues to capitulate to the bonds of matrimony.
A month past, she’d assumed she’d had an inheritance to wager.
Their little society had seemed destined to live up to the promise they’d once made as young, disenchanted girls to never marry.
Until the invitation to an engagement masquerade— given by the Duke of Redmayne—had arrived the same day of her friend’s cryptic and startling note.
The invitation had been equally as ambiguous, stating that the future duchess of Redmayne would be unveiled, as it were, at the ball. Included in Alexandra’s particular envelope was a request for her to attend as a bridesmaid.
The subsequent plea for help from Francesca—Frank— had arrived in a tiny envelope with the Red Rogue seal they’d commissioned some years prior.
Alexandra hadn’t even known Francesca had returned from her romps about the Continent. Last she’d heard, the countess had been in Morocco, doing reconnaissance of some sort. Nothing in her letters had mentioned a suitor. Not a serious one, in any case. Certainly not a duke.
Francesca had a talent for mischief and a tendency to interpret danger as mere adventure.
So, what could possibly frighten her fearless friend?
Marriage, obviously, Alexandra thought with a smirk.
A risky venture, to be sure.
From How to Love a Duke in Ten Days. Copyright © 2019 by Kerrigan Byrne and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks.
I am a late arrival to Kerrigan Byrne’s books (I only discovered her in the late year or so) but my goodness, she has quickly become a firm favourite, I have loved every book I have read by her, so when I got offered a place on this blog tour for her brand new series, I literally jumped at the chance.
Btw, yes you did read that right; a brand new series and what a corker this is, talk about starting with a bang, this is an explosive and hugely emotional start to what I know is going to be a brilliant series, one that I can’t wait to see what comes in the future for these Devils and Rogues.
The story opens in shocking style, unlike a lot of stories where the heroine has a dark and bleak past we learn their past as the story moves along, here we are wham, bam right in the middle of Alexandra’s horrific ordeal, right from the first page we know what happened to her, and keeping that in mind as we move forward ten years we know just why Alexandra is the way she is, why she finds trusting men and even allowing them near her to difficult.
Alexandra is a brilliant heroine, she is deeply scarred yet she hasn’t allowed that to stop her from doing she dreams of, she has made a name for herself, she has fame, she is intelligent, brave and at times very witty and she will do anything for her two best friends; Francesca and Cecily, who were there by her side when she was going through the worst time of her life, so when she gets a mysterious not from Francesca she goes to her friends aid, even though she has issues of her own, as her family are now on the cusp of bankruptcy and with a blackmailer on her tail, there is only one way for her to find a way out of this except for her to marry, but she won’t marry any man, it has to be one of the most powerful men in the country and the deadliest devil of them all.
Piers – the brilliant, ruthless and heart-breaking man that has ever walked this earth (even if it is on page and not on actual earth) is out for revenge, he wants it like nothing else and he will get it, but first dashing Piers comes up with a plan to marry, in a twist of fate the woman he was about to marry; Francesca, turns out to be the best friend of the woman who we know is supposed to be by his side; Alexandra, he soon sets his eyes on her. There is something about her that makes his more animalistic then ever, he craves her, he wants her more then anything and he wants to brush away her fears and keep her safe.
But with so much past to overcome in each of their lives, can this scarred star crossed couple find their so much deserved happily ever after?
This has everything that you would want in a romance story; fantastic and engrossing plot, that captivates and entertains, humour, realism, and angst, but for me the star of this book is the two lead character’s, they are both hugely scarred, emotionally and physically they have had to endure so much, each in their own way from emotional and physical abuse to attacks and family misfortune, add to that the backstabbing society and you have a couple who really deserve happiness.
What I love about Ms Byrne’s writing is that her stories aren’t your stereotypical historical romance novel’s, these are gritty and dark, they are an edge to them that really grabs your attention, they cover subjects that aren’t your usual for romances, and at the same time they are highly emotional, tenderly loving and breath-taking, you will fall in love, you will weep and you will be at the very edge of your seat as the story unfolds. How to love a Duke in ten days is no different, there aren’t enough words to really say how good this book is; amazing, brilliant, stunning, emotional, mesmerising….I could go on, but you get the idea.
This is a stunning, beautifully written story, it is masterpiece of thought-provoking, poignant and emotional writing. I word of warning though, that there is some graphic scenes of what happened to Alexandra, that some readers may find uncomfortable, especially if you have your own #MeToo story in your past, but I can guarantee that her ordeal is handle with such sensitivity.
About the Author
Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.
#Review | No Stone Unturned (The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries #1) by Pam Lecky #NoStoneUnturned #TheLucyLawrenceMysteries #HistoricalFiction #VictorianMystery @pamlecky
Hello my lovely friends! Today I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of the amazing book with you all, I can tell you now that everyone is going to be talking about The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries….if you love the likes of Sherlock Holmes or Ripper Street, with a brilliant leading lady, then this is the book you need to read. So grab yourself a cuppa and let me introduce you to Lucy Lawrence.
A suspicious death, stolen gems and an unclaimed reward: who will be the victor in a deadly game of cat and mouse?
London October 1886: Trapped in a troubled marriage, Lucy Lawrence is ripe for an adventure. But when she meets the enigmatic Phineas Stone, over the body of her husband in the mortuary, her world begins to fall apart.
When her late husband’s secrets spill from the grave, and her life is threatened by the leader of London’s most notorious gang, Lucy must find the strength to rise to the challenge. But who can she trust and how is she to stay out of the murderous clutches of London’s most dangerous criminal?
Before I share my review, check out the Trailer for No Stone Unturned, I love it!
My, oh my!! What a fantastic book, my goodness I absolutely loved it!! I couldn’t put it down, I was turning the pages at lightning speed, I was completely gripped by the drama that was unfolding before my eyes. Honestly I don’t think I have the adequate words to fully describe just how blooding brilliant this book is, I feel like I have been waiting my whole life for this book and here it is and it is amazing!
So this is the first of this whole new series; The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries – I think the series title itself, gives it away why I love this book so much – I am hoping that this will be a long running series, as I can see many adventures a head of Lucy and off course Phin… I can’t wait for more, I am not the most patient of people so waiting for the second instalment is going to be pure agony, I will just have to re-read this one.
London 1886, Lucy Lawrence is not quite happily married, she has a adventuresome and wild soul and doesn’t do well with sitting at home knitting, but seeing as they are practically broke and because of her marriage her family have cut her off she is a bit stuck. Then she gets the worst news that any woman could get, her husband Charlie has been found dead in what is said to be a tragic accident; he apparently fell under the wheels of a coach. But the more trouble part of this is he was supposed to be in Scotland, so why was he in London? Which is when she meets charming and intriguing Mr Phineas Stone, who is far more then he appears. Phin is brilliant, he is a perfect mysterious hero; dashing, intriguing, intelligent, he is more then just the handsome investigator, but where does this charmer come in? Secrets and lies start spilling, one thing leads to another and Lucy is stuck in the midst of a theft investigation and ends up with one of the most ruthless London gangsters after her. But why is this Mr Marsh after her? What has her late husband got to do with it all and more importantly who does she trust?
I instantly liked Lucy, she is a one of those characters that you can’t help but like, she has been through the mill our Lucy, but she has such a strength of character, she has a adventurers heart and a whip smart mind that you can see turning and she shines when the investigation really gets going. I love the hint of a romance, and the ending does intrigue make you wonder about what will happen in the future between them.
The tension in every scene ripples, you feel everything it is a like a mist swirling around, your not sure what is going on, like Lucy you are only seeing snippets through the fog which builds up as the story goes along, and then boom, like a steam train the intrigue and the mysteries start unravelling and your like; “Woah, is this really happening? Where did that come from?”
This is a stunning book, the story is a edge of your seat game of cat and mouse, it has everything you would ever want from a historical; fantastic characters, thrilling heart stopping chases, excitement, a dash of a romance, intrigue and its deeply atmospheric. Each scene is so perfectly detailed the reader literally falls into the book, it’s like your standing in the Victorian era with Lucy. As the story is written in Lucy’s point of view, the reader goes on the same journey of discovery as her, it really is brilliantly engaging.
Honestly, I cannot say enough great things about this, It is definitely one of the best books of the year with out a doubt!
I don’t usually give my reviews rating’s, I prefer my review to speak for it’s self and to show what I thought of a book, but this is the rare exception, this is far more then a mere 5 star book this is a whopping 10 star….can you have 10 stars? Well I am giving this a 10 star rating!
If you love your historical, if you love a good old fashioned mystery, with a brilliant heroine then this is the book you need to read, I am telling you now this will end up being a classic.
This was an Arc copy via the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you so much Pam. X
You can grab a copy of No Stone Untuned now from Amazon, and I highly recommend that you do!
#Review | Bringing Down The Duke (A League Of Extraordinary Women #1) by @evie_dunmore #BringingDownTheDuke #ALeagueOfExtraordinaryWomen
Hello my friends, have I got a stunning book to share with you all today, or what? I will admit that I have been very excited about this book for a long, long time and it really didn’t disappoint, it is one of the finest debut’s I have read and I cannot wait to share my thoughts with you all. So, do take a seat make sure you have your cuppa and let me introduce you to Annabelle and Sebastian.
A fiercely independent vicar’s daughter takes on a powerful duke in a love story that threatens to upend the British social order . . .
England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her charge- recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target – Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain’s politics at the Queen’s command. Her challenge- not to give in to the powerful attraction she can’t deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.
Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn’t be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn’t claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring…or could he?
Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke…
My, oh My!! What a book, what a debut, what an author!! I was blown away by this, and if I didn’t know that this was Evie Dunmore’s debut I would have thought she had been writing for years, the quality of this is unbelievable, her writing is reminiscent of the likes of Gaelen Foley, Sarah McClean and Julia London. This book is easily one of the best I have read, it is stunning! Evie Dunmore is an author to watch, I know that she will go far, she will have a sparkling long career in writing and I endeavourer to devour every single book she writes in the future…..Hmmmm? That sounds a little stalker-ish.
I will admit, that I have been excited about this for an age, I loved the sound of it from the off, I knew that this book was so me – if your follow my reviews, then you may have an idea of why this book fascinated me so much. The heroine spoke to me in ways that not many heroines have before, her passion for her own rights, for the rights of women and her passion to educate herself and to be the very best she can be is utterly inspiring.
So, this is book one in the whole new ‘A League of Extraordinary Women’ series, that alone caught my attention before I had even opened the book. It follows as expected a group of ‘Extraordinary Women’ who are on the Suffrage path, who are starting their fight for their rights. In this book we meet the four ladies which I am hoping make up the series; their leader; Lucie (who is brilliant, I cannot wait for her book) Catriona, Harriet and off course Annabelle. Each as different as the next, each with her own story to tell and each with a thirst and a passion for women’s rights. I am also hoping for a story with Sebastian’s younger, rakish brother; Peregrin, he is a hoot and I can definitely see him having a story of his own.
Honestly, this series is going to be mind-blowingly great!
Set in 1879, country lass and destitute vicars daughter; Annabelle Archer has just been given a place at Oxford, she is amongst the first women to be allowed to attend university even though there are rules to her being able to study there. She really has to fight for her place to be there, she is brilliant scholar, she is intelligent, hardworking and ready to take her place and to prove to all those doubters that a woman can go on to further education, that her life isn’t all about being the unpaid servant that she is while at the home of her aunt and uncle’s. What a amazing character Annabelle is, she has such a great passion poring through her, she is kind, caring, loyal, she runs herself ragged for others and asks for nothing in return, but she has also a murky-ness lurking in her past, one which she has made her build a wall around her heart to protect herself from becoming hurt. As well as being the brilliantly educated woman, she is also passionate about women’s rights and she is apart of a ‘Radical’ Suffragist party who are campaigning for the amendment of the Married Women’s Property Act of 1870, along with her brilliant co-activists; Lucie, Catriona and Harriett. Annabelle’s task for the cause if to target the mighty Duke of Montgomery to persuade him to assist them, or to see where his loyalties lie.
Easy-peasy, right? – Wrong!
Powerful, cynical and slightly jaded; Sebastian Devereux; the Duke of Montgomery has been charged by none other then Queen Victoria herself to lead the Tories to victory in the up and coming election. Sebastian is renown for being the strategical mastermind who has the ear of the crown, a man who puts honour and duty over everything else which is why he accepts the Queens order, no matter his personal thoughts of the leader of the Tories, there is something worth risking his precious time and scruples for, something that the Queen can help him with. As well as steering the Tory ship to peaceful waters Sebastian has a rebellious younger brother and a bunch of Suffragists to contend with – honestly, this is not Sabastian’s week.
Sebastian – Oh Sabastian, talk about sex on legs!!. My goodness, this man…..sigh! Swoon!! You have stolen my heart, turned my head and made me into a melting mush of lusty want…If your ever in Yorkshire, you know where I am 😉 I may never be the same again… If he’d have propositioned me as he does Annabelle, well I wouldn’t have said no…#DoubleSigh!!
He is renown as the cool, straight-laced, commanding and heartless Duke, a man who has his own scandal which he has had to weather and which has hardened him, he see’s manipulating and calculating women – and men – where ever he goes. Which is more or less what he thinks of Annabelle when he finds her in his home, and not just her but a whole band of Suffragist’s. As much as he hates everything she stands for, he can’t deny that the moment he sees her, the moment her emotional green eyes alight on him, he is struck with her, as much as he is taken with her as much as his body and his heart are conspiring against him when it comes to her, and as much as he would like nothing better then to make her his, he knows that in reality that is impossible as he is a Duke and she is a commoner.
I love the relationship between them, the moment you meet Sebastian and Annabelle you know that these two are going to take you on a heart-breaking, and emotional journey. Their feelings for each is constantly simmering beneath the surface in everything they do, but my goodness they don’t half make life hard for themselves, they are both as passionate, as stubborn, as proud and as in need of love as the other. I love how independent Annabelle is, she knows that she has fallen head over heels for him and yet she repeat turns down him proposition not just to protect herself but for him too, she knows that a man in his position could never be with her common vicars daughter and Suffragist and she does all she can to spare him that scandal, even at the risk of her own heart.
Bringing Down The Duke is one of the best debut’s I have read, it is simply stunning! The character’s are beautifully written, each one sparkles with life, the story is fun and original, it is an exciting, gorgeous and mesmerising love story. Evie Dunmore captivates and enthrals the reader with her intelligent, passionate and dazzling writing.
I cannot wait for the next book; Lucie’s story, even though I do have to wait until next year, this is going to be torture, I will definitely pulling this off the shelf again just to immerse myself in it’s brilliance.
Evie Dunmore I bow down to you, I cannot express just how inspirational and captivating this book is, I am in utter awe of just how perfect this is.
This was an Arc copy via the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you so much Evie. X
Bringing Down The Duke is to be released on 3rd September and can be pre-ordered now at Amazon.