#Review | His Countess For A Week by Sarah Mallory #HisCountessForAWeek @SarahMRomance @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks
Hello, my festive little Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of this gorgeous book; his Countess for a Week by Sarah Mallory. This book is so wonderful ad I have been so looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you all, so settle in, grab that cuppa, plus a snack and enjoy!
A pretend marriage to the Earl
Sharing everything—except a bed…
To uncover a ruthless killer, Arabella Roffey masquerades as the Countess of Westray—never expecting her ‘husband’ suddenly to appear! He could expose her, but instead he agrees to continue her ruse for a week. Randolph is brooding, handsome, and Bella likes him more than she should. Pretending to be his wife, she shares everything with him—except a bed—but the temptation to do so is becoming all too real…
It’s always like opening a Christmas gift whenever I start a new Sarah Mallory book, you know it’s going to be a great love story, but because Sarah is such a dynamic and imaginative writer, you never know what sort of adventure you will go on, I have yet to be disappointed by the journey and this beautiful book is no different.
I am so pleased that Sarah wrote Ran’s story, the last time we met him he was a bit of a bad ‘un, yet as much as you wanted to dislike him, I really wanted him to redeem himself with a story of his own. I am over the moon that he gets his happily ever after too, but it’s not an easy journey for him, there are certain things that are associated with his past that does impede his way to happiness, and I thought his little flaw’s and vulnerabilities make him all the more lovable and fascinating.
After five years living in Sydney Cove after being transported for Murder, Randolph the newly named Earl of Westrey is now back on English soil and ready to finally step up and take responsibility for his life, he knows he did wrong and he is ready to be a man. He may not be comfortable with coming back with a title especially as a convicted criminal, but he has grown up a lot and ready to step up, but he is rather taken back that when he reaches one of the estates he now owns and finds a ‘wife’ already in residence. Well to say he is a tad shocked to discover a strange woman masquerading as his countess, but who is this mysterious and incredibly beautiful woman? And why on earth is she living in his home as the new Countess of Westray?
I love Ran – in fact, the word ‘love’ doesn’t really cover how much I adore this young, beautiful and charming man if I was a debutante from the regency era, I would have to pull out the virginal white feathered fan and begin to flutter it with gusto (I know, I’m a little long in the tooth to be classed as any kind of deb, but you get the idea) He is a complete surprise not at all how I thought him to be, he is really cheeky and enigmatic there is a smooth confidence about him that makes the heart a flutter around him, and yet hidden beneath that twinkly-eyed charm there is a fragility, a secret that could prevent his happiness.
After the death of her husband, Arabella rather scandalously masquerades as the Countess of Westray to infiltrate the coven of the group she thinks is behind the death of her husband. She had heard all about the new Lord Westray, she never thinks for a moment that the convicted criminal and new Westray will turn up at the same country house as her, but alas there he is large as life, impossibly handsome and full of surprises, for instead of exposing her as a fraud he remarkably decided goes go along with her charade.
Arabella is a really good woman she isn’t one for games and falsehoods, she is far too honest and caring for that, yet she will do all she can to find the truth about her husband. There are inner depths to Arabella, not just her need for justice and truth, but the more she uncovers the more she realises, that she has lived her life under an illusion as you will find out as you read, there is a deep sadness about her that I picked up from the moment I met her and I absolutely loved the way that without even trying Ran brings out the inner sparkle which she keeps hidden so well.
As they work together under the guise of man and wife, to uncover what happened to Arabella’s late husband, the chemistry between them is hard to resist and soon both are beginning to feel the pull of their desire for the other, but can they hold off their feelings and wade through the sexual tension that lingers in the atmosphere around them long enough to find out the truth?
I have to mention that ending, oh, my word!! Talk about edge of your seat, I was completely gripped by the intricate and daring finale, I absolutely refuse to give details (as always there will be no spoilers coming from me) but it’s a real doozy, it’s unexpected, thrilling, ridiculously romantic, the perfect ending for Ran and Arabella.
I loved every part of this; the story is not your stereotypical romance it’s original and I loved the edgier feel to it which pulls the reader in. Its full of tantalising banter, fabulous character’s are brilliantly written, Arabella and Ran are wonderful to get to know, they sizzle with tension, the atmosphere between them crackles with lust, each scene is like a battle of wills who will cave in and lunge at the other? I even love the baddie’s, they have such great personalities that you really love to hate them – there is one, in particular, that does make you want to boo and hiss whenever they appear.
This book has every thing you would ever want from a historical romance; history, two challenging characters, a coupe of villains, an explosive plot, a beautiful romance and it is all tied up with that unmistakable Sarah Mallory flare and style.
This was an Arc copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Sarah! Xx
His Countess for a Week is to be released on 26 December and can be pre-ordered.
#Review | The Secrets Of Lord Lynford (The Cornish Dukes #1) by Bronwyn Scott #TheSecretsOfLordLynford @Bronwynscott @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks
Hello, my festive sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of the first book in this brilliant new series; The Secrets of Lord Lynford by Bronwyn Scott. So settle down, grab a cuppa and a piece of cake, and enjoy!
He’s destined never to marry
She might change his mind…
Eaton Falmage, Marquess of Lynford, is an expert at distracting himself from the painful truth which means he’ll never wed. Seducing mining widow Eliza Blaxland seems the perfect diversion. Until he learns Eliza guards her heart as fiercely as her hard-won independence. He longs for more, but that would mean confessing his secret…and risk losing her forever!
To say, I have been looking forward to this brand new series is an understatement, and oh, boy Bronwyn Scott has yet again shown just what a master story teller she is, and how you open a series, one that I know is going to go from strength to strength and I cannot wait to devour each one and meets these seductively charming Cornish Dukes.
After the death of the father of a good friend – who also happens to be one of the Cornish Dukes, who the series will be following – Eaton returns back home to pick up where he left off with opening his new school with his good friend Cade Kitto – who some of you may remember him from; Unwrapping his Christmas Temptation, it’s so lovely to see him back again. While getting ready for his big grand opening and for the students to settle in, he meets one of his patron’s; Mrs Blaxland, a mining widow who literally makes Eaton look twice, this beautiful and secretive woman stirs something within him, she makes him want things that he has been determined never to have. Our Eaton has a secret, one that is keeping him from pursuing his destiny and doing his duty for the title. A secret that has led him to follow a different path, one that doesn’t involve him ever getting married but e is determined to throw himself into other endeavours to seal his legacy to the world.
Well, that is until he sets eyes on Eliza, a woman who makes his once closely sealed off heartbeat again!
Eaton! Oh, Eaton, I went through such with him, he made me swoon with his enigmatic charisma, he made me want to pull him close and want to hug him, especially when his secret is revealed. Like Eliza he has real passion for improving peoples lives with education, this is why Eliza and Eaton are perfect for each other, they both have secrets and vulnerabilities that they keep well hidden behind their well-worn masks but put them together and they each slowly chip through those brick walls to the real person within and that is so beautifully done.
Since the death of her husband, Eliza knows that she is in a precarious situation, she knows she needs to be tough, she needs to show the world that she is very much in charge of her own fate. She has seen with her own eyes what can happen to women when they lose that control over their lives, they end up being walked over and in some cases destitute as men have the ease to do as they wish, even with a wealthy powerful widow. She is determined that she will not suffer the same fate as many other women, she will not sit by being idle and ignorant as men control her very life. So she took over her husband colliery when he died, she was determined she would be seen as the one in power the one whom others looked up at and more than that she wouldn’t be taken for granted and she wouldn’t be controlled by a man.
I know what you are thinking that she sounds like a right dragon, but our Eliza has very good reason to be cautious and protective over her life, as she isn’t only trying to make a good life for herself but that of her daughter too. I really like Eliza, I respect and admire her strength and determination to not be used and I love her idea’s for change, she is a woman who is thinking the way in front the era she lives in. She is determined that all of the miner’s children should be educated so that they have the skills to make choices other than to do as expected of them.
I really love her passion for education, her passion for helping the mining community, her passion for all working class, not just men but women too to be able to have those skills to be able to go out and try to improve their situations really spoke to me. She is feisty and confident in her ability to run the mine, she is loyal to those workers who support her and she is fiercely protective of those she loves.
My goodness the ending, I won’t give anything away, but it is a heart in your mouth ending that will have your literally perched at the edge of your seat, this is what Bronwyn does she takes what is essentially a charming, emotional and simple love story and throws in a little surprise which make you sit up and go; Oh, well I didn’t see that coming.
The Secrets of Lord Lynford is a dynamic, vivid and richly enchanting love story. An intricate and fast-paced plot, brilliantly engaging characters, stunning scenery and detail, plus huge amounts of tantalizing and seductive emotion makes this book a definite must-read!
I am so excited about getting to know the other Cornish Dukes, we briefly met them in this which gave a glimpse of three complex and fiercely loyal gents who I know are going to ruin me.
This was an Arc copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Bronwyn! Xx
The Secrets of Lord Lynford is available from 27th December.
#Review | The Inconvenient Elmswood Marriage ( Penniless Brides Of Convenience #4) by Marguerite Kaye #TheInconvenientElmswoodMarriage @MargueriteKaye @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks
Hello Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of; The Inconvenient Elmswood Marriage, which is the fourth and final book in the gorgeous Penniless Brides of Convenience by Marguerite Kaye. So settle in, grab that cuppa and some biscuits – believe you’re going to need them with the babbling I’m going to put you all through – and enjoy!
Their marriage was a solution…
Until passion turns it into a problem!
Lord and Lady Elmswood’s convenient marriage has allowed them to live separate lives for years. Until larger-than-life Daniel almost dies and Kate must nurse the husband she barely knows back to health…and discover how maddeningly attractive he is! With the clock ticking on his departure, they disagree on everything – except the impossibility of resisting each other!
The fourth and final book in what has been an amazing series is a beautiful and very fitting ending, I definitely think that this is my favourite of the four. Throughout the series I have had questions about Daniel and Kate floating around in the back of my mind; why do they live apart? What were the reasons for their convenient marriage? And why did Daniel leave, never to return? And, I was wondering how Marguerite was going to bring Daniel and Kate back together again after so many years apart, and if they could ever fall in love after living separate lives since the day they married. Really I was worrying over nothing, if there was one person who could write a reunited love story, then it is the queen of historical romance herself and this is so good – really the word good doesn’t do this book justice if I was more eloquent with words I would be able to say in much finer terms exactly how wonderful this book is.
To say that Daniel’s story was a surprising one, was an understatement but I loved his story. I had real difficulty writing this review, I wanted to say so much about this glorious book, but because I really didn’t want to give too much away about Daniel and his career and the reasons why he left and why he returned, to me that would be a huge spoiler and if you follow the blog, you will know I hate to give away spoilers.
Kate and Daniel have lived separate lives, they married for convenience basically Kate needed security, she desperately wanted to stay at Elmswood estate and make it as beautiful as it once was and Daniel who for his own reason hated the place and the title and wanted neither in his life and couldn’t wait to get away as soon as humanly possible needed someone trustworthy to look after the pile of bricks and mortar, so he can hop off to who knows where doing who knows what.
Fast forward eleven years and Kate has word that her husband is at deaths door and he is to finally return to Elmswood to recuperate, because of what he was doing he must stay on and play the doting husband for the next three months, once that period is up he will fly out the door as soon as humanly possible to return to what he was doing before, but in the meantime, he must stay and make polite conversation with the woman who he doesn’t know and in a way doesn’t want to become attached to her, or his nieces he is frustrated and wants to leave, yet his treacherous body and emotions keep pushing him in Kate’s direction. But, will he fully allow himself to fall into this new- to-his-life and follow his heart? Or will he follow his mind and his decades set in hatred of the very place he is being forced to stay in?
Being the daughter of the previous Earl’s estate manager, Kate has grown up around Daniel and has always secretly loved him, but she isn’t one to give in to her girlish fantasies she is practical and resourceful she, she is selfless to a fault, everything she does she does for the sake of others; first for her father, for Elmswood, for Phoebe, Estelle and Eleanor and then finally for Daniel. The only thing over that time she has really done for herself was the garden, her sanctuary, she is a resilient, kind and caring woman, a woman who has a passionate nature bubbling beneath the surface. She is confused at to what to do and how to act around Daniel, especially as he is all set to leave again, should she keep her distance? Or should she give in to what her heart desperately wants; to know her husband?
I really, really like Daniel, he is a highly intriguing man, a man who has many layers the more you peel away the more fascinating he becomes. At first, I found him to be cold and a little heartless, merciless and selfish, but as he heals his hidden vulnerability, good heart and cheekiness soon reveal’s itself, he is passionate and seductive with a hint of fragility underneath that cool and silky exterior. This will sound a little odd, but as soon as I met him and then as I got to know him, I saw Tommy Shelby from the Peaky Blinders in my mind whenever Daniel was in a scene – I said it sounded odd – anyone who knows me, knows how much I love that show so this is one of the highest compliments I can give a character.
The Inconvenient Elmswood Marriage is book four in the Penniless Brides of Convenience, even though they can all be read very easily as stand-alone’s, my personal opinion would be to read them in order, or at least read this one last as there are hints of what is going on with the couples from the previous books throughout. Really I wouldn’t wish for you to spoil your enjoyment of the series by skipping ahead and reading the last book, no matter how tempting it is, we’ve all done it, believe me.
I didn’t just enjoy this, I loved every moment of it, of being swept away in a raft of romantic longing, seductive glances and complex emotion. It doesn’t just live up the high expectations by being the final book in this series, but it just blows you away with its surprising and intricate plot. The character’s are wonderfully engaging, I love the blossoming romance between Kate and Daniel, who really are perfectly written and perfect for each other, they each their own crosses to bear, their own issues which stands in their way. As always, Ms Kaye’s writing is perfection, the passion for the characters and the story shines through, honestly, I can never say a bad word about her writing.
I honestly cannot say enough great things about this book and this series, It has been an absolute joy getting to know Kate and Daniel, I hope you all will go and pre-order a copy, this is not to be missed.
This was an Arc copy from the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Marguerite! Xx
The Inconvenient Elmswood Marriage is to be released on 26th December, and can be pre-ordered 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 Deal With Her Rebel Viking by Michelle Styles #ADealWithHerRebelViking @MichelleLStyles @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks
Hello sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of this stunning book, which is as perfect as you can get from a Viking Romance; A Deal With Her Rebel Viking. I honestly cannot put into words how much I am in love with this book, be warned there is a fair amount of swoons and babbling in this review. So settle in, grab that cuppa and enjoy.
Her terms: free her family
His terms: seduction?
Defending her home, Lady Ansithe captures outlaw Viking Moir Mimirson. The prisoner will be the ideal ransom for her father, held hostage by the Danes. Yet Moir’s flirtatious negotiations exhilarate practical Ansithe as much as they surprise her… Can she be sure that this hardened warrior will work with her, and not betray her? And what of his stolen kisses…can she trust those?
Oh, my goodness!!! This is soooo good, I am a melting, overly excitable wreck after reading this, the only word I can use for this is perfection! I am a huge Michelle Styles fan, I utterly adore her writing, there is always something very raw and real about her stories, each one I have read I have loved, but this one is easily the very best yet, there are not enough words within my limited vocabulary to fully say how much I am in absolute love with this book.
With her father and brother-in-law in the clutches of the enemy Danes, Lady Ansithe is desperate to find something to use as a bargaining chip for their safe return, so when a hoard of brusque and burly Viking literally fall into her lap after she successfully captures them when defending her home, she may have found the very bargaining chip she has been seeking. The capture of them is ingenious, she really shows what she is made of, no wonder Moir and his men nickname her lady Valkyrie she is quite ferocious when she wants to be.
Moir Mimirson has been tasked with transporting the son of his Jaarl safely home, only the young whipper-snapper has over idea’s and likes to flaunt his status, he and the other’s in their party mount a raid on a nearby farm, oh how wrong they were to do that! The raid goes all wrong and they all find themselves at the mercy of the beautiful, Valkyrie who has captured them. Moir now must find a way to escape before she hands him and his men over to the man who would have them all killed, he has a black mark on his history one that he needs to erase away and to do that he must return his men and the Jaarls son back to court. Something which is far easier said than done as he cannot help but be fascinated by the striking young woman who hovers above them with a bow and arrow.
Lady Ansithe is a marvel, she has dreams of being in control of her own fate, she has grown up being criticized over every action and everything she does, she is never taken seriously and never respected for the brilliant woman she is. She doesn’t want to be pushed into another marriage he wants to prove her worth and that she can run a household. She is a feisty, independent, very open and forward-thinking young woman who just wants to live in peace and tend to her hives yet she cannot delay that there is something very alluring about him, he has a primal magnetism that draws her to him. Not that I am surprised because, my goodness Moir is hot, hot, hot!!!
Seriously this man could melt the ice caps with a mere glance, how much do I adore this man? There aren’t enough heart-eyed emoji’s in the world to fully convey how much I love this man!! Oh, be still my beating heart, I am ruined, I will never look at another Viking ever again without thinking of my luscious Moir. But, don’t just think he is all muscles nothing else, believe me, there is far, far more to this wonderful man (honestly, I am started to sound a bit perverse here) but he is determined, smart and loyal and will do whatever he can to protect those he cares about and to do his duty.
Another thing I really like about this is how Michelle has incorporated her own passion for bee-keeping into the story, I loved learning about the way they kept bee’s in the era and even then they knew the importance of them for the world, I really liked that touch.
The only other thing I will say and it isn’t anything to do with the story or Michelle’s writing because honestly, both are perfection, it is the cover and as gorgeous as it is – really the chap on the cover is a really hottie – but he isn’t how I envisioned Moir to be, but that is just my personal view, he just isn’t my Moir if that makes sense?
Michelle has always had this massive gift with words which transport the reader to another time, to entwine romance with history and a crate a stonking great love story, which is full of atmospheric scenes and brilliantly researched history. But she really has outdone herself with this one, it’s utterly mesmerising, I was enthralled with Moir and Ansithe from that very first page, the chemistry between these two proud and opinionated people is sizzling and perfectly dramatized for the era and the story, I cannot say anything more but I love it!
Overall, this is superb! Everything that you would ever want from a Viking romance is right here; sensual romance, heart-racing fast-paced plot, stunning historical detail and amazing character’s, the two leads are brilliant, both are so engaging and hugely likeable, this really is easily one of the best of the year.
This was an Arc copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, Thank you Michelle and huge apologies for how ridiculously late this review is. Xx
A Deal With her Rebel Viking is out now and I cannot recommend it enough.
#Review | The Truth Behind Their Practical Marriage ( Penniless Brides Of Convenience #3) by Marguerite Kaye #TheTruthBehindTheirPracticalMarriage @MargueriteKaye @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks
Hello, sunshines, I am super excited to be sharing my review of this gorgeous book with you all; the Truth Behind Their Practical Marriage by Marguerite Kaye. Settle back grab that cuppa and enjoy.
A marriage hiding secrets
…but forged by passion!
A Penniless Brides of Convenience story. Miss Estelle Brannagh has never met a man who’s tempted her to renounce her hard-won independence—until an encounter with Irish landowner Aidan Malahide blossoms into spine-tingling attraction. He’s carefree and charismatic; accepting his proposal seems practical and shockingly desirable! Yet Aidan is hiding a dark secret, and it will take all of Estelle’s courage to ensure it doesn’t tear them apart…
I am so in love with this beautiful, atmospherically Gothic, stunning book. That doesn’t really cover just how much I love this book, it has everything there is everything that I have come to expect from a Marguerite Kaye story; a brilliantly clever love story, gorgeous and flawed character’s, mesmerising attention to detail and stunning settings but this one has something extra, there is a darker undertone to it that I absolutely loved. Marguerite, you have outdone yourself with this perfect book.
This is the third book in the spectacular Penniless Brides of Convenience series, like the previous two books this can be read as a stand-alone. I have loved every moment of this series so far, yet this one took me by storm, it is easily my favourite. I love the darker, more gothic undertones of the story, it has a different feel then what we are used to from Marguerite Kaye, I love it and I am hoping there will be more books like this from her, I loved everything about this the edgier feel to it though really grabbed me, I was completely hooked by the Gothically beautiful of this story.
This story follows the third sister; Estelle Brannagh as she travels around Europe which I was in complete awe of her to do such a thing in this era all by herself, I found she is a little lost she is uncertain of where she stands I life now that her two sisters have settled down into married bliss, she doesn’t think too highly of herself and is constantly putting herself down, which comes from the way she was raised. She is should search while on her travels she wants family, she wants the happiness and contentment that her sisters have and yet she is determined she will not end up like her parents, who really have left her with issues regarding marriage. She has spent a year travelling and yet she still hasn’t found what she has been searching for.
Whilst in Italy she meets brooding, secretive yet ridiculously handsome Aidan Malahide who is nearing the end of his year-long sabbatical, where he returned to Italy to study at the grand old age of thirty – I know shocking, but there is a reason why. In actual fact, he didn’t go off to gain insights into he was studying but he ran away from his dark past. The only problem with that as he soon learns you can run all you want but the past and the events still follow you and eventually you need to return to face what you have tried to avoid.
I love Aidan he is my perfect hero; troubled, brooding, gentlemanly, handsome, charming he wants to do what is right, he wants happiness but doesn’t think himself entitled to ever be happy, there are skeletons and shadows not just in his past but lurking within his very mind. He instantly connects with Estelle, I think he sees something of himself in her, both are trying to run away and unable to do so, he respects her independence and her intelligence, he loves her fiery nature, his journey isn’t smooth sailings and this is what I love about Ms Kayes writing, she doesn’t just fling two people together and them boom happily ever after, she really makes the characters and the reader work hard for it.
When they meet there is an instant attraction, they both see something very deeply sensual in the other, I think that they were drawn to each other because each of them are running or avoiding something, they are both lost, lonely and unhappy souls it is only once they found each other that the come alive. I absolutely love how freely they get to know each other because they are Italy the whole Regency etiquette and courtship is for more free and liberal, they don’t worry about chaperones and how to behave they just get to know each other as we would today.
It is once they are married and back in Ireland that the story really shines, I won’t say why they marry only that their’s is a marriage of convenience their relationship isn’t one of happiness there is a lot of issues they must deal with more than anything is Aidan’s secret back story, which is both beautifully written and hugely heart-breaking
You may have guessed I do love this story, it’s raw and emotional and the happily ever after is what you may think it to be, there is a lot of hard work for our couple, they really make the reader go through the mill and yet you are rooting for them, right from the first page and then once Aidan’s darkness showed itself I was hoping and willing that they would find their way through, unlike a lot of romances this isn’t easy, there is heartache and anguish. It has to be one of my favourite historical of the year I can say for certain that this beauty will be in my best of the year.
This is too damn good to be true!
This was an Arc copy from the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Marguerite and apologies for the lateness of this review. Xx
The Truth Behind Their Practical Marriage is avaliable now, and I cannot recommend that you grab a copy enough.
#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!