Laurie Benson

Review : One Night Under The Mistletoe (Convenient Christmas Brides Anthology) by Laurie Benson.

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A convenient arrangement
Three festive Regency romances…

In The Captain’s Christmas Journey, by Carla Kelly, Captain Everard is escorting Verity to her governess job—and for propriety’s sake that means a convenient engagement!

In Louise Allen’s The Viscount’s Yuletide Betrothal Eleanor advertises for a ‘suitable’ gentleman to pose as her betrothed over Christmas.

And in Laurie Benson’s novella, Juliet’s One Night Under the Mistletoe leads to a marriage of convenience with handsome former love Lord Montague…

My View

One Night Under The Mistletoe is book two in The Sommersby Brides series, which for those who haven’t read the first one yet (I highly recommend that you do) is a mini series which follows three sister’s in their pursuit of finding their happily ever after, even if they don’t realise they are looking for it, and that is exactly what you can expect with this one. Ms Benson really has become my go-to author for tender and sensual romances that take, not just the character’s on a journey of discovery to find their happy ever after but also the reader.

When I heard that Laurie Benson was writing a story in a Christmas anthology, I was very excited to see what would come out of it and I was not disappointed with this. I particularly like the fact that instead of writing a stand-a-lone to go in this anthology – which a lot of other authors would have done – Ms Benson chose to carry on the Sommersby Bride series.

Montague is in search of the perfect kiss, a kiss that will blow his mind. He has kissed a lot of women in his life, but he has only ever had a mind blowing, great kiss just once, and since that day he has tried to find a woman who can match and then hopefully he will find the wife that he knows deep down he needs. He doesn’t find anything like the kiss he wants, but what he does find in a secluded library at a ball changes his life forever.

Juliet is quietly reading in the library when she is come upon by the deadly handsome Monty. She remembers when they shared a secret kiss and like Monty she has never really been able to move on from it, only that the man himself broke her heart so terribly she can’t allow herself to love him again.

An innocent and unexpected encounter, forces them to do exactly what neither of them want; to find themselves in Marriage of Convenience. Juliet thinks that this is it, she is stuck in a loveless marriage. Without giving too much away, I love how they begin to reconnect with each other and it is very lovely seeing how they begin to see one an other as more than just a ball and chain. Their road to happily ever after isn’t an easy one as at first their relationship is strained, but the magic of Christmas allows them to finally find what they are both so desperately wanting.

This ticks all boxes for me wonderfully, romantically challenged character’s, beautiful story that enchants and entertains, plus a flawless Christmassy setting that is magical and season wrapped up with that Benson gift to make the reader fall in love. The only downside is that I would have liked it to go on a little longer, which is always the case with novella’s, but this really set’s us up for the next sister’s story. I am really looking forward to seeing where Ms Benson will take Lizzie, she was the sister that I was intrigued by from day one.

A wonderfully seasonal, ever so romantic and magical story that will leave you feeling all warm and ready to put up your own Mistletoe.

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

One Night Under The Mistletoe (The Convenient Christmas Brides Anthology) is to be released on 1st November and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

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Review – One Week To Wed (The Sommersby Brides Series #1) by Laurie Benson

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One stolen night…
…leads to unexpected wedding vows!

Part of The Sommersby Brides: widowed Lady Charlotte Gregory believes she’ll never marry again after losing her husband—until meeting dashing Lord Andrew Pearce brings her respectable lonely world back to vibrant life! Left alone one night, they give in to their desires—only to find their secret passion leads to shock, scandal…and a sudden marriage of convenience!

My View

Well, what an amazing start to this new series by the very talented Ms Benson. This is one of those books that is way too good to be true, it is fabulous. It is in essence a ‘Marriage of Convenience’ but I also see it as a moving on and second chances romance, as both of our lead’s have in their own way suffered in one way or another and finding each other is their chance to finally be happy.

While attending the funeral of her sister’s late husband, Lady Charlotte Gregory literally bumps into a man who spark’s something in her that she never thought to feel again. After the death of her husband fours years ago, Charlotte thoroughly believes that she will never re-marry she will never find a man who steals her heart as much as her later husband did. Hers was a genuine love match, she cared deeply for him and was broken hearted when he died in battle. Meeting Lord Andrew Pearce shook her world, retreating home to Cheshire where she unexpectedly meets the dashing rogue again and those feelings soon re-appear.

Andrew has a secret and because of what he does for a living he is worn out not just physically but physiologically. He isn’t interested in settling down, or in anything really. To me he is burnt out, too many thing’s have happened to him, he has been through so much he has lost focus, which is why his logical big brother; Gabriel makes him take a breather and sends him off to friends in Cheshire, where something thing happens to him that he never thought or wanted it to.

Meeting Charlotte really is the making of him, she is the calming light that his troubled soul needs, and they really are such a sizzling and cute couple. There are some hugely magical moments between them, really who knew that watching a firework display and practicing archery could be so sexy!

It is so good seeing the Pearce brothers again, I was intrigued with Andrew when we first meet him in the previous series, so I am so happy that Ms Benson decided to start a whole new series with Andrew as the leading man. I will admit that he is actually so different to how I first saw him to be. At first, he appears to be the fun, easy going and a somewhat cheeky chappie who is trying to avoid attachment’s like he is avoiding the plague. But beneath that gusty roguish twinkle there is serious and troubled young man. He is traumatised by past event’s and by what he does, he is vulnerable and brooding and if not for the support from his big brother Gabriel, Andrew would have gone completely off the rails.

Andrew makes your heart hurt for him, his journey in particular is a masterpiece of writing. Benson has gone above and beyond with this one. The chemistry between all the sibling’s, Charlotte and her sisters are loving and funny – I particulay like Elizabeth, she is a hoot as is their aunt Clara. Andrew and his brothers are wonderfully fun, engaging and supportive of each other.

I have loved all of Benson’s books to date, but this is in a league of its own. It is a stylishly written, heart-breaking, emotional and vividly accurate. One Week to Wed is a perfect, roller coaster ride of emotional angst. The actual story line is a very simple one, but Ms Benson has added her unique magic to it and woven a beautiful, engrossing and thoughtful story full of love. The characters are highly believable and likable, the story flows seamlessly taking you from one scene to another without blinking and it really is an absolute joy to read. I am so looking forward to the next in the series.

Stunningly beautiful.

This was an ARC copy via the author in exchange for an honest review

One Week to Wed is to be released on 28th June and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

Chicks, Rogues and Scandals Best Books of The Year, 2017

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It’s that time of year again where I look back through the year and pick out my favourite books that I have featured on Chicks, Rogues and Scandals, it has been especially hard this time to pick my favourite’s as this year has been full of the most amazing books you can imagine. I have found new author’s that are now go to authors for their genre, new style books and series’ it has been an amazing year of reading. I have ditched my usual formula of best Hero/Heroine/Plot but I have still got a book of the Year – right at the bottom of the post. There are others books that I have loved this year, but if I kept adding books it would end up being my top 50 – I have already added more then I intended, as I only intended on doing my top ten, but there were some books that I couldn’t possibly leave off.  So, in no particular order here are my favourite Books of 2017 followed by my Book of the Year!

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14 Best Books of the Year; 2017

Echo in the Wind by Regan Walker

Echo in the Wind is a beautifully written story, its thrilling and exciting but yet the love story is so tender. Jeán Donèt really steals every scene he is featured in. He is a hero who can make any woman swoon with just a smouldering look, he is an enigmatic and suave individual who has a breath-taking Gaelic confidence and charisma. A heroine, who is not a wilting wallflower she is a vibrant and strong-willed, independent woman who has her own beliefs and views on the world and she isn’t afraid of voicing them. Together these two are a force to be reckoned with, but they compliment each other too. There isn’t anything about this that I don’t like!

The Viking Warriors Bride by Harper St George

This is so sexually charged, the chemistry between Vidar and Gwendolyn is red hot, any hotter and your eyes would smoke with just reading it, they are made of the same stuff. I love when they start getting to know each other, there is a real spark between them and the respect he shows her is sweet and uplifting. As always the writing is strong and articulated as we have come to expect from St. George. When I read an historical I like the historic detailing within the story and St George doesn’t disappoint, she has got it all spot on, everything is crystalized and explained to a high degree from the smells of our characters to the actual Viking marriage ceremony – which I found absolutely enchanting, the trading of the swords is a beautiful ritual.

Angel Comes to the Devils Keep by Regina Jeffers

This is highly enjoyable read, the romance between Angelica and Hunt simmers and sizzles nicely, Ms Jeffers has done a lovely job at building up their relationship from when Hunt gets injured right to the end, you never know in which direction their story is going to take as there is so much that stands in their way. Yet, that connection that they share, that Hunt has especially, is tender and loving and at times you are just as agonised as he is. I really like how Jeffers has mixes a romance novel with a murder, kidnapping an espionage thriller, I found it exciting, romantic and one that I highly recommend.

The Unexpected Countess by Laurie Benson

This is great read, there is the perfect amount of romance and adventure with a huge, fabulous twist that is so unexpected. The Unexpected Countess is a huge success, a thrilling jaunt with an original plot. It is just so good! Benson has really out done herself with Hart and Sarah she has done such a great job with them, especially Hart who is a seriously great man to get to know I like Benson’s work her fun and charming personality just oozes off the page. But what I particularly like about her writing is that you get a real feeling of a writer who loves what she does, she puts her heart and soul into her work, her warmth is so palpable, her work is comforting as well as thrilling which I find so rare.

The Lost Letter by Mimi Matthews

Now I loved this book, I do love my heroes to be trouble and vulnerable and wanting a strong women to help them back to happiness and this is just that, this is truly breath-taking and I loved every single moment of it, the plot is gorgeously written. The simplicity of the story is what gives it real back bone, there isn’t twists turns at every corner so you lose track of the initial story. The Lost Letter is a beautiful, romantic and emotionally shattering, as the writing is so well-defined that you feel every emotion and I just love it to bits. For me this is one of those books that you keep on the bookshelf for ever, you will read and re-read it and you will never tire of Sylvia and Sebastian’s love story.

Besieged and Betrothed by Jenni Fletcher

What a terrific read, I will apologise for the amount of gushing I will most likely be doing about this book, but I have so much to say about it. Jenni Fletcher has real out done herself with this, it is such a compelling and highly charged romance that grips you from that very first page where our bulking, tank of a hero spots the fiery haired, tomboy on the battlements. I was literally hooked, and I was eager to finish and yet when I did turn the last page it was a sobering moment as that was it, done. I could’ve read this again as soon as I had finished. It’s fun, witty and at times heart-breaking, and fabulously engrossing. I just love it.

The Lions Embrace by Marie Laval

The Lions Embrace follows on from Angel Heart in the last book we met Marie-Ange and Hugo Saintclair who are the parents of our hero in this one; Lucas Saintclair and oh, my word what a man! He is simply delectable! Lava’s talent at entwining history of area and the cultures and languages, with a thrilling game of cat and mouse plus the tantalizing love story is faultless. She sprinkles The Lions Embrace with her customary Gaelic charm and she enhances your reading with detailing the sights, aromas and culture of each area we visit during the book and it enhances the reading experience. You become transported to this hot, dusty and dangerous place and it is utterly exhilarating.

 The Knights Scarred Maiden by Nicole Locke

I love this, this is absolutely superb! It sticks with you and gets under your skin, but in a very good way you become absorbed in their dark and dangerous world. I have read Historical Romances​ that has stuck with me long after finishing the book, but this is right up there with some of the best books I have read. It’s beautiful, heart wrenching and you get tingles while reading it. I do genuinely love this book, the plot is fast, complex and thrilling. Rhain and Helissent take you on this sensual, nerve wrecking journey as they find their feet and try to survive and move on with their lives.

The Last Gamble by Anabelle Bryant

This is the third instalment of “The Bastards of London Series” and I do think this is the best one yet. I have been really looking forward to reading this one, after meeting the dark and shadowy Luke Reece in the previous book’s he intrigued me. I wanted to know his story, his past and what in the hell his happening with his lost son and Bryant doesn’t disappoint. This series caught my attention from day one and it’s gone from strength to strength, Bryant has yet again created an entertaining, thrilling and sensuously attractive story. The thing that does set this one apart from the others has to be Luke, we have had snippets of this shadowy man’s turmoil in the previous two books “The Den of Iniquity” and “Into The Hall of Vice” and to finally get to see his story unfold and see his Happy Ever After is very satisfying

No Rest for the Wicked by Cora Lee

No Rest For The Wicked is apart of the “Heart of a Hero” series and it is a series I am looking forward to reading more of. The chemistry between out estranged couple is heated, the tension just ripples as well as the distrust for each other. This is fast, fun and exciting a fabulous read. I do really like this, it is smart, sexy and so well written but the more than that it makes you think. It is really lovely watching as these two get to know each other all over again and as their defences lower and they get closer and closer. They are both very reluctant to reveal their hearts, so it’s quite sweet when they finally do.

lord Hunter’s Cinderella Heiress by Lara Temple

This is book one in this new series; The Wild Lords and Innocent Ladies Series by the highly talented Lara Temple, and one that I have been looking forward to reading. But nothing prepared me for the huge emotion that surges through you as you read it. I know that Temple has said that this series is her baby, this is a personal story for her and you can really understand as you are reading it just how much of herself she has put into this. I have always liked her work but this really resonates with me, this touched a cord with me more than any other book I have read before, you can feel Temple’s heart and soul running through this, it is very emotional and it packs a real punch and it stays with you long after the last page.

The Crown Spire by Catherine Curzon & Willow Winsham

On first meeting their highway men our ladies fall for their irresistable and roguish charm in a heartbeat, not unsurprising really! They are saved and taken to an inn where they meet the cheeky, charming Innkeeper Ed Hogan and the shy, gentlemanly Doctor James Dillingham. There is something irresistable and provoking about these two handsome Scotsmen, not to mention something very familiar, could it be that Alice and Beth may have met these two rogues before? I love this, the chemistry between both our couples is rich and sensual and very sexy, like all Historical Romance fan’s I do particularly like a good rogue and The Crown spire doesn’t disappoint, in fact we are spoilt as there are two highway men to get to know and adore. It’s going into the super market and getting a two for one deal. Curzon and Winsham have created two strong and charming heroes, that you are bound to fall for.

A Warriner to Rescue Her by Virginia Heath

Move over Heathcliffe there is a new gruff, monosyllabic, tormented hero in town in the form of Captain Jamie Warriner. Oh my word! I was warned I would love him and he has more than lived up to the hype, he really is something special. He is a proud man who after serving his country with courage facing down more horrors than any man should face he is back and he is in pain, not just physically but he is trying adjust to civilian life but like a lot of soldiers today poor Jamie is struggling. I was drawn to him the moment I met him in the previous book “A Warriner to Protect her” there is just something about this gruff but hugely sensitive man, that draws you in. Yes, he may be as stubborn as an OX – as well as built like one – but he has a good and kind heart, who needs a little love.
Proof of Virtue by Leila Snow

Ms Snow is was a new to me author and I can say this is simply stunning, there is pure and honest anguish which oozes of the page, It’s raw and immensely real to the era and really shows what life in the Victorian era was like for regular, working-class people. It’s so realistic, it’s like you are in the work house and mill alongside Emma, and you are experiencing her turmoil and suffering. It is gloriously detailed and graphic, some may think that for a historical romance it is too graphic of their suffering, but for me that is what makes an historical. This is how they should be, it has real meat on the bone. I can absolutely say for certain that Ms Snow is going to go very far in this genre, her way with language and fact is mesmerizing. If you’re like me and you like grittier, brutally honest and very real historical where the romance is hard fought for genuinely deserved, than this is the book for you.

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So Chicks, Rogues and Scandals all time Book of the Year, 2017 is…

The Captains Disgraced Lady by Catherine Tinley

Tinley has captured the mixed emotions of Waterloo war is mesmerizing. You feel the sadness and despondency of the men and the civilians. Those chapters that cover the battle are superb, the detailing of what was going on and how everyone was coping and the actual battle scenes where Harry is in hand to hand combat is brutal and engrossing. This is atmospheric and so beautifully written and from reading this, I do think Tinley has a gift for capturing those little nuances in human thought and feeling and placing on the page. I had been looking forward to this story and it was so much more than I expected, you’ve probably guessed by my gushing how much I love this book and that I cannot recommend this enough, this is a must read! If you like your charming yet fragile heroes, feisty independent heroines all brought together with a stonking good plot and tied off with some beautiful romantic scenes and moments then this is the book for you.

So there you have my favourite books of 2017, have you read any of them and if so what you think? I’d love to know what your favourite’s have been from the past year.

Introducing The Unlaced Ladies.

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Just over a year ago nine incredible Historical Romance author’s banded together to create the hugely popular Facebook based; Unlaced Book Club, a very special place where authors, readers and like-minded individuals all get together to discuss Romance, History and have a lot of cheeky fun in between.

Now a year on and with enough books to fill a library and with over two hundred members this club is going from strength to strength and I feel very privileged to be a part of it and be able to experience the fun and good-natured banter that makes this Book Club so special.

So, who are these nine women who brought all this fun and hilarity to the world?

Each one of them are extraordinary writers with the best Romance brain’s in the business, between the nine of them they have brought to the world Rugged Medieval Knight’s, Sinfully Handsome Rakes, Roguish Agent’s, Tormented Military Men, Scandalous Dukes and Gorgeously Brave Vikings. Plus some one the strongest and resilient heroine’s that are the only women in the world that can put up with theses adorable heroes.

Let me introduce you to nine of the best women you will ever meet.

“We are a group of authors who write sassy and sexy historical romance. If you like good books, giggles, and giveaways you’ve come to the right place! At The Unlaced Book Club, we adore heroes that wear breeches or wield a broadsword. We love to chat and have fun, the only thing we ask is that members are respectful of each other and if you’d like to post promotional material, you check with one of the administrators first.
So, dive right in and join the conversation. You know you want to…”

 

Virginia Heath

When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Fortunately, the lovely people at Harlequin Mills & Boon took pity on her and decided to publish her romances, but it still takes her forever to fall asleep. Virginia is the author of the incredible Wild Warriners series.

Reading List

That Despicable Rogue
The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide
Miss Bradshaw’s Bought Betrothal
Her Enemy at The Alter
A Warriner to Protect Her
A Warriner to Rescue Her
His Mistletoe Wager

If you want to find out more check out virginiaheathromance.com or follow her on Twitter @VirginiaHeath_ Click Here

 

Laurie Benson

Laurie Benson is an award-winning historical romance author who writes books about men in boots and the women who fall for them. She began her writing career as an advertising copywriter, where she learned more than you could ever want to know about hot dogs and credit score reports. Her interest in history began when she was in elementary school, and that interest was fueled by many visits to many museums. In 2015 Laurie was honored to become a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® finalist. When she isn’t at her laptop avoiding laundry, Laurie can be found browsing antique shops, going on ridiculously long hikes, or sitting in her car on the school pickup line. She lives with her husband and two sons in a house filled with testosterone—even her bunny is a boy.

Reading List

The Unsuitable Duchess
The Uncommon Duke
The Unexpected Countess

Learn more about Laurie by visiting her website at lauriebenson.net. You can also follow her on Twitter at @lauriebwrites and like her on Facebook Click Here

 

Lara Temple

When Lara was fifteen she found a very grubby copy of Georgette Heyer’s Faro’s Daughter in an equally grubby book store. Several blissful hours later she emerged, blinking, into the light of day completely in love with Max Ravenscar and with Regency Romance. Lara writes strong, sexy, and suspenseful regency romances about complex individuals who give no quarter but deliver plenty of passion. Lara recently went back to look for that grubby crowded little bookstore but couldn’t quite remember around what corner it was…hopefully it is still there and another girl is in the corner by the window, reading and dreaming…

Reading List

Lord Crayles Secret World
The Reluctant Viscount
The Dukes Unexpected Bride
His Cinderella Heiress

To learn more about Lara Click Here

 

Nicole Locke

Nicole first discovered romance novels hidden in her grandmother’s closet. Convinced hidden books must be better, Nicole greedily read them. It was only natural she should start writing them (but now not so secretly). If she isn’t working on the next book in the Lovers and Legends historical series.

Reading List

Her Enemy Highlander
The Knights Broken Promise
In Debt to the Enemy Lord
The Highland Brides Laird
The Knights Scarred Maiden

She can be reached at NicoleLocke.com, on Facebook, or Twitter as @NicoleLockeNews. Click Here

 

Harper St George

Harper was raised in rural Alabama and along the tranquil coast of northwest Florida. It was a setting filled with stories of the old days that instilled in her a love of history, romance, and adventure. By high school, she had discovered the historical romance novel which combined all of those elements into one perfect package. She has been hooked ever since. Harper is the author of the fabulous Viking Warrior series and the Outs of The WildWest series.

Reading List

Enslave by the Viking
One Night With The Viking
The Innocent and the Outlaw
In Bed With The Viking Warrior
Marriage Deal with the Outlaw

She would love to hear from you. Please visit her website at http://www.harperstgeorge.com or find her on Facebook Click Here

 

Catherine Tinley

Catherine writes witty, heartwarming Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, NHS management, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now works in Sure Start.

Reading List

Waltzing With The Earl

She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, and dog and can be reached at catherinetinley.com, and @CatherineTinley on twitter. Click Here

 

Janice Preston

Janice Preston writes emotional, sensual and satisfying Regency romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She grew up in Wembley with a love of reading, writing stories and animals and has worked as a dairy farmer, a police call-handler and a university administrator. She has two children, two step-children (all now adult) and a gorgeous, cheeky grandson. She now lives in the West Midlands with her husband and two cats and enjoys swimming, yoga and pottering about the garden when the sun is shining.

Reading List

Mary and the Marquess
Cinderella and the Duke
The Governesses Secret Baby
Saved by the Scandal’s Heir

If you’d like to know more, please visit Janice’s website at http://www.janicepreston.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @janicegpreston or Click Here

 

Jenni Fletcher

Jenni was born on the north coast of Scotland and now lives in Yorkshire, where she writes historical romance novels set in the Medieval and Victorian eras. She studied English at Clare College, Cambridge and Hull University, before starting to write books of her own Combining her love of history and literature with a special emphasis on alpha males and feisty heroines.

Reading List

Married to Her Enemy
The Convenient Felstone Marriage

Jenni loves hearing from her readers so why not get in touch Click Here

 

Elisabeth Hobbes

Elisabeth grew up in York where she spent most of my teenage years wandering around the city looking for a handsome Roman or Viking to sweep her off her feet. Sadly it never happened but Elisabeth developed a love of the past and went on to read History and Art History at university before venturing into the world of teaching. These days she holds down jobs as a teacher and mum. She lives in Cheshire with her husband, two young children and two cats with ridiculous names. Elisabeth loves historical fiction and has a fondness for dark haired, bearded heroes. When she’s not writing, she spends a lot of her spare time reading and has become something of a pro at cooking one-handed while holding a book!

Reading List

The Saxon outlaws Revenge
Redeeming the Rogue Knight
The Blacksmiths Wife
Falling for her Captor
A Wager for the Widow

You can find Elisabeth on Facebook and Twitter Click Here

Aren’t they fabulous?

So why not check out each of these author’s work and follow the Unlaced Book Club on Twitter to keep up to date with all their comings and goings. I can guarantee that getting to know these fine women will be the best thing that you will do today. TheUnlacedBookClub

 

Review : An Unexpected Countess, (Secret Lives of the Ton book 3) by Laurie Benson

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The Earl of Hartwick delights in scandalizing the ton with his behavior. But it’s his turn to be scandalized when, on an escapade, he bumps into Miss Sarah Forrester—in the rain, at night, on a rooftop!

Sarah is hunting for a diamond, and the last thing she needs is the infuriating Hart distracting her. But he’s looking for the jewel, too! They may be rivals, but the sparks between them are uncontrollable. And soon Sarah finds herself longing for another treasure—becoming Hart’s American countess!

Brief Preview

Sarah Forrester needs to find the priceless golden-yellow jewel otherwise her family could be torn apart, what she has always known and respected has been taken away from her and worse than that her family could suffer. This secret if it gets out will ruin everything, it will destroy everything she holds dear and she cannot let that happen. She is a tough cookie and she will fight tooth and nail to make sure that no one hurts her family and to do that she must find the jewel herself.

The only problem is that irritating and talkative Lord Hartwick; otherwise known as Hart is also on the hunt for the precious stone after being coerced into the hunt by the Prince Regent. As they keep bumping into each on their quest to find the jewel, Sarah starts seeing more and more of the enigmatic Hart and soon her feelings change from mildly interested sightseer to something else something that could get her into to trouble and its trouble that she really doesn’t need.

My View

I had my eyes set on Hart the moment I met him in the last book and I am so pleased that Laurie has given this scoundrel his own story, it may make his already overly large head bigger but he needed his own story and what a humdinger it is. He is an enigmatic, suave and absurdly handsome devil who can charm the birds from the trees with his silver tongue.

The chemistry between Hart and Sarah just sizzles, they are both witty, intelligent and complex individuals that take no prisoners when sparring. Their differences are what makes them such a perfect pair. Hart’s sophisticated silver tongue paired with Sarah’s sharp mind and caring persona, makes for a fun and very entertaining to-ing and fro-ing between them.

Lud! He was a dog with a bone “I don’t see how it is your concern?”
“True, your welfare is none of my concern. I was merely conversing.”
“Your trying to flatter me.”
“By calling you an impressive prowler? Darling, if intended to flatter you, would tell you ow tempting you look in those trews.”
“Thank you, for the compliment. But I still have no intention of telling you anything.”
“You misunderstand! I didn’t say you looked tempting. I only indicated that is what I would say, if I was going to flatter you.”
Insufferable man! If only she could give him a push, but with her luck he would land on his back and see it as an invitation to activities he was most familiar with – or so she had heard.
“Well I really must be off.”

He is such an intriguing man! He is so smooth, he knows exactly how to use that silky charm of his to get what he wants, just like he knows what his charismatic aura does to woman but equally because of his role as advisor\friend\guard to the prince regent he uses that silkiness to protect the crown and the people he loves. His rakish exterior helps hide his true self, the side that he wants no one to know and thinks no one will want to know.

When we first meet him he is the man that we all fell for in the previous book, the controlled charmer, the charismatic rake but we soon see that Hart really is so much more than that. I think that the real man, the man behind the mask, the man who has suffered and who is still suffering from his mother’s death, the private Hart is actually so much more charming than the rake could ever be. His hatred of his father is palpable in his actions and how he leads his life and once you get to know his past you realise just how much of a lonely and loving man he is. His relationship or lack of one with his father is such an important part of who he is and of the story, and to me it does explain a lot about him. As the saying goes: “We all walk in the shadow of the sins of our parents” and I think that is quite fitting where Hart is concerned, and once you have read The Unexpected Countess, you will completely understand where I’m coming from.

This is great read, there is the perfect amount of romance and adventure with a huge, fabulous twist that is so unexpected. The Unexpected Countess is a huge success, a thrilling jaunt with an original plot. It is just so good! Laurie has really out done herself with Hart and Sarah she has done such a great job with them, especially Hart who is a seriously great man to get to know.

I like Laurie Benson’s work her fun and charming personality just oozes off the page. But what I particularly like about Benson’s writing is that you get a real feeling of a writer who loves what she does, she puts her heart and soul into her work, her warmth is so palpable, her work is comforting as well as thrilling which I find so rare.

This is yet another highly recommend read and one that should be read.

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

An Unexpected Countess is released on 23rd May and you can find it on AMAZON, to find out more about this book and where you can find it then check out Laurie’s WEBSITE.

An Uncommon Duke ~ Review

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Laurie Benson : An Uncommon Duke ( The Secrets of The Ton #2)

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Back Blurb :

Confessions of a Regency Duke…

When the Duke of Winterbourne proposed to Olivia, she felt like the luckiest girl alive. Thier happy marriage was the envy of the ton. But all that changed when Gabriel wasn’t there the night Olivia gave birth to their son…

Gabriel’s life is rooted in darkness, and he’s learned the hard way not to trust anyone with the truth. Yet, now his wife want’s to try for another child…and Gabriel must bear his secrets in order to bring Olivia back into his bed, and by his side, forever!

My View:

This is just about the perfect Historical Romance novel that you can get, it has everything that you want from a good book. suspense, intrigue, fabulous love story, character’s that you adore from page one, brilliant plot and I absolutely loved it.

It start’s off with Gabriel and Olivia, married but living as practical strangers for the past five year’s since their son was born, they neither speak to one another or in fact like to be in the same room as each other but all that changes when Olivia want’s another child but the question is can they put the past behind them to finally achieve the desired goal? Easier said then done especially when all Olivia can think about is what happened that fateful day that caused this animosity between them. It all started when Olivia was giving birth to their son, Gabriel missed that special event because he was in a brothel with a notorious Madam. From that point on Olivia wanted nothing more to do with him. But the thing is Gabriel had a very good reason to be in that particular brothel on that day.

Gabriel is actual a secret agent working to protect the King and the Prince Regent, as his father had done before him and as his brother doe’s alongside him. Gabriel is the leader of their little band of heroe’s which include various other high-profile aristocrat’s and on that fateful day when he lost his wife’s trust he was actually gathering information about a assassination attempt on the King. As the year’s goes by and His and Olivia’s marriage becomes nothing more than a few well versed notes handed to one another through the staff, Gabriel’s role as an agent is becoming more and more demand with this whole new assassination attempt on the Prince Regent, this mean’s that Gabriel has got an awful lot on his broad shoulders; this serious case and a wife that hate’s him but want’s a child with him.

Gabriel is such an incredible character, right from the first moment when we meet him as he is obsessing over how his cravat is tied, he is so mesmerizing. He is fiercely protective, to a point where his protectiveness doe’s push the love of his life away and Olivia is that, no matter what happen’s his love for her absolute, and no matter what she think’s she has always been his one and only. He is as equally fragile as well, he is deeply scarred from his past and from the betrayal that nearly cost him his life, and that vulnerability really make’s him such an engaging character.

” I have nothing to give you, Gabriel. Not even my anger.”

Gabriel was Losing her. He could hear it in her voice and see it in her eye’s. Once she walked out of his room, she would remove him from her life forever. He could not let that happen. He loved her too much to live without her.

He needed to tell her everything.

I love it when he finally tells her everything, about who he is and when show’s her his vulnerable side, when he is stripped bare and all Olivia see is the man that he is. Husband. Lover. Father and Agent. Gabriel is on his last leg’s and he is at the point where he may lose her for good and there is only one last thing that he can do to make her stay with him and that is tell her the truth. That for me is by far one of the most romantic scenes in the book and Benson has written it beautifully.

“Dear god, I didn’t mean to make you cry. Please, Livy, don’t cry.” He was pleading with her . She was the only one in the world he would lower himself to beg. Looking into her eyes, he no longer saw anger. There was something else.

“Will you stay? I couldn’t bear it if you left me,” he said.

“Will you promise to always be honest with me?”

“I will. I love you, Livy, with all my heart and all that I am, I love you.”

“And I love you. I always have.”

he had been so afraid he would never convince her to stay. Leaning closer, he kissed her.

If the lead character’s Gabriel and Olivia were so brilliant then the support character’s are just as engaging I do particular like Lord Hartwick; who is also a member of Gabriel’s team, he is charming, funny and too intelligent for his own good and I am very much looking forward to getting to know this particular blue-eyed rogue.

I have to say that Laurie Benson is right up there with the best, An Uncommon Duke remind’s me so much of my all time favorite series; The Inferno Club by Gaelen Foley, you have high-ranking, gorgeous peers of the realm secretly protecting the Crown and Country from enemies’ all the while trying to forge relationship’s with loved one’s. Secret’s of the Ton is a suburb series and this is one of those rare gem’s that you can read and re-read over and over again with tiring of and I absolutely insist that everyone read’s this.

Absolutely stunning, a joy from page one and a series that can only get better and better.

An Uncommon Duke is released on 1st October.