#Review – Lady Joy And the Earl : A Christmas Novella by Regina Jeffers (@reginajeffers) #Christmas #Regency #Romance
They have loved each other since childhood, but life has not been kind to either of them. James Highcliffe’s arranged marriage had been everything but loving, and Lady Joy’s late husband believed a woman’s spirit was meant to be broken. Therefore, convincing Lady Jocelyn Lathrop to abandon her freedom and consider marriage to him after twenty plus years apart may be more than the Earl of Hough can manage. Only the spirit of Christmas can bring these two together when secrets mean to keep them apart.
Well this is a wonderfully heart-warming and emotional seasonal story. I am a big fan of Regina Jeffers work, she has a real gift at story telling, she magically captures the readers attention with her charming stories which have some of the most wondrous characters who the reader can really get behind and cheer on. Lady Joy and The Earl is no different, I found this to be a magical story full of raw emotion and a delightful cast of character’s.
Jocelyn (or Joy) and James have been in love with each other since they were children, as their family’s estates are right next door to one and other, they often used to spend many hours and days together. They both new where they wanted their lives to go and that was to be together, unfortunately James’ father had already arranged a marriage for James ever since he was still in the cradle and it wouldn’t be with the neighbouring Marquess’ daughter. Joy was obviously devastated when hearing of James’ marriage, because she didn’t know the details of the arrangement she felt both cheated and disappointed that James would do such a thing to her after she had loved him all her life. Which into the an arranged marriage of her own, never to see each other for another twenty two years.
Both had very unhappy marriages, in different ways so twenty-two years later once widowed and past their moaning period they can both be and do what they want to be. For Joy that means she finally has her freedom, even if that freedom does come at a cost due to what happened when her husband died. She wants nothing more than to go about her life with her children and finally be able to live. For James there is only one thing that he wants, the one thing that was stolen from him; Joy! He is set on finally claiming his Joy for his own, just as he wanted in the first place. But first he must make it past her high defences, for she is far from the spirited woman he knew she has become a shell of her self and he knows that gentleness and a little Christmas magic is the only way forward for both of them to be happy.
Joy hasn’t had the best of luck, first the one man she loved with all her heart suddenly ups and marries someone else, true that it was all arranged when he was a baby, but she doesn’t know that. Her confusion and hurt is always there, even after twenty years apart her heart may do a jolt and speed up at the mere sight of this distinguished, handsome man but also present is her devastation. She was then married off to a horrible man and his treatment of her has left an imprint on her, she is such a wonderfully kind and loving woman but that sparkle tat James loved about er has been put out. But James, being the wonderfully self assure and slightly arrogant man – but in a very good way he can see that there is a flicker of the woman beneath the hurt, I love this man he really is wonderful and oh, so handsome he isn’t cruel or nasty he is utterly charming and he oozes sex appeal. Joy is an amazing woman, she is strong when it comes to her children and she is fierce yet she is vulnerable and fragile. I love the gentleness James shows her and how with his careful wooing she becomes her real self, I particular love the way he subtly flirts and cajoles her into bantering with him. So sweet and funny!
I love this book! The story is very well developed and refreshingly new for the genre, it moves from scene to scene flawlessly. But the thing that I do love about this sweet short story is the chemistry between the leads, James and Joy are a match made in heaven they have both been scarred – if emotionally scarred by the turn of the events when they were young. The feelings for each other is constant, you can feel the emotion on every page, from the rapidly beating hearts to the fact that they can’t stop gazing at one an other. It’s beautiful written, but I expected no less from talented Ms Jefffers .
Gorgeous story, just perfect!!
This was a complimentary copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.
Lady Joy and The Earl can be purchased from Amazon.
Hurrying home to Tegen Castle from the Continent to assume guardianship of a child not his, but one who holds his countenance, Levison Davids, Earl of Remmington, is shot on the road and left to die.
The incident has Remmington chasing after a man who remains one step ahead and who claims a distinct similarity—a man who wishes to replace Remmington as the rightful earl. Rem must solve the mystery of how Frederick Troutman’s life parallels his while protecting his title, the child, and the woman he loves.
Comfort Neville has escorted Deirdre Kavanaugh from Ireland to England, in hopes that the Earl of Remmington will prove a better guardian for the girl than did the child’s father. When she discovers the earl’s body upon road backing the castle, it is she who nurses him to health. As the daughter of a minor son of an Irish baron, Comfort is impossibly removed from the earl’s sphere, but the man claims her affections. She will do anything for him, including confronting his enemies. When she is kidnapped as part of a plot for revenge against the earl, she must protect Rem’s life, while guarding her heart.
This is book two in ‘The Twins Trilogy’ we have picked up where we left off in the previous ‘Angel Comes to the Devils Keep’ this time we are focusing on Remmington – who I have to say I have been really looking forward to reading his story since we first met this intriguing man in the previous and I have to say that Ms Jeffers has not disappoint where it comes to this man and this story. This is such a fabulous story, it isn’t just your stereotypical historical romance this is something else it has so many twists and turns, assignation attempts, identity theft and the mystery of why Rem is now the guardian of a little girl that has nothing to do with him and, yet she looks like him – why is that? And what on earth is going on with this elusive Frederick Troutman?
While on an assignment as an agent to the crown, Levison Davids; Earl of Remmington – otherwise known as Rem, gets a summons from home that he is to return as soon as possible, he is needed to take guardianship of a little girl that her mother has claimed is Rem’s but who isn’t. Rem as always is driven by duty, he isn’t the sort of man to shirk his responsibilities – even though the child isn’t his he knows that he can give her a far better home than that of her worthless and harsh step-father, so he goes back, it is while making his way to his ancestral Yorkshire home he is suddenly attacked and left for dead. The following day Rem is found semi-conscious by the most mesmerizing woman he has ever seen in his life, hair life a fiery red halo with the most alluring Irish accent he has heard that in that one moment when she is arguing with him and calling him some rather interesting names he falls for this antagonising and nymph like woman.
For a long moment Comfort wondered what it would be to skim her hands over the man’s roughened body. She had never known a man’s flirtations. Nor had she ever felt a man’s kiss or experienced any sort of intimacy beyond a dance or a walk, but she expected that she could enjoy touching Lord Remmington…..
Rem is a complex man, he harbours this idea that his family is cursed, that all males in his family are doomed and so he does start thinking why bother even fighting what is evidently going to happen, so he dives into his role as a secret agent, he spends years away on one assignment after the other and there is a moment in the book when Rem reflects on that and does regret his choice to basically run away when things get hard.
But he is very loyal, and duty bound he never shirks that duty, Rem is a good man, he is exceedingly stubborn and has the blackest, foul-mouthed temper you have ever seen – which for an Earl is very funny. On the other hand, he is very caring and loving, he has got the gentlest heart when able to show his true feeling’s – which he only does with Comfort, as the story moves along through one drama to the next we see how he takes comfort in just the thought of her and those moment are sparse but very precious for him.
Comfort Neville is caring for little Deirdre until the child’s guardian; Lord Remmington turns up, Comfort has it all planned out, she was going to assess to see if this Lord Remmington was going to do the right thing by young Deirdre, and if he proves to be trustworthy Comfort plans to go and live with her cousin. After finding him near death and nursing him and his bad temper back to health again she isn’t quite sure if this man is the right guardian for her precious ward; Deirdre. Yes, he maybe gentlemanly with some of the best connections in the country with the most tantalizing grey eyes and stunning rare smile but he is a bad-tempered oath with a certain darkness about him that draws her to him like a moth to a flame.
While Rem is reluctantly resting his handler Sir Alexander Chandler and best friend Huntington Mclaughlin; Marquess of Malvern start their investigation as to what happened to Rem but what they uncover is extremely unexpected and disturbing, the attempt on Rem’s life is just the tip of the ice berk in the mystery that soon arises its head. They find out that there is an imposter who is interestingly reported to be the mirror image of the real Earl, is gallivanting around the country as though he were the Earl of Remmington himself.
“…As I am the daughter of a minor son of an Irish baron, perhaps you fear I mean to poison your English hide. That must be it! My desire to cut you open and cleanse you of the blood and pus and mud is a plot! A plot,” she said in a thick Gaelic accent, “to be rid of the English, one thick-headed pig at a time….”
Frederick Troutman; the imposter they soon find out from their investigation is a dangerous and unhinged man who for reasons only known to himself is merrily living Rems life, he is causing trouble for Rem whenever he goes from arranging marriages and setting up mistresses to infiltrating his own home. While Rem and Malvern look deeper into this Troutman’s history and try to figure out why Troutman would want to do this to Rem, what motive has he got that he would want Rem dead? At Rem’s home a murder within Rem’s household turns their investigation on it’s head all over again and now it is a matter of time to solve this mystery as it becomes clear that this Troutman needs to be found before something else happens – or he decides to take his duplicity to another level, one that very would get him killed by Rem’s own hands.
With Rem investigating the spiders web of a mysteries, Comfort is now at her cousin; Isolde home she is helping around the house while waiting for the birth of Isolde’s little one but all the while all she can think off day and night is Remmington. Even though she knows that he must marry one day but he will never marry her – he won’t be able to marry her, she is an Irish catholic with a wild temper and idea’s that really have no place in her head.
Rem’s embrace tightened about her, edging Miss Neville closer. Her heat warmed his body from chin to abdomen. The rightness of her in his arms nearly knocked his defenses off kilter. His emotions screamed with disorientation.
Again, this is another thoroughly enjoyable read, Rem is everything that I love in a hero, brutishly handsome with a sensitive soul just waiting for the right woman to come along. The story is fast, thrilling and intriguing there are twists and turns which at times makes you stop and think ‘what just happened?’ The only thing I do have to say against it, is Comfort didn’t feature as much as I would have liked her to, she and Rem are such a cute couple and I would have liked a little bit more of the two of them together apart from that I found this to be another winner and it leaves you with such a good feeling and it is very much recommended.
This was a complimentary coy via the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Earl takes his Comfort can be purchased at Amazon.
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!
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
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.
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.
Huntington McLaughlin, the Marquess of Malvern, wakes in a farmhouse, after a head injury, being tended by an ethereal “angel,” who claims to be his wife. However, reality is often deceptive, and Angelica Lovelace is far from innocent in Hunt’s difficulties. Yet, there is something about the woman that calls to him as no other ever has. When she attends his mother’s annual summer house party, their lives are intertwined in a series of mistaken identities, assaults, kidnappings, overlapping relations, and murders, which will either bring them together forever or tear them irretrievably apart.
As Hunt attempts to right his world from problems caused by the head injury that has robbed him of parts of his memory, his best friend, the Earl of Remmington, makes it clear that he intends to claim Angelica as his wife. Hunt must decide whether to permit her to align herself with the earldom or claim the only woman who stirs his heart—and if he does the latter, can he still serve the dukedom with a hoydenish American heiress at his side
Firstly, what a fabulous book! I haven’t read any of Ms Jeffers work before, but I have been an avid follower of her highly interesting and educational blog, so even before I read this, I knew that I would be in store for something good. But this is really something special, its exciting and equally enchanting, the story line of destiny has brought Hunt and Angelica together through the most difficult things people could experience, really pulls at the heartstrings.
Huntington McLaughlin isn’t no ordinary Marquess, he is a secret agent for the crown. He is a man who despite having a huge responsibility on his wide shoulders cannot think of anything worse than settling down and marrying the ditzy young woman who his father has arranged for him to meet. Hunt is never happier than putting on a disguise and being someone else, just a while.
Hunt has got a lot of pent-up tension coursing through him, you get a sense that he wants to branch out do thing’s his own way. He is an intelligent man how feels that while doing his Marquess duties he is restrained and controlled, he loves the freedom that being an agent gives him. He also has a deep darkness within him, he was taken prisoner by the French and it was only due to his father paying his hefty ransom that he was released so obviously Hunt owes the Duke his very life, and his sanity which is why he agrees to go through with what his father wants. But the memories of his capture still cling to him like dust.
The beautiful, American Angelica Lovelace has been brought back to her parent’s homeland so that she can forefull her mother’s dying wish; to make her society debut and make a good a good marriage. But that is so far easier said than actually done, as our Angelica is very picky she want’s what her parents; a proper love match and not just an arranged marriage like so many of the Ton have to endure and then there is the fact that she already has the ideal man, the man who sends her heart a flutter and who she trusts inexplicably. The problem is, her ideal man, her soul mate is nothing more than a figment of her over active imagination, that is until one day in Regent’s park she spies a man with the face of her hero.
Angel opened her eyes to look upon the sharp angles of his ruggedly handsome countenance. “You are my world,” she whispered as their gazes met and held….
Angelica is a passionate and loyal young woman, she wants to please her father by doing as he and her late mother want, but she has a wild stubborn side that won’t allow any man to bend her to his will. She knows her own mind and she is proud of that. So, when she meets Hunt, she amazes herself to have fallen for him. She sees real pain in his eyes and she will try to do whatever she can to ease that pain. I really like Angelica, she is bright and she knows what she wants, she won’t be pushed into something she doesn’t want.
On her way north to attend a house party, during the storm that is raging her carriage get in trouble and ends up crashing killing her driver and servants leaving her stranded at the side of the road. That is until she comes across a rider who has a suffered an accident himself, he is unconscious with a head and shoulder wound, with a bit of ingenuity Angelica manages to get herself and the unconscious stranger to a little farm where they take refuge.
To protect her reputation and that of the stranger’s she states that they are a newly married couple, so that the farmer and his wife will take them in. She tends to his wounds and looks after him until he wakes, only for when that happens he wakes not knowing who he is or unable to remember a thing about his life. Hunt wakes to a beautiful Angel tending him, an angel who claims is his wife. He is in the dark he cannot remember anything the only real, tangible thing he knows is what this beautiful woman has told him. Hunt feels an instant connection towards her, she is the lightness he needs to bring him from the dark.
“I am gladdened by your progress.” Hunt said in a teasing tone. “I move as if I am a man many years Wendt’s senior, but my wife approves. I am a blessed man.” She blushed, an action quite hard for him to resist in its appeal. If he were well, Hunt would kiss her thoroughly to keep that touch of color upon her cheeks.
It soon comes to light that they aren’t married and she has made it all up, but for good reasons. His brother Harry and best friend Lord Remmington take him back to his ancestral home – The Devils Keep – where things take an unexpected and frightening turn that brings Hunt and his Angel back together again, only for his friend to take a keen interest in his Angel. Hunt soon finds out that because of his title, he must marry well. Can an out-spoken American really be the woman for him?
Now I do like Remmington, he is an intriguing man. A complex one, but he’s super smooth and has defiantly got the gift of the gab when he decides to charm Angelica, she doesn’t even realise what he’s doing. But that’s not surprising, with him being a spy.
With a murderer on the loose, dark secrets coming out of the wood work at every corner, the spy master hovering about with knowledge that Hunt needs to know and his so-called best friend and fellow agent; Remmington making a move on the only woman who has caught Hunt’s heart.
Over all it is a 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.
This was a complimentary copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.
Angel comes to the Devils Keep is out now and can be found at Amazon.