Book Review

‘The Thirteenth Earl’ by Evelyn Pryce

tte ep STORY: Dark-haired Victorian beauty Cassandra Seton will finally see her fiancé, Miles Markwick, after a separation of nine years. Nine years that have made her an object of pity. Marrying him now would save her further social humiliation, but it may cost her even more.

Jonathan Vane, Viscount Thaxton, has retreated from society, earning him the nickname “the Ghost.” He’s desperate to hide his father’s increasing madness and fearful that he too will eventually succumb to the same illness.

While attending the Spencers’ party in the country, both Jonathan and Cassie are awakened by unearthly wailing; instead of a ghost, they find each other—and fall into a passionate embrace. Guilt-stricken and searching for answers, they agree to a séance, but the medium’s words only deepen the mystery.

As the secrets of the past are revealed, Jonathan and Cassie band together to discover what’s really haunting Spencer House—and how to free each other from the specters looming over their own fates.

REVIEW: England 1884 – Spencer House

Percival Spencer, Earl Spencer is married to Eliza, Countess Spencer. They have decided to have a House Party and have invited many of their friends. One of their guests is a childhood friend of Percival, Jonathan Vane, Viscount Thaxton, future thirteenth Earl Vane.

Jonathan prefers to stay in his London home and rarely leaves. His father is ill and Jonathan thinks that the man is mad. Worry about his father has caused a noticeable weight loss in Jonathan to the point that some people are calling him The Ghost. Percival feels it will be good for Jonathan to get out of the house and be among friends.

Also attending the House Party is Miss Cassandra Seton, daughter of the Marquess of Dorset and betrothed to Miles Markwick, a cousin and huge irritant to Jonathan. Cassandra and Miles’s marriage is an arranged one as they were betrothed when they were babies. Cassandra has a very large dowry but Miles does not have any money. He has returned from Scotland where he spent nine years hoping to find a way to make some money. He has not been successful at that. Now, he must have the dowry that Cassandra offers to keep his home in Scotland from crumbling.

When Cassandra and Jonathan meet at the Party, they find an immediate attraction to each other and they steal a kiss. When they both hear a woman wailing in the middle of the night, they are convinced that Spencer House is haunted.

When Miles arrives, his haughty manner to Cassandra and, especially to Jonathan of whom he is jealous, is very irritating. Cassandra does not want to marry Miles but is frustrated because her father has decreed that this will happen.

It appears Miles knows a woman familiar with the spiritual world and a seance is planned. Lucy Macallister is the medium and it is obvious that Miles is taken with her. What happens at the seance shocks everyone.

Is there indeed a ghost? Will Cassandra truly be forced to marry the odious Miles? What about Jonathan and Cassandra’s attraction to one another?

This is a very good story with lots more to it than I have mentioned here. I do hope readers will enjoy the story. I promise that it will induce many emotions in you.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

REVIEW: I finished this book real fast, not because it was short, it wasn’t; not because it was fast paced, it was; but because it was riveting.

Here are my Goodreads notes:

9.0 % in – “Love the prose! Complex hero, want to give him a hug!”

81.0% in – “Surprisingly fast read; LOVING the characters; exceptionally good dialogue.”

And here’s a teaser in regards to prose ….

“Good day,” she said to his back, his departure leaving her  slightly stunned, as if his presence had been a poisoned dart.

~~~ * ~~~

“He did indeed taste like brandy, but what was bitter in the glass was sweet on his lips.”

~~~ * ~~~

“The click of the billiards balls, the heavy thud into pocket, the smooth baize of the table; it was all somewhat reassuring. Physics worked, gravity prevailed. Miss Seton’s existence changed things, but the world still worked according to natural law.”

~~~ * ~~~

“Thaxton had never considered himself anything but alone.

Solo, unus, solitary, however you wanted to phrase it, he thought as he dressed. He was an island. Or a dead end.”

I loved everything about this story! Even the predictable villain! I could gush and gush, but I won’t. Please read an excerpt here and see for yourself.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher.


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