‘When a Marquess Loves a Woman’ by Vivienne Lorret

wamlaw-vlSTORY: As a young, penniless gentleman, Maxwell Harwick knew he had little to offer Juliet White—the most beautiful debutante of the season—except his love, and one thoroughly scandalous kiss. But when they were discovered in a compromising position, a nearly ruined Juliet fled into the arms of a rich, older lord… taking Max’s heart with her.

Now a widow, Lady Juliet Granworth intends to use the fortune she inherited from her odious husband to build a new life in London. Five years have passed, but she’s never forgotten Max… or his soul-searing kiss. Yet it’s clear the newly-minted Marquess of Thayne has not forgiven her—after all, the infuriating man can barely stand the sight of her. But Juliet has endured far too much to give up without a fight and if it’s a battle of wills he wants, it’s a battle he’ll get.

He hates her for breaking his heart. She detests him for destroying her future. But beneath all the loathing simmers an intoxicating passion that neither can ignore… and the harder they resist, the harder they will inevitably fall.

REVIEW: This is book three of the Season’s Original series and we finally get to Max and Juliet’s happily ever after.

Even though each of these stories in the series can be read as a stand alone, I think I had much better grasp and understanding of all the characters as I read it in order.

I’m a sucker for a second chance romance tropes and this one was well told and I thought the characters were fun and entertaining. The chemistry between the leads was spot on.

I hope you read it. I know you’ll love it if you do!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

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Spotlight on Maya Rodale and ‘Lady Claire is All That’!

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lciat-mrBOOK BLURB: Her Brains
Claire Cavendish is in search of a duke, but not for the usual reasons. The man she seeks is a mathematician; the man she unwittingly finds is Lord Fox: dynamic, athletic, and as bored by the equations Claire adores as she is by the social whirl upon which he thrives. As attractive as Fox is, he’s of no use to Claire . . . or is he?

Plus His Brawn
Fox’s male pride has been bruised ever since his fiancée jilted him. One way to recover: win a bet that he can transform Lady Claire, Society’s roughest diamond, into its most prized jewel. But Claire has other ideas—shockingly steamy ones. . .

Equals A Study In Seduction
By Claire’s calculations, Fox is the perfect man to satisfy her sensual curiosity. In Fox’s estimation, Claire is the perfect woman to prove his mastery of the ton. But the one thing neither of them counted on is love . . .

BUY LINKS: AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo 

REVIEW: London – 1824

Lady Claire Cavendish’s brother, James, has inherited a dukedom which means the entire family consisting of James, Claire, and their two sisters, Bridget and Amelia, must move to England. They currently live on a horse farm in Maryland. James will now be the seventh Duke of Durham.

Lady Claire’s aunt, Josephine Maria Cavendish, the Duchess of Durham, is pleased that James and his sisters have arrived in England. The sisters are being debuted at Lady Tunbridge’s ball even though they feel out of place.

As Lady Claire is interested in mathematics, she hopes to meet the Duke of Ashbrooke to discuss some of his mathematical findings.

Maximilian Frederick DeVere, Lord Fox, is handsome and quite popular with the ladies. Having just been dumped by Miss Arabella Vaughn for an actor, people are shocked. Fox is angry at losing her but feels she is like other women. All they need are nice fashions and coiffured hair and they are all popular. But his friends disagree and decide upon a wager. Fox is to chose a young woman and prove he is right. Since Lady Claire is seen as an intelligent bore, Fox chooses her as the woman he will wager on as being one just like all other women. But what he doesn’t know is that Lady Claire is not interested in marriage. She like things in her life just like they are is passionate about mathematical formulas. She also feels responsible for seeing her sisters settled now that their mother has passed away.

Lady Claire finds attending balls to be tedious but she enjoys watching people play cards. With her mathematical talents, counting cards is easy for her. If she actually played, she knows she could win.

As Claire and Fox get to know one another, he finds that maybe he was a bit hasty in making his wager. It appears there is more to Claire than meets the eye.

This was a cute story but had a bit of silliness in it, as well as too many modern day idioms that are out of the place with the time frame of the story. But, I’m sure readers will enjoy the plot.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

>>>>>>>>>> RAFFLECOPTER <<<<<<<<<<

EXCERPT:

London, 1824

Lord and Lady Chesham’s ballroom

It was a truth universally acknowledged that Maximilian Frederick DeVere, Lord Fox, was God’s gift to the ladies of London. He was taller and brawnier than his peers and in possession of the sort of chiseled good looks—above and below the neck—that were more often found in works of classical art. By all accounts he was charming and universally liked by men and women alike, though for different reasons, of course. He won at two things, always: women and sport.

Fox strolled through the ballroom as if he owned the place. He nodded at friends and acquaintances—Carlyle, with whom he occasionally fenced, Fitzwalter, who he had soundly thrashed at boxing last week, and Willoughby, who was always game for a curricle race.

Fox flashed his famous grin as he heard the ladies’ usual comments when he strolled past.

“I think he just smiled at me.”

“I think I’m going to swoon.”

“God, Arabella Vaughn is one lucky woman.”

“Was,” someone corrected. “Didn’t you see the report in The London Weekly this morning?”

Fox’s grin faltered.

That was when Mr. Rupert Wright and Lord Mowbray found him. Their friendship stretched all the way back to their early days at Eton.

“We heard the news, Fox,” Rupert said grimly, clapping a hand on his shoulder.

“I daresay everyone has heard the news,” Fox replied dryly.

It didn’t escape his notice that the guests nearby had fallen silent. It was the first time he’d appeared in public since the news broke in the paper this morning, though Arabella had so kindly left him a note the day prior. Everyone was watching him to see how he would react, what he would say, if he would cry.

“Who would have thought we’d see this day?” Mowbray mused. “Miss Arabella Vaughn, darling of the haute ton, running off with an actor.”

“That alone would be scandalous,” Rupert said, adding, “Never mind that she has ditched Fox. Who is, apparently, considered a catch. What with his lofty title, wealth, and not hideous face.”

Fox’s Male Pride bristled. It’d been bristling and seething and enraged ever since the news broke that his beautiful, popular betrothed had left him to elope with some plebian actor.

Not just any actor, either, but Lucien Kemble. Yes, he was the current sensation among the haute ton, lighting up the stage each night in his role as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. Covent Garden theater was sold out for the rest of the season. The gossip columns loved him, given his flair for dramatics both onstage and off—everything from tantrums to torrid love affairs to fits over his artistry. Women adored him; they may have sighed and swooned over Lucien Kemble as much as Fox.

To lose a woman to any other man was insupportable—and, until recently, not something that ever happened to him—but to lose her to someone who made his living prancing around onstage in tights? It was intolerable.

“Just who does she think she is?” Fox wondered aloud.

“She’s Arabella Vaughn. Beautiful. Popular. Enviable. Every young lady here aspires to be her. Every man here would like a shot with her,” Mowbray answered.

“She’s you, but in petticoats,” Rupert said, laughing.

It was true. He and Arabella were perfect together.

Like most men, he’d fallen for her at first sight after catching a glimpse of her across a crowded ballroom. She was beautiful in every possible way: a tall, lithe figure with full breasts; a mouth made for kissing and other things that gentlemen didn’t mention in polite company; blue eyes fringed in dark lashes; honey gold hair that fell in waves; a complexion that begged comparisons to cream and milk and moonlight.

Fox had taken one look at her and thought: mine.

They were a perfect match in beauty, wealth, social standing, all that. They both enjoyed taking the ton by storm. He remembered the pride he felt as they strolled through a ballroom arm in arm and the feeling of everyone’s eyes on them as they waltzed so elegantly.

They were great together.

They belonged together.

Fox also remembered the more private moments—so many stolen kisses, the intimacy of gently pushing aside a wayward strand of her golden hair, promises for their future as man and wife. They would have perfect children, and entertain the best of society, and generally live a life of wealth and pleasure and perfection, together.

Fox remembered his heart racing—nerves!—when he proposed because this beautiful girl he adored was going to be his.

And then she had eloped. With an actor.

It burned, that. Ever since he’d heard the news, Fox had stormed around in high dudgeon. He was not accustomed to losing.

“Take away her flattering gowns and face paint and she’s just like any other woman here,” Fox said, wanting it to be true so he wouldn’t feel the loss so keenly. “Look at her, for example.”

Rupert and Mowbray both glanced at the woman he pointed out—a short, frumpy young lady nervously sipping lemonade. She spilled some down the front of her bodice when she caught three men staring at her.

“If one were to offer her guidance on supportive undergarments and current fashions and get a maid to properly style her coiffure, why, she could be the reigning queen of the haute ton,” Fox pointed out.

Both men stared at him, slack jawed.

“You’ve never been known for being the sharpest tool in the shed, Fox, but now I think you’re really cracked,” Mowbray said. “You cannot just give a girl a new dress and make her popular.”

“Well, Mowbray, maybe you couldn’t. But I could.”

“Gentlemen . . .” Rupert cut in. “I don’t care for the direction of this conversation.”

“You honestly think you can do it,” Mowbray said, awed.

He turned to face Mowbray and drew himself up to his full height, something he did when he wanted to be imposing. His Male Pride had been wounded and his competitive spirit—always used to winning—was spoiling for an opportunity to triumph.

“I know I can,” Fox said with the confidence of a man who won pretty much everything he put his mind to—as long as it involved sport, or women. Arabella had been his first, his only, loss. A fluke, surely.

“Well, that calls for a wager,” Mowbray said.

The two gentlemen stood eye to eye, the tension thick. Rupert groaned.

“Name your terms,” Fox said.

“I pick the girl.”

“Fine.”

“This is a terrible idea,” Rupert said. He was probably right, but he was definitely ignored.

“Let me see . . . who shall I pick?” Mowbray made a dramatic show of looking around the ballroom at all the ladies nearby. There were at least a dozen of varying degrees of pretty and pretty hopeless.

Then Mowbray’s attentions fixed on one particular woman. Fox followed his gaze, and when he saw who his friend had in mind, his stomach dropped.

“No.”

“Yes,” Mowbray said, a cocky grin stretching across his features.

“Unfortunately dressed I can handle. Shy, stuttering English miss who at least knows the rules of society? Sure. But one of the Americans?”

Fox let the question hang there. The Cavendish family had A Reputation the minute the news broke that the new Duke of Durham was none other than a lowly horse trainer from the former colonies. He and his sisters were scandalous before they even set foot in London. Since their debut in society, they hadn’t exactly managed to win over the haute ton, either, to put it politely.

“Now, they’re not all bad,” Rupert said. “I quite like Lady Bridget . . .”

But Fox was still in shock and Mowbray was enjoying it too much to pay any mind to Rupert’s defense of the Americans.

“The bluestocking?”

That was the thing: Mowbray hadn’t picked just any American, but the one who already had a reputation for being insufferably intelligent, without style or charm to make herself more appealing to the gentlemen of the ton. She was known to bore a gentleman to tears by discussing not the weather, or hair ribbons, or gossip of mutual acquaintances, but math.

Lady Claire Cavendish seemed destined to be a hopeless spinster and social pariah.

Even the legendary Duchess of Durham, aunt to the new duke and his sisters, hadn’t yet been able to successfully launch them into society and she’d already had weeks to prepare them! It seemed insane that Fox should succeed where the duchess failed.

But Fox and his Male Pride had never, not once, backed away from a challenge, especially not when the stakes had never been higher. He knew two truths about himself: he won at women and he won at sport.

He was a winner.

And he was not in the mood for soul searching or crafting a new identity when the old one suited him quite well. Given this nonsense with Arabella, he had to redeem himself in the eyes of the ton, not to mention his own. It was an impossible task, but one that Fox would simply have to win.

“Her family is hosting a ball in a fortnight,” Mowbray said. “I expect you to be there—with Lady Claire on your arm as the most desirable and popular woman in London.”

maya-rodale1AUTHOR BIO: Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence and it wasn’t long before she was writing her own.

Maya is now the author of multiple Regency historical romances. She lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Spotlight on Victoria Vane and ‘Hell on Heels’

hohb

A FREE E-Book! 
HELL ON HEELS, the first book in my smart and sexy HOTEL RODEO series is  currently FREE at all e-book retailers!  

Readers who enjoyed the fun and flirty banter between Wade and Nikki in SLOW HAND (book #1 in my Hot Cowboy Nights Series from Sourcebooks) are certain to fall head over heels for Ty and Monica, the featured couple in the first two books in this new series (HELL ON HEELS and TWO TO WRANGLE).  

Be sure to get it while you can!

ttw-vv

hoh-vvBOOK BLURB: Some Odds are Meant to be Played…

Place Your Bet

The Hotel Rodeo in Las Vegas has seen better days, but managing partner Ty Morgan has come up with a way to return it to its former glory. His plan looks promising until the unthinkable happens. Suddenly Ty is working for the boss’s daughter. And Miss Monica Brandt, hot as she may be, doesn’t share his vision…

Roll the Dice

She left a fabulous career and a frustrated fiancé in New York to move to Vegas and save her father’s investment. But now Monica is locking horns with a sexy cowboy-turned-businessman. What does Ty think he can do that she can’t? All Monica knows is that she doesn’t dare trust him—or is it herself she doesn’t trust…

And Win

The battle lines are drawn. The stakes are high. And the attraction can’t be denied—especially the more closely Ty and Monica have to work together. Some odds are just meant to be played, and with chemistry this electric, it may be time to grab life by the horns…

FREE AT ALL E-BOOK RETAILERS!  AmazonB&NGoogle PlayKobo  /

EXCERPT:

“There’s a lot we don’t know about each other, Ty.”
“There’s an easy remedy for that, you know.”
“What’s that?” she asked.
“It’s called conversation,” he quipped, watching her out of the corner of his eye. “You should try it sometime.”
Her mouth twitched. A small triumph, but at least he’d cracked the outer layer. It was enough encouragement to move forward with his idea. He whipped out his phone. She watched him with a scowl as he made the call.
“John? Hey! It’s Ty Morgan. I need a table for two. Can you squeeze me in? I’m ten minutes out. Yeah? Great. Thanks buddy. I owe you big.” He stashed the phone and turned off Las Vegas Blvd at The Stratosphere.
“What are you doing?” she asked. “I like zip lining, Ty. I never said anything about jumping off eight hundred foot skyscrapers.”
“That’s not why I brought you here, but if you change your mind after dinner, knock yourself out.”
“Dinner? Oh.”
“Yeah, this place has a revolving restaurant that offers the second best view in the whole Las Vegas Valley.”
“Only the second best? Don’t I rate high enough to get the best?”
“The place with the very best view is a closely guarded secret, Ms. Brandt, but if you can stay on your good behavior tonight maybe I’ll show you that one too.”
“Friends in high places?”
“A few,” he remarked. “Or at least in the right places. I generally try to cultivate more friends than enemies.”
“I know someone who could take a few lesson from that playbook,” Monica said dryly.
“Yeah? Who’s that?”
“My ex-fiancé,” she replied. “He has a great deal of influence in New York but mostly because people are afraid of him.”
“We have plenty of that kind out here too. The city was built by the mob.” He slanted another sidelong glance at her. “I find it hard to believe you were involved with someone like that.”
“He’s not a mobster! Evan’s more of a corporate raider type.”
“Is there really much difference?” Ty grinned back at her as he put the truck in park. “I think you’re splitting hairs.” He actually got a full blown laugh out of her that time. Score another for Ty.
“Maybe so.” Her smile suddenly faded, replaced by a frown.
“Something on your mind?” he asked.
“Yes actually. I got a text from him earlier. He’s is in Vegas.”
“Your ex is here?”
“Yes. Said he wants to see me.”
“He’s not some crazed stalker type, is he?”
“No not a stalker,” she replied. “Just a bullying bastard.”
“You aren’t going to see him, are you?”
“I don’t know yet,” she replied, her gaze narrowing. “Why should you care?”
He shrugged. “It’s your life. You can see whoever you want. I just know ex’s can be a royal pain in the ass.”
“And how would you know that, Mr. I–Don’t-Do-Relationships?”
He reached for his door. “Perhaps you’ve heard the expression once bitten twice shy, Ms. Brandt? Try getting bitten by a rattler. That’ll make you real damn shy.”

 

vvAUTHOR BIO: Victoria Vane is a multiple award-winning romance novelist and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance.

Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website | Facebook | @AuthorVictoriaV | Pinterest | Goodreads

‘A Pinch of Poison’ by Alyssa Maxwell

apop-amSTORY: In post–World War I England, Lady Phoebe Renshaw and her lady’s maid, Eva Huntford, encounter an uncharitable killer at a charity luncheon sponsored by a posh school for girls . . .

Good deeds build good character, and good character is what the Haverleigh School for Young Ladies is all about. Lady Phoebe—with the tireless assistance of Eva—has organized a luncheon at the school to benefit wounded veterans of the Great War, encouraging the students to participate in the cooking and the baking. But too many cooks do more than spoil the broth—they add up to a recipe for disaster when the school’s headmistress, Miss Finch, is poisoned.

The girls at Haverleigh all come from highly respected families, none of whom will countenance their darling daughters being harassed like common criminals by the local police. So Lady Phoebe steps in to handle the wealthy young debutantes with tact and discretion, while Eva cozies up to the staff. Did one of the girls resent the headmistress enough to do her in? Did a teacher bear a grudge? What about the school nurse, clearly shell shocked from her service in the war? No one is above suspicion, not even members of the school’s governing body, some of whom objected to Miss Finch’s “modern” methods.

But Lady Phoebe and Eva will have to sleuth with great stealth—or the cornered killer may try to teach someone else a lethal lesson.

REVIEW: April 1919

Lady Phoebe Renshaw, age 20, granddaughter of the Earl of Wroxly, lost her father in the war 3 years ago. She has two sisters and the three share Eva Huntford who is their lady’s maid. They live with their grandparents, Lord and Lady Wroxly, at Haverleigh House.

Today, Phoebe is giving a talk at the Haverleigh School for Young Ladies, where she got her education. She is expressing her concern about the veterans of the war and their families. The students have been quite helpful in collecting clothing and household goods for families in the Cotswold. It was her idea to form the Relief and Comfort of Veterans and their Families, RCVF, and Phoebe is quite proud of the fact. She feels that she can no longer feel comfortable enjoying a life of ease while others are suffering.

When a commotion erupts in the kitchen of the school. Phoebe intervenes and finds that one of the students, Zara Worthington, a known troublemaker, seems to be in the middle of some controversy. The students are all in charge of fixing the luncheon for the guests. The girls had worked hard on a selection of dessert to serve the attendees.

Miss Finch is the school’s headmistress and Miss Sedgewick is the school’s administrator. Miss Finch is just tasting a madiera cake made by one of the students, when she falls over choking and dies. The school nurse is called to the scene but seems too shocked to immediately provide aid, but finally relents.

Chief Inspector Perkins orders an inquest to find out how and why the woman died. They suspect that she had been poisoned – hopefully accidentally. They wonder if Zara Worthington, who made the dessert, could have poisoned the woman. The cook says that Miss Finch was a caring person and is quite upset at her death.

Phoebe and Eva had been involved in solving a murder mystery not too long ago so they decide to team up again to find the killer.

Miles Brannock who work with the police department is somewhat taken aback at Eva and Phoebe doing their own investigating. He is drawn to Eva and has asked her out in the past but she continually turns him down. She says she is too busy caring for the ladies. But the girls agree to share their findings with him.

Lord Owen Seabright is a wealthy man who owns a textile business. He and Phoebe have known each other for some time and are attracted to one another. The two of them had been involved in solving a previous murder so he is interested in finding out more about Miss Finch’s death.

This was a well-written and involved mystery. I have just touched on some of the characters here but there are others that bring the story together. I read the previous mystery novel in this series but this one interested me much more than the first. I have read all of this author’s novels to date and enjoy her books about Newport. I think others will like her books as well.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

‘The Worthington Wife’ by Sharon Page

tww-sp Lady Julia Hazelton is the most dazzling among 1920s England’s bright, young things. But rather than choosing the thrill of wanton adventure like so many of her contemporaries, Julia shocks society with her bold business aspirations. Determined to usher the cursed Worthington estate into a prosperous, modern new era, and thus preserve her beloved late fiancé’s legacy, the willful Julia tackles her wildest, most unexpected adventure in Cal Carstairs, the reluctant new Earl of Worthington.

The unconventional American artist threatens everything Julia seeks to protect while stirring desires she thought had died in the war. For reasons of his own, Cal has designed the ultimate revenge. Rather than see the estate prosper, he intends to destroy it. But their impulsive marriage—one that secures Julia’s plans as well as Cal’s secrets—proves that passion is ambition’s greatest rival. Unless Cal ends his quest to satisfy his darkest vendetta, he stands to ruin his Worthington wife and all her glittering dreams.

REVIEW: Estate of Brideswell Abbey – 1925

Lady Julia Hazelton, age 26, is arguing with her brother, Nigel, the Duke of Langford. Julia is concerned about the widows and their children left by the war who are being turned out of their homes and she wants to help them.

Nigel is married to Zoe, an American heiress, who invested her fortune to make Brideswell Abbey prosperous again. Now, all of Julia’s family wants to see her married. But after the loss of her fiancé, Julia is not keen on marriage. She prefers to use her dowry to help the war widows. However, Nigel refuses to allow her access to the money.

Julia had been engaged to Anthony Carstairs, heir to Worthington Park, but he had been killed at the Somme. When Anthony’s younger brother died in a car accident, the search began for an heir and now he has been found. He is Cal Brody, an American whose father had been cut off from the family when he married a maid. His full name is Calvin (Cal) Urquhart Patrick Carstairs and will now the the 7th Earl of Worthington.

Lady Carstairs of Worthington Park wants her daughter, Diana, to marry the new Earl. Diana and Julia have been lifelong friends and grew up in their neighboring estates.

When Cal arrives, he is not well-dressed but is quite handsome. He brings with him his anger for the family that ousted his father years ago leaving his family to live in squalor. His disdain for the aristocracy is also evident for he begins firing employees in the house to trim what he sees as waste.

When Cal and Julia meet, they are attracted to one another. When she shares her dream of helping the war widows so they can learn to support themselves, he agrees to help her with the plan.

But who is the real Cal? He has secrets that he doesn’t want known. In addition, the disappearance of some young women in the neighborhood resurfaces and Cal and Julia are determined to find out what happened to them.

I found Julia to be a likable character but Cal and his bitterness begins to grate on the reader. But the story itself is quite good with a murder mystery to be solved as well.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

‘The Earl Takes All’ by Lorraine Heath

teta-lhSTORY: One summer night, Edward Alcott gives in to temptation and kisses Lady Julia Kenney in a dark garden. However, the passion she stirs within him is best left in the shadows as she weds his twin, the Earl of Greyling. But when tragedy strikes, to honor the vow he makes to his dying brother, Edward must pretend to be Greyling until the countess delivers her babe.

After her husband returns from a two-month sojourn, Julia finds him changed. Bolder, more daring, and more wicked—even if he does limit their encounters to kisses. With each passing day, she falls more deeply in love.

For Edward the embers of desire sparked on that long-ago night are quickly rekindled. He yearns to be her husband in truth. But if she discovers his ruse, she will despise him—and English law prevents him from marrying his brother’s widow. Yet he must dare to risk everything and reveal his secrets if he is to truly take all.

REVIEW: I think the author had me at “twins”! I knew this was one of those stories that could have gone either way for me. I was going to either love it or hate it, and I loved it. The reason for it is mostly the hero. He needed some redeeming and the author did an excellent job in redeeming him in my eyes.

Plot wise, this was good and it moved at a fast pace and the story didn’t falter. If there was one thing I would have liked to have been better, that would have been the heroine. I wish I liked her more.

If you’ve already started the series, you’ll love this one. If you’ve not read the previous book, please get it. You’ll be glad you did.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Six Degrees of Scandal’ by Caroline Linden

sdos-clSTORY: Olivia Townsend is in trouble and out of options. Pursued by a desperate man in search of a lost treasure, which she doesn’t have, she’s got only two things in her favor: her late husband’s diary, which she was never meant to see … and the man who was her first-and-only-love. Losing him broke her heart, though she’s been careful to hide it for the last ten years. But when he comes to her aid and vows to stand by her this time, no matter what, she can’t help but hope things will be different this time.

James Weston has blamed himself for letting Olivia down when she needed him years ago, and he will not do it again. Fortunately, his unusual life has equipped him well to outsmart the villain chasing Olivia. Unfortunately, being so near her again threatens to expose every secret in his heart…even those that should stay hidden forever.

REVIEW: Sussex – 1806

Olivia Herbert is the older daughter of Sir Alfred Weston of Kellan Hall. She is sitting in church one day with her parents and younger sister, Daphne, when James Weston winks at her. Caught giggling at him, her mother later scolds her severely. She does not think the Weston family is good enough for her daughter even though they recently purchased nearby Haversack House, a fine home. So when Mrs. Weston calls upon Mrs. Herbert, it is decided that Olivia will be allowed to visit Haversack and James’s sisters.

As the years pass and James leaves for Cambridge to attend school, Olivia spends more time at Haversack where she joins the Weston girls in their lessons, due partly to the dwindling funds of the Herbert family. In addition, Mr Weston has become a very wealthy man.

When James returns home, a grown man, he tells Olivia he has always loved her. After a moment of passion, he promises to marry her. But he leaves the next day saying he will return soon. As his time away lengthens, her parents make her marry Mr. Townsend. When James hears of her marriage, he is distraught and they say goodbye to each other.

Gravesend, Kent – 1822

Now a widow for two years, Olivia is still trying to figure out who her husband had truly been. A secretive man, upon his death she found herself with no money. However, she has a book that was given to her by mistake from her late husband’s solicitors. From what she learns, it shows that he was into something illegal.

James (Jamie) finds Olivia and realizes that she is staying in a small cottage which is all she can afford. It appears that a man named Viscount Simon Clary has wrecked havoc with others and thinks Olivia is trying to hide something that he wants and thinks he is owed.

Soon, Olivia and Jamie join forces to find out what Clary is after. When they realize what the man wants, they are amazed…but not as amazed as they are at their long awaited long for each other.

Here’s my pet peeve. When a book is part of a series and the reader has not read the previous books in the series, there needs to be some type of synopsis about the other books. Better yet, I would like to see authors write each book so that it could be read as a stand-alone. I find it very frustrating to read a book and feel constantly lost. I want to drop the book and forget it. The big reason I don’t is because I like the author and keeping hoping for the best. OK. Rant over.

Connie for b2b