Spotlight on Manda Collins and ‘Ready Set Rogue’

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FIVE QUESTIONS WITH MANDA COLLINS

1) What is your coolest memory?

Seeing Jeremy Northam on stage at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1994 in the role of Berowne in Shakespeare’s Love’s Labors Lost. By far the most exciting theatrical performance I’ve ever seen and still one of my most treasured memories of my college years.

2) What’s the furthest destination you traveled to and was it worth it?

That would be the Isle of Wight off the coast of England. It was absolutely worth it—gorgeous scenery, with seascapes and lovely farmland, and Queen Victoria’s vacation home, Osborne House, which was fascinating and a far cry from what your average person would consider a vacation place! Alfred Lord Tennyson also had a house there. And there was also a house museum dedicated to the pioneering female photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron. It was wonderful and I’ve love to be able to stay there for more than a few days.

3) What’s the best thing ever you’ve “burrowed” from a hotel?

Several years ago, the Marriot hotels, where the RWA Conferences were held, had the best smelling citrusy hand lotion as part of their guest kits. I keep one in my purse for when I need a little aromatherapy on the go.

4) Whose poster did you have on your wall when you were a kid?

I wasn’t really a poster on the wall sort of kid, but I did have a Les Miserable tee-shirt that I wore until it fell apart.

5) What is the worst smell in the world?

Spoiled milk.

rsr-mcBOOK BLURB: Who will write the book of love?

When scholarly Miss Ivy Wareham receives word that she’s one of four young ladies who have inherited Lady Celeste Beauchamp’s estate with a magnificent private library, she packs her trunks straightaway. Unfortunately, Lady Celeste’s nephew, the rakish Quill Beauchamp, Marquess of Kerr, is determined to interrupt her studies one way or another…

Bequeathing Beauchamp House to four bluestockings—no matter how lovely they are to look at—is a travesty, and Quill simply won’t have it. But Lady Celeste’s death is not quite as straightforward as it first seemed…and if Quill hopes to solve the mystery behind her demise, he’ll need Ivy’s help. Along the way, he is surprised to learn that bookish Ivy stirs a passion and longing that he has never known. This rogue believes he’s finally met his match—but can Quill convince clever, skeptical Ivy that his love is no fiction?

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TEASER:

The Marquess of Kerr was having a very bad day.

As if breaking an axle on his ancient family traveling carriage on the most deserted portion of the drive from London to the south coast hadn’t been inconvenience enough, there was also the fact that his favorite horse was miles back, tied behind the coach carrying his baggage and valet. To compound his situation, after instructing the coachman and outriders to wait for help, he’d set out on foot for the coaching inn some three miles up the road only for the skies to open up and release a deluge of rain not felt on the Earth since the great flood, he was convinced.

If it hadn’t been for a chance meeting with his cousin the day before, he’d not have been traveling to the downs at all. But the news that his late aunt Celeste had done what she’d always threatened had meant beating a hasty path to her manor house near the village of Little Southwick before any of her hangers on arrived. At least that had been the plan when he set out. At this rate all four of the harpies would have descended upon Beauchamp House before he had a chance to so much as hide the silver.

Thus it was that when he reached the Pheasant and Fox he was not only wet, muddy and exhausted, he was also hungry. Which, as his old nanny could attest, made for a very grouchy Torquil, indeed.

Despite the rain, the inn yard was bustling with activity, as the bright yellow mail coach which had just arrived released its passengers into the already crowded doorway of the hostelry.

Cursing beneath his breath, Quill elbowed his way through the crowd until the quality of his garments seemed to register with them and despite their own fatigue, the passengers began to defer to him. All save one.

Had he been in a better mood, he might have noticed the dark haired lady’s curvy figure or her warm brown eyes behind her spectacles. But he was too annoyed by her blatant disregard for him as she shoved in front of him carrying a small, but obviously heavy trunk. And as if that weren’t enough, she had the bad manners to drop the aforementioned trunk directly onto his booted foot as he attempted to slip around her.

“Hell and the devil!” he cursed as the weighty box landed. Despite the thickness of his boots, they were no match for whatever it was she traveled with.

“Oh dear,” the woman said, crouching at once to clutch the handles of the offending thing. “I am so sorry. I should have waited for the coachman, but I was so afraid to leave them, you see. They’re quite valuable.”

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But when she heaved on the trunk, it was obvious that she’d need a bit of help lifting it. Wordlessly, Quill pushed away her hand that gripped the handle and took both sides in his own grasp and lifted it.

“What are you carrying in this, madam?” he asked as he jostled it up close to his chest. “It feels as if you’ve weighted it with gold bars.”

It was only then that he took a moment to really look at her. And was intrigued despite his annoyance. She really was quite pretty despite the spectacles and the obviously dated gown.

Before she could respond to his question, however, the innkeeper rushed over. “My lord, I am so sorry you were accosted by this…” he waved his hand in the direction of the lady, as if unable to come up with a suitable description for her, finally settling upon, “person. I’ll have our finest room made up for you at once. Be gone with you, madam. His lordship has no wish to be bothered by the likes of you.”

Wordlessly he gestured to a footman, who rushed forward to take the trunk from Quill, wincing as he did so.

“There’s no need for rudeness, Stepney,” Quill chastised the innkeeper. “It was an accident, nothing more. Please have your man carry the lady’s trunk wherever she has need to take it.”

“Oh that is too kind of you, my lord,” the young woman said with a bright smile. “I would have left them in the coach, but one hears such tales about the mail-coach and the thievery that takes place even amongst the passengers. I simply could not risk them. My books are so necessary to my work, you understand.”

As she spoke, Quill noticed that her eyes were not actually brown behind the lenses of her spectacles but hazel. And at her confession something clicked into place. Of course. She was a governess. That would explain the spectacles and the books. She was likely on her way to a new position.

Before he could respond, however, Stepney bowed deeply and ignored the governess, “Very good, my lord. I’ll see to it at once. Now, if you’ll follow me I’ll see you to your room.”

And since the young woman was already directing the footman into the taproom where she was doubtless going to have a meal before she joined the rest of the passengers on the mail-coach again, he gave her one last look, then followed Stepney up the stairs.

Grateful he’d thought to bring a small bag with him when he left the traveling chaise, Quill was soon bathed and wearing a fresh change of clothes. If his cravat wasn’t as skillfully tied as his valet might have managed, then the clientele of the Pheasant and Fox would simply have to make do. Deciding to dine downstairs in the taproom rather than alone in his room, he was nearly at the bottom of the stairs when he heard a feminine shout. A premonition had him racing the rest of the way down and hurrying into the dining room which took up the entire width of the building. Though it was still daylight, the lack of windows made for a dimly lit room, the only light source coming from the lamps on the tables and in sconces on the walls.

But it wasn’t too dark for him to see the little governess standing defiantly before a great lummox of a man who clutched a hand against his cheek. “I’ll no’ take tha’ from the likes o’ye,” the man growled, launching himself forward and gripping the lady by her upper arms. “Who d’ye think y’are?”

In the tradition of all bystanders everywhere the rest of the taproom seemed to settle in for a spectacle. At least that’s how it seemed to Quill, who pushed his way forward, and snapped, “Unhand the lady at once, sir.”

REVIEW: Torquil (Quill) Beauchamp, the Marquess of Kerr is traveling from London to the southern coast to keep some women from taking everything from his late Aunt Celeste’s home, Beauchamp House. During his journey, his coach breaks down and he gets caught in a deluge of rain on his way to an Inn.

At the Inn, a pretty lady drops a trunk full of books at his feet. While she is obviously impoverished, he assumes she is a governess traveling to her job But when she is accosted by a ruffian, he steps in and defends her. He soon finds she is not a governess but a scholar.

Miss Aphrodite (Ivy) Wareham introduces herself and Quill soon learns she is one of the women heading to Beauchamp House. It appears that Aunt Celeste had always been interested in learning about many things and admired young women who were scholars in different areas. When Celeste died, she left her home to 4 young women scholars. The plan is a competition among the 4 women scholars who much complete a project within a year that is significant to the work of female scholars and artists. The winner will inherit Beauchamp House.

Quill is quite angry about this and lets Ivy know that he thinks it is wrong and he won’t allow it. He plans to do all he can to keep Ivy and the other young women out of the House.

Upon arrival at the House, Quill is surprised to find Ivy welcomed by Miss Sophia Hastings and her sister, Miss emma Hastings, along with Lady Daphne Forsythe. All of the women are scholars and believe they are heirs of Celeste. Quill’s cousin, Lady Serena Fanning, will stay at the House during that time. Arguably, Serena has spent more time sigh Celeste than Quill has and she feels she knows what her aunt would have wanted for the House. Thus, Quill finds he has no legal say in the matter.

When Ivy settles in for her first night in the House, she discovers a letter to her from the late Aunt Celeste saying she fears someone is trying to kill her and she trusts Ivy to find out who her murderer is. Soon, Ivy and Quill form a sort of truce so both of them can discover how his aunt died. As they work together, they become attracted to one another which soon turns to love. But danger lurks as they discover that actually two people have been murdered. Whom will be next?

I admit that I had a hard time deciding how to rate this book. Some of the story was good, although a bit far-fetched at times, and I found I was left with some unanswered questions. However, I feel that the book is meant to be a bit light-hearted so I decided to be kind in my rating. Manda Collins is a new-to-me author and I am looking forward to trying more of her novels.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

manda-collinsAUTHOR BIO: Manda Collins is the author of The Lords of Anarchy series, which includes Good Earl Gone Bad and A Good Rake is Hard to Find, as well as several other Regency-set romances.

She spent her teen years wishing she’d been born a couple of centuries earlier, preferably in the English countryside. Time travel being what it is, she resigned herself to life with electricity and indoor plumbing, and read lots of books. When she’s not writing, she’s helping other people use books, as an academic librarian.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter /

‘The Hunter’ by Kerrigan Byrne

th-kbSTORY: They’re rebels, scoundrels, and blackguards—dark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the proper Victorian-era ladies who love them, a hint of danger only makes their hearts beat faster…

A scandalous proposal.

As one of London’t most elite hunters, Christopher Argent never misses his mark and always gets his man. But when his latest target turns out to be a woman—the popular, and stunningly beautiful, actress Millie LeCour—it turns his whole world upside-down. Overwhelmed by the heat that simmers between them, Christopher can’t complete his mission. On the contrary, he’ll do anything to save Millie’s life—even if it means risking his own…

A dangerous passion…

When she learns what Christopher was hired to do, Millie is torn between the fear in her heart and the fire in her soul. Putting herself in this dangerous man’s arms may be her only path to safety—but giving in to her desire may be the deadliest mistake she’s ever made. With both of their lives in jeopardy, Millie and Christopher must learn to trust the real feelings they’re hiding—to find the true love they’re looking for…

REVIEW: In this second book of the new Kerrigan Byrne’s series Victorian Rebels, we meet an unlikely hero that was so broken down, I was sure he would never be redeemed. Boy, was I wrong!

With a heroine like Millie, I should have known this man had no chance but to fall for her. 

From the prologue to the last page, this was a book I just couldn’t let go off. It is so well written and paced that there was no room for boredom. And the love scenes were so sensual, you may just need a cold shower! No joke!

I also loved catching up with Dorian and Farah, hero and heroine from the first book. But what brought me to tears (besides the Prologue) was Millie’s son, Jakub. The author even made this character complex and interesting. I fell in love with him from the moment he showed up.

At this point, I am so vested into this series that I’m gobbling it all up! My recommendation is GET IT! You’ll be glad you did 🙂

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Four Weddings and a Sixpence: An Anthology

fwaas-eb-lle-ssSTORY: Beloved authors Julia Quinn, Elizabeth Boyle, Laura Lee Guhrke, and Stefanie Sloane deliver the stories of four friends from Madame Rochambeaux’s Gentle School for Girls who find an old sixpence in their bedchamber and decide that it will be the lucky coin for each of their weddings…

“Something Old”
Julia Quinn’s prologue introduces her heroine Beatrice Heywood and the premise for Four Weddings and a Sixpence.

“Something New”
In Stefanie Sloane’s unforgettable story, an ever-vigilant guardian decrees that Anne Brabourne must marry by her twenty-first birthday. But love finds her in the most unexpected of ways.

“Something Borrowed”
Elizabeth Boyle tells the tale of Cordelia Padley, who has invented a betrothed to keep her family from pestering her to wed. Now she’ll need to borrow one to convince them she’s found her true love.

“Something Blue”
In Laura Lee Guhrke’s story, unlucky Lady Elinor Daventry has her sixpence stolen from her and must convince the rake who pilfered the coin to return it in time for her own wedding.

“… and a Sixpence in Her Shoe”
Julia Quinn finishes with the story of Beatrice Heywood, who never believed that the sixpence was anything but a tarnished old coin—until it led all of her friends to true love. But her faith in the coin is tested when it keeps sending her to the wrong man!

REVIEW: “Something Old” – Julia Quinn

Reading – 1818

Madame Rochambeaux’s Gentle School for Girls offers a very relaxed curriculum for its students. Even though her French name sounds quite posh, Madame’s real name is Miss Puddleford and she is not French at all.

Miss Beatrice (Bea) Heywood has been boarding at the school since the age of 8. Personally. she wishes the young ladies were taught more than they are.

Bea’s friend, Miss Cordelia Padley, has been at the school since the age of 9. They share a room.

A few years later, they are joined by Lady Elinor (Ellie) Daventry, the daughter of an Earl, who is also fluent in French.

Lastly, the girls are joined by Miss Anne Brabourne.

One day while in their room, they find an old coin in Anne’s mattress. It turns out to be a very old sixpence coin. The girls decide that Anne should save the coin to put in her shoe on her wedding day which is supposed to bless the marriage with wealth. They decide that, taking turns, they will put the lucky coin in their shoe until they find their own true love.

“Something New” – Stefanie Sloane

Grosvenor Square – 10 years later

Miss Anne Brabourne’s quest for a husband has not been easy. It has been five years since her debut. She wears her lucky sixpence in a locket around her neck hoping it will bring her a husband. Weary from yet another ball she is attending, Anne decides to search to a quiet room for a break from the people.

When she discovers what appears to be an empty room, she finds a friendly mastiff and pours out her troubles to him. But to her embarrassment, she hears a man laugh from the corner of the room and he turns out to be handsome Rhys Alexander Hamilton, Duke of Dorset. As they chat, they immediately see the humor and honesty they both share.

When they meet again, Rhys agrees to help Anne find a husband. But as Anne meets more men, Rhys seems to find fault with all of them. Are these men really that unsuitable or is there another reason Rhys does not want to match her up with another man?

“Something Borrowed” – Elizabeth Boyle

London

Miss Cordelia Padley has just received the lucky sixpence from her friend, Anne, who has found her true love and now it is time for Cordelia to find hers.

Cordelia is sorting through the financial debts her father had left when he died He had made some bad investments. After his wife died, he left Cordelia at Madame Rochambeaux’s school and fled to India.

Cordelia has met some prospects for a husband but none truly appeal to her. When she sees her childhood friend, Winston Christopher (Kipp) Talcott, the fourteenth Earl of Thornton, he is on the verge of proposing to Miss Holt whose father is a very wealthy but untitled man. Miss Holt’s dowry would be a considerable help in saving his estate. However, Miss Holt is a beautiful but cold and calculating young woman who does not appeal to him at all.

As Cordelia and Kipp spend time together, they reminisce about all the fun they had as kids and the dreams and plans they had made. But when something comes up and Cordelia asks Kipp to accompany her and act as her fiancé, he is torn between wanting to be with her and knowing the needs the money from a marriage to Miss Holt.

“Something Blue” – Laura Lee Guhrke

Berkshire

Lawrence Blackthorne, friend of the Earl of Thornton, is attending a wedding. Lawrence is quite interested in Lady Elinor (Ellie) Daventry, a friend of the bride. As it happens, Lawrence has been building a case against Ellie’s father for some shady things in which he had been involved.

Ellie is anxious to get back home today as Viscount Bluestone is dining with her father this evening and she wishes to be there. She is hoping he may offer to marry her, but her friends do not think he is the one for her. But Ellie knows that marrying into the powerful family of the viscount can save her father from ruin for she loves her father very much. She knows that her father had committed some war crimes and she hopes that marriage to the viscount can help keep her father from being convicted.

However, Lawrence thinks otherwise as he eavesdrops on the young ladies’ conversation. There had been a time when Ellie was in love with Lawrence, but his vendetta against her father has turned her love to hate.

“…and a Sixpence in her Shoe” – Julia Quinn

Now it is time for Miss Beatrice (Bea) Heywood to gain possession of the sixpence so she puts the lucky charm in her shoe, even though she says she does not want to marry. Later that week as she is walking in Oxfordshire, she realizes with a coin in one’s shoe it is not always comfortable and ends up bumping into a gentleman.

Lord Frederick Grey-Osbourne had lost an eye. He is a teacher at the local university and he and Ellie both have an avid interest in astronomy. As Frederick and Ellie get to know one another better, she learns that he gets headaches and wonders if it is bright light that causes them. The scientific reason for her opinion is something that interests Bea. After a time, their intelligent minds mesh into happiness.

Now, what to do with the lucky sixpence?

I am not a huge fan of anthologies but when a group of good authors writes one, how can I not read it? The authors did a good job of knitting their stories together, however, I can honestly say that the one I enjoyed the most is “Something New” by Stefanie Sloane. If you like anthologies and are a fan of these authors, be sure to pick up this book.

Connie for b2b

‘Long May She Reign’ by Rhiannon Thomas

lmsr-rtSTORY: The Girl of Fire and Thorns meets The Queen of the Tearling in this thrilling fantasy standalone about one girl’s unexpected rise to power.

Freya was never meant be queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne.

Freya may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, Freya knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom – and her life.

Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisors. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her, but also wanted more power for himself.

As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown.

REVIEW: I’ve never read a YA story before and thought to sample one with this story and author I’ve never read as well.

What I found in it was intriguing, at times entertaining and part of the time slow moving, but all in all, not bad.

I enjoyed the young heroine’s character a lot and most of the characters in the tale, but I also liked the prose as well as the mythical Kingdom, but if you’re looking for complex within the pages of this book, you’ll not find it. But then again, sometimes less complexity within the pages is good. Once in a while, lighthearted stories can give you just as much satisfaction as the complex, heavy stories.

In the end, I do recommended for its mystery and many interesting and entertaining characters.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Honor Redeemed’ by Christine Johnson

hrcjSTORY: Two Men Vie for Her Affection–Survival Will Depend on Choosing the Right One

Two years ago, Prosperity Jones waved farewell to her beloved David as the army sent him to faraway Key West. Now with her parents gone, she has but one prospect for the future: make the dangerous journey from Nantucket to Key West to reunite with David and secure a happier life. Arriving penniless in the South, Prosperity is dismayed to find David married to someone else.

Scrambling to survive and nursing a broken heart, she gains the friendship–and the affection–of a kind doctor. Could he be the answer to her loneliness? Or will her life be upended by circumstance yet again?

With a deft hand, Christine Johnson fills the reader’s senses with the sights, sounds, and smells of Key West in this heartwarming story of honor lost, honor redeemed, and a love forged in adversity.

REVIEW: Nantucket Island – 1852

Prosperity Anne Jones has just buried her mother. Six years ago, she lost her father to the seas. She has no family other than her mother’s sister whom she had once met when she was small. Wondering what she will do now, she thinks of David Latham, a Lieutenant and engineer in the Army Corps, whom she had agreed to marry two years ago before he left. Now that he is in the Army in Key West, it will be years before he returns. A regular letter writer, it has been awhile since she has heard from him. Her aunt says that Prosperity cannot stay with her, but gives her some money to help her find a job. That is when Prosperity decides to travel to Key West.

Key West – 1852

Lt. David Latham is trying to write a letter to Prosperity to tell her how he had been pulled into marriage via alcohol to Aileen Carlyle and she is pregnant with another man’s child. He had drunk too much and when he woke the next morning, he found himself married to the woman. Not used to drinking, he did so because his men taunted him into it. In Key West, he is working on constructing Fort Zachary Taylor.

When Prosperity arrives at the Fort, she finds that David is married and his wife is expecting a child. Prosperity meets a kind woman and her husband, Elizabeth and Rourke, who quickly befriend her and offer her a place to stay with them. She gets a job as a laundress at the local hospital. She soon meets a doctor, some years older than she, who enjoys walking her to and from the hospital. They become friends, but that is all she wants from the relationship.

The story follows David and Aileen and the events in their lives. In addition, we follow Prosperity and how she progresses living in Key West.

This is a nice story that keeps the reader’s interest to find out what will happen in the end.

Connie for b2b

‘Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles’ by Bernard Cornwell

w-bcSTORY: ‘Some battles change nothing. Waterloo changed almost everything.’

On the 18th June, 1815 the armies of France, Britain and Prussia descended upon a quiet valley south of Brussels. In the previous three days the French army had beaten the British at Quatre-Bras and the Prussians at Ligny. The Allies were in retreat. The blood-soaked battle of Waterloo would become a landmark in European history, to be examined over and again, not least because until the evening of the 18th, the French army was close to prevailing on the battlefield.

Now, brought to life by the celebrated novelist Bernard Cornwell, this is the chronicle of the four days leading up to the actual battle and a thrilling hour-by-hour account of that fateful day. In his first work of non-fiction, Cornwell combines his storytelling skills with a meticulously researched history to give a riveting account of every dramatic moment, from Napoleon’s escape from Elba to the smoke and gore of the battlefields.

Through letters and diaries he also sheds new light on the private thoughts of Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington, as well as the ordinary officers and soldiers. Published to coincide with the bicentenary in 2015, Waterloo is a tense and gripping story of heroism and tragedy – and of the final battle that determined the fate of Europe.

REVIEW: If you’ve ever read or seen a “War and Peace” not Piece. :), you’ll understand why I had to read this story. This was such a great retelling of a famous battle and it shone the light not just on famous names that fought it but some infamous as well.

It was pure genius to bring us the recounting of this battle through multiple view points, using real words of the soldiers on all sides of the war, through their correspondence. The author literally painted the carnage of this battle in so vivid of detail that it brought tears to my eyes. I highly recommended to all that are interested to know in what it took to pull the victory over Napoleon.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Someone to Love’ by Mary Balogh

stl-mbSTORY: Humphrey Westcott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving behind a fortune that will forever alter the lives of everyone in his family—including the daughter no one knew he had…

Anna Snow grew up in an orphanage in Bath knowing nothing of the family she came from. Now she discovers that the late Earl of Riverdale was her father and that she has inherited his fortune. She is also overjoyed to learn she has siblings. However, they want nothing to do with her or her attempts to share her new wealth. But the new earl’s guardian is interested in Anna…

Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby, keeps others at a distance. Yet something prompts him to aid Anna in her transition from orphan to lady. As London society and her newfound relatives threaten to overwhelm Anna, Avery steps in to rescue her and finds himself vulnerable to feelings and desires he has hidden so well and for so long.

REVIEW: The Earl of Riverdale has died without a will. His son, Harry Westcott, has not quite reached his majority which necessitates that Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby, become his guardian until he reaches age 21. Harry is a handsome young man and now he will be extremely wealthy. He appears to understand his responsibilities and is prepared to follow through with them.

It is soon discovered that the late Earl had an illegitimate daughter who he has always supported. The Earl’s widow feels that the girl should be contacted and told her father has passed away and be given a final settlement. The woman is doing this not because she cares for the girl but because she does not want her children to know about their father’s by-blow.

Anna Snow has lived at an orphanage since she was 4-years-old. She is now 25. She is still at the orphanage were she works as a housemother, helps the matron, Miss Ford, and also teaches. While she has had a few proposals, Anna has turned them down. After her mother died, she went to live with her grandparents for a few years before he father came and took her away.

When Anna receives a letter asking her to go to London to meet with a solicitor, she is quite nervous. It turns out that her mother was still married to the late Earl when she died which makes her his heir and his other children are illegitimate. She is now a very rich woman.

As the news settles in, she is not surprised at the reaction from her brother and sisters to her. She is so happy to find that she has siblings and she wants them to stay in the home with her. However, their pride will not allow it and they refuse.

One of her new-found aunts is determined to help get her properly attired and to teach her to interact with the ton.

Avery is a small man and very handsome. He dresses impeccably and his mannerisms are cool and very proper. As a Duke, he is quite sought after by the young ladies but has not found the woman he cares to marry.

As Anna and Avery get to know one another, he is taken with her genuineness and lack of guile. When Anna learns that he father had lied to her grandparents and they thought she had died, she is sad. However, to find that they are still alive makes her so happy. Se wants to see them. By then, Anna and Avery have decided to marry and travel together to visit her grandparents.

There is so much more to this story. We find what a good soul Anna is and Avery is a lot deeper than anyone knows. His own secrets that he finally shares with Anna end up making them the perfect couple.

This is another perfectly written novel by Mary Balogh. She is an author who will go down in history for her incredible writing. I highly recommend this book. It is the first novel of a series and I look forward to the next book.

Connie for b2b