‘Where Hearts Meet’ by Maureen Driscoll

whm mdSTORY: Arabella Warren has been trying to find employment as a governess for several months. But after having to leave numerous households for unsavory reasons, she has found it next to impossible to attain a position in a decent home. Then she sees an advertisement in the newspaper for a widower seeking a wife to help care for his two children. She sets out to convince the man that he needs a governess, not a wife, and that she would be the perfect lady for the job.

Jonathan Graves still grieves the loss of his wife, even as he tries to create a happy home for his five-year-old twins. Knowing he will never love again, he believes the best solution is to enter into a marriage of convenience. His children will have a stepmother and he can go on loving the woman who passed away. But he is not prepared to meet the lady who will change all their lives forever.

BUY LINKS: Amazon

REVIEW: It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of this author and her writing voice. In every story she’s written so far, she has managed to make me laugh and cry and in this one she’s accomplished both.

Jonathan and Arabella were both strong characters. Jonathan at first fought and didn’t know what to do with his feelings for Arabella, because his feelings for his dead wife were still strong,  but little by little, he started to make a place in his life and his heart for this wonderful woman that brought smiles to his children. And soon enough, he and his children just couldn’t see themselves living without her.

I liked the way the author handled this romance by showing us the slow and steady growing of affection, that then blossomed into love between the two. Jonathan’s love for his deceased wife was very touching that it brought tears to my eyes.

There are so many things I liked in this story, but what I loved a lot were the children and their antics, and I found the antagonist to our heroine to be so mean and I couldn’t wait to see how she’d be put in her place.

If you’re in a mood for a sweet and sensual love story with some humor in it, I hope you give this story a try.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author

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‘Never and Always’ by Maureen Driscoll

naa-mdSTORY: Return to the world of the Kellington and Emerson families in this Regency romance collection of three novellas.

Leticia Emerson, Violet Kellington and Anna Emerson have been friends most of their lives. Little did they know a visit from three Eton school boys would change everyone’s lives for the better.

Fifteen-year-old Lord Wesley Addington has just learned he has a half-sister, Lady Leticia Emerson. Over the next decade, Violet Kellington falls in love with the man who only sees her as his sister’s friend.

Lord Robert Carmichael has been all but abandoned by his family due to his pronounced limp, and he doesn’t want to pass on his affliction to a child. Though he is determined not to marry, Letty Emerson sees only the brave man who fought through the pain of his illness and the scorn of his family.

Scholarship student Mark Jones is torn between two worlds: the London stews he was born into and the peers who will never accept him. Anna Emerson, who has an English father and a Native American mother, knows she has found her soul’s mate.

The book contains three intersecting novellas, touching on love, loss and acceptance. It revisits the Kellington and Emerson families, more than a decade after their stories concluded. It is a love letter from the author to the two families which have meant so much to her.

BUY LINKS: Amazon 

REVIEW: If you’re like me and enjoy romance written in series, you know that once the series is done, we are literally going through withdrawal. We hope and hope that the author might one day give us a glimpse of those many couples that we’ve come to know and love through their wonderful prose and plots.

Well, let me tell you! I was one happy camper when this author decided not to wait years and years to let me know what’s been going on in Kellington and Emerson Universe!

Every character introduced to us in this story feels genuine and well rounded and as usual, the dialogue between everyone never lacks wit and humor, for which this author is well known for.

Violet and Wes’s story was fun because of her strong personality.

“Let me see if I understand,” she said, taking three steps toward him and bringing her lemon verbena with her. “You were so… taken with our kiss that you decided it was necessary to put an ocean between us. I am flattered beyond belief. I can only imagine how much further you would have run had we taken things further.”

Robert and Letty’s story was heartbreaking because of who these two were. Both, but especially Robert, had to be strong not only for themselves, but for each other as well. I love flawed characters, and giving Robert an infirmity, made his story even sweeter.

 

“When it had finally become apparent that, despite the hard-earned progress Robert had made, he would never walk without a pronounced limp, his father had called him into his study and said he was ashamed that the historic title would one day be handed down to such a weakling.

“Fear not, my lord,” Robert had said. “Mayhap another illness will kill me before that happens.”

His father had leaned back in his seat and said, “God knows either of your brothers would do a better job of it. At least we would not have to worry that the next generation would be deformed imbeciles.”

Mark and Anna’s story was just as poignant as the other two and you’ll love this young man who grew without the family, yet found one in Kellingtons and Emmersons.

“Most of the boys at Eton were entitled arses. They judged a boy by his accent first and character never.  And while Mark could imitate the speech of the boys of the ton, he had an East London accent.  But even if he’d had their diction, he would never be part of their circles because birthright was the only thing which mattered to them.

Lost in thought, he didn’t see the fight until he was almost on top of it. He heard it first, from the crowd of boys cheering them on.  In London, Mark had seen too many real fights which ended in death and serious injury to have much of a stomach for more blood.  He was about to walk around it when he saw Percy Reynolds, the reigning school bully.  That was hardly surprising since he loved to get his mates to fight for him.  But it was the other boy who drew Mark’s attention.  He was Robert Carmichael, known as Lorton, who had a pronounced limp.  Usually, Mark didn’t care all that much when toffs fought amongst themselves, but since three boys were attacking one who was already at a disadvantage he decided it was time to step in.  He just had to make sure not to hurt the boys too much, because while toffs could hit each other with impunity, Mark realized the very same thing could get him expelled.”

I must say, even though this book is comprised of three novella’s, it never felt like these stories were separate because there was a common thread to all of them and the plot wasn’t rushed which in the end helped me to connect to the main characters and enjoy their happily ever after’s.

By now I’ve come to respect this authors writing voice and I’ve yet to be disappointed by it. Her stories never fail to keep me entertained from the first to the last page.

If you’re a fan, I have no doubt you’ll get this one. If you’ve never read this author, you may as well start with this story of true friendship and love. It’s a ‘must read.’

Melanie for b2b

‘Never Wager Against Love’ by Maureen Driscoll

nwal mdBOOK BLURB: When Arthur Kellington was fifteen, a Romany fortune teller predicted that his true love would be killed. Since then, he’s resolved to never fall in love. He has no trouble keeping his resolution until he meets Vanessa Gans, an agent with the Home Office who is on the trail of two hardened criminals. As he finds himself falling for her, he must keep his distance emotionally as the only way to protect them both.

Despite her illegitimate birth, Vanessa Gans has worked her way up to being one of the Crown’s finest agents. She’s reluctant to accept Arthur’s help initially because she doesn’t want to place him in danger. Then she realizes her heart is truly at risk because there can be no honorable future between them.

REVIEW: This is the third book in Kellington Family series and this time around it’s Arthur’s happily ever after and I loved the way this story developed. What I found out by reading this author is how much I enjoy the dialogue she writes. It flows, drips and enriches every story I’ve read so far.

As for the characters, they were well written, solid and three dimensional. From the start of the book you were able to connect with them and enjoy their journey as they try to unravel the mystery and come to care for each other.

If you are a fan of this author, then this is a must read for you.

If you’ve never read any of Maureen’s books, this is a good way to sample her writing voice because this book is FREE for a limited time only. Enjoy!

BUY LINKS: Amazon

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the author

‘Always Come Home’ by Maureen Driscoll

md achSTORY: From the author of the Kellington series of Regency romances, comes the first novel about the Emerson family.

Colin Emerson, the Earl of Ridgeway, has two unmarried sisters and a mountain of debt incurred by his late father. He has no choice but to marry an heiress. It is most unfortunate, therefore, when he falls in love with a penniless governess.

Ava Conway has been making her way in the world since the death of her father. She takes a position as the governess to Lord Ridgeway’s sisters, but finds her growing attachment to the earl threatens his family’s future.

Bound by honor, torn by love, can Colin do right by his sisters while following his heart?

REVIEW: It’s no news to my followers that I’m a huge fan of this author and have been ever since I read her first book in the Kellington series. I think she is a wonderful storyteller and after Kellington’s I wondered in which direction she would take us next. I didn’t have to wait too long. She is back with a brand new family and I love them as much as I did the Kelington brood.

Watch out Kellington’s, here come the Emersons, starting with Colin, a man who would do anything for his two little sisters and their ancestral home.

This is one of those stories that are sweet and sensual at the same time. The hero and the heroine of this story are good and decent people who are faced with a dilemma of giving in to their feelings or do their duty toward people that they care about.

Ms. Driscoll pens a tale filled with wonderful prose and characters with depth and passion. I loved Colin and Ava’s road to discovery of each other the most, but coming close second was the secondary love of Maude and Stemple, Colin’s acquired ‘servants’.

Ms. Driscoll gave us so many great secondary characters  who I loved a lot, such as Colin’s older sister Rosemary (who it looks like has an eye for his friend Nathaniel, the Marquess of Grayson); his younger sister Leticia was a little hellion and way too perceptive; the American Babcock family that took over their home for a season was hilarious, and Nora and Myra along with the villain Clayton were characters well written as well. Even the cat Jasper had a good role in this story.

If you are a fan of awesome, witty, clever, funny and entertaining dialogue between all the characters in your stories, than this book will make your day. It really will.

Melanie for b2b.

Complimentary copy provided by the author.

‘Never Turn Away’ by Maureen Driscoll

NTA MDSTORY: When Bow Street Inspector Joseph Stapleton is sent to Oxfordshire to help the daughter of an earl, little does he know how the mission will affect him personally.

Lady Evelyn Williams must marry within weeks, but she has never met a gentleman of the ton whom she would even consider as a potential husband. Then she encounters the brave, handsome man from London.

NEVER TURN AWAY is the story of a love that defies society’s expectations. It is the conclusion — for now — of the Kellington series of Regency romances.

REVIEW: I looked forward to this story as much as I dreaded it; it was finally time for our Stapleton, the infamous Bow Street Runner to have his HEA, but it is also to be a last Kellington book; not what I was looking forward to.

I can tell you I loved each story that has been written so far, and even though our Joseph is only an ‘honorary’ brother to the Kellington brood, his story is as well told as all the others.

The plot was well-developed and executed with clues to the villain well hidden; every character that has been introduced to us, helped the main characters come more to life; pace of the story had a steady flow and never lagged; the intimate scenes were spontaneous and sensual and bringing all the Kellington’s in to help this romantic couple out, was a stroke of genius.

But what I loved most of all was the dialogue; no matter if it was spoken or thought by our couple, Kellington’s, Evelyn’s suitors or secondary characters, I merrily chuckled from page to page.

Here is Evelyn’s thought about one of her suitors:

“One well-meaning gentleman had even told her she would be better served if she appeared to be less smart and more agreeable. She had responded by telling him he would be better served with more time spent in a library and less time dispensing asinine advice.”

In a Mrs. Trowbridge’s store [who has two daughters she’d gladly throw into Joseph’s direction], while perusing the merchandise, she spots the coin purse.

“Evelyn wagged the hideous thing about as if it were the crown jewels. “This is a fine piece of artistry. Did Anna or Marida paint the cow?”

“That, Lady Evelyn, is not a cow. It is my mother.”

Evelyn telling Joseph about the men she meets and how they would all like her to hand over her life to them, with her finances.

“I’m a lady, not an idiot.”

Here’s Lizzie talking to all the Killington’s:

“When do men ever do the right thing when it comes to romance?” asked Lizzie.

“What about when I offered to marry you?”

“You are only proving my point, albeit wholly unintentionally. That was the most bloodless proposal I have ever heard. You offered to take Liam’s damaged sister off his hands, as if offering to take in a troublesome cur.”

“There were similarities,” said Ned.

“And you, nodcock, were unable to find the woman you loved for seven long years. And you, Arthur, almost lost Vanessa because you were afraid of a Romany prophesy.”

“What about me?” asked Hal.

“If I were to list your mistakes, we would be here all day. The point is we must find a way to bring Evelyn and Joseph together and, if you insist, I suppose we can leave poison and drugging out of it.”

Between the servants of all these households, and the Kellington’s, our couple had no chance in hell of staying apart.

Bottom line, this was a wonderful ending to a wonderful series. I loved every moment spent with all the characters, from little Vi and her parents, Ned and Jane; Marcus and Lizzie; Arthur and Vanessa; Hal and Melanie; Liam and Rosalind, and now Joseph and his Evelyn, and I’ll be sure to visit with them often in the years to come.

Melanie for b2b

*Book provided by the author.

‘Never Deny Your Heart’ by Maureen Driscoll

NDYH MDSTORY: William (Liam) Kellington, the Duke of Lynwood, loves Rosalind Carson, the sister of an impoverished viscount. But while Lynwood was still coming to terms with his feelings — dukes can be particularly dim-witted when it comes to love — Rosalind’s brother sold her into a lucrative betrothal to another nobleman. Liam vows to save Rosalind from a marriage she does not want, while also convincing her to become the Duchess of Lynwood.

The lady, however, is not one to wait to be rescued.

Rosalind has been in love with William Kellington much of her life. And it has been a rather one-sided romance. When her brother promises her to a man five decades her senior, Rosalind must find a way to live the life she wants and not the one that has been forced upon her.

REVIEW: Has it been almost two years since I read ‘Never A Mistress, No Longer A Maid’, the first in Kellington romance series? Well it must be, but the time has passed quickly as Ms. Driscoll kept giving me ‘Never Miss A Chance’, ‘Never Wager Against Love’ and ‘Never Run From Love’ and here comes much anticipated ‘Never Deny Your Heart’ the fifth book and Liam’s story. Oh and how sweet it is! Ms. Driscoll made Liam work hard for his happily ever after and had him sweat [and by default me as well!].

It was such a pure, unadulterated pleasure to finally find out what makes this man tick and find out what some of his deepest desires are! Throughout the series I kept an eye on this man who spent his early years of adulthood raising his siblings, making sure they are taken care of and safe, and I just knew that his story would be special, and it was.

Miss Rosalind Carson could not have been more perfect as his better half! She was a female to reckon with and as much as she tried to do the right thing, which was to submit and follow her families orders and do her duty, when faced with the brutal reality, this woman decides to take her life into her own hands and not depend on no one but herself. I appreciated her ‘chutzpah’ and squirmed as His Grace did while she made him jump through some hoops.

By the time their story ended, we had caught up with all the Kellington brood and it was so good to see them all one more time. I can’t tell you how much I loved each book in this series and highly recommend you read them in order because what this author does best is the characterization of them, of their deep love for each other, and you can’t help but feel one of them.

*Book provided by the author.