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Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand
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Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  1,336 ratings  ·  190 reviews
After her husband’s death, Roxanna Drew is left with more beauty than fortune. Now, desperate to escape the perils of her past life, she must learn to trust the dashing Lord Winn—a broken man with a past of his own. This award-winning romance by bestselling author Carla Kelly is tenderly written and sure to find a place in your heart.
368 pages
Published September 11th 2012 by Cedar Fort, Inc. (first published December 1st 1994)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,056)
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Kathy
I really liked this one. I have to say, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the Carla Kelly books that have been recently published. I liked that this one was not your typical regency. It takes place entirely in the country, which was a nice change of pace. Ms. Kelly certainly knows how to tell a story, you quickly get sucked in and the characters become real. Roxanna was a really likable lead, very strong. Even though she may put off bad news, she always figures out how to take care of things. ...more
Carrie
4.5*

What a pleasure it is to read such a well-written book. Like many of Kelly's books, Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand has a serious story along with enough sweetness and fun to make you smile. Winn and Roxanna are such great characters, and their conversations are so natural and believable. In fact, the dialogue throughout the book is well done. There are a few characters that are less well developed, but even those are entertaining. And while I am not a fan of children in romance novels, Helen and F
...more
Frezanda
This is one of the best romance I've ever read. It's so well written. It's quite surprising that I've never heard of Carla Kelly before. Every characters is outstandingly described from Roxanna, Winn, the children: Helen and Felicity, even the deceased husband, Anthony. Every characters just pops out of the book and come to life. They are so real.

It's already six month that her beloved husband died and now Roxanna was on the road of recovery to continue her life. With the new vicar coming, she a
...more
Katrina Passick Lumsden
I'll preface this with the disclaimer that I've read Carla Kelly's work before, and while I really enjoyed The Lady's Companion, Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand fell pretty far short of the mark. Her setup was good, the premise was really good, her dialogue's passable and I even enjoyed the kids in the story, even if the youngest did kind of cross the line into sickeningly cute territory.

My problem is that Kelly has a real problem writing any negativity. I get that these books are written as an escape
...more
MRB
It was sweet, it was touching, it was warm. The hero was a truly good, kind man. I'm a big fan of sweetness and warmth, and I adore kindly heroes who I'd genuinely adore in real life. So far, so good, right?! (Can you feel the looming 'but'...?!) I should also add that I devoured this book with uncharacteristic quickness, and it was on balance my favorite of the Carla Kelly novels I've read.

...And yet somehow I'm still left realizing that Carla Kelly just isn't for me. I completely understand w
...more
Diane Farr
This gorgeous little tear-jerker has restored my faith in the genre. I realize it was written years ago, but the fact that it is still being snapped up by new readers tells me that there is still a market out there, a readership that is hungry for heartfelt, well-written, realistic, tug-at-the-heartstrings romance novels. Containing no graphic, improbable sex scenes, no chasing of spies or solving of convoluted mysteries, no smugglers, pirates, characters in disguise, nor any of the other frenet ...more
Katie Watkins
When young Mrs. Drew is widowed and left with two young daughters, it's up to her to provide for them. She works out a situation where she will live in and remodel the dower house. The owner is back from war and having been divorced, isn't very welcome in society. Winn makes a stop to check on the property and becomes enchanted with the widow and her girls. When her brother-in-law makes a move to take the girls from her, a marriage of convenience results.

I thought it was a very fun book with a g
...more
Toni
WOW!!! I loved this book! If there were 6 stars, this book would be that! Carla Kelly did herself proud with this one. She immediately pulls you into Roxie's world and you can't leave until it's finished. A new favorite for me.
Ilze
Carla Kelly's "Mrs Drew Plays Her Hand"
Another superb Traditional Regency from Carla Kelly. The hero is to die for. The desperate trip to Gretna Green, crossing the Pennines into Scotland in the middle of winter, to evade the heroine's evil brother-in-law, is a true nail-biter. I would have preferred that the brother-in-law get more of a comeuppance for his threats to the heroine, but I guess the hero figured that the end result from the threats was so satisfying for him that he didn't need to
...more
Susan
Excellent story! I loved this book so much that I found myself drawing out the reading experience by reading a bit and putting it down, only to be anxious to get reading again.

This is a typical regency story - almost. What I thought would happen throughout the book, because of a formula many regency author's follow, didn't. It was constantly surprising me. It was the most realistic story I've read in that no really out-there things ever happened just for the sake of drama.

The heroine was a joy i
...more
Jacob Proffitt
What a fantastic discovery! I was visiting with a relative I don't see very often and the topic of books came up (as often happens with me. I don't know why.). When asked my favorite genre, I mentioned that I'd been reading a lot of romance, lately, but that I'm not happy with the erotic bent that much of the genre has taken. No sooner are the words out of my mouth than I'm being presented with a copy of a very fine book written by a local author.

Yeah, my expectations weren't high, either.

Inappr
...more
Autumn
*3.5
*Possible Spoiler Alerts*
Carla Kelly is a wonderful writer and a gifted story teller. I just wish I could turn my brain off a little more when I read books of hers. Perhaps as an Austen fan I am simply setting the bar too high?
I don't know. There were several times I was just down right uncomfortable in this book. I mean, was I the only one uncomfortable with how often and how casually Ms. Kelly's plot threw little girls together alone with a man they barely knew? Little girl spends the nigh
...more
Deborah
Don't let the three stars fool you. I enjoyed this book. I liked the characters and how strong Roxie was.

There was just something that was a little off for me. It was to wordy. I also just thought that Winne should of Maned up and told her how he felt. I understand she was in mourning but still. also I believe in forgiveness but I thought wow- to that brother in law. Winne is a better man then I. I would not want my spouse with two hundred feet of him. I also would of liked a better declaration
...more
Miranda Davis
Perhaps, Carla Kelly fans fall into one of two camps, the "I liked Reforming Lord Ragsdale best" camp and the "I liked Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand best" camp. I'm in the ILRLRB camp. I read three or four, one after the other, in a CK orgy but even this did not displace RLR from its top spot for me.

No one who loves Regency romances or Carla Kelly will regret reading this story. Best part, you get to decide which you like best of all, if it's possible to choose. Enjoy this, I did.
Kristina
Rating: 3.5 stars.

Carla Kelly's regency romances are delightful reads. She is a gifted story teller and I always find her characters interesting and delightfully witty.

Mrs Roxanna Drew is a vicar's widow with two young daughters Helen and Felicity. Still in mourning for her husband, his older brother, the lewd Lord Whitcomb asks her to move into his home and take Roxanna for his mistress. She rejects him and he goes to great lengths to coerce her into having his way.

Roxanna rents a run down dow
...more
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
Ooh, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this book! It was the perfect sweet romance and it made me happy. I've had the pleasure of reading and reviewing several books lately by Carla Kelly and I'm really loving her work. I believe this book is a re-release so many of you might have already read this book with a different cover.

I happen to love this cover. I think it's so pretty and it really captures the feel of the book.

It was so easy to fall in love with Roxanna and her girls. They were chara
...more
Tracy
I read this when it was first published and I've re-read it about 5 times since. It's such a comforting read to me. It's unusual for a regency, in that there are no balls, no ton, no scenes set in London. Instead, the setting is very homey, with the widowed Roxanne trying to forge a new life for herself and her two young daughters. The hero is divorced and thinks he is hardened against love, but really, he is just aching for a loving wife and a family. Roxy is sensible, Fletch is charming, the c ...more
Connie Fischer
Roxanna Drew has been left a widow with two little girls, after the long and agonizing illness of her vicar husband. Trying to escape the unwanted attentions of her brother-in-law, she finds a rather dilapidated dower house she is able to rent for ten pounds a year. She agrees to do the work of fixing up the place as part of her rent. The owner of the home is Lord Winn who has just returned from the war. A divorced and childless man, he is now tasked with visiting and assessing his many estates ...more
Crista
This is a fabulous book. I was moved to tears and just thought it was one of the sweetest and moving stories I've read. The most touching of relationships was the relationship between Winn and Roxanna's daughters. How Winn comes in and assumes such a caring and considerate paternal role was so believable and moving. After the death of their beloved father, they needed a man to love them like they were his own, and Winn does this in spades!

Now for the negative. I give this a 5 star rating becaus
...more
Erica Anderson
This is not one of my favorite Carla Kelly books, as I think she does a much better job portraying regular people than lords and ladies. While I found the character of the heroine thoroughly believable, I can't say the same for the hero. He's supposedly a marquess and a military man, but he acts more like a country vicar--polite and kindly and without an ounce of presumption. While these are exactly the qualities that I usually like in Kelly heroes, I just didn't buy the idea that he would actua ...more
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
4.5 stars

I loved reading this regency romance. I was caught up in the plot and wanted to find out how it would all come together in the end.

The book is mostly told from Roxanna Drew's point of view. Briefly the male point of view is told with Lord Winn. They are so good at feeding off of each other's antics. They are also not very good at expressing their true feelings.

The story takes place in the countryside where Mrs. Drew resides. She is recently widowed and taking care of her two delightful
...more
Michelle Sallay
There were times I quite liked this, but in the end I felt thoroughly irked by the cheese factor here. I appreciate that the author is LDS and is writing a clean romance, but there was no kissing really, or much romantic suspense. The author also did this thing where she would write in italics whenever the characters were talking to themselves in their heads. It would be interspersed anywhere and it was so freaking annoying. So not for me, but someone who lives for regency clean romances might f ...more
Aspoon
This book has left me speechless. I had to wait and gather my thoughts for a while before I could write my review. This book is full of characters that you just love. I couldn't stop reading it. Lord Winn was the ultimate hero...not just saving Roxie and her daughters, but his lovable personality and his compassion for a single mother that has fallen on hard times...how can you not fall in love with him. The subtle chemistry between Lord Winn and Roxie when they first met was wonderful. He wasn' ...more
H2bourne
Another winner from Carla Kelly. This is such a sweet, charming story of two people who have been dealt a lousy hand in life but together they somehow make their way through. Colonel Fletcher Rand, Lord Winn, and Mrs Roxanna Drew, a vicar's widow, start out as landlord and tenant. Due to extenuating circumstances involving her former brother-in-law, Marshall Drew, Lord Whitcomb, and her two daughters, Helen and Felicity (Lissy), Fletch and Roxie elope to Gretna Green during a snowstorm. Desperat ...more
Emily Barnes
Of the CK novels I have read (With This Ring and The Lady's Companion) this is the weakest [correction: it is not the weakest. That position has since been taken by Reforming Lord Ragsdale]. I liked the other ones because unlike so many romance novels the hero and heroine spoke to one another and so the conflict did not stem from them being unable to say what they wanted, which is often so tedious. Here, unfortunately, CK does resort to the trope and it made what started off as an interesting st ...more
Dorry Lou
This was a fun book to read. It was about the death of Roxannas' husband and what she had to face in providing for their 2 daughers. She moves into a almost unrepairable cottage on an estate of a Lord in order to get away from a brother-in-law that wants her to do undesirable things. The Lord himself has problems and its interesting when he learns she is living in a house on one of his properties and they finally meet. Good book to lose yourself in.
Sarah Grass
This is one of Kelly's more popular books. I held off reading it though because I didn't think I'd enjoy a book about a impoverished widow and a divorcee. Sounds boring, right. I should have known better.

It was beautiful and I absolutely loved the characters from the first page. They seemed so real and not at all perfect, which I appreciated. They worked to overcome their trials and grow in ways they needed- even the villain! No "cardboard" dashing heroes or evil villains here. Those are fun st
...more
Brooke
Technically this was a clean read.... but only technically. In the way that Twilight was a clean read (minus the swearing. There is no swearing in this book... I don't think). Just 'cuse they're married or just 'cause you writing a full-on love scene doesn't really mean sex needs to be talked about so much in such a way as it is in this book.
Cute (ish) love story... okay characters. Satisfying (ish) ending.
mary Ethington
I really enjoyed this book and would give it more like 4 1/2 stars. I liked the fact that it is a clean romance. It was the type of book that you couldn't wait for them to interact and then when they did, I would sometime re read what was said, because it was funny, for one, and because it came together so nicely and slow. I really like that. I have read two of her books and so far enjoyed them both!
Anne
Carla Kelly is the master of cozy Regency romance. Her books have less to do with action than with characters and the way they interact. She's especially interested in families and how they get along. Emblematic of her work is the character in Mrs. Drew called Lord Whitcomb, the heroine's brother-in-law. He starts out as the villain, and most other romance writers would have developed his character into a major one and have had him do something like kidnap the heroine's daughters and/or the hero ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Although Carla Kelly is well known among her readers as a writer of Regency romance, her main interest (and first writing success) is Western American fiction—more specifically, writing about America's Indian Wars. Although she had sold some of her work before, it was not until Carla began work in the National P
...more
More about Carla Kelly...
Borrowed Light (Borrowed Light #1) Reforming Lord Ragsdale My Loving Vigil Keeping The Admiral's Penniless Bride Miss Grimsley's Oxford Career

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