In this charming twist on a marriage plot, Camden Rothermere, the Duke of Sedgemoor has asked his childhood friend, Penelope Thorne, to marry him. She...moreIn this charming twist on a marriage plot, Camden Rothermere, the Duke of Sedgemoor has asked his childhood friend, Penelope Thorne, to marry him. She refuses and runs off to live on the Continent with her aunt. Pen fears her disreputable family’s reputation will sully him, while Cam, a stickler for correctness, is fighting to restore the reputation of his own.
Stunned by Pen’s refusal, Cam endeavours to forget her and years pass. But when Pen’s brother’s dying plea sends him to Italy to bring her home, the two are thrown together again. As they make the journey home, they fight their desire for each other while past issues remain raw. On their return to England, they are forced to pose as husband and wife, but one kiss explodes into searing passion, and Cam must first understand his true feelings, and then prove to Pen that he loves her.
The characters are beautifully drawn in this story. Cam, a man who has been brought up by selfish, scandal-ridden, indifferent parents, fiercely guards his heart, while Pen is wildly original and game for anything. Except becoming Cam’s wife. There’s a subplot which weaves perfectly into the main story and lends weight to it. I always enjoy Ms Campbell’s language; it’s fresh and original and flows beautifully. She excels at conveying a deep understanding of the reasons for her characters’ motives. (less)
I'm a fan of Victoria Vane's historical romances. This is her first foray into contemporary romance and the same sizzling sexual tension applies. I'm...moreI'm a fan of Victoria Vane's historical romances. This is her first foray into contemporary romance and the same sizzling sexual tension applies. I'm hooked! Vane brings alive the cattle industry in glorious Montana with vivid imagery. I felt sympathy for Nikki who has had a rough trot in life. She has come to Montana to make some sense of her past. The lawyer cowboy, Wade, has his problems too. Vane writes about life warts and all, her characters are flawed, their past relationships are messy and she doesn't try to tie it all up in a pretty ribbon. Nikki has been hurt and is afraid to risk her heart and her future to another cowboy. But this cowboy proves to be a cut above the rest and very difficult to resist. Wade's not only hot, he's sympathetic and chivalrous. His big warm arm came around her. "Wanna talk about it?" "Not particularly." she sniffed. She never talked about her screwed-up family. "You don't want to hear about my childhood any more than I want to talk about it." The ending leaves you with a sigh of satisfaction, and the beautifully written sex scenes will curl your toes! SLOW HAND is the first in the series. I look forward to the second book which features Wade's brother, Dirk. (less)
“Viola” has a sense of self even when amnesia plagues her. In a borrowed, faded servant’s dress, she is still confident and poised, with impeccable ma...more “Viola” has a sense of self even when amnesia plagues her. In a borrowed, faded servant’s dress, she is still confident and poised, with impeccable manners. She plays the piano beautifully and is better educated than most women of her time. Recognizing the needs of the tenants on Vale Estate where she lives after her rescue, she works to help them. While her upbringing is that of a noble woman, she has none of their affectations. She loves the freedom not usually afforded “proper” young ladies of nobility. People, both male and female, are drawn to her.
Hugh Beauchamp, the third Duke of Vale, fits into the life style of nobility of the Regency age. However, he is tiring of the London scene and of “Prinny’s” excesses. His country estate has more appeal. He is resigned to his arranged marriage to Felicity, his childhood playmate who will inherit the estate adjoining Vale. He supposes his life will change very little. Then, a filthy, unconscious girl lying in the road sets his world on its ear.
For a man of power and influence, he finds himself beset with women and their wishes. His old Nanny, Felicity, his sister Clarissa, and “Viola” rearrange the course of his life before he knows it. The stakes are high as he sets in to find “Viola’s” identity with only a locket for a clue. He grants Felicity her wish, listens to Nanny’s sage advice, and falls in with Clarissa’s plans to help “Viola”.
The attraction Hugh and “Viola” feel for each other is a strong, bright, and beautiful thread that weaves its way through this intriguing Regency tale. Another thread, dark and ominous in the tapestry is the danger that threatens “Viola”. These focal points keep the reader turning pages.
Rules Of Conduct has a gentleness about it at times that makes it beguiling. At other times, the insatiable desire for wealth and power threatens to destroy all the beauty.
Maggi Andersen gives the reader humor, suspense, mystery, historical tidbits, and a charming, fresh love story. She takes the reader along as the story weaves its way through a maze of twists and turns with danger, conflicts, and “rules of conduct” threatening at every turn. Good Reading! Long and Short Reviews (less)
Karen Charlton's, The Heiress of Linn Hagh is set in a realistic Regency England far from the soiree's of London - very authentic indeed as she has dr...moreKaren Charlton's, The Heiress of Linn Hagh is set in a realistic Regency England far from the soiree's of London - very authentic indeed as she has drawn from her own family history. Detective Stephen Lavender and his partner, Constable Woods, of Bow Street, are sent to solve the case of a missing young woman they suspect has been murdered. Their appearance in this cold, inhospitable village causes suspicion and they are made unwelcome among the townsfolk, farmers and gypsies. Helen Carnaby's disappearance immediately points to her decidedly unattractive brother and sister, but there is much more to the story than this. What a great character Charlton has created here in Detective Lavender. We learn more of him as the story unfolds, how cleverly and subtly he goes about conducting his investigation while piecing the clues together and dealing with all types. Woods makes his perfect side-kick, adding a touch of humanity and humor. Charlton sets the eerie mood early on and gives us little reprieve. I couldn't guess the ending. I liked the touch of romance too! I hope that will develop further in subsequent books, which I look forward to reading. (less)
Rosemary Morris has a wonderful understanding of this period of history and she adroitly evokes the period her characters inhabit with all its pomp an...moreRosemary Morris has a wonderful understanding of this period of history and she adroitly evokes the period her characters inhabit with all its pomp and ceremony. It is rich in its detail of customs, classes, servants, beliefs, London life, food, interiors and the exquisite fashions.
The Right Honourable Captain Howard, a handsome officer in Queen Anne’s navy is on half pay – the result of a dispute with a senior officer – and stays with his godmother in St. James Park. At twenty-two years of age, he is not yet ready to wed, although his godmother thinks otherwise, and plans to marry him off to her protégée. Unimpressed by the young woman, Edward’s attention is caught instead by a widow, an acclaimed beauty with cool blue eyes and flaxen plaits. The countess’s sobriquet is ‘The Fatal Widow.’ An artist, Edward becomes determined to paint her.
An arbiter of fashion and style with a smart head for business, the widowed Lady Katherine Sinclair is no longer an ingénue. She intrigues Edward as none of the green girls thrust before him by ambitious mammas can do. Edward becomes smitten and plans to take Katherine as his lover. He sketches her from memory, but he wants far more. Katherine, however, is very aware she is nine years older than he, and rebuffs him. For the first time in her life she has some element of control, and, enjoying her widowhood, has no plans to marry again. But her devil-may-care attitude hides her terrible grief over her arranged marriage, which brought untold heartbreak. The story is set in an era when ancient superstitions could destroy a young woman’s life. What Katherine is forced to endure in this male dominated society is quite chilling. The book describes well the lack of power women had in those times, showing the distress and frustration Kate suffers when, as a woman, she is denied by a man’s ignorance and another’s greed, that which she most ardently desires and should have by right.
As she gets to know him, Kate discovers Edward to be mature beyond his years. He is sympathetic to her plight and determined to help her, but although he stirs passion in her, she continues to hold him at arm’s length. She is the older woman, a fact she cannot forget and she fears further heartbreak.
Edward joins with Katherine to right her distressing situation, but even when it turns to love might such a union be possible?
Rosemary Morris ties up the subplots neatly and everything falls satisfactorily into place. I was rooting for Edward and Katherine to find happiness together in this older woman/younger man romance. There’s no childish squabbling between the hero and heroine here. The author’s mature understanding of human nature enriches the romance, as it does in her other novels, making The Captain and the Countess a very enjoyable read. Maggi(less)