Articles, Historical Romance, Regency Romance

Vanessa Riley’s New Regency Romance

Vanessa Riley on how ‘The First Wives Club’ inadvertently inspired her new Regency romance.

We reveal the cover for Vanessa Riley’s new romance ‘A Duke, The Lady, and a Baby.’

Read More at Entertainment Weekly. Source: Vanessa Riley on how ‘The First Wives Club’ inadvertently inspired her new Regency romance

Pride and Proposals, Regency Romance, Victoria Kincaid

"Pride and Proposals" by Victoria Kincaid (Book Promo)


A Pride and Prejudice Variation 


What if Mr. Darcy’s proposal was too late?
Darcy has been bewitched by Elizabeth Bennet since he met her in Hertfordshire. He can no longer fight this overwhelming attraction and must admit he is hopelessly in love. During Elizabeth’s visit to Kent she has been forced to endure the company of the difficult and disapproving Mr. Darcy, but she has enjoyed making the acquaintance of his affable cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam.

Finally resolved, Darcy arrives at Hunsford Parsonage prepared to propose—only to discover that Elizabeth has just accepted a proposal from the Colonel, Darcy’s dearest friend in the world.

As he watches the couple prepare for a lifetime together, Darcy vows never to speak of what is in his heart. Elizabeth has reason to dislike Darcy, but finds that he haunts her thoughts and stirs her emotions in strange ways.

Can Darcy and Elizabeth find their happily ever after?



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Miss Bennet, I must tell you that almost since our first …

No. Too formal.You must be aware of my attentions …

Would that assume too much?

You must allow me to tell you how much I admire you …

This came closest to expressing his sentiments, but would she view it as excessive?

Darcy guided his stallion along the path to Hunsford Parsonage, anxiety increasing by the minute. Somehow the perfect words for a proposal must come to mind. He was close by the parsonage.

Almost out of time.

He took a deep breath. The master of Pemberley was unaccustomed to such agitation of the mind. But Elizabeth Bennet had a habit of unsettling his nerves as no one else could. Not for the first time, he wondered why that should indicate she would be the ideal companion of his future life. However, he had wrestled with his sentiments all day and finally concluded that it must be so, despite his objections to her family.

He had not slept the night previous and only fitfully the night before that. Practically his every thought was occupied by Elizabeth Bennet. Every minute of the day, he would recall a pert response she had made to his aunt or a piece of music she had played on the pianoforte. Or the sparkle of life in her fine eyes.

Yes, at first she had seemed an unlikely candidate for the mistress of Pemberley, but his passion could not be denied.

He no longer made the attempt.

Strange. He had been angered with himself for months that he could not rid himself of this … obsession with Miss Bennet. But once he had determined to surrender to the sentiment and propose to her, he felt almost … happy. Despite the fleeting sensations of guilt and doubt, he could not help but imagine how joyful it would be to have her as his wife.

He pictured the expression on Elizabeth’s face when he declared himself. Undoubtedly, she was aware of his admiration, and she had returned his flirtatious banter on more than one occasion, but she could have no serious hopes for an alliance. Her delight would make any of his misgivings worth it.

The woods on either side of the path thinned, and Darcy slowed his horse to a walk as he reached the clearing surrounding the parsonage. Initially, he had been bitterly disappointed when Elizabeth’s headache had prevented her from accompanying the Collinses to Rosings for tea, but then he recognized a perfect opportunity to speak with her alone.

Excusing himself from the gathering had not presented any difficulties. His cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, had received a letter that day with word of an unexpected inheritance of property following the death of his mother’s sister. Darcy was well pleased for his cousin, who had chafed at the limitations of a second son’s life. Richard had excused himself to plan for an immediate departure from Rosings the next day so he could soon visit his new estate. Darcy had seized on the excuse as well – since, naturally, he would be taking Richard in his coach and would necessarily need to prepare.

Darcy turned his thoughts to the task at hand.

You must allow me to tell you how violently I admire …

No. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you …

Perhaps …

Darcy swung his leg over the pommel and slid off his saddle, tying his horse up at a post outside the Collinses’ front door. Pausing for a moment, he breathed deeply, willing his body to calmness. Then he seized the door knocker and rapped.

The maid who answered the door appeared unnecessarily flustered. As he followed her down the short hallway to the Collinses’ modest drawing room, Darcy had a dawning sense of wrongness.

Voices already emanated from the drawing room. Darcy immediately recognized Elizabeth’s lovely soprano. But the other voice was male, too muffled for him to hear. Had Collins returned home unexpectedly?

Darcy quickened his stride, almost crowding against the maid as she opened the drawing-room door. “Mr. Darcy, ma’am,” the maid announced before swiftly scurrying away.

Darcy blinked several times. His mind had difficulty understanding what his eyes saw. His cousin Fitzwilliam was in the drawing room. With Elizabeth. With Darcy’s Elizabeth. In actuality, Richard sat beside her on the settee, almost indecently close.

Why is Richard here? Darcy wondered with some irritation. Should he not be packing for his departure rather than preventing me from proposing? Richard and Elizabeth had been smiling at each other, but now both regarded Darcy in surprise.

For a moment, all was silence. Darcy could hear the crackling of logs in the fireplace. He had the nagging sensation of having missed something of importance but could not identify it.

“I … uh … came to inquire after your health, Miss Bennet.” Given the circumstances, Darcy was proud that the words emerged at all coherently. “I am feeling much recovered, thank you.” Her voice was somewhat breathless.

A look passed between Richard and Elizabeth, and she gave a tiny nod. Darcy’s sense of mystification increased. Finally, Richard sprang to his feet with a huge grin on his face. “Darcy, you arrived at just the right moment. You can be the first to congratulate me.” At that moment, Darcy started to get a sinking, gnawing feeling in the pit of his stomach. “Elizabeth has consented to be my wife!”

Kristi Jun, Regency Romance

"Enemy’s Kiss" by Kristi Jun (Book Promo)

Bewitching Book Tours Presents

Genre: Regency Historical Romance 

Date of Publication: May 12, 2015 
Number of pages: 270
Word Count: 73,000 
Cover Artist: Kim Killion 
She gave up her future for justice… Emma Willoughby had an idyllic life until her parents were murdered and her world, as she knew it, came undone. She sacrificed everything and even accepted a marriage proposal from a man she thinks knows the identity of the killer.
Unfortunately, he is murdered before she’s able to discover the truth. Now the Crown claims a mission to Tibet will bring the answers she seeks. The trouble is, the man who has been assigned to protect her, a man she’d once deceived, is an arrogant spy who wants nothing to do with her.
He lived a lie to protect his family… Michael Whitfield left home nearly a decade ago, but when his childhood friend is murdered and accused of high treason, he is determined to clear his name and his killer be brought to justice no matter the cost, even if it meant accompanying the woman who turned out to be nothing more than a heartless viper. But as their mission takes twisted turns and reveals a sinister plot that threatens both their lives and the lives of the innocent, his admiration for her grows and sparks between them once again ignite. But can he trust his heart to a woman whose history holds nothing but lies?
About the Author
Kristi Jun resides in Southern California with an infinitely patient husband and a beautiful quirky son. If she isn’t conjuring up another Happily Ever After, she can be found searching the web for all things English, watching reruns of Star Trek (new and old), Dr. Who, and Downton Abbey. She LOVES to hear from her readers!
G. G. Vandagriff,, Regency Romance

"Lord John’s Dilemma" by G. G. Vandagriff



When Lord John returns from the Battle of Waterloo nursing a serious wound and a case of melancholia, he is hopeful of beginning a happier phase in his life. His sights are set on the lovely Miss Lindsay, his country neighbor’s daughter. But to his mystification, he keeps getting distracted by her family’s governess—a little dab of a thing who is not at all what she seems.

His determination to solve the mystery of Miss Haverley begins to seriously undermine his interest in Miss Lindsay, who is confident he is about to offer for her. In the face of this, how can he pursue his interest in the family governess? Not only must he solve this dilemma, but he must discover what the petite woman is hiding.

When Miss Haverley begs him to resist satisfying his curiosity because such a course could bring her harm, his dilemma doubles. He is more determined than ever to rescue her from whatever demons she is trying to escape, for Miss Haverley alone seems to have the power to stir him to passion and hope for a new life.

Book Promo Blog, Claudia Harbaugh, Her Grace in Disgrace, Regency Romance

Book Promo: "Her Grace in Disgrace" by Claudia Harbaugh


Reginald Aiken, Duke of Warwick is dead and his young widow is not grieving…until the will is read. Isobel Kennilworth Aiken, Duchess of Warwick spent 6 years of her young life in a loveless marriage. Now, at the age of 24, Isobel is a widow. As Isobel awaits the reading of her late husband’s last will and testament, she feels no grief, but in fact is quite hopeful. She is eager to start her life anew. But, as the droning of the solicitor’s voice washes over her detailing the bequests to various servants and family members, a shock awaits her. The “other woman” was not his mistress, but his lawfully wedded wife and together they had a son. Six year old Reggie is now the Duke of Warwick, displacing Reginald’s brother Charles.

There is a collective gasp as the revelation is made that instantly cuts off Isobel and Charles and dashes their hopes for the future. Isobel must indeed start again, not as a titled, influential and wealthy widow, but as plain Miss Kennilworth, tainted by scandal, something to be avoided at all costs in Regency England. Can she get past the disgrace and humiliation she has endured and fight her way back into society? Will she find love again with her childhood sweetheart, Andrew Stafford, former vicar, now Lord Saybrooke? Or perhaps she will rekindle the romance with Jeremy Ingles, Lord Westcott, who had caught her fancy at her come out six years earlier, but had not been ready to be leg shackled.

But before Isobel can find true love, she must come to grips with her past mistakes and the people she has hurt along the way. She must discover who she is without the title of duchess to her name.

Author Links: WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Google+

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Book Review Blog, Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman,, Regency Romance, Wareeze Woodson

Book Review: "Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman" by Wareeze Woodson

Conduct Unbecoming a Gentleman by Wareeze Woodson is a Soul Mate Publishing release. This is a 2013 copyright. I receive a copy to this book from Long Ago Love and Vicki Hopkins in exchange for an honest review.

Laurel’s husband left her in a bind when he died. His sister, Rhonda, was remembered in his will, and their son was to be his cousin Lord Adron’s ward. So, when Laurel attempts an escape, she is chased down and her son stolen from her by Adron’s men. Once she locates Lord Andron’s estate, he sees she is determined to stay with her son. So, he offers her a deal. She can become an unpaid member of the staff and be a nanny to her son and other children that are currently on estate. Having no choice by law, Laurel takes what she can get in order to be with her son.

Lord Adron believes the worst of Laurel. He was led to believe she brought his cousin to the ultimate despair that caused him to take drastic measures. But, Laurel surprises Lord Adron by being a caring, hands-on mother and having a wonderful way with children. No matter what he throws at her, she is able to withstand it. But, he cannot withstand his attraction to her.

In the middle of this drama, there are some valuable jewels that Laurel’s husband, Robert had hidden somewhere. Rhonda and her cohorts are desperate to find the jewels. In the process, Rhonda continues the plot against Laurel, insinuating that Laurel may be a jewel thief. She is even more determined to get rid of Laurel with she notices the attraction Lord Adron has for Laurel. Rhonda has set her heart on marrying Lord Adron herself. With each passing day, Laurel and Lord Andron fall deeper in love with each other. But, there are issues with women that Lord Andron will have to overcome before he can win Laurel over. But, first the jewel thief must be caught and the jewels found.

This was a really entertaining Regency period historical romance. Lord Andron is terrible in the beginning. He is terrified of being duped by a beautiful woman, which is what led, in part, to his bad attitude toward women. Laurel was innocent is all things, but was admittedly naïve when she first married and her husband didn’t do the right thing by her from the start.  But, as worldly as the men in the story liked to think themselves, they too were rather naïve. They were deceived time and time again but were too blind to see. So, Lord Andron was easily led to believe whatever he was told about Laurel and usually, it wasn’t good.

You will get frustrated with Adron a great deal. I didn’t have much empathy for his side of things except maybe his bad experiences in the past. But, with a certain conniving woman that had everyone twisted around her little finger, you will become quite annoyed. Laurel isn’t as naïve as she once was though and shows a little backbone. Will Lord Andron finally wake up and smell the coffee? Will the jewel thief be discovered? There were lots of twist in the story. A shocking reveal will set you back on your heels and really get you thinking about the jewel thief mystery.

A quick entertaining read that is unique to most Regency romances. But, I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe a great deal of pain couldn’t have been avoided by making some changes in those horrible British laws in regards to women’s rights. What do you think?

4 Crowns – Princess of a Charming Story (Countess Julie)


Astraea Press, Heather Gray,, Regency Romance

Book Promo: "His Saving Grace" by Heather Gray


Will she be able to save him from himself?
Grace finds herself wed to a man who loathes her. She is shunned and exiled to the farthest corner of the land. It wouldn’t hurt so much if he hadn’t once been her best friend.
Thomas became a duke long before he was ready. Now he can’t go anywhere without women trying to entrap him into marriage. He expected better from his childhood friend.
How can friendship, let alone marriage, thrive in the face of bitterness, suspicion, and misunderstanding? What’s to be done when the hurtful choices made in anger have lasting consequences?
It takes a special kind of person to see past the pain to the beauty that lies beyond…

Grace soaked in Thomas’s warmth. She sighed into his waistcoat and said, “I appreciate the kind words, Thomas, but you shouldn’t be in here alone with me. We both know that.”
Thomas, his voice light, said, “It was in here with you or out there with the barracudas. I think I’m safer right where I am.”
Grace didn’t pull out of his comforting hug as she knew she ought to. Instead she said, “I’ve spent my whole life in Stafford Shire and have never even been to London before. All I’m asking for is one season. If I wait much longer, I’ll be completely on the shelf, and no decent man will even consider marrying me. My father has doomed me to the life of being some man’s courtesan!”
“You’ve been reading the newspaper again, haven’t you?” She felt the warm rumble of his chuckle against her cheek. “You shouldn’t even know words like that. If your parents knew you were reading those rags, they’d have your hide.”
Grace’s tears had quieted and were slowly being replaced by hiccups. Just as Thomas began to release her from his friendly hold, the library door opened with a loud bang.
“What the devil is going on in here?” demanded Lady Appleton.
Grace jumped out of Thomas’s arms and said, “It’s not what you th—ink.” The hiccups were gaining momentum. “I was up—set. Thomas found me, and I was—crying. He was simply be—ing kind.”
The skin on Lady Appleton’s florid face jiggled as she shouted, “Not only are you in a room with a man unchaperoned, but you were in an embrace!” Her gown truly was the most awful color. It was somewhere between green and brown, like a plant that had withered and died. To make the ensemble worse, she looked as if she were wearing an entire peacock atop her piled hair.
Seeming to thrive on spectacle, Lady Appleton continued to bombast them with accusation, her voice growing toward a crescendo. “You’ve been ruined, young lady! There will have to be a wedding at once!” If volume were the stick by which such things were measured, Lady Appleton’s screeching voice ensured that Grace would feel maximum shame.
“Th—at wasn’t an embrace!”
By this time, several people had gathered in the hallway outside the library door. When Grace’s father came on the scene, Thomas spoke directly to him, ignoring Lady Appleton. “I apologize for any misunderstanding. Gracie was crying. She was upset, might I add, by the cruel things you said to her. I’m nothing more than a childhood friend offering a bit of encouragement and reassuring her that her father is not the ogre he appears to be at present.”
Grace had never heard Thomas’s voice quite like this. The sharp edge of strong metal in it was unmistakable. This voice belonged to the Duke of Stafford, not her childhood friend Thomas. 
Author Links:  Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 
Cassandra Dean, Decadent Publishing Company,, LLC, Regency Romance, Silk & Scandal

Review: "Silk & Scandal" by Cassandra Dean

Decadent Publishing Company, LLC
Regency Romance

Eight years ago…

Thomas Cartwright and Lady Nicola Fitzgibbons were friends. Over the wall separating their homes, Thomas and Nicola talked of all things – his studies to become a barrister, her frustrations with a lady’s limitations.

All things end.

When her diplomat father gains a post in Hong Kong, Nicola must follow. Bored and alone, she falls into scandal. Mired in his studies of the law and aware of the need for circumspection, Thomas feels forced to sever their ties.

But now Lady Nicola is back…and she won’t let him ignore her.


Silk and Scandal is a neatly wrapped little package of a novella. It is written concisely and to the point; the point being a romance between an orphan turned barrister and the daughter of an aristocrat.

Thomas Cartright, adopted from the poorhouse at age 9 by a wealthy couple who gave him financial and familial advantages in life, is now reacquainted with Lady Nicola Fitzgibbons, his childhood neighbor, now a lady of “scandal” via flirtations across the continents.
“Nic” has taken it upon herself to write about her travels (and travails) to Thomas and he, although vexed by her letters, reluctantly returns them. Their correspondence lasts for almost ten years as Nic hops one country to another, escaping scandal after scandal, whilst Thomas completes his law training.
Upon her return to England, Nicola’s and Thomas’ lives are rekindled, with Nicola looking for romance and Thomas more concerned about his law career. Through a series of mishaps and misunderstandings, buried feelings are unearthed; however quarrels and calamities abound, making the road for romance as jagged and sharp as an unpaved graveled path.
The characters appear to be typical in nature, with Nicola being flighty and dreamy and Thomas being on the stodgy side; however, when they are with each other, their guards are let down, revealing how very likable their characters are underneath all the crinoline and cravats, but not without an extraordinarily mortifying moment that puts Thomas’ hard-earned career in dangerous peril.
Cassandra Dean has written a very amenable and enjoyable short story that allows the reader to escape into a brief, albeit, delectable 19th century liaison.

(Reviewed by Countess Barbara)

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Blush Cotillion, Book Promo Blog, Ellora's Cave, Historical Romance Books, Regency Romance, Short Story, Susana Ellis

Short Story Promo – "Treasuring Theresa" by Susana Ellis

Regency Short Story
Ellora’s Cave
At the betrothal ball of the man she had expected to marry herself, Lady Theresa latches on to Damian Ashby, hoping to divert attention from her own humiliating situation. Of course, she’s not seriously interested because he’s a useless London fribble, in her opinion. He is not favorably impressed with her either.
Still, she’s the daughter of an earl, and he’s the heir to her father’s title and estate, so they are destined to spend more time in each other’s company . . . sooner rather than later. And who knew that the two of them would develop an unlikely attraction to one another?
But can a London swell and a country lady ever make their diverse lives and interests work together?
Author Bio
A former teacher, Susana is finally living her dream of being a full-time writer. She loves all genres of romance, but historical—Regency in particular—is her favorite. There’s just something about dashing heroes and spunky heroines waltzing in ballrooms and driving through Hyde Park that appeals to her imagination.

In real life, Susana is a lifelong resident of northwest Ohio, although she has lived in Ecuador and studied in Spain, France and Mexico. More recently, she was able to travel around England and visit many of the places she’s read about for years, and it was awesome! She is a member of the Maumee Valley and Beau Monde chapters of Romance Writers of America.


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Boroughs Publishing Group,, Jillian Leigh, Regency Romance

Book Promo – "The Rules of Engagement" by Jillian Leigh

Regency Romance
 Boroughs Publishing Group (May 21, 2013)

Long ago, Hugh Trevalyn invented a fiancée to fend off marriage-minded females. Now he must procure the perfect girl to play the part.
Who better than Amelia Grant, his oldest and dearest friend? She alone might understand—and forgive—his moment of madness upon beholding the beautiful Lucy Meriwether, a moment that resulted in Hugh’s first real proposal of marriage and Lucy’s vow to meet his ex-fiancée in the flesh.

However, as the proposed conversation snowballs into an elaborate charade involving Hugh’s rakish cousin, scandal, and inappropriate kisses, as Hugh risks Amelia’s friendship to win Lucy’s hand, a wise reader has to wonder: What exactly are the rules of engagement? And, after the battle, whose heart will be won?

(Hugh Trevalyn has just proposed to the beautiful Lucy Meriwether. But now she has decided she must meet his former fiancée…)
“If you love me, you will want to put my mind at ease. You must arrange a meeting.”
“Why, it is quite impossible,” he said, fervently hoping, but not expecting, that she would take him at his word.
“All things are possible when a man desires to make them so,” she whispered, her hands curling around his back and coming to rest lightly on his buttocks. Any exasperation he’d felt now evaporated in a dreamy haze of imagining all the ways he would make love to her if he only had the chance. “Do you desire to make this possible?” she went on in a husky voice. “Do you desire me?”
“God, yes,” he said on a groan.
“Then promise me,” she whispered throatily. “Promise me this, and I promise I will give you whatever you want of me.”
“I promise,” he said, and set about caressing every inch of skin he came across and pressing himself against her so she could feel the effect she was having on him.
Lucy giggled as he stopped to nuzzle at her throat once more. “What is her name?”
The twin scents of rose and female drifted into his nostrils. “Her name? Who? Whose name?”
“Her name.”
He would have this girl. Perhaps even tonight. She was his. All he had to do was give her a name. “Amelia,” he said. After all, what difference did it make—wait, had he made a promise?
No matter. Back he went to kissing the sweet, fragrant crevice between her breasts.
“Amelia,” Lucy repeated. “I’m going to meet Amelia.”
“Yes, my darling,” he said. “Whatever you say.”
She was his, tonight and every night after.
“My dearest Mr. Trevalyn, you can have no idea how relieved I am by your promises.” Lucy stepped back, clapped her hands and, unless the darkness was causing him to see things, actually bounced up and down on the spot. “How enjoyable this is going to be. I am going to meet Amelia. Oh, we must return to our party. I must tell Miss Percy all about it.”
“What? No, you must not tell your chaperone.”
“Not Miss Pratt-Stanley, silly,” she gurgled. “My dearest friend in all the world, Miss Percy. She would never divulge one of my confidences.”
“I must forbid—”
But Lucy had already turned and disappeared into the darkness.
Hugh called her name in a furious whisper but she seemed to be gone. Back to bloody Miss Percy, no doubt.
What had he just done?
Had he really made a promise to let her meet His Betrothed? Had he really been so driven by his own lust that he’d lost his senses?
These were questions he would have the leisure to contemplate in the darkness, on his own, seeing that he would have to spend the next few minutes furiously thinking about anything other than the effects his unfulfilled desire was having on the tightness of his breeches. Multiplication tables, perhaps, or the unfortunately horse-like face of his least favorite aunt…
…or a non-existent woman whom he had promised to introduce to the lady he was hoping would relieve his trouser-borne anguish.
“Bugger me,” he said to no one in particular.
Purchase Book Contact Author
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Boroughs Publishing Group
Website: Jillian Leigh, Author
Book Review Blog, Book Reviews,, Regency Romance, Regina Scott, The Courting Campaign

Book Review: “The Courting Campaign” by Regina Scott

“The Courting Campaign” by Regina Scott came to me from Net Galley for review. It is a Love Inspired Historical from Harlequin due to be released August 6, 2013, so put it on your squeaky-clean shelf if you’re only looking for a few kisses. Set in the Regency era, it’s an interesting read with all the right elements of historical romance.

Miss Emma Pyrmont has been hired as a nanny to a precocious four-year old girl in the household of Sir Nicholas Rotherford, run by his sister-in-law, Mrs. Dunworthy.  Emma is a sweet lady, with a sad childhood, who is happy to begin a new chapter in her life. She reminds me of another Emma – outspoken, a mind of her own, and scheming to bring two people together.  She’s a matchmaker in another sense.

Upon early observation in her position, she discovers that Sir Nicholas is unable to connect with his daughter.  He’s a philosopher and scientist driven by a mission to invent a lamp for coal miners that is safe and useful.  His mind is set upon a singular path, and the world spins around him unnoticed while he hides away working.  Emma, of course, finds his behavior unacceptable. She doesn’t want to see Alice, her charge, growing up feeling neglected and unloved as she once did.  Her mission is one of the same, only on an emotional level. Emma’s task isn’t easy, as she also deals with  the difficult Mrs. Dunworthy and a past that won’t seem to let her go.

The setting is 1815 near the Peak District, Derbyshire, England. The book is a good read.  Regina Scott is a talented writer that keeps the interest of her readers. With a background in real life as a technical writer for scientists, she apparently used her knowledge to build Sir Nicholas’ character. He’s a complex man who analyzes everything around him, with a habit of tapping his finger on his thigh.  At times I wanted to grab his hand and hold it still. The author goes into great length building his character and does an equally fine job with Emma.  There is quite a bit of text, however, about Sir Nicholas’ quest to build a lamp that is safe for workers in the mines. Be prepared not only for his male mindset but his inventive one as well.  Depending on your level of 19th century scientific interest in this area, you may find it a bit tedious.

“The Courting Campaign” has its usual plot twists that you may or may not see coming.  They are there, of course, to add the conflict needed to push the story along to its intended end.  Emma and Sir Nicholas’ relationship as a romantic pair develops slowly. Emma believes she wouldn’t want to marry a man like Nicholas because of his neglect of family, and Nicholas believes he would make a terrible husband because of past mistakes in a previous marriage.  In the end, like all romances, they come to realize they love one another.

Though my past two books have been on the squeaky-clean side, I still hoped for a bit more.  Since this is a Love Inspired Historical, it is once again sprinkled with Christian values and silent prayers uttered throughout the book. Emotional intimacy rather than sexual are the guidelines for this genre on the publisher’s submission page.

In my opinion, though, men and women who fall in love still have an attraction that goes beyond those confines. In this genre, those emotions are never expressed, which I find making the “falling-in-love” part somewhat bland. Attraction begins at many levels and not with just a meeting of the minds. You can keep a story clean, but be honest about the deep human emotions, yearnings, and temptations we all experience – even as Christians.  As Marianne Dashwood declared in the movie version of Sense & Sensibility:

“To love is to burn – to be on fire, like Juliet or Guinevere or Eloise.”

“The Courting Campaign” is a slow burn rather than a story of blazing adoration. Over all, I’d give it 4 Crowns – Princess of a Charming Story for the writing, character development, and plot.

One last comment, the formatting on Kindle was terribly inconsistent.  Not sure what happened but the font size changed to extremely big on some pages and then back to normal on others.  The basic paragraph formatting was inconsistent throughout, as well as an obvious area of “hard” returns (not good in eBooks) that screwed a few pages up entirely.  Hopefully, they will correct before release. (Reviewed by Countess Victoria)



Book Review Blog, Christian Romance, Regency Romance, Sarah E. Ladd, The Heiress of Winterwood

Book Review: “The Heiress of Winterwood” by Sarah E. Ladd

There’s nothing like starting a book off quickly and to the point. Sarah Ladd does just that in this Regency tale of one woman’s intent on marriage. In fact, she’s so driven to do so, the heroine proposes matrimony to a man she meets for the first time at the end of chapter one. Of course, a woman should have good motives to do something so outrageous in 1814. In Amelia’s mind, she thinks her plan is perfect. It will secure her inheritance and provide an instant family with a man she barely knows.  Captain Sterling has returned home to face the sorrows and joys of the life he left behind on his latest tour of duty.

Amelia is a head-strong woman with a mind of her own.  She has a dilemma and is faced with three alternatives: marry a man whose character is questionable; marry a man for convenience that she barely knows to keep a promise, or let her 24th birthday pass as an unmarried woman and watch her inheritance go to a distant cousin leaving her destitute. For her, the choice is clear.

She proposes marriage to Captain Sterling, which causes an upset and scandal amongst her family and sets off her now ex-fiance’s rage.  Amelia realizes that she doesn’t love the man she had originally agreed to marry after his greedy motives are revealed. Instead, she sets her mind upon a man she neither knows or loves in order to bring a stable home to the daughter her friend bore to Captain Sterling before she passed away.  Amelia intends to take her place, marry the grieving Captain, and bring up their child she has cared for and loved.

There is little romance between Captain Sterling and Amelia at the onset. Only fleeting thoughts of their agreeable personalities and appearances. At first, Amelia’s plan is rejected, but when the Captain has a change of heart, obstacles keep them apart.  In certain scenes affections rise, but are suppressed, until a difficult situation brings them together in love.

I really wanted to understand the heart of Amelia, but couldn’t quite get there except for her determination behind her quest to marry the Captain. She comes across as a goodhearted woman with values, but she restrains her affections and passions.

As far as Graham Sterling, the man of the sea, he read superficially with little insight into the workings of his heart other than his career that has forged his life and character.  Toward the end of the story, more of his own personal struggles are revealed. I really don’t warm up to him as a likable hero that I could imagine falling in love with.  There are no intimate scenes to steam up the story, except for a passionate kiss and final declaration of love which doesn’t quite make up for the lack.

I understood why, when I realized The Heiress of Winterwood is published by Thomas Nelson. There are Christian undertones throughout the story, which contains themes of faith, trusting God, the creator’s plan for one’s life, and forgiveness.  Portions of scripture are sprinkled throughout the story, and a few prayers are expressed by the characters.

The book was well written and your mind easily envisions the Regency surroundings and way of life.  BUT, I can hear my English teacher screaming at me not to start sentences with conjunctions like “but” and “and.” Good gracious, things have changed over the years, and I guess I need to get over it.  BUT, it’s like nails scratching on a chalkboard in my mind when I read a text with BUT and AND starting a sentence.  Yes, I know, I’m old fashion.  Blame it on Mrs. Marone, my strict high-school teacher. AND I know I should get hip with my own style of writing to catch up.  Well, maybe.

All in all the book is on the puritanical side of Regency, with a bit of suspense and intrigue thrown in for conflict. For me, it was a three crown Duchess of a good read.  Personally, I just need a bit more romance and passion to stir my heart and fill my fantasy needs of being swept off my feet.

(Reviewed by Countess Victoria)