“Marvelously daring, welcome to a sensual world that will test not only your mind but your heart.” – Delilah Marvelle, Award Winning Author
“Delicious! A fabulous story that draws you in from the very first word and stays with you long after the finish.” -Máire Claremont, Award Winning Author
About the Story: Raven Wells is no ordinary girl. Plucked from an orphanage by a scheming earl, she has been raised like a thoroughbred, groomed for one purpose: Revenge. Unfortunately, the Earl of Trent never let her in on the plan, so when she meets the man of her dreams, Sir Phillip Warrick, she has no idea that every lesson, every tutor and every impulsive inch of her was crafted for his seduction and destruction. What she does know is that love is the prize she wants most and that nothing should stand in a woman’s way to getting what she wants.
Phillip Warrick is simply trying to recover his friendship with the earl, unaware that the man has spent years laying the foundation for destroying Phillip’s peace of mind. What he does know is that the earl’s ward, Raven Wells, is mesmerizing, fascinating and apparently without reserve. Witty, beautiful, impulsive and impossible—she is like a siren beckoning him to forget the rules and seize only the pleasures of the moment.
Together, their love will set in motion a series of events that no one can foresee. Revenge creates more than one victim, but also more than one winner. Raven Wells will be transformed into a force of nature the likes of which Victorian London has never experienced before. LADY FALLS is the birth of the Black Rose and the end of innocence.
My Thoughts: In book 1 the reader gets to know Raven Wells and Phillip thoroughly. Raven Wells had been a pretty, dreamer of a child; poor and destitute where hard times only became harder. She would escape in her own internal world dreaming the god of rain would save her from her plight of destitution. At ten years old when plucked from the orphanage by the earl, she was a beauty with sensuality pouring from her very innocent soul. Even with all her misfortune, she was very much the optimist, a quick learner, a lover of life—AND completely malleable to the wishes of Lord Trent, the earl.
She learned to please him, being the perfect ward. He educated her beyond the usual for a woman at that time. Raven took life by the horns and lived it to the fullest. She was the happiest of souls—a light shone from her being. She comments, “It is Spring and I care nothing for the Fall.” She lives for the moment.
Little did she know she was but a pawn in the hands of her protector, the earl—used as revenge for a certain Phillip Warrick. His crime was taking the earl’s mistress many years previous. The earl never forgets a slight or a wrong and Phillip was to pay.
Phillip was invited to a house party the earl was throwing. He accepted the invitation hoping to get back in the graces of the earl. Apparently, the earl had forgiven him. Phillip tried to avoid his ward because he was utterly taken by her. It would not do for him to get in the bad graces of the earl when their relationship seemed to have improved. The good graces of the earl possibly meant a joint financial venture which he was eager to have.
This had an unusual plot line. In historical romances the heroine is not the pursuer. I was extremely entertained to watch the way Raven approaches learning. She’s a hands-on gal. Yes, even in the art of love. She eventually sets her heart on Phillip and is completely in love and for love. He didn’t have a chance. She was persistent with her pursuit and her natural sensuous inclination entraps Phillip, body and soul. Nothing was more important to him than having her. The reader discovers that Phillip is a personable man with a good heart even though his past wasn’t something to be proud of. The two seem to be the perfect match.
The earl is a conniving dark villain, however well-liked by his neighbors and extremely wealthy. Those types of villains can be the most treacherous—a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Renee Barnard’s straight-forward, yet eloquent story-telling mirrors Raven’s spirit, an uncomplicated, free-thinking soul, embodied in innocence. Even the earl doesn’t feel evil by his actions. Yet, he badly deceives both Phillip and Raven. Renee’s engages the reader leaving her with an edgy feeling, knowing all is not what it seems. She does an excellent job in ratcheting up suspense—I was expecting something to happen and nothing happened well past the time it should have! Clever Renee! BAM! It happened and I couldn’t believe it! No, how is it possible? I’m afraid, reader, I can’t spoil this shock for you. You’re just going to have to read the book! And there is NO way that I’ll be able NOT to continue the series.
Phillip Warrick pens these words at the beginning of the story preparing the reader for an adventure spanning three books you won’t regret reading.
Villains are not born—they are made. And in the case of a Villainess, she is crafted and carved out of the fires of a broken heart and God help the man who thinks to trespass, bruise her further and then survive the encounter.
Most villains swing with a club in blind rage and think to overwhelm you with brute force. But a true villainess can cut you with a blade so fine that it will be some time before you realize that you are already dead.
And you will remember the kiss of that weapon with fondness…and long for her return.
About the Author: (taken from author’s website http://www.reneebernardauthor.com) Does anyone really read these things? I’ll pretend they don’t and say this. It’s very true that my father was a chaplain in the Navy and that he has sworn to never read a word I write (not that this keeps him from telling everyone he sees that his daughter writes romance novels that are too hot for him to read.) See the humor?
If you’ve ever met me, or heard me on Tuesday nights on my internet radio show, “Canned Laughter and Coffee with Renee Bernard” that last bit makes a lot of sense.
My mother, however, does read my books. And while I find this far more frightening, it balances the universe out beautifully and makes me very grateful for that sense of humor mentioned above.
It’s also very true that if you’re not supposed to do something in search of a career in writing, I seem to have accidentally done it. Seriously, all the brilliant advice about not quitting your day job, etc.—those people know what they’re talking about! Not that I meant to quit my day job, but comedy abounds in my life and I’ve simply learned to embrace it.
To maintain my sanity, I write. In the files are romances of every flavor—contemporary, historical, science-fiction/fantasy, paranormal and yes, erotica. I’ve hidden away most of those manuscripts out of a true respect for the writers who know what they’re doing, but somehow the historical romances got out and now, I’m too happy to give it up.
Another truth: Yes, I can write scorching hot sex scenes and yes, I’m too shy to wear open-toed shoes in public. I didn’t say it made sense. I said it was true.
There. I think that says more about me than where I live or a list of my food allergies. (I don’t have any, but I keep thinking that perhaps that isn’t a good thing since being able to honestly say “She never met a food she didn’t like” doesn’t bode well.)
In any case, since you’ve read this far, I’ll just take the opportunity to say thank you. For reading and caring enough to take a look at that odd woman on the back cover. I’m truly grateful.