Audiobook Review: HIGHLAND SPRING by Elizabeth Rose ~ a Highland story where love finds root in perilous of times

Highland Spring AudiobookTitle: Highland Spring Seasons of Fortitude, Book 1
Author: Elizabeth Rose
Genre: Historical Romance, Medieval
Pages: 277
Published by: RoseScribe Media Inc.
Publication Date: May 18, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B06XZQT8R9

Narrated: Brian J. Gill
Length: 7 hours, 17 minutes
Release Date: July 10, 2017
Published by: RoseScribe Media Inc.

 

Seasons of Fortitude Series, ecopy purchase link:
Highland Spring – Book 1
Summer’s Reign – Book 2
Autumn’s Touch – Book 3
Winter’s Flame – Book 4 

 Publisher’s Summary:

(This series is about the sisters of the bastard triplets from the Legendary Bastards of the Crown Series. Spring is the sister that was stolen as a baby. It is recommended to read that series first, but is not required, as this book stands on its own.)

Spring has been raised as a warrior, always trying to please her father of Viking descent. Through the years she’s tried to be the son he wished her to be. At a young age she’s chosen the bow and arrows of a dead man as her weapon, and now she’s mastered the skill. Growing up without a mother, the only skill she hasn’t mastered is how to be a lady and someday a mother. But now her father decides to marry her off to their enemy, Shaw Gordon, in order to get inside the castle walls. Wanting to be a part of overtaking the castle, she goes along with the plan.

Shaw Gordon, chieftain and laird, is a widower with two boys and one unruly adolescent daughter. He decides it’s time to take a wife again, but never expects to be presented with his enemy’s daughter. The woman is fierce, and nothing like the mother he wants for his children. The Gunn clan has been an enemy of the Gordons for as long as he can remember. While an alliance would be good, he doesn’t trust them. As he’s about to reject the offer, he spots the coveted bow and arrows of his late father in the girl’s hands. In order to retrieve it, he does the only thing he can besides fighting – he marries her.

Can two enemies push aside their differences for the benefit of all? And can a woman draw strength from herself as well as from her new husband when she discovers the horrible secret of her past – that her entire life is nothing but a lie?

Four-Star Read

My Thoughts: A man who wishes to love again, to provide a woman’s love to his children. A woman, trained as a warrior, not knowing how to love.  Brought together to wed — an alliance of two clans.  Both clans has issues of acceptance.  Will peace take hold?

Spring has always been calmed by rubbing her talisman, a small wooden piece, knawed on as a child, and had since forever. Her father, part of the Gunn clan hardened her soul, making her one of his best warriors. She is an expert with a bow and arrow she found on a dead man, when only ten years old.  Her life has been harsh, but she loves her two brothers.  Her father has always said she and they were triplets, but his statement has always been speculative.

Now Spring is a pawn to capture her father’s enemy, the Gordon clan, to allow him access to take the keep. She’s been married to this man, a man who has three children.  Changes  occur. Spring softens. Love claims her.  How can she betray her new family? How can she betray the family she’s had for 18 years? Is it possible she can keep them both safe?

I enjoyed the story with a definite edginess to it. Spring is put into a perilous situation. Her emotions and understanding of who she is develop the story and propel the plot forward. Love is a powerful force both Spring and Shaw Gordon yearn to experience.

A secondary character I gravitated to was the old woman who is a seer and has been with Shaw for as long as he remembers. She sees the present with several visions.  She sees Summer is to go through several years of turmoil at the end of this story.  She wishes to be with her and so Shaw gives his blessing to have her join Summer.  (Secretly, he’s happy to see her go.  She sees more than he’s comfortable with.)

I enjoyed the way Spring finds herself, her inner strength even in times of uncertainty.  She desire to be accepted by Shaw’s children, for she’s never truly felt she belonged anywhere.

Narrator Brian J. Gill is an excellent narrator, particularly when it comes to a Highland story.  His deep voice and accented dialog make the story even more enjoyable.

A story of warmth, discovery and excepting the truth.  I’m sure to enjoy the next in the series, Summer’s Reign.

 

Posted in Audiobook, Audiobook Review, Highland Romance, Highland Stories, Historical Romance | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Review: THE WOLFE by Kathryn Le Veque

The Wolfe AudiobookTitle: The Wolfe De Wolfe Pack, Book 1
Author: Kathryn Le Veque
Genre: Historical Romance, Medieval
Story Setting:
Pages: 829
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc., 4 edition
Publication Date: June 10, 2014
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B00CKXO59W

Narrated by: Guy Veryzer
Length:
37 hours, 12 minutes
Release Date:
January 22, 2014
Published by:
Kathryn Le Veque Novels
Whispersync for Voice-enabled

 

De Wolfe Pack Series 9 books

 

Publisher’s Summary:

1231 A.D.

After a nasty skirmish along the England/Scotland border at Bog Wood, a badly wounded knight has crawled off to die. As women from the Clan Scott fan out across the battlefield to collect the spoils of war, one woman breaks off from the pack. She is sickened by the tradition of stealing valuables off the dead and runs off to hide. In her hiding place, however, lingers the badly wounded knight. The young woman is frightened at first but her natural instinct to lend aid takes over. She tends the knight and saves his life. Little does the Lady Jordan Scott know that she has just saved the life of the dreaded English knight known to her people as The Wolf.

©2013 Kathryn Le Veque (P)2014 Kathryn Le Veque

My Thoughts: Compelling. Riveting. Mesmerizing. And completely addicting! If I hadn’t been convinced about the caliber of Veque’s work, this book would have been the clincher.

There are few reads which hold me as strongly and as powerfully as this one has.  I opted to listen to the book rather than read it.  By so doing, I could spend numerous hours, in one stretch, living this world of compassion, humor, greed, and honor, with hot-tempered Scot women, and knights irrevocably besotted with them. Never once did I wish the story weren’t so long. Conversely, I wished I could continue enraptured for many more days.

I’m a great fan of Le Veque’s.  I’ve been reading her books now for about four years. With each read, I sink deeper into her engrossing world set in Medieval times.  I often reconnect with characters whose life story or a portion of it has been shared in my previous reads with her.  However, this book gave me a beginning point for the de Wolfe pack.  Lady Jordan and her family, and Wolfe with his knights are forces to be reckoned with.

I swear Le Veque’s pen is dipped in magic as she spins stories of such depth of character, drilling down to the essence of the goodness of people (or not), capturing my emotions. She paced and plotted in such a undeniably convincing manner, I was there.

The narrator, Guy Veryzer, did a fine job. I did have a bit of a problem with listening to the audio. Found it ran better at the 1.25 speed. His voice neither added or detracted from the story. If you are an audio listener, you’ll know what I mean. The book, in and of itself, kept me listening enraptured.

This saga probably could have been divided into three separate books for it tells the story of three young Scot women who marry three English knights.  However, Le Veque pulled the stories into one fascinating read, giving the reader a resounding understanding of life on the borders.  Rather than repeating backstory as another part of the story focuses on another couple, she spends more time enfolding the reader into a richly-detailed environment, while expanding subplots and developing secondary characters.

Truly, if you are a reader of the Medieval period, Le Veque needs to be on your list of authors.  Her books have grit, depth, and compassion for the human plight. 

Posted in Action/Adventure, Audiobook, Audiobook Review, Book Reviews, Medieval Romance | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: HEART OF HONOR by Alexa Aston ~ a Medieval romance with a delightfully charming ending!

36104055Title: Heart of Honor Knights of Honor Series, Book 5
Author: Alexa Aston
Genre: Historical Romance, Medieval
Story Setting: 1369; 1375
Pages: 204
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc., 1 edition
Published Date: August 21, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B075189R82

Knights of Honor Series:
Word of Honor
Marked by Honor
Code of Honor
Journey to Honor
Heart of Honor

 

Publisher’s Summary:

1375 A.D. – When Sir Christopher “Kit” Emory’s beloved mother falls ill, he decides to seek the help of someone he met briefly at the royal court years ago—Lady Alys de Montfort, a renowned healer despite her young age. While traveling to her home at Kinwick Castle, Kit is accosted by a band of highwayman, who beat and rob him, leaving him to die. Fortunately, an escort party comes across him and Lady Alys insists they take the stranger home so she can use her skill in the healing arts to save his life.

The man awakens and has no memory of his identity, but Alys believes he might be Kit Emory, a young man she’d met once when she was a young girl. Kit comforted her when the queen died and Alys never forgot his kindness to her. Alys does what she can to jog Kit’s memory, even as she struggles with her growing attraction to him, knowing Kit was betrothed and must now be wed. Kit also finds his desire deepening for Alys, but he doesn’t know his own name, much less if he has a wife or family. Until he recalls who he is, he refuses to commit his heart to Alys.

Once Kit regains his memory and realizes he is free to pursue Alys, their road to love is anything but smooth.

Join Kit and Alys as they overcome events that continue to tear them apart and threaten the love they have for one another.

Each book in the Knights of Honor series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.

My Thoughts: It’s hard to overcome what life offers, particularly for a girl child, in a male dominated society.  Life conditions were difficult for men and women during the Medieval Ages.  Young men’s lives were dictated to by societal needs for family strength. It was a time of darkness and heaviness of heart. Battles were fought, men killed without much thought, women were captured, treated as property much of their lives.

In this story, a pocket of happiness surrounds the de Montfort clan. Alys de Montfort was happy serving Queen Philippa and the king.  She learned the skill of herbs from her mother and aided the royal court.  When the queen died, she left for Kinwick Castle, her home, with a sad heart. 

In her young life, there hadn’t been a man she’d met who made her heart flutter, therefore she didn’t want to marry.  Her father and mother didn’t push her.  After all, they were able to marry for love and this they wanted for their children. Only one young man had made an impression on twelve-year-old Alys – Christopher Emory.  But he, too, would be taken, already betrothed to a woman of the court, Richessa Giffard — a match to strengthen their families.

Alys loved life, and was a happy and compassionate woman.  She had come to realize she may not be meant to marry, rather her calling would be to dedicate her life to healing others.

Kit (Christopher) Emory, son of Godwin Emory, Baron of Brentley, had just returned to court after many years in France and soon left to see his mother, Berengarria Emory.  His father remained in court as advisor to the king.  Kit loved his mother who taught him everything about running Brentwood, his home.  Anxious to see her, he left for home only to find her very ill.  Scared for her health, he decided to seek out Alys de Montfort, a young woman he had met at court who was renowned for her medicinal cures.  He felt attracted to her, but life moved people as pawns.  She left for home and he to France. Would she still be unmarried?

England’s roads are not safe, many prey upon others who have more. Kit gets attacked on his way to Kinwick, all clothing and weaponry taken, and left for dead, a mass of swelling and bruises.

Alys accompanies her young brothers back to their foster home, only to find a man left for dead on the road.  No matter who the man is, pauper or noblemen, her compassion does not allow her to retreat without help.

Kit gets returned to Kinwick Castle and is nurtured back to health by Alys and her mother.  Kit is frustrated for he’s lost his memory. Alys thinks he looks familiar, but can’t say for sure who he is.

The story holds much warmth and friendship with action-packed scenes.  Many-a-time, I found myself actively cheering for Alys, feeling her emotions.  She falls in love with a man who doesn’t remember who he is.  When she’s positive she knows who he is, she fears to tell him.  She knows he’s married.  Couldn’t she have a few more days of living a dream?

I’ve read all of this series and have found each of the five stories most entertaining. If you like your Medieval Romances with amazingly honorable knights placed in difficult and challenging circumstances, you’ve found your author!

 

 

Posted in Action/Adventure, Book Reviews, Historical Romance, Medieval Romance, New Book Release, Romance | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Review: SHIELD OF KRONOS by Kathryn Le Veque ~ a story of love and honor — can one take precedence over the other?

35500903Title: Shield of Kronos The Great Knights of de Moray, Book 1
Author: Kathryn Le Veque
Genre: Historical Romance, Medieval Story Setting: The Levant, 1191 A.D.; England, 1196 A.D.
Pages: 309
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc., 1 edition
Publication Date: September 7, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B0733N1ZMK

Publisher’s Summary: 1196 A.D. –  Eyes as black as night…. A decorated knight for Richard the Lionheart and an ally of the House of de Lohr, Sir Garret de Moray was a man described as cold… intimidating… foreboding.

A man with eyes as black as night.

Receiving a royal appointment as Captain of the Household Guard, there was no man more qualified or prepared for the role because on the sands of the Holy Land where Garret went on Richard’s great quest, the Christian armies whispered of a knight whose wisdom was ancient. Some wondered if he was the walking dead, an immortal soul who had lived many lifetimes over, because his skill and power exceeded earthly restraints. Kronos, they called him. The father of the gods.

Then came a lady without hope….

Beautiful Lyssa du Bose has lost everything – her father, her home, her family. Taken in by an aunt who was a lady-in-waiting for the Duchess of Colchester, Lyssa finds a quiet existence in the shadows of a great home. A chance meeting with a warrior with eyes as black as night and, suddenly, her perspective on life begins to change. The quiet, sometimes-frightening knight took an interest in her, and she in him. Is it possible that someone should actually want her?

More than she knows. When Lyssa catches the Duke of Colchester’s attention as well, the gentle romance between her and Garret quickly becomes something they must fight to hold on to. When Garret, one of the most powerful knights in King Richard’s stable, is challenged by a married duke who wishes to make Lyssa his mistress, it is a battle that all of London will witness.

 

My Thoughts: The wheels are set in motion by one man with a vendetta against the Templars.  This man, bastard cousin to the King Richard, is known for his violent vindictiveness when angered.  He is the duke Colchester. While in the battles in Levant, he ties a man’s hands behind his back and threatens his death.

“The Templars are a disease that eats away at the armies of God,’ he said. “They infect everything they touch and they pollute the minds of the faithful!”…

“There is one true God, Savage,” He screamed as he threw his foot into the Muslim’s body. “It is my God. Your god does not exist. Even now, as you are being defeated, your god does not come to help you. But I have the strength of my God behind me. After your death, men will find these weapons of the Templars in your body and know that it is the Templars who have become dishonorable assassins.”

Garret is requested by King Richard to search out Jago de Nantes, aka Alfaar, who left the camp possibly to stir up trouble. He finds Alfaar far from the encampment,  violently abusing a man who has his hands tied behind his back, threatening to kill him.

Garret doesn’t condone killing a man who can’t fight back.  It is not an honorable way to fight.

The scene shows us the caliber and wisdom of Garret de Moray and that of the man Garret saves, who now owes a debt of honor to Garret for saving his life.

“Go back where you belong,’ Garret told him. “Your god has spared you this night, for I have not the time or the inclination to do away with you.”

The Muslim was looking up at him without fear. In fact, there was admirable bravery in his expression considering he was beaten and bound, now facing off against another English knight who appeared bigger, meaner, and far more armed than the one who had captured him.

“You have save my life, he said. “Why?”

“Had your hands not been bound, I would not have interfered as I did,” he said. “But there is no honor in killing a man who is at a disadvantage, not even if that man is your sworn enemy. Live to fight another day, Muslim. But remember this night and remember a Christian knight who showed you mercy. Mayhap someday, you will be required to show one of my brethren the same.” …

The Muslim staggered to his feet, weary and wounded. “Allah favors the merciful,” he said quietly, “as I am sure your God does the same. I will remember your mercy, Salibi. May I know the name of the man who save me?”

Garret was reluctant. “Does it matter?”

The Muslim nodded. “it does, as I intend to ask Allah to protect you in battle.”

“I shall pray for you, de Moray.

Six years later, both men follow much the same path.  Garrett’s promoted, now Captain of the Royal Guard, and his notoriety is known in London. He is a leader of men, known for his level-headedness and wisdom.

Duke of Colchester is no longer beating men, but, beating women, thereby still creating trouble, but he is untouchable.  His sexual appetite and imbalance of mind makes him a very dangerous man as the reader will see.

 

Unfortunately, one lovely lady-in-waiting of the duke’s wife, is in his sight. She is also known to Garret who saves her from ruffians outside a great gathering outside the great hall of Winchester. She makes an impression upon her, even that night. Lyssa du Bose is not the ordinary lady-in-waiting.  She comes to the Duchess Colchester with no mother or father, just her aunt Rose who works and is a long-time friend of the duchess. The duchess is a kind woman.  She tries her best to keep her flock of ladies from the duke.

Le Veque captures the turmoil of Lyssa’s emotions, her aunt’s, the Duchesses, Garret’s and his brother’s so powerfully, I felt I was a shadow in the room, seeing and experiencing it all for myself.

The brotherhood of Knights continues to fascinate me.  Their love for each other and their willingness to support one another, touches the heart. Again, Le Veque, thoroughly encapsulates these feelings in this wonderfully written story of love.

Many scenes are sweet, full of trust and innocence, others will grip your gut, terrorized by the possible outcome.  This is a story of love at first sight, of innocence and purity of spirit, and an answer to this question. What holds more value to a man?  Will love or honor dictate the path a man must follow?

Posted in Book Reviews, Historical Romance, Medieval Romance, New Book Release, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Just released: THE LOST LORD OF CASTLE BLACK by Chasity Bowlin ~ A Regency read of daring, desperation and discovery!

Title: The Lost Lord of Castle Black The Lost Lords Series, Book 1
Author: Chasity Bowlin
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
Pages: 223
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc., 1 edition
Published Date: September 7, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B075GWPNTY

 

Publisher’s Summary:
An exciting new Regency Historical Romance series!

Graham, Lord Blakemore, was believed to be lost at sea as a boy. While his mother, Lady Agatha, has never given up hope of finding her son again, others—eager for the title and the wealth that accompanies it—have been conspiring to have him declared dead against Lady Agatha’s wishes. Her only ally in the house is her late husband’s ward, Miss Beatrice Marlowe.
But when a dark-haired stranger arrives on their doorstep claiming to be the lost heir to Castle Black, the plots and schemes of those who would have the castle for themselves take a dark and even more sinister turn.

An orphan when she came into the care of the late Lord Blakemore, Castle Black is the only home Beatrice has ever known. Its occupants are her family. This stranger, who claims to have lost his memory of his life there, threatens the order of all that she knows and holds dear. And yet, she is both drawn to him and strangely compelled to believe his claim. Beatrice finds herself torn between her desire for him and her belief that, if he is the lost lord of Castle Black, he is far above her reach.

Graham is no ordinary gentleman, bound by the rules of a society he has spent his life far removed from. He’s willing to face not just the danger that lurks within the walls of Castle Black, but anyone who stands between him and what he wants. He has returned to claim his destiny and, for him, Beatrice is part of that. While all else has been forgotten, he knows her to the depths of his soul. More than the castle itself, more than the strangely familiar and rugged land it sits upon, she is his home and he means to claim her.

FIVE-STAR READ

My favorite quote:

Whatever is between us isn’t in spite of who you are, it’s because of who you are!”

 My Thoughts:

Graham, the young son of Lady and Lord Blakemore was lost at sea, some 18 years past.  Lady Agatha has  mourn the emptiness in her life, but has never given up on him being alive and returning, even when her Lord Blakemore passed away, still she won’t give up.

Edmund, married to Eloise (who is quite the harlot) badgers his aunt to do the necessary paperwork to admit Graham is dead. She is frail, her health has been failing for the last two months. Edmund talks of ruination for the castle because funds are insufficient. 

Lady Agatha has a second son, Christopher, half-brother to Graham, who is rather a sullen boy, keeping much to himself, seen sneaking off to town or up to the tower. What has he to do with the tower?

Beatrice Marlowe, also part of the household was Edmund’s and Graham’s playmate when they were all children.  Now Edmund sees her as his plaything, the only thing he thinks she’s good for.  He’s not the boy he was, but a man of anger and frustration.  Beatrice loves Lady Agatha and wants only to protect her. She fears if she weren’t there protecting the elder woman, she would simply cave in to Edmund’s demands because they are relentless.

Were it not for Lady Agatha, she’d have been tossed out into the streets long ago. Edmund had made no effort to hide his disdain for her.  During their ugly encounter that night in the corridor, he’d made it abundantly clear that there was only one way for her to remain at Castle Black after Lady Agatha was gone. He’d be his mistress, installed right under his wife’s nose, or she’d be tossed into the streets without a tuppence to make her way in the only way that a woman could.

Castle Black is pretty much in chaos when one evening a man with common clothes, looking more like a pirate than gentry comes to the door announcing he is Graham, Lord Blakemore.  The winds of chaos grow worse. Lady Agatha immediately accepts him as her son.  Beatrice confirms certain identification markings he has. Edmund and Christopher have something to lose if it is true, wanting the man kicked out of the castle.

What makes this interesting is Graham has only learned his identity recently, but his memories are mostly non-existent.  Any memories he has, seem to revolve around Beatrice.  But, Beatrice remembers him as a lad, a prankster, pulling her hair, teasing and pinching her.  He had been cruel.  But what she sees now, he is not the same.  He’s a kinder soul, one protective to his mother and Beatrice.  And one Beatrice could fall in love with.  But she couldn’t let that happen.  He is Lord Blakemore, she is just an orphan.

There was no cruelty in the man she’d just met, and it was hard for her to fathom that a more difficult life had produced a kinder version of the boy she’d once known…

Why did he tempt her so? He was handsome. If she had to categorize it, she would say he was undoubtedly the most handsome man she’d ever seen. But not in the way of a gentleman. His features were fought-hewn and chiseled, all sharp angles and planes with none of the softness to him that marked nobility. It was a point in his favor, truthfully. She’s never been attracted to men who looked softer than she did—men like Edmund.

The castle is as multi-faceted and complex as the people who live within its walls.  It has secret rooms and passages with priest holes. When Graham realizes much is afoot within the castle, he takes it upon himself to find its source and stop it. His past experiences work in his favor.

Beatrice is the voice of wisdom and calm, although she almost loses her own life. Here’s a beautiful quote, spoken by Beatrice to Graham.

“We are none of us good or bad, Graham. We are simply fallible people capable of extremes…whether it be kindness and compassion or cruelty and brutality. The seeds for all exist within us. Whatever you may have done in your life, it is not the definition of who you are.”

Betsy, Beatrice’s friend and maid, funnels news from the servants to her ears.  She knows the castle well and uses the secret passage ways within its walls.

The plot is thick, the possibilities of why abound, as Graham takes control of the castle and the evil lurking within its walls.  I was entertained and kept on edge much of the time, right there with Beatrice and Graham, trying to unravel why all the strange goings-on. 

At the same time, I was charmed by Beatrice, fiercely independent with a mind and voice of her own who finds in Graham a man of great understanding who wouldn’t never had been able to accept her feelings if he had grown up as on of the titled priviledged.  She couldn’t help but fall in love.  Even though Graham still doesn’t have all his memories, his love is strong.  She was his beacon back home.

Am I not ready for book two of the series?

Posted in Book Reviews, Historical Romance, New Book Release, Regency Romance, Romance | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Audiobook Review: VESTIGES OF VALOR by Kathryn Le Veque ~ quite the read and listen. Quote: A man will do most anything to protect his name and his family.

vestiges

Title: Vestiges of Valor House of De Nerra, Book 1
Author: Kathryn Le Veque
Genre: Historical Medieval Romance
Pages: 315
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc., 1 edition
Published Date: April 18, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B01MURDMN

Narrated by: Brian J. Gill
Whispersync for Voice-ready
Length: 10 hours, 30 minutes
Release Date: July 3, 2017

Publisher’s Summary:

1170 AD – his name is Valor.

Sir Valor “Val” de Nerra is one of Henry II’s most trusted knights. As the Itinerant Justice of East Hampshire, Val’s word is law. A fair and just man, and a very handsome one, he enjoys a good deal of attention and respect. His life is a prestigious and wealthy one until he faces a decision one day that will change the course of his life.

Val must order the execution of his love’s brother.

Val has adored Lady Vesper since the moment they met. As he strives to win her back, the king orders Val to participate in an event that will shock the country for years to come – the assassination of Archbishop Thomas Becket.

Will he obey? Or will he refuse?

From a man who had enjoyed the wealth, love, and admiration of all to a man who falls swiftly from grace, be part of Val and Vesper’s journey as Val struggles to regain what he lost and comes to understand what is truly important in life in this novel of astonishing emotion, passion, in.

©Kathryn Le Veque (P)2017 Kathryn Le Veque

My Thoughts: This read is powerful! I read it five months ago and have just finished listening to the narration, narrated by Brian J. Gill.

Gill depicts the emotional and character conflict superbly. A great story with a good narrator gives me great satisfaction in revisiting the story. If you have purchased the book, then consider the audiobook. Audible.com gives a special price discount for these customers.

Recently, I read about another author who has taken the four knights who assassinated Thomas Beckett, Archbishop of Canterbury, and given them each a story. I wish I could remember the author, because I’d love to follow-up with the historical event. If any of you readers know, please let me know!

Simply, when an author is able to turn back time, reliving a historical event, humanizing it, breathing life anew into it, I think the author has done more than a service of entertaining. For these reasons, Le Veque gets my vote of confidence and my turn-to author for Medieval Historical Romance reads.

Valor, its meaning, not the name of the main character, plays a large part in this story whose powerful setting and writing style took me from the heights of happiness to the depths of despair. Author Kathryn Le Veque picks the perfect period in history where so many intrigues take place, where valor and honor are challenged and where love flourishes even amongst its vestiges.

Valor has a job to do–Itinerant Justice of East Hampshire. He has faithfully executed all the king’s commands with fortitude and aplomb. He has gained favor with King Henry and those who support the king. A command once again comes to Valor with a missive delivered by one of the knights of the king’s inner circle. This particular missive challenges Valor, for he’s damned if he follows his king’s demand and damned if he does not. He is commanded to arrest Thomas Beckett, the Archbishop of Canterbury at that time. If you would like to read an account of Thomas Beckett’s death, follow this link.

Vesper seems demure enough. She appears quite the lady, well-educated for the times, has a beautiful voice Valor falls in love with. The hidden spirit of Vesper comes to play when she realizes she loves Valor and will move heaven and earth to keep him safe. Yes, my kind of heroine!

Valor’s mother, Margaretha, is an interesting character. She’s a woman of much perception, rather sharp-tongued, with a deep love for her son. She gets me eye-rolling! Her greatest desire is to have grandchildren, since Valor is the only one to produce the heirs for the House of De Nerra. There are several scenes where she is a total harpy, badgering her son to marry, to have children. I could see myself in her position with our son! Valor doesn’t have a well of patience either, but I do marvel at what patience he has! She is also one who accesses the worth of people quickly – sometimes spot-on, sometimes misses the mark by a wide margin. I feel she’d be a great character to continue learning about. A story of her own, perhaps.

Another character I’m certain we shall see again in the de Nerra series is an old friend and knight, Sir McCloud d’Avignon, father to the lovely heroine, Vesper. He is a man who has changed with time, not the knight Valor once knew. I enjoyed the way author Le Veque layers this story – for McCloud has a story of his own. He is the one who changes the most, but can he be forgiven for his past?

It’s marvelous how the author takes a momentous historical event weaving into it a story of love, pain, untruths and honor. All her books tug on my emotions.

There are scenes where I cry and laugh at the same time. Wonderfully heartwarming and at the same time, heart-wrenching. Don’t miss reading and listening to the first of a new series by Kathryn Le Veque.

Continue reading

Posted in Audiobook, Audiobook Review, Historical Romance, Medieval Romance | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

A Winner! Giveaway, Excerpt & Review of lovely Mariah Stewart’s newest release: THE CHESAPEAKE BRIDE

Deborah Kehoe you have won! Congratulations!  Please PM me your mailing address and we’ll get the book right out to you!

END OF SUMMER GIVEAWAY:

We’re celebrating The Chesapeake Bride and Summer 2017 with one giveaway for Driftwood Point, 10th  in The Chesapeake Diaries Series by Mariah Stewart! The last day for entries will be Friday, September 22nd (the official last day of summer!) The winner will receive one copy of Driftwood Point. U.S. only, please. You can enter at the participating blogs listed below – but you can only win once!

On this site, please comment that you would like to read the book, and if you’ve read any of Mariah Stewart’s books.  You have through the weekend to comment.  I will pick a winner on Monday, September 18, 2017.

Title: The Chesapeake Bride, The Chesapeake Diaries, Book 11
Author: Mariah Stewart
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
Pages: 385
Published by: Pocket Books
Published Date: August 29, 2017
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
ASIN: B01MDTJXNU

Praise for The Chesapeake Bride, Book 11 in The Chesapeake Diaries:

“Stewart succeeds in giving both Owen and Cass a smooth blend of strength and vulnerability, and the setting of this heartwarming romance will draw readers in with its island-life charm.” —Publishers Weekly

“The Chesapeake Bride is a small-town romance which will leave readers wanting more of the charming characters and unforgettable story. I enjoyed this book so much that I am still running some of the scenes through my head, which shows how fantastic the story is. Another great read by an outstanding author. A Recommended Read!” —Romance Junkies, Five Heart Review

 “The romance is slow and sweet…the lack of unnecessary melodrama, angst, and over-the-top gestures makes this a refreshing contemporary romance between two adults who act as such.”—Kirkus Reviews

ABOUT THE BOOK:  New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart returns to the cherished Maryland shores of St. Dennis with THE CHESAPEAKE BRIDE (Pocket Books; August 29, 2017; $7.99), the charming story of a jaded architect who meets the one man who could finally melt her heart—if she’s willing to let him in.

Cassidy Logan has sworn off good-looking adventurers, having just divorced the one she’d married. Now working with her father’s construction company to build ecologically friendly, historically accurate homes on the Chesapeake Bay, she’s designing them for Cannonball Island. Knowing there’s been no new construction on the island in almost one hundred years, Cass is sensitive to the heritage and history of the sparsely populated island, and has come up with plans so perfect she’s determined to buy one for herself to live in. Even the fact that Owen Parker—whom she dismisses as a lightweight and a player— seems to be everywhere she goes isn’t enough to deter her from building her dream house.

Owen is and always has been sinfully handsome and wickedly clever, a magnet for mischief as well as the girls in St. Dennis. He’s also a rolling stone, going and doing whatever appeals to him, from flying a mail plane in Alaska to working on a cattle ranch in Australia and a shrimp boat in Louisiana, to surfing and diving in Costa Rica. When an old friend offers him a job salvaging a sunken ship in the Chesapeake, Owen gladly accepts. Something’s been telling him it’s about time to head home to Cannonball Island, and a job is as good an excuse as any. He’s totally smitten with the pretty architect, but it seems he’s finally met a woman who’s immune to his charms. Sooner or later, Owen will have to face the reason why he always runs, because this time, leaving just might be harder than staying.

 MY THOUGHTS: I felt the sand between my toes and the smell of the bay in this delightful and charming story. Although this is my first book of the series, it certainly could be a stand-alone. However, I’m thrilled to have discovered Mariah Stewart’s world, brought to life by her skill as a writer and her imagination, and my desire to spend the summer near the water! This story takes place in a small town setting of St. Dennis on Cannonball Island. Not only Stewart’s setting captured me, but the people of the island, from young to old — each with an undeniable stamp of importance to the plot, did, too.

One of my favorite characters is a very old and wise woman, Ruby Carter.  She has a gift of feeling what is going to happen, lending a bit of mystery to what is going on. She’s also sharp as a tack and talks of the history of the island, giving the reader further history into what the island has meant to others.  Stewart does such a great job with making me feel right at home, with the small cottages, the island, its people and the bay.

Ruby’s pleased as punch to have her great-grandson, Owen Parker, back for the summer.  He’s been one whose travelled and enjoyed living and working around the world, but has always had a soft spot in his heart for this little island, where he spent many summers in his youth. He also has a soft spot for Ruby, whom he calls Gigi. How much longer would she be part of his life? He’s back for the summer, having found work with his old friend, Jared Chandler.  Jared’s been granted a contract to excavate a possible ship wrecked in the bay. Diving happens to be one of Owen’s passions. But that ship wreck could mean a setback to Cass’s dream project.

An outsider, Cass Logan comes to the town as the project architect for Brian Deiter’s building company. She is his daughter. Cass is a beautiful woman both inside and out and you’ll grow to love her quickly.  She, as every woman with a career and past marriage has her issues. Her idea of a perfect life does not include a man.

And talking of relationships, Owen has tried that before, thinking after being with a woman for so long, it stood to reason he should marry her.  It didn’t work at all.  So he’s been foot-loose and fancy-free for some time, and not on the marriage market.

This story is about building a new life in a little town, developing friendships for life and finding the perfect fit for two very sweet people. I am delighted with the read.  It reads very much like a summer on vacation, slow-building with richly interesting people.

The following is an excerpt from the diary of one of the island residences.  Grace is the owner of the only inn on the island.  An older woman, as many of the residents are, she brings the reader a birds-eye view of what she sees happening on the island and what to expect. She and Ruby Carter see beyond what one sees.  Is that wisdom?

Diary~

I love the changing of the seasons—and I think summer into fall might be a favorite, being as how I relate to the whole “autumn of my years” thing. That’s how I see myself, anyway. If sixty is the new forty, I believe seventy must be the new fifty, eighty the new sixty, and so on. Therefore, I fall into that third quadrant. Don’t try to change my mind or confuse me with facts.

One of the reasons I love this time of the year: the steady influx of tourists into St. Dennis begins to wane. Not that I don’t love our visitors. Why, without them, St. Dennis would have continued to languish and would never have become the Eastern Shore mecca it now is. But there’s something sweet about having your hometown belong to you and yours again, even if it’s just for a while. I know soon enough the holidays will be upon us and many will flock to town for all the beautiful festivities—the Christmas House Tour, the weekend of caroling, the tree lighting at the square on Old St. Mary’s Church Road, Christmas at the Inn (a favorite of mine), and, oh, yes, the shopping! But this little respite between the beginning of September, when the families leave to return their offspring to school, and the holiday madness belongs to us, we old St. Dennis folk who like a little downtime.

Not to say there’s nothing going on here! There are new babies to celebrate and a special wedding on the horizon, one that makes me especially weepy. My dear nephew, Alec, will be marrying his lovely Lisbeth in an event that will be the talk of both St. Dennis and Cannonball Island for a long time to come. I’m not privy to all the details, mind you, but since my daughter, Lucy, is planning the wedding, I’ve heard bits and squeaks of what she has in mind, and it will, no doubt, be perfectly wonderful.

When we were children, Mama told us that when good folks passed, they earned a star in the heavens where they could sit and shine down on all the goings-on here on earth. Our brothers scoffed, but we girls believed her, and so it is that I know my beloved sister, Carole, will be watching happily from her star as her son marries his bride out on the point in just a few more weeks.

Thinking about the point makes me think of all the changes that are coming to Cannonball Island soon. So much, it could make your head spin! For the first time in roughly two hundred years, new dwellings will be going up on what had once been barren land. I heard from one in the know that some of the older homesteads—mostly those that have fallen into ruin or have been abandoned—will be replaced with new versions more suitable to modern living. Some are up in arms about this, but frankly, it’s about time. Those dilapidated old shells offer no shelter and, if anything, detract from the beauty of the island. My good friend Ruby Carter—the island’s matriarch—has given her blessing, and that’s good enough for me. Besides, Alec will be serving as the environmental consultant, so I feel confident that all will be well. The new homes are being designed with the island’s history in mind, so the legacy of those early settlers will be well protected. The architect is a lovely young woman who is serious about this project, so I know, eventually, all will be well.

Of course I do.

I know, too, that a certain islander with a “rolling stone” reputation will be finding his rolling days coming to a halt before too long. It will be amusing, to say the least, to see him meet his match. Will he be bested?

The smart money’s on the new girl. That’s all I have to say about that.

And so much excitement over all the goings-on at the mouth of the river on the other side of Cannonball Island! Who knew such mysteries lay beneath the water, waiting to be discovered—and now that they have been, well, the flurry of activity these days has my poor old head spinning like an old-fashioned top. I cannot wait to see what they find, and I’m more than happy that one of the principal players is staying at the inn. Not that I’d pry, but if one overhears a snippet of conversation now and then . . . well, let’s just say it’s good to keep informed. Now, how all this is going to affect the construction that was slated to begin in November, well, I suppose everyone will have to wait and see. Could be there will be delays, which will keep the new girl around for a while longer and will keep the rolling stone on his toes.

My, what fun this will be~

Grace ~

mariahABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mariah Stewart is the award-winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of numerous novels and several novellas and short stories.  A native of Hightstown, New Jersey, she lives with her husband and two rambunctious rescue dogs amid the rolling hills of Chester County, Pennsylvania, where she savors country life and tends her gardens.  Visit her website at mariahstewart.com, like her on Facebook at AuthorMariahStewart, and follow her on Instagram at mariah_stewart_books.

 Upcoming store event with Mariah:
Thursday, August 31st, 6:30 pm (Note: This event was rescheduled due to the storm.)

Bethany Beach Books
99 Garfield Parkway
P.O. Box 904
Bethany Beach, DE 19930

 

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE: 

AUGUST 28
USA TODAY’S HAPPY EVER AFTEREXCERPT

HEROES AND HEARTBREAKERSWOMEN’S FICTION BEST BET FOR AUGUST 2017

 AUGUST 29
A MIDLIFE WIFE

ROMANCING THE READERS

 AUGUST 30
THE LIBRARIAN TALKSQ&A

BOOK BITCH

ABIGAIL BOOKS ADDICTION

MY NOVELESQUE LIFE

 AUGUST 31
DIRTY AND THIRTY

BOOK MAMA BLOG

SUZY APPROVED BOOK REVIEWS

COLLECTORS OF BOOK BOYFRIENDS

 SEPTEMBER 1
SOS ALOHA

MARGIE’S MUST READS

PACIFIC NORTHWEST BOOKWORM

 SEPTEMBER 4

READING BETWEEN THE WINES

 SEPTEMBER 5
FRESH FICTION

SVETLANA’S READS AND VIEWS

BIBLIOTICA

MRS LEIF’S TWO FANGS ABOUT IT

 SEPTEMBER 6
READ YOUR WRITES

REVIEWS BY CRYSTAL

BRAINFARTS AND BOOKS

IN PATTI’S IMAGINATION

BOOKJUNKIEMOM

 SEPTEMBER 7
JOJO THE BOOKAHOLIC

LORI’S READING CORNER

HAPPYMOMBLOGGER’S BLOG

HARDLY A GODDESS

NOTES ON MY SHELF

 SEPTEMBER 8
READING FRENZY BLOG

THOUGHTS IN PROGRESS

DIVATUDE

UP ‘TIL DAWN BOOK BLOG

 SEPTEMBER 12
SATISFACTION FOR INSATIABLE READERS

LINDA’S BOOK OBSESSION

CARLA LOVES TO READ

LORELEI’S LIT LAIR

 SEPTEMBER 13
KATHERINE’S BOOK UNIVERSEQ&A

BOOKTALK WITH EILEEN

REVIEWS FROM THE HEART

KT BOOK REVIEWS

SHANNON’S BOOK BLOG

BIGREADERSITE’S BLOG

GRANNY LOVES TO READ!

I WISH I LIVED IN A LIBRARY

 SEPTEMBER 14
SCANDALICIOUS BOOK REVIEWS

ITCHING FOR BOOKS

COMMUNITY BOOKSTOP

BOOKS TO CURL UP WITH

 SEPTEMBER 15
ROMANTIC READS AND SUCH

SUSIEQLAW’S BLOG

DEVILISHLY DELICIOUS BOOK REVIEWS

BOOKFAN
LOVEY DOVEY BOOKS

Posted in Book Giveaway, Book Reviews, New Book Release, New Book Release Tour, Romance, Women's Fiction | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Audiobook Review: DRAGON KNIGHT’S SHIELD by Mary Morgan ~ I enjoyed Morgan’s story more, the second time around! What a captivating series!

Title: Dragon Knight’s Shield Order of the Dragon Knights, Book 4Dragon Knight's Shield Audiobook
Author: Mary Morgan
Genre: Historical Romance, Fantasy
Story Setting: France, 1206; California present day; Scotland
Pages: 315
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Published Date: January 8, 2016
ASIN: B018MESJ12

Narrated: Paul Woodson
Length: 11 hours and 1 minute
Release Date: February 13, 2017
Published by: The Wild Rose Press

Order of the Dragon Knight’s Series — click to order from Amazon:
Dragon Knight’s Sword
Dragon Knight’s Medallion
Dragon Knight’s Axe
Dragon Knight’s Shield

 

Publisher’s Summary:
Angus MacKay, leader of the Dragon Knights, failed his brothers and his clan upon the death of his sister. Now he must fight the darkness of despair tempting his soul. Back on Scottish soil, he comes face to face with Deirdre who can wield a sword as mightily as his warriors, and he takes her captive. Yet, with each passing day, the fire dragon inside him roars to claim the one woman fate has destined for him.

Famed mystery writer Deirdre Flanagan is unprepared for the next chapter in her life. On a vacation to Scotland, she steps through the mists and enters into a skirmish alongside a Highlander. However, the fight has only begun, and now she must battle Angus as well as evil in order to claim the love of this Dragon Knight.
Will their love be powerful enough to shield them from danger, or burn them to ashes?
©2016 Mary Morgan (P)2017 Mary Morgan

 

My Thoughts: 
Ms. Morgan’s writing sizzles from the first page, sharing Angus MacKay’s desparate plight sliding into the abyss of self-loathing.  He hated what he had become and certainly couldn’t ask forgiveness from his brothers, even if they were still alive. Were they? His heart yearned for his home, Urquhart, yet he could not return.  He was to blame for it all, the elder brother who should have been able to control all the forces.  He hadn’t taught his brothers well enough and then the battle ended in his sister’s death.  It was too harsh to even think about.

Each of the books in the series has been about the retrieval of relics taken from these great knights by the Fae.  Their names were stricken from the hallowed halls of the Fae.  Each knight had a quest to redeem themselves whether they understood they must do it nor not.  The three other brothers had redeemed themselves and were safely back home in Urquhart with their partner, chosen by the Fae. However, to fight the evil force growing in their world, all four brothers had to be redeemed, and Angus was not among them.  Where Angus was the one most hard on himself, he was also the most stubborn.  His stubbornness almost cost them everything and he, personally, to learn the meaning of love.

The Fae have chosen to move the relics to the future.  A woman, for each relic, had been chosen from the future, one the Fae deemed special in her own right. For the Fae, even though hard-nosed, loved the Dragon Knights descended from the ancient order.

Deidre had been chosen to protect the shield and bring it to the past.  But if you asked her, she’d have nothing to do with it.  She was a damn good writer, publishing and getting noticed.  She was also a woman who had been dumped on her wedding day – her husband-to-be, paid a prank, dared by his sorority buds.  Now, ten years later, at 30, she no longer was the fragile young woman she’d been.  She had made something of herself including being extremely clever with knives.  Susan, the heroine of her mystery/detective novels had to know how to protect herself.  So what better way to get it right than to learn it for herself?

Her friends decided to surprise her with a birthday gift – a trip to Scotland.  Strange happenings assailed her once in Scotland. She was drawn to certain things, and eventually she was pulled into the past. Deidre was the type of person who didn’t wait for someone to do something for her.  When there was trouble, she stepped in and took care of it.  Afterall, she could take care of herself.  But not realizing what year she stepped into, made her vulnerable and unsettled.

Narrator Paul Woodson enhances the pleasure of this story with his Scottish brogue, and American accented women.  For your enjoyment and sampling of how Woodson narrates, I asked him to provide a clip for me.

I love the world Morgan created, thoroughly thrilled with its narration, reliving it in vibrant living color. The scenes of tragedy or pain are very nicely depicted by Woodson, wonderfully shown the reader by Morgan.  The heroine is my kind of feisty, determined woman who believes in Angus. Angus is a warrior knight who finally redeems himself and gains the love of a woman warrior in her own right.

Once again, Ms. Morgan has filled my senses with where she took me.  The verdant landscape, rugged mountains, a man with unusual abilities and a kind heart, filthy vermin of men seeking power, the balance of life as they knew it, so close to disaster, Fae who are hard not to like, even when manipulating people’s lives and finally the valor of men with women whom they love.  It can’t get much better than this.

Reader, if you love fantasy, mixed with time travel, Fae, Dragons, knights to make your knees weak, and magic, never hesitate to begin this series.  My appreciation to Mary Morgan’s talent is unending.

Morgan interviews with Booktalk with Eileen in the next couple of weeks.  Please pop on back to hear what she has to say.

 

Posted in Audiobook, Audiobook Review, Fantasy Romance, Romantic Comedy | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Review: LARID OF DARKNESS by Eliza Knight

35575812Title: Laird of Darkness The MacDougall Legacy Series, Book 3
Author: Eliza Knight
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 220
Publication Date: August 29 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B073HCCW4M

 The MacDougall Legacy Series ecopy purchase link:
Laird of Shadows
Laird of Twilights
Laird of Darkness

 

Publisher’s Summary:

A woman abandoned, a Highlander starting a revolution.

When Lady Rosamond de Warenne is abandoned by her father in a remote cave, she doesn’t believe her fate could get any worse—until she’s kidnapped by a fearsome Highlander. Laird Tierney MacDougall, recently released from imprisonment by the English, is bent on revenge, starting with marrying the daughter of his tormentor. A union forged from vengeance is doomed to fail—or is it? 

Five-Star Read

 My Thoughts:  Who could possibly punish his daughter for disgracing his name by leaving her in a cave with few supplies? 

Lady Rosamond knew her father, John de Warenne, to be unstable.  She had been the strong one, the twin who protected the other.  In this situation, she is doing the same.  Her twin, Loretta, had been secreted away to a convent.  She is enceinte.  If her condition were discovered she would be severely punished by her father and her reputation destroyed.  Rosamond preferred to receive said punishment. If word got around about the de Warenne twins, she would own up, it was her, not her sister.

But she had no idea the punishment meted out would be so extreme.  There was no way down from the cave.  She had nothing with her to coil or climb over the side of the cave and down into the water. She was forced to consider death if her father didn’t come back for her. She was determined to find some way out of this pickle.  Her miracle came in the form of Tierney MacDougall.

Tierney MacDougall, now laird of his clan, had just been released from the Tower of London, after excruciating torture.  He never gave up hope while there.  With a promise he’d be loyal to the English king, as his own father had been, he is released to return home and be laird of the MacDougall clan. He is eager to get back to Scotland and his castle, Dunstaffnage.  Would his men still be loyal to him?  Perhaps, they think he took sides with the English king.

Both Rosamund and Tierney are heroes in their souls—both are noble.  They also have a grudge against John de Warenne.  Tierney would very much like his head, but he must tread carefully.  Their problems and challenges come from John de Warenne, not their attraction to each other.  Each are attracted to the strength of the other.  Rosamund quickly comes to love the man who saves her life, not once, but many times.

If you enjoy plenty of action, with a bit of magic, and honorable love which surmounts evil in a Scottish setting, you are sure to enjoy Eliza Knight’s The MacDougall Legacy series. 

Posted in Highland Romance, Highland Stories, Historical Romance, Romance | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Recently Released: THE WICKED LADY by Mary Lancaster ~ a humorously written Regency with unique circumstances

36154052Title: The Wicked Lady Blackhaven Brides, Book 2
Author: Mary Lancaster
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
Pages: 213
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc., 1 edition
Published Date: August 29, 2017
ASIN: B0757V7JYD

 

Publisher’s Summary:
The scandalous widow…and the curate?

Newly widowed, wicked Kate Crowmore is in trouble. Scandal has broken over her head and someone is trying to kill her. When she seeks refuge in Blackhaven, she doesn’t expect a clergyman to be the solution to both these problems!

Tristram Grant is not just any clergyman. The cast-off, illegitimate son of an earl, and a one-time army officer of great promise, the charismatic new curate is making his mark in Blackhaven. As soon as he sees the beautiful, defiant Kate, he sets his heart on her. And he is used to achieving his goals. But Kate, finally free of a disastrous marriage that almost broke her, has no intention of marrying anyone ever again – supposing she survives the attempts on her life.

Grant’s courtship, like his pursuit of her enemies, is unorthodox, fun and curiously seductive. However, he has secrets of his own and when he deliberately frees a French prisoner of war, Kate realizes he could be more dangerous than she imagined.She

Then, as if life isn’t complicated enough, her old scandal catches us with her again, in the shape of Lord Vernon, whom the world imagines is her lover – and he wants to marry her too.…

My Thoughts: This is an amusing story about a woman who uses her reputation to keep men at bay and protect her heart. Lady Crowmore has perfected the perfect set down.  But underneath it all?  She’s kind, and sensitive. She learns people can look beyond the terrible humors she killed her husband.

Tristram Grant is the town’s new curate of St. Andrew’s Church in Blackhaven.  He doesn’t fit the mold at all (gorgeously handsome, with impeccable manners), but that, being said, the town loves him. Yes, even when he gets involved it what seemingly looks like helping a French prisoner escape and when he associates with a widow of questionable character.

Grant makes several friends within the town.  Dr. Lampton believes in him even when appearances don’t look very good for his reputation.

Grant isn’t looking for a wife, but is drawn immediately to the beautiful widow who doesn’t dress in widow’s mourning dress. More tongues go a-wagging when Grant introduces himself to Lady Crowmore and asks her to dance.

The bantering between the two is not only enjoyable for them, but the reader, too. In this small excerpt he introduces himself to the widow at a ball, something not appropriate as you Regency readers know. She shouldn’t even be there since she should be in mourning.

“Forgive me,” he said mildly. “I always seem to be in someone’s way.”

“The fault is trivial,” she replied, “but clearly mine. Excuse me.”

Her voice was enchanting, too—low, modulated, with just a hint of fashionable drawl. But since he was too uncivilly slow in moving aside, she began to walk around him.

“Perhaps you’d allow me to escort you to…wherever you’re going?” he suggested, turning belatedly aside.

Her lips curved into a sardonic smile. “To the devil, sir.” I could not ask it of you.”

“Precisely my subject of expertise, he said at once. “I might be your best protection.”

“Oh, I don’t need protection. The devil and I are old friends.”

“Then I might at least surprise him.”

Her step paused. She turned her head to face him once more, a hint of amusement in her deliberately distant gaze. She raised her perfectly arched eyebrow quizzically.

“Being a clergyman,: he explained.

A breath of surprised laughter fell from her lips. “Truly?”

“Truly. Tristram Grant, curate of St. Andrew’s Church here in Blackhaven.”

She cocked her head to one side, consideringly. “Are you trying to save my soul, Master Curate?”

“Actually, I’m trying to dance with you, but if your soul is in need, I am at your disposal.”

 

Both hero and heroine will snag your heart.  Lady Crowmore is fighting her past and her deceased husband’s cousin. Grant is trying to retain his position as curate in the town.  Does his relationship with the only woman who holds his attention and interest ruin his status in the town? And what about the rumor he may be a spy?

Is Lady Crowmore convinced that someone could really love her for who she is?  Will the town get beyond the humors which threaten her future happiness?  Will Grant forgive her for her past transgressions which threaten their relationship? Can Grant convince her to marry him?  So many questions!

Author Lancaster will keep you entertained in this unique set of circumstances. Many challenges are met and overcome with a satisfying ending for two people who deserve it!  I enjoy the many books I’ve read from this author.  She has disappointed me yet.

Posted in Book Reviews, Historical Romance, New Book Release, Regency Romance | Tagged , , | 1 Comment