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Enter the Con

From Duke Till Dawn Book Cover From Duke Till Dawn
(The London Underground, #1)
Eva Leigh
Regency romance, historical, humour
Mills & Boon
March 26, 2018
384

Eva Leigh launches a seductive new series that sizzles with the dark secrets of London's underworld... 'It's not my habit to seduce impoverished widows...' The Duke of Greyland lost his heart - and a princely sum - to a charming, beautiful and destitute widow who, after one passionate night, vanished without a trace. Cassandra Blair grew up on the city streets, picking pockets to survive. Greyland was a rich mark - to be fleeced and forgotten - only she'd never forgotten him. Years later, chance brings them together again, in a London gaming hell. Grayland is desperate to have her... never suspecting everything about his lover was a lie. But finding herself in dire financial straits, at risk of losing everything, Cassandra has no choice but to beg the man she betrayed for help. The proud Duke will assist her under one condition: she doesn't leave his sight until her debts are paid! But can the real Cassandra - the smart, streetwise survivor - steal his heart all over again? Book one in the Scandalous Ladies of London series

For me this was a generally enjoyable book, but there was one area that I felt let the book down – the sex scenes. They somehow didn’t flow well. It was as though the publisher or editor said ‘we must have some sex in the book’, and the author complied but wasn’t confident or didn’t really like this type of writing.
That said, I thought that the story contained some interesting reflections and reminders about the lot of girls born into the slums. The story told us not only about the hierarchy of the Underworld and criminals but that girls had little choice but to work in brothels and get the ‘pox’ from a very young age,; work in the cotton mills (or similar) and get a lung disease; or learn to be thieves. Remember that the phrase ‘mad as a hatter’ came from the lead poisoning that working in a hat factory brought with it and the subsequent brain deterioration.
So thieving was perhaps the best option for them.
‘Respectable’ trades required references, from scullery maid to shopgirl and unless you had a reference you couldn’t obtain legal work.
The sadness of being dirty, hungry, lice ridden and without belongings was brought out clearly – no belongings because a. you had probably stolen what you had from other, and b. they stole it back…
I felt very much for the female character in this novel and thought that she had made the very best of her sad life.

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book review/Books/fiction/Romance
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Female Astronomers in the 19th Century

The Governess Game Book Cover The Governess Game
(Girl Meets Duke, #2)
Tessa Dare
Regency romance, historical, humour
HQ
August 20, 2018
384

After her livelihood slips through her fingers, Alexandra Mountbatten takes on an impossible post: transforming a pair of wild orphans into proper young ladies. However, the girls don’t need discipline. They need a loving home. Try telling that to their guardian, Chase Reynaud. The ladies of London have tried―and failed―to make him settle down. Somehow, Alexandra must reach his heart . . . without risking her own.

The infamous rake

Like any self-respecting libertine, Chase lives by one rule: no attachments. When a stubborn little governess tries to reform him, he decides to prove he can’t be tamed. But Alexandra is more than he bargained for: clever, perceptive, passionate. She refuses to see him as a lost cause. Soon the walls around Chase’s heart are crumbling . . . and he’s in danger of falling, hard.

This is a really interesting book as not only is it well written it contains, for us in this year of celebrating Women’s Suffrage in the UK, a good reminder that women have been working in scientific fields long before the history books remind us.
Mary Somerville, for instance, born in 1780, was jointly the first of two female astronomers, the other being Caroline Herschel, who were invited to join the Royal Astronomical Society in 1835. Caroline Herschel was awarded their Gold Medal in 1828.
This story brings this science to life and demonstrates the difficulty women had to be taught such sciences and to have a career that matched their intellectual abilities.
We did have a typical love story alongside this of course.

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