Kiss of a Duke
Twelve Dukes of Christmas #2
romance, Regency, historical, humour
(6 Nov. 2018)
Just one more kiss… (Milady, it’s cold outside)
Lady chemist Penelope Mitchell took England by storm with Duke, a perfume for men that has women swooning at their feet. To prove the same aphrodisiacal potency of her upcoming version for ladies, the new perfume must cause a rake to fall in love with her in ten days. And she has just the man in mind…
Sexy pleasure-seeker Nicholas Pringle—known as “Saint Nick” for his wicked ways—wants to end the absurd cologne that has every young buck believing himself a ladies’ man. How hard can it be to charm a spinster into changing her mind? But when Penelope does the charming, this rakish scoundrel must decide between losing the war... or losing his heart.
The 12 Dukes of Christmas is a laugh-out-loud historical romance series of heartwarming Regency romps nestled in a picturesque snow-covered village. After all, nothing heats up a winter night quite like finding oneself in the arms of a duke!
This is number 2 in this great series.
We met Penelope before – the scientist who creates perfumes in the castle – somewhat messy and unusual indeed in being a ‘lady’ chemist at these times., in book #1.
Here we find her having successfully created a perfume for men that has proved to be a scent for the male tonthat has taken them by storm – and has made her notable.
Now she has to make a female perfume that will do the same.
Another of Erica’s heroines that is naturally a scientist in an era when women were not that educated and one we can empathise with, one who is a natural philosopher as those who worked with natural essences were called, and one who experimented in a laboratory. A grand example for our own girls.
I always enjoy a novel by Erica Ridley. They are light but also have great heroines who are not conforming to the societal norm. which i approve of. She doesn’t attempt to copy Georgette Heyer even though the books are set in the same time period. Rather she makes the time period her own creation, and this series of short novels is a grand idea – 12 before Xmas – quick writing!
Lord of Vice: Regency Romance Novel
Rogues to Riches Book 6
history, literary fiction, romance, Regency
31 Aug 2018
Appearances can be deceiving…
Vice merchant Maxwell Gideon is wickedly handsome, sinfully arrogant, and devilishly ruthless. Rumor has it, his gaming hell has the power to steal souls and grant miracles. Truth is, Max only owns half of The Cloven Hoof. He’d buy out his silent partner if he knew the man’s identity. But it’s hard to focus on business matters when a fallen angel tumbles right into one’s lap…
Miss Bryony Grenville has a well-earned reputation as an unrepentant hoyden. But even the gossipiest of the pinch-faced matrons ruling High Society could never imagine the daughter of a baron secretly financing the ton’s most infamous gambling parlor. Its maddening, sexy proprietor doesn’t suspect a thing… and two can play at temptation!
In the Rogues to Riches historical romance series by USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Erica Ridley, Cinderella stories aren’t just for princesses… Sigh-worthy Regency rogues sweep strong-willed young ladies into whirlwind romance with rollicking adventure.
Well of course Gambling is a Vice and people have been known to lose a fortune and their whole estates at the turn of a card. Hence the proprietor of a Gambling Den in the Regency period might be know as the Lord of Vice.
But perhaps that isn’t all he is. Perhaps he is egalitarian as to who he admits – to lose money – everyone welcome as long as you can pay.
Erica has chosen a topic here for this latest in her ‘naughty’ Lords series which doesn’t sit well with me. And her heroine helps her ‘Lord’ with her mathematical skills – for which we have to laud her – to work out how to make the most profit from the games of chance. Or that is, how to get people to lose the most cash…
But we do like Max – we have met him before in other books in this series, as he does have another side, which is softer and does help those who have fallen on hard times – and not by gambling!
So Bryony, the final sibling meets her match and also the tenant of her property which gives her a goodly amount of profit – which goes back into her sister’s school. Bad turned into good?
What I like most about Erica Ridley’s books is that she is true to the times. She writes with the ‘correct’ Regency novel phrasing – as invented by Georgette Heyer and attempts to echo the correct speech mannerisms using some phrases and words which were in common use then, but no longer. She accurately reflects some of societal issues and events – as far as is possible whilst writing a modern novel.
From Duke Till Dawn
(The London Underground, #1)
Regency romance, historical, humour
Mills & Boon
March 26, 2018
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.
The Governess Game
(Girl Meets Duke, #2)
Regency romance, historical, humour
August 20, 2018
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.
The Demon Duke
Put Up Your Dukes #1
Locked on Love Publishing
May 20, 2017
Behind every good man is a great secret. Banished to Yorkshire as a boy for faults his father failed to beat out of him, Damon Blackbourne has no use for English society and had vowed never to return to his family's estate at Thorne Hill, much less London. However, when his father and brother die in a freak carriage accident, it falls on Damon to take up the mantle of the Malford dukedom, and to introduce his sisters to London Society-his worst nightmare come to life. He never planned on Lady Grace Mattersley. The beautiful debutante stirs him body and soul with her deep chocolate eyes and hesitant smiles. Until she stumbles across his dark secret. Bookish Grace much prefers solitude and reading to social just-about-anything. Her family may be pressuring her to take on the London Season to find herself a husband, but she has other ideas. Such as writing a novel of her own. But she has no idea how to deal with the Duke of Malford. Will she betray him to the world? Or will she be his saving Grace?
A very different Regency romance in that it highlights the problems of ignorance, and the effect it had on people in this time. A time when ‘tics’ were believed to be either voluntary or a sign of possession by a demon! A time when the ‘less than perfect’ were locked away from society, and often placed in Lunatic Asylums.
Facial tics in children of course, are not necessarily a sign of Tourettes, although they are often associated with this. Though the swearing is not always a symptom. They tend to begin in childhood and as the child grows can become less severe. stress, fatigue or excitement can aggravate these symptoms and the child/adult may be able to learn to control them through relaxation techniques and – now – medications and psychotherapy.
Apart from the social commentary, it is a Regency romance in the (more) traditional form, with a semi-reluctant bride-to-be, and a husband chosen through some misadventure, yet they are in love with each other anyway.
Nice writing and a good twist and a decent length of story.