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Down the Docks and up the Chimney

bluestocking - Down the Docks and up the Chimney The Brazen Bluestocking
The Duchess Society Series, Book One
Tracy Sumner
Fiction, Historical, Regency
WOLF Publishing
Pub Date 30 Sep 2021

In this Regency romance by award-winning author Tracy Sumner, a willful bluestocking matches wits with a devilish scoundrel she never expected to desire with every beat of her heart. A defiant society outcast. A forbidding rogue who doesn’t believe in love. And a passionate wager. Daughter of an earl, Lady Hildegard Templeton hasn’t conformed to what society expects from a woman of her station. Industrious and unique, she’s created an emboldened organization for women on the cusp of marriage, The Duchess Society. Called a bluestocking to her face and worse behind closed salon doors, she vows to marry for love. And nothing but. Although the emotion has never shown itself to her. Until she meets him. Bastard son of a viscount and king of London’s sordid streets, Tobias Streeter has spent a lifetime building his empire, and he needs the Duchess Society to find a suitable wife. An asset to expand his worth in society’s eyes. But he vows his search will have nothing to do with love and everything to do with vengeance. Until he meets her. Soon, Tobias and Hildy’s plans are in turmoil as they choose between expectation, passion, and love.

This book continues the theme from another series of the Duchess Club, whereupon young women are taught the skills that they need to become a Duchess, that are not taught at home. The skills are added to by the Club undertaking investigations into the proposed partners, especially the husband-to-be; negotiating a satisfactory contract that enables the women involved to have an independent life is they wish; ensuring that the women are prepared for marital ‘relations’ and wish for them to occur; and other elements of marriage as needed.

This is the first book of the new series and is very encouraging.

It is of a good length such that the story and characters can be explored in enough depth; and the storyline can have numerous sub-plots and information about Society and Trade in the era.

Here we read about the trade of Chimney Sweep boys and the attempts to regulate it and swap young boys for mechanical devices. the way that this was argued against and the way the young boys were treated – we also find our something about the Tarring sheds for rope to be used on sheds. So quite a lot about how young children were employed in industry.

sweep - Down the Docks and up the Chimney

I always think that exploring these elements of the Society at the time of the storyline adds to the understanding of the background to the characters and the world that they inhabit.

Tracy always has a good style and her novels are well written.

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Please don’t chase!

Chasing - Please don't chase! Chasing the Duke
12 Days of Christmas, #7
by Tracy Sumner
Historical Romance, Regency
Independently
Pub Date 7 Dec 2020
four star - Please don't chase!

With her final season in the ton a surprising success, Lady Camille Bellington retires to her family’s Yorkshire estate for Christmas with a marriage proposal in hand. Beautiful and charming, but too independent for society, Camille has given up on the hope to marry for love. So she will marry for duty. The man of her childhood dreams hasn’t been home in three years, even to secure his dukedom, and her heart went with him. His best friend's little sister is lost to him… War hero Tristan Tierney, Duke of Mercer, returns to his ancestral home for the holidays to find himself burdened with a title and the woman he left behind betrothed to another. As he’s only seen death and destruction for years, he’s come to believe true love is a myth. His aloof demeanor veils his deepest unspoken desire, to possess Camille Bellington. Childhood friendship gives way to something altogether more dangerous as two people give love a second chance. If you like mischievous heroines and devilish dukes with a splash of Regency splendor thrown in, then you’ll adore Chasing the Duke.

Another nice historical romance.
I like the way authors take the name of real seats of the aristocracy and then change their location – hence Longleat masquerading as Chatsworth.
Set after the Battle of Waterloo we have the soldier back from the wars with trauma hidden in his psyche. And a less than stellar relationship with his father. All of which makes him melancholy and less than jovial. But hiding his pain from all but his friend’s sister who had had a young crush on him that resulted in a very public and very unfortunate action in a church.
And we have a young woman with an unusual hobby for the ton – a scientific one at that and so she has a keen mind and is well read.
We then have a courtship of the usual type and trope that goes up and down with many mis-adventures. Whilst we know from the first chapter that all will be well at the end, it is always nice to read how the author will get them there – if the style of the written word is good and contents are well plotted.  
 

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Not this duke

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content?id=wxKnjwEACAAJ&printsec=frontcover&img=1&zoom=1&source=gbs api - Not this duke The Forbidden Duke
The Untouchables #1
Darcy Burke
Fiction, Historical, Regency
October 24, 2018
184
four star - Not this duke

Spinster Miss Eleanor Lockhart is suddenly homeless and employment is her only option. Ruined after succumbing to a scoundrel's excessive charm nearly a decade ago, she's lucky to obtain a position as a paid companion and committed to behaving with the utmost propriety. She definitely shouldn't be in the arms of a man capable of utterly destroying what little remains of her reputation... Titus St. John, Duke of Kendal, is known as the Forbidden Duke, a mysterious, intimidating figure who enters Society just once each year at his stepmother's ball. A decade ago, he was a devil-may-care rake until his idle roguery brought about the ruin of Eleanor Lockhart--and his resulting self-imposed isolation. Now she's back, and she needs his help. But by "saving" her, he may just ruin her life all over again.

Nora is our heroine in this Duke marries someone unexpected story.

So, we have another imprudent, unwise and generally lacking in financial sense father who manages to lose the family money. Miss Eleanor Lockhart, (Nora) discovers that her selfish – yes he is that too, has made arrangements to live in a very small cottage on the farm owned by his son-in-law – who dislikes him, and has left nothing for Eleanor to live on. A further sister was married to a parson who would not look kindly to taking on another mouth to feed. Which leaves Nora in quite a quandary. What does a gently bred lady in 1811, do to earn a living or put a roof over her head?  There are only 2 further possibilities. Become a Governess or a Companion – to a Lady – not the other sort! And Nora has a problem with her reputation – she was involved in a scandal when she was in her first, and only season. And the man concerned – we can’t call him a gentleman – refused to do the correct and gentlemanly thing and offer her marriage. So, her reputation was besmirched as they called it and thus she would have difficulty in both employments.

Luckily, the stepmother of the Duke of Kendal – Titus – a popular roman name meaning title of honour (I know right?)  would really like someone to go shopping with her, a companion in fact, and Nora is sent to her by the agency she signed up with and it is liking at first sight. Lady Satterfield knows about the reputation besmirch and doesn’t care. Titus also knows and is very cross with the ungentlemanly gentleman and decides to give his mother’s new companion a leg up in society. And so, the romance begins.

A nice and predictable historical romance by Darcy. With a light touch and gentle humour – but look out as the Untouchables meet the Spitfire Society and the Pretenders in the next 2 series related to this one.

4

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Shall we go to China? On a sail boat?

content?id=v9QIzgEACAAJ&printsec=frontcover&img=1&zoom=1&source=gbs api - Shall we go to China? On a sail boat? The Duke's Privateer
Devilish Dukes
Amy Jarecki
Fiction, Historical, Regency
Oliver-Heber Books
January 5, 2021
294
four star - Shall we go to China? On a sail boat?

When it comes to women, the Duke of Danby is an audacious rake... but when it comes to ridding the kingdom of smugglers, he's leading the charge. The Prince Regent has bankrupted the country more than once, and Danby isn't about to go down with a sinking ship. The Honorable Eleanor Kent hides behind the image of a self-proclaimed spinster... though in truth she's one of England's most sought-after privateers. When their paths cross at a royal dinner... Danby suspects the stunning redheaded woman is more than she seems. He engages her to consult on a chinoiserie remodel and Eleanor gladly accepts. Indeed, she'd rather keep her enemy close where she can watch his every move. Though neither duke nor lady has a clue of how tangled the web they're spinning will become. As the heat ratchets up, so does their unbidden attraction. Will they get burned before it's too late to run?

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Oh a woman who is not doing as Society expects – but has to do it in private because women can’t run businesses – of course. And then the business that she runs just happens to have an illegal side to it. Smuggling!

Well Society likes its fine linens, silk, alcohol and so on, but wants it a really ‘good’ price. And there are, as always, taxes to pay on imports.

So if you can be a profitable importer, it pays to add a cargo without taxes!

Eleanor has managed to buy a ship – The King’s Jewel – which is fast and travels into exotic locations like Japan and China and brings back artifacts from these countries for Prinny – the Prince Regent. Who likes exotica and has furnished his palace in Brighton with a marvel of artifacts that did not come in through the usual ports… If you supply the Prince, it would be difficult to accuse you of smuggling as that would implicate the Prince. But if you need income for the Crown to pay for wars etc then there is are in a dilemma.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTXVirZRY5PotTfG5IsoYfLkAxKsXuJYl65TQ&usqp=CAU - Shall we go to China? On a sail boat?
image - Shall we go to China? On a sail boat?

The Brighton Pavilion still stands mostly how Prinny furbished it and is really wonderful to go and visit.

This is a nice story, well written, with some solid economic and political points.

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A duke and always? Book Review

content?id= 2kOEAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&img=1&zoom=1&edge=curl&source=gbs api - A duke and always? Book Review Forever Your Duke
12 Dukes of Christmas
Erica Ridley
Fiction
Erica Ridley
December 18, 2020
200
four star - A duke and always? Book Review

From a New York Times bestselling author: A forbidden love, opposites attract romp between a meticulously proper duke and an impishly improper spinster in this witty, feel-good romance! This year, the Duke of Nottingvale's Christmastide house party doubles as a bride hunt. The handsome duke seeks a blue-blooded debutante as respectable as he is, and his parlor is brimming with paragons of propriety. Inveterate spinster and unapologetic hoyden Miss Cynthia Louise Finch does not fit the mold. Any mold. Her younger cousin is perfect for the duke! By matchmaking the two, Cynthia will save her favorite cousin from a horrific fate. The only problem? Cynthia has always held a tendre for the duke. And for the first time, she seems to have caught his attention... The Duke of Nottingvale knows his responsibilities: Duty and decorum above all else. A respectable lord would never sneak away for stolen moments with a fearless, audacious minx he cannot make his duchess. He definitely wouldn't kiss her. Or fall in love... The 12 Dukes of Christmas is a 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!

Cynthia is a bit of a naughty spinster. She hasn’t waited until marriage as she is convinced that she won’t ever be married and therefore there is no point in waiting. But her affairs are always short and sweet – only at Christmas as that is the only time she is around the Christmas village and has access to suitable people.

This is the 12th book in the 12 books of Xmas series and the one that ties up the final Duke. The duke that holds an annual party for Xmas but never lives in Cressmouth at any other time, and as he is always hosting his party, never finds out what other delights the town has to offer.

Until he meets up with an ‘older’ spinster, who having endured many ‘Seasons’ and not having acquired any interest in marriage from suitors- and in fact rarely even been asked to danced – had decided that she could enjoy her herself in what would be termed scandalous pursuits if she were marriageable. She lures the duke out of his party and into Cressmouth delights, but has a number of accidents with him as she does – including skiing and almost breaking his legs.

This was as always light, stylish and fun to read.

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