What happened to the funeral? Book Blitz

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USA Today bestselling author @michellemcleanbooks turns the Duke trope on its head with a witty, laugh-out-loud Regency perfect for fans of Eloisa James and Sarah MacLean.⁣

⁣⁣ Four Weddings and a Duke is coming on October 25th from @entangled_publishing: Amara

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Michelle McLean is a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl who is addicted to chocolate and Goldfish crackers and spent most of her formative years with her nose in a book. She has degrees in history and English and is thrilled that she sort of gets to use them. Her novel Truly, Madly, Sweetly, written as Kira Archer, was adapted as a Hallmark Original movie in 2018.

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When Michelle’s not working, reading, or chasing her kids around, she can usually be found baking, diamond painting, or trying to find free wall space upon which to hang her diamond paintings. She resides in PA with her husband and two teens, the world’s most spoiled dog, and a cat who absolutely rules the house. She also writes contemporary romance as USA Today bestselling author Kira Archer.

For more info on Michelle and her work, please visit her website at

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Marry whom? Book Review

A Regency Family is Reunited.

Another story in the ‘wrong man’ trope. He wants her, but she is close to marrying his brother – but if he has her, she has to go out of the country with him due to his previous commitments. Thus taking her away from all she knows and her family. And how can he steal his brother’s intended wife? Even it was an arranged marriage?

Follows the trope in nice style. When you read a Mills and boon novel you know that there won’t be many, if any, proofreading errors and it will be historically accurate.

 And, depending on the imprint, can be cosy or racy. This was cosy. With little unexpected twists and turns.

Laura Martin: Author Bio

Laura Martin writes historical romances with an adventurous undercurrent. When not writing she spends her time working as a doctor in Cambridgeshire where she lives with her husband and young son. In her spare moments Laura loves to lose herself in a book and has been known to read cover to cover in a single day when the story is particularly gripping. She also enjoys travelling, visiting historical sites and far-flung shores.

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Chase Family Saga: Book Review

This series is actually set into family stories at different eras. We start in Restoration England with the Chase family and the Court of Charles 2. And the 2nd set are Regency era with the children/grandchildren and cousins of the original novel characters making up the novels.

♥  A nobleman and a common girl
♥  A close-knit, meddling family
♥  A trunkful of jewelry
♥  A dastardly kidnapping
♥  Steamy romance!

The Restoration Court was notorious for its bawdy licentiousness. Girls from the noble families would come to Court at 14 or 15 and become the mistresses or lovers of other nobles to curry favour, acquire power and prestige, or money or property (see the jewels gifted to the women), and, if they became the mistress/lover of Charles AND bore him a child, then a large estate might be gifted to them.

Now Charles bore a resemblance at least to our current Prime Minister in that he had a lot of children, many outside marriage. In fact, he had no legitimate heir. But his illegitimate children were many and he provided well for them and their mothers and husbands– see below. He had further mistresses and possibly more children, but only these were acknowledged.

By Lucy Walter :

  1. James Crofts, later Scott (1649–1685), created Duke of Monmouth (1663) in England and Duke of Buccleuch (1663) in Scotland.

By Elizabeth Killigrew:

  • Charlotte Jemima Henrietta Maria FitzRoy (1650–1684), married James Howard and then William Paston, 2nd Earl of Yarmouth

By Catherine Pegge:

  • Charles FitzCharles (1657–1680), known as “Don Carlo”, created Earl of Plymouth (1675)
  • Catherine FitzCharles (born 1658; she either died young or became a nun at Dunkirk)

By Barbara Villiers (wife of Roger Palmer, 1st Earl of Castlemaine, and created Duchess of Cleveland in her own right:

  • Lady Anne Palmer (Fitzroy) (1661–1722), married Thomas Lennard, 1st Earl of Sussex.
  • Charles Fitzroy (1662–1730), created Duke of Southampton (1675), became 2nd Duke of Cleveland (1709)
  • Henry Fitzroy (1663–1690), created Earl of Euston (1672), Duke of Grafton (1675)
  • Charlotte Fitzroy (1664–1717), married Edward Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield
  • George Fitzroy (1665–1716), created Earl of Northumberland (1674), Duke of Northumberland (1678)

By Nell Gwyn 

  1. Charles Beauclerk (1670–1726), created Duke of St Albans (1684)
  2. James, Lord Beauclerk (1671–1680)
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possibly Nell Gwinn

By Louise Renée de Penancoet de Kérouaille created Duchess of Portsmouth in her own right (1673):

  1. Charles Lennox (1672–1723), created Duke of Richmond (1675) in England and Duke of Lennox (1675) in Scotland.
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By Mary ‘Moll’ Davis,

  1. Lady Mary Tudor (1673–1726), married Edward Radclyffe, 2nd Earl of Derwentwater; after Edward’s death, she married Henry Graham (of Levens), and upon his death she married James Rooke.

Charles 2 was generous and helped those who helped him – many noble families had bankrupted themselves to help pay for his war and on his return to the monarchy he gave them land and titles and, as is demonstrated above, his patronage through marriage to one of his mistresses. This was considered an honour. The Chase family stories tell you all this detail and give excellent insight into Court and nobility through this set of stories. Charles also was very vengeful on those who had not supported him – politics at its very best.

There is also use of original language in the novels – not just Scottish phrases such as ‘mullipuff’ and other common word usage. And then there are, in both sets of stories (the 2nd is set in Regency times) lots of food descriptions. And the Regency series of books starts each chapter with a recipe (aka receipt) especially for biscuits or sweet items. Note that potatoes were a new introduction to Britain, coming after the Continent had been eating them, but that Sweet Potatoes were popular from around 1500. These were used for ‘puddings’ – such as one that included sweet potatoes, butter, dark sherry, cinnamon and eggs.

Note: Romney – is from the Saxon word rumnea for water – so Romney Mashes become water marshes! Hmm… not very original of the Saxons methinks. Kent history blog says alternatively that New Romney comes from the Old English ‘ea’, meaning ‘river’ combined with a priest’s name – a priest named Romanus (anglicised to ‘Ruman’) owned land in this region in the 7th century – therefore, ‘Ruman’s river’. The prefix ‘new’ distinguishes New Romney from Old Romney. Romney first appears in 791AD as Rumnea.

In the Regency set we get some interesting information about Hampstead Heath, ponds, watches (and how pocket watches developed), telescopes, microscopes, eye-glasses and philosophy!

I rather liked these novels as they did give some sense of the history and times they were set in, the culture and the politics.

Chase Family Series
When an Earl Meets a Girl
How to Undress a Marquess
If You Dared to Love a Laird
A Duke’s Guide to Seducing His Bride
Never Doubt a Viscount
The Scandal of Lord Randal
A Gentleman’s Plot to Tie the Knot
A Secret Christmas
A Chase Family Christmas

Chase Family Series: The Regency
Tempt Me at Midnight
Tempting Juliana
The Art of Temptation

New in 2021
Alice Betrothed

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Down the Docks and up the Chimney

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.

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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!

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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