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And Who’s your Father?

A Duke's Daughter
Kathleen Buckley
Historical Fiction | Romance
The Wild Rose Press, Inc
Pub Date 28 Apr 2020
three star - And Who's your Father?

Can a duke be thrown into debtor's prison? If so, Emily, dependent on her cousin, the heir to her father's impoverished dukedom, wonders what will become of her? With great reluctance, she agrees to marry a man willing to pay for an aristocratic bride. 

Rejected by the woman he loves, Ambrose Hawkins, shipper, importer, and former pirate, settles for a female who can further his social ambitions. His marriage to Emily is prospering until a man who blames Hawkins for the failure of his own courtship is murdered. Hawkins is the obvious suspect… 

 

…and the obvious suspect usually hangs. 

This is a competent story of Beauty and the Beast – here identified as a refined Duke’s Daughter and a rough shipowner and businessman, but it lacks any real spark.

For me, the characters seemed 2 dimensional with little depth. I also dislike women who knuckle under to stereotypes. The girl seemed particularly wishy washy at the beginning.

The story idea was reasonable, if not new, but needed to be better situated historically to give validity to the shipping, politics, coffee houses and fashions at the very least.

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Mystery Surrounds her like the Night?

content?id=AE21DwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&img=1&zoom=1&edge=curl&source=gbs api - Mystery Surrounds her like the Night? The Mysterious Miss Fairchild
(Mills & Boon Historical)
Sarah Mallory
Fiction
HarperCollins UK
April 30, 2020
368
three star - Mystery Surrounds her like the Night?

An accomplished beauty…

But a most unsuitable match!

Natalya Fairchild can’t help but be drawn to Tristan Quintrell, Lord Dalmorren, with his effortless charisma, even if he’s not her intended bridegroom. Tristan is an eligible society catch…whereas Natalya’s unknown heritage could label her ruined! As he helps Natalya investigate her mysterious past, she starts to hope the truth of her conception won’t destroy her prospects…of a life with Tristan!

This was a Regency romance in much of the usual format except for Miss Fairchild herself.
Her education was clearly not that of the usual female of her time - and her reading materials were so limited that she could come to a completely erroneous conclusion. Aided by the type of school she attended and many of its pupils of course.
I’m afraid I had guessed her birth ‘secret’ well before half way through the book and thus she wasn’t quite as mysterious as she could be.
Also, she was too compliant for me. I prefer my heroines to have rather more life in them and to be more rebellious. She was too easy to keep constrained.
Other than that, it was typical of its genre with not enough to warrant to a 4 star rating.

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Marriage not a la mode

potential - Marriage not a la mode The Potential for Love
A Regency Novel
by Catherine Kullmann
Historical Fiction , Romance
Willow Books BooksGoSocial
(25 Mar. 2020)
five star - Marriage not a la mode

When Arabella Malvin sees the figure of an officer silhouetted against the sun, for one interminable moment she thinks he is her brother, against all odds home from Waterloo. But it is Major Thomas Ferraunt, the rector’s son, newly returned from occupied Paris who stands in front of her. For over six years, Thomas’s thoughts have been of war. Now he must ask himself what his place is in this new world and what he wants from it. More and more, his thoughts turn to Miss Malvin, but would Lord Malvin agree to such a mismatch for his daughter, especially when she is being courted by Lord Henry Danlow? As Arabella embarks on her fourth Season, she finds herself more in demand than ever before. But she is tired of the life of a debutante, waiting in the wings for her real life to begin. She is ready to marry. But which of her suitors has the potential for love and who will agree to the type of marriage she wants? As she struggles to make her choice, she is faced with danger from an unexpected quarter while Thomas is stunned by a new challenge. Will these events bring them together or drive them apart?

This was my first novel by Catherine Kullman and although it is set in the same world as Darcy Burke’s and Erica Ridley’s books, ie the Regency period, this writer is very different in style and content.
This is a much more serious Regency romance. 
Set just after the battle of Waterloo with the regiments back in the UK on furlough as no longer on active duty. As a result the younger sons and gentlemen of the Ton were welcomed back in their best regimental finery - which of course was very dashing. Much more so than standard society dress.
However, it was not this that was to be the attraction between our two - Thomas and Bella. It was more the things that her father said were important for marriage. Friendship, companionship, similar interests and so on, and of course having compatible temperaments.  Bella’s father said love would come if the other elements were satisfactory and he should know as he was on wife 2. And again we had a number of women dying as they gave birth. 
He was also someone who believed that women could look after money and that they were sensible enough to own property.
This romance, typical of the genre has its ups and downs, with some excitement and rejected lovers etc etc and unexpected events that turn their expectations of their lives together upside down.
This novel was of a good length and thus Catherine could explore quite a number of elements of the story and make it richer and more diverse. It was also enhanced by the author’s research into the era and the incorporation into the story of true elements of history. Not just the boots described in the fashion magazine but also the way men thought about what happened when they were away in the army. According to them the Bible accepted concubines - or mistresses - and it was acceptable to find one as a companion - such as a widow to ‘provide a refuge from military life’. See also what happens when Muslims go on pilgrimage and are ‘rented’ a wife for their stay. Hey ho - the bible was written by men!
 
I thought the novel was written and thoughtful and enjoyed her take on a Regency Romance.

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Greed leads to downfalls

spitfir - Greed leads to downfalls A Duke is Never Enough
Spitfire Society
Darcy Burke
Historical Fiction , Romance
Darcy Burke Publishing
Pub Date 25 Feb 2020
four star - Greed leads to downfalls

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Untouchables series comes your next Regency obsession: The Spitfire Society... Meet the smart, independent women who’ve decided they don’t need Society’s rules, their families’ expectations, or, most importantly, a husband. But just because they don’t need a man doesn’t mean they might not want one.

Notorious rake Marcus Raleigh, Marquess of Ripley, is gracing the gossip pages for a new reason: the rumors he may have murdered his swindling cousin. His quest for answers regarding his cousin’s death leads him to an incomparable self-declared spinster, and he is—for the first time—beguiled beyond reason. Neither is what the other wants, and yet their intense mutual infatuation is inescapable.

After abandoning her philandering betrothed at the altar, Phoebe Lennox fled from London only to return an heiress who refuses to follow the ton’s rules. She won’t risk a relationship of any kind—until she meets the scandalous Marquess of Ripley. Swept into his seductive embrace, her resolve falters in the face of a pleasure she never anticipated. But when the truth about Marcus and the murder come to light, Phoebe could lose everything she holds dear, including a love for all time.

Darcy delivers another nice historical romance.
This book continues that sort of the fraud investment scheme from previous books in this series. Moving in the same social circles and meeting more people from this society we encounter Drobbit. Drobbit and his cousin in fact. Drobbit being the scoundrel who has been the front person who has persuaded a number of gentlemen to invest in a scheme that promises high returns. These gentlemen are either greedy or in need of funds and thus a scheme that promises high returns for their capital is enticing. Of course it is a pyramid scheme that only provides the high returns on the very first small tranche of investment that persuades them to invest the larger portion. Which is then lost of course. Drobbit has either spent it or given it elsewhere to repay his debts or perhaps was an early investor in this scheme himself?
And of course there is a romance.

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When a Duke is a Duc

The Duke's Bride
12 Dukes of Christmas
Erica Ridley
Historical fiction, Regency, Romance
WebMotion Historical Fiction ,
Pub Date 12 Nov 2019
four star - When a Duke is a Duc

Single father and confirmed bachelor Jack Skeffington is the mastermind behind an international smuggling ring, yet unable to control his rambunctious ten-year-old twins. What he needs is a stern, experienced, no-nonsense governess. What he gets is his business partner’s untouchable sister, whose delectable body Jack yearns to pull close.

Mademoiselle Désirée le Duc cannot wait to return to France and regain her lost vineyard. But to do so, she must repay crippling debt. Determined to buy freedom, she accepts temporary employment from an Englishman with a wicked smile and a big… wine cellar. His kisses taste like heaven and his arms feel like home. How can she choose between two families separated by the sea?

The 12 Dukes of Christmas is a series of heartwarming Regency romps nestled in a picturesque snow-covered village. Twelve delightful romances… and plenty of delicious dukes!

Another nice story about Christmas / Cressmouth town and the characters we meet in it. We have met the French émigrés before – the 3 le Duc siblings. 2 brothers and a sister. And of course there is the town’s ‘smuggler’ / pirate / ex-privateer and supplier of good French brandy and wine from his partners.
A Privateer was an authorised pirate – that is someone who the Crown licensed to raid other ships and carry away their bounty. With a percentage of the profits going to the Crown of course to pay for the wars and the lack of taxes from the imported silks and wines that didn’t occur due to the war…
And then there was typhus. In Ireland 1816 a major epidemic of the disease produced 700,000 cases out of a population of 6,000,000. More major epidemics followed  in 1821 and 1836 and again in 1846 with the Potato Famine. It is a bacterial infection spread by parasites – and the most important form of typhus being epidemic typhus (borne by lice). Other forms are murine, or endemic, typhus (flea-borne); scrub typhus, or tsutsugamushi disease (mite-borne); and tick-borne typhus.
So another romance about a Duc rather than a Duke but pun or not it follows in the 12 stories about Dukes promised…

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