A Momentary Marriage by Candace Camp

Emotional circumstances at the very start of A MOMENTARY MARRIAGE grab your attention, and the enthrallment only intensifies with each new compelling development. The story takes place in England during the 1880’s, where a woman on her own without any foreseeable funds can face a grim future. When a medical condition leaves a man feeling hopeless, he and a desperate woman find themselves married to each other because it is logical. There are definitely no emotions involved, and they really do not even like one another. But as their true natures are gradually revealed and unanticipated events arise, the hero and heroine of the story come to comprehend there just might be more to their relationship than either ever imagined existing. A MOMENTARY MARRIAGE is an entertainingly original and believable novel written by Candace Camp.

When Sir James de Vere realized there was a very good chance of him dying, he knew exactly where he wants to live while waiting on the unavoidable. Grace Hill is his country estate and being away from his insufferable family will also give him some peace. Since no one in London seems able to do anything for him, James is advised to see Dr. Hinsdale in Canterbury before going home. But upon reaching the house where the doctor lives, he is informed by the man’s daughter that he has died.

The death of her father has caused Laura Hinsdale must heartache, especially since there is not enough money to pay all the debts. When James shows up, she is shocked to see the man with whom she once had an unpleasant conversation related to his cousin. Though he leaves after hearing her father has passed away, he returns the next day with a proposal of marriage. He would rather she inherit much of his wealth than family members for whom he has no respect. While there will never be any emotional connection between James and Laura, they come to an agreement for practical reasons.

A wide range of emotions are expressed in A MOMENTARY MARRIAGE, where the reactions of characters are always realistic. Lighthearted moments are conveyed with lots of clever banter, and the sharp-witted comments of James and Laura demonstrated they have a dry sense of humor. I chuckled often throughout the story, as the playfulness of their responses was often very unexpected. There are certainly several instances that pertain to his being ill that are very serious, and I was truly worried on more than one occasion. Ms. Camp could have me feeling anxious during one situation, and then being overjoyed when something positive happened. The relationship between James and Laura is convincing, as it changes from indifference to where feelings are surprisingly becoming entangled in what will ultimately occur.

There is an unforeseen turn in the story, one which leads to plenty of family drama and even some very suspenseful episodes. Ms. Camp has concocted a particularly intriguing mystery in the lives of James and Laura, and the unpredicted incidents that keep cropping up kept me from finding a place to stop reading. Numerous secondary characters added much interest to the scenes in which they are featured, and there is even a delightful dog whose antics made me smile. I have read books by Candace Camp for years, and A MOMENTARY MARRIAGE is another keeper.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher, and all comments are my honest opinion

Publisher:  Pocket Books

Releases:  June 25, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/yankyssh

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://www.candace-camp.com/

Rating:  4 Stars

Three Weeks with a Princess by Vanessa Kelly

In the second book of the Improper Princesses series, an illegitimate woman feels she will never find true love because of her background. She has lived an isolated life in the country, and now must make a crucial decision that will greatly affect her life and that of the man for whom she has always secretly adored. THREE WEEKS WITH A PRINCESS is a compelling historical novel, as the characters are charming while the premise is enjoyably delightful.

Though the father of Lia Kincaid is English royalty, her social status is seen as not acceptable because he never married her mother. She lives with her grandmother, a woman who has been a mistress to a marquess for years and even resides in a cottage on his property. The one bright spot while growing up was when Jack Easton stayed with his uncle, and she got to visit with him. Since he is now a soldier and will be gone for a long time, Lia dreams of him starting to see her as a woman and not a girl when he does return.

Upon the death of the Marquess of Lendale, the title goes to Jack. What he discovers about the estate is it needs immediate improvements or much could be lost. He also feels responsible for Lia and is totally unprepared for the effect she now has on him. When her grandmother comes up with a strategy which should help to ensure her granddaughter has a good future, Jack’s part in the plan could forever change his life along with how he perceives Lia.

Vanessa Kelly takes Jack and Lia on a journey of self-discovery, and what they come to comprehend could either bring them lasting joy or cause intense anguish. With much attention to each new development, the author had me coming to understand why her romantic couple reacted as they did, thus letting me see them as someone who could actually have been living through the circumstances these two had to face all too often. The Regency period had some very strict rules for anyone to live by if they did not want to be shunned, and Ms. Kelly uses this fact to the fullest as it influences every aspect of Lia’s life. I really felt sorry for her, because what her relatives did in the past is not her fault, but she is blamed nonetheless. Jack had always cared for her, and when he realizes his feelings are more than just those of a friend, society would surely condemn their relationship. All the major issues this couple has to overcome are depicted with believability, and I never knew how Jack and Lia would respond when an unexpected dilemma arose. But one thing for certain is their discussions were lively and packed with clever comebacks, while their determined natures kept interactions very interesting.

It was wonderful getting to revisit with the main couple from the previous book in the series, as Gillian and Charles made an engaging pair and her actions caused me to laugh more than once. Between countless amusing situations and mounting sexual tension, I was constantly entertained throughout the whole story. Vanessa Kelly has created an enchanting Regency story, and THREE WEEKS WITH A PRINCESS will long be remembered for its originality.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher via NetGalley, and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Improper Princesses – Book 2

Publisher:  Zebra

Releases:  June 27, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/y85rwcwb

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://www.vanessakellyauthor.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

Journey to Honor by Alexa Aston

All the books in the Knights of Honor series are filled with realism, and the fourth story had me experiencing the mid 1300’s in countless ways. From daily routines to vindictive schemes, I got a feel for what it could have been like to live during this changing period in history. Alexa Aston depicts every scene with details that are very convincing, as I could easily envision the moment as described. Each character is not only distinctive but also portrays someone who could have existed in the medieval era because of their reactions and personalities. When a story comes across as true-to-life as those written by Alexa Aston, then I feel as though the circumstances could actually have happened. JOURNEY TO HONOR is continuously enthralling because of vividly imagined developments.

Although Kenric Fairfax was actually the first-born son to the Earl of Shadowfaire, his twin brother was raised as the heir because of a vindictive plot. Upon turning twenty-one, he went through the Order of Knighthood Ceremony, which should have resulted in a good position immediately. Sadly, an incident makes him feel the need to leave the area, and Kenric eventually ends up serving Lord Devereux. When he is sent to retrieve the sister-in-law of his liege lord, he is eager to carry out this important duty.

While Avelyn Le Cler enjoyed some of her time at court waiting on the queen, she is ready to see her sister and be present for the birth of her niece or nephew. As Kenric watches over the woman under his protection, he comes to realize she is a considerate and knowledgeable individual. When Avelyn learns the hidden secret about the man for whom she is coming to deeply care, she is torn about what to do with the decisive information.

From the instant I met Kenric and Avelyn, I thought of them as being people with whom I would like to be friends. I could tell they were always concerned for others, as both tried to help when needed. They were honest and unselfish, not like so many people during this time when they only thought about themselves. Kenric could definitely have turned out much different after suffering through such a painful childhood, but he took it upon himself to never give in to his heartaches, which made me respect him very much. Avelyn was a delight with her positive attitude, and I really liked how she was not one to give up when she was confident an idea was correct. A few doubts do creep into the minds of these two characters, and I breathlessly waited to see what they would decide in the end.

JOURNEY TO HONOR is about discovering the truth and then acting accordingly. Knights were supposed to be loyal and righteous, and Kenric has tried to live his life in this manner, even when situations went terribly wrong. I ached for him when certain facts became known, and cheered when an event left him happy. I did lots of smiling over how Avelyn responded to several incidents, and even wanted to applaud her reaction to one episode. Many past characters make appearances throughout the book, and whether their stories have been read or not, enough was told to keep the reader well informed and not lost. I am hoping there are many more medieval books written Alexa Aston.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Knights of Honor – Book 4

Publisher:  Dragonblade Publishing, Inc.

Releases:  June 27, 2007

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/yd7fvojz

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  https://alexaaston.wordpress.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

The Pleasures of Passion by Sabrina Jeffries

When it comes to men who would make a good husband, Niall Lindsey would seem like a bad candidate. With his reputation as a rogue plus having taken part in a duel, he gives the impression of someone who enjoys a good time and does not think about his actions. But appearances can be deceiving, as Brilliana Trevor slowly discovers when the two must work together. As secrets come to light and opinions begin to change, the couple cannot keep from wondering if they can have a relationship that might just last this time. Historical romances written by Sabrina Jeffries are always convincingly realistic, and every detail in THE PLEASURES OF PASSION captures the imagination.

After a duel in which Niall Lindsey participated resulted in the death of the other man, the future Earl of Margrave knew he had to leave London or face grave consequences. When he asks Brilliana Trevor if she would accompany him, her refusal leaves him dejected. Hearing she married soon after his departure is a double blow. It sadly takes seven years for Niall to be exonerated of the crime, and he can now return home. It is not long before he and Brilliana come in contact during various social functions, but he has no intention of being involved with her again.

Unfortunately, Niall’s wish for him to avoid the woman whom he once wanted to wed is not granted. A government employee forces the couple to pretend they are engaged in order to catch a possible counterfeiter, a man related to her. Though neither wants to take on the assignment, the price of not doing so is too high. As Niall and Brilliana are seen together so everyone will actually think they are going to marry, their private conversations reveal inner hurts plus hidden truths and may even give them another chance.

The Sinful Suitors series is up to four books, and THE PLEASURES OF PASSION is filled with heartfelt emotions and a huge mystery. Though Niall and Brilliana were once very close, misconceptions led to them being apart for years. Now the couple has the opportunity to see if there is still something between them, but first they will have clear up any wrong ideas they have about the other or they can never have a future. A second chance storyline is one I like, especially if the reason two people broke up was beyond their control. Sabrina Jeffries carefully constructs a believable explanation for Niall and Brilliana’s previous relationship not continuing, and then gives convincing accounts of what takes place when they reunite. I could not keep from worrying over the fact that a big secret needed to be concealed, but at what cost. Niall gives plenty of honest reactions during many of the discussions he has with Brilliana, and her own are just as candid. Desiring each other is not one of their problems, as their intimate encounters are heated and definitely enthusiastic.

What is going on connected to any counterfeiting matters is cleverly carried out, and I kept trying to guess exactly who was behind any criminal activities. The author kept the suspense building until all is disclosed, as clues are subtle. This story easily stands alone, but will make the reader want to know what has been missed in earlier books.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher, and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Sinful Suitors – Book 4

Publisher:  Pocket Books

Releases:  June 20, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/ya3nwqzf

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://www.sabrinajeffries.com/

Rating:  4.5 Stars

The Dukes of Vauxhall by Vanessa Kelly, Christi Caldwell, Theresa Romain and Shana Galen

A mutual topic can be found in every storyline of the novellas that have been created by four notable authors. The French have been defeated at Waterloo, and the British are ready for some merrymaking. Parties are taking place, and several big gatherings will occur at Vauxhall Gardens. What will happen to eight individuals attending various entertainments will change their lives forever, and I was thoroughly enraptured by how cleverly the authors entwined common threads into each of their stories. There are also fascinating romances which are given a second chance at love or an unexpected beginning. All the authors have previously written outstanding romance books about the Regency period, and these fun novellas are totally gratifying. THE DUKES OF VAUXHALL has enchanting characters, original circumstances, and compelling emotional issues in every captivating story.

“Taken by the Duke” by Shana Galen

After recently becoming a viscount, Henry Selkirk gets chosen to organize a huge ball that will celebrate the British victory over the French at Waterloo plus observe the Prince Regent’s birthday. As he tours Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, the site of the festivities, he is taken by a group of ruffians whose leader is called the Duke. While held hostage, Henry meets Kate Dunn, a childhood friend with whom he was once very close. But she has grown into a woman with many secrets, and their lives depend on what choices each ends up making.

The interaction between Henry and Kate is often very interesting, as these two gradually discover whether they can ever trust the other or if they will only get hurt. I thought the current events in their lives led to plenty of surprising scenes, where emotions and hope played a huge part in deciding the course of their actions. Shana Galen makes “Taken by the Duke” constantly intriguing with unforeseen developments. A delightful story with subtle humor and charming characters.

“Fighting for His Lady” by Christi Caldwell

Though Patience Storm had once deeply cared for Godrick Gunnery, his lies caused her to never want him in her life again. However, a desperate need for her brother to win a prizefighting match has her contacting the man who became a champion after being taught by her deceased father. Previously called the Duke of the Ring but now retired, Godrick agrees to help Patience’s brother train in order to hopefully have a victorious bout. Fighting is all he has let himself think about since he last saw the only woman who ever meant anything to him, yet being around her brings back memories that he wants to turn into a reality once more.

“Fighting for His Lady” is an exciting story of lost dreams and optimistic wishes. The premise does not follow a typical Regency plot, as Godrick lives an unusual life for a Duke’s son, while the conduct of Patience is not the norm for women of the period. I was highly entertained when this couple interacted, because honest feelings led to earnest responses. Christi Caldwell has written a rousing and enjoyable romance.

“The Prodigal Duke” by Theresa Romain

There was a good reason for Leo Billingsley leaving London years ago, but now he has returned and will become the next Duke of Westfair. But he needs some assistance with a problem, and the only person who comes to mind is Poppy Hayworth, the woman with whom he grew up and is now a local tightrope performer. Since she has her own troubles, accepting his offer of a fictitious engagement will also benefit her. What was once between Poppy and Leo could have turned into more than friendship at one time, and they might just realize that the chance is still there.

Amusing comments had me smiling, while several more serious incidents made me anxious as I waited to see what would eventually take place. Leo and Poppy are pleasantly delightful, and I saw them as two people who were caught in difficult situations not of their making yet still tried to make the best of whatever they faced. Theresa Romain gives her couple much to prevail over, and I found their choices to be genuinely realistic. “The Prodigal Duke” has sincere emotions and enthralling occurrences.

“The Buccaneer Duke” by Vanessa Kelly

With two aspects about her life that English society sees as disgraceful, Antonia Barnett is not having any luck finding a man willing to marry her. Then she meets Captain Roman Cantrell. He was a privateer during the war, and now the illegitimate offspring of a royal prince is supposed to wed someone of good standing in the hope it gives him respectability. Though different in many ways, Roman and Antonia do share some similarities and their conversations are certainly lively. But there is no way her father will get his daughter be connected to the man who not only looks like a pirate but has acted like one.

Engagingly imaginative from beginning to end, “The Buccaneer Duke” is an engrossing romantic adventure. I was overjoyed for the chance to read another Renegade Royals story, as this favorite series has an innovative premise and unique characters. Roman and Antonia are truly beguiling, as they are quick-witted and make some of the most outrageous remarks. I repeatedly laughed at the more humorous moments in the story, while other instances profoundly affected me with their realism. The large number of candid scenes created by Vanessa Kelly for her appealing couple caused countless smiles.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Publisher:  Amazon Digital Services LLC

Releases:  May 9, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/lb2bx3f

Genre:  Historical

Rating:  5 Stars

Under a Sardinian Sky by Sara Alexander

Thoroughly detailed scenes and a vast assortment of distinctive characters makes UNDER A SARDINIAN SKY highly engaging. Sara Alexander has created a story filled with emotional issues that are very true-to-life, and I was deeply drawn into the lives of individuals who came alive because of the author’s perceptive writing. I may not have ever been anywhere like the island of Sardinia, but after reading Ms. Alexander’s debut story, I certainly feel as though I am well acquainted with its past citizens plus many of their local traditions.

After her aunt died, Mina decides it is time to learn about a part of her family’s history that has always remained unspoken. Since she writes travel articles for a newspaper, she is going to use some of her skills to hopefully discover the truth concerning Carmela Chirigoni, another aunt who was Italian and lived on the island of Sardinia. Mina knows little about her relative except for the fact the woman went missing back in the 1950’s.

With World War II having been over for several years, those living on the picturesque island are looking forward to better times. Carmela is from a farming family plus she makes fashionable clothing for others. She has been asked to wed a man who could one day be very rich, but she is not too fond of behavior at times. During a big fiesta in her hometown, she comes in contact with an American soldier from a nearby base. They keep meeting at different places, and she ends up becoming an interpreter for Lt. Joe Kavanagh as she speaks some English. This decision will change many lives forever.

While reading UNDER A SARDINIAN SKY, I got a glimpse into what could have easily occurred to someone living in a region once greatly affected by war. Carmela is a spirited yet respectful daughter who plans to obey the wishes of her family, but she dreams of seeing other places and having a rewarding marriage. Her life may be shaped by the wishes of someone else, but it does not stop her thinking about improbable possibilities. People trying to get back to normal after a huge war can find themselves still being influenced by outside forces for years, and Carmela meeting American soldiers deeply changes how she envisions her future. There are many times when her inner feelings battle, as she knows what path should be followed but often would rather not. Her thoughts about her intended husband causes many worries, while sentiments connected to a particular American soldier double her uncertainties. Sara Alexander gives much insight into what leads to the reactions of her characters, thus letting me come to really know these individuals.

The story is told because Mina wants to uncover what actually happened to her aunt, and the author skillfully let me know all the facts through colorful historical descriptions. Italian customs are depicted with much fanfare, while the daily lives of the island inhabitants are also vividly portrayed. From meals to parties to work, I got a sense of what various people experienced while living through these events. Food preparation is especially interesting and often lively.  The images visually conveyed throughout UNDER A SARDINIAN SKY cause enthrallment and pure delight.

I voluntarily reviewed the book via NetGalley, and all comments are my honest opinion

Publisher:  Kensington

Releases:  April 25, 2017

Purchase:   http://tinyurl.com/kar2u2k

Genre:  Historical

Rating:  4 Stars

Bound by Their Secret Passion by Diane Gaston

When gossip is spread about someone, whether it is true or false, it can affect that person’s life for years to come. The Scandalous Summerfields is about four siblings who suffered because of the actions of their parents, and one of the sisters is still greatly feeling the effects in the fourth and final book in the series. While this woman was a thoughtful individual, and she did her best to help those for whom she cared, her own future is bleak. But when circumstances change in an instant, she finds herself facing a multitude of obstacles before being truly happy. Diane Gaston makes BOUND BY THEIR SECRET PASSION a realistic Regency story, as so many outside factors influenced lives during this period when social status was so important.

To help make the future better for her two sisters and half-brother, Lorene Summerfield married a much older man. She has been a respectful wife to her husband, but there was never any love between them. Thankfully, her siblings have found partners whom they adore, so she is gratified in knowing her sacrifice paid off. One night, there is a confrontation at her home that has a tragic ending. Lorene’s husband is now dead, and the Earl of Penford may possibly be blamed for his death.

Although Lorene has secretly been attracted to Dell, she had never let anyone know of her fascination. But with her callous husband now gone, perhaps the days ahead will actually be much more pleasurable for her. Unfortunately, suspicions about what took place on that fateful night bring trouble for Dell, and Lorene worries he may suffer because of their friendship, a connection which she wants to be closer yet knows it never can be.

The number of challenges Lorene and Dell must face throughout the story just keep adding up, and it certainly seemed like they would never be able to have a relationship that lasted. I so wanted these two to get together, but the time in which they lived kept them apart because of society’s rules. Though Lorene had never done anything wrong, her reputation was tarnished because of what others did in the past. I am definitely glad to not have lived in a time where many people judged someone so harshly, as these opinions often led to needless misery. Dell has his own personal troubles, and he lives his life in memory of his family, not his goals. Neither he or Lorene are really happy, and they fear the consequences of them appearing to be in a relationship. Diane Gaston made their feelings very evident, and I ached right along with them on numerous occasions when things did not go as they wished. BOUND BY THEIR SECRET PASSION is an emotional romance packed with heartache yet also hopeful longing.

With this being the last book in the series, I was delighted to see all the past couples featured, thus letting me get caught up with their current lives. There are also plenty of other secondary characters in the story that I came to know well, as their personalities were brought to life with colorful behavior. The author inserted historical facts into quite a few scenes, and I enjoyed these moments of reality.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  The Scandalous Summerfields

Publisher:  Harlequin Historical

Releases:  March 21, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/kg2h7b6

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://dianegaston.com/

Rating:  4 Stars

Code of Honor by Alexa Aston

In the latest Knights of Honor story, two people find their love being tested over and over again when unforeseen circumstances keep developing. One man must prove whether he is worthy to be a knight, while a situation forces a woman to follow undesired obligations and not her heart. Alexa Aston has combined meticulously researched details with a heartfelt historical romance to create a story that will long be remembered. Medieval books have been a favorite for many years, and Ms. Aston delivers exactly what I like in this genre. CODE OF HONOR has a multitude of emotional issues, a delightful cast of characters, and constant realism.

Although his father ignored him all through childhood, the mother of Michael Devereux showed him much affection. But when the Earl of Sandbourne was going to get rid of his wife by forcing her to live in a convent, the boy left his unhappy home and vowed to stay away until his father was dead and the title became his. Days and then years go by, and Michael has changed from an awkward child to a respected knight. He has sworn fidelity to those living at Kinwick Castle, and his latest task is to make certain those whom he serves are safely guarded while traveling to a wedding.

With her marriage only a few days away, Lady Elysande Le Cler is resigned to becoming the wife of a man whom she barely knows. Yet it is the path set for her, and she only hopes things will not be as bad as she fears. When relatives began arriving for the celebration, one of the knights escorting her uncle and family ends up assisting her when a horse gives birth. Michael feels a deep attraction to Elysande, but she is already promised to another and neither would ever go against their pledges. But staying away from the other is the hardest thing this couple has ever done.

The third book in the Knights of Honor series is filled with constant ups and downs, many of which caught me by surprise. Though Michael and Elysande are drawn to each other, a number of factors keep them from ever thinking they have a future together. Even when it appears they just might have a chance of actually being a couple, a new problem makes their having a relationship seem hopeless once more. I went through so many emotions while reading CODE OF HONOR, from elation to despair, and the author had me feeling each sentiment to the fullest. Alexa Aston makes her characters very realistic, and their reactions are always true-to-life. She also accurately shows life in medieval times, and I was moved by how women plus children were often treated. CODE OF HONOR is adventuresome at times and continuously emotional.

When I think of a hero, Michael is a perfect example. His younger days were packed with misery, but he did not let it keep him from his goal of becoming a well-regarded knight. Learning about all his ordeals growing up and how he overcame them only added to his hero status. Elysande is also a compelling character, as she put her duties first yet let me know how much it pained her. Their love is truly powerful, and I totally enjoyed their daunting journey. Though this story could be read first, the two prior books in the series are not to be missed and getting to catch up with their characters was enjoyable.

I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Knights of Honor – Book 3

Publisher:  Dragonblade Publishing, Inc.

Releases:  March 28, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/kvkypmo

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  https://alexaaston.wordpress.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

A Perfect Gentleman by Candace Camp

From the very start of A PERFECT GENTLEMAN, I was immediately drawn into the fascinating circumstances taking place, and my interest never waned during any scenes that followed. Candace Camp always manages to invent original situations for her characters to face, and events in her latest book are absolutely riveting. There is intrigue, misunderstandings, humor, and even some suspense, and each new development kept me from finding a stopping point. While I have enjoyed numerous books from Ms. Camp in the past, her latest is definitely one of her best. A PERFECT GENTLEMAN has every ingredient needed to make it an entertaining historical read.

When Abigail Price married Graeme Parr, she had hoped her life would finally be much better. After living with a father who controlled every aspect of her daily existence, she had thought becoming the Earl of Montclair’s wife would lead to more pleasant days. Though Abigail was aware her English husband did not love her, as they hardly knew each other, she had dreams of them one day having a happy marriage. But it quickly becomes apparent Graeme only wed the American because of her wealth that his family needed and does not plan on being a real husband to her, so she swiftly leaves him and goes back home.

After not having any contact with his wife for ten years, for which he is grateful, Graeme is very wary when she suddenly shows up in London. Their initial meeting gives him no clue as to why she has returned, yet he does realize Abigail has changed from quietly timid to a stunning woman and superb conversationalist. At first, he is very concerned about her causing a scandal that would affect his family’s name, but he soon also feels unexpectedly drawn to his wife who is practically a stranger.

There are so many things that I liked about A PERFECT GENTLEMAN. Regardless of what part they played, characters are convincing and very lifelike. I must say Graeme was not exactly endearing himself to me at first, but his later actions showed his heart was in the right place, even when his mind kept the words from being spoken. At least he was willing to talk over his troubles with others, and possibly see the error of ways. Abigail is a heroine for whom I was rooting for at all times, as she is such a wonderful person but has had so much go wrong for her. I thoroughly delighted in her quick wit, plus how she never held back from speaking her thoughts. A number of discussions in the story left Graeme and Abigail confused because of their beliefs, and I frequently became anxious because I wondered how either of them would react. There are several passionate encounters between the couple, and Abigail’s honest responses were truly heartfelt.

While the couple is often tested as they suffer through more than a few trials during their marriage, they do also experience plenty of good times. I really enjoyed their intelligent banter with each other and even some of their relatives, especially Graeme’s cousin, James, whose book is next. There are also unknowns that need answers, and the path to finding solutions is occasionally frightening. Candace Camp has created a compelling romantic story, as A PERFECT GENTLEMAN is constantly engaging.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher, and all comments are my honest opinion

Publisher:  Pocket

Releases:  March 28, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/n6pqlqg

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  www.candace-camp.com/

Rating:  5 Stars

A Lady’s Code of Misconduct by Meredith Duran

The Rules for the Reckless series has contained books that always have inventive storylines, and A LADY’S CODE OF MISCONDUCT is definitely a shining example of originality. A very imaginative first chapter left me almost breathless because of how much I felt pulled into the life of a particular character. Meredith Duran managed to also grab my attention during every following scene by creating a totally intriguing premise. From political concerns affecting English citizens in the 1860’s to problems two individuals must face on their own, there is never a moment when I was not eagerly reading to see what could possibly happen next. Ms. Duran has amazed me in the past with her unique plots, and I must say that her latest Rules for the Reckless story is truly remarkable.

Even though an aunt and uncle took in Jane Mason after her parents died, these relatives were actually only interested in her large inheritance. While living in their home brings her no pleasure, news of a forced wedding is more than she can tolerate. Getting away from the estate has Jane devising a plan which will help gain control of her life. But problems cause the plot to fail, and the only person around to offer assistance is Crispin Burke. He is a political ally of her uncle, and Jane does not trust him at all.

When Crispin comes up with a way to aid Jane while also getting something for himself in return, she comprehends this is her only choice and agrees to his terms. His main reason for assisting the downtrodden woman is to further advance his own political career, but admiration for her spunk is a little extra motivation. Just when Jane is about to lose all hope of her wishes being granted, an incident involving Crispin gives her an opportunity to follow an unexpected path. Then the two are thrust into a world full of secrets and treachery.

If a relationship is based on lies, often it cannot last because guilt will tear away the foundation. With so many truths left unsaid between Jane and Crispin, either because of unintentional deceit or buried memories, I felt it would take a miracle for them to ever form a lasting bond. New facts become known to them from time to time, and I nervously waited to see how the couple would react when the information was learned. Before Crispin lives through a tragic event, his choices were all about helping himself. But afterward, his altered behavior makes him a changed man. While I did not completely despise him at the start of the story, I cannot say that I really liked him either. Jane had a rough life after the death of her parents, and her cunning strategies for making a better life caused much respect. My heart broke for this couple more than once, as Ms. Duran gave them realistic complications to overcome. A LADY’S CODE OF MISCONDUCT is overflowing with emotions that are heartfelt plus exceedingly profound.

There is much political unrest in the story, and the author let me get a sense of how people saw the same situation differently. Arguments are passionate, and responses are sincerely candid. I experienced the feelings, hopes, and dreams of numerous individuals, and I came to intimately know what stirred these people to action. Meredith Duran has written a spellbinding novel where mysteries, romance, and sharp wit are cleverly entwined.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher, and all comments are my honest opinion

Series:  Rules for the Reckless – Book 5

Publisher:  Pocket

Releases:  February 28, 2017

Purchase:  http://tinyurl.com/jf79lks

Genre:  Historical

Author website:  http://meredithduran.com/

Rating:  5 Stars