Tag Archive | Maya Rodale

Historical Romance 101: What Makes a Great Heroine and Favorites

Historical Romance 101Welcome to another segment of Historical Romance 101!! Come and join along with myself, Jennifer @ Feminist Fairy Tales, Amanda @ On A Book Bender, and Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook. This is a special one, and I find one of my favorite things to talk about…our lovely heroines. Now we all know that it is more difficult to find a winning heroine than a hero. But it is such a special treat to find a heroine you can connect with.  Continue reading

ARC Book Review-What A Wallflower Wants by Maya Rodale

What A Wallflower Wants
Bad Boys and Wallflowers (3)
Maya Rodale
Avon Books
E Book
Published September 2014
Acquired: Edelweiss
384 Pages
Regency Historical Romance
ISBN:  9780062231246
Authors Website 

Synopsis
In the third novel in Maya Rodale’s charming Wallflower series, London’s Least Likely to Be Caught in a Compromising Position finds temptation in a devilishly handsome stranger . . .

Miss Prudence Merryweather Payton has a secret.

Everyone knows that she’s the only graduate from her finishing school to remain unwed on her fourth season—but no one knows why. With her romantic illusions shattered after being compromised against her will, Prudence accepts a proposal even though her betrothed is not exactly a knight in shining armor. When he cowardly pushes her out of their stagecoach to divert a highwayman, she vows never to trust another man again.

John Roark, Viscount Castleton, is nobody’s hero.

He’s a blue-eyed charmer with a mysterious past and ambitious plans for his future—that do not include a wife. When he finds himself stranded at a country inn with a captivating young woman, a delicate dance of seduction ensues. He knows he should keep his distance. And he definitely shouldn’t start falling in love with her.

When Prudence’s dark past comes back to haunt her, John must protect her—even though he risks revealing his own secrets that could destroy his future.

My Review

I received a ARC through Avon Books and Edelweiss in return for a honest review. 

Miss Prudence Payton, is on her fourth season, and has yet to get married. But with the graduation ceremony of the finishing school coming up, she doesn’t want to be the only one yet married. So she foolishly accepts a proposal of a man she doesn’t love or care for, and while being set up by highwaymen, her fiancee pushes her out of the carriage, and abandons her. When she arrives at a small inn, she meets a charming stranger, who steals her attention and makes her believe again. Prudence, is like a skittish mare, afraid of any man’s touch, because of something shameful in her past, and doesn’t trust anyone but her closest friends, but even they don’t know her dark secret that changed her life forever. But when she meets John, he shows how a gentle caress can make her feel alive again, and believe in a healthy desire and melt the ice around her heart that has shielded her for so long. A man that shows her strength, how to defend herself, and have confidence. A man that has stolen her heart….but he is hiding a secret one that could destroy them both…

What A Wallflower Wants is the third book in this latest series by Maya Rodale and we also see characters from the writing girls series as well as other characters from the other books in this series. It was fun seeing the connections. When I first started reading this, it seemed to be predictable at times, and so in the first half I really didn’t have much heart in this story, but then some twists develop in the plot and before long I am challenged and wondering what will happen next and I had no issue get into the rest of the story. This story is full romantic, and everything you need if you are looking for a slow and gentle romance that warms your heart. Then characters are both hiding secrets, but can’t seem to resist each other. The relationship starts slow, its not instant kissing and sharing a bedchamber….nope not this one. For one the heroine can barely stand a man’s touch, and John is intelligent and gentle man, and I loved the way he handles her. He sees the vulnerability within Prudence, and he is forms a bond with her, and soon she starts to discover hidden passions that she never knew existed. When you learn of her past and what she has done to survive, I really admired her character. John is one of those heroes, that would make the best husband material. Even though he gamble and has a big secret, he is smart and has dreams of his own. John is the honorable type, almost the knight in shining armor. He isn’t afraid of showing his true feelings, or his devotion to Prudence, and in the end fighting for his love for her…no matter the cost.

This story was phenomenal, and I loved the unique set of events that unravel, that surprise and keep you engaged. A spellbinding classic tale of turbulent pasts, a gentle passion, and a love that is worth fighting for!!! SENSATIONAL!!

My Grade 
4 Blossoms

Heat Rating 
Warm

Other Books In Series 
The Wicked Wallflower
Wallflower Gone Wild

ARC Book Review-Wallflower Gone Wild

Wallflower Gone Wild
Bad Boys and Wallflowers (2)
Maya Rodale
Avon Books
E Book
Published March 25 2014
384 Pages
Regency Historical Romance
ISBN: 978-0-06-223126-0
Authors Website 

Synopsis
In the second in Maya Rodale’s delightful Wallflower series, London’s Least Likely to Cause a Scandal is taking Society by storm…

Being good has worked out very badly for Lady Olivia Archer. All she has to show for four seasons on the marriage mart is the nickname Prissy Missy. Her prospects are so bleak that her parents have betrothed her to a stranger with a dire reputation. If Phinneas Cole—aka The Mad Baron—wants a biddable bride, perhaps Olivia can frighten him off by breaking every ladylike rule.

Phinn has admired Olivia’s poise and refinement from afar…qualities that appear to have vanished now that they are officially engaged. This Olivia is flirtatious, provocative, and wickedly irresistible. She’s not at all the woman he bargained for, yet she’s the only one he wants.

He’s determined to woo her. She’s determined to resist. But Olivia is discovering there’s nothing so appealing as a fiance who’s mad, bad, and dangerously seductive…

My Review

Olivia is known as “London’s Least Likley” and is known for her poise and following the rules and never stepping out of line, and what has it gotten her, unwed after four season. One evening she meets a man who sizzles her senses just from one look across the ballroom, and she almost kisses him in public. Afterward, she learns her parents have betrothed her to the “Mad Baron”, Phineas Cole. She has heard many rumors about this Mad Baron, about how he murdered his wife. Phinn has admired Olivia from afar and knows that her genteel manner is just what he is looking for in a wife. What he doesn’t plan on is for scandal after scandal to occur after he decides to marry her. Phinn has no idea what he did to her, but then he learns that she believes the rumors about his late wife, which he didn’t ever think it had been gone around as much as it apparently had. Phinn is out to seduce his future bride and show her he isn’t the monster she thinks he is, that he can love just as passionately as she dreams of.

Wallflower Gone Wild is the second installment in the Bad Boys and Wallflower series that is the most recent series done by Maya Rodale. I have enjoyed reading her others series and this is the first book I have been able to read from this series. I am a bit disappointed that I have yet to read the first book, especially after loving this title so much. There was so much emotion and drama played out in this story. I couldn’t help but fall for this story. From the beginning I was fully engrossed in the story, the longest it took was just a couple of pages and I was hooked completely. Maya Rodale definitely knows how to deliver a charming love story and Wallflower Gone Wild is definitely a new favorite.

In this story we see two people that need each other and are each taught a humbling lesson about Trust. Olivia I liked from the beginning, and I loved how she schemed to make Phinn want to leave her, but all of her work and trying to create one scandal after another only tends to do the opposite reaction, Phinn starts to become more intrigued with Olivia. Olivia fears for her future with Phinn, but there is something so gentle about the way Phinn treats her and the way he is so patient, Olivia starts to slowly change her opinion of him. Despite the dastardly rumors that are flying around, she starts to realize she will have to trust in her true feelings about him, and not what other gossips say about him. Phinn is a scientist and could care less about public opinion, until he meets Olivia. Now he must prove to her that he isn’t dangerous or a killer. I also loved seeing the close bond that Olivia has with her fellow friends, and it only made me more intrigued with reading the first book, after seeing her friend and her husband together.

Overall a charming romance that tied me up in knots (but in a very delightful way). Wallflower Gone Wild is packed with romance, desire, engaging plot and characters to worm their way into your heart. A HEARTWARMING TALE!!

My Grade 
5 Blossoms

Heat Rating 
Warm

Other Books In Series 
The Wicked Wallflower
What A Wallflower Wants

Book Review-Seducing Mr. Knightly

Seducing Mr. Knightly
The Writing Girls (4)
Maya Rodale
Avon
Mass Market Paperback
Published November 2012
374 Pages
Regency Historical Romance
ISBN: 978-0-06-208894-9
Author’s Website

Synopsis
He’s the only man she’s ever loved…

For ages it seems advice columnist Annabelle Swift has loved Derek Knightly, editor-owner of The London Weekly from a distance. Determined to finally attract her employer’s attention, she seeks advice from her loyal readers—who offer Annabelle myriad suggestions…from lower-cut bodices (success!) and sultry gazes (disaster!) to a surprise midnight rendezvous (wicked!).

She’s the only woman he never noticed…

Derek never really took note of his shy, wallflower lady writer. But suddenly she’s exquisite…and he can’t get Annabelle out of his mind! She must be pursuing someone, but who? For some inexplicable reason, the thought of her with another man makes Knightly insanely jealous.

Will Dear Annabelle find her happy ending?

But Knightly’s scandalous periodical has been targeted for destruction by a vengeful Lord Marsden, and the beleaguered editor now faces a devastating choice: either marry Marsden’s sister to save his beloved newspaper…or follow his heart and wed his Writing Girl.

My Review
Summary 
Annabelle has loved Derek Knightly from afar ever since she first started working for him. Annabelle, knows that he barely even notices her, and she wonders if she will ever be loved in return. So after waiting for what seems like forever, she decides to try to get his attention, that is the first step in seducing a man. Annabelle then places a question out to her faithful readers, to help her seduce a certain (nodcock) who is clueless that she is madly in love with him, and how to get him to love her in return. So she decides to take her readers and her fellow writing girls advice, and be more bold than she has ever been. Derek’s life is the newspaper, after receiving his inheritance from his father, he decided to make something for himself. The London Weekly is his wife of sorts, he hasn’t had any interest in women until he starts to notice changes in Annabelle, who is blossoming and become more beautiful and vibrant. Derek at first doesn’t make anything out of it, but when he starts to see her pursuing other men, he gets green with jealousy, even though he is supposed to be marrying another woman soon to save his paper. Derek just doesn’t know which he loves more his business or the woman who has sneaked her way into his heart.

My Thoughts 
I can’t believe how much I have just LOVED this series. I was so thrilled to read Annabelle and Derek’s story. After seeing in the past books, how much Annabelle loves Derek, despite his underhanded work when it comes to his precious paper. I just love it when I can read a series from beginning to end, and not starting middle way through. It was great to see all of the characters develop as you go along through each of the installments. Seducing Mr. Knightly is the last in the series, and I would put it as my favorite or closely tied with The Tattooed Duke. I can’t believe how much I just loved this one, A page turner all the way through.

This story is basically what the title states, Annabelle is sick of waiting for Derek to notice her. All Derek sees in his life is sentences and paragraphs and columns of his paper. Everything else in his life becomes secondary. So determined to get her man, Annabelle, goes out to seduce him, only that is harder than it looks. Annabelle, isn’t more meek and not very bold, but it was great to see the change in her. It was such fun to see the lengths that she goes to, in trying to get Derek to notice her. I did love how she asks her readers to give her advice in seducing him. She doesn’t give out the real identity on who the (nodcock is? and I just love that term…because Derek in all honesty is a Nodcock through and through (he is a man after all, and doesn’t take any hints, you have to be very daring with him). Derek is courting another woman, so that scandal doesn’t get attached to his newspaper. He is willing to marry a woman that he doesn’t love in any way and who doesn’t love him. But he is determined to do everything he can to save his life’s work. Annabelle doesn’t let this discourage her too much, and starts to take more drastic measures, and some of the things she does to get him to notice her, are pure entertainment. I can’t count how many times I was laughing my butt off!!

Derek Knightly, I have always liked, even if he is a bit will take really drastic measures for his newspaper. We see a different side to Derek in this book, we see the human side of him–that he isn’t cold in any way, he just protects his heart. I really loved him as the hero in the story, and I found him to be perfect for Annabelle. In the beginning, he is a bit “Blonde” and you would have to knock him over the head with a statue to get his attention, but eventually he catches on and then sparks really fly between Derek and Annabelle. Annabelle is just a sweet and charming heroine, she doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. She sacrifices all that she is for a family that could care less about her (she is a version of Cinderella in a way). It was great seeing her change into a woman that is daring and takes risks. There is such a strong and vital connection between Derek and Annabelle, and the story only gets better the more you read.

I found Seducing Mr. Knightly to be SENSATIONAL!!! I had heard so many good things about this book, so I knew I would be in for a good time. There were so many things that I truly admired about this couple. I love the schemes and little daring acts that Annabelle goes to try to seduce Derek. It was pretty humorous how he just didn’t ever get what she was trying to do, even though it was pretty obvious to everyone else. There is such powerful emotions displayed in the story, with clever characters, and a passion filled story that will capture your attention until you have finished with it. There is plenty of drama and romance and a sense of play at times. You are in for a delightful story! A Keeper of a story!!

First Line 
Some things are simply true: the earth rotates around the sun, Monday follows Sunday, and Miss Annabelle Swift loves Mr. Derek Knightly with a passion and purity that would be breathtaking were it not for one other simple truth–Mr. Derek Knightly pays no attention to Miss Annabelle Swift. 

Favorite Quote 
And then he kissed her. 
Knightly. Kissing. Her.
She felt sparks, she felt fireworks. Her first kiss. A Once in a lifetime kiss. With the man she loved. 
She had waited for this. She had fought for this. She earned this. She was going to enjoy every exquisite second of it. 

My Grade 
5 Blossoms

Heat Rating 
Steamy

Other Books In Series 
A Groom of One’s Own
A Tale of Two Lovers
The Tattooed Duke

Book Review-The Tattooed Duke

The Tattooed Duke
The Writing Girls (3)
Maya Rodale
Avon
Mass Market Paperback
Published March 2012
371 Pages
Regency Historical Romance
ISBN: 978-0-06-208892-5
Author’s Website

Synopsis
Exclusive—”tattooed duke” finds fortune in ruins!

Breaking news, scandal fans:

You thought you knew the dangerous Duke of Wycliff, London’s globe-trotting adventure addict. Here’s what you don’t know: he’s penniless. Sebastian Digby’s dukely lifestyle is over forever unless he finds a rich bride. But thanks to The London Weekly, everyone knows better than to tangle with this lothario. Besides (as one writer can testify), it seems that Sebastian has been unable to keep his hands off his own lowly housemaid…

And that’s a problem. A big one.

Because that housemaid just happens to be me. Eliza Fielding. The same undercover Writing Girl who’s been exposing the Duke’s most intimate secrets to the world. And now I’ve gone and complicated everything by falling in love with him. Passion and deception have never been so delicious, but now the truth could destroy everything. This is more than a conflict of interest. It’s a seduction where love itself hangs in the balance.

My Review
Summary 
The Duke of Wycliff, has spent the past seven years traveling all around the world, in his search of Timbuktu, and has battled sharks, pirates, see numerous cultures and of course women. Sebastian has come home unfortunately to assume his duties as the Duke, only to find that he is out of funds. Funds he needs to make his dream trip to Timbuktu, which he has devoted his whole life in finding. He knows he is in need of a rich wife, but finds himself distracted by the new housemaid, who makes his body burn with desire.Eliza Fielding has had a history of going undercover to get her story for the “London Weekly”. Her boss, Mr. Knightly, has given her a ultimatum, if she desires to keep her job, she must put in a scandal in the paper, and very very soon. So upon hearing of the Duke’s return, she goes undercover as his housemaid, to learn his secrets and expose them to London. Eliza never imagined that she would have so much success, but what she never thought would happen is fall in love with the man with whom she has betrayed his secrets. Will Eliza be able to get her happily ever after, or lose her heart to a man she may never have.

My Thoughts 
When I first found the whole series at the library, I wasn’t sure if I should grab all of them, wondering if I would regret it later, however I am so thrilled I did now. I do love it when I get a chance to read a series in order, especially a series I am truly have a jolly time reading. Now the first one I liked quite a bit, the second one, wasn’t as good as the first one, but was still a enjoyable read. So when I started reading the Tattooed Duke, I was nervous, hoping I would at least like it more than the second one. I am proud to say that this one, is my favorite of the series so far. There were quite a few of complex issues that played a part in the story.

It starts off with Eliza seeing the Duke return at the Docks of all places, when he first steps on England soil. From this moment, we see a instant attraction that Eliza feels for Sebastian. She knows he is the way by which she will be able to continue her career, as one of the writing girls. With Mr. Knightly having giving her this only chance, before firing her, she knows she must do everything she can to save what she has worked years to accomplish. When she dresses and poses as a housemaid, she never thought that she would be in such close proximity to Sebastian, or to find herself being slowly seduced. Sebastian we see is not the usual Duke type. He has a craving for adventure and he could care less about balls or what the Ton may think of him. All he wants is to find the one place he has devoted all his time and effort into finding. When he is labeled the “Tattooed Duke” and certain details of his life are revealed to everyone in England, and he knows it would be near impossible to find a respectable woman to marry him. He also has another problem on his hands….his servant, a mere maid, has all of his attention and he finds himself falling hard for her, even knowing they could never share a future together.

I found Eliza to be independent, strong willed and feisty to the bitter end. In the beginning we see her determined to write the Duke’s secrets, but then we see her start to become real and full of emotion when she starts to fall in love. Eliza is the type of heroine that you can’t help but love through the bad and the good, I really liked her quite a bit. She resembled the “contemporary” type of women, as she seeks to support herself, she does have a vulnerability when it comes to falling in love. Then we really start to see her true character, and I found myself to be admiring Eliza as a character. Sebastian is sexy, with his tattoo, his thirst for adventure and his attitude toward society. I found him to be a breath of fresh air, considering he is far different from most Regency hero types. There is plenty of conflict, especially once the secret is out, we really see some action, and I loved the villains that play a part in this book, it only added a more of a intense aspect to the plot. Even though the ending seemed a bit rushed, I found that was the only aspect I had a issue with.

I found The Tattooed Duke to be full of everything you need for a sound romance. A sure keeper for any one’s shelf that keeps you interested from beginning to end. This installment in the Writing Girls series is by far my favorite so far. I just adored the bantering between Sebastian and Eliza. I found it be so entertaining, and the type of book that is a hard to put down. I found this one, to be highly amusing and stimulating at times. There was also a mysterious element (that deals with Eliza’s past) that only intensifies the emotions that are played out. A Fully Satisfying romance from beginning to end that will win your heart!

 First Line 
They said he had been a pirate. 

Favorite Quote
“How long does one need to make proper love to a woman?” Eliza asked “Just out of curiosity of course. Scientifically speaking,”
That teased out a harrumph of laughter from the sullen duke. “At least one entire night from sunset to sunrise.” He answered, not missing a beat. 
Wycliff caught her gaze and held it, with a intensity so strong that she couldn’t break it. For that moment, she couldn’t breathe. There was something so wild and reckless about him; she ached to throw caution to the wind and join him in mad, passionate pursuits. 

My Grade 
4.5 Blossoms

Heat Rating 
Steamy

Other Books In Series 
A Groom of One’s Own
A Tale Of Two Lovers
Seducing Mr. Knightly

Book Review-A Tale Of Two Lovers

A Tale Of Two Lovers
Writing Girls (2)
Maya Rodale
Avon
Mass Market Paperback
Published May 2011
370 Pages
Regency Historical Romance
ISBN: 978-0-06-192299-2
Author’s Website

Synopsis 
He is notorious.

Lord Simon Roxbury is a godsend to gossip columnists everywhere. This notorious rake has recently been caught in an extremely compromising position by none other than The London Weekly’s Lady of Distinction. Rumor also has it that Lord R received an ultimatum: be wed or be penniless.

She is scandalous.

As A Lady of Distinction, Lady Julianna Somerset typically reports on other people’s scandals, but soon she finds herself embroiled in a very public battle with an irate Lord Roxbury–one that leaves her reputation in tatters and her position at The Weekly on the line.

Together they’re… respectable?

With no other choice available, these two enemies unite in a marriage of convenience to rescue both their reputations and secure his fortune. With their rivals intent on revealing the charade, Lady Julianna and Lord Simon inevitably surrender to temptation. It may just be a love match after all . .

My Review
Summary 
Julianna is one of the four writing girls, and she is well known as the “Lady of Distinction” and she writes on all the latest scandals, to keep up with their rival. Julianna has worked hard to build up her section and have many resources at her disposal. One night at the Opera, she spies Lord Roxbury in what would be the most popular scandal if she were to report it. So Julianna, not going to let this opportunity pass her by, announces what she has seen, and is has top rank among all the scandals, only she has no idea that this scandal would in the end change her life forever. Simon has no intention of settling down, he is more than content with his women and drinking, he has no issues with the way his life is going, until his father brings to him a ultimatum of the worst sort; get married or have no money at all and be poor? So Simon assuming that any woman would have him, thinks of this as no big deal. Well right after his father gives him this choice, the scandal of the year, that tops all scandals is about him, and no woman or man gives him the time of day apart from his closest friends. Now he is a world of trouble, because he has one week to find a wife. Well when he learns the identity of the woman that reported this scandal, he is out for retribution. Before Julianna knows it, she herself is embroiled into a scandal of her own, and she has no choice but to marry Simon or face the consequences, but what she doesn’t expect is her distrust in this unlikeable man turn into a affair of the heart.

My Thoughts 
After falling in love with the first in the series “A Groom of One’s Own” I was so excited to read Julianna’s story. This series is about four women that write together for a newspaper and each book is their story. Now I have recently fallen in love with this author, and so I was really looking forward to reading more of her work. Now it was not my favorite, I think I enjoyed the first one a lot more, but Tale of Two Lovers was a very enjoyable read and there were many things I liked about it.

We begin with Julianna out on the town, looking for a new delicious scandal, to bring her ahead of her rival “Man About Town”. Julianna then finds a shocking scandal, and can hardly wait to report it. So when we see this scandal (even I  was surprised and a bit shocked but we find out the truth eventually but expect the unexpected in this story.) When she reports it, she expects her life to keep going great and getting better, only her life starts a spiral downward. Now Julianna at first seems a bit shallow being a reporter on scandal and all. We start to see more depth to her as you continue forward in the story. Then we turn to Simon, who is one of the top rakes, loves women, has had countless mistresses and affairs (more than anyone should ever have), and when his father hands him this ultimatum he is more than shocked and angry. However when the scandal reaches his ears, and everyone looks at him like he is a bug to stamp on, he knows that his life has been changed forever. So he vows on revenge, now I was kinda on his side at this point. And boy did I love the come back he did against Julianna, and it definitely had my laughing to the point I couldn’t breathe. So if you want a good laugh, just read this story, it will crack you up to tears. There is a strong hate/love relationship we see develop here. They both despise each other in the beginning and the middle, but towards the end is where it really gets good.

Now I think I fell in love with Roxbury from the beginning, he is your average alpha male type rake, but he is very amiable and passionate and I love how he doesn’t hide from his mistakes and doesn’t blame it on others. He takes it all in stride, and I couldn’t help but admire him for that. I found him to be way more noble than Julianna. Now Julianna, I really wanted to like her and I tried hard to, but there were so many things I didn’t like about her, until the end. She seemed so, too proud and greedy at times. I understand her background and bad experience with men, but it just got on my nerves to the point I wanted to shake some sense into her. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t hate her, I just didn’t like her. She seemed to me to have this superior attitude at times, and even though the second half of the book she slowly mellows down a bit, so I grew to like her a bit better, but overall she just didn’t reach to me all that well.

Overall it was a good and solid read, and there were things I liked and things I didn’t like too much. I felt like there was enough plot and tension and sensuality to be a strong book. I also liked how we see the secondary characters and their involvement in the story, and there were a few scenes that definitely won my heart over. There was charm and wit and a sense of playfulness to the story line that only added to the wickedly enticing story. There was some extreme measures put in play here, that I just soaked up toward the end. Even though there were a few things I didn’t like, I felt like this was such a enthralling read, that just draws you in like a magnet, and I couldn’t help but find a story that sent shivers down my spine and enough sizzling tension to curl your whole body.

First Line 
The backstage of the Dury Lane playhouse was no place for ladies, but Julianna, Lady Somerset, had suffered enough of what proper women did and did not do. 

Favorite Quotes 
“You are stubborn, maddening, illogical and infuriating,” Roxbury grumbled. 
“I am a Lady,” Julianna retorted, as she stepped behind a voluminous potted fern. 
“Exactly.That’s what I said,” he said, following her. She gasped. He grinned. 

My Grade 
4 Blossoms

Heat Rating 
Warm

Other Books In Series 
A Groom Of One’s Own
The Tatooed Duke
Three Schemes and a Scandal
Seducing Mr. Knightly

Book Review-A Groom Of One’s Own

A Groom Of One’s Own
The Writing Girls (1)
Maya Rodale
Avon
Mass Market Paperback
Published July 2010
367 Pages
Regency Historical Romance
ISBN: 978-0-06-192298-5
Author’s Website 

Synopsis
Miss Harlow’s Marriage In High Life
London, 1823

A handsome duke. His beautiful soon-to-be duchess. A whirlwind courtship. It is this author’s privilege to report on the event all of London is talking about: the upcoming wedding of the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon to the only daughter of the Duke of Richmond. Every detail of the “Wedding of the Year” will be reported in these pages as a London Weekly exclusive.

But I, Miss Sophie Harlow, must confess to a secret infatuation with this “double duke” that can only lead to trouble. It is impossible that this notoriously upstanding gentleman would ever jilt his bride for a scandalous female newspaper writer. And yet . . . the arrival of a foreign prince, the discovery of a shocking secret, and one passionate kiss could change everything. Will this perfect duke risk the scandal of the year to marry the woman his heart desires?

There are just three more weeks until the wedding . .

My Thoughts
Summary 
Sophie was once engaged, but her fiancee broke their engagement as she was walking down the aisle. So she ended up in London, as one of the four writing girls, who all write for London’s Weekly, the city’s most popular newspaper. Sophie’s main focus is to work on weddings and report on them. She is then to report on the wedding of the year of the Duke of Brandon and the daughter of the Duke of Richmond. Normally Sophie would be thrilled with the opportunity, however she is half way in love with the Duke who is to be married in three weeks. Sophie doesn’t know how she is suppose to separate her feelings from her job. Sophie is around Brandon more and more, and before she realizes it, she finds it hard not to give into the feelings about Brandon that tend to flare up the more she sees him. Brandon, has responsibilities, ever since his father died when he was eighteen, and even though his parents loved each other, he has known he could never have love for himself. He is engaged to the jewel of the ton, more beautiful than ever, and has all the qualities in a upstanding duchess. When he meets Sophie, his world gets turned upside down. He finds himself falling in love with a woman he can never have, his hands are tied, and as the wedding date draws closer, more than anything he wishes he didn’t have his honor to uphold.

My Thoughts 
This is the first chance I have had to read from this author, and I am so relieved that I liked this one. I did borrow from my public library all four of this series, so I crossed my fingers as I started to read. When reading the blurb I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the story line much, but after reading a couple of chapters, I was totally engrossed into the story, and I found it hard to put down much. There was such a strong feeling to this story, it was very provoking emotionally. It had me tied up in knots for most of the book. Its one of those forbidden love type stories, and up until the very last chapter I was curious how these two would end up together. Brandon is the honorable man type. He is not your usual rake type at all. He is very responsible and takes his duties seriously however he wants adventure in his life, knowing he will never have it. I found Brandon to be sexy and gorgeous and I love a honorable hero, but sometimes I felt like he was way too stubborn for his own good. He tended to be a bit over the top with it all. Sophie is the bluestocking type: independent, clever, but she also has vulnerabilities that made her seem more human and easier to relate with. I found the interactions between Brandon and Sophie to be wickedly fun and silly at times. There was also a side story of Brandon’s fiancee with a prince that is new to town—lets just say I loved both couples immensely. There was something so sweet yet passionate about the two. Their love stories fiercely intense at times, and I almost felt like I needed a stress ball to squeeze, the story was so pulling at times. There were moments that had me laughing one moment, and curling my toes the next. I found the story to be well detailed and developed in a way that will win any one’s romantic heart over. An ENTHRALLING and uniquely written read that will win you over in a heartbeat! You don’t want to miss out on this treasure of a story! WELL DONE!!

First Line 
If she is to marry, a woman must have a dowry and a groom of her own. 

Favorite Quote 
with Sophie though..By God, how he wanted her in such a primal, earthly way. The way a man ought to desire a woman. Brandon wanted to claim her mouth, grasp her breasts, hold her hips and completely possess her. He wanted to make her gasp, moan, and cry with pleasure. He knew their lovemaking would be just that–lovemaking, and it would be earth-shatteringly exquisite. 

My Grade 
5 Blossoms

Heat Rating 
Steamy

Other Books In Series 
A Tale Of Two Lovers
The Tattooed Duke
Three Schemes and a Scandal
Seducing Mr. Knightly