Tag Archives: Regency romance

Marry in Haste by Anne Gracie

Overview
Marry in Haste | Book 1 in the Convenient Marriage Series by Anne Gracie

Title: Marry in Haste
Author: Anne Gracie
Series: Marriage of Convenience #1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 20th February – 1st March 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Berkley
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: Miss Wind-whatever!

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Synopsis

Major Calbourne Rutherford returns to England on the trail of an assassin, only to find he’s become Lord Ashendon, with the responsibility for vast estates and dependent relatives. Cal can command the toughest men, but his wild half sisters are quite another matter. They might just be his undoing.

When he discovers that Miss Emmaline Westwood, the girls’ former teacher, guides them with ese, Cal offers her a marriage of convenience. But strong-minded and independent Emm is neither as compliant nor as proper as he expected, and Cal finds himself most inconveniently seduced by his convenient wife.

Emm knows they didn’t marry for love, yet beneath her husband’s austere façade, she catches glimpses of a man who takes her breath away. As pride, duty and passion clash, will these two stubborn hearts find more than they ever dreamed of?

Thoughts

Regency romances are the kind of books that are slowly gaining traction on my bookshelves. It’s one of those shelves that a year ago, there wasn’t much on it… but then I started buying more and more. Now, it’s a fairly big collection. This is my first foray into the stories of Anne Gracie. And I must say, I am so glad that I bought some of her books – they are awesome and beautiful!

From the prologue, I was intrigued about Emm’s past – after all, it starts with a rumor and her father trying to force her into marriage. Yet, you don’t quite know what happened and why. Which is one of the many sub-plots that will keep you reading throughout this story. You just want to know what sent Emm’s life so drastically off track. And it takes about three quarters of the book to find out the answer to that…

Cal is a bit of a reserved lead. I love that he is trying to do what he thinks is right – but can’t quite figure out what that actually is. He’s so very, very lost. Which just makes it all that much sweeter when Emm comes into his life and just… fixes all of the bits that have been turned upside down. Sometimes people just need a little bit of guidance, and Cal gets that constantly through his “marriage of convenience”.

It’s hard to imagine the world that Emm lives in – but, I love that she is able to maintain her sense of self, even when she gets kicked down again and again. She also makes sure that she protects and cares for the women under her protection. From the girls at the school, to the sisters and niece of Cal. They are constantly bolstered by this amazing woman and find a way to be themselves in a society that doesn’t necessarily support them.

I may love the romance aspect of this story, but I also love the feeling of women banding together. Not just in the way that Emm protects the girls, but also how they protect her. When rumors and horrible things come to light, it is the girls that ultimately protect and bolster Emm, her students and the women she’s befriended. We have way too many stories about women tearing each other down, so it’s nice to have one that features women supporting one another.

<- More Anne GracieMarry in Scandal ->

Image source: Anne Gracie

The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Overview
Image result for book cover the other miss bridgerton

Title: The Other Miss Bridgerton
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Rokesbys #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 27th January – 11th February 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: Brown or Green would have been acceptable – Andrew had known both of them long enough to know that they’d not imperil her safety – but he doubted either one of them wanted anything to do with her.

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Synopsis

She was in the wrong place…

Fiercely independent and adventurous, Poppy Bridgerton will only wed a suitor whose keen intellect and interests match her own. Sadly, none of the fools from her London season qualify. While visiting a friend on the Dorset coast, Poppy is pleasantly surprised to discover a smugglers’ hideaway tucked inside a cave. But her delight turns to dismay when two pirates kidnap her and take her aboard a ship, leaving her bound and gagged on the captain’s bed…

He found her at the wrong time…

Known to society as a rascal and reckless privateer, Captain Andrew James Rokesby actually transports essential goods and documents for the British government. Setting sail on a time-sensitive voyage to Portugal, he’s stunned to find a woman waiting for him in his cabin. Surely, his imagination is getting the better of him. But no, she is very real—and his duty to the Crown means he’s stuck with her.

Can two wrongs make the most perfect right?

When Andrew learns that she is a Bridgerton, he knows he will likely have to wed her to avert a scandal—though Poppy has no idea that he is the son of an earl and neighbor to her aristocratic cousins in Kent. On the high seas, their war of words soon gives way to an intoxicating passion. But when Andrew’s secret is revealed, will his declaration of love be enough to capture her heart…?

Thoughts

It took me a little bit to get into this story. not because of anything intense, but Quinn’s stories are that simple and pleasant that they don’t always throw me in the deep end of the story. They’re just so pleasant and fun. Plus, you know that the couple is going to come together in the end. In this case, Poppy is so much like her cousin Billie that you felt like you knew her from the very beginning.

Although this was a fairly consistent and typical Quinn story, it does take a completely different spin – there’s pirates. I mean, they’re kind of sanctified pirates. But they’re still pirates. And the whole story takes place on a ship. With a kidnapping and other sorts of drama. It may have taken me a little to get past that first chapter or so, but once I realised that the pirates were taking front and centre… I was a very, very happy girl.

From the title I knew that there would be another Bridgerton girl making an appearance in this story. The awkwardness of the whole situation just left me smiling and giggling again and again throughout this story. After all, regardless of which series you read… the Bridgertons are a force to be reckoned with. I love that Andrew is almost fearful of the response that the Bridgertons will have when they find out that he kidnapped one of them. After all, if I had a family of that size and loyalty after me… I’d feel pretty damn intimidated and concerned too.

There is no better cure for a bad day than a good Julia Quinn book. I love that even though this story / series isn’t about the Bridgertons (my favourite regency romance family ever), it still features them. You can see where the next generation gets their spunk from. And the Rokesbys? Well, they’re amazing too. I can’t wait to read the last book in this series and fall head over heels for this family yet again.

<- The Girl with the Make-Believe HusbandFirst Comes Scandal ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn

Overview
The Girl With the Make-Believe Husband :HarperCollins Australia

Title: The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Rokesbys #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romance, Regency romance
Dates read: 1st – 2nd January 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: She took his arm, and then slowly, without a word, they made their way out to the street, where a carriage awaited to take them the short distance to the Devil’s Head.

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Synopsis

While you were sleeping…

With her brother Thomas injured on the battlefront in the Colonies, orphaned Cecilia Harcourt has two unbearable choices: move in with a maiden aunt or marry a scheming cousin. Instead, she chooses option three and travels across the Atlantic, determined to nurse her brother back to health. But after a week of searching, she finds not her brother but his best friend, the handsome officer Edward Rokesby. He’s unconscious and in desperate need of her care, and Cecilia vows that she will save this soldier’s life, even if staying by his side means telling one little lie…

I told everyone I was your wife

When Edward comes to, he’s more than a little confused. The blow to his head knocked out six months of his memory, but surely he would recall getting married. He knows who Cecilia Harcourt is—even if he does not recall her face—and with everyone calling her his wife, he decides it must be true, even though he’d always assumed he’d marry his neighbor back in England.

If only it were true…

Cecilia risks her entire future by giving herself—completely—to the man she loves. But when the truth comes out, Edward may have a few surprises of his own for the new Mrs. Rokesby.

Thoughts

This is one of those books that I’ve been really dying to get into, but keep getting distracted before I actually start it… I can be a little too easily distracted at times. But, once I finally actually got my butt into gear, I finally managed to completely sink my teeth into this. It was amazing, brilliant and, filled with Quinn’s brilliant wit and humour.

I think that one of the reasons I found it a little hard to pick up this book was because, just from the blurb you could see all of the things that could go terribly wrong. After all, the woman is pretending to be a man’s husband. And even though he wakes up and doesn’t quite remember things, he believes this. It’s not a great recipe for a romance. Or at least, so I thought. Since, once I read this… I realised that it was actually the perfect romantic recipe.

Cecelia might be doing something kind of horrible in this story (pretending to an amnesiac that she’s he’s wife). But all of her motives are honourable. And, ultimately, I love that Quinn created a heroine who is soft, sweet and delicate. She has a backbone of steel and bravery that, even at the end of this story, she isn’t able to own up to. But, ultimately, she is more of a typical heroine for a regency romance story. Yet, one that I didn’t find tedious and irritating.

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband was fun and beautiful. There were so many moments of awkwardness and fun throughout the story that had me smiling and giggling. It was such an easy, fairly light-hearted read. One that included just enough emotional and personal upheaval that you felt seriously personally connected to the characters. And completely unable to let them go. There’s nothing like a few pulled heart strings to make you emotionally invest in such a beautiful romance…

<- Because of Miss BridgertonThe Other Miss Bridgerton ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

Where’s My Hero? by Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn & Kinley MacGregor

Overview
Where's My Hero? | Julia Quinn | Author of Historical Romance Novels

Title: Where’s My Hero?
Author: Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn & Kinley MacGregor
In: Where’s My Hero? (Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn & Kinley MacGregor)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance, Short story collections
Dates read: 22nd – 26th December 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: Bending her backward, hooking his supportive arm beneath her, he nuzzled the tender weight of her breast.

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Synopsis

Dear Avon Books,

Where are my heroes? Whenever I’m reading a book by one of my favorite authors I find I’m falling for the wrong guy — not the hero, but the other man — and what I really want is for him to have his own story.

Like Jake Linley, from Someone to Watch Over Me by Lisa Kleypas…that doctor could sit by my bedside if I ever got sick. And Ned Blydon in Splendid by Julia Quinn…he makes me want to learn to waltz! I never thought living in a drafty castle would be much fun until Simon of Ravenswood in Master of Desire by Kinley MacGregor came along.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that these are my men — when do they get their stories?

Sincerely,
A Romance Fan

Some books are so special that there is more than one hero to love, but only a single story is told. So if you find yourself asking, “Where is my hero?” you’ll discover the answer right here in this delicious collection by New York Times bestseller Lisa Kleypas, New York Times bestseller Julia Quinn and USA Today bestseller Kinley MacGregor.

Thoughts

I figured that I would finish the year of 2020 that has been absolutely insane with some nice, pleasant romances. Normally I really enjoy dystopian fictions, but this year that just didn’t feel quite suitable. Romance was the way to go. And as one of the last books of the year, this was most definitely a great fit.

I am already obsessed with Julia Quinn but discovering Lisa Kleypas and Kinley MacGregor through this anthology was such an amazing experience. There is something uniquely wonderful about each and everyone of these authors. Late nights curled up on the couch with a cup of tea and my dogs made their words come to life. Sinking me into a happy little world where true love always wins.

I love that this collection is about well-loved secondary characters in each of the authors’ series. There have been a number of romances that I have read where you really want the story of a secondary character. A story that often doesn’t come. So I loved that there were three novellas that managed to hit that nice, sweet spot.

This is most definitely a collection that I will want to read again. It is also filled with stories from series that are now filling my wish list. I can’t wait to get further and further into the writings of these authors… I suppose that that could be a bit of a New Years Resolution for next year…

<- A Tale of Two SistersAgainst the Odds ->

Image source: Juila Quinn

A Tale of Two Sisters by Julia Quinn

Overview
Where's My Hero? | Julia Quinn | Author of Historical Romance Novels

Title: A Tale of Two Sisters
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: The Splendid Trilogy #3.5
In: Where’s My Hero? (Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn & Kinley MacGregor)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 26th December 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: “Do you want to dance?” he asked, the words surprising him even as they left his lips.

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Synopsis

Dashing Ned Blydon is in a most unenviable predicament—he’s engaged to one Thornton sister, while being secretly in love with the other—in Julia Quinn’s sensuous A Tale of Two Sisters .

Thoughts

From reading the blurb for this story, I was feeling a little bit… icky. I mean, it’s a man who is engaged to one sister, and in love with another. I always have issues with those kind of horrible, blurred lines. I mean, I can’t imagine my sister taking the man that I’m involved with… but as usual Quinn took me completely by surprise and spun this story in a way that just wasn’t… icky.

Ned was a fun hero. He spends half the time trying to escape his female relatives because they’re giving him unsolicited advice. And then, when he finally does find out that they are right, he still refuses to acknowledge it out loud. I recognise a lot of this in my own activities. I am the queen of denial and tend to avoid my family when I think they won’t like my own activities. This factor probably made me connect with him a lot quicker than many other heroes who fill the pages of my books.

This storyline was fun, light-hearted, and brilliant. It finished out the Where’s My Hero? collection completely beautifully. No matter how many times I pick up a story by Quinn, I’m completely in love. And then I always have to try and find another one of her books to sink my teeth into…

<- Midsummer’s KnightWhere’s My Hero? ->

Image source: Juila Quinn

Midsummer’s Knight by Kinley MacGregor

Overview
Where's My Hero? | Julia Quinn | Author of Historical Romance Novels

Title: Midsummer’s Knight
Author: Kinley MacGregor
Series: Brotherhood of the Sword & MacAllister
In: Where’s My Hero? (Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn & Kinley MacGregor)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Historical romance, Regency romance
Dates read: 24th December 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: He was superb.

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Synopsis

When Simon of Ravenswood secretly answered Lady Kenna’s letters in the name of a powerful earl, he was only being polite. Little did he know the lady would fall in love with the author and come between him, his best friend, and a solemn vow made long ago, in Kinley MacGregor’s enchanting Midsummer’s Knight .

Thoughts

This admittedly was a bit of a cringe-worthy romance. I really, seriously, and thoroughly enjoyed it. But it still made me cringe. Repeatedly. After all, Simon writes to a woman under someone else’s name, falls in love with her, and then accidentally proposes… all under another man’s name. If that doesn’t make you cringe, what will?

This was my first Kinley MacGregor story, and I am completely entranced. Although the storyline was a bit cringey, it was also brilliant. I thoroughly, seriously and wonderfully loved this tale and couldn’t stop thinking about it after I turned that final page. In fact, even as I write this review (a few days after finishing the novella), all those wonderful, hopeful, cheerful feelings come rushing back.

Kenna and Simon are a fun couple. I don’t love that there was a description of Kenna as kind of plain, but pretty much no description of Simon. But I did love the fact that they both tend to be regaled to the sidelines a little bit. It’d be a lonely life being overlooked frequently, so it made this story all that much more wonderful and hopeful when they find each other…

<- Against the OddsA Tale of Two Sisters ->

Image source: Juila Quinn

Against the Odds by Lisa Kleypas

Overview
Where's My Hero? | Julia Quinn | Author of Historical Romance Novels

Title: Against the Odds
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Gamblers of Craven’s #2.5
In: Where’s My Hero? (Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn & Kinley MacGregor)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 22nd December 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: Bending her backward, hooking his supportive arm beneath her, he nuzzled the tender weight of her breast.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

When eminently sensible Lydia Craven decides to marry for security rather than love, she doesn’t calculate on the determination of devil-may-care doctor Jake Linley to rewrite the romantic formula in Lisa Kleypas’ charming romp, Against All Odds .

Thoughts

I recently bought a few books written by Kleypas, with absolutely no idea if I would enjoy them or not. Which made me seriously happy when I read this novella. After all, I loved this, and thus, I am hoping that I will love the rest of the Kleypas books that I’ve added to my shelves. Kleypas writes with humour, sass and fire. But she manages to have that sense of vulnerability and innocence in this story which I tend to love in a good regency romance.

Lydia is the kind of heroine that I tend to love. She is funny, sassy and incredibly adorable. She’s also way too logical. Which, if I’m being honest, I can do sometimes. I can’t imagine being a smart, independent, logical woman in this time period though. Yet, somehow, this persona fits. It’s not the typical regency heroine. But it’s most definitely the kind that I love.

Partnering Jake Linley with Lydia worked fantastically well. He manages to balance her completely – something that I think we all need in our significant other. Particularly when Lydia almost throws away her happiness on something that is mere logic. Linley is most definitely the kind of hero that I would rather warming my bed… the kind of hero that made me smile and feel wistful all throughout.

I absolutely adored this novella. And I honestly can’t wait to read more of Kleypas’ regency romances. It’s glorious, fun and seriously enjoyable. Plus, she manages to do this with wit and humour, something that I think all good romances require.

<- Where’s My Hero?Midsummer’s Knight ->

Image source: Juila Quinn

Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Overview
Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, #1) by Julia Quinn

Title: Because of Miss Bridgerton
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Rokesbys #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 21st – 22nd August 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: George glanced over at Billie as he straightened.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Sometimes you find love in the most unexpected of places…

This is not one of those times.

Everyone expects Billie Bridgerton to marry one of the Rokesby brothers. The two families have been neighbors for centuries, and as a child the tomboyish Billie ran wild with Edward and Andrew. Either one would make a perfect husband… someday.

Sometimes you fall in love with exactly the person you think you should…

Or not.

There is only one Rokesby Billie absolutely cannot tolerate, and that is George. He may be the eldest and heir to the earldom, but he’s arrogant, annoying, and she’s absolutely certain he detests her. Which is perfectly convenient, as she can’t stand the sight of him, either.

But sometimes fate has a wicked sense of humor…

Because when Billie and George are quite literally thrown together, a whole new sort of sparks begins to fly. And when these lifelong adversaries finally kiss, they just might discover that the one person they can’t abide is the one person they can’t live without…

Thoughts

I absolutely adored reading about an earlier Bridgerton. The Bridgertons series very quickly became one of my favourites, so finding out about a Bridgerton from the generation before. It fulfilled that need to return to the world, whilst still experiencing a whole new journey. Add to that the fact that you can see how similar Billie and Daphne are to one another… it was brilliantly done and a great journey that I seriously, seriously loved.

Having said that, I do wish that Billie made an appearance in the Bridgertons series. I’m fairly certain that she’s the aunt… so I really don’t understand why she is only in this series, and not making cameo appearances elsewhere. One can imagine and dream though.

This is a light, fun and wonderful journey. I love a good regency romance that leaves you smiling. But still has enough going on that you are constantly hoping for the best. I always seem to become very quickly enamoured with the characters in Julia Quinn’s books. And all I want is for the best outcome. Of course, you know that that’s going to happen… but I still spent a lot of time being emotionally invested and hoping that George and Billie would realise what was RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR NOSES! They did… but I still had moments of intense feelings.

I think that one of my favourite things about this couple is the way that they flirt. It’s very unorthodox. Kind of like the way I flirt with my husband. They manage to fit barbs, compliments and wit into all of their interactions. It leaves you feeling incredibly happy, complete and hoping for the best of the best outcomes in their lives. Plus, this kind of flirting seems to just show a complete knowledge of and acceptance of each other – flaws and all. The best way to love in my honest opinion…

Not only was this a fantastic romance that left me feeling incredibly happy and content. But it also introduced the game of Pall Mall (which is pretty importance in The Viscount Who Love Me) and The Mallet of Death. I loved the creation of this and I don’t think that I could have grinned any wider during this scene in the book…

<- More Julia QuinnThe Girl with the Make-Believe Husband ->

Image source: Goodreads

Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn

Overview
Ten Things I Love About You | Julia Quinn

Title: Ten Things I Love About You
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Bevelstoke #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 12th July 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Because she was.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Ten Things You Should Know About This Book

  1. Sebastian Grey is a devilishly handsome rogue with a secret.
  2. Annabel Winslow’s family voted her The Winslow Most Likely to Speak Her Mind AND The Winslow Most Likely to Fall Asleep in Church.
  3. Sebastian’s uncle is the Earl of Newbury, and if he dies without siring an heir, Sebastian inherits everything.
  4. Lord Newbury detests Sebastian and will stop at nothing to prevent this from happening.
  5. Lord Newbury has decided that Annabel is the answer to all of his problems.
  6. Annabel does not want to marry Lord Newbury, especially when she finds out he once romanced her grandmother.
  7. is shocking,
  8. is delicious, and
  9. is downright wicked, all of which lead the way to
  10. Happily. Ever. After.
Thoughts

This was the final book in the Bevelstoke series. And, for me, I think it might have been the best. Although, now that I think about the other two… I also loved them. There was just something about Annabel’s situation that drew me in and plucked at my heart strings far more strongly than the other heroines in this series.

I had planned to just read a little of this book, and then go to sleep. I was kind of exhausted. But, that certainly didn’t happen. Again, Annabel’s plight and difficulties just completely drew me in. And every time I thought that there was a natural pause in this story coming up… a new challenge reared its ugly head and pulled me right back in again. It was an adventure that I was just swept away in. And next thing I knew… I’d stayed up WAY past my bedtime…

My only real moment of ow, that’s not the way it should be was when there just wasn’t quite enough comeuppance at the ending of this story. I think that the ending Quinn went with was absolutely wonderful and kind of perfect. But I’m of the vindictive persuasion… so I wanted the horrifying and somewhat evil Newbury to suffer. And suffer. And suffer. And, well, you get my vindictive little drift…

Sebastian most certainly drew my attention with his actions in Chapter Seventeen of What Happens in London. Which meant that I just couldn’t wait to find out who he would end up with. And Annabel just wasn’t what I pictured – but everything that I needed. Partner that with the fact that he’s a writer, an insomniac and just all round enjoyable and witty in his characterisation… I thought that he was the mot perfect of the three heroes in this series…

<- What Happens In LondonMore Julia Quinn ->

Image source: Julia Quinn

What Happens In London by Julia Quinn

Overview
What Happens in London :HarperCollins Australia

Title: What Happens in London
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Bevelstoke #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 10th – 11th July 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: “I thought you’d stopped counting.”

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Rumors and Gossip…
The lifeblood of London…

When Olivia Bevelstoke is told that her new neighbor may have killed his finacee, she doesn’t believe it for a second, but, still, how can she help spying on him, just to be sure? So she stakes out a spot near her bedroom window, cleverly concealed by curatins, watches, and waits… and discovers a most intriguing man, who is definitely up to something.

Sir Harry Valentine works for the boring branch of the War Office, translating documents vital to national security. He’s not a spy, but he’s had all the training, and when a gorgeous blonde begins to watch him from her window, he is instantly suspicious. But just when he decides that she’s nothing more than an annoyingly nosy debutante, he discovers that she might be engaged to a foreign prince, who might be plotting against England. And when Harry is roped into spying on Olivia, he discovers that he might be falling for her himself…

Thoughts

From her first appearance in The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, I fell a little in love with Olivia. There is just something humorous, witty and intriguing about the beautiful girl who can’t keep her impulses to herself. So when I realised that the next novel in this trilogy was about her, and started with her spying on her neighbour… I was completely swept away. And intrigued. And just generally in my happy place…

I was kind of floored by the “bad guy” in this story at the end. In fact, as I’m reading more and more Julia Quinn stories, I was surprised that there truly was a “bad guy”. Normally the people who get in the way of a good happily ever after moment in her stories (the ones that I’ve read thus far anyway) are the two romantic leads themselves. So when someone else gets in Olivia’s way… I was pleasantly surprised. I love when an author I’ve been reading a lot of is able to completely surprise me. There is just something all that much more exciting about such an act.

One of my favourite aspects of this novel was the spy angle. The war with the French and Napoleon are mentioned frequently in many of Quinn’s regency romances – but I’ve never read one that features spying and Russian. I also just loved the Russian spin and the fact that the lead male, Harry, is in love with the language. It made me weirdly keen to go out and learn Russian of all languages. That extra bit of subterfuge made this all that much more difficult to put down…. Especially when I was curled up with a nice cup of tea in my onesie whilst reading this…

Even Miranda managed to make an appearance in this book. Although, not enough of one to truly make me happy in this. She is mentioned frequently, and it makes me imagine a reality in which Turner, Miranda, Olivia and Harry all continue to live happily and a little less than conservatively… it definitely meant that I finished this book on a huge, happy smile.

<- The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda CheeverTen Things I Love About You ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia