The Scandalous Lord Lanchester
by Anne Herries
Published by Mills & Boon
THE WAYWARD WIDOW With her wealth, beauty and playful nature, young widow Mariah Fanshawe is not short of suitors. Yet the only man she wants to marry is immune to her obvious charms! Upright Andrew, Lord Lanchester has always seemed determined to resist, but Mariah has a new plan to win him over...Andrew is thrown when Mariah asks him to help her find a husband. The truth is he'd like nothing more than to make the wild Mariah his own obedient wife! But Andrew is living in the shadow of a scandal...SECRETS AND SCANDALS Nothing stays secret for long in Regency Society
This had its good points, and I did like Mariah as a character. However, a bunch of loose ends that were never tied up and the rather annoying 'virgin widow' trope meant that this wasn't a book I fell for enough to warrant tracking down the rest of the series.
Bolted (Promise Harbor Wedding #2)
by Meg Benjamin
Published by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Greta Brewster McBain is in a bind. Two, if she’s really counting. First there’s the can-barely-breathe bridesmaid’s dress from hell. Second, the stranger who just carried her “perfect” brother’s fiancée out the church door has made it impossible to tell her own mother about her own divorce.
Rather than confirm her reputation as the family screw-up, Greta takes a drive to clear her head.
Trapped in a hole and unable to reach his cell phone, Hank Mitchell is resigned to becoming a permanent part of his own archeological dig when help arrives—in the form of a woman who looks like a Gone With The Wind refugee. Behind the ruffles and lace, though, is something he appreciates: a woman who isn’t afraid of a little dirt.
Their instant connection draws Greta into the eccentric world of the Hotel Grand, where she impulsively trades her hoopskirts for an apron. Soon things are getting hot—not only in the hotel kitchen, but in Hank’s arms...
A cute story, with engaging characters, but it never totally grabbed me. I think there were just too many handwaves as to how situations had happened (some of them may have seemed perfectly logical to US readers of course). On the other hand, I did like the secondary romance we kept seeing snippets of.
by Lynne Connolly
Published by Samhain Publishing
They can escape winter's cold, but their nemesis has a long, icy reach. Richard and Rose, Book 8 On a ship bound for Portugal with her children and the man she loves, Rose should be blissfully happy. Except Richard treats her like she's made of porcelain. She's recovered from the childbed fever that nearly killed her, yet he won't share her bed and it's driving her mad. To win him back body and soul, she resolves to use every wicked, seductive trick he's taught her. Until a possible attempted murder on board puts them both on alert for the trouble that seems to dog their every move. Richard is almost relieved to have something to investigate. He loves Rose too much to risk losing her-which is exactly what could happen if he gets her pregnant again. When it becomes clear a series of accidents is no such thing, they realize an old enemy has caught up with them. It's imperative for Richard and Rose to work together to defeat this foe, but their new distance could prove their undoing. Especially when Mother Nature conspires to make them endure one last, desperate test of their love... Warning: The earth is moving for Richard and Rose, but this time it's not entirely their fault.
I wanted to love this book, and I do so love the series as a whole. The historical details were great, as always, the weaving in of a major real event worked very well, and Richard and Rose had believable developments in their relationship. However, I really felt the lack of Gervase as a physical presence in the story, and never really connected with Lizzy and her family as a substitute secondary relationship. Also it felt to me that the book was heavier on relationships and lighter on the mystery/adventure plots than others in the series. I'm still sad to see the end of them all as major characters, of course.
Portrait of a Crossroads
by Kelly Rand
Published by Riptide Publishing
Since finding her father’s body at the bottom of the basement stairs, Annette’s been drifting through her days, watching cars pass down the rural Ontario crossroads beside her house. Her brothers have no great ambitions, but Annette remembers a time when she did. She just can’t remember what they are.
Then she meets her neighbour, Sadie, a tattooed, world-weary, newly single portrait artist. Something about Sadie awakens something in Annette—the essence she captures in her subjects, perhaps, or the way the old familiar crossroads seem so fresh and promising from the view out Sadie’s window.
Annette begins to help Sadie, cleaning brushes and filing invoices between long lazy afternoons of conversations and shared silences. Soon, though, Annette wants more from her enigmatic neighbor, and their slowly heating friendship melts into passionate nights. Somewhere along the way, Annette discovers that her lover has illuminated for her, as with the people Sadie paints, not just her essence but her own endless worlds of possibilities.
A sweet story with a gently unfolding plot, but just a little too slow for me. I'll definitely read others by this author though.
Tarnished Amongst the Ton
by Louise Allen
Published by Mills & Boon
THE SECRET LIFE OF MISS PHYLLIDA HURST Having survived the scandal of her birth with courage and determination, the beautiful Phyllida has reached a precarious balance within the ton. And in just one moment Ashe Herriard, Viscount Clere, blows her world and her carefully made plans to pieces. Brought up in vibrant Calcutta, Ashe is disdainful of polite London society, but something about Phyllida intrigues him. There's a mystery surrounding her. A promise of secrets and a hint of scandal - more than enough to entice him!
Just when I'm feeling jaded about everything, Louise Allen manages to cheer me up, this time with a continuation of the Herriard's story. This time it's the next generation at the forefront as Nick and Anusha travel to England to claim Nick's inheritance and find suitable partners for their two children. Of course none of them are really prepared for English society, but nor is the ton prepared for them. Throw in Phyllida and her unconventional household (not to mention her dark and complex past) and it's all there. Lovely details of the various ethnic groups down by the docks and an enchanting side-reference to what some guardsmen got up to in their spare time and it's all there. I hope we get Sara's story at some point too.