Beautiful young widow, Lady Eliza Wyndham, is determined never to remarry after a disastrous first marriage. The undeniable attraction that fizzes between her and Major Nathaniel Overton terrifies her. She rejects his advances.
With his pride badly dented, Nat vows to forget Eliza until he finds her in danger from an old adversary of his army days. His protective instincts are stirred and he steps back into her life, but will Eliza be prepared to accept his help?
Eliza had a disastrous marriage. Now she’s a widow and she has no interest in revisiting married life. Unfortunately for her, she was left fairly well off and she is being sought out as a potential bride by men who need money. One of these men decide that he is not going to take her no for an answer. He set out on a series of increasingly aggressive plans to make her marry him.
One thing that I appreciated in this book is that Eliza was informed that she had a stalker. In historical romance there is sometimes a tendency to try to show men as protectors who keep their concerns about women to themselves so they can solve it and be the hero. I hate books where a large part of the plot hinges on people not discussing things that need to be discussed.
A group of men around Eliza realize that this guy is up to no good and they know that he had a history of violence towards women. They involve the women Eliza knows in the issue so they can all watch out for each other.
The conflict between Eliza and Nathaniel arise out of the baggage that they bring from past relationships. Eliza is concerned both that she is seen to be attractive to men purely for her money and she is coming out of an abusive marriage. Nathaniel hates the shallowness and games of high society women and feels that Eliza’s wavering feelings towards him are more of the same fickleness that he has seen before.
This is a good debut novel. I’ll be looking forward to more from this author.
Lady Lydia Barton cannot seem to avoid Owen Wolfe since he’s returned after being wrongly transported for stealing her family’s jewels! But Lydia has more pressing problems, like her impending arranged marriage. Until Owen makes her father a counteroffer for her hand. Is Owen purely after her society connections, or dare Lydia hope that the charming stable boy she once loved is still within her ruthless, wealthy new husband?
I don’t tend to agree to read historical romance books for book tours because I’m so picky. I’m glad that this one worked out well for me.
There is a little bit of suspension of disbelief that I had to do to make this story work though. If someone’s family had had me arrested, sentenced, and transported across the globe to a penal colony for a crime I didn’t commit, I’m not so sure I would care what happened to her. For that reason I would have loved to see a little more anger from Owen towards Lydia’s family. He seemed to agree to help her (although it was against her will) a little too easily to be readily believable.
Setting that aside, I did enjoy the story. I agree with other reviewers that Owen was much easily to like and root for than Lydia. She held onto her hurt feelings for way too long considering that she wasn’t the one that had had her whole life ruined.
I will definitely check out more books by this author.
Three elderly ladies have been friends for decades. They all married men who traveled around the world. They were left home. Now they are all widows who would like to make a little bit of money. They founded the Lady Travelers Society to encourage women to go abroad. They take a monthly membership fee in exchange for holding lectures about travel for women and for arranging trips for their members. None of them have actually every traveled anywhere except for one trip to Paris as a girl but what could go wrong….
I’m a huge fan of older ladies in books. The three ladies of the travel society aren’t the protagonists of this series but they are the main troublemakers in the background.
In the first book, the one and only lady who has taken up their offer to arrange her travel has gone missing. Her niece has been writing increasingly concerned letters to the ladies (which they’ve ignored). Now she is coming to the society to investigate. The nephew of one of the ladies has also found out that they are scamming people and is trying to put a stop to it. They team up to try to trace her aunt’s journey across Europe and find out what went wrong.
In the second book of the series, the Lady Travelers Society sponsors a tour to Italy for a group of American mother and daughters. Leading the tour is a widow who needs to get to Italy to get back a painting. Her husband pawned it. She doesn’t know that the painting that was gifted to her grandmother is considered stolen property. She isn’t the only one trying to get it back.
She’s never been to Europe so is totally unprepared to be a guide but she has memorized all the guidebooks and hotels have been booked in advanced. Her clients will be fine when she leaves them in Italy and disappears after finding her painting.
Harry has spent the last 20 years in Egypt. Now he is back in England and is horrified to find out that the most popular writer about Egypt is a woman who writes adventure stories. He writes letters to the newspaper deriding her work and challenging her to prove that she knows anything about Egypt.
Sidney has never been to Egypt. It isn’t her fault that people think her stories are true. She never claimed that. She has based them off of her grandmother’s journals and extensive study. Now she has to lead a tour to Egypt that will prove the she knows what she is talking about.
Viola and James married three years ago. Since then they have led separate lives. She has been traveling all over Europe. Now James’ uncle has died. His will states that Viola and James have to live together as a happy couple for three years in order for James to inherit the money needed to run the estates. Viola’s money is untouched. Will she work with him to help?
This novella is considered #0.5 in the series but I read it last. This one features the elderly ladies more prominently.
A chance meeting made a big impression on Celia and Henry. However, they never met again until some time later when he is supposed to marry her half-sister. The ladies know this is a horrible mistake and make it their mission to stop the wedding.
Why I liked these:
The travel aspect gave opportunities for different plots than books just set at house parties in England.
Independent heroines trying to make their way in a world that is fighting them.
Lord Alexander Pyne-ffoulkes is the younger son of the Duke of Ilvar, with a bitter grudge against his wealthy father. The Duke intends to give his Duchess a priceless diamond parure on their wedding anniversary—so Alec hires a pair of jewel thieves to steal it.
The Duke's remote castle is a difficult target, and Alec needs a way to get the thieves in. Soldier-turned-criminal Jerry Crozier has the answer: he'll pose as a Society gentleman and become Alec's new best friend.
But Jerry is a dangerous man: controlling, remote, and devastating. He effortlessly teases out the lonely young nobleman’s most secret desires, and soon he’s got Alec in his bed—and the palm of his hand.
Or maybe not. Because as the plot thickens, betrayals, secrets, new loves, and old evils come to light. Now the jewel thief and the aristocrat must keep up the pretence, find their way through a maze of privilege and deceit, and confront the truth of what's between them...all without getting caught.
K.J. Charles is one of the romance authors that I found out about on Twitter and now is an autobuy for me. I was thrilled when she offered ARCs of this book to readers.
A lot of her books that I’ve read previously have focused on people who aren’t part of the gentry. That has been a major part of the appeal for me. This one crosses class lines into upper crust society and I think that wasn’t as enjoyable for me as her previous books. Still, the premise is inventive.
An upper class man has abandoned his children because they vocally opposed his second marriage. The children are adults and they are living in poverty with some terrible consequences. Alec decides to get back at his father by hiring thieves to steal the showy anniversary present that his father plans to give his wife. However, to get close to his father he’ll have to pretend to abandon his principles to get back to a life of leisure. This is going to alienate him from his siblings who don’t know that he has another motive.
This conflict between what he believes and the pretense that he needs to keep up tears at him. He has no practice or talent at being underhanded at all. For help he’s reliant on the con man he hired to coach him and who he is very drawn to.
I like more slow burn and not much sex on the page in my romance books. That’s definitely not what you get in these books. This relationship has a dominance-submission aspect to it. It is handled well and respectfully to both parties. I would recommend this book if you like historical romances that aren’t just ladies looking for dukes.