Snow-Kissed Proposals by Jenni Fletcher and Elisabeth Hobbes – Publication Day Push/Book Review

About the book:

A snowy Victorian ChristmasTwo festive short stories!

In The Christmas Runaway by Jenni Fletcher: wilful, independent heiress, Fiona MacKay, impulsively runs away to a remote Scottish tower where she’s trapped in the snow with equally headstrong, deliciously dishevelled Angus Drummond.

In Their Snowbound Reunion by Elisabeth Hobbes: fifteen years ago, Amy Munroe and Anthony Matthews were cruelly parted, and each blames the other. When Amy becomes Anthony’s new housekeeper, their passion is reawakened!

My review:

The delightful book contains two novellas, The Christmas Runaway by Jenni Fletcher, and Their Snowbound Reunion by Elisabeth Hobbes that will really get you feeling festive.

The Christmas Runaway is about Fiona who runs away from her father and impulsively decides to visit an old school friend, Mhairi who lives in a remote Scottish tower with her father, and her brother Angus.

I really loved the spark between Fiona and Angus, and the way in which they were both able to review their own stubborn points of view. They were so perfect together, even if neither of them could see that at the start.

I loved the Aberdeenshire location, the bleakness, and the beauty of a snow-covered landscape was just the most perfect festive setting.

Their Snowbound Reunion is about Amy and Anthony, who were childhood sweethearts who each believed that they had been abandoned by the other. We meet them 15 years later and both widowed, when Amy takes a job as housekeeper to a house that Anthony has inherited but does not intend to keep. A decision to visit the house, and a snowstorm that traps Anthony and his children at the house, thrusts Amy and Anthony together again.

I loved the way in which both of them, in spite of the love they had for their lost spouses, still clung to their first love, and being thrown together in such circumstances gave them the opportunity to get past the problems in the past, and work towards a future together.

The setting, in the beautiful Peak District really added to the festive feel and I loved reading about the decorations they put up in the house with the help of Anthony’s young children.

These two novellas were the perfect read in the run up to Christmas, and will leave you feeling very festive, and wanting to make Christmas garlands, and drink mulled wine!

Snow-Kissed Proposals is published today, 25th November 2021.

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources, Harlequin Mills and Boon and the authors Jenni Fletcher and Elisabeth Hobbes for my invitation to take part in this Publication Day Push. Please check out the other blogs sharing their reviews as part of the push.

getbook.at/SnowKissedProposals

About the authors:

Jenni Fletcher is the award-winning author of 15 historical romances. She has been nominated for 4 RoNA Awards and won the Libertà Books Shorter Romantic Novel Award in 2020. She lives in Yorkshire with her family and can be contacted via Twitter @JenniAuthor.

Elisabeth’s writing career began when she finished in third place in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest in 2013.  She was offered a two-book contract and consequently had to admit secret writing was why the house was such a tip.  She is the author of numerous historical romances with Harlequin Mills & Boon covering the Medieval period to Victorian England, and a Second World War romantic historical with One More Chapter. She lives in Cheshire because the car broke down there in 1999 and she never left.

Social media:

@JenniAuthor

https://www.facebook.com/JenniFletcherAuthor

@ElisabethHobbes

https://www.facebook.com/ElisabethHobbes

How Not to Chaperon a Lady by Virginia Heath – Publication Day Push/Book Review

About the book:

His childhood nemesis…is the woman he can’t resist!

Chaperoning Charity Brookes while she’s on a singing tour should be easy for Griffith Philpot—he’s spent his whole life sparring with her over her flighty ways! But as he discovers that she’s much more than the impetuous girl he thought he knew, a passion ignites between them… Sharing a steamy kiss leaves him torn – he’s supposed to be responsible for guarding her virtue!

My review:

This is the third book in the Talk of the Beau Monde series, although it could easily be read as a standalone, although if you read it as a standalone, you’re going to want to read the other two books! The other two books are The Viscount’s Unconventional Lady, and The Marquess Next Door.

Charity Brookes, with her sisters Faith and Hope grew up alongside family friends Griffith Philpot and his sister Dorothy. Charity and Dorothy were the two youngest siblings, and even though Charity and Griff liked one another from an early age, they both railed against that connection, and this really falls into the enemies to lovers trope. Griff sees Charity as a flighty and disruptive influence on his sister, so when his sister decides to join opera singer Charity on her music tour, he insists on being their chaperon.

I loved the fact that Charity called Griff ‘Gruff Griff the fun spoiler’, and I loved the way in which sparks flew pretty much every time they were together. It takes them an inordinately long time before either of them have the courage to find out that in reality they are both on the same page, but as with all HEAs there are always a few mountains to climb for them to get there.

Charity and Griff’s story was the perfect conclusion to the series, and it was such an enjoyable read. If you love regency romance, then you really do need to read this book!

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources, Mills and Boon Historical, and Virginia Heath for my invitation to take part in this Publication Day Push.

Purchase link:

https://books2read.com/talkofbeaumonde3

About the author:

When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Twenty books and two Romantic Novel of the Year Award nominations later, and it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

Social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/virginiaheathauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VirginiaHeath_

Giveaway to Win 2 x e-copies of How Not to Chaperon a Lady (Open INT):

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494443/?

Captivating the Cynical Earl by Catherine Tinley – Blog Tour/Book Review

About the book:

The cool, aloof earl

And the enchanting lady

For Jack Beresford, Earl of Hawkenden, emotional entanglements are the path to pain. But when his brother brings his new wife and her best friend to his country home, everything changes. Lady Cecily Thornhill is both vibrant and beautiful, and Jack finds himself increasingly captivated by her sunny nature. Yet he must resist her charms, for in a month she’ll be gone—unless his frozen heart thaws before then…

My review:

Captivating the Cynical Earl was such an enchanting Regency romance. Set in 1819, this focuses on best friends Nell and Cecily, and the Beresford brothers. When Jack’s brother Tom marries Nell, Jack was shocked that his brother did not consult him on their speedy connection. Only believing that marriage was only worthwhile as a financial investment rather than a love connection, Jack was angry. When he first meets with Cecily, they are at crossed purposes with hilarious results.

Once Cecily and Jack start to get to know one another they find that there is something pulling them together, and it’s such a beautiful slow-burning friendship to romance connection between them. There is something holding Jack back and I loved the way in which Cecily sets out to get the answers she needs.

The location of the country house that they all end up sharing with two of Jack’s friends is beautiful, and I felt that the setting, particularly with the woods that were so easy to picture as an adventurous place for two young boys to play, was lovely, and the descriptions were so vivid that I could picture them so clearly.

This was my first experience of reading a book by Catherine Tinley, and I have to say I love her writing style and it definitely will not be my last. Captivating the Cynical Earl captivated me so completely that I read it in one sitting and spent the entire time with a goofy grin on my face. It was Regency romance perfection.

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources, Mills and Boon Historical, Harlequin Historical and Catherine Tinley for my invitation to take part in the blog tour. Please do check out the other stops below.

Purchase link:

https://books2read.com/captivatingearl

About the author:

Catherine Tinley is an award winning author of historical romance. She writes witty, heartwarming Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. Her first book, Waltzing with the Earl, won the Rita Award for Best Historical Romance 2018, while Rags-to-Riches Wife won the RoNA Award for Best Historical Romance 2021.

She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, Sure Start, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now manages a maternity hospital. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, cats, and dog and can be reached at catherinetinley.com, on facebook, twitter, and instagram.

Playing the Duke’s Fiancée by Amanda McCabe – Blog Tour/Book Review

About the book:

A pretend proposal

For the unconventional heiress

When American heiress Violet Wilkins crosses paths with William, Duke of Charteris, she has extremely low expectations of the “Duke of Bore.” But when this seemingly stuffy aristocrat offers her escape from a dreadful arranged marriage, she leaps at the chance! To her surprise, the arresting Charles whisks Vi into an exhilarating make-believe romance. And as she gets to know the man behind the title, she can’t help wanting more…

My review:

I found this a very entertaining romance, with a significant amount of history interwoven. Violet was a dynamic and determined character who wanted to concentrate on her photography, and was not interested in getting married. When her parents arrange for her to marry her father’s business partner, she is distraught. At the same time, William, the Duke of Charteris is being relentlessly pursued by a determined and particularly conniving debutante and he is determined to marry in his own time. They agree to a make-believe arrangement to take the pressure off them both, but inevitably they find themselves drawn to one another.

The historical element of the story focuses on the wedding of Prince Alfred, the second son of Queen Victoria, to Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, daughter of Tsar Alexander II at the Winter Palace in St Petersburg, Russia. The Duke and Violet are both invited as friends of the Royal Family, and we get to feel almost like we are there with them, amongst the opulence of the Winter Palace, and the cold St Petersburg winter. I really felt that I got to understand the Royal family, and I got to indulge in my love of Russian history too.

I loved the idea of photography being a new development and loved that Violet was almost at the forefront of it, and not only was she making a name for herself with her photographs, William was happy to champion her. This was a well-researched book, that captured my imagination.

This was a lovely romance that really held my attention and kept me reading into the early hours of the morning. I really loved the characters of Violet and William, and was rooting for their relationship from the start. I didn’t realise when I started reading it that it was the second in the Dollar Duchesses series. I think it worked perfectly as a standalone, but I will be going back to read the first book in the series, His Unlikely Duchess.

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources, Harlequin Historical/Mills and Boon Historical and Amanda McCabe for my invitation to take part in this 5 day mini blog blitz. Please check out the other stops on the tour.

Purchase links:

US – https://www.amazon.com/Playing-Dukes-Fianc%C3%A9e-Victorian-Historical-ebook/dp/B08WK59LL1

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Playing-Dukes-Fianc%C3%A9e-Victorian-Historical-ebook/dp/B08WK59LL1

About the author:

Amanda wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen–a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not her strongest subject…)

 She’s never since used algebra, but her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion.  She lives in Santa Fe with a Poodle, a cat, a wonderful husband, and a very and far too many books and royal memorabilia collections. 

 When not writing or reading, she loves taking dance classes, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network–even though she doesn’t cook. 

Amanda also writes as Laurel McKee for Grand Central Publishing, the Elizabethan Mystery Series as Amanda Carmack, and the Manor Cat Mystery Series as Eliza Casey.

Social media links:

http://amandamccabe.com

https://www.facebook.com/amandamccabebooks/

https://www.instagram.com/amandamccabeauthor/

A Marriage Made in Secret by Jenni Fletcher – Book Review

About the book:

She must choose…

…her queen—or love!

As the queen’s new lady-in-waiting, Mathilde Gosselin tumbles straight into Parisian palace intrigue when she meets courtier Henry Wright, who she discovers is a spy! Mathilde’s loyalties are now divided—between this enigmatic, courageous man and her queen. And amid the turmoil, her falling for the unsuitable, illegitimate Henry means they’ve no choice but to hide their new love from the world…

My review:

I am not sure that I’ve ever read an author so adept at writing about so many different historical eras, Jenni continually astounds me. She also inadvertently prompts me to do additional reading around the moment in time, which I absolutely love.

This story places the romantic couple into the court of Edward II and his queen, Isabella of France. Mathilde is appointed as a lady in waiting to the queen, naive and unworldly, and she finds herself in awe of the queen and willing to swear loyalty to her. When she falls for Henry she finds herself torn between her loyalty to Isabella, and her growing feelings for Henry, who is the illegitimate relative of the Queen’s friend Roger Mortimer, and works as a spy for Mortimer.

This is a romance that spans a number of years because their positions keep pulling them apart, often with them living in different countries. Henry is a man of principle, who wants to improve his status in life, especially because he wants to marry Mathilde and feels that he is beneath her.

Secrecy is a major theme in the book. Not only the political intrigues that have Isabella and Mortimer plotting to overthrow the King, but also when Henry marries Mathilde in a secret ceremony in order to protect her. They need to keep it secret and four years pass with them barely seeing one another before they are in a position to finally be together.

This was a ‘new to me’ historical period but I found the intrigue and political shenanigans as interesting as the romance. Henry and Mathilde were both characters that I adored and I had to keep reading because I needed them to have their HEA.

Many thanks to author Jenni Fletcher for my copy of the ARC in exchange for an honest review. A Marriage Made in Secret is published by Mills and Boon Historical and is available now.

Purchase links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08S75BHJ3/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_SF5SQBWC1RRAYJXFXY3B

*Bookshop: https://uk.bookshop.org/a/6701/9780263284072

*Waterstones: https://tidd.ly/3hRAJGp

*Please note these are affiliate links which means that if you click on the links and purchase the book I will earn a few pennies from the shops.

The Marquess Next Door by Virginia Heath – Publication Day Push/Book Review

About the book:

A dashing new neighbour…

Temptation on her doorstep!

To avoid an unwanted suitor at a ball, Hope Brookes asks another gentleman to rescue her. He obliges – with a surprisingly passionate kiss! Revealed as her sinfully handsome new neighbour, Lucius, Marquess of Thundersley, they forge a friendship over their balconies. It’s refreshing that Lucius is more interested in her writer dreams than her looks, so why can’t she stop thinking about that kiss?

My review:

Although this is book two of The Talk of the Beau Monde series, I had not read the first book in the series and did not feel disadvantaged because The Marquess Next Door can definitely be read as a standalone. Having enjoyed it so much though, I have already purchased the first book The Viscount’s Unconventional Lady to read very soon.

The protagonist in The Marquess Next Door is Hope Brookes who is a real firecracker of a Regency heroine. She is an aspiring writer of gothic fiction who wants to be published in her own name, but feels burdened by the talents of not only her parents, but of her sisters Faith and Charity too. Hope stands out in society with her voluptuous figure, which is really not suited to the style of Regency dresses, and which gains her some unsavoury attentions from many suitors who judge her to have morals that match the way she looks with her red hair and her curves. Adept with words, Hope has perfected the most pithy acerbic put-downs, but sometimes words are not enough.

When she tries to avoid a persistent suitor at a ball, she asks a gentleman to come to her rescue. The resulting passionate kiss shocks her, and ends with her pushing the gentleman into a fountain. That is her first introduction to Lucius (Luke), Marquess of Thundersley. When he moves into the house next door to the Brookes family, Hope and Luke become firm friends, talking to one another from their adjoining balconies.

I loved the connection that Hope and Luke have, and what’s not to love with a tall hunk with a definite pirate vibe. Luke was a self made man who had inherited his title following the death of his brother. He was a caring man who had done everything possible to support his mother. I loved how supportive he was of Hope wanting to become a published author against all odds. I enjoyed the glimpse into the world of publishing, where it was considered to be detrimental to publish under a woman’s name, even with most readers being women! I loved the way in which Hope used shrewd negotiating in order to achieve what she wanted.

There was also a sensitive look at mental health, and in particular postpartum depression and the barbaric methods used to help women in the past. I found Luke’s mother to be so gently written that in spite of her being a minor character with such awful experiences her quiet determination made her one of my favourite characters.

The Marquess Next Door was Regency romance at its best, full of humour and a wonderful romance that had me rooting for Hope and Luke from start to finish!

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources, Mills and Boon Historical, and Virginia Heath for the invitation for me to take part in the Publication Day Push for The Marquess Next Door, which is out today.

Purchase link:

https://books2read.com/talkofbeaumonde2

About the author:

When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Despite that, it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

Social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/virginiaheathauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VirginiaHeath_

Giveaway to Win 2 x e-copies of The Marquess Next Door (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494431/?

The Duke’s Runaway Bride by Jenni Fletcher – Publication Day Push

About the book:

When Beatrix, Duchess of Howden, writes to her estranged husband offering a divorce, she’s stunned when he arrives on her doorstep with a different proposition: a six-week marriage trial! Quinton Roxbury seems cold and inscrutable, but Beatrix gradually realizes his rough exterior hides a heavy burden. As their connection deepens, dare she trust him with her own scandalous past and risk the marriage she never knew she wanted?

From Harlequin Historical: Your romantic escape to the past.

Regency Belles of Bath

Book 1: An Unconventional Countess

Book 2: Unexpectedly Wed to the Officer

Book 3: The Duke’s Runaway Bride

My Review:

The Duke’s Runaway Bride is the third book in the Regency Belles of Bath series by Jenni Fletcher. Would I say this was my favourite in the series so far? That is such a difficult question to answer because each book is perfect as a standalone, as well as being linked within the series, but choosing a favourite would be akin to choosing a favourite child! I think I can say, hand on heart, that I love each book uniquely and collectively!

In Bath we were first introduced to ‘Belinda Carr’ in book 2 of the series, a mysterious woman in desperate need of help, which she finds courtesy of the women at Belles of Bath, a biscuit shop.

She is identified as Beatrix, Duchess of Howden, when her husband, the Duke, Quinton Roxbury arrives in Bath to take her home. Both victims of an arranged marriage of necessity, Quinton wants her to return with him in order to avoid unnecessary scandal, and in spite of her desire to be a divorced and independent woman, Beatrix agrees to return for a trial period of a ix weeks.

Both Beatrix and Quinton were damaged by their past experiences, but together they begin to address their individual issues and find an undeniable chemistry between them.

I loved the Duke’s family who were the secondary characters and I loved how Beatrix was able to help them all individually with their own issues as well.

This was such an adorable romance with a kind, albeit complicated hero, and a strong, independent caring heroine who helps everyone that she meets and touches their lives in such a positive way.

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources, Mills and Boon Historical and Jenni Fletcher, for my invitation to take part in this Publication Day Push. Happy Publication Day Jenni!

Purchase Links:

Amazon. com https://amzn.to/35A0gPb

Kobo https://bit.ly/36CPLKp

WHSmith https://bit.ly/36BUpsc

About the author:

Jenni Fletcher was born in Scotland and now lives in Yorkshire where she writes historical romance novels ranging from the Roman to late Victorian eras. She studied English at Cambridge and Hull and has been nominated for 4 RoNA awards, winning for Short Romantic Fiction in 2020. She teaches Creative Writing at a university in the north of England and her favourite hobbies are baking and, of course, reading.

Social Media:

https://www.facebook.com/JenniFletcherAuthor

Unexpectedly Wed to the Officer by Jenni Fletcher – Book Review

About the book:

From shopkeeper…

To officer’s wife.

With a scandal in her past, shopkeeper Henrietta Gardiner has become wary of men, including her friend’s brother, dashing officer Sebastian Fortini. When Henrietta is called upon to take in her three young nephews, Sebastian is on hand to help her, even offering a convenient marriage as a solution! Henrietta starts to realize her new husband’s carefree exterior hides a more intriguing interior…but where will that leave their hasty marriage?

From Harlequin Historical: Your romantic escape to the past.

Regency Belles of Bath

From shopkeepers…to Cinderella brides!

Book 1: An Unconventional Countess

Book 2: Unexpectedly Wed to the Officer

My Review:

This is the second book in the Regency Belle’s of Bath series by Jenni Fletchers. In the first book An Unconventional Countess (see my review here) reference was made to Sebastian Fortini, the brother of Anna, although he was away in the Navy. Henrietta, the heroine in Book 2 became manager of the biscuit shop previously run by Anna Fortini.

The first meeting between Sebastian and Henrietta was so amusing. I adored the way Sebastian kept coming up with excuses so he could stay near Henrietta, and he was such a kind and honourable man, just perfect to ease her distrust of men, because of previous experiences.

I loved the subplot involving Henrietta’s brother and her three young nephews, and the way in which their storyline was resolved.

I didn’t think I could love this book as much as I loved the first book but this was such a delightful feel-good comfort read that I think I fell in love with Henrietta and Sebastian almost as much as I fell for Anna and Samuel in Book One. This fills me with so much excitement for Book Three which is coming very soon.

Many thanks to Jenni Fletcher for my advanced reader copy of this wonderful book.

Purchase Link:

The Scoundrel’s Bartered Bride by Virginia Heath – Publication Day Push/Book Review

About the book:

Marriage…

To the highest bidder

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?

My Review:

This was my first book by Virginia Heath, but based on this, it definitely won’t be my last! I believe that this combination of marriage of convenience, and enemies to lovers was requested by fans of Virginia Heath and I have to say it really was a winning combination.

The characters of Lydia and Owen were instantly likeable, and although it was clear that Owen had gone through a lot, having been a stable boy, being transported to Australia for a crime against Lydia’s family, and making his own fortune, his moral compass was completely fixed and he was a good, honest man. It was clear to the reader from the outset that although Lydia believed he was guilty of the crime against her family, he had been wrongly accused and gone through so much. The chemistry between Lydia and Owen leapt off the page from the start.

When Owen discovers that Lydia is being sold to the lecherous Kelvedon, he found himself unable to stand back and do nothing to stop it. Both Lydia and Owen are connected by their past, but both of them try to keep their feelings back in the past. He makes a counter-offer to Lydia’s family, which is too good to refuse.

I loved the way in which their uncertainty and frustration comes to the fore when they marry, and it’s clear that it will only be a matter of time before they are both forced to confront one another and admit how they feel. Added into their pent-up emotions, Owen feels that he needs to prove his innocence, if only to prove it to Lydia. I loved the way their story developed, and I particularly loved the way they rallied together to help Owen’s business partner Randolph and his wife Gertie in their time of need.

This book was such a rollercoaster of emotions, but everything comes together in the most perfect way at the end.

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources, Mills and Boon Historical, and Virginia Heath for the invitation to read and review this delightful book.