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review 2018-12-18 14:18
BLOG TOUR Miss Compton's Christmas Romance by Sophie Barnes

 





Sometimes playing pretend can lead to the perfect romance…

When Miss Leonora Compton decides to go to Sheffield and spend Christmas with her sister, she finds herself travelling with a man she cannot afford to like. But as their journey progresses she enters an unexpected partnership with him and realizes that things aren't what they seem. Because Mr. Dalton is not only tempting. He may in fact be precisely what she needs.

When Philip believes his travel companion requires protection, he immediately steps in to help by pretending to be her husband. For although the last thing he wants is to form an attachment, Philip is irrevocably drawn to the stunning red-head. And as they become better acquainted and their paths increasingly intertwined, he must decide if risking heartache again is worth the chance of finding true love.



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This is a delightful novella from Sophie Barnes. It's a quick and easy romance with enjoyable characters and fun plot. As shocking as it was for Miss Leonora Compton to go into trade she managed to convince her parents to let her so she wouldn't be a burden on them or her younger sister and her brother-in-law in the future. As a result her parents were able to travel the world without having to worry about her. Leonora is given a shock, her landlord lost the property gambling and her new one wants an exorbitant amount of money by the New Year. With nothing she can do she leaves the shop in her best friend's capable hands and goes to visit her sister for Christmas. Her parents would be shocked that she is taking public transport but it was a frugal thing to do. Mr. Phillip Dalton was immediately captivated by the stunning and stubborn Miss Compton and in order to protect her from the unwanted advances of another gentleman in the coach he claims she's his wife. It seems they are headed to the same destination Phillip is best friends with Leonora's brother-in-law and he was also invited to spend Christmas with them. All they needed was a little push for them to meet and fall in love but will they?

Overall this was a really nice read. I really enjoy Sophie Barnes writing and this was a nice little bite to satisfy me until her next book comes out. 
 

     The Bull and Mouth coaching house was bustling with travelers buying tickets and preparing for departure while others climbed out of newly arrived coaches. Horses neighed and people shouted, pushing and shoving their way past each other, the loud noise occasionally drowned out by the sound of a horn.

     Her mother would likely have a fit if she ever found out that her daughter had chosen to travel alone on public transportation. In the past, Leonora had always taken a hired carriage, but that was before she’d become aware of the need to save every penny – back when her parents had paid the expense. In hindsight, she should perhaps have asked one of her parents’ maids to accompany her as chaperone. Except she’d been leading an independent life for the past eight months and had little desire to suffer the constant presence of someone insistent on making her follow a long list of rules. 
     So Leonora clasped her belongings and wove her way through the crowd on her own. She’d purchased her ticket a week earlier just to be sure she would get one. “Where’s the coach for Sheffield?” she asked a team of hostlers who were in the process of switching out horses. 
     One of the men pointed toward a coach on the opposite side of the courtyard, and Leonora thanked him before hurrying toward it. Her breath misted in the chill morning air as she stepped around the vehicle and prepared to show the coachman her ticket. But then she spotted him, and her entire body froze in place. Mr. Becker was here, and he was standing next to her coach, which only made Leonora’s heart beat harder. Because if there was one person she did not wish to spend one more second with, it was him. Least of all if they were to be confined to a place from which there could be no escape. 
     Her chest tightened and she realized then that she was holding her breath. She inhaled sharply, the frigid air rushed down her throat and into her lungs where it started to burn. She hesitated briefly, torn between choosing to face him and walking away. He was speaking with a younger and much taller gentleman with dark brown hair. Mr. Becker smiled, his countenance far more pleasant than when he’d come to call on her earlier. The younger gentleman nodded politely and offered his hand which Mr. Becker promptly shook before tipping his hat, adding a comment, and walking away. The younger man watched him go before turning toward the coachman. The two exchanged a few words, and the younger man pulled out his pocket watch to check on the time. 
     Leonora stepped forward. Thankfully, it did not seem as though she would have to endure Mr. Becker’s company. Just that of his friend. Determined to ignore him, she walked straight past the spot where he stood, her entire focus on the coachman. Reaching him, she set down her valise and retrieved her ticket from her reticule. 
     “Thank you, miss,” the coachman said when she handed it to him. He glanced at her luggage. “That will have to go on top of the carriage or in the boot. Which do you prefer?” 
     “I’ll put it in the boot,” Leonora told him. She picked up her valise and turned, only to find her path blocked by what had to be over six feet of solid masculinity. Leonora looked up and immediately bristled upon realizing not only that the man was Mr. Becker’s friend, but that he, upon further inspection, had eyes that weakened her knees and lips that quickened her pulse. He was, as it were, impossibly handsome, and that was almost more annoying than anything else that had happened that morning. 
     “May I help you with that?” he inquired. 
     Oh Lord, his voice was lovely too – like plush velvet sliding over her skin. 
     Leonora squared her shoulders. “No thank you. I can manage perfectly well on my own.” She stepped around him quickly, before his angular jaw and broad shoulders could cause her to change her mind, and went to the boot. It already contained a trunk and a couple of other valises, which meant she would have to heft her own up and over in order to secure it. She glanced around. Surely there must be some Bull and Mouth employee available to help? 
     If they were, none came to offer assistance. Leonora blew out a breath and proceeded to lift her valise, bringing her other hand underneath it while her reticule dangled back and forth from her wrist. Feeling the weight in her arms, she steadied herself against the carriage, bracing her body while struggling to push the darn thing toward the top of the boot. 
     “Are you sure you don’t need help?” the handsomest man in the world inquired. 
     “Absolutely,” Leonora panted. She was now holding her valise at shoulder level, supporting it against another valise that was in her way. Just a few more inches… 
     “Have you always been this stubborn?” 
     “I am not stubborn…just…” Ugh! She managed to wedge her shoulder underneath the valise, but its size and shape made it unstable, and before she could manage to steady herself properly, she felt the entire thing lean to one side. Oh no. She reached up attempting to grab it, but that only quickened the inevitable outcome.

     Her valise slipped from her shoulder and started to fall, until it was caught by a pair of large hands.

     Like Thor wielding his mighty hammer with seemingly little effort, Mr. Becker’s friend lifted the piece of luggage with infuriating ease and placed it securely in the boot. He stepped back and turned to face her, his toffee-colored eyes catching a ray of rare winter sunshine in the process. The effect was dazzling. More so when the edge of his mouth lifted to form a crooked smile with a perfect dimple placed right at the corner. 
     Leonora swallowed. For heaven’s sake, her hands were trembling, though she quickly decided that this was from her recent exertion and not at all because of this handsome man’s attentions. She had no interest in him, she reminded herself. Not when he kept company with the sort of man who would happily force a woman from her home and place of business during Christmas.

     Deciding she would not allow him to divest her of her manners, she raised her chin and met his gaze boldly. “Thank you, sir.” 
     His smile broadened. “Mr. Dalton.” He glanced aside for a second before returning his attention to her. “Mr. Philip Dalton. How do you do?”
 
 
 
 
Link to giveway: https://promosimple.com/ps/d9d5/miss-compton-s-christmas-romance


 
Author Bio:

Born in Denmark, Sophie has spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor's degree from Parson's School of design, but most impressive of all - she's been married to the same man three times, in three different countries and in three different dresses.

While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion - writing. She currently lives on the East Coast.

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review 2018-11-08 14:31
ARC REVIEW No Ordinary Duke by Sophie Barnes

 

No Ordinary Duke (The Crawfords, #1)

 

 

The Crawfords #1, I love books where one of the main characters hides part of who they are and fall in love, I always like how they redeem themselves to the other person. In this Caleb Crawford has finally comes home after studying architecture in France to prove his father wrong only to find out both his father and older brother died in a fire and he has now inherited the Dukedum. After trying for a couple of months, Caleb is at his breaking point he needs some time away from being the duke. His best friend Viscount Aldridge, has the solution, his sister lives out in the country with two other women and take care of orphan children. Seeing as how Aldridge's sister has never meet Caleb he just introduces himself as Mr. Crawford the new caretaker. 

Mary Clemens, the daughter of a tradesman who became extraordinarily wealthy, got burned by society. She thought she fell in love with a man above her social standing but he let his father ruin the relationship and the father spread horrid rumors about her all over London. Her only escape was to disappear from London society and to live with her friend in the country and help children in need. Mary knowing her reputation was irreparably damaged she figured she'd never marry so she created a life with her two friends that was satisfying. The appearance of Mr. Crawford unsettled her because he aroused feeling in her she never had before and the fact that he was a laborer and not from society was perfect but she keeps misreading his intentions. Caleb knows Mary is special and it doesn't take him long to figure out he wants to marry her, but with her dislike of society he has to find away to reveal who he really is without completely destroying her faith in him. Unfortunately that option is taken out of his hands and now he has to repair the damage done.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. The characters were great. Mary even though she is a strong, opinionated, plain spoken kind of woman is so use to everything be blamed on her she keeps doubting everything. Caleb dealing with his newfound status in society and figuring out that he doesn't have to let the Dukeship define and dictate who he really is. I liked the set up with Caleb's brothers with at least two more books coming I look forward to Devlin's book. The epilogue felt off it was set so far in their future it would have made more sense to be at the end of the series with a wrap up of everyone's lives and not just these two and their kids. It feels so final and I don't want to feel that at the end of book one.             

 

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review 2018-02-22 12:47
The Duke of Her Desire by Sophie Barnes
The Duke of Her Desire: Diamonds in the Rough - Sophie Barnes

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I liked this book. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, A Most Unlikely Duke, so I was really excited to read more of the series. I didn't love it and I don't think I will remember much about it long term but it was a nice enough story. I thought that this was a pleasant read and am glad that I read it.

Thomas, the Duke of Coventry, agrees to watch over his friend's sisters while he is away. Amelia and Juliette are still trying to fit into society after living in poverty most of their lives. Amelia has other dreams and hopes to open a school for children where she used to live. Of course, she starts this process while her brother is away and Coventry jumps into to help. She is still keeping social commitments and considering potential husbands at the same time.

This was a really tame historical romance. I actually don't remember ever reading one quite this innocent. I don't need a lot of heat in this kind of story to find it enjoyable but I found it rather surprising. I really didn't feel a whole lot of chemistry between this pair and I do wonder if part of that could be because most of the book was rather chaste until the story got closer to the end. I don't think that you need sex in a story to have chemistry but it just seems that something was missing between this pair.

I did find both Amelia and Thomas to be interesting characters. Thomas has quite the story which I was very eager to learn more about as the story progressed. Amelia's quest to run a school was ambitious and really showed what kind of person she was. I was probably most entertained by everything that went wrong with the preparations for the school. I liked that they both seemed really committed to the cause.

This was a book that I liked in the end. It was a nice enough read and a nice way to spend a bit of time. It wasn't my favorite in the series but it was an acceptable installment. I am actually not sure if I will be picking up the next book in the series or not at this point but I would like to read more from Sophie Barnes in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Avon Books via Edelweiss.

Initial Thoughts
This will end up either being a 3 or 4 star read. I am going with 3 for now but that may change. I liked the book but I didn't fall in love with it. I would have liked to see a little more between Thomas and Amelia. It seemed liked the book was nearing the end before things really started moving between them besides very tame interest. I did enjoy reading this one.

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review 2018-01-02 00:00
Christmas at Thorncliff Manor
Christmas at Thorncliff Manor - Sophie Barnes Ms. Barnes has put into words all the sentiment and amusement of what makes the holidays a magical time. Falling in love, discovering new adventures and reuniting with the people you care most about. Christmas at Thorncliff is a love note to the heart. With a thirst for the unknown, behind the scenes matchmaking, new beginnings and happy endings Sophie Barnes speaks the language of any season. Heartwarming perfection.
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review 2017-12-30 13:20
Review For: The Duke of Her Desire by Sophie Barnes
The Duke of Her Desire: Diamonds in the Rough - Sophie Barnes

 

The Duke of Her Desire  by Sophie Barnes is book Two in the "Diamonds in the Rough" series.  This is the story of Thomas Heathmore, Duke of Coventry and Amelia Matthews. I have read the previous book (and loved it) but feel you can easily make this a standalone book.
Amelia and her sister Juliette along with their brother Raphe once lived in the slums of  St. Giles.  But a few months ago her brother, Raphe Matthews, became 'The Duke of Huntley'.  This has lead them into a higher station in life along with feeling not up to the towns standards.
Thomas is good friends with Raphe and has tried to help him along with his sisters have a easier time being accepted by the town.  So when Raphe ask him to watch his sisters while Raphe takes his wife Gabriella on a wedding trip, Thomas of course agrees.  Amelia and her sister will have their eccentric Aunt as a chaperone but Raphe feels they need more guidance that her.  So Thomas agrees to ask his mother the Dowager Duchess of Coventry to help him.  But Amelia now that her brother is gone thinks to put into motion her part to help the less fortunate children. Amelia has always taken to helping other along with animals.  Amelia had help to take care of her siblings when they were on the streets of St. Giles.  So Thomas finds he is in for more than just helping her to be seen as a lady.  Thomas has issues too from his past that has caused him to change greatly...is Amelia what he needs to get back to who he used to be.  
I am so in love with this series!  Can't wait for more stories!

Source: www.amazon.com/Duke-Her-Desire-Diamonds-Rough-ebook/dp/B06Y11VKYH/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1514234312&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Duke+of+Her+Desire++by+Sophie+Barnes
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