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review 2021-02-25 02:45
A DUKE, THE LADY, AND A BABY by Vanessa Riley
A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby - Vanessa Riley

Patience wants her baby back. Lord Repington is now his guardian. She disguises herself as a nanny to be near her son. Repington will do whatever he needs to keep the baby safe and the nanny as well.

 

I loved this book. I loved Patience and Repington. I like how they try to deny their attraction especially as the truth comes out about what has happened to Patience's husband. They make a good couple. I enjoyed the story. This is a good set up for the series as it explains why these women fight to get what is theirs.

 

I also appreciated the short synopsis' at the end about the historical aspects of this novel. It helped me to understand how those of mixed races/blood/heritage were treated and the double standard applied to them. I also was glad about the short notes on some of the Peninsular War's battles and the effect of them on the time period's complications.

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review 2021-01-06 03:14
HAUNTED HEARTS by Teresa Desjardien
Haunted Hearts (A Zebra Holiday Regency Romance) - Teresa DesJardien

Olivia is finally coming out of mourning and decides she wants to experience everything. Her first outing is a Masquerade where she meets Ian Drake, a spy thinking she is who is to contact him. He soon realizes his error. When they meet later she knows who he is but he has no idea who she is. He figures she is just a snooty aristocrat. When he later learns who she is he is unsure what to do as he still needs to help a French spy who helped the English escape from England.

 

I liked these characters. Olivia is a total innocent who gets herself involved in things she has no idea exist. Ian does his best to protect her. Because of Olivia's innocence many people are drawn to her. That is fortunate as it helps her at the end. The secondary characters were interesting and eclectic. The story was fun. This is a good read for a lazy afternoon.

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review 2021-01-04 15:29
The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
The Viscount Who Loved Me With 2nd Epilogue (Bridgertons) - Julia Quinn

Anthony, the eldest son of the late viscount Bridgerton, and current holder of the title, knows he will die young. His father died only thirty-eight years old, so why should Anthony be any different. Which mean he only has eight, nine tops, years to live, and it's about time he did his duty to the title. Marry and produce an heir. Oh, and don't fall in love with wife.

He already has a perfect candidate for his viscountess. Beautiful, delicate, fair-colored, reasonably intelligent Edwina Sheffield. She will do nicely. She'll look good on his arm, bear him children, but most importantly...He won't fall in love with her, because the spark just isn't there. Perfect indeed. Pity, she has a big flaw. In the form of older sister, Katharina "Kate" Sheffield. She's tall, dark-haired, opinionated, and she hates his guts.

At least the feeling's mutual...Or is it?


Ooh, the sparkage. You could see it coming off the pages whenever Kate and Anthony shared a scene. They argued, they bantered, they traded barbs, they wanted to kill each other...And yet...Sparkage. Where there was none with Kate's younger step-sister, Edwina, there was plenty with Kate. And I relished the sparkage as much as these two would-be adversaries did.
And once more what started as animosity, slowly grew into an unlikely friendship that slowly transformed into something more (something that was there from the beginning, but they were too stubborn to see it. I just love romance novels where the main relationship has a foot to stand on in friendship and camaraderie.

I loved the whole phobia subplot that resulted in the two finding themselves in a position that neither was prepared to admit they secretly wanted. When I first read this book, I was convinced the compromising would stem from Kate's fear of thunderstorms (what with them huddling under a desk in the middle of the night with her only in her nightgown), so it was a double pleasure to read it was once again the man's fault. Namely, Anthony exaggerating over an unsuspecting (and in the end, unfortunate) little bee.

From then on it was just a matter of time when Anthony would forgo his stubborn refusal to fall in love with his wife, the problem was him getting to admit it, which ended up being the catalyst for the last hiccup in this relationship, which also (when you'll read the last chapter, you'll understand why) ended up being quite useful in Anthony yet once more playing the hero.


I missed the Bridgerton banter and meddling that was so present in the previous book, but since the hero was the head of the Bridgerton family (and a male) that was to be expected. Still, we got a nice little showing of the eldest siblings rivalry in a lawn game.

Another quick and (very) fun and witty read with a great main couple and supporting cast. It offered plenty of laughs, a tear or two, and just the right amount of drama to keep it interesting.

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review 2021-01-02 15:27
The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
The Duke and I With 2nd Epilogue - Julia Quinn

Daphne Bridgerton is a woman on a mission. Find a suitable match that actually sees her more than just a friend, while also pleasing her matchmaking mama.

Needless to say she's not really succeeding.

All the suitable men find her pleasant and "normal", while pursuing the belles of the ton blessed with "the right" coloring (blond and blue-eyed), relegating her into the wallflower territory.

Until her oldest brother's best friend, newly minted Duke of Hastings, recently returned to England, concocts a fool-proof plan to make Daphne insanely desirable and himself safe from other matchmaking mamas.

They'll pretend to develop a tendre, until Daphne finds a suitable match after which she'd jilt him...Unfortunately, the prospect of jilting the handsome duke becomes every day more unpalatable.


I read this book a long, long, long time ago, but decided to do it again, after the Netflix series dropped, to refresh my memory.

It was a very good decision, I've forgotten how much fun the Bridgetown brood can be. And maybe this time I'll actually read all the books in the series.

Daphne, the fourth child (and oldest girl) of the Bridgerton family and Simon Basset, the new Duke of Hastings, might come off as an odd couple at the beginning, but as the story progresses, and they develop an easy friendship that slowly evolves into something stronger and lasting, end up as a perfect match. Two completely opposites that somehow, also with plenty of help from her family, find a middle ground where they can both be themselves with each other.

It was nice reading about a regency-era relationship that stemmed from friendship and camaraderie instead of just two characters thrown together by happenstance, intrigue or whiff of scandal.
Their relationship was still rocky, especially thanks to Simon's demons and his stupid vow to a dead man (we cannot have a romance book without conflict and the big rift, now can we), and granted, the whole thing was rather quickly resolved (even that highly questionable act on Daphne's part), but the initial friendship and ease between them made it more believable and easier for the reader to accept the swift resolution.

And, because this is a series about a family, that family must not remain unmentioned, since it was a third main character in this story. The Bridgertons were a hoot to read about and they provided plenty of love and friendship, a touch of drama, and a whole lot of support for both Daphne and Simon (albeit in a more roundabout way).


Reading this story was like having a glass of refreshing lemonade and a perfect choice to break my reading fast. A fun, quick and easy read, that made it easy to empathize with and root for the characters; it made me laugh, it made me cry and it made me (once more) eager to read more. On to the next.

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review 2020-08-09 17:56
Finally a genuinely good book with a solid story
Lady In Disguise (The Langley Sisters) - Wendy Vella



"...Let me sleep with you in my arms and wake you with my kisses. Only with you can I truly be the man I want to be. You fill all the places inside me that have been empty for so long and you take away the pain of who I once was and the people I hurt.”" - Lord William Ryder



Short summary:

Olivia Langley is the eldest of three sisters who have lost both of their parents in a short span of time and were left penniless and alone. Olivia shoulders most of the responsibilities now although her sisters help in everything and are equally involved in the house affairs. She has accepted the fact that she will never have a season in London and therefore will remain unwed just so all of the funds could be given to her second sister Phoebe's season and her third sister Bella's health requirements.

The funds that they don't have at the moment. So they turn to highwaymen robberies. And as luck would have it, the first person to fall as a victim to them is Olivia's first love, Lord William Ryder, a man who left 5 years ago without telling anyone and hasn't contacted anyone since then.

Atop of all of that, there is a looming threat of the sisters' being evicted from their home by their cousin, the new Lord Langley, who doesn't want to support them at all but he does have a more sinister plot in mind for all of the sisters.



“Only a strong woman could have done what you did, love, and no matter how I feel about the choices you’ve made, I cannot blame you for them. You did what you thought was necessary to keep your family safe.” - Lord William Ryder

 


Characters.

Olivia Langley is a strong heroine for her time. She stepped up to being in charge of the household, of her sisters' affairs, of preserving the fake facade in front of the rest of the town and of sacrificing her own happiness for her sisters'. She also rides in a Derby and robs people with her sister Phoebe, holding people at gunpoint and taking their money which is an offence punishable by death. But she isn't portrayed like a 'mary sue', a flawless super heroine that nothing can get to, no, she is portrayed as a multi-layered person who has her moments of weakness but does her best for her sisters' sake.



"Yet, how could you prepare yourself to see the man you loved while pointing a gun at his head?"

"...to my mind, anyone who buys me a cinnamon bun is someone worth my time.”" - Olivia Langley

 


Lord William Ryder is a man who was born with a title and into huge wealth. He, as the second son, did not bear the weight of responsibility from an early age as his brother did so he grew up spoiled. William was one of those men who knew they had money for life and little responsibility and so they went around living in debauchery and only cared about their bad company and their appearances. He was arrogant and irresponsible. That is why his brother could not stand him and they continuously clashed. In a moment of clarity, William saw that his life will not improve with the current circumstances so he left. He left without one word. He left to build his own life and himself in his own way and on his own terms. And for that I have huge respect for this character. And yes, not even sending one letter later was not good but I can understand it. He wanted to achieve something on his own before he comes back to this life he left behind.



"“I couldn’t possibly leave without going into the church; after all, I could walk out a better man.” “To the best of my knowledge, my lord, the last miracle performed here was two hundred years ago,” Olivia muttered." - William and Olivia

"I do not tolerate men who threaten women, especially not a woman whom I count as my friend.” - Lord William Ryder


 


Writing.

Writing is extremely smart if I can put it like that. The author is very skilled with her words. There is subtle foreshadowing presented, an interesting story, multi-layered characters that we immediately connect with, plenty of witty humour, nicely presented era, slow building emotions and tension... almost everything I deem perfect in a book like this one.



“There are plenty who will say they are your friend but only a few who actually mean it.” - Lord William Ryder

 


What didn't work for me.

I would have to go into spoiler territory to fully explain but I won't do that. I'll just keep it simple. Sisters have lost their parents and were left with no money. The youngest sister needs medical remedies. They need money to keep appearances so they will have at least some prospect of marriage, or at least one of them. All of that is pressuring them into desperate actions to get the money. And here is where it doesn't fully work for me.

So, the sisters would rather risk highway robbery and being sentenced to death if found out or even risking death at the robbery itself rather than ask for help. Especially from the Duke. I understand one has pride. And ego. And doesn't want to spoil the good name of their family. But you cannot tell me you'd rather risk death and hold people at gunpoint (people who could be struggling for money themselves) rather than explain the situation to the Duke whose family has always had connections with their family and all of them grew up together and they knew the Duke's character. And since this is a very big part of the story, it always ate at me because I could not understand it.

The author could have made it more difficult for them to ask the Duke for help, like for instance their late father offending him or them already owing money to him or a refusal of some sort in his youth from one of the sisters... anything that would explain it better.

 


All in all.

Wonderful read in almost all aspects. It is truly a page turner. You want desperately to see what happens next and what other things will surface and make everything extra complicated.

Absolutely recommended.

 


"...“You love me, Olivia Langley, otherwise last night would never have happened.” “No, you are mistaken, my lord, I—I love no one.” “Your eyes say the opposite to your lips, my love. When I return to Willow Hall tomorrow we will talk, Livvy, and you will tell me what troubles you. And while you lay in your cold bed tonight remember one thing. You are mine now and I will never let you go.”" - Lord William Ryder

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