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Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas

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Marrying Winterborne is a historical romance novel by Lisa Kleypas. It’s the second book in her Ravenels series, and I recently listened to the audiobook via the Audible app. I had picked up the first two books in the series during a sale, and I started listening to this book almost immediately after finishing Cold-Hearted Rake.

Lady Helen has been sheltered for most of her life, rarely venturing away from the manor house in which she was raised. She has not encountered very many eligible young men, and finds Rhys Winterborne absolutely charming. Their courtship actually began in Cold-Hearted Rake, and I was very interested in seeing what was going to happen to Helen and Rhys.

As the owner of the largest department store in London, Rhys Winterborne might be one of the wealthiest men in England, but his working-class origins make him wholly unsuitable for the daughter of an earl. Rhys never imagined that he would ever fall in love, but he can’t stop thinking of Lady Helen. Continue reading

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Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas

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I recently listened to the Audible edition of Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas. I have enjoyed many of Kleypas’ historical romance novels, and when this book popped up as part of an Audible sale, I took the opportunity to catch up on her return to the genre.

Devon Ravenel never expected to inherit his cousin’s title, and he journeys to his new manor house with the intent to sell the estate in parcels to pay off debts. However, upon his arrival, Devon becomes reacquainted with his three cousins, whose future is dependent on him now that their brother is dead.

The household also includes Kathleen, who had recently married the Earl of Trenear and now finds herself widowed and alone. She sees Devon’s arrival as an annoying interference, and she is especially disgusted by his plans to sell off the estate. Can she persuade him to change his mind?

This is a wonderful example of the enemies to friends trope. I enjoyed watching Devon and Kathleen’s relationship develop over the course of the novel. This was definitely not a case of insta-love. They each have qualms about commitment that they need to overcome as they consider what they mean to each other.

Another thing that I liked about this book is the inclusion of top-notch secondary plotlines. It is not terribly common for books in the genre to have narrative from the point of view of a secondary character, but it worked well here. It also set up the second book in the series very nicely.

I would absolutely recommend Cold-Hearted Rake. Devon and Kathleen are both likeable, and they have good chemistry. The secondary characters are well rounded as well; I especially enjoyed the twins. As soon as this book ended, I was ready to start the next book in the series! I am looking forward to reading the rest of the Ravenels series in the future!

 

 

 

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The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne

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The Scot Beds His Wife is a historical romance novel written by Kerrigan Byrne. It is the fifth book in the Victorian Rebels series. I thoroughly enjoyed her last book- The Duke– and I was very excited about reading this newest addition to the series.

Samantha Masters made some bad choices in the Wild West. Very bad choices. So when a chance encounter leads to an opportunity to travel to Scotland posing as an heiress to an estate, Samantha jumps at the chance to leave town and hightail it to the Highlands.

Gavin St. James, the Earl of Thorne, happens to live on the neighboring estate, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to get that land for himself. Usually, it is not very difficult for him to get what he wants from women, but his well-practiced seduction techniques are useless against this brash American. Continue reading

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The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

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I first heard about The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie in one of my message boards. The plot intrigued me, and so I sought out a copy via my library network. There was a wait list, but within days, I arrived at the top of the list and downloaded the book onto my Kindle.

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie is the first book in Jennifer Ashley’s Mackenzies series. This Victorian romance features the titular Lord Ian, the younger brother of a duke. Lord Ian has quite a reputation- he spent much of his youth in a private asylum, and now as an adult, he enjoys collecting Chinese pottery. He proves to be a valuable asset to his oldest brother’s trade deals because he can recall entire conversations verbatim, even if the negotiations took place in another language.

As soon as Ian meets Beth, he is absolutely smitten. Beth also arrived at her present situation in a rather unconventional manner: after her pastor husband passed away, she served as the companion for a wealthy lady who left Beth a large inheritance. Beth has never met anyone like Ian, nor has she ever been pursued with the intensity in which Ian pursues her. Continue reading

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The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets by Nancy Springer

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I initially read/listened to audiobook version of the Enola Holmes mysteries when my girls were very small. Now they are much older and enjoy listening to audiobooks, I thought it would be fun if we listened to the Enola Holmes stories this summer when we drive around on errands.

The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets is the third book in the Enola Holmes series. Even if you are unfamiliar with this series, you might be able to deduce that Miss Enola is the younger sister of the famous detective. After her mother’s disappearance, Enola runs away from home and has been living in London. She has her own detective business, and solves mysteries in between evading her brothers and trying to figure out what happened to her mother.

After the events in the second book, Enola is afraid her cover has been blown, so to speak, and that her brothers will be able to track her down. So when she sees a newspaper article about the disappearance of Dr. Watson, she initially suspects that it might be a trick to lure her out of hiding. Continue reading

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The Case of the Left-Handed Lady by Nancy Springer

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I initially read/listened to audiobook version of the Enola Holmes mysteries when my girls were very small. Now they are much older and enjoy listening to audiobooks, I thought it would be fun if we listened to the Enola Holmes stories this summer when we drive around on errands.

The Case of the Left-Handed Lady is the second book in Nancy Springer’s Enola Holmes series of mysteries. As you might have already guessed, Enola is Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister. After her mother’s disappearance, Enola has no interest in her brothers’ plan to send her to boarding school, so she heads to London to hide more or less in plain sight.

After having solved a mystery in the first book, Enola opens up a business- Dr. Ragostin- Scientific Perditorian. Naturally, she can’t open a business in her own name, so she has to resort to some trickery. Enola spends most of her time posing as Dr. Ragostin’s dowdy secretary, Ivy. Continue reading

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The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin

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The Fortune Hunter is Daisy Goodwin’s second novel. I purchased the Audible edition of this book not too long after its release, but I didn’t listen to it right away because I was saving it. Well, I saved it for almost three years- and I even read Goodwin’s third novel Victoria– but The Fortune Hunter was absolutely worth the wait.

Charlotte Baird is a young heiress. She inherited her fortune from her mother, who died in a horseback riding incident when Charlotte was very small. Now that Charlotte is older, she has to consider whether the young men who seek to form an acquaintanceship are interested in her or her fortune.

Bay Middleton served in the army with Charlotte’s brother. He finds her to be charming, but he also knows that his situation makes his actions seem more predatory, and that he is merely a fortune hunter. Continue reading