The Ruin of a Rogue by Miranda Neville, Book Two of her Wild Quartet series, features an heiress whose love of Roman antiquities leads her into trouble. In spite of herself, she is drawn to a totally unsuitable man because he seems to know his way around artifacts.
Of course, Marcus, Viscount Lithgow, is only after Anne’s fortune. He hides it well until Anne learns the truth by eavesdropping. She then leads him on a really funny tour of all of London’s most boring attractions to get revenge.
But her annoyance is overcome when he inherits the very thing guaranteed to fascinate her as much as he himself does, a partially excavated Roman ruin. He gets back at her by requiring her to do housework to gain access to the Roman villa.
All past scandals, and there are some big ones, are explained and resolved by Christmas through a couple unexpected plot turns.
Gotta love a heroine who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty.
Piece de Resistance by Sandra Byrd is the third and final book in her French Twist series. In it, we find out which suitor heroine Lexi chooses. No, I won’t spoil it for you.
Somehow I missed reading the first book, Let Them Eat Cake. I did read Bon Appetit, the second book and found the finale just as charming. I was engaged by the characters and curious to learn the outcome.
Lexi faces some ups and downs as she tries to get a bakery off the ground. She turns to the Bible for inspiration, solace, and advice.
Despite the Christian orientation, the characters are not saccharine sweet. They all share, however, an underlying moral compass.
I’m somewhat of a foodie, so that aspect of the book captured my interest. Byrd even throws in a few recipes. I also appreciated the quotations with which she begins each chapter.
I took a quick glance at Byrd’s website and see she has started an historical series. Something to look forward to.
I’m a little late reviewing a Christmas book. I have to confess I was off celebrating without my computer along. The winter season is still upon most of us, so I hope a few more snowflakes are appropriate.
Rachel Brimble’s book Christmas at the Cove is the fourth in her Templeton Cove series. The British town is a lot like the island where I live in Florida. Everybody knows everybody else’s business. That’s a good thing sometimes, but not if you have a secret you’re trying to hide.
Carrie visited a few summers ago and had a week-long fling in spite of herself with handsome lady’s man Scott. Now she’s back to let him know about the daughter that resulted. She knows she has to share that daughter but doesn’t want to share her heart.
Scott isn’t sure he’s ready to be a daddy. His own father abandoned him and his family. Is he destined to follow suit?
The twosome must overcome doubts and backtrack to develop trust in each other. Through their ups and downs, they keep the welfare of their daughter foremost. Gotta like that in a couple.
Ever notice how some historical romances are more historical than others? Being set in an historical period doesn’t necessarily mean that what is happening in the outside world spills over into the plot. It may still be just girl meets boy, complications ensue, HEA, only in period costumes and with titles.
This isn’t the case with The Secret Life of Lady Julia by Lecia Cornwall.
After a scandal that causes her family to disown her, Lady Julia ends up in Vienna during peace talks. The stakes are high and intrigue is the name of the political game. Julia is now a servant attached to the British delegation led by Viscount Castlereagh and his shrewish wife. Because she can understand several languages, she is asked to listen and report on any conversations she may hear. Along the way, she meets and impresses French Prince deTalleyrand and soon finds herself in the middle of a plot.
Throughout, Julia can’t get Thomas, the man who caused her downfall, out of her head. He has had his own scandal, been disowned, and turned to jewel theft to support himself. Where better to find jewels to steal than in a city where all the rich and powerful of Europe are gathered? Naturally, there paths cross again.
Both Julia and Thomas, though disgraced, have the honor and character to redeem themselves, and the long-awaited HEA finally occurs.