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Posts Tagged ‘Jewels of the Ton’


(Jewels of the Ton, #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

Her Mysterious Past is the Best Revenge…
Fallon, the Marchioness of Mystery, is a celebrated courtesan with her finger on the pulse of high society. She’s adored by men, hated by their wives. No one knows anything about her past, and she plans to keep it that way.

Only He Can Offer Her a Dazzling Future…
Warrick Fitzhugh will do anything to protect his compatriots in the Foreign Office, including seduce Fallon, who he thinks can lead him to the deadliest crime lord in London.

He knows he’s putting his life on the line…
To Warrick’s shock, Fallon is not who he thinks she is, and the secrets she’s keeping are exactly what makes her his heart’s desire.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

The second book in Shana Galen’s Jewels of the Ton series is a fast-paced and entertaining blend of intrigue, action and a sensual romance.

This is Fallon, a beautiful, much sought after courtesan. Rumours abound about her true identity, so much so that she is dubbed the Marchioness of Mystery.

This is Warrick Fitzhugh, ex-spy for the Home Office, determined to track down the traitor who is threatening the lives of his fellow Diamonds in the Rough, spies who had provided the information Wellington had needed to win at Waterloo.

and when their worlds collide…danger, intrigue and a passion neither expects are bound to follow!

I love Fallon because, despite her diminutive stature, she is a formidable lady, more than able to take care of herself in a sticky situation. She’s a strong minded and independent woman but also vulnerable because of fears that her true identity may one day be discovered. Born in the slums of London, the daughter of a pickpocket and a whore, she knows should this become known the life she has built for herself will be destroyed.

She did not take any of this for granted. It could all be taken away from her with the snap of a finger if anyone ever found out who she really was.

Warrick is the third son of the Earl of Winthorpe but his father had disowned him when he chose to become a spy. His father also blames him for the death of his younger son, Edward, who followed Warrick into the military. I admire Warrick for being a man of principle and seeing that the job he was doing was far more important than his father’s opinion of him.

Warrick couldn’t regret his decision to become a spy, even if it meant his father was ashamed of him. Some things were more important than the Earl of Winthorpe’s approval, though his father doubtlessly disagreed.

I also understand his desire to reconcile with his father and be part of a family again.

Warrick didn’t emerge unscathed from the war. He experiences terrifyingly realistic flashbacks to the battlefield and Ms Galen’s descriptions are so vivid that I felt as if I was there with Warrick experiencing all his feelings of guilt and revulsion.

As they are both strong-minded and stubborn, you know sparks will fly when they first meet and I love the scene where Fallon unexpectedly discovers Warrick in her bed. Of course, he knows all her secrets and is confident that he can use the threat of disclosure to force her to help him. What he doesn’t expect is to be completely outmanoeuvred!

She put a hand on her hip. “And I suppose if I do not give you what you want then you will reveal my secret.”
“It’s called blackmail, and yes, that is generally how it works. Now that we both know the rules…” “Oh, I make the rules, Mr. Fitzhugh.” She sidled closer to the bed. “After all, we are in my bedchamber.”
“I…” He trailed off when she dropped her shawl on the floor beside the bed and, lifting her skirts, crawled onto her satin coverlet.”
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“Courtesan rule number one,” she whispered, crawling toward him. “Don’t talk.”
His arms dropped from behind his head and he sat forward, looking rather alarmed.

I love a story where the hero is the besotted one and the heroine is the reluctant one. Warrick is determined to marry Fallon but she feels unworthy of him. At heart, she knows she is living a lie and will always be a street rat.…too soiled, too undeserving…but Warrick sees who she truly is and helps her recognise her self-worth.

“When I look at you, I see a woman who is beautiful, brave, and resourceful. I see a woman who’s not afraid to fight. I see a woman who has more strength and resilience than ten of her so-called betters.

In turn, Fallon is the anchor Warrick needs to help him forget the horrors of war.

There is plenty of exciting action as Warrick and Fallon follow the trail which they hope will lead to the identity of the traitor. This forces them to work together thus creating delicious sexual tension culminating in some steamy love scenes.

My one criticism is that I found the ending very abrupt. It was obviously a case of setting up Lily’s story but I wanted to see more of Warrick and Fallon together. That said, I am looking forward to reading Lily’s book, Sapphires Are an Earl’s Best Friend.

MY VERDICT: If you are looking for an entertaining romance with intrigue and action, then you will definitely enjoy this.

 

REVIEW RATING: 4/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: WARM

Read April 2016


Jewels of the Ton series (click on the book covers for more details):

When You Give a Duke a Diamond (Jewels of the Ton, #1) by Shana Galen If You Give a Rake a Ruby (Jewels of the Ton, #2) by Shana Galen Sapphires Are an Earl's Best Friend (Jewels of the Ton, #3) by Shana Galen

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(Jewels of the Ton, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb:

He had a perfectly orderly life…

William, the sixth Duke of Pelham, enjoys his punctual, securely structured life. Orderly and predictable—that’s the way he likes it. But he’s in the public eye, and the scandal sheets will make up anything to sell papers. When the gossip papers link him to Juliette, one of the most beautiful and celebrated courtesans in London, chaos doesn’t begin to describe what happens next…

Until she came along…

Juliette is nicknamed the Duchess of Dalliance and has the cream of the nobility at her beck and call. It’s disruptive to have the duke who is the biggest catch on the Marriage Mart scaring her other suitors away. Then she discovers William’s darkest secret and decides what he needs in his life is the kind of excitement only she can provide…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

This is my first book by Shana Galen and I can understand why she is one of the foremost authors of Historical Romance. I loved this opposites attract story with its entertaining blend of romance and mystery.

To paraphrase the opening lines of ‘Hart to Hart’, one of my favourite TV shows:

This is William, the sixth Duke of Pelham. He is rich, powerful and influential. His world is one of order, decorum and punctuality.

William, the sixth Duke of Pelham.

This is Juliette, the Duchess of Dalliance. She is a much sought after courtesan. Classically beautiful with pale blonde hair, she can break hearts with just a smile.

Juliette, the Duchess of Dalliance

and when they meet….sparks are bound to fly!

“I would never be rude to a lady. You, madam, are not a lady. You are nothing more than a well-paid whore.”

Oh yes, William’s hero status is definitely a bit rocky at first, but as details of his early life are gradually revealed, I understood how his cold, heartless father had shaped him into the man he has become. Since birth, his father had drummed into William the principles he must adhere to…’a duke was never uncertain, never faltered, never showed emotion. And a duke was most certainly never late’…any failure resulted in a harsh retribution from his father. One of the delights of this book is watching William slowly emerge from his orderly existence to discover that he doesn’t have to be a prisoner of the past, that he can choose his own destiny.

Juliette is not everything she is perceived to be by the ton, who never know the real woman behind the façade. Divorced from an abusive husband, she still dreams of finding someone ‘who loves the farmer’s daughter and the Duchess of Dalliance and everyone I’ve been in between.’

It is fun seeing how she completely disrupts Will’s (as she insists on calling him) orderly life and makes him realise that he can be both a man and a duke…that it is okay to laugh and have fun. Her refusal to conform to his rigid rules had some hilarious consequences such as when Will physically drags her out of bed because she’s late for breakfast! But Juliette is more than a match for him…

Do you ever cease looking at that watch of yours? I think it must be permanently affixed to your hand.”

“Some of us must live our lives on a schedule,” he answered.

She lifted a plate. “Eat on a schedule, sleep on a schedule, walk on a schedule. Tell me, do you visit the privy on a schedule, as well?”

I felt that Will not knowing the truth about Juliette’s real situation made his willingness to declare his love for her in such a public way so romantic.

“But I’m a courtesan. I can’t be your duchess.”

“Juliette, you are my love. No other woman could ever be my duchess.”

I enjoyed the scene in Will’s club where he is joined by his friends, Lord Andrew Darlington and Warwick Fitzhugh. The banter between them is so amusing.

The plot had enough action and danger to hold my interest and the unresolved story thread involving the ruthless Lucifer neatly sets the scene for If You Give a Rake a Ruby, the next book in the series.

This was a wonderful introduction to Shana Galen’s books and I’m looking forward to reading the other two books in the series.

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read October 2014

The Jewels of the Ton series (click cover for more details):
When You Give a Duke a Diamond (Jewels of the Ton, #1) by Shana Galen If You Give a Rake a Ruby (Jewels of the Ton, #2) by Shana Galen Sapphires Are an Earl's Best Friend (Jewels of the Ton, #3) by Shana Galen

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THE DARK AFFAIR BY MÁIRE CLAREMONT

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle (auto-buy author)

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(Mad Passions, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

The Victorian era was full of majestic beauty and scandalous secrets—a time when corsets were the least of a woman’s restrictions, and men could kill or be killed in the name of honor…

Lady Margaret Cassidy left a life of nobility behind in Ireland, forsaking her grieving homeland to aid war-ravaged men in England. Still, she never expected a cruel turn of fate to lock her into an unwanted betrothal with one of her English patients—much less one as broken and dangerous as Viscount Powers.

Wrecked by his tragic past, Powers’ opiate-addled sanity hangs precariously in the balance, leaving him poised to destroy anyone who dares to utter the names of the wife and child he still so deeply mourns. So when he is forced to marry Margaret in exchange for freedom, he is shocked by the desire to earn her trust, her body, and—most alarming of all—her heart….

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SAPPHIRES ARE AN EARL’S BEST FRIEND BY SHANA GALEN

Source: Purchased from Amazon Kindle (auto-buy author)

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(Jewels of the Ton, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

She Wants Him…
She Wants Him Not...

Lily Dawson, dubbed the Countess of Charm by the Prince Regent himself, plays the role of the courtesan flawlessly while her real purpose is spying in the service of the Crown. Her mission now is to seduce a duke to test his true loyalties. She’ll do it, even though the man she really wants is Andrew Booth-Payne, Earl of Darlington—the duke’s son.

Andrew is furious when he finds himself rivaling his father for Lily’s attention. When he uncovers Lily’s mission, Andrew is faced with impossible choices. It seems he is destined to betray either his family, his country, or the longings of his own heart…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

The following two books were won in Giveaways.

NO GREATER GLORY BY CINDY NORD

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Genre: Historical Romance (American Civil War)

Cover Blurb

Amid the carnage of war, he commandeers far more than just her home.

Widowed plantation owner Emaline McDaniels has struggled to hold on to her late husband’s dreams. Despite the responsibilities resting on her slender shoulders, she’ll not let anyone wrest away what’s left of her way of life—particularly a Yankee officer who wants to set up winter camp on her land.

With a defiance born of desperation, she defends her home as though it were the child she never had…and no mother gives up her child without a fight.

Despite the brazen wisp of a woman pointing a gun at his head, Colonel Reece Cutteridge has his orders. Requisition Shapinsay—and its valuable livestock—for his regiment’s use, and pay her with Union vouchers. He never expected her fierce determination, then her concern for his wounded, to upend his heart—and possibly his career.

As the armies go dormant for the winter, battle lines are drawn inside the mansion. Yet just as their clash of wills shifts to forbidden passion, the tides of war sweep Reece away. And now their most desperate battle is to survive the war with their lives—and their love—intact.

Product Warnings
This novel contains complex emotions and battlefield gallantry wrapped around the inherent risks of falling in love with one’s enemy.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

WITH HIS RING BY CHERYL BOLEN

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 (The Brides of Bath  #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Glee Pembroke has turned down countless offers of marriage because she has secretly been in love with her brother’s best friend, Gregory Blankenship, all her life. When she learns Gregory will lose his considerable fortune if he’s not wed by his twenty-fifth birthday, she persuades him to enter into a sham marriage with her. What he doesn’t know is that she plans to win his heart. She will do everything in her power to make him happy – including mimicking the ways of a “fast” woman since he’s noted for alliances with women of that sort.

Why did he ever allow himself to marry the maddening Glee? He’d thought they would have great fun, but at every turn, she exasperates him. Why does she persist in wearing the bodice of her dresses so blasted low? Why do other men persist in flirting with her, his wife? And why in the blazes has his heretofore complacent life been turned upside down by this sham marriage? He finds himself longing for a real marriage, but for reasons he cannot divulge, that can never happen.

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GARETH: LORD OF RAKES BY GRACE BURROWES

Source: Bought from Amazon Kindle

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(Lonely Lords # 6)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

She’s caught between a rake and certain ruin…

Felicity Worthington’s only hope of avoiding poverty—or worse—is to accept her distant cousin’s dubious bequest…a thriving, high-class brothel. Felicity has 90 days to convince her cousin’s solicitors that Gareth Alexander has taught her the art of pleasing a man, though she’s more interested in the gentleman she glimpses beneath Gareth’s debauched airs, than in the rake he’s become.

In the business of love…How much should he teach her?

Gareth Alexander, Marquis of Heathgate, has little incentive to help a spinster learn to manage a brothel—except that the alternatives for the prim, pretty Miss Worthington are even worse. His resistance to teaching Felicity how to be a madam leaves Gareth wondering if the honor he’d thought long dead still survives, and if that honor allows him to yield to the lady’s ruinous scheme…and to their shared desires.

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IF YOU GIVE A RAKE A RUBY BY SHANA GALEN

Source: Bought from Amazon Kindle

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(Jewels of the Ton #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Her Mysterious Past Is The Best Revenge…

Fallon, the Marchioness of Mystery, is a celebrated courtesan with her finger on the pulse of high society. She’s adored by men, hated by their wives. No one knows anything about her past, and she plans to keep it that way.

Only He Can Offer Her A Dazzling Future…

Warrick Fitzhugh will do anything to protect his compatriots in the Foreign Office, including seduce Fallon, who he thinks can lead him to the deadliest crime lord in London. He knows he’s putting his life on the line…

To Warrick’s shock, Fallon is not who he thinks she is, and the secrets she’s keeping are exactly what make her his heart’s desire…

♥♥♥♥♥♥

THE SCANDAL BEFORE CHRISTMAS – A HOLIDAY NOVELLA – ELIZABETH ESSEX

Source: Bought from Amazon Kindle

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(The Reckless Brides  # 3.5)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Lieutenant Ian Worth needs a wife by Christmas, and he can’t afford to be choosy. He has to find her, woo her, and wed her before he goes back to sea – all within a matter of days.

Anne Lesley is a shy spinster with no prospects, and nothing and no one to recommend her but her own self. She accepts the lieutenant’s hasty offer only for the comfort and security it will bring. But when a midwinter storm snows her and Ian in, they both find they got much more than they bargained for – daughter, light, and a Christmas filled with honest to goodness true love…

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THE GREATEST LOVER EVER BY CHRISTINA BROOKE

Source: Bought from Amazon Kindle

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(The Westruthers #2)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

Passion to last a lifetime…

The Sweetest Scandal

Beautiful, exuberant, and stubborn Georgiana Black has more spirit than sense—which she learns when an ultimatum to the Earl of Beckenham ends their engagement. Six years later, Georgie is less concerned with impending spinsterhood than with making sure her young sister doesn’t make the same mistakes she did. But soon Georgie stumbles into a scandalous encounter with none other than her former fiancé. Beckenham is still breathtakingly desirable.

The Truest Temptation

Beckenham’s brief engagement to Georgie taught him one thing: when it comes to a wife, he wants a woman who will do her duty and cause no trouble. When the fiery Georgie falls unexpectedly into his arms, Beckenham remembers just how lushly delectable she is. Suddenly, the idea of actually marrying Georgie is irresistible. In a battle of wills, can passion conquer pride?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

LORD OF THE SEA BY DANELLE HARMON

Source: Gift from a dear friend

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(Heroes of the Sea # 4)

Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)

Cover Blurb

A Sea Devil Who’s Reckless At Heart. . .

Captain Connor Merrick’s thirst for danger has brought him fame and fortune as one of the most brazenly successful privateers of the War of 1812. But deep beneath his swagger, derring-do and charm, the handsome American captain is hiding a devastating secret, and he’ll go to any lengths to protect it . . .

A Beauty Who Gets More Than She Bargained For. . . .

Rhiannon Evans has longed for an adventure—and a mysterious, dangerous man to sweep her off her feet. While enroute to the tropical paradise of Barbados, she never dreams that her heart will be captured by the dashing American privateer who rescues her from bloodthirsty pirates. Only Rhiannon can see beneath Connor’s reckless façade to the man beneath. But when tragedy strikes, can Rhiannon’s love save Connor from himself? Or will the secret he guards so carefully, end up being the undoing of them both?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

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