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Posts Tagged ‘Stellar 5 Star Audiobook’

(Rockliffe, #1)

Genre: Historical Romance (Georgian, 1762 and 1774)

Cover Blurb:

When the Marquis of Amberley’s coach is waylaid by highwaymen and his coachman shot, he is forced to take shelter at the first house he finds and is subsequently trapped there for a week by a severe snow storm.

Oakleigh Manor is the home of Rosalind Vernon who lives alone but for her devoted servants and an ill-natured parrot, cut off from the outside world by the tragic result of a childhood accident. But Rosalind is brave and bright and totally devoid of self-pity – and it is these qualities which, as the days pass and the snow continues to fall, touch Amberley’s heart.

On his return to London, the Marquis persuades Rosalind’s brother, Philip, to bring her to town for a taste of society, despite her handicap. But the course of Amberley’s courtship is far from smooth. Philip Vernon actively dislikes him; Rosalind appears to be falling under the spell of the suavely elegant Duke of Rockliffe; and worse still, Amberley is haunted by a dark and terrible secret that, if revealed, may cause him to lose Rosalind

♥♥♥♥♥♥

A perfect blend of sparkling, witty dialogue, engaging and well-written characters and wonderful romantic chemistry make this such a lovely story.

Amberley is honourable, charming, intelligent and kind-hearted with a great sense of humour…all the qualities I love in my heroes…although he is inclined to let society believe the worst of him. His mother, the Dowager Marchioness of Amberley, warns him that this is foolish:

“You are too much inclined to let the world think what it will and there are times when it is a very great bêtise.”

This is folly indeed, the consequences of which will be seen later in the story.

Since being blinded in an accident, Rosalind has lived in Oakleigh Manor for the past 12 years, with only the servants and a temperamental parrot for company. She is loved, protected and shielded from the world at large, rarely going out beyond the grounds of the house. Rosalind is such a lovely heroine, charming, funny and never wallowing in self-pity.

The romance between Rosalind and Amberley is so beautifully written and I could see how perfect they were for each other and watching Rosalind blossom under Amberley’s influence was one of the highlights of the book for me. I defy you not to fall in love with Amberley just as Rosalind does. One of my favourite scenes is where Amberley teaches Rosalind to dance and realises he has fallen in love with her.

The things he’d taken for anger and compassion provoked by her situation were neither and the simple truth was that he loved her … and because of that, everything about her touched him.

Inevitably, the course of true love does not run smoothly as past secrets, misconceptions, a malicious schemer and Rosalind’s implacable brother threaten their happiness. I feel that Ms Riley resolved the conflict in a most satisfactory way and it was so refreshing to see a heroine willing to love the hero regardless of past tragic events.

I like how the secondary characters are not just there to pad out the story but have an important role to play.

It is clear that Rosalind’s brother, Philip, loves his sister and only wants the best for her. What he fails to understand is that by wrapping her up in cotton wool, he is depriving her of the opportunity to live life to the full.

I wasn’t sure about Philip’s fiancé, Isabel, but she turned out to be quite a dark horse. Beneath her unassuming manner, she has real strength of character but is vulnerable when it comes to matters of the heart. I like how she sees Amberley’s true character and is able to influence Philip’s opinion in a quiet, subtle way. I also enjoyed seeing Philip suffering pangs of jealousy and coming to realise the depth of his feelings for Isabel. I also enjoyed seeing the friendship developing between Isabel and Rosalind.

I adore Amberley’s French mother and it is easy to see who he inherited all that charm from. She is charm personified and I love how Ms Riley captures that delightful French lilt in her voice too.

Isabel’s brother is a selfish, spineless, manipulative coward and I was pleased to see him get his just desserts although maybe not as harsh as he deserved.

I enjoyed the camaraderie and witty banter between Amberley and his friends, the Duke of Rockliffe and the Honourable Jack Ingram. It is clear to see that a close bond exists between the three of them.

Last, but not least, I LOVE Broody, the parrot. He steals every scene he appears in with his disdain for everyone except Rosalind, and his ribald language. He is just hilarious and I love the seed battle between him and Amberley.

I am really impressed with Ms Riley’s writing whether it is her wonderful descriptive flair…

Curtains of violet damask were closed across windows flanked across one side by an ebony escritoire and on the other by a delicately inlaid harpsicord. There were shelves full of books, a frame holding a half-worked tapestry and a large, gilt cage housing a brightly-coloured but decidedly sulky-looking parrot.

or her ability to convey real emotions…

Excitement rippled through her veins and set the nerves vibrating beneath her skin, producing a tiny shiver of mingled fear and delight. A part of her that had not stirred for a very long time stretched its cramped muscles and began to wake, luring her from the safe harbour of her cultivated, hard-won tranquillity and setting her adrift in the alien, almost forgotten seas of hope and doubt.

or the moments of hilarity…

Broody waited, cautious but interested and, when the second seed was flicked his way, he side-stepped it neatly and put his head on one side.
‘Bugger!’ he said. And then, hopefully, ‘Clear for action?’

MY VERDICT: ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTFUL AND A BOOK I CAN DEFINITELY RECOMMEND!

 

REVIEW RATING: STELLAR 5 STARS
SENSUALITY RATING: KISSES

Read January 2016


Rockliffe series (click on the book covers for more details):

The Parfit Knight by Stella Riley The Mésalliance by Stella Riley The Player by Stella Riley

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