I didn’t realize how much I had missed Gothic romance novels until Sandra Byrd released her first book in the Daughters of Hampshire series. I enjoyed it so much that I looked forward to each subsequent book. “A Lady in Disguise” is the third and final book if the series follows the usual rule of three. I personally would love to see this author continue to write novels in this vein.
“A Lady in Disguise” continues the series with its wonderfully sinister atmosphere, heightened suspense, and characters perfectly suited to their roles. I loved how difficult it was to determine whether certain characters were friend or foe. There were moments that I suspected each of them even when I hoped I was wrong. I did begin to suspect one over the others and my suspicions turned out to be correct; however that did not affect my enjoyment of the story one bit. The dialogue between Thomas and Gillian was delightful. I so enjoyed their scenes together.
With the perfect combination of drama, suspense, romance, and faith with just a touch of humor, “A Lady in Disguise” was exactly what I had hoped. The suspense element grew at just the right rate and had me worried about whether Gillian would survive her troubles. A surprise or two along the way were the icing to the cake. My only complaint is that it ended much too quickly but then I shouldn’t read so fast. I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for her readers next.
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
After the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so.
Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father?
Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants
to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sandra Byrd has published four dozen books in the fiction and nonfiction markets, including her two historical series with Howard Books. For nearly two decades, Sandra has shared her secrets with the many writers she edits, mentors, and coaches. She lives in the Seattle, Washington area.
Oh my! Yet another author to add to my ever growing list of must reads! How will I ever find the time to read them all or to choose between them? But what a delightful challenge for me.
It did not take me very long to find myself totally immersed in Carolyn Miller’s wonderful new Regency novel. The witty dialogue was definitely a highlight for me. Lavinia had a definite gift of cutting people down in such as nice way that they didn’t even realize it. This is an excerpt from one brief conversation that I found endlessly amusing between Lavinia and Mr. Raymond:
“…Pray do not allow yourself to become too sunburned.”
“Thank you, Mr. Raymond, for your concern. I will endeavor to be sunburned just the right amount.”
The story is filled with so many such rejoinders that I was entertained throughout the entire book.
The reader seldom finds a romance between two such unsuitable parties. Nicholas, the younger son of the Earl of Hawkesbury, has returned to St. Hampton Heath as the near Earl, a position he never expected to hold. With baggage of his own from the war and guilt over his late brother’s actions, Nicholas never intended to stay in the country for long. His encounters with the local minister’s outspoken daughter Lavinia have confused him yet left him thinking about his responsibilities to the village. He soon finds that he cannot get her out of his mind but Lavinia is entirely unsuitable for a man of his position no matter how he feels.
This captivating novel takes several unexpected twists and turns before it reaches a mostly satisfying ending. I enjoyed it so much that I am very much looking forward to the next two installments to this series. If you enjoy Regency romance, please do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of “The Elusive Miss Ellison”.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book that was provided by Litfuse Publicity and The Book Club Network. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions.
That’s the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister’s daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won’t take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia’s pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother–who stole the most important person in Livvie’s world.
Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he’s just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there’s already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect.
That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn’t the only heart that needs to change.
These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society’s opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.
Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister’s daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God’s grace and the true strength of love.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Regency romance fans have another must-read novel to add to their lists: Carolyn Miller’s The Elusive Miss Ellison. Enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister’s daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God’s grace and the true strength of love. These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society’s opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.
Settle in for a cozy night of reading with a cuppa and a Kindle from Carolyn!
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A copy of The Elusive Miss Ellison
- A Kindle Fire
- Two William Morris mugs (winner’s choice)
- A box of tea
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on March 22. The winner will be announced March 23 on the Litfuse blog.
I found “An Uncommon Courtship” to be a thoroughly delightful read. It was fun reading about a couple who were more-or-less strangers who were forced to marry to protect her reputation because of an innocent situation. I thought Trent was very thoughtful when he decided that Adelaide deserved her introduction into society and a proper courtship. Rife with misunderstandings and awkward situations, this often amusing tale was a sweet romance that found the couple eventually falling in love.
Some readers have found a certain scene well into the narrative to be a bit too honest for their taste so be warned of this. However, there were no explicit descriptions but more the couple’s reactions to what happened. To me this just confirmed their total innocence of such things and their embarrassed reactions were so very natural.
I thoroughly enjoyed “An Uncommon Courtship” and adored its characters. I can’t wait for Kristi Hunter’s next novel!
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book that was provided by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Lord Trent Hawthorne couldn’t be happier he is not the duke in the family. Free to manage his small estate and take his time discovering the life he wants to lead, he has grand plans of someday wooing and falling in love with the woman of his choice. When he finds himself honor bound to marry a woman he barely knows, his dream of a loving marriage like his parents’ seems lost forever.
Life for Lady Adelaide Bell was easier when she hid in her older sister’s shadow–which worked until her sister got married. But even with her socially ambitious mother’s focus entirely on her, the last thing she expected was a marriage of convenience before she’s been introduced to society.
With nothing going as expected, can Trent and Adelaide’s marriage of obligation survive their own missteps and the pressures of London society to grow into a true meeting of hearts and minds?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in computer science but always knew she wanted to write. Kristi is the author of the Hawthorne House series and a 2016 RITA Award winner and Christy Award finalist. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at www.kristiannhunter.com.
I found “An Elegant Façade” to be a thoroughly enjoyable read although I sometimes have difficulty understanding all the societal dictates of that era. Although some readers have complained about repetition, especially for the first few chapters, it was helpful for me to refresh my memory from “A Noble Masquerade” and to also see the same events through Georgina’s viewpoint.
Georgina was a piece of work! Her determination to garner attention by her unique style was just a subterfuge to distract from her low self-esteem due to a secret she hid from even her own family. She hoped that if she could marry well, her husband would protect her and her secret from ever becoming public. Her desperation for the right husband led to the brink of disaster on more than one occasion.
I was well into the book before Georgina’s secret was revealed and I was certainly surprised by it. I had actually imagined something more shameful but the revelation brought understanding about some of her actions even though her reasoning was pretty skewed. I was so happy when a close call and a good friend’s intervention helped her to see the truth.
I was rooting for Colin from the very start even if he technically was not qualified as a match to Georgina. He was the perfect hero and most importantly, a true friend to Georgina despite his frustration with her actions.
“An Elegant Façade” was the perfect follow-up to “A Noble Masquerade”. I loved both books and can’t wait to get my hands on the next one. Kristi Ann Hunter has earned her place on my favorite authors list!
A copy of this book was provided for review by the author and Bethany House.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Lady Georgina Hawthorne has always known she must marry well. After years of tirelessly planning every detail of her debut season, she is poised to be a smashing success and have her choice of eligible gentlemen.
With money and powerful business connections but no title, Colin McCrae is invited everywhere but accepted nowhere. He intends to marry someday, but when he does it will not be to a shallow woman like Lady Georgina, whose only concerns appear to be status and appearance.
But beneath her flawless exterior, Georgina’s social aspirations stem from a shameful secret she is desperately trying to keep hidden–and that Colin is too close to discovering. Drawn to each other despite their mutual intent to avoid association, is the realization of their dreams worth the sacrifices they’ll be forced to make?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in computer science but always knew she wanted to write. Her debut novel, A Noble Masquerade, is a RITA double finalist. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at www.kristiannhunter.com.