Saturday, May 26, 2018

Review of Lord of Temptation Book 4 in The Rogues to Riches Series by Erica Ridley

Book 4 in this series is by far the most emotional, heart-wrenching story of a lost love and the long journey back from the brink of despair.  Lord Hawkridge has been struggling for 10 years to bring his estates back from the ruin that his father and uncle left him with.  The debts he inherits are astronomical and at 18 years old he has to give up everything, including the girl he loves because it will be years or never before his estates will be back in the black.  He is now 28 and has paid off at least half of the debt in the ensuing 10 years.  He is looking for investors for a project that will finally pay off the debts and give his mother the life she lost long ago.  He has sold everything he can, rented out his entailed properties and he is still living the life of a pauper.  He refuses all charity and is determined to succeed on his own.  His only regret is leaving behind the love of his life.  She was not Quality, just a poor beautiful girl that he loved with all his heart.  He was convinced by his mother that he could not marry a poor girl who was not a Lady.  He has missed her every day of the past ten years.  

Faith Digby is the daughter of a Textile merchant who is very rich.  Her family was not always wealthy, but her father turned around a family business that was part of his wife's dowry.  Now Faith is a lovely lady who has good friends, parents that love her and a 10-year-old daughter.  She has only been in love once and has never forgotten him and even if she won't admit out loud that she has never stopped loving the scoundrel who took her virginity and left her the next day. 

Faith is part owner of The St Giles School for Girls and helps her best friend Dahlia with the daily running of the place.  Dahlia's new husband is the half-brother of Lord Hawkrige who happens to be the man who broke her heart 10 years ago.  Faith is afraid that Hawk will find out about his daughter and take her away from her.

Will Hawk be able to get to know his daughter and convince the love of his life that he is sorry for all the heartache he has caused?  

This story was both very sad and heart-warming at the same time.  Hawk is a man who was dealt a bad hand when he was young and paid for it for ten years.  If anyone deserves a HAE it is Hawk.  I will admit that I cried reading this one.   Another must read in this series.  I absolutely recommend Erica's books!!

Review of Lord of Night (Rogues to Riches Book 3) by Erica Ridley

Another must read in this Series.  Erica's writing is such an enjoyable read.  Her characters are strong, proud and principled men and woman.

Dahlia Grenville is the younger sister of the Camellia Grenville in Book 2, "Lord of Pleasure".   Dahlia is dedicated, kind-hearted and determined to ensure that her home for girls in St Giles will prosper and the girls will be safe, warm and loved.  She will even steal to pay the rent and buy food.

Simon Spaulding is an investigator for Bow Street.  The most dedicated officer they have.  He is has made it his life's work to protect the innocent and lock up the guilty.  Simon is the half-brother of Lord Hawkridge, his younger and legitimate brother.  Simon's mother was the late Lord Hawkridge's mistress.  Both his father and mother were killed by a highwayman who was never caught.  Simon works himself half to death, never taking time off to socialize with his fellow officers.  

Then one night he witnesses a woman hitting a man over the head with a broom in St Giles rescuing a child from certain rape.  Simon chases the culprit and locks him up.  When he returns to the area he meets Dahlia, Headmistress of the St Giles School for Girls. 

There is instant chemistry between the two.  As a result, Simon realizes he can have a life and also do his job.  He returns again and again to the school.  The 24 girls love him and Dahlia might too.

The only thing that stands in their way is Dahlia's secret.  Will it tear them apart or bring them closer together?  Read this book to find out!  It is worth the price!!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Review of The Prince, A Devil's Duke Novel by Katharine Ashe

I absolutely loved this beautiful and original book by Katharine.  The amount of research that went into this story is amazing.  I expect no less from this author. This book is inspired by a real-life woman who disguised herself as a man to become a Doctor.  In the year 1825 in England woman were not allowed to have a trade, anything that was outside of their homes was considered too complex for the fragile feminine brain.  There was a lot of woman with more intelligence than men, but they were considered abnormal or a bluestocking to be avoided at all costs.  This is not to say that there were no enlightened men, but they were few and far between. 

Libby Shaw is a young lady determined, she is a force to be reckoned with.  The daughter of a Doctor who grew up without the influence of a mother.  Libby is going to become the best surgeon in Edinburgh, Scotland or die trying.  

She has been fascinated with medicine and the human body since she was old enough to understand what her father did for a living.  She went with him to house calls and assisted him in his office.  When her father leaves her in Edinburgh with friends while he accepts a year-long post in London,  she decides it is time to begin her education as a surgeon.  She disguises herself as a man to attend lectures and wants to be accepted as a student of a surgeon.  To pull off her disguise she must live someone who knows she is a girl and can keep her secret.   

Ziyaeddin Mirza is a deposed Prince of Tabir,  a small Middle Eastern country.  He was forced to flee with his mother as a child when his father was killed in a coup.  He has been waiting for the moment when he can go back and take his place on the throne and rescue his sister.  For now, he must bide his time and having discovered a rare and wonderful talent, he paints portraits and is very popular and sought after.  When he sees Libby disguised as a man at a surgeons theater watching a human dissection he is intrigued.  They met briefly years ago and he was fascinated by her and as an artist obsessed with capturing her image, especially her lips, which he could never get right.  Now she has an outrageous plan to become a medical student and she needs his help.  She convinces him to let her live with him disguised as a man and he agrees knowing that it is the only way to keep an eye on her and keep her out of trouble.

Ziyaeddin is determined to resist Libby's siren call and protect her from his desire for her.  Libby has other ideas.  She wants him and she never gives up when she wants something.  When Ziyaeddin has to go to London for a few days, Libby is left alone in the house. Libby doesn't do well with sudden changes, she has had episodes of irrational behavior when she feels compelled to do everything exactly right and will keep doing it again and again until she gets it right.  If she can't she shuts down goes inside herself until she can cope again.  When Ziyaeddin returns and finds her crawled up in a ball in his bed he realizes how much he loves her.  Libby is astounded that Ziyaeddin understands what is happening to her and wants to help her any way he can.   What Libby experiences is like an anxiety attack.  In 1825 Doctors called these episodes hysteria, which would get you declared insane and put in Bedlam.  

I already have given away more of the plot than I usually do in my reviews, but what Libby goes through is an important part of the love story.  Libby knows that he will have to leave to go back to his country.  Ziyaeddin has commitments that require his presence in his homeland.  Will this be the end of their love affair?  There is so much more to this story than I can ever explain in a review.  It is a riveting read from beginning to end.  If you have never read a book by Katharine, this is the one you should start with, even though it is the fourth book in the series.   I guarantee you will be hooked like I am.  Katharine weaves a tale of two people who should never have even met in the normal course of their lives and the journey they take will affect more than just them.  Katharine is an amazing talent in the Historical Romance Genre and every book she writes is more creative and ingenious than the last.  This book is a must-read!