My Lady Quicksilver ~ Bec McMaster

  • Title: My Lady Quicksilver
  • Author: Bec McMaster
  • Series: London Steampunk #3
  • Genre: Steampunk, Fantasy, Paranormal
  • Format: ebook
  • Source: Review copy
  • Reviewed by: DarthVal
  • Rating: 4 out of 5

Description:  Determined to destroy the Echelon she despises, Rosalind Fairchild is on seemingly easy mission. Get in. Uncover the secrets of her brother’s disappearance. And get out.

In order to infiltrate the Nighthawks and find their leader, Sir Jasper Lynch, Rosalind will pose as their secretary. But she doesn’t count on Lynch being such a dangerously charismatic man, challenging her at every turn, forcing her to re-evaluate everything she knows about the enemy.

He could be her most dangerous nemesis—or the ally she never dreamed existed.

Review:  I have followed the London Steampunk series from the beginning, so I was thrilled to receive an ARC of My Lady Quicksilver from the publisher through Net Galley. I am a lucky girl to get my hands on it prior to its October release. My Lady Quicksilver takes the reader back into Bec McMaster’s dashing steampunk world full of plots, intrigue, and things that go bump in the night. In this book, the author broadens the circle of characters, focusing the plot outside of the inner circle of Blade, the Lord of underworld.

We’ve met our hero, Sir Jasper Lynch, a rogue blueblood and head of the Nighthawks, in passing in previous books. This time Lynch has been placed front and center as he must either capture the humanist terrorist that plagues London or forfeit his life. However, he finds himself not only distracted by Rosa, an assistant who is clearly more than she seems, but also by nagging doubts about justice within his dark world.

McMaster created a formula that was bound to be explosive. Both Rosa and Lynch are characters that cultivate a controlled, cold, and calculated demeanor that has kept them isolated. Yet both of them are both passionate and idealistic at their core, no matter how much they try to hide it from themselves. Pitting them against one another created so much grey area that it was tough to determine a “right” side.

While the stories are steeped with adventure, the London Steampunk series falls firmly into the paranormal genre. The sexual tension in this book is smoking hot. I have noted that McMaster is very adept at creating chemistry and writing sexy times, thankfully. If I am going to read a romantic plot, I want it to be well-written rather than ridiculous.

The action and mystery in this book is very well-crafted. In fact, in My Lady Quicksilver McMaster actually deepens the political intrigue within her world, which makes me do the happy dance. I am sure future books will still fall into PNR category, but it is the adventure the keeps me coming back.

It helps that the book cover is very eye-catching. The artist has used just enough color to create a feeling of vibrancy within a dark world. Rosa is depicted as sensually dangerous, while Lynch seems a bit aloof (odd, that, until you recognize it is fitting). The overall impression is one of adventure and romance that is well suited to the story contained within.

This was a quick and enjoyable read that is not overly deep, making it well suited as a bubble bath or vacay read. I consider this series a must-read for the paranormal romance crowd. Urban fantasy readers, especially those who like it dark (like me!), save this one for time when you want to lighten it up bit.

*Disclaimer: A free copy of this book was provided to me for review by the publisher through the NetGalley program.

A Shire Romance (Part Nineteen)

A classic romance with a Hobbit twist!

When Tamsyn left for Somerset that morning, little did she realise that she’d end the day somewhere she didn’t even realise existed. Nor did Perry know when he set out for a stroll that day that his life would be utterly changed. Thrown together by chance and torn apart by their responsibilities, their future lies in Tamsyn’s hands.

Note to Readers:  This is the first full-length novel I ever wrote. It’s a few years old, and I know it’s far from perfect. That was never the intention either, since it isn’t something I can publish traditionally due to copyright issues. I like the story, however, so I hope people reading this will enjoy it on those terms. Please be aware it contains explicit language and scenes.


Tamsyn didn’t remember much of how she spent the remainder of the day. She helped Esme in the kitchen. She spoke to Faramir. She went to Radagast and asked him some questions about what would happen, then somehow managed to tell Perry’s parents that she would be leaving the next day.

At dinner time Colman appeared and muttered a half-hearted apology. Tamsyn, who was anticipating two different events with a complete polarity of emotions, found she had no feelings left to spend on him, not even hatred.

She watched Perry and his father play a game of chess, puffing away on their pipes, then after sharing a small supper everyone finally went to bed.

Tamsyn waited ten minutes to be certain no one would leave their room again, then quietly slipped out her door. She tiptoed to Perry’s room and went inside, and as the door closed behind her and she turned the key in the lock with a distinct click, he shot upright in bed.

“Tam?” he said, astonished.

She didn’t speak, just looked at him as she walked towards him. When she reached the side of his bed, where a small sliver of moonlight peeked through the curtains, she lifted her nightshirt and pulled it over her head. She tossed it aside and simply stood there, clad in nothing but her long, loose hair, looking at Perry with desire in her eyes.

His breath caught and he stretched out a tentative hand, as if he couldn’t quite believe that she was real. When his fingers touched her stomach he breathed out, swung his legs over the side of the bed and slid his hand to her back to pull her closer to him.

As she took that step he lifted his other hand to brush her hair aside, using his thumb to lightly stroke her nipple. Tamsyn sighed and leaned back her head, and when her hair slid away and revealed her body, Perry gave a stifled gasp and pulled her tightly against him. He was naked apart from his underwear, and Tamsyn concentrated on the delirious feeling of skin on skin, threading her fingers through his hair and running them down his back.

He suddenly tugged her towards the bed so she toppled into it, and with a smile she rolled over and pulled him on top of her. He teased her hair out from underneath her, spreading it to the side in two great black wings, then moved to the curtains and twitched them open so the moonlight spilled onto the bed.

“I want to see you,” he whispered, then lowered his eyes and closed his mouth around her nipple, caressing her other breast with his hand. Tamsyn moaned and arched, and she could hear his breath was coming faster.

She ran her hands down his sides, hooking her thumbs into his pants to pull them down. He helped her with a shift of his hips, but gave her an intent, questioning look.

“Are you certain you want to do this?” he asked, and she felt him tense as he awaited her response.

“Perry, I have never been so certain about anything else in my life,” she replied. “I need this. I need this memory of you. I need you to touch me, feel me, fill me…” She gasped when he suddenly buried his face between her breasts, and sighed when he started kissing and licking his way down her body, caressing every patch of skin his hands could reach.

“You’re so soft, so smooth, so beautiful,” he murmured, running his hands along her legs when he reached the dark patch of hair that covered her mound. He gently pushed her legs further apart, and she could see the intent look on his face as he moved his thumbs upwards in slow circles, towards her warm, moist folds.

Her breathing turned shallow in anticipation, then she moaned and moved her hips when he suddenly ran his tongue along the entire length of her. His fingers followed, stroking her softly, then he experimentally slid two fingers inside her, moving them up and down when she reacted with more gasps and moans.

He spread her folds further, and when he found the small, swollen nub buried in there he closed his mouth around it and pressed his tongue against it.

Tamsyn spasmed and gave a long moan, clawing at the sheets, and felt herself grow dizzy with need when Perry continued to suckle her, moving his fingers all the while.

“Perry, please…” she begged, and his head shot up.

“What?” he asked, startled. His breathing was laboured, and Tamsyn could no longer wait.

“Come,” she whispered, pulling at his arms. He obliged, kneeling between her legs, and she pulled his head down and kissed him hard. When she let go again he gave her a somewhat apprehensive look, and she reached down and closed her hand around his shaft, making him gasp.

“Please, Perry, I want you so,” she breathed, guiding him to her, and he groaned when the tip of his erection touched her wet lips.

They held each other’s gaze as he entered her slowly, and Tamsyn watched his eyes glaze over with lust as he slid deeper and deeper into her, his thick shaft stretching her deliciously. Perry held his breath until he could move no further, then closed his eyes in ecstasy and breathed out again.

“How does it feel?” she whispered, moving her hips.

“So good,” he moaned. “You’re so warm, and wet, and tight.” He gave a few slow thrusts, and gasped at the feel of it.

It was too much for Tamsyn. She pulled him down on top of her, slid her hands down his back and grabbed his buttocks, then started grinding her hips, pulling him in deep with every thrust. Perry picked up the rhythm, then twisted his own hips so he reached different places deep inside her, moving with more confidence when she reacted with clear pleasure.

“Tam,” he suddenly whispered into her ear, “I want to make you come, I want to see it… How do I make you come?”

“Here,” she gasped, taking his hand and moving it down. She rubbed his thumb past her lips to moisten it, then led it to her centre of pleasure and pressed it down. He immediately gave a quick stroke, and she spasmed in response.

Perry sped up his thrusts, transferring the movement to his thumb, and Tamsyn found herself soaring upwards on ever-increasing waves of pleasure. She dug her fingers into his back, riding the waves until the feeling crested and she moaned his name as she shattered into orgasm. She dimly registered Perry’s gasp of surprise as she squeezed around him, and held him tight when he jerked his hips and pressed in deep, crying out in his own release.

He sagged on top of her, panting, and Tamsyn wrapped her arms around him. “You said you’d never fucked anyone before?” she murmured. “You must be a natural. That felt good.

He raised his head and looked at her, and the emotion in his eyes was almost more than she could bear. “That was… beyond anything I’d ever imagined it would be,” he whispered, and she took his face in her hands and kissed him deeply.

For several minutes neither of them spoke, then Tamsyn trailed her lips down his jaw and began pressing soft, nibbling kisses on his neck and collarbone, slipping her hand between their bodies to stroke him low on his stomach.

Perry’s breath hitched. “What are you doing?”

“My turn to be on top,” Tamsyn murmured, rolling them over and nuzzling his neck.

“You want… again?” he asked, swallowing hard.

She pushed him onto his back then straddled him, her hair cascading around her like a curtain. “I want you as many times as you are able to take me,” she breathed. “Once isn’t enough, I want more.” She bent down and licked his nipple, and he gasped.


“No buts.” She smiled and moved her mouth to right beside his ear. “Are you afraid you can’t do it?” she whispered, licking his earlobe. “Look at yourself, dearest.” She placed the flat of her hand on his chest, slid it down over his stomach, then wrapped it around his shaft, hard and ready once more. “See?” she said with a teasing grin. “Or don’t you want me again?”

He grabbed her and pulled her down, kissing her hard. “Never say that,” he breathed. “Don’t ever say that, Tam.” His eyes were wide and full of pain, and she quickly cupped a hand around his face.

“I won’t, I’m sorry,” she said. “I know you want me as much as I want you.”

Suddenly he pulled her so tightly to him that she could hardly breathe. “Oh Eä, Tam, what am I going to do without you?” he sobbed. “Please don’t leave me, please don’t go!”

She stroked his face, a stricken look in her eyes. “I have to, Perry, I can’t stay here. I don’t want to leave you, but I have to.”

“But I love you!” he said, tears streaming down his cheeks.

“Oh, Perry, I know you do,” she replied, his face blurring below her as her own tears started to flow. “Don’t you know that I love you too? More than I could ever tell you?”

“Then stay! Don’t leave me! You’re everything I’ve always wanted in a woman! You’re the only one I’ll ever want to marry! Please, please don’t go!” he pleaded.

“Perry, don’t do this to me… I don’t want to leave you, but I must,” Tamsyn said, her throat tight with misery. “Think of what Radagast told us.”

“I don’t care!” he wailed. “What use is this world to me if you’re not in it?”

“Shh,” Tamsyn said, taking his face in her hands and kissing him. “You don’t mean that. Think of your friends, of Frodo, of little Adda. This is their world too. I must do whatever I can to save it, even if… even if it means I’ll never see you again.”

He stifled a sob and pulled her close again, and suddenly Tamsyn needed him as close to her as he could possibly be. She moved her hips, rubbing over his erection, and she moaned when he shifted his own hips in response and entered her in one swift, deep stroke.

She rode him almost desperately, sitting up and arching her back, her body lit up by the moonlight and the tips of her hair caressing his stomach and thighs. He held her hips, guiding her movements, and when she ground closer he pressed his thumb on her swollen nub again. The pleasure rose, crested once more, and they came simultaneously.

“I love you so,” Tamsyn murmured as she lay down on top of him, catching her breath. It was a relief to finally say it to him, even though despair rode high in her mind. “I’ve been wanting to tell you so many times, but I didn’t dare…”

“I remember when I knew that I loved you,” he replied, pulling his fingers through her hair. “It was when I apologised for kissing you, and you told me that it wasn’t a kiss I needed to apologise for. No girl has ever reacted like that before. I knew then that I wanted you for my wife, and no other.” He looked at her sadly. “I’ll never marry anyone else, Tam. I can’t have you, but I’ll have no one else.”

“Don’t say that.” She shook her head. “I’m sure you’ll find a nice hobbit girl who won’t run away when you try to kiss her.”

“I don’t want a nice hobbit girl, I want you. Are you telling me that you’ll marry someone else over there?”

“No, I’d already resigned myself to never getting married. But at least now I know that there’s one man who wants to marry me for who I am, rather than what I own or look like.”

He stared at her. “Are the men in your world as stupid as the women in mine?”

She replied with a half-shrug and a sad smile, and he looked away. “Well, if you’re not getting married, then neither am I.”

“I’m not the son of the Thain, Perry.”

“The Thain has three other sons. I’m sure they can fuck some heirs together.”

“Now you’re just sulking.”

He simply stared at her, the pain in his eyes still profound, and she swallowed away more tears. “I don’t want you to be unhappy, dearest.”

“Then don’t leave me.” He sounded sincere, and she closed her eyes.

“Perry, we’re going around in circles.”

He relented and pulled her down into the crook of his arm. “At least stay here tonight then,” he whispered. “Let me have this one night to feel like a married man, to fall asleep next to my wife, to wake up next to her, and to make love to her when I want to.”

Tamsyn thought briefly of what Faramir and Esme would say if they discovered her in Perry’s bed, but found that she didn’t care. “Gladly.”

He took a deep, shuddering breath, then gently pushed her upright. “Sit here,” he said, and gathered her hair together. He braided it with meticulous care, tying it off with the lacing from his nightshirt when he couldn’t find anything else.

“There,” he said when he finished. “Can’t let it get all tangled again.”

She turned to him and held his face, kissing him tenderly. “I love you, Perry,” she said, gazing into his eyes. “Don’t ever think that I don’t. Going back tomorrow with Radagast is going to be the most difficult thing I’ll ever do in my life.”

“I know,” he sighed, then pulled her back against him. She settled with her head on his shoulder and tried to fall asleep.


Will Tamsyn stay or go back to England? Find out in the next installment of  A Shire Romance! The story will be a weekly release until completion.  

A Shire Romance is written by Erica Dakin. You can find out more about Contrary Erica on the Guest Reviewers page and check out her website to find out more information about her work.

Steadfast ~ Mercedes Lackey

  • Title: Steadfast
  • Author: Mercedes Lackey
  • Series: Elemental Masters #9
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Source: Library
  • Reviewed by: Olga
  • Rating: 2 out of 5

Description:  The new novel in Mercedes Lackey’s bestselling series of an alternative Edwardian Britain, where magic is real—and Elemental Masters are in control.

Lionel Hawkins is a magician whose act is only partially sleight of hand. The rest is real magic. He’s an Elemental Magician with the power to persuade the Elementals of Air to help him create amazing illusions. It doesn’t take long before his assistant, acrobat Katie Langford, notices that he’s no ordinary magician—and for Lionel to discover that she’s no ordinary acrobat, but rather an untrained and unawakened Fire Magician. She’s also on the run from her murderous and vengeful brute of a husband. But can she harness her magic in time to stop her husband from achieving his deadly goal?

Review:  This is a really weak novel.  The best one word to describe it is almost.

The writing is dismal: too much telling, explanations, and preaching; not nearly enough showing. It was an effort to finish this book.

The story is a standard Lackey’s coming-of-age tale, lightly spruced with magic, but unfortunately, nothing of consequence happens in it. A young circus dancer Katie is on the run from her abusive husband. Her fear of him provides this story with its sole almost conflict.

Katie arrives in Brighton and finds work in a music hall as a magician’s assistant. For no discernible reason, everyone is super friendly around her, everyone bends backward to help. I wish my neighbors were half as nice.

While Katie becomes almost happy and almost successful, she is still atremble at the mere thought of her husband’s name. And then he arrives on her doorstep and resumes his beating and humiliation routine. How did he find her is not explained. While she’s shaking in fear in her loft and tries to devise a way out, and her friends lament her bad luck, the bad guy gets drunk, accidentally sets himself on fire, and dies oh so conveniently. The problem solved! The novel finished.   

The characters are also disappointing – flat and static. They fit perfectly into the archetypal provisions of Carl Jung, with almost no elaborating details. There is the protagonist Katie, young, pretty and an orphan. In the course of the novel, she is almost maturing as a performer, a woman, and a mage. At least in theory, she should’ve done all three. She should’ve also fallen in love, but in practice, her almost romance seems kind of … watery; and her maturing is only hinted at, the writer’s wishful thinking rather than the truth. Katie didn’t do anything to speed up the abolishment of her villainous husband either. If he didn’t essentially kill himself (deus ex machina in action), Katie would still be cringing and whimpering under his punishing fists.

Katie’s almost beau Jack is a prescribed tortured hero, a former soldier tormented by bad memories of war. Again, he could’ve been a deep, complicated personage, the background is all there, but he rises from the pages as a dull nonentity, boring and didactic instead of tragic.

Katie’s boss, magician Lionel, should’ve been a classical wise man, helpful to the heroes, gifting them with magical artifacts to fight evil – in theory. In this book, he is an aging illusionist in a second-rate show act. He is kind and he tries to be helpful, but that’s all I can say about him. He is almost the mentor of the tale.

And then, there is the theme: the heroes maintain that the forces of good mustn’t do bad things, mustn’t kill their enemies or get revenge. Otherwise they become the opposites of themselves. The good guys should endure and hope for the best.

I hate such moralizing. In my opinion, the forces of good should have swords and guns. They should fight back when the evil attacks, or they become wussies, silent philistines, and the evil inevitably wins, which is what basically happens in this novel.

The best thing about Steadfast is its cover art by Jody A. Lee, a longtime illustrator of Lackey’s books. It’s beautiful and provides enough conflict of its own that you want to pick up the book and open it. That the text doesn’t deliver on the image’s promise is not the artist’s fault.

Divergent ~ Veronica Roth

  • Title: Divergent
  • Author: Veronica Roth
  • Series: Divergent #1
  • Genre: Sci-Fi, Dystopian, YA
  • Format: Audio book
  • Source: Library
  • Reviewer: Val
  • Rating: 4 out of 5

Description:  In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Review:   I was really torn on whether or not to read this book, even though I had heard good reviews. On one hand, I have been avoiding anything approaching YA lately, unsure if I can handle yet another teen-angst fest. On the other hand, I really like dystopian fiction. A good recommendation from a trusting source convinced me to give it a try. I am so glad that I did.

Divergent takes place in Chicago years after some society changing disaster. In order to survive, the isolated population has divided itself into five factions, each of which is characterized by specific personality traits that make them especially suited to serve the societal roles assigned to their faction. If someone fails to conform for some reason, they become ostracized and relegated to the lowest tier of society, the factionless.

The story follows Tris, who like others her age must make the difficult decision to choose her faction, an irrevocable decision. If the wrong faction is chosen, there is no going home, the only option available at that point is to become factionless. However, Tris isn’t like everyone else. She is Divergent, having aptitude for multiple factions. She is not sure what it means exactly, other than it puts in danger, so she must conceal it.

Tris is a complex character of a young girl trying to discover who she is within a world that seems to be crumbling around her. She is bold yet unsure of herself, selfless without being self-sacrificing, and clever, if at times slow on the uptake. There were definitely times that I felt a discrepancy between how clueless Tris could be and her portrayed intelligence.

Because of her very nature, Tris is portrayed as a bit of an underdog character. Despite being an outcast, the author created some great relationships with her among her underdog friends. The author also did a great job of creating chemistry between Tris and Four, capturing that spark of young love without the usual overdose of angst.

The world-building was really good in this book. The mental images evoked by the descriptions of dystopian remains of Chicago were fairly vivid. It was painted as a harsh world with limited options, yet the author was able to include a hopeful element.

It was easy to get swept away in the scenes depicting the dauntless actions. The author did a great job of capturing the heady combination of fear and freedom that Tris felt during these scenes.

The cover of this book is very eye-catching. It features a flaming rendition of the symbol for the dauntless faction. The rest of the cover is muted, in stormy shade of blue/grey, lending itself to the dark, cold tone of the story, depicting clouds and a distant Chicago skyline.

Divergent starts this trilogy off well. It does a great job of introducing the world and the main characters without sacrificing on plot or adventure. If felt like a complete book, capable of standing on its own, yet there was enough foreshadowing to make the reader want to continue the series.

The Duchess War ~ Courtney Milan

  • Title: The Duchess War
  • Author: Courtney Milan
  • Series: Brothers Sinister #1
  • Genre: Romance
  • Format: e-book
  • Source: Own copy
  • Reviewed by: Erica
  • Rating: 5 out of 5

Description:  Sometimes love is an accident.

This time, it’s a strategy.

Miss Minerva Lane is a quiet, bespectacled wallflower, and she wants to keep it that way. After all, the last time she was the center of attention, it ended badly–so badly that she changed her name to escape her scandalous past. Wallflowers may not be the prettiest of blooms, but at least they don’t get trampled. So when a handsome duke comes to town, the last thing she wants is his attention.

But that is precisely what she gets.

Because Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont, is not fooled. When Minnie figures out what he’s up to, he realizes there is more to than her spectacles and her quiet ways. And he’s determined to lay her every secret bare before she can discover his. But this time, one shy miss may prove to be more than his match…

Review: My expectations were high after reading The Governess Affair, the prequel novella to this series, and I was not disappointed. I like Romance in all its incarnations, but while its various tropes are executed in many entertaining ways, I rarely come across a Romance novel that truly surprises me. This one did.

Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont, is not your average aristocrat. His father was a womanising bastard (not a bastard in the literal sense) who relied on his status to get away with anything he wanted, which has made Robert determined to be everything his father was not. Yet he is still the Duke of Clermont, so many people are unable to see past his title.

Until he meets Wilhelmina (Minnie) Pursling. On the outside she looks like the quiet, mousey type, but that’s just because she’s hiding who she really is. Underneath that unassuming appearance is a razor-sharp intelligence, and Robert soon finds this out to his disadvantage.

You see, when I say that Robert is not your average aristocrat, I mean this in the sense that he tries to use his position to better the lot of those less fortunate than he, to the point that he is determined to abolish the peerage. He tries to right the wrongs his father has wrought, and at the start of this book he is writing and publishing seditious pamphlets to try and draw out someone who has been abusing his position. This is the industrial age; workers are starting to do things like try to form unions, go on strike to try and get better working conditions, and the upper class don’t like it one bit, because God forbid that the cattle should have opinions of their own. Surely they can’t have brains, right?

The plot is not what kept me engaged in this book, though it is by no means trite or predictable. What kept me enthralled were the constant surprises I came across. I have never, ever seen a Romance where even one of the main characters masturbates, never mind both of them, and I have always found it rather daft that in Romance, men in particular seem to resort to cold showers and whatnot rather than beating the old snake to get rid of their sexual frustration. Especially since that’s exactly what most men do. And most women, for that matter.

Anyway, I won’t mention every single instance where this book delighted me, but the characters were endearing and very believable, the dialogue was wonderful and often very funny, and I sniggered out loud at the scene where Robert joins Minnie on the train and gets his cousin and their childhood friend to chaperone him.

Truly wonderful, and refreshingly original.

To Sir Phillip, With Love ~ Julia Quinn

  • Title: To Sir Phillip, With Love
  • Author: Julia Quinn
  • Series: Bridgertons #5
  • Genre: Romance Historical
  • Format: Paperback
  • Source: Own
  • Reviewed by: Olga
  • Rating: 4 out of 5

Description:  Sir Phillip knew from his correspondence with his dead wife’s distant cousin that Eloise Bridgerton was a spinster, and so he’d proposed, figuring that she’d be homely and unassuming, and more than a little desperate for an offer of marriage. Except… she wasn’t. The beautiful woman on his doorstep was anything but quiet, and when she stopped talking long enough to close her mouth, all he wanted to do was kiss her…

Eloise Bridgerton couldn’t marry a man she had never met! But then she started thinking… and wondering… and before she knew it, she was in a hired carriage in the middle of the night, on her way to meet the man she hoped might be her perfect match. Except… he wasn’t. Her perfect husband wouldn’t be so moody and ill-mannered. And he certainly should have mentioned that he had two young – and decidedly unruly – children, as much in need of a mother as Phillip is in need of a wife.

Review:  The fans of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series already know Eloise, the middle sister of the eight charming siblings. In this installment, #5 in the series, Eloise has finally got her starring role.  Vivacious and opinionated, she has a kind heart and an independent spirit, infused with sunny optimism. By twenty-eight, she has received at least six marriage proposals but she is still unwed, waiting for a love match.

Sir Phillip Crane is a broody kind of man. His wife died a year ago, and he doesn’t know how to deal with his two eight-year-old twins. So he doesn’t deal with them. While the children go wild, he closets himself in his greenhouse, where he experiments with peas and dreams of a wife who would come and manage his life and his children. He doesn’t care if she is ugly or old, as long as she could smile and love his children.

They seem like a mismatch, but appearances could be deceiving. The entire story is light and fluffy, with a few laughs and a load of relationship issues that must be resolved, before love triumphs, as it does in all Quinn’s stories.

A delightful, uplifting historical romance. Recommended for anyone who feels in the dumps. Guaranteed to make you smile.