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The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke #1) by Tessa Dare

Military man meets seamstress.  Tough as nails little Emma Gladstone demands payment for a hideous wedding gown.  He sees an opportunity.  She has nothing to lose.  Only problem is that the Duke has met his match…

Title:  The Duchess Deal
Author: Tessa Dare
Series:  Girl Meets Duke #1
Publish Date:  August 22, 2017
Genre:  Historical Romance
Source: reviewer’s local library
Publisher’s Description:  When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
– They will be husband and wife by night only.
– No lights, no kissing.
– No questions about his battle scars.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And unlimited teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In some cases…spoilers. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

This is a super story.  Emma has got nerve and she means to impose her will on a DUKE!  There is no cliffhanger and no blood, gore or violence.

I love Emma.  The Duke of Ashbury is a doofus.  He’s so mired in the past that he can’t see past it.  Sure he’s been bounced by a glory hound superficial little brat but who hasn’t? He uses his scars to be a super hero but gets himself into trouble and it’s not like Emma didn’t warn him!  Emma is a great character.  She is down to earth, smart as a whip and she is a master manipulator to her Duke.  Make it be his idea and all will be well.  She’s been through a lot of tough situations; poor, homeless, stuggling and is not afraid to live through it again though it would not be fun.

Emma never really notices the Duke’s scars.  Sure they look like they hurt like mad when they were inflicted, but they aren’t as hideous as he believes.  This was really an awesome story.  It’s kind of got the same framework as other historicals, but it’s the characters that make it different.

Other recommendations…

 

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His Bluestocking Bride (Branches of Love #3) by Sally Britton

Called a spinster at 26 (I mean, really?), what does Ellen have to look forward to?  Shuttled around from family member to family member being treated basically like a servant because she’s not got a husband.  Blech!  Well, Ellen is going to have to take her own future into her hands and she does…

Title: His Bluestocking Bride
Author: Sally Britton
Series: Branches of Love #3
Publish Date:  June 6, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: purchased by reviewer
Publisher’s Description:  He vows to never risk his heart again. She hides her love to avoid rejection. A marriage of convenience is not what either of them wished for.

Overlooked by society and underappreciated in her family, Ellen Bringhurst has resigned herself to spinsterhood and a life of reading. Until her match-making friends contrive to reintroduce Ellen to the man she has secretly loved since their shared childhood.

As the younger son to an earl, Marcus Calvert must wed in order to inherit his estate. Still nursing a broken heart, he prefers a practical approach to matrimony rather than romantic love. When Ellen is presented as a possible bride, he proposes a marriage of convenience.

Ellen accepts his hand, hiding her feelings rather than risking her husband’s rejection. Marcus, though determined not to expose his heart again, finds more to admire in his childhood friend with each passing day. What began as a sensible arrangement now has the possibility to become so much more. But is Marcus willing to risk his heart a second time?

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In some cases…spoilers. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

This is a historical romance can be labeled a proper romance.  No sex, no violence but lots of things that were just plain miscommunicated.  It’s a happy ever after and the historical part of the romance was done with a lot of research.  I learned a lot about things in that slice of history that I didn’t know and this author researches it all.  It’s kind of fun to read about a romance and learn a little history too.

Marcus is kind of a “slap up side the head” kind of hero.  Ellen is a great woman and he’s too blind to see her.  She grew up with him as a friend and still he’s blind.

I liked this story because it was standalone (I didn’t have to read the others in the series first) and it had a strong leading lady.

Other recommendations…

 

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Promises and Primroses by Josi Kilpack

Sweet historical romance.  This book has two romances inside it’s covers and both romance couples have had or are having trials they aren’t sure they can overcome.  Families aren’t always perfect and this one truly isn’t.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Title:  PROMISES AND PRIMROSES
Author: Josi S. Kilpack
Series:  Mayfield Family #1
Publish Date:  September 4, 2018
Genre:  Historical/Sweet Romance
Source: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Publisher’s Description:  Lord Elliott Mayfield aims to correct the very messy marital mistakes and spousal scandals of his brothers and sisters by requiring his nieces and nephews to choose worthy companions. If they choose wisely, they will receive their generous share of the family’s inheritance.

Peter, Elliott’s eldest nephew, thinks the entire idea is ridiculous. A widower with two young daughters, he simply needs a governess, not a wife. Julia Hollingsworth certainly has the credentials and the experience, but is altogether too young and pretty for such a job. So why can’t he stop thinking about her?

Julia loves working as a governess, despite the objections of her mother, Amelia. And as it turns out, Amelia has a lot to say about the Mayfield men—none of it good. But Julia dismisses the rumors of ruined reputations and instead concentrates on helping Peter with his children and his fledgling business in canine husbandry. His kindness and gentleness is endearing—and increasingly attractive.

But Amelia, whose heart was broken thirty years ago by none other than Elliott Mayfield, is determined to prevent any relationship from blooming either between Peter and Julia—or between herself and Elliott.

Hearts and history collide as both couples must face their pasts and decide if risking it all is worth the promise of new love and a new future.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In some cases…spoilers. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

Losing someone you love is a heartbreak without much comfort.

This is a sweet historical romance that is original in it’s design.  I’ve read lots of romances and they sometimes share the same qualities, but this story is different.  It’s engaging and although I might have known everything would turn out happy, there were some passages that made me hold my breath.

It’s also different whereas there is another romance in the same book.  While one is the center of attention, there is another that is just begging to surface.  I could really relate to the heroine in this book because she was down to earth, had common sense and not afraid to get her hands dirty.

I enjoyed the parts of the books where the dogs came into play.  I cried in some places and in the end was so very glad how it all turned out.  I have to say, though, I’m more happy for the sideline romance than the spotlighted romance only because it had a steeper hill to climb for happiness.

This book did not have sex and was not a cliffhanger by any means.  It was a very satisfying story and I enjoyed it greatly.

Other recommendations…

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

 

 

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Lady in Waiting by Marie Tremayne

It takes some major backbone to go from rich and privileged to below stairs laborer, but Clara is doing it. She has to get away from a man who she was promised to wed because he is brutal and gets his jollies from beating women.

Title: Lady in Waiting
Author: Marie Tremayne
Series: Reluctant Brides #1
Publish Date: March 13, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Publisher’s Description: When her father arranges her marriage to a titled but brutal lord, young heiress Clara Mayfield escapes by slipping away under the cover of darkness, finding work as a domestic servant in a grand country manor, the last place anyone would ever think to search for her. But her safety depends on hiding her true identity from both the staff and her intriguing new employer, the Earl of Ashworth.

William, Lord Ashworth is no stranger to tragedy. His father and older brother’s deaths placed the weight of an earldom squarely on his shoulders, and now he must seek an eligible bride from the ton in order to produce an heir. But when a beguiling new housemaid arrives at his estate, he can’t dismiss his fascination with this woman whose eyes hold secrets…and desire.

As Clara weighs the need for secrecy against her growing feelings for the Earl, she finds herself losing a man who was never hers to love in the first place. And when circumstances beyond his control rip the lovely servant from the safety of his estate, the Earl of Ashworth is forced to make a choice that could forever shake his family name.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In some cases…spoilers. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

It’s a different world back then. Women didn’t mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, which is unfortunate, because smart women being ignored is just plain stupid. Anyway, this book does have a bit of brutality, but nothing gory. There is a happy ending, but it took a lot of work to get there for both the hero and heroine.

This was not a fluffy book – it was more than fainting couch kind of fluff. It had meat to it and a strong woman to guide the story. Clara has to change her name and do work that she had never done before, work that she does not have the skill to do but she put her whole might into her cause and did what she had to do.

Marie Tremayne released this book on March 13, 2018. It’s her first book and it’s backed by Avon books. I got to see and meet Marie Tremayne in Kansas City at KissCon. She was an elegant lady with a sense of humor that was sharp. Even though this is her first book, it does not mean that it needs polish or that it’s lacking in anyway. It was well written and the style fit with the lady herself.

 

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What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell

Historical Romance.  Governess and Duke.  Not a simple romance, but a life story from a fascinating woman meeting a abused and neglected duke.  It’s a story that I could not put down.

Title: What a Difference a Duke Makes
Author: Lenora Bell
SeriesSchool for Dukes #1
Publish Date: March 27, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description:  Wanted: Governess for duke’s unruly children

Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford, is one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in England, but when it comes to raising twins alone, he knows he needs help. The only problem is the children have chased away half the governesses in London. Until the clever, bold, and far-too-enticing Miss Mari Perkins arrives.

Lost: One heart to an arrogant duke

Mari knows how to wrap even the most rebellious children around her finger. But their demanding, wickedly handsome father? He won’t be quite so easy to control. And there’s something else she can’t seem to command. Her heart. The foolish thing beats so wildly every time the duke is near.

Found: A forbidden passion neither can deny

As his employee, Mari is strictly off-limits. But what if she’s the one breaking all his rules? In the game of governess versus duke, how can Edgar maintain his defenses when the only thing he wants to do is let the tempting beauty win?

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


 

Nervous Nellie says…

I told you I’d break your bloody nose.  Now get in the carriage and leave, you craven piece of maggot droppings.

That’s a Duke defending a Lady, that’s what that is!! Awesome romance.  Plain and simple.  Two common folk that lead a not so uncommon life.  The Duke is a tradesman.  The Governess is an orphan.  Both are emotionally damaged, but then again, how can they not be when they were abused as children.  There is no cliffhanger and there is a very feel good and satisfying ending.  This is definitely a book to get lost in for a few hours.

Photo by Alexander Petrenko / alexstudio.ch

I actually met Lenora Bell.  I did! Scout’s honor and all that!  Let me tell you that she would totally fit in the era she loves to write.  SHE belongs on the cover of the books she writes as she is as pretty as any cover model, as kind as any of her heroines.  She’s also an amazing historical writer.

I bought her series The Disgraceful Dukes when I saw her in the Kansas City Kisscon.  Her next book in this School For Dukes series won’t be out until September 18, 2018, which will feature the sister of the hero Duke from this book.  Now, that’s going to be a blast because India is someone I would LOVE to have as a friend in real life.

Ok, about this book.  It was a great vacation to take on a beautiful spring/summer day sitting outside in my lawn chair.  Mari is a strong, independent 20 year old that has to make her way in the world alone.  She gets dumped on by the proprietor of the governess-for-hire service and gets her trunk stolen on the first day she’s in London.  Her life kicks into overdrive after that.  Chasing two youngsters who are feeling misplaced and unloved is quite a challenge, but Mari knows a thing or two about feeling misplaced and unloved.

Edgar, Duke of Banksford, has had enough crap happen in his life to rival Mari, which makes them a perfect match.  He doesn’t know what to do with children.  Hell, he doesn’t even know what to do with himself.  He’s trying so hard that he’s spinning his wheels.  Then comes Mari.

Everyone needs someone to share the bad things as well as the good things.  Someone who knows the secrets and will keep them as well as defend them.  These two are perfect matches, but sometimes it takes the boldness of the woman to take the first steps.  Mari is the one that tugs the Duke along his path whether he wants to or not.  She is his hero and mine too.

 

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