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A Fine Madness


by Elizabeth Essex

“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village,
she must seek them abroad.” Jane Austen

Miss Otis regrets…

The entirety of Miss Elspeth Otis’s inheritance from her wastrel father is a battered old trunk with some scrawled-upon foolscap sheets. Nothing that could free her from a stifling life with her fusty maiden aunties in a musty old cottage in a misty corner of Scotland. Nothing that will give her the life she’s always dreamed of—a life full of kindness and kisses and love. Or will it?


Mr. Hamish Cathcart wants more than anything to avoid the hasty marriage to a brewer’s daughter his father, the earl, has arranged to revive his fortunes. Hamish’s only hope is his failing publishing company, whose only asset is a scandalously banned book by an infamous, but unfortunately deceased, author. But when a new novel written by the same man lands on Hamish’s doorstep, he’ll go to any length to secure it—any length but love.

My Thoughts:

I think I enjoyed this book as much or more than any other that I have read by Elizabeth Essex. I have read several and openly was not enamored with some.

I openly cheered for this couple to find their way to each other.

Hamish is a younger son of an Earl and although he is not the heir he continues to make his own fortune, even though with the occasional set back. He is deserving a true love rather than the arranged marriage his father has in mind.

Elspeth has lived with two maiden aunts since the death of her mother, their sister. They have raised her very strictly and very frankly considered her father to be no good.

She deserves so much more than a life of spinsterhood and loneliness that her maiden aunts would have for her.

I gave this sweetly written title 4.25 of 5 stars for storyline and characterization and a sensual rating of 3 of 5 flames. It is closer to being sweet than steamy.
I received a complimentary digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley to read. This in no way affected my opinion of this book which I read and reviewed voluntarily.

Previously Reviewed Book

in This Series

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Mad For Love


Highland Brides Book 1

by Elizabeth Essex

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Publisher’s Description:

Rory Cathcart’s appreciation of the exquisite makes him the perfect man to expose forgeries and root out fraud in London’s tempestuous art world. But when his latest investigation into forged paintings puts him squarely in Mignon du Blois’ shaky sights, he finds himself deep in trouble, and captured by something more powerful than mere beauty.

The moment Mignon stops a rakish thief from making off with one of her father’s brilliant forgeries, she knows she’s found the perfect man to help her steal back a priceless statue, and save her family from unspeakable scandal. She has no intention of falling for Rory’s Caledonian charms, nor his seductive Scottish persuasions. From the drawing rooms of the ton to the auction rooms of the art world, the pair embark on a madcap adventure to save them both from ruin. But will the love they uncover be most priceless treasure of all?

My Thoughts:

Last updated March 26, 2016

This book is a sometimes funny, quirky and rather lengthy novella. I liked it overall but in reading the ARC I found myself trying to figure out if the language was simply used as a result of the heroine’s language barrier or if extra words were there by mistake. As a result I found myself having problems understanding what I was reading. I did like the storyline and the unusual characters of the hero and heroine.

I would give the story a rating of 3.5 stars.

I had previously not read much by this author, only her story in the Christmas anthology Christmas Brides .

I received a complimentary digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley to read. This in no way affected my opinion of this book which I read and reviewed voluntarily.

About The Author:

618GJ6WzOeL__UX250_Elizabeth Essex is the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed Reckless Brides historical romance series. When not rereading Jane Austen, mucking about in her garden or simply messing about with boats, Elizabeth can be always be found with her laptop, making up stories about heroes and heroines who live far more exciting lives than she.

Her books have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, and RWA’s prestigious RITA Award, and have made Top-Ten lists from Romantic Times, The Romance Reviews and Affaire de Coeur Magazine. Her fifth book, A BREATH OF SCANDAL, was awarded Best Historical in the Reader’s Crown 2013.

Elizabeth lives in Texas with her husband, the indispensable Mr. Essex, and her active and exuberant family in an old house filled to the brim with books. You can sign up for her newsletter at:

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The Duke’s Mistress

Regency Unlaced 1

by Carole Mortimer
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1077535863Publisher’s Description:

The Duke’s Mistress is the first story in Carole Mortimer’s Regency Unlaced series. Hot and steamy tales of Regency heroes and heroines, with a dangerous dash of romantic suspense, as only Carole can write them!

The young widow Lady Dorothea Fitzroy is bored with her life. Most especially so with her role as mistress of her brother’s household, and the endless round of society engagements this forces her to endure.

What Thea so badly needs is a secret and passionate lover, to become mistress of another kind entirely, and so add excitement and spice into her humdrum life. But where is she to find this handsome and inexhaustible gentleman?

Julian Remington, the arrogant and haughty 17th Duke of Blackmoor has no interest in finding a mistress for his bedroom or his home. He’s jaded, cynical, and distrustful when it comes to women. One woman, a woman from his past, has caused too much grief in his life for him to ever trust another.

Thea and Julian are about to be caught up in a passion for each other that blazes so fiercely, and so out of control, it is beyond the power of either of them to resist.

The Duke’s Mistress is the story of an arrogant duke and an adventurous young widow, caught up in their insatiable desire for each other, the vengeful woman who would like nothing better than to see Blackmoor suffer as she has suffered, and believes Thea Fitzroy to be the means by which she will achieve it.

Tamed by the Earl

Regency Unlaced 9

by Carole Mortimer

Release date: February 24, 2017

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Publisher’s Description:

Lord Daniel Somersby, the Earl of Latham, is relieved to be returning to his country estate 33407321in Kent after suffering through the boredom of yet another tedious London Season, as well as avoiding the more determined women set on marriage. He certainly doesn’t appreciate arriving home to find a brawl taking place in his stable yard.

Having disguised herself as a young boy in order to escape the unwanted marriage being forced upon her by her cousin, heiress Lady Josephine Kendall is set upon by thieves within days of her desperate flight, and her money and possessions stolen from her. A week later, with no money to buy food or lodgings, she is in dire straits, and that night seeks refuge in the stables of the absent Earl of Latham. The head groom finds her asleep there in the morning and takes pity on her by offering her employment. Giving her name as Jo Turner she continues to dress in her male clothing, and quickly learns to swear and curse like the rest of the men working on the estate. The only fly in the ointment is the jealousy of one the other stable lads when Jo’s horsemanship finds favour with the head groom.

Unfortunately the earl arrives home unexpectedly at the very moment Jo punches and bloodies said stable lad’s nose.

Lord Daniel Somersby is more handsome than any man has a right to be, and it sets Jo’s heart aflutter just to look at him. He also brings a swift end to the altercation in his stable yard, and afterwards announces it is his intention to take a personal interest in “taming” Jo Turner into more acceptable behaviour.

Faced with the choice of returning to the open road, along with possible detection by her cousin, or accepting the earl’s “taming” of the lad Jo Turner, she decides to opt for the latter. For the moment. Because if the earl discovers the stable boy is not a boy at all then Jo knows she will have no choice but to run again.

Will Daniel discover Jo’s secret? And if he does what will he do about it?

Or will Jo’s cousin find her first and drag her back home to marry a man she could never like let alone love?

Tamed by the Earl is the 9th book in USA Today bestselling author, Carole Mortimer’s, Amazon #1 and highly acclaimed, Regency Unlaced Series. This book has approx 40,000 word count.

Look out for Carole’s new Regency series, Regency Sinners, coming very soon.

Author’s Note:

The stories in the Regency Unlaced, Knight Security, and Alpha Series, have stronger sexual content and language than my other books.
Regency Unlaced Series:
The Duke’s Mistress (Regency Unlaced 1)
Claimed by the Marquis (Regency Unlaced 2)
Taken by the Earl (Regency Unlaced 3)
Pursued by the Viscount (Regency Unlaced 4)
Desired by a Lord (Regency Unlaced 5)
Captured by a Gentleman (Regency Unlaced 6)
Pleasured by a Duke (Regency Unlaced 7)
Seduced by a Marquis (Regency Unlaced 8)
Tamed by the Earl (Regency Unlaced 9)
Look out for the brand new Regency series, Regency Sinners, coming soon.

About The Author:

71bGj40QD8L__UX250_Carole was born in a tiny village in Bedfordshire, England, and is the youngest of three children, having two older brothers. She’s very happily married to Peter, and the two of them live on the Isle of Man, a small jewel of an island in the Irish Sea, between England and Ireland. They have six sons – so, as you can see, Carole has always been out numbered by the men in her life! The sons are all grown up now, the youngest being 18, but they all come ‘home’ regularly, and the family reunions are always happy and chaotically wonderful!

Having always wanted to be a nurse, Carole unfortunately suffered a back injury just a year into her training, and so had to make a hasty career change, and she then became a supervisor of an office department for a couple of years. Having been reading HMB books since she was a precocious 11, she began writing for Harlequin Mills and Boon herself in 1978 – she assures everyone she was only 10 years old at the time! – and is currently working on her 190th book. She writes for the Modern/Presents series, and also the Harlequin Historical series, and has great fun writing for both series.

She loves spending time with her family, but her other interests, when she has time, include reading – of course! – travel, and cross-stitch, and working on furnishing and decorating the Regency style dolls house Peter bought for her several years ago. The cross-stitch comes in handy then, because Carole is making all the carpets for the dolls house herself.

Carole has written over 220 books, in contemporary and Regency romance, and is the Recipient of the prestigious 2015 Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. 2014 Romantic Times Pioneer of Romance author. She was recognized by Queen Elizabeth II in 2012, for her “outstanding service to literature”.

Like/Follow Her at:

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