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MY PRE-RELEASE REVIEW of

The English Wife

35486046

by Lauren Willig

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

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Historical Fiction

Publication Date: January 09, 2018

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Publisher’s Description:

“Brings to life old world New York City and London with all the splendor of two of my favorite novels, The Age of Innocence and The Crimson Petal and the White. Mystery, murder, mistaken identity, romance–Lauren Willig weaves each strand into a page-turning tapestry.” -Sally Koslow, author of The Widow Waltz

“Her best yet…A dark and scintillating tale of betrayal, secrets and a marriage gone wrong that will have readers on the edge of their seats until the final breathtaking twist.” -Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan’s Tale

From New York Times bestselling author, Lauren Willig, comes this scandalous novel set in the Gilded Age, full of family secrets, affairs, and murder.

Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvil live a charmed life in New York: he’s the scion of an old Knickerbocker family, she grew up in a Tudor house in England, they had a fairytale romance in London, they have three-year-old twins on whom they dote, and he’s recreated her family home on the banks of the Hudson and named it Illyria. Yes, there are rumors that she’s having an affair with the architect, but rumors are rumors and people will gossip. But then Bayard is found dead with a knife in his chest on the night of their Twelfth Night Ball, Annabelle goes missing, presumed drowned, and the papers go mad. Bay’s sister, Janie, forms an unlikely alliance with a reporter to try to uncover the truth, convinced that Bay would never have killed his wife, that it must be a third party, but the more she learns about her brother and his wife, the more everything she thought she knew about them starts to unravel. Who were her brother and his wife, really? And why did her brother die with the name George on his lips?

My Thoughts:

This tale is much more than a murder mystery, however the convoluted nature is confusing at times. 
Are both the hero and heroine of this novel dead due to a murder/suicide or is there another murderer lurking in the background?
There are so many characters involved in this sometimes confusing tale that it leads the reader to question just what is the nature of this story.
I gave this book 3.75 (rounded up to 4.0) of 5.0 stars for story line and character development. There are just too many characters involved to keep them straight at times.
I received a complimentary digital ARC of this book via invitation from the publisher to read and review.

This in no way affected my opinion of this title which I read and reviewed voluntarily.

About The Author:

14469Lauren Willig is the New York Times bestselling author of sixteen works of historical fiction. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages, awarded the RITA, Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards, and chosen for the American Library Association’s annual list of the best genre fiction. After graduating from Yale University, she embarked on a PhD in English History at Harvard before leaving academia to acquire a JD at Harvard Law while authoring her “Pink Carnation” series of Napoleonic-set novels. She lives in New York City, where she now writes full time.



My Fierce Highlander

My Fierce Highlander

Highland Adventure #1

by Vonda Sinclair

Paperback: 254 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Paperback Publication Date: February 9, 2012

E-Book File Size: 1702 KB

Digital Publication Date: July 26, 2011

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1469941082ISBN-13: 978-1469941080

ASIN: B005ESI94C

Paperback Price: $11.99

Digital List Price: $2.99

FREE For a Limited Time at:

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Publisher’s Description:

Gwyneth Carswell, an English lady banished by her father to the harsh Scottish Highlands, wants nothing more than to take her young son away from the violence of two fighting clans–her own distant kin, the MacIrwins, and their enemies, the MacGraths. She risks everything to rescue the fierce MacGrath warrior from the battlefield where he’s left for dead by her clan. She only knows she is inexplicably drawn to him and he wants peace as she does. When her clan learns of her betrayal, they seek vengeance. Dare she trust the enemy more than her own family?

Laird Alasdair MacGrath is driven to end two-hundred years of feuding with the MacIrwins. But by taking in and protecting Lady Gwyneth and her son, he provokes more attacks from his mortal enemy. As the danger and conflict surrounding them escalate, Alasdair and Gwyneth discover an explosive passion neither of them expected. With the arrival of a powerful man from her past, a horrible decision confronts her–give up her son or the man she loves.


Reviews:

“Wow! I LOVE Highlanders and when I read My Fierce Highlander by Vonda Sinclair, I fell in love with Laird Alasdair MacGrath at once, and wanted to be the one rescuing him instead. Adventure, fighting, romance, the Highlands–what more can anyone ask for! Loved it!” Terry Spear, author of Heart of the Highland Wolf

*********

“I loved the description of the Highlands. This compelling story of two wounded people who each heal the other is spellbinding and simply lovely. I WANT MORE!” Cate Parke

*********
“My Fierce Highlander was an amazing read. I absolutely loved it and the characters.” 5 stars, Top Pick from Night Owl Romance Reviews
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“Beautifully written by Sinclair. You will be transported back in time to witness a great love story of courage and sacrifice.” Denise, The Pen & Muse Review
********* 
“At times I could hear the distant sounds of bagpipes and see the heather dusting the fields of the highlands. I wasn’t able to put this down and read it from start to finish.” Romancing the Book
 
“Vonda Sinclair captures the excitement and magic in romance with My Fierce Highlander! I was glued to this riveting story start to finish and did not want it to end.” Crystal, Reading Between the Wines
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“Ms. Sinclair is a fantastic writer, who brought so much of the reality of fighting and feuding Highlanders to the pages, that it was easy to visualize and sympathize with Gwyneth.” Demon Lovers Books and More
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“Overall, I felt like I was reading a nice combination of Julie Garwood and Johanna Lindsey… Vonda Sinclair did an amazing job writing an entertaining highland romance.” Escape Between the Pages

This book is an EPIC Award winner.

All the books in the Highland Adventure Series by Vonda Sinclair are standalone books, but they are also interrelated.
I hope you enjoy them!
  1. My Fierce Highlander
  2. My Wild Highlander
  3. My Brave Highlander
  4. My Daring Highlander
  5. My Notorious Highlander 
  6. My Rebel Highlander
  7. My Captive Highlander
  8. Highlander Unbroken
  9. Highlander Entangled

About The Author:

61+Xn-Xr90L._UX250_Vonda Sinclair is the USA Today bestselling author of award-winning Scottish historical romance. Her favorite pastime is exploring Scotland, and taking photos along the way. She also enjoys creating hot, Highland heroes and spirited lasses to drive them mad. She lives in the mountains of North Carolina where she is crafting another Scottish story. Please visit her website at www.vondasinclair.com


Excerpt:

Scottish Highlands, 1618
A stiff breeze carried the scent of bruised grass and blood on its icy breath.
Death.
Gwyneth Carswell dropped into a crouch and peered through brambles at the tartan-clad bodies, a dozen or more, lying in the dusky gloaming. While gathering herbs earlier, she’d heard the sounds of battle—men shouting, steel clanging, horses screaming.
A chill shook her. The men of the MacIrwin clan, her distant kin, lived and died only for a skirmish. Her sheltered upbringing in England had molded her into the person she was, a lover of peace, but she’d been in the Highlands long enough to expect brutality at every turn. Thank God her son had stayed in the cottage with Mora.
“More senseless death,” she whispered, yearning to run and hide in the cottage, curl up beneath the blankets, and forget she was a healer. Forget all the drained blood and horrifying wounds that would never heal.
But she must not. She must again face death all around her. Dread and nausea rising within her, she covered her nose with a handkerchief. After peering about to make sure she was alone, she crept onto the soggy moor and forced herself to look at the butchered bodies of her cousins…and their enemies. Who had they been fighting?
Pressing her eyes closed to block out the slit throats and other mutilation, she murmured a prayer, both for their departed souls and for strength that she might keep going.
Please, allow me to save the life of at least one.
A haunting groan floated on the breeze. A sign? Her prayer answered? Gwyneth froze, listening. The groan sounded again, straight ahead.
She rushed to the far edge of the clearing.
Daylight dwindled, but she knew she’d never before seen the injured man, a large warrior with long dark hair, obviously from the enemy clan. She could not tear her gaze from his clean-shaven face, smeared and spattered with blood. Never had she seen such a striking man. But something more captivated her, something she could only sense with her woman’s intuition. She yearned for him to open his eyes, but he didn’t.
Blood soaked through his white shirt and fine, pale-blue doublet.
Kneeling on the damp ground, she attempted to press her hand against his chest to feel his heartbeat, but a rolled-up parchment lay in her way within his doublet. She removed it and checked his heart. The thump was slow but strong and steady.
Her eyes locked to his face again. Enticing, yes, but still an enemy.



I Know ~ Christmas is over,

however I am still in the mood to read

Christmas stories so here are three

FREE Christmas Novellas for your enjoyment!

They are interwoven into 

Bethany Sefchick’s Tales From Seldon Park Series.

One Christmas With The Earl

one christmas

The Seldon Park Christmas Novellas Book 1

by Bethany Sefchick

File Size: 3703 KB

Print Length: 105 pages

Publisher: Bethany M. Sefchick (November 16, 2015)

Publication Date: November 16, 2015

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Language: English

Digital List Price: $0.99

FREE For a Limited Time at:

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Publisher’s Description:

It’s the Christmas season and Lady Amelia St. Vincent, spinster sister of the Devil Duke of Enwright, finds herself in something of a quandary. While attending Lord Raynecourt’s annual holiday house party she has been relentlessly pursued by a veritable army of men after her hand in marriage. Not to mention her obscenely sizeable dowry. She is at her wit’s end when the dashing Lord Fitzherbert Frost, the current Earl of Houghton, appears as if by magic and comes to her rescue, saving her from yet another fortune hunter.

Now paired with Lord Frost during a rather absurd treasure hunt through the manor house, Amelia must decide if she is willing to trade one night in the earl’s bed for a lifetime of ruination. Or whether the magical power of love can melt even the frostiest of hearts before it is too late.

This 36,300-word novella, which is a companion piece to the “Tales From Seldon Park” series, is written in the modern, Regency romance style for a slightly hotter and sexier read. It may not be appropriate for younger audiences.


On A Cold Christmas Eve

on a cold christmas eve

The Seldon Park Christmas Novellas Book 2

by Bethany Sefchick

File Size: 3857 KB

Print Length: 86 pages

Publisher: Bethany M. Sefchick; 2nd edition

Publication Date: December 17, 2013

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Language: English

ASIN: B00HET7OLS

Digital List Price: $0.99

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Publisher’s Description:

Lady Lucy Cavendish is in a bit of a quandary. Her uncle, the current Earl of Wellsford has abandoned her at a coaching inn outside of London with no money and no way to contact her contracted fiancée, Archibald St. Vincent, the younger brother of the Duke of Enwright. Except that Lucy quickly learns that not only is Archibald not coming to claim her, but that a far worse fate than abandonment awaits. She is to be sold to a house in Covent Garden to work as a prostitute rather than marry anyone. Desperate and alone, Lucy strikes out on her own, hoping to make her way to Fairhaven, the spring residence of the duke, and throw herself on his mercy. Or the mercy of his staff, at least, for as it’s nearly Christmas, it’s doubtful that the duke would be anywhere near a home he only uses a few weeks out of the year.

Adam St. Vincent, the Duke of Enwright, is furious. His brother has concocted yet another nefarious scheme, and this time, he doesn’t think he can buy his brother’s way out of trouble. Things become even more complicated when the lady in question arrives at Fairhaven where Adam is waiting for his brother. Cold and wet, it’s clear the lady is ill and needs medical attention, so Adam whisks her off to his home at Overlook Hill to recuperate. He might be called the Devil Duke, but he’s certainly no monster! Not to mention that it’s the only proper and decent thing to do. Only things are never quite as uncomplicated as they appear and soon, it becomes clear to Adam that he must marry Lucy in order to keep her safe and out of Archibald’s hands.

Can Lucy, a woman of so-called “tainted blood,” due to her partially Indian heritage, ever come to love a man like the Devil Duke? And will Adam ever allow anyone in to see past his icy facade and to the warm and caring man beneath? When family members on both sides return in an attempt to ruin the fledgling romance, more than a little Christmas magic is required for Lucy and Adam’s happily ever after.

Note: This novella takes place before the first “Tales From Seldon Park” novel, “To Catch A Duke.”

This 31,300-word short novel is written in the modern, adult romance style for a slightly hotter read. It may not be appropriate for younger audiences.


The Earl Who Loved Me

the earl who loved me

The Seldon Park Christmas Novellas Book 3

by Bethany Sefchick

File Size: 3026 KB

Print Length: 69 pages

Publisher: Bethany M. Sefchick

Publication Date: December 17, 2014

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Language: English

ASIN: B00R67MD3C

Digital List Price: $0.99

FREE For a Limited Time at:

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Publisher’s Description:

It’s Twelfth Night and Lady Amelia Banbrook, the daughter of the esteemed Earl of Hollinworth, finds herself in a bit of quandary. She is in love with her family’s country neighbor, the perennial bachelor, Lord David Rutledge, the Earl of Weatherby. Friends since their youth, Amelia is convinced that there is no possible way that David returns her love, no matter how much she might wish it or if he even remembers the night when her feelings for him changed.

As the renowned Earl of Weatherby, David Rutledge is used to women falling at his feet. All except for the one he most desires, of course – Lady Amelia. The house party he has planned for Twelfth Night has done little to help his cause with Amelia, much to his chagrin.

With title-grasping women chasing after him, can he find a way to seduce the woman he loves and make her understand that his love is real and not just some fleeting Christmas infatuation? Or will fear keep them apart and drive him into the arms of another?

Note: This book takes place concurrently with the full-length Seldon Park novel, “At The Stroke Of Midnight”

This 24,400-word novel is written in the modern, Regency romance style for a slightly hotter and sexier read. It may not be appropriate for younger audiences.



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