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MY RECENT RELEASE REVIEW of

Betrothed by Christmas

A Holiday Duet

by Jess Michaels & Elizabeth Essex

File Size: 3078 KB

Print Length: 355 pages

Publisher: The Passionate Pen LLC 

Publication Date: October 15, 2019

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Language: English

ASIN: B07XP6GCDP

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SYNOPSIS:

Betrothed by Christmas coverA madcap plan to avoid marriages they do not desire, leads two women to romance and passion they don’t expect in a duet of novellas by bestselling authors Jess Michaels and Elizabeth Essex.

A Lady’s Gift for Seduction by Jess Michaels
Lady Evangeline is a Diamond of the First Water, but she fears her father will match her to his own advantage, not hers. She decides marrying a biddable groom is the only way to salvage her future and chooses her old friend, astronomer Henry Killam. But she soon realizes Henry isn’t quite as manageable as she first believed and her feelings for him are stronger than she ever imagined.

A Lady’s Gift for Scandal by Elizabeth Essex
Miss Tamsin Lesley desires above all else to be a bluestocking and lead an intellectual life. The only thing standing in her way is her father’s heir, who wants her along with her father’s estate. To foil him, Tamsin enlists the services of masculine wallflower Simon Cathcart to ruin her. But the road to ruination leads to far more pleasurable places than Tamsin could ever imagine, and her charming wallflower proves to have secrets of his own.

MY THOUGHTS:

A madcap plan to avoid marriages they do not desire, leads two women to romance and passion they don’t expect in a duet of novellas by bestselling authors Jess Michaels and Elizabeth Essex.

A Lady’s Gift for Seduction by Jess Michaels:
Lady Evangeline is a Diamond of the First Water, but she fears her father will match her to his own advantage, not hers.

A Lady’s Gift for Scandal by Elizabeth Essex:
Miss Tamsin Lesley desires above all else to be a bluestocking and lead an intellectual life. The only thing standing in her way is her father’s heir, who wants her along with her father’s estate.

Betrothed by Christmas Teaser 2

I have always enjoyed reading books by both of these authors. This holiday duet of novellas is all that I expect from them both.
This madcap pair of stories are very well written and just the ticket to get you into the mood for the holidays.
I gave this pair of short reads 4.25 of 5.0 stars for story line and characterization.
I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley and am voluntarily leaving this review.

Excerpt:

Courtesy Elizabeth Essex Newsletter

Miss Tamsin Lesley followed in her new friend, Lady Evangeline’s wake like an ugly duckling swimming after a swan. The lady led the way to a tall door that stood slightly ajar, spilling warm, mellow light into the darker corridor and threw open the door to reveal row upon row, and shelf upon shelf of rich, jewel-toned volumes.

“The library.” Of course. Why had she not thought of seeking like-minded intellectuals here, in this temple to learning, instead of wasting her time standing by the side of the dance floor?

Lady Evangeline smiled like a cat in cream. “And just as I promised, here are the wallflowers.”

There they were—two gentlemen sitting in perfect peace, reading beside the fire. And not a one of them smoldering.

“Who is that?” Tamsin gestured to a third fellow, a bespectacled gentleman quietly focusing a telescopic glass out the window at the night sky. He looked to be just the sort of kindred spirit who would welcome intellectual discussion. Perhaps she might even become acquainted with him without any sort of ruination required.

“Do you not know Henry Killam?” Lady Evangeline’s tone indicated that everyone did. Everyone but Tamsin.

But she was happy to correct that mistake. “Might he do? He seems quite a bluestocking sort himself.” And she rather liked his sort of gentle handsomeness.

Lady Evangeline took a long time before she answered. “Well…he is a thorough, scientific sort of fellow, who never does anything by halves, so that would be an advantage in your predicament, specifically…” Lady Evangeline trailed off, staring at this Henry for a long moment, as if she could divine his flaws. She shook her head. “Do you know, I don’t think Henry will do at all for your purposes, not at all.”

“No?” Tamsin could not keep the disappointment from her voice.

“No.” Lady Evangeline’s tone firmed. “Because he’s… Because he’s not… Simon!” She headed for the other side of the room to an alcove where a tall fellow Tamsin had not noticed reposed upon an upholstered sofa. “Oh, yes. Simon Cathcart ought to do quite nicely.”

“Really?” This time, Tamsin couldn’t keep her skepticism from her voice. The fellow in question lay full length upon the sofa, with his buff-clad legs crossed comfortably at the ankle. Apparently asleep. In the middle of a ball. “He looks rather too indolent. And too…” The man was so tall, his booted feet stuck well out over the arm of the sofa. “…too everything.”

“Hmmm, yes,” Evangeline considered, “but he’s only indolent at these types of things. He used to be a soldier—a very good one, by all accounts, commended by Wellington himself, and part of the delegation to the Congress of Vienna last summer. Superior with languages or some such. But he came back from the war…different, they say.”

“Different?” This did not sound like a good thing. “Is he violent?”

“Quite the opposite—a sworn pacifist!”

Tamsin fetched her spectacles out of her reticule and put them on, the better to see this interesting, pacifistic specimen. The man had a sort of beauty in repose—as if his conscience were as clean and unruffled as his cravat. “Perhaps he was too long at war?”

Lady Evangeline shrugged. “Either way, no one has any expectations of him. So no one could expect him to make an offer for you. He’s the second son—hence his place in the army—but he’s sold out or some such. Insufficient ambition, some say.”

Such facts might be accounted in the fellow’s favor, if she were seriously considering Lady Evangeline’s idea. Which she wasn’t. Not seriously.

Not yet.

“He accompanies his aunt, the Countess Cathcart, in Society, as the earl doesn’t care for these things,” Evangeline went on. “Rumor has it the earl doesn’t care for the countess, but I suppose that’s nobody’s business but theirs. He always retires like this, Simon does. Never socializes, never dances, but also never gambles. Nor, more importantly, lights himself on fire.”

Definitely a point in his favor.

“What’s more, he doesn’t have opinions. And he’s as handsome as the day is long. Just look at him.”

Tamsin was looking. At the tumble of sandy hair. And the sweep of too-beautiful lashes. And the smooth cut of his jaw. “I suppose if I were going to all the ugly trouble of being ruined, I might want something beautiful to look at.”

“Exactly, he’s eminently suitable for the purpose,” Lady Evangeline concluded. “Uncomplicated, simple Simon. Aren’t you, Simon?” She prodded the sleeping man awake with her slippered foot.

But instead of leaping up in an embarrassed haste to be caught sleeping at a ball by two young ladies, or rage at being so rudely interrupted mid-masculine slumber, this Simon just opened his eyes and gave them a warm, sleepy smile. “Of course I am. Is that you, then, Evie, old girl?”

“It is. Good evening, Simon. Do get up, dear man. Miss Lesley has a proposition for you.”

Simple Simon did not get up, but merely turned his sleepy eye upon Tamsin as if he were perfectly used to being awakened from slumber by females with propositions. “Does she?”

“Do I?” Tamsin echoed, and then firmed her voice. “Yes. Yes, indeed, I believe I do.”

He looked at her with the same sort of simple, happy expectation that her father’s dogs exhibited whenever Papa so much as rose to his feet. But this Simon Cathcart did not, in fact, rise to his feet. He just lay there smiling, happy to be propositioned. Or not. “Don’t dance, I’m afraid,” he offered. “Three left feet, don’t you know?”

Tamsin did not know, especially as he had but two such long appendages stretched out before him. But if she doubted his mathematical abilities, she had to admit his smile was personable and his demeanor pleasant. “Not dancing, I thank you. I’m seeking…more of a personal, private favor,” she hedged, unsure of how best to phrase a ruinous proposition to a gentleman wallflower. Unsure if she should make the proposition. “A temporary alliance, if you will.”

His happy countenance clouded. “Don’t know about an alliance—had a bit too much of that sort of thing in the army. Treaties, pacts, alliances—not worth the paper they’re written on.”

Lady Evangeline let out an elegant sigh and then bluntly declared, “Miss Lesley desires to be ruined.”
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A Regency Christmas Proposal

A Regency Romance Christmas Anthology

(REGENCY ANTHOLOGIES Book 4)

A Fabulous Regency Christmas anthology from Best-selling Authors.

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This collection features full novellas from 6 different Regency romance authors and is available in both paperback (not yet released) and Kindle

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Six full length novellas to keep you reading all through Christmas, each featuring a happily ever after centered around Christmas.

The anthology includes:

The Last Woman Standing by Regina Jeffers

Twelfth Night Promise by Alanna Lucas

A Bluestocking for a Baron by Arietta Richmond

The Earl and the Bluestocking by Janis Susan May

His Yuletide Kiss by Summer Hanford

Wooing the Wallflower by Emma Kaye



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