The Brass Queen by Elizabeth Chatsworth (review)

“For goodness sake, how hard can it be to murder a debutante?“

Elizabeth Chatsworth’s debut novel The Brass Queen is a delightfully engaging alternate Victorian history/Steampunk romance and adventure full of airships, gadgets, science, danger, a perilous polo match with deadly animals, a naughty yorkie named Boo, and it’s requisite share of royals behaving badly.

As the story opens, Constance Haltwhistle is on the hunt for a husband in order to save her familial estate, all while acting as the primary planner for a visit by the tyrannical Queen Victoria. Her debut ball is ruined by the kidnapping of three scientists in attendance – not a particularly auspicious introduction to the marriage mart. As an American secret agent steps in and fails to save the day, the adventures (and romance) of Constance – aka the Brass Queen, a weapons inventor/purveyor – and Agent J.F. Trusdale begin.

Constance Haltwhistle is quite the entitled young heiress/member of lesser nobility, and the Brass Queen is mostly just another persona more mentioned than seen. As her contentious acquaintance with J.F. grows slowly to attraction, some vulnerabilities do creep in, and Constance seems less of a trainwreck once the reader comes to know her a bit better.

Metaphors, similes, and cliches abound in The Brass Queen, with a main character that vacillates between likable and almost not, and everything does tend to be a bit much but considering it all together, this book is simply a hoot. Relentless is a word that applies both to the pace and to the characters, though the action is occasionally relieved by episodes of Constance being Constance in different locations. 

This is a comedic Steampunk Romantic Fantasy with a great deal of action that sometimes feels like everything is thrown in but the kitchen sink. Things do slide over into naughtiness a tad bit, with several instances of nudity – though mostly with characters who are invisible.

Maintaining a consistent level of humor and pace is a challenge admirably met by this debut author, and with the constant banter along with a peppy narrative, I felt compelled to read faster than my eye/brain coordination is accustomed to. To say this is a compulsive page-turner is an understatement. If you enjoy a frenetic, fluffy, fun, fast-paced read, this very well may be a book for you. I certainly enjoyed it.


The Brass Queen by Elizabeth Chatsworth | CamCat Books, January 2021 | Hardcover, 448 pages – also available in paperback or e-book form

I voluntarily received a finished hardcover copy from Smith Publicity. A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.


About the Book

She knows a liar when she sees one. He knows a fraud when he meets one. 

In a steam-powered world, Miss Constance Haltwhistle is the last in a line of blue-blooded rogues. Selling firearms under her alias, the “Brass Queen,” she has kept her baronial estate’s coffers full. But when US spy J. F. Trusdale saves her from assassins, she’s pulled into a search for a scientist with an invisibility serum. As royal foes create an invisible army to start a global war, Constance and Trusdale must learn to trust each other. If they don’t, the world as they know it will disappear before their eyes. 

If you like the Parasol Protectorate or the Invisible Library series, you’ll love this gaslamp fantasy—a rambunctious romantic romp that will have you both laughing out loud and wishing you owned all of Miss Haltwhistle’s armaments.

About the author

Elizabeth Chatsworth is a British author and actor based in Connecticut. She loves to write of rogues, rebels, and renegades across time and space.

Elizabeth is a Writers Of The Future winner, a Golden Heart® finalist, a Pitch Wars alumna, and a member of the SFWA. She’s the author of THE BRASS QUEEN (January 2021), an award-winning fantasy set in an alternate Victorian age.

When she’s not writing, Elizabeth works as a voice-over actor. There’s a rumor she possesses the world’s best scone recipe. Contact her at www.elizabethchatsworth.com to see if it’s true!

The Amber Crane by Malve von Hassell Book Blast

The Amber Crane
by Malve von Hassell

Publication Date: June 25, 2021
Odyssey Books

Genre: Historical Fiction

Chafing at the rules of the amber guild, Peter, an apprentice during the waning years of the Thirty Years’ War, finds and keeps a forbidden piece of amber, despite the risk of severe penalties should his secret be discovered.

Little does he know that this amber has hidden powers, transporting him into a future far beyond anything he could imagine. In dreamlike encounters, Peter witnesses the ravages of the final months of World War II in and around his home. He becomes embroiled in the troubles faced by Lioba, a girl he meets who seeks to escape from the oncoming Russian army.

Peter struggles with the consequences of his actions, endangering his family, his amber master’s reputation, and his own future. How much is Peter prepared to sacrifice to right his wrongs?

Paperback | eBook

About the Author

Malve von Hassell is a writer, researcher, and translator. Born in Italy, she spent part of her childhood in Belgium and Germany before moving to the United States. She lives in Southampton, New York, close to the ocean and a bay beach where she meets flying sea robins and turtles on her morning walks with her rescue dog Loki. She enjoys reading, playing chess with her son, gardening, anything to do with horses, and dreams of someday touring Mongolia on horseback. Her works include the children’s picture book, Letters from the Tooth Fairy, written in response to her son’s letters to the tooth fairy; The Falconer’s Apprentice, her first historical fiction novel for young readers; The Amber Crane, a historical fiction novel set in Germany in the 17th century, and Alina: A Song for the Telling, a coming-of-age story of a young woman from Provence in the 12th century who dreams of being a musician.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Book Blast Schedule

Wednesday, July 21
Passages to the Past

Thursday, July 22
Books, Ramblings, and Tea

Friday, July 23
Bookworlder

Saturday, July 24
Reading is My Remedy

Monday, July 26
Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, July 27
Reader_ceygo

Wednesday, July 28
Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, July 29
Coffee and Ink

Friday, July 30
The Enchanted Shelf

A Man With a Past by Mary Connealy (review)

Second in Mary Connealy’s Brothers In Arms trilogy, A Man with a Past opens with Falcon Hunt traveling to meet the two half-brothers he only learned about because of his father’s will leaving them each one third ownership of a ranch in Wyoming. From there, the story quickly covers ground until we’ve experienced the timeline of book one, Braced for Love, from the new perspectives of Falcon and Cheyenne Brewster, his youngest half-brother’s half-sister – stripped of her rightful ownership by her stepfather’s will and the laws that allowed it – this family is nothing if not complicated. And while it is a rehashing of events, to some extent, it is interesting to see them fully from these new points of view.

The trouble that was brewing in book one takes some new turns as Falcon and Cheyenne are repeatedly called on to use their tracking skills – whether on their enemies or each other. And amidst all of the adventure and danger, and Falcon’s painful efforts to recover his missing memory, a sweet but bristly love story develops.

Once more, Mary Connealy tells a fast paced tale filled with cowboys, suspense, humor, and faith that is sure to delight her readers. A Man with a Past was a quick, enjoyable read and while there is closure to this story, still there is enough left open for further exploration along with developments that nicely position the characters for the final book in the trilogy – and I am looking forward to it.


A Man with a Past by Mary Connealy (Brothers in Arms, #2) | Bethany House, July 2021 | ebook, 320 pages

This review refers to an e-book I voluntarily read via my library’s Overdrive service. All opinions expressed are my own.


About the Book

He must piece together his past if he’s to have any chance at a future.

Falcon Hunt traveled west, compelled to start a new life by a surprise telegram that promised him an inheritance and a family in Wyoming. But shortly after arriving, he wakes in a river, completely unaware of who or where he is. As he tries to regain his memory, he meets two men who claim to be his half brothers and the prettiest woman in the area, Cheyenne Brewster. Only trouble is, a few flashes of memory make Falcon wonder if he’s already married. 

Falcon immediately draws Cheyenne’s ire as he so closely resembles her no-good stepfather who swindled her out of inheriting her mother’s property. But despite her resentments, she has to admit these newcomers’ presence has some appeal, especially after Falcon steals a kiss.  

When shootings start happening on the ranch, it’s clear someone is gunning for the Hunt brothers. Falcon and Cheyenne set out to find who is behind the attacks, but it’ll take all their savvy and skill to deal with their enemies and the potentially forbidden love growing between them.

John Eyre: A Tale of Darkness and Shadows by Mimi Matthews (review)

John Eyre is a superb retelling of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, reimagined with another classic that transforms the story in unexpected and interesting ways. With the gender-flip of the main character, author Mimi Matthews has cast a careful eye on all of the characters within the story, and where Jane was employed to take Mr. Rochester’s spoiled young ward Adele in hand, John is tasked with being the tutor to Mrs. Bertha Rochester’s two wards, the gaunt and silent Stephen and Peter.

Told partly in letters and journals, the gothic tones of the original quickly diverge into supernatural horror as Bertha writes of her meeting and marriage to Mr. Rochester while John experiences peculiarities at Thornfield that he initially attributes to his use of laudanum.

This is a phenomenal merging of two classics by a skilled storyteller. Unlike anything I’ve read from Mimi Matthews before, John Eyre had me glued to the page with each development a mixture of expectation and revelation.

Highly recommended.


John Eyre: A Tale of Darkness and Shadows by Mimi Matthews | Perfectly Proper Press, July 20, 2021 | ebook, 362 pages

This review refers to a temporary digital galley I voluntarily read via NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher. A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.


About the Book

From USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews comes a supernatural Victorian gothic retelling of Charlotte Brontë’s timeless classic.

Yorkshire, 1843. When disgraced former schoolmaster John Eyre arrives at Thornfield Hall to take up a position as tutor to two peculiar young boys, he enters a world unlike any he’s ever known. Darkness abounds, punctuated by odd bumps in the night, strange creatures on the moor, and a sinister silver mist that never seems to dissipate. And at the center of it all, John’s new employer–a widow as alluring as she is mysterious.

Sixteen months earlier, heiress Bertha Mason embarked on the journey of a lifetime. Marriage wasn’t on her itinerary, but on meeting the enigmatic Edward Rochester, she’s powerless to resist his preternatural charm. In letters and journal entries, she records the story of their rapidly-disintegrating life together, and of her gradual realization that Mr. Rochester isn’t quite the man he appears to be. In fact, he may not be a man at all.

From a cliff-top fortress on the Black Sea coast to an isolated estate in rural England, John and Bertha contend with secrets, danger, and the eternal struggle between light and darkness. Can they help each other vanquish the demons of the past? Or are some evils simply too powerful to conquer?

Spotlight: The Ice Swan by J’nell Ciesielski (review + giveaway)

The Ice Swan
by J’nell Ciesielski

Publication Date: July 6, 2021
Thomas Nelson
eBook & Paperback; 400 pages

Genre: Historical Romance

Amid the violent last days of the glittering Russian monarchy, a princess on the run finds her heart where she least expects it.

1917, Petrograd. Fleeing the murderous flames of the Russian Revolution, Princess Svetlana Dalsky hopes to find safety in Paris with her mother and sister. But the city is buckling under the weight of the Great War, and the Bolsheviks will not rest until they have erased every Russian aristocrat from memory. Svetlana and her family are forced into hiding in Paris’s underbelly, with little to their name but the jewels they sewed into their corsets before their terrifying escape.

Born the second son of a Scottish duke, the only title Wynn MacCallan cares for is that of surgeon. Putting his talents with a scalpel to good use in the hospitals in Paris, Wynn pushes the boundaries of medical science to give his patients the best care possible. After treating Svetlana for a minor injury, he is pulled into a world of decaying imperial glitter. Intrigued by this mysterious, cold, and beautiful woman, Wynn follows Svetlana to an underground Russian club where drink, dance, and questionable dealings collide on bubbles of vodka.

Out of money and options, Svetlana agrees to a marriage of convenience with the handsome and brilliant Wynn, who will protect her and pay off her family’s debts. It’s the right thing for a good man to do, but Wynn cannot help but hope the marriage will turn into one of true affection. When Wynn’s life takes an unexpected turn, so does Svetlana’s—and soon Paris becomes as dangerous as Petrograd. And as the Bolsheviks chase them to Scotland and beyond, Wynn and Svetlana begin to wonder if they will ever be able to outrun the love they are beginning to feel for one another.

The Ice Swan is a ray of light in the middle of a Europe that was sinking into darkness. Ciesielski’s talent for storytelling from the heart is a feast for the readers’ eyes.” —Mario Escobar, international bestselling author of Remember Me and Children of the Stars

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

With a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages Award and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle.

Learn more at www.jnellciesielski.com. You can also find J’nell on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Review

A Russian princess in exile and a Scottish surgeon, the second son of a Duke, first meet as she is injured on a Paris street in 1918. As Edwynn MacCallan treats soldiers and Svetlana Dalsky becomes entangled with the seamier side of the refugee community, circumstances bring about a marriage of convenience, despite Svetlana’s request that Wynn keep his distance from her. Family, cultural, and professional matters complicate their budding relationship, as danger follows them to Scotland after the war.

This is a wonderful love story set amidst and after the Russian revolution and The Great War (WWI). Wynn is charming and dedicated – both in his profession and his patient pursuit of Svetlana, the ice swan of the title who is pulled between the thinking and behavior of her past and the need to adapt in a rapidly changing world.

Taking the reader through the operating theater, a back alley club where White Russians gather, and to Wynn’s ancestral home, this is an epic story that exceeded my expectations. With a vibrant cast of characters and an engrossing story, J’nell Ciesielski’s The Ice Swan is an intriguing, elegant read. Highly recommended.

This review refers to an Advance Reading Copy I voluntarily received from the publisher. A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, July 6
Review at Rachelle Loves Books

Wednesday, July 7
Review at Crystal’s Library
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Thursday, July 8
Review at Nursebookie
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at McCombs on Main

Friday, July 9
Review at Two Bookish Babes

Monday, July 12
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Review at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Tuesday, July 13
Review at Wishful Endings
Interview at Books & Benches

Wednesday, July 14
Review at Novels Alive

Thursday, July 15
Review at The Green Mockingbird

Friday, July 16
Review at Amy’s Booket List
Review at Read Review Rejoice

Sunday, July 18
Review at Reader_ceygo

Monday, July 19
Review at Bookworlder
Interview at Reader_ceygo

Tuesday, July 20
Review at A Darn Good Read
Review at Niki Loves to Read

Giveaway

Enter to win a paperback copy of The Ice Swan by J’nell Ciesielski! We have 5 copies up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on July 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Ice Swan
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The House at the End of the Moor by Michelle Griep (review)

As I was reading the second chapter of Michelle Griep’s The House at the End of the Moor I made note that it was a study in creating atmosphere. It also demonstrates the power of changing the narrative point of view, taking the reader from witnessing the escape of convict Oliver Ward to being invited in by Maggie’s first person narration of her walk through the moors, her home in Morden Hall, and following her maid to discover Oliver barely alive on the moors.

As Maggie and Oliver soon discover that they were both present on the fateful night of the social event that led to her flight from Bath and his incarceration for stealing the necklace of a political enemy’s wife, they are quickly on the run and plunged into a shared pursuit of justice.

This is a Victorian romance full of adventure that mixes a feeling of refinement with the brutality of their pursuers and contrasts Maggie’s pure faith with the perverted faith of the brutal prison constable. I always enjoy Michelle Griep’s writing, and there is much to appreciate in this stand-alone novel with a heroine who loves Jane Eyre, a storyline with elements reminiscent of the Count of Monte Cristo, and a plot device that brought to mind – in a surprisingly positive way – a story that has haunted me since Junior High English class, The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant.

If you enjoy Historical Romance set in Victorian England with a strong faith element and an abundance of peril and suspense, The House at the End of the Moor is sure to sweep you away. Highly recommended.


The House at the End of the Moor by Michelle Griep | Shiloh Run Press, April 2020 | ebook, 320 pages

This review refers to a temporary digital galley I voluntarily read via NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher. A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.


About the Book

What Can a London Opera Star and an Escaped Dartmoor Prisoner Have in Common?
 
Opera star Maggie Lee escapes her opulent lifestyle when threatened by a powerful politician who aims to ruin her life. She runs off to the wilds of the moors to live in anonymity. All that changes the day she discovers a half-dead man near her house. Escaped convict Oliver Ward is on the run to prove his innocence, until he gets hurt and is taken in by Maggie. He discovers some jewels in her possession—the very same jewels that got him convicted. Together they hatch a plan to return the jewels, clearing Oliver’s name and hopefully maintaining Maggie’s anonymity.

Because You’re Mine by Rea Frey (review)

Lee is devoted to her son Mason, who is on the spectrum, and attracted to Noah, the occupational therapist recommended by her best friend Grace. But from the beginning, as an unnamed woman plunges to her death before the story moves back in time to a week “before the fall,” it is clear that someone is lying and that secrets are being kept.

How do you ensure someone’s despair is greater than your own? I think I’ve figured out the answer to that little riddle. Now it’s time to put my plan in motion.

Because You’re Mine , chapter 9

Interspersed between the chapters titled with the character it focuses on, diary entries reveal that someone has a plan in place, leaving the reader to suspect the reliability of each narrative viewpoint. And as secrets are slowly revealed, the twisted truths lead to a surprising end.

Reading Because You’re Mine was a much different experience from Rea Frey’s debut novel, Not Her Daughter. While the writing is quite good, I had a sense of dread going in and I was never able to really engage with the story or the characters, and was a bit put off by some of the more adult portions of the book. What I found of greater interest was the structuring of the story and the authorial choices in the timing of events and revelations.

If domestic suspense dramas are your cup of tea, then Rea Frey is definitely an author to try. For me, I’m finding that authors from the mid 20th century are a bit more my speed (and reading stress level) in this particular genre.


Because You’re Mine by Rea Frey | St. Martin’s Griffin, August 2019 | ebook, 358 pages

This review refers to a temporary digital galley I voluntarily read via NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher. A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.


About the Book

But it’s the lies that keep you safe.

Single mother Lee has the daily routine down to a science: shower in six minutes. Cut food into perfect squares. Never leave her on-the-spectrum son Mason in someone else’s care. She’ll do anything—anything—to keep his carefully constructed world from falling apart. Do anything to keep him safe.

But when her best friend Grace convinces her she needs a small break from motherhood to recharge her batteries, Lee gives in to a weekend trip. Surely a long weekend away from home won’t hurt?

Noah, Mason’s handsome, bright, charismatic tutor—the first man in ages Lee’s even noticed—is more than happy to stay with him.

Forty-eight hours later, someone is dead.

But not all is as it seems. Noah may be more than who he claims to be. Grace has a secret—one that will destroy Lee. Lee has secrets of her own that she will do anything to keep hidden. And what will happen to Mason, as the dominoes begin to fall and the past comes to light? 

Perhaps it’s no mystery someone is gone after all…

Because You’re Mine is a breathtaking novel of domestic drama and suspense.  

Prepare to stay up all night.

Gentleman Jim: A Tale of Romance and Revenge by Mimi Matthews (review)

With Gentleman Jim Mimi Matthews has created a swoon-worthy second chance, childhood sweetheart romance with elements reminiscent of The Count of Monte Cristo.

Margaret Honeywell is practically an old maid at twenty-six, and determined not to marry the man her father left in charge of her inheritance. The same man who, as a young man, caused her childhood soulmate to be ripped from her life. But with her first sight of John Beresford she is sure she recognizes him – that the stableboy she loved has returned as the devastatingly handsome Viscount St. Claire.

But there is more at stake than her heart, and Mimi Matthews has crafted a fascinating and wonderful tale of love and family, inheritance, heartbreak, misunderstandings, gorgeous Regency gowns, and not a little gossip. As ever, I cannot recommend this romance enough, having loved the writing and the deft portrayal of her characters from my first Mimi Matthews book, and this is no exception.


Gentleman Jim by Mimi Matthews | Perfectly Proper Press, November 2020 | ebook, 376 pages

This review refers to a temporary digital galley I voluntarily read via NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher. A positive review is not required and all opinions expressed are my own.


About the Book

She Couldn’t Forget…

Wealthy squire’s daughter Margaret Honeywell was always meant to marry her neighbor, Frederick Burton-Smythe, but it’s bastard-born Nicholas Seaton who has her heart. Raised alongside her on her father’s estate, Nicholas is the rumored son of notorious highwayman Gentleman Jim. When Fred frames him for theft, Nicholas escapes into the night, vowing to find his legendary sire. But Nicholas never returns. A decade later, he’s long been presumed dead.

He Wouldn’t Forgive… 

After years spent on the continent, John Beresford, Viscount St. Clare has finally come home to England. Tall, blond, and dangerous, he’s on a mission to restore his family’s honor. If he can mete out a bit of revenge along the way, so much the better. But he hasn’t reckoned for Maggie Honeywell. She’s bold and beautiful–and entirely convinced he’s someone else. 

As danger closes in, St. Clare is torn between love and vengeance. Will he sacrifice one to gain other? Or, with a little daring, will he find a way to have them both?

The Girls from the Beach by Andie Newton – Spotlight + Review

ARIA_Newton_The Girls from the Beach FinalConfronted with questions about her past, Evelyn Jones struggles with the PTSD she has hidden and relives the events she has kept secret for forty years in The Girls from the Beach by Andie Newton.

As she relives her time as a frontline battle nurse known as Kit, her experiences in World War II begin to unfold along with the camaraderie she shares with fellow nurses Red and Roxy. Just as a fourth nurse takes up residence in their tent, they are pulled into a mission that takes them behind enemy lines and deeper into danger than they have experienced before. 

A well researched, well written, and absolutely fantastic work of historical fiction that feels so plausible, down to the reaction Evelyn’s confession of her ongoing battle sickness (PTSD) receives from a doctor not long after the war. The slow revelations and changes between first and third person points of view in this perfectly paced novel make for a compelling read that put me through a bit of an emotional wringer, with a repeated ratcheting up of tension and vivid depictions of the horrors experienced and witnessed by Kit, Red, Roxy, and Gail.

Highly recommended, this is one of the best works of World War II fiction I have read.

My thanks to the publisher for inviting me to join this tour. This review refers to a temporary digital galley I voluntarily read via NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher. A positive review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.

 

About the Book

The Girls from the Beach by Andie Newton

Publisher: Aria Fiction

Publication date: 8th July 2021 (eBook), 7th October 2021 (Paperback)

We’d heard stories about the nurses in tent seven. A secret mission, stolen money, and spies…’
In 1944, four American nurses disappeared for five days. No one knew what happened to them. Until now.
When Kit and Red set foot on French soil during the Normandy landings, they know they have to rely on each other. As they head for the battlefield, their aim is simple: save lives. But when they’re called away on a top-secret mission to patch up a few men behind enemy lines, everything changes.
Alongside fellow nurses, Roxy and Gail, they’re told to prepare for the worst, trading in their nurses’ fatigues for civilian clothes and hiding medical supplies under their skirts. But it’s a lie. Their real mission tasks them with the impossible – to infiltrate the Reich and steal something the Nazis desperately need to win their losing war.
In an ultimate test of courage and comradeship, each woman must decide what she is prepared to risk and what she has to live for.

About the AuthorAndie Newton

Andie Newton is the USA Today bestselling author of The Girl from Vichy.

All her books are fast-paced female-driven spy stories set in WWII. The Girl I Left Behind was her debut, and her forthcoming release, The Girls from the Beach, will be released in July 2021. She holds a Bachelor degree in History and a Master in Teaching. Andie would love to say she spends her free time gardening and cooking, but she’s killed everything she’s ever planted and set off more fire alarms than she cares to admit. Andie does, however, love spending time with her family, trail running, and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Available on Amazon US, Kobo, Google Play, Apple

You can find book club discussion questions on andienewton.com.

Follow Andie:
Facebook: fb.me/newtonauthor
Twitter: @andienewton
Instagram: @andienewtonauthor
Website: andienewton.com

UK Buy links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3zq8oid
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3crPDjI
Google Play: https://bit.ly/30CdbwN
Apple: https://apple.co/38A7iVj

Follow Aria

Website: http://www.ariafiction.com
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction

Spotlight: The Devil and The Heiress by Harper St. George (book review + review)

The Devil and the Heiress
The Devil and the Heiress
by Harper St. George

Publication Date: June 29, 2021
Berkley Publishing

Series: The Gilded Age Heiresses Book 2
Genre: Historical Romance

Sparks fly when a runaway heiress bargains with a devilish rogue to escape a marriage of convenience.

No one would guess that beneath Violet Crenshaw’s ladylike demeanor lies the heart of a rebel. American heiresses looking to secure English lords must be on their best behavior, but Violet has other plans. She intends to flee London and the marriage her parents have arranged to become a published author–if only the wickedly handsome earl who inspired her most outrageously sinful character didn’t insist on coming with her.

Christian Halston, Earl of Leigh, has a scheme of his own: escort the surprisingly spirited dollar princess north and use every delicious moment in close quarters to convince Violet to marry him. Christian needs an heiress to rebuild his Scottish estate but the more time he spends with Violet, the more he realizes what he really needs is her–by his side, near his heart, in his bed.

Though Christian’s burning glances offer unholy temptation, Violet has no intention of surrendering herself or her newfound freedom in a permanent deal with the devil. It’s going to take more than pretty words to prove this fortune hunter’s love is true…

Amazon | Apple | Barnes and Noble | Books a Million | Kobo | Target | Walmart

About the AuthorHarper St. George

Harper St. George was raised in rural Alabama and along the tranquil coast of northwest Florida. It was a setting filled with stories of the old days that instilled in her a love of history, romance, and adventure. By high school, she had discovered the historical romance novel which combined all of those elements into one perfect package. She has been hooked ever since.

She lives in the Atlanta area with her husband and two children. When not writing, she can be found devouring her husband’s amazing cooking and reading. She would love to hear from you. Please visit her website at www.harperstgeorge.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Review

Having read Harper St. George’s first book in the Gilded Age Heiresses series, I thought I was prepared. Though I hadn’t particularly cared for either character when introduced in The Heiress Gets a Duke, I could see the potential between them. So, my expectations were set, but oh-my-heart, did they ever get blown out of the water by The Devil and The Heiress.

Violet Crenshaw is more than a quiet, compliant heiress willing to marry for a title with the best connections for her family business. And Christian Halston, the Earl of Leigh, is of deeper character than the wastrel and rake he presents to the world. With the circumstances formed by schemes, ambitions, and social mores soon seeing them scandalously traveling without a chaperone, Christian’s lies help move the plot in a direction that jeopardizes any hope for a happily ever after.

With one of the best uses of the one-bed trope I’ve ever read, although the thought occurred that my preference for this story would have been more closed-door, The Devil and the Heiress had me completely charmed by Violet’s hidden bluestocking tendencies and Christian’s self-reformation of his rakish ways. And while I suspect this may be my favorite of the series, I am excited for book three.

This review refers to a NetGalley digital copy I voluntarily received and read. A positive review was not required and these are simply my own honest opinions.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 29
Review at Reader_ceygo
Guest Post at Novels Alive
Review at Probably at the Library

Wednesday, June 30
Excerpt at SplendeurCaisse
Review at Two Bookish Babes

Thursday, July 1
Review & Interview at Books & Benches

Friday, July 2
Review at The Romance Dish
Review at Madwoman in the Attic

Monday, July 5
Review + Excerpt at Elodie’s Reading Corner

Tuesday, July 6
Review at andreajanel_reads

Wednesday, July 7
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews

Thursday, July 8
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Friday, July 9
Review at Nursebookie

Monday, July 12
Review at Anna’s Book Blog

Tuesday, July 13
Review at Bookworlder

Wednesday, July 14
Review at Lu Reviews Books

Thursday, July 15
Review at Novels Alive

Monday, July 19
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at Into the Hall of Books

Wednesday, July 21
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Thursday, July 22
Review at McCombs on Main

Friday, July 23
Review at Chasing Leslie
Review at Amy’s Booket List

Monday, July 26
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Tuesday, July 27
Review at Passages to the Past

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