Five Stars, Low Language, Low Romance, Low Violence, Nichole Van

Endings…I both love, and hate them

Confession, I have a love/hate relationship with endings. There are times I stay up much too late, just so I can get to the end of the book. Then again, that’s the end, there’s no more. Dealing with no more when you’ve been immersed in the loveliness of a story can be a little jarring. Book hang-over, it’s real my friends.

It is due to this love/hate thing I have with endings that I was both eager for Nichole Van‘s A Madness Most Discreet, and a little apprehensive. I was well aware that this was going to be the end of the Brother Maledetti’s stories and wasn’t sure if I was quite ready to cope with an ending. The thought of getting into Tennyson’s head however, was too tempting to not devour the idea, the first chance I got.

A Madness Most Discreet (Brothers Maledetti Book 4) by [Van, Nichole]

They call him the Prophet, the man who can foretell the future. A modern-day oracle. And Olivia Hawking desperately needs his help. She tracks him down in Italy, begging for his assistance. She has a life-or-death problem that only a bonafide psychic can solve. But Tennyson is slowly fracturing from within, the weight of the D’Angelo curse destroying him. 

Olivia and Tennyson join forces, each searching for answers. But their understanding of the D’Angelo curse keeps changing, and Time is not on their side. Even as they fall in love, Tennyson and Olivia realize they are in a race against the clock. Will they find answers in time to save themselves? 

The characters that Nichole creates in all her novels, are written with such unique personalities, their voices coming through clearly as she shifts from one perspective to the next. Not only is each character’s voice individual, Nichole creates beautiful pairs, two halves of the same whole. It’s a intriguing balance to watch unfold with each of her novels, Tennyson and Olivia were no exception. Two messes, two broken yet singular characters who compliment each others weaknesses and bring life to an already compelling story.

Tennyson’s dark madness and Olivia’s light fumblings made for not just a great relationship, but great reading. The pairing of the darkness of their situation with the lightness of their “three stooges bungling” scenes was fabulous writing.

Nichole’s stories are awash with emotion. Tennyson’s mental stability and Olivia’s insecurities were not just story elements, but part of the whole and Nichole draws you in with those emotions. Emotions you feel all the way to the end. A wonderful ending that came with a few surprises, and all the tender scenes a lover of endings could want. Nichole’s Epligoue wraps up each of the brothers, leaving me feeling happily contented that I got to enjoy such a well written journey. –N.C.

PS- If you are having a hard time with the official ending of this series, don’t worry, you could always read the adorable beginning.

Lovers and Madmen (Brothers Maledetti Book 0) by [Van, Nichole]

“Florence, Italy. Summer, 1982.

Judith Campbell prides herself on her level head. She’s a scientist with a ten-year plan, a well-managed bank account, and a clear understanding of what she wants out of life. Currently, that means a summer of fun touring Europe with her friends. She intends to see some amazing scenery, flirt with a cute guy or two, and return home ready to settle down for good. Falling madly in love with an Italian playboy is definitely not on her life goals to-do list. But then her eyes meet those of Cesare D’Angelo across a crowded piazza.

Cesare is everything Judith never knew she wanted. Handsome and charismatic, he challenges her assumptions and forces her to rethink her logical approach to everything. Case in point–Judith finds herself falling for him, hard and fast. Definitely not her most carefully thought-out decision. But Cesare keeps devastating secrets that will challenge Judith’s very understanding of reality. And soon Judith finds herself facing the most difficult decision of all–

Would you still chose to love someone even if your time together would be brief? Would you accept a relationship, knowing that only heartbreak and grief awaited you in the end?”

 

 

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Four Stars, Low Language, Low Violence, Moderate Romance, Rebecca Connolly

True Romance

I used to feel like I was a relatively intelligent individual. Not that I had an above average IQ or anything extreme like that. I could however, carry on conversations with adults and feel like I was contributing to some degree without feeling like an idiot. These days most of my conversation are carried on between imaginary characters in an imaginary world my children create. Probably why I appreciate witty conversations carried on in the pages of a book, it’s mostly like the most adult conversation I get to experience all day. Rebecca Connolly‘s latest novel, The Merry Lives of Spinsters‘  has that in spades.

The Merry Lives of Spinsters (The Spinster Chronicles, Book 1) by [Connolly, Rebecca]

“Georgiana Allen is a spinster and everybody knows it. She also happens to be one of the writers for the Spinster Chronicles, and everybody knows that as well. She’s accepted her lot in life, and, along with the other spinsters in her circle, takes great pride in the articles she writes and the influence she has. Then Captain Anthony Sterling infiltrates their group, and her life, and Georgie impossibly begins to hope once more.

Tony Sterling had no idea what to expect when he agreed to break up the Spinsters for his cousin, but he certainly did not expect Georgie Allen. From the very first meeting, she upends everything he thought a spinster would be, and her beauty and wit keeps him on edge in thrilling ways. The more he gets to know the Spinsters, the less he wants to break them up. And the more he wants Georgie in his life. Permanently.”

Rebecca Connolly has a gift for writing true romance stories. They aren’t fairy tales, they don’t expect happily ever after, and yet they’re magical. Seeing real people who find love, and fight to hang on to it, like we all must do; that is why I love her stories. True Romance, real romance, beautifully written. There is a comment made in the book that is possibly the truest statement of marriage I’ve ever read, “Marriage is not a union of two perfect people who will never offend and upset each other. It is made up of two very imperfect people who have chosen to live their lives together.”

Georgie and Tony are not your average Regency heroes. In addition to their very witty and intelligent conversations, they are flawed, like we all are, like true heroes are. For heroes they are, both of them were defenders of the innocent. I loved that Georgie took a stand. She is evidence that speaking up is hard and the backlash can be huge, but taking a stand will always be worth the protection of the innocent.

There was a spot in the book where they argue and it blows out of proportion. I know a bit of tension and conflict makes for good story telling, but at first I thought their argument, should not have been that big. Georgie is an intelligent independent woman and she should have at least listened to reason. After all his intentions were never nefarious to begin with. I felt the conflict unnecessary. …

However, when I thought about the character that Rebecca had built, I realized how true to that character her reactions were. Even women who are intelligent and independent suffer from insecurities. I have seen women be brushed aside or belittled due to their station, their marital status, their education or lack their of, and they often pull a cloak of pride and indifference around themselves. When in reality they’re dying inside.

I loved that Rebecca gave Georgie insecurities, because we all have them. This story was a beautiful reminder that you really don’t know what battles the person beside you is facing, and all of us deserve to be respected and loved.

 

3 1/2 Stars, Low Language, Low Romance, Low Violence

Engaging Mr. Darcy

“Pride and Prejudice” is in essence a love story, but it is also so much more than that. It’s a societal commentary, a fairy tale and a warning about the dangers of being to self absorbed and too judgmental. Of which Elizabeth and Darcy are both.

Rachel John handled all three characteristics beautifully in her adaptation, Engaging Mr. Darcy.

Engaging Mr. Darcy (An Austen Inspired Romantic Comedy) by [John, Rachel]

“After a standoff in the pizza parlor, Elsie Bennet has decided Fitzwilliam “I-Throw-Fitz” Darcy is the worst customer she’s ever encountered. Also the best looking, but that’s beside the point. She’s horrified to discover Will is not just passing through her small town, he’s her new neighbor.

Will Darcy has all the money and time he could ask for, and yet life never seems to meet his expectations. When his best friend, Charlie, starts dating Jane Bennet, Will becomes their unhappy third-wheel. The solution? Bring along Jane’s sister, Elsie, a girl who challenges him, makes him laugh, plagues his thoughts, and unfortunately, hates his guts.”

She was able to weave in commentary of our modern day society with her twist on both Wickham, Mr. Bennett and Georgianna (Gianna in this version). Giving them updated challenges and concerns relevant to both the plot and modern day.

The contrast between Jane and Charlie’s quickly ignited romance and Elsie and Will’s slow burn was written really well “she hated him and yet wanted to be near him. It couldn’t be healthy.” Rachel also has great comedic timing, “and then the stupid plastic chair collapsed”. So great.

The best part of the writing by far, was the introspection we got to see from both Elsie and Will as they come to understand how their pride and prejudice has affected not just their relationship with each other, but others around them. Understanding that need for growth and writing it well is what makes or breaks a “Pride and Prejudice” adaptation. I appreciated that Rachel not only understood it, but delivered it so well.

 

 

 

Four Stars, Low Language, Low Romance, Low Violence, Timeless Romance Anthologies

They’ve Eloped!

I can’t say that when I was a young adult that I ever had the desire to elope. However, it does make for a really interesting story. Three to be exact in this case. The Timeless Regency Collection’s newest release came out yesterday. Road to Gretna Green has stories from Lucinda Brant, Julie Daines, and Heather B. Moore.

Road to Gretna Green (Timeless Regency Collection Book 10) by [Brant, Lucinda, Daines, Julie, Moore, Heather B.]

SAVING GRACE by Lucinda Brant
“When widow Helen, Lady Dysart, returns to the English border town of Carlisle for a family wedding, she decides to confront local physician Royston Meredith, the man who broke her heart. Royston has loved Helen since they were teenagers. He thought the feeling mutual until she up and married the local MP. While everyone around them hopes this reunion will see Helen and Royston sort out their differences, of more immediate concern is Royston’s youngest sister Grace, when she elopes with the steward’s son. Helen and Royston dash after her, determined to save her from scandal and an imprudent match. But in saving Grace the couple may very well be saving themselves.”

This was a cute second chance love story. Sometimes I have a hard time with these stories. I want to just shake the characters, seriously your pride is wounded enough not to check on things and talk it out? But, the feelings were sweet and the chemistry was well written.

FOOLS RUSH IN by Julie Daines
“Richard Arden needs a wife in order to collect his inheritance. Eliza Barnes needs to escape an arranged marriage to the odious Mr. Barrington. When Richard overhears Eliza’s plight at the coaching inn, he does the most reckless thing he’s ever done—he proposes to a woman he’s never met before. What begins as an easy solution leads Richard and Eliza on a journey across the country with Mr. Barrington at their heels, complicated even more when their fake engagement leads to feelings that are very real.”

This in the moment bargain that brings a developing love, was very well done. The spunky character were well developed, something you don’t get as much in a Novella. The intrigue and the twist with the inheritance was clever, and the ending was not only sweet, but fit so well with the characters and story she built.
A LADY OF SCANDAL by Heather B. Moore
“Unfortunately, Bridget’s marriage is over in four hours due to her husband’s tragic death. Fortunately, Bridget is now free from her distasteful marriage of convenience. When her year of mourning passes, and she meets her former husband’s cousin, Bridget discovers that her difficulties are far from over. Lord Hugh Wilde blames Bridget for his cousin’s death. But when Bridget’s sister elopes to Gretna Green with a man of questionable reputation, Lord Wilde is the only one who can help, and they both have to set aside their pride to rescue the errant sister. “

This story has a good balance of tension and misunderstandings that captures your interest through to the last page. The way she used the misunderstandings to pull the couples together made for a unique romance that left you smiling at how she wrapped it all up.

 

Four Stars, Low Language, Low Romance, Low Violence

Magical Discovery

Is it slightly unfortunate that every book about magic from here to eternity will be judged against Harry Potter? Or is it just common nature to want to experience something that magical again and again and hope you will find it in the next story? When I first started The Paper Magician I felt that same magical excitement and was instantly pulled into the magical world that Charlie Holmberg creates. As an added bonus her main character, was a girl!

However Ceony didn’t turn out to be the heroine I was hoping for and though I enjoyed the first book I found myself disappointed and occasionally cringing at her lack of growth and maturity through the next two books. It was with some trepidation and a little hope that I picked up The Plastic Magician, and I was pleasantly rewarded.
The Plastic Magician (A Paper Magician Novel) by [Holmberg, Charlie N.]

“Alvie Brechenmacher has arrived in London to begin her training in Polymaking—the magical discipline of bespelling plastic. Polymaking is the newest form of magic, and in a field where there is so much left to learn, every Polymaker dreams of making the next big discovery.

 Luckily for her, she’s studying under the world-renowned magician Marion Praff, who is just as dedicated as Alvie is, and together they create a device that could forever change Polymaking—and the world. But when a rival learns of their plans, he conspires to steal their invention and take the credit for it himself.

To thwart him, Alvie will need to think one step ahead. For in the high-stakes world of magical discovery, not everyone plays fair.”

Alvie is the heroine we were all hoping Ceony would be. She has her insecurities and vulnerabilities that make her a great a character to connect to, but she’s also tenacious and bold. Her quirky personality is what set this story apart and made it work.

The world of polymaking and inventing come alive under Alvie’s contagious enthusiasm and Charlie’s writing.

The intrigue and love story help move the plot and enhance the magic of this world instead of detracting from it. You’re invested not only in the character’s but their achievements and discoveries.

I’m excited to see what’s next for this world of magical discovery and candidly hope it only gets better from here. –N.C.

 

Four Stars, Low Language, Low Romance, Low Violence

I will not be awkward, I will not be awkward…

I learned in a college class many years ago that I am what’s known as a shy extrovert. I’m often nervous and awkward around new people, but I feel energized in large groups and gatherings. Because of this odd paring I love to go to social gatherings, but most of my time there I spend trying to convince myself not to be awkward. I guess that’s why I find such enjoyment in reading about awkwardness, makes me feel like I’m not alone in this world.

Sally Britton is a relatively new author, her first books have come out just this year. The Social Tutor has some perfectly delightful awkward moments.

The Social Tutor: A Regency Romance (Branches of Love Book 1) by [Britton, Sally]

“After years of escaping etiquette lessons in favor of the stables, Christine Devon’s grand debut in London is only weeks away, though her deportment lacks the sophisticated polish she needs to achieve her goals of a lofty marriage. Desperate to take her place in society, she needs someone to instruct her in proper behavior.

Thomas Gilbert, newly returned from Italy, is ready to begin his dream of founding a horse farm. But during his time away, the estate’s finances have dwindled to almost nothing. Unless he can find a way to save his family from ruin, he will be forced to sell his horses and give up his dreams entirely.

A chance meeting between them may solve both their problems. Christine gains a tutor in the finer arts of polite behavior, while Thomas is given access to the finest bloodlines in England. But as time passes, the arrangement is less about business, and more about love. Will they see it in time, or will Christine leave Thomas behind for the splendor of London’s ballrooms?”

Christine is painfully naive and awkward, but written so well that you can’t help but love her. Sally did a marvelous job of having Christine and Thomas grow together in both their love and their maturity, showing well developed characters.

She also presented a wonderful juxtaposition between the two families. One were love was encouraged and freely given and one where family was an investment you expected a return on. This latter idea was not uncommon during this era and I appreciated how realistically harsh Sally was about familial ideas of the time. While pushing that next to the growing idea that people are more than a business transaction and given love will give a greater return.

**If you sign up for Sally’s newsletter on her website she’ll send you a free ebook novella of Thomas’ sister, Martha’s story. Martha’s Patience.

Martha's Patience: A Regency Novella (Branches of Love Book 0) by [Britton, Sally]

“Martha Gilbert’s third London Season looks no more promising than the previous two. Despite her best efforts, she has yet to receive an offer of marriage from the one man who matters, her escort and friend, Mr. Brody. 

George Brody returns to London every year, going to the same parties, balls, and seeing the same people. The one bright spot to fulfilling the role expected of him by society is squiring Martha around town. 

This year, Martha is determined to wed, and George must to decide if he wishes to remain friends or become something more.”

Martha isn’t the usual simpering miss, not only is she refreshing, but it provided moments of laughter and tension. I loved how she wrote Martha’s awkward attempts at flirting from Thomas’ perspective, brilliantly done. Sally writes such moments so well I’m wondering if she has personal experience with such situations and am beginning to think Sally and I would be great awkward friends.

Sally’s most recently released novel was released just last month, The Gentleman Physician, exhibits Sally’s diversity as an author.

The Gentleman Physician: A Regency Romance (Branches of Love Book 2) by [Britton, Sally]

“Banished from home by her angry father, Julia Devon travels to Bath to fulfill her role as family spinster by assisting her cousin, Lady Macon, in caring for her dying husband. 

Nathaniel Hastings’s life runs in a predictable pattern, until a routine visit to one of his ailing patients brings him face to face with Julia, the woman who broke his heart five years before in London. 

Julia and Nathaniel find themselves unlikely allies as they work together to tend to the family’s needs, fend off Lady Macon’s scheming brother-in-law, and avoid confronting the pain of their shared past. But could this accidental meeting be their second chance at love?”

Through this story we are given the details of Christine’s sister Julia’s failed season. The story is less awkward humor and more tender emotions. (Don’t read it tomorrow, wait till after mother’s day, it’s a tad heart rending). The background for Julia and Nathaniel’s re-connection deals with loss in various forms and Sally writes it with sensitivity and finesse.

I’m always excited to add new author’s to my list of reads, and am secretly grateful this is an online venue so that we can all be friends without all that awkwardness getting in the way. 😉

 

 

 

4 1/2 stars, Low Language, Low Romance, Low Violence, Sarah M. Eden

Fly on the Wall

Confession: I’ve always secretly wished I could be a part of a regency house party. They sound entertaining and dramatic and just the sort of craziness I would love. Sarah Eden’s latest novel, Loving Lieutenant Lancaster, takes place at such a setting. But it gets better, what could be better than a regency house party you ask? A regency house party in which both the Jonquils and the Lancasters have been invited, genius! Oh to be a imagined fly on that fictional wall!

Loving Lieutenant Lancaster by [Eden, Sarah M.]

“Orphaned as a child, Arabella Hampton was the unwanted and unloved charge of a cruel aunt and neglectful uncle. The only light in her young life was the kindness of the Jonquil family, and she clung to the childish dream of someday living with them at Lampton Park. Now, years later, that opportunity is presented to Arabella in a most unexpected way: she is to be the lady’s companion to the dowager countess. The lines of her position are blurred, and she is neither family nor servant. So when the countess plans a grand house party, Arabella is content to hide in the shadows. But one gentleman sees her there.

Lieutenant Linus Lancaster has retired from the navy and is not looking for love, especially when he finds himself entangled in his sisters’ scheme to trap him into finding a wife at a house party at Lampton Park. Yet amid the festivities, he’s impossibly drawn to the dowager’s quiet companion, Arabella.”

As excited as I was to dive into a book where the Jonquils and the Lancasters collide, I could not anticipate the awesomeness that would ensue when you but Philip Lancaster and Adam Boyce in the same location, for an extended period of time. I have this image of Sarah Eden sitting at her computer drumming her fingers together with a conniving, but smug look on her face, at the prospect of writing such scenes. They did not disappoint, they were fantastic and quite hilarious.

The beautiful thing about Sarah Eden, is the seamless way she combines both the humor and the deeper beautiful messages of love, and trust, and family.  Of acceptance and fear, and a need to belong. Each emotion is potent and makes the words on the page become more than just a story, but a connection.

Sarah has taken us on a journey with these two families for so long, it was nothing but delightful to get to see them collide and can I just say, I am so incredibly excited to hear Charlie’s and Artemis’ respective stories, or story?? You can see how much they are both hurting, and yet wanting. Now that would be the best, right? A permanent joining of the two families. A girl can dream. –N.C.

 

PS- The one thing I was confused on, some one help me out here…did I miss something? Dr. Scoresby just shows up at Linus’ house, like that was normal and acceptable? Yet they were all out of beds and Linus is sleeping in the office. Where did he sleep and why was it generally acceptable for him, who was no relation and not invited, to just be there?? Help a confused girl out here…

 

 

 

Low Religion, Low Violence, Moderate Language, Moderate Romance, Three Stars

Flight Plans

When I heard about the book The Best Laid Flight Plans, by Leigh Dreyer, I was super excited for a few reasons: 1. I love re-tellings,  but that’s nothing new 2.  It was put into the military life I have come to love and enjoy.

The Best Laid Flight Plans: A Modern Pride and Prejudice Variation (Pride in Flight Series Book 1) by [Dreyer, Leigh]

“In this modern Pride and Prejudice variation, Captain William “Fitz” Darcy has just received a new assignment as an instructor pilot at Meryton Air Force Base. Soon he meets the intrepid 2nd Lieutenant Elizabeth Bennet, a new student at the base that he cannot keep out of his head. Elizabeth, on the other hand, finds Captain Darcy to be arrogant and prideful and attempts to avoid him at every turn. Despite Darcy’s insulting manners, Elizabeth soars her way through pilot training, but can she soar her way into love as well?”

I was excited to read one of my favorite regency stories, Pride and Prejudice, with an Air Force pilot twist! And while Leigh Dreyer did a good job with doing just that, I did not love it as much as I had hoped. The end was probably my favorite part, the author took a bit of liberty with the story that really threw some suspense into a story I already knew so well.

I did struggle with a couple things. I found it a bit distracting that she kept the names exactly the same, such old fashioned names were hard to put into my modern thought of the story and along those same lines some of the language was not consistent. There were modern words, even some cussing and then all of the sudden an Air Force pilot is using a sentence with words like “absolutely delightful” and “it is lovely”. I can’t picture a normal ’30 something saying’ that, let alone an Air Force pilot.

My one other confusion came when the author took the officers to the military ball. At the ball, there was a toast given.  It’s one I’ve never heard at the military balls I’ve attended. Though beautiful, the toast spoke only to pilots, which is not all the Air Force is made up of, and seemed out of place. I attempted to reach out to the author to get better understanding, but did not receive a response. So while there may be an explanation for it. To me it was confusing.

I did enjoy that I was able to understand the military lingo and acronyms and though she did have footnotes could see that being daunting for other readers. I enjoyed the story enough that I am going to read the next book that will be coming out despite some of my hiccups with this one. –AB

 

Four Stars, Low Language, Low Romance, Moderate Violence

Sometimes a book is worth the tears

Confession, Before We Were Yours is appalling. Not because of the writing, which was fantastic, no this book was appalling because of the subject matter. I knew this one was going to be a hard read, but since I like to tell myself I can do hard things, I bucked up and read it. Even though there were many tears, it gave me all sorts of feels. Good, bad, sad, mad, I felt them all and more.

Lisa Wingate tells this story from two different peoples perspectives, one is present day and the other past. Sometimes I struggle when authors do this. They always switch stories right at a pivotal moment and leave you hanging and it drives me crazy. Although Lisa does tend to leave you hanging at some pretty crucial scenes, I was always so eager to get back to the other story line, that it didn’t bother me.

This book is heartbreaking and had me in tears many times. Many inconvenient times. The first time it made me cry I was walking through the grocery store. The second time I was cleaning the playroom with my kids. Let me tell you that when mom suddenly starts crying while cleaning it really worries ‘the littles’.

Before We Were Yours: A Novel by [Wingate, Lisa]

“Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.”

The most appalling part is knowing that people lived through. This isn’t some hypothetical idea someone thought would make a good story. Real people had their babies taken from them. I can not even imagine. Lisa’s research and knowledge of events made the book come alive, in a heart breaking way .

The saving grace in this book is the ending. Though the reality is that Georgia Tann died before she could be brought to justice (Lisa mentions that had this been a true work of fiction she would have written in justice), as a religious person it’s my belief that though she wasn’t in this life, she will be.  Lisa does an amazing job of ending the book on a redemptive and hopeful note. Thank you Lisa for reminding us that though awful things happen, there is hope in this world. –M.V.

Giveaway, Jen Geigle Johnson

BLAST – Scarlet by Jen Geigle Johnson

If you’ve read our review of Scarlet previously, you’ll know how much we loved it! Below is a quick exerpt from the author and a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash. Just follow the links!


 

 

Excerpt

“I think you look handsome.”
“Well, that is something, but coming from a woman in your current attire, I hesitate to lay much weight to your approval.” His eyebrow quirked as his gaze searched her from toe to headdress. A chuckle escaped. “What can you mean by dressing us in such a manner?”

His incredulity gave her pause to question. She had pushed the ridiculous to its upper limits, hoping their decoy would further dispel any possible suspicion of her involvement in serious rescue attempts from France. And by involving Matteo, perhaps convince a few suspicious minds of his new allegiance to wealth, pleasure, and fashion. “I have a reputation to uphold, my dear.”

“Am I to now share in your love of fashion extremes?” He gestured to the embroidery on his sleeves.

“For France, darling. If we appear thus, we set ourselves as the supreme leaders in fashion. And besides the prince himself, everyone will turn to us.” All true, naturally, but an equally important great disguise and sleight of hand were at play as well.

“And you feel that men of substance, men I would care to influence, will have any respect for me at all? I am wearing purple breeches. Could I not simply wear my usual tan or black?”

Author Jen Geigle Johnson

Jen Geigle Johnson once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. Other vital things to know: the sound a water-ski makes on glassy water and how to fall down steep moguls with grace. No mountain is too steep for her to climb, yet. During a study break date in college, she sat on top of a jeep’s roll bars up in the mountains and fell in love. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager.

Now an award-winning author and mother of six, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure. She is a member of the RWA, the SCBWI, and LDStorymakers. She is also the chair of the Lonestar.Ink writing conference.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

 

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