Lilian and the Irresistible Duke by Virginia Heath review and giveaway

dukesource: ARC courtesy of Rachels Random Resources
title: Lilian and the Irresistible Duke (Secrets of a Victorian Household Book 4)
author: Virginia Heath / Twitter
genre: historical romance
published: February 1, 2020
pages: 288
first line: Lilian huddled beneath her fancy new shawl, enjoying the bracing sea breeze almost as much as the soft heat of the early morning sunrise.
rated: 4 out of 5
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about:

Lilian and the Irresistible Duke

A reunion in Rome…Sparks an affair to remember!

Responsible widow Lilian Fairclough is persuaded to travel to Rome for a hard-earned break and to let down her hair! She’s surprised to be reunited with passionate, cynical Italian duke, Pietro Venturi. He reawakens her sensual side and intrigues her with glimpses of pain beneath his rakish surface. Enticed into a secret and temporary affair – what will happen once she returns home?

Purchase Link – Lilian and the Irresistible Duke

my thoughts:

Lilian and the Irresistible Duke is book 4 in Virginia Heath’s Secrets of a Victorian Household series. I have not read the previous books in this series, but this reads fine as a stand alone.

Lilian Fairclough is a 45 year old mother and widow who a few months prior in the previous book in this series shared a passionate kiss during a carriage ride with Italian duke Pietro Venturi. She is now on her way to Rome for a vacation. Her adult children are happily married and they wanted her to get a way for a while and relax. She goes to Rome with her cousin to stay with a friend for several weeks. Little does she know she will run into the tall, dark and handsome Pietro Venturi while on her vacation.

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The Determined Lord Hadleigh (The King’s Elite #4) by Virginia Heath review and giveaway

The Determinded Lord Hadleigh cover UK better
source: free review copy via Rachels Random Resources
title: The Determined Lord Hadleigh (The King’s Elite #4) / goodreads
author: Virginia Heath / Twitter
pages: 288
genre: historical romance
published: 7/1/2019
first line: She had attended every single day of the trial.
rated: 4 out of 5
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blurb:
Haunted by Penny Penhurst’s courage on the witness stand, meticulous barrister Lord Hadleigh offers her a housekeeper position at his estate. Despite trying to stay detached, Hadleigh is charmed by her small child and surprised by how much he yearns for this proud woman! Can this he break through his own – and Penny’s – barriers to prove he’s a man she can trust…and love?

my thoughts:

My first time reading Virginia Heath was this past April when I read The Disgraceful Lord Gray . I really enjoyed the writing and the slow burn romance so when I had a chance to read another installment in the King’s Elite series I jumped at the chance. The Determined Lord Hadleigh is book 4 and the final one in the series but reads fine as a stand alone.
In this last installment Lord Tristan Hadleigh member of the King’s Elite, is a barrister who is working as prosecutor on the case against a smuggling ring. All the smugglers are now standing trial including Penny Penhurst’s husband, Viscount Penhurst. Penny has been called as witness. When Lord Hadleigh sees her on the witness stand he is instantly drawn to her beauty and her bravery.

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The Disgraceful Lord Gray (The King’s Elite #3) by Virginia Heath

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source: free review copy via Rachel’s Random Resources
title: The Disgraceful Lord Gray (The King’s Elite Book 3)
author: Virginia Heath / Twitter
genre: historical romance/espionage
pages: 288
published: March 21st 2019
first line: There was no doubt about it.
rated: 4 out of 5
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blurb:
A spy on a mission…

Until he meets this heiress!

Part of The King’s Elite. Miss Theodora Cranford’s learned to keep her impetuous nature locked away. She won’t be deceived by another man who can’t see past her fortune. She wants an honourable, sensible sort – not a self-assured scoundrel like her new neighbour, Lord Gray. Although she’s sure there’s more to him than meets the eye… But after that first captivating kiss, she’s certainly left wanting more!

my thoughts:

The Disgraceful Lord Gray (The King’s Elite Book 3) by Virginia Heath was entertaining historical romance with a blend of intrigue, mystery and a dash of humor.

Miss Theodora Cranford is a twenty-three year old heiress who lives with her uncle and his wife. She has her guard up around would be suitors because most men want her for her money. Lord Graham Chadwick a.k.a. Gray is a member of the King’s Elite who is on the hunt for a smuggling ring. This quest brings him to Thea’s home because he suspects her uncle is the ring leader. Gray has had a rough past, ten years ago he was betrayed by his father, his brother and his first love and as a result he gambled away his inheritance. This is something he has never fully gotten over. Since then he has had affairs with ladies but never taken any seriously. Now working as a spy he is hoping to get a promotion if he takes down the smuggling ring.

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The Governess Game (Girl Meets Duke #2) by Tessa Dare

governess

source: purchased
title: The Governess Game: Girl Meets Duke 2
author: Tessa Dare
published: August 28, 2018
pages: 373 pages
genre: regency romance
first line: Alexandra Mountbatten had common sense.
rated: 3 1/2 out of 5
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blurb:
The accidental governess.

After her livelihood slips through her fingers, Alexandra Mountbatten takes on an impossible post: transforming a pair of wild orphans into proper young ladies. However, the girls don’t need discipline. They need a loving home. Try telling that to their guardian, Chase Reynaud: duke’s heir in the streets and devil in the sheets. The ladies of London have tried—and failed—to make him settle down. Somehow, Alexandra must reach his heart… without risking her own.

The infamous rake.

Like any self-respecting libertine, Chase lives by one rule: no attachments. When a stubborn little governess tries to reform him, he decides to give her an education—in pleasure. That should prove he can’t be tamed. But Alexandra is more than he bargained for: clever, perceptive, passionate. She refuses to see him as a lost cause. Soon the walls around Chase’s heart are crumbling… and he’s in danger of falling, hard.

my thoughts:
The Governess Game is book 2 in Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series but reads perfectly well as a stand-alone. I read the first installment called The Duchess Deal last year. I loved Emma and Ash in that first book as that story  had a Beauty and the Beast vibe going on.

In this second book Alexandra Mountbatten a.k.a. Alex fixes clocks for a living to support herself. When she shows up at Chase Reynaud’s front door he actually ends up hiring her to be a live in governess for his two out of control young wards. She takes the job because she is trying to save up money to buy her own house one day. Hence, Alex becomes an “accidental governess”.  Alex actually ran into Chase at a bookshop months earlier and always remembered him as “The Bookshop Rake” and “Lord Literature” so when she sees him again she is really flustered because she never forgot him after that initial run in.

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Ruffled brown hair, fashionable attire, cologne that smelled like bottled sin-and a smile no doubt honed from boyhood as a means to make women forgive him anything.
-p. 2, The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

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A Precious Jewel by Mary Balogh

prec

source: purchased
title: A Precious Jewel
author: Mary Balogh
genre: Historical/Regency Romance
pages: 316
published: 1993
rated: 4 out of 5
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blurb:

New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh weaves a sensuous spell of romance that brings together the unlikeliest pair of lovers in the unlikeliest place of all– an infamous London house of pleasure.

She was unlike any woman he’d ever met in the ton or the demimonde. But Sir Gerald Stapleton frequented Mrs. Blyth’s euphemistically dubbed “finishing school” for pure, uncomplicated pleasure–and nothing else. So why was this confirmed bachelor so thoroughly captivated by one woman in particular? Why did he find himself wondering how such a rare jewel of grace, beauty, and refinement as Priss had ended up a courtesan? And when she needed protection, why did Gerald, who’d sworn he’d never get entangled in affairs of the heart, hasten to set her up as his own pampered mistress to ensure her safety–and have her all to himself?

For Priscilla Wentworth, the path leading to Sir Gerald’s bed had been as filled with misfortune as it suddenly seemed charmed. But Priss couldn’t allow herself to believe she’d ever be more to a man like Sir Gerald than a well-cared-for object of pleasure. Now, despite Gerald’s deep distrust of marriage, neither scandal nor society’s censure can keep them apart–only the fear of trusting their hearts.

my thoughts:

After having read A Christmas Promise by Mary Balogh last December I knew this was an author I wanted to read again. I had a few qualms with A Christmas Promise, mainly because the hero was a jerk but the heart that the author gave her characters and the way the story-line just flowed left me wanting to try her again. I am glad I read A Precious Jewel.  There was so much from the Balogh catalogue to choose from since she has been writing for a few decades and what made me choose A Precious Jewel  was that in the blurb the two main characters are described as an “unlikeliest pair of lovers”. I am a sucker for unconventional love stories. I love it when the couples have to work for their love, it makes it worthwhile, just like in this particular story.

Priscilla Wentworth comes from a nice family and is a refined lady but she finds herself alone after her father and then her brother pass away from illness. Her mother died when she was young. Her brother did not leave a will so she contacts her former governess Mrs. Blyth and asks if she can stay with her at her finishing school until she turns 30 and is awarded her mother’s inheritance. Mrs. Blyth takes Priscilla in but confesses to her that her ‘finishing school’ is actually a house of prostitution. Priscilla finds herself in a horrible situation but decides to start working there as a courtesan. She knows it is not what she wants for herself but she also knows how much worse it could be since Mrs. Blyth thinks of her as a daughter and treats her well. She figures she will work a few years and save what she can until she gets her mother’s inheritance.

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