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

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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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Earl Interrupted (The Daring Marriages #2) by Amanda Forester

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source: free ARC via NetGalley
title: Earl Interrupted (The Daring Marriages)
author: Amanda Forester
pages: 384
published: Published January 2018 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
genre: Historical Romance
first line: High Seas, 1810.
rated: 3 1/2 out of 5
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blurb:
Captain Robert Ashton, Earl of Darington, knows finding a bride in London will not be easy—not since he has been notoriously dubbed as the “Pirate Earl”. What he didn’t expect was to get abducted—and to have his escape go horribly awry when an innocent lady gets caught in the crossfire.

Amateur physician Emma St. James is on her way to meet her betrothed when she is rescued by an injured gentleman. Despite her shock after discovering he is the Pirate Earl, Emma feels drawn to the man who saved her life. Duty forces them apart, but when they meet again on the high seas, Darington will risk all—his fortune, his name, and even his life to keep her safe.

my thoughts:

Earl Interrupted is second in Amanda Forester ‘s The Daring Marriages series but reads perfectly as a stand-alone. The Earl aka Dare is a privateer, not be confused with a pirate. He does this line of work because he and his twin sister Lady Katherine became orphaned at a young age and someone stole their family’s wealth. Dare has become wealthy through privateering and now wants to find a wife.

“Life as a privateer was dangerous, but stepping into London society to find a wife? That was far more treacherous.”-Earl Interrupted (The Daring Marriages #2) by Amanda Forester

Enter Emma St. James, who learned medicine through her father who was a physician. Now that Emma is about to turn 18, the wealth her dad left her will become her own.

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Lord of Scoundrels (Scoundrels #3) by Loretta Chase

lord3source: purchased
title: Lord of Scoundrels
author: Loretta Chase
published: Avon (March 30, 1995)
pages: 384
genre: historical romance/classic romance
rated: 5 out of 5 A must read for fans of the genre.
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blurb:
DETERMINED LADY

Tough-minded Jessica Trent’s sole intention is to free her nitwit brother from the destructive influence of Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain. She never expects to desire the arrogant, amoral cad. And when Dain’s reciprocal passion places them in a scandalously compromising, and public, position, Jessica is left with no choice but to seek satisfaction…

LORD OF SCOUNDRELS

Damn the minx for tempting him, kissing him… and then forcing him to salvage her reputation! Lord Dain can’t wait to put the infuriating bluestocking in her place—and in some amorous position, And if that means marriage, so be it!—Though Sebastian is less than certain he can continue to remain aloof… and steel his heart to the sensuous, headstrong lady’s considerable charms.

my thoughts:
I have had Lord of Scoundrels sitting in my Nook for many years and I finally got around to reading it. This one is a popular classic in the genre and I had heard nothing but good things about it so I finally dove in. Google “best historical romance novels” and you will probably see this book pop up. This is book 3 in Chase’s Scoundrels Series but can be read as a stand alone. I’ve read Loretta Chase before but this one is my favorite by far.

Look at the original 1995 cover, a tad bit orangey looking for my taste, but so dramatic.
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Well, can I say “Oh my gosh, this book!” That about sums it up. It was so good, so entertaining and very swoon-worthy. Books like this are why I love reading romance. Great sexual tension between the hero and the heroine. Check. Alpha male who is gruff and rugged with unconventional good looks, and is often referred to as Beelzebub. Check. I love a hero/anti-hero with a dark-side like that. A heroine who can take care of herself. Check. Nice descriptive backdrop. Check. Plenty of plot twists to keep the story moving. Check.

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The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke #1) by Tessa Dare

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source: purchased
title: The Duchess Deal: Girl Meets Duke 1
author: Tessa Dare
genre: regency romance
pages: 368
published: 2017
first line: Emma Gladstone had learned a few hard lessons by the age of two-and-twenty.
rated: 5 out of 5
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blurb:
When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
– They will be husband and wife by night only.
– No lights, no kissing.
– No questions about his battle scars.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And unlimited teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

my thoughts:
My first read of 2018 was a good one. The Duchess Deal: Girl Meets Duke 1 nicely kicks off Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series. It is regency romance with a beauty and the beast vibe to it.

The Duke of Ashbury has been badly scarred at war and lives his life in solitude with his servants as company. He was engaged but it was broken off after he returned from the war. Emma Gladstone is the seamstress that was working on the Duke’s bride to be’s wedding dress and now that the wedding is off, she finally shows up at the Duke’s doorstep hoping to collect the money they owe her for the dress. The Duke has been thinking that he needs an heir to leave his wealth to and he wants to find a wife. When Emma Gladstone comes knocking at his front door the timing can’t be more perfect. He makes her the offer. Marry him and she will be set for life with his wealth, all that he asks for is she provide him an heir. He believes himself unlovable due to the scarring.

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