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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Top Ten Tuesday 2/12/19: Favorite Couples In Books

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s TTT topic is Favorite Couples In Books.

Happy cold and snowy Tuesday everyone. With Valentine’s Day around the corner the romantic in me could not resist this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic. Romance is my reading catnip, it really is. This became a favorite genre from when I was a tween reading Harlequin love stories featuring cowboys on the ranch sweeping damsels in distress off their feet. My taste in romance novels has definitely changed throughout the years. I enjoy reading about unconventional couples who somehow make it work and I actually prefer bittersweet endings. It was hard to narrow my list down to just ten but here are a few of my favorite literary couples…..

 

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1. Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. These two are possibly my favorite literary/film couple of all time. I never get tired of watching GWTW. I love the tension between these two and the way they fall in love.

 

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2. Adrienne and Paul in Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks. I ugly cried the last time I read this one.

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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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Starry Night by Debbie Macomber

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source: Purchased
title: Starry Night: A Christmas Novel
author: Debbie Macomber(Twitter)
genre: contemporary holiday romance
published: 2013
pages: 231
first line: Carrie Slayton’s feet were killing her.
rated: 3 out of 5
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blurb:
’Tis the season for romance, second chances, and Christmas cheer with this new novel from Debbie Macomber.

Carrie Slayton, a big-city society-page columnist, longs to write more serious news stories. So her editor hands her a challenge: She can cover any topic she wants, but only if she first scores the paper an interview with Finn Dalton, the notoriously reclusive author.

Living in the remote Alaskan wilderness, Finn has written a mega-bestselling memoir about surviving in the wild. But he stubbornly declines to speak to anyone in the press, and no one even knows exactly where he lives.

Digging deep into Finn’s past, Carrie develops a theory on his whereabouts. It is the holidays, but her career is at stake, so she forsakes her family celebrations and flies out to snowy Alaska. When she finally finds Finn, she discovers a man both more charismatic and more stubborn than she even expected. And soon she is torn between pursuing the story of a lifetime and following her heart.

Filled with all the comforts and joys of Christmastime, Starry Night is a delightful novel of finding happiness in the most surprising places.

My thoughts:

I was in a Christmasy mood so I ordered a copy of Starry Night a few weeks ago. I am a seasonal reader and I try to enjoy at least one holiday book this time of year.
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Starry Night is my first time reading Debbie Macomber. I’ve often seen her books around and I know she is popular in the genre and that some of her books have been made into Hallmark Christmas movies. In the foreword for Starry Night she mentions that she writes a Christmas book every year.

While I found Starry Night to be sweet Christmas romance, it did not blow me away like I wanted it too. It revolves around Chicago based columnist Carrie Slayton who is about to quit her job because she can’t see herself getting ahead with no serious assignments only gossip column stuff. Her boss tells her that if she can find and interview mysterious author Finn Dalton then she will have more serious assignments moving forward and be able to advance her career. Finn wrote a book about living in the wilderness that became an international bestseller and he has gone into hiding ever since. With the holidays around the corner Carrie decides to use her vacation time to find the mysterious Finn.

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A Precious Jewel by Mary Balogh

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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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