Monday, July 21, 2014

2 Quick Reviews: For Her Spy Only by Robyn DeHart & Love's Justice by Joan Avery

I recently got these two books from Entangled Publishing. Both are being released on July 21

For Her Spy Only
Author: Robyn DeHart
Publication: Entangled Scandalous (July 21, 2014

Description: England, 1814

When Winifred is rescued from her snow-stranded carriage by the notorious and reclusive Alistair, Marquess of Coventry, she is instantly drawn to him. Jilted by her betrothed and socially ruined by untrue rumors, Winifred is tired of paying for crimes she didn't commit and decides to play the seductress London society claims she is. Thinking a night of passion shouldn't leave any lasting effects, she instead finds her heart marked forever.

Six years later, Alistair is working for the Regent as a spy. A search for Napoleon's English supporters leads him to the beguiling Winifred, recently widowed with a young son. He hasn't forgotten how the unconventional beauty warmed his bed, and the heat between them rekindles immediately. The spymaster is determined to uncover all of plucky Winifred's secrets. Especially the one regarding her son...

My Thoughts: This was a novella. It told a very nice story in the hidden baby trope. Winifred is traveling and has carriage issues. She is rescued by the reclusive Marquess of Coventry. Since she has had a reputation irreparably damaged by her ex-fiance, and, since she finds the Marquess attractive, she invites him to "ravish" her. The man isn't a fool; he agrees.

Fast forward six years, Winifred is the widow of an elderly mapmaker who married her when she found herself pregnant. The Marquess, who is a government agent who breaks codes, needs the maps to solve a cipher. He wants to resume the affair; she is afraid he will find out about his son.

Of special interest is the both the father and the son have/had a learning disability that keeps/kept them from speaking. Winifred's son has his mother's loving support; the Marquess did not have the same support. In fact, his first wife killed herself when she found herself pregnant, fearing the baby would be like the father.

There is a happy ending since Winifred has always loved the Marquess despite his differences. The story had a fast-moving plot, engaging characters, and crisp dialogue. Fans of historical romance will enjoy this one.

Love's Justice
Author: Joan Avery
Publication: Entangled Scandalous (July 21, 2014

Description: London, 1879

American heiress Victoria Wentworth has spent her life blithely ignoring her father's wishes... until he enters her into an unwanted marriage contract with a despicable man. She has two choices: marry the bounder or fight the archaic English laws in court. Her only hope is Hugh Worth, the Earl Montgomery and Lord Chancellor of the Exchequer: her judge and jury. Society paints him as stern and subdued, yet fair. Society didn't warn her that beneath his somber facade beats a passionate heart and soul.

Hugh finds himself irresistibly, inexplicably, drawn to the spirited American, despite himself and his better judgment. As the inconvenient heiress takes on the fight against the very foundation of his life and career, another battle wages in his once cold heart. Everything about her is inappropriate, illogical, and unexpected. Yet, she is a woman he could admire. A woman of intelligence and beliefs that challenge the existing world.

But she is forbidden.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed this romance that was as much about women's rights as it was a romance. Victoria Wentworth is a beautiful American heiress whose father has betrothed her to a dissolute and disgusting English aristocrat - Lord Stanford. A proponent of women's rights, Victoria refuses to marry him leading the jilted fiance to sue her. If she loses, she will be penniless.

The hero of the romance is Hugh Worth, Earl Montgomery and Lord Chancellor of the Exchequer. He is the judge in the case. Since they are of the same social class, Hugh, Victoria, and Lord Stanford keep meeting socially. Hugh is attracted to Victoria but any relationship would be a huge conflict of interest. He also knows Lord Stanford and dislikes him. Victoria is also attracted to Hugh and repelled by Stanford. Stanford has ample opportunities to demonstrate his villainy through the story including an attempted rape.

What was particularly interesting to me in this story was that it focused on three different women's relationships. Victoria has a friend who married a British aristocrat. The friend is satisfied with the relationship but doesn't know that her husband is addicted to gambling and has gambled away the money she brought to the marriage. The second relationship is between Lord and Lady Percy who are happy in their marriage. Finally, Victoria's relationship with Lord Stanford. The book clearly demonstrated the injustice when a woman was little more than property to a man.

I liked Hugh as a character. He was conflicted about any sort of relationship with Victoria. He had a difficult childhood as the son of an abusive father who ruined his family's reputation. Hugh has been determined to restore the family's reputation but his relationship with Victoria could jeopardize that.

Both romances were engaging and entertaining. I recommend them.

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