The Determined Lord Hadleigh by Virginia Heath

‘You are not my master, sir. I cannot begin to tell you how relieved I am that nobody is any longer nor will anyone ever be again. Nor do I need a benefactor.’

 

Blurb:
He’s got iron control…
But she might be his undoing!
Part of The King’s Elite. 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?

 

Review:

I’m delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for The Determined Lord Hadleigh! It’s my very first time on something like this, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

I loved Lord Hadleigh a lot. The final book in the King’s Elite series, we finally get to know Penny Penhurst’s, and Lord Hadleigh’s stories. Penny’s life apparently lies in ruins, and Tristan, Lord Hadleigh, has a compulsion to help her get back on  her feet. However, this ‘knight in shining armour’ soon finds out that this ‘princess’ has every intention of rescuing herself. It’s a beautiful story of hope, healing, courage, and triumph in the face of adversity.

Penny is such a strong heroine. No-one would blame her if she did lie down and wallow, but that’s not the true Penny. She’s courageous, proud in a positive way, (not an arrogant, superior kind of way), resourceful, and as determined as Lord Hadleigh. The way she confronts her situation, the way she accepts what has happened, and decides who she will be from now on, brought a lump to my throat.

Tristan, Lord Hadleigh, has his own secrets which help explain his driving need to seek justice above all. His resourcefulness and determination mirror Penny’s, and it’s fascinating to watch them dance round each other. Tristan’s overwhelming desire for truth and justice makes him seem to Penny to be cold and overbearing; yet these very qualities enable him to acknowledge his own faults, and respond with humility.

There is a large group of wonderful authors writing Mills & Boon Historical Romance at the minute, and Virginia Heath is one of the best. She writes the most delightful, witty, and humorous characters, who are perfect foils for each other. Her dialogue is sharp, snappy, and full of wit, her settings are wonderfully descriptive, and her books captivate you from start to finish. A real paragon of storytelling, you’ll definitely want to put Virginia Heath on your autobuy list.

 

Buy:  Amazon UK

Mills & Boon

Harlequin.com

Kobo

 

Author Bio:

When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Fortunately, the lovely people at Harlequin Mills & Boon took pity on her and decided to publish her romances, but it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

 Virginia’s Website     Virginia’s Facebook Page       Virginia on Twitter

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Unlaced by the Highland Duke by Lara Temple

‘She pressed her face into the soft folds of his coat to breathe the warmth of his scent, knowing the coat had a better chance of a future with him. Oh God, but her heart ached.’

 

Blurb:

A plain Regency governess
In bed with the duke!
Part of The Lochmore Legacy: a Scottish castle through the ages! Unceremoniously packed off to Scotland to care for the Duke of Lochmore’s young son, practical widow Joane Langdale fears she will be ignored as always. But the deep connection and heated passion that develops between her and Benneit is far more dangerous! When Benneit is expected to propose to another, how dare Jo dream of becoming his duchess?

 

Review:

I have to say that this is the first book I’m struggling to find words for. Unlaced by the Highland Duke is such a wonderful, emotionally intense story, that I don’t think I have the skills to do it justice. But I’ll try.

The story itself is simple – Joane Langdale is a widowed cousin of Bella, the Duke of Lochmore’s late wife. However, because Jo is from a poorer branch of the family, she is still being passed from pillar to post to make herself useful to her richer relations. These relations also interfere in Bella’s son Jamie’s life, and through the machinations of Lady Theale, Jo ends up going to Lochmore with Jamie, and his father Benneit, the Duke of Lochmore. As Jo grows closer to Jamie, she also grows closer to Benneit – but he is supposed to be marrying to end a feud . . . .

Jo is, well quite simply, she IS Jo, a heroine so real she comes alive on the page. She’s a wonderful mix of what makes us human. Our experiences, emotions, personalities, and depth of character all combine to make us truly unique, and Jo is no exception. All her experiences, and the grey drabness with which she, and others have clothed her, cannot truly hide her wit, humour, and joyful spirit.

Benneit too leaps off the page. He is a dreamy hero, and completely worthy of Jo. There is something really satisfying at watching him being brought to his knees. His aloofness, his ability to fall back on years of control, his very position, have all combined to create a façade, an armour which he hides behind, causing him to appear emotionless. Jo’s presence, and her ‘Great Grey-eyed Stare’ slip through his armour, and suddenly, it seems to him, it isn’t protecting him any more. We get a real sense of his anger and bewilderment, as he struggles to subdue his passions, keep his word, and continue to hide his ‘weakness’. And although he repeatedly tries to retreat behind the façade he has built up, each time gets harder than the last. His struggle is so real, we can almost hear the cracking and shattering of his armour.

 

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely! Lara has a real gift in creating characters so real, you’d swear you could hear them breathing. The romance is intensely emotional, sensual, and believable. The setting and scenery are breath-taking, and skillfully drawn, so real, it’s easy to forget you are reading. And if you like men in kilts, it’s got those as well! Incidentally one of the main reasons I recommend this, or any of Lara Temple’s books, is her heroines. In my humble opinion, they are comparable with any of Georgette Heyer’s. They  are witty, humorous, fun to be with, and the hero never knows quite what to do with her.

This is the second book in the Lochmore Series, (review of the first one can be found here ). I am really enjoying the glimpses of this shared mystery, as each subsequent book moves us backwards through time.

Buy:  Amazon UK

Mills & Boon

Harlequin.com

Amazon.com

Kobo

 

Author Bio:

Lara Temple writes strong, sexy regency romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon about complex individuals who give no quarter but do so with plenty of passion.

When she was fifteen Lara found a very grubby copy of Georgette Heyer’s Faro’s Daughter in an equally grubby book store. Several blissful hours later she emerged, blinking, into the light of day completely in love with Regency Romance but it took three decades of various fascinating but completely unrelated careers in finance and high tech before she returned to her first love.

Lara lives with her husband and two children who are very good about her taking over the kitchen table for her writing (so she can look out over the garden and dream). She loves to travel (especially to places steeped in history) and read as many books as possible. She recently went looking for that crowded little bookstore but couldn’t quite remember around what corner it was…hopefully it is still there and another girl is in the corner by the window, reading and dreaming…

 Lara on Twitter    Lara’s Facebook Page   Lara’s Website

 

 

Disclaimer: I received this as part of my paid subscription for the Mills & Boon Historical bookclub.