Review: Once She Was Tempted (Honeycote, Book 2) by Anne Barton

once she was temptedReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Benjamin Elliot meets Miss Daphne Honeycote at a dinner party that ends on an interesting note. They are two people who don’t seem to have anything in common. But they both have issues and their working together is what will hold your attention. You’ve got to love a grumpy hero who’s not looking for love.

Ben has a butler names Flemings and the minute I read about him he reminded me of a British actor named Arthur Treacher. If you can still find the movie, you may want to watch a Shirley Temple favorite named “Curly Top”. If I had one disappointment it would be that after a while I felt he disappeared.

My bravo moment was when Ben’s friends called him out about his attitude. Daphne reminded me of Jo from “Little Women” – she just seemed to have that type of personality – I enjoyed reading her story. Even though she was going through personal issues, she still thought of others before herself. She also doesn’t make decisions based on what the person looks like on the outside.

Anne made it very hard for me to put this story down. By giving Ben and Daphne something that they had to work at together, was for me the page-turner. The romance was nice but I would have liked this book even if she had written her storyline without it. Daphne loved helping out at the local orphanage. One other disappointment I had was that there was one little girl I was hoping would end up as part of a family. But this is what’s good about a reader’s imagination, even though the author hasn’t made that happen, I can turn around and make it happen.

If you enjoy Regency stories where the hero finally realizes what’s good for him, you will love this one. It’s a series so if you haven’t read the other titles, you may want to check out Anabelle’s story titled When She Was Wicked that came out this past January. Or there’s a novella that came out this past September titled To All the Rakes I’ve Loved Before. And what’s great is that these are stand alone books but if you like Daphne’s story as much as I did you will want to read every book of this series that comes out.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Once She Was Tempted (A Honeycote Novel)

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10 Reasons to Marry an Earl

countess This list of reasons is for the young miss of the Georgian, Regency, or Victorian era. Entering into matrimony is not a decision to be made lightly. While it is important that you make a good match, every young lady should choose her future husband with great care. Below I have compiled a list of pros on marrying an earl. The discerning young woman will note the state and accuracy of each of these points against the gentlemen she wishes to wed. Not every earl will have all ten points in his favor, some for instance can be greedy fortune hunters. However, this list is not made with those rapscallions in mind.

1. The rank.

Rank makes all the difference in the world. Do you see yourself as a countess? Would you be thrilled to be deferred to by one and all as the ‘Right Honorable Countess of (insert blank)’ or ‘My Lady?’ If so, then marrying an earl is for you!

2. The high society.

You are part of the le bon ton. Being readily established as part of the Upper Ten Thousand will gain you a lot of influence. You’ll be rubbing shoulders with Britain’s elite!

3. The wealth.

A countess can expect to be able to indulge in a little shopping with the pin money she receives quarterly. She need not worry about money at all unless she is mismanaging her household. That of course, would never do.

4. The clothes.

The clothes, the accessories, the hair styles and shoes… fashion in short, my dears, and being at it’s height is marvelous! A countess would be looked upon to set trends and knowledgeable about everything that is all the rage.

5. The parties

All that divine dancing! Which is your favorite? The country dance, the cotillion, or the scotch reel? How about the quadrille or the more scandalous waltz? You will need plenty of dancing slippers but it would be worth it!

6. The servants.

A countess need not cook or clean or lift a finger she does not want to raise. She can devote her energies to more personal and rewarding tasks such as correspondence, reading, drawing, visiting and more.

7. The London townhouse.

A townhouse in the most fashionable part of London is the perfect place to host an assembly or fancy dinner party. Many a hostess will envy your accomplishments in presentation and decoration of your home.

8. The country estates.

When London gets to be too smoggy and the Season is not in full swing, a countess must have a place to retire. Her country estates are just such a location and their beautiful sprawling gardens are the icing on top of the cake.

9. The travel.

To see all the beautiful sights and sites of the world or England is a joy for any countess. Won’t all your friends be envious of your latest trip to Paris?

10. The earl.

The most wonderful thing about being a countess is the earl. Do you not agree ladies? He should be handsome, kind, well mannered, not marred by scandal, and good to his hired help. It wouldn’t hurt if he liked children, old matrons, and dances at Almack’s, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up. He’s bound to have a failing somewhere. Just remember to keep the pros of marriage to him in the front of your mind and you will be content indeed!

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Review: Millionaire Under the Mistletoe by Tessa Radley

bookreview2

Callum Ironstone wanted nothing more than to get Miranda Owen off his conscious. He could still remember her grief-stricken accusations that he killed her father, drove him to suicide. He’d done his best to make up for the harshness of his actions in the years afterward, not that she knew, but guilt still plagued him. In a last ditch effort of redemption Callum offers Miranda a contract to be a caterer for his holiday dinner party. What he didn’t expect was to be thrown completely off his guard… and for her to wind up in his bed. But now that she’s there he’s determined to keep her there.

The first concern I had about the novel was how the two would finally resolve the issue of Miranda’s father. Would Callum reopen the case and find the father innocent? Or would he show her undeniable proof about her father’s guilt? I found it hard to believe she’d land in his bed despite the uncomfortable attraction she felt for him. Uncomfortable is me projecting – because I would be seriously upset to find myself lusting after the man whose actions forced my father to consider suicide as the only way out and then take action on those suicidal thoughts.

While Miranda was anxious and worried once or twice about her attraction to him, she manages to push aside her feelings on that topic because of a conversation where they talked at cross purposes. She thought he was apologizing for wrongfully accusing her father. He was apologizing for being so harsh and public about his retaliation.

One of the biggest things in favor of this novel was how little time to took to deal with the breakup near the end and the follow up angst. Callum was very mature and worked quickly to fix and keep things from deteriorating. He was understanding and had foresight when most heroes would have been bullheaded, hurt. He did miss his chance to pull a Mr. Darcy behind Miranda’s back to humbly help her brother, but he did help (with her tagging along) and managed getting his HEA anyway.

Rating: ★★★½☆

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