Because you can't judge a book by its cover

Regency

whiskey and glassesTemple has spent the last twelve years with the title of “Killer Duke”, everyone having believed he murdered Mara Lowe on the eve of her marriage to his father. In No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean, Temple doesn’t remember what happened that fateful night but he does know what he has done the last twelve years to survive after being disowned by everyone who knew him, he has spent it fighting. Now Temple is one of the powerful men behind the exclusive casino that everyone in the Ton flocks to, having thought he had seen everything he is shocked when Mara arrives at his house one night offering the one thing he never thought he could get, absolution from the charge of murder.

Mara ran twelve years ago, ran from the arranged marriage she didn’t want, ran from the society that would allow its daughters to be sold off to the highest bidder, and ran from having no real purpose to her life. Now Mara is facing the fact that she will have to leave the life she has created for herself in order to save her brother from debtor’s prison.

Normally I love Sarah MacLean’s novels but I really struggled with No Good Duke Goes Unpunished. Partly because I love MacLean for her humor and so I went into No Good Duke expecting humor and it was a lot more serious novel and partly because I just didn’t like Mara a whole lot. Mara felt really flip-floppy to me, I realize what MacLean was trying to do in creating an incredibly strong heroine but having her have some vulnerability however, she came off as whiny, selfish, and not very likable. Also, a key part of the novel is that the brother, her only family member she has maintained any contact with, has gambled away all of his money (and hers) and Mara approaches Temple with the offer in large part to save her brother and then the brother just kind of disappears from the novel. I do really like Temple’s character, he has suffered through a lot but has managed to find a place for himself in the world, fighting at the casino. And I loved the boys at the orphanage and wished we could have spent more time with those entertaining scamps.  No Good Duke Goes Unpunished is the third book in the Rules of Scoundrels‘ series but you don’t need to have read the previous two novels to read it. I recommend No Good Duke Goes Unpunished as a one time read but honestly I would probably check it out from the library or borrow it from a friend rather than purchasing it outright.

You can read an excerpt here.

Rules of Scoundrels Reading Order:

A Rogue By Any Other Name

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished

no good duke goesRating: Star 3copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: No Good Duke Goes Unpunished

Author: Sarah MacLean

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 405

AISN: B00BEFPSMA

Publisher: Avon

Release Date: November 26, 2013

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

Novel Reaction is excited to welcome Elizabeth Boyle as part of her blog tour for If Wishes Were Earls (you can read my review here) telling us a bit more about the necklace that plays such a key role in the novel. First though, a little bit more about Elizabeth:

elizabeth BoyleElizabeth Boyle is the author of 22 Regency set historical romances. Her love of the Georgian period is woven into her stories, setting lovers amongst the battlefields of Spain, the treachery of the French Revolution and the world of spies and con artists. Read more about her novels and various series at her website, ElizabethBoyle.com.

Twitter: @ElizBoyle

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorElizabethBoyle

 

 

if wishes were earlsThe real challenge of writing If Wishes Were Earls wasn’t the fact that the two characters were madly in love from page one (which believe me—is truly a challenge) but it turned out to be finding the right sub-plot to explain the villainy being perpetuated against the Earl of Roxley. It had to be something he’d had no hand in and no knowledge of so the discovery of it would take both time and leave him gobsmacked.

 

It was sort of one of those pace-the-floor and dig-around-in-my-research-books problems. I threw away over 100 pages of one idea. Another 50 of yet another. Nothing seemed to work. That is until I turned to Roxley’s gadabout parents and their penchant for gambling.

 

If they had been on the Continent when Roxley was young . . . I asked myself. Which led me to Paris, which led me to the scandal of that year: The Affair of the Diamond Necklace.

 

marie antinette diamond necklace 2For those not familiar with the story, The Queen’s Necklace was originally a grand diamond necklace commissioned by the previous French king for his mistress—but before he could give it to his paramour, he died of smallpox and his mistress sent packing. For the jewelers this was a nightmare—because they hadn’t been paid—and no one other than royalty could afford such a costly piece.  For years, they sought buyers to this necklace but to no avail. No queens wanted it because it had been designed for a courtesan. They even offered it to Marie Antoinette at a bargain, but she refused.

 

That was when the Comtessa de la Motte entered the picture. A con artist with very sketchy aristocratic connections she managed to convince the Cardinal Rohan—who had gained the Queen’s disfavor—that a necklace such as that might win back the Queen’s good graces. Further, the kindly comtessa graciously offered to act as the middleman for the cardinal. Of course, once she had the necklace, she and her husband broke it up, her husband taking the bulk of the stones to sell in London.

 

And that was where I saw my opportunity. What if the Comte de la Motte, like the earl’s parents was a gambler at heart, and what if while trying to lay low as he fled to London, he came upon what looked like an easy game of cards with an Englishman . . . and what if de la Motte lost?

 

Yes, I had my sub-plot—because a cache of diamonds could be easily hidden, lusted after, and most importantly, be of intense interest for some really deviously evil people who were willing to wait to get their hands on a treasure hoarde.

 

But it isn’t always easy weaving an actual historical event into a fictional novel. The timeline of events must be to the letter perfect. The fictional story must weave into the actual facts, filling up where there are openings in the historical accounts and allowing the real facts to remain untouched. And since there is no account how de la Motte got to London, there was one hole. What happened to the diamonds once they reached London is yet another. They were sold—but there were speculations and rumors about how many were sold and to whom.

 

Like my villains, I couldn’t resist the lure of such a literal story gem. And I had to wonder what the Earl of Roxley and his dear Harriet would do once they found these perfect diamonds. I know what I would do…..

_____________________________________

Thanks Elizabeth for sharing with us a little more about the mysterious diamond necklace at the center of If Wishes Were Earls. It has always fascinated me that such a cold looking stone (diamonds) have the ability to inspire such passion and desire in the hearts of men (and women), not that I am one to speak because goodness knows I love me some bling. If Wishes Were Earls is the third book in the Rhymes With Love series.

Rhymes with Love Reading Order:

Along Came a Duke

And the Miss Ran Away With the Rake

Have You Any Rogues

If Wishes Were Earls

 

if wishes were earlsWhen you wish upon an earl…

Harriet Hathaway has only ever wanted one man: the Earl of Roxley. After a passionate interlude at a house party, Harriet is convinced Roxley will do the right thing and propose. But when she returns to London, she finds the roguish earl on the verge of proposing to another.

Yet Harriet refuses to believe that her hopes of a happily ever after are completely lost—for she can see the desire still flickering in the earl’s eyes when he looks at her from across the dance floor. And when they are alone…there is one wish neither can deny.

The most extraordinary things can happen.

The Earl of Roxley is in a dangerous fix—and to keep Harriet safe, he must hold her at arm’s length. He won’t entangle her in the murderous mystery that is threatening to destroy his family and his future. But keeping Harriet Hathaway out of his troubles proves as impossible as it was to keep the determined beauty from stealing his heart.

If Wishes Were Earls

 

marie antinette diamond necklace 2Harriet Hathaway has been in love with the Earl of Roxley since they were children. In If Wishes Were Earls by Elizabeth Boyle, Harriet and Roxley shared a night of passion at a house party and Harriet knows that Roxley is going to propose to her. But six months have passed since that night and Harriet is starting to doubt it will ever happy so she does what any good woman does, she sets off to track down her man.

Roxley loves Harriet with everything that is in him but as his life is spiraling down, he vows he will save Harriet from the wreck that is his life, even if that means he become engaged to another woman.

If Wishes Were Earls is the third (well, fourth if you count the novella Have You Any Rogues) in the Rhymes With Love Series by Elizabeth Boyle and is a stand alone novel, even though you meet the characters from the previous series in the novel. Boyle has gone an interesting route with the writing in Wishes, the novel starts off in the present day and then has flashbacks to previous events before flashing to the current time again, at first this was a bit confusing for me (more because I wasn’t expecting it and because the advanced copy ebook I was reading didn’t have the visual breaks where the time shifted) but once I got used to it (and anticipated it) it was fine. Harriet’s character was fabulous, an equal mix of confidence and doubts, I was cheering for her from the start. Roxley’s character I really didn’t like at the beginning, coming from a gambling family he came off as jerkish and uncaring, as the novel progressed he became lovable (especially after reading his first meeting with the Hathaways and his care for his *ahem* interesting aunts). I love the curse that began this series, the Kempton curse, where none of the ladies of the town of Kempton can find a man to marry them without the wife killing him before the end of the marriage. If Wishes Were Earls is a good addition to this fun series.

You can read an excerpt here.

 

Rhymes with Love Reading Order:

Along Came a Duke

And the Miss Ran Away With the Rake

Have You Any Rogues

If Wishes Were Earls

 

if wishes were earlsRating:  Star 4copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: If Wishes Were Earls

Author: Elizabeth Boyle

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 368

AISN: B00BEFQBHQ

Publisher: Avon

Release Date: December 31, 2013

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

The Seldons and Dales have been feuding for centuries, too bad they are next door neighbors. In Have You Any Rogues? by Elizabeth Boyle, sparks fly when Crispin, Viscount Dale, and Henrietta Seldon meet. Every subsequent meeting the same sparks have flown but events seem to conspire to keep these two apart. But finally, they may have a chance at their happily-ever-after or will it be another reckless encounter…

Have You Any Rogues? is a fun quick read in the Rhymes With Love series. The story setting felt a bit like a movie where two characters are stuck together and they flash back to previous encounters and events. Boyle, as always, has a good mix of the serious and the humorous. I loved the first meeting between Crispin and Henrietta (I won’t share how that meeting went down but know that it is entertaining). Have You Any Rogues? is a stand alone story but you get more out of it if you have read And the Miss Ran Away With the Rake because Crispin is the brother of Daphne Dale, the heroine of that novel.

You can read an excerpt here.

Rhymes with Love Reading Order:

Along Came a Duke

And the Miss Ran Away With the Rake

Have You Any Rogues

If Wishes Were Earls

Rating:  Star 4copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Have You Any Rogues?

Author: Elizabeth Boyle

Format: eBook

Page Nos.: 176

ISBN:  978-0062322906

Publisher: Avon

Release Date: December 23, 2013

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

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Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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