Have you even been in the position where your head tells you what to do which isn’t the same as what your heart demands of you? A conundrum indeed, facing lovely Lady Beresford.
Title: Lady Beresford’s Lover The Marriage Game Series, book 8
Author: Ella Quinn
Genre: Historical Regency Romance
Story Setting: England, 1817
Published by: Lyrical Press, Kensington Publishing Corporation
Published Date: July 21, 2015
The Marriage Game Series (in order):
The Seduction of Lady Phoebe
The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh
The Temptation of Lady Serena
Desiring Lady Caro
Enticing Miss Eugenie Villaret
Madeline’s Christmas Wish (novella)
A Kiss for Lady Mary
Lady Beresford’s Lover
Miss Featherton’s Christmas Prince pre-order available
About the Story (taken from GoodReads): Ella Quinn’s bachelors are quite sure of what they want in life—and love—until the right woman opens their eyes…
After a painful heartbreak, Rupert, the handsome young Earl of Stanstead, has decided that when it comes to love, avoidance is best. Until he meets a woman who makes him forget his plan—and remember his longing for a wife and family. Yet he senses that she too has been hurt, though she attempts to hide her feelings—and more—in the most baffling and alluring way. Intrigued, Rupert is willing to play along, if winning her is the prize…
Crushed by her late husband’s scorn, Vivian, Countess of Beresford, believes she is monstrously undesirable. Sadly childless, she has moved to London resigned to a solitary life. Still, when she encounters Rupert at a masquerade ball, her disguise as Cleopatra emboldens her. Convinced he doesn’t recognize her, she begins an after-hours affair with him, always in costume—while allowing him to court the real her by day. But when Rupert makes a shocking choice, will Vivian be able to handle the truth?…
My Thoughts: Whenever I want to read a regency romance fast-paced, with charming and sometimes conniving characters leading to rather ticklish silly scenes, I needn’t look further than one of Ella Quinn’s delightful stories in The Marriage Game series. Her characters are a bit rakish, even the women, yet they settle themselves into the rules of the ton…eventually.
This read was a multi-layered love story making it very lively. We have the main heroine, Vivian, now the widowed Countess of Beresford, who is glad her husband is dead (she dare not say it, but I can), but truly he wasn’t the type of husband any woman would want. Now she has her chance to be out in the world, a widow, following the rules of the ton for widows, which is extremely lax. I wonder who made those rules anyway? Men had their proper mistresses and women didn’t lack for bed partners. But Vivian didn’t want bed partners, she wanted a home of her own, to decorate as she saw fit, to come and go as she chose. She didn’t need her father interfering with her life and choosing another catastrophic choice of a husband again.
Rupert, Earl of Stanstead, was a bit young to be looking for a wife. He saw his friends all around with wonderful marriages. His mother and father even had a love match. Although his first go-around, thinking he was in love, turned out rather poorly, he didn’t want to give up. So this Season he would open his eyes, follow his friends and father’s advice and find the woman who basically pulls him in where he becomes obsessed with her. I really liked Rupert, because he was sweet, a fun sense of humor, a romantic at heart, politically engaged with social issues, had lots of respect from his peers and acted much older than his young years.
Vivian found what she wasn’t looking for, but possibly needed. She did want to know what a real kiss would be like, how a man’s body feels, that is to say, everything she didn’t experience in her first marriage. But how to do that with Rupert, when she was so terribly deformed? After seeing Rupert at a masquerade ball, dressed as Cleopatra and he as Anthony she came up with the brilliant idea to continue the kisses she secretly received and delighted in, but remain in costume, not disrobing for fear she wouldn’t be able to learn the secrets of his and her own body. She leases a townhouse, using it as Cleo with the help of her maid, asking Anthony to visit her. Her naïveté is charming. She thinks Rupert doesn’t know who she is. Rupert, of course, knows who she is, has already decided he’s obsessed so goes along with her scheme. This is where I really fall in love with Rupert. What a keeper!
Cousin Clara, the all-seeing, sponsoring Vivian and her friend Sylvia for the season, is a most charming and opinionated woman and very much the match maker as grandmamas of the ton were. I thoroughly enjoyed her part in the story.
I mentioned this was a multi-layered story which makes me feel I’m watching different rings at a circus. It is really a hilarious, whirlwind read. Somehow all the threads of the story are all tied up in a most satisfactory end. There were quite a few happy ever afters in this one.
What is not to like in Ms Quinn’s writing? Notta!
About the Author: Ella’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.
She is married to her wonderful husband of twenty-nine years. They have a son and granddaughter, Great Dane and a Chartreux. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make St. Thomas, VI home.
Ella is a member of the Romance Writers of American, The Beau Monde and Hearts Across History. She is represented by Elizabeth Pomada of Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency, and published by Kensington.