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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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3.9 out of 5
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  • enjoyed this historical romance!

    I quite enjoyed this historical romance novel! The story pulls you in right away with the tragic death of Nora's brother, a death she attributes to his involvement with the Lords of Anarchy driving club and one she is determined to investigate, as is her ex-fiance and friend of her brother, Freddy. Forming an alliance again for the sake of solving the mystery, it becomes more than just a pretend engagement as the feelings they had before come back to the surface. I really liked both characters in the story. Nora was feisty, determined and quite willing to stand up for herself and her beliefs. She's a poet and a proponent of women's rights and doesn't back down from a challenge. At the same time she has a softer side, and her feelings for Freddy are quite strong and genuine. She broke off their previous engagement for reasons she's kept hidden but are revealed as the story progresses. Freddy too was a wonderful character as a loyal and confident man, one who still has feelings for Nora and isn't afraid to reveal them to her even at the expense of dashing his hopes for reconciling their past failed relationship. There is a definite attraction between them and their love scenes are tender yet sexy. Throughout the story the mystery of Nora's brother's death is slowly revealed and I really enjoyed how the suspense subplot weaved its way throughout. There was a good mix of tension, action and drama along with the romance. I liked the group of friends they spend time with, giving us lots of witty conversation and banter. As well, the driving club scenario was really interesting and well researched. An entertaining and delightful read, leaving the reader with a hint of what's to come next. 4 stars.

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  • HR done flawlessly!

    Full review posted at Reader's Edyn on 01/30/20 Leonora (Nora) knows her brother was murdered, and she aims to prove it but she needs help. Frederick is the perfect solution, past history notwithstanding. Nora broke their engagement five years previously for a reason she felt was justified, except she never told Freddy why she jilted him. Their reunion instantly sparks the passion they shared in the past and obviously never lost. But the engagement is a sham, created simply to gain access to those who assassinated her brother. When it comes time to part ways, it’s much harder than Nora anticipated, and Freddy isn’t letting her go so easily this time. But the truth may end all chances for them to have a future together and she isn’t sure she can handle a permanent rejection. At least if she makes the break, she still holds a bit of control because Lord knows when she is in Freddy’s arms her wits tend to disappear. Frederick (Freddy) knows that the only explanation surrounding his friend’s demise is foul play. When Nora brings him proof of his suspicions, he quickly ponders a way to ferret out the truth. It won’t be easy and the people they will be associating with are nothing short of dangerous. He knows he will have to protect Nora and the only way he can do so effectively is to keep her close under the guise of a fake engagement. Parting with her the first time nearly destroyed him – a second time will seal his fate. Once the culprits are found and brought to justice, he vows to find out what drove her away from him. He has no intention of letting his second chance with Nora slip through his fingers and he will fight relentlessly to make her see just how perfect they are together. And, just like that, another series has been born that I will definitely be a part of. Positively enchanting. True to form, Ms. Collins has brought us another wonderful story, sure to please all lovers of historical romance. Freddy is the perfect example of a rake, but with more freedom, because he isn’t the heir apparent. And as suspected, his heart could only be conquered by a woman as strong as he is. Nora is his match in every way. I enjoy that Ms. Collins always presents her female leads as those who are intelligent and mold breakers in the face of societal expectations. In this case, Nora is a writer and strong-minded about the rights of women. Her biggest flaw being that despite her independence and convictions, she takes Freddy’s ability to make his own decision away in a very serious subject which causes her to reflect over her actions. Many authors have successfully portrayed strong female leads for their counterparts, but Ms. Collins surpasses by placing her women in positions that allow change – maybe small change in some cases, but change none the less. Additionally, the dynamic within the Lisle family draws you in completely, leaving you longing to be a part of it yourself. I absolutely adored the Lisle’s simply from their whimsical dinner scene and will definitely be back to find out more about each of them. In constant motion, and never stalling in action, this book engages the reader completely. I have never once been disappointed with any of Ms. Collins books in any way. She is my number one go-to author for historical romance. I’m am completely entranced each time I read a book she has written; once begun, always completed within the same sitting. The detail in every single scene is unique and vibrant; her characters perfectly splendid. I don’t know how she maintains such consistency from story to story, but she has a gift and I could not be happier to have discovered her work. Each character is invaluable to the story and created in such a way that the reader feels kindred; as if they are a part of their lives and could be living just down the street. The wit and snark are completely refreshing, making the characters that much more loveable and relatable. I was going to show a different highlight, but the comical prowess displayed in the portion of the scene I chose was too fantastic to pass up. You should be able to get a great sense of compatibility with Ms. Collins writing style by those passages alone. If I had a complaint, it would be that somehow, I failed to understand the timeline of how Nora came to realize the reason for breaking her engagement with Freddy. Trying not to provide spoilers here. It would have had to occurred prior to their engagement but would have been a situation that triggered ruin – so that part was a bit off. However, the complaint is minuscule in the grand scheme of the book and not nearly enough to turn me off from the series. I will be back very soon to experience the rest of the Lisle family as well as the daring Lords of Anarchy. Kindle version provided by NetGalley/St. Martin’s in exchange for an honest review.

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