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  • Adventure and romance; nothing else needed

    I voluntarily read an Advanced Reader Copy of Her Royal Payne and the views expressed are my honest opinions. This is the tenth book in the Survivor Series. Rowden Payne, a disinherited younger son, is an accomplished boxer. However, one night during a very important fight, a religious group invaded the tavern. Despite knowing better, Rowden stares into the unusual shade of hazel eyes sported by one of the female members and loses. Coincidentally though, his path crosses with this mysterious, pious woman. As the daughter of a minister, Modesty Brown finds herself leading a very simple life. Obeying her father’s commands to preach and teach people to repent from their sins, she often found herself in taverns, brothels, and seedier places in London. However, she could not help feeling some guilt at being the cause of Rowden’s bruised face. Acting impulsively, she follows him into a boxing studio to apologize. When her father goes missing, she seeks shelter with the church elders temporarily but finds herself seeking Rowden to help her find her father. Little does she know that her life will change forever… her life was a jumble of lies and danger was just around the corner. With the help of fellow survivor Ewan Mostyn and his wife Lady Lorraine, Modesty starts getting out of her shell, making it impossible for Rowden to ignore her or his feelings, despite his inhibitions to commit. Will Rowden consider Modesty as the most important thing in his life or will the fears of past experiences keep him living an isolated, lonely life? Rowden was previously introduced in the ninth Survivor Book, where he helped Nash get his life back together. While he appears to be a tough cookie, he too has his fair share of baggage. While he does not want any commitment with anyone, he finds himself unable to refuse Modesty help, especially since it is clear that she is struggling. Modesty herself is different from the usual heroines. Having been brought up in a strict, religious environment by her father, following the death of her mother, she views the world through a religious lens. This contrasts deeply with Rowden’s ‘illegal’ milling coves. Ms. Galen’s books never disappoint. While the book has a Bridgerton vibe with the boxing scenes and the interracial characters, avid readers of Ms. Galen’s books have been looking forward for Rowden’s story, ever since being a Royal Payne in the backside to Nash. The characters are vivid, with secondary characters such as Trogdon, Rowden’s manservant and Aiden Sterling, a fellow survivor who are funnily exasperating. Concurrently, Rowden’s manager Chibale, tries to woo his love interest Madame Renauld, providing two interconnected love stories within the book.

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  • Wonderful Read - Exciting - Fast-Paced

    This book is fast-paced, interesting, and adventurous while easily entwining romance and love with danger and suspense. I read it through in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down – so imagine my bleary eyes at 7:30 AM when I finally read the last word. The characters are compelling, interesting, strong, complex, and absolutely perfect for each other. We met and got to know Rowden Payne in book 9 of the series, Sweet Rogue of Mine, when Rowden helped his fellow survivor, Nash Pope, find his way back from the dark abyss in which he’d been living. We actually have two romances in this book – one between Rowden and Modesty and another between Rowden’s manager, Chibale Okoro, and a French modiste, Therese Renauld. The main romance, of course, is between Rowden and Modesty, but Chibale and Therese’s story takes up quite a bit of real estate in the story as well. Since being disinherited by his father, a duke, Rowden Payne has earned his living as the pugilist known as the Royal Payne. It pleases Rowden that his success as a pugilist rankles his father, and Royal Payne just adds to that. Rowden may be large, strong, handsome, and a celebrated war hero, but he is also one of the nicest and most caring people we’ll meet. It will make your heart hurt to learn that he will never marry and have a family of his own. He’s so lonesome and in need of a family since he no longer has the one into which he was born. Modesty Brown is the daughter of a very strict, uptight, puritanical preacher, Samuel Brown. After losing her mother around the age of five, Modesty had no one except her father. She idolized both of her parents and did her very best to emulate them in all facets of her life. She was obedient and dutiful as any good daughter should be. How could she be otherwise when her father was perfect? Or is he? The meeting between Rowden and Modesty is priceless. He’s seconds away from winning a lucrative match when he is distracted by a group of religious zealots who march into the audience shouting and urging the attendees to repent and leave that evil place. He’s distracted by the riveting eyes on the young woman in the group – but only for a second – that second, however, is all it takes to get him knocked out. Somehow, Modesty keeps intruding into his life and while he knows he should just refuse to help her, he can’t do that. He refuses to love her – he certainly won’t marry her – but he’ll do all in his power to keep her safe when her father disappears. At the same time, Rowden is doing his best to avoid Modesty, his manager, Chibale, is actively pursuing a popular French modiste, Therese. Chibale is a great character and I liked him very much. His grandfather emigrated from Africa to England before Chibale’s father was born. His parents are lovely people and they have raised a loving family while running a successful imported spice business. Chibale is smart, articulate, confident, and very caring. Therese has a sad history that she left behind in France and doesn’t trust men. However, Chibale is such a caring man – so attentive and loving toward his sister – how could she not come to respect – and even care for him. When both Modesty and Therese are threatened by the same evil, Rowden and Chibale will each do all they can to save the ladies. I absolutely loved the book and highly recommend it. You can’t go wrong with two romances, wonderful characters, and exciting, dangerous adventures. I felt Chibale and Therese’s romance took time and development away from Rowden and Modesty. However, I would have loved to see Chibale and Therese in their own novella. That would have allowed further development of each of the characters and their romance. I think the author did an outstanding job with the combination of romances, but I was left wanting more of each of them. I would also have loved to see some hint of a softening in Rowden’s father as well. Bottom line – it is a wonderful read and you absolutely cannot go wrong by reading it.

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  • Two Romances in One

    This Survivors series story is a twofer, there are two couples who find love and it’s delightful. First up we have Modesty Brown, who has been raised in a strict religious family, preaching to others about sin and damnation. When she meets Rowden Payne, a pugilist, she’s intrigued even though she knows it’s sinful to watch him sparring half clothed. Rowden, The Royal Payne as he is known in boxing circles, is the disowned son of a duke and his only family is the one he’s made with his fellow Survivors. When Modesty's father goes missing, she’s left destitute and on her own and Rowden is the only person she can think of to ask for help to find an aunt she hasn’t seen in years. During her search, Modesty learns the life she knew has been a lie, it leads to all sorts of new experiences and she begins to learn that everything different and fun in life is not sinful. I didn’t like Modesty much at first, her mind seemed closed to everything but the strict religious teachings of her church, but once she began seeing things differently and enjoying herself a bit, she definitely grew on me. I’ve loved Rowden since he helped Nash in the last book, so I enjoyed seeing him find happiness. The second romance is Rowden’s manager, Chibale Okoro who has fallen for the French modiste Therese Renauld and is determined to convince her to change her mind about love. Chibale was such a nice man, I was happy to see him begin to win over Therese, since she had been so abused and made a new life for herself in England. When danger threatens both women, the two men must step up to protect their ladies, which gave them both a chance to get to know the ladies better. Throw in Rowden’s quirky manservant Trogdon, Madame Renauld’s parrot Bleuette, and several of Rowden’s fellow Survivors, and it was an absolutely lovely story. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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  • Great story!

    The tenth installment of The Survivor's series, this book is filled with love, adventure, intrigue and suspense and captured my attention and pulled me in from the very beginning. It's no surprise, really, as Ms. Galen's books always have a way grabbing my interest and never letting go! The character development was brilliant and Rowden and Modesty worked so well together and had chemistry that was just undeniable. Rowden has been a working as a pugilist ever since he was disinherited by his father from the dukedom. It gives Rowden some amount of pleasure knowing that his work really irks his father. Modesty and Rowden meet in a very unique way, and after that moment she always seems to be appearing in his life. She needs his help and he finally agrees to help her, but was not expecting the secrets and danger that he encounters in the process. He also did not expect to lose his heart to her, either. A wonderfully captivating and engaging story that I could not put down. Absolutely loved it and highly recommend! You cannot miss this amazing story! I received a complimentary copy from the author and am voluntarily leaving my review.

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  • A Wonderful Series

    Her Royal Payne is the tenth book in The Survivors Series. This has been such an amazing series and each book can be read as a standalone but once you start reading one, you will want to read them all. The series is based on a group of soldiers during the Napoleonic war called the Survivors. They were a team of soldiers that Lieutenant Colonel Benedict Daven (from the fifth book in the series) was ordered to put together that took on suicide missions. There were thirty men in the group but only twelve made it back to England alive. Now they are trying to adjust to civilian life but still need the help of their comrades when they are in a bind. So, starting at the beginning gives the reader a chance to meet all the men that are in the series. Rowden Payne, known as The Royal Payne, was a disowned son of a duke who makes his living from bare-knuckle boxing. He had lost his wife and child in childbirth. Now he avoids responsibilities, but he can’t ignore Modesty’s problem. Modesty Brown’s father was a minister who seemed to disappear one day while she was running errands. Modesty went to the church elders, but they had no information. Modesty has no funds which leave her with the option to find her mother’s sister who is part of society. The only person she knew that had access to society was Rowden, the bare-knuckle boxer she had caused to lose his match. This was another wonderful book for the series, and it was beautifully written. The pacing was perfect, and the characters were developed. Once I started reading, I could not put it down until I was finished. The intrigue of Modesty’s father's disappearance kept me reading and I was very surprised by where they found him. I look forward to the next book in the series. I received an ARC and am voluntarily leaving a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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