A scandalous satire on the Duke of Emory, HOW TO RUIN A
DUKE, has London all aflutter including Rowena Fairweather
of Fairweather's, Luthier to the Crown. Rowena, a lifelong
luthier, faces losing the family shop as she might not be
able to afford the rent anymore. Her sole distraction from
her financial woes had been HOW TO RUIN A DUKE until the
appearance of musician Simon Thorn. The charming horn player
who seems right out of the infamous novel!
Upon reading that Theresa Romain would be writing about
violin makers, I nearly swooned. Because of the author's
legendary and scrupulous attention to historical detail, I
knew it would be splendid and Rhapsody for Two is a
masterpiece. I hesitate to call this a novella because Ms.
Romain has perfected the art of writing books that are
novels in a shorter form. You have two characters who are
fully fleshed out, complete with backstories. The sights,
the smells, the sounds recreate a violin maker's life in
1819 London. Ms. Romain also graces us with a musician's
view of Vauxhall, but it's the author's ease at rendering
colors that left me speechless.
Rowena and Simon are the kind of characters I crave in
historical romances: they're nice, ordinary people. They
lead a normal life, aspire to a better future and, doing so,
find true love. Rowena, due to her craft, is a believable
independent woman, and the strong one in the relationship.
Rowena and Simon are both engaging and charismatic, and I
truly cared about them. I smiled, laughed, and hoped along
with them, and I was in tears when things threatened to go
badly. The romance is sublime, the writing so exquisite that
I highlighted all over the place. So many sentences are so
incredibly beautiful, I wish I could commit them all to
memory. The following is but one example of the hundreds in
this book alone that illustrate the brilliance of the
incomparable Theresa Romain.
"...oh, his heart was parched and lonely, and her blue
eyes were spring water and her clever mind was a
WHEN HIS GRACE FALLS by Grace Burrowes
Lady Edith Charbonneau had been the companion to the Duke of
Emory's mother for two years until Edith suddenly left six
months ago. Is it a coincidence that a scandalous and
popular book was published since then? Thaddeus's carefully
maintained reputation is in tatters; who else but Lady Edith
could be guilty of such a disgraceful deed?
I have come to depend on Grace Burrowes for her humor, her
wit, her flowing prose and she is in fine form in When
His Grace Falls. She has such a way with words, and her
creative use of vocabulary elicits several chuckles as Edith
and Thaddeus engage in highly entertaining bickering. But
beneath all the very witty banter, there's a compelling
mystery, which to my astonishment, I thought was even better
than the romance. I was shocked when the identity of the
author of HOW TO RUIN A DUKE was revealed.
Thaddeus and Edith are both no-nonsense and practical
people, and I loved the contrast with their respective
younger brothers Jeremiah and Foster. The latter is so
charming and adorable; I hope we haven't seen the last of
him. The romance is a superb slow burn, and the one
intimate scene is remarkably subdued yet intensely sensual.
I loved the idea for this novella duet, and while both
stories barely intersect, the base is as solid as concrete
where the fictitious book is concerned. HOW TO RUIN A DUKE
is sure to delight historical romance fans and lovers of the
English language of all ilk.
Grace Burrowes and Theresa Romain team up to set two
Regency novellas against a backdrop of scandal, intrigue,
and literary mischief inspired by the real-life spoof of
Lord Byron published by Lady Caroline Lamb.
Rhapsody for Two by Theresa Romain
Rowena Fairweather, a builder of stringed instruments, is
facing a difficult future. Simon Thorn is a musician
fleeing his past. When a page from How to Ruin a Duke
brings them together, will these two independent souls
allow themselves to fall in love?
When His Grace Falls by Grace Burrowes
The very proper Duke of Emory, lampooned in How to Ruin A
Duke, suspects that the author of his misfortune is Lady
Edith Charbonneau. He sets out to ruin her before she can
write a sequel, except... what if he's wrong, and she's
not his enemy after all?