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Friday, May 18, 2018

From Governess to Countess & From Courtesan to Convenient Wife by Marguerite Kaye - Book Reviews, Guest Post & Giveaway

Reviews by Suze

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The Procurer contacts Allison at the exact right time. Her good name has been ruined, just because the men of the ton don't accept that she's a woman working as a herbalist. She's more than happy to leave England and work for Aleksei, a Russian Count. He needs a governess with herbalist skills and can't trust anyone living nearby. He needs Allison's help with a matter of great importance. Will she be able to assist him and what will happen when sparks fly?

Allison didn't come to Russia to have an affair. The last thing she wants is to be associated with more scandal, but Russian society doesn't seem to mind that there's more going on between her and Aleksei than just a regular business relationship. Can she take the risk and follow her heart? Allison will only be in Russia for a short time and the reward will be independence, would it be so bad to go after a bit of happiness for herself for a change?

From Governess to Countess is an intriguing romantic story. Aleksei's family has many secrets and I couldn't wait to find out what they were. He needs Allison's help and her herbalist skills are an important part of her job. He's looking after his brother's children and doesn't know what to do with them. Allison's warmth and kind way with people instantly puts everyone at ease and I loved how she defrosts the household and makes the members happier and more content. She's a wonderful intelligent woman with many skills and I kept hoping her future would bring her happiness instead of struggles.

Marguerite Kaye has a lovely easy flowing writing style that immediately drew me into the glamorous world she's writing about. I loved the opulence of Aleksei's home and was fascinated by the descriptions of the rooms, furniture and clothing. It makes the story come to life in a fabulous way. I really enjoyed the choice of romance being combined with a thrilling mystery and couldn't wait to find out more about the matter Aleksei's looking into. I was captivated from beginning to end and liked From Governess to Countess a lot.

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The Procurer has an offer for Sophia that she can't refuse. In exchange for her independence she will have to travel to France to help Jean-Luc, a rich Parisian business man. A woman has shown up with a contract that could change his future forever. He doesn't want to marry someone he doesn't love and hasn't chosen as his bride and therefore he immediately needs someone who pretends to be his wife. Will Sophia be everything he's asked for?

Sophia isn't used to being showered with attention. She had to make many sacrifices for her loved ones and doesn't trust men. Jean-Luc proves to be kind though. He makes sure she has all the dresses she needs and when he finds out she likes gourmet food he goes all out to let her taste buds explode. Their relationship doesn't feel fake at all, but Sophia isn't actually Jean-Luc's wife and there's something he doesn't know about her. Will he send Sophia away when he finds out about her past?

From Courtesan to Convenient Wife is a delightful romantic story. Before she arrived at Jean-Luc's home Sophia's life was hard. She's heartbroken, but determined to make something of her future. Her assignment can give her the freedom she longs to have, but first she has to help Jean-Luc to solve his problem. He doesn't want to marry someone because of a contract. Together Sophia and Jean-Luc start digging into his past and they uncover all kinds of fabulous fascinating secrets. The revelations kept me glued to the pages and I couldn't put the book down until I knew every single detail.

Marguerite Kaye has a great captivating writing style. I was immediately intrigued by Jean-Luc and his gentle manners. He has a beautiful home and is actively trying to help rebuilding France after a terrible time. I liked this bit of history in the story in combination with the chivalry of the man. I know Paris well and Marguerite Kaye makes it come to life in a fantastic way. I loved her vivid descriptions that took me to another time and place and didn't let me go before I finished the book. From Courtesan to Convenient Wife is a fabulous mesmerizing story.

Advice

If you love regency romance you will definitely like the Matches Made in Scandal series. The stories can both be read as standalones.

About Marguerite Kaye

Despite being a stickler for punctuality, Marguerite arrived very late to the world of writing for a living. Inexplicably, it took her many years of training to be a lawyer, impersonating an IT Consultant and studying history before she realised that none of these could hold a candle to sitting around in her pyjamas crafting the odd elegant phrase while sipping herbal tea.

Marguerite’s go-to activities to avoid writing are dressmaking, eating what she grows, trying not to grow after she eats (aka doing Jillian Michaels workouts) and the traditional hedonistic distractions of doing the ironing and cleaning the bathroom.

A classically-trained ballerina and virtuoso cellist, tall and willowy Marguerite would like to remind everyone that she makes things up for a living. Scotland is where she lives, but France is her spiritual home.

Links

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Instagram

Matches Made in Scandal
  
Guest post by Marguerite Kaye

One of the questions authors are most often asked is “where do you get the ideas for your books?” Believe it or not, the germ of the idea for my Matches Made in Scandal historical quartet was formed when I was watching one of those reality tv shows about a luxury hotel, where the concierge and her little black book of contacts was much in demand, her services much sought after by the wealthy guests. Power and influence, in the Regency period, was very difficult for a woman to wield, and I was intrigued by the notion of having a historical concierge, a woman who had the priceless ability to make the impossible possible. And so The Procurer was born.

All well and good, but what did this mysterious character actually do? I started with my heroines. The Procurer, I reckoned, would be the type of woman who would empathise with outsiders like herself, women cast out of society, down on their luck, struggling to survive in a world determined to trample on them. Cinderella heroines, definitely, but my Cinderella’s had no prospect of a Prince Charming coming to their rescue, so when The Procurer turns up out of the blue, they leap at the chance to rescue themselves. And The Procurer provides the means to do just that.

How would she do that, was the next question. Enter my heroes, men facing a variety of extraordinary dilemmas which required the assistance of a female with very particular skills to resolve their predicament. In each case the stakes would be very high. I was excited by the idea of building more plot into my romances than previously. And, as a writer, looking forward to the challenge of balancing plot with romance – at that early point quite oblivious to the fact that there would be times when the attempt would reduce me to tears! Just to up the ante on the research stakes, I decided that I would set each book in a different country, in a glamourous and fascinating city, and that the setting would play a role, almost like another character in the book.

The first story takes place in St Petersburg. In From Governess to Countess, Russian Count Aleksei requires a herbalist to help him solve a murder, and Allison, shunned by the medical profession in London, is just the gal for the job. From Courtesan to Convenient Wife has Parisian Jean-Luc setting out to prove that he is not the long lost Duc de Montendre, and faking a marriage to Sophia while he does so, to get the long lost Duc de Montendre’s fiancée off his back! His Rags to Riches Contessa has Venetian aristocrat Luca seeking revenge for his father’s death by bringing the man he believes killed him to his knees. He needs an expert card trickster to do that and Becky, a girl from the London rookeries on the run from the law, is more than up for the challenge.

And the fourth book? I’m writing it at the moment, but finally we get The Procurer’s story and discover the woman behind the master manipulator. This book is set in London where The Procurer and my rather gorgeous self-made Scottish hero desperately search for his niece who has been abducted. But Cameron and the woman known as The Procurer have a history, and as they work together against the clock to save his niece from a fate worse than death, their skeletons come tumbling out of the closet. There’s a lot of them. And that’s all I’m saying!

So when I’m sitting in front of the television with a glass of wine watching a lowbrow guilty pleasure, I’m really working. Honest! 

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive signed paperback copies of From Governess to Countess and From Courtesan to Convenient Wife by Marguerite Kaye.

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The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

13 comments:

  1. Both books sound like enthralling romances and look set to be a great start in the Matches Made in Scandal series.

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  2. These sounds like great books, thanks for the giveaway.

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  3. I love Marguerite's books, I also enjoy her daily good morning posts on Twitter :D

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  4. The covers are really stunning!

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  5. Right up my street, this would definitely be great bedtime reading!!

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  6. Ekkk do not go to Russia! Your grandkids kids will not fare well!
    But oh how good they sound

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  7. It's always so interesting to hear where an author's inspiration sparks from, you wouldn't think a reality show would inspire something historical, I love that, very creative.

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  8. I'm just stopping by to say hello and thank you for the lovely reviews of my books. I'm hurtling towards the finish line of the last story at the moment, with the clock ticking (it's out in December). I know exactly what has to happen, I just can't seem to type fast enough! Good luck to everyone who enters the draw and if you win, I'd love to know your thoughts (good or bad) when you do get around to reading the stories.

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  9. Sounds great! thanks for sharing x

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  10. Sounds like a good read forva day of relaxing good luck!📚💕

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  11. I really, really love the covers to your books! They are absolutely gorgeous!

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