Published by Oliver-Heber Books on March 29, 2022
This is an anthology of five novellas that are not connected to one another. The conceit of the collection is that these are the stories of secondary characters from each author’s other series.
THE EARL ON THE TRAIN by Kerrigan Byrne (Victorian Rebels) — Sebastian Moncrieff has been the villain and when he runs into Veronica Weatherstoke again (and whom he kidnapped in the past), Veronica knows that he is up to no good. Indeed, he is but he can also be convinced to be helpful to Veronica’s own plans. This is a hot little story, and I loved this “epilogue” of a sort to the Victorian Rebels story as it resolves these two minor characters’ story in a satisfying manner. Readers of that series should definitely pick this one up. I loved these two. The “plot” is completely irrelevant and that is fine. The story wisely just focuses on the relationship between Sebastian and Veronica. Rating: 4.5 Stars.
THE WOLF OF WESTMORE by Amalie Howard (Regency Rogues) — Lady Jocelyn Capehart is to be married off by her father to a disgusting man. So she decides to have a night to herself and attend an auction at the notorious club of Wulfric Bane, Duke of Westmore who is the avowed enemy of her family — and the man she buys in the auction for herself. I loved this story. It is hot and sexy and has hints of both Romeo and Juliet and also Little Red Riding Hood. I haven’t read the other books in the series, but I understood enough for this story and this book made me want to read the other books (as characters make an appearance here). Jocelyn is very active and determined to live her own life. Does the book feel like much of the character’s thoughts and motivations are too contemporary — yes — but I took this more like a historical fantasy for those who need to be coddled with modern tropes. Rating: 4.5 stars.
PUT UP YOUR DUKES by Janna MacGregor (Cavensham Heiresses) — Amelia and Martin Richmond have been married and estranged for five years. Martin’s work publishing The Midnight Cryer the famous gossip pamphlet keeps them apart as Amelia cannot live with Martin destroying people with gossip. A threat to Martin’s business, however, brings the couple under the same roof for the first time since right after their marriage and challenges whether they can live together or must part for good. I really enjoyed the setup for this story. The situation and characters seemed well constructed for a great story. However, I got annoyed with Amelia’s nagging after a while. The story became “she is perfect” and “he must concede everything”. I was annoyed and the rest of the story was not satisfying to me. Rating: 2.5 stars.
DUKE OF EVERY SIN by Stacey Reid (Unknown Series) — Ethan Benedict, Duke of Bainbridge one night finds a baby left on his doorstep. When Lady Verity Stanton comes to claim the child who is her illegitimate nephew, the Duke refuses to return him and instead proposes a marriage of convenience between the two. The boy is Verity’s sister’s child with Ethan’s deceased friend. I wish I knew what series this book is connected with (if any) it would give me somewhere to begin reading Reid’s works. I enjoyed the emotional connection between Ethan and Verity. Yes, the setup is a bit ridiculous, but how it works out was pretty great. Rating: 4 stars.
LOVED AND FOUND by Christie Caldwell (Scandalous Affairs/Heart of a Scandal) — Lady Edith Peregrine, the Marchioness of Bouchier after years of marriage to a man she despised is now free. Lieutenant Thaddeus Phippen has returned from war and encounters Edith whom he loved until she married. Secrets are revealed in this story. I absolutely loved the setup of this story, but the resolution was too quick and didn’t really feel like a resolution. I needed 20 more pages with this couple in their happiness. Almost really good. Rating: 3 stars.