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Gentlemen Prefer Mischief
     

Gentlemen Prefer Mischief

4.2 7
by Emily Greenwood
 

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"An author to keep an eye on...Greenwood's talent is obvious."—RT Book Reviews

When Adversaries Clash, Mischief Ignites Passion...

If it hadn't been for the crazy rumors, Lily Teagarden would never have approached her neighbor, Hal, Viscount Roxham—the careless rogue who broke her fledgling heart. But strange noises and lights on his

Overview

"An author to keep an eye on...Greenwood's talent is obvious."—RT Book Reviews

When Adversaries Clash, Mischief Ignites Passion...

If it hadn't been for the crazy rumors, Lily Teagarden would never have approached her neighbor, Hal, Viscount Roxham—the careless rogue who broke her fledgling heart. But strange noises and lights on his property are causing serious problems for her, and she needs his help.

Trouble is oh-so-diverting for Viscount Roxham, and what could be more amusing than investigating what's plaguing his prim, beautiful neighbor—haunted sheep, of all things. Every time he seems to make progress, though, she throws mischief in his path, and his attraction to her is becoming extremely distracting...too bad Lily's the only woman in England who doesn't think he's Lord Perfect.

Praise for A Little Night Mischief:

"The hero is quite devastatingly gorgeous, and the writing is well-crafted."—All About Romance

"Lovely, lighthearted historical romance."—Imagine A World

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A mix of delicious sensuality in Greenwood's nicely written and, at times, emotional read" - RT Book Reviews

"If you like sexy and enchanting historical romances, look no further than Emily Greenwood's novels." - Book Soulmates

"GENTLEMEN PREFER MISCHIEF is a delightfully fun read. " - Romance Junkies

"I like that Greenwood makes you fall in love with the secondary characters in her stories and keeps you wanting more." - Historical Romance Lover

"Don't miss out on Emily Greenwood's writing. She is a force to watch." - Eileen Dandashi - Writer & Book Reviewer

"4 stars. I might just go back and read the first book! I'll definitely be catching other books in this series." - The Eater of Books

"Gentlemen Prefer Mischief was a sweet historical romance with an interesting mystery." - Imagine a World

"It's been a few months since I've been able to get lost in a Regency romance, and this was the perfect one for me to pick up." - Lily Element

"Delightfully wicked read! Emily Greenwood has created characters that will have you laughing at their antics." - Wakela's World

"I forget why I enjoyed historical romance novels when I was growing up and Emily brought that reason back. " - A Cray Vermonter's Book Reviews

"A fun tale, GENTLEMEN PREFER MISCHIEF, the second book in talented author Emily Greenwood's REGENCY MISCHIEF series, is an intriguing, sexy historical romance. " - Romance Junkies

"A good sophomore effort by an up and coming author!" - Debbie's Book Bag

"If you like sexy and enchanting historical romances, look no further than Emily Greenwood's novels. Gentlemen Prefer Mischief is a fun read, and I agree with Greenwood that "romance is the chocolate of literature"! " - Super Librarian

"A light fun romance." - Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell

"Emily Greenwood's delightful characters that are so well developed and the humor that threads through the plot make Gentlemen Prefer Mischief captivating" - Long and Short Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402276347
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
12/03/2013
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

One

It was the ghost nonsense that started it.

Lily Teagarden had seen the phantom lights herself at night, flickering among the wide strip of trees that divided Thistlethwaite, her family's property, from the estate belonging to their absentee neighbor, Viscount Roxham. The trees belonged to him as well.

She did not believe in ghosts or spirits of any kind.

But most of Highcross village did, doubtless in part because as children they'd been told of the two people who'd met a dastardly end in the Mayfield woods fifty years before. Since no trace of the villain had ever been found, legend held that the crime had been done by an evil spirit-one who might still linger among the shadowy underbrush. Generations of misbehaving children had been warned that the barbarous Woods Fiend would find them if they didn't mend their ways.

That well-developed fear was doubtless behind what had just been delivered to the little stone building at the back of Thistlethwaite Manor, where Lily was currently standing with her hands folded tightly in front of her and frustration deepening her breath. Before her stood a large crate of neatly folded shawls over which she'd toiled with persistence and a deep sense of purpose. A note had been sent with them, which read in part:

I regret that I must return these unsold shawls, but I can no longer have them in my shop. Because of the situation near your property and its proximity to the sheep that produce the yarn, ladies no longer wish to be seen wearing them. Mrs. Croat was actually followed by a small crowd who forced her to take her shawl off and burn it.

Doubtless things would not have gotten to such a state had Mary Wortham not been wearing one of the shawls when the little tree fell on her, but with the rumors circulating about the Thistlethwaite sheep, superstitious people can talk of nothing else.

Perhaps in the future if the problem is resolved, we might again do business. Until then, I see no market for your shawls.

Yours,

Thomas Trent

Lily folded the letter and creased it sharply. This was doubtless the reason Helen hadn't come to work for the last three days. Helen was the one who'd seen Parsley coming out of the woods-the sheep had been rolling her eyes and Helen had said, in a quivering voice, that Parsley had been taken over by the Woods Fiend. Lily had said it was midges.

Apparently, Helen had been talking.

The September afternoon carried late summer warmth, and the back of one of Lily's sticky hands was covered with fluff from the wool she'd been picking through. As she considered the crate of shawls, she meticulously picked the fluff off her hands and gathered it into a neat puff that she put on the table. An unruly trickle of perspiration slid downward from the immaculate knot that kept her white-blond hair tidy and threatened to soak into the collar of her pale blue frock, but she brushed it away with a precise swipe of her index finger.

"So our sheep are possessed," she said aloud, giving vent to her frustration. "What, are they going to float into our rooms at night and nibble us all to death?"

"Oh, Li-ly," her younger sister Delia sang out as she rushed through the door of the little house, "I have the most amazing news." At fifteen, Delia never walked when she could rush. "Wait, what do you mean we're going to be nibbled to death?"

"Apparently everyone thinks our sheep are haunted or possessed or some such."

Delia let out a bark of laughter before clapping her hand over her mouth.

"I'm sorry, Lil," she said when she had collected herself, "it's just that Rosemary and Thyme would make such adorable ghosts." She saw the crate of shawls. "But what's all this?"

Lily found that she was clenching her teeth, and she made herself relax. This would be-surely it must be-resolved if only the Mayfield estate would do its part. She'd gone there last week when Helen had first suggested the Woods Fiend was responsible for the phantom lights, and Mr. Prescott, the estate manager, had listened and nodded, but there'd been no result. She'd even considered investigating herself, but if something nefarious were going on in the woods, she'd be ill equipped to respond.

She couldn't do without the money the shawls made.

"Mr. Trent sent them back," she explained. "Between Helen gossiping about evil spirits and what happened to Mary Wortham, our shawls are now very much non grata." Lily sat down at the table and dropped her chin onto her upraised palm and considered what to do. She forced herself not to dwell on the owner of Mayfield, even though it was no surprise that Roxham should be a neglectful landlord.

"Oh, dear. That is bad news," Delia said as she moved closer and perched on the edge of the table. Her blond hair was a few shades darker than Lily's-of the four Teagarden siblings, Lily had the lightest hair-and arranged in a pretty style that Delia had devised herself.

She reached for Lily's hand. "I know how much you like your clandestine shawl-making. All that special knitting, even late at night. And it's worked out having Helen as the public face of the business all these years." She squeezed Lily's hand as if to shore her up. "But now that every penny from the business doesn't need to be saved anymore..."

Oh, yes, every penny did need to be saved, Lily thought. But her plans for her proceeds from the business were her secret.

"The shawl business is important to me," she said, though she knew Delia didn't see why. Their brothers, Rob and Ian, didn't understand either why she persisted in making the shawls herself. The business had been started four years before, as part of the siblings' efforts to pay off the large debts that were discovered when their father died. The fact that Lily did much of the work herself had always been kept secret so it wouldn't be known she was engaged in trade. But now that the debts had been paid and Lily continued to work, her siblings looked on it as her odd secret hobby. Though Lily loved them, she wasn't ready to say why she needed to keep working.

"But it's not genteel," Delia said with a faint air of impatience.

To the devil with genteel, Lily wanted to say. Genteel was about papering over what really went on in people's lives. But it wasn't Delia's fault that she knew little of the unpresentable side of life, and Lily was glad that she didn't.

"Well," Delia went on, "with Mr. Trent not wanting to sell the shawls... maybe this is a good time to give up the business."

"Oh, I'm not going to give it up," Lily said, "and certainly not over this Woods Fiend nonsense."

"But what else is there to do if nobody wants to buy the shawls?"

"Nobody wants to buy them because they think they're tainted. But if someone from Mayfield would resolve the problem, people would want the shawls again." Lily stood up.

Delia stopped swinging her leg and narrowed her eyes. "You're not going to do something strident, are you?"

"Strident? It's perfectly acceptable to ask that our neighbor do the right thing."

Delia hopped off the table and took hold of Lily's sleeve. "But you can't do that! It's-it's unseemly. At least wait a few days, until Rob and Ian come back."

"I'm too annoyed to wait. Mayfield has been a careless neighbor of late, and something must be done."

"But what will Roxham think?"

"He won't think a thing-he's never there. As far as I can tell, he's washed his hands of the estate."

"But that's what I came to tell you," Delia said, giving Lily's sleeve an urgent shake. "He's here, with a party of ladies and gentlemen." She finally released the fabric and threw her arms in the air. "There's going to be a ball at Mayfield-and we're invited!"

Lily blinked at this gust of information. "What? After years away, the lord has come back to the manor? It can't be true."

"But it is! His sister herself came just now to deliver the invitation. And, oh, Eloise Waverly is unbelievably fashionable and charming."

"Of course she is."

Delia tilted her head. "Didn't you like Eloise when they used to be at Mayfield?"

"I suppose she was nice enough."

Privately, Lily admitted that perhaps she'd let her animosity toward Hal-no, Viscount Roxham, as she made sure to think of him now-color her feelings about his younger sister. She'd known his family from childhood-their families were neighbors and the two most important families in the area, even if the Teagardens were far lower on the social scale than the viscount's family.

"Well, I like her so far," Delia said. "And she's sixteen, too-only a bit older than me, so I hope we'll be great friends."

"You'd be great friends with a kitten if she were sixteen, you're so starved for company. I'll just go and have a quick word with the viscount."

Delia's face fell. "Oh, Lily, no. I'm begging you not to go to him over the Woods Fiend. He's a viscount now, for goodness' sake-he needn't concern himself with something like this. Besides, they've just invited us to a ball, and it will seem ungrateful to complain."

"I am ungrateful if they're not going to be good neighbors."

Delia crossed her arms. "Rob wouldn't like it, your going over there about this."

Lily didn't exactly like the idea of approaching Roxham either; she couldn't think of the last time she'd seen him without shuddering from the bottom of her soul.

"Rob needn't even know."

"Oh," Delia fairly wailed, "but you are so uninterested in being pleasing to gentlemen. I still squirm when I think of how you wouldn't let Mr. Easton give you flowers last week at the fair."

"He was going to pick them from a bush where they were growing so beautifully. It was wrong."

"No, he wanted to do something gallant because he thinks you are pretty."

"There, you see. I don't want Mr. Easton to think I'm pretty."

"Argh, Lily. You always have to be so focused on things being worthy."

Lily laughed. "Very well, I promise to do at least one unworthy thing in the coming week. See how agreeable I am?"

Delia sighed. "Well, if you really must go, put on something pretty first. That blue frock is so plain. You want to look your best if you are going to see Roxham. And be your most winning. He's-"

"Yes, I know. Lord Perfect. All the ladies adore him, et cetera, even though he's vowed not to marry until he's fifty-one. I know perfectly well what he looks like and that he knows how to charm," Lily said, cherishing a hope that he was getting fat by now, or was a wasted wreck of a man, or at the very least in constant despair over the fact that he was a shallow person. It would only be fair, really, if he'd developed a case of persistent boils.

Delia, gazing off into space, missed the scorn in her sister's voice. "First a dashing, brave army captain, and now he's a viscount. I can barely remember him, but he must be so handsome now, like Achilles."

"Achilles wasn't even real! Honestly, Delia. I just want him to see to his property so we don't all suffer."

And in fact, as she set out toward Mayfield with her dog, Buck, beside her, Lily was glad that she wasn't finely turned out. If she'd looked her best, she might have been tempted to try to charm Lord Perfect herself. But she was a different person now from the silly sixteen-year-old she'd been when last she'd seen him.

And she didn't need him to like her anymore.

***

Under the domed, ornate roof of the small rotunda on the eastern edge of the Mayfield estate, Hal, Viscount Roxham, crouched next to his young nephew, Freddy, who had eyes for nothing but the burning length of a slow match on the stone floor before them and the twist of paper in his uncle's hand.

Sitting on tall-backed chairs that servants had brought were Freddy's mother, Diana, and Hyacinth Whyte, a pretty widow. Occasional faint bursts of Italian, along with clattering sounds, came from a site somewhat distant where two men were at work amid a pile of stones.

"I really don't know that a child of five ought to be lighting things, Hal," Diana said.

"Nonsense," he said. "It's a rite of passage. Men love fire, don't we?"

"Yes!" Freddy said gleefully, doubtless thinking of his napping brother. "It's only for men."

The firecracker felt insignificant in Hal's hand; he was aware of an itching desire for something larger, like a rocket.

"Roxham is very good at setting things on fire," Hyacinth said suggestively. Hal could feel his sister-in-law lifting an eyebrow in his direction. The firecracker lesson had been partly motivated by a wish for less time alone with Hyacinth, which was shabby of him, as he was the one who'd invited her. He'd thought he might enjoy her silliness and chatter, but he hadn't. Which didn't necessarily have anything to do with her.

"So, Freddy," Hal said, "take the firecracker"-Freddy took hold eagerly-"and you're going to press the part that's sticking up on the slow ma-"

Freddy pressed the firecracker to the match before Hal could finish instructing.

"Throw it, boy!"

The firecracker sailed from the rotunda, emitting a loud crack. This was immediately followed by a sharp cry that came from behind the rotunda, along with a series of barks.

"Heavens," Diana said as they all turned to see Mayfield's butler approaching them in company with a petite, pale-haired woman and a black-and-white hound. "Who is that?"

At first glance, Hal didn't know-and then, as she drew closer and the detail of the prim set of her mouth could be added to the near-whiteness of her hair, recognition dawned, along with a spurt of gratitude at the diversion she would represent.

"Miss Teagarden to see you, my lord," Johnson said. Hal was already walking toward her.

"Lily Teagarden." He bowed. Teagardens... he'd forgotten all about them. It had been ages since he'd seen any of them.

"My lord." Her curtsy was a sketch, a brisk reference to what was owed a viscount. He wouldn't expect formality from such close neighbors as the Teagardens, and the last time he'd seen her he'd been merely a captain in the Foot Guards and the younger brother of a viscount. Still, there was no warmth in her greeting either. Her eyes flicked to the floor of the rotunda, where the still-burning slow match was gradually disappearing.

"I'm sorry about your brother," she said. "He was a fine man."

"Yes, he was," he said, an inadequate reply he'd made countless times in the last six months since acceding to a title that never should have been his. "And how is your family?"

"My sister is well. Rob and Ian are away at present."

He was about to ask after her father when he remembered that Mr. Teagarden had died some years ago-of drink, it had been rumored, though he didn't remember the man being a sot.

He presented her to Diana, Hyacinth, and Freddy.

"We're lighting firecrackers," Freddy informed her.

"Yes, I heard."

"Wasn't it splendid?"

"Splendid."

"I should think you'd like a demonstration up close," Hal said. Her primness was irresistible.

"N-" she started to say, but caught sight of Freddy's eager face. Her stiff smile softened into quite a kind look and she said, "Certainly."

"Oh Hal, he needn't do more," Diana said. "It is rather loud."

"Nonsense, I'm certain there's nothing Miss Teagarden would like better."

Hal handed Freddy a firecracker; Freddy pressed it immediately to the slow match and flung the burning twist of gunpowder away. The satisfying crack was followed by an equally satisfying yelp from Miss Teagarden.

"Well done, Freddy," she said a little tightly. "Most diverting."

Turning to Hal, she said, "Might I have a word with you in private, my lord?"

A private word with him? "Certainly, Miss Teagarden," he said, wondering why they were being so formal when it had been Hal and Lily when they were younger. He excused himself from the others and led her toward the shade provided by a copse of trees. Her dog followed them like a furry chaperone.

"It's about the woods between our properties. The villagers think the Woods Fiend is back."

"The Woods Fiend?" he said. "By Jove, I'd forgotten about him." As children, he and his elder brother, Everard, had gone on raids of the woods looking for the Fiend. Everard had always led the way, with Hal his faithful lieutenant.

If only Everard were still here, he thought for the thousandth time.

"People are saying that he's possessed our sheep, or haunted them, or some such." She made an impatient gesture as she uttered these bizarre words. "Thistlethwaite is known for the shawls made from our wool, but the rumors are hurting the business. So I ask that you find out what's going on in the woods at night so this silliness can be cleared up. Please."

He absorbed this slightly breathless request. Since he'd become viscount, many things had been asked of him, but this was certainly the strangest. "The Woods Fiend is believed to be possessing your sheep?"

"I'm not surprised you know nothing of this," she said with an air of accusation, as if to suggest that this trouble was his fault. "I've spoken to Mr. Prescott, but to no avail."

Ah. Prescott had managed Mayfield for decades, and as Everard had relied on him, Hal had known he could, too. However, since arriving at Mayfield yesterday, he'd become increasingly convinced that the man was going deaf, despite trying to carry off a charade that he could hear. So that was something else to contend with.

Since becoming viscount, Hal's respect for his brother had only grown as he'd seen the effort it took to meet all the needs of the role. Everard had been perfect for the task; all his life, Hal had known that his brilliant, unselfish, dedicated brother was the ideal person to be viscount. Hal hadn't even minded knowing that he himself was lacking in comparison-Everard was such a good man that he'd always wished him the best.

And, damn fate for the cruel idiot that it was, Everard had been carried off by a fever six months ago. Leaving Hal-the unsuitable brother, the one who made mistakes, the one who had so much trouble being serious-in a role that never should have been his. If he could have given the viscountcy to his steady younger brother John, he would have. But hereditary titles didn't work that way.

He cleared his throat. "Why do people think the Woods Fiend is in the neighborhood? And... tampering with your sheep?"

The flicker in her eyes dared him to laugh about the problem she'd brought to him. They were pretty eyes, of an intense if surprisingly soft blue.

It was funny, he thought, how you could forget a person entirely, and then years later meet that person again and there was that feeling you got from being around him or her. The feeling he'd always gotten around Lily was amusement tinged with irritation; she could be a killjoy.

But one thing had certainly changed in the intervening years. She used to be odd-looking. All the Teagardens had blond hair, but hers had been the palest, a white-blond that had made her seem fragile, a little unearthly, and not in a charming, pixie-ish way. Compared to the rest of her family, she'd been different, because her brothers were handsome and tall. She'd been too thin, which had doubtless been much of the problem with her looks, because the whole effect had been a sort of sickly almost-colorlessness.

That had all changed. Her blue dress was not fashionable-he would have described it as adequate-but it skimmed a very fine figure that started with a set of shoulders held decisively upright. Her face had acquired an interesting definition, and he felt rewarded for his attention by something unique. Those sharply intelligent cornflower blue eyes, which had not seemed remarkable to him when he was younger, now struck him as compelling. In truth, she was a beauty.

"Lights have been observed in the woods at night," she said, "and people take that for a sign he's there. Though why a spirit should need lights, no one stops to think."

He would wager the foolishness of adults believing in spirits would annoy her-she had such a determined air, as if she had things to accomplish and the Woods Fiend was in her way. "Who knows, really," he said, "how well specters can see in the dark?"

She did not dignify that with anything more than a glare. Even her dog was glaring at him. But what a farce, and undeniably the only truly amusing thing that had been brought to him since he'd left the brotherhood of the army.

A heavy clatter came from the folly site, drawing her attention, and she squinted into the distance at the half-completed building. "What are you building over there?"

"A folly." The builders were a father and son, Italian mercenaries his men had captured in Portugal. The duo were soon deemed rather tenderhearted, and in the way that his troops often adopted stray dogs, the Italians had been adopted and trusted with small jobs. Not knowing how his replacement would look upon the two men, Hal had brought Giuseppe and Pietro with him when Everard's death had made him viscount. "It's to be a miniature ruined amphitheater."

"Doesn't Mayfield already have a folly by the lake?"

"Yes, but I can't see it from the manor."

She sniffed. "Another folly."

Her lips pressed together in disapproval; she seemed to have rather a lot of exasperation with him already. It was almost as if he'd offended her beforehand, which was ridiculous, since he hadn't seen her in...

A smile tugged his lips as he remembered. Her fair brows drew together.

"You know very well, my lord, that there's no Woods Fiend. It's obvious someone is up to something in your woods. I would appreciate it if you would please see to this problem as soon as possible."

"I'm surprised Rob and Ian haven't gone after the Fiend themselves."

"The problem developed after they left."

She was waiting for him to agree to help, and then she would turn on her heel and stride back to Thistlethwaite with her hound. But he wasn't ready for her to leave yet, perhaps because her acerbic presence was so interesting-he never got acerbic treatment from females, of any age.

"You know, Lily Teagarden, now that I see you here, I'm reminded of the last time I saw you. Because it was here at Mayfield, on the terrace, wasn't it? You can see the spot quite well from here. Look." She refused to turn her head, but he'd had his reaction in the spill of pink now suffusing her fair cheeks. A keener alertness sharpened the cornflower eyes.

"It was a fine summer evening, as I recall," he said. "There I was on the terrace, chatting with friends, not even aware of your presence. Understandable, in that you'd concealed yourself in the bushes." The color in her cheeks deepened.

"I'm not as entertained as you by memories of that night," she said tartly.

"Oh, come, it's amusing now, isn't it? You're all grown up, and you can have a laugh about your younger self."

"As you say, it was a long time ago. Now, if you'll promise to see to the woods, I'll be on my way."

But a commotion by the rotunda drew their attention; it was his brother John returning from a stroll with their sister, Eloise, and Hal's friend Colin, the Earl of Ivorwood. Everyone was looking at Hal and his visitor, no doubt wondering what they were discussing. Eloise, ever exuberant, came over, trailed by Freddy and the others.

"Why, Lily Teagarden!" she said. "How good to see you. It's been years."

Warmth softened Lily's heretofore stiff features. Cool, small, collected-with her white-blond hair, she was like a petite, pristine snowdrift. "Miss Eloise Waverly, it's-it's really quite lovely to see you again."

"Can we know the secret you were talking about?" Freddy asked.

"Secret?" Eloise said.

Hal could see Lily wanted to keep this Woods Fiend business quiet, but that would be closing the barn door after the horse was out since apparently the rest of the neighborhood was already atwitter with it. "Which secret did you mean?" he said innocently.

Eloise's eyes lit with interest. "Is there more than one?"

"Perhaps," Hal said. "What do you say, Miss Teagarden?"

Meet the Author

Emily Greenwood worked for a number of years as a writer, crafting newsletters and fundraising brochures, but she far prefers writing playful love stories set in Regency England, and she thinks romance is the chocolate-and in some exquisite cases, the wine-of literature. A Golden Heart finalist, she lives with her husband and their two daughters in Kensington, Maryland.

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Gentlemen Prefer Mischief 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
Emily Greenwood's second book in the Regency Mischief series, Gentlemen Prefer Mischief, is out of the ordinary for Regency romances. With a plot device like haunted sheep, how could it be otherwise? This novel also features a prim and proper heroine who could use a little mischief of her own in her life. Greenwood's knack for character development is showcased here, when Lily is forced to acknowledge that she may have feelings for the Viscount next door. A good sophomore effort by an up and coming author! What I liked: Contrary to what some readers enjoy. I liked Lily and her closed up, buttoned up ways. Part of the charm of this book, was Hal's teasing and bantering with her, to get her to come out of that proper lady shell. Greenwood let's Lily's character simmer under the surface, behind a lot of no-nonsense behavior and duty driven attitudes. But I had a feeling there was more to her than met the eye and Hal eventually finds it. Lily is a woman of contradictions and I enjoyed her a lot. Hal, the Viscount Roxham was a true hero in my opinion. He may be a rake, but he's a rake with a conscience. He is a kind man, who understands his duty to his position and family, but he doesn't turn it inward like Lily has done. He is outspoken and boisterous and I understood how he was so enchanted with Lily, she was completely opposite of what the reader thought this kind of man would want. It was a great idea and for me it worked. Who doesn't love some outrageousness, especially in a Regency romance? The ton is so full of rules and regulations and this must be that way and that must be this way's. I thought the haunted sheep and the reason behind them was a great idea. It brought the hero and the heroine together and it provided a back drop to their growing affection for each other. The fiend was certainly a very fun element to this story. What I didn't like: Having read Greenwood's first book, I was excited to read this one. There were definitely some things I liked, but there were a few things that bothered me with this one as well. The pacing was off a bit. I couldn't put my finger on what the issue was for awhile but then I realized that there was just too much going on. I loved the story surrounding Hal and Lily, but the diversion into the the romance of Hal's sister was a merely a distraction that wasn't needed. Perhaps this was set up for the next book, but it took away some of the originality from this novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Drea_Reads More than 1 year ago
Their sparring kept me turning the pages. I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Lily Teagarden’s future is in jeopardy thanks to the Woods Fiend her absent neighbor hasn’t bothered to deal with. So when Lord Roxham returns, Lily demands he ferret out the truth. Too late she discovers the fiend is a friend in need. Now Lily must protect him against the very man she’s set upon him. That means distraction and spirited games of one-upmanship. What neither Roxham nor Lily counted on was that two seemingly opposite people might be perfect for each other. It’s been a few months since I’ve been able to get lost in a Regency romance, and this was the perfect one for me to pick up. Lily is mostly relatable despite the period, and Hal is a sexy hero. Their sparring kept me turning the pages. And most importantly, the love scenes were steamy ;) I give this 4*. Why didn't it get 5? The middle dragged on a little long for my taste and there were some writing style things I disliked. (Re: writing style—so much was in this format “the sleeve of his coat” instead of “his coat’s sleeve”...clumped together.)
Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
This is book 2 in the Mischief series. Lily Teagarden has got to do something about the mysterious lights that keep showing up in the local woods as it is interfering with her business. When she finds out that her neighbor, Viscount Roxham, is finally home she goes to him for help. Roxham is intrigued by the woman that Lily has become. He knew that Lily had a crush on him when she was younger and at one point had taken her journal. He uses this to to tease Lily out of her seriousness. Roxham agrees to help Lily solve the mystery. When she finds out who the fiend is, a friend in need, she sabotages Roxham's efforts. He then retaliates by telling Lily that he will return the journal for the identity of the fiend. The mischief that Lily instigates intrigues Roxham and he uses his rakish ways to seduce her. Will they find the love that both of them secretly want? I fell in love with Roxham during Greenwood's first novel, A Little Night Mischief and couldn't wait to see how his story unfolded. The banter between Roxham and Lily had me laughing out loud. Lily did so many things to keep Roxham from finding out who the fiend was that I couldn't wait to she what she would do next. I like that Greenwood makes you fall in love with the secondary characters in her stories and keeps you wanting more. Her next book features the Earl of Ivorwood. I do hope that Roxham's sister gets her own story too! Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Gentlemen Prefer Mischief by Emily Greenwood Book Two of the Mischief series Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca Publication Date: December 3, 2013 Rating: 4 stars Source: eARC from NetGalley ***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers*** Summary (from Goodreads): It's going to take a dash of mischief to bring these two together… If it hadn’t been for the haunted woods, Lily Teagarden would never have spoken to her neighbor, Viscount Roxham. Known to the fashionable world as Lord Perfect, to Lily he’s a man she can never respect…and the careless rogue who broke her fledgling heart. But sightings of eerie lights among his trees are causing her trouble, and she needs his help. Intrigued by this prim beauty who was once an ugly duckling, Roxham agrees to investigate, though hardly has he begun when she mysteriously undermines his efforts. The mischief she throws in his path awakens his sleeping heart, just as his touch stirs a passion she can’t accept. But Roxham is the last man to whom Lily would surrender, and it’s going to take everything he’s got to win her love. What I Liked: What a fun yet bittersweet historical romance novel! I had zero expectations for this book, when I started it, since I didn't really remember the synopsis at the time, and I haven't read the previous book in the series, or any others books by Greenwood. So, I suppose you could say that I was pleasantly surprised by this novel! For the most part, I like the historical romance novels I read. I pick and choose the ones that I want to read, because I have a feeling that the story will be great.  Well, this novel was no exception. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Hal and Lily. There was something about this couple that was so different from the other historical romance novels that I have read. Maybe because it was not really all about the high society, the ton, and so on. Those aspects were a part of this novel, but they weren't what governed the novel. Lily is a different type of heroine, and Hal is a different type of rake. Lily has had an infatuation with Hal since she was a young girl. Four years later, at twenty, she is more sensible and hardened to such things. She has taken on so much more and does not care for romance, at that point. She has a shawl business to run, and a school to fund and open. But she doesn't account for falling in love with Hal and his wicked charms. That wasn't part of the plan - loving someone unpredictable, not grounded, not genuinely pure and good.  This novel is set around Hal and Lily's budding relationship. They dance around each other, they collide mercilessly, they evade each other (well, that's mostly Lily avoiding Hal), and the dance continues. You might think, this would grow tiresome, right? No, not really. Greenwood has a way of setting up each scene that it isn't very repetitive. Each scene seems to reveal something new about Hal or Lily or someone.  I really like Lily. She is sensible and rational. She knows exactly what she wants, and while this makes her rigid, she has a mind of her own, and she doesn't let others govern her. She is fiery, but in a cool, calculating sense, not a spitfire sense.  Hal is playful and wicked, charming and sensitive. He isn't your typical rake - he has a good heart. He cares about his family, his position, Lily's feelings... under all of his naughty layers, he is truly a wonderful man. He is the stability Lily needs - a carefree type of reined-in stability. Lily is exactly what he needs - calm, collected grounding. They are so perfect for each other. Readers definitely get to see this when they interact, because they point out each other's weaknesses, dig deep, and cut right to the heart of what the other is feeling.  All in all, I really enjoyed this story. It is definitely a romance story first (though there is a subplot), and it is a great one. This will probably be one of my go-to historical romance recommendations.  What I Did Not Like: There was one thing that bothered me. This book is about Hal and Lily. So, why did the author randomly start including scenes in the perspective of Eloise (Hal's sister) and Donwell (a suitor of Eloise)? Granted, Lily sort of played matchmaker with those two, pushing them together one time, under the guise of wanting a sketch of a lady and a gentleman, but still. It was so random. Like, all of a sudden, in the middle of the book, quite a few scenes are written in either Eloise's or Donwell's perspective. Weird. Totally unnecessary. I don't see how the firsthand account of Donwell and Eloise's courtship added to Hal and Lily's story. Would I Recommend It: I would definitely recommend this novel to historical romance lovers! Regular readers should try not to miss this one. You'll fall in love with Hal and Lily! Rating: 4 stars. I might just go back and read the first book! I'll definitely be catching other books in this series.