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Praise for True Highland Spirit:
"Unforgettable, entertaining, and well worth the read."—Romance Fiction Suite 101
Her Timing Couldn't Be Worse...
Miss Eugenia Talbot's presentation to the queen is spoiled by a serious faux pas—the despicable William Grant made her laugh, right in front of Her Majesty. Now Eugenia is ruined and had better ...
Praise for True Highland Spirit:
"Unforgettable, entertaining, and well worth the read."—Romance Fiction Suite 101
Her Timing Couldn't Be Worse...
Miss Eugenia Talbot's presentation to the queen is spoiled by a serious faux pas—the despicable William Grant made her laugh, right in front of Her Majesty. Now Eugenia is ruined and had better marry—someone, anyone—at once...
And His Couldn't Be Better...
Roguish William Grant has never taken anything seriously in his life. Until he meets Eugenia Talbot, who makes him feel and do thing he never thought he would.
Now Eugenia's great sense of humor and kindheartedness may be her undoing, unless William can help her find a husband. To his surprise, that's the last thing he wants to do...
Praise for The Highlander's Heart:
"Elegant writing...beautifully written dialogue and attention to detail. Enthusiasts of historical romance will undoubtedly enjoy this."—Long and Short of It Reviews
"A lovely and fun romance."—Fresh Fiction
"Forester promises her fans a warm, humorous jaunt through Regency England-and she delivers with a cast of engaging characters and delightful intrigue." - RT Book Reviews
"This entertaining novel is a diamond of the first order. - STARRED Review" - Booklist
"Amanda Forester gives us likable characters, snappy dialog, and sweet, sweet romance. What more can a girl ask for? Give A Wedding in Springtime a whirl if this is your thing, and enjoy some springtime reading!" - Drey's Library
"Forester had me hooked from the very beginning with her first sentence; I knew this book was going to be one of those late night reads that you cannot put down until you have reached the end. I look forward to seeing what Ms. Forester comes up with next; I am sure it will be well worth the wait." - RomFan Reviews
"I really enjoyed this story and I'm pretty sure you will too! To every Historical Romance lover, or just Romance lovers, this book is a must-try and should be on your TBR pile!" - Proserpine Craving Books
" I think lovers of Regency Romance will enjoy this book." - From the TBR Pile
" A delightful, fun, sweet, all-around fabulous read. From the beginning to the end of this book, I had a smile on my face." - Book Savvy Babes
"The wit and banter that Amanda Forester uses in conversation between her characters had me laughing out loud. The mystery and suspense she tangles in with the romance was like a cherry on a sundae!" - The Reading Cafe
"Forester hits a home run with her latest book, A Wedding in Springtime!" - Debbie's Book Bag
London, Spring 1810
Ten minutes into her societal debut, Eugenia Talbot was ruined.
A favorable presentation in court cannot ensure a young lady's successful launch into society, but a poor presentation can certainly ruin it. Miss Eugenia Talbot pressed her lips together in an attempt to make the laughter gurgling up inside her die in her throat. The Queen of England glared down her royal nose at Genie. Her Royal Highness, Queen Charlotte, was not amused.
Genie took a deep breath-hard to do laced so tight in her stays she feared one wrong move would crack a rib. The restrictive corset held her posture rigid, which helped keep her headdress in place, a heavy jeweled item with a monstrous, white ostrich plume. Genie knelt in a deep curtsy before the queen, a move she had practiced with a special tutor hired by her aunt to ensure her correct performance. A deep curtsy wearing the required elaborate hoop skirt of court that weighed almost two stone needed to be practiced.
Rising majestically from her curtsy, Genie was pleased she had successfully navigated that potential hazard and brought herself under control. Perhaps the queen had not noticed the stifled giggle. It was hardly Genie's fault, for when the Lord Chamberlain announced her name, he also let loose an audible bodily noise. Having the unfortunate influence of brothers in her formative years, Genie could not help but find amusement in the Lord Chamberlain's offense.
"How is your family, Miss Talbot?" asked the queen with staunch politeness.
"They are all well, Your Highness," responded Genie as coached.
"Are your parents with you in London?"
"No, Your Highness. I am staying with Lady Bremerton, my aunt." Genie glanced at Aunt Cora, whose frozen countenance betrayed her anxiety over Genie's presentation.
"And your brothers and sisters?"
"I have four brothers. Two at university, one in the regulars, and one in the Royal Navy."
"Ah, our sons, they have been ripped from our bosom. Ripped I say."
"Yes, ma'am," said Genie, pressing her lips together again. She was going to kill her brothers when they returned for teaching her deplorable cant. She could not laugh.
"It is a foul wind that blows from France," said the queen.
And the Lord Chamberlain chose that moment to blow a little foul wind himself. It was loud and long, and just when Genie thought he had finished, he gave another little toot. She clenched her jaw so tight tears formed in her eyes.
She took a calming breath, sure she had gotten herself under regulation until she spied a man silently laughing, his shoulders shaking, his smile hidden behind his hand. He caught her eye, gave her a broad smile, and winked.
The entire drawing room was silently staring at her with censure. The queen gave her a look that could blister paint. The more Genie tried to get herself under control, the more amusing the entire scene became. It could not be helped; her body started to shake.
Genie attempted to take a deep breath and a giggle escaped. She tried to squelch it, but a laugh emerged, followed by an unladylike chortle and an unfortunate snort. The more she tried to stop, the worse it became, and with a burst, Genie was laughing out loud.
The queen waved a hand to dismiss her. Instead of dissipating Genie's humor, it only made her laugh harder. Genie managed another deep bow and walked backward out of the queen's presence, giggling as she went. By some miracle, she did not trip on her gown and fall to the floor. It hardly would have mattered if she had.
The Lord Chamberlain and the laughing gentleman had conspired against her. Her debut into society was a disaster. She would surely never be admitted into the haut ton. She was a failure. A social pariah.
Eugenia Talbot was ruined.
People stared as they passed her. Genie never felt more self-conscious, and feared her face was as bright as her skirt. She wanted nothing more than to hide away from the malicious looks and vicious whispers. Unfortunately, wearing courtly attire with feathers that soared at least two feet above her head, she was hardly inconspicuous among the steady throng of people in the outer chambers of the drawing rooms. So she plastered on a fake smile and waited for her aunt to summon her to the coach while the minutes dragged into lifetimes.
"Uncle! I am so glad you are here," said a youthful voice. A young woman was being escorted into the royal drawing rooms. She struggled forward in a similar unwieldy hoop skirt, dyed an unfortunate shade of bright pink.
"I could not forget your presentation to court," said a male voice behind Genie.
"I shall be so much less nervous with you here," gushed the young girl.
"Trust me," said the man, "after what I just witnessed, you shall be brilliant by comparison."
"What happened?" asked the girl, forgetting herself for a moment and cocking her head to one side, which forced her to use both hands to steady the plume of white feathers rising from her head.
"A debutante with a shocking lapse of propriety, who is no doubt being banished to the outer regions of the empire as we speak."
Genie turned to face her accuser. It was none other than the laughing man.
With a flash of recognition, the man had the decency to look sheepish. He waved the young girl forward into the drawing room and stepped up to Genie. He gave Genie a bow and came up smiling, his blue eyes sparkling. He was a handsome man; there could be no denying his appeal, with sandy blond hair and laughing eyes. His features were pleasing, with high cheekbones that gave him an impish appearance. His attire was splendid in the required royal-purple silk coat and knee breeches. Unlike others who appeared foppish in the requisite colors of the English royal court, the man before her commanded his style. It was not every gentleman who could wear purple silk britches with confidence.
"Please forgive me if I have offended you," said the man with a disarming smile.
"Forgive you? Why, there is nothing to forgive. You only spoke the truth, did you not?" Genie presented the man with a smile, the kind she kept on a shelf to feign good humor when she had none to give.
"Not at all. Merely trying to encourage my niece-timid thing, needs encouragement. Do what I can to make her feel at ease."
"You are charity itself."
"No, no I..." The man paused and gave her a guilty grin. "I'm not going to redeem myself from my careless words, am I?"
"I can forgive your words. You are no doubt correct that my aunt is at this moment trying to find a penal colony for me at the greatest distance from London. What I cannot forgive is your shocking wink that caused this trouble."
"Surely this affair is not my fault! It is my Lord Chamberlain who embarrassed himself beyond redemption."
"If you had not laughed, I would have been able to calm myself."
"How could I not be amused? Honestly, I do hope the poor man survives the night."
"But no one caught you laughing," said Genie, getting at the heart of the injustice. "They were only looking at me."
"Naturally they were looking at you. Between the two of us, there can be no comparison." The man's easy smile turned flirtatious, but Genie was accustomed to flattery regarding her appearance and considered herself immune to its charms. The magnitude of her failure weighed down her shoulders. She wished she could tear off the heavy headpiece, but she had brought upon herself enough scandal for one day-all thanks to the man before her.
"I do wish I had never seen you," said Genie in uncharacteristically clipped tones. "And since you are no doubt correct that my aunt is even now booking my passage to the Americas or Botany Bay, I will take comfort in the fact that I will never see you again. Good day, sir!"
With fortuitous timing, Genie was called to join her aunt and she practically flew into the coach on the plumes of her own headdress. Unfortunately, her sweeping exit was hindered by the logistics of maneuvering three hoop skirts belonging to herself, her aunt, and her cousin, which was done with such haste Genie feared her gown would be sadly crushed. Her aunt demanded the curtains be drawn, as if the mere sight of Eugenia Talbot was so offensive the whole of London must be protected.
"Disaster! Oh, how could you do this to me?" Lady Bremerton lay back on the plush squabs of the town coach as it jolted forward, her hand on her forehead for dramatic flair. "I should have known you needed more training, more tutelage. After all, your father's family can have no concept of what is expected in higher society, let alone what is proper in court."
Genie swallowed down a retort. She had intended to prove she was every bit as polished as the other debutantes. Acting the hoyden before the queen revealed otherwise.
"I am sorry, Aunt Cora," said Genie, her contrition a tight knot in her chest. "Sorry, Cousin Louisa." Louisa's eyes were sympathetic, but her aunt would give no quarter.
"Sorry will not do you any good, nor will speaking to a known rake," chastised her aunt.
"A known rake?"
"Mr. Grant. I saw you speaking with him. He will do you no good."
"I know that is true," said Genie with a flush.
"Oh, what is to be done? You are ruined, ruined for sure. My reputation is in tatters. There is nothing else for it; you must be married. And quick!"
Posted May 22, 2013
5 out of 5 for this reader folks!
WELCOME to London England 1810 where manners and the way one carry themselves and/or places oneself in a public position could determine whether one is ruined or successful. Welcome to the regency romance genre!
"Ten minutes into her societal debut, Eugenia Talbot was ruined."
I do love a book that begins with a good ruining don't you?? LOL
A Wedding in Springtime by author Amanda Forester was CREATIVE and a multi-layered read! This author had so many sub-plots circling around the main plot that I feared at first it was going to get confusing and take away from the main story! Let me tell you something .. Amanda Forester has a talent for knitting all these sub-stories together to make the main story that much more exciting! I have read many historical romances and most follow a simple formula. Amanda Forester has completely ignored this formula and walked down a different path! It made her book stand out and I often was wondering if I was reading a romance or a mystery! In my opinion .... BOTH! :)
Our main character is Eugenia Talbot. Genie is the product of a scandal when her mother ran away from her privileged life and married a commoner. Now it is up to Genie to salvage the family name (she has been hosted by her stuck up aunt) and enter society as a respectable lady! Well about 5 minutes into her debut she loses her sense of "respectability" by laughing at the wrong moment in front of the wrong person. I tell you I was chuckling right from the start as her reason for ruin is HILARIOUS!
A large factor of her ruined societal debut has to do with a "good rake" (there is a full explanation of a good vs bad rake in this book ..lol) who encourages this laughter and adds to Genie's demise. Mr William Grant. Grant is a devilishly handsome young man who embraces all the riches and indulgences of life and refuses to ever consider the sanctity of marriage. He would much rather frolic through his stages of life carefree and he ensures that this is common knowledge among the ton.
To ensure that Genie does in fact become married soonest to salvage what little reputation she has left, her stuck up aunt covets the advice of a dowager duchess (one who's grandson just so happens to be betrothed to her daughter) and so begins the search for a proper suitor. During all this, a friendship and strong attraction is developing between Genie and Grant. I will not elaborate from there as I do not want to provide any major spoilers!
With the backdrop of Napoleon warring with England, many secrets, letters, codes and villians revealed, romances and the typical gossip of the ton, this story is a page turner. The cast of characters (believe me there are so many that I could go on and on) are so interesting that you cannot wait for more and hope that in the next book you get to meet them again. The wit and banter that Amanda Forester uses in conversation between her characters had me laughing out loud. The mystery and suspense she tangles in with the romance was like a cherry on a sundae!
I am so looking forward to her next book! :)
ARC from Netgallery was provided for an honest review.
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Posted October 1, 2013
Cast of Characters:
Eugenia (Genie) Talbot, in town to make a good match.
William Grant, good friend to the Duke of Marchford and eminently desirable rakish lord who is allergic to marriage.
The Dowager Duchess of Marchford who won't quit the Marchford mansion when her grandson, the Duke returns from the wars.
The handsome, but dour, Duke of Marchford, who can't find a way out of a marriage contract written for his older brother, now deceased, and the brother's fiancee, the equally reluctant-to-marry Lady Louisa Munthgrove. The very nice Duke just doesn't know how to relate to women.
Penelope Rose, eldest of the beautiful Rose sisters for whom she successfully found wealthy (and beloved) husbands. She is plain and sensible and is hired as companion by the elderly dowager duchess and resides with her in the Duke's mansion.
Assorted street urchins, in thrall to a certain evil "Candyman". Chief among them is Jem.
Genie must get married to counteract her disgrace at laughing during her presentation to the Queen. William Grant, the one who made her laugh,is her perfect match, but he just cannot overcome his resistance to wedlock.
Aside from his marriage contract quandary, the Duke of Marchford is also working undercover for the home office, keeping valuable secret papers safe from being stolen by an unknown traitorous spy for the French. Penelope is often a help to him as they plot how to entrap the spy. And street urchin Jem acts as a go-between when Genie falls into the clutches of the Candyman.
Good characters + lots of plot = a most enjoyable read.
Posted September 9, 2013
Posted June 9, 2013
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Book number one in the Marriage Mart series, A Wedding In Springtime by Amanda Forester has all of the elements of a great love story. Full of humor, mystery, intrigue with a good dose of romance. You won’t want to miss this entertaining and captivating tale.
Miss Eugenia Talbot (Genie) is making her societal debut before Queen Charlotte. When she is introduced to the Queen by the Lord Chamberlain the Lord suddenly passes wind. Genie struggles not to laugh, but as she glances at the audience a man who cannot hide his mirth meets her eye. Unable to suppress her giggle, Genie is sent away by the Queen.
Following her ordeal Genie hears talk of her situation in the hallway. When she turns to find out who is talking about her she finds that it is the laughing man who got her into trouble in the first place. After an introduction to William Grant, Genie is pulled away by her fuming aunt. It seems that Genie is now ruined and her aunt is determined to marry her off as fast as possible.
Grant feels terrible and he has decided to help Genie find a good husband, but Grant isn’t at all prepared to find that he has feelings for Genie. Instead of helping Genie to find someone else, Grant wants nothing more than to make her his wife. But Grant may be too late with his proposal as another suitor swoops in and beats him to the punch. Will Grant be able to show Genie that he is the man for her before it’s too late?
Genie is a warm and loving character. She wants nothing more than to please her family by marrying quickly to the first man who proposes. She is willing to sacrifice her own happiness. It is fun to watch Genie as she finally decides to take on her own future and follow her heart instead of her head.
Grant at first glance appears to be a rake who will never settle down. But when he falls for Genie he falls hard. I loved watching Grant turn from a man who will never marry to man who is so in love that he will do anything to win the love of Genie.
I really enjoyed Grant and Genies story and I am looking forward to the next installment in the Marriage Mart series. Amanda Forester has written a passionate, unforgettable read. A cast of secondary characters liven up the story and add to the engaging plot. This is historical romance at its finest!
Posted May 9, 2013
Posted September 17, 2013
No text was provided for this review.