A Mistress for Penndrake

A Mistress for Penndrake

by Tammy L. Bailey

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Overview

A Mistress for Penndrake by Tammy L. Bailey

The Marquess of Wesley is out for blood. For a year, Lord Wesley has tried to undo the devastation his father left to Penndrake, their ancestral home, only to discover the man gambled it away right before his death. Now Wesley is being blackmailed by the new owner into marrying a woman he’s never met in order to get it back. But his intentions are less than honorable…

At one and twenty, Miss Kate Holden intends to become a governess, having sworn off all men years ago. However, her plans are halted when she receives a daunting letter from her cousin about a Lord Wesley. Ignorant of the name, and the devilish marquess that wears it all too well, she nearly ends up compromised. Refusing to fall prey to Wesley’s skillful seduction, Kate decides to turn things around on the rake. But the high-stakes game between them soon leads to her losing the last thing she expected…her heart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640635753
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 05/28/2018
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 345
Sales rank: 52,332
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Tammy began writing when the shows and movies she watched didn't end the way she wanted them to end. Whether it's historical or contemporary, for her, there must always be a happy ending.

When she's not writing, she's spending time with her husband and two boys near Cleveland, Ohio. Without their sacrifice and understanding, she believes she would have never been able to pursue her passion for writing or her accomplishment of becoming a published author.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Chelmsford, England, 1814

My dearest Kate,

I have made a grave mistake. Please forgive me. In my absence, promise me you will not engage in any way with a man by the name of Lord Wesley. If he befriends you, walk, and if you are able, run away.

Yours, Edward Garrett

Miss Kate Holden frowned at her cousin's letter, wondering if he'd been bitten by a terrifying insect in India and since developed a delusional fever. For one, Kate didn't know anyone by the name of Lord Wesley, and even if she did, she doubted he'd ever take the time to introduce himself. After all, what would a titled gentleman want with a tradesman's daughter?

Deciding that Edward had sent the letter in error, Kate smiled and snapped the white sheet into the crisp air, watching it float like a feather onto the high green grass at her feet. Although brisk, the early autumn air was a welcome change from Camden Hall, her home for the last six months.

It had been her dear mother's idea for Kate to visit her wealthier relations so that she may find a gentleman relatively single enough to marry. It was also anticipated Kate was to help propel her cousin, and Edward's eldest sister, Miss Claire Garrett, into the marriage market.

"Marriage," Kate scoffed, having avoided the entire ceremony since her fifteenth year, when a young man stole her besotted heart, and then right in front of her, trampled on it with his foppish slippers. Since then, Kate was glad she had seen the ways of cowardly and despicable men. It helped her prepare for the rest of her life without one. First, however, she needed to help her aunt find companions for her daughters, an endeavor that had proven much more difficult than anyone anticipated.

It wasn't as if Claire lacked beauty or accomplishments. The eldest Garrett sister was much like her younger sisters, Deidra and Lilly, whose skills were developed and perfected for the sole purpose of luring in dutiful husbands. Deidra played the harp like an angel. Lilly spoke fluent French, and Claire, well, Claire could flirt her way out of Traitor's Gate.

To everyone's disappointment, however, the season had turned into an enormous failure. It not only left Kate's aunt and uncle dumbfounded but the whole town a den of gossip and speculation. Therefore, Kate stayed on, consoling the Garretts, all the while shaking her head at the way women paraded themselves before rows of lying and dishonorable young men for false security.

With her own eyes, she'd witnessed the consequences of at least two young women who'd lost favor with society for their trust and naivety. Shunned by their friends and family, they lived outside of London, destined to die alone and impoverished. Oh, what a suffocating death.

If only they had learned more than Latin or how to play an instrument, they might have stood a chance of making a decent living.

Kate chewed on her bottom lip, struck by her own lack of skill in anything but language and piano, an instrument she played quite poorly. She wondered if it might do her well to explore an occupation that did not cater to the upper class. But what? With her stay at Camden, she'd only learned to mend, to fetch, and to tighten. Why, she'd even developed the useless skill of repairing a table leg after Claire's temper got the best of her one evening.

Her long sigh carried with the breeze. Above all, she supposed her most invaluable lesson came from Mr. Arthur Rourke, who had taught her about a man's affection early. She harrumphed. Was it a habit of handsome gentlemen to shower their beloved with devoted affection one minute, then introduce their most unfortunate beloved to their young bride the next?

To say love had devastated her at such a young age was an understatement. It was as if she'd rushed toward it, tripped, and fallen into a narrow abyss of heartache and tears. She'd landed hard, almost suffocating from the impact, never wanting to experience such an unendurable pain again.

"Good riddance," she mumbled, as bound and determined as ever to remain faithful to her independent and unrestricted spinsterhood. She'd even written to a few families in the south of England to see about a governess position.

She hadn't chosen this path easily, but she needed to make a living to support herself somehow. There, of course, was an obstacle to Kate's attempt at remaining devotionally single for the rest of her life, and that was her parents' campaign to marry her off to her father's apprentice, Mr. David Leisure.

She scoffed, swiping at the loose tendrils falling into her eyes. Not that she was vain, but Mr. Leisure did not suit her in the least. Tall and distracting with a crooked nose, black eyes, and a sniveling laugh, Kate loathed the idea of even spending an afternoon of tea with him. She believed the only thing worse than getting one's heart broken into a million jagged pieces was entering a loveless marriage where the heart lay untouched and cold.

The circle of thought brought Kate right back to Edward's letter. Still befuddled over what it meant, she brought up the letter to read again as she untied the ribbons of her navy blue bonnet.

Lost in her cousin's warning, she neglected her cap until a whispering wind whipped at the sides and threatened to steal it away. She grasped at the tiny strings, but it was too late. Across the green meadow, it tumbled and skipped without a care.

She glared at it for several moments until it blew against a dogwood tree and rested fifty or so feet away. Resigned to go after it, she stood and lifted the hem of her worn gray dress and strode to the mound of roots, planted her feet, and bent down. She wrapped her fingers around the flapping cords, only to have a powerful gust take it from her once again.

"Come back here," she warned, acutely aware she was barking orders to a silly hat. She didn't care. She'd already wasted too much time reminiscing over her brooding heart and Edward's ridiculous warning.

"I mean it!" she yelled across the mocking field as her hat continued its journey away from her.

"Who are you talking to?"

Kate snapped her head up to find a man on a glistening black horse, his stocky figure blocking most of the sun. She lifted her hand to shield the glare and squinted at him. "My hat, sir."

He bobbed his head. "Well, it doesn't appear to be listening."

His voice caressed her for a moment before she dropped her arm and turned to see her bonnet even farther away, tangled in a briar patch and struggling with all its might to get free.

"Oh bother," she grumbled, picking up her hem to tramp across the high grass in order to wrestle the darn thing from the razor-sharp thorns before evening. She'd only wanted some peace and quiet from her aunt's constant prattling and Claire's endless requests of "Kate, fetch me some tea. Kate, read me a story. Kate, tell Deidra to stop snorting."

In a way, Kate felt sorry for Claire. As young children, they played well together. Claire was sincere and thoughtful. As they grew older, Kate believed Lady Sophia had put so much pressure on her eldest to marry, and marry well, that Claire had turned into a cornered lioness. Kate feared, one day, Claire would seize the first opportunity to free herself and shock everyone, especially her poor mother.

As Kate walked and muttered to herself, beads of sweat gathered around her temples and slid down between her breasts. The hefty breeze was cool, so she didn't know why her face or other intimate parts of her body felt a bit overheated. Nevertheless, she puffed out frustrated breaths, stretching over the knee-length grass until she reached the expanse of snarled brown vines. She drove her hand deep inside where two long spikes punctured her little and middle fingers. Surprised and angry, she wrenched her arm back to her side.

"You should be more careful."

The familiar, penetrating voice caused Kate to whirl around and find the mysterious rider from earlier. He stood with booted feet upon the soft earth, not a few feet away. Her breath caught as her searching gaze drank in his serious features and confident form. Handsome didn't even begin to describe him. Then again, she didn't know what word did — dashing? Dangerous?

He was tall with black hair, the same color as his horse. The shade of his eyes reminded her of the earth — green mingled with brown and blue in a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of colors. His nose was straight, his lips sensual ... and twisted into a humored grin. Did he think her predicament amusing?

Adorned in unpretentious clothing — gray breeches, white shirt, white cravat, and a dark-blue tailcoat — she believed him to be no more than a local gentleman out for a ride.

He stepped forward, halted, and then nodded toward her hands. "You do realize you're bleeding?"

She shook out of her trance and glanced down to find splotches of crimson dotting her drab day dress. To her mother's chagrin and her aunt's delight, Kate adorned herself in the most unflattering colors to discourage men like the Mr. Rourkes or the Mr. Leisures of her small world from giving her a second glance.

"May I?"

Uncertain of who this man was or where he'd come from, she took a step back. At some point, he should introduce himself. As well, at some point, their meeting had become strange and untoward. Whether or not he thought the same thing, the man smiled and inched closer. When Kate inhaled, she smelled the soap and woodsy scent of him lifting on the now mellow breeze. She stole a glance at his eyes again. They locked her in place. Slow and meticulous, his large hand reached out and enfolded hers. She held back a ripple of excitement at his warm and calloused touch.

"Do you live near here?" he asked, pulling a handkerchief from inside his waistcoat.

Unsure if she should even engage in conversation with him like this, she said nothing, nodding at first, pausing, and then shaking her head. They had conversed unchaperoned for much too long.

He graced her with a crooked smile. "Yes, you don't live near here?"

His enthralling form and the jesting in his baritone voice left her flustered, curious, and entranced. Never had she met anyone so certain of his words or his actions. Not once did he hesitate to touch her or talk to her as if they were engaged or had known each other their entire lives.

She cleared her throat and tried to smile. "No, I've just come from Camden Hall," she said in a whisper and glanced around to make sure there wasn't someone lurking in the wood line. The last thing she wanted was to bind herself to a man, and even worse, a stranger who had not one clue on the rules of proper engagement with a female. Of course, she seemed to have forgotten the etiquette while in the presence of the opposite sex as well. Either she was under some sort of spell or this was a dream.

Undaunted by her thoughts, his palm cradled her knuckles as his other hand encircled her tiny finger. She thought it excessive for a small cut. However, she remained silent and curious about his presence and his care.

"I'm afraid I'm not very familiar with the place or its residents." His gaze shifted toward the ground, and he paused before adding, "I suppose if I traveled less, I might know more of who they were."

"Yes, sir," she said, giving him a cautious smile. Perhaps this was some sort of dream where the formalities between an unmarried man and woman were not so strict or tedious.

"I am the Marquess of Wesley, Earl of Chelmsford."

A whimper tore from her throat at the mention of his title and name. A gust of wind stole her mumbled words of disbelief, and she staggered a step away from him. He tried to clasp her hand, but she withdrew from his touch.

"You are Lord ... Lord Wesley," she repeated, stunned. This was the very man her cousin had warned her about in the letter. The dream she thought she was having had suddenly turned into a nightmare.

He nodded. "Yes." His eyebrows furrowed above his darkening eyes.

Walk, no, run! Only she couldn't do anything but stand and stare at him. He stepped closer, his intimidating form blocking the sun and turning the air crisper. She stumbled farther back, her hands outstretched to stop him.

"Are you ... unwell?" he asked.

"I'm ... I'm not sure if us being alone like this is at all ... appropriate."

He chuckled before sobering. "And you've just now thought of this, Miss —"

Oh, now he is all about formality.

Braver than she felt, Kate managed to put three feet between them, wanting to keep her name a secret in the formidable man's presence. She had to escape. But since she'd never been blessed with any amount of gracefulness, her heel found the slippery slope of a moss-covered rock. She tried to catch her balance. Only instinct and years of practice caused her to reach out for whatever stood closest, that being the Marquess of Wesley, Earl of Chelmsford.

In desperation, she caught his memorable and capable hand as it wrapped around her petite fingers. She realized her blunder and strove to unravel herself from his grasp, but his hold tightened. Her inability to right the wrong accentuated her talent for clumsiness, and also managed to drag him down, right along with her.

She squeezed her eyes shut and waited for her bottom to hit the soggy ground. Somewhere between that moment and the next, his muscular arms wrapped around her, their bodies twisting so she landed on him, instead of the other way around.

She smacked hard against his chest, knocking the air right out of her lungs. She tried to catch her breath, her mind jumbled and dizzy and her heart rapping furious against her rib cage.

"A simple no would have sufficed," he said in a lazy, sarcastic tone. She lay gasping, too overwrought to project a coherent word of any kind. He then chuckled, his whole body shaking underneath her.

She struggled to separate herself from him until she realized his powerful arms held her captive. She was trapped like her bonnet in the thickets of the jumbled brambles. Panic sank into her bones as his powerful fingers dug into the thin fabric of her sleeves and pressed her closer to him. The hardness of his muscles and the spicy warmth of his skin entranced her for a second. She lay still, with her heart pounding like the hooves of a hundred thundering horses. She needed to move, to get away. But the strength of his hands around her upper arms gave her little reason to believe she was going anywhere.

Wake up. Wake up.

She screamed the words in her mind, desperate to not know the extent of her cousin's warning. She didn't wake up, and the havoc this man's contoured body was having on her indulgent and curious female senses was much more treacherous than any warning she read from her cousin.

With her limbs shaking, she managed a steady exhale. "You will release me at once, my lord."

He laughed this time, so easy and sure of himself. If Lord Wesley had a trivial amount of honor, she didn't see it anywhere reflected in his kaleidoscope eyes.

"I will release you when you give me your name."

"This, my lord, is bribery and most unbecoming of someone of your rank."

His lips turned down into a straight line. Her hair, once secured into a pair of gold combs, tumbled out and cascaded down onto his wide shoulders. The brilliance of his face in the sunlight became dark and menacing in the shade of her locks.

An uncertain fear should have made her struggle. It didn't. Instead, she lay on him, the heat of his body seeping through her threadbare dress, producing enough heat to ignite a tinder into a flame.

At last, she tried to squirm, her midsection stroking the pulsing rise between his hips. She continued, unaware of what was happening until he growled deep and pulled her so close to his face, she felt the hot tinge of his breath against her cheek.

She held the air in her lungs and closed her eyes, his curved lips a splinter away from touching hers.

"My intent is not to ravish you, but if you move another inch, I swear I cannot promise it won't happen."

Upon his command, she froze. After a long moment of grave uncertainty, she whispered, "Then, what am I supposed to do?"

A wild heartbeat later, his arms fell away. Yanked to her senses, she clambered onto her side before rising to stand in a position she'd often seen her brothers, Francis and Joseph, use when imitating the infamous boxer "Gentleman" John Jackson.

She supposed she didn't appear near as intimidating, as she elicited an enthralling laugh from her titled opponent. Insulted, she crossed her arms and waited for him to push himself up. He took his time, stopping to place his large, tanned hands upon his bent knees.

He closed his eyes, his thick lashes pulling together in a quick grimace. After a grunting moment, he straightened and turned his full attention to her. In silence, they stared at each other, his irises shimmering more gold than green in the sunlight.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "A Mistress for Penndrake"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Tammy L. Bailey.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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A Mistress for Penndrake 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
penultimatepage 8 months ago
I am such a sucker for the miscommunication trope. A Mistress for Penndrake is absolutely rife with miscommunication and Ms. Bailey writes it very well. It all starts with our heroine, Miss Holden, receiving a mysterious letter telling her to absolutely stay away from a man named Lord Wesley. And who does Miss Holden run in to within the first ten pages? Lord Wesley, of course. The rest of the story is a battle of wills between what. Miss Holden thinks she wants and Lord Wesley trying to get under her skin. The dialogue was witty and full of banter and even though I think we weren’t really supposed to like Wesley at first, you can’t help but love him. Ms. Bailey was written extremely likable characters and put them in a sticky situation with each other. If A Mistress for Penndrake is any indication of the rest of Ms. Bailey’s works, I will be heading straight to the book store to pick up whatever else she releases.
georgia1 10 months ago
Gambling for an important wager sometimes does not turn out the way it should. Or does it in the end? Lord Wesley is trying to regain all his dead father had gambled away, including his ancestral home, Penndrake. The new owner, Edward wagers with him that he will have to marry his cousin Miss Kate Holden in order to have the property in his name. Oh what a tangled web woven on that wager. Kate does not want to marry due to her choices and being hurt when younger and desires to live out her life as a governess. But as the two are thrown together and Kate, having no idea of the wager that has been made, starts to feel affections for Wesley. But Wesley's goal is not to marry her but far worse. It gets interesting as they begin challenging each other and their witty conversations. Of course there are other ladies with their eye on Lord Wesley and it is amusing to see how they use their wiles on him! Filled with so many misunderstandings, stray emotions and unexpected attractions, this story will keep you entertained until the end!!
Anonymous 8 months ago
I enjoyed this book. The chemistry between these two is delightful. Very likeable characters, Even Lord welsey. he starts out trying to do the unthinkable but can't ever bring himself to do it. No really steamy sex scenes but a lot of all most. It's worth a read.
carvanz 10 months ago
The very moment Kate receives a letter from her cousin warning her of Lord Wesley, who does she meet? Lord Wesley. His home was gambled away and in order to get it back he must marry Kate. But in an act of revenge against the blackmailer, Wesley decides to seduce and ruin Kate, win his home back and marry an heiress. This story had a lot of push and pull from the main characters. I must say that I had a hard time with Wesley’s decision except each time he had the opportunity to ruin Kate, he did not. I did like him for that. However, there seemed to be a lot of holes in this story that kept me from enjoying it completely, although I’m sure there will be others who can and will enjoy it regardless of the inconsistencies that concerned me. I choose not to go into them in order to keep those things free from other readers locking onto them as I did. While this was a very well written story, and the steam was appropriate for the story (if not the era, IMO but which I was ok with) the secondary characters were well developed but not very likable. With the exception of a few, most of them treated Kate as a servant. Despite her desire to become a governess, I didn’t understand why they would treat her so, as she was still family. I loved the premise of this story and I tried to put the little things out of my mind, but in the end it did ruin my overall reading enjoyment of the book. However, I believe this could be an “it’s me not the book” situation so please read other reviews to determine if this one will work for you. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book provided by NetGalley and Entangled. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
FizzaYounis 10 months ago
I absolutely loved this book. It is exceptionally written story with some amazing characters. I quite enjoyed reading it. I think it's a must read for all historical fiction fans. It all starts when Miss Holden's cousin decides what is best for her without considering her feelings. But soon after he regrets his actions and writes a letter of warning to her. She doesn't know the whole story so she assumes the worst about Lord Wesley and makes up her mind to stay away from him at all costs. However that won't be so easy for her. Lord Wesley is the most handsome man she has ever met and she feels very attracted to him. No matter how much he tries to remind herself to not to trust him she still feels a pull towards him and simply cannot avoid him... Lord Wesley is not happy about the letter he received from Edward. He will not let someone else dictate his life so he decides to play a little game of his own. Unfortunately for him, Miss Holden is not the kind of woman one can ruin without consideration. Soon he starts having feelings for her, but he cannot do anything about it. There is no way they can both end up together... either way they will be heartbroken.... Still he is going to try to make things right even if that's the last thing he did! It's a great novel, definitely worth reading.
FizzaYounis 10 months ago
I absolutely loved this book. It is exceptionally written story with some amazing characters. I quite enjoyed reading it. I think it's a must read for all historical fiction fans. It all starts when Miss Holden's cousin decides what is best for her without considering her feelings. But soon after he regrets his actions and writes a letter of warning to her. She doesn't know the whole story so she assumes the worst about Lord Wesley and makes up her mind to stay away from him at all costs. However that won't be so easy for her. Lord Wesley is the most handsome man she has ever met and she feels very attracted to him. No matter how much he tries to remind herself to not to trust him she still feels a pull towards him and simply cannot avoid him... Lord Wesley is not happy about the letter he received from Edward. He will not let someone else dictate his life so he decides to play a little game of his own. Unfortunately for him, Miss Holden is not the kind of woman one can ruin without consideration. Soon he starts having feelings for her, but he cannot do anything about it. There is no way they can both end up together... either way they will be heartbroken.... Still he is going to try to make things right even if that's the last thing he did! It's a great novel, definitely worth reading.
FizzaYounis 10 months ago
I absolutely loved this book. It is exceptionally written story with some amazing characters. I quite enjoyed reading it. I think it's a must read for all historical fiction fans. It all starts when Miss Holden's cousin decides what is best for her without considering her feelings. But soon after he regrets his actions and writes a letter of warning to her. She doesn't know the whole story so she assumes the worst about Lord Wesley and makes up her mind to stay away from him at all costs. However that won't be so easy for her. Lord Wesley is the most handsome man she has ever met and she feels very attracted to him. No matter how much he tries to remind herself to not to trust him she still feels a pull towards him and simply cannot avoid him... Lord Wesley is not happy about the letter he received from Edward. He will not let someone else dictate his life so he decides to play a little game of his own. Unfortunately for him, Miss Holden is not the kind of woman one can ruin without consideration. Soon he starts having feelings for her, but he cannot do anything about it. There is no way they can both end up together... either way they will be heartbroken.... Still he is going to try to make things right even if that's the last thing he did! It's a great novel, definitely worth reading.
Historical_Romance_Lover 10 months ago
I really enjoyed Kate and Nathaniel's story! Kate and Nathaniel meet unexpectedly and are instantly attracted to each other. But Kate soon learns that he is the man that her cousin has warned her to stay away from. Nathanial on the other had is being blackmailed to marry the woman he finds so attractive. But he won't allow that to happen. He plans on ruining her and getting his ancestral home back without being forced to marry. The back and forth between Kate and Nathaniel take us on a merry chase. I enjoyed watching these two fall in love and get more than they ever bargained for!
Anonymous 10 months ago
Chelmsford, England - 1814 Miss Kate Holden has received a letter from her cousin, Edward Garrett, who resides in India, asking her to avoid a man named Lord Wesley. Puzzled, she cannot remember ever meeting a titled man as she is a tradesman’s daughter. Kate has been living at Camden Hall for some months as her mother hopes she will meet a wealthy man while living with her wealthy relations. While there, she will be helping her cousin, Miss Claire Garrett, prepare to be introduced to society and seek a husband. Kate will also do the same thing for Claire’s younger sisters, Deidre and Lilly. Kate herself is beyond all of that because the man she had loved rebuffed her. Now, she is content to find a way to support herself in the future. However, her parents are trying to marry her off to her father’s apprentice, Mr. David Leisure, yet she is determined that she will not have him. While Kate is outside one day, a man introduces himself as the Marquess of Wesley, son of the Earl of Chelmsford, and the very man her cousin, Edward, has warned her about. Wesley is very intrigued by Kate but doesn’t know her name. Edward has written to Wesley informing him that some time ago, his father, the Earl, had lost his home, Penndrake, to Edward in a card game. However, Edward is willing to allow Wesley to keep his home if he marries Kate. Wesley thinks it might be a good idea to compromise Kate and then leave her. Privately, Wesley tells Kate that he knows she is attracted to him as he is to her. When Wesley invites Marlena’s aunt and three cousins to a house party at Penndrake, he insists that Kate come too. While the cousins throw themselves at Wesley, Kate tries to avoid him. But he is determined to “teach her a lesson” for trying to retrieve some things he had taken from her. Oh my. This is what one calls a hot mess. Wesley is an smug, arrogant, ass and Kate is a true airhead. Trying to keep up with the plot here was difficult and I just did not enjoy this book. I have read only one other book by this author and remember having a problem with the characters. Perhaps other readers will enjoy the book. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
CathyGeha 10 months ago
A Mistress for Penndrake by Tammy L. Bailey Great meet-cute for Kate and Nathaniel when she chases her hat and he follows her… The fact that they had both received letters from the same person that in essence told them to do opposite things made for a great beginning to the story…she is averse to being with him and his goal is to be with her by hook or crook. There was a bit of an evil stepmother feeling in Kate’s Aunt Sophie and her cousins were a trial at times…much as Cinderella’s stepsisters were to her. The story had cousin Edward pulling strings from outside until he appeared on the scene and manipulated things in person. I liked most of the story and ended up happy with the ending of the book even wishing that this might be the first book in a series in which we will hear more about the two younger cousins of Kate and just who her manipulative but loving cousin Edward will end up with. The writing felt in keeping with the time period though the mixed emotions of Nathaniel got a bit old at times. All in all it was an enjoyable read and I would read another book by this author. Thank you to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing-Amara for the ARC – This is my honest review. 3-4 Stars (
KriisGaia 10 months ago
“Walk, and if you are able, run away”. In A Mistress For Penndrake, this is the note Miss Kate Holden receives from her cousin, Edward Garrett, advising her to avoid Lord Wesley. There is no explanation, no reason saying why it was sent. It is all the more puzzling because Miss Kate Holden is a tradesmen’s daughter. What would a titled gentleman want with her? Sent to stay with her wealthy relations, Kate is expected to find herself a husband and assist her cousin finding one as well. Having had her heart trampled when only 15, Kate is not enthusiastic about the Marriage Mart. But of course, fate is never to be denied. The first person the accident-prone Kate comes across is none other than Nathaniel, the Marquis of Wesley, Earl of Chelmsford. Wesley had received his own message from Kate’s cousin Edward. Oddly it was an exact contradiction to the one Edward sent Kate. Edward advised Wesley that his father had gambled away the family estate. After begging Edward to wait until a year after his death to obtain the property, Edward chose to oblige. In the meantime, Edward decides he no longer wants the property for himself and orders Wesley to take his cousin Kate as his wife if Wesley wants to keep his estate. Wesley is not pleased with this turn of events and vows to ruin the young woman instead. Delightful, Funny, Yet Disappointing The first time the two of them meet is after Kate’s cap is blown away in the wind. Throughout the book Kate continues to be distinctly accident prone, causing all sorts of interesting situations. I was not happy, however, with how the author wrote Wesley. That he chooses to ruin an innocent young woman because he is being blackmailed is disappointing. There was nothing about the rest of his personality that suggested this sort of decision was something to which he was prone. For instance, he didn’t have a dark past or a hatred of women. This part of his decision-making process seems to of come from out of nowhere and seems entirely out of character. There must have been many other ways to approach this story without having to make the main character someone who would deliberately ruin an innocent. Putting that aside, the story was still very well written and enjoyable. Other than that one character flaw of Wesley’s, the other characters in the book were very entertaining. I will be definitely happy to read more from Tammy L Bailey. Reviewed for LnkToMi iRead in response to a complimentary copy of the book provided by the publisher in hopes of an honest review.