More or Less a Temptress

More or Less a Temptress

by Anna Bradley

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781516105373
Publisher: Random House
Publication date: 11/13/2018
Pages: 254
Sales rank: 243,698
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.58(d)

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CHAPTER 1

Aylesbury, England

Late January, 1818

Blood oozed from the corner of Lachlan's lip, trickled down his chin, and dripped onto the snowy white folds of his perfectly knotted cravat.

Damn it. Another night, another brawl, and another ruined cravat. "Damn you to hell, Ciaran. Why do you always have to strike me in the mouth?"

Lachlan seized his younger brother by the neck of his shirt and shoved him backwards, and the two huge hands squeezing Lachlan's neck fell away as Ciaran stumbled against the railing behind him. He and Ciaran were of a similar size, so it was no easy feat to send his brother sprawling, but then Ciaran was already staggering before Lachlan laid a finger on him.

Drinking the better part of a bottle of whiskey could do that to a man.

Ciaran, who was far too drunk to know any better, staggered to his feet and lurched forward again. "It's not a proper brawl without blood, brother, and mouths bleed."

As if to prove his point, one of Ciaran's enormous fists came barreling straight for Lachlan's face, but before he could land the blow, Lachlan grabbed his hand, threw him off balance with a twist of his arm, and slammed his foot into the side of Ciaran's shin.

Ciaran dropped to his knees, and Lachlan was over him in a flash, his fingers gripping Ciaran's hair to keep him still as he lowered his nose to within an inch of his brother's. "Noses bleed, too. You're begging for my fist in yours, but I've no wish to spill your blood tonight."

He'd spilled Ciaran's blood the night before, and the one before that, but any hopes Lachlan had he wouldn't have to spill it again tonight vanished when a sudden blow to his ribs ripped the breath from his lungs.

"Oof!" He toppled sideways, and landed on the ground next to his brother, gasping for air. He rolled onto his back, but before he could scramble to his feet, Ciaran's knee landed in the center of his chest and pinned him to the ground.

"Aw, come on, Lach, you should have seen that one coming."

Lachlan only grunted in reply. He didn't have the breath to argue, and besides, it was true enough. He should have seen it coming. Even when they were boys Ciaran had always gone for the mouth first, then the ribs, and then —

Oh, Christ.

He didn't have time to spit the curse out before Ciaran's knuckles crashed into his jaw.

Mouth, ribs, jaw. Always the jaw.

"You're not even trying," Ciaran complained. He grabbed a fistful of Lachlan's hair, jerked his head up, and then dropped it back into the dirt with a hard thump. "It's no fun if you don't even try."

Lachlan was trying — trying to end this brawl without having to hurt his brother, but he'd relied too heavily on the whiskey to do the job he didn't want to do with his fists. "Damn it, how the devil are you still conscious, Ciaran?"

Ciaran grinned. "No bloody idea, but here we are, brother, and I doubt your face will be as pretty tomorrow as it was today."

Lachlan jerked and flailed like a fish on a hook, but trying to throw Ciaran off him was like trying to topple a horse. It would have to be a blow, then — either that, or he'd be leaving a puddle of his blood and maybe a tooth or two behind when he left this inn-yard.

Lachlan's arm tensed. He clenched his hand into a fist and waited, knuckles facing out. Ciaran liked his brawls bloody, so he'd go for the mouth again, or perhaps the nose, and when he did his body weight would shift ever so slightly, and ...

Now.

Ciaran drew his fist back, but he didn't get a chance to strike before Lachlan's own fist shot up from the side, just far enough to the right so Ciaran never saw it coming. Lachlan winced at the crack of his knuckles against his brother's cheekbone, but the blow did the job. Ciaran listed sideways from the force of it, and before he could regain his balance, Lachlan shoved the heels of his hands under Ciaran's knee, threw him flat onto his back, and leapt to his feet.

"You're set on more bloodshed tonight then, eh Ciaran?"

For a man so deep in his cups, Ciaran staggered back to his feet with impressive agility. "No need to spill another drop of yours. This isn't your fight, brother — not as long as you get out of my damned way."

But it was his fight. His and Ciaran's, just as every fight since they'd left Scotland had been their fight. Instead of accepting his fate, Ciaran's resentment was spreading like an infection from a festering wound.

Helped along by great quantities of whiskey, of course.

"If I was going to get out of your damned way, I would have done it by now." Lachlan turned in a slow circle, facing his brother as Ciaran closed in on him. "Now get up to your bedchamber before I knock that thick head of yours off your neck."

"No, I don't think I'll go up just yet. I fancy another drink."

"You've had enough to drink." If Ciaran returned to the inn and happened to come face to face with the Englishman he'd just accused of cheating at cards, he'd have far more to worry about than Lachlan's fist in his face.

The Englishman's ball between his eyes, for one.

Ciaran laughed, but there was an ugly edge to it. "A Scot who's trapped in England can't ever have enough to drink. But you wouldn't know anything about that, would you, brother, what with you being an Englishman now?"

Lachlan's hands curled into fists. Since they'd arrived on English soil nine days ago, he'd carved a dozen small half-moon scars into his palms. "I'm still Scot enough to knock you unconscious for the rest of the night."

Ciaran shrugged, then raised his fists. "Have it your way. First your blood, and then his."

"Get on with it, then." Lachlan dropped into a crouch, and waited for his brother to strike.

It was one o'clock in the morning, and so dark Lachlan could just make out Ciaran's face in the dim glow filtering into the yard from the inn's window. Ciaran was so drunk he likely wouldn't remember this encounter tomorrow, but Lachlan would still have to pummel his brother bloody before this would end tonight.

His stomach heaved in protest at the thought.

Didn't matter. He could heave all he liked, and it wouldn't make any difference. Whatever else might come of this evening, one thing was certain.

He and Ciaran were going to brawl.

Again.

* * *

Two inches only. A mere sliver and no more than that. Two inches was all she dared.

Hyacinth Somerset scrambled to her knees on the window seat, pressed her cheek against the cold glass, and raised her chin so what little fresh air there was could drift across her open mouth.

It had come to this, then. Her world had been shrinking for weeks ... no, longer than that. Months? A year? It had been narrowing, tightening, falling in on itself, and now she was to be smothered in an airless tomb, silent but for the low, continuous drone of impending doom buzzing in her ears, and —

"Hyacinth! What in the world are you doing, child? Close that window at once."

Hyacinth jumped at the sharp command, and her bottom hit the window seat with a hard thump.

Oh, very well, then. She wasn't trapped in an airless tomb, but in a cramped bedchamber at the Horse and Groom Inn. The drone wasn't so much impending doom as it was her grandmother's snoring.

At least it had been.

How in the world was her grandmother still conscious? Despite Hyacinth's warning, she'd dosed herself with enough laudanum to fell a horse.

"Oh, it's dreadful, traveling on country roads," Lady Chase fretted. "Hyacinth? Didn't you hear me? Close the window, and go to bed."

Hyacinth sucked in one last desperate breath of fresh air, and then closed the window with a defeated sigh. "I thought you were resting. Indeed, I'm certain you'd feel much better after a long, deep sleep."

A deep sleep, or a swoon — any form of unconsciousness would do. Hyacinth was an affectionate and dutiful granddaughter, but after hours trapped in a cramped carriage without a breath of fresh air, her patience was at an end.

She hurried across the room and perched on the edge of her grandmother's bed. "Now, lie back and close your eyes, won't you?"

Lady Chase rested the back of a feeble hand against her forehead. "I can't possibly sleep. All that dust and dirt has overset my nerves."

Hyacinth hadn't seen a particle of dust or a speck of dirt since they'd left Huntington Lodge, because her grandmother had insisted they seal the carriage up tighter than ... well, than a tomb.

Still, she owed her grandmother's nerves a debt of gratitude. If it wasn't for their irascibility, they wouldn't have stopped at Aylesford on their way back to London, and Hyacinth would still be trapped in that coach. If only her grandmother's nerves would take the good lady off to sleep, Hyacinth would be grateful to them, indeed.

"Have you my vinaigrette, Hyacinth?"

Hyacinth pressed the bottle into her grandmother's hand, and tucked the coverlet under her chin. "Yes, here it is. Now, go to sleep, won't you?"

Lady Chase patted her hand. "I'll try. You're a good girl, my dear."

She was a good girl. So good — so docile and accommodating.

A sweet young lady, to be sure, and an heiress, of course, but there's no denying she's a bit odd, and meek to a fault. Indeed, you will not find a more timid young lady in all of London. It will be so diverting watching her attempt to survive her season, though indeed, it's unlikely the poor thing will make it through a single ball without fleeing to the ladies' retiring room and cowering there for the rest of the night.

Was this her own voice, taunting her in her head, or was she simply repeating the whispers she'd heard others murmur behind her back? Hyacinth had given up trying to work it out. In the end, it made no difference.

It wasn't, after all, as if the voice were wrong.

There was no sense in dwelling on that now, when her lungs were one gasp away from giving up entirely.

"You see how fragile Iris is, Hyacinth." Her grandmother straightened against her pillows as if she'd suddenly caught a second wind. "I doubt she'll be of much use to us this season."

Hyacinth's sister Iris and her husband Finn, the Marquess of Huntington, had accompanied them on the journey to London, and intended to remain in town for Hyacinth's season. Their other sister Violet and her husband Nick, the Earl of Dare, were on their way from Ashdown Park, as well.

And thank goodness for it, because Hyacinth would need every resource at her disposal if she were going to survive her season. If one was going into battle, her brother-in-law Finn was just the gentleman to lead the charge. Not just because the ton paid such deference to his rank, but because he was grand, stern, imposing, and fiercely protective.

Finn was, in short, rather terrifying. It was a useful quality, particularly when one must deal with the ton. "Finn will be there."

Lady Chase let out a heavy sigh. "Yes, yes, but men are never much help with such things, though I daresay he'll prove more useful than either Iris or Violet."

Her sisters were both enceinte, and suffered from extreme irritability — ah, that is, from fatigue. Yes, yes, that was the proper word for it. Even the short journey from Huntington Lodge had aggravated ... that is, exhausted Iris, and Finn had taken her away to the privacy of their room as soon as they'd arrived at the inn this evening.

"A child is a blessed event, to be sure, but I don't see why both your sisters must be blessed now. It's most inconvenient of them. I don't doubt I'll be left to manage your season myself. It's certain to take a toll on my health, but it can't be helped, and you know I never think of myself in these cases."

Hyacinth surreptitiously wiped her hands on her skirts. Her palms went damp when anyone so much as breathed a word about her upcoming season. There was no telling what wardrobe disaster might occur when she found herself trapped in the middle of a ballroom.

Flimsy silk was, alas, no match for sticky panic.

"I know, Grandmother, and it's your health I'm concerned with at the moment. You need to rest." Hyacinth tried to keep the desperation from her voice. "Consider your nerves."

"Yes, yes. I will." Lady Chase obediently closed her eyes, but before Hyacinth could draw a relieved breath, they popped open again. "That is, I'll try to rest, but I daresay I won't sleep a wink. Not a single wink, Hyacinth, until you're safely married. Another marquess, I think, or even a duke this time ..."

Hyacinth watched her grandmother's lids grow heavier, then heavier still. Any moment now ...

Lady Chase's eyelashes fluttered, and at last, she let out a long sigh. Her head lolled back against the pillow, and the buzz of a snore filled the room.

"Grandmother?" Hyacinth waited, breath held, for her grandmother's eyes to snap open again, but Lady Chase had succumbed to the laudanum at last.

Thank goodness.

Hyacinth loved her grandmother dearly, but the old lady was at her most cantankerous when her routine was disrupted. It was cause for concern, since Hyacinth's launch into the marriage mart was a mere week away, and certain to be a disruption.

At best.

At worst, it would be an utter catastrophe.

It wasn't as if she wanted a season. She didn't. The very idea of being on display for every aristocratic gentleman in London to gawk at made her stomach roil with nausea.

She wanted ... something. Anything, really. She didn't much care what, as long as it made a tiny crack in the shell she'd built around herself.

The trouble was, she hadn't the faintest idea what that thing might be. A suitor, a courtship, a marriage — she didn't have much hope her season would bring her any of those things, but perhaps it would bring her something else.

Something I never could have imagined ...

Before her sisters married, Hyacinth had told herself she'd be content to live out her days in her grandmother's Bedford Square house. After Iris and Violet were gone, the silence she'd once treasured became deafening, and her solitary peace an aching loneliness. With every day that passed the walls of that house pressed in upon her, closer and closer, and her world narrowed by another inch.

No one, not even she, could live within such a tiny sliver of space. So she'd agreed to a season, because she had, quite literally, nothing to lose.

Hyacinth rose from the bed and snatched her cloak from the back of a chair, but she paused when she caught sight of her reflection in the window, illuminated by the light from the lamp behind her.

She hesitated, her cloak clutched in her hand. She'd thought to take a quick turn around the inn-yard for some air, but it was darker than midnight outside. She didn't like to wander about an inn yard in the dark, but neither did she like to deprive her lungs of oxygen, and she'd been half-smothered all day.

She could open the window now, but the bite of cold air was sure to wake her grandmother. Perhaps she'd be better off simply going to bed. Surely, she could hold off on breathing for another eight to ten hours ...

For pity's sake, you're frightened of the dark now? Has it come to this, then?

It was one thing to dread her season — seasons were dreadful, after all — but it was quite another to succumb to childish fears. If she kept on like this, what would be next? Ghosts? Thunderstorms? Large dogs? Spiders?

No. She wouldn't indulge it. It was utter nonsense. Well, all but the spiders, perhaps, because they were wretched, crawly things.

Hyacinth straightened her shoulders, pulled her hood low over her face, and tiptoed across the room and down the stairs. When they'd arrived at the Horse and Groom late this evening, the inn- yard had been crowded with carriages, but not a single soul graced the rows of wooden tables in the dining room now, and the entryway was eerily silent.

A strange shiver of apprehension shot down Hyacinth's spine at the stillness, but she shook it off and made her way toward the open space around the corner of the building, on the side removed from the stables. She'd take a quick turn in the yard to get the blood flowing through her stiff limbs, and then she'd return to her bedchamber —

"... still Scot enough to knock you unconscious for the rest of the night."

Hyacinth turned her head toward the voice, confused, but as soon as she saw the two men, she went still.

They were standing just outside a faint pool of light spilling into the yard from the inn's dining-room window. Both of them were dark-haired, and ... goodness, they were both giants, with shoulders that went on for miles and chests like stone walls. They'd tossed their coats aside and were circling each other in their shirtsleeves, but the fine cut and costly fabric marked them as gentlemen, not servants or stable-hands.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "More or Less a Temptress"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Anna Bradley.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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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More or Less a Temptress 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous 5 months ago
First book of this series that I've read; now I want to read the others. Plot line kept me reading and characters intrigued me. Definitely will read more by this author!
def618 7 months ago
Born and raised in Scotland, Lachlan Ramsey discovers he’s not Scottish. His mother is dying, and she wants him to know what she did before she dies. His father was the Marquess of Huntington. She left her husband and older son, Finn. Later, when she knew her husband had died, she married a Scot, who was good to him, his half-brother, Ciaran, and half-sister Isla. After they had some trouble in Scotland, they decide to go to London to meet Finn. On the way to London, Lach and Ciaran have a fight in the yard of the inn where they are staying. Hyacinth Somerset, the youngest of three sisters, saw him fighting and thought he had killed his opponent. Lach and his siblings arrive at Lord Huntington’s London home amid a ball. When the butler left to find Finn, Hyacinth sees him and accuses him of murder. Both families gather to straighten out her mistake and get to know each other. Hyacinth’s family thinks she should spend the rest of the season away from London. Her family treats her as if she’s fragile. Lach believes a season would be good for her and Isla could attend balls also. He does convince her to attend ton events and falls in love with her. But does she fall for him? Read this wonderful book to find out. You will also like Ciaran who dances with all the wallflowers. I’m sure he’ll have a HEA of his own someday.
BuckeyeAngel 11 months ago
Hyacinth Somerset is a delicate female who is incapable of being in any kind of real situation and must be sheltered to the max - At least this is what her family believes. Between her overprotective grandmother and sisters, even if she wanted to attempt full season, they feel she’s not emotionally capable and she bends to their will. Lachlan and his siblings are forced to move from Scotland to England and find the brother they didn’t know they had. When they crash a ball at their new brother’s home, a social disaster occurs and they think they will be turned away. Once Lachlan is around Hyacinth more and more, he sees the strong-willed woman her family has been wilting. This was a cute story. Watching Hyacinth slowly come out of her shell was an original and interesting experience. I thought the author painted society a little harsher than is usually seen in these kinds of books, but overall a good read. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
Anonymous 12 months ago
3rd book in this series of 3 orphaned sisters living with their grandmother. Like Hyacinth's hidden spunk and Lachlan's Scottish bravado and protectiveness of his siblings.
moonfox1234 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this historical romance. The entertaining plot held my attention very well and the book was well written. I liked both characters but have to say I liked the male lead more. Hyacinth, I thought was a somewhat unique character and for me that was equal parts good and bad. I found it refreshing that she suffered from anxiety, which I think I have only seen in one other historical romance I've read. On the other hand, I was not a fan of the spoiled and babied side of her. I know she had issues but I thought that these two things worked at cross purposes and unfortunately to me it belittled her emotional issues. Lachlan seemed like a genuine good guy and a loving brother. Still, there was a lot to like about the book and it was a good read.
BookReview4you More than 1 year ago
More or Less a Temptress by Anna Bradley is book Three in The Somerset Sisters series. This is the story of Hyacinth Somerset and Lachlan Ramsey. I have read the previous books, but feel you can make this a standalone book. Hyacinth has lived a very family protective life due to her taking the death of her parents so hard that she lost her voice at one time. Now she struggles with stuttering and her shyness. Lachlan learned on his mother death bed something that can change him, his sister and brother's lives. After his mother death he moves forward to move to the town. Lachlan brother who is dealing with being dumped by a women is drinking and gambling which leads to a violent incident at a Inn where Hyacinth bared witness too. Hyacinth is the last of the Somerset sister to be present to the town. Hyacinth fights to keep her shyness at bay along with her growing interest in Lachlan. Really have enjoyed this series.
clarkws More than 1 year ago
More or Less a Temptress in book three in the Somerset Sisters Series by Anna Bradley. Out of the three books, this one is the weakest in my opinion. I had a difficult time liking the hero Lachlan Ramsey. He was too hard, harsh and gruff to fit with a delicate creature as Hyacinth Somerset. “She’d thought him terrifying enough when she saw him beat another man to a bloody pulp, but he was far more frightening up close. He was the most enormous man she’d ever seen-a veritable giant-with shoulders wider than a doorway, straining at the seams of his coat, a wild shock of inky black hair, and hands the size of horse’s hooves.” I thought he was too cold and critical to be likable. Hyacinth is a sweet young lady who is consumed by fear. I am going to continue to read Bradley’s work. Book two in this series has been one of my favorite books of the entire year. This one missed the mark for me.
Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Hyacinth and Lachlan's story! Can you imagine being accused to murder the first night you show up in London? Lachlan has a lot to do to live down after that accusation that Hyacinth levels at him. She feels horrible about what she did and will do what she can to help Lachlan and his siblings start to navigate the ton. We also have a lot of mean girl action going on that leads to all kinds of drama for the H/H. It was great to watch Hyacinth grow from the timid young lady that she was around her sisters into this woman that stands up for herself and her friends! I'm hoping that we will get Lachlan's sibling's stories soon too!
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
Somersets don't make love easy, but they sure do keep society interested. More or Less a Temptress is Hyacinth's turn to shine. Instead she stirs up a ruckus that could impact more than her reputation. It could end with her losing her heart. Always bold, never boring and hard to resist, this group of sisters make showstopping fun.
astroyic More than 1 year ago
Swoon Worthy! Characters that will touch your heart and a romance that will leave you breathless. The few books that I have read by Anna Bradley have never disappointed and this one definitely didn’t disappoint either. Enthralled from the first page “More or Less A Temptress” sucked me in with a story that crackles with sensual energy, characters that are scarred, sexy and wonderfully compelling. A true masterpiece, that was thrilling, and writing so truly beautiful that it stays with you long after you put this book down. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
georgia1 More than 1 year ago
Regency London at it's best engages our senses with this delightful story full of romance and humor as a young debutante makes her debut. Hyacinth, the youngest of the Sommerset sisters, engages in her first dance with Lachlan, newly from Scotland. He has come to claim his rightful place in society but receives a startling accusation from the young miss! To say their first meeting started with a bang is telling it mildly! This pair, although seemed to be so different, were really meant for each other in the end. He helps Hyacinth gain her confidence, after being in the background of her older sisters. Following her as she slowly came out of her shell and seeing her and Lachlan together was a true delight. The characters came to life and brought a smile to my heart. Do not miss this third installment of the Somerset Sisters series. You will be glad you did. Lori Dykes
georgia1 More than 1 year ago
Regency London at it's best engages our senses with this delightful story full of romance and humor as a young debutante makes her debut. Hyacinth, the youngest of the Sommerset sisters, engages in her first dance with Lachlan, newly from Scotland. He has come to claim his rightful place in society but receives a startling accusation from the young miss! To say their first meeting started with a bang is telling it mildly! This pair, although seemed to be so different, were really meant for each other in the end. He helps Hyacinth gain her confidence, after being in the background of her older sisters. Following her as she slowly came out of her shell and seeing her and Lachlan together was a true delight. The characters came to life and brought a smile to my heart. Do not miss this third installment of the Somerset Sisters series. You will be glad you did. Lori Dykes
Pompie1999 More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this third book in the Somerset Sisters series. It is excellently written and the characters were very likable. I say that with just a little surprise because I had read some of the reviews and had expected to thoroughly dislike the heroine. That was not the case, but maybe that is because I actually knew a person with many of the anxiety and panic issues with which our heroine dealt. It wasn’t a situation she chose, it was just who she was. She was not my favorite heroine, but I loved seeing her grow and learn to handle her issues. Hyacinth Somerset is the last unmarried Somerset sister. All of her other sisters have married in love and scandal, but surely that won’t be the case for sweet, kind, loving, excessively shy and panic driven Hyacinth. Hyacinth had been extremely shy and reserved all of her life. She also had a stutter and was teased mercilessly by other children. Then, at the tender age of fifteen, the fragile and emotionally vulnerable Hyacinth lost her parents suddenly and tragically. Hyacinth just withdrew into herself. She even quit speaking. As she was rebounding from that tragedy, her sisters and grandmother began to coddle her – excessively. They were constantly making her rest or taking her to Brighton to keep her from being ‘overwrought’. After so many years, Hyacinth just bought into all of that, because her family loved her and knew her best, so surely they knew what was wrong with her – besides, it was just easier to go along than it was to actually deal with problems, people and issues. Lachlan Ramsey, his brother, Ciaran, and his sister, Isla needed to escape Scotland. A horrible event had ruined them in the eyes of their community. As their mother lay dying, she grieved for the tragedy that had engulfed her family, so she imparted some family secrets to Lachlan so he could save them all. That information shocked, saddened and dismayed Lachlan, but he had to share it with his siblings and then do as his mother asked. Ciaran and Isla were shocked to learn that their parentage wasn’t what they’d thought. Ciaran was particularly belligerent because his betrothed had just dumped him in a cruel and hateful way, and now he learns his family isn’t what he thought it was. Being a big, brawny Highlander who was constantly enraged, he started drinking to excess and brawling with Lachlan. Coincidentally, the Ramsey’s and Hyacinth’s family were at the Horse and Groom Inn as each family was making their way to London. As had become his habit, Ciaran got very, very drunk. Then, he accused a Lord of cheating at cards and Lachlan had to drag him out before Ciaran ended up in a duel. Ciaran chose to start a brawl, a brutal and bloody one, with Lachlan right in the Inn-yard. Hyacinth had snuck out of her room and stepped outside for some fresh air – just in time to witness the brawl. As she watches, both men become bloodier and bloodier. When one of them is finally knocked out, the other drags him off. Hyacinth immediately believes she’s witnessed a murder – there was just too much blood for him not to be dead – and he didn’t get up again. A couple of days later, Hyacinth is at a ball, hiding behind a large column, and she sees the murderer. He is staring right at her. Then, he starts toward her! Panic!!! See my full review here: https://flippinpages.blog/2018/11/07/more-or-less-a-temptress-by-anna-bradley/
Darlene491 More than 1 year ago
I'm in disbelief, this can't be the end of the series. I'm invested in the Sutherland/Somerset families. I like them, want to be friends and have house parties. I know they're not real but our best friends are often imaginary. Do you like the strong, silent, Scottish type? If so, then Lachlan Ramsey is for you (and me too). As his mother is dying she reveals a life altering secret. Lachlan is the son of her first husband, the late Marquess of Huntington. To add insult to injury he's not Scottish, he's (ack!) English. There was a terrible accident and Lachlan killed his sister Isla's fiancée. Since all of the village has turned their backs on the Ramsey family, and he has a brother in England, he needs to pack up his siblings and move tout de suite. On the way to London the Ramsey brothers have a bloody fist fight in the courtyard of an inn. Unbeknownst to Lachlan, Hyacinth Somerset and her grandmother are staying at the same inn and the young lady has seen the fight and its aftermath. Hyacinth Somerset is the last of our sisters in this series. She's shy, meek, timid, name it and it's her. To placate her family she has agreed to a London season and is now terrified. It won't turn out well and she senses this. She's also the new sister-in-law of the current Marquis of Huntington, see where this is going? No one knows or understands that Hyacinth is hiding behind a façade, the most biddable young lady in London. The hidden Hyacinth is much braver, has a sharp wit and dreams of how wonderful her life could be. When the Ramsey's arrive in London they make straight for Lord Huntington's house and find a ball in progress. With much trepidation, Lachlan goes in alone to seek out his brother the Marquis and spots Hyacinth. He's dumbstruck, she's the most beautiful angel he's ever seen, golden hair, skin like porcelain and the most arresting blue eyes. As he makes his way over to her she turns pale (er), tells everyone he's a murderer and faints. Hello ton, nice to meet you. There is the obligatory meeting in the library where things are somewhat straightened out. Throughout his life Huntington has heard whisperings and rumors of family in Scotland so he accepts brother Lachlan and half siblings Ciaran and Isla into the family. After much talk, explanations, and plotting, it's decided that Isla will debut with Hyacinth, giving them each a shoulder to lean upon. Finn, the Marquis, is going to dower Isla, so hopes are high. Oh boy. Lachlan begins to see the true person behind Hyacinth's emotional wall and he likes her. He knows Hyacinth is scared and offers to dance the very first dance with her, getting it out of the way. Well, it's way hot and the kisses on the terrace are even hotter. They use tongue. Lachlan, being a man, thinks Hyacinth would be better off out of his reach. Hyacinth, a lady who really likes the guy, puts on a low cut gown for the next ball and rocks his world. Another Lord notices hot Hyacinth and THE dress. Lachlan is very jealous but being the silent type he just growls a lot. Turns out this Lord knows all about the Ramsey family and has blackmail on his mind, he wants Hyacinth's dowry money. Our girl won't stand for it, takes Isla into her confidence and plans a reckoning. It works, sort of, but Hyacinth and Isla are ruined. Is there ever a situation where the female isn't ruined? Lachlan takes responsibility and says he'll marry Hyacinth. I believe the word suffer is used.
Noire More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC of this book to read through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. More Or Less A Temptress is the 3rd Book in Anna Bradley’s engaging Somerset Sisters series. It could be read as a stand-alone but I really enjoyed the other books in this series so recommend reading them all. Hyacinth is the youngest of the Somerset sisters, she has always been quiet and shy but lately is become a bit more and she fears losing herself as she retreats more and more from the world and as much as her family loves her their overprotectiveness is becoming quite smothering. The arrival of the boisterous Ramseys into her family circle shakes things up and her feelings towards Lachlan Ramsey are anything but sisterly. Forced to leave Scotland and to make a new life in England Lachlan Ramsey feels like a fish out of water and worries that the secrets he keep will prevent his family from being accepted into their newly discovered English family. I very much enjoyed this story and read with delight as Hyacinth was able to overcome her fears and grow into a secure and happy heroine. Mild to medium steam. Publishing Date November 13, 2018 #NetGalley #MoreOrLessATemptress
AmyHi More than 1 year ago
The last of the Somerset sisters is making her debut. However, Hyacinth is shy and stutters when nervous. Lachlan Ramsey has promised her brother he will watch out for her. As Hyacinth proves to be more than what people see, Lachlan falls for her. I can’t wait to read Isla Ramsey’s (Lachlan’s sister) story The Wayward Bride coming out in February of 2019.
Pokeybooboo More than 1 year ago
I could barely put this book down. Seriously. I started it last night and didn't stop reading until 3 a.m. Then when I started reading this afternoon, I refused to stop until I was finished. Anna Bradley is definitely an auto-buy for me. I loved this story! It's the third book in the series, but can stand alone with absolutely no problem. Hyacinth is now a favorite heroine of mine. At first she was very shy and timid. Her family dearly loved her, but treated her as if she was made of spun glass, fragile and ready to shatter from every small provocation. It obviously was not doing Hyacinth any favors. And then she met Lachlan...after seeing him at an inn at night and believing that she saw him murder someone. Lachlan, together with his brother and sister, came to England to escape problems in Scotland after the death of their mother. Before her death, she disclosed to Lachlan that his father was not really his father, and that he was the full brother of an English Lord. Arriving in London to meet his brother, he discovers there is a ball in progress, and he spies a beautiful woman...who proceeds to accuse him of murder and faints. Thus commences a beautiful story of secrets, change, family and love. This book brought tears to my eyes. It also made me snicker. I particularly found Lachlan's brother amusing. As for romance, Hyacinth and Lachlan were just perfect together. He saw her strength when no one else could. I don't want to give any more of the story away. Just read it! It was all things a good romance should be. I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley. I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lochinver Scotland - 1818 Lachlan Ramsey is sitting by his dying mother’s bed. She is telling him that when she dies, he is to take his half brother, Ciaran, and sister, Isla, to the Huntington Lodge estate in Buckinghamshire. There he must see Phineas (Finn) Knight, the Marquess of Huntington. She reveals that he is Lachlan’s older brother. The late Marquess was their father, but the brothers don’t know one another. Aylesbury England - 1818 Hyacinth Somerset is traveling to London with her grandmother, Lady Chase, for Hyacinth’s first season. Hyacinth’s sister, Iris, is married to the Marquess of Huntington and they will be joining her and her other sisters in London for the season. Hyacinth and Lady Chase are staying overnight at an Inn when Hyacinth creeps out of the room for some fresh air. Outside, she comes upon Lacklan and his brother, Ciaran, fighting. The Scots in Ciaran makes him want to fight when he’s had too much to drink. Lachlan knocks him down and drags him away while Hyacinth, witnessing it, thinks he has killed him. When Lachlan arrives at the Huntington London home, he pushes his way in to find Finn. When Hyacinth sees Lachlan, she calls him a murderer and faints away. It takes some explaining to resolve who Lachlan truly is. Finn readily accepts him and his half-siblings. Finn graciously suggests that Isla be a part of the season along with Hyacinth. He feels that it may also help Hyacinth with her severe shyness. After Hyacinth apologizes to Lachlan, he begins to tease her. Hyacinth has always been shy and lacking self-confidence. She used to stutter as a child, but has worked hard to overcome it. Although many people think that Hyacinth is delicate and cannot handle stress, Lachlan doesn’t agree. He sees her as a strong woman and is intent on making her realize just how strong she is. Soon, Lachlan is falling in love with Hyacinth, but he knows that he could never hope to win her because he is hiding a dark secret. This is yet another good book featuring Hyacinth’s story in Anna Bradley’s The Somerset Sisters series. I found the story easy to follow and enjoyed getting to know Hyacinth. Be sure to read this book and also learn a gambling trick I’m betting you knew knew about. I didn’t! Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
lcdolphin More than 1 year ago
Another great story about the Somerset sisters. Hyacinth is the youngest and terribly shy and scared of her own shadow. At least that's what everyone, including herself believes. Then along comes Lachlan Ramsey, a man with secrets, but an eye for Hyacinth - an eye that sees past her shyness to the woman she can be. Ms Bradley weaves a wonderful story between these two.
Sunshine1006 More than 1 year ago
Hyacinth,the youngest Somerset sister who has been coddled and protected by her family is set to make her London debut in her first Season. She has been hiding behind columns to keep from being noticed. Although she is beautiful and kind, she doesn't see it and lets the ton bully her. Lord Huntington is married to Hyacinth's sister, Iris. He had a mother who ran away with another man and left him and his father when he was just a child. Hyacinth sees two men fighting and assumes one man has killed the other. Lachlan Ramsey, his sister Isla and his brother, Ciaran had to leave Scotland after the death of their mother and a scandal. Before she dies, she reveals that Lachlan has a brother who is a Lord in England. His Brother and sister are half-siblings. Lachlan finds himself to be Lord Huntington 's brother which was kept a secret by their mother. The three Ramseys arrive in London without any notice, in the middle of a ball. Hyacinth announced to everyone that Lachlan was a murderer and promptly fainted. Hyacinth had seen Lachlan and Ciaran brawling and assumed the worst. The misunderstanding is cleared up and Lord Huntington accepted that they were family and welcomed them in his home. Isla is Hyacinth's age and Lord Huntinton would like her to have a season in London and Hyacinth is persuaded to go thru her Season. Lord and Lady Huntington have to leave London in the beginning of the Season and asks Lachlan to protect Isla and Hyacinth as they made their debut in society. Lachlan and Hyacinth have become attracted to each other and Lachlan feels he must protect her from him and his secrets. As he tries to protect Hyacinth, she changes and becomes more herself. She is not the mouse everyone thought she was. She is a temptress. As they take London by storm, someone is out to blackmail Hyacinth. Secrets come out and the scandal the Ramseys thought had been put behind them, follows them to London.. How will Lord Huntington deal with a lie of omission? Hyacinth is in the middle of all of it. Will she be ruined and what about the blackmailer? I loved Hyacinth's story. I was worried about how her story would develop, then the Ramsey's come to town. I loved them. I received this book from Net Galley and Kensington Publishing for a honest review and no compensation otherwise. 5+
CathyGeha More than 1 year ago
More or Less a Lady by Anna Bradley The Somerset Sisters #3 Hyacinth Somerset has always been seen by her family as weak and in need of being protected to the point that she is losing sight of who she could be…until Lachland Ramsey comes on the scene, that is. Lachland runs into Hyacinth at a ball and the first words out of her mouth, followed by her swoon, make things a wee bit more difficult for all of them. But surprisingly enough it is Lachland who sees her inner strength and promotes it in ways that make her realize that there is more strength within her than she once thought. This is a story of family and of doing what is best for those you love. It is the story of a woman coming into her own. It is also a love story and it was a fun one to read. Sure, there was a nasty female who though the belle of the season left much to be desired and a rather nasty man who was finally put in place but all in all it was the love story of Hyacinth and Lachland and a fun way to spend the day. It did leave me wondering about Lachland’s brother and sister and whether or not they would be getting stories of their own so I will be on the lookout because I do wonder who they will eventually end up with. Thank you to NetGalley and The Passionate Pen for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Stars