The cold and aloof Marquess of Hawksfield is the worst peer in London. He has no friends, no fortune, and no time for fools. The dissolute ways of the ton disgust him. But when Archer assumes the identity of the mysterious and devilish Masked Marauder, he is free to do as he pleases.
Sheltered heiress Lady Briannon Findlay is a wallflower, and prefers it that way. Until she meets the nefarious Masked Marauder, a gentleman thief waylaying carriages from London to Essex, who awakens sensual impulses she never knew she had. Provocative and darkly attractive, his artful seduction leaves her wanting more.
When Brynn discovers that Archer and the Masked Marauder are one and the same, trust and attraction collide. But after a murder is committed by an imposter marauder, they must risk everything to find the real killer...including their love.
Each book in the Lords of Essex series is STANDALONE
*My Rogue, My Ruin
*My Darling, My Disaster
*My Hellion, My Heart
*My Scot, My Surrender
About the Author
Amalie Howard’s love of romance developed after she started pilfering her grandmother’s novels in high school when she should have been studying. She has no regrets. A #1 Amazon bestseller and a national IPPY silver medalist, she is the award-winning author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Kid’s IndieNext title. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children. Visit her at www.amaliehoward.com.
Angie Morgan lives in New Hampshire with her husband, their three daughters, a menagerie of pets, and an extensive collection of paperback romance novels. She’s the author of several young adult books, including The Dispossessed series written under the name Page Morgan. Critically acclaimed by Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, School Library Journal, VOYA, and The Bulletin, Angie’s novels have been an IndieNext selection, a Seventeen Magazine Summer Book Club Read, and a #1 Amazon bestseller. Visit her at www.AngieMorganBooks.com
Read an Excerpt
My Rogue, My Ruin
Lords of Essex
By Amalie Howard, Angie Morgan, Alethea Spiridon
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Amalie Howard and Angie
All rights reserved.
Essex, England, April 1817
Lady Briannon Findlay was going to die.
She sat back against the squabs inside her father's coach, her eyes locked on the lethal nose of a polished pistol barrel, and half wished she had worn a finer gown for the occasion. As it stood, her body would be found on the side of the road in the most atrocious gray velvet dress known to man. She might have had a fighting chance had she been wearing her breeches. And her pistol. Sadly, she had neither.
"No displays of heroism, please," a voice behind the gun drawled.
All sense of time slowed to a dull stop, and Brynn's breath lodged like a stone in her throat. Beckett, their coachman, stood within the open gap of the carriage door, his white, curled wig gone from his head, exposing a mop of red hair. He was not alone. A man suited in black, with a black mask obscuring most of his face, stood beside the coachman, the barrel of a second pistol tucked into Beckett's ribs. Her heart hammered a brutal staccato in her chest.
"Now that we have that out of the way, shall we begin?" the man said with a slow, breaking smile. His teeth caught the shine of the carriage lantern, and Brynn frowned. The highwayman who had just set upon their carriage on the darkened, private lane running between her family's estate and the neighboring grounds of Worthington Abbey possessed, quite possibly, the finest smile she had ever seen.
What sort of robber smiled at his victims? Despite the pistols he held and the fear that gripped her, it was his perplexing mouth she was staring at when her mother, seated on the bench opposite, let out with a bloodcurdling scream. Brynn clapped her gloved hands over her ears as Lady Dinsmore's long-winded screech finally waned and croaked off.
The masked man hadn't flinched. Instead, he vaulted a mocking eyebrow to match the smirk on his lips. "My good woman, have a care for the eardrums of your fellow travelers and refrain from doing that again. I assure you, I do not intend for anyone to lose their hearing tonight — just their valuables."
Brynn lowered her hands at his crisp words, her ears ringing. She was certain she'd misheard, but he nearly sounded like a ... a gentleman. His diction was as precise as a Shakespearean stage actor, over-enunciating each syllable. No, she had to have been mistaken, deafened by her mother's shriek. The man was a common bandit putting on airs, nothing more. She mustered her courage and stared down at him.
The corner of his mouth curled in an answering grin. He sent a pointed look at the pearls Brynn wore. "Start with those earbobs sitting upon such delicate and privileged ears," he said, the sarcasm in his voice thinly veiled. Her fingers itched to slap the condescending grin from his face, though she kept them firmly at her sides, ever aware of the gun pointed at her family.
Lord Dinsmore had been immobile on the bench beside his wife, glaring at the bandit in confounded shock. Now, as Brynn moved to unclasp her beloved earbobs, he sat forward, nearly coming off the seat altogether. "Who the devil do you think you are, you pestilent son of a —"
"Papa, stop!" Brynn held out her arms to stop him from lunging at the bandit. "He has a weapon."
Lord Dinsmore seemed to see the pistol pointing into the carriage for the first time. He instantly sobered and sat back into his seat. Relieved, Brynn met the appraising eyes of their attacker. The scoundrel was still grinning. He was either mad or extremely cocky. She wondered if it wasn't a little bit of both. Neither of those would bode well for them — an arrogant criminal was dangerous. An insane one, even more so.
Her gaze fell to the pistols again. Even from the carriage she could see the coiled tensile strength in his arms. Beckett was a strapping youth, country born and bred, and he hadn't stood a chance against his assailant. He was a hair taller and wider than the masked man, too. Of course, having a pistol aimed at his chest was likely enough to cow him. She wondered whether Colton, their driver, had suffered a worse fate, and her stomach plummeted. He had been driving them to Worthington Abbey for the Duke of Bradburne's annual ball and had stopped the carriage to remove a fallen tree from the lane. It had been a trap, Brynn realized.
"Where is our driver?" she asked, proud she'd kept a measure of strength in her voice.
"Indisposed at the moment, I'm afraid," the man replied, and if not for the pistols or the mask, or the obvious fact that he was about to rob them, Brynn would have warmed at how concerned he sounded.
No displays of heroism, please. Those words he'd spoken ...
"You're the Masked Marauder the newspapers have been writing about," Brynn said, recalling at once the numerous articles printed over the last few months. A man had been waylaying carriages in London and its environs and, according to the articles, the Masked Marauder had an unsettlingly smooth, courteous manner while relieving his victims of their personal items. Apparently, he made the appeal for no displays of heroism at the start of each robbery.
Brynn's mother's deathly frightened expression shifted to fierce disappointment. "Briannon! You know how I feel about you reading your father's newspapers. It isn't appropriate."
"Mama," Brynn said through clenched teeth. "Time and place."
The masked man sighed as her mother's face resumed its prior expression. "That ridiculous name. I'd rather be called a bandit than a marauder. Now, to business, if we may?" He cocked the pistol, and Lady Dinsmore startled, her hands fluttering about her person like a pair of terrified birds. "If you would be so kind as to hand all of your glittery baubles to the rebellious Lady Briannon, and of course, whatever is currently weighing down your money purses, I would be obliged. My lord, please do not overlook your cuff links."
Lord Dinsmore all but exploded. "Now see here, you scurrilous blackguard, if you think I'm going to give you anything more than a sound thrashing, you're —"
"Papa!" Brynn cried, again reaching out to her father as he prepared to leap through the carriage door. "Papa, stop!"
Beckett had scrunched his eyes in preparation for the shot to his heart. The guttering oil lamp inside the carriage showed the purple flush creeping up from her father's starched cravat as he held himself still, abandoning his rash action. He slumped back onto the bench in frustrated silence.
"You should thank your daughter for possessing such rational thought," the masked man commented, amusement coloring his tone. Then, "After you hand her your belongings, that is."
Lord Dinsmore continued to glower at the bandit.
"Papa," Brynn pleaded in a low voice, desperate for his safety. The bandit may have sounded like a gentleman, but Brynn sensed he knew how to use the pistols held so confidently in his grasp and would not hesitate to do so if provoked. A cold sensation slunk down to the base of her spine as his shadowed gaze fell upon her. "Please do as he says."
With relief, she watched as her father reluctantly unfastened his engraved gold cuff links and handed them over, along with the small pouch of sterling he always kept in his waistcoat pocket. He nodded at her mother, and Lady Dinsmore tutted and harrumphed while shedding a magnificent amethyst necklace and matching bracelets along with several rings. Brynn swallowed, removing her gloves briefly to slip the rings from her own fingers onto the growing pile in her lap. She was relieved the folds of her cloak were still drawn tightly around her, concealing, she hoped, her most treasured possession from view.
"Here," she whispered, shoving a gleaming handful toward the masked man. "You have what you want. Now let Beckett go, and leave us in peace."
"If you could be so kind," he said to her, stepping backward with a mocking incline of his head, "as to step out and place those into my satchel. As you can see, I do not have a free hand at the moment."
"Why, you impertinent blackguard!" her father sputtered.
"You needn't worry, my lord," the man said. "Your daughter's virtue will still be intact. I require only her assistance."
Brynn bristled and blushed. How dare he speak of her virtue so blithely? And in front of her father no less, who looked as if he were on the verge of apoplexy.
"Do not worry, Papa. I'll be fine," Brynn said, hiking her chin and attempting to sound reassuring despite the wild hammering of her heart. Her mother seemed to be swallowing yet another deafening scream, her face turning a stormy sunset color.
Brynn stood, hoping her fear wasn't as transparent as her mother's. The newssheets hadn't said anything about the man being a murderer — or worse. She fervently hoped they had not chosen to edit such sordid details.
Brynn cupped the jewelry and coins in her hands and screwed up her courage. She would not allow her legs to tremble and display to this vile criminal how nervous she was ... especially not when he was staring at her with such sweeping mockery. Her jaw lifted another notch, fueled by righteous indignation.
"Slowly," the man warned as she climbed out of the carriage. He made no move to offer her assistance. He only continued watching her with that heavy-lidded gaze as she jumped the substantial distance from the coach to the road without the carriage steps. Brynn's knee almost buckled, but she held her ground, cursing him under her breath. The atrocious toad! When she looked up, she shot him the most contemptuous look she could manage. "Where is this satchel of yours?"
"At my waist," he replied. Brynn saw it then — a loosely cinched pouch the size of a hand reticule, strung around his hips. It hung in a most shocking way, and Brynn found her attention riveted to that region of his body. Instantly mortified, a rush of heat warmed her cheeks. Her eyes jerked away.
"You cannot expect me to —"
"Deposit the jewels? No, my lady, I do not expect it. I require it. Your driver is stirring, and I should hate to inflict another blow to the poor man's head."
She clenched her teeth as a wave of anger stormed through her. He'd struck Colton about the head? He was worse than a toad. He was a heartless degenerate who deserved a noose around his neck and a trapdoor under his feet! Fairly glowering with rage, Brynn stood tall before taking a steady, confident stride toward the masked man. She used her pinkies to widen the mouth of the pouch, considering the cups of her palms were filled to the brim, and let it all slide in. "There. You have everything."
Another slow half smile broke across the man's face, making his eyes glint in the lamplight. They, along with his mouth, were the sole features she could see clearly. The black slip of silk covered his forehead to his upper lip and curved down along the masculine cut of his cheekbones and straight nose to his jaw. If he wasn't such a brigand, she would consider him handsome. Brynn nearly swore at herself — her family had been stopped at gunpoint, and here she was, admiring his features like a besotted idiot with cotton in her head.
The bandit's gaze became appraising as he studied her in turn. "Not everything," he said with a pointed gaze to her neckline. Brynn's hand flew to the strand of pearls just visible from beneath her cloak. The folds must have shifted when she'd jumped from the carriage, exposing them. Of all the rotten luck!
It was the first time she'd ever worn her grandmother's pearls, too. She'd wanted to save the three-tiered necklace and drop earbobs for a special occasion, and while the Bradburne Ball was hardly special, Brynn had felt she needed the beautiful accessories to offset such a drab dress. And they were beautiful. Priceless and irreplaceable. The idea of losing them to this ruffian made her blood boil.
"Pearls as lovely as those should not be overlooked," he continued, the gun jerking meaningfully in his fingers. "I'll have them as well."
Brynn's breath hitched, and despair filled her. She had already given him the matching earbobs, and even that had skewered her heart. They were Grandmother's most cherished pieces, given to her by Grandfather on their wedding day. Now this man ... this scoundrel ... was ordering her to just hand them over? She raised her chin, choosing to ignore the deadly weapon trained on her. Some instinct — hopefully not a misguided one — told her he wouldn't shoot. "No."
"No?" His voice held a new, deadly timbre, and Brynn's courage faltered. "My lady, while I admire your ... persistence —"
"If you want them, you'll have to take them yourself. I refuse to hand them over willingly," Brynn interrupted before her idiotic display of bravery could desert her.
Perhaps if she could get the masked man to holster one of his pistols, Beckett, or Colton, wherever he was, would have a chance to overpower him. She drew a deep, fortifying breath. Her plan could work. It could. And it was all she had at the moment.
A reluctant twitch pulled at the corner of his mouth at her audacity. "Then so I shall." He eyed Beckett. "I am going to release you, good man, but I assure you — my weapon will not waver. Take five steps in reverse and then lay upon the ground. Very still. That's good, and with such energy as well," he praised as Beckett crashed belly down on the dirt lane.
He holstered one of his pistols as Brynn had hoped he would, and then closed the door to the carriage with a deliberate snap, separating her from her parents' view. "Your daughter's life rests in your hands," he warned them through the door, the remaining pistol still trained on her. "Not one move."
The bandit's gaze fell back to Brynn. A deep flush rose in her cheeks as his eyes, glittering in a sudden wash of bright moonlight, perused the length of her person. She practically felt the physical press of them as they slowly roved. No doubt the bandit sought some blazing reaction from her. At least the coach door was closed, sparing her parents from this man's indecency. She would not be able to stop her father from doing something rash this time. Her ears burned as his insolent gaze traced her body from the crown of her head to the tips of her toes. She steeled herself, clenching her teeth so hard it felt like they would shatter. His eyes left her feeling bare, as if they were stripping away her clothing, layer by layer.
The dreadfully unfashionable gray velvet gown had been at her mother's insistence. Its long sleeves and high square bodice, which rested just below her collarbone, was a barrier against any chill. One tiny cough yesterday morning had been enough to send her mama into a fit. Brynn counted herself lucky that Lady Dinsmore hadn't insisted on a woolen shawl for good measure.
Though now, as this bandit all but slid the heavy velvet from her shoulders with his eyes, leaving it in a pool around her ankles, Brynn understood that her frumpy dress hadn't deterred him from imagining what lay underneath.
As his lewd attention lingered over the rise of her breasts, Brynn nearly lost her composure.
"Are you quite finished?" she snapped, resisting the urge to draw the cloak around her body like a shield.
Without answering, the man raised his free hand to his lips. His eyes never left hers as he removed the leather glove finger by finger with his teeth. Brynn frowned, but realized that he would need his fingers to maneuver the delicate latch on the string of pearls.
She tried to make eye contact with Beckett, but the cowering footman had his nose in the dirt. She fought the urge to stamp her foot in disgust. So much for her grand plans to foil the bandit with Beckett's help. It appeared she would have to get out of this on her own. The masked man positioned his body directly in front of hers so that she was pinned between him and the side of the carriage. Almost a full two heads taller than she, Brynn couldn't see anything at all but his broad chest directly in her line of sight.
He pocketed the glove and stepped closer still. Brynn's heart skipped. Obviously, she hadn't quite thought this through. Everything about the man was dangerous. His entire body radiated a leashed strength, from the tense muscles in his neck to the rigid line of his jaw. Brynn wanted to believe he wouldn't hurt her, but she wasn't stupid enough to provoke him more than she already had. She held her breath as he lifted his hand toward her.
Excerpted from My Rogue, My Ruin by Amalie Howard, Angie Morgan, Alethea Spiridon. Copyright © 2016 Amalie Howard and Angie. 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this book it had a little bit of everything. Can't wait to read book 2
An absolute Must Read! Hawksville, the heir to a Dukedom, masquerades, but why? Is he a highwayman, because he lives a proliferate lifestyle, or because his Father, The Dancing Duke, spends it all? Sworn to never marry, he holds up the carriage of their neighbor, holding, the Earl of Dinsmoore, his Countess, and their, "sickly Daughter", Lady Briannon , except she makes it clear to the highwayman, if she had a weapon on her, he would be dead! Absolutely love the story from beginning to shocking end! I highly recommend! Thanks! Enjoy! carolintallahassee ?
I loved the intrigue and the plot twist surprise d me. Frustratingly romantic. Loved the strong female lead.
Will be looking for the next in the series
I loved this story. I've read several stories where someone from the aristocracy decides they are going to be a masked marauder so I was worried that this story would feel like the same ol' story that I had already read. Much to my surprise, it was not. Even though the story was not new, Howard and Morgan had a way of storytelling that made made it new and exciting to me.This is my first book by them and it definitely won't be the last! I loved all the twists and turns as well as the surprise villain (I never saw that one coming!). I'm so excited for the next book in the series!!
When Lady Briannon Findlay is robbed by the infamous Masked Marauder, she's both intrigued and angry. She lost her grandmother's treasured pearls to this rogue. She finds herself drawn to this criminal who takes from the rich to give to the poor. She needs to find out who this man is. Brynn is a woman of strength and courage. She hates the restrictions placed on her by her mother and she doesn't want to be a pawn on the marriage mart. The Marquess of Hawksfield is honoring his mother by robbing the rich to help those in need. His mother died trying to save him. She was a loving woman who helped those in need. He's fascinated by Lady Briannon. She stood up to him when he robbed her, but there is a sweetness about her that reminds him of his late mother. The danger ramps up when a blackmailer murders Hawksfield's father and makes him the prime suspect. To save themselves, Brynn and Hawksfield fake an engagement. I enjoyed this romantic and suspenseful story. The characters are strong-willed and compelling. Their story is well written and filled with unexpected twists. The ending took me by surprise. I never saw it coming. Amelia Howard and Angie Morgan did a great job with My Rogue, My Ruin. I'm looking forward to the next book in the Lord of Esses series. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
When Lady Briannon Findlay and her parents are on their way to an event, they are robbed by the Masked Marauder. After Brainnon is alone with him for a few minutes, her mind is stuck on the mysterious thief. Archer Croft, the Marquess of Hawksfield, hates the ton and his station in life. Because of that, he has become a sort of Robin Hood to try to help the poor. During one of his robberies, he engages in a battle of wits with Lady Briannon Findlay that has him wanting more. I really loved this book. I loved all of the characters in it. The plot was well written and it did something that doesn’t happen very often: it threw in a few twists I didn’t see coming. I can’t wait to read more from this author. I highly recommend. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
So I feel the need to preface this with the fact that I'm generally one to stick with contemporary romance, versus historical, and that this is my first historical romance in probably 10 years. If you're someone who reads a lot of historical romance, don't laugh too hard at me if I go a little fangirl. :P Alright, that out of the way, I've gotta say that I LOVED THIS! I had looked a few months before hearing about this for stories with knights or pirates and, not being familiar with this sub-genre, had no idea where to start. The thing that really got me interested in this one was: 1) The cover. Seriously, it's mesmerizing and I find myself staring at it for, ahem, too long. :) 2) The fact that our hero is Robin-Hood-esque. Um, yes please! I started reading this and it starts with our hero robbing a carriage that holds our heroine. Lady Briannon (Brynn) is feisty and stubborn and I thought she was awesome from the moment she stood her ground with a guy holding a pistol at her, but was smart enough not to push him too far. She is my absolute favorite type of heroine, probably because I'm fairly feisty and stubborn myself. ;) Then, we officially meet Archer, Marquess of Hawksfield. He's obviously not a big fan of all the pomp & circumstance of his peers, is known for his cold and rake-ish behavior, and is pretty much just as stubborn as Lady Briannon. Through a series of happenstance and parties people with their titles attend, these two spar with one another in such a delightful way and I really just loved the way their relationship built up and the way they dealt with everything that came their way. Their chemistry was also fantastic, burning up the pages. And, it needs to be said, I enjoyed the "Regency" aspect more than I had even thought I might. These characters were most definitely high society English, but felt almost contemporary. I found myself enchanted with their world and a lot of the terminology used ("He would have smalls on, surely.") There is also a fair amount of suspense in this and a really fun mystery that unravels that had me guessing and then second-guessing for the majority of the story (Though it was not without an "I KNEW IT!" at a particular reveal.) To wrap this up, I say READ THIS! If you are at all a fan of Downton Abbey, The Princess Bride, Elizabeth & Will in the Pirates movies, and/or Robin Hood, I think that you will be as charmed by it as I was!
The Marquess of Hawksfield’s lineage is impeccable and his title coveted, but Archer Croft is as far from his indulgent peers as he can get. His loathing for the beau monde has driven him to don a secret identity and risk everything in order to steal their riches and distribute them to the less fortunate. Lady Briannon Findlay embraces her encounter with the Masked Marauder, a gentleman thief waylaying carriages from London to Essex. The marauder has stirred Brynn’s craving for adventure, and she discovers an attraction deeper than the charming thief’s mask. Brynn is a revelation, matching Archer in intelligence, wit, and passion. Stubborn and sensuous in equal measure, she astonishes him at every turn, but when someone sinister impersonates Archer’s secret personality, and a murder is committed, Archer begins to think he doesn’t stand a fighting chance without her. Review: For their first time out with an adult historical romance, I think they hit it out of the park. The story was captivating. These two Authors created a seamless story, I would have never guessed that two people wrote this book. I did not see who was behind impersonation until the very time of reveal...kudos! But no spoilers here. They captured the time period and made me feel immersed in that time. Now for Archer and Brynn. The chemistry was evident from the beginning but going along with the time period the sexy was a slow build up. I liked that the sexual tension was slowly grown, it made the end more satisfying. Brynn was a fun character, strong and smart but like most of her time is held back by society's morals. She has enough spunk to throw off some of those and make her a more interesting character. Archer was a Robin Hood-esq character. He is moody, sexy,dangerous but had a depth to him that made him more than one dimensional and a great leading man. Like I said I am not giving anything away so you can enjoy reading it for yourself. I will say I was very happy and satisfied after reading this book. It is the first in a series and I have no idea what will come next, but I cannot wait to read more from these Authors. 5Stars *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book provided by the publisher,*
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** My Rogue, My Ruin by Amalie Howard & Angie Morgan Book One of the Lords of Essex series Publisher: Entangled Select Publication Date: November 21, 2016 Rating: 3 stars Source: eARC from NetGalley ***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers*** Summary (from Goodreads): The Marquess of Hawksfield’s lineage is impeccable and his title coveted, but Archer Croft is as far from his indulgent peers as he can get. His loathing for the beau monde has driven him to don a secret identity and risk everything in order to steal their riches and distribute them to the less fortunate. Lady Briannon Findlay embraces her encounter with the Masked Marauder, a gentleman thief waylaying carriages from London to Essex. The marauder has stirred Brynn’s craving for adventure, and she discovers an attraction deeper than the charming thief’s mask. Brynn is a revelation, matching Archer in intelligence, wit, and passion. Stubborn and sensuous in equal measure, she astonishes him at every turn, but when someone sinister impersonates Archer’s secret personality, and a murder is committed, Archer begins to think he doesn’t stand a fighting chance without her. What I Liked: An okay first attempt at historical romance, but not great and definitely not a new favorite. This book came highly recommended to me, and I was looking forward to reading it. I think I had more issues with this book than things that I liked, but I am still giving this book a somewhat favorable rating. I know these two authors are experienced Young Adult writers, so I expect them to grow in their historical romance writing. Archer, the Marquess of Hawksfield, is a lord by day, and Robin Hood by night. He's not actually Robin Hood, but he has been masquerading as a charming bandit, robbing rich lords and ladies and giving the money from the jewels to orphanages and homeless people. One night, Lady Briannon and her family are robbed by the Masked Marauder, and everything changes. She has an attraction for this charming bandit, but she also finds herself drawn to the surly and cold Lord Archer. She'll soon discover that they are one and the same. But when an impostor is masquerading as the Masked Marauder, and disaster strikes in Archer's family, Archer and Briannon will have to make choices that they may not want to face. Briannon - Brynn - is a feisty and independent unmarried lady, paraded around in balls and social events by her parents (namely, her mother), who want her to get married. Except she wants to marry for love, and not for title or arrangement. One thing is for certain - she really does not want to marry the cold and handsome Lord Archer, whom she's known since they were younger. Archer seems cold and distant, but he is brimming with selflessness and a passion for helping the less fortunate. He is the heir to a dukedom in dire straits, so donning the Robin-Hood-esque disguise is how he helps the poor. Archer is noble and honorable, extremely polite and perfectly groomed. He's also wickedly charming and considerate, but few know this side of him. Most think that he is a cold and mysterious man. But he's the heir to a dukedom, so most people don't care about his antisocial behavior. I do like hate-to-love romances, and the romance in this book was just about that. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
It's an intriguing historical novel, full of mystery, adventure, and romance. I loved it. The story is quite good and well-written. I loved Archer and Briannon. Both are unconventional and looking for adventure, which they find soon enough. Archer doesn't agree with his father on anything. He has made his own life, away from the ton. But he is not ready to share this life with anyone. He is considered aloof and rude. He likes it that way, he likes to keep everyone at arm's length. But Brynn is different. She is unlike any Lady he knows, and she intrigues him. Brynn doesn't like Archer at all. Although he is very handsome and she cannot deny the attraction she feels but she knows that he is not good enough for her. Her brother agrees. So when Archer decides to keep an eye on her, it annoys her to no end. She doesn't want to spend any time with him, yet they constantly find themselves in each others company. But soon things become serious and may be even dangerous for them. There is someone out there who doesn't have Archer's best interest at heart. He must find that person before things get out of hand. I quite enjoyed reading it and would recommend to all historical fiction fans.
My Rogue, My Ruin by Amalie Howard and Angie Morgan was my undoing :p An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review and I did so voluntarily. Bazinga! This read has all the components that I love within a story and was beautifully written. The authors’ did a fantastic job of weaving their story and really brought out the wonderful characters and world that they created. Without giving out any spoilers, I will just say this is the perfect blending of romance, mystery and suspense. Kudos to Ms. Howard and Ms. Morgan...job well done!
A Marquess who prefers the highway to his Dukedom? Rather appealing! It's everything that I expected. Archer is the son of a Duke but loathes being part of the ton and the whole lifestyle. He prefers to help those who are less fortunate. Something he inherited from his mother. Why not rob the rich to help the poor? That will give them less to flaunt! Brynn has always been on the "fragile" side and cosseted by her family, mainly her mother. She likes the outdoors and enjoys the occasional "unladylike" activities such as riding without a saddle! Not to mention her attire! She has a very close relationship with her brother, Gray. Brynn and her parents are on their way to a ball when their coach is stopped by a masked man. He is quite polite for a marauder and when he demands that Brynn hands over one of her most prized possessions, she stands up to him. It's not what he would have expected of a 'fragile" lady and this piques his interest. She too is intrigued by his "gentlemanly" behaviour. As furious as she is with him, she can't help but want to uncover who is under the mask. Brynn doesn't really like Archer because of his reputation but is thrown into dancing a waltz with him at the ball. He doesn't like parties and doesn't hide his feelings either. Not a very good start. They cross paths again under the most unusual of circumstances and Archer is even more intrigued. The thefts are on the uprise but the marauder is becoming more daring. The victims are being brutalised and of course everyone thinks it's the marauder. At the same time, it looks like Archer is being blackmailed. Then someone close to him is murdered and everyone is a suspect, including himself and Brynn. She offers her help because that's the kind of person she is whilst she keeps telling herself that she isn't in the least bit attracted to him. Their plan brings them closer together and they have some steamy stolen interludes. Their main goal is to find the blackmailer and murderer, then go their separate ways but can they walk away from each other unscathed? Archer likes to appear that he lives up to his reputation but he is totally the opposite. Brynn is one of the few who gets to know the real "him". She is stubborn but otherwise has a wonderful personality. I love the banters between the two of them. The identity of the impersonator and murderer comes as a real surprise! There are a few likely culprits but no indication as to real one. I am also intrigued by Gray and Lana. It will be nice to see them get their own story! I enjoyed reading every part of this historical novel. I found it to be captivating. Great plot. Well developed characters. Suspense, Murder and mystery. Love and passion. Yeah! I would definitely read again and it has put me in the mood to revisit "La Tulipe Noire", one of my favourite novels of all times. I received a complimentary eARC from Entangled Publishing. The views expressed are my personal and honest opinion.