After waiting five years for her fiancé to return from the war and marry her, Roxana Langley has been jilted! She may have longed for excitement, but this was not what she had in mind...
Who could possibly throw over a woman as beautiful and vivacious as Roxana? Certainly not Alex Winslow, the Earl of Ayersley, who has spent years trying in vain to forget his unrequited love. When he learns she's been abandoned by her cad of a fiancé, he finds himself offering a shoulder for her to cry on. Comfort soon turns into a passionate kissand scandal when they are caught in an embrace.
Only one thing will save Roxana from certain ruination: marriage to the earl. The match may save her reputation, but responsible, tongue-tied Ayersley is a far cry from her dashing former fiancé. She's convinced Ayersley is merely doing his duty...while he's sure Roxana is still in love with another man. Are they trading one disaster for another?
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About the Author
Alyssa Everett grew up in Florida, where from an early age most of her favorite books had dukes in them. She spent her teen years working in a theme park, doing everything from collecting garbage to captaining an African boat cruise. A Harvard grad, she married her college sweetheart. They live with their three children in Pennsylvania.
Alyssa is a fan of regency history, Halloween, springer spaniels, Zumba and the perfect shoes. Visit her website at http://alyssaeverett.com.
Read an Excerpt
Breathless, Roxana threw open the front door, bounded up two flights of stairs and burst into the nursery. There she discovered her mother kneeling on the floor, pinning up her little brother's sleeves as he fidgeted in his new coat.
"Mama, the most amazing news! Wait until you hear!"
The May sunlight slanting through the window painted the room and all its contentsRoxana's mother, Harry, his battered rocking horse, his blocks and toy soldiers, the whitewashed walls, the polished oak floorsa cheerful butter color.
Lady Langley glanced to where Roxana stood, still wearing her bonnet, and the frown of concentration she'd been wearing deepened. "I heard this morning. And for heaven's sake, Roxana, I don't know which is worse, the unladylike way in which you came thundering up the stairs, or your eagerness to spread gossip."
"Gossip?" Roxana was used to being criticized for chattering when she should be still or for breaking into giggles when a lady would only smile demurely. She'd expected a reproving glance for pelting up the stairs. But to call news of her fiancé's return to Derbyshire after five long years mere gossip? That seemed unduly harsh.
"Yes, gossip." Lady Langley gave an emphatic bob of her head. "I can't imagine who would divulge such a shocking rumor to an unmarried young lady, but I sincerely hope you haven't told anyone else."
Roxana doffed her bonnet, blond curls falling loose despite the countless pins she'd put in her hair that morning. "But what's so shocking about George coming home? It's the most wonderful news I've heard in ages."
Lady Langley rocked back to sit on her heels, pursing her lips and tilting her head to one side. "George is coming home?"
Harry looked up, though he was too young to remember meeting George in the flesh. "Major Wyatt?"
Roxana clasped her hands to her heart, hitting herself with her bonnet in the process. "Yes, finally! He's finished settling those business affairs poor dying Lieutenant Hoke entrusted to him"
"More likely he was carousing in Town," her mother said under her breath, straightening again and making another adjustment to Harry's sleeve.
"George does not carouse. I met his sister Sophie in the village and she says he should arrive before the week is out." Roxana suppressed an unladylike urge to squeal and do an ecstatic jig. "He's really coming back. I'm finally getting married!"
Lady Langley sighed. "Then I'm happy for you, Roxana."
She didn't look happy. She looked as if someone had just told her there were flies in the dining room. It made no sense, for George was the handsomest, bravest, most dashing man Roxana had ever met, six feet tall and a major in the Fifth Dragoon Guards. They'd remained devoted to each other through every minute of the five years he'd been away fighting on the Peninsula.
Roxana did her best to sidestep the usual quarrel that arose whenever George's name came up. "But you weren't talking about my news, were you? What rumor did you mean?"
Her mother busied herself with starting on Harry's other sleeve. "Never mind."
"What's happened? It has to be something truly shocking if you're convinced it's not even fit for me to hear. Has one of the gentlemen of the neighborhood taken a mistress?"
Lady Langley scowled and covered her little boy's ears with her hands. "Roxana, really. And in front of Harry."
But Roxana sensed a juicy scandal in the offing. "Has someone eloped? Is someone in the family way?"
Lady Langley's stony expression gave a telltale quiver.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Grade: B- or 3.5 stars...Mr. Darcy Meets Marianne Dashwood...Fun Romance! A light historical romance with a strong start, some words left unsaid, a shy hero, and heroine with shades from Jane Austen's Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility. Derbyshire, 1814 Roxana Langley cannot contain her excitement. Her fiancé is returning from the Peninsula after five long years. He’s dashing, handsome, and fun. Roxana’s family has reservations, but the engagement is officially announced. Not much later her handsome officer says he can’t marry her. Roxana has been jilted! Alex Winslow, the Earl of Ayersley, fell in love with Roxana at her coming out. His painful shyness prevented him from ever approaching her. Ayersley returns to his country home to care for his mother. It is painful to watch the woman he loves engage herself to a blackguard like Major Wyatt. No matter the situation, his conduct is that of a gentleman until circumstances change. Ayersley offers consolation to a distraught Roxana; hugging leads to kissing and a moment of passion. Living in the country, Roxana enjoys listening to small town gossip and rumor. Now that she is the object of rumor places her pastime in a different light. There is a solution to the compromising position she has found herself in. The Earl of Ayersley has proposed marriage. Roxana has known him since she was a child. Ayersley is rich, good-looking, and boring. He is her brother’s good friend. Can she find happiness with such a ‘starchy’ man? My Thoughts This story had a very strong start. The characters are lively, entertaining, and seemed like characters from a BBC miniseries. They strongly reminded me of a combination of Jane Austen characters, specifically Marianne Dashwood in the case of Roxana Langley. Ayersley is like a combination of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley from Pride and Prejudice as the earl is alternately aloof, serious, shy, and socially awkward. The love story between Roxana and Ayersley was an enjoyable journey, for the most part. At first, I was put off by the misunderstanding and lack of communication, which is an overused device in romance novels. When looking closer at the characters personalities, especially Ayersley, their foibles become understandable. He is aware that Roxana loved the dynamic Major Wyatt, which causes him some insecurity and to read too much in to her actions and words. Despite Ayersley’s faults he is a very likable and romantic hero. I do wish his insecurity would not have played out so long. It was a kink to the strong start of this romance. Roxana was, at turns, naïve, intuitive, and amusing. Her lack of sexual knowledge and not understanding the happenings of her body were in tune with the era. The drama on their wedding night probably transpired between many newlyweds. Despite her naiveté, Roxana evolves from a woman-child to a mature person while maintaining the essence of her charm. Will I read this author again? Yes! I’m eager to try other works by Alyssa Everett and would recommend her to historical romance readers. Overall, Ruined by Rumor is an entertaining light historical romance that is sure to cause readers’ silly grins throughout the story. Book courtesy of Carina Press via Netgalley
Well written depiction of how life really played out in the 1800's. Enjoyed the authors ability describe the love making without being vulgar.
Enjoyed the story line.
Couldnt put it down
What you will find on it is a surprise
Overall, I really enjoyed Ruined by Rumor. I greatly enjoy a good romance novel every once in a while. This book combined many of my favorite things, regency period and a bodice ripping romance novel. It had all the elements of a great romance, a woman hurt (damsel in distress), ruined by the strict regency codes, and a man who was much stronger and better for her than she ever imagined he would be. Yummy! I fell in love with Ayersley right from that start, though I had to re-read the beginning twice to remember who he was and how he connected to Roxana. I kept thinking- why is her brother into her, eww gross, so I went back and figured out who was who and put their names into my mental database and I was no longer confused! Leave it to me to only ¾ pay attention when I am reading, can I just blame it on the fact that I was reading it in a busy airport? Like most romances, especially good ones, the marriage was not what Roxana wanted. She misjudged Ayersley and was actually not all that kind to him in the beginning, not really mean, but indifferent, before they were married. After marriage, it didn’t take long for them to connect, and in the typical romance style that we all love, Ayersley turned into the jerk, sort of... I am not telling you anymore, you will just have to pick this one up and read it yourself, you will not be disappointed. I had a hard time putting this book down, I was totally hooked. Though this is true, Ruined by Rumor had one very small fault. There were times in the novel where it felt like something was skipped or left out, that time just jumped ahead without a solid connection. This was most apparent at the end, though this is not something that should deter the average romance novel reader. In case you wanted to know, there is sex, not extremely graphic, but it is described, not just alluded to. Because of this, I would give Ruined by Rumor the label of adults only. This is not a bad thing, adults need their great romance novels as much as kids need great clean YA books! As many times as I have read romance novels and they almost all follow a similar plot outline, I am still entertained each time! I cannot say enough good things about this book! I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy. Please read more of my reviews on my blog: sarahereads(dot)wordpress(dot)com
Ruined by Rumor by Alyssa Everett Alex Winslow, Earl of Ayersley, had a secret love. He was never able to ask her to dance or have much conversation as he was shy and stumbled over his words. Due to what seemed to be his lack of interest, Roxana Langley thought he disliked her. When she became engaged to George Wyatt, Alex chose to stay in London and rarely came to his country estates that were a mere two miles from Roxana's home. After his mother hurt herself he had no choice. And the events that happened after that...well you'll have to read the book to find out. Roxana waited five long years for George to come home from the war. They had their engagement ball and after accidentally hearing about his life in from a few comrades she almost second thought their marriage...but George sweet talked her into forgiving him. And a few weeks later he jilted her without excuse. From there an innocent incident falls into the rumor mill, the same rumor mill Roxana use to enjoy hearing tidbits from but not so much when she's the tidbit. She soon finds herself engaged and than married. Not the wedding day or marriage she dreamed of with George either. Instead she finds herself in a lonely loveless marriage. Alyssa does a great job of misunderstandings between Alex and Roxana. And right near the end she creates an extremely emotional climax that leads into a fabulous ending to this story. This is only the author's second book. A Tryst With Trouble being her first. **Received through NetGalley for review.