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Lady Ella Myerston can always find a reason to smile–even if it’s just in hope that tomorrow will be better than today. All her life everyone has tried to protect her from the realities of the world, but Ella knows very well the danger that has haunted her brother and their friend, and she won’t wait for it to strike again. She intends to take action . . . and if that happens to involve an adventurous trip to the Cotswolds, then so much the better.
Lord Cayton has already broken two hearts, including that of his first wife, who died before he could convince himself to love her. Now he’s determined to live a better life. But that proves complicated when old friends arrive on the scene and try to threaten him into a life of crime. He does his best to remove the intriguing Lady Ella from danger, but the stubborn girl won’t budge. How else can he redeem himself, though, but by saving her–and his daughter–from those dangerous people who seem ready to destroy them all?
When I read “The Reluctant Dutchess” a couple of months back, I knew I had found a new author who I would follow her work from that point on. When this continuation of the “Ladies of the Manor Series”, I knew I had to get on board. Intrigue, flirtations, heartbreakingly handsome noblemen, and a couple of really nasty fellows are all wrapped into this perfect package. As you read through this story, that is a continuation of the other two books in the series, everything comes to a head beautifully as the Curse of the Fire Eyes comes to an end.
I got a kick out of Lady Ella. The woman is definitely unrivaled. She is young but don’t underestimate her by no means as the handsome Lord Cayton discovers. Their banter was a joy to read as you watch their friendship build and they work together. The appearance of characters past is nice to see as well. They mentor and guide Ella and Cay throughout the story as they meet struggles of both the heart and spirit.
All in all, I enjoyed this story as much as the last and was sad that this is the last installment. Well done Roseanna M. White! and thank you for sharing your imaginative talent.
About the Author
Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to Edwardian British romances. She makes her home in the breathtaking mountains of West Virginia. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.
Guest Post from Roseanna White
So Very Ella
Back in 2008, I went to my first writers conference, where I met my current best friend and critique partner. I’d been pitching the first book in a series I was rewriting from my childhood, so this was the first project of mine our newly formed critique group did together. Specifically, the third book in the series, which I was then calling Diamond Blaze.
It was about a girl very much like me. Optimistic in the extreme. Always looking for a reason to smile. Her name was Lady Ella Myerston, and though she was the heroine in the third novel in a series—friend to heroine from book 1 and sister of hero in book 2—Ella stood on her own. Or I hoped she did. You see, it’s not very often I try to write a character so much like me, and I wasn’t sure what my new critique partners would think.
I was delighted and relieved when my critters, as I call them, loved her—it felt a little like them lovingme. 😉 With Stephanie, that BFF/critique partner, Ella became part of our language. “That’s so Ella” meant “that’s so hopefully and optimistic.” It’s a phrase we used for years, long after that series got shelved and we focused on other projects.
When I finally sold a rewrite of the first book to Bethany House and The Lost Heiress released last September, I was so excited to get to breathe new life into the other books in the series as well. I gave some new twists and turns to Brice’s and Rowena’s story in The Reluctant Duchess, took it to new depths, but it was still largely the story I’d first written seven years before.
Ella’s story, though . . . we eventually settled on the title A Lady Unrivaled, but it was the hardest one in the series for us to name. And writing! Ella’s story didn’t work anymore as I’d had it. I had to toss out the entire thing and start fresh, with a new premise and new plot. But Ella—Ella had to remain Ella. I learned more about her as I rewrote the series, of course, and I added a few things not like me, naturally. But Ella still seeks a reason to smile, always. She still believes in hope, in every situation. And her knack for misplacing things—herself included—might be borrowed (and exaggerated) from my remarkable ability to lose things that I sat down right there two minutes ago.
Ella got new adventures, new goals, new excitement in her life—but she’s still the Ella I got to know all those years ago. And her hero, Cayton, is still the sometimes surly, too-realistic, very different-from-Ella man he has to be to counteract her.
My editor, in her notes to me, said, “Cayton and Ella are so very different. In a way, you wonder how they’ll make it work. And yet you can’t help think they will, and want them to.”
The love story in this book is partly mine, too. Because though on the surface my husband isn’t much like Cayton, in the ways that matters, he is. He’s my opposite, but my perfect complement. He doesn’t always see the bright side I cling to, but he’d never ask me not to cling on anyway. We view the world very differently—and can face it because we’re together.
I love all my books, all my characters. But A Lady Unrivaled . . . well, it’s just so very Ella. I hope you love it just a fraction as much as I do!
September 22: 100 pages per hour
September 22: Smiling Book Reviews
September 23: Book by Book
September 23: Bibliophile Reviews
September 24: bigreadersite
September 24: Jeanette’s Thoughts
September 25: The Power of Words
September 25: Pause for Tales
September 26: Reading Is My SuperPower
September 26: Faithfully Bookish
September 27: History, Mystery and Faith
September 27: Back Porch Reads
September 28: cherylbbookblog
September 28: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
September 29: Blossoms and Blessings
September 29: Heidi Reads…
September 30: The Scribbler
September 30: Karen’s Krayons
October 1: Singing Librarian Books
October 1: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses
October 2: Simple Harvest Reads
October 3: Colonial Quills
October 3: History, Hope, Laughter & Happily-ever-after
October 3: Blogging With Carol
October 4: Reader’s cozy corner
October 4: A Baker’s Perspective
October 5: Books and Beverages
October 5: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
I’m giving away a complete set of the Ladies of the Manor Series PLUS a special surprise straight from England! (US addresses only for paperbacks; an international winner is eligible for digital gifts, though!)