Ianthe had danced every dance, and her feet hurt. Beneath her chair, she surreptitiously slipped off a shoe and wriggled her toes. There was no sign of Tate, and the unmasking would take place at midnight. She searched for a tall dark-haired gentleman among the crowd of chimney-sweeps and foreign potentates, dancing with queens, shepherdesses, dairy maids, and exotic gypsies.
The waltz would soon be announced. Ianthe hoped to avoid any gentlemen who looked as if he would approach her for the dance, as they had in numbers all evening. But if Tate didn’t come soon, her mother would insist she stand up with the first man to ask her.
She prayed he would suddenly appear. He was always kind and wouldn’t deliberately disappoint her. He’d never laughed at her like Stephen when she’d escaped her governess and demanded they let her ride with them. And when she left the schoolroom and nervously dressed in her new habit, Tate had invited her along before she’d even had to ask. She’d felt so grown up and very much aware of him atop his big chestnut stallion, controlling the animal easily with powerful hands and thighs. So handsome it made her sigh. And she’d said to herself: one day I shall marry you.
She held up her fan to hide her disappointment from her mother. If only she could forget him. Her mind might consider they would never be together, but her heart wasn’t listening.
“His Grace Duke of Lindsey,” the butler announced in a loud, important voice.
“Tate is here,” her mother said. “I didn’t expect to see him in London.”
Ianthe sat forward in her chair as she looked toward the doorway. She spied a dark head above the crowd of well-wishers surrounding him with a shiver of anticipation.
Tate emerged from the crush dressed in black and white, and a striking black and gold mask. At first, she thought he would miss her, as annoyingly, his gaze flicked over the row of debutantes. But then he saw her and nodded. She quickly slipped her foot into her shoe.
He crossed the floor to her, smiling, his teeth white beneath his mask. This would be his first ball as the Duke of Lindsey. Already there was something different about his walk and the way he carried his shoulders. The responsibility would change him from the carefree man she was accustomed to. She wasn’t sure what she felt about that. She had seen so little of life. Would he seek a more sophisticated woman for his duchess?
He bowed over her mother’s hand and then held hers, while through the slits in his mask, his green eyes studied her, as if taking in every feature. As if he’d never seen her before. Her toes curled in her shoes. Did he approve of her costume? She thought it flattering and had chosen it with him in mind.
“You make a delightful fairy queen, Lady Ianthe. Will you grant me the pleasure of the next dance?”
How formal he was. Not like Tate at all. Ianthe missed his mischievous smile which held the implication that she could never pull the wool over his eyes, because he’d always see through her.
Trembling a little, she rose. She had always wanted this. To dance with Tate at a ball. The debutantes still seated looked on. They must be envious. As Ianthe rested a hand on his arm, she reminded herself not to forget that he did not belong to her. And was unlikely to now. Confused and hurt, she lifted her chin wishing she could see more of his face.
The musicians struck up. “I wasn’t sure you’d come,” she said as he led her through the steps. She felt jittery in his arms, not that soaring delight she’d expected. It was as if he wasn’t Tate at all. How silly. What was wrong with her? Had she put too much store on this one dance?
The Marquess Takes a Misstep Book #2 Improper Lords
Maddie, aware of the unladylike view she presented, quickly rolled back onto her bottom. Her breath whooshed out as he dismounted from a tall, black thoroughbred. With the reins in his hand, he walked over to her with an easy, confident stride. It made her recall Cathy’s words. Close up, Lord Montford was indeed immaculate and intimidating. She felt at a great disadvantage. What should she do? Scramble to her feet and curtsy? sciplinarian. He invited no one to the house and had no wish to visit their neighbors. Nor did he attend the assemblies or house parties in the district where she might have made some friends.
When news had reached them the Prince of Wales planned a stop in Tunbridge Wells while passing through, she begged Uncle Arthur to take her to see him, but received such a cold scolding for her ridiculous demands that afterward, she kept silent. She could ride her gray mare, Pearl, however, brought to her at her uncle’s estate, from her parents’ stables by her father’s groom, Jack Forest. Jack had been put off along with rest of the servants, except for Henry, their groom, and Jane, Maddy’s lady’s maid, who was still with her.
“I hid Pearl, Lady Madeline,” Jack had told her. “I doubted they’d miss her, and as it turned out, they didn’t.” Jack grinned. “The fellow who came to take the horses to Tattersalls couldn’t count.”
“You are remarkable and very brave, Jack,” Maddie told him, while hoping her uncle wouldn’t discover the mistake and sell Pearl. He hadn’t. It was fortunate that he didn’t care to ride and had no interest in the stables. “I wish there was something I could do to repay you,” she had said to Jack before he left to seek work. “When I have a home of my own, I shall find you. My mother and father would wish it.”
Jack had run his hand along the brim of his hat and smiled, apparently having considered it unlikely she could ever help him.
Uncle Arthur made his displeasure obvious at what he saw as Jack’s betrayal, but couldn’t do anything more to him.
As her father had no heir, her uncle had full control of Green Oaks, and ruthlessly sold off the estate and everything therein, as he had inherited all but her dowry. Her parents’ effects, including her father’s hunters, were sold with the estate. Maddie’s world had crumbled. With tears in her eyes, she’d wished the staff well, furious with her uncle for letting them go without a character. Some had worked for her father since she was small.
Her one contact with the outside world was her cousin, Cathy, who lived with Maddie’s Aunt Elizabeth in Bath. Cathy wrote almost daily, keeping Maddie up to date with news: those of importance who visited Bath; the latest fashions and news, and a fascinating view of her life in Bath society, which turned Maddie pea green with envy.
As Maddie entered the hall, she found one of Cathy’s letters had arrived in the post. Maddie was up early to search the salver in the hall for a letter addressed to her before her uncle rose from his bed. Hugging it to her, she hurried up to her room to read it.
Have you met the Marquess, Lord Montford yet? Cathy wrote. For him to live so close must be greatly frustrating. You should endeavor to gain a glimpse of this splendid gentleman. Cannot your miserly uncle invite him to tea? You simply must meet him. A friend of mine danced with him at a ball and said he is enormously good company. If one doesn’t wish to pursue him for marriage, that is. Cathy had underlined the words twice. When you do meet him, you must write immediately and tell me everything!
Well, there was nothing to tell. So far, Maddie hadn’t spoken to him and doubted she ever would. Apart from that one glimpse of him over the fence, she knew nothing about him beyond what Cathy told her. Maddie read on as her cousin described the handsome rake, phrased in censorious but slightly awestruck terms.
She smiled at her cousin’s description of Lord Montford and left her room in a hurry to reach the stables before her uncle was down and might decide to prevent her from riding. He seemed to take delight in making her unhappy.
Anger and frustration at her lot tightened her stomach as she galloped Pearl over the fields. A hedge loomed up, one they often took. She gave Pearl’s neck a pat. “Ready girl?” They sailed over as they often did, but this time, as the horse’s hooves cleared the topmost branches, the saddle slipped sideways. Thrown off Pearl, Maddie landed on her bottom on the hard ground. She lay propped on her elbows, stunned, then sat up. She rubbed her sore hip, and pushed back an escaped curl threatening to blind her, seeing her hat atop a bush. Pearl came over and nudged her, and Maddie came up on her knees to run an anxious eye over the horse’s fetlocks. “You’re not hurt, girl? No? Oh, that’s good.” She released a relieved breath.
“You’re lucky she isn’t,” came a deep masculine voice from behind her. “What got into your head to take the mare over that high hedge? You, as well as your horse, might have been killed.”
Maddie, aware of the unladylike view she presented, quickly rolled back onto her bottom. Her breath whooshed out as he dismounted from a tall, black thoroughbred. With the reins in his hand, he walked over to her with an easy, confident stride. It made her recall Cathy’s words. Close up, Lord Montford was indeed immaculate and intimidating. She felt at a great disadvantage. What should she do? Scramble to her feet and curtsey?
“Hardly likely, Lord Montford. Pearl jumps it most days of the week.”
His steely blue eyes regarded her as he bent to offer her his free hand. “Are you hurt?”
She made no move to take his hand, instead gave consideration to how she might rise with grace. “I am perfectly all right, thank you.”
“Nonsense. Take my hand.”
Maddie quickly realized the sense of it and grasped his large hand. How firm his grip was. She rose as elegantly as she could manage, painfully aware of her dishevelment, and quickly released his hand to shake the grass from her skirts. A quick inspection found a smudge of dirt on the back. She ignored it, fearing brushing her bottom might lack grace, and she’d done enough to give him that impression. Reclaiming her hat from an azalea bush, she arranged it on her head, disregarding the state of her hair, which threatened to escape its pins. One wisp hung before her eyes, and she blew it away. It was difficult to appear confident and argue one’s point when one looked like a ragamuffin. But she was prepared to make her point. She disliked how he cast aspersions on her riding, and he was on her uncle’s land.
“We have not been introduced, but are you not my neighbor, Lady Madeline? I believe it was you I saw peeking over the wall on my last visit?”
Drat. An impulse she now regretted. Montford came to Pembury so rarely she’d taken advantage of the moment. “I apologize, sir. My maid was curious.” She shrugged. “I indulged her.” She would never admit to being consumed with curiosity about the rakish marquess of Pembury. Or that Jane held the ladder for Maddie to look over the wall. She had caught sight of him as he strode away along the garden path, and almost slipped off the rung of the ladder when he turned, as if aware he was being watched. He must have spotted her.
When the family returned to Brandreth Court, their townhouse in St James’s Square, Sibella and Maria took the opportunity to view the Parthenon sculptures at the British museum before embarking on a dizzying round of social events.
They were returning home in a hackney cab when Maria grabbed her arm. “Look, there’s Lord Strathairn.”
“Strathairn?” Sibella’s heart raced as the tall, fair-haired man crossed the road just as their cab drew up behind a town coach.
Maria opened the window. “Lord Strathairn!”
“Maria!” Sibella hissed as her cheeks burned. He turned his head and changed direction, coming to their carriage where they remained stopped in traffic.
With a nod, Strathairn tipped his hat. “Ladies. Have you been shopping in Regent Street?”
“Really, my lord, do you think shopping is all we women do?” Maria asked in a teasing voice.
His smiling gaze sought Sibella’s. “Not at all. But I have two sisters who have made me fully aware of the importance of shopping.”
Maria laughed. “We have been to the museum to view the Elgin Marbles.”
“Ah. Then I apologize. What say you, Lady Sibella? Did you enjoy the museum?”
Strangely divorced from the conversation, Sibella’s mind still dwelled on their last encounter. Startled, she whipped her gaze away when she discovered herself staring at his mouth, recalling the salty-sweet taste of his kiss. “It was most edifying. Such antiquities are awe-inspiring.”
“Indeed. I confess I have yet to see them.”
“Then you are as negligent as we are, my lord,” Maria said. “Elgin brought them from Greece some time ago.”
He laughed. “I have not seen you riding in Hyde Park of late, Lady Sibella.”
“My mare developed shin splints and must rest.”
“Your brother Vaughn tells me the family celebrated Maria’s birthday at Brandreth Park.”
“Yes, we’ve returned because Mama has persuaded the renowned pianist, Maria Szymanowska, to perform at our musicale later this week.” Sibella placed a hand to her cheek and felt the warmth through her York tan glove. She hoped he wasn’t able to guess how his presence affected her.
The traffic cleared ahead, and their carriage jerked forward. “I trust we’ll see you again soon, my lord?” Maria cast a quick glance at her. “Although we leave for York next week. Mama intends to visit our brother Bartholomew, who is the vicar there.”
“I’m about to travel north myself,” Strathairn said.
“We plan to attend the York assembly on Saturday. I do hope you’ll come. It’s a remarkably dull affair.” Maria stared at Sibella. “Don’t you agree, Sib?”
“Yes, it certainly can be,” Sibella said.
“I look forward to seeing you there,” Strathairn called as the carriage moved forward. At a shout from a drayman, he dodged a wagon and ran to the pavement.
Maria turned to her. “Well!”
Sibella raised her eyebrows, attempting a casual pose. “Well, what?”
“You are in a brown study. I’m sure Strathairn was enthralled by your scintillating repartee.”
“Oh, do stop, Maria.”
“What on earth is the matter with you? You two generally talk for ages. Had you nothing to say to him?”
“He kissed me.”
Maria’s eyes changed from owlish to accusatory. “Why didn’t you tell me? And when was this?”
“I’m sorry, dearest. It was of no consequence. At Lady Gladwin’s ball. You remained at home that night with a sore throat, remember?”
Maria stared at her. “Of no consequence? Are you mad? Where?”
“On the lips.”
Marie huffed out an annoyed sigh. “Where at Lady Gladwin’s, you goose. Surely not in the ballroom.”
“In the garden. We went for a stroll.” She eyed her sister. “Everyone was out that evening. It was so pleasantly warm.”
Maria sniggered. “Well indeed! I’ve long suspected his feelings for you ran deeper than he would admit to.”
Sibella shook her head, heat rushing to every part of her body. “That’s just it. He made light of it afterwards. It was just an impulse which meant nothing to him.”
“Oh. The wretch!”
She gave a choked, desperate laugh. “He doesn’t want to marry me, Maria.”
“Many men think they do not. They must be persuaded.”
“As you persuaded Harry?”
Maria stroked her throat with a dreamy smile. “No.”
“Exactly. I shan’t spend my time longing for a man who doesn’t want me.”
Maria sighed. “Oh, Sib. I pray you will find true love, as I did with Harry. I do believe you will in time.”
Sibella gazed out the window, barely aware of the vehicles and pedestrians in the busy street, fighting against her feelings, her throat tight, tears threatening. Annoyed, she said firmly, “A woman can fall in love more than once, I imagine.”
“I don’t believe I could.”
“Mama has her eye on Lord Coombe,” Sibella said.
“Mama has her eye on any titled unmarried male under the age of forty-five,” Maria said.
Sibella nodded. “Coombe appears respectable enough.”
Maria rubbed her brow. “Perhaps you might fall in love with him? When you get to know him.”
“Perhaps.” If only she could forget Strathairn’s kiss. As the prospect of seeing him again in York lightened her heart, she sat back, frowned, and crossed her arms. She would not yearn after him anymore.
While dressing for a recital her mother was holding, the door opened, and her parent walked in.
“You may leave, Sarah,” Mama said to Sibella’s maid.
The girl bobbed and left the room.
Sibella turned from studying her reflection in the Cheval mirror. She fiddled with a sleeve. “Is there something you wish me to do for you, Mama?” She knew as she asked it, there would only be one thing her mother wanted. St James’s Square ran as well as the Swiss Long-case clock in the entry hall.
“You’re wearing the muslin?”
“Don’t you approve?”
“Why not the white crepe with the embroidery and gold fringe?”
“It’s a little too decorative for this evening, don’t you think?”
“A lady should always wear what suits her best.” She sat down and clasped her hands in her lap. “But that is not what I wish to discuss with you, Sibella.”
Sibella took the gown from the clothes press and placed it on the bed. She eyed her mother. “Yes?”
“Is it your wish to remain a spinster and comfort me in my dotage?”
She laughed. “Oh, Mama. How dramatic you are. Of course not.”
“Good. Tonight, I wish you to give Lord Coombe your full attention.”
Her mother rose and motioned with her hand to silence her. “Please make yourself agreeable to him.” She stepped forward to rest a hand on Sibella’s shoulder. “I gave the man you have a penchant for, ample opportunity to declare himself, did I not? I even went against Chaloner’s wishes because I want to see you happy.”
Sibella flushed. “Strathairn and I are merely friends.”
“Fiddlesticks! I have eyes in my head! He chose not to propose marriage to you. That’s the end of it. You might find Lord Coombe quite acceptable if you give him a chance.”
A heavy sigh escaped Sibella’s lips. Her head seemed to agree with her mother’s good sense, but her heart refused to bend. “Very well. I’ll try.”
“Good.” She touched Sibella’s cheek with a soft glove. “You are more than ready to set up your own household.”
The drawing room and dining room doors had been thrown open to enlarge the space for the evening’s entertainment. A visiting Polish composer and pianist, Maria Szymanowska, was to perform several piano concert etudes and nocturnes. What her mother did to entice the woman to Brandreth House was a mystery, for her performances to date were before royalty. But nothing her mother did surprised Sibella, which made her decidedly nervous.
After fortifying themselves with champagne and an array of tasty foods, the guests took their places. Sibella sat in the back row near the door to the conservatory. Lord Coombe, immaculate in his dark evening clothes and spotless linen, chose the seat beside her. With her mother’s words ringing in her ears, she greeted him with a polite smile.
“I have been looking forward to this. She performs in the stile brillant, I believe. Everyone raves about her.”
Sibella applied her fan, the room had grown too warm. “You’re very fond of music, my lord?”
“Certainly, surely everyone is?”
She thought of the interminable evenings spent at home performing with her sisters. “Some more than others, perhaps.” She studied his unremarkable profile, annoyed that she failed to find fault with it. If his chin receded, her mother would be concerned about his progeny. Men with weak chins lacked character, she often said. “You might enjoy attending my sister Cordelia’s musical evenings. She plays the harp and her husband, Viscount Barthe, the cello.”
“Indeed, I would. Do you play an instrument, Lady Sibella?”
“The pianoforte, rather badly, I’m afraid.” She offered a regretful smile. “My mother says there’s no excuse for it after years of excellent tutelage, but I prefer to ride and potter about in the garden.”
Did he look disappointed? She had no time to dwell on it, for Madam Szymanowska had taken her seat at the piano and a hush came over the room.
Even Coombe beside her failed to distract her from the virtuoso performance. When Madam finished the last piece and the enthusiastic clapping died away to be replaced with the buzz of conversation, she rose with the rest of the guests.
Lord Coombe held out his arm. “Would you join me in a promenade of the terrace? The rain seems to have held off.”
“How pleasant.” She took his arm. Where were her sisters when she needed them? Maria was in close conversation with Harry and Cordelia, and her husband stood among the guests clustered around Madam Szymanowska in rapt attention. No help in that direction. Sibella saw no way out of it.
They followed other couples outside. After being shut up in close quarters with a crowd of overly perfumed people, the night air, although hardly equal to the country, was at least reviving. Clouds hung low, hiding the moon. The braziers along the wall were a halo of light enticing moths to a fiery death.
Sibella slipped her hand from his arm and rested it on the balustrade.
“You seem a steady, thoughtful person, Lady Sibella. I admire that.”
He made her sound dull. “I suppose I am,” she said, with an inexplicable stab of disappointment.
“One can rely upon you never to lose your head and do something silly, or not quite the thing.”
“I doubt that I would.” It was clearly her downfall to be made this way. Had John kissed her to cheer her up, or horror of horrors, because he felt sorry for her?
She turned toward Lord Coombe, whose eyes were not far above hers. In the dark, he might have been anyone. He was a perfectly presentable man. If he kissed her, would it be out of pity? Or might she stir desire in him? She suffered a sudden need to find out. “Shall we stroll through the Square, my lord?”
He cleared his throat. “I believe it’s about to rain.”
“Yes, it does.” She had to admit he was right. She placed a hand to her throat. “Let’s not risk a dousing. Shall we go inside?”
She found his brown eyes unfathomable as he tucked her arm into his. “A wise decision, Lady Sibella.”
Sibella found herself disappointed more by his response than her uncharacteristic impulse. Lord Coombe would not seek to steal a kiss in the moonlight, as Strathairn had done. Coombe would wait until all the i’s were dotted and the t’s were crossed on the marriage settlement before taking such a liberty. He appeared to be a highly moral and principled person. Most women would be happy with such a man.
Why was she not most women?
The Baron's Betrothal
Seducing the Earl
The Viscount's Widowed Lady
Governess to the Duke's Heir
Eleanor Fitzherbert's Christmas Miracle
Enjoy reviews and snippets from Maggi's novels
INTRODUCING MISS JOANNA - Book #2 Once a Wallflower Series
“Maggi Andersen knows historical romance, and the captivating quality of this book has proved it. A great addition to the Once A Wallflower series, ‘Introducing Miss Joanna’ has an engaging plot, varied and fun characters, and sizzling chemistry. Addicting from the very first page!” InD’tale Magazine
NEVER DANCE WITH A MARQUESS Book #2 The Never Series
Crowned Heart review from InD’tale magazine for NEVER DANCE WITH A MARQUESS! “A truly outstanding tale of romance between an unlikely hero and heroine! Ms. Andersen delivers a beautifully orchestrated story destined for the ages!”
GOVERNESS TO THE DUKE'S HEIR Dangerous Lords Book #4
A great new book from Maggi Andersen and it’s brilliant.
I really enjoyed this book, Andrew Duke Of Harrow is about to meet his match , his partner in love, in Miss Jenny Harrismith his children’s new Governess .
They are going on a wild adventure, one that will pull them in all directions, they will be betrayed, their lives will be altered and upended, they will realize the only people they can count on to help them ,are their very close friends and each other .
A wonderful book full of emotion and romance, and as always a little tension .
LADY HONOR'S DEBT - The Baxendale Sisters Book #1
NOMINATED FOR THE BTS RED CARPET BOOK REVIEW AWARDS
I promise that it’s hot, exciting, and the perfect romance for any day. Overall, I rate Lady Honor’s Debt a five out of five stars.
I strongly urge you to put Maggi Andersen and her books on your Summer reading list. This is certain to be the first of many I will place on my obscenely lengthy list of all the books I have read!
The tale spins with sweetness and honor and totally sizzles by the time the reader turns the last page.
If you enjoy Historical Romance, I definitely recommend Lady Honor’s Debt!
SEDUCED BY THE PIRATE
Lydia Bromley has been caring for the people of Africa while her brother Alexander collects rare plants. When a group of pirates appear needing medical assistance for the crew, Lydia and her brother Alexander feel obligated to help the men that have typhus.
Captain Jack Stirling is devastated as he watches the men of his crew drop like flies. He would risk all for them. When he ends up of course and lands on the coast of Africa, he’s surprised to find a beautiful English lady.
Aboard the Golden Orion sparks fly between Lydia and Jack.
Great story and nice addition to the Pirates Of Britannia series.
SEDUCING THE EARL Book #2 Dangerous Lords
I just adore Maggi Anderson’s writing , she has a wonderful way with words ,that make her books a must with me .
This is an emotional adventure, with a little betrayal , murder and Mayhem thrown in , and a massive dollop of love and romance for good measure .
Sounds like the perfect recipe to me .
This is the second in the series and is Sibella and John’s story .
If this is indeed book #2 of a series may it go on and on,…
Keep your wits about you as you read for Maggi intersperses only a very few clues and you must be sharp to find them.
Destiny beckons for Sibella and John although their road to happiness is far from smooth. Sibella’s large, boisterous family is a joy, particularly her younger sister Maria with whom she shares a close bond. While separated in age by six years their temperaments are well matched. Maria certainly does not vociferously object to Sibella’s penchant for intrigue.
And mystery and curiosity abound and pop up in several unexpected places. Ms. Andersen’s book moves along at just the correct pace and if this were a paperback I would be eagerly scanning each page as it flew by.
I must cite that Maggi’s incredibly extensive research is very evident. This adds so much flavor to the story that it made me acutely aware of how few author’s invest the time to do so.
I eagerly anticipate further work from this gifted and multi-talented author.
THE EARL AND THE HIGHWAYMAN'S DAUGHTER
A Reader’s Opinion
“The Earl and the Highwayman’s Daughter is indeed a Cinderella story with Eugenia as our young beauty and the Earl as her “prince.” I was delighted to spend a few hours with the characters while they navigated their way through society’s dos and don’ts, all in the name of hope and sweet romance.”
Books & Benches
THE MARQUESS MEETS HIS MATCH
What a wonderful book.
A veritable delight to read and had me totally entranced by the characters,
The broody and stern Robert,
The confused but determined Kate ,
The enigmatic and teasing Southmore,
All playing perfect parts to bring fun and tension to this story .
I laughed , cried , huffed mainly at Robert , wow I wanted to shake that man .
A thrilling and addictive book that I read in one sitting , finding it very hard to put down ,and a definite 5 stars , I wish I could give it more .
THE SCANDALOUS LADY MERCY Book #5 The Baxendale Sisters
Nominated for the RONE Award
Charming, Witty, Interesting from beginning to end
Loved, loved, loved this book. Charming, witty, interesting from beginning to end. Not so scandalous maybe in their time but this was a very good read. Highly recommend this book.
Settling down with a Baxendale Sisters novella is like visiting friends. I’ve enjoyed every sister’s story, and Mercy’s did not disappoint. As ever, Maggi mixes romance and suspense, drawing you quickly into the lives of her characters, but leaving you wanting more. Fortunately, there’s never long to wait for another Maggi Anderson novel
This 5 book series is fantastic. The characters are lovely there is just the right amount of sweetness and sauciness to want to turn page after page. I’ll miss the Baxendales
THE VISCOUNT'S WIDOWED LADY
BOOK #3 Dangerous Lords Series
We have met Montsimon and Althea as secondary characters in the previous book , but this, the 3rd in the series is all about them .
The author has a wonderful gift of slowly building the tension between these two , and building the relationship, that he’s been after for a long while and she keeps rebuffing.
He’s a rake , a Spy , a diplomat.
She’s a widow, badly treated in her marriage .
But surely they are made for each other , a wonderful romance that has you hooked beginning to end.
A GIFT FROM A GODDESS
Amazon Reviewer: “Her world disintegrated when her baron father did the unthinkable, leaving she and her mother as destitute outcasts. Not one to wallow in self pity, Miss Hebe Fenchurch did what she had to do to survive. Hopefully her mother would never find out.
Lord Chesterton’s world disintegrated when his wife was murdered and society suspected him of the crime. Immersing himself in his sculpting saved his sanity, but the hollowness in his heart was still painful. Without warning his goddess muse walked into his studio looking to fill his opening for a model.
A Gift From A Goddess is just the type of Regency romance that I read and love. Maggi Andersen’s descriptive writing style and richly developed characters makes her one of my favorite authors. I was not disappointed with this book, which is going on my 5 star favorites list. I loved both Hebe and Lewis. Each were damaged, but they were not quitters or whiners. They kept moving forward towards a hopeful and better future.”
CAPTAIN JACK RYDER THE DUKE'S BASTARD
When I open a novel by Ms. Andersen I know I will enjoy it. Captain Jack Ryder exceeded my expectations. It combines the adventures of Jack and his friend Harry Featherstone, former officers in a Hussar regiment.
Napoleon and his armies have been defeated. Jack is in mourning for the duke, his affectionate father, and is exhausted after ‘many hours of lost sleep while his father breathed his last.’ Jack, who was educated at Oxford, received property from the duke and has an adequate fortune. He has seen little of his own country and plans to explore. He will travel on horseback, dressed in plain clothes and take little with him other than his pistol with which he can give a good account of himself.
Harry whose father is arranging for him to marry Erin, a wealthy baronet’s daughter, tells Erin, who does not want to marry him, ‘After years in the army I fancy a simple life. An enjoyable book a brandy, my wife with her embroidery at my side. Just looking at you, I can foresee riding to hounds, jumping tall hedges, and dancing till dawn. It fatigues me to think of it.’
When Erin decides to run away to avoid the arranged marriage and visit her cousin in Ireland, who is in trouble, Harry feels obliged to travel with Erin to protect her.
In the meantime, at the inn where Jack puts up for the night, fatally wounded Lord Butterstone, his wife and daughter Lady Ashley arrive. Before he dies Butterstone asks Jack to take Lady Butterstone and their beautiful daughter home.
I read on, wanting to find out why the dead man was killed, who the murderer was and if a relationship would develop between Jack and Lady Ashley. I also wanted to know how Harry and Erin reacted to each other during their journey.
Ms Andersen has created compelling characters in Captain Jack Ryder a novel with danger, mystery, romance and suspense. I look forward to reading the next book in the series about another friend of Jack and Harry, who served in their regiment. Rosemary Morris
LADY HOPE AND THE DUKE OF DARKNESS The Baxendale Sisters Book #3
From start to finish this book really holds your attention! You really find yourself in the middle of the balls dancing the night away and also being part of the Baxendale family. That’s what I look for in a good book. The sense of losing oneself to another time and world. I do wish to thank Miss Andersen for giving us the gift of her talent.
I really enjoyed this book. Hope and the Duke’s story was really great. I enjoy this author’s writing. I hope she has more planned as Hope’s other sister’s Charity and Mercy still have to make their come out. Looking forward to read more from Maggi Andersen.
I loved this sweet Regency romance. The characters were honourable, likeable and perfect for each other. I loved how the author dealt with the suitor her parents wanted.
THE BARON'S WIFE
After a whirlwind courtship, Laura Parr marries Baron, Lord Nathaniel Lanyon, and he takes her to live in his ancient home in Southern England. Laura comes to Cornwall excited to begin life with the passionate man she has married. But secrets lurk in the shadows. The death of Nathaniel’s first wife has never been solved, and some of the villagers believe him responsible. Struggling to understand her new husband, Laura tries to uncover the truth. With each stone unturned, she comes closer to danger.
Lord Nathaniel Lanyon had decided never to marry again. But when he meets Miss Laura Parr, the daughter of Sir Edmund Parr, one rainy afternoon, he realizes almost immediately that he must have her in his life. And the only way he could was to marry her.
Nathaniel believes that his troubled past is behind him and he can offer Laura a good life at Wolfram, even though he can never offer her his heart. But as soon as they come to live in the ancient abbey, the past returns to haunt him, revealing secrets that he thought had been buried forever. As he tries to fight the forces threatening to overwhelm him, he realizes that feisty Laura will demand more from him than he can give.
“In the style of Mary Stewart and Daphne du Maurier, Ms. Andersen’s Gothic novel will grip you from start to finish. You’ll feel the mists on the cliffs and young Laura’s terror and confusion. An excellent read.” Amazon Reviewer.
“From the beginning of this spine-chilling Gothic Novel, with beautiful word pictures of Cornwall, the author skilfully creates fear and suspicion. The twist at the end is a fiendishly clever one which I did not anticipate. The Baron’s Wife deserves the five stars I have awarded it. Amazon Reviewer.
“A Gothic romance in the classic style, the author is a master at creating ominous atmosphere and multilayered characters.” Coffee Time Romance and More.
“The plot was interesting and the added mystery kept me riveted. The novel kept me wondering until the end.” The Romance Studios.
“It was hard to put the story down as the mystery kept just out of reach, drawing the reader in further to the storyline. [It] kept me up way too late into the night following the puzzle of Wolfram Abbey. I look forward to seeing more from Maggi Andersen.” Siren Book Reviews.
I loved the way the author included Laura’s fashions. The detailed description of her clothes and also her surroundings helped put me in their world. I liked all the characters especially her Aunt Dora. She was like a modern gypsy woman, giving parties to her artsy friends and reading tarot cards. The plot was interesting and the added mystery kept me riveted. The novel kept me wondering until the end. 5 Stars! The Romance Studio.
THE MYSTERY AT FALCONBRIDGE HALL
Twitter review: THE MYSTERY AT FALCONBRIDGE HALL is a perfect gem. Loved, loved, loved every minute! Rich with detail and a beautiful slow-burn romance. Can’t wait to read more by Maggi Andersen!
“The author deserves high praise for her ability to capture the reader’s attention and engage one in both the mystery and the romance of this delightful story!” InD’Tale Magazine
“The author’s use of interspersing simple sentences and detailed description of scenery perfectly crafted the wild and mysterious setting of Falconbridge Hall and conveyed without confusion Vanessa and Julian’s thoughts when they were together, and when they were apart. This indirect characterization had done much to reveal the characters’ personalities and mind, which added a layer of realism and amiability to the story. I highly applaud Maggi Andersen’s writing in this book…”
“Treachery, deceit, and death are in the writing and make for an exceptionally good read.”
“Hated for [the] book to come to an end.”
“This was an enjoyable book with lots of tips of the hat to modern times in a changing world. Women’s suffrage, telephones, bicycles and amazon Rainforest adventure all rolled into one.
Excellent mystery unfolding in a household that had secrets galore. I enjoyed this first book of Maggie Andersen that I have read. I liked her writing style and I want to read more from her. Her heroine is a nice blend of new and respectable and Julian was a lovely scientific mind that had no idea he was making Vanessa Ashley the new governess fall for him."
“I very much enjoyed this book, had to finish it in one day. Not because of the mystery, but because of the delight that I had in being part of the love story between Lord and Lady Falconbridge. Very little of the editing errors that make so many books difficult to read. I had hoped to see that there was a sequel, hopefully at some point there will be?” Amazon reviewer.
UNMASKING LADY HELEN
5-star review from Amazon for UNMASKING LADY HELEN.
” A wonderful book!! Peyton has vowed never to marry, he is taking care of his widowed sister and scamp of a brother when he is asked by Whitehall to investigate something. He stands outside the Kinsey home for several days waiting for his contact to no avail. When one of the Kinsey’s footman die and it’s discovered to be poison Peyton becomes suspicious when he finds out the footman used to be a man in his unit. This is a wonderful read with a little mystery, intrigue and finally, love for two hearts that need healing!!”
“This is a lovely sweet romance with likeable characters, an intriguing plot, lots of little asides, and enough background details to make for pleasant escapism to the past.”
ROMANCE NOVEL REVIEWS
“A delightful romp through Regency England. Well written with engaging characters. A plot that flows seamlessly and is entertaining and interesting.
“I enjoyed the cast of characters, Ms. Andersen’s details to the Era and her descriptions. Another hit for Maggi Andersen! ! A must read!”
“I really enjoyed this book. I love a good mystery add a love story to that equals a wonderful read. The characters are fabulous and entertaining. I look forward to the next book in this series.”
“A winner! Entertaining. Mystery, intrigue, romance, good characters, good writing.”
ANNOUNCING MISS THEODOSIA Book #3 Once a Wallflower Series
Nominated for the RONE Award
Dreaming of becoming a writer, Theodosia Tothill hopes to make it through her first season and all the ones after sans husband. With the help of Ashton Grainger, she narrowly avoids being caught after overhearing a ghastly plan of murder while spying outside a window where a group of men are meeting. While trying to discover the potential murderer, not one but two marriage proposals come her way where “Thea” takes the better of the two options. With Thea and Ash now working together, they must find out who the victim will be and just why there is a plot against him in the first place. All the while, Thea and Ash are both fighting against feelings that are starting to brew between them.
With so much suspense wrapped up in this book, it will keep the pages turning and will leave the reader wondering what will happen next. Both Thea and Ash are beautifully written characters that will draw one into the story and time period. Her determination to pave her own path and not settle for less rings clear throughout until near the end when it seems she is willing to throw away her dreams for love. Thankfully, it is not at all necessary. All of the secondary characters bring the story full circle and add to the intrigue, excitement, and even anger with the villain. The villain’s past reveals his motives and intentions in a way that will bring forth both shock and outrage. Shocking twists, turns, and mayhem from start to finish will leave one wanting for more.
PRESENTING MISS LETITIA Book #1 Once a Wallflower Series
Debutante Letitia Bromley is about to embark upon her first London Season. Freshly arrived from a village in Cumbria, she longs for romance, especially after having read the diaries of her great-aunt Lydia, who sailed the high seas with her pirate lover. Letitia is initially chaperoned by her Aunt Edith, a woman who has some rather old-fashioned ideas that sometimes drive Letitia a little nuts, so she’s relieved when her family friend Lady Arietta assumes the role.
When Letty’s new patroness enlists her help to right a wrong done to her dead husband, Letty cannot refuse. This quest brings her closer to Brandon Cartwright, a dangerous man who might also be a spy for the French.
The romance between Brandon and Letty unfolds at a slow but steady pace, drawing in the reader by showing the growing connection between both characters. The spy angle is interesting and gives an extra dimension to the story. In contrast to the love story, the suspense is spot-on and fast-paced, right from the start. The historical details and setting are described quite well, and it is easy for the reader to picture having traveled back in time to the past. A beautiful beginning to a new series, “Presenting Miss Letitia” will have regency fans clamoring for the next novel!
“This had me hooked in a big way , I didn’t want to leave the pages in case I missed something , daft I know .
Excellent book and characters.”
HOW TO TAME A RAKE
LADY FAITH TAKES A LEAP Baxendale Sisters Book #2
Nominated for the RONE AWARD
REGENCY: Faith Baxendale was in the market for a husband, and while many suitors sought her attentions, few met her high standards. Those standards demanded someone who intrigued her, made her smile, and could love her, as she wanted to love and be loved.
Lord Vaughn Winborne had a notorious reputation, but not all that was said equaled truth. He was a man fighting to redeem himself, be worthy in the eyes of his family, and to find a woman to call his wife. Fate would have it that Faith and Vaughn had captured each other’s hearts unwittingly as youth, and now reality brought them together again.
Those who seek adventure sometimes regret what they ask for, but not Faith. While not thrilled to be kidnapped, it did bring her fully into Vaughn's arms and re-opened her heart. None could ever compare to the man she loved. Ms. Anderson captivates with her tale of intrigue and chivalry as Vaughn rescues not one, but two ladies in distress. Nothing is more delightful than a knight in shining armor! This is not a mere tryst but a love affair for the ages, meant to remind readers that true love is out there and meant to be attained. The plot twists are spot on and the characters provide the right amount of attitude to keep the entertainment level high. This is a tale to be remembered, as it sparks all the right notes to meet the standards of romantic inspiration and intrigue. InD'Tale Magazine
This book is just what you expect in a historical romance– fantasy, love, excitement, surprises, elopement, suspense, I could not put the book down!
So I’m going to read other books (novellas really) in this series. I hope they are just as wonderful as this one.
This is the first time I have read one of Ms. Andersen’s books. I was very surprised I could not put it down.
This book was every bit as ENTERTAINING as book one . I now have to read Hope and Charity stories. I was wrong before I read book 5 but it just made me want to read about the other 4sisters hope you read this.
I loved this novella and am looking forward to the stories of the other sisters, in particular Charity’s. Ms. Andersen has a talent for creating interesting characters and appealing plots.
The story of Vaughn and Faith was wonderful. It was different but always a true love story. Love the passion, the tenderness, the honor way and how Maggie laced each of the story’s.
THE SCANDALOUS LYON
Miss Beverly Crabtree is desperate for a match. Her mother contracts with the infamous female owner of the Lyon Gambling Den who operates a rather unorthodox matchmaking service. It is there that Beverly meets Lord Justin Glazebrook, brother to the Duke of Shewsbury. Given his scandalous past, Lord Justin does not consider himself fit for marriage. However, there is something in Beverly’s gaze that captivates him and makes him want to get to know her. With lies, scandal and the possible ruin of Beverly’s family, it will take a great deal of resolve for the two to find their way to a future filled with love and happiness.
“The Scandalous Lyon” serves up an intriguing premise of couples discovering love in an infamous gambling den! Part of The Lyon Den: The Black Widow of Whitehall Connected World, this story stands individually. Beverly and Lord Justin are both young, but determined to forge a path forward. While the start of the story is predictable with the barrier of secrets between them, Beverly soon confesses all, taking the story in a new direction. Beverly and Justin are engaging characters. Although the young couple faces a number of obstacles, nothing seems insurmountable, as the assistance of more powerful relatives is employed. Even so, readers will enjoy whiling the afternoon away with this light, satisfying regency romance with its creative twist on matchmaking! GOODREADS
***** “This is a page-turner and a wonderful distraction from our daily lives.”
“After reading the first book in this new connected world of the Lyon’s Den I was excited to see who would be the next “victim” of the mysterious matchmaker, Mrs. Bessie Dove-Lyon. She ran the underground gaming house, The Lyon’s Den that catered to those looking for games of an unusual sort, and those willing to pay a good sum to marry well.
I enjoyed every word of his intriguing story and adored Jason and Beverly. An unlikely match meeting the way they did, but their journey kept me entranced because I could not wait to see what happened! I highly recommend!!”
WINNER OF THE 2020 RONE NOVEL OF EXCELLENCE
“Beautiful sentimental romance, with a dark and intriguing angle. Great read, very enjoyable, recommended.”
InD’tale magazine review Beth: A Regency Romance Novella Maggi Andersen Beth Harrismith lives with her sister Jenny and her family. When Jenny is called away to a family emergency, she tells Beth to go to the planned ball without her and Mrs. Grayshott would accompany her instead. Beth is sad to go without Jenny but reluctantly leaves anyway. Beth participates in all the activities under Mrs. Grayshott’s watchful eyes and even meets Marcus Nyeland. After one dance, Beth is instantly attracted to Marcus but decides she must dance with other men. When Beth dances with Lord Ramsey, she receives a missive that Jenny is hurt. Beth must go to Jenny and Lord Ramsey offers to take Beth to her. Beth realizes though, that Ramsey has nefarious plans for her instead. This suspenseful regency novella is packed with fun characters and has a slightly Gothic feel! A charming and appealing read! Roslynn Erns InD’tale Magazine.