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Amid the Unforgettable Cotswolds, the Final Grasp for the Fire Eyes Diamonds Could Threaten Them All
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 how the dangerous Fire Eyes diamonds have haunted her brother and their friends, 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 James 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 acquaintances pull Cayton into their desperate attempt to seize the jewels. 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 intent to destroy them all?
A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna M. White
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ooooh, I'm so sad this series is over! But I LOVED Ella's story! Happy sigh. :)
Lord James Cayton was a unlikable/unlovable character in the first two books but life and God have a way of changing people. With the death of his wife and the birth of his daughter, Cayton's heart and eyes have been opened to the desire to be a completely different man than he has been. His is the story that we all love to read - repentance, redemption, grace, and the second chance that allows him to strive to be a Godly man and the protector of his family. When that "family" expands to include the incorrigible Lady Ella, Lord Cayton has his work cut out for him!
I love Lady Ella!! She is so delightfully cheerful with just the right touch of mischievousness that makes her character so much fun. And it's not a fake cheeriness either. She has her moments of being down and she can be serious when she needs to be but for the most part she just makes the choice to be happy where she's at and in the moment. She's much more aware of the danger that has been following her family and friends than they know and is determined to do her part to put an end to it! And in the process, if she happens to fall in love with the man no one is quite sure deserves her, Lady Ella might just be the one thing that emboldens him to accept the love and grace of a Savior who does give second (and third, and forth) chances.
The give and take of Lord Cayton's grouchiness and Lady Ella's flirtatious cheerfulness was so much fun to read. I loved the way she sees the truth of who he's trying to become behind his grouchy exterior and the way he balances out her sometimes impulsive nature. And oh the sparks that fly between these two! They have the best first kiss scene I've read in awhile! Totally swoon worthy and so sweet yet at the same time humorous. It was great! :)
The mystery, danger, and suspense of the Fire Eyes continues in this book with the return of Lady Catherine Pratt and her brother Lord Rushworth. Lord Rushworth is so despicable and his character just sends boogeyman shivers up your spine! Lady Catherine, however, is so broken, and suffering the consequences of her choices in life, that you can't help but feel sorry for her. Will she finally see the error of her ways and choose a different path?
If you like Edwardian romances with a touch of suspense and danger, this epic series will satisfy! This series will go down in history as one of my all time favorites!! :)
*Thanks to the author and Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes! All opinions stated are my own.*
View all my reviews on Goodreads
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 loving me. 😉 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!
The author is 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!)
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