Tag: Manda Collins

Guest Review: With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins

Posted October 19, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: With This Christmas Ring by Manda CollinsReviewer: Tracy
With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins
Published by Swerve
Publication Date: October 3rd 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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three-half-stars

A wallflower determined to fulfill a dying promise, the rogue she jilted years ago, and an orphaned baby are all brought together amidst the magic of Christmas in this new novella from Manda Collins.

Miss Merry Parks makes a deathbed promise to a schoolfriend that her infant daughter will be taken to her absent father. There’s only one problem—to find the baby’s father, she’ll have to consult his cousin, Viscount Wrotham, the man she jilted five years ago. The man she couldn’t forget.

Alex Ponsonby, Viscount Wrotham, is stunned to find Merry Parks—looking more lovely than ever--on his doorstep with an infant in her arms. His shock soon turns to dismay when he learns his own cousin William is the man who abandoned his wife and child. As head of the family he’s duty bound to see right is done. But he can't let this opportunity pass. He’ll take Merry and the baby to his cousin, but he’ll woo her back in the process.

Merry agrees to travel with Alex and the baby to Wrotham Castle, where the entire Ponsonby family has gathered for Christmas, but her plans to see the baby settled then leave are ruined by a snowstorm. After five years apart, Alex and Merry will spend the week getting reacquainted. Perhaps it’s the spirit of the holiday, or the magic of the season, but there could be something else in the air this Yuletide…A Christmas Reunion.

When Merry’s friend, Charlotte, gives birth she asks Merry to find the father for her right before she dies.  Charlotte had eloped but then her fiancé left her at her parents’ house and never returned.  The father is the cousin of Viscount Wrotham. Merry had been engaged to Viscount Wrotham five years ago but had ended the engagement despite her love for him.  She still loved him and it certainly made her anxious to have to go to his house to find baby Lottie’s father.

Alex Ponsonby, Viscount Wrotham, never stopped loving Merry Parks.  The note she’d left him ending their engagement was so vague he never truly figured out why she ended it.  He’s been in Paris but now that he’s back in London he’s determined to find Merry and see if he can win her back. He certainly doesn’t think she’ll knock on his door with a newborn asking for his cousin!  Alex is relieved when he finds out that the baby isn’t Merry’s, that’s for sure.  They determine that the cousin, Will, is at the family estate as it’s right before Christmas and Merry and Alex end up traveling together to deliver the baby.  Merry gets snowed in at Alex’s estate and can’t make it home for Christmas.  Alex is thrilled as this just means he gets to spend more time with Merry and he takes his chances with winning her back.

With This Christmas Ring turned out to be a lovely little Christmas surprise for me.  It was a sweet story that didn’t throw a lot drama into the story just for drama’s sake (although there was once part…).  I enjoyed Merry and her character as well as Alex’s.  The pair truly never stopped loving each other so it wasn’t all that difficult to get back together.  Family interference had sent Merry away once and it looked for a bit like it would happen again but it all turned out well in the end.

The story of Charlotte and Alex’ cousin, Will, was quite sad and made my heart break a little.  The situation was a tad distressing but had Charlotte not died then we wouldn’t have had a story so I had to keep reminding myself of that – despite the tragedy of it all.

In the end the story was a sweet, fast read and one I definitely enjoyed

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Why Dukes Say I Do by Manda Collins

Posted December 9, 2013 by Whitley B in Reviews | 0 Comments

why dukes say i doWhitley’s review of Why Dukes Say I Do (Wicked Widows #1) by Manda Collins.

Even in London society—where everyone knows what you did last season—you never know who’s next in line to walk down the aisle, in Why Dukes Say I Do…

TRUE LOVE IS OFTEN FOUND

With her whirlwind social life in London, Lady Isabella Wharton has little interest in the customs of the country. But when her godmother asks her to pay a visit to her bachelor grandson in Yorkshire, Isabella can’t refuse. It behooves her to please the old dowager, since she harbors one of Isabella’s most scandalous secrets. So off she goes to see the newly-titled—and notoriously rustic—Duke of Ormond…

WHERE YOU LEAST EXPECT IT

Trevor Carey doesn’t care about what goes on behind ballroom doors. He is content with the simple life—and isn’t ashamed to admit it to a society flirt like Lady Isabella. But the country air brings out a different side of Isabella—one full of longing and passion. Can her sophistication be hiding a desire for love? When a blackmailer from the city arrives to threaten Isabella, Trevor will shield her from harm—even travel to London. Can the duke tackle the ton on Isabella’s behalf …and manage to keep her all to himself?

The first in a new trilogy, Why Dukes Say I Do was a sweet, solid book that filled my every duke-snaring expectation.  I’d been in a bit of a rut when I picked up this book, and it got me right out of it.  I loved (almost) every bit of this book, from the scandal that set it off to the duke’s sweet little sisters.

Trevor was a leading man after my own heart: down to earth and unassuming, solid, respectful.  He’s a country gentleman through and through and even when he puts his foot in his mouth it’s only because he’s trying to do the right thing.  I have to admit, I find it exceedingly sexy when a man has such a large…work ethic. 😛  I very much enjoyed his interactions with Isabelle and his sisters, the way he did his best to navigate the female sphere of society for their sake even though it made him thoroughly uncomfortably.  So adorable.

I also enjoyed that Isabelle had an astute understanding of gender dynamics.  That wasn’t the focus of the novel, but it still warmed my heart when she’d snidely point out male privilege to Trevor.  They were small moments — this isn’t a book about first wave feminism — but they were very welcome.  But they did lead to my one complaint about the novel: Isabelle and Trevor have a very frank conversation about power, and the lack of it that women have and Isabelle’s issues with it in particular.  It’s a great scene, and Trevor expresses his willingness to respect Isabelle’s needs.  And then…yeah, that gets thrown out the window a few scenes later.  *sigh*  Well, I’ll just pretend she set him straight afterward and enjoy all the rest of this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5

This book is available from St. Martin’s Paperbacks.  You can purchase it here or here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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Review: How To Dance with a Duke by Manda Collins

Posted January 23, 2012 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Holly‘s review of How To Dance with a Duke (Ugly Ducklings, Book 1) by Manda Collins


What’s a wallflower to do when she’s suddenly in need of a husband? Use all the pluck and moxie she can muster to get what she wants…

Miss Cecily Hurston would much rather explore the antiquities of Egypt than the uncharted territory of marriage. But the rules of her father’s exclusive academic society forbid her entrance unless she weds one of its members. To clear her ailing father’s name of a scandalous rumor, Cecily needs to gain admission into the Egyptian Club—and is willing to marry any old dullard to do it.

Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson, is anything but dull. He’s a dashing and decorated war hero determined to help Cecily—even if that means looking the other way when she claims the dance card of Amelia Snow, this season’s most sought-after beauty. But Lucas has a reason for wanting Cecily to join the Egyptian Club: His brother went missing during one of Lord Hurston’s expeditions to Egypt. An alliance with the explorer’s bluestocking daughter could bring Lucas closer to the truth about what happened…or it could lead him to a more dangerous love than either he or Cecily could have imagined…

This was an ok read. I enjoyed the pace of the story once I got past the first few chapters. Cecily bothered me quite a bit with her “act first, think never” attitude. I understand wanting to have your opinion valued. I even understand wanting to be in control if your own life. I do not, however, understand stupid actions that place you in danger at every turn. Her insistance that she be included in every aspect of the investigation bordered on the ridiculous at times. When she wasn’t insisting that she should could take care of herself, she was pushing Lucas away to save herself heartbreak. Again, I understand self-preservation. But it got old after awhile.

Lucas was definitely the stronger character. He was suffering the loss of his brother and the need to find out what happened to him, but he still did his best to take care of those around him. As the son of a vicar (he was never meant to inherit), his principles were simple and attractive. It isn’t very often that we find a duke who has morals and values. His fascination with Cecily was easy to understand, since she was the only girl in London who wasn’t interested in him because of his title.  I think part of the reason I was so frustrated with Cecily was because I came to care for Lucas very much. I wanted her to value him as much as he valued her.

Aside from the heroine, I enjoyed the story. I liked the premise. That the story didn’t revolved around fully around the ton was a point in its favor. Collins relied a little heavily on certain stereotypes, but as a light read it worked. In the end I believed in Cecily and Lucas as a couple and wanted to see them settle in happily ever after.

I won’t be rereading this anytime soon, but I do plan to read the other books in the series.

3.5/5

The series:

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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