Tag: Pennyroyal Green

Review: The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Long

Posted December 31, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne LongReviewer: Holly
The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Long
Series: Pennyroyal Green #11
Also in this series: Like No Other Lover, I Kissed an Earl, What I Did For a Duke with Bonus Material, How the Marquess Was Won, It Happened One Midnight

Publication Date: September 29th 2015
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Bound by centuries of bad blood, England's two most powerful families maintain a veneer of civility . . . until the heir to the staggering Redmond fortune disappears, reviving rumors of an ancient curse: a Redmond and an Eversea are destined to fall disastrously in love once per generation.

An Enduring Legend

Rumor has it she broke Lyon Redmond's heart. But while many a man has since wooed the dazzling Olivia Eversea, none has ever won her—which is why jaws drop when she suddenly accepts a viscount's proposal. Now London waits with bated breath for the wedding of a decade . . . and wagers on the return of an heir.

An Eternal Love

It was instant and irresistible, forbidden . . . and unforgettable. And Lyon—now a driven, dangerous, infinitely devastating man—decides it's time for a reckoning. As the day of her wedding races toward them, Lyon and Olivia will decide whether their love is a curse destined to tear their families apart . . . or the stuff of which legends are made.

The Redmonds and Everseas have been rivals as far back as anyone can remember (it’s rumored one killed the other in 1605 over a stolen pig..or something…and that started the feud). When Lyon Redmond sees Olivia Eversea at a ball, he’s immediately draw to her, despite knowing his family’s history with hers. They can’t stay away from each other. ..until the night she betrayed him and forced him to leave.

For five years, Lyon hasn’t been seen nor heard from and Olivia decides it’s time to move on with her life, so she accepts the proposal of Viscount Lansdowne. She doesn’t love him…yet. But they have a strong affection for each other and she knows he’ll be easy. If she still isn’t quite over Lyon Redmond, well…no one has to know.

Lyon knows he and Olivia have unfinished business, so he engineers it so they have a week together. But this time he’s not going to bend to her. It’s time Olivia fought for him…for them.

I was worried this book wouldn’t live up to all the hype. Especially since their story was drug out over the course of the entire series. I’m happy to report I really enjoyed the book.

Lyon and Olivia’s story is told in alternating past and present chapters, so their story – both past and current – is revealed slowly. Their situation has never been black or white, but rather several shades of gray, some lovely and light, others dark and barren. Their love for one another came across easily, but both felt betrayed by the other, and letting go of those feelings was the true struggle.

Throughout the series, I’ve had the hardest time with Olivia. She seemed haughty and put on an air of being too good for others. That may not have been the case, but that’s what I took away from her actions in previous books. When we saw a bit of the situation from Lyon’s point of view in I Kissed An Earl, my negative feelings for Olivia solidified into outright dislike. Yet Olivia won me over and I was really pulling for her and Lyon. She ended up being a complex character who had many layers.

In the years since Lyon left, Olivia has lived in a suspended state, alternately praying for his return and cursing him for leaving. She finally realizes he isn’t coming back and decides to move forward with her life.

Which is, of course, when Lyon decides to kidnap her and take her aboard his ship. He’s spent his time away from Olivia alternately hating her and trying to become the man she expected him to be. But he can’t move on until they resolve what’s between them, and he doesn’t believe she can either. She nearly broke him when she sent him away from her the first time, but he realizes she’s worth fighting for..as long as she’s willing to fight as well.

At the heart of this story is Lyon’s determination to force Olivia to face her fears about them and the future.

“I believed you saw something fatal and irredeemable in me, and I quite simply couldn’t bear it, Olivia. Now I know that you were just a coward. It really wasn’t more complicated than that.”

 

Olivia could have been too much, but her quick acceptance of her part of the blame for their separation redeemed her.

All the rumors and legends were right.
She had broken his heart.
And in so doing, she had willfully, perhaps permanently, broken her own.
And everyone else’s who loved him.
All because she’d been too afraid to fight for him.

That’s not to say Lyon was completely blameless. When Olivia calls him out for leaving and not coming back, my heart nearly broke. For all her outward dismissal of his absence, her sense of abandonment and feelings of betrayal were almost palpable.

For all that, I believe their breakup and subsequent separation allowed them both to grow into the people they needed to be for their relationship to truly work. Both needed to grow up a bit, and accept their faults as well as develop their potential. Lyon especially needed to be out from under his father’s thumb.

I did become frustrated with Olivia at the end. I’m not sure why it took her so long – or, more to the point, why she let it go as far as it did – before she ceded to the inevitable. I was literally cursing her at the end. Yet I can’t deny the final resolution worked for me in a big way.

The epilogue was strange and I’m not quite sure how to feel about it. Is it the start of something new, or just a way for the author to end the series? I’ll be interested to see what happens with that.

This was a lovely tale, both heart-wrenching and exciting. Long excels at writing complex, beautiful stories and The Legend of Lyon Redmond was no exception. Despite their trials and tribulations, their story could have ended in no other way.

At the quiet heart of the storm of sparks around them was a strange, peaceful certainty. This person was meant for me.

4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Release Day Blitz: The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Long

Posted September 29, 2015 by Rowena in Promotions | 3 Comments

Publisher: Avon, Harper Collins

RBLegendofLyonRedmond-JulieAnneLong

The Legend of Lyon Redmond
Pennyroyal Green #11
By: Julie Anne Long
Releasing September 29, 2015
Avon

LEGEND_LYON
Bound by centuries of bad blood, England’s two most powerful families maintain a veneer of civility…until the heir to the staggering Redmond fortune disappears, reviving rumors of an ancient curse: a Redmond and an Eversea are destined to fall disastrously in love once per generation.

An enduring legend

Rumor has it she broke Lyon Redmond’s heart. But while many a man has since wooed the dazzling Olivia Eversea, none has ever won her—which is why jaws drop when she suddenly accepts a viscount’s proposal. Now London waits with bated breath for the wedding of a decade…and wagers on the return of an heir.

An eternal love

It was instant and irresistible, forbidden…and unforgettable. And Lyon—now a driven, dangerous, infinitely devastating man—decides it’s time for a reckoning. As the day of her wedding races toward them, Lyon and Olivia will decide whether their love is a curse destined to tear their families part…or the stuff of which legends are made.

Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/45155-pennyroyal-green

Buy Links: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo

Julie Anne Long

Author Info

Julie Anne Long originally set out to be a rock star when she grew up, and she has the guitars and the questionable wardrobe stuffed in the back of her closet t prove it. When playing to indifferent crowds at midnight in dank clubs lost its, ahem, charm, she realized she could incorporate all of the best things about being in a band—namely, drama, passion and men with unruly hair—into novels, while at the same time indulging her love of history and research. So she made the move from guitar to keyboard (the computer variety) and embarked on a considerably more civilized, if not much more peaceful, career as a novelist.

Julie lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with a fat orange cat. (Little known fact: they issue you a cat the minute you become a romance novelist.)

Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

Excerpt

She was the last of the Eversea children to be married, and she was going to be the wife of a viscount. Her brothers had all married unusual women, not one of whom possessed a title. Genevieve had married a duke—to the quietly gleeful satisfaction of her father, for they had trumped the Redmonds, who acquired a mere earl by marriage—but she and Falconbridge had wed by special license. Olivia was the family’s last chance for pomp.

And she knew everyone who loved her would exhale only when she was waving merrily good-bye from Landsdowne’s carriage as they went off on their wedding journey.

No one had said as much, of course.

And this was the unspoken source of all the tension.

They had nothing to worry about. Olivia was definitely going to marry him.

The betting books at White’s, of course, had it otherwise.

God, but she was infinitely weary of being a sport for the wager-happy wastrels at White’s. She did not want to be an event.

But if she’d learned anything over the years, wanting something and getting it were not always sequential events. Even for Everseas.
She pressed her head back against the plump
seat, which smelled vaguely and soothingly of her father’s tobacco, then gave a start and fished about in her reticule.

“Blast!” Only two shillings were in there, along with her hussif, her tortoiseshell card case, and, of course, a square of linen folded in sixteenths that she always pretended not to see but that traveled with her everywhere.

It had become a personal ritual, her way of tithing, to say a few kind words and drop a few coins into the cups of the beggars who had appeared weeks ago and lingered near Madame Marceau’s shop, and who reappeared no matter how often Madame Marceau tried to shoo them away. They were as intrepid as ants. They knew where to find sustenance, and that was from the affluent women who frequented the modiste.

But Olivia, as usual, always wished she had more to give.

At last “Madame Marceau, Modiste,” a gaudy sign gilded swinging on chains, came into view, Olivia sat up alertly. The Strand was even livelier than usual today, apparently: she could hear a choir, of all things.

She didn’t know the tune, but it was certainly infectious, lilting and lively. Her foot was already tapping before the footman pulled open the door of the carriage, and she was smiling when he handed her down.

A half-dozen men were arrayed before Madame Marceau’s, arms slung about each other, swaying rhythmically, their heads tipped back in full-throated song. Another man seemed to be presiding as a conductor, strutting to and fro before them and holding a sheaf of papers in one hand.

He waved one in the air. “Get yer flash ballad here! Two pence! Be the first to teach your friends the song all of London will be singing for centuries to come!”

This was quite a claim, given that one of London’s other favorite songs was all about Olivia’s brother Colin, and it, like Colin, who had survived the gallows, refused to die.

Years of distributing and accepting pamphlets for the causes nearest her heart—the eradication of slavery and the protection of the poor—had Olivia reflexively stretching out her hand for it.

The man hesitated, then saw the outstretched hand was encased in an expensive blue kid glove and decided to let her hold it.

“Two pence, madame, if ye’d like to take it with you.” He beamed persuasively at her.

She didn’t hear him.

She was transfixed in horror by the first words on the page.

The swords of his men came up swiftly to bar the man’s way.

“I’m unarmed,” the footman said hurriedly, holding up his hands. “And alone. You have my word.”
Lyon smiled a smile that would have had many a man wetting his smallclothes. It bore more resemblance to the curve of a cutlass. “While I’m certain your word is indeed priceless, you’ve naught to fear. I just cleaned my sword, so there will be no running through of anyone for at least another few hours.”

This elicited chuckles from his crew.

The footman gave a wobbly, uncertain smile.

Lyon knew a surge of impatience, which he recognized as shame. He was not in the habit of intimidating clearly unarmed and outnumbered men for the sport of it.
Then again, given how history often treated bearers of bad news, the man was probably fortunate he still drew breath.

“Your name, please.”

“Ramsey, sir.”

“You’re in no danger as long as I believe you are answering my questions truthfully, Ramsey.”

“Of course, sir.”

But judging from how the footman blanched, he didn’t miss the implicit threat.

“Who sent you, Ramsey?”

“Begging your pardon, but Lord Lavay said you would know when you read the message. I am in his employ. I’m a footman, sir.” He squared his shoulders and touched the silver braid on his coat, as if for luck. “And I won the coin toss.”

“I was a reward, then, was I, Ramsey?” Lyon drawled, to another scatter of chuckles. “Please describe Lord Lavay to me.”

Ramsey furrowed his brow. “Well … he’s a big gentleman. Perhaps as tall as you, sir. French. He often waves his hands when he talks, like so.” He began to demonstrate with a sweep of his own hands, then clearly thought better of it when all the swords aimed at him twitched a warning. “Took quite an injury in a fight not too long ago, but he’s fit now.”

Lyon studied the footman unblinkingly, searching for the faintest hint of perfidy in the flicker of an eyelash or the tensing of a muscle.

He knew all about that fight and that injury. Lyon and his crew had found Lavay bleeding to death on the Horsleydown Stairs in London.

Lyon was in fact the reason Lord Lavay still walked the earth.

Giveaway Alert:

Grand Prize of a $50 Gift Card to eBook Retailer of choice, Second Prize winner will get the complete set of Pennyroyal Green Books 1 – 11 by Julie Anne Long

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!

*Please note that this giveaway is not a Book Binge sponsored giveaway.*


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Guest Review: Between the Devil and Ian Eversea by Julie Anne Long

Posted April 11, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Between the Devil and Ian Eversea by Julie Anne LongReviewer: Tracy
Between the Devil and Ian Eversea by Julie Anne Long

Publication Date: March 25th 2014
Format: eARC
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
five-stars

She might look like an angel...

The moment orphaned American heiress Titania “Tansy” Danforth arrives on English shores she cuts a swath through Sussex, enslaving hearts and stealing beaux. She knows she's destined for a spectacular titled marriage—but the only man who fascinates her couldn't be more infamous...or less interested.

...but it takes a devil to know one...

A hardened veteran of war, inveterate rogue Ian Eversea keeps women enthralled, his heart guarded and his options open: why should he succumb to the shackles of marriage when devastating good looks and Eversea charm make seduction so easy?

...and Heaven has never been hotter.

When Ian is forced to call her on her game, he never dreams the unmasked Tansy—vulnerable, brave, achingly sensual—will tempt him beyond endurance. And fight as he will, this notorious bachelor who stood down enemies on a battlefield might finally surrender his heart...and be brought to his knees by love.

 

Tracy’s review of The Devil and Ian Eversea (Pennyroyal Green #9) by Julie Anne Long

Titania Danforth has come to Pennyroyal Green from America to be wed. First her brother then her parents died and she is all alone in the world. It’s asked of the Duke of Falconbridge to take care of seeing her wed as he is her father’s cousin. (Falconbridge if you remember married Genevieve Eversea in What I Did for a Duke.) Anyway, Tansy, as she likes to be called, seems like an angel. She is all that is good and proper and when she bats her eyes and smiles the men come running and just about lose their minds. Tansy also gets the eye of Lord Landsdowne who up til that point had been courting Olivia Eversea.

Ian sees Tansy and her “crew” of men and isn’t impressed. He thinks she’s completely shallow and hasn’t a thought in her head. He’s especially pissed because he thinks that she’s taking Landsdowne from Olivia and that is unacceptable to Ian as he doesn’t want his sister’s heart broken again as it was with Lyon Redmond. Basically he wants her out of the picture so he writes to a Duke’s heir to come to Pennyroyal Green so that he can court Tansy and get her gone.

Ian, however starts to realize that there’s a whole lot more to Tansy than anyone thinks. He sees her out on her balcony (as his room is right next door) doing things that ladies don’t do! She just starts to be a conundrum and he’s not sure what to do with it all.

Tansy of course sees Ian and is starstruck. She turns into an blubbering idiot when he’s around and she’s constantly chastising herself for it. Eventually Tansy and Ian actually talk and they, believe it or not, become friends. Then it moves quickly into much more as they’re both attracted to the other but since Tansy’s to marry a title and Ian is leaving on a world tour in about a month nothing can come of any of it. Or can it?

I think what I liked most about this book so much is that both Tansy and Ian are both basically lonely people who showed different faces to the world than who they really were. As the two got together Tansy got to see the real Ian and Ian got to see the real Tansy and they each realized that there was so much more to this other person than anyone, including them, had thought. It ended up being so romantic and I loved the two of them together. They were perfect for each other and knew, instinctively, what the other needed, whether it was some lovin or just to lie on the bed and hold hands and talk.

I just loved Tansy. I thought for sure, when the book first started that I was going to hate her and in the first scene, knowing that she was going to be paired with Ian, I was a bit confounded as to what JAL was thinking. Of course I shouldn’t have been surprised that Tansy had such hidden depths. I did feel for her completely as she was so alone in the world. When she spoke to Ian of how she felt after the death of her parents I was almost in tears:

“But after that…do you know what it’s been like, Ian? It’s a bit like going to the theater. And the play we’ve come to see is my life. A wonderful play. But then it ends before you expect it to, and you’re forbidden to leave, you’re locked in the theater, and you’re left to stare at an empty stage. And for all you know, you’ll just sit there forever.

That ‘bout broke my heart! But Ian, being the great guy he is, completely understood as he’d kind of been there before (when he returned from the war) and could be there for her. Sigh Loved it!

This is another fantastic book by Julie Anne Long. I love her books so much. Her writing style, her characters, her humor…everything blends so well and out comes an amazing story. She can bring forth such emotion in me that even when I don’t expect to be affected by something I completely am. She has a way of pulling the most out of every character and giving it to the reader in such a wonderful and emotional way that I can’t seem to get enough of it. I most emphatically recommend this book!

Rating: 5 out of 5

This title is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-book format. The book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

five-stars


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Lightning Review: It Happened One Midnight by Julie Anne Long

Posted November 13, 2013 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Lightning Review: It Happened One Midnight by Julie Anne LongReviewer: Holly
It Happened One Midnight by Julie Anne Long
Series: Pennyroyal Green #8
Also in this series: Like No Other Lover, I Kissed an Earl, What I Did For a Duke with Bonus Material, How the Marquess Was Won, The Legend of Lyon Redmond
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: June 25th 2013
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

More than one beautiful woman's hope shave been dashed on the rocky shoals of Jonathan Redmond's heart. With his riveting good looks and Redmond wealth and power, the world is his oyster—until an ultimatum from his father and a chilling gypsy prophecy send him hurtling headlong toward a fate he'll do anything to avoid: matrimony.

Intoxicating, elusive Thomasina de Ballesteros has the bloods of London at her feet. But none of them knows the real Tommy—the one with a shocking pedigree, a few too many secrets, and a healthy scorn for rakes like Jonathan.

She's everything Jonathan never wanted. But on one fateful midnight, he's drawn into Tommy's world of risk, danger . . . and a desire he'd never dreamed possible. And suddenly he's re-thinking everything . . . including the possibility that succumbing to prophecy might just mean surrendering to love.

 I adore this series. I’ve been anxiously awaiting Jonathan’s story a long time. He and Tommy didn’t disappoint.

Jonathan is the youngest son of Isaiah Redmond and the one his father thinks the least of. He considers Jonathan somewhat of a wastrel and a fairly useless man. Even though Jonathan tells him he’s making investments of his own, his father doesn’t believe him. He tells Jonathan he must marry by the end of the year or be cut off. Jonathan has a deal in the works, but he needs the additional capital from his father to see things through. He agrees to play along, figuring one wife is as good as another.

Thomasina de Ballesteros  is the daughter of  a Spanish Courtesan. She hosts a weekly salon at the home of  the scandalous Countess Maribeau. All the men of the ton are obsessed with Tommy, thinking they’re going to be her next protector.  She’s charming and elusive and Jonathan sees right through her. He recognizes himself in her and they form an unlikely bond. But they are from different worlds and there is no future for them. Tommy knows this…even when Jonathan doesn’t.

Long has the unique ability to draw me fully into her stories. I feel like I’m living the lives of her characters right along with them. Tommy was a woman willing to do whatever she needed in order to survive. That’s a trait I admire in women, especially those who lived in her era.  She was more than a predictable fallen woman, however. From her surprising pedigree to ability to cut the crap and see to the heart of every situation, she was someone I came to like and admire. Jonathan was just as strong and fierce as Tommy, though I’m happy to report he was also extremely intuitive and thoughtful.

Strong, witty and heart-stirring. Long delivers again.

4.5 out of 5

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

four-half-stars


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Review: A Notorious Countess Confesses by Julie Anne Long

Posted October 3, 2012 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: A Notorious Countess Confesses by Julie Anne LongA Notorious Countess Confesses by Julie Anne Long
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 30th 2012
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

She rose to spectacular heights . . .
From Covent Garden to courtesan to countess, beautiful, fearless, shamelessly ambitious Evie Duggan has riveted London in every role she plays. But the ton never could forgive her scandalous—if shockingly short—marriage, and when her star plummets amid gleefully vicious gossip, the countess escapes to the only legacy left to her: a manor house in Pennyroyal Green.
He never expected to fall so hard . . .
He has the face of a fallen angel and a smolder the devil would envy, but Vicar Adam Sylvaine walks a precarious line: resisting temptation . . . and the wild Eversea blood in his veins. Adam's strength is tested when scandal, aka the countess, moves to Sussex. But when a woman who fiercely guards her heart and a man entrusted with the souls of an entire town surrender to a forbidden desire, will the sweetest sin lead them to heaven . . . or make outcasts of them forever?

I love that Long writes such unapologetic characters. She takes risks with them that I find utterly enchanting.

Evie was an actress and courtesan who was the toast of London, until she did the unthinkable and married an Earl, who just happened to win her hand in a card game. As if that weren’t bad enough, shortly after they entered wedded bliss, he died. It just so happened a well known gentlemen gave a presentation about a spider during that time, and Evie was labeled as the Black Widow. Left with no protector and no reputation, she decides to take residence in the estate the earl left her in Pennyroyal Green. What she really wants more than anything is a fresh start. She was a country girl from Ireland once, and she remembers what it was like growing up in a small town. She hopes to establish herself there and possible make friends. Unfortunately the women of the town have already heard of her, and they want nothing to do with the Black Widow.

Enter Adam Sylvaine. He’s the local vicar and a man determined to stay away from scandal. He wants to do right by his parish and his cousins the Evesea’s, who gave him the living. Unfortunately, the Eversea blood runs hot in his veins just as much as it does his cousins’, which means he has to fight all the harder to remain upright. The last thing he needs is the widow begging for his help in finding friends. And yet..he can’t turn her down. Not only is it his duty to help when asked, but he truly wants to help Evie. He sees vulnerability and sadness in her, and he wants to lighten her load. Of course, he kind of wants to lighten his load as well (if you know what I mean), which means he has to be extra vigilant. Only Evie is hard to resist. And Adam is just a man, not a saint…

I cried several times over the course of the novel, mostly at the unfairness of what Evie suffered, both in London and in Pennyroyal Green, though I admit to a bit of anger toward her at times as well. She was a very likable character. Her reasons for becoming a courtesan were ones I could relate to, but I liked that she was unapologetic about it. She made her choice and didn’t regret it. Her practical, sassy attitude really struck a chord with me.

Adam I wanted to be a bit more true, a bit less human, I think. Which would have diminished his character greatly, but would have made me feel more kindly toward him at times. Despite being the vicar, he’s a flesh-and-blood man with hopes and fears like any other. One of his biggest fears is being relieved of his living there in the parish. That means keeping a squeaky-clean reputation. It also means he hurt Evie several times over the course of the novel. I might have hated him for it, but he hated himself enough for the both of us.

Nothing about this story is easy, but I was enthralled and engaged from page one. Long delivers again.

4.25 out of 5

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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