Tag: The Bachelor’s Chronicles Series

Throwback Thursday Guest Review: How I Met My Countess by Elizabeth Boyle

Posted January 30, 2020 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 2 Comments

Throwback Thursday Guest Review: How I Met My Countess by Elizabeth BoyleReviewer: Judith
How I Met My Countess by Elizabeth Boyle
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: December 29, 2009
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 342
Add It: Goodreads
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Lucy Ellyson, the improper daughter of an infamous spy, saves the life of the Earl of Clifton. He intends to make her his countess after the war ends, but when he finally is able to return to her, he finds that she′s vanished.

Meanwhile, Lucy is living a new life in the heart of Mayfair. But she′s as scandalous as ever, and when Clifton finally happens upon her, she′s landed in the sort of trouble that only a hasty marriage can solve. He′s more than willing to step in, but their future is all too quickly threatened by secrets from the past.

*** Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy! ***

This review was originally posted on January 29, 2010.

Author Elizabeth Boyle most assuredly has a flair for historical romance. This book is evidence that she knows her craft and does her research. Set in the time during and following the Napoleonic War, the story of the Earl of Clifton, Lucy & Mariana Ellyson, and Clifton’s brother Malcolm is spread over a period of seven years. I don’t really like flashbacks very well but in this case, Boyle has used that technique to tell the story of Clifton, Malcolm, and the Ellyson sisters and to provide the foundational facts of their relationships. It is an insight into the workings of the British Foreign Office and its undercover work in the service of His Majesty and Wellington’s forces. Now, seven years later, Clifton finds Lucy as she is moving into a house in London which she is sharing with all the dowager Ladies Standon, all widows of Standon cousins. In so many ways this is a complicated story but throughout the twists and turns flows the love story between Lucy and Clifton, both of whom have never set aside their love for one another that bloomed during those months of training at Hampstead Heath. As is so often true in affairs of the heart, there are misunderstandings, missed communications, tangled relationships that aren’t what they seem, betrayal and criminal machinations that put Lucy’s future in jeopardy as well as nearly cause her once again to miss Clifton’s arrival in London. Her undercover skills come into play late in the story once again and bring these two very interesting characters together once again, causing their passion to flame anew.

This was an interesting and really enjoyable book! I have always enjoyed this particular historical period because war as a backdrop seems to bring out the deeper reserves of human feeling—love, loss, grief, cynicism, and hope which endures under inhuman circumstances. The social realities of society are also a part of the story—three widows, two of whom were born into the ton and have made the head of their family ill with their complaining, and Lucy who married out of desperation when her father died and she had no one left in her family or any honest means of support. The definition of poverty is considerably different for the upper levels of British Society, and it may be difficult for contemporary Americans to “get their heads around” the perspectives of life which drove the activities of the British Aristocracy. Boyle does an excellent job in helping today’s readers gain some understanding of the stresses present for those who held titles and lands and responsibilities to renters and farmers and villagers. Add to this the strain on the British economy from bad weather, the cost of war, absentee landlords and such, and you have a fertile background against which to craft a wonderful love story.

I really like these characters. The Ellyson sisters are cagey, independent, good at what they do, work as a team with their father in his training of British spies, feel deeply and are loyal to a tee. They love each other—a love that is built on an unfailing friendship between sisters and between parents and children. Clifton and his brother are wonderful men who have chosen to take up the challenge to put aside their aristocratic lives and serve their country in unsavory and hidden ways. The unsavory characters Papa Ellyson brings into the training are colorful and quite humorous. All in all, this is a delightful story and a great read.

I give this book a rating of 5 out of 5.

The Bachelor Chronicles

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Review: Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress by Elizabeth Boyle.

Posted June 24, 2009 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Publisher: Avon, Harper Collins

Rowena’s review of Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress (The Bachelor Chronicles Series, Book 3) by Elizabeth Boyle.

Hero: Captain Thomas “Dash” Dashwell
Heroine: Lady Phillippa “Pippin” Knolles
Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Lady Philippa Knolles has loved Captain Thomas “Dash” Dashwell since he first stole a kiss from her on a smuggler’s beach near Hastings. Now after what seems like a lifetime of waiting, Pippin is offered a chance to renew her scandalous affair with Dash. But the man from that first heady kiss and the man she rediscovers all these years later are hardly the same. Tucked away in the back of her closet is a red dress, the one she wore long ago to win his heart . . . . Could it have enough memories left inside it to rekindle a passion she’s never forgotten?

Man I wanted to love this book so much more than I actually did but I just couldn’t. The couple that I met in Tally’s book, Confessions of a Black Gown were not the couple from this book. This book was already working with a big strike against it and that strike was the book starts about 23 years after we left them in Confessions. They are two completely different people now and when I first started the story and found all of this out, I could not for the life of me figure out how Ms. Boyle was going to make it work in a way that I would totally buy. She made it work that’s for sure but I can’t help that I wanted a different story for them.

In Confessions, Pippin was this bright eyed young girl who was in love with this dashing bad boy. She was filled with lots of hopes and dreams of being with this man forever and when those hopes and dreams come crashing down all around her, she finds herself pregnant and left all alone so she marries a good man who was totally good to her and gave her a good life. My issue with this was that I liked her husband in the Confessions and even though I thought it was extremely nice and sweet of him to want to sweep in and take care of Pippin, I didn’t want him to be cheated out of true happiness with someone else because Pippin was already in love with the man of her dreams and yet still they got married.


I will say this, Elizabeth Boyle did a fantastic job of pulling me deep into this story. It’s been hard for me to write this story because I’m kind of torn on my feelings for this book. I enjoyed this story, don’t get me wrong but I couldn’t help but miss the old Dash from the other books. I think my favorite part of this book were the flashbacks from the past because I didn’t read all of the books from this series, only Confessions of a Black Gown so it was good to see Pippin and Dash’s story unfold through their memories. I really enjoyed this book and this is probably what saved the story for me.

You see, when I first met Dash in Confessions, I loved him. I was intrigued by him and I wanted to know more, in this book, the Dash that I had come to know and love just wasn’t there. In his place was this surly old man who kept drowning his sorrows and though I understood why he was the way that he was, I didn’t care for this Dash. I hated to see him so pissed off at Pippin and the way that he treated her made me mad but all’s well that ends well because man did they have a whopper of a reunion and man could Dash charm the socks off of anyone when he wasn’t being a surly drunk.

Pippin grew up to be a great woman, I didn’t have much to be annoyed with Pippin aside from the obvious but I thought that she was just…good. There was a bit of the spark that I glimpsed in Confessions and though she was much younger in that story, I still would have liked to see more of the Pippin I remember.

Aside from my obvious prejudices from this book, I thought it was a good story but not the full out great story I was expecting. I think that Elizabeth Boyle fans will want to read this book because it’s part of a great series, though I didn’t see fireworks when I read the book, I still enjoyed it so I think ya’ll should read it and form your own opinions.

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here.

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Review: Confessions of a Black Gown by Elizabeth Boyle.

Posted April 15, 2009 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Publisher: Avon, Harper Collins

Hero: Lord Larken
Heroine: Thalia “Tally” Langley
Grade: 4 out of 5

She spied him in the shadows . . .

And in an instant, Thalia Langley knew the man before her was no saint. He might claim to be the Duke of Hollindrake’s unassuming country cousin, but no man that handsome, that arresting, could be anything but . . . well, he simply must be an unrepentant rogue. His cat-like grace and power leave Tally shivering in her slippers at the notion of all the wicked, forbidden things he might be capable of doing . . . to her.

Indeed, Lord Larken is no bumbling vicar, but a master spy there in his majesty’s service to find—and murder—a notorious pirate freed in a daring prison escape. Devoted to the Crown, Larken’s not about to let an interfering (and not entirely innocent) Mayfair miss disrupt his ruthless plans. Yet how can he be anything but tempted by this lady in a little black gown . . . a dress tantalizing enough to lead even Larken astray.

I am officially a pro at starting series after the first book but I was too wrapped up in this book to care that I missed the previous book. For those of you who have read, Love Letters from a Duke then you’ll be happy to know that CONFESSIONS of a BLACK DRESS is Tally’s book. Tally is Felicity’s sister and she’s part of a trio of women who cracked me the heck up. I have grown quite fond of Tally, Felicity and Pippin. The bond between these three had me laughing like a loon, whooping for joy and just flat out loving the hell out of these guys.

Tally’s story begins with the whole lot of them making their way to Felicity’s country home for her lavish house party that she’s throwing in hopes of making a whole lot of matches so that she’ll be the reining Queen of Matchmaking. She thinks it will help her get her “in” with the ton. She’s driving everyone mad with her match making attempts, most especially her sister Tally but I found her to be bubbly and sweet.

The first meeting between Tally and “Mr. Ryder” made me laugh out loud because Tally just bursts into her brother in law’s study and starts blabbing on and on about the state of one of the carriages that pulled up into the driveway and stops cold when she realizes Hollindrake is not the only person in his study. She’s immediately drawn to that voice and then when she sees the face that goes with the voice, she’s shocked because it doesn’t match up and yet she knows that the voice, the dangerous note in that voice doesn’t belong on this man. She begins to wonder about this guy and that wonder doesn’t stop after that meeting.

The man and the face do not match and those eyes, they are not the eyes of a country vicar. They see too much and they have an edge that Tally wonders over.

To make sure that her party is a success, Felicity begs Tally (her twin sister) to help her with the vicar. The Vicar is 1) boring 2) needs help dressing himself and 3) a bumbling idiot. All three things that Tally is beginning to see doesn’t match up from the man that she’s getting to know and though Tally is fast falling for her Mr. Ryder, she’s beginning to wonder if Mr. Ryder is not a nice country vicar at all but a spy.

Mr. Ryder aka Lord Larken is undercover trying to find one of England’s most dangerous enemies who was broken out of prison by two women. All leads are pointing to Lady Phillipa aka Pippin and Pippin is at this house party of Felicity’s. As he tries to follow different leads at the house, Larken keeps getting distracted by Lady Thalia Langley and her damn black gown. The more he tries to find answers to all of the questions he’s got bumbling in his head, the more distracted he gets with Tally until he finally starts thinking that maybe she’s playing him.

Both Larken and Tally struggle to find the answers they’re both searching for with each other and that struggle is what kept me glued to my seat. Larken wanted to find Dashwell and Tally wanted to know who the hell Larken really was and when the shit hits the fan, I could not put this book down to save my life.

It was such a fun historical adventure for me and this book has me so excited to try out more by Elizabeth Boyle. First up is Felicity’s book. I’m itching to get my hands on that one and I hear that Pippin’s book is coming out soon as well. I loved that little twist with Pippin’s storyline. Good gosh, who do you guys think she’s gonna end up with? Dashwell or home dude from this book? Man, I’m mighty excited for that one.

The only downside to this story was Larken falling in love with Tally. The romance between Larken and Tally felt kind of rushed to me. There was so many other things going on in this book that the romance kind of took a back seat and even though I enjoyed this book, I found myself wishing to see more of the romance between the hero and heroine. There were a lot of scenes between the two but they were always trying to figure each other out and find each other’s secrets that I didn’t completely buy how fast Larken came to love Tally. I saw a lot of lust going on that when the love came around, I felt it was too soon for him to actually know for sure.

Regardless of that, this book is definitely a book that I would recommend to all of you historical lovers out there. I enjoyed this book and think that all of you guys will too. The characters leap right off the pages and the story is packed with lots of action and it was fun, quick read. You won’t be disappointed.

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

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