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"Captivated from beginning to end"...5 Stars

By AnnMarie Spibly
For Buried Under Romance

Miss Hastings' Excellent Adventure is the fourth book in the Brazen Brides series by Cheryl Bolen. The book can easily be read as a stand alone one.

Emma Hastings has left her very elderly aunt's home in Upper Barrington to join her Uncle in London. He wants to teach her how to run his very successful company, the Ceylon Tea Company, so that he can retire and travel, leaving his home and company in good hands.

Emma is distraught when her uncle doesn't meet her at the posting inn when she arrives. After spending the whole day and into early evening waiting for him, she realises that she will have to try to find his home by foot. She can't afford a night at the inn, and she can't afford to take a hackney. It's during the very long walk, made worse by rain that Emma meets Adam Birmingham.

Adam is very drunk, and broken hearted after the woman he was in love with married somebody else and moved from London. Drunk as he is though he is shocked to see a well bred, gentle young lady walking through the rain dragging a large portmanteau behind her. The gentleman that he is, drunk or not, comes to her rescue, and he offers to see her to her Uncle's home. Which to both of their surprise is right next door to where he lives.

Emma's uncle's home is in darkness, nobody is there, not even a servant. Adam can't leave Emma on the street of course, so he invites her to stay the night in his home. It's only while he is showing her to her room for the night that he remembers that Emma's uncle is dead.

It turns out that not only is he dead, but he is supposedly meant to have written a new will leaving everything he owns to his office clerk! Not Emma, not even his partner in the company. Emma is distraught, she doesn't care about the money, but without her Uncle, and no place to live she doesn't know what she can do to survive. That's when Adam decides to ask her to marry him. He vows never to marry for love because of his heartbreak, so why not marry Emma and help her out of a dreadful situation? 

They marry, and despite the excitement that has already occurred in the story, it just gets more intriguing. Emma and Adam both believe the new will to be a forgery, and they set out to prove it, not knowingly putting Emma's life at risk. Adam married Emma to give her a home, and to look after her, protect her, little did he know just how much protection she would need! Can he keep her safe, can they find out who forged the will, and was Emma's uncle's death of natural causes or was it murder????

I have read many regency romance books by many different authors, and although they can be wonderful and earn 5 star ratings, Cheryl Bolen is in a league of her own when it comes to writing in that era. She is the Queen of regency romance in my opinion. Her description of London, of it's homes, of the balls, the aristocracy, the poor, of everything relating to that time period is exceptional. A reader can picture the scenes so easily and imagine themselves amongst the characters in the story. This book, like all of her others, was pure perfection. It had just the right amount of humour amongst the skulduggery, the romance was beautiful, not just between Emma and Adam, but also his siblings and their spouses that are in this book also. Cheryl can write a steamy love scene, but this book is a sweet romance, with the intimacy behind doors. Beautifully done, and still allowing the reader to know just how much the couple come to love and lust for each other. I loved that not only was this book a romance, but that I was kept captivated from beginning to end wondering if the villain of the book would get his comeuppance before causing any more harm to Emma.  I thoroughly enjoyed this story and recommend it wholeheartedly. I just wish I could give more than 5 stars!!!

5 Stars

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers' copy of this book.


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