I have a few dedicated collections on my reader of books that live there permanently for re-reading and reading slump enjoyment. I have a Kate Noble folder, a Patricia Briggs folder, and a Julie Anne Long – Pennyroyal Green folder. I can't recommend this series more enthusiastically unless I came to your house and stood on your front stoop and squeed at you until the neighbors called the cops.
The series takes place in and around two prominent families in the small town of Pennyroyal Green, and it is charming and smart, wonderfully written and so enjoyable. I don't say this often, but Long has tremendous skill with the steamy scenes, too. Each book in the series save the upcoming July title is currently $1.99. Seriously, just buy them already. This is an outstanding opportunity if you like historical romance. The whole bleeping series for about $14, give or take tax and whatnot.
A rescued rogue…
Scandal has rocked the city of London. Colin Eversea, a handsome, reckless unapologetic rogue is sentenced to hang for murder and, inconveniently for him, the only witness to the crime disappears. Then again, throughout history, the Everseas have always managed to cheat fate in style: Colin is snatched from the gallows by a beautiful, clever mercenary.
A captivating captor…
Cool-headed, daring Madeleine Greenway is immune to Colin's vaunted charm. Her mission is not to rescue Colin but to kidnap him, and to be paid handsomely for it. But when it becomes clear that whoever wants Colin alive wants Madeline dead, the two become uneasy allies in a deadly race for truth. Together, they'll face great danger—and a passion neither can resist.
Now or Never. . .
It's the last chance for Cynthia Brightly, the ton's most bewitching belle. Driven out of London by a secret scandal, she must find a grand husband at the Redmonds' house party before word of her downfall spreads all over England. Unfortunately, someone at Pennyroyal Green is already privy to the whispers of broken engagements and dueling lovers: Miles Redmond, renowned explorer and–thanks to his brother's disappearance–heir to the family's enormous fortune.
Miles set his sights on Cynthia once, at a time when the ambitious beauty thought herself too good for a second son. But now he's heir apparent, relishing his control. He strikes a bargain with her: he'll keep Cynthia's steamy secrets and help her find a husband among the guests–in exchange for a single kiss. What could be the harm in a simple kiss? Cynthia is about to discover that it's enough to unleash fierce passion–and that Miles Redmond is most certainly like no other lover in the world.
Fearless. Loyal. Brilliant. Ruthless. Bold words are always used to describe English war hero Captain Chase Eversea, but another word unfortunately plays a role in every Eversea's destiny: trouble. And trouble for Chase arrives in the form of a mysterious message summoning him to a London rendezvous . . . where he encounters the memory of his most wicked indiscretion in the flesh: Rosalind March—the only woman he could never forget.
A Woman of Passion . . .
Five years ago, the reckless, charming beauty craved the formidable Captain's attention. But now Rosalind is a coolly self-possessed woman, and desire is the last thing on her mind: her sister has mysteriously disappeared and she needs Chase's help to find her. But as their search through London's darkest corners re-ignites long-smoldering passion and memories of old battles, Chase and Rosalind are challenged to surrender: to the depths of a wicked desire, and to the possibility of love.
I Kissed an Earl is $1.99. This is the book that I started with when I discovered the series. There is a larger plot that unfolds across the background of the series, and if you start in the middle you'll see prior couples from earlier books, but I enjoyed this series out of order. That said, with each title at $2, you can read them in order if you want to.
Violet Redmond's family and fortune might be formidable and her beauty and wit matchless–but her infamous flare for mischief keeps all but the most lionhearted suitors at bay. Only Violet knows what will assuage her restlessness: a man who doesn't bore her to tears, and a clue to the fate of her missing brother. She never dreamed she'd find both with a man whose own pedigree is far from impeccable. “Savage” is what the women of the ton whisper about the newly styled Earl of Ardmay–albeit with shivers of pleasure.
Born an English bastard, raised on the high seas, he's on a mission to capture a notorious pirate for vengeance. But while Violet's belief in her brother's innocence maddens him, her courage awes him . . . and her sensuality finally undoes him. Now the man who once lost everything and the girl who has everything to lose are bound by a passion that could either end in betrayal . . . or become everything they ever dreamed.
What I Did for a Duke is $1.99 – this is book #5. I love this book. Loved it. It was a Sizzling Book Club Pick in October 2012. It's hilarious and touching and hilarious and wonderful. Another thing I love about this series is the warmth and exasperation that the characters have for their siblings, and how funny they are.
This is, however, my least favorite cover in the series, because apparently what she did for the duke first was turn on the wind machine.
For years, he's been an object of fear, fascination . . . and fantasy. But of all the wicked rumors that shadow the formidable Alexander Moncrieffe, Duke of Falconbridge, the ton knows one thing for certain: only fools dare cross him. And when Ian Eversea does just that, Moncrieffe knows the perfect revenge: he'll seduce Ian's innocent sister, Genevieve–the only Eversea as yet untouched by scandal. First he'll capture her heart . . . and then he'll break it.
But everything about Genevieve is unexpected: the passion simmering beneath her cool control, the sharp wit tempered by gentleness . . . And though Genevieve has heard the whispers about the duke's dark past, and knows she trifles with him at her peril, one incendiary kiss tempts her deeper into a world of extraordinary sensuality. Until Genevieve is faced with a fateful choice . . . is there anything she won't do for a duke?
How the Marquess was Won is charming and bittersweet. It's $1.99 – but you knew that. The heroine is a schoolteacher, and the hero, obviously, is a Marquess. The first half of the book is much stronger than the second, but the writing is so warm and enjoyably funny, it's more than bearable.
The Scandal Sheets call him Lord Ice. Ruthless, cold, precise, Julian Spenser, Marquess Dryden, tolerates only the finest– in clothes, in horseflesh, in mistresses. And now he's found the perfect bride, the one whose dowry will restore his family's shattered legacy and bring him peace at last: the exquisite heiress Lisbeth Redmond.
She's about to play with fire…
But one unforgettable encounter with Lisbeth's paid companion, Phoebe Vale, and the Marquess is undone. This quiet girl with the wicked smile and a wit to match is the first person to see through the icy facade to the fiery man beneath. But their irresistible attraction is a torment as sweet as it is dangerous, for surrendering to their desire could mean losing everything else they ever wanted.
A Notorious Countess Confesses is $1.99, and is the most recent book in the series. I read this on a very long plane ride, and have wonderful memories of being curled up in my coach seat in the dark with a blanket wrapped all around me and my noise canceling headphones on, reading this book under the blanket so as not to disturb anyone. It deals with small town prejudice and crossing class boundary lines – and there's no easy way out for the characters. I gave it a B- because I felt the ending didn't match the rest of the novel, but I still recommend this book, and every other book in the series.
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?
The next book in the series, It Happened One Midnight, comes out 25 June 2013. It's not on sale, but if you're collecting them all, you might want to pre-order your copy while it's discounted a little bit.
More than one beautiful woman’s hopes have 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 prophesy 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 is 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 prophesy might just mean surrendering to love.