Friday, August 10, 2012

Book Review: Bedding Lord Ned

Author: Sally Mackenzie
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Zebra
Series: Duchess of Love #1

Determined to find a husband, Miss Eleanor "Ellie" Bowman attends a ball put on by the Duchess of Greycliffe, fondly referred to as the Duchess of Love. But she roundly dismisses the suitors the matchmaking hostess has invited on her behalf. For it's the duchess' dashing son, Ned, Lord Edward, who long ago captured Ellie's heart—and roused her desire. All it takes is a pair of conveniently misplaced silky red bloomers to set the handsome widower's gaze on this unusual girl who is clearly more than meets the eye.

After four years of mourning, Ned must find a wife. At first glance, the birthday ball his mother has thrown in his honor is decidedly lacking in suitable mistresses. But he senses something unexpectedly alluring beneath the veil of Ellie's plain exterior—and suddenly she's invading his dreams in a decidedly scandalous manner

So first off I am a huge animal lover and when I saw the cat on the cover I was sold! I know right, it doesn’t take much for me. Then I came to learn that the cat was actually a big part of the story and I was so excited for this! Animals are great at being humorous and can sometimes be the glue to hold a story together. As all my avid readers know I love anything historical fiction and any cover that has a girl is a beautiful ball gown is going to get my attention enough to read it! I am also trying to read more romance books and I noticed that this one was the first in a new series so I decided that if I liked it enough that I would continue reading the rest of the series as well.

Let me count the ways that I love this book! Sally Mackenzie may just be one of my new favorite authors! I started this book thinking that it would be another sappy love story and I was proved wrong after the first chapter. There were so many things that caught my attention right off the bat and I could not put the book down. As I said before, I made a vow to myself to start trying to read more romance books as well as more historical fiction because I love them both so much but they usually get placed on the back burner when it comes to what needs to be read.

This book starts off at a remote country estate called Greycliffe where the Duchess of Love, Venus, is throwing one of her annual birthday balls in honor of herself and her three son’s birthdays, which just happen to all be on Valentine’s Day. Venus is known as the Duchess of Love because of her superior matchmaking skills and her birthday balls are often used as a place for her to try her hand at placing young men and women together that she believes are evenly matched. This year she wants to find a match for her own son, Lord Edward or otherwise called “Ned.” Venus believes that she has the perfect girl in mind and that is Miss Eleanor “Ellie” Bowman whom has grown up as a child with her sons. In fact they were so close that she fears the boys may only view her as a sister, but of course she hopes that will change, at least for Ned!

Sally Mackenzie hooked me in this wonderful read with none other than an orange tabby cat named Sir Reginald or “Reggie” for short and a pair of red lace panties. He was such a humorous part of this book. He is a natural thief and has a complex with a pair of Ellie’s red panties in which he keeps stealing straight out of her room and somehow always magically carrying them straight to Ned’s room right away. Constantly someone is fussing at poor Reggie for stealing one of their belongings. Reggie is always grooming himself and seems to pay everyone else no never mind which only makes his actions that much more hysterical. Reggie plays a very large helping hand in bringing Miss Bowman and Lord Edward together! I hope to read more about Reggie in other novels in the series.

This book just had the perfect feel to it and as I am sitting here typing up my review I am already wanting to revisit Ellie and Ned’s story. The story takes place in February and snow is constantly falling and it really makes for such a nice and cozy setting. I am so tired of this summer heat and I really appreciated reading about the beautiful pearl white snow. All the characters were talking about going sledding and taking sleigh rides through the newly fallen snow and it really made me miss winter; that is strange isn’t it? There were so many different characters in residence at Greycliffe Estate and each one had an intriguing story. The Duchess of Love has all kinds of tricks up her sleeves with the people she invites and their intended purposes in being there; purposes that no one else but her seem to understand! (You guys will just have to read and find out just exactly what I mean!!)

One of my absolute favorite things about this book is the notes that are at the beginning of each new chapter. The notes were titled, “Venus’s Love Notes” and I am assuming that they were meant to be from the Duchess of Love’s own diary or journal. Here is an example of a few of them, so witty and humorous:

“The meek shall inherit the Earth, but they don’t marry well.”

“Keep a man guessing.”

“The path to true love is not without its slippery roots.”

This is just an example of a few of them. I loved getting to a new chapter just to read them. I highly suggest that my readers check out Sally’s website as she has so many exciting things coming up. One of those is the next book in the series called Surprising Lord Jack which is due to release in March 2013! As you can tell I am already so excited! You can find Sally’s website here!

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