If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Friday, May 29, 2015

Review & Excerpt: A Kiss for Lady Mary by Ella Quinn / @TastyBookTours @ellaquinnauthor

Title: A Kiss for Lady Mary
Series: The Marriage Game, Book 6
Author: Ella Quinn
Publisher: Kensington Books
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Genre: Historical, Romance
ARC Received From: NetGalley
Reviewed For: Tasty Book Tours

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Ella Quinn’s bachelors do as they like and take what they want. But when the objects of their desire are bold, beautiful women, the rules of the game always seem to change…

Handsome, charming, and heir to a powerful Viscount, Christopher “Kit” Featherton is everything a woman could want—except interested in marriage. So when he hears that someone on his estate near the Scottish border is claiming to be his wife, Kit sets off to investigate.

Since her parents’ death, Lady Mary Tolliver has been hounded by her cousin, a fortune-hunting fool after her inheritance. Refusing to settle for anything less than love, Mary escapes to the isolated estate of rakish bachelor, Kit Featherton. Knowing he prefers Court to the country, she believes she will be safe. But when Kit unexpectedly returns, her pretend marriage begins to feel seductively real…

Other books in this series

The things done for family.

By his own admission, Mary's cousin Gawain didn't even want to marry her. But he pursued her because of his mother. Admirable as that may be, it made me question the man's ability to be his own person. I understood his wanting to see his mother happy, but he wasn't responsible for her happiness. She was.
Mary's fruitless attempts at thwarting her cousin hadn't been very successful, and running away gets tiring. Her aunt and grandma want to remedy that situation, take her someplace safe where her cousin won't find her. They succeed, but for how long and at what cost? She's posing as the wife of a man she admired, Mr. Perfect as she called him, yet she knows the ruse won't last long. After all, a man like Kit Featherton is sure to question her motives when he discovers what she's doing at his family home.

Kit is hardly Mr. Perfect. He's impeccable in his manners and habits and regards toward Mary, but he's flawed like everyone else. He neglected Rose Hill, where Mary's been residing, and has no idea how to tell her how he feels or what he wants from her. Everything he could ever want in a wife is there in Mary's eyes, her arms, but he's slow to even kiss her.

Now, Kit's and Mary's grandmas concocted this scheme. Mary's aunt helped them execute it. The road to happiness for some isn't always smooth, and Kit and Mary had their fair share of problems. Aside from Kit assuring his staff at Rose Hill as well as his tenants that he wasn't there to run Mary off, they still had to unravel the mystery of Gawain's whereabouts and why he insisted on marrying Mary.

This isn't a spicy story. It's sensuality at its best, a welcome change for this avid reader. I love hot sexy books as much as anyone else I know, but sometimes a girl just needs slow, sweet, and steady. I've not read any other books in this series, but that didn't matter because this is a standalone and reads like a dream. Kit and Mary, along with their family and friends, made this a really enjoyable story. It is slow to start but hang in there. If you do, I hope you like it as much as I did.

Lady Mary Tolliver heaved a sigh of relief. She’d been at her brother, the Earl of Barham’s, dower house with her grandmother, the Dowager Duchess of Bridgewater, and her widowed aunt, Lady Eunice Phipson, for two weeks now. Thankfully there was still no sign of her cousin, Gawain Tolliver. Perhaps he’d finally given up attempting to compromise her. She’d been taking her regular walks after breakfast for the past week. But this morning she had remembered advice given to her by a friend to vary her schedule as long as Gawain was after her and had decided to go earlier.

She was about a half mile from the house when a familiar male voice asked, “How much longer?”

Mary stopped and scanned the woods. Suddenly, the dark green she’d taken for leaves ruffling in the slight breeze moved revealing a jacket.

Blast it all! It was Gawain, and she’d almost stepped into his trap. She’d known her luck wouldn’t hold. She slipped behind a tree, and listened.

“About another half hour,” a man with a rougher voice answered.

“Have the coach ready,” Gawain ordered. “I want to get away as soon as we grab her.”

She backed up carefully, keeping the dense foliage between herself and her cousin, until she could no longer see Gawain clearly.

“Did you hear something?”

Mary stifled a groan. How far was it to the house, and could she outmaneuver them? She glanced around. It was eight, maybe nine, feet to the old oak tree where, as a child, she’d won many a game of hide and seek. Gathering her skirts, she dashed to it and hid in the hollow part of the trunk. Gawain would have to know exactly where to look to see her. Still, she could not remain in the tree all day. She would have to hope they gave up waiting for her and left, planning to return another day.

“Nah, sir, just a deer or something.”

Several minutes later, Mary shifted and dirt fell around her. This space had been far more commodious when she’d been younger. Something landed on her arm and began to crawl. Stifling a scream, she swatted at it, dislodging more debris. Her heart thudded, making it hard for her to breathe. It was certain her cousin wouldn’t leave until at least the time when she normally passed by. She would just have to run. As they began to converse again, she picked up her skirts and dashed out of the home wood. Once she reached the outer part of the curtilage she raced through the rose garden, staying off the flagstone and gravel paths to the nearest door and darted in.

“My lady,” Cook exclaimed. “You look like the devil hisself is after you.” The old woman narrowed her eyes. “What have you got into? Shake out your skirts before you come in any farther. Is that a dead spider on your arm?”

Mary leaned back against the door, sucking in great gulps of air as she caught her breath. “That might be an apt description.” She briefly considered asking Cook not to tell Grandmamma, but that would only insure her grandmother heard about it sooner. “I’ll be down for breakfast as soon as I wash my hands.”

Ella Quinn lived all over the United States, the Pacific, Canada, England and Europe before finally discovering the Caribbean. She lives in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands with her wonderful husband, three bossy cats and a loveable Great Dane.

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