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

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Review: Highway Revenge by Nadine Millard / @nadinemillard

Title: Highway Revenge
Author: Nadine Millard
Publisher: Blue Tulip Publishing
Release Date: December 17, 2015
Genre: Historical, Romance

Evelyn Spencer has spent the last ten years living in her uncle’s house and longing for the day when she can leave and make her own way in the world.

When she finds out her uncle’s terrible, hidden secret, Evelyn decides that she will first get revenge then leave and never set eyes on her wicked uncle again.

Everything is going according to plan…until Viscount Andrew Ashdon comes along.

Andrew has been coerced into coming to spend a dull few weeks at his friend’s country estate. Used to intrigues, seductions and debauchery as a spy for the Crown, Andrew can think of nothing worse than rusticating in the country with no one around to entertain him…until he meets Evelyn Spencer.

The race is on for Evelyn to get the proof she needs to prove her uncle’s deception and the last thing she needs is to be distracted by the devilishly handsome, rakish Lord Ashdon.

Can she achieve the impossible with Lord Ashdon’s help, by finally getting her revenge? And, more importantly, can she do it while keeping hold of her heart?

Orphaned at a young age and sent to live with her late father's brother and his family, Evelyn knows the day of leaving her uncle's care is just around the corner. But the unexpected discovery of the truth behind her father's death and that her uncle had helped himself to her inheritance put a halt on her dreams of living a life away from him. Now she needed to locate where he hid proof of his crime and, hopefully, bring him to justice.

I really liked Evelyn. She wasn't like any bluestocking I'd read about before. Intelligent, opinionated, and stubborn beyond words, she was determined to do whatever was necessary to make her uncle pay for his crime. Her plan to "rob" him of the proof probably would have happened if she hadn't met Andrew. He was an unforeseen complication who threatened her plans and her heart.

Andrew was a very enjoyable hero. He wasn't an arrogant aristocrat with a low opinion of Evelyn after their first meeting. True, he thought her shy but it didn't deter him from getting to know her, from letting himself see what her cousins didn't. Under that quiet facade was a woman whose stubbornness ran wider than the Thames and a fierceness that rivaled a lion's. She intrigued him with her dual natures and he responded by letting his heart lead him more than his head.

Evelyn's attempt at being a highwayman was amusing. Since she was gently bred and had no idea how to be anything less than a lady, it made me laugh out loud to read the torrent of emotions she experienced on that first attempted robbery. The second time wasn't any better either. But Ms. Millard did a magnificent job conveying every moment of uncertainty and following them with steely resolution that this unpleasantness had to be done.

The romance between Evelyn and Andrew was lovely to watch. It began with instant physical attraction and gained steam with stolen kisses, gentle touches, and truthful declarations. Even when Evelyn thought Andrew betrayed her, the strength and pull of their true feelings remained obvious and left me hoping all would be forgiven.

You know, on a personal note, I've had a rough two months. I've said a final goodbye to two relatives, laid one of them to rest at the beginning of December. The other will be laid among his brothers at arms across the US next year. My heart is still aching from the loss but this story brought me a moment of relief from it. To say this story doesn't mean a thing except that it's an excellent read would be a lie. It's the second book I've read in these two months that have soothed my hurt and eased the loss I feel so keenly this holiday season.

For that, thank you, Ms. Millard. You wrote an excellent story that means more to me than a review could ever convey. I hope to read more by you in the future, hopefully a new love story each for Jon and Anna.

Nadine Millard is a writer hailing from Dublin, Ireland. Although she’ll write anything that pops into her head, her heart belongs to Regency Romance.

When she’s not immersing herself in the 1800s, she’s spending time with her husband, her three children, and her very spoiled Samoyed. She can usually be found either writing or reading and drinking way too much coffee.

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