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  • Hannah Fielding - Romance Novelist

From the blurb:

How to Become London’s Most Notorious Widow:

1. Vow to NEVER remarry

2. Own a ship and become fabulously wealthy

3. Wear the latest risqué fashions in your signature color

4. Do NOT have a liaison at the Prince Regent’s palace with a naval captain whose broad shoulders and green eyes make you forget Rule #1

Angelique Beauchamp, the widowed Countess of Devonshire, has been twice burned by love, and she is certain that no man will ever touch her heart again. But that doesn’t mean she can’t indulge a little—and it would be hard to find a more perfect dalliance than one with the dashing Captain James Montgomery.

After a brief torrid affair, James tries to forget Angelique and his undeniable thirst for more. The luscious lady was quite clear that their liaison was temporary. But for the first time, the lure of the sea isn’t powerful enough to keep him away…

Be still my pounding heart! What a fabulously sassy, sexy read…

Picking up a Christy English book is like going for lunch with a long-time friend: I know I’ll thoroughly enjoy it. I so enjoyed Christy’s Love on a Midsummer Night in her Shakespeare in Love series, so I was keen to read this novel, focusing on Angelique and James. And what a pleasure it was!

I love the connection to Much Ado About Nothing: nothing, at the time of Shakespeare, was pronounced ‘noting’ and meant gossip, and it’s gossip that lies at the heart of this novel – the source of the conflict. In fact, I found the book to be a real eye-opener in terms of making me consider just what it was like to be in the ton; how crass and judgmental its members could be. Stifling!

The writing style is great, full of pace and wit. I love the humour that shines through, such as in:

‘He swallowed hard, and it was as if he could hear his mother’s voice shrill in his ear. He could not skewer an earl at a dinner dance. It would be unseemly.’

The setting is convincing, and I love the era and the customs and costumes it entails. The passion sits beautifully in this world; and such passion! This is a book to make you blush indeed, and yearn, perhaps, for a Scottish sea captain… Goodness me is James (Jack) swoon-worthy! I love how the author alternates points of view in the book, allowing us to really get inside James and understand him.

For me, the standout element of the book is Angelique. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered such a strong heroine (and I’ve read a lot of romantic fiction), and as I turned the pages I was in awe of her. She’s the very epitome of feisty and headstrong, and I love that she doesn’t need James in the sense of being rescued by him as a damsel in distress. I was rather floored by the climax of the story (I won’t give a spoiler), but once I got over the shock I was left with a wide smile and an urge to vote Angelique ‘Romantic Heroine You Least Want to Cross’.

Fantastic, exciting, gripping historical fiction. Heartily recommended!

Much Ado About Jack is available now from Amazon; click on the book cover below to visit the store.

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