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by Sandra Ardoin

 

A Lady Unrivaled, set in Edwardian England, is the third book in the Ladies of the Manor series by Roseanna M. White.

The story revolves around the Fire Eyes—red diamonds in the possession of the Nottingham family, but coveted by other, less scrupulous, characters. Theft is no issue to those people.

Lady Ella is delightful. She’s cheery and playful, but considers herself a poor judge of character. Her attraction to Lord Cayton does nothing to alleviate her concerns. He’s a wonderful father and a talented artist, but a bit brooding and guilt-ridden over past poor choices.

Unfortunately, at one of their first meetings, Cayton makes a mistake—sort of.

She is referring to the fact that I get a bit defensive, my lord, when someone mistakes my hair for red—when, really, anyone can see it’s auburn.”

Most gentlemen had the good sense to stutter out an apology when they had committed that particular crime. This one just lifted those perfect, strong brows and met her gaze. “No. Auburn is equal parts brown and red. Yours, Lady Ella, is quite simply red.”

Ella glared. Even if his fingers in her hair made her scalp tingle. “My apologies, my lord—I didn’t realize you were color-blind.”

He had the gall to grin. “No, no. My apologies, my lady. I didn’t realize you were delusional.

Yes, I take pleasure in a book with passages of humor.  🙂

This has more than just the hero/heroine points of view. It has Kira’s, a Russian ballerina. While I couldn’t help but feel sympathy toward her, I was always ready to get back to Cayton and Ella, because I treasured their interaction and the often witty dialog between them.

I will say the writing and period realism are good, the characters have depth—even on a spiritual level, and the heroines of the series are plucky. In many ways, I liked the book, though the length and long passages of narrative didn’t make it a “can’t put down” read for me. In addition…

Read this series in order! At the time I began the story, I wasn’t aware it was part of a series. I simply wanted to read a book by Roseanna White and chose her newest. There’s a character list at the beginning, however, it took me quite a while to get my footing in the story because there’s a continuing plot thread with the Fire Eyes. Feeling lost affected my initial appreciation of the book, and I slugged through the beginning. My fault for not doing my homework and realizing it wasn’t a stand alone.

If you’ve read and enjoyed The Lost Heiress and The Reluctant Duchess, then I’m sure you’ll be chomping at the bit to add A Lady Unrivaled to your shelf. If you haven’t read the previous books, do that before tackling this one. You’ll be better off. This book releases in mid-September, so you have a little time to prepare.  😉

Have you ever picked up the middle (or end) of a series and been completely lost? Do you like a series that has a continuing issue running through it or one with totally different and separate stories?

 

 

 

 

 

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