2014 Book #65 – Not Always a Saint by Mary Jo Putney


Title: Not Always a Saint
Author: Mary Jo Putney
Date finished: 6/29/15
Genre:  Historical romance
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Co.
Publication Date: May 2015
Pages in book: 294
Stand alone or series: The Lost Lords series book #7
Where I got the book from: Terryville Public Library

Blurb from the cover:

After the death of his sweetheart when he was at university, Daniel Herbert buried his grief in medical studies and his passion for healing. Viewed as a saint by those who know him, in his own mind he never quite manages to live up to his own high standards.
Most men would be thrilled to learn they’ve inherited a title and estate from a distant relative, but Daniel is appalled because the burden of wealth will interfere with his medical calling.  Warily he accepts that he must enter society and seek a wife—a sensible woman who can oversee his properties, leaving him free to continue his work. He does not expect to become intoxicated by a woman called the Black Widow, who is as mysterious as she is shockingly beautiful…
Jessie Kelham’s looks have always been a curse. Now alone with a young daughter and a perilous secret, she is in need of protection. But dangerously attractive Daniel Herbert is not the kind of husband she has in mind. If he recognizes her, the demons of her past will surely erupt. Yet they cannot keep apart—and soon they are drawn into a union that may bring joy—or shattering danger…

My rating: 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I have liked the Lost Lords series since the beginning and I was excited to see the next one in the series come out this year. This book is about Daniel Herbert, the brother of Laurel Herbert who is the heroine in the sixth book in the series, Not Quite a Wife. Daniel is a surgeon and has devoted his life to helping people. Basically, he meets Jessie when she is a patient and then runs into her again like 7 years later and they fall in love-ish. She fought it at first obviously because she was looking for an arrangement a bit more mellow but obviously they end up loving each other, its a romance novel.
I thought this book was good and it was a good continuation of the series. Many of the characters from the previous 6 books are included in this story as well, its always nice to see characters again that you became attached to in previous stories. This book had more dark elements included in it than I would have liked though. The heroine has had just the most awful experiences and has pretty much had a miserable life except the last four years but now she’s right back in an awful situation. I just felt like it was too much for one person to take without bowing under the pressure. Other than that though I liked the plot line and while I wasn’t nuts about Jessie’s character I loved Daniel’s character. And Beth was a character!
The bottom line: I would recommend this book and the series as well to historical romance fans.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2014 – Book # 52


The fifty-second book I read in 2014 was Not Quite a Wife by Mary Jo Putney. It is the sixth book in the Lost Lords series by this author. I finished this book on 6/14/14. I rated this book 4 stars out of a scale of 5. This book was about James Kirkland and his estranged wife, Laurel Herbert. Ten years ago James and Laurel married in a fit of passion. Soon after they married though Laurel saw James kill a man who had broken into their home and the violence scared her away. So she ran back to her home in Bristol (England) and lived there with her brother for the next ten years running an infirmary and a shelter for battered women.

I’m sorry but how undeniably selfish is that. I mean I can understand being upset over something so violent but aren’t you supposed to love this guy? She was so head over heels in love with him but as soon as she sees something in him she doesn’t like she runs away. And its not like James killed some guy who was sitting there drinking tea with him, the guy had broken into the house and was obviously menacing, he was sneaking up on James from behind. I just think that if she really loved him she should’ve at least tried talking to James about it before she shut him out of her life for ten years. Also, she was all affronted because she thought James was going to take the baby away and she was railing at him how unfair that was. But isn’t it also unfair to him to keep James’ child from him for most of their life? Just because he’s a guy doesn’t mean he has no feelings.

Other than that though the book was quite good. A chance encounter ends up with Laurel being pregnant with James’ baby and they try to make another go of it for the baby’s sake. James brings Laurel to London so that she can grow accustomed to this space as well since they both plan to travel between Bristol and London after the baby is born.

The plot of this story was quite intriguing and I found myself interested in the book the whole way through. The only thing I didn’t care for was Laurel’s selfishness and lack of consideration for James’ feelings towards the beginning and end of the story.  I think it was a good addition to the series though.

Link to rest of reviews from the Lost Lords series: https://rebeccabookreview.wordpress.com/category/book-reviews/book-series-book-reviews/lost-lords-series/

Link to author website: http://www.maryjoputney.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Not-Quite-Wife-Lost-Lords/dp/1420127160/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402781407&sr=8-1&keywords=not+quite+a+wife

2014 – Book #18


The eighteenth book I finished in 2014 was Sometimes A Rogue by Mary Jo Putney. I finished this book on 3/23/14. It is the fifth book in the Lost Lord series by this author (the third and fourth were discussed in earlier posts this year – 2014 Book #3 and #8).  I rated this book 4 stars out of a scale of 5. The book is about Miss Sarah Clarke-Townsend (sister of Mariah from Book #1 of the Lost Lords series) and Bow Street Runner Rob Carmichael.

Sarah and Mariah are twins separated at birth who very recently reunited. When Sarah discovers a group of men have arrived to kidnap Mariah, Sarah bravely takes her place in an effort to protect her very pregnant twin sister. Rob Carmichael arrives at the Ashton residence not long after and is dispatched to rescue Sarah from the kidnappers (Free Erie, a political radical group trying to rid Ireland of English rule). What follows is an exciting and never dull tale full of adventure and intrigue. As Rob and Sarah fight their way back to England, and eventually fight for each other, they fall deeper and deeper in love with each other.

I absolutely loved the pace of this book, at no point did I find it too slow or dry. However, be prepared for a lot of plot twists including an earldom, a surprise child, and the return of a previous villain. The ending of the book was a little rough as with Rob visiting his other estates, Sarah has to defend the house from villains on her own and in the process kills two of them. She surprisingly does not go into hysterics, which I find a little unrealistic for a gently-bred lady but more power to her.

Overall this was a very good book, one of my favorite from the series. I would definitely recommend it.

Link to author website: http://www.maryjoputney.com/index.html

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C6BFTXY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00C6BFTXY&linkCode=as2&tag=wordwenches0b-20

2014 – Book #8


The eighth book I finished in 2014 was No Longer A Gentleman by Mary Jo Putney. I finished this book on 2/2/14. It is the fourth book in the Lost Lord series by this author (the third was discussed in an earlier post this year – 2014 Book #3).  I rated this book 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5. The book is about a French woman working as a spy for England (Cassie) who goes in search of one of the Lost Lords who disappeared in France after the Treaty of Amiens.

This actually leads me to one of the main reasons I like historical romance novels. I’ve never been a big history fan, I always found it very boring and dry and impossible to remember all the dates and the facts. But I’ve discovered that reading historical romance novels gives me just the right dose of history and honestly gives it to me in a concept I can remember – a love story. This book was a perfect example. I doubt that I’ve ever even heard of the Treaty of Amiens (though to be honest I may have learned about it in high school and just have no memory of it), but after reading this fictional novel I can now tell you that the Treaty of Amiens was in the early 1800’s (no one really needs to remember exact years) and that it granted a temporary peace between England and France during the French Revolutionary War. I can also tell you that the French used to call the English “goddams” and that after the Treaty of Amiens ended, all the English men who were partying it up in France were captured and held in France so that they could not fight with English forces against the French in the war. Point is, historical romance novels are slowly helping me learn little bits of history and I find it fascinating. If you’d like to learn more about the Treaty of Amiens, you can read about the subject on a variety of websites. The easiest for me to link here though is wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Amiens

So back to the story. Cassie, the French woman working as a spy for England, travels to France to find Lord Wyndham, who has been a prisoner in France for the past 10 years following the end of the Treaty of Amiens. While rescuing him and transporting him carefully back to England, they fall in love  obviously. Its hard to see how they couldn’t fall in love, Wyndham (“Grey”) has been imprisoned for 10 years and then gets rescued b a female, I can definitely see how he would grow attached. But anyways, they fall in love and when they get back to England they receive a message from Grey’s captor that makes them return to France and Grey is finally able to face his captor and save one of his friends. Carrie and Grey’s story was filled with vulnerabilities and insecurities, as many true life love stories are.

Overall was a very good book, one of the better ones in the Lost Lords series I think. I would recommend!

Link to author website: http://www.maryjoputney.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Longer-Gentleman-The-Lost-Lords/dp/1420117238/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392923198&sr=8-1&keywords=no+longer+a+gentleman

2014 – Book #3


The third book I finished for 2014 was Nowhere Near Respectable by Mary Jo Putney. I finished the book on 1/11/14. It is the third book in the Lost Lord series by this author (the first 2 in the series are Loving a Lost Lord and Never Less Than a Lady, both of which I read at the end of 2013). I rated this book 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5. The book is about the Indian daughter of an English duke (Kiri) who was brought up to be a warrior princess. She becomes involved with Damian Mackenzie, the bastard brother of another of the “Lost Lords.” Damian also turns out to be an English spy during the war with the French, which he covers up by running a gaming house. The book tells the story of this couple teaming up to stop the French’s plot to kidnap an English princess. Their story was very interesting, though the ending was a bit too neat and slightly unbelievable/unrealistic. Overall it was a good book though!

The Lost Lords series is a good historical romance series. The Lost Lords are a group of boys who attended the Westerfield Academy, run by Lady Agnes Westerfield. All the boys who attended this school were not quite manageable and some had behavioral issues. Lady Agnes became a second (or sometimes first) mother figure to the boys when they attended the school. She makes an appearance in each one of the Lost Lords novels. If you like historical romance novels, I would recommend this series.

Link to author’s website: http://www.maryjoputney.com/index.html

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nowhere-Near-Respectable-Lost-Lords/dp/142011722X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391693738&sr=8-1&keywords=nowhere+near+respectable