Book Blurb :
New York Times bestselling author, CHERYL HOLT, will sweep readers away with the first novel in her new and breathtaking ‘Lord Trent’ trilogy…
With the death of his older brother, Michael Wainwright, Viscount Henley, has become heir to his father, Duke of Clarendon. The Wainwright men are renowned cads, and as his brother’s will is read, it’s discovered that he sired an illegitimate son and has left the eight-year-old boy his entire fortune. Michael decides to bring the boy to London so he can be showered with all the wealth and status guaranteed by his inheritance. But first, he has to gain custody from the boy’s aunt, who is determined to keep her nephew away from Michael’s dissolute family.
Frances “Fanny” Carrington has always lived in a small village in the country. As a newborn, she was left in a basket on the church steps and raised by the vicar and his wife. But they’ve died, and Fanny is in dire straits, struggling to raise her nephew, to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads. When she begins to receive correspondence from Michael, asking for custody, she can’t help but be suspicious. For years, the Wainwrights have refused to claim her nephew or provide financial assistance to him. She’s alarmed by their sudden interest. What can it mean?
As Michael finally meets Fanny, their attraction is swift, blatant, and dangerous. He can’t fight the need to have her at any cost, and gradually, he lures her into his decadent life of affluence and privilege. But she’s never possessed the callous nature required to thrive in the cut-throat world of the aristocracy, so she can never understand the peril she faces from those who would do anything to keep them apart…
“…a master writer…”
Fallen Angel reviews
“Best storyteller of the year…”
Romantic Times Magazine
Michael Wainwright knows what it’s like to not be wanted. As the second son, he was free to do what he liked because his father was worrying about his brother John and sister Ann. But when John dies, he becomes the heir to the title and with the title comes problems that his father created all waiting to rear an ugly head.
Michael managed all this time to stay away but then discovers that John has a son. Michael soon wants to be involved in the boy’s life since he inherited a number of properties and his father agrees but there is one problem. The aunt of the boy, Fanny, is very strong willed and can’t understand why, after all this time, the Wainwrights want the boy as they’ve been trying for years to have him acknowledged.
Fanny has her own secrets to keep, and there are other secrets she doesn’t know exist. She heard rumours of who her mother was and she wants to keep this secret as she grew up in a loving home and loved her adopted parents. However she’s now struggling to keep a roof over the heads of herself, and her sister and nephew, who happens to be the illegitimate son of John. When Michael arrives he sees this, and decides to pretend to be someone else. This causes a series of events that will leave you laughing at the antics of this woman who’s the only person who cared for him up to this point.
Fanny wants the best but soon something else is invading her mind – Michael — as she is falling in love with him despite the trouble he causes her and her. She is treading dangerous waters as there is a potential fiancée in the background who wants nothing more than to be married and become a Duchess. This woman has been waiting for this day for years, after she was originally engaged to John.
This is the main thread of the story and there are several secondary stories going on in the background. One side story deals with the Duke owing money to another member of the town; another is Lord Trent and two families that have a long history of feuding. The current generation on the Trent side is Philip who is one of the illegitimate children that has been adopted by another family of the town and the Duke hates him for that. Lord Trent has acknowledged him as his heir and the Duke has a deep animosity for bastards as he wants to keep the family bloodlines pure, especially Trent’s. However, Philip’s is friends with Michael and soon gets wind of the girl who eerily looks similar to Lord Trent and soon comes calling
Philip has his agenda and he is trying to find more of Lord Trent’s bastards and help as many as he can that he finds deserving of a helping hand. He has other reasons why he is calling on the house and it carries on in the background of the story until the climax, where everything comes to light and the results are pretty amusing for some of the characters.
Holt’s new series has started off with a bang; there something there for anyone. While being predominantly a romance, there are hints of mystery and intrigue that keep a reader interested and guessing about the characters and their motives.
5 couples. I look forward to the next book; it should be a doozy considering what we learned in this one.
Publisher : Cheryl Holt
Source : Author provided for Tour
Released : April 2nd 2013
“Fight me in court?” the Duke scoffed. “Pray tell, how? You read the report prepared by our investigator. By all accounts, they’re two indigents who can barely keep a roof over their pathetic heads. They couldn’t find two pennies to hire a lawyer, and if they managed it, can you actually presume the courts would rule against me?” He was standing next to his massive oak desk, and he pounded his fist on the polished wood. “For God’s sake, I am the law in this country. How soon can you leave?”
“In a few days.”
“See that you do.” The Duke nodded, delighted to have gotten his way, but quickly, he sobered. “Now then, have you had a chance to talk with Phillip?”
“He can’t help you. His father is determined to collect what you owe.”
“Dammit!” the Duke seethed.
Phillip Sinclair and Michael had been friends since they were boys, but their fathers were bitter enemies. Michael wasn’t certain what had initially caused their rift, but it was rumored that Phillip’s father—a notorious rake and scoundrel—had seduced one of the Duke’s mistresses.
Their animosity was legendary, yet the Duke had been stupid enough to gamble for high stakes with the man, even though he was renowned as a cheat. The amount of the loss had been the final straw in the Duke’s fiscal house of cards.
If the debt wasn’t forgiven, the Duke would be bankrupt, which had to be prevented at all costs. Michael wasn’t concerned over the Duke’s predicament—his misery was deserved—but if the Duke was destroyed, others would be destroyed along with him.
Property would have to be sold, farms would lie fallow, and employees would be let go. Most terrible of all, Anne’s dowry would never be restored, so she could never marry and would be forever trapped in their father’s web. Michael couldn’t sentence her to such a dire fate.
He had his own money, and his own estate—Henley Hall—but his income was a drop in the bucket compared to the sums required to save those whom the Duke would abandon without a backward glance.
A wealthy wife was the solution, and the Duke should have been the one looking for a bride, but he never would. He believed that he could force the world to do his bidding, that credit could be perpetually extended and markers never called in.
“What about Rebecca Talbot?” the Duke inquired, honing in on the very topic Michael had just been pondering. “Her father asked me again. What should I say? Will you offer for her?”
Cheryl Holt is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty-one novels.
She’s also a lawyer and mom, and at age 40, with two babies at home, she started a new career as a commercial fiction writer. She’d hoped to be a suspense novelist, but couldn’t sell any of her manuscripts, so she ended up taking a detour into romance, where she was stunned to discover that she has an incredible knack for writing some of the world’s greatest love stories.
Her books have been released to wide acclaim, and she has won or been nominated for many national awards. She is particularly proud to have been named “Best Storyteller of the Year,” by the trade magazine, Romantic Times BOOK Reviews.
Her hot, sexy, dramatic stories of passion and illicit love have captivated fans around the world, and she’s celebrated as the Queen of Erotic Romance, which is currently the fastest selling subgenre of women’s fiction. Due to the ferociousness of some of her characters, she’s also known as the International Queen of Villains.
She received degrees in music, languages, and education, from South Dakota State University, and her juris doctorate was obtained at the University of Wyoming. Her colorful and chaotic employment history includes such variety as public school teacher, cook, bartender, lobbyist, and political activist. She also did brief stints in metro-Denver as a deputy district attorney and administrative law judge.
Cheryl lives and writes in Hollywood, California.
Follow the tour
5/13: Rambling from this Chic: excerpt 1/giveaway
5/14: Harlie’s Books Reviews: review and excerpt 2/giveaway
5/15: Romancing Rakes for the Love of Romance: review and excerpt 3/giveaway
5/16: Confession of a Romaholics: review and excerpt 4/giveaway
5/17 Romancing the Book Reviews: review and excerpt 5/giveaway
5/20: Susana’s Parlour: review and excerpt 6/giveaway
5/21: bookworm2bookworm: review and excerpt 7/giveaway
5/22: Rockn’ the Muses: excerpt 8/giveaway
5/23: Saucy & Sinful Reviews: excerpt 9/giveaway
5/24: Romantic Crush Junkies Reviews eZine Blog: review and excerpt 10/giveaway