Welcome to my stop on Ann Montclair's Virtual Book Tour for Lady in Deed. Please make sure to leave a comment or question below to let Ann know you stopped by. Ann will be awarding a $30.00 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. You can follow her tour here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.
Lady in Deed
by Ann Montclair
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Release Date: December 6, 2012
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 208 Pages
Piety or passion… What’s a lady to do?
Lady Mary Rutherford believed she would live her entire life as a nun. But when King Henry VIII’s reformist movement makes practicing religion a dangerous proposition, Mary is forced to begin a new life with a family she doesn't know. Worse, she must become lady of the manor, a role for which she feels sorely unprepared.
After a decade of service to his king, Lord Trenton Stanley returns home to find his estate in ruins, his fortune depleted, and his doddering father drooling over Mary—a woman Trent fears has been installed to replace his mother. Trent strives to rebuild his life, but his desire for Mary becomes a serious distraction he can’t seem to ignore.
Though Mary is anxious to prove she’s a worthy lady, she’s tempted by the rakish Trent into deeds most unladylike…
Mary turned her back, and before he could elicit more information or explain his honest error, the coach stopped again. They’d arrived at his family’s estate.
Stanley Hall loomed large and a bit disorderly. Curriers jogged to fetch the horses, while chickens and geese mingled with the horses’ hooves, and a fat pig trundled through the square. A bevy of servants met the coach and a gaggling of great proportions ensued as the assembly attempted to greet the lord and lady.
Mary tried not to gawk at the most beautiful manor she’d ever seen. The façade was hundreds of years old and built to withstand war. But now, in these times when moats were unnecessary, the manor had been transformed by immense formal gardens and glass-windowed interior apartments — a home refashioned for comfort, not defence.
Lord Stanley flung wide the coach door and stepped out. He proffered his hand to Mary, but she disdained it, exited the coach, and swept past him and the crowd to ascend the steps of the front entrance.
She stopped when Lord Stanley called. “Lady Mary?”
She turned to look at him, and all the kind, expectant faces turned her way.
“I will expect you to dine with me this evening.”
Mary turned away before anyone could witness the heated flush of embarrassment rising in her cheeks. She walked with clipped steps into the yawning entrance of Stanley Hall. Lady Mary’s heart pounded rapidly, loudly. Lord Stanley demanded her company at dinner. She heard his voice in her ears and felt it in her mouth. He had savagely whispered words she must forget. “Sweet woman, I need to taste every inch of you.”
“Lady Mary, right this way, my dear. Do you have any luggage?” The maid’s broad brow wrinkled with concern.
“I have nothing.” No mother, no father, no friend, and no idea about my whereabouts.
She looked about the manor, eyes agape, and tried to cover her anxiety with a shaky smile. She absorbed the stately surrounds and straightened her posture to offset her unkempt appearance.
The maid smiled and spoke earnestly. “Lady Mary, you might just be the medicine to heal this wounded place.”
Mary stepped back, surprised at the strange statement. Was the woman daft?
Ann Montclair writes contemporary and historical fiction and is an English professor at a small, rural community college. She was born in Los Angeles, California, where her parents and grown daughter now reside. Ann currently lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York with her husband, son, and a pile of dogs and cats. She enjoys listening to live music, hiking, cycling, cooking, and gardening. She hates dieting but spends a lot of time ruminating on the topic. Her biggest wish is that each of her readers will be inspired to believe in and find their own happily-ever-after, no matter their fears and insecurities. Her motto is Love triumphs! Ann has three published contemporary romance novels: The Billionaire’s Bauble (Soul Mate Publishing 2011), One Wet Summer (Musa Publishing 2012), and Good Things Come in Tall Packages (Musa Publishing 2012). Lady in Deed (Musa Publishing 2012) is her first historical romance. Lady is the Law, another Tudor historical romance, is forthcoming 2013.
Contacts and Buy Links:
Web site: http://www.annmontclair.com
Taking place during the reign of King Henry VIII, Lady in Deed by Ann Montclair is a charming period romance which takes place between a young woman raised in a nunnery and her rakish nobleman cousin. With likable characters, good dialogue and a light touch of emotional angst, Ms. Montclair's story grabbed me from the first page. While the pace was occasionally slow, the romance is well developed and sweetly spicy.
An orphan being raised in a convent, Lady Mary Rutherford believed she'd be taking vows as a nun. When King Henry VIII reforms the church in England and banishes the Roman Catholic faith, Mary discovers her distant family has been paying for her existence and now wishes for her to move to their home. Unaccustomed to life outside the convent, Mary finds herself having to learn to run a manor and attracted to a man she barely knows.
A soldier for the king, Lord Trenton Stanley returns home after a decade of service to find his mother dead, his father ill and his family's estate in shambles. Adding to his woes is his father's ward, who he accidentally mistook for a whore. Falling in love with the young woman, who previously lived in a nunnery, is definitely not a part of his plans.
The scenes between Mary and Trenton are full of quiet attraction and emotional tension. Mistaking his father's plans, Trenton assumes Mary is there to become his stepmother and becomes jealous of his aging father, while Mary fears she might be forced to marry a man not of her own choice. Ms. Montclair did a good job developing the relationship between Mary and Trenton, while raised in two completely different settings, they both understood their duties to family and the crown.
The secondary characters from Lord Henry Stanley to the the household servants and even the manor's tenants, all contributed to both the romance and the story's plot. A dangerous time, when one's loyalty to the king was continuously questioned and practicing one's religion could end in the gallows, Ms. Montclair did a good job keeping things historically accurate.
Will Mary learn how to become the lady of the manor and will her attraction to Trenton lead to more than illicit affair? Read Lady in Deed to find out. I enjoyed it and I think you will too.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Don't forget to leave a comment or question below to let Ann know you stopped by. Ann will be awarding a $30.00 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. You can follow her tour here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.