Title: A Lady's Honor
Author: A.S. Fenichel
Genre: Historical Romance
Not every match is made at the marriage mart . . .
After a disastrous, short-lived engagement and years of caring for her ailing grandmother, Phoebe Hallsmith is resigned to spinsterhood. But if she must be unmarried, far better to be of use than languishing at home, disappointing her parents. As an employee of the Everton Domestic Society of London, Phoebe accepts a position at the country home of an old friend and discovers an estate—and a lord of the manor—in a state of complete chaos.
Losing himself in the bottle has done nothing to ease Markus Flammel’s grief over losing his wife. Not even his toddler daughter can bring him back from the brink. Now this fiery, strong-minded redhead has taken over his home, firing and hiring servants at will and arousing unexpected desire. As not one, but two, suitors suddenly vie for Phoebe’s hand, can Markus move past loss and fight for a future with the woman who has transformed his world?
Can two tortured souls overcome past hurts and embrace their second chance at love or are their hearts closed off forever?
After missing out on the marriage mart due to taking care of her sick grandmother in Scotland, Phoebe Hallsmith’s resolute to be a spinster. She’s a proud employee of the Everton Domestic Society and very thankful to Lady Jane for taking her in after her mother and eldest brother disowned her. She embraces each assignment for its challenges but her latest one has her questioning her vocation and her heart. She falls for Markus but keeps her feelings to herself, for Emma’s sake.
Lord Markus Flammel’s life ended when his beloved wife, Emma, died giving birth to their daughter, Elizabeth, two years ago. He drowns his sorrow in the bottle morning, noon and night. He’s abandoned his friends and family who’ve been trying to get him sober. It’s only when his mother contracts Phoebe from the Everton Domestic Society that things start to change. She shames him with her words but her demand for order, not to mention her intelligence, breaks through his grief. With Phoebe’s help, he vows to quit drinking and get his life in order. He starts to fall in love with her but is he betraying his late wife’s memory, or can he love Phoebe while still loving Emma?
I loved reading Markus’ story as he’s been one of my favorite characters in Fenichel’s Forever Brides series. I’ve watched him spiral downwards and knew there had to be a woman who could bring him out of his dank existence. Fenichel portrays the widower with a child addicted to drink well and I applaud her for reaching emotional depths with Markus. His growth from drunk to sober is heart-wrenching but paramount to the story.
Phoebe, by far, is my favorite character. She’s intelligent, organized, full of passion and even has a fiery temper. She speaks her mind and makes Markus want to be a better man. Her spunk attracts the attention of three men which I found amusing.
If you love historical romance with a strong-willed heroine, this is a must-read! Fenichel’s outdone herself with a lush romantic story with honest, emotional depth, high stakes and humorous dialogue. I can’t wait for the next one in the series.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Lyrical Press (Kensington Books) via Netgalley in the hopes I’d review it.
Favorite Character/Quote: Phoebe wanted to feel sympathy for him but she couldn't keep her annoyance in check. "What on earth is wrong with you? How can you talk about Emma that way in front of your daughter? I am well aware of the loss of my dear friend, so your attempt to hurt me was wasted. Why is your house in chaos? Why are Emma's roses along the front entrance overgrown? Why is your staff terrified of a small child? Where have you been that they are shocked at your arrival? I demand answers."
"You demand? Who are you to demand anything? Where were you when Emma lay in her coffin and they covered her up with dirt? You have no rights here." He collapsed into his chair.
My Rating: 5+ stars
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A.S. Fenichel (Andrea) gave up a successful IT career in New York City to follow her husband to Texas and pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She's never looked back.
Andrea adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story.
She is currently writing Regency romance for Kensington Publishing and you can learn more about Andrea's books at http://asfenichel.com or visit her on her Facebook page, where she spends entirely too much time. https://www.facebook.com/A.S.Fenichel.
Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey, and now lives in the East Texas with her real life hero, her wonderful husband, a fussy cat and a demanding dog. When not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history, and puttering in her garden.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N