Duchess of Love—Book 1
By Sally MacKenzie
Publisher: ZebraRelease Date: June 5, 2012
I have really been blessed lately with the opportunity to read some really great books by new-to-me authors. First was Rachel Gibson’s Rescue Me and this time it’s Sally MacKenzie’s Bedding Lord Ned. The latter is a light-hearted historical romance that kept me tickled one minute and tugged at my heartstrings the next.
Eleanor Bowman has loved Lord Edward Valentine forever. As a child, Ellie used to play with Ned, his two brothers, her best friend Cicely and her brother, as they all lived close. Ellie never acted upon her feelings for Ned; thus, the day Ned and Cicely announced their betrothal, Ellie was completely heartbroken. She has since kept her tender emotions under wraps and has never married because of them. However, Ellie is a smart girl and knows that if she is to ever have the children she longs for, she will have to find a husband. For this reason she agrees to go to the annual Valentine ball hosted by Ned’s mother, the Duchess of Greycliffe, also known as the Duchess of Love because of her matchmaking skills. But Ellie finds it difficult to choose a husband with the widowed Ned in attendance.
Ellie was so...well, ordinary. Not in a bad way, of course. She was solid and respectable—not at all the kind of woman to wear red silk drawers.
Except apparently she was.
The thought was damned unsettling.
And then images of Ellie—Ellie in those drawers and only those drawers—flooded his imagination.
Watching Ned’s prim and proper feathers get ruffled was an absolute delight! And Ellie didn’t have to try hard—she was her lovely, wholesome self. All it took was for Ned to realize how much she meant to him...with a little help from Sir Reginald. *g* Friends to lovers is one of my favorite romantic themes and Ned and Ellie’s road to happily-ever-after is a fine one. My heart ached for Ellie in regards to her years of unrequited love for Ned. I can’t imagine what she went through having to watch the man she secretly loved marry her best friend and then to see how much he mourned his wife and child. I’m so glad Ned gave love another chance. There is a particular scene where Ellie pours her heart out to Ned that was so tender and emotional it made my heart thump and brought a (happy) tear to my eye. So sweet!
I absolutely adored Venus, the Duchess of Love. Her love for her husband and sons is so evident. Ned’s brothers’ stories should be interesting, particularly that of his older brother, Ash. He has been estranged from his wife, Jess, for eight years. Jess is also a childhood friend of theirs and Ellie’s. Ned’s younger brother, Jack, is somewhat of a playboy and since I enjoy stories about rakes, I expect his will be a good one, too. I look forward to the rest of this series!
If you enjoy historical romances infused with charm, humor, and poignant moments, then do yourself a favor and pick up Bedding Lord Ned. You won’t be disappointed!