I discovered Julie Anne Long in 2006 when I purchased a copy of Beauty and the Spy, the first book in her Holt Sisters trilogy. I enjoyed her writing and bought the next two Holt Sisters books but it was the 2008 publication of The Perils of Pleasure, the first book in her Pennyroyal Green series, that vaulted her from "I like this author's writing" to "OMG! I love this author, will shout her name from the rooftops, pre-order every book she writes, tell all my friends, and establish her own keeper shelf in my bookcase" status. Yes, I loved Colin Eversea's story that much and for the past seven years I have greeted the release of each successive book published in this series with a sense of anticipation and joy typically reserved for Belgian chocolates or NYC cheesecake. And, of course, with each book I crossed my fingers in the hope that JAL would drop a hint here or a clue there to the mystery surrounding the Romeo and Juliet romance between Lyon Redmond and Olivia Eversea. On September 29th, we will finally learn the whole story. As we count down to the release of The Legend of Lyon Redmond, let's take a step back and relive Lyon's and Olivia's story up until now by following the Avon Pennyroyal Green Excerpt Tour.
From What I Did For A Duke by Julie Anne Long
The Duke of Falconbridge converses with Olivia Eversea
“Good evening, Your Grace. Have you been sent to court me?”
“No one sends me anywhere I do not wish to go,” he replied easily. “I’m delighted to have an opportunity to speak with you.”
“She’s immeasurably kind, my sister.” Her mouth was wry at the corner and the words ironic. She sounded as though she was making a mental note to pinch Genevieve by the ear for setting a duke upon her. For clearly she thought this was why the duke was here.
“She is indeed kind.” He was certain there would be no disadvantage to flattering Genevieve to her sister. “She knew I would enjoy your company and conversation. And she assures me that you are kind, as well.”
“I’m not,” Olivia disagreed. “I’m committed. But not kind.”
“She assured me of that, as well,” he said smoothly. “Committed is an admirable thing to be sure. I’ve been accused of a similar quality.”
He was certainly committed to a course of action, anyway, with regards to Genevieve Eversea. Though he doubted anyone would call it admirable.
Across the room he noted, the way a predator notes prey, the presence of Ian Eversea.
“You’re committed to flattery, of a certainty.” Acerbic, though one would tolerate an acid tongue for a time when the owner of it was so very pretty. Like being pecked by a songbird.
“On the contrary. I’m not merely committed to flattery. I’m a positive acolyte of flattery.”
She smiled at that, and waved her fan thoughtfully beneath her chin, cocking her head, deciding whether he interested her.
Careful, Miss Eversea. You might slip up and flirt.
He considered whether he found Olivia’s directness appealing. It certainly simplified conversation. But simplification wasn’t necessarily always an improvement. Directness often disguised as much as it revealed, and was a marvelous defense. He could imagine suitors slinking away upon having frankness batted at them by the lovely Olivia Eversea.
Primarily he suspected Olivia Eversea quite simply didn’t care what he thought of her, while Genevieve Everseas’s Impulses were…well, they were in truth…kind. She cared whether he was comfortable even when she was uncomfortable. She was, in her way, more of a challenge and less of one.
And her kindness was what he would inevitably be able to exploit to achieve his ends.
Wiley she might be. But he was building his strategy.
He looked for her again, as she was indeed committed. Genevieve was now in conversation with a Mr. Adam Sylvaine, Pennyroyal Green’s vicar and a cousin on their mother’s side. He was long-boned and easy of manner. A striking man, what with the height and silvery-fair hair. All of which darkly amused the duke. He was certain bums were packed tightly on the Pennyroyal Green’s little pews every Sunday, and that most of them belonged to female. Clever decision on the part of the Everseas, taking such a cousin as the vicar.
And knowing their proclivities, certain to result in a scandal involving some poor unwed village girl and that vicar being run out of Pennyroyal Green on a rail or tumbling out of some woman’s window.
“Perhaps you’d be kind enough to share a dance with me later this evening, Miss Eversea?”
He suspected he received precisely the same amount of attention and charm as every other man who approached her. She appeared indomitable. He suspected she was something like the opposite.
He, like everyone else, knew the story of Lyon Redmond’s disappearance, and how she had allegedly driven him away.
The loss of love took everyone differently, he knew. Perhaps she’d spent all of the love she had and was left with clever deflection to protect her wounds.
Note from PJ:
Friday evening I received a copy of The Legend of Lyon Redmond. Here's what I posted after turning the final page at almost 2:00 am Saturday morning.
UPS delivered a review copy of THE LEGEND OF LYON REDMOND to my doorstep this evening. It's now 1:40 am and I just turned the final page with a deep and heartfelt sigh. When you long for a story for more than six years there's always a concern that it won't measure up to expectations. I needn't have worried. Julie Anne Long has outdone herself with a book that is exquisitely written, achingly romantic, heartbreakingly poignant, and supremely satisfying. It is everything I could have hoped for. And more.
I highly recommend THE LEGEND OF LYON REDMOND. It sits atop my Best of 2015 list. I can't wait to read it again...and again...and again.
Did you know that today is Julie Anne Long's birthday? Did you know it's also mine? To celebrate, I have two giveaways for you today: an autographed paperback copy of Like No Other Lover, the second book in the Pennyroyal Green series and a Kindle copy of The Legend of Lyon Redmond (to be delivered 9/29).
To be entered in the draw, leave a comment, a birthday greeting for Julie or tell me about your favorite Pennyroyal Green book. Winners will be posted Monday night.
(US only for Like No Other Lover)
Pennyroyal Green Excerpt Tour Stops:
9/17 Avon Romance–THE PERILS OF PLEASURE
9/18 All About Romance–LIKE NO OTHER LOVER
9/19 Coffee Time Romance–I KISSED AN EARL
9/20 The Romance Dish–WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE
9/21 Smexy Books–HOW THE MARQUESS WAS WON
9/22 Ever After Romance--A NOTORIOUS COUNTESS CONFESSES
9/23 RT Book Reviews–IT STARTED WITH A SCANDAL
9/24 Heroes and Heartbreakers–THE LEGEND OF LYON REDMOND
Bound by centuries of bad blood, England's two most powerful families maintain a veneer of civility . . . until the heir to the staggering Redmond fortune disappears, reviving rumors of an ancient curse: a Redmond and an Eversea are destined to fall disastrously in love once per generation.
An Enduring Legend
Rumor has it she broke Lyon Redmond's heart. But while many a man has since wooed the dazzling Olivia Eversea, none has ever won her—which is why jaws drop when she suddenly accepts a viscount's proposal. Now London waits with bated breath for the wedding of a decade . . . and wagers on the return of an heir.
An Eternal Love
It was instant and irresistible, forbidden . . . and unforgettable. And Lyon—now a driven, dangerous, infinitely devastating man—decides it's time for a reckoning. As the day of her wedding races toward them, Lyon and Olivia will decide whether their love is a curse destined to tear their families apart . . . or the stuff of which legends are made.
BOOKS IN THE PENNYROYAL GREEN SERIES (in order) with links to those reviewed here at TRD:
THE PERILS OF PLEASURE
LIKE NO OTHER LOVER
SINCE THE SURRENDER
HOW THE MARQUESS WAS WON
A NOTORIOUS COUNTESS CONFESSES
IT HAPPENED ONE MIDNIGHT
THE LEGEND OF LYON REDMOND (29 Sept. 2015)