Confessions From an Arranged Marriage by Miranda Neville

Confessions From An Arranged Marriage

Setting: Regency 1822

*Book 4 in Burgundy Club series*


They couldn’t be more different—but there’s one thing they agree on…

In London after a two-year exile, Lord Blakeney plans to cut a swathe through the bedchambers of the demimonde. Marriage is not on his agenda, especially to an annoying chit like Minerva Montrose, with her superior attitude and a tendency to get into trouble. And certainly thelast man Minerva wants is Blake, a careless wastrel without a thought in his handsome head. 

The heat and noise of her debutante ball give Minerva a migraine. Surely a moment’s rest could do no harm . . . until Blake mistakes her for another lady, leaving Minerva’s guests to catch them in a very compromising position. To her horror, the scandal will force them to do the unthinkable: marry. Their mutual loathing blazes into unexpected passion but Blake remains distant, desperate to hide a shameful secret. Minerva’s never been a woman to take things lying down, and she’ll let nothing stop her from winning his trust . . . and his heart.

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You know those romances that feature intriguing secondary characters from previous romances? Well, this is one of those books which takes two characters we love from previous books and gives them their own romance. Surprisingly, I wasn’t even looking forward to this one because the premise didn’t stand out much to me and I thought the hero and heroine were ill matched but I ended up loving it! This one was a surprise success!

What do you get when you put an intelligent, outspoken bluestocking and a titled, seemingly dumb hero together? Alot of sparks-both good and bad! Fans of her last books know the hero and heroine as constantly arguing with each other and generally not getting along! They seem like they have nothing in common so it was quite surprising to see them paired up in this book and I had doubts whether they would make a good match.

But Miranda does an amazing job of revealing deeper layers to both characters and showing us just how well they suit each other. The hero has a surprising secret that will endear him to readers who previously disliked him and Minerva is delightful with her bold, daring character even though she can be quite immature and impulsive at times. Their romance is full of unexpected sparks that remind one of Lizzy and Darcy type romance.

The writing is wonderful-warm, fast-paced with just a sprinkle of wit and humor thrown in. The plot may seem basic enough-guy compromises girl accidentally and they end up in an arranged marriage and of course end up falling in love but Miranda makes her characters so entertaining and real, that it becomes a joy to read! Fans will enjoy revisiting the other couples from the last books and new readers will need to pick up the rest of this wonderful series!

Another wonderful romance from the very talented Miranda Neville! Can’t wait to read her next!

Sensuality Rating: Pretty sensual (3/5)

Verdict: Wonderful opposites attract romance!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton by Miranda Neville

Setting: Regency 1820

*Book 3 in Burgundy Club series*


Being kidnapped is teaching Miss Celia Seaton a few things about life:

Lesson one: Never disrobe in front of a gentleman . . . unless his request comes at gunpoint.

Lesson two: If, when lost on the moors, you encounter Tarquin Compton, the leader of London society who ruined your marriage prospects, deny any previous acquaintance.

Lesson three: If presented with an opportunity to get back at Mr. Compton, the bigger the lie, the better. A faux engagement should do nicely.

Lesson four: Not all knowledge is found between the covers of a book. But an improper book may further your education in ways you never guessed.

And while an erotic novel may be entertaining, the real thing is even better.

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When it comes to Miranda Neville, I’ve come to expect great things. I’ve followed her since she made her debut on the romance scene a couple of years ago and I have loved every single one of her works.

This novel was eagerly anticipated as it is book 3 in this series about a group of male book collectors and the hero has always been one of the most interesting of the men. He is a dandy through and through and every romance reader knows a dandy is never hero material. Which is why I was so curious to see how Miranda would handle Tarquin, our fashion obsessed hero after doing such a good job with Sebastian (the super geeky one) in The Dangerous Viscount.

While I can’t say this was a bad book, it certainly wasn’t what I expected from Miranda; in fact I was slightly disappointed with this novel. From the start, I felt almost as if Miranda was rushing through the story without spending time developing the characters and the romance. I actually did a double take wondering if she really wrote this book, as the style was so different; short, choppy and full of confusing head hopping. 😦

The story itself didn’t do much for me and I didn’t warm to the heroine. By the end, I still couldn’t understand fully why Tarquin had fallen in love with her-she was plain and mostly un-interesting. Tarquin was quite well handled though but I still felt like we barely scratched the surface of his true depth. Essentially Celia and Tarquin are people who both have had to hide their true natures from the world under the cover of respectability. I just didn’t buy it. I kept waiting for Miranda’s magic to take hold and to fall in love with the story… but something was missing. Even the sex scenes felt dry and rushed, so different from her older books. The title was also misleading-the whole naughty book subplot wasn’t the main focus though reading about this real 19th century book did have a certain fascination. 😉

Basically this is is your standard amnesia plot: guy forgets who he is and falls for girl he normally wouldn’t and then things get very complicated once he gains his memory back. It’s been done before and in a much better book recently by Delilah Marvelle.

I’m hoping Miranda’s next novel will remind me once again why I love her romances.

Sensuality Level: Pretty warm (Short love scenes)

Final Verdict: Just ok.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

The Dangerous Viscount by Miranda Neville

Setting: 1819, Regency

*Book 2 in Burgundy Club series*


She is determined to find a husband. . . now!

Lady Diana Fanshawe’s impeccable bloodline doesn’t stop society from laughing at the antics of her eccentric family. She knows a proper marriage is her one chance to make her way in the world—which is precisely why she will marry Lord Blakeney, though she’s certain she’ll never love him. But then she’s kissed by the brilliant and unconventional Sebastian, Viscount Iverley . . . and her well-laid plans tumble into disarray.

Sebastian wants absolutely nothing to do with love or marriage. But when he arrives at his hated cousin Blakeney’s house party, Sebastian is smitten by the tantalizing Diana. But Diana is “the marrying kind,” and Sebastian has no wish to risk his freedom—though the passion between them is hard to resist. Should the lady follow her heart in an attempt to win Iverley’s, though it seems hardened against her—or should she sacrifice her love for respectability?

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I love Miranda Neville’s books and after reading The Wild Marquis and getting a sneak peek at the hero of the next book, I just KNEW I had to pick this one up ASAP! I have such a soft spot for  the innocent or unique hero and Sebastian with his woman hating ways was perfect. I was so excited to see how Miranda turned this unlikable man into a bona fide romance hero of every girl’s dreams!

The result? A resounding success! I was immediately taken by Sebastian from page one when he falls for our heroine after glimpsing her pink silk stockings. 😉 Underneath all that aloofness was a shy and misunderstood man who had all the gems in place to be the man of Diana’a (and our’s) dreams. The joy came in seeing those layers peeled back to slowly reveal the kind, dependable, caring, and surprisingly strong man underneath. Sigh, I can honestly say Sebastian was the first hero in a while to really touch my heart 😀 And despite what anyone else might say, VIRGIN HEROES ARE HOT! There’s something about that innocence in a hero, who is usually mean to be the Eros of sex, that is such a turn-on! 😉

The heroine was harder to like though. Diana treated Sebastian horribly at first, making a wager with his cousin that she could get him to kiss her. But then, which one of us ladies hasn’t made the mistake of choosing of choosing the hot, sexy guy over the sweet, stable guy? In this way, she was relate-able and to her credit she does regret her mistake and begins to see Sebastian as much more worthy of her attention and love. I couldn’t help feeling though that Sebastian deserved a little better than her. Maybe just unwarranted jealousy on my part 😉

This was a unique romance in that you never quite knew what was going to happen next. It was unpredictable and because of that (and Sebastian :P) I stayed up all night to try and finish this! There were twist and turns and I just felt this was a very REAL romance which make it hard for some people to like. This wasn’t your fairytale romance with the perfect prince and princess who fall in love at first sight but two very real people who find love with each other after a lot of struggle and mistakes.

Ms. Neville is a very talented writer who just keeps getting better with every book. Can’t wait for her new book which will feature a Regency dandy… who loses his clothes!

Whether you’re a romance addict or new to the genre, you’re sure to take to this smart, sexy and real romance!

Sensuality Rating: Pretty warm (Quite a few  short though explicit scenes)

Final Verdict: Awesome! One of the best and most unique romances in a long while!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The Wild Marquis by Miranda Neville

Setting: 1818, Regency

*Book 1 in Burgundy Club series*

Summary: The Marquis of Chase is not a reputable man.

He is notorious for his wretched morals and is never received in respectable houses. The ladies of the ton would never allow him in their drawing rooms . . . though they were more than willing to welcome him into their bedchambers. Ejected from his father’s house at the age of sixteen, he now lives a life of wanton pleasure.

So what could the Marquis of Chase possibly want with Juliana Merton, a lovely, perfectly upstanding shopkeeper with a mysterious past?

A moment’s indiscretion?

A night’s passion?

Or a lifetime of love?

Even the wildest rakes have their weaknesses . . .

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The main reason I bought this book was because I loved Miranda’a previous novel and though I had my doubts as to the content of the story, (the back cover wasn’t the most informative  blurb), I bought it anyway because I had some faith in her story-telling ability.

I’m glad I did. What seemed to be a typical rake/wallflower type story was so much more. It was a romance with a huge mystery element in there. The Marquis of Chase is a man who wants to be recognized by his family who unfairly accused him of a crime and then threw him out of the house. So to do that, he tries to get a hold of the Burgundy Hours, a very important manuscript and for that, he acquires the help of Juliana Merton, recent widow and bookseller. Juliana’s husband was murdered and that’s part of the mystery.

I really enjoyed the book as it was more than just a romance-in fact, if I were to categorize it, I would call it a mystery romance. Both characters had secrets of their own and part of the intrigue of the book was finding out what the were and how they would deal with it. It kept me hooked to the pages and I liked how there wasn’t a big misunderstanding plot device as sometimes that can get annoying. The two had a good reason why they couldn’t be together and I loved seeing them work past that. I also loved how all the pieces of the puzzle came together and found it very clever. It wasn’t what I expected at all!

Cain is a great hero and just an all round wonderful guy. One of my favourite parts of the book was when he bought dinner for Juliana, a mark of his thoughtfulness. I loved also how he was determined to see the two of them married and how he supported Juliana and protected her. I could really see how she would fall in love with him 😉

On the other hand, I couldn’t really feel the same for Juliana. She was a great heroine but I didn’t really see anything particularly special about her that Cain would fall madly in love with her. The reason could have been better portrayed or spelt out. I also disagreed with how easily she fell into bed with Cain and thought it a little too fast.

Their romance was sweet and developed well though.

Miranda Neville also has a great way of adding history to a romance which is perfect cause most of the time historical romances don’t really focus on the historical background as compared to the romance and passion. Neville’s first book focused on cooking and food of that time period (and was amazing read) and this one focused on book auctioning and bibliophilia which I didn’t know was such a big thing at that time. So, a great romance and a history lesson? Me likeee!

Sensuality Level: Warm (The love scenes were not long and weren’t explicit)

Verdict: Strong mystery romance from a great writer. Every historical romance fan should pick this one up!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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