“Adventure, passion and pure reading pleasure!” Jo Beverley
After the death of his sweetheart when he was at university, Daniel Herbert buried his grief in medical studies and his passion for healing. Viewed as a saint by those who know him, in his own mind he never quite manages to live up to his own high standards.
Most men would be thrilled to learn they've inherited a title and estate from a distant relative, but Daniel is appalled because the burden of wealth will interfere with his medical calling. Warily he accepts that he must enter society and seek a wife—a sensible woman who can oversee his properties, leaving him free to continue his work. He does not expect to become intoxicated by a woman called the Black Widow, who is as mysterious as she is shockingly beautiful…
Jessie Kelham’s looks have always been a curse. Now alone with a young daughter and a perilous secret, she is in need of protection. But dangerously attractive Daniel Herbert is not the kind of husband she has in mind. If he recognizes her, the demons of her past will surely erupt. Yet they cannot keep apart—and soon they are drawn into a union that may bring joy—or shattering danger…
About the Author
Mary Jo Putney is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has written over 60 novels and novellas. A ten-time finalist for the Romance Writers of America RITA, she has won the honor twice and is on the RWA Honor Roll for bestselling authors. In 2013 she was awarded the RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. Though most of her books have been historical romance, she has also published contemporary romances, historical fantasy, and young adult paranormal historicals. She lives in Maryland with her nearest and dearest, both two and four footed. Visit her at maryjoputney.com.
Read an Excerpt
Not Always a Saint
By Mary Jo Putney
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2015 Mary Jo Putney, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Bristol, Autumn 1813
After burying his parents, Daniel Herbert returned to work, which had always been his passion and salvation. No matter how unquiet his own mind, his medical skills helped heal ailing bodies, and the occasional sermons he gave in the chapel he sponsored sometimes helped heal wounded souls.
To ensure that he was as busy as he needed to be, Daniel sent his junior doctor, Colin Holt, off on holiday with his new bride. Dispensing cough syrups and willow bark tea, and performing minor surgeries left Daniel tired enough to sleep. Exhaustion was preferable to thought. A fortnight had passed since the funerals and soon he must face the changes caused by their deaths; but for now, he preferred stitching up knife wounds in bawdy old sailors.
He was just finishing with a patient when Betsy Rivers, the infirmary manager, knocked and entered his treatment room. "Dr. Herbert, a gentleman is here to see you on what he says is important business."
"I doubt that his idea of important is the same as mine," Daniel said dryly. "But Red Rab here is just leaving, so send in the gentleman."
Betsy frowned at his blood-spattered apron but didn't try to talk him into changing out of his work clothing. "Yes, sir."
As Betsy left, Daniel tied the last suture on his grizzled patient. "Careful, Rab. One of these days someone might accidentally stab something vital."
"Naw, Doc," Red Rab chuckled as he stood. "We been fightin' each other so long, we know where it's safe to stick the blades." The sailor ambled out and Daniel began cleaning up the bloodstained rags and instruments.
Betsy returned, accompanied by a stocky, soberly dressed fellow with a keen gaze and a folio under his arm. "This is Mr. Hyatt, sir."
The visitor blinked at Daniel's rough and ready attire, then inclined his head courteously. "I'm Matthew Hyatt of the London law firm Hyatt and Sons. You are Daniel Herbert of Belmond Manor?"
Though Daniel hadn't lived there in years, the manor was definitely now his. "I am." He dropped his used surgical instruments into the waiting basin of soapy water.
"My sympathies on the loss of your parents, Mr. Herbert." The lawyer sighed. "The disease outbreak at Castle Romayne was a great tragedy."
"It struck with terrifying swiftness. Far too many of the people in the abbey and town died," Daniel said, his mouth tightening at the memory. His parents had been delighted to receive an invitation to a grand house party held by his father's distant cousin, Lord Romayne. They'd urged him to come, too, but he had no interest in such things. If he'd been there, might he have been able to suggest effective treatment in time? Drinking massive amounts of fluids could help dangerous fevers. Or would he have died as well?
He washed his hands briskly. "I have patients waiting, so perhaps you can tell me your reason for being here?"
The lawyer blinked at his bluntness. "Very well. It's my pleasure to inform you that you are heir to the honors and property of the Romayne barony."
Lord Romayne's other heirs had all died in that beastly outbreak of disease? Daniel froze, feeling the impact of the words like a fatal blow. The walls he'd built around his pain and guilt shattered and raw emotion scorched through him.
His life was over.
When James, Lord Kirkland, entered Daniel's office late the next day, Daniel was unsurprised. Kirkland was a shipping merchant and spymaster, as well as Daniel's brother-in-law and sometime friend. With his information sources, Kirkland usually knew what was happening before it actually happened. This evening he looked like a darkly elegant predator, but his eyes were compassionate.
Though Daniel had managed to paper over the internal cracks caused by having a barony fall in his lap, he was embarrassingly relieved to see Kirkland, who was also a master at fixing problems. Pushing aside his late, cold supper, Daniel offered his hand. "I assume you've heard the news? Because if Laurel was unwell, you'd be with her."
Kirkland smiled as he shook hands. "Laurel is at the stage of pregnancy where she has a terrifying amount of energy. I barely restrained her from coming with me."
Daniel's brows arched. "I assume she sent you to ensure that I don't put a period to my existence."
"Exactly," Kirkland said with dry amusement. "Inheriting wealth, influence, and a seat in the House of Lords is enough to drive any man to despair."
Daniel smiled reluctantly at how well Laurel and Kirkland knew him. He opened the bottom drawer of his desk and retrieved the flask of brandy he kept for unusually trying days. "I'm still reeling at the news. I'm only a third cousin once removed. But there were only a few intervening heirs, and all died at that damnable house party."
"A tragedy." Kirkland accepted the glass of brandy Daniel poured, then settled into the only other chair in the small office. "Not least for you."
Daniel sighed. "There's no way I can refuse the inheritance, is there?"
"Unfortunately not," Kirkland said. "The noble title and entailed property go to the nearest male heir of the Herbert bloodline, and that's you. You are now responsible for the estates and all the tenants who depend on them."
"I feel as if Atlas just dropped the world on my shoulders. You were raised knowing you were the Kirkland heir, but I barely knew Romayne existed, much less that I had any chance of inheriting." His father would have known, and would have been delighted if the inheritance had fallen to him.
Kirkland swirled the brandy in his glass thoughtfully. "A change of this magnitude is intimidating, but being a lord is well within your capabilities."
"No doubt." Daniel's face tightened at the thought of his greatest fear. Realizing Kirkland would understand, he added tersely, "But can I still be a doctor?"
"You will have more demands on your time," Kirkland admitted. "But you can hire good people to manage the properties. You're now a peer of the realm! Other lords spend large amounts of time collecting fossils or writing papers on mathematics or drinking themselves into a stupor. You can find time for your work."
"I hope so." Daniel tried to estimate how many hours would be consumed by managing people and property and his seat in Parliament. Too many. "I won't be able to help as many as I do now."
"I'll say the same to you as I did to Laurel. Your new honors are a burden, but also an opportunity, and a fortune makes it possible to help a great many more people."
Kirkland smiled. "Your sister is spending my money with wild abandon as she helps open more women's shelters like Zion House. You can establish more infirmaries. Sponsor the education of promising young surgeons and physicians."
Oddly, Daniel hadn't thought about those possibilities. "I like those ideas, but I already have the life I want. Inheriting Romayne is a burden and a complication."
"Is it still the life you want?" Kirkland asked quietly. "Or is it time for a change?"
Daniel started to reply that of course his life was exactly right just as it was. Then he shut his mouth and reconsidered.
Damn Kirkland for being right! Here in Bristol, Daniel had valuable work and daily challenges, but he'd been lonely since his sister had reconciled with Kirkland and moved away. He needed more friends and different challenges.
"Perhaps it is time," he said slowly. "I've been in shock ever since the lawyer delivered the dread news. I need to think about what I want, and what is now possible."
"Come to London and stay with us," Kirkland suggested. "Laurel and I would love having you, and I can help you sort the practical and legal issues of your new position. You also need to be introduced to society. The little season will start soon, and the network of Westerfield Academy old boys will help you establish yourself to whatever extent you want."
Daniel's tension eased. London seemed more manageable if he stayed with Laurel and Kirkland. "I'd enjoy seeing old schoolmates, but I have my doubts about entering grand society."
"Wise of you to be wary," his friend said, amused. "Particularly in light of the dangers you'll face."
"I won't succumb to the lures of gambling and drink." Daniel regarded his empty glass, then poured himself more brandy. "Though you wouldn't know it to see me today."
"Difficult times call for stern measures." Kirkland held out his own glass for a refill. "But the danger I was referring to is the marriage mart. You are now the most desirable of commodities, a handsome, or at least presentable, peer in want of a wife." He grinned. "Perhaps you can find a pleasant, steady young widow who wants to manage your estates and leave you free to be a doctor."
Daniel found himself unexpectedly stirred by the idea of a wife. How many years had it been since Rose died? Too achingly many. She was a creature of sunshine and bubbling life, and she would never have wanted him to turn into the dour old bachelor he was now. If he was going to change, it was now or never.
He raised his glass in a mock salute. "Very well, then. I shall go to London and look for a wife."CHAPTER 2
"Lord Kelham won't be with us much longer," the physician said quietly as Jessie Kelham returned to the sickroom carrying her sleepy four-year-old daughter.
She nodded acknowledgment. Philip had been failing for weeks, and it was clear the end was nigh. It was almost midnight, and she guessed he'd be gone by the dawn.
Beth yawned sleepily. "Is Papa better?"
Jessie stroked her daughter's soft toffee-colored hair. Though it was many shades lighter than her own dark tresses, anyone who saw the two together knew them for mother and daughter. Beth, the most precious being in Jessie's life. "No, sweetheart. Soon he'll be gone, but he wants to say good-bye to you first."
She carried her daughter to the massive bed, where Philip's frail figure lay peacefully in the soft lamplight. With his white hair and pale face, he almost disappeared against the crisp linen sheets. His manservant had made him presentable for this last meeting with Beth.
When they reached the bed, for a moment Jessie feared they were too late, but when she set her daughter on the mattress, Philip's eyes flickered open and he smiled with grave sweetness. "My little sunshine. I'm sorry I won't be here to see you all grown up, but I know you'll be beautiful."
Recognizing finality, Beth's eyes filled with tears. She leaned forward and kissed his grizzled cheek. "I don't want you to go, Papa," she said sadly.
He patted her hand where it rested beside his. "I'll never be very far away from you, sweetling. Just close your eyes and think of me and I'll be there."
"It would be better if I could hug you whenever I wanted!"
Philip smiled tiredly. "Indeed, but we can't always have what we want. Be good and do as your mother says. We'll meet again in heaven. A very long time from now, I hope." His breathing was becoming increasingly labored, so Jessie signaled Beth's nursemaid, who had followed them down from the nursery.
Lily lifted Beth with comforting arms. "Time for bed again, little finch. I'll sing to you until you sleep."
Beth went docilely, though her wistful gaze stayed on Philip as they left the room. Jessie was grateful that her daughter was old enough that she'd have some memories of how much her father had loved her.
When they were gone, Jessie perched on the edge of the bed and rested her hand on her husband's. The bones of his fingers seemed fragile as twigs. "My turn now. Like Beth, I don't want you to go."
"My time has come." He had a spate of coughs before continuing. "You and Beth gave me more years and more joy than I dreamed was possible after I lost Louise. I only wish she could have known you."
"I wish I'd known her, but if she hadn't died, we would never have met." Jessie squeezed his hand gently. "Perhaps she sent me to keep you happy until the two of you could be together again."
"What a splendid thought." He drew another labored breath. "You don't need to worry about your future, my dear. In fact, when the will is read, there will be a surprise for you and Beth." His lips curved into an impish smile. He'd always loved giving Jessie and Beth surprises.
"You've been a surprise from the beginning," she said with a nostalgic smile. "I couldn't believe that a fine gentleman like you would marry a trumpery minor actress."
He began coughing so hard that Jessie almost summoned the physician. When the coughing subsided, he whispered, "And I couldn't believe that the most beautiful woman in England would marry me even for money and a title."
"I didn't marry you for your money, and certainly not for your title," she said softly. "I married you for your kindness and wisdom."
They shared an intimate smile. Genteel society had been scandalized by the unequal marriage, but it had brought happiness to them both. When Philip died, she would lose her dearest friend.
Voice faded to a thread, he whispered, "Will Frederick reach here in time?"
"The roads are in bad condition after all the rain, so it's impossible to say," she replied. She didn't doubt that Frederick Kelham was on his way, but it would be for his inheritance, not because he loved his uncle. Frederick loved only himself.
As heir to the title and entailed property, Frederick had been waiting impatiently for his uncle's death for years. He'd been very unhappy with Jessie's pregnancy, and she'd prayed for a daughter who would not be an obstacle to Frederick's ambitions. Beth's birth had been a relief. Philip was delighted to have a little girl to dote on, and the tension eased.
She thought Philip had dozed off when he said in a surprisingly strong voice, "You must marry again, Jessie. You are too excellent a wife to waste in widowhood."
Her lips twisted. Philip, bless him, overrated her charms and her wifeliness. But now was not the time to disagree. She merely said, "If I find a man as kind as you, I shall consider it. But you will be a very hard man to live up to, Philip."
"You flatter me, wench," he said with amusement, his voice fading. "I trust you to choose well no matter what path you take." His faded blue eyes closed again and his labored breathing became slower and slower. The ticking of the mantel clock was unnaturally loud as it counted down the moments of his life.
She thought she heard him breathe, "Louise!" in a voice of soft wonder. Then he breathed no more.
She bent her head over their joined hands, silent tears flowing down her face. Philip Kelham had given her faith that men could be good. She didn't expect to meet another like him.
But she didn't want or need another man. As long as she had Beth and sufficient resources to support them both, it was enough.
After a long day of burying her husband and accepting condolences from neighbors who had mostly disapproved of her, Jessie would have been happy to postpone the reading of the will to the next day, but Frederick was eager for it to take place that very evening. He probably couldn't wait to learn the size of his inheritance.
Despite what Philip had said about a surprise, Jessie expected the reading to be straightforward. Philip had discussed his plans with her before revising his will a few months earlier, and Kelham Hall, this ancient barony in Kent, was entailed to the next Lord Kelham. Frederick would also receive a substantial amount of Philip's personal fortune, though he wouldn't be happy to learn that most of the money was tied up in legal trusts that would make it impossible for him to squander it.
Though earlier Kelhams hadn't achieved great fame, they'd traditionally used their resources wisely and cared well for their dependents. Jessie hoped Frederick wouldn't ruin that record, but she had her doubts.
A similar sum of money was left in trust for Beth, along with Philip's house in London. Jessie would receive a comfortable income for life even if she remarried, since Philip had said more than once that he hoped she would.
She would inherit outright a handsome house in Canterbury. The city had several good schools for girls, and it would be a fine place to raise Beth. They would have the London house for visits to town. Beth would be a considerable heiress, so it was important that she learn to move in good society when she was older.
Excerpted from Not Always a Saint by Mary Jo Putney. Copyright © 2015 Mary Jo Putney, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Great characters, believable storyline, and left me wanting more from all the characters.
My copy was not blank. I enjoyed staying with characters that you got to know from the previous books, but you wouldn't need to read them to enjoy this book. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it. It wasn't my favorite of the series just due to the number if issues Jessie seems to need to endure.
Really liked the respect shown by the hero for the heroine but could have used a little more action. Good addition though to Putney's great Lost Lords series. Lots of old friends show up.
Very well developed plot with lots of surprising twists. Good realistic characters in keeping with the lost lords.
Loved this whole series and will miss them!
Nice plot and twists.
What happens to Gordon - what is his story?
I lived this book. I learn so much history when I read Mary's book's. I'm gonna read them all..
I really liked reading this book from this author. The characters are the plots are fun, bawdy and very human and so likable. They way Mary Jo tells a story it makes you feel like they could be your best friend or neighbor and they make you feel like you are right there with them going through whatever it is thats going on. I cant wait to read more.
Not as exciting as the other Lost Lords, but being a doctor and clergy he wouldn't be as involved in the darkest side of life.
I was disappointed in this as I have been in the last few of her books. The story was a good one but the writing totally fell apart. Instead of fun dialogue we get rote and boring movement of the story. I think it just limps along. I keep hoping that Mary Jo Putney will return to her earlier writing style and am sorry. Lat one of her books I will buy.
This is book 7 in the Lost Lords series. Daniel Herbert has suddenly inherited a title that he has no use for. He is a doctor by trade and doesn't want the burden that the title will bring to him. But knowing that he take up the mantle, he heads to London to find a bride that can run his estate for him while he continues to practice medicine. Jessie Kelham's looks have caused her more pain than anything else in her life. As a recent widow, she would like nothing better than to stay in her home and enjoy raising her daughter. But when her nephew by marriage threatens to take away her daughter's heritage, Jessie realizes that she needs a high born husband to help protect her. Daniel and Jessie can't seem to fight their attraction for each other even when the other is not what they think they wanted. Can they make a marriage work? After reading Not Quite a Wife, I wondered who Putney would pair Daniel with. He was so dedicated to his work that he didn't seem to have time to find a significant other. I really liked the twist of Daniel inheriting a title. It forced him to go into society when he wouldn't have gone back had he the choice. The chemistry between Daniel and Jessie was red hot from the very beginning. It was always sizzling at the surface every time they were near one another. When chemistry is that strong, it is hard to deny it. I really enjoyed this story and I can't wait to see what Putney has for us next! Thanks go out to Kensington Books via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
Mary Jo Putney's knack for creating original characters that stay with you, and that you want to visit with over and over again is, happily, in evidence with Not Always a Saint. Jessie Kelham is about as far from your typical lady as you can get, despite her title. Of modest birth, this recently widowed beauty has what would politely be called a 'mysterious past' and in the exclusive world of the ton where everyone knows everyone, several generations, back her mysterious past places her continued guardianship of her daughter, a substantial heiress, in jeopardy. In societies eyes, and in her own, she is a sinner. To amend the deficit she is looking for a respectable, stable, and connected mature and understanding gentlemen to marry. The last thing she wants is a young, eligible, man who is, in her estimation a saint. Daniel Herbert has happily devoted his life to medicine. To his many that makes him a saint. And while most people would be thrilled to be the unexpected heir to titles and lands, Daniel is quite dismayed upon receiving these honors. He has no desire to exchange the joys of practicing medicine for those of land management and the obligations of being a Lord. As a result Daniel is searching for an practical wife who will be his helpmate and administer to his new responsibilities in order to leave him free to continue to practice. What he does not want is a beautiful widow that sets him on fire. But regardless of what these two people think they want, what they need is each other. And watching them come to that conclusion themselves is a joy to read. The strength of this book is, as it should be, the relationship between the hero and heroine. They are unaccountably attracted to one another but both afraid to trust in their good fortune with each other. Mary Jo develops their relationship deftly and believably. Additionally, readers will enjoy catching up with characters from the previous books in the Lost Lords Series, as they play a large role in this book. Four Stars! I received this book in exchange for an honest review on Net Galley
This is a book I have eagerly awaited since I turned the final page of Not Quite a Wife, and I am happy to report that it exceeded my expectations. Putney has indicated in the past that she finds the alpha/beta tags unsatisfactory, preferring to describe her heroes as “warrior poets.” Nevertheless, I suspect most readers will see Daniel as a beta hero. Regardless of labels, he is a rare hero, complex and likeable with a strong sense of honor, a compassionate heart, and a clear vocation in the fullest sense of that word. He is a good and decent man, but he is a far cry from the stereotypical pallid saint. He is a fully dimensional character with fears and regrets and as much passion as piety. Having fallen for Daniel in Laurel and Kirkland’s book, I was particularly interested to see what kind of heroine Putney would give him. Jessie is as unusual in her way as Daniel is in his. A beautiful woman whose beauty for most of her life has led to abuse and exploitation, she has little sense of her own worth. Despite having been a victim, she has developed surprising strength and is fierce in her determination to protect her daughter. Beginning with some of her earliest books, Putney has integrated social issues into her stories in interesting and realistic ways. She does so once again in this book by using Jessie’s situation to show how vulnerable women were physically, psychologically, and legally in a world that saw them as the property of males. If you like historical romance that combines character-driven stories with intense action and historical accuracy, I highly recommend this book. I never miss an MJP book, and I loved seeing characters from earlier Lost Lords books appear in this one. I was especially pleased to see Lady Agnes again. (I’d love to know more of her history.) But I think Not Always a Saint can be read as a standalone, although reading it after at least Not Quite a Wife likely provides a richer reading experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed the Lost Lords series and was sorry to learn that this book, the seventh Lost Lords book, marks the official end of the series. However, I am delighted that MJP’s new series, Rogues Redeemed, is a spinoff from the Lost Lords. Will Masterson, half-brother of Damian Mackenzie (hero of Nowhere Near Respectable, Lost Lords #3) will be the hero of Once a Soldier, the first book in the new series. Look for it in 2016. For readers like me who are intrigued by Gordon, Lady Agnes’s one failure and a minor but significant character in Not Always a Saint, I have it on the best authority that we will see more of him in the new series. The first book is not yet available for pre-order, but I’m already hooked on the series.
This is the story of Jessie Kelham, a gentlewoman, by birth, who has had many trials and tribulations. She was raised by her vicar father who taught her that women were the worst sort of creatures. Useless in his eyes and not worth his time, or love. Her mother died when she was very young. Daniel Herbert grew up with love, but some disappointment. His parents wanted him to enter the clergy, but he wanted to study medicine. He lost his love at a young age so he did both, one for them and one for him. When his sister married, he was happy for her, but the marriage did not suit, so she left her husband. Daniel learned more about his parents in that moment that she needed them, they disowned her! He took her in and together they started a medical practice. One evening as they were closing for the night, a badly beaten woman showed up on their doorstep. Her injuries were terrible, but would heal. Daniel did all he could for her, gave her 20 pounds and she fled into the night. That is the night that he and his sister, Laurel, decided to open a home for women and children who are abused. Daniel comes into an unexpected, and unwanted inheritance and title. He then decides he needs a wife to run things so he can go on in his normal manner. Someone not too pretty, with experience in running an estate. He does not plan on Jessie Kelham. Jessie has suffered the death of her husband and now her daughter is in danger from a relative who believes the estate and title should be his. She is in need of a husband. Someone older, not prone to drinking or gamble, who can help her protect her daughter’s inheritance. She does not plan on Daniel Herbert, now Lord Romayne, They are attracted to each other, but she has secrets and must be careful. The attraction is very intense. I really enjoyed this story of trials and triumphs! The characters are likable people, certainly not perfect! But good hearted people that you would like to know. The past will haunt them until they can come to terms with it. But a happy ending may be in their future! Excellent writing!
Having enjoyed several of Ms. Putney’s previous novels, I couldn’t wait to read “Not Always a Saint” and see what she had to offer in the Lost Lords Series, I was definitely impressed and cannot wait to play catch up and get my hands on the previous 6. Initially I wasn’t sure if I would like Jessie’s character as I easily saw this going down a slippery slope of lies, misery and heart ache if she tried to hide her past from Daniel but she handled the situation very well and for the most part was very upfront with Daniel early on. This made her a much more likeable character and I had to commend her for her honesty. Daniel’s character I believe stole the show. He was a hard-working, honest, all around likeable guy. He inherited a Barony and was burdened with a huge responsibility he really didn’t want but he handled it like a true gentlemen. He could have easily left Jessie to fend for herself but he chose to stick with her and help her work through her past. While I wouldn’t consider the story suspenseful there were a few twists I didn’t see coming and certainly didn’t see the resolution happening as they did. This was very refreshing because many times we’ve seen the same cookie cutter type scenarios before. ARC received from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Dr. Daniel Herbert runs a free infirmary out of the home he shares with his sister, Laurel Kirkland (currently estranged from her Spymaster husband), who one fateful night treats a badly beaten young woman and once treated sends her off into the night. Seven years later, finding himself facing the position of reluctant heir, his title will now bring new demands beyond "bone-setting" with no other choice the quiet doctor finds that he is in need of a wife. A dark beauty viewed from across the room draws Daniel's attention but could she also claim his heart. Action, mystery, passion and danger along with the welcome mix of returning Westerfield Academy Alumni make this a read that can not be put down. The 7th release of the Lost Lords series by Mary Jo Putney, one of the best installments yet!
I absolutely adore The Lost Lord's series by Ms. Putney and have been waiting for what feels like an eternity for Daniels story. Doesn't it always feel like eternity when one's waiting on the next book in a series to come out ? With that being said Daniel's story turned out to be way more adventurous than I thought it was going to be. I'm mean he's always been such a laid back and endearing person. Who knew he would have such passion locked within. And Jessie is such a brilliant character and does an amazing job of unlocking his passion . Together the two ignite the pages and lead the reader on a fantastic journey !
I mentioned in another review that I wouldn't say historical romance is my favorite genre and as they are often a hit and miss for me. But not so for MJ Putney's. To date, I've enjoyed all her books including the historical romance. Daniel is just a down to earth person with such a strong passion to help heal others with his medical skills and knowledge even though it may have been triggered by the death of his beloved sweetheart. Through the death of a distant relative, he inherited a title and an estate. In order that he can continue to concentrate on his work, he needs to find himself a wife to help him oversee the management of the estate. Jessie Kelham is one complicated lady with lots of twists and turns to her story. She definitely did not go through an easy life even though her marriage to her last husband gave her some reprieve. That reprieve ended with his death and when her husband's estate was bequeathed to their daughter Beth. In dire need of protection, she seeks to marry someone who would be as sweet and gentlemanly as her last husband and one who would love and protect Beth. I enjoyed the banter between Daniel and Jessie and their futile attempts to resist the attraction. I also enjoyed reading how Daniel encouraged and helped Jessie build up her confidence and her sexuality. I especially loved the sweet moments between Beth and Daniel and I'm glad that MJ Putney gave a fitting closure for Jessie. It was needed after all that she had gone through. Even though there were lots of twists and turns to this story, I enjoyed it and felt they gave a complete feel to this book. The events were well paced and none of it felt rushed including the ending. I sure fans of regency romance will appreciate this read and not forgetting to mention, the great book cover. I was given an advance copy of this book by the author through Netgalley and Kensington Books in exchange for a honest review.
#7 in the popular and intriguing "Lost Lords"series, but can be read as a stand alone. Fast paced tale of second chances, passion and romance. This is a romance to savor on a cold night. The characters are engaging and entertaining. The storyline is well written with an interesting and intriguing concept. There is some danger involved, lots of lust, romance, adventure, some suspense and mystery as well. And of course, as any good romance, finding love, and healing. I found "Not Always a Saint" to be interesting and thought-provoking with a few facets and surprises to the story, concerning humanity, such as white slavery, brutality and sacrifices. A well written, thought out tale that is both compelling and entertaining. An enjoyable and satisfying read. Ms. Putney always manages to keep the reader engaged in her stories of life and romance. Another hit for Ms. Putney! * Received for an honest review from the publisher via Net Galley * Rating : 4.5 Heat rating: Mild Reviewed by: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
Can a Saint and a Sinner find love and happiness together?. Daniel Herbert is considered a Saint by all. He's a doctor and a vicar, but he's alone. Suddenly his life changes and he is now Lord Romayne. He decides that he needs a wife to assist him. He goes to London to look and sees a beautiful woman. He's attracted but she rejects him. Jessie Kelham is a wicked woman who has just buried her husband. Her daughter is her life. She will protect Beth from her greedy Uncle. She needs a powerful, titled husband. Fate has brought them together, but will her secrets tear them apart? Daniel and Jessie are larger than life characters that pull you into their story from the first page. Sparks fly when these two engage in their battle of wills. I loved seeing them fight the attraction that draws them together. Their road to a HEA is not easy. The story is well plotted and has some unexpected twists that kept me on the edge of my seat. The dialogue is snappy and the setting perfect for romance. Mary Jo Putney does her usual wonderful job. Not Always a Saint is filled with passion and pleasure as well as danger and intrigue. It is a perfect addition to The Lost Lords series. I loved it.
Not Always A Saint by Mary Jo Putney is a wonderful read. Daniel and Jessie's story was well written and reading it was a pleasure. The characters were lovable, the story had drama, humor, action and sizzle. I can't wait to read more from Mary Jo Putney. Not Always A Saint is part of The Lost Lords series but can be read as a stand alone. This is a complete book, not a cliff hanger. I won a copy of this book in a Rafflecopter giveaway.
Jessie needs a husband quickly to keep the threat towards her daughter from happening. Daniel, a surgeon and newly a Baron, wants a wife so he can remain a surgeon and she can handle his estates. Will either get what they want? I enjoyed this story. It can be read as a standalone but it is more fulfilling to read in order so you know the back story of the other characters in this story especially Laurel, his sister. I loved Dr. Daniel Herbert. He is so refreshingly honest about what he wants to do but he will do his duty and his best to find a wife so that she can run his estates while he does surgery and helps the poor. Jessie is complicated. She is more than a pretty face but she holds many secrets and Daniel wonders if he will ever learn them all. She is honest up to a point. It is that up to a point that held my interest especially when the point loses its sharpness and Jessie's past catches up with her and the doctor. That held me at the edge of my seat to see if they would get through it and have a future. The secondary characters are an interesting mix of old and new. I do not know how Jessie was so unfortunate to run into the worst society had. The returning characters were like old friends who I wanted to visit and renew acquaintance. The story had a sweetness to it. I felt happy reading it even as Daniel and Jessie struggle. I got my HEA but I also liked that it did not have the overdone epilogue where Daniel and Jessie had several children and life was good. The ending was perfect for this book especially as Daniel was more than a surgeon. It was right for them.
After the death of his college love, Daniel buried his head and heart into the practice of medicine. When he learns he has inherited a title and estate he finds it a burden he doesn’t want. Therefore he goes into society to find the right woman to oversee his estate while he continues to practice medicine. He becomes attracted to a woman called the Black Widow, Jessie has secrets and problems of her own and is looking for protection will Daniel ruin her or save. The story is fast paced and entertaining and even though part of a series can be read as a stand-alone. I admit there was a lot going on in this story which made it seem a bit overdone and I liked the characters but not loved them. Overall I really liked the story and if you love historical reads I imagine you will too.
The next release in The Lost Lords series, 'Not Always A Saint', is a lovely Regency romance read...with a twist!! Mary Jo Putney has written a romance about two people: one a patient, loving, hardworking soul that strives to make the world a better place through healing of the sick and the needy; and the other, a struggling character who has fought tooth and nails to raise them self above the bitter circumstances surrounding their birth. Which of these backgrounds is the Hero and which is the Heroine?? In this lies my appreciation of this novel. Dr. Daniel Herbert aka Lord Romayne, is the virtuous, patient, 'saintly' Hero who falls head over heels for the beautiful yet complicated, Jezebel 'Jessie' Kelham. Daniel has just been surprised with an inheritance that includes not only a title but new (and unwanted) responsibilities. He wants nothing more than to continue his simple life as a Doctor and running of small country hospitals. However, now he must find a wife; one who can teach him how to run an estate (or better if she'll just do it herself), knows something about moving about Society, and is NOT beautiful. Enter Lady Jezebel 'Jessie' Kelham, a beautiful, 'un-saintly', young widow looking for an old, titled gentleman who can protect her from her sordid past and who is NOT interested in the caring, handsome Doctor who may or may not remember helping her from an abusive situation long ago. This was a fun read, and whereas the Hero is not the domineering, macho "Me Tarzan, You Jane", type of man, Daniel is FAR from unmanly or boring. He is strong physically, but his true strength comes from his character; how he supports Jessie and is patient with her despite her tangled past. He does struggle with his own feelings for her and is not at all a pushover and that makes me like him even more. Jessie was an interesting character. I was not sure at first that I would like her as it seemed that she was always falling for the wrong guy and getting herself into bad situations; however, that was really a premature observation as Jessie is really stronger than I first thought. She has consistently fought to raise herself above her abusive past and is honest about her mistakes. Daniel has a great quote to her on their wedding day, "You have strength and vulnerability and the wisdom that comes of hard experience. Without those things, you would be merely beautiful, as a great statue is beautiful. A woman to be admired and forgotten. You, [Jessie], are unforgettable." She is a great match to Daniel and is as supportive to him and his dreams of creating more hospitals as he is to protecting her from her past. Fans of The Lost Lords series will enjoy reuniting with past characters. Daniel's sister Laurel and her husband, Lord Kirkland, play supporting roles in Daniel and Jessie's story, as well as the Duchess of Ashton and other members of the Westerfield Academy.