Pealing, tintinnabulation, jingling, ringing, clanging, chiming, tinkling, bonging, tolling. There are so many ways to express what bells do, each one describing a different type of sound.
I love bells. Perhaps I can’t say all bells, but many of them. I think the first one I ever got was in San Francisco. I also have one my parents got for me while they were on a trip to Australia when I was a tween. Somehow I thought having a bell I could use if I was sick and needed to get someone’s attention was pretty wonderful!
Never Envy an Earl
by Regina Scott
Series: Fortune's Brides #3
Publication Date July 13, 2018
Genres: Clean Romance, Historical Fiction
Setting: England Regency Era – UK – 1795 – 1837
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
The saucy Yvette de Maupassant is used to danger. She’s spent the last 10 years spying for England in Napoleon’s court. Now that her work has been discovered, she must hide, and what better place than the remote wooded estate of the Earl of Carrolton? Her friend Miss Thorn and that delightful cat Fortune place her in a position where she can pretend to be companion to the earl’s sickly mother. Yet one look at the earl has Yvette rethinking why she wants to stay.
Gregory, Earl of Carrolton, is used to power. So why does one moment in the company of his mother and spinster sister leave him feeling powerless? And why does the look in a certain Frenchwoman’s eyes leave him weak at the knees? As danger draws closer, Gregory and Yvette must work together to protect her, his family, and the future of England, as they discover the greatest danger and delight is falling in love.
I would like to thank Regina Scott for giving me a copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Also in this series: Never Doubt a Duke, Never Borrow a Baronet, Never Vie for a Viscount, Never Kneel to a Knight , Never Marry a Marquess
Lady Carrolton thought herself to be an invalid (or did she?) She was thrilled with Yvette’s suggestion of getting a bell to call for someone when she had a need. Much to his chagrin, the butler found an old cowbell for her which her ladyship learned how to use…
I loved the characters! Yvette was a fugitive spy from France and was hiding out. Lord Carrolton, Gregory, through his friendship with Julian and Harry, who are introduced in prior books of the series, was chosen to help hide and protect her. So she was given the dubious honor of serving as companion to Lady Carrolton, Gregory’s mother.
Yvette was strong, opinionated, and perhaps a bit bossy. She had a great wit and was bold. I loved the way she handled Gregory’s mother and sister who were arrogant, prejudiced, and more than a bit rude. If you read Never Borrow a Baronet you will know that they are the ones who drove Patience away, causing her to seek a new situation. Fortunately for Yvette, they more than met their match in her.
Gregory, Lord Carrolton, was my favorite character. Described as being a mountain of a man without guile, he was unable to prevaricate without that fact being loudly announced by the expression on his face. Moreover, he knew it, so he stuck with the truth. He was protective, tender and gentle with his sister and his mother, despite their rudeness. Gardening was a great love of his, yet he felt he needed to hide it because of the way his father had berated and disparaged him for it. “Gentlemen should never get their hands dirty”. He reminded me of a big gentle teddy bear.
I was glad to see Julian and Meredith again, though I have to say that it feels like the author is dragging out their story. I’m not complaining, just observing. 🙂 Trust once broken is hard to restore, and that is what is needed between them. I have a feeling that it is going to take a while, though, because so far we have only seen a Duke, a Baronet. and an Earl. The next book will be about a Viscount which leaves a Marquess. Might we also see a Prince or a King, a Laird or a Gentleman or even a Knight? Time will tell. . .
This has been a great series, with a mix of romance, suspense, and adventure. The characters are fun and the author’s wit never ceases to make me smile. The stories, while complete in themselves, are also intertwined so I recommend reading the entire Fortune’s Brides series.
Men. They must have been discussing what to do about her situation, yet they all stared at her as if she’d floated down from the ceiling dressed in chicken feathers. Mr. Villers’s mouth even hung open.
“Vite, vite,” Yvette said, coming to join them. “You must be quick. Meredith is with her ladyship, but I will be wanted shortly.”
Mr. Mayes brightened. She’d met the solicitor last month at Foulness Manor, the home of her friend Harry. Of course he would want news of Meredith—unless Yvette missed her guess, he intended to court the lady.
“Miss Thorn is still here?” he asked.
“For the time being,” the earl told him. Then he stepped forward to take Yvette’s hand in his. Such a large hand. Hers disappeared inside it, yet she felt perfectly comfortable.
“Miss de Maupassant,” he said, “Mr. Mayes and Mr. Villers came to let us know they have identified the man pursuing you. You must be brave. It is your cousin.”
The room dimmed. She must have swayed on her feet, for his hand slipped around her waist as if to hold her upright. She clung to his hand, to his warmth. She could not let her fear rule her.
“I should have known Claude would be involved,” she made herself say. “I am only surprised he crossed the Channel himself. Where is he now?”
“We’re not sure,” Mr. Mayes admitted. “One of our best men, Lord Trevithan, nearly caught him in London, but he managed to escape.”
He would, even from the dashing Lord Trevithan, who’d recruited her for a spy. Her cousin was a survivor. So many wrongs could be laid at his door, yet he always escaped capture, like a cockroach scuttling away from the light.
“You’re safe here,” the earl said in his deep voice, hand still holding hers. “He has no idea where you are.”
Yvette shook her head. “He had no idea where I was. Why do you think he allowed you to see him in London? He wanted you to know he was in England. You hurried to tell me, and he will hurry to follow you.”
Mr. Villers straightened, and Mr. Mayes’ handsome face tightened.
“You’re right,” the solicitor said. “We were fools. Carrolton, there’s nothing for it now. We’ll have to find another place for Miss de Maupassant.”
The earl stiffened, but once more the room seemed to darken. Leave Carrolton Park? She had only been here a few days, but she felt as if ribbons bound her to the place. Why? She owed them only her thanks.
But who would answer Lady Carrolton’s bell?
Who would depress Lady Lilith’s notions?
Who would smile encouragement to a beleaguered earl over dinner, share secrets and plans in the corridors?
He still had not released her hand, was gazing down at her, face troubled. Did he fear the danger she had brought to his beautiful home?
Or was he also troubled that she might leave?