Mad About the Major: Bachelor Chronicles # 8.5 by Elizabeth Boyle with Excerpt and Giveaway

Mad About the Major: Bachelor Chronicles # 8.5 by Elizabeth Boyle with Excerpt and Giveaway

Welcome to my review of a novella installment in the Bachelor Chronicles series by Elizabeth Boyle, that released on 2 June. In addition to the review, be sure to read the excerpt, check out the other tour stops to see what other readers thought and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway for a $25 Gift Card to the eBookseller of choice from Elizabeth Boyle to celebrate the release of MAD ABOUT THE MAJOR.

Mad About the Major

This novella-length installment fits nicely between books 8 and 9 in the Bachelor Chronicles series, but not having read the earlier books in the series (like me) you won’t find any great gaps in information, just a story that leaves you wanting to return to the world Elizabeth Boyle has created. Kingsley is returned from the war in France, after taking some time to vacation on the continent: a choice that puts him firmly in his parent’s bad graces.  They want him to do the right thing and marry, an idea that is second on his not to do list, right after listening to his parent’s concerns.  Escaping, he heads to a masquerade ball, with plans to find a willing widow or courtesan.

Arabella is approaching the end of her father’s patience: still unmarried and not appearing to find any possibilities on the horizon. She is attending the ball, and is mulling over options in her mind when Kingsley makes a very forward approach, causing a small scandal in society.

Now possibly ‘ruined’, Arabella’s father demands she marries a man of his choice, and she is despairing of her life. A fluke circumstance and an aunt giving her freedom to run allows her to dash from the carriage, almost directly into Kingsley’s arms.  With a demand that he show her one last adventure, the two start off on a romp to end all romps.

Kingsley and Arabella are adorable together: Boyle develops each character with solid backstories and personalities and given them action and adventure to fuel their getting to know one another. A true treat for a shorter (100 ish) pages, to bring the reader  a solid sense of both issues and desires while making the romance build naturally (if quickly) to a happy resolution.

I’ve read another book from Boyle’s Rhymes with Love series, and her humor and believability of characters is rich and nuanced, with lovely little twists that feel appropriate for the period. Her writing is solid and strong, and leaves the reader with solid visual images that bring the story to light.  A wonderful novella that has me wanting to read more of her work.

Mad About the Major: Bachelor Chronicles # 8.5 by Elizabeth Boyle with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: Mad About the Major
Author: Elizabeth Boyle
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Avon, Impulse
ISBN: 0062322915
Published on: 2 June 2015
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Pages: 100
Audio Length: 5 Hours: 11 minutes
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne Flame

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The pampered daughter of a duke . . .

Lady Arabella Tremont has spent her entire life protected and overshadowed by her restrictive father. But she is a Tremont, after all, and the morning after she is nearly ruined at a ball by a handsome stranger, Arabella’s father demands she make an arranged match with an heir to a dukedom. In desperation, Arabella takes matters into her own hands.

Takes a London holiday with the most unsuitable of chaperones . . .

Major Kingsley is in London to avoid to his parents’ dreadful house party. To his surprise he runs into the enticing - and unforgettable -- minx he met at a ball the previous night. Arabella, or Birdie, as he knows her, insists he owes her three favors-for he’s put her in a terrible pinch; Kingsley agrees, if only to delay his trip home and because the notion of spending the day with this enchanting bit of muslin is too tempting to resist. But all too quickly he discovers Arabella’s requests are hardly what he expected…

See the Bachelor Chronicles Series on GoodReads

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Tasty Excerpt

London, 1818

 “Egads! Kingsley! Is that you?”

Major Kingsley looked up from where he’d been standing, or rather hiding, on the fringes of the ballroom. All around him, the Duke and Duchess of Setchfield’s annual masquerade was in full force.

Considering how scandal ridden the ball always seemed to be year after year, Kingsley had come specifically in hopes of finding some lascivious widow or a stray courtesan who’d dared to come mingle in the rarefied air of Mayfair, then wander off for a bit of sport.

It was, after all, his last night of freedom in so many ways.

But it seemed the Fates weren’t inclined toward romance this evening as a short, square-figured little man in a bright gold costume came toddling toward him.

There was only one soul on earth who would dare such an ensemble.

“Augie!” Kingsley replied, pushing off the wall, for while this was not quite how he’d envisioned his evening progressing, he was genuinely happy to see his old boon companion. “Well, I never.”

Lord Augustus Charles Hustings, or Augie to his friends, was the sort of fellow who always enlivened an evening—what with his nonsensical views and his misguided banter.

Best of all, Augie would never hound a fellow to get married, which was why Kingsley had been loitering about in the shadows—if only to avoid being recognized by some marriage-minded mother with a passel of daughters.

“When did you get back from the Continent?” Augie asked, thumbs tucked into his gold embroidered waistcoat.

“A fortnight ago,” the major admitted.

At this, Augie’s eyes widened. “And you couldn’t call on an old friend after, what? Three, four years?”

“My mother saw me first,” Kingsley sheepishly admitted.

Augie snorted, for it was a situation he could hardly condemn anyone else over. His own mother, Lady Prendwick, was a notable handful. “Demmed inconvenient, that. Had you over a barrel, eh?”

“To say the least,” Kingsley told him. “My dear maman insisted I be kitted out with ‘proper’ togs for her house party. Supposed to be riding down there tomorrow. You did get your invitation, didn’t you?”

Since that particular house party was known by every man in London as a thinly veiled Marriage Mart, where at least three engagements could be counted upon, Augie coughed and pretended he hadn’t heard his friend correctly.

Then to change the subject entirely, he glanced at the major’s costume. “Whatever is that you are wearing? Is that the best your mother could command?” His friend shook his head furiously. “Need to find you a new tailor, my good man.”

Kingsley laughed, for it seemed that Augie hadn’t changed in the least. He reached up and waggled the black piece of silk covering the upper half of his face. “What, my mask isn’t dashing enough for you?”

“Hardly,” Augie replied, tucking his nose in the air.

“And who are you supposed to be?” he dared to ask, taking a step back and making an inspection—not that it helped, for he was still at a loss as to what Augie’s mishmash of gold raiment was supposed to signify.

“Zeus,” his diminutive friend announced with great flourish and a stately bow.

Kingsley nearly doubled over with laughter.

Augie frowned, glancing down at his costume to assure himself nothing was amiss. “My valet claims the choice is divinely ironic.”

“Yes, something like that,” Kingsley agreed as he took another glance around the room and found himself face to face with yet another friend from his days at Eton.

“Kingsley! Dear God! Thought that was you! Wouldn’t have recognized you save for this dog in your company.” The Honorable Roscoe Evans laughed and nudged Augie aside.

Augie shook his head with annoyance. He didn’t find that sobriquet any more amusing now than when Roscoe had come up with it when they were all twelve. “Thought you were in the country after that dustup with Lady Verwood. Or rather Lord Verwood.” His tone implied he wished him still well away from Town.

Roscoe waved him off. “Nonsense. Not with the Setchfield ball at hand. Always a fair bit of sport to be found, eh, Augie?” He winked, and then turned to the major. “So you are back, aren’t you?”

“As observant as ever, Roscoe,” Kingsley said, wishing him—as Augie obviously did—well away. For it wasn’t that he didn’t like Roscoe; he did, in an offhanded fashion.

But wherever Roscoe went, there was always trouble. And right now Kingsley was dancing on the edge of a sword with his parents—who were first and foremost furious with him for not returning home after Waterloo. That he’d taken it in his head to caper about the Continent was a grave sin in their estimation, and one for which it was now time he atoned.

The last thing he needed was an imbroglio to leave him completely at their mercy.

 

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About Elizabeth Boyle

ELIZABETH BOYLE has always loved romance and now lives it each and every day by writing adventurous and passionate stories that readers from all around the world have described as “page-turners.” Since her first book was published, she’s seen her romances become New York Times and USA Today bestsellers and win the RWA RITA Award and the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice awards. She resides in Seattle with her family, her garden and always growing collection of yarn. Readers can visit her on the Web at www.elizabethboyle.com.

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