The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane: Rhymes With Love #4 by Elizabeth Boyle with Excerpt and Giveaway

Welcome to my stop for a lovely historical romance with a nice hint of humor and cat-centric antics.  Please read on for my excerpt and review,  visit the other tour stops, and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could be one of 10 lucky winners to get a paperback copy of this title.

Book Review:

The fourth in her Rhymes with Love series, Elizabeth Boyle’s The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane is the first I have read by this author, but this story worked perfectly with no major misses in story thread, action or character. 

Twin sisters, Louisa and Lavinia Tempest arrive in London, not in a teacup but in a carriage with one unruly passenger, Hannibal the cat who will play a large part as matchmaker and general nuisance throughout the story.  The girls are in London for the season, although Louisa isn’t interested, and their house in Mayfair is perfectly situated for society.  With one exception: their neighbor Viscount Pierson Wakefield, notoriously reclusive since his return from the war.

Hannibal, however, has little sense of convention or decorum, and like most cats wants to be exactly in the place that appears to NOT want him – so he dashes from the carriage straight into Pierson’s home, disturbing the man and providing Louisa with a less than optimal introduction.

And with that introduction, full of Hannibal’s curiosity, Louisa’s discomfiture and Pierson’s gruff and grumpy exclamations – we are off and running.   Louisa is wonderfully complete with a sweet nature and giving heart, she is determined to improve Pierson’s life by organizing the mess of a household he exists in. While her exuberance and determination are forces to be reckoned with, she finds Pierson attractive and interesting, and is not often cowed by his gruff treatment.

For his part, Pierson is mired in guilt, surviving the war when his best friend didn’t, and then being sidelined by his injury, his desire is to retreat from everything and hide away: not the best plan.  He is merely existing in his Mayfair home, until the whirlwind that is Louisa appears, usually closely following or followed by that damnable cat. Hannibal is a character in and of himself – cats are curious and he seems to be more inventive than most in his ability to cajole Pierson out of his continual round of self-pity.

These two are cleverly drawn and their interactions show the tender regard as it develops in a sweet way, as Pierson lets down his guard at seeing the good qualities in Louisa. Their conversations are laced with humor and the story carries quite a lighthearted feel. Underlying the girls’ season is a concern about their mother’s ‘great shame’ and the very valid concern of this secret being known, which would affect their prospects, but this is secondary to the characters and the sweet romance that is developing between Louisa and Pierson.

For the most part, this story moves forward quickly with a lighthearted feel that really allows readers to focus on the characters: secondary characters are as cleverly built as Louisa and Pierson, and Hannibal is truly such a character that his recalcitrant behavior never fails to bring a giggle. The big secret isn’t revealed until near the end, and the few threads that are left hanging should wrap nicely in Lavinia’s story.

The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane: Rhymes With Love #4 by Elizabeth Boyle with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane
Author: Elizabeth Boyle
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Avon, Harper Collins
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Pages: 384
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 34 minutes
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne Flame

Get Your Copy: Amazon AllRomance Barnes&Noble iTunes Downpour IndieBound Audible
See this Title on Goodreads

In New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Boyle's fourth novel in the Rhymes With Love series, a resolute young woman goes toe-to-toe with the Beast of Mayfair...

She has no desire for love...

As she arrives in Mayfair, Louisa Tempest is horrified when her incorrigible cat bolts from the carriage and dashes into a neighbor's house, where she comes face-to-face with the reclusive Viscount Wakefield. But even more dismaying than his foul temper is the disarray in which she finds his home. Convinced his demeanor would improve if his household were in order, Louisa resolves to put everything to rights.

...until she meets the viscount who lives down the lane.

Much to his chagrin, Wakefield finds it impossible to keep the meddling Louisa out of his home, invading his daily life with her "improvements," and his nights with the tempting desires she sparks inside him. Wounded in the war, he's scorned society ever since his return . . . until Louisa opens the door to his heart and convinces him to give love a second chance.

See the Series on Goodreads:  Rhymes With Love 

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, Hanover Square

November 1810

 

“What is it, Haley?” Lord Charleton asked, spar- ing a glance at the door of the breakfast room where his secretary stood, hovering about like a nervous sparrow. “Is it Rowland? Tell me he hasn’t landed in the suds yet again.”

“No, my lord.”

The man’s brow furrowed a bit. “Couldn’t be Wakefield.”

“Certainly not, my lord.”

The baron glanced up. “Wouldn’t mind if it was. Demmed waste having him mope about, locked up in that house of his.”

“Indeed,” the secretary replied, and if Charleton wasn’t mistaken, there was a note of irony to the man’s declaration—one he chose to ignore, instead pinning a glance on the impudent fellow.

Under the scrutiny, Haley’s jaw worked back and forth as if the words were stuck there in his craw.

“Well?” Lord Charleton prodded. “Out with it. Before my kippers grow cold.” As it was, the baron shoved his plate forward and set down the paper he’d been reading.

Mr. Haley cleared his throat and held out a letter. “I’ve come across a small debt your wife owed—”

There it was. That cold stillness that came every time someone had the nerve to mention Isobel’s name.  How  Lord  Charleton  wished  he  could forget her passing so this wrenching pain would fade from his heart. Yet, still, even a year after her loss, it was a sharp ache he woke up with, one that haunted him even after he closed his eyes at night.

Now here was his secretary bringing her up when he’d quite forbidden the matter.

“Pay it,” he ordered in a tone that said he wanted nothing further to do with any reminders of her.

“But, my lord—” Haley shuffled about.

Lord Charleton removed his glasses and slowly cleaned them. Then once they were perched back up on his nose he stared coldly at the fellow. He was a good man, Haley. An excellent secretary, but why the man continued to bring up Lady Charleton, the baron could not understand. Speaking slowly and deliberately, so there was no mistaking the matter, he said, “You know what to do. Take care of the matter and leave me be.”

“If you insist, my lord . . .” Haley’s voice trailed off tentatively. It wasn’t so much a reply as one last prod.

Truly? He was going to ask yet again? If he wasn’t the most thorough and honest fellow the baron had ever hired—well, actually Lady Charleton had found him and insisted he be hired, but that wasn’t the point. Haley had become rather cheeky of late and Charleton wanted nothing more than to fire him on the spot.

But Isobel wouldn’t have approved, and so Charlton inclined his head, reined back his ire and said with a final note, “Just see to it as Her Lady- ship would have wanted.” Then he went back to his paper and ignored Haley, who stood for a few more moments in the doorway.

And if the baron had looked up, he might have seen the wry, wily smile that had led Lady Char- leton to hire Mr. Haley in the first place.

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

London

Six months later

Areowwwwww!  The unholy complaint filled the

carriage.

“You should have left that foul creature back in Kempton,  Miss  Tempest,”  Mrs.  Bagley-Butterton complained for about the hundredth time.

Which equaled the number of times Hannibal had let out that ear-piercing yowl from the basket in which he was trapped.

“He  doesn’t  like  being  penned  up  so,”  Miss Louisa Tempest said in defense of her cat. “And I couldn’t leave him behind.”

There  was  a  sigh  of  resignation  from  beside Louisa. Miss Lavinia Tempest, Louisa’s twin, made a very deliberate show of looking out the window. She wasn’t about to rise to Hannibal’s defense.

Never would.

Louisa suspected her sister shared Mrs. Bagley- Butterton’s exasperation and wished poor Hanni- bal back in Kempton as well.

“I only hope your godmother is an understand- ing sort,” the matron continued, shifting in her seat in the carriage and eyeing the large basket on Louisa’s lap with an air of disdain and suspi- cion. She had protested vehemently against the cat being brought along, but she could hardly prevent the matter when the carriage conveying them to London belonged to the girls’ father, Sir Ambrose Tempest. “I know I wouldn’t have that cat in my house.” She sniffed loudly.

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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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