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Eliza Farrell was trained in the art of predicting the future through astrology. Her aunt Celestina had taught her everything before she died. Her aunt had also put up a hoard of money for Eliza to live on when she was gone, and she warned her not to trust her father. Soon after Aunt Celestina’s death, her father suddenly appeared and took her to London with him. But his motivation was more out of interest in her stash of money that her aunt left her than out of any love for his daughter. He has managed to gamble the money away, and now she is trying to earn money for food for them by using her art. Her first paying client is Violet, an actress, and she knows she has to do good to provide for them and to keep her father out of debtor’s prison. But when she gives an honest reading for Violet, answering her questions about her benefactor Lord H., it seems that the reading she gives is his hidden personality, not the one he shows to the word. Not only does Violet call her a fraud and refuse to pay her, but Lord H. overhears her reading, as well as, Violet’s reaction. Consequently, he and his mistress break up when she declines to go with him.
Ordinarily, spending time with his mother is the last thing that Edward Neville, Lord Hartwood, AKA Lord Lightning, would do. But this is a requirement in gaining his inheritance, according to his deceased brother’s will. He was sure that he had Violet ready to accompany him to see his mother, hoping to shock her with his companion. However, the seer put an end to that, so he decides it is only fair that she take the place of his mistress on this trip. Forcing her into the carriage, she acts like the injured party instead of him, although he does like the reading she gave for him. He has never believed in the loyalty of women, but when she agrees to take his mistress’ place, having nowhere else to go, he accepts her conditions, including getting her father out of prison.
Arriving at his ancestral home, Eliza puts on a performance as Edward’s mistress, in front of his mother, to his delight. Although Eliza is nothing like the strumpets that Edward prefers, he finds her wit and trusting nature touch him more than he had thought possible. Believing in her reading, which shows that Edward will be a tender, passionate lover, she goes along with the act, hoping to get to know him better. To his pleasure, she has no problem being seen on his arm. Her enchanting innocence slowly melts his cynical heart, as the sparks begin to fly between them. But is he the man her reading shows him to be? Will he fall in love with her, as she is beginning to fall for him?
LORD LIGHTNING is a deliciously witty and sensual historical romance. This debut romance is just the first in a series of Regency historical romances with an astrological theme planned by this talented author. Putting an astrologer in the heroine’s role is a fresh concept to historical romances. Eliza does a wonderful job, playing the part of Edward’s mistress in front of his disapproving mother. Delightfully infused with charming characters, clever banter, an originally creative plot and love strong enough to reform a cold heart, this story is a joy that readers will enjoy, whether they are historical fans or not. I highly recommend LORD LIGHTNING to anyone looking for a terrific read.
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