Welcome to the review tour for Once Upon a Lady by Addie Jo Ryleigh. This is another book in The Soul Mate Tree series, where lovers are brought together by a magical tree. I have been reviewing several of these books, as the concept fascinates me. This is the eighth book in the series.
As always in these tours, you will find an excerpt here with my review. You can follow the tour for even more excerpts and reviews. Please leave the author comments and questions along the way and take advantage of extra chances to enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Affiliate links are also present within this post. Should you make a purchase through one, I may earn a small commission to help support my websites at no additional cost to you.
Once Upon a LadyRespectable Lady Katherine Baxton, striving to meet the requirements of her station, has become the ultimate dutiful daughter. And now, the Duke of Blackthorn’s betrothed. Far from a love match, Kate is nevertheless determined to do as expected and marry.
That all changes the night she panics at her impending future and runs, stumbling upon a private grove, a mysterious tree . . . and a half-naked man.
The youngest son of a viscount widely thought to have purchased his title, Jackson Cooper demonstrates his disdain for the aristocracy by affording himself every luxury available—drinking, wenching, and gambling—while eschewing anything representing the ton. Jackson has little care for his reputation and no desire to marry. His escape from London is all but complete.
Until fate—in the form of a beautiful, mysterious lady—interrupts his plans, enticing him with the very thing he never wanted.
Read an excerpt:
“Aren’t sprites confined to the trees?” His deep voice washed over her.
She didn’t turn to acknowledge him. “How nice to see you properly dressed for once.”
His chuckle warmed her. “Are you following me?”
An unladylike snort refused to be repressed. “Hardly. You are rather difficult to overlook, being the only unknown face here.”
“That’s not true. You’ve seen my face . . . as well as other, more interesting parts.”
Kate wished she’d listened to her sister and worn a bonnet. Anything to mask the heat flaring in her cheeks.
Thankfully he remained at her side and hadn’t a clear view of her face. “We have not been introduced. I can’t be seen speaking to you.”
“Then let us go where we can't be seen.”
Her heart raced at his boldness. Why was this man so tempting? She was spoken for, though still unofficially. Proper ladies didn’t follow strange men to private locations, regardless of their marital status. “Absolutely not.”
“Even if I have something of yours?”
Blast! Her ring. Given her luck lately, she would have lost it in the grove of all places. Her aunt would toss in her grave knowing Kate had misplaced her gift.
“A true gentleman would return it.”
His deep laugh caused her pulse to flutter. “I'm no gentleman. Or haven't you heard?”
I don't often like to read historical romances, but I wanted to give this book a shot since it was a part of this series. I just love this idea of a Soul Mate Tree and have been enjoying seeing how the various authors interpret it. I think fans of the genre are going to really like this book. And while it gave me flashbacks to the "bodice rippers" my mother used to stash in her room for some reason, it really was better than those books ever were. I admit I tend to balk a bit at those insta-love stories, regardless of the time period. But I found it intriguing how each of them were drawn to delve out of their normal desires and class/family expectations after this inexplicable encounter with the tree. I liked the chemistry between the two of them, their chess moves back and forth and flirting. And I liked the modern views of some of the characters clashing with the old-fashioned views of some of the other ones. There's a strength and empowerment factor possessed by them which makes the historical romance a bit more palatable for me. It was a quick read that I enjoyed on a warm afternoon on my porch.
About Addie Jo RyleighAddie Jo Ryleigh writes historical regency romances that feature rakish heroes and strong feisty heroines.
Addie Jo has lived in the same cold-winter-hot-summer area of Minnesota her entire life. Sharing in the raising of her three extremely rambunctious boys is her very understanding husband who endured being dubbed “The Duke” by his co-workers. Keeping Addie Jo company while she writes (besides her wonderfully loud children) is her yorkipoo, Bella, who is never far from Addie Jo’s side. And recently the newest addition to their family, a black lab puppy named Max.
Addie Jo has always had a love and passion for romance books and became engrossed in historical romance (particularly Regency) soon after graduating from Lurlene McDaniel’s young adult books. Currently, Addie Jo reads any genre that has a great emotional story that keeps her reading into the early hours of the morning.
Addie Jo has a bachelor degree in accounting and is a financial coordinator when not playing chauffeur for her hockey-playing boys, cuddled up with a good book, or writing her next story.
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Addie Jo Ryleigh will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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