Blog Book Tour | “The Duke’s Last Hunt” by Rosanne E. Lortz Jorie happily returns to the Regency, the era she initially beloved for reading Rom!

Posted Saturday, 10 September, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “The Duke’s Last Hunt” direct from the publisher Madison Street Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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I have had a penchant for the Regency for all of my life:

When I was a young girl of nine, I became positively enraptured by the stories of both the Regency and Victorian eras of England! A passion for Rom developed and quite naturally I felt wholly entrenched inside both eras! So much so, I regularly sought them out! Including the special edition Christmas Regency novella collections such as the ones featuring Mary Jo Putney (of The Word Wenches; a blog I love reading!) Throughout my readerly life, the Regency has attracted me not only for the chivalry and the manners involved in courtship, but for the arc of how a Romance can be told in a historical setting with in-bred social norms which are wicked strict for men and women!

Layer in the country vs the city (or ‘the towne’ as off London was referred) settings, the backdrops of the fashion and the coquettish of the chase during the infamous London Season, and you find all the delights of a Rom Comedy or Drama depending on the author’s preferences! I liked how some of the girls were either besotted by the blokes or completely averse to the whole situation; others as said played the ‘coquette’ flirtatious card or chose to feel doomed in their pursuit of a suitable husband! Others oft-times completely struck out on their own – re-defining how a woman could step forward out of girlhood and take-on a different approach to living once she was of age. Either way you slice it, there was always something wickedly entertaining about reading a story set during this timescape! Even Jane Austen found everyday humour in the contemporary norms of her day, yet the Regency is such a full step removed from our own living reality, the indulgences of a Regency novel affords a brilliantly enjoyable read! Especially if you have a questionable dowry, an unknown parentage (ooh my!), or were turnt away from a suitable match during your 1st or 2nd or successive ‘Seasons’!

I was first introduced to this publisher via a conversation I had with one of their authors Scott D. Southard about his novel A Jane Austen Daydream. At the time, print copies were not available and this is why I had leapt at a chance to read this one! I have been so very curious about this publisher for two solid years! I still very much intend to read A Jane Austen Daydream (despite appearances to the contrary!), it is simply I haven’t been able to focus on Classical Lit or their after canons for quite a long while. A trend I am determined to break this September by continuing to read Jane Eyre whilst getting set for some wicked sweet Austen readings lateron before the close of 2016!

When I realised this was a Rom Suspense (#RomSusp) for the Regency, I was most intrigued! I have already realised I fancy the mysteries by Lauren Willig in her Pink Carnation series (which starts off being quite the light read before it turns more serious (her words, I’m still in the beginning novels!) – I used to love visiting the author on her blog where she would reveal so very much to her readers!) I generally had only focused on the traditional Regency Roms, but I must confess, if I can find a wicked told Mystery, I’m a reader whose thoroughly entertained! Thus, this felt like a new direction of focus I could seek out within the Regencies I already knew I fancied! I wonder if others are more confined by the tradition of a Regency Rom and/or are as adventurous as I am whilst finding new authors who delight them with their yesteryear stories!?

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Blog Book Tour | “The Duke’s Last Hunt” by Rosanne E. Lortz Jorie happily returns to the Regency, the era she initially beloved for reading Rom!The Duke's Last Hunt
Subtitle: A Novel of Romantic Suspense
by Rosanne E. Lortz
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

With her third London season drawing to a close, the shy Eliza Malcolm seems unlikely to find any husband, let alone a titled one. But when the hunting-crazed Duke of Brockenhurst invites the Malcolms to visit Harrowhaven, Eliza’s father jumps at the chance to gain a wealthy son-in-law. Surrounded by quarreling parents, tactless acquaintances, the aloof dowager, and the unsettling duke, Eliza looks for one person kind enough to help her navigate the murky waters of Harrowhaven’s secrets….

Estranged from his brother the duke, Henry Rowland only planned to visit Harrowhaven for the afternoon, but after meeting his brother’s intended, his designs are overthrown. As misfortune strikes Harrowhaven, Jacob Pevensey is called in to investigate. Henry learns that the only way to safeguard Eliza Malcolm’s happiness is to face the past he has been running from for ten long years.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance

Places to find the book:

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ISBN: 9780996264839

Also in this series: To Wed an Heiress, A Duel for Christmas, A Duel for Christmas

Published by Madison Street Publishing

on 1st September, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 348

Published By: Madison Street Publishing (@MStPublishing)

The author’s first Regency was To Wed an Heiress | Synopsis

*UPDATE: October, 2018 – this became the series: Pevensey Mysteries

Converse via: #HistoricalRom, #HistoricalSuspense, #Regency, #RomSusp
Available Formats: Paperback and E-Book

About Rosanne E. Lortz

Rosanne E. Lortz

Rosanne E. Lortz (“Rose”) is a history lover, a book addict, a mom to four boys, and a native of Portland, Oregon. When she’s not writing, she teaches Latin and English composition and works as an editor at Madison Street Publishing.

Rosanne’s works include I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince, Road from the West: Book I of the Chronicles of Tancred, The Life and Death of Saint Thomas Becket: Type of Paul, Type of Peter, Type of Christ, Castles, Customs, and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors (Vol 1 & 2), To Wed an Heiress, and the newly published The Duke’s Last Hunt.

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A note about the ARC:

When the copy of this ARC first arrived by Post, I thought it was a finished copy as it had the cover art and internal layout you would expect to find! I love when you can be pleasantly surprised by an ARC – as it is like reading a story ahead of when the world’s readers first get a chance themselves to seek inside it’s covers on #PubDay! I love ARCs truly – they each tell their own ‘story’ of their publishing journey (the best delight for me, I think!) especially in regards to approach of presentation for book bloggers, reviewers, or other members of the industry (including librarians or booksellers) but also, too, tot he way in which a finalised book will have aesthetic appeal by it’s stylised ‘look’. I applauded the care this publisher took with this Regency – as it had the small touches which surely make you smile!

The choice of cover art held my eye – as I love to see a glimpse of the estates in a Regency and who doesn’t like a bloke in a satin vest under his suit and tails? For a contemporary model of the Regency, I felt the cover helped win over your heart and feel that cosy comfort of being in the Regency most directly!

My Review of The Duke’s Last Hunt:

How oft are you privileged to enter a carriage whilst a discussion is slowly starting to dissolve into a bit of a row? (here, I refer to a heated argument!) Not oft, you say? I do agree with you – yet this is how we came to meet our lady heroine Eliza and her disagreeable Mum and Da (Lady Malcolm and Sir Arthur). Not surprisingly, the topic of the moment is encompassing the ill fate of Eliza’s 3rd London Season without much hope of a bid on her hand, save for one – from an awkward suitor  the Duke of Brockenhurst – titled prospects are keenly sought after in regards to those wishing to either marry into or stay married inside the ton (the upper elite of society; the aristocracy). Eliza herself is not convinced this is a wise placement – she finds the bloke more than tiresome and without much joy in conversation.

One of the joys for me about period dramas and Roms, are the upstairs/downstairs dichotomy where staff, residents and guests are having to side step each other at times and at different intervals remind themselves they can be cordial with each other; shaking off some of their reserved formality. I was not shocked when Eliza took the staff off-guard by her conveyance of pleasantries upon arrival at Harrowhaven; as such exchanges are very rarely the norm! This did nothing to assuage the anxiety Eliza felt upon being at the estate, knowing what was at stake. Her misgivings were more directed towards her (potential) suitor’s mother – a woman she never met and of whom left her waiting to meet. Not exactly instilling the best of confidences! Eliza read between the lines of their guide the enigmatic housekeeper Mrs Forsythe, who was also at times quite evasively vague in her responses!

Segued from Eliza and her parents arrival, we find the dear Duke has a bedeviled brother named Henry! His oats are not nearly sown quite yet but his scorn for his brother is palatable even in short distance! Most of his consternation is the fact that he was passed over on inheritance and had to live underneath his brother – by both means and title. Inheritances were quite wrought with folly back then; they either burdened you, freed you or gave you a nightmare of patience to endure whilst siblings quibbled about what was fair and what was just in regards to procuring a proper disbursement of funds! Thus, for whichever reason, Henry decided to add his hat to the fray – dropping in on his dear mother and brother at the height of their ‘house party’ of which the Malcolms were invited but without explanation (although you could gather Sir Arthur had a singular mind towards what he hoped it would be inclusive of). Henry’s intentions of vexing his brother something fierce left me in a chuckle! Such a rat! Laughs. He’d prefer to cause a scene and disrupt the order of the estate than to take a more tactful approach to resolve his grievances! Despite his flaws, he made one keen observation – the Duke rarely keeps acceptable company! Perhaps this is a subtle nod to hint towards a hidden secret to why his brother would pitch for Eliza’s hand?! Perhaps not as straight-forwarded of an offer as Eliza dared hope?

The die was cast (so to speak) – a full household, two brothers whose quarreling was barked through indifference’s and Eliza the dear heart was caught in the middle of it all!  She held her chin high but what was most insufferable was the Duke’s brother! To blatantly lie to get a rise out of his brother and to upset the apple cart of Eliza’s status truly gave her something to chew about! What was he up too? Eliza and I had matching modes of pensiveness over that! Why would he go to such lengths to wick out the truth from Mrs Forsythe in regards tot his brother’s intentions towards Eliza! I, true to my own reactions merely smirked! I had suspected as much myself – as the whole affair of having Eliza calling on the Duke felt like it was serving a purpose but only one side of the party would benefit!

Isn’t it curious, dear hearts, that when it comes to brothers, the one you get the inkling of being aloof and a bit ungrounded in life might in turn become the unexpected hero? I lay pondering this thought as a scene revealled the Duke’s true blue nature – not one of respectability, heavens no! You have to wonder why he felt so inclined to believe he could place woolen over the eyes of Eliza when I felt she was under-appreciated and not recognised for having a keen head on her shoulders! It was her observation with the portraits of the two brothers that foreshadowed a bit of the revelations – notwithstanding how she questioned which brother might be the better of the two! She knew what I have known – photographs and portraiture in painting have a way of telling the raw truth about a person. The parts they feel they can hide from the world and the bits they hope are never observed. Of course, to an unobservant eye, I suppose Eliza’s supposition might have gone unnoticed.

Adele was quite the treasure – she would act as the perfect liaison and diversionary augmenter right at the moments where levity was dearly needed! Related to the gentlemen, she never yielded to their position above her but rather asserted herself with an air of confidence only she could inhabit! Her presence was sparkly by her frank honesty and her crafty way of sharing her opines! Whether they were of the good, bad or indifferent categories she was not shy to share! As Eliza’s time progressed at the Duke’s estate, the more she was inclined she was to see him for the rake he surely was – not the kind that reformed when contracted for marriage either but the kind that likes to live recklessly as if he were singularly entitled to every want of his desires.

When it boils down to inheritance or marriage, family expectations and obligations of a daughter’s matrimonial match is clearly expected beyond the rightful will of the chosen and has the tendency to make girls like Eliza feel as if their being pushed into a vice where every ounce of their own spirit and being are squished out of sight! Her blood stopped flowing to paint her faint as she nearly swooned outright when she realised the lengths to which her father expected her to adhere to his wishes in regards to whom he felt she ought to marry! Not for love, no, for the sake of saving the family from certain fates that would place them on the lower end of society’s arm! I felt her vexations and the anguish of being a daughter placed in a position that was that was untoward her own happiness! Why fathers in the Regency (and other eras) felt they could bend a girls mind and will to satisfy their own needs is beyond me! If one wants to marry, it should surely be for love not convenience or the improvement of one’s coffers or station! Oh, the angst we women were put through back then; where arranged marriages were so very commonplace!

I felt grievous for the bloke waiting in the wings – being fully pushed out of sight by expectations! The same bloke who had known certain truths but hadn’t wanted to break the spirit of an innocent girl whose experiences of the world were a bit lesser in quantity than his own. His observations of what was happening to Eliza outraged him and fuelled his desire to act on her behalf if only to forestall her marriage to the Duke if nothing more! His stomach was soured by it all, to be honest! The hardest bit is that no one was intervening on her behalf – as if what was going forward was right as rain with everyone else! There was the question about property and means, about how social circles would view the new pairing and of course, how everyone would feel about someone inter-stepping to stop a marriage that the bride’s own father had contracted himself for his own personal gains!

You have to give credit to Lortz for giving you a second reconsideration of a character of whom was such a stark contrast to whom he was when the story began to how we viewed him throughout the course of the story! So true to life – money cannot buy happiness or love, but there are some with money who feel they can gain all, even if morally or ethically in the wrong!

The title forehadowed one bit of the story but the greater mirth is truly surrounding what happens when you fancy a way to fall in love! Especially when everyone has written off your chances – a future feels so dim and if you have to be reminded of duty and obligation once more you’d nearly seek to throttle someone to give you a peace of a break from the absurdity of it all! The suspense is a bit understated but entertaining all the same (honestly loved this approach!) as you don’t know all that is slowly boiling below the surface of what is being seen! For me, the pleasure was being able to curl into a Regency after a long absence and find an author who gave me such a wicked good Romance! I shall eagerly be awaiting reading more of her Regencies whilst celebrating the light of joy to find an author whose love of England and a story set in this era to be an equal to my own! I loved returning to an era that I have oft felt so very tethered inside – as if I had gone back home! I am thankful for the repose Lortz has given me and I look forward to her next Regency release – prior to which I will be seeking out her first release, too! Is there a sweeter joy than that!? I think not, dear hearts!

On how Ms Lortz wrote the Regency:

I must say, I am quite surprised by how newer Regencies (insert most British set stories) are being written in American English vs British English? I am always expecting to find the flow of narrative to be exchanged from our vernacular here for the one that is reminiscent of being originated across the Pond? Hmm. Perhaps I am in the minority, but sometimes, every so often I find it quite perplexing. Despite this absence, it was the descriptiveness of her words and the way in which she entices you to visualise the scenes that I appreciated most! Similar to Cosy Historical Mysteries – HistRom is a genre I can literally soak away hours immersed in the historical past and re-emerge joyously restored! There is a certain pace I seek out of those Roms and blessedly Lortz did not disappoint me! She kept the dialogue taut and on-point whilst leaving me curious for more at each page turning! You want to linger in other words – not reading this one in haste!

Although the words weren’t spelt in their British counterparts, Lortz endeared me as much as she delighted me (as I am a bit of a wordsmith myself seeking out new ways to express oneself in written context) with the presence of creative turns of phrase, cheeky humour, well-placed diversions, and the riddling joy of how spoken dialogue was half formal and informal set in perfect harmony! I loved her choices therein, and was happily overjoyed seeing how combinations of how a sentence could be read to hint towards a bygone era! I have a mind for words and phrases and a novel like this one is a feast to drink in! It was all I could do not to become waylaid and write down copious notes about all the beautifully lovely passages that treated me to such much #bookjoy!

Lortz balanced this Rom Suspense with a potboiler of a drama – slow building like a wicked good stew, where each new ingredient towards the reveall was well worth the wait to appear! She writes a Regency you immediately love reading in other words!

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBT

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A note of apology to the author – if the lightning storms hadn’t proven more deadly to my computer and connectivity recently, I would have happily showcased my review of this beautiful book series as originally scheduled! I had to write my review in long hand and then transcribe it to my blog – sadly, I had to postpone my review until Saturday morning in lieu of Friday, as another review had to be pushed forward earlier in the week. My blog also went through a lovely upgrade and I am thankful the newer features are now live as this review is being shared!

The Duke's Last Hunt blog tour via HFVBTsI look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read. Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Saturday, 10 September, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 19th Century, ARC | Galley Copy, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Castles & Estates, Clever Turns of Phrase, Deception Before Matrimony, England, Family Drama, Father-Daughter Relationships, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inheritance & Identity, London, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, the Regency era

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