Blog Book Tour | “A Duel for Christmas” (Book Three: Jacob Pevensey Mysteries) by Rosanne E. Lortz

Posted Monday, 8 October, 2018 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 ARC copy of “A Duel for Christmas” direct from the author Rosanne E. Lortz in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What I previously enjoyed about listening to ‘To Wed an Heiress’:

The drama behind this situation is etched out through Lortz’s characters – as each of them are entering into the despair from different perspectives. Even the cousin, Eda has a role in the aftermath as this effected her the most by all rights and then, of course, the mother, Lady Angelsford who only wanted the best for her sons. Lortz showed the grief in Lady Angelsford by how she acted around Eda and how she hoped against the drastic measures Haro was considering to fix what her husband had left for them to resolve.

Ms Lortz has a keen eye for the fashions of the Regency – the way Ms Westbrook described the fashions within this installment of the series was a true delight! I loved how she brought to life the clothes Ms Lortz featured on her characters but also, of how classy she selected the clothes to fit the personalities of her characters. Each of them had their own unique style and that particular style brought out who they were in personality; as it rightly should but in this instance with the narrator moving us forward into the context of the story itself, it all came together rather beautifully.

Lortz brings an equal balance between the upstairs and the downstairs climates – letting us peer into the way the staff see their positions and the people they serve whilst we benefit from Ms Lortz dual perspectives of her settings. This was something I loved and championed about her approach of story-telling within the pages of The Duke’s Last Hunt and I was most thrilled to see was inclusive to her first installment To Wed an Heiress as it has its own appeal of realism for the Regency to find these perspectives brought forward.

To Wed an Heiress is the kind of Historical Romance I can honestly disappear inside as there is a keen sense of the prosperity and propriety resplendent of the Regency – as soon as you start listening to the audiobook: you are swept back into the years of balls, marriage markets and where the ton were unforgiving when it comes to changes in circumstances and status. You get caught up in how she’s set the stage for this first entry into the series – as there was an urgency running through the narrative. Of how time was of not just the essence but it was the one thing Haro could control if only in small ways to stem the effects of his errant father. He had the chance to find a way to circumvent the damages but it was time he needed to best sort out the right way forward – yet, Ms Lortz shows how sometimes when your young and determined, time is not something you want to forestall. You simply want to find the answer, act on whatever you need to do to ensure it and pick up your life from whence it was starting to take a downward ‘pause’. Even if of course, taking such a rash course of action might not yield the outcome you were most hoping to seek out?

This is how Lortz entices you into the folds of her Regency Romances – where they are equally divided between the allure of a Romantic Suspense and the keen sensibility of a Regency Romance – the benefit being your taking a lovely stroll of insight backwards into the Regency, populated by characters who are as realistic as the voices given to them by Ms Westbrook and of whom, you become immediately attached too. I love her innate style for these captivating mysteries but also for her cunning sense of how to give us new stories in the Regency which grab our hearts, our minds and our imaginations. She truly has a well-rounded style of Historical Romance to where you neither want to see one of her stories end or be too far away from reading your next installment!

-quoted from my review of To Wed an Heiress

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Notation about the Cover Art Design: In a word it is smashingly brill! I was in love with this cover art design from the very first moment I saw it! Seeing it up close as I pulled the ARC out of the bubbler mailer was a true delight as the snow in the background seems to burst to life even though it is not 3-Dimensional nor raised to feel textured under your fingertips. The bloke on the cover has such a fierce presence you almost instantly felt you knew of him even if you did not and what can I say? I love architectural design and ambiance – this cover is just smashing! They even made it a lovely addition to a book blogger’s library as this ARC has a special graphic on the cover itself but they also included a black and white inside copy of the cover art, too! Such a posh edition, truly! Only thing missing was a note from the Editor!

Blog Book Tour | “A Duel for Christmas” (Book Three: Jacob Pevensey Mysteries) by Rosanne E. LortzA Duel for Christmas
Subtitle: A Jacob Pevensey Mystery
by Rosanne E. Lortz
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

After seven long years in Devon, Lady Maud Worlington returns to London to reclaim life on her own terms, but a nefarious shadow and the prospect of financial ruin dog her steps. An impulsive and unforgettable kiss under the mistletoe creates a connection with Geoffrey, the handsome, young Duke of Tilbury. Yet as pleasant as it is to have a suitor, Maud is not sure how a boy of one-and-twenty can prove an equal partner in life and the equal of all the forces mounted against her.

The Duke of Tilbury considers himself as adept at managing matters as he is at swordplay, but his beautiful new acquaintance Lady Worlington has other ideas about how to manage her complicated life. Intrigued by their stolen kiss, Geoffrey pursues Lady Worlington’s affections, only to be foiled by the lady’s own doubts, by rivals for her hand, and by a sudden death that affects both their families. When Jacob Pevensey, the investigator from Bow Street enters the scene, the duke becomes a prime suspect in the murder case. Truths are unearthed that Geoffrey would rather keep hidden, and the twelve days of Christmas race toward a perilous end.

This novel takes the medieval events surrounding the sinking of the White Ship and transposes them to Regency London.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780996264877

Also by this author: The Duke's Last Hunt

Also in this series: The Duke's Last Hunt, To Wed an Heiress, A Duel for Christmas


Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance


Published by Madison Street Publishing

on 1st October, 2018

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 383

Published By: Madison Street Publishing (@MStPublishing)

Jacob Pevensey Mysteries:

To Wed an Heiress (see also Review)

The Duke’s Last Hunt (see also Review)

A Duel for Christmas

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

About Ms Rosanne E. Lortz

Roseanne E. Lortz

Rosanne E. Lortz is a writer, editor, teacher, history-lover, and mom to four boys. She loves to read, sing, draw, compose, write, and create. Education is one of her passions, particularly a classical, liberal arts education. She has taught English composition and grammar, Latin, history, music, and various other subjects for ten years at both the elementary and secondary level and is currently the Director of Academics and Admissions at Paideia Classical Christian School in Gladstone, Oregon.

Rosanne’s first book, I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince, was released in 2009. This book explores the tumultuous landscape surrounding the Hundred Years’ War and the Black Death and is a tale of arms, of death, of love, and of honor. In 2015, Rosanne began her Pevensey mysteries, novels of romantic suspense set during the British Regency (with inspiration from medieval characters and events). The first three titles are: To Wed an Heiress, The Duke’s Last Hunt, and A Duel for Christmas.

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a short missive on my love stories set during christmas:

Long, long ago I stumbled across Victorian and Regency Christmas Romance anthologies – wherein I was truly enchanted by both a) the Victorian era and b) the Regency era in equal admiration, delight and wicked joyfulness. What staid with me past my newfound love of reading Romance novels at a rather younger age than most (read: nine years) was the historical aspect of celebrating Christmas and of being lost inside the festive mood of the holiday season.

I personally adore seeking out stories set at Christmas – because somewhere between reading the stories and binge watching all the lovely tv movies made for the holiday season itself – I have become properly *addicted!* to stories involving the time of year between Thanksgiving (November, stateside) and Twelfth Night (annually in January). I never fail to amaze myself how many of these stories entice me into their folds as after awhile I thought perhaps the affection would fade or at least, I might want to limit how many of them I was reading. Instead, the opposite has become true for me!

Thus, I was rather thankful I could read A Duel for Christmas during October, as prior to October, I find it truly difficult to soak into a holiday setting for a story. It just feels wrong somehow, almost as if your reading against the natural order of nature? As crazy as that might sound it is true enough for me – thereby the earliest I general start to seek these stories out is at the end of Summer, just ahead of Autumn wicking into view and as late as the end of January if I am aching for more Hallmark Christmas movies and have expired seeing all of them ahead of the 1st of February!

My Review of a duel for christmas:

As you pick up A Duel for Christmas, you instantly notice how the story is arranged – to be chronicled by days and those particular days are re-organised to be referenced against where we are in the time-line leading into Christmas Day itself. Quite a smashing queue of reference to be had and an ingenious way of giving you that dashing excitement over Christmas arriving!

Of all the dresses I’ve read in Ms Lortz’s novels, the one which held my eye of curiosity most was the one she described in the early pages of this recent novel – where you can take a white gown and pair it off with the specialty of Christmas roses! The visual this evoked in my mind’s eye was quite splendid and I only wished to have seen the portrait of what that might have entailed – except that for novels we rarely get to see such art attached to key references in dress but ooh! What a wonderful sight the effect of that pairing must have been to withhold!

You truly feel for Maud – a woman who has loved and lost by the age of six and twenty, no longer considered an eligible match in marriage yet still regulated to make the attendance to balls nonetheless with the girls’ who’ve only just begun to seek out their own wedded bliss. You had to pause on the absurdity of it – of how society would judge a woman based on her marriage status and if she were widowed it didn’t seem to be as kosher as you might have expected – granting the woman an entry towards having a ‘second chance’ at wedded blissitude. No, it would seem if you aren’t engaged, married or otherwise invested into a courtship society in the Regency era had no idea how to ‘place you’ in its mind.

I found myself warming to Geoffrey rather instantly – despite his gaffes, he really has a charming manner about him! Especially as he cares deeply for his cousin Helena’s welfare even if she comes across a bit wanton to his directed courtesies of intervention. I would imagine it would be hard to be a guardian for someone who isn’t as keen on the arrangement as you are yourself – though in Geoffrey’s case, I am not entirely sure how set he is on the position but rather, you sense he has embraced the duty he’s been given even if he isn’t quite up to par to receive the full weight of the responsibility that goes with it.

Catching Maud and Geoffrey off-guard in a setting which was without distractions was quite lovely – as it gave you a different entrance into seeing how their personalities either clashed or worked well together. There is a part of Maud which is holding back a bit when round Geoffrey – for a woman whose only five years his senior it felt a bit silly but then again, in the Regency it was not unheard of for a woman to wed an older gent but to be considerate of feeling for a younger one? I am unsure where they swung the propriety scale on that score but I am sure it was not as acceptable then as it would be now.

One of my favourite rooms in the Regency era is the orangerie – I read a story once in recent years which described one so beautifully, I immediately searched to source a modern day contractor and carpenter who could create such a room dedicated to citrus fruit, only to become rather dismayed that unless you strictly hire someone who can take a custom job – this industry niche does not exist! Imagine!? I was quite shocked as there are still viable reasons to have orangeries! Shifting back into the text at hand – what I loved about how Ms Lortz brought this concept into her story-line is how it was another tether of interest and connection between Maud and Geoffrey!

When you have two seemingly oppositional characters who feel they are too different for each other to be a winning match it is irresistible to watch them flutter and flounder about realising they are honestly well matched instead! Not that their keenly oppositional towards each other but to the extent they are letting their years stack between them rather than focusing on more important things which honestly mean more than a five year stint of difference!

I was truly caught inside the shopping spree Maud was engaging in with Helena – there is such a festive air to the Christmas season but moreso for them, it was the leading up period of where they could plan their next ensembles and make changes to their wardrobes. The foray into discussing and playing different games of intellect or strategy was also exciting as being a gamer myself, I love discovering different kinds of games which elicit an easy thread of conversation amongst party guests.

If I were Maud, I would be scorned and disillusioned myself over the absurdity of it all! To imagine history might have to repeat itself simply due to the fact women were not generally given the right to choose if their fathers felt it was their direct duty and inclination to do the matching for them! Humph! If only Maud had used her voice a bit more in front of her father even though, truth be told it would have fallen on deaf ears as the man was unmovable as an iceberg! He was caught in his role without any regard for Maud and that was the sad truth of the matter.

No wonder Maud was adverse to the son of her late husband! He rankled my skin just by his presence near Maud and I couldn’t imagine feeling indebted to him or feeling as if he had something to hold over me which would clip my wings to be free of him! Goodness! What a horrid rat of a man to be attached to without too much hope of unsnaking him from your life anytime soon! He slithered like a snake into her affairs and he has the makings of being a royal pain in any attempt at normalcy from what I observed! A beast of a bloke with such a vileness you really don’t wish him to be in-scene any longer than necessary and even at that – a quick exit is best!

You are seriously championing Geoffrey throughout this whole ordeal and of course, dear supportive Ralph who should take the brother award to be the epitome of brotherly love and support. These two blokes knew what was really going on to bother Maud – neither of them backing down nor thinking she was not worthy of their support! It is the kind of unconditional rallying you would hope to find inspired out of the circumstances surrounding Maud – but how many would feel inclined? Maud for her part was truly in a vise of difficulties – whom to trust, whom to disclose things too and how to get yourself out of such a pickle of a state of affairs when you have zero leverage to broker yourself into freedom?

Maud’s first husband had me remembering Lady Darby’s first husband (of the Lady Darby Mysteries by Anna Lee Huber) whilst Stapleton is a close composite for Lizzie’s Mr Collins! Not oft I find characters who remind of those two blokes but in this instance, the resemblances were a bit too hard to overlook! Never my favourites mind, as they aren’t the kind of gentleman you’d want a beloved character to be chained too for any period of time but for their own parts, they had a place in the story and a purpose for being inclusive to the plot.

I nearly had forgotten how scandalous it was to be involved in a duel! As this story is set round Christmas you wouldn’t think a duel would take place – however, there is a lot of insinuations towards that end – of whom wanted to duel with whom and which of the characters actually duelled was the tall order of the day to be sorted! Through it all, Maud struggled to keep her head above water as the pressures she was subjected too dearly reminded me of Lady Darby once more – as both women were subjected to criticisms far past what they could endure.

It is the kind of story where you are unsure what to trust – your instincts for rooting out the characters to anchour your alliance or to allow the story to continue to unfold, without making any assurances on your part towards whose truth is honourable and whose legacy of sorts is worth standing up for in the end. You think you know where the ending is heading but one thing Lortz does is write intelligently woven stories to where the plots are waiting for you to inhale them but they are not about to reveal more than their ready to at any particular moment!

On how Ms Lortz wrote the Regency:

One interesting quirk of reading the Jacob Pevensey Mysteries is that I cannot say I remember Jacob Pevensey after I put the books down! If anything, I remember the main plot points and the important characters who are involved in the plotting but when it comes to drawing a connective thread between the three novels I now have read interlinking those stories with ‘Jacob Pevensey’, I fear I find myself drawing a bit of a blank! He is either not rememberable to me at all or his presence hasn’t been established like other traditional Cosy Historical Mysteries I gravitate towards reading. Meaning – usually when a series is named for a particular character, you know them so dearly well inside and out, there is no question of forgetting them. It is a rather curious quirk, eh?

I believe the only reason I started to take stock of Pevensey this time round is because I noted his name again on the cover and decided to see where I had gone amiss. His character isn’t especially one you’d consider ‘stands out’ in the context of the stories – Lortz does such a brilliant job of etching out her characters with their plights and has a large supporting cast – you simply overlook Pevensey completely! It is almost as if the titling of the series is placed on the wrong character to highlight and perhaps would have suited better to be called something entirely different.

One of the more engaging moments of the opening quarter of the novel were the thoughts of Maud – from her impressions and opinions on her peers to the societal view of her own life overall – Maud had a lot to say and her voice was warranted in being heard. Of course, the scene of reckoning and of changing opines about each other – is when Maud and Geoffrey found themselves entwined over a mere bit of mistletoe as is the tradition. Though not so traditional is how a simple rendezvous could alter one’s feelings but in this scene, you could feel the shifting of the tides!

Lortz continuously gives me the Regency in a format, layout and styling I prefer – she has such a solid grasp for the era, you nearly believe she’s either time travelling directly there to oversee the era as it unfolds (similar in vein to Kate and Leopold) or she is so dearly intuitive about the era itself, the naturalness in which it is on display is her bookish gift to readers who are madly in love with the Regency as much as I am myself!

Note to self: Find a contemporary version of ‘spillikins’ as this game sounds dearly familiar to me outside of the fact I immediately remembered fondly how much I loved playing Jenga.

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As I previously felt this was a trilogy, I was delighted learning the series is on-going and will be continuing. It is one of those kinds of series you love being inside – for the allure of how the era is written, the lushness of the language choices, the visualisations which make it uniquely of ‘the Regency’ and of course, there is quite a bit of folly & Suspense writ round the Romantic overtures! I am most delighted to see where the series goes from here and I am wicked thankful to have been able to read the first & third novel on this blog tour!

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBTFollow the Virtual Road Map

by visiting the blog tour route:

A Duel for Christmas blog tour via HFVBTs
Although I had had plans to host an interview today – as I had to postpone my review for a ‘A Duel for Christmas’ I was also delayed in sending in my questions to Ms Lortz! I am hopeful there is still time to have her receive them and answer them at her leisure to where I could share the conversation at a latter date as this is the last day of the tour itself. I am overjoyed I can share my thoughts on this third installment but I also had a heap of fun devising the questions – which as said, I hope I can share with you in the near future. Til then, enjoy the rest of the tour!
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I 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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2018 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge badge created by Jorie in Canva.

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “The Duke’s Last Hunt”, “To Wed an Heiress” & “A Duel for Christmas”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Roseanne L. Lortz, the tour host badge and HFVBTs badge were all provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna, 2018 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

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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 Monday, 8 October, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 19th Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Castles & Estates, Clever Turns of Phrase, England, Family Drama, 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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