Amanda L. V. Shalaby
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Crimson Romance
Release Date
April 2013
Historical Novel with Romantic Elements, Historical Romance, Romantic Suspense/Mystery

Audra Kingsley, a wealthy heiress, may not have seen much of the world, but she knows exactly how she wants her future to play out—and a coming out ball held at her country estate, Kingsley Manor, would suit her just fine. Her father's wish that she be presented at St. James in London seems silly since she is to marry her neighbor and childhood sweetheart, Lord Crispin Brighton, but she obliges him.

Audra travels to London with her patroness, the eccentric Lady Sutherland, intending to return home as soon as she has curtseyed to the Queen. Unknown to her, Lady Sutherland is in no rush to leave London before the Season is over and intends to show Audra she has more options in the suitor department than Lord Crispin, a second son.

Audra finds herself surrounded by few friends and is forced to attend parties, balls, and operas—all while becoming the object of a secret admirer's obsession. As Audra struggles to make her way home to her beloved, plans to compromise her into an unwanted marriage are underway.

by Amanda L.V. Shalaby

Book Review by preppea (reviewer)
Jul 01, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
168 people found the following review helpful
Mystery, intrigue, and Regency era romance combine for a shocking and exciting sequel to Amanda Shalaby's Rhianna.

Audra has known since she was a young girl that she would one day marry Lord Crispin Brighton and the only thing standing in her way is to be presented at St. James in London. She accompanies her patroness, and Lord Brighton's aunt, to London with the intention of coming out and then immediately returning home to marry her true love.

Audra's patroness, Lady Sutherland, has no intention of letting her leave so quickly and informs Audra that they should stay for the season so she has every opportunity to meet any other potential suitors she might prefer to Lord Brighton.

While it is obvious from the start that Lady Sutherland is conniving and has her own interests at heart in keeping Audra in London, the reader is left on the edge of their seat as to what her ulterior motives are. Add a suitor trying to woo Audra for himself, a secret admirer who leaves notes and appears to be stalking Audra, and a murder at one of the balls, and I was more than ready for Lord Brighton to swoop in and save the day.

While I really came to enjoy Audra as a heroine and really respect her steadfast feelings for Lord Crispin and her resolve not to lead on any other guys, I felt like I wasn't as immersed in the story as I was with the first book in the series. Perhaps it was because Audra had already fallen in love with Crispin before this book took place and the majority of the time they were forced to be away from each other, but without getting to experience the two falling in love myself, I always felt like I was reading the story rather than experiencing it.

The mystery and suspense aspects of the story however were spot on and, combined with a very honest approach of what this all would be like for a girl in Regency England, the story is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seat until the very last page.
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