Review: Loving Mister Lockwell by Jerrica Knight-Catania


Loving Mister Lockwell
by Jerrica Knight-Catania
This is a short novella that was originally in the anthology A Summons From the Duke (Regency Christmas Summons Collection #2) from the lovely ladies of The Lady Scribes blog.

In these novellas, they each tell the story of the grandchildren of the Duke of Danby spending Christmas at the Danby Castle. This particular story from Jerrica is of Lady Isobel Whitton whom lives at the castle with her twin sister, parents, and the Duke.

I really loved how Jerrica wrote this story for Lady Isobel Whitton and Damien Lockwell. They're both so very opposite yet so much alike on so many different levels. Their story is told at the same time other stories are being told in the anthology, like for example her twin sister Lady Emma and her own romance.

Isobel is very bookish and especially likes reading about horticulture and animals. She hates parties and can't sing or dance for the life of her, and that includes sewing. So when Damien intrudes on her family gathering, uninvited, but then invited by a close family friend, Lord Heathfield who was invited, she just got even more annoyed for she had to play hostess for strangers.

Damien Lockwell is just a normal lad. A scoundrel if you want to call him or more like a rogue but he's still very much a gentleman in any sense. He's smart and very bookish himself but you wouldn't know it by the looks of him with his rolled out of bed hair and loose cravats. Plus he loves teasing and playing mind games, especially if it unnerves people to the bones like it does to Lady Isobel.

But I thought it was highly hilarious that these two are playing their own kind of game without knowing it. Both are also trying to help their friends work out misunderstandings in the name of love.

I really liked that we got to see different sides of Isobel and had some character development with her, very little though it was but it was nice to see her have some changes. It was nice to see that she had a vulnerable side to her especially when her mother is always insulting her on not being lady-like enough. But I found her relationship with her twin sister strangely awkward.... Yes I felt the love between the two but it was weird. They're supposedly very close but I didn't feel it because they were so different. The ending between the two sisters were also very strange because it just didn't help me understand their closeness. But it was nice to see even though it was hard to understand Isobel's thoughts on her sister. But yes seeing some changes in her was nice but it was also sad that we got very little to not enough about Damien's character. 

Though we got a hint about Damien and his neglectful family background it wasn't much to help understand why he was the way he was. I didn't see him develop much from the man we first saw him as to the final man that he came to be. There were very little changes which was fine with me because I liked him immediately, but I did want something more from him as the story moved on. 

Overall I really enjoyed and came to love this short novella. I should have said that I highly enjoyed it even more when I listened to the Audible version because it made it just so much more magical. Michaela James did a wonderful job at narrating and distinguishing the different kinds of character's voices. And she read very well too.

So yup, I'll definitely be grabbing more books from Jerrica, especially her Wetherby series and the rest of these anthologies from The Lady Scribes.  

Review: In The Stars by Ava Stone

In The Stars (Regency Encounter, #2) 

In The Stars (Regency Encounter, #2)

Have I told you how much I adore Ava Stone and her novels? I have haven’t I?

Well she has done it again for me in this short but really adorable novel. As you may want to know before hand this novel is a standalone but was written in part as an author collection-anthology with other authors. They participation in the Red Door Reads’ “Who’s Ben Skrewd? in which they each would have a red door on the cover of their novel and have a Ben Skrewd who’ll make an appearance in each story. Trust me, I was so intrigued by this Ben Skrewd guy and had to ask Ava what it was all about because I absolutely forgot about what was going on there even when I went to the party to celebrate it’s release way back when. *face palm*

But yes, this Ben Skrewd went everywhere. He’ll make an appearance during the Regency time and then travel through time to the paranormal fantasy realm and come back to the past and even make it to the present. Pretty cool that Ben Skrewd, but enough about him, he only made one small entrance in this story so what the heck!

Back to the review…..

Although this was a short story it made me feel like I was reading a longer story. Not just that but I was also listening to it through audible which was fantastic. The narrator did an amazing job telling the story and her way of distinguishing each character with her voice was fabulous. I loved it.
The characters were so loveable! I adored both of them very much. They were both hilarious and were very non-judgmental of each other. They were basically very well behaved and respectful even though they were both in a situation that both didn’t quite want— an engagement of convenience.

Miss Wilhelmina (Mina) was adorable. She is a descendant of a clan that held magical powers and loved nature and everything environmental. She is what you’ll say, a child because she believes in fairies, forest trolls, and spirits of nature and their surroundings. She also has this 6th sense in which she would have visions in her dreams and see auras of energy emitting from people around her, therefore telling her of their character– bad or good. She’s also very wild and full of spirit which makes her different from all the other girls in the ballroom. This makes her fear the presence of her father because she isn’t exactly what he wants in a daughter to act like, a spirited and imaginative childish young lady. And since he’s a captain and commander in the army he doesn’t tolerate childish behavior and wants Mina to be a proper young lady. This causes a rift in their relationship. Mina misses seeing the laid back lovable father she had as a child and her father wants what is best for her by arranging a marriage for her with someone he knows will take great care of her since everyone seems to think she’s insane and child-like. I mean she believes that her true love is a one-eyed respectful army commander…yeah.

But she’s so cute and adamant in what she believes and even though there’s the sexy Viscount Healeyfield, she’s going to pass him up to find her true love. Sure she may even be a bit naive but I think she’s an absolutely perfect strong character, especially for Nathaniel.

Viscount Healeyfield, Nathaniel, was never a Viscount. He was just a regular guy who suddenly came into possession of a Viscountcy for his heroic duty for the Crown. But all before that, he had agreed to marry his Captain’s daughter out of respect, command, and wishes for the dying old fellow, who was like a father to him. But then fortunately the Captain lived through his injuries and now Nathaniel has to do his duty and marry the chit. Of course, from what he was hearing the chit was some what strange, weird, talks to animals and trees….??? No wonder the Captain wanted him to marry her, even before he became a Viscount! And yet he fell for her strangeness and loved everything about her, despite her talking of fairies, auras, brownies, and a one-eyed man….

Nathaniel is just the perfect hero for Mina and he didn’t give a fig if she was talking nonsense or fairy tales, all he knew was that she believed in them and he wasn’t going to change her. She’s inelegant and beautiful, has a great and big heart, and is very passionate in what she wants and believes. And when he talks to Mina he doesn’t reprimand her for her thoughts and silliness. He listens and asks questions. He’s also very open in to Mina about his need of money to repair the shambles of a mansion that came with his Viscountcy. He wanted to be open about it so that she wouldn’t think him as a fortune hunter and only marrying her for her money. And how Mine responded to that was just not what he was expecting and that’s why he fell for her and wants to protect her from all the bad people in the world, despite her persistent in finding that one-eyed man.

And oh how it ended!!!! I was absolutely over the moon smiling like a fool in joy, bliss, happiness~ Eeeeekkkkk!

It was adorable and so sweet, I can’t even explain the feeling. It truly made me believe in love at that moment. Ugh why can;t I find a guy like that!?

But yes, it was beautiful.

Ah, the secondary characters I also liked. Some of them have been featured in other books and a couple got their own story told in a different short story so I’ll be grabbing that book soon to read because that couple really made me smile. Some info on that couple: they’re from Scotland, both are absolutely different from one another, they’ve been engaged since childhood, one of them is in love with the other but isn’t showing it, and one of them has their eye on someone else so it’s going to be cute seeing how they come over that hurdle. Oh how it’s going to be a sweet read for these two!

So all in all, I absolutely recommend this short story. It has a little bit of paranormal, it has silliness and humor, a great hero and a fun heroine, great secondary characters, and is an absolutely cute lovable read. I will definitely be re-reading this book.