Pennyroyal Green is a village in Sussex with two aristocratic, powerful families-- the Everseas and the Redmonds. Of course, they are enemies. It is the these families and the other people in the village that the Julie Anne Long's Pennyroyal Green series of romances concerns itself. I've read the second and sixth book (as those are the only two my local library owns.)
Starting with the sixth and most recent book (Because that's the one I read first)
How the Marquess Was Won Julie Anne Long
Phoebe Vale is a teacher at Miss Endicott's Academy-- the girls school in Pennyroyal Green for recalcitrant aristocracy.
Over the holidays, she's invited to the Redmonds to be a companion their niece, Lisbeth, who has her sights set on the Marquess of Dryden. Dryden wants Lisbeth because her dowry contains land that made up his mother's dowry and was lost by his father's gambling--- it's the only piece of the estate that Dryden has yet to recover. Of course, the chemistry is between Dryden and Phoebe. Lisbeth does all she can to remind Phoebe of her place, and Phoebe just wants to survive long enough to catch her boat to Africa, where she'll be joining a missionary group in order to see more of the world.
I loved Phoebe's strength, voice, and wit. I also liked the slow burn of the attraction between her and Dryden. Even after it's there, it takes forever to act on. Long builds the heat and tension slowly and gloriously. I liked it so much I went straight to the only other book I could get my hands on.
Like No Other Lover Julie Anne Long
Miles Redmond is a scientist and renowned explorer of the South Seas and, since the complete disappearance of his brother Lyon, Miles is also heir apparent. Cynthia Brightly was the toast of the ton, but no she has a broken engagement to an Earl's heir and is down to her last few pounds. Her best friend, Violet Redmond, doesn't know how desperate she is, that she must find a husband at this house party, for when it ends, she has no where to go.
Cynthia immediately goes for Miles, but he's been ordered to woo someone else, someone who's father will fund his next expedition. Plus, Miles is still smarting from something he overhead her say years ago, when she was Belle of the Ball and he was still a second son. But of course, they're super attracted to each other anyway, even as they try to make matches elsewhere.
I didn't like this one as much. It took me a long time before I liked Cynthia and I was well into the book before I believed their attraction or relationship. Had I not enjoyed How the Marquess Was Won so much, I doubt I would have finished it. But, I'm glad I did, because I did end up enjoying it.
I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series-- they're all on their way via ILL. The two I've read are later, and there are many clues about Lyon Redmond in both titles--I want to learn more. Also, both of the ones I've read focus on the Redmonds, with heavy hints and clues about Eversea scandal-- I want to learn more about Pennyroyal Green's other prominent family. Plus, I really loved Violet in Like No Other Lover and I know one of the books is all about her. Now, I just have to wait for the ILLs to come int!
Book Provided by... my local library
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