Published by Maggi Andersen on April 3rd 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Captain Jack Ryder – The Duke’s Bastard - Regency Sons.Book 1..The death of Captain Jack Ryder’s father, the Duke of Stamford, leaves Jack restless. The duchess’ spiteful relatives have made his life a misery, and he wants nothing more than to escape London for a time. Dressed in buckskin breeches, he takes to the road on his horse, Arion, with the intention of visiting his mother’s grave in Ireland. But after one day, events conspire to interrupt his plans. Jack finds himself not only caught up in a conspiracy of immense proportions, but also in a passionate love affair with a lady he cannot marry. Lady Ashley Lambourne’s father, the Marquess of Butterstone has been murdered, and Jack promises to find his killer. A close friend of Jack’s from his army days, Harry Feather, heir to one of the largest fortunes in England, faces an arranged marriage to Lady Erina Roundtree. A tall half-Irish beauty, Erina is a spirited lady, who makes it plain she doesn’t wish to marry Harry, either. Determined to enjoy a quiet existence after his years fighting Bonaparte, Harry fears Erina will run him ragged. Why he is indulging Erina in one of her harebrained schemes is beyond him, when he should marry a quiet woman like Florence Beckworth.
Hi everyone, I’m thrilled to introduce the first book in my new series, REGENCY SONS. I enjoyed writing Jack’s story. I based Jack on Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, his tall muscled frame, and his restless nature, brought about by his years in the army, but Captain Jack Ryder is very much my own creation. All the characters, Harry Feather, Lady Erina Roundtree, and Lady Ashley Lambourne will appear again in the next book in the series which will center on Grant Neville, the new Duke of Stamford.
CAPTAIN JACK RYDER – The Duke’s Bastard
The death of Captain Jack Ryder’s father, the Duke of Stamford, leaves Jack restless. The Duchess’ spiteful relatives have made his life a misery, and he wants nothing more than to escape London for a time. Dressed in buckskin breeches, he takes to the road on his horse, Arion, with the intention of visiting his mother’s grave in Ireland. But after one day, events conspire to interrupt his plans.
Jack finds himself not only caught up in a conspiracy of immense proportions, but also in a passionate love affair with a lady he cannot marry. Lady Ashley Lambourne’s father, the Marquess of Butterstone has been murdered, and Jack promises to find his killer.
A close friend of Jack’s from his army days, Harry Feather, heir to one of the largest fortunes in England, faces an arranged marriage to Lady Erina Roundtree. A tall half-Irish beauty, Erina is a spirited lady who makes it plain she doesn’t wish to marry Harry, either. Determined to enjoy a quiet existence after his years fighting Bonaparte, Harry fears Erina will run him ragged. Why he is indulging Erina in one of her harebrained schemes is beyond him when he should marry a quiet woman like Florence Beckworth.
Allow me to introduce the Regency Sons
Captain Jack Ryder
Mr. Harry Feather
His Grace, Grant Neville, the Duke of Stamford
Lord Timothy Scott, Baron Waddington’s heir
Lord Miles Hawkeswood, second son of Marquess Sterling
Enjoy an exclusive…
In the salon after a sumptuous dinner that only Jack seemed to enjoy, he had questioned Lady Butterstone in as gentle a manner as he could. She clamped her lips and refused to discuss her husband’s work in France. Despite his dying declaration, Lord Butterstone was incapable of error in her eyes. “Butterstone was an exemplary diplomat,” she insisted. She fingered the black pearls at her throat, her dove gray eyes cold. “My daughter believes you can help us, Captain Ryder. I am yet to be convinced of it.”
“You might consider employing a Bow Street runner, my lady,” Jack said, moving his shoulders uncomfortably in a coat too small for him. It would be a good outcome for them both.
Her eyes would once have been as beautiful as her daughters. Uncertainty filled them. “I prefer not to.”
Lady Ashley patted her mother’s hand. “I should like Captain Ryder to stay, Mama.” She turned to him. “If he could spare us a few more days.”
“I’d be happy to.” Jack wished she didn’t look so beautiful in blue satin. The gown was molded to the curves of her body in such a way that…. He swallowed a mouthful of cognac and put down the snifter. “But without anything to go on, I’m not sure that I can be of help to you.”
Lady Ashley looked imploringly at her mother.
Lady Butterstone drew a lacy shawl around her shoulders, her face ravaged by grief. “My husband’s correspondence has arrived with his luggage. Perhaps his letters might reveal something important.”
Her daughter stood. “Then we shall go to the library and peruse them.”
“Should your mother wish it,” Jack said.
“I… I’m… not sure that Butterstone would approve of you reading his letters, Captain Ryder,” her ladyship stuttered.
Her daughter was already walking to the door. “Father has gone, Mama. And he did ask for Captain Ryder’s help.”
Lady Butterstone nodded wearily. “Very well. I shall retire.”
In the library, a room of immense proportions lined to the ceiling with tomes, Lady Ashley rang for a footman and instructed him to light the fire.
“Do you care for more cognac?
Jack refused. “Best keep a clear head,” he said concerned at how easily he might lose his.
After the wood in the hearth blazed, the footman departed. They went to an inlaid mahogany desk on which someone had placed a large leather valise. “Father’s secretary has not yet arrived to deal with this matter. Please take Father’s seat. It’s more comfortable.”
Jack drew up a chair for her. He took the leather chair behind the desk.
She drew the valise toward her and opened it. “I’ll separate all the correspondence pertaining to France. I doubt the rest is of much interest.”
“An excellent idea,” Jack said, watching her. Everything about her delighted him, from her long slim fingers to her delicate throat caressed with fair tendrils. He sighed, leaned back, and tapped his fingers on the leather desktop. He had left London so that he would never want what he could not have. And here he was, hopelessly, foolishly, caught up. “Perhaps we can uncover the mystery tonight.”
She raised her eyes to his, a letter in her hand. “You are anxious to leave us.”
“My reason for that may surprise you.”
She flushed slightly. “But you won’t tell me.”
“Not a good idea.”
She traced her full bottom lip with her tongue. “If you don’t wish it.”
Jack’s blood heated. He pushed back his chair. He’d been accused of being hotheaded in his time. And damn it, it was true. Why stop now when it really mattered? He came around to where she sat, reached down, and removed the letter. Took her hands and drew her to her feet.
She didn’t protest her gaze locked with his. He slid an arm around her waist and raised her chin, brought his mouth down on hers. Oh, but she was sweet; he lost himself in her scent and her slim body as she kissed him back while her fingers threaded through the hair at his nape.
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Question: Jack Ryder and his friend, Harry Feather are very different. Jack is a big man, tall and muscular, he’s adventurous, restless, passionate, and can be a dangerous adversary. Harry is shorter, slighter, more elegant, humorous, and known to be kind, although he’s perfectly capable of incapacitating a foe when necessary.
What sort of hero do you like?
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
Captain Jack Ryder is feeling restless after the death of his father the Duke of Stamford. He isn’t the heir as he is illegitimate, and the last thing he wants is to be around when his relatives swoop like vultures for the reading of the will to see what could have been left to them. With that in mind, he decides to travel to Ireland to visit his mother’s grave. He’s travelling with the least luggage, and on horseback, he doesn’t want anybody to know who he is. Before he even got a good start on his journey he ends up caught up in the problems of Lady Ashley Lambourne. On their travels home from France, her father is shot and the family are brought to the Inn Jack is staying in. He offers help and tries to save the man, but he’s been too badly injured and he dies from the gunshot. Conscience makes Jack want to look after Ashley and her family and to find out who murdered her father and why.
In the meantime, Jack’s friend Harry is feeling melancholy because he is being forced into a marriage with a woman who he feels is far too excitable for him. He wants a wife who is happy to stay at home, sew, and be happy with a quiet life. None of the things that Lady Erina Roundtree is. She doesn’t want the marriage either, she needs to get to Ireland and rescue her mother’s niece who is being forced either out of her home or into marriage with the nasty man who owns it. Erina’s father has always wanted nothing to do with his late wife’s family, but Erina is sure that if she can bring her mother’s niece home with her from Ireland her father will let her stay with them. With that in mind she comes up with a scheme to get there, she just needs Harry to escort her to Wales where she can catch a boat over to Ireland. He agrees, and their adventure begins.
I thoroughly enjoyed Jack and Harry’s stories, but they were so separate to each other, only linked by the fact that they knew each other from their army days, that I felt that each of their stories should have been written as separate novellas. Or maybe if more was added to each story which could easily have been done, each could have been made into a full-length book. Jack’s story was such an intense one full of suspense, betrayal, conspiracies and of course romance, that it really eclipsed Harry’s story. His story was more of an adventure with the suspense coming when they finally made it to Ireland. The story is a good one and could be appreciated so much more if not added with Jack’s story.
That said, I did enjoy them both and do recommend them. It’s just odd to talk about one book which feels like two different stories entirely.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.