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Friday, September 18, 2015

New Regency Romance Simply Charming (With a Giveaway!)

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

A humiliating rejection in London sends Lord Philip Hamilton looking for a far-off place to hide while he mends his broken heart.  Oakely Park, his father's sugarcane plantation in Jamaica, seems to fit the bill perfectly.  Except, of course, for the country's oppressive, interminable heat; the inadequate, untrained household staff; and a cruel, intimidating overseer who sets Philip's teeth on edge.  The 29-year-old may be a spoiled dandy who knows little about island life, but he's determined to make his new situation work.  He'll ensure the plantation continues to turn a profit, while searching for a wealthy wife who can help him increase his holdings.  Philip has had enough of love; a profitable business transaction is all he desires from marriage now.  

Just as Philip is feeling comfortable in his new role as a sugar baron, the body of an unconscious woman washes up on the shore of his property.  Judging by her injuries, she's been floating in the water for some time.  Not knowing what to make of this turn-of-events, Philip carries her to his home and waits for her to recover.  Anna (according to the pendant around her neck) awakens with no memory of her former life or the accident that pitched her into the sea.  Concerned, Philip allows her to stay as she regains her strength.  As the weeks pass, Philip finds himself thoroughly enchanted by Anna, despite his best efforts not to be.  His heart may be opening to the kind, beautiful woman, but a very large question remains:  Who is she?  Will her memory ever return?  And, if it does, will it compel her to leave Oakely Park behind, possibly forever?  Philip's got plenty to worry about already—the success of his crops, managing dozens of slaves, bloodthirsty highwaymen lurking between his plantation and the nearest port, pirates, the flattery of a very rich woman, etc.—but it's Anna who's most on his mind.  Who is the mysterious woman and how has she managed to creep so stealthily into his locked heart?

Although I don't read a lot of Regency romances, it's a genre I can always count on for light, pleasurable reading between darker, heavier fare.  Slipping into a glittering fantasy world of elegant dances, frivolous gossip, and genteel flirtation is just fun, you know?  Jennifer Moore's novels offer all this—and more.  Going beyond the typical banter and ball gowns, she explores meatier issues (like PTSD in Lady Emma's Campaign) which give her romances an atypical depth.  Simply Anna, Moore's newest, is no exception.  While the author makes a real effort to keep the novel light, she addresses a very dark problem: slavery in the West Indies in the 19th Century.  Through Malachi, Betty, Ezekiel, and others, Moore shows the cruelty and prejudice slaves often faced as the "property" of greedy sugar barons.  This element adds poignancy to a tale that's already full of heart, humor, and swashbuckling adventure.  At its center, though, Simply Anna is a story about two people discovering what's most important in life.  A quick, charming yarn, this one's too enjoyable to pass up.

(Readalikes:  Similar in tone to other novels by Jennifer Moore; also, those of Sarah M. Eden and Julianne Donaldson)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for violence and mild sexual innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Simply Anna from the generous folks at Covenant in exchange for taking part in the book's virtual tour.  Thank you!


Enter for a chance to win a copy of Simply Anna and a $25 Amazon gift card:
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Check out other stops on the blog tour:

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Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson


The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

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