Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles. She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books. She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
The adventure is great; the romance blossoming is lovely; and, the historical facts regarding the brewery industry were extremely interesting
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
I know what you're thinking, you readers, you; just from the title of this book you already assume this is just another fluffy romance novel. I hate to "pop" your preconceived balloon, but this series is far more than just another run-o'-the-mill "bodice ripper." This is an actual historical novel which delves into the brewery business, as well as offering a family of, for lack of a better word, Hellions, who are living through the gossip and innuendo that was highly prevalent in 1800's English society.
In Book I of this series entitled, The Truth About Lord Stoneville, we first met up with this family who lived at Halstead Hall. There are five children in the family including the oldest, Oliver, as well as Gabe, Jarret, Minerva and Celia. These children are living under a shroud of mystery. Once upon a time their mother, supposedly, shot their father by mistake, then turned the gun on herself because of how absolutely horrified she was that she'd killed her husband, leaving her five children behind to fend for themselves. Grandma was the woman who brought the kids to live with her in London, hoping that she could somehow raise them under the shame and name-calling that was all around them. To this day, the kid's mother is known as the Halstead Hall Murderess, and the case is still unsolved.
In this newest novel we are brought into Jarret's world. Jarret is a young man who truly loves the brewery business, which is the business that Grandma has always run that supports the kids in the lifestyle they've become accustomed to. Jarret used to go to the brewery every day and the job, itself, was a joy for him; he always wanted to inherit the business someday because he seems to have a "gift" for knowing all there is to know about the industry. Grandma had other ideas. When Jarret was just a boy, she sent him off to Eton because she believed a Lord of his "station" should become a barrister or a soldier, not an average Joe working night and day in a smelly brewery. Jarret got extremely angry at his grandmother and literally turned into the one thing she probably never wanted him to be - a professional gambler. Jarret became financially independent because of his fantastic skill at the card table.
One day Grandma summons him to let him know that she is ill, and she is petrified that the brewery will fall into the wrong hands. So...she makes a deal with Jarret. A long time before, Grandma told each and every one of the kids that they had one year to get married or they would all be disinherited. Jarret, who was supposed to inherit the brewery, was also a part of this pledge from Grandma, and he was highly upset. There was NO way he was going to take a wife and make the old woman happy. He was simply going to support himself on his card playing and deal with the fact that he would never be the owner of the family business. But now that Grandma's sick, she needs Jarret, which allows him to take the reins of his own life. She tells Jarret that if he will take over the brewery while she's sick, he can forget about having to find a wife. Jarret is thrilled, although a little worried, that Grandma will still find some way to butt into his business from her "sick bed." He knows she has spies throughout the brewery that will be more than happy to run to her and tell her everything he's doing wrong. But...he takes the deal anyway.
One day a young, beautiful woman shows up from a competing brewery named Lake Ale. Her name is Annabel Lake and she is a thirty-year-old spinster. Her brother is the one in charge of her family brewery that is headed for bankruptcy and ruin. She makes her very own brew, and brings a sample to the Plumtree Brewery owned by Jarret's family, and tries to strike a deal with him. If he can find a way to sell this brew to the East India Trading Company captains, than she will give him the recipe and the two breweries can go into a joint venture together to save both their families. Jarret turns her down flat until...that night, when the girl follows him to a bar where he's sitting with his friends playing cards. She won't give up until he helps her, and makes a bet with him over a card game, which, she wins. As Jarret travels with her to meet her family and try to set up the partnership, he finds himself absolutely intrigued by the woman. She is holding on to some pretty serious family secrets, and Jarret can "feel" the fact that Annabel Lake has much more to offer than a simple recipe for a really good ale.
The adventure is great; the romance blossoming is lovely; and, the historical facts regarding the brewery industry were extremely interesting. Sabrina Jeffries is an author who I have certainly read in the past, but I must say that this new Hellions series is my favorite thus far. I can't wait to read the next one, which I believe will be about the sister, Minerva, who is a writer extraordinaire, and her adventure that will hopefully (for her Grandmother's sake) lead her to the altar. Enjoy this one, folks! It's a good-y!
Click Here To Purchase A Hellion in Her Bed (Hellions of Halstead Hall)