Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Virtual Tour + Review ~ You May Kiss the Bride - The Penhallow Dynasty by Lisa Berne

In an unforgettable debut, Lisa Berne introduces you to the 
Penhallow Dynasty—men destined to marry, but hesitant to love.

The Penhallow Dynasty #1
Lisa Berne
Releasing March 28, 2017
Avon Books

In an unforgettable debut, Lisa Berne introduces you to the Penhallow Dynasty—men destined to marry, but hesitant to love.

Wealthy and arrogant, Gabriel Penhallow knows it’s time to fulfill his dynastic duty. All he must do is follow “The Penhallow way”—find a biddable bride, produce an heir and a spare, and then live separate lives. It’s worked so well for generations, certainly one kiss with the delectable Livia Stuart isn’t going to change things. Society dictates he marry her, and one chit is as good as another as long as she’s from a decent family.

But Livia’s transformation from an original to a mundane diamond of the first water makes Gabriel realize he desperately wants the woman who somehow provoked him into that kiss. And for all the ladies who’ve thrown themselves at him, it’s the one who wants to flee whom he now wants. But how will he keep this independent miss from flying away?

She had been dismissed. Livia rose and after dipping the briefest of curtsies in Lady Glanville’s direction, went to the door with long strides, so angry that she felt she had to get out of there or explode. Behind her she heard Aunt Bella saying in a soft little bleat, “Livia! No word of gratitude! Pray come back!” Instead, she closed the door with exaggerated gentleness and leaned against it for a moment.

By the bannister stood a maidservant with an armful of gowns. With a muttered sentence of thanks Livia took them and hurried upstairs to her room where with savage satisfaction she flung the gowns against the wall, leaving them to lie in a crumpled heap on the floor. She paced back and forth, back and forth, until the red haze of rage subsided. Then she went to her bed and dropped full­length upon it with unladylike abandon, causing the old wood frame to creak alarmingly.

It was stupid of her, she knew, to react like that to the Orrs. But it was hard, so hard, when Cecily had every­ thing and she had so very little. No parents, no brothers or sisters; no money, no education, no prospects.

Your future must be thought of, too.

It was strange, now that she considered it, how little time she had spent thinking about her future. Possibly because there was no point to it. In her existence here she was like a great hoary tree, deeply, immovably, rooted into the earth.

She couldn’t even hang on to the morbid hope of inheriting anything from Uncle Charles when he died. He’d run through most of Aunt Bella’s money ages ago, and year by year everything had slowly declined, dwindled, faded away. Now there wasn’t much left; the estate barely brought in enough for Aunt Bella to pay for her cordial, and for Uncle Charles to spend his days hunting, drinking, and eating. Speaking of romantic marriages.

Well, it could be worse. At least she didn’t have a mother like that revolting Lady Glanville. Imagine having her breathing down one’s neck all day.

Still, this was only a small consolation. A very small consolation.

Livia thought about Cecily’s beautiful white gown and those elegant kid slippers with the dainty pink rosettes.

It was those rosettes that did it.

Envy, like a nasty little knife slipping easily into soft flesh, seemed to pierce her very soul.
Abruptly Livia twisted onto her side and stared at nothing.

She would not cry.

Crying never helped anything.

There came to her, suddenly, the memory of the first time she had met Cecily, some twelve years ago; they’d both been around six. Cecily and her mother had come to call. Livia, recently arrived from faraway India, desperately lonely, was so anxious to be friends with the lovely, beautifully dressed girl with the long shining curls. Shyly she had approached, trying to smile, and Cecily had responded by saying in a clear, carrying voice:
“Oh, you’re the little orfin girl. Your papa was sent away from here and he died. And your grandpapa was a runaway and he drownded. And your mama drownded, too. Why is your skin so brown? Are you dirty?” And she had backed away, to hide behind the skirts of her mother Lady Glanville, who had said to her, with that same cold smile that never reached her eyes, “Poor little Livia isn’t a native, my dear, she’s every bit as English as you and I. The sun shines quite fiercely in India, and she had no mama or papa to make sure she stayed under her parasol. Do you see?”

Livia had never forgotten the burning sense of shame from that day. Nor had Cecily made it any easier, for from time to time she would laughingly recall the occasion of their first meeting and how she had thought Livia to be unwashed, as if it was the funniest anecdote in all the world.

Livia did not like to remember, even if only hazily, how when she was four, the monsoon season struck Kanpur with devastating onslaughts of rain. Both her widowed mother and her grandfather had died in a great flood, and it was with grudging reluctance that Uncle Charles had sent money for his niece’s passage to England.

Upon arriving in Wiltshire, Livia was not so much welcomed into the home—if such the ancient, ram­ bling domicile known as Ealdor Abbey could be so termed—of Uncle Charles and Aunt Bella, as absorbed. Aside from grumbling within earshot about the expense of feeding her, Uncle Charles barely noticed her. Aunt Bella, childless, somnolent, always unwell, with interest in neither Society nor useful occupation, accepted Livia’s presence without a blink but also without care or concern for the little girl for whom she was, ostensibly, responsible.

Oh, you’re the little orfin girl.

Livia smiled without humor.

Yes indeed, Cecily certainly had a knack for getting to the heart of things. 

One of the most romantic, yet funniest reads of the year; this will keep you reading and laughing long into the night! A High 5 Stars for Lisa Berne's newest series: You May Kiss the Bride - The Penhallow Dynasty. This was my first book to read by Lisa Berne's and I must say I was really impressed. Her writing style is impeccable, she weaves a tale of such depth and adventure that you will not be able to put down. Truly a very talented author and I look forward to reading many more of her works.

First, we are met by Livia, her Aunt and Cecily (a very spoiled, self-righteous young lady) and her mother. They are discussing Cecily's plans for marriage to the very wealthy and good looking Gabriel Penhallow of The Penhallow Dynasty. Cecily is rather pompous in her responses and often looks down her nose at Livia. She has also brought Cecily some old dresses of hers as she is getting some new ones. Livia feels utterly mortified and humiliated as she always has in Cecily's presence. Often Cecily made fun of Livia, for Livia was an orphan and now resides with her aunt and uncle in an old shabby abbey and has really no hopes of getting a husband, at least not one who is an aristocrat.

Later, we see a family arriving; none other than the Penhallow's and the gorgeous Gabriel Penhallow. They've traveled for him to meet his betrothed; Miss Cecily Orr and prepare for his marriage and his rightful duty to the Dynasty. Well, while running about through the woods he gets lost and happens upon a young miss who he mistakes for a maid. It is none other than Livia and he rudely throws a couple of coins down at her and asks her for directions. All the while, he's mesmerized by her sparkling emerald green eyes. Taken a back by his behavior and quite hurt by it, Livia plays the part and talks in an unintelligent accent. Well after giving him directions and watching him dash off, she angrily rubs the coin into the mud and dashes back to the house. She drags out all of Cecily's gowns and makes a new one, planning to attend the ball after all. She'll not let them put her down anymore.

While at the ball, Gabriel sees her and notices she's the girl from the woods and he sees her with Tom Orr a rather rogue fellow. So he follows them after Tom departs her presence; Gabriel scolds her for being out with him so long in the garden. She begins to give him a piece of her mind, but Gabriel being so captivated by her, he leans down and kisses her to show her what can happen to her. Well, unbeknownst to them, her uncle and the Orr's, as well as Gabriel's grandmother, are approaching. Well they see them kissing and that Livia's dress has slipped down her shoulder. Well having caused one of the biggest scandals, now Gabriel is forced to marry Livia.

At first, Livia does not accept it and flees off to become a scullery maid in a local inns kitchens. However, Gabriel runs after her and brings her back. Livia is then taken to Bath to stay with his Grandmother and learn all about becoming a proper Lady. She soon endures long lessons and many a insult. Gabriel keeps pushing himself from her, but he can't help but feel captivated by her and she too begins to feel drawn more and more to him, even though she strives to resist it. Will these two from very different worlds awaken to the love that brews within and fall madly in love? Or will they end up as the Dynasty's history has always been; both living in two separate places?

Absolutely wonderful book, I loved it from cover to cover and I highly commend Ms. Berne on her talents. What a wonderful new series and I can't wait to read the next book.

Lisa Berne read her first Georgette Heyer book at fourteen, and was instantly captivated. Later, she was a graduate student, a grantwriter, and an investment banker, but is thrilled to be returning to her roots and writing her own historical-romance novels! She lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest