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Melanie_Murray
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July Feature #1: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer

 

You know I'm always on the lookout for great historical romance, and if I find a book that isn't set in England I'm more likely than not to give it a read. So along comes Barely a Lady, the historical debut from FIVE-time RITA winner Eileen Dreyer. Eileen writes for Silhouette as Kathleen Korbel. Her books are usually paranormal suspense, and I am going to get every one I can now. 

 

So, about Barely a Lady. Here's the story description:


Olivia Grace has secrets that could destroy her. One of the greatest of these is the Earl of Gracechurch, who married and divorced her five years earlier. Abandoned and disgraced, Grace has survived those years at the edge of respectability. Then she stumbles over Jack on the battlefield of Waterloo, and he becomes an even more dangerous secret. For not only is he unconscious, he is clad in an enemy uniform.

But worse, when Jack finally wakes in Olivia's care, he can't remember how he came to be on a battlefield in Belgium. In fact, he can remember nothing of the last five years. He thinks he and Olivia are still blissfully together. To keep him from being hanged for a traitor, Olivia must pretend she and Jack are still married.

To unearth the real traitors, Olivia and Jack must unravel the truth hidden within his faulty memory. To save themselves and the friends who have given them sanctuary, they must stand against their enemies, even as they both keep their secrets.

In the end, can they risk everything to help Jack recover his lost memories, even though the truth may destroy them both?

 

And a STARRED review from Publisher's Weekly:

Romantic suspense author Dreyer (Nothing Personal) makes a highly successful venture into the past with this sizzling, dramatic Regency romance. Olivia Grace is the betrayed, disgraced ex-wife of Jack Wyndham, the earl of Gracechurch. When Olivia finds Jack on the battlefield at Waterloo, inexplicably dressed in a French uniform and missing his memories of the past five years, they are taken in by Lady Kate, a dowager duchess who is no stranger to scandal. To aid Jack's recovery, Olivia must bury her own anguish and anger over their divorce and pretend to still be his loving, passionate wife. Readers will love the well-rounded characters and suspenseful plot, and will cheer on intelligent, resourceful Olivia and Lady Kate as they take on disparaging men, backstabbing relatives, and stealthy assassins in their quest to protect Jack and create their own happiness in the midst of war.

 

I hope you all enjoy this one as much as I did. I can't resist heroic spies and foreign locales; wartime and danger and all that good stuff. But for me what was remarkable about this book was the friendship among the three female characters; I'm eagerly anticipating Grace and especially Lady Kate's stories. Kate is one of those characters whose sheer personality take over the book - in a great way.

 

So! Please! Read it! Tell me what you think. I want to know what you make of the relationship between Jack and Livvie, and whether you believe that she could ever forgive him and take him back. Also? I can't for the life of me think of historical romances where the hero and heroine are divorced. I love this plotline in contemporaries, and thought Eileen did a great job of making it work in the time of the book.

 

For more about Eileen, visit her website. You'll find an excerpt of BAL and plenty of info about her other books. After you've gotten hooked on her like I have, follow her on Facebook or at her Yahoo group.

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dhaupt
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Re: July Feature #1: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer

Melanie, I did not know that she wrote historical romance. She is a local author and I've read her suspense novels. Wow - old dogs - new tricks- yay. Something to add to my pile

How did I not know this (scratching head)

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Melanie_Murray
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Re: July Feature #1: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer

Deb, I think this book will hook even you, you non-historical-reader you. I found it really gripping, and with smart dialogue and believable conflicts. And an amnesiac hero!

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dhaupt
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Re: July Feature #1: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer

 


Melanie_Murray wrote:

Deb, I think this book will hook even you, you non-historical-reader you. I found it really gripping, and with smart dialogue and believable conflicts. And an amnesiac hero!


 

 

Thanks Melanie, you know I like historical romance as long as they're not bedding 13 year olds lol. And an amnesiac for a hero that sounds great I read the blurb on her web site too, where she finds him on the battle field in the wrong uniform. Very intriguing.

Thanks Melanie

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Melanie_Murray
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Re: July Feature #1: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer

Definitely not a teenaged heroine, Deb. She's a divorcee!

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Eileen_Dreyer08
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Re: July Feature #1: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer

Melanie, I'm so glad you liked BAL(looks like a European airline, doesn't it?). And yes, Debbie, I guess I am an old dog. But I've wanted to do this for a long time. I'm so excited I finally got the chance. I'm having the time of my life. I've finished Grace's story and am in the middle of tormenting Lady Kate. Her poor hero is in for such trouble.

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kmgevans
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Re: July Feature #1: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer

I didn't know this was one of July's Features. I just ordered it a few days ago, can't wait till it gets here to dive into it!

Katie
"Death is hereditary. Make sure you enjoy each day before it catches you." Tara Daniels
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dhaupt
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Re: July Feature #1: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer

[ Edited ]

 


Eileen_Dreyer08 wrote:

Melanie, I'm so glad you liked BAL(looks like a European airline, doesn't it?). And yes, Debbie, I guess I am an old dog. But I've wanted to do this for a long time. I'm so excited I finally got the chance. I'm having the time of my life. I've finished Grace's story and am in the middle of tormenting Lady Kate. Her poor hero is in for such trouble.


 

 

Ah Eileen, iI hope you don't think I was insulting you when I said Old Dog, I would never insult one of my favorite authors especially a home townie. I can't wait to read Grace's story.

So what made you want to write a historical romance?

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Eileen_Dreyer08
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Re: July Feature #1: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer

Debbie, LOL, of course you didn't. I AM an old dog. Or maybe just a veteran schnauzer. As for why I chose historical romance, I've been wanting to do it forever. I love reading it, love the Regency period of history, and I finally got the chance.

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Marisa-ONeill
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Re: July Feature #1: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer

I just got BAL - it arrived on my doorstep yesterday and I can't wait to dive in! I'm a fan of Kathleen Korbel's books - I really enjoyed Dangerous Temptation and Dark Seduction - and now I'm so very curious to see what Eileen (a.k.a. Kathleen) has in store for me as she takes me into a world of corsets, dowagers and the battlefield of Waterloo - seriously, I can hardly wait.

 

Eileen - I'm so curious - what made you decide to write an historical? Did you find that your method for researching was different with this one? 

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Eileen_Dreyer08
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Re: July Feature #1: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer

Marissa, first of all, thank you! I'm delighted you liked my fairy world. Were you able to get Deadly Redemption? If not, let me know. I think I can scare it up for you. ;-}

 

As for historicals, I love history. Even more, I love the Regency period, not just for the parlor games but for the upheavals going on in society, the world at war, the last real age of chivalry. I got hooked on Richard Sharpe long before Sean Bean played him on TV. The drawback for me was research. To be frank, I stank at it. If you look at my first books, you'll see they all revolved around things I already knew well. And for my suspenses, I was learning the forensics anyway for my job as a trauma nurse. So I decided I wouldn't try my hand at historicals until I could control my urge to read everything ever written on a period and try and squeeze it all into the book(no, no, really you want to know how Marie Antoinette's wigmaker impacted the world forty years later). (come to think of it, though, in my third historical, I do use one of Marie Antoinette's mirrors I actually happened to see)

 

Anyway, It took me this long, not only to be able to do that, but to have the time to do it. I really hope I get to stay. I'm having the time of my life.

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becke_davis
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Re: July Feature #1: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer

I didn't know Eileen was also Kathleen Korbel!

 

Don't forget this book of Eileen's, too: 

 

 

Unfortunate Miss Fortunes

 

 

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Eileen_Dreyer08
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Re: July Feature #1: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer

Becke, thank you,  yes. Kathleen Korbel is my evil twin. I've written 25 Silhouette romances under that name. And you found one my favorite books I got to do with Jenny Cruise and Anne Stuart. What an amazing experience that was !

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becke_davis
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Re: July Feature #1: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer

 


Eileen_Dreyer08 wrote:

Becke, thank you,  yes. Kathleen Korbel is my evil twin. I've written 25 Silhouette romances under that name. And you found one my favorite books I got to do with Jenny Cruise and Anne Stuart. What an amazing experience that was !


 

Jenny and Krissie are great - you all must have had a hoot working on that book together. I've read a bunch of your Kathleen Korbel books - I think I may even have some still. I'll have to dig them out!

 

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Eileen_Dreyer08
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Re: July Feature #1: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer

Working with Jenny and Krissie was one of the most amazing experiences of my writing career. They both taught me so much. And the brainstorming! I wish we had time to do it again.

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Cheyenne_Catina
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Re: July Feature #1: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer

this book sounds very good- very intriuging

"He is bound to you,” said the Queen. “But does he love you?"
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Melanie_Murray
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Re: July Feature #1: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer

Eileen, I can't believe all the great reviews you're getting! Well, actually, I can because the book is so good, but it's nice to see that the reviewers agree with me. :smileywink:

 

I love a well-researched historical. I think I would like to know about Marie Antoinette's wigmaker. Also, I enjoyed that this book wasn't set in England. What made you decide to set your trilogy in Europe?

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Eileen_Dreyer08
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Re: July Feature #1: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer

Melanie--Thank you so much. I'm delighted and fairly gobsmacked by the reviews. As for setting the book away from England, I knew all along I wanted these women to meet in Brussels on the eve of Waterloo. And the more I learned about the society there, the more fascinated I became by which people came to Brussels that year, and which people ran before the battle commenced. It was a world in upheaval.

My next books take place in England, but both Never a Gentleman and Ever the Temptress rely heavily on the research I did in India. And since I'm going to Italy this fall, I have a feeling so will some of my characters in the next part of the series. I, too, like to take the story out of the drawing room.

 

 

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becke_davis
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Re: July Feature #1: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer

I loved the excerpt of With a Vengeance on your website. Just bought myself a copy today - thanks!

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Melanie_Murray
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Re: July Feature #1: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer

Eileen, can you talk a little about Lady Kate? Did she emerge from your mind so fully-formed? She's such a vibrant, wonderful character. She kind of stole the show for me.