BOOK REVIEW/BLOG TOUR: A Duel for Christmas by Rosanne E. Lortz

Publication Date: October 1, 2018
Madison Street Publishing
Paperback & eBook; 383 Pages
Series: Pevensey Mysteries, #3
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Regency


After seven long years in Devon, Lady Maud Worlington returns to London to reclaim life on her own terms, but a nefarious shadow and the prospect of financial ruin dog her steps. An impulsive and unforgettable kiss under the mistletoe creates a connection with Geoffrey, the handsome, young Duke

of Tilbury. Yet as pleasant as it is to have a suitor, Maud is not sure how a boy of one-and-twenty can prove an equal partner in life and the equal of all the forces mounted against her.

The Duke of Tilbury considers himself as adept at managing matters as he is at swordplay, but his beautiful new acquaintance Lady Worlington has other ideas about how to manage her complicated life. Intrigued by their stolen kiss, Geoffrey pursues Lady Worlington's affections, only to be foiled by the lady's own doubts, by rivals for her hand, and by a sudden death that affects both their families. When Jacob Pevensey, the investigator from Bow Street enters the scene, the duke becomes a prime suspect in the murder case. Truths are unearthed that Geoffrey would rather keep hidden, and the twelve days of Christmas race toward a perilous end.

This novel takes the medieval events surrounding the sinking of the White Ship and transposes them to Regency London. It is the third book in the Pevensey series, but can be read as a standalone.

My Thoughts

This novel is my introduction to author Rosanne E.Lortz, whose Regency romances are inspired by medieval events. The inspiration for A Duel for Christmas is the sinking of the White Ship in the 12th century and those familiar with this period in history will pick up on the characters’ names and their relationship to one another.

When widowed Lady Maud Worlington and Geoffrey Angiers, the Duke of Tilbury, meet, the attraction between the two is instant. While Geoffrey holds true to his feelings for Maud, she denies the attraction citing the difference in their ages (she is older than him), her previous treatment by men, her relationship with her stepson and other suitors, which all impede loves true path. Plus there are secrets being kept on both sides. When a death affects both of their families and murder is suggested, a number of these secrets are revealed. Finding himself on a list of suspects, Geoffrey is determined to prove his innocence and, that despite his age, his feelings for Maud are sincere and he is a good catch!

I have mentioned in other posts that I usually like to begin a series with the first book, but can be tempted to read a book out of order if it is a standalone. A Duel for Christmas is structured in such a way that it doesn't feel like part of a series. Unlike other mysteries, the crime occurs two-thirds into the story not at the beginning, at which time Jacob Pevensey, the Bow Street Runner, makes his first appearance. Through his thoughts I realised he had met some of the characters before and this, for me, was the only indication that this novel was part of a series. I also found it unusual that Pevensey, who I thought would have a greater role in this story, is more of a minor character, but I expect his role will develop further as the series progresses.

A Duel for Christmas is a very entertaining Regency mystery/romance, filled with believable characters, an intriguing plot and a mystery that kept me guessing; a lighthearted read that makes an ideal festive story. I enjoyed my first Rosanne E. Lortz novel and look forward to reading more from this author.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Rosanne E. Lortz is a writer, editor, teacher, history-lover, and mother to four boys. She loves to read, sing, draw, compose, write, and create. Education is one of her passions, particularly a classical, liberal arts education. She has taught English composition and grammar, Latin, history, music, and various other subjects for ten years at both the elementary and secondary level and is currently the Director of Academics and Admissions at Paideia Classical Christian School in Gladstone, Oregon.

Rosanne’s first book, I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince, was released in 2009. This book explores the tumultuous landscape surrounding the Hundred Years’ War and the Black Death and is a tale of arms, of death, of love, and of honor. In 2015, Rosanne began her Pevensey mysteries, novels of romantic suspense set during the British Regency (with inspiration from medieval characters and events). The first three titles are: To Wed an Heiress, The Duke’s Last Hunt, and A Duel for Christmas.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 1: Review at Pursuing Stacie
Tuesday, October 2: Review at Jorie Loves a Story and
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, October 3: Review at Donna's Book Blog
Thursday, October 4: Guest Post at Passages to the Past
Saturday, October 6: Review at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen
Monday, October 8: Review at A Darn Good Read
Tuesday, October 9: Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Giveaway (US only)

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