Read heiress without a cause by Sara Ramsey Online

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One title to change his life...A disgraced son with a dark reputation, William “Ferguson” Avenel is content to live in exile–until his father dies in the scandal of the Season. With rumors of insanity swirling around them, his sisters desperately need a chaperone. Ferguson thinks he’s found the most proper woman in England–and he won’t ruin her, even if he secretly desiresOne title to change his life...A disgraced son with a dark reputation, William “Ferguson” Avenel is content to live in exile–until his father dies in the scandal of the Season. With rumors of insanity swirling around them, his sisters desperately need a chaperone. Ferguson thinks he’s found the most proper woman in England–and he won’t ruin her, even if he secretly desires the passionate woman trapped beneath a spinster’s cap.One chance to break the rules...Lady Madeleine Vaillant can’t face her blighted future without making one glorious memory for herself. In disguise, on a London stage, she finds all the adoration she never felt from the ton. But when she’s nearly recognized, she will do anything to hide her identity–even setting up her actress persona as Ferguson’s mistress. She’ll take the pleasure he offers, but Madeleine won’t lose her heart in the bargain.One season to fall in love...Every stolen kiss could lead to discovery, and Ferguson’s old enemies are determined to ruin them both. But as their dangerous passion ignites their hearts and threatens their futures, how can an heiress who dreams of freedom deny the duke who demands her love?...

Title : heiress without a cause
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 18814194
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 343 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

heiress without a cause Reviews

  • Kelly_Instalove
    2019-02-24 22:59

    Grade: C--- (very nearly a D+, but it wasn't quite a "Lady Alexandra's Excellent Adventure" level of bad.The entire premise of this book is a big ol’ Hot Mess, with all the requisite confusing plot contrivances to force the action and motivations into something vaguely resembling logic.I came very, very close to DNFing, but some swoon-worthy sentences (and the irrelevant fact that the author claims to be an Iowa girl) gave me hope that the writing might somehow overcome all the early red flags.The setting....Regency London. The fantasy-land Mistorical Island version (see below).The backstory...Our heroine, Lady Madeleine Vaillant, is half-French, orphaned by the guillotine because her parents stayed behind to protect their chateau. Or something like that. She lives in London with her aunt and cousins, desperately yearning for someone – anyone – to adore her (more on this later).Our hero, William Avenel, is the newly-titled and very reluctant Duke of Rothwell. He’s edging his way back into the ton nearly ten years after purposely getting himself exiled to Scotland to escape his humorless father. The duke has three sisters – two are much-younger twins in need of a society chaperone, the other a scandalous widow.The plot...This is going to get a little hairy. Please be patient and save all your questions until the end.Believing herself to be trapped in a “boring but comfortable prison,” and being desperately desperate for adoration (see below), our heroine decides her only option is to become An Actress.Here, in a white muslin ball gown, with her brown hair tucked into a spinster’s cap, no one spared her a first glance, let alone a second.Last night, wearing breeches and a wild, unkempt wig, everyone cheered at her feet.The breeches and wig are part of her costume for her role in Hamlet. To be more specific, the LEAD role.Our hero, who just happens to own the theater, is naturally stunned stupid by Lady Madeline’s amazing acting (performed under a French pseudonym, of course). Naturally, he accosts her in her dressing room, where he immediately recognizes her as the quiet Mayfair spinster he hoped to engage as a chaperone for his young sisters.This recognition leads to our heroine (in her actress persona) pretending to be the duke’s mistress. For scandal-proofing and safety reasons, of course.If you’re thinking that all these contrivances to get them into bed defy logic and reason, you are correct. All this happens in the first third of the book.What made it even more frustrating is that our happy couple’s backstories are revealed too little, too late. Instead, we’re immediately dumped into the characters’ heads, where inexplicable things are happening.My "oh, really???" bullshit-o-meter was starting to veer off the charts to the Land of DNF. But once I understood Madeline and Ferguson’s motivations, I was much more willing to keep reading.Of course, I still held a grudge throughout the rest of the book. My good opinion, once lost, is lost forever. Usually. I occasionally relent if the sexy times are hot.There was nothing too painful about the predictable “Oh NOES, I’m RUINED, no wait, NEVER MIND” road to the predictable baby-filled epilogue. In fact, the calming of the craziness allowed for some really good writing and characterization to peek through – just enough to make me feel a teensy bit guilty for my petulant snarking.But wait – there’s more!Lest you think I’ve gone all “Nice Girl Saying Sunshine-y Things About A Delightful Book By A Lovely Author” on you, it’s time to discuss the Mistoricals.Yes, I am now using that as a noun. A proper noun, no less. However, if I ever use "mistoricalize" or any other variant as a verb, you have my full and complete permission to report such abuse to the Hypocrite Police and the Plain English Campaign.ALSO: I’m thinking "The Mistoricals" would be a great name for a Monty Python-esque comedy troupe.Where were we? Ah, yes – the slums of London.Seven Dials could be dangerous, particularly at night, but the overflow of crowds from nearby Covent Garden mitigated the risk.The theater in which our heroine achieves her life-long dream of being an Adored Actress is located in Seven Dials. No, not a made-up, slightly seedy theater district like Covent Garden. You know, the notorious slum that’s even slummier than the rookeries of St. Giles surrounding it.THAT Seven Dials.Our heroine is headlining a proto-feminist version of Hamlet. As in the high-brow Shakespeare tragedy. In a theater located in a festering slum inhabited by uneducated and desperately poor footpads, cutpurses, prostitutes and street urchins. The production is a huge hit.Our resident Drama Queen travels to the theater and back accompanied only by her aging maid. But it’s perfectly safe, because they take a hackney.In all fairness, I know that many – if not most – readers won’t be familiar with the history of London slums. And there very well could have been such a theater in the midst of squalor.But as a history geek, I have a really hard time imagining bored aristocrats going to the rookeries for shits and giggles. I struggled with this setting so much it completely knocked me out of the story every time it was mentioned.My mental picture of Seven Dials looks much less like this......and a LOT more like this:But darker. And noisier. With a smell that would knock you into next Tuesday.Our heroine......the damp, moist air of the playhouse felt like her ruin closing in on her. But some secret place, which she would never confess to, was thrilled at her forced return to the stage. In all her years as a debutante, she had never walked into a room and felt – adored.Two weeks into her acting gig, Lady Madeline is shocked – SHOCKED, I tell you – to learn that drunken rakish lords assume she is, or will be, someone’s mistress. This disturbing correlation of “actress = fallen woman” has never occurred to our titled 28-year-old heroine.In the darkened alleyway, she should have been afraid – but there remained that fascinating feeling that she was in control, not them.There’s a very fine line between naive and TSTL, and I’m pretty sure Lady Madeline crosses it.More than once.They discussed her like she was a commodity, and seeing how men spoke about women when there were no ladies present annoyed her.[image error]And then again:Was this what it was to be a courtesan – an object for entertainment?The duties and expectations of a courtesan are foreign to Lady Madeline – even though she knows what “carte blanche” is, compares a scent to an Eastern harem, and giggles over erotic engravings with her friends.And...again:She may have liked their adoration from the safety of the stage, but in the alley, their desires felt dangerous.Not done yet:...the next few weeks might be the only time she would ever feel adored – by the ton, by the audience, by the duke who promised to save her....Being alone with him in a closed carriage was very different from dancing with him in a crowded ballroom....With the events of the last two hours – losing her virginity, and then refusing a marriage proposal from a man she thought she might love – she knew she would not sleep easily.*~*SIGH*~*Our hero...He had last been seen nearly a decade earlier, when everyone knew him as Ferguson – a third son with no prospects and a scandalous reputation.Our duke is not a Sneering Snob type of duke. He’s a Very Reluctant type of duke. In fact, he’s so averse that he’s dithering over when – or IF – he will assume his exalted title and ducal responsibilities. First, though, he had to decide whether to truly be the duke.On Mistorical Island, it's perfectly OK for an English peer to shrug off a title and send it back for a refund. Why is he so reluctant? Not only was his father an Evil Tyrant, but his two older brothers (now conveniently dead) had Mysterious Issues. These issues were so mysterious that gossips assumed Ferguson scarpered off to the Highlands because he was going mad from a bad case of the pox.Another benefit of living in an anarchy like Mistorical Island is getting to Choose Your Own Name. Our hero takes full advantage of this by insisting on being addressed as Ferguson – his late mother’s maiden name. So naturally everyone in Mayfair and beyond foregoes the irksome formality of all those "Your Graces" and "milords" because they don’t want him to get all pissy about it.ALSO: Within minutes of being introduced in a ballroom, our hero bestows our heroine with a unique and charming nickname. He calls her "Lady Mad." Get it??? (har har)Basically, Ferguson is an Angsty Alpha. If pouting counts as angst and de-virginizing a spinster makes one an a he-man. He’s mostly just kind of there, waiting to rescue “Lady Mad” from her endearing cluelessness so he can go all caveman and drag her into his bedroom.WAIT! Almost forgot the most important fact! His manhood is very well-sprung!The good stuff!Her:...the amusement lurking on his face intrigued her. It was almost like he was playing a role – and laughing at those who could not see through his deception. She knew how that felt....Her dress, her cap, her slippers, even her undergarments were all new. But she felt like something old and broken accidentally left in the remade room, waiting for a chambermaid to notice and sweep her away....If her reputation survived the month, the reducing diet she feigned to throw Aunt Augusta off the scent might still kill her....She had the strangest desire to twine around his body, like ivy on a lamppost, supported by him and yet capable of pulling him down.Him:...At least maudlin and lovesick were preferable to bitter and ashamed...."If I lost you, I would become the man he was."..."I would have endured another decade with my father without complaint if I had known you waited for me at the end of it."See what I mean? There’s good stuff in there, but it’s a tough slog through the dreck to find it.Now let me tell you what I REALLY think...Did I mention that this was kind of a Hot Mess? But if you look hard enough, you can get a brief glimpse of some cute Literary Lingerie hidden underneath the Cloak of Crazy.I also read the second book in the series, titled Scotsmen Prefer Blondes. Excising the WTFery left behind a weak and predictable "trapped into marriage" plot, with characters who continually flip-flopped between lust and hate for inane reasons.Take a wild guess at the titles of the next two books in the series. Go ahead, pick a couple of completely random, unrelated movie titles and bastardize them in the most cringe-worthy manner possible.Did you guess correctly?Book 3: The Marquess Who Loved MeMore eye-rolling than cringe-worthy, you say? That was just a teaser.Book 4: The Earl Who Played With FireBecause it’s always a good idea to relate your Wallpaper Regency Mistorical to a Swedish crime thriller featuring a multi-tattooed and -pierced bisexual heroine with anger issues.Keep up the good work there, Too-Cool-For-School Marketing Team – I’ll be hiding out in Carla Kelly’s backlist.

  • Dee
    2019-02-22 21:06

    HR is not usually my thing but a few friends have convinced me to dip my toe into the genre. To date I haven’t read many but my shelf of HR’s is steadily growing. This is Sara Ramsey’s first book introducing us to a group of ladies who have named themselves the ‘Muses of Mayfair’, we also get to meet their families, friends and a few other characters. This first story tells us about Lady Madeleine Valliant, who at the age of 29, is considered to be a spinster and ‘left on the shelf’. Madeleine loves to act but of course it would be scandalous for a woman of the Ton to tread the boards of the stage. However, the draw is so strong for Madeleine that she finds a way, but of course she has to be in disguise and is believed to be Madam Guerrier, a French actress who becomes a huge success.In the meantime Ferguson’s father has died and he has to return to London to claim his rightful title of Duke of Rothwell. Ferguson asks Lady Madeleine to chaperone and help his youngest sister debut and find them suitable husbands. Although Madeleine was plainly dressed and had her hair covered he felt some attraction towards her but cannot ruin her reputation as by affiliation it would also impact upon his sisters. After a visit to the theatre to see the new actress everyone is raving about he realizes that Madam Guerrier is in fact Madeleine in disguise and in order to protect her against all potential suitors/scandal, he tells her that the actress must play the role of his mistress.It is obvious from the start that these two have an instant attraction to each other but Ferguson doesn’t want a wife but as Madeleine is a Lady and respectable member of the Ton he cannot engage in an affair with her and is torn. Madeleine doesn’t want a husband as that would mean she would have to give up acting but both find they cannot fight the attraction and end up having an affair. I really liked the fact that it was Ferguson who was the first to declare his love as in a lot of romance novels it is usually the other way around! I also like that despite Madeleine continually refusing to acknowledge that she loved him and accept his marriage proposals, Ferguson still continued to support her and found ways to help keep her secret from everyone including her family.Both Ferguson and Madeleine were very strong characters and were likeable. I also like some of the other characters like Amelia & Ellie and am looking forward to reading their stories, especially Ellie’s as a fair amount of ground work for her novel had been laid. I am pleased to say that this is not a ‘fluffy’ story, the sex scenes were hot and steamy which is always a plus sign for me. Not having read much HR it is hard for me to make comparisons on the quality of the writing within that genre, but I definitely enjoyed Ms Ramsey’s style of writing as well as the premise of the story and would happily read any future works from her. Copy kindly supplied by Spencerhill Associates via Netgalley

  • Mariana
    2019-02-27 19:48

    After re-reading, I am lowering from 5 to 4.5.I still enjoyed this more than the average historical romance. "It wasn’t until that night in Westbrook’s study that she realized she wasn’t merely leaning on Ferguson’s strength — they were strong together, like two pieces of an ancient rock that had been broken in two and finally pieced back together."

  • Katie Michaels
    2019-03-03 18:56

    At 28, Madeleine is a spinster, firmly on the shelf. But there is more to her than the prim and proper exterior she shows the ton. For the past few weeks, she has been assuming an alter-identity as an actress to live her passion on the stage. Obviously, when Ferguson -a newly minted Duke- asks her to help his younger sisters come out into society, he has no idea she is anything less than the model of propriety.Then Ferguson visits the theater. He is taken by Madeleine's alter ego and quickly figures out her identity. He is torn between wanting her for himself and wanting to keep her innocence intact. I'll bet you can guess which desire won out.Madeleine's adventure was only supposed to last for a short time, but she is drawing in such a crowd, the owner of the theater begins blackmailing her to stay. She must team up with Ferguson to continue her charade and keep her identity a secret. This, as a passionate affair grows between them.What I liked about this book is that the hero works out his feelings for the heroine very early on. Usually, in historical romance, the revelation that the hero is really in love doesn't come until close to the end of the book. Not the case here. Ferguson doesn't ever hold back his feelings for Madeleine. That doesn't mean he is perfect. He's overbearing and autocratic at times, though not nearly as much as he fears he is.My biggest complaint was with Madeleine. Her reticence to accept a future with Ferguson was just... stupid. She explains her reasons, but they simply do not wash for me. I also found her to be reckless at times, and a little selfish. I didn't dislike her, but I wasn't always on board with her decisions.The sex was definitely good. And bonus points for use of the word "manroot." I'll probably check out the next installment when it comes out. 3 1/2 stars.*ARC Provided by NetGalley

  • Shawnie
    2019-03-04 21:07

    This was pretty entertaining for the author's first book. I like the heroine and her scandalous hobbies. I look forward to reading about the rest of the characters in the series.

  • Melanie
    2019-03-03 22:12

    I reviewed this novel for my blog at www.bookworm2bookworm.wordpress.com ...starts slow, but boy does it pick up! Loved it...This is Ms. Ramsey's début novel and first in the Muses of Mayfair Series (MadelineVaillant, Prudence Etchingham, Amelia Staunton and Ellie, Marchioness of Folkestone) and she starts off with Lady Madeline Vaillant's story.The book opens up with our heroine attending a ball at Salford House, which is the home of her cousin Alexander Staunton, the Earl of Salford, his mother, her aunt Augusta as well as Amelia Staunton, Alex's sister. She's been with them ever since she was a little girl, after her parents went back to France in the midst of the Revolution and gotten themselves killed in the process.She is aware that no one has ever paid her any attention and that no one likely ever will. Not as long as she's determined to stay a spinster and dress like one, down to her spinsters cap. What the ton doesn't know, and if it did it would not only shock them but it would also ruin Madeline and possibly the family that she loves dearly, is that our heroine has a secret desire and a talent for acting.Our hero is William "Ferguson" Avenel, and coming out of exile is not so easy for him. It has been a decade since he's seen his sister Ellie, and his twin half sisters who are both ready for their first London season, and to all of them, Ferguson needs to apologies for not being there for them when they needed him the most.I really liked this story for lots of obvious reasons; for a début book, it was written well, paced well and its hero and heroine were very likeable, but what I liked the best about it was the relationship between the three friends, and after we meet Ellie, there was no doubt in my mind that she was perfect as, and eventually would become another, muse of Mayfair.The author has done an excellent job in portraying the relationships between all the characters with so much reality that it will touch your hearts with an equal dose of humor and sensuality. You will come to care for everyone involved and that is what makes this début such a great read and I whole heartedly recommend it.Melanie

  • Robin
    2019-03-16 21:48

    Just okay. Almost did not finish, but I had the free time, so I trudged on. Love the theater aspect of Madeleine, but somehow never warmed up to Ferguson as a hero. From the start there was already too much going on, too many characters I had to keep track of, and many of them never felt like real people (Caro and Westbrook). Later on I started to like Ellie more than Madeleine, and Alex than Ferguson, and when the reader is more interested in the secondary characters than the main ones, perhaps that is a sign that they are not interesting or lovable enough to sustain the reader's focus. This fails to be their love story then, but a long prologue intended to introduce all the characters in the later books.

  • Amanda
    2019-03-16 00:59

    This was a 3-star read but the couple and the fact that it was full of so many of my favorite tropes made me rate it higher.Heiress Without a Cause (GREAT title by the way) was a very good start to the series. I really enjoyed the artists and rebels that were the Muses of Mayfair ladies. Ferguson (a ginger hero whoo-hoo!!! we need more of those) and Madeleine were so cute and I loved how supportive he was of her acting. I did feel like we were going around in circles when it came to the drama of the plot but I still really enjoyed this one a lot.

  • KellyThe Sassy Book Lover
    2019-02-27 19:08

    I loved this book. I liked everything about it and did not want to put down. I can't wait to read the other books.

  • Maya Rodale
    2019-03-04 23:56

    Captivated by the title, totally charmed by the group of heroines with Secret Talents, and totally seduced by the duke.

  • Tracy DeNeal
    2019-03-05 20:06

    A spinster with a dual identity. A rake who isn't really a rake and doesn't particularly want to be a Duke. Sullen twin terrors in want of a season. What's a reluctant Duke to do?Madeleine has been reared by her aunt and uncle after her parents' early deaths. She leads a boring real life as a confirmed spinster who is noticed by no one except to remark upon her unremarkableness.Ferguson hates the duchy he has inherited and all it stands for, but needs must, he has to launch his younger sisters and he needs a reputable chaperone for them.I loved that the protagonists, in spite of their issues, recognized their attraction to one another. Although there were obstacles to their pairing, they worked together to overcome them. They didn't waste time denying their love.As usual, the ton is vacuous and gossipy. I enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading the rest of the series from this new to me author.

  • L.R.W. Lee
    2019-03-17 19:49

    I loved this regency romance. While I've read several with a plot of a woman dressing as a man to do something she loves back in that time period, this book allowed the woman to be a woman and focused on her relationship with her 'savior'. I enjoyed the plot immensely as it was a bit more complex than most in this vane. And the author added more conflict, even at the very end and it made this an engaging and fun read. And I don't say that about most regency romances :) .I'd recommend this book to those who long for a deeper plot in the romance genre.

  • Amanda
    2019-02-17 21:47

    DNF: Tappade styrfart helt efter ungefär halva boken.

  • Dottie
    2019-03-18 21:02

    Packed with humor and passion! Taken from my review at RomanceJunkies.com:Madame Madeleine Vaillant has lived with her aunt and uncle at Salford House ever since her parents died eighteen years ago. Up to then she had been raised in France. After many unsuccessful Seasons, at twenty-eight, she is considered a spinster, along with her aunt’s daughter, Amelia, and their close friend Prudence. The three women each have their own artistic interests to keep them busy and have formed their own club known as the Muses of Mayfair. Amelia writes gothic , using a male pseudonym, and Prudence loves history and writes papers to a variety of historians, also as a male. However, Madeleine cannot indulge in her acting in secret like the other two. She needs an audience. Giving herself two weeks to indulge in her passion, she seeks out Madame Legrand, who manages the local theatre. For two weeks, she has a secret life as an actress on the stage, winning much acclaim and filling up the theatre with patrons. But on her last night, when she refuses the manager’s request that she extend her time on stage, the manager blackmails her into agreeing to stay for one month, promising to let her go after that time. However, if anyone finds out about her secret, she is ruined. William ‘Ferguson’ Avenel, the Duke of Rothwell, returned to London to claim his title. He had left London for Scotland ten years ago, when, as just plain Ferguson, he had been the third son with a scandalous reputation and no prospects. Now the newspapers report that his father died in a carriage accident, but the rumors circulating are not so kind. In reality, his older brother killed their father before turning the gun on himself. At his father’s death, knowing his sisters needed him, he had returned, but once he manages to marry off his sisters, he plans to return to Scotland. Due to his absence during the past ten years, his sisters feel that he had abandoned them. Now he needs to find a way to once more get close to the siblings he left behind. His plans to return to Scotland are not helping the situation.Making his first ducal appearance at the ball given by Madeleine’s aunt, he is accompanied by his father’s sister, Sophronia, the Duchess of Harwick. With his new title comes his duty to his twin sisters who need to make their debut in society. On the advice of Sophronia, he asks Madeleine to bring them out. Realizing that having the duchess on her side would be beneficial should her secret life come to light, she agrees to do it.The following night, Ferguson decides to go to the theatre with a couple of his friends. That night, he discovers that Hamlet is being played by a woman who captivates him. However, when he goes backstage where she is still in disguise, she refuses to give in to his charms. So he secretly follows her and finds himself at Madeleine’s home. He knows that someone in that house is the astounding actress, and he suspects it is the woman helping him with his sisters. It had been his idea to go to the theatre that night. So when he sees his friends becoming interested in making the actress their mistress, he knows he has to take action.Ferguson gets the idea to make Madeleine his mistress in name only to protect her from the line of men wanting to make her theirs. But he is having a hard time keeping his hands off of her. As for Madeleine, in the past two weeks she has been adored by her audience and she loves the feeling. She still has a month of adoration to go, but will that be enough when the time is up and she is once more just Madeleine? Can they get through the upcoming month with her reputation intact? Will Ferguson return to Scotland, or will he stay in London, retain the title and make Madeleine his own?Deliciously witty, HEIRESS WITHOUT A CAUSE, the first novel in talented author Sara Ramsey’s MUSES OF MAYFAIR trilogy, is a passionate, intriguing historical romance that will have you avidly turning the pages as the story comes to life. Madeleine, like the other two in the Muses of Mayfair club, is very independent for a woman in the Regency era. Although society sees her as a spinster, she still harbors hope of making a marriage. That is, until Ferguson asks her to bring out his twin sisters. Then she begins to realize that her time to find a husband is drawing to a close. When she was first brought out, she was too shy and in later years, she became bored with the process. As for Ferguson, he and his sisters are not really mourning their father as they could not abide him. But Ferguson’s urgency to see his sisters married is only adding to the contention between them, making them believe he is just like their father. So Ferguson needs to make a decision; should he return to Scotland, or should he start life anew in London with the title and his family? Filled with passion, humor, family dynamics, scandal, romance and love, this story is a promising start to a delightful series. I highly recommend HEIRESS WITHOUT A CAUSE and look forward to the next installment in this wonderful series; SCOTSMEN PREFER BLONDES.Dottie, RomanceJunkies.com

  • Jennifer
    2019-02-23 18:46

    WWell doneIs as well written with wonderful characters, awesome chemistry, and in a sense predictable but still a very nice read.

  • Kelly
    2019-03-19 23:04

    This review is from my website, http://smallfiction.comCan I say how much I loved this book? Because I loved it bunches. I have no idea when I downloaded this e-book. I must have been when Pixel of Ink was running a freebie because it has been a while since I’ve bought a Regency Romance novel. I’m sad that it sat in my kindle for more than a year (probably) and my eyeballs didn’t get to read Ms. Ramsey’s words. I didn’t get to learn about Mad and Ferguson and their (amazing) families until now.Madeleine, a “spinster” by Regency era society rules, is probably in her late 20′s (I don’t remember), and the perfect fit to “bring out” Ferguson’s twin sisters (or so Ferguson and his family think). “Bring Out” means they’ll make their Ton debut in order to find husbands. Ton = high (and accepted) society. Got it? Good. I’ve been reading Regency Romance novels most of my life, so these things are normal vocabulary to me. I mean, when I want to get all saucy, I start calling people, “M’Lord” and “M’Lady” in my best cockney accent because I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t have come from a titled family. Lady Kelly Washington has a certain ring to it, doesn’t it? btw: My accent is pretty good. I spoke this way for almost 4 years when I lived in Germany…. but don’t ask why. It is a totally and completely interesting story, but it has nothing to do with this book. Anyway, I digress.Mad loves to act, but she’ll be shunned from society. She loves the stage, so she does exactly that under everyone’s uppity noses. She goes incognito as a French actress in a theater that’s a bit on the “shady” side and drives everyone crazy. The good crazy. Mad, I’m telling you. Mad with desire to see her. To hear here. To blackmail her. Oh, okay. That part wasn’t fun, but it doesn’t turn out all that bad because Mad gets to keep acting. And this is where the hunky hunk comes in.Ferguson is a newly titled Duke. Dukes are like freaking high up there and just below Prince. But this means precisely nothing to Ferguson because he doesn’t want the title. A certain family trait runs in his family (madness, insanity, murder) and the rumors about his family keep him up in Scotland for quite some time. His sisters detest him (they have a good reason), so he tries to make up for all of this by asking Madeleine to chaperone and bring out his sisters into polite and proper society. She is above reproach. She is a spinster. She would never cause his sisters a scandal. Well… that is until he discovers that she is the French actress. He confronts her. He aims to protect her. They get all hot and bothered together.In that good way.In that really, really good way.But, wait!!! She’s a spinster. He’s a duke. The two do not compute in Regency era England, I tell you. Okay, I’m telling you wrong. This is probably one of the reasons why I freaking love Regency books, and This Book in particular. Two very different personalities that would never, ever be drawn together, are drawn together in a cool, funny, slightly dangerous scheme. It’s fun. It’s romantic. It’s hot. Society wonders why the hunky duke is paying attention to the spinster gal. I mean, she’s not even all that beautiful, they whisper to each other. But hunky Fergster knows. Hot guys always know, don’t they? (I hope they do…hey, look at me, over here, in the corner!!!)A couple of things happen to throw them even more together; and by together, I mean without clothes on, and an accusation of murder draws them deeper into this acting intrigue that sets the Ton in a titter.Add in a masquerade party (I once went to one in Germany where a girl just wore ivy vines over the girly bits… I kid you not and she was freaking gorgeous… I was totally envious… fifteen years later I still remember her – that’s how powerful masquerade parties are, people!!!), a revelation, and a happily-ever-after, and you’ve won me over to buy the next book in the Muses of Mayfair series. And I totally bought the next one the millisecond I finished the first book. That, my romance-lovers friends is how you earn 5 Stars.Keep up the great work, Ms. Ramsey. You’ve just earned yourself a new fan.

  • Romancing the Book
    2019-02-24 01:50

    Reviewed By~robinReview Copy Provided By~NetgalleyI simply loved this book. From the first page to the last I was enthralled with the characters that seemed to spring to life on the pages. I even read as I fixed dinner as I was not able to put it down. Evan though I neither an orphan nor French, I as a woman and a need to follow a dream; was able to relate to the characters.Madeline wants to act. So act you may say, but it isn’t that easy; not in London and definitely not in 1812. Still Madeline has a passion for it. It turns out that she is rather good at it. So go for it I say and she did. But secrets had to be kept. She is also, a twenty-eight year old spinster. Now you aren’t considered a spinster till at least your 50’s and you decide to start bringing the neighborhood cat’s home. Ferguson who ran away from life to Scotland over ten years ago is now back in London and must find someone to help debut his twin sisters. What better person for the job than a spinster? So he enlists the help of Mad as he refers to her. But, he soon learns of her secret and doesn’t want that to hinder prospects for his sisters, so he must devise a plan that works for all involved. He can be thoroughly exasperating at times in that take charge kind of way. This was a delightful tale about a very courageous woman in Madeline for stepping out of her comfort zone and taking a risk in the theatre. Even though she at times seemed too cautious when it came to dealing with love. For a courageous woman she almost seemed to cower when it came to love.But the more that Mad and Ferguson is together the more you find the passion that they have for one another. The love scenes between them that finally brought Mad out of her funk were simply HOT!!!It was fun to watch as they explored the passionate side in between the acting and her pretending to be his mistress. Throwing in the way she would have to sneak into her home every night was more like they were teens rather than in their late twenties. I guess you can say and be grateful in saying ‘we’ve come and long way.’I definitely enjoyed Ms. Ramsey’s first in the Muses of Mayfair Series and can’t wait to read Amelia’s story next. The new word for the day: “Manroot”.

  • Katie_la_geek
    2019-02-22 00:10

    For this review and more visit my blog*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a review* One of the things I love about being a book blogger is that sometimes a book that you wouldn’t normally read lands in your lap and takes you by surprise. I am not normally a fan of historical romance, I will read Highland romance and Historical PNR but straight historical…well that is not normally my thing. In short, Heiress without a cause is not a book I would ever choose to read. I am really glad that I was given the opportunity to read this because in the end I utterly adored it. At first I wasn’t sure, the book got off to a really slow start and the first 50 pages struggled to hold my interest. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to make it through the book, but then, out of nowhere the story burst into life and I was hooked. I loved the characters. Ferguson is not the buff, moody, warrior type you are used to seeing in romance books. Instead he has charm and a personality that outshines his looks. Madeleine is also great. She is gutsy and interesting not just some brainless beauty. She has a sharp mind and she is not afraid to use it. The romance between them is what really got to me. I just loved it, it really got under my skin and I revelled in it. I loved these characters together, there was lust and love but there was also respect between them which is something I like to see in my romances.The sex scenes were hot, they were great. The characters and the writing combined were just perfect for the intimate parts of this book. Ramsey certainly knows how to get her readers hot under the collar.Heiress Without a Cause isn’t perfect. I thought the characters changed their minds a little too often and as I have already mentioned it got off to a slow start, but all in all I thought this book was great and I really enjoyed it. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series and maybe I might try out a few more historical romances.

  • LaFleurBleue
    2019-03-05 01:14

    My first book from this author.Though it was not absolutely awful on every aspects, there was nothing in it that I really liked enough to make up for the glaring flaws and to give me incentive to try another book from this author. Maybe, if I come across another one for free, with a not to outlandish summary, maybe, I'll give it another chance. Otherwise, most probably not.Historical realism is definitely totally absent from this book. Locations, character motivations, circumstances and actions, all those were full of anachronisms. Anyway the heroine at 28 frequently behaved as a spoiled and spurned child of barely 18, even though she was never really denied anything ever since her parents sent her to London for her safety and they died consequently. Frankly she often irritated me, and I thought her complaints and motivations extremely selfish and vain. The hero was in fact not much better, who needed to be banished by his father so that he could start his life. What for? Not sure considering he refused to take much responsibility for anything for about half the book and just wanted in a way to get rid of having to care of his younger twin sisters.Love appeared almost magically between them, though both were so desperate that I could understand it. Of course, they end up having lots of sex before the proposal, let alone the wedding. The first hot scenes and the decision to go for it came out of nowhere. Some of the secondary characters might have more potential, though I'm not fully convinced. In any case, character development was rather minimal and barely sketched and explained. At least, for once, I was spared the French sentences full of grammar and spelling horror that are often put in the mouth of French or half-French characters. Not the full blown horror that some so-called historical romances can reach, but nothing to rave about either. I do not really recommend though it was available for free.

  • Jess the Romanceaholic
    2019-02-19 23:45

    This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.Expected Release Date: January 23, 2013Publisher: Spencerhill Associates, Ltd.Imprint: N/AAuthor’s Website:My Source for This Book: Amazon.comPart of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Muses of MayfairSeries Best Read In Order: N/ASteam Level: SteamyPet Peeves: Unrealistic Behavior: Historical, Vindictive ExFavorite Tropes: Courting Scandal, Hero In PursuitThere are a lot of historical romances out there with a heroine courting scandal by participating in behavior that is more suitable for males and/or the lower classes, but this is the first one I’ve read with a member of the ton actually treading the boards as an actress — and not just any actress, mind you, but a wildly talented and successful one.With such a unique storyline, I was hooked from the beginning. While there were admittedly times where I had trouble suspending my disbelief, because to pull off such a feat in real life would be virtually impossible, for the most part, I was able to sit back and enjoy Madeline’s escapades.My biggest issue with this story was the presence of the dreaded Vindictive Ex, who played the part of our main villain in the story. I despise having a hero’s ex-lovers thrown into the heroine’s face throughout the story, and so this has always been one of my least favorite tropes in romance, and this was no exception.However, making up for her presence was the fact that Ferguson was besotted with Madeline very early on, and the secondary storylines of both his and Madeline’s families, and the major developments both of their characters made as the story progressed.In the end, it was a highly entertaining read, and I will definitely be reading more from Ms. Ramsey in the future.4/5 Stars

  • Jill
    2019-02-27 17:47

    I really enjoyed this book. The hero was really sexy and there was a lot of steamy romance. The writing was a little "immature" for lack of a better word. I guess I mean remedial, although that sounds harsh. I just felt like it lacked sophistication and fluency. I have been on a Laura Kinsale binge lately and she weaves words together like no other, so in comparison, I felt that we were spoon fed the dialogue and the character's thoughts rather than absorbing the story through our skin. Regardless, it is a sultry, lighthearted story that, thankfully, didn't turn the final climax into an angsty and unnecessary conflict. I love it when the hero and heroine face that last trial together rather than one sacrificing him/herself for the other or running away because of a tragic past. It wears me out.

  •  Mummy Cat Claire
    2019-03-02 20:09

    I got this free from Amazon.Ramsey is a new author to me. This is the first book I have read by her. I liked this book, it was okay. What saved it for me was the heroine, Madeline. She was a great characters. She is a French girl who lost her parents young and came to live with her cousins in England. She wanted to be an actress so acted in secret from the ton. The book is fairly humorous and it was interesting to follow Madeline.What I didn't like was the hero. He as ok. He kind of bugged me with his attitude and actions towards Madeline.Overall, not bad for a free book.

  • Mary
    2019-02-28 21:49

    This was such a good book! I have only read one other book by Sara Ramsey which was "Scotsmen Prefer Blondes" and I really liked that one too. It is so much fun to find a new author that writes historical's as well as Sara Ramsey does. I can't wait to read her next book "The Marquess Who Loved Me".

  • Angela
    2019-03-07 23:08

    16 March 2015: $0.00 FREE on Kindle6 March 2014: $0.00 FREE on Kindle

  • Sandra Kyle
    2019-03-13 00:49

    I really enjoyed the setting and the characters. Looking forward to reading the other Muses of Mayfair books in the series.

  • ErienneTheis
    2019-02-25 01:51

    About two weeks ago I made a pledge. I would read 5 books from the depths of my kindle (basically all the of the free books amazon flings my way that have been collecting in the void and growing vastly out of control and occupying all the space on my kindle so I really need to start getting rid of them) before I allowed myself to buy any new books. Then I thought I would take this one step further and read only 5 regency romance novels. I was like 'OH YEAH ROMANCE AND SCANDAL THIS WILL BE AWESOME I LOVE MY SCANDAL WITH A FEW DOLLOPS OF ROMANCE ON THE SIDE-EFFING FANTASTIC!'Day 1:Day 3:Days 4-whatever...So. I finished this. Days ago. And was so happy to be done with these books that I didn't even take the time to review it. And now, here I sit trying to remember what this was about, or even what the characters names are. I remember the main character was acting, which was a new twist to your garden variety regency romances. I also recall being supremely irritated with how fickle she was and that she didn't really seem capable of thinking situations through. The guy was okay, I think; kind of a cardboard personality. I don't think there was an overwhelming amount of 'drama and scandal'. Once again, there wasn't really any world building or a lot of detail about the setting-it just was. Character development-they went from hating each other to loving each other (obviously, I mean the cover gave that one away).Idk. Maybe this book was great and I was just done with the whole romance and scandal trope after my 5th book in a row of this...Rating: 2--------> My Rating Scale5- amazing, so in love, blew my mind, world changing, going to read until my eyes fall out4- I really really liked this but it doesn’t compare to Aelin or HP; I might reread it again some day3- it was good; sound plot, good characters, just didn’t quite captivate me 2- okay, I’ve read worse but there’s definitely better and make no mistake I will immediately delete this book from my kindle and never think about it again. 1- either A) there was a good premise here somewhere when it was advertised which is why I even thought to download it or B) it had a ‘kind of pretty cover’, but holy shit this was a collection of bad ideas, poor everything, shit characters and ohmygosh did you even spell check this?

  • Cinzia
    2019-03-03 20:12

    Sara Ramsey and her regency books series Muses of Mayfair were for me a pleasant surprise.If I must be honest I reversed the order of the first two stories, but this did not create problems, because wanting they can also be considered one-shots in their stories, about different pairs.I enjoyed Heiress Without a Cause more of the second book, for its plot and its main characters: Ferguson and Madeleine-Marguerite.William Ferguson Avenel is a young Duke, with a questionable reputation because of his amorous life as a rake in the past; he receives the title as a heritage after a big scandal involving the father and brother and their death, a title he has always hated and he must return from his exile from his beloved Scotland to attend the London High Society, to prepare the debut of his younger sisters and find them a suitable husband for their position.He asks for help to Lady Madeleine Vaillant, a young woman with undisputed reputation, from a good family, she's a orphan and she was raised by her aunt, along with cousins.The young despite having a good looking and possess an adequate dowry, does not seem to affect the interest of gentlemen that are around, and she's displeased and happy too about this, because she can cultivate a secret passion: Lady Madeleine in the evening, the woman who passes all unnoticed, becomes Marguerite Guerrier, a talented actress admired in her performances by members of polite society and not.If it were discovered it coul be aand it scandal would ruin her reputation forever, and during a moment of great difficulties she cannot withdraw from the play because of a blackmail, Duke Ferguson, discovered her true identity and he offers to protect her from the advances of other men, act as the protector of Madame Guerrier. The man feels a deep attraction for this woman with a personality so unusual, but despite his reputation, his intentions are serious, he wants to protect her and prevent her compromised. But as they say between saying and doing ... especially when at the other side there is a young woman willing to risk everything to give audience to the emotions she feels both on and off the stage.The plot of the novel it's addictive and smooth and the personages are well characterisized, both main and secondary ones.I liked Ferguson for his determination and stubbornness in following his goal of conquering Madeleine, despite his fears and hesitation and we can also say, with his past as a rake, he has some good points in his favour.. I loved how he questioned himself against his behavior with his sisters, and then he decides to change for their own good.Madeleine is a fantastic heroine, brave and rebellious, despite her fears and possible consequences of her acts and she challenges her fate to satisfy her passion for acting and for the love she feels for Ferguson.I also really liked the characters of Ellie and the twins, have enriched the story with their presence and their fierce characters against the big brother's will.Amelia, dear Madeleine's cousin, was a little annoying with her moods, I'm sure it must be that way for her character, but zero coerence and a face to slap for.The second book, Scotsmen prefer Blondes, the story of Amelia, I already read it, so I just have to move to third in the series the book on Ellie and I can't wait! Thanks to Netgalley and Spencerhill Associates for the bookRATING: 4 stars.Sara Ramsey e i suoi libri regency della serie Muses of Mayfair sono stati per me una gradevolissima sorpresa.Se devo essere sincera, ho invertito l'ordine dei primi due racconti, ma questo non ha creato problemi, perché volendo, possono anche considerarsi autoconclusivi nelle loro storie, visto che riguardano coppie diverse.Heiress Without a Cause mi è piaciuto molto più del secondo libro, sia per la sua trama che per i suoi personaggi principali: Ferguson e Madeleine/Marguerite.William Ferguson Avenel è un giovane duca, dalla reputazione piuttosto discutibile a causa dei suoi trascorsi amorosi abbastanza vivaci del passato; in seguito a un grosso scandalo che ha coinvolto il padre e il fratello e la loro morte, riceve in eredità il titolo che ha sempre odiato e deve rientrare dall'esilio e dalla sua amata Scozia, per tornare a frequentare la buona società londinese, per predisporre il debutto delle sorelle minori e trovare loro un marito adeguato per la loro posizione.Per fare questo chiede l' aiuto di Lady Madeleine Vaillant, una giovane dalla indiscussa reputazione, di buona famiglia, che dopo essere rimasta orfana è stata allevata dalla zia, insieme ai cugini.La giovane nonostante sia di bell'aspetto e in possesso di una dote adeguata, sembra non colpire l'interesse dei gentiluomini che le stanno intorno, e la cosa se da una parte le crea dispiacere, dall'altra le permette di coltivare una passione segreta e inconfessabile per una donna del suo rango: la sera Lady Madeleine, la donna che passa a tutti inosservata, si trasforma in Marguerite Guerrier, una talentuosa attrice di teatro ammirata nelle sue performance dai membri della buona società e non.Se venisse scoperta lo scandalo rovinerebbe per sempre la sua reputazione, e nel momento di maggior difficoltà, in cui non può ritirarsi dalla cena a causa di un ricatto, il Duca Ferguson, scoperta la sua vera identità si offre di proteggerla dalle avances degli altri uomini, fingendosi il protettore di Madame Guerrier. L'uomo prova un'istantanea attrazione per Madeleine, si innamora di questa donna dalla personalità così insolita, ma nonostante la una reputazione di sciupafemmine, i suoi propositi sono seri, la vuole proteggere ed evitare che venga compromessa. Ma come si dice: tra il dire e il fare... soprattutto quando dall'altra parte c'è una giovane donna disposta a rischiare tutto per dare ascolto alle emozioni che prova dentro e fuori dal palcoscenico.La trama del romanzo è coinvolgente e scorrevole e i suoi personaggi molto ben caratterizzati, sia quelli principali che secondari.Ferguson mi è piaciuto per la sua decisione e testardaggine nel perseguire il suo obiettivo di conquistare Madeleine, nonostante le sue paure e indecisioni e poi, diciamolo, col suo passato un po' libertino ha un discreto arsenale a una disposizione. Ho amato come si è messo in discussione nei confronti del suo comportamento con le sue sorelle, per poi decidere di cambiare per il loro bene.Madeleine è un'eroina fantastica, coraggiosa e ribelle, nonostante e le sue paure e le possibili conseguenze si mette in gioco e sfida la sorte per assecondare la sua passione per la recitazione e per l'amore che prova per Ferguson.Mi sono piaciuti molto anche i personaggi di Ellie e le gemelle, hanno arricchito la storia con la loro presenza e il loro carattere tutt'altro che succube nei confronti del fratello.Amelia, invece la cara cugina di Madeleine, mi è risultata un po' antipatichina, giustamente rientrava nel suo personaggio, ma certo coerenza zero e faccia da schiaffi 100.Il secondo libro Scotsmen Prefer Blondes, la storia di Amelia, l'ho già letto, quindi non mi resta che passare al terzo della serie il libro su Ellie e non vedo l'ora!Si ringraziano Netgalley e la per il libro Spencerhill AssociatesVOTO: 4 stelle

  • Natasha
    2019-03-07 01:48

    I had a really hard time liking this less-than-smart heroine. If you're an aristocratic lady and you choose to pursue your dream of being an actress, you really ought to consider the collateral damage. For reasons I couldn't figure out, Lady Madeleine is unmarried and inching closer to the age when she'll be declared a spinster. When the Duke of Rothwell asks her to chaperone his twin sisters for their first season, she is flattered, but also disheartened because such a responsibility means she's seen as unmarriageable and firmly on the shelf. Me sighing very loudly! Lady Madeleine knew the rules of society. As an undercover actress, she had no business agreeing to be anybody's chaperone. Once good society found out what she was doing, she would find herself ruined. Her unwed cousins and the duke's sisters would also find their reputations tainted- guilty by association. I couldn't help but think she was just incredibly stupid and selfish. The duke ends up rescuing her from the pack of lusty wolves by pretending she's his mistress. Once this farce begins, nothing is ever right in my opinion. It all works out in the end, but there's a lot of drama to wade through on the way to their happily ever after.

  • Nightwitch
    2019-03-01 01:00

    Good book, stupid title. It's far less madcap than the title implies - while it definitely falls in the realm of "contemporary romance in regency clothing," and uses its full assortment of regency romance cliches and then some, it's well-written and highly focused on interpersonal relationships (not just the hero and heroine's). The characterizations are really strong and we see good, loving people doing bad things for the right reasons or good things for the wrong ones; on some level it's about growing up and figuring out your adult life and family. There is definitely a TON of sequel bait, about which I have mixed feelings.

  • Kirsten
    2019-03-04 00:47

    This is clearly the first in a series-- and delightful. It is steamy! It is fun! The heroine, Madeliene, is in her mid-20's and considered almost on the shelf. But she is the good proper lady of the ton, who has a secret life....as a French actress who plays Hamlet. But she is suddenly discovered by dukes and earls who all want to be her protector, but Fergeson wins out....and knows her true identity. There is quite a complex story here with strong feelings and personalities. So in addition to romance and steamy scenes, there is a story with a plot and interesting characters worth reading.