I never tire of Regina’s historical adventures! This is book 4 in a wonderful London, England Regency series. Lydia Villers is strong and admirable, but feeling a tad unsettled over this new position with someone who has spurned her previously. I must admit that I didn’t know what to think of Lydia in book 3. I even disliked her at times! In book 4, I found Meredith Thorn and Fortune the cat at their best when introducing Lydia to Frederick, Viscount Worthington. When a lady loves science she will even put up with the discomfort of a past acquaintance who would otherwise have caused her to—run. An imperfect but excellent choice of a hero keeps the tension and questions coming. There is a pleasing thread of mystery throughout this 1812 tale.
Who doesn’t love a mystery? I know that I do!
Regina kept my attention through the entire story and I felt fully entertained and engaged in both the plot and the characters. I love that NEVER VIE FOR A VISCOUNT is set in this wonderful time period. This novel made me smile! Well done, Regina. Also, Regina’s beautiful website http://www.reginascott.com/ includes announcements and her blog page includes interesting tidbits of historical facts.
I did receive this novel for free and I’m thrilled and excited to share this honest and informative review. I love clean, historical fiction with engaging characters who are caught in the whirlwind of difficulties and challenges.
Questions for Regina:
How did you come up with the room spaces used for the scientific experiments?
For Lydia to be able to get easily back and forth to her new position, I knew Worth’s laboratory needed to be located near Miss Thorn’s home on Clarendon Square, which is mostly populated by townhouses. Like most condominiums today, they were narrow and had relatively few rooms. So, I had Worth purchase the adjoining townhouse to his as his base of operations. Using an architectural plan of one such house from the Regency period, I mapped out which rooms might serve for what purpose. For example, Worth’s experiments require access to heat and water, so I gave him the kitchen of the second house. One of his colleagues, Miss Pankhurst, needs more space to store and spread out the textiles she is researching, so I allotted her the old dining room with it built-in cabinets. I also had Worth remove most of the things that might burn—like padded furniture, draperies, and doilies—from all his research rooms to prevent a fire should an experiment go awry.
If you were to rewrite a character in this story, who would it be and what would you add or take away?
I might rewrite John Curtis, Worth’s rival natural philosopher, to give him a bit more of a backstory. Or maybe I’ll save that for another book.
What was the most fun historical aspect to study in this novel?
The ballooning! It is always surprising to me to learn what was available during the Regency period, and what wasn’t. Now we take sandbags and pull cords for granted in a hot air balloon, but those were just starting to be tested in Worth and Lydia’s time. They couldn’t isolate oxygen easily, and helium had yet to be discovered as an element, so their choices for lifting gasses were pretty small. The French had experimented with hydrogen, with sometimes disastrous results!
What would you like to share about your adventures writing this novel or the history you discovered in your research?
Napoleon wanted to conquer England so badly, but England’s might at sea kept him from crossing the Channel easily. So, he started his own air force—of balloons—and the head of it was a woman! Alas, Madame Sophie Blanchard was killed when her balloon caught fire and crashed, before she could make plans for invading England from the air.
What is the take-away that you would love your readers to benefit from reading this story?
Don’t let anyone tell you who you are. God gave you talents, dreams. Embrace them, and benefit the world. That’s what Lydia learns to do.
Will there be a book 5?
Yes, there will! Never Kneel to Knight, featuring Worth’s sister Charlotte, releases in mid-March. When the thoroughly poised Charlotte Worthington requests that Miss Thorn and her cat Fortune find her a position, she never dreamed the savvy employment agency owner would reunite her with Matthew Bateman, her brother's former bodyguard. Matthew is about to be knighted for an act of valor, and he and his sisters could use some polishing if they're to enter Society after his elevation. Yet how can Charlotte maintain her calm, cool demeanor as their sponsor when she harbors a secret love for him? Matthew Bateman cannot forget the beauty who is miles out of his league. Once a boxer called the Beast of Birmingham, Matthew would like nothing better than to be worthy of Charlotte's hand. As old enemies and new ones attempt to bring him low, can Matthew prove to Charlotte that their love is meant to be?
How do you want your readers to contact you?
Readers can reach me via my website at www.reginascott.com, on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/authorreginascott, on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/reginascottpins, at the blog I share with young adult author Marissa Doyle at www.nineteenteen.com, or on Goodreads at www.goodreads.com/reginascott. If you want to know when the next book is out or on sale, please sign up for a free e-mail alert at http://eepurl.com/baqwVT
To Laura, who’s masterful pen spins lore and imagination into a mesmerizing tale that follows me throughout my days, until the stories very end. But who am I kidding? A Bound Heart sweetens my musings—well past the reading of the last richly written word—all for envisaging Lark MacDougall, Granny, Larkin, Magnus and Rory, the handsome captain of the Merry Lass. Their struggles are a glimpse into the anguish, which hundreds of immigrants suffered after they were spirited from their homes—willing or not—to arrive in a vastly different land. The cost to these brave souls, whether they welcomed the New World or feared their indenture was inspired by Laura’s own family history. Dedicated to her sixth great-grandfather, I find this story appropriately named. A Bound Heart has enriched my appreciation for my own ancestors daring and dangerous trip across the Atlantic, which planted them in a young country whose culture proved strange compared to their heartfelt home. This story is filled with dreams, ache for what was and what could be as well as danger met with courage. Laura has put her heart and soul into this novel and I feel this to be true for how her words reached out to me.
This novel was given to me by Laura, and I’m honored to present a true and accurate review of this more-than-worthy read. If you enjoy adventure, beautifully written depictions of location, eighteenth century time period, and characters that leap off the page with authenticity, then I recommend this novel to you. In fact, I doubly recommend this story to you! I plan to purchase the audio version of A Bound Heart for I have enjoyed every audio rendition from Laura’s collections of novels. Hearing her tales unfold with turns of phrases—uniquely Laura’s—makes the mundane seem so much less common as her lively tales even stir an eagerness for me to put my hands in the suds!
QUESTIONS FOR LAURA:
I’ve loved the photo you shared from Kerrera, Scotland on Facebook! How did you settle on this location?
I’m so thankful I was able to take several trips to Scotland, one with my pastor brother in Spain, and other trips with Liz Curtis Higgs. Scotland is a very compact country so I found, after taking the train and driving all over, that the Hebrides and that stunning coast with all its rich history would be an ideal setting. The castle ruins and vistas provided so much inspiration!
Was Kerrera Castle modeled after your sixth great-grandfather, George Hume’s Wedderburn Castle? Did you ever see Wedderburn Castle in person or if it is not standing—its ruins?
Yes, to modeling the fictitious Kerrera Castle after the rebuilt Wedderburn which had fallen to ruins but has been restored, thankfully. Though it looks very different now than the original castle where my kin lived, it’s on the same grounds.
Oh, Larkin has stolen my heart! Was the baby photo on your website the beginning of his character’s creation for A Bound Heart? What an excellent addition to your story he is indeed!
So happy Larkin stole your heart, too! I hadn’t thought to include him then found that amazing photo of a red-headed infant on the web. When Lark was boarding the ship for Virginia, I thought her life would be wonderfully complicated by a baby. I love babies so tuck them in books whenever it suits the story 😊
Granny said the most amazing things! Thank you for her and for Lark’s amazing love interests: Lard Magnus MacLeish and Captain Roy MacPherson. Which one of these characters was your favorite to write?
I loved Granny, too. So happy you want to quote her! I enjoyed Magnus very much as a character yet felt the heaviness and responsibility of lairds back then tending their tenants and sheep and heartbreaking things that stretched their lives to the seams. So here is a fun Granny quote! Thank you Laura!
"His whiskers need trimming," Granny said in the next breath. "He has the look of a pirate, he does."
Elsewhere, you’ve shared about reading diaries from the time period of your story. Where did you find such treasures to glean the authentic thoughts and attitudes of the people in your story?
Much can be found on the web if you take care to check the legitimacy of your sources and through inter-library loan for out of print books, etc. What helped, most of all, was the collection of letters penned by my Scottish ancestors, written back and forth between Virginia and Scotland in the 18th-century. A true treasure trove! Somehow those letters were lost about 1900 by the family but thankfully someone had copied them, so we still have what was said. Also remarkable are the legal documents and business dealings and surveys signed by my George which also include the signature of George Washington as well. Truth really is stranger than fiction!
Will you pen another winsome tale from your beloved Scotland? (I hope so!)
Readers have said they’d love a sequel to A Bound Heart. So happy about that though I’m not sure it will happen as I’m slated for other stories. Something about Jamaica in winter sounds quite nice!
Where do you wish your readers to connect with you?