Cover Image: A Lady's Past

A Lady's Past

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One of the most exciting books I have read all year. A Lady's Past by A.S. Fenichel is book 4 in the Everton Domestic Society series and I am so enjoying this series. A.S. Fenichel never disappoints in her writing or her characters. This regency story is so very original and a tad intense though very east to read. This story has imprisonment, hiding, not able to trust, a domestic society, a scientist, spies, a lasting impression, trust, fear and love. I highly recommend you read this book and the others in this series… you won’t be disappointed.
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As I've learned to expect, a beautifully written and fun read. Fenichel writes wonderful whimsical hospital books with flawed but truly good heroes and heroines that defy expectation
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I recieved a free copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Like everything else I have read by this author so far I really couldn't put this book down.
Diana has escape France after the murder of her parents but she is still wanted by French spies.
When Jacques meets Diana alone on a snowy road a ride to London turns into mutual admiration and he is determined to make sure Diana is safe.
Diana is a strong and smart woman who survives a horrific trauma but still fights for her future.
Jacques is caring, loyal, brave, and determined.
Alot of times in this genre, the outside force of spies etc get lost in the romance and even through this is a relatively short novel you never feel like the plot is just to bring them together.  There are real stakes in this book.
I also loved all of the secondary characters in this book.
I genuinely look forward to what comes next.
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Historical romance with a dash of political intrigue - an interesting combination. But the result here was just ok. The story and characters didn't draw me in quite enough to suspend my disbelief in the plot. I did appreciate Diana's strength and intelligence.
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I loved that this story did not follow the typical, historical romance 'formula'. It was a very unique tale that immediately drew me in. The characters were vivid and complex and made the story seem so realistic, that I often felt like I was actually there watching the story unfold.
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This was a first book read by this author. It wont be last!!! I loved hot romance here. I loved the style of writing, plot and and a lot of suspense. This book has spies and many turns that will make you enjoy your reading that much more. Great author!
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First, let me say how much I have enjoyed the Everton Domestic Society series.  Each book is unique with strong females for heroines.  Each heroine has difficulty surrounding her as each are surrounded by the Everton ladies.  

A Lady’s Past is unusual in its choice of leads.  Jacques Laurent is a Frenchman who has escaped France and helped his parents to do so, too.  He literally finds Diana along the side of the road and rescues her by taking her to the Everton household.  She has just escaped from France but is still on the run and in hiding for her life.  

Jacques and Diana are not trusting of love but seem to have an instant connection in knowing they can trust each other.  I found it a bit odd that she asks him to hold her through the night, but that situation lends itself to the unadmitted knowledge that they can trust each other.

This is a story of Diana’s desire to survive and make a life for herself but finds a need to trust others with her life and safety even when those others are not sure of her.  **Spoiler Alert**  Although I thoroughly enjoyed the book, allow me to say that the final contact between Diana and Victor seemed out of place and did not add to the story.  He should never have been able to escape from the best of the best - the Horsemen.
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A Lady's Past (Everton Domestic Society Book 4) by A.S. Fenichel is an intriguing and captivating story 
 While, book 4, it can be read as a stand alone. 
Follow, Jacques Laurent and Diana on their journey to find their HEA. Filled with adventure,  mystery, 
suspense,  betrayal and spies. A riveting and captivating story from the first page to the last.  The characters will definitely capture your heart. The storyline flows seamlessly and effortlessly into a heartwarming and compelling story of romance, trust, honesty and love. Strongly recommended!
#NetGalley,  ALadysPast,#ASFencichel

"I voluntarily received a complimentary copy, however,  these are my honest opinions. I was in no way required nor compensated to write a review."

Rating: 4.5
Heat rating: Mild 
Reviewer: AprilR
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A Lady’s Past features an excellent romance with a plot full of intrigue, French spies, and a woman with the power to change the war.

Jacques Laurent is all too aware of the perils of trusting women, but despite his wariness, Jacques finds he cannot abandon the young woman he finds alone in a winter storm. In the brief time Jacques and Diana spend together, the two grow close and their connection is undeniable. After Jacques brings Diana to the Everton Domestic Society for protection, he cannot get her out of his mind. When the two meet again while Diana is working as an assistant to a scientist Jacques knows, Jacques is determined to get to know her. But Diana knows anyone she grows close to will be in danger as French spies are after her convinced that her scientific knowledge can change the war in their favor.

Diana had been held captive with her family in France for several years where they were tortured so the French could force her father to build a weapon France could use to win the war. After her family was killed, Diana escaped with the French in pursuit due to her own skill in scientific endeavors. However, England was not the safe haven she expected as the Crown believes her father defected, not that he was captured. Despite her dire circumstances, Diana is determined to find a way out of her situation and I admired her resolve.

Jacques has his own tense connections to France as he was previously betrayed and scheduled to be guillotined before being rescued and brought to England. At the start of the book, Jacques has just successfully brought his parents over from France which was of great relief to him due to his fear of retaliation against them. Jacques is definitely my favorite thing about this book as he’s such a wonderful man. He’s incredibly sweet and loyal to his friends.

Diana and Jacques’ relationship starts on shaky ground as Diana is on the run and Jacques has trust issues as he has been betrayed by a woman before. It was interesting seeing Diana’s reaction to Jacques due to her torture at the hands of the French and his being French, but I was happy to see that she didn’t blame him for what his countrymen did to her. One thing I loved about their relationship was that Jacques truly appreciated Diana for who she was and he admired her intelligence. The chemistry between the pair was amazing and I loved how drawn they were to each other. When the two do finally progress their relationship, it’s wonderfully done with some amazing scenes.

Despite being the fourth book in the Everton Domestic Society series, this book works well as a standalone as the plot is not dependent upon the previous books in the series. However there is a large cast of side characters in this book, particularly within the Everton Domestic Society, so I am interested in reading the other books to learn more about those characters. I’m most interested in learning about how the society was founded and I hope the other books go more in depth about that.

A Lady’s Past ended up being a fantastic read and I definitely want to check out the rest of the books in the series soon.
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Danger, intrigue, kidnapping, and spies are only a small part of what makes this book a very good read. Add in an intelligent, strong woman, and a hero any woman would want and you have a read that is difficult to put down. This number four in the Everton Domestic Society series and my very favorite of the bunch. Jacques Laurent and Diana MacLeod meet by accident when he saves her in a snow storm. Although she refuses help, more because of the fear of bringing her danger to others. At Jacques insistence, Diana takes a job with the Everton Domestic Society. Under their care and Jacques' she is finally able to unburden herself with a lot of reluctance. What happens when the French spies who are after Diana catch up to her? Will she be able to keep her new friends and herself safe? I do believe this is Ms. Fenichel's best offering to date.
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Set in England, Diana has escaped from France where her family had been held against their will to develop a faster rocket. She and her father were scientists. She meets Jaques on a country road. He gives her a ride and ends up as her knight in shining armor. Interesting story with humor mixed in with the danger. The Everton Domestic Society takes her in, but Jaques isn't far away. He calls for help from the The Buckrose Horsemen, serious about their country and needing to see if they can trust her, since there are people hunting her from England as well as France. Well written. Keeps your interest all the way through, although i could do without the sex, mostly towards the end. It goes beyond innuendo, but was fairly easy to skip over. Beautiful cover art.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Such a great read I had to finish it all at once, even though I didn't want it to end! Diana and Jacques make you want to cheer for their HEA.  The main characters in this story are so full if pain and loss that you just want to tell them it will be alright.........won't it? Because that is the question! Their pasts have
 a way of catching up with them and putting all around them in grave danger. Add in Napoleon's spies, talk of treason and a ruthless madman intent on doing whatever he can to return the one person he believes can win the war against the English to French shores and it is impossible to know who to trust. Can she trust Jacques......,is she guilty of treason?  For Diana, the only question is will she die in an English or French prison. And for Jacques, can he convince her that their love is strong enough to face the future.. I loved the intrigue and the back characters, the Buckthorn Horsemen, call for a series of their own. A Must read!
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A Lady’s Past is the fourth book in the Everton Domestic Society Series, but it can be read as a standalone, which is what I did. 

Diana manages to escape a French prison. Jacques, who was recently betrayed by his fiancée, is a gentleman and couldn’t possibly leave her to fend for herself on the side of the road. Jacques offers Diana refuge at the Everton Domestic Society so that she can hide from those who are chasing her. When Diana and Jacques cross paths later, the chemistry between them is palpable. However, both of them are harboring secrets from their past. Can they put the past behind them in order to build a future together?

I got so much more than I bargained for with this fantastic book. It had romance, intrigue, spies, secrets, and mystery. I loved how multi-faceted this fast paced plot was. I loved both Diana and Jacques as well as watching their relationship flourish together.
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Everton Domestic Society #4, I have enjoyed the entire series so far, they can be read as standalones. The Everton Domestic Society prides itself on finding the right woman for the job needed. Jacques Laurent has seen the proof of the good the employment agency for Ladies does so when he sees a Lady stranded on the side of the road obviously running from something he recommends her going to Everton. Reluctantly Diana goes but only after confiding in Lady Jane the nature of her past that she felt safe enough in staying. Lady Jane even set up a job in Diana's prefered subject, chemistry; with a footman/guard and no one else knowing Diana's true past she started to feel a little safe.

Jacques was deceived once before by his fiancee and it has jaded him, he finds it hard to trust again but in the three weeks since he met Diana she was never far from his thoughts. Imagine his surprise when he goes to his friend/investment, inventor Francis Edgebrook, and finds he has hired an Everton Lady as his assistant, Diana to be exact. There is something about Diana that calls to him, he knows she's in danger but he would rather remove the obstacle than risk never seeing her again. It's a good thing he's got friends in high places. He works hard to earn Diana's trust and her love.

Overall, it was a great read. I love all the characters. You have no idea how long I have waited for a story where the characters are called Jack and Diane, this is the closest I've gotten yet. It's a beautifully written romance with enough intrigue to keep it interesting and humor and angst in all the right places.
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A Lady's Past has everything I enjoy in a historical romance; engaging characters, mystery, suspense, intrigue and a heart-melting romance. I really couldn't put this book down.  
I've loved each book in this series. It is a firm favourite.
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Another great book by A. S. Fenichel! One of my all-time favorite authors!  A Lady’s Past is a fast-paced regency romance that is an exciting adventure. It is the fourth book in the Everton Domestic Society series but can easily be read as a standalone. However, if you have read the other books in the series (which I recommend all of them) it is a joy to spend more time with the previous characters. Lady Honoria and a beloved uncle have a stronger presence in this book which make it so much more fun.  

Jacques and Diana's story becomes increasingly difficult the more time they spend together, yet they can't seem to stay away.  Jacques was recently betrayed by a romantic partner yet finds the ability to trust Diana who clearly has secrets.  Diana is being hunted by French spies for her father's brilliant work.  Jacques also recently escaped France, and with the good help of his friends, was able to help his family escape as well.  Diana doesn't know if she can trust Jacques, the Frenchman.  Jacques doesn't know if he can trust Diana because she is so evasive.  The friction is so well defined in the plot that it leaves the reader begging for them to finally fall for each other.

I highly recommend this book for adult reader fans of regency romances with a kick of adventure.  I would advise caution to readers who may be triggered or offended by: foul language, violence, kidnapping, murder, and sexually explicit scenarios.  

Please note: an electronic Advanced Reader Copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher via NetGalley (thank you!).
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In the firelight, her eyes glowed with passion. Perhaps it was anger, but it was not mild by any means. ✨

 A strong female, Diana has survived so much pain. She feels that opening herself up to anyone be it friendship or love will only hurt those around her. Maybe opening herself up to the risk of love is the only thing that will save her. 

There was so much story packed into this book. Every time I felt like it should be close to wrapping up into a happily ever after, it would take a wonderful new turn. Diana was a very endearing character. I enjoyed reading about a female that was educated and smart. Just naive enough to be sweet but strong enough to endure the challenges thrown at her. 

A 4/5 🌟’s from me. I would recommend this book.  This book just hit the shelves in November. Be sure to check A Lady’s Past out soon! 

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the ARC. 
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Jacques is a likeable hero, very understanding, and who admits really fast he has feelings for the heroine, even if he needs some times to understand which ones. I liked seeing his friendship with a hero from a precedent volume, but he doesn’t let people around him make him doubt the heroine’s innocence. Only black spot: the author mentions several times Jacques’ love past with a treason by the woman he loved then, but we don’t really know more. I suppose we learn about it more in one of the previous books but I don’t know which one.

Diana is a strong heroine who lived some very difficult things in the hands of the French people who kidnapped her parents and herself. She succeeded in running away to come back in England but she’s sure she’s being chased by at least one of these men. She spends her time turning down the hero, and every offer of friendship by other characters, because she feels she’s not worth it and she’s a danger for him and for them. And for a reason I didn’t understand she feels guilty for what happened to her parents.

Between them the attraction is fast but they both resist for a long time, her because of the danger hovering around her, and him because he wants to protect her. But it’s the heroine blowing hot and cold who ruins it all IMO, because once she finally believes in her feelings as in Jacques’, she repeats regularly that at the beginning he said he wasn’t thinking about marrying, even if he told her later he wanted to marry her. In short she annoyed me more often than anything, even if I was sorry for what happened to her.

Other drawback: I thought there was too much familiarity between them when they meet. Yes the events have them coming closer rapidly, but that left me with a strange sensation. Then there’s the fact everyone or so is very welcoming with Diana when nobody knows her, everyone likes her directly and offers a helping hand, except the hero’s best friend who’s wary but without insisting much. It’s only later, when her past comes back, that the new characters called to protect her are more suspicious of her, which seems more realistic than the Care Bears seen until then.

The plot with the spy is well found and quite interesting, and its resolution felt well done until a scene that I thought totally unrealistic: the prisoner succeeds in escaping during his transfer and in finding Diana’s room up the stairs in a castle, to try and choke her. IMO it was a useless event borderline ridiculous. In fact I thought it was the heroine having a nightmare and I was waiting for her to wake up.

So all in all it’s a historical romance that can be read easily but I missed it out, sorry.
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"Like a knight in shining armor, you continue to rescue me."

A Lady's Past, the fourth book in A.S. Fenichel's Everton Domestic Society series, is a well-written, romantic regency historical filled with spies, intrigue, and a swoony hero.  From the gorgeous cover, you are drawn into the story of Jacques Laurent and Diana MacLeod.

Diana's been on the run after escaping from the French, who had taken her family hostage to coerce her scientist father to give up secrets for the war effort.  Her parents were killed while defending her, and she engineers her own escape.  Jacques is on his way to London and comes upon Diana and, knowing she needs help, takes her to safety at the Everton Domestic Society.

When Jacques learns that French spies are tracking Diana, he is determined to keep her safe, even as Diana is trying to keep everyone around her safe.  Jacques is a wonderful hero who will never give up on his love.  

"I could never and will never leave you, Diana.  You are a part of my soul now, a deep imprint that can never be washed away." 

SIGH!!!!!!!  Fenichel's writing is wonderful and heartfelt.  While she brings us up-to-date on characters from previous books in the series, which are all great, this installment can be enjoyed on its own.  You will really enjoy the sassy and formidable character that is Lady Honoria Chervil!

I received a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, and I heartily recommend it!
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This book was a little confused. There was a great story in it, the plot was good  - kidnapped and tortured by the French to try and get her father to develop military tech for them, Diana has escaped at great personal cost after her parents were murdered. On the run and completely alone, she runs into Jacques Laurent, an exiled Frenchman and entrepreneur with aristocratic connections. Instantly intrigued by her, Laurent helps her to the Everton Domestic Society, and then can’t keep away. Diana finally finds friends and allies there too. They are both at risk trying to keep Diana from the evil Frenchman who is on her trail, can they succeed and trust in each other enough to get their HEA? 

Both the hero and heroine were likeable and honourable, and their love story was touching and believable. I also liked some of the minor characters a lot, Lady Chervil, and Mrs Fall raft, as well as Doris Whipple. However, the actual writing was poor. Word choice was anachronistic- ‘okay’ is not a word that was used before the 20th Century for example, and it was used here a couple of times. The sentence construction was a little clunky, and the writing did not flow at all. I read a lot in this genre, and when the story flows unhindered by poor writing it is a joy, but this does not. There were a couple of holes in some of the side plots too, I thought the device of the Buckthorn Horsemen was a good one, until they proved incompetent each time for example. 

I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book and all opinions are my own. 

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