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The Notorious Lord Knightly

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Member Reviews

I looooooved this book from start to finish.

The Notorious Lord Knightly follows another of the Chessmen, this time, Knight as he tries to atone for the sins of his past and maybe find a future with his former fiancé. The two practically ooze chemistry from the very start and I found myself falling for Regina just as quickly as Knight did. Regina is the daughter of an earl and his mistress, brought out in society but not quite a member of the ton because she has always been viewed as lesser because of the circumstances of her birth. Despite this, she finds love with Knight only to have him break off the engagement on the day of the wedding for reasons unknown.

It just gets better from there.

Regina and Knight have a very deep connection with each other that leaps off the page and is beautifully written. The circumstances both bring to the table feel real and genuine. At no point was I screaming at them to just get together because the reasons they are apart didn't make sense - instead, I was practically crying because it was crystal clear why they couldn't be together no matter how much they wanted to.

This is absolutely one of my favorites of Lorraine Heath and I can't wait to read what the next one has in store... Rook, you're up.

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Lorraine Heath writes funny, sexy, romantic historical romances with great characters! I adore all her strong heroines! The Notorious Lord Knightly doesn't disappoint. Its the second book in a series but I dont think you have to read the first one to enjoy this one. Thank you to net galley and the author for allowing me to read and review. Can t wait to continue to read more by this author.

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Historical romance. Victorian-era England. Book 2 of the Chessmen series. There’s a scandalous book written anonymously about the seductive exploits of a Lord K and the ton suspects that the Earl of Knightly, known as Knight, is the man in the story. In reality, he is the subject of the story which is written by Regina, the illegitimate daughter of an earl whom Knight jilted on their wedding day five years prior. We see a few chapters told from the past interspersed with present day chapters and learn more about the past and present relationship between Knight and Regina. He basically left her heartbroken and ruined all those years ago and she has been trying to rebuild her life since then. The notoriety of this book has drawn them back together, but there is still a lot of resentment on Regina’s side of things and lots of guilt from Knight’s. It’s interesting to see how they ultimately overcome the issues that kept them apart all those years ago and learning the truth about Knight’s betrayal.

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4.5 stars

Going into this story I had no idea it would hold one of my least favorite tropes. I will talk about it since it comes to light very early in the story so isn’t really a spoiler. I want to be sure that others (because I know there are a lot of us) that hate this trope know that somehow it ended up not bothering me at all. That’s some writing magic, to be sure. We’re talking secret baby. I think it has to do with the period as well as the author’s skill at storytelling.

Not only did I not mind my least favorite trope, but I also ended up loving this story. When I dove back into historical romance after many years away, a lot of the stuff I was reading was more than 10 years old, mostly more like 20 years old. Boy have our expectations changed in that small amount of time, leaving me to take into account the publication date while reading. As I’m starting to read more recently written historical romances, I’m loving the inclusion of not only strong women (I have found most women in these books were extremely strong) but also men who agree with the point of view that women are equals. Not to mention the more realistic inclusion of other minorities. It’s not perfect, but things are moving in the right direction. This book is one that, to me, seems like a love letter to women about what they should expect when it comes to intimate acts. Not only that, but it’s quite timely with mentions of book banning and the reasons behind those ideas.

Don’t worry, this story has a lot of fun and joy. The social justice issues I mentioned are organically woven throughout and serve to move the narrative forward. Regina and Knightly have so much heat between them and try so hard to do what they think is right, which is to keep things platonic. Especially since Regina has a very sweet suitor who can bring her the respectability she needs and Knightly cannot see a way to be with Regina without ruining her reputation further than he already had years ago when he left her at the alter.

Many things have kept these two apart, none of them surprising. Watching them finally open up about their secrets (another trope I usually hate is the “big secret”) and struggle to do right by one another was engaging nonetheless. Then Knighly opening up to his friends and figuring out a go-around to find happiness for them all was a joy to read.

I’m fully enjoying this new series by Lorraine Heath and watching the chessmen fall one by one.

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This was a "like but not love" for me--the flashbacks were okay, but the text within the text wasn't super interesting, in my opinion. Lorraine Heath is a legend for a reason, though--even her "not a smash hit" novels are really fun.

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5/5. Releases 6/27/2023.

For when you're vibing with... Peak angst hours, people who adore each other but oof pain, defiantly proud heroines, and big "I was half a virgin when I met you" energy.

Knight--otherwise known as Lord Knightly--has an issue: there's an erotic memoir circulating around the ton by an anonymous source. And everyone thinks the "Lord K" that corrupted Anonymous in the book's pages is him. Bigger problem: it totally is him, and Anonymous happens to be Miss Regina Leyland, the woman he left at the altar five years ago. After years of avoiding Knight, Regina has had enough; but she can't be revealed as Anonymous, especially if she's to move on with her life and marry a good man. Knight offers to help her on that front--by publicly making nice with her, despite the fraught tension between them. But with every polite and platonic dance, Regina wants to claw Knight's eyes out--and fall into his arms. Both. Both is good.

MAN. Lorraine fuckin' Heath. I don't know if anyone does pure shots of emotion like her. There's just something about a book wherein you can feel how much the leads want each other, where you're actually thinking "Why can't they just figure this shit out and be together?" She does it so well.

Quick Takes:
--Regina Leyland is one of my favorite heroines, maybe ever? She's so proud and so wounded and self-righteous, and so like... in denial. She's not a nice girl who's just sitting there weeping over her broken heart, or a classy broad who's Risen Above in the five years she and Knight spent apart. Nah. She's pissed. And she should be! Her anger and the verbal lashings she gives Knight really serve to underscore how much she adored him and how much she gave him. Like, I don't know, I think we often see this tendency among romance readers to feel like heroines should just get over it. Because we are in the mind of a hero like Knight, and we of course know he loves Regina and has his reasons for acting as he does. She doesn't have that. She's suffered. He needs to fix it.

At the same time, Regina has also done a lot in those five years involving forced responsibility and growing up. She lost her innocence (.... in every way ...) to this man. So you get this sense as you read that you're seeing her reawakened, and kind of... allowing access to a part of herself she's neglected for a long time. What I'm saying is--she is horny. And he's hot. And honestly, the fact that she's so horny makes it more believable to me that she keeps coming back to go "AND ANOTHER THING". Girl is hard up. It adds a dash of humor to what would otherwise be kind of dark, and balances the book perfectly.

--Knight is very hot, and very much worthy of Regina's horniness. Honestly, I kind of get how losing him broke her brain a bit and sent her own a rampage of revenge. This guy is... sexy, in a way that Lorraine Heath nails so well. So many of her heroes are really not asshole alphas, but they're like--smooth as fuck. They rattle off lines or throw smiles or do something that is so incredibly slick that you're like "God, this man FUCKS". Knight is one of those. Also, he does creepy shit like keep her ribbon in his pocket for YEARS.

--This book is actually really fucking meta. Regina wrote a book that is a memoir, but is anonymously written and fictionalized on some levels. What people--especially women--love about this book is its eroticism and passion and focus on women's pleasure. We see attempts to ban the book, attempts to shame the writer and the women gleefully reading it, attempts to dismiss its importance. Reading a historical romance focusing so hard on this during an era when the US at least is becoming increasingly puritanical, with calls to shame ethical sexual content in fiction and to outright ban expressions of sexuality and sexual autonomy for women and queer people in particular... It was really cool. I love that Lorraine's past couple of books in particular have used their historical backdrop to make a commentary about issues that plague us to this day.

Where this book is better over The Counterfeit Scoundrel, in my opinion, is in its ability to maintain a searing romance. Counterfeit's romance was good, and it was a very romantic book. But this book had me feeling the way books like Waking Up with the Duke and When the Duke Was Wicked did. The romance is that good.

--Another interesting thing this book brings to the table is its focus on illegitimacy. Regina is illegitimate, but her mother was her father's long-term mistress, essentially his wife of the evening, and he was an involved figure in her life who recognized her. Bastards and mistresses are often a thorny topic in historical romance. The goal of most historicals is ultimately marriage--but the reality is that, among the nobility at least (which most historicals still focus on) love was reserved for paramours. Bastards were perhaps more likely to be born of love, or at least passion, than legitimate children. And while we often scorn mistresses to this day, mistresses functioned (and... let's be real, still do) as different types of wives. In this case, Regina's father's wife was the one who hosted balls and attended functions (important!). While her mother was his emotional refuge and partner (also important!).

Lorraine executes a really interesting analysis of these roles. Regina is not to be pitied--she's had loving parents and her father always made sure she had cash to spare. But she also has three siblings she's never met, who resented her. She's also shamed more for losing Knight because she is a bastard. Her mother was a badass woman who taught her daughter to prioritize and not be ashamed of love and sexual pleasure (a note I adored) but she also didn't get everything she deserved from the man she loved. The gray is explored really well here.

--I've seen some criticism re: the "why we broke up" of it all... And I suppose it could've been a bit more high stakes? But I personally love an internal conflict, where people kind of act stupid because they're human beings and human beings rely on emotion and issues like insecurity and the sense of obligation and can ultimately make a big impact. So for me, it really didn't affect my enjoyment of the book. I love it when people make realistically bad decisions and have to deal with the consequences.

--You do get flashbacks to Regina and Knight's original courtship so--two romances in one! I really adored the contrast to the heady, innocent days of the virginal Regina's seduction by this rake, against the more jaded Regina trying so desperately to deny her feelings for Knight, who clearly loves her and has always loved her. Them coming back together as angsty people who've Seen Shit was everything.

The Sex Stuff:
There are a few different sex scenes in this book, scattered among the flashbacks and the present. I always feel like Lorraine's books are truly sensual. The sex scenes aren't as explicit and are somewhat more euphemistic than those by other authors I love, but she conveys passion and wanting so well that I don't need it to be as graphic. It's hot. One of the sexiest scenes in the book is literally a kissing scene.

But also, he fucks her real good. So. No worries there.

She's done it again! I loved this book, and recommend it wholeheartedly. Peak second chance.

Thanks to Netgalley and Avon for providing a copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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It is so difficult for me to find fault with a Lorraine Heath novel and this is no exception. The second book in The Chessmen series, fans of Heath will love all the little nuggets thrown their way from previous series and of course the most recent, The Counterfeit Scoundrel (Bishop’s book). This is Knightly’s book, and it is the perfect example of a second chance romance. Knightly left his intended Regina, at the altar five years ago and she has hated him ever since, not knowing what prompted him to change his mind on their nuptials. Was it her illegitimate birth? Did he fall for another? It is so easy for Regina to turn her broken heart into anger and the one-sided animosity between her and Knightly is enemies-to-lovers gold. You see Regina has anonymously penned a memoir of her escapades with the mysterious “Lord K”; it’s her way of getting back at Knightly by causing the ton to question whether he is the Lord K spoken of in the memoir. It’s the memoir that brings these two back into each other’s lives and embers from the fiery past spark to life as Arthur seeks to help rectify his actions towards Regina by finding her a suitor.
I loved the interactions between Knightly and Regina. There’s nothing quite like a man who realizes he’s made a mistake and will do anything to make it up to the heroine. Each MC has a secret they are unwilling to divulge to the other, yet their secrets (if they were to share them) are some of the most beautiful parts of their hearts. I’ll keep it spoiler free, but both hero and heroine make choices for the good of others, putting themselves second, and their relationship last. This book has so much heart and build up. Knowing it’s a romance, of course you know Knightly and Regina will come together eventually, but the lead up is so expertly done and oh so swoon-worthy. I also appreciate Heath’s characters. They are always strong and decisive and I always know I’m going to love them because they stick to their convictions. I can’t wait to add a physical copy of The Notorious Lord Knightly to my shelf (I highlighted NINE passages) and chose to review this book on my own. I received a gifted ARC from Avon and NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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Thanks to @avonbooks for sending me a copy of The Notorious Lord Knightly by Lorraine Heath, out 6/27!

Lorraine Heath is hit or miss for me — either I love love love or dislike her books, but the chance that I’ll find a new love keeps me coming back for more! Unfortunately, The Notorious Lord Knightly was a miss for me, mostly because I felt it was trying to do too much.

There was a revenge plot, secret baby, fake courtship, second chance romance, family betrayal…the list goes on and on.

Still stinging, years later, from the betrayal of being left at the altar, Regina pens an anonymous — and scandalous — memoir to exact revenge on the man from her past, with unexpected consequences.

Ultimately there was too much dishonesty and miscommunication between these characters for me to feel that they worked. They kept circling each other without ever really fixing their issues. The end was cute, but it couldn’t redeem a couple hundred pages of frustration for me — but if you’re intrigued by the story elements I mentioned earlier, this one might be for you!

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Second chance romance that sucked me in from the very beginning.

I’m such a sucker for historical romances. I can’t get enough of them. This was another I really enjoyed. It was a nice break from all the adult fantasy I’ve been reading lately.

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Five years after being jilted by Lord Knightly at the altar, Miss Regina Leyland writes a scandalous anonymous book about her feelings for "Lord K". She didn't expect the book to take the ton by storm and everyone is guessing the identity of Lord K. He proposes a reconciliation to throw the ton off. As they get to know each other again, old feelings start to resurface.
There were secrets that they kept from each other that make this a very touching, heartfelt read.
I have always loved Ms. Heath's books and this one does not disappoint.
I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley and these are my opinions.

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I wanted to like this more than I did, it just didn’t grab me, I don’t think he was sorry enough, and I think she forgave him too quickly. Their last was too rapidly glossed over and it just didn’t work for me

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Lorraine Heath does it again. I loved Arthur, I loved Regina. This is a romantic story well-told, with two compelling leads and tons of chemistry.

Arthur, the eponymous Lord Knightly, did the unforgiveable: on his wedding day to Miss Regina Leyland, he broke off their engagement and left both of them heartbroken. Well, for Regina, heartbroken and furious. The illegitimate daughter of an earl and his actress mistress, Regina believed deeply in love because she'd been told she was the product of her parent's love. Regina thought she and Arthur, too, were deeply in love, but after his betrayal, she began to doubt their entire relationship.

Cut to five years later, when London is titillated and scandalized by "My Secret Desires," an anonymously published memoir about an innocent girl who is seduced and abandoned by Lord K. Everyone assumes Lord K is Lord Knightly--apparently, he got around in his younger days and is recognizable on the page--and eagerly wants to know the identity of the author. Arthur recognizes a version of his relationship with Regina on the page, and before long, the two ex-lovers are drawn together once again. Both have plenty of secrets to protect--including Regina's identity as the author of the book--and as they begin to overcome the hurts of the past, it's unclear if they can ever be together or bear to be apart.

Early on, the story pops back and forth between present and past, so we can see the chemistry they have now and the pivotal moments in their relationship back then. This can be tricky to do well--but who are we kidding? Lorraine Heath is a master at this kind of thing, and it is not disruptive to the plot. She also manages to keep readers from hating Arthur right off the bat, because until we know why he left her, it's could have been as hard for us to forgive him as it is for Regina to do so.

And it is really hard to be mad at him, even before his reasons are clear. He's miserable without Regina and her secret champion at every opportunity. He's flawed but well-intentioned, protective and completely besotted. Regina, meanwhile, is well-worth the devotion--smart, fierce when needed, but also generous and kind.

There are a few characters of differing degrees of villainy, but for the most part, I appreciated that there were many well-sketched side characters who, in other books, might have become caricatures or stereotypes. Regina's current paramour, Lord Chidding. A charming child. The legitimate siblings poised to snub their half-sister. Even these side characters have depth and seem more than mere devices--Lord Chidding in particular, who honestly was a dear.

I've loved all the books so far featuring the Chessmen, and am eager to read Rook's story.

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Not for me, but definitely might be the jam for other people. I am not a fan of the secret baby trope and this was a good example of why. I also thought Knightley's reasoning for not marrying Regina was super flimsy and I felt like she let him back in to her life way too easily. He ruined her already precarious reputation, make him suffer!!

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Lorraine Heath has the capacity of making me feel insane everytime I read one of her books and with this one it was no different.

I liked this one way more than the first book of the Chessmen series, The Counterfeit Scoundrel , because it had more elements that just generally drive me up the wall.
I love second chances romances and in historical romances the taste and the flavour is just enhance in the sickest way possible.
I personally love a period man that is so pathetic he asks the heroine to kiss him to end his abstinence and torment. I want a man to be sick with longing and yearning for me.
I basically read this book in one sitting because I couldn't put it down, I needed to know more with each page. It was impossible for me to put it down.

There is a lot of history between Regina and Knight, she is very angry with him and she is right to be and he is just taking it like a champ because he knows he messed up real bad. The tension is palpable everytime they interact and I loved that we got to see a glimpse of their relationship in the past the contrast between them now and then.

I can't wait to read the last Chessmen book, I know I am going to love it.

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I haven't read very much Lorraine Heath - this might only be my second? - but what I have read, I've enjoyed. I really like this historical take on a second chance romance. The Earl of Knightly (aka "Knight" - one of the Chessmen) is known as a bit of a rake, so when a scandalous memoir is published anonymously and features a "Lord K," London society suspects him. When he gets his hand on a copy, he immediately knows who the author is - Regina Leyland, the illegitimate daughter of a member of the aristocracy who atypically had a debut five years prior. Knightly and Regina fell in the love that season, making it all the way to the altar before Knightly had a sudden apparent change of heart and left her there. The reason remains a mystery to Regina, whose heartbreak has turned into bitterness. She's back in society, looking for a husband who can give her some protection and stability now that her father has passed. She and Knightly frequently cross paths and sparks fly again, but Knightly decided to help Regina secure a husband to make up for his betrayal years before. I'm hit or miss with second chance romances, but it definitely worked for me here.

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2.5 rounded up to 3.

“I don’t trust you.”
“Who’s the coward now?”

Dude, you have some nerves!

Enter Slap gif.

It pains me to say this, but I did not enjoy this book.

Ok, spoilers!

I know this can be a deal-breaker for many readers especially if you go into it blindly. So..

Ready?

This is a second chance romance with a secret baby trope. There!

Look, I enjoy the drama, the groveling, the reconciliation process of a second chance/secret baby book, however, this romance just did not work for me. I also thought the flashbacks disrupted the flow. Overall, it was more a frustrating read than a fun read.

He’s the Earl of Knightly, an heir to a dukedom. She’s an illegitimate daughter of an earl. They meet. They fall in love. But he abandons her at the altar. My main issue was the hero. I thought I loved the Chessmen, but not this hero. Not Knight. I have zero tolerance for “heroes” who ruin and abandon heroines, regardless of the reason. It’s a personal preference. Yes, Knight had a valid reason. But he mishandled the situation spectacularly. He was 27. An Earl. He had resources. He could’ve made amends. But no. His actions were callous. His words were cruel. The entitlement with which he tried to flirt with her and resume their association after jilting her five years ago exasperated me. Not even the charming grins, dimples, and spectacles could endear him to me. He did apologize and offer explanations. But the ship sailed five years ago for me. Then, he smugly stated that he hadn’t kissed a woman since her. Although his abstinence only extended to kissing because he’s no saint, y’know! I’d take the boring, blushing Chidding over him any day. Also, I’m not as forgiving as Regina. And I definitely did not find him more lovable for the choice he made as she did. I was rooting for her. I understood her need for revenge. However, I did not care for her falling into his arms so easily. There was a point where she regretted the revenge plan and that made me sad. You have the right to rage, Regina!

However, setting aside my personal grievances, Lorraine Heath delivers on her trademark steamy, emotional, and expert storytelling. Furthermore, I applaud her for taking a not-so-subtle dig at the misguided book banning trend. “People should not be denied the opportunity to enjoy what they wish. And how does one determine what is indecent?”

If you’re a fan of Lorraine Heath’s books (as I am), and enjoy such tropes, I truly hope you enjoy The Notorious Lord Knightly! I loved her last few books. This book, unfortunately, broke that streak. Doesn’t matter. This disappointment makes me more eager for Rook’s book. Hopefully, that one will be full of romance and fun.

CW: Abusive father, secret baby, illegitimacy, jerk hero (fine, that’s subjective)

My thanks to NetGalley and Avon for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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There's a scandalous new book that is taking the ton by storm! The dalliances of Anonymous with the mysterious Lord K have everyone guessing who the couple could be. All eyes point toward the Earl of Knightly and he definitely knows who the author is - the one and only Regina Leyland. Regina and Knightly were to be wed once, until he broke of the wedding at the altar (!!). His reasons were his alone and Regina left London with a broken heart. She wants her revenge now and will stop at nothing to make the mysterious Lord K her villain in her novels.

I enjoyed this second chance romance. It was angsty and spicy and made me feel all the hurt on behalf of Regina. Why did Knightly leave if he loved her so? And why is he back tormenting her again and helping her find a suitable husband, if he didn't want anything to do with her.

I do feel like some parts of the book dragged a bit for me. While I enjoyed the moments between Regina and Knightly - their conversations were a bit repetitive. And Knightly's reasons for leaving Regina at the altar made me feel the angst on behalf of Regina but definitely not for Knightly.

****POTENTIAL SPOILERS BELOW****


I wasn't expecting the secret baby trope with this romance. Honestly, it's not a favorite trope of mine and had I known I probably wouldn't have picked up this book.



While this book definitely isn't a recent favorite historical romance - I certainly did enjoy parts of it.

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After finishing this one, I really can’t wait for the next book in the Chessmen series. Listen, I have major respect for Lorraine Heath. She’s been one of my favorite romance authors since…ever. I’m a big Historical Romance fan. Okay, you caught me. I’m just a romance fan. Historical…Romantasy…etc… I think it’s the tension. It must be, because I love thrillers and horror also. And Heath? She knows tension. She knows intrigue. I sometimes feel like she may know me, because she gets real down deep in there and pulls me straight in. I’m a poor fish hopelessly caught in her word net.

The story of Knight and Regina starts off far before the events of the book. The story does jump timelines and perspectives, so we get to see what went wrong between them that caused such broken hearts and hurt feelings. Now, Regina wants to move on, but not without some small revenge. But this small revenge may have a profound effect on her future prospects, unbeknownst to her when she anonymously publishes a rather erotic tale of a young lady and her adventures in love with a certain Lord K.

Obviously, everyone thinks that Lord K is Knightly. And they have their suspicions eventually on who the author could be. He still cares about Regina in a big way, and calling off their wedding was a little…outside of his hands. He had a good reason, but he can’t tell her what that is. He’s been sworn to secrecy by the person who caused their greatest heartbreak.

And because he still loves her, he is going to make sure he does his part to secure her a better future, an olive branch that Regina reluctantly grabs onto. Because she still has feelings, too. Dangerous feelings. And Regina and Knightly may need to explore those feelings if they ever plan to move on from one another. But what if those feelings are more than just surface? Are they setting themselves up for more hurt, or are they setting themselves up for a chance at a future neither thought they could ever have?
This one was GOOD. The complex relationships, navigating society’s strict structures. Avoiding the pitfalls of finding one another in the dark of a garden at a party? Fantastic. This one is all ‘Love is messy’ and ‘Is Revenge served cold really a thing?’ Yeah. I read it one night. I may not have slept more than three hours. Was it worth it? Yup. 100%. And I’d do it again, Heath. Matter of fact, I may insist on it when the next Chessmen is within reach!

Thank you Lorraine Heath, Netgalley, and Avon and Harper Voyager for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for this review. It was a delight and I cannot wait for the next installment!

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Sometimes I want feminine rage to just be rage. No remorse. No having to worry about repercussions. No hero constantly trying to apologize. I don’t want him to keep flashing his rakish grin; I want him S O B B I N G. Sometimes I want him to sit in silent pain for 90% of the book and think about what he’s done because even apologizing is selfish. I don’t want them to touch until he’s at least 5ft under with grief and remorse. This was one of those times I needed full devastation and I simply don’t think I felt that.

A lot of his remorse seemed to happen off page or was overshadowed by his apologies that were really just meant to make himself feel better. He kept forcing his presence on her and I’m like no! let her hate you in peace it’s the least you can do!! She doesn’t need your help!! You gave up all rights to caring about her when you valued “honor” over her happiness because NEWSFLASH you made a promise to her before anyone else!!!

She really gave him too much of herself too early. She had a nice guy courting her but he was taking a while so Knightly was like why don’t we reconcile in public and be seen together so he gets jealous. Regina acquiesced too quickly and idk it felt like he was winning small victories all over this book. He shouldn’t have been allowed to even touch her until at least 90%. I found him to be more selfish than remorseful which sucked because it’s a Lorraine book and she still did make me like him.

I also really struggled with the revenge portion of the book. She wrote the scandalous stories about him to ruin his life (I SUPPORT), but then they were being used against her as well (it’s a lot to explain but basically her agency was being threatened by more idiot men)!! BOO. LET HER LIVE. LET HER DO REVENGE. I don’t want her regretting the revenge or feeling bad. Don’t get me wrong, Regina had some GREAT lines against Knightly, but overall she gave way too much and he didn’t give enough.

I had the highest of hopes at the beginning because Regina seemed both like a woman scorned and a woman committed to Knightly’s suffering. I thought it was going to be the delicious kind of angsty, but it really just felt watered down. The steam was pretty lukewarm and even her scandalous story revenge wasn’t as metal as it could’ve been. Pull a Jessica Trent and shoot him with no remorse. I don’t think I’ll have the urge to reread this. Rook is a wildcard so I’ll definitely still read his book and I hope Lawrence gets one too. Overall, I miss old school Lorraine levels of bonkers. Hell I even miss the toe fetishes. He didn’t worship her delicate toes once!!

⭐️⭐️.5*/5 🌶️.75*/5

*I don’t really think this is a two star book because I really did love parts of it, so I rounded up to three on Goodreads…but that could change the more I stew.

*There was maybe enough to push it to two peppers but honestly there was way more fade to black and vague language than there should’ve been.



**SPOILERS BELOW**

His reason for leaving her at the altar was just not dramatic enough to get any of my sympathy. Of course he didn’t talk to her or tell her or talk to anyone about anything. He made a promise to his abusive father and thought he needed to honor it out of duty??? Bro he deserves none of your respect??? I can’t believe he really just fucked Regina over so badly out of weirdly misplaced HONOR??? I think that’s about the least honorable thing he could’ve done. It actually made me so angry.

I had inklings of what he was going to reveal and I’m sorry but illegitimacy is always such a weak excuse. And it’s weak of him to assume it would’ve mattered to Regina. I understand about the situation his mother was in, but there were so many ways he could’ve protected her and STILL arrived Regina. But noooo he made a promiseeee and that trumps everything!

Further, nothing really changed about the situation after five years but then he was suddenly able to just tell his father to go fuck himself?? He literally got her pregnant (secret baby) and left her and she was ultimately okay with that?? Her reputation was destroyed and he was totally fine. Maybe he didn’t mean for that to happen but use your brain sir!!! She’s illegitimate and you’re a lord like wow who the fuck knew she’d be the one taking all the hits.

AND YOU’RE TELLING ME REGINA JUST FORGAVE HIM??? I would’ve been ANGRIER that he didn’t talk to me about it because the solution was so simple. She literally said she supported his decision to leave her at the altar 100% at the end and I’m sorry but that’s absolutely unacceptable. He should’ve still be groveling at her feet but no she was like it’s fine now I’ll even be your mistress. He needed nothing from his father and had the means to protect his mother while still giving Regina the love he promised FIVE YEARS EARLIER.

He just got to go fuck a million women and feel sorry for himself. And I was like cool at least Regina was also getting dicked down for five years but NO. She was CELIBATE. God that makes me so angry. I need a wall in which to punch. I prefer the wrongdoer to be the celibate one or for both of them to be. But the wronged party really should be getting daily orgasms for their troubles.

**END OF SPOILERS**



Thanks to the publisher for an eARC via NetGalley. All opinions are honest and my own.

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I love a Lorraine Heath romance and I've been loving the Chessmen books so far. The Notorious Lord Knightly is a strong next installment in the series and has all the things that makes me enjoy a Heath book!

There's a scandalous new memoir on the market, and everyone thinks Lord Knightly is the barely-disguised villain at its center. And it turns out he is, since the writer is none other than his former fiancee, Regina Leyland, who still nurses a grudge for the way Knightly ended things abruptly on their wedding day. Knightly's quest for answers brings him back to Regina and they reconnect for the first time in years, just as Regina's identity is on the verge of being revealed. The two of them fake a reconciliation, but it quickly threatens to become something real.

This is a lovely second chance romance that gives both leads a chance to grow and learn how to trust again. Both of them are forced to put the past behind them and to forgive, and that growth makes their ultimate reconciliation all the sweeter. Plus, the memoir plot adds both drama and comedy. There are also some other lovely elements that I won't spoil that really help to flesh out the book. And of course, the Chessmen and the other side characters are great, all excelling in their roles as support or villains, as necessary.

Generally, a delight to read!

4.25/5

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