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The Notorious Lord Knightly

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This was a pretty good book by one of my favorite authors. MS Heath has been on my read list for many years. She doesn't disappoint in this one with lots of hot and spicy romance. The characters were fully developed with thoughts and feelings of their own. It had me at first chapter and never let go until the end.
Everyone in London is wondering if the "Lord K" is the Earl of Knightly, a book telling about his being a villain. Regina Leyland is the one who wrote the book because she was jilted at the alter on her wedding day buy Lord K. She is the unknown author that has lots of enemies coming to her door and the uproar it's caused her.
Arthur knows who penned the scandalous book and he confronts Regina the one woman he truly loved and lost. Old feelings resurface and it seems like they could be a couple again. It's hard to trust a man after he crushes her world, but Regina must let go of the past and try to see Arthur's side of things.
It will take a bit of work on both parts with love on the line. I know a happy ever after when I see one.
I appreciate Net Galley for this ARC title in which I gave an honest review.

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The Chessmen started as standout supporting characters, but it’s been so much fun seeing each of them come to life in his own novel. Here we find Lord Knightly (known as Knight, obviously) dealing with the fallout from a scandalous novel that the Ton suspects is based on him. He knows his former fiancée Regina is the anonymous author, and I expected the book to be more about getting her to admit it. But it’s really about two people who never really fell out of love trying to salvage their reputations, even if it means sacrificing their second chance.

This isn’t so much a will they or won’t they kind of novel, but more of a when will they and how will they get there. I enjoyed Regina and Knightly’s chemistry, so I was more than willing to see how that journey played out.

There’s a minor plot twist I didn’t see coming, and I’m honestly disappointed in myself. Without revealing, I know it’s a trope that can be divisive, but I think it completely worked here. It’ll actually make readers fall more in love with Knightly.

I tend to dislike the overuse of some huge life altering secret that makes a couple break up, because it’s usually disappointing and really they just need some minor communication. The reason Knightly has to leave Regina at the altar felt appropriately high stakes. His father and her biological brother make for great villains, and I appreciated that they weren’t given too much plot space – just enough to create stress and almost ruin everything and make you hate them.

And as always, the Chessmen (and their growing collection of wives) are great supporting characters. It was nice to see how the previous characters are doing, and I’m excited for Rook’s story next.

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The Notorious Lord Knightly
The Chessmen: Masters of Seduction Series - Book 2
By Lorraine Heath

Avon - July 2023

Historical Romance


Rumors were always about in London, but with the publication of a scandalous book, rumors were more rampant than ever. Was it a work of fiction, or was it truly a memoir as the title indicated? And what about the mysterious Lord K? Was he the villain as the story led readers to believe, or the hero they wished him to be with a possible sequel? But the questions that burned most? Who wrote the book, and was Lord K based on Arthur Pennington, the Earl of Knightly?

Knight not only recognized a scene in the book, but he knew who it had been with. True, not everything was exact, but he suspected Miss Regina Leyland to be the author. Regina, the one woman he had wanted to marry, but instead had broken her heart and deserved all the scorn she tossed his way.

Regina was about to move forward with her life. A result of an affair, she had never doubted her parents love for her, or for each other, but society didn’t look kindly to one in her position. However, a very nice man was courting her, and she was determined to keep him in her thoughts.

Not the rogue who had broken her heart so thoroughly years before.

The Notorious Lord Knightly is lovely reunion romance full of heartbreak and hearts healed. Through intermittent flashbacks, readers see the initial courtship and love Knight and Regina had, and the devastation their separation brought to both of them. Luckily, it is only a few years later that slowly they are able to reunite and confront what had divided them before. I enjoyed seeing these two reunite, and also visiting with other characters from previous stories. I look forward to the last Chessmen story.

Kathy Andrico - KathysReviewCorner.com

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Miss Regina Leyland is an admirable and strong heroine who has always lived on the edge of society due her status as an illegitimate daughter and-later-jilted at the altar by the Earl of Knightly. During the course of this book we get to experience what went wrong and whether these two can find their way towards a second chance.

I found Regina's characterization to be absolutely brilliant. Her emotions were complex and relatable, she had moxie, and I could feel and relate to her devastation, heartbreak, and sense of determination. Her reunion with Lord Knightly was done well and felt realistic for a story line where the two characters were bound for reconciliation.

As for Knightly, I was a tad perturbed by him not being up front with Regina initially, but with a five year gap between the time of the jilting and the current timeline, I do believe there was a significant amount of character development, fueled by regret.

In the first portion of the book we get a few flashbacks to significant events around Regina and Knightly's relationship which was helpful and well placed within the current timeline. Throughout both timelines their yearning and love for one another jumped off the page, which made the conclusion to their journey all the more believable and enjoyable. There are even a few twists (albeit somewhat predictable), in the story that made for some interesting developmental arcs for each character.

In conclusion, the heroine was a delight and a nice addition to Heath's body of work. If you are a fan of her work you might enjoy seeing the Trewlove's make a small debut!

I read and reviewed an advanced eARC of this book thanks to Avon and Harper Voyager via NetGalley. All honest opinions are my own.

3.75✨’s

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This is a second-chance romance with a side of revenge as a dish best-served cold. Regina and Knightly were once in love and made it all the way to the church before Knightly broke things off, breaking poor Regina's heart.

Fast forward a few years later and a book has been released, one recounting the scintillating activities of Lord K. When Knightly reads this book (after a few teasing remarks from his friends wondering if he was Lord K) he realizes this is, in fact, him, and there is only one woman who could have written it.

I loved every time Regina and Knightley were on the page together, I did want more groveling from Knightely and for Regina to make him work for it a little bit more, but I loved their chemistry and how he was with her daughter.

All in all, this was a solid story, just not one of my favorites.

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Rating: 3.5 stars

I really don't know what to say about this book or how to write a review.

I liked this book at times. Other times, I didn't like this book. The beginning was very slow for me; however, it did start picking up about halfway through and I started enjoying it a lot. I think my biggest issue with the story was that it was a love triangle. I've been reading a lot of love triangles in historical romance lately, and it's really not my favorite trope. I wish I enjoyed it more, but I just don't.

I did love that the FMC was an author. I loved that it was a second chance romance, and I thought the author did an amazing job with it being second chance. I really liked that the FMC was a single mom too. You really don't see a lot of single moms in historical romance, and it was nice to see it.

Knightly's character could not marry, and I wanted his reasoning/growth at the end of the book that changed this to be more significant. I felt like a switched just suddenly turned on for him and I wanted to see more of a struggle with it. If you haven't read this book, you probably won't understand what I'm talking about until you do, but just know that I wished for a little more character growth in the sense that I wanted his inner turmoil for such a significant part of the story.

Overall, I did enjoy this book. If you enjoyed the first book in this series or Lorraine Heath's writing in the past, you will most likely enjoy this one too.

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I am always into Heath's worlds. I adore that we get tiny hints of Trewloves in her newer books. This story of Regina and Knightly could not have been set up better. Their second chance was filled with hurt and secrets and twists and turns, but all were handled beautifully and only made me cheer for them more. He leaves her at the alter. She runs off to Europe. When they come back together neither of them know the truth of the past 5 years. It's a story that keeps you reading even when you should probably go to bed. I can't wait for the next book!

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Rating: 3.5 Stars (rounded down for Netgalley

CW: Forced institutionalization, physical abuse, verbal abuse, pregnancy

This is a challenging book for me to review. This book had so much potential, but things fizzled out at the end. Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of things that worked well that I loved – and I enjoyed it more than The Counterfeit Scoundrel – but when I got to the end, I was left a little disappointed. I wanted more than it delivered. I know Lorraine Heath can give us all the emotions and crazy plotlines, but this just didn’t fully live up to what I expected from her.

A scandalous book by an anonymous author has taken London by storm, and everyone is convinced the villainous “Lord K” is the greatly admired Earl of Knightly. Heartbroken that he left her at the altar, Miss Regina Leyland authored the book to get her revenge on Knightly by revealing his true actions, but she never expected the uproar it would cause. To keep her identity as the author secret, Knightly and Regina must pretend to reconcile their friendship to throw suspicion off them. But false friendship stirs up feelings they thought were long buried. As truths emerge, Regina and Knightly must face the consequence of their past if they want to get their happily ever after.

Let’s start with what makes me super conflicted about this book. This book was missing the drama, the big sweeping, tug-at-your-heartstrings emotions that I know Heath can deliver. I wanted higher emotional stakes. I wanted GROVELING.

Regina is so hell-bent on revenge against Knightly and making him pay for how he hurt her, and that just…fizzles out so quickly. She literally set out to DESTROY this man, and she forgave him in two seconds. It felt like the flick of the switch from anger to love. Even if she understood his reasoning for his actions all those years ago, he needed to do more to make it up to her. Knightly seriously hurt Regina, and even if I sympathize with the choice he had to make, I wanted Regina to make him grovel, make him work to earn her love back. He got off way too easily from a woman who was trying to hurt him as badly as he hurt her.

I also was disappointed with the ending of this book. There were a lot of plotlines that I thought would lead to some major drama and conflict in Knightly and Regina’s relationship, but they didn’t even end up being a speed bump. In the end, I was confused why some of them were even introduced if there was no drama, no conflict, no payoff. There was so much potential for any one of those plot points to lead to something interesting, but they ended up not having much impact on the story or Knightly and Regina’s relationship, which I found a bit disappointing.

As much as I was disappointed with those elements of this book, there are still many things I loved about it! I was immediately hooked on this story as Heath does a great job introducing you to the characters. The tension between Regina and Knightly was apparent from the start, and I loved every interaction they had. There was so much sexual tension but also a lot of hatred, pain, and anguish. They have so much shared history, and Regina’s been deeply hurt by him, but there is also still a lot of love and feelings left unresolved.

The romance worked really well in this, except for the fact that I wanted him to grovel more. The animosity between them was jumping off the page, and yet I found myself still rooting for them together because they both still have strong feelings for each other. There is a connection between the two of them that is hard to deny. And boy, was he still hung up on her. He’s got it bad. I sympathized with Knightly as he didn’t want to break her heart.

I loved the narrative framing of the book. The flashbacks came at the perfect time, as I loved seeing the moments of them falling in love juxtaposed with where they are now. You get to see how good they were together before it all fell apart. The structure also made me curious about why Knightly left Regina at the altar. It clearly wasn’t a change of heart, and I had my theories (which proved true) about what happened, but I couldn’t wait to see if I was correct.

I also truly loved all the commentary on book banning and censorship in this book, particularly when it comes to romance. Of all of Heath’s work, this feels the most self-reflective. This discussion is more relevant than ever before, as book bans are at a record high. Regina and some old friends make the case for reading what you love and the hypocrisy of censorship. This book also is incredibly sex-positive, which I truly enjoyed.

One of my complaints with The Counterfeit Scoundrel was we didn’t see much of The Chessman. I’m happy to say that was not the case with this book! I liked seeing Knightly’s relationship with his fellow Chessman. I also LOVED all the cameos from previous characters from Heath’s books. We had a full-on mini The Duchess Hunt reunion with King, Penelope, and Lawrence showing up and so many cameos from the Trewlove siblings from A Sins For All Seasons! I truly was living for these moments, and seeing the Chessmen (particularly King) in their younger days was so fun.

Giving a rating to this book is incredibly tough. On the one hand, I did really love most of the book – it was just toward the end that things started to sour. I enjoyed this book significantly more than The Counterfeit Scoundrel, but it still was missing that special something that made me fall in love with Lorraine Heath’s books. The Notorious Lord Knightly was an enjoyable read, but it is definitely a book with a lot of potential that didn’t fully reach its peak. I still absolutely adore Lorraine Heath (and this is her 50th novel!) and don’t think that will ever change, but not every book can be a home run. I would recommend this book, but I would go in knowing you won’t get the big emotions and drama you might expect from a Heath book.

Thank you to Avon/Netgalley for the ARC. All thoughts, ideas and opinions expressed in this review are my own..

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A scandalous novel by an anonymous author spurs London speculation: Could the seductive Lord K. be the Earl of Knightly? Was the book written by the woman he had jilted at the altar? Regina is pleased by the book's reception, but realizes she should have been more discreet about the hero's identity. Now, her reputation is at risk, and Knight is the only one who can protect her. Will their temporary truce lead to lasting love?

The tension in this book is high from the beginning, with vibrant characters and an engaging plot. I enjoyed the banter and chemistry between Knight and Regina.

Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC I received. This is my honest and voluntary review.

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Ms. Heath has once again written a romance novel that gives me all the feels! This is a second-chance romance has class-difference, angst, and a revenge plot.

Here's the thing, though. I'm not a fan of second-chance romances. It's one of my least favorite tropes. However, since it was written by Lorraine Heath, I definitely wanted to give it a read. I'm very glad I did! It was another solid romance from the queen of swoon romances. While I understood Regina's anger at Knightly for leaving her at the altar (he had a good reason), but I think she went a little overboard with her hate for him. Knightly was my kind of hero--grumpy, stern, and head-over-heels.

Overall, it was a good novel, but this series just isn't my fave. However, because Heath wrote this, it's always a good read.

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Knight and Regina have plenty of secrets between them, can they overcome the betrayals to have the life they both deserve? While I genuinely loved both characters, I seriously considered skipping the middle of the book to get to the happily ever after they deserved. I convinced myself to power through and the ending was worth the wait.

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This author always manages to take a character I was prepared to totally dislike and makes them, not only tolerable but very likable. From what I’d seen in some discussions, I was thoroughly convinced there was no way she could make me even tolerate Lord Knightly. I was, of course, wrong. I came to not only tolerate him but love him and I hope you will as well. I guess it goes to prove that we should never judge someone – especially if we don’t know the whole story. He was a young man forced into a choice that no one should ever have to make. Did he make the right choice? I’m sure you’ll decide for yourself after you read the book, but for me, I think perhaps he did. He just handled it very, very, very badly.

Five years ago the Earl of Knightly met Miss Regina Leyland at her come-out ball. He never intended to be there in the first place, but once he saw her, he was smitten. Regina was the illegitimate daughter of the Earl of Bremsford, but she was acknowledged and loved by her father – who also loved her mother. Regina’s father was oblivious to the reality of her life situation and he thought that just because he loved her and accepted her that all of society would as well. This ball was to find her a husband and she knew all of the eligible males who were there were only there because of the large dowry she had. Then, she was introduced to a man who seemed to care nothing about her dowry or her illegitimacy. How could she not fall in love with him? Theirs was an epic love story – until the day of the wedding when he arrived at the church and announced they would not marry.

Regina has had five years to stew about the way Knight had left her life in shambles. She is the one who paid the price for his betrayal. She lived abroad for a while – and when she came back, she was ready for revenge. Only, that revenge backfired, and – once again – Knight comes out the winner and she is in jeopardy.

Knight does his best to come to her rescue – and to keep his distance. Can Knight save Regina and still walk away again? Can Regina learn to even tolerate Knight after what he did to her? I absolutely loved the way Regina held on to her anger – because she had every right to that anger – she wasn’t bitter, but she was very distrustful of Knight. She questioned his every motive – even those that seemed to bring only good to her and bad to him. Can Regina ever get past the anger and hurt? Can she find love again with someone else? You’ll just have to read the book to see.

I can highly recommend this book. In it, you have an epic love story, a gut-wrenching betrayal, a villain, and an epilogue that will make your heart swell to the point of bursting. The writing is excellent, the pacing is near perfect, and the characters are deep and interesting. It is definitely a great read.

The Chessmen are four steadfast friends who have stood by each other since they met at school. One of the things they do is make pots of money as they are very good at investing. We first met them in the second book (The Duchess Hunt) of the Once Upon A Duke series where King finds his HEA. Bishop finds his HEA in the first book of this series – The Counterfeit Scoundrel. So, after this book, the last man standing will be Rook and I can only imagine it will be quite entertaining because in this book Rook tells Knight that love will never have its way with him. HA!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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This is the story of Lord Knightly, heir to a duke and Regina Leyland, the bastard daughter of an Earl. They met and fell in love only to have their relationship end with a jilting at the altar. Fast forward 5 years later, Regina is back in England, after being on the continent and is trying to live her life without conflict. She and Lord Knightly run into each other and even though they try to pretend as if they are over the past, they obviously still have feelings for each other. Lord Knightly has never explained why he decided they weren't meant to be together and Regina also has secrets she is keeping from him and the rest of society. Regina is still looking for a husband who will give her the respectability her father wanted for her and Lord Knightly is determined to help her in her search. This is a well written story of two lovelorn people who are trying to move on and create another life without each other.

I received an ARC from NetGalley and I am voluntarily leaving a review

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I liked the main character. She’s the illegitimate daughter of an earl and his romance with an actress. But she’s so lovely and interesting that the title earl fell in love with her and planned to marry her. But then he was forced to jilt her on their wedding day. You have to wait about halfway through the story to learn why he had to do that, but there are strong hints so you can figure it out.

Meanwhile, our heroine has traveled abroad and had a secret baby and, after a few years, has returned to England. So there are two familiar tropes of a second-chance romance and secret baby. The author handles those well and I liked that the heroine was strong and able to stand on her own and make her own decisions.

I wasn’t too fond of the plotline of the novel that she had written to get her revenge by portraying the hero as the infamous Lord K. Everyone guesses that it is about him and wonders if she wrote it. Didn’t she realize that that would happen? The book is supposed to be such a best-seller, but the excerpts at the beginning of each chapter seem just to be soft-core sex scenes one after another without any plot.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book that I received from Netgalley; however, the opinions are my own and I did not receive any compensation for my review.

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I recieved a free copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book has a couple of tropes I usually dislike, second chance romance, secret child but I loved this book.
Knightly and Regina were to marry when he abandoned her on their wedding day. Now Regina is back on the outskirts of the ton as the illegitimate daughter of an earl and an actress.
Now a scandalous memoir written by Regina threatens all she has worked for.
I loved Knightly. Even through he hurt Regina his reason was strong and he remained hopelessly in love with her regardless. I liked Regina and her determination to live life on her own terms.
I loved the flashbacks to their previous romance as they rediscovered their passion.
While there were appearances from characters from other books this can be read as a standalone.
5 stars.

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I really enjoyed this book! I love reading about women who are breaking the social norms. Regina really is a woman to aspire to. Her banter and history with Lord Knightly were so much fun to read about. I had not read the first Chessman story, but this was a stand alone story and made me want to read more of these delightful men.

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Regina and Knightly will live in my heart forever. Their story is one that I will remember forever. Regina was devastated when Knightly showed up the day of their wedding and broke her heart. Five years later, FIVE YEARS, she is back in London and the fireworks start again…at first, it’s fueled by anger and sadness, but if quickly turns to love and lust. The flashbacks were perfection and perfectly woven into the telling of the story. AND mixed in was an adorable daughter Knightly knew nothing about. I loved it. ABSOLUTELY loved it.

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The Notorious Lord Knightly by Lorraine Heath is book two in her The Chessmen: Masters of Seduction series and it’s got it all - class difference, secret baby, lots of steam, an erotic novel, revenge and family drama so basically everything that Lorraine Heath does very well.

Arthur, Lord Knightly left Miss Regina Leyland at the altar, after a whirlwind romance that included some very scandalous intimate encounters - they did the deed before marriage! Now five years later Regina has written an anonymous erotic-ish novel detailing her sexy times with Lord K. In order to throw the ton off the scent, these two pretend to reconcile as friends so Regina can find a respectable husband and Knight can clear his conscience for leaving her.

These two are so angsty pining for one another. I enjoyed the time jumping from current events to their previous relationship and the paragraphs of her book at the beginning of the chapters, that sprinkled enough back story and steam throughout to keep me interested. I enjoyed how Lorraine Heath handled Regina’s illegitimacy, her mother is the mistress but she actually had a relationship with her father instead of just being ignored.

I felt the end was a bit anticlimactic but as with any Lorraine Heath it was well balanced. For fans of second chance, secret baby, jilted heroine, secret job and steam, this one is classic Lorraine Heath. We get appearances by the other Chessmen as well as mentions of the Sins For All Seasons Trewlowe family.

“The other cards were worthless, but the queens possessed power, just as she did. She possessed the power to destroy, to destroy the one who betrayed her. And she would. It was only a matter of time.”

Thank you to NetGalley and Avon for an E-ARC in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own. The Notorious Lord Knightly has a publish date of June 27, 2023.

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Second chance and secret baby (more secret toddler by the time the story opens). Knight was little pushy about "keeping an eye" on Regina, when clearly she was righteously furious with him. Knightly seemed to have a problem with respecting her NO. BUT he also absolutely does everything he can to get her together with another man, who can give her the unscandelous life she craves. Regina has learned to be strong through her pain, while Knightly-- not sure he's really changed much.

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The Notorious Lord Knightly is the second book in The Chessman series, and it focuses on Lord Knightly, a man who left his love at the alter five years ago. When a new serial releases about an innocent woman being seduced and abandoned Lord K, many believe the scandalous story is about Lord Knightly and a steamy love affair. And they’re right. The author? Regina Leyland, the woman he left at the altar.

Regina and Knight have so much chemistry! The story flashes back to what happened between them in the past and how they reconnect in the present because of the scandalous book Regina wrote. I like these slips into the past. You really get to see how deeply in love they were and how deeply wounded Regina was when Knight called off the wedding. Even more, you learn why Knight did what he did and how affected he was by his choices.

The pair has a complicated history, and Regina is so angry at Knight. She lashes out at him more than once, and Knight takes it. He knows he did her wrong, and he has a lot of regrets. Knight is a tortured hero (my favorite kind!) who vehemently wishes things were different. Still in love with Regina, Knight will do anything to ensure she has a better future even if it’s without him. There’s a lot of angst between them, which I always enjoy.

I think I rated this down a bit because it includes one of my least favorite tropes. However, the story is emotional and steamy, and the love story is swoon-tastic. Thanks to NetGalley and Avon for the advanced copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.

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