Read ruined by rumor by Alyssa Everett Rosalyn Landor Online


After waiting five years for her fiancé to return from the war and marry her, Roxana Langley has been jilted! She may have longed for excitement, but this was not what she had in mind.... Who could possibly throw over a woman as beautiful and vivacious as Roxana? Certainly not Alex Winslow, the Earl of Ayersley, who has spent years trying in vain to forget his unrequited lAfter waiting five years for her fiancé to return from the war and marry her, Roxana Langley has been jilted! She may have longed for excitement, but this was not what she had in mind.... Who could possibly throw over a woman as beautiful and vivacious as Roxana? Certainly not Alex Winslow, the Earl of Ayersley, who has spent years trying in vain to forget his unrequited love. When he learns she's been abandoned by her cad of a fiancé, he finds himself offering a shoulder for her to cry on. Comfort soon turns into a passionate kiss - and scandal when they are caught in an embrace. Only one thing will save Roxana from certain ruination: marriage to the earl. The match may save her reputation, but responsible, tongue-tied Ayersley is a far cry from her dashing former fiancé. She's convinced Ayersley is merely doing his duty...while he's sure Roxana is still in love with another man. Are they trading one disaster for another?...

Title : ruined by rumor
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 17724611
Format Type : Audiobook
Number of Pages : 165 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

ruined by rumor Reviews

  • Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell
    2019-03-09 04:02

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestThis was a buddy read with my wonderful Goodreads book group, the Unapologetic Romance Readers. We had two books of the month for June - one was KULTI and the other was RUINED BY RUMOR. Being a fan of all things historical, I knew immediately which of the two books had my vote!Right away, I realized that RUINED might not be my cup of tea. Roxana is a spoiled, superficial princess-type character who is very self-centered and naive in the worst possible way. She will go into situations, look around at what's happening, and immediately find the most cock-eyed explanation for what's going on. This is a girl who would watch Blue's Clues and think she's brilliant for finding the 32" x 32" royal blue paw print on an otherwise white wall.She's engaged to a soldier named George Wyatt who actually reminded me a lot of Wickham's character from PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. He's charming and boisterous and very popular with the ladies. A little too popular, as Roxana soon finds out - he dallied with many foreign women while stationed abroad, even as his fiancee waited for him chastely back in England. Events transpire that result in the engagement falling apart, leaving Roxana feeling utterly disgraced.And then, if that weren't enough, she is compromised at a party by the very man she's believed has scorned her for all these years - Alex, Lord Ayersley.Ayersley has actually been in love with Roxana for all these years but has been too shy and awkward to say so. But his happiness is tainted by the knowledge that Roxana doesn't like him, and is marrying him solely to avoid her own ruin. I actually liked Ayersley for 80% of the book because he's a sweet, sexy, beta male and how can you not like that? But then there is another Big Misunderstanding that causes him to say some incredibly hurtful things before storming off under a cloud of butthurt.I suspect Everett was attempting to channel a bit of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. The alliterative title, regency setting, and the characters that are reminiscent of Darcy and Wickham completely went over my head until I actually sat down to write this review. That's because Roxana is not an Austen heroine. She's not complicated or fiery or intelligent or complex enough, and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE really only had one misunderstanding between the h and the H - not five.That's my biggest problem with this book, and what ultimately ended up preventing me from enjoying it. The entire premise is hinged on multiple misunderstandings that could have been resolved (and are! at the end!) with five minutes of conversation. Ayersley thinks Roxana doesn't like him. Roxana thinks Ayersley is in love with another woman. Ayersley thinks Roxana is cheating on him. Roxana thinks Ayersley won't sleep with her because he doesn't love her. It goes on and on.1 to 1.5 stars.

  • Rachel (BAVR)
    2019-03-03 07:11

    3.5 starsAfter reading far too many "romances" with crazy-ass new alphas, I bought Ruined by Rumor on a whim. When BAVR gets depressed about the state of the romance genre, she needs a good beta to bring it all back into perspective. Yes, you read it here: BAVR loves beta heroes. They're sweet, sexy, usually have some deep-seated angst that they try to ignore, and most importantly, they don't act like raging lunatics. So call this my Great Beta Cleanse of 2013. I will be reading more to wash the yuck of REAL out of my mind because Ruined by Rumor and its adorable beta made for a pleasant, cozy surprise.It isn't perfect, but no formulaic Regency romance is. It has a classy spirit, though. The sex is romantic, not gag-me explicit. The romance is slow-building, not unbelievably instant. Alex, Earl of Ayersley, has been in love with Roxana Langley, his best friend's sister, for years. Unfortunately, when he first intended to court her, he was too awkward and shy to make a move before the dashing (read: douchebagguette) George Wyatt swooped in and proposed to her. George joins the cavalry and leaves Roxana for FIVE YEARS, and for all that time she pines after him and quietly resents Alex because Wyatt once told her the earl thought she was silly or whatever. When Wyatt returns, Roxana is excited to finally marry her true love. Then the douchebaguette jilts her, and Alex attempts to comfort her. Naturally, a beta's form of "comfort" is to kiss the girl like a starved lip ninja, and Roxana is promptly ruined because the people who accidentally spied them thought he was humping her. Thus begins Alex and Roxana's marriage of convenience. But it isn't really that for him because he secretly loves her. Roxana, on the other hand, is plagued with guilt because she thinks he's marrying a woman he doesn't like in order to do the honorable thing. And she's still mourning her relationship with George, who keeps showing up and casting doubts on her confusing marriage. At times, I wished I was a time-traveling assassin who could shoot George in the face and come back to 2013 like nothing had happened. It's a good thing Roxana and Alex are so attracted to each other, or the marriage really could have been a disaster. Roxana remains a little too willfully blind to George's manipulation for my taste, but she makes up for that by genuinely trying to make things work with Alex. The earl, on the other hand, tries not to smother Roxana with his overwhelming love, leaving her to think he doesn't care. While I usually hate Misunderstanding Plots, Alex and Roxana are likable enough to make it entertaining. The whole book, I was waiting for Alex to have a meltdown - a spectacular, irrational meltdown that would bring his character to another level. He DOES. And it's FABULOUS. >:D So, yes, while Ruined by Rumor is formulaic, and actually a little old-fashioned, Everett has a charming, competent way with prose that makes reading very easy and enjoyable. As romances go, this is a refreshing change from the dirtied-up style everyone else is going for at the moment. I'm actually excited to pick up another one of her books for future brain cleanses.

  • Jill
    2019-03-20 03:45

    Be careful what you wish for. Roxana Langley lives the quiet life of a well-bred young lady in rural Derbyshire. Yearning for more than her comfortable yet predictable life, gossip and local scandals will have to do instead when real excitement is lacking. But now that her fiancé of five years, Major George Wyatt is at last returning from the Peninsular War, Roxana's life is about to change for the better. Goodbye boring.Alex Winslow, Earl of Ayersley and her brother’s best friend, has loved Roxana from afar for years. Her sweet, bubbly nature is the opposite of his bland and composed disposition. But when her fiancé breaks the engagement and she and Ayersley are seen in a compromising situation, Roxana knows how it feels to be at the receiving end of scandal. There's only one way to scotch the rumour and avoid ruin. She and Ayersley must marry.This beautifully written story with its deep characterisations is another absolutely wonderful read from talented new author Alyssa Everett. Her main characters, Ayersley and Roxana are the driving force behind this story. Ayersley's uninspiring demeanour, the responsible character he presents to the world, is all that Roxana sees initially. Yet as she gets to know him and his layers are peeled away, she begins to see a man who is at his core, a true hero of substance and passion. Roxana who starts out as a superficial character with a frivolous personality overlaying a likable but shallow centre, matures into a layered individual with depth.Even though I loved this, I enjoyed Ms Everett’s debut novel (if it ever gets released) just a little bit more. Perhaps it was the first person pov’s from both the hero and the heroine, that made A Tryst with Trouble such a stand-out. Nevertheless, Ruined by Rumor proves that she is not a one-hit wonder, but a very bright star in the historical romance genre.Subtle, clever humour, beautiful prose and a character-rich romance make Ruined by Rumor another impressive read from this new author. Steam: 2.5ARC courtesy of Carina Press via NetGalley

  • Heather *Awkward Queen and Unicorn Twin*
    2019-02-24 08:10

    So, I spent an entire day reading this while letting my kids play and watch TV. I mean, I took breaks to feed them and go to the bathroom, but most of my day was spent on my butt with my Kindle. One of these days my husband is going to get suspicious of why I never seem to do any cleaning around here...Anyway, I found this book delightful. I tend not to like Regency, because the ones I've read have been all cutesy and clever and that's really not my thing. But this was a well-written book about realistic people with acceptable amounts of angst.For a moment, he wondered if he'd only brought himself more heartache, marrying Roxana when she felt nothing for him.Some of the reviews mention the Big Misunderstanding plot, but that didn't bother me at all. I love the tension in a couple that has to marry for inconvenient reasons and then fall in love after the fact. I love when they can't communicate properly for a while and secretly pine for each other.The characters were so likeable too. I especially related to Alex and his shyness. He explained it to Roxana at one point and she made an effort to understand how he felt. I loved the pairing of the bubbly heroine and the taciturn hero.My one complaint was that I wish there had been one or two more detailed sex scenes. This was related to the misunderstanding, though, and eventually I realized why the author set things up the way she did. And I couldn't put the book down, so it wasn't really that much of a detriment.I really enjoyed this, and I look forward to reading more of Everett's work."I've been accused, from time to time, of taking myself too seriously. If that's my besetting sin, then yours lies in not taking yourself seriously enough. You have a great many gifts, Roxana—a warm heart, a ready understanding and a loyal and generous nature. But perhaps your most disarming quality is that you seem utterly unaware how very lovely you are." He shook his head. "Don't underestimate yourself."*swoon*Buddy read with the Unapologetic Romance Readers!

  • Caz
    2019-03-14 10:12

    I was tempted to give this one 5 stars, but in the end decided on 4.5 stars because of one or two minor niggles.This is another of the books that’s been languishing on my TBR mountain for a while that I decided to listen to rather than leaving it buried on the pile for much longer.The marriage-of-convenience is one of my favourite plots in romance novels, so I came to this one with fairly high hopes of enjoyment, and I wasn’t disappointed. The story is well-told and the writing and characterisation are very good and the author, while basing her story on a series of misunderstandings and misconceptions, managed to make them fairly believable, even though there were times I felt like I wanted to smack both the hero and heroine and tell them to sit down and TALK properly! One of the things I enjoyed and thought was a little different from the norm was the fact that in this story, the hero has been secretly in love with the heroine for years. He's titled, rich and good-looking and takes his responsibilities as landowner and 'lord of the manor' very seriously, so seriously in fact, that he is thought by some to be rather dull. He has some very deep-seated insecurities about his suitability for the position he occupies and works himself incredibly hard as a result. Roxana, however, has eyes only for her handsome, soldier fiancé, and has in fact been convinced of the hero’s indifference due to the fact that he rarely speaks to her or seeks her out. What she doesn’t know of course is that Alex Winslow, despite being an earl and a highly respected MP, is so much in love that he is terrified of making an idiot of himself around her and therefore opted to keep his distance. He's a lovely beta-hero, the epitome of the strong, silent type who will take a lot of crap, but only to a point - after which he comes out fighting and God help whoever gets in his way. At the beginning of the book, Roxana Langley is shown to be rather an immature heroine. Blinded by the looks and charm of her fiancé, George Wyatt, she is easily lead by him into thinking ill of others, especially of Alex Winslow, who George categorises as a ‘dull dog’ and crashing bore. In that respect, she reminded me a little of Elizabeth Bennet, who is lead into similar cruelty and insensitivity under the influence of Wickham.When George breaks off their five-year engagement, Roxana is devastated. The author has already sewn enough seeds of doubt as to the true nature of George’s character by that point for the reader to realise that his protestations to Roxana that amount to “it’s not you – it’s me” are hiding something else entirely, but I thought it was a clever move not to reveal him as an out-and-out cad right from the start.As stated in the synopsis, Alex and Roxana have to marry due to the gossip that he has compromised her. Unlike many of the marriage of convenience stories I’ve read where the hero tells the heroine she can do whatever she likes as long as she is discreet, in this, the one thing Alex insists on is fidelity. Roxana cannot conceive of ever being unfaithful to him – principally because she believes herself to be frigid; she had not enjoyed George’s kisses or embraces (although she liked Alex’s well enough!).Alex has also given Roxana to believe that he is in love with a girl he met in London, so both protagonists enter into the marriage believing their partner is in love with someone else.Many of the misunderstandings between them actually arise as a result of Roxana’s rather clumsy attempts to explain her feelings to Alex. When she tries to talk to him about her fear of disappointing him in bed, she phrases things so awkwardly as to make him believe she is telling him that he can never match up to George. Alex is (of course) an experienced, tender and generous lover, but Roxana is so constrained by her fears that she never lets herself go, which naturally disappoints him, even though he tries not to show it. And towards the end of the book when she feels that Alex is deliberately distancing himself from her, she tries to ask him if he regrets marrying her but makes it easy for him to misconstrue what she says, which leads him finally to fly into a towering rage and walk out on her without giving her a chance to explain.I thought his refusal to listen to her was perhaps a little contrived, but when seen in the context of Alex’s character – he’s not given to fits of temper, and is generally quite guarded of his emotions – it works. He’s so desperately in love and has been so weighed down by his own insecurities and his fears about Roxana’s feelings for George that he can’t take it any more and just blows!Both Alex and Roxana grow as characters during the course of the book. Alex learns to let his hair down a little on occasion and that having a wife means that he doesn’t have to bear all his responsibilities alone; and Roxana learns to appreciate her husband for the man he is (I liked the way he became more and more outwardly attractive to her as the book progressed) and to understand why he works as hard as he does and to share his aims and enthusiasms. If I had a niggle with the book, it was with the fact that the early part of the story was perhaps a little too focused on Roxana's family life, and we waited a teeny bit too long for our first sight of Alex. But I thought that the scenes which dealt with Roxana's disappointment at George's lack of attention worked very well to build up a picture of his true character and ultimately to the scene in which he jilts her.Overall, I thought this was an enjoyable take on a well-used trope. The storytelling and characterisation were excellent and the central couple were both likeable and engaging. In terms of the audiobook, Rosalyn Landor’s performance is, as always, superlative. Her voices for the different female characters are all very distinct so there is never any confusion as to who is speaking, and the tone she employs to voice Roxana’s five-year-old brother is clearly a boy rather than a girl! George is suitably pompous-sounding, while Alex is somewhat softer – I thought she did a really good job in conveying his below-the-surface frustration at his awkwardness and his insecurities. Her narration is also beautifully nuanced – I’ve listened to some narrators who, while quite good with the characters seem rather wooden when simply telling the story, but that is never the case with Ms Landor. To sum up, I highly recommend both the book and the audiobook, depending on your taste.

  • Wollstonecrafthomegirl
    2019-03-17 01:59

    I spent six and a half hours on trains and glommed this over the course of about 5 of those hours. Everett is a neat writer. Sounds rather like I’m damning with faint praise, but I’m not. This all felt meticulously planned and plotted. The language was period appropriate. It read in some ways like a traditional regency, but with added sex. There was nothing overblown about it or too much major dramaz. Everett knows what she’s about, and no point did this feel out of her control. I had one major beef with it, which I’ll get to, which keeps it from being five stars.Our heroine, Roxana. A very young 23-year-old. But sort of exactly what I suspect most upper class 23-year-old, unmarried, country girls were like in Regency England. Kind of daft. She engages herself to a cad of a cavalry officer before the war because: sexy uniform and funny bants. It’s painfully obvious to the reader that this is A Mistake. It’s also pretty obvious that whilst Roxana fancies herself in love, she is, in fact, not. After waiting five years for him to finish fighting on the continent, he returns, they’re re-acquainted for a bit and then he jilts her, propelling her into a series of events that lead her to the hero. The Hero, Alex [I can’t remember how to spell his title and I’m too lazy to look it up] has loved Roxena forever. He’s the dutiful Earl from the neighbouring estate, they grew up together. He’s rendered a bit dull and insensible every time he’s near her and she finds him dull and staid. Partly that’s because he is, he’s all about Duty and Work and doing right by his estate and his inheritance, which, being a second son, he should never have got. The night her fiancé jilts her Roxana is comforted by Alex and ends up getting herself compromised. So they’re forced to marry. Mixed up kids that they are.It’s all a mess. Roxana doesn’t know who she is, or what she wants. She thinks it’s her ex-beau but Alex is lovely to her. She doesn’t know if she’s doing things right in the bedroom or how to get her husband to come out of himself and spend time with her. She flirts with her ex and allows herself to be flattered by him because she’s bored and lonely and young. Then there’s Alex, who has exactly what he always wanted in life (estate, title, Roxana as his wife) but is completely unable to express it his feelings about any of it. He worries, a lot, that Roxana is unhappy and makes himself unhappy in the process. The novel is a slow unfurling of some of those issues. Both characters grow and change whilst still remaining young and stupid sometimes (because you don’t suddenly stop being 23). It’s a little one step forward, two back but eventually, they finally, finally, finally begin talking to one another and whilst you know there’s growing still to be done, these two will definitely work it out.It’s those three finallies that cause this book to lose a whole star for me. At about the 57% point I literally wanted to step inside my Kindle as though it was a Mary Poppins chalk painting and scream at these two to just freaking say what they actually freaking mean. There is a lot of speaking at cross-purposes with half completed sentences and thoughts and misinterpreted body language. It borders on infuriating and I think the process of them coming to understand one another could have happened more subtly and without that annoying element.That said, this was, as I’ve indicated a great read. I raced through it. Not my first Everett and it certainly won’t be my last.

  • Sarah
    2019-03-01 07:02

    Buddy read with the Unapologetic Romance Readers group.1/7 - Sorry for all the updates, I was having too much fun trying out reading from my tablet with easy access to GR.For most of the book I wanted to do serious violence to both of the main characters - shake her and slap him, or maybe it was the other way around, either way I was perpetually in a state of wanting to scream at them talk to each other. I was eventually proven correct (as I'm sure a lot of readers were) when they finally managed a conversation where they each managed to have their say without being interrupted and eveything was magically sorted out because they had talked to each other and it all took about five minutes of speaking (imagine that, they could have saved themselves all that embarrassment if they'd talked to each other three months earlier). During some scenes where one or the other was being particularly reticent or letting the other talk over them I got very close to jumping in and telling the talker to shut up and the silent one to spit it out (except, of course, this is all fiction and those conversations were all in my head).About 3/4 of the way in I started to warm to Roxana, but then George reappeared and she started to behave like an idiot again. I never found Alex (or his chosen topic of conversation) dull, just apparently completely lacking in a sense of humor. Living with someone like Alex, who can never just have a laugh with you would be very difficult - no teasing or joking, no playing with the kids, everything you say/hear has to be taken with the utmost seriousness. What a joyless life. No wonder Roxana was terrified about the idea of marrying him.Don't read this book if you're looking for sexual tension, there is none. There's just a sweet, bumbling guy who's so afraid of looking like a fool that he ends up looking for a crashing bore who looks down his nose at anyone with the temerity to have fun in his presence and he's stuck with a Ton socialite wannabe who's actually a country bumpkin but doesn't know it. Their personalities clash, but not in the hot 'slam me against the wall and kiss me passionately' way because he always turns away to avoid looking like a fool, leaving her standing there thinking he finds her distasteful.I would consider reading more from Everett, as long as he's not a bumbling fool and she's not a gossip queen.

  • Gavin
    2019-03-16 02:07

    This was an enjoyable historical romance. The story was not particularly action packed, but it was easygoing and engaging. The characters were believable and very likable. Alex Winslow, Earl of Ayersley, has been secretly in love with Roxana Langley, his best friends sister, for years. Unfortunately he is too shy and awkward to make his feelings known to her. She assumes his distant treatment of her is a sign that he dislikes her. She eventually ends up getting engaged to George Wyatt, a dashing military officer, but he is called away to war before they can wed. It is 5 years before he returns. In that time Alex has moved to London and built a name for himself in politics. Both Wyatt and Alex arrive back in Roxana's life at the same time. George is back from war and Alex has returned to look after his mother who has broken her leg in a fall. When George jilts Roxana shortly before their planned wedding Alex is there to comfort her. Unfortunately they are spotted in an embrace and the locals assume they were carrying on an affair and that is why Roxana and George broke their engagement. Alex agrees to marry Roxana to end the scandal. Both are very likable characters and they make a good couple. Early on their marriage is not a smooth one as it is fraught with misunderstandings. Alex believes Roxana still loves George and she believes he only married her to protect her reputation because of the scandal. I found the misunderstandings more sweet than annoying. Alex's quiet reserved nature was probably to blame for a lot of them. Still, he was not the typical macho hero and it was impossible not to like him. I did not love the ending. It had a few out of character moments for Alex, but he did redeem himself well enough. All in all this was an enjoyable light-hearted romance. I'll be happy to try more of Alyssa Everett's books in the future. Rating: 4 stars.Audio Note: This was narrated by the excellent Rosalyn Landor. If there is a narrator better suited to narrating historical romance novels I have yet to encounter them!

  • RedL.
    2019-03-16 03:01

    Alex gets 4 stars I wanted to like this story soooooo much! Come on, there was everything sweet and heartbreak: womanizer boyfriend, disillusionment, gossip, unrequited love, marriage of convenience, wallflowers and balls, the good guy making big gestures when it's needed...unfortunately, I've been in a state of annoyed rage almost from the beginning. I don't mind a tons of tropes arranged in the most traditional way if the writing and the characters are able to hold their own and surprise me, what's not to love between secret pining, unexpected ardour, missed chances and late revelations? It could have been near damn perfect, the male lead was so freaking adorable and hot on top of it, the villain was just villainy annoying but GOD, it was all so predictable and I COULD-NOT-STAND the heroine.I'm sorry, I'm not sorry. I tried, I really did. For Alex, I love shy people, he's big values and a even bigger heart and can be so unabashedly carnal. I wanted him getting the girl. But I saw all the mini twists coming, the only thing going on was their utter inability to properly communicate. Not only I don't find it an interesting or effective plot device, it is also overabused and empty. I can't stand when characters are made so unreasonable. They're always assuming the worst of each other, accepting being miserable and alone when all they want is closeness. I just don't get it. You can't love someone but keep your distance all the time, sharing nothing of what you really feel, want, crave. Don't get me wrong, I can totally see the appeal of the story, of course I couldn't wait for Roxana to realise what a wonderful husband she had and what a total jerk her fake ex-fiancé was and all that, the parts I enjoyed the most were actually the interactions with their tenants and country community, the Harvest party was my favourite. The idea of the heroine thinking she was frigid and discovering her body with the husband she didn't want at first is also a very good theme, although not new, but the execution lacked greatly in my opinion. I wasn't charmed by the writing style or the dialogues, the heroine appeared so vapid and superficial, attracted only by shiny empty things and flattery, that I didn't have any patience with her. She does progress and mature along the story, just not enough to make her interesting and as beautiful and lovely as she's said to be. It took her far too long to see George for the bastard he really was. I did like that she did not fight desire when she found it and I understand that an incoming orgasm for someone completely ignorant of sexuality can be almost scary...the first time only she had such a feeling. She squashing her orgasms and not communicating with him, he thinking himself as a disappointment in bed grated on my last nerve.As much as I liked Alex and rooted for them together, this story wasn't swoony enough and definitely not steamy enough either. It was just too light on all the elements and had almost no real plot. No communication, no relationhip in my world. I'm sure a lot of other people will find this veritably delightful.another Buddy Read with the great gals a URR group

  • Casey
    2019-03-22 09:15

    I finished Ruined by Rumor over a month ago but I suck at my reviewing skills lately so I am just now getting around to posting about it. I liked the story, but wasn't terribly impressed with the execution of character development. The dialog between the H/h drove me a bit batty while reading, but luckily I was BRing this one with the delightful crew over at Unapologetic Romance Readers. Their discussion comments made me feel better about not being blown away by Roxana's character bc they felt the same way for the most part.So here's what I liked/didn't like:The story...I loved the idea of this young lady obsessed with gossip becoming the object of gossip when she is out of one engagement and into another within days of each other. I've always loved the big brother's best friend with the little sister plot so that ticked off another in the pro column. However, there was what was supposed to be a plot twist involving Roxanna's first fiance, and I have to say, it was not much of a twist. (view spoiler)[I saw it coming from the beginning of the book and sort of felt bad that it was supposed to be such a surprise to Roxanna's character (hide spoiler)]The characters...I actually quite liked Alex for the most part. His awkwardness was evident from the beginning and that stayed consistent throughout which I appreciate. Roxanna was adept in social situations, but shy in physically intimate ones, which I get I guess. But for someone who was always able to fix a social faux pas, laugh off awkward silences, and generally be the belle of every ball in her little town it irritated the crap out of me that her every conversation with Alex led to confusion and drama. (view spoiler)[Required for the plot... I get it. But it still bugged the hell out of me (hide spoiler)]I'm giving bonus points to the story for the smexy times. It seemed fairly realistic to me so, yep, bonus points for that. (view spoiler)[Roxanna had little to know instruction on what to expect so as her orgasm began to build she freaks out thinking something is wrong. This is a far cry better than some of the scenes I read where everything is perfect and sexy the first go at it. (hide spoiler)]Overall?I think if I could pluck Roxana out of this story and replace her I would have liked this story much better. I don't mind drama and angst in romance but I hate unnecessary drama and I felt like this one was FULL of it.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • sraxe
    2019-03-14 06:13

    I really liked the beginning of this book. It really pulled at me how differently Roxana and Alex saw one another. Afterwards, however, the relationship did get a bit tiresome.In the beginning we had such contrasting viewpoints from them. Alex was constantly mooning over her and it was kind of adorable.(view spoiler)[If people were drinks, then Roxana Langley could only be champagne—sweet, bubbly, silver-blonde. And, unfortunately, she had the same way of going to Alex’s head. (hide spoiler)](view spoiler)[Alex could hardly answer I’ve been eating my heart out with love for Miss Langley since she first made her come-out, so he simply shrugged. (hide spoiler)]He also gets crazy tongue-tied around her. As a result, he either says something stupid or, as is the case most often, just doesn't say anything at all.(view spoiler)[Alex was staring. She glanced down at herself. “What is it? Did I spill something on my gown?”He jerked his eyes away. “No. I was only…that is, you look very well tonight, Miss Langley.” He wanted to kick himself. The lieutenant had called her a ravishing beauty, and the best he could manage was a witless stare and You look very well tonight? (hide spoiler)](view spoiler)[She’d even tried a few times to catch his eye, smiling at him in what was meant to be friendly encouragement. He’d always frowned and turned his face quickly away. (hide spoiler)]And then he works up the courage to ask her to find her dance card is already full. She suggests he dance with someone else but he takes her rejection to heart.And then you have Roxana's opinion of Alex.(view spoiler)[He possessed a straight, patrician nose, a good-natured smile, and lashes even a girl would envy. Too bad all those looks were wasted on him. (hide spoiler)](view spoiler)[“Why, what girl would refuse you?” Lady Langley said as if it were a complete impossibility.Roxana resisted the urge to raise her hand, as Ayersley looked up with a strained smile. (hide spoiler)]And while Alex is pining away for her, she often listens to George make fun of him (and even sometimes joins in).(view spoiler)[Turning her about the dance floor, George let out a chuckle. “Look at that dull dog Ayersley over there with the other wallflowers. Have you ever seen such a quiz?” (hide spoiler)](view spoiler)[George snorted. “Did he? I can just imagine what kind of horse-faced bluestocking would catch his fancy. And what could he possibly have to say to the girl? ‘Excuse me, m-miss, but would you care to hear me l-lecture fallen women on the w-wages of sin?’”“He isn’t that bad, George. And I imagine the girl is quite pretty, though it wouldn’t surprise me if she’s every bit as starchy as he is. They probably sit rows apart at musical soirees and poetry readings, sneaking glances at one another and blushing furiously.” (hide spoiler)]And then you have their interactions.(view spoiler)[Or more than just his head, for when she threw open the door she wore such a brilliant smile, and such a joyful light lit her wide blue eyes, every inch of him from crown to sole seized up in an absolute paralysis of yearning.Then her smile abruptly faded, and the eager light faded from her eyes. “Oh, it’s you, Ayersley,” she said with a disappointed sigh, as if he’d been absent for only five minutes instead of the better part of five long years. “I was expecting Major Wyatt.” (hide spoiler)]Just...oh, poor child.I liked the start of the novel because I liked how differently they saw one another. I also liked that, for once, it was the man pining away for the woman rather than the other way, which is usually the case.My problem with the book was that the two never really communicated with one another after marrying (even before, to be honest). It got rather tedious because all of their misunderstandings were based solely off of a lack of communication between the two of them. After a point, it felt really predictable because you knew what and how something was going to be taken by both or either party.They marry and she cries on her wedding night. He takes it as a sign she finds it repugnant to be touched by him when she loves George so he backs off. When they finally do share a bed, she holds herself back and he takes it that although she's giving herself physically, she's holding off mentally and emotionally.He feels it didn't go well for her because it was her first time so he tells her it'll get better. She takes that to mean she disappointed him.The first morning following their wedding, he asks after her "schedule" for the day because he wants to spend time with her. She's a little taken aback at the mention of a "schedule" so she just lists off a bunch of things even though what she wants to do is spend time with him. He then says he'd wanted to ask if she'd want to go riding with him but he can see she's busy so nevermind. She says she's willing if he wants...which he takes as her just offering for the sake of it. He turns her down. She sees he's done with breakfast but is sitting there (and being forced to wait for her) so she says he can go if he wants. He takes it as a polite dismissal so he leaves. Neither communicates their true wish and both take it that the other doesn't want to spend time with them and then both studiously take to doing their own thing.He's a terrible conversationalist and notices her yawning. So, the next time, he invites his secretary to join them so she'll have someone to converse with. She takes it the wrong way because she wanted to be alone with him.The entire book (after they're married) felt as though it dragged and dragged.Other than the predictable miscommunication and misunderstanding business, the Miss Hammond thing was also super predictable so I don't know why it was left until nearly the very end. It might have been one of the least surprising things in the entire book.Also, forgotten things. For one, as far as I know, I don't think it's explained why Oliver Dean looked at Roxana oddly the first time they met.(view spoiler)[Her pronouncement had a remarkable effect on Mr. Dean. He had been leaning in with a relaxed, attentive air. When she gave him her name, however, his face went blank and he sat bolt upright in the saddle. (hide spoiler)]For another, Roxana also never finds out that Alex didn't say mean things about her (like George told her he had). It's brushed aside.Then, I was disappointed that there were certain things that didn't happen. One of those is how Roxana views Alex. There were quite a number of times that Roxana thought uncharitable thoughts of Alex and George even said things on a number of occasions. Near the end, Alex knows how they see him but I don't think knowing how a person sees you has the same emotional impact as actually hearing them say it or hearing them laugh at it being said. I was waiting for it and it never came.

  • Christopher
    2019-03-19 10:04

    This review was originally posted on The Historical Romance Critic.The heroine to the hero, on their wedding night: "I have a crystal-clear memory of Tom’s dog, behaving with complete abandon whenever a particularly tempting leg caught his fancy. It’s essentially the same thing, is it not?”It was only yesterday that I was reading about yet another rake reformed by the touch of a beautiful, innocent miss. I found myself asking why the hero couldn't be a nice guy on occasion, someone who isn't remotely like a rake but still gets the girl. I chalked up the idea as hopeless, being familiar with romance authors' fascination of alpha heroes. So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon Alyssa Everett's Ruined by Rumor, a historical that played out my very idea - only with much more success than I could have imagined. Everett is actually a familiar name, as I reviewed her debut novel A Tryst with Trouble. However, I never would have made the connection on my own. While I remember A Tryst with Trouble as being a good read, Ruined by Rumor is quite simply spectacular. For one thing, the burgeoning romance between the protagonists is intensely sweet without sacrificing authenticity. The relationship misunderstandings are also reasonable yet heartbreaking, and the clever comic relief had me bursting out laughing. I'm no Regency scholar, but Ruined by Rumor certainly had the feel of historical accuracy with an almost traditional writing style. Throw in a thoroughly engaging storyline, and the result is one of the best historical romances I've ever read.The storyline of Ruined by Rumor stays fairly close to the book's description. The heroine starts out every inch a county debutante - she's beautiful, innocent, and naive. At the age of eighteen, the heroine fell for the shallowly romantic gestures of a rakish officer. Her father allows them to become engaged, but asks her to wait five years before marrying. The book opens at the end of this agreed time period, with the officer coming back from the war and the heroine eager to move on with her life. She develops a few reservations about upcoming marriage, as she finds it hard to kiss her fiance and again when she finds out about his affairs abroad. He sweet talks her into going along with it, though, and she reasons that it's really too late to back out now. The heroine has grown up knowing the hero as one of her brother's friends, but believes him to be stuffy and proper - a misconception the fiance is all too happy to embellish. The hero, on the other hand, has grown up completely in love with the beautiful heroine. He's tried to approach her in the past, but his reserved personality causes her to think he dislikes her. Then, once she became engaged there's nothing much he could do. A few weeks before the wedding, the fiance tells her he can't marry her without telling her why. The hero goes to comfort her, and a spontaneous kiss occurs. The kiss is witnessed, and the hero proposes a marriage of convenience to fix the scandal. The hero is painfully aware of the fact that the heroine believes herself in love with the officer, but vows to make the relationship work as best as he can. The heroine, meanwhile, believes that the hero is being his ever dutiful self. I don't want to give too much away, but the marriage of convenience storyline that follows is very engaging and I found myself loving the characters. In particular, I enjoyed both the hero's and heroine's commitment to making the marriage work... even while I anxiously hoped for the misunderstandings to be resolved. I usually hate it when the hero falsely accuses the heroine and then storms off, but I made an exception here. As I said before, the final misunderstanding is agonizing... but at the same time, very understandable. The resolution was quite satisfying as well.I absolutely loved reading Alyssa Everett's Ruined by Rumor. Not only was it exactly my kind of storyline, but every aspect of the novel seems to be well-written: characters, conflict, humor... you name it. The romance and historical detail were particularly enchanting, and I have to say that Everett has found in me a newly devoted fan.

  • willaful
    2019-02-26 02:46

    A very enjoyable historical romance with a Traditional Regency feel. Roxana has no idea that her brother's best friend, Lord Ayersley, has been in love with her for years -- in fact, her fiance George has convinced her that Alex is "a pattern card of starchy respectability" who looks down on her. Then George unexpectedly breaks off their engagement while at a ball, and Alex's attempts to comfort her get a little heated, forcing a marriage between them. Alex is elated, but the situation is ripe for misunderstandings, which come thick and fast.I was a little put off at the beginning of this because the characters and relationships so strongly evoked Pride and Prejudice. However as the story went on, the characters established themselves as individuals rather than imitations. Alex is very sweet and patient, and Roxana learns to appreciate his commitment to his dependents and his passion for political reform, over George's more obvious charms. Plot and emotions go a little over the top towards the end, but overall it's a well paced story with likable characters and a good sense of time and place.

  • Anna (Bobs Her Hair)
    2019-03-17 03:13

    Grade: B- or 3.5 starsA light historical romance with a strong start, some words left unsaid, a shy hero, and heroine with shades from Jane Austen's Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility.Derbyshire, 1814Roxana Langley cannot contain her excitement. Her fiancé is returning from the Peninsula after five long years. He’s dashing, handsome, and fun. Roxana’s family has reservations, but the engagement is officially announced. Not much later her handsome officer says he can’t marry her. Roxana has been jilted!Alex Winslow, the Earl of Ayersley, fell in love with Roxana at her coming out. His painful shyness prevented him from ever approaching her. Ayersley returns to his country home to care for his mother. It is painful to watch the woman he loves engage herself to a blackguard like Major Wyatt. No matter the situation, his conduct is that of a gentleman until circumstances change. Ayersley offers consolation to a distraught Roxana; hugging leads to kissing and a moment of passion.Living in the country, Roxana enjoys listening to small town gossip and rumor. Now that she is the object of rumor places her pastime in a different light. There is a solution to the compromising position she has found herself in. The Earl of Ayersley has proposed marriage. Roxana has known him since she was a child. Ayersley is rich, good-looking, and boring. He is her brother’s good friend. Can she find happiness with such a ‘starchy’ man?”There is a young lady I admire…”Roxana was not the only female in the family interested in gossip. Her mother leaned forward all ears. “There is? You must tell us all about the girl.”The earl continued toying with his watch fob. “Unfortunately, ma’am, I don’t believe she returns my regard.” His voice died away, and his ears turned pink.“Why, what girl would refuse you?” Lady Langley said as if it were a complete impossibility.Roxana resisted the urge to raise her hand…This story had a very strong start.The characters are lively, entertaining, and seemed like characters from a BBC miniseries. They strongly reminded me of a combination of Jane Austen characters, specifically Marianne Dashwood in the case of Roxana Langley. Ayersley is like a combination of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley from Pride and Prejudice as the earl is alternately aloof, serious, shy, and socially awkward.The love story between Roxana and Ayersley was an enjoyable journey, for the most part. At first, I was put off by the misunderstanding and lack of communication, which is an overused device in romance novels. When looking closer at the characters personalities, especially Ayersley, their foibles become understandable. He is aware that Roxana loved the dynamic Major Wyatt, which causes him some insecurity and to read too much in to her actions and words. Despite Ayersley’s faults he is a very likable and romantic hero. I do wish his insecurity would not have played out so long. It was a kink to the strong start of this romance.Roxana was, at turns, naïve, intuitive, and amusing. Her lack of sexual knowledge and not understanding the happenings of her body were in tune with the era. The drama on their wedding night probably transpired between many newlyweds. Despite her naiveté, Roxana evolves from a woman-child to a mature person while maintaining the essence of her charm. Will I read this author again? Yes! I’m eager to try other works by Alyssa Everett and would recommend her to historical romance readers. Overall, Ruined by Rumor is an entertaining light historical romance that is sure to cause readers’ silly grins throughout the story.Favorite SceneHe took a deep breath and sought shelter again in the safety of a detached approach. “At any rate, I don’t wish to place undue demands on you, but I have to think of the succession.”She, too, made a perceptible effort to shake off her nervous air. “Yes, I know.”“Our marriage has a public dimension as well as a private one, and I have an obligation to those who rely on the support and patronage of the estate.”She nodded.“If I were to die without an heir, any number of people would suffer—my tenants, my employees, the village laborers, to say nothing of my mother and—“[…]“What are you laughing at?” […]“You sound as if we’re discussing making a donation to the workhouse, or giving alms to the poor.” She giggled. “I had a sudden vision of a list of chores lying on your desk, a tick beside my name to show you’d done your husbandly duty—confer with the bailiff, answer letters, get Roxana with child. . . . Honestly, Ayersley, you’re either the most virtuous gentleman I’ve ever met, or you’re the slyest….Very well, then. I’m willing to do my part—for the benefit of my fellow man.”He stepped closer, smiling uncertainly, and took her in his arms. “For the benefit of your fellow man.”She clung to him, leaning her forehead on his shoulder. “Honestly, you can be the most ridiculous creature.”When she burst into fresh laughter, all the tension went out of him, and he chuckled in her ear.Book courtesy of Carina Press via Netgalley

  • Stella
    2019-03-06 05:51

    As you can see from the blurb Ruined by Rumor is a marriage of convenience/forced marriage Regency historical romance, which is my favourite trope so I was excited to read it, and I’m happy to report that Ruined by Rumor is a delightful read. The more days pass since I finished it the more I appreciate its romantic charm and wittiness and wish to re-read Ruined by Rumor.Roxana our heroine is a lively, smiling blonde, who takes nothing too seriously and has a generally sunny disposition (I would even venture and say at times she is silly). She is aptly described here:"If people were drinks, then Roxana Langley could only be champagne—sweet, bubbly, silver-blonde. And, unfortunately, she had the same way of going to Alex’s head."She is not really a proper lady as she enjoys gossip and longs for scandal to stir up the dullness of her boring country life. She longs for excitement and passion, a love that sweeps her off her feet and she counts back the days ‘till her marriage to George, her fiancé as she believes she will get all that once they are married. But it becomes clear quite early on for the reader that George is a rake. One of the most charming ones, but still an irresponsible and unfaithful rake. He was a worthy modern Mr. Wickham. (And it seems everyone else sees George’s true nature except Roxana:Roxana’s brother shares his opinion about George and his engagement to his sister:"All I know is he insisted they wait. I’ve spent the past five years hoping she’d give up on the blackguard, or perhaps some Frog marksman would do the world a favor and shoot him in the face—"Alex, our hero, on the other hand is dreamy: sure he appears quiet and sometimes stumbles over words when speaking with Roxana, but as readers we get the advantage of hearing his thoughts and how he perceives their interactions and we cannot not fall in love with his steady devotion and utter loyalty to Roxana. Alex is a honourable man, he has morals, principles and integrity, and it doesn’t hurt that he is one very fine male specimen who sure knows how to kiss:Roxana’s thoughts during one of their knee-weakening kiss:"Dear God, no wonder there were so many fallen women in the world when falling felt this good."Alex brings depth and balances out Roxana’s carefree bubbly naiveté. I found them a couple who really suited each other especially because of the differences in their temperament. They are like light and dark, complete opposites which complement each other. Their romance was sweet yet passionate, the kind that makes you feel all warm and tingly. I also enjoyed how despite being all that is proper Alex still had a sense of humour and he could bring some light and wittiness to the story:"As husbands go, George would have been like those false pearls—all dazzle and shine at first glance, but really little more than fish scales and paste. You, on the other hand, are the kind of man I can respect for the rest of my life."Alex broke into one of his swift, transforming grins. "Just don’t respect me too much. I mean, it’s all right if you have impure thoughts about me now and then."I only had two minor complaints. One of them was the storyline involving Fanny, Roxana’s best friend and how she found love with Mr. Dean. I found it too convenient and improbable on how their story resolved on both the marriage and career front.The other is a personal preference of mine: I don’t like having the final big resolution played out in front of an audience. I find it remains more intimate and genuine if there are no big crowds who are cheering, applauding and intruding on their moment in any other way. I would have preferred if Roxana and Alex’s reconciliation didn’t take place in front of a public, as it didn’t sound either historically accurate and true to the time period or Alex’s character.Verdict: Ruined by Rumor was like a Shakespeare play: full of continuous misunderstandings as the hero and heroine had a propensity to misinterpret everything the other said or did. Despite the humour and wittiness Ruined by Rumor was an angsty Regency romance of the best kind: the type where the reader is constantly biting their nails and having trouble swallowing as they are too anxious to see how the hero and heroine will finally find their way to each other.With great, in-depth characterisations, flowing and witty narrative, Ruined by Rumor is an angsty but sweet Regency romance that any Pride and Prejudice fan will adore!Plot: 9/10Characters: 8/10Writing: 9/10Ending: 7/10Cover: 8/10I give Ruined by Rumor 4.5 stars!

  • Fani *loves angst*
    2019-03-07 07:03

    This was an unexpectedly easy and nice to read historical romance, considering the dark and angsty premises that always surround a forced marriage, a heroine who's supposedly still in love with her ex-fiance and a hero who's been in love with her for years but has had to hide it as she was engaged.The story starts a bit slow, showing us a bit too many scenes of the heroine's life in the country, her meetings with her friends, the vicar and occasionaly, her fiance and the hero, who happens to be a neighboor and her brother's best friend. It's obvious from early on though, that the fiance is a cad and the only one who's oblivious to his true nature is the heroine, who's otherwise described as intelligent and witty.About 1/3 into the book, the hero and heroine are caught in a compromising position and the love-smitten hero sees in this the opportunity to make her his. It's where the plot finally gets off, and happily for us, doesn't slow again until the end. The descriptions of their married life, the hero's inability to overcome his shyness and lack of self esteem, the heroine's feelings of loneliness are well done but never on the angsty or melodramatic side. Perhaps it's because too many of their problems are based in misunderstandings, that it's easier to get frustrated than commiserate at their fumblings for happiness. The appearence of the ex-fiance serves to add fuel to the hero's jealousy and some extra tension between the newly married couple. I admit however, I was glad to at last see a hero who did try to see his wife's meetings with her ex-fiance in an innocent eye, instead of foaming from the mouth and yelling like a barbarian, despite his own feelings and misgivings. In fact, the thing that made me give 4 rather than 3.5 stars to this book, is that both the hero and heroine were likeable, good people and acted like ones most of the time, each one trying in their own, sometimes convoluted way, to make this marriage work.For such an angsty and heartwrenching premise, the author was unable to stir any deep feelings in me and that's the book's biggest failing in my opinion. Still, it was a surprisingly easy and engaging read for me and since I've left about 8 books in a DNF status these past weeks, the fact that I finished this and in less than 3 days, has to be the biggest praise I can make for it's sake. It's just that I find Mrs Everett's witty/humorous efforts (A Tryst with Trouble) much more to my liking and hope she continues in that vein.This title was an ARC provided to me by NetGalley

  • Nefise
    2019-03-12 06:46

    It was a very magnificent reading for me. I read lots of historical books but I have great enjoy just small part of them.I love to feel the atmosphere of the period and if the story is not very dramatic or unrealistic and the story development is well written, I take pleasure in that book is inevitable.In this regard, Ruined by Rumor is a winner book for me. Also it has a nice romance too. Actually I don't like muc lots of misunderstanding because usually it ca ne very annoying. If author can develop it on a good basic and progress it with well pacing, it makes story more exciting and even passionate like this book. Even though I don't have much time to read, I couldn't put donw the book, I slept less but eventually I finished it with a big satisfied feeling.I have a minor "if only" about the book, it's, I wish we had read more romantic/sensual scenes with among the misunderstandings. So when you want to reread the book, maybe you know the result but it would nice to read all that romantic scenes again and again :)For sure, I'll try Ms Everestt's other books and if they're like this, I hope she writes many more books for us, HR readers. Because we don't have much new authors who have talent about writing charming and reflecting the atmosphere of the period kind of books.

  • Be Fisher
    2019-02-20 03:59

    I confess I enjoyed this book very much ! What's not to love about an introverted beta Hero (when done right). The heroine was a ninny at first (but I probably would have acted in the same way under the same circumstances).There is certainly an oily character in this book that I couldn't help compare to Mr. Wickham from Pride and Prejudice (ugh). This was the first book I've read from this author, but I will definitely look into her other books!

  • MRB
    2019-03-10 04:01

    Can I just rant for the gazillionth or so time about Goodreads precluding us from giving more accurate, nuanced ratings by not allowing half-stars? I can? Thanks...I feel better already :) I was very torn on whether to give this one three or four. I found it more flawed and makes-me-want-to-throw-my-poor-Kindle-against-the-nearest-wall irksome than other books to which I've assigned four stars. So why didn't I just give this one three? Because I felt Alex was a memorably sublime, five-star hero. Frankly, he deserved a better heroine and a better book! In a world where so many romance writers seem almost contractually obligated to churn out one so-called 'alpha' hero after the other----often in the form "manwhore", perpetually drunk rakes and/or extremely icy, scarily angry jerks who deign to be kind and decent for a whopping 5-10% of the book---things can get a little lonely for those few of us who prefer betas. Personally, I'm far more apt to root for and swoon over the kind of smart, kindhearted, endearingly semi-shy and adorkable men I'd like in real life, while many of today's alpha heroes just leave me feeling like the heroine should consider taking out a restraining order on the never-not-angry boor she eventually 'tames.' ;) Anyway, this explains why Alex was such a delightfully unexpected treat for me: humble, reserved, thoughtful, deep and with an underlying sexy intensity. I absolutely adored him. The thing is, Roxanna didn't adore him a fraction as much as I did, at least not for the majority of the novel. She's too busy clamoring after a guy who anyone with even a few firing neurons can tell is a complete and total waste of space. (And, unfortunately for the reader, he's kind of cardboard, one-note, and clunkily obvious, not an antagonist who's amusing or compelling.) I WANTED to like Roxanna. Another reviewer compared her to Jane Austen's Marianne Dashwood, who I loved and who I agree shares some similar core traits to the heroine in this book. Only Roxanna is so maddeningly, persistently dense and clueless, and keeps hurting my beloved Alex in the process. As someone else alluded to, there's a thin line between a heroine being idealistic and naive and being so bizarrely oblivious that she inadvertently comes across as both stupid and hurtful. The conflicts consist of a few annoying and prolonged 'misunderstandings' and frequent miscommunication that could be easily resolved, but isn't---not my favorite trope, to say the least! The love triangle isn't harped on constantly, but it's always there, waiting in the wings to give us a predictably contrived and rather forced 'dramatic' ending. I'll readily admit that I almost always loathe even the faintest hints of a love triangle and feel they make all three points of that triangle less likable and interesting. In this case, it's so agonizingly obvious from the very beginning that Roxanna should and will end up with Alex as opposed to the exaggeratedly awful smarm machine that the triangle feels even more pointless than usual. I did like certain aspects of this author's writing style, and particularly some of her dialogue. And, as gushed about above, I fell in uncharacteristically deep love with her hero. So I'd read Alyssa Everett again, but with my fingers firmly crossed for a less maddening heroine and the use of fewer tropes that happen to top my personal "ugh" list!

  • Amy
    2019-03-03 09:58

    This is one of those books in which I cared a LOT more about the hero than the heroine. In fact, I kind of wanted the heroine to be miserable, lonely and left shriveled like a heap of wet towels. The only reason I cared one toenail about her happiness was if it made the hero happy. And since it did, I had to give a fiddler's fart about her scrawny ass.Roxana is engaged to George Whitby, who basically is a cad and a scoundrel, only she's too stupid to see it. WE see it. Boy, do we. We know that he will break her heart, one way or another, and by golly, he does. They have been engaged for five years, during which she waited patiently for him to return from war. A few weeks after their engagement ball, he dumps her.We aren't too sad about this, though, because (a) Roxana feels nothing - not one tiny flutter - when he kisses her (in fact, it could be argued that she feels revulsion) and (b) George's absence means Alex Ayersley has a chance. And Alex Ayersley, people, can KISS. When he (finally) kisses Roxana, she "grew so breathless she was sure she would faint. The whole world seemed to spin and tilt around her."Alex, you see, has loved Roxana forever. He even tells her that he loves a woman, has loved her for years, and that she is the most beautiful, desirable woman he's ever met. Dumb Roxana doesn't realize he means HER, mostly because Alex is kind of socially constipated. He doesn't know how to make small talk, and he's perfectly content to sit in silence. In fact, prior to the kiss, the only thing that seems to stir his emotions is when he discusses politics and the law, specifically the time he witnessed an execution:Ayersley, passionate? The incongruity of the thought almost made her laugh. A more mild-mannered man had never walked the earth - the dull dog, George called him. Yet Ayersley's tightly contained outrage just now had been unmistakable.Shortly after the aborted engagement, Roxana's virtue is questioned by some who witnessed her rousing game of tonsil hockey with Alex. He proposes a solution to her wrecked reputation: let's get hitched.Alas, Alex cannot figure out how to tell her the truth about his feelings for her, and Roxana is so stupid that she can't suss it out on her own. She puts herself into situations that cause him pain, and even though it's innocent (for the most part), and even though she does feel a little guilty, she can't be honest with him. Until, that is, Alex decides he can't take it any more and unleashes his frustration on her. Oh, faithful readers, it is a delightful castigation, and I cheered him on most happily.Now, about the hotness. There are some decent sexy times scenes. Alex knows how to rock the headboard. Oh, yes, he does. He may seem restrained and polite, but underneath that dutiful exterior lies a dutiful exterior, if you know what I mean. And I hope you do. He knows how to please a woman, bless him. Not that Roxana deserves it, but whatever. There are not many sex scenes, which is unfortunate, because I'd love to know the full extent of Alex's prowess, but what's there is good. Not scorching, but good. All in all, this is a predictable romance featuring a hero you can cheer for.Read this book, for Alex's sake. He deserves to be loved.Also published on Vox Libris. @VoxLibrisThanks to NetGalley for the preview.

  • Ruth
    2019-03-20 05:56

    I rather liked this story, provided by netgalley. It's a common enough trope - the marriage of convenience when hero and heroine are caught in a compromising position - and the style and setting is definitely Austenesque, but the writing is simple and fresh, and it was a pleasure to just read it. We also get to see some of the scenes similar to readers of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, but we get to see more and hear more than Austen ever lets us, and, of course, we are privy to inner dialogue.So, what did I like?- The hero. I loved his shyness, his awkwardness, his confidence in his abilities to handle business affairs, and complete lack of confidence in his abilities to handle love affairs. He was like the beloved Mr. Darcy but without any sheen of pride. I did think that he changed rather unconvincingly towards the end, but there's nothing that says that introverts can't have tempers that could flay you alive. He drove the story for me.- The writing. The author really painted a wonderful picture of Regency country life ruled by daily routine, seeing the same people at church on Sunday, the gossip, the novelty of new arrivals, and also described in nice fluid, simple language, that made it a really pleasant, enjoyable light read. It also made me realize how carefully constructed the scenes were. You know that the Major is going to be a pain, and you know the hero and heroine are going to get their HEA, and you even pretty well know how it's all going to turn out, but the scenes are so thoroughly put together that it doesn't irritate (except maybe at the climax, where I really can't imagine the hero behaving that way in public, introverts generally just can't physically bring themselves to share that side of themselves in front of others). I also thought that the book handled the wedding night and wedding nerves incredibly well, without making the heroine seem like a complete idiot.What didn't I like so much?- I would have preferred the heroine to have had more hidden depths. Now, don't get me wrong, I did actually really like her, but I would have preferred to have been a bit more mature. She's twenty-three, but she behaves a bit too naively sometimes.- The plot is predictable. Now, this didn't drive me nuts, like it can sometimes do. The book is too well written to annoy me, but I would like to have seen something a little bit different.So, 3 stars, I liked it, and I honestly think this one makes an absolutely excellent summer vacation read.

  • Sarah
    2019-03-03 02:07

    Overall, I really enjoyed Ruined by Rumor. I greatly enjoy a good romance novel every once in a while. This book combined many of my favorite things, regency period and a bodice ripping romance novel. It had all the elements of a great romance, a woman hurt (damsel in distress), ruined by the strict regency codes, and a man who was much stronger and better for her than she ever imagined he would be. Yummy!I fell in love with Ayersley right from that start, though I had to re-read the beginning twice to remember who he was and how he connected to Roxana. I kept thinking- why is her brother into her, eww gross, so I went back and figured out who was who and put their names into my mental database and I was no longer confused! Leave it to me to only ¾ pay attention when I am reading, can I just blame it on the fact that I was reading it in a busy airport?Like most romances, especially good ones, the marriage was not what Roxana wanted. She misjudged Ayersley and was actually not all that kind to him in the beginning, not really mean, but indifferent, before they were married. After marriage, it didn’t take long for them to connect, and in the typical romance style that we all love, Ayersley turned into the jerk, sort of... I am not telling you anymore, you will just have to pick this one up and read it yourself, you will not be disappointed.I had a hard time putting this book down, I was totally hooked. Though this is true, Ruined by Rumor had one very small fault. There were times in the novel where it felt like something was skipped or left out, that time just jumped ahead without a solid connection. This was most apparent at the end, though this is not something that should deter the average romance novel reader.In case you wanted to know, there is sex, not extremely graphic, but it is described, not just alluded to. Because of this, I would give Ruined by Rumor the label of adults only. This is not a bad thing, adults need their great romance novels as much as kids need great clean YA books! As many times as I have read romance novels and they almost all follow a similar plot outline, I am still entertained each time! I cannot say enough good things about this book!I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy.Please read more of my reviews on my blog: sarahereads(dot)wordpress(dot)com

  • Judy
    2019-03-14 03:07

    Ruined by Rumor by Alyssa EverettAlex Winslow, Earl of Ayersley, had a secret love. He was never able to ask her to dance or have much conversation as he was shy and stumbled over his words. Due to what seemed to be his lack of interest, Roxana Langley thought he disliked her. When she became engaged to George Wyatt, Alex chose to stay in London and rarely came to his country estates that were a mere two miles from Roxana's home. After his mother hurt herself he had no choice. And the events that happened after that...well you'll have to read the book to find out.Roxana waited five long years for George to come home from the war. They had their engagement ball and after accidentally hearing about his life in from a few comrades she almost second thought their marriage...but George sweet talked her into forgiving him. And a few weeks later he jilted her without excuse. From there an innocent incident falls into the rumor mill, the same rumor mill Roxana use to enjoy hearing tidbits from but not so much when she's the tidbit. She soon finds herself engaged and than married. Not the wedding day or marriage she dreamed of with George either. Instead she finds herself in a lonely loveless marriage.Alyssa does a great job of misunderstandings between Alex and Roxana. And right near the end she creates an extremely emotional climax that leads into a fabulous ending to this story. This is only the author's second book. A Tryst With Trouble being her first. **Received through NetGalley for review.

  • Widala
    2019-03-15 04:47

    3.5 stars rounded up.I was ready to name Alex the reason I like this book. He was awkwardly sweet, painfully shy, kindhearted, honourable and very responsible. He carried so many chips on his shoulders, I was sympathetic towards him. But turned out it was Roxana who stole the show for me.At the beginning, she's just this girl who liked gossips and parties. She seemed silly and shallow. But she grew up amazingly. The way she handled the changes that happened in her life not without fear and doubts, and there were times when she almost balked, but she understood the consequences of her choices and her duties, like the way she handled her wedding night. But as much as I like both main characters, there's a lot in this book that left me wanting. I was hoping for more wooing from Alex. Also I wish for a lot more details in their romantic interactions, because while we get the play by play of their awkward encounters, their good moments were only told in few paragraphs. And a bit disappointment in the conclusion that were done in public, because public reconciliations/confessions always make me cringe. It would be better for me if they resolved their misunderstandings in private (with a hot make up sex on the side) and then confront George as a united front.But it's still an entertaining read. I will try another book by this author.

  • Lexie
    2019-03-13 01:47

    Prelim Review: Dear Ayersley, I love you. You are possibly my ideal man and if its not too weird sounding, please come to life and marry me. Love, LexieIts quite possible that Everett managed to write a hero so ideally suited to my tastes and beliefs in what a man should be like that, that's she psychic. Or been reading my teen years diaries. Which now that I think about it I don't know where those are...Seriously however, RUINED BY RUMOR is the type of historical romance I craved and adored as a teen. Its got a bit of sexiness, its got a hero who is just so in love with his heroine that he can't SPEAK in front of her (except apparently in quotes and judicial reforms...), a heroine is a ninny and a villainous sort of fellow who deserved the layout he got.Full review to be posted at Poisoned Rationality

  • Rose Lerner
    2019-03-02 06:14

    A marriage of convenience story AND a he's secretly had a crush on her for years story? Two great tastes that taste great together. Roxana is adorable and Ayersley is a great geek hero (my favorite flavor!) with a shy, sly sense of humor. His adoration of Roxana is wonderful to read. Plus Alyssa Everett is a charming, poignant writer with a great historical voice.

  • Antica
    2019-03-11 02:45

    This book really surprised me, I went into the book with moderate expectations and by the end of the book I was heads over heels in love with it Roxana Langley, a bubbly young woman who loved her fair share of gossip and earns for excitement should have known to be careful of what she wishes for. After waiting 5 years for for her fiancé to return from the war and marry her. She gets just what she wishes for; her whole life turned upside down when he jilted her after they announce their engagement. Heartbroken, she is comforted by her brother's childhood friend Alex Winslow, the Earl of Ayersley... though not without being seen and a scandal erupts I kind of thought it was a little funny that Karma came up and bit Roxana in the rear; since she has taken enjoyment in other people's scandals and misfortunes. But in no means did I think she deserved getting it ...At the beginning of the book, Roxana can come across as annoying but her actions are mostly justified; I mean she did wait 5 years for a man she loved only to be dumped and be forced to marry someone who not only does she think is not interesting or exciting at all but is convinced that he does not enjoy her company AND is in love with a mysterious girl in London Not knowing that the mysterious woman who holds Alex's heart is her...Alex is no doubt one of my favorite heroes of this year, if not ever. He won my heart with how his personality stood out among the many Regency Romance Heroes. He is shy, insecure about himself and always places others before himself, sort of like a workaholic who think he owes it to the world to do his duty regardless of his feelings or emotions. He always put Roxana first and is willing to sacrifice so much for her. You see both characters develop so well, especially Roxana .. you get a sense that she grows up as the novel progresses and it made me enjoy her even more I absolutely loved the style of writing of this book; it has a very Traditional Regency feel to it and defiantly is different from any other I've read .. it's sort of has a balance between the subtle feel of Jane Austen and the 'trashy historical novel' blended together so beautifully 5/5 Stars

  • rameau
    2019-03-03 04:14

    Alyssa Everett has certainly read her Jane Austen, but Roxana Langley is no Lizzie Bennet. Then again, I wouldn't be saying that hadn't I thought it for the first fifth of the book. In the beginning Roxana is a lively young though perhaps too thin girl who doesn't hold back her laughter. Then she turns into a sobbing blushing mess, and finally when the plot calls for it she's witless Lady who doesn't know her own mind let alone how to speak it. Darcy Ayersley is a shy, but decent and reliable Earl, who just happens to have very modern political views. His characterisation is quite consistent until the final outpouring. I agree his patience was tested a bit too far and he needed to vent, but the manner in, which it happened didn't feel right to me characterisation-wise.The number of miscommunications and misunderstandings in this plot is staggering. Manufactured obstacles aren't my kind of idea of a romantic plot, especially not when they don't feel natural or character driven. I'm assuming the author was hoping to create tension and angst for Roxana and Ayersley's budding relationship, but instead she managed to make me think the couple was wholly unsuited for one another. Also, there was a cartoonish villain twirling his moustaches. Or that might have been just my internal illustration for it.The resolution and fix to their problems was a little too flimsy for my taste. Should anyone really test their marriage, I for one think it would fail.I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  • Atunah
    2019-03-17 03:00

    This was a spur of the moment pick for me. I been having a bit of a reading slump and its been taking me way longer to read a book than normally. I had a sample of this one on my Kindle in my recommendations collection, but I can't remember now where that recommendation came from. I love this theme, unrequited love from the hero. I also loved that the hero is a bit socially shy and just doesn't know what to say. Small talk is a nightmare for him. So here he has always loved the heroine, sister of his friend, but never been able to say so. Then he has to stand by and watch her be engaged to someone else for 5 years until that dude comes back from the war.Heroine is a bit of a fluff and a bit of an airhead. A nice air head, but still. She adores her fiance who is just a flashy flirty dog of a peacock. Not until later is she capable of looking below the surfaces of things and people. She does some growing up here. But I just love the theme of the hero secretly pining and the heroine being completely clueless. The h/H have to enter in a marriage of convenience for scandal reason and the hero still can't tell her how he always felt.It was a really nice read and even though of course its clear how its going to go, I still loved reading and experiences the how's.It was the perfect book for me to fix my reading slump I think. I enjoyed every minute of the book. Sometimes certain writing and themes just hit the right spot and this was such a case.I'll be reading more of this author.

  • Korey
    2019-03-13 10:00

    This is a romance that is obviously going for sweet rather than steamy. The courtship of Roxana and Alex is like watching two cute, awkward, clumsy puppies wrestle with each other. They are a couple that I really rooted for because they were both such fundamentally decent, well intentioned people who were a good match despite their consistent communication difficulties. The only obstacles to this coupling were self imposed by mutual social awkwardness and misunderstanding. This can be frustrating for the reader who longs to call out "just say what you mean" but for the most part Roxana and Alex's communication problems were plausibly grounded in their backgrounds/life experiences, temperaments, and the circumstances of their "forced" marriage. While Roxana and Alex are a charming couple, this book is pretty thin on plot and secondary characters so even though it's not very long, it does feel a bit dull and sluggishly paced at times. When I picked this up I always enjoyed it, but I never really felt that compulsion to keep turning the pages. This book is easy to read but also easy to put down. I liked it but not passionately.