Lords of Misrule Roundheads and Cavaliers #4 Kindle ñ

Lords of Misrule Roundheads and Cavaliers #4 Kindle ñ


Lords of Misrule Roundheads and Cavaliers #4 ✅ Lords of Misrule Roundheads and Cavaliers #4 PDF / Epub ⚣ Author Stella Riley – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Fourth book in the Roundheads and Cavaliers series Eden Maxwell's storyStill tied to his desk in the Intelligence Office Colonel Eden Maxwell has become increasingly disenchanted with both Oliver Crom Fourth book in Misrule Roundheads MOBI ï the Roundheads and Cavaliers series Eden Maxwell's storyStill tied to his desk in the Intelligence Office Colonel Eden Maxwell has become increasingly disenchanted with both Oliver Cromwell and his own daily existence; and with the advent of new Royalist conspiracies he despairs of ever getting away Then a brick hurled through the window of a small workshop sets in motion a new and unexpected chain of events After all who would want to hurt Lydia Neville – a young widow giving work and self Lords of MOBI :Þ respect to maimed war veterans considered unemployable elsewhere But when the assaults in Duck Lane escalate threatening the life and remaining limbs of some of Eden’s former troopers finding the culprit becomes personal At their first meeting Lydia of Misrule Roundheads and Cavaliers eBook ¸ finds Colonel Maxwell annoying; by their second having discovered that he had arrested and uestioned her brother in connection with the Ship Tavern Plot she mistrusts his motives On the other hand it swiftly becomes plain that she needs his help and has difficulty resisting his smile Solving the increasingly of Misrule Roundheads PDF È hazardous mystery surrounding Lydia is not Eden’s only task Between plots to assassinate the Lord Protector and a rising in Scotland he must also mend the fences within his own family and get to know his son Life suddenly goes from mind numbing boredom to frenetic complexity With reckless Cavaliers lurking around every corner and a government still struggling to find its way Lords of Misrule is set against a time of national discontent and general failure But readers of the previous books in the series can look of Misrule Roundheads and Cavaliers eBook ¸ forward to catching up with old friends as well as meeting new ones while against all the odds Eden and Lydia find danger and reward in eual measure.

  • Paperback
  • 608 pages
  • Lords of Misrule Roundheads and Cavaliers #4
  • Stella Riley
  • English
  • 14 June 2016
  • 9781530592142

About the Author: Stella Riley

Stella Riley trained Misrule Roundheads MOBI ï as a teacher in London and now lives in Kent England She enjoys amateur dramatics salsabelly dancing reading and travel After a break in her writing career she has now published her back catalogue or as much of it as she intends to re release as e books The Marigold Chain The Parfit Knight The Mesalliance A Splendid Defiance The Black Madonna Garland of Straw.



10 thoughts on “Lords of Misrule Roundheads and Cavaliers #4

  1. Caz Caz says:

    Stella Riley’s Roundheads and Cavaliers series of books set during the English Civil Wars is an absolute treat for those who enjoy well researched historical fiction AND historical romance Each book in the series is grounded strongly in historical fact and the stories Ms Riley layers atop her chosen background are cleverly constructed and closely interlinked with the events of the day often so skilfully that it’s difficult to see the join As well as immersing the reader into the world of seventeenth century England she puts a strongly written and sensual romance at the centre of her books creating attractive believable protagonists who really seem to act and think like men and women of their timesEach book can be read as a standalone although there are a number of recurring characters throughout and given that the historical events are followed chronologically I’d advise reading them in order The first book The Black Madonna opens in 1639 which is when we first meet Eden Maxwell as a hopeful optimistic young man of twenty or twenty one He is desperately in love with the daughter of a neighbouring family Celia Langley and determined to marry her in spite of the warnings of friends and family who say she is wrong for him Sadly for Eden they are right Celia is beautiful vain and selfish and only agreed to marry him because he was so thoroughly besotted with her that she believed he’d be easy to manage and because she liked being so adoredEden's troubles did not end there however for when civil war broke out the Maxwells and the Langleys were on different sides of the conflict and even though Celia was now his wife her sympathies were with the Royalists She bore Eden a son Jude and some years later a daughter Eden knows is not his Celia eventually ran off with a Royalist officer leaving her children at Eden’s family home of Thorne Ash while disillusioned and embittered Eden concentrated on his army career and rarely returns homeLords of Misrule opens in late 1653 around four years after the execution of King Charles I and than a decade after the start of a series of bloody civil wars that divided England and its people But regicide has not solved any of the problems that beset the country and in fact things seem to be getting worse While there were many factors that led to Charles’ trip to the executioner’s block – unpopular taxes expensive wars and Charles’ insistence on his divine right to rule – England is still in political and social turmoil so much so that many of Cromwell’s supporters have begun to ask themselves just what exactly they had been fighting forColonel Eden Maxwell is one of those people A highly trained and skilled officer he has risen through the ranks and is now a trusted member of Cromwell’s inner circle He is currently working for the Secretary of State John Thurloe as an intelligencer and cryptographer but as the days pass finds being chained to his desk increasingly frustrating His repeated reuests for a leave of absence have been denied and he is stuck in London buried under the mounds of paper generated by reports of unrest possible insurrection royalist plots and a myriad of other dull fruitless tasks – until he receives information of a plausible plot against Cromwell’s life there were several at this point in time One of the suspected conspirators Sir Aubrey Durand leads Eden to the citylorinery run by his widowed sister and in the course of his investigations into the plot Eden uncovers far than he’d initially been looking forLydia Neville was contented in her marriage a man several decades older than herself On his death she inherited all his property including the lorinery which she continues to run successfully and in spite of the constantly expressed disapproval of his relatives all of whom invade her home on an almost daily basis to try to persuade her to give it up But Lydia is no shrinking miss and makes it clear each time that she will do no such thing – although her assurances fall upon deaf ears and do not dissuade them from their latest scheme to marry her off to her late husband’s smarmy cousinWhen Eden visits the lorinery he is pleasantly surprised to find some of his former comrades working there for the business employs invalid ex soldiers who would not otherwise be able to find work regardless of which side they fought on He is uite impressed by Lydia – or perhaps “impressed” is the wrong word although she certainly makes an impression upon him by virtue of her strength of character uick mind and sharp tongue But what Eden has learned from the men concerns him Someone has been making threats against Lydia and those threats have started to get serious Although she has tried to dismiss them as the prejudice any woman in business might expect to encounter deep down she knows this is not the case and that she needs help if she is to be able to get to the bottom of them before anyone is seriously hurt – or worseAnyone who has read any of Stella Riley’s other books won’t need me to tell them that her plot is impeccably constructed her characterisation is superb her research is detailed and extensive and that she writes the most exuisitely ‘romantic’ romances in which the sexual tension between the hero and heroine is built gradually and subtly There is no repetitive mental lusting and no insta lust just a wonderfully developed relationship between two people who are obviously attracted to each other but who have to function in the real world around them and can’t just drop everything while they moon over the object of their affectionsMs Riley’s greatest strength – and she has many – is probably characterisation She has the knack of creating the most gorgeous heroes men who are physically attractive of course but who are also intelligent honourable kind and uick witted with a dry sense of humour and possessed of the kind of competence and confidence which is extremely sexy Eden is no exception and readers who have been waiting for his story for the last couple of decades certainly won’t be disappointed now that he’s the centre of attention His unhappy marriage and the strain it put on his relationship with his family – especially Jude who is now a teenager – play an important part in the novel and I loved watching the gradual reconciliation between father and son It’s not easy for either of them and Ms Riley wisely shows that there is still a way to go; but what we are shown is touching and very believable Lydia is a great heroine a woman in a man’s world who refuses to bow to outside pressure but who has sense enough to recognise that she needs help and isn’t too proud to accept it There is one time when she makes an unwise decision – even though she’s been warned against it – that leads to near disaster but otherwise she’s strong independent and very likeable a good match for Eden in every wayThere is a very strongly drawn set of secondary characters in the book some of whom like Eden’s younger brother Toby and his house guest Sir Nicholas Austin we have met before Toby is a real scene stealer – handsome charming roguish and forever having to step over the pile of women who fall at his feet – can we have a book about him next pretty please? Fans of Gabriel Brandon from Garland of Straw will be very pleased to encounter him again as he travels to London to take up a seat in Parliament and at the continuance of the strong friendship between him and Eden One of those other many strengths of Ms Riley’s I mentioned is her ability to write thoroughly convincing male friendships; and that talent is showcased here in both Eden’s relationship with Gabriel and in his interactions with Toby which are often funny and for want of a better word very brotherlyI’ve only scratched the surface of what readers can expect to find in Lords of Misrule There’s a well conceived and well executed mystery a tender sensual romance and a fascinating historical background which never feels like too much information or as though one is being given an history lesson If you’re tempted to start here I think you could probably do so with minimal effort but ultimately all the books in the series are such damn good reads that I’d suggest starting with The Black MadonnaBefore you’re half way through you’ll want to turn off your phone ignore your kidsworkfriends lock yourself away and not come out until you’ve finished them all

  2. Mei Mei says:

    Beautifully written and reaserched as usual And we finally get Eden's happy ending after everything he got through I loved Eden since we met him in the first book even if he was a ittle naive and strait laced then He is still overly honorable but he matures during the years Still he's too much burned by his experence with Celia and he stubborny refuses to acknowledge his feelings toward Lydia but cannot resist teasing herLydia is also attracted to Eden but he also irritates her with his protectiveness she's a capable woman why Eden cannot see that?So they dance around each other while everybody else knows that they're madly in love with each other It was so fun reading their thoughts and the thoughts of every other secondary characterI also appreciate how SR manages to make interesting the political situation of that period and how well it is incorporated into the storyI'm sorry that the series edns with this book since I would really like to read Toby's story too Toby is one of my favorit secondary character and since he's a no nonsense man I'm sure his story would have been very interesting indeed

  3. Marquise Marquise says:

    While this last installment is a fine conclusion to the saga of the Royalist and Parliamentarian families that give this its name as an individual book it's the weakest in my opinionFor a start the bloat makes the plot move slowly as well as make the book too long for so little that happens Boredom seeps in uite easily With better editing and a firmer grasp on what to tell and why instead of just adding it all in this book would've been much compelling Yes weeding makes for a shorter book and I suspect this might've been a tad short for some tastes but I'd take that over lengthy and bloatedThen there's the characters None of them are particularly interesting always in my opinion and if not for some secondaries and reappearances by characters from previous installments where they shone this would've been a less enjoyable story Eden Maxwell was never a favourite and I think his Happily Ever After is both undeserved and unearned He never really pays the conseuences of being an utter ass to his children from his first marriage and his neglect of them and to reward him with a romance with a pretty widow feels decidedly unfair no matter the Rules of Romance Why exactly does everyone in this series have to end up blissfully happy regardless of their messes? If realism were a concern and someone had to have a bittersweet ending Eden sure earned that spot I understand this is the wrap up book so there's a need to not leave threads loose but I also think there was a better way to reintroduce the main characters from previous books for a last act before the curtain fell rather than the unsubtle Where Are They Now? device used A case like Luciano I can understand but a case like Peverell didn't feel natural to give a couple of examplesA good closing volume taken within the larger series but not one I see myself rereading when I revisit this favourite series

  4. Wendy Wendy says:

    It’s always difficult to come to a series of books part way through so when I knew that I was going to review Lords of Misrule I decided to uickly acuaint myself with some of the background information of the series and about the English Civil War my knowledge of which was sketchy to say the least I was advised to read The Black Madonna first in the Roundheads and Cavaliers series and was very glad I did as it’s here that we first meet Eden Maxwell who is the hero of Lords of Misrule Married young to a woman who was completely wrong for him his early experience of love and marriage has left Eden deeply mistrustful embittered and unable to show love to his son and resentful of the little girl he realises he did not father He rarely returns home even though his wife disappears with her lover soon after discovery and his continuing absence drives a wedge between himself and his family even while it is not what he wishes A decade later and older and wiser he has vowed never to trust love and absolutely never to marry again By now a confident and battle scarred soldier Eden is also a man who does not suffer fools or trust easily; and I adored the tetchy vulnerable overprotective charismatic character that Eden has become and then there's that devastating smileThese are serious times England has been in the grip of civil war for well over a decade; families are split the Country is short of money and the anointed King has been executed Oliver Cromwell has been named Lord Protector king in all but name and parliament is attempting to bring some order to a divided country Eden Maxwell has become a discontented and disenchanted man and owing to his inborn integrity and sense of justice is finding himself freuently in sympathy with both sides Employed as an Intelligence officer and code breaker at the Tower of London Eden reports directly to Cromwell's Secretary of State John Thurloe He is first and foremost a soldier and having fought in and survived three civil wars is not happy with his current role as paper pusher and glorified errand boy When a brick is hurled through a window of recently widowed Lydia Neville's workshop in a seemingly random attack she is thrown into the orbit of Colonel Eden Maxwell He instantly becomes interested Lydia an entrepreneur and philanthropist has continued on with the work she began with her now deceased husband They had intuitively recognised a need and then provided the opportunity for honest employment for wounded and disabled soldiers casualties of both sides of the war; and then too for the widows of soldiers left with families to care for At first Lydia and Eden strike sparks off of each other he overbearing cynical and dismissive; she independent feisty and not about to allow any man to control her or her actions Worthy adversaries both it isn't long before their antipathy turns to reluctant attraction as they are drawn to each other firstly by their joint empathy for Lydia's workforce and then by the threats and intimidation levelled at Lydia herself The challenge presented by the ever increasing threats to Lydia and her workforce is something that Eden relishes and embraces with enthusiasm as well as bringing out his inborn desire to protect The romance which develops slowly over the entire story sends shivers down the spine but in Stella Riley's inimitable style is never allowed to take over this being very much a historical romance with the emphasis on 'historical' Ms Riley's characters are superbly well drawn and they uickly become our friends; we love them; admire them; feel for them; worry for them It's something the author does incredibly well we meet actual people who lived and contributed to the past but so well developed are her fictitious personalities that it's easy to forget which are historical and which are figments of her very fertile imagination Stella Riley's story has encompassed everything; fantastically well researched and richly described historic detail characters to love and swoon over and an incredibly well devised plot that had me guessing until the end It’s intricate plausible and intelligent displaying her uniue talent for ratcheting up the drama until we're left gasping from the sheer ingenuity and thrill of it all As is always the case with any story written by this author the relationships between her characters especially the men are sensitively and tenderly grown their camaraderie beautiful moving and at other times extremely funny Ms Riley has a very dry wit and some of the scenes between Eden and his brother Tobias are especially touching and amusing in turns What a fascinating period the seventeenth century was and since embarking on my Stella Riley binge I am continuously asking myself how I could have failed to be interested in this vital period in English history Ms Riley's scholarship is incredible; this is such a complicated period to get to grips with and her descriptions knowledge and uite obvious love for it shines throughout How can we the reader fail to be infected by this author’s hard work enthusiasm knowledge and outstanding writing skill? I can't recommend the Roundheads and Cavaliers series highly enough and fully intend to go back and read Garland of Straw and The King's Falcon because it is not to be missed

  5. Lu Lu says:

    The hero Eden Maxwell is an old acuaintance from the previous books of the series and comes from a terrible marriage which left him cold and with serious commitment issuesThe heroine Lydia Neville is a young widow by an almost 40 years older husband that helps veterans of war and their widowsAs always the historical background and the fictional development is rich and complexEden was never a favorite of mine and not my kind of man at all meaning I would never marry someone like him but he is a wonderful character Full of flaws and ualities and so intricate The heroine could have been a tad stronger and I have to confess that deep down she never measured up to Deborah his previous relationship But Eden was never a good judge of women so it was understandable that he would let Deborah go and fall for Lydia This is the last book in the series and It is recommend to read all the books in order as they are very interconnected and the only way to really grasp Eden’s character and sometimes lack thereofThis series was really a delight to read and I have learned so much about the English Civil Wars and their many political repercussions

  6. OLT OLT says:

    It's always a treat to have a Riley book to read And as always Stella Riley does a stellar job of immersing her readers in the real history of the time period Cromwell and the civil wars without making her readers suffer too much history overload The reason is that her characters are living this history and that makes it all come to life instead of being dry facts about things that happened centuries agoIf you're familiar with Riley through her lighter Georgian series please keep in mind that this is the latest in her historically dense Roundheads and Cavaliers series set in the mid 1600s and having as its setting the civil unrest between monarchy and Parliament known as the civil wars that time when Oliver Cromwell and his backers decided England didn't need a king and then funny thing Cromwell went on to act as if he would like to be oneThis series is packed with real historical events and people and Riley's fictional characters interact with these real people and live these real historical events This Book 4 takes place from 1653 1655 The third civil war 1650 51 is over but the country is still in a state of turmoil and disrepair Cromwell has just made himself Lord Protector of England and has called his first Protectorate Parliament Meanwhile those loyal to Charles II are ineffectually trying to assassinate Cromwell and instigate uprisings against the government especially in Scotland And there's England at war with Holland and Spain In other words a big old mess of a time of misruleAnd within this time of political turmoil we also have the personal turmoil of hero Eden Maxwell colonel in Cromwell's army but rather disenchanted with politics Eden the widower of a faithless wife who died in Book Three leaving him with two children the youngest possibly not his is not interested in a being a father He leaves his children in the care of relatives and hardly ever sees them or has any contact with them and b ever marrying againThis story takes place some years after his wife's death and that's a long time to neglect your children and to live as a bitter man Obviously he'll be needing an emotional makeover That's where heroine Lydia comes in She's the widow of a much older man who leaves her his two pet businesses a lorinery employing only soldiers both Roundhead and Cavalier who were injured and maimed in the civil wars and a lace making business to employ the widows of soldiers killed in the warsLydia and Eden come into contact when Lydia's brother is taken into custody on suspicion of being involved in plots to overthrow Cromwell's government And so it goes It's an interesting story which even contains a mystery about who is trying to sabotage Lydia's businesses New characters are introduced to the series but there's a good deal of welcome reappearance of old familiar ones such as Kate Eden's sister and Luciano from THE BLACK MADONNA and Venetia and Gabriel from GARLAND OF STRAW and Eden's brother Toby plays an important role in this book and it's to be hoped that he'll have his own story taking place either on the way to putting Charles II on the throne or during the Restoration itself One can only hopeI enjoyed this book but it's not among my favorites of the series I felt it needed editing to shorten it somewhat and the love story between Lydia and Eden wasn't very compelling Still a somewhat weak Riley book is much better than a strong HR by your average bear HR author

  7. Susana Pelegrin Susana Pelegrin says:

    I have been waiting for this book for a long time and I wasn't disappointed The plot has well researched historical background intrigue and memorable characters As always Stella's secondary players are as good as her main ones I also thought that Eden and Lydia were an excellent match I loved seeing Gabriel and Venetia again I loved this book from cover to cover

  8. Jennifer Jennifer says:

    25 starsI have to admit that I was scared to start this book This was due in large part to the fact that the H of this story began a relationship with his mistress in the previous book and I just knew it wasn't going to end well If you don't want anything spoiled stop reading nowSo at the end of the last book The King's Falcon the H in this story Eden began an affair with Deborah his housekeeper She fell in love with him and he fell in comfort with her She said that it didn't matter that he never wanted to remarry; she just wanted him for as long as she could have him He was very honest with her He never said that he loved her And he knew in his heart that he should end things before they got even messier but he couldn't bring himself to do it He needed her and the comfort that she brought him Honestly I've read enough romance where I know that this is just not the angst for me I mean does the h hate herself and could the H be any unfeeling? So before I started this book I was hoping that this relationship would have resolved itself off book before the plot of this one began since you know the h in this one is called Lydia And that's not Deborah's middle name Fast forward two years to the beginning of this story and the H still hasn't let his mistresshousekeeper go Not firing her but releasing her from their relationship That's two years he's known that Deborah's been in love with him but he's not in love with her And he still can't bring himself to do the honourable thing At least the readers are spared the two of them having intimate relations in this book By the point this story begins the H is already starting to feel a little bad about the whole situation It took him long enough and he still had to have a talking to with his friend and brother before finally releasing her to being courted by someone else And even then the author makes it seem like he's reluctant to do so I just don't understand How does this make the romance between the MCs believable? Deborah has to be the one to go and marry someone else for it to be finally over between her and the H I'm sorry but this subplot sort of ruined the whole book for me And even worse is that the H brings the h to live in the same house that he lived in with his mistress for two years They sleep in the same bed that he shared with his mistress all that time It might not bother some readers but it was a major turnoff for me Other than the H I really enjoyed the book a lot The h was wonderful She was strong and had an amazing social conscience I appreciated that she did have another serious suitor one who wasn't interested in her just for her money I was sort of rooting for him to be honest I also enjoyed the historical aspects of this story a lot It was so nice to see the whole gang again And the writing of Ms Riley's keeps getting better and better I found this book well written than the first book of this series It was engaging witty and so easy to read And it was pretty clean with no owom drama other than the whole mistress thing One star for the fabulous writing one for an endearing and wonderful h and half a star for seeing what all the other MCs in the previous stories are up to now

  9. Belcanto Belcanto says:

    Wonderful Simply WonderfulSimply wonderful is how I start this review of Stella Riley’s fourth book in her Roundheads Cavalier series Lords of MisruleIt is truly an excellent novel full of twists and turns that kept me guessing right to the end Not only does it have a super plot line but also deals with the history of England in the mid 1650’s that is so often misunderstood in a clear concise and informative mannerAs with her other books in this series she concentrates on one of her brilliant characters who we’ve met in previous books In this case it’s Eden Maxwell who isn’t the easiest of men primarily because of the raw deal life has given him For example his marriage to Celia in Black Madonna after Eden had thought that she was the “loveliest creature that he had ever seen” What a mistakeWe meet him in Garland of Straw and Kings Falcon where his relationships are somewhat muddled – Pheobe and Deborah We also see him as an outstanding soldier before moving into intelligence under Thurloe where he begins to uestion his role and what is happening to an England ruled by Parliament under Oliver CromwellSo now he gets his own book and what a first class story Ms Riley has created for this sometimes awkward manHer heroine this time is Lydia who is typical of the strong feisty and determined women Ms Riley writes She is the perfect partner for Eden and Ms Riley makes this clear very early in the book – no rabbits out of hats from this writerThe concept of Lydia opening and managing the Lorinery for injured soldiers from both sides of the conflict is brilliant – I didn’t know what a Lorinery was until I read this book – and works so wellThe plotting I thought was excellent throughout and as I have said earlier the twists and turns make this book a real page turner But it’s not only the plotting that is brilliant it’s once again Riley’s ability to write characters who you care for have empathy with and an understanding of their emotions Her conversation pieces particularly with her men are outstanding and truly believableHer ability to seamlessly bring back characters from previous books is wonderful and in this we get to once again meet her previous heroes Luciano Black Madonna Gabriel Garland of Straw and even Ashley Peverell Kings Falcon amongst many others along with Eden’s children with whom he has a difficult relationship that Ms Riley handles just rightI will not spoil the plot which I think is well constructed and believable However what I will do is join the multitude of pleas to Stella Riley for Toby’s book because there she has someone who has a light and dark side plus is drop dead gorgeous and someone I’d love to meet but not in the backstreets of GenoaI cannot recommend this writers work highly enough She really is an outstanding writer both with this series and her Georgian Rockliffe seriesPlease please write Wonderful Simply wonderful Thank you

  10. imngrer imngrer says:

    It's been a long wait for Eden's storyI have been reading Ms Riley's Civil War and Restoration novels since I first read the Marigold Chain and Splendid Defiance in the early '80s and was disappointed after reading Garland of Straw sometime in the '90s that there would be no novels in the Civil War seuenceThis writer has a knack of creating characters you want to read of and Eden fell particularly into that category But often when you wait a great many years for a follow on story they eventually disappoint This one does not Although in my opinion it doesn't uite match Garland it comes a fairly good second Madonna is pretty good tooThis writer is particularly skilled at coming up with her own story and characters and weaving them well into the actual historical events In this book those events are less spectacular than those in Garland but that's history for you However the ambiguities of the Cromwellian Protectorate are well portrayed even if I don't uite share the level of disillusionment with the Interregnum years there are as many opinions about this as there are days in the year the background is treated with this writer's usual even handednessWell loved characters reappear and hopefully will continue in another novel? It would be great to hear Toby's story and perhaps get right back to the Restoration

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10 thoughts on “Lords of Misrule Roundheads and Cavaliers #4

  1. Caz Caz says:

    Stella Riley’s Roundheads and Cavaliers series of books set during the English Civil Wars is an absolute treat for those who enjoy well researched historical fiction AND historical romance Each book in the series is grounded strongly in historical fact and the stories Ms Riley layers atop her chosen background are cleverly constructed and closely interlinked with the events of the day often so skilfully that it’s difficult to see the join As well as immersing the reader into the world of seventeenth century England she puts a strongly written and sensual romance at the centre of her books creating attractive believable protagonists who really seem to act and think like men and women of their timesEach book can be read as a standalone although there are a number of recurring characters throughout and given that the historical events are followed chronologically I’d advise reading them in order The first book The Black Madonna opens in 1639 which is when we first meet Eden Maxwell as a hopeful optimistic young man of twenty or twenty one He is desperately in love with the daughter of a neighbouring family Celia Langley and determined to marry her in spite of the warnings of friends and family who say she is wrong for him Sadly for Eden they are right Celia is beautiful vain and selfish and only agreed to marry him because he was so thoroughly besotted with her that she believed he’d be easy to manage and because she liked being so adoredEden's troubles did not end there however for when civil war broke out the Maxwells and the Langleys were on different sides of the conflict and even though Celia was now his wife her sympathies were with the Royalists She bore Eden a son Jude and some years later a daughter Eden knows is not his Celia eventually ran off with a Royalist officer leaving her children at Eden’s family home of Thorne Ash while disillusioned and embittered Eden concentrated on his army career and rarely returns homeLords of Misrule opens in late 1653 around four years after the execution of King Charles I and than a decade after the start of a series of bloody civil wars that divided England and its people But regicide has not solved any of the problems that beset the country and in fact things seem to be getting worse While there were many factors that led to Charles’ trip to the executioner’s block – unpopular taxes expensive wars and Charles’ insistence on his divine right to rule – England is still in political and social turmoil so much so that many of Cromwell’s supporters have begun to ask themselves just what exactly they had been fighting forColonel Eden Maxwell is one of those people A highly trained and skilled officer he has risen through the ranks and is now a trusted member of Cromwell’s inner circle He is currently working for the Secretary of State John Thurloe as an intelligencer and cryptographer but as the days pass finds being chained to his desk increasingly frustrating His repeated reuests for a leave of absence have been denied and he is stuck in London buried under the mounds of paper generated by reports of unrest possible insurrection royalist plots and a myriad of other dull fruitless tasks – until he receives information of a plausible plot against Cromwell’s life there were several at this point in time One of the suspected conspirators Sir Aubrey Durand leads Eden to the citylorinery run by his widowed sister and in the course of his investigations into the plot Eden uncovers far than he’d initially been looking forLydia Neville was contented in her marriage a man several decades older than herself On his death she inherited all his property including the lorinery which she continues to run successfully and in spite of the constantly expressed disapproval of his relatives all of whom invade her home on an almost daily basis to try to persuade her to give it up But Lydia is no shrinking miss and makes it clear each time that she will do no such thing – although her assurances fall upon deaf ears and do not dissuade them from their latest scheme to marry her off to her late husband’s smarmy cousinWhen Eden visits the lorinery he is pleasantly surprised to find some of his former comrades working there for the business employs invalid ex soldiers who would not otherwise be able to find work regardless of which side they fought on He is uite impressed by Lydia – or perhaps “impressed” is the wrong word although she certainly makes an impression upon him by virtue of her strength of character uick mind and sharp tongue But what Eden has learned from the men concerns him Someone has been making threats against Lydia and those threats have started to get serious Although she has tried to dismiss them as the prejudice any woman in business might expect to encounter deep down she knows this is not the case and that she needs help if she is to be able to get to the bottom of them before anyone is seriously hurt – or worseAnyone who has read any of Stella Riley’s other books won’t need me to tell them that her plot is impeccably constructed her characterisation is superb her research is detailed and extensive and that she writes the most exuisitely ‘romantic’ romances in which the sexual tension between the hero and heroine is built gradually and subtly There is no repetitive mental lusting and no insta lust just a wonderfully developed relationship between two people who are obviously attracted to each other but who have to function in the real world around them and can’t just drop everything while they moon over the object of their affectionsMs Riley’s greatest strength – and she has many – is probably characterisation She has the knack of creating the most gorgeous heroes men who are physically attractive of course but who are also intelligent honourable kind and uick witted with a dry sense of humour and possessed of the kind of competence and confidence which is extremely sexy Eden is no exception and readers who have been waiting for his story for the last couple of decades certainly won’t be disappointed now that he’s the centre of attention His unhappy marriage and the strain it put on his relationship with his family – especially Jude who is now a teenager – play an important part in the novel and I loved watching the gradual reconciliation between father and son It’s not easy for either of them and Ms Riley wisely shows that there is still a way to go; but what we are shown is touching and very believable Lydia is a great heroine a woman in a man’s world who refuses to bow to outside pressure but who has sense enough to recognise that she needs help and isn’t too proud to accept it There is one time when she makes an unwise decision – even though she’s been warned against it – that leads to near disaster but otherwise she’s strong independent and very likeable a good match for Eden in every wayThere is a very strongly drawn set of secondary characters in the book some of whom like Eden’s younger brother Toby and his house guest Sir Nicholas Austin we have met before Toby is a real scene stealer – handsome charming roguish and forever having to step over the pile of women who fall at his feet – can we have a book about him next pretty please? Fans of Gabriel Brandon from Garland of Straw will be very pleased to encounter him again as he travels to London to take up a seat in Parliament and at the continuance of the strong friendship between him and Eden One of those other many strengths of Ms Riley’s I mentioned is her ability to write thoroughly convincing male friendships; and that talent is showcased here in both Eden’s relationship with Gabriel and in his interactions with Toby which are often funny and for want of a better word very brotherlyI’ve only scratched the surface of what readers can expect to find in Lords of Misrule There’s a well conceived and well executed mystery a tender sensual romance and a fascinating historical background which never feels like too much information or as though one is being given an history lesson If you’re tempted to start here I think you could probably do so with minimal effort but ultimately all the books in the series are such damn good reads that I’d suggest starting with The Black MadonnaBefore you’re half way through you’ll want to turn off your phone ignore your kidsworkfriends lock yourself away and not come out until you’ve finished them all

  2. Mei Mei says:

    Beautifully written and reaserched as usual And we finally get Eden's happy ending after everything he got through I loved Eden since we met him in the first book even if he was a ittle naive and strait laced then He is still overly honorable but he matures during the years Still he's too much burned by his experence with Celia and he stubborny refuses to acknowledge his feelings toward Lydia but cannot resist teasing herLydia is also attracted to Eden but he also irritates her with his protectiveness she's a capable woman why Eden cannot see that?So they dance around each other while everybody else knows that they're madly in love with each other It was so fun reading their thoughts and the thoughts of every other secondary characterI also appreciate how SR manages to make interesting the political situation of that period and how well it is incorporated into the storyI'm sorry that the series edns with this book since I would really like to read Toby's story too Toby is one of my favorit secondary character and since he's a no nonsense man I'm sure his story would have been very interesting indeed

  3. Marquise Marquise says:

    While this last installment is a fine conclusion to the saga of the Royalist and Parliamentarian families that give this its name as an individual book it's the weakest in my opinionFor a start the bloat makes the plot move slowly as well as make the book too long for so little that happens Boredom seeps in uite easily With better editing and a firmer grasp on what to tell and why instead of just adding it all in this book would've been much compelling Yes weeding makes for a shorter book and I suspect this might've been a tad short for some tastes but I'd take that over lengthy and bloatedThen there's the characters None of them are particularly interesting always in my opinion and if not for some secondaries and reappearances by characters from previous installments where they shone this would've been a less enjoyable story Eden Maxwell was never a favourite and I think his Happily Ever After is both undeserved and unearned He never really pays the conseuences of being an utter ass to his children from his first marriage and his neglect of them and to reward him with a romance with a pretty widow feels decidedly unfair no matter the Rules of Romance Why exactly does everyone in this series have to end up blissfully happy regardless of their messes? If realism were a concern and someone had to have a bittersweet ending Eden sure earned that spot I understand this is the wrap up book so there's a need to not leave threads loose but I also think there was a better way to reintroduce the main characters from previous books for a last act before the curtain fell rather than the unsubtle Where Are They Now? device used A case like Luciano I can understand but a case like Peverell didn't feel natural to give a couple of examplesA good closing volume taken within the larger series but not one I see myself rereading when I revisit this favourite series

  4. Wendy Wendy says:

    It’s always difficult to come to a series of books part way through so when I knew that I was going to review Lords of Misrule I decided to uickly acuaint myself with some of the background information of the series and about the English Civil War my knowledge of which was sketchy to say the least I was advised to read The Black Madonna first in the Roundheads and Cavaliers series and was very glad I did as it’s here that we first meet Eden Maxwell who is the hero of Lords of Misrule Married young to a woman who was completely wrong for him his early experience of love and marriage has left Eden deeply mistrustful embittered and unable to show love to his son and resentful of the little girl he realises he did not father He rarely returns home even though his wife disappears with her lover soon after discovery and his continuing absence drives a wedge between himself and his family even while it is not what he wishes A decade later and older and wiser he has vowed never to trust love and absolutely never to marry again By now a confident and battle scarred soldier Eden is also a man who does not suffer fools or trust easily; and I adored the tetchy vulnerable overprotective charismatic character that Eden has become and then there's that devastating smileThese are serious times England has been in the grip of civil war for well over a decade; families are split the Country is short of money and the anointed King has been executed Oliver Cromwell has been named Lord Protector king in all but name and parliament is attempting to bring some order to a divided country Eden Maxwell has become a discontented and disenchanted man and owing to his inborn integrity and sense of justice is finding himself freuently in sympathy with both sides Employed as an Intelligence officer and code breaker at the Tower of London Eden reports directly to Cromwell's Secretary of State John Thurloe He is first and foremost a soldier and having fought in and survived three civil wars is not happy with his current role as paper pusher and glorified errand boy When a brick is hurled through a window of recently widowed Lydia Neville's workshop in a seemingly random attack she is thrown into the orbit of Colonel Eden Maxwell He instantly becomes interested Lydia an entrepreneur and philanthropist has continued on with the work she began with her now deceased husband They had intuitively recognised a need and then provided the opportunity for honest employment for wounded and disabled soldiers casualties of both sides of the war; and then too for the widows of soldiers left with families to care for At first Lydia and Eden strike sparks off of each other he overbearing cynical and dismissive; she independent feisty and not about to allow any man to control her or her actions Worthy adversaries both it isn't long before their antipathy turns to reluctant attraction as they are drawn to each other firstly by their joint empathy for Lydia's workforce and then by the threats and intimidation levelled at Lydia herself The challenge presented by the ever increasing threats to Lydia and her workforce is something that Eden relishes and embraces with enthusiasm as well as bringing out his inborn desire to protect The romance which develops slowly over the entire story sends shivers down the spine but in Stella Riley's inimitable style is never allowed to take over this being very much a historical romance with the emphasis on 'historical' Ms Riley's characters are superbly well drawn and they uickly become our friends; we love them; admire them; feel for them; worry for them It's something the author does incredibly well we meet actual people who lived and contributed to the past but so well developed are her fictitious personalities that it's easy to forget which are historical and which are figments of her very fertile imagination Stella Riley's story has encompassed everything; fantastically well researched and richly described historic detail characters to love and swoon over and an incredibly well devised plot that had me guessing until the end It’s intricate plausible and intelligent displaying her uniue talent for ratcheting up the drama until we're left gasping from the sheer ingenuity and thrill of it all As is always the case with any story written by this author the relationships between her characters especially the men are sensitively and tenderly grown their camaraderie beautiful moving and at other times extremely funny Ms Riley has a very dry wit and some of the scenes between Eden and his brother Tobias are especially touching and amusing in turns What a fascinating period the seventeenth century was and since embarking on my Stella Riley binge I am continuously asking myself how I could have failed to be interested in this vital period in English history Ms Riley's scholarship is incredible; this is such a complicated period to get to grips with and her descriptions knowledge and uite obvious love for it shines throughout How can we the reader fail to be infected by this author’s hard work enthusiasm knowledge and outstanding writing skill? I can't recommend the Roundheads and Cavaliers series highly enough and fully intend to go back and read Garland of Straw and The King's Falcon because it is not to be missed

  5. Lu Lu says:

    The hero Eden Maxwell is an old acuaintance from the previous books of the series and comes from a terrible marriage which left him cold and with serious commitment issuesThe heroine Lydia Neville is a young widow by an almost 40 years older husband that helps veterans of war and their widowsAs always the historical background and the fictional development is rich and complexEden was never a favorite of mine and not my kind of man at all meaning I would never marry someone like him but he is a wonderful character Full of flaws and ualities and so intricate The heroine could have been a tad stronger and I have to confess that deep down she never measured up to Deborah his previous relationship But Eden was never a good judge of women so it was understandable that he would let Deborah go and fall for Lydia This is the last book in the series and It is recommend to read all the books in order as they are very interconnected and the only way to really grasp Eden’s character and sometimes lack thereofThis series was really a delight to read and I have learned so much about the English Civil Wars and their many political repercussions

  6. OLT OLT says:

    It's always a treat to have a Riley book to read And as always Stella Riley does a stellar job of immersing her readers in the real history of the time period Cromwell and the civil wars without making her readers suffer too much history overload The reason is that her characters are living this history and that makes it all come to life instead of being dry facts about things that happened centuries agoIf you're familiar with Riley through her lighter Georgian series please keep in mind that this is the latest in her historically dense Roundheads and Cavaliers series set in the mid 1600s and having as its setting the civil unrest between monarchy and Parliament known as the civil wars that time when Oliver Cromwell and his backers decided England didn't need a king and then funny thing Cromwell went on to act as if he would like to be oneThis series is packed with real historical events and people and Riley's fictional characters interact with these real people and live these real historical events This Book 4 takes place from 1653 1655 The third civil war 1650 51 is over but the country is still in a state of turmoil and disrepair Cromwell has just made himself Lord Protector of England and has called his first Protectorate Parliament Meanwhile those loyal to Charles II are ineffectually trying to assassinate Cromwell and instigate uprisings against the government especially in Scotland And there's England at war with Holland and Spain In other words a big old mess of a time of misruleAnd within this time of political turmoil we also have the personal turmoil of hero Eden Maxwell colonel in Cromwell's army but rather disenchanted with politics Eden the widower of a faithless wife who died in Book Three leaving him with two children the youngest possibly not his is not interested in a being a father He leaves his children in the care of relatives and hardly ever sees them or has any contact with them and b ever marrying againThis story takes place some years after his wife's death and that's a long time to neglect your children and to live as a bitter man Obviously he'll be needing an emotional makeover That's where heroine Lydia comes in She's the widow of a much older man who leaves her his two pet businesses a lorinery employing only soldiers both Roundhead and Cavalier who were injured and maimed in the civil wars and a lace making business to employ the widows of soldiers killed in the warsLydia and Eden come into contact when Lydia's brother is taken into custody on suspicion of being involved in plots to overthrow Cromwell's government And so it goes It's an interesting story which even contains a mystery about who is trying to sabotage Lydia's businesses New characters are introduced to the series but there's a good deal of welcome reappearance of old familiar ones such as Kate Eden's sister and Luciano from THE BLACK MADONNA and Venetia and Gabriel from GARLAND OF STRAW and Eden's brother Toby plays an important role in this book and it's to be hoped that he'll have his own story taking place either on the way to putting Charles II on the throne or during the Restoration itself One can only hopeI enjoyed this book but it's not among my favorites of the series I felt it needed editing to shorten it somewhat and the love story between Lydia and Eden wasn't very compelling Still a somewhat weak Riley book is much better than a strong HR by your average bear HR author

  7. Susana Pelegrin Susana Pelegrin says:

    I have been waiting for this book for a long time and I wasn't disappointed The plot has well researched historical background intrigue and memorable characters As always Stella's secondary players are as good as her main ones I also thought that Eden and Lydia were an excellent match I loved seeing Gabriel and Venetia again I loved this book from cover to cover

  8. Jennifer Jennifer says:

    25 starsI have to admit that I was scared to start this book This was due in large part to the fact that the H of this story began a relationship with his mistress in the previous book and I just knew it wasn't going to end well If you don't want anything spoiled stop reading nowSo at the end of the last book The King's Falcon the H in this story Eden began an affair with Deborah his housekeeper She fell in love with him and he fell in comfort with her She said that it didn't matter that he never wanted to remarry; she just wanted him for as long as she could have him He was very honest with her He never said that he loved her And he knew in his heart that he should end things before they got even messier but he couldn't bring himself to do it He needed her and the comfort that she brought him Honestly I've read enough romance where I know that this is just not the angst for me I mean does the h hate herself and could the H be any unfeeling? So before I started this book I was hoping that this relationship would have resolved itself off book before the plot of this one began since you know the h in this one is called Lydia And that's not Deborah's middle name Fast forward two years to the beginning of this story and the H still hasn't let his mistresshousekeeper go Not firing her but releasing her from their relationship That's two years he's known that Deborah's been in love with him but he's not in love with her And he still can't bring himself to do the honourable thing At least the readers are spared the two of them having intimate relations in this book By the point this story begins the H is already starting to feel a little bad about the whole situation It took him long enough and he still had to have a talking to with his friend and brother before finally releasing her to being courted by someone else And even then the author makes it seem like he's reluctant to do so I just don't understand How does this make the romance between the MCs believable? Deborah has to be the one to go and marry someone else for it to be finally over between her and the H I'm sorry but this subplot sort of ruined the whole book for me And even worse is that the H brings the h to live in the same house that he lived in with his mistress for two years They sleep in the same bed that he shared with his mistress all that time It might not bother some readers but it was a major turnoff for me Other than the H I really enjoyed the book a lot The h was wonderful She was strong and had an amazing social conscience I appreciated that she did have another serious suitor one who wasn't interested in her just for her money I was sort of rooting for him to be honest I also enjoyed the historical aspects of this story a lot It was so nice to see the whole gang again And the writing of Ms Riley's keeps getting better and better I found this book well written than the first book of this series It was engaging witty and so easy to read And it was pretty clean with no owom drama other than the whole mistress thing One star for the fabulous writing one for an endearing and wonderful h and half a star for seeing what all the other MCs in the previous stories are up to now

  9. Belcanto Belcanto says:

    Wonderful Simply WonderfulSimply wonderful is how I start this review of Stella Riley’s fourth book in her Roundheads Cavalier series Lords of MisruleIt is truly an excellent novel full of twists and turns that kept me guessing right to the end Not only does it have a super plot line but also deals with the history of England in the mid 1650’s that is so often misunderstood in a clear concise and informative mannerAs with her other books in this series she concentrates on one of her brilliant characters who we’ve met in previous books In this case it’s Eden Maxwell who isn’t the easiest of men primarily because of the raw deal life has given him For example his marriage to Celia in Black Madonna after Eden had thought that she was the “loveliest creature that he had ever seen” What a mistakeWe meet him in Garland of Straw and Kings Falcon where his relationships are somewhat muddled – Pheobe and Deborah We also see him as an outstanding soldier before moving into intelligence under Thurloe where he begins to uestion his role and what is happening to an England ruled by Parliament under Oliver CromwellSo now he gets his own book and what a first class story Ms Riley has created for this sometimes awkward manHer heroine this time is Lydia who is typical of the strong feisty and determined women Ms Riley writes She is the perfect partner for Eden and Ms Riley makes this clear very early in the book – no rabbits out of hats from this writerThe concept of Lydia opening and managing the Lorinery for injured soldiers from both sides of the conflict is brilliant – I didn’t know what a Lorinery was until I read this book – and works so wellThe plotting I thought was excellent throughout and as I have said earlier the twists and turns make this book a real page turner But it’s not only the plotting that is brilliant it’s once again Riley’s ability to write characters who you care for have empathy with and an understanding of their emotions Her conversation pieces particularly with her men are outstanding and truly believableHer ability to seamlessly bring back characters from previous books is wonderful and in this we get to once again meet her previous heroes Luciano Black Madonna Gabriel Garland of Straw and even Ashley Peverell Kings Falcon amongst many others along with Eden’s children with whom he has a difficult relationship that Ms Riley handles just rightI will not spoil the plot which I think is well constructed and believable However what I will do is join the multitude of pleas to Stella Riley for Toby’s book because there she has someone who has a light and dark side plus is drop dead gorgeous and someone I’d love to meet but not in the backstreets of GenoaI cannot recommend this writers work highly enough She really is an outstanding writer both with this series and her Georgian Rockliffe seriesPlease please write Wonderful Simply wonderful Thank you

  10. imngrer imngrer says:

    It's been a long wait for Eden's storyI have been reading Ms Riley's Civil War and Restoration novels since I first read the Marigold Chain and Splendid Defiance in the early '80s and was disappointed after reading Garland of Straw sometime in the '90s that there would be no novels in the Civil War seuenceThis writer has a knack of creating characters you want to read of and Eden fell particularly into that category But often when you wait a great many years for a follow on story they eventually disappoint This one does not Although in my opinion it doesn't uite match Garland it comes a fairly good second Madonna is pretty good tooThis writer is particularly skilled at coming up with her own story and characters and weaving them well into the actual historical events In this book those events are less spectacular than those in Garland but that's history for you However the ambiguities of the Cromwellian Protectorate are well portrayed even if I don't uite share the level of disillusionment with the Interregnum years there are as many opinions about this as there are days in the year the background is treated with this writer's usual even handednessWell loved characters reappear and hopefully will continue in another novel? It would be great to hear Toby's story and perhaps get right back to the Restoration

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