Saturday, June 29, 2013

Blog Tour: The Secrets of Mia Danvers by Robyn DeHart (Review + Giveaway)


I'm so, so pleased to welcome Robyn DeHart to Love Saves the World. Robyn is currently promoting her new book, The Secrets of Mia Danvers, the first book in her Dangerous Liaisons series.

Robyn DeHart will be giving away winner's choice of the following:
Amazon Paperwhite or
Nook Glow or
$120 Gift Card for Amazon or Barnes & Noble

To visit Robyn's other stops, click here.

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About the book --

Blurb:

A lone witness finds her protector...

Since losing her sight in a childhood accident, Mia Danvers has resided in a small cottage on the vast Carrington estate. Thought to be dead, Mia lives a life of virtual seclusion -- until one night, while walking home, she happens upon a horrendous crime.

Alex Foster, Eighth Duke of Carrington, lives according to society’s expectations for him. He’s never met the woman who lives in the cottage at the edge of his property. But when she arrives at his door in the pouring rain terrified and claiming she has witnessed a murder, she seizes his attention.

Mia is determined to help the authorities track down the culprit, even though the only person willing to accept her aid is the handsome, arrogant duke. Working closely together proves difficult as Mia’s beauty and independence tempts Alex to ignore convention and follow his desire. But what neither of them know is that this murderer has struck before in Whitechapel, taunting the British press only to vanish—a ruthless killer who knows that Mia is the only living witness to his crime ...

Purchase links:


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My review:

Thought to be dead, Mia Danvers, the youngest daughter of an earl, has lived quietly with her companion on the edge of the Duke of Carrington's estate. When she was brought to the cottage by her mother nine years ago, she was told never to be a burden or a bother to the duke's family -- and Mia has abided by these rules.

Until Mia witnesses a gruesome murder on the Carrington estates and Mia has no choice but to approach the duke for help.

Alex was never supposed to be the Duke but his brother's untimely death has forced Alex into the forefront, taking on the responsibilities of the dukedom and as head of the Carrington family. The first thing he must do is abate the scandal surrounding his brother's death -- and to do so, Alex must marry well -- and the perfect wife has already been chosen for him.

When Mia arrives at his doorstep, he is surprised to discover that his family's unwanted/overstaying guest isn't mad as his mother had said she was and is in fact, one of the most breathtakingly beautiful and clear-minded people Alex has ever met in his life, but the news Mia brings is unwelcome, threatening to bring an even bigger scandal that would truly ruin the Carrington name.

A servant of the Carrington household is found murdered, her body cut open. Is this the work of Jack the Ripper? But he has been quiet lately and Mayfair is worlds away from Whitechapel. When more women turn up dead and, when Alex's brother, Drew, becomes the prime suspect, Alex does everything he can, including trusting Mia, to protect his family.

There are two reasons why this book is unputdownable: (1)Robyn deHart's spin on the Jack the Ripper mythos and (2) the love story between Mia and Alex.

Robyn DeHart has written about mysteries in her Ladies' Amateur Sleuth Society series and I remember reading that series and enjoying deHart's gift for weaving in romance with investigations and detective work. With her new series, deHart is taking on mysteries once again -- but, not just any mystery, she has decided to frame her new series with one of the greatest mysteries of the 19th century: Jack the Ripper.

DeHart contributes to the body of Jack the Ripper fiction by writing about new murders that happened during the lull in Jack the Ripper's killing spree in 1889. It's also interesting that she has moved the setting of the murders to Mayfair.

In fiction, the Ripper is a captivating character and DeHart gives him a very sinister persona and voice.

The Ripper was waiting.

He picked up his pace, the girl looked behind her shoulder at him, then turned back to the front and sped up. He would catch her. She was a petite little thing and her stride would have nothing on his. He proved that very thing when he caught up with her in three long steps.

"Where are you going so quickly?" he asked.
- p. 184

Here's what we know about DeHart's Jack the Ripper:
1. He is either a gentleman or a lord, definitely someone who belongs in aristocratic circles and moves around easily in society.
2. He smokes and he whistles.
3. He is angry that there are witnesses (Mia is one of them) and vows to silence them.

Will Robyn DeHart eventually name her suspect? How will she resolve the Jack the Ripper mystery? I'm definitely following this series to find out. ^_^

Then there is the love story between Alex and Mia.

What begins between Alex and Mia is something of an anti-love story. Neither one wants to be involved in the other but there is an undeniable chemistry between them.

Alex is set to marry his older brother's intended, Juliet, who is a very a good match from a very proper family. It is a marriage that will secure the Carrington name and keep them out of the scandal sheets. Before Alex met Mia, he was already in the midst of courting Juliet and was very close to making a formal offer.

Mia is happy with her life as it is, though she would wish she had more money to pay Rachel. When she approached Alex, all she wanted to do was to report the incident and inform him that she would cooperate with the investigation. I love how Mia bristles when Alex kept calling her back to the main house for further questions because she had expected to work with the authorities and not with Alex, but because of Drew is the main suspect, Alex has no choice but to follow the same leads, hoping they would lead to a different person.

I also love that Mia wasn't dazzled by Alex's title or wealth. She never dreamed to be whisked off from her simple life and made queen of the universe. It is very telling that, even when she had moved to Alex's house, she never once requested for better clothes for herself and continued to wear her very drab, very itchy woolen gowns. I consider her an anti-Cinderella -- she doesn't need Prince Charming to whisk her away and give her a better life because she is perfectly capable of taking care of herself.

"I have to keep you out of harm's way," he argued.

"No, you don't." Though she longed for him to continue to do so. Did that make her weak? Ultimately she knew that if he did pawn her off on her sisters, it was likely she'd never be near him again. And that, for reasons she didn't care to examine, scared the hell out of her.

"If I don't, who will?" he countered.

"I will. I've lived on my own, with nothing but the assistance of Rachel and we've managed quite nicely without you or my sisters." She stepped over to where she knew he still sat. Without another thought she reached out and jammed her finger into his solid chest. Whether she craved his protection or not, she'd be damned if he'd treat her as some sort of invalid. "What gives you the right to think you can order me about? Simply because you've inherited some prestigious title and now everyone around is to bow to your every whim? Well, let me tell you one thing, Alex Foster, your title means nothing to me. I'm not impressed by who you are, and I'm most certainly not intimidated. As far as I'm concerned, you're no different than any other man on the street. Well, with the exception that you want to control my life." She stopped talking long enough to realize she was actually winded.
- pp. 144-145

Mia's blindness isn't a disability but an ability for Mia, who is very efficient in navigating the world. Because of her blindness, she was able to get to know the man and not the duke. (And she was not impressed with the duke but she is very, very impressed with Alex, the man.)

When they started their affair, Mia offered herself as purely an expression of her love for Alex. She never set out to entrap him into marriage and she was very realistic about her prospects.

"No one knows."* Mia's entire existence is a secret and she is willing to keep one more secret: her and Alex. I saw this as something sad but, at the same time, amazing. How utterly selfless Mia was -- but, how she balances it all with her courage. She stands up to Alex's mother (read p. 166) and to her sisters and she stood up to her affliction: rather than being defeated by blindness, she worked around it.

This is a book with substance, a book that I see myself re-reading again in the future, a book that I would highly, highly recommend without hesitation.

The Secrets of Mia Danvers is the first book in Robyn DeHart's Dangerous Liaisons series. The second book, The Temptations of Anna Jacobs, will be released in November 2013. Very, very, very excited for it. ^_^

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author for review purposes. Many thanks to Robyn DeHart and InterMix for the opportunity. Yes, this is an honest review.

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About the author:

A life-long love of stories and adventure, it was either become a stuntwoman for the movies or live out those adventures from the safety of her PJ's and computer. Award-winning author, Robyn DeHart chose the latter and couldn't be happier for doing so. Known for her unique plotlines and authentic characters, Robyn is a favorite among readers and reviewers. Publishers' Weekly claims her writing to be "comical and sexy" while the Chicago Tribune dubs her "wonderfully entertaining." Robyn is an award-winning author as well as being a four-time RT Bookclub Reviewers' Choice award nominee, and a three-time RomCon Reader's Crown nominee. Robyn lives in Texas with her brainy husband, two precocious little girls and two spoiled cats. You can find Robyn on-line at her website or at one of her group blogs, the Jaunty Quills or Peanut Butter on the Keyboard.


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Robyn DeHart will be giving away winner's choice of the following:
Amazon Paperwhite or
Nook Glow or
$120 Gift Card for Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Enter through Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To visit Robyn's other stops, click here.

13 comments:

  1. I'm reading this now and I'm fascinated by the way Robyn writes Mia. Mia's abilities despite her disability are well explored.

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  2. Awesome review Tin! I too can't wait for the Anne Jacobs and Drew!!

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  3. Your delightful review has only served to whet my appetite even more to read this terrific novel. Robyn is such a fantastic author and I cannot wait to get this book. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Love historical romance, looking forward to reading this. Thanks.

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  5. "The Secrets of Mia Danvers" looks just wonderful. My favorite kind of read.

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  6. Thanks, Tin, for such a lovely review and for participating in my blog tour!

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  7. Hi, Robyn!

    You're welcome! And, thank you, as well, for the opportunity!

    Thank you to everyone who has dropped by and for your kind words! The Secrets of Mia Danvers is a truly amazing read and look forward to hearing your own thoughts. ^_^

    Have a great day!

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  8. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR BOOK AND THE TOUR! THANKS FOR THE SUPER GIVEAWAY! SHELLEY S. calicolady60@hotmail.com

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  9. This book sounds amazing, thank you for the review. I am definitely adding it to my to-read list, it has caught my attention

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  10. I don't live in the US. If I won, could you send me the voucher code, or am I still banned from entering?

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  11. I don't live in the US. If I won, could you e-mail me the voucher code, or am I still banned from entering?

    ReplyDelete

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