Rhonda Woodward is the author of six Signet Regency romance novels, and is happily working on her next.
Among other accolades, Rhonda's work has earned her the Bookseller's Best Award, and her novels have been nominated for the prestigious RITA Award from the Romance Writers of America (RWA), and the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award.
A native Arizonan, Rhonda enjoys the desert climate of Phoenix year-round. You can connect with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RhondaWoodwardAuthor or visit her website at RhondaWoodwardAuthor.com.
Celia Langston was a sixteen-year-old orphan. Her father had been the vicar of Harford, so she was considered to be well-bred. She took a position of governess, offered to her by Imogene. But Imy's husband, Philip, had died and left Imogene's brother, Drake (the Duke of Severly), half guardianship of their two sons. Drake did not feel Celia to be up to the task of caring for the boys. However, he would give her a chance. If she proved able to care for Henry and Peter, she could keep the position. Ten years later, 1816 Celly had always been intimidated by Drake and avoided him whenever he visited Harbrooke Hall (in Kent). This time, however, Drake would be staying for quite awhile. Celia could not avoid him all the time. She tried though. Drake saw Celia with different eyes this time. She was lovely. It was obvious how much his mother, Imogene, and the boys governess, except that she seemed to go out of her way to avoid seeing him. The chase began ... Major David Rotham was Drake's close friend from the military. When David came back from Scotland, Drake invited him. A romance began to bloom between him and Imogene. ***** That is as much as I can tell without giving anything vital away. I found the story so well done that I read the entire book in one afternoon! Then I went to several on-line book stores to purchase he previous releases. Unfortunately, it looks as though this is Rhonda Woodward's first novel to be published! I have found myself a wonderful new author to keep an eye on here. If Signet is wise, they will get a long-term contract on this author - FAST! ***** Reviewed by Detra Fitch.
This character driven story provided me with a pleasant escape from the holiday rush! I needed a break from all the pressure I was feeling and when I found this book I planned to sit down and read a few chapters. Several hours later I found myself reading the last chapter and feeling sorry that I was coming to the end of my afternoon escape! I thoroughly enjoyed the main characters, Celia Langston and the Duke of Severly, and the series of events that eventually brought them together. I also enjoyed the secondary plot line revolving around the budding romance of Drake's sister, Imogene, and his close friend, Major David Rotham. Several unexpected plot twists were very satisfying to this reader, and I found "A Spinster's Luck" utterly charming. I look forward to more from this author whose characters kept me enthralled through the entire book. It was great to find a new author with a unique outlook on the Regency genre.
I really enjoyed the characters in this story. This new author provided a good plot with a different twist to the governess meets powerful guy story! I found the book held my interest and I look forward to reading more from Ms. Woodward. I always like to see local authors in the bookstore.
Celia Langston has had a run of bad luck. After her parents died she was left an orphan and had to turn to a job in the working class, as a governess to two small boys, to make her way in the world. She is resigned to remaining single and un-marriageable all the days of her life. After a run in with the Duke of Severly at a young age she finds him cold and heartless as he looks to have her new position taken away from her, so it's no surprise that she is set against him from the start when he turns up again years later.
The Duke of Severly shows up in the neighborhood just in time to meet his sister's governess before her turn of fortune. Her plain dresses and spinster caps don't fool him and he soon finds himself showing a bit more attention to her than is appropriate only to be continually met with a cold shoulder. Then her luck changes and she goes from being his sister's spinster governess to being something much more. And now, she needs his help.
The plot was interesting through and through and I liked the intrigue of the ton and the feeling of impending scandal as the duke turned the ex-governess into the Season's latest and greatest Beauty. The whole thing was very Cinderella-esque and endearing for it.
I did find a lot of the reasons for the misunderstandings to be a bit gimmicky, and the main character overly dramatic and emotional at times. The writing seemed to use the same cant phrases over and over again as if the author didn't know any other ways to say things during the regency, and that got old after a while. And, some of the more passionate scenes were a bit overdone and I thought some of their thoughts and words were a bit too racy for the regency period.Read more ›
What a lovely romance with likeable characters. Celia Langston, an orphaned vicar's daughter has lived with the Duchess of Harbrooke (Imogene) for over ten years. She is a friend and companion to Imogene and a governess to the young widow's sons. Celia also has a special friend in the eccentric Edna Forbisher, a recluse who lives nearby. The only thing that spoils this idyllic life for Celia is Imogene's brother the Duke of Severly (Drake).
When Celia was sixteen, she overheard Drake telling Imogene that she was too young to care for children. Where would she go if Imogene insisted she leave!!! But Imogene would not back down and the Duke decided to bide his time and just watch over the situation. When the Duke of Severn made his infrequent visits over the years, Celia made sure she was never in the same room and she harbored the hurt and anger about the overheard conversation. When the Duke and a friend visit, Celia is forced into his company. Drake notices her dislike for him and tries to draw her out.
Celia and Drake learn to hide their hearts, because during the course of Drake's stay at Harbrooke and a subsequent trip to London, they fall in love. Celia thinks that Drake is a faithless rake, and then thinks he's in love with another. Celia inherits some money and property from Edna and Imogene presents her to society, hiding the fact that she has been paid companion and governess. Gossip and snotty interference from Drake's jealous mistress turns that stay in London painful and after a bitter argument with him, Celia returns to the country. How can all the misunderstandings be resolved? A bolt of blue-green velvet fabric smooths the way for Celia and Drake to express their pent up feelings of love for each other.Read more ›