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Scandalous Alchemy

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The third novel in the thrilling Bridgerton-style Regency world of Katy Moran's wild and dissolute Lamorna family. Welcome to Kit's story... 1825 FONTAINEBLEAU, FRANCE Clemency Arwenack never dreamed she would be appointed lady-in-waiting to the notorious Princess Royal. A soldier's daughter, Clemency has aristocratic connections that she could quite frankly do without, and c The third novel in the thrilling Bridgerton-style Regency world of Katy Moran's wild and dissolute Lamorna family. Welcome to Kit's story... 1825 FONTAINEBLEAU, FRANCE Clemency Arwenack never dreamed she would be appointed lady-in-waiting to the notorious Princess Royal. A soldier's daughter, Clemency has aristocratic connections that she could quite frankly do without, and catering to the whims of an impetuous heir to the throne is the last thing she wants. Even so, Clemency's ambitious godmother forces her to accept the position. Always a keeper of other people's confidences, Clemency has a secret of her own, and Georgiana, Lady Boscobel, is only too ready to use it against her. Worse still, the Honourable Lieutenant Colonel Kit Helford is now captain of the royal guard – and so Clemency can't avoid the one childhood friend who might just see through her dangerous web of deceit. Kit Helford is just as wild and handsome as he's always been. And Clemency knows only too well that he's just as much trouble.


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The third novel in the thrilling Bridgerton-style Regency world of Katy Moran's wild and dissolute Lamorna family. Welcome to Kit's story... 1825 FONTAINEBLEAU, FRANCE Clemency Arwenack never dreamed she would be appointed lady-in-waiting to the notorious Princess Royal. A soldier's daughter, Clemency has aristocratic connections that she could quite frankly do without, and c The third novel in the thrilling Bridgerton-style Regency world of Katy Moran's wild and dissolute Lamorna family. Welcome to Kit's story... 1825 FONTAINEBLEAU, FRANCE Clemency Arwenack never dreamed she would be appointed lady-in-waiting to the notorious Princess Royal. A soldier's daughter, Clemency has aristocratic connections that she could quite frankly do without, and catering to the whims of an impetuous heir to the throne is the last thing she wants. Even so, Clemency's ambitious godmother forces her to accept the position. Always a keeper of other people's confidences, Clemency has a secret of her own, and Georgiana, Lady Boscobel, is only too ready to use it against her. Worse still, the Honourable Lieutenant Colonel Kit Helford is now captain of the royal guard – and so Clemency can't avoid the one childhood friend who might just see through her dangerous web of deceit. Kit Helford is just as wild and handsome as he's always been. And Clemency knows only too well that he's just as much trouble.

41 review for Scandalous Alchemy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Scandalous Alchemy is set in the same re-imagined history as its predecessors, a world in which Britain and her allies were defeated by Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. The main focus this time moves from Lord Lamorna (known to his intimates as Crow) and his wife Hester, to Crow’s younger brother, Kit Helford. If you’ve read either of the previous books you’ll know that Kit has a habit of getting himself into scrapes. He also has a way with the ladies that definitely runs in the family. Okay, Scandalous Alchemy is set in the same re-imagined history as its predecessors, a world in which Britain and her allies were defeated by Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. The main focus this time moves from Lord Lamorna (known to his intimates as Crow) and his wife Hester, to Crow’s younger brother, Kit Helford. If you’ve read either of the previous books you’ll know that Kit has a habit of getting himself into scrapes. He also has a way with the ladies that definitely runs in the family. Okay, so there are no scenes of a bare-chested Crow like those that got me so hot under the collar in previous books, but he does make the odd well-timed appearance. I hope the following description gives you an idea of his appeal. ‘Sailor, soldier, spy, tattooed ployglot, expert liar… tall and dark, with that streak of grey behind one ear, and his very own air of unruly éclat.’ Kit, now a Lieutenant Colonel, finds himself in France appointed to the role of Captain of the Personal Guard of Her Royal Highness Princess Nadezhda. There he runs into Clemency Arwenack, who has been appointed Mistress of the Robes in the Princess’s household. Clemency is considered by some as a ‘safe’ appointment but others know there’s much more to her than outward appearances would suggest. Not only is she a demon at the card table but she’s a practiced intelligencer. Unfortunately, trading in information can be a dangerous game when you have secrets of your own that you’d rather not be revealed. Clemency was once Kit’s childhood playmate back in Cornwall but that’s not how he thinks of her now. The opulence of Fontainebleau is vividly evoked such as in this description of the preparations for a post-hunt picnic. ‘Hot-house peaches and necatarines were piled in shining pewter, and preserved Seville oranges arranged in honeyed slices on platters of chinaware. There were great heaps of glistening pastries too, sugar-dusted and dotted with caramelised nuts, covered for now with muslin cloths. Not far away, a quartet of violins and a harpist practised unfashionable Beethoven with bored competence.’  Yes, better rethink your plans for next weekend’s BBQ. Moving from Cornwall to Fontainebleau with a brief stop along the way at an infamous London club, Scandalous Alchemy is a delicious mix of romance, espionage and political intrigue – Georgette Heyer meets John le Carré, if you will. And there’s a generous helping of aristocratic excess and bad behaviour thrown in for good measure. The concluding chapters gallop along at a frantic pace with plenty of twists and turns as danger seems to lurk around every corner. The publishers describe Scandalous Alchemy as a ‘thrilling and sexy romp through 19th-century France, England and Russia’ and I’m definitely not going to disagree with that! The book ends with what I can only describe as teaser suggesting more adventures may lie ahead for the Lamorna family. I do hope so.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Li

    I love the reimagined world of this book set in the 19th century where the British royal family are dead and a young Russian princess is heir to the throne. There’s a blend of different cultures clashing together - Cornish, English, Russian, French - that seems to add to the historical political backdrop but also adds an air of intrigue and mystery to the book. The writing is also written in a way which throws you into this romantic swashbuckling period which makes this book so immersive. I feel I love the reimagined world of this book set in the 19th century where the British royal family are dead and a young Russian princess is heir to the throne. There’s a blend of different cultures clashing together - Cornish, English, Russian, French - that seems to add to the historical political backdrop but also adds an air of intrigue and mystery to the book. The writing is also written in a way which throws you into this romantic swashbuckling period which makes this book so immersive. I feel like I was watching a fantastic period drama observing the aristocracy and being embroiled in their secrets, scandals, romance and treachery. And a key ingredient is of course a devilishly handsome troublemaker Kit who is a ladies man, that no reader will be able to resist! This reads like a standalone novel but is book 3 of a series but I didn’t feel like I missed anything from the other books. I feel like I want to go back and read them Entertaining historical romance novel with an inventive reimagined world filled with adventure, passion and action.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Vansa

    This book is the perfect Stella Rimington/Georgette Heyer crossover that I did not know I needed, and am now obsessed by. It's set in an alternate historical timeline, one where Napoleon won the Battle of Waterloo, and the heiress to the British throne is a Romanov princess, Nadezhda. A peace conference is to be held at Fontainebleau ( the actual historical site of Napoleon's abdication as Emperor. I absolutely love the historical attention to detail, even when it's being subverted), with Napole This book is the perfect Stella Rimington/Georgette Heyer crossover that I did not know I needed, and am now obsessed by. It's set in an alternate historical timeline, one where Napoleon won the Battle of Waterloo, and the heiress to the British throne is a Romanov princess, Nadezhda. A peace conference is to be held at Fontainebleau ( the actual historical site of Napoleon's abdication as Emperor. I absolutely love the historical attention to detail, even when it's being subverted), with Napoleon agreeing to put an end to military expansion, and through a lot of political manoeuvring by all parties, Princess Nadezhda's coronation, and engagement to a Habsburg prince, from the Hungarian branch of the family, are going to be announced . Politically, this is a fraught situation, with an increase in power through a British/Russian/Habsburg alliance, with easier trade routes through India, not blocked by the French, which would also threaten Ottoman ambitions in the region. There's a lot at stake, and Nadezhda knows it, and doesn't want to be a mere pawn at the mercy of realpolitik. She insists on her escort including a former flame, the impetuous male protagonist of this book, Kit Helford. Also a part of Nadezhda's entourage is the absolutely fascinating, conflicted heroine Clemency Arwenack, childhood playmate of Christopher Helford, former spy, and present-day unwilling extortionist/hitwoman of a sort, set to work by the villainous Boscobels, her manipulative guardians. They have to get Nadezhda from London to Fontainebleau safely, alive, in the first place, and avert any possible scandals in the making that would thwart the coronation and/or the marital alliance. I love Georgette Heyer's books, and read a lot of Regency romances, but the more I read about the actual history of the period , the more annoyed I usually get that Heyer and a lot of other authors never bothered to engage with the actual fascinating changes in the world-increased colonial expansion and contact with people from other countries, increasing political awareness and engagement in policy decisions among non-aristocrats, women's rights-with both the BLuestockings and Mary Wollstonecraft's influences being felt, advances in science, and most importantly, a lot more diversity. And I don't mean diversity that exists in a fantasyland like Bridgerton, where the conversations about race are ignored ( I was fine with that, it worked for Bridgerton.). Katy Moran's diversity stems from the fact that society was a lot more diverse than most depictions, there were inter-racial marriages and it was difficult for people who weren't Caucasian-but they existed and led full lives. I love that this book fully explores the fraught geo-political situation of the time, and how that affected everyone-not just the aristocrats. Unlike most Regency romances , all the characters in this have a lot more to do, including the maids and the valets, than merely worry about their employers' clothes and running baths for them, and are fully rounded characters in their own right and are important to the plot, as they should be. The inclusion of historical characters is very well-done, and they behave in historically accurate ways, with all their political shenanigans. I found the role she's given to the real-life ill-fated Princess Charlotte particularly interesting. The author's website mentions her love for Georgette Heyer, and her interest in more fully engaging with the history of the period, specially the role of influential women of the time, as the catalyst for this book. The book has it all-edge of the seat tradecraft ( all done by a woman, that makes it even more unique), enthralling geo-politics, memorable characters, including a character who would in the hands of a lesser author have been a vamp, but who's entirely sympathetic here, heartbreak and loss, and a wonderful swoony romance. I read the book twice immediately after finishing it, and I'm absolutely thrilled that this is third in the series. I've bought the other two and have raced through them, and now I spend my time worrying that Katy Moran won't write more in this series!! I really want to see how events play out in this alternate timeline. I can't recommend this book enough, it's an absolutely perfect summer read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

    "What on earth will you do now that the war is over? Lurch from scandal to scandal and then try to forget it all in majoun shops like the one you were in last night?" loc 779]Sequel to False Lights (now republished as Hester and Crow, by Katy Moran) and Wicked by Design, both of which I enjoyed a great deal. (I'm not super-keen on the rebranding, as it makes these seem far lewder, and less alt-historical, than they are.) The premise is that the French won at Trafalgar: False Lights / Hester and "What on earth will you do now that the war is over? Lurch from scandal to scandal and then try to forget it all in majoun shops like the one you were in last night?" loc 779]Sequel to False Lights (now republished as Hester and Crow, by Katy Moran) and Wicked by Design, both of which I enjoyed a great deal. (I'm not super-keen on the rebranding, as it makes these seem far lewder, and less alt-historical, than they are.) The premise is that the French won at Trafalgar: False Lights / Hester and Crow began in occupied England, with 'Crow' Crowlas, Earl of Lamorna, and his young brother Kitto surreptitiously aiding and abetting two distinct rebellions, and Hester Harewood, whose father was Black, becoming embroiled in their schemes. Wicked by Design turned its focus on Russia, where Kitto encountered the bastard daughter of the Tsar: less Hester here, as for much of the novel she is presumed dead. Now Scandalous Alchemy gives Hester and Crow some peace, and makes Kitto -- Lieutenant Colonel the Honourable Kit Helford -- the protagonist.Kit has had a good war, which Hester glosses as his skill and enjoyment at killing people, and is now at somewhat of a loose end. After a scandal, he's despatched to France as the bodyguard of Princess Sophia, formerly known as Nadezdha -- the girl with whom Kit fell in love on the wide Russian steppes seven years before, now off to meet her fiance, Louis Charles Habsburg-Lorraine, before her ascension to the throne as Queen of England.There is, as usual, plenty of swashbuckling here: there is also another redoubtable female protagonist, Clemency Arwenack, Kit's childhood friend ('accomplice', says Crow) who has become 'a blackmail artist and extortionist par excellence, like all the most fashionable women' [loc 853]. Clemency used to do intelligence work for Crow, but now she's under the thumbs of the bourgeois Boscobels, who clearly have some power over her. When she's employed as Mistress of the Robes to Princess Sophia's entourage, it's the perfect opportunity for the ruin of several reputations.Kit Helford is a very Heyeresque hero (I was reminded of Vidal in Devil's Cub), and Clemency also brings to mind some of Heyer's heroines, though she's nowhere near as pure-minded as any of them. There are other influences here: for instance, I was reminded of Dorothy Dunnett (though that may just be the French palace and the royal hunt). Excellent characters, too: vile Valentine Boscobel, the Frenchman D'Harcourt with his African blood, the woodsman who would rather prepare for his marriage than pander to the aristocracy ...Hester, sadly, stays in the background, though Crow gets to sweep in and, as usual, rearrange everything to his liking.There were some athletic leaps of logic (to be fair, Kit has always been ruled by his heart rather than his head) and a couple of dangling threads: but there is also a surprisingly happy ending, and a great deal of excitement, amusement and drama throughout. A cracking read, thoroughly enjoyable. Thanks to NetGalley for providing an Advance Review Copy in exchange for this honest review. UK Publication due on 10th June 2021.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Hill

    ‘The Scandalous Alchemy’ is the third book in a series of novels by Kate Moran. Set in Fontainebleau, Paris, France, 1825 shortly after the time of Napoleon. Nadezhda, the Princess Royal is set to marry and it’s upto Kit, the Lieutenant Colonel to ensure she gets there safely. But Kit has his own secrets which could endanger them both. Kit is a rebel who recently found himself on the run at a time when Fontainebleau had been invaded. As heir to the throne, it seems as though everyone around her i ‘The Scandalous Alchemy’ is the third book in a series of novels by Kate Moran. Set in Fontainebleau, Paris, France, 1825 shortly after the time of Napoleon. Nadezhda, the Princess Royal is set to marry and it’s upto Kit, the Lieutenant Colonel to ensure she gets there safely. But Kit has his own secrets which could endanger them both. Kit is a rebel who recently found himself on the run at a time when Fontainebleau had been invaded. As heir to the throne, it seems as though everyone around her is trying to damage her reputation as a way to overthrow her. Even her childhood friend, Clemency is looking to ruin her. Although there seems to be more than meets the eye there. I was gripped throughout and couldn’t wait to know what happened next. Its very reminiscent of a period drama. I found myself invested in the character’s storylines and I loved watching Clemency and Kits’s relationship flower. Nadezhda and Clemency are both strong female characters although Clemency is trapped in a web of lies and betrayal. I loved Nadezhda as she wasn’t afraid to fight for her life when it was in danger. Nadezhda is not afraid to stand up for herself and her right to the throne. There’s plenty of treachery, scandal, romance, secrets and action along the way. There’s just the right amount and blend of action and romance that the story didn’t come over saturated with it. If like me and you love ‘Downton Abbey’ then you’ll love this.

  6. 5 out of 5

    asdfghl

    Incredibly fast paced I started the series from the last book, but i have to say everything works so well for this couple that reading from the first didn’t seem strictly necessary. The descriptions are incredible, and I find it very vivid that many pows are used throughout to help along pace without revealing too much of the inner monologue. I loved the alternate history of it all, and every single character is messed up but I couldn’t help but cheer for them, yes, including Nadesza, which is sa Incredibly fast paced I started the series from the last book, but i have to say everything works so well for this couple that reading from the first didn’t seem strictly necessary. The descriptions are incredible, and I find it very vivid that many pows are used throughout to help along pace without revealing too much of the inner monologue. I loved the alternate history of it all, and every single character is messed up but I couldn’t help but cheer for them, yes, including Nadesza, which is saying something as she’s a terror. The plot twists keep on coming, and even thought I found the end with a bit too many time gaps it all works if you’re expecting an action filled dramatic story.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jane Hunt

    The third book in the Hester and Crow series set in an alternative Regency world. Written with vivid imagery, astute political insight, and scandalous romance, this book is an addictive delight for historical romance fans. The characters are pure, romantic Regency, the female protagonist, is independent, intelligent and intriguing. Kit, the male protagonist, is scandalous, sexy and searching, for his happiness in a climate of betrayal and political intrigue. There's engaging romance, fascinating The third book in the Hester and Crow series set in an alternative Regency world. Written with vivid imagery, astute political insight, and scandalous romance, this book is an addictive delight for historical romance fans. The characters are pure, romantic Regency, the female protagonist, is independent, intelligent and intriguing. Kit, the male protagonist, is scandalous, sexy and searching, for his happiness in a climate of betrayal and political intrigue. There's engaging romance, fascinating political manoeuvring and vibrant characters that befit the glamour of the Regency period. I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus via Helen Richardson PR in return for an honest review

  8. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    Full review can be found on my blog: https://apartofyourbookworld.wordpres... Seductively scandalous and delightfully deceitful, dramatic tale that will stay with you. Let me start by saying that this is not my usual genre so going in I didn’t know what to expect but I’m so grateful I got to read this book. It’s part of the Hester and Crow series but can be read as a standalone in my opinion but I’m definitely going to head back and read the other books. A delightful historical romance with a whole Full review can be found on my blog: https://apartofyourbookworld.wordpres... Seductively scandalous and delightfully deceitful, dramatic tale that will stay with you. Let me start by saying that this is not my usual genre so going in I didn’t know what to expect but I’m so grateful I got to read this book. It’s part of the Hester and Crow series but can be read as a standalone in my opinion but I’m definitely going to head back and read the other books. A delightful historical romance with a whole lot of grit. Perfectly balanced and highly emotive. I dare you to try and put this book down, once it has its claws in you, you have no choice but to finish. I am nothing short of obsessed with Morans writing and will be looking out for more of her work! .... now where can I get me a Honourable Lieutenant Colonel Kit Helford?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Brookes

    If you like your alternative history/Regency romances dark, thrilling and sexy, Katy Moran is absolutely your woman. ‘Scandalous Alchemy’ is the third book in her Hester and Crow series and they are, consistently, a whole heap of fun.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lory Widmer Hess

    I enjoyed this alternate historical romance, set in a Europe where Napoleon prevailed over Wellington; it's interesting to consider how the balance of power would have shifted, and gives a welcome twist on Regency tropes. The political intrigue took second place to the characters, who were pretty standard types (attractive rake with an underlying yen for commitment, feisty girl with a guilty secret) yet I grew fond of them anyway. I raced through the last 100 pages to find out what happened to t I enjoyed this alternate historical romance, set in a Europe where Napoleon prevailed over Wellington; it's interesting to consider how the balance of power would have shifted, and gives a welcome twist on Regency tropes. The political intrigue took second place to the characters, who were pretty standard types (attractive rake with an underlying yen for commitment, feisty girl with a guilty secret) yet I grew fond of them anyway. I raced through the last 100 pages to find out what happened to them, even though I was sure the right ones would end up together and the bad ones would be punished, given the genre. I had not realized that this is a follow-up to two earlier novels, which give some important background. (There's no indication that I noticed that one character is Black, for instance.) A series that will give a lot of pleasure to Regency fans, in a much darker and grittier strain than Georgette Heyer but still with relatively happy endings.

  11. 4 out of 5

    nikkia neil

  12. 5 out of 5

    Laura Nelson (Tangents and Tissues)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jennie

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Lyon

  16. 4 out of 5

    Annie

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julie Buckland

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alda Delicado

  19. 4 out of 5

    Barb Wismer

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  21. 5 out of 5

    Liviu

  22. 4 out of 5

    Hers7

  23. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sami Melaragno

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shaune Bowens

  26. 5 out of 5

    Meagan

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eva Canitano

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tanya

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sara

  30. 4 out of 5

    David

  31. 5 out of 5

    Emma

  32. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

  33. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

  34. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Olson

  35. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

  36. 4 out of 5

    Kirstin

  37. 5 out of 5

    Rekha O'Sullivan

  38. 4 out of 5

    Leo

  39. 5 out of 5

    Midu Hadi

  40. 4 out of 5

    KellyAnn

  41. 5 out of 5

    Siâni

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