[Golden Chronicles] * [Tales of the Jewelled Men] * [Sanguinet Saga] * [Riddle Series] * [Harlequin Trilogy]
- The Golden Chronicles proper should be read in the following order:
Practice to Deceive
Jounrey to Enchantment
Love Alters Not
The Dedicated Villain
However, the two novels Mistress of Willowvale and The Wagered Widow, while not technically part of the Chronicles are vital to understanding not only this series but also the Jewelled Men series and should be read before Practice.
- The plot of the series is as follows: The year is 1746. Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobites have been routed at the last battle fought on British soil: Culloden. Charlie has fled and his followers are being brutally massacred by the English Butcher Cumberland and his men. The hunt is on for Jacobite refugees. A treasure is rumored to be hidden somewhere in England. This treasure was raised by Charlie's supporters but remained untouched when the Scots were defeated. Now the task is to return the treasure to the starving families of Scotland without the English finding it. The location of the treasure is a great secret encoded into a cypher that is being handed from courier to courier. Once gathered, the cypher will be decrypted and will point to the location of the treasure.
The series starts with Quentin Chandler and Penelope Montgomery as the heroes and Roland Otton as the villain. In the second novel, the hero is Penelope's brother Geoffrey and the heroine is Prudence MacTavish. The villain is a slightly less effectual Roland Otton (who we now discover is Mathieson). The third novel centers around Meredith Carruthers and Phoebe Ramsay with Roly being a semi-good and semi-bad guy. The 4th novel focuses on Anthony Farrar and Dimity Cranford with Roly transforming into a very charming villain. The hero/heroine of the 5th novel are Rosamund Albritton and Robbie MacTavish (brother to Prudence) and Roly is present once more, still a villain and working against the protagonists and yet honourable in miniature ways. Finally in the 6th novel, Roly gets his own book and heroine, Fiona Bradford.
- The Tales of the Jewelled Men should be read in the following order:
Had We Never Loved
Ask Me No Questions
A Shadow's Bliss
Never Doubt I Love
The Mandarin of Mayfair
- The plot of the series is as follows: In the aftermath of the Jacobite failure, a league of power-hungry men band together to attempt to take over England. Utilizing a plan to ruin some of England's more prominent leaders and taking over their estates, the League positions itself into strategic English locations. Another small band of merrie men attempt to stand against them.
The first novel focuses on the beginnings of the Jewelled Men's manipulations and the tumultuous love between our hero and heroine, Naomi Lutonville and Gideon Rossiter. The minor cast of characters begins to take formation with the sparring friendship of Jamie Morris and August Falcon barely a glimmer in their eyes. Gwendolyn Rossiter and Katrina Falcon also edge out the cast. The second novel takes us back to the familiar Golden Chronicles character of Horatio Glendenning, who was sucha memorable presence in Love Alters Not. He falls in love with gypsy Amy Consett while attempting to work against the League. However, his Jacobite past comes back to haunt him and the shadow of treason falls over his house. This book has one of Veryan's most memorable climaxes. The 3rd novel focuses on Quentin Chandler's brother, Gordon (we saw Quentin in Practice to Deceive). And this time, Gordon's brother's connections to the Jacobite cause endanger his life. Gordon meanwhil has fallen in love with Ruth Armitage Allington, an art restorer. The villain in this one is mainly Burton Farrier, with the League's shadowy maneuverings even influencing the villain's actions. Ruth's amnesiac brother is the focus of the next novel and his ensuing romance with Cornish barren Jennifer Britewell. Much of the League's tru plans come to light in this novel, and Falcon and Morris' friendship cements, in addition to the love shenanigans of Morris' passion for Katrina Falcon and August's shrewish relationship with Gwen Rossiter. Next comes Peregrine Cranford in his very own novel. We last saw Perry in Love Alters Not as Dimity's leg-less brother. He gets his own love in this 5th novel in the form of Zoe Grainger. Some of the League's members are unmasked in this novel: Miss J. Butterworht being one of them. In the last book which centers on August and Gwen, we discover that August's good and acidic friend Kadenworthy is one of the villains (despite having been forced to join). Through Kadenworthy's subsequent betrayals, August is captured and rescued. Jamie's love story ends happily as well and the Squire's identity is revealed.
- The Sanguinet Saga should be read in the following order:
Some Brief Folly
The Lord and the Gypsy
The Noblest Frailty
Married Past Redemption
Logic of the Heart
Give All to Love
- Although technically Some Brief Folly, The Lord and the Gypsy, Love's Duet,Logic of the Heart,Lanterns, and Give All to Love do not figure the Sanguinet brothers as villains, the heroes are all friends. However, the core books are Feather Castles, Nanette, The Noblest Frailty, Married Past Redemption, and Sanguinet's Crown.
- The plot of the series is as follows: Claude Sanguinet is attempting to take over England through the assassination of Prinny (the Prince Regent). Although our heroes do stand against him at the end, the only come into conflict with him in the beginning because of personal escapades (Tristram's theft of Claude's bride, Harry's theft of Parnell's ward, etc.). The brothers Sanguinet include the brilliant, mad, and ambitious Claude, the insane, cruel, vicious and evil Parnell, and the tortured, semi-heroic youngest brother, Guy.
Spoilers for the Sanguinet Saga!
The couples crack down as follows: in the first one, Tristram loves Euphemia who falls in love with and marries Garret Hawkhurst (whose house, Dominer, features prominently in The Dedicated Villain, see above). In addition (secondarily), Euphemia's brother and Garret's sister end up together. Then, Tristram steals away Rachel Strand, whose sister Charity eventually ends up with Mitchell Redmond. However, earlier, Mitchell was in love with Nanette, his brother Harry's sweetheart. Deirdre Breckenridge marries Lucien St. Clair (who had a torrid affair with a woman named Edythe). Sophia Drayton, who is related to the aforementioned Redmonds, loves Camille Brandon. Brandon's ancestral estate is the source of the treasure that everyone is trying to find in The Golden Chronicles. Alain Devenish (a very close friend of Tristram Leith) has been engaged and madly in love with Yolande Drummond since he was very young. She, however, decides to marry his cousin Craig Winters. Alain eventually ends up with a woman 13 years his junior and once his ward. Justin Strand (Rachel and Charity's brother) marries Lisette van Lindsay who was in love with Tristram Leith. Through all this, Jeremy Bolster wins, loses and regains the hand of Amanda Hersh, the sister of the villain who tried to kill Lucien St. Clair. Bolster is also a close friend of Justin Strand. Val Montclair, a close friend of Alain Devenish, ends of with the widow Susan Henley, while the ever present Diccon (Paisley) marries Marietta Warrington whose family knows pretty much everyone. Talk about complicated relationships. And that's not even the plot. Click here for a relationship chart. And here for family trees.
- Through this all, our heroes foil the dastardly plans of not only England's enemies (i.e. the Sanguinets) but also personal enemies (such as Cobra, their own reputation, the Dandy Lion and a horrid kidnapper).
- The Riddle Saga should be read in the following order:
The Riddle of Alabaster Royal
The Riddle of the Lost Lover
The Riddle of Reluctant Rake ?
- The Harlequin Trilogy should be read in the following order:
Men Were Deceivers Ever
The Dirty Frog
Love's Lady Lost