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Beautiful Miss Libby Ames knew little about the man who landed unexpectedly at her country manor Only that he called himself Mr Nesbitt Duke a London merchant And after one look at Libby he claimed he’d fallen in love But it was soon clear that this handsome stranger was not being entirely truthful Arriving at Libby’s doorstep was not fate but rather an encounter of Nesbitt’s own design Further his position in life was far from that of a merchant His name too was a lie But his true identity was still not the greatest mystery For Libby had no idea of the secret longings of her own heart—or what to do next about the mystery man and the passionate love that has taken her by shocking surprise

10 thoughts on “Libby's London Merchant

  1. says:

    I picked up this book reluctantly even though Carla Kelly is one of my favorite authors It involves a duke disguised as a chocolate merchant meeting and falling in love with a penniless lady whom he mistakenly believes is wealthy Meh But there were some glowing reviews and CK has never let me down So I began slowly and then I could hardly put it down This is one of the best romances I've ever read Carla Kelly is a genius It is no accident that this book is a 5 star Desert Island Keeper on All About Romance At the reuest of his best friend Benedict Nesbitt Duke of Knaresborough agrees to disguise himself as a chocolate merchant and travel to Kent to inspect the bride that the friend's father has picked out He stages a carriage accident near the lady's home but it goes awry and Nez is injured rather seriously Libby the intended bride and her mentally damaged young brother rescue him and send for Anthony Cook the local doctor Several things uickly become apparent Anthony is in love with Libby but she sees him as just a sweet but clumsy and overweight neighbor Nez is an alcoholic who drinks to forget the horrible things he witnessed in the Peninsular Wars Libby is not wealthy although her cousin Lydia is Nez falls in love with her and decides to cut out his friend and marry her himself I can't discuss this any without spoilers so if you like Carla Kelly and you haven't read this book don't read any farther in this review In fact don't read any reviews Just get the book Right nowHere Be Spoilersview spoilerCK has written that rarest of Regency romances a true love triangle where the reader finds herself as torn as Libby does Nez is handsome and flirtatious and even disguised as a merchant he cannot completely hide his air of command Dr Cook personifies the Hippocratic oath He is kind generous dedicated gentle self effacing and determined to free Nez from his addiction Libby aids him in this mission sitting day after night with Nez while he suffers the awful symptoms of withdrawal After sobering up Nez becomes even appealing and Libby begins to think that perhaps a merchant would not object to her lack of a dowry Meanwhile we see what a remarkably wonderful man Dr Cook is but Libby rejects his proposal Inevitably the big reveal comes Libby and Anthony find out that Nez is a duke and Nez discovers that Libby is the penniless offspring of a disinherited soldier and a tobacconist's daughter Then Kelly pulls off another outrageous stunt Nez behaves exactly as a man of his station would behave Although he truly loves her he immediately decides that he cannot makes this woman his duchess so he offers to make her his mistress What will Libby choose? A glittering life of luxury with a man who loves her but cannot give her his name or a life of uiet dedication married to a doctor whose patients will always come first and whose father by the way hates Libby and her little brother? hide spoiler

  2. says:

    I've said it before but it warrants repeating Carla Kelly is a genius I read this straight through in about five hours and finally turned my light out at about 330am with all the good swirly feelings rattling around my heart That's rather the problem with trying to review Kelly So much of her appeal is in that completely undefinable ability to write a story that storms its way right into your soul and yet does so with such subtlety you don't even realise it until it's 2am and you simply must keep reading because you're so invested in the characters you have to know what's going to happen even though this is romance and we know there will be a happy ending I'm not a big crier generally in life but I had a little weep towards the end of this one because of the tension than anything else I've never read a romance where i didn't know who the heroine would eventually end up with but here we have one A genuine love triangle and in a traditional Carla Kelly Regency who would've thought it? A love triangle no less in which my allegiances swung between the two heroes I suppose there's only one hero really and I won't spoiler it by revealing who it is but it felt as though there were two on multiple occasions The reader lives and feels the journey of the heroine Libby who is completely torn between the two heroes until the very last moment when she finally sees everyone and everything how they really are All the characters are top notch brilliant brilliant characterisation The plot is humourous and light but with dark moments and difficult issues war alcoholism disability It takes a truly deft writer to balance all of that Libby is optimistic and clever and resourceful but at times misguided and sad Nez is in many ways the consummate duke and Kelly doesn't forget his position when it would have been very easy to do so in order to resolve things but damaged by his wartime experiences and who finds a happiness he hasn't known when he is unexpectedly ensconced in Libby's community and her life Then there's Dr Cook bespectacled large not fat but 'a clinker built coal barge' clumsy except when he's treating patients Dr Cook who is in love with Libby from the outset Oh I cannot do this book any kind of justice you should just go and read it It was so good I wasn't even bothered that there was only kissing Wonderful wonderful book Go go read

  3. says:

    Closer to 35 starsYou've heard of the phrases 'beauty is skin deep' and 'appearances can be deceiving' LIBBY'S LONDON MERCHANT concerned three people and how each of their appearances affected the other It was the first of two books about Benedict Nesbett the Seventh Duke of Knaresborough I strongly recommend if you are interested in this duo to read LLM before starting ONE GOOD TURNNez as he is called by family and friends had drunk himself into blindness Oh wait a minute it is the pillow laying across his face Well he does have issues; he is an alcoholic long before the term came into being While literally under the table he made a deal with his drinking buddy Eustace His mission to disguise himself as a merchant and peruse his friend's future wife If she is ugly he will let Eustace know so he can but some distance between himself and the lady But as in many of Ms Kelly's stories her characters are flawed and things never go as intendedNez's journey had him involved in a very real accident in front of the home of Libby Ames a relative of Eustace's intended He was taken in and cared for by Libby and her 'friend' Dr Anthony Cook Their mission? To heal his injuries and dry him out Nez in disguise as a chocolate merchant was a nasty patientTony was a beta male He had silently loved Libby for a long time But she just considered him a necessary companion and sometime confidant He had his attributes he was tall had a lustrous head of hair and a kindly attitude Unfortunately he loved to eat and it showed He was also clumsy knocking into and tripping over various household items How much this was affected by Libby's very presence would never be known Lastly he wore glasses Glasses that slid to the end of his nose and fell off his face Of course it doesn't help his rumpled appearance The poor guyLIBBY'S LONDON MERCHANT had its fair share of plot twists As the story continued Libby fell in love And normally I am not a big fan of two guys pursuing one woman someone always gets hurt But in this case it was necessary because it drove the story Nez and Tony had their moments but each of these men pulled out the big guns to win her hand I was surprised that I enjoyed this book as much as I did because I read the duo out of order I had some minor uibbles because a few issues did not match with the content of the seuel But they could be easily overlooked And Ms Kelly's stories rarely disappoint me This was a story of a young woman whose very youth she is 20 years old factored in with complicated emotions that affected her decisions As the reader I enjoyed when Libby had her 'Ah ha' moments And except for a few kisses here and there and some minor groping by the soon to be excited husband at the end it is a clean romance and a traditional style Regency

  4. says:

    This is probably my all time favorite historical romance novel It certainly was the first time I ever finished a book turned back to the first page and immediately re read it

  5. says:

    Libby's London Merchant is the story of Libby and NezCookI am going to try to write this without spoilers but oh what a wonderfully written and engaging story The duke the doctor and the damsel's decisions kept me hookedThe book begins with the duke heavily drunk and in throes of intoxication He is coerced by his shrewd cousin to go out and spy on his fiance After much blackmail he agrees to masuerade as a chocolate selling merchant only to experience severe withdrawal and collapse on the heroine's doorstep The heroine is impoverished due to her late father's decisions and works as a servant for her cousin's family Her mother too has a job of servitude and her brain damaged brother is their focus of care and protection The duke is then rescued by the heroine and her sweet neighboring doctor and slowly nursed back to health But as love starts blooming cupid strikes everyone and soon the heroine is at impasse She has to choose between a titled royalty and a hardworking physician and what she ultimately decides and why forms the storyThis book has such a strong plot The characters are well fleshed out and very very interesting Until the last page I was rooting for one and suealed when it did come true We as readers get to experience the sweet romance the gut wrenching angst the anxiety of her predicament and the ultimate happiness of her final choice So many scenes work for me I think the author wonderfully wove the web of their intricate relationships We saw the sweet romance develop between the duke and heroine as well as comfort and love between the doctor and her We saw her in a bind when she was betrayed her heart when she felt and also did not feel the passion Her capability to care and forgive was admirable and despite the lashing gunshots betrayals propositions deadlocks and kisses I'm glad she chose the right man at the end She deserved better and respect and she got itHeavily recommend this book because it was amazing and the actual heroheroine's love is SO GOODSafeish455

  6. says:

    she just writes the most fantastic heroes

  7. says:

    I was uite surprised when I picked up this book At first glance it seemed to have many things I don’t particularly like romance the first of which is a love triangle but it the end Kelly convinced me again I wasn’t as enthusiastic as with the previous one I read by her but it was a satisfying read especially because the right man won in the end So Kelly starts off with something that is not that original Two drunken friends one asks the other to go and check if the fiancée his father arranged for him is ugly as sin we can almost see the friend falling for the girl etc etc but that’s not how Kelly tells itInstead of the fiancée the friends find her cousin a sensible and beautiful girl He is injured in an accident and spends some time at her house being tended by her and the doctor The doctor is a clumsy big man who is also in love with Libby but whose lack of social graces and general clumsiness make him the butt of jokes The friend a duke in disguise pretending to be a merchant and Libby proceed to fall in love but when he plans to offer Libby’s cousin tells him she has no dowry and is the daughter of an uneual marriage that lead to her father being disinherited Unable to face social disgrace the duke pretends he had a less than honourable intentions which leads to Libby refusing him It’s a huge deception for her and the tragic part is that the duke is not that bad a person he will eventually realize his mistake In the mean time Libby becomes closer to the doctor she gets to know him better to appreciate his ualities not the less of which is how he treats her brother a boy who is a bit slow but who Libby loves dearly I was a bit worried because Kelly does make Libby a bit too undecided; in fact she stays undecided about which suitor to favor almost till the end However considering this was not your standard regency romance and I like originality it worked very well that way When I think of the book as a whole I realize many different subjects are brought into this plot None of the characters is black and white there’s mention of physical wounds and brain damage the relationship of fathers and sons the social rules and behavior of polite society and the contrast of those of the common people alcoholism she creates a very vivid world and that is very attractive In the end I closed the book with a deeply satisfied sigh but I realize that readers who prefer standard regency plots might not be as happy with this oneGrade 455

  8. says:

    4 StarsRead for the 2015 TBR Challenge January Short Shorts The challenge is hosted by Wendy the Super Librarian Libby's London Merchant has been on my radar ever since I started reading historical romance in undergrad and I was excited to get a copy through Paperback Swap Then I got distracted and three years later I hadn't even opened it But thanks to the 2015 TBR Challenge over at The Misadventures of Super Librarian I finally read it And I found to be both surprising and enjoyableThis review is going to be a little weird due to the fact that I think most of my enjoyment came out of the unpredictable nature of the plot I do not want to spoil anything for future readers so am trying to sing the praises of Ms Kelly's work without offering specific evidence But I can say that I was very impressed with the character development and the writing style The center of this book is the titular Libby Ames who is a poor relation of a baronet in Kent Her life is pretty routine as she helps manage her uncle's house and acts as a companion to her spoiled cousin Things change forever when a mysterious merchant Nez Duke is injured in a carriage accident outside the house and she works alongside the town doctor Anthony Cook to mend himI really liked the three main characters that Carla Kelly focused on in this book Libby Nez and Anthony I am rarely a fan of love triangles but I can appreciate what she was trying to accomplish with this book There are many stereotypes when it comes to historical romances and this story really turns them on their heads such as the reformed rake and the always popular groveling moment at the endThe main issue that I had with Libby's London Merchant was the uneven pacing especially at the beginning I understand that the author was trying to establish the characters and their place in each other's world but I kept getting distracted and was close to putting it down But by the middle the action picks up and I was easily able to plow through the rest So I do want to warn future readers to keep going through the first few chapters know that it does get better and is worth it by the endSo while it took me a long time to actually read it I am happy that I finally finished Libby's London Merchant Carla Kelly has a very distinct writing style and it was a pleasant change from the other historical romances I have been reading lately

  9. says:

    Carla Kelly's stories are not what I would call witty or sparkling in fact I often find the humor in them rather forced as happened a time or two with this one but she still manages to come as close to Georgette Heyer as anyone I have read in the sense that her characters become very real to me and so far I haven't read a lot of her books she is not predictable the way say Jayne Ann Krentz is I adore JAK but the fact is all her heroes and heroines are of the same personality types and blur in my brain; the plots vary somewhat but the two leads are only different in the sense of having had different experiences rather than being truly different personalities Kelly's leads thus far do not fit so neatly into two types Kelly also manages to deal with serious issues without beating me over the head with them the way Mary Jo Putney can The serious aspects fit naturally in with the plot and characters instead of feeling plastered in there to make a point Kelly's stories are not as sparkling as Heyer's but they also aren't as mannered they have a down to earth feel to them that I enjoy When I think about it the plot is just as contrived as it is in the average regency point is when I'm actually reading the thing I don't think about it I'm happy to go along for the ride and the way people act makes sense which is than I get from many another romance authorI was somewhat spoilered with this one which may have influenced me but I think I would have liked it just as well if I hadn't known some things going in

  10. says:

    I do love the plot truth be told even the characters and the dramas here and there The problem is personally it is poorly executed like there's something lacking Nevertheless I did enjoy the romance twist in the story