Etta

Double Book Review: A Pendant for Trouble & The Selkie Scandal (Lady Diviner Series Prequels)

Author: Rosalie Oaks

Prequels to the Lady Diviner Series

Published January 2021 [Book 0.5]

A mysterious pendant, a distracting earl, an unfolding scandal…

Miss Elinor Avely can’t resist the call of a large jewel mysteriously concealed at a ducal garden party. After all, if the Earl of Beresford isn’t attending, what else is Elinor to do with herself? Her talent for divining jewels can be an intriguing distraction for once, instead of a carefully guarded family secret.

Of course, her hunt for the jewel leads her straight into a mystery – and worse, an undignified encounter with Beresford. Yet when Elinor’s quest goes from unseemly to scandalous, he is the one who tries to save her.

The question is: will she let him?

A Pendant for Trouble is the prequel novella to the Lady Diviner historical mystery series, set in the Regency era with generous servings of magic, mystery, and romance.

The events in A Pendant for Trouble create a prequel novella in the Lady Diviner Series. The prequel is referenced throughout the first novel, The Lady Jewel Diviner. It gives the backstory of the jewel incident involving our main character and explains her move from London society to the Devon countryside where we see her at the start of book one. The series can be read without reading this prequel, but the series is best enjoyed by reading this novella first to gain an understanding of the backstory and to be better acquainted with some of the characters. I read the first novel before circling back to this one and there is a part of me that wishes I did it in order to have that initial foundation, but I still enjoyed the first novel immensely regardless of the lack of reading order.

Miss Elinor Avely is a jewel diviner where she can sense the presence of jewels and uses her ability to find them. She is among London society in Regency England as The Season social events are occurring. She is not actively looking for a marriage partner, but she is not completely opposed to the idea. Her brother is interested in a popular woman, but has his work cut out for him as competition is stiff. The two of them are attending a society event where there is tea and socializing. While walking in the gardens, Elinor senses a jewel necklace near a statue. She decides to try and locate its owner without rousing suspicion and become accused of stealing and any questions for how she came across the jewel.

She comes across the Earl of Beresford, who is a character featured in the main series. The readers are introduced to the tangled web that becomes of their meeting at the garden party that later gets mentioned later in the series. It was excellent to read about their backstory and interactions before book one’s story takes place as Beresford is a fun character that is a great mix of serious with light banter. The story ends as it sets itself up for the first novel and I cannot wait to get back into reading this series as I still need to start book two!

**I give a special thank you to the author, Rosalie Oaks, for a copy of this enjoyable novella through her newsletter. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**


Published January 2021 [Book 1.5]

A royal ransom, a dangerous rescue, and the famous Beresford jam…

England, 1804: the Earl of Beresford has his morning interrupted by naked selkie royalty. The seal-woman in question wants Beresford to find her brother, the High Prince of Skerry, who has been taken hostage for two thousand guineas.

Lord Beresford knows the coast better than he knows his own cravat—but his wits alone may not be enough to stop a war and save a selkie prince from death. Thankfully, he also has a whole case of the famous Beresford Jam.

Who stole the seal prince? How will Beresford find him? And what really happened at the royal birthday party?

The Selkie Scandal is an inter-novella in the Lady Diviner series, set in Regency era England with generous servings of magic, manners, and mystery.

In this second prequel to the Lady Diviner series, we see how Jaq, the selkie, and the Earl of Beresford came to have a friendship/bond. It gives the background of how they met and how their relationship exists once the events in the Lady Diviner series takes place. Although it is considered book number 1.5 in the series, this prequel could be read before A Pendant for Trouble (#0.5) or Lady Jewel Diviner (#1) or even after. It is not required to read this one before beginning the main series, but it does give the fun backstory for Jaq and his star.

In Regency England, the year 1804, the Earl of Beresford meets a female selkie. She is Seraphine, the princess of Skerry and selkie royalty. She wants the Earl’s assistance to find her brother, Jaq, the High Prince of Skerry, who has been kidnapped and is being held ransom for two thousand guineas. There are also the mysterious events that took place at a birthday party to take into account.

This is a very fun and easy short read that gives some fun background into selkies and introduces a new supernatural being in this universe, the merpeople. It was nice to see a new group of beings introduced to this universe and I am curious how they will be featured, if at all. As both Jaq and the Earl of Beresford are featured in the main series, this novella provides background for both characters. I missed Elinor as she is a delightful character, but it was nice to see Jaq and the Earl in their own tale as their relationship existed before Elinor comes across either in novel one.

Similar to the other prequel, this novel was a delightful quick read. Lord Beresford gets directly introduced to magic with the merfolk and selkies around him. He becomes a believer as he witnesses magic right in front of him. It was great to learn about his character while he interacts with Seraphine and later Jaq. Both Jaq and Beresford experience some character growth that sets them up perfectly to give background to their personalities in the main part of the series. For a shorter novella, the writing covers a lot of material that did not feel rushed or dragged. After finishing this novella and novel one, I am looking forward to moving forward and starting novel two and, eventually, novel three!

**I want to give a special thank you to BookSirens and the author, Rosalie Oaks, for an ARC of this enjoyable prequel novella. The opinions expressed are completely own.**

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