After watching her beloved sister Sophia pine over the ton’s Golden Boy for years, Miss Julia St. Claire has foresworn love and put herself firmly on the shelf. Unfortunately, her social-climbing mother and debt-ridden father have other ideas, and jump at the chance to marry Julia off to the newly-named Earl of Clivesden…the man of Sophia’s dreams.
Since resigning his Cavalry commission, Benedict Revelstoke has spent his time in London avoiding the marriage mart. But when he discovers that the Earl of Clivesden has set Julia in his sights, Benedict tries to protect his childhood best friend from the man’s advances—only to discover more than friendship driving his desire to defend her. He surprises them both with the force of his feelings, but when she refuses him and her father announces her betrothal, he fears he’s lost her forever—until Julia approaches him with a shocking scheme that will ruin her for all respectable society…
…and lead them into an exquisite world of forbidden pleasures.
This book is actually two separate love stories, with four different POV characters. I have to admit, I have really come to enjoy stories where there is a main romance with another smaller romance woven in with it. Maybe the secondary couple isn’t enough to warrant their own tale, but their addition to another couple’s journey can just give it that little something extra.
It really worked here.
Plus I think Highgate was my favorite of all the characters.
If there was any flaw in my enjoyment, it would be that the story was lacking a little something in the “realizing we’re in love and not just BFFs” between the two main characters. I mean, you know they’re in love, I just wish it was more of a gradual stumble than it was.
Still, it was an enjoyable historical romance that featured: compromising positions, necessary betrothals, overbearing parents and rakes getting theirs.
3.5 stars. Can’t wait to see what Ms. Macnamara gives us next.
I hope it involves exposed ankles.
(and for the record, I think either couple could have stood on their own in this case, but weaving the two stories together really adds something. Especially when the rake gets his. Gawd that guy was a dink.)