London, 1819. Four years ago, Darius, the Earl of Redgrave fled London two weeks before his wedding to Lady Mary’s sister and married another woman. Now a widower, he has returned to seek a new wife.
One woman catches his eye . . .
At first, Lady Mary doesn’t recognise the handsome lord as the cad who ran out on her sister. After giving him the cut direct in a London ballroom, she finds herself running into him everywhere she goes, and fighting a forbidden attraction. Not only has Mary sworn off men, Redgrave is so very wrong for her. But she cannot stop thinking of his kisses. Redgrave means to stay away from Mary but it is impossible. Passion between two people who can never be together is a dangerous game.
While there is nothing new in this story compared to other Regency romances, it is an easy way to pass a few hours as the author has a nice writing style.
The hero jilted the heroine’s older sister some years ago, and when he returns to London in search of a new wife (his first wife having died), the only one he is attracted to is the worst choice possible.
As I said, I enjoyed the writing style. Some people seem to write in a Regency style better than others, and Callie Hutton’s writing fits the era. It finds a balance between traditional and appealing to a modern reader.
However, I thought it was a bit ridiculous that the wife of a duke made sure all her children learnt how to cook and do housework! A little anachronistic egalitarianism there! And I wish the heroine didn’t keep tripping and needing to be steadied by the hero (why do so many romance heroines do this?).
There are a few things I personally would have done differently with the plot, as the heroine knows exactly who the hero is from the very beginning and so the tension follows the same line the whole way. I’d have had them get to know each other a bit, and then be faced with the conflict.
I do think this book is fine as a standalone, as it was definitely not easy to pick what stories had come before.
Overall, a solid Regency romance.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.