The heroine of this book has fair hair…(??)
Mr Hugh Grey and Miss Eleanor Broxton share a scintillating liaison the night before he leaves for war in Canada. The memory sustained him for the years he was away. Now, the reputed rake is back, knighted, and he’s got enough money to right the estate his father left in ruins. What would make Sir Hugh Grey’s world perfect is the lovely Eleanor by his side.
Their attraction is sizzling, and the sweet way Hugh is wooing her—a kitten, kisses in the moonlight, and expert help in lighting her dreary work space—makes Eleanor dream of forever with her strapping knight. But she will not risk a scandal, which could ruin his newfound respectability and esteem, especially in her father’s eyes. When Hugh discovers what she’s been hiding, it could drive them apart forever.
I don’t consider it a spoiler to say that this is a “secret baby” book. The information is right there in the blurb, and it is information we learn very early on.
I’m going to say this at the start: a skunk is an *American* animal. There was some US English in this book I overlooked because the writing was good, but the suggestion of skunks in the forests of 1810s England made me groan.
I was *really* excited when I started reading. Despite belatedly noticing the book dealt with my most hated trope (that secret baby), I was enjoying this so much I stayed up until sunrise reading.
However, as the story continued – and continued – it became quite clear this was yet another “secret baby” book where the hero wouldn’t find out he was a father until too late (for the woman to be redeemed in my eyes). She had no good reason for her secrets and lies. They were back together, lovers, declaring their love, no barriers between them – and she STILL didn’t tell him.
When they again started having sex at the halfway mark, I thought he should already have known. But it wasn’t until 63% in that she finally confessed (while crying – again). There was no reason they couldn’t have been together – and happy. There were no other barriers to their relationship.
I had one other issue: the short scenes. Each chapter features lots of little snippets of things, two or three pages of characters doing stuff, before we jump ahead in time to the next. Additionally, each of these time-jumps comes with three days later, two weeks later, the next morning, the next evening written at the top of them. I felt like I was reading a film script.
I don’t know what happened that a book I was enjoying so much became a book that made me so frustrated. I gave the heroine until beyond the halfway point to come clean, and she didn’t. This is why I dislike “secret babies” so much.
On the other hand, I’d be happy to try another book by this author – provided the theme is different!
Review copy provided by NetGalley.