Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Date published: 13 June 2012
Reviewed by Helen
Obtained via publisher
Suzanna March's grandfather was a farmer and her father was in trade. Now she's an heiress and beautiful as well. But at eighteen she's clumsy, inept and unused to being among the ton. Plus the rakish Lord Danning gives her a very public set-down. A year later she's back, her person and manners brightly polished, ready to take the town by storm.
During that year Lord Danning's finances have sunk desperately low and he needs to marry an heiress very soon and besides the charming redhead arouses him as no other does.
On a superficial level, this is a cute story of thwarted love finding its retribution. A powerful theme, and one that fits two very complicated and equally powerful characters. Both Royce and Suzanna have many layers to their personalities, plus secrets, friendships, and justifications aplenty. As a short, fast read by an uncritical reader, it's a nice way to spend an afternoon, with happy feelings at the end.
Unfortunately, for a reader who prefers historical romances, or a fussy reader looking for logic and consistency, the book is a disappointment. None of the main characters behave as people in that era did. Women then had no status. They could not openly say yes or no to a lover. They were under the control of a father, brother, or husband, with zero legal rights. Also, for an unmarried woman, especially an innocent one, to leave the room with a rake, would be the end of her acceptance in society. Her brother would have called out the rake, the girl would have been ruined, and they'd have been married at sword point before the end of chapter two.
My advice is to treat the setting as wallpaper, don’t take it seriously, and just enjoy the characters.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.