Viscount Hart Highgate has decided to put his rakish ways behind him and finally get married. He may adore a good brandy or a high-speed carriage race, but he takes his duties as heir to the earldom seriously. Now all he has to do is find the right kind of woman to be his bride―ideally, one who’s also well-connected and well-funded. . .
Meg Timmons has loved Hart, the brother of her best friend, ever since she was an awkward, blushing schoolgirl. If only she had a large dowry―or anything to her name at all. Instead, she’s from a family that’s been locked in a bitter feud with Hart’s for years. And now she’s approaching her third London season, Meg’s chances with him are slim to none. Unless a surprise encounter on a deep, dark night could be enough to spark a rebellious romance. . .for all time?
Series: Playful Brides #8| Publisher: St. Martin's |Genre: Historical Romance| Source: Publisher | Rating: 3.5 Cups
A reluctant viscount, a love-struck wallflower, and a meddling matchmaker, what could go wrong?
Here’s what’s going on. Hart’s not thrilled with the notion of settling down, especially when there’s always a new carriage race to win, snifter of brandy to drink, or widow to dally with but he’s finally decided he must do what’s proper for an heir of an earldom. And that would be taking a wife, but not just any wife, one with connections and a dowry who isn’t out to trap him.
Meg’s loved Hart nearly all of her life and now that he’s announced his plans to find a wife, her hopes of him noticing her have been crushed. Not only is she poor as a church mouse, their parents are bitter enemies. Running out of time, Meg does the only thing she can think of and enlists the help of Lucy, Duchesses of Claringdon, who happens to be an expert meddler and matchmaker. Will Meg be able to ensnare Hart or will her circumstances condemn her to a life as a wallflower.
My first romance by Valerie Bowman and I’m addicted. I could not put it down and ended up finishing it in the wee hours of the morning.
One of my favorite historical romance tropes is the reformed rake so I was immediately drawn in because if ever there was a rake, it was Hart. While he was likable and charming, he had his moments of jackassery and there was a few times I so wanted to call him out and tell him to grow up and stop being a bloody wanker.
Oh, Meg, why couldn’t you have opened your mouth and speak your mind? I liked Meg, I did, but I also wanted to shake her on more than one occasion. Given her situation, I understand to a point why she was so timid but if she was willing to go to the length of getting Lucy and her matchmaking madness involved, then she needed to be willing to voice her feelings to all those involved.
The romance took more than a bit of work and it was definitely a slow-building one but the attraction was there. Hart had a lot of internal work to do on himself and Meg, dear Meg, needed to learn how to speak her mind. Honestly, so much drama could have been saved if Meg would have opened up. For being such a wanker at times, Hart was surprisingly open with Meg.
The conflict was actually interesting and came from several sources. However, while the major conflict did work, it could have been avoided if Meg had listened to Hart’s concerns and just played it straight instead of going about things Lucy’s way.
Overall, while I had a few annoyances, I found this one to highly entertaining and addictive. I cannot wait to read the previous books in the series.
Playful Brides Series
The Unexpected Duchess #1
The Accidental Countess #2
The Unlikely Lady #3...
The Irresistible Rogue #4
The Unforgettable Hero #4.5
The Untamed Earl #5
The Legendary Lord #6
Never Trust a Pirate #7
The Right Kind of Rogue #8
A Duke Like No Other #9 (Coming 2018)