Expected Release Date: February 5, 2013
Author’s Website: http://sophiejordan.net/
My Source for This Book: Edelweiss
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2.5, The Forgotten Princesses
Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a Standalone
Steam Level: Steamy
Pet Peeves: Whirlwind Romance, Strangely Named Heroine, Misleading Blurb
Favorite Tropes: Enemies To Lovers, Heroine Off-Limits, Unrequited Love
Intended for one man…
All her life, everyone assumed Paget Ellsworth, the vicar’s daughter, would marry the Earl of Winningham’s youngest son. And when he left for war with his older brother, Jamie, words and promises were not necessary. She would wait.
But destined for another…
Four years pass, and the death of his father forces Jamie home to take up the reins as the new earl, leaving his brother fighting on the front lines a world away. Maddening, infuriating, sexy Jamie makes Paget question her feelings. One glimpse, one word from him awakens desire in her heart. When a simple kiss spirals out of control at the annual Valentine’s Day ball, she realizes the man she never wanted is the man she needs…but will Paget cast aside all she’s ever thought to be true to win the man of her dreams?
What Worked For Me:
- Oh, how I adore a good “enemies to lovers” story! Jamie and Paget have been at odds ever since childhood, and that apparent animosity has only grown over the years, coming to a head when Jamie has inherited the title when his sickly older brother (and Paget’s friend) passed away. I loved the tension between the two of them that stemmed from their childhood rivalry, as well as the very obvious chemistry that existed between them.
- Oh the chemistry between Paget and James was scrumptious! *fans self* The heat in this little novella was a pleasant surprise, and perfect for this cold February.
- I loved the angst caused by the fact that Paget was “off-limits” so to speak, given that she had a childhood attachment to Jamie’s brother, Owen.
- I was very happy with the epilogue as well, as it settled some misgivings I might have had about the story otherwise.
- This doesn’t count towards the final rating, but there’s a snippet for the next book at the end, and I’m simply dying to read the full story!
What Didn’t Work For Me:
- A minor issue, but I hated the heroine’s name. I didn’t let it bother me much, but still, not a fan.
- I honestly didn’t like Paget’s father’s reaction to the events at the ball. While I appreciated that it illustrated just how much he loved his daughter, and also illustrated the differences between Paget and Jamie’s childhoods, it felt a bit too unrealistic for the times.
- I’ve never been a fan of whirlwind romance, and as with many novellas, the love developed between Paget and Jamie too quickly for my tastes. The lust I could buy, but the I Love You’s came far too quickly for me to really buy them.
- This didn’t count against the final rating, but the blurb was misleading. It was the death of Jamie’s older brother, not his father, that forced him to come home from the war, leaving Owen behind. This, to me, was a very important distinction, because of both Paget’s friendship with his older brother before his death, and because of Jamie’s childhood position as the (emotionally neglected) middle child.
A delightfully steamy little novella with some of my favorite tropes — enemies to lovers, an “off-limits” heroine, a bit of a compromising situation, and a dash of unrequited love. Perfect for Valentine’s Day, my only real complaint was that the romance was a touch too “whirlwind” for my tastes, but that’s the case with most novellas.
Even though this is technically part of a series, I thought it worked perfectly well as a standalone, and don’t think that it would be at all necessary to read the other books in the series before picking up this story.
Recommended for fans of childhood nemeses who discover there’s more to each other than they first thought, of headstrong characters who refuse to let society dictate their lives, and of holding out for that perfect Happily Ever After.