Expected Release Date: April 23, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Imprint: Pocket Books
Author’s Website: http://www.candace-camp.com/
My Source for This Book: Edelweiss
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, St. Dwynwen
Series Best Read In Order: Worked reasonably well as a standalone; would recommend reading in order
Steam Level: Warm
Pet Peeves: None
Favorite Tropes: Marriage To Avoid Scandal, Friends To Lovers
Genevieve Stafford, the younger sister of the Earl of Rawdon (A Summer Seduction), is an icy but beautiful aristocrat. Determined to make the sort of marital alliance expected of a woman of her station, she becomes engaged to the scion of another noble family. However, when Genevieve finds herself entangled in scandal, her fiancé breaks things off. Shamed, she has no recourse but to retreat to the family estate…until her brother’s friend, Sir Myles Thorwood, offers to marry Genevieve and salvage her reputation.
Genevieve expects to have a loveless marriage of convenience, but the handsome, charming Myles has other things in mind. As the two of them work to discover who engineered the scandal that could have ruined Genevieve’s life, Myles shows Genevieve just what it means to be man and wife. Genevieve finds it difficult to resist the passion Myles evokes in her, but can she risk losing her heart to a man she thinks sees their union as only a duty?
What Worked For Me:
- I loved that Myles wasn’t a saint, but he wasn’t a debauched rake either. The fact that he was known to discreetly visit a widow or two in his time kept him realistic, but the fact that he wasn’t a womanizer despite his good looks and charming demeanor made him far more likable.
- I enjoyed Genevieve’s pride, and the fact that she didn’t just immediately embrace the idea that marrying Myles was her best (and indeed only) option.
- I’ve always enjoyed friends to lovers stories, especially when the friendship is more of the kind where there is good-natured bickering rather than a bosom-buddies type of relationship, so I certainly enjoyed that aspect of Genevieve and Myles’ relationship. Another thing I enjoy about that dynamic is the transition from a platonic relationship to a more intimate one, and the interesting and often awkward situations that arise. In this case, I loved the patience that Myles exhibited, and Genevieve’s confusion and even impatience with him. Very well done.
- I admit, it’s a terrible guilty pleasure of mine when the older relative scares the bejeezus out of the virginal bride with talk of the wedding night. That’s horrible of me, I know, but it never fails to make me smile and this was no exception.
- On a similar note, I liked that the chemistry and heat was slow-building. I appreciated that Myles took the time to *gasp* seduce his bride, rather than just give her a few heated kisses and then pounce on her on their wedding night. It was a welcome change to many romances these days, and I think that both the steam and the romance itself greatly benefited from it.
- I loved the stubbornness between Genevieve and Myles after they returned to London, where neither would give up a single inch. The tension and angst between them was thick enough to cut with a knife, and even though it did get to the point eventually where I thought they both deserved a good lashing, I can’t deny that it was a lot of fun for the majority of the time.
What Didn’t Work For Me:
- Even though I’d read the first book in the series (so long ago in fact that I didn’t even realize that I’d read it until I went back and read the synopsis for it — I didn’t recognize the characters as I was reading this story), I felt a bit lost at times for not being familiar with the main characters from the first two books. While this will probably be a positive point for fans of the first two books in the series, it’s a bit rare for the third book in a series to feature previous characters quite so heavily, and I felt that it was a bit of a detriment to my enjoyment of this book.
- I almost feel guilty listing it as a negative point for me, since I also listed it as a positive point, but the stubbornness of both Myles and Genevieve once they reached town made me want to slap them both, or at least give them both a good shake.
Even though I’ve read the first book in the series, I hadn’t had the opportunity to read the second, and as such I was unfamiliar with two of the characters who play a large part of this story. I was able to follow along reasonably well with the romance between Myles and Genevieve, but even so, I probably recommend that new readers pick up the first two books in the series before picking up this installment.
That said, I truly enjoyed the byplay between the playful Myles and the overly serious Genevieve, with wounded pride, shattered dreams, bitter disappointment, and bashful hopes all blending together beautifully in this charming tale of two seemingly mismatched friends who end up in married to avoid a terrible scandal.
While some of their antics in London got to be a bit annoying, overall, it was quite an entertaining story.
A very solid 4/5 Stars