A nobleman’s son returns from eight years of spy work on the Continent to discover that he’s about to be disinherited, if he’s not convicted of murder first.
Gracie (The Winter Bride, 2014, etc.) returns with the third book in her Chance Sisters series, featuring Jane Chance, who has spent a lifetime evading lecherous men because of her beautiful face and figure. She and her sisters (one biological, two sisters of the heart) have escaped from poverty thanks to Lady Beatrice Davenham, an eccentric and lonely old lady. Two of Jane’s sisters have recently made brilliant love matches, but Jane is more practical. Her parents were disinherited for running off together. They both died in poverty, leaving Jane under the protection of her sister Abby when the girls were only 6 and 12 years old. Jane is determined not to let love lead her into such foolish behavior that might possibly subject her future children to a life of hunger and peril like her own childhood. She accepts the proposal of a rich but dull baron in spite of her growing attraction to Zachary Black, a mysterious figure who changes accents more frequently than he changes clothes. Zach, meanwhile, can’t declare himself to Jane until he’s cleared of a long-ago murder charge and routed the cousin who's trying to take over his inheritance. With both Jane and Zach using assumed names, their eventual unveiling will make them more compatible than they expect.
In spite of a rather convoluted plot and a herky-jerky beginning, the novel settles into a funny and fast-paced rhythm. The main characters are vibrant and complex, and if some of the secondary characters are a bit typecast, the author’s skill as a storyteller makes this well worth reading.