A Regency-era romance about an orphaned young woman and the handsome nobleman who attempts to find her a husband.
Anna Colbrook watches a suitor depart from her home after her aging stepgrandfather—Alfred Sinclair, the fifth Earl of Wareton—has rejected the man’s offer to marry her. When Anna confronts the elderly man, he forbids her from marrying until after her younger stepsister, Madeline, does. If Anna attempts to marry sooner, she’ll forfeit the inheritance that her mother bequeathed to her and have no dowry. Unfortunately, Madeline is only 12 years old and Anna’s in her early 20s. After her grandfather dies, Anna remains legally bound by his rules. Thankfully, the new earl doesn’t choose to reside at the estate, and Anna finds happiness living alone with her stepsister and managing their home. When the absentee earl also dies, his successor, the young Adrian Sinclair, a reformed rake, takes up residence in the family home as the seventh Earl of Wareton. He and his family are intent on finding Anna a match, if for no other reason than to be rid of her. As Adrian attempts to find a husband for Anna, he’s surprised by her reluctance to marry. Anna’s true reason for wishing to remain single runs deeper than her uncle’s old decree; as Adrian attempts to discover Anna’s motivations, the pair argues continually. But as they grow better acquainted, they’re surprised by what they discover. Debut novelist Rue’s fast-paced narrative and engaging dialogue will draw readers in from the start. The story, told from Anna’s and Adrian’s alternating perspectives, is chock-full of Jane Austen–esque misunderstandings and misread motivations as well as stolen kisses. As the two characters attempt to secure the happiness of others at their own expense, the author sprinkles in engaging action scenes and appearances by entertaining secondary players, adding richness to the plot. The romance also contains some delightfully swoonworthy moments as well as unexpected twists and turns that add much-needed suspense toward the end.
A solid historical novel with two headstrong characters.