A foolish duke is too proud to tell his beloved about his problems and almost loses her as a result.
Any novelist who serves up love at first sight on Page 1 has a hard task ahead—to conjure up enough problems to move the characters and the plot through several hundred more pages before the lovers achieve their happily-ever-after. Quinn (When a Marquis Chooses a Bride, 2016, etc.) is mostly successful in the third book in her Regency series, The Worthingtons. Lady Louisa Vivers captivates Gideon, Duke of Rothwell, the moment she gallops past him on an early-morning ride. Both Louisa and Gideon know their own hearts relatively quickly. But Gideon is preoccupied with the terrible mess he’s inherited from his father, who suffered from dementia in the years before he died. He squandered much of the estate’s assets and allowed himself to be swindled by a courtesan. Gideon is determined to restore the dukedom’s fortunes himself, with no help from Louisa’s dowry and no help from Louisa herself. He refuses even to tell her what’s going on, not wanting to sully her ears with the sordid tale. Louisa is no fool and knows that Gideon is hiding something from her. Everyone who knows the whole story urges Gideon to let Louisa know the truth, but he's afraid that Louisa will barge in and manage the whole affair. Louisa wants a true partnership with Gideon, while Gideon wants to shield her from real life and any semblance of work. This is a frustrating tableau for the reader, who comes easily to like these well-drawn characters and their outrageous families.
In fact, the happy and chaotic family life that takes place around the edges of the love story is what makes this novel so delightful. A fun read.