Frothy first in a series of historical romances inspired by classic 1980s teen movies.
In this Regency romance with a decidedly modern feel, Leigh (Dare To Love a Duke, 2018, etc.) pairs the bluestocking daughter of an earl with a bookish commoner. Lady Grace Wyatt is a scientist, content studying reptiles and amphibians until her ailing father begs her to find a husband. She has a man in mind: handsome, charming Mason Fredericks, a naturalist whose viscount father generously bankrolls his research. Alas, Grace’s womanly virtues are lost on Mason, so she enlists the help of anthropologist Sebastian Holloway to generate some attention-getting buzz. Seb finds it all too easy to “pretend” to be infatuated with the confident, intelligent, and lovely Grace, but, in a gender-swapped Pygmalion, he needs lessons in etiquette before anyone will believe he is a serious rival. As he puts it, “I’m just a tongue-tied scholar in scuffed boots. The idea that anyone could mistake me for a suave man about town is ludicrous.” Grace and Seb show off their fauxmance at the usual Regency romance haunts, growing closer every day. The friends-to-lovers plot always requires a certain obliviousness, but both protagonists are ignorant to a credibility-stretching degree. Otherwise, Grace and Seb are delightful together, and Seb is a breath of non-alpha-hero fresh air. When the dashing Duke of Rotherby, Seb’s boarding school chum, arrives to impart some roguish lessons, he almost ends up outshining his pupil. Luckily, his book is next in The Union of the Rakes. Should be satisfying for readers of Courtney Milan and Tessa Dare.
A sweet faux suitor romance between two scientist friends who find a new passion in one another.