The daughter of a wealthy businessman always clashes with a young nobleman when they meet. Do they hate each other, or is it love?
Six years ago, Peter Norwood, Lord Whitly, nicknamed Mari Powel the “Wayward Welsh,” and the moniker stuck. Mari blames her unwed state on the nickname and has tamped down all her natural exuberance in an attempt to avoid being called wayward. For his part, Peter has never forgotten that Mari called him useless and has spent six years in India trying to prove her wrong. Now returned to London, Peter is determined to win Mari’s hand, but Mari is determined to publicly humiliate him the way he humiliated her six years ago. In the third installment of her Rakes and Rogues series, Lee (One Rogue at a Time, 2015, etc.) constructs the story of two people who find each other’s honesty unbearable but can’t stand the insipidity of the rest of society. Mari’s story is unusual because even though her wealthy parents want her to marry a nobleman, they refuse to sell her to a fortune hunter just to get a title. And Peter’s story is unusual because he is both a fortune hunter and legitimately in love with Mari. There are minor inconsistencies in the plot, and the main characters are annoyingly childish at times, but for the most part the novel carries the reader along with sharp dialogue and well-rounded characters. The book follows the pattern of many Regency romance novels these days by including a rather tiresome mystery, complete with a gently bred maiden traipsing about the slums in disguise and brawny lords engaging in fisticuffs with common criminals. Fortunately, the love story is entertaining enough that a weak mystery can be overlooked.
A diverting read.