A New York shipping heiress finds herself in the midst of a London season after her parents steal her away from an inadvisable engagement.
Sara Fleming is in love with a wonderful, handsome man. Unfortunately, that man is back in New York, and she has been whisked off to London by her parents. While they don’t reveal their reasoning, the rest of her extended family supports the decision and helps her get enmeshed in the season. Sara can't help seeking out her cousin’s best friend, the Earl of Bridgeton, even as the Earl himself embarks on a path to gain a rich wife and save his sinking ship of an earldom. Unfortunately, thanks to efforts on the part of Sara’s extended family to keep the fortune hunters at bay, rumors abound that Sara’s shipping magnate father has fallen on hard times. So while Bridgeton would rather spend every waking moment with Sara, he must look elsewhere for a wife. While the plot is intriguing, O’Riley (His by Christmas, 2013, etc.) does not execute it well. Weak writing, historical missteps (gentlewomen in 1894 would certainly be wearing underwear, for example), and an unclear progression of the chemistry between hero and heroine leave the reading experience wanting. Add a cast of supporting characters with varying levels of usefulness to the story—including one with unexplained supernatural capabilities—and the novel feels a good 50 pages too long. The expected outcome does not leave a reader satisfied but merely glad it’s over.
An underwhelming historical romance.