Clara is temporarily left in charge of her family’s newspaper and can handle everything but the advice-to-the-lovelorn column, leading her to a secret alliance with an infamous London aristocrat.
When her beautiful, accomplished sister extends her honeymoon, Clara Deverill is determined to rise to the occasion and take care of their family newspaper business while she’s gone. Dealing with the atrocious editor is awful, but the real challenge is in taking over the paper’s popular advice column, supposedly written by “Lady Truelove”: “A woman who was shy and plain, who stammered when she was nervous and had never caught a man’s eye in her life, could hardly be splendid at advising people about love and romance.” When she overhears a gentleman giving his friend advice on how to manipulate a marriage-minded lady into continuing a love affair, Clara is affronted and uses the conversation to inspire a column which, unbeknownst to Clara, causes negative circumstances for both men. However, when she meets Rex socially and he realizes she wrote the column, she learns something of its consequences and wonders if she overreacted without having had all the information. Overcoming their initial fury, they reach enough of a détente to make a deal: she will pay him to secretly write the column, since he clearly understands romance and human nature better than she does. He agrees because he needs money, which she attributes to his reputed profligate lifestyle. However, as an unexpected attraction flares between them and they learn more about each other’s vulnerabilities, they reach an impasse. Clara’s goal is marriage, which is not on the viscount’s agenda. Meanwhile, his wise columns and moral support see her confidence growing in surprising, empowering ways. But can the two find their way to happiness? Guhrke (The Truth About Love and Dukes, 2017, etc.) astutely maneuvers two seemingly mismatched characters to look beyond their own preconceived truths to better understand themselves so they can truly love each other.
A charming, insightful historical romance.