A Regency-era matchmaker thinks she has found the perfect bride for a family friend—herself.
Lady Katherine Wilde has spent six years trying to live down the humiliation of throwing herself at rich American merchant Brandon Deverill and having him chivalrously refuse to sleep with her. But now he has returned to England to take up the title of Baron Valmere, which he inherited from a distant relative, and she has promised to help him find a bride befitting his new title. Kate and Brandon are going through the motions of evaluating other candidates, but they are both secretly wondering—would they make a good match? The biggest hurdle is Kate’s dream of romance. Brandon grew up in a loveless household and suffered emotional trauma when he fought for his American homeland against British friends in the War of 1812. As a result, he’s not big on feelings. But Kate wants something more—a legendary love like the ones written about in Greek legends. The fifth book in Jordan’s (The Art of Taming a Rake, 2016, etc.) Legendary Lovers series is a spin on My Fair Lady, which is in turn a spin on the myth of Pygmalion. Kate wants to remake the rough-edged American privateer into a polished English gentleman who is capable of expressing his feelings. Brandon wants to convince Kate to marry him even though he doesn’t love her. They manage to have a lot of illicit sex while Kate’s family looks the other way and even go treasure-hunting off the coast of France. The steamier scenes are well-written, although in general the prose is a bit flowery and overblown. Still, both Kate and Brandon are likable characters who grow during the novel.
An adventurous story about what can be achieved if we stick to our ideals.