A would-be matchmaker (How to Forget a Duke, 2018, etc.) bets she can find a wife for her best friend’s cousin only to discover he’s one of the most infamous rakes in London—and she just might have a thing for him herself.
Soon after Briar Bourne makes a shoddy mistake that turns her family’s new matchmaking business into a laughingstock, she takes on the task of finding a match for Daniel Prescott, the brother of her friend Temperance. Daniel has become a shadow of himself since he was thrown over by the woman he wanted to marry. She also makes a friendly wager with a mysterious aristocrat that she can match up the Earl of Edgemont, also known as Temperance’s cousin Nicholas, to whom she has yet to be introduced. Only later does she realize the earl is none other than the rakish gentleman she’d met under compromising circumstances a few months earlier. Nicholas is clear he has no intentions to marry—again, as it turns out—but agrees to help her become a better matchmaker by teaching her “how to observe men and women. How they see each other.” Telling himself he wants to help her find mates for his cousins, he is honest enough to admit he’s intrigued by Briar. When he offers to barter his lessons for kisses, he tries to convince himself it’s because he wants her to back off from the challenge. When she doesn’t, the two embark on a journey that is ostensibly connected to matchmaking but becomes more about falling in love. However, when Briar uncovers the truth of the mysterious woman behind the wager and her connection to a painful secret, the couple’s road to happiness becomes decidedly bumpy.
Lorret’s bright humor and sharp wit shine in this charming historical romance.