My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Quick Take: What delicious story! I thoroughly enjoyed it, from beginning to end. The question is not so much "will I like this book?" but rather, "how much will I like this book?" Reading book 1 one not required.
Since being named one of London’s "Lords to Land" by a popular ladies’ magazine, Nicholas St. John has been relentlessly pursued by every matrimony-minded female in the ton. So when an opportunity to escape fashionable society presents itself, he eagerly jumps—only to land in the path of the most determined, damnably delicious woman he’s ever met!Review:
The daughter of a titled wastrel, Lady Isabel Townsend has too many secrets and too little money. Though used to taking care of herself quite handily, her father’s recent passing has left Isabel at sea and in need of outside help to protect her young brother’s birthright. The sinfully handsome, eminently eligible Lord Nicholas could be the very salvation she seeks.
But the lady must be wary and not do anything reckless...like falling madly, passionately in love.
Okay, so I was having a spot of trouble figuring out what I'd like to say about this book. Typically I write some notes down as I'm reading a book, so as to have something semi-coherent to say in my review. But in this case, I didn't because I was too busy reading! :o) I read this book in pretty much one extended sitting.
Unlike with the previous book, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, the story take place largely away from society . Here, it's the distant specter of society's actions and expectations that looms large over the hero and heroine. For Lord Nicholas St. John it's the threat of in London...for Lady Isabel Townsend it's the effect of a absentee--and most scandalous--father. And for the ladies that inhabit Isabel's "Minerva House," it's the threat of discovery (and thus abuse, both literal and figurative). The effect of this is a story that focuses more keenly on the characters and their shared experiences.
...and to me, the real gem of this book was the cast of characters. I was particularly fond of the addition of James, Isabel's 10-year-old brother and newly named Earl of Reddich. The interactions between James and Nick were so sweet. Nick's consideration for the numerous similarities between the boy and himself (when he was James's age), and his attempts to give the child some of the fatherly care he never had, absolutely endeared me to both of the guys.
Also a treat was the group of ladies that inhabit Minerva House. They provided many laughs with their playful banter. They have little individual face time (they're more of a package deal), but the author balances this with some brief description of each one's path to the safehouse. Their stories are touching...and their collective survival (and...thrival? lol) is one of the more inspirational bits of the book.
Of course, the meat of the book is the progression of romance between Isabel and Nick. In my eyes, it did not disappoint. The pairing made sense; both individuals are strong-willed, protective, capable types who just happen to have major issues with trust and romantic love. For all the book's mention of "protection" and "rescue," it was all about watching the two help each other heal. And it was beautiful.
Thank goodness there's a third book in the works. The author clearly knows how to craft compelling characters and situations. I absolutely cannot wait to see what she's got it store. Autobuy, indeed! ^_^