Generally, I can’t go wrong with a tortured hero romance. But while I wouldn’t characterize this book as bad, it wasn’t a hit for me. My biggest complaint is that it was lukewarm just about all the way through. It was a “clean” romance with barely a few kisses on page, and that may have had something to do with it, though that was only part of my problem. It was supposed to be an enemies-to-lovers story and I didn’t really feel passion on either end. At worst, these two annoyed each other, and at best, they develop the kind of love that suddenly just blinks into existence. Let me back up.
Hugh Danby, Baron Cadgwith, is in Bath recovering from injuries he sustained at Waterloo. He looks fine for the most part, but he has a spinal injury that causes him extreme, debilitating headaches. He is visiting the country to get some peace and quiet and to partake in the healing waters Bath is known for. He has no idea the city is playing host to a large musical event… one his new neighbor will be practicing for every day.
Charity loves music above all things. In fact, composing and playing her pianoforte give her joy above all things. Imagine her surprise when Cadgwith drops by to insult her music and asks her to stop playing. From there, the two embark on round after round of sniping at one another. Then there are some longing glances. They take one step forward and Cadgwith takes a step back… sure he can never be a whole man again. Step forward. Step back. Step forward. Step back. Throw in about three kisses and a red herring of a new suitor and then you get your HEA. The end.
There wasn’t much more to the story. I liked the friendship that grew between Charity and the other women in her musical trio. I liked her perceptive grandmother. And I felt potential with the romance, but it never heated up. Not just sexually, but emotionally either. I believed in annoyance between them, not animosity. I believed in attraction, not love. I believed Cadgwith hurt Charity’s feelings, not broke her heart. I found myself vacillating between wanting more and just not caring that much.
I didn’t dislike it. But it was really just ok for me.
*ARC Provided by Signet
Click to purchase: Amazon
The Baron Next Door
by Erin Knightley
Release Date: June 3, 2014