The younger sister in love with her brother’s best friend is a popular trope in historical romance, and while this one doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel, I did find it to be an engaging and entertaining read. It plays out much how you would expect, but I enjoyed the journey, thanks primarily to the fact that Anne Barton crafted two very likeable leads and set up a romance between them that was easy to root for.
Lady Olivia has been in love with James her entire life. And though he has never looked at her as anything other than his friend’s little sister, she always thought she had time to change that. But now, he is planning an expedition to Egypt and she knows her time is running out. So she throws caution to the wind, puts her feelings out in the open, and begs for a kiss. It changes everything. Well, almost. It does prompt James to see her in a new light and it does make him desire her, but Egypt is his dream and there is no way Olivia will fit in to that dream. Of course, Olivia has other ideas. The book follows her efforts as she inserts herself into his life and his heart.
I was instantly enamored with how much Olivia is in love with James. Yes, there is the swooning over his muscled chest and whatnot, but I felt like there was more of a depth to her affection than a superficial crush. It shows, especially, as the story progresses. I also really like the ownership she takes over her future and her body. She goes after what she wants and she never wavers; and still it never feels creepy or stalkerish. Through her eyes, I could see why James has her heart, and I really appreciate that he can see the worth in her quickly as well. I appreciate that we don’t have to wait until the end for him to reciprocate her feelings or desire.
This is book three in the Honeycote series, but it works very well as a standalone. The plot moved quickly –and only once did I fear it was going to veer off course, but that subplot moved quickly and resolved itself. The book doesn’t really tread any new ground, but what it does, it does well. It’s sexy and sweet and I enjoyed it.
*ARC provided by publisher for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
Scandalous Summer Nights
by Anne Barton
Release Date: October 28, 2014