It’s nice to have a different kind of heroine from time to time in historical romance. Olivia is smart, independent, and passionate about what she believes in. She does things her own way, thanks to a father who raised his daughters to think for themselves and gave them both the knowledge and the life experiences to do just that. It’s a shame that her strengths have kept Olivia on the shelf, but they are the very things that make her a perfect match for John, the Earl of Wexham.
John is a retired military man who is searching for a wife to help him raise his young son. He isn’t trying to find a great love, just a woman who will be a good stepmother and an acceptable companion as he focuses on veterans’ issues within the House of Lords. It’s a subject that also happens to be near and dear to Olivia’s heart.
I really appreciated the fact that John respected Olivia’s intellect. He gave her credit where it was due, from her opinions about chess, to society, to social justice. When he discovers her secrets, he handles it with class and, in fact, shares secrets of his own to help them keep equal ground. I like that a friendship grows based on mutual respect before romance enters the picture. It’s a slow burn, but that only made me root for them harder when their friendship turned into something more.
John’s son plays a great role in the story, too. Prescott isn’t only window dressing, but an important character in his own right: one who really affects the progression of the relationship between John and Olivia. I liked him, and I felt like the dynamic between him and Olivia made the romance a much richer one.
Olivia’s sisters play good secondary roles, setting the stage for them to each get their own books. One writes poetry, the other writes –ahem—adult stories. I look forward to reading more about them both. There is a good dynamic among all three sisters and their scenes together were great. I love how they talk to one another and can be so frank and supportive.
I found the book an enjoyable romance with two lead characters who grow thanks to their time together. The sex is just hot enough. The pacing is good. And the supporting characters are fleshed out and relevant to the story. (Watch out for Prescott to steal the show.) The only thing I might have been able to do without was the danger-plot thrown in at the end. It wasn’t terrible, just kind of meh. Overall, though, I enjoyed the book and will pick up the next one in the series.
*ARC Provided by Forever
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Cara Elliott
Release Date: March 31, 2015