Series: The Traitor’s Club, #2
Release Date: September, 12, 2017
This was a quick read for me and I enjoyed idea of the story.
Lady Annalise Lyman aka Nellie is a spinster, she hates London and would like nothing better than to retire to the country – which she plans to do just as soon as she marries off her youngest sister.
Lord Hugh Wythers is the second son of a Marquess and a rake – since his return from the war, he has spent his time pursuing all the delights London has to offer, that is until his father cuts him off – he tells Hugh that he is gifting him an estate and Hugh will have to live off the profits. Hugh hates the country and will do anything to stay in London. His initial plan is to marry an heiress and use her money to continue living the life he loves, but when he is turned down yet again, he gets rip roaring drunk and hatches a new plan – he will marry a plain woman. He explains his plan to his friends and then falls off the balcony, literally landing at the feet of Nellie. In a drunken haze, he kisses her and tells her she is perfect because she is homely.
The next day, after he sobers up and his friends tell him what a jerk he was, he calls on Nellie to apologize. While he doesn’t consider her a candidate for the position of his wife – he is drawn to her kind and generous nature.
When Nellie learns that her sister may have to move far away because they don’t want to take the management of her father’s estate from her, Nellie reaches out to Hugh and offers her services as estate manager. Hugh agrees, but insists that they marry.
They marry and go to the estate – it has been agreed between them that Hugh will stay a short while and then return to London. Nellie makes him promise not to return. After a month together, Hugh leaves and at first is overjoyed to return to London. But as time passes, he misses Nellie and writes to her. Nellie has also missed Hugh, but can’t bear the pain of his leaving her – unbeknownst to him, she conceived and she hasn’t told him, nor has she read any of the letters he has sent.
Six months pass before Hugh returns and is shocked to learn that she is with child, he insists on staying until the child is born. Hugh doesn’t want to return to London, but Nellie is insisting that he goes after the birth of their child.
I though the book was well written, but there are formal address issues (which might be corrected in the final published copy – but I am basing my review on what I read) Hugh is the second son of a marquess – he has an honorific title of Lord Hugh – NOT Lord Wythers. The love scenes are there, but they are muted and would be best described as lukewarm. Nellie is a strong heroine, but she suffers from low self-esteem because of her looks and Hugh comes across as very selfish and self-serving. But they are really both loyal and honorable people who stupidly think they are doing what is best for the other. I did like both of them and hoped that they would figure out how to compromise and have a happy marriage before it was too late.
This is the second book in the series, but it could easily be read as a stand alone title.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*