My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: The Honorable Scoundrels #2
Publication Date: 11/14/17
This second book in the Honorable Scoundrels is a great read. The series centers around three impoverished sisters. Their great-grandfather was a Viscount and they are the wards of the Duke of Snowden. However, they have never met the Duke and he has made no effort to contact them or provide for them in the year since their father passed away. They are totally on their own. Josephine, the oldest at twenty-six has employment as a bookkeeper. Louise, the middle sister left just yesterday to take employment as a governess (that was the first book in the series – see my review here). This novella features Eve, the youngest at twenty. The two older sisters want very much to give Eve the season they never got to have and are working hard to do just that.
Eve’s childhood friend, Margaret, has invited Eve to spend the Christmas holidays at Amberley Hall. Eve is hesitant to leave Josephine all alone during the holidays, but Josephine encourages her to go because of the contacts and exposure to eligible bachelors. Eve understands how very hard her sisters are working for her and how very much they want her to marry well, so she agrees to make the journey.
Eve’s mail coach made excellent time on the trip to Amberley Hall and arrived about half an hour early – before Margaret’s coach was to meet her. So, Eve decides to walk. It is dusk and Eve heads toward the lights in the distance. When she arrives – she finds she is at the wrong house. Her destination lies six miles in the other direction and the roadways have now turned to ice. Neither man nor beast can make the trip. This means she must spend the night in the home of the bachelor who lives there.
There is an instant attraction between Eve and Bryce Harlowe, the Earl of Ravenworth. He collects, books, coins and . . . . . . flowers. He is also rusticating at his estate – for the last three years – because he’s being shunned by society for a scandalous transgression. He’s really a kind and lovable man and you come to feel his pain as you get to know him. He and Eve make a great pair and their journey to an HEA isn’t a smooth or easy one.
The characters are fully developed and very robust and that is something that is hard to do in a novella. The book is interesting and filled with twists and turns. When you finish, you feel as if you have read a full-length novel rather than a shorter novella. It is excellently done. The plot is solid, the characters are full and the romance is convincing. Well done Sophie Barnes!
“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”