Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Somerset Sisters #1
Publication Date: 2/6/18
This is a delightful beginning to the Somerset Sisters series. We met the older two Somerset sisters in the Sutherland Scandals series and now we get excellent introductions to the younger sisters (Iris, Violet, and Hyacinth) in this book. It was also nice to re-visit Charlotte and her Captain West and to learn how happy they are ‘rusticating’ in the country. We also get a re-visit with Lady Annabel from Charlotte’s book – I don’t know if it will happen, but I’d really like to see her get her own HEA.
I believe this book is as much about two people discovering and embracing who they really are as it is about their love story. Phineas Knight (Finn), Marquess of Huntington and Iris Somerset both live behind masks – maybe they’ve lost who they really are because they constantly present a different fact to the world. Iris gets her grand epiphany first and gives Finn a run for his money after that!
High spirited, stubborn, outspoken, fun-loving Iris Somerset had buried all of those traits deep within her when she came to London for her season. Mostly to please her grandmother and to give her sisters a scandal-free chance at marriage. She presented herself as quiet, demure and biddable and became the most desirable lady of the season. She was courted by the very proper Marquess of Huntington and accepted his proposal though they hardly spoke when they were together and certainly didn’t know a thing about each other. She was actually okay with that – until …..
Very prim, proper and oh so aristocratic Phineas Knight, Marquess of Huntington needed a wife. He thought the debutants were all pretty much interchangeable and he didn’t really care which one he got as long as she was quiet, proper and biddable. His first choice was Lady Honora, but he was perfectly fine with Iris. Finn’s family had a scandal and he had become the Marquess at eight years old. Then, he was raised by indifferent guardians who shipped him off to school and left him there. He never knew love or family – nor was he ever allowed to be a child. Because of the scandal, he was constantly taunted, teased and bullied. It is a wonder that he turned out as well as he did. That childhood shaped Finn into the man who abhorred anything improper or scandalous.
After overhearing a scene between Finn and his former mistress, Iris finally realized she could NOT be the person she was pretending to be. In a pique, she broke off the engagement. She hadn’t really thought through the implications of doing that – so she didn’t tell anyone but Finn. There is a villain in the picture and Finn wants to protect her from him. She won’t have it – and becomes more and more the person he just knows he doesn’t want for a wife – but – he wants Iris more and more. He’ll have a devil of a time wooing her – can he win her? You’ll just have to read the book and see.
This book is well plotted and well written with fully developed and interesting characters. I will be excited to read Violet’s book next.
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“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.”