Series: The Worthingtons, #5
Release Date: May 29, 2018
Geoffrey, Earl of Harrington and heir to the Marquess of Markham is in need of a wife, his first choice Lady Charlotte has apparently decided on the Marquess of Kenilworth. To take the diplomatic post he wants, he must have a wife, but as the season is drawing to an end and many families have left town for the continent – his options are limited. So when he runs into his old friend Gavin Turley and is invited to tea, he thinks his luck might be changing. Just to cover his bases, he seeks advice from his grandmother, the dowager Marchioness of Markham.
Elizabeth Turley, daughter of Viscount Turley, knows Geoffrey is looking for a wife and she might be interested in the position, but she wants a love match and will settle for nothing less. She met Geoffrey before and thought him attractive and interesting, but he was pursuing her friend Lady Charlotte at the time and she has been advised to not make things easy for him.
At tea, Geoffrey “tests” Elizabeth and is delighted to learn that she meets all his requirements for a wife, he of course has other options to explore (his mother sent him a list of potential brides – including Elizabeth), so he asks Elizabeth to save a dance for him and she agrees.
When Geoffrey learns that Elizabeth really is his option for a bride, he decides to court her and his attempts are amusing. Armed with a list from his grandmother, Geoffrey sets out to win his lady. Elizabeth who was at first uncertain, begins to have hope that she and Geoffrey could have a love match, and when he finally proposes, she accepts.
They marry and share an incredible wedding night, but Elizabeth’s heart is shattered when she overhears Geoffrey and his father talking. His father is congratulating him on his bride and Geoffrey replies she was the last choice available and met all his qualifications. She thought he loved her and now feels the fool for falling in love with him. His mother and grandmother offer her advice and she agrees to give their suggestions a try.
Geoffrey is clueless as to what has upset his bride and as they travel to Brussels, he tries to figure out what when wrong and how to fix it. But with the war coming to a head, his first priority must be to his superior Sir Charles. When the battle literally comes to their doorstep, Elizabeth decides that life is too short and tells him she loves him. But before Geoffrey can respond she falls asleep. And before he can examine his feelings and tell her, tragedy strikes and he may never get the chance.
This was sweet book, but the first 70% of the story just dragged for me, however, once they leave for Brussels, the pace of the story picks up and the ending is wonderful. The story features likable characters, amusing advice from friends and family, some steamy love scenes, a bit of action and finally a HEA complete with an epilogue.
This is the fifth book in the series, but it can absolutely be read as a stand alone title with no problems at all. While this was not my favorite in the series, it is a quick read and I would have no problem recommending it.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*