Tracy’s rating: 3 of 5 stars
Series: Lords of Vice, #2
Release Date: September 10, 2018
Six years ago, Lady Harriet Wheatley’s mother had a plan, Harriet would marry Oliver Weeks, the Marquess of Davenport, her dearest friend’s son. Oliver has inherited a bankrupt estate, been injured and dumped by his would be betrothed and Harriet has a huge dowry and 2 unsuccessful seasons under her belt – it is a win – win for everyone! Too bad Oliver didn’t fall in line with the plan, he told Harriet in no uncertain terms, he would not marry her – – he didn’t want her dowry or her. Harriet is crushed, not that she was overly keen on marrying him, but rejection is rejection. She vows that she will only marry for love or not at all.
Fast forward six years, Oliver has singlehandedly restored his family fortune and then some. To Harriet, he seems to waste his money and as a member of the Ladies of Virtue, she feels it is her responsibility to show him the error of his ways, especially since the group has been forced to curtail their crime fighting activities thanks to an enemy known only as Lady X. When Oliver’s mother suggests that he marry, he agrees with her, but states that he hasn’t been in society for years and most women are frighten of him. His mother suggests that Harriet might be able to help him find a bride, he is surprised that she is still unwed and when he sees her again, wonders if the men of London are blind – she is not the traditional willowy figured woman that is lauded by the ton, she is petite, curvy and has a magnificent bosom – not that he is looking. He approaches her and is delighted to find that she is no longer the timid mouse he remembered by a feisty spitfire, who tells him that he will need more than a fortune to find a wife, she offers him a deal, he stops his spending and she will help him – NO. A couple of weeks later, he realizes she was right and asks for her help, she refuses. But when she learns he owns a property that she can use for secret meetings and training for her group, she reconsiders. Oliver has decided on his bride – Harriet. But still stinging from his rejection years ago, she thinks he is toying with her.
They grow closer and share some heated kisses, Oliver repeatedly tries to prove he wants her and she repeatedly rebuffs him. Finally Oliver forces her hand and they end up married, but he makes it clear he can never love her. Can Harriet accept this? Will passion be enough? Will Oliver get his head out of his butt before it is too late?
I’ll be honest, this story was just okay, I have a really hard time believing the author that wrote the Legend Hunter series is the same author writing this series. The whole Ladies of Virtue angle is a bit ridiculous, crime fighting debutantes, really?? I felt like Harriet’s insecurities and refusal to believe that Oliver found her attractive dragged on too long and became annoying. This along with some major title errors, some inconsistencies and some completely unbelievable scenarios made this a 3 star read. Upside, the story was cute and very steamy (YES!!), both Oliver and Harriet were likeable people, their interactions were for the most part amusing and entertaining, the secondary characters added to the story, but didn’t overshadow the leads and the ending was very sweet.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*