Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Wicked Lords of London #4
Publication Date: 10/2/18
This is a delightfully entertaining novella. The writing is excellent and the story moves you right along to a happy ending. While it is part of a series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone. If you have read the other books in the series, you get to visit with Ryker and Tricia from the first book, My Duke’s Seduction.
Theodore Riley (Theo), the Duke of Waverly, has been acting like an irresponsible, spoiled little rich kid for the last two years. He doesn’t see it that way. In his version, he has been off ‘finding himself’ and building the family’s overseas holdings. His family understood the need for him to have a little space to come to grips with inheriting the dukedom after his father died. They agreed to his six-month trip to Barbados to establish a shipping business there. While he was gone, his brothers-in-law would manage his estates for him. Two years later, his brothers-in-law are worn to a frazzle from managing their own estates and his as well. His sisters are tired of their husbands being used by their irresponsible brother and his mother is just plain tired of his irresponsible behavior. So, Theo’s mother sends him an ultimatum requiring him to return home and assume his responsibilities himself. His mother has even invited a prospective bride for him to meet! NEVER!
Lady Violette Chase is a lovely, charming young woman who knows too much about shouldering responsibility. Her father loved his family and was always there with them, but he had absolutely no idea of how to manage his Earldom. That is why their family is now in desperate straits and Violette must marry in order to save them. She will do anything to save her family – even give herself to an arranged marriage. She’s been running the estate since her father died and has made some changes that will save it eventually, but not soon enough. Her fifteen-year-old brother isn’t old enough to be responsible for the estate and has never been taught anything about how to run it. So, Violette hopes that she’ll marry someone who will not only financially save the family but will also mentor her brother.
Violette’s mother has traded on here social connections, gathered up what money she can and has set up ‘visits’ with three prospective grooms. They must be successful with one of them for their family to survive. As Violette and her mother travel toward their first visit, they encounter a traveler with an injured horse. They provide him with transportation to the next village where they’ll be stopping for the night. Much to Violette’s chagrin, her mother charges him for the ride and he also pays for their rooms and meals at the inn. Violette feels an attraction to Mr. Riley and wishes he could be on prospective groom list.
Theo hates the cold, rainy weather in England. He cannot wait to get back to Barbados. He’ll get home, deal with his family and leave – all in short order. Then, his horse is injured and he starts walking. Luckily for him, a carriage stops and provides him with transportation – for a price. There is a very lovely young lady in the carriage and he can tell she’s embarrassed by her mother charging him for his ride. He is certainly attracted to her, but she is a lady and he’s returning to Barbados, so nothing can come of it. He didn’t even use his title when he introduced himself – just Mr. Theodore Riley.
The fun begins when Violette and her mother arrive at the home they are to visit first – and discover that Mr. Riley and the Duke of Waverly are one and the same. It is fun to watch Theo finally begin to grow up – but it pretty much took beating him on the head with a hammer to get him there. Sometimes, you have to lose something – or almost lose something – before you see its value.
This was a lovely read and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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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.”