Tracy’s rating: 2.5/3 of 5 stars
Series: The Reluctant Brides, #2
Release Date: October 23, 2018
2.5 stars rounded up because there was an epilogue.
Eliza was 16 when her father arranged her marriage to Reginald Cartwick. On the night of her betrothal, Thomas, Viscount Evanston kisses her. Thomas is her brother’s best friend and a huge rake. While she will never admit it, she has always had tender feelings for him.
Five years later, Eliza is widowed with a young daughter. Her mourning is done and she needs to remarry as her husband’s heir is due to arrive from America and she has moved to her brother’s dower house. She decides to go to London for the season and Thomas will be there. Her brother warns Thomas to stay away from her. Eliza is attracted to Thomas, but he is completely unsuitable.
During their time in London, Eliza and Thomas seem to play a game of push and pull – he is jealous and flaunts his former mistress, which makes her jealous, she confronts him and accuses him of interfering with her suitors. Thomas has finally realized that he wants Eliza for his own, and he tries to court her and she shuts him down. But when her friend Caroline needs help, it is Thomas she turns to for assistance. But his aid comes at a price, he asks her not to accept any marriage offers until she returns to Kent.
She returns home and Thomas steps up his pursuit. Again she rebuffs him. Clara and Caroline decide that Thomas is worthy of Eliza and conspire to help them. But things do not go as planned and Thomas is again rejected, this time by William.
Heartbroken, Thomas returns to London and is dealt a blow by his scorned former mistress. Eliza finally decides that it is Thomas she loves and with her brother’s blessing set out to make things right, but when she gets to London, she realizes that she may have waited too long.
I was really looking forward to this book and am sorry to say, I was disappointed. The author failed to show me why Thomas was so “unsuitable” – yes, he was a rake, but he was not married or betrothed, he didn’t gamble away his fortune, didn’t force women to his bed, took care of his estates and was always ready to help William whenever asked – so I really didn’t see why William and Eliza kept harping that he was not respectable and completely unsuitable. That along with the game of push and pull, making each other jealous and her running hot and cold, just became tedious – another reviewer nailed it by saying there was a lot of drama for drama’s sake in this book – that is it exactly, it wasn’t horrible, just repetitive and contrived.
This is the second book in the series, but it can easily be read as a stand alone and while I didn’t really care for this story, I will probably read the next book in the series.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by Edelweiss and the publisher.*