Series: London Jewels, #1
Release Date: January 29, 2019
Diana Somerville and Rupert Lacey have a past, and that is exactly where Diana would like to keep things between them – in the past. She arrives home from South Africa after losing both her brother and father to find that her former fiancée is living in her family home. She learns that her brother Jem named Rupert his heir and now owns half of the Somerville estate, including shares in a diamond mine, properties in England and a race horse.
Rupert didn’t expect Diana would be overjoyed to learn that he was now going to be a permanent fixture in her life, but he is still a little surprised how angry she is. He refuses her offer to buy him out and refuses to leave the house. He says that they were engaged when she left for South Africa and never told anyone she broke with him, so they will live together as husband and wife to prevent scandal. Secretly, Rupert hopes his close proximity and forced cohabitation, will rekindle their love.
Diana is beyond furious and feels betrayed by her brother. She is unhappy and she won’t make this transition easy for Rupert, nor will she forgive him for not fighting for them, when she broke their engagement. Is their love still alive? Can they both move beyond the hurts of the past or is their reunion doomed?
I really wanted to love this story, but a confusing timeline, a “I hate you / I want you” relationship and a just plain spoiled and nasty heroine ruined the book for me. It is well written, has steamy love scenes and Rupert, while far from perfect, is a mostly likable hero. But I just couldn’t get past Diana’s attitude and her underhandedness, I understood her anger and even accepted that she might feel betrayed, but instead of empathizing, I found myself thinking she was being unreasonable and childish. There were also some storylines that felt like they were dropped (however, this is the first book in the series and those things might be mentioned or resolved in future books), I am also relatively sure the ending couldn’t have happened the way it was written, because of Lord Brougham’s “Cooling Off” Act of 1856 and this book is set in 1902.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*