Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Everton Domestic Society #3
Publication Date: 3/19/19
# of Pages: 208
This is an enjoyable addition to the Everton Domestic Society series. Everton is an employment agency of sorts. They provide ladies to perform tasks such as introducing a debutant to society, planning events, matchmaking, etc. for their clients. All of the proprieties are met and the ladies are provided with chaperones, transportation, etc. during the performance of their tasks. They also live at Everton House.
Sylvia Dowder had spent five years of her life being courted by and betrothed to Hunter Gautier. A month before her wedding, Hunter inherited the title of Viscount March and promptly ended the betrothal – because Sylvia wasn’t lofty enough in society to be a Viscountess. Between that punch to the gut and her mother’s constant belittlement and preaching about the perfidies of the male of the species, Sylvia knew she couldn’t/wouldn’t marry. She also decided that she couldn’t live with her mother’s constant belittlement any longer and applied to become an Everton Lady.
Anthony Braighton was rocking along in his life quite happily until his much-loved cousin died and Anthony inherited the title – Earl of Grafton. Tony didn’t want to be an earl and he certainly doesn’t want to marry as his mother is constantly prodding him to do. He can’t do anything about the title, but he can show his mother that he is perfectly capable of meeting his obligations without marrying. He’ll just hire an Everton Lady to plan several social events and at their successful completion, his mother will understand that he doesn’t need a wife.
There is an immediate attraction between Tony and his Everton Lady, Sylvia. However, neither of them want to admit it – and neither wants to act on it. Tony is quicker to ‘give in’ and admit he wants Sylvia than she is. The road to gain her trust is not an easy one – and until about the last chapter in the book you don’t see how they are going to get to their HEA.
I never did come to understand Tony’s aversion to marriage. His parents had a happy and loving marriage as does his sister and a number of his friends. I can understand any young man not wanting to marry but Tony was adamant – because he had things he wanted to do. I did understand Sylvia’s aversion. She’d suffered what I guess would be mental abuse her entire life. She was constantly told how bad men were, how they used women, etc. – and then with her engagement being broken as it was, she was totally convinced.
I’m not sure what it is with authors and alliteration in character names, but this book is another example – we have Sylvia, Serena, and Sophia. For this reader, that is usually a distraction because I’m constantly having to stop and remember which character is which. For some reason, that wasn’t an issue this time.
While I enjoyed the read, there were some inaccuracies and the use of more modern words – like okay. Tony talks about not accepting the title, giving up the title, etc. and that just wasn’t possible. The only way to get rid of the title was to die or be a traitor. Even the King couldn’t take the title away.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.