Series: Misadventures in Matrimony #3
Publication Date: 7/30/19
Number of Pages: 400
Ainsley Bourne has spent the last two years at war with her neighbor. He is such a cad! Carriages rumble up to his gaming hell day and night and leave trash all over her front entrance. That gaming hell being direct across the street certainly doesn’t garner any new customers for her matrimonial agency – and probably drives plenty away. Almost every day she has some new reason to trek across the street and flay him and she’s getting tired of him hurting her business. So – the war is about to get serious.
Reed Sterling looks forward to his almost daily visit by his neighbor. She has a sharp tongue and he loves trading insults and barbs with her. He views her as a prim, proper, pampered princess who was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Reed, on the other hand, was born a commoner and has worked hard for everything he has. He was a renowned pugilist who saved his winnings and used it to open his gaming hell. Now, he is determined to make it the best, most exclusive hell in London and some spoiled little rich girl isn’t going to change that.
Although they fight it, Reed and Ainsley are attracted to each other and when something from her past comes back to haunt her, Reed is right there to help – even if it means that he ends up in the boxing ring again.
I loved Reed throughout the book. He was large, strong, smart – and a marshmallow on the inside. His childhood was a tough one and he had every reason to dislike aristocrats given how they had treated him and his family.
Ainsley hadn’t had the life Reed pictured. Her mother married her ne’er do well father because she loved him, but he didn’t reciprocate. He eventually moved on to start yet another family – and others beyond that. Her mother died of a broken heart after that and Ainsley doesn’t trust love or marriage.
I liked Ainsley throughout most of the book. She was smart and wily and pulled some really good stunts on Reed to put him out of business. Frankly, though, I find that attitude a little offputting. Her needs/wants were much more important than those of Reed simply because she decided it was so. She never thought about or considered the number of people she would cause to lose their jobs or the harm she’d cause. She only thought about herself and what she wanted. Then – at Harrowfield – she just went off the deep end and I wasn’t sure she could redeem herself in my eyes. However, she did manage to do that finally, but it was almost at the end before she did.
I loved the epilogue – it takes place seven years later and gives a wonderful peek into the family they created.
It is a lovely read – not my favorite of the series, but still a lovely read.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.