Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Dear Lady Truelove #4
Publication Date: 9/24/19
Number of Pages: 384
Jonathan Deverill and Marjorie McGann are two different souls who want very different things in life – or do they? I thoroughly enjoyed these characters and could so easily identify with both of them. It was so much fun to get to know them and to watch them discover that what each of them wanted wasn’t really so very different after all. It is an excellently written story filled with humor and romance. I have not read the other books in the series and didn’t feel I’d missed anything at all in relation to this story – so – the bottom line is – it can easily be read as a standalone.
Jonathan’s dreams for his life all came crashing down around him when he was eighteen years old. Jonathan’s grandfather had told him all of his life that the Deverill Publishing company was his birthright – ink flowed in his veins. But then, his grandfather died and hadn’t made a will – so everything went to Jonathan’s father. That wouldn’t have been a bad thing if his father had a little bit of business sense and wasn’t so stubborn and uncompromising. When Jonathan tried to advise his father, he threw a tantrum, disinherited Jonathan and kicked him out of the house. To make matters worse, his betrothed told him that she wouldn’t marry him since he now had no prospects. Jonathan left for America and wandered around doing different things there until he and his friend discovered the biggest silver strike in Idaho. They pulled millions of dollars worth of silver out of that mine.
Jonathan is now rich beyond belief, but his friend, Billy McGann, has just died a horrible death from consumption. Jonathan stayed with him through that last awful year and at the end, Billy told him that he had a daughter and that he’d made Jonathan her guardian. Jonathan is shocked that his friend has kept such a secret from him, but he agrees. He would agree to anything Billy asked because the man was closer than a brother. How hard could it be to arrange for care of a little girl?
Jonathan made an appointment to meet the little girl at her exclusive boarding school. What was his reaction when he met her? “Goddamn and holy hell” is what he said. That was no little girl in pigtails and a pinafore – no, she was a drop-dead gorgeous almost twenty-one-year-old who was fully expecting to finally get to leave the school where she’d spent almost her entire life. She did NOT take the news that she’d need to stay there for another eight months lightly. She made her desires very, very clear – she wanted to go to London, she wanted a season, she wanted to marry a man with a title, and mostly, she wanted a home – a real home.
Marjorie has been left, all alone, at Forsyte Academy, an exclusive boarding school for young ladies in White Plains, New York, when she was just seven years old – right after her mother’s death. Her father promised he’d return for her, but he never did. He always promised she could join him, but it never happened. Oh, she harbored her dreams for a very long time before realizing that he just didn’t want her. She had no family other than him, so she was utterly alone in the world. What she wanted most in life were safety and security. She wanted a real family, a real home and a life outside of a cloistered boarding school – and she really, really, really wanted someone who wouldn’t leave her. So, when her new guardian arrived at her school and told her she’d have to stay, she didn’t believe he’d ever be back for her – just like her father – he was going to abandon her as well. She’d be darned if she was going to have that, so she made her own plans – and executed them perfectly.
Jonathan was attracted to Marjorie the moment he met her – and that just wasn’t appropriate. He had to get to England and make arrangements with his sisters to take her in and introduce her to society. Then he’d return to fetch her. But – once his ship was out to sea, there she was, in his suite aboard the ship – on the way to London. Oh! My!
I love that Jonathan tried to fight his attraction and give her what she wanted – and she’d told him in no uncertain terms that he was just like her father and she didn’t want any part of a man like him. I also loved that he saw through to the real Marjorie – the one who was brave and adventurous and who would become bored with the ‘safe’ life she was seeking.
This was a fun visit with two wonderful characters and a host of lovely supporting characters. Marjorie kept Jonathan off-kilter during the entire book and kept upsetting all of his well-laid plans. I was beginning to wonder if she was going to let it slip through her fingers though – but finally, she embraced that brave, resilient, adventurous woman and ran with it. Lovely ending!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.