Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Release Date: October 15, 2019
This was a loosely interconnected novella duo by Jess Michaels and Elizabeth Essex, featuring two ladies who don’t want to marry finding their HEAs – my average rating is 4.5 stars, rounded up.
A Lady’s Gift for Seduction by Jess Michaels – 5 stars – Lady Evangeline & Thomasina “Tamsin” Lesley meet at a ball, both worry that if they don’t find a husband, their fathers will choose for them. When Tamsin says she doesn’t want to marry, Evangeline has a suggestion, they should consider “male wallflowers” and she chooses Henry Killam, aspiring astronomer and younger son of Viscount Killam. Henry like Evangeline – always has – but she is out of his league. She is the daughter of a duke and he is the second son, whose father threatens to cut off if he doesn’t give up his “work”. But Evangeline offers a solution – marry her. What follows is a steamy and delightful tale of a woman who erroneously believes she has fallen for a man she can manipulate.
A Lady’s Gift for Scandal by Elizabeth Essex – 4 stars – Miss Thomasina “Tamsin” Lesley has until Christmas to find a husband or she will be married off to her father’s heir, her cousin Edward, an odious man who only wants her because she is beautiful. But in reality Tamsin doesn’t want to marry at all, she wants to live in London with her Aunt Dahlia and write, but her mother refuses to consider that option. So when Evangeline suggests being “lightly ruined” so her mother will reconsider and introduces her to Simon Cathcart, the second son of a second son and a former soldier who has been dubbed “Simple Simon”. She immediately likes him, he is handsome and very agreeable. She explains that she doesn’t want to marry and asks for his help in convincing her mother that she is no longer marriageable. Simon agrees mostly to alleviate his boredom and because he likes her too. But as time passes and she gets to know Simon and learns his secrets, maybe being ruined isn’t the way to finding her HEA or is it?
Both stories where well written and entertaining, I thought all the characters were likeable and that the stories were paced well. Jess Michaels’ offering was a bit steamier, but they were both had love scenes that were on the warm side. Personally, I thought the whole “lightly ruined” ploy was a bit unbelievable and complete ridiculous, but it was a very entertaining read regardless. I enjoyed this book and would be happy to recommend it.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*