Series: Chronicles of A Bluestocking #3
Publication Date: 11/12/19
Number of Pages: 145
*** 3.5 Stars Rounded Up ***
The series theme is that the ladies are ‘ruined’ bluestockings and they have decided to ‘study’ and research rogues in order to write a paper that will warn other young ladies what to look out for and what situations to avoid, etc. In this book, the lady is ‘ruined’ because she has an inattentive/uncaring father that ruined them financially.
Luke Harding, Marquess of Harding, eschews almost all ton events. His time and efforts are all devoted to the running of his estates and the care of his tenants and holdings. However, he has had to make an exception because he was falsely accused of ‘ruining’ a young lady at a previous event – when he wasn’t even there. So, he is putting in an appearance at the current event in order for the ton to see that he is not in hiding and to assume, therefore, that he is not guilty. Yet, there is a young woman across the room, hiding behind a palm, intently watching his every move. Evidently, there is another young woman out to maneuver him into a forced marriage. Well – that won’t be happening.
Lady Annabelle (Annie) Marks never plans to marry – not that she’d ever get an offer with no dowry. It is her plan to help her friends write their papers on rogues and to study sea creatures. She has been writing and publishing scientific papers under an assumed name and has been saving her money so that she can build a cottage where she and her friends can all live. Her father has promised her that he’ll give her a small strip of land by the sea – and that is where she plans to build the cottage. Of course, her father is flighty and fickle and will likely sell the land to the first person who asks.
Annie has chosen Luke Harding as the rogue she will study for their paper. She’s been standing behind a fern watching him all evening, but he isn’t doing anything particularly ‘roguish’. When he comes over and confronts her and they talk, she begins to wonder if maybe he isn’t really a rogue at all.
Both of our characters have issues stemming from fathers who are definitely not what a father should be. They are drawn together, but each fights the attraction. Luke was the one with more serious issues and it took him longer to realize that he could have a loving home and family despite the upbringing he had.
While this is part of a series, it can totally be read as a standalone.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.