Tracy’s rating: 3 of 5 stars
Series: What Happens in the Ballroom, #2
Release Date: January 27, 2020
Juliana “Jewel” Latham has come to London to visit her father’s sister and to recover from a broken heart. When she learns that her cousin means to entrap the Earl of Winchcombe into marriage, she intervenes. She sends a note to the Earl and when he arrives, he realizes he is not the target, his brother Penry is and he compels Jewel to point out her cousin so he can warn his brother. He manages to save his brother, but ends up compromising Jewel.
Oliver Chalford, the Earl of Winchcombe came to London to claim his seat in parliament, this was his first visit to the capital and his first society event. Oliver is scarred and past experiences have turned him into a hermit, rarely venturing from his country estate. At first he refuses to offer for Jewel, but when his brother threatens to give up his own love match to save Jewel, Oliver gives in. But marrying Jewel will not be easy – her uncle has banished her to Scotland.
Oliver tracks her down and saves her from exile and promises to help her get in touch with her father in Boston – he learned from her uncle that her father was arrested for sedation, but she is not aware. They arrive at his estate and learn that he has visitors. Oliver is stunned and angered to learn that someone has objected to his request to take his seat in parliament, claiming he is insane and practices witchcraft. Jewel overhears the exchange and rushes in the room claiming to be his betrothed. And so it begins…
This was an odd story with interesting characters, a bit of steam, a decent mystery and finally a HEA with an epilogue. The story does tend to ramble on and there are several inconsistencies and contradictions (that may or may not be corrected prior to publication). I felt the author had a good idea, but then added too many other elements to the story and fell back on the “misunderstanding trope” way too much. This is the second book in the series, but I didn’t read the first book and had no problems following this story.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*