Barbara’s Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Series: Mating Habits of Scoundrels #1
Publication Date: 3/31/20
Number of Pages: 384
This story was filled with excitement, romance, humor and delightful characters who had a great tale to tell. The main characters, Winnifred (Win) and Asher are two souls who are really very similar but see themselves as worlds apart. It was so much fun to see them find their way to a delightful, well-deserved HEA.
Viscount Asher Holt is the only son and heir of the Marquess Shettlemane. Well, heir is certainly a misnomer because there is nothing to inherit – only bone-crushing debt. His father is such a narcissist that he was out partying while his wife lay dying. He has run up debts in Asher’s name – even sending dangerous money collectors after him. Somehow, Asher has turned out to be an honorable, caring man, but the ton sees him as a scoundrel because of the tales his father tells. Finally, Asher thinks he has found a way out – a way to escape his father and make his own fortune. However, he might have to truly act the scoundrel to make it come true.
Winnifred Humphries is plump, freckled, has unruly red-gold hair, and a mother who never lets her forget any of those shortcomings. Her father is a domineering, distant man who has announced that Winnifred will be marrying Mr. Woodbine, an odious man who is the heir presumptive to a duke. Mr. Woodbine is disapproving, condescending, and doesn’t like Winnifred in the least. What he does like is her dowry. When Winnifred’s friends (Jane Pickering, Elodie Parrish, and Prudence Thorogood) hatch a plan for her to run away from the wedding, Winnifred sadly declines. However, on her wedding day, whenever a package gets misdelivered to her – a gift from her betrothed to his long-time mistress along with a love note – Winnifred finally sees what her life will be like and changes her mind.
Winnifred (Win as Asher calls her) flees the church and dashes into the waiting carriage that she thinks belongs to her friend Jane. The man inside should be Jane’s cousin and he’ll take her to safety. Ah, the best-laid plans … Having overheard the ladies plotting, Asher is the one in the carriage – and the adventure begins.
“Believe me, my betrothed is even worse once you get to know him. Which is why I am here in this carriage instead of at the church.”
Win and Asher’s journey to safety is an exciting one with carriage chases, villains aplenty, bittersweet moments, and each getting to know themselves and the other. The attraction is there, but the trust needs lots of work.
“And how are you looking at me?” she asked, breathless.
“With imprudent carnal hunger.”
I absolutely adored both Asher and Win and I’m sure you will as well. Their growth into love was a wonderful thing to see and I really enjoyed their journey into their HEA.
“…with all the rain they’d encounter something was bound to take deep root and blossom, and for them it was love”
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.