Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: The Wildes of Lindow Castle, #5
Release Date: May 19, 2020
Viola Astley, The Duke of Lindow’s stepdaughter has been raised as a Wilde, but never felt that she fit in. Unlike her bold and outgoing siblings, Viola is shy and timid , so shy and timid, that she makes herself ill and has on numerous occasions cast up her accounts, like the time when she was 15 and interrupted an amorous couple in the servants hall and caused the man to fly into a rage when he assumed his lover was trying to trap him, he bellowed at the woman and left – the woman who was indeed trying to trap him then screamed at Viola – who promptly lost her lunch on the woman’s hem. It was then that Viola realized she might never marry. Years pass and Viola’s fears only grow worse, she avoids social events as much as possible and has become a wallflower, she is sure she will be a spinster. But all that changes when Viola falls in love with the duke’s new vicar, Mr. Marlowe. Too bad he is already betrothed…
Devin Lucas Augustus Elstan, the Duke of Wynter is fighting with his cousin Otis, Otis has told Devin that he has changed his mind, he doesn’t want to be a vicar anymore and that he is going to travel abroad and find an heiress to wed. Devin convinces him to stay until they find another vicar, he also mentions that he is playing on marrying – he has already chosen his bride, Lady Joan Wilde. Otis warns that he will have a lot of competition, but Devin isn’t worried, he wants Joan and he gets what he wants.
Viola hatches a plan, she needs to get over her shyness (a task that Joan is helping her with) and show Mr. Marlowe that she is the perfect wife for him. She arranges a meeting in the library on the night of her debut ball. But when she arrives in the library, it is already occupied – she hides and hears Devin and his uncle talking – Sir Reginald tells Devin that Viola would be the perfect bride for him – Devin disagrees, he says that she isn’t really a Wilde and that she is a timid mouse. His uncle tells him he is wrong and that if he wants to get technical – Lady Joan isn’t a Wilde either. Devin doesn’t care, he wants Joan, end of story. When his uncle leaves, Mr. Marlowe arrives and Viola comes out of hiding. She makes comments that let Devin know that she heard him talking about her. Devin sends Mr. Marlowe away and escorts Viola back to the ball, on the way she gives him a proper set down and Devin admits that she is not the mouse he thought she was, intrigued he askes to escort her to supper – NO and she fobs him off on another woman he criticized.
Devin realizes his uncle was right, Lady Joan is not right for him, but Viola is perfect. He sets out to win her away from the vicar by means fair or foul. Even if he has to take advice from his cousin Otis, even if he has to woo her, even if he has to hire Mr. Marlowe away from the duke. But winning her is only part of it, soon he realizes he wants it all, her body, her heart and her love, a task made harder when he learns that he is the man that terrified her all those years ago…
I have enjoyed all the books in this series, but I LOVED this book, it is a well written, delightful, uncomplicated, steamyish read with wonderful characters and plenty of witty banter. Devin is a wonderful hero with a troubled childhood and fears of being unstable like his father and Viola wrestles with feelings of unworthiness and feeling like she doesn’t belong. I just love how together they learn to move on and find happiness. If you are looking for a fun, lighthearted read, look no further, this is that book.
This is the fifth book in the series, but it can easily be read as a stand-alone title. I highly recommend this series and this title especially.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an uncorrected eARC that was provided to me by Edelweiss and the publisher.*