Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: The Heirs of the Aristocracy #3
Publication Date: 9/4/2020
Number of Pages: 342
Gosh, I love this lighthearted, fun, romantic series that always gives us at least two romances in every book in the series. Who could ask for more? If you have read this author’s books, you already love the Grandby family – they are a large, loving family with connections in all levels of society. In this story, we have romances for Thomas Grandby and his friend Christopher, Earl of Haddon. You’ll love both of them and their ladies as well.
Thomas Grandby has assumed responsibility for their investment firm since his father is wanting to retire. Thomas is getting older himself (four and thirty), but hasn’t ever had any real interest in marriage – until… Thomas’s friend, Michael Cunningham, paid a visit to Thomas to ask him to help his sister – without her knowing it. Michael needed Thomas to help his sister invest her sizeable inheritance and protect it so that their older brother couldn’t, in any way, get his hands on it since their father was showing signs of senility. Their brother, Jeremiah, is a scheming scoundrel who will go to any lengths to get at his siblings’ inheritances if his own runs short – and it is going to – shortly. With Michael’s older sisters already protected by marriage, that just leaves Michael’s inheritance and his younger sister, Lady Victoria, at risk.
Lady Victoria Cunningham is living, alone, on a large estate just outside London. Her passion, vocation, and avocation is training horses. She wears breeches and rides astride while training, but transforms into a beautiful member of society when she chooses to don a dress. Victoria was injured several years earlier and has a limp, but that doesn’t keep her from training horses and she’s very, very, very good at that.
When Thomas meets Lady Victoria sparks fly. He doesn’t care that she has been injured, he doesn’t care that she trains horses, and he doesn’t care that she rides astride. He is just smitten with who she is. Now, he has to convince her that she wants to take a chance on love and marriage – with him.
Christopher Carlington, Earl of Haddon, heir to the Marquess of Morganfield, was once a friendly, admired, sought-after member of the ton. Then, about 3 years ago, just before his fortieth birthday, something changed in him. He has become a pompous, condescending, aloof, vain, arrogant ass – although he seems totally unaware of it. All of his friends have abandoned him and today, even his brother-in-law has just walked out on him because of his behavior. As Christopher is dashing out of the fencing salon to chase after his brother-in-law, he runs into a woman with the most captivating eyes he’s ever seen. As someone with a blood phobia, Christopher faints dead away at the sight (or even thought) of blood. When he pictures the injuries he could have caused this young woman, he faints and hits his head on the pavement. Oh! A huge change comes over him. He becomes the man he once was. He just needs to convince the young lady and her family that he isn’t that pompous ass anymore.
Juliet Comber is best friends with Lady Victoria and she’s as horse mad as Lady Victoria as well. Juliet is almost on-the-shelf, but that is okay with her – until a strange man runs into her – and then he pursues her and won’t take no for an answer. He says he’s changed and she hasn’t seen any evidence at all of the pompous ass he’s reputed to be. He is definitely a good bit older than her though. Will her father allow that?
I love how besotted Christopher and Thomas are with Juliet and Lady Victoria and even more, I love how accepting they are of the ladies and their quirks.
This was a really good, fun, entertaining, and very romantic read. If you are looking for a lot of steam, you won’t find it here, but there is intimacy and sweet romance.
The book is very well-written with excellent plotting and good character development. I felt as if I came to know Thomas and Christopher and liked them very much. I felt Victoria’s embarrassment over her injury and loved Thomas’s way of dealing with it. All-in-all, a lovely read.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.