Series: Capturing the Carlisles #6.5
Publication Date: 10/19/20
Number of Pages: 146
Hugh Whitby is NOT the tall, broad-shouldered, muscled, suave, handsome hero we normally find in romance novels – yet, he is absolutely perfect. Physically, Hugh represents all of us imperfect people who still want to find our HEAs. He’s tall, gangly, red-haired, freckle-faced, pale, loud – in both dress and speech, and has a heart every bit as big as his personality. To put it mildly, I absolutely adored Hugh Whitby.
You may remember Hugh from If the Duke Demands – he was (and still is) Miranda’s best friend. Hugh, the son of a Baron, is the main patron of The Gatewell School for Orphans of the Sea – and he’s looking to expand the school by building a townhome to house the older boys once they complete schooling and start looking for positions. All Hugh needs is an excellent architect – and he’s already spoken to four of them who have basically laughed at him. His next visit is with Mr. Elias Daring who he hopes will take him more seriously. However, when Mr. Daring is unavailable, Hugh meets with Mr. Daring’s daughter, Daisy. She is smart, talented, beautiful, and Hugh decides – right then and there – that she will be his wife.
Daisy Daring is keeping secrets that could ruin her family and send them to the poorhouse. In a time where women were only appreciated for their decorativeness, she was now the architect who does the designs for her father’s business. Her father has been ill for several years and the jobs have dwindled to almost nothing. Money is scarce and creditors are wanting payment. Since her father couldn’t do the work, Daisy had to do it. Daisy is a gifted designer and architect who learned at her father’s knee. She’s every bit as good as any man – actually, even better than most. However, if any clients discovered it was she, a female, who designed their plans, they would immediately demand a return of their money and perhaps even sue them. At the moment, money is the most pressing issue – and there are no new commissions – until Mr. Whitby walks through the door asking to have a whole new townhouse designed and built to his specifications. A savior has arrived! What does Daisy first think of Hugh?
“This was her potential client? He looked as if a wagonload of Chinese silks had collided with a maypole.”
I loved watching Daisy’s assessment of Huge change – without her even realizing it. All was heading in the right direction until – betrayal – at least that is what it feels like. Who betrayed whom? How can it be made right? Oh! You’ll just have to read this delightfully romantic, sweet, novella to find all of the answers. It is a novella, but it reads as if it is a full-length book – the author did a wonderful job of portraying both Daisy and Hugh.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.