Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: The Hadfields #1
Publication Date: 10/20/20
Number of Pages: 187
This was a lovely first book in a new series – a trilogy I believe. We learned of the organization to which our hero and heroine belong in the previous series, Agents of the Home Office. Most, if not all of the characters from those books appear in this book and it was lovely to have a nice visit with them. You can certainly read this as a stand-alone book, but to truly understand the organization, its origins, its structure, and its purpose, then reading the previous series – especially Mysteries Of Lady Theo – is something you’ll want to do. I specifically mention Lady Theo’s book because that is where our current hero is introduced. The books in both series are good, but the first series was more exciting because they had villains, mysteries, spies, etc. This book and I assume the next, Tempting a Gentleman, are romances without the wild chases, villains, etc. It was an excellent read and I was delighted to meet both the hero and heroine.
Landon Neale, Earl of Hadfield, had never expected to inherit a title, but he’s now been the Earl of Hadfield for two years. He inherited a crumbling, penniless estate and has worked at rebuilding it. One thing he needs to do is provide an heir because he may not have a lot of years on this earth. His father, his cousin, his uncle (the former Earl), all died from a lung condition – and Landon has that same lung condition. He’s looked over his mother’s list of ladies from the ton, and he doesn’t want any of them. The ONLY woman he’s ever wanted – and still wants – is Bronwyn Cadby. Bronwyn was his secretary when he was a barrister, and her intelligence, quick understanding of a case and challenging arguments always held his interest. He knew back then – six years ago – that she was the one for him, but he never acted upon it. Now – well – now it is time.
Bronwyn is a much-respected member of The Network – an organization that acts solely in support of PORFs (Protectors of the Royal Family). Bronwyn was assigned to keep an eye on Landon several years ago because The Network thought he’d surely end up becoming the earl and a PORF. She’d cared about Landon since the first day she met him and by the time he inherited his title, she was totally in love with him. She made every effort to keep that well hidden because they were from very different backgrounds – he would be an earl and she was the daughter of a shopkeeper.
Landon has rehearsed his proposal, he has all of his arguments lined up, and he’s ready to act. Then, when he sees her, every coherent thought goes right out of his head. He was a brilliant barrister and now he can’t even speak much less make a case for himself. He bungles it royally, but she does agree to think about it and will let him know her answer the following day.
Landon loves Bronwyn – and Bronwyn loves Landon – you’d think it would be cut and dried, wouldn’t you. Well, it isn’t. Landon is totally committed, but Bronwyn feels unworthy. She doesn’t see the same beauty and abilities in herself as everyone else sees in her. She loves Landon and doesn’t want to reflect poorly on him. It was lovely to watch Landon and others bring Bronwyn to see where she is of value to him – that he truly does love her, and that she will be an asset rather than a liability.
I enjoyed this read and am looking forward to the next book in the series. That said, this book – like the previous series – is filled with anomalies. I hope those are all fixed prior to the release of the book. An example – she refers to Bronwyn’s friend, Emma, as Ms. Lennox. Ms. Is a modern construct – dating to about 1900 and not something you’d see in Regency England. Anyway, it was a fun read and I enjoyed it.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.