The Defiant Wife by Jess Michaels
Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: The Three Mrs, #2
Release Date: April 13, 2021
Phillipa “Pippa” Montgomery thought she married for love, but soon she learns that her “husband”, Erasmus Montgomery is the father of her maid, Rosie’s baby. She follows him to London, only to learn that he was a bigamist, with two other wives and has been murdered! She teams up with Erasmus’s two other wives to clear their names and then gets another shock when she learns he is not dead, only to witness his jealous lover kill him. Unsure what his death means to her and his infant son, Pippa willingly accepts the help of Erasmus’ brother, Rhys, the Earl of Leighton, while trying to fight her attraction to him.
Rhys is horrified by Erasmus’s actions and vows to set everything to rights. He too fights his attraction to Pippa, as nothing can come of it, and being together would be a scandal. He tries to do the right thing by her and his nephew, traveling to Bath to settle his brother’s debts and to setup Pippa and the baby up in a house. But the more time they spend together, the deeper the attraction and they finally give in to it. Knowing a brief affair is all they can ever hope for. When it becomes clear that Bath is not going to be suitable, Rhys offers to set Pippa and the baby up in London – she accepts, but us clear, whatever happened between them must stay in Bath. Easier, said than done and when they learn that Rosie is still in England, Rhys cannot let Pippa deal with her alone. He knows that being together will cause a scandal – but rumors of Erasmus’ bigamy and death are already a scandal, so what difference will a bit more make? Now he just has to convince Pippa and hopefully do so before unstable Rosie turns up.
This was a well-written, nicely paced, steamyish book that picks up exactly where the previous book ended. Unlike the previous book that introduced us to all the players, this book was able to focus most of its attention on the relationship between Pippa and Rhys, which was great, but I did feel like they made a mountain out of a molehill about why they couldn’t be together and took a bit too long to realize that there was going to be a scandal no matter what they did. Overall, I enjoyed this story and am looking forward to the next installment.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own. *