Series: The Mating Habits of Scoundrels #3
Publication Date: 6/29/21
Period: Regency London – 1810
Number of Pages: 384
** 4-Stars **
The book starts off with the saddest event any child, especially a young child, can possibly witness. This beginning is beautifully written and deals with Elodie’s emotions wonderfully. It also shows, very plainly, the genesis of all of her fears and phobias that are a central part of this story. To be honest, I had reservations about this trope because it usually turns out that one party clings to their ‘love’ for another for way, way, way too long. It didn’t work exactly that way in this one, but there was an event that made me just want to reach into the book and spank her. The book is well written and the characters are lovely.
Elodie Parrish has more fears and phobias than you can shake a stick at, but at least she doesn’t have to worry about marriage. She has had an understanding with George, Marquess of Nethersole since she was a very young girl – but now, she is twenty-five years old and is practically a spinster. George is busy sowing his oats and just isn’t ready for marriage yet. Elodie isn’t jealous and it doesn’t bother her for him to be sowing his oats, but it is just time. Elodie is totally oblivious to the way George takes her for granted, makes jokes of her, teases her unkindly – others notice, but Elodie doesn’t. He’s just being the George she’s known since she was a small girl.
Brandon Stredwick, Marquess of Hullworth, is unhappily in London for the season. He’s there to escort his much-beloved sister, Meg to all of the events. Brandon is rich, handsome, unwed – and pursued ceaselessly by the debutantes and their mothers. Brandon has no intention of marrying any of them and has not one ounce of patience for their ploys such as accidentally bumping into him, dropping their handkerchiefs, befriending his sister solely to get near him, or feigning injury. When he’s at a garden party and one of those women barrels into him, he’s deplorably rude to her and just walks off – only to find that she’s befriended his sister. He tries to warn Meg, but she’ll hear nothing against her new friend.
Elodie and Brandon certainly have an inauspicious beginning to their acquaintance and only tolerate each other because of Meg – until – Meg isn’t the only reason they tolerate each other. Elodie is focused on George and Brandon mistrusts all women, so their journey to an HEA is a hard one.
I loved both Elodie and Brandon and I loved how each of them grew – especially Elodie. She had so many fears to conquer and I loved that she finally embraced overcoming them. I also loved how Brandon came to trust Elodie and to learn that not all women were ‘out to get him’. I did NOT love George, but then I wasn’t supposed to. However, I also didn’t love Prue, and I think she might be the female lead in the next book. To me, what she did was unconscionable and I think Elodie was much too easy to forgive. So, it will be interesting to see how the author manages to make Prue acceptable to me in her book. Elodie’s aunts, Maeve and Myrtle are delightful and I think you’ll enjoy them as well. They could have offered Elodie a bit more guidance though rather than just letting her flounder after George for years.
I definitely enjoyed this book and hope you will as well.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.