It Was Only a Kiss by Shannon Gilmore
Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Ruined Rakes #1
Publication Date: 6/22/21
Period: Georgian/Regency – 1821 London
Number of Pages: 411
It was truly delightful to be able to read and enjoy this debut author’s wonderfully exciting, well-written, fast-paced, and romantic story. The characters are robust, fully developed, and you will absolutely love them (and their very expressive eyebrows). The witty banter will keep you chuckling and the danger will keep you flipping the pages as fast as you can read them.
Grant, the Duke of Havenly, has always had a love-hate relationship with his grandmother. He cannot forgive her for the way she treated his mother – and his father – so he is bound and determined that he will never marry and have children no matter how hard she pushes at him. He doesn’t care about the duchy – it can pass to a distant cousin for all he cares. Yet, she keeps on at him – time after time after time. He also has a curiosity about a box he won in a card game. It is a simple little box, but there are some odd engravings in and on the box. He’s been investigating and believes the box ties back to a legend about hidden treasure. Finally, he’s identified the original owner of the box and all he has to do is finagle a meeting with her.
Nicolette Bradenton has known three homes in her short life and she was loved in all of them. Until she was ten, she lived with her much-loved parents in a quiet little village. When Nicolette was ten, her mother died, so she and her father lived on the ship he captained, the New Horizon. When she was sixteen, she went to live with her aunt and uncle because her father had been murdered. She’s been with them for three years now and she’s tried really hard to fit into the world of the ton, but it is so hard. There are just so many rules to follow, and she’s not really very good at following rules. So, when a handsome man approaches her at the opera, she isn’t very good at following the rules.
Grant is intrigued by the unconventional and irreverent Nicolette who isn’t cowed by his title and wealth. He loves their verbal sparring; he loves how beautiful and spirited she is – but he does NOT love her. However, with Nicolette in danger, Grant will do whatever it takes to keep her safe. He still won’t love her – and he certainly won’t marry her – but he will keep her safe.
I highly recommend this debut author and hope you will give both the author and the book a try. It was so entertaining and so much fun watching these two working their way toward a HEA.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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