Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: A Series of Unconventional Courtships, #5
Release Date: July 27, 2021
Miss Charlotte Mayne is in London for one reason and that is to find a husband. She and her maiden aunt have scraped up enough money for one season and she hopes to find a man who will be willing to support her and her younger siblings. But things are not progressing as she would have hoped, especially since her nasty cousin seems bent on ruining any chances she may have. She meets Gabriel Harris, Earl of Whiddon when she escapes to the terrace during a ball. Gabriel is smoking a vile-smelling cigar and she rightly guesses it is to keep people away. They strike up a conversation and she learns that he never wants to marry, but that doesn’t stop her from enjoying his company.
After that meeting, Gabriel watches out for her and on more than one occasion sees her cousin sabotaging her, so he steps in and dances with her, which seems to open the door for other suitors. He knows he should keep his distance, but he can’t seem to stay away and when they are caught in a compromising position, he proposes a marriage in name only.
Charlotte agrees, to a point, she wants more but is willing to wait for it. Slowly, she weaves herself into his life, first by setting his house to rights, despite his reasons for keeping it barely habitable, and then by getting him to share some of his tightly held secrets, including his ongoing mission to right the wrongs done by his father. At first, Gabriel tries to resist, but soon he can no longer deny his feelings and it seems like these two will find their HEA, but when an old advisory teams up with Charlotte’s cousin, their blossoming love will be tested.
What a great story! Of all the books in this series, I think this is my favorite, I just loved Charlotte and Gabriel and their road to HEA was filled with emotion, betrayal, secrets, lies, cameos from previous characters, truly evil villains, steamyish love scenes, and a little bit of heartache all wrapped up in a well-written, fast-paced story. This is the fifth book in the series, but it could easily be read as a standalone title.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*