Loving A Dowager by Rachel Ann Smith

Loving a Dowager (The Hadfields, #3)Barbara’s rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Series: The Hadfields #3
Publication Date: 11/3/21
Period: Regency London
Number of Pages: 244

Lord Walter Weathersbee, the third son of a marquess, has been in love with Henrietta, the daughter of a duke, for most of his life. He first met her when he was ten and lost in the woods, and by the time he was in his teen years, he was irrevocably, hopelessly, undeniably in love with her. That she was four years older made no difference to him – but it did to her and to society. So, when it was time for her come-out and a very good man fell in love with her, Walter stepped into the background and wished them well. He even befriended the man and they remained friends in secret. Walter never married because he never met anyone who could compare to Henrietta.

Henrietta’s family disowned her and totally cut her off when she chose to leave and marry a plain mister. She loved George Hadfield and she didn’t let her family’s reaction bother her – at least not too much. She and George were blissfully happy for several years, but he died young because of weak lungs. Henrietta threw herself into raising her two sons to be fine men and never took the time or opportunity to look around her or to rekindle any kind of social life. Now, however, her two sons are married and starting families of their own – one of them is even an earl. What is she to do with herself now?

Walter has long waited in the wings for Henrietta to resume her life. Now, he is ready to pursue a relationship of some sort with her – whatever relationship she’ll allow. Will her sons allow the relationship? Will Henrietta ever be ready for love again?

I like this author’s writing style – and I liked the premise of the story. So, why only 3.5 stars? Well, it is a purely personal thing and it may not bother you at all. However, it left me unfulfilled, unfinished, and unsatisfied. For me, it isn’t a romance without a HEA – and in my view, I didn’t get one. I don’t want to spoil the story for you, so I’m hesitant to tell you why I didn’t feel I got a HEA. However, to me, a HEA includes betrothals, weddings, happiness, sharing a home and family, love forever, etc. not what I got in this story. I just didn’t feel George got the HEA he so richly deserved and that made me sad. I was so looking forward to this book and reading a love match between two older, mature people and maybe even an epilogue four or five years into the future with all of her children and grandchildren along with Walter’s nephew’s family. I guess the bottom line for me is – the writing is good, but the story was unsatisfying.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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