Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Misfits of Mayfair, #3
Release Date: May 24, 2022
Captain Malachi “Mal” Harlow, and now the Duke of Trenton is livid, if it wasn’t bad enough that his late father interfered with his Naval career, now his mother has apparently blackmailed the Admiralty to force him back to London. When his attempts to regain his command once again fall on deaf ears, he decides to take a stroll in the park and it appears as if fate has decided to smile on him by reuniting him with the lovely widow he shared a night of passion with months ago and whom he hasn’t been able to forget.
Lady Emma Hardwick, the widow of “Adam” Hardwick and sister to the Marquess of Eastly and most importantly mother to Alton, has come to London to visit her brother and his family. She isn’t interested in remarrying and has no desire to spend more time than necessary in town, but when she reconnects with Mal and learns he will be in town for the next few weeks, she decides to give in to her family and stay for the season, and as a bonus, she and Mal agree to embark on an affair while they are both in town.
For a time, things are going exactly as planned and they discover their mutual connections, which only enhance their relationship, causing them to not only enjoy their time together and maybe even has them falling in love. But each of them is dealing with things that they are not willing to share with the other and while their attraction and admiration for each other comes easily, trust does not. Will they be able to work together to uncover the forces working against them or will a perceived betrayal keep them apart?
This was a well-written, fast-paced story, but it is also a very busy book, with A LOT of things going on and multiple storylines seemingly intersecting willy-nilly, but, if you have been following the series from the beginning, you will eventually come to appreciate all the random goings, as everything (and I do mean everything) comes around full circle. And if you believe in “fated love”, then Mal and Emma are perfect examples of that phenomenon! The book is filled with secrets, lies, steamy love scenes, baby goats, a tattooed piratical hero, a biscuit baking heroine, great secondary characters, treasure, misunderstandings, more steamy love scenes, a desperate former lover, a sweet secondary romance, and a HEA complete with an epilogue. I did enjoy the book, but if like me you cringe when formal address is butchered, prepare to cringe a lot – other than that, the book is a fun, fast read that really ties all the books together nicely. This is the third book in the series and I would strongly recommend reading the books in order to completely understand and enjoy this book.
*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.*