Tracy’s rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Series: Daughters of Desire (Scandalous Ladies) #5
Release Date: October 19, 2022
Lord Constantine Kellinggrave, the third and youngest son of the Duke & Duchess of Landrith, learned quickly that he was not cut out for a life in the clergy, an occupation many third sons aspire to, instead, he followed his passion, the study of insects – primary butterflies. His research required him to hire not only a research assistant but an amanuensis as well, a position that would generally be held by a man. But when Constantine loses a wager with friends, he was obligated to hire a female. He hired Miss Faith Roth and as much as he hates to admit it, Miss Roth is not only efficient, and organized, but she is also an outstanding scrivener. However, that doesn’t mean he wants to keep her in his employ, and since he can’t fire her (per the wager), he has instead been trying to make her quit since she started. So when he is invited to his sister’s wedding, he insists that she make the three-day journey to his parent’s estate, thinking she will refuse and quit – no such luck! And things are only going to get worse when they arrive and learn that he never told his family that his scribe is a woman.
Faith Roth was left at Haven House and Academy for the Enrichment of Young Women when she was barely more than a toddler. She has no idea who her family is and has worked hard to make a decent life for herself. She was thrilled when Lord Constantine hired her, even knowing he didn’t want to, and there is no way she is going to let this opportunity slip away. Even if it means traveling to his sister’s wedding when she suffers from motion sickness. But she never expected to find herself betrothed to Constantine, even if it is only for the duration of the wedding celebrations, or realizing that Constantine isn’t the man she thought he was and that she actually has deeper feelings for him than she ever thought possible. Can there be a HEA in her future or will words carelessly spoken change the path of her life?
This was a cute enemy-to-lovers (sort of) story with very likable characters. Constantine starts out rigid and almost unlikable, but once he is with his family, a different side of him emerges and you begin to realize he isn’t as gruff and serious as he first appeared. The book has misunderstands, surprising revelations, kissing-only love scenes, a fake betrothal, great secondary characters, and finally a HEA complete with an epilogue. I thought this was a fun, quick read, but I felt that the romance wasn’t as developed as it could be, making it a little hard to believe that they were “in love”. This is the fifth book in the series, but it can 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.*