Barbara’s rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Series: Rogues to Lovers #2
Publication Date: 1/24/23
Period: Regency – Bellehaven Bay, England
Number of Pages: 352
Let me start by telling you I absolutely loved both Poppy and Keane. They were two lovely, caring, honest, up-front people who didn’t know how to be anyone other than themselves. There were no false fronts, no pretending – just love and acceptance along with wonderfully refreshing spirits.
Poppy Summers, a fisherman’s daughter, has been shouldering all the responsibilities for the care of her father and the family business for quite some time now. Very early every morning she arises to begin her day – she takes their rowboat out and casts the nets for the day’s catch; she makes breakfast for her ill father and serves him; she cleans and salts the fish, then takes them to town to sell. They are barely scraping by and scarcely know where the next meal will come from. She has one, just one, place to relax from the stress, so imagine her shock when she approaches her beach one day and finds a dark, handsome man lying lifeless in the surf. He insists he is a duke, but she doesn’t believe that for a minute. A pirate? Maybe. Whatever he is, he isn’t a duke!
Andrew Keane, Duke of Hawking, has been avoiding taking on his responsibilities since he inherited the title. Part of that avoidance included escaping to the lovely beach village of Bellehaven – where someone coshed him over the head and tossed him in the water. After being washed up on the beach, he regained consciousness to see a most delightful angel was there with him. Oops – how can she be an angel when she is challenging everything he says and demanding to know how he came to be on her beach? She asked if he was a pirate who’d fallen overboard for goodness’ sake!
Keane finally convinces Poppy to help him find out who tried to murder him – and to let him stay on her beach while they do. I love how they deal with each other – no doubt – no mistrust – no navel-gazing – just straight-up honesty. I also loved the Epilogue.
So, with all of this, why didn’t I give it 5-stars? I definitely could have based on the characters. However, there were so very many anachronisms and improbabilities that I couldn’t get past them – and, there wasn’t any reason for them to be there. A little research would have given the information to avoid them. Just one example: In less than twenty-four hours, they made a round-trip to London (100 miles each way – so 200 miles) in a coach that averages about 7-10 MPH, and that trip included hunting down a witness, a visit to Hyde Park, and attending an evening entertainment. I’m not sure I could do that in one of today’s vehicles, much less a horse-drawn carriage. Still, I can recommend this read if anachronisms and improbabilities don’t bother you.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.