Tracy’s rating: 2.5/3 of 5 stars
Series: The Scandalous Ladies of London, #1
Release Date: March 28, 2023
WARNING – THIS REVIEW MIGHT BE SPOILERISH
Gertrude “Tru”, the Countess of Chatham has been married to the Earl for almost twenty years and has given him two children, but theirs is not a happy marriage and they basically live separate lives. At the ripe old age of 37, Tru is devoted to her children and her small circle of friends, she is faithful to her unfaithful husband and has earned the moniker of “the Cold Countess”, she believes that her chance for happiness is long past and is determined to make sure her daughter Cordelia “Delia” finds the happiness that eluded her. But apparently, her husband doesn’t have the same consideration for her, he wants a rich son-in-law to bankroll him and has set his sights on widower Jasper Thorne. Tru is not happy about this development and even more so when she realizes that Jasper is the man that propositioned her, the man she can seem to forget!
Jasper Thorne is a widower and father of a young daughter, he is a self-made man who wants a better life for his daughter and thinks that marrying a titled, society woman is the key to her being accepted by the ton. He originally sets his site on the current “diamond of the first water” Lady Delia, but then he realizes that her mother is the woman from the garden and changes course. He will stop at nothing to have Tru, the fact that she is a bit older and married doesn’t even matter, he always gets what he wants and he wants her – full stop. All he has to do is convince her that they are meant to be, easy right?
OK, this is a hard review to write because it is a very good book that is well-written and nicely paced with engaging characters and a wonderful primary couple – BUT – the heroine is married. I read the blurb and wondered how this was going to play out and hoped that she wouldn’t commit adultery and for the most part, she tries to resist – but eventually she gives in and sleeps with Jasper – it ruined the book for me because she became no better than her scummy husband. I know that cheating doesn’t bother many readers, but it bothers me, I don’t deny that her husband was a jerk, but that doesn’t excuse it for me – sigh. Anyway, other than that it was a very good book filled with emotion, second chances, steamyish kisses, great secondary characters, a bit of angst, forbidden love, and finally a HEA with an epilogue that nicely sets up the next book. For me, this book was a miss, but I will definitely read the next book in the series and would say that if adultery doesn’t bother you, you would probably love 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.*