Barbara’s rating: 3.8 of 5 Stars
Series: Daring Ladies #2
Publication Date: 4/25/23
Number of Pages: 352
This was a fun romp between two people who each have a problem and each needs the other to help with the solution. It starts with a ‘meet cute’ when Adeline’s pig, Harry, attacks the Duke of Warwick and ends with a lovely epilogue where Warwick realizes that “a man cannot live on logic alone. But he can live for love.” I enjoyed the characters, the plot, the pacing, and the writing style. Each book in this series is a standalone, so you don’t have to worry if you haven’t read the first book.
Lady Adeline Foster was much loved by both her mother and father as well as her half-sister, Mary – but she was reviled by her half-brother, Edwin. Edwin taunted and belittled Adeline her entire life because of her mixed Mediterranean heritage. While she and Edwin had the same father, they had different mothers and Adeline’s mother was the daughter of a traveling Arabic rug merchant and not in the least aristocratic. When her father passed away, Edwin inherited the Earldom, and had complete control of Adeline – or so he thought. Adeline inherited a small, run-down property from her father and promptly loaded up her belongings and moved to Chilham, in Kent. Of course, she quickly discovered her property needed a whole lot more work than she’d thought – but she would make it work and she’d use her medical skills – learned from her mother – to help the local people in Chilham. She was a happy and content woman – until . . . That nasty neighbor made an appearance at her door . . .
Daniel Millstone, the Duke of Warwick, moved to a small property in Chilham seeking peace and quiet so he could concentrate on his inventions. Warwick was a brilliant mathematician, engineer, scientist – you name it – and he was rich as Croesus. He discovered he had a new neighbor when the racket from the neighbor’s dogs became unbearable. He’ll just put a stop to that! Yep, he will – or will he?
When Adeline’s half-brother shows up and announces she is to wed a very unsavory moneylender – and Warwick wants to stop his Godmother’s matchmaking efforts for the rest of the season, they realize they can help each other by pretending a courtship. We all know that is going to work out well.
I loved Daniel and Adeline – both were strong, stubborn, bookish, scientific, misfits who were made for each other – although it really took Daniel much too long to come to that conclusion. You can’t blame him though. His upbringing showed him that love didn’t exist in marriages and that it was entirely a business arrangement. So, he’d channeled all of his passions into his scientific pursuits and had no clue love could actually exist in a relationship.
I enjoyed this book and watching Warwick and Adeline find their HEA. While I had some concerns about a few things, it was overall a nice read. Books where the villain(s) aren’t punished – or are even rewarded, as in this case – really attack my sense of fair play. As clever as both Warwick and Adeline are, they could have come up with a great punishment – I just know it. Anyway, I would recommend this book to a friend.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.