The Last Lord Standing by Diana Lloyd
Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: What Happens In The Ballroom, #3
Release Date: May 15, 2023
Lady Olivia Liberty “Libby” Chalford is the youngest child of the Earl and Countess of Winchcombe and the only child who is still unmarried, she is sure her parents want to marry her off, which is something to which she is adamantly opposed, she has other plans for her future, plans her parents and society at large would probably balk at, she wants to start a “modern” charity for the poor. She has given this a lot of thought and plans to put herself in the shoes of the poor to truly understand their plight and thanks to the help of her maid, she has been given the opportunity to work as a shopgirl in the theater district. She just needs to figure out how to work there without her family learning of it. The answer to that dilemma comes in the form of a handsome man spilling punch on her and then insisting they dance as if nothing happened. That dance leads to a kiss and the start of an unusual friendship.
Kerrigan “Kerr” Northam is the second son of a second son, he hasn’t decided what he wants to do with his life and currently runs a charity for widows of sailors, he also claims to be England’s greatest liar. He meets Libby when he accidentally spills punch on her at her birthday ball, an event he was not invited to. He notices her distress over a friend giving her the cut direct and insists that they dance, despite the punch staining her gown. When they part, she kisses him and he believes that they will never meet again, but fate has plans, and when three different friends approach him thinking he is acquainted with Libby. Each of them expresses interest in courting her, but for different reasons cannot court her for a few weeks and want Kerr to “watch” her and keep other potential suitors away. Kerr thinks this is hilarious and agrees because it will give him some more time with her, but his lies are piling up and when their feelings deepen, he doesn’t know how to make things right. Can he prove to her that not everything was a lie or is it too late?
This was an interesting read, I have never read this author before and her writing style took me a little time to acclimate to, but once I did, I found her approach to dialogue very refreshing. This book has a lot going on, there are lies, secrets, witty banter, wonderful secondary characters, social differences, more lies, steamyish love scenes, a guillotine that causes marriage, a couple of triggers, misassumptions, surprising twists, and finally a HEA complete with an epilogue. This is the third book in the series, but I had no problem reading this book without the benefit of reading the first two, however, now I want to read them too… I enjoyed this book and am happy to recommend it, but be warned that there are some triggers that may upset sensitive readers such as sexual assault and physical abuse – I thought the author handled them very well and with sensitivity, but they are both a bit graphic.
*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.*