I love reading everything from fantasy to historical romances. On a constant quest for more books to read.
I got this ARC from Netgalley and this is my honest review of it.
Harry the eldest son and heir of the Duke of Breconbridge has pursued the beautiful Julia Wetherby into the country to ask her to marry him. This is only her latest ploy in their courtship but hes confident that once he manages to make his feelings known she will be his.
After all he is handsome,rich and one of his ancestors were a King (albeit this was out of wedlock)
After she suggest they take an early morning ride he happily agrees seeing it as the perfect moment to propose marriage without being disturbed.
But the horse wich he is assigned is difficult to handle and when Julia thoughtlessy jumps out from behind a bush she scares his horse so much that it rears causing Harry to fall and hit his head and break his leg.
Julia not being the most solid rock to lean runs off and he loses consciouness. The next thing he knows is that a young woman who he first assumes is a servant is taking care to have him treated for his injuries and bring him back to the house. Of course she is not a servant at all but Julias younger sister Augusta,called Gus.
Despite Gus and their father telling her to take responsibility by attending to her almost fianceeiInstead of staying and taking care of him Julia goes back to London because she cant stand any sort of unpleasantness and dont want to have to marry a cripple as Harry might end up to be.
Their father goes after her and leaves Gus to take care of Harry,who is between life and death for some time but recovers and startscreate more work for Gus by sending for his private musicians,his dogs.Leaving her to have to make room and board for them. He also wants her to spend time with him since he gets bored.
Gus is equally charmed and exsperated at his behavior. But how could he ever want someone plain and ordinary like her when his preference seems to be for beautiful and women like her sister? Its best not to get her hopes up
She is also trying to keep him from learning that her sister has abandoned him and is partying in London.
.The nursing back to health plot while falling in love is hardly a new one in the world of historical romances. Its not my favorite plotline but this had other things going for it like the fact that it is set in the 18th century,one of my favorite periods when it comes to historical romances and I had read another book by this author wich I liked. Might as well give it a chance.
I thought Harry was a complete idiot at first and then he had his accident and changed. Wish this transition had been more gradually as Harry before his accident seemed for a lack of a better word weak in his personality and a bit too easily pushed around.
His character got better and more likeable as the book went on and he started to have to make compromises and face the reality that his life was a very different one now after his accident. That is not to say he doesnt get mopy but he snaps out of it when realizes he has to be there for Gus.
I liked Gus personality shes not one of those aggressive and feisty heroines that makes you groan because they have to be right all the time and get their will. Shes tries to do her best and is confident in her abilities in running a household but a bit naive when it comes to her own feelings and dealing with men like Harry.
She does call him out for his behavior once or twice and doesnt let him use her as a doormat.
I liked that the author didnt just have Harrys leg heal magically without reprecussions of any kind. His frustration felt very real to me and knowing personally someone who has had leg surgery the recovery is long and takes a lot of work and yes even in this day and age some people will make fun of you.
It was also interesting to learn that excercise machines like the chamber horse existed in the 18th century.
I did wish that Julia had suffered some consequences from her actions.As a character she feels like a plot device and is very one-dimensional.
While this has a few uneven bits its a solid romance if you can manage to overlook the fact that for one ,I dont think a man would ask a girl to marry him before he had talked with her father nor do I think a young lady would have been allowed to stay behind without as much a chaperone to keep up apperances ,no matter if the man is invalided.
I mean his leg might be broken but his hands and mouth are still working ;)
I also noticed some grammatical errors in the book and a location name mysteriously changes from Mildenhall to Mendenhall in the course of the book. I expect they will be corrected in the final version of this book.