Author: Lynne Connolly
Publisher: Kensington Books
Rating: 4 stars
Buy Links: Amazon
Type: Novel in Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: There is more to love than meets the eye!
The daughter of a wealthy merchant, Sophia Russell has no interest in marriage, especially after a recent humiliation and especially not to Maximilian, Marquess of Devereaux. But it is the only way to save herself from fortune hunters and those who wish to seize a powerful connection she prefers to keep secret, even from her future husband.
She holds the key to more than a fortune!
Marrying Sophia is the only way Max can regain the wealth his father squandered on an extravagant country palace. And while Max and his bride are civil, theirs is clearly a marriage of convenience until a family enemy takes a questionable interest in Sophia, one that may lead all the way to the throne. Forced to become allies in a battle they hadn’t foreseen, the newlyweds soon grow closer and discover a love, and a passion, they never expected.
Review: I love Lynne Connolly’s books, especially her historical series with Richard and Rose, so I started this book certain that I could like it. I didn’t, at first. So I found the first in this series and read it, and then went back. It helped me immensely! I was just lost and felt like I was missing out on things, and I was. So, word to the wise at least from this reader–read them in order.
Another caveat–if you are interested in the “Bonnie Prince Charlie,” aka Charles James Stuart revolution and the many plots therein to take over the English thrown, there’s a juicy plot twist in this book as well as threaded into the Emperor series, so you might want to take note.
Sophia Russell is the daughter of a wealthy cit in London. While accustomed to mingling with the upper reaches of the wealthiest of the trade establishment, aka the City or Cits, the aristocratic ton is above her. She’d had her come-out, being the daughter of a Lady, but “hadn’t taken.” Which meant basically she hadn’t sold. So, glad to throw those aspirations to the side, she’d returned to the milieu she was accustomed to, the Cit society, and flourished there. Unfortunately, her father had more in mind for her. While Sophia was totally prepared to take over his business, he knew that it was much harder for a woman to do business than a man in London’s business world. It wasn’t impossible, just more difficult at the higher level he was accustomed to. Most of the places that men met for business were closed for women! Disappointed with his previous choice, this time, he cast his net higher–to the closest aristocrat in his web.
Maximilian Wallace, the Marquess of Devereaux, has finally come close to regaining the inheritance that his father and grandfather lost before him. Starting early and working diligently with men like Thomas Russell, investing in speculative ventures that returned in vast measures, Max was on the brink of being able to start re-building the grand estate that had bankrupted his father and mother so many years before. If he can just get in on this one last deal…
BUT. There’s a condition. Thomas Russell has added an addendum. He needs a husband for Sophia STAT. The man he’d previously chosen for her had taken upon himself to make advances before they were welcome…sort of to ensure that he was the chosen groom. That didn’t fly with Sophia, who luckily screamed loudly enough to be rescued before she was raped. The bounder had been sent off but not before spreading word far and wide of her charms and, to add insult to injury, adding on a savory bit of falsehood stating that Sophia had been the one to attack him!
In Georgian England, a woman’s reputation is only as good as society believes it, unfortunately, and everyone will believe the scoundrel before they believe her. So Russell has got to get his daughter married before word spreads too far or else she’ll be ruined. And there’s Max, pen in hand…desperate to sign on to this last deal…
Will they marry? And how will it work, this marriage of convenience between a newly rich aristocrat with a chip on his shoulder and a jaded spinster with a traumatic past and a bad attitude towards men? Will he understand the inherent intelligence behind her shadowed eyes and allow her to help him? Will she realize that all men are not alike and that he can be a friend as well as a lover? Let’s hope so, because he doesn’t want a white marriage and her father’s insistent they wed…
This is an interesting new series from Lynne Connolly that is different from her previous series. However, it contains the same historical descriptive narrative and quick and lively banter that are trademarks of this delightful author. Thanks, Ms. Connolly!