Release Date: March 27, 2018
I received an ARC from the author, in exchange for an honest review.
The thing I both like and dislike about romances is that they’re formulaic. They have a recipe, and they stick to it–add characters, season with conflict, bring to a boil. That means no real surprises, good or bad. This book does an excellent job of delivering a “will they, won’t they” kind of romance with plenty of chemistry. So if you like romances, you should like this book. If you don’t like romances, maybe read something else.
Lady Charlotte Cavendish is a widow–and she knows several widowed women too, just out of mourning, so she proposes to start a Widow’s Club. (Right off the bat, you know the other widows will be the source of the next books, which I personally love. It means you don’t have to say goodbye to your favorites, and you get to learn about the next protagonists before their turn.) She sets her sights on an affair with the Earl of Wrotham, and he’s attracted to her, too. Sparks fly! But she’s determined not to marry again–her first marriage was horrifying–and he won’t settle for anything else.
Here’s where the “will they, won’t they” comes in. Unlike some romances, this is handled nicely. Did I sometimes want to yell at the characters? Well, yes. They both make some stupid mistakes, but this is the conflict on which the plot turns. They have the decency to make different mistakes, instead of returning to the same one over and over, however. And no one suffers from ‘too stupid to live’ syndrome, for which I am grateful. There’s some poor communication, rivalry, serious flirting, responsibilities, dancing, and plenty of excitement as the story goes along.
Sometimes the characters are hung up on things that seem pretty minor–but this isn’t set in modern times (1800s), so we’re not dealing with modern morals. Once you accept the times were different, and the double standards that were alive and well, it all makes sense.
A fun, flirty read, with some serious action thrown in. I’m definitely curious to see how the next couple will fare!