|October 2016; Loveswept; 9781101883181; |
ebook (240 pg); regency romance;
a free ebook was provided by the publisher
Isobel Thompson is a proper young lady hoping to meet someone that will marry her so she no longer has to live with her stepmother Victoria. Arend Aubury had amassed a fortune overseas, but only trusts his fellow Libertine Scholars, and certainly not beautiful women. As a result, when he meets Isobel, he immediately thinks she's in league with Victoria, who is targeting Arend and the Scholars for crimes their fathers committed. Just to complicate matters, Isobel believes that Victoria had murdered her father. She proposes that they work together to find the truth, and Arend suggests a false betrothal to explain their closeness Unfortunately for Arend, he is drawn to Isobel, and soon believes in her innocence. That plays right into Victoria's plans, and she is determined to get her revenge, even if it means sacrificing Isobel to do so.
This is a Disgraced Lords novel; while I haven't read the others in the series, it clearly is a separate book per Libertine Scholar. While there are references to the other Scholars' stories, it's not blatant and not necessary to understand Isobel and Arend's story. Isobel is driven by her devotion to her father's memory and her need for the truth. Arend wishes he could forget his past and hopes that he doesn't lose the esteem of his friends. His distrust is explained very clearly, and we get hints of the trauma that Arend had suffered in his past. Isobel is a likable heroine, and you can't help but root for her to get closure. It's inevitable that the two of them get together, as this is a Regency romance. There is always a happily ever after, and this novel is no different. I was surprised by the reappearance of a particular character at the end, and how easily Isobel let go of her insistence that Arend tells her everything about his past in order to better understand him. They both learn to give in a little, and it does feel a little sudden. Still, there were quite a few events that occurred rapidly, and near-death experiences often change people. At least, that's how I chalk up the conversation in the last chapter. A thrilling and fun read, and one that I'll definitely be rereading often.
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MK French, reviewer. Born and raised in New York City, M.K. started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.
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