Author Jaimey Grant
Finding herself abandoned after the death of her father, Leandra Harcourt takes a chance on a dark stranger at a small inn. Married, she learns about her husband during his extended absences, discovering more truth and mystery than she ever could have dreamed. The Duke of Derringer is feared and reviled wherever he goes; he is a man not to be crossed. Finding himself suddenly in need of a wife only interferes with the plans he has already set in motion. Vowing to marry the first woman he meets, he stumbles upon Leandra Harcourt, desperate and alone. With only sporadic visits home, Derringer finds his wife intriguing, baffling, and oddly desirable. In her prosaic attitude and calm demeanor, he discovers a peacefulness that he’s never known in his life and knows he will never find again. While facing a nameless assassin, his search for his missing cousin intensifies. Little does he realize that in reaching his goal, his enemies may reach theirs, endangering his new bride as well.
GEMS: The story seduces the reader from the first page. A quick read that is easy to get absorbed in and a fun way to lose track of time. A clean romance that lets the imagination explore, which makes it more intimate than typical romance novels. I fell in love with the lead characters and if my eyes would have allowed, I would have read the entire book in a single sitting. This book is a romantic-period pleasure that will appeal to women, especially those who enjoy historical romance. Stylistically, it reminded me of Lauren Willig’s Carnation series, which I thoroughly enjoyed. This is a perfect beach or travel book. My next trip, I’m downloading more titles by this author for my pool side escape.
FLAWS: The last half is a bit rushed and certain details, moments, and scenes would have benefitted if the pace slowed. For a moment, the reader may feel like they are getting a summary of events rather than an experience. The last quarter of the book is not as strong as the first half. Because of this, I wavered between 3 and 4 stars, but I really did enjoy the story, description and characters. What can I say? This delicious tale melted Bitsy’s icy heart just a touch.