How to Beguile a Beauty is a tender, sweet, regency romance, tinged with a hint of mystery.
A year later, Lady Lydia is still mourning the lose of her beloved Captain (Fitz), after the war violently took him from her. Tanner, who swore on the Captain's deathbed to watch over, protect and take care of Lydia, is starting to develop deep and ever growing feelings for her, that reach far beyond those of protector. How can he convince Lydia that his feelings for her, far outreach those of his promise to his dear friend?
Lydia knows that Tanner is every bit the gentleman and will uphold his promise, no matter what. However, she is tired of feeling like a burden and falling into the slot of "poor Lydia", especially now that her sister has left with her betrothed. When the companionable looks from Tanner hint at more than friendship, how can she be assured the feelings are from Tanner's heart, rather from his sense of duty? Enter, Tanner's good friend Baron Justin Wilde, who has an anything but innocent background, and whose eyes have been caught by Lydia's beauty and sauciness. Toss in Tanner's supposed intended, Jasmine, and you have the ingredients for a rather interesting tryst.
During a visit with Justin, Tanner realizes that his family's jewels have been replaced with glass and paste. He now knows there is a betrayer swarming around. Tanner has an idea who is behind this wretched deceit, but he cannot be positive. To see just how far this travesty has gone, Tanner invites Justin to travel to his home, to decide the authenticity of his additional jewels in the family collection.
It is decided that a week in the country, at Tanner's, estate is exactly what is needed for everyone. With that, Lydia, Tanner, Jasmine, Justin and their servants make their way to Melvern Hall. Along the journey, Lydia makes some shocking discoveries about Jasmine, a near scuffle takes place, and a dead body is discovered.
An intriguing story? Yes, by all means. Kasey Michaels is well known for her contemporary romances, chocked full of humor and mischief, her historicals are no different. Heroine, Lydia, is a delightful character that I adored. She may have began on the reserved side, but as the story progresses, watch out! Strength and sassiness soon weave tightly with beauty and intelligence, making for a most magnanimous character!
The story flows rather well and is a quick and engrossing read. Let it be known that this is part of a series, following How to Tempt a Duke and How to Tame a Lady. To be honest, while I have read Ms. Michaels' contemporary work, this is my first historical by her. With that being said, I never felt lost or as though I was missing part of the story by not having read the previous books in this series. From the way Ms. Michaels writes How to Beguile a Beauty, one can completely enjoy it as a stand alone, or part of the series. The romance between Tanner and Lydia is sweet and gentle, befitting their personalities perfectly. Readers will be satisfied with the ending - which does contain a few twists and turn, compliments of the mystery aspect of the plot. All in all, How too Beguile a Beauty is an enjoyable historical romance that will warm the heart and bring a serene smile, as the final page is turned. ~