Keep your friends close, but your enemy's closer...
For Alexander Laurie this is a bit of problem since the enemy in question is the one woman who turned him on his heels with a kiss two years prior. He's supposed to be focused on getting the special Madonna's dye that will propel his business into an elite status. Instead he's focused on the gorgeous woman flitting around ballrooms and becoming a ton sensation.
Enter Willa Stratton... her father and Alex's were once partners, but went separate ways. The die has been cast ever since, and Willa is more than willing to rise to the challenge. She's stolen investors, dye secrets, and even kisses. What Willa didn't expect is that someone would steal from her in return; especially her heart.
This novella was good, and I found March's delve into the dye making industry of the times very interesting. Characters Alex and Willa are a wonderful bundle of tension and passion waiting to burst. The secondary lineup of characters is also inspiring and I wonder if March will release any more stories involving these two families. I thought Alex was the perfect brother with an ultimate sense of duty. He pretends to be ruthless and really he's not. Willa on the other hand is known for being ruthless and she believes that she can continue that trend if it means getting her enough leverage against her father. But as she gets closer and closer to Alex, it appears she's not able to be as ruthless as she desires. Passions flare, promises are broken (along with a few doors), and by the end of it I was wondering if these two could make it work; without bringing scandal and gossip crashing at their door.
My problems with the story exist with major plot points being completely abandoned before resolution, as both Willa and Alex forget about the dye and move onto other dye business. There was also some confusion for me with Willa and Alex abandoning the rich, aristocratic quarry for holy matrimony. Also these 2 spend a large amount of time with each other, alone, there was surprisingly no scandal involved (hard to believe).
Overall the story is decent, but I felt this was one that could have afforded to be longer and at least have a bit more clarity when it came to overall plot. Willa and Alex are fun to read, with banter being the order of the day, and that was probably the most enjoyable part of the story for me. If you like March's previous work then you may enjoy this read.
Reviewed by Landra
This review was originally posted on The Season site (theseasonforromance dot com)