Although I have read hundreds of other romance novels, this was the first book I have read by Laura Lee Guhrke I will keep this short, as you can easily find other reviews that will give the details, characters, and general storyline for the book. In a nutshell, however, the main character Belinda runs a matchmaking service for rich American heiresses wishing to acquire a title (and respectability) and poor noblemen seeing rich woman who can enable them to run their declining estates. The main male character is the inevitable “rake” who has lived a dissolute life before becoming impoverished and turning to Belinda for help finding a suitable marriage partner. As can be expected in all romance novels, the pair initially hate one another, soon discover their passion for one another is irresistible, grow and develop emotionally, and finally they find a way to be together in “blessed” matrimony. More or less, this is the plot of nearly every romance novel I have ever read, and probably will ever read.
Still, I found this book to be a quick and thoroughly enjoyable read. Laura Lee Guhrke has enough skill as a writer to pull together a reasonable plot, to write witty (and sometimes funny) dialog between the two main characters, and to allow a degree of character development that is often missing in some of the cardboard cutout romance novels on the market. In other words, I found this book to be a cut above the usual “bodice ripper” and I will probably go back and read other novels by this author.
Some people complained about the modern “tone” to the language and conversation, and the inconsistent characterization of the time period, and the relevant details. And, yes, this is NOT excellent historical fiction. She wasn’t striving to recreate the time period or the language perfectly, but to write a fun book, with a entertaining narrative, and enough substance to leave you feeling like you actually READ something reasonable, and not just ate a particularly sweet candy confection.
A word to the wise: This book has explicit content. As far as explicit content, this book falls somewhere in the middle of the range of romance novels I have read over the years. Although the sex scenes are not frequent in the book, they are very intensely graphic, and would leave more sensitive readers wondering if they had pulled the book from the pornography section of the local library. However, there were only two areas in the book with any descriptive detail, and I found these sections far less graphic (or silly) than I have seen in other similar novels.
In short, I enjoyed the book, will look forward to other novels in the series, and will probably go back and read other books she has written.