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Not shocking but definitely delightful!
on 9 June 2014
Newly minted Earl of Wyvern, David Kerslake-Somerton is in need of a rich bride if he is to save his heavily encumbered estates. Miss Lucinda Potter, daughter of a wealthy Cit, and her dowry of thirty thousand pounds might be the solution to his problems, so David travels to London in order to court her.
Like David, Lucy is having to come to terms with big upheavals in her life. Her mother has been dead a year, and Lucy hopes, that now the mourning period is over, her father will once more include her in some of his business activities. She would much rather read a newspaper than society gossip, and has cherished the hope for some time that her father is training her to become a partner in his business. But that hope is shattered in moments when he announces his intention to re-marry in hopes of fathering a male heir.
Finding it difficult to conceal her upset and frustration, Lucy travels across London to Mayfair to stay with her aunt, and even though she knows her dowry will attract every fortune hunter in town, determines to enjoy the whirl of the social season.
An accidental meeting between Lucy and an unknown country gentleman sees both her and David smitten without knowing each other's true identities. Their eventual reunion several days later at a ball is far from auspicious; both are dismayed and feel betrayed because the other is not what they had first appeared to be. But fortunately, this state of affairs is not allowed to drag on, and very soon David and Lucy are discovering that they share a deep connection which is very quickly turning into love.
The path to true love does not, of course, run completely smooth. David and Lucy have to cope with familial interference, deeply-held secrets and tough decisions which are going to involve major changes in their lives. But when push comes to shove, they face the challenges together.
The central characters are well-rounded and have great chemistry; and the love scenes, while not terribly explicit, are romantic and sensual. The writing flows beautifully and displays a great attention to detail. In addition, the depictions of life in the small Devonian communities and descriptions of the landscapes are engaging and evocative, and I enjoyed the sense of kinship the author created between the populace, villager and landowner alike.
If I have a criticism, it’s that David and Lucy’s initial infatuation with each other blossomed into love after only a handful of encounters; although I admit that thought didn’t occur to me until after I’d finished the book because their attraction was written so well and given such depth.
Altogether, this is a very enjoyable read. I haven't read all of the previous books in the series, and I don't think it's absolutely necessary, because Ms Beverley has very helpfully included the pertinent details about the principal characters in her author's note.