Reviewed by May
All her life, she’d known that confessing her love would at best create restraint, at worst send Cam fleeing what he viewed as impossible demands.
To be fair, he wouldn’t want to hurt her. Although the sad truth was hat because he didn’t love her, he hurt her again and again.
Nearly a decade ago, Cam proposed to his long time childhood friend Penelope. To his dismay, she did not jump at the amazing opportunity he presented by offering her the position as his duchess.
“You can help me. You’ll make a capital duchess.”
“You’re mistaken.” He’d never imagined that worldly smile on Pen’s face. His reluctant desire deepened. “I’m too independent to be anyone’s duchess, especially yours.”
“You can change,” he said desperately, wishing he’d taken Lord Wilmott up on his offer of a brandy earlier. Cam wasn’t used to being so wrong-footed with a woman, with anyone.
Now, after so much time apart circumstances have Cam and Pen seeing each other as adults, and pushed into a quick marriage to avoid scandal as well. With both in love (and lust) with one another – can they come together to find a happily ever after?
The answer is obviously going to be yes, as this is a romance novel and that is rather the point. At first I enjoyed this book – I enjoyed the world travelling Penelope who was making the most of her life as a woman of the world. The tension and dialogue between the two was fantastic to begin with.
The problem with this book, is that it didn’t develop into anything great. If there had been some other conflict or issue, if it had been much shorter, if the secondary romance and all the repetitive scenes had been removed – perhaps we’d have had something. Her family is full of scandal but his own birth was a scandal as well so why is he so judgmental of her? It never added up for me and I didn’t feel like the book had enough to fill its pages.
Indeed Penelope seems to lose intelligence and common sense the longer she’s in England. Cam continues believing that he’s both not in love with his wife and that she can adapt to suit his needs. In short, Cam is an ass and I never warmed up to him. My last thought to share is that the ending had me wishing I had not wasted my time on this book at all. For such a long drawn out “we love each other but we can’t admit it” story I needed a much bigger and more convincing ending.
The only way I can recommend this rather unremarkable story to you is if the childhood friends that find themselves in a marriage to avoid scandal with one party in love and the other pretending not to be is your trope of choice.
Otherwise, pass this one by for some of the author’s previous (much superior) stories.
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