“I wanted to hold your hand all day,” he whispered, interlacing his fingers with hers. “Just hold your hand. Like I was yours and you were mine.”
This year was the first year I read a historical romance and this is the first one I have reviewed for Smexy. I was drawn to Rodale’s books because they have clever titles and I heard them described as “easy” historicals and this series takes Americans and inserts them in to regency England. I listened to the first two books in this series and found them enjoyable and easy listens.
This book focuses on James, the new Duke of Durham. His father left his titled English life to be with the love of his life in America. James and his three sisters are summoned to come back to England by their aunt, the Duchess of Durham, after her husband passed away. James feels very uncertain about his role as duke as he and his sisters lived a much different life in Maryland filled with things not allowed in England, such as mucking horse stalls. On his first night in England, James meets a woman in a tavern and he is drawn to her, he wants one last night before accepting the title of duke and he and this mystery woman have a night of passion.
Meredith Green was born a commoner but has learned the ways of being a lady because she has served as companion to the Duchess of Durham for many years. She struggles to find her place in the world, she has the knowledge of being a lady, but not accepted by society as such and doesn’t fit in with commoners either. She meets a man in a bar, they don’t exchange names and have one night of passion. A week or so later, she realizes the man is none other than the new duke of Durham and she is working as the companion for the Duchess.
So basically they ended up doing the deed, not exchanging names, and then finding out who each other is and longing for each other. He’s royalty, she’s a commoner. How ever will that make this work?
This book is part of a series and if you’ve read any of the previous ones, you will see lots of the same things from the previous books, just a different perspective. Which would be my biggest complaint about this book. It felt like a lot of rehashing scenes/events that I saw in previous stories and I am not sure how many times I want to revisit Lady Winterbourne’s party. All four books takes place in pretty much the same few weeks/months time frame.
The conflict was them trying to reconcile how would someone with a title love a commoner in England and not be shunned by society. There was definitely some back and forth that I could have done without, but still felt true to their characters. There was some predictability to the resolution but it still felt like a satisfying HEA for James and Meredith. Because I had listened to the first two and have read less than five historical romances, it was nice to actually read one and see how the “ton” was spelled. If you have read and really enjoyed the previous books in this series, I think you will enjoy this. I think this could easily be read as a stand alone for anyone interested in reading historical, but maybe has been intimidated by the thought of them. This was a cute story, but had a little too much repetition of events.