Reviewed by May
Burb: Damian, Earl of Windermere, rues the day he drunkenly gambled away his family’s estate and was forced into marriage to reclaim it. Now, after hiding out from his new bride for a year, Damian is finally called home, only to discover that his modest bride has become an alluring beauty—and rumor has it that she’s taken a lover. Damian vows to keep his wife from straying again, but to do so he must seduce her—and protect his heart from falling for the wife he never knew he wanted.
Cynthia has not in fact been unfaithful – but she has been thinking about it and with his former best friend as well. Who would blame her? Damien ditched her as soon as the marriage had been consummated and hasn’t been heard from since. When he returns and shows an interest in her, can she dare hope to have a marriage in truth? Will things be different this time around?
Some might call the new Countess of Windermere an English rose. More like a wild flower, in his opinion. Or a weed. A uncultivated bloom in the wrong place.
I struggle to find something nice to say about this book. About all I can muster is that the writing was interesting enough to keep me flipping pages to the bitter end. Which is really quite the compliment since Damian was the worst sort of leading man. Understand that he only married his wife to get back his mother’s estate that he had gambled away on the very day it became his. Then, he decided he was better than her and that her tastes and manners weren’t good enough for him so he struck off on an adventure. Now that he has come home he can see that his cruel treatment did some good – the woman has learned quite a few things and dresses better. Also she’s got his former best friend’s attention so he wants her now. Romantic and mature, right?
Meanwhile Cynthia is working up her courage to have an affair. She hasn’t done it yet – but the intent is there. Oh and she wants to please her husband and she wants his love and for him to make her life complete and oh please! I just can’t even get into all the ways she needs to grow a spine and run off with someone much better than Damian.
At this point I don’t want to spoil things, so I will just say this. There continues to be communication gaps. Damian has work troubles. There is some minor intrigue and potential trouble. The end.
I find I have a lower and lower tolerance for historical romances set in England because I have read hundreds, perhaps thousands and some of those have been exquisite indeed. So when one comes along with characters and a plot that don’t work for me I just can’t recommend it. I would read this author again in a heartbeat if she gave me an entirely different couple with more to do than play games and distrust each other.