Reviewed by May
Clarissa is being stalked, and her cousin has to leave the country for some family business. In order to keep her safe, he enlists his good friend Edwin (Earl of Blakeborough) to watch over and protect her.
Clarissa has a dark secret and past that has her justifiably anxious about men in general, but this new development of having an active stalker threat and Edwin being at her side all the time is really bringing up the past. It is also starting something with Edwin that neither could have ever dreamed of. The story quickly takes us into a fake engagement which turns into a real attraction… but can the pair find love? And rid Clarissa of her stalker once and for all?
The pair has nice chemistry, I liked especially at the beginning the verbal sparring that they do, and the scenes they have together. When insulting his boring taste in books we see Clarissa delighted for a response…
“You mean, because it lacks gallant highwaymen rescuing virtuous ladies.”
“Or virtuous ladies rescuing gallant highwaymen. Either would be preferable to one of your dry tomes on… what? Chess? Engineering? Philosophy of the most boring sort?”
“Clarissa,” Mama chided.
But Edwin merely laughed, as she’d hoped he would. She took great pride in the fact that she could sometimes make him laugh. No other woman seemed able to. No other woman dared try.
This book was an entertaining read and interesting enough story, and I can honestly say I don’t recall another quite like it. Ultimately though, it was very strange. The pair is known for being at odds with one another and yet is thrust together because she has a stalker who is cornering her in ballrooms, watching for any chance to pin her against a wall alone, and being a true threat. Instead of dealing with this, Clarissa and Edwin decide to tell this unstable person that they are engaged.
This is a nearly instant “we know each other” to “we love each other because we were forced to hang out” story. It is also a story of convenience, as everything falls into place for this pair leaving me unsure if they were really such a perfect match, or merely good enough for the given situation.
Edwin is a very nice fellow and very understanding about Clarissa and her past. He is simply predictable and, ordinary though – there’s nothing of interest to say about him and I’m really over the “boring good guy” type that has no quirk, detail, or interesting developments of his own.
Finally, the villain was weak at best. Sneaking around and acting shady, he was never very threatening or exciting. Nor was he clever in any way. I really wish that he had been more vile, threatening, and involved more in the story beyond peeking up like a bad cartoon.
To get more in-depth with my issues of this book I would have to reveal some spoilers – which I don’t wish to do. I did say it was entertaining and it was, but more in a “whoa this is a mess… but I can’t put it down” type way. So if you read the blurb for this story and it appeals, you may find it a really good read. As for me, Sabrina Jeffries is a very talented author but this is far from my favorite of hers and I wouldn’t specifically recommend it.