Amy Hardwick has one last Season to shake off her wallflower image and make a love match. If she can’t, she’ll set aside her dreams of romance and return home to a suitor who can provide security-if little else. What she doesn’t count on is the inappropriate-and irresistible-attention lavished on her in a darkened library by rake extraordinaire Will “The Devil” Darcett . . .
When Will is caught in a tryst with the ton‘s shyest miss, he knows he must offer for her hand. Yet Amy is not the shrinking violet she seems to be. Passion lies beneath her prim exterior and Will is eager to release it. But winning Amy isn’t simply a matter of seduction; first, Will must convince her that he’s mended his wicked ways . . .
ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
Known as a wallflower, heiress Amy Hardwick goes to London for one last season to try to change that and makes every effort to return eye contact, dance and do a bit more than wait in the wings and gossip. She has also decided to turn her hobby of designing dresses into a bit more. Although women are frowned upon for engaging in trade during the 1800’s, she secretly cuts a deal with a dress maker and sees her creations cause a bit of a stir. The dresses she wears does more for her visibility than anything she has tried before. Will Darcett also notices her and although Amy will have nothing to do with this notorious “devil”, she does find herself intrigued by him. So when the two are accidentally locked in the wine cellar during a party, she finds her reputation is ruined and the two must marry. Which it seems works perfectly with Will’s plans to marry an heiress to pay off his gambling debts. This is where the story really gets interesting!
As an only child, Amy has had more freedom than most women in society during this time period but it also seems that she has a hard time coming to grips with how society limits her actions. She has the backbone to make Will behave and actually court her, through a fun wager of her own, that the story becomes a totally swoon worthy read! There are also many characters like Will’s Aunt Hester, who add zest and plain spoken truth. She loves to put the family in their place. Will’s sisters, Harmony, Patience and Hope are chatty and a bit overbearing but still loving towards their brother. This story is the third in a series, but you don’t need to read the other two and it easily stands alone. It is wonderful how the Happy Ever After comes full circle for these two, who at first seem unsuited towards each other. You will find yourself googling the fashions described in the book during this time period since the descriptions are just scrumptious!
Overall, I adored how Dreiling worked in the mores of the 1800’s and gave it a bit of a modern twist making the characters of Will and Amy actually make the best of a bad situation. Amy, although she is described as not that attractive, learns that with the right clothes, she can highlight her good points. I know Will is described as a rake and not caring about anything except his own pleasure, discovers a responsibility towards Amy and decides he does have a conscious after all. So far this is my favorite book in the series. Now, I haven’t read about the next book in the series but I hope it isn’t too far off since Dreiling has become one of my favorite historical romance authors!
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