Even in London society—where everyone knows what you did last season—you never know who’s next in line to walk down the aisle…
TRUE LOVE IS OFTEN FOUND
With her whirlwind social life in London, Lady Isabella Wharton has little interest in the customs of the country. But when her godmother asks her to pay a visit to her bachelor grandson in Yorkshire, Isabella can’t refuse. It behooves her to please the old dowager, since she harbors one of Isabella’s most scandalous secrets. So off she goes to see the newly-titled—and notoriously rustic—Duke of Ormonde…
WHERE YOU LEAST EXPECT IT
Trevor Carey doesn’t care about what goes on behind ballroom doors. He is content with the simple life—and isn’t ashamed to admit it to a society flirt like Lady Isabella. But the country air brings out a different side of Isabella—one full of longing and passion. Can her sophistication be hiding a desire for love? When a blackmailer from the city arrives to threaten Isabella, Trevor will shield her from harm—even travel to London. Can the duke tackle the ton on Isabella’s behalf …and manage to keep her all to himself?
I have been waiting to read the next installment from Manda ever since I’ve finished her Ugly Duckling series and this is it. This was what I have been waiting for.
So we have the prologue starting off with a death (wasn’t sure how it was going to go from there) but it needed to start somewhere right? But yes, a death.
(This is where Manda got her ideas for the series from. She was thinking of scary films and what not and then it hit her…wham! I know what you did last season! –Okay, yeah I stalked her at one of her blog chats and got this info from her but I needed to know, you know. I have to creep around my authors to get the good stuff out of them. I thank you very much.)
This leads to the heroine, Isabella, being blackmailed by her godmother (yes, her very own upstart sneering godmother) to set against her to travel to Yorkshire to retrieve (more like seduce) the new Duke, the hero, Trevor, to come to London and hold his position to the family (and be controlled by the godmother, which is his grandmother).
There were lots of things that happened in this story. It was rather a slow start to the story but it was an okay pace. The story of a blackmailer began to appear the second Isabella arrived in town which I thought was a great plot to move the relationship between the two along.
Isabella thinking Trevor a mere country man got a surprise of her life when she meets him and finds that he actually lives in a very comfortable life. Trevor also finds Isabella enticing and very well knowledgeable in politics and other likes. Both characters were very likable and have flaws but also demons they had to over come. I also loved seeing them change throughout the story and see them come to trust and believe in each other as they come to know one another better during their acquaintance.
I definitely loved Eleanor and Belinda, sisters of the Duke! They were so sweet and naive at times and so lovable I wanted them as my very own friends! Eleanor, at seventeen is very sweet, gentle, soft spoken and kind girl who want to be a young woman and ready for her debut. While Belinda, at thirteen was wild, out spoken, curious, opinionated and is a playful child who loved the country and never wants to leave.
Trevor is very protective brother and I understood him so well on that front because, well, they’re his sisters and they will forever be children to him. I found it very sweet that he never want them to grow up and when Isabella came into their lives and started dressing Eleanor in dresses proper enough for a seventeen year old girl. Trevor thew a fit! It was very touching, although absurd that he would not want his sister to look like the young woman she has become, it was very assuring that he loved her and Belinda very much to want them to stay kids under his protection forever~
“If it were up to me she’d wear pinafores and her hair in braids for the rest of her days.” -Trevor, Duke of Ormonde. p.238
And their first kiss scene was….not what I wanted. Though it may have been the right time there was just not enough tension for it to be a great first kiss for the two of them for me. Even if it was well into the book and well past the half point.
But back to the story of finding the culprit who’s blackmailing and threatening Isabella. Sadly I kind of figured who that person was from the gecko. But it was still a great read figuring it out if it was other people that were popping up in the story. (Sorry if I’m giving away spoilers.)
I did have problems with the use of character’s names. At certain points in the dialogues the names of characters would change and it confuse me like heck!
For example, at first the character was referred to by their first name, Lucian, in every dialogue he’d spoken in the beginning of the conversation with Trevor. But then, this Blackmore entered the conversation and I was at a lost! I had to re-read the whole passage and flip back to the beginning to find this Lucian gentleman just to see his full name and title, but to also make sure I wasn’t missing another gentleman in the room hearing upon this private conversation between the two. Bold and be hold Lucian is Lord Blackmore! I was very annoyed by this I shall say.
I was also annoyed by the characters not referring to the other character’s name. Many times when Isabella (in her own view) was in dialogue with Trevor, the Duke of Ormonde, she (or Ms. Manda) referred to him as “the Duke“. Why can’t she just simply state him as Trevor or Osmond, instead of “the Duke said” or “the Duke this or that” ? (I’m sorry if I’m being harsh but it just really bothered me as I was reading.)
I really did really like this book beside all those problems. And I really adored the friends I found in this book! Sir Lucian Blackmore is one secondary character I can’t wait to see! a friend of Trevor, we got to see a bit of his side and he is definitely a very hero-esque character. But I’m super curious and a little bite scared of what the next books will entail for him. (His book is not next but still! We got to see a bit of his romantic interest.) I’m not so sure who will end up with who because there were so many lovable characters that I’m not sure what Ms. Manda Collins will have for each of them. (well for the third book, that is.)
This story ends with a good ending but the culprit at large still has more victims to target so we’ll have to see what we find of him/her in the next book.