Oh my gosh I absolutely enjoyed this story so much! I was hooked right from the start and couldn’t stop.
I bought this as an Audible and also as an eBook so I got both of the best world from it! But we also got two story in this one Book! Yup two stories~
So we have Miss Jane Fairfield in London for her season to search for a suitable husband. You see, she’s an Heiress under the guardianship of her uncle and he wants her to marry. But to his failure, she has plans to stay unmarried for the rest of the year so that her sister Emily can come of age and then leave their uncle’s care. So Jane came out with a plan to be a drab and a prude humiliating others with rude comments and humiliating herself with obscene and obnoxious colors and mass amounts of lace on her dresses. And her plan works but she also gained some enemies in the making in the form of a Marquess who wants to set her straight in her place. And so there came to be Mr. Oliver Marshall.
Emily you see has a problem. She has seizures (epilepsy) and their uncle goes to extremes to try to cure her of them, even locking her in their home for her safety. But one day she snuck out and meets a foreigner in the form of Mr. Bhattacharya, an Indian native studying at Oxford. There was instant attraction and well, they began to see each other secretly and innocently….
Mr. Oliver Marshall is a farm boy but is educated at Eton and is known as being the bastard of a Duke. He was then taken in and raised by no other than the couple from the previous book The Governess Affair, Hugo and Serena. Oliver is also very family oriented. He loves his siblings and care for them deeply even if they’re not blood related. As for his half brother Robert, the Duke, they are very close to my surprise but I loved it even more because it shows that he got best of both worlds though he feels like he is neither apart of any of them. So even if he lives in a mansion with his Duke brother he is still technically the son of a commoner even though everyone knows of his birth. But he won’t take that crap and has dreams to change the country and wants to be Prime Minister one day. Of course he learned his place in the huge world of power and money in such a sad way while at school and so keeps his mouth shut and obey now as an adult. When he got the mission to humiliate and punish Jane for not knowing her place and being out spoken, he felt uncomfortable and disgusted but took the challenge anyway if he were to get the vote of the Marquess for his bill. But what he didn’t expect was to feel anything for Jane and understand her.
Jane was fascinated and frighten by Oliver’s knowing eyes and felt a need to poor her feelings and difficulties to him even if she knew he didn’t care for them. But as time went on and her charade was proving more vile, she just couldn’t keep up with them. Plus, her uncle threaten her with her sister if she didn’t marry. He believes she’s the one polluting Emily’s innocence! He blames everything on Jane for Emily’s bad behavior and out bursts as if Emily can’t think or act on her own accord.
And to Oliver’s surprise he saw a bit of himself in Jane a couple of time as he once was an outcast and knew what game she was playing. For he too was playing the exact opposite of that game. He was blending into the mold the society wanted and she was making herself stand out by breaking it. Both playing a role but both also wanting to be the opposite of what they were playing.
But for both Jane and Oliver there was an attraction that both denied and didn’t want. They had their whole life planned ahead for themselves and neither one of them fitted their plan or in their choice of spouse. Jane was too out there, loud, colorful, didn’t follow the rules of society and wild, while Oliver was observing, controlled, law abiding, and intact. Both lusted for each other and wanted each other but at the same time wanted the total opposite of it;
“…Oliver wanted someone like Jane, just not Jane…“
Both these characters were very lovable and I loved that they learned from each other as they grew closer even when they knew nothing were going to come of it. They learned each others secrets and dreams and even became friends in the process and I super adored that they were more like friends than lovers that could count on each other during their own hard times.
As for the ending it was just adorable! Both, or more like Oliver found that he shouldn’t change for anyone because someone will love him for himself and that’s in the form of Jane. And how he proves his love to Jane was just too sweet it got me sniffing in glee. Both these characters were strong and knew what they wanted even if they were both playing a tough game but love broke through it and all is well and happy. Of course Emily got her HEA too so even better!
I’m super happy to have gotten a chance to listen to this in Audible and shall I say the Narration was superb!!! Rosalyn Landor was just perfect and I can’t wait to read and listen to more from both Courtney and Rosalyn!
Rating: 4.5 out 5