Happy Release Day, Sarah!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was so excited for this book. So much so, that I searched 4 stores yesterday with my 3 year old to find it a day early. I read it overnight…got hardly any sleep, which as any of you with small children know, is never fun, and it was all worth it!
This book was fabulous.
At the beginning of each chapter is a small bit from the ladies’ magazine “Pearls and Pelisses,” which has decided that a series of articles is in order on How to Land a Lord. Lord Nicholas St. John is given the distinct honor of being that lord. He was less than thrilled. Becoming London’s Most Eligible Bachelor really wasn’t working for him, so when his friend, the Duke of Leighton, came to ask Nick’s help in finding his younger sister who had run away, Nick jumped at the chance.
Meanwhile, Lady Isabel is sending off yet another unwanted suitor. Her father is a gambler, and has left Isabel with, well, nothing.
“We are betrothed.”
“And by we…I take it that you mean…”
“You. And I. Are to be married.”
Isabel shook her head. “I am sorry, you are…?”
“Asperton. Lionel Asperton.”
“And how is it we became betrothed, Mr. Asperton?”
“I won you…Your father wagered you.”
“One hundred pounds.”
“Well. That’s more than usual.”
Apparently her father had wagered her seven times before! And every single time hurt. I loved Isabel from the get-go. She was strong, valiant, and honest. Humble enough to try to repair her own roof,and strong enough to ensure her ten year old brother grew up to be the earl their father should have been.
Nick was in Isabel’s town looking for a certain duke’s sister, when he saw Isabel. The first meeting between Nick and Isabel was adorable, and I cracked up that Nick saved her from a run away cart in the style of Matthew McCaughnehey, and Isabel was irritated with him for that! Nick didn’t know what to do with a woman who didn’t fall all over herself trying to “land” him.
Unfortunately Isabel had to sell her most prized possessions for reasons I won’t say (Highland Hussy zips her lips against spoilers today). If we remember, Nick deals with antiquities, and Isabel needs to have a collection of marble statues appraised and then sold. She asks for his help, and since he assumes Isabel might know about Leighton’s sister, he agrees to see her marbles.
And the two irritate each other to no end. Isabel is so remarkable, and Nick is immediately infatuated with her and her strength. Isabel is afraid to trust, and afraid to love. All she believes in is what her own hands have helped build. She has every reason to have no faith in men, and yet Nick persuades her to trust him, to let him shoulder some of her burden…and when she finally does, she finds out he had lied to her.
I loved how Nick was willing to stay and fight for Isabel. Too many times, the hero leaves, but not Nick-he went to her in the middle of the night, and it was so wonderful.
But Isabel was trying to convince both herself and her friend that she didn’t love Nick and Nick overheard.I actually had to put the book down and take several deep breaths before I was able to pick it up again!
For her entire life, she had been afraid to take what she wanted for fear of failure. She was afraid to leave Townsend Park and face the gossip her father caused; she was afraid to send James to school for fear he might turn into her father.
And she had been afraid to love Nick for fear of losing herself.
Now, however–without him–she was lost anyway.
The way she decided to get him back was beautiful. I loved seeing Callie and Gabriel and Juliana again, and I love love LOVED! the ball.
This book is a must-read. Whatever you are reading right now, drop it and start this book. It was fabulous. I canNOT wait for Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart.