My rating: 4 of 5 flames
This was a fun, quick read that had me smiling throughout the whole book.
Veronica is happy as a widow, but one who misses having a man in her bed. So she decides to take a lover. She doesn’t want a husband, though, as she enjoys her freedom and control over her own life. As she attends a lecture of her dear friend’s cousin, she sees the man she wants. He is brilliant, attractive, and has the reputation of being quite the rake. He’s perfect for her.
Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater can’t take his eyes off the lovely redhead sitting next to his cousin. When she approaches him and she is intelligent, witty, and interested in him, he thinks “I must have her.” But he wants more than a mistress. He wants her as his wife.
This was a fun story and I loved watching their courtship. At one point, Sebastian convinces Veronica to spend Christmas with him in his new home. Unfortunately he had mentioned to his sister that he would be married to her by Christmas, y’know, because he’s hot and a catch and totally self-assured—plus it’s not like she would say no, right? Riight…
So his sisters hear of Veronica spending Christmas with their brother, and tell the family that Sebastian and his new bride will be at his new home. And the family shows up en masse. Including some family who heard about it all the way in Paris!
Sebastian’s solution was to just pretend he was married to her. Without telling Veronica. The pretending to be married was hysterical (remember no one told Veronica), so Sebastian and his sisters were trying to pull it off without letting on that they knew she was his mistress…which she really wasn’t…yet. Just in theory, not in deed.
By the end of Christmas, once everyone has figured everything out, and Veronica finally realizes she was being silly about not marrying Sebastian, since she loved him, and he loved her and they wanted children, another little bomb was dropped on Veronica. Sebastian was about to come into his inheritance, but only if his brothers approved it. Being an adventurer and explorer, he’d always felt like the black sheep of the family, so having a house, and a new wife, it looked really bad to Veronica. It looked as if he only wanted to marry her for the inheritance. I won’t spoil the inheritance because it was such a grand scene, with a little twist, but I will say that if all of Ms. Alexander’s books are this fun and witty, I can’t wait for the next one!
***Thank you to Kensington for the ARC