Why I Read It: Because I’d seen reviews for it all over blogland so I bought the series.
Synopsis: THERE COMES A TIME IN A LADY’S LIFE…
Widowed Anna Wren is having a wretched day. After an arrogant male on horseback nearly squashes her, she arrives home to learn that she is in dire financial straits. What is a gently bred lady to do?
WHEN SHE MUST DO THE UNTHINKABLE…
The Earl of Swartingham is in a quandary. Having frightened off two secretaries, Edward de Raaf needs someone who can withstand his bad temper and boorish behavior. Dammit! How hard can it be to find a decent secretary?
AND FIND EMPLOYMENT.
When Anna becomes the earl’s secretary, both their problems are solved. Then she discovers he plans to visit the most notorious brothel in London for his “manly” needs. Well! Anna sees red—and decides to assuage her “womanly” desires . . . with the earl as her unknowing lover.
My Thoughts: From their first memorable meeting, I enjoyed Edward and Anna’s story. They had an instant chemistry that I found appealing and I found myself drawn to both characters.
Edward was scarred, both internally and externally. He had smallpox as a child which left their mark on his body, but the disease also took his whole family from him. He also lost a wife and child during childbirth, so he has some serious wounds.
Anna’s first marriage was not a good one. Her husband cheated on her and since they had a child, Anna believed she was barren and therefore not good marriage material.
What I Liked: The chemistry between Edward and Anna was awesome. I enjoyed watching these two scarred individuals form a friendship and try to fight their growing attraction.
I enjoyed the familial relationship Anna had with mother-in-law. It was a mutual affection between the two ladies and was a great addition to the story. I also enjoyed the friendship between Anna and the Smythe sisters, Pearl and Coral. Anna was not judgmental of the life choices the other two women had made and I appreciated the relationship. They all seemed to fill a need the other had during a certain time in their lives.
What I Didn’t Like: I’m not sure how the daughter of a vicar would decide to go to a brothel to have sex with a man she didn’t intend to marry. I’m not sure that I didn’t like that ~ I’m just not sure that I buy it.
I also didn’t like the whole “running away to protect the man I love because I’m being blackmailed and I don’t want to tarnish his good name” scenario. I just kept thinking to myself “Why doesn’t she just tell Edward ~ he’ll take care of it. It’s not that big of a deal.” Luckily it didn’t last long and so I got over it rather quickly.
Verdict: This was Very Good. It was my first Elizabeth Hoyt and I’m anxious to read the rest of the Prince series. This is definitely going on my keeper shelf and is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year. I highly recommend it.