This is book #5 in the Sweet Deception Regency series that brings you the adventures of the gentlemen of the ton who are members of Sweet’s Racing Club and the women they love. Lord Maxwell Kampford has kept his ward in seclusion but now must sponsor her in society in order to marry her off. Unsophisticated and trusting, Amity is set up by Max’s jealous fiancée to fail. Max is confounded by the loyalties of the girl who seems to champion every orphaned and abused animal and turns his bachelor household upside down. Will he discover love or let this charmer get away?
Endurance Amity (an unfortunate name, she admits) has suffered loneliness and feelings of being unloved for a long time. Her mother, the Divine Goddess of the Ton, had more classical beauty, and during her short time on earth with her daughter was disappointed by the girl’s fiery red hair and wild looks.
So when her guardian, Lord Maxwell, finally sends for her to launch her off into the marriage mart, she is hoping to find love and acceptance. Although marriage may not mean true love in the Ton, Amity knows a family might give her the chance to nurture her need to love and be loved.
Karla Darcy gives us a sweet and easy Regency, with a tried and true theme of an unlikely ward and guardian who grow after being thrown together by circumstance. Max likes his organized existence, and although he admits its finally time to get leg shackled, his ideal bride is everything his wild-child ward is not. She has fine manners, for all she was removed from Society, but she has the nasty habit of befriending the servants, collecting an assortment of needy people and animals, and in general being anything but demure and reserved.
We have a little bit of a Cinderella story, a little bit of a romp, and some nice supporting characters (from villanous to fairy godmother-esque). The romance is set a believable pace, with a lot of levity and some good use of foils.
Having jumped into the middle of the series (what else is new, right), I can’t speak for the rest, but I thought this glimpse at Darcy’s talent made it clear why she was an RWA Golden Heart winner. She writes with love, humor, and the appropriate amount of action and suspense. Her characters have rich, and deserved, character arcs which sometimes are missing, and I think the climax was time period appropriate and thus not overly dramatic/silly.
There are wonderful Heyer-like aspects (we have a heroine with a penchant for adopting strays, which is a delightful subplot to the book, and a Hero whose bark is a lot worse than his bite) which Reg Readers will enjoy.
Recommended as a good read!
4.75 out of 6, short and sweet this is not earth shatteringly original but is nonetheless comfortably well written with lovable H/h and nice action. A little less traditional Reg Rom than pitched, its still perfect for vanilla hist-ro lovers.
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[relatedratings=5]*A copy was provided by the author for review. No other compensation was provided.