Candice Hern: Just One of Those Flings

The Merry Widows are thought to be among the finest ladies of society.

Though secretly, their thoughts are quite unrefined.

With the comforts of wealth to replace the absence of their husbands, the Merry Widows need not trouble themselves with marriage again. So they each agree to seek out a lover.

Beatrice, Lady Somerfield, is too busy chaperoning her niece and overseeing her own daughters to take a lover herself. Until one night at a ball a masked stranger makes her realize the delights she’s been missing. He’s Gabriel, the Marquess of Thayne, the man half the debutantes of London want for a husband. Thayne is captivated by Beatrice, and their attraction leads to a few satisfying encounters.

As he searches for a bride among the Season’s young ladies, he finds himself increasingly drawn to Beatrice, and wants her as his wife. But will Beatrice’s deepening feelings for Thayne be enough to overcome her vow never to marry again, and the scandal once their relationship is revealed?

I have read and loved several traditional Candice Herns’ (A Proper Companion, A Garden Folly, The Best Intentions) so decided to venture into the much steamier side of Hern.  Although number 2 in a series, I picked up Just One of Those Flings and had no problem getting into it as a standalone title.

The action heats up pretty quickly, with a chance masqueraded encounter that leaves both H/h hungry for more.  He may be on the hunt for a bride…but he is also on cougar patrol.

She’s not actually a cougar.  I think she is 35, and he is 29, so the age difference isn’t great but does come up frequently.  And considering the lifespan…well, maybe Beatrice is a bit of a cougar.  I probably would’ve thought so had I read this when I was, say, 20.  But regardless, I definitely like that the hero is in to all her curves.

The heroine, Beatrice, is a widow with two teenage daughters who has sworn off marriage and sworn on some merry widow fun, along with her other respectable widow friends.  She is also chaperoning her niece about the Ton, hoping for her sister’s sake to land the girl a rich husband.  This naturally put her in the sights of the Marquess of Thayne’s mother, who is looking for eligible debs.

The niece Emily is the Beauty of the Season and knows it.  She is a great foil for the older, more mature Beatrice.

I thought this was an easy read with a real romance…the characters not only are hot for each other and hook up frequently, but actually seem to genuinely enjoy each other’s company and personalities.

There is a fair amount of misunderstanding to create conflict which I thought was frustrating in an otherwise wonderfully entertaining book, and I think will be something other readers can’t get past.  On the one hand, Beatrice really sticks to her guns, but on the other hand she acts really stupid about some gossip.  I also find Thayne’s super alpha “I get whatever I want” a little off putting.  I am not a huge fan of the super macho hero, but I do like that he is really into this older lady…so it balances a bit (especially if you see the entitlement as a maturity thing).

On the whole, this was a fast paced, sexy and fun read that does make me want to pick up the other books in the series, so I recommend it for readers looking for something steamy for the summer.

4 out of 6 Sexy and fun romance between older heroine and younger hero

Content Rating/Heat Index
Affairs, mostly
Lots of premarital action, mostly vanilla but very steamy
Not really
Steamy, full of intimate pre-marital scenes great for mass market fans who like mostly vanilla, but lots of steam

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