This is the second book in The Swanlea Spinsters series. I read the first one a few weeks ago, in which the first part of the story is told.
A Desperate MeasureHelena Laverick is at her wits end! The only man who can help find her eloping young sister is that scoundrel Daniel Brennan - the man who played with her emotions last year and then left. And he used to be a smuggler! Although Mrs. Nunley's Guide to Etiquette for Young Ladies would never approve, Helena is forced to go after the runaway in Daniel's company. But something about being with him feels oddly freeing - and a delicious tingle warns Helena that more than her reputation may be in danger...
Daniel finds most of the prim and proper lovely's rules ridiculous - but when she insists on masquerading as his wife for the sake of appearances, he immediately envisions the delights of sharing a bedchamber. The unexpected smoldering beneath her straitlaced exterior ignites his desire, and the vulnerability hidden beneath her cool control makes him want her even more. Yet Helena's a lady, and he's the son of a highwayman. How can he ever ask her to share his world?
When her younger sister Juliet has run away with an army captain, who doesn’t even exist, Helena has no other choice than to turn to Daniel Brennan. Her brother in law and middle sister are still on their honeymoon on the continent, so they can’t help. Helena has tracked the couple back to London, instead of Scotland, and she fears Morgan is a free trader. And who better to help find them than Daniel Brennan, who happened to be one himself years ago.
At first Daniel refuses to believe her, but when he finds out she is right, he agrees to help her find the young couple. But he won’t take Helena with him! She is only a liability to him. And not because of her lame leg as she thinks. So he sets out chasing them on horseback, thinking Helena will refuse to ride a horse. But she is stubborn and goes with him anyway. When her legs give out on her, Daniel is very sorry and mad at himself for underestimating Helena’s stubbornness.
They are very much attracted to each other, ever since the charade last year. But Daniel spoiled it by lying to Helena, and he has vowed not to do that again. They have to act as husband and wife to protect Helena’s reputation, and that also means sharing a bedchamber… Who seduces whom? Then they find out, it is not so much an elopement as a kidnapping! His past is coming back to haunt Daniel, as his old boss is after the kidnapping of Juliet. And when the two of them are caught as well, how will this end?
I really love the writing style of Sabrina Jeffries. Her heroines are unusual but feisty and smart, they won’t back down for a man. And the heroes are real man as well. The language is earthy, though never coarse. And she writes really nice love scenes. The stories themselves, as far as I have read them, are funny and original.
So I will continue reading her books, which is a good thing, as I have a lot of them on my shelves!