Genre: historical romance
Cover: I don’t like it. This is a pregnant pose, and she is not.
I’ve received this book from the author for review.
When opposites attract…!
In the eyes of the ton Hattie Wilkinson is a respectable widow, content with her safe, if somewhat modest life.
On the other hand, Sir Christopher Foxton prides himself on being regarded as one of London’s most notorious rakes, with a particularly mischievous streak!
Upon their first meeting Kit threatens to shatter Hattie’s well-ordered peace – and her reputation! – if only she’ll allow herself to succumb to his playful advances. This time they’ve both finally met their match…
Hattie Wilkinson is a 27 year young widow, living in a Dower house near her sister Stephanie. Stephanie really needs her help with her children, and her oldest daughter Lillie is almost old enough for a Season in London. But now a notorious rake has settled in the neighbourhood, and Hattie finds her niece and the rake’s nephew in the cardroom, embracing. She really must put a stop to that, Lillie needs to guard her reputation, and her heart. No good will come of this, surely. Hattie knows the follie of being swept of her feet by a flirtation.
Everyone thinks she had a wonderful marriage, with a man who really truly loved her. He died in battle 7 years ago. But he only married her for her respectability and had lots of children with other women, before and after their marriage. Hattie even met his mistress while settling his many debts. But she kept up appearances.
And now this rake, Kit Foxton, tries to flirt with her? Well, she is just not interested. But he keeps challenging her until she has to give in, and she really never has felt this attraction before. And her bothersome sister Stephanie is trying to matchmake between them, planning on forcing Kit to the altar? He will never let that happen, can’t she see that?
Kit wants to teach Hattie a lesson, that life is to be enjoyed, and that a little flirtation is harmless. But he won’t get involved any further. Women are not to be trusted, starting with his mother leaving him when he was four, in the harsh and unloving “care” of his father. He has had more than enough lovers, but he is always the one to leave them and move on. And now this little country widow refuses him? No way. He will show her.
Kit did not count on liking to be in her company, conversing with her, and kissing her set all his senses on fire, something that has not happened any more since Waterloo last year.
They decide on having a discrete summer fling, nothing more, and enjoy each other. Neither of them wants to marry, so all will be fine when summer is over. Meeting while riding their horses, or in the summer house. And bit by bit, they reveal more about their pasts, and grow closer.
I liked Hattie, she is trying to make the best of her life, even though she is a bit scared to really enjoy it. Propriety is important to her. She takes care of her sister, and her sisters’ children and duties. Like visiting the tenants, solving problems.
And now this very handsome rake is interested in her, and she doesn’t want to feel anything any more. She was so in love with her husband, and he betrayed her in the worst way. Falling for Kit will only result in more heartbreak. But she can’t help feeling attracted to him, and he keeps tempting her, challenging her. So why not? She is a respectable widow, not a young and naïve miss. She knows it will only last one summer, and after that, she will go back to being respectable and reliable. Even though she longs to travel, her sister is pregnant again, and really needs her.
Kit had a very harsh childhood, and as a result, doesn’t trust women very much. He is the one to end relationships before they start going somewhere. He lost his brother at Waterloo and promised to take care of his nephew, help him grow up to be a good man. And he really is doing a fine job of it. That is one aspect I liked about him. But he is arrogant, in wanting to teach Hattie a lesson, when he knows nothing about her. It took me a while to warm up to him.
I liked their character development. Hattie stands up for herself, she doesn’t want another loveless marriage, and Kit will have to acknowledge his feelings, and more. I liked this story, it was not really a big surprise for me, but Michelle Styles has a nice writing voice, and I enjoyed how she told this story. This is a book with quiet country gentility, not the high ton, no balls and such. I do like the difference in setting and pacing.
I do question Hattie’s sister though. She comes over as not caring for Hattie at all, but only for herself and her children, and what Hattie can do for them. Hattie is not to do anything that can endanger Lillie’s prospects.
I also enjoyed reading about the Fair, it was painted really realistically.
If you like a stand alone historical romance, I do recommend Michelle Styles. She has a nice writing voice, nicely paced and with surprising characters.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian