This is also a clean romance. If you get a little squeamish during steamy scenes, you can rest easy with this one. I was so thoroughly captivated by the story, I was at 86% before I realized how wholesome the author had been!
There’s also action, adventure and crazy secondary characters who I fell in love with. It’s wonderful when an author can keep the personalities so vivid and diverse. And every time I started to think things were calming down for our young heroine, BAM, something else popped up. It might be small, might be huge. But there was never a boring lull in the story.
The book opens with young Gwendeline Gregory. She’s only 18 and resides in the country, so she’s very ignorant of what goes on outside her sheltered life. She calls herself stupid often, but thankfully she’s not a TSTL heroine. She’s determined to learn what she must and catches on to things slowly but surely.
Her first daunting task is trying to figure out Alex St. Audley, Earl of Merryn. He’s dashing and modish, but she knows enough not to trust a man only on his word. He insists he only wishes to offer aid, but can Gwendeline believe his intentions are pure?
Then she’s thrown into London’s social season and realizes she must sink or swim. When she feels like she’s finally treading water, a blackguard descends on her life and tries to bring her to ruin. His unhealthy obsession with destroying Miss Gregory baffles the poor young lady, so she’s unsure the proper way to defend her virtuous status.
Standing at the threshold of scandal, Gwendeline feels lost and alone until the Earl risks everything to save her reputation. Rescuing an unmarried lady isn’t exactly proper if you aren’t related, which leads to whispers of impropriety. Can the Earl set everything right and save them both?
This well-written love story is so charming. Passion and love for one another is built up slowly when Gwendeline and The Earl of Merryn have time to get to know each other and is strengthened during times of adversity. If you enjoy period pieces like Call the Midwife or Downton Abbey, you should love the tale of Miss Gregory and Alex St. Audley. I did!
Full disclosure: We received an ARC from the author, free of charge.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
This book CRUSHES the romance stigma.
Other reading suggestions
We put together a list not too long ago that featured some of our all-time favorite trend-busting historical romances. Check it out!