Summary from Goodreads:
“Lord Nicholas is a paragon of manhood. And his eyes, Dear Reader! So blue!” Pearls & Pelisses, June 1823
Since being named on of London’s “Lords to Land” by a popular ladies’ magazine, Nicholas St. John has been relentlessly pursued by every matrimony-minded female in the ton. So when an opportunity to escape fashionable society presents itself, he eagerly jumps—only to land in the path of the most determined, damnably delicious woman he’s ever met!
The daughter of a titled wastrel, Lady Isabel Townsend has too many secrets and too little money. Though used to taking care of herself quite handily, her father’s recent passing has left Isabel at sea and in need of outside help to protect her young brother’s birthright. The sinfully handsome, eminently eligible Lord Nicholas could be the very salvation she seeks.
But the lady must be wary and not do anything reckless…like falling madly, passionately in love.
I read the first book in this series about two years ago and loved it and then sadly never got around to reading the next two books. I went into this book with high expectations because I loved the first book.
Instantly I wasn’t as impressed with this one as I was with the first book. I just didn’t really like Lord Nicholas. I thought he was suppose to be the patient and understanding brother with more compassion. I instantly felt that he was a little more rough around the edges than he was suppose to be. He seemed to have this air about him that made him seem like a self important person and that he was out to get what he wanted which was to avoid the ladies of the Ton so he could escape them wanting to marry him for his good looks. I don’t know why I had such an aversion in the beginning of this story to his character but I just felt that he wasn’t the character described in the first book of the series. He seemed a little more like his twin brother. Don’t get me wrong I loved his twin brother but I just thought he was going to be really different than him. I also have to say that while I liked Lady Isabel I felt that the author did a little too much to make her seem like a strong heroine. There were many moments when she was trying to show the reader how much of a strong heroine that she was that I didn’t completely buy into it at first.
While I didn’t love the characters I did find ways to like them given enough time and then I started to fall for the romance between them. I liked the idea of a house run by a woman who was just trying to protect other women from a life that she had experienced herself. I did like the way that Rock was falling for Lara and that Nicholas and Isabel were able to have these passionate moments and over the course of the book I bought into their love for each other. I liked watching them struggle to make it work and maybe making decisions based on what others wanted. I liked the moments where there was doubt and also love. I do have to say that by the end of the book I was emotionally involved in the relationship and there were moments when I felt Isabel’s pain over what was happening.
Overall, this book took a little while for me to become more invested into the characters and the romance. I still believe that MacLean is a great author and I just wish that I had been able to better connect with these two characters earlier on in the book. Otherwise I still recommend this author for historical romance because she does have a touch of something special and I can’t wait to dive into more of her books!