This engrossing Regency romance engages all of the senses. I was captivated from the opening pages right through to the closing chapter. I found myself laughing out loud in parts and had tears in my eyes at others, as there is humour, suspense and romance all wrapped up in one package. I especially enjoyed the fact that the plot is about ordinary people who have surmounted obstacles and overcome them. Ainsley is self-contained and in control of every aspect of her life, and I am sure that there will be many women who will identify with her, as I did myself. Reed is a successful, self-made businessman, but he could have turned out so differently. His youthful experiences have made him more caring and protective towards women, and not the other way around. When he recognises the signs of violence in Ainsley's past, he takes special care to approach her carefully and slowly wins her trust. When pushed into a corner, a panicked Ainsley states her understanding with Reed and although shocked, he quickly assesses the danger to her, and acknowledges that he is betrothed to her. That of course sets in motion a whole chain of events, both hilarious and tragic. It seems that this book cannot have the one without the other and consequently I found myself going from one extreme of emotions to the other within seconds. This is a truly enjoyable novel and not one to be overlooked. I received a copy of this book as a gift and this is my honest and voluntary review.
4 people found this review helpful
Two years ago, Ainsley Bourne and her two sisters left their country home for a London Townhouse, chaperoned by their uncle. Ainsley left a broken betrothal behind, and has determined that she won’t marry, instead she will make the Bourne Matrimonial Agency a success, despite her two sisters breaking the cardinal rule and marrying clients. But, business is slow and few are engaging their services. Ainsley is certain that the gaming club across the street, Sterlings, is to blame and with too much time on her hands, devises a series of schemes to force the business to move. Ainsley is determined to be in control in every situation, her struggles with propriety and appearing flawless in front of society is both a business choice and a personal one. Her personal struggles with the abusive man to whom she was betrothed, and the need to raise her sisters and manage her uncle, known for profligate spending and falling in love at the drop of a hat, have her juggling far more than her age or position would indicate. Still wounded and skittish about men after her ex, she’s bowled over by Reed Sterling – his pure alpha aura, his refusal to ‘bow’ to convention, and her reactions to a man who is outwardly rough yet consistently gentle with her. This was adorable and so clever – with Ainsley’s rather unique take on “war”, from covering the windows at Sterlings with pages from women’s magazines, to inviting all of London to a free meal, she’s constantly in conflict with what she ‘should’ feel about the club and its owner and what she actually feels. Unsettled, intrigued, curious and even attraction – and Reed is determined to protect Ainsley at all costs. Lorret brings the characters together with humor, danger and a surprise twist at the end to make it all work out as it should. It seems that none of the sisters can follow the cardinal rule of the agency…… I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
1 person found this review helpful