- Rising Phoenix Publications
- Release Date
- September 2016
- Book 3 of Handful of Hearts
Gabriella d'Adventure is on a mission. She has come to England as a lady's maid in pursuit of the Duke of Rother. When she meets Horace Carpenter, valet to a marquess, she is delighted to enlist his aid in gaining her heart's desire: a meeting with the duke. But will her growing feelings for the handsome valet interfere with her plans for the duke?
The eccentric Marquess of Halford, Hal to his friends, is tired of the demands of Society, especially his father's decree that he marry this Season. When a breathtaking young woman intrudes on his solitude, he is captivated and introduces himself as his valet in hopes of learning more about her. Despite his fear about the true motive behind Gabriella's quest to meet the Duke of Rother, Hal agrees to help her gain an audience with him, all the while praying his deception won't ruin his chances of winning her love.
Book Review by Dawn (reviewer)
May 23, 2017 [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
142 people found the following review helpful
So many lies and so little time...
Hal is being forced to take a bride and fill a nursery. When his good friend turns him down, he's unsure if he'll ever find a woman to marry who doesn't make him want to jump from a bridge out of boredom. That is, until a lady from France stumbles into his life. The problem, however, is that she thinks Hal is a valet, instead of the marquess that he is. Now, I wonder where she'd ever get that idea? *glares at Hal*
Gabriella is on a mission to gain an audience with a certain duke. When she comes across a valet who offers to help her, she can't deny his assistance or the spark between them. And when the man's kisses turn her body to mush, she's even more determined to accept his help if it means more of those scandalous smooches.
But with the lies and secrets piling up between Hal and Gabriella, it's a wonder that either of them can breathe. And after those secrets come to light, there will be more than one wedge between our couple and their happy ending. It will take some forgiveness and a bit of "proof" to settle the score.
This was an easy read and a feel-good story. I smiled a lot, laughed a few times, and even held my breath a time or two. The pacing was pretty steady, if not a bit quick, and it's a novella so I think it took me an hour tops to finish it. The romance is limited to kisses only, but the story was really sweet and heartwarming.
As for the plot, I can't say that it was entirely unpredictable. I guessed fairly early what Gabriella's real reason for meeting the duke was. And I had an inkling as to how the "proof" might be found. Yet, the story was still engaging and entertaining. It was a nice evening read with likable characters and a hint of mystery thrown in.
The romance was a little fast in forming but not entirely unbelievable since couples did tend to fall into what they considered to be love a bit quicker back then. Most couples may only ever meet a few times before marriage was proposed so this couple's immediate fascination with each other wasn't rushed for me. I didn't love all of the lies being told by a certain gentleman, but understood his reasons for doing so. I'm glad everything worked out for him in the end.
I hope Celinda finds her own match. She was a great secondary character and side-kick! Four stars!
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