A Perfect Gentleman

Candace Camp
A Perfect Gentleman
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Publisher
Pocket Books
Release Date
March 2017
ISBN
9781501141577
Genre
Historical Romance

SUMMARY
Forced to marry an American heiress to save his family, Graeme Parr, Earl of Montclair, vowed their marriage would be in name only. Abigail Price thought handsome, aristocratic Graeme was her knight in shining armor, rescuing her from her overbearing father. But when she was spurned by her husband on their wedding night, Abigail fled home to New York.

Now, years later, Abigail has returned. But this sophisticated, alluring woman is not the drab girl Graeme remembers. Appalled by her bold American ways but drawn to her beauty, Graeme follows her on a merry chase through London's elegant ballrooms to its dockside taverns—why is his wife back? What could she want of him now?

Torn between desire and suspicion, Graeme fears that Abby, like her unprincipled father, has a devious plan to ruin him. But is Abigail's true desire Graeme's destruction...or winning his love at last?

Book Review by Blue (reviewer)
Apr 01, 2017   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
157 people found the following review helpful
4.5 Stars

Graeme Parr was only twenty three years old when he was coerced into marrying an American heiress, Abigail Price. Abby's father knew of the Parr family's financial woes, as well as an incident that they wanted to keep secret. Although Graeme was in love with Laura, he agreed to bite the bullet and wed Abby, thus saving his family, but sacrificing his own happiness. His good breeding allowed him to treat Abby with courtesy and politeness, though he feels nothing for her.

Then, shortly after the wedding ceremony takes place, Graeme's new father-in-law makes a crude remark to him about creating his grandson, and Graeme loses it. All his pent up anger and frustration over his lost love and this forced marriage comes bubbling out in a tirade with Abby as the victim. Abby was smitten with Graeme from the moment she met him. Though she knew he was marrying her for financial gain, and had no illusions that he loved her, she had every intention of making the marriage a good one. Graeme's insults crush her, and after he storms out, she packs up and returns to America, with her dreams vanquished.

Ten years have passed, and in that time, Graeme has inherited the earldom, and is successfully managing his family estates. He could never pursue Laura because he was still technically married, but he's had a series of affairs and leads a relatively contented, if somewhat detached life. Back in America, Abby is no longer under her father's thumb. She's reinvented herself, and is now a confident, charming and attractive woman. Her return to London causes a maelstrom of rumors and speculation, and no small amount of anxiety for Graeme. Why could she have possibly returned?

I love the person that Abby has grown into. Though her eighteen year old self was cruelly wounded, and she did flee from Graeme and his disdain, she didn't hide away in America. She became a strong social presence and created a satisfying life for herself. Still, she can't remarry and have children, so it's time to return and face her past. I admit that Graeme's actions did not endear him to me initially, but as the story developed, I grew to understand and like him more. His confusion over his own reaction to his wife is priceless.

Initially the estranged couple plays a bit of a cat and mouse game, until Abby finally lays her cards on the table. While they struggle with whether their surprisingly passionate response to each other will be enough for them to build a future on, it now seems that someone is trying to kill Abigail.

A PERFECT GENTLEMAN is the best book I've read by Candace Camp, in fact, I read it all in one sitting. The reconciliation is slow building and timed perfectly, thereby feeling more genuine. Both Abby and Graeme were pawns ten years ago, but the people they are today make them perfect for each other. I highly recommend this very satisfying second chance romance.
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Book Review by Dawn (reviewer)
Apr 08, 2017   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
146 people found the following review helpful
Also posted at Reading Alley:

Graeme is a married man, now. Yet, the moment the vows are spoken, he knows he's been duped into a marriage by his wife's scheming American father. In a moment of anger, Graeme takes his frustration out on his new bride, Abigail. To no one's surprise, she flees back across the pond. And she stays there. For ten years. But now she's back, much to Graeme's dismay.

Abby isn't the same young, starry-eyed woman that she was when she wed a decade prior. She's built a life for herself, independent and meaningful. And she's managed to escape from under her father's repressive thumb. But she's still missing what she's wanted all along: a real marriage and children.

Determined to at least obtain one of those things, Abby makes the journey to England and propositions her absentee husband. He needs an heir and she wants a baby. It's a win-win for both of them. That is, if they can stand to be in the same room with each other long enough to conceive a child.

Soon, our couple find that while intimacy and lust may come easy, their relationship has become inherently more complicated. Feelings rise to the surface, secrets lead to dangerous consequences, and someone is out for revenge against the Montclairs. Everyone is suspect while Graeme and Abby discover they have more to lose than just their hearts.

In the very first chapter, my heart broke for Abby. I teared up after only a few pages because the innocence of her thoughts of grandeur and hopes for the future were so devastatingly crushed in just a matter of moments. I was sure that there was no way for me to forgive Graeme for his actions. And for the first half of the book, I was still peeved at him. There were definitely times when I wanted to smack Graeme on the back of the head.

But along the way, something changed. The hostile dynamic between our couple became a softer and more generous affair. I am not one to believe that intimacy cures everything, but in this case, it definitely gave our pair a start of something new. The truth about past indiscretions helped to mend the rift between them, as well. It was gradual but satisfying and totally believable for me.

The romance was slow to build but the naughty times began fairly early. Even when there wasn't much affection in the coupling, there was still plenty of passion and lust-filled naughty time happening. I also appreciated the variety of lovemaking here, too. Lots of locations saw some rather adult activities. *wink*

As for everything else, I found the plot to be just involved enough that it didn't overwhelm the story but deeper than many romance stories I've read. If you only want frilly romance, this book had more in the way of schemes and mysteries. If you're looking for a historical romance with heartbreak, danger, scandal, and steamy love scenes, this one is for you!

In closing...
I will definitely read more from this author! And bonus points for such a gorgeous cover. Love the color combination. Looking forward to Laura's story, too! Four stars!
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Book Review by Administrator (author,reviewer)
Apr 26, 2017   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
146 people found the following review helpful
Originally posted by bookreader7 at Reading Alley

I so love a good historical and this does fit the bill. Ms. Camp never fails to deliver a winner. The story progressed quite well after the first chapter. I enjoyed learning more about the main characters, Abigail and Graeme. I liked how the author was able to bring about a happy ending for them. Excellent dialogue. Overall a well-written romance.
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May 31, 2020 07:47 PM ( EST )