One night of slight overindulgence–oh, all right, he was drunk–and Stephen Parker-Roth finds he must betroth himself to prevent yet another scandal. But his “intended” is lovely, a redheaded beauty under her horrendous, unfashionable bonnet, and before long, he’s congratulating himself on compromising such an excellent candidate–and anticipating what other naughtiness they’ll get caught at before the wedding. . .
Lady Anne Marston has long since given up any thought of marriage. That is the price she pays for the mistakes of her past. But one little conversation with a handsome rogue should never have led to a sham engagement. Even if it did end in a rather shocking kiss…in broad daylight. . .on the front step of London’s premier gossip. Now, trapped between a secret and a lie, Anne must somehow disentangle herself from this charming, maddening man before the truth comes out–or her heart gives in. . .
Review: I haven’t read the rest of this series but the books are definitely on my list now! This book hooked me from the very first page when a slightly drunk gentleman runs into a very prudish woman. The hilarious antics of how they meet and become instantly engaged was very enjoyable. What was surprising though, was how much I grew to love the characters as they dealt with the reactions to their engagement from their families and the public gossipmongers!
Lady Anne is a mystery right from the beginning. She had one season where she attended a ball and then just sort of dropped out of society altogether. She tells people that it’s because her family needed her, but that’s not the truth. No one knows the truth besides her and a man who was not a gentleman. When she becomes engaged to Mr. Parker-Roth, she is appalled at his persistence that they will actually get married. She knows their engagement is a sham and he will too, once he knows her secret.
Mr. Parker-Roth, Stephen, is a hoot. I absolutely loved him! He helps Lady Anne realize her worth and while doing so falls in love with her. Over and over, she reminds him that their engagement will NOT end in marriage and that after the season they can quietly break up.
Watching these two circle round and round each other was great! Adding their family to the mix and the fact that the engagement is indeed a sham was like adding whipped cream to a favorite beverage! I loved it! Sadly, for those that are fans of “The Naked” series, the author does mention that, for now, this is the last book.
Quote: Clorinda shook her head sadly and sighed. “I am very much afraid dear Anne might be in danger of losing her heart to you, sir. When you call off the betrothal after the Season, it will be a severe blow to her, even though she should know better.” Page 124.