Lady Mercy Danforthe Flirts with Scandal by Jayne Fresina
Series: Sydney Dovedale Series (# 3)
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review
When a Perfectly Proper Lady…
Lady Mercy Danforthe always has a plan. It’s what makes her such a successful matchmaker, and why she’s obligated to spend a great deal of time generously organizing the lives of her friends and family. But there’s one man beyond her help. One man whose recklessness she can’t rein in; whose chaos she can’t contain. Her ex-husband, Rafe Hartley. Her one—and only!—mistake.
Flirts with a Reckless Rogue…
Rafe has never forgiven Mercy for running out on him. Their hastily annulled marriage may have one lasted three hours, but that doesn’t mean he needs her help finding a proper wife. Someone needs to teach little Miss Know-It-All a lesson about keeping her adorably freckled nose out of other people’s business. And it just so happens that Mercy “Silky Drawers” Danforthe still owes him a wedding night…
A Scandal’s Never Far Behind
Review: Fancy breeches. The Danforth Brat. Not exactly the sentiments a woman wants to hear from the man she secretly loves. Thus part of the the conflict between the hero and heroine in Lady Mercy Danforth Flirts With Scandal.
Lady Mercy Danforth and Mr. Rafe Hartley ran away to Gretna Green and were married five years ago. But her brother and guardian swooped in and took her away before the marriage was consummated, so they are now exes. However, Mercy can’t help herself from meddling in Rafe’s life, and pretends to be an elderly woman who becomes his benefactress. Hidden beneath layers of heavy black veils and mourning clothes, Rafe has no idea the woman he looks up to is his ex-wife. She encourages him to return to his home village and be married to a young woman he’s been courting (Mercy’s own lady’s maid). But when Molly refuses to marry him because she wants to set up a dress shop, Mercy goes to Rafe’s small village to try and get them back together.
Mercy settles in to life in the small village and begins bossing everyone…er, guiding people to do what (she thinks) is best for them. She wants order in her own life, and can’t see why no one else feels the same way. Mercy holds herself to strict guidelines on a straight and narrow path, never daring to stray off it as her mother did, which ultimately led to an untimely death. This is the conflict Mercy struggles with – she has set her path and is so afraid of taking a chance on the man she really loves because therein lies the unknown, and what could be a devastating heartbreak.
Rafe has been angry at Mercy for all these years – he was cheated out of a wedding night, plus from his point of view, she willingly left him. He feels he wasn’t enough for her, that she would much rather be surrounded by all the things her money can buy, rather than the life he could give her. Rafe was the product of an illegitimate birth, and although his father would willingly give him money and a comfortable life, he’s stubborn and wants to make his own way as a farmer.
While this is a good story, with plenty of humor, it did tend to be slow in several places. The author has a humorous voice, and I liked how she took modern sayings and made them old-fashioned to fit the time period. An example of this is: Pull up your garters (put on your big girl panties and deal with it).