When Lady Helena Simpson flees an unwanted marriage to a revolting lord, she finds refuge with James, a charming, handsome man unlike any she’s ever known. Helena concocts the perfect solution to her problem. She asks—begs—James to ruin her. Surely her betrothed will repudiate her if she is no longer pure. And if all her efforts fail and she still ends up married to a horrid man until the end of her days, she will at least once have known true passion.
But James is not all he seems. He is, in fact, a wicked lord with a dark fancy. When Helena awakens his desire, he becomes determined to take everything she has to offer and more. No matter the cost.
Review: When Lady Helena Eloise Simpson finds out her guardian has arranged for her to be married, her only thought is to run away.
In Dark Fancy, author Sabrina York delivers the first story in the Noble Passions series. As a fairly quick read, this installment features plenty of spice at the hands of the characters. Eloise’s hair-brained scheme to use “James the gardener” to make her unsuitable for marriage had me in giggles. Her quirky personality made me like her from the beginning. As a result, I was cheering for her efforts to get out of wedding that “repugnant creature”.
James Tully, the Earl of Darlington, has resigned himself to marriage, but he’s quite intrigued by the innocent Eloise and her proposal. Can either of them be blamed for not fully disclosing their identities?
With plenty of twists and turns, this was a fun Regency romp demonstrating how utterly complicated life can be. From outdoor picnics to a sensual cottage interlude, James and Eloise embrace the stolen moments before reality abruptly intrudes.
As the beginning of a series, this installment did a great job at showcasing the author’s skill in depicting this era of history in a steamy fashion.