Enjoy the witty, emotional second book in USA Today bestselling author Erica Ridley’s new Dukes of War regency romance series!
Captain Xavier Grey’s body is back amongst the beau monde, but his mind cannot break free from the horrors of war. His friends try to help him find peace. He knows he doesn’t deserve it. Just like he doesn’t deserve the attentions of the sultry bluestocking intent on seducing him into bed…
Spinster Jane Downing wants off the shelf and into the arms of a hot-blooded man. Specifically, the dark and dangerous Captain Grey. She may not be destined to be his wife, but nothing will stop her from being his mistress. She could quote classical Greek by the age of four. How hard can it be to learn the language of love?
Source: ARC from the author via NetGalley
This is a quick, intimate read about two lost people coming together in a snow storm. Jane Downing is utterly forgettable. It’s not something she ever intended to be, it just sort of happened. She spends her life being introduced to people she’s known for years, knowing she’ll be forgotten the moment they turn their back. It’s as if the entire London ton has Janenesia. She can’t do anything about it and knows she’s heading for spinsterdom, but that doesn’t mean she has to go quietly. She wants to feel passion for once in her life, to know that someone sees her, so she sets her sights on Captain Xavier Grey and will do anything to have him.
Jane might be invisible to the world, but Xavier knows he’s a fraud. Everything thinks he’s a war hero, but Xavier knows the truth. Which is why when Jane turns up unexpectedly on his doorstep he’s determined to leave her untouched. He might have lost his honour in the war, but that doesn’t mean he has to dishonour an innocent woman. No matter how determined she is to change his mind.
I thoroughly enjoyed this quick Regency read. Jane is clever and funny, not to mention determined, while Xavier is tormented – in more ways than one. There’s also the devil cat, Egui, who shreds linens, leaps on unsuspecting people’s heads and is generally demonic. The close quarters of Xavier’s small cottage mean this is an intimate tale of two people getting to know each other far beyond the physical.
True, things aren’t entirely smooth, what with Jane’s fervent belief in Xavier’s honour and his certainty that he has none. It’s as much a story about the differences in the way the world sees people compared to who they really are, as it is about passion. I loved how they spent their days trapped together – from Jane’s sneaky reading of Fanny Hill, to the question game and of course the multiple aces when they play cards, not to mention a certain dance. It’s sweet and warm and funny, and makes their eventual fall into bed all the more believable.
If, like me, you were intrigued by the silent Xavier in The Earl’s Defiant Wallflower, then I doubt you’ll be disappointed by this book. Perhaps I expected more about his time of silence, and perhaps the ending was both a little out of character and ended a touch too soon, but in all this is a gorgeous, short read that swept me along with a heroine I really liked and a hero who was trying to do his best when he believes himself worthless. This is turning out to be a thoroughly enjoyable series – I cannot wait for the next one!
The Captain’s Bluestocking Mistress is out March 2nd!
Visit Erica Ridley for more details.