Prudence Landon has always done exactly as she should. She’s obeyed her parents’ every word, lived by society’s every dictate, and even agreed to marry a man more than twice her age simply because it was expected of her. In the fortnight before her wedding, she decides it’s high time to bend a few rules before life as she knows it is over.
Viscount Ashby leads a charmed life. Betrothed since the age of seven, he is perfectly content to allow his off-the-market status to keep the marriage-minded mamas at bay. When he returns home to his parent’s estate and finds their prim, straight-laced young neighbor swimming naked in broad daylight, he’s both amused and intrigued.
When Ash discovers Prudence’s upcoming nuptials to the aging squire, he decides to help her live a little before the parson’s mousetrap springs closed. But what started as good fun soon leads to something much more. With her wedding fast approaching, they must choose between breaking all the rules and losing their one chance for happiness.
Source: ARC from Night Shift Publishing via NetGalley
This was light and easy and fun, a charming tale of the repression of a Regency gentry girl’s upbringing and the uncaring ambivalence of a young heir’s drift through life.
I liked Pru. Yes, at times it was hard to understand quite why she let herself be treated so badly by her family and the squire. They’re not cruel (well, jury’s out on the squire) just too concerned with their own wants and ambitions and goals to even consider Pru might have thoughts and dreams of her own. Her list is short and really rather sweet, having some pretty innocent things on it, like to eat a whole slice of cake.
Yet I really loved how she grew and blossomed throughout this book. Ash definitely helps in the way he encourages her to fulfill her list, but the true change comes from Pru and she finds her own core of strength without having to rely on anyone else. In fact, quite the opposite. She’s quiet and ordinary and wonderful. I really liked her.
Ash is okay, in a nondescript sort of way. He’s the heir to an earldom, his future marriage has been sealed for years, he’s never really had to think about not being in control of his life and he sort of drifts along accepting things the way they are. I did like how his view of Pru changes throughout the book and I liked how she challenged him as much as he challenged her, and how together they change and grow.
Overall this is lovely. Perhaps certain aspects of the ending were tied up a bit too neatly for my liking (the squire), but it’s easy and sweet and enjoyable, and I think I’ll be investigating what else this author has to offer.
Vexed by a Viscount is Out Now!
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