The youngest of the Crompton heiresses, Blythe yearns to marry into the aristocracy to bolster her family’s place in society. The widowed Duke of Savoy seems to be the perfect choice, yet it’s another man who sets her heart to pounding: the new footman, James. He’s devilishly handsome and far more fascinating than any of her noble suitors. And he alone has the power to stir her romantic dreams.
Little does she know, however, James Ryding is the true heir to the Crompton fortune. He’s posing as a servant in order to find evidence to prove her parents are imposters. By charming Blythe, he hopes to use her to regain his rightful inheritance. But as heat flares between them, he realizes that fulfilling his quest will mean ruining the beautiful, spirited woman who has captured his heart.
James Ryding has been living in Barbados for 20 years when he gets a letter stating that the people who are supposedly his cousins are imposters. James takes it upon himself to try to discover the truth as he can’t quite tell from looking at Edith and George Crompton if they are who they say they are (he was only 10 when he last saw them). He poses as a footman in the Crompton household and sets about trying to obtain evidence. While posing at a footman he has interactions with Blythe the youngest daughter of the Crompton’s. James immediately decides he wants her in his bed but he really wants the truth more – which will get him his rightful inheritance.
Blythe is a bit put off by forwardness of the new footman but since he’s so different she can’t help but notice him and after a bit, converse with him. Blythe is trying to make a advantageous marriage match and since her parents so desperately want her to marry the Duke of Savoy that’s what she decides to do to make them happy. But the duke’s daughter Lady Davina is a snob and wants Blythe no where near her father. Blythe concocts a plan to distract Lady Davina from her guardianship of her father so that Blythe can get near. She fabricates a foreign prince…of course talking James into being the fictitious prince…only her plan backfires and her mother decides that it’s the prince she is to marry.
But what happens when Blythe falls in love with James and what will happen to their marriage when James admits that not only is he not a footman but her parents probably aren’t who they say they are either?
This was a pretty good story but found it to be slow at times. It caught my attention right off the bat but then slowed and it continued on that vein for the rest of the book. I thought that the decision to become a footman was a bit far fetched for James to discover the truth but I went with it and it seemed to be ok. When Blythe decided to add in the prince it was too much. Here we have James acting as a footman, acting as a prince? It didn’t work that well for me. I understand this is romantic fiction but I just couldn’t suspend belief for this story.
The end of the book was interesting when everything…and I do mean everything, was revealed to Blythe – but James’ actions (or non-action as was the case) after the reveal were odd. I know that he grew up during the course of the book and his priorities changed so that made it a bit better but I have to say I felt a bit let down by it all.
Overall a cute story that I had some issues with.
Rating: 3 out of 5
You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place