A Lady's Deception by Pamela Mingle
Series: Haslemere Men #2
Publication Date: August 28th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
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Mr. Hugh Grey and Miss Eleanor Broxton share a scintillating liaison the night before he leaves for war in Canada. The memory sustained him for the years he was away. Now, the reputed rake is back, knighted, and he’s got enough money to right the estate his father left in ruins. What would make Sir Hugh Grey’s world perfect is the lovely Eleanor by his side.
Their attraction is sizzling, and the sweet way Hugh is wooing her—a kitten, kisses in the moonlight, and expert help in lighting her dreary work space—makes Eleanor dream of forever with her strapping knight. But she will not risk a scandal, which could ruin his newfound respectability and esteem, especially in her father’s eyes. When Hugh discovers what she’s been hiding, it could drive them apart forever.
Hugh and Eleanor met when Hugh’s mother threw a house party. They got on fabulously and even shared a kiss in the garden. That had been earlier in the year and Hugh was now at a local assembly hoping to get a peek at Eleanor. He is leaving for Canada in two days’ time and feels the need to see her. He does run into her and plans to dance with her but her father give Hugh the evil eye (as the father believes that Hugh’s not good enough for Eleanor) so he decides to leave. Eleanor ends up following him and they end up in the livery and their encounter goes much father than kisses.
Almost three years later Hugh is back from Canada. He now goes by Sir Hugh as he was knighted and is remodeling his deceased father’s neglected home. He is excited to see Eleanor again as he’s dreamed of her night after night since he’s been gone. He does end up seeing her but when he does Eleanor isn’t as open to him as he feels she should be. He decides to court her but Eleanor is giving him mixed signals.
Eleanor dreamed of Hugh as well but when she finds out that he’s been back in town for almost a month and hasn’t come to see her she’s pissed. She’s been running a dressmaking business out of a cottage on her parent’s property hoping to have enough to eventually move away and live independently from her parents. She wants her two-year-old daughter living with her as she’s currently fostered out. She knows that she should tell Hugh about his daughter but she’s not sure how he’ll react. The longer she holds on to the information the harder it is to tell him.
The pair get closer and closer and eventually declare their love for each other. When it becomes obvious that Eleanor can’t keep the information to herself any longer she hopes Hugh’s love for her will soften what she has to tell him. It doesn’t, and Eleanor’s worst nightmares come to life. She’s not sure that she can forgive Hugh for his actions and if she can, could they have any kind of future together?
So the story started off a little lackluster for me. The time between the start of the story to when Hugh and Eleanor are doing it in the stable is so short I had no time to engage with the characters or find any romantic feelings between them. Because of this I felt the sex scene was awkward and went way too fast. Hugh seemed like a bastard for moving so quickly even though I know he felt he was out of time as he was leaving for Canada. Still…I didn’t like him too much for treating Eleanor the way he did.
When Hugh gets back from Canada we read that he’s planning on courting Eleanor but then he doesn’t even go to see her for 3 weeks. I found this really odd. It’s apparent that his childhood home and Eleanor’s family estate are very close to each other but yet the two never met before the house party three years earlier? Strange.
I had serious issues with Hugh and his temper. He would so get angry at Eleanor and then buy her things to make up for it, or do something nice. She always forgave him but seriously? How many times can that happen before you’re extremely leery of saying anything to the man for fear he’ll fly off the handle? I didn’t care for the way he treated Eleanor once she told him of their daughter, either. The things he said to her and what he called her? Completely uncalled for. Now, he did have his “mama” issue with his own mother so that explained a bit about his feelings with regard to their daughter but it didn’t completely excuse his actions, imho.
Eleanor was a strong woman and had gone through a lot in her short life. I wish she would have stood up to Hugh more when he was yelling at her. She had it in her but was cowed by Hugh’s mean forcefulness. I understood, but didn’t like it.
Overall the book was decent but I’m not sure I’d recommend it. I disliked Hugh too much to say that this book was “good” so I’ll go with “ok.”
Rating: 2.5 out of 5