A Reckless Promise by Kasey Michaels
Series: The Little Season series #3
Published by HQN Books
Publication Date: August 1st 2016
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It's the kind of vow often made on the battlefield. Darby Travers, Viscount Nailbourne, never imagines he'll have to honor it. Yet here she is on his doorstep—his late comrade's young daughter, and Darby's new ward. Worse, she comes with the most overprotective, mistrustful, bothersome chaperone—the child's aunt, Sadie Grace Boxer. Darby is quite sure that behind her lovely facade, the woman is guarding a secret.
Sadie Grace faced many trials working in her brother's surgery, but none prepared her for the world she's thrust into with his passing. Navigating the ton, with its endless ball gowns and parade of parties, is difficult enough, but hiding the truth about her niece while the sophisticated viscount watches her every move proves nearly impossible—particularly when his searing gaze tempts her to bare all. But when her family's past catches up with her, she'll have to trust in Darby…no matter the cost to her heart.
Sadie Grace Hamilton shows up at the home of Viscount Nailbourne with his new ward, her niece Marley. Darby aka Viscount Nailbourne, had made a promise to Marley father while they were both in a POW camp that if anything happened to John Darby would take his daughter as his ward. He never thought anything would happen to John (or he might not have made the promise) so when he got a letter stating that John had died he was a bit upset. When Darby sees Sadie Grace he at first thinks that she’s his ward. No, Marley is just seven years old and her aunt states that she will stay with the girl. Darby didn’t expect that but goes with the flow. He knows that propriety won’t let Sadie Grace stay in his home without having some sort of occupation like governess but he doesn’t want to do that to the aunt. He takes them to London and foists them on his friends the Duke and Duchess of Cranbrook. Darby knows that there’s something off about the story Sadie Grace told him about why she is with her niece and why she used the world “safe” to describe his household so he needs to go off and do some digging.
The duchess takes Sadie Grace and Marley under her wing and is thrilled to have them. She’s not used to be pampered so she does so with reluctance. When Darby shows back up and proposes to her she’s shocked. She realizes that what he says is true – her being in his household unchaperoned brought this on them but this also lets her stay with her niece and she agrees.
Darby worded his proposal as a marriage of convenience and a business matter but he wants Sadie Grace for his own. He knows that she’s keeping secrets but will get them out of her. He just needs to romance her a bit and then she’ll fall for him as much as he’s falling for her.
This was a story that, imho, was a bit backwards. The H/h became engaged and then started a romance rather than the other way around. I have to admit I felt it was a bit sudden for Darby to propose out of the blue. I couldn’t understand his thinking until later in the book when it was explained about his attraction to her. If the author had told us of his attraction or showed him acting attracted in any way then maybe I wouldn’t have been thrown off by his proposal but that didn’t happen. Despite my surprise I thought that from there the story unfolded nicely. Darby and Sadie Grace were good for each other and I liked seeing Sadie Grace come out of her shell little by little.
There was very little angst in the story and I liked that. This was book 3 in this series but I didn’t feel lost because I hadn’t read books 1 & 2 – it was a good standalone. The secondary characters played a big role in the story and made me laugh as well. Humor in historical romances is always a good thing in my opinion.
If you want to read a nice, fun historical romance then this one would be a good one for you to read.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5