Forced by her family into an engagement with a man she can never abide, Antigone Preston knows only a scandal will save her from a loveless marriage. But knocking a man down to the ballroom floor with her fists brings dangerous consequences. She may have ruined her reputation, but now she’s endangered her heart…
The son of an earl and a career navy man, Captain William Jellicoe has no interest in the frivolities of London—and even less in the institution of marriage. But there’s something steering him toward Antigone. He has never met anyone as brazen and unconventional as…himself. But will he risk it all for a woman who still has the breath of scandal hot on her lips?
Antigone Preston has just returned from her father’s funeral when her she walks into her house and is told by her mother that she is to marry a man by the name of Lord Aldridge, who is old enough to be her father. She immediately says no, several times, but her mother finally insists that they just have “an agreement” until the family is out of mourning and then all will be decided. The mother informs Antigone that she MUST do this for her sister Cassandra so that she can meet better marriage prospects and since Antigone loves her sister she goes along with it.
We soon see that the mother (who I kept thinking of as an old biddy but then I found out she was supposedly two years younger than me – ouch. lol) only has her own and Cassandra’s best interests at heart. She obviously doesn’t care about Antigone’s feelings and forces her to act the part of the docile daughter even though Antigopne is anything but. We first get a full view of Antigone’s personality when they are at a ball put on by Lord Aldridge and his sister and when another Lord gets too handsy she lays him flat with one punch. Her mother is mortified and sends her off to hide. Antigone is soon joined by Will Jellicoe who is a naval man who is at loose ends. The war is over and he has no ship – he’s floundering and the ball is just making him nuts as there are so many people. He heads to the library and meets Antigone who introduces herself as Preston. Jellicoe and Preston soon share a glass of brandy and find they like each other very well.
The pair are great together but they end up getting themselves in to some interesting situations. Preston is dressed like a boy and they end up playing dice in the streets and then getting into a brawl at a tavern. Jellicoe makes every deal he can so that he can see Preston but knows that there’s nothing more than him enjoying her company as he plans on being on a ship again soon.
Matters come to a head when Antigone finds out some information about the pervert Aldridge and some other info from her scheming, lying and manipulative mother. Will knows he loves Preston but he can’t believe that he can have her – especially when he finds out she’s engaged.
I have to say that I had very mixed feelings about this book. The story started off rather slowly for me. I was shocked and dismayed when the mother engaged Antigone to a man on the day of her father’s funeral. I immediately knew that I disliked the mother intensely and was really kind of pissed at Antigone for standing up to everyone in her life except to her mother. I understand it was her mother but after what that woman did? I would have completely laid into her if I were here daughter. The sister was on Antigone’s side but she really did nothing to stand up for her at all. I was more than a bit disappointed in her.
I thought that Will and Antigone were good together and for the most part I really liked their scenes together. They were fun and the pair seemed pretty carefree even though they weren’t. I liked seeing their antics, but the antics themselves seemed almost forced – kind of just made up and stuck in to further the book. IDK, it was a story that ebbed and flowed for me but after I was done I wasn’t sure exactly how I felt about it. I thought it was entertaining but beyond that it didn’t have a whole lot of depth to it. I was happy that Jellicoe and Preston got their HEA but the getting there was a bit too convoluted for my tastes.
Rating: 3 out of 5
You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place