Having regained his fortune, Lucas, Earl of Ravenstone, has to marry in order to keep it. Luckily, he won’t have to search for a wife—he’s known her name since their marriage was arranged in their youth. To fulfill his duty, he travels far from London Society to claim a fiancée who would no doubt be thrilled at the prospect of finally being able to use his name and become his countess.
Penelope Maitland has already been using Lucas’s name—to fend off her stepfamily’s creditors. After wasting decades waiting for him, she reckons it’s only fair she gets something out of her long-standing betrothal before she hears Lucas has married someone else.
When they accidentally meet in a coaching inn, she finds herself fighting dangerous girlhood fantasies about marrying the man of her dreams who broke her heart with his apparent lack of interest. And Lucas finds that in order to keep his fortune, he will have to lose his heart to a woman who is tired of waiting for him.
Lucas, the Earl of Ravenstone, who must finally claim his bride – a woman he’s been engaged to for 22 years and has never met – just so he can receive his inheritance from his father. He’s not thrilled with the idea but finally gets on his horse and heads to her estate. He actually finds her in a local Inn as her best friend works there. Of course he overhears her not actually saying nice things about him but he pushes forward. One of the reasons is that he’s completely intrigued by Penelope. He couldn’t have imagined the woman in front of him and he wants to know more about her.
Penelope is not thrilled to have Lucas show up. She had pinned her hopes and dreams on him for years just to be disappointed when she was ignored. Now she wants something different and goes about trying to get rid of him even though the creditors are hounding her family for money. She ends up falling in love with Lucas and travels to London with him. Once they arrive Lucas all but ignores Penelope which of course hurts her feelings but he feels he needs to distance himself as he wants to spend every minute with his wife and that’s just not how he wants his marriage to carry on. When the truth comes out about WHY Lucas finally claimed his bride Penelope is not happy and leaves him.
This was a cute little historical romance. I really liked Penelope and her family. They were all very down to earth and not about to kowtow to Lucas just because he was an Earl. I loved that about them. Penelope was quite ingenious in her plots and plans but she just didn’t expect the feelings that grew for Lucas. It was understandable that she was hurt by his distance in London but it all soon worked to her advantage.
Lucas was a bit of an ass to begin with, to say the least. He really thought pretty highly of himself and just expected Penelope to fawn all over him now that he had come to claim her. Yeah, right. lol He really came down more than a few notches on the ego scale during the book and turned out to be a pretty nice guy.
There was a portion of the book that had to do with Penelope’s uncle that I just didn’t care for and wasn’t quite sure why it was thrown in there to begin with. Those parts of the book became almost a nuisance to read.
Overall, however, the book was a good one. It had romance and some humor that kept the story on an even keel and had me flying through the pages.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5
You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place