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Ratings and Book Reviews (12 44 star ratings
12 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5
44
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  • 3 person found this review helpful

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    Wonderful Read

    This was a wonderful read! The characters are delightful and the book is well-written and well-plotted. It could have easily been a 5-star read for me had the blurb mentioned that there was an m/m romance as well as infidelity. The couples aren’t married, but they are formally betrothed and during that period, that is about the same thing. This is the first book of a new series, but this book sort of continues from the Somerset Sisters series in that the heroine in this book is the sister of the hero of the last book of the Somerset series. You don’t have to have read the previous series to love this book, but if you have, you’ll better understand the closeness of the characters – besides – it is just a good series. I had thought that the next book might feature Isla’s brother Ciaran, but that isn’t the case. Maybe #3 will be his. Isla Ramsey was involved in another scandal and it wasn’t her fault, but the only solution was a betrothal. Her very best friend, Henry Northrup, the sixth Earl of Sydney offers for her and is accepted. They have absolutely no secrets from each other, so each knows exactly what they are getting. They don’t love each other romantically, but they do love each other. Each thinks they are doing the best thing for themselves and each other. Isn’t it wonderful that their hearts step in and show them what real love is – if they can claim it? Isla was deeply, irrevocably in love with Hugh Courtney, the Marquess of Pierce. She was totally devastated when he just abandoned her during the scandal and wouldn’t even let her explain what happened. So, she had no choice but to become betrothed to Sydney. Hugh was also deeply, irrevocably in love with Isla and he had thought she felt the same about him. However, she immediately became betrothed to another man just after her scandal. Hugh didn’t care about the scandal, he only cared about Isla. Evidently, she didn’t feel the same. Sydney loves Isla as a friend and she knows all of his secrets and doesn’t judge him. He has to marry to provide an heir for the title and when Isla needs a betrothal, he steps in. He cannot ever openly fall in love, so a marriage of convenience is perfect for him – it just has to be to someone he can totally trust. Isla and her family have left London for a visit with their brother, and his estate is directly adjacent to Hugh’s estate. Each day she takes her horse out for a ride – and cannot resist always riding in front of Hugh’s estate. She’s sure he isn’t there, but she can dream of him behind those walls. Then, during a horrific ice storm, Isla is trapped, lost, frightened and it is Hugh who finds her. He takes her to his home because it is nearest and he’s fearful she won’t survive. During their time together, they find out what happened in London, and realize they are still in love. Sadly, each of them is betrothed to someone else. At the same time, Sydney is on his way to see Isla when he is caught in an ice storm and his carriage wrecks horribly. He’s on the brink of death when he is lifted out of the water-filled ditch. He’s only half conscious, but he’s sure there is a bear – and a man with haunting grey eyes. Later, when Sydney regains consciousness, he learns that the bear is a huge dog and the man who rescued him is Lucas Dean, a local farmer. The attraction is instant and as Sydney convalesces, they get to know one another and love each other. Frankly, I’m not sure which romance I liked better. They were both written very well and were both sweet and poignant. However, it bothered me that the very real danger of the relationship between Sydney and Lucas wasn’t even mentioned. During that time, being a homosexual was a hanging offense, yet neither Sydney or Lucas seemed to worry about that. They went to Sydney’s estate and were openly living together and were planning trips, etc. I really wish that the story had included them finding a way to be together and work around or circumvent the dangers somehow. It isn’t a fair representation of the times to treat homosexuality like it is no big deal and I think it shortchanges the characters – because they had to be brave indeed to pursue their relationship. This is a lovely read and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Enjoyable story

    I received an advanced review copy of this book. There is so much more story-wise to this novel than the book blurb implies which presents a bit of a challenge for writing a review without spoilers. Isla Ramsey is a character that was introduced to readers in earlier books. She is intriguing and I looked forward to reading her story. She always came across as a strong character. I was a bit surprised she would pine so strongly for Hugh Courtney that she would ride past his estate every day, even when bad weather threatened. I would think she would tire of doing this and eventually move on. I would like to imagine that given enough time she would. Hugh rescues her from a snowstorm that hit while she was out on her daily ride by his estate. He takes her to his home because it’s closer than riding out in the storm to her home. They’re forced to spend time in each other’s company while they grapple with their feelings and the fact that they can’t be together. I enjoyed the primary story between Isla and Hugh, but I loved the secondary storyline and the characters. The secondary story line drew my attention more. I feel the secondary story could have gotten more page time but that would have taken even more away from the primary story. The novel is well-written and I enjoyed it very much. I am looking forward to her next book in the series.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Love is in the air

    I really enjoyed this book. I am happy to see Isla finally get her happy ending. I really enjoyed the relationship Sydney ended up with. Everyone is happy and in love. You don't get many relationships like Sydney's back then and I am so happy Anne did his story line like that. Isla and Hugh go through a lot to get to their happy ending but I think it's worth it in the end. I can't wait to see what Anne does for Isla's brother and his story. *I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review.*
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    Great characters

    This is a great love story, actually two love stories, that involves Hugh and Isla, and Sydney and Lucas. The stories are wonderfully written and intertwine with each other. Sydney offered for Isla after a scandal occurred even though they did not love each other. There comes a time when Hugh and Isla admit to each other the love they feel for one another but because they are both betrothed to someone else they can not marry. Sydney is involved in a carriage accident that badly injures him, he was rescued by Lucas and they find an unexpected love. In the end there is a HEA for these four but not before a lot happens and others come to play a big part in the story.
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    Loved it!

    Huntington Lodge, Buckinghamshire, March 1818. Be still my heart. Hugh Courtney was never far from her mind. After being heartbroken by him during her season, Isla could not deny her feelings even though she was to marry the earl of Sydney in a few weeks. Longing to see him yet knowing he would not speak to her she rides out and gets caught in an ice storm and is rescued by none other than... yes Hugh. Hugh had been trying to get Isla out of his mind and heart, but as he brings her home and they get snowed in, it seems fate cannot be denied. You see Isla had been involved in a scandal and Hugh had abandoned her. The only recourse she had was to become betrothed to her best friend Sydney. But as the two spend time together and get to know each other, what will happen? Can they ever be together with so may outside forces working against them? I adored all of the extra characters in this story including Sydney and local farmer Lucas. This is almost a second story within this one and is really well done. The pages could not turn fast enough so I might see how everything would turn out and I could only sigh as I turned the last page. I highly recommend this book and excited it is the first book in a new series! I read this through Netgallery
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