This isn't your usual froth and bubble historical romance. Lord Archie learns, just before his eighteenth birthday, that his brother, the heir to the Marquisate, is dying of syphilis! He is now the de facto heir and his father makes it clear that he is to keep healthy and not to visit any brothels! In fact his mother and father come across as very cold people on this their only appearance in the story. Archie, being an upright young man, took this to heart which led to him still being a virgin at the age of 27! Lady Charlotte is the daughter of a Duke but has refused all offers of marriage. After all, as she said, a husband would take all her property and her dowry and would be able to use her body as he wished. She was therefore determined to remain single or to do as gentlemen did. That is, to wait for a non existent gentleman, one who was pleasing to the eye, wealthy and a virgin! Archie's friends gave him away and Lady Charlotte started to look at Archie differently. Archie, on the other hand, has been in love with her for years but, knowing the disgrace that his family will face once his brother's condition becomes known, is determined to be noble and not pursue Charlotte. It isn't clear what period this story is set in which would determine the reaction of society to this scandal. Somehow I can't believe that society would cut the heir to a marquess and friend of a duke! After all, a marquess is second in rank only to a duke! So all the drama and angst is a bit unbelievable. Lovers of historical romance will probably lap this up as long as they are ready to suspend belief. Not too bad.
Archibald is the second son of the Marquess of Hunting and for tens years he has been waiting for the death of his elder brother and the scandal it will bring with it. So terrible will be the scandal that there is no way he will consider marriage to Charlotte, the only woman he has ever loved. Tired of waiting for Archibald to see her as more than his best friend's sister, Charlotte takes matters into her own hands and sets out to seduce him instead. This is an engaging love story of two members of the ton, her naughty seduction of Archibald destroys his determination to keep away from her and they let their emotions carry them away resulting in an unplanned pregnancy and a quick marriage and a happy ending.
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and have voluntarily read and reviewed this book.