Rupert Haskell has always thought that Anthea, his friend Alexander’s younger sister, would make an excellent choice of bride, but the loss of his inheritance made it impossible for him to court her. Caught between his honor and his heart, the only way he can show his esteem for Anthea is remove the stain from her name—even if that means having to watch her marry another man.
Anthea Armstrong left London in her debut season when she was falsely accused of theft. Now that the real villain has been apprehended, she’s returned to town to arrange her brother’s wedding. She hopes to once again encounter the mysterious suitor who stole her heart with a kiss at a masquerade ball…when she realizes the mysterious man is none other than Rupert Haskell, can she convince this proud man of honor to take a chance on love?
3.75stars—detailed world building
3.75 stars--A BARON FOR ALL SEASONS is the third novella in Claire Delacroix’s THE BRIDES OF NORTH BARROWS historical romance series. This is Rupert Haskell ,and Anthea Armstrong’s story line. A BARON FOR ALL SEASONS can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary. Anthea Armstrong is Alexander, the Duke of Inverfyre’s sister (A DUKE BY ANY OTHER NAME 2).
Told from third person perspective A BARON FOR ALL SEASONS focuses on the return to London of Lady Armstrong following years in exile in Scotland after the theft of a jewel, a crime of which she has been accused. In the ensuing years, her brother’s friend Rupert Haskell, a man who has stirred more than a passing interest for Anthea, has removed himself from his father’s dishonourable life, leaving our hero without wealth and riches, opting for a life spying in the service of the Crown. Working as Alexander’s valet, Rupert would come face to face with the woman with whom he had fallen in love years before but a lack of funds, and his ongoing search to prove Anthea’s innocence finds Rupert unable to consider a future with our story line heroine. Anthea’s return comes with the preparation for her brother’s wedding, leaving our heroine longing for the man who refuses to acknowledge his own heart’s desire. What ensues is the search for the jewels, as Anthea reconsiders her future without the man that she loves.
A BARON FOR ALL SEASONS is a quick read; a story of betrayal and honor, love and misunderstanding, pride, redemption and acceptance. The relationship between Anthea and Rupert’s is a best friend’s younger sister, a forbidden romance in the face of honor dignity, admiration and betrayal. The fast paced premise is inviting; the characters are cordial and charming; the world building is detailed; the romance is negligible but the sexual tension is high.