Sophie Barnes does it again in this sizzling Regency-set romance where anything can happen at the Kingsborough Ball
Lucien Marvaine never thought he was good enough for Katherine. As the younger son of an earl, he didn't have a title or prospects. Then fate steps in and gives him a second chance, and this new Earl of Roxbury is determined to make the beautiful Kate his own . . . one touch . . . one kiss at a time.
Katherine never thought of herself as a temptress, certainly not with Lucien. Why, she's known him almost all her life! Yet as she waltzes in Lucien's arms at the Kingsborough Ball, she can't help but be drawn to him. Has he always been this hard and masculine? And where did those dimples come from? Kate is not looking for a husband . . . but how can she not surrender to Lucien's charms when love is at stake?
Barnes's third At the Kingsborough Ball historical (after The Scandal in Kissing an Heir) falls short of the mark. Lucien Marvaine left the country when Katherine, his childhood friend and the one woman he's ever loved, married another man. When he returns years later, Katherine's husband has died, and she's just coming out of mourning. Lucien's plan to get her to see him as a possible future mate is derailed by an attempt on her life. Meanwhile, Katherine battles the insecurities her late husband left her with, and wonders whether she can ever be enough for the friend she's falling in love with. The plot is adequate and the protagonists are likable, but the other characters are little more than sketched out. Barnes falters in some areas of Regency-era accuracy a character attends a dinner party heavily pregnant when she would normally be in confinement, and the widowed Katherine wearing white is seen as unusual, although white was a common post-mourning color for the period. The conclusion of the subplot feels weak, without adequate motivation on behalf of the instigating character. This is a fairly bland romance with little to recommend it.