Finishing school taught Amelia Wheeler how to put on a well-mannered performance—when she's not bored and looking for trouble. Lady Grantham's is behind her and now it's time for Amelia to keep her promise to her dying mother: marry a title and leave her wild days behind.
That promise would be much easier to keep if Nate Smythe hadn't just reappeared in a London ballroom. The son of an impoverished sailor, Nate—Natty, as he used to be called—has grown up to become handsome, rich and polished. He claims to be looking for a proper bride who can advance his business interests, but that doesn't stop him from seeking out Amelia every chance he gets. Challenging her. Kissing her.
Suddenly, struggling against her simmering passion is the least of Amelia's problems—one of her titled suitors is hiding a desperate secret that could stop Amelia from pleasing her parents or finding happiness with Nate. As a weeklong house party threatens to derail her hard-won future, Amelia must decide: fight against disaster or act like the lady she's promised to become?
This book is approximately 86,000 words
Book two of The Grantham Girls
Childhood friends reunite in Weaver's bright second Grantham Girls historical (after A Duchess in Name). In late 19th-century England, Nate Smythe returns to London after making his fortune in shipping. Nate has reinvented himself from the poor boy growing up in Portsmouth, and he's determined to find a titled bride. When he is reunited with Amelia Wheeler, his childhood companion, in a London ballroom, Nate realizes that she has grown into a beautiful woman. Despite his attraction to the alluring and opinionated Amelia, Nate is convinced that he has to cement his success as a businessman and add to his social status by marrying Lady Julia Harrow. But Nate's interactions with both Amelia and Julia at a house party leave him more confused than ever, because he can't deny that he is mesmerized by Amelia. Amelia's blunt and forthright nature is a refreshing change from the staid debutantes of her acquaintance, and the blazing sexual tension between Nate and Amelia will keep readers enthralled.
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suffering from a sophomore slump of sorts, but still enjoyable nonetheless.
3.5 stars rounded
I really enjoyed the first in this series, A Duchess in Name, where an American Heiress moved into English Society. In this story, Amelia is also out of finishing school and has determined she will make good on her promise to her mother. Far slower to start than I expected, the story seemed to bounce from ball to party to ball with nothing particularly challenging happening, even after Amelia had reacquainted herself with a childhood friend.
The book is far more conventional and were it not for Amelia showing her true talent and preference for the unconventional later in the book. With her promise to seek a titled husband, the wealthy yet untitled Nate is not the right choice, particularly with titled suitors showing interest. For his part, while Nate is enjoying the moments with Amelia, he too is seeking a titled wife to make his mark. These two are wholly unsuitable given their intentions and promises, but their relationship and interactions show the true compatibility.
I just wish that the story had been more evenly paced: it meanders early on with very steady but slower pacing and not a ton of conflict or obstacles for either character. Later on in the story, Amelia has several wonderful moments in quick succession that move the pacing up to quickly bring the arc to a climax to end the story. I would have appreciated and enjoyed a bit more action and display from Amelia earlier in the book, while she didn’t disappoint or step wrongly, her true personality was shuttered under the pacing, and did her a disservice as this was a heroine that brought forth some true originality and was entirely likeable as the story came to a close.
In contrast to the first book in the series, this was one suffering from a sophomore slump of sorts, but still enjoyable nonetheless.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.