Ada Treadway has been in love before, and it brought nothing but heartache. Still, she retains her cheerful optimism and is fiercely protective of the independence and respect she’s earned as bookkeeper of the Phoenix Club. When the owner enlists her help to organize his friend’s estate ledgers, she’s eager to prove her expertise and her worth. But his friend turns out to be a disagreeable, unpleasant beast, and Ada works to find the warm-hearted gentleman she’s sure lurks beneath.
Maximillian Hunt, the Viscount Warfield doesn’t care if he lives to see tomorrow, and he certainly doesn’t want to recall yesterday. The arrival of the meddlesome and effusively positive woman who will put his accounts in order not only reminds him of the past he’s desperate to forget, she sparks something within him he thought dead. Tempted by a future he never imagined, he must do the impossible: convince her that he’s worth risking her heart a second time.
The characters immediately pull you into the story. You root for them to heal and find their HEA. Loyal friends become family. A heartwarming story.
Max & Ada
****1/2- Ada Treadway is the bookkeeper for the Phoenix Club which is owned by Lord Lucien Westbrook. She is sent by Lucien to one of his closest friend’s home, to organize his ledgers and to see how he can make improvements. Maximillian Hunt, Viscount Warfield, has not been the same since returning from the war. He has neglected everything that has to do with running his estate at Stonehill.
Max returned from the war with injuries. He has outer wounds that have healed and left him with scars. It is his internal wounds that have not healed. Max has a very nasty temperament. He is always angry and rejects any kind of help. He has no desire to improve his attitude. He even turned away his half sister Prudence St. James when she came for help. He also refused to give her a dowry when she married Bennet St. James, Viscount Glastonbury.
Ada arrives at Stonehill knowing this will be a challenging task. Ada is an unwelcome guest. Max hopes she will leave right away. Max wants to be left alone. Ada let’s him know he is stuck with her for the next two weeks because she intends to finish her job. Once Ada meets Max she finds him cranky and grumpy but also alluring. Ada is drawn to Max. She decides she wants to make him better. She wants to mend him and hopes she can bring out the man he used to be. Max is annoyed with Ada. She is too pleasant and wants to cheer him up. He does not understand how someone can be happy all the time. She is too curious and meddlesome. Max does not want to stop being bitter and the nasty beast that keeps everyone away from him. Unfortunately he cannot stop thinking about Ada. I loved Ada’s persistence and how she got under Max’s skin. Ada is the perfect woman for Max. It was fun to watch Max smile and laugh when he did not want to. He tried so hard not to allow Ada’s cheerfulness to invade him. Ada is able to bring out the good in Max. You cannot help but fall for Max.
This was an enjoyable book. This is book five in the Phoenix Club series. The series just gets better and better. The whole series has been wonderful. You can definitely read this book without reading the previous books. I love series that you get to see previous characters from earlier books again. I love Lucien and cannot wait for his story. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley and I am voluntarily leaving a review.
Let the Sunshine In
Max lost much during the war and has come back bearing both physical and emotional scars only to find that he now Viscount Warfield. He has allowed himself to sink into a darkness that he can’t, or doesn’t want to, escape. Ada has suffered her own kind of tragic past and, though not visibly scarred, she has some understanding of his internal misery. She has come, at Lucien’s request, to help organize the ledgers for his estate. Ada, who simply chooses not to allow her present to suffer for her past, wants to do much more. She can’t help it. Will she be able to help Max? She only has a fortnight.
I love this story. My heart went out to Max, but, at the same time, I could not help but laugh at his attempts to grump Ada into leaving. Ada is smart and very good at bookkeeping. She is dedicated to the task she has accepted. Ada is also amazingly patient with Max, which annoys him greatly, until it doesn’t. This is a story of healing. The romance between Ada and Max is part of that healing. Even though the attraction between them sizzles, they regard each other carefully. The story is captivating - questions to answer, surprises, secrets to share, wounds to heal. To think, Max actually believed he was alone. Impossible!
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. My review is voluntary.