Perfect for fans of Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Sabrina Jeffries, Ashlyn Macnamara’s blazing hot novel tells the story of mismatched newlyweds who discover a simmering connection.
Unlike every other proper young lady, Miss Emma Jennings views marrying well as little more than a means to an end. Such a merger would provide her industrious father with social credibility, and Emma with a chunk of her vast inheritance. Emma’s practical views are shattered, however, when her father ties her to the fabulously handsome ne’er-do-well Rowan Battencliffe, a man she loathes on sight—from the smile that promises all manner of wickedness to the way he ogles her with those striking blue eyes.
Deep in debt, especially to his wine merchant, Rowan figures the sooner he gets his finances in order, the sooner he can go back to doing what he does best: burning through ridiculous sums of cash. Which is why Rowan agrees to marry the merchant’s daughter, a prim and proper woman with delightful curves and an ample dowry. But Emma seems to think it’s her business to reform him! Their marriage is a tinderbox—and it’s just too tempting to resist playing with fire.
Praise for Ashlyn Macnamara
“Ashlyn Macnamara is a born storyteller, weaving tales rich in angst, humor, and history as she treats readers to the steamier side of Regency. Her inventive prose has secured her a place on my auto-buy list, and her memorable characters have secured a place in my heart. Don’t forget to set your morning alarm, though . . . you’ll be reading long past your bedtime!”—New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer McQuiston
“Ashlyn Macnamara brings all the elegance and romance of the Regency to life.”—New York Times bestselling author Tessa Dare
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
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With a deft hand, Macnamara navigates the secrets, revelations, attitudes and emotions of the charac
I’ve read each of the stories in this trilogy: until this story they have all been fast-paced, rapid fire. But, Ashlyn Macnamara starts this story a bit backwards: our characters are married with little introduction and even less romance. Rowan is a bit of a ne’er do well, with large debts he’s a typical second son, enjoying life without facing consequence. While he is a member of “society”, he’s not as rigidly held to the standards of title that others are, and while using the benefits that society brings him, he isn’t abusing them dramatically. Actually his charm and humor see him through most of his life, and he has questions unvoiced about his ability to be any more than he is. Emma is a merchant’s daughter, as such, she is not traditionally eligible to move up in society.
This isn’t her main concern though, she’s really wanting to make the seemingly impossible jump to businesswoman in her own right. Emma is surrounded by friends and family who support her, and understand her need to be challenged and independent. Intelligent, plain spoken and highly loyal, her first introduction to Rowan is surprising in her instant dislike of the man and his charms. But, her father wants her to be married, and with Rowan’s brother decides on a scheme that will solve both of their problems with the younger couple. They will be married: Emma will be a taming influence on Rowan, and Rowan will help Emma to learn to enjoy life, and possibly give her another outlet for her energy. And so, the couple is thrust together and must come to some sort of amicable arrangement, which soon isn’t enough for either of them. They want to find the romance in this marriage, and in doing so, find the purpose and joy in a life together.
While a bit of a slow grower, their interactions and the interferences from secondary characters are joyous additions. Emma’s large group of supporters are enhanced by intrusions and introductions of Henrietta (book 1) and Cecilia (book 2) with their husbands, friends that Rowan has wronged. Friendships are established with the three women as the men work out their own issues, and both are urged on to pursue romance and find the love that exists between them in their arrangement.
Emma’s head for business is a bonus for Rowan with his history of bad decisions, and his humor, laden with puns and good natured ribbing is delightful to see. These two are surprisingly well-suited for one another, in fact, everyone but them is instantly aware of that fact. It just takes them a bit to discover it for themselves. With a deft hand, Macnamara navigates the secrets, revelations, attitudes and emotions of the characters to bring a wonderful end to the series and a happy ending for the two who seemed to need it the most.
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.
Sweet story with likable couple.