“In her wildest imaginings she had never expected to hear such a declaration of love. It was not tender, not sweet. Not loving. It was positively outraged. And yet she had never heard such music. ”
Author: Jane Feather
Redonk Nutshell: Woman inherits her sister’s widowed husband and they reluctantly fall head over heels nuts with each other
Official Synopsis: For four years, Cato, the Marquis of Granville, had been just another man–the uninteresting, somewhat intimidating husband of Phoebe’s older sister. But then her sister died, and Phoebe seemed a reasonable substitute. Her forced engagement to him should have been quite a cold-blooded arrangement…except that one day Phoebe looked at Granville–really looked at him–and saw what she’d never seen before: he was darkly, breathtakingly attractive. Once she’d noticed, she couldn’t seem to stop noticing, and suddenly Phoebe was disastrously in love. It would be nothing short of torture to be married to Granville, knowing he didn’t love her and never would. After all, Phoebe was not the kind of woman men fell in love with–Phoebe with her untidy hair, her rumpled clothes, and her fingers forever ink-stained from the poetry she wrote.When running away does not solve her problems, Phoebe decides to try something a little different–something that involves a little change in wardrobe, a daring new attitude, and a bit of brazen seduction.
This is my first read by Jane Feather, a prominent romance author. I picked this up at a library sale, and with my husband’s help (pick a hand, honey…right or left?), I chose to start digging into my hoard of books by selecting this one.
I thoroughly enjoyed this read. It was a near perfect balance of romance and raunch. Our heroine, Phoebe, is an enigmatic bumpkin, completely enamored with her husband, though she’s reluctant to show it because of his facade of total indifference. Cato, our hero and Phoebe’s husband, is the epitome of calm collectedness, so much so that it drives Phoebe absolutely bonkers. He’s fully invested in the civil war that rages through Cromwell’s England. Phoebe inherits Cato when her elder sister dies, and to keep matters simple, Phoebe’s father decides to offer Phoebe in her sister’s stead. Phoebe is reluctant, despite the fact she’s wicked attracted to him. Cato on the other hand seems completely indifferent. He needs a male heir, and he sees a reasonable vessel in Phoebe.
What he doesn’t count on, however, is the aforementioned vessel having an opinion of her own. Despite his intimidating nature, Phoebe isn’t afraid to stand her ground. Her passionate nature intrigues him, and he finds himself coming out of the shell he had created for himself over the past several years.
I really enjoyed this book. Phoebe’s love for her husband is endearing and heartfelt, though does not blind her to the world around her. She recognizes the dangers of his job, as well as the temptations that surround them both, and she’s smart enough to make rational decisions. I absolutely adore that about her. Cato is hard to like, but with Phoebe’s help he eventually becomes something human.
Romance: 3/5 Raunch: 3/5