[I received a digital copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]
Setting: London, May 1817
This is the fifth installment of the “Legendary Lovers” series, but the first I’ve read of any of these titles. The series name refers to a matchmaking theory the heroine of this story, Lady Katherine Wilde, has used through all the previous books in orchestrating love matches for her friends and family members, pulling from tales of mythology and pairing suitable couples accordingly.
She always thought her personal love match would stem from Pygmalion, the story of a sculptor who falls in love with his ivory statue and who leaves offerings to the goddess, Aphrodite, requesting a living likeness of his creation, Galatea, which was granted.
So far, Lady Katherine’s matches have been successful, but she thinks the streak will be broken when it comes to herself, especially since she has already been spurned by the man she loves, Baron Valmere, Brandon Deverill, and she refuses to marry for any reason other than reciprocal love. She needs his assistance for a personal favor, however, so in exchange she offers to help Deverill, an American who has just inherited his title and needs guidance in navigating the tricky societal rules of the peerage and the London ton so he can present himself as a suitable bachelor in search of an ideal wife.
Kate has her work cut out for her as she teaches him how to be a proper gentleman, all while trying to resist her attraction to him and his sexual advances. Unbeknownst to her, he has already chosen her to be his bride and is trying to seduce her into agreeing to marry him without love–which he thinks he is incapable of–and she is trying to coax his emotional side out of him under the pretense of showing him how to win over his choice of a potential bride using romantic gestures.They are both well suited in personality, chemistry, and adventurous spirit and are an exciting couple to watch fall in love. There are a lot of love scenes (an fyi to those who are put off by them), but they are important to the story and include as many emotional elements as physical attraction. The author writes these very well. I think it’s a sign of a really good writer when not once are you taken out of the moment by awkward conversations or cringeworthy descriptions or euphemisms.
I really enjoyed this and will track down the other books in this series to get caught up with the rest of the characters.