3.5 Out Of 5 Stars
After a long journey to England to finally meet and live with grandfather, Phoebe Linville is sad to learn that her grandfather died a little before the journey started. When Major Lucas Stanton, the new Lord Merritt, delivers the unfortunate news he also gives Phoebe a letter to her from her grandfather she learns that his last denying wish was for Lucas to marry her and her remain in England and away from her miserable life in America. And though she finds Lucas insanely attractive, she doesn’t want to become a burden to him and declines his offer…
Lucas Stanton,the new Earl of Merritt, never met anyone like Phoebe. When her grandfather ask Lucas to make a promise to take her as his wife, he wasn’t really excited about it. Not only did he inherit a home that was crumbling down around him and become Lord of a town that have had it rough, he also made an honor bound promise to the old Earl to marry Phoebe that she in turns declines. But as he gets to know her, he realizes that she his the one he wants to be his wife…
I have read a few books about Vanessa Kelly that I really enjoyed. So when I came across this one and it being Christmas, I thought I would give a try. It turned out to be somewhat difficult for me to get through the book. For the first half of the book it was all about there courtship, which most of the time I don’t mind since I like it when the hero and heroine usually get to know each other. But in this instance it seemed to take for ever for them to get together and get married. The next part was of them trying to return their home, Mistletoe Manor, into it’s original splendor. Then I guess to add a dash of suspense they become aware of a smuggling ring in their town, which everyone that has lived their knew of it and turned a blind eye or was apart of it.
I didn’t much for the heroine, Phoebe. Their were one or two instances that your like “okay she is not too bad”, then she does something that negates it. She seems to always misunderstands the situation and at times seems a bit spoiled when Lucas doesn’t take her side. And at times she acts a bit dense and a lack of trust which turn some situations for the worse.
I did like Lucas. Though he went form being just a soldier to an Earl, you find how difficult it was for him to being just a mere soldier to one with all the responsibilities that come with becoming the new Earl of Merritt. It was interesting to read how his character develops to his new status.
The return of characters from the authors previous books was a nice addition and it was fun to read how they contribute to the story.
All in all, it was interesting to read once so you know Lucas and Phoebe’s story when they are later mentioned in one of Ms. Vanessa Kelly’s later books and see how they grow from this book to when they are later mentioned in another.