by Jane Ashford
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: Feb 5, 2012
Source: ARC sent by publisher
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Summary from goodreads.com:
Pushed by her dying father into a marriage with one of his friends, Charlotte Rutherford Wylde finds herself bound to an old man who disdains and ignores her. Miserable, furious, she determines to take drastic action, but before she can confront him, her husband is murdered in the dark London streets. From the moment Charlotte hears this upsetting news, she is subject to shock after shock. Her dead husband has spent the fortune she brought him, leaving her nearly penniless. His will reflects his obsession with the artifacts of ancient Rome, turning her home into a museum. And most astonishing of all, he had an entire family that he never mentioned.
The fashionable Wyldes are as surprised to hear of Charlotte's existence as she is of theirs. To the charismatic Alec she is, at first, just another obligation in his overburdened life. He has to grapple with his dead relative's shady business dealings, an attempted robbery, and a suspicious Bow Street Runner. But it's not long before Alec realizes that there is nothing he would rather do than cherish the entrancing Widow Wylde.
I really enjoyed Charlotte's story, even though I didn't really care for her love interest, Alec. Charlotte's story was very engaging, as were her relationships with the people who cared about her. Alec seemed more like a background character than a lead to me.
I really liked the secondary storyline with Charlotte's maid, Lucy, and Alec's footman, Ethan. These two really seemed like they were in love, and Ethan was more of a romantic hero than Alec was in my opinion. Their romance was much more interesting than the leads, as well as just sweeter!
I also just really like reading the stories about the servants' lives. I think a lot of readers are clamoring for the servants' stories now. That aspect made the book read more like "Downton Abbey", more of a historical drama with a lot of great characters, instead of a straightforward romance. Which actually works very well in this book.
It's usually Lucy and Ethan who help Charlotte more than the main hero! Although I must say I liked Charlotte's relationship with her two friends better than her romance!
Even though the romance between the leads fizzled, I still really enjoyed this book! I just read it as more of Charlotte's story instead of a romance.
Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Romance: 4/5 (Ethan and Lucy!)
Bottom Line: There wasn't a lot of romance here, but I really enjoyed reading Charlotte's story, and the story of the servants as well.