Rating: 4.5 stars
“How to Seduce a Wife” by Kate Pearce
“Beauty and the Brute” by Virginia Henley
After exchanging wedding vows, he goes off on his Grand Tour and she goes to a London academy for young ladies. Sarah can’t get over the very bad first impression of him. Charles was a typical thoughtless 18yr old boy and said some insulting, snarky things to Sarah when he had just met her. Perhaps an older, more mature woman would have either brushed off his comments or else set him straight, but for a young girl those comments stuck with her. During their time apart, they both matured, physically and in all other ways. Sarah’s figure became more womanly and less girlish. She also gained more self-confidence and became very intelligent and known for her fine wit. Charles likewise became more manly in appearance and, after traveling, sickness, and being exposed to different cultures, gained an empathy for others and depth as a person. Charles is captivated by Sarah when he first sees her after 3 years, not realizing she is his wife. When he does find out who she is, it only strengthens his resolve to win her heart. Sarah, by comparison, is intent on plotting revenge for the way he acted toward her when they were younger. Her plan is “love’em and leave’em”. In the end, of course, she falls for him just as much as he fell for her. I was very happy that, perhaps because of the story length, there was not a long estrangement at the end.
“Not Quite a Courtesan” by Maggie Robinson
Prudence Thorn is a prudish widow of 10 years. It takes collector and auctioneer Darius Shaw to awaken her sexuality. I liked the hero in this story much more than the heroine.