Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 3rd 2014
My Rating: ❀❀❀❀❀
Charity Effington learned two valuable lessons from her first betrothal:
1) When one loses the attention of an earl, one gains the attention of every gossip in London.
2) Despite the lingering scandal, she’s not prepared to marry for anything less than love.
After an exhausting Season, Bath’s first annual music festival offers Charity the perfect escape. Between her newly formed trio and her music-loving grandmother, Charity is free to play the pianoforte to her heart’s content. That is, until their insufferably rude, though undeniably handsome, neighbor tells her to keep the “infernal racket” to a minimum.
Hugh Danby, Baron Cadgwith, may think he’s put an end to the noise, but he has no idea what he’s begun. Though the waters of Bath provide relief from the suffering of his war injuries, he finds his new neighbor bothersome, vexing, and… inexplicably enchanting. Before long, Hugh suspects that even if his body heals, it’s his heart that might end up broken.
It has been a long time since I've enjoyed a historical romance this much. Historical romance is perhaps my most favourite romance genre, and I was absolutely delighted with this new release by Erin Knightley. The characters were endearing, the plot well developed, the romance the sort of slow burn into passion that I just adore, and every scene struck just the right chord.
Charity is a delighted character and wonderful fun to read. She is poised and yet sassy, and I loved how she always stood up to Hugh, insisting that he explain his boorish behaviour, and letting him know exactly what is on her mind. It was refreshing to read a character that was passionate but not wildly so. Her love of music and her determination to compose her own music really highlighted her independent nature, but it was the last scene where she stood up to her father that really had me cheering for Charity.
I really loved Hugh. I've always had a soft spot for the broken characters, and even though Hugh suffers horribly from his war injuries, I never really saw him as broken. Vulnerable yes, but not broken. And yet I loved that vulnerability about him, and his level headed solider ways coupled with his passionate nature made him so much fun to read.
But for me, it was really the development of the romance that cinged this whole book. From avoiding each other to arguing, to the wondering of why they were always thinking about each other and then onto the passionate balcony scenes and kisses, this courtship was no real courtship and yet nothing could have been more perfect or romantic. The pacing was that good. And the proposal scene and every word uttered from that scene till the end of the book by Hugh and Charity made this a wonderful, romantic read and I left the book with a dreamy le sigh feeling. What more can I say? This is bound to remain a favourite of mind.