Humphrey Westcott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving behind a fortune that will forever alter the lives of everyone in his family—including the daughter no one knew he had...
Anna Snow grew up in an orphanage in Bath knowing nothing of the family she came from. Now she discovers that the late Earl of Riverdale was her father and that she has inherited his fortune. She is also overjoyed to learn she has siblings. However, they want nothing to do with her or her attempts to share her new wealth. But the new earl’s guardian is interested in Anna…
Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby, keeps others at a distance. Yet something prompts him to aid Anna in her transition from orphan to lady. As London society and her newfound relatives threaten to overwhelm Anna, Avery steps in to rescue her and finds himself vulnerable to feelings and desires he has hidden so well and for so long.
I really loved this book even though Avery and I - well, we won't get any fuzzy and cuddly and such, no. He is definitely a bit too ...much, you could say. His mannerisms are not easy to stomach even though you understand why he uses them and even though I found myself smiling at the mental images of him and his quizzing glass, all ringed fingers and such nonsense inclusive. Oh, Avery as in Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby or our hero.
If you are waiting for sparks to fly between our hero and our heroine, Anna Snow or rather Lady Anastasia Westcott, you may wait a bit longer. You get the feeling that both are ....intrigued. Cautious, uncertain and altogether not sure at all what to make of those feelings but sparks? No.
Both of them, when they look at the other, see someone potentially irritating who does not fit their image of a spouse at all but somehow the other one might just be the right one despite that.
It is amazing how much of the characters omes to life just by their interactions, their lack of sparks and obvious chemistry, their hesitant acceptation of something undefinable. With their whole family imploding due to the carelessness of the late Earl of Rivendale, Anna's father, it is not easy to navigate the expectations, shattered dreams and hopesof their new lives but with his trustful quizzing glass at hand and some cool moves, Avery is more than capable to protect his future duchess and his family's honor.
If you like your heroes very flowery and full of hearts and rainbows, you might have a problem with these two but if you like to read about two people, starting to trust each other and realizing slowly what the other one means to them - just go ahead, you will love it!
I loved that Avery was such a strange hero, not one of those manly men but one who at first and maybe even at second glance, seems to be rather effiminate with an angelic beauty (at least that is my impression) but at his core is a strength and a fierce need to protect those around him. Anna, well, Anna is a delight - and not your regular heroine either. Strong and confident of herself and her own worth, she doesn't bow to the demands on her to change. She might bend but never bow.
All in all, a delightful book that I really enjoyed.