This is a delightful followup to Vicky Dreilings debut novel, How to Marry a Duke that features Hawk and Julianne. Marc Darcett, Earl of Hawkfield is asked by his best friend, Tristan, to be his younger sisters guardian for the upcoming season. Hawk reluctantly agrees and forgoes his rakish lifestyle for the season but is determined to just escort Lady Julianne to a few balls and events and keep at his lifestyle. However, something happens at the first ball that forces Hawk to play a much more prominent role that he intended.
Julianne has loved Hawk since she was a young girl (she has refused numerous proposals and even has not had a first kiss...she is saving that to share with him) and is thrilled to Hawk as her guardian in the hopes she can make him finally see her as a woman and fall in love with her. But one scandalous waltz later and Hawks deeply hurtful remarks afterwords leads to her almost scandal and Hawks fury, all while her heart is broken. She pulls herself together though, and with the help of her dearest friends and her sponsor, Hawks Aunt Hester who is rather plain spoken, gets some rather shocking advice and decides to follow through and publish a pamphlet titled The Secrets of Seduction.
I have decided that the older brothers best friend falling for brothers younger sister storyline is one of my favorites and this one does not disappoint. Yes, I wanted to smack Hawk for unintentionally hurting Julianne but as the story progresses, we learn that Hawk has a very deep, hurtful occasion from his past that is preventing him from letting go of his heart and causing him to act the way he does. I was a bit surprised at the depth of the hurt and scorn and the last little piece that fell into place near the end was a definite surprise and added a nice twist to the story. And yes, I wanted to shake Julianne a bit for her fear of a loveless marriage based on her mother but her feelings were understandable and I am proud of the way she stood her ground on the matter. The only part of the story that prevented me from giving this one 5 stars was the middle. There was a bit too much back and forth going on....small showing of feeling to just retract back the mask. I also would have liked to have seen a bit more of Hawks past sooner instead of dragged on for almost three quarters of the book. Even with those small complaints though, I still really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it! It is laugh out loud funny at times and sexy and will leave a happy smile on your face in the end! I have a new favorite auto buy author and I can not wait for Will and Amys story (How to Ravish a Rake)! 4 solid funny sexy stars
I received this ebook from the publisher via netgalley.com