A chance encounter. Seemingly dismissed. Fate has other plans though...
Phoebe Vale, teacher and broadsheet lover, has no clue her life is going to change when she goes into a shop to admire a bonnet and get the latest gossip. When she hears the latest scandals of Lord Ice, Julian Spenser, Marquess Dryden, she is rather amused but she is quickly startled because who just happens into this shop? None other that Julian in all his black and white glory. With just a cursory glance about the shop, Julian asks to see the fans and purchases the best one as everything is the best for Julian. Everything is neat and tidy and has its place in life and he is on the hunt for a wife and not just any wife, oh no. He is courting the perfect, beautiful heiress Lisbeth Redmond. And Lisbeth is the last piece of his future he needs to finally clear up his fathers gambling mess as Lisbeth will bring the lands that were lost in a card game. But even though Phoebe feels like she was not even noticed in the shop, Phoebe is on his mind but he has to dismiss her as she does not fit in with his plans.
When Phoebe receives an offer to be Lisbeths companion for a few days she initially hesitates but then decides to go and earn some more money for her future plans to travel to Africa. It just happens to have the added bonus of running into Julian again... who had stopped by her school to inquire about his sister attending and a tour of the school with just the two of them leads to quite a few sparks! The sparks, the attraction, the desire all continue to grow especially as Julian lets down some walls and lets Phoebe see the real him, not the Marquess that all of society loves and tries to emulate. Stolen kisses and heated embraces that are almost caught lead to some absolutely delightful situations for our pair to try to overcome! But when the ton starts to take serious notice of Phoebe, only then does the story start to take a shaky path that leads to heartbreak but Julian takes strides to right the wrongs all while possibly endangering the perfect future he had mapped out.
Overall, this was an absolutely delightful book! I really adored Julian! When Phoebe hits him in the head and it leaves a bruise on his forehead, he is forced to have a forelock to cover it and all of society copies him. The results, hilarious. But beneath the perfect facade is just a man who wants to be loved for him and seen past his fathers failures and Phoebe is just the woman who sees him. I will admit I feel in love with Julian when Phoebes cat, Charybdis (funniest cat ever I swear!), goes missing and Julian flies off to find him immediately. Sigh, yeah, I was in love with him then and I knew how deep his love was for Phoebe. And Phoebe was a true delight as well. She is smart and witty and fought her way from the slums to become a teacher of girls who have the impulses and desires as she did at their younger age. Together, these two are near perfection and it is only that little shaky bit near the end I disliked. I just personally do not like that type of storyline but I have to say, I was very proud of the way Phoebe stood up for herself and Julians eventual resolution of the situation. Overall, if you enjoy an instant attraction story with some great laugh-out-loud moments this is a perfect story for you. I am sorry to say I have only read the first book in this series and I know I have to read the previous book, What I Did For a Duke, like yesterday and I know I can not wait. Julie Anne Long has made it onto my auto buy list for all future books with this delicious, sparkling, witty book . 4 1/2 stars
I received this ebook from Avon via netgalley.com
Pennyroyal Green series
Can be read as stand alones