Monday, January 23, 2012

How Miss Rutherford Got Her Groove Back by Sophie Barnes

Emily Rutherford is shaken to the core when her lifelong friend Adrian proposes to her best friend.  After all, Emily and Adrian had an understanding that they would become engaged in due time...well, that was understood by Emily, his parents, her sisters, and practically the entire ton.  Apparently Adrian, and his heart, missed that particular discussion.  Wanting to do nothing more than stay in her small cottage, she is persuaded to go to London and enjoy a Season, along with her two sisters at the bequest of another childhood friend, Francis Riley, Earl of Dunhurst.  After the unexpected death of their parents, Emily and her sisters have been living on the "generosity" of the new viscount.  They have no dowries and this could be their one chance to make a favorable match.  The only real problem is Francis.

Francis grew up with Emily and Adrian and her sisters but a terrible secret was brought to light and it made him into a changed man.  Gone was the relaxed nature of his life and in its place he became a bit cold.  He has kept this secret to himself the entire time and in the process, caused his friendships to slide.  Now after seeing the way Adrian treated Emily, he wants to correct his cousin's mistake and help Emily became the bubbly female she has always been.  In the process, his own demeanor begins to thaw and he remembers why he always loved being around Emily and as those feelings grow, so does the heated flirtations.  Will these two childhood friends be able to overcome there pasts to find a future together?

Overall, I was very happy with this sweet and sexy romance!  I thought it would be a bit more humorous based on the title but it is a little deeper than just enjoyable fluff.  I enjoyed how Francis' secret was made know to us readers quickly as it really helped shaped him and we got to see the wonderful thaw of his heart.  I also enjoyed how Francis refused to bed Emily until they were married and the resulting circumstances were a surprise to me.  **spoilerish (I don't read many books where the couple is married by the middle of the book)**  I enjoyed our couple together and I adored one of the opening scenes at the ball when Francis asks Emily to dance and she refuses as she thinks he too stiff now (because what lady in her right mind refuses to dance with a perfectly eligible earl?)--it reminded be a bit of Pride and Prejudice :)  I originally thought this was a novella but I was pleasantly surprised to learn it is a full length story and I am so happy it was.  It allowed for a wonderful romance to play out, not just between Emily and Francis, but also her sisters got a bit of happiness as well.  (But the sisters stories did not detract from the main couple at all, they were just an added bonus for these very close sisters).  There are a few misunderstandings but they are quickly cleared up and the story just moves along, which I appreciated.  No big long drawn out misunderstandings, phew!  For Sophie Barnes debut, I adored it and am already anxious for her new series.  If you are looking for a sweet childhood friends to lovers romance that flows along quickly with a dash of humor and a bit of 'what the heck are you thinking Emily?!?' thrown in as well, this is a great romance to curl up with.  4 stars

I received this eARC from Avon Impulse

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