Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Blame It on Bath by Caroline Linden

Lady Katherine Howe is feeling quite a bit of pressure to marry her late husbands heir in order to forgive a large debt that must be repaid to her otherwise.  Her late husband squandered her entire dowry and her father gave him a loan that must now be repaid.  But Katherine does not want to be forced into another marriage not of her choice so she comes up with a rather bold plan.  She plans to propose to Gerard de Lacey--yes, that de Lacey of the wild rumors of illegitimacy--as she knows he will be in need of a large fortune if the rumors are true.  But her deeper reason for wanting this marriage to the bold captain has to do with one long ago rainy afternoon in which he kindly helped her--a plain, quiet young lady.

Gerard is stunned when he receives a most unique proposal from this rather unremarkable looking woman.  Kate, as Gerard grows to call her, is so careful with her wording and demeanor and he just can't understand why she wears such dull, drab clothing and as he is most intrigued to find out more about her, he agrees to her proposal.  He steals a kiss and is relieved to find there is a bit of passion hiding underneath her facade.  As Gerard was on his way to Bath to uncover clues as to who is blackmailing his family, he takes Kate with him as soon as they are married and together they try to find the right balance for their new marriage of convenience.

If you read the previous book in this series, One Night in London, this book takes place during the same time as that one but with hardly any overlapping as most of the story is set in Bath versus London.  I was a bit surprised by this as the ending of One Night in London left me quite anxious for this one and I was a little disappointed that the reveal of what happened isn't almost until the end of this story.  I understand that the whole book leads up to the dilemma Gerard got himself into but I was hoping for a bit more scandalous reveal I guess.  *shrugs*  Once Gerard finally confesses the reason for being in Bath to Kate, they are able to uncover some clues about the blackmailer but overall this book seemed a bit light in the illegitimacy issues and I would have liked it to move forward in that direction more.

I really enjoyed our two characters.  I liked that Kate is not a raving beauty and is quiet and we get to see her emerge from her shell and transform into a lovely butterfly and I really enjoyed how Gerard saw her for her true self almost from the start.  He quickly learns that getting Kate to smile is one of the best things to do and he loves to watch her transform when she gives a rare smile.  Gerard for his part is brash, bold and a bit quick-tempered but he learns to curb this soon around his new wife as she divulges she suffered some abuse from her first husband.  Together, they mesh and this is a sweet yet hot romance of two people finding love where they least expect it.  Overall, I enjoyed this book for its uniqueness of no titles for the couple, a different location, an unassuming woman just waiting to be polished off a bit and a decisive hero.  There really is no major action or danger to take away from the romance so it truly is a lovely romance to watch emerge.  I know I am anxiously awaiting the final book in this series and the teaser already has me wanting it right now even though this book left me wanting a bit more from it.  3 1/2 stars

I received this eARC from Avon via

The Truth About the Duke
(This one could be read without reading the previous books but you will want to read them all in order before the last book to get a good understanding of all the scandal)
I Love the Earl (The Truth About the Duke #Prequel)One Night in London (The Truth About the Duke #1)
The Way to a Duke's Heart Sept 2012

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